Welcome to Episode 175 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle.
Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:
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1:10 - AUDIBLE: Go To audible.com/ifpodcast Or Text IFPODCAST To 500500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook!
Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat: Why Well-Raised Meat Is Good for You and Good for the Planet (Diana Rodgers and Robb Wolf)
14:05 - Listener Q&A: Ruth - A Million Thanks!
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Carol Dweck)
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33:15 - Listener Q&A: Kim - Fear
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43:15 - Listener Q&A: Marie - Keto Green-16
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45:45 - Listener Q&A: Camille - Hunger During Fasting
47:45 - Listener Q&A: Margaux - IF and Elevated Blood Glucose Levels
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Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 175 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat, with no calorie counting, then this show is for you.
I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.
Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. I want to take a minute to tell you about one of the sponsors for today's show. And that's Audible. Audible is the leading provider of spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks. Ranging from bestsellers to celebrity memoirs, news, business, and self-development. Every month, members get one credit to pick any title, two audible originals from a monthly selection, access to Daily News digests and guided meditation programs. Beyond Audible’s normal entertainment and audiobook options, I want to tell you about something special they're offering right now. And that's stories.audible.com.
Families with children are facing unusual challenges right now as schools may or may not be opening as normal. Audible launched a special website where anyone, anywhere can stream hundreds of their titles completely free, no strings attached for as long as the quarantine lasts. Audible’s hope is that stories.audible.com will offer everyone, including parents, educators, and caregivers, anyone helping kids as daily routines are disrupted, a screen-free experience to look forward to each day. You don't need to be an Audible member to access these free stories. To access these free audiobooks and titles, you can simply visit stories.audible.com from your computers, tablets, or smartphones. The experience is completely ad-free and completely anonymous. No need to download an app, sign up, or login. Just click, stream, and listen.
And now, here's a special offer just for our listeners. Visit audible.com/ifpodcast or text IF Podcast to 500-500. Try Audible for free and get one free audiobook in your first month. Of course, Melanie and I recommend that you choose What When Wine or Fast. Feast. Repeat., or even Delay, Don't Deny. Or you can choose from the thousands of titles available on Audible. That's audible.com/ifpodcast. And now back to the show.
Melanie Avalon: Hi everybody and welcome. This is episode number 175 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.
Gin Stephens: Hi everybody. That's a lot of episodes.
Melanie Avalon: I was just about to say 175, it feels like a number.
Gin Stephens: It does.
Melanie Avalon: 200 is coming up. Are we going to do something fun for 200? What should we do?
Gin Stephens: I don't know.
Melanie Avalon: Another Ask Me Anything. Did we do one of those already?
Gin Stephens: We did that for 100.
Melanie Avalon: Maybe we should do that for 200.
Gin Stephens: I think that would be fun.
Melanie Avalon: I think so too. Let's do it.
Gin Stephens: All right, listeners, we're doing it.
Melanie Avalon: Start submitting now. So, how many, that's 15 episodes away? Oh, wait, well, that's still like what? Three months?
Gin Stephens: That's 25 episodes away.
Melanie Avalon: Oh gosh, I can't do math.
Gin Stephens: Okay, nevermind. Do not submit them now.
Melanie Avalon: Don’t submit. Yeah, nevermind, lies. [laughs]
Gin Stephens: Be thinking about them, people. Be thinking about. Ask us anything.
Melanie Avalon: But don’t send yet, please.
Gin Stephens: And some of the questions might have to do with math. No. [laughs] All right, good times. Anyway, we'll look forward to that for Episode 200. But we'll wait till we're closer so we can collect the questions.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. How are you today?
Gin Stephens: Well, I'm waiting for the cabinet guy to come. We know we've been remodeling this bathroom since January. Yes, that's right. January. It is now August. Yes, that's right. August. We are remodeling this guest bathroom that looked like the 1980s. The vanity has just been like a comedy of errors. So, fingers crossed that the vanity is correct. And I'm never going to get a complicated vanity ever again. This wasn't supposed to be a complicated vanity. But anyway, I've learned a lot of lessons.
Melanie Avalon: Do you know what my favorite acting role of all time on stage was?
Gin Stephens: What was that?
Melanie Avalon: Comedy of errors.
Gin Stephens: Oh. Well, this has been a comedy of errors. Also, don't order vanities apparently. No offense, Canada. I love you, Canada, but I'm not going to order a vanity from Canada. I love you, Canada. I feel bad, but--
Melanie Avalon: I feel like you've been remodeling something since our first episode.
Gin Stephens: Well, really, I've just been remodeling this bathroom forever. But we're always-- that's the thing about having a house. There's always something to do, something to work on. By the time you fix one thing, something else needs fixing. Like we just had to put in a new air conditioning system.
Melanie Avalon: That's exciting. I love air conditioning.
Gin Stephens: Oh, it was exciting. Oh, yeah. It changed our master bedroom. I love my house but the heating and AC guy is like, “Wow, this is the most interesting house I've ever seen when it comes to heat and AC.” [laughs] So, it took him two full days to install a new unit. That's how complicated our house is. But the bedroom is so much cooler. It's fabulous.
Melanie Avalon: It's like when the air people come in my apartment and they're like, “This is the cleanest air we've ever smelled.”
Gin Stephens: Exactly.
Melanie Avalon: Plug for molecule. Guess what?
Gin Stephens: What's that?
Melanie Avalon: Actually, I don't know if I already told you. Did I tell you I interviewed Robb Wolf?
Gin Stephens: I don't think you did. That's exciting. How did that go?
Melanie Avalon: I literally almost cried twice, literally. Because he's literally the reason-- I read The Paleo Solution in 2012, and that was that. I've been listening to his podcast since 2012. He's my hero. I thank him in the acknowledgments of my book. It's really funny though, I started the interview and the amount of fangirling that I was doing was just ridiculous. In the first sentence, he mentioned his wife and I was like, “Oh gosh, he probably thinks I'm hitting on him.” I'm not. I'm just obsessed. So, it was really, really wonderful. It was about his new book, Sacred Cow, which is a very critical look at the role of regenerative agriculture and the role of animals in a sustainable food system. And it's really, really fascinating honestly.
Sometimes, you read a book, and you realize that you really weren't understanding something complete-- you just completely have a new perspective on something, that is that book. It can either be like a really passionate subject for people who are really passionate, or it can be a really dry subject for people who are really interested. But it's a really, really good read. I think for the betterment of humanity, everybody should read it. And I need that.
Gin Stephens: So, what's the number one takeaway, a short takeaway?
Melanie Avalon: Basically, the takeaway is that the sustainability for the health of our bodies, for the sustainability of our economic system, supporting complete nutrition from a cost basis and sustainability of the environment, all really requires a regenerative agriculture inclusive of plants and animals. Oh, and for fixing the climate change issue. A plant-based system is just actually probably going to make that worse, make all of that worse. And the vital role of the animals and the environment, and our health. The role of privilege-- Sorry, I'm going off tangents. But in order to have a completely nutritious plant-based diet that meets all nutritional needs, it actually is from a privileged state because it requires supplementation and foods that aren't available at a cheap level. So, that's actually a privilege. It's fascinating.
Gin Stephens: That is an excellent point. I'm watching my 20-year-old son, navigate-- living alone for the first time. He dropped out of art school because he changed his mind about what he wanted to do. I'm really glad because he was going to a very expensive art school that we were paying for. I'm glad that he didn't waste all the money for an education that he realized he didn't need is my point. I bet a lot of people aren't like, “Yay, I'm glad my child dropped out of school,” but hopefully you get my point with it. But now, he's figuring out his way, and he cannot afford to buy quality food. It speaks to that point. He's just buying what he can afford to buy.
Melanie Avalon: The point to that and his book is, the highest nutrition and calorie per dollar is actually meat rather than plants. It's really, really fascinating. What's controversial in his book is, he actually makes the case that grass-fed versus conventional meat, there's not really much difference from a nutritional standpoint, but from environmental and sustainability standpoint, massive differences.
Gin Stephens: That's interesting. And of course, not what we've heard.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That's why I love him because it's co-written by him and Diana something, but I feel it's very objective. I didn't understand global warming, climate change. You hear about climate change and you're like, “Oh, stop eating meat,” but literally, that's the worst thing we could do almost. So, actually read the book. Everybody should read the book. It was great, though. It was two hours. He actually talked to me for two hours.
Gin Stephens: I'm glad you got a chance to connect to your idol.
Melanie Avalon: I did. And then, I almost cried at the end too. So, yeah.
Gin Stephens: Well, that's very exciting. Congratulations.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you. I'll put-- I don't know if it'll be out when this comes out. But I will put a link to it in the show notes.
Gin Stephens: And you got to interview me.
Melanie Avalon: Next thing I was going to say was, “Yesterday, I interviewed Gin also for two hours.”
Gin Stephens: I was like, what are we going to talk about for two hours, but we did it.
Melanie Avalon: We did. It's pretty good. Listeners, check it out. We obviously talked about Fast. Feast. Repeat. I think we talked about for the first three-fourths of it. And then, the last fourth was really, really fun. We did a random sort of rapid-fire questions that I had gathered from my Facebook group.
Gin Stephens: It was really a lot of fun. I enjoyed the questions, and I enjoyed the whole interview. So, thank you, thank you for having me.
Melanie Avalon: Well, thank you for coming on. I think it's going to be a really valuable resource, because actually, it's funny. I talked about this before that I didn't really have any intermittent fasting specific episodes. But now, I think I'm going to have quite a few, but all with a different focus. And so, yours, I think is the best for the practical implementation. So, how to actually do intermittent fasting in your life and what that practically looks like. So, I think it's going to be a really, really valuable resource.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's how I want to be known. I'm not the person who knows everything. I don't want to try to be somebody I'm not. I'm your friend, Gin, who can give you some good tips, about how to do this thing called intermittent fasting.
Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I also interviewed Dr. Paul Saladino again, who wrote The Carnivore Code.
Gin Stephens: Right. So, you interviewed him twice?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because he re-released his book, kind of like you did, but-- well, you did a new book.
Gin Stephens: I did. Yeah. Mine's all new.
Melanie Avalon: Because he had self-published it, and he re-released it. And now, it's like everywhere, traditional publisher. So, he's basically hitting all the shows, but he only had an hour. It was definitely the most intense. Normally, I'm not argumentative on that show at all. But it was definitely a good debate.
Gin Stephens: Oh, well, that's interesting. What was the crux of the debate? People will have to listen but--
Melanie Avalon: He's very pro-carnivore, like very pro-carnivore.
Gin Stephens: Like everyone should be carnivore.
Melanie Avalon: He has lightened up a little bit in his book. He doesn't think everybody should be carnivore and-- well, he does. But he provides like five tiers in his book, but from his paradigm, his opinion is that even if everybody doesn't do it, that it is the ideal diet for everybody, and that basically all plants are toxic. It's very intense. I feel we're applying different models of evaluating toxicity and plants versus animals, and I feel it goes both ways. Carnivore will people who often say, “All plants are toxic.” And then on the flip side, vegan and vegetarian will often say, “All animal is toxic,” and I just feel it's more nuanced. So, we really picked that apart a little bit. It was really good discussion.
Gin Stephens: Well, good. Sounds interesting. I will never be carnivore. Take that to the bank. [laughs] I could be vegan before I could be carnivore. And I really love cheese. So, that's saying a lot. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: That's true. That was something I brought up was, I was saying I believe there are defensive mechanisms in dairy. I found research to support that. So, yeah. In any case, that's that. Shall we jump into everything for today?
Gin Stephens: Yes, let's get started.
Melanie Avalon: Right. To start things off, we have a question from Ruth and the subject is a million things and dot, dot, dot. And Ruth says, “Dear Melanie and Gin, as we are learning that COVID weight gain has been the reality for most, I am extremely thankful that I found and started IF on December 6, 2019. When I saw a business colleague losing weight and transforming into a picture of health, I asked what she was doing. She said, ‘IF’ and referred me to your podcasts and books. I binge-listened to lots of episodes to get the scoop and I've been a faithful listener of all three shows ever since. I learned so much about a broad variety of health and wellness topics from you smart ladies. I've spent so much time with the two of you that I refer to you as my friends when I refer my inquisitive friends and family to you. A million thanks to both of you. I am 63 and live a very healthy and active life in Austin, Texas. Like Gin, my body just works, and I can eat and do pretty much anything I want.”
She says, “I've always stayed with a normal weight range, but I've cycled from gaining weight during the holidays, Halloween to Valentine's Day, and losing it for summer, most of the time. But for several years, there have been that extra 10 pounds that I knew I would be better without but can't knock it off. To make this long story short, I jumped right into 24-ish pretty easily and I've been clean fasting from the start. I am happy to report that I did not experience holiday or COVID weight gain. Rather, I have lost a slow and steady one pound per month. I'm seeing body competition and feel great. I am a minimalist in most aspects of life. So, IF is a perfect lifestyle for me. Again, a million thanks to both of you.”
“Now, to get to my real question. Gin, you mentioned a book that changed the way you taught and transformed the way you approach life. I think you gave the following example of a language change. Say you have worked so hard, instead of you are so smart, I would like to recommend it to my school teacher daughter, who strives to be as good as the best teachers that made a lasting impact on her life. I looked but did not find it in the transcripts or on the book list. Can you tell me the name and author, please? Thank you.”
Gin Stephens: Yes, it's the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. And there's actually a revised version that I haven't read, it's updated. I had the original, but Carol Dweck, and it's a fabulous book, it changed the way I taught completely. So, definitely look it up. For those of you who have not yet read Fast. Feast. Repeat., my very favorite chapter of the whole book is Chapter 20, which is the Mindset chapter. And I go way beyond, of course, Carol Dweck. I mention her briefly but talk about how important our mindset is to this process. The process of intermittent fasting, the process of losing weight, the process of anything we want to be successful with. Mindset is key.
Melanie Avalon: I love mindset. So, for listeners, we'll put a link to that in the show notes, and the show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode175. Then, for the rest of Ruth's email, she says one last story before I close.
“I just returned from a two-week vacation to Glacier National Park by way of Colorado, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Canyonlands, and Arches National Parks. My teacher daughter, also an avid hiker, took us on daily hikes at two to four hours that were very strenuous and at a high elevation. She was so worried that I would not be able to do it in a fasted state that she took lots of emergency snacks. As you might imagine, and to her amazement, I did great. While they were always worrying about what, when, and where they would eat next. I fasted all day and ate a wonderful dinner. I will conclude with another million thanks to both of you.” I love that.
Gin Stephens: I love it too.
Melanie Avalon: I love that she actually went hiking and her family thought it wasn't going to happen, and it was great.
Gin Stephens: I know. And she told us she's 63. So, I love that. Now, that I'm 51, 63 doesn't sound very old. 63 sounds just around the corner. So, I know I'll be able to hike when I'm 63 as well, so I can't wait. That's thrilling.
Melanie Avalon: Do you like hiking?
Gin Stephens: No. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: I don't mind either.
Gin Stephens: To be in the woods or outside-- I mean I like to be outside in a, I don't know, less rustic environment. Let me just put it that way. Outside by the pool in my backyard, for example. I went hiking a couple years ago. I went to my sister's mountain house and we went hiking and I was in the fast state and it was super easy to do. But then, I got so carsick I hadn't been back. I don't like the mountains.
Melanie Avalon: I love the mountains, but not the hiking. I have a bag that says, “I love not camping.”
Gin Stephens: Yeah. Well, it was really funny because I was hiking and I'd have leather sandals on, like fancy ones, really expensive, fancy leather sandals that I hiked in. So, I didn't have any other shoes. And I also carried my purse with me, which looked hilarious. It was like an over-the-shoulder kind of a purse. But I had my car keys, and I was in my car I had driven. Well, I had my sister's car keys. Actually, we're in her car, but I had the car keys in my little purse that I carried for her. I probably looked like an idiot.
Melanie Avalon: I remember when I went to Europe for my high school Europe trip. We climbed-- I don't know what it was. It was some famous thing, like Scotland or England or somewhere, I don't know. And we didn't think it was like that big of a climb, but it actually was-- it was one of those like tourist things, we're like, “Oh, you know, climb up to the top,” but it's really traumatic. And I did it in high heels.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, similar thing. These were not high heels. But I'm sure everyone is like, “What is wrong with that girl?” I mean I had on jewelry. I did not look like a hiker. I looked like I was at the mall or something or going out to brunch. I actually thought we were going to go out to brunch, and we didn't. Instead, we went hiking. So, there you go. Anyway, I would have preferred brunch, but I can hike is my whole point of the story.
Melanie Avalon: If you wanted to.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, if I wanted to. I get that people love it. It might be because I grew up in the mountains of Virginia. We lived really far out in a very rural area. And so, I had my fill of it. Maybe that was what it was.
Melanie Avalon: I would have thought the opposite, but I guess that makes sense. Maybe like I grew up in the south grass and I will never like to step foot in a field again.
Gin Stephens: Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Are you allergic to trees?
Gin Stephens: I used to have a lot of trouble with allergies but since intermittent fasting, I don't.
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ButcherBox instigated their waitlist to take steps to ensure the safety of their team members and their supply chain. They looked closely at the environmental impact of all of their decisions, and kept their promises to their members along the way. Now, it's time to open that waitlist back. New members are now welcome to order today, so definitely get in while you can. I adore ButcherBox. Honestly, their steaks are some of the best steaks I have ever tasted. I love that they are completely grass-finished. Most “grass-fed” meat on the market isn't grass-finished. Their pork is heritage breed, which is super rare to find. Their chicken is humanely raised and air chilled, and they really just take the hassle out of the grocery store by shipping straight to your door. It averages to about $6 per meal. You choose your box and delivery frequency. They have five boxes with four curated options, as well as their custom box.
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One more thing before we jump in. Did you know that sunscreen was grandfathered in for safety in the 1970s without thorough testing for its toxicity? Tests since then have shown that putting on sunscreen leads to elevated levels of toxic compounds within your bloodstream potentially for days. These are compounds which are potentially carcinogenic and even specifically linked to endocrine disruption and so much more. Sunscreen is supposed to be protecting you and yet it might actually be attacking your health. And the problem doesn't stop with sunscreen. In fact, most conventional skincare and makeup on the market today is full of toxins. These are things linked to health issues and disease, endocrine disruption and even obesogens. Meaning, they literally cause your body to store and gain fat.
So, while you may be fasting clean, are you actually fasting clean inside and out? Thankfully, you can easily clean up your sunscreen, skincare, and makeup all with a company called Beautycounter. We adore Beautycounter and they make it so easy to clean things up. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. And if you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order. Also, definitely, definitely get on my Clean Beauty email list. I give away so many things on this email list, it's crazy. You don't want to miss it. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. All right. Now, enjoy the show.
Melanie Avalon: Alrighty. Shall we jump to the next question?
Gin Stephens: Yes, this is from Kaylee. And Kaylee says, “Hi both from the UK. Okay, so I will try and keep this brief. But at the same time, I need to convey my situation correctly in the hope that you can help me. I am 32 years old and have dieted ever since leaving university in 2009. I managed to keep the weight off for a few years until one day, November of 2018, I looked at myself and whilst appreciating that I looked good, I still had the same insecurities, cellulite, stretch marks, bingo wings, etc., than before.”
Melanie Avalon: What are bingo wings?
Gin Stephens: Like your arm hanging down, like batwings
Melanie Avalon: Oh yeah, yeah.
Gin Stephens: “There and then I decided that I was through with the mental health rollercoaster of dieting and having issues around food and body image. Separate to this, I went vegan overnight in February of 2018. And prior to this, had suffered with IBS since 2016. So here I am now, 24 pounds heavier, and in more IBS discomfort than ever. I found your podcasts and binge-listened to them within three weeks, and I am now up to date. I started IF on the 18th of March doing 18:6 and have clean fasted every day since. Yes, even through lockdown. I have very between 18:6 on a weekend and 21:3 during the week. I have lost nothing. Zilch. Yes, Gin, I did daily weighing and ironically on the day I calculated the average, I was the same weight. And even though I vowed not to weigh myself in June, I now look and feel really bloated. Clothes are very tight. I have read all your books and others, fun for the win. And I am wholeheartedly invested in the science and sold with the benefits of IF."
"This brings me to my IBS issue. A very long story short, I have been told to try the low FODMAP diet to try to figure out my sensitivities. This includes a strict elimination phase, then weeks of reintroducing potential trigger foods with the aim for the triggers to be identified. My anxiety with this is not being able to commit to IF at the same time as a very restrictive FODMAP diet. It's not forever and isn't designed to be followed long term. I guess I'm just asking for your opinions and any advice regarding the whole situation. Thank you both for the research time and effort you put into this lifestyle and spreading the knowledge for others. You really are like two friends I can pull out of my pocket and listen to for advice, information, and giggles. Thank you for taking the time to read my SOS call. Much love from the UK, Kaylee.”
Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, thank you, Kaylee, for your question. First of all, I think it's awesome that you're sticking to clean fasting, but I'm sorry about the weight issues and the IBS. I can definitely speak to the FODMAP aspect of things. So, low FODMAP diet basically, it involves different compounds common in foods that are easily fermentable by gut bacteria. And the thought is that a lot of people have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which is where there's an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine, which should be relatively sterile compared to your large intestine, and so a low FODAMP diet basically reduces their food sources and it can help with digestion, bloating, IBS, things like that. So, the type of foods common on it-- like meat doesn't have FODMAPs. It's things like cucumbers and a lot of leafy greens. Certain fruits are low FODMAP, like pineapple and berries.
Higher FODMAP foods are a lot of like starches, a lot of grains and then a lot of fruits as well. The fruits are half and half. If you're curious about it, I do have an app that is very, very helpful, Kaylee, if you have an iPhone. It's called Food Sense Guide. You can get that at melanieavalon.com/foodsenseguide and it will reveal over 300 foods for their FODMAP levels. And not just FODMAPs, actually 10 other compounds. So, histamine, gluten, lectins, oxalates, salicylates, nightshades. It's a really valuable resource. I'm actually currently updating it for resistance starch and AIP, which is exciting. But you can go and get it now, because you'll automatically get updates, they're free. But in any case, it's ironic or it's funny, I don't know. Lot of people do see low FODMAP as very restrictive, I love low FODMAP.
I've basically been eating low FODMAP before I even knew what low FODMAP was for probably 10 years. And it's just because it was the foods that don't make me bloated and uncomfortable. I was kind of already doing it, and I continued to do it and I don't feel restricted at all. That said, I'm the type of personality that does really well with simple. It's interesting, I feel when it comes to food, a lot of people really seek variety and they get bored. And then, there's the type like me that I have no interest in variety. I like the foods I like, and I don't really like expanding beyond that. So, my recommendation is, well-- for people who want to try a low FODMAP diet, if you're like me, and you like simple, then it's actually pretty easy. But if you are like Kaylee and you do feel like it's restrictive--
Her main question is, should she be doing it while doing IF? I actually say yes, unless you can't reframe it this way, but maybe you can. You've already been doing IF. And the thing is I don't get the sense from you that you feel IF is restrictive. You've been doing it and you haven't ever not clean fasted. I don't sense that from you. So, if you don't feel IF is restrictive, then maybe you can just see as changing your food choices, but if it does feel way too restrictive for you, you could stop doing IF and just do low FODMAP. But I don't know, I would really encourage you to try it since you've already been doing IF for so long.
Gin Stephens: Yes. And I think that's true. If I were going to do an elimination protocol to try to figure out if foods were bothering me, I would still do it within my intermittent fasting paradigm just because that's how I eat. I'm an intermittent faster, I have an eating window, so I would make all the changes just within my eating window.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because then you're changing two variables. It's the opposite of what Gin says in Fast. Feast. Repeat. In that, when she says, starting IF, not to change your diet, because you want to just change the one variable because you're making this huge paradigm shift to fasting, so if you're starting fasting, you might not want to change your diet as well.
Gin Stephens: You don't want to change too many things at once. That's my thing, because then you might start to feel bad because you stopped intermittent fasting, not because of the low FODMAP. So, we all want to try out and change everything at one time. That's human nature for so many of us. Slower changes where you're changing one thing at a time, then you can really see what's making the difference.
Melanie Avalon: To that point, fasting is typically often recommended in the low FODMAP approach because it allows the cleansing ways, the peristalsis, and the small intestine to clear. So, if this is to address GI distress, fasting is actually one of the best things you can do for that. So, yeah, I really, really encourage you go through the list, get my app. Go through the list and see if you find a lot of foods on it that you really love and try to reframe and don't see it as restrictive. Rather than what you can't have, maybe focus on what you can have. I love low FODMAP. All the things I adore are low FODMAP. Meat, coconut oil, pineapple, berries, cucumbers. That's just a few foods, but those are the foods I love.
Dairy is low FODMAP if it's lactose-free. If it contains lactose, then it's higher in FODMAPs. I don't know, it can really be a game-changer. I'm excited for you because it can be a game-changer for a lot of people. And like you said, it's not intended to be long term unless you realize that you just really thrive on it.
Gin Stephens: You're the expert of that. So yeah, good info. I hope, Kaylee, that you figure out what it is because I know that it's miserable to have IBS, so I hope that you can figure out what's triggering it for you.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, since you went vegan overnight on February 2018 and you had IBS prior to that, it sounds like you're still vegan. That adds in another factor. That's going to be a little bit more limiting if you're still doing vegan. I don't know if you're vegan for ethical reasons or nutritional reasons. If it's nutritional reasons-- I didn't plan this, but what we talked about at the beginning of this conversation, I would encourage you to analyze that a little bit further because there could be something there. A lot of people do vegan diet-- I'm not putting down vegan diets, but I do know a lot of people, especially in the lower carnivore world came there after having nutritional issues or digestive issues, IBS issues on extremely plant-based or vegan diets and then had a lot of that resolve. So, just something to consider.
The next question comes from Kim, and the subject is fear. Kim says, “Hi, I'm a teacher at a private school. And believe it or not, we are going back to school, live and in person next week. I started IF at the beginning of this summer after seeing friends who looked amazing. They told me all about IF. I started a few days later after reading Delay, Don't Deny. I read Fast. Feast. Repeat." She says, "I've been doing great all summer with a relaxed schedule 24. This past week, I've been sabotaging myself. I'm so nervous about going back, getting up much earlier, and starting my day without my usual sugar and creamed up coffee and breakfast. I have this very serious fear that I won't be able to do it. Get over the morning slump and last the whole day without eating, which is my goal. I would love to not eat until school is over. The schedule this year is crazy enough with all of the changes, masks, less breaks, teaching a hybrid of online as well as in person. I most likely won't have time to eat, but I need to find a way to calm my nerves and get over the morning slump. Since you were a teacher, I was wondering if you have any tips on how to deal with the transition from a summer schedule to school schedule. Thank you.”
Gin Stephens: Well, Kim, it's great to hear from you. And as I talked about, was it on the last episode? My friends who are teachers were getting ready to start back to school, I think, the next day. In our school system where I taught, they were going back in person, same thing. Elementary was in-person five days a week and the middle, high, they are doing a hybrid A-B kind of a schedule where half the kids come every other day. I'm feeling very emotional about it because if I had not retired from teaching, it would be me right there, and I know that it's got to be so hard emotionally. And this is different and it's different for the kids. There's a fear. Like you said, the subject of your email was “Fear.” But I want to tell you one thing, intermittent fasting is going to make this easier for you, not harder for you. Because I taught for 28 years, and it was so much easier when I was an intermittent faster, and I didn't eat till school was over. It made my life so much easier. Don't be afraid that you can't.
Instead, go ahead and tell yourself, not only can you, but it's what's going to make the day so much better. You're going to get up, you're going to have your black coffee. I've said this before, but I know that the sugar and the creamer are soothing, but I want you to think of the black coffee, maybe it doesn't taste soothing because maybe you don't love the taste of it. But think of it as your black coffee medicine that you're going to drink-- or you could just skip coffee completely. Once I got to the point where I didn't dislike the taste of it, once I adapted to it, I actually enjoy the black coffee. So, until you get to the point where you enjoy it, if you still want to include it, just tell yourself, “This is what I'm doing. I'm doing this for myself, and it's helping me with the clean fast.” Have your black coffee, go to school.
You're going to find not eating, not having to snack, buys you so much time. You're not going to have the breaks that you're used to having from the past, you said that already. And so, the time that you normally would have spent with eating, snacking, having lunch, you're going to be able to be more productive. So, hats off to you and all the teachers, and y'all are heroes. I know that you can do it. Don't be scared. Instead, embrace that this is going to make it easier for you and not harder.
One of my friends that I taught with, she's actually a great friend. One year, she co-taught with me when I was a third-grade teacher. She was a special education inclusion teacher. So, she pushed into my classroom when I was teaching math and worked with the children that had special education needs when it came to math and also helped me teach all the kids. And then, she taught my son when he was in fifth grade, my older son, Cal, who's now married, that's how long we've been friends. And then also, I've taught her daughter in the gifted program. And so, she's in one of my Facebook groups, and she is an intermittent faster. And she posted after the first day of school, she's now a first-grade teacher, how crazy it was for her the first day back and they're trying to figure out their way and she didn't get a lunch break, and she didn't even get a bathroom break. She had no breaks at all the first day of school, but thanks to intermittent fasting, she was able to do it.
So, I think that you can, Kim, and you're going to be really grateful for intermittent fasting.
Melanie Avalon: To clarify reading her question, do you think-- so her current schedule, it sounds like she's doing a breakfast and lunch.
Gin Stephens: I'm not really sure. It might be that she's nervous about starting her day as a teacher without the sugar, cream, and coffee and breakfast. It's different because she's at home, so she's able to-- I don't know what schedule she's using now. But it may just be that she's not sure she can teach without the breakfast and the coffee that she used to have. That's how I interpreted it.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because I feel depending on what it is, it's two different situations. She says that she's been doing a relaxed 24 schedule. Now, she's starting school and she's nervous doing it without her usual--
Gin Stephens: I just took that as she's nervous as teaching school because she's not ever gone to school without breakfast.
Melanie Avalon: She says without her usual sugar and creamed up coffee and breakfast, which could either be what Gin said, her usual from teaching, or it could be her usual-- it could be right now, she's doing a breakfast-lunch window, and if so, it's two different things. Because if she's doing a later window already, everything Gin just said, it's going to be most likely much easier than in the past when you were running on sugar and breakfast. The reason I'm just confused and maybe I should have emailed her for follow up is, if she's already doing it as an evening window and feeling good, I wonder if she's used to having energy in the morning fasting. Teaching's not going to really be any different as far as the energy that you get while fasting.
Gin Stephens: I think she's probably just worried that she can't because she never has before. She's never taught without that before. She says she's doing a 20-hour fast every day. If you can do a 20-hour fast and open your window in the morning, you can do a 28-hour fast and open your window later that first day and then that's your new schedule. If you're adapted to a 20-hour fast, I think you can push it a few more hours.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, gotcha. Yeah, because it's funny, I'd read it the opposite. I read that she was doing breakfast right now and she wanted to change it.
Gin Stephens: Well, either way. Like you said, if she is doing breakfast now and she wants to change it, she's already doing 20 hours. If her body's adapted to 20 hours, she can go longer.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that'll be great.
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Gin Stephens: All right, this is from Marie, and the subject is Keto-Green 16. “Hello ladies, thank you for a wonderful podcast. I listen every week. I have a question about Dr. Anna Cabeca’s Keto-Green 16 plan and how to implement it into the clean IF lifestyle. I'm 51 years old, and have been IFing for over a year with some benefits but not much weight loss. So, listening to Dr. Cabeca’s plan, I instantly thought that is my problem. Hormones, over 50, not reducing my insulin or hitting ketosis because of what I'm eating. Then, I got the plan and thought, ‘Wait, what? I can't have the morning drink, that will push me out of fasting.’ I usually do 18:6 or a 20:4 plan with a late afternoon early evening window. Can you explain how I can implement Dr. Cabeca’s plan of eating, especially her morning drink and still maintain my clean fast? Thanks again for all the wonderful information, Marie.”
By the way, this brought back memories because when we talked to Dr. Cabeca was when I was recording the audiobook for Fast. Feast. Repeat. I was recording in my kitchen, little studio. So, I'm like imagining sitting in my little kitchen recording studio and now I'm back in my regular podcast room. Anyway.
Melanie Avalon: Whenever I think of Dr. Cabeca, I just instantly feel calm. She has a really wonderful spirit. So, yeah, encouraging. I wanted to include this question because a lot of people have asked me this. I don't know if people have talked about this in your groups, Gin?
Gin Stephens: No, not really.
Melanie Avalon: Basically to Dr. Cabeca’s Keto-Green 16, she's a big proponent of intermittent fasting. And her version to keto really focuses on the alkalinity aspect. So, making sure that diet's not acidic to the body. But she does have some drinks that definitely, in our opinion, break a clean fast. Long story short, is how can you implement her plan of eating especially for morning drink and still maintain your clean fast?
Basically, you can do the food choices that she advocates in your eating window and not do the morning drink. Or you would have your eating window encompass the morning drink. But if you want to technically do the “clean fast,” you would not be doing the morning drink and a later eating window. Oh, and we will put in the show notes a link to the two episodes. She's been on twice, right?
Gin Stephens: She has. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Two episodes that we've had with her.
Gin Stephens: She has two books.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Right, The Hormone Fix, and Keto-Green. I've had her on my show twice as well. Well, so we will put four links. I think I've had her on twice, maybe just once. I'm not sure. We'll put links in the show notes. All right, so the next question comes from Camille. The subject is Hunger During Fasting.
Camille says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. I've just started listening to your podcast and reading Gin's new book. I've been intermittent fasting for about two years, but not consistently. I recently started a few weeks ago doing 16:8 eating from noon until 8:00. I've been clean fasting, only having black tea in the mornings and saving my delicious coffee with milk for the afternoon. The problem is, I get really hungry when I wake up in the morning and it continues until 12. I can't change up the times much because my fiancé gets home late from work and we eat dinner together around 7:00. It's discouraging and makes me want to go back to eating breakfast even though I've lost a little weight in the past few weeks. How can I stop being so hungry in the morning? Am I doing something wrong? Thanks.”
Gin Stephens: All right. Camille, you just started again a few weeks ago, so you're still in the adjustment period. I would reread the 28-Day FAST Start. And I would consider the Easy Does it Approach where you're easing yourself in. Just start from today with the Easy Does it Approach and ease yourself in so that you're training your body to get into the fat-burning state and so that you are able to fast better, instead of being so hungry all the time because if you're hungry, hungry, hungry, that means your body is not tapping into your fat stores. So, you want to help your body get to that point. A long eating window actually does make it harder.
So, if you look at the 28-Day FAST Start, you're gradually shrinking that eating window and training your body to, like I said, to tap into fat. So, if you keep a 16:8 all the time, it lengthens the adjustment period because just when your body is making that transition, boom, you fill up and eat again. I know it's counterintuitive, but you need to push through some longer fasts eventually to get over that hump. That's my recommendation for that.
Melanie Avalon: I think that's great. Alrighty. Are you ready for Margot? Margot’s subject is IF and Elevated Blood Glucose Levels.
Gin Stephens: “Hi Gin and Melanie. I love the podcast and have learned so much from both of you. I am 42 years old and have been doing IF for over two years now, I mainly have a window of about 24-ish. Two days a week. I throw in a 36 to 42-hour fast. The longer fasts are not hard for me. I actually have to force myself to eat so I can have a family dinner with my son. I am just not hungry a lot of the time. I started IF to tighten up and lose about five pounds. I was never overweight but was looking to maintain and tone up after the birth of my son four years ago. After I started researching the health benefits of IF, I have stuck with it mainly for the purposes of autophagy and healing. I always clean fast and do high-intensity interval training workouts or vigorous walking in the fasted state. This is why I was a little thrown when I went to have bloodwork done last week and found that my fasting glucose was 106. I was shocked. I had been fasting for 16 hours when the test was done. I normally eat very clean in my window, mainly paleo but allow for some flexibility on weekends. This number makes me very nervous. Going back through old bloodwork, I do see that my fasting glucose levels typically are in the 90s. I thought that with IF, they were supposed to drop due to insulin sensitivity."
"Then I started thinking, I remember an episode where Gin was talking about black coffee actually raising glucose levels in the fasted state, not due to high blood sugar, but because it helps the liver clear out glycogen more efficiently. I did have a cup of black coffee the morning of my blood draw." Ding, ding, ding. This is Gin just saying that. I think that's it. "I am wondering if that is what is contributing to my high glucose levels. I am very nervous. I have messaged my doctor and asked for a retest but also asked to have my hemoglobin A1c levels tested. In the meantime, I also remember Gin talking about having bloodwork done to test her fasting insulin levels, not glucose. Can you please provide that information? I would love to have that test as well even though it is not mainstream. I should also add that I did faint during the blood test. I never do well with blood draws, and I wonder if that's why my level spiked as well. I would be curious to hear your thoughts on all of this. Be well and stay safe.”
Yes, Margot. I think that you shouldn't have coffee before you go have fasted blood work. That would be my recommendation. Don't have coffee, just have water and maybe try again for that. As far as a fasting insulin test, your doctor can just order that. It's not anything your doctor can't ask for. Even though it's unusual for doctors to ask for it. They can do it.
Melanie Avalon: I had episode on the Lumen device. It doesn't measure blood sugar, but it's a breath analyzer that tells you if you're burning carbs or fat. So basically, it tells you if you're producing energy from glucose or from fatty acids. Not ketones, glucose or fatty acids. Of course, if you're running on ketones, it would show that you're fat burning. I think one of the biggest things people are learning because I actually started a whole Facebook group for it, if you're interested, it's called Lumen Lovers: Biohack Your Carb And Fat Burning. So, you can join me there. But one of the things I keep hearing over and over and over is so many people are doing fasting and their Lumen is saying that they're burning carbs during the fast. It just happens over and over and over again.
I think it's a very common thing actually, especially if your body is not preferentially really embracing the fat-burning mode during the fasted state for whatever reason. Stress, coffee, so many different things can encourage the liver to release glycogen. So, release blood sugar, or create glucose from a process called gluconeogenesis. So, even if your liver is glycogen depleted, it can still produce glucose. Oftentimes, if their body's not naturally really switching into ketosis, then when the liver glycogen gets depleted, rather than preferentially turning to fat stores and ketones, the liver might decide to actually create glucose from protein.
Actually, I'm reading right now The Fatburn Fix by Cate Shanahan, is blowing my mind because she talks about how until the brain really gets accustomed to running on ketones and the whole body does, it could actually, with dropping blood sugar levels, send a message directly to the liver to basically create glucose. The point of all that is that a lot of people actually do find that they have higher fasting blood sugar levels. Like I said, it could be stress, it could be the coffee, exercise tends to do it as well. So, yeah, it's definitely something to consider. You can retest, the insulin thing will be great as well. If you have your own blood sugar monitor-- they're really affordable, we can put a link to them in the show notes. If you get over the fear of pricking yourself, then they're really easy to do. You could be testing and you could find out-- you could also get that Lumen device, like I said, and it could maybe help you figure out if you're fat or carb-burning during the fast. I'll put a link to it on the show notes and I also have a discount for it, $50 off. I just think so many people experience this, and I'm just hearing it more and more ever since I started that Lumen group.
As far as recommendations for it, there's so much to consider. Like I said, you probably would do more testing to see what the trend is. But then after that, you might want to reevaluate the foods you're eating, your stress levels, you really have to reevaluate everything. Hemoglobin A1c would be pretty telling. For listeners who aren't familiar that, it shows the level of glycation on your red blood cells. So, when your blood sugar is elevated, it can glycate your red blood cells. If it's elevated consistently, you're going to see that in your hemoglobin A1c. It's a long-term predictor. It can reveal more information.
That said, since you're already down for asking for random tests that doctors don't usually do like fasting insulin, something even more telling than hemoglobin A1c is fructosamine because hemoglobin A1c can actually be slightly misleading because-- it's complicated, but basically if your blood cells are dying faster, you could have a false-- I guess would be a false negative. Like your hemoglobin A1c could look good, but it's just because your red blood cells are dying faster. That's why a lot of people in the low carb world will argue that you might get a higher hemoglobin A1c because your red blood cells are actually living longer. Fructosamine is probably going to give you the best predictor or the best-- it's really going to show you what's actually happening with your blood sugar and your red blood cells. I just mention that because she's going to ask for insulin, might as well ask for all the uncommon tests. But yeah, that was a technical answer. But we'll put links to all of this stuff in the show notes. We have time for one more question.
This is from Christine. The subject is "Question about Mindset, [unintelligible [00:55:14] Maintenance." And Christine says, “Hello. Although I've been practicing IF for three years and maintaining my weight for almost two years, I just found your podcast. I struggle with one thing and that is how do you change your daily thoughts when you no longer are concerned about losing weight? I spent 40 years worrying about diets and weight loss every day. Can you direct me to any information that's out there that is directed toward those of us in maintenance and how to deal with no longer having to worry about our weight or diets? When we spent a lifetime thinking about that every day, it's strange not to have to think about it and I wonder if some people end up going backwards because that's their comfort zone. I hope this question makes sense. Thank you for any help you can provide.”
Gin Stephens: Yeah, this is a great question. And Christine, if you haven't read Fast. Feast. Repeat., yet, I would encourage you to read it. The beginning chapters talk about why intermittent fasting is the health plan with a side effect of weight loss. So, once you realize the amazing health benefits of intermittent fasting, you would never want to quit, you would never go backwards as you put it, because you're going to realize that intermittent fasting is what you do to live a long and healthy life. My husband, who does intermittent fasting only for the health benefits, he never needed to lose weight. So, I want you to change your daily thoughts from dieting and losing weight to, I do intermittent fasting because it's a healthy way to live. And then you just-- what was that commercial, that infomercial? Set it and forget it. You just do it. It's like a Ronco rotisserie, set it and forget it. Have you ever seen that, Melanie? It's probably too old for you.
Melanie Avalon: I haven’t.
Gin Stephens: Okay, set it and forget it. The older members of the audience are like, “Yeah, yeah, I know what you mean.” So, that's how I want you to think about intermittent fasting. It is no longer what you're doing to try to lose weight. It is the way you live because it's healthy and you feel great while you do it.
Melanie Avalon: I love this question so much, because when you've been in one mindset for so long, the more you think about certain things, you're creating those neural pathways, they're reasserting themselves, they're strengthening themselves. It's really, really hard to change that. Even anxieties that we have, it's so hard to talk yourself out of an anxiety or a fear. Logically, you can know that something is not a threat or something is not happening or something is not true. But as long as that thought is deep in your limbic system, in your amygdala, subconscious, it's really, really hard to change those. That's why I think there's a lot of different avenues to work with it and you really just have to find the one that works for you.
Some people do really well with journaling. Some people do really well with meditation. Okay, I'm just going to list off a lot of episodes because I've had episodes that might help with this that might really help you, Christine. So, meditation helps a lot of people. I interviewed Emily Fletcher. I will put a link to that. Actually, by the time this comes out, I think it will have aired, I recently interviewed Jessica Flanigan, and she wrote The Loving Diet. And that episode of the book really can be a game-changer. It's about replacing these fears and thoughts and anxieties, all with love that having that perspective. It sounds so simple, but it can be really, really profound.
One of my most popular episodes was with Amy Johnson, she wrote The Little Book of Big Change. Really, really huge paradigm shift there as far as just experiencing everything as an experience and not as right and not as wrong. That framework and mentality can help. And using-- like what Gin said replacing that thought of intermittent fasting as a diet and replace it with a healthy lifestyle, as like a lifestyle. If you can somehow use your worry about diets and weight loss as a trigger to replace it, if you can see it as rather than when you have that thought and you're worried about it, be excited by that thought, because you can use it as a trigger to reframe and we know that our brains can change the more we wire them differently and think about different things. So, yeah, there's a lot of tools in the toolbox you can use. You just really have to find the tool that works for you because goodness knows changing these thoughts, especially when identity is tied in, is so, so difficult, but that's why we can be grateful if there are all of these tools, and we can be grateful that the brain can change. So, I’ll put links, links in the show notes galore. This is like the links and the show notes episode.
Well, anything else from you, Gin?
Gin Stephens: No, but I think this was a jampacked episode and we got to-- Gosh, I can't even-- I'm going to count them. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. We got to seven listener emails. That might be a record.
Melanie Avalon: It's pretty awesome. I thought of one more thing for Christine. Can I say it really quick?
Gin Stephens: No, I'm sorry. Your time is up. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: There's just so many tools. Also, Christine, join my Facebook group, IF Biohackers, ask this question, people will flood you with answers and I can also put my response. But this one sounds really silly, but it can be really profound. And I've said it before on the show, but talking out loud to yourself in the third person about the new idea that you want to have about yourself. When you do that, a part of your brain hears it that doesn't hear it when you just think it. So, if the new idea that you want to have is intermittent fasting is a lifestyle or I love my body, I love my weight. I am not dieting, you would say, it sounds crazy, but you can do it in the third person out loud. And you can say like, “Christine, we love your body. Christine, we love your weight. Christine, we're not dieting,” saying that out loud over and over can have a really actually profound effect on our brains, even though it might sound a little crazy.
Gin Stephens: That's a great strategy.
Melanie Avalon: It is. All right. Listeners, if you'd like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can also follow us on iTunes, subscribe, subscribe, subscribe. Super helpful and it's supportive of the show as far as iTunes is the place to be. So, you can follow us on Instagram. I am @MelanieAvalon, Gin is @GinStephens. And, yeah, I think that's it.
Gin Stephens: All right. Well, I will talk to you next week.
Melanie Avalon: All right. Bye.
Gin Stephens: Bye.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember that everything discussed on the show is not medical advice. We're not doctors.
You can also check out our other podcast, Intermittent Fasting Stories, and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. The music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week.
STUFF WE LIKE
Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!
BUY Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine, Gin's Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle and/or Gin's Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Clean Fast Protocol for Health, Longevity, and Weight Loss--Including the 21-Day FAST Start Guide
More on Melanie: MelanieAvalon.com
More on Gin: GinStephens.com
Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com
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