Welcome to Episode 314 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.
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1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get 3lb Bone In Chicken Thighs For One Year PLUS $20 Off Your First Box!!
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20:20 - LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase!
23:20 - Listener Q&A: Ashely - Uneven Fat Loss
36:30 - Listener Q&A: Diane - Thermogenics
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44:45 - Listener Q&A: Amy - What Should We Look For In Safe Olive Oils?
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Our content does not constitute an attempt to practice medicine and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Please consult a qualified healthcare provider for medical advice and answers to personal health questions.
Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 314 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.
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One more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out. So, 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 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 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.
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Hi, everybody and welcome. This is episode number 314 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.
Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie. How are you?
Melanie Avalon: I'm good. So, for listeners who did not listen last week or have not been getting the updates, haven't been in the Facebook group, this is Cynthia's last episode on the show. We talked about this at length at the end of the last episode. But for listeners who are just listening to this episode, I know we talked about it recently, but would you like to talk a little bit about what's happening in your life and your experience with the show and where you're going from here?
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. So, in Episode 313 I announced that I was going to be stepping away from podcasting duties for Intermittent Fasting Podcast, and I thanked the community, the IF Podcast team behind the scenes, and Melanie and Gin for really creating a wonderfully enriching and warm and welcoming hello, when I started 10 months ago. My business is going in a different direction and so I hired a CIO. So, Chief Information Officer, and we've gotten laser focused on the next steps in my business. I just felt in a lot of different ways that my attention needed to be focused on those two or three things in my business, and that everything else I needed to kind of reprioritize.
So, like I shared last week, Melanie and I are leaving on good terms. This is not a breakup. This is a pause. We will continue to be supportive of one another's platforms, agendas, podcasts. I say podcasts with plurals because we both have one of our own outside the context of IF Podcast. And so, really taking the opportunity to say thank you again and then super excited to know who's going to be stepping into the podcasting co-hosting duties, as this is someone that I'm quite fond of and I think will do a wonderful job. But I'll let Melanie share with you who that is.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, well, first of all, so just to respond to that, when I said this last week, I don't want to be redundant, but it's just been such an incredible adventure having Cynthia co-hosting this show. It was really exciting to see how the show really changed, like the dynamics of it as far as the content that we got to talk about. You just have such incredible medical expertise, when it comes to fasting and specifically women and hormones and all of the things. I know that it's just been such a valuable resource for people. So, I can't thank you enough for your time, for what you brought to the show, for our friendship. It's just been really, really wonderful. Like, you were saying how it's not a breakup. It kind of feels more like in school, there're different grades and different classes and different things in life, but those end just by necessity of that was the thing that you were learning and experiencing at that time. So, this has been like a really incredible chapter of the show that I am so, so grateful for. I know that Cynthia and I will be talking a lot in the future and hopefully seeing each other in person, which will be very exciting.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, that would be fun.
Melanie Avalon: That'll be really exciting. I still haven't even seen Gin, actually, which is crazy.
Cynthia Thurlow: I've met Gin multiple times. Gin is great. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Maybe someday we'll all be at something together. But I also want to say that I really, really support when you first told me about this. I completely understand and understood and I am all about, like, there's so much opportunity and potential and things to do in life. And I think in order to really have the best experience of your life and do everything that you want to do, you have to make those hard decisions about what to focus on and where the energy needs to be invested because I wish we had unlimited time and energy, but we don't. So, I'm all about putting your time and energy where it needs to be for you at your life at this moment. So, just want to say I'm completely supportive of everything that you're doing and we'll have to bring you back for a reunion episode.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, that would be fun. For listeners, I know sometimes change seems scary and I remind everyone that change is a part of life, and it's like the ebb and flow of our lives and so it's wonderful to have had the opportunity to be connected to the podcast and now I can be laser focused in my business and kind of move things forward. As I shared, I've got a junior and essentially a rising senior and a rising sophomore, and they're only home for a couple more years. So, all my free time is really deliberate at this point and eventually I'll be an empty nester, which is kind of scary to imagine. I'm sure the doodles will be happy. My husband will probably be happy, but it'll be a big adjustment. So, thank you for everything and for the community that I've been a part of.
Melanie Avalon: That will be one thing that will be weird. I feel like I know so much about your daily life and kids and everything, but now I'll have to keep up. I mean, we'll still be talking, but we won't be talking quite as regularly. So, I wish you all the best with the kids and the family and all the things.
Cynthia Thurlow: Likewise. Likewise. We'll get to see, you know, you get a little bird's eye view into your friends lives on social media, but yeah, we'll have to carve out time to catch up on occasion.
Melanie Avalon: Definitely, definitely, definitely. Especially if you have a future book or something that would be really exciting.
Cynthia Thurlow: That is the goal. That is the goal, for sure.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, the announcement about the new co-host, who I am so excited. What it's going to look like going forward? This will be the last episode with Cynthia. Next week, I'm actually, as a kind of like, what's the word, an intermission, [chuckles] I'm going to air a conversation that I had with Steve Hendricks, who wrote a book called The Oldest Cure in the World: Adventures in the Art and Science of Fasting. That book I've talked about it on this show before was mind blowing. I thought I knew a lot about fasting. You just learn so much, how fasting has appeared throughout the ages, throughout religions, throughout culture, and it's not what you think. [laughs] You'll have to listen to the A, read the book and or listen to the episode to find out. There're a lot of misconceptions we have about fasting as far as how it manifested in religions, how it was used, like Hippocrates and the Greeks and fasting and then a lot of drama. A lot of really crazy, controversial stuff with fasting. It's crazy.
Oh, this is something, Cynthia, that really stuck with me from that book. It's so interesting to think for the longest time we didn't realize what was fueling us during a fast. So, it didn't occur. I should find the actual date, but now it's just so obvious to us. Oh, you're burning your fat. That's why you lose weight. But for a long time and again, this is like relatively recently, there were all these theories about how people fasted, like where their energy was coming from. People thought that it was a spirit or a vibe or there was this one moment I should probably give more details, but basically they thought that the energy came from another person.
Oh, one group thought that it was from-- because women's menstruation would go away if they severely fasted. They thought it was like that was what they were fueling on while fasting. It's just really interesting to think that to us, it seems so obvious. Yeah, you're losing fat that's what it is. But that this was not a known fact for quite a while. It's kind of mind blowing to think about.
Cynthia Thurlow: I'll have to check that book out.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's so interesting. He talks about the role of-- this was really controversial on my Instagram. He talks about how fasting was used as a control mechanism for women with some religions. That is just I mean, it's just crazy stuff. So, in any case, sorry, I'm on the tangent. I'm going to air that episode with Steve because I think everybody will find it so interesting. So, that'll be the intermission.
And then the new co-host is Vanessa Spina, and a lot of listeners are probably familiar with her. She is the best-selling author of a book called Keto Essentials. But she runs the Optimal Protein Podcast. Her brand is Ketogenic Girl. Her show, I think, used to be called-- did her show used to be called Ketogenic Girl podcast?
Cynthia Thurlow: Yep.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. When did she rebrand?
Cynthia Thurlow: Maybe in the last two years.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it wasn't that long ago. So, she's just a beautiful spirit. I love her, I've been friends with her. I was on her show probably a year and a half ago or two years ago or so and that's when I first met her. And she's just incredible. She's very smart, very intelligent, very much into the role of protein like Cynthia and I are. So, there'll be that theme continuing, which is a good thing. She's very into the things that Cynthia and I would always talk about. She's also a Peter Attia fangirl, so that can continue. But she's just very smart.
Her degree, well, she's a sport nutrition specialist. She completed a two-year biomedical science program at the University of Toronto because she has a love of biochemistry and physiology. And I just think she's going to bring a lot to the show. It's definitely going to be a different perspective. She's not a doctor or anything like that. I think one thing will be really nice is she's the first co-host that has-- well, again, so she has a young son. This will be the first time having a co-host with a young child. So, I'm just really, really excited. You guys are going to love Vanessa.
Oh, she also created and you'll hear all of this when I actually have her on in her own story. But she created a tone device which measures breath acetone. It's a ketone breath analyzer like she made that, how cool. She also recently launched a red-light therapy line as well. So, again, fits in the family here and being an entrepreneur, creating her own products in the sphere. I can't wait for you guys to meet her. We are going to do a special incentive. This is similar to what we did with Cynthia. You guys responded really well to this, and I'm really excited to do it again, which is reviews of the show help so much more than most people realize.
So, we really want to make it welcoming for Vanessa. We are going to give away a prize. You guys know that I love Beautycounter, Cynthia loves Beautycounter as well, which is non-toxic skincare and makeup that is free of endocrine disruptors and will revolutionize your skin and friends, endocrine disruptors are so, so huge. I'm actually going to talk more about my theory surrounding them and a question that we have in today's show. So, I'm going to give away a Beautycounter prize worth over $500. If you would like to get that, to enter, if you haven't written a review of the show yet, go to Apple Podcasts. If you have already written a show, go to Apple Podcasts and update your review.
In the review, include your thoughts on Vanessa joining the show, what you're excited to learn about from Vanessa, what you're looking forward to, and then send us a screenshot of that to email@example.com. We will enter you into the giveaway to win over $500 worth of Beautycounter products. If you're a man listening and you're like, “I don't need Beautycounter,” well, A, if you're a man and you win, I will tailor it to make sure I include products for you. And then also it will be great gifts that you can give to the women in your life because got to make the women in your life happy. I think that's all about that. Any other thoughts?
Cynthia Thurlow: No. I'm a huge fan of Vanessa's. We have bonded over a shared love of Prague and so I know that she will bring another kind of side to the IF Podcast. I think listeners will really like her.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, I'm glad you mentioned that. Yes, so, Vanessa lives in Prague. [chuckles] She's not even in the US. It's been really funny talking to her because we text the time shift. So, basically, I hit her with all the things and then there's like a time gap and then there's the response. But yeah, I can see how you guys would really bond over that because I remember you talking about how much you loved Prague.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, Prague is awesome.
Melanie Avalon: So, she loves Prague.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, highly recommend. If you have not been to that part of Eastern Europe, you must go.
Melanie Avalon: When I've talked to her, I'm always like I wish you would move to the US because I want to hang out with her. But I know she adores Prague. So, okie dokie. So, stay tuned for that.
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And then we always just have a sprinkling of I love LMNTs. And the more I research and the more I study, the more I realize just how important electrolytes are. They are key for cellular function. Electrolytes facilitate hundreds of functions in the body including the conduction of nerve impulses, hormonal regulation, nutrient absorption, and fluid balance. That's why LMNT can help prevent and eliminate headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue, sleeplessness and so many other things related to electrolyte deficiency. Athletes, for example, can lose up to 7 g of sodium per day. If that sodium is not replaced, it is very common to experience muscle cramps and fatigue.
But friends, it is not just athletes. Electrolytes can help everyone. Whether it's after a few glasses of wine, "Oh, hey." Keeping an active lifestyle or especially if you are fasting or doing a keto diet, electrolytes may be key. That's because both fasting and the keto diet specifically deplete electrolytes. But here's the thing. So many electrolytes on the market are full of so many things that you don't want. We're talking fillers, junk, sugar, coloring, artificial ingredients, things you don't want to be putting in your body. That's why I love LMNT. It has none of that. It contains a science backed electrolyte ratio of 1000 milligrams of sodium, 200 milligrams of potassium and 68 milligrams of magnesium.
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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into everything for today?
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.
Melanie Avalon: So, to start things off, and this is the question that I actually might relate to what I was talking about with the Beautycounter. This comes from Ashley. The subject is uneven fat loss. Ashley says and this was back when Gin was co-hosting. It was a while ago. She says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie.” She says, “I am four months into the IF lifestyle and have been listening from newest to oldest to the IF Podcast. I just finished podcast number 108 and a listener had a question about uneven fat loss. I too have experienced this in my own journey with uneven fat loss around my stomach. It shocked me that you both have said you hadn't really heard of that before, but with the podcast being older, I quickly checked in the Facebook groups to see if anyone had talked about it lately. Still nothing. This isn't really a question, but just wanted to let you know there are now two people that have experienced uneven fat loss.” Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge, Ashley. It was a long time ago that we talked about this. Cynthia, I'm curious, have you had this experience with your patients or you where people seem to lose fat unevenly in areas?
Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. So, Ashley, thank you for your question. I'm just trying to think about how to answer this thoughtfully, because all of us are our own individuals and we gain and lose fat depending on a lot of different variables. Do I find it surprising that there might be uneven fat loss? Yes, I think you really have to kind of trust the process. Depending on where these adipocytes are, I think you mentioned around your stomach, it could be that you may not be at a low enough level of fat reduction to be able to see the results you're looking for. We know that we can't spot reduce.
Even if we're frustrated, like, I have certain parts of my body that depending on where I'm carrying or how much fat I'm carrying, I will get pockets in certain spots. I've talked to enough friends of mine who are plastic surgeons, just asking them, like, “Why does this happen? How does this happen?” A lot of its genetically mediated. We're kind of born with a certain amount of fat cells and a lot of that's predetermined by genetics, but then also what we're eating in our younger years up and through our teen years when we're starting to continue to develop. So, I would say that have I seen this? Yes.
I think there are probably different things that you could try to do. I think, obviously, being conscientious about the nutrition piece where you kind of get discretionary macronutrients, things like sweets and desserts and alcohol can definitely derail good diets, healthy fats is one example. It's very easy to overeat healthy fats. They're delicious. I just ate some macadamia nuts before I started recording. Then I just portion them out. I would say if it really bothers you and you feel like the nutrition piece and fasting and maybe strength training is not getting the results that you want, you may be in a position where, if you desire to, and certainly, again, very personal decision.
Maybe going to talk to a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist to see what other options are available. I have colleagues using [unintelligible [00:26:25] which is an injectable medication, and some of them are using it on themselves just to spot reduce small areas. I don't know if this is a large area all the way up to cryotherapy modalities or even liposuction. Now, again, those are extremes and for some people that would be a no go, but there're a lot of things that you can do. But it's not at all unusual for people to feel like they've got some degree of asymmetry or some degree of lack of consistency in terms of where their fat distribution is. Melanie, what are your thoughts?
Melanie Avalon: Great answer. I'm glad you talked about the genetics piece. So, something that I think about often-- did you ever read I think it's in Good Calories, Bad Calories. Is it? There's this study they often talk about in the low carb ketosphere where it was a weight loss, but there're pictures, there're like black and white pictures from the forevers ago, like, patient pictures of this patient that lost weight only in one part of her body. I think on the top of her body. She was like skinny and emaciated on top and obese on the bottom. Have you seen these pictures?
Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm.
Melanie Avalon: And so, the reason I bring that up is because the argument that was made surrounding that, I think they were talking about how it's clearly not just calories, because how can you be emaciated on one part of your body and literally obese on the other part. So, there's like signaling involved here. So, basically, the body can specifically store or not store fat in certain areas. A lot of that can be genetics like Cynthia mentioned, I think a huge piece of it. I'm not saying our skincare makeup is causing this, but these endocrine disruptors, so these toxic chemicals that we are exposed to through our diet, our lifestyle, especially our skincare and makeup, a lot of them are actually obesogens, meaning they actually modulate our fat cells and cause them to store fat.
So, the studies on this are fascinating. They've actually found that these compounds can make the fat cells more likely to store fat. They make them more inflammatory, they make them actually hold on-- These toxic compounds, the body often puts them into fat cells to keep them from harming your body, which is great in the short term, not so great in the long term, because it means those toxins, while inert from your body, are stored in your fat cells. And we talked about this before. So, then people will lose weight and actually release those toxins, they have to deal with them then and can experience negative side effects from that. So, the process of it though--
These obesogens can make these cells inflammatory, more likely to store fat, and then more likely to actually recruit via cytokines, more fat cell potential growth, which is crazy. They've been shown to modulate insulin and ghrelin. So, our hunger and our satiety hormones. The reason I'm saying this is that it just goes to show that there can be signaling on fat cells for whatever reason, making some fat cells gaining more or holding on to more lipids and some might be more likely to release lipids. So, there's just a lot of things going into that genetics, endocrine disruptors that can definitely be a thing is my point. It's something where just in general, supporting A, anti-inflammatory state, removing these endocrine disruptors, working on your hormones and your sleep and your lifestyle.
I'm glad Cynthia brought up that there are mechanical interventions that you can do. I'm all about doing whatever you want to do, honestly. Some of those procedures can be invasive, so you really have to weigh cost benefit of that. But there are more invasive procedures where you can address literally just like remove the fat. Things like liposuction or laser liposuction, which is slightly less invasive but still invasive. And then there are other things that people do, like I've talked about CryoSlim before, which is they apply heat and cold to your fat cells and that can actually, “target that area.” There's CoolSculpting which freezes off the fat. That's been shown to be effective. It can have some side effects though, it can be a little bit painful, create some discoloration of the skin for some people.
But yeah, it's hard to outside of those more-- I don't want to say drastic because they're becoming more and more accessible at different centers and aesthetic places. Outside of that, it's really hard to specifically target fat cells. That said, something I would like to make in the future. This actually relates to our next question. Given the concept that we know that these fat cells have signaling mechanisms that make them more or less likely to store or gain weight, I actually do think that topical fat burners and I haven't found many that I like. That's why I want to make my own. [chuckles]
But I do think that it's not going to burn calories. You can't put something on your skin and burn calories, that is not is what is happening. But I can see how you could put on compounds that would act as a thermogenic sort of and making those fat cells more likely to burn fat. So, that's why in the future, I want to make a fat cell unlocking cream, I'm just brainstorming right now, but I really want to do this, where you would put it on those stubborn areas, and then you would do something like fasting and exercise. So, then it might make it more likely that those specific stores would release their free fatty acids that you could then burn. It wouldn't actually burn the fat, but it might be a little key helping you unlock the door. So, I'm just putting that out there. But in any case, so, yes, it is a thing. Clearly, it's a thing for Ashley. There are options. Yeah, feel free listeners to write in. If you have your own experiences of uneven fat loss and if you found anything that has been helpful, definitely write in and let us know.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, that was very comprehensive. I think it really comes down to we've all got quirky things about our bodies and some things we can learn to live with or if it really bothers us, there's no judgment, I think it's really up to the individual to create a plan or a system that will help them address things they don't like. Obviously, very bio individual, there's no judgment irrespective of what people choose to do if there's something they'd like to change about themselves.
Melanie Avalon: Agreed. I'm glad we're on the same page about all of that.
Cynthia Thurlow: I was the same way when I was seeing patients in the hospital in the office. I was always like, “Hey, I'm just an open-minded individual.” As long as you're not hurting yourself, everyone has to do what resonates and makes sense for them.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, there's so much-- not to get on a soapbox, but there's so much judgment in today's culture, there's just so much judgment. If you just think about it for a second, especially with social media, everybody has an opinion on everything. I mean, I guess right now I have an opinion on everybody having an opinion on everything, but there's just this vibe of everybody needs to be a certain way. If you feel a certain way in your body or want a certain thing that is or isn't right, and I don't know, it's really exhausting. I'm just about, you just do you, like Cynthia said, if you're not hurting anybody else, just do whatever you want. I don't care.
Cynthia Thurlow: I'll just leave this here. But as an example, there's a woman, there's a trainer that I follow, and she's been very open about her facelift. It's actually been interesting from a clinical perspective to see what she looks like each day. I was surprised how many people were just so judgmental of her choice. I just said, I hope you have an uneventful surgery and recovery, and thank you for your transparency, but I think there's this duality that people want people to disclose, but then they want to criticize people for disclosing. I think that it helps people understand why there's sometimes a reluctance to be fully transparent, because there's always going to be someone who has an opinion that's going to be the opposite of the choice that you made. But we're all adults. Human nature is such that we tend to be very apt to be critical of one another. I always say I'm too busy to be focusing on what other people are doing. I'm just trying to focus in on what I need to be doing.
Melanie Avalon: I could not agree more. I mean, it's just really interesting to think about, not to go on a whole esoteric soapbox tangent, but we don't really have a problem at all with women wearing makeup. And so, the concept of makeup, if we just think about literally what it is, you are changing the way your face looks to other people. That's what you're doing. I don't know how that's different than getting some sort of surgery on your face. People will say that, “Oh, well, you're actually changing your face. You're not just putting on makeup.” Well, how is that different from dyeing your hair? Dyeing your hair is changing the actual composition of your hair. In the end, if you just really step back, it's changing something about your appearance. It's you controlling your appearance, either because it makes you feel better when you look that way or how you look to other people, but I just all lump it in the same category. It's just interesting how there's so much judgment of some things and not others. I'm all about let's just all be friends.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, yes, yes.
Melanie Avalon: All righty.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I was going to say our next question is from Diane. Subject is thermogenics. “Hey, ladies. I'm 100% obsessed with your podcast. I believed in intermittent fasting before and attempted it for about a month about a year ago, but then fell into the keto craze and just became unattracted to dieting altogether. You ladies have definitely restored my faith by convincing me that it isn't a diet, it is most definitely a lifestyle. I'm only one week in and super confident in my future as an IF-er." Thank you.
My question is simple. "Does taking a thermogenic in a capsule form break the fast? I typically work out in the morning three to four times a week, and I like to take one 30 minutes before I start my workout. My window doesn't usually open until 3:00 to 04:00 PM. I find that thermogenic curbs my appetite even after working out, until I'm ready to break my fast, which is great, unless I've already broken my fast simply by taking the supplement. Any advice will help. Again, thank you so much. You all are awesome. Keep up the great work. Sidenote, I also like to drink water with powder BCAAs during my workout. I would still like some more insight on that as well." Thank you again.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome Diane, thank you for your question. Okay, so a few things. Well, we don't know what you're taking. We don't know what this thermogenic and a capsule is, so we can't say if the ingredients are not break your fast. So, you'd really have to look at the breakdown of the ingredients and take it from there. I do think we can more broadly talk about just the concept of thermogenics. This kind of relates to what I was saying before. Thermogenics are another thing where I find it really interesting because historically it kind of relates to the fat burning cream idea. People will say weight loss pills, these diet pills, which are often some form of thermogenics, don't work.
Like, there's this black and white idea that they don't work because a pill can't burn calories and it's seen as a fad. I have a more nuanced perspective in that. And again, it's very similar to what I was saying about the fat burning cream. If you're taking a compound that increases your metabolism or helps increase lipolysis, you're probably going to burn more fat if you're not compensating with eating. So, basically, if you're combining a thermogenic with a diet approach or even with something like fasting, depending on what it is. Again, there are so many on the market, and so many of them have a lot of sketchy fillers, and so many of them probably don't have what they say they have in them. I wouldn't touch most of them on the market, maybe any of them except my own. [chuckles] I don't have one right now, but if I have one in the future.
My point is, in theory, the concept scientifically, yes, they could help support weight loss, but I think a lot of them are sketchy and have problematic ingredients. And again, I wouldn't touch them. As far as whether or not they break the fast, the concept of a thermogenic itself and what is a thermogenic? So, it could be something, like, caffeine is a thermogenic. Something like, well, back in the day, ephedrine was thermogenic of thermogenics. There's a lot of just other compounds that have been shown to upregulate the metabolic rate and things like that. So, that's what we're talking about here.
She finds, for example, that it curbs her appetite. Again, I don't know which one you're taking, but the active ingredient itself is probably not breaking the fast. You just have to look at the overall whole picture of it. Well, I can talk about BCAAs, those will break a fast because those are amino acids which are sending a very different signal to the body and are going to stop autophagy. They're just a very different signaling mechanism than a thermogenic. What are your thoughts, Cynthia, on thermogenics?
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, that was a very comprehensive answer. So, Diane, I would say the BCAAs are definitely going to break your fast. Protein is broken down into amino acids, so you would save that for your feeding window. Not knowing what's in thermogenic, I am not a fan of these. I saw a lot of patients that had palpitations. They have anxiety. If you're only getting one meal in the whole day, I get concerned that you're not eating enough food and that you could be in a chronic deprivation of macros and food on a couple of different levels. The fact that you're taking something to suppress your appetite tells me you're not eating enough. And so, I would say, we know things like black coffee, as an example, have some appetite suppressant mechanisms and can help with boost fat oxidation. Same thing with green tea.
But I would say thermogenics, as a rule, I've never been a fan of those. I've just seen too many side effects. From my perspective, you're trying to suppress your appetite, which tells me that you're probably not fueling your body the way that you need to. We don't want to suppress our appetite. We can do that with fasting. There're counterregulatory hormones that can do that. But I would save your money and maybe you break your fast around lunch time, and you have a meal then, and you have another meal later in the afternoon, and you're able to hit your protein macros and be able to support your body. But I'm concerned that you're undereating, and I'm concerned that taking thermogenic is not only breaking your fast, but has the potential to cause some unnecessary and unneeded side effects.
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Okay, so our next question. I'm actually very excited for this question. I specifically wanted to include it in the last episode with Cynthia because I know she's all about the olive oils. So, Amy wants to know what should we look for in safe olive oils?
Cynthia Thurlow: The sad thing is there was a recent study that came out that demonstrated most conventional, by that I mean stuff you can find in your grocery store and Costco is not actually olive oil. It's adulterated with seed oils and seed oil blends with olive oil, which we want to avoid that. So, I have no affiliation with the company that I buy my olive oil from, but I'll tell you about that. But I will also say you're much better off buying organic olive oil. Like, if you're going to buy from the grocery store organic olive oil, you want to know that it's a company that has a good reputation. Most sourced olive oil comes from Spain and Italy just as an aside. So, hopefully that's one of the places they're sourcing from.
I have been buying olive oil from the honest to God this is its name, Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club. And so, every month, we get three different types of olive oil, one that's mild, kind of medium taste, and then one that's a little stronger. I think many of us kind of gravitate towards mild tasting oils. But what you're missing out on is that the pungency and by that I mean, if there's a lot of polyphenols, which are these plant-based compounds in an oil, it feels like it's burning your tongue. It's not really burning your tongue. It's a very intense kind of sensation. This is just completely ironic. My most recent order, they talk about where the things are sourced from, what varieties of olives you get in each order.
So, as an example, again, I have no affiliation with them. I don't get anything. I don't get a kickback of any kind. But the bold choice was from two areas in Spain. It had three different types of oils and the flavor profile was bold, and they give you a depiction. I'll just share that Ben Azadi, who introduced me to this company, and I just think that we should be thoughtful about where we're sourcing things from. I recognize not everyone may have it in their budget to be able to buy really high-quality oil. So, when you go to the grocery store really looking for oils that are sourced from Spain and Italy, that's where most of the real olive oil comes from. And then organic extra virgin, because that's the first press out of the gate with the olives. Those are two kinds of good things. And then just know that when you go to the grocery store, most of what's there is adulterated.
Same thing when you go to a restaurant, here in the United States, there's not as much concern about quality. Sometimes your $100 steak is cooked in seed oils, which is a whole separate tangential conversation and rabbit hole, I won't go down. So, those are things I generally recommend. Obviously, there're lots of other options, but this is the company that I've been buying olive oil with. And for me, three bottles of olive oil will last us months. So, I think they had an option where you could join for a penny, meaning you would get a bottle of olive oil for a penny. It was something ridiculous, maybe a dollar, just to try it out. And we actually really liked it. Now this is one of my favorite things to gift to people. Melanie, what are your thoughts?
Melanie Avalon: Yes. Well, first of all, thank you. You gifted me some of the olive oil for Christmas, which is awesome. So, thank you so much. A lot of great things that you said there. It was so interesting. I went down, like, an olive oil tangent. It's a whole thing. The different types that you see on the market, so there's typically extra virgin, virgin, and then there's light or pure, these different olive oils. So, the extra virgin is the creme de la creme. So, it's mechanically processed. It's cold pressed just basically taking that initial oil straight from the olive. The virgin is still good like that with that extraction process, just not quite as good. There're actually different ratings of olive oils, but one of the main organizations basically qualifies these by the level of free fatty acids. So, it has to do with how many of those are in the olive oil.
So, for example, extra virgin has less than 0.8%. Virgin has up to 2%. And then the pure and light ones, those relate to what Cynthia was saying. Well, two parts. In general, the pure and light ones. Light, it's not because they're less calories or anything like that. It's more about the marketing and that they often tend to be lighter in color, lighter in flavor. Well, they are refined, so it's probably extracted using chemicals or heat, which is not good, especially when we know how fragile these fatty acids can be and how they have the potential to turn inflammatory when they are heat processed. So, that's a major issue.
They can also or often adulterated with other like Cynthia was saying other oils like canola oil, grapeseed oil, seed oils. So, it's like a major major issue. But again, it's a major issue not just for the light oils, it happens with the virgin and the extra virgin. This is one of the largest areas for food fraud, which I had Robert Lustig on the show for his book Metabolical. You interviewed him, right, as well?
Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. He was amazing. Love his book man.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I love him. He has a lot in his book about food fraud, the olive oil industry. Major issue with the fish industry, like, scarred me for life. I was like, “Oh, man.” Even if you're having fish at restaurants, oftentimes you're not having what you think you're having, which is a major problem. But, yes, this is a major, major issue with olive oils. Like Cynthia was saying, yes, Spain and Italy are historically the go to, but apparently now it's also becoming a big problem there as well, which is very concerning. I was doing a little bit of research into it. Apparently the two countries where it's least likely to have food fraud are actually Australia and Chile, which I thought was really interesting because they actually have— so, Australia actually has the most stringent standards and testing system for their olive oils, which is pretty interesting.
But things you want to look for on the bottle, so, well, A, it sounds awesome to do something like Cynthia is doing, where basically you're putting your trust into that company to source you the good olive oil, so that takes away all of you having to play detective. So, I love that concept. I actually also got introduced recently to a company that's very similar. It's not the same company, but they send --I probably should have looked this up beforehand, similar concept where they send you the olive oils. It's like Dry Farm Wines where you're like getting random olive oils to try, but they're all about the quality and everything. What was interesting about this company is I was connected through a friend, and I kept asking to be directly connected to the company. He was saying, “Well, they want to just send it to you because they don't want you to be biased and they want you to just try the olive oils.”
I was like, “Yes, but I need to talk to them. So, if I do like them, I can share them with my listeners. I will look up the company and put it in the show notes. But if you're just at the store looking some things to look for, you definitely want it in a dark bottle, do not even think of getting olive oil that's not in a dark bottle. Olive oil oxidizes very easily. It goes bad, it can get rancid. So, you want to protect it. So, when you do have it, you want to store it in a cool, dry place. The best buys, like the expiration date, doesn't even matter. Don't even look at that. That's not telling you anything. Also, if it has a bottled-on date also doesn't matter, just throw that out because that can basically-- that's just when it was put in the bottle, it doesn't talk about when the actual olives, like, when the harvesting happened. So, that's why you want to look for a harvest date. That's the date you want to look for on the bottle. The more specifics on the bottle, the better. If there's an estate name, a mill name, that's good. If it specifically says where it's coming from, if there's third party certification seals, those can be really helpful. So, in Europe, they have protected designation of origin, the PDO, Italy has something called the DOP or in California, The California Olive Oil Council has the COOC certified extra virgin seal. So that's really good to look for those standards beyond everything else, just the actual taste and quality can be really important. Cynthia was talking about how there's different-- people will even do, like, olive oil tastings. Have you done those before?
Cynthia Thurlow: I did. There was this wonderful place in Northern Virginia that did them. I believe the mom was like from Italy and the dad was from South America, maybe Argentina. They had this family business and they would have olive oil tastings. It was really interesting to see the high polyphenol content ones were really bitter, and they would always say, “Don't be afraid of bitter.” Unfortunately, our palates are so conditioned to sweet. Now that I really understand how important polyphenol rich compounds are to our health, I'm like, “Oh my gosh,” those opportunities to try different olive oils and I would always gravitate towards the mild one, but now bitter things like bitter tea, bitter vegetables, it sends important information to our bodies. But yes, I've been to olive oil tastings and I love doing them. I think it's such a great opportunity to expand our palates.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'm so glad you mentioned the oleocanthol because that's attributed to be one of the main benefits for why olive oil has so many benefits. It's very anti-inflammatory. It rivals NSAIDs in clinical studies for its anti-inflammatory potential. I remember the first time I went through an olive oil phase where I was using all the olive oil. I remember I would get that burning feeling and I thought it was because I was allergic. And then I realized later it is from that plant compound that does have those health benefits. For the health benefits, at least you do want that burning feeling from the olive oil and there're benefits with that increased bitterness and things like that. So, yeah, olive oils.
Cynthia Thurlow: Certainly, a very comprehensive way of talking about olive oils.
Melanie Avalon: Now I'm like craving some olive oil. Maybe rather than doing a last question just to end things, since this is our last moment together on the show, what is in the future for Cynthia Thurlow? What should we be looking for? What are you excited about?
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, thank you for that question. I would say there's a degree of consistency. So, obviously the book Everyday Wellness continuing to kind of evolve these supplement lines, speaking on stages. I'm in the midst of writing a second book and so that is certainly exciting. I think that a lot of this year is going to be foundational work that I'm building within my business to be able to continue to scale. Obviously, group programs will continue to be there. Wholistic Blueprint and IF:45 but you'll probably just see a lot of me traveling. I always say I work hard, I play hard, and so going on vacation is one of my favorite things to do. Being able to connect with loved ones, my loved ones, my kids are obviously and my husband are very very important to me, being really deliberate with my time. I think the biggest thing is the realization that if I spread myself too thin, then I can't be good at any one thing.
So, I'm trying to be super deliberate, blinders on, we're going to be running a beta test for a program that will be coming out in May. For those of you that already follow me on social media or on my email list, just know that there's something coming out that's really cool, that actually will be for men and women because we've had so many requests, wives and significant others want to be able to do programs with their significant others. And so, we endeavored to create a program that is going to be able to meet people at different needs. I'm really excited because I feel like I'm putting things together in a way that is very thoughtful and I don't think I know that what I want to leave people with is that they feel educated, inspired, and empowered. That's definitely one of the missions of my business.
You'll definitely still see me on social media. I still remain an introvert, so I may not be on video all the time, but you'll definitely be hearing lots of podcasting. We've got some really incredible guests coming up that I'm excited about. Sometimes you get the incredible guests, like the unicorns, you get them when they write a book. [laughs] I've been chasing after two or three people for at least 6 to 12 months, and they're coming on in the next month, which is exciting. Lots of prep, but yeah, all good things. Definitely all good things. Yeah, lots of travel, that's also part of it. That's the funny thing is, people now will say to me, “Oh, you kind of inspire me to set time aside.” I'm like, it doesn't have to be a grandiose trip, it could just be a trip an hour away, or you could just go away for a night. But for me, traveling is like one of my favorite things to do outside of working in my business.
Melanie Avalon: Well, yes, that is incredible. If they want to specifically follow you, how can they get on your email list?
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, easiest thing to do is just go to my website. There's a little box where you can put your email in, so www.cynthiathurlow.com. You can also get information about upcoming launches. We have waiting lists for programs and I always encourage people to get on the waitlist because, hint, oftentimes when the waitlist opens, it's before the general public can sign up for classes, and so we always have financial incentives to sign up early. So, yeah, we've had a lot of interest in IF:45 and in Wholistic Blueprint, which we just finished this past week. So, yeah, definitely a good way to stay in touch. I always say that I don't endeavor to over email my list. I try to be very judicious, but yeah, it's exciting. I think that you can catch me on Instagram cynthia_thurlow_.
I wish everything was the same on every platform, but if you can imagine, there are a lot of Cynthia Thurlows out there, which kind of muddied the waters. I'm trying to have consistency. I'm on Twitter. Be forewarned, I can be snarky. I'm on LinkedIn. I have a free Facebook group, Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle/my name. It's a free group. You just have to answer a couple of questions, largely centering around the fact that I'm not giving you medical advice. You'd be surprised how many people don't want to check that box and they don't get in and we have nothing to do with it. That's how the group is set up. We have men and women in that group. It's a very nice, supportive community. We are anti-drama. We boot people out for that. Those are the ways to definitely stay in touch and also subscribe to Everyday Wellness. We're getting close to 100,000 subscribers and this is something I've been working towards very diligently. And thank you for all the support. Listeners should know that it goes both ways with Melanie and I. I will continue to be a supporter of the podcast and of her and all of your endeavors as well as Vanessa's.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, thank you so much. It's been such a beautiful journey. I'm so excited to see where everything goes with you. It's just really exciting, everything that you're doing and really, really helpful in having a profound impact on the world, especially women. So, thank you so, so much. We'll put links, listeners, to everything that we talked about and all of those resources and all of Cynthia's stuff in the show notes. Those will be at ifpodcast.com/episode314 and then you can follow us on Instagram, @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_ and @ifpodcast. And then again. Lastly, if you would like to be entered into a giveaway to win over $500 worth of beauty counter, go to Apple Podcasts, write a review of the show and/or update your current review to say what you are excited about to experience with Vanessa Spina. She will be here week after next. Okay, well, this has been absolutely wonderful, Cynthia, anything from you before we go?
Cynthia Thurlow: No, thank you my friend and listeners just know that I will be cheering everyone on from the sidelines.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. I will talk to you soon.
Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. 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 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]
STUFF WE LIKE
Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!
Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine
Cynthia's Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging
The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast
More on Melanie: MelanieAvalon.com
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