Sherry Coleman Collins and DeMarquine’ “Dee” Wilson are the voices behind the Southern Fried Girlfriends Podcast, a weekly show that dives into health and wellness from an approachable, girlfriends next door kind of way. Sherry is a registered dietician and nutritionist, and Dee, an information junkie, is her co-worker, co-host and friend. After a conversation about gut-health and yes, poop, the idea for Southern Fried Girlfriends podcast was born. The goal of the podcast is to keep things honest, open and real for women who are curious about their food, their bodies, their mental health and the world around them. Meet Sherry Coleman Collins and Dee Wilson, today’s FACES of Atlanta and the women behind the podcast whose friendly voices make you feel like a welcomed part of the informed conversation.
Inspiration for your podcast was the idea of capturing one of those conversations that was so good, you wish you had recorded it. Southern Fried Girlfriends Podcast does exactly that! Can you tell us where the idea came from?
Dee: We work with an eclectic group of people from diverse backgrounds, and I don’t think any two of us think exactly alike on any given issue. This makes for some amazing conversations. Despite all our differences, we have a solid foundation of trust and respect that allows us to have conversations that are uncomfortable and express opinions that are unpopular, so that we can express and examine the “why” behind our position. I personally love having the opportunity to say, “I never thought of it that way,” when presented with a different perspective on an issue I feel strongly about. It was one of those conversations that sparked the idea for the podcast!
Podcasting is all the rage for some, and yet a foreign concept for others. What is unique about podcasting as a way to get information to people?
Sherry: I love how intimate and conversational it is. We’re really having fun, and it’s not scripted or super prepared. I hope that people feel comfortable and that we can build trust, so that when they hear us talking about something, they want to learn more.
What would we be surprised to learn about podcasting?
Sherry: That it takes a lot more than 30 minutes to create a show! Even though our show is casual and conversational, we do spend a lot of time working before (and after) listeners ever hear the finished product.
Can you describe a typical recording session? What does it look like? I’m picturing snacks, wine and microphones. Is that what it’s really like?
Dee: Our mic stands are a little low, so all the mics are standing on books, so that they’re the right height for the speaker. The overhead lights are off, and there’s usually a scented candle burning somewhere in the room. There are definitely snacks, sometimes wine, sometimes tequila, but always water.
Sherry: Yes, we always have snacks! I never do anything on an empty stomach. And we don’t want anyone to have dry mouth, so beverages are always available.
Each of your episodes is digestible in length (about 30 minutes) and covers a topic on wellness, mindfulness or both! Why is it important to you to cover topics that focus on those themes?
Dee: For me, it’s because these are the kinds of things I crave information about. Eighteen months ago, I realized that I’d been so busy making sure that my husband and kids had everything they needed, that I hadn’t stopped to ask myself if I had everything I needed. So I started researching things I needed to know to take care of myself: how to lose weight, how to have better skin, who is Brené Brown, how often should I remove my lip hair (and what’s the best method), why do I sometimes feel empty even when I know God loves me, can I be a Christian and have an active yoga and meditation practice … and on and on and on.
Sherry: As a healthcare and nutrition professional, I see so much confusion about issues that fall under these umbrellas. There’s a ton of misinformation out there, too! I really wanted to create a space where we could talk through some of these hot issues around what is really important to be and stay healthy and well. We talk about nutrition, of course, but also other habits that fall under mental and emotional health because they are just as important if we want to live a fully healthy life.
What episodes can we expect to hear next? Are there other serious or educational topics do you hope to cover soon?
Sherry: We have lots of ideas and plans, including talking about dietary fat and misperceptions and the “why” of behavior change. We also plan to tackle the topic of life after divorce.
As your podcast grows, what’s your vision for Southern Fried Girlfriends?
Sherry: [Laughing] Well of course Southern Fried Girlfriends will naturally translate into a book and TV deal – maybe a movie! I want Cameron Diaz to play me. Seriously, we’re just taking it one month at a time right now. We’re having a lot of fun, and we are learning.
We love getting the inside scoop from industry experts. What are some of your other favorite podcasts?
Dee: Looking at my podcast app and those podcasts that I listen to religiously, my taste is all over the place! The Life Coach School, The Nod, Rants & Randomness, Sword and Scale, Snap Judgment, Lore, See Something Say Something, Losing 100 Pounds with Phit-n-Phat, The Moth, Making Oprah and now Making Obama. There are also a couple I’m praying come back like Another Round and Why We Eat What We Eat, but their previous episodes are awesome.
Sherry: Like Dee, I’m really eclectic in my podcast taste, but I have a particular interest in food themed shows, as well as local shows. Here are my top ten at the moment (in no particular order): Bon Appetit Foodcast, Marietta Stories, Milk Street Radio, Good Life Project, Gravy, That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs, Ted Talks Health, The Atlanta Foodcast, The Science of Happiness and The Splendid Table.
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?
Dee: It’s unkind to expect people to be different from who they are. I can make decisions about whether or not I will be around someone based on their behavior, but expecting them to change because I want them to be different is unkind. People will change when it makes sense to them to do so, and the time frame for that change is completely up to them. I don’t think of myself as a controlling person, but when I wrapped my mind around the concept of allowing people to be who they are, that was so freeing for me.
Sherry: “You can change your mind anytime you want.” My mom gave me that gift when I decided that I wasn’t ready to be in college and deciding what I wanted to do for the rest of my life at 18. It has served me well for my whole adult life in allowing me to chase my passions, fail, start over, move on and let go of things that no longer served me.
Excluding faith, family and friends, what are three things you can’t live without?
Dee: Haribo Gummy Bears, long hikes on wooded trails in the spring and fall and air conditioning.
Sherry: Nourishing foods, quiet time alone and a good book.
Listen to and learn more about the Southern Fried Girlfriends podcast here.
Thanks, Sherry and Dee! We can’t wait to follow along on your podcasting adventures. Shout-out to CatMax Photography for these fabulous photos of the Southern Fried Podcast gals.
Read about even more inspiring Atlanta women in our FACES archives. Click here.