Moving to New York nearly 4 years ago was a drastic shift in lifestyle for me. Leaving behind a big circle of British friends whom I had known for many years was the hardest decision. Having loved Los Angeles for 28 years, I had embraced the culture, the friends, the self nurturing environment, the weather, the creativity, and the laid-backness to life, however, I decided I was ready for a change of scene. Not fully understanding why I was making this decision, I took the action and left the thinking and desire to a later date. Discovering 2 1/2 years later why I made such a drastic, life changing decision in my 50’s, I now realize I didn’t feel grounded in Los Angeles, I loved the glamor and artificialness but never felt that I fully fitted in with that world.
My time spent studying English at UCLA changed my perception on life and what I wanted to grow into for the latter part of my life. I longed for an environment with greater cultural interests, more nurturing, people living a simpler, family existence, closer to Europe, seasonal climate changes and the intellectual stimulation of New York City on my doorstep. My ultimate goal was to go to NYU and obtain a PhD in Post colonial Literature, but this dream is not financially feasible. Saying this though, living in Westchester does afford me the ability to study later on in life at East coast universities. This is a huge draw for me, to this area. I am somebody who continually takes classes and loves broadening my learning skills. For example this year I am learning nutrition and wellness via a health coach training program. Which I am thoroughly enjoying and looking forward to implementing in the future.
The last time I lived on the East coast was the summer of 1992. I was employed by Patti and Bruce Springsteen to take care of their children, and travel on tour with them, supervising and managing the well-being of 2 small children, enriching their lives on a physical, emotional, creative and intellectual level. On Tuesday night, I was back in New Jersey, watching Bruce perform in his home territory. The memories of people, places and things flooded my psyche, reminding me what a huge imprint on my life that year meant to me. Although my job with them was based out of Beverly Hills, we often headed East. Bruce was the first boss who didn’t ever talk with a tone of knowing more than others and genuinely listened and thought about what he discussed. A man with limited education, but a vast amount of knowledge and life experiences meant that he is extremely wise and introspective. I remember at first thinking he wasn’t very bright because he didn’t talk eloquently, but I soon learned that talking a lot doesn’t mean you are smarter than others. It is what is said that provides the best wisdom. My greatest problem with East coasters is the continual banter and the insecure need to have others believe they know everything. There is an incredible insecurity to feel stupid. Whereas West coasters generally respond only when they have knowledge and expertise in a topic, they are keen observers of other people’s experiences. I am much more an observer than a talker. And often find myself being talked to in a haughty tone for not being versed in a topic of which I have little interest.
This week I am writing the bowls chapter of my book. I have procrastinated on writing this chapter because I need to keep it simple but also understandable for my readers. Bowls are my favorite way of eating, especially when I am in one of my vegan moods. The beauty of eating several different food groups in a bowl means lots of different flavors and plenty of nutrition. Also the ability to eat 1/2 uncooked and 1/2 cooked food at one sitting proves desirable to me. My bowls usually contain:
a protein – prepared meat, fish or protein
a cooked veggie – for example brussel sprouts, spinach, green beans,
salad – arugula, tomatoes, onion, avocado etc.
sauerkraut or pickled vegetable of some type
a grain – sprouted mungbeans, green lentils, rice, barley etc
a topping – ground nuts, nutritional yeast and garlic mix
a sauce – for example a light tahini mix with water, tamari, fresh orange
and a sprinkle of fresh herbs
Bowls are nutritious, healthy and fun. Preparing several different veggies,salads, etc and leaving in the fridge makes meal times simpler.
Photography by Caroline Gray. Food prepared by myself.