Episode 204: Dental Health, Disappearing Cavities, Stomach Size, Fasting Insulin, Thyroid Tests, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Mar 14

Welcome to Episode 204 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:

 BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Ground Beef For LIFE!!

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

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


BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Ground Beef For LIFE!!

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

Fast This Way: Burn Fat, Heal Inflammation, and Eat Like the High-Performing Human You Were Meant to Be (Dave Asprey)

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #84 - Dave Asprey

Follow Melanie On Instagram To See The Latest Moments, Products, And #AllTheThings! @MelanieAvalon

Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

BLUBLOX: Go To blublox.com And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

Listener Feedback: Kay - Intermittent Fasting Saved my Teeth

Gin's Waterpik WP-662 Water Flosser Electric Dental Countertop Professional Oral Irrigator For Teeth, Aquarius, Black

Melanie's Dr. Collins Perio Toothbrush

Listener Q&A: Marisa - Small Portions

Does Dieting Actually Make Your Stomach Shrink?

Listener Q&A: Nita - Hopefully not too late (but may be) for 200th Episode of the IF Podcast

JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

Listener Q&A: Paige - Any suggestions for M.D. lab work

Episode 52: The THYROID Episode, With Elle Russ!

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #12- Elle Russ

LETSGETCHECKED: Get 30% Off At Home Tests For Thyroid, Vitamin D, COVID, And More, With The Code IFPodcast30 At trylgc.com/ifpodcast!

INSIDETRACKER: Go To melanieavalon.com/getinsidetracker And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

Listener Q&A: Ron - Women Only?

Life Lessons, with Gin & Sheri Podcast


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 204 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 co-host, Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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

Thankfully, you can easily clean up your skincare with a company called Beautycounter. They make incredible products that are extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can feel good about every single ingredient that you put on. They also have an amazing anti-aging line called Countertime. Friends, this is a game changer. It's full of active ingredients which nourish and support your skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and support a beautiful glow. It also has a safe alternative to retinol, so you can get all of the anti-aging benefits of retinol without any of the toxic effects of retinol, because, yes, that stuff is toxic. Guys, put it away now.

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. Also, definitely get on my clean beauty email list that's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away so many free things on that list. So, definitely check it out.

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Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 204 after Intermittent Fasting podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: Happy Valentine’s Day, Gin.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, we're recording on Valentine's Day, even though people are not going to hear it for a month, [laughs] but I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day. It's cold and rainy here.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, it is. How is everything with you?

Gin Stephens: Well, I am coming to you from my new computer and I'm so excited. Melanie knows a little bit of this saga, but listeners, y’all do not. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Does it feel wonderful?

Gin Stephens: Yes. Let me let me tell you a little backstory. About a year ago, I decided that my laptop wasn't cutting it and I needed a dedicated desktop computer for recording podcast to put in my podcast studio, so I didn't have to go look for my laptop, drag it around that sort of thing. So, I got a new Mac, and I got the wrong one. I made a really bad choice. I didn't realize how much RAM I needed. I'm a big Apple fan, love Apple products, been in the Apple ecosystem. Since the very first iPhone came out, I had one within months. I've been iPhone all the way, Apple computers, love them. But I got one with not enough RAM. My son Cal, who's an app developer said, “What? I can't even believe they sold you that.” I'm like, “Thank you, Cal.” I didn't know. Melanie and I, again, for the audience, Melanie knows this whole story. Melanie said to me, “Oh, you just change out, add more RAM.” Well, I bought one where you could not do that. You could not add your own RAM. I was like, “All right, I have to get a new one.” In there, the big ones. I can't go to the Apple Store, everything's closed due to the pandemic. I had to order over the phone. The guy was like, “Yeah, you get this one here. You add the RAM. It's so easy.” Melanie did that.

Melanie Avalon: Gin was like, “It's going to be hard.” I was like, “No, it's so easy.”

Gin Stephens: It's so easy. Yeah, it was so easy. The RAM came, just like Melanie said, there's a little thing, the computer got here. Of course, it took a month because the pandemic everything shipping slowly. I opened a little window in the back where you just plug in the RAM, I got the RAM that Apple guy told me to get. I plugged in, the computer would not start up. It kept shutting down, an endless loop start up, not start up, start up, not start up. Then I put the old RAM back in that it came with, still wouldn't start up. I don't know if I got a dud computer. I don't know if it was dud RAM, but then my old RAM wouldn't work either. At one point, I was laying on the floor trying to get to the little window [laughs] it was just almost comical. Apple is fantastic, though. They took it all back, helped me find the one I really needed. I was like, “I don't care if it costs more, I'm getting the right one that comes with all the RAM to start with.” The girl on the phone was fantastic, the Apple support person.

She's like, “Alright. This is the amount of RAM that will be enough for you.” I'm like, “Great. Give me double that because I do not want to go through this ever again.” It's here. I'm on it. The screen is bigger. Oh my gosh, it's so fast. Melanie, I could not even open two things at one time before, and now I can have everything. The mail’s open, the calendar’s open, Chrome is open, Safari is open, Word is open, I don't know if I sound excited, it's because I am.

Melanie Avalon: No, it's so exciting. I remember when I got my new computer, and it's like, “Oh, I can do things.” Especially when the nature of our business is using our computer-- I mean lots of people are using computers, but I'm using it every day for work and it's just so freeing when you can just do things.

Gin Stephens: It really, really is. I feel if only I hadn't bought that other one a year ago, but then I felt like I was committed to it. I'm like, “I just bought this computer a year ago,” and it was not cheap. Fortunately, I sound like an Apple commercial, but I did the trade-in program, so yeah, I was able to get a good bit back from the trade in program. Someone who does not need a lot of RAM is going to be really happy. I can't believe that it was not as easy. It would have been fabulous, but no.

Melanie Avalon: Exciting. I'm glad we match now. Yours is similar to mine.

Gin Stephens: It's the 27-inch, which I also thought was going to be too big, because the little desk I use-- well, I use an old Baker's rack. It sounds crazy. I sit on a stool, it's a very narrow Baker's rack that I've used for my desk. Chad was like, “That computer is way too big. It's not going to work.” Well, it does work. It works perfectly. I have a bigger screen, so I can see my document. It's just fabulous. It's not too big at all.

Melanie Avalon: I'm excited. I've been waiting for this moment.

Gin Stephens: Well, I have too but I was being very stubborn. You know when you make a bad purchase and you're angry that you made a mistake, but you just spent a lot of money? My anger was what if I make another bad mistake and buy the wrong thing again, which actually happened, but thank goodness Apple was amazing about it.

Melanie Avalon: Or, it's like, is it the sunk cost fallacy? Where you've put in so much energy and effort into something that you don't try something new because you've already committed so much? It's not the same thing.

Gin Stephens: It is, I know exactly what you mean and that was exactly true. It was finally when Chad said to me, and Chad likes to save money. Okay, so let me put it that way. If you could pull your two-ply toilet paper into two single pliers, and then he would do that. Not really, but you get my point. He was like, “You just get a new one.” I'm like, “Oh, okay,” not that I need his permission. I do not, but when he was like, “Get a new one.” I'm like, it finally felt like, “You're right. I should just get a new one,” so I did.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, you should.

Gin Stephens: I also have another thing to share that is interesting. You know how I had talked about how I've been opening my window with my main meal, and feeling so great?

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Are you not anymore?

Gin Stephens: No. I realized it messed up my sleep.

Melanie Avalon: Oh.

Gin Stephens: This is so interesting. My sleep got worse and worse over time, and then I finally connected that to opening my window earlier. Here's what the problem was with my sleep. Actually, my sleep wasn't worse, but it shifted it, and let me explain.

Melanie Avalon: Wait, I just want to guess.

Gin Stephens: Okay, guess how it shifted my sleep.

Melanie Avalon: You changed to eating more food earlier, right?

Gin Stephens: Like at 2 o’clock, I was having my main meal at 2 o’clock instead of 6:30.

Melanie Avalon: I would think it would shift your sleep earlier, but I'm guessing since you're not liking the effect that maybe it was the opposite?

Gin Stephens: It shifted it so much earlier that it was ridiculous. I wanted to go to bed at 8 PM every single night. I was like, “It's 8 PM, I've got to go to bed now, I am so tired.” Then, I was waking up. I've gotten my clock set to not show a light till 5:30 in the morning. I was waking up, probably around 3 o’clock ready to get up, like wide awake, like I was going I wanted to go to bed so much earlier and I wanted to wake up so much earlier. I was fully rested. It's like it shifted my-- what's the word I'm looking for?

Melanie Avalon: Your circadian rhythm?

Gin Stephens: Well, yeah, it's like it changed my circadian rhythm, like shifted it earlier. I was like, “Well, this doesn't work for me at all.” Unless I wanted to get up at 3 AM every day bright and bushy tailed and go to bed at 7 PM. So, an early window does not work for me, boom, now I know it. If I had to get up at 4 AM, this would be 100% the right thing to do.

Melanie Avalon: That's probably really valuable. You're already pretty familiar with different eating windows and how they affect people, but I bet it was a valuable experience for making suggestions to people.

Gin Stephens: And it also helps me see that doesn't mean that, that this is what everybody should do. But for me, it really impacted what my body wants to do. My body prefers to eat later for the main meal and then go to sleep at some point after 9 PM and then wake up by about 5:30. That's what feels good to me. My body likes to wake up early, but by eating my main meal earlier, it shifted everything, my whole rhythm just changed and got out of whack.

Melanie Avalon: That's one of the things I really love about intermittent fasting, is if there's some reason where my sleep the night before and then my wakeup schedule on a given day is off, I can really always reset it in one night and I think most of that has to do with I just eat my dinner at the same time as I would have regardless, and that just always just sets it right back.

Gin Stephens: It's also one of those things that makes me so frustrated every time I see a one-size-fits-all recommendation, like early eating windows are better.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly.

Gin Stephens: Or, we should all have our main meal at 2. I could take what works for me and say everyone should have their main meal for dinner, but no, that's not true. Anyway, we're all different and that just keeps being proven over and over again. I have friends, their main meal is breakfast time. They eat early in the day, and then they're done for the day and they feel better.

Melanie Avalon: I wish I was like that.

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't wish it.

Melanie Avalon: I know we've talked about this. We've had this conversation.

Gin Stephens: Right. In but in fact, one of my guests that I just interviewed, it was fascinating for Intermittent Fasting Stories. She said that she doesn't get the great energy during the day while she's fasted. She has great energy after she eats. She has an early in the day window with great energy all day. So, I’m the opposite. That's why everyone has to really find what works for them. I mean, just over and over, that is just shown. Anyway, I'm just so tired of so many people thinking that here's what you have to do, and everyone should do, and this is what is right for all.

Melanie Avalon: I just finished reading Dave Asprey’s new book, Fast This Way, because I'm interviewing him on Friday, which is very surreal. Very surreal. Do you know what he said was the reason we started eating breakfast?

Gin Stephens: I can't remember I skimmed all through his book, I got a copy of it, and skimmed through the whole thing really fast. Because I'm doing a million things, I didn't have time to like sit with it. But no, I can't remember what he said.

Melanie Avalon: He said it was because of train schedules. When we started using trains, and they were train schedules. I had not heard this before.

Gin Stephens: I don't know if that's true. [laughs] Sorry, Dave Asprey.

Melanie Avalon: I made a note, I was like, “Look that up.”

Gin Stephens: I actually have heard other--

Melanie Avalon: Maybe it would have been one of the things.

Gin Stephens: Maybe, I've heard breakfast wasn't a thing until certain points in history when people then suddenly started eating breakfast. It was really only like rich women would get up and have a little breakfast, but nobody else would.

Melanie Avalon: I think he talks about some of the other things, but he said, like, the thing was the train schedules. I don't know.

Gin Stephens: Well, if I had a train schedule, I still wouldn't eat before I got on the train. I don't know how that would make me have breakfast anyway. I don't know, but I don't remember reading that because like I said, I skimmed it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm pretty excited. I am going to ask him a lot of questions about bulletproof coffee. It's going to be a fun time. Listeners will have to listen to it when it comes out. Can I do two quick plugs?

Gin Stephens: Sure. No, no, you cannot. Kidding.

Melanie Avalon: One plug is, and this goes back to the Valentine's Day, this will have been over by the time this comes out, but definitely follow me on Instagram, friends, because if you had been following me right now, I am giving away two Apollo Neuros on my Instagram, which is just crazy.

Gin Stephens: Very cool.

Melanie Avalon: Those are the Soundwave therapy devices that instantly stop stress with the touch of a button and I use mine all the time. The second plug, I plugged this a few times before already, but if you're interested at all in clean beauty and safe skincare, join my new Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare Facebook group. It's really taking off. I'm really enjoying it.

Gin Stephens: If you'd like to follow me on Instagram, you can see pictures of my cats and my flowers and my beans. [laughs] Oh, good times. I actually put cats yesterday, but did you see that one? Ellie was so cute all wrapped up in the little blanket, did you see that one?

Melanie Avalon: I just pulled it up right now.

Gin Stephens: Oh my God, she's so sweet. [laughs] Yes, my best friend might be a cat. I don't know. Is that weird?

Melanie Avalon: No. I love cats.

Gin Stephens: She follows me all around the house and whatever I'm doing.

Melanie Avalon: That's something we have in common. We're both cat people.

Gin Stephens: Yay. See, there's so many things.

Melanie Avalon: There's like two things. I'm trying to think what else. There was something else recently we realized, but for new listeners, Gin and I were pretty much opposite on almost everything.

Gin Stephens: On many things.

Melanie Avalon: From preference stuff, so like food-- maybe just food. Just food. Oh, and cold and sleeping. It's like body things.

Gin Stephens: Well, circadian rhythm things.

Melanie Avalon: Food. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: The temperature our shower is going to be. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: The clothes we wear, again, body things.

Gin Stephens: Exactly.

Melanie Avalon: Friends, I have a story for you. I recently got septoplasty to fix my deviated septum so that I could breathe better. And in the recovery period, you're not supposed to wear glasses. Oh, my goodness. I cannot tell you how much I realized how much I adore and need and love BLUblox blue light blocking glasses. I've been wearing them every single night of my life until I got that surgery. Guys, you need this in your life.

In today's world, we're way overexposed to blue light. While blue light is energizing, we're not supposed to be seeing it 24/7. It can raise cortisol, stress levels, create tension and headaches, disrupt your sleep, and so much more. Of course, there are a lot of “blue light blocking glasses” on the market these days. Andy Mant, the founder of BLUblox, he personally realized how incredible blue light blocking glasses were for him personally. So, then he did something crazy and actually tested all the brands on the market to see if they actually were blocking blue light like they said they were. They weren't really. That's why he took things into his own hands to create glasses that would block the blue light you need to be blocking to truly have the healthiest relationship possible with light. That's also why he made BLUblox light blocking glasses in a lot of different versions.

They have clear computer glasses you can wear all day while looking at the computer. They have their SummerGlo lens that blocked the draining form of blue light while still allowing in some of the energizing wavelengths. They're also tinted with a special yellow color, scientifically shown to boost mood. And of course, they have their Sleep+ lens, you can put those on a bed and it's just like, bam, tired. At least that's the way it works for me because actually blue light can block melatonin production, which helps us naturally fall asleep.

Also, get their Sleep REMedy Mask. Oh, my goodness, I use it every single night. It gives you complete blackout while still putting no pressure on your eyes, like you wear it, and you can open your eyes completely, and it's completely black. It's mind-blowing. In case you're wondering, I'm still not supposed to be wearing glasses, but I ordered this weird contraption head thing to hold the glasses over my eyes because I just really need the blue light blocking glasses in my life. These glasses also come in a huge array of styles, so you don't have to feel like a weirdo biohacker like me. You can really get any style or frame to fit your personal style. You can shop with us at blublox.com, that's B-L-U-B-L-O-X dotcom and use the code, IFPODCAST, to get 15% off. Something else amazing, for every pair of glasses you buy, BLUblox donates a pair of glasses to someone in need. The glasses can also come in prescription, made to order. Again, that's blublox.com with the coupon code, IFPODCAST, for 15% off. All right, now back to the show.

Shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have some listener feedback, and this comes from Kay and the subject is “Intermittent Fasting Saved My Teeth.” Kay says, “Hi Gin and Melanie. Not a question but thought you could share this story with your listeners to highlight one of the many hidden benefits of IF. I started IF about 18 months ago. At that time, I had a dentist appointment where I found my first cavity at age 30 with four other spots on my teeth that were on their way to becoming cavities. One of those four could have been filled at the time, but the dentist said it could wait, so I chose to wait because I was nervous about my first filling. The dentist said at my next visit, we would likely book fillings for the other four. I was so devastated. I brush, floss, and rinse twice a day and always prided myself in never having a cavity my entire life. While today I had my yearly checkup and expected to leave with plans to fill these four cavities, they are gone.

At my last appointment, the dentist said three to four could be reversed, but likely that wouldn't happen because I already brushed and flossed twice a day, they're all gone. I told him I had started intermittent fasting, and he said that without a doubt that reverse the tooth decay process. By not eating often throughout the day, food and plaque isn't building up on my teeth and contributing to the cavities. He also said that fasting can reverse gum disease because the food isn't in your mouth giving bacteria a home. I started for weight loss and, in the process, saved my mouth. Just wanted to share. Thank you for introducing me to this lifestyle.”

Gin Stephens: Love it.

Melanie Avalon: Anybody in your Facebook groups talked about this before?

Gin Stephens: Well, I think it's remarkable that the cavities are gone. I don't know if I've ever heard that. Like her body just remineralized her teeth and filled that all in? That's astonishing. You can't argue that it happened. I actually interviewed Melissa Wages for Intermittent Fasting Stories, Episode 12. She's a pediatric dentist, and so she talks about all the ways that intermittent fasting is beneficial for our dental hygiene. If anybody's looking for that, search for Intermittent Fasting Stories, go to Episode 12, listen to Melissa Wages, pediatric dentist and intermittent faster, but yeah, remarkable.

Melanie Avalon: I think it's really interesting because a lot of doctors say that the mineralization of the teeth is something you can never reverse. I feel like I see a lot of people, not necessarily in intermittent fasting communities, but people just in holistic food and holistic health communities who say quite the opposite.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I've seen that too.

Melanie Avalon: Even actually, when I interviewed James Nestor, who wrote the book, Breath, he made some change. I think it was breathing related or chewing related, it was one of those. He grew, I think, he said like a dime-sized worth of new bone in his jaw. Basically, you can grow new teeth or bone. Very motivating.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's been a while since I've been to the dentist, so I recently started going to the dentist a couple years ago again. I had to get some crowns, which were no fun. Dental health is important. Have you ever used a Waterpik?

Melanie Avalon: No. Every time I think about it, I just remember my roommate in college got one because they were becoming pretty popular.

Gin Stephens: They were really popular in the 70s and 80s. I can remember being a kid and everybody had a Waterpik and I was like, “That looks so fancy.” I never had one.

Melanie Avalon: Did you get one?

Gin Stephens: I just got one. My dentist recommended at my last visit.

Melanie Avalon: What does it do? Does it squirt water really?

Gin Stephens: Yes. Crowns are new to me. I had not ever had crowns, and so now I have a couple crowns but food was getting all trapped in there and I was like, “Oh, my God, this is disgusting.” She's just like, “Get a Waterpik. Get a Waterpik.” I'm like, “Okay.” So, I did.

Melanie Avalon: I'm glad we're having this conversation because my roommate in college got it. She got it and then she said that it wasn't working in our teeth were getting worse and I had written them off is not something to get, so hearing you say this--

Gin Stephens: Oh, my dentist it suggested it. It's like amazing. I brushed my teeth first and then I use the Waterpik and let's just say it's pretty amazing what the Waterpik gets out of there.

Melanie Avalon: Do you still floss at all?

Gin Stephens: Well, it depends on who you ask. My dentist said it does not take the place of flossing but let me just tell you that maybe at my house, it does. So, don't tell her. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I want to order one.

Gin Stephens: I really like it. Yeah, I got one on Amazon. She told me which one to get. Let me tell you get the one with a reservoir, instead of the handheld reservoir. You want one that plugs into the wall and as a big reservoir. Do not put just cold water in it. Let me tell you, it needs to be warm-ish.

Melanie Avalon: Okay.

Gin Stephens: Like a bunch of cold water on your teeth and gums does not feel great. It is too cold.

Melanie Avalon: We can put a link in the show notes for listeners, which will be at ifpodcast.com/Episode204 to the one that Gin got. I'm going to order it too.

Gin Stephens: Okay, awesome. We’ll see if you like it. I really, really do. It surprised me. She also made me get one of those electric toothbrushes to brush--

Melanie Avalon: The sonic ones.

Gin Stephens: Yes. I hated it, hated it. I don't like it. Don't like it. I cannot use it.

Melanie Avalon: They scare me so bad. They remind me of tooth sensitivity.

Gin Stephens: Well, I didn't like it. Apparently, I brush too hard and so she's like, “You’ve got to get this one. It's like so much better for your teeth.” I can't do it. I tried and then I hated it. Then I went back and they're like, “You're not using it.” I'm like, “Okay,” and then I tried again. I'm like, “No, I just can't.” I just don't like them. It makes my whole head feel weird.

Melanie Avalon: They just remind me of dental cleanings, I think.

Gin Stephens: I don't know, it made my head vibrate in a weird way. She's like, “Is something wrong with you?” I'm like, “I don't know, maybe.” [laughs] I love my dentist. She's hilarious.

Melanie Avalon: I have to share my favorite toothbrushes. I will put a link to them in the show notes. Especially if you brush really hard, they're the Perio ones. You can get them on Amazon. They're so soft. If you brush really hard, it's really good for not scraping away your teeth.

Gin Stephens: Well, I didn't know I brush too hard, but she told me I do. I think I also use the electric one too hard probably, I don't know. Also, here's a fun fact about me. If I try to write with a pencil, it snaps the point every time. I just apparently apply a lot of pressure to whatever I do.

Melanie Avalon: That's funny.

Gin Stephens: I know. I can't write with pencils, I can't brush my teeth, I need help. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Whenever somebody pulls out a pencil, I'm like, “Wow.” I feel people don't use pencils much anymore.

Gin Stephens: Well, I do use pencils sometimes. Really, I have to use the regular kind. I can't use whatever one’s, automatic pencils, what are they called-- mechanical pencils. I can't use mechanical pencils because the lead is too small. I really can't write with mechanical pencils, but I can use a regular pencil.

Melanie Avalon: See, another example. I can't write with normal pencils. I have to use mechanical pencils.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I love normal pencils. Yeah, fun fact, we can split a pack of pencils, get all the regular, you get all the mechanical. We'll be good to go. All right, yep, great dental hygiene. Just another benefit of intermittent fasting. We do hear it all the time, people come back and have their best checkups ever. Thank you so much for sharing.

Melanie Avalon: I have one more fun fact that's related. I'm reading right now, the newest-- I don't think it's a rewrite, but you know the GAPS diet?

Gin Stephens: I am familiar with it. I can't remember what it stands for.

Melanie Avalon: Her first one's stands for gut and psychology syndrome. It's about healing the gut primarily for mental health issues, but all different issues. Her newest one is GAPS, it's gut and physiology syndrome. It's talking about other issues as well. It is blowing my mind.

Gin Stephens: Just basically the connection between the gut and our mental health and our whole body, is that the point?

Melanie Avalon: Yes. The GAPS protocol is a very specific protocol that a lot of people follow to try to restore gut health. In the beginning, it's a lot of gut-healing nutrients, and you'd slowly introduce fermented foods, and it has only well-cooked veggies in the beginning and meat and all this stuff. I'm reading the newest version of her book, and it's very long. Oh my goodness, it is the most in-depth thing I have read yet about the gut microbiome.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's good to know.

Melanie Avalon: She goes through bacteria, archaea, fungi, protozoa. This blew my mind. Did you know that there's this form of bacteria called the L-form bacteria? Basically, a lot of bacteria, they can just change what they are. They can be one bacteria one day and then there another bacteria the next.

Gin Stephens: I did not know that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Or, they can do it with our body cells. They can become our own body cells. She said it's a huge problem in studying bacteria because it's like we think we've been studying bacteria in isolated forms, but really they could become other things. Then, also she says that antibiotics-- because when they become the L-form-- sorry, this is such a tangent. When they become the L-form, they lose their cell wall and then they can, I guess, change to something else. She said what antibiotics do is they tend to destroy the cell walls of bacteria. We haven't been taken into account that it doesn't necessarily destroy the bacteria, that they can in a way shape shift to something else. Really, really fascinating.

Gin Stephens: It's so interesting.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, and the reasons related was, she said that the oral microbiome in the placenta, and that the child experiences in the beginning actually most closely resembles our oral microbiome.

Gin Stephens: That's interesting.

Melanie Avalon: Women with less-than-ideal oral microbiomes, it actually has a big effect on their children. It's crazy.

Gin Stephens: It is so interesting. We're learning so much more all the time. When I was talking to Tim Spector’s people after I went through the Zoe test, I was like, “Gosh, this is so much different than the information I got back in 2017,” which doesn't feel like very long ago because really there was like three years difference between I had a test in 2017 with the American Gut Project, and then again in 2020, through the Zoe app, three years. But they're like, “Oh, yeah, three years ago, we didn't know anything, compared to what we know now.” This is really so cutting edge, like you read something that was written about the guT3 years ago, we know so much more now that's different. It changes. Because they couldn't sequence what was down there. They really just started to have a look in there.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. We barely look in the small intestine.

Gin Stephens: The more I learn though, the more I'm like, “Alright, there's so much we don't know, let's just don't even worry about it, just eat good food, do intermittent fasting, move on.”

Melanie Avalon: I don't know. I think a holistic, broad approach through diet is probably most beneficial. I have not read too far into the book, but she says basically, that the largest part of our bacteria is in our gut obviously, and that the biggest change we can make to that is through our diet and that will affect the bacteria throughout the rest of our body as well.

Gin Stephens: Right. It's all connected, everything is connected.

Melanie Avalon: We're just little worlds hosting all of these other symbiotic lifeforms that are living with us.

Gin Stephens: Your health is directly related to the health of that community.

Melanie Avalon: 100%. That's basically her thesis.

Gin Stephens: You can't be fully healthy if your gut’s not healthy.

Melanie Avalon: She even goes so far as to say if you have a really healthy, robust gut microbiome, that you won't get IBS, like you won't get these things. She thinks that it's a required factor of having a messed-up gut microbiome for a lot of diseases and illnesses that we experience.

Gin Stephens: I think so. I really, really do think so. This is the next frontier and we had it all the time, which we didn't know, it's always with us.

Melanie Avalon: Right in our own backyard.

Gin Stephens: Literally. [laughs] On that note, let's go to our first question from Marissa. The subject is “Small Portions.” She says, “Hello, ladies. I've been listening to the podcast for a while now and have been fasting for a little over a year with great results. You’re both super helpful with all the knowledge you share. Here's my question. My mom insists that when I open my window, I need to eat a small portion of food whenever I eat. Now, she's saying that if you eat smaller portions, your stomach shrinks, which to me doesn't make sense. Perhaps, she's living the diet lifestyle. Maybe you guys would know what I should explain to her to help her understand.” All right, so what do you say to Marissa and most importantly, Marissa’s mom?

Melanie Avalon: All right, Marissa, thank you so much for your question. This is definitely a prevailing myth out there that our stomach significantly shrinks, that it permanently becomes smaller or larger based on the size of food that we're eating. I did a lot of research on it and that's just not the case. When we eat a larger volume of food, yes, our stomach does expand substantially. Our normal stomach, if it has no food in it, it can contain about 200 milliliters of volume. How big is that, 200 milliliters?

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm picturing a graduated cylinder in my head that was 100 milliliters, so it's bigger than you think.

Melanie Avalon: 200 milliliters is about seven ounces?

Gin Stephens: Right.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so that's when there's no food in our stomach. When we eat more, when we eat a large volume, it expands accordingly and it can expand a lot. So, yes and no. The problem isn't really from the stretching, or the thing that might possibly be a factor in there, but I don't think it's something to be too concerned about. Stretching, so eating a large volume of food is most likely not going to be a problem, that’s what the stomach is accustomed to do. If you're eating more, it doesn't necessarily make you want to eat more to feel full. There's so many different factors going into satiety, and the stomach literally stretching is only one of them. A lot of it has to do with hormones released, based on what you're eating, there's just a lot of factors. For eating less, there has been a study in mice and they did find that when they reduce the mice’s intake by 20% for over four weeks, it did reduce a few of the important factors in the stomach wall that affect how much food the stomach can accommodate. It's possible that if you're eating smaller amounts, you'll slowly need less to feel full. I don't think it's so much the opposite, where if you're eating a lot that you're going to be eating need to eat a lot. Even for example, in professional overeaters, which you cannot pay me to be a professional overeater, but that doesn't really affect their normal stomach.

They've also found that obese patients or obese people don't really have any different stomach size than normal people. Basically, there's a lot of factors involved in satiety, you don't really have to worry about the large volume being a problem. It is possible that if you're eating really small meals all the time, that maybe you might get fuller sooner. But I don't think it's that much of a concern. Your thoughts, Gin?

Gin Stephens: This reminds me of a very funny diet that came out in the late 80s. I can't remember the name of it. I was watching TV, it was in the morning, you were watching The Today Show or something. It was like my friends from college where because we're in college at the time. I remember sitting in, we were in my dorm room, and the guy was like, “On this diet, you just eat according to the size of your fist. You can eat whatever you want, as long as it's the size of your fist, because you don't want to stretch out your stomach.” We're like, “That's so dumb.” What if I ate a piece of butter the size of my fist? What if I ate-- [laughs] we were only in college, but we already thought that sounded dumb. That was the whole diet plan. Size of your fist, that's how much you get to eat. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I'll put a link in the show notes. I found a really good article in Smithsonian that talks all about it. They even said-- because they're the ones where they talk about that mice study, but they even said even with those findings, I'll even quote it, they say, “It is also highly unlikely that short-term fasting is enough to produce long-term changes in the stomach. Based on our data from animals, we don't have any evidence that a day is enough to do this.” So, yeah.

Gin Stephens: Even then, I could see that eating the amount of food, the size of my fist was not going to be a good long-term dietary strategy. That one never really did take off, but someone sure was trying to sell that on The Today Show. I think they had a diet book, but it was not one that people remember.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I don't remember that one.

Gin Stephens: Probably, they just went on The Today Show, and everybody's like, “No, that's dumb,” and then no one did it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Oh, one other thought. It also talks in this article about patients who have anorexia, if they haven't been eating at all, that might be the type of long term, not getting enough, where they might not be able to actually accommodate more food. But that actually reminds me of something else from the GAPS book, she talked about how people are actually starving, the gut bacteria can accommodate to where they extract more calories from food, which is really interesting. Specifically, the archaea, they're not bacteria. In anorexic patients, they usually have high levels of archaea, and it might be like a protective mechanism because it's extracting more calories from food. Very interesting.

Gin Stephens: That is interesting. Of course, knowing what we know about the relationship between the gut and our psychological health, I have a chicken or the egg question about that. Is it the anorexia causing the gut to be different or the gut difference is causing the anorexia?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I've thought about that as well. It's really interesting. All right, shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: All right. This is some lingering leftovers from when we asked for Ask Me Anything for Episode 200, and I just think these are fun and they keep rolling in. This is from Nita, and the subject was, “Hopefully not too late, but maybe for the 200th Episode of IF Podcast.” Sort of too late, but not really because we're answering it. Nita says, “Hi, Melanie and Gin. I'm probably too late to add a question for your episode. You may have already recorded it, but I thought I do a ‘Would you rather’ game for you both.” Okay, so here's her game. “Would you rather give up IF forever or be forced to eat all the foods you dislike during the eating window?”

Gin Stephens: Well, I am not going to eat any foods I dislike ever. Ever. I'm not going to do it. I only eat foods I like. But again, I also can't give up IF forever because I'm sleeping, so even if I'm only fasting from over night--

Melanie Avalon: Gin, you're not allowed to do-- this is the would you rather game.

Gin Stephens: I'm sorry. I'm one of those loophole people. If the genie said you have one wish, I would wish for all the wishes. I'm sorry I'm looking for that loophole, but I don't know how to answer it. I have a hard time answering it, because--

Melanie Avalon: I feel you would do fasting, give up IF forever, because you would get your fasting during sleeping.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I just have decided I'm never going to eat foods I don't like, ever.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so that answers that question.

Gin Stephens: I guess. I really also am not giving up I have forever. I'm the worst. I'm sorry.

Melanie Avalon: Gin is the worst to play would you rather with.

Gin Stephens: I don't like this game. I'm like, “No, I'm not doing either of those.” I reject the having to pick one.

Melanie Avalon: I would rather give up IF forever.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I knew you would say that.

Melanie Avalon: It's similar to what you just said, I'm just not going to be in a place where I put in foods I don't want to put into my body.

Gin Stephens: Well, I guess, I would accidentally be fasting because I would not eat them. No matter what I'm fasting.

Melanie Avalon: Second question.

Gin Stephens: This one's easy. Thank goodness, I can answer this one. Go ahead.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, good. I was like, I don't know. Okay. Would you rather give up doing a podcast or give up writing books?

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm writing a new book right now, and as I've mentioned in earlier episodes, I'm like, “Why? Why am I writing this book?” I would give that up. Sorry, if anyone's listening, it's going to be a really good book. I go through periods of struggle with it, but it's going to be a really good book, but the writing process is very, very hard. It is more mentally draining than anything I've ever done in my life. Would you agree with that, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: I would agree with that statement.

Gin Stephens: Whereas doing podcasts is fun.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.

Gin Stephens: It's so fun. I would do 27 podcasts. [laughs] I love writing books, so don't get me wrong. I'm a writer. I'm really, really proud of the one I'm working on now. I think it's going to be good. I think it's going to be helpful. I just wrote about you in it, Melanie. I said Melanie was right about something.

Melanie Avalon: Really?

Gin Stephens: Yeah. You'll have to wait to see what that is. I'll tell you off the air, and I didn't want you to be right.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I'm excited.

Gin Stephens: I put my finger in my ears, la, la, la, but you were right about something. The more you look at the evidence, the more you're like, “Okay, she's right.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I do want to thank you, Gin, for putting up with all of my-- I'm always like, “Gin, this--” I don't know, I'm always saying my thoughts about things.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's what we do. But it's so much fun doing a podcast. Doing a podcast, it is work, don't get me wrong. It's so much fun work. Writing a book is so much fun, like childbirth. [laughs] You're so happy that you have your children, but you're like, “Oh Lordy, this childbirth was really not that fun.”

Melanie Avalon: Probably finding out you have the book deal is like finding out you're pregnant.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, exactly. Then you're like going through the glow and then you have morning sickness, and then you're vomiting, then the baby has to actually come out. Your epidural doesn't take and then you're feeling every pain, and anyway. Then, you push for five hours. That's more than anyone needed to know. On the other end of it, you have this beautiful baby. And not everyone's going to like your baby, that's also true. The first time the school calls and they're mad about your baby.

Melanie Avalon: People still ask me if I'm married or have children. I feel it's blatantly obvious how much I'm not married or have children. I just want to clarify that at this moment.

Gin Stephens: I am loving having adult children. It's so wonderful having adult children.

Melanie Avalon: I think I could skip to that point.

Gin Stephens: They're like really good friends that you created. It's true. Anybody with teenagers or struggling along the way, it does get better.

Melanie Avalon: Do you know Tom Bilyeu?

Gin Stephens: I know the name. What does he do?

Melanie Avalon: He has Impact Theory podcast. He was the founder of-- I don't think he was the founder of Quest Nutrition, he might have been.

Gin Stephens: I've heard his name. I don't know much about him.

Melanie Avalon: He has a really cool show that's really similar in format to my show, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. I think it's called Impact Theory. I feel he is me, but a man. He went to USC film school, then he wanted to do all of this health stuff and he wanted to produce a lot of health content in order to ultimately fund creative projects, which is basically my-- I don't know, we're very similar. In any case, he's married. He was on Mikhaila Peterson's podcast, who is well known in the carnivore movement, but she asked him about having or not having kids, because she has a kid and he said that I guess he and his wife decide not to have kids right now, but he knows. I guess they would regret having kids right now because of all they're doing with their business and their career and all that, but he said he knows hands down on his deathbed, he will regret not having kids, and so that's just a choice that he makes, like regretting it now-- or not that it's regretting it but choosing the downsides to not having kids now or later. That got really deep really quick, but it's something that resonates.

Gin Stephens: One of my sisters-- I only have one sister. One of my son’s siblings, my sister, [laughs] I have two brothers and a sister. My sister, she decided not to have kids and her husband, they decided together before they even got married, that they would just not have kids. She wanted to have the aunt relationship with kids, but not be responsible for kids. She's not regretted her decision for a minute.

Melanie Avalon: I think everybody just has to find what works for them.

Gin Stephens: Absolutely. All that from me saying that writing a book was childbirth. I was like, “How do we get to that discussion?”

Melanie Avalon: That's how this show goes down.

Gin Stephens: There you go. Yeah, writing books is hard. podcasts are fun, and also hard.

Melanie Avalon: All of it, though, is very gratifying.

Gin Stephens: It really is. It's fun putting stuff out into the world.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I just love creating content.

Gin Stephens: I do too. I really do.

Melanie Avalon: Especially when it's content that has such a effect on people, like as far as the information that we share.

Melanie Avalon: Right. Is helping people to live their best lives and solve the problems that they're struggling with, and that's the name of the game.

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Gin Stephens: All right. We have a question from Paige, and the subject is, “Any suggestions for lab work?” She says, “I will be seeing my doctor on February 10th,” unfortunately, we have now passed this, Paige, but hopefully it'll help someone else. She says, “What are the suggested labs for someone 49 and female that has struggled to lose weight her entire life? I have done intermittent fasting but never done it clean. I usually drink things loaded with artificial sweeteners or heavy whipping cream in my coffee. This week, I decided I have to be going wrong somewhere. So, I'm going clean during the fasting hours and eliminating all artificial sweeteners. I'm a regular group fitness exerciser for 30 years and have always had exercise discipline. I'm 5’5 and weigh around 170, I do not have documented thyroid issues. I'm an RN. I plan on asking for a fasted insulin level, but please let me know if you have other suggestions. Thank you so much.” Can I just jump in and say something real quick, Melanie? I don't think you need to do any specific “Why am I not losing weight lab work?” Because you haven't been fast and clean.

Melanie Avalon: I knew you're going to say that.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. You've been spiking that insulin all along with an eating heavy whipping cream is food for the body. You have not done intermittent fasting the way we recommend get. Instead of asking what's wrong with my body, we know it's the cream, it's the sweeteners You need to treat day one as the day you went to the clean fast. If a year from now, you haven't lost any weight-- obviously, maybe don't wait a year, but that's when it's going to be time to start digging in. Not now.

Melanie Avalon: For those who have a fast and clean and they want to do lab tests--

Gin Stephens: That's a totally different question. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: What lab tests do you think are most telling for why somebody might not be losing weight?

Gin Stephens: Well, she said the fasted insulin level, which I think is key. I think that every doctor should do a fasted insulin level even before an A1x, and I've talked about this before, we've discussed it on this show. If your insulin level is really, really high, your fasted insulin level, it's hard for you to lose weight. We've had people in the group that have struggled and they got a fasted insulin level and they're like, “Well, no wonder I've been struggling. My fasting insulin level is 20.” So, you’ve got to work on getting that down.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I would probably say there's a few different categories of things that could be indicators insulin, like Gin said would be great. She said she doesn't have documented thyroid issues, but that would be probably the second thing I would look at. You want to make sure that it's the full thyroid panel. If Paige has only tested-- because conventional doctors typically only test T4 and TSH. TSH isn't even a thyroid hormone, it's a pituitary hormone that signals to the thyroid. It just indicates what the pituitary is telling your thyroid to do, it doesn't tell you anything about what the thyroid-- I mean it's correlated to that, but it does not necessarily indicate what the thyroid is actually doing. T4 is the storage form of thyroid hormone. Again, it's a storage form, so it doesn't indicate the active levels in your body. I think it's crazy that the two things we test to evaluate the thyroid, none of it is the actual active thyroid hormone. Isn't that a little bit strange?

Gin Stephens: We test the things that are easy to test, right?

Melanie Avalon: I don't know if it's any easier to test those. The other ones if you're getting a full panel would be T3, so that's the actual active thyroid hormone, and then reverse T3. We've had Elle Russ on.

Gin Stephens: We have.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, we've had Elle Russ on the show. I've had Elle Russ on my other show. I'll put links to it in the show notes. She was on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. She has a really, really great book about hypothyroidism. I often share stuff about the thyroid with listeners, and I can't tell you how many times people tell me they go to their doctor and ask for a full panel, and the doctor will say that it just doesn't matter. Specifically, reverse T3, they say that it doesn't matter at all. But friends, reverse T3 is a thyroid hormone that can be made from T4. So, the storage form of thyroid hormone T4 can become either T3 or reverse T3. If it becomes reverse T3, it blocks the cells from taking in T3. You could have normal thyroid hormone levels like normal T3, but if your reverse T3 is high, it could be blocking all of that. So many people find the reverse T3 is high. That happens really because stress is the main factor. The body is perceiving a stress and so it is trying to slow down the metabolism because T3, the active form of the thyroid hormone is basically our metabolic piece of information hormone. It's what's telling cells to burn energy, to do everything they need to do. So, reverse T3 is a way to slow all of that down. You can also get tested for your TPO antibodies, and those will indicate if you have Hashimoto’s, which is the autoimmune form of hypothyroidism, which is the most common form. Some people even think that almost all thyroid issues are technically Hashimoto’s even if you test negative for the antibodies. That was a really long way of saying a full thyroid panel can be very, very helpful.

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The third thing I would say would be a full hormonal panel, and that's actually not usually a blood draw. It's something like a urine test. The DUTCH test is a really good hormonal panel you can do and that will show you all of your hormones, all of your cortisol, like your female hormones, so progesterone, estrogen. It'll give you a really good picture of you and what your hormones are doing. It's really hard to interpret. Admittedly, female hormones are not my expertise, I really don't know much about them, but that's something where you really want to work with a really functional practitioner who can interpret it for you.

A fourth thing you can maybe check would be CRP and any other inflammatory blood markers because those will show if your inflammation is really high in your body. If your inflammation is really high, that could be causing a lot of things and so you'd really want to find the cause of that. That could often be stress. It can really often be a food that's not working for you. It might indicate checking out your diet.

Then, I'll just real quick plug. Last thing, we also work with a company called InsideTracker, and if you want to order lab tests that they have ascertained through rigorous research, what blood tests actually correlate the most to health, longevity, and it's not really the tests that you're getting from your doctor. I mean it's some of them, but then it's some others that you're probably not getting. It's also different ranges than conventional doctors typically use. So, it can give you a really, really valuable picture of your “inner age,” which is what your age actually is based on your blood markers. I think we also have a 30% off code for them at insidetracker.com/ifpodcast, I'll put all of it in the show notes.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. That's a really good, thorough answer to the question. When people say, “Oh, my thyroid’s fine,” the moral of the story is, “Well, is it?”

Melanie Avalon: 100%. All right, so we have time for one more question. This is from Ron, this question was for Gin. The subject is “Women only.” Ron says, “Great book.” He's referring to Fast. Feast. Repeat. He says, “I truly enjoyed it. I did notice all of your testimonials were for women. Is there any difference in the IF [unintelligible [00:56:13] between men and women?”

Gin Stephens: Well, they're really not all from women. If you dig in, they're not even-- I'm not sure if he was talking about Fast. Feast. Repeat. or Delay, Don’t Deny.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay.

Gin Stephens: He didn't say, but neither of them are 100% from women. There are men in the back of Delay, Don't Deny. Not very many, but there are. There are men in Fast. Feast. Repeat. as well, not as many. I think the reflection of why it is a majority women reflects the composition of the Facebook groups. We just so happen that 90 something percent of the members of the Facebook groups are women. It's the skewed community, not that there's something different you need to be doing men versus women. No, not a single thing you need to do differently because you're a man.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, my only caveat to that-- it's not really any different what you would do, but I do think women are more likely to experience potentially issues, not from the fasting per se, but because with fasting, they have begun over-restricting with everything. Female’s bodies are so much more sensitive to stress, as far as how it affects our reproduction and our menstrual cycles, and so it can affect our hormones if we get in that stressed-out state. So, it's no different at the beginning what you're doing, but I think women probably need to pay more attention that they're not over-restricting in their dietary choices, as well as the fasting to the point that it becomes too much of a stressor.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I have a frequently asked question about that in Fast. Feast. Repeat. that over-restriction is not good for anybody, man or woman. But that is a trap that women tend to fall into because of the diet culture that's ingrained in us. Women-- just like that, what was her name, whose mom was telling her to eat tiny amounts of food? That's diet culture, and the whole idea of eat dainty amounts like a woman, well, you don't want to do intermittent fasting, and also eat dainty amounts of food like a woman because you're going to be overly restricting for your body. We don't recommend that for men or women. But women, I think, tend to be more likely to do it just because we're told not to eat a big meal in front of a date because it might-- I'm like, “Oh, forget it. I'm not doing that.” I can remember when Chad and I were dating, he's like, “Boy, you can eat a lot.” I'm like, “Thank you.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I actually look forward to, if I am ever on a date, getting, like a really big steak or something just to be like, “See?”

Gin Stephens: I don't want to live a lie. I don't want to eat dainty in front of someone when I'm dating them. Then, when I really eat, I have to undo my pants buckle. No, I believed in being myself at all times.

Melanie Avalon: Me, too. That's another way we're the same.

Gin Stephens: Yay. We will be celebrating our 30th anniversary here in 2021. I still eat with gusto, as I did during the early days of dating.

Melanie Avalon: Is it this month?

Gin Stephens: No, it's not till July.

Melanie Avalon: Okay.

Gin Stephens: But it's coming, 30 years. I can't believe it, that's a long time.

Melanie Avalon: Three decades.

Gin Stephens: I know. It's like we grew up together. It feels like we were-- 30 years is more than half my life.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. Crazy. I was thinking like, how old would I have to be where I probably wouldn't reach the half my life thing if I got married.

Gin Stephens: Well, you're an intermittent faster, so you still have a lot of time.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: A biohacker and an intermittent faster, we're going to live a long time.

Melanie Avalon: If I do end up with somebody, I'm sure they're probably going to be a biohacker of sorts.

Gin Stephens: I can't imagine it any other way for you. No. [laughs] Cannot. “Honey, why is it red in here all the time?”

Melanie Avalon: I know. [laughs] There's so many things that you’d just have to be okay with.

Gin Stephens: Why are we sleeping in a Faraday cage? [laughs] What is this goat mattress? [laughs] Longtime listeners will get it.

Melanie Avalon: So many things.

Gin Stephens: Love it.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful, so a few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions to the podcast, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can get all of the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode204. Like I said, you can follow us on Instagram, MelanieAvalon, GinStephens, and you can join our Facebook groups. Oh, yeah. Gin, do you want to plug your new Facebook group?

Gin Stephens: Our new podcast that I have with the cohost, Sheri Bullock, the Life Lessons podcast, and our community is called Life Lessons with Gin and Sheri. Oh, funny story, someone said the other day, they're like, “I love this group so much. It's my own private Google. This takes the place of Google.” Because anytime anyone has a question, they're getting real answers. You know how when you're trying to get like a product recommendation, and you're reading all the reviews, and some of them sound crazy and fake? Well, here we are just giving you real feedback. It's a lot more than obviously product reviews. We talk about everything. Seinfeld was the show about nothing. Well, Life Lessons community is the place for everything. People have talked about their divorces and their issues they're going through with their spouse and their family and “Which mandolin should I cut my vegetables?” Then someone's like, “Well, make sure you get the gloves.” I mean, we're really talking about everything.

Melanie Avalon: I love it. My group IF Biohackers is basically-- it's like Google for everything biohacking, and also mindset and diet, fitness, all of that.

Gin Stephens: For example, right before the holidays, someone's like, “My dad's in a memory care facility. Can anyone send him a Christmas card?” He got thousands of Christmas cards. It was like featured on their local news. It was amazing. If you like feel-good stories and positive things, join Life Lessons with Gin and Sheri, and listen to our podcast, we have our podcast.

Melanie Avalon: Podcasts that we would choose over books.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, I know. I'm crazy with the podcast, three is a lot.

Melanie Avalon: Three is a lot.

Gin Stephens: It really is a lot.

Melanie Avalon: I've started actively, actively pitching my other show as a TV show, which would be really exciting.

Gin Stephens: That would be so exciting. That'd be so fun. That's your dream.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. It's going to happen. Manifest.

Gin Stephens: It's going to, we're putting it out there. I believe it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. If anybody who listens to this show, is in the TV creation/producing industry and has some advice they would like to share with me, I'd be happy to hear it.

Gin Stephens: Love it.

Melanie Avalon: If you do have any, email me at melanie@ifpodcast.com. All right. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: Nope. That's all.

Melanie Avalon: 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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