Welcome to Episode 224 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.
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Listener Feedback: Sarah - From Vegetarian-Ish To Carnivore-Ish
Listener Q&A: Laura - IF In The News
Listener Q&A: Shelby - Frustrated
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Listener Q&A: Theresa - IF Headaches
Listener Q&A: Roxy - Supplements
Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 224 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 Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.
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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. And it's so easy, everything ships directly to your door.
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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. 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. And 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 test high for lead, and the half-life of lead can be up to 30 years in your bones? That means when you put on your lipstick, 30 years later, half of that lead might still be in your body.
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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. And 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 224 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.
Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.
Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?
Gin Stephens: I'm doing great.
Melanie Avalon: Great. What's new in your world?
Gin Stephens: Did I tell you last week? I don't know if I mentioned it on the podcast, Fast. Feast. Repeat. is now available in Spanish.
Melanie Avalon: Yes.
Gin Stephens: Did I say it on the podcast?
Melanie Avalon: Yes, I think so.
Gin Stephens: Okay, well, I'm just so excited. I couldn't remember if I did. It's also in Italian. It's available for sale right now. Spanish and Italian, more languages coming.
Melanie Avalon: That's very exciting.
Gin Stephens: It is exciting. I don't even remember what languages are coming.
Melanie Avalon: I hope it's in French sometime.
Gin Stephens: I don't remember French if that one's coming, but the way it works, it's really different. A lot of people probably don't know, I just certainly didn't know, but the book is originally purchased, for example, by my publisher for the English translation or for the English rights-- I mean, there's no translation because, hello, I'm English, or I write in English, but the English version is what we were under contract for. The foreign rights are a whole different thing. Every company that is in another country is separate from my original publisher, and they have to negotiate for foreign rights for that specific language. They're all separate publishers. It's really interesting. I would have assumed that my original publisher would be the one that would just keep it and do the-- no.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's so interesting how everything works. Unless you are in that world, you don't realize all of the stuff that happens.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I had no idea. Then, with the foreign editions, you have so much less control over them than you do with the ones right here that are coming out of the US. Like the Italian one has a whole different name and the cover is funny. It's a cupcake. Have you seen the picture of it? It's like a cupcake with an on-off switch.
Melanie Avalon: No, you just told me about it.
Gin Stephens: Nobody showed me that or asked me about it before-- [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Because the evening window opens and we eat cupcakes.
Gin Stephens: Exactly. I guess, I don't know, but I thought that was just really funny and the name of it, is not Fast. Feast. Repeat. in Italian. I think the story for that one is translating Fast. Feast. Repeat. into Italian was weird, like the way they had to translate it made no sense. So, they had--
Melanie Avalon: So, what's the title?
Gin Stephens: I can't remember.
Melanie Avalon: I'm super curious.
Gin Stephens: It's an Italian, so I-- [laughs] But it's not Fast. Feast. Repeat. but it is Fast. Feast. Repeat. Anyway. Just look for Gin Stephens, that will help you find them if you're looking for them in another language.
Melanie Avalon: Is there like an Italian Amazon?
Gin Stephens: Yeah, they have Amazons all over the place and I know this because Delay, Don't Deny is self-published. I published it through Amazon's publishing arm, Amazon is my publisher, really. I get royalty checks from Amazon, but I get one from Amazon Canada and one from Amazon Europe. It's all like where Delay, Don't Deny sells, wherever Amazon sold it, I get a separate royalty check from them. It's fascinating. The paperback just became available in Australia for Delay, Don't Deny because Delay, Don't Deny is print on demand. So, when someone orders it, they print it. So, different places are printing it all over the world, but Amazon in Australia just started printing the American books. If it was published by me in America, you can now get it. You could get it before through several weird places that were probably all counterfeit. The Kindle version has been available in Amazon all the time, but they didn't have print on demand for American books, and now they do. Anyone wanting to get Delay, Don't Deny in Australia, you can now get the actual non-counterfeit version directly in Australia.
Melanie Avalon: Very nice.
Gin Stephens: It is nice. What's up with you, what's new?
Melanie Avalon: I'm really happy right now because Gary Taubes asked if I would tweet about our episode.
Gin Stephens: Oh, that's good.
Melanie Avalon: If you had told me like 10 years ago, Gary Taubes would ask me to tweet about our episode-- so that he could retweet it. I don't know. I really like the surreal moments because I released that episode on Friday.
Gin Stephens: Well, that is so exciting that he loved it.
Melanie Avalon: I know. Well, it was more just like my assistant since the announcement email to the guest every week, he just said basically, “Can we tweet about it?” So, he could tweet? I was like, “Oh, of course, I can." And then I got on Twitter, because I haven't logged into Twitter in months, like months, and I had all of these-- like Dr. Steven Gundry had tweeted about me, I was like, “Oh my gosh.” So, I think I might start trying to up my Twitter game.
Gin Stephens: I do have some exciting news. I'm not going to tell all of it, but I can tell a little bit of it.
Melanie Avalon: What is that?
Gin Stephens: Someone that I love and respect and admire in the health and nutrition world, agreed to write the foreword for Clean(ish). I heard from his assistant that he is done with it. I haven't seen it yet. She's reading it and is going to get it to me next week. I don't want to say who it is till I have it in my hands. [laughs] Once I have it in my hands, I’ll announce who is writing the foreword for Clean(ish). No, it's not Jason Fung, if people are probably guessing, because it's not a fasting book, remember? I'm so excited.
Melanie Avalon: I'm excited. I know who it is.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, you know who it is. But [exhales] it's someone I admire greatly, who does great science, and I can't wait to see what he said in the foreword. It really is exciting. I sent him a draft copy and said, “By the way, as you're skimming through it, if you see anything,” you're like, “this is just garbage. This is terrible. This book is the worst book ever,” you know how you're worried about books. But so far, I haven't gotten any emails like that. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: I'm sure that was not even remotely the case.
Gin Stephens: Well, anyway, [exhales] I went through the copy editing this week as well, which, oh, I love copy editors. Y'all are the best, any copy editors that might be listening. They do a lot of work.
Melanie Avalon: They do. I cannot be a copy editor.
Gin Stephens: No, no, apparently, I could not be--[crosstalk] Anyway.
Melanie Avalon: I don't know. I feel like I might be good at it, but I wouldn't like doing it.
Gin Stephens: Well, I feel there weren't a lot of errors. It's not like there were a million things. It really only took me a couple hours to go through the copy edits, which was kind of amazing. I set aside like days, I was going to go through them, but it was like little things.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Oh, one other thing to share. There's this biohacking magazine. They were asking if I would write an article for it. So, I was trying to decide what to write on. I decided to write on either intermittent fasting for women, or early versus late night eating. I posted in my group about it and asked for what would people prefer? I think it's literally 50/50. People really want both articles. Now I'm trying to sit down, I'm going to do it early versus late night eating. I'm going to find all the studies and I'm going to read them and I'm going to see what's actually going on. But it's so frustrating. I found this one article that is talking about early versus late night intermittent fasting, and it's so frustrating
Gin Stephens: Is this the one where they didn't compare equal eating windows?
Melanie Avalon: It's a review. It's not a study. Basically, the first half of it talks about the hormonal differences between early and late-night eating and why early is better in theory, which I agree with. But then it talks about the actual studies on it. It's really confusing when an agenda is so blatant. It is just so obvious that they want to say early eating is better, because they make that case with the hormones. But then they talk about the actual studies, and literally at one point, they say that there's only one study that actually looks at this, and that it doesn't find a difference. Before that, they talk all about all of the studies on breakfast skipper problems and how breakfast eaters have health benefits, which again, I agree with, but I think it's because it's complicated and nuanced, and probably more has to do with the type of person that needs breakfast, and all of that.
When it comes down to it, they say that there's only one study and it doesn't show a difference. Yet, the conclusion they draw is that early is better with comments like how the data shows that, I'm like, “Wait, but you just said that there's only one study and it doesn't show that.”
Gin Stephens: Again, so much of the stuff they're looking at is in the paradigm of eating all day. So, if you're eating all day, you're going to be at a very different place by the end of the day than if you had fasted all day and eaten later. You're going to respond very differently to a meal at 4:00 PM if it's your first meal of the day, versus if now you it's your fifth time you've eaten.
Melanie Avalon: Uh-huh. Yeah.
Gin Stephens: I just don't think you can untangle that.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, and one of the other things that says, and this is where I was just like, "Oh my gosh," they say that, like people who eat late, the type of foods we eat at night are more sugary and fattening, I'm like, “Wait, breakfast cereals are pure sugar.”
Gin Stephens: When I was at the beach with my family, some of the members of the family, what they were eating at breakfast time, they bought like honeybuns. I'm not judging my family. I would feel so terrible if I ate that. I've never liked donuts, I think I've said that before, which is crazy. I just never have but like, I've never wanted to start the morning with a honeybun, but that is really the sugariest, most ultra-processed thing you could eat. It would set me up for a day of metabolic awfulness.
Melanie Avalon: What's so frustrating about it is you're making an argument where you're trying to analyze early versus late-night eating, it's not valid, in my opinion, to talk about the food composition, because that's not what you're talking about. You're talking about the timing. It's not even relevant. Then, on top of that, saying that you're more likely to eat bad foods at night. Okay, who-- that's not what we're testing. We just talked about how breakfast foods are usually pretty awful. So, I don't know. It's really frustrating.
Gin Stephens: I'm not convinced.
Melanie Avalon: I haven't seen anything that shows the hormonal profile being more supportive of late-night eating. So, in theory, it works better for the morning, but the practicality of it and people actually doing it, and what makes you sustainable, I think is way, way more important. This is what I think my conclusion is going to be, and I need to do more research because I just started, but I feel you're probably more likely to benefit from the window-- it is like with exercise, like the window that you do. So, if later eating window is sustainable, and that's what makes you happy, and that's what you can stick to, I think that's probably way better than forcing yourself into an early eating window.
Gin Stephens: Do you know what my best evidence is for any of this, is the fact that our bodies let us know what feels good. We get feedback from our bodies. When we just tell people, find the window that works for you, and then the great majority of them gravitate to a late afternoon to early evening eating window, that means something to me, that most people when they experiment with various eating windows, most people do not find morning is the one that feels right. For many reasons, like it makes me lethargic the rest of the day. I can't imagine that that would be better. I don't know. I'm just listening to my body, my body is not telling me that's the best. That seems like most people are similar. Though I 100% believe the people that prefer a morning window. There are people who do, and they feel great.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. No, I'm jealous of them.
Gin Stephens: I'm not because I'm not jealous of anyone who's different than me. I just want to do what feels good to me.
Melanie Avalon: There are things about me that I would rather be chronotype wise. I would rather be the chronotype that is an early morning person and who eats in the morning. But definitely the early morning, maybe not the eating in the morning, but definitely an early morning person, I would love to be that because of society.
Gin Stephens: As an early morning person, I will tell you, sometimes I wish I could sleep in, and I can. There's always going to be a time, you're not going to be there for part of it. You're either going to be going to bed early or getting up or one or the other.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: Be happy with what you are. That's my message.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, I am. I live in perpetual obsession with my state of existence, but I still have dream versions of myself that would be different, but I'm super happy with who I am.
Gin Stephens: Well, that's good. That's what matters.
Melanie Avalon: I feel like I say every single day to somebody just how grateful I am for my life. I think you can think, oh, I would be even more happier with that or that would suit me-- I've been thinking a lot about this, and this is a tangent now, I'll make it brief. People often say that, like the “I’ll be happy when” syndrome, they want things that will make them happy. Then the idea is once you get it, it doesn't make you as happy as you think, or the happiness doesn't last. I don't agree with that. There are a lot of things I thought would make me happy and then they happen, and they made me really happy and they still make me happy 10 years later.
Gin Stephens: Well, that's because you're coming from a place of happiness. I think that's the difference. If you're happy, then this thing is not making you be happy in the absence of happiness.
Melanie Avalon: That's what I'm saying about the early person thing. I'm so happy with who I am, I think I would be even more happier that way, and it's not because I'm not happy without it. I just think I would prefer to exist in society in that regard a little bit more. I feel like if I switch to it, I'd be like, this is so great, and I would keep thinking it was great. Esoteric thoughts.
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Melanie Avalon: Shall we get into everything for today?
Gin Stephens: Yes, let's.
Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have some feedback. This comes from Sarah. The subject is "From Vegetarian-ish to Carnivore-ish. Sarah says, “Dear Gin and Melanie, I wrote to you in the fall of 2020, with my saga about losing 10 pounds at the beginning of the quarantine, and then gaining 20 pounds in about four months and being so confused and distraught. I'm writing again with an update. As a reminder, I've been fasting since 2017 as a vegetarian/pescatarian. I went from a high weight of 179 pounds to a plateau of about 143 to 152 pounds for about 2.5 years. I'm 5’2”, so I never even got to the normal BMI range, which is why I call it a plateau. My low in 2020 was 139 and my high was 159. And that meant going from fitting perfectly into my smallest clothes to only fitting into leggings. I'd gotten to the point from eating out and eating processed food when things started to open up again, but the amount of weight that I gained in such a short amount of time made me think something was up since I was still fasting. I calculated the amount of protein I was eating on a regular basis and realized it was only about 20 to 50 grams a day. So, I reintroduced meat into my diet around Thanksgiving.
For about six months, I didn't lose any weight and didn't see much progress in my clothes either. I was also way hungrier than I had been as a vegetarian, which surprised me since I was now eating much more protein, but I just let myself eat and the hunger went away over time. Now, it's the end of June and I've been focusing more on low carb in addition to the protein, and I'm fitting pretty well into my smallest clothes again. But instead of being around 140 pounds, I'm still 155 pounds, only 3 to 4 pounds down from that highest weight and yet my body has totally changed.
My takeaway is that I was likely nutrient deficient and losing some lean body mass when I was fasting as a vegetarian due to a lack of protein, and now I filled up that lean body mass and have about 8 to 10 pounds more of it than I did before. I'm truly shocked because I felt great as a vegetarian. I would often get frustrated when Melanie would push her high meat, high protein agenda, LOL, but now I'm a total convert.
Thanks for listening to my long story. I wanted to write in in case any other vegetarians are thinking of reintroducing meat or to encourage them to focus on plant protein and make sure they're getting enough. I found that hard to do with fasting, but maybe others can find a way if it's important to them. Much love to you both, Sarah.”
Gin Stephens: That's very interesting. I'm glad that you are feeling better, Sarah, and satisfied and finding what foods work really well for you.
Melanie Avalon: I really loved this question from Sarah. I actually had to email Sarah back about it because I got a little-- not upset, but when she said that I would push a high meat, high protein agenda. I just wanted to speak to that and say that I really hope I don't ever come off as having an agenda, because I really don't. My agenda is that I want people to find what works for them, and that we're all unique. If I were to have an agenda, it's that. Sarah was great. She said that she was joking, she didn't really mean it that way. But listeners, please let me know if I ever say anything that sounds like it's agenda driven, because that is just the antithesis of what I ever would desire. But I thought this was a great email, because I think a lot of people experience this. I think they experience it actually on all different types of diets.
People might be vegetarian for a long time or vegan, and then their body is craving something, especially this protein situation, which I think is huge, huge, huge. So, then adding in meat helps. On the flip side, people may be doing carnivore for a long time, and then feel the need to bring back carbs, or low carb and feeling the need to bring back carbs. So, I really think listening to your body is key. I also think it's amazing that she only lost a few pounds, but her entire body composition has changed completely. That does signify to me that's probably a lot of muscle change, which is definitely very, very healthy for our body and the type of composition that we want to go for, for so many reasons.
One of the reasons that I think people don't quite appreciate the extent to which I think it plays a role, and that's muscle being a glucose sink for our dietary carbs. The more muscle we have, the more insulin sensitive we will likely be because we have a larger storage capacity to store carbs. I thought about that vaguely for a while, but I think it's actually huge. I remember I've talked about this before, but who was it? I listened to some episode. I think it was-- Oh, I know who it was. It was on Peter Attia, and it was that doctor, I think Shulman was his name. It was literally the most mind-blowing insulin episode I've ever listened to. I would love to interview him. But he was the one that was saying that most people say insulin resistance starts at the liver or the pancreas, but he was saying it actually starts at the muscle, which I find very, very interesting. But, yeah, lots of thoughts.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, that sounds great. Really, you just have to figure out what feels right for your body. Also, don't underestimate the power of doing a lot of eating out and eating processed food. That's going to lead to fat gain, in addition. That's the perfect storm, all those processed foods, all those restaurant foods. You can't do a lot of eating out unless you're somewhere very fancy and special, that you'd like to go to Melanie. A normal place, where everybody's going, 95% of all restaurants, you're going to get stuff with the inflammatory oils, everything's going to be full of ultra-processed ingredients. It's hard to find and you're going to pay a lot of money for a restaurant that is more whole food based.
Melanie Avalon: I think you can make a lot of mid-tier restaurants work though.
Gin Stephens: I make them work. I'm not going to say don't eat out, but even so, it's tricky. You can craft a plate of food, but it's not what you want to eat while you're there. That's what's so frustrating. Does that make sense? It's like, "Well, I'll just have spinach plain." I don't want to do that if I'm at a restaurant. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I guess it depends what type of person you are, and the only reason I'm drawing attention to this is because I can pretty much make most restaurants work and I'm super happy with what I eat.
Gin Stephens: I would rather not go to a restaurant if I have to really restrict my choices, because what they have on the menu doesn't-- I don't know if I'm explaining it well. If we're at a pizza restaurant, I'm going to eat pizza. If I don't want to go to a pizza restaurant and try to find something on the menu or an Italian restaurant and try to find something on the menu, something else. I'd rather just eat at home. I guess that's my point.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, no, I understand completely what you're saying. That's why I think it's the type of person and the type of food that you're eating normally. This is what I posted about on my Instagram today, because people always want to see pictures of my food and you don't want to see pictures of my food because it's very plain and there's a lot of it, and I eat very simply. I can really go to most restaurants and because I eat so simply, I curtail the menu to be simple. I don't want to eat what they have normally.
Gin Stephens: I get it. Last night, I had chicken pot pie from Green Chef. [laughs] You would not have had that. Then, I had brioche crotons that I made from scratch. They sent the brioche bread. I mean, it was Green Chef, it had plenty of veggies and it was delicious. Man, it was good. They're not sponsoring this episode, but.
Melanie Avalon: I'm very simple. If you're down for simple, you can make most restaurants work, I think.
Gin Stephens: If you like chicken pot pie, you'd rather have it at home from Green Chef than at a restaurant.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly.
Gin Stephens: That's what I was trying to say. Now you get it. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Shall we go on to our next feedback question?
Gin Stephens: Yes, this is from Laura. The subject is, “IF in the news.” She says, “Hi, ladies, I've been with you since the beginning, and it wouldn't be a Monday morning without listening to your latest episode. Thank you. I know you tape delay, so maybe you'll talk about this soon, but if not, please go look at Phil Mickelson and how he attributes his recent PGA win to not eating for 36 hours each week so I can let my body reset. Phil just became the oldest player to win a major, and I'm sure IF contributed to that. He has also lost weight. Please keep doing what you're doing. Thank you for all of the great information and fellowship.” Have I ever told my Phil Mickelson story?
Melanie Avalon: No.
Gin Stephens: I can't remember what year it was. It was prior to 2014 because I was still heavy. I probably weighed about 175 to 179. So, I was at a middle high, not the highest. But some point around maybe 2012 or 2011, I can't remember, I was selected by the Phil Mickelson Exxon Mobil Teacher Institute, to go to New York City. They picked two teachers from every state, and I was one of the two selected to come from Georgia. You have to be nominated by a student and they had talk about why they want you to win.
Melanie Avalon: Did you know what student it was who nominated you?
Gin Stephens: I do know what student it was. Yep. It was a fifth-grade boy. It was called Send My Teacher was the name of the program. Okay, it was Will Stephens, but I had no idea he was doing it. Apparently, he went to his daddy and said, “Let's nominate mama,” or something. I didn't know it was happening. So, it sounds bad when I say it was my own son. But I was his teacher, I taught him in the gifted program. Anyway, for whatever reason, I didn't know it was happening until I got the email. I'm like, “What is this?” And then my husband's like, “Oh, yeah, that was Will.” Anyhow. [laughs] I don't know if I could tell that part or not.
Anyway, I got to go. Phil came and spoke to us. It was really cool. There were, I don't know, just over 100 of us, I guess, since it was two from every state, I think couple from DC, places like that. Anyway, so I have a Phil Mickelson connection. Oh, and that was also the year he won the Masters. That was what was so cool. Right after that I was selected to go, there was a press release that went out, "These are the teachers that were selected to go," and because I live in Augusta, which is where the Masters is played, and because I'm a local teacher, the news called me, and they're like, “We want to interview you for the news.” It was like, “Okay,” [laughs] so I came back from spring break because we all go out of town for spring break because that's when the Masters is and everyone leaves Augusta for the Masters, a lot of people do. We rent our houses out, we go out of town, so I'd been on a cruise. Then I come back home and Phil had won the Masters, and then suddenly I'm like news because of the Phil Mickelson connection. Anyway. That's my brush with Phil. I would love it if he read my book though. Phil, read my book.
Melanie Avalon: I wonder if he was doing his 36-hour fasts at that time.
Gin Stephens: I don't know. Anyway.
Melanie Avalon: Small world.
Gin Stephens: It is. Oh, and one thing about Phil that year that he won, someone who worked at Krispy Kreme here in Augusta snapped a photo of Phil Mickelson driving through the Krispy Kreme drive-thru wearing his green jacket with his family in the car. It was after he won. He was wearing the green jacket through the Krispy Kreme drive-thru. It was so cute.
Melanie Avalon: Wait, the green jacket?
Gin Stephens: Oh, Melanie, bless your heart. When you win the Masters, you get a green jacket. [laughs] Sorry. I wouldn't know that if I didn't live in Augusta. I would not know that. So, you're forgiven for not knowing that, but the green jacket is the biggest thing.
Melanie Avalon: I had a Masters cap.
Gin Stephens: Okay, well, Phil was wearing his green jacket. It was clearly a snapshot from someone from inside the drive thru. So, it's not just an urban legend, but people shared it all over Facebook and it was Phil Mickelson, but he was wearing his green jacket, which was the cutest part of the story and his kids, family was in the car. I love Phil Mickelson is the whole thing I was trying to say there. I just love him. He's officially my favorite golfer.
Melanie Avalon: I have a question about the Masters. I'm confused. How do you watch it if it's golf? Can't you only see like the beginning of the course?
Gin Stephens: If you're on the course?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, wouldn't the golfers be like way gone?
Gin Stephens: I've actually been to the tournament, not for a long, long time. But people camp out at a hole. They have viewing stands and people usually will find somewhere they want to be. And they see people come by. Unless you're watching on TV, you can't see all 18 holes. That's true.
Melanie Avalon: It's like a parade.
Gin Stephens: Kind of. It's kind of like a parade. That is a good way of putting it. [laughs] It's a golf parade. I've often wondered, it's been a long time since I've been to the Masters, but people at the 18th hole, how early they get there to sit and to watch, and what if they have to go to the bathroom? I don't know. These are the things I think about--
Melanie Avalon: Is the 18th hole the last one?
Gin Stephens: Yes, it is. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Are you proud I figure that out?
Gin Stephens: I'm so proud. And then after that, they get their green jacket.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness.
Gin Stephens: That was so funny.
Melanie Avalon: Do people get hit in the head with golf balls?
Gin Stephens: Not very often because the golfers are like keeping it right there on the fairway.
Melanie Avalon: But, in general, do people get hit in the head with golf balls?
Gin Stephens: Well, normally when people are playing golf, they're like standing together and shooting or you're hitting down the feet down the whatever, down the green, down the whatever. If now people are laughing at me, my terminology is not that great either. But you're not going to hit towards people. You're not going to drive towards the crowd.
Melanie Avalon: I just feel like that most dangerous sport maybe golf in Florida because golf balls and alligators.
Gin Stephens: Okay, maybe-- I don't think so. [laughs] I am thumbs down on that one. [laughs] Really, golf courses are not just like wall to wall-- normal ones are not wall-to-wall spectators. It's mostly just like open grounds. Unless you're at the Masters, in which case those people are pretty good not hitting into the crowd for the most part.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, I feel like I learned more about golf.
Gin Stephens: For the most part. Yeah. Anyway. It's really hard for those of us who live in Augusta to get tickets to go. You have to really be somebody or have had them in your family, they're willed passed down from generation to generation. I'm not fancy enough to go.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I remember when my dad went. It was like a big deal. So, that makes sense.
Gin Stephens: My dad used to always get tickets back in the day because of his job. He'd gotten through his work.
Melanie Avalon: That's how my dad got them.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. But then as soon as he retired, he's like, “All my friends forgot my name.” [laughs] That was the end of that. I haven't been since my dad retired.
Melanie Avalon: Well, good to know that Phil Mickelson is doing 36-hour fasts.
Gin Stephens: Yep, I think he and I are the same age or very close to the same age, anyway. We have a question from Shelby and the subject is “Frustrated.” Shelby says, “I have loved intermittent fasting as far as how I feel, but I've actually gained weight with IF. I have been doing IF for over two months with a one-week break for vacation, and maybe a couple of weekend days, but during the week quite strict. What could I be doing wrong? I am not eating a perfect diet, but by no means terrible either. I have Hashimoto’s, not hypothyroidism, and pernicious anemia. I have an active lifestyle that has lessened a bit since my diagnosis, but still fairly active. Thanks, girls. I have loved your podcast and have gotten multiple people to do IF with me, and we're all loving it. I just wish my weight would go the right direction. Thanks.”
Melanie Avalon: All right, Shelby, thank you so much for your question. Well, for starters, I find it really interesting that she says she has Hashimoto’s, not hypothyroidism. To clarify, hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid gland and basically, the thyroid is not producing adequate thyroid hormones. Thyroid is, I mean, I don't want to say it is our metabolism, but it's what stimulates our metabolic processes all throughout our body. Our active thyroid hormones are what basically tell cells to burn energy. So, in a way, it is our metabolism. So, if you're hypothyroid, and you're lacking thyroid hormone, or adequate thyroid hormone, and/or you might have adequate thyroid hormone, but your receptors are resistant, there can be a lot of things going on, but basically your metabolism slows down. Weight gain is very common. The most common form of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune condition affecting the thyroid. It is possible, however, to have Hashimoto’s and it wouldn't manifest as hypothyroidism. It might actually manifest as hyperthyroidism, or it might manifest other ways.
In any case, I have a question for Shelby. I wonder if she's certain that she's Hashimoto’s and not hypothyroid or if she was maybe diagnosed as Hashimoto’s and is thinking that means she's not hypothyroid. I'd be really curious what her actual thyroid levels are because if she is at all hypothyroid, or if she has high reverse T3, for example, because you can also have normal thyroid levels of T3. T3 is your active thyroid hormone. But if you have high reverse T3, that actually blocks your T3, or like I mentioned, you can have resistance at the T3 receptor, at the cells, a lot of things that can go on. The reason I'm drawing attention to it is because it can be a huge factor in weight gain. She may think that it's not a factor, but it might be.
As far as gaining weight, not losing weight. I think this is an example of where fasting is not the be all, end all to everything. Depending on what you're eating, it's very easy to not lose weight, and even potentially possible to gain weight, depending on what you're eating.
Gin Stephens: Can I pop something in real quick?
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.
Gin Stephens: We also don't know a lot of things about-- people, if you could send us as much information as you could, that would be so helpful. For example, knowing how much weight Shelby needs to lose would really help us to know. Maybe she's only gained three pounds, and it's muscle but we don't know if she only wants to lose 10 pounds to be at her weight that would make her happy, versus does she need to lose 100. Those kinds of factors are really, really important.
Melanie Avalon: It's so funny that you commented on that. One of the reasons I actually wanted to include this question was because of how simple it was. It's because I think that a lot of people often just view it as IF is the only thing, and all of these other factors that we would want to know about that you just mentioned, like your weight, your muscle, your food, like what you're eating.
Gin Stephens: Are you going through menopause?
Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you said that, because this is literally what I wanted to focus on, was that I think a lot of people don't take any of that into account, and they just think it's the IF, and that's all there is to talk about, is the IF. It's not just the IF. [laughs]
Gin Stephens: IF is one factor of our lifestyle, and if other things are not in a good place, IF is not going to magically correct all the things.
Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Saying I'm not eating a perfect diet, there's a lot there that can't really just be brushed aside for most people or for a lot of people. If the diet is the reason, I think it'll be really hard to just focus on the fasting and make changes.
Gin Stephens: Also, two months is not a long time, especially if one week was a break for vacation. Two months with one of those weeks off is not really very long. If you think about Fast. Feast. Repeat. And the 28-Day FAST Start, I tell you, “Okay, don't expect weight loss during the first 28 days.” There's your first month right there. Now, you have one more month, and one of those weeks was off. It wouldn't surprise me. Again, I would like to know what does she mean by gaining weight? If she's gained 20 pounds or 1 pound or has her weight fluctuated? The more details that you give, the better advice we can give you. Because honestly, it might just be as simple as, first your body was adjusting. it's only been another month and one of those weeks was vacation. You have Hashimoto’s and anemia, and maybe you're focusing on fluctuations instead of what your trend is doing. There are just so many things.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. I will say for listeners though, because I know listeners really want to get their question featured, include as many details as possible, without it being a novel. When we say tell us a lot, try to tell it succinctly a lot.
Gin Stephens: What your body's been doing. Again, for example, if Shelby had been rapidly gaining weight prior to starting IF and now she's slowly gaining weight, that's a positive. For example, back when I did those crazy diets like the HCG diet or took diet pills, for example. After I stopped doing those things, my body regained weight. Maybe you could be regaining weight because you had done a prior-- maybe you did Medifast, whatever, last month before you started intermittent fasting.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, wait, a Medifast?
Gin Stephens: Well, I don't know. One of those programs. I don't know. I think there's a program called Medifast where you're doing shakes.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. Like M-E-D-I.
Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. Sorry. I don't know if they even call it that anymore. The point was, if you'd been doing some kind of a highly restrictive plan, but we just don't know, because I would totally expect someone who had been doing a highly restrictive plan and stopped doing it to gain weight, even if switching over to intermittent fasting. There's just so many factors. We just need to know.
Melanie Avalon: I just felt this question encapsulated what I think. I feel we see it so much, because fasting is becoming so popular, which is great, and so many people are doing it, which is great, and we're learning more about all the health benefits, which is great and people are being successful, which is great. But it doesn't mean it's the only thing. I'm not saying she's doing this. It's something that I just feel happens with a lot of people. It's like if your lifestyle and your fasting isn't working, the fasting is the only thing to tweak. I don't think that's the case.
Gin Stephens: Exactly.
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We have a question from Teresa. The subject is “IF Headaches.” Teresa says, “Hi. I'm new to IF. I've read Gin's book, Fast. Feast. Repeat. I just recently started following her blog and getting into podcasting. I was wondering about this question. Is it okay to take Tylenol while fasting? I'm still trying to find the answer. I'm experiencing headaches, and I'm not sure what to do to help with that. Mostly everything I've read up to this point says give it time, it should pass.”
Gin Stephens: Yes, Teresa. Headaches are common during the adjustment phase. Your body is trying to figure out how to fuel itself and it's used to running on that quick blood glucose that you've been supplying to it, if you're eating the way most of us used to before IF. We got constant fuel coming in, our body's used to that, now your body's having to learn to how to do something new. That's why you may have headaches during the adjustment phase. Not everybody does but if you do, know that it's temporary. Now, let's just say can you take pain relievers while fasting in general? The answer to that is yes. Make sure to take something that's safe on an empty stomach. That is really, really important.
In general, Tylenol themselves, the makers of Tylenol, recommend that it's okay to take it on an empty stomach. That's just coming from them. But there are definitely a lot of other pain relievers out there that are not safe to take on an empty stomach. They can cause problems. So, make sure that you're choosing something that's safe on an empty stomach. Also, if you feel like it makes you feel sick, or if it makes your stomach hurt or anything like that, just go ahead and eat. It's okay to eat as your body is adjusting if you need to. Don't push through pain, if your body's not ready yet. You can have a slightly longer fast tomorrow. Let's say you're trying to get to 18, but today, you only made it to 15. Maybe tomorrow, you'll make it to 15 and a half. That's what I meant by slightly longer fasts. I don't want people to think that I'm saying you should make it up by doing like a 45-hour fast or something. No. Just gently, slightly longer, and let your body ease in.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that was great. I'm glad you drew attention to the empty stomach part. That is one of the issues with a lot of pain relievers. I think especially, ibuprofen and things like that, actually the anti-inflammatory enzyme that they inhibit, it's the COX-2 enzyme, it actually plays a role in our gut and activating it, it can exacerbate leaky gut syndrome and intestinal issues. There's a lot of problems with a lot of conventional pain pills. Definitely, being wary of that is great, and hopefully finding the root source of the headaches. Shall we do one more question?
Gin Stephens: All right. We have a question from Roxy. It is, “Hi, first of all, I love, love, love your podcast. I really appreciate both of you sharing your own personal journey, and all of the information you provide in layman's terms. My question is about supplements. After listening to you both and doing extensive research about the best supplements for me, I was just about to go forward with some purchases that are recommended on your website in the Stuff We Like section, and I am so confused. I have heard Gin say more times than I can count that she would never purchase supplements from Amazon, yet all of the links take you to a product on Amazon. Also, some of the products have a lead warning label on it. So, I'm hesitant to move forward. Would you mind clarifying a bit?
Also, I seem to have bags under my eyes, and I get enough sleep, eight to nine hours and I'm not tired. I use good quality eye products, and nothing helps. A doctor told me it's lack of iron which I've had issues in the past with anemia. I've taken iron pills in the past, which left me constipated. Can you recommend a good iron supplement? Thank you so much, Roxanne.” She said, “By the way, I'm a 54-year-old woman who has always been in good shape. I'm one of those annoying people who love to exercise. I also have eaten clean and whole foods, although very restrictive. I literally have only eaten lean protein and vegetables in six small meals for the last 10 years of my life. That worked well for me for a long time as far as looking amazing in my bikini, especially for my age. Until it didn't. Thanks menopause.” Yeah, I hear you there, Roxy. Menopause is such a game changer. Ah.
She said, “Since doing IF 10 weeks in, I feel free. I no longer have to carry food around. I eat healthy fats. I don't feel like the weirdo at a party because I require different food choices. I actually enjoy my food rather than just getting it in. My skin looks amazing. My mood is positive. I have lots of energy and get this, a mysterious rash I have had on my thighs for over 20 years that no doctor could identify is miraculously clearing up. It's a miracle. Now, I'm hoping my libido will come back and so does my husband.” Oh, Roxanne, I get it. Can I speak to one of those questions real quick and then let you get the rest of it before I say anything else?
All right. Good iron supplement. I'm with you on that, Roxy, because I have always had anemia ever since I was ever tested from teenagers on. That's just something that my body struggles with. I have recently started cooking in cast-iron pans, and I am nailing it, Melanie. I'm doing great, my cast-iron pans finally. And they do add iron to your meals. Also, the food tastes better. I swear to God, the food tastes better.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, it tastes way better, in my opinion.
Gin Stephens: It makes a difference. You know how there's the theory that we crave salt if we need salt and that we eat salted food till it tastes good based on how much we need drives us to add it till it tastes good? I wonder if the same can be said for the iron pan. Maybe I think the food tastes so good because it's got more iron in it, and my body is craving the iron. Here's a theory.
Melanie Avalon: I just had a epiphany about cast iron just now that I've never had and I think about iron a lot because I also have struggled with anemia like severe.
Gin Stephens: A lot of women do. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Mine was I literally could have died. I googled the iron levels I was at. My epiphany, I'm so excited about this epiphany. I as well have found great benefits from using cast iron. That's always been confusing to me because the form of iron in cast iron is non-heme, which is the type of iron found in plants, compared to heme, which is type of iron found in animal products, which is much more easily assimilated by the body. I've always been like, "Why is cast iron so effective when it's non-heme and not heme?" I bet it's because non-heme that you get from plants, like spinach and stuff, often comes along with iron inhibitors in the plants. So, not only is it a less easily assimilated form, but there's often like phytates and different things in plants that actually inhibit iron absorption. Cast iron wouldn't have that. It literally would just have--
Gin Stephens: The iron.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, that never occurred to me. The thing that has been a game-changer for me, friends, I struggle with anemia. I was hospitalized and had to get blood transfusions and then got my iron up, and then it dropped again, and I had to get infusions. I'm keeping it steady now. There's two things I've been doing. One, I've been supplementing with chlorophyll. The chlorophyll molecule is actually essentially identical to our blood, except it has magnesium instead of iron, because of the nature of its makeup, it can-- I don't know the specifics of it, but it can help your own blood build up its iron store. Even though it doesn't have iron in it, it can have that effect on your blood. I've been doing that.
And then, lot of people will take desiccated liver supplements. I've actually been taking desiccated spleen, which has way more iron than the liver. Especially with constipation being an issue, I don't find any constipation from the spleen or the chlorophyll. It's really just those straight-up iron pills that are a problem. If you do want to take just an iron pill, make sure you get the chelated form. I think BlueBonnet makes chelated form. A lot of people experience a lot of benefits with that and say that it's not constipating. So, a lot of options there.
Then, on top of that, I've heard this, I've read this, I don't know if this is the case, but to err on the side of more information rather than less. Some people say that you shouldn't do super high dose iron every day because the body might adjust accordingly and stop absorbing more. So, if you're trying to build up your levels, maybe doing it like every other day. But what I've been doing, I've been taking the chlorophyll every day, I don't think there's a concern with too much of that. I've been doing one or two spleen pills every day, actually. As far as the products on Amazon, Gin, because I still have my Facebook groups, so many people have asked about this. So many people.
Gin Stephens: Really.
Melanie Avalon: I think our messaging surrounding Amazon and supplements is that it can be really, really hard to know if your supplements are coming from verified sources. The supplement world in general is very murky. There's not regulation, there's a lot of potential problems. That's why you've got to be really, really careful about vetting the brands, and then making sure you're ordering and you're getting the actual product. Everything that we list on the Stuff We Like, those are brands that I have personally taken and have researched ad nauseam and feel good about. I don't think we're saying don't order on Amazon. We're just saying you really got to have a discerning eye.
Gin Stephens: Exactly. Be very, very careful when you're ordering supplements on Amazon. I know I've said this before, only order them from a seller that you trust on Amazon. I would not order a supplement on Amazon from Bob's Best Supplements. I don't know who Bob is, Bob's Supplement. I don’t know. I'm not going to order. Even if it's a brand-- I used to order a certain brand of magnesium, and I would always get it from Amazon. But it would be different third-party sellers selling it. I would order it if it was shipped from and sold by Amazon, but I wouldn't order it if it was sold by Bob's Supplement Station.
Melanie Avalon: Exactly. A lot of supplements, I think, we do recommend, there are some brands I do trust, like I really trust Pure Encapsulations and I trust Thorne. Ordering Pure Encapsulations from Pure Encapsulations page on Amazon or Thorne from Thorne’s page.
Gin Stephens: Don't buy Thorne from Bob's Supplements R Us, buy it from Thorne. I'm sorry Bob, if there is a Bob, I just made that up. [laughs] You might be a good supplement seller, if there is one. I feel very sorry for honest third-party sellers on Amazon. I really, really do. But it's not their fault that there are shady people out there selling things on Amazon that have tainted it for everybody. There are amazing-- lots of people who are honest and selling great things as third-party sellers on Amazon. I really, really hate that they have to be tainted by the others. That's all I'm going to say about that.
Melanie Avalon: Yep. Then, I will speak to the lead thing. Yes, there are some products. I know on our website and products I've used and they are products that have lead warnings on them. I think it's Prop-- what is it, Prop 65. It's the California thing. This is something that I'm not sure how I feel about it. I do think reducing lead is so, so important. I'm not sure which one she's talking about. It might have been, I know Citrus Pectin has that warning. I know some of the toothpastes. So, this is something where I think it's something to be definitely aware of. If it concerns you, just don't take it. Some of the stuff, it's like the cost benefit, or what are you using it for, but I think it's great, Roxy, that you're aware of that. If you're not comfortable if it has that labeled, then just don't order it.
Gin Stephens: Exactly. Yeah. I'm very supplement choosy. That's just what it's come down to. I'm a skeptic, and I'm choosy. It has to be a company that I really, really trust. But there are some I trust.
Melanie Avalon: Which speaking of, I'm still moving forward with my serrapeptase supplement.
Gin Stephens: How long do they tell you it'll take?
Melanie Avalon: We're hashing out the contract right now, that's what we've been doing the past few days. Once we sign the contracts, I think it'll probably be between 8 to 12 weeks. So, two or three months after we sign the contracts. It'll probably be this winter sometime. It will be really exciting. So, that will be, friends, you can trust me. You can trust my serrapeptase. [laughs]
Gin Stephens: Exactly.
Melanie Avalon: I'm very excited.
Gin Stephens: Well, I'm excited for you.
Melanie Avalon: Yep. I just want to say briefly, I also really love everything that Roxy shared about her success with IF and her rash disappearing and combating the weight gain of menopause and her skin and her mood, and that's just really wonderful.
Gin Stephens: Yes, that is really amazing.
Melanie Avalon: Yep. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the podcast, you can directly email firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can go to ifpodcast.com/ and you can submit questions there. We mentioned it already, but you can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode224. Those show notes will have a complete transcript, so definitely check that out. And you can follow us on Instagram, we are @ifpodcast. I'm @melanieavalon, Gin’s @ginstephens. I think that is everything. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?
Gin Stephens: I did just start a second Instagram account.
Melanie Avalon: A second?
Gin Stephens: Well, I feel like I want to have a place to talk about Clean(ish) things. It's like I have Gin Stephens or it's like my intermittent fasting. I have one called @cleanishgin. So, people follow me there. Right now, it's pretty boring. But I'm going to post things that relate specifically to Clean(ish).
Melanie Avalon: You don't just want to do it on your own?
Gin Stephens: I don't. Nope. Just because it's kind of murky. Instagram started off just my personal. I don't want my Instagram to be all businessy. I don't want to sell people things on Instagram. I just don't want to. I want my son and my friends-- Does that make sense?
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.
Gin Stephens: Like Facebook got all lumped together for me. I did everything under my regular Gin Stephens. So, I want to have a separate Instagram. If people are interested in following me for Clean(ish) kind of things, look for @cleanishgin, and you can find it there. I think I have like four people-- actually I haven't talked about or told anybody about it. But four people found me already. I don't know how.
Melanie Avalon: I just followed you.
Gin Stephens: Four, now I have five.
Melanie Avalon: I'm your seventh follower.
Gin Stephens: Number seven. Woo. See, I'd never talked about it. I just set it up because my publishers always wanting me to do more on Instagram. I know I should do more on Instagram, but I don't want to merge the two together, if that makes sense. So, if you want to see my Clean(ish) recommendations, then @cleanishgin is where to go.
Melanie Avalon: People have asked me to start a separate Instagram and I'm like, “That's overwhelming.” For me, it's easier to just have it all.
Gin Stephens: It's really easy to switch back and forth from one to the other, which I didn't know.
Melanie Avalon: Well, we have our @ifpodcast, so I switch back and forth.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, okay. But it is really easy to switch back and forth. It just feels right to me, to keep it all there, because I never have been very active on Instagram, but follow me on both if you want.
Melanie Avalon: Well, this has been wonderful, and I will talk to you next week.
Gin Stephens: All right, talk to you then. 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.
STUFF WE LIKE
Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!
Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine
Gin's Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle
Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle
Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Clean Fast Protocol for Health, Longevity, and Weight Loss--Including the 21-Day FAST Start Guide
Clean(ish): Eat (Mostly) Clean, Live (Mainly) Clean, and Unlock Your Body's Natural Ability to Self-Clean
More on Melanie: MelanieAvalon.com
More on Gin: GinStephens.com
Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com
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