Nonlinear electrostatic global gyrokinetic simulations of collisionless ion temperature gradient (ITG) turbulence and ExB zonal flows in axisymmetric toroidal plasmas are examined for different choices of the initial distribution function. Using a local Maxwellian leads to the generation of axisymmetric ExB flows that can be so strong as to prevent ITG mode growth. A method using a canonical Maxwellian is shown to avoid this spurious generation of ExB flows. In addition, a revised delta f scheme is introduced and compared to the standard delta f method. (c) 2006 American Institute of Physics.