Episode 240: Moving To Maintenance Mode, Brain Health, Alzheimer’s, Suppository Supplements, Cheese, Veganism, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Nov 21

Welcome to Episode 240 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

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BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! 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 Q&A: Jennifer - Goal Weight

Listener Q&A: Andrea - Health Benefits

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #108 - Dean & Ayesha Sherzai

The End of Alzheimer's: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline

Go To joinzoe.com And Get 10% Off The Zoe Program With The Coupon Code Melanieavalon10

Listener Q&A: Paula -  Melatonin and so many other Qs

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #12 - Dr. John Lieurance

Use The Code MELANIEAVALON At MelanieAvalon.Com/SleepRemedy For 10% Off!!


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 240 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. 


Hi friends I'm about to tell you how you can get free grass-fed, grass-finished New York strip steaks for a year. Yes, free steaks for a year. So, the holidays are upon us and I don't know about you, but when I think about holidays, I often think food and then the second thing I often think is, "Hmm, I wonder what will be the quality of all of the meat and seafood at all of the family gatherings." It can definitely seem intimidating and expensive to get high quality meat that you can trust. Thankfully, there is an easy solution. It's a company I've been a fan of for years and that is ButcherBox. They are an incredible company that takes out the middleman of the grocery store to directly connect customers to farmers. They vet these farmers, they find the farmers that truly support the health of the animals, the environment, and ultimately your health, so that you can finally get meat of the highest standards 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free range organic chicken, wild caught seafood, and more. And trust me, the seafood industry is sketchy. ButcherBox goes to great lengths for transparency and sustainability, so you can truly feel good about what you're eating. I read Dr. Robert Lustig's book, Metabolical and was blown away by the shocking statistics of fraud in the seafood industry. 


But back to meat, ButcherBox' meat is delicious. Each box contains eight to 14 pounds of meat depending on your box type. It's packed fresh and shipped frozen for your convenience. You can choose a curated box or customize it to get exactly what you want, and its shipped straight to your door, and it tastes delicious. The ButcherBox steaks are honestly some of the best steaks I've ever had in my entire life. My dad is a huge spaghetti fan and he remarked that the ground beef was the best ground beef he had ever had. My brother reported back about the porkchops and the bacon. Basically, this stuff is delicious. And this holiday, ButcherBox has an incredible deal. They have never done this before ever and it won't last forever. They're actually giving new members free New York strip steaks for a year until November 30th, 2021, you can get two delicious 100% grass-fed New York strip steaks for free in every box for a year. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to sign up. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to receive this limited time offer of free grass-fed, grass-finished New York strip steaks for a year. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. 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. When you're putting on your conventional skincare makeup, you're likely putting toxic compounds directly into your body. These compounds can make you feel bad, can make it really hard to lose weight, can affect your hormones, your mood, your health. And ladies, if you're thinking of having kids, when you have a child, these compounds actually go directly through the placenta into the newborn. That means your skincare makeup that you're putting on today actually affects the health of future generations.  


Did you know that conventional lipstick for example often test high for lead, and the half-life of lead can be up to 30 years in your bones? That means when you put on your lipstick, 30 years later, half of that lead might still be in your body. 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 and 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, anti-aging 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 240 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens. 


Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. 


Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin? 


Gin Stephens: I'm doing all right. I have a little bit of a cold. So, I'm drinking my hot water and trying not to cough. 


Melanie Avalon: So, oh, first of all, I'm sorry. You have a cold. That is never fun. Although, it's appropriate. The weather changed, just kind of a cliche. It got cold and then you got a cold. 


Gin Stephens: It sure did. It absolutely got cold. You know how I feel about that? 


Melanie Avalon: I love it. I was so happy. I'm like prancing around outside. It's only been cold a few days and I've already gotten the comments of, "Aren't you cold?" I'm like. "Oh, yes, I am. But I love it." Because I wear the same like summer clothes. 


Gin Stephens: Okay, that's hilarious. Not me. Not me. [laughs]  


Melanie Avalon: Are you going to modify your fasting window for your cold? 


Gin Stephens: No. If anything, I might fast a little more.  


Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Is this a hungry cold or not hungry cold? 


Gin Stephens: It's not a hungry cold. No. Chad was like "Do you want some orange juice and I was like, no, my window is not open. I don't want to start with orange juice right now." I don't feel that bad. I'm just tired. I have no energy. It's like just very low energy.  


Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Well, I hope you feel better.  


Gin Stephens: Yeah, well, thank you. I don't get sick very often. So, it's so weird. It always surprises me. I'm like, "What's happening? Why is this happening?" But I usually kick it pretty fast.  


Melanie Avalon: Well. I will send 'kick it fast' vibes to you. 


Gin Stephens: Thank you. I have to read my audio book next week in Atlanta. So, I cannot have a weird voice. So, I've got two days to get completely better. 


Melanie Avalon: Well, I hope you get completely better because I really want to meet you. 


Gin Stephens: I know. We're going to meet. That's so exciting.  


Melanie Avalon: So, for listeners, this was a complete coincidence that Gin just happens to be in Atlanta over my birthday. What are the odds? I've been researching where you're staying Gin and I found some fun places. 


Gin Stephens: Oh, good. Yay. It's near Emory. I do know that.  


Melanie Avalon: You're going to be in Decatur, right?  


Gin Stephens: Yeah. But it's near Emory. I looked at the map and there was Emory University was--looked close. 


Melanie Avalon: I think so. Yeah. And if we do meet on a Monday, there's one place I really want to go. It's on like the list of like best restaurants in Atlanta and it's always on that list.  


Gin Stephens: Oh, well. I like the sound of that.  


Melanie Avalon: But it's not open on Mondays. But there're two other really, really cool places that are open on Mondays. They would have wine, and food, and a bar. So, this might happen assuming you feel better. 


Gin Stephens: Well, I'm going to feel better because I'm willing it to happen. Did I tell you I'm doing better with wine all of a sudden?  


Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? No.  


Gin Stephens: Like my sleep has gotten better. I don't know what it is. Maybe, it's the BiOptimizers magnesium finally kicking in. 


Melanie Avalon: Oh, nice. Very nice. That's exciting.  


Gin Stephens: Yeah.  


Melanie Avalon: I had an exciting moment.  


Gin Stephens: What was your exciting moment?  


Melanie Avalon: On Halloween, while not taking part in festivities, I actually was doing bowel prep because I had a PillCam. 


Gin Stephens: That was not what I was expecting that to go. [laughs] On Halloween, it was not the festivities that bowel prep came out of nowhere. I'm like, "Pom, pom, pom." 


Melanie Avalon: I do. Because I did a PillCam on Monday. I had to be up early. So, I had to do a laxative prep. The modern world we live in, it's so crazy like swallowing a camera. But in any case, so, I was on my couch lamenting my Halloween activities, and was just looking at Instagram, and then realized, I'm verified. 


Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. I saw that. Yep. Very exciting. So exciting. Congratulations. 


Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited. I feel like I've come so far. Like just the other day, I was still scared of Instagram, but now, I'm scared with a blue check. 


Gin Stephens: Awesome. [laughs]  


Melanie Avalon: I'm so happy. So, best Halloween ever. 


Gin Stephens: I'm debating Instagram. Like I'm trying to decide--  


Melanie Avalon: You're debating if you want to do it.  


Gin Stephens: Yeah, there's like, like what am I trying to do there? I went to this conference in Arizona and I went to a session about upping your Instagram game, and people pay people to help them do it, and they were talking about engagement scores and whatever. I'm like, "Do I really want to do all that?" I don't know.  


Melanie Avalon: I have an Instagram manager. Did you know that? 


Gin Stephens: I did know that. You told me. That just doesn't feel like me. I don't know. But everybody's doing it, but it doesn't feel like me. So, I'm like, I'm on the fence. 


Melanie Avalon: I feel maybe you should get my manager. Because he could like-- he could help you. 


Gin Stephens: But see, I don't know if I want to. That's my thing. I left Facebook and I'm also going to just reject Instagram and just be like, "That is not for me." I love that you're verified. I don't want to put a sculpture on that. Because I know that's exciting. I'm not trying to wah, wah that. It's very exciting. 


Melanie Avalon: Thank you. It's funny. We're just always complete opposites. 


Gin Stephens: Well, we are. I'm just trying to figure out, I like to just share on Instagram, "Here's my cat." I said that before, but I'm not kidding. I don't have to think about it. 


Melanie Avalon: For me it's really helpful for my audience. All the content I generate, it's really important vessel for my personal platform. 


Gin Stephens: And that is-- you just nailed it. I don't know that I want to generate content for an audience. Does that make sense? That's what I'm struggling with. Do I want to generate content for an audience? I was reading something, when we were moving our platform, again, from the one to the new-new platform. We looked at several, and one of them, Mighty Networks. We did not go with Mighty Networks, but they sent out something I'm on their email list now, and it was talking about growing an audience versus growing a community, and that gave me a moment of clarity. I'm not saying that one is bad and one is good. I'm absolutely not saying that growing an audience is a bad thing to do or that everyone should be growing a community. But when I read that, I was, "That just feels like me." You know what I mean? I like leaving Facebook for example. I had an audience of almost 500,000 people on Facebook. But I was, "I'm out of here," and that sounds crazy. 


Melanie Avalon: I definitely think mindset community.  


Gin Stephens: Right. I get it.  


Melanie Avalon: People in the audience become part of the community if they want to. 


Gin Stephens: I'm not trying to come across as it's bad, because it's not. But I'm just trying to force myself into it and it doesn't feel authentic to me. Does that make sense? I'm trying so hard to like, I went to that session. I'm like, "I got t up my Instagram game." Then I'm like, "Wait, why? It doesn't resonate with me." It's an awesome platform. I mean, I know that. 


Melanie Avalon: One of the things that makes me feel alive is creating content. So, it's doing what I love engaging with the community. It's everything that I love minus I can't stand selfies and I'm very insecure. 


Gin Stephens: Well, you're doing great at those. I think that you just nailed it. I don't want to create content. I just want to talk to people. I just want to troubleshoot, and talk to them, and how you're doing, and what you do. I don't want to create content. That feels like stress to me. The whole idea that I have to create content and post it in a special way makes me feel freaked out. 


Melanie Avalon: So, if you had a manager, he could create content for you based on the content you're creating. So, you're creating episodes right now, you're already creating content. If you had a manager, he could create snippets from that.  


Gin Stephens: Turn that content. 


Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. He could turn that content into content, and then you could just get on casually because you both get on it. You could still get on it. You could interact with comments, and you could do what you like to do, which is interacting with the community, and you can still post about your cats. I'm not trying to convince you into it.  


Gin Stephens: A happy medium.  


Melanie Avalon: Yeah. If you wanted to do it, I think there's a way you could do it that wouldn't be taxing or stressful, but it would allow your part of the community that exists on Instagram to be able to connect with you there. 


Gin Stephens: Okay. Because I know there is. I know there are definitely people on Instagram that I enjoy connecting with, but it's just the idea. I don't have to think about it. Like, "Here's my dinner, here's my screen porch, here's the beach, here's the starfish," those types of things. That's not content anybody needs. That's just-- [crosstalk]  


Melanie Avalon: Well, the thing is-- the thing is, I think people like Instagram because it is like a snapshot into your daily life. So, you can have on the one hand the content that's the content that we just mentioned. So, fasting related stuff or stuff from your show, so people would tune in to your Instagram for that. But then the cool thing about Instagram is that, I just said, it's your daily life. The stuff that you just mentioned like people who like you, people who follow you because they're so interested in you. That's what they want to see is like--  


Gin Stephens: Like what you're doing?  


Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. 


Gin Stephens: Well, I'm really proud of you, excited, that was a goal and you accomplished it, and it's huge, and it's hard to do. 


Melanie Avalon: It's really hard to do. I've had so many people reach out to me and be like, "How did you do this?" I'm saying like, "I've been Trying to do it for so long." I'm very grateful. It makes me really happy. [giggles] Can I tell you one other really quick story before we jump in?  


Gin Stephens: Absolutely.  


Melanie Avalon: I'm really excited because I've been dying to interview Dom D'Agostino. He's the ketone guy, researcher, and I've been dying to interview him for so long. So, one of my friends, actually, a guest from the show has been saying that he would introduce me to Dom for like months, but he never did. Then, I was talking to another friend from my other show, when I say the show, it's the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. So, I was talking to another friend from it, and he randomly brought up Dom, and I told him I was, "Oh, I've been really wanting to interview Dom." He's like, "Oh, I'll introduce you." 


So, then, the next day, at the almost the exact same time like an hour apart, both of them emailed Dom about me. It was almost the exact same email. It was, "Dom, I want you to meet my friend, Melanie Avalon. She's an amazing podcaster. You should be on her show." So, he got hit with both of those emails back-to-back. He's probably, "Why is everybody throwing Melanie Avalon at me?" But point is, he's coming on the show now.  


Gin Stephens: Yay. Well, congratulations. I know you'll enjoy that. Lots to celebrate. 


Melanie Avalon: Yes. So, if anybody has questions specifically about ketones, he is the ketone guy. So, feel free to email those. Then one more announcement I want to make before we jump in. So, when this comes out, I think my supplement-- my serrapeptase supplement will have, I think, it'll be in pre-orders. I'm trying to finalize the date right now, but it's probably going to be mid-November that the pre-order went live. So, I'm like debating what links I should put out there. It probably will be available for sale if the pre-orders are not sold out, because I anticipate, I don't know, I think they might sell out pretty fast. If you haven't pre-ordered yet, go to avalonx.com That's A-V-A-L-O-N-X dotcom, and you should be able to pre-order or order there. And you can also get on my email list for it. That's melanieavalon.com/serrapeptase. S-E-R-R-A-P-E-P-T-A-S-E. And that is going to be the ongoing email list for information. So, you can get on that. 


But long story short, a lot of our audience take serrapeptase, and it's an enzyme created by the Japanese silkworm. You take it in a fasted state, it goes into your bloodstream, it breaks down residual protein buildups that your body might be reacting to. So, it can help you with things like inflammation and allergies. Studies have shown that it can reduce cholesterol, and there's even been studies on it reducing amyloid plaque, and fibroids, and it's just really, really cool. So, November is like my month. Verified, birthday, supplement.  


Gin Stephens: So exciting. So much to celebrate.  


Melanie Avalon: That's just all about me. But how are you besides being sick? 


Gin Stephens: You gave me some Instagram coaching. So, that was good.  


Melanie Avalon: Oh, true, true, true.  


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Melanie Avalon: All right. So, to get things started, we have a question from Jennifer. The subject is: 'goal weight.' Jennifer says, "Hi, ladies. I've been doing IF 16:8 for about four and a half months now. It has been such a great lifestyle for me, easy to do, and it's brought me many benefits. Over that time, I have lost 20 pounds and I am now within two pounds of my goal weight. I love listening to your podcast, it's great to have a reliable source of info. So, I thought I would turn to you with my question. How do I move to maintenance when I reach my goal? Do I just open my window a bit more? If so, what increments would you recommend and how long do you think I should remain at that new window while monitoring my weight to see if I continue to lose, maintain, or start to gain? I appreciate your time and expertise," Jennifer. 


Gin Stephens: All right. That's a great question. I remember, 2009, I was struggling with my weight and I was doing some crazy diet. I think it was the HCG diet. I was almost at my goal and my stepmother said, I was like, "I'm almost at my goal. So exciting. I'll be there." She said, "Yeah, but it's not the losing the tart. It's the maintaining." I was like, "Wah, wah." [laughs] such a downer thing to hear. But Jennifer, intermittent fasting is not like that. It's so much easier to maintain with intermittent fasting. So, as far as moving to maintenance, your body is really going to decide when you're at maintenance. Your goal is to have a window that feels good where you're eating until you're satisfied, and that might still be the same window you're doing right now.  


If you're doing 16:8, and it feels great for you, I wouldn't have a longer window than eight hours, probably. You may find that your body actually continues to refine itself over time and get a little smaller, like you might still burn a little fat, but you might also be hungrier. So, that's what happened for me. When my body decided that it didn't want to lose any more fat, it ramped up my appetite a little bit. I know it sounds all wacky to say that you'll just know, but you will. If you're a little hungrier, eat a little bit more that day, and just really listen to your body. But it's just like riding a bike every day. You just ride that bike every day and there you go.  


Now, if you had a shorter window than 16:8, maybe you were doing something like 21:3. I might say, "Hey, loosen up that window a little bit." But for 16:8, I feel like I wouldn't change a thing there. As far as monitoring your weight, I would adjust what you do in your window versus changing that window, since it's a 16:8. Does that make sense, Melanie? 


Melanie Avalon: Oh, 100%. Yeah. I was just reflecting on my approach to intermittent fasting ever since I started which was forever ago. When did I start, 2010? I should have had a decade anniversary. I did a one meal a day from day one. I never really changed that. I think the thing that I did change was in the beginning, I was actively making sure that I fasted a minimum amount of hours, and then, as I became more comfortable with it, I just embraced a general evening window without counting anything. But what you just said, Gin about looking at what you're eating rather than the fasting window per se, that's what resonates with me.  


The interesting thing is, I didn't do it, and I encourage other people as well not to do it based on some arbitrary goal number. So, it's not like I'm doing my fasting window. I'm doing my eating and then when I hit this number, boom. I'm in maintenance and now, I'm not losing anymore. 


Gin Stephens: You want to stay at that number, right? There's not going to be a magic number. It's going to be more of like a maintenance range. It might even be a five-pound range. You might already be in it. 


Melanie Avalon: Exactly. If you think about it, so, your body doesn't think in terms of a scale number. So, let's say you're going to this special number and you're doing a certain window, and you're eating a certain way, and then you hit that number. Your body's not like, "Oh, I hit this number. Now, I need to change around to maintain this number." I think it should always be intuitive. You can just keep eating the way you're eating. It might be that you don't even have to change anything. That's very likely that a lot of people find that they just naturally, their body reaches a new weight that it's happy at, and then, you just maintain at that weight without having to consciously make any decisions. What's interesting is, because it could go two ways. It could go where people find that they actually are losing too much weight maybe, and then, what they need to do is actually intuitively eat more. Or, it can be this opposite, where you're maintaining, and you're trying to not gain back the weight. But I think from our experience, that's not as common if you're in an intuitive relationship with how you're eating and your window.  


Gin Stephens: It's basically not necessarily what you think it is. Because every other "diet," that's really how it was. You got to a goal, then you had to stay at that goal, and it was all about that number. But intermittent fasting is so different and you'll really see once you just start intuitively, living at maintenance. It just is so different than anything else. If you start having window creep and your honesty pants get a little tight, your window needs to get a little tighter for a while. It's really easy for me to do that over the years. I've certainly gone up and down within a range. Of course, I don't weigh and haven't weighed for years. So, for me, I don't know what the numbers doing. But my honesty pants tell me, when my jeans get a little tight, I know it's time to tighten up my window. So, it'll happen. Don't be afraid of it and don't be afraid if your pants do get tight. That doesn't mean you failed anything. It just means, "All right, time to get a little back to it." 


Melanie Avalon: I think that question too, Jennifer, I pulled it from-- I think it's a really old question. But we have a list of questions from listeners since, I mean, for years. So, this question might have been a few years old. But I feel like we haven't addressed that in a while. 


Gin Stephens: No, we haven't. So, that was a great question. Who knows what Jennifer is doing now? She may be at her goal and maintained it for three years. If so, Jennifer, if that sounds like you, write back in and say, "Yes, I wrote that three years ago, and I've been maintaining," and [laughs] we would love to hear.  


Melanie Avalon: Please do.  


Gin Stephens: All right. We have a question from Andrea and the subject is 'health benefits.' She says, "Hey, girls. So happy with this way of life. I started in May 2021 and quickly lost the weight I wanted. Above and beyond that, I had this other list of health concerns that was nagging me. Aches and pains, inflammation, aging/longevity, and HGH, just human growth hormone/hormones to name a few. And IF was the answer for that list as well. It's an explosion of wins." I love that, by the way.  


Melanie Avalon: Me, too. 


Gin Stephens: "An explosion of wins." I just had to say it again. "Through the education of your books and podcast, I've learned that IF is a beneficial lifestyle for preventing Alzheimer's through fasting/autophagy, is MADF, and that's Modified Alternate Daily Fasting," and that's like when you do alternate daily fasting with instead of a full fast like for 36 hours, you have that 500-calorie meal on the down day, people have started calling that Modified Alternate Daily Fasting. They're technically, it's just alternate daily fasting. Some of the Facebook moderators are irritated by the addition of the M because we called it just ADF forever. Because the people who researched it, just called it ADF forever, and then all of a sudden, the M came in, I'm not really sure. Anyway, that's what that is if anybody sees it. I'm not irritated by it, but it's just funny.  


MADF is when you have the 500-calorie meal on a down day, and then "regular ADF" would be if you have a full fast. But technically, they both can be considered ADF. But MADF always means 500-calorie meal. All right, so she says, "Is MADF i.e., 5:2 a better strategy for brain health." And technically, MADF wouldn't mean 5:2 necessarily. True ADF is every other day. But 4:3 and 5:2 are in that ADF umbrella because you're having down days and up days. Probably, a lot of people don't do real 5:2 because real 5:2 is having two down days and five up days. So, it's like five days of "eating normally" and then two, if you're doing regular 5:2 the way it was written originally, you'd have 500-calorie days. It's like 5:2 originally was 500-calorie days. So, that's not modified. That was just how it was. Or you could do two full fasts and then five eat regularly days. But for people who have been doing intermittent fasting for a while, I can't imagine having five "regular eating days" in a week. Can you Melanie?  


Melanie Avalon: Not at all.  


Gin Stephens: Not at all. So, anyway, I usually don't stop in the middle of a question and start answering things, but I had to really get into that MADF. All right. So, she says, "Is MADF, a better strategy for brain health? What else should I consider? Dietary approach, ZOE, anything from the stuff We Like list? In addition, please recommend any books, podcasts, etc., forever fasting," Andrea. I love that too, Andrea. Forever fasting explosion of wins. When we say is something "a better strategy for brain health," I always like to look what the experts do. You know, Mark Mattson is one of the top brain experts who also knows about intermittent fasting, and he studies the neurological benefits of fasting. Guess what approach he uses? Daily eating window. So, that says a lot to me. Sometimes, we think that, "Well, in order to get super-duper fabulous health benefits, we got to push ourselves and do more and more fasting." Well, when the number one neurological benefit expert of fasting, he has a daily eating window, that says a lot to me.  


Melanie Avalon: Yes, I think that is very, very telling. Yeah, just with the history of ADF I think it is such a thing, because it's a thing. Wow. I'm being very scientific right now. That is easy to study, it's a setup that can be looked at with all of the studies they do in the research. I think it has a lot to do with just the history of how the research has been done in the data more so than practically what might be the best. But sorry, just a side note, I hope you're feeling better when we do get to me because I was just laughing thinking about conversations we might have while having wine with you like [laughs] explosions of wins and forever fasting and I can't wait to see you in person. So, Andrea, oh, Andrea, Andrea, what do you say? 


Gin Stephens: Most of the time, it's Andrea. Like around here but I don't know. I mean, it could be anything. But Andrea is what I would just automatically say, but there's a lot of ways you could pronounce it. I had one student one time. She had a crazy name. Not that Andrea is a crazy name, it's not. But this girl had a crazy name and she like-- I was like, "How do you say it?" Then she said it and then, another day, she's like, "You said my name wrong." I'm like, "Okay. How is it?" She said it a different way than she said the first time. Another student said, "That is not how you said it before." She looked [giggles] I'm like, "She's right. That is not how you said it before." She was a third grader. She was trying out the different ways. Anyway, [laughs] forgive us, Andrea, if that's wrong. 


Melanie Avalon: So, Alzheimer's. I have a lot of thoughts on it. I actually have an episode 'you are looking for resources.' I interviewed the Sherzai's. You're talking about names are hard to pronounce. Their names are Dr. Dean and I think, it's Ayesha Sherzai. But they are the head actually of the, I'm not sure the exact title. I think, it's like the Alzheimer's or the dementia school at Loma Linda or Institute. So, their books are The Alzheimer's Solution and then their newest book is The 30-Day Alzheimer's Solution, which is kind of an abbreviated form and more of like a meal plan. But I did an interview with them. So, if you go to melanieavalon.com/alzheimers, that might be something to listen to. We dive deep, deep, deep into Alzheimer's, the causes of it, they are huge proponents, and obviously, I'm a supporter of the idea that diet can largely be preventative for Alzheimer's.  


I will say they are vegan and that is their approach to it. But regardless of if you're vegan or not, and if that resonates with or if you even agree with that or not the conversation, they were very, very welcoming and open to my audience which tends to be lower carb and inclusive of animal protein. So, we discussed all of that. I think if you listen to that, you'll walk away with some practical dietary and lifestyle things that you can do for Alzheimer's prevention. As far as the actual fasting, I don't know that there are studies on ADF specifically, or different dietary approaches in Alzheimer's. Basically, I wouldn't stress too much about finding the fasting pattern to prevent Alzheimer's. Instead, I would focus on the fasting pattern that you can really integrate in your life, and that feels good, and that you can stick to and really, really focus on your dietary choices during your eating window. I think that is so huge.  


Oh, and then something that's really interesting, I was looking this up while Gin was reading the question, but I actually was just reading a study, and I almost don't want to bring this up because people like to draw very black and white conclusions from studies. So, we read something and it shows something, and then people think, "Oh, okay, this is black and white. This means this." What I encourage listeners to do is to really just try to take a more comprehensive picture and understand, we almost for anything-- I mean, it really is shocking. But almost for anything health related, you can probably find studies showing the complete opposite conclusion. That can be frustrating, it can be confusing, but I think that's also very freeing as well, because it just goes to show that you don't have to take anything as complete absolute truth when it comes to interpreting health studies and information and you can really read as much as you can, find what resonates with you and implement that. So, that's the lengthy intro to say that I was reading a study because she was asking about fasting in autophagy, and I was actually reading a study that was looking at ADF and comparing it to normal eating, and they actually did look at gene expression related to autophagy, and they did not find any effects on gene expression related to autophagy with ADF.  


Does that mean ADF does not encourage autophagy? No. All it means is that, I don't know that we have a definitive answer on what is the pathway to autophagy. If we know anything, we know that autophagy is actually always occurring. 24/7, we know that exercise for example increases autophagy, possibly just as much as fasting, but there're so many factors that are related. So, I wouldn't make autophagy the end goal. I would make your overall lifestyle-- especially, when it comes to Alzheimer's, your overall lifestyle supportive of your brain health. So, I would check out that interview that I did, and to speak to what I just said about finding contradictory things. So, the Sherzai's who I had on the show, like I said, they're very vegan, their approach just by its very nature is going to be higher carb, lower fat. If you want the complete opposite opinion, you can read Dr. Dale Bredesen's book, it is The End of Alzheimer's, he actually takes more of a low carb approach. So, I know that's ironic. I really want to have him on the show, because I would love to have his perspective as well.  


But basically, what I'd recommend Andrea is, maybe reading those two books and finding what resonates with you, finding what overlaps between them, and implementing that as well, I think, if anything, we do know that fasting is very supportive of health. It does enhance autophagy in general. And I already mentioned this earlier, but my supplement serrapeptase, and I did not plan this at all. I forgot that this question was even in here. There have been studies on it and it breaks down amyloid plaque, both in vivo and in vitro and rodent trials, and then, I think the other one was like the zebrafish or something. I don't know. It was so random. But the importance of that is, so, basically in vitro means in a cell dish, so, if they put serrapeptase on amyloid plaque just in a cell dish, it breaks it down. It also works in vivo that means within the organism, so that means if they give serrapeptase to rats, or to the zebrafish, or whatever they're testing that it breaks down the amyloid plaque within their brain. That's super cool that it does both. There haven't been human studies on this, but I think that's pretty telling. So, I would definitely, definitely go big on the serrapeptase supplementation for Alzheimer's prevention as well.  


Again, I'm not a doctor and again, if you missed it in the beginning, mine will be at avalonx.com for that. Things like ZOE and stuff like that, we've talked about ZOE a lot in this show. It's a program where you eat these designer muffins, wear a CGM, do some blood tests, test your gut microbiome, and it shows how your body processes carbs and fat, it shows you where your gut microbiome is at, and then it makes recommendations to best support your metabolic health. That's not Alzheimer's, but that's taking charge of your metabolic health, which honestly like metabolic health, I think is the foundation for everything. Because it's how your body is turning food into energy, whether or not your body is storing that as fat, whether or not it's building up in your body creating the metabolic issue problems, you could argue that is where things start going wrong. So, when you're no longer to properly process your fuel, that's when things are building up. Amyloid plaque in the brain could be an issue from that. So, really, anything that supports your health, I think is the way to go. So, we'll put links in the show notes to those two books. I'll put links with discount codes for ZOE, we'll put link to the serrapeptase, but I think there's a lot you can do.  


One last thing I did want to point out was that, yes, there is a genetic tendency, a gene for Alzheimer's, A-P-O-E-4. That said, even if you do have a genetic tendency for Alzheimer's, you can make massive, massive steps to prevent it. So, I would not be wedded to that if you get that diagnosis. 


Gin Stephens: Well, you pretty much nailed everything. [laughs] You went through it. I'll keep it simple kind of girl. Find a lifestyle that feels good to you. The kind of fasting that feels good if you want to throw in like a meal less Monday kind of thing, once a week and follow that by an up day, so that you're getting that one longer fast if it just feels like something that is beneficial, and then, do what feels good the other days. I mean, I eat every day. So, I'm making that recommendation because you sound like you're interested in doing longer fasts, but I eat every day. I don't do meal less Monday. But a lot of people love it and I'm a huge fan of ZOE. And finding foods that make you feel great that you also enjoy eating. That's the thing about ZOE. It helped me figure out what foods worked well for my body. It gave me some tips like, "Hey, I shouldn't eat as much fat all at one time." Although, it didn't tell me to eat low fat, I just shouldn't eat like a whole lot of fat, then eat a whole lot of fat again like in a really tight eating window. So, it taught me some things about that. So, learning about your body is always a good thing. I felt so great when I was following their recommendations very strictly. I met my goal and I feel good. So, I loosely think about what I learned, but I don't like do it.  


Melanie Avalon: I was thinking with a meal less Monday, when I did the prep for the colonoscopy, so not the PillCam, but the colonoscopy, I drank the laxative stuff, but then I also did bone broth because you can have clear liquids. It was interesting because-- so just drinking the bowel prep stuff, which was this awful liquid laxative that I flavored with a strawberry kiwi stevia thing, just drinking that I was not hungry, but then, I had the bone broth, and I got starving. So, I was like mental note. I was like mental note next time just do a complete fast. So, on Halloween, when I was doing the bowel prep, I just did the bowel prep. This is also just talking to individuality. I sweetened it with stevia strawberry kiwi stuff. That's all I did. So, it ended up being a fast of about like a 48 hour fast-ish almost. I didn't the night before and then I wasn't going to eat that day, and so then I fasted, and then I had to go all the next day, and I was like, "Oh, I really I kind of like this," and I'm like, "Maybe I do want to try integrating a complete fast here and there." 


Gin Stephens: A longer fast.  


Melanie Avalon: Although, I will say I'm freezing when I do that. So, sleeping at night-- Normally, I always sleep with my Chilipad OOLER, and it's really cold, and it keeps my body heat down. But when I don't eat that night and sleep, I'm like really cold. That's typical for longer fasts. We hear that. So, but I was like, "Oh, this feels like a really nice clean out." But I don't know. I just love eating so much at night that--  


Gin Stephens: Me, too. I want to eat every day.  


Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I do too. But it's a nice reframe. Because now I'm like, if I ever have to do this again, it's nice to know that I can do it and it wasn't even that hard. It was hard though, when I felt when I had the bone broth because it made me hungry. Without the bone broth, it was easy.  


Gin Stephens: All right. So, let's go on to the next question. Are we ready? Paula.  


Melanie Avalon: Yes.  


Gin Stephens: Paula, the subject is: "Melatonin and so many other cues." [laughs] "Melanie and Gin, thank you so much for all that you do. I'm a fan and listen to you weekly on my Monday AM workout session. I recently listened to Melanie's podcast on melatonin and have a lot of questions. Number one, does it interfere with metabolism/fasting etc.?" 


Melanie Avalon: Okay. Before I answer, the episode that Paula is referring to, I interviewed Dr. John Lieurance on my show, he has a new book. He calls it like Melatonin Miracle Hormone something like that. I'll put a link in the show notes. But the episode is at melanieavalon.com/melatonin. Brief summary, he's a fan of high, high, high dose supplementation of melatonin. His book talks about how we think of melatonin as a sleep hormone which it is and that it instigates the sleep state in a way. But he talks about how it's actually sort of like our body's master stress hormone, and that it does all these other crazy things which it does. There's actually so much literature on it. So, it's a really fascinating read. He has a whole protocol of supplementing melatonin. So, question one. "Does it interfere with metabolism, fasting, etc.?" Not really. So, if you're taking it, it's not going to have an effect on you. You might could argue that it's going to support your overall health in general. So, maybe it's going to have a beneficial effect on your metabolism if you're utilizing it correctly, but you don't have to worry about it breaking your fast or anything like that. 


Gin Stephens: I think also with melatonin it depends on the formulation about whether it breaks your fast. Like if you're eating melatonin gummies or something, that would be different. 


Melanie Avalon: Thank you, Gin. Thank you. Such a good point. 


Gin Stephens: I know the nuts and bolts because that's what people ask. They're like, "Can I take melatonin and what if it's a gummy?" So, it does matter. If you're eating a melatonin gummy that would not be fasting. I don't worry about capsules so much. A real stickler might be like, "Yeah, but what's the filler?" But you know, you're about to go to bed. So, anyway. [laughs]  


Melanie Avalon: A lot of them are like chewables, or gummies, or syrups. So, yeah. 


Gin Stephens: Number two, "Is it worth taking over the counter pills? I don't need them to sleep, but feeI they help waking up less through the night as I'm now going through menopause with some night hot flashes." 


Melanie Avalon: All right. So, I find it really interesting that they help you with not waking up just because in general, they're more of a sleep instigator, but I guess people would find that an experience as well, where it does help with sleeping throughout the night. Is it worth it? It's totally a N of 1 experience. To recap, Dr. John Lieurance's approach is not really tackling sleep specifically, its tackling overall metabolic health, and it's a different protocol. But to talk about just melatonin in general, if it's working for you do it, if it's not, don't. I don't know, I get on the fence about dosing melatonin for sleep because the studies-- they've done studies on the melatonin on the market, and it's shocking. The amount that actually is in the supplements compared to what they say it is. It's really hard to regulate. It's very surprising to me. I won't go on a soapbox about this. But it's very interesting, what is regulated and what isn't and something like melatonin, that's a straight up hormone isn't really regulated, and there can be all these supplements. It's very strange to me.  


You can find a brand that you trust, and you like it, and you take it, and it helps you, I would do that. I know a lot of listeners take Dr. Kirk Parsley's sleep remedy and that does have a tiny bit of melatonin in it, but I really like that supplement because it's a synergistic blend of basically all the different ingredients your brain needs to start the sleep state. So, it's not like it's knocking you out like a drug. It's just giving your brain what it needs to fall asleep and it does include melatonin. So, I would actually rather than do straight up melatonin, I probably take that instead. I can put a link in the show notes to it. I have a discount for it as well. But yeah, is it worth taking it? It's really you just have to experiment for yourself. 


Gin Stephens: I feel hungover in the morning when I take melatonin. I don't feel good for melatonin. I don't know why. Taking a good quality magnesium is what really helps me with my sleep. I've changed the time that I'm taking my magnesium and that seems to have made a difference. That might be the key. I always took it at bedtime but now, I'm taking it with my dinner. 


Melanie Avalon: I take mine with my dinner. 


Gin Stephens: I'm now taking it with my dinner. I've always taken it with bedtime-- at bedtime. Now, I take it with my dinner. So, I don't know if that's making a difference. Maybe it has time to get into my system better but I'm sleeping through the night. That is very exciting or it could just be that my body is used to the hormonal changes, I don't know. But it's very exciting. 


Melanie Avalon: I was just checking. This is crazy. So, listeners, the magnesium that Gin is talking about specifically, the ad in today's show from BiOptimizers is actually about that magnesium, and you'll get-- we have a discount code, it's 10% off. So, find the ad in the show and listen to it. But the link is magbreakthrough.com/ifpodcast. Coupon code IFPODCAST10 will get you 10% off. So, that's exciting.  


Gin Stephens: It's a really good magnesium. It's got a lot of different types of magnesium in it. But taking it with dinner maybe the key for me. 


Melanie Avalon: I get so excited which I guess is like the entirety of what I do. But when something works for me, and then I recommend it to somebody, and then it really helps them, I get so excited. So, I've heard this now-- I've heard it a lot from the audience, but just in the podcast world, Noelle [unintelligible 00:48:46] who has the Wealth & Women Podcast, BiOptimizers now sponsors them and I had introduced her to them and Noelle lauds magnesium breakthrough all the time that it really helps her with staying asleep and it's really exciting. 


Gin Stephens: Yep. So, number three question. "Can you shed some light into supplements in suppository form? Had never heard about it until that podcast?" 


Melanie Avalon: Yes. Supplements in suppository form. 


Gin Stephens: Can we take a vote, I guess, can we make a guess? Has Gin ever done supplements in suppository form? Yes, or no? 


Melanie Avalon: No. 


Gin Stephens: You're correct. You win a prize. 


Melanie Avalon: Let's play with Melanie. Has Melanie? 


Gin Stephens: Yes. Melanie has. Am I right? 


Melanie Avalon: No. 


Gin Stephens: Oh, darn it. I thought I was going to-  


Melanie Avalon: I know. It's a twist ending.  


Gin Stephens: Okay, it was literally.  


Melanie Avalon: I've done all the other things. Enemas, and colonics, and I have now had two people on the show trying to convince me to take a suppository. You just insert a pill down there. I don't really know how to say it. Otherwise--  


Gin Stephens: That's how you do it. You nailed it.  


Melanie Avalon: In the back, in your back side. Not the front.  


Gin Stephens: Well, I think there might be suppositories for that, yeah? I think they're called, I don't want to say it, vaginal suppositories. Okay, I said it. 


Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, I was going to say, "Are there?" That's interesting for like yeast infections and stuff or--  


Gin Stephens: Yeah. I think, oh yeah. Okay, and then I have done those.  


Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. [laughs] Oh, my goodness. Surprise ending. 


Gin Stephens: I don't know. I could be wrong, but I think they're considered that, too. 


Melanie Avalon: Yeah, probably. The benefits of suppositories is the absorption, that route is actually very, very effective. So, for example, when people do coffee enemas, which I have done a lot of coffee enemas. One of the benefits is the caffeine basically goes directly to your liver compared to drinking it orally, where and again, I'm going to sound so unscientific. So, please forgive me, but drinking caffeine orally, it has to go through this whole process, and through your body, and affects other things, and it can take a while to actually get to the liver, and go through its half-life and all of that. When you take it as an enema, which is similar to suppository, it's like bam. Liver and it does-- it has this whole detox effect. Yeah, the absorption can be really great, especially, for supplements that struggle to get absorbed via the gut for multiple reasons.  


A lot of people really struggle with absorbing nutrients and absorbing supplements because the state of our gut today with leaky gut, and our diets, and our environment. So, the suppository can kind of gets around all of those issues, especially, something like glutathione. Glutathione or NAD are two that it's really hard to get, even absorb it all orally. So, taking it that route is another way to go. It's funny. Dr. Lieurance keeps reaching out to me because he sent me a lot of his suppositories, and I still have them, and he keeps checking in like, "Have you taken them?" I don't know. I'm scared. I just don't want to-- for some reason, there's something about like putting it in and like it's like staying there that like bothers me. I don't know. Maybe someday. Maybe, I'll share on Instagram. 


Gin Stephens: That is a lot of sharing. [laughs]  


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Gin Stephens: All right. So, we have one more little section there and she says, "I'm 40 and according to my doctor premenopausal since I was 38, 135 pounds, 5'7" inches. Fast, 18 to 20 hours six times a week with an up day three meals on Sunday when I have breakfast with my kids. For me, only a mocha but since it's not fasting, I consider it a meal. Have not lost one pound fasting, but love how I feel. It would be amazing to lose five to 10 pounds though, but I do love my wine, cheese, and occasional bread. Again, thank you for all you do," Paula.  


Now, I'll say, Paula, your weight at 135 at 5'7" sounds really ideal. So, here's what I would do for you. I would not focus on the scale anymore. I would never even look at the scale, but focus on your honesty pants. Because you're very likely to see your body change, but your weight not to change like body re-composition, losing a little more fat. I don't know if you've heard me tell the story before about how I lost two jean sizes over a certain period of time. It's like over a year. But it only translated to two pounds on the scale. So, you're at the point where I wouldn't try to lose five to 10 pounds on the scale, but just focus on changes in your body. 


Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm really, really glad that you brought that up. I was going to bring that up as well. Do you know what book I'm actually reading right now? Well, I'm reading a lot of books, but one of the books. It's The Cheese Trap. Have you heard of it? 


Gin Stephens: Is it the book that tells you not to eat cheese?  


Melanie Avalon: Dr. Neal Barnard. He is very anti-cheese. I just find it really interesting that you can write an entire book about not eating cheese. 


Gin Stephens: I mean, you know what? That's true. That is like I said, one I will never read because I don't want anybody telling me not to eat cheese because I love cheese. 


Melanie Avalon: I'm learning so much about cheese, though. I do agree. The only reason I want to bring it up is, if a person is following a "healthy diet in general," but they're wanting to lose weight and they're trying to figure out what food to best remove to lose weight, if you're having cheese, it might be one of the ones to start with for sure. 


Gin Stephens: I will say that's true. It is not a lose weight food. That is a fact. [laughs]  


Melanie Avalon: If anything, I'd say, more likely gain weight food. The reason I'm reading it as I'm going to be interviewing him which is very exciting because I think, I might have mentioned him on the show before, he's very vegan, very vegan. When you think vegans, you think Dr. Michael Greger, Dean Ornish, Dr. Neal Barnard. [laughs] So, I'm very excited to interview him. What I want to ask him about though, he's basically making the case in this book that, cheese's pretty much the worst thing we can be eating. But he hasn't talked about any of the studies on calorie-restricted diets with low-fat dairy. All the studies I've looked at that compare calorie-restricted diets with low-fat dairy to calorie-restricted diets without low-fat dairy show better effects in the calorie-restricted diets with low-fat dairy. So, I'm very excited to ask him about that.  


I'm actually bringing him on for his new study about menopause. We [unintelligible [00:57:29] questions in here about menopause and a vegan diet, a soy inclusive vegan diet to reduce menopause symptoms. That's what he wants to talk about. So, I've been diving deep into the soy literature and I will say, Gin, I'm actually-- think I'm changing my thoughts about soy a little bit.  


Gin Stephens: What do you mean?  


Melanie Avalon: So, my stance or my thoughts about it in general were that it's likely estrogenic. So, probably should be avoided for hormonal issues with the exception being maybe--  


Gin Stephens: Like fermented soy.  


Melanie Avalon: -fermented forms. I still actually-- looking into literature. I think that this might be the case. I'm excited to talk to him about it. But maybe Asian populations in general respond better to soy than Caucasian populations?  


Gin Stephens: No, I think that is very likely. Very much. So, yeah. 


Melanie Avalon: The thing that I'm expanding my mind or that I'm rethinking a little bit is, I'm not finding as many studies as I thought they were showing that soy has in vivo and the food form has these negative estrogenic effects. But it seems very complicated. So, I'm very excited to interview him. But one thing I got really excited about, sorry, this is a tangent, and then I'll stop. He talks about, one of the reasons they think soy might have beneficial effects is because your gut bacteria turn it into a compound called Equol. E-Q-U-O-L. It might depend on your gut bacteria. So, if you have these gut bacteria that turned soy into this Equol thing, then you were like an Equol responder. So, you would respond nicely to soy. But if you don't have those gut bacteria, you might not produce that Equol and then you might not have the beneficial effects. But I got really excited because then I was reading a research on Equol, reading a study on it, and it was talking about other foods that increase Equol and it was like soy and then it was a list of like cheese, milk, like all these dairy things. I can't wait to ask him about this. I'm so excited. 


Gin Stephens: Well, I just think that that's a fascinating example of-- Again, we are all different when it comes to what foods work well for our bodies. I think you nailed it when you said that certain populations genetically are adapted to eating for example soy or maybe seaweed because that's something that their ancestors have been eating. And that could even be-- Their gut microbiome as well something that's passed on from the culture where they grow up, and from the foods that they're eating when they're little, and from their parents. So many factors come into play. So, the black and white, this food's good, this food's bad. As long as it's a real food, I don't-- I don't like to put real foods in that good and bad like now. Like GMO soy, that's all over the place in the United States. Okay, I could say a note of that one. Most of this, I talked about this in Clean(ish). Most of the soy in the United States is GMO and it's in everything.  


Melanie Avalon: Is it the highest?  


Gin Stephens: I think it was. Like 90 something. Yeah, I think it was. I can't-- off top my head. 


Melanie Avalon: Like the most GMO?  


Gin Stephens: Yeah. I think so.  


Melanie Avalon: Yeah. A huge question I have for him is like, "can you-- If you eat these foods enough, can you eventually get that gut bacteria that's going to turn it into that compound or do some people just not have that population? So, no matter how much soy they eat, they're never going to become like an Equol producer." 


Gin Stephens: That's a great question. I wonder if he knows the answer.  


Melanie Avalon: I'm going to ask him.  


Gin Stephens: Like, I wonder if anyone knows the answer, because you know our gut microbiome is still a mystery, because they're really still learning about it. When I had my analysis done in 2017 versus when I had it done again for ZOE in 2021, four years difference, huge difference in the amount of information that we can learn now versus 2017.  


Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's crazy. Everything that we learn. I think the more we learn, the more we realize we don't know. One of the biggest I feel sort of recent changes is, they actually, originally, drastically overestimated how many bacteria cells to human cells there are. It used to be this crazy stat of like, I don't know how many. It was a big amount of like, there are this many bacterial cells for every one human cell. Now, it's almost closer to a one-to-one ratio I think.  


Gin Stephens: That is interesting. I say in Clean(ish) that the motto for scientists everywhere should be, "Oops, we were wrong before." [laughs] Because you know, that's the thing. Things change. The more we look into stuff, the more we're like, "Ha, that's not true. What we thought was not true at all."  


Melanie Avalon: On a recent Robb Wolf episode, he went on this whole tangent about how frustrating the phrases when people say the science is settled. I don't think the science is really ever settled. I'm refining things, you know, like things that all the time that we're just wrong about like how can it ever be settled? 


Gin Stephens: Well, one of my favorite quotes is "Questioning science is science." Literally, it's not a good quote?  


Melanie Avalon: That is so true.  


Gin Stephens: I taught the scientific method to elementary students. I was in charge of the science fair in Aiken Elementary for years, and then, I taught my fourth-grade gifted kids the scientific method, and they did project, science projects at school, 100% at school, which was so much fun. They didn't take them home and have their parents do them. They did them completely at school. But you know, that really is true. Questioning science literally is science, because everything starts with a question that you're trying to answer. 


Melanie Avalon: The whole method is creating a hypothesis and then trying to prove it wrong like questioning it. 


Gin Stephens: Yeah, exactly. So, Chad's a research scientist and he always talks about the more you know, the more you realize you don't know. 


Melanie Avalon: Oh, yep. That's literally how I feel. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, 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@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com, and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode240. Those show notes will have a full transcript. So, definitely check that out. They'll also have links to everything we talked about and we talked about a lot of stuff that was linkable. You can follow us on Instagram. You can follow my Verified.  


Gin Stephens: You can see my screen porch.  


Melanie Avalon: You can follow my Verified profile. So happy. I'm @melanieavalon on Instagram and Gin is @ginstephens. And yes, so, I hope Gin that you are able to rest and I hope you're feeling sprightly. 


Gin Stephens: I'm going to, I'm willing myself. I don't stay sick for long. Whenever I'm sick, it like comes, I'm like always surprised by it. It comes out of nowhere and I'm like, "What? I'm sick? How'd that happen?" Then I like, "I'll have maybe a day where I don't feel well," and then, I wake up the next day and I'm fine. So, that is what I'm claiming. I will wake up tomorrow and find that is what I am expecting. 


Melanie Avalon: Do you come here on Sunday or Monday? 


Gin Stephens: I'm coming Sunday. I'm not coming early because I'm coming on Sunday checking into the hotel and I'll be there Sunday night. But just get up and go, record Monday morning. I just didn't want to be driving in from home and having to be there at nine in the morning going through Atlanta traffic because, you know Atlanta traffic. The recording studio changed from one part of town to another and the guy was like, "Well--" You know MacMillan, the guy in charge of the audio book was like, "All right, well, we got to this hotel room in downtown Atlanta, but the recording studio just moved and it's 15 minutes away. Do you want to move your hotel?" I thought about it because the hotel I was booked in was a nicer hotel, but I'm looking at 15 minutes in Atlanta is like might be an hour and a half. 


Melanie Avalon: Yeah, easier to just be by there and I really did find some really cool-- I'm debating between two different places, but-- 


Gin Stephens: I would totally think that around Emory would have some excellent places to eat. I would have thought that. But I don't think the hotel is super great, but whatever.  


Melanie Avalon: This will be so exciting. And it'll be the day before my birthday.  


Gin Stephens: Yay.  


Melanie Avalon: Like the night off my birthday. 


Gin Stephens: Yeah. Well, I can't wait. We can put a picture on Instagram. 


Melanie Avalon: I know. Oh my gosh. Well, I'll see you soon. 


Gin Stephens: Okey doke. Yes, you will. All right. Bye.  


Melanie Avalon: Bye. 


Melanie Avalon: 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. 


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