We've assembled a task force of staff from our Birmingham offices to try the Cooking Light Diet for 3 months and blog about it. Here's what they're saying.

------I have been using the Cooking Light Diet for almost a month now. My favorite aspect so far has surprisingly been breakfast. I have always been insistent on eating breakfast and the Diet supports this. I’ve found new ways to power up in the mornings along with my permanent two cups of black coffee. My favorites thus far have been Steel-Cut Oats with Warm Berry Compote, Brunch Parfaits, and Mini Ham & Cheese Frittatas. Most of the breakfasts clock in at 350 calories with my specified diet plan. They are healthy and keep me going until lunch easily.

As a solo person feeding myself, it is hard to mix meals up and not waste food. As a result, I’ve customized my meal plan to select recipes that best support this goal. Some of the recipes are easy to split in half or as casseroles can be frozen to enjoy later. One go-to I have found is the Spicy Chicken Pita Sandwiches, served with Grapes and a Mixed Greens Salad. Another, Eggs with Chickpeas, Spinach, & Tomato, is a no-brainer for me using staple ingredients I always keep on hand.

That brings me to the idea of having staple ingredients. On one hand, the nature of the Diet suggests you buy groceries for the week in advance, but in reality I rarely do this. The last thing I want to do is buy something and it go bad. Having back-up staple ingredients saves me the temptation of eating out when a trip to the grocery store doesn’t happen. Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes with Sautéed Lemony Broccolini and Wilted Spinach for sides is a yummy dinner, but unless I make a trip to the grocery store for fresh ingredients it isn’t going to happen. With yellow onion, lime, corn tortillas and cans of black beans, tomato paste, and vegetable broth in my pantry I am practically set to make Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas with Ranchero Sauce.

The Cooking Light Diet, in conjunction with using MyFitnessPal, has made me more conscious of my food choices. My approach has been to use it as an inspiration and rough guideline. Spontaneously, I may decide to get dinner with some friends one night, or decide I would rather have savory than sweet for breakfast. For me it is not about being on a diet, but rather being aware and mindful. Now time to cook steak tacos (with lime mayo!), Diet approved.

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