“It introduced me to a whole new world of good vegetarian recipes.”
Calling Joseph Stefani an outdoor enthusiast would be putting it mildly. For this head administrator at a small independent school in Bozeman, Montana, hiking trips and skiing excursions are just as much the norm for him as managing a group of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.
The 52-year-old has been an educator for 25 years and, after undergoing open-heart surgery in May 2015, Joseph’s new normal became transitioning into a vegetarian.
“When I made the decision to really start the Cooking Light Diet in earnest, I made a decision to stop eating meat,” Joseph said. “I’m doing fish and eggs on the Diet, but not any chicken, beef, or pork. I don’t take the menu for granted. I enjoy having the ability to go in and look through all the options for that day.”
Sticking with the Cooking Light Diet for almost seven months now is an easy choice for Joseph, due in large part to the freedom he’s had in planning a full day of healthy vegetarian meal options.
“By deciding to become a vegetarian at the start of this diet, it took a lot of the guesswork out for me in terms of finding recipes,” Joseph said. “It [the CLDiet] introduced me to a whole new world of good vegetarian recipes. I’m not sure if I would have had as easy of a time if I didn’t have someone out there picking them for me.”
In Joseph’s case, going meatless hasn’t been nearly as restrictive as some people would think.
“I was never sort of a burger and fries eater,” Joseph said. “Now, I’m much more conscious of a vegetarian dinner and what I want to do when I go into a restaurant. Part of what’s been good for me is that I feel full. I think what I’ve learned is that what I use to feel was overfull, and I mistook that for full.”
Not only does Joseph feel satisfied after eating the meals, but cooking for himself and his family has helped him with portion control and nutritional intake.
“I’ve always understood that portion control is key to good nutrition,” Joseph said. “What I like about this program is that I make a dinner that my wife and I eat completely. When we’re done, there are no leftovers and no second helping. The meal’s over.”
Even though Joseph joined the Cooking Light Diet initially to lose weight, he’s always been a bit hesitant to discuss his weight-loss success.
“I find that weight-loss is a personal thing and the way you go about it is personal, too,” Joseph said. “I don’t tell people that I essentially lost 40 pounds* between July and November. If anybody asks me how I managed to lose this weight, I’m happy to tell them. I’ve always been an active person, but now I’m approaching it in a different way.”
Aside from the weight-loss success, Joseph is also really enjoying the menu variety we strive for in our customized meal plans.
“I’ve been introduced to all sorts of things I didn’t know about that I’m loving,” Joseph said. "That’s what I enjoy about being in the kitchen—doing things I’ve never done before."
Thanks for sharing your story, Joseph!
*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose more than half a pound per week.
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