WIAW- We Are A Lot Like Babies

oats in a jar


Last week I was waking up so hungry that I felt as though my stomach may choose to eat itself if I didn’t grab a piece of a banana or something while I made my cup of coffee and got breakfast ready in a flash.

hello kitty

Yet this week, I am waking up but my appetite is still sleeping for another 45 minutes.

Sometimes I think we try to assume we can eat the same foods and amounts of food day in and day out and expect to have the same satiated result.

Just not the case. We aren’t machines.

In fact, I like to think that us grown-ups (am I really a grown up? I still haven’t accepted that) are more like babies than we realize.

I always use this example when this topic comes up in discussion:

Nursing moms produce milk for their babies. The nutrients and level of each nutrient in the milk supply naturally changes and adapts every so often to accommodate the needs of the baby at different stages of development.

Too bad we can’t figure out how to naturally regulate this on our own as adults because like babies, our requirements vary from day-to-day too.

Or can we?


Like, if we stop saying we must involve a salad at lunch and eat what we planned because that plan worked last week, realize that we cannot expect to be satisfied each and every day on the same amounts of food, and just remember to keep eating more when we run more, maybe we can adapt our meals to meet our needs.

We go through phases and growth spurts like babies, just in different ways, which may require adaptations in our diet.


Early morning (unpretty) pre-run breakfast – oatmeal with mashed banana, blueberries, cinnamon and drop of peanut butter.

Like, one day I am hungry every twenty minutes, the next day I am good for at least three hours.

So similar to those baby growth spurts where they go from barely being awake for a feeding to eating ALL OF THE TIME, especially at those dreaded three-week, six-week, three-month and six-month growth spurt markers.

What worked yesterday in terms of your choices and amounts of food may not work for you today.

I do not track calories or even know what I burn when I run but I do know that the more miles I run, the more food I need.

Not just because I am hungry, but because my muscles need fuel to rebuild, recover and get stronger.

My body also requires more food (and sometimes more food more often), in order to keep the rest of me functioning beyond just being able to run.

Like hello, organs and hormones need to function too, not just your leg muscles.

I am super diligent when it comes to refueling within thirty minutes following my run and make sure to throw in more of every ingredient when I up my mileage or feel extra hungry.

oats in a jar

The usual post-run oatmeal in a jar with plain greek yogurt, berries and peanut butter with a side of clementine.

Over time I have noticed that long runs and hard runs (like races or speedwork) create a stronger craving in me for sweet, simple and easy to digest meals, specifically oatmeal and peanut butter.

When lunch rolls around and I am in one of those moods, as was the case over the weekend, I don’t care at all that I am missing vegetables or that I already had oatmeal and peanut butter before and after my run.

I just see no point in forcing down a salad or chick pea concoction if my body and mind are asking for something else.


I took a portion of cold (precooked and stored in the refrigerator) oatmeal and mixed it together with lots of berries, one organic egg plus two whites and then heated it all up in the microwave for two minutes.

It turns out like a baked oatmeal but more on the mushier side since the oats are cooked and not baked in an oven.

I topped it off with every kind of peanut butter I had in the pantry and the Off The Farm Superfood Energy Cereal for some more texture, crunch and nutrients.

I was so satisfied and happy, I can’t begin to tell you. Had I made myself a salad or something silly savory, I know I wouldn’t have felt so satisfied at that particular moment.

That’s not to say that yesterday I didn’t want my plant-based power bowl for lunch because I did.

power bowl

My mom always says that I am a lot like I was as a baby in terms of my appetite – needing to eat every two hours, cranky if I am hungry yet it always seemed as though she just finished feeding me when I was ready to eat again.

But that’s okay. They say that a good metabolism will leave you hungry and looking for food every few hours.

I get hungry often and need to eat often and I don’t care what time it is or when I last ate, if I am hungry just feed me.

I never kept my son on a nursing schedule. If he was fussy and nothing else settled him down, I fed him. Who was I decide he had enough or that he was full? How was I to know how much milk he really got and even if I did know—who was I to assume that  the “six ounces” was sufficient to meet his needs at the time?

And, like babies, sometimes things upset our tummies. Sometimes food makes us, dare I say, gassy, uncomfortable and bloated.

Sometimes what sat just fine in our belly yesterday just isn’t going to work today.

Like fresh produce lately.

I need a break. Roasting fresh broccoli or even a combo of fresh vegetables have been bothering my stomach and leaving me uncomfortable.

Fresh vegetables are tough to digest, require a lot of energy to break down. The digestion process has been leaving me uncomfortable and slowing me down after dinner.

I have switched to cooking with frozen vegetables this week and it makes a huge difference on my digestion. Frozen vegetables are softer and easier to digest. They may not taste the same as fresh roasted but they can be good in their own way.

stir fry

Stiry-fry with brown rice, chick peas and avocado.

My first word as a baby was “yum yum” after having a cookie.

I will always want dessert and will forever emotionally eat my holidays and celebrations in the form of something sweet.

Sometimes I go days without deviating from my favorite peanut butter cup apples  at night but then there’s that craving for a sundae.


Like babies, we like to assume our last meal for the night will suffice until morning. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it doesn’t.

Each day is different.

Be sure to check out what everyone else is eating today!


Do you always wake up super hungry?

If you are/were a nursing mom, did you keep your baby on a schedule or did you feed on demand?

What have you been eating for lunch lately?









Author: The Cookie ChRUNicles

Hi! I'm Meredith. Join me while I run and cook my way through single motherhood. It is always an adventure trying to teach my 12 year old son the benefits of an active lifestyle combined with healthy eating while of course, still leaving room for dessert.

39 thoughts on “WIAW- We Are A Lot Like Babies”

  1. I hear so many of my own thoughts in this! How funny! I am the same way, and I need to make sure I have constant replenishment with me at all times or I get very grumpy! I never can understand people who forget to eat, not only will my mind remind me to take food everywhere, but my belly would scream at me no matter what i was doing! and YES! I always walk half asleep straight to the food!

  2. I think that we should just start pureeing all your foods for you 😉 We all know that we revert to an infant like status at the ends of our lives, why not just start it a bit earlier! I think that everyone is fighting some stomach upset of late–I know that it is certainly here in Chicago!

  3. So true, as I talked about a little bit today. I don’t really wake up hungry, but, once it comes on it’s usually pretty strong. Lately though since my running has chilled out I’ve noticed I’m not starving for any meal, at least not like when I’m marathon training.

  4. I do wake up hungry most days…I always have something small (nuts, granola bar….) while doing blog work before working out. Sometimes that is what motivates me to wake up so early – I get to eat.

    I am with you on craving sweet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sometimes oatmeal with nut butter (3 nut butters) is the way to go.

  5. Some days I wake up hungrier than others, and theres nothing logical to it. I do think I get hungry more often when I am training hard, but Ive learned that I feel like best and most satisfied when I eat what I am craving. It gets really hard during the work day because Im pretty much forced to eat what I have with me and I pack foods that are easy to eat on the go. I try to switch it up based on what Ive been in the mood for lately. I feel like I have the most flexibility with breakfast, and can decide at the last minute if I want eggs, a smoothie, pancakes, or something totally random!

  6. Enjoyed this post and really enjoyed you blog. Got to it from reading some of your comments on another blog. I am so glad you and Michele touched on this subject because everyone is so bugged up with amounts, calories and meal times. It is ingrained in us and a lot take it to an extreme. I am very slender and always get eyes if I eat a lot at a meal, if I eat to little, if I am not hungry because people have preconceived notions of when to eat and how much. This is why they get heavy–they eat when they are not hungry because others are eating or its meal time. I eat my meals and proportion them to how I feel that day. StrAight and simple. The five days per week I do high intensity yoga and run I am more hungry then the days I dont. The nights I have a more filling dinner, I don’t wake up as hungry. As I have gotten older, I try to eat more even over the day and not overeat at dinner since I go to bed early and wake up at five. Thanks for the post and I just joined your blog.

    1. SO glad you found me! I relate a lot to what you are saying here – people are always surprised by the amount that eat yet I am typically more slender than most of them. I also try to eat more during the day so that I don’t want to keep eating at night. I don’t like going to bed overly full and get up super early too!

  7. Love the Hello Kitty mug!

    I usually wake up hungry, but don’t actually eat anything until I get to work. If I try to eat too early, no matter how hungry I am, it makes me sick.

  8. No….I don’t get an appetite for 2 hours sometimes, if I wake up early at least:)

    LOVE the Hello Kitty cup haha, super funny.

    LOVE what you said about frozen veggies. I’ll have to tell a client about that…digestive problems are such a bummer. THANKS!!

    1. Definitely recommend frozen vegetables if you have a client who has issues with fresh. I can’t eat most vegetables that are completely raw, or if I do, I have to limit them. My stomach doesn’t have an easy time with them and even when roasting fresh vegetables, I have to be careful if I want to avoid a stomach ache and the bloating until it digests. Steamfresh are really convenient and easy, digest much easier and can taste good too! I usually give myself a break every now and then from vegetables completely or just switch over to the frozen for a bit. And sometimes, I mix fresh with frozen.

  9. Such a great topic. I feed Mitchell every three-ish hours, but it could be 2.5 or even 4. I let him decide now that we have a base schedule set. I’m the same way with my food, I think it’s important to be flexible.

  10. Why is it that we are born knowing how to eat normally and a lot of times as we grow we start to over think and get all crazy. That’s what messes us up. The concept of eating “normally” is very rare in adults now a days. I always love how you are just a no nonsense, go with the flow, person about eating and your running. You’re really in tune with your mind and body. That’s the definition of healthy to me!

  11. Wow, yes to ALL of this. I am that person who often thinks that I must fit in a big salad sometime during the day or lots of fiber or lots of whole grains every single meal, even when my stomach is saying chill out. It’s most definitely important to just listen and give our bodies the fuel it needs in the FORM it needs at the time.
    This is awesome. Thanks so much!

    1. Aw,you are very welcome! I try really hard to skip the vegetables when I know my stomach needs a break. It’s better to eat what’s comfortable than constantly force down food that might not be what we need at the time, even if it is healthy.

  12. I really need to read this today. I have really been struggling with eating lately. Since i’m not a scale whore, I don’t know for SURE, but I THINK I gained about 10 pounds over the last year from various reasons – loss, surgery, started eating meat again, running more, training for a marathon – so I’ve been trying like hell to go back to eating exactly what I was eating previously, when I lost 35 pounds, but this time, IT’S NOT WORKING!!!!!! After reading this, it’s like a lightbulb just went off in my little brain.
    I’m typically not hungry first thing in the morning, but SOMETIMES I am, and when I am, I’m usually craving eggs with some veggies b/c it fills me up, keeps me satisfied for HOURS and isn’t carbs! Carbs are my BFF. Although they are also my enemy….I’m gonna need to keep re-reading this post to keep reminding myself to just listen to my body! And it’s funny you mention fresh veggies upsetting your stomach, b/c that has been part of my problem lately and it’s making me not want to eat my typicaly “7 cup salad with all the veggies” for lunch! Since we’re talking freely here and all about our bodily functions, my salads (i’m thinking now…) are what’s upsetting my stomach and giving me gas constantly! Seriously. Light bulb moment.

    1. I am so glad I could be of help today. It’s a constant struggle, isn’t it ? And the more we think about it, the worse it is (or the worse we think it is). Lighten up on the veggies or go with some steamfresh and make sure you throw in some protein just to be full. And, eat more during the day, completely ignoring the clock. I really believe it works. The truth is, if you are eating fairly well (I mean nothing is perfect and we need to enjoy ourselves), perhaps you are at a weight that you need to be at. Only you know for sure but it’s entirely possible.

  13. This is actually part of the reason why I stopped doing WIAWs — my eating patterns got so random when I stopped trying to regulate them, and trying to keep track and take pictures of everything just started feeling forced and unnatural.

    When I was in the depths of my ED, and even a long time into my recovery, I ate according to a really strict meal plan that called for X amount of calories eaten at Y and Z times of day. It helped in that it took some of the anxiety away from eating, but it also took me an additional couple of years to break out of that kind of rigidity. We’re definitely not machines, and treating our bodies as such isn’t doing us any favours. Right now I’ve been loving the fruits and starches, so I’ve been eating a tonne of smoothies, roasted veggies, and cooked grains. It’s good to be flexible and go with what we’re craving rather than what we feel like we “should” be eating.

  14. I am so glad you just posted that! I went home to Miami this weekend and my mom roasted a ton of cauliflower and broccoli with garlic and I was SO bothered by it! I always roast those veggies at home and have no issues…but they are frozen! Wow! I had no idea!! As far as breakfast goes I need to eat as soon as I wake up and with 2 little boys…we are early risers in our house! We have to be out the door for school at 7:30 so we don’t have much of a choice. Luckily in Palm Beach Gardens we don’t have to deal with shoveling our cars out of the snow ( ;
    I generally start with a vitatop and some iced coffee (NEVER hot – can’t stomach it!) and then have my real breakfast 30-45 minutes later once everyone else is situated. Always the same and always sweet!

  15. I always say if I feel wonky, I need to make sure I’m drinking water, eating enough, getting enough sleep and working out. Those four things usually solve all my mood issues, very much like a baby.

    I eat when I’m hungry. I stop when I’m full. Sometimes I eat a sweet just because I want one. I actually wake up and don’t feel hungry for hours so I usually don’t eat for hours. When I do though, I dig right in. It all somehow ends up evening out, especially if you’re listening to what your body is saying.

    Great post.

    1. Water is a big one. I have always been a major water drinker but sometimes I need even more and don’t realize it until I am beyond thirsty, cranky, lips are dry and I think I am hungry when all I am, is super thirsty.

  16. It’s ridiculous to think we were born with all the knowledge, no, instinct, to eat [and live] the way that makes us best. And while you’d think we’d get smarter in every aspect as we grow older we actually only become more confused. No surprise with all of the controversial advice and pseudo advice out there. I can’t pretend I was oblivious to it. But like you’re showing here following our gut feeling is the best way to go about it. You seem truly in tune with your cravings and needs – that’s wonderful.
    Why force down vegetables when you know they won’t benefit or satisfy you? Actually, I had a day a while ago where I wasn’t feeling well and ate variations of oats – steel-cut, rolled, oat bran – for every main meal. Lots of fruit, nut butter and other foods, too, but no vegetables aside from a few dipped in salsa. It worked great for my stomach and the next day my veggie cravings were back.
    By the way: there’s no need to excuse for the frozen vegetables – they’re actually more nutritious than fresh ones that sat around for a while.
    On a random note I very much approve of topping your oats with “every kind of peanut butter I own” – my kind of thinking.

  17. I really appreciate this post! It hits every point I’ve been making as far as my own diet lately. It’s so important to listen to our bodies and trust that they’ll take care of us- even if we eat PB oats 3 times in a day! (:

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