Welcome to Episode 290 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.
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Listener Q&A: Charles - Safe Tanning Bed
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Listener Q&A: Rachel - Weight loss too slow
Listener Q&A: Darcy - Diet Cheating
Listener Q&A: Deborah - What about Toothpaste?
Listener Q&A: Ann - Digestive Enzymes
Listener Q&A: Alyssa - IF and digestive changes
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 290 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: A 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 show 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.
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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 may be 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 percentage 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 out 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. 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 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.
Hi everybody and welcome, this is episode number 290 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.
Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie, how are you?
Melanie Avalon: I'm good, I started the last podcast off with a question. But I have another question for you for this podcast. How is your creatine going?
Cynthia Thurlow: Good, we're officially told that it will be out before Thanksgiving. I keep getting these vague ideas and we'll make sure we link up the waitlist for creatine so that we can ensure people that are most interested in receiving it. But yes, things are moving forward in a quick direction. I'm hopeful that everything will be out by mid-November. That's what I'm assured will happen. So, it's very exciting.
Melanie Avalon: Why did you choose creatine as your first supplement?
Cynthia Thurlow: I think because-- what's really been a struggle for me as a middle-aged woman is not only the muscle piece, it's so much harder to maintain and build muscle in perimenopause and menopause. And the more research I dove into and the more I talk to colleagues of mine like Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, the more I realized I was like, "This is a huge issue for women." So, last year, I started taking creatine, and in my Stories this past week, I actually put objectively how I've been able to increase the weight week to week, and my trainers like thrilled and so from my perspective, I think for a lot of women, one of the things we have to work very diligently and actively on is not just muscle health, but also brain health. And those are the two key areas with regard to creatine that for me I think are really compelling. And I think my second-- I really believe, I just did a great podcast with Dr. Barrie Tan, talking about the value of a certain type of vitamin E, it's tocotrienols.
And so, the supplementation with that is actually really beneficial for bone health, like significant improvement in bone health. And so, I think my first couple of products are going to really be geared towards helping women find supplements that can be beneficial at different stages of our lives, but also make them accessible. I'm going to take all the research and really understand it, so that I can then provide information and say, "Hey, listen, I myself have no interest in ever being diagnosed with osteoporosis, but I'm doing all the things along with supplementation with these tocotrienols, which is a form of vitamin E and taking creatine to help maintain muscle and bone health, which we know is really, really, important and honest to God, I never thought about it. So, I was probably 45." And I want younger people to think about it before that time period and I want people that are older than me to have options that aren't surrounding the latest potion, pill, or powder which you and I both know is proliferative in the health and wellness space.
Melanie Avalon: I cannot agree anymore and that's interesting about the creatine. It's something that honestly, I think I just disregarded for a very long time because I eat such a high-protein diet that all of the amino acid-related things I've been like a-- well, I probably get getting enough. But I've been hearing more and more it pop up on so many conversations on different podcasts like Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, like you mentioned talking about a lot when Layne Norton was on either Rogan or Peter Attia, he talked about it at length, and I keep seeing it pop up other places, too. And I'm like, "Oh, I think this is something I should be supplementing with." And the timing of it is just working really well in that I'll just start with yours because I know it'll be the best on the market. So, very excited for that.
Cynthia Thurlow: I appreciate all of your support, for everyone that knows Melanie and I are each other's biggest cheerleaders and it's totally genuine, and I love seeing what you've been able to build in your business and how many people you've been able to help with your supplement line.
Melanie Avalon: I'm just excited that yeah, together we can make a change because like you mentioned it's such a sketchy world, the supplement industry. And I already knew that before making my own, which is the reason I wanted to make my own. But now actually being in the process, it's like my eyes are being opened and I've just learned so much. So yeah, listeners definitely vet the supplements that you're taking. Actually, speaking to the vitamin E, because I know that I think there are like eight forms of vitamin E, how do people know which form to get?
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, so it's the derivative are tocotrienols and so what's interesting is these are derived from a plant in South America. I mean, Dr. Tan's whole explanation just blew my mind. He was there in South America to do something else and he stumbled upon this plant called annatto. And so, annatto is the derivation of this particular tocotrienols. And there is so much research being done on this derivative. It helps in metabolic health, there are anti-cancer benefits, there are bone health benefits. So, from my perspective sometimes podcast guests end up on our podcast schedule, and maybe at the time you're not fully familiarized with who they are, or their research, or their areas of expertise. And as I was prepping, I was like, "Oh, my gosh, this is actually really, really, interesting." And how do we make it accessible to everyone so that people can walk away from a podcast and be able to take action? Dr. Tan actually has, I don't know when his podcast-- It should be out in November, but he actually has a book on his website that's totally free. So, people can read the research and read his information. He's just passionate about being able to help people. And he's using gold-standard research. It's not epidemiologic research, it's double placebo blinded trials. And it's interesting that something I thought I would have no interest in has now become something I'm incredibly interested in. So, his podcast will be out in November, I forget which date?
Oh, no, his podcast just came out. What am I saying? It was last weekend. I'm getting all my dates mixed up, Melanie. So, that podcast dropped last weekend and we've gotten so much good feedback. And even though someone else who had interviewed him said, "Oh, we know his accent's kind of heavy-- he's got a wonderful sense of humor." He's so passionate, he's like a derivative of Rick Johnson. Like, he's that passionate, he's so like, warm and you can't help but love him. And so, I got off and thought to myself, I have to bring in back to talk about another topic because we didn't really touch on cancer research. But the long explanation of this is that I do think that there's a lot of value, I started taking annatto a few months ago, and I haven't repeated my DEXA but I'll be interested to see what that looks like. Because I've been staunchly opposed to using biphosphates, which for anyone that's listening a lot the bone-building drugs actually technically they build more bone, but it's not strong bone. And so, what got people concerned about them is that dentists were seeing a lot of mandibular necroses, so bone in the jaw being really like spongy and so there's no drug that's without side effects. So, to find something that has the potentiality of really improving the quality of bone because people may not know this, but teenagers as they're growing, they have this acceleration of bone-building potentiality in their bone for so many years because they're growing. And what happens in menopause is that the opposite happens, you've got more bone destruction than you do bone building.
And this is why women in menopause really are at great risk for weakened bones falling and breaking bones progressing to osteoporosis, which is what we want to avoid. If you're a thin Caucasian woman, you're probably already at risk for osteopenia. But you can't compare my bone strength at 51 to someone who's 20. It's like not a good comparison. And so, I remind people all the time that you can do all the right things, but some of us need a little bit more support. And that's another reason why I think testosterone therapy is not something to fear. If you get to a point where that helps you maintain bone mass that's another-- we actually have testosterone receptors on our bones as well as estradiol and progesterone and I think a lot of people forget that it's that loss of hormones that really start to accelerate bone turnover in a negative way in menopause.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm so happy you're drawing attention to this because I think it's something people just don't think about. People will seem to think that bone is like static or fixed, not that it's like this living tissue that all the process that you mentioned and how much that can be affected by diet and lifestyle. So, now I'm just voting, I vote that you make vitamin E as your second supplement that annatto, what annatto?
Cynthia Thurlow: Annatto, umm hmm.
Melanie Avalon: Annatto I got to find a good one.
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Melanie Avalon: Okay, shall we jump into some questions for today?
Cynthia Thurlow: This is a question from Charles. Subject is "Safe tanning bed." "Have you come across a safe tanning bed for home use? I believe what I'm looking for might be called a hybrid tanning bed. I live in Chicago and there are several months where I can't get good sun exposure. I'm not interested in tanning, just exposure to light spectrums that could mimic what could be attained from the sun. I believe there are beds that can provide UVA, UVB, and even some red light therapy."
Melanie Avalon: All right, Charles, thank you for your question. Thank you for your controversial question. I feel like people get intense about this question. So, I looked up the hybrid tanning bed thing and what I found-- it looks like it's a bed that combines normal tanning rays, like potentially just UVB but maybe UVA as well, with the red light therapy. So, that's all I could find on that specifically. So, my thoughts on this are at-home tanning beds, all I can speak to is what you would look for in a tanning bed and if you are using it therapeutically for the benefit of vitamin D production. And the reason I wanted to answer the question around now is because this airs on November 7, so getting colder, less sunlight and I believe vitamin D levels are so important to our overall immunity and our health in general. People think vitamin D is a vitamin, but it's actually a hormone. The book I'm reading right now, actually, I'm prepping to interview a woman, Dr. Heather Moday, she wrote a book called The Immunotype Breakthrough: Balance Your Immune System, Optimise Health and Build Lifelong Resistance, I am loving it, it's really deep dive into the immune system.
I'm learning so much but I was actually reading the section last night about vitamin D, she makes the argument that it is the most important nutrient when it comes to the immune system. Actually, every single cell of the immune system has a vitamin D receptor, so it's so so important. And then the stats on vitamin D levels and health are really shocking. And I think they really came into play, especially with COVID because then they started doing more studies on COVID mortality or COVID outcome rates and vitamin D levels and there was a really strong correlation there with lower vitamin D levels being problematic for that. So, the point of that is that I think getting vitamin D from the sun or UV rays likely can have some benefits extending a little bit beyond a vitamin D supplement, which is also an option as well. And you can also get vitamin D from some foods, but not in huge amounts.
So, what I actually do and again, this is controversial and I'm not recommending this as a blanket statement, and I don't take skin cancer lightly, but UVB is the ray that actually stimulates the production of vitamin D in your body. UVA is the ray that actually gives you that tan effect. So, it works well because tanning beds tend to be more expensive when they're more UVA because people want to get it for the tan, but it's actually the UVB that you want. And so, you'll often find that cheaper beds are UVB beds. So, what I often do or have done in the past, although I just got my InsideTracker results back and my vitamin D level is too high. I think I've been supplementing too much, but I will get a membership. And at Palm Beach tan, they actually have a pretty good setup where you can get credits, and I just use it in the UVB bed. And I would literally in the winter go in for literally two or three minutes in the UVB only bed. So, that's a personal choice. I cover my face. Yes, that's a personal choice.
So, I can't really speak to at-home tanning beds I assume if you get a UVB tanning bed at home and try that. The red light though is-- it would have completely different therapeutic benefits. And of course, for red light therapy, we absolutely adore Joovv. I do use red light therapy every single day of my life. It's one of my favorite things. And it's really great for skin health, also for reducing inflammation, red light and near-infrared can help with muscle recovery. I use it for circadian regulation. So, waking up in the morning and going to bed at night. So, if you go to joovv.com/ifpodcast and use the coupon code, IFPODCAST you will get a limited-time discount that's J-O-O-V-V dotcom and I think they're going to have some pretty amazing deals for Black Friday. So, if you've been thinking about getting one now might be the time or upcoming might be at the time. So yes, I'm very curious, Cynthia, what are your thoughts on tanning beds?
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I'm not a fan of tanning beds. But for people that are looking for light exposure, especially people that are more prone to seasonal affective disorder, I like Lux Box, so it's L-U-X and you can get them on even Amazon and a certain amount of exposure in the morning can be hugely helpful. And for anyone that's north of Atlanta, which is mostly United States, you don't get enough sun exposure. It's not just the Midwest, areas of the country where it's really cold in the winters. So, I generally recommend that they get a Lux Box, and then just getting sunlight exposure in the morning can be hugely helpful. The way to think about UVA and UVB light is to understand that UVA light is aging, it will age your skin, then UVB light can burn you. So just to kind of differentiate that those are the two, like the UV lights and what I'm more familiar with. Melanie's absolutely the expert on red light therapies much more so than I am. I actually really like my PMF mat, but that's a completely separate tangential rabbit hole that I'm going to avoid. So, I would say Lux Box is what's going to be most helpful if you're feeling like you need some seasonal-- if you're prone to like depression and just otherwise not feeling good during wintertime because you're not getting a lot of sunlight exposure, a Lux Box is not going to give you multiple spectrums of light but it can definitely help if you feel like that light exposure piece is impacting your mood. And it wasn't clear from Charles' question if that was of issue, but I just wanted to-- this was like a general recommendation I do with a lot of my patients in winter.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that's great. I actually use a-- it's not Lux Box brand. Mine is called Day-Light, I got it on Amazon, I can put a link too in the show notes, it's on right now. So, I use that and my red light every day. And I love it. Just as a side note, I think it's really important to get-- I don't know how often you should do this but going to a dermatologist and just having them check your entire body for any potentially cancerous growths on your skin can be really helpful. My mom actually recently went through that, and they did find one and they had to like take out a whole chunk of skin. And not to say it's fine, but it can be fine if they find it early. That's why getting those checks can be really important. It's really intense though how much skin they have to take off just to like, even if you have just a tiny little freckle with cancerous potential.
Cynthia Thurlow: They have to get clear margins. Yeah, they thought I had a squamous cell on my forehead this summer. And so, they took like a punch biopsy, it turned out to be fine. But you definitely want to be getting your skin shocks every year. And to do with them well, you have to be pretty undressed. So, if they're doing it and you're just sitting on an exam table and you're not in a paper gown without your bra and your underwear on, then they're doing you a disservice quite honestly.
Melanie Avalon: Now I'm inspired, I need to go get one. This is inspiring [chuckles] this is action. This podcast is having effects on my life.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. Take action people.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. I'll do it. If you guys do too. Okay, shall we go on to our next question?
Cynthia Thurlow: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: So, this question comes from Rachel, the subject is "Weight loss too slow." And Rachel says "Hello, IF community. I've been clean fasting now for about six months and although I have lost some weight and inches, I feel very defeated and that the weight I'm looking to shed is just not coming off fast enough. Sort of looking for ideas on how to get the process moving quicker. Here is normally what I do each week, 20 to a 22-hour fast each day with no more than a 3 to 4-hour eating window sometimes 2. I try and do a meatless Monday with about a 42-hour fast a couple of times a month. My fast is completely clean with just water and black coffee. I try and limit my carb intake although I am not completely rigid. I do feel great with fasting and I know you need to eat what feels good to you but maybe I'm not making great choices. I'm normally a pretty healthy eater, lots of veggies, not a lot of meat, but just sort of feeling stuck. I'd a few medical things this past year and I wonder if my body is busy healing rather than shedding weight. Thanks for reading and hope to hear back. Love all the books and the podcasts, by the way, best, Rachel.
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Rachel, thank you for your question and I mean there is a lot of different variables here when I see that you've been clean fasting and you're frustrated with weight loss resistance. I really start with the basics, what is your sleep like? How are you managing stress? Are you consuming an anti-inflammatory diet? I know you mentioned you're trying to limit your carb intake and I do encourage women if they're weight loss resistant to actually track their macros like to know what you're really eating and chronometer is a free app. They really do a nice job, but I would track total carbs not net, net is a cheat that's a byproduct of the processed food industry. In order to deflect attention to what we really need to be tracking. I would make sure you're eating enough protein, especially if you've got a very narrow feeding window that's another concern, your body may think you're not eating enough food. That's why I think those OMAD situations can be problematic. You can further slow your metabolism, especially if you're not seeing some degree of weight loss or changes in body composition. I think a great deal about are you lifting weights. What's your gut health like? And obviously testing is helpful for that, what toxins are you exposed to, and then you mentioned that you're doing a clean fast, you're limiting your carbs, you're not eating a lot of meat, it doesn't per se have to be made. It could be poultry, it could be fish, it could be eggs, all can be helpful. And then you mentioned you've had some medical things going on, and I don't know what they are. So, it's hard to say if there's a degree of inflammation going on in the body, if you're healing from surgery or healing from an illness, I also don't know from your question how old you are. So, if you're 35 or 40, things can get a little more complicated as you get older, it doesn't mean that it's impossible. So, there are definitely things to think about. I don't like any women to get really rigid and do the same thing every single day.
So, varying your fast is important, making sure you're sleeping, making sure you're managing your stress, getting enough protein in, tracking your carbohydrates, alcohol is a sneaky thing and for some people they don't even register that our bodies will process. Alcohol is a toxin, so if you eat a big meal, and you have a couple of glasses of wine, your body is going to prioritize processing the alcohol before processing the rest of the food which can get stored as fat. So, a lot of things to think about-- certainly you can write us back and give us a little bit more information. But that's kind of my first pass at your question is that there are other things that are going on, we get healthy to lose weight, so we haven't yet determined what's going on. And, if you're really struggling that much, I would encourage you to see your primary care provider, get some lab work done, find out what's going on with your thyroid, find out where you are in your cycle, that can also impact success.
I think that would really be helpful. looking at fasting insulin, I talk about this a lot. Maybe get a glucometer or CGM to determine how good is your blood sugar control. You may think that you're doing really well with your food choices but then you find out that you've got a sustained high blood sugar all day long, and your body perceives that you're under a significant stress and duress. And so, looking and getting a little bit granular about some of those things, I think would be very helpful.
Melanie Avalon: I thought that was very comprehensive. Yeah, so I'm just thinking if she's doing a one-meal-a-day situation with no more than a 3 to 4-hour eating window sometimes 2 like she says, and she's purposely not eating a lot of meat and having a lot of veggies. So that's a lot of volumes. It's hard for me to see how she's getting a lot of protein in that window. And protein is the most satiating nutrient, it's the nutrient that provides the most, building structure for the body, and also from a metabolic standpoint, it stimulates the metabolism that actually requires energy to break down. So, sort of exciting when people are at this place where they have the potential to increase the protein because I think they can potentially see a huge difference if they focus on that specifically, especially when it comes to shedding the weight. So, either adding in protein or switching out some of what you're eating for protein-rich sources, instead, I think might have a huge effect on that. I've also found that-- and I don't want to make a judgment either way. But sometimes people kind of indicate that maybe they know that there could be better food choices that might work better, but I think they just need somebody to tell them that.
And it's hard to know if that's the situation, but it's language like, "I know you need to eat what feels good to you but maybe I'm not making great choices or I'm normally a pretty healthy eater." And so it might be that you are making great choices, and you are a pretty healthy eater, or it could be that maybe there are some things in there that aren't serving you as much as they could be. So that's more like a psychology of it. There's a lot of potential there for making changes in what you're actually eating in addition to all of the lifestyle things that Cynthia pointed out.
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.
Melanie Avalon: Alrighty, shall we go on to the next question?
Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, this question is from Darcy. Hi, "I cheated on my diet while I was supposed to be fasting. Can I just do a 48-hour fast to help get back on track?" Thank you.
Melanie Avalon: So, I love this question because I think it's one of the shortest questions we've answered on the podcast that actually speaks to something that is a huge topic. And it's the idea-- Well, first of all, can you do a 48-hour fast to help you get back on track? Yes, you can do anything and the reason I'm pointing that out is people write us all the time. I think I talked about this recently on another question on another episode, but it's like people think they need permission to do things in their life from-- I don't know from us, from society. You don't need permission from anybody to do anything. I just want to put that out there. So, yes, you can, the question would be, would that be a good thing to do? I think like that's the framing I would put on it. So, I have very mixed feelings about all of this. In general, I think there's a huge benefit to having an intermittent fasting pattern that works for you. And if you have a one-off situation where you "Cheated". Well, first of all, I think we should reframe it and not even see it as cheating, because I mean what is cheating? What does that even mean? You just chose to eat something that wasn't in line with maybe what makes you feel best instead, like it's not really cheating in my opinion. I think semantics are really important. And how we frame these things if you have a moment where you ate things that don't agree with you, or that are inflammatory, or that you feel the need to atone for which goes back to that cheating language. So, you can fast longer and that will very likely help with reducing inflammation, getting you back into the fat-burning state, it can have a very positive beneficial beautiful effect. I encourage people to fast longer if they think it will make them feel better. The sticky thing is I don't want people doing that out of fear and out of a feeling that they have to fast to undo what they did. Because it can very quickly become a disordered eating mindset, it can very quickly become over restrictive. So, in the ideal world people would follow the diet that works best for them. And maybe they have moments where for whatever reason, they're going to eat foods that are going to have side effects that are going to have-- are going to make them not feel so good on the flipside, and that's okay, too. And how you deal with that is okay. You can just keep on with your normal fasting window. If fasting longer physically makes you feel better. I mean I think that's fine. I just think people can get into a pattern like a binge-fast cycle where they're either binging or having these foods that make them feel bad and then responding with an atoning long fast. I think it can quickly spiral into a mindset that can feel like you're in a trap, like we want fasting to be freedom for people, we want it to be a good thing, we want it to bring benefits to people's lives and enhance their life and make them feel better. We don't want fear and insecurity and feeling like it's something they have to do to make up for their choices. So, yeah, I could go on and on about it. But Cynthia, what are your thoughts?
Cynthia Thurlow: I think our external dialogue is reflective of our internal dialogue. And when you say you cheated on the diet, it's very pejorative, you're judging yourself and in fact, what you should say is today I didn't eat as ideally as I would like to and tomorrow is a new day. So, reframing that whole judgment of yourself is really important. We have to give ourselves grace. None of us are perfect. I have days when my macros are a mess. I always reframe it as like, okay, tomorrow's a new day, I'm not going to-- I'm not going perseverate or overthink it, I'm just going to make tomorrow a better day, I'm going to make better choices tomorrow. Now, when we blow the motherlode, if you will, on a meal or a whole day of not eating ideally, the things that I think are important to lean into is adequate sleep, lots of hydration, eating lots of green things. And by that, I mean salad and if you tolerate non-starchy vegetables, hitting your protein macros, getting some exercise, and if it's appropriate for you, you can do a longer fast, you shouldn't punish yourself.
I think a lot of people it's a self-flagellation behavior where we feel like, we really have to treat ourselves unkindly. And human nature's we are not going to be perfect, life is perfectly imperfect. And so, Darcy, I'd really encourage you to reframe those thoughts and to be kind to yourself and obviously you don't need our permission to do a longer fast, but there are lots of different ways to get yourself back on track when you've not eaten as ideally as you would like to. And first and foremost is that mindset piece. So, the judgmental way that you're describing what you did, I would encourage you to say today wasn't the best day and that's okay and tomorrow I'm going to get back on track and that's really the way to reframe it and move forward.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, we are on the same page. It's tricky because I just think that mindset is so so key, the way you described and the way I was describing it and I also want people to have agency and the freedom to fast if they want. And I think you can do both like you can fast to help yourself feel better from whatever happened. But it can just so quickly become judging yourself and restrictive and atoning and that's not what I think it should be about. Shall we go on to our next question?
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.
Melanie Avalon: So, Deborah wants to know, "What about toothpaste?" Deborah says, "I in my window in the early evening but sometimes forget to brush right away, later I get ready for bed and need to brush. I use baking soda a lot, but once in a while Dr. Bronner's Peppermint paste, not lately because it's a flavoring. Is baking soda, okay? And okay. I'm excited about this conversation because, Cynthia, have we talked about toothpaste, you and I on the show?
Cynthia Thurlow: I think we have?
Melanie Avalon: We have?
Cynthia Thurlow: I do feel like we have.
Melanie Avalon: Well, I feel, because I know Gin and I have talked about a lot. I couldn't remember what you've said you brush your teeth with?
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I use Primal Life Organics and I actually right now have the unflavored variety because my kids-- we were trying to get them onboard and they didn't love the powder as opposed to a paste. And so, I ended up taking it and using it. in regards to Deborah's question, unless you are swallowing your toothpaste, I don't want anyone listening to feel like they have to stress about brushing their teeth because we all need to do that and baking soda is fine. I think as long as you're not swallowing it like toddlers, when we have toddlers and we have to remind them to spit it out and not swallow it. I think you're completely okay. If you're using a cleaner product like Primal Life Organics as an example, we'll link up the affiliate code for that. They're completely clean products, there's no junk, there's no artificial anything, artificial sugars, etc., no fluoride, and we'll link up the podcast I did with Trina Felber, she's another advanced practice nurse who has kind of created this whole clean-mouth line, which I'm obsessed with and I think it's really fantastic. But with regard to Deborah's question, brush your teeth, spit out the toothpaste, and don't stress about it. That's my feeling, I think this is one of those things that should be no stress. It's like if you have to brush your teeth in your fasting window, no big deal. I do it all the time, totally fine. What do you think?
Melanie Avalon: I feel the same way. And it's interesting. I think toothpaste is one of the places where I can really see an evolution in my-- so, I use the word neurosis, it was one of the first things that I went through a period where I was like, "Oh, I have to make own. Order kaolin clay and mix it up myself." And I went from that to, I really don't stress about it as much anymore. I found a few that I really like. I was doing the tooth powders for a long time. I found them a little bit messy for me and I finally went back to tubed toothpaste and I actually use a few different ones. But if you want a tubed toothpaste, it doesn't have really any sweet flavor to it. Well, it is salt toothpaste. I love that toothpaste. It is so strong and it has no sweet flavor which is really hard to find. But I agree with Cynthia that-- I also love Primal Life Organics. So, that's a great plug. And we will put links in the show notes to that. But yes, I agree with Cynthia, don't stress about it, and baking soda is completely fine.
Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly.
Melanie Avalon: All right., shall we go on to our next question?
Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, this question is from Ann and the subject is, "Digestive enzymes." "I love listening to your podcast while I'm doing chores around the house. I only have 30 episodes left. I love this. I have a question about taking digestive enzymes. I had my gallbladder removed about 13 years ago. Ever since that I've dealt with stomach cramps and having to go to the bathroom after eating a heavy meal especially if it was the first meal of the day. Before my surgery, I had no stomach issues. I could literally eat anything anywhere anytime with no worries. I come to think that the stomach issues were just a normal side effect of the surgery and I just had to deal with them. However, I started talking to friends and family who have had their gallbladder removed and realized they did not deal with this problem like I do. I heard you mentioned digestive enzymes on the podcast and I did some research and decided to give them a try. I've been taking them for about a month and they've helped so much. I go to the bathroom like a normal person now and don't have to worry about stomach issues after eating."
Here's my question, "I've been doing intermittent fasting for a year. I do mostly OMAD with no restrictions. I've lost about 30 pounds. It has been slow, but I feel great and not restricted at all. I've never been able to stay on a diet this long and have even been on several vacations and I've been able to get back on track easily. About the time I started taking the enzymes my weight plateaued and I felt like I even gained a couple of pounds. My weight loss has yo-yoed up and down the whole time but not like this. I'm just wondering if the enzymes are helping me absorb fats that previously my body could not and that has something to do with the plateaus. I haven't changed my eating habits at all, I definitely don't want to stop taking the enzymes because of how much they have helped me, and I'm sure this is healthier for my body but I'm just curious, I would like to lose about 50 more pounds. Thank you so much for all the great information you provide" Ann.
Melanie Avalon: All right Ann, thank you for your question. I think this is a great question. I've thought about it more in regards to-- so I eat a lot of fruit as listeners know, like pounds of fruit every night and I've gone through different levels of taking digestive enzymes with it. At one point, I was taking barely any and then other times I've been taking a lot. I've noticed that when I take a lot and I take a fruit-- I get like no digestive issues from it. But it really breaks down the fruit like not to be TMI, but I can see the difference in my bowel movements from how it's affecting the fruit. And so, I've been concerned about the sugar release from that. I'm like am I actually turning the fruit into more like fruit juice in me because I'm breaking down the fiber with the digestive enzymes? I don't want to scare people away from digestive enzymes but I just wanted to speak how I have thought about the nuance of this. And to clarify, I tend to go really extreme.
So, I would take tons of digestive enzymes, I wouldn't be concerned about this if it was just like a very small or actually probably even normal dosing. And that said, I have also thought about this more in relation to Ann's question, probably historically, not so much with enzymes. But with people-- especially when I was really having a lot of GI issues and gut health, I would spend hours and hours and hours in Facebook groups about SIBO and IBS and things like this. And people would share stories about having leaky gut and having issues with their gut health, and then gaining weight from healing their gut. And presumably that's from absorbing more food, like absorbing more nutrients. So, I can completely see if you went from a state where you weren't really absorbing your food and then you're taking these enzymes, and now you are absorbing your food. Yeah, I could see how that would make your weight plateau and/or even gain depending on what you're eating which kind of comes back to what I feel like I always come back to on this show, which is-- the enzymes are working for you, that's great. I would keep using them, this is awesome. And you seem to be on that page.
If weight gain is a concern and even if it's not, I would mitigate that or address that with the actual food choices, which she doesn't mention. She just says that she hasn't changed her eating habits, but she hasn't mentioned what those are. So, that's what I would look to, "Oh, I got it, I do mostly one meal a day with no restrictions. Okay." So, it sounds like you're eating just-- if there are no restrictions, I'm guessing it could even be like standard American diet. If that's the case, there is so much potential here for A, both having wonderful and improved digestion with these enzymes and B, not plateauing and not gaining, maybe even losing weight by making some conscious decisions around the food that you are putting in your body. So, if there are no restrictions right now, I mean, you could just start it very basic, which would be shifting from just not having processed foods, so you don't have to worry about macros or even the types of foods but shifting to a whole foods-based diet. That could have a huge, huge impact on your-- not only your weight but your health in general. And then a lot of people in our audience already exist within that whole foods-type paradigm. And then that's when I think you can move to the next step of like a macro-based approach of like low carb or low fat for example. Yes, especially if you have 50 pounds to lose. Yeah, I would definitely look at the food choices, I would keep the enzymes, look at the food choices. What are your thoughts, Cynthia?
Cynthia Thurlow: That was a really comprehensive answer. It's interesting, in my patients that have had their gallbladders out, I typically have found tremendous success with ox bile or bile salts, that's usually a starting point for them versus digestive enzymes and a lot of that has to do is when your gallbladder is removed, you still produce bile, but it just drips all day long. So, most of my cholecystectomy patients, which is the fancy word for gallbladder removal-- most of them really struggle with either constipation or diarrhea. And if Ann is finding that she's feeling better on digestive enzymes, I would stick with what she's doing because she feels better. Yes, and I don't know Ann's age but we start absorbing less nutrients as we get older. That's why we actually need more protein as middle-aged people, so Ann could be young, but I'm guessing she's probably at least middle aged just based on the fact the way she's describing things. The other thing I think about is OMAD and weight plateaus. I started thinking about the fact that your body might have just gotten to a point where with just only one meal a day you're not getting enough macros in, you may need to change things up. I always say when you hit a plateau, it's time to change things up either tracking your macros to see very clearly how much protein you're eating a day. Are you overeating fats? Are you eating too many carbs? How's your sleep? How's your stress management? Are you lifting weights? As people start losing weight, sometimes they want to get more physically active. Do you take walks? Where are you in your menstrual cycle? Or are you no longer menstruating? Those kinds of things are very helpful. But I would say shaking things up is going to be very important. And then, giving consideration, most of my patients with a cholecystectomy really benefit from ox bile or bile salts. These are supplements you can get over the counter. And those have been hugely impactful.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, by the way, have you ever taken, Cynthia, ox bile or anything like that?
Cynthia Thurlow: I have, I tend to be-- I think probably the listeners know that in 2018, I got the worst food poisoning in my life in Morocco, picked up a parasite and then ended up six months later having a 13-day hospitalization. So, my gut has really been ravaged over the last several years. And I've been told by my providers that I've had episodes of fat malabsorption, so have I ever taken it? Yes. What we've kind of worked on is artichoke, artichoke extract is actually a little more gentle than traditional digestive enzymes. And the more I've learned, the more I understand that there's so much bio-individuality, you may be able to take a really strong digestive enzyme, which for me would just not work. And so, there's a little bit of give and take, but yes, I have tried ox bile and bile salts, I do and have had episodically. I'm not someone that tolerates like a lot of animal fat. So, lean meat I do much better with and I think my gut microbiome really took a massive hit in 2018 into 2019. So, I'm definitely very carefully navigating what I add in to support digestion. How about you? Have you tried it?
Melanie Avalon: I went through a period where I was using it like you, I favor lean meat, so I didn't really see the need for it specifically not being on as high of a high-fat diet. I'm glad you brought up the individuality with digestive enzymes. This is a very vague teaser, but I think after we get out the next few supplements that we have, I have a really big supplement idea, project that I want to do that's going to relate to bio-individuality with digestive enzymes, I think it's probably going to be my big supplement project of 2023. So, people get excited. So yeah, but it's so true because especially with the digestive enzymes because goodness knows I have tried so many different ones and it really is about finding the one that works for you and that suits your personal digestion.
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Melanie Avalon: Related to digestion. We have a question from Alyssa. She says, "IF and digestive changes." And Alyssa says, "I am new to IF, about three weeks in doing a 17-7 window and I have never had any sensitivities to food. I have found since starting IF my stomach has become sensitive, as soon as I open my eating window and start eating, I find myself nauseous and bloated. I have experimented with many different types of foods, tried eliminating different food groups to see what is triggering this, and always have the same outcome. I've also had increased problems with loose bowel movements since starting IF. I'm wondering if my body is just taking longer to get used to this new eating pattern and if this is a common finding among new IFers. I definitely want to make this a lifestyle as I've researched and researched and I found nothing but good information. But the stomach issues are such a turn off. I think I've lost a little weight, but at this point, I really just want to get a handle on the way I feel and focus on weight loss as a secondary concern. I have about 25 pounds to lose but I did lose 40 before discovering IF, but hit a plateau for several months. I'm 29.5 not willing to claim 30 just yet female and have two kids, ages 1 and 2, if that information means anything to you." So, continuing the digestive issue conversation. Thoughts?
Cynthia Thurlow: Alyssa? Well, I think that there's obviously something going on, I would start with lighter foods, try some bone broth to break a fast, I would have a light salad, I would gauge to see if it's certain types of foods that are exacerbating your loose stools. I actually had a really good podcast with Megan Ramos and we kind of talked about troubleshooting some of these issues. And I just find that breaking the fast with a lighter meal or backing off on fasting entirely, you're talking about a 17-7, maybe especially as a 29-year-old female, you shouldn't be fasting right before your menstrual cycle. I would really try to give yourself a solid week in your follicular phase, which is after your bleed week and see how you feel, trying a little more protein, not doing as much uncooked vegetables, light, light, light stuff and see how you feel.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, something that I'm focusing in on is the fact that she said she'd never had sensitivities to food and now she does. And I think so-- this actually could be very helpful, it could be a flashlight situation. It's possible that you were having inflammatory reactions to food, but you just weren't realizing it until IF kind of like paved the way for you to have that moment where you actually saw how your body was reacting to food, which I think a lot of people do experience that, which is a good thing. I think. So, I love Cynthia's suggestion, definitely check out that episode with Megan Ramos. I'd be curious-- you said you've tried many different types of foods and you've tried eliminating different food groups. I'd be curious the extent to which you have tried A, elimination protocol as like an actual protocol because I've interviewed a lot of people who talk about elimination diets to solve these issues and a consistent theme with all of them. I'm thinking of like Dr. Will Cole, I'm thinking of Dr. Peter Kozlowski, I'm sure quite a few others.
A consistent theme is like really doing it properly, like actually committing to this short-term elimination diet rather than just kind of like, casually, like eliminating one thing here, because there-- Well A, the effects of food could probably last up to three days as far as just like, for some people the transit time and just the effects from that food. So, if it's a casual approach to eliminate things, you might not be able to see a difference if you just eliminate one thing one night and see how you react and there are so many factors involved. I think taking a conscious approach to an elimination diet might be helpful, but is possible that your body is still adjusting because it has been about three weeks. I would love to hear if things have changed. But yes, yes, yes, yes. I do think a lot of people do experience this. And there's a lot of potential to find the answer. And so, something that might be a game changer. This is something that I'm definitely, definitely, definitely going to make my own version up in the future because it's something that when I go through issues, especially with feeling like my stomach is sensitive and reacting to foods, like right when eating, there are different blends that involve L-glutamine and when taken on an empty stomach it can really help rapidly heal the gut. Particularly L-glutamine, as well as DGL which is, I don't even know how you say it, deglycyrrhizinated licorice extract. So, the one I take right now and I have got to make a version of this, it is shocking how much it helps me. I would love to hear Alyssa if you take this if this really, really, helps you. So, it's called Gut Assist. It's by Dr. Danielle, you can get on Amazon, I'll put a link to it in the show notes. Like right now it has 6337 reviews and 4.5 stars. So, it is a combination of L-glutamine of something called arabinogalactan, and then that DGL as well as some aloe vera. I would definitely, definitely try that. And then also stay tuned because I'm definitely going to make my own in the future. So, if you want to get updates about that, you can go to avalonx.us/emaillist. And you can also text AvalonX to 877-861-8318. That will get you text updates as well as a 20% off coupon code. So definitely check that out. Okay. Any other thoughts from you, Cynthia?
Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think you did a great job.
Melanie Avalon: You as well. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email email@example.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode290. Those show notes will have a full transcript, so definitely check that out. And you can follow us on Instagram, we are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_ and I think that is all things. Anything from you before we go?
Cynthia Thurlow: No, this has been fantastic as always.
Melanie Avalon: I agree and keep the good questions coming and we will talk to everybody 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 re-composed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.
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STUFF WE LIKE
Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!
Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine
Cynthia's Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging
More on Melanie: MelanieAvalon.com
More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com
Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com
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