Hello, hello and a Happy Hump Day to ya!
Over the past couple of weeks I have noticed a growing controversy over What I Ate Wednesday posts. Issues of eating disorders, comparisons and judgements have come up on multiple pages and I can’t help but feel a little down about it.
WIAW is a series a fellow (and awesomely hilarious) food blogger named Jenn started quite a while ago. She blogs at Peas and Crayons and her site is filled with tons of yummy (and super healthy!) meal ideas and inspirations.
She started featuring weekly food posts to show her readers what a day of eating looks like at her house, and encourages everyone and anyone to join in and link up. She also makes sure to note on a disclaimer that this weekly food diary is a good way to reflect on eating habits, both good and bad.
Sadly, this concept has been both beneficial and controversial, which I know were not her intentions.
I started taking part in WIAW‘s over eight months ago after I saw them consuming my news feeds on a weekly basis. Every time I clicked over, I saw literally hundreds of other bloggers and in turn healthy meal ideas to try out. I thought and still think that the idea is genius!
It starts to get hairy when we (healthy living bloggers) take these posts too seriously and edit what our eats really look like. I have to admit that I tend to eat healthier on days I know I am photographing my food, but that is simply to act more as an inspiration for you guys. (There are only so many times you can handle… whoops, had pizza for lunch again and feel motivated to eat differently as a result!)
My hopes are for you to see the beauty of what these posts can do for all of us. I started reading healthy living blogs on a regular basis over two years ago to bring an every day dose of positivity and inspiration into my life, and more times than not that centers around food.
For me, WIAW posts are weekly check-ins to reflect on my eating habits and see how far away they are from my healthy eating goals.
Some weeks are more on track than others, and that’s fine. I am human and I, like anyone else, have cheat days and meals and portions I know aren’t ideal. But I include them in these posts for a reason, and that is to show you that it is normal to include them into your every now and then overall healthy eating lifestyle.
I realize that not everyone has this outlook, and it breaks my heart a little when I see a blogger’s day of eats and exercise schedule that from the outside eye might look overworked and underfed.
Then I remember that we are all different. All of our bodies work at various physical levels and need different amounts of calories. Some of us need more to function and some of us get by with half the amount just fine.
The biggest downfall is getting sucked into the comparisons and judgments. The “I can’t believe that girl did a spin class, yoga and only had chicken and vegetables for dinner afterwards,” way of thinking just doesn’t need to happen. For all we know, she could have loaded up on her calories earlier on in the day and prefers to keep dinner her lighter meal. You never really know.
I have never been one to count calories. I do label stalk and think to myself “is this snack really worth the 250 calories?” but I have never been the type of person that adds up a total caloric intake for the day.
Overall, I am a healthy eater, but by no means am I a perfect clean eater. I love dessert. I love anything Italian, Mexican, and carb loaded. I love being able to include anything I want into my meals, when I feel it’s okay to.
I choose to participate in and share these (mostly) weekly food recaps to hopefully leave you all with something. Whether it’s how to put a quick and healthy lunch together, add something new to your smoothie, or even put a smile on your face from me making fun of myself, I choose to continue to put them together for you guys. And I really, really hope that comes across in a positive open-minded way.
Now that we’ve covered why I WIAW, let’s go on and quickly cover this week’s eats shall we?
WIAW #33: What I Ate
This week I purposely chose to change things up and document a typical Monday for me. Since I blabbed a lot at the beginning, I’m going to try and keep this at short as possible!
Breakfast was a no-brainer with a bowl of overnight oats I prepared the night before. I like to experiment with different yogurt and milk combinations, but here are Julie’s tips on how to make a traditional bowl of overnight oats.
This time I used 1 cup Blueberry Chobani Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup raw oats, 1 Tbsp. chia seeds, and 1/2 cup almond milk to mix overnight, then topped it with a sliced banana in the morning.
That seemed to hold me over for quite some time, and feeling content without a snack I headed over to the gym for a Noon Fitness Pilates class.
This one was particularly great with the addition of the bosu ball! Loved it.
I must have gotten up on the right side of the bed that day because after class I had the urge to run. To the treadmill I went and knocked out three miles, no sweat.
Okay, there was a lot of sweat. But it felt great!
While gathering my stuff out of the locker room I then noticed how hungry I was. I grabbed this Mediterranean Salad to go from the cafe and enjoyed it at my desk while working on the computer for lunch.
Man, it was delish! I need to remember this combo for the future… mixed greens, free-range chicken, all-natural turkey, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, nitrate-free bacon and a balsamic vinegar dressing topped in ground pepper.
About an hour later I also devoured this cup of Key Lime Greek yogurt topped in Bear Naked granola.
Mondays are practice days, which usually means I allow myself two dinners. Before practice I quickly put together a bowl of couscous, mixed vegetables (with a few beans) and Al Fresco Spinach & Feta chicken sausage for dinner #1.
Umm, NOM. Definitely worth repeating… several times.
I stopped by the arena on the way over to practice for my first flu shot! It’s wasn’t half as bad as I expected it to be, but I do have to admit that I still have a bit of soreness in my right arm. During practice I enjoyed my all-time favorite protein bar in my all-time favorite flavor.
I was completely content with something small after practice, but became easily talked into pasta for dinner #2 when I got home by the husband.
He always asks for pasta for dinner the nights before game days, so I really didn’t have much of a choice anyways. I did, however, suggest we add the rest of the chicken sausage into the sauce and I enjoyed a small(er) portion of it. (No whole wheat noodles this time either, per Scott.)
And as you can imagine, I was too full to even think about dessert.
I know… (gasp) crazy!
Today I am off to another practice which includes a stop to Subway beforehand. I’m thinking of ditching the salad and going for the footlong to split before and after too. Sounds delightful!
• If you liked this WIAW post, head on over to Peas & Crayons to check out plenty others, or even link your own!
• Also, you can always find my latest What I Ate Wednesday posts by exploring the “WIAW” tag on the right hand sidebar.
Questions of the Day
• Do you participate or like reading WIAW posts?
• What is one inspirational meal or snack idea you’ve enjoyed this week? (Feel free to link it below!)
It’s always easy to fall into the comparison trap, but I personally enjoy reading them & have participated myself in the past. Part of me wonders though “Does anyone really care what I had to eat today?” so sometimes I feel self-conscious posting pictures of my food. 🙂
I love reading your WIAW posts! Even on the days when you indulge because those are my favorite. It shows you’re a real human being like everybody else. 🙂
Oh, and that couscous looks really good. Never had it though!
AMEN! I don’t understand where all of this controversy of WIAW posts is coming from, but I really love your description of why I write mine every week. You summed it up perfectly. (And your salad from monday looks beyond incredible!)
I love reading your WIAW posts! I’m always curious what works for other people while knowing just because it worked for them, it might not (probably won’t) work for me.
Em @ Love A Latte
I love WIAW posts. I think they are totally fun and I should probably join in more. I find them to be very motivating and especially as a vegan they can be very helpful in seeing what others eat because I want to make sure to get the proper nutrition 🙂
Love your perspective on this Heather! I have never done a real WIAW, I usually just post a new recipe! I just associate Wednesday as food day in the blog world!
Miranda @ Lovely Wife Lovely Life
Love this! I’ve definitely fallen victim to the eating disorder/comparison crowd. Heck, I’m STILL struggling with it! I realized it after my readers pointed it out to me in the comments of one of my WIAW posts. So for that, I’m super grateful!
I enjoy the WIAW posts. They give me meal ideas and both motivate me to eat healthier and if a blogger includes indulgences, remind me we’re all human too.
Happy Wife Healthy Life
I agree with every bit of this Heather! I love WIAW for the blogger companionship and for finding new meals to try out. Sometimes I worry whether it looks like I eat too much or too little, but at the end of the day we just have to be ourselves and know we can’t please everyone! 😉
Erica @ For the Sake of Cake
I enjoy reading other blogger’s WIAW posts, but I’ve been backing off of them myself. I feel like I eat the same things pretty often, so no one cares to see my overnight oats again! haha
I start to feel that way anytime I highlight overnight oats, oatmeal, or protein pancackes. Occasionally with what I like to call Monster salads too! But, you never know when there might be a new reader out there who hasn’t seen it before. I try to aim for new meals and ideas as much as I can, but can’t always help it! I get so set in my ways.
Christa @ Sit-ups & Sequins
Preach, sister!!! Thank you for posting this. WIAW is supposed to give readers a little insight into “a day in the life” and I look forward to hopefully giving someone an idea for a healthy snack or meal that they have been missing out on! For me, sometimes it’s a healthy day and sometimes it’s not. But like you, I sometimes tend to pay more attention to what I’m eating on the days when I’m taking photos of everything. It’s kind of like a food diary for me. If you eat it, you have to write it down, so that helps me avoid that extra handful of skittles I don’t really need. 😉
Exactly! Those are my hopes anyways… and is why I started blogging in the first place! Ha, I totally feel you on the skittles concept. I still eat treats, but tend to moderate them more if there’s photo proof. 😉
Love love love this! You hit great points on what WIAW is really about and I love when bloggers are real about what they are eating. I think it is a good perspective for everyone to see no one is perfect. I also love getting inspired to make something new from one of these posts.
Karen @ Runner Girl Eats
I am not a huge WIAW fan but not because of food issues, just because I am not really interested in looking at pics of everyones food which is usually pretty typical. Bloggers can only take so much responsibilty for others food issues and if you enjoy participating in WIAW keep at it 🙂
I’m glad to hear your take, since you are a blogger and don’t personally participate. I get in different WIAW moods. Some weeks I click from blog to blog hungry for new meal ideas and other weeks I’m like “meh”. Overall, it’s been a great experience and something I look forward to sharing with you guys.
Oh gosh thanks love! I read your post too slowly and of course the nugget is waking up and climbing me like a rock wall while I’m trying to type. I love that you’re totally with me on this and have tapped into what I’m actually trying to accomplish with our crazy weekly shenanihmgabs. <— yeah that's Mia saying hi. *shenanigans! 🙂 I'm also hoping people become so used to observing a variety of different lifestyles and eating paternal to the point where the instinct to judge vanishes and instead they become inspired or mindful or just enjoy! Sorry if this makes zero sense, I'm off to wrangle the rug rat! Xo
You’re adorable Jenn. And obviously, so is Mia! (Loved her typing skills!) I feel special that you even saw this post. WIAW has certainly taken over Wednesdays in the HLB world! Kudos to you for having the vision for it and for pushing through all of the negative hoopla. Your enthusiasm and purpose for coordinating it week after week really shows through, and I can’t help but to spread what that is. Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂
So. Many. Typos. #dying
Kathy @ Olives and Garlic
I’ve been doing WIAW for a little while now and I absolutely love reading WIAW posts every week. Not only do I get new ideas for meals but it’s great to see what others are eating. So grateful that Jenn started this awesome party. I love what you wrote.
I personally love WIAW! I just did my first one on my blog, too – inspired by you! I think it’s sad when people get crazy thinking about what someone else is eating though – who really knows what’s going on in someone’s life that has bearing on what they eat? Healthy, sick, active, tired, sore… It all has an effect on how much and what kind of food we need. I think, for the most part, that people reading healthy living blogs are in it for the motivation and inspiration – which is the whole point!
Hey there! I’m new around here, but I found your blog on Bloglovin’ and have been enjoying looking around! This post caught my eye because I’ve been a long-time skeptic of WIAWs. Personally, I decided early on that blogging about everything I eat (even one day a week!) would do more harm than good for me, but this post totally made me appreciate more why other people might be choosing to do it! I liked hearing about where the trend actually originated, and I think the idea of using it as a means of checking in with yourself and inspiring others is pretty cool.
Somer @PupsOnTheBrain recently posted…Feeling Relaxed!
Hi Somer, welcome!! Yes, there have been many great things about WIAW, and also not so great things. You have to do what works best for you. WIAWs aren’t for everyone, but my readers like these types of posts, so I continue doing them. Thanks so much for popping in!