How do you drain a lake? (and other inspiration thoughts!)

Sometimes … you just gotta start.  There are times where … you need to begin.  Get rolling.  Do it.  Get started!  There’s always a reason not to do something.  Sometimes, you’ve just got to throw a stake in the ground and say, “NOW!”

One of my many talents is making excuses.  I make a mean bowl of soup, but I’m even better at rationalizing why doing something important might be better served for another day.  I excel at procrastination, waiting, delaying and … convincing myself it’s for the best.  I’ve got other stuff going on!

I mention this for a few reasons …

I worked with a BRILLIANT Pastry Chef, a few years back.  His name is Aaron Lindgren.  Last I heard, he was in Chicago, making tasty deliciousness.  Probably it’s best that us low carbers avoid Aaron like the plague, but … the guy could do things with chocolate, that I’d never even heard of.  He was always making these beautiful shapes with it, then painting it, dusting it, twirling it, etc. He was a young, thin, intense man with long fiery red hair and a tight, narrow strangely shaped beard.  He was incredibly well read and disciplined.  He gave the best and expected the best.  I listened to this man often (and boy could he talk!). 

Anywhoo … I was struggling with a project.  If memory serves, I needed to do inventory, it was New Year’s Eve, and my mind was elsewhere.  Aaron looked at me and said, “DJ, how do you drain a lake?”


“How do you drain a lake?” he asked again, tapping his fingers, waiting for my dull response.

“Um … with a hose and a really steep hill?”

“One drop at a time, ” he said, with a twinkle in his piercing red eyes.

I don’t know why exactly, but that line hit me hard.  I’ve carried it with me, ever since. 

This blog, my diet, going to the gym, learning to surf, completing my growing list of personal tasks that need done, etc.  Each of these things could benefit by that simple wisdom. 

I interpret this line as, “Get started!  It doesn’t matter where.  It doesn’t matter how well you do it, but … get started.  Do it!  Pick a drop … any drop … and remove it.  Then, another.  And, another!”

I tried to lose weight for years.  I would always delay getting serious about it.  I knew the answer, but I just didn’t want to face it.  Eat less … exercise more.  I know, I know.  I would half heartedly start parking my car at the far end of the McDonald’s parking lot … you know … to force myself to walk a little further.  I’d switch to diet drinks.  I would go on the “Subway Diet” and pound sandwich after sandwich.  I never really stuck with any of it.  I never really threw my all into it. 

I’d remove a drop, but … would struggle with the rest of them.

After the first drop, comes another.

Once you get started, you’ve got to focus on that second drop!

Then, a third!

One drop at a time …

It’s been my experience that continually removing the drops, in time, will drain the lake.  It’s really just a matter of removing that first drop, then … continuing to do so.

This blog post is … my first drop.  Next Friday, I will take another.  The following Friday, I will take a third.  Each drop will include 7 new recipes and a new blog post!

Each drop should find more clarity and focus, just as my weight loss did.  I got better at it, and more serious.  My diet evolved into a new way of eating.  My health improved.  I could go further, faster.  I honed in on my goals and worked to achieve them and WANTED to achieve them.  My desire grew, from seemingly nothing.

This blog and website is something I’ve been thinking about for years.  I’ve been tinkering with the idea for months, and have been photographing my meals.  I’ve been slowly absorbing some web geek coding skills.  I’ve been talking a lot of talk and walking “a little” walk, but … haven’t thrown my stake in the ground … until now.

This first post, in several years, is … my imperfect, fuzzy, out of focus first drop.  This is my stake in the ground.  With time, this blog, this website, my recipes and my vision will take shape, with your help, your feedback and your guidance.

Drop 1.


Next week, I’m going to talk about my weight loss goals!  Drop 2!

ALL NEW Weekly Recipes!

Sesame-Ginger Chicken and Veggie Soup Sumo Style! Sesame-Ginger Chicken and Veggie Soup
This one has an odd history of development. Its inception started with the one-pot meal concept of “Chanko-Nabe”, which is a sort of Japanese stew fed to Sumo Wrestlers … so they can gain weight! Mine isn’t intended for that purpose, so don’t fret. Chanko-Nabe often contains noodles and is served in massive portions with beer and rice (as part of the Sumo Wrestlers’ diet). I’m not suggesting you eat like a Sumo Wrestler, but I AM saying that this soup must be good, if Sumo Wrestlers are so able and willing to eat such large quantities of it!
Simple Southern Style Braised Greens Simple Southern Style Braised Greens
There are far more elaborate and time consuming versions of this dish. You can add all sorts of other riddles and games, such as chilies, beer, molasses, ham hocks, vinegar, onions, apples, nuts, etc. While these things are all great (REALLY great, on occasion!), I’m going to go with a “quick and dirty” version, comprising of … greens and … bacon! Nothing else!
Dijon-Caper Cream Sauce Dijon-Caper Cream Sauce
I eat a lot of mustard. In general, there are a lot of strong and spicy flavors that tend to go along with this way of eating. I suppose it’s because strong, concentrated flavors like mustard have a big taste impact, while having a very low impact on the blood sugar! As a result, I get a lot of herby and/or spicy dishes. Mustard seeds and capers are two ingredients that fall into this category quite well.
Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
I LOVE to wrap stuff in bacon! Pork wrapped pork is an all time favorite! I doubt it will be long before I’m bacon wrapping bacon stuffed pork! The day I start wrapping bacon and stuffing it with bacon … I’ll know I’ve gone too far, but … until then … this is a VERY tender, moist, quick and simple pork roast. It’s got 2 main ingredients and can be assembled and cooked in minutes. Yet, it somehow never fails to impress!
Old Fashioned Chicken Stock Good Ol’ Fashioned Chicken Stock
I’m not going to lie to you good people. I personally almost always use a low-sodium/natural chicken stock from a carton, rather than making my own. When I’m looking for an even more “familiar” flavor, I’ll go with some powdered form of chicken base. It’s quick, salty and common in so many dishes and restaurants that it’s almost become the NEW “homemade” flavor, sad to say … even though I love it.
Sinful Crimini of Mushroom Soup Sinful Crimini of Mushroom Soup
This soup is fantastic! It’s so rich and creamy. With these baby portobello mushrooms, it almost becomes MEATY! A wonderful soup and can be served for any meal, whether it be a simple dinner for 1, the full family, or a nice special meal!
Pesto alla Genovese Pesto alla Genovese
Pesto (a word stemming from the Italian word for “pounded”) is that bright green paste-like stuff that tastes great on pretty much everything. It’s up there with bacon and Heinz Ketchup, in terms of a perfect flavor. It’s a very traditional sauce originating in Northern Italy. It’s basically a mixture of basil, pine nuts and cheese, but the combination is OH so much more than the sum of its parts!

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