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  • Healthy Eating 101: “It’s Not a Diet. It’s Changing How You Eat.”

    Posted September 29th, 2017 by


    Ken and Jessica Hess are professional chefs. They both graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, and Ken has gone on to win worldwide accolades via Big Bob Gibson BBQ in Decatur, AL. When they’re not cooking for a living, they’re living to cook at home with their kids— Ali (12), Maya (2 1/2), and Obi (sixteen months). And it’s their lives that, in part, convinced Ken and Jess to hop on the healthy eating wagon and join the Cooking Light Diet.

    “We needed to change how we eat,” Ken said. “Plus, with Ali getting older she’s going to want to watch what she eats, and we need to set a good example for her. And also [for] the little ones as they get older.”


    Previous experience with Cooking Light made them both confident that the Diet would provide a healthy eating foundation for the whole family.

    One of the recipes Ken and Jess have prepared on their healthy eating campaign, courtesy of the Cooking Light Diet.

    Sticky Asian Chicken Wings. Photo: Ken Hess

    “Anything you’re craving, you can find in Cooking Light,” Ken said. “You can go to MyRecipes, type it in, and you’re going to find the Cooking Light version of it. That’s one of the really cool things for the family—’Well, I want lasagna,’ or, ‘Well, I really want tacos.’ Whatever it’s going to be, you guys have done it. Whether it’s banana bread, or cookies if the kids might want cookies…they don’t know that we’re doing a diet plan. They just know this is what dinner is tonight. And that’s something we love about it.”

    Ken said the fact the recipes are so flavorful doesn’t hurt, either, nor does the weight-loss success he and Jess have experienced. Combined, they’ve lost 115 pounds* using the Cooking Light Diet. And Ken will be the first to tell you he doesn’t think that name (Cooking Light Diet) accurately conveys exactly what this service is.


    One of the recipes Ken and Jess have prepared on their healthy eating campaign, courtesy of the Cooking Light Diet.

    Bacon and Shrimp Pasta Toss. Photo: Ken Hess

    “I think it’s not a diet. It’s changing how you eat,” Ken said. “Whenever I hear, ‘Oh, well you’re on a diet,’… You know, I’ve never been on a diet where I can eat ice cream, eat bacon, eat bread, eat potatoes, eat sauces. But I’ve changed—our family has changed—how we eat. I used to grill four one-pound ribeye steaks for, at the time, a 10-year old, a 14-month old just starting to eat solid food, a baby, and the two of us [Ken and Jess, his wife]. And four one-pound steaks would be gone by the end of the night. Now? We cook 1 one-pound steak for five of us. It’s a huge difference in how we look at what we’re cooking. Instead of pulling four steaks out of the freezer, we pull one out. And it’s just a different way of healthy eating, and looking at how much food we were eating. Now I wouldn’t even think about pulling four steaks out of the freezer for the five of us.”


    Ken and Jess are now prepared to continue the Cooking Light Diet  for the long run. That is, if Ken has anything to say about it. He knows teaching the kids about portion control and healthy eating now will pay dividends in the future.

    “The way we’re eating now is more how we want to stay eating as a family,” Ken said. “Not just for our own personal health, but also so we raise three children that know how to eat properly. I think that’s something—not just as well as my physical health—but I want to be there for my grandchildren. And I also don’t want to see my children struggle with weight like I did. It’s more of wanting to raise our family and be healthy for all of us.”

    Glad we could help, Ken. Keep up the great work!

    *Members following the Cooking Light Dieton average, lose more than half a pound per week. To learn more about the Cooking Light Diet, visit the Facebook Community