On the occasion of our 25th year, we asked readers to let us know how the magazine had made a difference. Here, a few letters from the many we received. Want to share your own story of how Cooking Light has made a difference in your life? Email us at

Eleven years ago, as a young newlywed, I relied on my mom’s back issues of Cooking Light to learn the basics of good, healthy cooking. Cooking Light has been with me at key points in my life. ….helping me eat healthier and lighter and lose the baby weight after having two children; being my go-to resource when I needed to find the perfect foods for family celebrations and occasions, both happy and sad. I’ve realized that food and flavor can be an expression of joy but also can lend a small moment of pleasure or comfort in times of sorrow.Allyson MartinAurora, Illinois

I requested an iPad for my birthday so I could have you with me in the kitchen.   I don’t know what I’d do without you.  You are the first place I look when I need some ideas for recipes. Through the years I have lost 25 pounds using your recipes, and my hubby won a “biggest loser” contest at work because I only used your recipes.Karen WardTucson, Arizona

In 1998 a friend asked me to join her on a Cooking Light Cruise. With another friend from Indianapolis and one from Texas, we didn't know what a great adventure it really would be. Once on board, we met another group of four ladies from New Jersey. A good time was had by all—eating touring, swimming, laughing and singing Do Wop, we built the foundation of a lifelong friendship. We kept in touch by e-mail and an individual visit or two until the events of 9/11 reminded us of how fleeting and precious relationships can be.  Since then we have been getting together a least once a year, in Texas, Long Island, Indianapolis, the Jersey Shore, and Florida. We've gotten a little older, but we still have just as much fun together. It's a bond that we all find rewarding and life affirming. So, thank you Cooking Light, for bringing us together. It has changed our lives for the better in many ways. We will drink a toast to you in Sag Harbor this August!Libby D'AltonIndianapolis, Indiana

You have made my kitchen the happiest and most rewarding place to be. I’m looking forward to more and more issues of your magazine to read. Happy 25th anniversary!Marianna TsouchlosAcworth, Georgia

Quite simply, Cooking Light helped to save my life! Cooking Light has been a driver in igniting my passion for food, health, and cooking. Over five years later, I am a loyal subscriber, maintaining a 130-pound weight loss, and I'm a beast in the kitchen. Thanks for the nudge and for always keeping it interesting, fresh, and light!LeeAnne Mullins-HudakPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania

From the pages of CL, I expanded our horizons and learned a new way of cooking -- and a new healthy lifestyle. I have so many tried-and-true favorite recipes from over the years that I now share with our family and friends. Thank you, Cooking Light!Kim SchuttWindsor, Colorado

Before I discovered Cooking Light as a young college student, I knew nothing about nutrition or cooking, much less healthful, delicious food preparation. My upbringing put me at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Now, as a new mom, I have a new heritage for my daughter; a joyful relationship with food that will enrich all areas of her life.April RoberdsFort Worth, Texas

Cooking Light has changed my life by not only teaching me how to be a better and more adventuresome cook but by adding some wonderful friendships to my life. Six years ago one of my friends, Jane, decided to start a Cooking Light Club. This club consists of about 12 gals who love to cook and live healthy lifestyles. With the help of Cooking Light and my girlfriends, I can now proudly say, "I love cooking and can tackle cooking just about anything!" I have ventured out and tried cooking things I thought I would never try making!Rhonda SaffordHelena, Montana

Although I have only been alive for 18 out of your 25 years, we grew up together. When I was younger,  I remember "cooking" my first recipe from your pages with the "help" of my mom. Now, a few of your well-loved cookbooks are packed in my bags, and I know that as I leave home for college, each recipe I cook from your pages will bring with it a new experience and a memory of home.Katelyn HennesSan Diego, California

You guys are amazing! I picked up the January/February copy at the beginning of this year, and our lives have been forever changed. With an exercise regimen and most of our meals coming directly from Cooking Light, we’ve managed to lose 40+ and 20 pounds, respectively. And we’re still losing! I look forward to receiving my new issue every month, and especially love trying the remakes of fattening classics. I’m preparing Po’Boys right now! You’ve truly helped change our lives, and you’re even helping us shape our son to have healthy eating habits. I can’t thank you enough.Yvonne MalickAbingdon, Maryland

I realize now that a huge part of my struggle with my weight in the past was because I was afraid of cooking. With clear instruction and encouragement, Cooking Light has given me the inspiration and confidence to prepare new and interesting meals on my own, every day. Right now there's a fresh batch of Chocolate, Fig, and Marsala Pastries cooling on the wire rack, begging to be enjoyed.Tina SweepMadison, Wisconsin

My husband and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this fall, and Cooking Light has been a part of our cooking adventures the entire time. I treasure my constantly expanding list of Cooking Light recipes collected over the years that are now family go-to favorites. These include Cheddar Chicken Chowder, Hearty Lasagna, Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta, Beef Daube Provencal, Mocha Fudge Pie, and Chocolate Decadence. My two teenagers have grown up eating Cooking Light recipes. Thanks for helping us eat more deliciously and healthfully over the years!Tracey MelnickState College, Pennsylvania

Cooking Light has changed my life. Really. Over two years ago, I was obese. Then, in May 2010, I decided to do something about it. Inspired by CL’s monthly focus on exercise, I upped my daily exercise routine. Then, I began eating sensible but small meals during the day and rewarded myself with a CL dinner every evening. I cut out snacks but did not skimp on my CL dinner. In just over a year, I dropped 65 pounds. I’ve continued that pattern, using a CL recipe nearly every night, and have kept the weight off. Thank you for giving me what I needed to get this done: the tools, the inspiration, the information.Shirley WiegandTallahassee, Florida