It's Monday and rainy here in Birmingham, Alabama. As if a Monday could get any worse, right? Much like the first workday of the week, diets aren't normally greeted with gusto. We begrudgingly accept them and eagerly await the endgame (come on, Friday!).
But according to Katie Drerup, from Rockford, Illinois, the Cooking Light Diet doesn't elicit those normally associated feelings of dieting dread. Since joining in January, the avid golfer has found variety, favorite recipes to rival old family heirlooms, and joy in feeling healthier. I spoke with Katie last week to see what was working for her. Here's what she had to say.
Matthew: What feature have you enjoyed most so far? Katie: I think one of my very favorite things is the variety. [Because] we do love to cook and we love to eat, but before I was doing this you kind of get in a rut. You know, six or seven things that you normally do. This is so fun because it's something different all the time. It's a huge variety, and we love that. And the other thing I love about it is that [with the magazine recipes] sometimes I wouldn't try them because I'd think it wouldn't be very good. And it's been such a wonderful surprise because there've been some things we've tried that have been absolutely fabulous that I never would've put together.
M: Has your husband [Brian] been enjoying the food, too? K: He's always been really supportive of me, and he loves the Cooking Light recipes. And he's been just as excited about this as I have. The thing is, I think I've lost 8 pounds since it started, and I think he's lost 4 or 5.* So if we have weeks where we're not losing—and we have had weeks where we even put on a little bit—he's just always been kind of the voice of reason. He'll say, "It doesn't matter what the scale says, because we're both looking better, and we feel so good!" Even if you aren't losing weight, by eating all these healthy foods, I specifically feel really good. And that, probably to us, is the bottom line why we love it so much, too. It makes a big difference in your day when you feel good!
M: Do you two have a favorite recipe so far? K: One of our absolute favorites, which we've shared with a lot of people, is the recipe for Oatmeal Pancakes. We have a family recipe—my grandmother used to make these wonderful Swedish pancakes, and that's just kind of the benchmark for "this is a really good pancake"—and the Oatmeal Pancakes, we think, are even better than that! We LOVE those. As a matter of fact, my son is a junior in college, and he lives in an apartment with four other guys. He called me a couple weekends ago and said, "Mom, how do I do those Oatmeal Pancakes again?" So I told him, and he cooked them for this roommates. [His roommates] all just loved the pancakes! So that was very fun.
M: Has the Diet helped you to organize and plan your weeks better? K: Definitely. It's actually almost like unwrapping a present when you get the email, because the week's ready and you can't wait to look and see [laughs]. It's fun to wake up that day and say, "Oh, gosh! I get to have this, this, and this today!" It helps a lot. And it helps us keep on track better, too.
M: Is this something you'd continue using after you've reached your personal goals? K: Oh, absolutely. Brian and I have said from the very beginning that the really exciting thing about this is that it's something … it's the way we want to eat the rest of our lives. I mean it really is. The thing that's exciting about it is there's nothing depressing about it. A lot of diets you go on and you just sort of feel like, "Oh, I've got to do my time, and get this done, and then I'll be finished with it." The Cooking Light Diet isn't like that at all. If we could eat these meals forever, we would just be … we'd be in heaven! You don't feel gypped at all. You don't feel like you're missing out.