Episode 269: Heavy Meals, H. Pylori, Digestive Enzymes, HCL, Modified Keto, OMAD, Lowering Fat, Measuring The Fast, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Jun 12

Welcome to Episode 269 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 Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free BACON For LIFE Plus $10!!

 JOOVV: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels! It literally works on the mitochondrial level to help your cells generate more energy! Red light can help you burn fat (including targeted fat burning and stubborn fat!), contour your body, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, produce collagen for epic skin, support muscle recovery, reduce joint pain and inflammation, combat fatigue, help you sleep better, improve mood, and so much more!! These devices are literally LIFE CHANGING!! For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

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

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


BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free BACON For LIFE Plus $10!!

BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

Listener Q&A: alexa - IF foods

Listener Q&A: Leah - Coffee Differences

Square Feet Specialty Coffee

JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

Listener Q&A: Trina - Keto AND OMAD question

Summary of Women, Food, And Hormones: A 4-Week Plan to Achieve Hormonal Balance, Lose Weight, and Feel Like Yourself Again (Sara Gottfried, M.D.)

MenuPause: Five Unique Eating Plans to Break Through Your Weight Loss Plateau and Improve Mood, Sleep, and Hot Flashes (Anna Cabeca, DO)

#157 – AMA #22: Losing fat and gaining fat: the lessons of fat flux

Our content does not constitute an attempt to practice medicine, and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Please consult a qualified health care provider for medical advice and answers to personal health questions.


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 269 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, biohacker and 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, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and cynthiathurlow.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. And no doctor-patient relationship is formed. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine if it's that time and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get sugar free, nitrate free, heritage breed bacon for life, plus $10 off. Yes, free bacon for life, plus $10 off. We are so honored to be sponsored by ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get high-quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, that's really hard to find by the way, and wild caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency regarding grazing practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox. You can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. But I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. All of their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished that's really hard to find. They work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves, but the planet. This is so important to me. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. 

If you recently saw a documentary on Netflix called Seaspiracy, you might be a little bit nervous about eating seafood. Now, I understand why ButcherBox makes it so, so clear and important about how they work with the seafood industry. Everything is checked for transparency, for quality, and for sustainable raising practices. You want their seafood, the value is incredible, the average cost is actually less than $6 per meal, and it's so easy. Everything ships directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing. I remember the first time I had one and I just thought, “This is honestly one of the best steaks I've ever had in my entire life.” On top of that, did you know that the fatty acid profile of grass-fed, grass-finished steaks is much healthier for you than conventional steaks. And their bacon, for example is from pastured pork, and sugar and nitrate free. How hard is that to find? I'm super excited, because ButcherBox’ bacon for life is back and it's even better, because you get $10 off as well. Yep, right now, new members will get one pack of free bacon in every box for the life of your membership, plus $10 off when you sign up at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. That's one pack of free bacon in every box for the rest of your life, plus $10 off. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. 

And one more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense, because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat. But do you know what is possibly, one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting, it's actually our skincare and makeup. As it turns out, Europe has banned over a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disrupters, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens, which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream. And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup maybe playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because ladies, when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years 

Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that, there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so, you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. They have counter time for anti-aging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life and their makeup is amazing. Check on my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey, even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. They have so many other products. Deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. Also, make sure to get on my clean beauty email list, that's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list. So, definitely check it out. And you can join me in my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well. 

And lastly, if you're thinking of making Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare, a part of your future like we have, we definitely recommend 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. It is totally, completely worth it. So, again, to shop with us, go to beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 269 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow. How are you today, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm doing well other than two surly teenage boys.

Melanie Avalon: When did they get out for school?

Cynthia Thurlow: Officially on June 2nd. We've already had the award ceremonies, and I'm happy to report they had high academic honors, which was awesome. But they are teen boys and they did not permit any photos to be taken of them. And so, all the friends of mine that have daughters, there were pictures of the family, and their awards, and my kids, no, not so much. I took pictures from far away and I just decided I was like, “There are battles worth fighting and this is not one I choose to fight.” But yeah, they will officially be out on June 2nd and I'm pretty excited. This is really their first full year of school in two years, to be physically in school, the entire school year. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. That's crazy. 

Cynthia Thurlow: No, the pandemic has definitely-- It's not just my kids, it's every child, every family has been impacted by the pandemic. For me, I'm just so grateful that they were in school for an entire year. Things that you take for granted that we never imagined we would have two years of or a solid year of being at home and being in school, and then partial back to school last year. So, I'm just grateful they got to be in school with their peers, part of the year unmasked, then they've been doing really well, despite all the stress and the drama of the last two years. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm getting flashbacks now. There's something so glorious and wonderful when you are growing up and summer vacation. It is just so exciting. [chuckles] 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it's done and to be honest with you as a parent, I always really, really looked forward to mid-May, because all of a sudden, the sports were over, [unintelligible [00:09:40] education was over, it was like the carpool nonsense that all parents go through just stops. And so, they would just go to school, and they would come home, and it was just a lot more togetherness, and they're probably getting more sleep, and my husband and I are obviously spending less time driving back and forth between multiple sports. It gives you a prelude to what the summer is going to be like. For me, I'm very much the kind of mom where I let my kids sleep in. They have chores, but I like them to actually decompress. I'm not super strict as long as they get their work done. I know that may be a departure from some families that are listening, but I've just come to understand like, “My kids do really well in school and they're good kids.” I let them do a lot of decompression activities during the summer. 

When they were younger and they had to be in a structured activity, because they had so much energy, and they needed an outlet. Now, it's more thinking about what college does my oldest one to apply to. He's leading into STEM curriculum. Looking at AP classes and it's so different. You really develop a very different relationship with your kids as they're getting older and so, it's also to me picking my battles, So, it's less about keeping them under my thumb, and forcing them to do so many hours of reading every day, and now, it's a different playing field.

Melanie Avalon: That's very much the way I was raised as well. My parents were like that. Of course, I was very on top of things. I remember for summer reading, I would read the books a minimum of two times, sometimes more, which looking back, I'm like, “Why did I do that? Why did I read The Hobbit twice after already having read it” in the past as well?

Cynthia Thurlow: That doesn't surprise me that you would be a willing overachiever. Not someone who's doing it for any other reason than to thoroughly be invested, and really understand, and comprehend what you're reading. I love that we both share that although, we would not have been in school at the same time together. I do love that we are both very cerebral and enjoy-- Just enjoyed learning. What a blessing that is, right?

Melanie Avalon: Speaking of, Gin and I used to always talk about, “Would we be friends in high school and will we be at the same lunch table?” We decided that we might be, but probably not, probably slightly different lunch tables. Which lunch table were you at in high school?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's ironic that in high school and in college, I was part of a very popular crew. However, in my popular career, there was the subcategories of popular girls and I was part of the smart girls that got good grades, and weren't promiscuous, and had boyfriends, but we were nice to people. To me, at that stage, it was actually cool to be smart, whereas the people who were the creme de la creme popular people didn't care about school. I just stayed focused on like, “I want to go to college, and I want to do this, and I want to do that, and I know I'm not going to stay in this school.” But I was always nice to everyone. I was also vice president of my class and captain of back in the day I played field hockey. To me, it was important to just be kind and nice to people. Yeah, my kids cannot believe that I was popular. They're like, “You're so dorky and nerdy,” and I'm like, “Oh, but it's all in the down low. No one knows that unless they know me well." How about you? I would imagine you were like top in your class and super, super, super smart.

Melanie Avalon: There's the honors English class and it was basically the really intellectual “smart kids.” But it was similar. It had some popular people from the popular crowd in it. It was just like the nice, smart people. That was my main group. Yeah, I really excelled academically. You probably would have been at my school in the honors English group class. But you would have been in the popular like the popular people who are in the honors class.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's funny because I had this not so nice high school boyfriend. When I look back and he used to call it the nerd herd. He would make fun of the fact that I was in AP classes and honors classes, and I was like, “Who ended up doing better?” Looking at where he is and where I am, and let me be clear, I'm friends with his wife, and his mom, and his sister. I have a very nice relationship with all them. But I look back that he would like tease me and I was like, “There's nothing to be ashamed of for being smart. Smart people run the world.” That's my feeling. It's good to be smart.

Melanie Avalon: I love it. By the way you interviewed Robb Wolf again, right?

Cynthia Thurlow: I did. He's so wonder-- It’s such an easy interview because he's just so gracious and humble. With my cardiology background, we’ve talked a lot about electrolytes and we did talk about overtraining, because I know and I'm very aligned with his perspectives on the overtraining goes along with the over restriction of food, goes along with over fasting, goes along with plateaus. We did touch on that which was really important to me, because I wanted him to also know, there are clearly people that go overboard with all of the above, but it was a really nice conversation. It was nice for someone else to talk about the value of electrolytes and not just me saying, “Oh, by the way, I worked for 16 years in cardiology and I got really, really good at replacing electrolytes.” I got really good at replacing electrolytes and no one really wants to hear about that because it seemingly seems so insignificant, but yet, it's so important. I was actually saying, “Robb, I had surgery almost a month ago” and I knew that my body was going to take a hit, because of this orthopedic surgery, and I was telling him, I said “My HRV, my heart rate variability has really been in the toilet.” [laughs] Clearly, as well as I'm sleeping, my body still perceives, there's all this ongoing stress and my cortisol levels must still be dysregulated. I said, “I just kept adding more sodium and they kept coming down.” I said, “It's just so amazing, something so simple.” It can be so helpful. So, yes, Robb was amazing. Then the other guests that I had most recently that really just-- I'm still in such awe of my conversation with Sara Gottfried, which I know you interviewed her recently as well and she's just so-- [crosstalk] 

Melanie Avalon: We pushed it. So, it's in a few weeks. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, sorry. Well, mine just dropped. When I was listening to it, I feel so very grateful as I know you do that we have platforms in which we can connect with such profoundly influential individuals in the space and be able to share all of their wisdom with the world.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I am so, so excited to interview her. It's really exciting. 

Cynthia Thurlow: She's so smart. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, this upcoming week for me is actually unique. I'm only going on a podcast. I don't actually have an interview, but I'm scrambling. Every now and then, I have a little panic moment where like, “How am I going to prep everything?” But [chuckles] then I take a moment and I breathe. I'm really excited about the lineup. Oh, that's the next person I'm interviewing, Mark Sisson.

Cynthia Thurlow: No way. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited. [chuckles] 

Cynthia Thurlow: Did you sacrifice your firstborn child? 

Melanie Avalon: Basically. [chuckles] 

Cynthia Thurlow: I say that very lovingly. The facetious future born child, I'm like, “That's awesome.”

Melanie Avalon: That's going to be a really, really surreal moment, because it's surreal anyways with all the people that I get to interview, but really there's a handful of people that are the people I've been following from day one. It's basically Robb, Mark Sisson, Dave Asprey, probably those three. Yeah, and I haven't interviewed Mark. 

Cynthia Thurlow: That's so cool. Did I tell you that a couple years ago, I literally ran into him because I wasn't looking where I was walking.

Melanie Avalon: No way. 

Cynthia Thurlow: And he could not have been more polite. I remember, I was so like, “Oh, my God, I just ran into Mark Sisson” and he was so polite.

Melanie Avalon: I got connected to him through Brad Kearns, who I'm pretty good friends with who's coauthor. And so, I've been talking with Brad about what direction to take the interview, because there're so many ways you could go, but I think I might focus more on him. His personal life, because he's done so many businesses, and I would just love to hear all about that rather than focusing on the primal stuff as much.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's so exciting. I'm so excited for you. It's interesting because a lot of these people when you've been following them for a long period of time, that's how I felt about Sara Gottfried in addition to the other people you mentioned. When I was talking to her, I was trying not to fan girl. I was really nervous. I told my husband, I was sweating, I tried to be as cool as I could be, [laughs] but to actually meet some of these people that we've been following for years, and valuing the message and methodology of their brands and their vision and to me its-- I tell everyone all the time like one of my greatest blessings in my business is being able to podcast because as you've said it's the best way to network. You just don't even realize how important it is until you get in a position where you either meet someone in real life and you're like, “Oh, my gosh.” I mean, you really do become friends and acquaintances with so many of these people. We're all trying to positively impact lives in a way that leaves people better off and to me, it's so amazing. So, I love that you-- That was probably a year or two ago, you're like, “Podcasting is the best way to network” and I was like, “Oh, my God, that's exactly what it is.”

Melanie Avalon: Because it's basically conversations that aren't superficial, because they're deep conversations where you're talking about their work, and you're really connecting, and then you're just doing that regularly, and it's all the amazing people. So, I'm just so grateful. I'm really in awe.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, and for anyone who doesn't know this about you, I do know this about you. I probably spend five to 10 hours per each podcast, just organizing, listening to other podcasts, trying to get a sense for what the person's like. Melanie is next level, because she is graciously on a few times shared her notes and they are so detailed. For anyone that's listening, you have no idea. When Melanie says she's preparing, she's preparing to go do a doctoral dissertation. She's so well prepared. If you don't know that about her, you should know that about her. So, as I say, you always encourage me to level up how I prepare and how I get ready for my own podcasts.

Melanie Avalon: Well, thank you so much. I echo that back to you as well, because I feel there are a lot of podcasts out there. and there are a lot of people who don't prepare, and do just show up, and I get the exact same sense from you with the preparation. So, yeah, it's a good place to be. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. I can tell you now that I've been on the other side having had a book launch, the people that were prepared, I really appreciated that because you get to a point where you're just doing so much press that you're exhausted. I remember, there were weeks where I was doing 12 to 15 podcasts a week on top of other media and you were like, “Where do I need to show up and what am I talking about?” You were just showing up, and being yourself, and being enthusiastic, and I would have people, they're like, “Yeah, I haven't really read your book and just tell me what you want to talk about?” I was like, “What?” [laughs] I was like, “Not even a skim, not even read the appendix or read the table of contents anything.” When there's no judgement, sometimes, I was like, “Oh, man, this is going to be harder than I thought.”

Melanie Avalon: When people ask me basically to provide all the questions for the interview. I still do it and I'm so grateful, but I appreciate it much more, like you said, when it's really evident that they've read the book, and they come with the questions, and everything.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, and it's interesting, because I interviewed Dr. Avrum Bluming and Carol Tavris about their book, Estrogen Matters. It was funny. After we recorded, they both said to me, “Cynthia, your assistant reached out to us and asked us to tell you what we wanted to talk about.” They were taken aback and they said, “But now that we've met you, we understand that you really just wanted to make sure that you are aware of what we thought was most important.” But by the same token, you did so much prep work like that podcast, I probably spent more time on than anyone I've done this entire year, because I felt the Women's Health Initiative as an example, had led so many clinicians and patients to be fearful of hormone replacement therapy and I was like, “I know, I've got this platform.” So, I think in most instances, I really endeavor to think about how do I ensure that person knows I value their time, but also let them know like, “I'm in the game, and I'm super prepped, and I've read all your stuff, and I've outlined, and I've listened to podcasts to just to get a sense.”

I just interviewed the head researcher for HVMN and he was so delightful. He was like a Rick Johnson-esque person. So enthusiastic, so excited. He was able to translate the science into layman's terminology and that was such a joy, and I was like, “Wow.” I was so surprised. I instantly liked him and I thought to myself, “This is what's so awesome to be in this space.” We can actually have these opportunities to take real research and make it relatable for the average person, because that's really the platform that I think we're both on, although obviously you're on a biohacking platform and I'm on a 35 and up trying to translate how to navigate our lives without too much stress and distress.

Melanie Avalon: Two thoughts to that. One, so, the way I tackle getting the vibe of what they want to talk about while also having them know that I value their time, I just in the intake form, all of the questions are optional and there's just one question that says, “Are there any topics in particular you'd like to talk about?” Rather than asking like, “What questions you want me to answer?” It's just very open, I feel that accomplishes that goal, at least for me.

Cynthia Thurlow: I may have to borrow that. Of course, with credit given to you.

Melanie Avalon: No, I don’t need. No credit needed. I probably took it from somebody else. The second thought was, I was listening as per usual last night to a Peter Attia episode and they were talking about, it was one of the Q&As and the cohost was saying, how he always will reach out. When he read studies, if he has questions, he'll literally just email the researchers on the studies. The majority of the time they always answer and usually are really excited to talk about the studies. So, I was like, “I should start doing that.”

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Well, you know what's interesting is, so, Dr. Bluming, who I just bow at his feet, his book is so amazing, and he sends me updates. He just did an editorial for a journal and sent me the update and I was like, “Thank you so much. I can't wait to read it.” I meant it genuinely, because he's helping to change the narrative, and the discussions around, and the fears around prescribing and taking hormones. I was like, “He's doing amazing, amazing things.” Yeah, they love to talk about that stuff.

Melanie Avalon: And for listeners, this is Cynthia's Everyday Wellness Podcast.

Cynthia Thurlow: That podcast dropped in February and as you know, I'm a big nerd. I like to look at my metrics. Number one for the year thus far is Megan Ramos and then, Rick Johnson. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm interviewing her in a few months. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, there's no comparison. Her downloads are way more than anyone else's. And also who else is in there? Dr. Bluming is in there. So, clearly, these are concepts and methodologies that are really relating to people, which I think is great. Yeah, but Rick Johnson's amazing,

Melanie Avalon: I should look at my stats and see which ones were the biggest.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I trend it. I don't know if it makes me, like, it just allows me to see who do I want to bring back, what really resonates, what was a do-do? I think sometimes, you do a great interview, and it just doesn't resonate with your listeners, and you're like, “Gosh, that was surprising.” And then sometimes something that you-- [crosstalk] 

Melanie Avalon: Or, the reverse. Yeah.

Cynthia Thurlow: Correct? [laughs] That happens, the unicorns are like, “Where did that come from?”

Melanie Avalon: For me, I have genuinely, because people will ask me, I think actually, you've asked me before like, “Has there ever been an episode that I didn't want to air or didn't really like?” I can genuinely say, I have really loved every single interview that I've done. But sometimes, I do an interview and I love it, but I just don't know if the topic or the content will really resonate. Yeah, sometimes, I'm really surprised that they freak out and [chuckles] love it.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I've only had three and almost four years of podcasting that I had to toss in the toilet, which is always disappointing. But I was like, “Sometimes, you just don't get a good interview.” You could have someone that's super smart and they're just not easy to interview or they go off on a tangent that is so not aligned with your own methodology that you're like, “I can't release this, because it would be a problem.” But yeah, I think that's how you just navigate knowing what your audience really wants to hear and resonate with.

Melanie Avalon: Definitely. Well, before we jump in, I have one really quick baby teaser and this is going to be such a vague teaser. But for listeners, I am so excited because in creating supplements now, there are a few supplements that I really want to create, but I don't know if I can, or it might be tricky, or things with like FDA regulations and such. So, this is just a baby teaser that I found out yesterday or the day before that one of the main supplements I want to make that I thought we couldn't, we probably are going to be able to, because we might have an FDA approved version. So, I get really excited. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Now, I can’t wait to hear more. 

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, if you'd like to know what that is, definitely get on my supplement email list because that's where I will be announcing the news. Also, I keep getting questions literally every day about when am I going to be releasing my magnesium supplement. The email list for all the information is avalonx.us/emaillist.

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into everything for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Let's jump in.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a question from Alexa and the subject is: “IF foods.” Alexa says, “Hello, ladies. I'm on my second week of IF clean and I'm loving it. I tried IF last year, but was not doing it correctly as I was still putting creamer in my coffee. I recently found your podcast and I'm hooked. My question is regarding the type of foods I'm consuming after I break my fast, which I've decided to begin with a 16:8. I find that sometimes, I get hungry early between 9:30 to 10 AM, then it goes away. I noticed once I get past noon, sometimes, I can push through to about 1:00 to 1:30 PM usually, because I'm busy working. But I seem to gravitate towards a heavy lunch. For example, a tuna melt, bag of chips and water, or sometimes, I'll have Mexican tacos that are super delicious. Typically, carne asada or other type of meat. I am just wondering if I should be careful about breaking my fast was such heavy food. Also, sometimes, I don't get too hungry for dinner, so I'll have a light dinner. Do you have suggestions on how to eat correctly when IFing. I forgot to mention that I also work out three to four times a week. Thank you and sorry for all the rambling.”

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Alexa, I think first and foremost, just the fact that you're asking if you need to break your fast with a lighter meal demonstrates to me that you're already thinking that might be a problem. I typically recommend that you break your fast like maybe start with some bone broth as a light alternative or a light salad, and then perhaps, have a less complicated meal like maybe you're having some chicken, or some steak, or you're going to have a bison burger, or you're having a piece of fish with some vegetables like non-starchy vegetables, because it could very well be that between the mayonnaise, and the cheese, and I don't know if you're making the Mexican tacos or buying them out, you can be exposed to seed oils. It might just be overwhelming your digestive processes. So, that's my first thought is break your fast with something lighter and less fat dense that might be part of it. 

The other thing is, depending on where you are in your cycle, so, I don't know if you're still menstruating. I am an advocate of women. You can get away with intermittent fasting for usually the first three weeks of your cycle. But if you're within a week of getting your menstrual cycle or bleed week, then I typically recommend you back off. The fact that you are feeling like you're having such a heavy meal and then you're not really hungry for your second meal makes me concerned that you may not be hitting your protein macros. For anyone who is new to listening to me on the podcast, I'm all about protein, protein, protein. We really need it for so many reasons. One of them is satiety and other one is to have adequate muscle protein synthesis. Hitting those protein macros is going to be really important. So, I would probably recommend you start with a lighter meal when you break your fast, so that it'll allow you to get in enough protein between your two regular meals during your fasting window.

Melanie Avalon: That reminded me of the interview that I did have in the interim since we talked which was Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, who is as well all about the protein, and really, really knows the science of it, and why it's so important. I really can't wait to air that. I agree with everything that you said. I like what you said about the fact that she's asking means that she might be intuitively on to something. I do think that this is something pretty intuitive because we are really, really unique everybody, individually. Some people can handle having a big bolus of food and be fine, and some people are delicate butterflies, and need to really take a more measured approach like Cynthia said with maybe breaking with bone broth, or something more gentle. I found for me, I break my fast, I post about this all the time on Instagram so people know, with cucumbers and wine, but then I move into a really heavy meal, actually. But I do slowly ease into it. I will say, if you are eating heavier--

I don't know if we need to define what heavy mean, because on the one hand, you could have a meal like I eat, where it's a huge amount of protein, which would seem like a “heavy meal.” But it's not necessarily heavy in the sense that it's a lot of mixed macros, and fat, and processed foods and that type of heavy. I think heavy can mean different things. Mine's just heavy in a mechanical sense and that protein requires a lot of energy to break down. There's a reason it has the highest thermogenic effect of any food. You “burn” about 30% of the calories and protein just by breaking it down because it does require a lot of digestion and energy to do that. All that to say if you do want to eat “heavier meals” and find that you're not digesting it well, you might want to consider HCI supplementation and/or digestive enzymes. That might be something that can really help. I've always been really fascinated in the ordering of it, because the natural digestion process would happen in a certain order. So, basically, we release stomach acid first, HCl and then later as the food moves into the intestines that's where enzymes process that. I've always been a little bit haunted about just there needs to be a certain order to it. I've asked a lot of guests this and I get different answers. But the way I do things is I use HCI first in my meal and then I add digestive enzymes afterwards. So, that might be something to consider. I don't necessarily think there's a correct way, but we are really individual and it's good to be intuitive.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, this is just my little clinician caveat that in the past two years, I have not done one GI-MAP, maybe one or two out of hundreds of women that hasn't had H. pylori. I tend to be a little more conservative with recommending betaine or HCl, because if someone has an active or unknown H. pylori infection, that can actually exacerbate symptoms. I would say that under normal circumstances, I think digestive supports are great. But I think of in the hierarchy, digestive enzymes are pretty benign, but I tend to be a little bit more conservative about HCI just in case someone has H. pylori, which, if you're not familiar what that is, it's opportunistic organism that sometimes in the setting of low hydrochloric acid can flourish. And so, I'm just seeing so much of it now on GI-MAPS, which is a DNA based stool test that I'm tending to be really conservative with HCl until I have testing. So, I agree with everything that you're saying. 

However, that how we define a heavy meal might be different to each one of us, but I define a heavy meal is something that's going to be harder on our body to digest. If you're not making the tuna melt, you don't know what the ingredients are, if you're not making those Mexican tacos, you don't know what seed oils are being used and so, that could be contributing to why it's feeling like you're having a little bit of a digestive backup or just feeling very full. The other thing is if you're sleepy after a meal that could be a sign that not only is it too large of a meal, but you might have eaten enough carbohydrate that you're getting some degree of blood sugar dysregulation. If that persists, you may want to check your blood sugar. I think that's certainly really reasonable. Glucometers are very inexpensive, but your blood sugar should come back to baseline within two hours of eating ideally, just a thought.

Melanie Avalon: Question about the H. pylori. So, it flourishes in low HCI environment or high HCI environment?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, low. Because it's like anything. We start producing less hydrochloric acid as we get older. It's much more common to see HCI flourishing, because it's the first line of defense. Hydrochloric acid is designed to kill things. If you have inadequate levels and certainly it gets depleted, you can get HCI depletion just from not having enough precursors like certain types of zinc. I remind people that until proven otherwise, until I know someone definitely doesn't have H. pylori, and this is just my own clinical environment. My sometimes will hold off on doing HCl, but there's certainly other things you can do to help support digestion. As you mentioned, digestive enzymes are great. I'm just seeing so much H. pylori now, I think it has a lot to do with the impact of stress on the gut microbiome. That's been my working hypothesis that the doctors at the GI-MAP lab agree with, because I've never seen so much H. pylori, never.

Melanie Avalon: Wouldn't taking HCI benefit that then?

Cynthia Thurlow: You have to kill the infection. You remove what doesn't belong and think about it this way. If you are getting H. pylori and you're taking a stool sample, it's gotten from the stomach through the entire digestive system, small intestine, large intestine, into the rectum and expelled. Whatever amount you're seeing quantified on DNA based technology is actually higher. We eradicate first and then we go to supplementation with HCl. But it's usually created in a low hydrochloric acid environment and that's oftentimes related to age-related changes or people don't have the cofactors to be able to create enough hydrochloric acid. That's where I go from, and that's what I was taught, and it's definitely been my clinical experience to see that that you want to make sure that you're not addressing HCI issues if someone has H. pylori.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, I'm still not following. If the problem with H. pylori is low HCl because of the ulcers.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, there's many different types of H. pylori, and so some are prone to precancerous lesions, they can lead to certain types of duodenal ulcers, etc. When you do the testing, especially the type of testing I mentioned, it'll help you differentiate if they have any of the pathologic cofactors that go along with it. But here's the thing. If HCl is at a proper level, you should not have an issue with H. pylori. It's in the setting of a low hypochlorhydria. In that setting that is when you can make this opportunistic opportunity for things not to get killed off, that could be a parasite that you ingest. And yes, it is as horrifying as it is to think. We ingest a lot of things and we are dependent on this first line of defense in our stomach to have enough hydrochloric acid to kill things off. But what I see in most women that I work with is that they do not have optimal levels of hydrochloric acid and therefore, it bypasses this first line of defense. We should not have H. pylori in our stomach. Certainly, not at detectable levels. With DNA based stool testing, you are seeing signs of a mechanism that could be also a reflection of the impact of stress on the gut microbiome, because we know that impacts immune function as well.

Melanie Avalon: So, the reason not to take the HCl is, so that you can test and see if you have H. pylori. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, that's one of the reasons. But that’s also, sometimes, people will start H. pylori and they all of a sudden get reflux, or they're burping a lot, or they're nauseous, or they're bloated and so.

Melanie Avalon: They start HCl or they start--?

Cynthia Thurlow: It can exacerbate their symptoms from H. pylori. Sometimes, it can be very subtle. They might just have bloating and they just assume bloating is normal like, “Oh, I had dairy and I'm bloated” or “Oh, I had some gluten and that's why I'm bloated.” But it could in fact be related to imbalance in the gut microbiome. There's a lot to unpack here, but certainly H. pylori is an opportunistic infection and more often than not it is attributable to a low HCI environment in the stomach.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. [chuckles] I'm just not understanding if it's attributable to low HCl, what is the reason for not taking HCI?

Cynthia Thurlow: Because you have to kill the infection, you remove what does not belong before you start adding digestive support like that. This is a clinical thing like this is a best practice thing. This is something that I learned in school and has been the case I don't start hydrochloric acid, unless I'm sure someone has cleared H. pylori. You think about digestion from a north to south process, what's in the stomach, you have to address what's there before you address Candida, or a parasite, or dysbiosis, or any other worms, which occasionally come up on diagnostic testing. You start north to south and so, you have to eradicate what does not belong in the stomach before you start addressing things that are going on lower in the digestive system.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay. So, I just really want to understand what you're saying. To resay what you just said, you need to address these infections before you work on digestive support as a solution.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, you want to. Before you prescribe or recommend HCl, you want to make sure they don't have H. pylori. That's where it stems from. If they don't have H. pylori, you could absolutely start hydrochloric acid. More often than not, people will see improvement in protein and amino acid breakdown. For many people that can be a simple fix to why they struggle with a protein bolus. But I always like to be thinking as a clinician and that's one of those things I always say, more often than not hydrochloric acid is pretty benign. However, here's my caveat in my clinical experience. “You want to be careful about dosing it if you haven't already ruled out H. pylori.” There's just so much of it. I have seen more in the past two years than I've seen the last 10 years. That's how much I've seen.

Melanie Avalon: Is that an easy test? Can people ask their practitioner for that test or would it be a GI doc that normally does that? I know you're not a GI.

Cynthia Thurlow: I would say it's someone that's functionally or integrative medicine trained. For me, before I started working with the DUTCH, I think the GI-MAP is one of the best tests I've worked with, because it's a starting point. It's been my experience that most primary care providers, internists, and most traditionally trained gastroenterologists are not using it. Because it's not part of that allopathic medical model. It doesn't mean that it's not valuable, but for a lot of people they do pay out of pocket. That can be something that's limiting. I've had people come to me who've been to their traditional, they've done the GI workup, they've had breath testing for H. pylori, and I tell everyone, the gold standard is stool. The best way to rule out H. pylori as disgusting as it is because think about it. H. pylori is in the stomach. If you get a positive test with stool that means it made it all the way.

Melanie Avalon: So, it won't find the dead DNA?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, you're shutting it. It's really going in with testing. I can send you some of the information, so you can learn more about the testing. But it's been one of those things that that amount of shutting, if you get it all the way into your stool is pretty significant. I always say to people like, “Yeah, the numbers not all that high, however.” [laughs] We weren't going into your stomach and taking the sample there. Breath testing is not as reliable. If anyone's listening and they've had that testing, I oftentimes will say, “Gold standard is stool.” It's not impossible to get it done. You just have to advocate. For a lot of people that are experiencing reflux, and heartburn, and burping, and belching, they're put on proton pump inhibitors, which in and of themselves have a lot of long-term health complications. I say this with respect, because we put everyone in the hospital on Protonix, which is a PPI. But the more I learned about how important stomach acid is, we're actually making it worse by putting people on these drugs long term.

Melanie Avalon: I cannot agree more. I've had that stool test and I've had-- Do they test for H. pylori when they do endoscopies? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, they can do little samples and send them off. And obviously, that's up close and personal. Think about it in the hierarchy of costs, it's much more cost effective to do a stool test versus an invasive procedure. But sometimes, you need the invasive procedure. If they're in there, they can do a biopsy or testing.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Awesome. All right, shall we go on to our next question? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. This is from Leah. Subject is: “Coffee differences.” “Hello, I wrote before with a question, but now, I have another one. I'm listening to an episode, where a listener asked about teeth whitening strips and it made me think of the time, Gin said, she had black coffee from McDonald's and it made her shaky. Now, I stopped getting flavored roast and only finished off my current stock of flavored roast during my window once I started fasting. My question is that besides the flavored roast, by flavored, things like hazelnut, toffee, winter mint, etc., how would we who are still relatively new to IF know if black coffee effects are fast in a bad way like McDonald's did for Gin? I buy whole bean coffee from Gobena, a not-for-profit that sends its proceeds to help orphans around the world and partners with adoptive families to help them fundraise and have been getting the Yirgacheffe light roast instead of the flavor roasted beans. I grind them at home and send about half of a five-pound bag overseas to my fiancé, who has also started fasting with me. He already liked his coffee black, so, no trouble there. What could have made that McDonald's coffee different? How could we find out? I want to fast clean, but the sheer relief. I could keep coffee even if I just stopped putting cacao in it during the fast was so nice. You gals will never run out of things to talk about on the podcast. We'll always have questions. Leah.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Leah. Well, thank you so much for your question. I do remember when we were talking about this, and so, I looked up the McDonald's coffee and it is just coffee. There're no additives. I thought this was interesting. They say there's the potential of a dairy allergy. I'm guessing that's cross contamination from they're assuming with the coffee machine that it's possible that dairy could get into it. That's what I'm guessing rather than from the source. I don't know. It could be a few things. One, there's the whole movement of mold free coffee like the Bulletproof coffee with Dave Asprey. Do you drink coffee, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do not drink coffee. However, in our house, we have Purity and we have a company called Square Feet, and the latter of which is a very small like home-based business, but the man who runs it is very OCD about mycotoxins and tests multiple different ways. So, that's typically what we have in our house and what I generally recommend.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, nice. We will put links in the show notes to these coffees. The show notes by the way will be at ifpodcast.com/episode269. My coffee intake, I literally have a sip every morning. It's very, very small, but I drink Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof coffee because of the mycotoxins and mold issue. I've also used Ben Greenfield’s Kion coffee in the past. But people who react to these mycotoxins and mold, I think it can really be a thing. I think it could create that shaky affected people. So, it could be that. I don't know what else it would be. Do you have thoughts about it, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I think the concern about mycotoxins is a real issue, but I just can't imagine that McDonald's quality would be-- Who knows what else it's cross contaminated with. Could it have been blood sugar dysregulation, could have been a spike in cortisol? Because we know in some people coffee or whether it's the polyphenols, we know that you can get some appreciable cortisol dysregulation, which is going to raise your blood sugar, which is going to raise insulin. The shakiness could have been from a few different things. But certainly, quality is important. And so, it sounds Leah’s makes a very conscientious effort to select a product that sounds it's probably high quality. But I always think mycotoxins until proven otherwise, because coffee beans are readily known to be a mold sensitive or mold prone product, just like peanuts and legumes and things like that. So, that's probably where I would lean first. Yeah, I agree with you.

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Melanie Avalon: Okay. We have a question from Trina and the subject is: “Keto and OMAD,” one-meal-a-day question. Trina says, “I've been using OMAD for just under a week and have been doing okay. No weight loss yet, but I do have hunger pains periodically and some lasts for over an hour. I'm also doing keto while I'm having my one meal a day. Is this too much to do OMAD and keto at once and could this be causing me to feel hungry while I'm fasting? Or, should I stay the course or if I'm not going to lose weight, because I'm being too restrictive by using keto, should I add bread, pasta, etc., here and there? I do think I'd feel fuller at the moment, but I don't want the grains/carbs to spike my insulin. I've been keto since April 1st pretty strict and only up and down a few pounds weight loss, but overall, still the same weight. I did IF for 18:6 for a couple of weeks, no weight loss. Now, trying OMAD has been about a week. I maybe adrenal fatigued. Could this be my body healing instead of losing weight? If so, when oh when, can I hope to see any weight loss? I really do like the OMAD, but I'm getting frustrated. By the way, I eat in the middle of the day currently, but maybe shifting to an evening OMAD might help. I work full time, very busy, and was worried. I'd be dragging if I didn't eat in the middle of the day. But eating with my family would be more enjoyable for all of us.” And then she has a second question, but I thought we could answer this first.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, there's a lot to unpack here. Unfortunately, the toxic diet culture has convinced women in particular that weight loss is the only metric to demonstrate if a new strategy is effective. If you look at the research typically, because women have different body fat to muscle mass composition, as well as hormonal fluctuations. I don't know how old Trina is. I don't know if she's insulin resistant. But depending on where you are life stage wise, it may take six to eight weeks to start seeing significant and when I mean significant, really one to two pounds a week over six, eight weeks, yes, I would expect to see some weight reduction. I think it's important to focus on non-scale victories. Meaning, are you getting changes in body composition, are your clothes fitting a little more loosely, are you having more energy, more mental clarity, etc.? I think there's a couple things to focus on. One meal a day for many people may not allow you to get enough macros in. I know this is something that Melanie and I have talked a lot about outside of the podcast. There's a lot of layers to this question. Obviously, the first one being be patient. I know it's easier said than done, of course. But I think that it's important to understand that you may not see a scale shift immediately and to just trust the course. 

The other thing is, can you get enough protein in one meal a day? That's always my concern with women. If you really just have one meal, are you getting enough food in? You also mentioned being adrenal fatigued and so, there's a lot to look at. When women are fasting, I think it's really, critically important that you focus on what's your sleep quality like. That's foundational. If you can't sleep through the night, your sleep quality is eroded, you need to back off on fasting. Number two, what's your stress management like? That's not three minutes of meditation once a week. Anti-inflammatory nutrition, I think keto can be helpful. However, maybe you need to really be thinking thoughtfully about what's working for your body. Protein, non-starchy vegetables, right types of fats. Then the last thing that I think about is, I don't know if you're exercising. It sounds like you've got a very busy schedule. But we know that insulin resistance starts in our muscles as an example. Some type of physical activity is going to be very important to help with insulin sensitivity. But it's hard for me to completely provide some perspective about the adrenal fatigue. If you're in perimenopause or menopause, more than likely your adrenals need some love and support and that's why the stress management and sleep are so important and the right types of exercise and food. Melanie, what would you add to that?

Melanie Avalon: That was very comprehensive. That was wonderful. The only thing I would add would be, so going back to the keto, I think there's this binary dichotomy that people have viewing keto, where they're either keto or they're eating bread and pasta, where I think it's much more nuanced than that. Adding carbs to keto doesn't have to be bread and pasta. It doesn't have to be this huge whack of high GI, potentially inflammatory carb source. You can add in some carbs while still existing more within a “keto paradigm.” A lot of people on keto do include berries, for example like small amounts of berries. Even upping the vegetable intake could potentially up the carb count. I would not go to bread and pasta to make yourself less stressed or less restrictive. I don't think for most people that that would be the solution. Some other thoughts about existing within the keto paradigm and frame, Cynthia mentioned this, but the role of protein is so important. I don't know if you're doing a super high fat version of keto or not, but adding that more protein and maybe if you are doing super high fat, titrating down the fat, that might be a way to A, feel more full because the protein is going to do that. B, more nourished via the protein and potentially encourage weight loss by titrating down the fat. 

Also, switching out the types of fats might be helpful. Depending on what type of fat you're having in your keto diet, MCT oil, for example, is a very thermogenic fat. If you are adding oils or butter, or things like that switching some of that out for MCT oil might have a beneficial effect on your weight loss. There is the option because you're worried about keto plus fasting being too stressful. There is the option of trying fasting with not keto. That is an option. Trying a higher carb, lower fat approach, for me personally that works really well. Again, we're all individual. When did she start this? Only a couple of weeks. Okay. I wouldn't jump to this right now, because like Cynthia said, it's only been a couple of weeks and I would stick it out a little bit longer. That said, if you make it months, and you're still not happy, and you're not seeing weight loss, some people do find that they do better on a higher carb, lower fat approach with the fasting. So, that is definitely something to try. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, It's interesting. When I talked to Sara Gottfried a few weeks ago, one of the things she was talking about is, women have to use keto differently than men. It's been my experience that men seem to be able to eat copious amounts of both plant-based and animal-based fats. We really have to reflect on the fact that carbs and protein are four calories per gram, even though I don't encourage people to count calories. Let me just put that in there. Whereas fats are nine calories per gram. You don't need as much fat as you think you do. As an example, if you're having a piece of salmon steak or a ribeye, guess what the fats are already in there. You don't need to add more fats. This is where I see a lot of women get into trouble, because dairy, cheese, cheese is delicious and nuts are delicious. And so, people are like, “Yay, I'm doing keto. This is awesome.” Before they know that they've eaten four portions of cheese, and three have nuts, and they've blown, any caloric deficit that might have even been created by intermittent fasting. So, just something to think about that plant-based fats for a lot of people including myself. I tend to do better with those, so less heavy fats, but really leaning into where you life stage wise, are you insulin resistant, and maybe being really mindful about your portion sizes of fats.

Melanie Avalon: Three thoughts to that. I'm glad you mentioned Sara Gottfried because I was going to bring her up in my answer because I was going to say that her, and you, and Dr. Anna Cabeca, all of you guys are really wonderful in talking about the nuances of keto for women specifically and how that might need to be adapted for women. I think that's really valuable. Cynthia's book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation, Dr. Gottfried’s-- What is Dr. Gottfried’s most recent book?

Cynthia Thurlow: Women, Food, and Hormones. 

Melanie Avalon: Wait. Straight to the point. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, Women, Food, and Hormones.

Melanie Avalon: So, if that title doesn't just say it. Dr. Anna-- What's Dr. Anna Cabeca’s most recent book?

Cynthia Thurlow: MenuPause. So, it's like M-E-N-U-pause.

Melanie Avalon: I actually haven't read-- I think that's her only book I haven't read. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's beautiful. The photos, and the recipes, and she really did a nice very thoughtful, very, very thoughtful job. Yeah, it's a beautiful book. The photography is so pretty. We think about we eat with our eyes. And so, I told her, I was like, “Oh my gosh, the book is so beautiful.” If you do nothing else, it's artwork just to look at.

Melanie Avalon: I'm going to have to check it out. That's amazing. Well, we'll put links to all of those books in the show notes. The other thought I had was, again, listening to Peter Attia last night, one of the episodes I was listening to was, he was talking about people not losing weight on keto. He said, the first thing, if that's the case is he suggests titrating down the fat, which is just to echo what we both just said, Oh, yeah. The third thing is, I'm so glad you brought this up, because I think about this a lot. I think because we do live in such-- especially with the keto movement and this idea that has to be super high fat, we just have this feeling that with all of our food, we need to cook it in fat, and add all these oils, and you don't have to. Especially, if you're talking about salmon, salmon has a lot of fat in it. A not lean chicken breast, chicken thighs or chicken breasts with skin, that has fat in it. Steak has fat in it. So, you don't necessarily have to add a ton of fat. I know there are people like, is it Dr. Gundry, who says he pours olive oil by [laughs] a liter?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think about it. He's a dude. I always say like, “That's the one thing we--" Bio-individuality rules, but I don't see a lot of women that can eat copious amounts of fat. The worst thing is when someone says, “Oh, my God, I did keto and it was great until I gained 10 pounds.” It's almost always because they didn't realize how calorically dense fats are. I always say like, “If a little bit is good, too much is not good.” I will fully disclose that my favorite healthy fat, I love macadamia nuts. I have to portion out a quarter cup because they're so easy to overeat. I literally take the bag out, take my measuring cup out-- I don't measure my food otherwise. Take my measuring cup out, put in a bowl, put the bag away, and I'm like, “I'm done.” Because it's like kryptonite, it’s very easy to overeat fats.

Melanie Avalon: Nuts are a gateway food for me. I've said this on the show a lot. I don't know if I've said this to you. But one of the biggest epiphanies I had with all of this was, people will say that on keto, for example, that you can have unlimited fats, because they don't raise insulin. But the reason they don't really raise insulin is because they don't really need insulin to get stored. The ironic thing is, the same concept of fats not releasing insulin and the conclusion you could draw could be one of two things that are complete opposites. The conclusion that most people draw is, “Well, no insulin. So, it's not going to get stored. I can have all the fat I want.” But really no insulin, because it's so easily stored. So, just something to ponder.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting. Ben Azadi always says, “You want to burn endogenous fat before you consume exogenous fat,” which means all of us have plenty of fat just to burn off. We want to burn the fat in our bodies as opposed to ingesting lots of fat. When we're thinking about evolved keto, meaning, as Melanie just said, people say, “Oh, I've no blood sugar spikes on my CGM.” It's understanding because you make it very easy for that extra energy just to get stored as fat. And so, we want to burn the fat inside before eating copious amounts of exogenous or external sources of fats as delicious as they are.

Melanie Avalon: I'll put a link in the show notes to that Peter Attia episode because it was his AMA #22.

Cynthia Thurlow: I love his AMAs. 

Melanie Avalon: Me, too. The title is Losing fat and gaining fat and it was all about the concept of fat flex, and how does fat actually go in and out of cells, and how does keto affect that. So, be very helpful for people. Trina had one last quick question. She said, “Also, do we count our fasting from beginning of eating window to the next beginning of the eating window or do we count it from where we end our eating? I'm getting confused on the whole 22:2 or 23:1, and where the hours are counted from. Thanks for all you do and I appreciate your time.”

Cynthia Thurlow: I always count it from when you stopped eating. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting because I'm running a fasting group right now and there were two or three women that were struggling because they were thinking about it too much. I just said, “Whenever you stop eating is when your fasting window starts and that's the easiest way to think about it. Don't overthink it.”

Melanie Avalon: People get really caught up because when you end your meal, you're fasting but you're not in the fasted state. It can be confusing. If Cynthia said, if you're overthinking it, but don't overthink it. You are fasting and that's what you're counting. So, fasting is when you're not eating. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I tell people it really takes about 12 hours for your body to get to a point where it's burned off or working through that last meal. It's important to not stress yourself out, because I tell everyone, I'm like, “We're so hard on ourselves, we endeavor to integrate these new strategies to make ourselves healthier.” Then next thing I know people are down a rabbit hole stressing and I'm like, “Listen, no stress. There's no stress.” When you stop eating is the beginning of your fasting window until you eat again.

Melanie Avalon: Here's a question for you that we've often discussed on this show and I'm always curious what people’s thoughts are. If you're doing a time approach where it's a 16:8 or something like that, would you rather count the fasting hours or the eating hours? I can clarify more if you need me to clarify. So, Gin, for example, likes to have a four- or five-hour eating window, whereas I like to have minimum fasting hours. I like to count the fasting hours.

Cynthia Thurlow: I count the fasting hours. I really lean into how I feel in terms of-- Because I have a wider eating window. That's one way I can get in the amount of protein that I need every day. For me, I really reflect on what my minimum fasting hours should be and that's usually what I work from.

Melanie Avalon: Same. It's exactly what I do.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I'm checking myself like, “When I stop eating last night?” Last night, I went out to dinner with my 16-year-old, so, I ate a little later than I normally do which is okay. Yeah, I usually focus on, “Okay, how do I need to adjust my fasting windows to make sure I'm at least hitting that minimum for me?”

Melanie Avalon: Same. What I don't like is, I don't like the thought of having to close my eating window at a certain time. Once I start eating now, I have this amount of time to eat that I find that very stressful.

Cynthia Thurlow: When do you open up your feeding window, because I know you stay up a little later than I do? 

Melanie Avalon: Like nine. 

Cynthia Thurlow: That's hilarious. For listeners, I know, you know that Melanie stays up a little later and I go to bed a whole lot earlier. But I was thinking one day, I was like, “I wonder what time she starts eating,” because I know what time I start eating and they might be like 12 hours apart. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: It's very possible. The only time I eat earlier is if I'm getting dinner out. I've been doing it for so long, too.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's what we're-- This is really leaning into what works for you and your body. If I eat at 9 o'clock at night, my sleep would be a disaster. [laughs] But I also go to bed a lot earlier. So, I think last night I was up late. My Oura was like, “You stayed up till 10:15.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I would be so proud of myself if I went to bed at 10:15. I would be so proud of myself if I got up when you get up, too.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, well, it's funny. My Oura was squawking at me last night that it wants me in bed between 8:30 and 9:30 and I'm like, “Oh.” Sometimes, I just don't want to go to bed that early. And then it squawks at me, because my sleep latency is two to three minutes because I take progesterone which is sedating and helps me fall asleep. So, I just say I'm not going to worry about the sleep latency. I know why I fall asleep quickly.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think I've said this before, but I I've hit up ceiling on my Oura Ring. I don't think I can get better than a certain score that I received. I don't think I can get higher than 90, because of how late I go to bed. Even if everything else is great, it considers that a problem, even though it tells me to go to bed late. It's ironic. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. I want to just keep answering questions, but I guess, we'll have to wait till next week. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, directly emailquestions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and submit questions there. I will say, Cynthia, we've been getting because you weren't here before you were here. There's definitely been an influx in questions and Cynthia has come onboard and it's really exciting. I think people are really excited to get your perspective on things. So, keep the questions coming. The show notes again will be at ifpodcast.com/episode269 and you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon. Okay, wait. Let me try. Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. Just to make it complicated. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. I think that's all the things. Anything from you, Cynthia, before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I'm loving all the questions. In fact, as Melanie stated, we have an influx of questions and we're just trying to diligently hit a couple every episode. So, keep them coming and I've been encouraging people that have been asking questions in my DMs across social media to email them to us, so we can answer them on air.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, definitely. Because people will DM me as well. But if you want it on the show, the email is where it needs to be. That's how it goes through the system to potentially get into the lineup. So, all right, well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Cynthia Thurlow: Thanks. To you, as well. 

Melanie Avalon: I will see you next week. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. 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, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

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