Conversations with fascinating people of the Twin Cities.
Conversations with fascinating people of the Twin Cities.
“The scariest part of the journey is before you actually start.” Dr. Beth Westie is the founder and creator of the 12 Week Female Fat Solution. She has made it her mission to change the way women view their health. Alongside my wife and special co-host, Sara Gove, we have a wide-ranging conversation with this fascinating entrepreneur who is full of passion, charisma, and knowledge. Dr. Beth talks about her mission to educate women about the nuisances of the female body and how that affects their health differently than men. She explains that most of the information about diet and nutrition in circulation today has been based on the male body, and that women have been left without a proper roadmap. Dr. Beth addresses the frustration a lot of women feel in trying to live a healthy lifestyle. We also explore the challenges that Dr. Beth has faced in charting this new path. For many years, she ran a successful chiropractic medicine practice, but when she realized “the pull” toward this new area of women’s health was too powerful to ignore, she sold her practice. This decision tested old friendships she had in the industry, but it also dared her to live a more fulfilling life. And if you’re interested in goat farming, we got you covered. Enjoy! Topics mentioned or discussed: Importance of eating protein during breakfast Burn Boot Camp in Eden Prairie Eastern medicine The exclusion of women from medicinal research The calorie myth Inches over pounds The Minnesota Vixen Ashwagandha and other adaptogens Dr. Beth's YouTube Channel BETH'S FAVORITES RELATED TO THE TWIN CITIES Favorite Meal Under $15: The Wind Mill Cafe (omelet, hash browns, & coffee) Favorite Public Space: Minnesota River Favorite Annual Event? MN State Fair How would you describe the Twin Cities? "Lots of art, history, culture, great food, nicest people ever, almost to a fault." State of the Union Message “Find your passion and follow that to no end.”
“As a reporter, you never want to be a part of the story.” Amelia Rayno (@AmeliaRayno) is a food, travel, and features reporter for the Star Tribune. Prior to her current role she covered the University of Minnesota Athletic Department, mainly the Gophers’ men’s basketball team, for six years. In August of 2015, Amelia penned a very personal article detailing the sexual harassment she endured at the hands of former Gopher Athletic Director Norwood Teague, all-the-while having to report on the athletic department for her job. Amelia talks about the difficult decision to go public with her story and opens up about the realities for females who work in a male-dominant environment, like sports. Despite her horrid encounters with Norwood Teague, Amelia has fond memories of her time on the Gophers beat. She talks about the great stories that surround college basketball, the opportunity to develop as a sports journalist, and what it was like to cover legendary head coach Tubby Smith. Amelia also paints a hilarious picture of what she acts like on press row when trying to finish a game story on deadline. (Hint: don't text her!) Today, Amelia writes about two passions aside from sports: food and travel. You will spot her byline on many of the latest happenings on the Twin Cities’ burgeoning food and booze scene. For her travel stories, I recommend checking out Amelia’s blog called (Traveling) Out of Bounds, where she details her adventures, the good, bad, and the ugly. Oh, and bigfoot! She is on a mission to uncover the big, hairy truth about bigfoot, perhaps with her pale Bobo from the Animal Planet’s TV show Finding Bigfoot. We kick off the interview with this topic. Enjoy! p.s. I'd like to give a shoutout to Common Roots Cafe in Minneapolis for hosting this interview. SOME TOPICS MENTIONED AND DISCUSSED: Her obsessive journaling as a kid Internships at the Boston Globe and Detroit News A recent trip to Cuba and stepping back in time Sid Hartman and his chocolate ice cream Covering the Final Four Being "in over her skis" during the first year covering college hoops Sports writers and their relationship with deadlines Live-tweeting and fans' expectations The ability to say "yes" to a dream AMELIA'S FAVORITES RELATED TO THE TWIN CITIES: Favorite Restaurants Hola Arepa - Arepa and the cocktail special Favorite Public Space Dog Park at Minnehaha (does she even have a dog?) Favorite Annual Event: Oyster Festival at Meritage Most Fascinating Person You Know Sid Hartman State of the Union Message "Put your phones down and have real experiences. Be in the moment."
“No revolution can be won with negativity.” Craig Minowa is a composer and the lead singer of the indie rock band Cloud Cult (@CloudCult), and also the co-founder of Earthology Records. Cloud Cult has produced 11 albums in two decades, and in 2004, was named Artist of the Year at the Minnesota Music Awards. Earthology Records was the first record label in the U.S. to create 100% postconsumer recycled CD packaging. In 2002, Craig and his wife Connie unexpectedly lost their two-year old son Kaiden. This tragedy sent the couple into a long period of isolated grieving, where Craig wrote more than 100 songs to deal with the loss. He discusses the realities of this life event, music as a form of personal medicine, and the importance to talk about Kaiden and death in general. Craig draws inspiration from “the big picture” issues of life and tries to develop music that recognizes the beauty in everyone and everything. Craig and I recorded this interview at Papa Charlie’s in Lutsen, Minnesota, just hours before the band performed live in front of a sell out crowd on Feb. 11, 2017. Enjoy! Some topics mentioned and discussed: Technology progressing faster than spirituality A music industry drunk with ego Presence and mindfulness How our society lacks the necessary tools to handle and talk about death His frequent wandering into the woods Understanding the purpose of life CRAIG'S FAVORITES RELATED TO THE TWIN CITIES: Favorite Restaurants Birchwood Cafe, Sea Salt Eatery and Thai Basil Favorite Public Space Along the Mississippi River near the University of Minnesota Favorite Annual Event: Northern Spark Most Fascinating Person You Know Dan Greenwood (former Cloud Cult drummer) State of the Union Message “We've really got to focus on the unity, love and neighborliness.” He also referenced Obama's final speech as President
“I think bucket lists are limiting.” Shayla Hoheisel (IG: @livingonaoneway) is a world traveler, YouTube video blogger, and entrepreneur, but more importantly she is creating the life she wants for herself. And she wants you to do the same. The Lakeville, Minn., native caught the travel bug a few years ago and decided to take it up full time. After a few months on the road, her friends and family wanted frequent updates so she started a video blog called Living on a One Way. The blog has now exploded to more than 6,000 YouTube subscribers and is closing in on one million views. This charismatic nomad details her voyage in a comical and entertaining fashion. Even when Shayla talks about personal issues, her delivery remains light-hearted, but still genuine. Equipped with her optimism and gut feelings, Shayla does not hesitate to meet people and create new experiences. She talks about the importance of pushing past her fears and brining a good attitude toward every situation. Above all, Shayla believes in the power of connecting and networking with people. She actually reached out to me about coming on the podcast ... and I'm glad she did. Enjoy! TOPICS MENTIONED OR DISCUSSED: Sitting at different lunch tables in high school Repairing yurts at Burning Man (@BurningMan) Working a surf camp in Costa Rica Selling tacos & cocktails in Puerto Rico Helping refugees in Greece The breast pump & Botox video Three things she looks for when traveling Using Instagram to map her trips Common misconceptions about her She owns a van that lives on the west coast Shayla's Ted Talk SHAYLA'S FAVORITES IN THE TWIN CITIES Favorite Meal under $15 Giant coffee from Starbucks Most Fascinating Person You Know: Her sister and nephew How Would You Describe the Twin Cities “Breweries and music" State of the Union Message “Consciously create the life you want."
“There’s no such thing as a once in a lifetime trip.” Meet Jared Kamrowski. Jared recently quit his full-time job as a federal bank examiner to focus solely on his passion project, Thrifty Traveler (@thriftytraveler). To put it simply, Thrifty Traveler is a website that posts daily flight deals and offers valuable insight on numerous topics including, credit card rewards, traveling on a budget, and many other helpful pieces of money saving content. Jared talks about the decision to leave a comfortable career to venture out on his own and what it feels to be his own boss. He walks us through a typical day, which starts around 5 a.m., and how he aggregates daily flight deals for the website and his subscribers. Jared is also a credit card rewards ninja and he provides us with helpful tips on the traveling hacking game. Over the last several years, he has signed up for more than 100 credit cards and has more points than he knows what to do with. A few minutes spent exploring his social media will give you an idea of the places that his points have taken him. We cover many topics in this podcast and I’m sure you will find several gems of useful info that you can apply right away. He even busted a huge travel myth that I regarded as common fact! Enjoy! TOPICS MENTIONED OR DISCUSSED: How he caught the travel bug Credit score myths Odd criticism he receives from online trolls Thrifty Traveler’s tipping point moment The journey to obtain the name Thrifty Traveler The reddit feed called Churning Traveling to and from Cuba His favorite travel spot JARED'S FAVORITES IN THE TWIN CITIES Favorite Meal under $15 Tennessee Hot Chicken at Revival Favorite Public Space Lake Harriet Favorite Annual Event: Anything Oktoberfest How Would You Describe the Twin Cities “People who move here stay here." State of the Union Message “The world is a massive place, beautiful place, full of wonderful people, and they might appear different on the first meeting. People are more alike than they are different. If you just sit in one corner of the world for your entire life, and you never go out and you never see or meet or talk to any of those people ... I think its going to warp your understanding of the world. I think its absolutely essential to be a good person, global citizen, to go out and push yourself out of that comfort zone, live life, take that vacation. Do not be that person in your office that thinks themselves a hero because they didn’t take a vacation last year. "
“You cant do this work from a desk.” Chris Serres is a reporter for the Star Tribune covering social services and issues affecting society’s most vulnerable populations. In the interview, we discuss his reporting on individuals with mental illness and the elderly. More specifically, we explore his eye-opening work that exposed statewide injustices happening to these two groups and their families. His 2015 series of articles, titled “A Matter of Dignity,” explored Minnesota’s archaic and dehumanizing healthcare system for those with mental illness. In honor of their work, Chris and his colleagues were named finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting. More recently, Chris penned a five-part series that took a deep look at Minnesota’s elderly care industry called “Left to Suffer.” What he found was an alarming number of crimes committed against senior citizens and thousands of allegations receiving little to no attention from state authorities. Our conversation focused primarily on these two projects, however we discuss several journalism-related topics. Among those include Chris’ approach to immersing himself in the lives of his subjects, current shortfalls of media, giving people hope, and much more. Enjoy! Topics mentioned: Ageism Journalism building communities MN Consumer Workgroup Report on Elder Abuse Differences between nursing homes and assisted living facilities Care giving being undervalued “Freedom is an endless conversation.” Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee and Walker Evans Unconventional interview settings Finding new ways to tell stories Shaming people to do the right thing The Twin Cities bubble CHRIS' FAVORITES RELATED TO THE TWIN CITIES Favorite Meal Under $15: Taco Taxi Favorite Public Space: Minneapolis Institute of Art Favorite Annual Event: St. Paul Winter Carnival Half Marathon How would you describe the Twin Cities? "There are a lot of opportunities to meet people and expand your horizons, but you have to take advantage of it." State of the Union Message “I'm a big believer that you can make life whatever you want. Recognize your own potential and ignore those that think you can’t achieve it.”
“Most of us want kindness. We start there.” Lori Myren-Manbeck is the founder and CEO of Inclusivi-tee, a subscription-based t-shirt company that donates to “forward-focused” non-profit organizations. Lori holds a PhD in Geriatric Psychology and has enjoyed a fulfilling career providing care to vulnerable individuals. Today, Lori’s passion for “taking care of each other” has never been stronger. In November of 2016, Lori noticed a deeper level of concern about the environment and social inequality. She quickly decided she had to do more. Equipped with little business experience, Lori established her non-profit and has faced a bittersweet challenge ever sense. The entrepreneur talks about taking the biggest risk of her life, and despite years of trying to hide from the world, she is now out front leading with her heart. Enjoy! Editor's Note: The audio introduction states that Inclusivi-tee donates 100% of its profits, and the business model did commence this way. However, they recently shifted to 50% as part of their learning process. TOPICS MENTIONED: Raising $25,000 on Kickstarter Planned Parenthood criticism Her experiences with the United Church of Christ Feeling invisible in her youth Documentary - Word of Honour: Reclaiming Mandela’s Promise Spirituality and shared consciousness. 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Common ground is shared kindness 2017: A year of saying yes LORI'S FAVORITES IN THE TWIN CITIES FAVORITE MEAL UNDER $15: Qdoba (nachos and queso dip) FAVORITE PUBLIC SPACE: Lake Riley FAVORITE ANNUAL EVENT: Bayfront Blues Festival MOST FASCINATING PERSON YOU KNOW? Nancy Chakrin HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE TWIN CITIES? “Wonderful place for art, culture, and theatre. You can always find something unique and fun to do.” STATE OF THE UNION MESSAGE “It is imperative that we continue to watch out for each other and take care of each other."
Amelia Reigstad is a public relations practitioner and newly-minted faculty member at the University of Minnesota. She developed Crosspoint Communications, a full service consultancy agency from a grassroots level in 2007 and taught a variety of public relations and communications courses at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the University of Victoria, and the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Amelia is currently completing her Ph.D in media and communications and recently published her initial findings of a study that explores gender differences in the public relations industry. We dedicated most of our conversation to the key learnings of this fascinating study. Enjoy! SOME TOPICS DISCUSSED: Her transition from the PR world to academia Running her own consultancy business Differences in communication styles of men & women The concept of Performativity Gender vs. personality Negative stereotypes of a PR practitioners Work-life balance for mothers A table of diverse minds Competition among female colleagues AMELIA'S FAVORITES IN THE TWIN CITIES FAVORITE MEAL UNDER $15: Washington Square Grill: Mango Martini (& maybe some french fries) FAVORITE PUBLIC SPACE: White Bear Lake FAVORITE ANNUAL EVENT: MN State Fair HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE TWIN CITIES? “I would describe the Twin Cities as culturally sound in wide variety of ways. I couldn’t have chosen a better place to move to outside of Canada.” STATE OF THE UNION MESSAGE “I really feel the US has a lot to learn in regards to how other countries do things."
“I have these periods where I just live life and grow. I explore new things about life, and when I’m ready, I make an album about that.” Brother Ali (@BrotherAli) is best known as a hip-hop artist with the local record label Rhymesayers Entertainment, but those who only know Ali for his music are missing out on the entirety of this fascinating human being. “Music is not my undying love. It is one of many,” he said. Ali and I spent nearly three hours together and he spoke intelligently about several topics that spanned well beyond music. He expanded on his ideas and experiences that we normally sample in his well-crafted lyrics. Some of his more controversial songs have pointed harsh criticisms in the direction of the United States, dominant culture, and men. However, Ali notes that he never critiques a group that he is not apart of. “My critique is always in the mirror,” he said. Ali spoke about the importance of truth and reality. This was on full display when he provided an in-depth analysis of what he calls the myth of black pathology and also details his view on white mythology. Self-love was another reoccurring message throughout our conversation. Ali unpacks this large concept using Minnesotans as a case study and explains why he believes the Gopher State struggles to achieve true self-love. There were many other fascinating and entertaining portions of this episode with which I could probably write a series of books given the amount of content we covered. If you’re at all interested in the person that is Brother Ali, then this podcast is worth your time. Enjoy! SOME TOPICS MENTIONED AND DISCUSSED: Rapping at his grandmother’s funeral at age 8 Settling in the Twin Cities at the age of 15 Converting to Islam as a teenager The hip-hop scene in the 90’s The many players that make Rhymesayers thrive ( How the ego starts wars, not religion The theme for his upcoming album “It’s a Brother Ali type of day” Louis Farrakhan and Alex Jones Interview The movie Rosewood Berry Gordy and the creation of Motown BROTHER ALI'S FAVORITES RELATED TO THE TWIN CITIES: Favorite Restaurants Brasa, Victor's, Pizza Luce, World Street Kitchen, Dogwood coffee Favorite Public Space Nokomis Favorite Annual Event: Soundset Festival Most Fascinating Person You Know I Self Devine State of the Union Message There are many beautiful things about Minnesota that should be celebrated and appreciated, but there’s also a very deep denial about our guilt complex and we’re terrified to face that truth. Disclaimer - this is an attempt to paraphrase Ali’s 25-minute answer. It is not a direct quote. Please listen to the entire audio to understand his full message.
“Let your freak flag fly.” Christiaan “Bacon” Tarbox is an award-winning journalist, freelance graphic designer, published musician, and co-creator of a Minneapolis cable access television show (And Now It's). He is all of these impressive things despite being born with Asperger’s Syndrome (ASP). In the interview, Christiaan provides an in-depth look at what it’s like to live with ASP and how he was able to suppress the many ticks and abnormalities that dominated his childhood. More importantly, he addresses the common misconceptions about ASP and autism that have been perpetuated by popular media for decades. The Maple Grove native turned a corner in his life after college when he moved to Uptown in Minneapolis at the age of 23. It was in that artistic community that Christiaan found like-minded creators who helped enable his originality. During this monumental period of growth and self-discovery, Christiaan’s ASP regressed so much that it plays only a minor part in his life. Individuals with autism or ASP are unique in their diagnoses and struggles and Chris strongly emphasizes this fact. He provides loads of great insight that will no doubt help spread truth, awareness, and compassion. This is definitely worth your time! Enjoy! SOME TOPICS MENTIONED AND DISCUSSED: His love for Star Wars, pro wrestling, and comics The benefit of transition centers The famed animal expert Mary Temple Grandin who has autism His journalism awards – Minnesota Newspaper Association His band headlining at the Cabooze and Turf Club And Now It’s – his cable access TV variety show Self-proclaimed “King of Karaoke” in Minneapolis - look for him at Vegas Lounge CHRIS' FAVORITES RELATED TO THE TWIN CITIES: Favorite Meal Under $15: Mesa Pizza (Mac & Cheese Pizza) Most Fascinating Person(s) You Know: Hamil Griffin-Cassidy (@TheRealHamil) Bobby Kahn (@kobbybahn) Favorite Public Space: Downtown Minneapolis Favorite Annual Event: Twin Cities Pride Parade State of the Union Message: "You are an integral cog in the machinery of the cosmos."
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