Category Archives: fitness

$70 a week food challenge

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long while, a cheap eating food challenge.

My partner and I almost always add up the cost of each of our meals to see how much $$ we’re eating.  So from today, Monday 14 November, we’re doing a 4 week challenge where we can only spend $70 a week on food.

The Rules
*$70 per week for 4 weeks.  If we spend over one week we have to spend under one of the other weeks.
*We will still be eating food from the freezer/pantry but we will keep tabs on what we use and what we put back in.
*Shop where we normally shop.
*If someone else buys us food that’s fine, but we’ll tell you.
*We must eat nutritious food.

My partner and I usually eat at home.  I think we only eat out once a fortnight at most so we aren’t spending crazy $$ regularly just for some avocado on toast, in fact I’m allergic to avocado.  Also, I have GORD so I do watch what I eat most of the time and I’m never too keep to eat out (apart from the odd visit to Hungry Jacks).

Why do this challenge?  It’s personal.  I want to force myself to think about food and spending more.  To not waste money buying junk food as well as making sure I am well nourished by the food I am eating.  I want to take these 4 weeks and learn a bit more about what a serving is & what I should be eating.

I also hope others will read this and get some value, whether from a recipe, or be inspired to think about their own eating habits.

So, today is day 1.  I’ll post again in a few days about how we’re going.

I got a Fitbit

A couple of months ago I got a Fitbit Charge HR. I was keen to get one as I’d recently started doing a couple shifts in a cafe and was keen to know how many steps I was getting in a 3 hr shift (it’s up to 6000 on a busy shift!) and I’ve been doing Ellen Barrett Live workouts since the beginning of the year and wanted to know how many calories I was burning and how much activity it was adding to my day.

What I found out was this…

  • Wow!  I don’t get nearly as many steps as I thought from my morning walks.
  • The cafe shifts can bank me up to 6000 steps, if I walk the 7 minutes (each way) to and from work I add another 1500
  • My workouts add active time but I don’t burn as many calories as I thought. They are almost entirely in “fat burn zone” though.
  • I cannot believe how many steps I get on the weekends when I head it to my main job (Hands On Brisbane), it is wayyyy more active than I thought!

Just after I got it I had an eye infection and was scratching the hell out of my eyes all night.  I’d wake up with itchy, gluey eyes and rub and rub them.  Looking at the sleep log in the app I was able to see just how broken my sleep was and the periods I was awake rubbing my eyes.  I could also see how restlessly I was rubbing them whilst still half asleep.

Other people have mentioned the benefit of the sleep log to show to their doctor where their sleep pattern is at and how much sleep they are getting. I’ve also noted that I don’t need quite as much sleep as I though, or get as much sleep as I thought.

The one HUGE benefit is the extra motivation it gives you to get up and get moving.  You want to beat yourself, you want to get involved in challenges and beat others.  You want to see just how many steps you can get and how much activity you can do.

So what’s the down side?  For me it is the comfort of the device.  At first it was so uncomfortable.  The heart rate monitor is raised at the back and really uncomfortable at first.  Perseverance pays off and within a week you don’t notice but if you then take it off for a while you have a short readjustment phase.  On top of that the fit is not great.  Even though I got the smallest available the part holding all the electronics is large and it doesn’t wrap well around the wrist.  I have noticed that the Charge HR is currently in sell out mode so perhaps a new version is on it’s way that fits better.


I would only recommend a fitbit to those who are already motivated to move and workout.  I don’t think it will magically get you moving but if you do want the added bonus of tracking your activity (and you’re already motivated but want a little extra) then one of these is probably a good investment.