Episode 302: AMA Part 3, Life Hacks, Zone 2 Exercise, Easy Healthy Food Swaps, Travel, Space, Claustrophobia, Bees, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Jan 29

Welcome to Episode 302 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:

LOMI: If you want to start making a positive environmental impact or just make clean up after dinner that much easier, Lomi is perfect for you! turn Your Kitchen Scraps Into Dirt, To Reduce Waste, Add Carbon Back To The Soil, And Support Sustainability! Get $50 Off Lomi At lomi.com/ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST!

MANUKORA: Support Optimal Immune And Digestive Health With Manukora. Delicious, Raw, Sustainable, Traceable Manuka Honey From New Zealand. Manukora Superpower Honey Is High In Antioxidants, Prebiotics, And The Natural Antibacterial MGO Compound. Go To manukora.com/ifpodcast For A FREE Pack Of Honey Sticks With Your Order!

Athletic Greens: 75 high-quality vitamins, minerals, whole-food sourced ingredients, probiotics, and adaptogens in one delicious scoop! Get A FREE 1 year supply of immune-supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE travel packs with your first purchase at athleticgreens.com/ifpodcast!

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


1:10 - LOMI: Get $50 Off Lomi At Lomi.Com/ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST!

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!

AVALONX SUPPLEMENTS: Get 10% Off Serrapeptase 125, Magnesium 8 And Berberine 500 At avalonx.us And mdlogichealth.com With The Code MelanieAvalon!

Text AVALONX To 877-861-8318 For A One Time 20% Off Code for avalonx.us!

Check out Cynthia Thurlow's line of supplements and latest releases at cynthiathurlow.com/supplements!

21:00 - MANUKORA: Go To Manukora.Com/Ifpodcast For A FREE Pack Of Honey Sticks With Your Order!

25:00 - Listener Q&A: EIleen - What would consider your best life hack?

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #175 - Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

29:00 - Listener Q&A: Mary Jane - What are some of the other habits or things do you do you’ve maybe never talked about on the pod? Like infrared saunas, ankle/wrist weights, etc. but new ones.

42:30 - Listener Q&A: Mary Jane - Like switching to Redmonds or more natural salts or single source olive oil, what are some other relatively inexpensive and accessible changes people can make for the better?

DRY FARM WINES: Low Sugar, Low Alcohol, Toxin-Free, Mold-Free, Pesticide-Free, Hang-Over Free Natural Wine! Use The Link dryfarmwines.com/melanieavalon To Get A Bottle For A Penny!

51:30 - ATHLETIC GREENS: Get A FREE 1 Year Supply Of Immune-Supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE Travel Packs With Your First Purchase At athleticgreens.com/ifpodcast.

53:15 - Listener Q&A: Laura - What is your favorite vacation and or what’s your bucket list trip?

1:00:25 - Listener Q&A: Danielle - Given the opportunity to go to space, would you go? What would you want to study there?

1:05:15 - Listener Q&A: Danielle - Do you listen to any non health related podcasts?

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 302 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.

Friends, I am so excited to tell you about one of my new favoritest things ever. Okay, so you guys know I eat a lot of cucumbers. I don't think that this is any secret and I find myself throwing away pounds, yes, pounds of cucumber peels every single night. I felt so awful just throwing it in the trash. It seemed like such a waste. I'd always wanted to try composting, aka a sustainable approach to turning food waste into healthy dirt, but it seemed really intimidating and not very practical. So, it was on the to-do list for quite a while so you can imagine how thrilled I was, when a company called Lomi by Pela, reached out to me wanting to sponsor the show. Normally, I have to think a little bit about all the brands that reach out to me. I was an immediate yes. I was so excited. I got my Lomi device. It is incredible. Lomi allows me to turn my food scraps into dirt with the push of a button. Lomi is a countertop electric composter that turns scraps to dirt in under 4 hours. By comparison, if you were to compost naturally, it would probably take at the shortest around 6-8 weeks and maybe even up to a year. But nope, with Lomi, I can literally do it in 4 hours. There is no smell when it runs and it is super quiet. I've been using Lomi for a few months now. It is substantially reducing my waste. I was taking out garbage bags all the time. It's probably cut that down by about 30% to 50%. In fact, I love it so much that I bought another Lomi for my parents for Christmas. Now with my Lomi, I throw out weightless garbage. That means that waste is not going to landfills and producing methane. Instead, I turn my waste into nutrient-rich dirt that you can actually use to feed your plants.

Lomi is super cool. It has three different settings. It has the Eco-Express setting, which is low energy consumption, provides the fastest results, and is good for your food waste. It has the Lomi Approved setting that's 5 to 8 hours and you can actually put in Lomi Approved bioplastics and other compostable commercial goods, and packaging that are Lomi Approved. There's the Grow mode that's 24 hours. It's low heat with a longer duration and that actually preserves the microorganisms the most to help the soil and promote carbon storage in the soil. I am all about regenerative agriculture, so the fact that we can help put carbon back into the soil is so, so incredible. Lomi is something I have instantly fallen in love with and if you guys are anything like me, I know you will as well, turn your food waste into dirt with the press of a button with Lomi. Use the code IFPODCAST to save $50 at lomi.com/ifpodcast. That's L-O-M-I dotcom slash ifpodcast with the promo code IFPODCAST to save $50. 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 new born. 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.

Lastly, if you're thinking of making Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare a part of your future we have, we definitely recommend becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of 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 302 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hi, Melanie. How are you?

Melanie Avalon: I'm good. I feel like it's been so long since we've talked.

Cynthia Thurlow: I know. [laughs] I was about to say during the holidays, appropriately so we all take a break from things we do within our business. I was texting with Melanie before I got on, and I was like, we're doing this episode, and this is the format. It's amazing how just a couple of weeks, you kind of feel like you're getting out of practice.

Melanie Avalon: Well, this episode airs end of January, but for us recording, we just started January. How was your New Year's Eve?

Cynthia Thurlow: Very low key. I'll be completely transparent with you and with listeners that last year we were in Costa Rica, which was wonderful. But my boys were pretty adamant that they did not want to travel for Christmas. Because of poor weather, my mom was not able to come as early as she had wanted to and had to leave a little bit early as well. She lives in a rural part of the East Coast, and so they always get more snow and ice. We, the four of us, I mean, I have teenagers, we all stayed in, we had an amazing dinner and then we watched movies and I was asleep before the ball dropped. With the exception of my teenagers, of course, they go to bed. They're like nocturnal animals, they're up really late and they sleep in every day. My husband and I were in bed before the ball dropped, and we've had so many years of really late New Year's Eve parties and it was really nice to just go to bed and have a really nice meal and just have it be low key. Like we didn't have a lot on the calendar and after the book launch and how busy 2022 was and all the travel that I did, even in December, it was just nice to slow down. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, mine was really good. My sister and I went to a really fun party at the Waldorf Astoria. I love any chance to dress up really fancy, so if there's ever a situation where I can maybe find something to do that, I'm all about it. So, I don't like being out crazy and I don't like loud and I don't like crowds, and I actually don't like-- Even though I'm a crazy late night owl, I don't like being out at midnight. Like, I don't want to be not at my home. It's not normally something I would gravitate towards, but we had a blast. It was good.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm good. I think that's what we all want is if we're going to start celebrating the last day of the year into the first day of the new year, celebrating it, however, makes us happy. I think that's really important. Like, when we lived in Northern Virginia, there was another family, probably our closest friends from our old neighborhood, and for years we would just have New Year's Eve at each other's houses and we would make these incredible dinners. Our boys were all about the same age and we had years where all of us were up till 02:00 or 03:00 AM in the morning just having fun amongst ourselves and so, I agree with you. In my 20s and probably into my early 30s and my teens, I did a lot of late-night parties. I agree with you, as an introvert, I'm completely happy with less people and less noise, and just kind of eating a really good meal and just being around people that I really like.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Very excited for this year and all the things. I feel like there are great things in store.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely, absolutely. By the time this episode comes out, I think we're going to have the announcements for my next supplement, which is exciting. I know for you, you just had a new supplement that came out. How are things going with berberine?

Melanie Avalon: So, well. I'm just so grateful and so excited that it's really resonating with listeners and I think it's doing a lot of good and oh yeah, that was something that was really exciting. There were a few different articles that came out over the holidays and one was in Yahoo News. It was like a countdown of wellness products for 2023. It's really exciting to see things like that. I mean, it makes me feel like a real entrepreneur. I don't really feel like a real business woman, but then when things like that happen, I'm like, "Okay, maybe." [chuckles] In a line up next to other, "real things." So, I'm excited. I don't think I know your next supplement.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's myo-inositol. So, for listeners, if they're familiar with that. It is a supplement that is very well researched and one that typically we see associated with metabolic inflexibility, insulin issues, insulin resistance, polycystic ovarian syndrome. There's a lot of really good research about sleep and brain health and in keeping with my theme, which is related to metabolic flexibility and brain health, that is the next supplement. I've been taking myo-inositol, it's a bit of a tongue twister to say it, so we're trying to come up with ways to make it a little more approachable inositol. It's one form of inositol. We're coming up with ways to make it easier for people to say, but I've been taking it every single night to help with sleep and I've been recommending it to most if not all of my patients and clients. There's been some pretty incredible breakthroughs not only with reduction in insulin resistance, but also sleep latency, so able to fall asleep faster. If they're waking up in the middle of the night, it's able to help with that as well. That will be the next product that's coming out. It's probably going to be another powder. I'm kind of a sleep stacker. There's usually a couple of products that I will take together and I put this in my water at the tail end of my feeding window and sip on that along with some magnesium L-threonate along with my other sleep stack. This is the first of several products. There will be another one coming out fairly soon after that's going to tie into that sleep thing that I'm really excited about.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. Okay, that's really cool. I was familiar with inositol., but if you had asked me, I would not have been able to tell you the benefits at all. So, I learned a lot just now and then I wasn't familiar at all with that version of it, myo-inositol.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's interesting because most of what people think about when they consider that particular supplement is, "Oh, it's great for PCOS" And it is indeed, but it's inflammation reduction and I think for the bulk of our population, which we know only 7% to 8% of our population, and I'm so speaking way outside the context of just this podcast, is not metabolically healthy. This is one of many aspects and strategies that can be utilized and it's really well tolerated. I think that's really important because there are certainly some big gun supplements that are out there where people, they may move the needle a bit faster, but they may also have the issue related to side effects. This is gentle and to me it's cumulative use that will help with sleep. So many middle-aged women really struggle with sleep and it's not just about replacing hormones. There're other ways to kind of layer in support so I'm really excited.

For listeners, you probably don't get the opportunity to read all of the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on with supplement creation, but Melanie has been a huge supporter and has given lots of objective, which is what real friends do. Objective input with regard to product launches and messaging. So, thank you again for convincing me this is the right direction to go in, as opposed to white labelling, which for listeners means for a long time I was white labelling supplements created by Designs for Health as my own. Which you can do legally, but this allows me to completely tailor everything to my specifications. I would imagine that your specifications and mine are superior to a lot of other products that are on the market in terms of what we want or don't want in our supplement line or powders.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, no. Like 100%. It's so funny because I honestly can say the versions of the supplements that I've made, there's not anything else on the market that I would trust. I wouldn't even take like with serrapeptase in particular, I wouldn't take any of the alternatives on the market. There's some magnesiums and some berberine that I would but it's so nice just with the craziness of the supplement industry to finally be able to make exactly what we want to make, and also to educate listeners about these things. So, I'm just really, really grateful. It's amazing.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's interesting to me. I have always been a proponent of talking to patients about quality of supplements and why it's important to do your due diligence. Even if you go into Whole Foods, which is not a knock-on Whole Foods, you can find good quality things. You can also find a lot of junk. As an example, there was a product that I had sent my husband to Whole Foods to pick up and he's very diligent about checking food labels, but got home and we realized the product had soybean oil in it, back to the store it went. The point I'm making is that you have to be really diligent. What's added to the supplements? What types of oils are they using, if at all, getting really granular and clear. For me, and I know we're in alignment in this, I would rather stack one supplement at a time than have combinations of supplements. There're a lot of good products that are out there that are different types of adaptogens and different types of products, but then you don't know what actually works. Whereas if you're stacking one product at a time, you can determine how do you react to that product, how do you feel with that product before you layer in something else and I think that's very insightful.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I could not agree more. That's actually one of my main things as well. It's so cool that we're both aligned with that, the single ingredient thing. Not to say that I wouldn't make blends and like, the magnesium is a blend, for example, but it's all magnesiums. There's so many longevity blends and it's like all these different things or digestive blends and it's all different things. Like you said, "How do what's doing what? And then you can't tailor accordingly. Some of the ingredients might be working for you and some might not and yeah, I'm just like control freak.

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] Well. I think it's also my clinician background because I learned that certain drugs were really efficacious and very effective. Sometimes when there're a lot of medications on the market, as an example, sometimes you can get a blood pressure medication with a cholesterol medicine at the same time, they put them together. Yes, that means someone's taking one less pill, but then if they have a side effect, we didn't always know what was driving it. We had indicators based on what the side effects were, but it sometimes got it harder to tease out. I would drive my drug reps crazy because I was the person that would use single drug agents instead of using the "newest and latest."

I would tell them, well, show me the data that this is more efficacious because this drug cost my patient $5 and what you're recommending is a drug that's going to cost them $50 out of pocket every month and they're on a fixed income. They're retired. For the same purposes, I try to be mindful and thoughtful about what the next needle mover is going to be. What are things people can use throughout the day? Like, as an example, for people that have polycystic ovarian syndrome, the indications for inositol, as an example, are twice daily dosing versus someone that is just using it for sleep properties. So, we're giving people parameters with which to move within, but also giving them, for the most part, single supplement options at a time just so that it makes it easier to add things together. That's just I think ease of use is huge for me.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I think that's so important. I'm glad you mentioned the threonate because that will probably be my next release, which a lot of listeners, actually, who bought Magnesium 8 when it launched. The launch special included a special code for the magnesium threonate. That's a situation where I wanted to separate it out by itself because of its specific benefits for that type of magnesium. Which is, as you're familiar with it, crosses the blood-brain barrier and can really help with sleep and relaxation. That's a situation where it's like, we really want to have that as a standalone so, yeah. For listeners to get updates for both of us, if they want updates for AvalonX supplements, which are mine. They can go to avalonx.us/emaillist or they can text AVALONX to 877-861-8318. And when you text that number AVALONX, you will get a 20% off one-time use code, which is awesome. How can people get updates for yours, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: We decided to make it easy because no one knows how to pronounce or even spell myo-inositol, we're doing www.cynthiathurlow/supplement so that people can get on those lists. We're just trying to make it as easy as possible because for this creatine launch that came out, which has been great. Well, by the time this comes out, we'll be talking about where people can buy into monthly subscriptions or every-couple-of-month subscriptions trying to keep it as simple as possible. So that no one's navigating, trying to find it on a website, which we live and learn. We are learning more with each launch. What not to do and what works and what doesn't work.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how to get free manuka honey. If you know what that means, then you know what that means. If you don't know what that means, I'm about to tell you what that means. So, back in the darkest days of my digestive issues and chronic fatigue and all the things, I was researching anything and everything to try and get my health back. That's when I first came across the concept of manuka honey. I knew honey was supposed to have health benefits, but there was something special about manuka honey in particular. It is a special type of honey only found in the remote and magical forests of New Zealand. The bees actually feed on the highly active nectar of the manuka tea tree, and they make super honey that is honestly unlike anything you have ever seen or tasted before. Manuka honey is a super honey because of its unique antioxidant and prebiotic properties.

Honey in general has those properties. Honey also has hydrogen peroxide activity which can have a beneficial effect on your gut and health, but manuka honey in particular has a different natural antibacterial compound called MGO that only comes from the nectar of this manuka tea tree. They actually measure it. I think it's really funny. They call it non-peroxide activity. The nutrients in manuka honey can help support optimal immune and digestive health. I personally found that when I was using manuka honey, it had an incredible effect on my gut. I became really obsessed with finding the best of the best because there is a lot of controversy out there about manuka honey, and it can be difficult to make sure that you're getting a certified verified source that is actually the stuff that you want.

That's why I was so, so thrilled when Manukora reached out to me. They make manuka honey and what I'm really excited about is they have all of the transparency that I'm looking for. When I did the onboarding call with the brand, I was so impressed with their story, their authenticity, their knowledge, and their mission with manuka honey. Their honey can be traced back to a single origin through a unique QR authenticity platform, I love that. The honey is free from environmental toxins, free of glyphosate residue, non-GMO, gluten free. It's raw and like I said, 100% traceable. They're also a Certified B Corp and something super important to me, they really take care of their bees. The beekeepers actually manage the hive numbers to ensure that the bees have access to diverse pollen sources and plenty of nectar to feed on to avoid any risk of overstocking the bees. They're never fed refined sugar. There's no excessive hive transportation.

The hives don't need to be shifted around for pollination practices. They also help support local communities. Like, I said, I've been a fan of manuka honey for so long, so it's really exciting to partner with this company. Plus, the honey tastes delicious. You can incorporate Manukora into your food choices, into your diet, or you can use it as a supplement taking some of it daily to help support your immunity, your GI health and so much more. Manukora's super honey is available in a range of easy-to-use formats including jars, squeeze bottles, and 100% completely compostable packets. Friends, that is so hard to find so you can eat it straight or add it to your favorite food or beverage. If you head to manukora.com/ifpodcast you'll automatically get a free pack of honey sticks with your order that is of $15 value. That's M-A-N-U-K-O-R-A dotcom slash ifpodcast to get a free pack of honey sticks with your order. Friends. It's called honey with superpowers for good reason. Get on it and try this delicious creamy caramel honey and you won't look back with Manukora. That's manukora.com/ifpodcast for free manuka honey sticks and we'll put all this information in the show notes.

Okie Dokie. Shall we jump into everything for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: So, for listeners we got so many amazing questions when we asked for AMA. So, we're just continuing in this vein. Probably going to do this one and maybe one more episode just for a grab bag of goodies of topics, health and personal and all the things. So, to start things off. Okay, this is from Eileen. "What would you consider your best lifehack?"

Cynthia Thurlow: Okay. I'm going to not say fasting [laughs] because that would be expected, "High quality sleep." It's not a sexy answer, but I fervently believe if you are getting high quality sleep, everything else falls into place. Your blood sugar, better hormonal regulation, better food choices, ability to exercise and have great mentation. I would say high quality sleep is probably the one thing that is foundational to our health and really important. I think that I didn't fully appreciate until I really got into the research, why sleep is so critically important? Actually, as a healthcare provider, it's disturbing that so many healthcare providers are expected to skimp on sleep in order to take care of patients. I say this lovingly, we do it without question when we need to, but when we're telling our patients to get high quality sleep and to go to bed earlier and not be on screens until 02:00 in the morning and we're doing exactly the opposite. We're not mimicking good behavior for our patients, but that's probably my number one foundational element to anything that I do. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: That's a really great answer and it's really interesting that I think we frame the question differently. I didn't even think about diet or fitness or physical. I was thinking more in like mental side of things, so that's really interesting. Although intermittent fasting would be a really good answer, I think. Because of just, I mean it really is the ultimate lifehack in a way, because not only does it address the dietary issues that we face today with metabolic syndrome and the obesity epidemic and all these things, but on top of that you also get back time, you lose your anxiety surrounding eating. However, that is not what I chose. [chuckles] I picked gratitude, actually, because I think we have so much fear and anxiety today and stress. I love the concept that you can't be in a state of gratitude and a state of fear at the same time. I really just think it's the ultimate hack for immediately changing your mindset. Like literally, if you're stressed, think of something you're grateful for and at that moment you will not, at least at that literal moment, be stressed and then on top of that just the benefits surrounding it health wise are incredible. Even things like loving, kindness, meditations. I was reading about that in a book that I'm reading right now about the brain actually, and studies they've done on that and its effect on health biomarkers and mental health and wellness and brain health. So, yeah, I pick gratitude as a lifehack.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's really important. Ben Azadi is a good friend and he talks about vitamin G as a way to be thinking about gratitude every day. I agree with you that it is an underappreciated lifehack. It is certainly something that has been played out in my life over the past four years. Anytime I think things are getting tough, I have to remind myself that I have so much to be grateful for and it always allows me to kind of pass-through whatever discomfort I'm experiencing emotionally or otherwise. Definitely something, if you're not practicing that regularly, definitely give that a consideration.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I think also linked to it the focus on the present moment that it causes. I was reading about I might have mentioned this on the show before when I interviewed Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, who wrote the book Don't Trust Your Gut, all about data and not him, but there was a study where they had people do an app and it checked in randomly all throughout the day and asked them what were they doing and were they happy. They found that people-- this is really interesting, you're happier thinking about something neutral in the present moment. It might have even been bad. I have to double check. It was definitely neutral then you are thinking about something happy in the future. Basically, focusing on the present moment can just have an incredible effect. I like tying that in as well.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. It's all good.

Melanie Avalon: It is. Actually, since sort of related, since we're talking about hacks, Mary Jane said, "What are some of the other habits or things you do that you've maybe never talked about on the podcast? Like infrared saunas, ankle and wrist weights, etc., but new ones.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think Zone 2 training is something that I've been very focused on probably the past year in conjunction with regular strength training and then doing Pilates or Solidcore. Zone 2 training, I have to fully admit that my functional medicine doc and my trainer both are really into Zone 2 training. Keeping your heart rate, for me being 51, that means my heart rate is under 129 while I'm exercising. Enough that you can comfortably have a conversation, but you're still exercising. For me, a lot of what I do is walking. I know exactly what cadence, if the weather is bad outside or raining, I can walk on my treadmill inside, and I know exactly where my heart rate is. If I'm walking too fast, I can slow my pace down. Same thing with walking hills in my neighborhood. I'm in a very hilly part of Virginia that, for me, I think has really been very impactful. I probably haven't talked about it because it doesn't sound like a particularly sexy topic. But one that I think most people, if they've been conditioned to believe that doing a lot of HIIT, which HIIT should be brief, like 10 minutes long or if they're doing chronic cardio and they're wondering why it's not working for them physiologically or in terms of body composition whatever it is they're trying to improve. Zone 2 training for both my physician and my trainer is very important, especially for where I am life stage wise. Actually, Peter Attia talks about it quite a bit as well.

Melanie Avalon: It's funny you're talking about that. I was just getting hit with all of these things I've heard Peter Attia talk about who I'm still trying to book for the show because he has a new book coming out.

Cynthia Thurlow: I tried pitching him. They responded to me. I was really excited. I tried very hard because I was like, “I am a Hopkins alumn, I was there when he was training. Although he was in the bowels of the hospital and I was in the ER, but you know what? I just wanted to interject. If you haven't already listened to the latest podcast with him, with the neurocognitive, it's like a 2 hour and 40 minutes podcast, which is super long. I've listened to it twice. I've recommended it to nearly every person I know, non-clinician and otherwise. Really superlative podcast, it completely blew my mind about different types of proteins and how we approach neurocognitive disorders. Really smart female physician whose name evades me because I'm terrible with names.

Melanie Avalon: I did listen. I didn't realize until the very end that she's in his practice. I don't think he mentioned that in the beginning. He might have, I'm so annoyed at myself. I had pitched them early December. And so, when I'm writing an email that I want to be the perfect email, I put in my email address so that I don't accidentally send it soon to somebody else. I realized when I sent it to them, I didn't actually send it to them because I was going back to follow up. I was like, I haven't heard back. I went to follow up and I was like, "Oh, so that explains a lot." So, I just resent it. Did they book you?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well. What they said was a very nice gentleman actually apologized for not answering for nine days, which I was like, that's a good sign. I explained the podcast reach and who I am and my background, and how we both shared time at Hopkins and how I was a huge proponent. I said, if there's any way I can support his book launch, that's kind of how I left it. [laughs] They said, "This all looks really good. We'll be back in touch." This is my thinking process, I would imagine when you're at that level, like Peter Attia level, I'm assuming he's not going to be doing tons and tons of press. I think he's going to be selective. Even if I don't get him as a guest, I will still be super, super supportive of the launch. I'm just kind of leaving it out there in the universe that I'm completely open to the possibility. But I will not be disappointed if I am not one of the people that interviews him. I'll just be super excited to listen to him on other people's podcasts. I know he was not wanting to do the audiobook. [laughs] He wanted to have someone else narrate it. I was cracking up listening to him explain that he actually did narrate the book. I was like, "I'm really glad that you did that." But it is, as you as a trained thespian, I'm sure you probably can't appreciate this, but I had no idea how much work goes into an audiobook in terms of just the degree of proper alliteration of words and diction. I actually said to the producer, because my producer was particularly picky, which is her job. I was like, "What do people do that don't articulate or don't have good diction?" And she just laughed. She was like, "They do a lot more recording than you will be doing." And I was like, oh my gosh. So, yeah, very humbly. I just say I'm not a thespian anyway. I'm down a rabbit hole, but I hope that you get to interview him. I will certainly be super supportive if that happens, but I'm kind of, like, cautiously optimistic.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I have no idea if this is going to manifest. It's like my dream, we shall see.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'll try not to fan geek too much if I get to talk to him.

Melanie Avalon: I'm always prepping shows all the time. I have this one evergreen document called Peter Attia, because I'm listening to him all the time. Anytime he says something where I can tell it's a subject that's really random, that he's really interested in and I'm also interested in. And he has, like, an interesting thought, I write it down. [laughs] I have, like, two years' worth of random insight from him that I can tie into the interview.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's awesome. No, I think he's intense and brilliant, and just very intense. Like, my husband now listens to Peter Attia. My husband's an engineer, it gives you an idea of how his brain works. Sometimes he walks around and he's like, "Whoa, that guy's intense." I'm like, "Yup." [laughs] That's who you want as your physician. You want someone who's intense and methodical, it's all good.

Melanie Avalon: I know. So someday, someday. So, my answer is for the hacks. It's interesting, a lot of them I have talked about in the show. I guess I shouldn't say, though, I mean, my exercise related one, or it's not hacks, it habits and things that you do. My exercise one is Emsculpt, but I've talked about that all the time, the muscle building. I can comment on it, that I have started doing different body areas with it and I've seen really incredible effects. I started doing inner and outer thigh and it's kind of profound how it-- I think it does things to you and your legs that you would have to do, I think very specific exercises for a long time to see benefits. I'm loving that.

Cynthia Thurlow: Does it hurt?

Melanie Avalon: It doesn't hurt. You pick the intensity so you can work your way up and you get used to it. It's unpleasant and depending on which area it is, some are worse than others. Like the glutes, those are the easiest. I've been doing those most recently and those are pretty easy. Inner and outer thigh actually are not that bad. The outer thigh a little bit, it's more unpleasant, but they can adjust the intensity and you work your way up.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's all very interesting. I know very little about that.

Melanie Avalon: It's incredible. [chuckles] It literally builds muscle, like literally and burns fat and I really see the difference. Actually, that reminds me of something I hadn't written down for this, but I started doing of peptides, which I had not done before, so injections of peptides. I think that's something that's pretty cool because I was having some knee pain. Okay, and then another one. This is so funny. I had this on the list and I couldn't even remember if we had booked them for this show, but I just realized they are actually sponsoring this episode. I did not plan this. I couldn't even remember if they were sponsoring this show or not in comparison to my other Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. I am obsessed with my Lomi. Do you have one, Cynthia? Did they send you one?

Cynthia Thurlow: They did not send me one.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I'll have to email them. Friends listen to the ad that we're running for them. I'm obsessed. I bought one all by myself for my parents for Christmas. That's how much I love it. It's a composter and I've been wanting to compost for a long time, but it seemed very intimidating and complicated and I didn't want to get into that. When they reached out, I was really excited. This is revolutionizing my experience of my food and of my trash waste habit because I eat so many cucumbers as listeners know. I would fill up these trash bags all the time with all these scraps and everything. Now I just put them in my Lomi every night. You run it overnight, it's dirt in the morning, it's mind blowing. You can use that dirt outside. You can grow with it. They come with these little pellet things that you can put in to make it more microbial rich. Yeah, I'm like all about the composting and it's so quiet, you don't even hear it and it's easy to clean up. You don't even have to clean it that much. I don't clean it in between cycles I clean it, like, once a week, so composting, Lomi.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well. It's interesting. So, the neighborhood we lived in in Northern Virginia, was very strict. They wouldn't allow us, my husband likes to garden, so Todd is like this renaissance man. He kind of does a lot of different things, and he really wanted a composting area in the backyard, and they wouldn't allow us to do that. Now we're in a different neighborhood. They're strict about some things and not about others. I think having a compost, he would be so happy.

Melanie Avalon: It goes inside in your kitchen, and it's like the size of maybe two Instapots together. If you could take the Instapots and make it little bigger or Crockpot and make it twice the size. It's sleek looking, so you can compost without doing everything outside.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's so cool.

Melanie Avalon: Our offer is you can go to lomi.com/ifpodcast and use the promo code IFPODCAST that will get you $50 off. Cannot recommend this thing enough. I'm obsessed. So, yes. That's something new. I think I had one that I talked about before in the show, but I just want to emphasize it because I upgraded my version of it a little bit. One last one, it's funny because you were saying that your answer, Cynthia, was not a sexy answer. I have a sexy answer for this question. I don't know if I've shared this on the show or if I should.

Cynthia Thurlow: I was going to share my V Fit, but I'm still in the beginning stages.

Melanie Avalon: Your what?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's called a V-Fit.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, what is that?

Cynthia Thurlow: It is essentially a device with red light therapy that's supposed to help build up collagen and elastin in your vagina.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, nice.

Cynthia Thurlow: I just got it. I've used it twice, but Mindy Pelz has been suggesting I do this for a year, and I bought it, and my husband was like, "Oh, my God, you've got to be kidding me."[laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Do you stick it in like a tampon?

Cynthia Thurlow: It looks like a dildo.

Melanie Avalon: Oh.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'll take a picture of it for you.

Melanie Avalon: Large.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: And it has red light.

Cynthia Thurlow: But, like it's only probably, like, four inches that's inserted inside. It's just designed to be comfortable to hold.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. [laughs] That's cool. I support that.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. I was going to say, if we're going to talk about that's, probably the most interesting thing that I have recently started trying. But I haven't been using it long enough to be able to give a full report, but I have friends that swear by it.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. We should try to get them as a sponsor. [chuckles]

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. That would be nice. Right?

Melanie Avalon: I'll reach out to them. My related answer, if kids are listening, maybe pause for a second [laughs] for the moms because I know they're listening with families sometimes with their kids in the car. Mine would be ever since, I interviewed Dr. Stephanie Estima, she had her seven-day orgasm challenge that she said would have a profound effect on your health. And I started that, I mean, that was a while ago. That was probably a year ago. I just kept it up as an everyday orgasm challenge. It's literally because how much I'm a planner and a scheduler, it's literally, like, scheduled in to my life, my daily life.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's important, but nothing else. One of the things that I think we've talked about tangentially on the podcast is my PMF mat. It's like I crave it in the morning and now I crave it in the evening. My husband walks in and just laughs at me because I'm lying on this mat and I'm usually got, like, a blanket on top of me and I'm just so relaxing and he just laughs at me. I'm like, "I need 30 minutes of this in the morning." He was like, "Whatever makes you happy."[laughs] I try to do it at night because it's a time that I'm not doing anything else. I'm kind of gearing down, it's so relaxing, and good for your mitochondrial health.

Melanie Avalon: I love it, all the things. Okay, so I had another one, but I think I'll use it in part to answer this next question. This is the lifehack episode. Mary Jane said, like, "Switching to Redmond's or more natural salts or single source olive oil, what are some other relatively inexpensive and accessible changes people can make for the better"? I will say really quickly, "Thank you, Cynthia, so much." Cynthia sent me some wonderful olive oil for Christmas, so thank you. [chuckles]

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. No, I think for me, I'd like to keep it really simple. Like Melanie, mentioned, I sent her olive oil. Let me be clear, it is hard to send Melanie gifts because she has so many cool gadgets, and I couldn't send her scallops. It was literally impossible to do. That was high on the list, and that just wasn't feasible and cucumbers.

Melanie Avalon: So adorable that you were going to do-- just that you thought about that?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. So, high quality olive oil I think is really helpful. I do like Redmond's, and for full transparency that's the only salt we use in our home. I also think about using like I'm a fan of make some things from scratch and if you find a brand of product, whether it's a dressing or ketchup that you like, there's this company called Primal Keto. I have no affiliation with them. It's a women-owned business, and they have this spicy barbecue sauce that I use instead of ketchup. For me, that bottle will last months because no one in my house wants it. It's just I like it and so I use that in lieu of making my own barbecue sauce or Chosen brand avocado oil. They do have dressings, which I occasionally will use when I'm lazy. I know you don't like olives. I love really high-quality olives. I am a little bit of an olive snob. Sometimes I'll buy hearts of palm that are already done, same thing with roasted red peppers. Again, like a high-quality brand that doesn't have any chunk in it. Those are the kinds of things I'll lean into like salted macadamia nuts, just things that are easy, single ingredient or little-to-no ingredients that make my life a whole lot easier that are fairly inexpensive. Like nuts are not inexpensive, but if you portion them out and you go to Costco, they have salted macadamia nuts with no junk oils and they are amazing. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: I love that. To stay in the food realm, this is a hack I've done for a while, which is especially if you can't afford or if it's hard on your budget to have higher quality meats, I like getting the leaner cuts of meats and then making the fat come from olive oil or coconut oil or MCT oil. You can kind of get the best of both worlds because at least for me, I feel like the majority of the issues with conventional agriculture for livestock, a lot of those toxins are in the fat of the animal. So, if you get just really lean meat, then you can add organic olive oil or organic coconut oil and things like that where that will last longer. I kind of like that little hack. Also, for organic produce, the Environmental Working Group and looking at their Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. So, if you can only afford organic for some fruits and vegetables, then you can choose the nonorganic for the ones that are on their Clean Fifteen and then get organic for their Dirty Dozen. So, I think that's helpful. Also, food still, because she's asking what are some easy, inexpensive accessible things you can do to feel better? I don't think people realize, especially going out when they eat at restaurants, how once you learn how to order, to make it healthier, it's really not that hard. I think people think it's picky and difficult, and you're not going to be able to find something at restaurants. Once you get the system down because it's a very easy system, you can make most restaurants provide a dish for you that will be healthier for you and make you feel better the next day.

The first step is just like for all the meat dishes and entrees. If you're getting steak, salmon, fish, asking that it's not cooked either not in oil at all, or if it is that they use olive oil. Because a lot of them, a lot of the restaurants use vegetable oils and seed oils. That's like a really easy swap that you can make. I always just ask for plain and then you can add salt and pepper, but I tend to go really extreme with that. Also at restaurants, I always just ask for the vegetables that I want and they usually have it even if it's not on the menu. Like spinach, for example. I'll ask for like steamed spinach and even if it's not one of the side dishes they have, usually they can modify. Like restaurants are pretty good at that, so I think that's a hack.

Also, when you're getting wine, when you're out at restaurants, look up all of the wines. I know we're a big fan of Dry Farm Wines around here and really Dry Farm Wines I feel so different drinking it because it's low sugar, low alcohol, tested to be organic, free of pesticides, molds, toxins, all the things. It's the only thing I drink at home. If listeners want a bottle for a penny, they can go to dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast and that will give them a bottle for a penny. However, when you are out at restaurants and bars, look up the wines, just type in the winery and then type in organic and Google and you'll find immediately which ones are organic or not. And you'd be surprised, there're a lot of wineries that are practicing organic practices. They just don't have organic certification because of all the hassles and everything with that. That would be like USDA Organic, so backtracking with the wines. If you want to get as close to Dry Farm Wines as possible when you're ordering out, pick European. I usually favor like French and Italian and then look up the winery, type in organic, see if it says that they're practicing organic. If you want to go one step further beyond that to really try to mimic Dry Farm Wines, look up a picture of the label. We'll type in the actual wine and type in ABV, and it might come up with the alcohol by volume.

Dry Farm Wines are all 12.5% or less, so look for ones that are 12.5% or 13% wine. If you can't find it that way, look up the label, you can usually see the alcohol on the label. If you want to go the final step, you can get the Vivino App and look up the wine and see if people are ranking it as dry or not, just taste wise, the you can find ones with low sugar. I've been so impressed with myself. I've gone on quite a few dinners recently where we bought a really nice bottle of wine. It was really up to me to just research and try to figure out which one I thought would be very Dry Farm Wines-esque. Every time it tasted like Dry Farm Wines and I felt good the next day. So, that was a long education about how to order wine at restaurants.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, that's so helpful. The one thing that I would encourage everyone to not feel any sense of guilt. I think we as women more often than not feel guilty when we're advocating for ourselves in restaurants. I actually tell people, I have a seed oil allergy, so they take it really seriously. And it's surprising like you can get your steak or your chicken, or your fish or whatever you're having. I have colleagues in the health and wellness space that do the same. Generally, if I tell people that, they take it pretty seriously. I think seed oils are one of the easiest things to try to avoid or just ask like what is the dressing made with, what are they cooking your meat in or your fish in? It's not surprising that more often than not, they're happy to cook it in butter or they're happy to find an alternative and as Melanie suggested, more often than not they have more vegetables than what's on the menu. So those are great suggestions.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you for saying that. About the-- not that it's like standing up for yourself, but it can be intimidating. The main pushback I usually get from servers is they just don't believe me that I'm going to like the way it tastes if I order it that way. I'm like, "Listen, this is what I like. Trust me, I will love it." Oh, here's a hack you can do if you are low carb. We talked about this on the show already. I think you can order an appetizer as a savory dessert. Get like another round of salmon or something. Just let the kitchen know early on. and then just two more quick things

One, Castile Soap. I use Cove Unscented Castile Soap from Amazon. You can use it for so many things. I use it to clean my face, for the dishes. You can make laundry detergent out of it. You can make washing machine stuff with it. But yeah, Castile Soap is incredible. And then very last thing. I've talked about this on the show as well, but I am doing it more and making more and more adjustments. If you replace all of your plates and bowls and stuff with very heavy alternatives, you get a nice little workout every night when you are moving your stuff around. So, I use like, cast iron bowls. I got this cast iron Le Creuset, Harry Potter Casserole dish that I keep my cilantro in because I eat a lot of cilantro. It is the heaviest thing. It is so heavy. It is overwhelmingly heavy. I get cilantro out back and forth multiple times throughout the evening. It integrates some physical movement into your daily life. So, I'm all about the heavy things.

Cynthia Thurlow: I take AG1 several times a week after working out and when I'm ready to break my fast and it really makes me feel unstoppable. I love to add it to a protein smoothie, or actually we'll drink it with filtered water and I love both variations. My 17-year-old also enjoys AG1 after a workout to ensure he stays really well hydrated. A great deal of what I focus on in my personal life is ongoing gut health improvement. I do feel fundamentally that AG1 has contributed significantly to improvements in my gut health over the last three years. I feel as if the key health benefits from multivitamins, minerals, pre and postbiotics all work together synergistically to improve my gut microbiome. AG1 is way more than just greens. It's important to note that it's made with 75 super high-quality vitamins, minerals, and whole food source ingredients that deliver incredible benefits to the gut microbiome as well as sleep support, assistance with energy, and so much more.

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Melanie Avalon: Now we have a question from Laura. This is of a different topic and she says, "What is your favorite vacation and/or what's your bucket list trip?"

Cynthia Thurlow: Okay, this is probably one of my favorite questions and anyone that knows me knows that I live to travel. It is one of my favorite, favorite things to do in the world, and I hope my children develop a love and appreciation for travel. I've been fortunate to have been a lot of places. I would say my favorite vacation I've taken with my husband was Rwanda. We've been to Africa several times and I was surprised at how much, I mean, I knew I was going to love it, but Rwanda was so clean, the people were so gracious. Seeing the apes up close was life changing. It was just like one of my favorite vacations.

And then I would say with my kids and my husband, Eastern Europe this past summer. I know Melanie and I have talked a lot about this. Vanessa lives in Prague. I was humbly stunned at how much we loved Prague. We loved Eastern Europe. We were just awed by how wonderful the people were. It was beautiful. The food was great. In terms of what's on my bucket list, I've got a lot of things, and there are going to be trips that we're going to take, my husband and I will take when the kids are in college. We've just decided that some of these trips are just too far and I need to know my kids are in a safe place before I leave. Because it would be too much to ask a family member to be at our home for a couple of weeks. I would say probably top of the list is New Zealand and Australia. My husband did a lot of Asia travel when we were first married, and I wasn't able to go because I was working as an NP back then. We started having a family very soon into our marriage.

I would say, for me, really seeing the highlights of Asia, I'd like to go to Southeast Asia. I'd love to see Singapore and Hong Kong and then go to Cambodia and Vietnam. Those are probably towards the very top of the list. Beyond that, like, Argentina and Chile are definitely up there as well. Those are the ones that the Asia, New Zealand, Australia trips are going to be longer trips so they're also in there. As well as Botswana and Namibia, which are parts of Africa that I've not yet seen but we really want to go to. How about you? I know you're not as much of an avid traveler [chuckles] as I am, but that was one of my favorite questions.

Melanie Avalon: Well, it's funny. Growing up I travelled a ton and my family still travels because we have family in Germany, and so we would go to Germany and then we would go to another country. Yeah, now I get it's like my Achilles heel, honestly, I get anxiety surrounding travel, and I'm a lot better now. I'm making baby steps, but it's not my favorite thing. If I could just pop up somewhere and then pop up back in my apartment and go to sleep at night, of course I would. It's the whole everything. Like how it affects your sleep and your digestion and all of that. It's something I'm working on all the time, especially with my therapist. My favorite place, this is even with all of the places we've been internationally, I am obsessed with EPCOT and Disney World. I'm really, really obsessed.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's a happy place.

Melanie Avalon: It's so happy. Disney World in general, I'm just obsessed. I would actually just love to go back there. Interestingly, New Zealand actually would be that's the first thing I thought of. I would love to go back to Paris. This is such a weird reason. Well, A, I loved it when went, and I loved seeing the Catacombs, and I loved just St. Paris. I want to go back now when I'm not as intimidated by the world. When I went, I was in high school and I was very much intimidated by like social clicks and things like that. Paris is just the cool place. I would like to go now where like that stuff doesn't matter to me. I just feel that would not be a thing in my head, if that makes sense, I felt intimidated by the city.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's funny how for me, I didn't grow up with parents that were able to take us on big vacations outside the United States. The first time I left the United States was when I was 25, so certainly old enough to be able to do that. I feel like every decade of my life, I get different things out of travel, whether it's in the United States or outside the United States. Now, I'm at a point in my life where I just notice a lot more things. I'm much more sensitive and attuned to what's going on than I probably was when I was younger, when it was just like, "Oh, I want to go here, and I want to go there, and I want to do this." I definitely savor more when I travel irrespective of where I'm going. I may really sit and pay attention to the flowers and the trees and be less focused on the big things. It's like, suddenly the little things have become the big things.

I hope that you go back to Paris. It's such an amazing city. I always say, I'm such a Francophile. I love the architecture, and I've never experienced Parisians being rude to me, but there's just something very cool about the culture. And to me, I just kind of savor how differently different cultures or different countries live their lives. The Parisians are just much like New Yorkers. There's just a certain je ne sais quoi. There's just such a unique way that they appreciate the way that they live their lives, and the way that they focus in on certain metrics over other things. The other thing that I think I really appreciate when I travel is a lot of the way Americans live is a byproduct of, they have to live in a big house, they have to have a big yard, they have to have a big car. When I travel internationally, I'm like, "I could be happy with a lot less and just do more with my life." So, obviously, that's a very personal decision, and there's no judgment on what I'm saying. When I travel to other countries, I realize most people don't live amongst a lot of stuff. They're just very grateful for the things that they have and that can be very transformative.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I love that. You would love my sister. She's a minimalist and she goes everywhere, like everywhere. She's always traveling. She travels everywhere with a tiny suitcase for weeks. How do you do that?

Cynthia Thurlow: You do laundry in your hotel room. We've started doing that, actually. I'm going to London with my cousin, who's one of my favorite people in the world in early February. She's a big fashionista and I told her I was like, "I'm bringing a carry on." That's all I'm bringing. I'm like, whatever I wear, I'm wearing. I'm not stressing about it because checking bags when you travel can be a little dicey. And sometimes it's easier to travel with less and just get your laundry done at the hotel, or wash it in your hotel room so you don't have to worry about bringing too much stuff. That's why I always believe, like, the capsule wardrobe is a thing when you travel. So super helpful. So, yeah, your sister is definitely ahead of the game.

Melanie Avalon: I literally will. If I have to go stay at a hotel downtown overnight, I bring a massive suitcase, so I have work to do there. Actually, speaking of my sister, this is not my sister, but it's the same name. Danielle said, "Given the opportunity to go to space, would you go? What would you want to study there?"

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, God. I would not want to go to space. I'm admittedly one of those people, I grew up in New Jersey and Great Adventure was very close to where I grew up. If anyone's familiar with Central New Jersey, I grew up at the shore. I did the rollercoasters. I did every probably unsafe, so imagine in the 1980s and 90s, probably not the safest amusement park to go to. I've done it all, but I've learned I actually don't like being that out of control. For me, I would not enjoy not being in control of what was going on. I will leave that to the astronauts and the people that are interested in space travel. I am terribly claustrophobic, although I deal with it. I would not want to study anything. I don't mind studying things here on Earth, but I would not want to go study other people, or planets or things. Because the claustrophobia would be a big issue for me, which probably I haven't talked about on this. I get into elevators and I have to really do a lot of mindset work to not get uncomfortable and sweat because I just don't like having a lot of people in my space. Have I ever talked about that before.

Melanie Avalon: About the claustrophobia.

Cynthia Thurlow: My weird quirkiness about, yeah claustrophobia.

Melanie Avalon: I'm claustrophobic. I don't think we've talked about it.

Cynthia Thurlow: I would not be a good space person. I will leave that to the experts.

Melanie Avalon: Have you taken the test? It's like the phobia test. There're two types of claustrophobia. Did you know that? It'll tell you which one you have.

Cynthia Thurlow: I did not.

Melanie Avalon: Oh. So, would you like to know the two types? Because okay, this made me so excited because I was taking the test, and there were these things that would list that freak me out, and I was so happy because I was like, oh, my goodness, this is like a thing. It's not just me panicking about this. In the claustrophobia one, it's things like in an elevator, which actually doesn't bother me. Are you bothered by an elevator.

Cynthia Thurlow: If there're too many people in the elevator? Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, see, so that actually doesn't bother me. We probably have the two different types. Then there're things like in a straitjacket, would that bother you?

Cynthia Thurlow: No.

Melanie Avalon: Oh. Okay, so we have the two different types. This one that was on there was made me so happy. Something that will make me panic, like panic is if I am trying on clothes in the dressing room and I can't get the shirt off. Do you have that experience?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I don't think that would bother me. It's definitely, I think to me it's a personal space thing too. I'm definitely very cognizant of personal space again, because I was in patients spaces all the time. So, I was always very cognizant of being in people's spaces. Yeah, when people are too close to me, I'm like strangers. I should specify friends and family different, but strangers in my personal space on an elevator, I don't love that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, you probably have the conventional form of claustrophobia. What people think of with claustrophobia, which is being in small spaces. Mine, which I thought was claustrophobia, they still said it is, but then they have like a subtype. It's actually fear of suffocation.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh. I don't have that problem, thankfully.

Melanie Avalon: So, all the things that I thought were claustrophobia, like getting stuck in an outfit or being in a straitjacket, things like that or actually it goes back to the suffocation fear. Isn't that so interesting?

Cynthia Thurlow: That is very interesting. I did not know there was a distinction.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, me neither. So, to answer the space question for me. In theory, I would love to go getting there that moment going up, I feel like I don't think I'd be down for that so much. I'm really stressed out by two things. One, the bathroom situation. I just don't think I can do it. I realized I'd have to be carnivore. I'd have to just get rid of bowel movements mostly, and I would not want the effects on my muscles, the lack of weight bearing exercise. I got to wait until we got like a gravity thing going on up there. I would want to study the aliens for sure.

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] Of course, you would.

Melanie Avalon: One last thing. This is actually very interesting health fact that I just learnt. Did you know when astronauts go to space, they often get sick? Like viruses and things like that, which doesn't make sense because they're not exposed to other people and viruses. They think it's probably because when people go to space, their immune system goes down for a lot of reasons. Likely a major part of it might be the social isolation and that makes these dormant viruses that we all naturally have in us that our immune system normally suppresses, flare up. Astronauts often get sick from viruses already inside of them when they go to space. Isn't that interesting?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, they get a reactivation of the virus. Interesting.

Melanie Avalon: So, yeah, fun times. I guess neither of us will be going to space then.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, never.

Melanie Avalon: Here's one last fun one to end on. Do you listen to any nonhealth-related podcasts?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. Although, admittedly not a lot. Actually, when I saw this question, I immediately went to my library to see what are the nonhealth-related podcasts I listen to and so I listen to-- so I guess it depends. Like, there's a continuum. Jenna Kutcher's Podcast, which is The Gold Digger and then Amy Porterfield's Podcast, the name of which evades me, and Mel Robbins, which is more mindset, but I just find for me at the stage of life I'm in, I want to learn so much that I would be lying if I said I listen to those podcasts on the regular.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's kind of where I am. I have four or five that I never miss. There are others that I'll kind of bounce around, like, listening to them. I would be lying if I were to say and it's not that I don't work on mindset. I do, but I'm usually listening to a book, like the mindset books I listen to, and I lean more into those than listening to a podcast around, like, mindset or nonhealthcare-related stuff. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, most of mine are health and wellness. Although, interestingly, I've been listening to podcasts since middle school, and I got hooked on podcasts when I started listening. I don't listen to it anymore, but it was called WDW Today. It was all about Walt Disney World. I lived for that podcast. I would listen to it every single day. I was obsessed with Disney World like obsessed. Now, really the only one is I listen to Joe Rogan and half the time I listen to guests, where it is health and wellness, but sometimes it's not. Like, I listened to one the other night with the beekeeper woman, Erika Thompson. I think it was 3 hours about bees. It was so fascinating. I learned so much.

Cynthia Thurlow: I mean, I think for both of us, we're very cerebral and we love to learn. I always jokingly tell my husband that if I took out the household responsibilities, the kids, the dogs, and I could just learn, I would just nerd out all day long. He sometimes will say to me, "Can't you just unplug your brain?" [laughs] Just read for pleasure and I'm like, I have one book I've read in the last year for pleasure, really just like a nonfiction book, but I really enjoy learning that actually brings me joy.

Melanie Avalon: I do, too, and that's why I love podcasts. I love learning just random stuff. Did you know, you've probably never seen a male bee?

Cynthia Thurlow: I did not know that. Aren't they the workers.

Melanie Avalon: The workers are females.

Cynthia Thurlow: Really? Where are the male bees? See, I don't know anything about this obviously.

Melanie Avalon: They're just there for basically reproduction and when they're doing their thing they have this reproduction swarm hub thing and it's way up in the sky [laughs] and the queen goes up there, it's crazy. I learned so much about bees. Yeah, so all the worker bees and the ones out with the flowers and doing their stuff, those are females.

Cynthia Thurlow: Wow.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. The book I'm reading right now is so interesting. It's called The Status Games. I just thought about it because it's about how we really judge wanting to have status or wanting to be in a social hierarchy, and we think it's bad. But basically, she makes the case that it's all evolutionary and the reason we have serotonin has to do with hierarchies and social dominance. Oh, that's why I thought about it because she talks about the hierarchies of different species and matriarchies versus patriarchies and it is fascinating.

Cynthia Thurlow: It is. Melanie and I are well suited for one another. We're at different life stages, but I jokingly told my husband the other day, to his horror, I was like, maybe when the kids are done with college, I'll just go back and when I'm retired and get a PhD and he was like, why? I was like, because I would just love to continue to learn. Now I'm saying that and I may decide I don't want to do that, but just like, from the perspective of continuing to learn. I always love learning, but now people have so many options. They don't necessarily have to go back to school. You could just do continuing education. Like, I thought a bunch of classes. There's a yearlong class with [unintelligible [01:09:27] that I signed up for because they were having a big sale. This is one of the big functional medicine schools and I signed up for it and I was like, okay, this is going to make sure I'm getting my continuing medical education. It means I'm learning new things. I'll be able to share with our listeners, all the extraneous things that are floating around.

Melanie Avalon: No. I love it. I love that we have that in common. Well, so much for getting through half of what we had left.

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] Just know there are so many good questions. I have to tell you that there is one person in particular, is it Danielle.

Melanie Avalon: Who asked like a million questions?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, but they're good questions. I was like, wow.

Melanie Avalon: We had a lot of really good questions. I posted again because I wanted to get a few more and I was like and were getting a lot of fasting-specific questions, which I actually kept and saved for another episode. Maybe next week we'll do those and then we'll come back to this. In any case, so I asked for some more nonfasting-related questions and this girl Danielle and the group shoutout, she gave us 20. They were amazing.

Cynthia Thurlow: Really good questions. I think she said she was a teacher, so bravo. They were some obviously all great questions. When I read through these, I was like, oh, I've never talked about this on the podcast or a podcast. This is a fun question to be asked.

Melanie Avalon: It's funny because I'm looking at our line-up and most of them are not Danielle, but the last two we did were Danielle. Okie Dokie. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Oh, I should mention this was not on purpose. I was talking about the bees. I just realized that another sponsor on today's show besides Lomi, the composter, is Manukora honey, which makes manuka honey. So, listen to that ad as well. So, manuka honey, I first found it when I was having a lot of digestive issues. Honey by itself has a lot of health benefits, has good effects on the gut due to its hydrogen peroxide potential, which is very cool. Manuka honey actually has other compounds that are different from normal honey. Actually, when they measure it, they call it non-hydrogen peroxide activity or something like that. It can have profound effects on GI health, on the immune system.

I've been researching manuka honey for a long time. A company, Manukora, reached out to us about partnering, and I was really excited because I love manuka honey. I had a call with them last week. It was interesting because there's a lot of controversy surrounding manuka honey because people think that some of its fake and there's all these different rating systems, and how do you're getting what you're getting? So, when we met the brand, I was just thinking, please let them be legit and real. I met the founder and talked with their company, and they're so amazing. They're doing incredible things. They're sustainable. They're really passionate about the bees and the honey, and the health benefits. They're just now expanding to the US market. They actually got an Erewhon, which is cool. So, if you live in LA, you can check them out there. Definitely, listen to our ad for them because you can get free honey sticks. You just go to manukora.com/ifpodcast. That's M-A-N-U-K-O-R-A dotcom slash ifpodcast, definitely don't eat the conventional honey. There are some good honeys in the grocery store, but like, the cheap stuff, just don't eat that. I learned a lot in the episode with Joe Rogan about how adulterated conventional honey can be in the grocery store and how it's basically just like sugar, water, and additives and not what you want. So manuka honey, Manukora [unintelligible [01:12:58].

Cynthia Thurlow: As soon as it arrived, my 15-year-old took it out and tried it immediately and gave it a thumbs up.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. It's like a honey that you've never experienced. It's so good. Okay, well, this was absolutely wonderful.

If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, just directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. These show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode302. They'll have a full transcript so definitely check that out and also links to everything we talked about. Because I know we talked about a lot of products and things like that, so that will be helpful. And then You can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I'm @melanieavalon. Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. I think that is all the things.

Cynthia Thurlow: I love this format. I look forward to doing this a couple of times a year.

Melanie Avalon: I know. Super fun. Yeah. we'll have to decide if we're going to try to speed through the rest of them next time or alternate or we'll decide. This has been great 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

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