Welcome to Episode 250 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle.
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Listener Q&A: Kelly - Research, Cellulite, and Weightlifting
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Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 250 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 skip a 150,000 people waitlist and finally get something that we love and talk about on this show all the time, a continuous glucose monitor, also known as a CGM. Wearing a CGM has honestly been one of the most profound bio hacks that I have personally experienced for understanding how I respond to food, what type of diet and fasting work for me, and truly taking charge of my health. A continuous glucose monitor is an easy to apply sensor that you put onto your arm and guess what it continuously monitors your blood glucose, also known as your blood sugar. With a CGM, you can literally see in almost real time how foods are affecting your blood sugar levels, how your blood sugar levels change during your fast, how exercise affects them, and so much more. CGMs used to only be available to diabetics or if you had a prescription, but now, Levels is changing all of that. Yep, Levels is making CGMs accessible to everyone. With Levels, you get a prescription for a CGM and then you sync it with their amazing app, which lets you track your blood sugar over time, see graphs of your data, get your own metabolic score, and see how that changes, log your meals, and so much more. I am obsessed with wearing CGMs. I've been experimenting with them and talking about them on this show for months now. But even if you just wear one once, I think, you will learn so, so much about your body and about your health.
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Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 250 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.
Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. Yeah, 250 seems like a milestone, doesn't it?
Melanie Avalon: I know. Actually, one of my Facebook moderators asked me, "If we were doing anything special for it?" I was like, "No, sorry. 300, I guess we'll do."
Gin Stephens: 300, we will, we will.
Melanie Avalon: Will be the next one.
Gin Stephens: Or, we could do something for the birthday, Wasn’t it like May 1st? When did the first one come out?
Melanie Avalon: Oh, I don't know. Was it in May?
Gin Stephens: Here's what I think happened. Tell me if this sounds familiar. You're like, "I'm going to submit it to iTunes and see when it publishes because they just accept them when they accept them." Then it just happened to be a Sunday night and that's why we publish on Sunday, because that just happens to be when it happened.
Melanie Avalon: Do we post a little teaser thing, so that we could lock it in?
Gin Stephens: We did not. We did not. I did that for my podcast and I'm sure you did that for yours, but we did not.
Melanie Avalon: We just posted it blind?
Gin Stephens: That's what I think we did. I remember that. It just happened to hit on a Sunday and that might be why we posted on Sunday. I swear I think that's what happened. That's how I remember it.
Melanie Avalon: I remember us wanting to do Sunday. Interesting how we have-- This trivially makes you just question everything about reality. I remember us wanting to do a certain day. but not knowing if it was going to post on that day. So, we were going to let the first one hopefully, land around that time and then we were going to pull it together. I don't know.
Gin Stephens: The reason why it sticks in my head that I don't think we did that is because when I was creating the Intermittent Fasting Stories Podcast, Resonate Recordings was helping me get started, and they are like, "We suggest that you release as Episode Zero, so that Episode Zero will be the trailer episode and then you make sure to have plenty of time before you can have your first episode be on the day you want it." So, I was like, "Oh, that's so interesting. I'd never thought it." I feel like I would have remembered if we had done that, too. It wouldn't have been so like, "Wow, what an interesting strategy." I don't know. That's just how I remember it. But it was somewhere, I think we were shooting for May 1st but maybe it came out early, I can't remember those details.
Melanie Avalon: Well, it has been a long time.
Gin Stephens: It really has.
Melanie Avalon: It's crazy. How is the weather for you right now?
Gin Stephens: Well, I'm living in FOMO land here in Augusta, Georgia because everyone who lives north of a certain line is getting snow. You said, you've got some snow, we're getting wet rain. I mean, I guess, wet rain is the only kind of rain. Well, there's freezing rain but it's still wet. But we're just having regular rain and it's 37 degrees. [sighs] and people are like, "Oh, it's snowing." I'm like, "Not here." So, you've had some snow.
Melanie Avalon: It is snowing right now.
Gin Stephens: Oh, I wish I could see that.
Melanie Avalon: I am looking out the window and there is snow falling from the sky.
Gin Stephens: So, people often wonder why Augusta so often doesn't get the same weather as Atlanta and it has to do. Can I put on my third-grade science teacher hat for a minute?
Melanie Avalon: Please do.
Gin Stephens: One thing about Augusta is we are in the coastal plain of Georgia. We're literally the very northernmost part of the coastal plain because actually, when you look at all the oldest cities like Augusta has been around for a long time. When you look at some of the oldest cities that are inland up rivers like Augusta, they're as far as you could get. And then people got here and they're like, "Well, let's just make a city here." So, if you're sailing up from the coast up the Savannah River, Augusta's as far as you can go because they had the fall line which means that there's rapids and stuff. So, just north of Augusta are the rapids. You're not going to get a big boat up there.
Anyway, because of the change in the, I guess elevation, and the river, and the way it all, Augusta's just right on that line. It's almost like an anti-snow bubble. You can be watching the radar. I can remember back in my teaching days, when they would be like, "We might have snow, we might not have snow." You'd be watching the radar and it would be like, there was a dome over Augusta, and the snow would just like blew right north of it every time. So, we've not had a good snow or any snow that I've seen in really a few years now. Thanks to us being on the coastal plain.
Melanie Avalon: Does that same thing happen in Memphis? I feel like that's what they always said.
Gin Stephens: Memphis is right there by the Mississippi River. So, I'm not certain. A coastal plain is generally close to a coast, but it's definitely something because-- of course, Memphis is not. But I don't know what that region would actually be. Probably, the Mississippi River basin is probably what they call it. So, the elevation would definitely be a factor there. The Mississippi River basin is also fascinating. I had a lesson that I used to teach when I was a science lab teacher and we were learning about rivers. I think it was maybe fourth graders that I did this lesson with.
If you take a big giant map of the United States, a laminated map and Sharpie markers or something, and you start at the mouth of the Mississippi River right there in New Orleans, and you trace up north you're going north, trace the Mississippi River all the way to its origin, but then you also trace all the tributaries, you're going to the east, you're going to the west. It just shows how much of the United States empties out right there at the mouth of the Mississippi. It's like everything on the side of this Rockies and on this side of the Appalachians, it's like a giant tree. The image that it makes looks like a giant tree and the root is right there at the mouth of the Mississippi.
Melanie Avalon: Wow.
Gin Stephens: I know it's fascinating. I love geography.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That's ringing lots of vague bells. I just remember we rarely got snow and they would say it had to do with something about something with the geography.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. Certainly, the topography makes a huge difference. The way the mountains keep it away or the change in elevation causes the temperature to do different things. But we're just right on that edge. My brother lives just over an hour away in South Carolina and they're like, "Right there in the snowbelt." So, although can I tell you this? Next Friday, they do have snow in the forecast for us one inch. We'll see if it happens because that can disappear very quickly.
Melanie Avalon: Well, fingers crossed for you. It's such a wonderful feeling to-- I'm literally looking right by the window and I'm just watching the snow.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's amazing how just a few degrees make a difference.
Melanie Avalon: It's very exciting for me.
Gin Stephens: Well, I'm glad. Oh, no, snow makes me excited, too. I don't like to be cold unless it's snowing or if I was superhot and now, I'm cold for a minute, then it feels good, but [laughs] anyway, enjoy your snow.
Melanie Avalon: I will. Speaking of cold, I'm using that as my barometer for when I'll know that I'm really on the up and up from COVID. I have not done cryotherapy since getting COVID. I was doing it every single day and I'm just like, "I can't."
Gin Stephens: You just don't feel like being cold?
Melanie Avalon: It was seeming like it might just wipe me out. But today's the first day that I'm like, "I think I could do it except it's a Sunday." So, I probably won't make it in time. That's going to be my barometer. I'm excited to get back in it.
Gin Stephens: Oh, how are you feeling?
Melanie Avalon: I'm feeling so much better. My taste and smell are coming back.
Gin Stephens: I'm glad. That's huge.
Melanie Avalon: So, for listeners, join my Facebook group, IF Biohackers. I debated for a while if I was going to do this, if I was going to actually post like what I was taking and what I was doing? Just because it's so polarizing. But I decided to because I think it can help people. So, if you join my Facebook group, you can find the post where I posted everything. I was doing a blend of nutritional support and data supported pharmaceuticals, and then I spoke with the doctor, actually, a doctor that I've had on my show, and he recommended some more nutritional support and pharmaceuticals, and that has really, really helped. So, join my Facebook group.
Gin Stephens: [laughs] I'm glad you're healing and getting better. I have had the craziest two weeks. I want you to take a guess. How many podcasts do you think I have recorded in the time between January 1st and January 14th counting the ones that I host and cohost, but also once I've been guests on in 14 days? I don't know. Now, I've probably like, I've made it seem so big that you'll guess something way too big but-- [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: 12.
Gin Stephens: 18.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. Wow. That's a lot.
Gin Stephens: I was like, "Why am I so tired?"
Melanie Avalon: It's a lot of talking.
Gin Stephens: It was a lot of talking.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: What's really funny is, I started to think about that, I was like, "Man, that was a lot of talking to them." I'm like, "Wait a minute. I used to be a teacher. I literally talked all day every day." But it was different. It's different when you're standing in front of your class that you see every day and you're just hanging out with them versus you have to be on when you're on a podcast. You have to be on the stage.
Melanie Avalon: Well, and it's like, this show feels more like that compared to where you're with a guest or you're being interviewed.
Gin Stephens: Being on this show, it does not make me feel like I'm on stage anymore. It just feels calm and casual. Also, life lessons is like that. Intermittent Fasting Stories for the most part is like that, although, I still have to be more on than here. Because I'm guiding the conversation, that's different. But when I'm a guest on someone's show, it just feels like a whole different thing.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, same. I don't know. I feel like I should be more resilient but I don't-- Like, something where I have to show up and be on camera. I don't like to do more than one a week.
Gin Stephens: Oh, one a week? I did three in one day. The first week of January. Three in one day. It just worked out that way and that was a lot. Three hours was a lot. So, anyway.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It takes a lot out of me, I don't really like going out more than once a week. I mean I will, but I'd rather not. I can't do more than one thing in a day.
Gin Stephens: It's been hard because I've had many days. Obviously, if you can tell with 18 in 14 days, there were many days where I had two in a day. So, anyway, I'm getting off that. It's calming down. So, that's really good. It's calming down a little bit. I still have some a few busy weeks ahead but I'm like, "Ooh, I'm ready to just take a little break." So, anyway, at least we can take a break today when we're talking together because it's no stress.
Melanie Avalon: Even when I got COVID, I was like, "Well, I rescheduled," because I had two or three episodes for the other show. But this one, I was like, "It's fine." [laughs] Pull it together.
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Melanie Avalon: All right. Shall we jump into everything for today?
Gin Stephens: Absolutely, let's get started.
Melanie Avalon: All right. So, to start things off, we have a question from Kelly and she has a few different questions in here but the subject is: "Research, cellulite and weightlifting." Kelly says, "Hello, I started your podcast two weeks ago and your approach instantly motivated me to try IF. To say I'm a novice is an understatement, and I have over hundred episodes to listen to," if she just started two weeks ago, she has more than-- Oh wait, this is probably an old question. Wow. No, I'm not thinking. Okay. She says, "Believe me when I say that I am really looking forward to this. Keeping my newness in mind, I would like to address the following. First, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU in all caps for addressing authenticity and manipulation in research. I just finished Episode 152. I'm bouncing around the episodes right now. I am an English teacher, teachers unite, Gin, for 11th, 12th and introductory college classes at my local community college.
Too often, my students are lazy researchers and do not value fact checking what they are reading because we have information at our fingertips in today's world, we have become lazy consumers rather than informed questioners. I just really appreciate that you provide a real-life example of why we need to be empowered researchers." Do you want to comment on that at all, Gin?
Gin Stephens: Yeah. I think that's awesome, Kelly. Thank you for pointing that out and it's so very true. You have to be empowered to question. I've always been a questioner, always, [laughs] my whole entire life from when I was little. Just because people said, "This is what it is," I'm like, "Hmm, how do we know that's for sure?" So, I've always been a questioner and I always will be. Thank you for appreciating that, Kelly.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. I could not agree more, especially, like what Kelly was saying. We have so much access now to so much information that you really can fact check things for yourself, and the backlash I've seen though, and I don't know how you feel about this, but [sighs] I feel like there's a backlash where people will say, "You're not qualified to interpret or read scientific studies and information because it requires a certain level of education or profession to read the studies and interpret it." But I just really want to empower people that like, you can do it. You can read things, and learn what's out there, and make your own judgments. True, some things might require a certain level of knowledge to fully understand, but I don't like to see that as a barrier to just listening to what everybody else says about something rather than going to the source material yourself.
Gin Stephens: I've actually found errors in scientific journals. Who am I to be qualified to judge that? Well, I found an error and one that they cited a study, and they said, the study said something, and then I went to that study from the study-- from the one study to another study, and it was the opposite of what they said it said. They interpreted it wrong. I'm sure they didn't do it on purpose. It was an accident, I'm certain but we're all humans and everybody-- Two people can read the exact same thing. Two people that are highly credentialed can read the exact same thing and come away with a completely different interpretation. We see that all the time. So, understanding that there's always been disagreement in the science world.
Melanie Avalon: 100%. And then not the same thing as far as it being technically wrong. We've talked before about how news articles can skew what's actually being said, but just whatever the researchers like, whatever their agenda is, what they choose to focus on in the abstract or the conclusion, you can draw completely different conclusions than what's really being seen and told if you look at the entire data just by-- Actually, this is a really, really good example. We have a girl helping us run our Instagram now and she's incredible and amazing. So, we send her quotes from this show for her to pick out quotes to put onto the Instagram. We had sent her this one a few weeks ago and it was a whole paragraph of what I had said about whether or not you could gain weight on 700 calories. So, she shortened it down.
By shortening it down, it actually changed the meaning completely. It was still a direct quote of what I said but by taking out one sentence, and she didn't realize that this had happened, but it made what I was saying be the complete opposite meaning. So, yeah, but it was really enlightening for me because it just really made me realize even more how you can still literally quote what somebody is saying, but if the context is just ever so slightly off, it can mean something completely different. So, yes. People, do your fact checking for yourself and also, just to further empower you. I feel like there's a vibe now of fact checking and so sources will fact check things. But you also want to make sure you trust the source that's doing the fact checking. So, I don't know. I'm just trying to empower people to think for themselves. Okay.
The rest of Kelly's question, she says, "Now, on to my personal questions. Have you noticed less cellulite from an IF lifestyle? I have struggled with cellulite since I hit puberty. Although, I live an extremely active lifestyle among teaching on my feet all day, teaching dance lessons in the evenings, choreographing school musicals, and going to the gym four to five days a week, I cannot rid myself of the cellulite on my thighs and glutes. Yes, I've tried every remedy out there with little success. Since you're not advocates of the scale, maybe I can measure my success in cellulite, huh-huh?"
Gin Stephens: Can we talk about cellulite before we go on?
Melanie Avalon: Yes.
Gin Stephens: Here's the most important part of this, Kelly. The part where you said you've struggled with cellulite since you hit puberty. To me, that indicates a very genetic form of cellulite. I'm the same exact way. I wish I could tell you, I'm a big proponent of the magic that IF does. Did it solve my cellulite problem? No, it did not and I have also tried every single remedy. In fact, there's one I tried, there was this tool you could buy that you could use it. I think it made it worse, honestly, over time. I think my cellulite is worse now than if I'd never used that remedy truthfully. The thing is, is that, we've just been conditioned by airbrushing and magazines to think that cellulite is something that we should be ashamed of, and we should have got to just wear our shorts and our bathing suits proudly, and have the cellulite because that is how skin looks when you're not airbrushing it. There might be some people who genetically are, we can use the word fortunate, because I think every one of us if we could snap our fingers would prefer to not have it, even though, I'm sitting here saying, we need to not worry about it, it's easier said than done.
If I could snap my fingers and have perfectly smooth, no cellulite, I would do it. But I can't and I recognize that it is just naturally how we're built. So, I am choosing to embrace it in lieu of there being an alternative because there isn't. I can either hide it and feel bad about it or I can just say, you know what, this is the way my legs look, this is the way my mother's legs look, this is the way my grandmother's legs looked, and there's no shame in cellulite. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
Melanie Avalon: We've done a few episodes on cellulite in the past. I'll put a link in the show notes. I know there was one where we dive deep into the potential mechanisms.
Gin Stephens: That was you digging deep? [laughs] It was me saying, if you have it, you have it. You're just going to have it. There are people who find that intermittent fasting helps with their cellulite but they probably have different skin architecture than I do.
Melanie Avalon: There's a lot of debate as well about the cause of it. I know for example, people in the PUFA world will say that, PUFAs are the cause of cellulite. A lot people say that's hormonal. It's definitely something that can be very, very stubborn. That is for sure. I think it's actually, probably something and this is something I've talked about before, but if you were to go the topical application route, I've also talked about this a lot in the past, but there's a lot of skin tightening type things that med spas and stuff will do. They can be a little bit pricey, but I do think those are probably more effective.
I think some people can probably address it through fasting, and diet, and stuff like that, but I think probably the most effective and I'll probably talk about this a little bit more in her next thing about exercise. Like I've talked to the past about something called CoolTone, which can work for cellulites. I've started doing something called Emsculpt Neo, which I'm going to talk about in the exercise thing that's been helping a little bit. I do think cellulite is something where doing something topical in combination with diet and fasting is probably the best approach. I actually want to develop a topical cream for cellulite as well.
Gin Stephens: Can I pop one more thing to think about in there?
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.
Gin Stephens: Have you looked at the work of Rubens, the painter? I just looked up to see when he was a painter, he was born in 1577 and he died in 1640. He's the guy who painted all the women that have a lot of cellulites back in the 1500s, 1600s there. I'm pretty sure they weren't eating PUFAs. [laughs] I don't know. That's just my thing. Women that he painted in the 1600s were gorgeously full of cellulite. So, I just don't know that we can say, "Oh, it's just the modern world."
Melanie Avalon: So, I wonder if that's because I'm reading right now. I'm still reading Dr. Rick Johnson's book, Nature Wants Us to Be Fat and he talks about the cultural changes in society. Was that during a time when-- I don't know exactly what you're referring to, is that during a time when he painted lots of really overweight women because that was what was associated with beauty due to like the royalty were fat?
Gin Stephens: I'm not sure I would say that they were super overweight women. They were just normal. I mean they were curvy I don't know. I think that it was just like he celebrated the woman's body. I mean people just were wearing clothes all the time out in public, so that, I don't know. People certainly weren't wearing bathing suits or in shorts out in public. So, I think that he celebrated the female form. Probably yes, we know there were different periods of time where what was viewed as the ideal body changed and plumper body was more a sign of wealth and prosperity but they had plenty of cellulite is what I'm saying.
Melanie Avalon: His book is blowing my mind and I talked about this last week, but he's the one who thinks fructose is the cause of everything. This is so interesting. He thinks the whole insulin hypothesis that it's not about insulin either. The reason low-carb diets work isn't about insulin. He thinks it's all fructose activating the polyol pathway, which creates sorbitol, which actually creates more fructose. I'm on a tangent.
Gin Stephens: I don't understand how you could say that. To me, the whole "insulin hypothesis." We know that high levels of insulin-- insulin is anti-lipolytic. That's not really a question, right?
Melanie Avalon: So, what he says is that, if you remove the ability-- so, he'll do studies on rats and if you take out their ability to metabolize fructose, they can be overfed with fructose and they won't get the metabolic syndrome.
Gin Stephens: Well, okay. See, now, they've lost the ability to metabolize fructose. That's a very strange-- I don't know that that proves that point. Think about like for example, type 1 diabetics, before we understood what type 1 diabetes was. They weren't making insulin. They lost the ability to make insulin, they would die. That's not a normal body state.
Melanie Avalon: I just realized had left out the main thing. So, he thinks the fructose creates uric acid, which damages the mitochondria and basically creates the survival switch state, where the fat cells just want to take in fat and store fat. The reasoning for it is back in the day we'd eat fruit in preparation for hibernation and that would tell our bodies to start storing ahead of time store fat. This is for animals, I guess by the time winter came, you live off your fat stores. He thinks dehydration also sparks it. I can't wait to interview him because it's really interesting to hear him say that about the low carb world. He even says in the book, so, he says that he spoke with Jimmy Moore. Jimmy was saying that he had to cut out all carbs to lose weight. Rick Johnson originally thought that it was just fructose. So, you could have glucose and be fine. But he spoke with Jimmy Moore and Jimmy Moore was saying that he had to cut out all carbs and that didn't make sense to Dr. Johnson, but then they did more research and they realized that, if you eat a ton of glucose, it actually turns into fructose. So, he still thinks it's fructose.
Gin Stephens: I also have not sure that we can look at one guy's example. It's like, "Oh, Jimmy Moore proves this theory." I don’t know. That seems a little strange to me, too.
Melanie Avalon: No, no, no. It wasn't. Jimmy Moore didn't prove the theory. Jimmy Moore was an example of he was questioning how it could just be fructose if Jimmy had also reduced glucose as well. Just the concept. Not like Jimmy specifically. Why am I on the--? Oh, I'm on this tangent because he talks about historically, culturally, we would be in times where to be overweight was seen as the royalty, and the people could afford the food, and people would preferentially-- I should find the examples. He talks about like societies where they would literally put women, the wives of the royalty or whatever would be in rooms and they'd just be fattened up, basically. It's crazy. I just wonder with that picture if that was part of any of that time period or not.
Gin Stephens: Well, certainly. But my point was that, if the theory is, cellulite is related to the modern world and PUFAs, then I think we can say, I know you can go back historically and see that they had cellulite way back then when they didn't have all these toxins.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, yeah, I see. I don't know. I'm not saying it's necessarily PUFAs. I'm saying, there're a lot of theories like some people think it's a seed oil. So, the PUFAs, I bet I should ask him about cellulite. I'm sure he probably thinks it's the sugar.
Gin Stephens: They ate too much fruit. No, I just think it's how some of us are built. I don't think that it's any more complicated than that. Just because I know what happened to me, I didn't change my diet from pre-puberty to post-puberty. I didn't suddenly start eating differently and I had zero cellulite. Went through puberty, bam, there's the cellulite. Obviously, some of that's hormonal but as your body changes, hormones have a big impact on what your skin does as I'm noticing on the other side of menopause.
Melanie Avalon: I do think it's largely hormonal, and for me I didn't have any cellulite at all, and then, I took a medication, I got cellulite after that, which it's empowering in a way. I do think that probably it can be addressed. I just don't know what the answer is. I don't think you're necessarily destined to be that way for the rest of your life. I think if you could find the answers, I think there are answers out there. I just don't know what they are.
Gin Stephens: I feel like if there were answers that we knew of, everyone would already be doing it.
Melanie Avalon: Well, I think a lot of them are cost prohibitive. So, I was mentioning those different things if you can do at med spas, I think those actually do work. They're very expensive and you have to do them a lot. I do think there are solutions. I just don't know if they're always approachable for everybody.
Gin Stephens: There's one more sentence Kelly said that I want to address. She said that we're not advocates of the scale. I really want to say that, that's not true. I don't weigh. But I did weigh for the whole time I was losing weight and the whole first year because I could handle it, and then all of a sudden, the scale started to mess with my mind and maintenance and I didn't like it anymore. So, I am definitely not an anti-scaler. I believe that the scale has a role in the lives of many, many people. Then, there are other people that it does not have a role in their life. You have to know yourself well enough to know which you are.
Melanie Avalon: I agree. Same page. Same, same page.
Gin Stephens: We are. I knew you were, too, but I just wanted to pop that out there because I don't hate the scale. I don't use the scale but I embrace it as a very meaningful tool for a lot of people.
Melanie Avalon: I think it's super important to know your own relationship, how it makes you feel and how it works. That's probably something where you could probably find data to support either side. I do know there been studies on people who weigh daily being more successful, but there are some people just happier not weighing and I think it's really just about finding what works for you, like everything.
Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. There's definite research that I could find right now that shows that weighing frequently is associated with better weight control for a lot of people. So, that is true.
Melanie Avalon: The question there though is--
Gin Stephens: Cause versus effect.
Melanie Avalon: Is it the type of person that would be weighing every day is the type of person that is really going all in and tackling it and doing it.
Gin Stephens: I actually, I remember my sister and I talking about years and years and years ago. This is way before intermittent fasting. There was some supermodel and I can't remember which one. But I remember my sister had read something. She was in a magazine and her quote was something along the lines of like, she was an older, had been a supermodel, and then this is later, and they're like, "How do you maintain your weight?" She said, whoever it was said, "I get on the scale every day, and if my weight is up, I put on my tightest jeans and I wear them all day." I think that reminded her to not gain weight. But I just skip the scale part and wear my jeans. [laughs] Yeah, I go straight to the honesty pants. I don't need the scale to tell me. My pants always tell me.
Melanie Avalon: That's really funny. I like that. Yeah.
Gin Stephens: All right for honesty pants.
Melanie Avalon: So, okay, rest of Kelly's question. She says, "I am also curious about your exercise schedule. I know in earlier episodes that both of you address that you do not work out but rather try to live actively in your day-to-day activities. Although, I completely support that, I was hoping you would address more on the decisions not to exercise when both of you are concerned about longevity. As a mother to two daughters, I want them to see a woman who values physical strength over the number on the scale. Now, as I just admitted this hasn't helped much with my cellulite, but I don't need to ask the men in my life for help when strength is of a concern. I suppose what I'm really asking is, as independent women, how does exercise manifest in your life and what are your rationales for such manifestations?" This is a deep question about exercise. I think it's something really important to talk about because I definitely, definitely don't want to make it seem like I think we shouldn't exercise.
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Gin Stephens: I highlighted four words in there that puzzled me as to the fact that that's how she interpreted what we say, our decisions not to exercise. Really, I think nothing could be farther from the truth. I haven't made a decision not to exercise. I've made a decision not to do-- I don't go to the gym. I can't say, I do Pilates or I do yoga, or I do whatever but I'm very active. When I go to the beach, I walk several miles a day. Even here around the neighborhood, Chad and I might go for a walk after dinner. That's exercise. But I don't like put on an exercise tape and do it like I used to in the past because I don't enjoy doing that. I clean the house, I have, I don’t know, it's pretty good-sized house. We were going to downsize and we accidentally did the opposite. I clean my own house. We don't have someone who cleans for us. I clean it myself. That's exercise. When I'm on my hands and knees scrubbing a bathtub that's exercise.
My frame of reference would be that being active is what we want and it doesn't have to look like formal exercise unless you love that. But I also have a vibration plate that I stand on, which is good for muscle building. I have a rebounder that I jump on. I would say, I do everyday something that would be considered as exercise if I wanted to formally say, now I'm exercising. But I just don't segment my day like that. I'm like, now, I'm going to jump on the rebounder for a few minutes or now, I'm going to walk around for a while, and go for a walk on the beach. So, I don't think either of us have decided to "not exercise."
Melanie Avalon: Completely. I think one of the most important things is being really active in your life. I think by exercise, I just don't tend to go the gym, and then run on the treadmill for 30 minutes, and then go home or I don't tend to do a lot of exercise classes. But I think that daily movement and activity is so, so important.
Gin Stephens: Like, don't you have a standing desk?
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.
Gin Stephens: That's activity and moving.
Melanie Avalon: So, the chair that I'm on right now, it's a wobble chair, so that you're always having to stabilize. It moves. So, yeah, it's pretty cool. Muscle and longevity is so, so important. It's really interesting speaking about metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, I'm pretty sure, it's hypothesized if not known. I know I've heard a doctor talking about this before that insulin resistance actually starts at the muscle, which is really, really interesting. But I think muscle being a sink for excess glucose, and then muscle is just correlated to longevity in so many ways. So, like, Gin was saying cleaning our house, I love being active and cleaning, and I wear weights-- As you guys know, I wear weights during the day, all day, every day, not all day, a large portion of the day. So, I'm always stimulating my muscle.
Then I mentioned this earlier in the cellulite question but my new obsession now and I'm really interested by this concept because I have some cognitive dissonance surrounding it that I've realized it's probably a societal thing. But I have started doing a lot of this thing called Emsculpt Neo, which is muscle stimulation. You lay there and it stimulates your muscle. I've talked about it on the show before but it's like when you do your arms, it's the equivalent of 40,000 curls, when you do your abs it's the equivalent of 20,000 crunches, and I've been doing my glutes. I don't know. It's probably like 20,000 lunges.
Gin Stephens: And you go somewhere and do it?
Melanie Avalon: You lay there, it's a machine.
Gin Stephens: But you go somewhere that has the machine is what I mean? You don't have one at your house?
Melanie Avalon: Oh, no, no, no, no.
Gin Stephens: Okay. That was my question.
Melanie Avalon: I don't even know how much that machine costs. What's interesting is, I am finding it so beneficial for building muscle and very, very time effective because a session last 30 minutes, arms last an hour because you have to do biceps and triceps. It feels like a lazy thing to do, you know?
Gin Stephens: Well, that's my vibration plate. [laughs] Sometimes, I might actually hold weights while I'm on the vibration plate. I'm standing there on the vibration plate, watching TV and holding weights at the same time. So, the thing is we don't call ourselves fitness enthusiasts, but we're definitely active people. I can't wait to get back to the beach when it's warmer and kayak. I'm going to kayak all over the place.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. That's so exciting.
Gin Stephens: I love to kayak. See, that's me. I don't think of I am kayaking because I need to exercise. I think kayaking is a lot of fun. I want to go kayaking or swimming in the ocean is so much exercise, because you're fighting with the waves but it doesn't feel like exercise.
Melanie Avalon: I love just dancing around my room.
Gin Stephens: Me, too. I dance with music when I'm getting ready.
Melanie Avalon: But what's so interesting about that the Emsculpt Neo, so, the effects that I am getting from is so much more than you can get from the gym, especially, when you line up like, the amount of time you would have to spend at the gym, and then on top of that, it actually contracts your muscle way deeper than you consciously can without really any soreness or only little bit. It also works to break up the lactic acid while it's working. It's basically getting what would take possibly months at the gym in just a few sessions. Some of it is very unpleasant. I will say that like painful. But it's just interesting just from a societal cultural thing because I'll lay there like, "Am I being lazy or am I being just really, really efficient?" I can do work-- well, during some of that, I can [unintelligible [00:48:47] arms because you can't hold a phone. The thing I like about it though is, I think it's so, so healthy and it goes back to building muscle. I just think building muscle is so, so important.
Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. Me, too. I think so, too. That's one reason why the vibration plates has been such an important part of my life and that I use it frequently because I believe it's a great way to maintain muscle mass. I also, what was it? I can't remember. There's something on the tip of my tongue and I forgot what it was. Never mind, ignore me. [laughs] But can we answer her very last question, where she said, "As independent women, how does exercise manifest in your life and what are your rationales for such manifestations?" I think that in a nutshell, I would just say, I consider myself to live an active life and the rationale is that it's fun. I've tried to be the person who took classes at the gym or did the gym equipment and that isn't me.
We even bought our house. I know I've probably talked about our house that we lived in before this one that came with gym equipment in the basement. Do you remember me talking about that? It had a whole gym full of Nautilus equipment because the lady of the house ran like a little fitness studio in the basement. People paid money to come and exercise there. So, I was like, "Man, this is going to be amazing. I'm going to be in great shape." I didn't even like going down to the basement to do it. That's not the way I like to move my body. So, my rationale is, I want to have fun and enjoy what I'm doing. So, I move my body and I'm active every day in a way that feels good to me and is fun.
Melanie Avalon: I will answer that question too. First, I wanted to mention really quick. It's not the same thing as the Emsculpt but when I had Dr. Terry Wahls on my show, she's the doctor that reversed her MS through diet. But we talked a lot about e-stim which is also muscle stimulation, and she talks about how it can reverse a lot of the metabolic issues and things that people have with MS. It's basically the similar concept of stimulating muscle. Actually, NASA is currently studying this technology for the astronauts because they lose muscle mass in space.
Gin Stephens: That's actually where vibration plates came from, NASA.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, I didn't know that.
Gin Stephens: Yep. Because with astronauts that is the root of that technology.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's awesome. One last thing. So, I sound like advertisement for Emsculpt. I'm just so obsessed with it. This ties into the cellulite thing. In addition to building muscle, it actually also can address cellulite and destroys fat cells, like, the energy in it can actually breakdown fat cells and they're then processed through the lymph system. What's also really interesting is you get effects in muscle growth 30 days after your last treatment. Your muscle keeps rebuilding that long, which I find really, really interesting, and also, I think that speaks to-- if you can keep growing a month later, it speaks to, clearly muscle growth doesn't necessarily happen just right after you exercise. This goes into the whole thing about fasting and when do you need to eat and muscle growth, but that is all tangent.
To answer the question about the independent woman, so, I'm wondering if she's asking this because she says, I don't need to ask the men in my life for help when strength is of a concern. So, I actually have a lot of thoughts about this. It doesn't bother me. So, I consider myself a very independent woman, a very independent woman. I think it's funny. I need men and they get a little bit confused I think by my independent streak. It doesn't bother me in general.
Gin Stephens: Oh, by the way, husbands that you've been married to since 1991 also get confused by independence streaks. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: It's so funny.
Gin Stephens: So, you were saying it doesn't bother you?
Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. So, it doesn't bother me though that in general men are stronger than women physically. There are women who are stronger than men, but in general men physically are stronger than women. So, if I can't pick up something and a man could, I don't think that says anything about my role as an independent woman in society.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. If I have a jar that's too heavy or not too heavy, but I can't twist the lid off, I'll hand it to Will or to Chad if I can't do it, because they have a little more physical strength than I do.
Melanie Avalon: Gin, that is the perfect example. Yeah, if I can't open a jar, am I subscribing to some patriarchal system by asking a man to open the jar?
Gin Stephens: Literally, I would ask anyone in the room if I couldn't. My friend, Sherry, if she was here, I'd be like, "Can you try to open this? I can't do it." Then we would probably pass it back and forth a few times till one of us "loosened it." [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: I could talk about this forever. I just think this is such a fascinating topic. So, I think my role to answer her question about an independent woman and how exercise manifests in my life. So to answer that in regards to what she's talking about strength and needing a man for help with physical strength things, I want to be as strong as I can be but if I am not the strength of a man, I don't think that says anything about my role as an independent woman. It doesn't bother me at all.
Gin Stephens: If someone needs to move a washing machine, I'm okay not to be that person.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Me, too.
Gin Stephens: I don't feel like that keeps me from being an independent woman.
Melanie Avalon: The same with other things that might be seen as typically like man jobs versus female jobs. I'm not a car person. So, fixing a car in general, I'm probably going to go to a man to fix that.
Gin Stephens: Or, a mechanic. You're going to go to a mechanic. Well, it could be a female mechanic.
Melanie Avalon: Right. But it doesn't bother me that probably the mechanic is going to be a man. That doesn't bother me.
Gin Stephens: I can do a lot of things that Chad can't do. We complement each other very well.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly.
Gin Stephens: In fact, actually pretty much everything. What he's good at is not what I do, what I'm good at is not what he does, and that's I think the beauty of any kind of relationship when you have people that support each other's strengths, whether you are men or women. Like, the two of us in this podcast. The things that you do for the podcast are different than the things I do for the podcast. We complement each other.
Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Also, on the flip side, though, maybe this speaks more to what Kelly was getting at. I don't want to be like, "Oh, I'm a woman. So, women aren't strong. I'm not going to build muscle." That's the opposite and no.
Gin Stephens: Oh, no. I love to be strong. If the UPS man comes to the door with my Green Chef box and it's really heavy, he's like, "Do you want me to help?" I'm like, "Nope, I got it." I'm just like, boom. I feel super powerful carrying a heavy box.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, Gin. Okay. This does happen, though, all the time. All the time. When I go to the grocery store, I wear weights. I don't use a cart ever and I always bring in two really big bags. So, I carry everything around in the bags and I always buy lots of water. So, I'm usually carrying gallons. I carry a ton. Probably, 30% of the time somebody will make a comment like, "Don't you need a cart or do you need me to carry that for you?" I'm like, "No, I'm fine." Then, oftentimes, they'll be like, "Are you sure?" Every time that happens, I always think, "Hmm. If I was a man, I don't think anybody would ask me this."
Gin Stephens: Well, we are in the south and I think that a lot of men for example have been taught. They've been raised to be assistants. I don't feel like that is a bad patriarchal way. I just think it's like the manners were raised on. Like, teaching our sons to open the door for someone. If someone opens the door for me, I am grateful that they were considerate. Even if it's a man, I don't feel like [laughs] I'm like, "Thank you for doing that." I don't know. It's just the way we were raised to be helpful.
Melanie Avalon: I feel like I have this whole analysis of the situation in my head every time it happens. Because I think it's kind and yes, maybe, it is happening just because I'm a woman. But in general women are-- It doesn't bother me. But I think people take a lot of implications from it. But I also do feel when it happens, I do feel this need to be like, "No, I'm fine. I can carry it by myself."
Gin Stephens: Then you feel pride there like me. I feel instead of being irritated that someone might think I need help, I feel proud that I'm strong enough to show them what I can do.
Melanie Avalon: How do you feel and I know we're running out of time but how do you feel Gin, if you were so talking about that upbringing with the south and everything if you dated somebody, well, back in the day before you're married? [laughs] Who subscribe to those beliefs?
Gin Stephens: Like what beliefs? Like, subscribed about beliefs.
Melanie Avalon: Like opening the door, or paying for women, or things like that?
Gin Stephens: I mean, I like those beliefs.
Melanie Avalon: What if you wanted to pay, what if they would not?
Gin Stephens: No. There's not going to be a time where a person is not going to let me do something. So, if they're like, "No, I will not allow." I'm like, "Okay, goodbye." I would not be in that relationship [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: I have experienced that.
Gin Stephens: Uh-huh. No, see, that's different. No. If I want to carry the heavy thing or if I want to pay my own bill, it's fine to offer but I still get to decide. You're not going to tell me what to do. There's the independent woman.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I've had that experience.
Gin Stephens: Maybe, I've just had really good role models of strong southern women who stand up for ourselves and don't put up with any kind of-- We know how to handle ourselves when any of that comes along. Do you know what I mean? [laughs] Oh, no. No one's going to be telling me what I can and I can't. [laughs] I can say no with a smile.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I was dating somebody who said that I was never allowed to pay.
Gin Stephens: Okay, no, bye. No, you don't tell me. Uh-huh.
Melanie Avalon: I don't know how I feel about that.
Gin Stephens: Well, I absolutely know how I feel about that. That would not be okay to me. I think someone could say differently. They could say it makes me feel really good to pay for your or whatever. That's a different thing. I'm happy to have you feel good to pay for me but I will not allow you to pay. No, sorry.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I probably feel like I'm giving too many specific details but even you would get really uncomfortable if we went to a restaurant and I was the one who had made the reservation because that was the man's job.
Gin Stephens: Well, see, he's got a lot of issues that man. Whoever he is. He got some issues. [laughs] That is not how we raise our men here in the south, [laughs] uh-huh.
Melanie Avalon: So, I think this is one of my favorite questions. [laughs]
Gin Stephens: No, we raise our-- Well, I'm just going to speak to what I did. I raised my boys to be polite to everyone and to help anybody who looks like they need help. If someone struggling with a lot of stuff, you can open the door for them whether they're a man or a woman. That's just courtesy.
Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Did we just do one question today?
Gin Stephens: We did but there's one more little while she ended up. The last little part that you could read that you didn't read this.
Melanie Avalon: I can't believe we really did one question.
Gin Stephens: Well, but it was three in one.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, it's true. She says, "Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. I deeply admire what you're doing and cannot express enough how motivating you are. I deeply believe that you're helping me better understand my relationship with food and wellness."
Gin Stephens: I love that. That is really how I view myself and my work. My work is to help people rediscover their relationship with food and wellness. We're all on a journey and we're in different places. So, we all want to have a good relationship with food and with our bodies, and like we were talking about with cellulite here. I have a much better relationship with my body, even though, I would pretty much say that if I looked at myself from my 20s, my legs don't look as good as they did back in college, right? But I'm 52 and I'm more likely to wear a bathing suit and shorts now, because as you heal your relationship with food and wellness and your body, you become so much more confident in your own skin.
Melanie Avalon: I love that. I feel super bad because that was a really beautiful way to end and I just remembered that I gave one of the wrong resources. So, I want to just say that really quick. Even though, that was a beautiful way to end the episode. I was saying, CoolTone earlier, Cryoskin is the cellulite thing that's often at med spas. CoolTone is actually similar to Emsculpt Neo, which is the muscle stimulation, so, just to clarify. But yes, back to Gin, everything that she just said exactly. Wonderful vibe. Gin, since we've recorded, so, when we started there wasn't really snow on the ground, it was just snowing. Now, there's snow on the ground.
Gin Stephens: Oh, my God, I'm so envious. I envy your snow and we're sitting here, and it's all just dreary. The cats aren't even happy. I hope we get some next weekend. Next time we record, I will know and I hope I have some good snow news for you. So, don't forget to ask me. I hope it's good news. Please, just a little bit of snow. Now, what I don't want is the we in 2014, which is the last time we really-- I don't know if it's the last time but that's when we had the famous ice storm. The terrible ice storm of 2014 was so bad. We also had an earthquake. That was the worst week ever.
Melanie Avalon: What? You had an earthquake?
Gin Stephens: Yes. It was 2014. It was such a bad ice storm that Jim Cantore was here. I remember being at school and they're like, " Jim Cantore is on the Riverwalk." I'm like, "Oh, my God, we're all going to die."
Melanie Avalon: Wait, who's Jim Cantore?
Gin Stephens: The guy from the Weather Channel. Wherever he goes where the weather is worst and he's there. He was on our Riverwalk and it was really, really bad. A lot of trees came down and we didn't have power for almost a week. But then actually on February 14th is when we had the earthquake because we still didn't have any power.
Melanie Avalon: On Valentine's Day?
Gin Stephens: Yes, it was a Valentine's Day earthquake and I don't know why. I was awake at 11 PM because I'm never awake at 11 PM but I was, and I remember exactly where I was standing, and the bathroom doorway to the bedroom, the whole room started to shake. I'm like, "What was that?" I pulled up Facebook, and of course, there was still charge in my phone because we would go to Chad's office because they had generators. So, we would go in, we would all charge our stuff up, and then come back home. I was taking showers in the janitor's shower at university. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Did the toilet work?
Gin Stephens: You can flush the toilet without electricity. Yeah, because that that does not rely on electricity. But unfortunately, our hot water heater did rely on electricity. We had a tankless hot water heater that required electricity to work. Here, we have several hot water heaters here in our home, but the one that feeds the master bath is gas. So, I'll be able to get hot water here no matter what. But anyway, it was quite the time people were like, "Did we just have an earthquake?" We were joking like "What was next? The plague of locusts." It was really a tough week. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: I remember hearing Noelle Tar talk about the cicada thing in Virginia.
Gin Stephens: The bugs?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. They are locusts.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's what it is.
Gin Stephens: I don't know. I think we call them locusts. I remember, when I was a little girl that kind of came out like every 17 years or something. I can remember them being out and they were freaky.
Melanie Avalon: I have one last question that just hit me and it's going to bother me. I'm staring at the snow coming down. I don't buy what they say about no two snowflakes being alike. That doesn't make any sense.
Gin Stephens: Well, they do say it.
Melanie Avalon: Because think about it. When a snowflake is formed, it doesn't know if that's been formed before. Is there some source that's like, "Oh, this has been formed before, we can't make another snowflake?" That's the same. I don't buy that.
Gin Stephens: Well, that is a very interesting thought. I will say, one time I was at school when it started to snow, and here we are in the south where it doesn't snow very often, and we had so much fun. I think I had third graders that day because when I was the gifted teacher, we would often go in and out through the window of my classroom, which was probably illegal. I took the screen out and threw it away when no one was looking, so, we could use that as a door. We'd just climb in and out and do science stuff outside the window. So, I gave all the children black construction paper, and we climbed out the window, and we had magnifying lenses, and we had so much fun catching snowflakes on black construction paper and looking at them. That just brought me that flashback.
They were like, "This is the best school day ever." I'm like, we were the only people out there. I don't know what all those other teachers were doing. But I'm like, "It is snowing. There is a 0% chance we're going to go inside and do work." We're having science outside. It was just fabulous. I hope that they all still remember that I'm sure they do. But everyone out there who has children, that is a really fun activity. Get some black construction paper--
Melanie Avalon: I think, I did that at some point. That's ringing a bell.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. But you catch the snowflake right on there. These were big fat snowflakes you could really see. You just use the hand lens and it was really fun. I'd also doubt you that no two are alike. But there's zero way to prove that, unless maybe there is some way of scientific modeling that I don't understand. So, maybe they can, I don't know. But I also share that skepticism.
Melanie Avalon: It just doesn't make sense to me.
Gin Stephens: I'm sure there was one just like this back in, I don't know, anyway.
Melanie Avalon: I'm going to Google that after this. But in any case, 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 email@example.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode250. You can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens, and you can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. All right. Well, anything from you, Gin, before we go?
Gin Stephens: Nope. I think that was it.
Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful and I will talk to you next week.
Gin Stephens: All right, talk to you then.
Melanie Avalon: Bye.
Gin Stephens: Bye.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice. We're not doctors. If you enjoy the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, theme music by Leland Cox. See you next week.
STUFF WE LIKE
Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!
Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine
Gin's Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle
Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle
Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Clean Fast Protocol for Health, Longevity, and Weight Loss--Including the 21-Day FAST Start Guide
Clean(ish): Eat (Mostly) Clean, Live (Mainly) Clean, and Unlock Your Body's Natural Ability to Self-Clean
More on Melanie: MelanieAvalon.com
More on Gin: GinStephens.com
Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com
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