Episode 248: SIBO, Antibiotics, Insulin, Wine, Alcohol Metabolism, Fatty Liver, Whole Foods Diet, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Jan 18

Welcome to Episode 248 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:

LMNT: For Fasting Or Low-Carb Diets Electrolytes Are Key For Relieving Hunger, Cramps, Headaches, Tiredness, And Dizziness. With No Sugar, Artificial Ingredients, Coloring, And Only 2 Grams Of Carbs Per Packet, Try LMNT For Complete And Total Hydration. For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A Sample Pack For Only The Price Of Shipping!!

BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Support Your Health With Delicious USDA Organic Beauty & The Broth Bone Broth! It's Shelf Stable With No Preservatives, And No Salt Added. Choose Grass Fed, Grass Finished Beef, Or Free Range, Anti-Biotic And Hormone Free Chicken, Shipped Straight To Your Door! The Concentrated Packets Are 8x Stronger Than Any Cup Of Broth: Simply Reconstitute With 8 Ounces Of Hot Water. They’re Convenient To Take Anywhere On The Go, Especially Travel! Go To thebeautyandthebroth.com To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

To submit your own questions, email questions@IFpodcast.com, or submit your questions here!! 


LMNT: For A Limited Time Go Tdrinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A Sample Pack For Only The Price Of Shipping!! Learn All About Electrolytes From Our Great Interview With Robb Wolf!

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
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #74 - Benjamin Bikman, Ph.D.

Go To audible.com/ifpodcast Or Text IFPODCAST To 500500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook!

Go To thebeautyandthebroth.com To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon! Learn about the wonderful benefits of bone broth by listening to this episode with the creator melissa Boloña!

Listener Q&A: Keri - Seeking Patience and Answers. My Saga and road to IF

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #117 - Tim Spector

The Delay, Don't Deny Community

Stay Up To Date With All The News About Melanie's New Serrapeptase Supplement At melanieavalon.com/avalonx Or Head Straight Over To Avalonx.Us To Place Your Order Now!

This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness, and Change Your Life

DRY FARM WINES: Natural, Organic, Low Alcohol, Low Sugar Wines, Paleo And Keto Friendly! Go To dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast To Get A Bottle For A Penny!

Episode 125: Roxi

Episode 50: Renee and Joel

Episode 170: Kristi Osborn


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 248 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 electrolyte supplements, some of which are clean, fast approved, all developed by none other than Robb Wolf. Have you been struggling to feel good with low carb, paleo, keto, or fasting? Have you heard of something called the keto flu? Here's the thing. The keto flu is not actually a condition. Nope. Keto flu just refers to a bundle of symptoms. Headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, and insomnia that people experience in the early stages of keto dieting. Here's what's going on.  

When you eat a low-carb diet, your insulin levels drop. Low insulin in turn lowers the production of the hormone aldosterone. Now aldosterone is made in the kidneys and it helps you retain sodium. So, low aldosterone on a keto diet makes you lose sodium at a rapid rate. Even if you are consciously consuming electrolytes, you might not be getting enough. In particular, you need electrolytes, especially, sodium and potassium, in order for nerve impulses to properly fire. Robb Wolf, who as you guys know is my hero in the holistic health world worked with the guys at Ketogains to get the exact formulation for electrolyte supplements to formulate LMNT Recharge, so you can maintain ketosis and feel your best. LMNT Recharge has no sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients, no junk. They're used by three Navy SEALs teams. They are the official hydration partner to Team USA weightlifting, they're used by multiple NFL teams, and so much more. 

Guess what? We worked out an exclusive deal for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast listeners only. Guys, this is huge. They weren't going to do a deal, I begged them, here we are. You can get a free LMNT sampler pack. We're not talking a discount, we're talking free. Completely free. You only pay $5 for shipping. If you don't love it, they will even refund you the $5 for shipping. I'm not kidding. The sample pack includes eight packets of LMNT, two Citrus, two Raspberry, two Orange, and two Raw Unflavored. The Raw Unflavored ones are the ones that are safe for your clean fast and the other ones you can have in your eating window. Word on the street is the citrus flavor makes an amazing margarita, by the way.  

I am loving LMNT and I think you guys will, too. Again, this is completely free. You have nothing to lose. Just go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. That's D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dotcom forward slash IF Podcast. And I'll put all this information in the show notes.  

One more thing before you 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 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 are 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 248 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: Well, I am fabulous. It is January 2nd and I was late putting up my Christmas decorations this year. So, I took them down earlier than usual. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: I was going to ask you. I've been stressing about the proper time to take them down. I was going to take them down today.  

Gin Stephens: Well, I follow the, like, take them down to the 12 days of Christmas kind of a thing. So, therefore, January 5th would be the official or 6th depending on what you count as day one, I don't know. But right around January 5th or 6th.  

Melanie Avalon: Wait, I thought the 12 days of Christmas ended on Christmas.  

Gin Stephens: No, that's when it begins.  

Melanie Avalon: What? Are you sure?  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. There's the season in the Christian faith called epiphany. That's the name of the season. If you look up epiphany. 

Melanie Avalon: I will say, listeners, I feel good. I typed in when are the-- It is the 4th search. People are wondering.  

Gin Stephens: [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: Do you want to know what the first three are?  

Gin Stephens: What do you mean? The first three what?  

Melanie Avalon: What people are searching for when they search for? When are the- 

Gin Stephens: Yeah.  

Melanie Avalon: -college football playoffs, Winter Olympics, Grammys, 12 Days of Christmas.  

Gin Stephens: Love it. 

Melanie Avalon: Then, Oscars. Whoa.  

Gin Stephens: What? 

Melanie Avalon: Mind blown. I always thought the 12 days of Christmas ended on Christmas.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. See, Gin knows her stuff about stuff. [laughs] So, officially, I always keep it up till later. But I've got so much going on this week. Yesterday, I was like, I'll just take down a few things and leave up the trees. And then, I was in such a roll and I was already all dirty from taking dusty stuff and whatever, and then, I'm like, "I'm just doing it." So, I did it. So, my house is un-Christmased, whatever. un-Christmased. That is a hard word to say. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: I feel so much better now. I was stressing about-- Because this is my first time having my own tree, and I was like, "When do I take it down?" Okay, I thought I was late.  

Gin Stephens: No. I was just early and was a little sad. But like I said, I was on a roll, so, I did it, and here we are 2022. Officially, our first time talking in the New Year.  

Melanie Avalon: I know. A question for you. I asked you this before, but you sent me a Christmas tree that is in a pot. What do you think will happen if I keep it in the pot? Will it overtake the container? What I was asking you before is, they say that goldfish, and I don't know if this is true, because I just briefly googled it, and I think it might not be true. But I'd always heard that goldfish grow to the size of their container. So, that's why like when you have a goldfish at home, it's small, but if the goldfish in ponds are big.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't know the answer to either of those questions because I am the last person to ask about how to keep a plant alive. So, Chad does all keeping plants alive and I keep other things alive, like, children and cats. [laughs] He keeps plants alive. Here's what I always do. I keep it in the pot until it dies, and then I throw it away. Now, when I was a teacher, one year Chad gave me this beautiful orchid on the first day of school, and I kept it in my classroom, and it was beautiful, and then it died. There was another teacher at my school who saves things. 

Melanie Avalon: Wait, you know about orchids?  

Gin Stephens: I don't know anything about orchids, but I know that my friend, who was like, "I can save that." So, I gave it to her instead of throwing it away.  

Melanie Avalon: Fun fact because Gin and I have the same agent. All the people that I worked with there, so, the main agent and then two assistants, they're actually agents now, I sent them an orchid plant, three of them. It was so perfect. They came in three different colors. So, I was like, they can pick whatever color they want. Are you ready? So, the orchid blooms once a year. It "dies," but it comes back. So, it might not have been dead.  

Gin Stephens: Well, I gave it to her. Normally, I just would throw them away, and then I felt bad. Here's my whole rationalizing this. I felt bad. I'm like, "This plant died and then then I had to throw it away, and that's like a waste of a good plant." Then I'm like, "Wait a minute. Anytime we cut flowers, since you cut flowers, they die and you throw them away."  

Melanie Avalon: And it probably wasn't even dead.  

Gin Stephens: I don't know. Hopefully, she revived it.  

Melanie Avalon: The thing is, I had never realized this. So, I put everywhere in the note. I explain this because I didn't want them to think it died, because they were dyed. 

Gin Stephens: Brittle looking?  

Melanie Avalon: Well, the flowers were dyed. D-Y. Dyed colors. It said that it would die and then it would come back, but it would be its normal orchid color. So, then, I sent them a follow up email and I was like, "Maybe this is common knowledge. But just FYI about those orchids."  

Gin Stephens: No, no, when I think an orchid is dead, it's not that the flower falls off. It's that the entire stem is now brown and twiggy looking. That's what I call it, it's dead now. Not just because the flowers fell off. I mean, I do know if it's still green just because the flower fell off, that doesn't mean it's dead. But once the stem would get twiggy, actually, I do know my friend did save it. When I said, I hope she saved it, she did. She told me she did.  

Melanie Avalon: Speaking of plants, this is actually so perfect, unplanned. I interviewed Farmer Lee Jones last week.  

Gin Stephens: His book is beautiful.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, Gin. So, up until this point, so, I've had over a hundred something guests on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Up until this point, everybody's been really incredible, really amazing, a lot of people are really passionate, but when I'd interviewed Wim Hof, he was just like another level of passion. Everybody was like at this kind of hit this glass ceiling of passion, and then he was just lightyears ahead. Farmer Lee Jones is on the Wim Hof spectrum of passion. He was yelling at the microphone. I was like, "Oh, my goodness." He was incredible. I have never felt so inspired to support regenerative agriculture, and bring back nutrient density, and revive our soil, and take charge of our health through growing better food. This man is incredible. He's so amazing. So, for listeners when that episode comes out, definitely check it out. The entire time I was just smiling. I was watching myself having the interview and I was just smiling. Can you imagine if everybody had that type of energy, what type of world we would live in?  

Gin Stephens: Oh, I know.  

Melanie Avalon: So, it was amazing.  

Gin Stephens: That's great. Oh, I'm actually, finally listening to Why We Get Sick 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, Dr. Gregor.  

Gin Stephens: No, no. Benjamin Bikman.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's how not to die.  

Gin Stephens: You had Benjamin Bikman on your podcast, right?  

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Oh, I loved that. Oh, he's amazing.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Spoiler alert, insulin. [laughs] But it is everything I already thought and he's saying it, I mean I haven't gotten all the way in but so far, the beginning talking about hyperinsulinemia. 

Melanie Avalon: [sighs] I remember when I was doing all that and I was like, "Gin, read this book." It's basically like the insulin manifesto.  

Gin Stephens: It really, really is. What inspired me to go ahead and get it as someone in my community said that it was available included through Audible Plus, with their new Audible Plus Catalog where you don't have to use a credit for it. You just can listen. 

Melanie Avalon: I haven't used that yet.  

Gin Stephens: What Audible Plus?  

Melanie Avalon: Mm-mm. 

Gin Stephens: I've always just had Audible and didn't ever join it. I just had it as my audiobook library and I would just buy a book. I didn't buy very many. But now, I'm driving to the beach and back-- 

Melanie Avalon: Sorry to interrupt. So, this is different then, because I have a membership with credits.  

Gin Stephens: This is the Plus membership. They have a new membership level, the Audible Plus. 

Melanie Avalon: And this book is on it?  

Gin Stephens: And you still get a credit, but you also have more things that you can listen to that are included that don't take credits and this is one of them. It's got good stuff in there. It's not just like, stuff you don't want to listen to that you can listen to for free. No, it's stuff you do want to listen to and it's included and you don't have to use a credit. So, that finally got me to pull the trigger on getting Audible as a membership, especially, now that I'm driving to the beach so much and in the sauna I can listen. So, I'm finally listening to something. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm obsessed with Audible. Actually, for listeners, because right now, as of the time of recording I'm not sure if they're still sponsoring the show. We were actually booked on inventory but I'm so passionate about them that might see if I can keep them in. So, if we do have a code for them right now, because this airs in January. I'll put in the show notes. We probably do.  

Gin Stephens: They do sponsor IF Stories. I just read an ad for them today, but yeah.  

Melanie Avalon: There probably is still an offer at the link, listeners, if you go to audible.com/ifpodcast or text IF PODCAST to 500-500. Well, I'm glad, Gin that you are on the Audible train with me now. Audible is like my life.  

Gin Stephens: It's funny as an author of course. As soon as our books come out, you find like a typo, right? You're like, "Oh, they're--" I was just looking through Clean(ish) and they've already been printed, and of course, by this time, they come out, everybody will have them already, because we're past the date that will be released when this podcast releases. But as soon as I got my copy of the final version, I look, there's some kind of weird typo in one of the reflect and take action sections, and it's clearly just an extra character got inserted, because it's not a letter of the alphabet in the middle of a word, like an and or something. I don’t know.  

In the middle of the word, someone just leaned on their typewriter, I don't know, or their keyboard. I'm like, "Well, there's one right there." But that was not in the original document. But typos get in there all throughout the way. But I was listening to Why We Get Sick today, and an entire paragraph was repeated. I swear, I just heard that exact-- 

Melanie Avalon: In the audiobook.  

Gin Stephens: Yes.  

Melanie Avalon: That's funny.  

Gin Stephens: It exactly is in there twice. So, I'm like, I don't care how many people are part of the process, things happen. It makes you feel better when you see in other places, because you want your work to be perfect, but perfection is an illusion.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and I told you this before on the show, but when my narrator recorded my audiobook, she did find an error in mine, but she said every single book she's ever recorded has always had an error.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Also, one of the websites that I mentioned as a resource no longer exists and I hate that. Because it existed all the way through, and even when we checked it, and all the way through all the final, and then, all of a sudden, it's not there anymore. I'm like, "Great." [laughs] So, people would be like, "I can't find that website." I'm just waiting for the emails to start. Yes, it doesn't exist anymore. Sorry. The internet is elite living thing and it changes.  

Hi friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get 15% off of my favorite bone broth, which is an incredible way to open your eating window. I've been talking about the incredible health effects of bone broth for years. Bone broth is so nourishing for our body. It's rich in collagen, which can really support your gut health, your skin, curb cravings, boost your energy and your immunity, but there are a lot of brands out there, a lot of them have ingredients that I don't like, and making it yourself can also be very time consuming. That's why I am thrilled about Beauty & the Broth. So, Beauty & the Broth was created by Melissa Bolona. She's an incredible actress and entrepreneur. I've had her on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. So, I'll put a link to that in the show notes. But Melissa started Beauty & the Broth after she realized the profound effect that bone broth was having on her own health specifically, gut issues, and its ability to give her radiant skin perfect for the camera. She founded Beauty & the Broth which hits everything I could want in bone broth. It uses 100% whole organic ingredients. Yes, it is certified USDA organic. It is one of the only few bone broth companies in the entire US that has a USDA certification for organic bone broth. It has no artificial flavors, no preservatives, no phthalates, no sugar, and something that I love no salt. 

Friends even other bone broth that I really love always have salt added. This doesn't. Her bone broths are made from grass-fed ranch raised beef and vegetarian-fed free range chicken bones from Certified Humane USDA Organic Farms and all certified organic vegetables are used in the broth as well. There're no antibiotics, no hormones, only the good stuff. Here's the super cool thing about Beauty & the Broth. It can be a little bit of a hassle to transport bone broth. It's heavy, you have to keep it frozen. Guess what? Beauty & the Broth comes in shelf stable packets with no preservatives that you keep at room temperature and they are in concentrated form. That means that you add back water to reconstitute and you can make it any strength that you like. They're single servings, so you can take them with you on the go and even on the plane, as yes, they are three ounces and they're delicious. Oh, my goodness, friends, they will just make you light up. They're honestly one of the most amazing things I've ever tasted. So, if you've been looking to finally jump on the bone broth train, do it now and do it with Beauty & the Broth. And Melissa has an amazing offer just for our listeners. You can go to thebeautyandthebroth.com or melanieavalon.com/broth and use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON to get 15% off. That's thebeautyandthebroth.com with the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON for 15% off. All of the listeners who have tried it, ever since I aired my episode with Melissa have talked about how much they love it. It is so delicious. You guys will definitely love it. So, definitely check that out.  

By the way, bone broth does break your fast. So, this is something that you want to have in your eating window. In fact, it's an amazing way to open your eating window because when you're in that fasted state, when you take in bone broth as the first thing, all of those rich nutrients and collagen go straight to your gut, help heal your gut, help with leaky gut, help digestive issues. And again, you can go to thebeautyandthebroth.com and use the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON for 15% off. I'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show.  

Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into everything for today?  

Gin Stephens: Yep, let's get started.  

Melanie Avalon: All right. So, to start things off, we have a very long question. It's from Carrie. Carrie, I cut down your question a lot. But it has a lot of good stuff in it, and a lot of good questions, and a lot of stuff to discuss. So, I thought we could just tackle it. This question comes from Carrie. The subject is: "Seeking patient answers, my saga and road to IF." Carrie says, "Hey, Melanie and Gin, I'm 46 and I started IF-ing two and a half months ago to lose weight. I haven't lost a pound yet nor an inch. Clothes still fit the same too. But I do love the convenience of it and the way I feel while I am fasting, energy, clarity, productivity. I clean fast. I was pretty sure drinking black coffee and giving up my Coffee-mate would cause certain death and it still hasn't. I haven't read any of your books but I did just start What When Wine this week. I chose that one because my story is very similar to Melanie's. So, I went with that one first in hopes of finding help.  

In May 2013, I had my appendix out. A couple of weeks later I got a sinus infection and they put me on, I'm thinking it's an antibiotic, which wrecked my gut bad. I was also nursing our third kid. The doctor said, I should do the BRAT diet which is Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. A week or two later, I got a positive C. diff test, more antibiotics, it worked. The C. diff was gone and eventually, I felt like myself again. Over a year later, I was training for another half marathon and doing daily HIIT for training. I was tracking calories and MyFitnessPal, and I never want to do that again. I lost 15 pounds which was the rest of my baby weight and I was very happy. But while the weight was coming off other things were starting. Anxiety, panic attacks, brain fog and hives. If I bumped my arm or leg on an edge or the counter or something that scratched it, I would end up with hives. In hindsight I think all the training and running exacerbated gut problems from all the antibiotics, but I have no proof.  

By the end of the summer, I gained 40 pounds. In spring, 2016, a chiropractor who does kinesiology put me on herbs for a liver parasite and liver virus. I added essential oils and that helped not needing Zyrtec. In 2017, she said she started a, it is a name brand 'Weight Loss Drink' thing. She says, eventually, the brain fog and anxiety cleared and I lost 15 pounds, but I plateaued and quit those. In 2019, I gained the 15 pounds back even though I ate very healthy 80% to 90% of the time. June 2020, a naturopathic practitioner put me on some remedies from Europe to support my organs. My once very poor digestion has improved, but it still has its poor movements. I did a parasite detox remedy and a heavy metal detox. I had my fillings replaced. Believe it or not, I had tiny pieces of metal coming out of my skin. I would be skeptical if I hadn't lived it. All of my traditional blood tests are always normal. A few elimination diets, food tests, which change every time, my thyroid appears fine. Now, I'm contemplating a SIBO test. It's like throwing noodles against the wall and waiting for something to stick. There's a reason I'm going through this, I just haven't discovered it yet.  

I did start that 'Weight Loss Drink' company thing again a couple of months ago because it worked the first time until it didn't. Now, it's almost 2022 and I still have 40 pounds. If not for your podcast, I'm sure, I'd have jumped ship by now. But you two keep me afloat in this sea of confusion. I fast a minimum of 16 hours, sometimes, up to 20 to 21. Eat later in the day, so I can eat with the family at night. IF worked for me in all the ways, except the one that outward shows every day and my clothes size, clothes comfort, self-esteem etc. I have three active kids and I cannot keep up with them at this size. I'm 5'4" and I currently weigh 175 pounds on a small frame. I spent so much time researching and going down rabbit holes. For exercise, I love walking and yoga. I don't do it regularly because it's not helping. I used to focus on 10,000 steps a day, but I've lost my motivation and discipline. One of the reasons I can't lose weight is also probably because I'm stressed.  

I also love wine and beer. Beer for socializing and I'm very good at it. I do try to get organic wines, I'm anxious to get to that part of the book that discusses it. I admittedly drink too much alcohol. It's how I deal with stress. I drink nearly a gallon of water daily. A couple of random things to share, I started serrapeptase a while back not for anything specific, but to see if something happened, I wouldn't have thought of. The verdict is still out on that. I did the ZOE program. While interesting, the foods still require tracking and I really don't want to track anything, and maybe, I misunderstood the program, but healthy foods were what was encouraged and less healthy were not. They seemed geared towards plant based and I'm not plant based. I was born to eat meat as well." 

Gin Stephens: That actually is the point of ZOE is teaching you what is healthy for your body so they're going to give those higher scores. That's the point. They are encouraging you to eat what will help your microbiome be healthy. They don't want you to eliminate plants, though. They're not like, "No, don't eat any meat." We're also not trying to get a score of a one hundred. So, I think that's where a lot of people get confused when they do ZOE, because they're not trying to teach you, only eat these foods that give your body a hundred, a score of hundred and don't eat anything else. It's wanting you to live in the real world by encouraging you to emphasize certain foods and de-emphasize other ones, if that makes sense.  

Melanie Avalon: I'm very, very impressed with their-- 

Gin Stephens: Support.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. You're connected with somebody who can answer your questions, and I've been drilling them on some of the questions I have about some of the foods in the app, and they've been very good at getting me really detailed answers. I do agree that I think it is very plant based. Some of it, I think is a little bit off with the meat and the seafood just as far as some of the things that it recommends. But in general, the concept that it's addressing is processing fats versus glucose like carbs and that effect. Then, the foods have to do with effects they've seen in the gut microbiome. I think it's a really helpful app and it's really interesting seeing feedback, especially, my Facebook group. Some people are like, "This is a game changer, this completely helped me break through a plateau, I feel better." For some people, it tells them what they feel like they already knew, and then, some people, especially people I think who are more low carb parts of it don't quite resonate. But either way, regardless the information that you get with the CGM and the gut microbiome test, there's a lot to learn there. So, it's really cool. I'll put a link in the show notes. I interviewed Tim Spector, the founder. So, that was a really, really cool conversation.  

Gin Stephens: Oh, and I'm talking to him. When this comes out, what, is this comes out on the 17th? I'm talking to him on the 19th. We're doing a webinar in my community. We've never actually talked, even though, he wrote the foreword to Clean(ish), we've never actually talked. So, we're going to do a webinar only available for members of the Delay, Don't Deny Community. Go to ginstephens.com/community. You still have time to get there. But the replay will be there in the community as well. That's the only place it will be available. But they're very gut focused. So, that is why they're encouraging the foods that will feed your gut really, really well.  

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Just we're talking about little pieces as we go. I want to say briefly about the serrapeptase. So that's the supplement that we've been talking about for a while on this show and I finally developed my own, which is very exciting, and it's a proteolytic enzyme created by the Japanese silkworm, and when you take it in fasted state, it actually goes into your bloodstream and it breaks down potentially problematic proteins. So, things that your body might be reacting to, it can help address. So, inflammation, allergies, it can clear your sinuses. Things on the backburner that you might not quite notice but you need to be on it long-term to possibly see difference in your bloodwork would be things like it can break down fatty deposits, and it may reduce cholesterol, it just has a myriad of potential benefits, wound healing.  

It's really interesting to see because so many people in my audience have been getting it, and some people go to it with a very specific goal like, "I want to clear my sinuses," and people have really been seeing that. Some people are more like Carrie, where they're not quite sure what they're taking it for. But I just know for me personally, I think it has a very just general synergistic helpful effect on the body like fasting does in a way. So, if you'd like to get your own, it's at avalonx.us. 

Gin Stephens: All right, well, if we're going back, I have one more thing that I highlighted that was farther back. The part about alcohol and she said, "I admittedly drink too much alcohol." and it's how she deals with stress. I'm going to just come right out and say, Melanie and I have a different recommendation when it comes to how much alcohol might support weight loss are affect it negatively, and I think a lot of it is your own bio individuality. But for me, alcohol, when I was trying to lose weight absolutely stalled my weight loss. Like the period of time when I was trying to get to my goal weight, I didn't have alcohol for about 10 weeks at all, and I really focused on eating real foods. I didn't count fat grams, I didn't count carbs, I didn't count calories. I just didn't eat ultra-processed foods. I didn't drink alcohol. I lost two pounds a week. My body did so much better. Over the holidays, yes, I'm still drinking Dry Farm Wines. Yes, I love it. But my body doesn't feel it's best, even if I drink too much Dry Farm Wine. So, to feel my best, I'm better with zero alcohol, am I going to be alcohol free for the rest of my life? No. But if I wanted to lose weight and I knew I was-- If I actually said the sentence, "I admittedly drink too much alcohol." I would really start there.  

If you're worried like, "Oh, my gosh, I can't stop drinking alcohol, I just can't. How am I going to have fun?" Well, that's really when you need to start looking at how much you're drinking. And that's where I would recommend the book This Naked Mind. Annie Grace is the author, and I read it, and I was like, "Wow." Because I always have this, like you said, beers for socializing. I almost like that, too. I was like, "If I get together with my college friends, we're going to be drinking. That's what we do. We always have." So, the first time we got together, I was having a month where I wasn't drinking at all, and I was like, "Okay, I'm not going to tell them till we get there." It sounds like, they're going to be like, I'm not even coming or whatever and then when I got there and I'm like, "I'm not drinking, surprise." They're like, "Oh, okay, that's weird but that's fine." So, I was the designated driver, I had just as much fun, I socialized great, and I felt great the next day. So, I just really want you to-- Like I said, This Naked Mind, consider that book. It really will make you think about your alcohol consumption even if you like me decide you're not going to be alcohol free. But if you feel like you're drinking too much, I would not hesitate to read this immediately. Sorry, I had to pop that in there.  

Melanie Avalon: No, no, no. I'm really excited for her to get to my section on the book on alcohol and I agree. I think it's super context dependent on two things. Before that, I think there is something different between having what a person would consider minimal or moderate alcohol and trying to lose weight by adjusting it compared to knowing that you're probably overdrinking and wanting to lose weight. Like that's two different situations in my head. As far as the context, I think, people can be very different in how they metabolize alcohol. And then, also, I think the context of the diet that you're having it with is huge. So, for example, like for Gin, it sounds like for you, you would rather cut out the alcohol, that's an extreme approach to the alcohol compared to a more extreme approach to the food. 

Gin Stephens: Well, for me, I learned through the DNA testing that my body metabolizes alcohol slowly. Some people metabolize caffeine slowly, I don't. But my body does metabolize alcohol slowly. So, my liver has to work on the alcohol like, we had that breathalyzer that would test your ketones, I actually was using that for a long time, I don't know about a year ago or a little before a year ago. When I would drink, it would vastly affect the amount of ketones I would produce the next day. To the point like, it would take me a while to get it. My liver was busy processing alcohol for a long time is what I'm saying. So, it really affected my body. If I want to lose fat, my liver needs to not be busy processing alcohol.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I guess, what I meant about the food context is, so, I don't want to use Carrie as an example because she's admitted that she does think she overdrinks. But for another person who is moderately drinking and not losing weight, so, one option might be cutting out the alcohol completely and seeing what happens, or another option might be keeping in the alcohol and adjusting the food more, and either of those situations could potentially lead to progress.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, absolutely. But putting them together, one, two, I think would also very likely supercharge it for almost anybody. I just really feel that way. 

Melanie Avalon: That's the thing I actually don't know.  

Gin Stephens: I know. But I do want people to try it, just to see if they think. I don't know. Go ahead.  

Melanie Avalon: Well, I'm just going to say, I'm not actually-- and I talk about this a lot in What When Wine. So, people can check that out if they'd like to learn more. But I think some people might lose more if they're really intense on the food but still having alcohol, just because of some of the ways that alcohol does affect metabolism, and its thermogenic effect, and its effect on insulin, and especially like wine, potentially its effect on insulin, its effect on like a few different things. I think some people, let's say that the diet is controlled and it's a certain type of controlled diet, be it macros, Whole Foods, whatever it is, some people might lose more actually having wine with it, and I'm saying wine, but some people might not.  

Gin Stephens: I think probably a lot of it has to do with whether you're a good alcohol metabolizer or not. I've just seen my effects over time knowing how I feel. Also, having that feedback from the breathalyzer showing how it really affected how long it took me to get into ketosis versus when I didn't have it. I mean, that's huge for me. So, it would just be something I would always recommend as a tool in the toolbox for somebody.  

Melanie Avalon: I will say, if you are drinking wine, specifically drink Dry Farm Wines. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, 100%.  

Melanie Avalon: So, I went out on New Year's and we went to two different places, and the first place I went, I was able to get a wine that I had looked up the winery, like I'm pretty sure it probably wasn't as low alcohol as Dry Farm Wines or as low sugar, but I can tell now when I drink a wine at a restaurant that's not from Dry Farm Wines. I can pretty much tell if it's approaching the Dry Farm Wines spectrum. So, that one was and I was like, "Okay, I'm good." But then we went to another bar, and I got the only organic one I could find. But now, I can just so tell how high in alcohol and sugar, a lot of wines are. I wasn't hung over or anything but I had a tiny, tiny little headache and I was like, "Oh, my goodness. I got to stay with my Dry Farm Wines." So, if listeners would like to get Dry Farm Wines, they can go to dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast and they can get a bottle for a penny there.  

I do have a question for listeners. I was brainstorming actually on New Year's Eve with one of my friends. Let me know, would you be interested and I'm contemplating developing an app that would, I know there's so many wines in the world, but you would look up wines and it would tell you if they're organic, or sustainable, or biodynamic, like that would just be so helpful for me personally, when I'm out at restaurants. Let me know if that would be something of interest for people. 

Gin Stephens: I think it would be of interest, but there really are so many different- 

Melanie Avalon: Wines. 

Gin Stephens: -wines that I don't know how you would compile that. Because some are produced in small amounts and here's what I do. I always stick to, if I'm out, I try to get something from France. [laughs] That's my metric. You know, France. If it's made in France, it's smaller kind of a thing. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. No, actually, so, my people, if they want to know my protocol, I look at the wine list. I don't even look at US. I don't. 

Gin Stephens: No. Not at a restaurant.  

Melanie Avalon: I look at the European ones, and then, I google the winery, and this is why I want to make this app. I google the winery and you'd be really surprised how many of them actually are implementing organic practices. The thing that Dry Farm Wines goes one step beyond is, they test the wines on top of that to make sure they are organic, and free of pesticides, and free of mold. But then they also test the alcohol and the sugar content, which when you're drinking low sugar, low alcohol wines, it's just such a massive difference. But yeah, the reason I'm thinking it's doable is the Vivino app I love and you scan bottles with it and it comes up with the bottle, and people write reviews, and it has all the information, and it has almost every wine that I scan ever so it's possible to do. Let me know listeners if that would be something of interest.  

Back to Carrie. She says, "I feel like my body is not my own even after all these years of battling the things I have not grown accustomed to it. I feel like I am battling it all the time, but I do not know why. I cannot figure out what is wrong and that is hard for me because I am a fixer." And then, what's interesting is, Carrie sent us this whole email and she didn't mention what she's eating, which is something I actually want to talk about. I emailed her to ask, what she's eating? And she said, "I eat meat, seafood, eggs, lots of veggies, salads with homemade vinaigrette, feta or parmesan, and toasted walnuts or pecans, a variety of fruits, fats, butter, avocado, olive oil, occasional cheese, processed foods like tortilla chips, occasional candy, especially, when the kids share Halloween candy, taco shells, occasional desserts, basmati rice a few times a month. I rarely eat bread and when I do its usually Ezekiel, no milk, sometimes a tiny bowl of ice cream but again once a month, a little sour cream. We do not eat out a ton because we're busy with the kids and work. I'm not perfect with my diet partly because I know it's not sustainable and if I try and fail, I will just say, nope."  

I want to circle back to this. She says, "So, I try to make the best choices as often as I can. Sometimes, I have the cupcake the kids didn't take to Boy Scouts. So, I guess my questions for you are, here we go. Number one, "Podcast listening. I love it. But should I continue working my way through it," because she has started at the beginning, "Or start with the most current and go backwards?" I'm about three years behind right now." I thought this was a really great question. I don't think anybody's ever asked us this before.  

Gin Stephens: No. I don't think so either.  

Melanie Avalon: Gin, what are your thoughts?  

Gin Stephens: I don't know. I feel like I might would start with the most current and go backwards. When we started, so many things have changed. For example, remember when we like the first year, we got that question about CBD oil and we're like, "We think that might be illegal. Don't do that." [laughs] And now, it's like there's a CBD store on every block, right? 

Melanie Avalon: I was just thinking about that. I was ordering some more Feals and I was like, "Wow, things have come so far."  

Gin Stephens: Because we're like, "I don't know. It's against the law probably. Don't use that." Times have changed so much. So, probably listening to the early ones might even be like a hilarious. [laughs] I don’t know.  

Melanie Avalon: I probably suggest doing-- so, the way I handle podcast is-- so, I listen to the new ones as they're coming out, and then, well it depends on what type of show it is. But then, I usually go back and find the episodes that look intriguing and listen to them. But yeah, you could binge listen. A lot of people tell us that. A lot of people write in and say that they're starting at the beginning. I'd be really curious to know how many people, in general, our listeners-- our new listeners, how they approach it. Like, do they go back? That's a good question.  

Gin Stephens: I would definitely listen to the new ones as they come out and also Intermittent Fasting Stories. If people are not listening to that one yet, that's one that I think-- and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. So, I would be more likely to listen to recent of all of them versus going deep dive way back in the archives, unless, you're really looking for something to listen to, and then, that would be tell us the funniest thing you heard from Episode Two or whatever we know. Anyway, I just think we would probably cringe at some of the things we might have said early on.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's such a different format, like the Biohacking Podcast would definitely be one. It doesn't-- 

Gin Stephens: It's not sequential.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's like episodic. So, any-- 

Gin Stephens: Same with IF Stories. 

Melanie Avalon: You would basically just go on the topics that you want to listen to. This one it's a lot of the same topic but yeah, it's a good question. So, number two is, "Two and a half months with zero results a thing. All the questions I've heard, no one else asked about going this long with no weight loss. I keep listening, thinking someday someone will ask all the same questions and the clouds will part, the angels will sing, and I'll know what to do." So, two and a half months with zero results.  

Gin Stephens: All right. So, here is a place where Intermittent Fasting Stories can come to the rescue. There are lots of episodes. Lots and lots of episodes out there, but two that really stand out for me as episodes for going a long time with no weight loss. One of the most recent ones that I did has still been a while. Episode 125, Roxi. If you just go to like Google and type in Intermittent Fasting Stories, Roxi, it'll help you find Roxi's episode. But Roxi started intermittent fasting, she was feeling great, she was rolling along, losing no weight at all. Then, she went back to her doctor and had a re-check. She had been diagnosed with fatty liver disease before she started fasting. Doing intermittent fasting for all these months, went back to the doctor, her fatty liver disease was completely reversed, but she hadn't lost any weight. So, it didn't show up on the scale, but clearly her body was busy doing something, which is pretty exciting.  

Now, there's another episode to look at. Oh, and by the way, I just want to say imagine, if Roxi had quit, because she thought it wasn't working for her. "Oh, this isn't working. I'm going to quit." She was clearing out a fatty liver. So, eventually she did go on to start losing pounds on the scale and she's gotten smaller or sizes changed, but that episode just really always inspires me and her story.  

Melanie Avalon: How much did she weigh?  

Gin Stephens: I don't remember the weight exactly but she was overweight.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I'm just wondering if she was obese.  

Gin Stephens: I'm not sure exactly whether she was in the obese category or not but she definitely had the fatty liver. So, having a fatty liver, it's not something you want. So, here's another story that is, it's Episode 50, and it's Renee and Joel. They are mother-son. Renee is the mother, Joel is the son, and when they started intermittent fasting, they both started it at the same time. He did not lose a single pound for the first eight months of doing IF. But in the ninth month, the weight just started to fall right off, he didn't change a thing, just boom. The weight started to go and he lost the 20 pounds that he wanted to lose after eight months of losing nothing. So, listen to those two stories.  

The thing is that something is happening in the body. You know what was going on in Joel's body? I don't know. Maybe, his insulin was coming down. Listening to this, Why We Get Sick? If he had hyperinsulinemia, insulin is such a storage hormone. It may be all that was happening for eight months is his body's fasted insulin level, his level of circulating insulin that goes around all the time was going down, down, down, down, down. Then, when it got to a certain point, bam he was able to lose the weight he wanted to lose. That 20 pounds dropped off so quickly after nothing.  

Melanie Avalon: That's like Gary Taubes' theory about the insulin threshold. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, absolutely. I totally believe that could be a factor. For Roxi, fatty liver, fatty liver, fatty liver, bam. All of a sudden, she started losing the weight. So, something good is happening in the body when you're doing intermittent fasting and you can't always see it. So, there was that.  

Melanie Avalon: She didn't say what window she's doing, does she?  

Gin Stephens: Well, she said that minimum of 16 and sometimes 20 to 21. Here's what I've noticed from years in the Intermittent Fasting Community. When people would say, "I always do at least whatever, and sometimes, I did this." If they start tracking their fasts on an app, they realize that they might skew a lot more to the 16 and less to the 20 than they thought. That's just something to keep in mind. If you're fast or usually 16, 16, 16, 16, every now and then you do a 20 or 21, you're likely not getting into that peak fat burning that starts to ramp up around our 18. Just pushing it to 19 consistently instead of 16 consistently could make a difference. Just something to consider. Try an app and see what you're doing. Because for me, I needed a consistent 19 to really get that fat burning in and to lose the weight that I wanted to lose. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I guess for me, so, I think it's very telling for Carrie, well, first of all, Carrie, I really, really identify with you and I can see why you feel like our stories are really similar because for listeners, who are not familiar, a lot of my health issues started with GI distress, and SIBO, and antibiotics, and just feeling like my gut got off after this catalyzing incident, and just being a rocky road ever since then. So, I completely identify and I know what this is like for so many people. This isn't even about the weight loss. This is about the health issues that she was experiencing. You just you know something's off, and you just want to find answers, and you try all the things like Carrie has done. So, parasites, and heavy metals, and herbs, and cleanses, and going after this liver virus, and antibiotics, and just trying all these different things. I know that it's very scary and it can feel very disheartening. So, I'm completely there with you.  

For me what happened, I hit burnout with all of it. I hit a point where I was like, "I don't care." Like, I'm not testing anymore, I'm not going to try to fix whatever the specific thing is through a specific supplement or through a specific thing, and I don't know that the ideal mindset to be in either, but the takeaway that I learned from all of that and where I am now, it's really easy to get caught up in the minutiae and try to go after these specific things that you think might be in you or that might be off. When I think if you just step back and breathe, and take a more holistic approach that's foundationally based on diet and food, I think there's massive, massive potential there. You can be doing all these things, but if you're taking in food that is not supporting your gut microbiome and it's contributing to these issues, that's difficult to address. And then, on top of that, there's so much potential that can be gained when you are eating a diet that's really, really supporting your body and helping address that. All that said, so, as far as like, where to focus and like, "Where the answer is?" There might be things that you really, really do need to focus on and address. 

So, for me, the heavy metals were really bad for me. My blood levels of mercury were over 30 which is just shocking. So, that was something I did need to address. For me, I do have to keep monitoring my anemia, for example. That's not something I can just be like, "Oh, I'll just eat food and be okay." No, I actually, I use InsideTracker and I stay on top of my ferritin and my iron because that mine has a tendency to drop. So, there are things that are important to focus on and keep in mind, but I think maybe getting out of the detox mindset and entering a healing diet food mindset can't be understated. I also empathize as well. Carrie has this mindset of the perfectionism mindset. So, she's worried that, I'm going to say it again. She says, "I'm not perfect with my diet partly because I know it's not sustainable and if I try and fail, I will just say, no." So, that's really hard to navigate because I as well, I'm a perfectionist and an all or none person. And I know it's very easy, it's a slippery slope, where some people respond to not being perfect with just throwing it all out the window, which is a really interesting mindset justification that we make that doesn't have to be. So, you can still strive for perfect and then, if you're not perfect, that's okay. But if you're not perfect, it doesn't mean that you throw everything out the window and just lapse into rebelling against perfectionism. You can still strive for perfect but things can be good.  

It's interesting, I just finished Cynthia Thurlow's new book, and she talks about this, and she recommends a, I think, she calls it a good, better, best mindset. So, she says, "Every single day is either a best day." So, that would be like the equivalent of "perfect." So, you ate all the foods you want to eat, you did the fasting the way you want to do it, etc., Then, there's the better day. So, that's where like, you're almost there but some things were like a little bit off, and then, there's the good days, which maybe more things are off, but either way, you're always making progress. So, I would really suggest that mindset, Carrie, applying that to your diet. So, striving for those best days rather than saying, "I'm not even going to try." Because I know you don't want to track and you don't want to be perfect, but it might be that you're not going to be able to make the progress that you want without addressing the actual food choices of your eating window. Intermittent fasting can be amazing. But for some people, it's not going to be enough to actually make the change. We can tweak the window, we can fast more, but at some point, some people, you've just got to look at what you're eating. 

Gin Stephens: And you know to me, that's funny to hear you say that, because what she described is what she eats sounds pretty great. It sounds very cleanish. It's very much like the way I eat. She's eating meat, seafood, eggs, lots of veggies, salad with homemade dressing. It sounded like a pretty, pretty great diet to me.  

Melanie Avalon: Well, that's the thing. So, I think what it sounds like to me, just looking at it briefly, skimming through the foods like, "Oh, this is a good diet." So, I think maybe she's found a safety within that, when you're saying people, they think they're fasting a certain amount but they're not quite. I think it might be the situation with the food. So, she feels like it's healthy, but the cheese, the fat, the processed food, if her insulin levels are high enough and her carb intake is enough such that she is at a more of a storing mode than having the fats, the cheese, the things like that, they might be every time she's eating, adding in enough excess nutrition that she's not going to ever lose weight unless she gets a little bit more strict.  

Gin Stephens: That's what my tweaks recommended would address that exact thing would be try to delay the alcohol for a month. See what happens if you just avoid the alcohol and just push that window length a little bit. That would give you the same benefit in lowering your insulin because you're fasting a little bit more. It seemed like a pretty good a balanced kind of a way because otherwise you're just like dieting hardcore. So many of us don't want to diet hardcore.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay, that's the mindset I'm trying to dismantle right now. Because she's eating what she's eating but she doesn't want to diet hardcore.  

Gin Stephens: Right. I don't think she needs to change what she's eating.  

Melanie Avalon: She could substantially change what she's eating without it being dieting hardcore.  

Gin Stephens: See, I don't think she needs to substantially change what she's eating. I guess, that's where we're having that disconnect. She has occasional candy. I eat tortilla chips. I eat occasional candy. She seems like she's eating a very good diet to me. I don't know. To change it up would seem hardcore to me.  

Melanie Avalon: I think for some people if they're eating fats and carbs in their meals, especially, cheese in there, butter in there, nuts in there, cheese, nuts, things like that can easily be very weight promoting. It might be that in order to lose the weight, it doesn't have to be crazy. But eating just Whole Foods, so no longer adding additional fats like still eating your normal meats but not adding the fats, not adding nuts, not adding cheese, you might see massive, massive changes. It doesn't have to be like counting calories, and it doesn't have to be super intense, but just making some tweaks, and that's what I'm trying to dismantle like, there's a lot of change she can make to her diet. That's not going to be crazy dieting, it doesn't have to seem like really restrictive, but it might make super, huge changes pretty quickly. It could also be a macros approach. So, if you do want to keep in the fats, maybe, you're trying low carb. There're different ways that you could try it. But you could tweak it within a paradigm that is not super restrictive, not super crazy, but might be addressing the things that might be making it impossible. 

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Gin Stephens: I think that probably a good majority of the people out there don't want to tweak by eating less fat, or less carbs, or go low fat, or go low carb, I think we just want to eat real food. I don't want to have a potato with no butter or butter with no potato. I want to have a potato with butter. The way that I and a lot of people are able to have the potato with the butter is by focusing on maybe a 19-hour daily fast instead of 16, and by being careful with how much alcohol and things like that. I know that some people are really excited to try leaving out certain macros. But I think a lot of people really just don't want to do that. I don't know. Something to think about. She could certainly do whichever of those seems appealing to her. We've given her a lot of tools to pick from, I think. 

Melanie Avalon: I don't want to make blanket statements because I don't know what the majority of people want.  

Gin Stephens: Can I be honest with something? Somebody in my community listened to last week's episode, where we talked a lot about cheese and nuts, and was a little salty about it. There was some feedback of feeling like, we are telling people what to eat and what not to eat. She said, "We." She wasn't talking about you, it's about me and you. A very interesting discussion ensued in the community. So, that's why I wanted to bring that up. A lot of people really don't want to count macros. They don't want to do the low fat, they don't want to do the low carb, they just want to eat food. 

Melanie Avalon: What's interesting is, I had some feedback as well, but it was the complete opposite. This is why I think like, I'm just about telling people options and you find what works for you. People just find what works for you but we had one listener write in and she was saying that, I think she was talking about the protein and the fruit. We made the suggestion about maybe trying to bring in other types of carbs because, maybe you could have them and then she reported back to me, she was like, "Nope, you know that didn't work at all." I think it's all very individual and I think we see the world through the way we approach it. So, for me, I do better with macros, and I do better being more strict on what I'm eating. And some people are like that as well. I think you see through the lens of not like that.  

My foundational thing, though is that, I think people are so nervous about falling into restrictive diety mindsets and they don't want to ever count calories, they don't want to ever track anything that sometimes it can be-- we like to ignore the fact that certain foods are very likely weight promoting, and make it harder to lose weight if they're in there, and that might just be-- I don't like to ever saying something is a reality, but approaching a reality. That's why I'm trying to suggest like the good, better, best approach, and I just thought it was really interesting that she didn't even mention what she was eating. The email I cut it down from, it was probably three times as long. But there wasn't any mention of the foods, which said to me that there wasn't a focus at all on the food. She probably feels like the food is a healthy approach, and so, there's not much tweak there, and I just think there's so much progress that can happen if things are tweaked. I am never trying to enforce or impose my beliefs on anybody. This is going to sound callous, but I really could care less when people do. Like, "Do what you want, I don't care." I just want to tell people, what has worked for me and it may or may not work for you. But if things aren't resonating with people, I'm sorry. But it doesn't really bother me-- that does not bother me.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. The feedback was that, we were demonizing cheese and nuts. I really don't think that we came across as demonizing cheese and nuts. We were just saying, they're easy to overeat. But that's not us saying those are off the menu. I eat cheese, I eat nuts, but I am mindful that I can easily over eat cheese. But I'm not overeating cheese right now.  

Melanie Avalon: I know the way I've talked about cheese and nuts. I don't think I've demonized them. I have not intended to. I do think pretty objectively they are foods that can be very weight promoting. So, it sounds like a defensive reaction because people want to keep it in. 

Gin Stephens: Well, I definitely want to keep cheese and nuts in my diet and I want to eat them. I just need to be mindful. The same with like tortilla chips. She eats tortilla chips, I eat tortilla chips. But I mindfully eat them and I choose really high-quality ones. 

Melanie Avalon: So, a simple concept of cheese is easily weight promoting. Again, I don't like to say anything black or white, I'm fairly certain that that's a pretty accurate statement. So, what you do with that is up to you. So, you know you can keep it in moderation, find the way that it works for you, it doesn't change the fact that it might be weight promoting if had in excess, which often happens. 

Gin Stephens: Right. I think that's often very key said in excess and it's just hard to know. You're probably not going to have broccoli in excess, but it is a lot more likely to have cheese in excess. So, I just wanted to point that out. 

Melanie Avalon: Literally, listeners, do what you want. [laughs] Do what you want. I just think it's funny because I think people, I know we're on like tangents, but I think sometimes people think that I have an agenda or I'm trying to convince people of anything. I really not. Like, do what you want. I'm just going to tell you what worked for me, and what I've learned, and what I think might help. Yes, I have no agenda. 

Gin Stephens: I do have an agenda. Do you know what it is? I want people to enjoy what they're eating without stressing about it. That is it. That is what I know you do, too. But that is what Clean(ish) is all about. it is figuring out what things you want to include. There's the 'ish.' I know that a tortilla chip fried in an oil that is one of those inflammatory oils is not great for my body. But I'm still going to include them in small amounts because I enjoy them. I'm not going to veer so far to perfection that I'm not enjoying the way I love and you're not either, Melanie. You very much enjoy the way you live. But it's a matter of finding your own balance of what foods you enjoy that make you feel good. My friend, Laurie Lewis, she says it beautifully. She says, "You want to love the foods that love you back. You want to pick the foods that make you feel great and are delicious, and you're balanced in a way that your weight ends up being at a stable level, where you feel comfortable." Sometimes, you do have to make some, like that period of time where I didn't drink alcohol and I didn't have those tortilla chips or other ultra-processed foods for 10 weeks.  

This was in the spring of 2015. So, would you say that I was dieting? All right, maybe so. I was not having certain things because my goal was to lose weight more quickly. I still ate a lot of good things, I had plenty of fats and carbs together, but I just didn't have alcohol or ultra-processed foods. Potato with butter, yes. Tortilla chips, no. I lost weight the most quickly I ever lost two pounds a week and then kept it all off. That was that kind of a thing. But it was delicious and I enjoyed it. So, my agenda and I think Melanie's, too, is for you to find a way to get the results you're looking for while loving the journey.  

Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly. This is what you just said but it might be for certain people with certain goals. But you do have to do some sort of tweak. 

Gin Stephens: There's the delay, delay, delay the extra cheese that whenever you eat it, you don't lose weight. Whatever it is. For me, it was delaying the alcohol. So, someone might say, "Gin is anti-alcohol." No, I'm not. I wish I could enjoy it more. My body tells me, "Nope, that's too much for you. I have to have a little bit." But I'm certainly not anti. I just know that for me, that is a big, big factor. So, I'm always going to suggest that, that might be something to look at.  

Melanie Avalon: I'll just read really quickly her next question. She says, "I'm sure there will be more supplements introduced to me through future episodes as I catch up. Based on my situation, do you have any you really recommend for me? Obviously, you're not doctors. I get that. Based on anecdotal evidence, are there any that you recommend?" Again, so, this was from her original email, which did not mention anything about food? Again, it was this five I got of looking for the answer in a supplement rather than the foundation of diet.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I don't think there're any supplements out there that you can take that. It is like the reason you're not losing weight that I can just blanket say is everybody's reason. Maybe, let's say, your thyroid is all messed up. A thyroid medication or thyroid support is obviously going to be transformational for your body. But that doesn't mean everybody needs to go take thyroid medicine or a thyroid supplement. So, there's nothing we can blanket say, "Here's what you need to help the weight loss happen." 

Melanie Avalon: I will say, one I do in general, that one that I do take every day though. But this is not to lose weight but to help with insulin sensitivity and stuff like that is I do take berberine every day. But there's not some sort of magical supplement that is going to make you lose weight. And then, her last thing she says, "Tips, advice, or anything I may not have thought of. I wish you both a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Much love," Carrie. So, keep us updated with how your journey goes. I will say, I really, really like her mindset. Despite all of this, she said multiple times, she said things like how she like, I'm paraphrasing, but something about how she doesn't know why she's going through this. But she knows there's a reason, and she's not giving up hope, and we're right there with you. Like, your mindset is really, really wonderful, and I know you'll find answers, and I do want you to know that I've definitely been there with everything just feeling like it fell off the wagon health wise, and not knowing what to do. So, I applaud you for really taking agency and trying to find answers, because a lot of people don't. So, yeah, you'll find it. 

Gin Stephens: I did have one more thing I wanted to pop in there, and it was me circling back to the fact that she did the ZOE program, and I really think if you've got all that data from ZOE, that could really help you figure out your diet without trying to be perfect about it. Because again, ZOE doesn't expect you to be perfect, you're not trying to get hundred on your score. So, if you put the meat in and it takes you down to a 70, you might be like, "Oh, this is terrible." But actually, it's not. That 70 is not a terrible score. So, you may want to listen to Episode 170 of Intermittent Fasting Stories. I interviewed Kristi Osborn. She's also really active in the Delay, Don't Deny Community. For anyone who's looking for that, you can go to ginstephens.com/community. Kristi's story is pretty amazing. She was also having a really hard time losing weight, loved intermittent fasting, and how she felt.  

But once she really embraced ZOE, and she doesn't like tracking either. She's not like loving the tracking part or trying to be perfect with ZOE. But it absolutely changed everything. So, I just wanted to pop that in there. She finally lost a lot of weight. She's actually in the community and she is part of the-- we have a little ZOE space in the Delay, Don’t Deny Community where people can come and talk about their experiences. She really does a great job guiding people how to make the most of it without letting it make you crazy. Because if you look at it through the lens of perfectionism, and like, it's a diet that's telling you what you have to eat and what you can't eat, that would be very like that diet brain kind of thing going on. Instead of like, "Oh look, my avocado toast score is higher with more avocado than adding an extra egg or something." It just might surprise you. You had to tweak those food combinations to get a higher score for you.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and actually to that point, the mindset that's worked well for me. So, if you are addressing the types of foods you are eating, focusing on unlimited of certain types of foods rather than like, "Oh, I can't have this, I can't have that." Being like, "Oh, I can have unlimited of all of these foods and then--"  

Gin Stephens: [laughs] That's just so the opposite of the way I could be. If I get told myself, "I can have unlimited of anything, I just don't do well with that approach."  

Melanie Avalon: Within the certain macronutrient that I'm following.  

Gin Stephens: I know. But I'm just saying that, it is just so interesting how our minds like the way that we-- I'm trying to explain how to put it. I don't know. I could overeat something if I told myself that's unlimited. Okay, I'm sorry.  

Melanie Avalon: Even if it was within an intense macro nutrient. So, unlimited within a low-carb world or unlimited within a low-fat world.  

Gin Stephens: I'm pretty sure I did overeat when I was unlimited in the low-carb world because I never lost any weight.  

Melanie Avalon: I guess, I do high protein, low fat. It's so funny. IF turned so many people onto this. I'm really trying to think of this should be my next book.  

Gin Stephens: High protein, low fat, is that what you said?  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. But lean meats and fruits specifically for me. This is what I've been doing for years. It is like unlimited lean protein, unlimited cucumbers, unlimited fruit, all I want. It's just a setup because of the metabolism of those macronutrients, especially, within a fasted window. It's very unlikely you'll gain weight and if anything, you might lose weight.  

Gin Stephens: I just know that the one reason I never did Weight Watchers is, they have the zero-point foods. I'm pretty sure I would be overeating zero-point foods, I'd be gaming that system and probably gaining weight. [laughs] I don't know. I just know my own mindset. I do much better focusing on satiety, listening to those hunger cues instead of telling myself this one's on limited. I don't know.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Which I guess the foods I focus on, like, protein is the highest for satiety. So, it's like a double whammy. But yeah. People view the world all different ways.  

Gin Stephens: It is. Just like, we were naming foods whether we liked them or not. We were the opposite on all of them.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, Gin and I, yeah, [laughs] I can tell you, every food Gin won't like or will like based on if I like it or not.  

Gin Stephens: Probably for a lot of them. Does Gin like cucumbers?  

Melanie Avalon: You like cucumbers?  

Gin Stephens: No.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Do you like lima beans?  

Gin Stephens: I love lima beans.  

Melanie Avalon: I can't stand lima beans.  

Gin Stephens: If you told me, I could just have unlimited lima beans, I would just eat lima beans till I exploded.  

Melanie Avalon: If there's one bean I can't, like, lima beans. Or, what about hazelnuts?  

Gin Stephens: I like hazelnuts. They're so good.  

Melanie Avalon: I don't like hazelnuts or oranges.  

Gin Stephens: I love oranges.  

Melanie Avalon: I love most foods. So, that's the thing. There are very few foods I don't like.  

Gin Stephens: There's really very few foods I don't like. 

Melanie Avalon: What do you not like?  

Gin Stephens: I don't like cucumbers. Well, when I start listing them, I don't like anything that you're going to have on sushi. Let me put it that way. When I was in Tampa-- 

Melanie Avalon: Ginger?  

Gin Stephens: Oh, I like ginger. Okay. I like ginger. I like ginger, I like wasabi, I like the sauces. But everything they roll up, I mean, I like rice. But anything else practically that they're going to roll up in there, I don't like the cucumber and they all have cucumber. I don't like fish, they all have fish.  

Melanie Avalon: I love fish.  

Gin Stephens: [sighs] Anyway, it's like the one restaurant I do not want to go to you with is a sushi restaurant because I have a hard time finding anything I want.  

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny. What is the one food you dislike the most? Oh, I don't like oysters.  

Gin Stephens: I don't like any kind of fish and I don't like oysters.  

Melanie Avalon: But mine is probably oranges.  

Gin Stephens: I love oranges. You do not like oranges that much?  

Melanie Avalon: They give me a raging headache.  

Gin Stephens: Oh, no, I love them. If I'm ever sick, I start to crave orange juice and it always makes me feel better. I need the pulpy kind. Pulpy orange juice, love it.  

Melanie Avalon: Oranges and grapefruits.  

Gin Stephens: I like grapefruits.  

Melanie Avalon: I think I have a reaction to some compound--  

Gin Stephens: To citrus?  

Melanie Avalon: I love lime and lemon. There's something in orange that just-- 

Gin Stephens: That's so interesting.  

Melanie Avalon: You're not a huge watermelon fan, right?  

Gin Stephens: Oh, I hate it. It's gross. I don't like any kind of melon. See, I think cucumbers are in that Melanie kind of. I don't like cucumber or any kind of melon. I don't eat a fruit salad that has melon in it because it has infected the rest of the fruit with its grossness. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, the best, because I'm a fruit lover and out of the fruits, all of the melons.  

Gin Stephens: I like pineapple, I like oranges, I like strawberries, I like any kind of berry. 

Melanie Avalon: I like berries.  

Gin Stephens: I'll eat an apple if it's in a pie.  

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny.  

Gin Stephens: It really is. It is so funny.  

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this was a fun time. So, for listeners, if you'd like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go at ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode248. Definitely follow us on Instagram because we just got actually a new fabulous woman who is going to be helping us with our Instagram. Shoutout to Shannon. So, we're going to start posting and interacting there more. Oh, and in case you're wondering, it's not like just Shannon. I am very much-- Gin and I are both, we see it and I'm there. When I go on to my Instagram on my phone, I'm there. Don’t want to think they were like outsourcing it. So, definitely follow us on Instagram @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon on Instagram. Gin is @ginstephens, and I think that is all the things. Anything from you, Gin, before we go? 

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

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

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye.  

Melanie Avalon: Bye.  

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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