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Health And Wealth Challenge: Week 2

eating healthy after a juice cleanse

My first dinner post-juicing: Bison burger, salad, and baked beans. Yum!

I want to again thank Tonya for the Health and Wealth Challenge. I thought I was pretty healthy before, but it has really made me think about eating and how I don’t have to enter the holiday season like a bear preparing for hibernation. I also do my best work when I’m challenged because I hate to fail.

Week two was a bit harder because I worked in the office more than normal. It’s always good for the wallet, but not so much for having time to try new fitness routines. In case you missed it, here was my report from week 1.

Week 2

Health: Nutrition

Luckily my juice fast last week killed all the cravings for candy and sweets that I’d been having since before Halloween. I was really glad to get back to real food, and I’m trying not to to negate all that juicing by pigging out. When I do work a long day, I’m very bad about coming home starved and heading for the snack cupboard. I do realize we could stop buying snacks, but with a 7 year old, that’s nearly impossible.

My goal this week was to eat smaller meals or snacks every two to three hours and track all of my eating at myfitnesspal.com. This required lots of cooking and planning over the weekend so as not to make unauthorized trips for take out or last minute rotisserie chickens. I also wanted to avoid processed foods as much as possible.

I did awesome with tracking all my food and staying within my daily calorie allowance. Because I had to record everything, I didn’t want to snack, but I did go back on the Diet Pepsi bandwagon. I’m not sure why I can’t have more than one good habit at a time. Next week I’m hoping to track my eating without having soda every day. Isn’t there a snack that is healthy, has almost no calories, and tastes good?

Health: Exercise

Exercise was also a challenge as I worked out of town three days this week. With the commute, it certainly limited time available for working out. Would you agree that work gets in the way of all the stuff you want to do?

I did exercise every day but did not work on strength as much as I’d hoped, and I didn’t stretch at all except for last weekend. I hope to have more time next week.

Here are my workouts with normal stuff in black and new additions in blue.

Saturday: 45 minutes stationary bike. 10 minutes of stretching, not as awful this week.

Sunday: Run 3.2 miles. 15 minutes strength training with dumbells. 5 minutes stretching.

Monday: 30 minutes elliptical machine. 20 minutes of legs, arms, abs.

Tuesday: 45 minutes on stationary bike

Wednesday: Spin Class (had to leave 10 minutes early to get to work)

Thursday: Run 1 mile30 minutes on ellipitical machine. 15 minutes lunges, squats, leg work.

Friday: Run three miles. 15 minutes arms/abs.

Wealth

I revealed Monday that we are in the process of buying a 4 plex for an investment property. That was going to be my wealth challenge for the whole month, but you can always find ways to improve your bottom line.

We had a smoking internet promo deal of $19.99 per month that expired this month.The rate was set to go up to $36.99/month, yikes! I called the company to ask about new promotions and was told they could lower the rate to $29.99/month since we were loyal customers. I told the nice gentleman that I liked $19.99 better, and he agreed to continue our promo at that rate for another 12 months.

The other money savings deal I hit upon was with our homeowners insurance. I was pricing out a policy for the fourplex and the agent found a way to bundle our residential and investment properties. I won’t know the exact price until the underwriters are finished with the new property, but it looks like it will save at least $1000 a year!

I know it has been written a million times by just about every blogger, but please, always shop around and ask for a better deal. All they can say is no. I never thought to combine all of our properties because the company that covers our house doesn’t cover rentals. I should have shopped around for one that did because this is a huge savings.

Week two was a challenge, but I’m pretty proud of my results. Hopefully, next week will be a cake walk, but without actual cake, of course!

Have you lowered your bills by making a phone call? How do you find time for fitness if you have to work long hours? 

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

22 comments

  1. that reminds me I have to call cable again and see about them lowering my bill. This week Ive been running all over town and it’s exhausting but I’ve kept up with my workouts. Myfitnesspal is another story, I’ve been away from home so much where food has been provided that it’s so hard to keep track, so kudos! It was great for my wealth to have food provided, but not so great for my health part. Nice job this week!

    • I cooked homemade soup and I have no idea how to track that. I just picked the closest canned kind and hope it’s sort of accurate.

  2. Haha, “I like 19.99 better”- love that it’s THAT simple.

    • It is usually not that simple with Century Link, but I guess I got lucky. It makes up for the time when my internet was down and the technician told me I could troubleshoot the problem on their website!

  3. I tell clients all the time to call and ask for better deals. It’s true, the worst they can say is no, but you never know what you can get out of it. I recently got my insurance lowered by $20 a month just by asking. Congrats on your progress on the health and wealth challenge. I did good on the wealth side, but since I traveled most of the week, I was not as good with with exercising. I am hoping to play a little catch up this weekend.

    • Travel can wreck health and fitness. We are traveling during Thanksgiving week, and it will be a struggle to keep up with my plan.

  4. Wow $1,000 a year is a big gain! I recently got my phone bill down 33% because I asked them to match the new (lower) rates they offer people who signed up after a certain date. They agreed!

    • It always drives me nuts when companies reward new customers but don’t value the existing ones. Great job on getting the promo rate.

  5. Ugh I should definitely call our internet company and ask them if they can lower the rate in any way. We also had a great deal for $19.99/month but the 12 month promo is done and now up to $34.99. The only problem I foresee is that this is a small company servicing only a few condos in our city so I’m not sure they will be super flexible. But should try!

    • You should try. We only have one company that services our area as well, but they are headquartered in Denver, and I’m not sure they know we live in the boonies when I call.

  6. Wow – great job on the Internet service!!!! We only have one provider available in our area, so I kind of feel like we’re stuck over a barrel with them, you know? Been good here on the food intake too, although I did have one night where we pigged out on popcorn and other goodies just before bed. A stress reducing thing. Not good, but get up and move on, right?

    • I think I will always probably have a pig out night or two in there somewhere. Life is too short not to have treats now and again. You’re right that we just have to get back on the horse the next day and not let it become a habit.

  7. I call the internet provider every year like clockwork, they always keep me on the new customer discount, have for six years now. It costs them less than finding a new customer. If they say no, I just hang up and call again to get a friendlier one.
    Re snacks I like chicken breast, cheese, yogurt, nuts… because they’re ready to eat you can have them when you’re coming back home instead of chips, and the protein/good fat will keep you full. I am satisfied with apples too as you need to chew a lot so you feel like you have eaten more than if you had a banana.

  8. I often make phone calls to lower bills but sometimes miss out. Recently, I noticed one of the hubbie’s medical bills had been coded wrong. One call saved us $66! It pays to be vigilant.

    The gym is on the way home from dropping the kids off at school so it’s super easy to stop in! However, this week, my son has been home sick and I felt guilty leaving him home alone so will hit it hard Monday! Sometimes a little break is okay.

  9. It’s amazing what a phone call can do! You’re doing a great job on the exercise and I feel you on snacking. I’m at my worst when I come in from work and I’m really hungry. That’s when I end up eating crappy food and feeling terrible for it. Keep up the good work though. 🙂

  10. If you commute to work for long hours, I suggest you get more intense workout so that you can get the results you want to get in a shorter period of time. Looking at your exercise schedule, it feels like it’s enough for you to get fit and healthy because I myself wouldn’t manage to do those routine, having a five-day work.

    • I did work 5 days last week. I just got up really early. It sucks sometimes, but I’m always glad when I do get up and work out.

  11. Our Internet company actually refused to give us a discount when our new customer discount expired. We threatened to cancel our service and they still didn’t budge. So we changed providers and they called us the next week with a discount. Um, a little late?

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