Episode 295: Food Choices, Macros, Ketosis, Chronic Pain, Oxalates, Organ Meat, Variety In Fasting, Exercise, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


Help Make The Intermittent Fasting Podcast Possible!

Hi Friends! We put a ton of time and energy into researching and producing The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. You can help support us on Patreon! Every dollar helps!

Dec 11

Welcome to Episode 295 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Ground Beef For LIFE Plus $20 off your first box!!

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

FEALS: Feals makes CBD oil which satisfies ALL of Melanie's stringent criteria: it's premium, full spectrum, organic, tested, pure CBD in MCT oil! It's delivered directly to your doorstep. CBD supports the body's natural cannabinoid system, and can address an array of issues, from sleep to stress to chronic pain, and more! Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

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


1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Ground Beef For LIFE Plus $20 Off Your First Box!!

4:10 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz

Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

Go To cynthiathurlow.com/creatine and use code CYNTHIA for 10% off!

Episode 292: Creatine, Brain Health, Sex Hormones, Muscle Building, Insulin Sensitivity, Sarcopenia, Andropause, Mood, Motivation, BDNF, And More!

21:40 - BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

25:40 - Listener Q&A: Heather - IF

32:10 - Listener Q&A: Robyn - Chronic Pain Flair

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #104 - Sally Norton (Oxalates)

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #153 - Bill Schindler

Ep. 238 Eat Like A Human: What Should We Eat? with Dr. Bill Schindler

Go to eatpluck.com an use the code CYNTHIA15 for 15% off!

FOOD SENSE GUIDEGet Melanie's App To Tackle Your Food Sensitivities! Food Sense Includes A Searchable Catalogue Of 300+ Foods, Revealing Their Gluten, FODMAP, Lectin, Histamine, Amine, Glutamate, Oxalate, Salicylate, Sulfite, And Thiol Status. Food Sense Also Includes Compound Overviews, Reactions To Look For, Lists Of Foods High And Low In Them, The Ability To Create Your Own Personal Lists, And More!

Go to safecatch.com and use the coupon code for MELANIEAVALON for 20% off!

The Science, Nutrition, And Health Implications Of Conventional Vs. Sustainable, Grass-fed, Pastured, And Wild Meat And Seafood, Featuring My Honest Butcher Box Review!

51:40 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

54:30 - Listener Q&A: Therese - Repetitive Routines Or Mix It Up?

55:10 - Listener Q&A: James - Constantly Changing Fasting Windows

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 295 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.

Hi friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get free grass-fed, grass-finished beef for life plus $20 off, yes free grass-fed grass-finished ground beef for life plus $20 off. We are so, so honored to be sponsored by ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get high-quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, that's really hard to find, by the way, and wild-caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect, and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency regarding raising practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox. You can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. But I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. All of their beef is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished that's really hard to find and they work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves but the planet. This is so important to me. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. 

If you recently saw a documentary on Netflix called Seaspiracy, you might be a little bit nervous about eating seafood. Now, I understand why ButcherBox makes it so, so clear and important about how they work with the seafood industry. Everything is checked for transparency, for quality, and for sustainable raising practices you want their seafood. The value is incredible, the average cost is actually less than $6 per meal, and it's so easy. Everything ships directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to restaurant, I usually order steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing. I remember the first time I had one and I just thought, “This is honestly one of the best steaks I've ever had in my entire life.” On top of that, did you know that the fatty acid profile of grass-fed, grass-finished steaks is much healthier for you than conventional steaks? And their bacon, for example, is from pastured pork, and sugar and nitrate free. How hard is that to find? And ButcherBox has an incredible deal for our audience. For limited time, you can get free grass-fed grass-finished ground beef for life in every box of your subscription plus $20 off, yes, new members can get free grass-fed grass-finished ground beef for life plus $20 off when you go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast, that's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast for free grass-fed grass-finished ground beef for life plus $20 off and we'll put all this information in the show notes.

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

Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means, when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that, there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so, you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. They have counter time for anti-aging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life. And their makeup is amazing. Check 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 295 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 okay as you know. I honestly forgot what this is like to be super sleep deprived because I put a lot of effort into making sure that I get a lot of sleep, like I prioritize it like none other. So right now, I'm currently in the virtual queue for the Taylor Swift Presale Concert. And it's been five hours and I'm like not present. And I was texting Cynthia being like, I don't know if I'm going to be able to record but we are here. But I forgot what this feels like, I took some coffee.

Cynthia Thurlow: Good. So, a stimulant will definitely help you, but you're like a real person.

Melanie Avalon: I know. But I feel like I'm not quite present.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, but it's amazing how when you have like one blip in your sleep radar, you actually you'll be fine. You'll be tired, you'll go to bed probably around your normal time and then tomorrow you'll wake up and feel totally normal.

Melanie Avalon: So true, I don't normally-- I think we've talked about this. How much coffee do you drink? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Zero.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, none.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I'm not a coffee drinker. And it's funny because I had some genetic testing done and they actually said I do fine with, caffeine but I have to be completely transparent and say I made it through all my pre-med classes, all of undergrad and grad school never drinking coffee.

Melanie Avalon: With no coffee?

Cynthia Thurlow: No coffee. And the nights, I worked nights in ERs and worked overnights in the hospital and no coffee. I would drink, I can't limit this. I used to drink Diet Pepsi, which is disgusting.

Melanie Avalon: So, you weren't getting caffeine?

Cynthia Thurlow: But I couldn't tolerate it, it's not something I could drink every day. It was like, I would bring it with me in case I felt like I literally could not keep my eyes open but not every day. So, I'm officially very much an early bird that is uncaffeinated, except for my occasional green tea, which I don't necessarily have every day out of laziness.

Melanie Avalon: I was thinking about it actually a few days ago. Because normally I think I've shared this before I literally just have like a sip of coffee, like a sip every morning. It's more just a mental thing. It's probably like no caffeine in it at all. But I was reflecting their day on how nice it kind of is to not be dependent on coffee because I know and I mean I would go through, like in college really intense periods and coffee is something were-- like I did my experiment with alcohol and wine where I didn't drink for a year to see if I was like happier not drinking and I realized I was much happier having wine every night. Like with coffee, I feel like if I go into a coffee every day, I think I am happier without coffee, because it's just nice not to have to use it. And then when you need it, like right now, it's like very potent, and I probably just had like, a quarter of a cup and I'm like, okay.

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] But I think it's also recognizing that this is like a good indication of a day that you do well with it. Like, I will take adaptogenic herbs or I will take glandular products if I feel like I definitely need a little bit of support. But I don't, I like the way coffee smells. I just don't like the way it tastes, I never have and it's ironic that I have a child that's kind of an espresso Americano snob and really is into his coffee and then the other three of us don't drink it at all.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. Yeah. I will say though my thoughts on coffee just in case people are curious because I'm not trying to scare people away from coffee. I feel like the studies are pretty consistent that coffee drinkers have health benefits.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well absolutely, the polyphenols and the plant-based compounds in coffee and bitter teas are, it's undeniable. I think that's how I actually started forcing myself to drink green tea a couple of days a week with a understanding that those bitter plant-based compounds actually have physiologic benefits. And so, I'm like, "Okay, you're going to learn how to drink this?" And so, I iced my green tea. That's how I drink it.

Melanie Avalon: It's also pretty mind blowing. I'm pretty sure they say isn't coffee our biggest source of magnesium? Am I making that up?

Cynthia Thurlow: I mean I think about getting a lot of those from brightly pigmented vegetables. And I think coffee is very bio-individual because I have some patients that will actually increase their cortisol, which increases their blood sugar. And so, it's figuring out what the right amount is for everyone. I used to have patients that would drink, I don't know, 10 cups of coffee a day. And I was like, how are you functioning? I would be a like nervous, jittery, mess.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I mean there's definitely that tolerance that happens. I shudder thinking about how much I drank in college. I don't know why I was thinking coffee was this high source of magnesium. But I think it is definitely like the number one source of something like polyphenols or something in Americans' diets, which is interesting.

Cynthia Thurlow: That is, I would hope it would come from a combination of things and not just something drinkable. But I think Americans just really, like I understand, I love the idea of something warm and my hands like the ritual of that I get, but I don't know, I like getting polyphenols from a variety of things, even bitter herbs and vegetables and things like that.

Melanie Avalon: I looked it up, it is antioxidants for most people. That's crazy.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, think about how many people are drinking regular coffee as opposed to like understanding that it tends to be a mycotoxin-rich food product and just understanding that there're some nuances to the healthiest options that are out there. I'm probably going to get hate mail from the coffee lovers out there. But that's always the way I think about it. As I think if you tolerate coffee and you enjoy it, that's great. Just try to pick the best quality product that your budget permits.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I definitely think like you mentioned those mycotoxins are quite an issue. And then just one other comment about what you're mentioning about the sleep. I'm prepping right now to interview, Heather Moday, she wrote a book about the Immune System and Immunotypes, I think I mentioned it on a previous episode. And something that just stuck with me that she was talking about was sleep and she was saying how like out of all the lifestyle factors like diet, sleep, exercise, sleep is hands down the thing that can give you the fastest return on investment, but basically what you were just saying like with one night's sleep, you can see so many changes and improvements in so many biomarkers, compared to like diet where you have to like takes a little bit and exercise even so, yes, value your sleep is the point. So, anything new with you?

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh goodness, we are finalizing our plans for spring break. So that's been exciting. And every year I plan a spring break trip and no one knows what I've planned. And so, there were some requests at the end of last year they didn't want to go away for Christmas. I was like, "Okay, I got that." And so, we're doing something different. We are flying to Portugal and we'll be in two cities there and doing a variety of historical things and food tours and I'm excited.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome and how are things going with your creatine?

Cynthia Thurlow: Good, it's really exciting, we've got amazing feedback. And from my perspective, women having a better understanding of how it can improve both cognition and muscle health. And it was interesting, I was presenting a research article to some of my coaches today and I was telling them about the role of lowered levels of estrogen, how that impacts muscle protein synthesis, and why in those instances, it's even more important that we're taking exogenous, meaning creatine outside the body because our body-- women actually make 70% to 80% less creatine endogenously, inside the body, this gets exacerbated further heading into perimenopause and menopause. So, I was talking to them about how they were looking at two different groups in this randomized control trial. Women that were taking creatine and not doing any strength training versus women that were taking creatine and doing strength training. And there was no comparison in terms of the net improvement in muscle quality and muscle health. I think on a lot of different levels, what I've been loving is just having the conversation about the unique needs of women. And also identifying that men benefit from taking creatine as well. So, it's going really well, I'm very excited. I'm so appreciative that you encouraged me to create my own supplements.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited, I'm really excited as well to hear people's feedback after trying yours. And I just got my notification email that yours is coming, I can't wait to try it. So, I know I've asked you this a lot, "How do I take it, can I take it with food?"

Cynthia Thurlow: You can take it. Typically, what I've been doing is using it in a smoothie, but you can take it with food, you definitely don't want to take it in a fasted state. It's for one of those feeding windows in terms of getting the maximize benefits, but it's a white powder, it's easy to measure, that gives you a complete-- the scoop is for 3 grams. All the research has been done on 3 to 5 grams, 5 grams is I'd be leaning more into individuals that are vegetarian or vegan because their needs are actually increased by virtue of the fact they are not consuming animal-based protein. So yeah, it's super easy to take. It doesn't taste like anything, it blends really easily, thankfully, because I think we've all had powders that are chalky, and don't mix well with water and that's never a good thing.

Melanie Avalon: So, you said it doesn't taste like anything.

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm.

Melanie Avalon: Really like, nothing?

Cynthia Thurlow: Not to me. I've got this acute sense of taste, I think, which is why I don't like coffee, because it's just too-- I was one of those weird people, anything that I would say I would be like the taste tester a couple 100 years ago to determine if something was poisonous, because I have this crazy acute sense of taste and smell, which is not to my benefit having worked in healthcare for many years.

Melanie Avalon: Wow, oh, I can imagine. I'll probably take it like literally with my food. I'm super weird. I like to take supplements with food like I just eat them. And that's okay, like open capsules and like pour them on things. And like I would order quercetin powder and just like add to my food, I would order all these random things like milk thistle.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, you're very adventurous.

Melanie Avalon:  Well, very exciting, so how can people order?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, so you would go to my website and the correct address should be-- www.cynthiathurlow.com/creatine is what it should be. There are all sorts of technological glitches that occur throughout this launch process, it's eliminated, little glitches that we don't think are a big deal and then you realize with coding, any little miss stroke of a key can make things not work properly.

Melanie Avalon: I know it's crazy. I remember when I launched serrapeptase the night before-- the day of because it was a midnight launch. We realized there was a glitch and they had to rebuild my entire website right up until, it was so stressful. Yeah, technology-- and I'm like right now I'm still in this Taylor Swift queue. I'm like staring at the thing. [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm really impressed with your dedication.

Melanie Avalon: I have got to get these tickets. The thing is when they come out, if you know about, you probably don't-- about this verified fan presale that Ticketmaster does?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do not.

Melanie Avalon: So, I learned about it with this, for the different artists they try to make it so that the fans can get tickets without it going through all of these resellers where they jack up the prices so they do this like a special sale where you have to be on their email list and then you have to apply and then you have to be accepted and it seems very arbitrary how they accept you or not. Like my good friend did not get accepted, but I did. So, then if you get accepted, then the day of which was this morning you get in the waitlist, and then you have a code for once you get in to like actually get the seats. But it's been so glitchy I think. Ticketmaster sort of crashed from all the Taylor Swift Fans. So, that's where I am waiting. But okay, sorry, tangents.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, that's super exciting. I'm excited for you.

Melanie Avalon: Last question about the creatine, is there a launch special or coupon code for people?

Cynthia Thurlow: It should be CYNTHIA, it we'll give you 10% off. During the launch we had even more amazing discounts, but now that it is officially on sale, you get 10% off with code CYNTHIA.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome, awesome, awesome. And last question about it. How is your creatine different from other creatines on the market?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think we really did an incredibly conscientious effort to keep it simple, there were lots of ideas that were proposed. And I really wanted it to be creatine monohydrate and without any fillers, to know where it was properly sourced from. And I just think when you get online, and you buy things from Amazon as an example, obviously, there are great things that come from Amazon. But I think when it comes to supplementation, we just have to be careful. And so, we know where this product was sourced from, we know where it's packaged, we know what it's not full of. And I know much to your point about not having fillers and gluten and dairy and soy and other garbagy things that get added to supplements in an effort to keep costs low. This is what I believe to be the most high-quality creatine monohydrate that's available in the market.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, I can definitely attest to all of that just for listeners who are not familiar, both Cynthia and I work with MD Logic to create our supplements. And the amazing thing about it is the ability for us to really make exactly what we want to make to the highest quality and they test multiple times for heavy metals and toxins and fillers, and it's nice to feel very confident in the products that we're creating. So, I'm very excited for you and the creatine.

Cynthia Thurlow: Thank you. Likewise.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get 15% off of my favorite bone broth, which is an incredible way to open your eating window. Also, for all of you vegetarians and vegans, stay tuned because there's something for you too. I've been talking about the incredible health effects of bone broth for years. Bone broth is so nourishing for our body. It's rich in collagen, which can really support your gut health, your skin, curb cravings, boost your energy, and your immunity. But there are a lot of brands out there, a lot of them have ingredients that I don't like, and making it yourself can also be very time consuming. That's why I am thrilled about Beauty & the Broth. Beauty & the Broth was created by Melissa Bolona. She's an incredible actress and entrepreneur. I've had her on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. But Melissa started Beauty & the Broth after she realized the profound effect that bone broth was having on her own health, specifically, gut issues and its ability to give her radiant skin perfect for the camera. She founded Beauty & the Broth, which hit everything I could want in bone broth. It uses 100% whole organic ingredients. Yes, it is certified USDA Organic. It is one of the only few bone broth companies in the entire US that has a USDA certification for organic bone broth. It has no artificial flavors, no preservatives, no phthalates, no sugar, and something that I love, no salt. 

Friends, even other bone broth that I really love always have salt added. This doesn't. Her bone broths are made from grass-fed ranch-raised beef and vegetarian-fed free-range chicken bones from Certified Humane USDA Organic Farms and all certified organic vegetables are used the broth as well. There're no antibiotics, no hormones, only the good stuff. Here's the super cool thing about Beauty & the Broth. It can be a little bit of a hassle to transport bone broth. It's heavy, you have to keep it frozen. Guess what? Beauty & the Broth comes in shelf-stable packets with no preservatives that you keep at room temperature and they are in concentrated form. That means that you add back water to reconstitute and you can make it any strength that you like. They're single servings, so you can take them with you on the go, and even on the plane as yes, they are 3 ounces, and they're delicious. Oh, my goodness, friends, they will just make you light up. They're honestly, one of the most amazing things I've ever tasted. And for all of you vegans and vegetarians, Beauty & the Broth has a brand-new vegan broth concentrate. It is USDA Organic and is a slow simmer broth which is reduced into a thick gelatinous gel, you mix it with hot water and turn it into a delicious sipping broth. It features organic mushrooms and chickpeas, ginger, seaweed, and pea protein. It is so delicious. So, definitely check that out.

if you've been looking to finally jump on the bone broth train, do it now and do it with Beauty & the Broth. Melissa has an amazing offer just for our listeners. You can go to thebeautyandthebroth.com or melanieavalon.com/broth and use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON to get 15% off. That's thebeautyandthebroth.com with the coupon code MELANIEAVALON for 15% off. All of the listeners who have tried it ever since I aired my episode with Melissa have talked about how much they love it. It is so delicious, you guys will definitely love it, so definitely check that out. By the way, bone broth does break your fast. This is something that you want to have in your eating window. In fact, it's an amazing way to open your eating window because when you're in that fasted state when you take in bone broth as the first thing, all of those rich nutrients and collagen go straight to your gut, help heal your gut, help with leaky gut, help digestive issues. And again, you can go to thebeautyandthebroth.com and use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON for 15% off. I'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into some questions for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a question from Heather, the subject is "IF." Heather says, "Can you tell us, ladies, what a day of eating looks like for each of you? How much protein and carbs y'all eat and still are able to maintain ketosis? I'm about to receive all three books from both of you in the mail." This question is from actually a few years ago, she's probably talking about my book and then when Gin had two books. "I'm about to receive all three books from both of you in the mail, so, excited. I have been on keto way of eating for over a year and just starting to look into expanding my carb intake XOXO."

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Heather, thank you for your question. I would say when I was first new to fasting, I didn't track my macros per se. But obviously, Dr. Gabrielle Lyon's work has had a huge influence on me. And so initially, after I met her, I started tracking protein and that's my guide. Now, I don't track macros because I generally don't need to and I just lean into more of an intuitive eating approach. As an example today, I didn't break my fast until gosh, almost 12:30, because I had to drive to DC with my husband for a doctor's appointment. And so, I sat down and had a bison burger, I had three deviled eggs, I had some sauteed mushrooms, a lot of this is just leftover stuff. And I would say that this is a lower-carb meal for me. I tend to hover under 75 grams, under 50 grams, sometimes as much as 100, but I definitely am conscientious and it's not that I don't enjoy carbohydrates. But even the non-starchy variety just depends on the day. And for me, it was eating a meal quickly because I had things I had to do this afternoon. And then my second meal today will probably be, I think we're going to boil some salmon. And I might have salad, we do a lot of food prep in my house just to make meals move along faster. Today is going to be a lower carb day. A higher carb day, I might have 100 to 125 grams of carbs. I just do better, me personally, when I keep my carb threshold about under 75, under 50 a day, but it's never to be restrictive. It's just I lean into what my body needs. Like yesterday, I needed some more carbohydrates, so I had some blueberries as dessert last night and some dark chocolate. But I think for each one of us, it's really determining what makes us feel good, and I definitely carb cycle. On a day when I have more carbohydrates, I may have three meals in my feeding window, open up my feeding window, and just have more discretionary carbs that might be sweet potato or root vegetables. But the protein piece for me is almost always at least 100 to 125 grams of protein a day. And that's really what I lean into. And then the fats as I need to like today I had olives, which I know that Melanie hates. But I love olives, they're like one of my favorite things. What about you, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, so I actually really like this question for a few reasons. One, because people ask me a lot what I eat and I don't like to hardcore share because I'm so crazy. And also, I don't want people to eat what I'm eating because it's what I'm eating. But in any case, to answer this, I don't count protein or carbs, I sort of exist within a macronutrient paradigm. So basically, I just do either low fat, high carb, or low carb, higher fat, not really high fat, I don't ever really go like super crazy on the fat. But in general, I'm usually doing a low-fat, high-carb, high-protein approach. And I'm happy that she asked about still being able to maintain ketosis because I'm going to comment on that. I do the one meal a day for four hours or so every night and it is about a couple of pounds of meat and it's a couple of pounds of fruit. And I just looked up the fruit, I probably eat about 200 grams of carbs and fruit, which is a lot mostly from like blueberries. I used to do pineapple. But the thing I wanted to comment on is maintaining ketosis. I actually don't know if I'm going into ketosis during the fast or how deeply I am If so, I haven't measured ketones and forever. Like last time I was measuring ketones was probably back in like 2018. And interesting, I mean this isn't surprising, but I did find that when I was on the higher fat days especially if I added MCT oil, the ketones would go through the roof compared to not so much on the high carb. But what I want to point out is, you don't have to be in ketosis to burn fat. And I think a lot of people can get all the benefits of intermittent fasting without worrying so much about whether or not they're in ketosis during the fast. So yeah, I honestly don't even know if I'm getting into ketosis, but I am eating about probably 200 carbs every night. And who knows how many grams of protein, whatever is in a couple of pounds of meat?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think the big thing is understanding we're all bio individuals. So, asking us is certainly a great question but by the same token understanding depending on how metabolically flexible you are, depending on your age, how much muscle mass you have, can really influence what your carbohydrate threshold is. And certainly, you don't want to be in ketosis 24/7. In fact, that's why I kicked myself out. That's why I actually alternate the amount of carbohydrates that I consume. And I know Ben Azadi and I talk about this quite a bit. If you don't know, Ben Azadi. He's amazing, a friend of mine who heads up the podcast Keto Kamp and has proliferative content around ketosis and ketones and things like this. And so, we want to vary what we're doing day to day and I think that's certainly important.

Melanie Avalon: Like because of this question, I said, at the beginning, I get so nervous about people thinking there's one answer that they have to do what another person is doing when bio-individuality is so key. I'm actually recording with Ben tomorrow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, good, I love Ben.

Melanie Avalon: I've never met him, just through email. So, I haven't like talked to him or anything.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, he's one of the most positive people you will ever meet. Like really and genuinely one of the most positive people. And I mean, we've been friends for several years and have spoken on so many stages together. And my husband knows, he and his fiancé and I know them and, like we just really enjoy each other's company. He's a good person, a good human.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really, really excited about that. So okey-dokey. Shall we go on to our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure, this is from Robin and the subject is "Chronic pain flare." "I enjoy your podcast and I'm loving the diet. However, I'm having a significant flare-up of my chronic pain and wonder if it is related to intermittent fasting. I've been diagnosed with central sensitivity, chronic Lyme, and fibromyalgia. Is it possible there is another variable play? Always too many variables? My wife suggested I ask you. My internet search didn't yield any answers and I'm hoping you also haven't heard of this happening or if it does happen to some that it will subside as my body adjusts. I've been doing intermittent fasting since mid-April and vary between four to eight-hour windows with only occasional lapses when I've been sick. I really love it, so don't want to stop." Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: All right, Robin, thank you so much for your question. So, I thought a lot about this and I have a very casual answer. And then I have what I found from researching, which did not find the answers I was hardcore looking for. I'll start with the research side of things. So, I did a lot of searching for fasting and chronic pain. There's a lot of studies on fasting helping chronic pain. So, there was a really nice review. I think it was a review, but it was called Intermittent Fasting: Potential Utility in the Treatment of Chronic Pain across the Clinical Spectrum. I had never thought about pain, how it breaks down, like all the different types of pain. So, it talks about like all the different types of pain and like how there're six main types and has this really nice chart about how fasting can benefit most of those types with sources. But just in general if you do a search in PubMed or Google Scholar, there's a lot of studies about fasting benefiting pain, which is not the experience that Robin is sharing. I found another study called the analgesic effect of refeeding on acute and chronic inflammatory pain. And it was speaking to the effects specifically of fasting versus eating on pain perception. It was in rodents, not humans, but some of the interesting findings. So again, I don't know how much of this applies to humans because of the rodent aspect. But they did find that both fasting and feeding helped pain, but that for fasting in the rodents it was only in the second half of the fact that they started experiencing the pain-relieving effects and fasting helped only the inflammatory type of pain and not mechanical, whereas food seemed to help both. Again, that's nuanced I don't know how much of that applies to humans, especially when the majority of the studies that I could find were that fasting helped pain, my casual, non-scientific sort of N of 1 I haven't experienced it but I feel like I've seen all people talking about this, a lot of people will say that when they start fasting, whatever issues they have, can get worse before they get better. And I don't know if it's like a healing crisis or a detox effect or what's going on. I mean it does sound sort of like that rodent study where it said the pain-relieving effects started in the second half of the fast. So, have you heard that Cynthia, where people say that it gets a little bit worse before it gets better with fasting?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's funny, I always think about food-based sources of inflammation that can be exacerbated, especially with someone that has chronic Lyme, I think there's a lot to unpack there. I mean, you've got a chronic inflammatory response syndrome. And I can come at this question with many different angles. More often than not, people feel a whole lot better as they're pulling things out of their diet. I wonder if there's a diet variable that hasn't been examined that may be making things worse in conjunction with fasting.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I would encourage you, Robin, to keep on with the fasting, I would imagine there are other variables at play, and I can't see how the fasting would continually perpetually continue to make things worse. I would probably stick it out and see what happens and see if it gets better. And definitely, like Cynthia said, look at other potential issues for what might be going on there with food and things like that. Talking about, Cynthia, where like when people start fasting, they experience things. I don't know if it's because the body is like finally cleaning up and tackling stuff, but I feel like people will experience, I don't like using the word healing crisis because that sounds very woo-woo but do you know I'm talking about in this idea?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do, again, I'm going to come out this as a clinician, and from my perspective, if there's this upregulation of autophagy and there's some degree of deeper healing that's ongoing. And then on top of that their detoxification pathways aren't properly opened. I mean that could be contributory. I'm just looking at this as just from the perspective that we know, we detoxify every day, we poop, we pee, we breathe, we sweat. But the two main sites of detoxification where our body is getting rid of toxins, breaking down medications, etc., two phases that occur in the liver and then the bulk of toxins are then hopefully excreted through the digestive system and the gut. And so, I think there're many variables at play when people tell me that they're having an upregulation in pain, I believe that but obviously, I think that there's probably a component to this that is probably not completely clear in the question. And it's not a criticism of Robin, I'm just saying that chronic pain people just have an upregulation in inflammatory cytokines and other inflammatory processes. And there could be something else going on. When people tell me they have fibromyalgia and they have a tick-borne illness. There's a lot going on. From my perspective, I think it's digging deep, anti-inflammatory nutrition, removing the most common predicators of inflammation in the body, the gluten, grains, dairy, alcohol, sugar, soy in conjunction with fasting can be really powerful. But I would also want to ensure that Robin has taken the steps or is leaning into opening up those detoxification pathways that could be exacerbating why there's a pain response.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that's great. Another thing I was thinking of, this is not probably what's happening with her, but it's just an example of something where something might get worse before it gets better, people will talk about when they go on, like a carnivore diet, and they have oxalate dumping, things like that where some sort of restriction for whatever reason causes a release of a compound or toxins or a stir up of something else.

Cynthia Thurlow: This plant-based defenses are real thing. I think that for many of us, obviously if you have chronic Lyme, you've had multiple rounds of antibiotics. There's no question you've got some degree of hyperpermeability of the small intestine. There's a lot that can go on. So, from my perspective, those are the people who tend to be the most sensitive to those plant-based defenses, whether it's oxalates, whether it's saponins. There're just so many variables that could be impacting that. And I find that even those of us that are abiding by like a gluten-free diet, I always think about almonds as the best example like they're proliferative and keto and low-carb products. But the oxalates can be a huge hindrance to, really dampening down the inflammatory response in the body. And for a lot of people, they may get pain, others may get diarrhea, they may have abdominal pain. It's interesting I interviewed an oxalate expert on the podcast.

Melanie Avalon: Who'd you interview?

Cynthia Thurlow: Monique, and she trains underneath, who's that woman? It's like Sharon Sandy.

Melanie Avalon: Sally Norton and Susan Owens mixed up.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, it's one of the two. And so, she trained with her and she's in a wonderful resource and all her content is leaning in the oxalate. I was stunned at how much I learned. And so, for me, I don't tolerate a lot of the heavier oxalate foods and still don't to this day. And I think a lot of it had to do with the 13 days of being hospitalized, a lot of antifungals, antibiotics for six weeks, and my gut's probably still healing. So, when I look at this, there's a lot of different things that could be going on. But I would start with nutrition as being a huge driver in the detoxification.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'll put a link in the show notes. I had Sally Norton on my show. The oxalate is one of those topics where I don't normally think about it and I think a lot of people don't normally think about it. But then like you just said, when you hear the information about it, it's mind-blowing. It's like, "Oh, maybe this actually is a major issue."

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. And I just had Bill Schindler on the podcast. I know you've had him on your podcast. We talked about oxalates and I said if you look at them under a microscope, they look like little crystals. And I said is it any surprise that these plant-based defenses are designed to protect the plant, but in someone who's susceptible to them, like me, this is why my mother, I've got an Italian mother, she's always trying to get me to eat more greens. And I finally had to say, I was like leave me alone about the kale and the spinach. I'm like it doesn't agree with me. And someone else, it's probably absolutely fine. But for me, I know exactly what it does to my digestive system. It just reminds me that, there's a very fine line with a little bit and then enough that will provoke a flare. And I'm just not willing to go there.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'll also put a link in the show notes. My app Food Sense Guide has oxalates as one of the compounds that it shows if people are curious about the levels of oxalates in food. So, you can get that at melanieavalon.com/foodsenseguide and we can put a link to the interviews with Bill Schindler. He's so amazing.

Cynthia Thurlow: He was lovely and it was funny. I make my husband listen to my podcast episodes. He was like he's talking about bugs and he's talking about organ meat and he was like, "I got to meet this guy, he sounds amazing." And I said, "No he's a complete realist." Like, he'll tell you his kids didn't love the insects, but he talks about the value of cricket flour and just being open minded to the fact that back in paleolithic days you just ate what was available. You weren't picky about like I'm only eating muscle meat, I probably would have starved. But yeah, I'm not the most foodie adventurous, I'm not eating the cartilage and organs every day and goodness. I like Pluck though. Have you tried Pluck? 

Melanie Avalon: No, what is?

Cynthia Thurlow: So, it's like an organ meat-based seasoning. It's really good. We'll have to link it up in the show notes.

Melanie Avalon: Wait, that sounds so cool. Wait, it's made from organ meats, but it's a seasoning, wait.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, it's a chef that created it, James Berry, mm-hmm. I have had him on the podcast.

Melanie Avalon: Wait, this is so cool.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and it's really good. And actually, they came out with some new flavors. And so, the spicy is really good. Actually, I like all of them. But we'll link it up, we'll give you my discount code. But unlike anything that can get organ meats, in general, more accessible, to me if I throw it over deviled eggs, it's no big deal. But if I sat down and ate a piece of liver that probably wouldn't happen. So, I think the understanding is trying to make these things accessible. I know Bill does a great job with that. James Berry does a great job with that and he's a chef, and I just really appreciate people trying to find clever ways to get people eating more nutrient-dense foods.

Melanie Avalon: I'm looking this up. Okay, so like their main one, like the normal all-purpose one so it has a blend of liver, spleen, kidney, heart, pancreas with onion, salt, paprika, lemon, pepper, garlic, parsley, mustard seed, thyme. Wonder if they have one that's AIP friendly. Let's see pure. Let's look at the pure one.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's just organ meat.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, yeah. And then Zesty Garlic, let me look at that one. I like doing online shopping. Wait, this is so cool.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and they're really good. And so, James is like a real chef. And I love just how clever he is.

Melanie Avalon: Friends, I want the Zesty Garlic one, it has liver, spleen, kidney, heart, pancreas, and then onion, garlic, lemon peel, salt, carrot, garlic, cabbage, parsley, oregano, marjoram, basil, and thyme.

Cynthia Thurlow: Totally good. And spicy is good, too. We're kind of spicy people. We like a little bit of spice, my husband more so he does than I do. But it's going to be part of our holiday gift list because I think it's just a fun way to get people exposed to eating organ meat in a way that's not scary. Like I'm not going to sit down and eat a plate of spleen although I can respect those that do.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and they actually do list on their website if it's AIP or not. Super cool, that never occurred to me, that's smart. And then there's a lot of people like there's some company that makes, it's like breadcrumbs, but it's like made from meat. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, is that like the pork panko?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think so. It's like they have it like chicken.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's a little salty. I like the idea. We tried it and it was so salty. And I was like, I like salt but it was a little too salty for me.

Melanie Avalon: So, another company actually reached out to me called Safe Catch?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, they reached out to me, I think I told you about the scallops with them.

Melanie Avalon: The scallops you told me about were-- because I read it down to look them up was Seatopia?

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, they all run together.

Melanie Avalon: Seafood is my thing. So, I've been like taking notes. I literally have written down in my agenda to look up your Seatopia scallops. So, you like those?

Cynthia Thurlow: I thought they were good. I like to buy fish the day of-- that's my husband is a fisherman and likes to go deep sea fishing. And so, he's super picky about seafood. So, we tend to buy it the day that we're going to eat it. So, I think it's super convenient. Like I think ButcherBox is awesome in terms of like, meat shows up at my door, I don't have to go to the grocery store. I'm not 100% sold on seafood being sent to my house. I'm not there yet.

Melanie Avalon: So, I'll comment on the seafood aspect. Often times when you're buying it fresh, it's actually less fresh than frozen. Because frozen, they freeze it right there. And so that stops histamine production, and basically just freezes it in time compared to when you buy it at the store. If it hasn't been frozen in between which sometimes they freeze it and thaw it again. But regardless, it's a longer shelf life where it's been not frozen which is interesting. I think a lot of people don't think about that, which is why I'm all about the frozen. So, the Safe Catch, the reason I really, really like them is they have tuna and salmon and they test all of it for mercury. And I just think this is such a problem, especially with tuna because with tuna, there're so many different species and so many different sizes. So, the mercury levels in tuna can range, some tuna can be low mercury, but some can be really, really high. And so, they actually test, so all of their tuna test to be super low in mercury and the same with the salmon and it comes in, they just sent me a box, but it comes in pouches. So, I'm really, really excited that they reached out to me, they gave me a coupon code. So, this will only be through the end of the year. So, stock up now. And this would be a great thing to stock up on because like I said it comes in pouches. So, you can just stock up. You can get 20% off with the coupon code MELANIEAVALON. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. But their website is safecatch.com, which is easy. But yeah, going back to the fish thing because I'm like such a fish fan, you can always ask at the counter. Like if it's been frozen or not frozen or like what the deal is with it. Oftentimes, it's just a little fun fact at Whole Foods, half of the time this stuff that they have in the fish counter, is just a thawed version of the frozen bags that you would buy in the frozen section. Like they do with the shrimp. They do that with the barramundi, I think they might do it with the salmon. So, it's kind of crazy.

Cynthia Thurlow: Awesome. Now, it's always good to learn about options that are out there that are safer. I think after my mercury issue about five years ago, I've just been very conscientious about sporadically eating fish and not eating it often.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, once you have that mercury toxicity problem and it's something where you can just stop me because I'm so passionate about this subject. I'll talk about it for an hour, but it's something where you don't see it, like you don't see the mercury in fish. So, if you could see the mercury, I promise you people would not be putting even moderate mercury species of fish into their mouth. I've said this a ton of times but if you look at like the spread and you take a piece of tilapia that has the lowest amount of mercury possible and you compare it to a piece of swordfish that has the highest amount, it can be 300 times. So, if you eat one piece of swordfish that could be like eating 300 pieces of tilapia for the mercury in one meal.

Cynthia Thurlow: My mom would throw a sea bass, like fixation for a long time.

Melanie Avalon: Chilean sea bass?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I know. It's so good.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and when I tell you it was like years. That's like every time we showed up, she went from being vegan to eating fish and eggs and we were very happy about this. And now she's back to eating meat. But the joke was, she would buy the most massive piece of sea bass and sea bass is wonderful, but it's like one of those overfished fishes that's why it's so expensive, that's the other thing is like trying to get acclimated, like being open to trying different things. I think that's important, just being open minded is certainly very helpful.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, definitely. When it comes to the fish. I actually have a blog post, I'll put it in the show notes. I talk about the fish that I will eat because I really only will eat. I'm very, very limited. I'll eat scallops and shrimp because they're so low on the totem pole. I'll eat farm salmon, I won't even eat wild salmon with the exception of this Safe Catch, which is very exciting. And then I eat responsibly farmed tilapia if I know the source and then I'll eat Australia's barramundi and then when I go out, I might get like, sole or trout or something. It's funny Gin and I had completely different food tastes. So, she was like not about the fish at all. [chuckles]

Cynthia Thurlow: I grew up at the shore, for anyone that's from New Jersey, the shore, the Jersey Shore. And so, we had a lot of fish growing up. And it wasn't really until, probably until I got to Baltimore, because Baltimore's on the water and there's just a lot of like crabs. And I mean, you just eat a lot more shellfish and fish in general. And then I met my husband who's from Annapolis, and we don't eat a ton of fish because my kids don't love it. And it just isn't worth it, it's expensive. They like shrimp, so we do shrimp, but my husband and I will usually get fish for ourselves and then give the teenagers the meat, which is what they want.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's interesting, that fish seems to be more of an acquired. "Oh, my queue is moving, okay, okay, I'm sorry, well, okay, okay. I might have to-- Oh, it's moving, I'm like 1,288 people in front of me.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh my God.

Melanie Avalon: For the past five hours it's been at 2,000 plus and now it's just oh, 1125, I'm going to get in in a second. Okay, okay, I will just say about the fish. Sorry, this is real-time, real-time Melanie getting her Taylor Swift tickets. 950, I'm going to have to jump it a second, 762. I'll just say about the fish really quickly. It's interesting that it seems to often be an acquired taste. I feel like kids shy away from it. 

Friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get 50% off a product that has truly changed my life. Do you experience stress, anxiety, or chronic pain? Do you have trouble sleeping at least once a week? If you do, trust me, you are not alone. I personally have explored so many avenues for how to have a healthy relationship with stress and finding the world of CBD oil has been absolutely incredible for that. After doing more and more research, I realized just how incredible the health benefits of CBD are. CBD regulates your cannabinoid system, kind of like an adaptogen, making you feel better naturally. It's not addictive, it's not a crutch, basically it's just helping your body function better when it comes to stress, anxiety, pain, and sleeplessness. I take it daily for my mood and the effects are profound. In fact, I even got robbed last year and I went from crying with stress and anxiety to taking some Feals and laughing. I said to my mom, "Mom, see how effective this is?" Due to all of its health benefits, we knew we wanted to partner with a CBD company for the podcast. But I have very stringent criteria. You guys know this. So many brands approached us and I kept just saying, “No,” because nothing fits all of my criteria. I wanted CBD oil that was a full spectrum, tested for purity, organic, made with MCT oil as the carrier, and that I actually experience benefits from. That's a pretty tall order to fill. We said no to a lot of brands, and then Feals came along, and it was meant to be. I personally tried it out and started seeing massive effects on my sleep and stress. Feals is so easy to take. You can just put a few drops under your tongue and you'll feel the difference within minutes. I truly do feel it within minutes. 

Of course, it is important to remember that CBD works differently for everybody based on your own unique cannabinoid system, so you might need to work to find your perfect dose. Experiment over the course of a week or so and you may find that you need more or less depending on the effects that you're looking for. I'm also super grateful because they have an incredible offer for our audience. You can start feeling better with Feals. Become a member today by going to feals.com/ifpodcast and you'll get 50% off your first order with free shipping. That's feals.com/ifpodcast to become a member and get 50% automatically taken off your first order with free shipping, feals.com/ifpodcast. 

When you get that offer, you'll be joining the Feals community and you'll get Feals delivered directly to your doorstep every month. You'll save money on every order and of course, you can pause or cancel anytime. So, definitely try it out for the first month with our code for 50% off and see how it works for you. We'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: Okie-Dokie, shall we go on to another question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: So, we actually have two questions and they go together, sort of, they're similar topics, so I thought I would read them together. So, we have a question from Therese. The subject is "Repetitive routines or mix it up." And Therese says, "Hi, love your podcast." I recently started IF and the first weeks, I simply followed the 16:8 method. I found an app that has great programs and found a program for weight loss and the setup seems to be switching it up with different intervals of eating and fasting. I think of it almost as when you exercise you get best results when you switch it up by doing both cardio strength and different types of intervals. Does weight loss via IF get better results when you're not letting your body get used to a steady rhythm, but rather surprise it with different internal windows of fasting and eating." And then James, his subject is "Constantly changing fasting windows," and he says, "I started IF about a month ago using the BodyFast app, which recommends a different program every week, 24-hour fast 16:8, 20:4 and everything in between to prevent your body getting used to a pattern. I also move fasting periods myself to allow social occasions. I have heard you talk positively about keeping the same fasting rhythm. What is your view on switching schedules in these ways?"

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Therese and James, if you are at all familiar with my work, I am a huge proponent of variety as it pertains to nutrition, exercise, and a fasting program. Obviously, for women that are still menstruating there are times in the menstrual cycle when we should lean into more fasting as opposed to others when we should not. Men and menopausal women have the advantage of not having as much hormonal fluctuation. I typically do recommend-- our bodies get lazy, if we are doing the same thing, think about if you did the same workout at the gym every time you went, over time your body gets acclimated and you're no longer challenging it. And so, we want to think about exercise and a fasting regimen is a form of hormesis, beneficial stress in the right amount at the right time to keep things changed and challenged. And I'm absolutely a proponent of different types of exercise, which includes strength training, high-intensity interval training if that's appropriate for you, NEAT, which is just being physically active throughout the day that's not structured exercise. And then, leaning into the fasting piece. In fact, I was listening to a video of Chris Kresser today and he was presenting some new research, looking at women in particular in fasting and a lot of it goes back to things that I talk about, you have to have a large enough window to get enough protein in in your feeding window, not having to narrow the window, getting concerned with over fasting losing muscle mass. And so, there's a fine line for each one of us. And for me personally and I'm just going to use myself as an example, I'm in a very healthy weight, I don't want to lose muscle mass. I don't do long fasts. There are people to do them and if you have a lot of weight to lose, you're struggling a bit maybe you needed to have like a digestive reset, you have more latitude with that than someone that's already at a goal weight or already pretty metabolically flexible. I think it's a very individual decision, but I'm absolutely a fan of varying what we eat, when we eat, and not doing the same types of exercise every day. What do you think, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so I've thought about this a lot in general, with the exercise and everything, I definitely agree that mixing it up is so key including all those different types, like you were saying, because that's really most in line with how we would have evolved as a species, we weren't going to the gym and like working out for 30 minutes every day or like doing the same thing every single day, and we were moving functionally, we weren't just exercising this one muscle to, really aesthetically the way it looks. So, health-wise, exercise, mixing it up, I think is great. With fasting, I think as well, it can be great to mix things up. But I think the complicated nuance is, because I just know how I personally am, which for me, like it really works following the same fasting schedule. And when I go off of it, I don't feel as well. And I think part of that might have to do with the peripheral clocks of our body are driven independent within themselves. I was actually just reading about this in a book that I'll probably talk about next episode because have you heard of-- I think I mentioned it before, it's the Oldest Cure in the World?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I have not.

Melanie Avalon: It's by Steve Hendricks, it came out September 6 and it's the deepest dive into the history of fasting I have ever read. So, the subtitle is Adventures in the Art and Science of Fasting. I'm going to interview him which is really exciting, but its mind blowing some of the things I've been learning. But in any case, that part I was reading last night was about the SCN. So, the master clock in our body, which light affects and which drives a lot of our circadian rhythms. But then all of our cells have peripheral clocks and they can function on their own. So, they can be informed by the SCN, but they can also be completely informed on their own. And so, eating is actually a very intense clock within us and it's on its own rhythm and it's often based on how we're eating. And so, the reason I'm bringing this up is I find for me personally that if I follow my same fasting window of a one-meal-a-day situation at night, then I feel good during the day, I'm not hungry during the day, I'm hungry at night. I feel good at night, I find it that when I break it, it messes with that clock for me, and I just get ravenous. So, like if I were to like widen my eating window, which works really well for a lot of people like to have those days where they have a longer window. For me it like just doesn't work, it would just make me hungry and miserable and not feeling good. And so, I wonder if with the fasting it's something where people really should take it individually for how it affects them. And, how do they do with mixing it up or not mixing it up? I think some people will do better with mixing it up and some people won't. Do you have thoughts on that concept?

Cynthia Thurlow: I mean, I do. I just think overall if the bulk of the population here in the United States is not metabolically flexible, they have to change things up. I see where you and I are both coming from, honoring our bio-individuality, honoring the fact that I always call you the unicorn. And I mean that in the most affectionate way, like manner, not in a pejorative way. But like, I can get up early, I have to go to bed early, you can stay up late, you like to sleep in. So, it's like figuring out what works for our bodies. But knowing that the bulk of people are metabolically inflexible here in the United States and most westernized countries, changing things up in some capacity, even if it's, you lift an extra day that week, or maybe you go an extra hour without eating or maybe you shorten your window, like some degree of flexibility I think is important for us. And that's what I feel like intrinsically. And certainly, after coaching 1000s of people through this process, there are always exceptions, so let me be very clear. But I feel like most of us need some degree of alteration in schedule. Today's a good example, over the last several months, I've been leaning into eating a little earlier in the day and closing my window a little earlier and that has worked really well for me. But today, I didn't eat till I came home. So, I had an unintended almost 20-hour fast. And that's not my norm. But I was like, I'll be totally fine. I had a big meal, I'll have one more smaller meal before I go to bed, and I'll be good. Unfortunately, when I trained 1000 years ago, the mindset and methodology was you treat every patient the same in terms of if they have blood pressure problems, everyone starts with this medication at this dose. And I've just learned to be a little more thoughtful and a little more individualized. So, some type of variation of what you're doing it doesn't have to be dramatic, can be very helpful.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really glad you said that nuance and that's something I was actually going to comment on. I wasn't quite sure how to say it and I think you said it really well. So, for me, the way I would bring in variability in a way or switching things up would be like fasting a little bit longer. Like it would be like a slight tweak rather than just a completely different eating window or I think I could get similar benefits possibly by changing completely what I'm eating in my eating window, like, be it macro wise or whatever. So, or even like a low-protein day just to like switch things up, or switching to a low-carb day to switch things up. I definitely think there is some magic there with the metabolic [unintelligible [01:03:13] piece. I do wonder though if for some people just sticking it out, at least while they're metabolically inflexible to a certain window might be important until they're metabolically flexible. I don't know if I'm articulating it correctly.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, no, no, I totally agree with you and in fact, I had someone on Instagram the other day. And I know of her, she's very thin, she's an exercise person. She kept saying I don't know why you don't just tell people to intuitively eat. And I said that works fine if you're metabolically flexible, but if you are not, you can't and to think that everyone can is pejorative. And so, I have to very politely say that every time because she always comes back and says, "Don't tell women over the age of 50 they can't do this and this and this." And I'm like, "Well, maybe you're an outlier." But generally speaking, I'm trying to come from a place of kindness, but it's clearly a triggering topic. I think what I hear you saying is very aligned with what I think that we have to be gentle and kind and realize that some people are ready to jump in feet first and some people have to like dip their toe in the pond. They're terrified of adjusting what they're doing and so just acknowledge what resonates for you what feels good. We would never advocate that people do something that's beyond their comfort level. Like if you said to me, I want you to play to organ meat, I would struggle with that I have to be completely upfront, it might be just as scary as suggesting someone to change their feeding window. So, I think just entertaining the possibility of making subtle adjustments can be beneficial.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I cannot agree more and it's really glad to hear your thoughts about that. I often wonder, especially in the beginning when people are fasting if they hadn't flexed their fasting muscle yet, they might want to switch things up, but it's because they haven't stuck to it long enough to really get in the flow of fasting. So, I get nervous about people trying to be too intuitive, too soon. Some people are great though being intuitive, but some people aren't. You just have to know who you are and what works for you.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, unfortunately, I sometimes see very metabolically flexible people shaming other people for not leaning into intuitive eating. I'm like, they can't it's not that they don't want to, the hormonal regulation in their body is off and they just can't lean into that. So, I think that we have to be kind and open minded and compassionate, I think that goes a long way.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly, even for me, it would be really, really hard. And it's not a skill that I feel like I need to learn. I don't feel like I need to be able to intuitively eat a brownie. Maybe if I eat a brownie that makes me really cravy and want more food and maybe that's just the way it is. And maybe I can just know that about myself and not feel bad that I can't, moderate things like that. I think it should be okay if you know that certain foods are troublesome for you to abstain if that makes you happier.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, no, no I think it's interesting. The thing that I'm always intuitive about is carbs, I don't count carbs, but I have a good sense of how much I'm eating. And so, like yesterday is a good example, I wanted blueberries. And by some miracle, my 15-year-old hadn't eaten them all yet. My husband bought them on Sunday. And usually, he finishes off any fruits that's in the house within 24 hours. And so, I had some blueberries and my husband was like, I'm actually glad to see you eating some blueberries. I said, "Well, I wanted them." And it was like, my body wanted something healthy, and I'll lean into that. And so that's the intuition. But I acknowledge that not every person and quite frankly if we look at statistics 7% to 8% of Americans are metabolically flexible. So, the average person can't do that. I think it can be validating to hear that and also gives people something to work towards.

Melanie Avalon: All righty. 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 questions@ifpodcast.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/episode295. You can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_ and I want to apologize to you, Cynthia, for my craziness today and to the audience for my craziness, but I have the Taylor Swift tickets now. [chuckles]

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, so you got your tickets. I was saying to Melanie, the ticket prices have gotten so insane. I was like how do young people afford to go. I went to so many concerts when I was a teenager and a 20-something, kind of makes me sad.

Melanie Avalon: I know. It's crazy.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's probably why I have tinnitus. I have chronic tinnitus, a chronic ringing in my ears, and my working hypothesis from my ENT, it's all those concerts you went to and I was like probably Red Hot Chili Peppers was especially loud many years ago.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I bet. So, we're going to like rock and roll-type concerts?

Cynthia Thurlow: I've been to everything. It runs the gamut from alternative music when I was in college is now considered very mainstream. But I've seen Red Hot Chili Peppers, I've seen U2 multiple times. I'm dating myself, but yeah, but now it's like I have no interest in being in a big loud crowd. I'm like okay I can watch everything online, I'm good. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Well, I go to concerts. I'm going to Mannheim Steamroller in a few weeks and I'm going to Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but I don't normally-- and I go to musicals that doesn't count. [laughs] I know I'm not a concert person except for Taylor Swift.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I'm very excited for you.

Melanie Avalon: So "Oh, my goodness." Okay. Well. This has been wonderful. Thank you again, sorry again, and I will talk to you next week.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice 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]


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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving us a review in iTunes - it helps more than you know!