Real pictures of real meals, taken right before eating …
Without a doubt, “What I Ate Wednesday” posts are some of the most requested on the blog. Even though I post pictures of my lunches quite often on social media, I haven’t recapped a full day of eats on the blog since this one, shortly after Brady was born.
It’s not as easy for me to capture my meals these days with Brady being quite an active little guy. While I try to take a minute to snap a nice photo of my lunch at least a few times a week when the daylight is perfect in my kitchen, the rest of the day, I’m eating in a rush and don’t take the time to make my snacks or meals look nice enough to share. Like at all. Sometimes my meals are straight-up ugly. But, I can assure you that they are always tasty!
The following line-up of meals is going to a be a mixture of decent pictures and pretty bad ones. No judgment zone here, okay? This is everything I ate on Wednesday of last week — making it an official “What I Ate Wednesday.” Enjoy …
Everything I ate on a normal weekday
Breakfast at 8:30 a.m.
Overnight oats and collagen tea
I’ve been on a cold overnight oats kick lately and have been making a few batches at a time to store in the fridge. In the morning, I pull out a batch, let it sit for about 10 minutes to warm up a bit, top it with a banana and nut butter and enjoy.
There’s a LOT in this bowl: gluten-free oats, vanilla protein powder, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts, maca powder, cacao nibs, sea salt, coconut milk and a slab of almond butter. And let’s not forget the banana. It’s such a filling meal, with tons of nutrients. I use about 1/2 cup of oats and about a teaspoon of everything else, with just enough milk to coat it all — my recipe is very loose and slightly different every time, and it always ends up tasting great.
In addition to the hearty oats, I also had one of my new obsessions — a collagen golden milk tea latte — consisting of a green tea bag, stevia, local raw honey, turmeric, coconut milk and some collagen peptides. It’s my favorite hot beverage right now, and I look forward to it each morning.
Fun fact for you: Overnight oats are a great breakfast to bring on the go, if you tend to eat breakfast after you already get to work. It travels well, and I have even taken it on planes (just make sure it’s not too runny or the TSA may question you).
Post-workout at 11 a.m.
Some days I have a mid-morning snack, some days I don’t. On this day, because I had breakfast a little later and then had a protein shake after my 25-minute full-body resistance workout at the gym, I skipped the snack.
This shake consists of one big scoop of chocolate Vega plant-based protein powder, and it’s the clean performance version with BCAAs, which has 25 grams of protein and all sorts of helpful recovery properties for the muscles. It’s becoming my favorite protein powder right now, by the way.
Fun fact for you: I put my protein shake in the freezer about 90 minutes before I go to the gym. Then, I take it with me, and by the time my workout is done, the shake is the perfect slushy consistency and stays cold in my car. Love that!
Lunch at 1 p.m.
Veggie burger, eggs, greens, avocado and sauerkraut
This is a pretty standard lunch for me these days, and I often rotate these foods in and out in different combinations. The only item on the plate that took any time at all to prepare was the high-protein Trader Joe’s veggie burger, which had to cook for 20 minutes in the oven.
There’s also a bed of greens, which I sautéed in coconut oil, two slightly runny eggs, a whole avocado, sauerkraut and some salsa on top of the veggie burger — also some turmeric and sea salt sprinkled across everything as well. This lunch is so filling and has a ton of textures — just how I like it.
Fun fact for you: While this meal isn’t one that you could bring on the go or have stored in your lunch box, you could do a version of it, if you used hardboiled eggs and reheated the veggie burger in the microwave. Avocados, hardboiled eggs and sauerkraut used to be one of my go-to lunches that I ate while in a corporate job. They go together very well, especially if you add some green salsa.
Lunch was followed by a sweet bite …
Because who doesn’t need a little post-lunch dessert? I certainly do. I even bring a little baggie with these dates with me when we go out to lunch on the weekends, because I’m that into them.
Afternoon snack at 5 p.m.
Larabar and collagen tea
Yes, some people are already thinking about dinner when I’m having a snack, I know this to be true. However, Dave and I have always eaten dinner really late, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. In fact, eating dinner late is one of the many “healthy living” rules that I don’t follow, and I’m still alive and kicking!
Sometimes I throw an extra slab of almond butter on my Larabar, and sometimes I eat it as is. Because I had another collagen tea (which has protein and calories and is filling), I just ate the bar as is. What’s in the tea? A green tea bag, stevia, collagen peptides, coconut milk and cinnamon.
Fun fact for you: Do you really need an afternoon snack? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I ALWAYS eat one, but that’s because I eat dinner late. If you are feeling a slump coming on in the afternoon and are reaching for a snack to cure it, there’s a chance you just need some more water or a walk. Food for thought!
Dinner at 8:45 p.m.
(Please excuse the photo.)
Veggie burger, butternut squash fries, cauliflower rice, avocado, eggs and sauerkraut
Here’s where the pictures get cringe-worthy. In fact, this picture almost made me skip doing this post, because it’s just so bad. But hey, I promised to share real meals, and this is real — taken in the kitchen under some lovely overhead lights.
Dave and I used to eat totally different things for dinner (mostly when I ate lentil pasta every single night and he didn’t want that), but now we’re back to eating similar things — and will usually split the veggies and sides each night. This is a typical dinner lately, and I’m starting to think I need a bigger plate to fit it all.
This is a Hilary’s Eat Well veggie burger topped with green salsa, some roasted butternut squash fries cooked in coconut oil and turmeric, some cauliflower rice cooked in coconut oil and turmeric, sauerkraut (which comes pre-made in a tub from Trader Joe’s), half of an avocado (Dave had the other half) and two slightly runny eggs. I like to mix this all together and eat big combo bites. So good, so filling, so colorful and so full of healthy ingredients.
Fun fact for you: You don’t have to “cook” big elaborate meals to be satisfied. I’m more of a meal assembler, and I’m always totally satisfied after putting together a bunch of things with flavor like this dinner shown here.
And after dinner, I had another sweet bite … well, I actually had two almond-covered dates after dinner, but didn’t bother with another picture of them.
And that’s a full day of eats. It’s pretty normal for a weekday for me, with my weekend eating including more bread, wine, dessert and … pizza!
As a reminder, because I know I’ll get asked: I don’t count calories or macronutrients or carbs. What I do is make sure that I have fat, protein and carbs in every meal, and that I’m eating mostly unprocessed foods and lots of produce. My meals work for me and make me feel great. And I encourage you to try new things until you find what makes you feel great too.
Hope you’re having a fabulous day, my friends! Happy eating!Check out this look at a full day of healthy meals on A Lady Goes West Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
What’s your favorite meal of the day? (Mine used to be breakfast, but now is lunch.)
What time do you eat dinner?
Would you call yourself a chef or a meal assembler like me?