Filling up on healthy food before the holiday

Hi guys! And all of a sudden the week was halfway through. Thank goodness. If I wasn’t already excited and ready to head out of town across the country, the rain and dreary weather we’re getting right now in San Francisco would surely push me over the edge. Yesterday, the darkness and wind set in around 3 p.m. Not pretty, my friends.

So before we get started, I want to direct you to a guest post I did yesterday on My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries. The writer of that blog, another Ashley, was so kind to let me introduce myself to her readers and talk about something I know so well — fitness. Check out the post here: “Top five ways to stay active during the holiday season.” Many thanks going out to Ashley for letting me share my thoughts with her audience. If you’re not a blogger, you may be wondering why someone would do a guest post. Well, guest posts are a great way to connect with new readers and share your two cents in a new venue, while also helping out the host blogger if he/she is on a vacation, is busy or wants some fresh content from a different perspective and voice. Just another fun thing about the healthy-living blogging community, I’d say. And you know, we haven’t had any guest posts around here on A Lady Goes West yet (other than that one time my Mom wrote a post), but maybe we will one day.

“What I Ate Wednesday” and enjoying all the healthy stuff this week

Well, it’s about that time we look at pictures of food for “What I Ate Wednesday.” This is a chance for me to show you what a typical day of eating really looks like in my world. No two days are exactly the same, but many of my weekday meals are very similar. I tend to stick to a few staple food items, then rotate in and out as I find something new to love. And just so my slightly repetitive eating doesn’t get boring for you, I always throw in some commentary, related or unrelated to the food at hand. Today, I’m sharing all of my eats from yesterday, which was a pretty normal day.

I’m definitely enjoying my regular healthy meals this week, because I know next week will be a little bit up-in-the-air with the holidays. While I usually stick to a pretty clean breakfast, lunch and snacks while away, I like to enjoy all the good stuff at dinner, including dessert and wine every night. But for the next couple of days, it’s all business over here. Let’s get to it …

Pre-workout snack at 5:30 a.m.

Greek yogurt snack 12.16Just a little tasty and protein-filled sustenance before I left in the wee dark hours to teach a BODYPUMP class.

Okay, true story: I hadn’t slept great on Monday night. I woke up super early, well before my alarm and just laid there. Because I couldn’t fall asleep, I finally got up and worked quietly on the computer for about an hour before I left to teach. Does that ever happen to you when you wake up and start thinking and then you can’t fall back asleep? I just couldn’t shut my mind off. I’m a pretty good sleeper most of the time, so let’s hope this is just a rare occurrence.

Breakfast at 8 a.m.

Breakfast 12.16A staple breakfast for me including hot green tea and vanilla protein overnight oats topped with a banana.

Is it sad that I not only continue to eat the same foods and share them with you, but I also continue to use the same bowls and backgrounds? That’s a major blogging no-no right there. But I have to tell you, I keep it real around here. Because I live in a little city apartment with tiny cupboards, we only have room for one set of dinnerware and we only have one natural-lit spot to take photos, that’s all you get to see. But I swear I always take all new photos each week. Speaking of dinnerware, Dave and I got this set of black and dark red plates, bowls and mugs for our wedding more than two years ago, and it’s all holding up pretty well. 

Lunch at 12:45 p.m.

Lunch 12.16A baked sweet potato covered in cinnamon, with two fried eggs on the side.

Hey is that a new plate? Nope. Seriously though, not a day goes by that I don’t eat a sweet potato. Last week, there was one day in which I had two. It may be overkill. Because of my addiction to sweet potatoes, oats, bananas and some form of pasta regularly, I tend to have a pretty high carbohydrate consumption on a daily basis. No big deal though. I stopped tracking my food some time ago. All I know is that I like to eat carbs, and at least I’m choosing the healthy and complex kinds over the ones with empty calories.

Mid-afternoon snack at 4:30 p.m.

Snack 12.16Some warm green tea and a Pumpkin Pie LARABAR, which tastes like dessert.

I arrived home at about 4:15 p.m. yesterday, freezing cold and damp on the bottom from the rainy streets. The first thing I needed was a hot mug of tea. And these little Pumpkin Pie Larabars? Totally new to me and totally delicious. I wish they were bigger though, because those little puppies are gone in about two bites.

Dinner at 8 p.m.

Dinner 12.16A big red bowl of spaghetti squash, sauteed spinach, marinara sauce and some turkey meatballs, which is a dinner I usually eat about twice-a-week on average.

Dave was gone last night at a work function, so I ate this lovely meal at the computer, browsing the web. It was warm and filling and just what I needed on a cold and rainy night. And of course un-pictured, dinner was followed by my usual chugging of almond milk from the carton. 

That’s everything I ate yesterday, outside of some vitamins and some water. I’m sticking to these healthy foods and getting in some extra hydration this week, because I’ve got a whole lot of indulgent eats in my future starting Saturday night when Dave and I arrive at my parent’s house in Florida. I can’t wait!

Go off and have a fabulous Wednesday! It’s my favorite night of the week in group fitness, and tonight I’m teaching my last double-header of BODYATTACK and BODYPUMP of 2014. I hope to see you back here tomorrow for something completely random. Bye, friends!

P.S. Oh hey, there’s a new tab up there on the ole’ blog. Check out my new Press page.

More pictures of food

If you want to see more of these “What I Ate Wednesday” posts, here’s a look at some previous eating recaps:

  1. A full day of eating in pictures
  2. Another full day of my eats and drinks
  3. Real food isn’t always pretty
  4. Do you have a balanced dining out strategy?
  5. What I ate and drank all day
  6. Three meals, two snacks and a shake
  7. Food trucks and rest-day eating
  8. Plenty of protein at every meal
  9. Colorful fuel for a day of training
  10. Long days of training require a lot of food
  11. Making do on “What I Ate Wednesday” 
  12. Healthy foods for a rest day
  13. Who doesn’t like pictures of food?
  14. A look at a full day of eating in pictures
  15. Snapshots from a day of delicious meals
  16. Pictures of food, because you like them
  17. Food pictures and the juice cleanse that wasn’t
  18. A look at what I really eat in a day
  19. What I ate in the Sunshine State
  20. My weekend eats and a little narrative
  21. Stories about food and yesterday’s meals
  22. A day of eating and some commentary
  23. Do you want to know what I ate yesterday?
  24. Healthy challenges and foods from my day
  25. Eating, napping and eating again

Questions of the day

Have you tried any new foods lately? How’s your week going? What’s the weather like where you live?

Ashley signature

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63 Comments

    1. Hi Sara! I’ve never lived anything that cold, I don’t know how I’d do it. It seems like it would be hard to leave the house. And yay for spaghetti squash! Always a good meal in my book. Happy Wednesday!

  1. Do you follow a certain recipe for the turkey meatballs? I’ve tried many, but always looking for others.

    Best thing I ate yesterday – mahi mahi over rice w/ vegetables … Weather – 73 degrees… which is pretty cold for us.

    1. Hi Jessie! I love to eat mahi mahi! We buy frozen packs of fish and have that from time to time with salsa and black beans and rice. And you’re not going to believe this, but I buy the packaged turkey meatballs from the grocery store. I’d love to make them, but haven’t done that yet. Time and convenience keeps me going back to the packages. 🙂

  2. I love Lara Bars because they are pretty clean as far as packaged bars go. But yes, definitely too small! I haven’t even seen this pumpkin pie variety though. Gotta keep my eyes peeled for that one! Thanks for the tip.

    1. Hi Courtney, I found this box at Target near the vitamins on the end of the aisle. They were on sale for $5, so it was meant to be. I just wish they were double the size hehehe. I bet it would be good warmed up with some ice cream on top. I may have to try that. 🙂 Hope you’re doing great today!

  3. Lol. I always feel the same way about all of my white plates. We do have some different placemats so I do try to vary it a little. My photos are always new, but I tend to recycle a lot of the same meals during the week. Enjoyed your guest post yesterday and great job getting a press page done. Go you!

  4. I found your blog when u guest posted on Housewife Glamour 🙂 I love finding new blogs to follow! The weather here has been so cold compared to So Cal, I’m adjusting from 70 degrees to 45 degrees…brrr 🙂

    1. Hi Marielle! And I’m soo glad you found my blog, because I’ve loved connecting with you and hearing about your life. 45 degrees is very cold! Ahhh! Have some hot tea and put on your slippers. 🙂

  5. I haven’t really tried anything new and exciting, but I have started making smoothies again, now that I’m at home and have access to a blender! Sadly, it’s not quite smoothie-weather outside (cold and dreary), but as long as I sit by the fireplace in my PJs drinking my smoothie I’m all good 🙂
    Love spaghetti squash! I’ve never tried it with meatballs, but it looks awesome

  6. I think you are choosing great options for carbs! For as active as you are, you definitely need them.

    It’s funny that there is such a stigma against carbs. Sure, if you’re sedentary and eating nothing but potato chips, white bread, and cookies then you might have a problem but for active people who eat whole, unprocessed foods- carbs are a necessity!

    1. Hi Sarah! We all need carbs that’s for sure. But yes, people seem to throw all carbs into the same category, when many of them are quite good for you. It would be impossible to live without good carbs.

  7. I try and eat a variety of foods, but for the most part, I eat the same things. I’m a Diabetic and I know what foods work for my body and what foods spike my blood sugars.
    Weather in MI has been super mild, but woke up to a dusting of snow today. Crossing my fingers for a white Christmas.

    1. Hi Jen! A white Christmas would be wonderful. As a Florida girl who now lives in California, I’ve only seen snow one time! Glad you know what your body needs food-wise, because that’s very important. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Looks like a good day of eats to me 🙂 When you find something you like, why not stick to it? Especially with a week of crazy eats coming up… I’ve been having steel cut oats every morning for breakfast, with peanut butter, egg whites, and some fruit, either a banana or some cranberries. Nice and warm to warm me up for the day!

      1. A lot of time with family, food, fun, games, I’m very excited. Hope you have a wonderful visit home to the Sunshine state!

  9. I could seriously eat sweet potatoes every day, every meal. They are amazzzzing!
    That totally sucks it gets dark at 3pm, here the sun sets right now around 4:30 and I thought that was bad. Booo winter!

    1. Hi Karen, well when it’s not super stormy, it doesn’t get dark until a little later, so that’s good. Hope all is well with you!! 🙂 And yes, we both share a love of sweet taters!

  10. Wow, I totally missed that guest post yesterday! I guess that just goes to show you how different my days are now that I’m working again. I’ll have to go give it a read. It’s so great you guys are going home to visit family! Super jealous you are going to be in Florida. Enjoy it! <3

    1. Hi Heather! Thanks! I’ll share many pics of my time in FL. Are you guys staying there for the holidays? Hope you have a white Christmas if so:)

    1. Hi Mattie! It’s easy to snack on things when they are nearby, if I’m home, I keep the snacks in the cupboard so they aren’t at arm’s length until I’m hungry. 🙂

  11. Where can you get the Pumpkin Lara bars!?? Also I tried the pumpkin yogurt you had posted awhile ago and yes so good! Thank you for the suggestion.
    How do you cook you sweet potatoes? Looks amazing

    1. Hi Alexa! I found those Larabars on the end of the aisle at Target in Walnut Creek this weekend for only $5. And I bake my sweet potatoes in the microwave. I wash them, poke a few holes with a fork, wrap in a wet paper towel, then cook them for 4-5 minutes on each side. So easy! Hope you’re doing well!

  12. Love how you always keep it real on your blog! I don’t get how other bloggers manage to have different backgrounds and dishes all the time.
    I haven’t had any new foods per se, but I have been having a lot more warm and hearty foods like butternut squash soup and pasta.

    1. Hi Alice! I know! Keeping it real is important. And we need warm food over here in the Bay Area with the cold rains taking place. Hope you have a great evening! 🙂

  13. Hi Ashley! Loving your blog. You inspired me to try spaghetti squash last week and I really liked it! Much better with marinara sauce. I tried it first w/just olive oil.
    And you inspired me to fit workouts in this week even amongst all the holiday business. I can’t believe it but I woke up early and did a 6 am Body Attack yesterday and a 5:30 am Body Pump today. I don’t know how you do it all the time! I feel great though. And can enjoy the food at my holiday get togethers this week with less guilt.

    1. Hi Delia! Oh my gosh, you have MADE my day. You are an animal to tackle BODYATTACK to early in the morning. I hope you ate a little snack to power through it. Great job on staying active during the holidays. And I sure hope you keep it up and enjoy all the fun times ahead for the holidays. Thank you so much for sharing with me! 🙂

  14. Ahh I’ll have to check out the guest post- I think guest posts can be a great thing. I used to do an International blogger spotlight a few months ago so will be bringing that back to highlight bloggers and introduce them to other readers they may not have been aware of!

    You guys have the most unique yogurt flavours- I think Australia thought they were cool to have an apple AND cinnamon one. Step back.

    1. Hi Arman! Hahhaa — well yes, we are advanced with our yogurt flavors and so much more. I’d love to read an international blogger spotlight. I look forward to that. Happy day to you! 🙂 Keep up the good recipes!

  15. Oh my goodness I LOVE YOUR BLOG! 🙂
    Overnight oats are a big thing in my house too, both because I love them and so does my daughter. Your dinner looks delicious! I’ve never tried spaghetti squash before (I’m probably missing out), but anything involving spinach and turkey meatballs gets a big thumbs up from me.

    1. Hi there, Mssss. Salt! Thanks so much for stopping by and thanks for the love. You definitely need to give spaghetti squash a try. It’s really easy to cook and can be used in many ways (although I typically just use it as spaghetti). Hope you have a lovely rest of the week! And let’s stay in touch!

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