Debra Pearlman

My favorite sayings: I am the Ayatolla of a Rock ‘n Rolla. ~ The Road Warrior. -and- All the worlds a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death. ~ Rosalyn Russell, Auntie Mame
I grew-up in the country spending my time in the woods.  Animals and wildlife became a passion and when I saw my first Jacque Cousteau film I knew what I wanted to be when I grew-up….the wife of his son!  Oh how times have changed….BUT that passion for the environment never waivered and now I am a documentary filmmaker specializing in natural history, environmental and social justice films.

My wanderlust began when as soon as I finished college, Emerson, where I majored in photography and minored in Art History.  I’d traveled in Europe in high school and knew that what I really wanted to experience was something completely different from my upbringing.  I spent four years traveling from Korea to Australia and just about every country in between.  I had adventures that I could not have dreamed of…climbing Himalayan mountains, harvesting opium with the hill tribes in the Golden Triangle, attending teachings of the Dali Lama in Bodhgaya, and volunteering with Mother Teresa’s Home for the Destitute and Dying.

Returning home after 4 years in Asia and the Middle East was difficult. I really had little “real job” experience to sell to an employer and was no longer “just out of school.”  What to do? What to do?  Well, being a resourceful woman (something travel in Asia will teach you) I lied my way into a job at WNET-TV in New York City.  It helped that my best friend worked in television news and she thought I’d make a good videotape editor (I had no idea what that was at the time).  I went on an interview, said I knew how to edit, and voliá! a job editing the foreign news feeds.  Long story short, this led to work at other TV stations and eventually to a post-production facility called VideoWorks.  VideoWorks taught me about animation, digital effects, and storytelling with pictures.  It also gave me my first big gig working on wildlife films, a series called The Animal Express.  From NYC, I went to Lake Placid to edit and produce weird sports (X/C skiing, Rugby, Biathlon, Luge, Bobsled…you get the picture) and that allowed me to work at a couple of Olympic games.

I’d traveled all around the world, but did not spend much time in my own country so I left LP and headed out west.    I traveled the back roads and highways stopping when I felt like it and seeing what I wanted to see.  Just like my overseas travels, I was on my own and loving it.

I’d just begun to settle in Seattle when another girlfriend (a reporter from my TV news days) tracked me down and made me an offer I could not refuse.  Come back to NY and work with me at the Bronx Zoo as an in-house filmmaker. I worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society for 8 years, even working on a degree in environmental science.  Along the way I met amazing women who were out to experience life on their own terms and encouraged me to do the same.

I left WCS and started my own production company, Peal Productions LLC.  I now make my living as a documentary filmmaker who specializes in natural history and wildlife.  I get to travel and experience amazing things, but I also know how hard it is to be a woman of a certain age, trying to make a living.  I expanded my production company to include work in digital media, social media, and website design.  This combines my photography/graphic arts/environmental science degrees and keeps me employed.

My production work brought me to the Kennedy Krieger School Programs in Baltimore, MD where I work as their Web Content Coordinator and I still have my contracts with Discovery and Animal Planet.

Living life on my own terms may not have been the easy way out, but I’ve certainly had great adventures and met fabulous people.  And all because of the amazing girlfriends I’ve made and kept close throughout my life.

All The Single Girlfriends is more than a social media group, it’s a lifestyle choice.  I look forward to meeting you all!

I hope you will enjoy reading my posts.

Living A Healthy Life – How Social Media Saved Me

A little over two years ago I began a journey toward a healthier life.  I started with bariatric surgery (lap band).  There were many challenges after the surgery, some related to my eating habits and some just related to being so out of shape for so long.  I struggled with what to eat and how […]

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Sustainable Eating #1

Foodie Friday

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On Being Laid-up for 4 Weeks…

I recently had the pleasure of undergoing surgery on my torn Achilles tendon. The upside of the surgery is that I will be able to get back to all the things I love doing (hiking, kayaking, skiing).  The downside, I’ve had to spend the past 4 weeks either in bed or chair with my foot […]

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Small Plates Are The Key

It’s now been two months since I had my bariatric surgery and I’m still struggling with some food issues. However, being Foodie Friday, I thought I’d write about some of the wonderful meals I’ve been enjoying. First let me state that the secret is to use small plates. Yes, not the regular dinner plate, but the salad […]

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Hiding In A Huge Way

Big Question: Why did I think gaining weight would be protective? I’m just coming up to one month post-bariatric surgery.  There are still lots of questions going through my mind.  The first couple of weeks were fairly easy, I was on an extremely restricted diet and the weight just melted off. Now I’m supposed to […]

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Week One: Success!

Well, I’ve made it through my first week. Actually, it was a week last Friday since I had my lap band procedure.  The first couple of day I felt great, even energized.  Then reality set in.  As I moved into what is called the Full Liquid Diet, I found that my tolerance for pre-made protein […]

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It’s A New Day!

This weekend has been a reawakening of my life. Friday, I had my lap-band surgery and all went really well.  Now the real work begins.  Truth be told, I’ve been holding back on so many emotions.  I feel like I have to say good-bye to old friends like pasta, bread and fried food.  But then […]

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Five Days and Counting

In five days my life changes.  No, not the bit 6-0 just yet, that will happen soon enough. I’m talking about my bariatric surgery.  On Friday, April 20th at 8:45 am, my life is going to add a new tool to its arsenal.  I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I’ve been wrestling with […]

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Holiday Food Challenge Reduex

This being Foodie Friday on atsGf’s I decided to write about the one food challenge I’m facing with the step to gain back my life through bariatric surgery.  …. pureed food. I’m supposed to start incorporating at least one protein shake a day into my diet.  The reason for this is that for 6 weeks after the […]

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Holiday Challenges For Dieters

Holiday time is always a challenge for dieters but this year is especially hard for me. I managed Thanksgiving fairly well until most of the guests went home.  Then the “sneak” eating commenced.  I thought, “well, just a taste of Sheila’s apple pie won’t hurt….” but she made two different types of apple pie so […]

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A New Journey

1 Step Thanksgiving, what to post for Thanksgiving?  It’s a holiday that I have a love/hate relationship with.  You see, I love to eat.  I love all the wonderful food prepared for the traditional feast.  Root veggies, roasted to perfection, homemade breads and pies, all sorts of yummy treats to delight the pallet.  I love […]

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To Color or Not to Color, Is That The Question?

I recently read an interesting article in the Huffington Post about hair color for women over 50.  Barbara Hannah Grufferman’s article had some very interesting points to make.  I especially like the reference to actress Helen Mirren.  Is there a double standard being applied?  Why is grey hair in men considered distinguished and sexy, like George […]

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Skype-tini Anyone?

About a year ago I made a major change in my life and moved from upstate New York to Maryland.  I hated leaving my country home and friends, but work was limited in Cambridge and most of my free-lance clients were based in the Washington D.C. area.  I started working a 4-day  week for the […]

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New Twist on Cobb Salad

The weather in Baltimore has been really crummy lately.  Between bouts of intense thunderstorms we’ve had the 3 H’s– hazy, hot and humid.  The saving grace is that our backyard comes equipped with a pool and hot tub. So on a perfect Sunday evening I decided to host an impromptu dinner and swim session for […]

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The Best Gift I Ever Got

Most of my life has been spent traveling and moving from place to place and job to job.  The one constant was my mother’s house.  My dad had built the house and when he passed away (I was 16) it was like time stopped.  The place looked exactly as it had for all my life, […]

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Just Google Me?

I heard a really interesting report today on NPR’s Morning Addition.  Seems that Google has re-configured its search algorithm in an effort to further control how something appears in their search listing.  Here’s the link if you want to read the whole story: Google Search Tweaks Puts a Company at Risk. What that got me […]

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Girls on the Grill – It Ain’t Just for Guys!

Have you ever been to Greece?  I love the people, countryside and the food. I was  looking for new ways to put a twist on an old favorite when my sister turned me onto this wonderful version of the hamburger.  The saltiness and earthiness of the feta makes a nice change from the usual hamburger […]

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Adam’s Ribs?

Now that we’ve crossed into spring and the weather seems to be easing it’s grip on winter, my mind turns outdoor entertaining.  One of my favorite things to make on the grill are dry-rub ribs. First you need a great combination of spices for your dry rub.  Here are my favorites to include: ground cumin, […]

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It’s Grillin’ Time Again!

Spring starts this weekend and that means it’s grillin’ time in the northeast. Truth be told, I grill all year long. I’ve been told my dry rub ribs would give Bobby Flay a run for his money (can you see a atsGf smack down?)!  But you don’t have to cook meat, chicken, or fish to […]

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How I like to do yoga

Over the years I’ve tried many ways to stay in shape. Lately, I’ve been yoga in the therapy pool at my gym. But I found a much better and faster way to achieve the perfect downward facing dog. I can’t really describe it in words, you’ll just have to watch the video. Share With Your […]

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Guilty Pleasures

Last night I read a great tweet…”I’m not watching the Oscars – I’m watching Twitter watch the Oscars.” – @ChrisPirillo#Oscars.  It came from Social Media Insider and I thought, “yup…that’s    about right.” I just got a smart phone, thank you, and am finding my way around Twitter, Facebook and other social media that I use.  […]

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Baby, baby, baby oh!!!

On our inaugral podcast someone brought up the question of children.  I had to jump out of the conversation but managed to get in my two cents, “Kids, never wanted them, ever, ever , ever!”  Why does eveyone think that if you are female, you are not fullfilled if you do not have children.  Do […]

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Valentine’s Day for 3 Please

I am a freelance filmmaker.  I live alone, work from home–alone and can go days without hearing a human voice.  Sometimes I like this, sometimes I don’t. When I’m on a project, I find that I immerse myself to the exclusion of everything and everyone else.  Do any of you do that?  I get so […]

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