Episode 226: CGMs, Blood Glucose, Large Volume Eating, Electrolyte Balance, Cryo-Toning, Infused Water, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Aug 15

Welcome to Episode 226 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

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Listener Feedback: Susan - Prolonged Fasting - Not A Fan 

Listener Feedback: Emilie - Thank You LMNT

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Listener Q&A: Leslie - Splitting OMAD Up

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Listener Q&A: Tish - Cryo-Toning - Follow Up

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Listener Q&A: Paul - Is Infused Water Breaking Fast?


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 226 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing your when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine - Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of 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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Hi everybody and welcome. This is episode number 226 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I am fabulous, and my eyelashes look amazing.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, did you get Beautycounter’s new mascara?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's it. I was so excited.

Gin Stephens: It's what I've been waiting for, because as much as I love Beautycounter, their mascara didn't blow me away. It was literally the only thing was that they're all mascara. I was using another safe mascara that I was like, “Darn, I wish Beautycounter had the great mascara.” They came out with a new one, and it was right now, we can only-- it's not available for the public yet, but it's about to be. So, by the time this comes out, will it be?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, it should be.

Gin Stephens: But it's amazing. It is better than any mascara I've ever used in my life. That's how excited I am.

Melanie Avalon: I think this is the most exciting thing you've ever told me. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: I couldn't wait to tell you.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. I'm so happy. For me, my mascara history, I've always been a mascara combiner because I could never find one mascara that would do everything I wanted.

Gin Stephens: I'm too lazy. I'm not going to combine anything.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I was using Beautycounter’s volumizing mascara, and then, I was using Pacifica, and I was blending them. Then, they just sent the new one which is called Think Big, I think.

Gin Stephens: I think so.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: It's gotten big in the name of it.

Melanie Avalon: It's amazing.

Gin Stephens: It just goes on big. It goes on-- [laughs] Anyway, I love it.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so happy. Yes, listeners, do not pass go. Go get this mascara right now. For listeners who are not familiar, we love Beautycounter, because they were founded on a mission to remove endocrine disruptors from makeup. Gin, with her new book coming out now as well as me knows all about.

Gin Stephens: It's a huge deal on, didn't want to listen, but [laughs] I switched because you were so excited about it. I'm like, “Well, okay. Cleaning up is never a bad idea.” Then, I did the research for Clean(ish). Then, I'm like, “Okay, this is really, really important.” I didn't really connect all together. Yeah, we know, we want to have things that are safe, but our toxic load is so much bigger than it was before.

Melanie Avalon: It's huge.

Gin Stephens: That's the thing. It might not have mattered 20 years ago to the point that it matters now, because it all adds up. It's like our bucket gets more and more full.

Melanie Avalon: I'm reading a book called Diet for Sex written by an acupuncturist. It's actually very interesting. But she was having a chapter on endocrine disruptors and toxic compounds in our environment, and she said-- I think it was like, what is it the World Health Organization released a statement? They basically came up with nine environmental toxins that are a problem for us. So, this was the Environmental Burden of Disease project that the World Health Organization did. They basically found nine compounds, and the scientists concluded that 3% to 7% of the burden of disease in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, which I feel-- I don't know, I feel the US has just as many if not more compounds than those countries.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I'm sure we do. Because our criteria are not as strict here.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. It was attributed to environmental pollutants, which is like-- That's a big statement for them to make. If you think about it, there's basically three avenues. There's our food, which we often-- I think a lot of people focus on cleaning up their food, because you're directly putting it in your body. There's our air, the environment that we live in. But then there's our skincare makeup that we're putting directly on our skin, and it can directly go into our bloodstream. It's very, very shocking the implications that it can have.

Gin Stephens: Oh, and I had my attorney meeting for my book.

Melanie Avalon: Should I get the link really quick?

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. Get the link. So, if listeners would like to clean up their skincare makeup, you can shop with us, and our link is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. Get that mascara.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm a huge fan. I just had my meeting with my attorney for Macmillan. I’ll show you though, attorney that-- I don't know. We didn't do that for Fast. Feast. Repeat. Maybe, they did it and just didn't call me. I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: Like the law department?

Gin Stephens: I never had a call with the law department for Fast. Feast. Repeat. They must have just looked at it on their own. But this attorney called me on it because you said you had one for What When Wine. I was super nervous. I was so nervous.

Melanie Avalon: Interestingly, when I had mine, because I was on Imprint, but the attorney was that Norton like the head.

Gin Stephens: This was from Macmillan, yeah. even though I'm at an Imprint too.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, cool.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm with St. Martin's Press. Well, it was awesome. I was so scared. It's like, “I'm so scared.” She's like, “Don't be scared.” She was very complimentary about the book. She said, I love the way you phrase things like a scientist. Of course, I'm married to a scientist. Things are rarely “proven.” We have evidence. Anyway, she was pleased with the way I wrote it. That was good. It was just a few little wording things. She's like, “Instead of saying hazardous, maybe you should say problematic.” I'm like, “All right, fine.” It was a tiny little thing. It was nothing big.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, no, that's amazing.

Gin Stephens: It was amazing. I feel so good. She said she's going to make changes in her life after reading it.

Melanie Avalon: I remember that was happening with me when the people that were reading it. It's so wonderful. It's like, “That's great. That's so exciting.”

in Stephens: Well, yeah. When I was reading my other book for Audible or for, well, I was reading for the audiobook, the director was like, “I'm going to start intermittent fasting.” [laughs] Every day, he was like, “Oh, that sounds really-- You make it sound fun.” I’m like, “Yay.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: With this, our people wanting to clean up their environment or they--?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, she's a mom, and she's got kids and she says, she's inspired to do it for a family, and also, there's just one chapter about intermittent fasting, but she also was interested in that.

Melanie Avalon: Well, that's amazing.

Gin Stephens: Because it's not an intermittent fasting book. But in the-- Let your body self-clean section. Intermittent fasting is not the only way we let our bodies self-clean, of course. It's just one way our body self-cleans.

Melanie Avalon: You don't tell me the exact date, but will you have galleys soon?

Gin Stephens: I will. I'll get you a galley.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Can we book you for my show?

Gin Stephens: Pretty sure can. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: [laughs]

Gin Stephens: We can. That would be fun.

Melanie Avalon: Oof, exciting. [laughs] Awesome.

Gin Stephens: I'm really proud of this book, because I don't think there's one book that necessarily puts it all together in the same way that I did where it's talking about your food, and what you're putting on your body and, your cleaning products, and things you're surrounding yourself with, but also trusting your body to do some stuff, too, and there's so much we can do, and then letting you decide as a reader what you're willing to do. There's no like, “This is what you must do." Anybody who knows me knows I'm not going to tell you exactly what to do. But it's guiding you to find a way that is going to be cleanish for you.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited to read it.

Gin Stephens: Well, go ahead. I hope you love it.

Melanie Avalon: I forgot. Is it similar length to your last book?

Gin Stephens: It's longer. It's 400 pages.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow.

Gin Stephens: I know.

Melanie Avalon: Are they going to hyperlink your references or the references are in it?

Gin Stephens: Well, we were just talking about that, actually, yesterday. A lot of my references, of course, a lot of journal articles, but a lot of them are also things from the EPA or the World Health Organization, documents like that, that I used for my sources. In the reference section, some of them, like if it's an EPA document, for example, that lives on the web, they're going to put the name of it, and describe it, and then a hyperlink for it. I think you'll be able to hyperlink through the reference section in the electronic version.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. That makes sense.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I'm not sure what the others will look like, because the beauty of having editors is they do all that. Even for the journal articles that you're getting from PubMed, they've all got a link that you can put. So, instead of me trying to format the journal articles, I didn't even bother, I just said, "Here they are. [laughs] Y'all do it, however you want to." It's amazing. That's like, I feel so good.

Melanie Avalon: Well, congratulations. I'm very excited for you.

Gin Stephens: Thank you.

Gin Stephens: Anything up with you?

Melanie Avalon: I've been wearing a CGM again, because I remember I was wearing CGMs for quite a while, and then I got burnt out. Well, I just got tired of monitoring. So, I put one on again. I'm very, very happy. This time around, even though, I'm eating the same diet, I'm not really sure what changed. It's very interesting. I want to share this. Probably, you will get higher blood sugars while fasting and stuff like that. The one I'm wearing right now is Levels. I'm going to be interviewing Kara again at NutriSense. I'm going to ask her about my specific pattern.

But my pattern right now, pretty consistently is-- so, I eat at night, a huge amount of food, and then, usually right before for eating, it's usually in the 70s or 80s, and then, I eat-- It doesn't usually go above 120, and then, it comes down all night. It pretty much stays in the 70s or 80s after that. What's interesting is, I wake up, it's usually like in the 80s. I have a little bit of coffee, I get going, every morning, it spikes to 110, 115. This is when I'm fasted, and then, it comes down after that and tends to get in the 80s again, maybe 90s, which I'd rather it be lower. I find that spike really, really interesting that happens in the morning with the coffee. So, it's very, very interesting seeing through data. Have you worn one recently or--?

Gin Stephens: No, Levels is sending me one. Yep, I got an email today that said, it's on the way.

Melanie Avalon: When you did Zoe, did you were one that you could monitor?

Gin Stephens: Well, it was a FreeStyle Libre. You can look at it directly on the monitor, but it's hard to tell the data. You're just barely able to just see zigzags. So, I found a third-party website that you could work with like you would.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, so, sort of like what Levels and NutriSense is doing.

Gin Stephens: Exactly. Yeah, it was a third-party website where you could plug in the monitor to your computer and it synced it with the website, and then, it told you your numbers. Yeah, so, I was able to look at them specifically, but only because I took that extra step.

Melanie Avalon: Basically, for listeners, I probably should have given some definitions. So, CGM is Continuous Glucose Monitor. You put it on-- I'm actually putting another video on my Instagram pretty soon showing how you put it on. So, that'll probably be out by the time this airs. So, you can check that out. But it's painless to apply, it measures your interstitial fluid, so the fluid around your cells, and measures your blood sugar continuously, which is very, very cool. I like to personally check it against a glucometer, like a fingerstick that you have at home, just to make sure that it's accurate because sometimes they can be off, but the precision is usually never off. The accuracy can be off, but the precision usually isn't. So, what that means is, if it's off by 10 points or something--

Gin Stephens: It's always off by 10.

Melanie Avalon: It's always off by 10. Yeah, it's not going to be all over the place. Mine right now seems to be spot on, which is really, really nice. But they're usually only available by prescription. So, there are companies now, like I just mentioned, Levels, NutriSense, that are giving access to people to get them. I have links for both of those. If listeners want to get one for themselves, so for Levels, they're actually on a waitlist. They have 115,000 waitlist of people, which is crazy. You can skip the waitlist with my link. It's melanieavalon.com/levelscgm. Then, NutriSense, they're not on a waitlist, but I have a discount. It's melanieavalon.com/nutrisensecgm. MELANIEAVALON will get you some sort of discount. A pretty good one, I think. But it's just really, really eye opening, and it was really fun to bring it back after not having done it for a while. I still want to do it while I'm doing carnivores or something, and see what that looks like.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that would be interesting. I think mine was just delivered literally right back this minute because FedEx just knocked on the door.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. Gin, are you going to put it on?

Gin Stephens: Well, not right this second. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Are we excited? Let me know. Let me know if you do. Oh, another little note. I don't know if you know this, Gin. You want to give it at least 24 hours before you judge its accuracy even?

Gin Stephens: That was the same with the Zoe one. They said, “Let it settle in.” [laughs] get used to you.

Melanie Avalon: [laughs] Yeah.

Gin Stephens: I'm trying to figure out when I want to do it, because it's good for a month, right?

Melanie Avalon: Nope, two weeks.

Gin Stephens: Oh, only two weeks? Okay. All right. Well, then that. I'm going to the beach and I'm going to be there for three weeks. So, I don't know that I want to be wearing it while I'm at the beach. I'm going to get in the water and yeah, in the ocean, and it won't be my normal routine, people are coming to visit.

Melanie Avalon: I will say that the two things that make a huge difference. Taking the berberine really, really helps, and after I do cryo, it drops and then it stays low. What's interesting, too, is when I do the cryo, it spikes really high, and I don't know if it's actually spiking or if the cold is freaking out the sensor, because after that, it goes down, and it goes down lower than what it was before.

Gin Stephens: Well, then, that actually it sounds like it's doing something. It's like blasts the glucose out of where it's hiding, and, then you’re low, isn’t that would it sound like? [giggles] If afterwards, it went back to normal than that would be yeah, the cold freaks it out. But it goes lower. So, it's blasting it out. I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: I need to do more research.

Gin Stephens: My scientific language is just-- [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. This is how we talk on this show.

Gin Stephens: My cryotherapy blasts out the glucose. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's funny. People have reported to me during cryo that their blood sugar, wearing CGM said it dropped really, really low. One girl told me that she would faint in cryo from dropping too low. So, in any case--

Gin Stephens: Or, maybe, your body needs more while you're going through that cold. Maybe, your body uses it up. Your body's like, “Oh, my God, this glucose, I got to use it up,” because I don't know, because of the cold.

Melanie Avalon: But it's a really big spike. It goes from 85 to 125, and then it drops down to 70s.

Gin Stephens: Something's happening.

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: All right. So, to start things off, we have some feedback. This comes from Susan, and the subject is "Prolonged fasting, not a fan." Susan says, I recently listened to Episode 223. I'm a fan of not always having the same fasting/eating window every day. I teach water aerobics, and in the summer, jump from 6 classes a week to 10 to 12. I have had to shorten my fasting window on busy days. On Sundays, off day, I can do a longer fast. I listened to my body and don't beat myself up if I eat earlier one day. It's about being healthy and working with your body. Thanks for your podcast. By the way, I am 63, five feet tall, weigh 135 pounds. Not my ideal weight, but I focus on how fit I am, and how much better I feel. Only been fasting for five months. So, still a work in progress."

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think Susan is a perfect example of being responsive to your changing daily schedule. Gosh, I'm hungry just when I swim a little bit in the ocean for 30 minutes. I can't imagine doing 10 to 12 water aerobics classes a week. That's like two a day or even more than two a day really, because if she's only doing-- well, If she's doing it six days a week, that would be two a day with 12. Anyhow, that's a lot of exercise and also being in the water that uses a lot of energy just because of the water temperature. Your body needs to compensate for being in the cooler water. So, you're going to need more fuel. That makes perfect sense. I'm a big fan of doing exactly what you're doing, Susan, and listening to your body, and all of that exertion, especially in the water, your body needs more fuel. So, good work.

Melanie Avalon: I love what you said. I’ve been thinking about it. I feel there are two major mentalities or things I see happening from the intermittent fasting movement that I think are a little bit problematic, and that I want to dismantle. One of them is what you just said. It's that people-- or I don't know, if you said this exactly, but people I think get really, really rigid with their fasting windows and think that they can't adjust it, or they can't try different things. I don't know, I think there's more of an intuition that can come into play, especially after you've been doing fasting for a while. Maybe not right at the beginning when you're trying to figure it out exactly but afterwards, I don't ever want there to be fear about having to stay in this exact window and not evolving with your body with your fasting window.

The second thing, and I feel we might circle back to this with some other questions, because I think people often think that fasting is the magic cure all and that what you eat doesn't matter at all. It's just the fasting and the foods that you're choosing don't play a role. I think that's something to dismantle a little bit.

Gin Stephens: Yep, absolutely. Shall we move on?

Melanie Avalon: Sure.

Gin Stephens: We have feedback from Emily, and she says, "Thank you LMNT." I always want to call it LMNT, by the way. But you pronounce it element?

Melanie Avalon: Element. Mm-hmm, yeah.

Gin Stephens: LMNT. [laughs] It spelled LMNT for anyone who's wondering. All right, she says, "Hi, Gin and Melanie. I've been listening and IFing with y'all since the beginning, which I love. Thank you for all--" that was me. [laughs] That wasn't in the question. She said, “Thank you for all the information you share. After IFing for almost four years, I started getting horrible headaches in the evening after I ate my one meal a day. I recently upped my water intake to my body weight in ounces, so I knew I wasn't dehydrated." I'm going to pop in there and say actually, having more water than your body needs causes electrolyte depletion.

Melanie Avalon: It can. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. It's counterintuitive because we've been told that you must pound down the water, and you can't trust your thirst, and you must drink so much water. But when you're fasting, it changes things up, because food isn't coming in and you just having so much water. A lot of water in the fasted state actually can cause the problem to be worse than if you're drinking a lot while you're eating. That's just something to keep in mind. Because it can deplete your electrolytes more than if you were not doing intermittent fasting. So, just be cautious about that, because in our whole society, the common thought is, the more water you drink, the better. That is not true. It can actually be dangerous.

Anyhow, back to her feedback. She said, "I went ahead and tried the LMNT packets by Robb Wolf with my one meal a day, and poof, no more headaches. The orange flavor’s my favorite. Thanks for the recommendation." I really think that her electrolytes were being depleted by it by so much water and the element restored them. Keep in mind, she's having the orange with her meal, and that you can have all the flavored ones all you want during your eating window, but during your fast, stick to the raw and unflavored. That one is safe for clean fasting.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited because I'm interviewing Robb Wolf again next week actually, which has listeners know it well. I don't know if they know, but Robb Wolf is one of the main reasons I'm doing what I'm doing today, because I read The Paleo Solution back in 2012, and I've been a huge, huge follower of his work ever since then. I think he cofounded it, LMNT, because he realized the huge importance that electrolytes play, especially often people with fasting, and especially, people on ketogenic diets. I have so many questions for him next week. I'm so excited. But basically, electrolyte balance is just so, so huge, and it can be involved in a lot of things that people often experience. For example, they might think is keto flu or detox, but it might be electrolytes. So, things like hunger, and cramps, and headaches, and tiredness, and dizziness, and I get so many questions in my Facebook group about recommended electrolyte supplements, but most of them on the market are full of sugars, and flavorings, and additives, and it's just no bueno.

We love LMNT, because it's none of that. Gin just mentioned, they have the raw, unflavored one. That one's totally, completely safe for your fast. So, you can have it during the clean fast and it's all good. Then, they have so many flavors that are amazing, that are not safe for clean fast because they're sweetened with stevia. But you can have those in your eating window of course, and there's a lot of really, really yummy flavors. They have a chocolate one. They just released a great fruit, but I think it's sold out. They have a watermelon, which is my favorite. They have a citrus one that is really good if you want to make margaritas. We actually have an amazing offer for our listeners. You can get it completely free. My favorite is only we can give things away completely free. So, if you go to--

Gin Stephens: That is fun.

Melanie Avalon: I know. It's my favorite. So, if you go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast, you can get a sampler pack. It includes eight packets of four of their flavors. You'll get two raw, two citrus, two raspberry, and two orange. You pay $5 for shipping. If you don't like it, they'll even reimburse you the shipping. So, literally, you have nothing to lose. What's interesting about this is, when we first started our partnership with LMNT, I think they were testing this, testing if it was going to be cost effective to give it away completely free. Clearly, it is because they decided to keep doing this. So, clearly people are really liking it once they try it.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that proves it right there, if people keep buying it. Emily, super happy that the LMNT got rid of your headaches. Oh, and that orange flavor is her favorite, and that one is in the sample pack. So, get it now. All right. Shall we move on to our questions?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Right. We have a question from Leslie. The subject is "Splitting OMAD, One Meal A Day up." Leslie says, "Hi, I'm Melanie and Gin, I've been a very long time One Meal A Day eater. I've loved your podcast, especially learning the power of clean fasting. I recently got a CGM." Oh, that's exciting. [giggles] Oh, my gosh, I did not plan that. She says, "I love seeing the data in real time. From the data so far, I believe splitting my one meal a day into two smaller meals will help my blood glucose levels. I don't want my volume to be much bigger than it is five to six hour eating window most likely but need help actually reversing my volume eating ritual I've become so comfortable with. I know it's mostly psychological, but probably a bit physiological too, and need some practical advice.

Seems simple really, but would like some motivation from both of you. I know you've talked, Gin, about an “appetizer” before your meal, and Melanie, I think you've talked about some raw veg pre-meal but I just like some more ideas. I need a lot of evidence for my brain to prove that, number one, this can be fun, because it's actually more of a challenge for me than one meal a day. Number two, I can do it with ease and mental stillness. Thank you, and thank you so much for all of the value you put out there in the world."

Gin Stephens: Oh, thank you, Leslie. I actually have heard this from people who have been doing the monitoring through, of course, Zoe, and also through data-driven fasting, people who are using CGMs find that they do have better glucose control with a slightly longer, like you're saying, five-to-six-hour window, and moving eating to farther ends of it, like eat, wait a while, eat again. Of course, we wouldn't know this without CGMs. It's only been recently that we can get them to try them. We're learning a lot, and we're all different, of course, when it comes to how our bodies respond to what we eat. But the key for me is that when I open my window, I need to feel satisfied from it, as if I just tried to nibble a little bit and have a little something, then I'm like starving, and I tend to eat longer and more, because I'm trying to-- I don't know, it doesn't do it for me. It doesn't satisfy me. Lately, I'm doing really well opening my window. Have you ever tried Daily Harvest, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: No, I know, you're a huge fan.

Gin Stephens: I'm a huge fan, and if people want to read more about it, I have it on the Favorite Things tab at ginstephens.com, and they're actually, officially sponsoring Intermittent Fasting Stories Podcast, which is exciting. I've been using them for a while, and they have these harvest bowls and soups that I love, and I've really opened my window with that in those days, for real. I think they're vegan, but I'm not vegan. I might add some butter in there or whatever, but make it a little more satisfying, but I might not. Sometimes, I just do them the way they are. With their soups, I don't usually add as much water as they say. I just put a little bit of water, because I like them thicker instead of more of a soup. But because they're substantial, the ones that I tend to get are the ones that have beans, or lentils, or something like that. A lot of them have kale or sweet potato, and so, they just are so satisfying. I like them because they're hot even in the summer. They're hot, that satisfies me. The hot veggie centric, it fills me up, makes me feel good, and then, I'm perfectly fine to wait till dinner, and I'm not going around eating a bunch of stuff out of the kitchen. So, that would be my appetizers. Some people would consider it a lunch, but to me, it's the soup course. Again, you can find it on ginstephens.com on the Favorite Things tab, or you can just go to dailyharvest.com and use the promo code, IFSTORIES. That works.

Melanie Avalon: They've asked us, I think, before about sponsoring the show.

Gin Stephens: Well, I just really loved them. See that's for me, a lot of the companies that sponsor Intermittent Fasting Stories start off with I'm using them. Like Green Chef, for example. They sponsored this one too, and I was like, “Get me Green Chef,” to the company that finds my advertisers. [laughs] Because it starts with me, ease in them, and then I'm like, I really want this company because I use them and I love them. I also love their smoothies. What I'll do seriously, this is really what I do. I'll have my bowl, and then later, I eat dinner with Chad, and it is often Green Chef, which is funny. Then, later, to close our window, we'll have a Daily Harvest smoothie. I know that sounds nuts, but that really it like--

My mother was just here visiting and we had people over for dinner, so I had to make a big meal because there were seven people for dinner, and I spent so much money on dinner for seven at the grocery store buying all the ingredients, and then we had so much leftover even after the dinner for seven. I just love that it's easy. You’ve got the portion, you eat it, you move on. You don't have leftover everything. My point was that I spend more money at the grocery store than I do with these companies. But that's just the way I shop at the grocery store like a crazy person. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I would love. It'd be funny to see both of us side by side shopping at a grocery store.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm like, “Ooh, that looks good. I'm going to buy that,” and then, I come home and Chad says, “How much was that?” I'm like, “I don't know.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I go in and volume buy, pounds and pounds of the same three things.

Gin Stephens: Now, I'm wandering around buying a little bit of everything, and I always end up with flours, and this cheese, and that cheese, and yeah, crackers.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Oh, my goodness.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. [laughs] Totally a different, different cart than Melanie's cart.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. The meal timeline is like a crescendo for both of us. We start light and then there's the main and then light again.

Gin Stephens: But I can't start too light. If I start too light, then I'm eating more than I need. It doesn't satisfy me. I have to make sure whatever I start with satisfies me. I'm like medium-medium. Maybe, medium-light, medium-heavier if [laughs] that makes sense.

Melanie Avalon: With Leslie, she's asking how to, in a six-hour window, eat a meal, a smaller meal, stop eating, eat a smaller meal. That's what she's asking about. You know what's really interesting is, our mutual friend, Cynthia Thurlow, I was talking to her yesterday, because she was on Megyn Kelly's show yesterday.

Gin Stephens: Oh, my gosh, that's so exciting.

Melanie Avalon: Isn't that so exciting?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: We were like fangirling. I listened to it, and it was really good, and I just thought about it, because she talks about this. Megyn asked her to talk about something about the eating window and not snacking between the meals and the eating window. Then, Megyn asked like, “Oh, should you not snack between the meals, if you're having a longer eating window.” I'm paraphrasing. I'll put a link in the show notes to that episode. But basically, what Cynthia was saying was, what Leslie had picked up on here, that people often have better glucose control when they're not overeating or volume eating, that maybe it can be practical to do what Leslie is talking about here. All of that said, I was hoping you were going to have really amazing advice, Gin, because [laughs] I want to do this in theory too, but it just doesn't work for me.

Gin Stephens: Well, the thing is that you just have to work with the appetite you have in the body, you have and what feels good to you. Like I said, If I eat too light, then I tend to overeat. So, I have to make sure I eat enough to be not overeating later. I have learned over time. If I just opened up with an avocado or something, then an hour later, I'd be in there ravenous. Wakes up the appetite, but it wasn't satisfied.

Melanie Avalon: The way my meal manifests is, it is volume eating, and it is eating for pretty much the whole time, but it's not high calorie the whole time. So, basically, and Leslie pointed this out or mentioned this, I basically start with a lot of cucumbers and wine. So, it's basically just hydration, and water, and easily digestible fiber. It's not actual lot of calories. Then, I have my meal-meal, which is lots of meat or seafood, and that's my big volume. Then, I usually munch a lot on fruit after for a long time. So, not at all the approach that Leslie trying to get to either for the attempt of trying a meal, and then stopping, and then a meal. I really like what Gin said about the importance of that first meal, if you're doing it, being something that is going to satisfy you in the moment. It's complicated because you don't want it to make you hungrier, but you don't want it to be the entirety of the meal, and then you don't want to eat again.

Gin Stephens: Well, for me, if I tend to be hungry or early, then, later I'll have a smaller amount at dinner. Sometimes, well, even though it's a meal for two that Chad and I are eating, let's say, it was a Green Chef meal, meal for two, we might get three meals out of that. I might not need the whole portion because I've already eaten. So, I'll eat a smaller portion. Then Chad, he's a light eater for a man. He always has been. That's why he's never had a weight problem. He is slimmer that probably than he was on our wedding day when he was 20. He's probably slimmer now than it was then. So, he's just really lanky and lean, but he's not a giant eater.

Well, he'll eat what I didn't eat for lunch the next day. Maybe he'll supplement it with a bowl of cereal, if it wasn't enough, but I don't always eat a whole complete meal later. I don't eat the whole portion. It just depends, I might. No, I don't need all that much. I might eat half a piece of meat, for example, instead of a whole piece of meat. Last night, that's what happened. We had a chicken meal, and I didn't eat the whole piece of chicken. I ate half the piece of chicken.

Melanie Avalon: Can I make a really quick chicken comment?

Gin Stephens: Sure.

Melanie Avalon: I think last night, remember you're talking about the rubbery chicken?

Gin Stephens: Did you get woody chicken?

Melanie Avalon: I think so.

Gin Stephens: Was it so gross in your mouth and you're like, “What's wrong with this chicken?”

Melanie Avalon: It felt like rubber.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: It did not taste good. But it didn't taste like it was bad.

Gin Stephens: No, it's not like spoiled. It's just a different consistency. The meat has a different texture.

Melanie Avalon: What did you say causes that?

Gin Stephens: It's called woody breast syndrome.

Melanie Avalon: Is it a bacteria, or something, or is it--?

Gin Stephens: No, I don't think they know. They're like, “Why are these chickens weird?” I don't know. It's been a while since I read about it, but it's just something weird that makes the breast consistency different. It can't be good.

Melanie Avalon: I was eating, and I was like, “This is Gin's chicken.”

Gin Stephens: It probably is. The first time I had it, I had never had it before, and then, all of a sudden, it started happening all the time. It was a meal kit company that I don't use anymore that it was in all of their-- I got to the point I couldn't order chicken from them. But then, it started happening and the other ones, too. Anyway, it wasn't in last night's chicken.

Melanie Avalon: I'm torn now because there's just one brand of chicken I really like. I like Smart Chicken, because they're organic, and I really like the practices. I've researched the practices they do for raising their chicken, and it's usually really good. But if I do, I buy it in bulk because it's fresh. It's not frozen at the store. So, I buy it in bulk, and then, I individually wrap and freeze all of it. This was from three different containers. So, I don't know which container-- I'm like, should I just--

Gin Stephens: No, don't throw it out. You'll know. It also feels different when it's raw. You can tell the texture is different.

Melanie Avalon: It did when I was doing it. But the thing is, now, I guess I'm just lazy, because I'll have to cook them to find out if it's--

Gin Stephens: No, you can tell when it's raw. You don't normally thaw it before you cook it?

Melanie Avalon: I do, but you think I'll be able to tell when it's thawed from frozen?

Gin Stephens: I can. I can tell. Maybe, thaw too and then, you don't have to eat it that day. You can eat it tomorrow, both are good. Always have one ready to go and whatever, thaw two and use them like a day ahead of when you need it or like the next day. I don't know if I'm explaining that well. But I can tell like, if we get two in the day, when we were using the company that I don't use anymore, I would get two chicken breasts and they were different. You could tell, and I'm like, “Oh, that one's not going to be good. I'm not eating that one.” [laughs] I could tell.

Melanie Avalon: When I first bought it, it felt weird. I was like, “I wonder, if this is the rubbery chicken.” I should have just thrown it away then. Because now, it's all in the freezer. I don't know which is which.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, you can tell when it's thawed. But definitely you can tell, and it's weird. I can't eat it, so I'm picky now about my chicken. But I love good chicken.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, me too.

Gin Stephens: There was another meal kit company that I tried very briefly. They were out of California, and they're small. They're good for families, and they use some special chicken that really popular in LA. I can't remember the name of it.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, was it Mary’s?

Gin Stephens: No. It's a special breed of chicken. It wasn't a brand of chicken, it was a breed of chicken, like an heirloom breed of chicken and the breasts were tiny like chicken breasts used to be, because chicken breasts are little. I did a lot of reading about chicken like-- Oh, in The Dorito Effect, I think he talks about how chickens have been bred to be so different. The breasts are giant now, and they used to be little. All the great cooks were complaining about how chicken doesn't have a good taste anymore. But I'm like, “God, these were so good, this heirloom chicken. If you can get heirloom chicken with tiny little breasts, the old kind of chicken that hasn't been bred to be giant and weird-- think that's why they have the woody breast. They've been bred to be big. They grow differently. So, anyway, the old kind, it was the best chicken ever. But it tasted different. They didn't have enough options really for us. They didn't have enough choices. So, I didn't continue with them, but it made me really appreciate that heirloom chicken.

Melanie Avalon: Now, I want some chicken.

Gin Stephens: It started with a J. I can't remember the name of it, but it was a breed of chicken. I would eat that all day long. Well, except not all day long. I would eat it all day long in my eating window.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. All in your eating window.

Gin Stephens: I might would eat that all day long. No, I'm kidding.

Melanie Avalon: Back to Leslie's question. I wonder what macros she's doing? I wonder if this would be an easier type of thing to do if you're doing a keto diet?

Gin Stephens: Well, not for me, because keto never made me feel satisfied. That would be a big no. I got to have starchy carbs to feel satisfied. That is just a fact about me. The lentils and the beans, that does it for me. The one with the sweet potato, that one is so good. It has wild rice, sweet potato, and avocado, and you might think that sounds weird because avocado hot, it's so good.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, have I had hot avocado? That does sound really good. My suggestion, I suppose, for this, even though, I have never been able to implement this myself, so take this with a grain of salt. But things I have heard is, she wants to reframe this as fun because it is more of a challenge, the one meal a day. Yes, I think it can be fun. You could see it as a fun experiment of trying to find the meals that work for you for doing this. You could try eating the first meal, and then, I think what's probably really important is putting everything away. Like having the meal in the kitchen, or whatever your living situation is, in the kitchen, finishing the meal, putting the food away, stopping. Rather than keeping it all open and out because then it's more likely that you're just going to keep snacking or keep eating, but being done, and then going and doing something completely different so that part of your brain, that meal association is done. Then, going and doing something else, but having the excitement of knowing that you have your second meal coming, and then going back and having your meal, and reopening the kitchen, and then rinse and repeat. That's the thing that I would recommend.

Then, I would recommend for the in between. I know this is not-- You don't struggle with binge eating. That's not what this is about. But I do recommend reading Dr. Glenn Livingston's book, Never Binge Again. It's a really short read. The Kindle is-- I just learned this, because me and Glenn are really good friends now. We actually talk on the phone a lot, and I didn't realize that the Kindle is actually always free, so you can get it on Amazon. It's a really, really amazing reframe for identifying that voice in your head that wants to eat when you don't need to be eating, or shouldn't be eating, or don't want to eat. So, I think it can be a really helpful practice for making this change if this is a change that you personally want to try to strive for. What it'll help you do is it'll help you in that in between the two meals, identify that voice in your head, that's like, “I want to keep eating,” because I'm assuming that's going to be the challenge of it. And how to adequately engage with that so that it's just not a problem. I would suggest reading that book. It's really short, and it's funny.

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes, we have a question from Tish, and the subject is "CryoToning follow-up." By the way, I don't think I have any cryo places here in Augusta at all. I think I got zero. I could be wrong. Anyway, if someone knows one in Augusta, that'd be interesting. I can't believe I'm asking that. [laughs] I've always said I would never do it. I would never do it, but I've got a little FOMO. I hate to be cold. I like to be hot.

Melanie Avalon: Are you in Columbia County?

Gin Stephens: I'm not in Columbia County. I am in Richmond County. Is there one in Columbia County?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Oh, wait.

Melanie Avalon: Here's Cryo Care, Augusta, Georgia. The top 10 cryotherapies in Augusta, Georgia.

Gin Stephens: Oh, there is?

Melanie Avalon: Okay. You can go to Cryo Care.

Gin Stephens: Where's that?

Melanie Avalon: Ronald Reagan Drive.

Gin Stephens: That's Evans. Evans is where I used to teach.

Melanie Avalon: Why is it saying Cryo Care, Augusta, Georgia?

Gin Stephens: Like Atlanta, it has all the suburbs. Evans is a suburb of Augusta.

Melanie Avalon: I'll be searching while you read it.

Gin Stephens: Okay. [laughs] I'm not driving to Evans for cryotherapy. I just want to tell you that. [laughs] I don't like to drive to Evans for any-- It's so funny. It a whole different world. When you live in the city of Augusta, the city limits, you'll your small radius of where you go. We're not a big city at all, but I'm like, “I can only go these places.” [laughs] Do you drive to Evans for my massage therapists?

Melanie Avalon: Gin, it is women owned.

Gin Stephens: Well, okay, but--

Melanie Avalon: It has an oxygen bar and a sauna. But you have a sauna.

Gin Stephens: Okay. I have a sauna. But yeah, I only drive to Evans for my massage therapist and that is all.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, great. When you go for your massage, you can get some cryo. They're open from 10 to 7.

Gin Stephens: I don't know. Don't count on that. We'll see. All right, back to Tish’s question. She said, "I've been listening since fall of 2019, and have listened to every episode," and she has a smiley emoji. "Love, love, love the podcast. Really keeps me motivated and reinforces my fasting way of life. I've been one meal a day with a two- to four-hour window since November of 2019 and have lost around 50 pounds. In this last episode, you discussed CryoToning as a potential treatment for collagen replacement/sagging skin. I'm so interested in this topic, but really having a hard time finding the best home device to purchase.

I was wondering, Melanie, if you would really take a deep dive on this topic or did you already, and I missed it? I read your fat cell blog, but I would like more CryoToning specifically, since you said in the latest IF podcast, so, you thought this method might be the best. I am 54 and trying to live till I am 120. I went through menopause when I was 36 naturally, but it wasn't till I lost the 50 pounds that I noticed my skin changed significantly. I Joovv. I have the four-panel full body unit every day. I only eat ButcherBox meats in my clean whole food organic diet. I take P3-OM, MassZymes, Magnesium Breakthrough every day, and I only use Beautycounter products on my skin. I'm doing everything I can to live a cleanish life." Can't wait for this book. Yay. That was me. "I would appreciate your feedback/input. Thanks, and much love to you both, Tish."

Melanie Avalon: All right, Tish, wonderful question. I will put a link in the show notes to that blog that she mentioned. I did write a really extensive blog post about the science of fat cells and traditional methods to reduce them, and by traditional methods like liposuction, things like that. I did not have CryoToning in it at the moment. So, I'm going to add CryoToning to it. By the time this comes out, it should be there. That said, there are not home methods for this.

Gin Stephens: I was just going to say, I don't think there's a home method but-- [giggles]

Melanie Avalon: There are on Amazon. Please, this is not the type of thing that you want to be doing at home at all. At all. They have CryoToning and CryoSlimming. CryoSlimming is the one that's supposed to actually kill flat cells. CryoToning is just for collagen and sagging skin. But they use a combination of therapies. They use certain frequencies and heat and cold. For the CryoSlimming, it literally ruptures the fat cells, and then your body naturally excretes the fat cells to your lymph system. It also does some of the stuff that CryoToning does, and CryoToning helps tighten the skin and increase collagen production. I've been doing it on certain areas and seeing remarkable results.

Even the girl who does it to me, she's really wonderful, but she's very intense and very blunt. When I first went to her, she was like, “Why are you doing this?” She's like, “I don't want to do this on you because you don't really have much to address with it,” which I'm very grateful for, and I just want to make it clear that I'm very aware of this. But we've been doing it so much and she agrees with me. She's like,” Oh, this actually has made a really big difference.” I think it's really great, basically, regardless of where you're at. If you have a lot of things that you want to address with the skin tightening and the collagen production, you'll definitely see a result. But then also, if it's just fine tuning, and tweaking, and something that it just seems that diet and exercise aren't quite addressing, I think it can be that great final thing that is actually effective. I wouldn't be saying this if I hadn't personally experienced the benefits. That said, to answer your question, you can't do it at home. I'm sorry. You have to find a place that does it.

Gin Stephens: So, the one you're doing is called what?

Melanie Avalon: I've been doing CryoSlimming and CryoToning. Cryoskin is the company. And then they have the two options, CryoTone and CryoSlim. Basically, they say that it works with your body's natural systems to produce slimming and toning effects. Noninvasive sessions result in slimmer, toned bodies and the elimination of fine lines and wrinkles. They use thermoelectric cooling to perform cryolipolysis which is the freezing of fat, which causes cell death of subcutaneous fat tissue without damage to the overlying skin. That's the CryoSlim. Then, the CryoTone uses cold temperatures to diminish the appearance of cellulite, tones the area, and improves skin elasticity by accelerating the biochemical reaction. Stimulation of collagen production occurs to rejuvenate and smooth skin while tightening muscles. It uses cold, heat, and massage. So, okay.

Gin Stephens: I will say that, if it was available in Augusta, I would be willing to try it. But I'm still skeptic, which you've heard me say before. But I would be willing to try it. But now that I'm officially 52 having had my birthday.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes. Gin had her birthday. Happy late birthday. I did. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Yep. 52, that sounds bizarre to me. I can't believe I'm 52. But my skin really did change over the past year after menopause. It's surprising.

Melanie Avalon: Do you have your plant?

Gin Stephens: I do have my plant. Thank you, Melanie, sent me a plant.

Melanie Avalon: We have matching plants. I have that plant too.

Gin Stephens: I used to have one of those plants in my other house, and then, it died when we moved over here. I don't know why it died, but it died. But I've had it in the exact same place that we used to have the other one-

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yay.

Gin Stephens: -that died. It looks really cute there. So, hopefully it won't die.

Melanie Avalon: Is it a dollar tree?

Gin Stephens: Yep, or money tree. It's called a money tree.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, money tree. Money tree.

Gin Stephens: Yep. Will came over yesterday. He was painting, he was like, “I'm going to paint this plant.” So, he painted it.

Melanie Avalon: He painted the plant?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, he painted a picture of the plant. He didn't literally paint on the plant.

Melanie Avalon: [laughs] Firstly, you have a big plant now?

Gin Stephens: No. He painted a picture of the plant. Yes, yes.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I’m so excited. That makes me happy. Happy late birthday.

Gin Stephens: Thank you. Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: So, hopefully, the answers your question, Tish. Hopefully, you can find a practitioner by you. I think we have one really short question we can answer really quick.

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: Question from Paul, "Is infused water breaking the fast?" Paul says, "Hi, ladies. Your podcast keeps my IF going. Thanks so much. I've been doing 16:8 for two months. I don't get any weight loss but I love that I can skip my breakfast. Life is much simpler and the fasting window actually feels great. I can handle more stress and I have less mental fatigue. Quick question. I find that drinking infused water during the fasting window helps reduce my hunger. I'm not talking about sweet fruits, but lemon, lime, cucumber, celery, mint, spinach, and ginger. Are they okay to drink? Thanks, Paul."

Gin Stephens: The answer is, no, Paul. They're not. I'm sorry. They are food flavors. We don't want to send any food cues from flavor to our body during the fast. You mentioned you've been doing 16:8 for two months, you're not losing any weight. I would start fasting without the infused water. You really shouldn't be getting hungry. It makes me think you're not fat adapted yet. Honestly, the infused water could be preventing that. Because if you're like starving, and it's just trying to get to lunch, and you're hungry, and you can't even get 16 hours without feeling so hungry that you need infused water, that lets me know you're not really getting the benefits from the fasted state. So, plain water, don't add lemon, don't add lime, don't add anything to it that tastes like food. Plain. No flavor, just water.

I know that sounds counterintuitive, but if it were me, I would try to have a slightly longer fast just till your body gets fat adapted. You've got to break through to get to the other side. Maybe try an 18-hour window for a little while. You see how that goes. Clean fast, plain water, black coffee, plain tea only. No flavors, fast clean, try 18 hours, I bet you'll find your hunger, boom, goes away. Then, also, if you're trying to get weight loss, maybe, you're not, maybe you just feel great, and that's your goal. Chad does a 16:8, never wanted to lose weight. He just feels better. But he also doesn't get hungry during the fast because he only drinks black coffee and plain water. So, try that.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. I knew you would answer that.

Gin Stephens: Absolutely. I knew what I would say. [laughs] I love when people are like, “I was listening to the podcast and I already knew how you would answer it.” Yeah, because I'm pretty consistent with my answer. So are you. We should probably have listeners try to answer it. That would be fun. Guess the answer. How do you think general answer this question?

Melanie Avalon: We could come up with some fun thing for our-- what episode is this? [crosstalk] 300th episode.

Gin Stephens: That'll be-- before you know it, it'll be 300. That's crazy. We've been doing this for a long time, and we've never missed a week airing one.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Right, right, right, right. Yeah, most podcasts have breaks, and time off, and best of. Not us.

Melanie Avalon: That's crazy. We've reflected on this before, but there have been times where we haven't recorded a certain week, but we pretty much talk almost every single week for how many years? Since 2017?

Gin Stephens: 2017, over four years, because we started in April or the first one came out May?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Four years? Wow. That's crazy. Well, it's been a lovely time. [laughs] For listeners if you'd like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com, and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode226. You can get all of the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.comstuffwelike. You can follow us on Instagram. I'm @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens, and we're also @ifpodcasts on Instagram. So, this has been absolutely wonderful. Anything from you Gin before we go?

Gin Stephens: No, I think that's it. You can also follow me on Instagram as @cleanishgin. I haven't done anything with it yet. It’s pretty boring. [laughs] One day, there might be something there, besides my cat. I just had to put some pictures in, Instagram made me. They’re like, "You've got to put in some pictures," and I just thought put something-- you've already seen them. It's my cat and my chairs. Anyway, follow us on Instagram.

Melanie Avalon: Well, this has been 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. The 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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