When beginning a new diet it's sometimes easy to miss the forest for the trees. Sure, the results might be desirable, but what if the food…isn't? No one should have to suffer through bland or prepackaged meals to achieve their personal goals. Especially someone dedicated to bringing smiles to others through culinary craftsmanship.
Don't take our word for it, though. Ask Anna Roberts, resident Sugar Alchemist and Chocolatier at McCrea's Candies outside of Boston. Anna, a graduate from Le Cordon Bleu, makes indescribably delicious handmade candies (thanks again for the caramels, Anna!) and has found inspiration to live a healthier lifestyle and better manage her hectic schedule through the Cooking Light Diet. I recently asked her how someone who plies their trade in a kitchen can get the most out of our plan. Here's what she had to say.
Matthew: Would you say this plan has helped you in terms of planning your week and feeling more in control of what you're eating?Anna: I think it has. For me, the really big piece is not having to put my own thought and effort into it. I think a lot of people make assumptions that just because you're a chef you have a fridge full of great food just waiting for you. And that's not the case. Half the time I don't even want to think about it when I get home, and it's nice to have someone else really doing the thinking for me. [Laughs]
It makes a big difference overall. The menu planning…helps keep me on track so that I know, "Okay, I'm exhausted. I don't want to go home and cook, but I have this recipe and all the ingredients there waiting for me." Because if I'm missing an ingredient—if I forgot to buy something at the store—I won't even bother. It's too much effort having to stop and pick up the one thing you forgot to buy for your meal. And then what ends up happening is I just waste food and…I'll grab a bowl of cereal or something instead. This [Cooking Light Diet] makes it a lot easier to have a foolproof pantry and fridge just ready to go.
M: Are you still dining out as much as you did prior to joining?A: I would say once or twice a week at the very most, which is great because it used to be a lot more than that. Sometimes I would just eat out every meal because I couldn't bother to go grocery shopping or make the menu plan for myself. This definitely helps me to prepare more meals at home, which saves money and time as well. [When you work in a kitchen], the last thing you want to do is go home and cook anything, but this inspires me. I've been spending my Sundays kind of preparing, or at least partially preparing, a few of the recipes. Because, come morning time, I leave my house at 4:30 a.m. on the days I work both jobs. So I just want to be able to grab my lunch and have it ready to go.
M: Has there been a recipe you've made that stands out?A: Yeah! Two nights ago I made the Ginger-Soy Chicken Thighs with Scallion Rice. It was awesome! It was so fast—I looked at the recipe four times because I thought, "Surely I'm missing something!" [Laughs] It was so easy, and it was delicious, and would definitely take the place of Chinese takeout in my menu.
M: As a chef who's in a kitchen all day, what do you like about the recipes in the Cooking Light Diet?A: I love that they're super easy, and they're fast. I've never had a Cooking Light recipe that's ever failed me in any respect. They're always delicious and really well thought out. To me, it's one of the most trustworthy sources for a recipe I've ever, ever used. In my entire cooking experience, Cooking Light is something I've always gone back to, no matter what, because I feel like I can trust you guys. The flavors are progressive, they're not boring, and they're not standard. You use interesting ingredients and trendy ingredients sometimes which is really nice. I find a lot of inspiration from you guys!
M: Have you had any success with your weight loss goals so far?A: Not yet*. [Laughs]…It takes a little time to get your feet under you, get your balance…rework your diet, and get your mind wrapped around a different way of doing things. So it wasn't my expectation necessarily that I was going to all of a sudden lose a bunch of weight right away. Looking at things in the big picture, it's something that takes a little time, and that's okay. I like the idea of having a more balanced life as a whole, even if that means slightly slower weight loss. Because I know for the long run it's going to be a better plan than just jumping into something for a quick fix. Quick fixes don't work in the end. It's more of a lifestyle. That's kind of what I'm going for.
M: Is this something you'd use even after meeting your personal goals?A: Oh, absolutely. This makes things so much easier… I can just go online, I'm given a beautiful selection of recipes to choose from, and then I have a Shopping List. It's like magic! [Laughs] It's perfect for me.
If you’d like to know more about the Cooking Light Diet, visit CookingLightDiet.com, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you! Have a great week.