"I think when you find something that is just what you wanted it to be, and when you are pleasantly surprised at the outcome, it just feels like a good match."
Some people have skills. Like, real skills. Mine include being able to pull random movie quotes out of midair, being ridiculously good at Halo (now retired and recovering), and burning popcorn. Whether or not those are actual skills is entirely up for debate, but Jennifer Owen of Kalispell, MT, does have at least one awesome skill. She hand dyes luxury yarn for a knitting shop in the valley, creating color formulas using citric acid. To someone that
skillfully burns popcorn, that is impressive, y'all. (You can check out her colorful wears at their online shop, Polkadotsheep.com)
One skill Jennifer hadn't quite mastered before joining the Cooking Light Diet, though, was healthy meal planning. And she was hesitant about trying the options out there.
"I grew up eating meat and potatoes," Jennifer said. "I love to cook, but that's typically what I cooked—pretty heavy, stick-to-your-ribs kind of food. And I really wanted my husband and I to eat better. But I was always very unhappy with what I'd seen of other people doing diets. I mean, I've seen anything from people on cabbage soup and lemon water to the more popular ones like paleo."
The prevalence of deprivation-dieting and eating unappetizing meals for the sake of being "healthier" did not appeal to Jennifer one iota.
"I'm very much of the 'everything in moderation' mindset, so those diets that cut out swaths of food groups don't work for me. And on paleo we felt really deprived a lot of the time, and it just wasn't going to work."
Jennifer's trepidation towards trying something new in the kitchen waned considerably once she and her husband Dan joined the CLDiet back in January 2016.
"Since we started...it's perfect," Jennifer said. "It's perfect for people that like food, frankly. That's the best way I describe it to everybody. And we don't really call it a diet, because we don't feel like we're on one. It's one that you can maintain forever, which is what I wanted. I didn't want some weight-loss thing and then go right back to what we were doing before, because it doesn't make sense."
What does make sense to Jennifer is how much better she and Dan feel now that they've made the commitment to eat the Cooking Light Diet way.
"Because now our diet is quite a bit more well-balanced than it was before, we have just a general feeling...we just feel better. We're more energetic," Jennifer said. "We go on a lot more long walks in the evening than we had been doing before. I don't know if it's because you're motivated because you're eating well, I don't know if it's because we really do feel better eating the food. It's just better food. But, you know, you're eating well. You might as well get out and be energetic. So, yeah, it's been motivating."
The manner in which the meals come together so quickly has also amazed and motivated Jennifer, who admittedly was taken aback at how speedily a Cooking Light recipe can be prepared. She's glad she has the extra time to focus on more important things than prepping in the kitchen all day.
"I'm definitely queen of the two-a-day, really hard recipes," Jennifer laughed. "I love that stuff, and so doing these recipes, that are fully doable when you come home and you're tired—30 to 45 minutes at most, everything is so simple... It sounds really weird, but I literally didn't think that was possible, making something that tasted that good in that amount of time."
[Insert humble brag for the brilliant minds of our recipe developers here: ____.]
In hindsight, Jennifer is really happy they've found the Cooking Light Diet, and has been quick to tell anyone who'll listen that they should join.
"My family has been laughing," Jennifer chuckled. "They say that I'm a walking advertisement, because all I do is talk about how awesome this is. I'm sure they're really tired of me telling them, to be honest. [But] when I saw the ads for the Cooking Light Diet, it just seemed like a number of things I wanted all in one package. It was going to help us eat better in a more well-rounded way, it was going to help me with the meal planning and the budgeting, and it was going to help us lose weight. So it really checked all the boxes."
Glad we could check those boxes, Jennifer! Are you looking for a healthier approach to how you eat? Be like Jennifer and Dan and join the growing Cooking Light Diet community today.
*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose more than half a pound per week.
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