Episode 304: AMA Part 5, Thirst, Dehydration, Sleep Disturbances, Cholesterol, Worst Jobs Ever, Favorite Meals, Bad Diets, Internet Trolls, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Feb 12

Welcome to Episode 304 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:

LMNT: For Fasting Or Low-Carb Diets Electrolytes Are Key For Relieving Hunger, Cramps, Headaches, Tiredness, And Dizziness. With No Sugar, Artificial Ingredients, Coloring, And Only 2 Grams Of Carbs Per Packet, Try LMNT For Complete And Total Hydration. For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase!

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!

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 - LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

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!

13:15 - Listener Q&A: Celia - New to keto and IF(6 months in) and I am SOOOO thirsty ALL NIGHT LONG! Up 3 & 4 times, drinking LMNT, and going to the bathroom and having a hot flash. HELLLPPPPPPP

Hormonal Changes During Menopause and the Impact on Fluid Regulation

24:45 - BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

27:00 - Listener Q&A: Lynn - Is high cholesterol bloodwork common with intermittent fasting?

INSIDE TRACKER: Go To insidetracker.com/melanie And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE25 For 25% Off All Tests Sitewide!

Ep. 196 – Alternative Tools to Optimize Your Health

Ep. 128 – Cholesterol Obsession: Why It’s the Intellectual Property of the Animal Kingdom with Dave Feldman

36:15 - Listener Q&A: Kim - Hi! Would you recommend fasting longer and then have a 3-4 hour eating window or fasting shorter but having 2 meals, no snacks in a longer eating window, say a 6-7 hour eating window? 53year old female, post menopause, exercises daily with walking and lifting, tries to eat real Whole Foods and wants to lose another 5-10 pounds then enter maintenance. Thanks so much! Love your podcasts and the fantastic info you both share

39:45 - Listener Q&A: Laura - What’s the worst job that you have had? If you weren’t doing what you are what would you be doing?

47:45 - Listener Q&A: Kimberly - What is your favorite dinner?

53:45 - 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.

55:10 - Listener Q&A: Mary Jane - What are some health related things you’ve tried that you really didn’t like or had bad side effects to?

1:00:00 - Listener Q&A: Nicole - What’s one beauty or health product/fad that didn’t work for you? 

Go to melanieavalon.com/dime and use the code MELANIEAVALON for an exclusive discount.

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 304 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. 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 to get my favorite electrolytes, including clean fast-friendly electrolytes for free. Yes, for free. I talk about a lot of products on these shows. When it comes to supporting fasting and/or the ketogenic diet, there is a supplement which is a game changer. I cannot tell you how many times I get feedback from my audience about how this was the key to addressing issues that people often experience with keto or fasting.

It is so, so important to replenish electrolytes if you want to have energy and an active lifestyle. A lot of people experience the keto flu or issues while fasting, like headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue, sleeplessness. These are all common symptoms of electrolyte deficiency. You might think you’re not doing well with fasting or that the keto diet isn’t for you, when really, you just need electrolytes. Electrolytes facilitate hundreds of functions in the body, including the conduction of nerve impulses, hormonal regulation, nutrient absorption, and fluid balance. If you’d like to learn all about the science of electrolytes and get answers to commonly asked questions, definitely check out the interview I did with my hero, Robb Wolf, on this show. He’s also one of the co-founders of LMNT.

There have been moments in my life where I needed electrolytes and drinking some LMNT took me from a state of fatigue to feeling like my body was actually alive. Of course, it can be hard to find electrolytes, which are clean and good to put in your body. That’s why I adore LMNT.

LMNT is a tasty electrolyte drink mix with everything you need and nothing you don’t. That’s a science-backed electrolyte ratio, 1000 mg of sodium, 200 mg of potassium, and 60 mg of magnesium with none of the junk. No sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients, no gluten, no fillers, no BS, because we don't have time for that. You guys know I’m obsessed with purity and quality of supplements. LMNT is the electrolyte supplement that I recommend. When you sweat, the primary electrolyte lost is sodium. When sodium is not replaced, a common side effect is muscle cramps and fatigue. LMNT is used by everyone, including NBA, NFL, and NHL players, Olympic athletes, Navy SEALS, and of course, everyday moms and dads, those practicing intermittent fasting, the keto or paleo diet, and exercise enthusiasts.

Right now, LMNT has a fantastic offer for our audience. You can get a free sample pack with any purchase. That’s eight single-serving packets of eight different flavors for free with any LMNT order. Yes, the raw unfavored version is clean fast friendly. This is a great way to try all eight flavors or share LMNT with a salty friend. Get yours at drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. That’s D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dotcom/ifpodcast. Try it totally risk-free. If you don’t like it, share it with a salty friend and they will give you your money back, no questions asked. You literally have nothing to lose. We’ll put all this information in the show notes.

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. So, 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 disruptors, 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 Countertime for anti-aging, Countermatch for normal skin, Countercontrol for acne and oily prone, and Counterstart 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 304 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 am good. I'm excited to ask you. This actually airs the day before Valentine's Day. How do you feel about Valentine's Day? 

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] I'm laughing because my team just sent me a message and said, "How do you want us to address Valentine's Day on social media?", which I thought was humorous. I think it's one of those contrived holidays that, for a lot of people, makes them feel badly about themselves. Obviously, I've been married for almost 20 years. I've been with my husband for almost 21 years. So, from my perspective, irrespective of where I was in life stage throughout my lifetime, I always spent it with people that I loved. And so, whether it was girlfriends getting together or whether it was who I was dating or my husband, I think Valentine's Day is one of those days that feels very contrived, and it's far more important how you treat your loved ones for the other 364 days out of the year. I don't put a lot of emphasis on it. 

It was always a fun thing to do with the kids when they were younger. Maybe we got them something fun, or maybe we had like a Valentine's Day themed breakfast or dinner. I mean, something that was fun. I don't put a lot of effort, not that I don't put an effort, but it's not something that to me is representative of a whole lot of anything other than a contrived holiday. I don't know if you feel similarly or are you all in on Valentine's Day and go bananas?

Melanie Avalon: Well, I have a question. When you were like in elementary school-- I'm just wondering how long they've been doing, because when I was in elementary school, would you guys do the Valentines that you would give to everybody?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. 

Melanie Avalon: [chuckles] I was just reflecting on that recently because it's really a little bit traumatic for kids, I think, because I don't know, at least for me, when I was giving the Valentine, you get the cards with all the different ones, and you give your favorite cards to your favorite people. The guy you like, you give the one that's trying to send a secret message to him. I don't know, it's just like a lot. [laughs] It's like a lot for little kids, and then there's candy on top of that. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it's interesting because my kids grew up in the age where you give a card to everyone, which is fine. But to me, as a parent, it was trying to get creative with cards and get your kids to sit down and sign their name and their friend's name. It just became this very large project. And yes, the candy thing. It's like I remember before we'd even gotten to Christmas, the grocery store started putting out Valentine's Day candy. And I was just thinking to myself, processed food industry just has a field day but these kinds of contrived holidays. I'm all about spending time with people you love. And if you can't spend time with people you love, don't make a big deal about it. I don't think anyone should feel badly about Valentine's Day. 

I think when I was in college, I was in a big sorority, and I just remember people felt so left out if they weren't coupled on these holidays. And yet, the way I look at it is that's not what it's about. It's like, how do you treat the people that you love 364 days out of the year? On this one day, maybe you do something special, but it shouldn't put you into debt. It shouldn't stress you out. It shouldn't mean that you have to spend $150 on a super overpriced bunch of roses. I think sometimes people lose sight of what's most important is the point I'm trying to make. 

Melanie Avalon: I find it really interesting because I've never had-- I don't know if I did in high school, I've never really had FOMO about being in a relationship. I just love being single all about it. Valentine's has never really distressed me in any way. It didn't bother me that I didn't have somebody to do it with. It was just like another day. I do remember though it's funny how you'll have certain memories that really stick with you. I remember when I was in college or-- I think I was in college, and I was dating somebody and I thought were dating pretty regularly. I just really casually asked, “What do you want to do for Valentine's Day?” He was like, “Oh, well, should we do something for Valentine's Day?” I was like, “Oh, okay, never mind.” That was not the question to ask. This Valentine's Day actually, I'm doing something. So, I'm excited about it. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, for full disclosure, my husband's going to be on a snowboarding trip with his buddies and I'm totally okay with that for a variety of reasons. Admittedly, for our anniversary last year, I was out in LA, doing press. So, [laughs] we talk about these things ahead of time. I think if you're separated from your significant other, that's okay too. You just set aside time to spend time together and do something that you enjoy together as well. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, the other thing that stresses me out about it is because I was a server for so long and fine dining, so I know what Valentine's Day is like. It's like the craziest day [laughs] for being a server. Like this year, I do want to go to a restaurant on Valentine's Day. But then, I know what's going on in the server's head, so I don't want to go. But then again, well, you can make a lot of money on Valentine's Day as a server.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yep, I remember those days. I used to always say, like New Year's Eve, like any of the big holidays, you don't always get a great meal and everything's just chaotic. But yes, you can definitely do well as a server. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's like the craziest day. So Happy Valentine's Day or Single Awareness Day or whatever you want to call it. Today's episode, we are continuing from all the AMA questions that we got. And last episode, we did all fasting related ones, and we have a few more of those, so we're going to start with those. May or may not take up the whole episode, and if they don't, we will go to some of our other random AMAs that we still have. So, lots of fun stuff. So, to start things off, we have a question from Celia. She says, “I am new to Keto and IF. I'm six months in and I am so thirsty all night long,” and there's a lot of caps with that. She says, “I'm up three and four times drinking LMNT and going to the bathroom and having a hot flash. Help.” Lots of caps with that too. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm glad that you read this and not me because I could not have done-- 

Melanie Avalon: Help. [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] Well, Celia, a couple of things. First and foremost, when patients tell me that they're up urinating multiple times a night, I have to ask when do you stop drinking water or start/stop drinking liquids because that's very important. Some people have a propensity for an overactive bladder. Drinking or limiting your fluids after 6:00 PM is certainly going to be important. You mentioned hot flashes, so I have to believe you're at least in the perimenopause, menopause realm and I found a really interesting paper that I was discussing with Melanie before we started recording. This is from Reproductive Sciences, Hormonal Changes During Menopause and the Impact on Fluid Regulation. So, the big takeaway for everyone, without me diving deep into this paper, is talking about the net impact of fluid regulation in the body for women as they are transitioning into perimenopause and menopause. 

And so, big takeaway is we are not as good about recognizing when we get thirsty. Sometimes people are not realizing that they're actually dehydrated and by the time they get thirsty, they're really dehydrated. So, they spend all this time catching up. This is actually a byproduct of the loss of estrogen. So, perimenopause is this time where there's dynamic fluctuations in estrogen, sometimes even much higher than they are when we're at peak fertile years. We're losing progesterone, our ovaries are producing less, our adrenals are trying to pick up the slack, and then we have these wild fluctuations in estrogen. And so, we know that estrogen in particular is very important for regulating fluid balance in the body. So, this can directly impact our ability to recognize when we are thirsty and can also impact some of these key mechanisms in the body, like hormones, like the renin-angiotensin, aldosterone system, atrial natriuretic peptide secretion, which all impact regulation in the kidneys and then these fluid responses. 

So, big takeaway is first and foremost, make sure that you're not drinking too much water after 6 o'clock at night. Number two, make sure you're using electrolytes during the day, throughout the day. The other thing that's interesting, and we'll link this study up so people can take a look at it. There's actually a figure here about osmotic regulation in women during different phases of the menstrual cycle and in men. So, it's a superimposition of the men, it's very consistent in terms of where they are. For women, you can actually see that there are changes when they have more estrogen in their bodies versus less. And so, I really think that this speaks to a couple of things both behavioral. Making sure you're hydrating enough during the day period, and then also understanding that there is some hormonal fluctuation with the loss of estrogen that is probably exacerbating this. And like I said, we will tack this along into the show notes that you'll have it available to reference as well. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow, that was so helpful. I learned so much. 

Cynthia Thurlow: There is too much information that is so helpful. The other thing that I just wanted to mention before is there's something called anti-diuretic hormone. And when women are getting up at night to pee or urinate a lot, we call that nocturia. You're getting up at night to pee, so nocturia is urinating at night. You start thinking about, is your anti-diuretic hormone which is what concentrates your urine at night. Is that not working properly? Sometimes that can also be a byproduct of things like sleep apnea. There's a lot that can impact ADH secretion. Just something to consider and a way to think about this is, sometimes ADH secretion gets dysregulated when we drink alcohol, which is why sometimes people will feel like when they're drinking alcohol, they're urinating a lot. It's because you get this dysregulation of this key hormone. It's a couple of different variables that may be at play. 

The last thing I would mention is the hot flashes. That could be blood sugar mediated or that could also be your brain sending an SOS to your ovaries like release some estrogen. So, this is another component. There's a lot of different things that could be going on but be reassured that this is something we have to be very conscientious about. Like, I can tell you that on days I travel and I cannot drink enough water, I am really, really thirsty at night. The other piece of that is I'm always thinking to myself personally, “Is there an insulin issue? Am I becoming insulin resistant? Why am I thirsty?” I think a lot of it has to do with if you're not drinking enough water during the day, your body is trying to play catch up and you start to lose those mechanisms to remind you that you need to drink. That was long. 

Melanie Avalon: No, that was great. It was very, very helpful. Do you find with most of your female patients who are having all these experiences that IF and fasting, what do you normally see? Does it normally help? Make it worse? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think most people that are fasting are just more attuned to their bodies in general. So, I think they start to try to figure out what's contributing to this. Because if this is a change, then what's mitigating it? So, I always say, let's work with the most benign things first. Let's make sure you're not drinking too many fluids after 6 o'clock at night. Let's make sure you're getting plenty of electrolytes throughout the day. Let's make sure you're not insulin resistant because that nocturia piece can be problematic. And then, you kind of work backwards. I would say pick the low-lying fruit first and then work backwards. But I do find most women in particular that are intermittent fasters are leaning into what their body is trying to communicate to them. So, I think they tend to stay on top of these kinds of symptoms. Like, whereas someone else might just say, “Oh, I wake up three or four times a night to sleep.” 

The other thing I would say is, and I want to make sure I emphasize this, if your sleep quality is eroded because you are fasting, or you can't get your fluids in during the day, then you need to make some changes because sleep is foundational to our health. So, if you can't sleep through the night, we have to fix that first. So, if you are new to fasting and you're finding it's really challenging to be able to sleep properly through the night, we need to work on that. That is the number one priority. It could be that maybe you back off and you're just doing a 12- or 13-hour window of digestive rest as a way to make sure we can dial in on the sleep piece, because if you're not sleeping through the night, that's a disqualifier. I always say that's super important and it's interesting. 

I'm getting ready to interview Louisa Nicola. I'm not sure if you're familiar with her work, but she's a brain health researcher. One of the things I want to talk to her about is that interrelationship between poor quality sleep and weight loss resistance because that is such a big, huge problem for so many people. 

Melanie Avalon: Does she have a book? 

Cynthia Thurlow: She does not have a book, but she has one of my favorite, favorite podcasts. So, her podcast is The Neuro Experience. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Very cool. 

Cynthia Thurlow: She's getting her PhD. No book yet, but she has a really great she has great content. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. I think that's a pretty comprehensive answer. Thank you. I'm always really curious about people's electrolytes because she says she's drinking LMNT. I just find it so interesting, the actual sodium and aldosterone system and all of that. I think for some people, it can be like they got to find what works for them to where they're staying hydrated and not fluctuating between releasing water, thirsty, retaining water. A lot of people get in their groove with LMNT and they're good to go, but maybe that might be something to dose around. I don't know if she needs more or less, but I'd be curious, especially when it's coupled with keto and low-carb.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, and I start to think it because she's six months in, like she's beyond she's at a stage where she has a lot of glycogen depletion and a lot of serum sodium loss. That might be exacerbating some things, but I agree with you that this is a degree of experimentation that's going to be important and for many people. I used to be this person when I was rounding on patients, I didn't want to be having to run to the restroom every hour to urinate. I was clinically dehydrated probably 80% of the time I was working in the hospital or in the clinic, and so I was able to weather that when I was younger. But now when I travel, I have to be really diligent. I'm the person that fills up 2 meters worth of water and tries to get that consumed while I'm traveling just to stay hydrated, because it becomes such a big problem. 

Melanie Avalon: What's really interesting for me, just historically with my experience, because I've done bouts of low-carb versus high-carb, and when I was low-carb, that's when I would struggle with dehydration and also needing to urinate more and stuff like that. But what I do now, which is what I've been doing for a long time, which is like a very high-carb approach, but all fruit interestingly, I actually don't have that issue anymore. I always feel pretty hydrated, but I'm an N of one. So, I just think it's really interesting that people can react differently. But if I were to have high carb from like starches, for example, I would retain water. I would have issues with probably actually feeling hydrated. It's just interesting how I react to different carbs and water storage and everything. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Which she describes as having to get up three or four times a night. That's like an active diuresis. That's the technical terminology of your body trying to get rid of excess fluid. You just start to think about the value of the N of one as you stated. And I can tell for me, if I'm carb cycling the days I go low-carb, I know I'm going to urinate more than the days when I'm higher carbohydrate, which mine are never all that high, like maybe a 100 and 125. But cycling from 50 to 125 over a series of days, it's okay for me because I work from home, so I can manage that. But again, for some people it could be the case of Celia, if she's got a job where she can't be getting up every hour to be able to run to the restroom, it may be that she's really pushing the fluids when she gets off of work, or at the latter stage of the day. That could be why she's getting up multiple times a night as well. 

Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends. One of my favorite foods for gut health, skin cravings, energy, and immunity is definitely bone broth. I and so many of my listeners love bone broth, but it can also be intimidating because it can be hard to find a bone broth that is all natural, organic, free of preservatives, and especially no salt added. Of course, you can always make your own, which I love but that can be of a cumbersome process.

That's why I am obsessed with a company called Beauty & the Broth. They make it so, so easy to bring bone broth into your life because they ship it in concentrated form in shelf-stable packets. It's easy to store, doesn't take up space, you don't have to worry about keeping it frozen. And then when you reconstitute it with water, you can customize it exactly to your taste. It is incredible. Beauty & the Broth makes delicious bone broth from vegetarian-fed, free-range chicken bones, and USDA organic grass-fed ranched-raised beef. The meat and bones come from certified humane and USDA organic farms. No antibiotics, no hormones. They also use organic vegetables and powerful herbs that are so delicious, all without any added salt or sodium.

A lot of the broths on the market are also kettle or pressure cooked, which breaks down ingredient nutrients and reduces their integrity and potency. Beauty & the Broth doesn't do that. They let all of those amazing ingredients slowly simmer for up to 24 hours to create a broth that is super high in naturally occurring collagen and nutrients. Your gut will thank you, I promise. We often get questions about the best way to open your eating window. This is an incredible way to do that. Especially when you're in the fasted state, your gut is super ready to absorb these nutrients. Bone broth contains the specific nutrients needed to heal your gut, help with leaky gut, support digestion, and so much more. And when it's cold in the winter months, what tastes better than a warm cup of bone broth? You will notice it in your nails, in your gut health, in your hair, in your improved recovery, increased energy, and did I mention, it's so convenient and so easy to use. They've also got a vegan mushroom broth, which is super rich in umami and delicious for all of you vegans out there.

And you can get 15% off sitewide. Just go to melanieavalon.com/broth and use the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON, to get 15% off sitewide. That's Melanie Avalon dot com slash broth with the coupon code Melanie Avalon for 15% off sitewide. Friends, if you've been wanting to get on the bone broth train, this is the way to do it. Definitely check it out. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. 

Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Lynn. “Is high cholesterol blood work common with intermittent fasting?” 

Cynthia Thurlow: I would say no. I think there's a lot of different factors. Melanie, I know that you did a bunch of reading and researching on this in particular, but I think for a lot of people, when you're talking about total cholesterol, you can be this. Well, Dave Feldman is the gentleman who's really changing the narrative for clinicians in terms of the way that we look at lipids overall in terms of vis-à-vis diet. And there are certain people that are called lean mass hyperresponders. I am one of them. My body just in relationship to eating a higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet will create more. He usually uses the analogy of boats, like more boats to transport these lipids, but it's not actually pathogenic.

I'm just going to very basically say I don't think there's a direct correlation with fasting and changes in lipids per se, but I think it's largely a reflection of nutritional choices and not per se all pathologic. Like, I don't even worry about the total cholesterol number unless it's low, because that can be a predictor of morbidity and mortality. So, there were a lot of patients that I used to stop their statins for this reason. Melanie, I'm curious, you mentioned that you read some really good research in this area in particular. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, there's actually a ton of studies on this and I got the sense pretty quickly that I didn't need to read like millions more because the takeaway was the same, which was that people seem to respond all differently, but that it is actually pretty common to see increased cholesterol levels transiently while fasting. And I should clarify, it's funny, ever since, just like we always mentioned Peter Attia, on almost every episode. He had an episode all on cholesterol. He went on a monologue about how because LDL and HDL aren't actually cholesterol. They're the carriers, like Cynthia just said. And he made a comment about how if anybody ever says LDL cholesterol, he basically not immediately dismisses them, but [laughs] questions what they know. I've just kept that in my mind. I've been like, if I ever interview him, like, “Do not say LDL cholesterol.” Do not say, [laughs] like, “Do not say HDL cholesterol.” 

But the point of that is Lynn's question was, “Is high cholesterol blood work--?" So, high cholesterol. That's a big blanket statement that has a lot of factors that are going into that. So, you have your total serum cholesterol, you have your LDL and HDL, which are carriers of cholesterol kind of what Cynthia was just saying. It's like the boat analogy. And then, you have your triglycerides. This is not meant to be a cholesterol entire episode, but there's different implications for what that all means. So, in the studies, literally, I found things showing all different things like in a 2020 trial, I found they found that in Fasting patients with low HDL, they saw that it improved their HDL and it did significantly affect their total cholesterol and their LDL as well. 

And another study, this is of an older study, but it was called Fasting increases serum total cholesterol, LDL and Apo B in healthy, nonobese humans. In their study, they found that fasting increased total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. I liked this article because it actually went into the mechanisms behind it. They found that the increase in serum cholesterol, LDL and Apo B were all associated with weight loss. They found that fasting did not affect serum concentrations of triglycerol and HDL, which is the opposite of what that other study found. In that study, they actually did a review of a lot of other studies and literally they found all different things. It seemed to really depend on the population, on the sex, on the weight loss or not. So, their mechanisms, they say that these contradictory reports may be explained by sex and or age difference and then some of the things that might be going on is that fasting, especially if it's resulting in weight loss, that is lipolysis, so breaking down and releasing fats. 

They said that could be a reason that people see an increase in LDL. And then on top of that, with fasting, it's possible that the liver actually decreases its LDL uptake so that further can contribute to higher LDL while fasting. Basically, if you go to Google Scholar and just type in cholesterol or whatever one that you want to look at in fasting, there's so many studies, and like I said, it's really all over the place. The important takeaway from it is that long term, it seems to have a beneficial effect on people's lipid panels. So, regardless of the transitory moment, while you're fasting, that might release, break down more fat and result in more cholesterol in the bloodstream, but long term it seems to really help with lipid panels, help with your risk for cardio events. So, yes, that's my thought, is that you might see higher levels, but you're probably having a benefit in the end. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's really interesting because when I reflect back on when I started in medicine over 25 years ago, the way that we look at lipids has really started to shift, thankfully. Looking at these different particle sizes and the inflammatory responses of certain types of densities of LDL and LP(a) and Apo B, and all these metrics that people weren't per se, really looking at so many years ago. I think that fortunately, there are many people that are evolving the way that we look at lipids and benefits to metrics that we look at in blood work for patients. But there are equally just as many individuals that are still, like, practicing the mindset of total cholesterol has to be a certain amount and understanding the cholesterol goes on to be intricately involved in creating hormones. Obviously, we don't want our total cholesterol to be too low. But yeah, it's interesting that there's more and more research being done in this area. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and just a comment, I'm really excited because I love a company called InsideTracker and I haven't done this yet, but they just updated their panel that you get with them to include Apo B. So, I am so excited to get that tested. I'm like so excited. If people would like to get their Apo B tested, as well as a lot of other markers related to their “biological age.” They can go to insidetracker.com/melanie and use the code, MELANIE, to get 20% off. So, I will definitely be reporting back about that and posting about it on my Instagram because I don't think I've ever tested my Apo B. Do you test it regularly, Cynthia? 

Cynthia Thurlow: No. It's interesting. I have intermittently had it tested over the past probably a few years. I find functional medicine, they're usually the ones that are looking at that, but especially because without oversharing, if you were to just look at a traditional lipid panel of mine, my LDL would look very high, my total cholesterol would look very high, my HDL would look very high, my triglycerides are low. And over many years of having different internists, sometimes the concept of a statin would come up and I knew enough to ask for these advanced lipid analysis and these other metrics. When you would look at, as an example the particle size of my LDL, it was like all light and fluffy. It's the less atherogenic stuff. 

And so, to answer your question, yes, I do episodically get it checked. What I'm encouraging people to do is if your traditional lipid panel looks abnormal, don't settle for that being the one and done. There's more to it than that. I like that there are companies out here now that are allowing people to get that information without having to, per se, have to go through their provider. Even if it comes back and it's abnormal and you still need to bring it to them, that's totally fine. Or if it's completely normal, then it's something that you can look at as a metric to look to determine. Where are you on this metabolic health journey? Are you doing better than the last time? Are you starting to veer off course? What can you do to course correct and keep yourself healthy and vital? 

Melanie Avalon: It is really interesting because I've been tracking my cholesterol, my full cholesterol panel, historically with InsideTracker, so I have a lot of data on it. It's really interesting how it correlates to my diet. So, like, when I'm low-carb, everything is high. I mean, not in a bad way, the nuance that you were just talking about, but the levels of everything is substantially raised compared to when I do my high protein, low-fat, high-carb, everything's lower. It's just really interesting and it's so complicated and so nuanced. I think it's probably one of the most complicated things in health as far as there just being so many different opinions on it. 

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I couldn't agree with you more and it's interesting. We'll link up another podcast I did with Dr. Bret Scher. He's a preventative cardiologist, but also as a functional integrative approach. We talked quite a bit about these advanced lipid metrics. We'll link that in the show notes so that listeners can take a listen to that as well. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome, awesome, awesome. Okay, now we have a question from Kim. She says, “Hi. Would you recommend fasting longer and then have a three- to four-hour eating window or fasting shorter, but having two meals, no snacks, and a longer eating window, say, a six- to seven-hour eating window? I'm a 53-year-old female post menopause, exercise daily with walking and lifting. I try to eat real whole foods and want to lose another 5 to 10 pounds than inter maintenance. Thanks so much. Love your podcast and the fantastic info you both share.” 

Cynthia Thurlow: Thanks, Kim. It sounds like you're doing a lot of great things already. I think this will be no surprise for listeners to hear me suggest that you have two meals to be able to get in a minimum of 100 grams of protein daily. I would also suggest tracking your macros to know where you are. I just find that most people really are optimized if they're getting two boluses of protein in per day. The other thing that I think is really important is especially because your menopausal getting a really good sense of what your hormones are doing. I'm not sure if you have had your baseline sex hormones, thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, all these hormones that we can have fasting insulin that we can have tested. I'm really looking at those to see if they're fully optimized, because some degree of weight loss resistance can be related to poor quality sleep, inflammatory nutrition. I know that you're strength training, so that sounds like that's really dialed in, but I think for a lot of women, it's looking at the basics and then looking at gut health and looking at things that can be cleaned up in terms of toxin exposure, your personal care products, your environment, your food. 

I know Melanie and I have talked a lot about that, in particular over the last several podcasts, and then also thinking about just the emotional component. I'm in the midst of getting ready to submit a second book proposal, and one of the things I've been really amazed, there's a lot of really good research in this that early childhood trauma, so they call it an ANA score. So, adverse childhood events, if you are at risk for having been through quite a few adverse childhood events, that can put you at risk as an adult for not auto, also autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto, celiac, etc., but can also put you at risk for weight loss resistance. So, recognizing there's a significant emotional component to some of the struggles that we have when we have weight loss plateaus, I think all those things are certainly important. Absolutely two meals in a wider feeding window I think is really helpful. How about you, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I thought that was really comprehensive, and I really like that stuff about the adverse childhood events. So, [laughs] it's what we always say, the importance of protein and everything being so important. Really, Cynthia, it's really been our relationship on this show that's made me pay more attention to that and that a lot of people might need longer windows to get all of that in. So, yes, I would err on the side of eating the window that will allow you to get in all of that protein rather than stressing about having the smaller window per se. Really, when it comes to the food aspect, I think there's so much magic that can happen with your actual food choices, which sounds like you're doing great, you're trying to eat real, whole foods. But I just think there's a lot of magic that can happen with that. Focus on what you're eating in that eating window rather than getting caught up in the nuance of a few more hours here or there. That’s my thoughts on that. Shall we go to some other random AMA questions? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, these are leftover AMA questions that are just kind of all over the place. Here's a really random question from Laura. She wants to know, what's the worst job that you have had? She wants to know, if you weren't doing what you're doing now, what would you be doing? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Okay, worst job I've ever had was my first job. Many of you probably know I grew up on the Jersey Shore, and working at the boardwalk seemed to be a really awesome job. But I worked at an ice cream place, and so imagine humid, hot weather, and you were scooping ice cream. This is before there was like a lot of soft serve, so it was like getting-- you're literally-- me being five foot three, half my body was practically in this pit of ice cream to scoop it up. I spent the entire summer smelling like ice cream, and I was sticky from my armpits, honest to God, even though I had a uniform on all the way to my hand. I remember I don't think I ate ice cream for several years after that, but I hated that job. [laughs] I really did not like that job. It was very reinforcing, like, “Okay, if I'm going to be working hard and sweating, I want to be making more money.” So I started waiting tables after that.

But if I weren't doing what I'm doing now, I think I honestly would have ended up either this is kind of funny. Originally, I thought I was going to be an attorney, and I realized now I don't like to argue, so I would have been a terrible attorney. I think I honestly would have ended up in the media realm, whether it would have been behind the scenes or being a reporter. I like getting the scoop, I like getting information, which is probably why podcasting appeals to me so much that I get to ask people all the questions that I'm curious about, but that's probably what I would have done. I'm an introvert, so being in front of the camera might not have been where I would have been, but I probably would have enjoyed being a reporter or being a journalist. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. That job does sound pretty miserable. Have I shared with you before my background horror stories? 

Cynthia Thurlow: No. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so I've only cried from misery three times in my life and they were all while doing background on TV shows and movies and so the worst experience of my life, I might have shared this story before on the podcast. Do you know the movie, Sharknado? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, [chuckles] so in the acting world, there's union acting. SAG-AFTRA that people might be familiar with, like the SAG Awards. And then, there's nonunion. Well, when you're a background “actor,” so when you're a person in the background of a TV show or movie, you're like the lowest of low on the totem pole. If you ever want to see social hierarchies devoid of empathy, [chuckles] where people are just so blunt about the hierarchy that it's almost shocking, just go to a film set and look at how extras are treated.

But in any case, when I was nonunion, it can be pretty bad. I got a call for this movie and it was a low budget sci-fi film. They didn't tell us what it was or the name or anything. We were shooting in downtown LA. It was in the winter, which I know it's not that cold in LA. But it was like 40 degrees that day and were in like a tunnel. I think it was like a tunnel without a roof. So, it was like a valley thing. It's hard to describe. It was down, so it created like a wind tunnel. Wind was rushing through it and so they put us down there and then they were like yelling at us from like way up high and then they were like, “Okay, so when we call action, we're going to do the rain and then there are sharks and just run away from the sharks.” We're like [laughs] because it ended up being Sharknado. So, they would say like, “cue rain.” And they do “Action,” it would be like a torrential downpour. We had to just like run from imaginary sharks, like over cars, but for 6 hours, like in 40 degrees with wind and rain like soaked to the bone. I was so miserable. I was bawling. They would say run and I was like tears were like streaming down my face. 

And then finally, they pulled out some of us because like a PA came over and was like, I think they might get hypothermia. [laughs] They took some of us and put us into a tent. It was the worst day of my life. And then, what's really funny is then later I realized it was Sharknado. And I was like, “Oh.”

And then, what's even funnier is I became SAG later. When you're SAG, they treat you a lot better. I got a call for Sharknado 2, and I was like, “I can't do this movie again.” But the second time around, [laughs] I was SAG. I was a flight attendant and it was really cool. It was on a plane, a fake plane. The other flight attendant was Kelly Osbourne. [laughs] It was really fun. It was really funny too, because it was the same thing. They'd be like, “Action,” and they'd be like “Sharks.” And we all had to be like screaming. Oh, man, good times.

And then, the other two times I cried. One was doing background on some TV show and I had to swim in a pool for hours. It was also freezing, and I was just like holding the side and like crying to myself. The third time I was crying was I was on Fast and the Furious 7, out in the desert and it was 110 degrees and I literally thought I was going to die. That's the only time I left the set earlier, I went up to the medic and I was like, “I have to leave. I can't do this anymore.” 

Cynthia Thurlow: But I think for a lot like those of us who are not in that industry or never worked in that industry, I think there's this perception that it's all glamorous and you have definitely reaffirmed that it is not all glamorous. So, kudos to you for being wet and cold and pretending to run from whatever Sharknado thing was going on. But how cool about Kelly Osbourne. Was she nice? Like friendly?

Melanie Avalon: She seemed nice. Yeah, I think I didn't really talk to her, but I actually have a really cool video way back on my Instagram because I think for that scene I was in the back of the plane. So, I was like just with my little cart and not actually going into the scene, so it looked like I was in a plane. But you would just hear action and then you just people screaming like sharks, like the lights flickering. I've had so many experiences on movies and TV shows, it's crazy. Like, I've probably been on every TV show. 

Cynthia Thurlow: That's so funny. Yeah, I've been on sets, but it's been like news environments and so that's totally different. It's a little more like serious. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, well, what's really funny is some of the experiences are so surreal and it's funny because when you're doing background acting, half the time you really just don't want to be there. Some of the experiences are really cool. People would probably pay thousands of dollars for that. When it's happening for me, I'm like, "I just want to go home." I remember I did a concert scene for CSI and it was actually Ozzy Osbourne and I was like in the front row. So, I got to stand in front of Ozzy Osbourne for like hours while he was doing a fake concert. The whole time I was like, "I just want to leave." I knew that people would probably pay like thousands of dollars for that experience. But for me, it was like $8 an hour. So, [laughs] good times. 

Cynthia Thurlow: The glamorous life. 

Melanie Avalon: I know, I know, I know. What would I be doing if I wasn't doing this? So funny, like you growing up, I thought I was going to be a lawyer. I still think I could be a good lawyer, but I don't think I'd be happy doing it because I think it would make me upset. So, like Morgan Levine kind of embodies-- She wrote the book True Age, and I had her on my show, and she kind of embodies what I would want to be if I was a scientist, because she's-- not to be stereotypical, but I don't know how to say this all being stereotypical. She doesn't look like your typical scientist. She looks like if I were a scientist, what I think I would like the vibe that it would be. She's brilliant and studies aging. So, when I interviewed David Sinclair the first time, he made a comment about how I should come be a student in his lab at Harvard, and I wanted to just die when he said that. I think that's what I would be doing would be, like a scientist and studying longevity and aging, and the goal would be to get a Nobel Prize. [laughter] Aim high. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's exciting. 

Melanie Avalon: So, here's one. Heidi wants to know, what does a day of eating look like for you? Kim really wants to know what is your favorite dinner? So, those two.

Cynthia Thurlow: Okay, so we'll start with favorite dinner, because that's easy. Like a big filet and probably either asparagus or broccolini and maybe some mushrooms. I keep things pretty simple. We grill a lot of meat and a lot of fish, and that's my happy place. Give me some healthy fats and some meat and some non-starchy vegetables, and that's like a perfect meal for me. I would say that today is a good example of what I eat in a day. I broke my fast this morning with-- gosh, it was like two bison burgers and some hard-boiled eggs, because it just depends on the day. I was hungry, and so I had that along with some cut-up cucumbers that were salted. I go through phases where I like certain foods, and cucumbers are super hydrating, as Melanie and I both know, and they're just easy to put together. 

And I don't necessarily have to do a lot of food prep. And then tonight, we're having short ribs. So, my goal is always to hit 50 to 60 grams of protein in each meal. Today, I was way more than 60 grams with what I eat because I had two burgers and two eggs. So yeah, I had way over that. And then, dinner is going to be short ribs, and I haven't yet consumed that. My kids will probably-- I think they're asking already for some type of a starch with that, I'll probably have asparagus. I mean, for me, there's probably four or five vegetables that I choose between for big meals and then salad whenever I want it. But that's in a given day. That's what I'm going to have. Today has been busy getting taxes prepared and then podcast recording, doing some couple of podcasts of Melanie. How about you, Melanie? What's your favorite dinner? 

Melanie Avalon: So, it's interesting, I have two answers because there's my favorite dinner that I eat, and then there's like if it was my last meal type thing, which would be completely different. Would your last meal be completely different? 

Cynthia Thurlow: No, because I would say my go-to is usually steak or like a bison steak or like a fatty fish, like maybe salmon, like a good-sized salmon steak. For me, it's so satiating that I definitely hit those protein thresholds where I'm like totally satiated and done. Maybe if you're asking if I'd have dessert, then it might be something chocolatey, because I love chocolate, dark chocolate. 

Melanie Avalon: It's interesting. I love what I eat. When I answer my Cynthia answer, which is it's what I would often eat, like at a restaurant or something. And I do love it. So, when I say my other answer, it's not that I don't love what I'm normally eating, because I do, but it's very similar to what Cynthia said. It really would depend on what I'm personally craving that night, protein wise. It would be like if it's a steak, a bone and filet is my favorite cut. If it's fish, I love going out when they have whole branzino. I love that. I love chilling sea bass, but it's too high in mercury. That would be my favorite fish. But the mercury is an issue. Yeah, it would be that with steamed spinach or something and then red wine, and then probably lots of fruit, lots of blueberries. If it was like a last meal situation, that's when I would eat all the things. 

So, it would definitely be Cajun chicken pasta from Chili’s, which I haven't had since probably high school. Funfetti cake, just all the Funfetti and lots of cheese. I mean, alfredo-- oh, yeah, Cajun chicken pasta is alfredo. Yeah. I love all these things. The day in the life, I think listeners are overwhelmingly familiar. I just eat the one meal day thing, and I eat tons and tons of lean protein, whatever I'm craving, tons of scallops. So, it's usually scallops and then either some chicken or some fish. Lots of cucumbers, and I love lots of blueberries and wine and rinse and repeat. It's pretty much just whatever I'm craving. Then the scallops are with, like, mushrooms and cilantro and chives, ginger, turmeric. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's funny, I hadn't had scallops in a while, and I just had scallops recently, and it's interesting. It's one of the few things my husband doesn't like, so if I get them, it's usually at a restaurant. And I ate them and I was like, “Okay I think I'm okay eating scallops.” Again, I won't eat them again for six months. But I definitely love lobster and shellfish. Yeah, there's a lot of good things, but my kind of methodology for everyone that's listening, it's usually heavy on the protein. If there's not fat in the protein, then I'm adding some fats and then some type of a non-starchy vegetable, and I'm very happy. Like, broccolini is my current obsession, especially if it's sautéed with garlic and red pepper. It's really good and just superfast and easy. 

Melanie Avalon: Actually, that made me think I'll clarify. So, my ideal favorite meal that I actually eat, I love at restaurants when they have tartar or carpaccio, it's like some rare meat appetizer or sashimi if it's salmon. And I'm excited, speaking of Valentine's Day, the restaurant we're going to, I think, has a seafood tower. The thing I love about seafood towers is those tend to all be low mercury things like lobster, shrimp, like shellfish and stuff. So, crab. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's all good. Someone was making fun of me the other day because I went into our grocery store and they had lobster that had been deconstructed that day. And so, I bought myself half a pound of lobster tail and claw and just put it on top of a salad and ate that for lunch. And it was amazing. My kids were like, “I cannot believe you bought that for yourself.” I was like, “Yes, I did, and I feel zero guilt.” 

Melanie Avalon: That's totally what I would do. Oh, I love going to-- Fun fact, I might have shared this. If you go to Whole Foods and they have the whole fish, they will debone it for you if you ask. So, I love going-- I went on a kick after I had, like I said, the full branzino at some restaurants. I was like, “I got to start doing this myself.” So, I go and get an entire fish for myself and cook it. It's really fun. It's yummy. 

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Melanie Avalon: Okay, here's a really fun one from Mary Jane, “What are some health-related things you've tried that you really didn't like or had bad side effects to?” I tried like all the diets back in the day before finding low-carb and paleo. So, all of those, like, the cookie diet, just not a fan of that. I tried being vegan for like a week, did not work.

Cynthia Thurlow: How did that go? 

Melanie Avalon: It was like [chuckles] I remember I did it for, like, a week in college, and I was really excited because I went to a restaurant and was trying to find something, and they had something with Green Goddess dressing, and I was like, “This is so thematic. I'm being so vegetarian right now.” I was starving for protein. I was like, “I need meat.” It was very clear that it was not for me. The cookie diet, as well, was not for me. [laughs] Calorie counting, not for me. I need to feast. Like, I'm such a feaster. Also, so getting up early does not work for me. Like, as much as I want to be a morning person, going back and trying to widen my eating window and doing daytime eating after having done intermittent fasting, nope, not a good idea. Then, lastly, pets are so amazing for health. So incredible but I am not meant to, at least right now, have a pet. It's a lot to take care of, [chuckles] but I love when other people have pets. Oh, yeah and iodine. Iodine, I reacted to that supplement so bad. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Did you? Was it oral iodine or just putting it on, like Lugol’s solution on your skin? 

Melanie Avalon: I was doing the skin, and then I took some orally, and it's the only time that I so obviously reacted to a supplement. Like, my eyes got bloodshot red. I was like, “I can't go to work.” It's when I was a server, I look like I'm hungover or something. Yeah, it scared me. I think it's probably because it made me probably flush out like bromides and things. Did that spark your memory for any of yours? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think the things that I've learned about myself that a lot of other people have been able to do effortlessly that have not worked for me. I would say working night shifts never agreed with me. I'm not someone that does well, staying up late at night and not going to bed when it's dark outside. To the point where I think most of the time that I worked nights as a nurse and an NP, I felt like how you feel when you're, I don't want to say the word hungover, but when you're so tired, you just can't function. Like, I would function in the emergencies, but I would then walk around like a zombie on the days I was off or when I was trying to go to bed when it was light outside. So, say that. Certainly, the things that really didn't agree with me was when probably in the early 1990s when were still bastardizing fat and I just got out of college. 

When you take fat out, you're never satiated and you add a lot of processed crap back in there. So, when you're eating a lot of carbs, you're never satisfied. You're overeating carbs, not eating enough protein, eating fake fats. And I would say that definitely, although I was able to pretty quickly figure out that I do better eating more protein, but certainly not as much as I consume now. I would say that and the other thing that I've figured out doesn't suit me well. As I've never been a drinker, I was never someone that did well. I could have a drink or two, but I was never someone who ever felt good if they drank a lot. So, finally feeling like I'm at a stage in my life where I can effectively say I just choose not to drink because for me it doesn't make me feel good and my sleep is far too important. So, I would say those are probably the three things that I think about that for other people might work fine, but don't for me. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I mean, the night shift is interesting because I think it's really interesting how much clinical literature there is on night shift workers and how bad it is for our health. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's interesting as I'm kind of navigating writing this book proposal. It's interesting to me that when you look at the research on metabolic health, the disadvantage people are at that work contrary to the way our circadian biology is designed to thrive. So, if you're not going to bed at all when it's dark outside, that's a problem. And so, you look at the rates of cancer and poor metabolic health and Alzheimer's and all these things, it's pretty solid research. I think about how many of my peers and colleagues like that was the only option they had, either because they had to work when their kids were asleep and then come home and take care of their kids or whatever their circumstances were. Those are hard decisions to make, but the research is certainly leaning in the direction that it's really profoundly detrimental to your health long term. Like, if you do it for a couple of years, that's different, but if you do that for 20, 30 years, definitely problematic. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Here's a sort of related one. What's a beauty or health product or fat that didn't work for you? I have one for that. Do you have one? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, you go first. I'll have to think.

Melanie Avalon: Eyelash extensions. Have you done them before? 

Cynthia Thurlow: No, the only time I -- Well, I wouldn't-- it's just when they add a little-- like if you get your makeup done, I think that's different.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Yeah, yeah, not like the temporary falsies. I got them done and I mean, they look amazing. They make your makeup routine cut down so much time getting ready. So, that was all great. And for a while I was like, “Oh, this is worth it for the time alone,” because I can just get ready faster. But they're so obnoxious to take care of like, when you're sleeping, I wear an eye mask. You're not supposed to do that. You can't really, like, wash them. I found the whole experience to be very stressful, [laughs] and then I took them off and I felt like I had lost so many eyelashes, and it's hard to know if I actually did or if it just looked I was used to seeing them. But the good thing that came out of that was after that started using DIME Beauty, they make an eyelash growth serum, and it's amazing. And I chose it because it's nontoxic. I can't recommend this eyelash serum enough. It has made my eyelashes grow so long now, like, I think probably better than before the eyelash extension. So, everybody get it. You can get a discount at melanieavalon.com/dime and use the code MELANIEAVALON. It's just their eyelash growth serum. So, I really recommend that. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I'm going to share what is relevant because I have a troll on YouTube who's been making completely non-factual statements about me. So, I'm going to just call it out because just like I responded to this person. All of us have facial asymmetry. Everyone has-- like the right side of your face is not perfectly symmetrical to your left. As we get older, sometimes one side of your face may be more expressive than the other. You may have stronger muscles one side than the other. So, I have a very full mouth. I have had that my entire life. 

The reason why I'm sharing this story is to preemptively tell you what one thing I did that I didn't like. I've never had filler in my lips, but I have tried filler in other parts of my face. And so, about 12 years ago, there's this “famous" facial plastic surgeon in the Northern Virginia area, and I was like, “Oh, this is the person I need to go to.” They put some filler underneath my tear trough, so like underneath your eye. I guess he put so much filler there that I got horrible bruising. It made me look like I had perhaps been assaulted. I had to live with my face looking like that for like two weeks, and then it settled down. But for some people, you can get something called the Tyndall effect, which means when the filler is placed under the skin, you get a blue glow hue. And so, I had to have it all reversed. This is why I let the buyer beware. And so, I had it all reversed. And the irony is this troll kept saying, “Oh, you can tell she's had a ton of fillers.” I was like, “Dude, let me explain something to you.” After that experience, it was so negative. I was like, if I ever choose to do this again, I'm going to go to the best of the best, which is who I go to. 

This troll the other day was commenting that, “Oh, I'd had a ton of filler in my lips.” I was like, “No.” If you looked at photos of me, I was made fun of growing up because I had such full lips. The irony is I get accused of something I actually haven't done in a place I haven't done it. For me, the thing that I would caution everyone is if you choose to do anything to yourself, just make sure it's something you can reverse. That's the reason why I was comfortable saying, “Okay, this didn't work for me,” and you can reverse filler very easily. But a lot of people overdo it with filler, and it can migrate, so you have to be really, really careful. So, that would be my thing that I've done that I didn't love. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, thank you for sharing that and that sounds really intense. Just to discuss really briefly, the troll thing this weekend actually has been really hard for me because I posted a picture of when I went to see Hadestown, which is a Broadway musical, and all it took was like, one person commenting on my weight, which-- that's a whole tangent about. I don't know, I find it really interesting that the body shaming, there's like a double standard as far as what is acceptable and what's not. For some reason, it's okay to comment on people if you think they're underweight, and I know people are. They try to say it supportively, or most people do, but it just led to a torrential downpour of people commenting on my Instagram and then supportive people were there as well, but just stuff that's very not supportive and very negative. 

What's really interesting is I've been eating the same for like a decade, and it's so funny, like, one person called me that they were like, “I just went back through her pictures from ten years ago, and she looks the same as she did ten years ago.” But I just find it really interesting how people interact with people on social media. It's like because you're behind a screen, I don't know that people would say things to people's face in real life that they would say on social media and then just it's really ironic to me that there's a whole body acceptance movement, but it only goes one way. Like it goes for being overweight, but not if you look thin. And I also think we maybe have a warped perspective because I feel like the baseline weight is so high now that if you are thin or underweight, it looks even worse because we're used to seeing, I think, a higher resting weight. So, I've been having a lot of-- I got to see my therapist this week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, no, no and it's interesting because I think that anytime you put yourself out there, you are going to get people who are keyboard warriors. They would never say something like that to your face, but they feel empowered because you can't find them. What's interesting is it was a physician who couldn't who kept making these comments, and people were defending me, but it was also one of the things I was saying to my husband. I was like I was shocked because generally I try to not interject, but I interacted with this individual saying, “No, you're actually incorrect. You don't know what you're talking about,” because someone said, “Oh, it looks like you're having a stroke.” I was like, “No, you can actually have stronger muscles one side of your face than the other. That's normal asymmetry,” and it's just interesting how the people who put themselves out there are the ones oftentimes that are at greater risk for having people make comments. 

But I think energetically, it's like you just don't engage with people like that because you're not going to change their belief system. They want to believe what they want to believe, and it also invites all of us to rise above that and to just not interact. Like, to me, the adage of, “If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.” I think about my mother said that to me growing up. I always think, like, I don't ever want my comments to be perceived as negative. It's like if I have something negative to say, I'm not going to say it. It just isn't worth it. but if you have something positive to say or something that's going to be helpful or beneficial, I think that's great. Just like it seems like over the last couple of days, there's been an uptick in people making comments and my DMs on Instagram and my team trying to make sense of some of these things. 

The point of why I'm sharing all this is if you don't have anything nice to say, just keep it to yourself. I think that's a much healthier way to be. If there's something constructive, if someone and it's something helpful and constructive, that's very different. I think all of us welcome feedback, but people to be mean and self-righteous just for the sake of being mean, that’s no one needs that. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's really interesting. The way I reacted was I tried to answer every person and just with kindness and not defensiveness, just hearts and kindness. It's really interesting exercise, I think, for everybody. It's interesting for me to see how I react and what does that say about my feelings. And then for people, if they do take a lens at why they're saying these things, why, because I think often it does come from personal insecurities and things like that, but I was super grateful for the people who are supportive. I got a lot more supportive DMs because I think people, they like to support that way. Yeah, it's interesting and I don't know, I just find it so interesting how thin shaming is totally okay, [laughs] or seemingly okay. Yeah, so, fun times. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I love all these questions. I think they're really, I mean, in some instances I really have to think hard. [laughs] Like I'll say to Melanie, you answer it first and while you're answering, I'll think of my answer. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I think next week maybe we still have some good ones, so we might do one more of these episodes. But 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 will be @ifpodcast.com/episode304. They will have a full transcript as well as links to everything that we talked about. I know we talked about a lot of studies, a lot of things, so definitely check that out. And then if you want to [laughs] join us on Instagram, we are @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon and Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. So, I think that is all the things and yeah anything else for me, Cynthia, before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No. By the time this episode comes out, we will have the creatine subscriptions up, so we'll definitely be keeping everyone post about that. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome, awesome, awesome. Yeah, and I'll have the switch to more sustainable subscriptions the week after this. So, the links to learn more about all of that is cynthiathurlow.com/supplements for her line and avalonx.us/emaillist for my line and that's to get updates. So, okie-dokie. Well, have a wonderful Valentine's Day tomorrow [[chuckles] and I will talk to you later. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good, bye. 

Melanie Avalon: 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 a review on iTunes.

We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman. Editing by Podcast Doctors. Show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner. Transcripts by SpeechDocs. And original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week. 

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription] 


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