Episode 215: Gin’s New Book!, Food Fraud, Detox, Timing Exercise Within Your Day, Pre-Diabetes, Low Fat High Protein Diets, Cycle Tracking, Minty Water, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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May 30

Welcome to Episode 215 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:

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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!

New Book (Gin Stephens)

Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine (Robert H Lustig)

Big Fat Keto Lies (Marty Kendall)

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #94 - Marty Kendall

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

Listener Q&A: Anais - Few Questions For You

Listener Q&A: Anais - Isn't a high carb, low fat diet incompatible with high protein?

BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get The BBQ Bundle! That's 2 New York Strip Steaks, 5 Lbs Of Chicken Drumsticks, And 6 Burgers All For FREE!

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

Listener Q&A: Anais - The Oura Ring, Is it a good device to help you track your cycles, thanks to the body temperature feedback?

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #86 - Harpreet Rai (Oura)

In the FLO: Unlock Your Hormonal Advantage and Revolutionize Your Life (Alisa Vitti)

Listener Q&A: Deana - Can You Add Fresh Mint Leaves In Your Water During The Fasting Period?


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 215 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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

Most of us are actually exposed to these obesogenic endocrine disruptors daily in our skincare and makeup, that is actually one of the largest sources of these compounds. Yep. As it turns out, when you're washing your face, putting on makeup, using lotion, or even putting on sunscreen, you are likely putting 1 up to 1300 compounds banned in Europe for their toxicity and obesity-causing potential but they're completely fine for use in US skincare. When you put them on your skin, you're making it that much harder to burn fat, and that much easier to store fat. So, if you're struggling to lose weight, you definitely, definitely want to clean up your skincare ASAP.

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

Hi everybody and welcome. This is episode number 215 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: And I'm dying, listeners, because I just forgot the intro. [laughs] It took 215 episodes for me to forget what I say in the beginning. 215. How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Well, I have some very exciting news.

Melanie Avalon: What is that?

Gin Stephens: Well, I can finally announce the name of my new book, officially, because it's actually on Amazon already for preorder, which is crazy how that happens. It happened like that with Fast. Feast. Repeat. Like one day, they were still kind of hush-hush and the next day there it was. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: That's really exciting.

Gin Stephens: It is exciting. The name of my new book is Clean(ish) and the subtitle is Eat (Mostly) Clean, Live (Mainly) Clean, and Unlock Your Body's Natural Ability to Self-Clean, and the subtitle is still a work in progress because I had a meeting with the whole team from St. Martin's last week and they're like, “Well, we're still fine tuning it.” In fact, if you go to Amazon and find it, the subtitle is wrong on Amazon. They have the old one that I was like, “No, this is not a subtitle [laughs] we're going to use.” [laughs] Because this is not a diet book. It's not a follow this diet and you will lose a lot of weight. This is a healthy way to live kind of a book, so I don't want it to sound diety in the subtitle. It's hard to find. You know how Amazon until it's been searched a bunch of times--

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so it doesn't have a picture yet.

Gin Stephens: Well, it actually does, if you go to--

Melanie Avalon: I think they took it down.

Gin Stephens: Did they? It was up there earlier today. If you click on the paperback version, the picture was showing.

Melanie Avalon: Oh yes, my bad.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. If you click on the paperback version, you can see the working cover, and sometimes those change over time. This is the cover we're working with right now and I love it. Hopefully, it'll still be there when people look for it. I had a hard time finding it searching by name, but did you just search for the name and it came up?

Melanie Avalon: I searched for the name, it didn't come up. I searched for the name and your name it didn't come up. Then, I went to Fast. Feast. Repeat.

Gin Stephens: The author page. Okay.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and then I went to your author.

Gin Stephens: If you go to my author page, if you go through one of my other books and click on my name, Gin Stephens, and go to the official Amazon author page, it shows up there. Although yesterday there was some kind of bug on Amazon and the author page wasn't working. It looked crazy and it didn't have my books there. I'm like, “What's happening?” It had like those weird spiral version of Delay, Don’t Deny, that some enterprising person, bless their heart, has created. They bought Delay, Don’t Deny paperback, took it somewhere, had spiral added, and now they're selling it on the Amazon, you can buy a spiral version. I mean, I have no problem with it, because they actually bought it, [chuckles] they bought it, so they're reselling it.

Melanie Avalon: How do you know that they're reselling yours?

Gin Stephens: Because I bought one. With the way that Amazon works, because my book is print on demand, they have like a special code and everyone like a unique number. So, I can tell. Anyway, so people are like, “What is this special spiral version?” I'm like, some enterprising seller, who wants people to have a spiral version.”

Melanie Avalon: That's funny.

Gin Stephens: Everyone they sell is a sale for me because they bought it already. They're reselling it. It's like the person who's buying their version from them could have just bought mine, but they bought theirs, because they had already bought mine, it's not costing me a sale. I don't mind if they want to do that. Yeah, go for it. It's the fake versions I don't like, but this is-- anyway, but that was the only thing showing up, like Fast. Feast. Repeat. wasn't showing up. Only the spiral version, Delay, Don’t Deny wasn't showing up. I'm like, “What's happening?” The search was not even working. I couldn't even search for Delay, Don’t Deny and have it come up. I in a panic called Amazon Author Central, and I was like, “What's happening?” They're like, “It's a bug, it's happening to a lot of people. It's not just you, we're fixing it.” I'm like, “Okay, phew.”

Melanie Avalon: We'll make it easy for listeners, and we'll put a link in the show notes directly to the book.

Gin Stephens: Anyway, I'm so excited just to have it out there. The word Clean(ish) with that ish in parentheses is really people that know me, they know that's very much how I live. I talk throughout the book about my whole journey to becoming more cleanish. I think listeners have even heard my evolution over time, because it's really the more you learn, the more you realize it's important to make changes, and I go through the whole explanation of why. Why is 2021 different than 1921? Why is it a different time? Why do we have to be more careful? It's basically chemicals are everywhere in a different kind of way. So, our bodies are having to manage something they've never had to manage before.

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: And we're not able to do it. Well, that's why it's really important to really be careful of what you're putting in. Your body's great at taking things out. I talk about the body's natural self-cleaning abilities. One of the tools is, of course, intermittent fasting. This is not an intermittent fasting book, however. I want it to be something that appeals to people who are like, “Yeah, I'm never going to do intermittent fasting.” It was hard for me to talk my publisher into not having it be an intermittent fasting book, because a lot of people would not pick it up. People don't all want to do intermittent fasting.

Now, I'm going to sneaky talk them into it after they read Clean(ish). [laughs] They don't even know they want to do intermittent fasting. All the people in the world who want to improve their health, don't all necessarily want to do intermittent fasting, of course, yet. [laughs] I want to appeal to a lot of people and then obviously bring them into intermittent fasting, but this is something for an intermittent faster, who wants to just fine tune and live a healthier life. It's like my switch to Beautycounter and your switch to Beautycounter. I've switched all my cleaning products. Yesterday, I changed out my pans in my kitchen. I was hanging on to a few nonstick pans--

Melanie Avalon: You're like me. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm clean(ish). [laughs] We went out to eat last night and we had fried food. Oh, my gosh, it was so good. We went with some friends of ours and there were these grits fritters in a tempura batter, and I'm sure there were fried in some terrible oil. Because I'm clean-ish, I don't cook like that at home, I could enjoy them and then come home tonight and have my organic Green Chef [laughs] and that is okay.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it reminds me a few days ago, I interviewed Dr. Robert Lustig.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. He's been popping up everywhere since his new book came out.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, he's incredible. Oh, and he mentioned in our conversation, Dr. Ludwig, and I wanted to be like, [laughs] “My cohost thinks you and him are the same person, combines your name.”

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I still don't know who is which. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: What did you call him Mr.--? [laughs]

Gin Stephens: I don't know, Lustwig.

Melanie Avalon: Lustwig, you combined it. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: I don't know, they're too similar. The names are too similar.

Melanie Avalon: One of the things that I thought about a conversation we had had on this show was, we were talking about processed food, and he talked about the NOVA classification of food and the four classifications. He was saying that it's only the fourth category that's linked to health issues, but it's linked to basically all the health issues.

Gin Stephens: All of them, I talk about that even more in Clean(ish). The thing I love about Clean(ish) that I'm so proud of-- by the way, my editor has started reading it, since she's had it now in her possession for over a week, and she loves it, which is very exciting. She's loving it, but it's an actionable book. The reader, I'm not just going to tell you, these are the things to avoid, this is what you do, this is what you eat. The reader creates their own definition. After I explain and go through the framework, everyone creates their own definition of what it means to them to eat mostly clean, and what it means to live mainly clean.

Melanie Avalon: What about the people like me that want to live?

Gin Stephens: Well, you're free to create your own definition.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome.

Gin Stephens: That's based on what resonates with you. We don't want to be so extreme we can't live in the world because that can be dangerous. When you read about “clean eating,” there's a lot of people who really criticize it as leading to unrealistic expectations, and also even eating disorders. You'll hear that critique tossed around a lot. I wanted to say, “Why is it okay to work towards eating in a way that's healthy and when does it become a problem so that people can decide for themselves?” But I really want people, instead of me saying, “Here's what you do, and here's what you don't do,” it's like, “Here's some concerns. Here's some things. Here's why we're worried about artificial sweeteners.” Then, you get to decide-- I didn't use this wording in my book, but anyone who's familiar with Beautycounter, they have the never list. These are things they will never put in their products. Creating your own definition, it's like your own personal never list. Again, I don't call it that in the book, but these are things I'm never going to do.

I don't do artificial sweeteners. In my definition of cleanish, I can see zero benefit to me having an artificial sweetener. There's no time that I ever need to have that. If the only kind of soda available was diet soda, I wouldn't drink the soda. But last night, I wanted to eat those delicious grits cakes, and the fact that they were fried in a restaurant oil was not a dealbreaker. Here at home, I'm never going to use those oils. It's like you just decide where's your line. Here's the evidence, you decide where your line is. That's what it means to live cleanish. It really inspired me, the more I learned that I got rid of a lot of stuff in my house.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That's incredible. For me, I guess, like the line when I go to restaurants is, I make sure that they don't use any of the oils.

Gin Stephens: Right, because you've got that on your never list.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Very cool.

Gin Stephens: Anyway, I really am proud of this book. As I said, my editor is really, really fond of it although she's now working on the editorial revisions, which makes me nervous. [laughs] I have a lot of parts like after every chapter, I want you to pause and reflect and take action so that you're not just reading it. After every chapter, you do something. That's the teacher in me. She's like, “There's a lot of that.” I'm like, “Yeah, I know that, but it's really important. It's really important.” So, we'll see what happens. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Well, very exciting.

Gin Stephens: It is so exciting. I'm just glad. The other day, I sat in the front yard, Melanie, and I read a book and it was fiction, like a fiction book.

Melanie Avalon: That's amazing.

Gin Stephens: My neighbor walked by and she was walking her dog and I was like, “I'm reading a book.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I love it.

Gin Stephens: I know it feels amazing. Anyway, although it's very tight turnaround because we would talk to the team the other day, the team at St. Martin's, the galleys are going to be out July 29th, which is like around the corner.

Melanie Avalon: Can I get one?

Gin Stephens: Oh yeah, I'll make sure you get on the galley list. Yeah, July 29th. By the time this episode comes out, I see the date here, it's the end of May, so that's two months. We have to do all the copy editing, and all of the editorial changes really quickly. Then, the on-sale date is January 4th, which I think is really a great time because it's the New Year, people have goals, the New Year's a good time to really work on becoming cleanish, but it's not a fast process. It might take you a year, and that's okay. I'm going to have a book study and work through it with readers once it comes out.

Melanie Avalon: Very nice.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm really excited about that too.

Melanie Avalon: Again, for listeners, the show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode215. We will put a link directly to the book there.

Gin Stephens: That’s so exciting. I'm also going to be working on in between now and probably by the time this episode comes out, I'll have it, ginstephens.com/cleanish. When we're writing cleanish, like that it's going to be all one word, no punctuation, you can't have the punctuation in there on the web address. I don't know, could you? We're not going to but ginstephens.com/cleanish as one word.

Melanie Avalon: And that will direct--?

Gin Stephens: St. Martin's is working on all the preorder--

Melanie Avalon: The landing page.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, a landing page. Exactly. It's going to have the landing page for everything. I'm also going to include links. I'll go ahead and pop Beautycounter on there, because that's who I endorse, for clean beauty, and you too, because I'm convinced. Honestly, you were like, “You’re going to like it.” I'm like, “Yeah, yeah, whatever. I'll try.” Then, I really liked the product. Okay, so liking the products is what convinced me. I'm like, “Melanie thinks this is important. I like the products. They're good products. I'm going to do it.” But when I really started digging into the research, I was like, “Oh, my gosh.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Cannot be putting this on my skin anymore.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. And I'm like, “Chad. Let’s make some changes, Chad.”

Melanie Avalon: I know. That's why Beautycounter is so amazing, because not only were they founded on that mission-- like the creator, Gregg, she did it because of realizing the role of endocrine disruptors in fertility issues and miscarriages. Their purpose is removing chemicals. I think their goal with that was to make products that actually work. The products are just amazing.

Gin Stephens: Exactly. They have to work, or I don't want to use them.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, like I started it just for the makeup because I was like, “I'll just use like a steel soap.” I don't really use face products. Ironically, I started using the makeup, I started seeing all the feedback from my audience about their obsession with all the skincare products. I was like, “Oh, maybe I should try these products after all. Now, I'm sold on everything.

Gin Stephens: It's true. it really is just good stuff. The whole premise of Clean(ish) is put lesson, like I said, and let your body work to take out what it needs to take out. Our bodies are great at doing detox, naturally, but we have to support that. Also, the role of food. Food is really important in how our bodies clean, believe it or not, I know you believe it. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Our link for Beautycounter, is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. Can I talk about one thing that I talked about with Dr. Lustig that related to fasting or it's about fasting?

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I don't know if this is correct. I mean, I'm sure it's correct. It came straight from him, but I kept asking him more questions about it. He thinks that basically the main issue with-- I don't know if it's the main issue-- Oh, his book, by the way, is called Metabolical. I cannot recommend it enough. It's one of the most mind-blowing things I've ever read. It talks about everything we just talked about.

Gin Stephens: Is it mostly about the ultraprocessed food?

Melanie Avalon: It's more about the food industry. Yeah. it's about the food industry, Big Pharma, the medical system, government.

Gin Stephens: Because I've got some stuff about the food system in Clean(ish).

Melanie Avalon: His chapter on food fraud blew my mind.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, it's not about food fraud. I don't have any of that. Well, I'm looking forward to reading it.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, I always make notes to prep for the show. I think this is probably out of the 100 episodes I've done, probably in the top three for like the most notes that I had leading up to it.

Gin Stephens: Give me an example of the food fraud.

Melanie Avalon: The one everybody knows is like olive oil. I think he said like 60% of olive oil-- I might be incorrect with that stat. It was some huge stat of olive oil that says it is extra virgin or Italian is neither extra virgin or Italian. The food fraud in the fish industry is insane. And it makes me sad because I think a lot of people watched that Seaspiracy documentary on Netflix, and they think they shouldn't eat fish. That's not the solution, I don't think. I think the solution is addressing the issue, so having transparency, vetting your sources. That's why I love ButcherBox because they go to great lengths with the traceability and transparency.

Literally, he talks about the fish industry. Basically, they just lie. They just lie. The fish at the supermarket may or may not be the fish that it says it is. He said it's more of a problem in restaurants. He talks about the fish that often gets swapped out. I think it's like snapper and tilapia or something, or cod. I don't know, they switch out fish. Some of the other stuff was-- oh, the honey industry is just crazy. It's a ton of fraud. They didn't really start regulating it until two things happened, like two big events. One was that when something happened in Asia, and some sort of compound got into the milk, and it actually filtered its way over to the US because it was so pervasive. Then, the second one was, apparently there was some sort of meat thing that happened, I think it was in the 2000s, when a large portion of meat that was getting exported to the US was actually-- it was labeled as beef, but it was actually horse.

Gin Stephens: I remember that. I don't know if it was happening a lot in the United States, but I think it was in Europe, right?

Melanie Avalon: It was in Europe.

Gin Stephens: But it also happened in the United States?

Melanie Avalon: It was in Europe, but some of that got exported to the US.

Gin Stephens: Oh Lord. I know that, for example, it was like Ikea meatballs, or horse or something. I remember that. I was like, “Okay, note to self.”

Melanie Avalon: So, that's when they started looking closer at food fraud as far as regulation goes, but in the processed food industry, there's just a lot of fraud with just the ingredients, and it's shocking. It's really shocking.

Gin Stephens: The supplement industry. I talked a little bit about the supplement industry as well in my Clean(ish), the supplements are often not what they say they are and they can even put dangerous things in there, prescription drugs are in a supplement that are supposed to be like something else, like ginkgo biloba, and it's not ginkgo biloba, it's something completely different. Can you imagine all the interactions you might have? That's why it's so important to carefully vet any supplements you're taking, and only use companies that you trust completely.

Melanie Avalon: There's food fraud with cheese, where they were adding cellulose to it. This was in the US. Some of the cheese didn't even have any cheese in it.

Gin Stephens: That's crazy.

Melanie Avalon: I know. the different types are dilution. Like the virgin olive oil, diluting it with other things substitution. Substituting fish for other fish. Tilapia usually is often substituted for snapper, intentionally contaminating or concealing, so that was melamine that was in milk, and then cheese and cellulose. Country of origin is often incorrect. Counterfeiting, they just make stuff up. He said, actually, organic is usually the main target of fraudsters, because there's more money in it. That's concerning.

Gin Stephens: Ah. Well, that makes it even harder, because you're trying-- I talk in Clean(ish) about the different labels that you can trust. [laughs] I guess if they're lying about it-- but the certified organic label is a label you can trust, if it has really been certified.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. So, they generally recognized as safe list, which is the FDA’s list of things that are generally recognized as safe.

Gin Stephens: Like food coloring, for example. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Then, it's things that you can put into cosmetics or food. Well, it's privatized, so that means the government-- like the FDA doesn't even really know what's on it. Private companies can just add to it, and it's super easy to add things. All you have to do is basically hire a science community thing-- It's like super easy to get compounds on the list. It's ridiculously hard to take compounds off. So, only two compounds have been taken off, nitrates and trans fats.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, Europe does a much better job of monitoring these types of chemicals than we do. My research was just fascinating. The more I learned, the more I was like, “Wow.” A lot of it is reminiscent of the tobacco industry.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. He talks a lot about that.

Gin Stephens: Does he?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. The question I asked him though was, so he thinks that it really all goes back to the liver. When the liver fills up with fat, that's what's creating the metabolic issues, but he said that-- and that fat is created from carbs, usually. Excess carbs turning into fat in the liver, and I asked him, but to what extent does-- because we talk a lot on the show about how the carb to fat conversion, you don't convert a lot of carbs to fat. He was saying that-- and I don't know if he actually clarified it, if we actually nailed it down, but it sounds like the liver fills up with fat, but then beyond that, I don't really think that carbs are creating substantial amounts of body fat. It’s that the liver fills up with fat and then you're just become more, more insulin resistant and you're storing more fat from your just your diet in general, like the fat in your diet. He said when you're fasting, the fasting depletes liver fat before it depletes liver glycogen.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's not surprising, I guess. That makes sense to me.

Melanie Avalon: Every day.

Gin Stephens: That's interesting. That makes me think of my friend, Roxi. I interviewed her for Intermittent Fasting Stories. She's a longtime moderator in my community, and she's also active on the Delay, Don't Deny Social Network. When she started intermittent fasting, she had a fatty liver. She didn't lose any weight for a long, long time with intermittent fasting, but she completely reversed her fatty liver.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. The thing I was wondering, do you think on a daily cyclical basis, and I asked him this, and he said, “Yes.”

Gin Stephens: Well, here's the thing, though. Here's my question to this, Melanie. This is why I'm not sure that that's true. When we're fasting, our bodies do need to keep our blood glucose in this range. I think our liver would release glycogen while we're fasting for that purpose. It's not just only because if you dump out the fat, you're not going to be-- your body wouldn't release fat and then turn that into glucose. I don't think that your body's not going to release some glycogen from your liver during the fast just because you have a fatty liver.

Melanie Avalon: I don't think anybody would deplete the liver fat in your daily fast. I imagine you're tapping into the glycogen as well.

Gin Stephens: Daily. Yeah. Maybe he's saying that you're going to tap into your liver fat and use that before your body fat.

Melanie Avalon: No. I asked him. He was saying before the glycogen.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't think that's true.

Melanie Avalon: I was like, “I'm sorry, I keep asking about this.” I was like, “But to clarify.” [laughs]

Gin Stephens: I'm not a medical doctor. Based on everything I know, and how the liver releases glycogen and keeps your blood sugar in that range-- we see it when you drink coffee and your liver dumps the glycogen, your blood sugar goes up. I've seen-- of course, I don't have a fatty liver, but I don't know, I can't imagine that your body would not release an iota of glycogen from your liver.

Melanie Avalon: I think he did say that they both are sort of happening but he said for sure that the fat is going first. I don't know. It was an amazing conversation, though. It won't be out by the time this comes out.

Gin Stephens: It makes me want to read his book, but right now, I'm just going to read fiction. Just going to read fiction for a while because my brain needs to have fiction in it. [laughs] My brain is tired.

Melanie Avalon: While I'm working on my notes, I play movies, that's how I get my fiction in.

Gin Stephens: Well, I love to read. I haven't read fiction because even before I started writing Clean(ish), I was reading about the topics because I had it in my mind. I've just been science, science. Now, I'm like, “I just want to read.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Can I share one more thing?

Gin Stephens: Sure.

Melanie Avalon: I know we haven't even answered any listener questions yet. But just really quickly, yesterday, I did a Facebook Live thing with Marty Kendall.

Gin Stephens: Oh, I saw that you were going to do that. On Instagram maybe you had posted it. Did you post it on Instagram? I saw it somewhere.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, that was really, really amazing. I love him so much.

Gin Stephens: He's great.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, he's fantastic. For listeners, he wrote Big Fat Keto Lies, and really just dismantles a lot of the lies in the keto community. He was interviewing me, it wasn't me interviewing him, and we were doing it on biohacking, and it made me think, because he asked me a lot of his questions had to do with what are the main-- out of all the biohacking things, what are the things that are non-negotiables in my life? With biohacking fatigue, how do you know, out of all the things, what to get, and all of that. It really made me realize the things that really are non-negotiables in my life, every single day. Do you use the blue light blocking glasses?

Gin Stephens: I do. I do use them. Again, when I was writing Clean(ish), I have a chapter on other tools for self-cleaning. I know that that blue light is not technically a dirty chemical coming in, but it is in a way dirty, you know what I'm saying? [laughs] So, you can clean up by wearing your blue light blocking glasses.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because people often ask me, if you had to pick just one thing in the biohacking world. It's really hard because there's so many things that I benefit from, but honestly, those are the things that I use every single night of my life. My whole experience of my energy and my sleep would just be profoundly different if I didn't have them in my life.

Gin Stephens: Sleep is such an important mechanism for self-cleaning, because I mean, our audience knows about autophagy and how that works during the fast. The glymphatic system, which is not the same as the lymphatic system, it has a G in front of it. The glymphatic system is our brains self-cleaning mechanism that happens while we're sleeping. Your brain has to have that self-cleaning time, so you have to get into a good sleep. That's again where the blue light blocking fits in. Anything that is disturbing your sleep is a problem because your brain cannot self-clean if you're not getting sufficient sleep, cannot.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. When we have our lights on at night, it basically just stops our melatonin production.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, the blue light is what we have in the middle of the day. That's our body's signal that it's the middle of the day, and we should be alert. Blue light makes us alert. That's its purpose.

Melanie Avalon: BLUblox makes three different types. They make clear computer glasses, if you're staring at screens all day. Those still let in blue light, but they're blocking some of it to mitigate computer screens, and then they have their SummerGlo. So, they're yellow tinged ones. I put those on as the sun is winding down. Those are incredible. They also have a certain yellow spectrum, the actual yellow color they use has been shown to boost mood. Then, they have their Sleep+ lens. Those are the ones that block all of the blue light, and I put those on right before bed. It's just a profound difference. If I ever accidentally take them off at night, I'm like, “Oh.”

Gin Stephens: I know. It's like the light is blinding. You're like, “What is this crazy light shining?” Yeah, it's true.

Melanie Avalon: I think it's hard, like I said, but I think if I had to pick one thing in my daily life that I think would benefit most people, it might be that.

Gin Stephens: Well, just the sleep connection is so powerful. If you're struggling with sleep, that's one thing to think about. Again, this is what I was talking about how our modern life is so different. They didn't have this problem back in 1921.

Melanie Avalon: Right, exactly.

Gin Stephens: Here we are having these problems, and we're so sick and unhealthy as a society, and it's getting worse and worse and worse. People are gaining more and more weight and having more and more autoimmune diseases. There's not just one thing that you can put your finger on, it's like, “Oh, it's this.” No, it's everything piling up. Lowering your load, your toxic load, lowering, doing the best you can because you're going to have exposure. Babies are born with chemicals in their cord blood. There was something that came out, someone sent me an article this week. They tested breast milk and 100% of the breast milk had, I can't remember what chemical they found in it, 100%.

Melanie Avalon: I know, it's so pervasive. When a woman gives birth, it's like a detox, like a lot of those chemicals go through the placenta into the newborn.

Gin Stephens: It's true. We have to be so careful with what we're putting in because some things you're just exposed to living your life, you cannot help it, it's out there. Back 50 years ago, your body could maybe handle a little bit more. Now, we're so saturated, that we have to be more careful. Not to scare people, I don't want people to be afraid because you really can take powerful steps. Just change your skincare, change what you're cleaning with, and then so much less is going to be coming in.

Melanie Avalon: Yep. For listeners, if you'd like to get blue light blocking glasses, like I do, and Gin does, our link is blublox.com. They spell it B-L-U-B-L-O-X dotcom. The coupon code, IFPODCAST, actually gets you 15% off, which is super awesome. Something else I love that they do is for every pair of glasses you buy, they donate a pair of reading glasses to someone in need. That's really exciting.

Gin Stephens: Yep, that's awesome.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Shall we answer some questions for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes, but we talked about lots of important stuff. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I love it.

Gin Stephens: All right. We have a question from Anais. the subject is “A few questions for you.” She says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. In a previous episode, you talked about how fasted exercise helps you grow muscle, but I also heard you say that exercise can help lower your blood sugar levels. I am close to the pre-diabetic range, I wondered if it would be more interesting for me to work out shortly after eating to help lower my blood sugar levels, or if it would still be best to work out as far in my fast as possible.” Let's just take these one by one.

Melanie Avalon: I thought this was a great question. It's something I've thought about as well. Yes, exactly what she said. It depends also as well what type of exercise you're doing, but generally exercise in a fasted state, especially when you're deep into the fat burning, that's going to really capitalize on that and help you burn more body fat. Because especially in the fasted state, regulating your blood sugar levels for a lot of people, they're going to be more stable anyways, so that's not really the thing you're addressing as much. Compared to exercising after eating, for example, that can really help with lowering blood sugar levels, especially if you get spikes after meals.

Gin Stephens: Can I jump in real quick with something that anecdotal that we know in our community?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Again, going back to my friend, Roxi, that I just talked about a few minutes ago. She has a CGM, and she monitors her blood sugar, and she goes to Zumba. She loves to go to Zumba. Right after she does Zumba, her blood sugar always goes way up.

Melanie Avalon: High intensity.

Gin Stephens: Yep.

Melanie Avalon: That would be the exception. Well, not the exception, but--

Gin Stephens: Well, because your body's dumping the glycogen. Just actually, don't be surprised if that happens, but that's not a bad thing. That can make people scared like, “Oh, my gosh, this exercise is making me worse.” It's not, it's just your body doing something, because of the exertion.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's a great point, because if you're in the fasted state, and your blood sugar's not elevated, and then you do high intensity exercise where you need that glucose, the body can generate it and spike your blood sugar. Compared to if you're exercising in the fed state, if your blood glucose is already high, then the exercise can be using that already high blood glucose and lowering it. Really, it's just a matter of your goals. You could do both, but you can just approach exercise with that mindset of what it would be addressing.

Gin Stephens: I just can't imagine eating and then going to work out. I don't think I'd feel my best. I don't want to work out on a full stomach. That just sounds like the worst plan in the world to me. Now that I know what it's like to work out in the fasted state, I cannot imagine eating a meal and then be like, “Now, I'm going to work out.”

Melanie Avalon: I guess, in my head, I was envisioning, she did say workout, so that would be more accurate. In my head, I was envisioning a walk after dinner.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's okay. Nothing wrong with that. That feels good. But like a workout? I think I would throw up. I don't know. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I would not want to.

Gin Stephens: Uh-huh. No.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so really, it's based on your goals.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. All right. She says, “My other question is about the high carb, low fat diet. I've always heard that protein is often related to high fat. So, isn't a high carb, low fat diet incompatible with high protein?”

Melanie Avalon: Also, a great question. It is true that people often associate protein and fat because meat normally has fat with it, or vegan alternatives of things that people think are high in protein, like nuts, or I guess dairy as well as often high fat and high protein, but it doesn't have to be. There's a lot of lean protein that is not high in fat. If you want no fat, egg whites, zero fat.

Gin Stephens: Don't we all remember the lean chicken breasts that we all ate back in the day? [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I still eat lean chicken breast because I tend to eat a high carb, high protein, low fat diet most days. Yeah, like lean chicken breast, shrimp, scallops, a lot of white fish is pretty lean.

Gin Stephens: Beans.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: Melanie's not eating the beans, but I'm eating the beans. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Low-fat cottage cheese, there's a lot of low-fat dairy, so they do not necessarily have to go together. The thing about meat is-- because this is something that the vegan population people will point out a lot, in beef, for example, you can remove the fat that you see. You can't remove the intramuscular fat. That's not something that you'd be able to cut away. It's possibly something you could cook out a little bit, but it's hard to reduce it completely.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's what we used to do, Melanie, back in the low-fat diets of the early 90s. We would buy the leanest ground beef you could buy, and then you would cook it and then you would rinse it. We rinsed it off. I remember doing that. Rinsing my ground beef. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I still do that.

Gin Stephens: Not me, not me.

Melanie Avalon: If you want to address the intramuscular fat, grass-fed beef is lower in intramuscular fat than corn-fed beef. The corn-fed beef is basically made to fatten up compared to beef on pasture completely.

Gin Stephens: I finally cooked a good steak the other day. I've always said I can't cook steak. I had some grass-fed steak and I finally managed to cook it properly. It was amazing. I don't know, it might have only happened once in my life. [laughs] We'll say but it was like the best steak I've ever had, and I managed to cook it myself. It was not low fat there because I put the butter on top.

Melanie Avalon: I'm a huge steak fan as well, Gin. Going back to-- I was talking in the beginning about ButcherBox with the seafood industry and everything. Their steaks are incredible as well.

Gin Stephens: So good. They are. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Especially after reading Metabolical, I've realized more and more as consumers-- I'm going to be on a soapbox right now, but making change in our system-- Oh, Dr. Robert Lustig, I'm all over the place right now. He also talks about climate and greenhouse gases and the role of agriculture versus plants, and it's very much in line with Robb Wolf’s Sacred Cow. There's a lot of confusion surrounding what is sustainable for the planet in the future on our health. Really, I honestly truly believe that the solution is regenerative agriculture. It is what is closest to the natural state of our planet. It's the way the planet is naturally meant to be. He talks all about in his book, the different greenhouse gases and the difference in when regenerative agriculture, sustainable methods, how that actually could reverse the climate issues that we have, really all the issues are, it's the processed food industry and the conventional farming system that's creating all of these problems. In any case, that's why I feel like the change is going to have to come from consumers and making their choices.

Gin Stephens: It's happening slow-- Well, quickly, actually. I was saying what's happening slowly, but everywhere you go, even if you're shopping, wherever you're shopping, big box stores, they have organic foods now. I bought some beans, I was throwing them into a soup that I was making. I was at Kroger, they had whatever brand of organic that they have, and it was $1 for this can of beans, it was cheaper to buy the organic beans than it was to buy the big name brand nonorganic.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I actually asked him about that. What were his thoughts on the commercialization of organic practices? Was that a good thing or a bad thing? There's been discussion in my Facebook group, IF Biohackers, where somebody was lamenting some big corporate company buying out organic brands. I was saying, “Well, maybe, is that a good thing?”

Gin Stephens: I think it's a good thing. Here's my thought on it. It's because consumers are demanding better and the big corporations want to do what we will buy. To me, it is a huge positive sign, the fact that there's more and more choice out there is good, because we're demanding it. It's happening. I talk about in Clean(ish) about years ago, when Will and his food sensitivities and chemical sensitivities, I don't think I've ever told this story in public, really. But we had a really hard time finding things that Will could use and eat because he responded very poorly to certain chemicals. It was really hard. This was in the early 2000s. He was born in 1999, and this is when he was little. But now, it's everywhere you go. It's Walmart, it's Kroger, it's every grocery store has options.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. I think that's incredible. Then, on top of that, that's why I love companies like ButcherBox like I've been saying, because they are one step better than that to me, I think, because they cut out the grocery store, which is the middleman. So, they're directly connecting farmers to consumers. That is making everything more affordable, more accessible. Especially after all this, what I've learned about regulations and fraud and secrets and motives, trusting the company connecting you to the farmer, I just think is so, so important.

Gin Stephens: Let me backtrack what I said a minute ago, because the one thing it's hard to find locally is the good meat unless you're buying from a local farmer. At your local grocery store, it is still harder to find the meat that you're looking for, and that's why ButcherBox makes it so much easier.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I love them. It's been amazing to be sponsored by them because they just embody everything that I'm hoping for with everything. Just to clarify for listeners who are not familiar, it's all online and you pick your box and you pick what you want and they ship directly to you. It comes like on dry ice and I've never had any problems with stuff not arriving-- It arrives completely frozen.

Gin Stephens: I don't know if it's changed or if there's just a misconception, but sometimes people think that they just send you whatever. That's not the case. You do get to pick. It's not just a random box of meat. Did it used to be when they first started out, was it just they sent you a random assortment?

Melanie Avalon: The cuts can be random. You were picking if you want steak or chicken or pork and then you don't necessarily pick the cuts.

Gin Stephens: Right. But you do get to pick what's in it?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, you get to choose the composition of-- they're not going to send Gin fish because Gin does not want fish. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Even though if Gin wanted fish, she should get it from ButcherBox.

Gin Stephens: Gin does not want fish. Sorry.

Melanie Avalon: If she wanted it because of the transparency, I swear.

Gin Stephens: Did I tell you that JJ Virgin interviewed me for her podcast, and I told her about my dislike of fish. Then she sent me stuffed fish as a joke.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's funny.

Gin Stephens: It was so funny. It came in the mail and I'm like, “Oh my God, this is hilarious.” Anyway, JJ Virgin is pretty awesome. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, if you'd like to get ButcherBox, their offer right now is really incredible. It's a free barbecue bundle. So, you get two New York strip steaks, and their steaks are completely grass fed, completely grass finished, which is key. Five pounds of organic free-range chicken drumsticks and six grass-fed, grass-finished burgers all for free. That’s so much.

Gin Stephens: Is that going to be the deal when this podcast comes out at the end of May, that'll be the deal? Then, okay, because if you're listening to this later, not on the day it comes out, it always changes, but they always have a great deal of some sort.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, but this one is pretty great. That's two strip steaks, five pounds of chicken drumsticks. Five pounds, that's a lot. [laughs] That's a lot. I think that just sunk in, I wasn't thinking about it. That's a lot. Six burgers. It's their barbecue bundle. All for free. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast.

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Gin Stephens: All right, we have one more question here from Anais and it's, “Finally just a question about the Oura ring. Is it a good device to help you track your cycles, thanks to the body temperature feedback?” I can actually answer this even though I don't have an Oura ring, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: Really?

Gin Stephens: Because a friend of mine has one, not you, another friend.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I lost mine. Did you to know that?

Gin Stephens: I do, well, yeah. You can tell about that in a minute. My friend who has one, based on, I'm not really sure her birth control or she had an ablation or something, so she does not have a visible cycle, if you know what I'm saying. She's of the age where she is approaching, she's like perimenopausal so she's not sure. She doesn't know based on cycles, what's happening as opposed to the menopausal transition, but she knows because of her Oura ring. Her body temperature, she can tell that she's still cycling, she can tell that her ovaries are still doing what they do because of the change in the body temperature. 100% yes, you can do that.

Melanie Avalon: I lost my diamond Oura ring.

Gin Stephens: How in the world have you lost another one?

Melanie Avalon: I don't know. It was on my finger, obviously. I was at my apartment, it was on my finger. All I did was I went to-- not far, I went to Target. I walked in, I bought cucumbers. I walked out. I went to cryotherapy, I realized at cryotherapy it was gone. I went back, you can get a Bluetooth tracker that shows Bluetooth devices. I retraced everywhere.

Gin Stephens: Somebody probably picked it up.

Melanie Avalon: Probably fell and somebody--

Gin Stephens: And they didn't know what they had.

Melanie Avalon: I know. [laughs] Picked up this ring with diamonds and strange computer chips.

Gin Stephens: You've got to get a tighter one. Maybe one that fits a little tighter on your finger.

Melanie Avalon: I don't want a tighter one.

Gin Stephens: Well.

Melanie Avalon: In any case. [laughs] I'm really sad. So, I've interviewed the CEO, Harpreet Rai, twice on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. In the most recent episode, we dived deep, deep into this because it does have temperature tracking capabilities, and women do notice changes in their cycles because they're always updating the app and updating the information from it. Right now, they're currently working on the software in the app to--

Gin Stephens: Predict your cycle.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, to tell more about women's cycles, take that--

Gin Stephens: And what phase you're in. When I was trying to get pregnant, back in, let's see, Will was born in 1999. So, this was-- [laughs] Anyway, what I was trying to get pregnant with Will, I read a book about fertility in women and charting with your temperature. Actually, I think I might have even done that when I was trying to get pregnant with Cal, I'm not sure, but I was taking my temperature and then knowing where I was in my cycle, because it's really accurate.

Melanie Avalon: I'm actually reading right now, Alisa Vitti, In the FLO book. It's blowing my mind about-- I've learned so much about women's cycles. I don't know anything. I've learned so much. Long story short, the temperature does play a huge role and the Oura ring, yes, it shows your temperature. Right now, you have to make your own intuitive thoughts based on it, but in the future, it should have more information about women's cycles.

Gin Stephens: See, I both want an Oura ring and do not want an Oura ring. I don't want to wear it.

Melanie Avalon: Why not?

Gin Stephens: I just don’t want to have something on my finger. I don't sleep in my wedding ring anymore. I used to, but then I stopped. I don't sleep in any rings and I don't want to sleep in a ring. I don't want to wear a ring. I don't like big bulky rings. But now, I really want an Oura ring. Darn it. Oura ring, make a little ring. I need them to have their technology miniature, so it's a skinny little ring. I don't like thick rings. But now, I really want an Oura ring. I'm having a dilemma.

Melanie Avalon: I know. Just do it, Gin. You will love it.

Gin Stephens: I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: You will love it.

Gin Stephens: Jury's out, but I really do want one because I want to track some more things. I love that it gives you a readiness score. Hearing my friend, Sheri, talk about hers and how it's always right. [sighs]

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's amazing.

Gin Stephens: I mean, even though my bed tracks my sleep, I feel like the Oura ring would do a better job, because sometimes I know I had a bad night's sleep, and my bed’s like, “Great night's sleep.” I'm like, “That's a lie.”

Melanie Avalon: After interviewing Harpreet twice, I am completely sold because he talks about the difference between it, Fitbits and Garmins and the technology in Oura, it's the technology that you want.

Gin Stephens: Or sometimes my bed, Chad will roll over-- after I get up in the morning, he'll roll over into my spot and then it says I went back to bed, and I did not go back to bed. Then, everything's all off on my data, but my ring wouldn't do that. See, you're going to make me have to get one, and Sheri too, I have really-- she's my cohost on the Life Lessons podcast. How can I not get one with both of you having one, and loving it?

Melanie Avalon: It's meant to be. I just reordered. I didn’t get the diamond one again though.

Gin Stephens: I actually looked at it the other day. I think I would get the gold.

Melanie Avalon: I could have guessed if I had guessed.

Gin Stephens: Well, because I'm wearing gold jewelry right now.

Melanie Avalon: I reordered the one that I had the first time around, which was the Black Heritage one.

Gin Stephens: Everyone can predict about when Gin is going to have her Oura ring. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: All right, I think we can squeeze in one more last fun quick question. This comes from Deanna. She says, “Hi there. Can you add fresh mint leaves in your water during the fasting period? Thanks.”

Gin Stephens: And the answer is no. Do not add fresh mint leaves to your water during the fasting period. For one thing, they're leaves. I wouldn't even add mint essential oil to water and drink it during the fast. Remember, we want the fast to be boring. The yes list includes plain water, nothing added for flavored. Plain sparkling water, nothing added for flavor. Black coffee, not flavored coffee. Plain tea, nothing added. That's it. Save the delicious fresh mint leaves for your eating window. You can have them all the time. There's all these things that if you're like, “Well, I want to have lemon because it's good for your liver.” I'm like, “Well, open your window with lemon water.” We're not telling you not to have it ever. You just don't want to have it during the fast.

Melanie Avalon: Can I be awful and say I think maybe some people-- just for me, I think some people, it might be okay if they're not eating the leaves.

Gin Stephens: Well, I absolutely wouldn't because I just absolutely prized the clean fast to the point that why would I want to risk it? That's the way I look at it. Maybe the mint leaves would be fine but--

Melanie Avalon: I guess for me mint just so doesn't bother my fast. If anything, it really helps me and I could see how maybe some people minty water would not be an issue.

Gin Stephens: Well, it is not Gin recommended.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. It's a maybe for Melanie, confuse all the people, not eating the leaves to clarify.

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't know how you would not if you're drinking fresh mint leaves in your water, how do you avoid them?

Melanie Avalon: They're large leaves. You'd have to consciously eat the leaf, I think.

Gin Stephens: Well, I would not. I would not put it in my water. Just drink the plain water, embrace the plain. [laughs] We can do it. We can drink plain water. Plain water is so delicious and refreshing. That's one thing we hear sometimes, somebody they'll say, “I can't stand the taste of plain water.” I'm like, “I don't even understand that.” We've trained our palates to need entertainment all the time. They need a break from that. We don't need food signals coming in all the time. I think that leads to a lot of our metabolic dysregulation. Anyway.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions for the podcast, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can follow us on Instagram. I'm MelanieAvalon, Gin is GinStephens. You can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. I think that's everything. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

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

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this was absolutely wonderful, and I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right, bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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


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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