Teddy Zane – Flex Fitness

Teddy Zane, owner of Flex Fitness, and several other businesses in the greater Birmingham area, was the guest on Episode 31 of Birmingham Shines, released February 11, 2016

Teddy Zane, owner of Flex Fitness in Irondale, is the guest on episode 31 of Birmingham Shines.

Health and fitness starts with food.

“You can’t outtrain a bad diet,” Zane says.

Teddy is an ACE certified trainer.

Bodybuilding Awards include:
–Mr. New York
–Teen Mr. Upstate New York

Flex Fitness is an awesome gym in Irondale, a suburb of Birmingam, with 24/7 access. Flex Fitness offers a full range of cardio workout machines, as well as multiple varieties of circuit training machines. There’s a full floor of free-weights for the hard-core bodybuilders, but Flex Fitness really emphasizes fitness for everyone. 

In this week’s episode we talk about nutrition, designing a workout regimen and more. Here are some highlights:

Some folks don’t get the results they want because they quit too soon when they don’t get the results fast enough. Patience is a key and you also have to pay attention to what you’re eating.

Most of us can’t get all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids that we need, even if we’re eating reasonably well. So it’s not just about what you’re will to give up and a commitment to eating the right combinations and quantities.

You also have to pay attention to the quality of the food you’re taking in. Industrially-produced poultry and beef, farmed fish, these receive food that’s largely corn-based. As a result, you don’t get the Omega 3 fatty acids and other benefits of grassfed, pastured livestock.

Teddy recommends intermittent fasting to help detox body and restore gut health. This is not the solution for someone with a medical condition, but for a normal healthy person intermittent fasting can be an excellent tool for restoring colonic health and intestinal function.

With intermittent fasting, you go 12 hours, usually overnight, with no food intake to give your digestive system a rest. Drink a lot of water, especially in the morning after, to help flush out toxins.

Food and fitness are the fountain of youth.

Not sure where to start, if you aren’t already on a fitness plan…..Teddy offers these tips:

  • Set a goal. Identify your goal and a reason to achieve it.
  • If you can’t manage your self-discipline, get a trainer. Not mandatory if you can stay committed to your plan, but a trainer is great to keep you motivated.
  • Ask people in great shape to help you. It’s better to talk to a real person–even a friend who’s knowledgeable–rather than just going to YouTube or a website for motivation.
  • Be consistent. Don’t be sporadic. Your body adapts quickly, so you want to keep moving forward.

Bodybuilding is for the extreme-fit enthusiast. Most people just want to focus on cardio to get rid of stored body fat. A key to maximize fat-burning is to work out on an empty stomach and you must get your heart rate up (more on that shortly). Drink lots of water.

Take a branch-chain amino acid supplement before your cardio workout. Branch chain amino acids usually come in powder form. Take before the workout, on empty stomach, to preserve muscle and burn fat.

For strength-training, want to have a couple of meals in the day before your strength workout.

Ideally, do your cardio early, on an empty stomach. Make sure you get your heart rate up to the right level, based on age. A heart rate monitor is crucial for making sure you hit the right threshold in cardio to burn fat.

Then have 2 meals before strength training. Do your strength 2 p.m. or later, after you’ve had good nutrition.


Flex Fitness is located on Crestwood Blvd. in Irondale.

Irondale is (as some of you may know) the hometown of the Irondale Cafe, which inspired The Whistlestop Cafe in Fannie Flagg’s book, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe.

Find Flex Fitness on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Flex-fitness-117410334948869/


Chef Tony Bayles on Food and the Woodlawn Community Spirit

Chef Tony Bayles, owner of Bayles Catering and Takeout restaurant in Woodlawn was the guest on episode 30 of Birmingham Shines podcast, released February 4, 2016

Chef Tony Bayles started out working with food when he was an assistant to his uncle who ran a catering business.

Today, Tony owns Bayles Catering and a popular take-out cafe in the Woodlawn community, which is in the midst of a community revitalization that’s turning into a renaissance.

In this episode of Birmingham Shines, Tony shares the story of how he decided to become a professional chef, a bit about his history and training, the types of catering services he provides, and what makes the community of Woodlawn and the city of Birmingham Shine.

We also talk about bowling. Enjoy!

Links and more at https://birminghamshines.com


TEDxBirmingham with Matthew Hamilton

Matthew Hamilton, TEDxBirmingham, guest on Episode 29 of Birmingham Shines podcast, released January 29, 2016

Welcome to episode 29 of Birmingham Shines. I’m your host and producer Sheree Martin  and this week’s show is about TEDxBirmingham: what it is, why it matters, who it’s for and more. We also talk about what makes Birmingham Shine and what makes a person shine.

My guest is Matthew Hamilton, someone I’ve been trying to have on the show since last summer and we finally had a chance to sit down just before the beginning of the year to talk about TEDxBirmingham. I’m a huge fan of TED talks and TEDx talks and use them to learn, find inspiration and spark my own innovation and creativity.

TEDxBirmingham 4th edition is set for March 12 and the leadership team just announced this year’s speakers a few weeks ago.

Matthew and I talk about the importance of TEDx events in the life of a community and the goals of TEDxBirmingham in particular. I ask Matthew to highlight a few of his favorite speakers from past TEDxBirmingham events and you can find videos of those talks on the Birmingham Shines blog. He also gives us a preview of this year’s speaker line-up.

You can apply for tickets right now through tedxbirmingham.org and Matthew explains the selection process in our conversation around the 43 minute mark. The deadline to submit your application is January 31, so only a few days left to apply for tickets. But you can also participate via the free livestream if you can’t attend in person.

Why does TEDx matter? Matthew says it creates a forum in a community where a diverse group of people can come together and share ideas. The TEDx event can be a spark or catalyst for innovation. Tt’s the sharing of ideas and bringing people together to connect that is the service TEDx events provide to a community.

The focus or mission of TED is to bring to light Ideas Worth Spreading. I like to think that my hero Benjamin Franklin would have been one of the forces to bring a TED-type of event to life. His Junto is probably the closest thing to a TED-type of event that existed in the colonies in the first half of the 18th century.

Matthew is a co-organizer with Dr. Sarah Parcak of UAB, who’s a TED Fellow. In curating the speakers for TEDxBirmingham events they try to focus on ideas that matter coming OUT of Birmingham, more than ideas about Birmingham.

“We want to share ideas that are originating in this city, out to the world,” Hamilton said.

One of the criteria used by the TEDxBirmingham organizers for speaker selections is that the idea is one that would be relevant to someone regardless of geography. The idea is not specific to Birmingham or relevant only to people in our city or region.

Matthew used the example of Dr. Pat Hymel’s TEDxBirmingham talk from 2013, which focused on how we grow and learn from our mistakes.

This year’s TEDxBirmingham has the theme of Pure Imagination. In curating speakers for this theme, Hamilton says the idea was to find speakers who consider the possibilities for the future with an emphasis on WHEN, not if.

Once we finish talking about TEDxBirmingham, past and present. Matthew shares some of his thoughts on how and why Birmingham Shines: It really comes down to the people.

We talk about two books Matthew recommends:

  • Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • How Will You Measure Your Life by Clay Christiansen


What makes someone shine personally? A similar theme echoed by other guests: A willingness to step out and do the thing you’re passionate about.

Black Warrior Riverkeeper with Nelson Brooke

Nelson Brooke has served as Black Warrior Riverkeeper since 2004. The nonprofit Black Warrior Riverkeeper organization provides leadership in protecting the Black Warrior River, one of the primary sources of drinking water to the City of Birmingham and several other surrounding municipalities and public water systems.

Nelson explains why water is so important and how the modern “disconnect” from water contributes to the lack of public awareness about the importance of protecting water.

Episode released December 30, 2015.

We take a look at some of the challenges of protecting water in Alabama. We also discuss briefly some of the hidden costs that we incur personally and as a society as a result of failure to enforce existing water quality regulations and the failure to update water protection regulations. For instance, many pharmaceuticals and emerging chemical hazards aren’t yet covered by the regulatory system or treatment protocols. We are exposed to these chemicals that persist in drinking water and this exposure contributes to the increased rates of cancer and other health problems. We collectively incur the medical costs of treatment of these health conditions and it might be less expensive to remove the chemicals from the water supply, or find ways to limit the discharge of these products into rivers, streams and reservoirs.

We also touch on the role that our natural environment plays in outdoor recreation and the economic opportunities this offers.

Find out more at http://blackwarriorriver.org

pencilpress – Art with Susan Shoemaker

Susan Shoemaker, mixed media artist, pencilpress is the guest on episode 27 of Birmingham Shines podcast, released November 20 2015

This week’s guest is Susan Shoemaker, a Birmingham mixed media artist. You can find her work around Birmingham and online. Just search for pencilpress.

Susan markets her work as pencilpress, which explains originated with her college art studies in printmaking and her love of drawing. And she also presses hard with her pencil. Hence, pencilpress.

Susan is known for her animal-focused art and she explains how she conceives and creates animal drawings, paintings and other pieces of art.

In our conversation, we touch on the creative process, art in schools and what it’s like to pursue art while working a full-time day job.

Susan explains how she gave up art for some years after college, while she worked full time, and then returned when she found that art was something that she could not let go.

Susan also talks about a few of the challenges that artists are facing—and they might surprise you. One is the challenge of dealing with bad weather during an outdoor art show. Another stems from the frequent requests that artists receive to donate their work for fundraising events. These are two things the artist community, overall, is facing and working to address, collectively.

We also talk about the challenges of pricing and value and perceptions of price, time, value and quality in the context of art AND food.

Susan’s website is http://pencilpress.org (not .com)

Episode released November 20, 2015. Original blog content released the same date.

Thanks to Chris and Ana Newsome for letting me commandeer a corner table at Ollie Irene at 4 p.m. one recent Friday afternoon to record the interview and thanks to the house staff for being so accommodating with the request to turn down the background music a bit while we were recording our conversation.

Clean Green with Rebecca Davis

Birmingham mother, wife and green cleaning entrepreneur Rebecca Davis is the guest on episode 26 of Birmingham Shines.

Rebecca owns a cleaning business that uses only green cleaning products Rebecca makes at home. One of her clients suggested she begin selling the green cleaning products and that led Rebecca to the Co.Starters program offered through Create Birmingham.

In this episode, released October 2, 2015, we talk about Rebecca’s journey to green and clean, in cleaning and in eating.

This episode (#26) marked the end of season 1 of Birmingham Shines.

Season 2 will  begin in November.

Rebecca’s line of cleaning products are free of the typical synthetic chemicals we find in industrial cleaning products. Rebecca uses things like vinegar, baking soda, herbs and fermentation to create her products, which she sells at Pepper Place Saturday Market.

In today’s episode we mainly talk about Rebecca’s journey into the realm of green entrepreneurship and what triggered her decision to give up the traditional American diet to return to what I call whole real foods, but I’ll let her tell you that story.

During November and December 2015 only I’m offering a limited number of opportunities for nonprofits and local businesses to be a part of Birmingham Shines through sponsored content episodes.

I’ll be offering my services to host, interview and produce special episodes of Birmingham Shines to promote a seasonal event, year end fund raising campaign or holiday message.

The starting price is just $500 for the promoted episode (limits apply) and you, the business owner or nonprofit, will be able to use your audio file in other contexts beyond the Birmingham Shines podcast feed. If you’re interested in learning more about this , visit birminghamshines.com and click the link to 2015 sponsored content or simply email sheree at shereemartin dot com and say tell me more.

You can find links to her website and Facebook page in the episode post at BirminghamShines.com. And you can find Rebecca at Pepper Place Saturday Market each week for the rest of the 2015 season.

If you’re a small business owner or event planner with a special event or message to promote through on-demand audio, don’t forget to visit BirminghamShines.com to learn more about the limited time offer for promoted episodes.

Thank you so much for listening to Birmingham Shines. I hope you’ll share the show with your friends. See you soon!

You can find the links and full show notes at http://BirminghamShines.com

Scott Doty – The Power of Design

Industrial designer Scott Doty is the guest on episode 25 of Birmingham Shines.

We talk about the power of and importance of design in all facets of life and business.

We also get into tips and resources to help boost creativity and innovation, regardless of skill or experience.

Episode 25 was released October 15, 2015.

August 2018 Update: Scott and his wife, Jess, moved away from Birmingham in 2017.

Please support Birmingham Shines podcast and all of the Shinecast® resources and media content through Patreon. Visit https://birminghamshines.com/support to go directly to the Shinecast Patreon page.

Writer T.K. Thorne

This week’s guest on Birmingham Shines is writer T.K. Thorne, author of the award-winning novel Noah’s Wife.

Noah’s Wife received ForeWard Magazine’s Book of the Year Award in Historical Fiction and T. K. has received a number of accolades and much critical acclaim for her fiction and non-fiction works, including Angels at the Gate, another novel in the genre of historical fiction, and Last Chance for Justice, a investigative non-fiction work about the Birmingham Church bombers.

I recently finished reading Noah’s Wife and I can say from first-hand experience that this is a compelling, page-turning work of historical fiction. I literally did not want to stop reading each night when it was time for me to turn off the light.

Episode 24 was released October 1, 2015.

I hope you enjoy this conversation, we start with a look at her early years and then focus on her journey to becoming a published writer and how the characters in her stories come to life.

You’ll probably only get an episode every other week during the month of October. That’s something I’m contemplating. If you want to keep up to date to know for sure, please visit https://birminghamshines.comand sign up for the email newsletter. You can find the sign-up form just below the player on any episode page.

Magic City Woodworks – Crafting Lives Through Woodworking

Lawrence Sheffield knew from a young age that he wanted to work with his hands, his heart and his mind and that college was not in his plans. His love of woodworking inspired a vision to start a training program to help young men learn both job and life skills through woodworking. That vision led to the creation of Magic City Woodworks, a 501c3 nonprofit in Birmingham, Alabama.

Lawrence is my guest on this week’s episode of Birmingham Shines, along with Jacob Pierce who serves as the volunteer coordinator for Magic City Woodworks.

In this conversation, we talk about the importance of doing meaningful work and the life lessons that can be learned through woodworking and other trades.

One of the most important books I’ve read in the past 5-6 years is Shop Craft as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford. 

When I discovered Magic City Woodworks through Instagram I knew I had to reach out to these guys and learn more about what they are doing. I’m so glad I did. I think you’ll love this conversation.

City Action Partnership – Serving Downtown Birmingham

Teresa Thorne, executive director of the City Action Partnership, is the guest on episode 22 of Birmingham Shines. She describes the role of the CAP team, the services they provide, and shares an example of how the CAP officers go beyond the “call of duty.”

Episode released September 10, 2015. Teresa Thorne has since retired from City Action Partnership.

Teresa is a former  Birmingham police officer and she shares some of the reasons she thinks downtown Birmingham Shines.

I’ll be publishing another part of our conversation in a future episode that focuses on Teresa’s writing. She’s a successful author who’s published several acclaimed books under her pen name, T.K. Thorne.