What’s normal to you? (And my daily eats)

Hi, my friends! We’re almost halfway through the work-week, and I hope there are some good things going in your world. Before we talk about food for “What I Ate Wednesday,” please indulge me as I ramble …

Last night, after I got home from teaching BODYPUMP, I walked in the door to an empty dark house and threw down my heavy gym bag (Dave was working late at a game). I sat at the kitchen table (which currently doubles as my desk) and started scrolling through Instagram. Seeing as it was Cinco de Mayo, I saw a ton of photos of people out to eat enjoying margaritas, chips and guacamole, socializing and kicking back. While I “liked” many of those pictures, I realized I wasn’t jealous, because going out on a weeknight just isn’t normal for me these days, as a group fitness instructor who is at the gym late most evenings. In fact, many things that others consider normal, just aren’t normal for me. And I’m completely positive that there are a ton of things in my life that aren’t even slightly normal for others. So ladies and gentlemen, that brings me to the topic at hand. What’s your normal? And do you think your normal coincides with the normal of other people?

Different strokes for different folks

Here are a few things that are totally “normal” to me:

  • Eating a full sit-down dinner at the table as late as 9 p.m. most nights
  • Taking at least two showers a day, sometimes three
  • Touching sweaty people while they work out and not getting grossed out by it
  • Talking to my Mom on the phone sometimes more than once-a-day
  • Making at home or bringing all of my meals with me every single day, only eating out or purchasing food out about two times-a-week, which happens on the weekends
  • Fluffing the pillows and making the bed every single morning
  • Doing laundry twice-a-week, just to have enough clean workout clothes available
  • Digging into a big breakfast right after waking up most days
  • Having a few glasses of wine and an indulgent dinner out on Saturday nights and not feeling even slightly bad about it — it’s just what I do, and I look forward to it
  • Checking my email, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter several times-an-hour
  • Screaming at the top of my lungs on a microphone several times-a-day
  • Sharing too much information about my life online in a blog
  • Thinking about my next meal, before I’ve even finished the meal at hand

Things that are not normal to me?

Going to the movies. (I have only been maybe once in the past two years.) Getting take-out food. (I want to eat food I make at home or eat at a restaurant. That’s that.) Caring for plants, animals or children. (I’m enough to handle for now.) Reading digital books. (Just never tried that whole “Kindle” thing.) Watching TV in bed. (No TV in the bedroom for us!) Playing sports. (Nope.) Staying up past midnight. (Well, every once in a while I can do this.) And I could go on and on …

Life always changes, so my current normal will likely morph as the years go on. But for now, it’s fine with me. And with that, let’s get to the food …

What I Ate Wednesday 

In case you’re newish around A Lady Goes West, “What I Ate Wednesday” is something I do every single week, in which I share one full day of my meals. You’ll see a lot of similar food combinations and eating patterns. In fact, I almost always eat three square meals, with two snacks and a protein shake on weekdays. And I repeat foods a lot. But hey, you like what you like.

What I Ate Wednesday via A Lady Goes West

Today, we’re going to take a look at all of my meals from Monday. On this day, I taught classes at Orangetheory Fitness in the morning, worked on writing projects and the blog mid-day, and then taught BODYATTACK in the evening. 

Breakfast at 6 a.m.

Breakfast 5.4Starting the day off right: As usual, a big bowl of overnight oats, topped with a banana and cinnamon. This was enjoyed alongside some hot green tea, sweetened with stevia and vanilla soy milk.

Snack at 11 a.m.

Morning snack 5.4The perfect snack: I love a good flavored Greek yogurt. I tend to bounce between brands, and this “Strawberry and Banana” is one of my favorite flavors from Chobani.

Lunch at 12:30 p.m.

Lunch 5.4Orange, white and yellow: Not exactly a new meal combination for me — a big baked sweet potato with two fried eggs. I could eat this every single day and not get sick of it. I also had another mug of hot green tea, sweetened with stevia and vanilla soy milk.

Snack at 5 p.m.

Afternoon snack 5.4Workout fuel: Why, that’s a strange combination, isn’t it? A mineral water, a LUNA protein bar and some CLIF shot bloks. I got both of these LUNA and CLIF products at a LUNA event last month and just love having a good selection of nibblies to dig into. I’m not sure why I have been eating so many bloks, seeing as they are primarily for endurance athletes to get in some quick sugar, but I find them tasty, and I love the texture. So there.

Post-workout protein at 7:45 p.m.

Protein 5.4Hydrating protein: I always reach for a flavored protein shake to repair my muscles after a tough sweat session. This one has extra nutrients too, because it contains valuable coconut water for hydration and potassium. Yummy!

Dinner at 8:45 p.m.

Pizza dinner 5.4Homemade deliciousness: For a long time, Dave and I had “pizza Sundays,” which eventually turned into “taco Sundays,” and have now morphed into “grill Sundays.” Well, the home-made pizza made a return this past Sunday, and it was thick and hearty enough for us to have some leftovers on Monday night too. We made the pizza with wheat dough, mixed cheeses, pizza sauce, peppers, tomatoes and garlic. We enjoyed the pizza alongside some roasted veggies on the second night. This was a quick and wonderful dinner, which will be making an appearance again soon. And yes, I eat my pizza with a fork and knife.

As I always do, to close out my palate for the day, I had a little vanilla soy milk, and then joined Dave on the couch for some Netflix.

There we go, folks. Some thoughts and some eats. Today, I’m teaching BODYATTACK at lunch and three classes at Orangetheory Fitness tonight. Have a great Wednesday, my friends!

More daily eating recaps

Each week, “What I Ate Wednesday” is hosted by Peas and Crayons for bloggers to showcase their eats to the world. If you want to see more food recaps, check out some of my posts from the past here:

  1. A full day of eating in pictures
  2. Another full day of my eats and drinks
  3. Real food isn’t always pretty
  4. Do you have a balanced dining out strategy?
  5. What I ate and drank all day
  6. Three meals, two snacks and a shake
  7. Food trucks and rest-day eating
  8. Plenty of protein at every meal
  9. Colorful fuel for a day of training
  10. Long days of training require a lot of food
  11. Making do on “What I Ate Wednesday” 
  12. Healthy foods for a rest day
  13. Who doesn’t like pictures of food?
  14. A look at a full day of eating in pictures
  15. Snapshots from a day of delicious meals
  16. Pictures of food, because you like them
  17. Food pictures and the juice cleanse that wasn’t
  18. A look at what I really eat in a day
  19. What I ate in the Sunshine State
  20. My weekend eats and a little narrative
  21. Stories about food and yesterday’s meals
  22. A day of eating and some commentary
  23. Do you want to know what I ate yesterday?
  24. Healthy challenges and foods from my day
  25. Eating, napping and eating again
  26. Filling up on healthy food before the holiday
  27. A perfect birthday at home and my eats
  28. Top blog posts, reader stats and my food
  29. A different kind of training and my food
  30. Joining a healthy green movement and my eats
  31. Must-try veggie pasta tip and my eats
  32. Are you eating this sweet and satisfying fruit?
  33. What a difference a week makes and my eats
  34. On Wednesdays we look at pictures of food
  35. Food, drinks and a very hydrating giveaway
  36. Front-loading all the healthy this week
  37. MealEnders giveaway and back to healthy food
  38. Eating, drinking and sharing the pictures
  39. I don’t like bad people, I do like good food
  40. Smart training nutrition tips and my meals
  41. “What I Ate Wednesday” and a Phenoh 7.4 review
  42. What my daily meals look like in pictures
  43. Food pictures from a light and healthy day
  44. Life lately and a look at all of my meals

And don’t miss my post from yesterday about some cooking I did using the Blue Apron service, because there are plenty more pictures of food in that one.

Questions of the day

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten lately?

What’s something that is totally normal to you but probably not to others?

Ashley signature



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  1. It’s totally normal for me to shower three times a day when I take a barre class after work. I shower once in the morning before work, once after my mid-day workout and then again after barre. They’re quick showers, but I’m sure most people would find three showers a day a little strange.

    1. Hi Chrissy! Hey, whatever you need, right? And nice work on the double workouts sometimes. I guess because of the draught in California, I should tell you to limit the time you’re in the shower … but maybe your area is okay unlike us? Happy Wednesday! Hope all is well! 🙂

  2. Eating 6 meals a day– 2 breakfasts, lunch, a snack-meal, dinner, dessert-meal. Having ice cream at 7:30. After dinner at 6. Waking up at 5:30 to have breakfast, do blog things, and then work out. Have a food stash at work that rivals home! Talking to friends online everyday in bits and pieces, but friends on the phone for an hour or so monthly.

    1. Hi Susie! I’m so bad at the phone with everyone except for my Mom, so good for you for doing it monthly. And I love the sound of your food stash. What’s in it? hahaha! Happy Wednesday, normal lady! 🙂

  3. Ha I can relate to many of your normals, especially the showering twice/day thing! It is normal for me to always have a water bottle with me, I’m constantly drinking water!

    1. Hi Marielle! Me too! I always have a water bottle and go to the bathroom a ton because of it. We’re in a drought here in California, but I get sweaty a lot, so it’s not my fault that I shower twice hehehe Happy Wednesday. Have a fab day!

  4. Love that list! I agree with a lot of it, mostly about doing laundry! Everytime I wash my clothes it’s about 80% workout gear. How does that happen!?

    One thing that’s normal for me and not for other people is that my fiance and I sleep in different rooms and my dog sleeps with me! We both have a lot of trouble sleeping if we’re in the same room, so this solves the problem and we both can sleep through the night! Also, waking up at 5:00 to run or go to the gym before work has become normal for me.

    Not so normal is going out to restaurants or eating out (maybe once a month) or staying up late (I’m usually asleep before 11 so that I can wake up early to run! And I don’t even mind!)

    1. Hi Gretchen! Totally not weird, if it works for you! And I’m with you on the early bedtimes of course. And the early wake-ups many days as well. But luckily my schedule is varied enough that I don’t have to get up at the 5-o’clock every day of the week. Happy Wednesday to you!! 🙂

  5. Normal for me is cooking all of my dinners and lunches for the week on Sundays – I’ll usually make 5 salads (one for lunch each day) and then something I can use as the base for dinners each night (chicken, a casserole, soup or chili, meatballs, turkey burgers, etc). I’m sure a lot of people think that’s weird, but I really don’t like cooking during weeknights since I have a longer commute and then go to the gym.

    Like you, I don’t order takeout often. We also really don’t go out to eat much either! I’m sure people think that’s weird, too, but we save a ton of money (which is right for us right now) and we just really like cooking at home and making something fun and indulgent ourselves (pizza, enchiladas). If I do go out though, I love getting sushi 🙂

    Also, I always, always carry a water bottle with me!

    1. Hi Traci! Food prepping is smart, but I know people that don’t do it cannot imagine making mass amounts of food at once hehe. Good for you though. And yes, a water bottle is key! I have one with me at all times too. Yay for indulgent dinners made at home. Enjoy those, lady! Happy Wednesday to you! 🙂

  6. What a fun post, lady! My normal sounds similar to yours, minus the teaching obviously. My husband and I rarely go to movies, almost always cook at home and pack our lunches and rarely get takeout. I really like this post idea, I’m gonna have to borrow it [with a link credit to you, of course]!

    Great eats! I’ve never done overnight oats, but used to love quick oats in the morning!

    1. Hi Pinky! Yay! Glad you enjoyed this one. And please feel free to recreate a list for yourself. You’ve got to try overnight oats — it’s SO convenient to take it out in the morning, let it warm a bit at room tempy and dig in. Happy Wednesday!! 🙂

  7. Eating dinner “late” like 9 pm (put that in quotes because it’s the normal time for my husband) is normal here but I have gotten my husband to compromise a little bit. And it’s not late because we’re working late or something. It’s just the time to eat! I liked reading about your normal/not normal stuff. 😉

    1. Hi Diane! heheh Glad you enjoyed this! And I’ve always eaten late, so it’s not a big deal to me. Many nights I’m not home until 8 p.m., but even if I am, we still eat late. Glad your hubs is compromising a bit. Hope all is well! Happy day to you!

  8. I love this. I have a lot of similarities both in your “normal” and “not normal” categories. I don’t like going to movies or getting take-out (except pizza once and a great while), and don’t watch TV in bed either! Oh and I definitely eat a huge breakfast every morning- favorite meal of the day! 🙂

  9. That coconut water sounds interesting. My norms are eating 6x and day, waking up at 4am, rewearing the least nasty workout clothes because I ran out of time to do laundry, oops!

    1. Hi Jen! haahha Hey, as long as no one has to smell you in those clothes, no big deal, right? 4am is EARLY, but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. A big happy Wednesday to you, lady! 🙂

    1. Hi Stacie! Pizza gets a bad rap, but if you make it at home, you can control the ingredients. And it was as tasty as it looks heheh! Happy Wednesday to you! 🙂

  10. The shower one cracked me up! It’s so true and I do it plus I live in the heat so it’s very easy to get stinky here. My normal is eating dinner at 7pm while catching up on blog reading. My new normal is not running too many injuries. I’m trying to accept that.

    1. Oh Megan, hoping you don’t get any new injuries and can fix the existing ones! But at least I know you’re clean with all those showers. 🙂 hahah! Be NORMAL!

    1. Moms are the best. However, I definitely have friends that don’t speak to their parents as often as you and I do. So once again, not normal for them, but normal for us. Hope all is well, Hayley!! 🙂

  11. Doing laundry several times I week – I hear you! There’s never enough workout clothes.
    My not normals have to do with food. I constantly keep snacking when I’m cooking. Also, I almost always going back for second serving, no matter how much I put on my plate, haha!

    1. Hi Kersten! I feel ya! I always eat more than what is on my plate too. Those portions just don’t make the pictures hahah. 🙂 Happy NORMAL Wednesday to you, my sweaty fitness friend.

  12. It’s funny how different our ideas of normal can be. I’m similar to you on a few things. I almost never go out on the weekday and I can’t get into the whole digital book thing. But I do hate it when sweaty people touch me, lol! That’s one part of Body Attack that I’m not such a fan of. Shhh…. 😉

    1. Hi Sarah, Well once I started working in fitness, I had to get over the eww factor of sweat pretty quickly heheh. And YAY for restful weeknights. 🙂 Hope all is well in your world! Happy Wednesday!

  13. I love those Shot Bloks too! They’re a little on the way too tasty side. 😉 And normal to me not to others… probably everyday I come home from the gym and grind my calluses on my hands to keep them soft. I don’t think anything of this, I mean I get a way better grip on the bar this way… but lately i’ve been told this is weird!

    1. Hi Rachel! Wait, so you are trying to make your calluses harder or softer? Because I can see how calluses would help with a grip. I try to wear gloves usually when weight-lifting. hahaha but I LOVE this “normal” thing. Thanks for sharing:)

  14. In LOVE with this post, Ashley! I can definitely relate to a lot of the things you find normal and not normal as well. I’m not really one to go out that often, or to go out to eat. I honestly don’t get the big fuss about it, and I find that most times I do go out, I don’t even end up being THAT impressed with the food anyways. Oh, and I’ll -never- understand the whole Kindle thing… There’s nothing lil cracking open a book and feeling the pages under your fingers.

    1. Hi Amanda! Ah yes, so glad you agree. While I do like my maybe one meal out on Saturday nights, honestly, since my hubs and I moved just outside of San Francisco, the food isn’t WOW anymore in our new area. When we lived IN San Francisco, it was MAJOR wow, all the time. Anywho! I hope you’re having a lovely and “normal” What I Ate Wednesday! 🙂

    1. I know, Doc! We used to have one when we lived in Orlando and I would go in there to watch TV when falling asleep, but I do NOT miss it. So much better without the temptation to stay up later watching shows.

  15. “Thinking about my next meal, before I’ve even finished the meal at hand”–oh, I am so guilty of this one! This is my normal as well. Another normal for me is eating oatmeal just about every single day…even in the warmer months. I can’t help it, I like my oatmeal. I do switch up flavors if that makes it any better, haha. I just got a new to me Perrier drink today from walking around a local festival going on–they were handing out samples. It is a small, slim can and it’s lime flavored Perrier. I’m excited to try it.

    1. Hi Kaylin, Always thinking about food. Me too haaha And Perrier in a can? Totally cool. Let me know how you like it. Of course, I’m also an oats girl, but more of the overnight variety. Hope you’re having a great week! 🙂

  16. I’m definitely making a home made pizza this week, that looks amazing. I definitely relate to your feelings of “normalcy” whatever that means. I know for me, I often get a tinge of jealousy for people my age who spend their evenings at happy hours and parties, and then I realize that part of my life is over. I’ve been sober for almost two years now, and while I’m happier than ever, it’s still weird how much my life has changed. Plus I get up at 4 am every morning so that’s not really an option anyway!

    1. Hi Carissa! With a 4 a.m wake-up and a busy life, I can see how you’d have no time for happy hours or going out. Everybody’s life is different, so do what works for you! But I mean, make some pizza at home. Right? Hheheh Hope you have a great and NORMAL day!

  17. There goes that idea of sweet potatoes and eggs again! I really need to try that combo. I’m just getting around to catching up on some blog reading this week and love this! I can relate to a lot of your “normal”, especially the late dinner hours and taking more showers than I care to admit. I need to get better at talking on the phone to family and packing lunches!

    1. Hi Heather! Phone is especially hard for us out here because I don’t get done teaching at night until 8 p.m. or later sometimes, and CLEARLY all of my East Coast peeps are in bed by then on the weeknights due to the time-zone changes. Glad you can relate to my normals! 🙂

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