The challenge flipped a switch for me.
History - Even though I like eating a variety of fruits, veggies and grains, pre-challenge I had fallen into some pretty unhealthy eating habits. I was drinking a lot of coffee and using artificial sweeteners quite a bit. During the home buying process, fixing up the house, during the move and even after moving, I got into the habit of buying fast food on the run and got away from eating healthy. I often skipped supper at night and always made certain I had a couple dollars to get snack food from the vending machines at work - along with sweetened tea. I started noticing that my feet were really quite swollen by the end of the day. For several weeks I've had a constant very noticeable pain in the cartilage of my right ear. I notice that my clothes were getting snug and I lacked my usual "Sneelock" energy.
The day after the challenge I know that this challenge was a life saver for me. The pain in my ear is gone, my feet are actually slipping out of my shoes and my ring keeps falling off of my finger. I know it will take time to get the clothes to fit but it looks like I am going to have very slender extremeties in no time at all.
My taste buds have changed! Pre-challenge nothing was ever quite sweet enough. I salted the heck out of everything. Even though I had many herbs available during the challenge, I didn't use them as much as I should have. I think the challenge readjusted my taste buds. I ate a nectarine this afternoon. It tasted so wonderfully sweet and delicious. I thought I was in heaven! I plan on making much healthier choices when selecting foods to nourish my body.
Working on the little herb village project in my front flower bed started my creative juices again! I got some garden planning books and I am thinking of all kinds of projects for the yard. Next year I would like to plant an herbal medicine wheel in the front yard and am even considering a small greenhouse in the area next to the garage.
I've started reading more about composting, edible wild plants, and organic gardening.
My children have inspired me to eat healthier, be creative in the kitchen, and notice the gifts and abundant blessings that are available (We got the apples from a posting on Craig's List). I am truly blessed and very appreciative of my family, their loving support and for the opportunity to participate and share this experience with them - and you! I second Sharon's thanks to Sarah for all of her help and support as well.