I worked for Dr. Oz

I worked for Dr. Oz

Before I left my JCC job, I started pitching myself around town. My friend worked for Dr. Oz at Columbia Presbyterian (I met her through my "made up" job!). Well before he hit it big, she recommended his organization Healthcorps as something I may be interested in.

Healthcorps is a non-profit organization that sends recent college grads to teach health education in at-risk high schools around the country. The Healthcorps trainees are called coordinators. 

The reason you've never heard of it is because...well, I don't know why since it's AWESOME and thousands of kids have received health and nutrition education that they otherwise would never received.

Read More

I started my business

I started my business

After I left the JCC, I launched my business as a food educator at julienegrin.com (which now it lives at www.mykitchennutrition.com). The economy hadn't melted down yet. 

I was still cancer-free.

I had a hearty nest egg and was ready to live on the west coast again. I moved out of my Brooklyn apartment and crashed with family in Seattle until I figured out my next move.

If only I'd gone traveling for a couple of months instead! It will be a regret I will always live with. 

Instead, I dumped all my time and money into launching my business.

Most of my work contacts were back in NYC so I'd

Read More

I was on Sesame Street

I was on Sesame Street

In 2008, I made the very difficult decision to quit my culinary director job at the JCC in Manhattan. The program was thriving and I was ready for a change.

I gave my boss multiple months notice. I knew it would take time to interview and train someone new. I planned on departing in the summer.

It's not easy leaving a comfortable and prestigious job. I was definitely nervous about it. But it was time to move on.

In spring, 2008, I arrived back from a Seattle trip to an overflowing voicemail box. Anyone that spends time with me knows that I'm not the greatest at listening to my voicemail messages in a timely manner. (I currently have 63 unheard vm messages - the majority of which are appt reminders but still...it's not like they're very exciting!).

I panicked when I finally got around to listening to them. There was one that I had to replay because I wasn't sure I heard them right.

Read More

I jumped out of a plane

I jumped out of a plane

The more accurate description would be "I scooted out of a plane" but "jumping" sounds so much better!

My friend arranged for a group of five to go to Snohomish (north of Seattle) on a beautiful September day. It was my 35th birthday and sky diving had been on my bucket list since college. It was time!

We each met the tandem instructor we'd attach ourselves to. Mine reminded me an adorable friend from college (Jim Clark!) so that settled my nerves. For awhile. I started getting very scared when we got on the plane. 

Before I could even ask if I could land with the plane instead of jump, I heard one of the other instructors say that nobody can stay in the plane because they don't have seats or seatbelts.

Shit.

I paid for the extra time during the free fall (not worth it, couldn't tell) and started regretting that immediately. Why the FUCK am I trying to be in the air WITHOUT A PARACHUTE any longer than necessary?

Read More

I was an awful dater

I was an awful dater

I may have mastered the pick-up scene in Manhattan but I was horrible dater. I mean, how hard is it to find a drunk dude to flirt with for the evening? Shooting fish in a barrel.

But to find someone I connected with? IN A CITY OF 8 MILLION PEOPLE?

That was definitely the proverbial needle in the haystack.

Going out was fun but got old. So I dated. And sucked at it.

For one, I'm not great at masking my face when I think someone is full of shit or saying something awful. Kind of a handicap in any town but definitely a problem in a huge city full of huge ego. 

And I was a little too west coast for some of these east coast guys.

One guy was shocked and surprised that not only did I OWN

Read More

I got a tattoo in Brazil

I got a tattoo in Brazil

I'd never been to South America. So when I met a friend of a friend, Tie from Brazil, and she offered to host me, I warned her, "I'm the person that actually shows up." She said "do it."

I saved up my miles and money and booked a trip to Sao Paulo where Tie owned a cafe/boutique. She was also a well-known musician. She was literally a model/rockstar! SO COOL. 

I'd never been to South America. So when I met a friend of a friend, Tie from Brazil, and she offered to host me, I warned her, "I'm the person that actually shows up." She said "go for it."

I spent a week in Sao Paulo sight seeing and hanging out at Tie's boutique and getting to know her chef, Fabiana who was hysterical. The shop was near MTV so we often got visitors from people that worked there because they rented Tie's clothes from the boutique. I could have spent weeks hanging out at the boutique. After a "tough" work day. We'd light up every afternoon around 4pm. 

Read More

I was on the Today Show

I was on the Today Show

My first ever television appearance was live in front of millions of viewers.

I was still getting the hang of my culinary director job at the JCC when I got a call from from a co-worker telling me that the Today Show was looking for a challah expert for their Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) segment.

"Um, yeah, I mean I've made it before and I've even taken a challah bread baking class but I've never TAUGHT it. I don't know...."

I soon discovered that YES was the only answer expected of me.

I had thirty days to become a challah expert. Trying not to panic, I called

Read More

I landed my dream job

I landed my dream job

Before we closed down the 9/11 non-profit in 2002 I weaseled my way into a gig at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. We'd had a meeting with them about collaborating and they'd offered me a position. The partnership never materialized. But I had no other job options. Post 9/11, the city was still not hiring. One friend stood in line with dozens of people just to interview for a bartender job.

I didn't have family in NYC or a trust fund. All I had were my hustling skills.

So I just showed up one day at the hospital and said that I had a job. And they gave it to me! Not my proudest moment but hell, I wasn't moving home. It was boring but the pay was good and the staff appreciated my organizing skills.

Eventually, I heard about a Culinary Director job opening at

Read More

HELP KEEP ME ALIVE! #julesjourney Fall 2017 RV TRIP U.S.A.

HELP KEEP ME ALIVE! #julesjourney Fall 2017 RV TRIP U.S.A.

If you're new to my story, I've had four cancers due to a genetic disorder called Lynch Syndrome: colon, ovarian, endometrial, and melanoma. Because I lost four organs, I'm now disabled and had to move in with family. I've fought HARD for the Affordable Care Act since November, 2016. I was honored to speak with Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell in May and with Representative Pramila Jayapal in July. And I was on King 5 News in Seattle because I pledged to refuse medical treatment if the ACA was repealed - thankfully, all of you worked hard to prevent that from happening! 

The ACA is still not safe though!

Read More

I loved being slutty

I loved being slutty

It was early 2000s. Sex in the City was the hottest show on television. At that time, women openly discussing vibrators and orgasms while eating brunch in a restaurant was a big deal. 

I'd been a "relationship girl" for college and most of my twenties. I often felt confused about how to flirt, what I was supposed to do, supposed to say.

I was also confused about what I wanted and how to make it happen. 

I didn't yet understand my feelings - especially my conflicted feelings - or how to address them. 

I didn't yet understand that I had poor communication skills or how to improve them.

I didn't yet realize that I was an alpha female that preferred sweet betas. 

I didn't understand a LOT of things back then. Hell, I still don't.

Read More

I lived in NYC on 9/11

I lived in NYC on 9/11

I never felt more American than I did during the weeks after 9/11.

It wasn't uncommon for someone to just start crying on the subway (ok that person was often me) but rather than look away, a lady next would gently squeeze a shoulder and the gentleman seated nearby would nod his head in solidarity.

Living through 9/11 in New York City so shortly after I moved there was like being at a friend's house during a family crisis. I was horrified, felt completely out of place and wanted to do anything I could possibly do to help the many grieving people in the city and the tri-state area.

I had no idea how to provide comfort to the many people in mourning and in shock. I still didn't know how to order a bagel on a Sunday morning without irritating the entire line behind me. I was still a rookie west coaster installing my first air conditioner from PC Richards. I was still so new I got Penn Station and Port Authority mixed up. 

All I could think about was how many people didn't come home. I was haunted by that. Imagining them getting ready for their work day, deciding what to wear, taking the train or driving in, thinking it was a regular day.

Read More

I went to Costa Rica alone

I went to Costa Rica alone

I signed a lease for an apartment in New York City without ever stepping foot in it. It was a fantastic studio on 100th and Broadway, with a "nook" for the bed. My Seattle friends lived next door and brokered the deal for me.

My friend said "take the apartment, they are harder to find in NYC than a job."

This was May, 2001.

I took the apartment while still in Seattle. A huge leap of faith into the unknown, even for me.

I shipped my stuff the cheapest way possible which meant it wouldn't arrive for nearly a month.

I had a decent amount of money saved up so I decided to fly to NYC, get as organized as possible, and then use miles to fly to Costa Rica for a couple of weeks.

By myself. With zero plans.

Read More

I was one of the guys

I was one of the guys

As soon as I graduated from Bastyr, I got a full-time job at a "dot com" start-up. 

I worked in Operations and Human Resources. After being in college and grad school for nine years, I was baffled by the concept of ending my work day at 5pm. So, of course, I started my first food business.

But my days were devoted to these hunks. The owners of the company are some of the smartest, most humble people I've ever had the pleasure to work for, even after all these years. 

They took hiring seriously.

And...most of the people they hired happened to be cute dudes.

It was a fucking blast.

Of course I worked under these conditions AFTER I DECLARED A BREAK FROM DUDES FOR AWHILE.

Read More

I've always been a mama

I've always been a mama

If I'm going to continue telling my story, especially this next chapter of my life, I have to provide some context. 

I have no memory of being a kid without some other kid I was caring for one way or another.

When we moved from Ravenna to Redmond when I was five years old, my sister and I shared a room. She was about one years old. She was a really sweet baby. The kind with rosy cheeks and always smiling. 

My four cousins lived across the street in our new Redmond house. I would live there for eight years. 

In this photo, it's me, my brother Andy, in the top row and then Tony (cuz), Alex (cuz), Laura (sister), and Danny (cuz). My youngest cousin, Sonya wasn't born yet and Alex was a baby so I must have been around 9 or 10 years old. 

I knew how to pin a cloth diaper without poking

Read More

I was a disco angel

I was a disco angel

The late nineties was a good time in my life. You can tell just by looking at this photo how much healthier and happier I was than when I was  younger and on prednisone.

I was a "disco angel" that year for Halloween and can't remember what Amy was! I remember how much I loved working on the halo and dress. This was a very creative period in my life. 

And now, I believe creativity is a huge part of my recovery.

[WARNING if you're sick - sensitive topic coming up] I don't want to upset people but this next topic is a big part of who I am and how I ended up where I am so I'm going to share. 

Read More

I went to grad school

I went to grad school

I lived out a backpack for so long, I couldn't imagine what was stored in the boxes stacked at my dad's warehouse.

I always wonder that when I come home from a trip. Why do I need to so much crap? I think one of many reasons I love to travel is that I'm not overwhelmed with so much "stuff" and decisions on what to wear.

Is there data on whether having too much crap is linked to *some* of the anxiety in this country? I swear it's part of it. 

One of the best things about being home was, of course, seeing my loved ones again. This photo is with my best friend, Megan. I think we are celebrating one of our birthdays here. We are exactly one month apart and have been friends since the second grade. We've seen each other through a lot of shit. We talk all the time but

Read More

I visited concentration camps in Poland

I visited concentration camps in Poland

There is only one concentration camp in Poland that was not razed by the Nazis before they took off. It's called Majdanek and is located in Lublin. It's much less visited than Auschwitz and harder to get to but I made the trek anyway, even with my heavy backpack.

To get to Lublin, I had to write down the name of the concentration camp and Lublin on a piece of paper and hand it to the person at the train ticket counter because I didn't speak any Polish. She handed the ticket to me and wrote down the number of the platform where I should wait. When I was on the train, I showed a man my ticket and we used charades to communicate. He held up two fingers to explain I should get off in two stops.

Read More

He wanted to buy me

He wanted to buy me

He wanted to purchase me and take me home to his family. I was traveling with two guys so I wasn't too worried that something bad would happen. But it was still unsettling to have our driver in Jordan ask over and over again if he could "buy" me from my friends.

My face in the photo says it all. Super irritated. The two women in the truck were Australian nurses that were working in Saudi Arabia. They made bank and didn't have to pay taxes. But they said the boredom of being stuck in their expats compound meant they were spending all their savings traveling outside of SA in order to stay sane. I don't know why I can remember this with such detail but can't remember if I took my medicine five minutes ago.

I don't mean any disrespect to the Bedouin culture.

Read More

I worked on a kibbutz

I worked on a kibbutz

They were screaming at each other in Hebrew. My head swung back and forth between them, my eyes wide. Two minutes on the job and I was already questioning my judgment committing to working on a kibbutz in Israel. 

Yosie, the man I'm standing with in the photo ran the "meat" side of the kitchen. My boss Tzila ran the "dairy" side of the kosher kitchen. I was living on a religious kibbutz in between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. My job six days a week preparing dairy meals served at breakfast and the evening for around 800 kibbutz members.

I was very nervous on the first day of the job as I watched the two head chefs hollering at each other with such intensity. I couldn't help but whisper to Tzila later, "what were you fighting about?"

Read More

I lived in Lake Placid

I lived in Lake Placid

I became a waitress at the Lake Placid Manor where I met a woman my age who was already a former pot grower trying to avoid the law, a tough but sweet Russian couple, and Reggie the line cook! He was kind but getting older and hit the bottle too much. I had to pick his hair out of the plates I was serving more than once. It was a motley crew and an eye-opening experience for a sheltered Jewish girl from the west coast.

I hated waitressing. Although I would later work in the culinary field, this was my first paid job in food service. I worked the day shift which, of course, was much shittier tips than the fine dining evening one. I didn't have the knack for getting good

Read More