Remember when you were a kid, and there was that one food item that you would not eat, come hell or high water? I could've been bribed with all the ice cream in the world, y'all, but nothing—and I do mean nothing—was going to make me put Brussels sprouts near my mouth. No way, no how.
Well, computer coder Donna Smith of Port Huron, Michigan, might have cracked the picky-eater code using The Cooking Light Diet. Not only does she have her children unwittingly eating tofu, but they love it! And so does her husband, who's been enjoying cooking alongside Donna. I spoke with this mother of two active teenagers to find out how she's been enjoying the Diet since beginning in January. Here's what she had to say.
Matthew: What are your thoughts on the recipes you've been receiving so far? Donna: I think that [the recipes] are incredibly easy, and most of the time they're a one-pan type dish that I can make. I don't have to dirty up the whole kitchen. Some of them are quick, and the timing of them [requires] you to be real quick when you're sautéing and browning. So my husband and I have been cooking a lot together. A lot! And he loves to cook. He owns a funeral home, and his schedule is very unpredictable. So sometimes he's home at 4:00 p.m., and sometimes he's home at 7:30 p.m. We never know, but the recipes are easy enough that I can just whip up whatever's for dinner in 30-40 minutes and have it on the table.
M: How has the Cooking Light Diet changed the way you approach food? D: I've gotten smarter from it. I've learned what I can substitute, what I can have, when I can have it, and I've just kind of trained myself. You don't need to eat the whole bag of grapes. I've learned a lot. I keep telling other people there's nothing that you can't have with this. It's all in moderation and portion control.
M: You have a 16-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son. Do they have any favorites from what you've made so far? D: Yeah. They love that Vanilla Honey-Nut Smoothie with Tofu. They love it! I probably make it two or three times a week. [I ask Donna if they're aware the smoothie contains tofu.] They have no idea! My son said, "This taste like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup shake." And they love it!
M: Have you been inspired to exercise and move more since joining? D: Yes, because I feel better. It took maybe two weeks, because I was—I'm a bakery girl. Give me cakes and cookies. I don't need chocolate, but I like baked goods. And having two weeks of getting off that sugar totally made me feel different. That's when I noticed, "OK, I have way more energy to work out, I feel better, and now I just feel good." And now the compliments are coming, and people are noticing, and that pushes me even more. … I'm not getting a 3 o'clock crash anymore. The kids would come home from school, and all I'd want to do is lie down, take a nap, and crash. I don't have that anymore. I'm sleeping better at night, through the night, so I feel a lot better.
M: Is this something you'd continue doing after meeting your personal weight-loss goal? D: Oh, yeah. For sure. Because the recipes are very good. I mean, I make them for company. When people come over now for parties, that's what I'm serving. When people say it's a lifestyle change, it is. I've learned so much on it. And it took two weeks to really figure out that I feel better. And I think once you start feeling better, that's proof in the pudding. Can't stop now.