Virginia Newman – Nutritional Therapist & Former Virginian

It was great to have Virginia on to talk about Health at Every Size (HAES), Intuitive Eating, weight loss and loving the bodies we’re in. We learned a great deal and got a little vulnerable.

Virginia’s goal is for people to understand that health and well-being goes way beyond food intake and exercise. While it can feel great to go on a new diet, life happens and we fall off the wagon, leading to shame at our failure to keep it up.

She encourages clients to find the middle path, aiming for variety, adequacy, flexibility, and enjoyment in how they eat and exercise. Exercise should not be a job, but an expression of joy.

The frameworks from which she practices, HAES and Intuitive Eating, can encourage people to look at health and well-being through a wider lens, creating a better understanding of their own bodies and the way that they interact with themselves and the world.

Links to relevant and important things:


  • Association for Size Diversity and Health: Group that owns the HAES trademark, promoting health in all bodies and widening the definition of health.
  • Be Nourished: Portland clinic that trains clinicians and provides workshops for people interested in creating a peaceful relationship to their own bodies and finding a way of being that supports their overall wellbeing. Lots of resources here!
  • Creating Peace with Food: Virginia’s group practice, consisting of five Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and one Licensed Mental Health Therapist who work with Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating, Family and Pediatric Nutrition, and Sports Nutrition. Clinicians in Bellevue, Bothell, and Renton.
  • Ellen Sattyr Institute: Great resource for parents looking to create healthy relationship to food and body for their children. Outlines the Division of Responsibility in feeding, helping to guide parents towards nurturing competent eaters.
  • Rachel Cole: A coach whose work helps women to untangle what they are truly hungry for, resources for creating happy fulfilling relationships to food, body, and soul.   
  • Self-Compassion: Our health is impacted by our relationship to ourselves. How loud is our inner critic during stressful times? Kristin Neff’s research is in the field of self-compassion and how that can impact our lives in a positive way.

Show Notes

Podcasters (Ben, Sean, Grant, Stephen)

3m – Grant’s Sports Hour/Clint Dempsey

6m – We Love The Seattle Storm

11m – Grant Plays Fantasy Football (Shamefully)

20m – Corgi Racing, Let’s Legalize It

22m – Virginia Listens to One Podcast (Is it ours?)

23m – Virginia Introduction

25m – Intro to HAES

28m – Virginia from Virginia

35m – Keto: A History

40m – The Weight Loss Industry and the BMI Lie

48m – Indoctrination vs Education

49m – Grant’s Dating Corner, The College Years

51m – Racism vs Weight Shaming

53m – BMI: A History

55m – The Term “Obesity”

59m – Psychosomatic

60m – Anxiety and Health

63m – Alcohol and How Podcasts are Formed

68m – The Evolutionary Theory of Beer

69m – Dietary Guidelines

71m – Intuitive Eating/How is it Perceived?

74m – Shame – Is Moderation a Good Thing?

78m – Psychology/Seattle’s Health Culture/Orthorexia

80m – Exercise/Dance Church

84m – HAES and Social Justice/How Do We Improve How We Talk About This?

89m – The Diet Industry/Eating Disorders

96m – Doctors

101m – A Checklist for a Big Complicated Picture

103m – One Thing You Wish People Knew

107m – And Another Thing

108m – Virginia Plugs Her Business

Special Acknowledgements


  • Sue Bird is not Larry Bird’s Mom

Hashtag City

#HAES #Healthateverysize #intuitiveeating #dieting #diet #weightloss


Matt Brady & the Shambles: Beer, Food, & Community

Tonight, we got to hang out with Matt Brady, co-owner of the Shambles. This new North Seattle haunt is a great community beer, butcher, and foodie hall in Maple Leaf. It enjoyed a three-month run as the #1 restaurant on Eater Seattle after its opening in January. We talk about food, beer, and Matt’s desire for the Shambles to be a community-centric hangout.

From the website:

The Shambles is Seattle’s neighborhood bar and butcher. We believe in local food, fresh beer, and sustainably sourced meat. We are bringing the farm to bar experience to the Seattle community with house-prepared meats, handcrafted sandwiches, and small plates made from the finest ingredients available.

Our wood filled bar serves classically inspired cocktails and the best beers in the Pacific Northwest. Our in-house butcher allows us to connect with small farmers and provide our restaurant with phenomenal steaks and chops, freshly prepared sausages, and house-cured charcuterie.

The menu changes with the seasons and reflects our commitment to all things natural, local, and delicious. Shop the select goods and charcuterie in our small market or relax in our cozy bar amongst friends.


Show Notes

2m – Intros

4m – Showbox, Growing Seattle

18m – Podcast Recommendations

23m – The Shambles: The Beginning

30m – Butcher Shop and Bar: What a Great Idea

31m – Where are My Brussel Sprouts?

35m – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Seismic Engineering

40m – Maple Leaf

43m – Ben’s Restaurant Rating System: A Guide

48m – Brewery Talk, Including the Best One You Didn’t Know About

52m – Urban Family

54m – Sours: A Fad, Fresh Hop, Hazy IPAs

57m – NW vs NE IPAs and The Great Bitterness Wars

64m – Matt’s Favorite Yelp Review

65m – Grant’s Dramatic Yelp Reading Debut

68m – Built-in Gratuity

78m – The Shambles – Where’d the Name Come From?

81m – Sour Beer Dinner (Events)

84m – Ben’s Plum Wine Does Not Make Him the Closest Winery to the Shambles

86m – Matt Plugs His Bar

Special Acknowledgements / Mentions

Related Articles

Hashtag City

#Shambles #Beer #SeattleBeer #EaterSeattle #foodie #SeattleFoodie #Butcher #Meat #Sours #IPAs #HazyIPA #MapleLeaf #Showbox #Savetheshowbox

Imaginary Liz is a Music Blogging Rockstar!

We were so lucky to have Liz Riley Tollefson(Imaginary Liz) of Three Imaginary Girls ( come by. She mesmerized us with story after story about covering Seattle’s rock scene and gave deep advice to Grant on his dating life.

A little more from the website:

Three Imaginary Girls is a Seattle-based website that showcases the great music of the Northwest to music lovers worldwide. The site launched in June 2002 to document the show-going escapades of three music fans with boundless enthusiasm for the burgeoning music scene around them.

Since that time, the site has grown to include reviews of albums, live music, film, interviews and more, in Seattle and beyond. The site thrives on constantly discovering and nurturing great new bands and sharing them with the rest of the {imaginary} world.

Three Imaginary Girls have also booked music showcases, contributed to other music publications (including the KEXP blog, Seattle Sound Magazine, Tablet Magazine, and Music for America), and the imaginary editorial staff have made countless guest radio appearances on KEXP 90.3fm and KUOW 94.9fm and have been featured in the pages of The Stranger and the Seattle Weekly.

Three Imaginary Girls were voted “MVP of Seattle Music 2004” by readers of the Seattle Weekly, and were listed in Seattle Magazine’s 2004 Most Influential People issue as well as Seattle Sound’s 2006 Most Influential in Seattle Music issue. One of our founders was crowned a Nerd of Note by Seattle Magazine and we were even mentioned on ESPN and in the pages of Jane magazine and Paste Magazine.

The Website

Show Notes

Podcasters (Ben, Sean, Grant, Stephen)

3m – Grants dating corner
7m – Grant reviews Seafair
17m – Ben’s Real Estate News
21m – Liz’s Sad contractor story
26m – Ben’s Construction/contractor Advice
31m – ThreeImaginaryGirls
42m – The meaning behind the name
52m – TIG and SIFF
55m – I’ll have a TIG
56m – Liz knows they might be giants
62m – Liz tells us how to compliment a musician after a set
73m – Liz talks venues
79m – Why you need to follow a blog for finding music
87m – Everyone’s favorite music towns
93m – What’s next
97m – Grants rapid fire round

Special Acknowledgements

Every music venue in Seattle #savetheshowbox


Near the 68th minute, we falsely associate Dave Meinert With Neumos. He is not associated with Neumos. He is, however,  associated with the 5 points cafe, and formerly associated with the Lost Lake Cafe and the Comet Tavern.

Ola Normelli – Swedish Actor, International Great Guy

Our special guest tonight is Ola Normelli, Swedish actor and longtime friend of Seattle. He teaches us how to act, what America looks like through foreign eyes, and he loves puns.



From his website (

Ola Normelli is an actor based in Gothenburg, Sweden and Seattle, WA. He has been working with productions such as Vår tid är nu/Our time is now (Jarowskij/SVT), En del av mitt hjärta (Unlimited stories/Film i Väst) and Kör Bara/Just do it (Mikaela Hargell).

Besides his acting career, Ola is also a writer and a poet. His forthcoming book; Den enda medicinen (The sole medicine) – a collection of texts, will be published shortly.

Find at more at:

Ola’s Website

Ig: @olanormelli

Show Notes

Podcasters (Ben, Stephen)

2m – Ola’s Seattle Connection
4m – Getting Started in Acting
8m – Ola in LA
14m – Ola loves America
16m – Insurance in America
23m – Seattle’s Worst Podcast takes a bold stance
26m – Porn Parody Titles
31m – Ola teaches us acting, the Meisner technique
43m – Ola’s fascinating stage work, murder mysteries
54m – Ben’s been to Sweden, got a compliment
59m – Everybody’s got Nazis
67m – How do you discuss Trump, issues with hard right people
81m – Guns
90m – We can’t stop talking about Swedish politics
93m – Oprah
96m – Ben and Ola do geography Puns
100m – Ola makes a commitment
103m – Ola’s biggest moment, Matt Dillon
107m – Ola plugs stuff
111m – Ola reads us a poem

Special Acknowledgements –

Conscious Eatery –

Permafrost Media –

Leif Whitman, Fish Cop, Fishmonger

Everyone’s food side shows here. We have our first guest Leif Whitman, former fish cop, and current fishmonger.

To Support Leif’s business and sustainable fishing practices, support his friends business,

1m – Leif, Fish Cop Stories
17m – How do you know if something is overfished
23m – Where should you get your seafood
29m – Ben’s met Dan Savage
33m – What’s Black about Black Cod / What’s a fishmonger’s Favorite Fish
42m – How do you feel about David Chang
45m – Stephen defends a thing
46m – Fishmonger Seattle Food Recommendation #1
49m – That big Sushi Mexican Place in Wallingford
55m – Fishmonger Seattle Food Recommendation #2
59m – Everyone gives a podcast recommendations
63m – Ben gets autotune
67m – DSA Stuff
72m – Everything Bacon
85m – How to cook Halibut
87m – The workers purchase Pike Place Market
92m – Our first guest plugs a thing

Don’t Ask A Scientist

We might have gotten too drunk.
Some great discussion though!

1m – Grant in Alaska
12m – Ben B, mosquito man
14m – Grant’s Dating Corner, Alaska Edition
19m – Seattle Freeze
25m – Sports Corner – World Cup
31m – The Most Seattle Moment
32m – Limebikes Super Discussion
47m – Roots @ Zootunes, Prime Card Corporate Subsidies
52m – The Russian Stuff, from Alaska
54m – Ben’s Seattle Real Estate Corner
60m – Mom’s Who smoke a lot of pot
63m – Alex Jones, Cernovich, The First Amendment
71m – Seattle Food Discussion, The Burning Beast
75m – Does Everyone in Seattle Like Good Food?
79m – Parents as Casualties of the City
88m – Best Banh Mis in Seattle
94m – Grant’s Hot Alaskan Sandwich recommendation
95m – Sean’s Sandwich Hole


Ultimate Tinder Best Friend Experience

At our increasingly semi regular meeting, I floated the idea of taking over my beautiful friend Grant’s tinder profile for a month if he let me buy his beer. He refused, which is obviously bullshit, but it got me to thinking; why? Why wouldn’t he want one of his best friends who only wants his never ending happiness to manage his love life? No one knows what’s better for him than Sean(who would obviously help) and myself, so why would he refuse?

It’s pretty obvious, let me count the ways:

  1. Grant is afraid of being happy
  2. He doesn’t want to find forever love in this lifetime
  3. He’s rightly suspicious he’ll die of a sex overdose

My commitments conservatively, on what he’ll get out of this:

  1. 3 first dates in this month
  2. 2 second dates
  3. The greatest trust fall experience he’ll ever have

So what does the world get out of this?

I’ll blog every interaction of this experiment. The world will watch Grant meet the dozens of women of his dreams by way of the clever wit and prose provided by his partners in blogging and he will of course have a beautiful life experience that he can write about, of course from the bed of his new soulmate that he’ll meet probably just hours after letting us use his account.

Now I don’t think he’ll be super interested in this, so i started this petition on Let’s just assume he can’t say no if we get 100 signatures. Hell, I think 10 would be more than enough.

Come on Grant! Do it for love!



On the Way to Becoming a Pile of Glass

I bike to and from work one of two ways. The decision to go one way or the other is made by the simple act of taking a turn or not. A binary option of avenues. No detectable forethought goes into this turn or lack thereof. I just do or do not turn.

My idea of the life and the universe is that everything is happening as a result of momentum from a giant explosion at the beginning of time. Our actions are decided just as the jar that fell is already broken. Absent deus ex machina, we are watching ourselves take actions that we have decided to take responsibility for but which were already decided. We’re at the theater yelling at the character to not open that door but we know she’s going to open that door and she’s already dead. That’s OK.

I bike to and from work one of two ways (which is really a total of four ways) and I like to imagine that the decision I make not to ride the way that I did the day before, to make that split second decision to turn instead of not, will change the direction of my life, however minutely. Even within one of those four ways to or from work there are slight alterations to the route.

Take a right at 65th then an immediate left on 7th one time and I might make eye contact with a stranger on their porch taking tea or a beer, which might make me feel invigorated and awkward leading me to think about the interaction for the remainder of the ride home. This memory could stay with me for many years and I may see them on the bus a few weeks or months on, seeming familiar but out of context, stare at them too long or ask them a question or forget about them after unsuccessfully trying to pin them down in my list of casual eye contact people.

If I slip up a different street, the one that passes the grocery coop, maybe I think to grab a sixer and some radishes (to clean at the sink, salt at the sink, and eat at the sink). My life changes, if just a little.

I like to think these things as a challenge to my idea that the jar is already broken and the girl is already dead. It’s just as possible that my route rearrangements are just the movements of a scripted character unchangeably walking toward certain doom (presumably an analogue less gruesome than death by the inevitable chainsaw or butcher knife or ax). We are all walking toward certain doom (if the idea of inescapable death at some unknown juncture is your definition of doom as well).

I am not hoping to escape said doom but to express the hope that at least some of my actions are movements outside the written narrative (while still within the general direction). On the way to my certain doom, a level of personal autonomy is appreciated. Whether or not I am truly exercising this autonomy is outside of my knowledge, necessarily. The act of writing about it does no more to solve the query than does the act of turning. But, by the act of turning (or not), I may by multiple iterations try to initiate changes against the life I would have lived locked into the same route.

The Art of Becoming a Homeowner

These days it can be difficult to pry our attentions away from the world stage, whereon so much melodrama and absurdity are being performed. A mixture of comedy and fear ripples throughout the globe as a manbaby plays at the controls of the biggest machine. Each day brings another mad headline, clicked and shared at a rapid pace before the next thing drops to our collective gasp (getting less gasp-y with each new thing).

But, despite the uptick in global happenings, local happenings still proceed forward (albeit at a much more manageable pace). So is the case for us. We bought a home.

Following four offers and four refusals, numbed to the excitement of the process, we stumbled into a spot we figured we couldn’t possibly get. Then we did. At this point, we’d really just go to open houses to see the places we’d likely never get. Lost was the gusto of the initial experiences when our lingo was adorably untrained. We now knew to ask about HOA dues, reserves, rental caps, the perceived level of interest. We knew to expect 10-20% escalations, and then to somehow expect even more than that. We’d still imagine our lives there, the commutes, the local bars and restaurants, the parks. We’d stare out the windows like we might if we slept there and all our furniture was just behind us. But the expectancy had slightly shriveled.

Then a place we’ve loved for years, old and iconic and next to the park, our park, had an open house. Redfin’s estimate had it outside of possibility, even with minor escalation, but the open house was Sunday and what else are we doing? Twenty minutes before the open house closed, we went by and checked it out. Nice hardwood floors, tall ceilings, radiant heat and tile counters. There was nothing remotely charmless about it. But we shuffled around it like it wasn’t ours, couldn’t be ours. Nice tile, she’d say. Yeah, nice tile, I’d volley. It was nice tile floor, but it was distant from us, beyond a money mountain we couldn’t travail.

We checked out the laundry situation, chatted up the agent, and were on the way out. Oh yeah, by the way, the HOA dues include property tax. Now, this would have been a terribly boring sentence to me just four months ago. But at this point, it meant that this progressed from the most unattainable spot we’d flirted with to the most just in the matter of one simple and boring sentence. We confirmed this new attainability with the Redfin app on our way out, then stood awkwardly at the corner like, holy shit, we can do this.

Personal letter, appropriate escalation clause, an agent on top of her shit. Our offer was accepted. We had become homeowners, sort of.

But, not really. Not yet. And still not yet. The excitement of the offer acceptance began a long month of money-related documents we would proceed to sign in our lifeblood for the next few weeks (and still). Further, our acceptance was additionally contingent on the board formally approving our neighborly existence with them. To the joy of our own estimations of ourselves, we were approved for that (though not before much homework about policies and meeting minutes and volunteer committees).

All this signing and money-pushing did not come before we had again looked at the place in person. Before we went on to 30-year contracts, we walked the interiors of our possible new home, imagining how our lives looked inside. The second bedroom window opened out to a rosemary bush. Sage below the kitchen’s. There was a bonus room, whose future was constantly mutable, from dressing room to project space. The old galley kitchen with ubiquitous cabinets and potential for renovation. No yard or balcony, but outside the front door was the park we’ve loved for all our years here, the biggest yard we could hope for and without the botanical grooming.

Beyond the unit itself, the building was a cooperative, wherein community is key and most maintenance is the responsibility of the residents. This in a city of few neighbors, a city of momentary glances and eye aversions. Whole apartment buildings who’d barely recognize each other. We were choosing a community over the chilliness of some former residences.

Of all the future homes that we have cyclically imagined for ourselves, we finally found the one for which we most loved the invented futures.


For Runty

My wife and I got chickens recently.

It’s been interesting. I didn’t really care to own them. I wanted the eggs, and my wife committed to all of the cleaning and care. I just had to build all the stuff and I love that shit so we got chickens.

We got 6 chickens. It’s because they say you should expect to lose 20% and 1 in 9 might be sexed wrong and we wanted 4 or  5, so we got 6. The weird urban farm store owner(the store is weird, not the owner; he’s really nice) confirmed this. So we brought 6 tiny chirping things home. We have committed to not naming them until they are survived, and it’s not like i could tell them apart at all anyways.

There was one though. She was smaller. She was weaker. She couldn’t jump on the little wooden obstacle i made for them to learn to roost. We always knew her. She was tiny and she even looked weird. Something was even wrong with that little thing on her head(it’s called a comb). I didn’t really have any attachment to the birds. They just occupied space in my garage and basement which was a little frustrating to me and they smelled and they kick up like a shit ton of dust all the time. I liked Runty though.

1 week in and there’s a crisis. At 4 in the morning the birds are all making a ton of noise. It’s weird how their calls change according to their mood. It’s like they’re yelling and panicking. I go in to the laundry room and the red heat lamp is out. When you get baby chicks you’re supposed to keep them at 90+ degrees for a few weeks and they were suddenly sitting at about 65 in my basement. They were all bouncing around freaking out. All except for one who’s laying there, collapsed forward and looking like shit. My wife and I don’t know what to do, but I’m certain there’s nothing I can’t fix so i pick her up and start cupping her in my hands and blowing as much heat on her as I could. My wife gets a tiny syringe and starts force feeding her water and she starts to perk up. She opens her eyes and she’s chirping every once in awhile. I find another flood light bulb and screw it in to get the heat up and I go to home depot when it opens at 6am and buy the special bulb and then I build a weird little stand and everything’s back to normal before I go to work at 715. Runty was weird for the rest of the day but she was back.

Well weeks go by and the chickens are getting bigger but Runty is still different.. she stands really weird. Instead of chirping she has a weird kind of honk, like a stupid goose. I finish building the coop and we’re getting ready to move the birds outside and I can’t wait to get them out of my fucking house and my wife is taking them out once in awhile to acclimate them so they’re walking around the yard. When Runty is out, we immediately notice something. She walks really weird.  One leg crosses the other and goes backwards. She is not graceful or nimble in the least. She looks awful.

My wife has been reading about chicken ownership for the last decade so she is ready for the brutal situations and she starts to talk about how we’re going to have to put her down and I’m really upset about this. Why can’t we just let her live out her existence? My wife says she’s probably in a lot of pain. I insist that she calls the shop and this and that. Of course we’re not going to take her to the vet because she cost $2.99 but I’m looking for anything we can do.

I make Sarah return her to her brood box so she can’t move as much and she can maybe rest it for a couple of days. Doesn’t help. I google all kinds of shit and find that some people have fixed an ailment called splayed leg that looks really familiar. There’s nothing I can’t fix so I follow the instructions and make a weird kind of chicken splint. It’s like a tiny pair of bird handcuffs. She can’t handle it and it’s not helping.

We return her to the coop and run because if she’s going to go, I want her to have a healthy few days with her friends. It’s sunny and she’s out and she can feed herself and get water just fine. I’m starting to think we just leave her. Everything we read said that if the injury is serious the bird won’t be able to feed herself and they pass that way and that’s not going to happen. Again, my wife the chicken student tells me that the others will pick on her and kill her if they recognize her as injured. Well that’s not happening so I am thinking we’re good.

As soon as I can think that sentence, we start to see it. Every time we look and another chicken is going after her. We talked to a friend and he confirmed that we should kill her and that we shouldn’t let the chickens do it because it’s nasty and it will be way worse and take a long time and be painful. He also gave us some tips for how to do it.

Sarah and I let this go for a few days because we’re really busy and i’m really upset about this bird. And i wasn’t going to take care of these chickens!? and now i have to kill one!? and who is going to do what?! ….and I couldn’t fix it…

So we killed a chicken tonight.

Stupid fucking bird.

I hope she gets to come back as somebody’s dog.