WIAW #29: Increasing My Calorie Intake

Hey hey!  It’s time for another What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) post!  Thanks to Jenn over at Peas & Crayons for hosting it.  Head over to her blog to see what WIAW is all about if you’re curious!

Peas and Crayons

This week I wanted to talk about how I’ve been doing with increasing my calorie intake the last couple weeks.  As I mentioned, I’m trying to exercise less and eat more due to some health issues I’m trying to reverse.  I’ve experienced a lot of emotions around trying to eat more.  You may be thinking, “Jeez, just go eat some cookies and you’ll be fine,” but it’s not quite that easy for me.  There’s some days where I love this whole eating more thing.  I naturally have a larger appetite, and I love eating!  However, the times that I put on a pair of pants that are noticeably more snug is when I have a hard continuing to eat more.  I keep powering through though, as I know it’ll be all worth it in the end!

I really am trying to increase my calories with healthier foods and not just sit there and gorge on cake too.  Of course I have been enjoying some of the foods that I deprived myself for so long every once in awhile, but I still try to keep most of my eats healthy.  Nuts, nut butters, avocados, and full fat dairy products have been my best friends the past few weeks.  They make it easier to increase my calorie count without feeling like I am going to pop every day.  I know my body is loving the addition of extra fats in my diet as my skin is softer, my nails are stronger, and I have more energy.  Why did I fear fats for so long?!

Anyway, let’s take a look at my meals and snacks from Tuesday…



I had “Overnight Oats In A Jar” which consisted of 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup greek yogurt, 1/3 cup milk, & 1/2 tablespoon chia seed that sat in the fridge overnight.  In the morning I added chopped strawberries to it.  There was quite a bit of leftover peanut butter at the bottom which of course was the best part!



mid morning snack

I mentioned yesterday that I did some baking on Monday, which consisted of my Pumpkin Banana Bread and Cody’s Favorite Chocolate Chip  Cookies.  I had a slice of the Pumpkin Banana Bread that I topped with a thick shmear of my favorite Adam’s All Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter.


I also had a small glass of milk on the side to wash it down.




I had this same exact lunch for the past two days.  It’s leftover baked ham, a quarter of an avocado, and cheesy potatoes all smashed between a piece of whole wheat bread and made into a panini.  Oh.my.goodness.  Not to brag or anything, but this sandwich is restaurant quality for sure. Winking smile  I already called dibs on the rest of our Easter dinner leftovers so I can make more of these sandwiches throughout this week.  On the side I had some baby carrots drizzled with peanut butter.


mid afternoon snack #1

I had some (full fat) cottage cheese with cocoa powder and stevia stirred in and topped with half of a sliced banana and more peanut butter.  I loved this combo!  It may be my new favorite snack.


mid afternoon snack #2

Just a handful of some cinnamon almonds.  Simply perfect.



I made Courtney’s Italian Style Crockpot Stuffed Peppers which turned out great!  I had one with a side green salad topped with a chopped tomato and my favorite Trader Joe’s Cilantro Dressing, all of which filled me right up!


evening snack/dessert

Cody had a basketball game last night, so I requested that we stop at Wendy’s for a Vanilla Frosty on the way.  I haven’t had one of these in forever, and it tasted so darn good!


I have pretty much just tried to go along with what my body is craving, which sometimes means a salad and sometimes means a Wendy’s Frosty! Winking smile

Have a Happy Hump Day!



  • Do you buy full fat or low/non fat dairy products?
  • Do you naturally have a larger appetite or not-so-much?
  • Do you like Wendy’s Frosties?  If so, do you prefer chocolate or vanilla?
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  1. says

    All your eats look so delicious Ashley and I think you’re being really wise about your approach to amping up your calories- full-fat dairy and healthy fats are the way to go…and the occasional milkshake/ice cream! I normally go for low-fat or non-fat dairy but in my coffee, I do enjoy full-fat milk…a little bit makes all the difference! And yes, I most definitely have a large appetite…I like to think my workouts rev it up ;)!

  2. Daybelis says

    I am a new blog reader and I love you! You are such an inspiration to so many girls who struggle or struggled with an Ed in their past.As a recovered anorexic I am also trying to reverse the damage it caused(no period) and reading your blog has helped me so much. Hurray for healthy fats and giving in to what we crave:)

  3. says

    I usually buy full fat greek yogurt because it’s more filling I find and I don’t mind the minuscule amount of extra fat (healthy fat). I don’t drink milk, but when I get chocolate milk for post-long run fueling, I always get 1%. Anything more just tastes like I’m drinking cream and it doesn’t sit well in my stomach.

  4. says

    Loooving all the nut butter 😉
    I usually buy the 0 % or 2 % greek yogurt, and the 1% cottage cheese. My tastebuds just like them more!
    I naturally don’t have a huuuuge appetite, but it’s pretty normal I think. Ever since starting Live Fit though, I’m eating literally all day long!
    I used to always get Wendy’s frosty’s, I haven’t had one in AGES. Chocolate all the way 😉

  5. says

    Glad to know I am not the only one with these same exact problems and feelings. Portion control has always been my biggest issue. Last night I had the biggest dinner I’ve had in awhile – still heavy on the veggies but my plate seriously weighed a ton. I had mixed feelings about it afterward. Then – I digested all those veggies and had dessert!

  6. says

    I can only imagine how hard eating more must be for you…but just know that you are beautiful! Perhaps I should try incorporating some more fats into my diet- my nails and skin could really use some of that help haha. I tend to buy low/non-fat diary products because I actually prefer them! Hope you have a great day pretty lady <3

  7. says

    You’re doing a great job feeding your body properly … yay! :) That sandwich looks amazingly delicious. I’ve never tried the vanilla Frosty, but I’m sure I’d love it. I usually prefer vanilla ice cream over chocolate. :)

    • Ashley says

      thank you! :) i’m totally the same way… vanilla is better when it comes to ice cream/milkshakes for sure! otherwise i usually choose chocolate for other stuff.

  8. says

    omg I haven’t had a Wendy’s Frosty since freshman year of college! I like the swirl of both flavors! And random question, but are you counting calories or just adding in more nut butters and other healthy fats? P.S. that sandwich looks sooooo good!!!!! Genius, Ash. Genius.

    • Ashley says

      i’m not counting calories like crazy or using an online food diary or anything, but i’m roughly counting to make sure i’m getting at least 2000 calories. it usually ends up being around 2200-2300 i’m finding.

  9. says

    Yum! Your eats look delish! And you know I love the look of that panini. 😉

    I tend to not be very hungry during the day, then have more of an appetite at night. I try to listen to my hunger cues, but also get a good balance of healthy eats. I don’t buy a ton of dairy (I usually go for coconut or almond milk), but when I do (yogurt, cottage cheese), I usually have the low fat. I’ve found that I actually prefer the taste–especially if I get milk. Anything more than skim tastes too rich!

  10. says

    That pumpkin bread looks amazing! I’ve been meaning to make a breakfast bread for a while and keep forgetting, I really need to get on it. :) And any sandwich that includes ham, cheesy potatoes, and avocado sounds amazing to me. I agree that full-fat greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. are SO much better than the nonfat alternatives! I can’t believe I was missing out on them for so long.

  11. says

    That bowl of cottage cheese with PB & banana looks so yummy! I generally buy 2% or full fat dairy, depending on the item. I like the creamier taste. I’m not a big milk drinker though, so the only calcium/dairy I get is from yogurt, cheese, etc. Though, I’ve started using almond milk more in my oatmeal, cereal, etc.
    And I totally like chocolate frostys… mmmmm! (though I don’t think I’ve had one in like 3 years… ha!)

  12. Corinne says

    I love reading ur WiAW because it reminds me to work harder at getting all my snacks in too. You definitely have some awesome snacks throughout the day, what type of exercising have u been doing?

  13. Michelle (Better with Berries) says

    Oh my goodness, that sandwich looks amazing! If we had had the “traditional” Easter meal of ham, etc. I’d definitely be copying that :-)

    I love all kinds of dairy- since I’m not trying to gain or lose weight right now, I just go with what sounds best. I love the creaminess of 2% yogurt (especially pineapple flavored chobani!) but I prefer lower fat cheese just because of the taste.

  14. says

    Fats indeed are so important for the body! Of course,if you eat too much,it’s not healthy anymore,but in moderation,it’s definitely necessary. If I eat less fat than I’m used to (because I actually eat an amount lots of people would probably freak out about),Iimmediately feel sluggish,sick & my hair,skin and nails also suffer from it – not pretty at all! On top of that,full fat (dairy) products taste SO much better in my eyes!

  15. Jade says

    I know it is frustrating trying to eat more to do your body good. I had to do the exact same thing and it was worth it, but definately during you keep seeing the pounds rising and the clothes fitting differently but you have to keep the bigger picture on the forefront! It is hard trying to remove all the mental blocks that eating more might be doing to our body after doing that for years.

  16. says

    Great job with all of this Ashley! Helps me out soo so much to know you are challenging yourself in the name of health! I do buy low-fat dairy, not quite up to the full fat kind yet! But it used to only be non-fat so I am glad this has gotten much better!
    And heck YES to Wendy’s frosties, gosh those are amazing!

  17. says

    I buy fat free dairy products with two exceptions: 2% strawberry banana chobani (yum!) and cheese. I’ve actually found that when I use the full fat cheese in a meal I eat a lot less. I think I end up putting more nonfat cheese on something, hoping for all that flavor, but never really finding it. That, and, I love my cheese too much to totally scrimp :)

  18. says

    Everything looks great girl! I usually buy 1% milk, but I absolutely love full fat cheese (it just seems to melt better than the low fat kind) and I prefer 2% Greek yogurt. A Vanilla Frosty is amazing. I actually prefer them over the original chocolate!

  19. says

    Eats look amazing! I am hungry just looking at them. :)

    I normally buy reduced fat dairy products, but every once in a while I will use the full on fat…. just to get the nurtients in. :)

  20. says

    Yum! I love the stuffed pepper dinner idea – checking out the recipe.. now! I usually buy non-fat dairy products and I don’t remember the last time I had a wendy’s frosty. I used to all the time in high school!

  21. says

    Oh goodness, I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a frosty! Carrots and Peanut Butter- that sounds interesting….!

    I don’t have as big of an appetite compared to what I used to- Basically I can’t eat as much in one sitting and I used to be able to. Now that I eat smaller meals throughout the day I’ve trained my body to get full on smaller meals!

  22. says

    Hi Ashley!
    Just came across your blog and fell in love (creepy, kinda) haha. I think you’re awesome and brave for sharing your story. I just became strong enough to share my story too! I’m hoping to get NASM certified soon if I get a fitness coordinator job I just applied for so I may be bopping on over here to ask a few questions! Thanks for your inspirational and honest posts.

    • Ashley says

      hi valerie! welcome girl! :) thank you for your sweet words. feel free to email me at any time with any questions you may have!

  23. says

    That cottage cheese snack looks divine, I usually mix cocoa powder with Greek yogurt for an ice cream pudding like kind of snack when I’m feeling something chocolately, I’m going to have to try adding peanut butter and bananas next time!

    I drink unsweetened almond milk, but not straight, I only use it in oats or protein smoothies…ect…for the rest of the family it’s skim or 1% depending on my mood when I grab a milk lol!

    I have a monstourous (is that even a word?) appetite, but I’m nursing a baby so I’ve heard that happens haha!

    And two, I don’t like frosty’s. But I would go with chocolate if somebody made me choose.

    Oh yea, that sandwhich looks sinfully delicious!!

  24. says

    Great job on upping your calories! This post really helps me because I’ve been looking to increase my calories for a while now, just haven’t made the jump yet. It’s a little scary for me to do so still, ugh. All your eats look delicious! Have a great wednesday

  25. says

    I go for skim milk and yogurts but full fat cottage cheese and shredded cheese, just tastes better to me.
    I have an enormous appetite and just go with it! I always go for chocolate frostys. Any other time I eat ice cream I’m all for vanilla, but i just love chocolate frostys. Great thanks, now I am craving a frosty :)

  26. says

    Wow. I think you are doing a great job of introducing more calories to your diet – and I love how you are doing it by introducing healthy fats. What a great idea! That sandwich does look amazing – you can’t go wrong with potato on bread! :)

  27. says

    Glad to see you are letting yourself enjoy these foods! You need it! Try not to focus on the scale or your size too much, but instead focus on why you are doing this and the importance of it!!!

    That lunch does look restaurant quality! I’d pay for it! :)

  28. says

    I have definitely had those days where I feel gross and can’t imagine eating more since I have always looked normal. Gosh darn those hormones! 😉 You’re doing wonderfully, my dear. Thank you for being there for me – you’re the best!

  29. says

    I love your strength! Your posts have helped me keep moving forward with upping my meals as well, so thank you for that. All of your eats look fantastic as well! I know in the end all the uncomfortable feelings will be worth it (for both of us!) <3

  30. Elizabeth says

    Healthy fats go a LONG way in trying to get your period back … when I was gaining weight in recovery, I had at least two servings of nuts a day, and I still rely on them to keep my fat intake up … however I have my period back now and I know they really helped!
    Also, I noticed you only have half a sandwich – why not a whole one if you’re trying to increase calories? Just a suggestion, as a whole sandwich is the norm, so you might feel okay about it?
    You’re doing awesome, keep it up :)

    • Ashley says

      good question! there’s a few reasons i only had a half of a sandwich. first, i wasn’t super hungry come lunch, but i know i needed something. i don’t want to “stuff” myself in this process. second, the sandwich is pretty ‘heavy’ and rich so a half was plenty, especially because the bread i buy has pretty large slices.
      thanks for your encouragement! :)

  31. says

    I don’t think you know HOW big of an inspiration you are, babe! You are absolutely amazing and I want you to know that!

    Isn’t fat amazing? I seriously don’t know why I feared it once in the past, either! I just started a new nutrition plan, as well and increased my fats :) I am loving it and definitely have more energy :)

  32. says

    I used to have the same issues with food… until I became a runner! Now I just eat no-stop and feel really happy about it 😉

    Btw, you food looks AMAZING! So jealous <3

  33. says

    Your words are inspirational, and I admire your commitment to your health! And, I love Vanilla Frostys too! I haven’t had one in forever either, but seeing your picture totally sparked a craving!

  34. Mo says

    When I suffered from HA, I upped my fat intake and it sure worked! (for the hormones). I discovered how much I love cottage cheese once I started buying full fat. Even though it’s been 3 years and I’m on my second baby, I will never go back to low fat dairy. The small calorie difference is worth the huge taste difference. Plus, I feel like its more real food since that’s the natural state of dairy. :-)

  35. brian says

    I like riccotta cheese instead of cottage it is awesome sweetened with a lil honey or maple syrup or with some roasted garlic on some toast, or just straight up

  36. Jill says

    The majority of my diet is fat. Seriously.
    Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, nut butters, full fat coconut milk, full fat yogurt (and cheese), whole egg yolks (2+ per day), fatty salmon, fatty fish like sardines, …
    chocolate :)

    And of course you got to have ice cream. That is what NORMAL people do….and if you start to think otherwise, its time to get out of “healthy living blogger land” and in to the real world…where walking leisurely daily and eating food , all kinds of it, is NORMAL.

    Take care…if you have seen the article on Gwyneth Olwyn’s site “Do I need 2500 calories”…you might consider putting it up as a link on a future blog post because I’m sure many could benefit from it.

  37. Rachel says

    I know this is an older post, but I have to tell you I am so happy to have found it. I am currently dealing with HA and I am struggling with knowing where to start adding calories and fat. Our stories sound remarkably similar as I am also within the “healthy weight range” but not not healthy for MY body. It is HARD to add these fats when they have had such a stigma for me for song long. I unfortunately do not have the same support system that you do and feel out on a limb by myself sometimes. Thank you for writing about this and being someone I can look to who has done it and been ok!

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