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Life Happens: Making it Work with the Cooking Light Diet

It's one of the simplest yet most complex and comprehensive statements you can make with two words: "Life happens." With trillions of organisms on this big green-and-blue orb, it's happening all around us quicker than we can ever hope to process. And life happening can be anything from a boilerplate play on that one Forrest Gump scene to the convoluted nuances our day-to-day interactions bring, like spilling ketchup on your shirt.

Well, life happened to me this past week. I was fully intent upon following my carefully crafted Cooking Light Diet menu to a T. I had every meal accounted for, every calorie allotted in my 1,700 per diem. I was ready!

Then life happened.

After a checkup on a tooth implant (working on getting a forever tooth, people) I received last month, the doctor informed me it was being "rejected," which only happens 2-5% of the time. It'd have to be removed ASAP... and they'd need to do a bone graft to boot. My carefully crafted menu was rendered scrap paper in a snap, as I'd now have to eat foods amicable to super-sensitive teeth Thursday through Sunday. What a stroke of luck!


Now, I could've done what most—myself included—would've done in that situation and just thrown in the towel. I mean, I'd purchased the groceries. I knew what I was eating each breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And now I couldn't eat almost any of it. Why not just give up and go on a pudding and ice cream binge? After all, life happens...

Well, no. I made a commitment to myself to live healthier, even if it is just for 6 weeks [for now]. It would've been too easy to go back to eating junk. That's why I was doing this in the first place! Luckily, the Cooking Light Diet allows me the flexibility to audible around life happening. My menus cater to me, not the other way around. So I logged into my account, found a couple "soft food" recipes that I could make double batches of (I knew I'd feel too crummy post-op to get in the kitchen), went to the store, and started cooking. Was I a little preoccupied with the stress of yet another surgery while cooking? I don't know... you tell me.

Pictured: Why I need practice. Eat your heart out, Anthony Bourdain. (Finished dish available for optimal consumption on IG)

But cook I did. I'd never made macaroni that didn't come from a box before, so the Two-Cheese Mac and Cheese I whipped up took a while longer than the suggested cook time I was given. The process made me feel better about the prospect of surgery, though. And life in general. (Coming soon: blog entitled "C is for Cooking, Catharsis, and... Coincidence?) What was I stressing? I had a kitchen. And food. And most of my teeth. It could always be worse, folks. And that macaroni turned out phenomenally. 

The resolve to keep going made my weekend better, too. Now armed with a revised plan, I had time to do the things I needed to do before my Saturday and Sunday brewery shifts. I potted up the rest of my vegetables.

Yellow squash, eggplant, tomatoes, chocolate mint, assorted flowers, and a fishy friend I've had for ages.

I had time to make a farmers market trip early enough to beat the crowds.

(L) Pepper Place Market being not nearly as crowded as it usually is. (R) Early bird gets the shiitake.

And I even got to hang out with my niece for a bit.

This is Neilee, my favorite human.

So, even though life happened, I was able to use the Cooking Light Diet to craft a plan that worked for my situation. And sticking to that plan, I lost 5 pounds* in my first week. I'm sure it was mostly water weight, but still... not too shabby.

In my first post I wrote about how difficult it would be to pull this off. But after being able to adjust to life happening last week, I'm feeling really, really good about this challenge. And I'm looking forward to dinner this evening—I made a dish last night that I was supposed to make last week.

Noodles with Roast Pork and Almond Sauce. My first experience with a nut butter sauce, but it certainly won't be my last.

Here's to life happening with the CLDiet in my corner! Cheers, everyone.


If you’d like to know more about the Cooking Light Diet, visit, or email us at We’d love to hear from you! Have a great week.

*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose more than half a pound per week.

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