Hi! I’m Ashley. I’m 26 years old and have spent the past 8 years bouncing around the Triangle area of North Carolina. From engineering school at NC State to becoming a personal trainer and nutrition coach, my early adult life has been a crazy adventure and this blog is a result of that.

After moving to my own two bedroom apartment in North Raleigh a year after graduation, I fell in love with photography, and cooking and baking healthy food for myself. I started a free blog to share my photography and watch how I improved overtime. This evolved into taking photos of recipes I grabbed off Pinterest when learning how to cook and sharing those.

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How It Happened…

As my love of health and fitness grew, and I developed more of an interest in food photography, More than Pancakes moved from a photography blog to a health and fitness blog and I eventually bought my own domain for it. Soon enough, I narrowed my focus to just the food side of things as I began to create my own recipes more often.

I spent months cultivating my passion for health and fitness and working to grow my blog. After a short time at my third engineering job I realized something was missing from my career – fulfillment. And at 25 years old, there isn’t really a light at the end of the career tunnel. I thought life was too short to spend 50 years doing something that doesn’t make you happy. Health and fitness were the biggest priorities and passions of mine at the time so I thought I would turn them into a career.

I received my ACSM Personal Trainer Certification in July of 2016. I spent the next 6 months transitioning to part-time engineer, and part-time trainer. As my love for training grew, my work ethic for engineering diminished and the hours between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday started to feel like a prison sentence.

Then I got the news that my office job was going to give me 2 months to find new employment. This was the push I needed to seek full time employment as a trainer. I’ve now been working for Lifetime fitness as a trainer and nutrition coach for 8 months. While the paychecks are small, the emotional and physical rewards are large and I hope to remain in this field until it provides me with a comfortable salary. Until then…I will work my ass off.

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Why I Write…

I’m small. Small enough, that I wasn’t taken seriously as a trainer when I first walked into the doors of Lifetime as an employee. No one believes that at 5’5″ and 111 lbs I can deadlift 2 times my body weight. I’m frequently asked if I’m a runner or a Pilates instructor, and honestly I take offense to it. I want to put on weight, and I want most of it to be muscle. Having a history with disordered eating and weighing a mere 102lbs at the age of 25 I knew I had to make changes and stop obsessing over food as much. Now I eat enough, making sure most of it comes from whole food sources. I don’t count calories or macros. I don’t do HIIT workouts 6 days a week. But I kill olympic lifting style workouts in the gym 5 days a week, taking the necessary amount of time to rest. The majority of America struggles to lose weight in order to be healthy, but the opposite problem can be just as hard. I aim to post recipes that can help promote muscle growth, as well as tailor to a variety of food allergies and sensitives. Most of my recipes don’t include wheat, eggs, or dairy so unless it’s a meal with meat in it, almost anything else you find here (recently) is vegan and gluten free! I’m a big fan of sweets so I also focus a lot on healthy desserts and breakfasts like pancakes and waffles. If you find yourself in the gym thinking you look too scrawny to hold those dumbbells, follow me for some nutrition advice and great recipes that can help you build that lean body mass you desire!

Recipe and Photography Disclaimer

All recipes and photos on this blog are my own unless otherwise specified and credited to their owner. Please do not use my content without a link back to the content you are using. Thank you!

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Check out some of the posts below to start with if you’re just browsing around and need a starting point!


Brownie Sundae Protein Waffle

Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie Bowl

How to Make Food-Logging Easier with My Fitness Pal

Creole Shrimp Red Beans and Rice

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