Episode 214: Gallbladder Resources, Body Odor, Your Body’s Microbiome, Cardio, Bingeing, Intuitive Eating, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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May 23

Welcome to Episode 214 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! Get The BBQ Bundle! For A Limited Time New Members Can Get 2 New York Strip Steaks, 5 Lbs Of Chicken Drumsticks, And 6 Burgers All For FREE At butcherbox.com/ifpodcast!

INSIDETRACKER: Get The Blood And DNA Tests You Need To Be Testing, Personalized Dietary Recommendations, An Online Portal To Analyze Your Bloodwork, Find Out Your True "Inner Age," And More! Listen To My Interview With The Founder Gil Blander At Melanieavalon.Com/Insidetracker! Go To insidetracker.com/melanie And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

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


BUTCHERBOX: get the bBQ bundle! for a limited time new members can get 2 New York Strip Steaks, 5 Lbs Of Chicken Drumsticks, And 6 Burgers All For FREE At butcherbox.com/ifpodcast!

The Science, Nutrition, And Health Implications Of Conventional Vs. Sustainable, Grass-fed, Pastured, And Wild Meat And Seafood, Featuring My Honest Butcher Box Review!

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #57 - Robb Wolf

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!

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!

Listener Feedback: Nelly - Life Saving!

DRY FARM WINES: Natural, Organic, Low Alcohol, Low Sugar Wines, Paleo And Keto Friendly! Go To dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast To Get A Bottle For A Penny!

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

Listener Feedback: Amanda - Gallstones information

Save Your Gallbladder Naturally and What to Do If You Have Already Lost It (Sandra Cabot)

Listener Q&A: Mandy - Body Odor

NATIVE: Use The Link nativedeodorant.com With The Code IFPodcast20 For 20% Off Your First Purchase!

Listener Q&A: Carre - How to stop Binging

Never Binge Again: How Thousands of People Have Stopped Overeating and Binge Eating - and Stuck to the Diet of Their Choice! (Glenn Livingston Ph.D)

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #45: Glenn Livingston, Ph. D.

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #68 - Glenn Livingston, Ph.D.

Listener Q&A: Joshi - Clean Fast Question

Atmiko Tongue Scraper, Ayurvedic Tongue Cleaner (Pack of 2)


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 214 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. 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., 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.

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get two the grass-fed New York strip steaks, five pounds of free-range organic chicken drumsticks, and six grass-fed burgers all for free. Yes, for free. We are so honored to be sponsored by ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get high quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, that's really hard to find, by the way, and wild caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door. 

When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone, that includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency, regarding raising practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox, you can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. 

All of their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished, that's really hard to find. They work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves, but the planet, this is so important to me. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. If you recently saw a documentary on Netflix called Seaspiracy, you might be a little bit nervous about eating seafood. Now, I understand why ButcherBox makes it so, so clear and important about how they work with the seafood industry. Everything is checked for transparency for quality and for sustainable raising practices. You want their seafood. The value is incredible. The average cost is actually less than $6 per meal. it's so easy, everything ships directly to your door. 

I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing. I remember the first time I had one and I just thought this is honestly one of the best steaks I've ever had in my entire life. On top of that, did you know that the fatty acid profile of grass-fed, grass-finished steaks is much healthier for you than conventional steaks? Their bacon, for example, is from pastured pork and sugar and nitrate free. How hard is that to find?

For a limited time ButcherBox has an amazing offer just for our audience. New members can actually get a free BBQ bundle in their first box, that includes two grass-fed New York strip steaks, five pounds of free-range organic chicken drumsticks, and six grass-fed burgers, all for free in your first box. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to get your free barbecue bundle. I'll put all this information in the show notes.

One more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disrupters, which mess with our hormones, obesogens which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. So, when you're putting on your conventional skincare makeup, you're likely putting toxic compounds directly into your body. These compounds can make you feel bad, can make it really hard to lose weight, can affect your hormones, your mood, your health. ladies, if you're thinking of having kids, when you have a child, these compounds actually go directly through the placenta into the newborn. That means your skincare and makeup that you're putting on today actually affects the health of future generations. 

Did you know that conventional lipstick for example often tests high for lead, and the half-life of lead can be up to 30 years and your bones? That means when you put on your lipstick, 30 years later, half of that lead might still be in your body. Thankfully, there's an easy, easy solution to this. There's a company called Beautycounter, and they were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient in their products is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, you can actually feel good about what you put on. on top of that, their products actually work. That's because they're not “all natural.” They actually combined the best of both worlds, both synthetic and natural ingredients, to create products that actually support the health of your skin and make your skin look amazing. They have skincare lines for all your skin types, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, antiaging and brightening peels and vitamin C serums, and incredible makeup. If you see my makeup on Instagram, that's all Beautycounter. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. 

And if you're thinking of making safe skincare a part of your future, like we have, we definitely suggest becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership, totally completely worth it. Also, definitely join my clean beauty email list at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty, I give away a lot of free things on that list and join me on my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. I do a weekly giveaway every single week for Beautycounter. People share their experience and product reviews, and so much more. Again, the link to shop with us is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. All right now enjoy the show. 

Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is episode number 214 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens. 

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: And this will not be applicable when this airs, Gin, but Happy Mother's Day.

Gin Stephens: Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: Are you doing anything for it?

Gin Stephens: Well, no, not specifically. One son's in California. Will was actually in Savannah yesterday, but they all remembered me and sent me things and made sure I had little something. [laughs] It's really nice now that they're grown up because they're boys. Boys are not like girls, I think, when it comes to celebrating your mother, but [laughs] anyway.

Melanie Avalon: My brother-- my mom's in Florida right now, and he randomly just flew down to surprise her. It's such a nice thing.

Gin Stephens: That's really nice. I woke up with a potted plant on the doorstep with no card or anything, and I was like, “Where did this come from?” Because Will’s in Savannah. He's had a friend deliver it overnight, [laughs] which is really funny. 

Melanie Avalon: He had a friend--? 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, deliver it. A friend delivered it. Yeah, I thought that was fun. He was thinking of me. Anyway, can I just celebrate with you that my life is back to normal?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I was going to say congratulations. 

Gin Stephens: It's actually better than normal. I mean, I feel like I've got a whole like freedom. I submitted my book two days ago. I had my delayed due date. It's my own fault that I couldn't get it done because I did all these new projects in between. I mean started the Delay Don't Deny Social Network, left Facebook, which did free up some time not being on Facebook, but starting a new business takes a lot of time. I haven't really talked about it. Actually, no, I haven't. Everyone knew I was at the beach. I spent like, over half of April at the beach. I figured it out.

Melanie Avalon: Where are you at in your book process? 

Gin Stephens: Well, the book is turned in? 

Melanie Avalon: Is it completely 100%? Like you are completely done? Like will it be anything else?

Gin Stephens: No, I'm done, this is the way the process worked with my editor anyway, because I know probably every editor is different, but it was originally due March 31st. Then I made all these bad decisions like starting the social network and buying a new beach cottage that needed my attention. I begged for a little more time. So, I got until May 7. I left the beach and then I had one week to finish it. I was really almost done because I'd been working like night and day whenever I had a moment like I've been working nonstop on something, since January 1st, really, I've been working really hard. I am completely done with the first part. I've revised it, I've reread the whole thing. It all flows, it makes sense. I've edited for-- I'm sure they'll still be typos, there always are, they'll find them, But now, it's time for the editorial review, so it should be like we need to fix this part or this part sounds weird, that's the part we’re at. Where she's going to then send me notes of things that she wants me to tweak. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, yeah, that's what I was wondering about, like the tweaking if there was going to be more of that. 

Gin Stephens: Well, there's always tweaking because this is just the first raw draft to her, but I feel really good about it. Yeah, I spent the entire day on Friday, just combing through it and reading it nonstop, and the wording, still though, as a writer. If you read What When Wine right this minute, you would say, “Ooh, I should reword that.” Because you never are done. You're never done. You're like, “Oh, I wish I'd have said that little bit differently.” Sometimes, it takes another person to read it to be like, “I don't even know what this means.” Like, “Well, I know what it meant,” but-- [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny.

Gin Stephens: It is. Anyway, I feel just like I went to Lowe's with Chad this morning. [laughs] I had time to do that. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, you have your life back. 

Gin Stephens: I'm like, “Look, this is the world. I'm in it.” Yeah. It really feels like I have my life back. Since I'm not on Facebook, that took a whole lot of time. The Delay Don’t Deny Social Network is amazing. I'm not spending hours and hours and hours on it every day. 

Melanie Avalon: Right. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Life is good. Anything new with you?

Melanie Avalon: Just plugging away. I'm really upset I can't find-- for listeners, before we started recording, I spent like 20 minutes trying to find a study I wanted to talk about, I'm really shocked that it can't find it. I wanted to talk about it so bad. Basically, I randomly saw a study. I don't know what made me search for it in the first place. It was comparing obese patients-- I don't know if they're overweight or obese, this is why it would help if I could find it. Regardless, they're definitely overweight, they were on either low carb or low-fat calorie restricted diets. It compared their weight loss. It was shocking. They looked at their like baseline level of insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance. The patients that were insulin sensitive lost about twice the amount of weight on a low-fat diet, high-carb diet. The people who were insulin resistant lost like twice the amount of weight on a low-carb, high-fat diet.

Gin Stephens: That's amazing. Again, everybody, it's not we're all right and you're all wrong for the diet people. It's we're all different, and it has to do with so many different factors. It's funny when you read something written from someone who's a low-carb proponent, trashing the low-fat era, or the low-fat people trashing the low-carb, high-fat movement. I know for me personally, Gin Stephens, I lost weight, eating low fat, and got really, really thin, and I never once lost weight on low carb. That is 100%, anecdotal, that's me, that's my experience. I'm not making it up. That is the truth.

Melanie Avalon: You know what that would suggest just based on that study would be that you're probably insulin sensitive, because the patients that who are insulin sensitive lost more on the high-carb, low-fat diet? 

Gin Stephens: Well, I absolutely did. I was the skinniest in my adult life when I was doing that, honestly. I mean, I was like, early 20s but low carb never did a thing for me. I tried really hard to make low carb work for me, because the science is so compelling and the way it's explained. I believe that probably for a lot of bodies, that's exactly what happens, but my body, no, that didn't lead to fat loss for me, magically, anyway. I wasn't fasting with either of them. Just to make it clear. When I did low fat, I was not fasting. When I did low carb, I was not fasting. Those were pre-fasting.

Melanie Avalon: Yep. I wish people could just understand this. I post an Instagram video yesterday. It's all the random little dietary myths that people think. People think more ketones is always better or ketones mean you're definitely burning body fat or fat doesn't easily-

Gin Stephens: Get stored as fat.

Melanie Avalon: -become fat. [laughs] Well, if I find that study, I will put it in the show notes. Yeah, that's really, really fascinating.

Gin Stephens: Well, I can't wait to read that one. I want to read it when you find it. 

Melanie Avalon: I don't know why I can't find it. Oh, one other exciting thing. Yesterday was the Bulletproof Conference, the Biohacking Virtual Conference.

Gin Stephens: Oh, how did that go?

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, I did Dave Asprey’s Virtual Biohacking Conference that he has every year. He had it this year, and InsideTracker was one of the speakers and they invited me to be a speaker with them. I told Gin this already, but I got really excited because I didn't think that they were going to actually put me on the website. I thought I was going to just be in the video, but they actually listed me as a speaker for the conference and put my bio and put me in the lineup. It was very, very surreal. I don't like watching myself. I hadn't seen the video, but I sort of briefly watched it, like squinted my eyes and made sure it looked okay. Yeah, I think it went really well.

Gin Stephens: See, that is so weird since you're an actress. I can't believe an actress who doesn't like to watch herself.

Melanie Avalon: I feel like it's a common thing, though. Maybe? I don't know. 

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm a podcaster who don’t like to listen to yourself. 

Melanie Avalon: See, yeah. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: But when I do, I'm always like, “Hey, I don't sound that dumb.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I don't know how common it is.

Gin Stephens: Not that I would think I'd come across sounding dumb. I mean, like sounding weird. You know what I mean. Like when you hear your own voice you think you sound weird.

Melanie Avalon: I was thinking about that because growing up I used to not like my voice at all, but I don't mind it now. I think probably because I've done so much listening to it all the time. Exposure effect. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I bet so. 

Melanie Avalon: All right, well. Shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Let's get started.

Melanie Avalon: All right, so to start things off, we have some listener feedback. The first thing comes from Nellie, the subject is “Life saving.” Nellie says, “Hello, ladies. I don't have a question I wanted to take the time to say thank you. I found your podcast in January of 2019, and I've been hooked on listening to you both every week and I've read all your books, I have lost 60 pounds and I'm still losing even through this pandemic and starting menopause. I really cannot thank you both enough for what you have done to change my life. I have struggled with my weight all my life and I now have such a better relationship with food. I will never go back to my old way of unhealthy eating and counting every single calorie that enters my mouth. What a freeing and liberating feeling that is. 

So many people were so discouraging at the beginning. Still, I kept on because honestly, I was feeling so good, and the best feeling is when they see me now looking amazing in my skinny jeans with a healthy glow to my face looking younger than I should. I played it forward and passed on your books and podcast to my sister and sister-in-law, and they are both also doing AMAZING.” That was an all caps. She says, “Also because of you, Gin, I no longer suffer from horrible night sweats as I now can contribute them to, yep, sadly, the wine,” frowny face.

Gin Stephens: I know I'm frowning too.

Melanie Avalon: [laughs] She says I don't believe I would have made that connection if I hadn't been following your podcast. It has opened my eyes to a better way of life, and I am truly eternally grateful to both of you. Wishing you both continued success. Nellie, from Canada.”

Gin Stephens: Well, awesome. Yeah. last night, I drank a glass of wine. Not a huge glass, but we've been kind of celebrating here all week. Well since Friday when I turned my book in. We were playing cards and Chad's said, “Let me open a bottle of wine.” So, I had a small glass of red wine, night sweats tossed and turned. I told him, “If you ever see me drinking red wine again, slap it out of my hand.”

Melanie Avalon: I normally drink Dry Farm Wines every night. I'm really good with it, I sleep well. My Oura ring says I sleep well. If I don't have Dry Farm Wines, like last night I went out, it was still organic, biodynamic wine at the restaurant, but I had that. 

Gin Stephens: Well, mine wine is Dry Farm. We had Dry Farm because I bought Dry Farm red for Chad. We have like a stash of it for him because he drinks a glass of wine with dinner frequently, like very frequently. Sometimes, I'm like, “I want to drink a glass of wine too.” But it really affects my sleep to the point that-- I mean even the Dry Farm Wine, I think it's the menopause. Nellie said that that's what she's noticing as well. I remember when I brought it up, when I was first trying to make the connection, how many women-- it was in one of the Facebook groups said, “Yep, that happened to me with menopause.” Our bodies change in so many ways. Hormones are powerful and I didn't use to. When I wrote Delay, Don’t Deny, I literally was having a glass of prosecco every night with dinner, and it was not Dry Farm wines. It was a Costco brand, their prosecco, their house brand, and I was fine. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, there's definitely a lot of factors. 

Gin Stephens: As you get older, your life is going to be different. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so I had a lot of wine last night. 

Gin Stephens: You had a lot of wine?

Melanie Avalon: Yes. It's so funny and fascinating to me how much my Oura ring knows. It's like it doesn't let you get away with anything, like it knows.

Gin Stephens: Uh-huh. So, you slept badly after not having Dry Farm Wine? 

Melanie Avalon: I wake up and your Oura ring every morning gives you your readiness score and your sleep score. So, your sleep score is how well you slept, and then your readiness score, it takes into account how well you slept as well as your heart rate variability and your body temperature and all these things. It tells you how ready you are for the day and if you should rest or if you should relax. It's funny, I wake up and I'm like, I wonder if it's going to know.” And it knows.

Gin Stephens: Sheri Bullock, co-host Life Lessons with me. She has an Oura ring and she loves hers. Same thing she's noticed a huge difference. In certain things that she drinks affects her more. Like beer, she has a beer, doesn't affect our sleep as much, which is interesting.

Melanie Avalon: Does not affect her. That's interesting.

Gin Stephens: Not as much, no.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because I normally have probably half a glass or glass of Dry Farm Wines every night. I do really well with my sleep and readiness scores, but if I have too much, then--

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I had a very small serving. It was not a full glass. It was a small glass, and it was probably the equivalent of half a glass to three fourths of one glass.

Melanie Avalon: Regardless, if friends would like Dry Farm Wines--

Gin Stephens: I highly recommend it. Chad drinks it, I buy it for him, and I also had their sparkling and they're white and every now and then, I'll have some of that. That doesn't affect me as badly. Something about that read.

Melanie Avalon: It makes such a difference for me. Our link for it is dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast, and that gets you bottle for a penny, and this will be over, but right now they have a special rosé collection for Mother's Day. Do you like rosés?

Gin Stephens: I do not.

Melanie Avalon: I don't really either that much. 

Gin Stephens: No, I always wanted to, because they look so fun and everyone is always so excited about drinking them. When I was at the beach, getting the house ready, some of my college friends came to celebrate with me and we stayed there and we were at a little wine tasting. I was driving, so all I did was literally taste. They had a rosé and they're like, “We love it.” It was a sparkling Rosé and they all bought it, and I'm like, “Ugh, no.” [laughs] But they all literally loved it. They loved it. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: We agree on something.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we do. We do. We agree on a lot of things. Not usually what you're eating or drinking though. [laughs] 

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I interviewed the founder, Gil Blander, on my show, I'll put a link to it in the show notes. What is so amazing about InsideTracker is that their blood tests, include the biomarkers that you need to be testing that are key to performance that you don't get from traditional blood tests. These are things like ferritin, vitamin D, GST, which is a liver enzyme that you will rarely ever see on a blood test. My favorite part, they don't just give you the data, they provide you with nutrition and lifestyle tips to take action. 

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I am so honored because InsideTracker has the biggest discount pretty much anywhere with us specifically. I mean this. They've told me that nobody else has this high of a discount. You can go to insidetracker.com/melanie and use the coupon code, MELANIE30, and get 30% off sitewide. That's insidetracker.com forward slash M-E-L-A-N-I-E with the coupon code, M-E-L-A-N-I-E30, for 30% off site wide. We'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show. 

Gin Stephens: All right. We have something from Amanda. It's feedback and the subject is “Gallstones Information.” She says, “Hi, Melanie and Gin. Thank you for your podcast, I always learn something. I have been managing gallstones for over 20 years now, with at most one or two attacks a year and have recently started IF with great success. I'm on the way back to great health. Since starting IF, I have only had one mild attack and it was during the very earliest days. When I'm experiencing pain, I remove fats temporarily. Fats generate contractions of the gallbladder, which equals pain, and increase my intake of acids, especially lemon, which gives your liver what it needs to generate more bile. After 48 hours, I gently reintroduced fats and coffee, another contraction generator, and this seems to work well for me. 

I write to you because Melanie was saying she didn't know where to go for gallstone information. I got all of my best info from Dr. Sandra Cabot who wrote a book about healing the liver and the gallbladder with nutrition. I hope this is helpful. Much love. Amanda, from Victoria, Australia.” Thank you, Amanda, that is very helpful to hear from someone who suffers from gallbladder issues. Also, that she has been managing it for over 20 years and IF did not make it worse.

Melanie Avalon: I know. That's absolutely amazing. We'll put a link in the show notes to that book. People might find that really helpful. Yeah, it was really nice to get back some feedback from somebody who specifically experienced this and had the effects with IF. Do people ask about that a lot still, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Well, not really, no. Sometimes, people will pop in and say, “I heard intermittent fasting is bad for your gallbladder.” Then we have to answer that, just like the question we had, I think started the whole thing. Again, like I said, what we don't hear a lot of is people who are like, “I've never had gallbladder problems before. Now, all of a sudden, I am.” I feel like we would, I feel in the groups with half a million people in Facebook before I left Facebook, I think we would have heard that a lot and we didn't.

Melanie Avalon: People really want like randomized controlled trials and all of these studies and stuff, but it's like what value is there to the end of one, like personal anecdotes?

Gin Stephens: There's huge value. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's like crowdsourcing the information. There's a study they're doing right now in France, they're crowdsourcing, how people are living, and people are inputting it into apps. I think that's how they're going to be collecting data for a lot of things going forward. I know it's not a randomized controlled study, but there are even flaws with all those. If you try, you can pick any study, somebody can come along, say, “Well, here's the flaw there. Here's the flaw here.” There's always something. You can't control for every variable. Even changes become another variable.

Melanie Avalon: Because looking at a large group of people is sort of similar to a correlational study. I just think there's something to seeing it consistently over the years, like with a huge group, the Facebook groups or something, even though it's less official--

Gin Stephens: Right. It doesn't have any weight, but it should count for something because I can tell you what we had over and over, cholesterol goes up right after people start fasting. People, they might lose hair. Yes, if they overstressed their body with the fasting and their body perceives it as a stress. Or, they have increased acne for a while. Yes, we see those things so many times. New gallbladder problems, not a lot and definitely not more than I think you would have it in the regular population because gallbladder issues are hugely common. We would expect to see a certain amount of them, but we really didn't see very many, as I said before.

Melanie Avalon: It's telling.

Gin Stephens: It is.

Melanie Avalon: All right, shall we go on to our first question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Our first question comes from Mandy, the subject is “Body Odor.” Side note, I used to be obsessed with the name, Mandy, growing up, I thought it was a beautiful name.

Gin Stephens: It is a beautiful name. [laughs] Did you wish your name was Mandy instead of Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Sorry, I'm actually contemplating this answer. Possibly, possibly, I'm not sure. Oh, when I just thought of a random story, but we can come back to it. Mandy, the subject is “Body Odor.” Mandy says, “Melanie and Gin, I learned so much from your podcast. Thank you for showing up in my earbuds every week to keep me motivated. I am 43 years old and consider myself fairly healthy. I live an active lifestyle, watch what I eat, and I'm hardly ever sick. For years, I have struggled with a bad body odor, specifically from my armpits. A daily shower was a non-negotiable. Even then, it didn't always keep it at bay. Stressful situations, confrontational conversations, or public speaking would worsen the situation. I've made one big change in my lifestyle lately. I've switched from protein pacing my food to a 20:4 intermittent fasting, typically six days a week, my body odor is all but gone. Could this be a wonderful side benefit from the IF lifestyle? Thank you in advance for your thoughts.” All right, body odor.

Gin Stephens: That's a great question. We do hear this from people. First of all, we hear it both ways. We hear that they'll initially have really worse body odor for a while, we've heard that. Then, it gets better. We have actually heard it. Why is this happening? We’re just theorizing here because I don't think there's been a study on fasting and body odor that I've ever seen. Have you seen one, Melanie? 

Melanie Avalon: I have not. 

Gin Stephens: That'd be a pretty specific topic to be studying. Think about what's happening under those armpits. Your body is releasing sweat. What comes out with your sweat? Not just sweat. We sweat out toxins. Then, why do we smell because it's not the sweat itself that smells, it's what's happening with the little bacteria under there or whatever's going on in that little closed up area, making it have that lovely smell. I guess it's whatever's coming out and what those little bacteria do with it, that sort of thing. I'm not a sweat expert, by the way or I'm not a body odor expert. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, my personal experience with fasting and body odor was-- actually I think when I first actually went low carb was when my body odor significantly went down, and then when I started doing fasting, it all but disappeared, and then it didn't come back until-- well, this is interesting, and this is all anecdotal, again going back to one on one, for a long period of time, it would only come back, if I had food that didn't agree with me, I would get body odor, which was really, really interesting. The example I'm thinking of is if I got sick, and I was having a lot of cough drops and stuff with different ingredients, I specifically remember I would get body odor. I think I just am very, very sensitive to detoxing that way. Somebody posted about this the other day my group, IF Biohackers, but they were saying the opposite, that they were experiencing increased body odor with fasting, and wouldn’t go away. I think a lot of people experience that as well, because if they get sort of a detox effect during the past.

Gin Stephens: That, I think so. Mm-hmm. 

Melanie Avalon: Gin mentioned it, it involves a lot of things, it involves the actual like detox, it can involve the bacteria. Interestingly, I didn't really realize the extent of-- our entire body has a microbiome. I don't think I really appreciated that until recently, but I read it in two books recently talking about it, specifically, our gut microbiome, our oral and our mouth microbiome. Did you know our breasts have a microbiome, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Hmm, I'm not surprised. Like, the first time that really I had my eyes open to it is when I interviewed a dentist for intermittent fasting stories, and she was talking about your oral microbiome. We've got all these little critters live in everywhere.

Melanie Avalon: And apparently, one of the books said, there's even-- and I have to research this further, but it said there's even like a microbiome cloud that's around us. I need to research that. I wouldn't be surprised, though. Kind of like, if you think of like Linus, or is it dirty one in Charlie Brown?

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's Pig-Pen.

Melanie Avalon: Pig-Pen. Yeah, point being, I assume there's most likely a gut microbiome population under your armpits that could be playing a factor. Also, it's interesting that she switched from protein pacing, which I'm not sure-- I'm assuming that's having small amounts of protein throughout the day. 

Gin Stephens: I would guess. I don't know, I've never heard it called protein pacing, but that sounds logical.

Melanie Avalon: Depending on the amount of protein I eat, I can experience smells related to that, which is interesting, and I think it has to do with protein metabolism. But, yes, the answer is all over the place. It's a thing.

Gin Stephens: We do hear it. If you start fasting and something changes about your body odor, either direction, yes, it's probably the fasting [laughs] because we have heard it both ways. 

Melanie Avalon: I do think that if it's a detox effect, you don't want to be in a state of detox forever. I think there's people who feel they get stuck in this detox state and they're just constantly detoxing forever and ever and ever. I encourage people who are experiencing that to maybe reevaluate, because that's the whole argument in the whole holistic health world about Herxheimer reactions and detox. Is detox a good thing? Is detox a bad thing? As far as like your experience of it with negative side effects, my point with all of that, is if you have the body odor-- well, she's talking about not having the body odor, but if you are experiencing body odor with fasting, and it doesn't stop, there's probably something else going on, that you might want to revisit.

Gin Stephens: Well, it could be your fat cells dumping out some kind of weird toxin, and you've gotten to that layer of whatever coming out.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, true. 

Gin Stephens: Whatever goes in is going to come out, that’s the thing. It's like if you shove a bunch of crap under the bed, you're going to have to pull it back out when you're doing the cleaning. It might not be pleasant if it's been in there a long time. I'm thinking about when my boys were little, and how much grossness would be under their beds. [laughs] I would always get so mad. I was always infuriated by the end of the process. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. 

Gin Stephens: I don't know maybe all the other listeners maybe they just told their children to clean their rooms and their rooms were cleaned, but at our house, no. They would hide things away. I would go digging around and it was not pretty.

Melanie Avalon: I remember I was always so in awe of how my mom could find anything. Like if you lose something, your mom can find it and I just never understood that.

Gin Stephens: Oh, it's true. We can, we could find anything. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I still don't understand. How does she find the things? 

Gin Stephens: We just do. It's still true even to this day, even though it's only Chad and me here. I can find anything. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I don't understand. 

Gin Stephens: I'm not even home, I'll be at the beach and he'll call me and I know where stuff is.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I don't understand. [laughs] I will say though, one last plug is if you are using conventional deodorant, I cannot recommend enough not to do so, with the aluminum content. I think it's really, really important to switch to safe deodorant because plugging up our armpits with-- Well, first of all, just the idea of plugging up our armpits when those are supposed to be letting toxins out just seems a little bit counterproductive. Then, on top of that aluminum likely has toxicity in the body. I know we've had Native as sponsor before on the show, they have a great deodorant. Then Beautycounter has an amazing deodorant, so those are two options.

Gin Stephens: I really like the Beautycounter a lot. 

Melanie Avalon: Which scent did you like? 

Gin Stephens: Coconut, but I like lavender, too. I bet you like the rose, don't you? I don't like rose. People, it smells like rose. If you'd like the way rose smells, you would love it.

Melanie Avalon: I actually like the coconut the most. 

Gin Stephens: Do you? Okay, because I was just thinking how we would be the opposite, and you would like the rose. Yeah. You seem like someone who would like rose. Why is that? 

Melanie Avalon: Really? I don't like lavender, and you said you like lavender.

Gin Stephens: Oh, see, I do love lavender. I love lavender.

Melanie Avalon: I get a headache. 

Gin Stephens: Okay. It makes me so happy.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it doesn't make me happy. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: But they smell very, very true to what they are. If you know you love coconut, you would love the coconut. If you know you like lavender, you would love the lavender. If you know you'd love rose, you would love the rose. My sister is someone who loves rose. That would be one for her.

Melanie Avalon: Rose is approachable, for me. In general, I don't like scents that much though. I wish they had an unscented one.

Gin Stephens: I love getting that little whiff of coconut.

Melanie Avalon: I like coconut though. That's why, yeah.

Gin Stephens: I feel like I'm at the beach.

Melanie Avalon: I feel summery.

Gin Stephens: Can I just tell you that the beach is my favorite? I tried to talk Chad into selling our house and moving there all the time. [laughs] He's like, “You are crazy.” I'm like, “Yeah, probably,” but I could live less than a thousand square feet. All I need is just a few things. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, minimalist.

Gin Stephens: Well, I could go minimalist. Anyway, I just love the ocean so much.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, my family's there right now, too.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, yeah. It's the best way. 

Melanie Avalon: Wait, can I tell you the story that I remembered really quick? 

Gin Stephens: Yep. 

Melanie Avalon: Because you were asking me when I was little, did I want to change my name? Do you know like Mendel's genetics?

Gin Stephens: I do. We did need the little Mendelian, whatever they're called. Yeah.

 Melanie Avalon: Have I told the story before?

Gin Stephens: The little Punnett squares, is that what they're called? Punnett squares where you put in the Little Big B, little B or whatever and you try to figure out the genetics.

Melanie Avalon: He was like studying peas, and then he figured out-- Yeah. 

Gin Stephens: Dominant and recessive. Yeah. I think those are called Punnett squares that you apply those. Anyway, go ahead.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I saw something about him yesterday, and I got hit with this memory. Then, I asked my mom about it for clarification. Okay, this is a two-parter. In kindergarten, apparently, I got very upset that we didn't have homework, so I asked my mom and the teacher if I could have homework. They let me pick an assignment to do, so I decided to read a book about Louis Armstrong, and I did a book report on it with my dad and turn it into the teacher for a grade. Then in first grade, I asked if I could do it again. The teacher said I could. So, in first grade, I got a book on Mendel peas in genetics. I did a report on it with my dad and I presented it to the class. 

Gin Stephens: That reminds me of Cal, my older son. He totally did stuff like that. I can remember when he was in first grade--

Melanie Avalon: First grader. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: Well, Cal did. In first grade, he wrote a book. He stapled the paper together and wrote the book and illustrated it. He was in first grade and he was reading it to his class. His teacher said, “I'm pretty sure Cal just needs to skip on to second grade.” That's what we did. [laughter] Because the other first graders are like, “What's happening?” Cal’s like, “This is the book I wrote over the weekend.” Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Me and Cal would have been such good friends, Cal and I.

Gin Stephens: You would have been really good friends. He read all the presidential biographies in order when he was in elementary school, but he had to read them in order. 

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny. It's such foreshadowing. Like first grade, I was doing a book report on genetics, then how many years later I'm interviewing David Sinclair? But yeah, good times. Anyways, shall we move on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes. We have a question from Carrie. Subject, “How she stopped bingeing.” She says, “First of all, I love your guys' podcast and have been listening since last spring. At the beginning, I was super committed to IF and then lately, I've stopped. I'm starting to pick it back up again, but I've gotten into the routine of working out at 6 AM every day, mainly cardio because I love swimming and biking. I've been trying to do a window from 2 PM to 7 PM, but it seems like when I break my fast in the evening, I tend to binge before my window is done. I'll eat anything sweet that I see and just endless snacks, then I feel really gross and sleep badly. When I stick to it though and have that self-control to limit myself and not eat past 7 or 8. I feel great. 

My question for you girls is about the fasting window and what would be appropriate. In my workouts, I tend to burn upwards of 500 to 800 calories according to my Apple Watch. I get pretty hungry afterwards, but I can ignore it and wait until 1 or 2. But that's when I binge and eat everything. If I had a window from 10 AM to 2 PM instead, how would that change the fast? Would that affect fat burning and metabolism, any differently than later window? Do you think that would help? 

I'm 23 and 5’4”, and currently 137 pounds. I'm trying to get to 122 pounds, that's my goal weight. But I know if I look good and feel good, I'm not too worried about being that number. I just feel like I need a goal to lose the weight. Last summer when consistently doing IF, I stayed around 130 and was content, but still didn't have the best diet. Now with working out more to compete in open water swims, I feel like I need to nourish my body better but for some reason, I always have a tendency to eat poorly after I break my fast. SOS, I need your guy's knowledge and help. I'm almost at my wit's end trying to find something that works and get myself to stop bingeing. It's really making me feel gross and mentally making me struggle.” 

I wish I knew one thing, Melanie, I wish I knew when she started back to intermittent fasting, because bingeing is more common during the adjustment phase because your body's not tapping on your fat stores yet, so you're not well filled during the fast. If she's in the adjustment phase, that would be normal. Let's just assume she's not. If you're in the adjustment phase, then that's normal, and it will go away. But we're going to assume that you're not in the adjustment phase to answer the question. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, perfect. My thoughts about this are, she's asking two questions, what fasting window would best support her not bingeing? Also, what fasting window would best support, fat burning and metabolism? I wouldn't over analyze which one is going to create the most fat burning and metabolism. I would focus on which window supports not bingeing. Yeah, because I think it's kind of like what they say with exercise. The best exercise is the exercise that you do, it's better probably to be having an active lifestyle, doing consistent exercise in your life, even if it's not as “fat burning exercise,” compared to “fat burning exercise” that you don't like doing, and it's hard to stick to. Applying that to the fasting, I would play around with the window to find the window that makes you least likely to binge and stick to that. I would really, really, really suggest because I think this approach will work. How do you think we say her name? Carrie?

Gin Stephens: I said Carrie.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, she spells it in a really interesting, beautiful way. I would really suggest checking out Glenn Livingston's Never Binge Again, I really think his approach would work for you, Carrie, like 100%. I've had him on my show twice, so I'll put links to that in the show notes. His approach is addressing the binge triggers. I've talked about it a lot on the show. I just think it's so, so helpful. Just to speak to how incredible it is, because I'm really good friends with him and I talk to him, actually, almost daily. His book just got over 10,000 reviews on Amazon, which is insane. I mean, that just goes to show how many people it's really working for.

Gin Stephens: You talk to Dr. Livingston daily? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. [laughs] We're great friends. Yeah, he's a wonderful human being. Yeah, so I would really check out his approach because it basically addresses-- he calls it the pig. He talks about having like a food plan, but in your case, your food plan would be your eating window, or the foods that you feel like you're bingeing on. Identifying that voice that is telling you to binge and to eat, and just, like not listening to it, and it sounds really simple, and like that, it couldn't work because the answer is you just don't do it, but once you read it, you'll understand, like, how it can actually work. I think combining a window that would work for you, which we can talk a little bit about which window we think that would’ve been with the techniques that you might learn in Never Binge Again, you can probably find some freedom from these binge triggers. What window would you suggestion, Gin, for the timing?

Gin Stephens: Here's something that's important. She said she's doing swimming and we know that swimming burns a lot of fuel because first of all, it's you're in the water and so just the effect of the heat loss from your body to the water. Swimmers need more fuel. The fact that it's swimming I think is relevant. Like what was it, Michael Phelps needed 10,000 calories a day when he was training?

Melanie Avalon: I was just reading about that yesterday.

Gin Stephens: Not that we want you to count calories, but the urge to binge is a sign that your body is not well fueled. I talk about this in Fast. Feast. Repeat., which is why I said it's common at the beginning during the adjustment phase when your body is not metabolically flexible yet and you're not well fueled. Your body's like, “Come on now. We're starving to death. Eat, eat, eat.” It's really hard to fight against your body, telling you you're not well fueled. We are designed to eat if our body feels like we’re in a panic situation. The fact that you're bingeing, if you're not in the adjustment phase, it’s probably your body saying, “Hey, you're not fueling me enough for this amount of activity that you're doing.” I would listen, and I would probably adjust your window earlier. You might need to do two meals, and maybe you need an eight-hour window. Make a plan for how you're going to open your window, instead of just grabbing what's there. Because, again, if your body is saying you are not well fueled, it is sending you the signal to eat whatever's around. It's really hard to ignore that driven, I must eat more, when it's your body, really having that physiological reason that you're not well fueled. The urge to binge can really let you know you're not fueling yourself well enough.

That's not the only reason people binge. I don't want people to think the only reason people binge is if that they aren't eating enough, because that's not the only reason. But the urge to binge can be a really strong indication that you're not fueling your body well enough. Then people feel weak, and they feel guilty, and they're like, “I'm so bad. What's wrong with me?” But it's not you, you're fighting biology. 

Melanie Avalon: Speaking to that, it was such a good interview, Gin. I interviewed Dr. Will Cole for his Intuitive Fasting book.

Gin Stephens: Well, good. I'm glad it was a good one.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I interviewed him-- what is today, like few days ago. He thought it was going to be well embraced, he got a lot of backlash from the intuitive eating community.

Gin Stephens: I keep my eye on fasting books and see what people are saying about them. I've read all those. They really did not like the word ‘intuitive fasting.’ That really makes me sad, because I've tried to be an intuitive eater for so many years, and read all the intuitive eating books, all of them. I did not connect with my hunger and satiety signals until I started fasting. Being an intuitive eater without fasting is when I weighed 210 pounds. I was also eating-- because they tell you and all the books, they're like, “If you're craving something, eat that thing you're craving.” Okay, so my body's craving that I go to McDonald's, I was eating that food, and I wasn't nourishing my body, so I've had enough signals. Basically, that approach to eat whatever you want, whenever you feel like you're hungry, didn't ever work for me, but coupling it with fasting-- I didn't ever mean to couple it together, but when I started fasting, I suddenly became more in tune with my hunger and satiety signals. When I started improving the quality of the food that I was eating, I got even more in touch. The way they said, “Eat whatever you want, whenever you want to, and stop when you've had enough,” worked 0% for me, but combining it with fasting and food quality was a miracle. That's why it's so sad that they didn't like his work.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, no, 100%. In the conversation-- it was amazing. I literally said at the end, I told him, I was like, I think this is the conversation I've enjoyed the most that I've ever had about fasting just because we dived into everything that you just said, which is basically the idea of, can you be intuitive if the situation in your body is one that is not necessarily supporting intuitive choices?

Gin Stephens: I would say the answer for me was a resounding no. I was unable to be intuitive, because if I asked myself at any point during the day, are you hungry? My body said, “Yeah,” because I wasn't nourishing my body well, but the books I read insisted that you're not judging food, you're just listening to your body and learning to do that. Well, my body was like, “Eat some more fries.” That was really bad advice from my body at the time.

Melanie Avalon: The other day, I was listening to an episode on intuitive eating with an intuitive eating person. They were saying that in their protocol, how you basically needed to learn to how you could have just one Oreo or have a root beer?

Gin Stephens: Oh, it clearly works beautifully for some people.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Some people, they don't have that addictive response to it. They can work, and maybe they struggle with Oreos, and they have food fears, but because of their type of personality, maybe they could integrate that protocol, and they could learn to have just one Oreo, but I think a lot of people are not like that. I think Oreos are designed to make you want more. They're providing no nutrition. They're not providing anything your body needs. I think people they might hear this in the intuitive eating moment and then they'll feel like failures when they can't have just one, and I don't know if that's like a healthy approach for everybody. I don't think it is.

Gin Stephens: Well, because if I had one Oreo-- right even now, if I went to my kitchen, I don't have Oreos in my kitchen but if I did, if I went to my kitchen had one Oreo, then I would be starving. Then, I would be more likely to overeat because of the cascade of response that my body would have to the Oreo. My blood glucose would crash, and then I would be eating just whatever and I'd be starving and versus if I ate highly nutritious foods, like I love Daily Harvest’s-- their bowls. If my window with one of those, I'm satisfied, because I've nourished my body. I've learned that over time. It was because of fasting that I was able to become intuitive. I love the name of his book, but, yeah, people really did not like that. [laughs] I actually think that's a beautiful name for a book. I haven't read it.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really excited that I interviewed-- because usually with these books, I interview-- not usual, a large portion of the time I interview the authors way before the book has come out. It would have been a very different conversation if I had interviewed him before it came out because we wouldn't have focused on that debate, but because it was after it came out, that took up such a large part of what we talked about. I'm so excited to release this episode, because I think that was a really great resource.

Gin Stephens: Well, I think it's an important conversation. I would identify myself as an intuitive faster. I think I even said that in Fast. Feast. Repeat. I think I use the word ‘intuitive’ in there when I talked about it. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, dear. [laughs] No, I'm saying good thing you didn't get any backlash from--

Gin Stephens: Well, I didn't because you read all the way to that point before you-- they all didn't even read his book. They just read the title.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, we talked about that too, like how frustrating it can be when people don't even read your work and then--

Gin Stephens: You know like with Delay, Don’t Deny. Sometimes, people have read the title of Delay, Don’t Deny and think that, I'm in there telling you to eat as much food as you can. Quality doesn't matter. I didn't say that. It's any time, there's no time in Delay, Don’t Deny that I said eat whatever you want as much as you want, it does not matter, and this sounds like a review of just the title. 

Melanie Avalon: In any case, I'll put a link. Well, I don't think that'll be out by the time this comes out. 

Gin Stephens: Once it is, people can find it.

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The reason I went on that whole tangent-- well, Gin was talking about it too with her experience but I would say, Carrie-- because she says that with the bingeing she struggles with eating anything sweet and endless snacks. You don't have to have those in the house. Depending on what it is that you're eating, if you're finding certain foods are triggering binge-like behavior, I would encourage you not to buy those foods and not have them in the house, especially if there's something that, like we just said, are going just going to perpetuate the cravings and wanting more.

Gin Stephens: I agree with that. Yeah. Like Doritos, I love Doritos. I don't have them in the house. I really would eat too many. Anything cheese puffy. Do you like cheese puffs at all, like Pirate Booty or any of those different cheese puffs? I love Pirate Booty, or anything they have organic versions of all that stuff. It's still ultra-processed food, you can have organic ultra-processed foods. It just doesn't mean it's great for you just because it's organic, but I get no stop-eating signal when I eat those. I could eat an entire giant bag and feel like I've had nothing and then now I'm starving. Yeah. 

Do I never eat those foods again for the rest of my life? No, I will eat those foods, but it's best for me not to buy them and have them around a lot. It's just worth knowing yourself. You have to know yourself and what works for you and what does not. Look I'm a slow learner, I just talked about how I had red wine last night and [laughs] I keep saying no more of that, and then I'm, “Oh,” I like that that dog on squirrel. That's one of my favorite movies. I should have watched that movie again.

Melanie Avalon: I do like that movie. I had a really long conversation about squirrels last night.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's interesting. What was the context?

Melanie Avalon: The squirrels we were talking about how squirrels-- they don't have squirrels in Hawaii, I don't think, and people from Hawaii come to America and are fascinated by squirrels.

Gin Stephens: Well, I was in Connecticut one summer, and I don't know, what was it, gophers or groundhogs. I don't even know what it was. I was at the University of Connecticut, I spent a week there. It's called Confratute, and it was for gifted teachers, it was amazing. It was University of Connecticut and they have all these tunnels and you see them all over the campus. I'm like, “Oh my God, there's another one. Oh my God, there's another one.” Probably like the way people.

Melanie Avalon: And they pop up? 

Gin Stephens: Yes. they're everywhere. I'm sure that people up there like-- what was that movie, Caddyshack, where he was trying to blow them up. I could see why because they were everywhere, but they were so cute. 

Melanie Avalon: I don't think I've seen.

Gin Stephens: No, we don't have them down here. Whatever they were, they were big. 

Melanie Avalon: We're so used to our environment. Like the animals that we are used to, if we had never seen them before, and then we saw them, we will be so fascinated.

Gin Stephens: Oh yeah, I went on a dolphin cruise when I was at the beach. My friend, Sheri, and I, we went out on a boat and we got to see dolphins and it was amazing. I was so excited. I don't think I would ever get tired of dolphins though.

Melanie Avalon: They just seem like really wonderful animals. Oh, can I tell you a fun Mother's Day story speaking of animals?

Gin Stephens: Of course. 

Melanie Avalon: We have been having a bird trapped in our garage every day. Chad likes to have the garage door open during the day and then we close it at night. Every morning when I get up, there's been a bird in the garage flapping around and I'm like, “Why are these birds getting in our garage?” I open the door, and the birds fly out. This morning again, bird in the garage. Then, I realized we have a bird nest in our garage. It's a mama bird. It's not different birds every day. It happened while I was at the beach, Chad apparently kept the garage door open all the time because I would be the one who would close it. She had time while I was at the beach to come in and build a nest and lay her eggs. Chad looked up there. We've got eggs in there. Today's Mother's Day and we have a mama bird and so we're not going to close the garage, we’re just going to lock the house door at night until the birds vacate the premises. 

Melanie Avalon: That's exciting. 

Gin Stephens: I thought that was a good Mother's Day story. 

Melanie Avalon: I love that. 

Gin Stephens: She's a mama bird, and she is just like, “Oh, no, I'm trapped in here again.” “Oh, well.” [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: It's like, Are You My Mother?

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Oh, I love that book.

Melanie Avalon: Although-- did we talk about this? I was revisiting that in my head. Technically, the bird would have thought the first thing that it saw was its mother. It would have thought the rock.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, because it would imprint on whatever it was, that's what they do. That is true. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: They wouldn't go around keep asking. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: That's true, but that is a great, great book.

Melanie Avalon: Well, do you want to do the one quick, clean, fast question that's really short? 

Gin Stephens: Sure. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, one last question from Joshy. The subject is “Clean Fast Question.” Thank you, guys, so much. I love you both and all the endless knowledge you have about the subject. Would it be okay to chew fennel seeds or cloves during the clean fast instead of sugar-free gum to help as a breath freshener? Thanks.”

Gin Stephens: The answer is no. [laughs] That was easy. No, you don't want to chew anything. Don't chew anything. Don't chew fennel seed. Anything that's food like. Fennel seeds, that's food, cloves, food, food, food flavor. You don't want that. Also, don't chew the sugar free gum, you don't want anything that's sweet. I'm sorry. As far as a breath freshener goes, I just have really found I brush my tongue if I need to. I've got Wow Drops, which are just peppermint oil, chlorophyll, they don't have any sweeteners, but I don't use them all the time. Like, if I'm somewhere in public, and I'm going to be running into people, then I'll use some, but most of the time, I mean, my breath is not bothering anybody but me. Especially now in the mask era, right, Melanie? With breath, we're like protected. Brushing my tongue makes a huge difference.

Melanie Avalon: Using a tongue scraper for me. Have you ever used a tongue scraper? 

Gin Stephens: No, I just brush. I've heard a lot of people talk about tongue scrapers. I just haven't ever had one. 

Melanie Avalon: Huge difference. I'll put a link in the show notes. They make a huge difference. Yeah, I have sort of an oral breath fixation. 

Gin Stephens: Like you really don't want to have bad breath.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. 

Gin Stephens: Just stay six feet away from anyone else. I don't get really close to strangers anyway. When I was a teacher, I learned when I would bend over kids’ desk, I didn't like exhale all over them. I mean, I don't know. I've kept my breath to myself whenever I could. No one ever said, “Oh, my God, your breath is so bad, Dr. Stephens.” They would have.

Melanie Avalon: They would have. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, my Lord, children, they would have. Yeah, they would have said your breath is bad if my breath was bad, but I tried not to breathe it on them. Even when I was fasting, because towards the end, I was drinking my black coffee and I was an intermittent faster, nobody complained.

Melanie Avalon: I just put the peppermint, and the peppermint oil in little spray bottles and I obsessively carry them around.

Gin Stephens: But, yeah, I would use the Wow Drops if I felt like I needed to get close to somebody. Oh, let me tell you one thing not to do. Do not use Wow Drops and then put on a mask. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I've done that with my peppermint. 

Gin Stephens: It will burn your eyes. 

Melanie Avalon: I've done that. 

Gin Stephens: We went to Costco yesterday because, again, now I'm free. I can go to all the stores as much as I want. Like I forgotten how to get around town, I've been stuck at home doing all this work. Chad and I are walking through Costco, and we still have the mask requirement at Costco, and so I had just used some Wild Drops and I put on my mask. I was like, whoa, bad idea, and my nose was burning too.

Melanie Avalon: Like I said, I make my own with peppermint, and sometimes, I make it stronger by accident than I mean to, and yes if you do that in the put on the mask, like crying.

Gin Stephens: It's like, wow. [laughs] Anyway, yeah, so I'm sorry for that. No fennel seeds, no clove, no sugar free gum. Peppermint is really gray area, you may find peppermint does not work for you. It fortunately does work for me. My body does not consider that to be food.

Melanie Avalon: Works for me 100%.

Gin Stephens: But it doesn't work for everybody. I've definitely had people say that it does not work for them. Their body perceives it as food coming in.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I find that so fascinating, because for me, it just like kills my appetite completely.

Gin Stephens: It's just to me unrelated to appetite. Do you know what makes me hungry though? I've realized recently that it's shocking that my body does perceive as food, it's on the yes list. It's okay for fasting. Yeah. I thought this was true, and I now know that it is.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so it's not coffee. 

Gin Stephens: No. Coffee does not make me hungry. Unless it's a nitro cold brew. I can't have those because my body thinks that sweet and creamy. 

Melanie Avalon: Is it a tea? 

Gin Stephens: No, I don't like any tea. I don't have any tea.

Melanie Avalon: I'm trying to think what else would be-- so it's on the yes list? 

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: It's not a beverage. I'm just trying to think like what you would be--

Gin Stephens: Although you could put it in a beverage.

Melanie Avalon: I'm trying to think what you would be using that you could put it in a beverage. I'm very much invested in this.

Gin Stephens: Something you could put in a beverage that doesn't break the fast. Some people like go crazy about telling you you're supposed to have this all the time. Particularly keto people. 

Melanie Avalon: Ice. 

Gin Stephens: No, ice does not.

Melanie Avalon: No, not lemon. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, definitely not lemon. Oh, this is really fun.

Melanie Avalon: This is really fun. I love guessing games.

Gin Stephens: I've stumped you. When I say it, you're going to be like, “Oh, yeah, of course.” You're going to know. What is it that people in the keto community who also do fasting always tell everybody no matter what their ailment, you need to have some blank? 

Melanie Avalon: Water?

Gin Stephens: No. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, salt. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Salt makes me starving. Starving. I was refilling a saltshaker recently during the fast like, I have the little pink Redmond salt granules and I was refilling it because it came from Amazon. That's where I order it. I was pouring it in the little saltshaker and dropped one on the table and I'm like, “Oh, I'm going to have a little piece of salt and I popped it in my mouth and then I was starving.” Like, starving. Starving, my body is like, “We’re going to eat now.” I mean, it was close to time to eat. I mean, it was like, so immediate.

Melanie Avalon: That is so interesting.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, but I've noticed it before and I thought could this be true, but it was really a very clear connection for me. I'm also someone who really craves salty things. I wonder if that salty is like a real signal to me that it's food. I don't know. I mean, it's really whatever your brain is thinking about. My brain was like time to eat. It was a signal to my brain, even though salt does not break the fast because it's a mineral. Anyway, I'm not somebody popping salt crystals [laughs] today, typically. Anyway, so interesting.

Melanie Avalon: I was so confused. I was like, “What can it be?” Oh, my goodness. Well, in any case, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions to the podcast, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com. Or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode214. You can also get all the stuff we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike, and you can follow us on Instagram, still my favorite place to be, sort of, minus not liking taking pictures. I'm MelanieAvalon, Gin is GinStephens. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: No, I think that's it. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, I'm happy that you have your life back.

Gin Stephens: Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: And Happy Mother's Day.

Gin Stephens: It feels amazing. Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right, bye-be. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember that everything discussed on the show is not medical advice. We're not doctors. You can also check out our other podcasts, Intermittent Fasting Stories, and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Theme music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week.


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