Congratulations to 3rd Place Winner Sara Cronenwett! Sara has competed in previous challenges and this time really kicked it in with – 254 points, 3% loss of body fat, a whopping 2.5 inch reduction in the hips!

1. What advice would you give next season’s Challengers?
My advice to future Challengers is to take advantage of this month to try out new recipes and be creative with your meals. It’s much more fun to eat something you’re excited about – rather than just another piece of plain boring grilled chicken for lack of better options. There are tons of good paleo recipe sites, as well as what other Challengers post – so get the right goods at the grocery and spend your Sunday afternoon making some new items for the week!

2. What habits did you develop that will last beyond the 30 Days?
A few of the new recipes I tried are definite keepers – including the challenge friendly peppercorn salad dressing and the chicken salad (w bacon!) that use the avocado mayonnaise. I also realized in this challenge in particular how wonderful sweet potatoes are – and our work cafeteria has them available almost every day (can even buy a couple already cooked to take home for dinner or post workout snack, saving valuable time!).

Another habit I developed through the Challenge that is now part of my normal routine is bringing cherry tomatoes to work for an afternoon snack – I do it almost every day.

Lastly – I will try to keep up the 30 min of stretching each day… the best strategy for me is to stay and stretch at CFS after workouts, rather than believe “I’ll do it later in front of the TV”.

3. What was one obstacle you had to overcome during the course of The Challenge? How did you do it?
I seem to always have a week of work travel to conferences during the Challenge – where one is presented with lovely looking pastries at breakfast, all kinds of non-challenge-friendly snacks through the day, and plenty of alcohol options in the evening. I compromised (between the Challenge and the practicality & temptation) by sticking to the Challenge rules at breakfast (so painful to pass up!), lunch, and snacks, but allowing myself to cheat with wine and/or food (if no challenge friendly options) for the two client dinners and one team dinner I had that week. It was a practical solution.