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Cooking Light Diet

Chicken Salad Melt — I <3 #CookingLightDiet!

Lunch. Chicken salad with a lil cheddar, under the broiler, and apple slices on top! Get in my mouth. #CookingLightDiet

Quick Pizza Margherita — I <3 #CookingLightDiet!

Quick Pizza Margherita. Tomatoes, mozzarella (wish I’d had fresh), fresh basil, and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette on a straight-from-the-grocery-deli crust. Come. To. Mama.

Salmon with Hoisin Glaze — I <3 #CookingLightDiet!

Salmon with Hoisin Glaze and Garlicky Spicy Snow Peas. Trying to incorporate fish once a week. It’s high, though, so I try to find it on sale, which this wild Sockeye Salmon happened to be at Publix this weekend. To round it out, brown rice flavored with chicken broth, a splash of soy sauce and a smidge of sesame oil. So flavorful and surprisingly filling! #CookingLightDiet

Snacktime — I <3 #CookingLightDiet!

Snacktime! Honey-Cinnamon Greek Yogurt. Eat half now (71 calories) and half for dessert. Seriously, skip that bag of M&Ms. This is much more satisfying for the sweet tooth!

BLT with Avocado — I <3 #CookingLightDiet!

I can’t believe I can even eat my favorite sandwich on this diet! Canola mayo apparently is a thing, Campari tomatoes are delicious even in March (thanks Ronnie and Carol for the rec), and just look at how perfect my avocado was…it’s the most wonderful surprise when they’re just right. Love. It.

Pilaf with Chicken, Spinach, & Walnuts, Part 2 — I <3 #CookingLightDiet!

Leftovers = Chicken, Rice, and Bean Tacos! Added a lil’ salsa, beans, and spices (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder) to the chicken and rice mixture. Heated up some corn tortillas and added some fresh spinach and a lil’ more salsa…done! Skipped the cheese. So filling, I couldn’t finish the 2nd one. Let’s now take a moment of silence and be thankful for #leftovers…

Area Woman Discovers Diet Does Not Equal Death

From my last post, you can see that I was trying hard to not go on a diet. Although I knew it was time, I’ve fought it all the way. I hate diets. I hate talking about diets. I love to eat and to cook, and don’t want to be deprived of my favorite foods. At the same time, I had realized that my weight was about 20 pounds too much and it was starting to interfere with my activities and my life. And there was a picture. Or two. There’s probably always a picture.

I had flirted with Weight Watchers, but ultimately knew I couldn’t keep up with the whole points thing. I had tried just “eating healthy” but no weight was being lost. I tried exercising more but no weight was being lost. I got a Fitbit…again, no weight loss.

So then I got sick. Three times. In a month. No lie, I am currently recovering from #3. I know several others whose families have been on this same sickness path. This winter has been No Joke, y’all. I started to miss my healthy life and got worried that my weight wasn’t helping matters.

In my bedridden state, I was cruising the ‘Net and came upon an ad from Cooking Light magazine advertising their new diet. They plan a week’s worth of meals and snacks for you, based on your weekly calorie plan designed by you. I love their recipes and the plan had real food and real snacks. It looked like something I could do. I started it while I was sick to see how I liked it. Sample breakfasts are peanut butter toast, spinach and feta omelets, fruit smoothies, and granola/yogurt parfaits. Lunches are turkey sandwiches, greek salads, BLT with avocado, and chicken pita pizzas. Dinners are garlicky kale and white bean linguine, Cajun steak and frites with sautéed kale and a green salad, chicken verde enchiladas. Snacks are healthy and satisfying: fruit, nuts, hummus and veggies, Babybel cheese and crackers. Yes, you can substitute. Yes, you can eat out. As long as your calorie count stays in check and you vary your calories (don’t eat pasta for every meal), you can be somewhat flexible. The best part? They plan it all for you, for a price. Best money I’ve ever spent: $45 for 3 months. $18 for a month. My husband has decided to do it, too, and the kids are supportive of the healthy eating since it actually tastes great. (By the way, I’m not getting paid to write this, but would very much like to!)

Check out the Cooking Light Diet here

I just needed Cooking Light to take the wheel. Take it from my hands. Cause I can’t do this on my own. “I’m a-letting go…” Hee hee, not sure Carrie Underwood meant for her song to be used that way, but isn’t it nice when you don’t know what to do and the answer comes in an ad from Cooking Light?! I have enjoyed my eating so much these past 2 weeks. I still have a glass of wine with my dinner. On weekends, I will have a dessert here or there. I have more or less picked 3-4 dinners from my weekly plan, and a few breakfasts and lunches, and eat leftovers or go out for the rest of the time. It fits my life so well. I pack snacks when I am out and about so I don’t get tempted at the Target checkout candy or run by Chick Fil A (which I could do, if I wanted to, as long as I keep the calorie count.)

I don’t drink soda at all anymore. I don’t eat sugar, except for fruits and the occasional treat. I’ve given up chocolate for Lent, so it seems like a good time to be cutting back on all the bad stuff. I’ve been sick so I haven’t been super hungry, which has also worked in my favor. Once I am better, we’ll see how hungry I get and if still works. I hope my stomach has shrunk over the past 4 weeks, but I may be hungrier to make up for all of my sick time. Time will tell.

Have I seen results yet? Well, I’ve lost 5 lbs. In a week and a half. That doesn’t sound safe or right, but it’s true. Between eating less, not eating sugar or soda, drinking less wine, and the Sudafed I’ve been taking that suppresses my appetite (I’m taking it for sinus issues but that is a wonderful side effect), I’ve already seen these crazy results. I’m eating real food that doesn’t taste like diet food, and almost everything I put in my body is nutritious and not empty calories. I’m hungry for dinner. Food tastes better than it used to. My daughter’s birthday cake was the most phenomenal thing I’d ever had because I savored every bite and hadn’t had dessert in a while.

Fifteen pounds to go. Slowly feeling better and ready to get out there to exercise again. A metaphorical weight has been lifted, now that I’ve got a plan, and I look forward to the literal weight disappearing. What weight loss plan has worked for you? What was your tipping point? What keeps you motivated? Spring will be here soon, and then summer, and I plan to have more energy than last year to do the things I want to do. YOLO, y’all. (lol, sorry not sorry)

Take care of yourselves and each other,


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