Episode 251: EMF, Diabetes, Melatonin, Circadian Food Timing, Organic Cheese, Raw Milk, Insect Protein, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Feb 06

Welcome to Episode 251 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

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The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #122 - R Blank

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Listener Q&A: MaryEllen - Organic Cheese?


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 251 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. 

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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 ifpodcast. 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. 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 tests high for lead and the half-life of lead can be up to 30 years in your bones? That means when you put on your lipstick, 30 years later, half of that lead might still be in your body. Thankfully, there's an easy, easy solution to this. There's a company called Beautycounter and they were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient in their products is extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can actually feel good about what you put on. And on top of that, their products actually work. That's because they're not “all natural.” They actually combine the best of both worlds, both synthetic and natural ingredients to create products that actually support the health of your skin and make your skin look amazing. They have skincare lines for all your skin types, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, 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 251 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens. 

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.  

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?  

Gin Stephens: I am fantastic. How are you? 

Melanie Avalon: I am good. Can I tell you two nice things that happened that I can speak to just how far my journey has come in the podcasting world?  

Gin Stephens: 100% yes, and then in a minute, I have to talk about snow because I promised I would.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, let's talk about snow first.  

Gin Stephens: That's I promised that would be the first thing I talked about this week.  

Melanie Avalon: This snow that did not happen.  

Gin Stephens: It happened.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it happened for you?  

Gin Stephens: Yes. We had an inch of snow.  

Melanie Avalon: What?  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. We had snow on Friday night.  

Melanie Avalon: I was going to say, what happened to the snow because it didn't snow here.  

Gin Stephens: Okay, we had an inch of snow. It was so much fun. I was watching the radar and it was actually hilarious because you know how I talked about the fall line, and where we are in our geography. All day long, you could see that line. Even when it started to be freezing rain and snow north of us, there's that line. You're like, "There's the fall line. There it is." It stayed like rain, rain, rain. I was looking-- Myrtle Beach was under a winter storm watch. At one point, I looked at the beach and it was snowing at my beach house, but raining here.  

Melanie Avalon: Wow.  

Gin Stephens: I know. But around about 10 o'clock, when they said, Will and I stayed up as to watch it. Right around 10, a little before that it started you could hear that it was ice and then just clockwork, there was the snow, and it was so much fun. It was 10:30 at night, and we were outside, and it was snowing, and you could hear kids in the neighborhood because look, we stay up because we're really want to see it. The kids in the neighborhood were up. All over Instagram, people had posted pictures of their kids at 11 PM because we stayed up, buddy. We knew it was coming. Then I woke up the next day and it was still on the ground.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it was?  

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. We had about an inch like I said. It didn't stick to any of the pavement because the pavement wasn't cold enough, but it stuck to the grass, it stuck to the roof for a little while, and then it was gone. I got my snow fix. That's all I needed. That was it. Good times.  

Melanie Avalon: After our recording last week, I'm really obsessed with scallops. I don't know if you saw this on my Instagram.  

Gin Stephens: I didn't.  

Melanie Avalon: I'm really obsessed with scallops and they're nowhere now. Whole Foods doesn't have them anymore and they haven't been at the Costco by me. So, I call Costco and asked if they had any of the frozen scallops anywhere near me and the closest one was an hour away. So, I drove in that snowy, icy situation. I've realized I hadn't driven in snow. I didn't know. I was like can the car drive, is it okay to drive? I drove an hour and then I bought--  

Gin Stephens: All the scallops?  

Melanie Avalon: $700 worth of scallops. Because I have a chest freezer. I had to stock up because I think they're going to be gone for good. I got stock up for, I don't know.  

Gin Stephens: From Costco?  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Have you ever had them, the frozen scallops?  

Gin Stephens: I don't like scallops.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, right, right. I don't know. I called Costco and they said they were deleting them from the system. He said there're 71 bags at this one an hour from you. It's like I'm going in the snow.  

Gin Stephens: That person who came right after you who was needing some scallops was really sad. They should have called sooner. That's all I'm saying. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: But it's just funny because I was driving and I was in the car, I guess it's fine. I was looking around I was like other cars are driving. 

Gin Stephens: It all depends on what the pavements doing. Cars are fine.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay.  

Gin Stephens: I grew up in Virginia, we didn't do anything special with our car other than you had special tires, like your snow tires or chains. 

Melanie Avalon: Will the car slide?  

Gin Stephens: That would be if the pavement was icy.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Then I was thinking like, "Well, there's always snow in Colorado and they're driving around."  

Gin Stephens: Well, it's a bit. A lot of them have snow tires, which are designed different. You put different tires on in the winter. That was true. We also had chains I remember. You would put chains on your tires. I don't know if they still do that. But this was the 70s, 80s, we had snow chains, and the chains helped you get traction. I remember when it would snow, we would hear people going down the road because we lived in the mountains and you could hear [imitating sound] the sound of the chains on the cars. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: I was really excited because my car does have a snow button. A physical button that says sport. I don't know what the sport is for. Sport and snow. I was like, "I'm going to use this button."  

Gin Stephens: Awesome. My car warns me if it's cold. So, that's good.  

Melanie Avalon: Nice. Nice, nice.  

Gin Stephens: Tell me your good news. I had to talk about the snow before I forgot, but tell me about your other news. I'm excited to hear. 

Melanie Avalon: I had two moments last week that have really just been a sign of how far I feel my other show has come. The first one was, I was listening to Rich Roll, and he had on this guy, who wrote a book called The Proof Is in the Plants, and I loved the interview. I was like, "I got to interview this guy." I wrote him down on my list of people to interview. But the thing is, I have this really long list of people I like to reach out to, but I don't actually really reach out to them because I'm so booked out. It's at the point where people come to me. I book people to come to me, but I'm not actively trying to book people is the point.  

Gin Stephens: That's just like me for Intermittent Fasting Stories. There're just so many people waiting, I have to put them off, which is sad.  

Melanie Avalon: On a rare occasion, I'll know a book is coming out and I'll be like I've got to get this person but usually I just don't. But this guy's in the vegan world. Like I said that with an attitude. My audience is not hardcore vegan. So, there's not much of an overlap. He commented on my Instagram. I had a post of about cholesterol from a guest. He said, "I have a different perspective. I would love to come on your show."  

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's awesome. The universe connecting you.  

Melanie Avalon: I was so excited. So, he's booked. Isn't that exciting?  

Gin Stephens: It is. I actually had a week that was pretty exciting for me I didn't share on Wednesday. I got to interview my two scientist heroes on the same day.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wait. Let me guess. Tim Spector?  

Gin Stephens: Yep. We did a webinar together in my community. It wasn't really an interview. So much as it maybe we talked, but we were face to face on the Zoom webinar for the community. But who's the other one?  

Melanie Avalon: Bert Herring?  

Gin Stephens: No.  

Melanie Avalon: What does it start with, the initials?  

Gin Stephens: M. 

Melanie Avalon: Mark Mattson.  

Gin Stephens: Yes.  

Melanie Avalon: That's why I was going to say but I couldn't remember his name.  

Gin Stephens: Yep. Mark Mattson. Can I tell you, you will get this because you use the same booking software that I do where people go into a calendar link and book it? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes.  

Gin Stephens: Well, I got a message from Mark Mattson. For anyone who can't place him, he's the guy, he wrote that New England Journal of Medicine article that came out in 2019 that everyone went crazy over and suddenly people were wanting to do intermittent fasting for the health benefits. That's Mark Mattson. He is a superstar in the medical world. He works at Johns Hopkins and neurological work. That's his specialty. He's been doing intermittent fasting since the 80s. So, he has a book that's coming out in February. Yep, actually I have an early copy of it right here. It's called The Intermittent Fasting Revolution: The Science of Optimizing Health and Enhancing Performance. Anybody who really wants to dig deep into the science, you want to read his new book. Because it's super-duper digging into the science. It sounds like the New England Journal of Medicine article.  

Anyway, so, his publicist had reached out to me about being on the podcast, I'm like, "Sure. Here's the link, I'd love it," and that made me super excited. Because people have been saying, I should have him on for a long time. He's been doing intermittent fasting personally since the 80s. But I just thought if it happens, it happens, but then they reached out to me. The morning on Wednesday, I was out driving around with Will and I got an email from Mark Mattson that was like, "Could you send me the link for the recording?" I'm like, "I would love to. First, you go ahead and sign up for a time." He's like, "Are we not doing it at 9 AM today?" I'm like, "What?" Apparently, he had gone and chosen the date, but it didn't save or maybe I don't know but he wrote it on his calendar.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, he thought he booked it.  

Gin Stephens: But it hadn't booked fully. I don't know if there was a glitch or if he hadn't pressed that one final button to confirm and I've no idea. But I was like, "Okay, Mark Mattson thinks I'm flake."  

Melanie Avalon: Wait. So, it was before 9 AM or after 9 AM?  

Gin Stephens: Well, he sent the first message right at 9:00. Then I replied and then at 9:07, he's like, "I thought we were recording at 9:00." Fortunately, we were able to do it at 10:30. I booked myself back home [laughs] as fast as I could and I was like, "I'm so sorry. I promised I'm not flaky." But it was a great interview. I don't know what happened because that's never happened. I've never had anyone say, I booked and it didn't.  

Melanie Avalon: I've had that but I'm always booking six months out. So, it's not a problem. 

Gin Stephens: I remember thinking I'm surprised he hasn't booked yet. I need to reach back out to him. But I was giving him time to book it, but apparently, he had. Anyway. But both of them were the same day. So, that was very exciting and I was so tired. I was supposed to record Life Lessons with Sheri at 3:00. She was like, "Do you just want to do that tomorrow?" I'm like, "Oh, thank God." 

Melanie Avalon: One per day for me, one per day.  

Gin Stephens: I had two for the day and that was a lot, but then when I had that third one to pop in with Dr. Mattson and then the stress of that, and then I started thinking I used to teach all day long. I was in front of kids all day but it wasn't the same. It wasn't as intense. Was there something else you wanted to share and I just interrupted your exciting share with my other share? 

Melanie Avalon: These are all related. These are the stories of how far we've come. I have two more. Also, last week, there was a guest that I actually-- Before I launched the show, that's when I was trying to book guests for the show and there was a guest that I tried to book, and this guest, their team said that they declined, which completely makes sense because when you're not a show yet, it's hard to know if it's going to be a show worth going on. This is a high-profile guest. This high-profile guest now wants to come on my show.  

Gin Stephens: Well, that's good. Is it the one I know about?  

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. What's funny is, I remember when they declined two years ago or three years ago whenever that was, I was like, "Someday, they're going to want to come on my show." So, I'm very, very excited about that. 

Gin Stephens: That is very exciting. Exactly.  

Melanie Avalon: Yes. The third thing that you and I were just talking about was, I just emailed one of the guests that I've had on my show asking for an intro to somebody I would die to have on my show and it was really funny because I didn't realize they are not on speaking terms, so that was a really funny moment and also just goes to show how far we've come the people we're interacting with.  

Gin Stephens: I don't take a minute of it for granted as I know you don't either, right? 

Melanie Avalon: I know. It's just so wonderful. I don't know. I feel I'm going to feel like this forever. I feel I'm going to be the starry-eyed fangirl. Like, "What is happening in a decade?"  

Gin Stephens: Oh, I know. That's how I felt with Mark Mattson. I'm like, "It's Mark Mattson." I was like, "I don't know if you're familiar with my book, Fast. Feast. Repeat,." He's like, "Yes, I've seen it." [sound] [laughs] Then Tim Spector, the fact that he agreed. The first day that was super exciting for me is when I was on Instagram a couple years ago maybe and I look, maybe, I don't know. Just over a year ago, Tim Spector, I went to look at his page and it said, follow back, that was so exciting. Now, I'm pretty sure it was probably his team. I don't know if he was [laughs]. Now, I understand a little bit more. On Instagram, I am pretty much it's just me. I don't have a team doing anything with Instagram but I know he probably does. It was very exciting. Then now that he knows who I am, I looked back, I actually read his book, his first book, I read it in 2015. I've known who he was in 2015 and he was shaping my thinking. 

Melanie Avalon: Like Robb Wolf, 2012 was when I read his book. I guess, Robb's book, The Paleo Solution is what catapulted me into paleo. But what really catapulted me into low carb was Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, and I read that in 2010. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it was a while ago. I read that a long time ago. Yeah.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.  

Gin Stephens: The whole idea that it wasn't just calories in, calories out, that was what was astonishing. I don't agree with his whole carbs are bad manifesto but it helped me to understand the baby beginnings of, oh, insulin, oh, hormones. Oh, it's not just counting. 

Melanie Avalon: It's such a dense book.  

Gin Stephens: I haven't read that one in-- I don't know it's been a while. 

Melanie Avalon: Remember I pulled it out when I interviewed him and all my notes were in it still, and highlights. I was like, "Oh, my gosh, this is such a moment." One little thing I just want to throw out there for listeners, listeners, I'm thinking this is just the baby beginning. I just started doing calls about it, but I'm thinking of making an EMF-blocking product. Let me know if this is of interest and what you would want. 

Gin Stephens: That's very cool. I'm pretending EMF didn’t exist right now because I'm so bewildered about what to do. I don’t know [laughs] what to do. I'm like, "La, la, la." I didn't bring it up in Clean(ish), because I had no idea how I would even address this topic. So, I'm going to pretend it isn't real because [laughs] I don't want anyway. Oh, one more funny thing in a minute. Go ahead with your EMF.  

Melanie Avalon: The thing I really want to make, I want to make a night slip that I sleep in. Like Victoria's Secret, but EMF blocking. But I did poll on my audience to see what people would want, the top ones were headphones and when you put your phone on your nightstand at night, something that you'd put on your phone so that you can have your phone on your nightstand at night, but it would be protected. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's a good idea. I've started to have a hunch that perhaps some of my sleep issues that I claimed were wine/menopause might have to do with when we moved, in 2019 because our bedroom is on the corner of the house where the electric meter is. I sleep 10 feet from our electric meter.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. A smart meter? Yeah, no bueno. 

Gin Stephens: Well, it's where the master bedroom is. [laughs] I need a cage. I don't know. Because I sleep so much better at the beach. I'm like, "Hmm, anyway."  

Melanie Avalon: If you get one of the canopies?  

Gin Stephens: Will see. I don't know.  

Melanie Avalon: If you do, you need to get it properly installed because I think I told why. I put mine up and then I read that if it's not properly installed it'll just make things worse, so I took mine down. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, we're energy beings. If we have energy disrupted, it all makes sense. But I don't understand the ins and outs of it enough to really-- That's why, I didn't put it in the book. Because I just can't go down that road yet, I'm not ready.  

Melanie Avalon: R. Blank is who I had on the show. Well, I've had on Dr. Mercola and R. Blank. I'll put links to both of those in the show notes. But R is the one that I've been doing calls with and you would love him. He's so science minded. I think he taught engineering at USC, actually, I think. But his dad was really big in the science of EMF world, I think. But he's so science driven. In the call, we had the call, because the biggest request I got was for jewelry. I was like, "Can we make jewelry?" and he was like, "That doesn't do anything." [laughs] I was like, "No."  

Gin Stephens: I wanted it too. Yeah. He knows, he knows. Can I tell you a funny story?  

Melanie Avalon: Yes.  

Gin Stephens: Jason Fung, he and I have never actually spoken to each other or back and forth. I know you've had him on your show, but he's now with our same agent. Did you know that?  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, no. I didn't know that.  

Gin Stephens: They're trying to connect us to do something like an Instagram live, he and I together or something. Something together. His publicist or somebody was like, "I'm working on, you're getting a date, when we can do this? But can I send you, his book?" If someone said, "Could I send you his book?" Would you assume he had a new book coming out? Well, I did. I assumed he had a new book coming out. I'm like, "Sure, send it to me." I thought he might have a new book. They sent me The Obesity Code. I'm like, "Oh, that's so sweet." I read that in 2016 when I preordered it. That's what's so funny. I preordered it. They thought I might not have read it. But I was like, "Oh, anyway, that was just funny," because I've been talking about it since I read it to anyone who would listen and that was before I even had. [laughs] It's recommended reading in both of my books, anyway.  

Melanie Avalon: He has had a few books.  

Gin Stephens: He has, he has. But I just assumed he was working on a new one and they were going to send me that. Then it came in. I was like, "Oh, this is so exciting." I opened it, it was The Obesity Code. I'm like, "Oh, my Lord." [laughs] Now, I have an extra copy of it. That's one I have on Kindle, in the paperback, and now I have another one. Anyway.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I had him on for The Cancer Code 

Gin Stephens: Right.  

Melanie Avalon: That was a really, really good-- I actually really liked that because I would like to talk more about fasting with him, but it was really nice to not talk about fasting with him, an entire different topic. I hadn't done an episode on cancer. So, yeah.  

Gin Stephens: Well, anyway, I just thought that was funny. I had to share that. He and I might be doing an Instagram live at some point. Our schedules are hard to sync.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, you've done Instagram lives.  

Gin Stephens: I don't like to do them-- I don’t like to do I don't know why.  

Melanie Avalon: I don't either, actually.  

Gin Stephens: It's because we've talked about this before. I feel Instagram is some place I don't understand. [laughs] I've got to know how to do a lot. One time someone asked me to do an Instagram live on their page, and I thought they were just going to be interviewing me, but I had to do it all by myself. I'm like, "Wait a minute, why did I agree to this?" I'm talking straight into the camera, that's just not me, I don’t like that.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I wouldn't like that.  

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Melanie Avalon: Okay, shall we answer some listener questions for today?  

Gin Stephens: Yes.  

Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we have a question from Christie. The subject is: "Is diabetes a circadian disorder?" Christie says, "Hi, ladies. Y'all are awesome, amazing. I took a Dental Sleep Medicine course this week. The MD presented that diabetes could be a circadian disorder. Physiologically, based on hormones, the best time of day to eat is when the sun is shining. For instance, shift workers eating at night instead of eating during the day have a higher incidence of diabetes. Of course, this is not taking into account IF, I just thought it was interesting and a great conversation starter. Thanks for all, y'all do," Christie in Arkansas.  

Gin Stephens: I find that to be so interesting. We do know that shift workers do have a lot of circadian disturbances. That does often show an increased weight. She said they are increased incidence of diabetes, but there's so much more to it than just that they're eating. We aren't supposed to be awake all night either. Sleep disturbances, forget about the eating. Let's just take that completely out of the equation. People who have bad sleep, poor sleep, in general, tend to have also higher instances. I just don't know that we can untangle. Oh, it's because they're eating at night. That could be a factor but there're so many factors at play. It's just not natural. I don't think it's natural. I would just come right out and say that physiologically based on hormones, we aren't supposed to eat for 16 hours a day. I think that that's more to go along with it, because now we're eating from early in the morning, early, early to late, late, late at night, and that's not natural. It's really hard to untangle all the factors.  

But I would still love to see a study, we haven't got one yet. There's a lot of theory. We like to take theories and make blanket statements using them. We all do it. We like to find patterns, we like to make connections, but we still don't have a really good quality study that compared eating windows, all else being equal. The only thing being timing of the eating to see exactly what happens hormonally. We draw a lot of conclusions based on by the end of the day, our hormonal response is not as good, but that's in a paradigm of eating all day. So, it's hard to disconnect the paradigm of eating all day versus only eating during this period of time.  

Again, overnight is very different, because you're not in sync with your normal circadian rhythm. Yeah, that was a whole lot of me saying, that's an interesting question and it's really hard to know exactly what is the root cause? This is the one thing when really, it's likely to be a combination of factors. Can I just say, Wednesday, when I was talking to all my science heroes, I love talking to hard scientists, because they are so not likely to make blanket statements. Tim Spector at one point is like, "Yeah, a lot of people say that we don't really know it. We just say it." Sounds that is so cool [laughs] to hear a scientist say that, instead of like, "Yeah, we know everything there is to know about that and let me tell you all the answers." Instead, he's like, "That's a theory, we don't really know, we're still figuring it out." That made me happy to hear.  

Melanie Avalon: I could not agree more with everything that you said, so many things. The first thing that you were saying Gin about, there're so many factors involved in, it's not just the eating with the shift workers. Melatonin alone is probably going to be drastically affected in shift work. I have had on Dr. John Lieurance on my show. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. He talks all about the role of melatonin not really related to sleep so much as it being the master antioxidant in our body and all of these overwhelming effects it has. When you're not getting melatonin production appropriately that it can be a huge problem. It's really actually very mind blowing.  

Gin Stephens: It's not just a sleep hormone, basically.  

Melanie Avalon: That would be super messed up with or probably is messed up with shift workers. I actually have a really funny story, Gin. He promotes high dose melatonin and he actually has a melatonin suppository. Interestingly enough, I've interviewed Cynthia Thurlow yesterday and the topic of melatonin came up, and she was just going on and on about how incredible his melatonin suppositories are. I actually have some in my fridge and I haven't tried them. If listeners would like to try them, they're called Sandman. I'll put a link with a discount code in the show notes. Something that I did do recently. This is so funny.  

When I had COVID, I was taking melatonin that's actually recommended to take more for its benefits. I was taking melatonin and it's the same brand as a brand of digestive enzymes that I take. Same bottle like it looks the exact same, the pills look the exact same, I take a lot of digestive enzymes. I was eating and I thought I was using the digestive enzymes. Then the next day I looked at my melatonin bottle and it was half empty. So, I had taken over 100 grams of melatonin, [laughs] which I felt really good the next day. The high dose, the Sandman melatonin suppository that he has I'm pretty sure it's like 100 and something grams. But I just thought it was funny that I accidentally high dosed myself with melatonin. 

Gin Stephens: I wonder why it makes me feel hungover.  

Melanie Avalon: I was really thinking about like the placebo effect and I wonder how much people feeling groggy from melatonin is placebo.  

Gin Stephens: Well, I wasn't expecting to feel groggy from it. I didn't even know people said they felt groggy. All I ever hear is people talking about how amazing it is. The fact that I felt hungover was just not-- I didn't know that that happened because I haven't really studied melatonin much.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's interesting. Well, because the thing I was thinking about was, I wasn't tired at all and I took so much.  

Gin Stephens: Benadryl also makes me not sleep.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, right. Yeah, and Benadryl knocks me out.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I've got that weird brain chemistry.  

Melanie Avalon: In any case, the point of that is that, the melatonin aspect alone. After reading John Lieurance's book, it's called Melatonin: The Miracle Molecule. That alone would be a huge thing for shift workers. Then something I wanted to speak to as well. The actual studies, I'm really excited, I was going to post this blog post already. The reason I have not is because-- I was on the cover of Biohackers Magazine in December. I'll put a link to in the show notes. If you want to get that issue, it has an interview with me and lots of fun stuff. The next issue that's coming out, they asked if I wanted to write any content for it. I decided before posting this on my blog to put it in that magazine. You'll be able to get it in that magazine when it comes out, which I'm not sure when it might be out by the time this is out. If so, I'll put a link to it. It will eventually be on my blog, and the link will be melanieavalon.com/eatingtiming 

Actually, if you go to that link, there'll be a link to that Biohackers Magazine, but in any case, the blog post is called "early versus late night eating, contradictions, confusions and clarity." I, friends did so much research, months and months, and I went and actually read all the studies, and I nitpicked, and I tried to really find what was going on with all of this. One of the sentences I wrote, it's basically what Gin just said. We are not well controlled studies directly comparing an early eating window to a night eating window and what they do and Gin was talking about this oftentimes is, they'll have the majority in the evening or the majority in the morning. While you might think that can tell you something, it might actually tell you nothing. The thing that I wrote, I'm just going to read it because it sounds it's similar to what Gin said. I said, "Perhaps most importantly, can we realistically draw any conclusions from late-night eaters correlating to health issues when the majority of these late-night eaters were likely also eating throughout the day. Simply skewing the majority of the calorie intake to earlier versus later in the day may have drastically different implications than only eating earlier, only eating late."  

It's a huge hurdle in evaluating the studies because the former, those who eat throughout the day but with the majority at night may seem searingly relevant and their implications about meal timing. When in reality, it may bear little if any relevance. It may be that fasting throughout the day and then eating only in the evening reduces, if not eradicates all the issues of eating later when you're also eating earlier. Unfortunately, it's hard to know are there a few studies directly comparing early versus late night eating?  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and I also am 100% of the mindset that we are not all the same when it comes to that. I don't think that just like the whole glycemic index is a lie because it's based on an average. I think that even if they'd said here's the perfect time for everybody to eat because we averaged everybody together and this is the best time average, that would also be a lie. It'd be like saying, if we averaged all women's height together and said, "All right, the average height for a woman is--" I don't know. What? 5'5", I'm making that up. If you're a woman, you're 5'5", because we're not average. There are people that I know, like you, Melanie, who like to stay up really late because that's how your body feels the best. I could write a book all about how you're supposed to wake up at 5:30 in the morning because then you'll be super productive, and feel your best, and you should go to bed at 8:30. I could say I feel tired every night at 8:30. So that means you should, too, and I would be wrong. We're also very different with our circadian, what feels right and what our body likes to do. 

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Even her question, she's saying is diabetes a circadian disorder?  

Gin Stephens: It could be.  

Melanie Avalon: It's not necessarily the eating late version of that is the disorder. It might more be the individual person and what their hormones are, their natural rhythms, and if they're living in accordance with that or not. Interestingly, so one of the studies I discuss in my article, it was a 2021 nutrient study and it was called Beneficial Effects of Early Time-Restricted Feeding on Metabolic Diseases. Importance of Aligning Food Habits with a Circadian Clock. It was a bit frustrating to read because it dives deep. It was a really excellent overview of basically every single hormone when it's released and what that meant about when you should eat. Just reading it objectively, the takeaway I took and I think I will briefly go through the example of the hormones, but after I looked at what they said the data honestly the best window seemed to be between I concluded probably 4 PM to 7 PM. 

Gin Stephens: Your eating window? That is very similar to what I do.  

Melanie Avalon: But their agenda is so clearly for early eating that they conclude the opposite, not the opposite, they conclude that you should eat in the morning. The examples, I'll just go through briefly and again read this whole article if you are interested because it goes in deep. Here's what they said and why I interpret it that way and Gin, you can let me know if you agree with my interpretation. It's a really fun game. They say that the hormone when it peaks and then I said, just based on that one hormone when I would eat, and that's how I came up with the window that I thought was best. Okay, so, the first hormone is cortisol. That's a catabolic hormone. It breaks down muscle. A catabolic hormone often associated with the fasted state and it encourages the release of all fuel substrates into the bloodstream, fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids. That's what cortisol does in relation to eating or not eating. It peaks in the early morning. 

Gin Stephens: Right. I would want my body to be breaking things down in my body and not eating.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That was my takeaway. You don't want to be eating when you're already releasing fuel from yourself. I would not want to eat in the early morning with cortisol. Okay, so, then adiponectin, that's a hormone which promotes fat burning in carbs. It correlates to eating disinhibition. 

Gin Stephens: Not being hungry.  

Melanie Avalon: Right. But interestingly, not eating restraint or hunger. It's nebulous. It has mixed eating behaviors and this is really interesting. It can have different roles but it's actually secreted basically all day from 10 AM to 9 PM. It peaks at 11 AM between 8:00 and 4:00 though specifically, so 8 AM to 4 PM, that's when it's also produced with a hormone called FGF-2, FGF-1. And together they're produced and they promote fatty acid oxidation, glycolysis, and they actually inhibit fat accumulation. That one's confusing. But my takeaway was, it's always going but you're in a more fatty acid burning state from 8 AM to 4 PM, which doesn't speak to me that you should be eating earlier because that's an earlier window. Oh, here's the second part. The nuance of it is that it can actually be catabolic or anabolic and it has to do with whether or not insulin is involved.  

Gin Stephens: If you're low insulin, it's catabolic and if you're high insulin, it's anabolic.  

Melanie Avalon: Yes.  

Gin Stephens: Another reason to keep your insulin low during the fast.  

Melanie Avalon: Natural insulin secretion occurs from 2 PM to 6 PM and peaks from 4 PM to 5 PM. My takeaway from that was that 2 PM to 6 PM would be a good time to eat. Then also the hunger hormone ghrelin, which makes us hungry peaks at 6 PM. That said to me that perhaps a perfect time to eat is around 6 PM. 

Gin Stephens: Well, all that is hilarious because my body told me that I feel my very, very best if I open my window around 4:00 and I'm finishing my dinner sometime just around after 7:00. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. This is okay because that was literally the window that I came up with. Ghrelin, it is higher at noon than at 8 AM and it peaks later. Basically, around that afternoon to early evening was really the takeaway that I got. Then, so one other hormone is leptin, which makes us feel full and it actually begins to rise at 4:00 and peaks at 7:00. 

Gin Stephens: Love it. Thank you, body for already knowing that.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Okay, so to recap, the hormones in general just seem primed for us to eat late afternoon, maybe even a little bit later 4:00 up until 6:00 or 7:00. That's what's my take away. They concluded the complete opposite that early eating was better. I don't really know how they did.  

Gin Stephens: I have another question.  

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. 

Gin Stephens: I'm thinking back to the glycemic index example. When they were like, "Yep, this is the glycemic index of potatoes" because they average their body's response together and then came up with that. I wonder if we all have different pulses of when these hormones peak, also, when they're like, "All right, whatever, between 4:00 and 7:00, maybe that's the average, and yours peaks between 9:00 and 11:00." Somebody else, theirs might peak in the morning. I know people who have morning window is what feels best for them. They feel great with their morning window. I wonder if their hormones do different things than mine do.  

Melanie Avalon: I would guess so. I think the shift might be the same. The patterns of-- what is the terminology for it? In comparison to each other, what we just discussed with the different hormones like cortisol being earlier and then later, ghrelin and insulin like that might be similar, but the actual times would be different.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. The way that it goes one after the other in that time sequence. Yeah, that makes sense. But just with the whole normal curve that we have the normal distribution curve, there're people that are exactly average right in the middle. Maybe I am just a lucky average right in the middle. My average is the same as what that article discussed. But somebody else might be shifted to the left side of that and someone else is on the right side. You're on the right, you're in the later part of the day versus there're people that are on the left extreme feel better in the morning part of the day.  

Melanie Avalon: Can I read you this one part? This is where I was like-- I don't know what to do with this. Because they talk about when the different hormones are released and then they literally they draw the conclusion on the hormone based on what they want it to be, which is an early window. When they're talking about insulin, first they say, "It was based on the timing of, I think that the window they wanted to promote." They say, "The consumption of food should not occur during the insulin peak because it induces fat storage." First, they say, "We shouldn't eat when insulin is high because it'll induce fat storage." I could talk about how that doesn't make much sense to me because I think Insulin is the storage hormone. We probably should be eating when it's high like the reason we're eating.  

Gin Stephens: That's its purpose. The reason it's high is because that's when your body is dealing with food.  

Melanie Avalon: What are you going to do? You're not going to store food when you eat it? [laughs] But then later they talk about insulin levels at night, and they talk about how insulin levels are low, and they say that you shouldn't eat when insulin is low because it says, "If glucose consumption occurs during the evening, the body will not be able to process it properly because of the low insulin." [laughs] Basically, they literally draw the exact opposite conclusion about insulin.  

Gin Stephens: It all goes down to this, what feels good to you do that. If I tried to do the wrong thing, if I tried to eat at a time that doesn't feel right, it doesn't feel good.  

Melanie Avalon: Well, and then to that point, what's actually really interesting is at least one, maybe two of the studies, they talked about how they were looking at these late-night eating windows, and that the people would be full-- Okay, I think it was two different studies where they might have been overlapping. But in one of the cases, they wanted to make the calories equal. For the late-night eating window, they had to make it really processed. They had to make it high calorie in order to make sure that they ate enough. Then in another study, they literally said the people would not have eaten all of it if they hadn't been forced to eat all of it.  

Gin Stephens: They force fed people food that [laughs] they didn't want to eat.  

Melanie Avalon: They were looking at a shortened eating window at night. The irony of it is in that study at the end they talk about how the window probably only-- The benefits might require a calorie restriction. But in the study, they forced the people to eat more than they wanted. I was saying that, when people follow intermittent fasting pattern in their natural day to day life, they're probably naturally going to eat less, because in the studies they're forced to eat more. In any case, it's definitely very individual. 

Gin Stephens: It really is. It's why I will never tell you what is, "The best time to eat." I genuinely think you've got to find that for yourself. If I did exactly what you did, Melanie, I would not feel my best, and you would not feel your best doing exactly what I do. That doesn't mean what you're doing is wrong or what I'm doing is wrong. We've been doing this a long time. [laughs] If it was not sustainable, we wouldn't be able to sustain it.  

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.  

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Melanie Avalon: Hopefully, that was helpful. Do we have time for one more?  

Gin Stephens: I think we have time for this next one.  

Melanie Avalon: All righty.  

Gin Stephens: Okay, this is from Mary Ellen and the subject is: "Organic cheese." She says, "Hi, Gin and Melanie, I feel like a stalker because this is the third question I've submitted, but instead I'll coin Melanie's term 'fangirl' and go with that." Now, if you show up on my doorstep, Melanie that would be stalker. [laughs] Sending lots of questions, we'd love that. 

Melanie Avalon: Mary Ellen, you mean?  

Gin Stephens: What did I say?  

Melanie Avalon: You said me.  

Gin Stephens: Oh, I meant Mary Ellen, Mary Ellen. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: I'm going to show up at your door.  

Gin Stephens: Well, you could show up at my door anytime.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, likewise. Actually, just let me know. I'm a planner. I would actually not do well. 

Gin Stephens: Okay. Yeah, that's true. I like planning, too. Yeah, I met Mary Ellen. She said, "My last question was regarding celery powder and I thank you for your timely in-depth response. I am 50 years old and have been following IF for a few years. I had mentioned previously that I had a concerning colonoscopy, and am reducing my meat intake, and removing bacon and processed meats from my diet. I have also decided to follow Melanie's advice and Gin's advice in Clean(ish) to remove vegetable oil and canola oil from my diet when possible. In my quest to improve my colon health, I'm trialing no dairy. I have had lifelong issues with constipation. Hence, my first question about a year ago regarding magnesium supplements.  

I plan to be dairy free for a few months to see if my bowel habits improve. My question is, when I reintroduce dairy into my diet, are there some cheeses that are healthier than others? For example, is ricotta less inflammatory than cheddar or should I be okay as long as I buy organic cheeses only? Cheese is one of my favorite foods, and although I will reduce the amount, I eat overall. After my test, I plan to take a Clean(ish) approach. Life is too short to never eat pizza. Thank you again," Mary Ellen.  

Melanie Avalon: All right, Mary Ellen. Thank you so much for your question. This is a wonderful question, which has an answer. I feel similar to the question we just did and that it's very individual as far as the inflammatory potential of cheese, I think. This is very timely because I just finished reading a book somebody I'm going to have on the show. His name is Bill Schindler. He's been on a lot of National Geographic crazy stuff. I don't even know what the shows are that he was on, but really intense living like a caveman-type stuff. His book is called Eat Like a Human: Nourishing Foods and Ancient Ways of Cooking to Revolutionise Your Health. This book blew my mind. He talks about the historical things that we ate as hunter gatherers and our evolution, and he's all about eating like a human. He talks about eating nose to tail, and insect protein, and soil, and just so many things, but he has a whole section on dairy.  

The reason I bring this up is I share his opinion. But there are so many different opinions on dairy. I'll tell you what he says, but then other people are going to say something completely different. For dairy, I really think you'd have to find just what works for you. Gin, do you know the history of why raw milk is considered to be so problematic?  

Gin Stephens: I can't tell you the ins and out, but yeah, it's a little bit maddening because anyway.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. He talks about this in the book. The regulations on raw milk started in the 1920s. Prior to that, there were dairies next to distilleries to maximize profits, and they would actually feed the cows, this grain swill mashed stuff that was created from the alcohol production, it led to really disgusting milk from these cows. Then they would doctor up the milk with I'm not making this up, things like molasses, plaster of Paris, animal brains, and probably some other things. They would make it look all pretty, and then they would sell it as country fresh milk, and this led to the sickening and killing of thousands of people. There're 8,000 deaths and it was mostly children that were dying from it. Then regulation started in 1920s and milk had to be pasteurized and raw milk was banned. The thing is actual raw milk that's not coming from alcohol grain-fed cows with plaster of Paris, and brains in it. Between 1993 and 2012, almost 10 years, I don't take hospitalizations lightly but there were only 144 hospitalizations in a decade from raw milk.  

Gin Stephens: We've had more hospitalizations from spinach or iceberg lettuce. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I don't know those 144 individual cases. I don't know. I would guess that maybe a handful of them probably wasn't even entirely the raw milk. These aren't deaths. These are hospitalizations.  


Gin Stephens: It makes me wonder though how much of it is because people just don't have access to it. I've only had raw milk when I was a little girl, and grew up, and some friends had a dairy farm. I had it there. But I can't buy it in my state. We can't buy it. I don't know. That's just a factor. I am not anti-raw milk and I wish I could buy it. I'd be buying it all day long. But that's just a variable. 

Melanie Avalon: I wrote that down. I'm going to talk to him about that. That's a really good point.  

Gin Stephens: But I would 100% buy raw milk if I could.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's just a little bit, like, you're talking about being political. The CDC, they actually say that raw milk is one of the riskiest health things that there is. There're arrests, and there've been fines, and loss of family farms and so. But in any case, he's a huge, huge fan of raw milk because it has all of the enzymes. People have issues with milk, it has all of the enzymes in it naturally needed to help it digest properly in our system because when it's pasteurized, it kills all those enzymes. Pasteurization also kills the bacteria that can have a really beneficial effect potentially on our gut. He advocates out of like, "What are the best milks to buy?" This is milk, realize, but this would extend to dairy as well. He says, number one, high-quality raw from a small dairy farm, but don't buy if you don't know the source. It's really, really important to know the farm that it's coming from. Then two, low temperature, non-homogenized, organic from a small dairy. Three, pasteurized, non-homogenized, organic whole milk. Four, pasteurized, homogenized, organic, whole milk. Then for cheeses and stuff, he's all about, again, made from non-pasteurized, and organic, and made actually using-- it's called, is it rennet or rennet that's used to make it?  

Gin Stephens: I think it's rennet, but I could be wrong. In my head, I've always said rennet, which doesn't mean it's right.  

Melanie Avalon: I'm not sure. Rennet, rennet. Using that rather than a lot of cheeses now are very produced and they use things like citric acid. He's all four like the original form. Also, I don't know. I don't really see like cheese made from A2 milk but that's the type of milk that is supposed to be less inflammatory because it's the original type of milk that we were originally drinking. Oh, another reason that pasteurization can create a problem, so, casein is a type of protein in milk and cheese. When you pasteurize it, it actually de-natures that protein, and it can make that protein inflammatory and hard to digest. If you are getting non-pasteurized milk and cheese, it's the potential that it will be less inflammatory.  

Another thing that can be inflammatory for people might be the lactose. The sugar in the milk, when you get it in its raw form and non-pasteurized, again, it has those enzymes in it naturally to help break that down and/or if it's fermented dairy, then the bacteria can actually ferment that lactose and convert that sugar into lactic acid. So, people who have lactose intolerance can often have fermented cheese and dairy products. But all of that to say, that's his opinion. He would be for raw cheese's, fermented, non-pasteurized, but then you could talk to somebody else. I'm reading Rick Johnson's new book right now called Nature Wants Us to Be Fat. He's actually all for dairy because he thinks it's not involved in the obesity spiking problems that we have from protein foods rich in umami. That savory taste that we get. But he's all for actually low-fat dairy, which would be the complete opposite of what Bill Schindler is saying. You're going to get all different answers.  

As far as what is less inflammatory, I don't think there's a blanket statement. If I were to make approaching a blanket statement, a lot of cheeses are pretty processed. You go to the store, and if you actually look at the ingredients, and it has all this stuff in it, I would stay away from that. That's in the spirit of Gin's book, Clean(ish). I think going closer to the source and not having those additives is probably going to be better but you really have to find what works for you.  

Another thing to keep in mind is some people have problems with FODMAPs. You can get my app, Food Sense Guide, melanieavlon.com/foodsenseguide, It will tell you the FODMAPs potential of all the different cheeses. I put so many cheeses in it. So, that might be a helpful resource. For her question, "Should I be okay, as long as I buy organic cheese?" I would dive a little bit deeper. I would look at the cheese that you're eating, and the ingredients, and just see what works for you, and that was all over the place. But Gin? 

Gin Stephens: Cheese is just so tricky as far as organic. Anyway, I just have to tell you finding organic cheese is not easy. There are so many amazing cheeses out there that they don't claim to be organic. I bet a lot of them probably are. Some of the imported cheeses but they're not USDA certified because they're not American. [laughs] I don't know. Cheese is just tricky. If I said I'm only going to buy organic cheeses, I would be very limited to my cheese options. I prioritize organic dairy, like, organic cream. Yes, I can find that, and organic sour cream, yes, I can find that. But if I'm looking for Brie, I don't have a store on Augusta with organic Brie. I don't. If I want to eat Brie, I'm just buying the French Brie. I try to stick with the ones that I feel probably were made more traditionally and that's probably from another country. That's just a little something right there. Did you watch Michael Pollan's, Cooked on Netflix, Melanie? Did you ever watch them? 

Melanie Avalon: No.  

Gin Stephens: You should watch it. You would love it. There're only four episodes. You would love it. But there was one on one of them, I can never remember which one is which. But maybe it's air where they talk about fermented things, I can't remember. Whichever one talks about-- they talk about kombucha, I think, but they also talk about cheese. There was a story that really sticks out to me. It was a nun, and she was making cheese in a cave, and they're like, "That is not hygienic. You cannot make cave cheese in a barrel." It wasn't "hygienic." Then they made her make it in a kitchen in a stainless steel, whatever, but it ruined the cheese, and it actually was worse and spiked the levels of whatever it was. Because anyway, so, then she was ended up making it back in the cave. Just because we think that being germ free and bacteria free is what we want but that's the opposite of what we want really. We need those things. Kids, who are out playing in the dirt correlationally tend to be healthier than the kids that are in their hygienic hand sanitizer bubble.  

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.  

Gin Stephens: There is a book called Eat Dirt. Do you Remember that book? 

Melanie Avalon: Is that Josh Axe?  

Gin Stephens: Maybe.  

Melanie Avalon: You would like this Eat Like a Human book. I think it's really interesting. 

Gin Stephens: I like things that are interesting.  

Melanie Avalon: I learned so much. I do wonder about the future of insect protein. 

Gin Stephens: Not interested.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm excited to talk to him about it and I think he is a-- Is he a professor at college? He talks about how he tried to have insect protein at the college. They said, no, because I guess they said it wasn't according to the regulations. But then because it's technically grass what generally recognized as safe, he was like, "No, we can have this." So, we set up like an insect food cart at the college and it was very popular. Like a taco thing or something. I'm really excited to talk.  

Gin Stephens: Well, look, I don't even like scallops. I'm definitely not going to eat insects. Sorry. Unless they're hidden in my food. Because so many insects are in there. Anyway, you don't even know it.  

Melanie Avalon: Here's a question for you. I've been doing a lot of research on pet food because I think I want to do a pet food brand. I'm doing all the things, Gin. 

Gin Stephens: I love it. Live your best life. [laughs] You're so young, you have so much time.  

Melanie Avalon: I want to make all the things. One of the trends because I've been doing a lot of market research, and one of the projected trends actually is alternative ingredients in pet food, and including insect protein. Would you buy that for your cat if it had insect protein or would your initial reaction that you just had about insect protein? Would that extend to your cat as well?  

Gin Stephens: Well, I have seen my cats eat bugs. That's probably what they're naturally eating. I don't mind if chickens eat bugs because they're supposed to eat bugs. I'm not against bug eating. I just don't want to eat them myself. The only time, the only experience I have in my mind of watching people eat bugs is always if they're stranded in a really bad situation and they're like, "I guess, I'll eat these cockroaches because that's all there is," There's no model that I have in my mind of like, "Here's the delicious plate of bugs." That's our society, our culture, I don't know of any positive bug experiences I have in my mind. 

Melanie Avalon: I wonder if there ever will be a rebranding because he talks about the health benefits of cricket protein, and he talks about all different ones, but it's very impressive. It's very high protein, it's very high nutrients, it's very sustainable.  

Gin Stephens: Is there a point where I just get to say, I'm old now, I'm not doing that? [laughs] Y'all do that young people. I'm just going to do this. [laughs] That's what I feel about that. I don't think I'd mind with pet foods because it's different. My cat, I've seen Ellie eat an entire lizard except for the head, literally like ate the whole thing, there's the head still there but I'm not going to eat a lizard. But I'm sure people do but I'm not going to. No, thank you. 

Melanie Avalon: I read his book, I read all about the insect stuff and then when I was doing the research, there was this whole section on how insect protein is projected to be a trend in the pet food industry.  

Gin Stephens: I have heard that. By the way, I know lizards are not insects. That was two separate examples. People are like, "Does Gin think of lizard is an insect?" No. [laughs] Although, let me tell you this funny thing. Will is here with his cat, Pepper, who's nine months old. Pepper had something last night in the kitchen and I'm like, "Oh, my God. Is that a snake? What is that that he's got?" It was a stick. This cat all day long has been bringing in sticks. We have a whole pile of sticks now next to the cat door. The cat is out there catching sticks and I'm like, "Ah, poor little baby." [laughs] Ellie brings in lizards. Listeners know this. Lucy will play with a roach if one is in the house or so then there's Pepper, he's got his pile of sticks. Okie-dokie. He's actually a very smart cat but it's just funny.  

Melanie Avalon: Is he a kitten still?  

Gin Stephens: He's nine months old.  

Melanie Avalon: I'm bad with evaluating, how big a cat is at a certain age.  

Gin Stephens: He's pretty big. Will's had him since he was tiny. Will adopted him really early but he didn't know how to be with other cats. So, we're having that problem because now he's living here with our cats, and he doesn't know how to be a cat friend. My tip for anybody is now adopt two from the same litter if you can. So, that'll teach them how to be and they'll love each other because they literally came out together. But anyway, he's got his pile of sticks right there by the cat door and it is so funny.  

Melanie Avalon: That's so funny.  

Gin Stephens: It is. Yeah, good luck with the pet food. That sounds fun.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, thank you. There're so many things.  

Gin Stephens: I'm going to sell cat sticks. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: Would you make a product ever do you think? If you could what would you?  

Gin Stephens: I actually have. Have I ever talked about my teacher pocket chart?  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes. Yeah.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I had a company that made it and I bought it. They did all the work. I just like intellectual property. I'm like, "Here, I designed this. Now, you make it and sell it and send me my checks." That was what that was. Yeah. I had a teacher pocket. I didn't make very much. The biggest check I ever got was 400 bucks and I got the checks quarterly. [laughs] I didn't make a lot of money from it but it was really exciting. I don't know. I'm not going to say I would never have a product. Remember I did that merch for a while? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Yeah.  

Gin Stephens: It was a lot of work. If something was wrong, I had to manage that. I didn't like that. I don't like doing customer service.  

Melanie Avalon: That's why I've realized I think the thing that works for me is finding people already doing and I partner with them and then I'm like, "Yeah, I come up with the idea, and the branding, and I oversee the creation," but then I'm not actually producing, and shipping, and customer service. But customer service, I am on all the emails and for my supplement, I do answer emails.  

Gin Stephens: I would do merch again because I thought that was fun with Delay, Don't Deny or whatever some fasting stuff. I enjoyed designing those. The graphic design of it and some of the images that I came up with I really liked, but the companies I was using at the time, the print on demand with coffee mugs, or t-shirts, or whatever. You had to be very involved. They did part of it but if there was a problem, you had to like-- If someone's coffee cup arrived broken, I don't have time to be dealing with that. I've yet to find a company that really did that.  

Melanie Avalon: That's nice with my supplement, my AvalonX Serrapeptase. We haven't had barely any issues, but the issues that we have had, I don't have to do any of that.  

Gin Stephens: Again, though, I'm at this the phase of my life where I'm more winding down. I remember, there's something I saw one time, it was an article about women, and when we should retire, and start to ease up a little bit. I don't know that's what the science was based on but it's stuck in my mind. I'm like, "Oh, okay, I'm close to that age now." I want to walk on the beach, and I want to do the podcasts, and I don't know that I'm going to do lots more new things, if that makes sense.  

Melanie Avalon: I feel I'm probably going to be like this until [giggles] 90.  

Gin Stephens: Well, it's interesting to see because I remember there was a period of time when I was teaching full time, teaching the gifted endorsement classes two nights a week after school that I stayed after school to teach, and teaching for two online universities, and starting to manage my Facebook support groups, all at the same time.  

Melanie Avalon: The question is, with the teaching did it make you feel alive?  

Gin Stephens: It all did. Yeah.  

Melanie Avalon: Did you wanted to just keep doing it forever?  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I loved doing it. Then one day, I was like, "I'm tired of doing this now."  

Melanie Avalon: Okay.  

Gin Stephens: I was basically-- I look back, I'm like, "How did I do all that?" But I did. The boys were still at home. But really it did energize me. Now, I'm in a phase where I wonder if menopause has something to do with that, the hormones, but now I'm more in a reflective phase where it's easier for me to pick and choose to let things go if that makes sense. Releasing things, I don't need to be amazing on Instagram, and I don't really want to, and that's okay, or I don't need to have multiple new business strains, whatever. Simplifying. I feel there might come a point and we'll have this conversation when you're 90. We can talk about because we'll both be alive because of intermittent fasting. We'll be doing great. One day, I bet you will want to slow down but you've got decades before. 

Melanie Avalon: I was listening to an interview on Rich Roll. They were talking about somebody else. I don't remember who it was, but she was this woman who just keeps on keep going-- just is this vibe that I'm trying to articulate. They're saying how she's 80 and she has her 10-year plan right now for her next endeavors. I feel like that's me.  

Gin Stephens: Yep. Well, I've just started a new business in the past year. My community, I started that business less than a year ago, and that was my pivot, and that's business. Okay, so you know what I'm lying? Because Will and I are talking of our dream of running a coffee shop together with coffee and I would like to be part of that, and it's just different things. All right. So, I'll never stop. My ideas are different than just-- I don't really want to sell products. I would like to have a little coffee shop with Will, where he can hang his art and have open mic night, and we're making a community coffee shop.  

Melanie Avalon: I like creating things. It's not really selling products is creating things that change people's lives.  

Gin Stephens: I like community. I want a little coffee shop where people come and it's the same people and they come together. I'm a community creator. One day, I bet we'll do something like that, and me and Will. Yeah, I'll probably do more things and more businesses, but I don't know, it's an interesting question. I know I've got a lot more time to do things. Also, I do have three podcasts, and a full-time community that I'm running, and [laughs] just released a book. But what I'm saying is it's funny that I consider this is slowing down is my point. I have really slowed down lately. [laughs] That's what's really funny.  

Melanie Avalon: That is funny. Last thing. I had a major epiphany this week and this goes to now, I'm like, "Oh, maybe this should be my long-term goal in the entrepreneur world." There is not a Whole Foods version of Target. There's not a Sustainable Green Target or Walmart. Isn't that crazy? You think there would be like where the grocery section is Whole Foods and then the clothing is all sustainable brands and there's not.  

Gin Stephens: That would be amazing. Yeah, that would be great. Let's see, I have zero desire to be in charge of that.  

Melanie Avalon: This idea came to me, I was talking with my business partner, Scott. Hi, Scott. He listens to all of our shows. I was like, "Long-term goal now." [giggles] Have the sustainable green target. The only thing is I don't know, the brick and mortar stores-- I don't know the longevity of those with everything being like Amazon and stuff.  

Gin Stephens: See, that makes me really sad because I like to be able to touch stuff. I like to go to the store.  

Melanie Avalon: Actually, how about we just replace all the Targets and Walmarts with this new store?  

Gin Stephens: That would be amazing. Oh, when I do, Will and I've been talking about this, I don't know if we'll ever do this. But he's not sure what he wants to do, but he likes to be in food service. He likes that. He enjoys getting to know people and the arts. This is a nice way to combine them one day, like a little cafe kind of a thing also with the music and the art going on. But I was like, "Well, it needs to be organic" because we don't have anything like that. Everything organic coffee, organic pastries. 

Melanie Avalon: Are you going to do it?  

Gin Stephens: We might do it one day. We're really talking about it. Oh, right now, we're not ready to do it right now. He's not ready. He is 22. He needs to learn more. I've recommended that he work at a bunch of different restaurants. Yesterday, we went to a coffee shop that's local that we like and he's like, "These tables, I don't like them." He being able to really look critically like, "If I had this place, I would--" Ambience would be a little different for example.  

Melanie Avalon: Has he worked in a coffee shop?  

Gin Stephens: He's not ever worked in a coffee shop, but he's worked in several different types of restaurants. He's been to coffee shops, you know what feels good. But I think working in a coffee shop would be another-- I think we're a few years away but he's got to get older, experienced, on-the-job training. He's basically going to the college of life. There's no better way to really learn about the restaurant world than to be immersed in the restaurant world.  

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.  

Gin Stephens: Maybe the next step down the line after he has more experience. We have a local school like a technical school they might call it. I'm not really sure. It's got college in the name of it, but they have a one-year program that teaches you the business and the culinary. It's a culinary school.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay, yeah.  

Gin Stephens: Anyway, what were you going to say?  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I was just going to say the difference between the service industry, how you really just need that experience. It's not at all related really to education at a collegiate system. I graduated summa cum laude from USC, and I couldn't get a restaurant job because I didn't have experience.  

Gin Stephens: Right. It's a different experience. I always worked in restaurants as a server. 

Melanie Avalon: I did end up working in restaurants.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. It wasn't easy to get your foot in the door.  

Melanie Avalon: I was like, "I could do this job." [laughs]  

Gin Stephens: But Will likes behind the house thing, back at the house I guess is the word. He likes back at the house and he doesn't like waiting on the tables.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay, yeah. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode251. The show notes will have a full transcript and links to everything that we talked about, and we talked about a lot of stuff. So, definitely check that out and then you can follow us on Instagram like we've been talking about. That is @ifpodcast and Gin is @ginstephens, and I am @melanieavalon. All right, great show. Anything from you, Gin before we go?  

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

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, 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 everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice. We're not doctors. If you enjoyed 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. 


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