My Story

My story, huh?

It's probably less interesting to know where I am, right now, than it is to know where I've been. On March 18th, 2010, I was fed up. Life was bad, I thought I was diabetic, slowly dying and … was generally a mess. I sat down, determined to change my life, and wrote a few words to myself about "how I feel".

Those words are here: I'm fat, sick, sad, diabetic and it hurts to walk. Oh yeah, life sucks, too!

I suggest reading that, before you read much further. Really. Go back and click that link, before you go any further. None of this matters, if you don't go read that first post.

For those that read it, and wondered if I AM diabetic ... it turns out that I'm not, thankfully! The fact that I thought I was, was probably what saved me. The change to my diet probably prevented it. I visited the doctor after I'd lost about 100 lbs. and had great blood chemistry. Whew! That was a load off!

Also of note: How I lost 100 lbs. in 7 months and 2 Days!

About Me

I'm a non-descript mildly pudgy, late 30's, middle of the road white dude, with random scruffy facial hair and a fear of wild dogs. I would describe myself as intelligent, mostly creative and potentially funny, but ... not quite. I like to cook and I like to play with computers, but … it could be said that I'm not great at either. I also like to write. I like to tinker and read. I'm a bit of a Jack of all Trades, but … a Master of None.

As children, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, most children say something glamorous like, "Policeman!" or "Ambulance Chaser!". I said, "Chef!" I don't know why, but suspect it has something to do with my grandmother, who's an amazing cook in her own right.

That sealed the deal. From that point forward, for Christmas and birthdays, I would get cookbooks, aprons and egg slicers as gifts. In school, guidance counselors would steer me towards classes involving cooking (ie. "Home Economics"). I won a salad making contest at a young age. I started working in restaurants at about 13 years old.

I attended the Culinary Institute of America at 18 years old, determined to be a Chef.

In the 90's, I worked for some of the best chefs on the West Coast, including Wolfgang Puck, David & Anne Gingrass and Tom Douglas. During this time, I would build websites for friends and other businesses, as a way to network within the restaurant industry. Not many chefs could do it. It was a great way to meet and be met!

While in Seattle, I was offered an interesting opportunity via a company my father was starting. It was an internet radio station, LONG before the concept of a "PodCast" existed. This was 1998. I don't believe there was a word for it, yet, but … I did it and it was fun! It was a blend of talking, joking, researching, cooking and explaining cooking techniques to a live radio audience. My on-air personality was named "DJ Foodie". Hence, the name of this website. Some day, I may post some old shows!

From there, I moved to as the "Manager of Special Projects". During my stay at Allrecipes, I focused on increasing the knowledge base of the site. They had a lot of recipes, at the time, but very little "how to" type of information. I helped get more information and created a lot of tips. I also assisted in adding nutritional analysis to each of their recipes.

Since then, I've alternated between building websites, to make money, and working in professional kitchens … because I love it!

I moved to San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico (about 20 miles away from Cabo San Lucas), about 7 years ago. My intent was to open a restaurant. A wise friend suggested I start a catering company, instead. I did!

Unfortunately, I needed to work a separate full time job in order to pay the bills. The catering company was difficult to maintain, while working another full time job, in another country, where I was spotty with the local language. To top it off, I continued to overextend myself by building a house. Yikes!

Around this time, the economy tanked. Swine flu hit. Mexican drug wars became big news and tourism dried up. The catering company did poorly, while I was endlessly stressed, trying to hold it all together, sitting, widening, working behind a computer and eating … eating … eating. I literally ate myself into a corner.

In March of 2010, I'd hit a weight of 352 lbs. I had just shut down my catering company. I was very unhealthy, had all kinds of pains in my body, couldn't walk any great distance and couldn't stand for extended periods of time. My vision was fading, I thought I was diabetic and was very probably depressed. Life wasn't good for me.

Over the course of that first 6 months, I lost almost exactly 100 lbs. The following year, I continued to lose roughly 40 more lbs. I'm 5' 9" and have been hovering around 215 lbs. for over a year.

Life is now good! I live on the beach, I have an amazing collection of friends, I'm learning to surf, I eat well, and I exercise almost daily.

Before and After Photos!

What good "was once a fat guy" website would be complete without the obligatory before and after photos! Sorry there arent't that many ... I've never felt very photogenic, resulting in a slim selection of photos. Enjoy, but ... BE NICE!

Website Goals

This website is intended to keep me focused on my goals. I'd like to go the extra mile and drop at least 30 more lbs.

When I was first losing weight, I stalled … twice. Once was only a few months into the change. I discovered, and started reading and interacting. I changed my diet to a more Atkin's style way of eating and QUICKLY started shedding weight. I participated in the discussion forums for a good while. Interestingly, when I stopped participating, I stopped losing weight! I've been stuck at 215 lbs. for about a year. Granted, it's been a great year, but I'd like to lose that last little bit.

Rather than stay at this weight, I'd like to focus on that last 30 lbs. This site should help keep me on track. Hopefully, it should also help YOU, should you stumble across this site and find my recipes, pictures and words … kind of interesting.

The Recipes

The recipes are the real meals that I've actually been cooking and eating for the past few years. Many of these I cook and eat regularly. Mostly, they're simple fare and quick to prepare. While I love to cook, I don't often have the time to spend hours in the kitchen. As a result, most of these recipes tend to be fast, simple, healthy and … mostly importantly … TASTY!

The photos are all intended to be basic representations of the food. I didn't want to overdo the photos, for fear of intimidating people. They should be simple, delicious looking and approachable. I want people to feel that they CAN DO THIS! YOU CAN DO THIS! YOU CAN!!

Some recipes are very basic and simple, like sauces. Some aren't even recipes at all, but suggestions disguised as recipes (usually snacks). Some recipes are more advanced and can be used for when guests are visiting, you want to impress, but you don't want to break your diet!

Ultimately, I'll have a large assortment of recipes, with a goal of 1-a-day, for a year. In a year … we'll see what happens. For now … it's GAME ON!

The Nutrition

You can click a link at the base of any recipe to learn more about how the nutrition all works. In short, I'm putting a lot of time and effort into giving accurately evaluated recipes. They are far from perfect and not perfectly accurate, but the overall average should be VERY good. In fact, I'm focused on presenting what are often referred to as "Hidden" carbs, as well!

When I count my carbs, I very rarely include spices or sugar alcohols in my count (I usually discount 50% off from sugar alcohols, except erythritol which I don't count, at all). As a result, there are some hidden carbs in the foods that I eat. It's possible that my own personal method of counting is lacking a further 20% of hidden carbs. The recipes on this website will expose all of those carbs, to give a more realistic, thus SAFER and more reliable, count of net carbs! If you count like I do … perhaps you can subtract 20% of the total net carbs for any recipe, to find your own personal sweet spot.

Just an idea. Whatever works, right?

To learn more about me, this site, or anything else, I suggest looking around, cooking the recipes, reading the blog and participating in discussions within various pages, blogs and recipes.

FINALLY, make sure you register to receive 7 new recipes, silly words of informative goodness from me and … whatever else I may choose to add to the blog on any given week.

Register for weekly updates at the top of any page.

Stay Classy, San Diego!

- DJ