What I Ate Wednesday: Not Fearing the Bedtime Snack

It’s funny how sometimes we don’t realize there was something a bit “off” about a situation until we’re looking back on it. I was reflecting on one such situation recently and thought I’d share because I have a funny feeling that it’s something quite a few of us can relate to.

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banana oatmeal muffin with Sunbutter // over-easy egg // thawed frozen mango // milk

I’m not sure when it happened exactly, but at some point I managed to get it in my head that bedtime snacking was the devil. I had heard so many times that eating close to bed was tied to weight gain and so I made it my mission to not fall into the trap. Can’t fool me.

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Love taking a moment to read for pleasure as I eat my meals.

And I must say, I was pretty darn good at sticking to my plan. I found myself going to bed hungry and congratulating myself for it. “Another night without those sneaky evening calories – you go girl!”

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butternut squash chili // toast with butter and tam // bread with cheese
(couldn’t decide which toast topping I wanted so I went with the “both” option ha)

But I am oh so thankful that for whatever reason, I felt myself slowly beginning to question my own logic. Some nights I was eating dinner early and going to bed many hours later. My body was hungry, AKA not-so-subtly saying “I need food”. And yet I was getting such satisfaction out of my “ability” to ignore it.

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can’t finish lunch without a sweet note

It was sort of like I had created this little game in which no snack was a win. And by consequence, having one was a failure. And in hindsight I want to sit myself down and say “Um lady, THAT IS NOT HEALTHY”.

Class Snacks

Afternoon Snacks in Class: grapes // veggies and hummus

Now I want to make clear that if evening snacking isn’t your thing, that is more than okay and I would never assume that it means you have a negative relationship with food. Maybe you find that you don’t sleep as well with food in your stomach or you’re wanting to lose some weight for the sake of your health and cutting back on evening consumption a bit is working for you. You know your own situation.

And maybe you’re thinking “why is this girl making such a big deal about something so trivial?!”

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vegetarian lentil shepherd’s pie

Following Recipe

Following my own blog recipe since I have the memory of a gold fish and couldn’t remember any of the measurements. 

But in my case, I started recognizing that I had almost started fearing the evening snack. And guys, I’ve still got a lot to learn about food before I’m done my degree; but if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that food shouldn’t be feared.

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banana with almond butter and coconut // milk

So I suppose I just want to encourage you to take a moment today to reflect on your mindset about your food choices and factors that may be influencing them. I promise that your body has a lot more insight to offer than tabloids with big flashy headings claiming that eating before bed is going to make you fat. Your appetite doesn’t follow a schedule and there is absolutely no shame in being hungry, even in times when you don’t think you “should” be. And more importantly, there is no shame in EATING at those times.

And on that note, it’s 10 PM and I’m off for a little bite to eat.

I hope your Wednesday is wonderful and full of little things that make you happy! 


Also, it’s WIAW and a whole bunch of other bloggers’ posts are linked up here!

36 thoughts on “What I Ate Wednesday: Not Fearing the Bedtime Snack

  1. Preach girl, food is not scary! Not to mention,when your in school the awake time is stretched by about 2 hours, so it only makes sense to eat a little more! :D It’s funny because I now feel like my evening snack is compulsive, like I need it! Like at dinner time I intentionally save room for it.
    Vegetarian shepard’s pie sounds like a great idea… going to check it out now!

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  2. Beautiful meals as usual! Butternut squash chili sounds amazing and I love how you had two different toast toppings. I’m just curious – what time do you eat dinner and what time do you go to bed?

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  3. Yep yep yep. I used to try and abide by that silly “nothing about 8 pm” rule for fear that my metabolism somehow just shut down during the night. But now, I absolutely always have at least something later in the evening. And its always something sweet (aka chocolate)… its just something I need before bed to cap off the day. If I didn’t “need it”… that’s okay… I wanted it.
    You photography is glorious. Curious, do you use natural lighting or do you set up lights?

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  4. Wonderful voice of reason here. Food is not to be feared and is nourishing. I have found on the nights I don’t eat a snack after dinner, I wake up hungry in the middle of the night. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Plus it’s fun to look forward to my post-dinner snack because it alwaysss involves peanut butter. Win.

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  5. Your lentil shepherd’s pie looks yummy!

    To me, it is simple….eat if you are hungry. Maybe my method is wrong, but that is how I do it. I just need to be more careful what that snack choice is.

    Have a nice day Jacklyn!

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  6. Good for you girl!! I used to fear the night time snack as well, especially when its carbs, because “they” do say that your body can’t use the carbs for energy before bed, so it goes straight to being stored as fat? My view? If I want some damn carbs at 10pm then I’m going to eat them :) I’ve spent far too many years denying my body of things I want, love, desire, etc and I’m just OVER IT! Great eats as always friend!

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  7. As someone who has dealt with disordered eating, I have had the complete opposite fear. I used to hate eating in the morning, in case I would eat too many calories in the morning and not have enough left over when I got hungry in the evening. SO WRONG AND DISORDERED. It’s taken me a really long time to break the habit, but thankfully I have worked at it. I love that you are taking steps to remove any and all stigma around eating.

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    • Isn’t it crazy how caught up in a certain “logic” we can get only to realize later that it was SUCH an illogical thought process?! I suppose we have to give ourselves grace though and remember that hindsight is 20/20. So so glad you feel your mindset has been changing. Baby steps! And speaking of stigma, I really admire the transparency of your blog and have no doubt that it resonates with so many.

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  8. This was really inspirational! I was just dealt the blow of being diagnosed with an eating disorder not even a few months ago – even though it feels like forever since then – I do have that fear of eating before bed. Especially the day before my weigh ins! I am so afraid that I will weigh one pound more that I stop eating right after dinner and then I drink water if I feel a tinge of hunger or exhaustion. It is so wrong yet my mind yells it is so right! I am happy to see that you have allowed yourself that little bite before bed! That is absolutely amazing – keep going strong girl!

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    • Aw thank you so much, for the encouragement, Katerina… and for being so open about where you’re at. I think we can all totally relate to having thoughts that we know to be irrational but that are just so hard to overcome. I am rooting for you and hoping that with time, listening to your body is something that evokes less and less fear and guilt. The day will come!!! xo

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  9. I used to fear the nighttime snack, to the point where my stomach growling would keep me up. Crazy! Thanks for sharing this!
    Also, lentil shepherd’s pie sounds amazing!

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  10. I love love loved this post. I definitely have it in my mind that I shouldn’t eat anything after my dinner/nightly chocolate. And since most days that’s enough food, on the days that I find myself feeling hungry before dinner, I find myself saying to myself “well you didn’t need a snack the other day so why should you have one today?” instead of listening to my body.

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  11. So good! I feared the night snack for a long time, and would instead simmer in satisfaction when my stomach growled in bed. But the benefits of eating before bed, for me, far outweigh the ‘negatives’, which truly, I haven’t found were accurate in my case anyway. And I had far better sleep! :)

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  12. It’s funny how I’m the complete opposite there which might be part of my ED background. Eating for me actually gets easier later in the day and I can’t finish a day without [a decent amount] chocolate and peanut butter. Going to bed hungry doesn’t work for me.
    Your lentil shepherd’s pie sounds amazing. Now if only I wasn’t too lazy/remembered to cook lentils ahead of time …

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    • haha yeah, lentils can be a bit of a pain to cook. I’m sure a can would work just as well though!
      It’s so interesting how different people struggle with different things. May we all be inspired by each other’s strengths <3
      And also, AMEN to the chocolate and peanut butter combo :)

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  13. Love it, I can so relate to that feeling of pride of going to bed hungry and thinking “wow, look at this control I have!” It is just so wrong, as a matter of fact what isn’t wrong is that delicious night time snack you had that day, looks so good! Your lentil sheperds pie looks absolutely delicious too.

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