Episode 253: Vegetarians, Bone Broth, Chocolate, Protein, Fructose, Refined Sugar, Fasting While Cooking, Hypoglycemia, Scale Weight, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Feb 20

Welcome to Episode 253 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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Listener Q&A: Angelika - Newbie

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Listener Q&A: Joseph - Intermittent Fasting and Hypoglycemia

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Listener Q&A: Nancy - IF

Listener Q&A: Janet - Insulin

Effects of intermittent fasting on health markers in those with type 2 diabetes: A pilot study

Intermittent fasting: is there a role in the treatment of diabetes? A review of the literature and guide for primary care physicians

Effect of Various Types of Intermittent Fasting (IF) on Weight Loss and Improvement of Diabetic Parameters in Human


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 253 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 I-F-P-O-D-C-A-S-T and I'll put all this information in the show notes.

And one more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disrupters, which mess with our hormones, obesogens which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. When you're putting on your conventional skincare makeup, you're likely putting toxic compounds directly into your body. These compounds can make you feel bad, can make it really hard to lose weight, can affect your hormones, your mood, your health. And ladies, if you're thinking of having kids, when you have a child, these compounds actually go directly through the placenta into the newborn. That means your skincare makeup that you're putting on today actually affects the health of future generations. 

Did you know that conventional lipstick for example often 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 and their products is extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can actually feel good about what you put on. And on top of that, their products actually work. That's because they're not “all natural.” They actually combine the best of both worlds, both synthetic and natural ingredients to create products that actually support the health of your skin and make your skin look amazing. They have skincare lines for all your skin types, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, anti-aging and brightening peels, and vitamin C serums, and incredible makeup. If you see my makeup on Instagram, that's all Beautycounter. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. 

And if you're thinking of making safe skincare a part of your future like we have, we definitely suggest becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership, totally completely worth it. Also definitely join my clean beauty email list at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty, I give away a lot of free things on that list and join me on my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. I do a weekly giveaway every single week for Beautycounter, people share their experience and product reviews, and so much more. And again, the link to shop with us is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. All right now enjoy the show.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome, this is Episode number 253 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens. 

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. 

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin? 

Gin Stephens: I'm doing great. So much to do, so much all the time, but I'm loving it. It's good to be busy, right? 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes, that is my favoritest thing. What's the thing that you're most excited that you're working on? 

Gin Stephens: Oh, just a lot of little things. I love that the community is going so well, The Delay, Don't Deny Community. I'm really enjoying connecting with people in there. That's my favorite talking to people. I'm the kid who when I was in, I guess, it was sixth grade, my desk was put over to the side of the room, so I couldn't talk to people [laughs] because I talk to too many people. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you're that kid. 

Gin Stephens: I was that kid. Yes. Arnold from what was that? Diff'rent Strokes? Is that the name of that show, Arnold from Diff'rent Strokes? There's that meme where he's there and he's like, "Sorry, Teacher. Moving my seat won't help, i talk to everybody." Have you ever seen that meme? It might have just gone through all the elementary schools, because it was a very teachery kind of a meme. But have you ever seen it? 

Melanie Avalon: I have not. 

Gin Stephens: Okay. Well, I've seen it a million times. Well, also, people send it to me or they used to. [laughs] But that was me, no matter where they put me, I'll talk to people. So, I had to be by the wall. I probably talked to the wall, too. I'm not sure. But I just remembered that from sixth grade and I love to talk to people, and so the community is where I get to connect and I love it. 

Melanie Avalon: That was not me. 

Gin Stephens: Really? You were the good little girl who followed the rules? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. 

Gin Stephens: I wasn't sure what the rules were at any time. So, I was just probably, randomly just doing things that felt right, whatever it was.

Melanie Avalon: I was the one when nobody's supposed to be talking, and somebody else talks, and I get stressed for them. Yeah, when they be quiet, and then somebody whispering, and I'm like, "Oh." 

Gin Stephens: I was the one whispering. [laughs] I wasn't even whispering. I was just right out. I don't know, I was a mess. I was probably ADHD just because knowing what I know now about my brain chemistry and how we've talked about this before, Benadryl hypes me up, caffeine makes me calm, and that's a hallmark of ADHD, stimulants calm you down. So, I'm sure I was ADHD. Back then, this was the 70s to 80s, and I'm sure there were places that were treating it, but I don't remember anyone ever talking about it about me, but I'm certain that it was true, especially watching my own children. 

Melanie Avalon: I was not ADHD.

Gin Stephens: I was just all over the place. I'm sure. I wish I could go back in time and see myself from the perspective of the teacher. Here's something that's telling. I have no memory throughout my entire elementary school years of seeing a teacher in the front of the classroom teaching us. I'm sure teachers did that, I have no memory of it. Apparently, that was not what I was focused on whatever the teacher was doing. I don't remember the teacher teaching. I'm sure she was. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. That's like the majority of my memories. 

Gin Stephens: You remember the teacher teaching? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: I remember my third-grade teacher playing the guitar and singing that caught my attention. [laughs] That's all. Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I was laser focused. 

Gin Stephens: Not me, uh-huh. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, I have a little story, an announcement and an announcement- 

Gin Stephens: Well, okay. 

Melanie Avalon: -and they all relate sort of. So, super exciting. I got to meet my business partner this week for creating the Avalon X serrapeptase supplement. I felt such a business person on a business meeting. 

Gin Stephens: Well, that is true. It does feel like that. 

Melanie Avalon: Because he had to fly in from Pennsylvania. Shoutout to Scott, because he listens to the show. Because the majority of the stuff that I'm doing, business meetings and calls every single day, but they're related, I don't know, it's just different. They're podcast stuff. This is a different world.

Gin Stephens: This is business. Right here, we're having business [laughs] but it's different. You are right. 

Melanie Avalon: It is different. Yeah. So, that was super exciting to just meet in person and brainstorm the future of the Avalon X line. I am so excited, that relates to my unannouncement and my announcement. My unannouncement is last episode, I think. I'm so sad. I talked all about an NMN and we are not making NMN, not right now. The FDA is very interesting, and its rules and regulations, and certain supplements are FDA approved, and some are not, which doesn't mean they're unapproved, but it means they're in a gray zone. Even though NMN is a fantastic supplement and NR, which is another version is FDA approved, it would not be a wise business decision to make a large NMN order right now, just in case something happened, and it didn't get approved with the FDA, then you just have a lot of products that you-- But good news, bad news. That's the bad news. Good news, we've decided what we're going to make instead, and actually our audience probably be more excited, because I know a ton of them love the supplement and already take it. You know what it is Gin, right? 

Gin Stephens: Well, no, I'm not sure now. I have two ideas of what it might be, but I don't know. 

Melanie Avalon: But I told you. 

Gin Stephens: Well, you told me several things. So, I have two in my head that it might be-- 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I see. Oh, true. Yes. Okay. It's the one that you like a lot. 

Gin Stephens: The one that I take all the time. 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. 

Gin Stephens: Okay, that's what I thought. 

Melanie Avalon: We are going to make a magnesium. I am so excited. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, you did tell me that. You did. I think you texted it to me. So, I remember we had a conversation about it.

Melanie Avalon: Very, very excited, because as you guys know, both Gin and I have been big proponents of magnesium for a long time. In my dream world, we get all of our nutrients from food, that would just be the way it happened. But because of our modern soil, our farming practices, our food today is just not as nutrient rich, and then on top of that, we have a lot of gut issues, issues absorbing nutrients. So, magnesium is one of the nutrients that it's actually very, very hard unless you supplement to get enough of it in our diet. It's one of the ones I've been saying for years at this point. That is one of the ones I think most people can benefit supplementing from. There are a lot of forms of magnesium and people often will just get one form or not get the form that's correct for them because it actually involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body. So, so many things use it. But like I said there're different forms. 

The magnesium that we're making is going to have multiple forms. I'm not going to say how many, I think I know how many, but those details have not been confirmed yet, so I can't say. But it has a lot. And then, it's going to be made without problematic fillers, it will be in a glass bottle, it's probably going to have methylated cofactors to help with absorption. It's going to be the best magnesium on the market and I can honestly say that.

Gin Stephens: Well, very cool. 

Melanie Avalon: So, I'm very, very excited. If listeners would like to learn more and get the updates, you can get on my email list. That is at melanieavalon.com/avalonx. By the way, when you sign up for that email list, look for the welcome email, because it might be going to your promotions folder, or your junk, or your spam. Then, once you get the welcome email, you can add that address to your favorites, or VIP, or whatever, so then, you don't miss the emails. Then, of course, if you do want to get the serrapeptase that we currently have, that is at avalonx.us. So, I'm very, very excited. 

Gin Stephens: That is very exciting. Can I make a community service announcement just about emails in general? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. 

Gin Stephens: I have found no way to fix this for me, but for whatever reason, a lot of my important emails go to the spam folder. Whatever, even emails from myself or people that are on my favorites list, and so just FYI. Check your spam folders, everybody. 

Melanie Avalon: How many email accounts do you have? 

Gin Stephens: Well, I have a bunch. 

Melanie Avalon: I have 14.

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't have 14. [laughs] Maybe five, but they all behave differently. Every week in my calendar, I have things that pop up to remind me to do them. Every Monday, I have certain tasks. I always do on Mondays. So, they come up every week, but twice a week, my daily task reminder to-do is check junk email. I always find something important. 

Melanie Avalon: You find something like, "Oh," right? 

Gin Stephens: Everyone check it. You're going to be shocked. There was somebody, who was-- Just the other day, I don't know, she emailed me, or messaged me, or she was in my community, I can't remember how she communicated. But in one of those places, I think it was a private message in my community. She said, "Hey, I'm not getting emails for Intermittent Fasting Stories every week like I used to. Are you no longer sending them out? I used to like to get them because it would remind me it was time to listen to a new episode." I said, "Check your spam folder." There they all were. She had been getting them, then she wasn't. But again, for me, even it is people that I have marked as favorites, we'll go there sometimes. Even emails from myself, that's the weirdest. I'm spamming myself. 

Melanie Avalon: That is weird.

Gin Stephens: It is, it's so weird. 

Melanie Avalon: I always get really excited because I do the same thing. I always get a little bit excited checking the junk, especially if it's an email account where I know, because some of the email accounts have likely more important things coming than others. I check the junk and I'm like, "Ooh, what am I going to find today?" [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: But yeah, twice a week, I have to check them. [laughs] Again, people I have marked as favorite in my contact still go to spam. 

Melanie Avalon: Crazy. 

Gin Stephens: I would like nothing to go to spam. I just don't want anything to go to spam. 

Melanie Avalon: Me, too. You know why? Because then, well, except for one account that gets a lot of spam, I do appreciate. A lot of it is stuff where if it did come in, I could block them one and done or I could unsubscribe. It'd be a way to clear out stuff.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. But instead, I have to look at them, and take the time, and yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: Yep. 

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into everything for today? 

Gin Stephens: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so, to start things off we have some questions from Angelica and I was thinking we could just take these one by one. 

Gin Stephens: That sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Perfect. Oh, my bad from newbie, Angelica. She identified herself as a newbie. Angelica says, "Hi, both. Writing this as I'm listening to you both giggle." We do do that a lot. "Thanks for your podcast." 

Gin Stephens: We're having a good time. 

Melanie Avalon: We are. She says, "Hope you're both keeping safe. COVID-19 made me lazy and I've gained some weight which I want to shed. Fasting comes easy to me, so I thought of changing my lifestyle and doing IF. I'm currently in my first week and doing 19:5 daily. I have a few questions and appreciate you answering any of them." Well, Angelica, we are going to answer all of them. She says, "I would like to get a better understanding of what I should break my fast with, I'm vegetarian. Lots of confusing info on the net, but I'd like to clarify the whole carbs, fat, protein connection when breaking the fast and what is best to break it with? What are your meal suggestions?" 

Gin Stephens: All right, that is a great question. My main suggestion is not a meal suggestion, but it is to stop googling it. [laughs] Sorry, I had to say it like that, because she's talking about confusing info on the net. Yes, you can google this question, or look on the net, or look everywhere and find everything but opposite of everything else, literally. Someone will say, "The best thing to break your fast with is a smoothie." Someone else will say, "Never break your fast with a smoothie or you must have this combination of fat and protein, or never include carbs when you--." There's so much conflicting information out there that I would stop looking at that. I'm going to tell you, there's only one source that you can trust in the entire world about what you should break your fast with. Do you know what I'm going to say, Melanie? 

Melanie Avalon: It's you. 

Gin Stephens: Yep, it's your body. Your body will tell you. That's it. You'll know what works for you and what doesn't. For example, for me, I've just said, some people say, "Open your window with a smoothie." That would make me feel terrible if I had a smoothie to open my window. But for some people, they feel energized and amazing. It all depends on how your body responds to what you put into it and it's not going to be the same for each of us. So, you are your expert, you're your study of one. The only reason I know a smoothie doesn't work for me to open my window is because I've tried it. Someone, who thinks it works great for them, they've tried it, they feel great and energized. For me, it makes me have a crash. I can close my window with a smoothie and I'm fine, and I don't have a crash after having a more balanced meal in the middle. For me, this is Gin Stephens, what she needs. I need to have really a combination. 

Like your grandmother said, "Well-balanced meal," I feel better when I have a "traditional well-balanced meal, or snack, or whatever." I need a mixture of carbs, and fat, and protein. If I have carbs by themselves, I don't feel good. If I have fat by itself, I don't feel good. I guess, I could probably eat protein by itself and I'd feel okay. It wouldn't make me satisfied, because I need carbs, and fat, and protein to be satisfied. There is no universal best. So, ignore anybody who tells you what it's supposed to be seriously. Now, real food is always going to be better. I will say that. Real food for the win, no matter what it is, your body knows what to do with real food. You're more likely to have a good experience if you're prioritizing real food. 

Melanie Avalon: I could not agree more. Yeah, in general, the actual food and what you're eating, like Gin just said do what works for you. For a lot of us with sensitive guts like me, that means eating the way that I best digest it. I can just tell and I just know. So, I wouldn't focus on the macronutrients or anything like that. There are some functional foods that people purposely open their fast with. You're vegetarian, so, bone broth wouldn't be a thing for you. But a lot of people find that having bone broth, for example, when they break their fast is really healing for their gut. That's an example of something a person might want to try. Although actually, this is perfect. Today's episode is not sponsored by Beauty & the Broth, but we do have a code for them, which is at melanieavalon.com/broth with the coupon code MELANIEAVALON. But Melissa, who runs that company, she just released a vegetarian version. So, that is perfect for you, Angelica. It's based on mushrooms. Anybody interested in that, definitely check that out. 

But yeah, basically everything that Gin said, and as far as like meal suggestions, I don't know if you're saying in the context of IF or in the context of just meals, the answer to that is twofold. If it's in the context of IF, it's what we just said that it doesn't really matter, because it's you do you. If it's in the context of meals, that's just I don't really even have suggestions. There are many.

Gin Stephens: I bet she's coming across the people out there who are just so insistent that if you must open your window with a mixture of protein, and fat, and zero carbs. There are people who say things like that, like it's the law. I'd say ignore all of that. Ignore it. That doesn't mean that maybe you won't feel better eating that way but you're doing it, because you feel better and that's what you've tried not because this person made a video and said here's what to do. 

Melanie Avalon: Gin, you know what I always open my window with? 

Gin Stephens: I can't remember. You might've told me, but tell me again. 

Melanie Avalon: Wine. 

Gin Stephens: You open with wine? Your little tiny micro dose? 

Melanie Avalon: I drink normal glasses now.

Gin Stephens: Okay. 

Melanie Avalon: But not a lot. I probably drink less than a glass a night. But yeah, I have a very ritualistic one meal a day eating, wind down, work pattern, every night, sauna. It's a whole thing. Lana Del Rey, it's a whole thing. In any case, Angelica's next question. She says, "I still have a lot of obsessive sugar cravings during my window. Any suggestions on how to suppress them." She means her eating window because she says, "I ate a whole bar of chocolate after my fast yesterday." 

Gin Stephens: Here's the thing about sugar. You just have to decide. Actually, I want to back up a little bit. It is not "bad or wrong" to have cravings for sweet things. That is very natural. Especially, you just started, you're in your first week. In your first week, your body is not well fueled during the fast. You open your window and your body is searching for quick fuel, sugar is going to give you that. So that might be a function of your brain saying, "I need some quick fuel because you're not well fueled during the fast, because you're not fat adapted." So, keep that in mind. You may find that gets better as you become fat adapted. However, even once you're fat adapted, it is normal part of the human condition to crave sweetness, and to like it and that is not bad, or wrong, or a sign that you're weak. I'm not in the mindset of you must suppress cravings for sweetness because they're natural. But what you fill them with can make a difference. It just depends on you and how you react. For example, for me I bought two bars of really high-quality chocolate about, I don't know over a month ago. You know that Bronner's, Melanie? Bronner's soap?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. 

Gin Stephens: They now make chocolate. Maybe, they've always made chocolate, I don't know. They make chocolate. 

Melanie Avalon: Wait, that's funny. Because I feel like that's like me. Like my product expansion, it's going to just be such a random thing. 

Gin Stephens: That'll be chocolate, but the ingredients are super clean, it's a really high-quality chocolate, and I love that company. They've been around forever. I bought two regular sized bars, one was filled with a hazelnut butter or something and one was filled with an almond butter. I just eat a little tiny piece of it, and that is all I need, and it's been over a month, and I forgot it was there for a while. [laughs] Then I'm like, "Oh, I saw this chocolate." I was hiding it, because certain members of my family who live here would be able to eat the whole thing, and it'd be all gone, and I was like, "I want it to be there when I would like to have some." So, I put it behind the macaroni or something. I remembered it was back there and I'm just eating a little bit at a time. If I was the kind of person and no judgment here, because I'm like this with potato chips, that's why I can't buy potato chips. But if I were the kind of person who knew that I would eat the entire bar or two bars, maybe I shouldn't have that there. But I'm the kind of person that can forget I have it, and then just eat a little bit at the time and it's okay. 

Now, so, you just have to know yourself. Again, like I said, it might get better as your body adjusts. But instead of whatever it is, it's your trigger, maybe, you can have dates. I always have organic dates in the fridge. Couple of those satisfies my sweet craving. I know Melanie loves pineapple. Pineapple can satisfy your sweet craving. Right now, it's blueberries. Whatever it might be, that satisfies your sweet craving. In berry season, I like to buy organic blackberries, and then put some heavy cream over them. That satisfies my sweet craving. But I'm not going to just eat so many that it makes me feel terrible. I can stop, my brain is happy. So, it's all about what works for you. But as I've mentioned, there are things I can't include like potato chips, because my brain doesn't have an off switch with that. You just need to know what are things that your brain doesn't have an off switch around that you really don't want to be consuming a lot of. It might be chocolate for you and sugar, refined sugary stuff, or it might be something salty like me with potato chips, you just have to figure out what it is. But that doesn't mean I shouldn’t ever eat salty things. It just that this is one thing that I have to probably not have a lot of. I hope that's helpful.

Melanie Avalon: It is. This is ironic. This is going to seem like I again undid something that I just said. It actually is not. I was saying earlier there's not a certain order to eating things and you have to find what works for you. That said, what works for you, some people do find that ordering of certain things does work for them. One of those things is that opening your meal with protein for example. A lot of people find that really, really helps with satiety. There's the whole protein leverage hypothesis theory that basically when we're eating, we're eating to fulfill our protein requirements. We're just going to be hungry until we get enough protein. Especially, if you're a vegetarian, you might be finding it a little bit more difficult to get protein, although I know vegetarian can include milk and dairy, right? Or dairy and eggs. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it can. Vegan is not having any of those products, but vegetarian, you can. Yep. 

Melanie Avalon: It's so interesting to see how far things have come in such a short amount of time because I remember when I was writing What When Wine, because oh, that would be a good resource for you, Angelica. It has 50 recipes and they note if they're vegetarian, vegan, or all the specifics like lacto, lacto-vegetarian, pescatarian, all these different things. But I remember when I was researching to write that, people knew all the differences, but it wasn't second knowledge. Now, I feel it's pretty common knowledge, the difference between vegetarian and vegan. This wasn't that long ago. This was 2017. I just remember looking up all the differences and it just wasn't as known as it is now. But prioritizing protein when you open your meal might be a way to help those sugar cravings. Also, I'm about to interview finally, next week, Dr. Rick Johnson, oh, my goodness, the amount of notes I have for this episode. But he's the one who really studies fructose, and they do a lot of studies on fructose and sucrose, and the refined forms versus Whole Food forms. 

The issues that come along with refined sugar. Even though, he really believes the mechanism of action is the fructose and they're still fructose in naturally sweet things like fruit, they don't see the metabolic problems, when it's just coming from Whole Foods forms. The reason I'm tying that all back in is, cravings are often related to metabolic signaling, and hormones not working to your advantage. I think eating in a way that helps all of that work to your advantage, it can help quell those cravings. This is iterating what Gin just said. But if you can turn to-- I know she was talking about the chocolate bar as well. But if you can try starting with the protein and stuff to filling up that way and then turning to alternatives for those cravings, you might find that those cravings get easier and maybe even eventually go away. So, finding the fruit or the fruit that works for you might be helpful. Any other thoughts? 

Gin Stephens: No. Just the same thing that you said about the sugar. If I opened my eating window with sugar, I would feel terrible. I would have a big blood sugar crash. It wouldn't feel good at all. 

Melanie Avalon: I remember when I did the ZOE experiment, even though that's fat and sugar, but eating those muffins, I would eat the muffin and then starving, starving. You have to fast for four hours, miserable. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: Whereas yesterday, I had a daily harvest bowl full of lentils and I don't know, I can't remember what was in the one I had yesterday, maybe brussels sprouts, and I was so satisfied. 

Melanie Avalon: It's a big difference. 

Gin Stephens: It really, really makes a difference. All right, she got more questions. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Her next question. She says, "My last question relates to my husband. He is a private chef, who works varied shifts. Sometimes, leaves the house at 8:30 to only come home after 10 PM. He has to taste all of the food he prepares. How do you go around that and try to fast? He is keen to join me on the IF train, but it seems impossible."

Gin Stephens: I am going to say that if he's eating, he's not fasting. 

Melanie Avalon: We've had this question before and it's-- 

Gin Stephens: I know. It's one of those things-- I've talked to chefs before on Intermittent Fasting Stories and they structure their tasting within whatever their eating window is going to be. I understand that he has to work varied shifts, but he doesn't have to taste every minute. I've worked in restaurant kitchens before and I know for a fact that they're not back there tasting every dish that goes out of the kitchen. But I'm just talking about from a restaurant kitchen's perspective. I've never obviously worked as a private chef. But watching the people cooking in the kitchen, they're not constantly tasting every dish before they send it out of the kitchen. I understand that you have to taste frequently within the job, but he needs to figure out a way to structure his window, so that he's doing his tasting within his eating window. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I wish there was a better answer, but that is the answer. 

Gin Stephens: If you're eating, you're not fasting. The tasting makes it hard. I felt I was getting a cold or something the other day. I was like, "I feel I'm getting a cold." My nose was a little tickly, like a sneeze was coming on. I've always used zinc to help me with fighting a cold or whatever, but I can't take it on an empty stomach. It makes me feel queasy. I was like, "What?" I wasn't ready to eat yet. I was like, "What do I have in the fridge that I could take the zinc with to coat my stomach so I don't get queasy. I was like, "Well, I've got some kefir or kefir, however you say it, but I think it's kefir. We've looked that up before. It's like a yogurt but unsweetened. This is an unsweetened whole milk version, no sweeteners, just the fermented whatever they do to it to make it into kefir. It's a probiotic yogurty kind of a drink. It's like, well, this is probably going to coat my stomach the best. So, I just had a tiny little bit with the zinc. Tiny bit. Barely even tasted it. So hungry. 

I was like, "Well, I guess I'm opening my window now." I technically opened it with the kefir, but it's okay to open my window earlier I needed to take something. Then, I just opened it for real, I ate food. I finally ate food. So, I can't imagine long story short trying to taste food and then fasting. I just can't. I couldn't do it. And plus, you're eating and it gets the digestive process started, and just the taste of the food initiates the cephalic phase insulin response to the food because your body's like, "Oh, we're eating now. We're going to need some insulin, so it pumps some out" and that keeps your insulin high. It's not one of those things I feel would be easy. 

Melanie Avalon: Yep. I wish there's an answer but-- 

Gin Stephens: I know. Plus, you're really mega low-calorie diet if you're just tasting little amounts all the time. 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. I wonder with the varied shifts, are they all dinner shifts, I wonder? 

Gin Stephens: Well, he said he leaves the house at 8:30 and comes home at 10. 

Melanie Avalon: Sometimes. I'm wondering if that's an example or if they're like, is he doing lunch? Does he do lunch stuff, too? If he's just doing dinner shifts, then I would just have the window be a fluctuating window. Fluctuating meaning it's just defined by whatever that night's event is. So, okay. Well, the rest of her email she says, "Again, appreciate you answering any of these and I'm sorry if you've already answered some of these in detail." Oh, she was on Episode 15. "So, many more to listen to. Sending warm wishes from London." London, have you been to London, Gin? 

Gin Stephens: I've never been to Europe or anywhere over there. No, I haven't. [laughs] I've only traveled in the United States and then wherever cruises go out of Florida. I've traveled out of Tampa on a cruise, and I traveled out of the other side of Florida, and also Charleston on a cruise. I had been to Jamaica by plane. But you could also cruise there. So, really anywhere down there a cruise ship could go, I've been around in the islands in Mexico. But yeah, never been to Europe, never been to Asia, and never been to Australia. 

Melanie Avalon: Would you like to go? 

Gin Stephens: One day. I would really like to go to the British Isles, because so many of my roots are from there. A lot of family tree from Scotland, England. I would love to go. There's also a lot of people over there that I've met through my intermittent fasting groups that I would really like to meet. 

Melanie Avalon: I know. You could have a meetup in all the different international cities. That'd be fun. I'll live vicariously through you. You can do that.

Gin Stephens: Well, have you been to Europe? 

Melanie Avalon: A lot, actually. 

Gin Stephens: Really? When did you go? 

Melanie Avalon: All the time growing up. My family still goes, but we have family in Germany and we have an apartment there. Growing up, we would always go to Germany and then we would go to another country like London, Rome, Paris, see all the places, and then I went on school trip. So, my family still goes all the time. I tried to get me to go every single time. Someday. Traveling is just a lot. 

Gin Stephens: Chad's never been, Will's never been, but Cal has. Cal and Kate, they did a whole and in summer of 2019, that's where they got engaged in Europe. They were in Venice. So, they've been all over the place. They love to travel. 

Melanie Avalon: I am really grateful that I've been to have seen actual other cultures in person, I think as a nice understanding to the world. Not that you need that, but I think it's helpful. 

Gin Stephens: Did I get what you're saying? Shall we go on to our next question? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. 

Gin Stephens: This is from Joseph, and the subject is: "Intermittent fasting and hypoglycemia." He says, "fantastic guidance and a possible cure for many problems. I have only been doing IF for a week and it's great to wake up without feeling pain. A question for your podcast. How should a non-diabetic with hypoglycemia best apply intermittent fasting. Thank you," Joe.

Melanie Avalon: All right, Joe. Thank you so much for your question. To start, so hypoglycemia for listeners who are not aware of the differences, hypoglycemia is low blood sugar, hyperglycemia would be high blood sugar. Joe is talking about low blood sugar. In general, a lot of people find after adapting to an intermittent fasting lifestyle that it can really help with blood sugar regulation issues. Especially, when people with hypoglycemia eating throughout the day, they can experience hypoglycemia and blood sugar swings, because going from meal to meal, their blood sugar might drop in between meals or they might have reactive hypoglycemia, where it drops actually after a meal. But it can be a roller coaster for sure. In the long-term, I think a lot of people see great benefits with managing their blood sugar and be it hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia with intermittent fasting. That said, when you first start, because you just started, he's been doing it for a week, although this is, oh, this is a really recent question, very recent, two days ago. 

In the beginning, there is the potential for experiencing more intense hypoglycemia because you are fasting, and if your body's not fat adapted, and not used to that, your blood sugar might be going low. I guess, my first question is, your hypoglycemia now, Joe, I wonder how intense it is. Is it where you just-- you can feel yourself getting hypoglycemic and you eat, or is it something where you actually are doing a glucometer or even wearing a CGM? I doubt he's wearing a CGM. But how intense is it? Is it something where you've actually had fainting spells from it, because that would be a whole another level compared to somebody who just tends to get low blood sugar and get hangry as they say. I would use that approach when applying it to the intermittent fasting. Again, I'm not a doctor with any of this that I'm saying. But if it's something where you just have blood sugar swings, and it can be a little bit uncomfortable, again, I'm not a doctor, not a doctor, but it is possibly okay to experience those swings and get accustomed to intermittent fasting. If it gets too unbearable having something to eat and slowly working your way, because you could work your way to a smaller and smaller window if you need, so you could start with a longer window and slowly shorten it. But if it is something where it's more intense, I would recommend which you might already be doing by checking your blood sugar with a glucometer or even getting-- 

You know what, getting a CGM would actually, probably be a fantastic solution for this. Because they last for around two weeks. You could wear it when you're trying the IF, and be watching your blood sugar levels, and seeing if it's going too low, seeing how you're adapting, and also seeing the changes. If you do have a hypoglycemic moment, where you do need to address it, you eat something. Again, you could just slowly work on adjusting your window. I'll put a link in the show note to Levels. They provide access to CGMs for people who are not diabetic. If you go to levels.link/ifpodcast that will let you skip their waitlist that actually has around 150,000 people on it and get access to that. That link does let you skip the waitlist. For some reason, sometimes, people think that they still get put on the waitlist. But no, that link gets you direct access. I didn't even define what a CGM is. It is a continuous glucose monitor. It's going to monitor your blood sugar 24/7, actually via your interstitial fluid in your cells, not actually your blood sugar, but it gives you the blood sugar readings. So, those would be my suggestions. Gin, what are your thoughts?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I agree with what you said early on and I wanted to highlight that again that we find that people who suffered with hypoglycemia in the past when eating a traditional approach where you get up and you eat breakfast, and have a snack, and all that, that gets you on that blood sugar roller coaster of ups and downs, and that is how I used to live my life. Even when I was a little girl, I would notice that I might would have a blood sugar crash if I ate certain things or had something sweet. I would say, I maybe really did suffer from hypoglycemic type feelings, if you feel shaky or you need to eat. But with intermittent fasting, I never ever, ever, ever, ever feel that way ever during the fast. [laughs] Did I say I never ever feel that way? Never, never, ever. When I actually had a CGM from Levels that I tried out, they sent me one to try and it was fascinating to see what my blood sugar did during the day. 

Of course, I'm well adapted to fasting. I've been doing it for years. But after I would have my morning coffee, that causes your liver to dump out some glycogen. I would see my blood sugar go up a little bit, and then it would stay around a certain state for the morning, and then I would feel a little wave of hunger, and I would look and see what my blood sugar was doing. That was right when it was going down. It was just a little mild wave, "Huh, I could eat." But it wasn't shakiness or feeling like I was crashing. I just kept fasting, and then the hunger wave passed, and then my blood sugar stayed really, really steady right in the 70s. As long as I just kept fasting, my blood sugar stayed just right there in the 70s. It wasn't wildly fluctuating up and down, up and down or crashing, because it doesn't do that. It really responds to something coming in, whether you're having that cephalic phase insulin response, your body releases some insulin, that would cause your blood sugar to crash. 

I feel if you're not fasting clean, you might have some hypoglycemia. Drink a diet soda, no sugar really comes in because it's artificial sweeteners. But your brain gets that, "Oh, some sweets coming in," releases the insulin, bam. Now, you're going to have that blood sugar crash. As long as you're fasting clean and you're adapted, you should really see that steady blood sugar instead of the big roller coaster frequent eating. Very much just repeated what Melanie said, but I wouldn't worry about it unless you feel shaky, and then you need to eat.

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Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Nancy and the subject is: "IF." Nancy says, "I lost 30 pounds with keto and plateaued. I then found your book, Delay, Don't Deny and began IF. I started in March and to date." This is August when she's writing this. This is five months later. She says, "I have lost five pounds. I have lost inches most everywhere, but I still have too much tummy. From March at 146 to today at 141, I have been here for weeks. I have been doing one meal a day, which works well with my family, but do you think I need to do ADF to start losing again or something else? I do longer fasts in there, too. Thank you." 

Gin Stephens: Now, this is going to be one of those situations, where it's really tricky for us to answer, because we don't know where your weight is as far as in a healthy weight. For example, you weigh 141 and 141 is just a number that could be at the low end of the healthy weight range for somebody at a certain height or it could be at the high end, you could be overweight at 141 depending on how tall you are. It's hard for me to say. It's possible that 141 could be your body's ideal weight and you just should weigh 141. Over time, you'll still see, maybe your tummy will very slowly change. My body changed really slowly over a couple of years. I changed two jean sizes over a year, but didn't lose a lot of scale weight, but my body really, really reconfigured. Thanks to body recomposition. The scale number doesn't always tell the story. It depends on really how much weight you need to lose to be healthy what my answer will be. 

If 141 is a healthy weight for your body, then you don't need to change a thing and give your body time. If you need to lose fat on your tummy, then you'll probably see the shape will change, but you still might weigh 141, but you'll have some body reconfiguration, the body recomposition. However, if 141 is still in the overweight range for your body, and you're stuck there for weeks, and you need to think about, "Okay, I probably do need to shake something up." Now, if your body is still changing, take photos, use your honesty pants to see if your body is changing. Again, body recomposition can happen even if the scale isn't changing. But if really your body is not changing at all and you need to lose weight to be at a healthy weight, then you're going to just shake something up, okay? It could be the length of your window, the timing of your window, what you're eating in your window. 

For example, you said that you're doing one meal a day, that could look like so many different things. For me, I have a snack and a meal within a window of about five hours perhaps, I could certainly shift that around a lot. When you say one meal a day, you talking about strict 23:1 for example. If you are doing a very strict form like a 23:1, then it's very likely that your body has adapted to that, and so, I would do some shaking up of things. If you've got Fast. Feast. Repeat., I would read the "Tweak. It. Til. It's Easy" chapter and see all the ways you might want to change it up. You don't have to go full on ADF unless you want to. You mentioned that you do some longer fasts in there, too. I'm not sure what you meant by that. So, maybe you're already doing a 36 hour fast here and there. Maybe a meal-less Monday, and then make sure you're having an up-day following that. 

That really is the key is making sure that you have more of a rhythm that it's not always the same. Like up and then a down, and then up and then a down instead of just everything being the same, the same, the same, the same, the same. Have a little something in there that shakes it up. That would be my advice. As I said, it depends on really what 141 means to your body. Y'all, when you're writing in a question for us, it would really, really help to have just a few more details to know, because 141, if you're 5'10" is really different than if you're 4'10", for example. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. I thought that was a great answer as per usual. Especially, since she lost inches, it sounds she definitely is experiencing body recomposition. So, that is great. The only thing I'll add on and this is what Gin just said, but I'll elaborate on it a little bit. As far as, she was talking about how if you're not seeing results with everything and it is time to make tweaks, a lot of people want to automatically make the tweak be something around the fasting related, but there's a lot that can be done by looking at the food and what you're eating like a lot can be done there. The only reason I say it is when people don't even mention at all what they're eating, I think that is possibly a sign that there's a lot of potential in that world compared to somebody who already has their-- 

Not to say you don't have your food dialed in or not though even need to dial in our food. But some people will tell us exactly what they're eating and all of that. For those people, maybe the focus shouldn't be on the food as much, maybe it should be other things. But when people don't mention at all what they're eating, it says to me that the case might be that there's possibly a lot of potential if you haven't looked at that yet at all. So, I just wanted to note that. But again, ADF might be something that works for you. The good thing is there's just a lot of things that you could try.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and a lot of people love ADF. People, who try it and the rhythm works really well for them, they just absolutely love it. You never know until you try it. But there are people who that is their preferred way to do it. A lot of people think, "Oh, ADF, that sounds so hard. I'm not going to like it. I'm going to force myself to do it because it's the only way I can lose weight." What if you try it and you're like, "Oh, my gosh, I love this." You just never know. Try it with a curiosity instead of dread, if you want to try it. If you don't like it, you don't have to do it. But you might love it. Surprise yourself and see. But it isn't right for everybody. I eat every day. 

Melanie Avalon: It does not work for me, but it works really, really well for some people. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I just really enjoy eating every day. Sometimes, I eat for reasons other than the fact that I'm hungry. [laughs] We just-- 

Melanie Avalon: For shame. 

Gin Stephens: I know. I said that in a sarcastic tone, because there's a bit of a thought, a train of thought that if you're craving stuff or you're eating for reasons that are not just-- if you're eating for enjoyment or if you're eating because you're not hungry, that it's wrong or bad. But it's not. Food is one of the greatest pleasures of the world of living, of being alive. I enjoy eating every day. But if someone enjoys fasting, and then the next day, they have an up-day, and they love the up-day, and they love the fast, that is the right thing to do. This is all about what feels good to you and sustainable and you can switch it up. There's a lot to be said for switching it up, keeping the body guessing. 

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Do we have time for one more? 

Gin Stephens: Sure. The one that we have next is one we could definitely get to. All right, so, we have a question from Janet. Janet says, "I wanted to try this fasting to lower my blood sugar. I was diagnosed with diabetes about seven years ago. It has gotten worse, although I'm not on insulin, but I take 2000 metformin daily." I'm not sure 2000. What is that? Anyway, her dose is 2000. Probably, people who take metformin would know what that means. She says, "I also have high cholesterol, which I think is from the diabetes. It runs in my family. I work out every day, I am not overweight. I was paleo for six months and it still didn't lower my A1c. Could the fasting work for me?" 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. 

Gin Stephens: I told you this was a quick one. 

Melanie Avalon: There is a ton of literature on fasting and its effects on blood sugar regulation and A1c. For listeners, A1c refers to glycated hemoglobin. It's a longer-term measure of your average blood sugar levels, because basically, based on whatever your blood sugar levels are consistently affects the amount of glycation on your red blood cells. Glycation is a problematic process that happens with sugar. Like I said, there's just so much literature. It's almost overwhelming how much literature there is on fasting for helping blood sugars, A1c, and metabolic health. I don't really have much more to say, but we can put a link in the show notes to some studies. 

Gin Stephens: The answer is yes. It absolutely could work for you. I feel fasting is the most powerful thing you can do to lower your A1c, lower your insulin resistance, all of that. I think it's the most powerful tool in our toolbox. Even more powerful than the what, although, the what does matter. But you see that Janet, when you did paleo for six months without fasting, that was not enough to lower your A1c, but if you eat in a style that includes healthy whole foods and incorporate intermittent fasting, that's like magic. 

Melanie Avalon: I just thought of a random fun fact I wanted to share that relates to an earlier question. Can I share it really quickly?

Gin Stephens: I love random fun facts. 

Melanie Avalon: I should probably find the exact numbers, but I'm sure you know this, Gin. But I'm prepping to interview Dom D'Agostino, who is the ketone researcher guy. There have been really fascinating studies. This goes back to the question on hypoglycemia. I'm not advocating this, but people on really intense ketogenic diets, they did studies way back in the day that I think would have been stopped now with these findings, but back then they didn't, this was decades ago. The blood sugar levels, the level of hypoglycemia that people reached in some of these studies, where they were doing a long-term ketogenic approach was shocking. They shouldn't even have been alive, but they were fine. But just because they were fueling on ketones, which was just a random fun fact. I wonder if I have the number, but that is not going to be the case probably with people. Now, I'm not saying that shockingly, low blood sugar is okay. This would be at a clinically controlled, really intense ketogenic therapeutic diet study. But the point of it is that there's a lot more going on then, I think, what we often-- like, the basic facts we think of when we think of blood sugar, but there's a lot more with ketones, and fasting, and all of that. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's true. There's a lot. A lot going on in the body that so much of what we think about, what we've been told, for example, is not always accurate. The first time I read The Obesity Code that really just blew my mind. So many of the things that I was like, "What?" The Diabetes Code. If I were if you, Gin, I would read The Diabetes Code. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. That's a great suggestion. 

Gin Stephens: Yep. Jason Fung, The Diabetes Code. Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: All righty. 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 at questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's show will be at ifpodcast.com/episode253. Those show notes will have a full transcript, so definitely check that out. Then you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon and Gin is @ginstephens. So, I think that is everything. Anything from you, Gin, before we go? 

Gin Stephens: No, I think that's it. 

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

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, 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.


Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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