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About

My Philosophy of Food:

  • Create food for yourself and loved ones to make you smile inside & out.
  • Use seasonal produce and fresh ingredients.
  • Learn a few basic techniques that are highly versatile.
  • Minimize kitchen clean-up.

My Philosophy of Life:

  • Take responsibility for your life.
  • Create your joy.
  • Surround yourself with people who lift you up.
  • Learn from others.
  • Share what you know.
  • Sing, in the key you were given.

Who I am:

  Greetings, everyone. I’m Judy Weintraub –  wife, daughter, sister, aunt & friend. I’m a writer and   educator with a lifelong passion for food and thrilled to be here.

I live with my husband Joel (my Novio). We’re grateful to live in a neighborhood that’s both green and friendly in Los Angeles.

When I’m at farmers’ markets, I can’t always resist caressing the goods. As my brother-in-law noted in his wedding speech to us in ’07, “Joel, watch out, you might lose her to an eggplant.”

So I welcome you to join me in this adventure. For old friends and new, here comes a bumbleberry breeze wafting into your kitchen.

You can reach me at:

bbreezeinfo(at)gmail(dot)com

UPDATE:

April 2013

This week, I celebrate an anniversary that completely humbles me. It is 38 years since my first dialysis treatment. Even though my kidneys slowed down to the point that I needed and continue to need this therapy, it is this very therapy that opened the door for me to go on. To go on with school. To receive my degrees. To teach. To learn. To help others.  To fall in love. To turn my attention and creativity to my life-long passion for food.

There are always pros and cons. For years I made the case for compartmentalization in my life. My rationale made perfect sense. I didn’t want to be known as the kidney girl. I was, of course, wanting to be defined for who I was and not for a body part. And one that didn’t work. Give me a break.

But that took me only so far. I had experiences that no one in my peer group in high school was having  (and oh, how I didn’t want to be having them). But I was seeing and experiencing things that were informing how I viewed the world.

I, who had always been excited about food, was, as a young girl, suddenly dealing with limited amounts of daily fluid, protein, salt, potassium and phosphorus consumption. To ensure that I was keeping myself as well as possible, I learned to weigh foods that were sources of protein (on a rickety postage scale, no less!) until I could eyeball any piece of meat, poultry or cheese and automatically know how many ounces it weighed and how many grams of protein it contained. The same with fluid. I could eye a glass of liquid and know immediately how many ounces or milliliters it was. I had gone metric at a tender age and knew about portion control long before it was fashionable. Big-Gulp-sized portions were banned from my life decades before those portions became a political issue.

No doubt, some of the hurdles have been tough and some periods dark, but through it all, I learned some incredibly important skills that have served me well. Skills like asking questions, being inquisitive about processes, sticking with a problem-solving approach. All of which add up to development of a strong commitment to taking responsibility for my well-being, my joy, and to the greatest extent possible, my life. And along the way, people came into my life who have been amazing teachers, mentors, supporters and friends.

Eventually I realized that compartmentalizing my life was having the opposite effect. I didn’t like holding back. I wanted more integration. And once I moved toward greater personal integration by doing non-profit work educating, advocating and offering others encouragement, I began to feel whole inside. By the time dialysis was part of my life for twenty years, I was on the conference circuit, speaking to physicians, nurses, dieticians, clinical administrators and patients.

After intense and deeply satisfying work in the renal field for more than a decade, I needed a break. A year ago, I opened a new door and found a wonderful creative outlet through the world of food blogging. A place where my glee for food could find a home. In my first year as creator of Bumbleberry Breeze, I focused on the food, taking a break here from the rest of my life as I developed more ways to create delicious and healthy dishes. Long ago, I learned to manage my dialysis therapy in ways that gave me the freedom back to enjoy a far greater variety of foods than in the early years of my life with dialysis.

Over the past year, I wrote anecdotes and mused about memories that the foods I featured evoked in me. But I was holding back and I knew it. However much I was putting out there, I was holding back even more.

And now I’m feeling that oh-so familiar tug to integrate once again. So here I am, in the spring of 2013, at the close of Passover, a time of renewal, ready to take that leap again.

I invite you along for the ride. Send me your comments, your questions. I promise I’ll be real with you. Thanks for stopping by.

April 2014

How did that happen? A year already? And here we are, dear Readers, as I celebrate 39 years of doing dialysis – the gift of my life. And I’m back doing talks again at conferences on how to live a good and joyful life while doing dialysis. Because I don’t believe in waiting for everything to be perfect to engage in life. Have you realized that it just ain’t gonna happen? In the words of the great Roseann Rosanna-Danna, “There’s always something…” And we can create a good life along with that variety of somethings.

So be well.

Be strong.

Be here.

November 2014

Back in 2000, when my third round of having a kidney transplant was a no-go, we were all disappointed, and by that I mean my friends, family and doctors. When I was back in the hospital and it was clear that the transplanted kidney was already damaged beyond repair after just a few months, my dear nephrologist, Frank Strauss, came into my room. He stood over my bed and gazed out the window. “Why aren’t you screaming at me to do something?” ” Because I know this is beyond your control — if there was anything you could have done, you would have done it by now.” Yes, I was as disappointed as everyone else in my life, probably more. But I also knew there was a lot more to me than the presence vs. absence of kidney function. “Don’t worry, the kidney is going but I’m not. There’s dialysis and I’m going to do the best possible treatment I can to keep me well. Frank looked at me incredulously. “Why are you comforting me? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?” I love that man. Not only an outstanding doctor, but an all-around outstanding guy.

So here I am, almost 15 years later, working on a documentary about overcoming adversity and creating a good life for yourself. I just launched a brand-new website to go along with the film, called Life On the Bridge. Click here to go right to the website of the same name (lifeonthebridge.com). There’s a saying that life is 10% circumstance and 90% attitude. My journey screams that out to me and I hold on to it. I share that journey with you.

Bridge Logo 5 with text

Be well. Be strong . Be HERE.

June 2015

First cut of the documentary LIFE ON THE BRIDGE is HERE!!!! Check out where it will be available by looking for updates on http://www.lifeonthebridge.com

August 2015

It’s June of 1975.  I started kidney dialysis a mere 3 months before.  I’m called for my first kidney transplant.  I feel nothing but elation.  This is my ticket out of this dialysis nightmare.  The doctors keep repeating that all I need is a transplant and I will be fine.  All that’s running through my 15-year-old mind is, “I’m about to get my life back!”  Pure anticipation and excitement – picking up where I left off.

Fast forward to me on the operating room table. Someone is coming at me with a mask to put over my face. I smell the noxious fumes, and am being told to breathe slowly through my nose.

Suddenly, reality hits. What am I doing?! I want to bolt out of there.

And all of a sudden, a small voice inside me says, with utmost resoluteness,”Remember This Moment.”

Now, 40 years later, I see why.

Life On The Bridge has its first public screening on August 30.  See http://www.lifeonthebridge.com for info.

September 2016

Dear Readers,

I’m about to begin the next chapter of my journey! I have had the wonderful opportunity to screen my documentary, Life On The Bridge (see above) to a variety of audiences over the past year:

  • a film festival in NYC
  • medical centers
  • universities
  • medical conferences
  • synagogues

And then earlier this year, something inside was tugging at me, like a little kid tugging at her mom’s skirt saying, “Hey, I want this!” I’ve always loved Jewish learning, studying the Sacred texts that’s got timeless wisdom tucked inside. And I’ve always loved helping people, in all kinds of ways.

I started researching and checking out local programs, going to Open Houses, talking with faculty, and Boom! It was as if a lens clicked into focus

 

 

 

24 Comments
  1. mrs G Johnson aka Ms G permalink

    Hi there i got so hungry just looking at this-so much fun – i love to cook and to see someone who loves to cook like me is nice…thank you for your blessing to others – i love you

  2. David Kohn permalink

    Love it! Hopefully I’m smart enough to make some of these delicious looking delicacies!!!!
    Keep blogging Judy!!! 😉

  3. Just found your blog! I am so proud of you, it looks fabulous and delicious! I hope you and Joel are doing well! XOXOX, Jyll

  4. Judy, so nice to meet you today. I love your philosophy, and I feel the same way about farmer’s markets. 🙂

    • Thanks Kelli – I enjoyed looking through your blog today and how cool that you entered the pie contest at LACMA and got to meet Joy The Baker. I think she’s delightful, too!

  5. Nice new format to your blog!

  6. What a friendly, happy and tasty blog you have. I enjoyed browsing thru it.

  7. Hannah, Israel permalink

    A friend in the Israeli kosher food forum I’m a member of has just told us you’ve updated your “About”. I was about to ask you a few questions regarding the Banana Pick Me Up Granola Cookies, but came “here” first.
    Dear Judy, I thought I learnt to know you a bit over the last months, but reading this left me speechless. Such an inspiring spirit! I admire your attitude and hope to learn from you in many great posts to come.
    Hannah

    • Thank you, dear Hanni for such beautiful words, we have been getting to know each other a bit and now you (and other bb readers :)) will know me more! What’s your granola cookie question- they were great!

      • Hannah, Israel permalink

        Judy, I’ve posted the question in response to the recipe.
        Shabbat Shalom!

  8. Melinda Fruchter (Kupfer) permalink

    Hi Judy!
    I love, love, love your blog! It is so well written and organized with great, clear pictures and easy to follow directions. The little personal stories intertwined with the recipes are my favorite part! I don’t know what to try first! Are any the recipes your mom’s?
    Melinda

    • Melinda! Glad you’re enjoying my bb baby! And happy to re-connect in this (small) way after all this time- the one biggie mom is the Classic Chicken Soup but she inspired many others. She was, as you know, a working mom, and didn’t have a whole lot of cooking time. Let me know which recipes you try- I love feedback!!

  9. Hi Judy, I didn’t have a chance to chat with you at Camp Blogaway, but I sure loved your husband’s team spirit when it came to the group photo. Your blog is wonderful – I, too, lost my cookies en route to Catalina as a 9th grader and felt I was the camp pariah because of it. I look forward to more Bumbleberry Breezes! Cheers!

    • Hi Margie! I’m so tickled that you sent this message and that you enjoy bb! I saw you at Camp but didn’t get around to connecting- what a full and terrific weekend– many people got a kick out of Joel!And now we find a Catalina connection too- I think your blog is great and I make very similar turkey burgers and mini-loaves that I’ve posted. I always add zucchini and carrots and sometimes a potato or some red pepper. Hope your trip to Italy happens… I’d love to go one day-Judy

  10. Judy, I really enjoyed meeting you at Camp Blogaway and am finally getting around to visiting your blog. Love your writing style…a strong voice that pops off the page and invites the reader into your kitchen.

    • thanks so much and so glad you enjoy bb! I had a wonderful time at Camp Blogaway- it gave us the opportunity to meet and connect!

  11. Joan Rosenberg permalink

    My book club loved The Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake. Thank you so much. I found the lemons at Trader Joes in New York City. Ready to try another recipe! -Joan (Jennifer Castillo’s Aunt)

  12. Hi, Judy–I have been enjoying reading your blog and info almost as much as I enjoyed meeting you with Wendy and Rik a couple of weeks ago. It was truly a delightful experience, and I hope to see you again soon! (Joyce Lee, Wendy’s cousin)

  13. Doris and Ted Katoff permalink

    Judy we always thought you were amazing. We know you now 40 years. After reading your blog we are really impressed and proud of you. Just keep on blogging. Much love, Doris and Ted Katoff

    • Dear Ted & Doris- what an absolute delight to have you visit my blog and hear from you- I have always loved you both! May it be wonderful 2016 for us all- miss you-Judy

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