Episode 200: AMA: Music, Hobbies, Dating, Future Plans, Dreams, Personality Types, Travel, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Feb 14

Welcome to Episode 200 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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Listener Q&A: Crystal - Maybe you guys have mentioned this, but do you talk via zoom or Skype?

Listener Q&A: jackie - Melanie, do you date, and is that person a science nerd like you? Gin, do you listen to music while jumping on your rebounder?

Listener Q&A: Nicole - What kind of music do you both like to listen to? What is one of your most favorite songs?

Listener Q&A: Sonia - What’s your favorite taylor swift’s song?

Listener Q&A: Michelle - If you never had to worry about money, where in the world would you live?

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Listener Q&A: Erin - What are your Meyers Briggs personality letters?

Listener Q&A: Nicole - Would you guys have been friends in high school?

Listener Q&A: Katharine - What are your favorite podcasts?

Listener Q&A: Ritu If you and Gin had to lose about 10lbs what protocol would you use?

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Listener Q&A: Laura - When you were a kid, what did u want to be when u grow up?

Listener Q&A: Susan - What’s both of your favorite Happy Songs?

Listener Q&A: Lucy - Who are your role models?

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Listener Q&A: Theresa - If you could invent a product, what would it be?

Listener Q&A: Rose - how did you get into biohacking and what brought you here?

Listener Q&A: Brooke - Gin often speaks of her IF journey, but Melanie, why did you start IF? Autophagy, weight loss, or health reasons? I what would you have told your younger self to optimize what you have today? would you consider having an exercise expert on?

Listener Q&A: Angelo - Was IF something you ever used to lose weight? How many hours a day do you spend reading and studying in order to be prepared for a new podcast interview? Gin sometimes mentions that she takes breaks on IF on special occasions, what about you? Is there any special occasion where you take breaks from everything you do on daily basis?

Listener Q&A: Melanie - What is the one super-power you would love to have?!

Listener Q&A: Lindsay - Do you have a personal motto or mantra? What is it? If you could share a meal with anyone, who would it be? If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability what would it be?

Listener Q&A: Durita - Why in the world have you two never met?

Listener Q&A: Samantha - If the 2 of you finally met in person but had to pick a mutually agreed upon meeting place/destination, where would it be?

Listener Q&A: Anna What/who would you give up fasting for?

Listener Q&A: Nathalie - What would be your last meal ever, if you could choose, with no consequences?

Listener Q&A: Charlotte - Have there been times where one of you has to back down because you disagreed?

Listener Q&A: Trisha - Gin how long do you stand on your life pro/turbo boost? best go to FAST but healthy meal for on the go that is truly filling?

Listener Q&A: Michelle - do you plan to go back into acting? With that, what would your dream role be?

Listener Q&A: Christina - Are you still acting or do you consider podcasting your new career?

Listener Q&A: Theresa - When & Why are you moving back to LA? Will you go back to waitressing post COVID?

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Listener Q&A: Marion - What are the best and worst things resulting from this pandemic for each of you? What is your greatest asset?

Listener Q&A: Lisa - what is the no.1 burning question you would want to know the answer to to solve either all your problems, or just give you peace of mind?

Listener Q&A: Miranda - How would you handle being on set since you’ve changed your skincare and makeup to clean ingredients? Would you take your own or just roll with it?

Listener Q&A: Denielle - I know you are both avid readers of health related books, but do you enjoy reading for pleasure and if so, what types of books do you choose or what authors do you gravitate towards?

Listener Q&A: RC - If you could go to any concert-dead or alive whom would you go see?

Listener Q&A: Amy - Do you listen to each other’s podcast?

Listener Q&A: Sarah - What opinions have you completely flipped on since starting the podcast?

Listener Q&A: April - What does Melanie eat in her window?? Are you a good cook? What do eat out at restaurants?

Listener Q&A: Chantel - I would love to know what’s each of your FAVORITE kind of exercise!

Listener Q&A: Lauren - Who would each of you cast as yourself and the other in the epic movie of your lives?

Listener Q&A: Emmy - How have your thoughts regarding fasting evolved and changed over time?

Listener Feedback: Sarah - Favorite duo and favorite podcast. The perfect pair because your goal is the same and thoughts and ideas differ. I can only imagine how many people you have helped. I don't have a question I'm just so happy you guys found each other even if you haven't met in person. Wow.

Listener Feedback: Linda - do you each realize how you've improved the lives of thousands of people. talk about having a purpose, an impact on human kind? Ha.


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 200 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. I want to take a minute to tell you about one of our sponsors. This episode is sponsored by Butcher Box. As you know, both Melanie and I love Butcher Box and for different reasons. Melanie loves to grocery shop but can't find the quality of meat she's looking for at our local stores. Butcher box solves that problem for her. For me, there's nothing better than having it delivered right to your door, because you probably know that I hate to grocery shop. Butcher box promises high-quality meat, delicious 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, and wild-caught seafood, all sourced from partners who believe in doing things the right way. It's also an unbelievable value. The average cost is less than $6 per meal. One thing you'll love about butcher box is its flexibility.

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Melanie Avalon: Hi everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 200 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 fabulous. How are you?

Melanie Avalon: I'm good.

Gin Stephens: That's good.

Melanie Avalon: Episode 200.

Gin Stephens: Hooray. I'm really looking forward to this one today. I've been looking forward to it. I'm very excited.

Melanie Avalon: Me too ever since we decided to do it, 200 is a lot of episodes.

Gin Stephens: It is a lot of episodes. It's remarkable, I'm already on the 130 something of my other podcast.

Melanie Avalon: I'm on like 70 something.

Gin Stephens: Isn’t that amazing?

Melanie Avalon: This is crazy.

Gin Stephens: I was chatting with a friend of mine-- Well, someone I've met through podcasting and it's someone who has a podcast. We were talking about numbers. We were talking about downloads. Do you realize that-- Okay, between the two of us, let’s see, we've got four podcasts between the two of us.

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: All four of our podcasts are in the top 5% of all podcasts by number of downloads.

Melanie Avalon: That's crazy.

Gin Stephens: Isn't that remarkable?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: My new one that I just launched in December with my cohost, Sheri Bullock, we're still a baby podcast, we've done 12 episodes recorded so far. Even that one, we’re in the top 5%.

Melanie Avalon: Exciting.

Gin Stephens: It's so exciting, and I'm like, “That's kind of remarkable.” There's a lot of podcasts out there. Listeners, thank you. I do not take your listening for granted and I'm glad you keep coming back.

Melanie Avalon: I do not either. I love our audiences. I guess, our audiences.

Gin Stephens: They are, because I know there's overlap, but not everyone listens to all four, obviously.

Melanie Avalon: I actually have a really related announcement really quick, really brief.

Gin Stephens: I think I know what it is.

Melanie Avalon: Probably. I decided to start a new Facebook group. You've had an effect on me with the Facebook groups.

Gin Stephens: Well, it's addictive because you want to focus your conversation in a place.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. 100%. I have my IF Biohackers as my main group, and then I have my Lumen Lovers, and I don't even know what it's called now. It's for people who use Lumen. It's like Lumen Biosense CGM, something else, I don't know.

Gin Stephens: Wearable Device Peeps.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, for all related to fat or carb-burning though, or ketone burning. That's not the new group. The new group is for Clean Beauty. I asked in my group if people would like it, and everybody was like, “Yes.” I just made it right then. Feel free to join me, it's called Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. It's all for any discussions about safe skincare, non-toxic beauty products, diet, reviews, all of the stuff. Of course, I love Beautycounter, so there's a lot of talk about that there, but it's really anything related to clean beauty and safe skincare.

Gin Stephens: You know I'm researching for my new book that I'm working on now. It's just reinforcing that this is even more important than I like to even think about, it's so important.

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: What we put in is so important. What we put into our bodies.

Melanie Avalon: For listeners who would like to purchase Beautycounter through us, the link for that is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter, and something special may or may not happen after your first purchase.

Gin Stephens: It will. It will happen. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: In any case, so today's Episode 200, we decided to do something-- actually, it's what we did for Episode 100, which is an Ask Me Anything episode, so we asked for questions. There might have been some questions about fasting that I included but in general, most of these questions are not about intermittent fasting. Some of them might be, but they're just random, fun things. I'm really excited. This'll be fun.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm excited, too. Lots of fun. Are we ready to get started?

Melanie Avalon: I think so.

Gin Stephens: Okay. The first one, this is from Crystal. She says, “Maybe you guys have mentioned this, but do you talk via Zoom or Skype? Can you both see each other when you talk? I've always wondered.” I think we should talk about our evolution of all the platforms we've used and why. We started with Skype.

Melanie Avalon: Uh-huh. First, it was Skype.

Gin Stephens: And why we stopped using it. This is the kind of thing that a lot of people are starting podcasts and wondering what platform do you use. People like that are very interested in platforms.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's definitely been a journey. We've evolved and done a lot of different things. We used Skype, and then did we go Zencastr or anything in between?

Gin Stephens: The reason we used Skype, I mean it was something that was available, and it was free. We use the voice recorder app also to record our conversations for that. It got glitchy, especially with guests. It was hard to use. We could see each other. Then we moved to Zencastr, and we could not see each other. Zencastr worked great for a while. Then, it started getting so glitchy.

Melanie Avalon: I actually still use Zencastr though. We think it was something between Gin and I's computer. It would only mess up for us. I use it for my other show, and it's usually fine. We're not really sure, our computers hate each other or something.

Gin Stephens: It might have had to do with the fact that we both had accounts.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Instead of just being a guest. Anyway, it also started to get glitchy for me with guests. It was always a crapshoot as to whether or not somebody would be able to log in. I troubleshoot it with-- troubleshot, what's the word? Troubleshooting? I did a troubleshooting with one person for over an hour before she was able to get on. She finally could, but it was like, now try this browser, now try to unplug this, now get it-- It was hard.

Melanie Avalon: I will say just really quickly, I do still use Zencastr and in general, I don't have issues.

Gin Stephens: I think that's likely because you're dealing with professionals who probably do a lot of interviews, and they have different equipment. Whereas I'm interviewing just a standard person who's cobbling together whatever they can find from friends and family, a lot of them. Whenever I interview somebody who, like I just interviewed someone who has a podcast and I'm always excited because I know they'll be able to log in immediately. It'll be easy. Yeah. that could also be something to do with it. Now we use Squadcast. Squadcast allows you to see each other if you choose.

Melanie Avalon: But Melanie doesn't like to see herself. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: So, we'd turn it off. I use it with every other guest and including with Sheri Bullock for Life Lessons, and we do use the video, and we look at each other.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so listeners, probably the reason I chose Zencastr to do my second show, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, was because I knew there wasn't a video option. I can't think if I can see my face. It throws me off, and especially on that other show--

Gin Stephens: It distracts you.

Melanie Avalon: Also, this is just me being completely insecure, but it's oftentimes me connecting with people I really, really respect and admire and want to make a really good impression. I'm very much image conscious, not in a-- I don't know, I just get really--

Gin Stephens: It would distract you.

Melanie Avalon: It would distract me. I would be worried about what I look like. It's just really wonderful for me to have no video, and it's even easier for me with this to do in a video. Gin and I, in the beginning, we saw each other.

Gin Stephens: We did. That time I fell off the stool and you could see me fall off. Remember that?

Melanie Avalon: I forgot about that? [laughs] Yeah. Oh, my goodness. Such good times.

Gin Stephens: Yep.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, Shall we-- the next one?

Gin Stephens: Yep.

Melanie Avalon: This is from Jackie. She says, “Melanie, do you date? And is that person a science nerd like you? Said with love.”

Gin Stephens: Hey, I'm married to a science nerd. I love science nerds.

Melanie Avalon: I do love science nerds.

Gin Stephens: Oh, can I tell you this? I'm whispering it into the microphone. He's upstairs doing research for me for my new book. [laughs] I was like, “I need some stuff on obesogens.” He's like looking in the journals for me. [laughs] Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: You can see my blog post about obesogens. It has a lot of studies referenced.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, thank you. I'll pull that one out and I'll ask him to find them for me. I also asked him to find some studies on earthing/grounding.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, love it.

Gin Stephens: Yep, because I've got a book about it. I was like, “Read this and tell me what you think?” He's like, “This sounds like mumbo jumbo,” some of the way that it's worded because he's a chemist. I'm like, “Well, find me some studies,” and so that's what he's doing. They're out there. There's good science behind it. It's just the way you present it is important.

Melanie Avalon: I actually. I just interviewed Joseph Mercola. His newest book is EMF*D. We talked about that. He said that the main concern with earthing especially people using the biohacking type earthing devices, is that it, it's not properly grounded. It might make things worse.

Gin Stephens: Well, the only type of grounding or earthing I do is walking outside barefoot. That's it. I'm not going to buy a device.

Melanie Avalon: I think that's completely legit.

Gin Stephens: Exactly. Yes.

Melanie Avalon: To answer the question, I actually hadn't thought about this before. In general, I don't really date that much. When I have, a lot of them have been science nerds, for sure.

Gin Stephens: I love science guys. Bill Nye the Science Guy, love him. Although here's something funny. One of my fifth-grade gifted students, one year, I was talking about Bill Nye. They always said that he looked like my husband, Chad. They look a little bit alike, they kind of do. One of my students, probably was Abby. She said, “Chad, Chad, the Science Lad.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. I love it.

Gin Stephens: I'm like, “Yeah.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I love Bill. It's actually so I have a dream list now of people I want to bring on my other show.

Gin Stephens: Is Bill Nye one of them?

Melanie Avalon: I have three people that are, I think can be really, really hard to get. He's one of them.

Gin Stephens: I love him.

Melanie Avalon: Yep. I date my career and my audience. Oh, I do want to create a dating app though. I've said this before, and I asked in my group about it, and everybody is so obsessed with the idea. The Window Dating?

Gin Stephens: Right. That's funny.

Melanie Avalon: I'm going to do it. The last thing is, I guess, I do like science nerds. “Gin, do you listen to music while jumping on your rebounder?” She says she has a rebounder playlist only 20 minutes. The first song is Jump by Van Halen.

Gin Stephens: I do sometimes, not all the time. I tend to be the person who's watching TV and jumping on it at the same time, so instead of listening to music. I love music in the background, if I'm doing a task like cooking, or cleaning or putting on makeup, or taking a shower, but when I'm on a rebounder, I need a little more mental engagement, so that's why I have the TV on.

Melanie Avalon: We see a lot of questions in the groups about rebounders.

Gin Stephens: I love my rebounder. Yeah, I have a Bellicon and I love it. All right, Nicole asks, “What kind of music do you both like to listen to? And what is one of your most favorite songs?” I know what Melanie likes. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, The Killers.

Gin Stephens: I also like The Killers.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you love the-- Wait.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: We connect on something? [laughs]

Gin Stephens: We do.

Melanie Avalon: I love The Killers. Oh, my goodness, this is so exciting. Those four, and I'll say my favorite song, but Gin, how about you?

Gin Stephens: Well, I listened to a lot of classic stuff. My favorite group is probably U2. I love U2. I like so many different artists.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: I've got a big wide range of things, things that were popular in the 80s. I like 70s, 80s. What I like to do is, I'll find a song that makes me happy, and then I'll make an Apple Music-- like Siri can create it. Like, for example, one summer I listened to Son of a Preacher Man Radio, because she could make a radio station and I'm like, “Siri, create a radio station inspired by Son of a Preacher Man.” I listened to that and they just pull-- she'll pull in songs you didn't even know you liked. Then I'm like downloading all of them to my Apple Music list. This is a weird one, you probably don't even know the song, Chevy Van.

Melanie Avalon: I do not.

Gin Stephens: Okay, it's from the 70s. I had a playlist, Chevy Van songs. It was all songs that had that same 70s kind of vibe. I listened to a lot of different things. I have some country in there, Violent Femmes. I mean, I've got a lot of music in there, but I have zero Taylor Swift. [laughs] Zero.

Melanie Avalon: I think I showed this to you. Or, I might have said this, but my Spotify year in review this year for 2020, it said I was in the top-- on all of Spotify, top 1% of Taylor Swift listeners. I feel like you have to listen to a lot of Taylor Swift to be in the top 1%.

Gin Stephens: Probably so, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: My most favorite song though, is actually Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley.

Gin Stephens: I like that one, too. That one is also on my Apple Music list.

Melanie Avalon: Yay. What's your favorite song?

Gin Stephens: I don't have a favorite song. It's just like, I don't have a favorite color. It depends on the context. I might have a favorite song for when I'm going to the beach. I like to listen to Carolina Girls, which is a beach music song. Or I might have a favorite song if I'm-- for different events. I don't have a favorite color. I have a favorite color for cars. I have a favorite color for home décor. They vary. I can't just pick one.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Runner up for me is-- do you like Trans-Siberian Orchestra?

Gin Stephens: No.

Melanie Avalon: [gasp]

Gin Stephens: Not at all. When I'm listening to holiday music, if that comes on, I'd say, “Hey, Siri, next song.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: No. Trans-Siberian Orchestra is my favorite. They have this one song called Epiphany, it's not Christmas. It's like 11 minutes of epicness.

Gin Stephens: No. Falls on The Gong Show, I would gong them.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. What's your favorite Killer song?

Gin Stephens: I like Mr. Brightside. It depends on the mood I'm in. I don't know, I can't say. I really only have that one Killers album that Mr. Brightside was on. I haven't kept up with their latest. When I say I like the Killers, I like the songs that I have that are Killers.

Melanie Avalon: Try their Battle Born album. It's one of my favorite albums of all time. Okay. Oh, and this was a related question, so I threw it in. Sonia wants to know, to me, “What's my favorite Taylor Swift song?” She says she really wants to know. [sighs] I’d have to be All Too Well, which is a giveaway but I feel like a cop-out answer, but it is. According to Rolling Stones, it was the best song of the decade, the decade that it came out, All Too Well.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's cool.

Melanie Avalon: So, I feel validated.

Gin Stephens: All right, the next one is from Michelle. “If you never had to worry about money, where in the world would you live? Love you both, your books and podcasts have been a life infusion for me.” Thank you, Michelle.

Melanie Avalon: She has a little leaf emoji, which is very random. I would want to have a place in Los Angeles, a place in Atlanta, and then a getaway place out in the middle of-- actually probably Aspen. A place in the mountains where I could disconnect. Yeah, probably Aspen out of those three. How about you?

Gin Stephens: Well, for me, it would be the beach. I love the beach. In my head thinking which beach would it be because right now I go to Myrtle Beach and we have a place there. Yeah, I have to admit I have my eye on beach houses right now. We have a beach condo, but that's a lot of investment and not knowing what the economy and what's going to happen with the rental market. My ideal if I had all the money in the world, I'm not sure what beach I would live on, but I would buy a house on the beach somewhere, but I feel like it would be in the Southeast United States just because I love it here. My family's close by, and my friends that like to come and visit me. I would like to be somewhere where people that I love would be able to come and visit me in a few hours. Probably somewhere on the Georgia or South Carolina or North Carolina coast. I also wanted to have access to great restaurants, an airport and shopping. That's one reason I like Myrtle Beach, people sometimes knock it. I grew up going there with my grandmother, I love Myrtle Beach. There are great restaurants there. There's also super cheesy stuff there, but I like cheesy because it's fun. It makes me go back to my childhood. There's a good airport people can come to. I'm not that sophisticated.

Melanie Avalon: If it was like unlimited money thing, a lot of the money focus would be into the construction of the house, like the biohacking house..

Gin Stephens: Oh, I bet you would have a biohacking house.

Melanie Avalon: Crazy. I would want like an organic farm and a winery, there’d be so much.

Hi friends, are you struggling to lose weight despite fasting clean? Maybe you're even making healthy food choices, fasting more, shortening your eating window, ramping up your exercise, and yet the weight won't budge? Well, we actually just found a major reason for why that may be. As it turns out, there are compounds in our environment called endocrine disruptors. Meaning, they mess with your hormones. Studies show that a lot of these endocrine disruptors are actually obesogens. Meaning, they literally make you gain weight. They also make it hard to lose weight. These toxic obesogens are naturally stored in fat, so when they enter your body, your body creates fat to store them in to protect you. Once they're in that fat, they then change the genes in your fat stores, so that you are more likely to store more fat and less likely to burn it. They can also affect your insulin signaling and boost your appetite, so you want to eat more and store more fat.

Most of us are actually exposed to these obesogenic endocrine disruptors daily in our skincare and makeup, that is actually one of the largest sources of these compounds. Yep. As it turns out, when you're washing your face, putting on makeup, using lotion, or even putting on sunscreen, you are likely putting one of up to 1300 compounds banned in Europe for their toxicity and obesity-causing potential but they're completely fine for use in US skincare. When you put them on your skin, you're making it that much harder to burn fat, and that much easier to store fat. So, if you're struggling to lose weight, you definitely, definitely want to clean up your skincare ASAP. You can do that easily with a company called Beautycounter.

They make safe skincare and makeup products that are extensively tested to be free of endocrine disrupters, obesogens, and other toxic compounds. They're truly safe and supportive of your health. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. If you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order. If you'd also like exclusive discounts, giveaways, and the latest on the science of skincare, definitely get on my Clean Beauty email list. That's melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. So, are you fasting clean inside and out? Well, now you can. All right now back to the show.

Okay, next question from Erin, “What are your Myers Briggs personality letters?”

Gin Stephens: All right. This a great question. I actually do know mine, but I have to look it up every time. I am an E-N-F-J.

Melanie Avalon: E-N-F-J.

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Mine actually changed. It used to be something very consistently, but then when we got this question, I retook it. One of the quizzes, it had changed, and then for the other quiz, it was 50-50 split. I think I'm moving-- It used to be I-N-T-J. Now, it might be I-N-F-J. The T is changing to an F and that's the thinking and feeling, and I wonder if that--

Gin Stephens: Chad is I-N-T-J. You used to be I-N-T-J?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, but now it looks like the T, the thinking, I'm moving a little bit more towards Feeling. I wonder if that's just like an evolution of me as a person.

Gin Stephens: That's just really funny. Well, you started off the same thing that Chad is, I-N-T-J.

Melanie Avalon: The person I dated the longest in my life ever, who was a very big science nerd, he was also I-N-T-J.

Gin Stephens: I-N-T-Js can be difficult. Sorry. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I feel I'm not that difficult.

Gin Stephens: Right. I could see the F coming out.

Melanie Avalon: Like changing over?

Gin Stephens: Personally, it can be easier to deal with an F than a T, for me.

Melanie Avalon: That's interesting.

Gin Stephens: The T and the F, I think, those are the two things, for me, and for Chad, where I think that we butt heads.

Melanie Avalon: There's a difference.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because that's the thinking feeling.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I think I used to be a lot more rigid in my head, and I can see how that would be a little bit difficult.

Gin Stephens: It can be difficult. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I feel I've really changed. I used to be more bossy and really intense about being rules oriented and all of that. Now, I'm very much--

Gin Stephens: You're mellowing into an F instead of a T.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and so you were E-N-F-J, so extrovert. What's the N?

Gin Stephens: I can't remember.

Melanie Avalon: That's where we're the same.

Gin Stephens: Every member of my family is an N. Chad, Cal, Will, whatever that is, we're all N.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's why it's not intuitive because N stands for intuitive.

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: I as introvert, that's the alternative option.

Gin Stephens: No. E and I are the first ones.

Melanie Avalon: Sorry, we get the wrong thing. N is intuitive, the alternative is S, which is sensor.

Gin Stephens: Okay. I just think it's interesting that my whole family we're all N.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that is really interesting.

Gin Stephens: It's so clear, both Cal and I have the E, and both Chad and Will are the I, which not shocking. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Wait, I thought you said Chad was an I.

Gin Stephens: He is an I. Chad and Will are I. Cal and I are E. Which is why when we would go on cruises as a family back in the day when the boys were little, Cal and I were yucking it up and meeting people, and Chad and Will were sitting in the room. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I am not an extrovert at all, at all. Yeah. Okay, next question.

Gin Stephens: The next one is from Nicole. “Would you guys have been friends in high school?”

Melanie Avalon: That's so interesting. Well, I feel like we probably would have because I think we would have been in the same classes.

Gin Stephens: Yes, I think we would have been in the same classes.

Melanie Avalon: We would have been doing a similar thing? Well, I don't know. Actually, I was doing theater.

Gin Stephens: My mom's a dance teacher and my stepfather at the time was the technical director of a theater, so I was in plays as well and of course, always danced.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, then probably. We'd be in the same classes.

Gin Stephens: I was such a weirdo.

Melanie Avalon: How so?

Gin Stephens: I was not the least bit cool. I just always did whatever I felt like doing.  I don't know, I've always had that same kind of exuberant personality. I don't know that I fit in. I also was young, because I skipped a grade. I graduated high school at 16, so I was young. I don't know. Not very focused on clothes. I don't know. It's hard to explain. I wasn't trendy. I had a weird haircut.

Melanie Avalon: I was in the smart people group, because there are cliques in high school and there are different types. There was the smart, nerdy-type group, but I wasn't in that. I was in the smart, just people doing things.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I was, too. Thinking back, you can think about who did you eat lunch with? My lunch table-- We always we sat at the same lunch table. My high school started 8th grade, so 8th to 12th grade. I sat at the same lunch table from 8-12th grade, and every year, the people would come and go, and it was a big lunch table. It was the kids that were like in the college prep classes. Some of us are nerdier than others, but some played football. We had people, the class president.

Melanie Avalon: That's the same actually. That's like the group.

Gin Stephens: Then, yes, you would have been sitting at my table.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, we would have at the same table because there were some people that were more “popular” that were in that.

Gin Stephens: The cheerleading-- we had some cheerleaders, but then there was me. [laughs] They let me sit there.

Melanie Avalon: I will say though, this is just confession. I want it to be popular so bad. My mom would always say like, “You just walked to the beat of your own drummer and you don't care what other people think about you. That's so great.” I was like, “Mom, that's not me at all. I care so much.” Not proud of this. Yeah. It's pretty interesting. I'm not very confident.

Gin Stephens: Oh. See. That was the difference. I was so confident that I didn't really care that I was a weirdo. I don't know. Does that make sense?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: I was like, I'm just a little different and that's all right. It wasn't like the kind of thing that was prized by other high school-aged boys. They weren't like, “I love your free spirit.” No. They're like, “You're so strange.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: We talked about this. You don't know your anagram?

Gin Stephens: No, I don't know my anagram.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Mine fits me, I'm a three, which is achiever and very image conscious and it explains a lot. Also, why I can't stand selfies.

Gin Stephens: I'm just bad at selfies. I can't do it. I don't know what to do with my hands or my face or whatever.

Melanie Avalon: So funny. Okay, so Catherine wants to know what are your favorite podcasts?

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't listen to podcasts. I do like Stuff You Should Know, is that what it's called?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: If I'm driving and riding in the car, I don't really listen to podcasts. I like to listen to books, like Audible books. I almost said books on tape, that's how old I am.

Melanie Avalon: Oh goodness. I have a lot of favorite podcasts. I love Robb Wolf's Healthy Rebellion Radio. That's the one I've been listening to since day one. Love Noelle Tarr’s Well-Fed Women, which I've also been listening to since day one. That's also with Stefani Ruper. Paul Saladino’s Fundamental Health. I love Ben Greenfield’s Fitness. I like Dave Asprey, Bulletproof Radio. I love The Drive, Peter Attia. FoundMyFitness, Rhonda Patrick. I love Joe Rogan when he's interviewing people in the health and wellness sphere. Love Rich Roll. Oh, I love the ATP Project, Body Mind Empowerment with Siim Land.  Those are my favorites. I've recently started listening to Inglorious Treksters, all about Star Trek. It's my first non-biohacking podcast and it's fabulous. I love Star Trek.

Gin Stephens: That is so funny. I do like the original Star Trek.

Melanie Avalon: The Original, I've seen every single episode. If you tell me the plot of one, I can probably tell you the title of the episode.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's funny. Now I haven't watched one in decades, but I love them.

Melanie Avalon: Do you remember any of them?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, like the Tribbles.

Melanie Avalon: I was going to say if you tell me the--

Gin Stephens: I remember the Tribbles one.

Melanie Avalon: Trouble with Tribbles?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm so surprised, we're not beaming ourselves anywhere yet.

Melanie Avalon: I know. How upsetting. That could go so wrong, though.

Gin Stephens: Beaming people places? Well, it never did on Star Trek. They had it figured out.

Melanie Avalon: Mostly.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I loved it The Starship Enterprise. I loved. You know my love of Leonard Nimoy. I've shared that.

Melanie Avalon: Wait. Are you sure?

Gin Stephens: You remember, we've talked about this. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Have you watched the documentary on Netflix? This is-- or Spock.

Gin Stephens: No, I didn't even know there was one. Oh my God.

Melanie Avalon: I just watched it. It is so good.

Gin Stephens: We talked about that we both loved him.

Melanie Avalon: I guess so.

Gin Stephens: I always knew he had that show In Search of... remember, we talked about that?

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Gin Stephens: I always had a crush on Leonard Nimoy.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, right, because me, too. My first crush, legitimately.

Gin Stephens: Because he's a smart science nerd. Right?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Then, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Chad. Chad the Science Lad.

Melanie Avalon: I think I had a crush on Bill Nye as well. I was too young to register it as a crush, but I was obsessed with him.

Gin Stephens: Well, I was already teaching school, and so we would watch them. My students would watch them.

Melanie Avalon: I'm putting it out to the universe. If anybody knows Bill personally, will you please introduce me to him so I can invite him on to the show? Please watch the Spock documentary and let me know what you think. It's so good. It's so good.

Gin Stephens: All right, we have a question from Ritu. Ritu asks, “If you and Gin had to lose about 10 pounds, what protocol would you use, given both of you are at maintenance and on one meal a day for a long time?”

Melanie Avalon: We've talked about this before on other shows. I'm just going to approach this like crash diet, you want to lose 10 pounds fast and the healthiest way possible, PSMF, protein-sparing modified fast. It's basically just protein. It's really high protein, low calorie, I think it's the safest way to lose fat quickly while maintaining muscle. I would do it in junction with one meal a day. Eating your entire PSMF in the one meal day, and it's not meant to be long term. It's only meant as a crash diet, but that's what I would suggest.

Gin Stephens: I would 100% follow my Zoe recommendations, based on the PREDICT 3 study that I went through. Just based on the one week that I did it, it was astonishing how deep into ketosis I got while eating a ton of carbs every day. It was foods that are supposed to work the best for my body, and I just can't believe how deep my ketosis was. Every day I was blowing high on the Biosense versus now that I'm back to eating like I normally do, I'm getting up to like a 7 even right before I open my window. I was blowing over 40, it was remarkable how much my body loved it. That's what I would do. I have information at ginstephens.com/zoe. By the way, they have a waiting list right now, so many people signed up that they now have a waiting list.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, and for listeners, we'll put links to all of that in the show notes. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode200. Okay, we have a question from Lara. She says, “When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up?”

Gin Stephens: Well, I wanted to be a teacher. Always. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Then, I was a teacher. I think I'm still a teacher, just with a different classroom.

Melanie Avalon: I wanted to be an actress. I think I still do want to act, but I think everything is sort of-- I actually-- this sounds awful. I want it to be like a legend. I want to be like change the world and be like Oprah or something.

Gin Stephens: You sound like Will. Will wants to be a legend also. He was so good, and first chair, Allstate orchestra good, and so good. The best trombone player in the entire state of Georgia for his age group. I'm not just saying that he was. I was like, “Will, you're so good.” He's like, “Mama, I'm state class. I want to be world class.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, yes, I identify.

Gin Stephens: You're the best trombone player in the entire state of Georgia. I think that's pretty good. “Well, no, I'm just state class.” That wasn't good enough for him.

Melanie Avalon: I always just assumed everybody wanted to be a legend. Wouldn't everybody want to be a legend?” Then, so on the occasion that I do date, I was talking to somebody and we were talking about this, I was like, “I want to be a legend.” He was like, “I have no interest in being a legend.” It blew my mind. I was like, “I thought everybody wanted to be a legend.”

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I want to be a teacher. I want to teach people things. I want to help people. That was my job as a teacher, but I like to do it at a smaller scale, but, okay, now we're doing it in a really huge scale. I don't know. It's hard to explain.

Melanie Avalon: That’s so interesting.

Gin Stephens: I've never pursued like, “I want to be famous.” No.

Melanie Avalon: I think I want to be remembered.

Gin Stephens: Well, I think we're both going to be remembered. Isn't that interesting? I told you when we have the same literary agent, when they called me the day that I made the New York Times Bestseller list. They said, “For the rest of your life, and after you're dead, you will be a New York Times Bestselling Author.” I'm like, “Oh my God.” That's so weird. The way she phrased it, “For the rest of your life and after you're dead.”

Melanie Avalon: That would just lighten me up for a year.

Gin Stephens: It's very cool. Oh, and then Cal was home. I told you at Christmas that they came and visited. He's like, “I think it's probably easy to be your New York Times Bestseller. That's not very impressive.” I'm like, “Uh, okay, thank you.” [laughs] He's like, “There's a lot of them, right?” Well, my child is not impressed by it. Well, I think it's hard. Anyway.

Melanie Avalon: I think it's really hard. It does make me realize how far we've come because I remember when I first started the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, I thought bringing on a New York Times bestseller would be-- which is amazing. I was just like, “Wow, if I brought on a New York Times bestseller, that would just be like--”

Gin Stephens: A million people are going to listen.

Melanie Avalon: Well, no, not much that. Well, that, and then also, I just thought that that would be such a stamp of success with the show if it had a New York Times bestseller on it. Now I feel like, I mean, it's amazing, but I don't think about it as much anymore maybe because we're just surrounded by them, and you are one. Congrats.

Gin Stephens: Thank you. You're like Cal, it's not that impressive anymore.

Melanie Avalon: I feel like I'm coming off as really pretentious. I'm not meaning to at all. I'm constantly in awe and in shock of everything. I'm so grateful. [sighs] That's crazy.

Gin Stephens: I get what you're saying. All right. Susan wants to know, “What's both of your favorite happy songs?”

Melanie Avalon: We sort of touched on that earlier. What's yours?

Gin Stephens: I don't have one. Again, it just depends on the mood that I'm in. It could be a different song at any time. Really though, all the songs that make me really happy are the ones that make me think back to happy memories. There's so many songs that do that.

Melanie Avalon: It depends like what you're wanting to be happy about. Is it love? Is it energy? Actually, I got one. I recently found Run by Delta Rae. Oh, my goodness, listeners. Listen to it. It'll just make you want to just run with happiness.

Gin Stephens: I feel bad that I can't just come up with one, but I just like so many songs.

Melanie Avalon: The songs I walk around belting are all musicals or Thumbelina, Swan Princess, something like that.

Gin Stephens: No, none of those are on my list.

Melanie Avalon: No Swan Princess?

Gin Stephens: Zero. [laughs] We [unintelligible [00:40:12] The Killers, though.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. If we meet in person, that can be our soundtrack that we play. Okay. Lucy wants to know, “Who are your role models?”

Gin Stephens: Again, this is a question that I can't just say there's one. It depends on what you're talking about. For example, for so many years, Oprah was a role model. I watched her show every day. I loved the message she was putting out in the world, health and wellness. There are other different people that are role models for me. Mark Mattson is one of my researcher role models. He's from Johns Hopkins. I think it just really depends, if you're talking about in what regard. I love Maya Angelou. She was at Wake Forest as a professor when I was there. I wish I'd taken her class. I've talked about that before. That's one of my biggest regrets is that I didn't really know who she was back to--

Melanie Avalon: She was teaching?

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I could have taken her class. It was the late 80s. She wasn't as well known, maybe everybody knew who she was, but I didn't. It was the late 80s. People were talking about it, but I didn't understand. I would like to go back in time and say, “What is wrong with you? Take her class.” I hadn't really discovered her as a person yet.

Melanie Avalon: Well, the first person I think of is my dad usually. I've always just looked up to him so much. I have so much respect for him. Then, Robb Wolf and David Sinclair in the whole health, biohacking research world, like Gin was saying that category. Then this sounds crazy, but I really, really think everything Taylor Swift has done is amazing. Watching her documentary, I feel I'm very similar to her personality wise, so I'm very much in awe of her work.

Gin Stephens: Today's episode is brought to you by Green Chef. Green Chef is the first USDA-certified organic meal kit company. Enjoy clean ingredients you can trust, seasonally sourced for peak freshness. Ingredients come pre-measured, perfectly portioned, and mostly prepped, so you can spend less time stressing and more time enjoying delicious home-cooked meals. I love cooking, but I really love that Green Chef simplifies it for me. Another thing I love about Green Chef, it's the most sustainable meal kit, offsetting 100% of its direct carbon emissions and plastic packaging in every box, so you can feel great about what you're eating and how it got to your table.

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Teresa wants to know, “If you could invent a product, what would it be?”

Melanie Avalon: Do you have one right off the bat? I was thinking about this.

Gin Stephens: I actually did invent a product. It was for teachers and it was sold and I got a royalty for a while. It was a pocket chart for classroom management and behavior. I got a royalty for 10 years from that product, isn’t that fun?

Melanie Avalon: Wow.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: It was an actual physical product?

Gin Stephens: Yes, it was a physical product.

Melanie Avalon: Did you produce it?

Gin Stephens: No, I what I did, it was a pocket chart, and I had one that I made in my classroom that I was using. My principal was sending other teachers into my classroom to learn how to use it. Then, everyone on my grade level had one, but we'd all made them ourselves. It was like clothes, pins, and character education. It was whole thing, and then everyone was doing it. Then someone said, “You should market this.” I'm like, “I don't know how to do that.” This was in the early 2000s. I was like, “Well, who makes all the pocket charts?” There was a company, Pacon, P-A-C-O-N, who made them. I just reached out to them, and I said, “I have a product I think that people would buy it.” They're like, “Okay,” so it was fun. I got to design it and sketch it. They manufactured it in China, and they sent it to me and the prototype. It was really fun. I didn't make a fortune from it. Sometimes, the cheque would be $400. Sometimes, it would be $30, but I got those royalty checks for 10 years. I was really proud. At one elementary school where I worked, the principal bought one for everybody.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. Yeah. That's so cool.

Gin Stephens: It was really fun. The little pamphlet that came with it, I'm like, “I wrote that.” That was really my first-- I was published in that little pamphlet. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: It's not really a product. I created the Food Sense app, if an app is a product. Like I said, I want to create the dating app for intermittent fasting. Then if I could invent any product, it probably would be something from Star Trek. Maybe that-- wait, I forgot what it's called. The Trans-- what we just talked about it.

Gin Stephens: Transporter?

Melanie Avalon: Transporter. Yeah. That'd be so amazing.

Gin Stephens: That would be fun. I'm not sure that it's going to be able to be possible. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I'm just thinking back. I remember when I was little, I would try so hard to make the Flintstone car thing where they use their feet to make it move. I would try so hard to make that. I don't think I ever really succeeded. Would you, Gin? Would you do crazy inventions in your room?

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I feel we were similar in that way.

Gin Stephens: Probably so. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: All right. We have a question from Rose. She has a question for each of us. She says, “Melanie, how did you get into biohacking and what brought you here? You're a thin person. I can't imagine that IF brought you to a weight loss program.” Then, Brooke had a similar question. She said, “Gin often speaks of her IF journey. But Melanie, why did you start IF, autophagy, weight loss, or health reasons?” Yeah, long story short was, I initially did start intermittent fasting to lose weight in college. I kept it for the lifestyle benefits, because once you-- you just don't want to go back once you start. It just frees up your life so much, especially with acting and LA and everything, it was really fabulous to have no feelings of restriction and just eat whatever I want and maintain a body composition that I was really happy with. Then for biohacking, honestly, it came about because I had different health issues. Well, I just went into the rabbit holes of trying to find answers for things relentlessly. When you're not feeling your best every day and you feel something is off, you try so, so hard to find things that will make your body feel better. The more I learned, the more I learned.

Honestly, the other show, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast just came out of that. Me, going on all these tangents and finding things that really did radically change my life and wanting to research and share what I found with others.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think I think that's true, wanting to share with others, is so much a part of why we do what we do.

Melanie Avalon: If I learned something, I just have to tell everybody. I just have to tell-- and it's not me trying to sell things. It's me just being like, “Guys, you have to know about this.”

Gin Stephens: Just this morning in my moderator group, one of the moderators is buying a new house, and she was furniture shopping, and she shared some pictures of a bedroom set that she was going to buy. I'm like, “Let me tell you my furniture buying trick.” [laughs] I'm not making any money from it. I'm just sharing it.

Melanie Avalon: We're sharers, we're tellers. The question for Gin from Rose is, she says, “I am a 50 something. What would you have told your younger self to optimize what you have today?”

Gin Stephens: I don't know, I've thought about this before. Would I go back in time and hand myself a copy of Fast. Feast. Repeat. so I could avoid the mistakes that I made? I think the answer is no. I think I needed to go through all of that being obese, having the problems to appreciate where I am now. If I had always been my ideal weight and never struggled, I wouldn't appreciate what it feels like to be my ideal weight as much as I do after having been obese. I don't know if I would go back and tell my younger self anything because I think the whole journey was important.

Melanie Avalon: I love that so much. That's sort of the way I feel. Would I go back and tell myself, “Oh, don't go to that restaurant,” which was on a date with a science person when we got food poisoning and started this crazy gut issues,” like, would you go back and not go to that restaurant? I wouldn't have everything I have right now. I don't think.

Gin Stephens: See, that's the thing. If it had just been easy, and who knows what I would be doing, but it wouldn't be this. Maybe it would be better. I don't know. It's hard to say. But I'm grateful for all the lessons I've learned.

Melanie Avalon: Me, too. Then she has a question for both of us. She says, “I know that neither of you guys exercise.” Well, I do.

Gin Stephens: I do too.

Melanie Avalon: We can put that myth to rest. She says, “So, as a part of the overall picture of health and longevity, would you consider having an exercise expert on in particular to address the physiology of exercise and its impact on overall health and longevity, like yoga, HIIT, strength training? Thanks, and much love.” We do exercise. Well, I actually do now go to the gym and walk on the treadmill for a long time. I hope we don't ever come off as anti-exercise. I personally think exercise is so important. Actually, more and more each day, I'm realizing how important it is as far as, like maintaining muscle mass is so key for longevity, it's so important. And insulin regulation, I think moving and lifting heavy things is so key. I can't emphasize this enough.

Gin Stephens: I think the misconception is that you have to do a formal program. If you're not lifting a weight, for example, that doesn't count as strength training. I actually have some research on this in Fast. Feast. Repeat. in the Exercise chapter that we really can-- What are they called, functional movements? We really do get a lot of benefit out of those because the gym is a very recent invention, and yet people managed to be strong for all of history. It wasn't like people never had a muscle until Gold's Gym came along.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I'm never going to be doing CrossFit, for example.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. No, me neither. If you see me doing CrossFit, something's up with me. I'm not against CrossFit. I love those of you that love it. I still pull out my hula hoop, I get on my vibration plate, I jump on my rebounder. I dance.

Melanie Avalon: I think for the question about having a guest on, I think it probably would be more appropriate for me to have somebody on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, and then we can refer listeners over there. We do that a lot.

We have a question from Angelo. She says, first question, “Was IF something you ever used to lose weight?” Yes.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. You know the answer is for me. Yes.

Melanie Avalon: She says, “How many hours a day do you spend reading and studying in order to be prepared for a new podcast interview?”

Gin Stephens: I think she's talking to you about that for Melanie Avalon Biohacking.

Melanie Avalon: I guess for both shows, but yeah, for me, all day. It's literally hours and hours and hours.

Gin Stephens: If they have a book, you read the whole book.

Melanie Avalon: Right now, I'm a little bit overwhelmed. Right now, I have five really big dense books that I'm prepping, that all need to be prepped within like a month. I'm always listening to a book on Audible. Then I'm usually reading two books as well. Then as far as actually prepping the shows that takes-- I have these really elaborate prep documents that I make, they're really elaborate. I have the best assistant ever. She goes through and cleans them up for me.

I was thinking about this, pretty much every waking hour is mostly spent doing stuff for the shows with the exception of when I'm getting a massage or eating, but I love it.

Gin Stephens: With my podcast, I don't do any prep for it, other than scheduling the guests, because we just talk and the conversation unfolds and they're real people. For the Life Lessons Podcast, we do prep for that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and for this show, it used to be a lot more prep work. Now, we've been doing this for 200 episodes, so we have a pretty good flow of everything. For this one, it is more like I do prep when there are questions that require research, but it's definitely a lot less on my plate compared to the other show. I'm so grateful. I'm just grateful I get to do this, because I love it. Then she says, “Gin sometimes mentions that she takes breaks on IF on special occasions.” What about me? “Is there any special occasion where you take breaks from everything you do on a daily basis?”

Gin Stephens: I just want to jump in right there. It's not that I take breaks, I just don't fast as long. I consider every day I wake up I'm in the fasted state. Some days my fast, I just break it earlier. Like Christmas Day, I break my fast at 9 AM. Was that really a break? I don't know, because I never eat for from the minute my feet hit the floor, till the minute I go to bed ever. There's always a period of the time of the day where I'm still fasting.

Melanie Avalon: I really don't. I experimented with trying taking a break and doing more eating throughout the day, it just doesn't. It doesn't make me happy. Then, as far as taking breaks from everything you do on a daily basis, that's really hard for me. I find so much joy in my “work” and all of my habits and the way I've structured my life. I find so much joy in it that, the closest I come to taking a break is slowing down maybe.

Gin Stephens: Well, I mean, it's like you don't take a break from brushing your teeth or washing your face. It's just your routine.

Melanie Avalon: I definitely don't take breaks from the biohacking stuff, like using Joovv and my BLUblox glasses because those they only add good things to my life. The closest I come to break is all like, I've said this before, I'll scrapbook while watching TV or something.

Gin Stephens: All right, Melanie wants to know, “What is the one superpower you would love to have?”

Melanie Avalon: What's yours, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I thought and thought and thought about this, and everyone I could think of I kept rejecting it. Like the ability to know the future, I'm like, “I don't want to know the future.” All right, the ability to read minds, “Well, no, I don't really want to read people's minds.” The ability to fly, “I don't want to fly.” [laughs] The Wonder Twins, they were able to turn things in the states of water. I don't want to do any of that. I don't want to have a superpower. Is that weird?

Melanie Avalon: I mean, I would love like 100 superpowers. That's so funny.

Gin Stephens: I can't think of one. Name a superpower you think I would like to have.

Melanie Avalon: I would love all of those that you just said.

Gin Stephens: You would like to know the future? Gosh, no. I think I'd have crippling anxiety if I knew the future. If I could read people's thoughts, I don't want to know what they're thinking.

Melanie Avalon: I would like to selectively read people's thoughts. My superpower sort of relates to the future. It's not knowing the future, but I would like to know what to do at every given moment, to manifest the best possible future for my life.

Gin Stephens: See, I don't. I just want it to unfold, isn’t that weird. I don't know. I can't think of any superpower.

Melanie Avalon: What about being invisible?

Gin Stephens: I don't want to be invisible. Why am I invisible? Tell me why. Why am I invisible? What am I doing that I need to be invisible?

Melanie Avalon: Because then you can go places and see things you might not have access to otherwise.

Gin Stephens: I don't want to do that. [laughs] I'm such a weirdo. I can't think of a single superpower I would like to have.

Melanie Avalon: How about this one? I think this would be great. What if you had the power to whenever you engage with somebody, you automatically lift up their spirit? You're the type of person that--

Gin Stephens: If that's a superpower, I'll take it.

Melanie Avalon: Whenever you engage with somebody, they're going to feel so much love, and they're going to feel better, and they're going to like you and like themselves.

Gin Stephens: I'll take that. I'll take the love superpower. All right, that's the only one I would like. I didn't know that was a possible choice. [laughs] There were no superheroes that did that.

Melanie Avalon: Time to have one. Lindsey says, “Do you have a personal motto or mantra? What is it?” Do you have one Gin?

Gin Stephens: No. [laughs] Really, it is just to keep a positive attitude and that. I don't really have a mantra. I think a lot of people use Delay, Don't Deny as their mantra. Maybe that's it, or Fast. Feast. Repeat. might be my mantra or Feast Without Fear might be my mantra. Yeah, they became book titles because that's the way I live my life. I guess those would be my three mantras. I don't really have a motto, but as I said, I try to live with positivity and childlike excitement.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, mine is live vicariously through yourself.

Gin Stephens: Okay. I don't know what that means.

Melanie Avalon: Because most people try to live vicariously through other people or other things. But if you live vicariously through yourself, then it's like you are so enraptured with the experience of your life that you live vicariously through yourself.

Gin Stephens: Isn't vicariously though by definition that it's not you?

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.

Gin Stephens: Okay. [laughs] Okay, all right.

Melanie Avalon: If you could share a meal with anyone, who would it be?

Gin Stephens: Didn't you ask me that on the episode where you interviewed me, and I couldn't think of anybody.

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny how opposite we are. Mine’s Taylor Swift.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

Gin Stephens: The ability to make everyone feel loved. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: The mine is the ability to know what to do at every given moment to manifest the best possible life.

Gin Stephens: All right, we have a question from Darita. She says, “Why in the world have you two never met?”

Melanie Avalon: It probably would have made sense in the beginning. Now, it's like we've just come to know each other so well that-- I don't know.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we just haven't been in the same place at the same time. I haven't been to Atlanta in ages, probably since before you moved back.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because for a substantial part of this, I've been in LA for it.

Gin Stephens: I've never been to LA.

Melanie Avalon: I am in Atlanta now. How far is Atlanta from Augusta?

Gin Stephens: It's just like two and a half hours.

Melanie Avalon: Well, maybe we should make that happen.

Gin Stephens: Next time I come to Atlanta, but I don't know when that'll be.

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: That does kind of flow into Samantha's questions.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Which is, “ff the two of you finally met in person but had to pick a mutually agreed upon meeting place or destination, what would it be?” She says, “Melanie, it can't be in Georgia. You have to travel a bit.” She says, “Pretend COVID doesn't exist,” which would be nice.

Gin Stephens: Well, I think it would be Atlanta. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: But it can't be in Georgia.

Gin Stephens: I know. Okay.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so practical realistic answers, Atlanta.

Gin Stephens: You could come to the beach with me.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. What about Sanibel?

Gin Stephens: I’d go there. I'll go anywhere that's the beach.

Melanie Avalon: I love Sanibel. It brings me so much happiness, and it has a beach, so maybe that should be it.

Gin Stephens: All right.

Melanie Avalon: Perfect. Oh, my goodness. I'm excited.

Gin Stephens: All right. Anna says, “What or who would you give up fasting for?”

Melanie Avalon: I would give it up if it was no longer what I perceive to be the most helpful, healthy choice for my body.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think so. I can't imagine that being true. That's the only thing.

Melanie Avalon: I would never give it up for a person. If it was like, “Oh, you have to--” No. [laughs] No. Yeah. Only I would give it up for myself, basically, if it had.

Gin Stephens: I agree. Yep.

Melanie Avalon: Natalie wants to know, “What would be your last meal ever if you could choose with no consequences?

Gin Stephens: You know what I always really like is a good cheeseburger and fries that are very high quality, but it's hard to get. Hard to get high-quality fries because I don't like fries made in really low-quality oil. That always makes my stomach hurt. It would have to be like some amazing fries and a really high-quality burger. I can have that all the time. [laughs] That is one of my favorite things to eat. Super-duper good quality fries, and a great burger.

Melanie Avalon: Mine would be probably Chili’s Cajun chicken pasta.

Gin Stephens: Really? You would go to Chili's for your last meal?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I would get that Cajun chicken pasta. I probably wouldn't go there. I probably get it-- Well, I don't know, I might go there. I would have funfetti for dessert, and more funfetti and a cookie cake, and more funfetti.

Gin Stephens: If you like tried to make me eat funfetti, I would not eat it. I just don't like it, but we've talked about that before. Last night I made black bean brownies and they were so delicious.

Melanie Avalon: I saw your picture on Instagram.

Gin Stephens: They're so good. I mean, I don't make them because I'm like, “Oh, these are, like--” I mean, I would also eat regular brownies, but I just like black bean brownies better.

Melanie Avalon: They looked yummy. They're so good.

Gin Stephens: All right, Charlotte wants to know, “Have there been times where one of you has had to back down because you disagreed?” Yeah, we've had disagreements.

Melanie Avalon: I think probably stuff we've talked about, like grains and stuff like that. But I think we do a pretty good job of agreeing to disagree about things.

Gin Stephens: I think so too. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: We got some intense listener feedback about one of our grain discussions, which was really interesting. I think what's really important is we both understand people that different things work for different people. We understand that people have different opinions. I think we can empathize with the other person's perspective. I was thinking about this a lot recently. As long as you can understand that people have different opinions or empathize with other people, there's really no fear of disagreeing about anything.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's true. Yep.

Melanie Avalon: Like, what does it matter? What does it matter? It doesn't.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. The people who get all been out of shape because of the way I defined the clean fast, for example. I'm not coming to your house and forcing you to do anything. I genuinely believe this is the best thing to do, but if you don't, just go do you.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, the concept of being offended, I've just been thinking about this a lot recently, if you're offended by something, it means that somebody did something that is imposing upon-- it can't really be about the other person, because you could choose not to be offended by anything. I think just food for thought.

Gin Stephens: If you don't like-- for example, we do promote the clean fast in my Facebook group, but people get so mad sometimes. I'm like, “There's so many Facebook groups. Go find one that follows what you think you should be,” and be in that one, and you don't need to be upset with me.” That's the thing.

Melanie Avalon: I'm trying to think of things that might be offensive to you. I think, for me, at least the appropriate response would be-- if it's something where I think it's wrong, and it's a bad thing, that would just make me sad, or it would make me want to put forth the alternative or why it should be a different way.

Gin Stephens: I really think that the more intelligent a person is, the more willing they are to understand how little we know, and that there are so many-- there's so much more you don't know than what you do know. It's when you start thinking everything and can't possibly have another way of looking at it that you fall into trouble.

Melanie Avalon: It's like if we just know that we don't really know anything, and we know that other people have different opinions, everything's fine. Okay, Trisha, says, “Gin, how long do you stand on your LifePro/Turbo Boost?”

Gin Stephens: All right. 10 minutes. I do it for 10 minutes.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. She says, “Ladies, what is the best go-to fast but healthy meal for on the go that is truly filling?” I used to always get frozen veggie pasta with cheese sauce.

Gin Stephens: I've got one that is really works for me. I just open a can of black beans, organic black beans, rinse them off, heat them up, and put whatever you like to put on them. For me, it's sour cream and cheese. You can have some organic tortilla chips on the side. That's what I would put on the side and munch them with it or like an avocado. Slice up an avocado and throw that on there. Oh, you really want to be full? This is a meal that Zoe liked for me, black beans, avocado, and also a couple of eggs. So filling.

Melanie Avalon: I'm just thinking about how that would just sit in my stomach and maybe never come out.

Gin Stephens: It makes me so full and satisfied. Honestly, beans are my favorite thing. Like I just said, I made black bean brownies.

Melanie Avalon: So funny.

Gin Stephens: I eat a lot of beans.

Melanie Avalon: I don't really eat fast on the go. That would stress me out. I would just not eat. But if I was on the go, I would probably concoct something from the whole foods.

Gin Stephens: You could take a can of beans on the go. Just heat them up anywhere.

Melanie Avalon: I feel a sense of stress when it's like fast meal on the go, I'm like, “Oh.” I have to have my long meal, my setup.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that makes sense.

Melanie Avalon: I would say nuts if they didn’t sit in me.

Gin Stephens: Nuts?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. If they didn't sit in me for nuts eons.

Gin Stephens: We have three questions together that are the same topic. Michelle says, “Melanie, do you plan to go back into acting? With that, what would your dream role be?” Christina says, “Melanie, are you still acting or do you consider podcasting your new career?” and Theresa, “When and why are you moving back to LA and will you go back into waitressing post-COVID?”

Melanie Avalon: Acting is honestly still my passion. It's the thing that makes me feel the most alive while doing it. My career has evolved into something I obviously didn't foresee at all, which is podcasting, which is my career right now. I think the ultimate evolution and hopeful metamorphosis of it all is, I would love to turn basically the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast into a TV show format, and kind of bridge together all of that, the entertainment industry and the film side of things with what I'm doing right now. Then ultimately, I would love to produce my own movies, and cast myself in them. The dream role would be a Disney Princess or something, like a live-action version of the Swan Princess. Oh, my goodness, especially because I feel I am a swan. Like you know, she gets stuck in a swan body?

Gin Stephens: No. [laughs] I do not. Uh-huh, I don't know anything about the Swan Princess. No.

Melanie Avalon: She's a princess, and then she gets turned to a swan and can't get out of the swan. I felt with my health issues, for the longest time, I was like stuck as this swan, and I just want to turn back into the princess like a metaphor for my life. I'd love to do a live-action version of that. I'll be moving back to LA probably this year. It kind of depends on the COVID situation. Actually, I don't mean for this to sound pretentious at all, but one of the best things that happened to me with COVID was-- I don't know if I would have quit my serving job if that hadn't happened, because it felt like security to me, like clocking in somewhere, so that forced me to not do that job anymore and see how I was without it. The crazy thing is I want to go back to it because it's an outlet for me, like exercise and forces me to-- I'm not very social, so it forces me to put on makeup and talk to people, but I don't think it's the best use of my time now.

Gin Stephens: I get it. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. When they were like we have to let you go, “I was like okay, I guess that's how that's going to happen.”

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Gin Stephens: Marian wants to know, “What are the best and worst things resulting from this pandemic for each of you? What is your greatest asset? Thanks for all of your hard work on the podcasts. I love listening every week and learning new things.” Since I've been retired from teaching, I realized pre-pandemic, post pandemic, my day looks very similar before and after. My routine hasn't changed a lot except that one of the worst things is my Saturday coffee group had to stop. I really missed that, seeing people every Saturday over coffee, so we had to stop doing that. The worst thing is not being able to do all the things like that we used to do, all the restrictions on all of us. I don't like any of those obviously. And not being able to travel to San Francisco to see my son and his wife and not being able to travel freely, I think we would all agree. But day to day life, for me hasn't changed that much other than wearing masks when you go places. That's just so weird and sometimes it still feels like I'm living in a movie.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I've been talking to a lot of my friends in California, and it's made me realize, I think, depending on where you live, how different the experience of the pandemic might be, because for us in the south, the restrictions are not that intense.

Gin Stephens: I just talked to one of my friends, she came over for coffee yesterday, and we sat socially distanced, but she's a teacher, and they still are teaching in person.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: They go to school. The children are there, but some places have not been in-person school since early 2020. Well, almost a year now, they haven't been in person.

Melanie Avalon: Like I said, I've been talking to a lot of friends in California, I think it's a very different experience there.

Gin Stephens: I think so, too. Yeah. What is your greatest asset, that Marian asked? What would you say is your greatest asset?

Melanie Avalon: Well, really quickly for the worst and best for me, I already said that the best which is I think it forced me to quit my serving job. Then, the worst is-- so my one phobia, it is the claustrophobia but related to suffocation. Just the experience of wearing a mask is a little bit distress-- I wear it, but it's just not ideal.

Gin Stephens: Oh, and I never said what the best thing was. The best is that it helped me realize priorities, like what's really important.

Melanie Avalon: It's definitely given me a lot of gratitude.

Gin Stephens: Me too. I mean, gratitude for things like toilet paper, honestly.

Melanie Avalon: Yep. 100%.

Gin Stephens: All right. what is your greatest asset, Marian wants to know?

Melanie Avalon: I think it's my brain.

Gin Stephens: I was thinking that, too. For me, also, I've learned to be a good listener. I wasn't always a good listener. I think that's a good asset that I've got now.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that's huge.

Gin Stephens: It's a skill.

Melanie Avalon: Also, I don't like saying these assets because it sounds like you're bragging or pretentious, which is not how I mean it at all, but I feel I typically relate to people in a kind way. You don't have to worry about-- I’m not going to hurt you. Those both tie into empathy. I think that is something to probably, especially interviewing Dr. David Perlmutter for his book Brain Wash. It's very much a thing in your brain. Some people, their brain can't empathize with other people. It just doesn't, and it can't. So, I'm really grateful for that, it goes back to the brain. Ashley has a question. She says, “Where do you see yourself in five years personally and professionally?”

Gin Stephens: I want to write children's books. I may have said that before. The genre will be nonfiction science.

Melanie Avalon: Which is awesome. Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Gin Stephens: That's right. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I would love to have, yeah, the TV show type thing.

Gin Stephens: Also, I want to be a grandmother.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, personally.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, personally. Cal and Kate, when they were here, I said, “So, what are y'all thinking about kids?” And they said, “We haven't decided.” I'm like, “What?” That's the part that's so strange to me because I can't imagine not-- I always knew I would be a mother and my sister always knew she wouldn't. We didn't have to think about it. It just like, “Of course, I'm going to have children.” My sister was, like, “No, I'm never having them,” but we never wavered. Will, he knows he wants to be a dad, but Cal and Kate are not sure. I'm like, “I don't even know what to do with that.” I want to be a grandmother eventually.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I guess you have Will.

Gin Stephens: I've got Will, thank goodness. Everybody have two children, at least because you never know if they're going to give you grandkids. My friends who are grandparents talk about how it's like nothing else. The love is so different from the love you feel for your children. It's like multiplied.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. Man, I love my children so much, and every parent, of course, loves their children. But what I understand is that the love of a grandparent is just different, because you love them, but then you're not like making every decision. It's like less pressure kind of love.

Melanie Avalon: Like, there's not the stress and the--

Gin Stephens: Mm-hmm. Yep.

Melanie Avalon: I don't think I will have children.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, you don't have the burning desire to do it.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. I would want to have accomplished a long laundry list of career goals, which comes off as pretty selfish, but I would have to have accomplished those first. By the time that happens, I don't know if I will be of childbearing age anymore.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that makes sense.

Melanie Avalon: Lisa, she says, “What is the number one burning question you would want to know the answer to, to solve either or all of your problems or give you peace of mind? And who would you ask?”

Gin Stephens: I don't know. I don't feel like I have any. I'm like the worst. I'm like, I don't know, nothing. I really don't feel like I have problems. Does that make sense? I've got like normal problems, like my cat is a little bit incontinent, and I have to deal with that. Did you know that about Elly, did I tell you that?”

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: After she got hit by the car, and she had the nerve damage? Sometimes she has bladder infections. My biggest problems are that. I'm very fortunate and I know it. I have a good life. I'm happy every day. My biggest problem right now is my computer is slow. I don't have life difficulty problems that keep me from having peace of mind. I have a lot of peace of mind. I guess that's a way of putting it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I think I have peace of mind as well.

Gin Stephens: I want to know are aliens real? I'm interested in that. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I would want to know what to do to resolve lingering health issues. I don't know who I would ask because if I knew who I would ask, I would’ve probably already asked htem.

Gin Stephens: You would have, you totally would have exactly. That's also the thing, the questions, burning questions, either you and I both know how to find the answer or they're unanswerable. I guess that's why I couldn't-- like I came up with the idea of, “Are aliens real?” We know there's nobody I can ask.

Melanie Avalon: That was a really beautiful concept that you just shared.

Gin Stephens: What?

Melanie Avalon: That we know who to ask or they're unanswerable.

Gin Stephens: Yep. Even a lot of the questions that you do ask are still unanswerable. [laughs] Anyway, I think a lot-- I don't know. I've got a lot of peace of mind. I worry about the future. I think all people do right now. There's a lot of unknowns in the future, but I also don't live worrying about the future to the point that because I can't control it. I have peace of mind knowing that no matter what happens, we'll just deal with it.

Melanie Avalon: Yep, I have a lot of peace as well. I just love my life. I love life.

Gin Stephens: We have a question from Miranda. She says, “I would love to know how you would handle being on set, since you've changed your skincare and makeup to clean ingredients. You may have already navigated this or not. Would you take your own or just roll with it?”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's a really great question. I would take my own and see if the makeup artists are receptive to using it, but if they had to use something else, I would let them.

Gin Stephens: Good question.

Melanie Avalon: I do know, my foundation-- especially when I was doing a lot of background TV work--I promise you I've been in most shows that were filmed between certain few years. I would just bring my own makeup and the makeup artists would always comment on how perfect it was for camera, so that really worked well.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's good.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Danielle, she says, “I know you're both avid readers of health-related books, but do you enjoy reading for pleasure? And if so, what type of books do you choose or what authors do you gravitate towards? A reading teacher has to know.”

Gin Stephens: That's a great question. I've been reading for pleasure a lot less than I used to. For example, this summer on the beach, I read-- I mean, I read Atomic Habits, I read that for pleasure. I do read fiction. I'm reading something right now that someone gave me. I can't remember the name of it, but it's set in Atlanta. I like to read southern fiction when I'm reading fiction. I don't read a lot of fiction but someone, like I said, gave me this book. I love Maeve Binchy, is that how you say her first name? M-A-E-V-E? I love Maeve Binchy.

Melanie Avalon: What does she write?

Gin Stephens: She is Irish. She died. She's not alive anymore, but I will read any of her books at any time. I will reread them. She might be my favorite author. She is, she's totally my favorite author. I love Maeve Binchy.

Melanie Avalon: I used to read a lot for pleasure. I mean, that's all I did, basically.

Gin Stephens: Me too. All I did, I read fiction all the time.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, all the time. I loved mysteries. I love Stephen King.

Gin Stephens: Oh, me too. Mysteries and Stephen King. Yeah, I read a lot of mysteries.

Melanie Avalon: I read all the Twilights, Harry Potter.

Gin Stephens: Yep.

Melanie Avalon: Now, if I had time, I probably would reread the Harry Potter series. Now, the stuff I read is usually like-- I will spend hours-- this is going to come off as crazy, I shouldn’t even say this. I will read reviews of Taylor Swift albums [laughs] for a long time.

Gin Stephens: Well, you're in the 1%.

Melanie Avalon: I am in the 1%, or Lana Del Rey. The good thing is, I do get a lot of pleasure out of the majority of the stuff I read that are health related.

Gin Stephens: All right, so yeah, I think so too. I get pleasure out of that. I'm researching right now for my new book. I'm reading a lot of nonfiction again. I really love-- you do too, we both love reading scientific journals.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Oh, I love it. For some [unintelligible [01:24:14] the title, it's something I'm really excited about.

Gin Stephens: I love critiquing them in my mind, because I'm like, that's not very good variable controlling. That's not what this says. [laughs] Anyway.

Melanie Avalon: I do love reading those.

Gin Stephens: RC asks, “If you could go to any concert, dead or alive,” I guess that's meaning the artist is dead or alive, “of course, pre-COVID, whom would you go see?” I'm going to use the words post COVID instead of pre-COVID because we're not going to be trapped here forever. There's going to be a post-COVID world where we're going to concerts again. If we're 10 years from now, listening back on this and go, “Wasn't that funny? Ha, ha, ha,” then I will probably not be happy, you know how we said we have peace? We don't get to a post-COVID world one day I will not be as happy, but I know that we will.

Melanie Avalon: I would go to Taylor Swift, obviously.

Gin Stephens: How did I know you would say that?

Melanie Avalon: I will say which album I would go to, Red or 1989 and then Reputation.

Gin Stephens: All right. I would love to go see U2 again. I've seen them twice before. I love U2. They've got great concerts. I've seen Billy Joel and Elton John. I've seen Elton John twice. I would go see him again. I love Billy Joel. He was great in concert. I've never seen James Taylor and I would really like to. I would also like to see Paul Simon. If I could travel back and see the Beatles, I would love to do that.

Melanie Avalon: Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Gin Stephens: Ah, no.


Gin Stephens: If you made me go to that, I don't know. I might suddenly start listening to podcasts. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Crazy. Crazy. All right. Amy says, “Do you listen to each other's podcasts, IF Stories and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast?”

Gin Stephens: I'm going to answer that for Melanie. I know she does not listen to IF Stories. [laughs] I don't listen to the Melanie Avalon Podcast. I don't think we either of us do. Am I right?

Melanie Avalon: You're right.

Gin Stephens: I don't listen to podcasts.

Melanie Avalon: I listened to the first Life Lessons.

Gin Stephens: Oh, good. I'm glad.

Melanie Avalon: I've listened to at least one IF Stories.

Gin Stephens: Well, good, so you know what it's like.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: I'm just not a podcast listener. A lot of the moderators listen to the Melanie Avalon Podcast and so they will-- [crosstalk]

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, because they love podcasts and the ones who love podcasts listen to it.

Melanie Avalon: Podcasts.

Gin Stephens: Yep.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Sarah says, “What opinions have you completely flipped on since starting the podcast?”

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't know that either of us have completely flipped on anything, just that we've learned more. Maybe we weren't as certain about what we thought. I can remember I was thinking about this recently, the first time we got a CBD oil question, we're like, “We don't think it's legal, probably mostly.” We didn't know, because it was weird and people weren't really doing it. [laughs] If someone listens to that will sound crazy, that old episode, but I'm not sure that we've really flipped on anything, have we?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I haven't flipped, I've just evolved.

Gin Stephens: Yes, that's it. We've evolved and we've learned more. Maybe some of our earlier ideas were less sophisticated than they are now. We understand the nuances better.

Melanie Avalon: I think the two biggest things for me in this shift is when we first started this is when I was deep, deep in the SIBO rabbit hole and my world was consumed with trying to kill small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in me and now I'm much more lax about that. I don't focus on it as much. Then, also-- this is a big evolution, I felt the need to do a lot of pharmaceutical chelation for heavy metal toxicity, and I now would very hesitantly recommend that for anybody. I think I did a lot of damage to my body. I think I pulled out nutrients out of my bones, in my body. I think when you pull out a lot of those nutrients, it's really hard to get them back in.

Gin Stephens: I know what you mean. Yep.

Melanie Avalon: On a cellular level, like the level of the bones.

Gin Stephens: I was just reading about that today.

Melanie Avalon: I'm grateful for that even because I can tell people now and if they're contemplating doing pharmaceutical chelation for heavy metals, that there's a lot they should consider.

Gin Stephens: We have a question from April. “What does Melanie eat in her window? I know she's paleo, but I'd like to know more details. Are you a good cook? What do you eat out at restaurants?” Kangaroo. Right? [laughs] Meat. “Always interested because she talks like she eats a lot.”

Melanie Avalon: I think we can probably both answer this just because listeners might not know. Yeah, I pretty much rotate between very simple foods, and I find that I crave certain proteins at certain times. Right now, I'm in a scallop phase. I'm eating tons of scallops, but usually scallops or shrimp or turkey or chicken or steak, no seasoning, nothing like that. I don't really add oils, a lot of cucumbers. If I'm doing high carb low fat, I eat a lot of fruit with it. If I'm doing low carb, high fat, a lot of MCT oil with it. At restaurants, I usually get like rare steak with green veggies and wine. Oh, and there's wine with all of that. Low FODMAP. Everything is low FODMAP for me.

Gin Stephens: I eat all the things. I was thinking, “Is there anything I won't eat?” Well, I don't eat things I don't like. Well, I don't like fish. Other than that, if it's something I like, and someone's offering it and I want to eat it right then, I'll eat it. But the definition of what I like has changed. For example, if I go back to 1992, I loved to eat at Pizza Hut. I'm just throwing out an example. Their pan pizza, I loved it. But now, I don't think I would eat that if you paid me to eat it because I don't like it. It would make me feel sick.

Melanie Avalon: That's how we're so different. I still love all of those things. All of them. All of them. I can't think of one, like a “fast food,” or like a process-- I can't think of one standard American diet meal that I enjoyed in the past growing up that I'm like, “Oh, yeah, I wouldn't like that now.” No, I would love all of it.

Gin Stephens: Well, like macaroni and cheese. I love macaroni and cheese, but if you tried to make me eat Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, I'll be like, “No, I'm not eating that.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I would love it.

Gin Stephens: No, I wouldn't eat, but I would like to make my own macaroni and cheese that starts with a Béchamel sauce with butter and flour and you make a white sauce with the milk and good quality, sharp, sharp cheddar cheese. Oh my gosh, I would eat that. 100%. Yeah, my tastes have really changed. My taste buds have changed. When I go to restaurants. I gravitate more towards the vegetable type things just because that's what I'm going to enjoy the most. A lot of things at restaurants are just too processed and heavy that I don't enjoy them. I cook at home a lot, pretty much every night. Last night, I had chicken and I had broccolini and I made biscuits. They were so good.

Melanie Avalon: My taste buds have changed as well in that I love foods that I didn't used to like, so vegetables and I’ll crave things that I wouldn't have ever liked before. I still would adore all of that processed stuff.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I just don't. Except for Doritos, I've never lost my taste for those. Doritos and crackers. I like crackers. I like Doritos. I like chips.

Melanie Avalon: I don't really like crackers.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I love them. I love crisp crunchy things.

Melanie Avalon: All right, we have a question from Shantelle. She says, “I really enjoy your podcast. I'm a personal trainer in California. I would love to know what is each of your favorite kind of exercise, aka soulmate workout. Lol, keep up the outstanding work.”

Gin Stephens: My vibration plate is my favorite exercise to do. I really love it. Then second would be my rebounder. Third would be hula hoop. I also like swimming. When I say I like swimming, I don't swim like a lap. I get in the pool, I jump around, and I have fun in the pool, but it's a lot of exercise.

Melanie Avalon: Mine would be waiting tables if that counts.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it would, it absolutely does.

Melanie Avalon: Because I love not thinking about the physical activity, just having to do it out of the need of accomplishing a task in the moment. And if you're especially-- because I used to work at like different fine dining steak houses, and we would have to carry trays, those plates were so heavy.

Gin Stephens: Oh, they were heavy.

Melanie Avalon: Like so heavy. I loved it because--

Gin Stephens: Lifting that big tray up on your shoulder.

Melanie Avalon: -at no point you're like, “Oh, this is a workout. I have to lift this tray.” It's like, “No, I have to lift this tray because I have to carry it over here.”

Gin Stephens: Did anybody ever come up to, while you were waiting tables and say, “Oh my God, you're Melanie Avalon?”

Melanie Avalon: No, no.

Gin Stephens: That would have been fun.

Melanie Avalon: I don't think so. I also wouldn't tell them my last name, because I have a different legal last name.

Gin Stephens: Now, you've just blown people's minds that didn't know that about you. I knew that about you.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes.

Gin Stephens: People are like, “What?”

Melanie Avalon: It comes in handy.

Gin Stephens: If I could [unintelligible [01:33:37], would I use a different name? I don't know. I just put it all out there with my real name. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I've been using Melanie Avalon for--

Gin Stephens: It was your stage name.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's my SAG name, it's my Screen Actors Guild name. I started using it once I graduated from college. It feels like me. It's weird when people say my other last name. I'm like, “What?”

Gin Stephens: All right. We have a question from Lauren. “Who would each of you cast as yourself and the other in the epic movie of your lives?”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I missed the other.

Gin Stephens: I know who I would cast as myself but not for you.

Melanie Avalon: I know who I'd cast as myself but not for you.

Gin Stephens: Well, go ahead. Who, for yourself?

Melanie Avalon: That’s what you just said. I would want to play myself.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's cracks me up. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Right?

Gin Stephens: Okay. I see it. You're an actress. That makes sense. I guess I would cast you as yourself then. There you go. For me, I actually have had people say more than once that they would cast Reese Witherspoon as me.

Melanie Avalon: Interesting.

Gin Stephens: I've heard that multiple times.

Melanie Avalon: Is it something about your personality?

Gin Stephens: Maybe, she's also a southerner.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so Reese. Then, if I'm not playing me--

Gin Stephens: Taylor Swift could play you.

Melanie Avalon: No. Well, what's really funny is, this has happened historically all the time. People will always come up to me, especially when I was doing acting, and they'd be like, “You look just like, fill in the blank. Do people tell you this all the time?” and it was always a different name.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's weird.

Melanie Avalon: There was never one name that people would tell me all the time. It would always be a new name. I was like, “Okay.” I don't know why. I don't know if I give off different vibes.

Gin Stephens: Well, you're a good actor. You're good at acting. An actor can be a chameleon. That's the true test. If you're the same exact character in everything you do, you're not really acting.

Melanie Avalon: I guess I would probably choose my girl crush, Blake Lively. I don't think I look like her, but I love her. Blake Lively and Reese Witherspoon.

Gin Stephens: All right, I guess so.

Melanie Avalon: Amy says, “How have your thoughts regarding fasting evolved and changed over time?”

Gin Stephens: When I first started fasting back in 2014, really, everything I read, talked about just that it was a way to eat fewer calories. I saw it as a diet, a way to diet and eat less food. Now, I've understood over-- first reading the obesity code, and then reading Mark Mattson’s work, and then reading all the research that I've been reading over the years. I understand that it is a lot more than just a way to “eat fewer calories,” it actually has metabolic and hormonal effects on our bodies. I like to say the health plan with the side effect of weight loss. It's a healthy lifestyle. It's not a temporary thing you do. It's a lifestyle. I didn't understand that at the beginning, but I do now. Also, of course, the importance of the clean fast, and that evolved over time as well.

I go back to even when I wrote Delay, Don’t Deny back in 2016, I deferred to people I respected rather than challenge their thoughts. Like Jason Fung said, “Put cream in your coffee.” I'm like, “Well, okay. I love Jason Fung. He says put cream in your coffee, it must be okay.” But now I've evolved to the point that I am confident in my own opinions. “No, you really don't want to put cream in your coffee. That's not really fasting.” I can still respect Jason Fung and love him and his work and have a different thought, and that's okay, too.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I love that. I think my biggest thing is kind of a fluctuation in a change. It's my thoughts surrounding fasting for women specifically, and concern surrounding over-stressing the body or hormonal health or paying attention to women's reproductive health. I think when I first started, I didn't think it was an issue. Then, I started thinking, “Oh, maybe it is more of an issue than I’m realizing.” Now, I'm at a place where I actually am more comfortable now with females fasting rather than less. I think if you had asked me maybe a year and a half ago, where did I anticipate my thoughts going on female fasting, I might have expected that I would increasingly become nervous or wary of it more than less. But I actually think for most people, fasting is usually a very healthy thing. I think oftentimes the problem is not the fasting. It's not having adequate eating.

Gin Stephens: Yes. When people ask me about women, I say the problem is not the fasting, it is over-restriction. Over-restriction is not good for women. I do not recommend that you treat fasting as something with over-restriction. Over-restriction is bad, whether you're eating 10 times a day or once, and you can over-restrict in a 10-times-a-day model as well.

Melanie Avalon: I think if a female is living a restrictive diet and/or lots of exercise and coupling it with fasting, in that context, it's quite possibly an issue. It depends on where you're at, and the personal female, but I think fasting in general, if practiced “correctly” in a nourishing way, and having the eating window, having ample nutrition-- maybe it's a longer eating window that you need, if the fasting is creating a lot of problems, I don't think it's just the fasting.

Gin Stephens: 100%, and it makes me really frustrated when people continue to say that anything about women just as a general blanket statement.

Melanie Avalon: The reason that's a big change for me is I think I did anticipate not-- I don't know. I was anticipating maybe not thinking that, but yeah. Then I'm just going to throw in, we’ve got two really quick things. They weren't questions but they were for this episode and they were just some kind words.

Sarah said that we are her favorite duo and favorite podcast, “The perfect pair because your goal is the same and thoughts and ideas differ. I can only imagine how many people you have helped.” She says, “I don't have a question. I'm just so happy you guys found each other, even if you haven't met in person.” Then Linda said, “Do you realize how you've improved?” This kind of is a question, but not really. She says, “Do you realize how you've improved the lives of thousands of people talk about having a purpose and impact on humankind?” Wow.

Gin Stephens: Wow is right. That's just amazing.

Melanie Avalon: I thought that was really beautiful, and they said in their words, I think what Gin and I experience and feel a lot, which is we're just so grateful for this show and fasting and the audience, they're the best and I'm really happy. Episode 200.

Gin Stephens: Yay. Thank you everybody who submitted questions, and everyone who listens. I hope that you've enjoyed this. I feel like I'm the most boring person ever though.

Melanie Avalon: Cracks me up.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] I'm just over here with my cat. If I had a superpower, it would be that I would restore that she would no longer have-- [laughs] There's my superpower. My cat would not have nerve damage anymore. That would be my superpower. That would be something I would-- I’ll be able to just heal with the touch of my finger. Okay, that's my superpower. I got it.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, see, yeah, that's a great one.

Gin Stephens: I want to heal with the touch of my finger. The first thing I would heal is my cat.

Melanie Avalon: You could heal me. My health, my issues.

Gin Stephens: With a touch of my finger.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. All right. That's brilliant. Well, for listeners, thanks for being here. I wonder how many listeners have listened to every single episode? Probably a lot, because a lot of people tell us that they binge-listened and then they catch up.

Gin Stephens: That's a lot of Gin and Melanie. I bet it's funny to hear us evolve, like I was just thinking about.

Melanie Avalon: I know. It's crazy. For listeners, the show notes for this episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode200. There will be a full transcript there. You can submit your own questions. If this was your first episode listening, which would be a little bit crazy, normally we answer listener questions about intermittent fasting and diet and lifestyle and all of that, so you can directly submit questions to questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com, and you can submit questions there. You can join all of our many Facebook groups. You can follow us on Instagram, which is my new favorite place to be. I'm MelanieAvalon, Gin is GinStephens.

Gin Stephens: I'm trying.

Melanie Avalon: I'm trying, too. It's a struggle. It's such a struggle.

Gin Stephens: You seem like you've just really jumped right in. You don't seem to be trying. You seem to be rocking it.

Melanie Avalon: It's requiring a lot of effort and energy and insecurities, but I'm having a blast.

Gin Stephens: Well, good. That's how it's supposed to be.

Melanie Avalon: It's fun. All right. Well, anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: Nope.

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

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-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.


Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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