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.

When it comes to food choices, no one could accuse me of being too exciting. As a vegetarian of ten years and a somewhat particular (okay, picky) eater for as long as I can remember, I’m all too apt to find a few meals I love and know meet all my nutrition requirements, and repeat them over and over. That was the main reason the Cooking Light Diet appealed to me: To get me to branch out of my grain + bean + vegetable = dinner rut. And although my newly minted fiancé is all too eager to continue right on that same path (who would have thought I’d meet a Southern boy so excited about plant-based meals?), it seemed like time that we explore some new options. With a little help, that is. Because planning a wedding means a few things:

  • The free time we might have previously spent planning our meals and grocery lists? Yeah, not so much anymore. Instead, we’re planning the dinner our friends and family will eat almost a year from now and making guest lists. Which is wonderful, but doesn’t solve that “It’s 6 p.m. on a Wednesday and I’m starving” conundrum.
  • Any previous budget we might have had for meals out on the nights we didn’t plan ahead is instead going straight to the wedding/honeymoon fund.
  • Planning ahead is key. Without a little advanced prep work, stress-induced trips to the vending machine for sugary treats or late-night pantry raids on days I didn’t have enough to eat could leave me feeling run-down and less than eager about slipping into a wedding dress in front of everyone I know.

In my first month of using the Cooking Light Diet, I’ve made some extremely flavorful meals I had never even considered before. My favorite so far has been the “Cheesy Southwestern Spud,” which is a baked potato topped with beans, cheese, and other delicious accoutrements. It tastes like the ultimate comfort food, but it’s packed with protein and fresh, healthy ingredients.

But I also love that being on the plan doesn’t mean eating exclusively new things, and that some of the meals are as simple to make as spreading peanut butter on a piece of toast or adding fruit to Greek yogurt. It’s been a good balance for me of simple, tried-and-true favorites and delicious, satiating meals that are fun to experiment with. And luckily for my routine-loving ways, the plan does let you repeat your favorite meals. Maybe there is such a thing as having it all…or at least, all of the cheesy potatoes.--------

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.

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