Welcome to Episode 238 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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BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get A FREE Holiday Turkey In Your First Box!
BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz
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Stay Up To Date With All The News And Pre-Order Info About Melanie's New Serrapeptase Supplement At melanieavalon.com/serrapeptase!
Listener Feedback: Carre - Episode #214 Binging Question
Listener Feedback: Evelyn - follow up; donating blood
Listener Q&A: Piia - Too much fasting for my body?
Listener Q&A: Kathy - Tests?
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Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 238 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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And one more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds including endocrine disrupters which mess with our hormones, obesogens which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. So, when you're putting on your conventional skincare and 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 tests 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.
Thankfully, there's an easy, easy solution to this. There's a company called Beautycounter and they were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient in their products is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, you can actually feel good about what you put on. And on top of that, their products actually work. That's because they're not “all natural.” They actually combine the best of both worlds, both synthetic and natural ingredients, to create products that actually support the health of your skin and make your skin look amazing. They have skincare lines for all your skin types, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, antiaging and brightening peels and vitamin C serums, and incredible makeup. If you see my makeup on Instagram, that's all Beautycounter. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter.
And if you're thinking of making safe skincare a part of your future, like we have, we definitely suggest becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership, totally completely worth it. Also, definitely join my clean beauty email list at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty, I give away a lot of free things on that list and join me on my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. I do a weekly giveaway every single week for Beautycounter, people share their experience and product reviews, and so much more. And again, the link to shop with us is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. All right, now enjoy the show.
Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is episode number 238 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 great. Long time no talk.
Melanie Avalon: I know--. I know, like two weeks, maybe?
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I was in Arizona for five days for a conference. It was amazing.
Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited. Anything you'd like to share about it?
Gin Stephens: Well, I do want to share one thing that was really cool. You know all about the Delay, Don't Deny social network. I talked about the issues that we were having with technology, and why we switched platforms, right? So, we switched to a different platform. Circle is the name of it. And gosh, it's been I think like almost a month since we made the switch to the new platform and started migrating different members over. For anybody who wants to know more about that, it's a ginstephens.com/community. But this is what is so very exciting. After we made the mistake and ended upon the wrong platform, by the way, the conference I went to was for healthcare professionals, wellness professionals that sort of thing, and a lot of physicians there, but one of the main mantras of this community is take action even if your action is imperfect action, that made me feel better about making a bad choice the first time, take action even if it's imperfect action. So, that's what we did.
We took imperfect action, but then we were like, "Oh, we got to do something different." So, we changed the platforms. But this entire health and wellness community announced at the conference that they are also leaving Facebook. Leaving it completely and going to the same exact platform that I've already moved to. It's so exciting for like many reasons. Number one, we looked at everything and we realized the place we had chosen wasn't working out technologically. We looked at everything out there, and I'm like, "I really don't want to make another mistake," because I owe it to the community to not make a mistake. So, we looked at everything and this is the one that felt right to me. So, I'm so glad that they agree.
But the other thing that's so exciting is that they are very powerful in the health and wellness world, this community, and there is 0% chance they will allow the platform to be buggy or have technological problems. So, I have now got the power of this huge group. They met with the founders. They're not going to put up with bugginess. So, I just feel like all the mistakes we made with choosing the wrong platform, the technological problems, all that, I just felt like this big relief off my shoulders like, "Okay, not only are we in good hands, but we've got the backing of a very powerful community that is not going to let it be bad." So, oof.
Melanie Avalon: Well, that is nice. That's very exciting.
Gin Stephens: Isn't that nice? Yeah? I was like--, I just feel like this is just felt like a new beginning.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. And so people are already loving the community and that makes me happy. It's been a relief because you don't want to bring something to people and then it's like frustrating. Because you feel so responsible even though every decision we made was in good faith. We're walking away from a contract that was tens of thousands of dollars because it was such a bad platform. You just sometimes have to just cut your losses, but you just really don't want to make a mistake again. So, anyway.
Melanie Avalon: The pressure is enough the first time around. So, having a knock on while the first time-- I can just imagine the pressure was huge to find the right platform.
Gin Stephens: The community was amazing. People tried so hard to connect on it even with the frustrations of the-- When you're trying to post on the live feed and it jumps and you can't even see what you're trying to comment on. People were amazing and the way they connected, they had Zoom's like the people from England would get together, and we would have coffee and so people made the best of it and I cannot be more grateful.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome.
Gin Stephens: But now, we're somewhere good. [laughs] Anyway, that was it. Sorry.
Melanie Avalon: So, for listeners in the show notes at ifpodcast.com/episode238. We'll put links to the new platform.
Gin Stephens: So, what's up with you?
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, so many things. Three really quick things to share. One, I interviewed--, I already told you this, but we've been wanting to interview Robb Wolf on this show for a deep dive into electrolytes. So, it's really crazy, Gin, how it worked out. We had him booked and Gin just happened to be gone, and so it's awkward sometimes for three of us on an episode. So, we're like, "Okay, I'll just do the interview."
Gin Stephens: We'll just do it.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: It was exactly the right time because I was in a whole other state.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, it was perfect. The episode is two hours. So, for listeners if you missed episode 237, definitely listen to it. And I already told Gin this, but I had an incredible moment at the end because I almost started crying because I was telling him just how great, oh, I'm starting to cry now. Just how grateful I am for him, because reading all of his books, like reading The Paleo Solution, it's the reason I changed my diet, and it's the reason I became really obsessed with how food affects our bodies, and then I just had been following him since then and that was around 2012-ish. So, I was saying that, I was like, "I'm not going to cry," and then he was like, "Oh, I might cry," and I thought he was kidding, but then when he responded to me, he actually sounded teary. So, it was just an amazing moment. It was really amazing. But the episode was amazing. We answered so many listener questions. So, it's not just an interview. We probably answered like 30 listener questions from you guys. So, definitely check that out. That was one.
Two was, I posted this on my Instagram, an update about Whole Foods guy, and I got so many-- People are so invested in this, Gin.
Gin Stephens: I believe it. Yeah.
\Melanie Avalon: He might be listening now. I don't know--. I don't know. So, I teased the story on my Instagram and 30 people were like, "Tell me what happened." So, I went into Whole Foods this weekend and he was there. So, I just walked straight up to him. Gin, you're in my head now.
Gin Stephens: Oh, my God, I love it. I love it.
Melanie Avalon: I walked straight up to him, and I was like, "Hi." [laughs] I was like, "I have to tell you something." [laughs] He was like, "What?" I was like, "Well, I'm still super embarrassed about how I just walked up to you that time." He was like, "Don't be embarrassed." I was like, "Well, also, I'm a podcaster. So, I might have shared that story on the podcast. So, it's possible that 50,000 people now know about you." But I was like, "Don't worry. They don't know your name." He thought, it was hysterical and asked how he could listen.
Gin Stephens: That's so funny. Hello, Whole Foods guy.
Melanie Avalon: He's listening. Yeah, he was like, "How can I listen? I was like, "Well-- so yeah." So, that's that--. Then the third thing is that, I have a super exciting announcement. I think I can announce this now. You know how with the serrapeptase supplement that we were developing. I'd have to text the guy making this after and make sure this is okay. You know how I was saying that we've been researching all the serrapeptases on the market. All of them had fillers, it's sneaky. So, we were trying to formulate it without fillers and we've been doing all these lab tests, and basically, the issue-- So, I've learned so much about the supplement industry.
Some supplements basically require--, there's two things. There're fillers in case people are curious. Fillers that's just to fill up the capsule. So, some supplements, the actual material, the active ingredient is not big enough volume wise to fill up a capsule. So, it needs to filler. Some ingredients and/or some ingredients need a, what's the word?
Gin Stephens: Binding agent?
Melanie Avalon: So, it doesn't clump in the machine. There's a word for it and I'm forgetting. It's basically like a binding agent, and then some need both. Serrapeptase needs--, I think it needs both. So, it was really important to me to find because a lot of supplements use steroids, which have been linked to toxicity, palmitates, which have been linked to toxicity rise which is pretty benign, but some people have gluten allergies, you don't have a problem with that. Cellulose often, but that can't really be used as the binding agent, a lubricator. That's it. Its lubrication. So, I was like, "What do we do?" So, we tried so many things, and I'm so happy.
We're going to be able to make it with pure MCT. We're going to have to do it in small batches like they're going to have to reformulate the machines, especially, to make this. But pure MCT oil was the only thing I was really comfortable with oil wise, and we think it's going to make it--. We don't know, but it might make it more bioavailable as well. I'm just so excited. So, friends, this is going to be literally the best serrapeptase on the market. The cleanest "fillers" and the only one in a glass bottle. Okay, that was long but I'm just so excited. [giggles] Yeah, so, if listeners would like to get on the pre-order list, because we're anticipating that it's probably going to sell out. The link for that is melanieavalon.com/serrapeptase. S-E-R-R-A-P-E-P-T-A-S-E, and we're going to do an amazing preorder special, probably tiered. So, basically, the first X amount of people who order will get it at the lowest price ever, and then it'll go up from there, but super excited.
But really quick, what is serrapeptase? If you're not familiar, it's a supplement created by the Japanese silkworm. You take it in a fasted state, it breaks down proteins that build up in your body. So, it can address things like allergies. If your immune system is reacting to protein buildup, so, it clears my sinuses like none other. It can breakdown fatty deposits, studies have shown, it can help reduce cholesterol, breakdown amyloid plaque, which is found in Alzheimer's, breakdown fibroids, it's an anti-inflammatory, and it can rival NSAIDs for pain reduction, so things like Advil. It's amazing. I'm sorry that was long, but I'm really excited.
Gin Stephens: Well, I'm excited for you. I know, it feels great to be figuring it out, and there's just so much to learn along the way, right?
Melanie Avalon: I'm learning so much. So, I'm want to make all the supplements now. If you had to make a supplement, what would you make?
Gin Stephens: Well, I guess, a magnesium maybe? I don't know, that's the one [laughs] that I've taken regularly for so long, and it's made such a big difference in my life with sleep and everything. So, it would be magnesium.
Melanie Avalon: You know what, that's actually--, this was not planned, that was perfect. Listeners, there is an ad running on this show for BiOptimizers and I actually just recorded it. So, it's really fresh on my mind.
Gin Stephens: And they've got a great magnesium. So, maybe, I don't need to make one. But they've got a great one. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Well. Yeah, so, literally, the ad that's running-- this episode airs November 1st and they're running a go find the ad listeners and listen to it because it's all about their Black Friday special, which is--
Gin Stephens: Oh, it's a good special. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's a really good special and they're focusing on magnesium, and they're giving away lots of free stuff. So, check out that ad.
Gin Stephens: The other thing I would make, if I could make a supplement would be essential vitamins, but out of Whole Foods. You know the ones that are made out of Whole Foods instead of like weird synthetic things, because we get nutrients from food. So, I would do something like that if I could, but things like that exist already.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, now, and I know so obviously, the supplements I take, they exist, and I take them, and I feel well. I actually don't feel good about the serrapeptases now. People are asking me now until mine comes out which one to take and I'm like, "Well, now, I can't recommend any of them, because I know what I know."
Gin Stephens: That is one reason I stopped taking serrapeptase completely. I'll be honest with you.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?
Gin Stephens: Well, because I just like, I'm very, very choosy, you know? I'm so choosy about what I will take and I don't trust. I do not trust. But oh, oh, oh, I haven't said this yet. I actually got to meet Wade Lightheart face to face at the conference. He was at the conference. So, it was Todd White from Dry Farm Wines. I got to meet him face to face at the conference.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. I'd like, "Hello, Wade, nice to meet you." [laughs] Melanie says, "Hello."
Melanie Avalon: I know. Oh, wow.
Gin Stephens: We drank Dry Farm Wines the whole time by the way.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, I bet.
Gin Stephens: They sponsored the conference and that was the wine they served. So, only Dry Farm Wines was available.
Melanie Avalon: That's amazing. Oh, I love that.
Gin Stephens: I know. It was so fun.
Melanie Avalon: For listeners, Wade is one of the founders of BiOptimizers, and Todd is the founder of Dry Farm Wines. Oh, that's amazing.
Gin Stephens: Todd was running around pouring everybody wine. I mean it was great.
Melanie Avalon: I bet. [laughs] Yeah, that's what I was going to say was like, really the only brands I really trust are BiOptimizers. I like Thorne, I like pure encapsulations. None of them make a pure serrapeptase. But I basically just want to make everything that I'm currently taking, make my own version.
Gin Stephens: I don't blame you. Not one single bit.
Melanie Avalon: I might as well, then I'll feel really good about what I'm taking.
Gin Stephens: Well, because you'll know exactly what's in it.
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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into everything for today?
Gin Stephens: Yes. Let's get started.
Melanie Avalon: All right, so to start things off we have some listener feedback. The subject is: 'Episode 214 binging question.' And Carrie says, "Thank you so much. You've answered my question about binging. When opening my window on Episode 214 and your feedback was wonderful." A side note. Gin, it's exciting when we get feedback saying that what we suggested worked, because normally we don't hear back. So, it's like, "Well, I hope that helped." [laughs] She says, "Melanie, I listened to the Glenn Livingston Podcast, and I just purchased his book and can't wait to read it. What a helpful guy he is."
Gin Stephens: Can I say a little caveat about that? Not everyone resonates with his book. I got a personal message from somebody the other day. She's like, "I read it and it didn't really click with me." [laughs] She's just like, "Is it just me?" I'm like, "No." It is the right message for some people, but not the right message for others, the way that he phrases things. Some people it rubs in the wrong way and other people, it's exactly what they need to hear. So, I just wanted to put that out there. So, if you are someone who's read it and you're like, "That just rubbed me the wrong way," that's okay.
Melanie Avalon: It's very interface and it's a very intense approach to everything. If it works for you, it works really well. It could be a game changer.
Gin Stephens: Some people need that kind of tough love, right?
Melanie Avalon: It's also a concept that may or may not even work for people, but it works really well for me, and it works really well for a lot of people. But if it doesn't help you, it's like anything. Everybody's unique and individual.
Gin Stephens: Exactly. But if you're somebody who read it and you're like, "What? This isn't--" Just know, that's okay. It's not the approach that works for everybody. But for the people that it does work for, it's fabulous.
Melanie Avalon: I think the Kindle version is either always free and/or his website. You can always get it for free somewhere.
Gin Stephens: Like through Kindle Unlimited?
Melanie Avalon: I think so. Yes. So, I believe the Kindle version usually will always be free. It's always accessible somehow. So, nothing to lose their money wise. Back to Carrie's feedback. She says, "I've been playing around with my IF window now, and on days where I am training more, I will open sooner if I feel like I need to. I typically have a window now from one to seven. Some days, I fast longer and some days, I open it at 11 AM. I took Gin's advice and started to eat for fuel and look at food as fuel for my workouts, and I now perform so much better. I eat lunch and dinner now, and we'll have fruits and veggies in between to snack on usually closer to when I open my window. Every day, I now open my window with a greens powder mixed with some electrolytes and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to help start the digestion process. This has helped so much in addition to playing around with the window.
On days where I am hungrier, I just eat more and earlier, not being as strict has helped a bunch. I'm 5'4" and will be 24 next month, and I've gotten down to 130 pounds and I feel great. I do hope to lose five more pounds, but if I don't that's okay. I might just throw my scale away like Gin. LOL. I feel great and have been swimming, biking, and running faster than I have in years, my clothes fit better, and I even fit into an old pair of size two Express jeans from my freshman year of college that had been in the back of my closet for years now. I still do love my sweets, but I do not crave them like I did before. And if for some reason I do, then I'll usually go ahead and have something, but it doesn't lead to that binge effect anymore. Thank you both so much for all your wisdom and knowledge. You've helped me so much these past few years and I am such a fan of IF. Definitely the lifestyle for me and I am now trying to convince my boyfriend to do it. Thanks again, Carrie, and she said that yes, we did pronounce it right the first time. Awesome. Shall we go on to our next feedback?
Gin Stephens: Yep. We have something from Evelyn and the subject is: 'Follow up donating blood.' "Hello, ladies. I just heard my question being read on Episode 229. Then, also the RN reply on 233. Thank you for filling this topic. Ladies you said you wished you knew what my experience was then after giving blood that day. My first time giving when they almost turned me away when just fine. I was fasted and never had any trouble. At this point, I've given blood both fasted and not fasted. Meaning, I ate a small breakfast so that I can honestly say, "yes, I've eaten, LOL." Both ways work for me. I don't get dizzy or have symptoms later in the day. I like what you said, "Do what's best for you. Once again, listen to your body." Also, dizziness is not about blood sugar, but rather blood pressure. Yes, that makes sense now that Melanie says that, but I was focused on the "need to eat."
The mission behind giving blood is bigger than my need for keeping the fast. So, if needed four times a year, I can break my fast early or like you suggested, book my appointment later in the day. What an easy solution. It was also nice to hear from the RN and her input too. Again, ladies many blessings to each of you as you continue this good work. Sincerely, Evelyn."
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, I love this feedback from Evelyn. It's definitely really unique. I still encourage people if they're at all nervous about fainting that they do eat before, especially, since I fainted. Again, I'm really struggling now, having fainted recently, I'm so worried, it's going to happen again. For example, yesterday I did Emsculpt. Have you heard of Emsculpt?
Gin Stephens: Not really.
Melanie Avalon: It's muscle stimulation. So, it's the equivalent--. I'm doing it on my biceps and triceps. It's the equivalent of 20,000 curls in a 30-minute session. It stimulates your muscle because your brain subconsciously limits your muscles from going to their full, there's a word for it. Basically, their full potential of what they can do. If you're doing muscle building it bypasses that. So, it's like a deeper stimulation that you could ever get doing it on your own. It builds muscle just laying there. It was a little bit unpleasant and not something that would make you--, I didn't faint. But it's not something that would ever have triggered thoughts of fainting or anything like that. But now that I recently did, I'm like, "Oh gosh" I started feeling like a little weird. I was like, "What if I faint?" I need to work with my therapist on this, because now it's going to be like a trigger. Now whenever I start feeling like a little off, I'm like, "Oh, no. [laughs] What if I pass out?" So, you said, you had not fainted, right?
Gin Stephens: No, I've never fainted.
Melanie Avalon: Huh. Yeah, so, I'm really happy for Evelyn. [laughs] She can make it. The feedback that we've been getting from most people have been people who successfully give blood. I don't think we've received any feedback from people who have fainted giving blood. But what's our official recommendation? Do what feels right for you?
Gin Stephens: Well, my official recommendation is, I am not a giving blood expert. So, I would always just ask them, "What do you want me to do?" And I would do that. But if you find that you give it in the fasting state and it works well, who am I to say not to do that also? [laughs]. So, that's what I always say. Because I don't want to give you a recommendation, and then you faint, you're like, "Gin said, I could do it." No, I'm not saying you can do it. I'm not saying to do it, I'm not saying not to do it. Ask the blood donation center, ask your doctor, but if you do decide to do it, pay attention to your body. They've got food there if you need it.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, they do.
Gin Stephens: Right? I think they do. They've got snacks if you need it, they give you snacks after you're done.
Melanie Avalon: They do recommend to eat before, right?
Gin Stephens: Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Because she said--
Gin Stephens: Probably, yeah, I think they do. I'm never ever, ever going to give someone the advice to ignore what a medical professional in the field tells you. Never. Even if I in my mind thought they might be wrong, I would not say ignore that. I might say try to ask someone else and see. That's what a second opinion is all about. There are many things that if we ask five doctors, we will get five different recommendations. But the key is that they are the one supervising you and they're also trained to do that.
Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I think you said that well.
Gin Stephens: So, my official recommendation is that "Don't ask me." [laughs] Ask somebody, who that is their job. Now, if you'd like to talk about whether you should have your child tested for the gifted program or analysis, no, I'm kidding. [laughs] By the way, Abel James just interviewed me. You knew this because I told you for his podcast, it's coming out near the end of the year at some point. He's like, "Let's talk about the gifted program." And I thought, that was fun.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?
Gin Stephens: He wanted to talk about school, and education a little bit, kids. Yeah. I love talking. No one ever asks me that. Wait, does he have kids?
Melanie Avalon: No. But he has a really wonderful like poetry book. That would be great to read kids.
Gin Stephens: Oh, no, I didn't know that. He is a great guy. That was super nice. You said he was, you were right.
Melanie Avalon: He's the guy we're like--, "He's the nicest guy." But really and then when you meet him, you're like, "Oh, he really is."
Gin Stephens: He's so nice. His voice is just cheerful. Every word sounds like a smile.
Melanie Avalon: I know. [laughs] I am like, "And his voice is the perfect voice for announcer type." It's just a very beautiful voice.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. Anyway, he was so nice, and he had a copy--. Did I tell you he had a copy of Clean(ish) and I haven't even seen one yet?
Melanie Avalon: Yes, and Gin doesn't even have a copy. [laughs]
Gin Stephens: No. I didn't even know that they were already printed up, and like this is the early reader edition. But usually, the author gets one pretty early, not other people. But I was like, "Let me say it." He held it up. It was beautiful. He said, he loved it. He loved Clean(ish). That made me so happy.
Melanie Avalon: Wait, it comes out beginning of January, right?
Gin Stephens: January 4th, yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Gin, we have to book you for my show.
Gin Stephens: Well, I would love to.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. Making a note. Can you send me a copy of the book?
Gin Stephens: Well, probably, they can. [laughs] They could send it to Abel James. I'm going to be on Cynthia Thurlow's podcast soon, and I was like, "Let's get Cynthia a copy." They just sent her the electronic version. But I could get you the electronic version any time.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. If I can get both that'd be awesome, because like--
Gin Stephens: Yeah. There's something about a paperback.
Melanie Avalon: I like posting it on Instagram.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. I'm so glad that he said he liked it. I figured if he hated it, he wouldn't have said anything. But the fact that he said he really liked, it was a good sign.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Yeah, and what I really loved was, I talked to Gin after that interview, and we were talking about the podcast high feeling, because with my other show, I'm interviewing people like Abel James all the time. So, I'm always getting this high. Gin got to experience it.
Gin Stephens: Well, it's true. I'm on a lot of podcasts, but this was the first time I had been talking about Clean(ish). It was my first Clean(ish) interview, and I've been on other high-profile podcasts. But this was a pretty high profile one, and somebody that I admired because I remember him from back in the day when he was on that TV show, My Diet Is Better Than Yours. Did you watch that TV show?
Melanie Avalon: Oh, I thought it was on Fat-Burning Man TV show or something.
Gin Stephens: No. He was on a reality show called My Diet Is Better Than Yours, and there were several experts with different diets, and his was intermittent fasting.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes. Now, it's coming back to me.
Gin Stephens: This was a long time ago, and he didn't "win," but his guy lost more fat.
Melanie Avalon: Right.
Gin Stephens: So, [laughs] anyway, so, I was hoping it would win, because it was intermittent fasting. But we know there's a lot more to intermittent fasting than just what the scale says.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: That's when I first knew who he was, was only when he was on that TV show.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. So cool, so cool where everything is-- where we are now with everything. Love all of it.
Gin Stephens: Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: All right. Shall we go on to our next question?
Gin Stephens: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: So, this question comes from Pia. She's from Finland, ooh, and Pia says: "Too much fasting for my body?" Pia says, "Hi I've been fasting for two and a half years thanks to you both. Before that, I was always on some diet. I'm 42. Even though, I've never been more than maybe a little over five kilograms overweight and I felt miserable, I suppose that did more harm than good. My fasting journey even though, I love this lifestyle has been difficult since the very beginning, I have been all over the place and not found my long-term happy place. I started with 12 hours and very slowly moved to 14 to 15 hours of fasting. I felt great and lost five kilograms with that. After losing the weight, I started feeling off at the end of my fasts, get hot flashes and started gaining the weight back. I decided to move my windows and started breaking my fast about an hour after waking up and felt better with a morning/early afternoon window, maintained though.
Since then, I have tried shorter fasts, 13 to 16 hours and longer ones, 17 to 20 hours. I seem to lose weight after lengthening my fast, but quite soon feel off, get the urge to binge in my eating window, and start gaining the weight back. The binging feels physical, not psychological. When I fast longer, I also feel a dip in my energy levels, I feel anxious and get wired, but tired when it's time to go to bed. That's the same feeling I get when I'm super stressed. Can it be that I have broken my body during the years of not listening to my body and even 16 hours is too much fasting for me right now? More importantly, how can I get my weight to moving down again without feeling burned out? I've been to the doctor, and I've been told I'm fine according to the Western Medical Standards, maybe just stressed if anything. I eat quite a healthy diet although I wonder if I eat enough. Can you please get into the details of fasting when overly stressed and all things, cortisol and hormones? I still feel so much better on this fasting struggle bus than before and want to continue feeling better and live longer and healthier, thanks, Pia from Finland.
Gin Stephens: All right, this is a great question, and I think, Pia, the real issue is not whether you're doing too much fasting. The words too much fasting or what I want to take off the table, instead, I want you to focus on are you over restricting for your body? Because I think those are two different things. You can do 14 to 15 hours for example. No one would think that that was "too much fasting." However, if you are also not eating very much during the nine to 10 hours of eating, if you're also low calorie dieting in a 10-hour eating window, that's not good for your body. So really, I want you to ask yourself are you nourishing your body well during whatever eating window you're doing? I would suspect the answer is no. There are three clues I highlighted in your question that made me think you are not nourishing your body well enough.
First of all, you said I wonder if I eat enough. If your inner voice is telling you that you're not eating enough, you probably are not eating enough and especially nutritious foods. The urge to binge, that you said you're having the urge to binge that is a classic sign that you're over restricting for your body. That wired but tired feeling, if I don't eat enough, like I was super busy the week before I went to Arizona because we had just launched the new community to open it up to people, and so, I had a million emails coming in all day long, I was recording a lot of podcasts, so I was trying to get that done because I was going to be gone, and so I had probably, I don't know, what, three days in a row of one-hour eating windows. That's just how it shook out. I did not have time to have a luxurious long snack and a meal like I normally do. So, I was barely having time to even cook dinner, much less eat it. I started to get that wired but tired feeling, and that just lets me know it's like extra ketosis. I like the feeling of ketosis I get during my fast every day, but this would like be after I'd eaten even. If I don't eat enough in my eating window, I feel that wired but tired crazy. It's like ketosis goes too far. So, it's like, "Ketosis, good, good, good, good, good. Oops, that's too much for me." That's the way my body lets me know. So, it lets me know that I need to increase what I'm eating.
If you're having the urge to binge in your eating window, you're having a crazy wired but tired feeling that doesn't feel good, and you suspect you're not eating enough? I think the answer is you probably are not. Focus on nutrients. Prioritize, I know Melanie talks about protein all the time. Your body may be crying out for protein. Maybe, you're not eating enough of that. Increase your nutritious foods in general, and make sure that you feel satisfied and good. We can theorize about you know what your hormones, or cortisol, or all that might be doing, but we're just theorizing. You don't really know unless you start testing things. We might say maybe this is happening, but unless you have it tested, you're not going to know hormonally. But we do know, the female body doesn't do well with over restriction. Of course, the male body doesn't either. An interesting side note, Melanie. It was so interesting, I was the only intermittent fasting person really-- A lot of people at this conference were doing intermittent fasting. They just did it. That's how they live, a lot of people were doing it, especially, the doctors. But when we introduced ourselves to one another, we all said, "what do you do? What do you do?" It was fascinating. A lot of OB-GYNs were there, which was cool.
Melanie Avalon: How many people were there?
Gin Stephens: It was around 200. It was smaller than usual just because people are still not traveling quite as much. But a lot of people were there. They did a combo virtual and in person. Some people were participating on Zoom. So, it was more than that if you added up all the people that run Zoom. But whenever I would say, I am an author and a podcaster, intermittent fasting is what I talk about, they're like, "Yeah, but what about women?" Like almost every single person said, "Yeah, what about women?" I'm like, "Well, let me tell you about that." I told every single person that my philosophy is that for some reason we think that intermittent fasting is synonymous with the idea of over restriction. Really, you could over restrict in any length of window. Even if you're eating from sunup to sundown, if you're having tiny little diet meals in low calorie dieting, that's not good either. So, we don't want you to do intermittent fasting in an overly restrictive way because that really is going to be too much. Anyway, that's what I have to say about that. It was just so interesting that that's what everyone said. Then, when I explained it they're like, "Oh, well, that does make sense." [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, no, it's definitely the question on everybody's mind. Yes, we are on the same page and actually this is perfect timing this question because something I actually wanted to address. Actually, I know you've seen my posts about it. I released an episode with Valter Longo. What is today? This past Friday. It was all about fasting, and the fasting mimicking diet, and for listeners who are not familiar, we have had Valter Longo on this show as well. He's the author of The Longevity Diet, and he is the head of I think the Gerontology school--, or he has a position at USC, and he's a renowned fasting researcher. That episode, [giggles] it's always really interesting to see when I release an episode, what the responses and what stimulates the most discussion? That episode has stimulated so much discussion, and a lot of people freaking out a little bit, because he advocates shorter fasts. I thought it was a very nuanced discussion about it, but he's on the low protein train as well, which is just something I was thinking about in my head now, and it's something I talked about with him in the show, which was, can you get the best of both worlds if you fast longer, but you have really a moderate or high protein intake in your eating window? Does that solve all the "issues" that he thinks that you might be seeing with longer fasts, and is it also mTORism?
I always forget, it's like protein releases or stimulates mTOR, which is a signaling pathway for growth, and people who advocate low protein diets in part often advocate it because they say it stimulates less mTOR and less IGF-1, which can also be linked to aging. This is a long meandering way of saying. Well, I wanted to respond to that first because people keep asking me, "What are my thoughts on this? Should people be fasting less?" Which goes in with Pia's question, which is why I want to talk about it. My thoughts on that is that I think all information is information. So, listen to the episode, see what you take from it. So, listen with an open mind, take from it what resonates with you, but in the conversation, I do tell him my approach which is longer fasting with a high protein intake. I really think it's fine what works for you, and people keep asking me, "Am I going to change my fasting approach based on that conversation?" My answer is, "Most definitely, no." Because what works for me, it works really, really well for me. So, for Pia's question, it's a lot of what Gin just said. I don't equate fasting with restriction. It doesn't have to equate with restriction. But if you become restricted in your eating, then that will be a stressor on top of a stressor and everything will likely become too restricted for you, especially, I think women are much more sensitive to this. So, my suggestions for you are actually really, really similar to Gin. So, I would try one of two things. If you want to try the longer windows, it's what Gin said. Make sure you're getting enough in that eating window. I really, really say focus on protein. A lot of people find that if they really focus on protein, especially, with something like this where you have a shorter eating window, there's the protein leverage hypothesis. I've interviewed Ted Naiman before. We had Ted Naiman on this show, too, right or just William Shewfelt on this show?
Gin Stephens: We had William Shewfelt, not Ted Naiman.
Melanie Avalon: So, in their book, The PE Diet, they really, really break this down and explain protein leverage hypothesis, which is basically that your hunger signals will continue until you satiate your protein needs and your protein requirements.
Gin Stephens: I feel like that's true.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, I 100% believe it's true.
Gin Stephens: You know, I don't eat meat every day, but I absolutely every now and then I'm like, I can tell I need to eat more protein one day, I can just feel it, and I listen. I have a lot of meat at the conference more than I usually do. Everything was gluten free and dairy free, but they had amazing meat. It was all like grass fed, organic. So, I had just a lot of meat and veggies.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, nice.
Gin Stephens: But then the last night, this is a funny story. The last night of the conference, I went to a restaurant with a friend when the conference was over. We were having a pool party, there wasn't really like dinner. So, we're like, "Let's go eat." That was somebody that I met at the conference. We went and ate and she was carnivore. So, she had a giant steak. [laughs] We got a meat and cheese plate, and she ate the meat off of it, and I ate all the cheese, and all the bread, and then, I ordered also French onion soup, a caprese salad and ate the mozzarella. So, apparently, my body was like, "Eat the dairy, eat the bread," because I hadn't had any. But I just ordered what looked good off the menu, and that is what it was. Cheese plate, bread, French onion soup, and a caprese salad with the cheese.
Melanie Avalon: That's so funny.
Gin Stephens: I know. My body was really missing the dairy and the grain.
Melanie Avalon: The interesting thing for me is, I always need that hunk of protein. I'm never not craving a big whack of protein.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. I got protein obviously in the dairy, but that was what I wanted because everything was so heavily vegetable, vegetable, vegetable, meat, that was it. Vegetables and meat. It was delicious. But I always order what sounds good off the menu. I wasn't like, "I haven't had any cheese. Let me get some." That's just what I was drawn to. My body was like, "Oh, I want that, I want that," and then, when I looked back at what I ate, I'm like, "That's kind of comical."
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That is funny. So, yes. So, Pia, if you are-- I'm just echoing what Gin said. Make sure if you're doing longer fasts that you're getting enough in that eating window with an emphasis on protein. My second suggestion is, if you want to keep in the shorter fasts, which seem to be working well for you, but the issue seems to be that you're not losing weight on the shorter fasts, we don't know much about what you're eating. You just say that, you eat a quite healthy diet, but you could also try a shorter fast and playing with your macros, and that might stimulate weight loss.
Gin Stephens: I also had a question about that because we don't know how much she needs to lose because I have run across people over the years, through the hundreds of thousands of people in the groups who are at a very healthy weight for their body, and yet feel like they want to lose more weight. But their body is not with that program. Because your body is not going to lose below a place that feels good to your body. So, I don't know if that might be what Pia is up against. Like her desired weight might be lower than her body's happy weight, and it is always going to be hard to fight below that. So, I just don't know.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. No, that's a really important thing.
Gin Stephens: She might really just need to stay where she is. The urge to binge also might be a signal that you're trying to push your body to a lower weight than your body is comfortable maintaining. So, that's just another factor. If I had decided at some point that I needed to weigh, I don't know. I'm just going to make up a number 115 pounds. Like, let's say, I thought I needed to weigh 115 pounds, and I became fixated on that, I would never have been happy with my body, and would have struggled really hard, and probably felt terrible. If I could have gotten to 115, it wouldn't have been good for me. That's too lean for me. That would not have been a good weight for my body. But if I had really tried, I probably could have white knuckled my way there, but I would have felt bad, and I wouldn't have been able to maintain it.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. No, I think that's a really important thing to point out. If that's the case and you still want to lose and/or if that's not the case and you want to lose with the shorter fasts, my recommendation would be looking at the macros. So, again I don't know what a healthy diet is. That's a really broad term. A lot of people can experience weight loss if they go and I'm going to use the word 'extreme.' But if they go a little bit extreme with the macros, so that's doing a ketogenic diet that really actually is low carb. So, it's got to be low carb enough to really be ketotic, and then if weight loss is the goal, and given the context of everything, low carb keto diet without all the added fats because if you have all the added fats, it's going to make it less likely that your body is going to tap into your body fat.
The flip side of that something to try would be going actually low fat and buy low fat, not conventional low fat, which is 30%, but super low fat. So, like 10% fat, and that would include no added fats. Some people find that that really works well. Even within that low-fat sphere, some people find that the type of carbs they're having with that can matter. So, carbs from primarily fruit versus carbs from starches, some people don't lose weight well on starches, some people do. So, basically playing around with the type of foods within this "healthy paradigm" can encourage fat loss when you find what clicks with your body, but all of that said, definitely paying attention to nutrition within that focusing on the protein, focusing on the essential nutrients, focusing on food quality, you basically want to--, if fat loss is the goal, in my opinion, put your body into a state where it's getting all of the protein that it needs to sustain your muscle mass, sustain your body's protein, it's getting all the nutrients it needs to-- Nutrients, I mean, micronutrients. So, vitamins. I also mean like EPA, DHA, things like that. It's getting all of that that it needs to do all of its body's processes.
The only thing that is missing is the extra calories/fat. So, your body is tapping into your own fat or if you're doing keto, the carbs are missing. So, it's making your body even more likely to tap into fat stores, and then you're not adding in extra fat, so it's really being forced to tap into those fat stores. I really should write this book.
Gin Stephens: Write the book. Write the book. [laughs] It's hard to write a book.
Melanie Avalon: It is.
Gin Stephens: It is really hard, and then there's so much information in there. When I was going to be on Abel James, I was like, "I better just like get some little things I can say," because I could talk about fasting all day and all night with no note. But I need to have some notes about Clean(ish) because I haven't ever talked about it before.
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Gin Stephens: So, we have time for one more question. This is from Kathy and the subject is: "Tests." She says, "Hi. I've read all your books and listened to tons of your podcasts. I'm about three months in and doing great. I'd like to get testing done to check the different levels of things that would help me better understand my body and what works best for me. What are the names of the tests, what should I ask for from my doctor, which tests should I order online, is there a simple resource for this that I'm missing? Thanks, and keep up the great work," Kathy.
Melanie Avalon: All right, so, yeah. This is a great question from Kathy about tests. Oh, my goodness, so, the world of testing is obviously huge. Kathy is approaching us just from helping her better understand her body. I do want to answer both that as well as people who are trying to figure out health issues because I think that's two different things. If you're just trying to get a good understanding of your health and your body, so, a traditional doctor is going to do a basic metabolic panel. That's going to include things like your liver enzymes, and your blood sugar, and so, a conventional doctor is going to run something called a comprehensive metabolic panel. You're probably familiar with that, because pretty much every time we're doing a checkup, and really, even if you're going in to test something specific, often times, doctors just run this. Because it's 14 tests, it's things that-- it's like blood sugar, it's your electrolytes, it's liver enzymes, calcium, it's basically like that picture. That gives you a general idea of very basic conventional medical standards view of what is going on.
That said, the conventional ranges are not necessarily the ideal ranges and what's actually scary is the ranges keep changing as the years go on partly because the averages are changing, because our population is getting sicker. So, the averages are like the average person is different now. So, we get tested against a standard that probably isn't as strict or as ideal as it should be. That's why Gin and I love a company called InsideTracker. They actually test you by ideal ranges, and then on top of that, they don't test just the comprehensive metabolic panel. They dive deep into the things that they think really show your true health status, your true "inner age," so, how old you are on the inside. So, that's where I would recommend Kathy start. So, with their tests in addition to what I just mentioned, they test things like HbA1c that Gin and I talk about a lot, which shows how long-- it's a better indicator of your blood sugar levels over a range of time. They do a deep dive into your iron panel. So, things like ferritin and hemoglobin. What's incredible for example is I got an iron panel done to check my iron, and this is where I'm a conventional doctor. This is so weird to me. So, in the medical codes, the normal iron panel does not include ferritin, which-- sorry, I'm just like flabbergasted by this. But ferritin is a storage form of iron.
So, when I asked my conventional doctor for example, to run an iron panel, it did include ferritin, I got back my results. I thought my iron was great. Then I ran InsideTracker. They do include ferritin and I realized, "Oh, my ferritin is super low." So, my iron looks good on the outside, but actually maybe it's not. Then with InsideTracker, they also check another enzyme called GGT. That's a liver enzyme that is specific to the liver, because the liver enzymes tested by the conventional metabolic panel. AST and ALT can also be affected by muscle stress. So, GGT can kind of tell you if you have elevated liver enzymes, where the problem is like, is it specific to your liver or is it may be coming more from exercise or something like that. Then they test other things as well like Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a huge marker of health. They test RBC magnesium, which is super important, because that is basically a level of magnesium--, your cellular magnesium, and when we interviewed Wade Lightheart coming full circle, he talks a lot about the importance of the RBC magnesium test, and that's something that your doctors probably not going to be checking unless you ask for it. So, those are the types of tests that I would check. You could go to InsideTracker and you could get that straight up, or you could ask your conventional doctor, if hopefully, they're willing to work with you, you could ask for these individually, and/or you could order them individually through something like Let'sGetChecked. They have a lot of really great tests that you can order individually. So, we'll put links in the show notes to all of those services. We have amazing discounts for all of them.
My second part of the answer was, if you are struggling--, so for people who feel fatigue and they feel like something is off, and they feel like something is wrong, and that's why they're looking for tests. In addition to everything that I just suggested, I already mentioned the iron, but I would definitely, definitely getting that iron panel with ferritin from whoever you have to get it from, because that can be a huge source. I would definitely do a full thyroid panel to see if your thyroid is off. A conventional thyroid doctor is probably just going to check TSH and T4. But you really want to check TSH, T4, free T3, and reverse T3, and then other things you could look for are things like-- blood mercury is something to look forward to see if you have a heavy metal issue, and then working with a holistic practitioner, who can really do a deep dive into things like gut testing. So, you can see if you have any parasites or if you have a gut microbiome that's off, you could do a hormone panel, a DUTCH test, which is a 24-hour urine collection thing where you basically see how your hormones are going all throughout the day, that can be really helpful. You can always check as well for things like celiac, you can check for-- There's just a lot you can check for.
If you are approaching this from a place of fatigue and feeling unwell, I would not take on--. Everything I just said, I would not take that on your own. I would find a holistically minded practitioner, an MD, a nurse practitioner, somebody who is on the same page about all of this who can do super thorough testing and somebody you're comfortable with and then go with their guidance about everything. But if you're like Kathy, and you're just trying to better understand your body, see where you're at, I probably start with something like InsideTracker. Oh, and then last thing with InsideTracker is, you can also get their inner age, and that will look at the specific biomarkers are correlated to your inner age, and then they'll give you an inner age-- like your inner age, and it's really cool because you can track it over time, and it's a nice way to see if you're making progress. Oh, and then I forgot cholesterol panel, but that would be included in that as well. So, Gin.
Gin Stephens: Well, you were very thorough as I knew you would be. [laughs] But I want to throw out there ZOE too. I love ZOE. Everybody knows if you're depending on whether what Kathy meant, the different levels of things that would help her understand her body, that's the wording that she uses. ZOE helped me understand my body better than anything I've ever done. So, you can go to ginstephens.com/zoe to read about that. And Melanie's done it, too. You don't have your results back yet, though, do you?
Melanie Avalon: I do.
Gin Stephens: Oh. Have we ever talked about the results?
Melanie Avalon: I don't think we have. So, next week.
Gin Stephens: All right. I look forward to hearing about ZOE.
Melanie Avalon: So, we'll put a link in the show notes to all of that stuff. The InsideTracker, the ZOE, and the Let'sGetChecked.
Gin Stephens: Fabulous.
Melanie Avalon: So, okay. Well, this has been absolutely amazing. A few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions at ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode, which I feel like will be super helpful because oh my goodness, we talked about so many things and the show notes have a full transcript. Those will be at ifpodcast.com/episode238. Then, lastly, you can follow us on Instagram. I, @melanieavalon, and Gin is @ginstephens, and on the Instagram is @ifpodcast.
Oh, fun fact. When I asked Whole Foods guy or told him about the shows, I asked him if he was on Instagram. He said, no, and he said he's not a big social media person. So, that's good, because I've been posting things there. [laughs] Yeah, good times. All right. Well, anything from you, Gin, before we go.
Gin Stephens: Nope. I got nothing.
Melanie Avalon: All right. 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.
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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