Panic while depressed

So I strained my ankle last week, while keeping a heated competition of running with a friend. And now I can barely walk normally and it is still swelling. I twisted it pretty bad.

2016 has been a little rough for me. The cleaner in our building even starts making fun of me. I got a cold whil lying on the beach with too strong wind, I got flu during the trip to Puerto Rico, now I strains my ankle. It is like I am constantly down with something.

But come on! I am the healthiest person I know! God!

And now JB starts to go to gym again, he just likes to do this, whenever I am having period and can’t work out, he would happily go to the gym himself, making me jealous and all.

and I am feeling down, when i am about to leave for China to get married this weekend. When I am supposed to get excited and all!

i got a little frustrated when meeting with my old PI, I feel that my work now didn’t really impress him.

Well I guess that’s all. My boyfriend is being all nice and great and nothing to complain.

And I just need to calm down, take it as it is. Please don’t panic.


Spiral upwards

I had thought that I had gained good relationship with my food. turns out that it doesn’t happen that easily. I was looking at some pictures I took recently, and realized that I look like that I have gained weight. And the other day when I weighed myself at the gym, I was definitely putting on a few pounds.

This got me a little depressed and frustrated. I found myself eating more snack food than I usually do. This is all a mental thing. I was thinking to myself. Zhuo! I thought you are over it. I thought you were saying you are good enough. I thought you don’t eat emotionally anymore. Especially when I think that I already talked about this in my youtube channel. This gets me even more frustrated and mad at myself.

Another thing is that I haven’t been exercising regularly starting this year. I didn’t feel that it matters to me as before. Before I would make sure I keep down every exercise I do on the calendar and kept me going. I have strict exercise routine. But starting from this year, I guess I just decided that I would take it easy, and not be so fixed on exercising. And also I have put more energy in meditation practice which kind of makes me think it is justifiable that I don’t do that much exercise.

But then one of my friend posted his miles for the month. 100k. And with a picture of the ranking in Nike+, where I am the second place. I got a little pissed. When I took running really seriously, I run a lot more than that. And I never showed off in social media. I think the problem is not his. It is my mind playing tricks. I think on the one hand, I think I can easily run more than him. On the other, I was not so sure after not running seriously for such a long time. And I know, nothing wrong with him showing off. It is just me that took it that way.

Cried, confessed to my fiancee. And started running again last week. And made it my priority. First thing in the morning. Didn’t care that I would go in work later. I had to do this first to take care of myself. I know. After a week I will be on top of the game and here I am.

I met the friend the other day. And felt that he is being competitive. Actually at this point, I am not even that competitive anymore, it is always about myself I know. Once I get past the mental block. Everything is fine. It is not really about competition. And the fact that he is being competitive and sort of weird just means that I need to block him or shy away from him a little bit. I think everyone is going through hardship you would never know. But I would still mentally block or get farther away from him at this point because of the energy.

Well lessons learned.

  1. Always have my workout routine going, necessary for my mental health.
  2. Don’t be afraid. Once I start doing it for a week, I am in good hand.



Would you put down the phone?

You like to post instagram pictures.

You like to read novels on your phone.

You like to watch animals vs human videos on youtube.

You love to play computer games.


You love me too.

You filled the hot patch for me and put it in after I fall asleep.

You gave me the better looking sweet potato.

You always let me eat your noodles after I finished mine.

You are bubbly and cheerful even after I gave you my cold.

You are carefree.


But you check your phone all the time.

Like it had sucked the soul out of you.

When you are waiting for me in the car.

When you are using the bathroom.

When you are waiting for the dinner being cooked.

After I fall asleep.


And I woke up, and you seemed startled.

I can scream “What are you doing sneaky!”

I have done that.

I can also pretend to not care a bit and be cheerful.

But this bothers me.

If we are living in the same room and I still feel lonely from time to time.


I can drag you to do things with me.

Go biking, hiking.

But once we are home again, you pick up your phone.

Like that is your thread of life to connect the dots.

I can convince myself to admire you for the love to read.

I don’t read that much.


But I need more time with you.

Not just watching TV shows during meal time.

I want to share more with you.

I want to talk more with you.


They say: you can’t change other people.

The will to change has to come from within.

Sometimes I decided to wait it out.

But you fall into your routine of playing games and sleeping late.

We are different.

I want to do things to make my days count.

I want to go running, go biking, read books, find jobs, improve myself.

You are perfectly happy just relaxing and hanging out with your phone in bed.

I jump out of bed once I open my eyes 5AM in the morning excited to start the day.

You would much prefer lying around.


I guess I need some of your qualities.

I need to relax.

But I feel my urge to let others know about me.

I feel that I am all by myself.

If my most important thing in life is you, I would want to do everything with you.

But you are perfectly fine when I am asleep, you can do your things without disturbance then.


There is something fundamentally wrong with my thinking I know.

If it is phone or me, you would choose me I know.

But if you are not confronted with the choice, you are just happy the way you are.


I convince myself that I need to develop more things to do on my own.

I pick up a ukulele and I play.

But there is only so much ukulele I can play before my fingers suffer.

I pick up a book and read.

But I can only read for so long before my head hurts.


In my mind, there are:

breakfast, food, lab work, what do I cook for dinner, how much should I run, what new recipes shall I try out, start a youtube channel.

I am not sure what’s in your mind.

And this bothers me.


Technology is to be used by us.

We shall not be the slave for technology.

Please stop stuffing information in.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we live without electronics for a few days.

Just like the good old days.


Would you put down the phone?




























2015 review

I think it is high time that I review 2015, fabulous with exciting changes and improvements and self discovery.

  1. Running, swimming and cycling.

Earlier this year, I started training for a marathon. I stick to the training program on Nike+ pretty well and get to a point where I can run up to 3h for 15 miles. I was running 4 times a week, on Fridays I would get so excited for the long run at the gym. I read a book about marathon training and educate myself. The whole training process is almost injury free, just some minor issues with IT band and balls of my feet. It turned out to be the problem with my running shoes. I lost a few pounds, because I wasn’t refueling my body properly. Then I increased the calorie intake and I am fine. In June, I increased the mileage to 88 miles, which I am quite proud of. Then I was back home for a vacation, and I just stopped the training. One reason is that I discovered swimming and cycling, and get excited over these. And also I felt very differently while swimming and cycling than running, it is refreshing, and relaxing. For running, I was super pumped and hyped. They are all good, I started to see the merits of different exercise. My fiancee started cycling with me and I am really happy to find him excited to go on weekend bike rides together. If we are not cycling, then we would go for a walk in a state park, go on the trail, take pictures of mushrooms after rain, frogs, water, sky. Some times we do long 3h rides, sometimes we do some hill work for shorter time. It was just a set time for the weekend that I am always looking forward to.

Then just a few days ago, I went to a ultra marathon race with 50k and 50 miles to volunteer. There is so much inspiration going on and I have my highest respect for the runners. Few are fit and lean, but the majority are not so much so. Fitness comes in all different shapes and sizes. Some are concentrated and determined, others are playful and singing and talking. Everybody has their own journey, everybody has their own battle to fight. Some are running alone, others have their husband or wife or even a group of friends to accompany along the way. Some throws up. Some couldn’t even talk in such agony. So many of the runners are so appreciative of us, they are saying thank you when they are at the aid station. You can see that they are just awesome people. Perfect dose of inspiration at the end of the year.

2.  Veganism.

I started learning about animal agriculture, animal rights and vegan life style earlier in the year. There are a few documentaries that are very informative and lead me to the decision of becoming a vegan. <Cowspiracy> talks about the environmental effects of animal agriculture, it has become the single biggest contributor to deforestation, sea pollution, species dying, air pollution, water usage, global warming. There is simply no way that the planet is going to support us the way we eat meat like now. We will be running out of resources.  <Earthlings> shows the clips and images from factory farms. It is just harsh to see how the animals are treated from the beginning of their lives. They are mistreated, tortured, confined to a small space, sitting directly next to each other. Their beaks, tails, horns, teeth are cut off soon after they are born. They are ill, sometimes going insane because of all the mistreatment.

There are people that inspires me to choose this lifestyle and assuring myself that this is possible, and this is healthy. Like Rich Roll, who is a ultra distance endurance runner and podcaster. Kristina, who is fully raw vegan promoter, artist. Steph Yu, who is 19 years old Asian girl who is going on adventures to discover and enjoy life. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, who is an educator, pro veganator, advocate for compassionate living.

Once I adopt this lifestyle, it is not as what I had perceived. I thought vegan just means salad all day, but no, there are so many things to choose from, and honestly I never felt so satiated after each meal. And the best thing is I don’t feel lousy afterwards. The one thing I noticed is that I don’t have stomach pain or heartburn anymore. I used to struggle with heartburn after lunch almost everyday. Then it is all gone after I stopped eating meat. Also with the amount of fiber intake, morning bowel movement is never a problem again, 5min and I am done. I also started to learn so much things about compassionate living with the food for thought podcast, with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. It helped me with my earlier transition days of how I come out, how I can explain to people my decision, how to be a joyful vegan when eating out. Beyond that, there are also so many more things like how you can help injured animals you see, how animals are treated in the film making industry. I started with the understanding of veganism to be a glamorous lifestyle, but this podcast is just so eye-opening that I know that veganism is so much more than what you eat. “Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything, do something, anything.” is one of my favorite quotes from her. You just see compassion beaming through her, and I feel like I am opening up a new level of consciousness. After all, vegan is not the end, it is a way to an end.

The decision to go vegan is probably the most important decision I will ever have made, for myself, for the animals, and for the people around me, and for the planet.

3.  Self love.

After the vacation home in July, I gained a few pounds. I was having a hard time accepting the fact. Then I started to realize that I should love and take care of my body no matter what. It is the only thing that I am in control of. I can nourish my body with good food, make it stronger with moderate exercise, and cherish it with great self compassion and self love. Whether you are comfortable within your own body shines through. I think the definition for fitness for me is not how I look, but what I can do. Of course it would be awesome if I have washboard abs. But I shouldn’t make it a default and say that if I have belly then I am not good, I am being lazy, or I am finding excuses, or I am eating too much. Fitness should come in all different shapes and sizes. At one point, I have filled my instagram with people with exceptional good physique. But then I deleted them all. I don’t need it. I already know what the society has imposed on us, and looking at the pictures would not be any inspiration but just recipe for self-loathing, and stress.

For me, I am happy with where I am now, I have a defined tricep, my leg muscles are strong, I have a tummy, but this is just the way it is. Thinking about what others think of you is stressful. Just do whatever you feel like in accordance with your value. And the truth is, nobody really cares, everyone is all too wrapped up in their bubbles to care. So if you eat so little, and exercise so much to achieve a great figure to get some compliment, think about it. I don’t think exercise and working out should be stressful, or a burden, or you feel like obliged to do because of what others think of you. It should be fun, relaxing and rejuvenating. You should enjoy the process of it. It shouldn’t be to own someone else’s compliment, It is to own you own applause, your own compassion and your own appreciation.

So before I was checking on my Nike+ all the time whether I am still ranking the first, and if I find someone before me I would go and run some extra miles. This is just not right. When I look at pictures from when I was thinner, I am thinking, oh this looks so under-nourished, like it is not even me. I am curvy, and that’s just me. After years of struggle I am back at an optimal weight, I figured this weight is just for me. No more, no less. Right on point.

Make peace with yourself. Praise yourself. Give yourself some love. Take it easy.

4. Relationship.

I am grateful with what JB did for me as I adopt the vegan lifestyle. I stopped cooking meat for him, he doesn’t have complaint. He is cheerful and joyful all the time. He is such a gem. He has taken good care of me. And I noticed his changes, he wants to go out hiking or cycling during weekends, which I had wished for. He is still playing a lot of computer games. But I decided to not intervene or try to stop him. He has his own decisions. Everyone has their own journey. Even us, even we are together, we are just companions, we can’t share the experience. So it is of his own decision what he wants to do. It might look wrong from my standpoint, but it is their own journey, and I can’t decide what is right and what is wrong for others’ way.

5. Miminalism.

I find myself not wanting to buy things. Especially clothes. I have enough clothes, they should last for so many years to come. If I buy more, there will just be more sitting in the closet, with the current selection I have, I can’t have even wore all of them.

I like to DIY, especially my food. If I can make it, I wouldn’t buy it. Actually the first time I eat almond butter, it is my homemade one. After I tried the Costco pecan cranberry sourdough bread, I am so hooked! And I started my own sourdough culture, and now the sourdough culture is almost 1 year old! I bake with them every week now. I also make my own sauerkraut, mung bean sprouts, pistachio butter, granola.

I think it is the best to use few ingredients to make simple yet delicious food. Curry is such an example. Potato, carrot, onions, tomato, lentil and we are there. Fried noodles, fried rice.

And with our decision to spend Christmas in town, it will be an awesome minimalist holiday for us too!



Sending all the love and joy! Peace.




2015 Holiday guide

When I came to the states in 2012, I have had some rough times for my mental health, been hospitalized, and recovered from the trauma with running, food and meditation. I perceive myself as a forgetful person. Past experiences, however strongly I felt at that point, I find myself peaceful with the experience, and go on and get concentrated and overwhelmed with just what is going on right now. I don’t talk to old school friends much, to some degree also because of some bad memories around college graduation time, things just got ugly when I am drunk and don’t sleep. I said horrible things to some of my best friends in college after they out of nowhere turned their back on me. It is funny how I am kind to and liked by my classmates for the most part of college when Bam! Everybody I cared thinks I am a bad person.

I also think I am a person who always want to settle things. If someone is not OK with me, I’d like to know why and try to communicate, you know, to solve problems. But turns out, not everything can be solved and some people just don’t go together. So I kept calm and moved on and stopped trying.

There are several important people in my earlier days that influence me a lot. I remembered after I transferred to a new class, nobody really knows me and some people just started hanging out with me. They are awesome people, and I had no idea why they chose to study together with me and staff. I am just a kind person. I treat well people that no one cares for.

I don’t talk to those important people in my life anymore, it ended bad, but whenever I thought about those innocent days, I still remembered so vividly and have gratitude and a smile in my heart.

For me, 2012-2015 are some drastic changes. I battled with Eating disorder, now in remission, started meditation, commit to vegan lifestyle, started to practice minimalism, culturing love for my body, just having more awareness for my body and also for the world around me. I find myself not so stable in mood when the holiday comes. It is happening this year too. Even though I have decided not to go anywhere, but when all my friends are leaving town, I panicked a little bit.

But I can see a happier and grown me in the future. I know this is the right way. The right way doesn’t mean it will be flowers and rainbows all the way, there could also be thrones and dark times, but I have firm belief that I am on the right path.

So since I am not leaving town as most of my friends do for this Christmas. I am staying home, with my beloved fiancee. After all, that’s all I need. Then I came up with ideas for Christmas tradition. Not sure I will be doing them all, but just coming up with so many interesting ideas just make me excited. The bucket list is like this:

  1. One Christmas movies(or not) a day till the new year’s eve.
  2. One cuisine a day homecooking including but not limited to Korean, Indian, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, trying out new recipes, vegan, from scratch. Best idea or what!!!
  3. Visit parks on sunny days.
  4. Biking together. (JB suggested midnight biking, biking without lunch, yeah sure, I overruled.
  5. Pick up yoga.
  6. Clean up room and make it more comfy and cozy.

Not so shabby~ I think this will be a real awesome Christmas without mindlessly spending so much money, eating too much food and getting anxious and guilty before the new year.




















OK so lot of hands spotted!

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So this is how my banana bread turned out to be, my friends always trade food!  Aren’t those cookies so cute! My little girlfriend made this! It literally melts in your mouth!

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So since I have decided that I want to do my long runs on Friday, Friday becomes more exciting. I decided to finally get my hands on making my own Frappucino, well, the consistency is a little to watery, I guess I will use less milk and more ice cubes. I also put a scoop of coffee icecream in there!! And Nutella! Ended up needing more sweetness so I added agave and shak’em up. Then with the oh-so-good banana bread, I am off to the game!

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My friends at work went together to an Indian restaurant, which is approved by our beloved Indian lab mate, to celebrate my birthday. Look at the size of the menu!!! Well as you can probably tell the hand on the right isn’t mine, my friend got this amazing colored nails!

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This is what I got, Veggie Kurma, I really want some veggies for my long run recovery, and this is what I’ve got. Totally saw Curry leaves for the first time! It was a great time, but I felt bad that even 3 of my fiends ordered mild, it seems like they are served with some spicy spicy food that one looks like he is dying, another didn’t really eat it, and my boyfriend took the gut to jug down the whole thing. Today in the morning after I woke up I still feel the Indian Spices in my stomach.

On my hands are some special snacks brought from India by an Indian friend. She swore by it to help with digestion, she asked for 4 packets and her mom sent her 30 of them! It is fried and coated with salt and it only has an Indian name that I can’t remember and we decided to call it “no idea”, “oh I have no idea, do you want some?” Totally cracks me.

So the 12 miler was great, 5.3mi/h, had 1 GU before run, 2 GUs during run. OJ after run, Broccoli for lunch, then coconut water for electrolytes. I was doing experiments the whole morning before a conference call, then went for the long run around 1 without lunch, not sure whether I still feel the coffee from morning. I definitely added too much instant coffee to my Frappe, I literally feel my hands shake a little bit and feeling high.

Now I didn’t mean to, but really everyone is asking me about the long run… I didn’t mean to! I just told Sunny about this because I was feeling more intimate and want to share my excitement about running, and Emily spotted me before my run and asked about it and then when we arrived at the restaurant, everyone knows. Now I am a little freak who tries to run the hell out of herself. Well I guess I will be that little freak happily.

Long runs are my favorite workouts, for now.


Just when you feel weak. A little angel comes to rescue and company your run


Beet juju, i am thinking of other ways to cook beet. I am a little over the raw juice thing now. Maybe because I added too much ginger. Just had a weird feeling in my stomach after this jar.


Sunday special for boyfriend. Sourdough left over come into use for those fluffy pancakes. and Strawberry overload!

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This is called dough drop soup with tomato and egg drop. You see that it is kind of like egg drop soup except that it also has small pieces of dough in it! How awesome is that! I asked grandma to cook it for me all the time when I was young. Just so hearty and warm and comfort.


Went to a friend’s house as I was walking in the apartment complex. Got this crazy rich organic soy milk. She spent an hour to make this, after soaking soy bean for 5h, she strained them, boiled them, and the left over crumbs goes to another stir fry dish. Oh so good!! I need to do this too. I figured that low intensity cardio is better for fat burning, well I am never a fan of walking, I can run for hours but not so much walk. My mom is the same thing. She is not a good walker either. But I guess after I know the benefits, I would be doing more walking maybe also hiking.


This is what happens when I am too tired to cook after my run for dinner. Simple, quick, easy, Delish! You have to add sugar to it to make it extra yummy!!


Breakfast overload. I always have time to make my breakfast. I never skip a meal. The salad and yogurt bowl above literally takes around 5 min to put together. I never compensate for quality of my meals. Lots of veggies, enough protein, I need them to fuel my run.


This is me after a 7 mi run. 1 mi warm up and cool down, 5 miles of fartlek in between. I was proud of myself. Was not sure about my energy level and whether I can kill this workout until i get onto the treadmill. Surprise Surprise! Nailed it, with a faster speed of 5.9 most of the fartlek, I am happy with the time. 1h 13min 20s. Didn’t even push it at the cool down stage, still made my PR. Marathon training is beyond half, I am feeling good.

A good playlist sure does its job. Songs like “Till I collapse” totally gets you into the zone, I believe one of the reasons that I keep breaking records lately is highly related to the new songs I added, they matched my pace. For many of them I could stride on the beat throughout the song. Bonus!


Now for dinner, this stew I made using high pressure cooker. There sure is beef in it, I just didn’t have much in my bowl, I love those tender carrots!! Mildly sweet, and I drank all the soup from the stew. Heaven!!

These days I woke up very early, usually go to bed 10PM and woke up 4AM, I would eat breakfast, cook something up to bring for lunch, and then hop on to 7AM school bus. Early morning is glorious. I feel productive. Maybe sometime in the future I will switch my run in mornings.