Episode 188: Gin’s New Podcast, Gut Health, Berberine, Constipation, GI Distress, Issues with Keto, Reversing Gray Hair And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Nov 22

Welcome to Episode 188 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:

 JOOVV: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels! It literally works on the mitochondrial level to help your cells generate more energy! Red light can help you burn fat (including targeted fat burning and stubborn fat!), contour your body, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, produce collagen for epic skin, support muscle recovery, reduce joint pain and inflammation, combat fatigue, help you sleep better, improve mood, and so much more!! These devices are literally LIFE CHANGING!! For A Limited Time To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

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To submit your own questions, email questions@IFpodcast.com, or submit your questions here!! 


1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time, New Members Get 2 New York Strips And 4 Top Sirloin Steaks When They Place Their First Order At Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast

3:20 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order!

16:30 - Listener Q&A: Lillian - TMI Alert!

21:30 - JOOVV RED LIGHT THERAPY DEVICES:  For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

ATRANTIL: Use The Link Lovemytummy.com/ifp With The Code IFP, To Get 10% Off!

30:20 - Listener Q&A: Tracy - Ketosis

Who needs to avoid Fat Bombs and BPC?

Kiss my Keto C8 MCT Oil

42:10 - BIOPTIMIZERS: Go To bioptimizers.com/ifpodcast And Use Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save An Extra 10% On The Immunity Protection Stack

44:20 - Listener Q&A: Jessica - Less Gray Hair??

Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health (Ben Lynch)


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 188 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.

Friends, Black Friday is coming up and I'm about to tell you how you can get early access to ButcherBox’s free steak sampler. We're talking two free grass-fed New York strips and four grass-fed top sirloins. Do not miss this. We are huge fans around here of ButcherBox. They make it easy to get high quality humanely raised meat that you can trust shipped straight to your door. I hardcore research their practices, you guys know I do my research, and what they're doing is incredible. Their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished. Their chicken is free-range and organic. Their pork is heritage breed and super importantly. They are all about caring for the lives of both their animals and the livelihoods of their farmers, treating our planet with respect and allowing us to enjoy better meals together.

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To get early access to Butcherbox’s insane Black Friday special, just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast or enter the promo code, IFPODCAST, at checkout, that will get you two free grass-fed New York strips and four free grass-fed top sirloins all in your first box. This is an insane offer. Again, that's butcherbox.com/podcast for early access to ButcherBox’s Black Friday steak sampler.

And one more thing before we jump in. Are you looking for the perfect gifts this holiday season for yourself and others? Well, the average male uses 6 skincare products per day, the average female uses 12. And as it turns out, conventional skincare and makeup is full of toxins. We're talking things like endocrine disrupters, obesogens, meaning they literally cause your body to store and gain weight, and even carcinogens linked to cancer. So, while you may be fasting clean, you may be putting compounds directly into your body during the fast that can be affecting both your health and weight loss. Thankfully, there's an easy solution.

There's a company called Beautycounter and they make an array of skincare makeup products that are extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can feel good about all of the ingredients that you put on. Their products are even tested multiple times for heavy metals. And for the holiday season, Beautycounter has so many amazing gift sets. These are bundled products at a discount, and they make incredible gifts. Think about it. You can get the products for yourself or for your friends and family and help clean up their skincare, all in disguise of gift-giving. Works pretty well. 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. If you're trying to figure out exactly which products to get, check out my Beautycounter quiz, that's at melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz. And for the latest discounts and giveaways from me, definitely get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. All right, now back to the show.

Hi everybody, and welcome. This is episode number one 188 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I am great. I'm getting so excited about my new podcast.

Melanie Avalon: I'm getting excited about your new podcast.

Gin Stephens: Episode 0. We've listened to it. We have the show opener, we have the music. We've listened to Episode 0 and it's going to go live next week, which will be live already by the time that this podcast comes out, so people will be able to find Episode 0 of the Life Lessons podcast. It's just called Life Lessons. And you'll know it's me because it will say hosted by Gin Stephens and Sheri Bullock. Listen to Episode 0 and subscribe. The Sleep episode comes out December 2.

Melanie Avalon: That's very exciting.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's very exciting.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so Episode 0 is a topic. It's not like a--

Gin Stephens: Episode 0 is like meet the hosts kind of a thing. And the reason we're doing an Episode 0 is because you know how first you have to get accepted on all the platforms and you don't know how long that's going to take.

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: It just usually takes a couple days, but we decided we wanted episode one to come out December 2.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so Episode One is to Sleep episode, and Episode 0 is?

Gin Stephens: It's just meet Gin and Sheri. We call it the teaser episode. I did that for Intermittent Fasting Stories. I had Episode 0 that had some little blurbs from upcoming episodes. It's like a placeholder, our podcast is coming. That way you can have Episode One drop the day you want it to draw because you're already accepted everywhere.

Melanie Avalon: Don't we know about this?

Gin Stephens: Yes, we do, although it's been a long time. Didn't our podcast-- The reason it's on Sundays is because that just happened to be when it initially went live?

Melanie Avalon: I don't think so.

Gin Stephens: I thought so. I thought that that was the date went live or maybe we decided-- I don't know, it's been so long.

Melanie Avalon: I feel we wanted it to be Mondays for the first one we did it maybe on a Sunday to be sure. We released it earlier.

Gin Stephens: That's right, but ours is Monday, not Sunday. I was thinking the day early.

Melanie Avalon: Because we used early access on--

Gin Stephens: Okay, I was thinking about early access, and that doesn't even happen anymore. That shows how on top of things I am. What day is it? Where am I? What year is it? I don't even know. And we're recording this right before the time change. Can I just say I don't like the time change?


Melanie Avalon: Wait a minute. Wait. This is one of my favorite days of the year.

Gin Stephens: I don't like the fall time change. I like the springtime change.

Melanie Avalon: I hate the spring-- What is one of my least favorite days of the year?

Gin Stephens: Well, see, I'm not surprised. I don't like the fall time change.

Melanie Avalon: It's fabulous.

Gin Stephens: No.

Melanie Avalon: It starts getting darker earlier.

Gin Stephens: I hate that. I want to go to bed as soon as it starts.

Melanie Avalon: No, I love it. Bring on the dark. I love the dark.

Gin Stephens: And I don't like-- because I wake up so early naturally, I don't like that. Now the time has shifted-- Well, not now, but once it shifts, I'll be waking up at like 4:30 in the morning ready to get up. But it's too early to get up.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I don't have that problem.

Gin Stephens: So, I don't like it. Messed me up.

Melanie Avalon: I'm actually crying from laughing right now.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I bet you're. Anyway, I don't like it. I don't like when it's dark early.

Melanie Avalon: I've been so excited this whole week about it.

Gin Stephens: I'll be excited in the spring.

Melanie Avalon: And I'm awake when the time change happens. So, there's this magical moment where you get a whole another hour. It's so exciting. You live your life for an hour and then you get it all over again.

Gin Stephens: I always wonder about people who work the overnight shift. They're at work and then the time changes. Do they have to stay an extra hour? I bet they do.

Melanie Avalon: I guess so. Actually, I used to be awake at 2:00, but now I'm pretty good about not-- or being asleep a little bit before that. I pat myself on the back if it's before 2:00.

Gin Stephens: I think I've been awake at 2:00, still awake. Let me just say, I've been still awake at 2:00 one time for the whole 2020.

Melanie Avalon: Oh my gosh.

Gin Stephens: I was at the beach.

Melanie Avalon: That's so funny.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Other than that, nope.

Melanie Avalon: What are you going to be for Halloween?

Gin Stephens: Gin Stephens. I don't dress up for Halloween. Do you dress up for Halloween?

Melanie Avalon: No. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: Yeah, tomorrow's Halloween, listeners, when we're recording this but we are having like a block party, and I'll go to that.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's fun.

Gin Stephens: Like a neighborhood get-together. It'll probably be a lot of kids. So, we'll see. By the way, everybody, we are going to be safe, we will socially distance, we will wear our masks, and that's good. Maybe I should get a wacky mask-- and we'll be outside. Yeah, it's going to be outside. But everyone's going to be safe, but I know some areas of the country are more locked down than Georgia. I will say Cal's coming home in December for Christmas. I'm so excited Cal and Kate are coming. But he lives in San Francisco, and so we're talking about what we're doing at Christmas. He's like, “I'm not doing that. I'm not doing that. I'm not doing that.” I'm like, “Come on.”

Melanie Avalon: He's not coming home?

Gin Stephens: Well, he is coming home. But he doesn't want to go to the family Christmas. He just wants to be here with us because they have more restrictions in San Francisco. It's just interesting to hear because here in Georgia, things are fairly open. We wear our masks everywhere we go, we socially distance, we wait in line six feet apart. But you don't realize that it's different in other places.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's so interesting.

Gin Stephens: It is very interesting. He's flying Delta because they're still keeping their planes more socially distanced, that sort of thing. But I'm just so excited that he's coming home, I ordered new Christmas stockings.

Melanie Avalon: Aww.

Gin Stephens: I needed to get one for Kate.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's exciting.

Gin Stephens: It is exciting, because we have our old ones that we've had forever, just for the four of us, our family. But I started looking to find a matching one for Kate, and of course, I couldn't find a matching one. And it would just stand out so differently, it would look so different. So, I just got--

Melanie Avalon: All new ones.

Gin Stephens: All new stockings. So, now, Will needs to either find somebody while I can still buy this set. Get one just like it or--

Melanie Avalon: That's really funny.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. No rush, Will, sorry. He's only 21. Although, I was married at 21 and Chad was already married by that point. And Cal was married at 21. So, Will is 21. He needs to get with it. I'm kidding.

Melanie Avalon: Got to fulfill the Stephens tradition.

Gin Stephens: We're early marriers around here.

Melanie Avalon: You are early marriers. I remember when one of my best friends in high school got married and it was before she was 21 and I kept thinking, I would want to wait till I was at least 21, so everybody at the wedding could drink.

Gin Stephens: I was 21 when we got married, but Chad was actually still 20.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. So, when I say we were both 21, I mean, we both were married by 21 is what I meant.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Wow.

Gin Stephens: He was not able to drink legally at our wedding.

Melanie Avalon: Oh my.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I know, that's funny. But then, we went to Jamaica and everybody could drink there. So, good times.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That always helps.

Gin Stephens: It does.

Melanie Avalon: I have two updates.

Gin Stephens: Okay, what are they?

Melanie Avalon: I'm trialing now my second CGM because I was trialing the Levels company and now I'm trialing Nutrisense. They both use the FreeStyle Libre. And I had the interview with Levels, it was awesome.

Gin Stephens: Oh, good. What did you learn? What's a quick thing that you know I would love to hear?

Melanie Avalon: What's really interesting, so you know how I was saying that I wasn't super happy with my fasting blood sugars and stuff like that?

Gin Stephens: Right.

Melanie Avalon: So, in the in between, I did the Levels for two weeks and then I think I took off like around five days. I wanted my arm to recover. It doesn't hurt, but just having that thing in your arm for two weeks, I was like, I just want that area to air out.

Gin Stephens: Right. I know what you mean.

Melanie Avalon: So, I took five days off, and I started supplementing motivated by one of the listener questions that we received, berberine. Wow. I mean, I think it's the berberine, that's making a huge difference. But wow.

Gin Stephens: Really?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, well, it's also making me a little bit suspicious about the accuracy of these CGMs, not the accuracy as far as like the changes go. And this is the big takeaway for me from it, is you really can see your trends and how you're responding and how your blood sugar is changing. I do wonder about the accuracy is supposed to be within 10 points or whatever, blood Sugar points, however is it measured. But in any case, this time around, assuming it's accurate, my blood sugar's incredible. During the day, it's 70s or 80s. After eating, it doesn't even go above 90s.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's interesting. That seems low. What are you eating?

Melanie Avalon: Low carb.

Gin Stephens: That might be what you would expect for low carb, right?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think so. What's really interesting is the difference with Nutrisense-- For listeners, I will be airing both of the episodes and I will have coupons, I don't have it yet, but I'll have coupons for listeners to get discounts or something. So, I'll put links in the show notes to those episodes when they come out. But hold off for that is the point. But in any case, Nutrisense, you do your stuff, and then they email you and talk to you about what's going on.

Gin Stephens: Like feedback.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And so, the girls were talking to me, and she was talking about my late-night eating and how it might be better to eat earlier. And I was like, “Well, actually--” all this information about my thoughts about how complicated it is and nuanced and how we talk about this all the time and how I personally think that, yes, all things considered, I do think eating earlier is better. But I think that the majority of the information does not take into account like eating late and an intermittent fasting type time-restricted eating pattern, which has been really receptive and it's been a really good dialogue. But her responses have so far been like, “Well, you're responding really well to meals,” or, “You're responding really well to your late-night meal.” So, it's really interesting.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Well, you can't argue with good results.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, the berberine, for listeners, we talked about before. It's a natural herb, and since we answered that listeners question, I've done a lot more research on it pretty consistently, and all the trials rivals metformin, which is a prescribed medication for diabetes-- rivals Metformin effects on like blood sugar on HbA1c, which is your long-term marker of how higher blood sugar levels are affecting your red blood cells. And it doesn't tend to have the side effects that metformin can have with GI distress and stuff like that. Although I posted it on my Instagram, and one person was like, “Why are you taking pharmaceutical medications for diabetes? Shouldn't you be addressing your diet first?” I was like, “This is not a pharmaceutical. I do address my diet. This is a plant compound.”

Gin Stephens: Is that someone who had never heard of you or met you before?

Melanie Avalon: I guess so. I answered her nicely, though, and explained the situation. So, it's not a pharmaceutical. I've been talking about it on my Facebook group, which is IF Biohackers. So, friends, join me there, but a lot of people have been asking me about the berberine experience, and have been talking about their own experience.

Gin Stephens: Well, very interesting.

Gin Stephens: All right. Shall we move on? We have from Lillian the subject is TMI Alert. “Hi ladies. I will literally scream if I hear my question on your podcast.” Well, everyone, get ready. Lillian is screaming!


Gin Stephens: Lilian says, “I have been listening since March when I accidentally bumped into your podcast after listening to a Disney podcast. IF has changed my life. I went from 165 pounds to my goal weight of 124. I'm 50 years old, and a mother of two. Lost my way doing 20:4, and now I'm in maintenance doing 18:6. I asked this question on Gin's group, and she tagged Melanie that would probably have a better answer, but I guess Melanie didn't see it. Sorry about the rambling. My question is, what do you really recommend?

I struggle with constipation, have for a really long time. Right now, I don't have insurance and cannot afford to look into this medically out of pocket. My father passed away in December from colon cancer and my sister beat the same seven years ago. I know I really have to look into it, and I will as soon as I can. It's my priority. What do you ladies recommend to start helping my gut? Is it Atrantil? Is it BiOptimizers or anything else? I eat pretty healthy. I eat whole foods, meat, chicken, fish, all vegetables, etc. I'm a [unintelligible [00:30:58] eater, but also the type of person who won't use the microwave because I don't want any craziness in my food.” Sidenote, Melanie, do you use a microwave?

Melanie Avalon: No.

Gin Stephens: I had to say that. I suddenly had a thought that I bet Melanie didn't want any craziness in her food, either. I use a microwave. No one is surprised, right?

Melanie Avalon: I'm not actually so much concerned about-- when the food is microwaved, the done food I'm not so concerned about, but I am just suspicious, in general, I don't know. I don't use it because I don't need it.

Gin Stephens: I use mine. Daily Harvest bowls that I to have lately to open my window. I microwave those. And like, if I'm heating something up, like a warm drink in my eating window, I'll microwave it.

Melanie Avalon: I don’t think I need it for anything. Yeah, I have a convection oven that does all the different things.

Gin Stephens: And Chad uses it all the time to heat up his lunch because he eats lunch. But, yeah, we use a microwave. Our microwave right now, Melanie, I don't know if it's on its last legs. We just had to replace our dishwasher. I'm not sure when they built this kitchen, early 2000s, I guess. But it's a built-in KitchenAid microwave-oven combo. So, I know it would be really pricey to fix or replace. So, we're trying to keep it going, but sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. You put your food in and it'll go for two minutes and then it's still ice cold. So, it's like playing the roulette wheel of microwaving. Will we have hot food? We don't know. [unintelligible [00:32:34] try to fix it, they're going to try again. Fingers crossed.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends. Okay, we have thrilling news about Joovv. They have new devices and we have a discount. Yes, a discount, no longer a free gift, a discount. As you guys know, there are a few non-negotiables in my personal daily routine. I focus on what and when I eat every single day. And I also focus on my daily dose of healthy light through Joovv’s red light therapy devices. Guys, I use my Joovv all the time. Red light therapy is one of the most effective health modalities you can use in your home. I've personally seen so many health benefits. I find it incredible for regulating my circadian rhythm, helping my mood, boosting my thyroid, smoothing my skin, and I've also used it on multiple occasions for targeted pain relief. Anyone who's familiar with red light therapy pretty much knows that Joovv is the leading brand. They pioneered this technology. And they were the first ones to isolate red and near-infrared light and make it accessible and affordable for in-home use.

Since then, they've remained the most innovative, forward-thinking light therapy brand out there. And we're so excited because Joovv just launched their next generation of devices, and they've made huge upgrades to what was already a really incredible system. Their new devices are sleeker, they're up to 25% lighter, and they all have the same power that we've come to expect from them. They've also intensified their coverage area, so you can stand as much as three times further away from the device and still get the recommended dosage. They've also upgraded the setup for the new devices with quick easy mounting options, so your new Joovv can fit just about any space. And the new devices include some pretty cool new features, things like their Recovery Plus mode, which utilizes pulsing technology to give yourselves an extra boost to recovery from a tough workout with rejuvenating near-infrared light.

And this is my personal favorite update. So, for those of us who like to use Joovv devices to wind down at night, they now have an ambient mode that creates a calming lower intensity of light at night. Guys, I am so excited about this. Using this light at night is way healthier than bright blue light from all of our screens, and much more in line with your circadian rhythm. I was using my current Joovv devices at night anyway to light my whole apartment, so this new ambient mode is really going to be a game-changer for me. Of course, you still get the world-class customer service from your helpful, friendly Joovv team. So, if you're looking for a new Joovv device for your home, we have some very exciting news. You can go to joovv.com/ifpodcast and use the coupon code, IFPODCAST. You'll get an exclusive discount on Joovv’s newest devices. Yes, discount, I said it. That's J-O-O-V-V dotcom, forward slash I-F-P-O-D-C-A-S-T. Exclusions apply. And this is for a limited time only. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show.

Gin Stephens: All right. Anyway, back to Lillian's question. She says, “Doritos is also my junk of choice, but I rarely have it. I love you ladies so much. I can relate to both of you at different times. I was so upset that I caught up to all the episodes last week. Now, I can't binge anymore. But don't worry, I've already found your other podcasts. But this one where I get you both is definitely my favorite. Keep on keeping on, ladies.” Well, she's going to have lots and lots of hours of listening with the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast and Intermittent Fasting Stories, and then Life Lessons with Gin and Sheri.

Melanie Avalon: So many things.

Gin Stephens: You can listen to Melanie and Gin, like every day of the week, before we'll be done. We're going to be on five days a week. Wait, no, four days a week.

Melanie Avalon: When does Intermittent Fasting Stories air?

Gin Stephens: Intermittent Fasting Stories comes on Thursdays. Life Lessons will be Wednesday.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so this is Monday, Life Lessons Wednesday, Intermittent Fasting Stories Thursday, Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Friday.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. So, Tuesday, you're going to have to just keep yourself occupied. But for a while I had Tuesday Intermittent Fasting Stories. I had it coming on twice a week. So, I was trying to catch up. I had so many guests. So, I had a Tuesday and a Thursday, but I can't keep up with that pace. So, that would be funny. We would have like all five days covered. I just can't do it anymore. That was too much.

Melanie Avalon: I did just realize I was going through my guests I have booked for Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, and I'm actually covered through April, which is-- that's a lot of guests, which is overwhelming for me to think about because they're all a lot to prep for, but so much content.

Gin Stephens: I mean, it's a lot. It really is. I'm recognizing that with the new podcast with Life Lessons because I actually have to do more prep. With Intermittent Fasting Stories, I just talk to somebody, that's easy. I love it. I love to talk to people, but with Life Lessons, I have to do some research, but I'm enjoying it. It's different. All right, so Lillian's question.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. So gut health, basically. And she said she struggles with constipation, correct?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: I'm glad this question came up because that was one other thing I've noticed with the berberine. It's really been helping my bloating and everything, which I did not anticipate, but then I googled it and that seems to have an effect for that, but I'm not saying to take berberine for that. So, when it comes to GI issues, there's so many factors going on. And it can be really hard to know what the root cause is and what's going on. And a lot of people find the diets that work for them and they're able to resolve it with diet or manage it with diet. For me, personally, and this is just me, but I follow a low FODMAP diet and I find that works really, really well for me. I'll put a link in the show notes to my iTunes app called Food Sense Guide, developed by Gin’s son, Cal. I'm actually really surprised, Gin, because I'll randomly look at it if I have to share the link with somebody. And usually, whenever I look at it, it's usually ranked really high in iTunes-- The other day I checked, and it was number 10. And I was like, “Okay.”

Gin Stephens: In your category?

Melanie Avalon: For food and drink apps. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Awesome. I love that. That's really cool.

Melanie Avalon: I was like, “Oh, it's keeping on keeping on.” And I did just release an update for it. I added spices and herbs, which was exciting because I didn't have that in there. But in any case, so finding the foods that work for you can be really key. She says she eats whole foods and sounds like she's pretty in tune with that. As far as the actual GI distress, we do talk about a lot of different supplements for gut health and I feel it's been a while since we've revisited that, so I can let you know what's going on with that. So Atrantil is a blend of polyphenols and peppermint, but it specifically has a compound that targets-- it's not actually normal gut bacteria, it's actually a more ancient organism that exists in our gut called-- I think it's called, I don't know how to say it, archaea bacteria, but those produce methane, and methane actually serves as a neurotransmitter in the gut and slows motility, so it can create constipation.

So, a lot of people with constipation, Atrantil is a game-changer for them. And they do have clinical data and trials behind this. I take it every single day. And it's one of those things that I'll like stop taking and then if my gut gets wonky, I'll start taking it again. And then, I'm like, “Why did I ever stop?” but it's pretty amazing. So, that's what Atrantil is for. I think our link for that is lovemytummy.com/ifp. The coupon code, IFP, gets you 10% off.

BiOptimizers, so they make digestive enzymes. If you're struggling, if you have gas and bloating, a lot of times people aren't digesting their food, so you might benefit from digestive enzymes. There are a lot of brands out there, but we've worked with BiOptimizers, and they make Masszymes, which is amazing. Probiotics can help a lot of people, depends on how you react to them, BiOptimizers does have one called P3-OM. I like it because it's a single strain rather than hitting your gut with all these random strains that you're not really sure what's happening, but it's a single strain and it's proteolytic, meaning it helps digest proteins. So, the more digestion you're doing, the better. As far as constipation in general, supplementing magnesium can be really, really helpful. So, again, BiOptimizers has a magnesium supplement. I also like Natural Calm, which is a drink form that you can make and I get the unflavored one and I drink that and I find that really, really helpful. Just keeping things flowing can be so key. So, finding the foods that work for you, finding things that support motility. If you're hypothyroid, that often can lead to constipation. So, if you are able to check your thyroid levels, that can be really helpful. Yeah, there's so much at play and there's so many opinions and perspectives and viewpoints. I think we're all just really unique and so you just have to experiment and find what works for you.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, everybody doesn't need every one of those things. But the one that works for you is the one that is a game changer.

Melanie Avalon: I think the food choices can be really, really key. Oh, by the way, the Food Sense app, it doesn't just show you FODMAPs, I don't know if I even said what it shows-- It has over 300 foods and it shows the different levels of potentially problematic compounds that you might be reacting to. So, if you find yourself reacting to foods, it shows things like gluten, lectins, histamine, salicylates, oxalates, like I said, FODMAPs, nightshades, sulfides, there's even more. So, I'll put a link to it in the show notes, but that's at melanieavalon.com/foodsenseguide.

Gin Stephens: I just love that you and Cal just quietly working together on your app just--

Melanie Avalon: Just, yeah, motoring along.

Gin Stephens: He's such a good boy.

Melanie Avalon: No, he was amazing. Now for updates, I'm actually working with somebody he knew from school.

Gin Stephens: Oh, okay. Say his first name, is it Jacob?

Melanie Avalon: Nate.

Gin Stephens: Nate. I love Nate! Nate is someone that Cal went to high school with. He was a year behind Cal, and Nate's been at our house many a time.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, he did. He did all the recent updates.

Gin Stephens: Well, good. I'm glad Nate is holding up the tradition and doing a good job. We love Nate.

Melanie Avalon: I think I'm actually going to do another update soon and I'm going to do AIP, so it'll show if the food is AIP, autoimmune paleo. So, that'll probably be the next update in the works and I'll probably be working with Nate again for that. But, yeah, Cal did amazing job. It's just really surreal that it's-- that it’ll be number 10 in the food-- because there are a lot of apps in the world.

Gin Stephens: There are.

Melanie Avalon: So, it's exciting. Anyways, shall we move on to the next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: So, the next question comes from Tracy. The subject is Ketosis. And Tracy says, “Hi, ladies, I need your help, PLEEEAASSE.” She says, “I'm so confused about keto. I'm a huge fan and I value your opinion.” I like how she writes. She's very expressive. She says, “I've been doing IF for a year this month, and I love it. I just started with keto about two and a half months ago. I'm wanting to lose about eight pounds, but I also am looking for the health benefits. I've been keeping my fat up and fasting about 18 or 19 hours every day. I decided to get a blood monitor to see if I'm in ketosis, and I was shocked that I read between a 0.1 to 0.3, not even in nutritional ketosis. I started taking MCT oil and eating more fat and nothing. What am I doing wrong?

I've actually put back on four pounds that I lost with IF. I'm so discouraged and now so obsessed with tracking and macros. I want to cry. Do you have any advice? Also, should I track macros if I'm fasting 19 hours a day? I don't know what to do anymore. I honestly love you both and do listen to all your podcasts. But I still have so many questions. Thanks a bunch. Tracy.”

Gin Stephens: Well, I am not going to be your keto coach expert on how to do keto because that is not my expertise. But I will say this, there's a blog post that Dr. Jason Fung wrote years ago about “Who needs to add more fat?” And he said, “Well, not you if you're trying to lose fat,” and it's a great blog post. So, if you want to try to search for it, search for Jason Fung, Bulletproof Coffee, Who Needs More Fat, or something like that. There's words in the title, I can't think of it off the top of my head. But basically, he says that if you're trying to lose fat, you do not want to just keep adding fat bombs and MCT oil and eating more fat, that's not really going to help you. And you've actually noticed that to be true, Tracy, because you've put back on four pounds.

I also really am not a fan of chasing ketone reading numbers. I talk about this in Fast. Feast. Repeat., some of the reasons why numbers go down over time and why they may not be accurate. And we don't know this blood monitor that you have. You mentioned the brand name, it's not one I'm familiar with. You don't know that that's actually giving you inaccurate reading. I'm not really sure about that. But the key is, do you feel good and are you having fat loss? Because if you feel good and you're having fat loss, that's a good sign that what you're doing is working. If you're gaining weight, that's a sign that what you're doing is not working. I am one of those people that keto does not work for my body. I tried keto in 2014, I tried it for the entire summer, I didn't lose any weight at all. I constantly changed up my macros. I had a Ketonix breathalyzer, that was state of the art back then in 2014. I was able to blow ketones showing that I was in ketosis, but I didn't lose any fat. I'm pretty sure it's because of the amount I was taking in. And so, I stopped keto completely, reintroduced carbs, switched to intermittent fasting, and the weight started to come off at about a pound a week.

Now, my body does well with carbs. Yours may not, I don't really know, but your body might not be a body that does well with keto. So, I want you to really think about that. Why are you doing keto? Are you doing it because you know you feel best eating that way? If so, I would consider you don't want to just up, up, up your fat. You want to let your body make ketones from your stored body fat, and I wouldn't worry about the ketone readings. Just eat until you're satisfied, don't add extra fat just to add it. Focus on the high-quality vegetables that you can eat, the protein sources that you're eating. Would you say that's good advice, Melanie? Or am I getting it all wrong?

Melanie Avalon: No. 100%. I don't think chasing ketones is usually often the answer depending on your goals. If people's goals are just weight loss, chasing ketones is not always the route to that. If your goal is weight loss, I can't think of many situations where my answer would be add more fat. I mean, it's the highest density caloric source, and it's easy to have a lot and add in a lot to quickly make your meal way more calories. It's not the adding fat that's making you ketogenic as much as the lowering the carbs and lowering the insulin.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, the whole add more fat, just add more fat, add more fat, even in 2014, that was the standard advice people were giving. I was in a million keto groups on Facebook at the time and if you were struggling at all, the answer was, add more fat. I'm like, “Hmm,” that doesn't seem to be the right answer for me. Now, I understand why. But that was what everybody said, add more fat.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, you might be more likely to generate ketones because you have this readily accessible source of fat to turn into ketones. And maybe your body is resistant to tap into your fat stores. But it's not like adding that fat makes you more likely to burn the body fat, it's doing the opposite.

Gin Stephens: If you want higher ketones, adding some MCT oil might be the great strategy. But that's not the goal.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. If you are doing really low carb, and you do want to add fat, and you want to make it most likely to lose weight, while still adding a lot of fat. She says she's taking MCT oil. So, I'm not encouraging this, but I'm saying some people are eating lower carb and they actually can't get enough calories because they're so full and they do want to add fat, but maybe they don't, but they still want to lose weight. So, if you get the C8-only version of MCT oil, that is the least likely chain of fat to get stored as fat. It gets processed by the liver, and is pretty much like uses fuel, sort of like a carb, but it's a fat and it can raise metabolism. So, if you're the type that is wanting to add fat, and wants at least likely to have fat storage potential, I will just say the C8 version. So, I know you can get that on Amazon, we can put links to it in the show notes. There's the Kiss My Keto brand, they make a C8 only, there's another one. I only use two specific brands because they come in glass bottles. And I don't want to be using MCT from a plastic bottle because that's just going to leach chemicals, I think, from the plastic. There's Kiss My Keto and then there's one called-- I look it up, I'll put it in the show notes, but yeah.

As far as I agree with everything that Gin said. Tracy, maybe have a reframe. Don't stress about ketones and adding more fat and all of that. And if you want to do lower carb, just do lower carb, and stop adding all the extra fat. If you want to switch up the macros because she says should she even track macros. It's up to you if you want to track macros. That's a whole another like world to discuss. Do you think that she should stay low carb, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Well, I mean, she started with keto two and a half months ago. She only wants to lose about eight pounds, but she's regained four-- I'm not sure that low carb is what's right for her. I mean, I don't have any indication that it is--

Melanie Avalon: She's adding more fat though. I would say maybe if you're happy with the low-carb world, like the foods you're eating, maybe step one, stop adding all that extra fat. Just be low carb and see what happens. If that's not working and the keto boat doesn't seem to be resonating with you, then yeah, maybe try switching up the macros.

Gin Stephens: I think a lot of people see the popularity of keto right now and then they just assume it's right for everybody and that they need to jump on that bandwagon, and that's the only way they can lose weight. And so, that's just not true. Just because a lot of people are doing keto, doesn't mean that you need to do keto. I mean, maybe keto is great for your body.

Melanie Avalon: We actually talked about the problems of long-term keto in the Joel Greene episode. He is not a fan of long-term keto. He was talking about how in the long term, the ketogenic diet actually creates a lot of oxidative stress in the mitochondria of ourselves and it specifically encourages something called 4-HNE, which is linked to-- I forget the details, but it's oxidative stress and cancer and a lot of potential problems. He talks about it in his book about-- he thinks keto is healthy and therapeutic-- I don't ever want to put words in his mouth, but the interpretation I got was that it can be therapeutic for a shorter period of time or a season even. But long term, it's probably not the best.

Gin Stephens: I just know how my body is, and we tend to-- I've said this many, many times and the whole premise of Feast Without Fear, my second book, in fact, we tend to feel whatever foods make us feel best should just feel that for everybody. And so, I don't like to say no one should do keto long term because even though I feel it wouldn't be right for me and I also share some concerns, who am I to say it isn't the best for somebody's body long term, right?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: So, if you're doing keto long term and you feel great, and you're staying healthy, I don't want you to feel like we're telling you not to. But I don't know, it's a tough one. I have personal feelings about it, too.

Melanie Avalon: I really think it's all unique.

Gin Stephens: I think back to Wade Lightheart and his partner. I think the two of them and his partner, eats keto and has done it long term and it feels great and does well. So, who am I to say that you shouldn't do it long term when it truly works for him? It works for Matt, so.

Melanie Avalon: I think it's more likely that men can do it easier long term. I think women more often experience issues.

Gin Stephens: I think that could be true, that sounds plausible, but I'm a big fan of eating all the foods. I'm a little bit skeptical of any plan where you restrict something forever, and never again, you're going to have those things. I think that could lead to prob-- our goal is to be able to tolerate all things. But I understand that sometimes our bodies get really out of whack. And so, we can't tolerate all things and so then, keto could be very therapeutic, or a plant-based way of eating could be very therapeutic. It just depends on what your issues are. Ideally, we would all be healthy enough to eat all the foods because people weren't running around thousands of years ago, like, “I'm sorry, I can't eat that. I'm keto.” They just ate whatever they could find and eat.

Melanie Avalon: They also weren't eating grains.

Gin Stephens: Well, we could debate about grains, but I think people have been eating grains a long, long time. I think people have been healthily eating grains for thousands of years. I think as soon as people figured out how to eat grains, they were eating grains. So, I hope that that helped, Tracy. Just keep tweaking what you're eating until you feel great and you see results, that's your goal. I would stop trying to get everybody's-- like this coach, and this person, and even us, just eat what feels right to you. Don't try to add more things just because you read that you should add them. Eat foods that make you feel great, period.

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We have a question from Jessica Taylor, and I love this one. The subject is Less Gray Hair. She says, “Hi ladies, I've been clean IF for four months now after finding your podcast and also reading Fast. Feast. Repeat. I love your shows very informative with fun, easy to listen to personalities to boot. Thank you. I have not yet heard my question, so I hope it is not a repeat. Here goes.

In addition to all the amazing benefits I have already experienced with IF, I have noticed that I don't need to get my grays colored as often as I used to. I'm 49 and have always been healthy and fit. I have gone to my lovely color lady exactly every three weeks for several years now to get my grays colored. By the three-week mark, it is always time to go as the grays are showing up quite a bit. But since IF, I find myself repetitively calling to reschedule my hair color appointments for a few weeks later because there isn't as much of a need. I still have some grays growing in but not nearly as many. There is no question that there is a difference. It seems unlikely that IF could affect the color of one's hair, but maybe with autophagy, there's a slowing of the aging process that is resulting in fewer gray hairs. I have not changed anything else in my health or life routine that I can think of. Seems odd to me that it would be IF, but I cannot deny the definite difference in the longer spacing between my previous every three-week hair appointments. What do you think? Thanks, Jessica." Can I just say it real quick, Melanie, what I want to say?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: We have seen this before in the groups. So, yes, we have had people whose hair turns back to its prior color, no more gray. It sounds ridiculous. If I wrote a book and said your hair will go back to its normal color and you will lose the gray, it would sound fake and made up, but we've seen it enough times that I know that this happens for some people. Did not happen for me. I still have all my grays, but we hear it a lot. Actually today, Melanie, somebody in the One Meal A Day group posted photos of himself with his hair, and he actually used to have a receding hairline that is now better.

Melanie Avalon: Oh wow!

Gin Stephens: No lie. It looks like-- you can't even believe it, but he had such a receding hairline, bald area and now his hairline is back to how it used to be. It sounds crazy, but that's not the first time I've seen that either. If you're having increased human growth hormone, and you're having all these positive benefits that bring you back to a more youthful state in your body, yeah, I think it's plausible. What do you think?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so I'm currently prepping because I'm bringing on Dr. Ben Lynch onto my podcast, which is so exciting. He's basically one of the go-to authorities in my sphere for epigenetics and gene problems like MTHFR and stuff like that. And rereading his book, Dirty Genes, he talks about why we get gray hair, and there are two main genes involved with it. So, basically, the reason our hair becomes gray is when we are under stress, hydrogen peroxide is released as a side effect of that. Our MAOA gene, in particular, will eliminate excess stress compounds like epinephrine or norepinephrine, even dopamine, and it creates a lot of hydrogen peroxide in the process. So, the more stressed we are, the more hydrogen peroxide is floating around. And so, hydrogen peroxide can turn your hair gray.

On top of that, we have a gene called the GPX gene, and that's a big detox gene. And it's responsible for getting rid of the hydrogen peroxide that's released when we're stressed. And it does that by using glutathione, which is our body's master antioxidant. It basically turns the hydrogen peroxide into water, so then we just literally urinate out the hydrogen peroxide. But if our detox genes, so GPX-- well, two things if our MAOA gene, the gene that's in charge of regulating our stress neurotransmitters, is overburdened or overwhelmed, we might be getting a lot of hydrogen peroxide. If our detox gene, like GPX, is not able to keep up with all of the hydrogen peroxide and if our glutathione is getting taxed, that hydrogen peroxide builds up and turns your hair more and more gray.

So, any sort of like diet or lifestyle situation that is managing or reducing our stress levels is likely going to reduce the amount of hydrogen peroxide and reduce that graying effect. I was just thinking about it now because I hadn't thought about to this extent, because-- preventatively, it can be great for preventing gray hairs. But then, since hair does come in cycles-- and I don't know if it's true, I don't know a ton about hair growth, but I was just thinking, okay, if hair comes in cycles, and your hair is gray, but it's been turned gray from the hydrogen peroxide but then you're doing diet and lifestyle situations where you are keeping your stress down, supporting your body's detox systems, which fasting can do all of this, when the new hair comes in, it's not predestined to be gray. I don't think. I don't see how it would be. I can 100% see how you would be getting less gray hairs. And as we age, our glutathione levels are going down, our stress is maybe going up, so I think it makes complete sense. Very cool.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, but we do see it and it sounds too good to be true, but if it's happening, believe it.

Melanie Avalon: I would say I'll put a link to that episode, but I don't think that episode will even remotely be out when this comes out.

Gin Stephens: People can anticipate it in the future.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. His book is called Dirty Genes, though. So, I'll put a link to his book in the show notes. What I love about him is he doesn't think you should like-- I mean, you can do genetic testing if you want, but he doesn't think you have to. He's saying that you can be pretty intuitive with what genes are off and making diet and lifestyle changes, and he is not all for-- because lot of people will be like, “Oh, I have MTHFR, take this supplement.” Or, you have this, take this supplement. And he's more about like diet and lifestyle approach, with very, very careful supplementation if you do that. So, yeah.

Well, if you'd like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com. Or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. There will be a full transcript in our show notes, as well as all the links that we talked about in today's show. So, that's at ifpodcast.com/episode188. You can join our Facebook groups. Mine is IF Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life.

Gin Stephens: Join us for a Life Lessons group, Life Lessons with Gin and Sheri. If you're a reader of Fast. Feast. Repeat., we'd love to have you in the Delay, Don't Deny Advanced group, you have to read Fast. Feast. Repeat., and you have to answer the questions to show that you have.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Then, you can follow us on Instagram. I'm actually posting pictures on Instagram now.

Gin Stephens: Oh my gosh, can I tell you something funny?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: I told you earlier that I had a meeting with my publisher team, and they told me I had to be better on Instagram. I'm like, “Okay,” and they're like, “We could help you find someone who can help you.” I'm like, “Okay,” that sounds like, all right. “They're like, “I noticed you haven't posted in two months.” I'm like, “Oh, lordy.”

Melanie Avalon: Instagram scares me.

Gin Stephens: That makes me happy because I feel it's just because I'm 51, but you're young.

Melanie Avalon: I don't know. I don't like it, but I'm trying to do it.

Gin Stephens: I don't know. I'm trying too, but I've been told by my publisher that I have to do better with Instagram.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I'll motivate you. You can motivate me.

Gin Stephens: I don't know how to use it. I'm just like, I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: It makes me feel really stupid.

Gin Stephens: Me too. I feel so stupid just saying that.

Melanie Avalon: I can do the basic pictures, but the stories, I don't understand.

Gin Stephens: I don't know. They're like, “You can look at the story.” I'm like, “I don't know what that is. I don't know how to do that.”

Melanie Avalon: I don't understand. And people will tag me in stories, and it’ll be like, “Add to your story.” I'm like, “What does that mean? I don't understand what's happening.”

Gin Stephens: Okay, I feel better hearing that.

Melanie Avalon: But then, it is fun because you'll post it-- like I posted my most recent CGM yesterday, I think, and 42 comments and everybody's wanting to know-- they have thoughts. I was like, “Okay, this is kind of fun,” but I just like my Facebook group.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I know. And they were also like, “Now, we'd like to give you some tips for your Facebook group.” I'm like, “No, I don't need any tips.”

Melanie Avalon: You're like, “Oh, no, I'm good.”

Gin Stephens: They're like, “You could do this and that.” I'm like, “I'm not doing any of those things.” Just because that's not how the Facebook group works. We have a lot of people. We have 300,000 people in that one group. So, ah.

Melanie Avalon: I'm right there with you.

Gin Stephens: All right, I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it. I'm going to do Instagram.

Melanie Avalon: I think it's because it makes me feel really selfish because you're putting pictures of yourself.

Gin Stephens: I think that might be it too because I feel like it's-- I think you just nailed it.

Melanie Avalon: Because on my Facebook group, I'm posting links and I'm asking questions, and it's not about me.

Gin Stephens: Here's your-- “Yeah, I have a daily inspiration thread,” and stuff like that. I think you're right.

Melanie Avalon: But Instagram’s like, “Here's a picture of me with this supplement.”

Gin Stephens: Here's my dinner. Here's me doing this. Here's my shoe. [laughs] Okay, sorry for everyone who loves Instagram.

Melanie Avalon: So, follow us on Instagram.

Gin Stephens: We're going to be a lot more interesting soon.

Melanie Avalon: You'll know all of our insecurities when you--

Gin Stephens: Is there a book that would teach me a tutorial? I'm not kidding.

Melanie Avalon: I think you probably just need to hire somebody. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: I don't know how to do that either. But they're going to send me some people. That sounds so weird. Apparently, when you're a New York Times bestselling author, you have to bring it.

Melanie Avalon: You got to have the Insta.

Gin Stephens: All right. I'm going to try to bring it.

Melanie Avalon: I do post every Friday for the episode-- Well, Friday or Saturday for my episode, but it's a picture of the episode. And I know they say that's like not-- it needs to be pictures of you. I'm like, “Okay.”

Gin Stephens: I'm also really terrible at selfies.

Melanie Avalon: I hate selfies.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm not good at it. I always look goofy. So, for goofy pictures of me and pictures of cats, follow me on Instagram. [laughs] No, it's going to get better. You'll see. Okay, 2021, that's my year. That's the year I'm going to really do Instagram. Okay, we can do it. We did just talk about habits on the Life Lessons podcast. And we both reread, refreshed ourselves with James Clear’s Atomic Habits, and you just have to just do it.

Melanie Avalon: I was talking about next day I have makeup on, I basically when I make up on, I stock-- I'm like, “Okay, we're done up. Let's take pictures with everything ever.” Maybe change the outfit, so it looks like a different day. And then, I'm like stocked up. So, I have about five more that I have stocked.

Gin Stephens: See, I put on makeup every day.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I don't. I don't have to, then.

Gin Stephens: All right. Well, good talk.

Melanie Avalon: Good times. So, follow us on Instagram, guys. Oh, yeah. I'm @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens on Instagram. All right. Well, I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-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 podcasts, Intermittent Fasting Stories, and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. The music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week.


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