Welcome to Episode 291 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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20:40 - Listener Q&A: Linsey - Opening your eating window at different times.
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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 291 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 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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Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is episode number 291 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.
Cynthia Thurlow: Hi, Melanie.
Melanie Avalon: How are you today Cynthia?
Cynthia Thurlow: I'm definitely having one of those days where there's a lot of really great things that are ongoing, but I feel a little overwhelmed.
Melanie Avalon: Well, that definitely makes you relatable to probably a lot of people. So, in general, how often are you-- in your life how often do you oscillate between feeling overwhelmed and feeling not overwhelmed?
Cynthia Thurlow: Probably a daily basis because there are so many things that are at play, being a mom and solo parenting this week and running a business and I've got a dog that's got a digestive issue. And so, today's definitely one of those days, I'm like okay, we can do it, we can totally do it. So, I have to psych myself out. But I would say as an entrepreneur, I think there's almost every day, I have a moment where I'm like I don't know how I'm going to do all this, but it's going to happen. How about you?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I was just thinking about how, it's interesting how people can be so different with their psychology of how they approach planning out their life or not planning and dealing with that, because for me as long as I really plan everything, I feel safe and my ability to do everything, but I was just thinking about how some people, get really overwhelmed at the thought of planning things out. And so, it's just really interesting concept to think about. My calendar looks really intense if you look at it, but that's my safety net, knowing everything is scheduled and has a place and a time and honoring it.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I think it's the idiosyncrasies of life. When things that are not planned pop up, then you're "Okay, how do I roll with it," I think years of working in an ER and working in more acutely sick environments. If I was calm, everyone around me could be calm. And so, I may not look stressed, but internally, I'm like "Okay, what do we need to do?" I usually plan out my days. And I'm like "Okay, the big hump of the day is here and once I've done that, then things will be easier." And so, I just got over my big hump, so everything else today is going to be on downhill, so it'll be good.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Yeah, for me, I have to really really honor all of my daily self-care things and my sleep. And I really have to prioritize that. And it took a while to reframe that is not being selfish [laughs] because taking care of yourself. But I do think it's just so important, and the way that you can show up for everybody else in your life.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and I think a lot of women have to give themselves permission to acknowledge that having boundaries and prioritizing self-care and that could look different for every person is really helpful. I know for me there are certain things I have to do in the morning to get my day started that allow me to feel I'm relaxed and I'm ready, and I can give 100% to whatever I'm doing. But I don't-- as an example, I'm not someone who likes to wake up late. So, if I've set my alarm and I sleep through an alarm, which occasionally happens, I have to reframe my morning because I then don't have the luxury of being able to do the things I need to do normally. But thankfully, that doesn't happen very often.
Melanie Avalon: It's so funny because I'm obviously the opposite. If I get up early, it throws me all off [laughs]. So, everybody's definitely unique.
Cynthia Thurlow: Um-hmm.
Melanie Avalon: So, I have two quick fun announcements for people to share. One, so this episode airs midway through November. And we don't have the exact date yet. But we're hoping planning to release my berberine supplement at the very beginning of December, so it might be two weeks away when this airs. It's been really exciting because berberine is something I've been taking every day for a long time it has really beneficial effects on blood sugar levels, which is why I started taking it while wearing a CGM, NutriSense by the way, we can put a link in the show notes to a code for them. Actually, I should just say it, because I know people don't check the show notes. Oh, that's a thing in the Facebook group the other day, people will still comment and not realize that we have transcripts for this show. So yes, there are transcripts if you go to the show notes at ifpodcast.com/episode291. So, the NutriSense CGM code is nutrisense.io/ifpodcast. And I think if it's a coupon code, it's IFPODCAST for a discount. Meandering way to say I always have seen beneficial effects on my blood sugar levels from berberine. And it's been exciting because I've been researching other topics and it keeps popping up and I don't know if that's just because I'm manifesting it or looking for it. I think last week, we talked about its role in autophagy and then I'm prepping to interview Dr. Heather Moday right now. She has a book all about the immune system, she had a section on it. So, it can really be a beneficial compound that I think a lot of people might benefit from bringing into their life. And so, if you've enjoyed my serrapeptase and magnesium, that is coming up next. So to get the information, because we will definitely be doing a launch special. You can get on the email list at avalonx.us/emaillist. And you can get text updates if you text AvalonX to 877-861-8318. Are you setting up an email list for your supplement line, Cynthia?
Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, and it should be out basically we're told by mid-November. I don't have a date yet, but it'll definitely be out before Thanksgiving. And yes, we do have, we'll put a link in the show notes to the creatine weightless page, which you'll be made aware of when it goes live and is available for purchase.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome, so wow, mid-November. When this is airing, it might actually be out or almost out, that's very exciting.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I'm super excited. I feel it's been a long process, but one that I feel really comfortable. I think it's a supplement that will certainly help people enormously. I don't think a lot of people realize what all goes into-- "Well, I don't want to make assumptions." But a lot goes into making these like my serrapeptase. I first met our partner Scott in April of 2021. And we launched it in that November. So, half a year, so much goes into it, but it's really, really, exciting. So, good things are coming. The other baby announcement I have is I've been talking a lot about launching an EMF-blocking product line. And so, I'm still working on the device that you will put on your bed stand to protect yourself from EMF from your phone at night and still letting you charge your phone and keep your phone not in airplane mode because I know it can be important to receive calls and such. So that is coming soon, we're working on it actually, the process that we're at right now is like renders of the models and prototypes and things that. In the meantime, I might actually just go ahead and launch the line, just to get it going with something that I use every day, I'm using right now actually, which are EMF-blocking headphones. So, basically, when I see people using, I mean not even just normal headphones but using AirPods, I just shudder thinking about the effects that might be having on our brain, which I know people think it is woo-woo sometimes, but there are a lot of studies on the effects of EMFs on the calcium channels and health and it's even considered a carcinogen by one of the World Health Organizations. So yes, if you want EMF-blocking headsets, stay tuned that's coming. I should probably set up an email list for that as well, but just putting it out there.
Cynthia Thurlow: It's so exciting.
Melanie Avalon: Anything new in your world?
Cynthia Thurlow: Goodness, I think a lot of what's new in my world is navigating business travel and trying to run a business. And so, next week, I'm going to be in Chicago. I'm not speaking in Chicago, I'm attending an event. And then we just planned out LA travel. And I picked up another podcast while I'm out there. So, I'm trying to figure out how to fit all these things together and to do so gracefully and with incredible gratitude and just savor a very exciting time. So, I would say the big things for me right now we're just trying to figure out how to make all these things work, and still celebrate holidays and be fully present for my family and be 100% present in my business. And the challenges of being an entrepreneur it's wonderful, but you have moments where you're trying to drink from a fire hydrant, there's just so much. It's like okay, let's just try to focus on all the wonderful things and processing and all of that.
Melanie Avalon: Which actually, I wonder if it'll still be available when this airs, we should plug our How We Grew Summit that both you and I did, which Cynthia and I were both guests in a Summit hosted by my good friend Noelle Tarr, also Liz Wolfe and I think three other women. So, it's a collection of interviews, that's a lot of interviews with all female entrepreneurs and how they're doing what they're doing. Last night, I was listening to Noelle had Liz on her podcast and they were just having a conversation and talking a little bit about it. And I was like man, I need to actually listen to all these interviews. I feel there's so much to learn from incredible women that are doing great things with their own businesses and such. We both have links for that, it's both of our websites, so melanieavalon.com/howshegrew and cynthiathurlow.com/howshegrew is the link for that if women would to learn more.
Cynthia Thurlow: Did I ever tell you the connection for me to Liz Wolfe?
Melanie Avalon: No.
Cynthia Thurlow: I read her book, Eat the Yolks and reached out to her and said where did you get your training? And she responded the same day. And I told her when we were interviewing, I said, I really credit you with helping the trajectory and the changes that I made in my business. And I'm so grateful to be able to give back because first of all I was stunned that she responded and then second of all, reading her book really was instrumental in setting the path in motion for me to dive into the functional space, and on a lot of levels like really changed everything I was doing. So, I was so happy to participate because she had in some small way contributed to the massive shift I did.
Melanie Avalon: I did not know that. It's funny, I feel like I know her because I talk to Noelle all the time and Noelle always talking about Liz and you know Liz. Yeah, I've never actually met her.
Cynthia Thurlow: She's lovely and I like that she's a little snarky and I can be a little snarky. And so, I appreciate that, when I see that in other women and it's not in a way that's meant to be hurtful. It's just funny and you're not hurting anyone. You just speak your mind, which I love.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome, so yep, listeners can definitely check all that out.
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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into some questions for today?
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.
Melanie Avalon: So to start things off, we have a question from Lindsey. The subject is "Opening your eating window at different times." And Lindsey says, "Hey there, I've been soaking up all things IF in the last couple months and I have to say your podcast is a great resource when it comes to navigating this newly found lifestyle of mine. I'm about a month into a 4:3 protocol and I'm already enjoying the weight loss benefits while learning what works best for my body. Eventually, I'd like to switch to one-meal-a-day window because mentally and socially I think it will be easier to stick to long term. Right now, I notice how lethargic I feel after lunch on my eating days. So, a daily dinner time window of about three hours is what I would like to transition to in the future. I'm curious about something though and wonder if either of you have ever experimented with this. If you change your eating window, start time from day to day while still keeping the amount of hours you eat consistent, will it dramatically affect the benefits of fasting both health-wise and weight loss-wise. I work in a small closeknit office where we have a delicious healthy lunch prepared for us daily free of charge. I'm friends with a lot of people at work. So, it's nice to eat lunch with them sometimes during the week. It's also nice on my wallet to get a free healthy meal here and there. Let's say twice a week I open my eating window from noon to 3:00 PM and the rest of the week I stick to an evening window of 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Will the earlier eating window a couple of times a week become a major roadblock in my fasting success? Thank you for passing along all your fasting knowledge and helping others along the way."
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Lindsey, thank you for the great question. I would say how nice it is that your workplace is offering up a healthy lunch. I think you're probably in the minority. If there are lunches provided, they generally tend to not be particularly healthy. So, there are a couple of things to unpack in this question. First and foremost, I don't know your age. But certainly, I do think some degree of variability of fasting windows is something that I myself am a proponent of. My concern is if you're only eating one meal a day that you will get into a position where you are going to not be consuming enough protein, which can potentially contribute to many things, but can contribute to muscle loss. And so, I think from my perspective, I just want to make sure I fully understand the question. I do think that when we eat earlier in the day, we tend to be more insulin sensitive. When we're eating in the evening, we can become or potentially become more insulin resistant. We know that we just have better insulin sensitivity earlier in the day. So, I think from my perspective, I would just be cautious about wanting to do an OMAD situation every single day. If you alternate between two meals versus one that might be some degree of variability. I see a lot of people doing 30/16, where they'll do 30 hours fasted and then eat and then have a 16-hour period of time in which they're not eating. But I would just be certainly careful about just having a very narrow eating window day to day, week to week because that could potentially set you up for slowing your metabolism. And that's something just to keep in mind. Melanie, how would you address this, because I know that you are my unicorn friend and you eat in the evening and go to bed late. And that works for you and you're very metabolically healthy. So, I think that's something to stress. This is where bio-individuality really is very, very important.
Melanie Avalon: I think I've mentioned this article a lot before but I wrote a blog post called Early Versus Late-Night Eating: Contradictions, Confusion, and Clarity. I'll put a link to in the show notes. The link for it is actually melanieavalon.com/eatingtiming. With that article or that blog I tried really hard to objectively non-bias look at all of the literature on eating timing and how it affects things and one of the most-- what would be a good word? Clouding things about it all is that the majority of studies looking at later evening are looking at it in the context of also eating earlier, compared to fasting all day and then eating later which can potentially see a different effect than if you had been eating even just a little bit earlier in the day.
My takeaway when I was reading it was if I had to pick a perfect window, even granted the fact that people are bio-individual but just looking at it, it seemed that around 4:00 to 7:00 ish hormonally seem to be the best, but that's not a blanket statement and everybody is individual, of course. But speaking to the switching it up, I'm totally down with people switching things up. And the thing that obviously-- maybe this isn't obvious, but if you switch it up, then you will naturally have-- assuming you maintain the same eating window, you will naturally have some shorter fast and then some longer fast as well. As far as the actual fast, I don't see it as a roadblock. I agree 100% with Cynthia about making sure you're getting enough protein in that window. Especially if you're-- well, I know for me when I'm eating late at night, I'm eating a ton of protein. And it's easy to do because I just buy it all myself and I have it. If I were to eat out, it's hard for me to get enough protein, I would not be able to eat out. I know she's talking about eating at work, but I wouldn't be able to do a restaurant meal and a one-meal-a-day situation every night, I just wouldn't be able to get enough protein. And when I do get restaurant meals, I normally get protein as dessert. Have I talked about that on here, Cynthia?
Cynthia Thurlow: I don't think so.
Melanie Avalon: So, yes, my family or whoever I'm with will usually get a dessert and I'll usually get a second round of the appetizer if it was Sashimi or Carpaccio, and I went to a restaurant actually a few weeks ago and ordered that. And I was like "Has anybody ever done that before?" And you said yeah, people do order "Home savory desserts," so I felt better. So, just a fun fact, you can always order if you're not eating dessert, you can order another round of salmon. But in any case, yes, I would focus on making sure you're getting enough protein. I wouldn't stress about the hours being different. And I'm actually jealous almost of people that can mix it up like that, because I think some people can really well and I think some people struggle a little bit. I have tried in the past to change things up and eat earlier and it does not go well. It's just operation fail and Gin was the same way as well. We have this in common. We both found that she did one-meal-a-day evening window earlier than mine, but we both had the experience where if we were to open our window earlier, we could eat, we could feel good. And then come dinner we would have the exact same signaling and appetite and just rinse and repeat. So, I'm not the type of person that could eat earlier and be done. I'll be starving again at night. So, yeah.
Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's the beauty of bio-individuality. It's figuring out what works best for us and leaning into it without apologies.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly for me I just love going to bed on a full stomach and one of the things I disliked growing up when I would try to be dieting was that whole don't eat three hours before bed thing. I would try to do that and that was so miserable. I so disliked that. One of the things I love best about the fasting situation for me now is that I can just go to bed really full and happy which is actually going to relate a little bit to our next question. Shall we go to that one?
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is from Tammy. Subject is "Meat intolerance." "Hey, ladies, the only thing I enjoy about Monday mornings, lol. I've always thought that eating meat didn't agree with me. I've never felt wonderful after a meal with meat. But always ate it because I thought we were supposed to. Well, since I started Intermittent Fasting last March, I've noticed lately that I feel tired, almost lethargic after eating a meal with meat. The other night I baked chicken. I couldn't hold my eyes open and just had to lie down. If I have a meatless meal, I'm perfectly fine. So, is this something you've heard of? I've seen people in the Facebook group mention they are tired after eating and even mention they eat just before bed because they are so tired. Because my body is sending me these signals."
Melanie Avalon: Awesome, Tammy. So, I have the date of when this question came in and this question is actually four years old. So that's just to inspire people if you submitted a question a long time ago, keep listening because we might answer it because sometimes I-- especially when I'm trying to create variety on the show with a question, sometimes I go way back in the archives. So Tammy, if you're still with us, let us know if you're still with us I'd actually be really curious. So, this question is interesting. So, the times when I would experiment with opening my window early. If I were to do like Tammy said and not have meat, so have just fruit or something like that I would not get tired, but if I were to eat protein and meat during the day, I get super tired and I don't-- "Well, I guess I do notice it at night. It's very conducive to my sleep at night because I do get tired and I find it really helps me sleep." And what I think is going on here, well a few things. So, I have a general answer and then I have a Tammy-specific answer. The general answer is that protein requires a lot of energy to digest. So, it has the highest thermogenic effect of any food, it's estimated and this is just an estimation, but around 30% of the calories from protein might actually be required to actually digest it. So, yes, that can make people tired and this is just my theory, I haven't read this anywhere. But it makes a lot of sense in my head.
My theory is that-- so if you're eating smaller meals throughout the day, you're not getting that big of a shift as much between sympathetic and parasympathetic, basically, the two types of the nervous system like the energetic, fight or flight, norepinephrine, epinephrine, hormones like that state and then the parasympathetic, so the rest, the digest, the relaxation, and I think when people are doing fasting, especially if they're doing a long fast and then this meal, I feel it makes it much more evident that switch from sympathetic to parasympathetic. And I think it probably hits people harder and makes them sleepier and then on top of that they're probably eating more because they are eating in smaller eating window. So, that's my theory about what's going on there. Because even for me, before fasting when I was eating throughout the day, I wouldn't fall asleep after a meal. I mean maybe on occasion, but I didn't get that response compared to now if I were to eat during the day, I would like want to take a nap. My Tammy-specific answer is I find it really interesting that meat didn't agree with you that you've never felt good after me and I wonder what's going on there. So, is it a specific type of meat? Is it a food sensitivity? Or is it that you don't digest? Maybe you need more stomach acid, so maybe taking a HCl supplement or something like that might help.
But the fact that you've always had issues with meat, it doesn't surprise me that you have an even more intense response to it now. And then just one last little piece, the concept of you ate meat because you thought we were supposed to. So, that's a loaded thought or statement. And I like to think that I'm diet agnostic. I really do think when you take a whole foods approach, you probably can make most approaches work if you try really, really hard, so I think for most people a meatless approach, a 100% vegan, plant based meatless approach. Most people I don't think will thrive on that and would need to take concentrated efforts to make sure they're getting enough protein, enough nutrients that they're missing. Whereas you could have even just adding a little bit of meat, get some of those nutrients and protein that you might be missing. And I'm actually really excited because-- and I'm sorry I'm going on so many tangents.
So, I just started reading Megan Rossi's book last night, she calls herself the gut health doctor. So, her first book is called Love Your Gut: Supercharge Your Digestive Health and Transform Your Well-Being from the Inside Out. And her new book is called How to Eat More Plants: Transform Your Health with 30 Plant-Based Foods Per Week (and Why It's Easier Than You Think). And I literally just started it, but what I'm really excited about is a large portion of the beginning of it she is talking about how-- she's actually not-- even though she's known as a plant-based figure that she's not even necessarily advocating going 100% plant-based approach, and she talks about how, if you actually look at the studies, it seems that nutritionally for most people having a little bit of meat is probably a good thing. And she references, I got to look it up. But she said there's a new study that came out.
So researchers from 16 countries looked at 1000s of scientific papers. And they came up with a "planetary health diet." That establishes a universally healthy reference diet that takes into account nutritional needs, overall health of humans and the environment, and long-term sustainability, and it is inclusive of animal foods. And the reason I'm bringing that up is there is this idea that people feel like, well, it's funny because people feel they should not eat meat like that's what they're supposed to do. So, I find it really interesting that some people think that and some people think that they should eat meat. I would step outside of the framing of what you should or shouldn't do or what goes back to bio-individuality, like what everybody should do and instead what should you do and what are your needs. So, that was a little bit of an esoteric tangent, but Cynthia, what are your thoughts?
Cynthia Thurlow: The first thing I think about is, if you're tired after a meal, I always think about blood sugar. I don't know if Tammy has checked her blood sugar, pre-meal and post-meal to see what it's doing, certainly if she was eating a carbohydrate bolus that would be much more suggestive of a potential blood sugar dysregulation. But quite honestly, this is where bio-individuality really is important. I don't at all question what she's experiencing is absolutely real. But I think I'd more information, I'd really to know what her blood sugar's doing that is precipitating that degree of fatigue. And, we tend to be more insulin resistant as the day goes on. And obviously, life stage plays a role. I don't know, Tammy's age or what life stage she is in. Generally, in your 20s and 30s, you're much more buoyantly insulin sensitive, largely is a byproduct of that degree of muscle mass that you maintain at that stage. So, there is a lot of things that could be going on. But I think the starting point for me would be to get a glucometer where I have a CGM so that you can monitor what her blood sugar's doing.
Melanie Avalon: So glad you brought that up and that's something that I need to remember more. I need to get outside of my own experience of it. Because my experience typically with blood sugar swings, when I would have them, what I would tend to get either reactive hypoglycemic or basically presenting as reactive hypoglycemia, but actually not having low blood sugar. And the response to me has always been an adrenaline boost or epinephrine. So, I get awake from that. And I forget that for a lot of people, they get that crash. So, the fact that she does not have that experience, though, after a meatless meal, just makes me think it may be more about the actual protein digestion, but it's hard to know, I would definitely suggest trying some HCl supplements that might help which is something I do plan to make in the future. In the meantime, I take Pure Encapsulations, I really their brand.
So, we have a question from Trisha. The subject is "Generic medicine." And Trisha says, "Good morning. I was listening this morning and I was so happy to hear Cynthia speak about fillers and inconsistency in generic medications. I recently experienced this myself, I take bi-thyroid." What is bi-thyroid? Do you know?
Cynthia Thurlow: I'm not familiar with that. I don't know bi-thyroid. I don't know if that means that she gets T4 and T3.
Melanie Avalon: Bioidentical thyroid, maybe?
Cynthia Thurlow: I've never heard it describe that one.
Melanie Avalon: And with it, she takes extra T3 from a pharmacy. What's really interesting is that's what I do. I take compounded thyroid with extra T3. She says, "This has served me well for some time. I noticed with this last batch I started having bloat, gas, and terrible stomach pains. The only thing I could trace it back to was the T3. I looked up at the ingredients and it has mannitol in it. I have terrible reactions to sugar alcohols. I spoke with my wonderful pharmacist and his ingredient list didn't have mannitol in it. However, he said generic meds are very inconsistent. And so, we highly recommended I have the T3 compounded. So, I did and although it is terribly expensive, my symptoms disappeared. Another issue I have is maltodextrin. I can't believe how many generic meds and supplements use that filler. I have even worse reactions to maltodextrin; swelling, gas, heart palpitations, irritability, etc. I check the ingredients on every label now. I take LDN for Hashimoto's. And I have to have it compounded in Colorado because they're the only ones who make it in pill form with no fillers." By the way, Trisha I take LDN as well, we're so similar. "I used to think I was crazy, but the body doesn't lie. I have IBS-C," me too Trisha. "And I'm super sensitive to many things. I recently realized that lactose bothers me as well. I've been IF'ing for years for health, but I think it also helps my gut? She says, "I wanted to ask if you think it's beneficial to have my nutrients tested. I'm not sure what the test is called, but it's a blood test that is comprehensive and can tell you what you are deficient in and what supplements you need. If this is helpful, would you please suggest a company that will follow through with the results? I'm meeting with my doctor to go over my genetic test. So, do you think that will be enough? I'm 61, really healthy except for gut issues that I've suffered with my whole life. I take supplements from Dr. Gundry, that seemed to help but would really to fix this once and for all." Thank you both for all you do to help us.
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Trisha, I'm so grateful that you're putting those pieces together for yourself. And it's not at all uncommon for there to be tremendous variability in batches of medications, especially generic ones. In fact, now I take all compounded medications, both thyroid, progesterone and testosterone. And to be completely fair, I think it's the first time on my thyroid medication in two years where I'm feeling probably somewhat like I used to feel. So, I applaud you that you have a provider and a pharmacist that are open to helping support your needs and certainly sensitive to the fact that you are sensitive to these fillers. In terms of nutrient testing, I really like Genova's NutrEval. But you actually have to go through very likely a functional or integrative medicine healthcare professional to review the testing. You can't just order it by yourself and as far as I know, at this point in time Genova is not providing testing results to patients directly that you have to go through a provider and the provider would then review the testing with you. But I think that's probably the best one in the market that I've seen. I did that a few years ago, one of my children's also done it and it was very, very insightful.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome, it's so interesting. I'm actually really torn about the compounded situation. I get all of my meds compounded. I really the pharmacy that I work with and like you said, Cynthia, I think it's really important to find a pharmacy that you can work with that you trust. The reason I'm torn about it is I've had a lot of conversations with Dr. Alan Christianson, and he makes the case that the-- so. not generic, but the non-generic, the official form of everything has much more regulation than obviously a compounded pharmacy where there's, it's self-regulating, there's a book about compounded medication-- I don't want to scare people. But there's a book out there about compounded medication like errors that have happened. So, not to be a negative Nancy. And I said, I get all compounded medication myself, but I just think it's really important to well, two things to take away from this one. Like I said, finding a pharmacy you trust and two, like you were Trisha, being intuitive with yourself and if something seems off looking more into it. So, I really applaud you for that. As far as the test, I was going to be really curious what you said. So, that's a good resource to know. Have you heard of-- one that I've seen pop up on a lot of people that I've interviewed and that Heather Moday, The Immunotype-- book that I'm reading, she listed two tests, and one of them is one I keep hearing about, have you done SpectraCell?
Cynthia Thurlow: No, I have not.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, that's what I've heard from multiple people that I've interviewed. So, I think I haven't done it, but it might be a good resource. It's spectracell.com. And then the other one she listed, which I hadn't heard of before, so I take it with a grain of salt, but it's called Vibrant America. So, I'll put links to both of those and the Genova one in the show notes. I do wish that was something that was more easily accessible for people.
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think the problem as a provider, I understand as a consumer wanting to have access to that type of testing, but it also sets up if there's an abnormality, I mean, the testing company could be held liable. So, you have to do it through a practitioner so that the practitioner reviews the results with the patient. And, I admittedly it's not a test that I ordered in my clinical practice. It's just one that I have working knowledge of. Genova has really high-quality testing modalities and so that's the one that I'm most familiarized with.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. I think it was Dr. Anthony Beck that I had on that was also talking about SpectraCell, and maybe I know it's come up quite a few times. So, we'll put links to that and the Genova test.
Cynthia Thurlow: Awesome.
Melanie Avalon: I will put out one more resource. It's not a full spectrum micronutrient testing, but let's get checked, they do have some specific micronutrients that you can test and we have a code for them, so I can double-check it. You can always go to ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike to see a lot of the stuff that we like and I'm just noticing how I need to update this page. If you go to-- hopefully this is still active. Try lgc.com/ifpodcasts and the coupon code IFPODCAST30 should get you 30% off.
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Melanie Avalon: Okay, shall we go on to our next question?
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is from Angela. Subject is "Apple cider vinegar mid-fast drink. Thomas DeLauer." "Hello, I was wondering your opinion on drinking apple cider vinegar mid-fast. I listened to a YouTube video from Thomas DeLauer and he talks about drinking a drink made up of eight ounces of water, apple cider vinegar, pink Himalayan salt and cream of tartar, mid-fast or an hour or two before opening your window. I do the clean fast, strictly water and black coffee. But according to him this drink helps you retain minerals, and helps to get the most out of your fast. I decided to drink this one hour before opening my fast and I noticed that also curb my appetite and I was able to wait longer to open my window food-wise. What is your opinion on this? I love your podcast and you helped me stay motivated." Thank you.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Thank you for your question, Angela. I had Thomas booked for the show and it fell through and we haven't rescheduled it. So, I'm going to email him after this. So, my thoughts I do consider apple cider vinegar. I know a lot of people like Thomas and others advocate it during the fast. I do consider breaking the fast especially because it can stimulate digestion. Although it is interesting that it curbs your appetite and people do experience that as well. I would err on the side of having this right before eating as a way to prepare yourself for food. That said, I'm also for if you're doing it-- like I'm not the fasting police. If you're doing it and you like it, and it's working for you. I mean, just do it. I'm not so intense with people. I think it's less of an issue when it's like this where it's closer to the end of your fast, mid-fast I might be a little bit more suspicious but an hour or so before eating and you're enjoying it, I think it's fine. And even mid-fast and you're doing it and you're enjoying it, people you can do what you want. It's when things are not working that you might want to reconsider. What are your thoughts?
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I love Thomas, I've been a guest of his twice on his YouTube channel. And I think the world of him he's super smart and generally speaking, he's really well steeped in the research. I can tell you when I wrote the book, apple cider vinegar without the mother, so not the Bragg's variety that has protein in it, but the filtered apple cider vinegar, which I don't know anyone would buy that but that's a whole separate conversation, will technically not break a fast. However, we're talking about a clean fast water apple cider vinegar from my perspective, pink Himalayan salt is probably fine. I don't know enough about cream of tartar, but I do know Thomas well enough to know he's very well researched and super smart. So, I think this really begs me to go check this out and learn more about it. He's so well-researched and so smart as I've said multiple times that this is a good instance where I would probably go watch the video and then pull up the research and take a look at it and there might be something that I'm unaware of but typically, apple cider vinegar without the mother is not going to break a clean fast, but we know that people take apple cider vinegar for a variety of reasons. Sometimes people take it pre-digestion to help with digestion. Some people use it to blunt blood sugar response and cravings and so I'm actually grateful that Angela asked this question because now I'm going to go down a rabbit hole when I'm done with this podcast recording today because I know I want to go look for this and see what I can learn. Yeah, I looked up cream of-- I always called the cream of tartar, but it probably is tartar. And it looks its obviously very minimal calories, but they are carb calories, whatever it is.
Cynthia Thurlow: I guess the retaining minerals part. I mean, that's the only thing I can think of is there something special about cream of tartar, I don't know. I'm a good baker, but I'm not down with all the chemistry behind baking.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Cynthia Thurlow: I will reserve my opinion until I have done more research.
Melanie Avalon: Alright, so now we have a question from Heather. The subject is "IF 12 to 18 hours" and Heather says, "Hi, I wanted to fast yesterday from 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM 20 hours, but I got hungry last night around 10:00 PM and decided to have a bowl of chicken broth. I had coffee at 9:00 AM this morning. Did I make it so it was not beneficial to me? Or is that still a beneficial fast? I'm trying to heal leaky gut? I have a hard time going too long on a fast. Can I still benefit from shorter fast or fast that just allow bone broth? Hmm," that was her not me. What are your thoughts, Cynthia?
Cynthia Thurlow: I think there're a couple things that are going on. If we're talking about a clean fast, obviously, bone broth is a protein that technically breaks your fast. However, this is someone Heather mentions that she is struggling to go towards longer fasts and when we're thinking about leaky gut and helping to repair leaky gut, we don't want to overtly stress the body. So, my feeling is not to stress about this. We know that there are benefits from doing longer fasts in terms of stem cell activation and overall gut microbiota improvement. But if you're fairly new to fasting, and you're feeling you're struggling to do longer fasts, I would lean into what you're able to do with the understanding that you are-- it's like a fasting muscle, you're flexing your muscle, you're developing this fasting muscle so that you can then go on to fasting longer, but adding additional stress like worrying about, what did bone broth do? I mean some people will actually drink bone broth with longer fasts, A, because they get some electrolytes, but also provide some degree of nourishment. And they can sometimes do longer fasts that way. But I wouldn't let that be a deal breaker for you. I think we put enough pressure on ourselves in general that I would focus in on doing a successful fast, focusing on why you're doing it, and then if you're really focusing in on leaky gut, building that fasting muscle so that you can then ultimately go on to fast longer. What do you think, Melanie?
Melanie Avalon: I agree, 100%. And the only other thing I would add is-- and a lot of people are probably aware of this, but people may not be-- with the chicken broth or the bone broth. if you're making it yourself versus getting it at the store. If you're getting at the store look at the ingredient panel, you'd be so surprised how many of these broths have so much stuff in them that you don't want. So, try to find ones that are organic and very minimal ingredients, especially if it's in this, "Fasting type situation." And I think this is something where it's really important to have that come from good sourced meats and such. So, we love Beauty & the Broth. Those are shelf-stable, they come in packets, and you reconstitute it with water and it's organic and really delicious and we have a coupon code. So, if you go to melanieavalon.com/broth that will redirect to their website and the code MELANIEAVALON will actually get you 15% off any order, so that's a great option. Those were game changers for me when I was doing my colonoscopy prep and could only drink broth. Bonafide is another brand that I really at Whole Foods, it's frozen. So yes, just be careful to look at the ingredient lists.
Alright, so we have a question from Taylor. The subject is "Butter." And Taylor says, "I've been vegetarian for over 11 years and have been mostly vegan for the last year of that. I'm wondering what you think in regards to butter. I have been using earth balance buttery spread the organic version in place of the Kerrygold grass-fed butter I was using previously, but was just reading up on vegetable oils in The Obesity Code. I did generally feel better on a low to no dairy regimen, but I know that I would feel just as good as I do when I am dairy free if I was using a little butter. Do you think the grass-fed dairy or ghee would be healthier than the "natural flavors and vegetable oils and earth balance?" And then she lists the ingredients and it's stuff like natural oil blend with palm fruit, soybean, canola and olive oil, water, salt, less than 2% of natural flavor, dry form corn, soybeans, soy lecithin, I can never say that word, lactic acid and anatto for color." She says please let me know your thoughts as I'd be happy to switch if real grass-fed butter or ghee is a better health and weight management option. Thanks so much for everything you do.
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Taylor that's a great question. I would say from my perspective that grass-fed butter or ghee is going to be a much healthier option than the earth balance buttery spread, which contains inflammatory seed oils in conjunction with olive oil. From my perspective, the inflammatory seed oils are really adulterated, oftentimes rancid? If you want to dive down a rabbit hole go Google what constitutes creating canola oil that will cure you have any desire to ever consume that again? So, from an inflammatory perspective and an anti-inflammatory perspective, I would absolutely lean into ghee, which is definitely better tolerated for those that are sensitive to dairy. I do find that many of my patients that also have dairy sensitivities do find with grass-fed butter, that you may want to experiment a bit. But I would definitely ditch the earth balance so that you can find a healthier option for you.
Melanie Avalon: I'm really happy that there's an increasing awareness and shift away I think from these products that are just full of so many ingredients that I think can often potentially be inflammatory. And even the natural flavor stuff, I've mentioned this a lot, but interviewing Mark Schatzker for his book, The Dorito Effect, and the End of Craving just really opened my eyes to the potential effects of these compounds on our health and wellness. So, I think grass-fed dairy and ghee can have a lot of amazing health benefits and work really well for people. I'm also not the person that says eat all the butter to lose weight, because I think people take things to the extreme, especially in the Keto world, but especially for Taylor, she wants to just add a little bit, I'm not saying adding a lot would be a problem, but the point that I'm saying is that I would definitely err on the side of grass-fed dairy and the ghee. And it's nice to hear that Cynthia about people's reactions with ghee specifically. Do you have any favorite brands?
Cynthia Thurlow: I would say Kerrygold and there are a couple of French butters that we get in our local Whole Foods, I can't remember the name, I can try to look them up. But those are-- they generally tend to be very rich, they don't need a lot of them. And I always buy salted butter, it does make a big difference. I'm a salt aficionado now, I'm obsessed with salt. I carry it with me when I travel too, which makes me sound a nut job. But with that being said, Kerrygold generally speaking is going to be high quality. If you lean into some of the European butters, they generally tend to be a higher fat content so they can be very rich. And so, you don't need as much of them. In terms of ghee brands. I really like 4th & Heart. They have a lot of variations. There's one that actually has Himalayan pink salt in it that we really like.
Melanie Avalon: Do they cater that in Whole Foods.
Cynthia Thurlow: Um-hmm.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I've seen it. Very, very cool. Awesome. Well, these have been absolutely wonderful. So definitely keep the questions coming, especially with the holidays coming up. We'll have to have a discussion, Cynthia about maybe next week, we can just have a nonlinear Q&A discussion about how to do the holidays with your fasting window, because I know that's a big challenge or obstacle that a lot of people perceive so we can discuss that a little bit next week. So, the show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode291. And like I mentioned, those show notes will have a full transcript, so definitely check that out. And you can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike and I definitely need to update that page. And you can submit your own questions by directly emailing email@example.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. And you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_ and I think that is all the things, and this is going to date us and we talked about this already. But are you doing anything this weekend for Halloween?
Cynthia Thurlow: My best friend from college is coming in town. I haven't seen her in four years because of the pandemic, she lives in Atlanta. So, she's flying in on Friday, flies out on Sunday and my teenagers are planning on going to parties this weekend. So, my husband and I, we've had this complete shift in our personal lives where now our kids' social lives run our weekends, one is driving, one is not because my youngest goes to a high school that's pretty far from our house. It means his friend group is all over the suburbs and so we spend a lot of time on Friday and Saturday nights carpooling them everywhere. So, they are not doing anything officially until Monday, but I believe there is one Halloween party on Saturday night for my oldest and that's a whole minefield of topics that we've had to have discussions over. For anyone that's a listener that has teenagers or young adults, ooh, you think it's hard when they're babies and toddlers, it's a whole another level of conversations when they are teenagers, especially if they're driving and, crossing your fingers that the 16 years prior to this that we have embedded in them good decision-making properties in their brains, which are not fully developed.
Melanie Avalon: So, this is a good moment for me to have something I discussed yesterday. I interviewed, do you know A.J. Jacobs, Cynthia?
Cynthia Thurlow: I do not.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, listeners please listen to this interview when I air it. It is out of my entire show the most fun I've ever had on an interview in my entire life. He is a four times New York Times best seller. He just does random crazy stuff that he gets curious about. So, his newest book is called The Puzzler and it's all about puzzles, all the different types of puzzles, and just he went and did all this crazy stuff, and how they affect our life and what we can learn from them. And he has a book on where he tried to live biblically for a year, follow the Bible, literally-- what it literally says to do, it's so funny. And his most well-known book is called The Know-It-All, I think. And he read the entire encyclopedia [laughs]. I am like shared what he learned. But he was such a joy. And I was cracking up laughing. And it was a fascinating conversation. I just really thoroughly enjoyed it. The reason I'm talking about this, so sorry, is one of his books is called, it's about gratitude thanks-- something, I'll put in the show notes, where he decided to thank every single person involved in making his daily cup of coffee. Every person. Like the person who made the beans, the person who made the cup, the person-- and he went and found all them and told them thank you.
So, it's a book about gratitude and one of the things he talked about was the importance of being specific in gratitude. So, when you're thinking about what you're grateful for or telling somebody what you're grateful for, you can amplify the gratitude potential if you're really specific. So, I'm going to take this moment for specificity gratitude, to say, I am so thankful to my mom for driving me back and forth to play practices growing up, because we lived a little bit far away from the school and she would pick me up take me home, I would do some more work, then she would take me back to play practice. Wait, then she would leave, then she would come back and pick me afterwards. "Oh, my goodness." That is so much driving. Thank you, mom [laughs]. So, thanks to all the moms out there. Thanks for driving your sons and daughters.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, it's one of those jobs we don't look for those thank yous, but when we get acknowledgment, it's just an amazing feeling.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, so, well thank you. So, this has been absolutely wonderful. And I will talk to you next week.
Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good.
Melanie Avalon: Bye.
Thank you 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.
[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]
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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