We’ve assembled a task force of staff from our Birmingham offices, which include sister brands Southern Living, Coastal Living, MyRecipes, and Oxmoor House, to try the Cooking Light Diet for 3 months and blog about it. Here’s what they’re saying.Southern momma’s aren’t big on dieting—but they do know when good cookin’ is good cookin’.

My mom visited me in Alabama this weekend all the way from my great home state of North Carolina. I planned to take her out to all the Birmingham foodie spots and listed every greasy spoon and gourmet grub within a 20-mile radius for her savory Southern taste. But in true Deacon family fashion, we ate home-cooked meals every evening. I guess I’ve been away from home for too long, because, in all my weekend planning, I failed to account for the fact that my mother is the single greatest cook I have ever known. Whenever we go out to eat, she says, “I could make this… but better.”

She has a keen (and seemingly magical) ability of knowing exactly which ingredients to combine to create an efficient, nutritious, and flavorful meal. She’d tell you that there’s a difference between a cook and someone who cooks. By her own definition, she is the former—a dash of this, a scoop of that, combine to taste—I haven’t seen her follow a recipe in years. I’m not sure if her skills are learned or inherited, but if delicious cooking is a genetic trait, then I’m sorry to report that it is a recessive one. If there was a cooking equivalent to tone-deaf, my experience in the kitchen would embody it. I’m clueless about spices, worthless in terms of taste pairing, and helpless without a measuring cup.

I’m a fairly healthy eater by nature. A long-sufferer of lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome, food sensitivities are no stranger to me. So when I took up the Cooking Light Diet about a month ago, I wasn’t so much looking for a guide to eating healthier… I was looking for direction in making my healthy food taste better. Not only do all of its suggested recipes taste great, but the Cooking Light Diet gives me ideas for recipes that I never would have tried otherwise. My repertoire has expanded, and I’m excited to watch it grow. Most of the meals can be made ahead and parceled out throughout the week which, as someone who works full time and tries to lead a pretty active lifestyle outside of the 9-to-5, is one of my favorite features. I also save time in the store with my ready-made shopping lists, so I can spend more of my Sundays watching footba—ahem, I mean working out. (Go Panthers!)

On the last night of mom’s stay, I brought a little of my own Cooking Light Diet-inspired knowledge to the dinner table with Parmesan Zucchini Sticks. She approved, so I knew it was some good cooking. Maybe someday I’ll even be able to make them without the recipe in front of me. By heart...just like mom.

 --------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.

More Cooking Light Diet Success Stories: