Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Workout Wednesday - TWO fascinating challenges!

I want to talk about two especially fascinating challenges going on in the fitness/healthy living and eating world right now.

FIRST – Allison, who blogs over at Running Through Redlights, is hosting a #FitStreak.  Her challenge, which started Monday, July 16, challenges participants to complete some sort of physical activity for at least 20 minutes a day for the next 30 days.  I joined in on this challenge (after all, what is 20 minutes a day, right?) and encourage you to do it too.  To read more information about the Fit Streak, head over here.

SECOND – is one of the coolest things I’ve heard about in a long time.

When the subject of “weight loss” comes up, inevitably this question is raised:

“Is it more expensive to eat healthy?”

I’ll be honest with you.  When I first began my journey to getting healthy three and a half years ago, my mother asked me the same question.  At that time my answer to her was “Yes.”  But at that time I didn’t know any better.  After having eaten right for the last three and a half years, I would have to say most definitely not.

Nevertheless, it still remains a BIG question, with many proponents on each side arguing passionately. 

Cue the new challenge in the health and wellness sphere, which hopes to answer the question, and prove for once and for all that eating healthy – and on a budget – is indeed possible and feasible!

“Survive on 35” Challenge


Could you survive on a grocery budget of $35 a week?

A team of “FitFluential” bloggers have been challenged to blog (and share pictures of) their experience of feeding themselves, for a week on $35, which is equivalent to what someone on government assistance (Welfare, i.e. “food stamps”) receives.
Sponsored by Anytime Fitness, modeled after the “Secret Millionaire” Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen challenge that
July 16 – July 22


To show people that it is possible to eat healthy on a tight budget
Participants are given $35/day per person, families are being given $35 for each adult and $20 per child.  That’s 7 days, 3 meals a day…which works out to approximately $1.66/meal.  Participants will be judged on budget, health and taste of the meals they prepare and the winning two will receive a $1000 donation to the food pantry of their choice.

I first heard about the challenge through FitFluential and Bess over at BessBeFit.  Today I read on Bess’ blog about some of the negative backlash that she, and some of the other participants are receiving. 

The fact that someone would actually react negatively to what those brave enough to accept this challenge are trying to do, is appalling!

Not only that but what shocks me the most is that people are accusing all those involved of trying to act “poor”!! Since when is $35/person a week considered poor?!?! For a family of 4, that works out to $140 a week, which is very reasonable!! I don’t think I know any family that spends $560 a month on groceries. But then again, as a teacher married to an artist/photographer, I live a very middle-class life and so do the majority of my friends.

In my case, we are a family of three – my husband, myself, and our eight-year-old daughter – and we spend about $100 a week on groceries. And we eat GOOD!! And by GOOD I mean healthy (whole grains, lean meats, lots of fresh fruits and veggies) and delicious (my blog post from Monday shows my menu for this week). This week our grub includes the salmon steaks we had Monday night and the shrimp, chicken and beef Lo Mein we had last night!

I would even venture to say that this “challenge” is more about teaching/showing us (the MAJORITY of us, since the middle class is the largest sector of society) that we really can eat well on $35/person/week. For some, $35/week is considered “living rich” and that’s who will benefit from the donation to food banks that the winners will make. And for those who are fortunate to have $35/person/week be considered “poor”…well, we are happy for you, but welcome to everyone else’s reality.

I say KUDOS and my hat is off to Anytime Fitness and it's founders, Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen, FitFluential and all the bloggers who are participating in the challenge!  I think this is one of the cleverest things anyone has done in a long time and definitely see this as a win-win situation for all!!

For more information about the challenge, check out the following links:

AnytimeFitness’ write-up about the inspiration behind the challenge


  1. Thanks for this, Leticia! For all the negative going around there's been much more positive, so thank you and others for the support. Definitely coming from a place of good, so it's upsetting for others to think we have any other intentions besides that.

    1. Thanks to you, Bess! Keep up the great work, girlie!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, but I think that about you!! :)

  3. Awesome post! Thanks for following the Survive On 35 Challenge!

    1. Thanks, Michael! Good luck with the challenge!

  4. What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for all your support :)