Episode 199: Personalized Diet Plans, Combination Fasting, Infrared Blankets, Toothbrushing, Kids Eating Habits, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Feb 07

Welcome to Episode 199 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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Are You Ready For Personalized Diet Advice? Here's Zoe!

Listener Q&A: Katie - PLEASE HELP!

Listener Q&A: Nancy - Combination of IF lifestyles

Listener Q&A: Frances - Infrared blankets?

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Listener Q&A: samantha - Trying to catch up as fast as I can

Listener Q&A: Timothea - Changing my eating window on the weekends/menopause/bloating

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Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 199 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.

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One more thing before we jump in. Are you concerned about aging? Well, thankfully, fasting is super incredible for its anti-aging benefits. It activates genes in your body called sirtuins, which repair your body and help extend lifespan. Also, during the fast, your body can clean up a lot of harmful chemicals which may be taxing your detoxification systems. In fact, the reason people go gray is because their detox systems start producing a lot of hydrogen peroxide when dealing with toxins. Do you know where a lot of those chemicals come from? Your skincare and makeup. As it turns out, there are 1000s of compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup that Europe has banned due to their toxic nature and the US has banned less than 10. When you put these on your skin every single day through your skincare and makeup, you're adding to your body's burden and likely aging your skin faster.

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Hi everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 199 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I am doing great. How are you?

Melanie Avalon: I am good. How is the weather?

Gin Stephens: Well, it's cold. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I know.

Gin Stephens: I also want to talk about my inability to track my food on an app.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. How is that going?

Gin Stephens: Seven days. I made it seven days.

Melanie Avalon: Did you stop?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: You gave up?

Gin Stephens: Okay. The give up is the wrong word.

Melanie Avalon: I know.

Gin Stephens: Rejected the experience. Better way of putting it. No, I just cannot track using an app. Man, it was fascinating. I'm so glad I did it. I would 100% do it again, and I would 100% recommend it to everybody, but I just can't do it. I'm going to say this though, it is amazing to eat according to those recommendations if I needed to lose weight, if I was struggling with that, if I had health issues, I would 100% follow it. I still don't know that I'd like to put things into an app, but I learned a lot. Even in those seven days, I learned a lot about how to tweak what I'm eating to fit within their parameters. I know exactly what foods would work well for me now. Of course, it's beans, beans, and more beans. With lots of veggies. It's beans, it's veggies. I can have fat. I just can't stack it too close together if I'm trying to follow their guidelines, that sort of thing. Did I talk to you about my ketone level while I was doing it?

Melanie Avalon: I don't think so.

Gin Stephens: Oh, my God. I have the breath ketone meter that we got, you should try out, from Biosense. Every day, after I'd been doing it for a couple days, after I think two days of following this, I was blowing the highest level of ketones you can blow, like it said high. When I got to hour 14-- I mean, I was like not that far into the fast blowing high.

Melanie Avalon: It sounds like you're on a really high carb diet.

Gin Stephens: Yes, I was eating really high carbs, and I wasn't even really succeeding with the low fat because every day I got a message that my score was lowered due to the quantity of fat. I can tell you, for example, I wasn't low carb or low fat really. Day six, for example, I got a really good score for the day. 87 out of 100. I had 114 grams of carbs and 50 grams of fat. That's not low carb, and it's not low fat. I was blowing huge ketones. The day before that, I had 136 grams of carbs and 66 grams of fat, 72 grams of protein, 76 grams of fiber. The day after eating 136 grams of carbs and 66 grams of fat and 72-73 grams of protein, I had 1700 calories that day, and I was blowing high ketones by hour 13-14. It blows my mind.

Melanie Avalon: That's really cool.

Gin Stephens: It really is so cool.

Melanie Avalon: Even though you're not using the app, are you going to exist within this dietary paradigm for--?

Gin Stephens: No. Here's why, because I'm healthy, and I'm happy and I like to just eat food when I want to eat food. I'm going to keep in my mind, if I ever found my Shapa turning gray meaning, I was gaining weight, I would be, like, “Oop, let me think back if I've been having too many refined carbs.” I don't score high on refined carbs. One day I ate a baked potato with butter, and my score was high for that meal. Baked potato with butter and beans, and I think avocado, too, but then later, I couldn't find any fats. They're like, “Sorry, you already ruined it.” I didn't say it like that, but it was already too much fat for the day for me. I had a hard time finding other things. If I found I was gaining weight, then I would 100% use what I learned about my body not clearing fat well. That right there was worth the cost of admission. Learning, yes, too much fat is inflammatory for my body, and I always felt that. That was huge, that confirmation. Knowing that beans worked well for me, that's huge.

Melanie Avalon: I guess you probably would have said before, you don't have like ApoE4 or anything like that, do you?

Gin Stephens: I don't know. It's been so long since I've looked at any of that stuff.

Melanie Avalon: That'd be interesting.

Gin Stephens: My genetic stuff?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I think the other one is the FAO gene, what is that?

Gin Stephens: Is that the one that they say that you developed as we became farmers, is that the one that lets you eat carbs, processed carbs better?

Melanie Avalon: No, I think the FAO gene is also related to fatty acid oxidation.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't have them all in my brain as far as what they are.

Melanie Avalon: The ones they throw around a lot are the APOE variants because that's related to saturated fat and Alzheimer's. Then, FAO is something about fat. I just wonder-- It sounds like that. I'd be curious, if you ever look up your data, what you have on that.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that would be interesting. It's been so long, like I said, I don't know. Anyway, I'm so glad I did it. For the same reason, I stopped weighing myself, but I could do the Shapa with no problem and see my color, the same reason tracking food. There was one day when I tracked my food, and I was like, “I haven't had enough calories.” [laughs] And saw, ate more food. I'm like, “Wait, now I'm really full. Why'd I eat that?” Then other days, I'm like, “That was a lot.” Anyway, I don't like the tracking, but it's so valuable. A week was long enough for me to know how to combine the foods. If I wanted to really eat what was ideal for me, I could do that.

Melanie Avalon: Are they collecting the data?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Are they going to be upset you're not using the app?

Gin Stephens: Oh, no, no, no, they're not collecting data from this part. No, no, no. That's the first part of the study. They're collecting data from that.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, they're not collecting data from--?

Gin Stephens: I don't know, well, they got a week of data. But I'm not wearing a CGM for this part. You only wear the CGM during the initial part. The only data they have is the food that I ate for a week.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, gotcha.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: It's exciting.

Gin Stephens: It is very exciting. I actually set up-- if you go to ginstephens.com/zoe, I have a link to it there. You can find out more and you can join yourself. Even if you don't want to, don't let me say the tracking part, you don't have to track your food long term. It just gives you the idea of what would work.

Melanie Avalon: For people who haven't done the study.

Gin Stephens: They will start completely from the beginning. The way it's set up right now, you join, you pay a certain amount, but they divided up over six months, whether you do-- they have one plan, you do the testing, they send everything to you. The CGM, if you're eligible.

Melanie Avalon: But this is different than the study that you did.

Gin Stephens: It's all connected.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. My mind is being blown. Okay.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's the same people. It's the PREDICT people. Yeah, it's Dr. Tim Spector and his group are part of the Zoe app too. It's all the same thing. Yes. It's all based on their PREDICT 3 studies, I was part of PREDICT 3, which I guess everyone is if they opt in. You can opt in or opt out. If you decide you want to do it, if you opt in with Zoe, you're opting into the PREDICT 3 study, I guess. Maybe it's PREDICT 4, I have no idea. You opt in and if you qualify, they send you as part of the whole thing, it’s the same price, they send you the CGM and also where you do your poop sample and the muffins that you have to eat. They send you a box with food in it, that that food and then you have to test your blood after you eat those different muffins that I've talked about before. They see how your body clears the sugar from your blood. They see how your body clears the fat from your blood, which as I said, I did not clear it very well. Then, they take all that data, especially the poop sample, that's really important, and about six weeks later, you get your report. At that time, you get four months with the app. You can use the app, whether you want to or not. Don't feel like a failure. If you're like me, you're like, “I just can't talk about food.” But you have up to four months. And then I think you can subscribe to the app going forward if you want to, you can continue it past the four months. They also have a plan that costs more, but if you do the higher plan, you actually get to work with a nutritionist that you get to talk to and they guide you through it.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, yeah. I didn't realize. I was thinking this whole time that you did the study and then the Zoe app was something they were using to monitor and then people could use the Zoe app for their own dietary choices. I didn't realize it was--

Gin Stephens: No, everybody has different numbers in their Zoe app. That's what’s so cool. A couple of the moderators in my group, they went through it right when I did, and they have different scores for the same exact foods. They can put a meal together in their Zoey app and get a totally different score than I get on mine. Isn't that interesting?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Like the moderator, Roxy, she clears fat great, so she can have more fat, according to her Zoe app. I'm like, “That's not fair. That's not fair.” [laughs] because it made me start thinking diety things. I'm also really good at getting a high score. Then I'm like, “Wait a minute, I just want to eat a meal.” Again, if I were struggling with losing weight, oh my gosh, this is the golden ticket. The way that my ketones went up, oh my gosh.

Melanie Avalon: I'm going to have to look into this. To do it-- Oh, you have to eat those muffins.

Gin Stephens: Well, you do have to eat the muffins. Yes, you otherwise you eat what you normally would eat.

Melanie Avalon: How many days do you eat muffins?

Gin Stephens: It was one day of muffins.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's all one day.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, you do all the muffins in one day. You eat them, then you wait some time-- or it might have been two days. I can't remember, now I'm all-- I can't remember, isn’t that sad? It felt like a lot of muffins. It was either one day of muffins or two days of muffins, but I think it was one. You ate them, then you waited and then you ate some more.

Melanie Avalon: Do you have to do it at a certain time? Or could I make--

Gin Stephens: Better do it in the morning.

Melanie Avalon: Will it know if I do it like in my one meal a day instead?

Gin Stephens: You have to give it a certain number of hours, and you have to enter the time. So yes, it will know, [laughs] because you have to scan it and enter a time and just tell yourself you're doing scientific research. You're eating for science.

Melanie Avalon: I'll let this stew over in my mind a little bit.

Gin Stephens: It was really worth doing, and I'm really glad that I did. They know so much more about the gut than they did even when I had my gut analyzed in 2017 with the American Gut Project, which also is partnered with the British Gut Project, which is also Tim Spector. He's the main guy doing this in the world.

Melanie Avalon: What's the link for that for listeners?

Gin Stephens: Go to ginstephens.com/zoe. Then from there, there's information and you can figure out what to do. But man, it's valuable, such a valuable tool. Again, like I said, if I were struggling with weight loss and couldn't figure out why I wasn't losing weight and struggling, not feeling great, I tell you, I was so full the whole time. It's just the tracking, that's really--

Melanie Avalon: Not your cup of tea.

Gin Stephens: Not my cup of tea. Yeah. I've just been living in freedom for so long with the whole intermittent fasting, eating, how my body feels great, whatever feels right to me, that it's hard for me to track on an app. Even if you don't want to track on the app at all, I would encourage everyone to do it, at least for a week once you get your results. That was very valuable.

Melanie Avalon: Perfect. Well, for listeners, the show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode199 and we'll put links to all of that there.

Gin Stephens: Did you have anything new going on? You haven't shared anything or, I talked a lot. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I'm good.

Gin Stephens: All right. Well, we have got a question from Katie, and the subject is “Please Help.” She says, “Good afternoon, ladies. First of all, I love listening to you both on the podcast. I have also read Delay, Don't Deny, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I need help, and I am having a hard time isolating individuals in my similar situation. All right, be prepared for some rambling.” That was Katie talking, not me. [laughs] Just to be clear. That would be rude if I said that, but that was Katie. All right.

She said, “I started IF three and a half weeks ago after reading Dr. Fung’s Obesity Code. I immediately fell in love because of the ease of delaying and not denying. I was hoping it would be my trick to lose my 15 pounds of squish and I lost the first 7 within my first 10 days. Then it stopped. For two weeks, I have not lost any more weight. I go up two pounds and down two pounds, but never below that 7 pounds I initially lost. I do eat whatever I want during my window. My typical window is 4 to 8 PM.” I don't even want to read the rest of this, Melanie, I just want to say, Katie, you're in the first 28 days. That is not the time to expect weight loss. I'm going to keep reading it, but [laughs] I want to say that right now. All right. So back to this.

“I do eat whatever I want during my window. My typical window is 4 PM to 8 PM as I do not want to miss suppers with my family. I'm married and have three kids and I am unwilling to lose the supper family time. Okay, back to my problem. I am concerned that my issue was stalling out is my running. I am an avid long-distance runner and was nervous about trying IF because I'm so accustomed to eating during my exercise. I run 7 miles every weekday and 13 to 15 on the weekend. Most runs are first thing early in the morning. On my three workdays, I do 7 miles on my lunch hour. I do feel pretty good during my runs despite being fasted. I do feel a bit slower but no weakness or inability to complete the workout. Could my exercise be the reason I cannot lose these last 8 pounds? The exercise is not new. I've had the same routine for years.

My question is, should I give up on IF? Should I clean up my diet in the four-hour window? I do not want to lose muscle or jeopardize my running. I am so hungry all the time. I cannot imagine eating less. Please let me know what you think. Thanks for reading. Again, I have spent lots of hours listening to you girls during my runs. I feel like I know you both. Happy Wednesday. Katie.”

Melanie Avalon: All right. Not Wednesday for us, but Happy Sunday, Katie. Yeah, I love this question from Katie. I know Gin already weighed in with some thoughts.

Gin Stephens: I’ve got so much to say, I'm sitting on my fingers.

Melanie Avalon: Do you want to go first? You can.

Gin Stephens: Can I?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, you can. Please do.

Gin Stephens: All right, Katie. You said you read The Obesity Code. I want you to get Fast. Feast. Repeat. because it doesn't sound like you've read that. What you said, you read Delay, Don’t Deny, but not Fast. Feast. Repeat. Then, I want you to flip to the chapter on the 28 Day FAST Start and you have my permission to read that first. In the 28 Day FAST Start, I very, very clearly say weigh on day zero, then don't weigh again until day 29. You're not weighing during those first 28 days, that's four weeks of letting your body settle in. Then on day 29, you start weighing every day. Then once a week, you calculate a weekly average, and you only compare the weekly averages. If you've already lost 7 pounds in three and a half weeks, first of all, that isn't going to be 7 pounds of fat, because we don't lose fat that quickly. But that would still be pretty remarkable. That's an amazing amount to have gone down. I imagine it's fluid, water weight kind of thing, but that is a lot to lose within the first 10 days. That's not nothing. I'm sure you've lost some fat. But also, sounds like you are doing a whole lot of physical activity. You also need to really turn right to the Scale Schmale chapter of Fast. Feast. Repeat. and you're going to not want to even rely on the scale at all.

Actually, you only want to lose 8 pounds, you would be a good candidate for smashing your scale with a hammer and never getting on a scale again for the rest of your life, because if you're doing this much exercise, and fasting, and exercising during the fasted state, you're going to burn fat and build lean muscle like crazy. I want you to use measurements and progress photos to track your progress, not the scale. No, you don't need to worry about troubleshooting, you're not having trouble. It feels like you are because you're probably used to a “diet plan” where you see slow and steady weight loss for a while or maybe fast weight loss and it's slow and steady. Then, you plateau and then you regained the weight. This is not like that at all. This is not like anything you've done before. Get all those expectations out of your mind.

I really think that Fast. Feast. Repeat. could help you because you need to understand what's going to be going on in your body and why the scale is not going to be your best measure. But it's way too soon to tweak anything. Even if you had been steadily gaining weight for three and a half weeks, I would not be worried. That's why I don't want you to weigh at all at first.

For anybody listening, it is not the time to troubleshoot this early. I'm serious, and I promise it. All right, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: I loved that.

Gin Stephens: Also, she says she's hungry all the time, well, then eat, Katie, eat more food. You should not be so hungry all the time.

Melanie Avalon: The only thing I will say because I thought that was wonderful, the only thing I'll say is this is not her situation, but let's say this is still the situation, she's not losing weight and it's been three months, the thing I would focus on, like she says, is, “cleaning up the diet.” I don't really like the word ‘clean’ but what Gin and I were just talking about right before this question, the magic of finding the foods that work for your body. That's what I would turn to first, rather than giving up on IF or potentially blaming the exercise as the cause. If you have not made any concentrated tweaks to your diet, there is massive amount of potential that can be made doing so.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. She also might need a longer window with that amount of physical activity. Maybe a four-hour window is not long enough for that. If you're doing seven miles, if you're running seven miles on your lunch hour, you're going to need more fuel than you could possibly get. I couldn't get enough fuel in a four-hour window. I have a hard time getting enough fuel in a short window and I run zero miles. Fuel that body, open that window up littler wider, Katie. Really, if you'll send me your address, I'll drive over to your house and I'll bring my hammer, and I'll smash your scale, [laughs] because it's not going to be a good measure, especially 8 pounds. You may even gain weight but shrink.

Melanie Avalon: You know what I was just thinking about?

Gin Stephens: What?

Melanie Avalon: You saying that. I wonder out of all of our listeners, like which listener lives closest to me and closest to you.

Gin Stephens: Well, my next-door neighbor listens. Remember that story when we moved?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: She was a listener. [laughs] Hello, neighbor. They're great. We have great neighbors.

Melanie Avalon: I wonder if anybody in my apartment complex listens.

Gin Stephens: That’d be funny.

Melanie Avalon: That’d be crazy.

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Melanie Avalon: Well, shall we move on to the next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: This question is from Nancy. I have a sidenote something, I have to say. Were you aware? Did we talk about this that Nancy Drew, Carolyn Keene was not one author?

Gin Stephens: I did know that. I don't know if we talked about it, but I knew it. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I'm currently reading another Melanie, Melanie Dale, she has a book called something like, I think it's Calm the H*ck Down. It's about parenting. I'm bringing her on my show, even though I know nothing about parenting, but it's not my expertise, and so I'm going to feel super awkward in the interview, but their publicist pitched it to me, and I asked my audience if they would like that episode, and everybody was like, “Yes.” So, we're doing it. In any case, I learned in her book that Nancy Drew, Carolyn Keene is not one author.

Gin Stephens: That's true. So many things are not true. There is no Little Debbie. [laughs] Captain Kangaroo was not a kangaroo. Do you know who that is?

Melanie Avalon: Captain Kangaroo? I know the cereal box. Right?

Gin Stephens: Captain Kangaroo is a TV show in the 70s.

Melanie Avalon: He wasn’t a kangaroo?

Gin Stephens: No one thought he was a kangaroo, that was just a joke. [laughs] Sorry. No, it's not a good [unintelligible [00:28:23].

Melanie Avalon: No, but you said Captain Kangaroo, and I initially got this image of a cereal box with a kangaroo on it. Oh, because of Cap’n Crunch, that's why.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. That's Cap’n Crunch.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so on that note, we have a question from Nancy. The subject is “Combination of IF Lifestyles.” Nancy says, “Hi, Gin. Hi, Melanie.” This is the first time we've got two separate--

Gin Stephens: Maybe.

Melanie Avalon: Maybe. She says, “I recently discovered your podcast and started listening to it from the beginning. I'm in Episode 30. I've already read your books and did some research about IF which looks like everything I've been looking for. I'm also new with this lifestyle. I got 20 pounds to lose, but a lot of time. Above everything, I want to be safe. I started doing 16:8, maintained it for a month and upgraded to 18:6, I have already maintained it per month, I would like to switch to 5:2 combined with 16:8. I'm very busy with college, so I've noticed that it's easier for me to fast an entire fast day, 36 hours and would like to do it twice a week, but at the moment, I don't feel good eating all day long, three times a day. So, the other days I would like to do 16:8. I've read in a book that in 5:2, it is strictly prohibited to overdo the fast. I'm worried about harming my body. What do you think? Is it safe for me to combine 5:2 and 16:8? Or, if I do 5:2, must I eat three times the other five days? Thank you very much in advance. I really appreciate your work. You're my inspiration.”

Gin Stephens: All right. Well, Nancy, good news. No, I don't believe that it is prohibited for you to do 16:8 on the days following your full fast. In fact, in Fast. Feast. Repeat., I talk about this. You'll be doing a hybrid approach, like I talk about in Fast. Feast. Repeat. In Fast. Feast. Repeat., I do make it very, very clear that after a longer fast, like a 36-hour fast, for example, that you're talking about, you do want to have an up day. For an up day, you just want to make sure that you're not restricting. Our rule of thumb is eat at least two meals, three would be fine. What you don't want to do is fast for 47 hours, eat one meal, start fasting again 47 more hours, no. That's not ADF, that would be every other other day or something. [laughs] We're not doing that. If you want to do, a down day with the full fast day and then the next day have at least two meals, you're going to have that in an eight-hour window. That sounds fine. Then if the next day was another 16:8 day, that's great. I don't see any over restriction happening there. Unless you're also really super dieting within that 60 days, which we wouldn't recommend, you want to give your body the signal that there's plenty of food. It's absolutely fine to combine two down days a week and the other days being 16:8. Sounds good to me. What do you think, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: I think you answered the question.

Gin Stephens: As long as you have an up day after every down day, and we say at least 6 to 8 hours for an up day, 12 is fine as well, but I think six is a little short, but 8 to 12 should be fun.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. All right. Shall we move on to the next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes. All right. The next question is from Frances and the subject is Infrared Blankets. “Hi ladies, I've been listening to your show from almost the beginning. I've been enjoying a daily eating window of about four to six hours a day since 2018. I have loved implementing a lot of your life hacking advice along the way, which has helped with a lot of issues like sleep, mindset, and inflammation. I have all three of the BLUblox glasses, and I love my infrared device, not to mention the life-changing P3-OM enzymes and magnesium supplements I use daily after learning about them on your show. I have found that near-infrared light helps with inflammation, arthritis, scars, sinuses, etc. I am 46 and do hot yoga about three to four days a week. I just heard about the infrared blankets. Is this legit? I love my small unit, but I would love to lay down in a warm blanket that would treat my whole body. I look to you for vetting everything from diets to products, and admire the hours of research that you put into this forum.

You ladies are delightful, and I can't imagine my life without your curiosity and wisdom. Please keep on keeping on. Can you imagine what we will learn even five years from now? Thank you for everything you do. Sincerely, Frances.” And you know what? She's right. A lot can change in five years. When I was talking to the Zoe people after I went through it and we were going over my results, I talked about that my gut looked different than it had in 2017. They're like, “Well, in 2017, we couldn't see what we can see now. We can see so much more now.” They know more now than they did just in 2017.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and to date this podcast, but five years ago was 2016. Think about how much has changed.

Gin Stephens: I know.

Melanie Avalon: So many fronts since then. All right, so I love this question from Frances, and I'm so glad all the things are helping. The infrared blankets, I personally don't recommend them, and the main thing for me is I actually get nervous about the EMF exposure, putting that directly onto your body. I would recommend if you're looking-- well, this is not the same thing as a blanket at all. The infrared therapy treatment that I do-- there's two things here she mentions-- I'm assuming it's probably a Joovv device, the infrared light that she uses because the Joovv device lets out red and near-infrared light therapy and that doesn't heat you up or anything like that. It's for treating things like she said, like inflammation and joint and muscle pain, and it can help your skin, it can help your mood, the color of the red light. The heat aspect comes from far-infrared wavelengths. That would be what would be found in an infrared blanket. Also, in Sunlighten saunas, for example, which by the way, Gin, how's it going with your Sunlighten sauna?

Gin Stephens: Oh, I love it. I love it so much.

Melanie Avalon: I saw your picture today.

Gin Stephens: I love it. Two days this week, I didn't have time to get in there. One day, I had to go to the dentist at 8:30 in the morning, I had to shower, I don't want to get in after I've showered. Then another day, I had a 9 AM podcast and I like to shower before I'm on the camera with people. Those two days I didn't get in and I was so sad. Oh, then one other day I didn't get in, yesterday because I was getting ready to get in, and my husband said, “Let's go--” I can't remember what he want-- we went and did something. I'm like, “But I was going to get in sauna now.”

Melanie Avalon: It feels so good. Of course, you and I have completely opposite routines. It's like the last thing I do. Well, before I eat-- It's the last thing I do every day before stopping work and all of that. I still read in it and so I'm still doing work in it.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, I'm reading in mine. I'm working in mine, but I get up do my morning coffee routine, and then I moderate the Facebook group for a while. Then I get in the sauna, and I'm reading in the sauna, researching for my next book. Then, I go get in the shower and get dressed for the day.

Melanie Avalon: It's so good. Yeah, I can imagine how starting the day, it would feel really good.

Gin Stephens: It does feel good.

Melanie Avalon: It helps me wind down for sleep.

Gin Stephens: I can imagine that, too. Then, do you shower, are you sweaty?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I just rinse off in the shower. And then, I end with a cold blast.

Gin Stephens: No, not me. But, yeah, I get so sweaty. Since I like to get ready for the day early on, and I put my makeup on and do my hair every day. I do it every day.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I don't do that. [laughs] I do it on the days when I need to make all my Instagram content now, which I do. Oh, Gin, you didn't know this. We mentioned it last episode, but we just assumed we were going to be able to get the link. We do have a link and an offer, and I have all the details now, which is exciting. If you go to ifpodcast.com/sunlighten and use the coupon code, IFPODCAST, or if you're talking to a rep, tell them you were sent there by us, The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, you get $200 off their devices and free shipping.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I love it. It was so much easier to put together than I thought. When it was delivered in the big ol’ boxes, I was scared. I was like, “Oh my gosh, what--” but it all just unpacked easily, went together well, you just need three adults, and you can do it.

Melanie Avalon: Then I have the Solo which you lay down in, which is great for people in apartment situations. It's super easy to set up. I don't know if we have it yet. We'll put all this on ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike because I also have a really good-- if you want to get the Solo unit, the way I set it up, I have my whole setup thing. In any case, I don't have an infrared blanket, I did have some of the infrared mats that have the jade stones that they use to create the warmth. I'm not super against them, I just am hesitant about the EMF exposure. The Sunlighten units have been tested to be low EMF. I just feel there might be something different about putting it directly on your skin because in the infrared saunas, it's letting out the rays through the air into you. I'm assuming with these blankets, it's through touch because you're not going to sit by the blanket and be warm. You're going to have to actually put it on your body. Not a lot of help there, but I would definitely look into an infrared sauna, which I know is a little bit bigger than a blanket, but yes.

Gin Stephens: Yep, I love it.

Melanie Avalon: Although I will say, Frances, if you're not in my Facebook group, IF Biohackers, join me there and ask this question, because I'm sure a lot of people will weigh in with their opinions. Our only rule by the way in that group is that all opinions are welcome, and you have to be kind. Shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: This question is from Samantha. The subject is “Trying to catch up as fast as I can.” Samantha says, “Hi, ladies. Just this week, I began listening to your podcast and started my own IF journey and I can't get caught up fast enough. I love it. I really enjoy learning about different topics, but I don't do well with research. Thanks for spoon-feeding it to me. I've learned the basics so far, specifically to avoid triggering insulin production while fasting. No gum, mints, etc. When do you brush your teeth? At the very end of your window makes sense. What about the AM on a typical 18:6 IF schedule?”

Gin Stephens: So, I can go ahead and answer that Samantha. Here's the thing about teeth brushing, it's really, really brief, within two minutes of tasting sweetness, your body releases the insulin. The amount of insulin peaks at about four minutes and then returns to baseline levels. It's only going to be a little 8- to 10-minute blip of your day, and I wouldn't worry about that for brushing your teeth. Of course, that also explains why we don't drink like a diet soda because every sip is a new exposure. You don't want to do that. Brushing your teeth is very brief, and then you go on with your day. I wouldn't worry about that. I have been brushing my teeth every day, the whole time.

Melanie Avalon: You can also get brushing options that don't have a sweet taste. The one I've been using recently because I've-- we've talked about Dr. Bronner's in the past. It's not sweet. The one I'm using right now is a tooth powder.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I got one of those charcoal tooth powders, it was hilarious.

Melanie Avalon: Because it made your teeth black?

Gin Stephens: And it's such a mess. I was like, “No.” [laughs] Reject.

Melanie Avalon: Of course, I didn't reject it because Gin and I are always opposites. I am using Dirty Mouth Toothpowder for teeth whitening, the peppermint flavor, and it has no sweetener in it. I'm really, really loving it. It's really great. They also have a spearmint flavor. I've also used in the past Redmond, they have an unsweetened spearmint flavor. That's really great. If you just want to avoid the sweet thing entirely, you can go that route. Then her second question, she says, “Also, my eight-year-old son has little desire for breakfast. I tend to force him to eat something as I was always taught, we need to, for “the most important meal of the day.” Otherwise, he is a great eater. At what point do you let a child have a shortened eating window? Is it too early to let his body dictate his schedule? Thanks.” I will say this really quick sidenote, I do think when I bring on Melanie, the other Melanie on my show, I feel like I'm definitely going to be talking to her about stuff like this.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, I think that's important. The question about a kid is important. Ideally, we would always let our children's bodies dictate their schedule honestly. What do you think about that statement, Melanie? That we would always let a child's body dictate what and when they eat.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I actually-- I know I'm not a mother and I don't have experience, but I do have thoughts about how I think I would go about this. I feel I would make the food choices that I think are healthy available.

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: But if they don't want to eat it, that's fine. Then, if later, they'll probably eat more, when it's available.

Gin Stephens: Exactly. It does get trickier with an eight-year-old in school. I don't know in this day and age, he may not be going to in-person school and maybe he does have a flexible time that he can eat but that's the problem with-- you go to school and you have a set schedule. It's not like he could just graze on food whenever he feels like it. Maybe he can though. Our kids, when I taught, they were allowed to, in my classroom, to pull out a snack and eat at a time of the day. We didn't have a set snack time. I was a gifted teacher, even when I was the third-grade teacher, I was a third-grade teacher for years before being the gifted teacher, but I was just like, “Look, you want to bring snacks, bring snacks, I don't care, eat whenever you feel like it. Don't bother me. Eat when you want to. They had water bottles on their desk. You don't have to ask me if you can eat your snack. Just don't get in trouble with it. You can eat it.” Not all classrooms are obviously are going to be like that. I believe in letting kids eat when they want to eat and not forcing them because that's how they lose touch with their satiety signals.

Melanie Avalon: I find it also really interesting how growing up, kids rejecting certain foods, often things like vegetables when they're young, but then liking it when they're older.

Gin Stephens: I was the pickiest eater. As for my children, well, Will was not as picky. Cal was terrible. When he was little, he only ate things that were beige. I've said that before. He would eat chicken nuggets, vanilla pudding, crackers, apple sauce. Everything seemed to be beige. Now, he's a vegetarian.

Melanie Avalon: Wow.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Well, he's not completely a vegetarian. I take that back. Kate's a vegetarian, his wife. So, they're mostly vegetarian, but he eats everything.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Did I tell you he stopped fasting? He doesn't do that anymore.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Okay. I thought I did, but I couldn't remember.

Melanie Avalon: Do we answer our question, then?

Gin Stephens: I wouldn't say you're fasting, there's your window. I wouldn't use that terminology with kids. That's the thing that's different. You don't say, “Oh, look, you're fasting. What's your eating--?” No. Offer food, make it available. If he's like, “I'm not hungry,” then say, “All right, you need to take a snack for school. Make sure you have enough lunch,” and let them eat when they're hungry later.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I feel the problem more is not letting a kid eat when hungry. That's a big problem compared to them not wanting to eat.

Gin Stephens: I think forcing them to eat when they're not hungry is also a huge problem, though. That creates disordered eating.

Melanie Avalon: I guess I didn't say that right. What I meant was in relation to, is it a fasting thing or not, but just as far as potentially problematic messaging that is sent, both physically through the body and just surrounding food.

Gin Stephens: There's no better gift that we can give our kids than the gift of exposing them to a wide variety of foods and teaching them to listen to their body as to whether they're hungry or as to whether they're not, but I also wish-- one thing I did wrong, not understanding, I didn't understand is that I didn't continue to offer the foods. I offered one time. “Oh, he doesn't like carrots. Alright, carrots are out.” No, you have to offer foods to kids-

Melanie Avalon: Multiple times.

Gin Stephens: -like 10 times before they might eat it. I would have kept offering if I could go back.

Melanie Avalon: Did we talk about that on this show something about, literally, it was like the number 10 that you have to--? I think it was a book I was reading, and I was talking about how to change your taste buds, and you introduce it to yourself. I wish I could remember what it was from, but I feel like it was saying, this is ringing a bell, that if you make it 10 times and you still don't like it, then it's probably not for you.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Well, I think that's true. It's just like people who say, I can't get used to black coffee, your taste buds can get used to black coffee.

Melanie Avalon: I know who it was, it was Dr. Cate Shanahan’s Fatburn Fix.

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: She has a whole section on cravings and food tastes and all of that, and it's really, really fascinating.

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All right. Shall we move on to the next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Timothia. The subject is “Changing my eating window on the weekends/menopause/bloating.” Timothia says, “Hi Melanie and Gin, I love your podcast, but just started listening so I'm only on episode 15. Looking forward to binge-listening to more episodes. I started IF one month ago with a 6 AM to 2 PM eating window during the week and I took the weekends off, no fasting. I lost 5 pounds in two weeks and was thrilled. When I gained back 2 pounds the third week, I decided to modify. I've kept the same fasting schedule as above during the week, but I shift to dinner only a five-hour window on the weekends. This is so I can enjoy a glass of wine Friday/Saturday night and also eat dinner with my family. Have you seen this type of pattern work for people?”

Gin Stephens: This goes right back to what we had at the very beginning of the show with Katie. Timothia, you just started a month ago. So, you’ve got to come up with a way to track that's not just, “Oh, I've lost 5 pounds, oops, I've gained back 2,” because that's not really what's probably happening. Fluctuations confuse more people than anything. You get on the scale, it's up 2 pounds, does that mean you've gained 2 pounds? No, it means your scale has fluctuated upward, you might have gained two pounds of fat, but maybe you've lost fat, but you have to poop. It's hard to know. All the reasons why your scale could be up. I would like to beg the entire world to weigh daily and use some kind of app that does the trend for you, like Happy Scale on iOS or Libra on Android. I don't know anything about Android, but I've just heard that one's good. I know Russ Shanahan, who made the Happy Scale app, he's awesome. That's the one I recommend for iOS, or just do it old school like I did. At the end of the week, you add it all up, divide by seven, or get a Shapa a scale that shows your overall trend, ginstephens.com/shapa. Any of those things, but you cannot let those fluctuations get in your head. If you lost 5 pounds in two weeks and gain came back 2, you're still down 3, that's a great rate of loss for three weeks. But also, that first month, you should not expect to lose any weight because your body is adjusting to intermittent fasting. I'm so emphatic about that, because the early days, you'll be like, “Oh my gosh, it's not working out. I just gained 2 pounds.” That's not what's really happening.

Melanie Avalon: I know we sound maybe like a broken record, but I do think it's really valuable-- because we just got a question from one person asking this, but I think it is very comforting to listeners to hear it coming from so many different people and slightly different tweaks on it, slightly different versions of it.

Gin Stephens: We've had hundreds of thousands of people come through my Facebook community.

Melanie Avalon: I just love that we're on the same page. I was going to say that saying what I just said might sound like, “Oh, well, maybe things are not working for people and we're just giving the same answer.” Gin, there's hundreds of thousands of people if you'd like to continue that thought.

Gin Stephens: Well, it's also I've talked to 130, 140 people now on Intermittent Fasting Stories, and it's common, over and over and over again. That's one reason why I didn't just slightly revised Delay, Don’t Deny and rerelease it, but I wrote a whole new book, with Fast. Feast. Repeat. because people really need to understand that this is not like other things and that there are common things that you're going to go through. If you think about it the way you've thought about other things you've done, you're going to feel like you failed. Again, that's why I kept starting and stopping all those years. From 2009 to 2014, I started and stopped intermittent fasting so many times, I couldn't believe it. I never stuck with it. I never lost weight. Finally, in 2014 when I stuck with it, that was the time I was weighing daily and calculating my weekly average and that was when I could see, “Oh, look, even though my Friday weight is higher than last Friday's weight, my weekly average is down. This is working.”

Instead of like saying, “Well, this isn't working. I'm going to quit. I weigh 1 pound more than I did last Friday. I'm gaining weight.” No, I wasn't. I wasn't gaining weight, but my fluctuation was up. Our bodies don't just linear go down, down, down, down, down, down. Wouldn't it be nice if they did, but they don't.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Her second question. She says, “I've also been on medication for four years to prevent a recurrence of breast cancer. This medicine keeps me artificially in menopause. Most of my weight gain has occurred since being on the medication. Until my mid-30s, I'm 43 now, I generally ate anything I felt like and maintained a healthy weight. But now, I'm about 50 pounds overweight. My question is do you find IF works less well, the same, or better for postmenopausal women than premenopausal women? I've heard it doesn't work as well. I continue to gravitate towards carbs such as pasta, chips, popcorn, and one to two glasses of wine in my eating window. But this is what I've eaten until late at night, almost every night for 20 plus years. I'm a definite night owl. You say to change not what you eat, but when you eat, but I feel like I'll have to change both. This is another reason I decided to eat 6 AM to 2 PM during the week because I rarely overeat for breakfast and lunch. I'm also at work during those hours, so I have less time to overindulge.” Thoughts on that one.

Gin Stephens: Well, first of all, I would like to say part about postmenopausal, premenopausal and we've heard it didn't work as well. We've got women of all ages in these groups. Women in their 70s, 80s even, not as many, Lots of women in their 50s and 60s, lots of postmenopausal women. I will say that when I was going through menopause, the year when I was waiting for that year, to now I'm postmenopausal, but I did have a little, I think, I wasn't weighing but I think my honesty pants got a little tight. So, I'm sure if I had been weighing daily, I would have seen weight gain, but I wasn't weighing, my pants were a little tight. Now, I'm on the other side, and my honesty pants are once again as loose as they ever were. I am now officially postmenopausal and maintaining great in the range at the low end of what I would guess is my maintenance range. I do not buy into that once you're postmenopausal, all bets are off, I don't think so at all, just from watching the wonderful women in the Delay, Don't Deny Facebook communities. While you're going through the change itself, maybe you might not lose weight that year. What were you going to say?

Melanie Avalon: It's like how things are phrased, but I think there's a difference between saying, IF doesn't work as well, compared to in a certain hormonal state you might be up against hormones that are a larger challenge. It's not that IF is not working or not working as well. It's still doing the same thing, it's just-- I don't want to say fighting because it's not like it's a negative thing. If your body is in a hormonal state that is not that receptive to weight loss, it could be a lot of things. It could just be your personal hormone chemistry. She's on medication, which by the way, we're very happy for you that you got through the breast cancer the first time. Especially if you're on medications that are messing with your hormones, it can be really hard to make at least fast progress when you have hormonal signals that are sending an opposite signal to your body. I don't think it’s that IF is not working or can't work. It's just that it might be perceived as a more concentrated effort, or it might seem harder.

Gin Stephens: You’ve got to something that I wasn't stressing, but it's important. She said, “Do you find that IF works?” It's how are you defining works. IF is always working. In your body, it's always doing positive things. If we're talking about does it work for weight loss, I was interpreting it that way, working for weight loss, but really, IF is always working, even if you're not losing the weight. Also, I like to think about it like this. The average weight gain during menopause, I just looked it up real quick, and according to this one source that just came up when I googled it, this is not scientific rigor. When I googled it, there was an estimate that the average weight gained during menopause maybe 10 to 15 pounds. Let's think about this. Let's say that you're going through menopause, and you aren't losing any weight. Well, if most people going through menopause gain 10 to 15 pounds, but you are staying the same, that's actually working really well.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's a really great point.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Also, there's something that she said you say not to change what you eat, but when you eat. Well, I do say that during your first 28 days, in the 28 Day FAST Start, I want you to not try to do intermittent fasting and change everything you're eating all at the same time, while your body adjusts to fasting. It's wrong that, Melanie and I, don't say to change what you eat, because what I've eaten has changed a lot over time. If the foods you're not eating don't work well for your body, I do think you should change them. Your body will let you know over time. If you went back to 2014 me and said, “Here's a box of Pop-Tarts. Do you want to eat them?” I would be like, “Oh my gosh, I love Pop-Tarts. Yeah, I'm going to eat them.” If you handed me a box of Pop-Tarts today, I'd be like, “Uh-uh, no, I'm not going to eat that. I don't like it.” It's not because I'm on a diet or they're wrong. They're not good. I don't like them anymore. Most people do change what they eat over time, because their body directs them towards the foods that are more nutritious. It just happens naturally. When you get more in tune with your body thanks to fasting, you feel so good that you realize, “Ooh, if I ate a box of Pop-Tarts, I would feel awful.” So, you just don't do that anymore, because you don't like them.

Melanie Avalon: To that point, and I'm grateful I don't have to make this decision, and this isn't a decision that is honestly, that I can think of ever realistically. Well, it might be, I won't say that. If I had to, for some reason, choose between food choices that serve my body and not fasting compared to fasting and food choices that don't serve my body, I would actually choose food choices that serve my body and not fasting. I think Gin and I are different on that.

Gin Stephens: We've talked about that. Thank goodness we don't have to choose.

Melanie Avalon: I know, it's like almost not. The only reason I say it is to draw attention to it how important I do think food choices are, which Gin obviously just said, because it is similar to the whole hormonal signal thing that I was just talking about. If you're going up against hormones that aren't working, it can be difficult. If you're putting in food choices that are inflammatory or encouraging weight gain, or-- I mean that is a thing, IF does not magically erase anything and everything that you eat. What you eat in that window is going to have a massive effect on going back to “works.” It’s going to have a massive effect on how well you perceive IF is working.

Gin Stephens: Also, she said she has one to two glasses of wine every day in her eating window, I would not lose weight doing that. I wouldn't. I didn't start drinking a glass of wine at night-- I was, when I wrote Delay, Don’t Deny, but I was also in maintenance at that point. I delayed wine when I was trying to lose weight even prior to writing Delay, Don’t Deny, I delayed wine. I delayed the overly processed foods. Melanie, here's what's really funny, I was thinking about this. That period of time that I talk about in Delay, Don’t Deny when I delayed ultra-processed foods and alcohol, I bet if I went back and scored those meals using the Zoe app, I bet they were super high scores because I was eating in probably a one to two-hour window every night, so I didn't have time to eat like overdo the fat. I was having butter and sour cream on my potato, with my beans, a little cheese on there, and I was eating a lot of veggies. It was really all those things that would create a high-scoring Zoe meal for me.

Melanie Avalon: I will say for those who do want to attempt wine in their weight loss protocol, definitely check out my book, What When Wine. Gin and I have talked about this before. For some people, alcohol actually works pretty well in weight loss plan.

Gin Stephens: It does. I clear alcohol slowly.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and some people don't. It is entirely possible. Even in that situation if we’re talking about choosing between two things, I think in the greater context of like alcohol and the food choices, it's not the alcohol that's becoming fat ever. I think I can say that as a blanket statement. That said, the food choices can become fat eaten with alcohol, and then depending on how the alcohol is affecting your metabolism, it can be making it harder to lose weight. For some people, it actually is making it easier to lose weight. That sounds crazy but check out What When Wine, I have a whole chapter on it.

Gin Stephens: For me, it all goes back to measuring my ketones has really with the breathalyzer has really helped me see the alcohol. My ketones were low, low, low, low, low. But eating like the Zoe, my ketones were through the roof high. My body doesn't clear things quickly is what I realized. [laughs] Whether it's fat, whether it's alcohol. [sigh]

Melanie Avalon: I do have to do a plug every time we talk about wine. Friends, Dry Farm Wines. If anybody's curious, while Gin is not currently drinking wine.

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm having my little micro-dose, did I tell you that?

Melanie Avalon: Oh yes.

Gin Stephens: Every now and then I'm having a little micro-dose, not enough to feel it. Not enough to have a buzz. Chad's drinking his that I got him for Christmas. I'm like, “Pour me a tiny little bit.” A tiny bit to Chad is little, it's a little, little bit. It's probably a Melanie Avalon micro-dose. Yeah, I've turned into you.


Melanie Avalon: I know.

Gin Stephens: I'm not getting a buzz. I'm not drinking like a whole glass.

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, Dry Farm Wines, they are sort of like a wine investigator. They go to the wineries and they test the wines and then they find the wines that are tested to be low alcohol, low sugar, free of toxins, free of mold, pesticides, organic, etc. If you want to have wine in the healthiest way possible, at least how I believe and possibly not have things like hangovers and such, I cannot recommend enough, Dry Farm Wines. You can get a bottle for a penny at dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast. I think that's the link. I don't think there's a code, but if there's a code, it's IFPODCAST. My favorite thing actually about it, it lets you try all these different varietals that you might not have tried normally because it's like a shipment, so you get a box of like-- you can pick red, white, or both. You get all these different varietals. I always listen to my Lana Del Rey and open a bottle and do a wine tasting with myself. I think it's the Vino app. Oh my goodness. It's like the coolest thing ever. Have you used it, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I don't like to track things. Do you think I'm going to track my wine in an app? I know. I know. It's recording it and keeping up with what you buy.

Melanie Avalon: You scan the label and it comes up, it finds the wine every time. You can put in reviews if you want, but it pulls it up. You get all the information about it and you get the reviews. It's like tasting notes.

Gin Stephens: Okay, yeah, I'm going to do that.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I think a lot of Dry Farm Wines people use it because--

Gin Stephens: It sounds cool.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. A lot of people getting Dry Farm Wines. It's not like we went and sought out that bottle, you're getting what you get. The reason I know a lot of people are using it is a lot of the reviews mentioned Dry Farm Wines.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's great. I love it.

Melanie Avalon: It's great.

Gin Stephens: I just want to make it through my life easy. I want the easy button. I don't want to read about it. I just want to open it and drink it.

Melanie Avalon: I review them now when I taste. You might see my reviews. Last night, I tried one and it had-- it was a blend from Italy. A four varietals, sorry, I'm going on a tangent. One was Cabernet, which people are familiar with one was Primitivo, I think that's how you say it, which is like a Zinfandel. Then the other two I'd never heard of in my entire life. It was so exciting to learn.

Gin Stephens: Wow, you're a wine girl.

Melanie Avalon: I don't know really any of the-- there's a ton of varietals out there. My point is it's really exciting to be exposed. If you're a wine fan, it's really fun, Dry Farm Wines. Okay.

Gin Stephens: All right, we got a little bit more from Timothia.

Melanie Avalon: She has one more question. She says it's about bloating. “When I've gone on calorie restricted diets in the past or change the type of foods I eat¸ I'm usually very bloated for the first few days, but it passes by the second week. After four weeks on IF, I'm bloated almost every night, no pain. Any suggestions?”

Gin Stephens: Well, I was just going to say that it sounds like that Timothia’s body responds to change by her digestive system gets a little sluggish, and that seems to be something that's happened all the time. But it's continuing for four weeks, I don't know, what would you say?

Melanie Avalon: It sounds to me like a food combination overload situation, because in the past, you weren't doing IF, but you were eating foods. When you would change the type of foods, you would get bloating, but it would pass by the second week, so within days. That indicates to me that it was microbiome shifts that were happening because it is very common for people's microbiome to change. If they're changing their foods, they get bloating. But the fact that it would resolve makes me think that your microbiome was adapting. The fact that now with IF, you're bloated and it's not going away and it's been four weeks, I would hypothesize that you're probably overwhelming the system. It's probably not-- it could be a microbiome thing, but it could be like the shortened eating window and the foods that you're eating, you're not going to be able to have that-- either quantity or combination and resolve the bloating.

What I would recommend is a few different things. If you do just want to go the supplement route, Atrantil can be a game changer for bloating. Helps me so much, help so many people that I know in my Facebook group. It's completely natural and it targets a type of bacteria-- it's not a bacteria, it's actually an organism called archaea. It's often linked to bloating in people and it specifically targets that type of entity in your stomach. The link for that is lovemytummy.com/ifp for 10% off. That said, for the food route, I would recommend a few different things. I'd recommend maybe-- I feel like you're going to have to look at your food choices and the quantity/types of food you're eating. You might just need to eat different foods. Low FODMAP helps a lot of people with bloating. You could try that for a few weeks. If that resolves the bloating, that would indicate to me that it is a microbiome issue that's being exacerbated or created by overeating in your window or the food choices. I would definitely try low FODMAPS. You can get my app, it's called Food Sense Guide. It compares over 300 foods for a-- well, when this comes out, probably 12 potentially problematic compounds that create distress and GI issues and other food sensitivity issues in a lot of people, and it includes FODMAP content for over 300 foods. So, that'd be really valuable. That's at melanieavalon.com/foodsenseguide. Those are my recommendations.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think those are great because when I first started responding to it, I had forgotten the fact that she's four weeks in. Then as soon as I read that, I was like, “Oh, yeah, this should have adjusted by now.” Good stuff.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, I feel like we tackled a lot of content today. This has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions to the podcast, 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 the show notes, those will be at ifpodcast.com/episode199. Exciting announcement, next week is Episode 200. Guys, tune in because it's going to be a super fun special episode with Gin and I answering random crazy questions.

Gin Stephens: Don't get too crazy. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: We should record it at night and drink wine. Oh, wait. Oh, you don't drink.

Gin Stephens: Oh, I'm not going to drink wine enough to be crazy. Sorry. I'm crazy without it. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, I'll drink wine.

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: Follow us on Instagram. Gin is GinStephens. I'm MelanieAvalon. I think that's everything. Anything from you, Gin, before we go.

Gin Stephens: No, I think that's it.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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. Theme music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week.


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More on Gin: GinStephens.com

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