Stories about food and yesterday’s meals

Hi guys! It’s Wednesday again, so of course, I’m here with a daily eating recap. But before we get to that, check out this guest post that I wrote on Heather’s blog yesterday, “The top five health and fitness mistakes people make.” I enjoyed writing this post for her while she was away and am happy some new people have found their way to A Lady Goes West because of it. Welcome!

As someone who reads a lot of blogs, as well as writes a blog, I know that I love to learn a little bit more about the person behind the words and pictures. That being said, today’s food post is not your regular recap of meals. What you see below does includes photos of what I ate all day yesterday, but it’s also a little look at my history of eating and a little bit more about me. So here we go …

Breakfast at 7 a.m.

Overnight oats breakfast 11.11Coconut protein overnight oats with a banana and some green tea.

For many years, I worked out first thing in the morning. When I lived in Orlando, I would be up just after 5 a.m. each weekday on the treadmill or heading to the gym to teach a super early BODYPUMP class before sitting at a desk all day. After moving to San Francisco and going through a few career changes, my workouts are now usually done at lunch-time or in the evening when I teach or take classes. I can honestly say the best thing about this change is not that I no longer have to wake up super early each day, but it’s that I get to have a full breakfast as soon as I get up. I love breakfast. Something about digging into a hearty bowl of overnight oats, sipping on some hot tea and reading the news in my pajamas makes me incredibly happy. I love a routine, and my morning routine is a good one.

Mid-morning snack at 10:30 a.m.

Morning snack 11.11This tub of protein-filled pumpkin goodness is so tasty, it made my list of Friday Favorites last week.

When people say that they don’t snack, I don’t understand them. How are you not hungry between your meals? And don’t you like food? I wouldn’t say I look forward to my snacks as much as I do my main meals, but when you’ve got a sweet treat like this to nibble on, why wouldn’t you want to reach for it? Yes, I’m a snacker, and I’ve been a snacker for years and years. There were days early on in my professional career after college when I didn’t eat between breakfast and lunch and would hit that hunger slump late morning and try to power through. Had I only known then that eating more often instead of less was actually a better way to be healthy, I may have saved myself some hangry-moment grief. Now I know. And as I’ve said before, there are times when my snacks are pretty big. This day of eating shows snack restraint, but that’s not always the case.

Lunch at 12:30 p.m.

Lunch 11.11Baked sweet potato covered in cinnamon with fried eggs. Yes, I mixed them together. Yes, it was delicious.

Long-time readers of A Lady Goes West know a secret about me. For maybe eight years, I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch every single day. Yes, I would branch out on the weekends or go out to lunch occasionally, but PBJ was my jam. I mixed up the bread choices, the nut butters, the jellies, and sometimes threw in a banana, but PBJ was my mainstay. It was only early on in 2014 that I dropped the PBJ from my diet. I didn’t make any other changes at the time and just started adding more variety for lunch. I never once got sick of eating PBJ every day, and part of that is because I like to eat the same yummy foods in a small rotation day in and day out. But I did realize that maybe I should get some more fresh vegetables or fruits into my mid-day meal, especially being someone who works in the fitness industry and advises others to do so. Will I go back to PBJ? Sure, but only once in a while. Nothing really changed when I stopped eating that same sandwich daily, but I’m sure my insides are thanking me.

Mid-afternoon snack at 5 p.m.

Snack 11.11Cottage cheese, Trader Joe’s raw-nut trail mix and a chopped up organic gala apple, all combined into a lovely parfait of sorts.

I used to set “self-regulated” times for my meals. I would tell myself, you should always eat your breakfast at XX time, your lunch at XX time and your snack at XX time, just to be consistent. These days, I eat when I want, when my tummy is about to growl and when it makes the most sense with my schedule. Sometimes I’m not even all the way hungry yet for my afternoon snack. But if I’m heading out to teach two hours of group fitness, in which I have to do the workout, then I know I better down that snack beforehand, because I’ll need the energy. Changing my outlook on the timing of my meals doesn’t mean I eat any less, it just means I’m a little more laid back on the when.

Dinner at 8:45 p.m.

Dinner 11.11Spaghetti squash, sauteed spinach, marinara sauce and some turkey meatballs. A very popular dish in my dinner rotation.

I’ve always eaten dinner late, and I grew up eating dinner late. In the Pinder household (oh, you didn’t know? That’s my maiden name! You’re looking at Ashley Pinder, folks, only been a Pitt for two-and-a-half years), we typically sat down to dinner at the table or on our TV trays around 8 p.m. There were times in college when I ate dinner much earlier, but that was only because of the social need if I had plans to head out after. I know people say you should eat way before bed to digest, but I tend to think that food is food. I’ve never worried about eating dinner late, because I seem to be running fine on my current schedule. Some days I don’t walk in the door until 8 p.m., so Dave and I do the best we can to eat at a reasonable hour. I’m sure one day we will need to eat earlier once we have some big life events, but until then, we’ll do what works for us.

So there you go, that’s not only a look at what I ate, but it’s also a little bit of information on me. We all grow up, change our ways, learn new things and get rid of or take on new eating habits. Today, I’m pretty sure my eating is the healthiest it’s ever been when it comes to eating real and clean foods. But, I’m also pretty sure I eat more big indulgent dinners out on the weekends than I ever have before as well. I have no doubt my habits will continue to change, but what will never change is this: I love food.

Alright, I’ve got some work to do, and tonight I’ll be teaching my regular double-header of BODYATTACK and BODYPUMP. Yes, my belly will be full of a snack, which I’ll consume before I go whether I’m hungry or not.

Check back tomorrow for something fun. And with that, go have a great day!

Be friends with A Lady Goes West

If you’re interested in this “What I Ate Wednesday” post, then maybe you’d like to hear from me again. Keep an eye out for future posts by following me on Bloglovin’InstagramFacebook and Twitter. And for some other daily 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

Questions of the day

What’s one good thing you’ve eaten lately? How’s your week going? Have you given up any foods before? If so, what and why?

Ashley signature

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  1. Oh my goodness, I stumbled across your blog and when I saw your picture I thought you looked familiar….but then when I read the last (maiden) name I realized i know you!! I think we took a dance class together and I am pretty sure you went to school with my brother and we know some of the same people…..small world =) I take bodypump at the YMCA downtown in Orlando and i like reading your thoughts on the new releases.

    1. Hi Jenny! Oh yes, I do remember you. I think we took ballet together! And your brother is a year older than me I believe. How awesome you found my blog and great that you love BODYPUMP. I hope life is going well for you!! Stay in touch:)

  2. I really enjoyed reading this little history! 🙂 And your day of food was all my faves! I totally did the PB&J thing every day in high school and college… I remember starting my first internship junior year and feeling like a little kid bringing it every day. No shame! 😉 Glad I branched out a little, haha. Have a great day!

  3. I loved reading your mini stories associated with each meal/snack. I’m the same with my morning routine – I thrive on it and love it. I like being able to work myself into the day. I do better this way.

    I also don’t understand people who don’t eat snacks! What?! 😉 I’ve always been a snacker too and typically eat something between breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner, and something after dinner as well.

    1. Hi Christa! Yes, at least you get to do it on Saturdays and Sundays. But of course, the trade-off with waking up before work is getting it done and having that accomplishment all day! So it’s not a terrible thing:)

  4. Amazing post! How do you manage to make food posts so interesting? 😉 I love your quip about “snack restraint” – snacking is so important in my life. It stops me from binging at meal time or feeling like food is off-limits. Your dinner looks crazy good. I love spaghetti squash so much, I honestly like the flavor more than normal pasta. Do you ever find yourself getting hungry in the middle of the night? I almost always have to wake up for a little snack.

  5. I love the way you weaved in tidbits about you through food. I would give anything to be able relax and enjoy my breakfast but as you know, I’m stuck in the 9-5 rut that you used to be in. Except I don’t get up to teach BodyPump before work- you were seriously dedicated! And obviously meant to end up where you are now. 🙂

    I’m also shocked that you ate PB&J for 8 years straight. Wow!

    1. Hi Sarah! I used to fit in at least 30 minutes to eat breakfast in front of the computer after working out, so that’s why my wake-up time was so early. And it’s hard to believe, but I had a good turnout at my 5:45 a.m. BODYPUMP classes in Orlando!:)

  6. I love how colorful your meals all, that’s how you know you’re getting all the nutrition you need! Are you a vegetarian? I avoid cow dairy and gluten, so I can’t bring myself to give up meat 🙂

    1. Hi Dena! Nope, I’m not a vegetarian. In fact, I eat everything. There’s a couple turkey meatballs in that pasta dish up there! 🙂 Hhahah, they are hidden in the bed of spinach. I do love some colorful food. Hope you have a great day!

  7. i love PB and J! It’s such a filling sandwich. Only problem is I definitely find myself lacking veggies if I make it a staple… 🙁 Also, random side note: my mom’s first name is Pinder! Kinda funny, since it’s such a unique name.

    1. Hi Nicole! That’s so funny your Mom’s name is Pinder. I’ve never heard it as a first name before! And PBJs are so good, but the nutritional value is not something to make them worthy of an everyday lunch. But every once in a while, definitely a strong choice! 🙂

  8. Your post has made me hungry! I’m glad you said that you thought “food was food” no matter what time you eat. It seems I often hear that I should eat before 6 p.m. or whatever BUT if I do that then I’d have to go to be at 8:00 because I’ll just get hungry again 🙂 Thanks for sharing what seem to be very good eating habits!

    1. Hi Diane, I think that’s a rule some people stick by so that a full stomach doesn’t bother them at night, but I don’t mind it at all. I’ve always eaten late. If it works for you – go for it! 🙂

  9. PB&J! Thanks for sharing more about your food history. It gives me hope that I can change my habits. I tend to go through periods of eating the same things over and over too. In college I was never without a box of cereal, though since my move my only consistency when it comes to food is my morning coffee.

  10. The snack with apples, cottage cheese and nuts looks awsome, i think i will have it today… 🙂 Also thinking about changing my excercise plan – having troubles with running in the morning and wanting to eat biiiig breakfast….

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