Well, today was the day of reckoning. I knew this day was coming. I put it off for as long as I could. Now the deadline was fast approaching for me to eat some fish and write about my experience. I flipped through all my Cooking Light Annual Cookbooks looking for the perfect recipe. Something intriguing. Something enticing. Something to pique my curiosity about... fish. Oh, yeah. I haven't eaten fish since I left home some 24 years ago. My last memory of fish was a tuna sandwich (Bumble Bee, of course) under lots of lettuce doused in mayonnaise. Yuck.

So I made my way, with much trepidation, t

o the fresh fish case of the local Whole Foods. "I need some fish," I said, my voice wavering. "I'll take the smallest piece of tilapia that you have." As the man behind the counter wrapped up my experiment, I tried not to look at the whole fish laying nearby, with their beady little eyes staring blankly back at me.

I settled on Five Spice Tilapia with Citrus Ponzu Sauce from Cooking Light’s 2007 Cookbook. I followed the advice from the September issue: Use a mild fish. Check. Use bold flavors. Check. Cook outdoors. Check. (I deviated from the recipe and wrapped it in foil and grilled it outdoors.) I placed the finished product on my plate, accompanied by steamed broccoli with a squeeze of orange juice on top, to tie the flavors together. The fish wasn't going to get into my mouth by magic, so here goes…

I can report that I survived. I even ate the whole thing. Am I a convert? Well, let's take it one bite at a time. This was a huge step for me after 24 years. I might think twice about passing up a fish dish at my next luau. Maybe. The Chicken with Balsamic-Fig Sauce on the same page looks so much more inviting to me.