Episode 317: Measuring Ketones, Breath Acetone, Adaptive Fasting, High Protein, Food Addiction, Extended Fasting, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


Help Make The Intermittent Fasting Podcast Possible!

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

May 14

Welcome to Episode 317 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 Vanessa Spina, author of Keto Essentials: 150 Ketogenic Recipes to Revitalize, Heal, and Shed Weight.

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!

LOMI: If You Want To Start Making A Positive Environmental Impact Or Just Make Clean Up After Dinner That Much Easier, Lomi Is Perfect For You! Turn Your Kitchen Scraps Into Dirt, To Reduce Waste, Add Carbon Back To The Soil, And Support Sustainability! Get $50 Off Lomi At lomi.com/ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST!

NUTRISENSE: Get Your Own Personal Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) To See How Your Blood Sugar Responds 24/7 To Your Food, Fasting, And Exercise! The Nutrisense CGM Program Helps You Interpret The Data And Take Charge Of Your Metabolic Health! Get $30 Off A CGM Program And 1 Month Of
Free Dietitian Support At 
Nutrisense.Io/Ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST!

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


LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase! PLUS Grapefruit Salt: Will be back on May 25th! 
Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

AvalonX Magnesium Nightcap: Melanie’s Magnesium Nightcap features magnesium threonate, the only type of magnesium shown to significantly cross the blood brain barrier, to support sleep, stress, memory, and mood!
Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

LOMI: Get $50 Off Lomi At lomi.com/ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST!

Listener Q&A: Valerie - Is [Vanessa] Going To Advocate A Type Of Fasting I Last Heard Her Talk About? 

THE TONE Device Breath Ketone Analyzer

NUTRISENSE: Get $30 Off A CGM Program And 1 Month Of Free Dietitian Support At Nutrisense.Io/Ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST!

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 317 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, author of What When Wine, and creator of the supplement line AvalonX. And I'm here with my cohost, Vanessa Spina, sports nutrition specialist, author of Keto Essentials, and creator of the Tone breath ketone analyzer and Tone Lux red light therapy panels. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ketogenicgirl.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this show do not constitute medical advice or treatment. To be featured on the show, email us your questions to questions@ifpodcast.com. We would love to hear from you. 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, some of which are clean fast friendly for free. Yes, for free. Plus, I have a very exciting announcement, an incredibly popular LMNT flavor is back. 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 grams 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 60 milligrams of magnesium. Also, super exciting announcement, friends. One of LMNT's most popular flavors is back starting May 25th, you can get LMNT's grapefruit salt. It is the perfect way to balance the summer heat. Consider it your ultimate summer salt companion. You can mix it up in tasty summer recipes, energize your adventures, and most importantly, enjoy your health. 

Friends, this flavor is popular. It goes fast, so make sure to grab it once it's available, which is starting May 25th. Of course, we have an incredible offer to go with that. Members of our community will get a free LMNT sample pack with eight flavors with any order when they order at drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. That's drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. So, grab your LMNT order, grab that grapefruit flavor, and get your free sample pack, now is the time. Of course, you can try this completely risk free. If you don't like it, share it with a salty friend and LMNT will give you your money back, no questions asked, you have nothing to lose, drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast for your free gift and grab that grapefruit salt flavor now and we'll put all this information in the show notes. 

And one more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat. But do you know what is possibly one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting, it's actually our skincare and makeup. As it turns out, Europe has banned over a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine 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.

You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon 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 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 317 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I am here with Vanessa Spina. How are you today, Vanessa? 

Vanessa Spina: I am just buzzing with excitement. I am so thrilled and happy to be here. 

Melanie Avalon: So, for listeners. Hopefully you listened to last episode, Episode 316. That was the first episode with Vanessa as the new cohost of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. So, if you missed that episode, definitely check it out. We dived deep into Vanessa's history and everything that she's done in the podcasting world with her Keto Essentials cookbook, her ketone breath acetone measuring device Tone, which we will talk about, I'm sure, probably more in today's episode and just her story and how we connected. So definitely check out that episode. It's funny because we're really looking forward to that episode for so long. We've also been looking forward to this episode for so long because it's our first listener Q&A together. What's really exciting is Vanessa is a longtime listener of the show, so normally you're listening to this. So welcome to this aspect of it. 

Vanessa Spina: I'm like, pinch me. I feel like I'm dreaming. I'm so happy and excited to be here. And I'm a part of this community. I've been a listener for many years, and it's been in, like, my top 10 favorite podcasts over the years. So, to be here sitting with you it's such a huge honor. I'm just so excited. I can barely express it in words. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm too. I've been looking forward to this for so long. So, we're just talking about the format of the show and everything and how we normally, in the beginning, catch up. So, Vanessa, it's funny. I realized I said, like, day, but it's evening for you right now in Prague. What's going on in your life right now? How is mom life? 

Vanessa Spina: Mom life is great. Actually, were just talking about how we're starting out a new sort of setup tonight with this recording. So, Pete is on dad duty tonight. I mean, he's always on dad duty [chuckles] because he's an incredible father. Pete is with Luca tonight instead of me. I usually like putting him to bed and doing all that stuff. Pete does it occasionally when I have a girl's night out or something like that. But we're trying out this new format so that we can make this podcast happen and so far, it's going really well. So, I'm super thrilled that it's going well, and everything has been just absolutely wonderful. I feel like so many incredible things are manifesting right now, work wise and just in our lives. We're in such a good place. I'm so excited because the spring [chuckles] is starting and it's my favorite season of the year. I love summer, too, of course, but spring, there's this magic to seeing everything unfold and blossom and bloom, and open up, and it's just so beautiful to go for walks and see everything, all the blossoms and the blooms coming to life. I feel just so excited about life in so many ways and so excited about things happening and things to come and I couldn't be in a better place right now. 

Melanie Avalon: I have so many questions for you. [chuckles] First of all, this is how we are different. I am not about spring. I am visually like what it looks like. It's beautiful, but I think it's my severe allergies. I've realized my epiphany about it. I'm so allergic to grass, so viscerally I associate spring with not feeling well. I wish growing up, I had been eating a diet that was not inflammatory and taking my serrapeptase, because then I probably wouldn't have really experienced that as much. But I think just those childhood associations just really stick with you. So, when I think spring, I'm like ugh 

Vanessa Spina: Wait, so what's your favorite season? Winter. 

Melanie Avalon: Winter. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. I already knew that about you. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: All the way. I had an epiphany, actually, recently, I was thinking about Easter, and when I think about Easter, I'm like I get this feeling of just dread. I think it's because when you're doing Easter egg hunts in the grass, which is, like, so allergic. [laughs] So allergic to. 

Vanessa Spina: I just want to hug little baby Melanie, and be like, "It's okay." [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: My two questions for you because we're talking about how excited we are. In your life, what were the most exciting moments of your life with everything you've done career wise? 

Vanessa Spina: Oh, wow. That's such a question. Just work wise, I would say just work wise. 

Melanie Avalon: Like achievement, like climbing a mountain wise. This is a goal achievement-type thing. 

Vanessa Spina: I mean, this is one of them. [laughs] Right now being on this podcast with you is definitely one of the most amazing ones. I'm so happy to be here with you all. I'm just so excited. Like you said, you had that wave of gratitude for all the episodes that are coming. I'm so excited for all the brilliant listener questions because this show gets the most brilliant questions. The audience is super sophisticated and amazing and I love all the questions each week. I love this community is so amazing. You have done so much for this podcast. Like, last episode, we talked about your cohost, but you have done so much to build this podcast into what it is. All the behind-the-scenes stuff that you do for this podcast and you have done over the years is incredible. So, to be here with you, this is definitely one of those peak moments in my life. [chuckles] Like, it's happening in real time right now. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: That's so funny. It's a very meta-answer. Wow, that's amazing. Thank you so much for the kind words. I mean, I really not to go on the massive long thing about the audience. I mean, the show would not be if there wasn't an audience. And I'm just so grateful for the community and how engaged they've been for so long. I wonder how many listener questions we've answered. That's crazy. How many episodes do you have of your show now?

Vanessa Spina: We have just over 400. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. Wow. We have such similar trajectories I was thinking because similar with this show and then with your bio, you started blogging in 2015, you said? 

Vanessa Spina: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: I feel like I really started getting more serious in, like, 2014ish. And then your book came out. When did your book come out? 

Vanessa Spina: In 2017. 

Melanie Avalon: My book came out January 2018. 

Vanessa Spina: Wow. Yeah. That's really similar. [laughs] Yeah, we've been on parallel paths and we didn't know it and those paths are meeting in the distance right now and it's crazy. 

Melanie Avalon: We collided. I have another question for you because you were talking about making the schedule work for the show and how you do sometimes have like girls' nights. What's it like going out in Prague? 

Vanessa Spina: Oh, it's amazing. I mean, Prague is such an incredible city. It's the perfect size city. I like cities that are not too big, not too small, just the perfect size that you can walk around. It's one of the most beautiful cities in the world. So, like, airplane pilots will routinely say because they've been everywhere, like, "Prague is the most beautiful," and I have to agree, it's so beautiful, but it's got this ancient world architecture that's so stunning and exquisite. It looks like Paris. Actually, the same architect designed a lot of buildings in Paris. He designed them here too. So, it transports you to another time when you're walking through the city because it's so beautiful. But there's a lot of creative people and artists and interesting people here because you know the artists used to all go to Paris and Berlin, but those cities have priced out a lot of those people. 

So, Prague is one of the places in Europe that has a lower cost of living. That's changing a little bit now for sure, but when we first moved here, it definitely did. There's a lot of creative people-- that brings a certain atmosphere and energy to the city, I think. Because there's that creative energy and going out is just really fun. People here love to drink. It's very socially acceptable. There're wine bars everywhere. Last girls' night that we had, there were eight of us and six of the moms were pregnant. So, the guy was like, "Why are you at a wine bar?" [laughs] And we're like, "I don't know." We just came here because they're so commonly found. There's lots and lots of fun, cozy wine bars especially in the winter, they're super cozy by the river, that kind of thing. They have lanterns and it's just very very cozy atmosphere. In the summer, people drink a lot out. Like on the side of the river, there's like these river banks with lots of bars and cafes and it's a really fun vibe. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, you're still breastfeeding right now. What type of drinker are you? Wine?

Vanessa Spina: I am someone who like I love tequila. I love margaritas.

Melanie Avalon: Tequila girl. [chuckles] 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah, that's like my number one drink. Like, when I was about to give birth, I told Pete, he had to have a margarita waiting for me after I gave birth because you can't drink the whole time. So, I was like, when you can't drink, you really think about the things that you want to have or you can't have certain things you're like, I want sushi [chuckles] and a margarita waiting for me when I come into the recovery room. So, that's probably my favorite drink, I think just because we love Mexico, we love that fun, vibrant atmosphere of Mexico. Like, margaritas just always take me there and then most of the time I'll do like a skinny girl margarita or just like a vodka soda-- sparkling water, that's kind of my go to. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. Okay, see, and this shows how much I don't know about having children. So, can you drink now? 

Vanessa Spina: Yes, I can. I don't that often these days, but it's just because of lifestyle. Like, I'm just working a lot, taking care of Luca a lot. So, I know this is like a period of our lives, where it's going to be really focused on him especially and on breastfeeding. Like, I'm coming up on two years of breastfeeding. I feel really really good about that. But you definitely, if you wanted to drink, you definitely can. You just have to know the timings of, like, once you have a drink, you have like about half an hour until it's going to make its way to your milk. So, if I were to be drinking, I usually don't breastfeed him right after. Some people say you can pump your milk or whatever. I've never done that. I usually just don't breastfeed him after having a drink. But I don't drink that often these days because of our lifestyle. But if I do go out on, like, a girl's night, I can have a drink or two and it doesn't really matter because Pete's putting him down to bed, so I won't be feeding him. So, that's kind of just how you fit it in here and there when you can and we'll see when he's done. Like, weaning I'll probably be able to enjoy a drink here and there a lot more often. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. I learned so much just now. [laughs] I'm going to live vicariously through you with the children aspect.

Vanessa Spina: Yes. I'm living vicariously through you in other aspects so. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Works well.

Vanessa Spina: How are you doing?

Melanie Avalon: I'm good. There's like oh, well. So, when this airs? Because when does this air? So, this airs mid-May. But at the time of our recording, because we're a bit in advance, I'm launching my fourth supplement this Friday or Saturday? This Saturday, so magnesium threonate when listeners are listening now, you can get it now. So, this is funny. Speaking of well, night, are you familiar with magnesium threonate Vanessa? 

Vanessa Spina: You told me about it and I knew that you were launching that, so I really don't know much about it, so I can learn. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, I'm a huge fan of magnesium because I think it's a mineral that just so many people are deficient in because of our modern farming environment, our diets, our stress levels. It's just a bad situation and that's why I released my Magnesium 8, which is a blend of eight types of magnesium. It's super incredible. But I specifically did not include magnesium threonate because it's a type of magnesium that crosses the blood brain barrier. Other magnesiums, some can, but this is the only one that's been shown clinically to significantly basically saturate the brain to levels that would have a beneficial effect. So, I wanted to release it as a standalone, and you also need a higher therapeutic dose to actually get those benefits. We decided to release it as my Magnesium Nightcap because it can help support sleep and relaxation. I'm still really happy about that branding, but I sat down and did, like, a really deep dive to the research and I realized there are so many benefits on it for memory specifically. 

The majority of the studies have actually been memory related. Things like how it affects dementia, like Alzheimer models in rodents and all of those pathways. Now I'm like, "Oh, I hope we didn't misbrand it, calling it the Nightcap." Because I think some people could benefit from having it just for brain support and it's not going to knock you out. Like the dosing they actually suggest taking it morning and night. Regardless, I'm very excited. If people would like to get that now because it is live, you can go to avalonx.us and the launch special has ended-- Yes, the launch special will have ended, but you can use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON to get 10% off sitewide. Hopefully you're getting updates so that you didn't miss the launch special or future launch specials. For that, you can go to avalonx.us/emaillist or you can text AvalonX to 877-8618-318. One last thing, this might be repetitive if you saw my story. Did you see my story that I posted last night? 

Vanessa Spina: I didn't. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Can I tell you the moment that happened last night? That was like a moment for me. [chuckles]  

Vanessa Spina: Wait, I may have. I seen most of your stories this week, but maybe I missed the one that you're about to talk about. 

Melanie Avalon: I'll just tell you and you can let me know. I asked ChatGPT. 

Vanessa Spina: Yes, yes, yes.

Melanie Avalon: Not the poem one, though. I posted one about a poem. Okay, did you see the one about the biohackers? 

Vanessa Spina: I think so. 

Melanie Avalon: So, last night I asked ChatGPT-4. Do you use ChatGPT? 

Vanessa Spina: Pete's been trying it out and testing it. I haven't used it yet. But you were getting it to help you write something scientific, right? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Well, I was using it to do research on things it makes me very concerned. 

Vanessa Spina: Oh, that's right. You said that it said one thing and then when you questioned it completely made up a bunch of stuff. [chuckles] Yeah, it's terrifying. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: I was using it to research magnesium threonate actually. And so, I was like-- and to clarify for listeners, I was never going to just be like write a blog post and then post that like of course not. I was using it as a way for it to get me started kind of. I would say, write a blog post about magnesium threonate and would write this really great thing. It was like, "Look at these studies." I was like, "This is great." And I go look at the studies and they don't say anything about what it's saying. I'd be like, "Can you show me in that study where it's talking about what you just said?" And then it's just like, "Oh, yeah, I'm sorry, that's wrong." [laughs] I'm like okay.

Vanessa Spina: Well, at least it apologizes. But that's just--

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it does. It apologizes.

Vanessa Spina: It's very terrifying because a lot of people wouldn't be as thorough as you and go back and actually look at the studies. So, yeah, it's really scary. 

Melanie Avalon: It's concerning. I actually think it's very concerning because it presents information so as a fact. Like, so certainly and the fact that it doesn't relook at it or analyze or anything until you point it out is concerning. And then also something it's done is like, at one point I was asking it and then I asked it like a random question, and instead of answering the question, it would randomly be like, "Oh, I'm sorry, I actually was wrong about this other thing I said a while back." It's like, "Okay." But in any case, the new version is ChatGPT-4, which apparently is like leagues beyond it. And this will be outdated by the time this comes out. We'll probably be on like ChatGPT-9 or it'll probably be like banned, but it just got banned I think in Switzerland maybe. 

Vanessa Spina: It's good to talk about it. You know so people know that there are certain things about it that they may not realize.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. But this is happening. So, into the story, though. Last night I downloaded ChatGPT-4 and first thing I asked it was who were the most popular biohackers and it gave six. Number one, Dave Asprey, number two, Ben Greenfield, number three, Rhonda Patrick, number four, I think, Tim Ferriss, five, Aubrey Marcus, six, Melanie Avalon. [laughs] 

Vanessa Spina: Oh, my gosh. I was going to say, "You definitely were in that list." Because that's amazing. 

Melanie Avalon: And it only gave six. 

Vanessa Spina: Wow, wow, that's amazing. You definitely are, you definitely are. You have to be in that top six. 

Melanie Avalon: That's crazy. That blow--, like, literally blows my mind. That blows my mind because that's basically asking a completely third-party artificial intelligence to look at the Internet and decide you know. 

Vanessa Spina: That's amazing, that's amazing, that's like a real moment. Like, I just had my moment [laughs] at the start of this podcast and you're having your moment. 

Melanie Avalon: We're having our moments. 

Vanessa Spina: Congratulations. 

Melanie Avalon: Thank you. You too. Well, I don't want to say, like, "Congrats, on being on the show." Because it's just a natural fit, but congrats on everything that you're doing. 

Vanessa Spina: Thank you so much.

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

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

Melanie Avalon: That was a long-winded way of saying we are very excited to be here and shall we answer some listener questions? 

Vanessa Spina: I can't wait to dig into them. They're so good. 

Melanie Avalon: Me too. Okay, so today's questions. It's a blend of questions that have been emailed as well as I specifically ask for questions in Facebook, my Facebook group IF biohackers. I ask for questions specifically for Vanessa, so some of these are tailored towards her. The first question comes from Valerie, and she says, I like Vanessa and have listened to many of her podcasts. Is she going to advocate a type of fasting I last heard her talk about? Wake up at sunrise and eat and then fast and then eat later? It's totally different from Gin. Like I said, I do like her and listen to her podcast regularly, but it's a lot different. I'm excited about this question because if listeners go back and listen to Episode 316, we talked a bit about Vanessa's history doing first fasting one meal a day and then adding in keto. I had a lot of follow-up questions about her fasting history. Actually, Vanessa, can you just briefly recap your keto fasting history one meal a day spiel for listeners who missed last week and then we can talk about what you're doing today with fasting and all the manifestations and such.

Vanessa Spina: Yes, I would love to. I mentioned on the last episode that the thing that actually first brought me to keto was I was reading about the 5:2 diet and Michael Mosley, and then after doing that successfully. I then started doing the Ori Hofmekler approach, which is the Warrior Diet or one meal a day. And then I got into keto's so it's kind of the reverse introduction to IF that you had. What I really like is trying different strategies. Because intermittent fasting, as we know, is not a diet, it's a pattern of eating. The way that I look at different intermittent fasting strategies is that you can optimize for different goals depending on what you are currently optimizing for. I'm personally someone who is often switching things up because I'm often optimizing for different things. Although the overall concept of intermittent fasting optimizes for a lot of big things that I am targeting. There're different micro goals that I have within that.

I'm also an experimenter and I like to try different things and I see them as different tools for different goals. Things like deep autophagy or optimizing for melatonin production, for mitochondrial repair, optimizing for deep ketosis or fat loss or circadian health, fertility, muscle growth, lowering inflammation, there're so many different things that you can specifically target within that greater umbrella or space of intermittent fasting. I also find that because our bodies are always sort of regulating for homeostasis or balance, once you do a pattern for a certain way, you'll get diminishing return sometimes from doing that pattern. And I have found that sometimes my body will start functioning at that different level and I don't see the same results that I saw at a certain period of time. I like to switch things up and then I know other people like to find one intermittent fasting strategy or approach and stick to that because it's working for them long term.

But I'm someone who likes to change things up, so I am constantly experimenting with different approaches. So, when I started, I was doing the first 5:2, alternate day fasting for people who are not familiar with 5:2, then I was doing the Ori Hofmekler one meal a day, just having dinner every day. While I was doing keto, I settled into the 16:8, which has always been a foundational principle of my meal plans, is the 16:8 doing lunch and dinner. I was doing that for a really long time, alternating sometimes between that and one meal a day again because of different strategies, different things I was targeting and then this past September, I changed up my intermittent fasting pattern again to the one that you mentioned, Valerie, which is I started waking up at sunrise, eating my first meal of the day, which is mostly protein and fat macros within the first hour of being awake and then fasting until dinner. 

What I found through experimenting and I was experimenting, checking my ketones, is that my ketones were higher on the days that I did that right before dinner than they were when I would fast from even dinner to dinner or doing the lunch and dinner. So, I liked that pattern. I wanted to try it out. Right now, I'm currently in the process of changing it up again because it's like a seasonal time. I'm doing one of my seasonal fasts. I just finished doing an extended fast, and I like to do extended fast four times a year on the seasons change and I like to change things up again. So, I've noticed that my body has again started going back to homeostasis a little bit. My ketones have been dropping off with this breakfast and dinner approach and they've been getting lower and lower in the past couple of months, so I'm starting to experiment again and see what am I targeting, what am I optimizing for, is it fat loss, is it mitochondrial repair, is it autophagy, is it muscle growth and repair, is it lowering inflammation? Like, what am I specifically targeting? And then having that kind of approach. So, in terms of your question, I don't advocate one specific type of intermittent fasting. I advocate all of them. [laughs] I like finding the right fit depending on what that person is trying to optimize. Those goals can change or they can stay the same. 

Melanie Avalon: That was an incredible answer. [chuckles] It's just so wonderful because we get so many questions from people. I think people, they really want to do what's right, like they want to find the right version of intermittent fasting. I think it's so important to realize that different things work for different people. I mean, I know we say that all the time on this show, but it's really great that I love that you've tried all these different types of it because you're going to be able to speak to it, which is amazing. I have some follow up questions about what you just said, so many things. Thing one, the higher ketones before dinner in this pattern that you're doing now. So, how many hours is it between your breakfast and your dinner? 

Vanessa Spina: So, it's actually quite long. It's either sometimes 10 to 12 hours, between the two. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. Okay. Do you think the higher ketones are a reflection of having eaten fat with breakfast? Like, how fatty is your breakfast or do you think it's burning fat ketones? 

Vanessa Spina: It's a combination of things, because one of the things is that my breakfast does include some fat. But the main difference, I think, why my ketones were higher going from breakfast to dinner is because I calculated out that it's more time that you are awake fasted than when you fast until, say, lunch and dinner, which is what I was doing before. When you sort of go into a mild ketosis when you wake up, say your body's starting to go into ketosis after 12 hours of digestive rest and then your body's starting to kick on ketosis. Most people have their breakfast if they're not doing intermittent fasting in that way. And I found that when you're doing that, you're asleep for a lot of the time that you are fasted. Whereas when you do this other pattern, you're actually awake for more of the time that you're fasted. Your metabolism, it gets woken up by that first meal. And then you will have a combination of some of the ketones from the fat, as you were saying. You also have this I think partly your metabolism is going and it's boosted because if you're eating mostly protein, which I am, you're triggering muscle protein synthesis, which is a big reason why we get this thermic effect from protein, so you have that going on.

And I think it's a long enough period between the two meals knowing that we are in the fed state for like 4 to 5 hours after consuming a meal. You go back into that fasted state after about between 4 to 5 hours. You're still getting a lot of time in the fully fasted state during that time. A lot of that is also just like burning fat. You're drawing on your body fat during that time because you have assimilated all the food that you've eaten before. It's definitely a combination of the two. So, I changed it up for a few different reasons, but I was really surprised that my ketones were even higher than when I was going 24 hours fasted, like having dinner and then having dinner the next day, which to me, I would have assumed that my ketones would be higher. I'm measuring blood and breath and it was really on my breath, using the Tone that my ketones were so much higher doing this approach, that I knew that my rate of fat burning was higher from doing this. So, it's a lot of experimentation. Like I've said, "They've recently dropped off a little." So, I think that's a part of having less adrenaline going because my body has gotten used to it, so it starts optimizing for this approach and so that's why I see there's benefit in changing things up. 

Melanie Avalon: I definitely want to talk to you more about the Tone device, before that some follow-up questions still because you're talking about the benefits of seeing higher ketones and your experience with ketones dropping. How do you feel about the natural progression of people being on keto or fasting for a while and maybe it being a normal adaptation to see lower ketones. Like in the Ketogains community, they'll say like, "Don't chase--" I don't know what their tagline is. Something like--

Vanessa Spina: "Chase results, not ketones." 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. If they've been doing fasting long term or keto long term, should they see a drop in ketones just naturally because we're utilizing them differently or should we still be looking for you know higher levels? 

Vanessa Spina: The reason that I really like breath acetone are one of the main reasons is because if you are someone who's very active, like a lot of the people in the Ketogains community, and I'm part of that community too, I love it. I find that if-- Because I test my blood ketones in my breath all the time, so I'm able to do tons of experiments because it's what I do for work. And I'll test my blood ketones in the morning and they'll get up to say as high as like 1.0 millimolar and then I'll do a workout and they'll totally drop way down to almost nonexistent, like 0.2, 0.3 after the workout and it's because my tissue uptake is so high from the workout. If you're someone that's very active and you're just testing your ketones once a day, you might just see that 0.2, 0.3 and not realize that they had gone up higher before or you might not even see them rise because you're just so efficient at using them for fuel and you're using them, and your body is creating them all the time.

I also see there're a lot of other factors, like if people are eating super high protein, sometimes that can affect ketones to not be as high. I've definitely noticed that overdoing it on the protein and I'm a big protein advocate, but it can interfere with ketogenesis just by the nature of protein and what happens to it after you've digested it, which I know is another question that we have. What your body does with protein after eating it. So, I think when it comes to super active people who are doing resistance training, there is some physiological adaptation. Like you were saying, over time the body becomes more efficient at producing ketones and also at using them, which is one of the reasons why you stop excreting acetoacetate through the urine as much because your body just realizes it doesn't need to so at the beginning it has this spillover effect. 

The body gets really good at using the ketones, at making them, so you could definitely see lower numbers. But I find that whenever that happens to me, if I change things up or shake things up, change up, switch up my fasting window approach, or switch up my intermittent fasting pattern, my ketones do go high again. That's why I like using multiple tools. And with blood, it's cost prohibitive to test multiple times a day. With the breath, you can test multiple times a day. I think that's an area that I'm just really excited about because there's so much potential for doing more experiments. I've had people, for example, do an ice bath and then test their ketones before and after the next day and see what happens. On the breath, one of my group members, a podcast listener, he saw that his breath ketones doubled. And then it made me want to try it and mine doubled too. 

That's not something that I think you would have been able or here I would have been able to assess with blood. But with the breath, it's so easy and painless and quick that you can use a breath ketone analyzer to do that. And you can get, I think, more interesting feedback in different ways on different experiments. Some people won't get the same feedback. That's one really interesting thing as well, is seeing the differences between people and how some people respond to certain things and others don't. It's a better way of getting feedback on those things. With blood, I think it provides amazingly accurate feedback in terms of your level of blood ketone, which is really a storage form of ketones in addition to being a fuel. And you get amazing feedback from the breath. I think those two combined can give you really interesting insights. I do think that the people, like you said, who see lower ketones, I think it's usually because they're using them or it's because of physiological adaptation like you said over time, usually changing things up makes a difference.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. You touched on this. We do think that the breath ketones are more an indicator of burning ketones. Like they're a byproduct of that. 

Vanessa Spina: Yes. So, when your body goes into the state of ketogenesis, it initially makes acetoacetate, it makes beta-hydroxybutyrate, and those are actual fuels that the body can use. But acetone, it's called a ketone. What it really is a byproduct of that production because it's a tiny, tiny minuscule particle that is being spontaneously degraded from those other forms of ketones, which are the fuels and are being diffuse or escaping through your lungs. So, it's like the off gas or the byproduct of producing and utilizing those other ketones. When you are in ketogenesis, your body is at its highest rate of fat burning and that's why the breath can be such a valuable indicator for what your body is doing in terms of fat burning. There's a lot of bio-individuality when it comes to this stuff. And because we haven't studied breath acetone to the same degree as we've studied blood, for example, there's a lot less research in terms of understanding those levels and what those parts per million breath acetone, what it means. But I think that we are learning more and more all the time. It's just a really exciting area of research. 

Melanie Avalon: This is so amazing. Here are the questions I wanted to ask last week when you were talking about the Tone device. I'm just so curious. So, like I said last week, so many people probably want to be entrepreneurs or create products. I think so so few people actually do it because it's a very intimidating idea [chuckles] to do, like to bring that idea to reality. How did you go about deciding on the technology for the Tone device? How did you actually develop it? What was that process like? 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. Like I said on last week's episode, it was one of the most creatively satisfying things I've ever done to have a vision of something and then believe in its creation and then literally manifest something in the palm of your hand, that was just a thought. All the things that are around us, they were initially thoughts and ideas in people's minds, and now they physically manifest. So, to go on that journey was just absolutely incredible. To see how many people love it is something that brings me joy every day because I just love getting those messages constantly from people saying that they love it so much, and it just brings me a lot of joy. Initially having the idea, I then hired designers and contracted designers to help me design-- I actually ran a design contest for it, which was so much fun, too. 

Melanie Avalon: That's smart. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. Because I was like, this is my idea. Let's do a contest and so--

Melanie Avalon: I should do that for future labels. 

Vanessa Spina: It's so much fun. It's like one of the most fun things. Well, every time I'm designing a new product or logo, I love doing a contest. I now have a designer that is absolutely phenomenal, and she understands my brain so well that I don't need to do them as much. If you are an entrepreneur who has an idea or concept, I forget which one I used. There're a couple of different websites that will run contests for you for, like, $50 or however much, you set the amount of what you want it to be. I'll have to find the website that I've used because I've used it a few times and you don't pay anyone for their entries. You just pay the winner and you give feedback, the whole process and it can be as long as you want. So, you give feedback until you get the exact design that you want. I had a couple that I absolutely loved, they're finalists and then I picked the design that I wanted that reflected my vision the most. We created a prototype so you can hire people to create the prototypes on what the actual mold will look like. And I investigated for quite a long time different factories that had the technology. You can work with institutes, so we work with an institute that studies breath acetone and making it all come together. 

There're a lot of logistics involved, but I love the logistics. I love all of this stuff I was telling you. [chuckles] I love filling orders. I love the whole process of people receiving something that I created with love. The packaging, everything, it's such a satisfying process, and I know you must experience that all the time when you create your products and all your amazing supplements. It's such a satisfying thing to create something that you want people to love, that you do it because you love it too. It's something that you personally use or you personally want and then have people support you and buy your things and then tell you that they love them. It's just so amazing. 

Melanie Avalon: I was thinking that exactly when you were talking about the first time, holding it in your hand. And I was thinking about the first time I held my first supplement, my serrapeptase. It's very surreal. Like you said, "It's like, oh, wow." This thing that was an idea, an intangible thing in my head is in my palm right now and it's something I really, really want. I need my serrapeptase every day and I need my magnesium and berberine. 

Vanessa Spina: I'm so excited to try your serrapeptase. 

Melanie Avalon: A package is coming your way with all the things. 

Vanessa Spina: I'm so excited. I've been meaning to try it. We've been talking about it for ages. I'm doing some scar therapy right now. Yeah, I had someone, a quantum biologist, actually recommend to me because I'm using red light on my scars for the scar therapy. I said, "Is there anything else I can use?" She's like, "You should use serrapeptase and nattokinase." And I was like, "Oh my gosh. Melanie has been wanting to send me her serrapeptase." We've been talking about it. We haven't coordinated. There're things I want to send you as well. We haven't coordinated yet, but I'm so excited to start using it for the scar dealing with internal scar tissue.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. I am so excited to hear. Oh, so it's internal scar tissue? 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. Because I have my C-section scar. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you had a C-section? 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. To Luca, so I've got a scar and it healed really beautifully on the outside, but I don't know what it healed like on the inside. And I have a scar on my knee from a roller blading accident I got when I was in university and that one didn't heal as well. So, I know that there could be improvements. I'm really excited to try it and I know there's all these other wonderful things that it does too. So, I'm really excited to try. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. For listeners, I mean, they're probably familiar by now, but basically, serrapeptase, it's a proteolytic enzyme. It was originally created by the Japanese silkworm. Its purpose and why it's so amazing for humans is for the silkworm, it's an enzyme that digests the cocoon without harming the silkworm itself. 

Vanessa Spina: That's amazing. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That's why it's so amazing in us in that it only degrades nonliving tissue. Like it gets rid of the stuff you don't want to be there basically. It actually protects and supports living tissue. Yeah, it's very knowledgeable like that. It has so many benefits, for inflammation, there've been studies showing it actually breaks down amyloid plaque in vivo and in vitro, which is cool, scar tissue like you're mentioning. Gin started taking it for her fibroids. I was taking it originally for the allergy effects because it will clear your sinuses. So yes, that's serrapeptase at avalonx.us. And, oh, I'm sending you-- by the way, I'm sending you our big bottle that we just released because we released a new subscription version that's like a larger bottle. So that's what I'm sending you. 

Vanessa Spina: I can't wait to try it and report back. 

Melanie Avalon: I can't wait to hear your thoughts. So, another question about the Tone. Was it difficult to develop the technology for it? Because I think that's what would be really intimidating. 

Vanessa Spina: It's a lot of R&D, a lot of trial and error. I mean, the number of different devices that I tested with the technology once we had created the outer mold for it is probably in the thousands. I find them all over our place. Like, I was looking at my sock drawer today, there was one. They're in every drawer, in every compartment of this place because I've tested thousands of variations. And what's crazy about-- so with the blood, you have a very high concentration. You're measuring millimolar, so it's a very high concentration. That's why it can be so accurate. Now, with breath, it's 1000 times harder to do because you're dealing with 1000 times smaller particle. Like you're dealing with parts per million as opposed to millimole. It's such a tiny particle that escapes through your lungs that it's very challenging to quantify it in terms of a number compared to larger units. 

The greater the ketones are-- the larger they are, the easier it is to measure because it's a greater, parts per million quotient. So, it's a lot of time. We spent years just testing the different sensors and testing the different sensitivities. I'm working on the second generation of the Tone right now and I've gone through another several hundred [chuckles] variations of it. Each time we tweak a little something, take it back with the Institute. We have acetone gas that we use for testing and going back and forth. It's just a lot of iterations and a lot of patience. But I feel really blessed because my customers, the people who purchase the Tone, are very loving and supportive. Like I said, they love using the Tone because it's so convenient. Just buy one device and you can test forever instead of having to buy those test strips forever. They really believe in me and they believe in the product. 

It affords me the ability to be able to spend time perfecting and working on new iterations like new generations. I'm really excited about the second generation that's going to be coming out soon, I'm hoping, this year. And it's also going to have of a new look to it, just to freshen it up little bit. And it's going to be that much more sensitive for the smaller ketones, because that's one of the things that I noticed in the past couple of years, especially with having people directly using it and giving me feedback. Is that if you're doing intermittent fasting or you're doing like a 24 to 36 hours fast, your ketones may not get sky high. And just because of what we just talked about, if you're doing activity, you know things can change. So, I wanted to make it more sensitive for the smaller ketones, which takes a of work because it's making the sensor that much more intelligent and sensitive, but that much more useful for people like us who are not going into therapeutic ketosis or needing medical grade ketones for seizure prevention or latency to seizure, things like that.

I think most of us are doing intermittent fasting for the health benefits, for the wellness benefits. And we want to quantify like something to quantify or give us of a reassurance or feedback to say, "What you're doing is working and your fast is getting you into light ketosis." When you do little bit longer fast, maybe it's going little bit more deep than that, but just that sort of like confirmation feedback. That's what I've been working on pretty intensely for the past. Especially the last year, is working on this new generation, we've been building an app, a community-based app, so that we can, as a community in there, share results and adding Bluetooth to it. I think that's going to be the third generation because it takes a lot of certifications because once you have Bluetooth in it, it's sending out a frequency and so you need these other certifications that we're working on. So, lots of really exciting things that I'm super stoked about in the future. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. It's so incredible, so inspirational. 

Vanessa Spina: Thank you for asking this.

Melanie Avalon: No, I have so many follow-up questions, but then I was thinking, oh, because we're talking about how I am still embarrassed, how you still haven't been on my show, Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. I think that's going to be a good time to ask you I have a lot of questions still. 

Vanessa Spina: I can't wait. Now, that we have figured out a new way to match up our timelines, I think we're going to be able to do it much more easily. 

Melanie Avalon: 100%. I do have another Tone question, though. What does it give the user? Does it give them a number? What does it tell them? 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. So, it gives you a number that generally correlates to blood pretty well. Those ketones are not the same as I mentioned they're different forms. Like one is a fuel, one is a byproduct. In general, there is a few different things that will happen with ketones. Like there is a delay, there's a time lag. And that's one of the things you see the most in the scientific research is that there's a time lag. They don't necessarily match up with blood ketones in the exact same moment, but then the breath will catch up with the blood afterwards. So, you get a number on the screen that typically correlates pretty well with blood. If you follow me on Instagram, I post every day my ketones and I post my blood and my breath. So, you see, they tend to line up a lot, but when they line up depends on different factors like activity levels, the nature of your diet, if you're actually in a eucaloric status, if you're doing a surplus of calories or maintenance or if you're in a diet, then they don't line up as much because there're different things happening in the body. But you do get a number and then I said I provide a little bit of context for it. 

If you're in a light fat burning or the fat burning zone, it shows that on the screen. And if you get like, for example, like this morning I had 0.6 millimolar blood ketones and I had a 6 on the Tone. It's like about a factor of 10 difference. I didn't put 0.6 on the Tone because I want people to pause and understand that it's not supposed to be the exact same as blood all the time. And there are times that it is for very specific reasons, but then other times the numbers won't be the same and it's also for very specific reasons. So, yeah, you get a number and that number will go up or down depending on what you're doing. A lot of times, because the body is always optimizing for balance, for homeostasis, that number sometimes it's surprising how often it's the same, but we don't know that because we don't test our blood ketones 10 times a day. [chuckles] When you start testing your breath, you're like, "Wow, my body, it's found like a baseline or a zone, and it tends to hover around that." When you get more deep into ketosis, you see that variability you know when people do longer fast, they see more variability. They see the numbers go up very high just like with the blood. So, it's super fascinating. 

Melanie Avalon: It's amazing. How long does it take to take a measurement? 

Vanessa Spina: It's about between four to five seconds. It's pretty quick. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. How can people get it? 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. You can check out the Tone at ketogenicgirl.com. And we have three different colors. We have the white and gold has been out of stock for a while because the second generation is going to be coming out in the white, gold, and pink. We have the black and gold, and there's like, a few left of the black and rose gold. I think they're about to sell out as well, so black and gold. Black and gold is great because a lot of our partners or maybe males or people who are less into the more feminine looking products, [chuckles] they like the black and gold. I actually created the black and gold for Pete because he loves gold. Yeah, men tend to like that one too. 

Melanie Avalon: Speaking of, does he do keto and or fasting? 

Vanessa Spina: Pete, originally did not. He's always in a higher carb diet because his body type, it doesn't do well on low carb or keto. His dad is the exact same way. Whenever they cut out carbs, they lose too much weight, like, they get too thin. He has to eat carbs just to maintain weight and maintain a healthy weight. When we're first together, he definitely didn't, but especially the last couple of years, he's been home, working from home with me, and so he eats all the meals that I make every day, and they tend to be lower carb. [chuckles] He's tended to do more intermittent fasting over the years. He does a lot of intermittent fasting now. He's never been big into keto, but I kind of see it as something that he has become more and more interested in. He will become more interested in as he gets older. He's starting to become more interested in health and wellness, whereas it wasn't, like, as big of an interest for him before. But I think as people get older, they start to think about their lifespan or having a kid. You start thinking more about, like, "I want to live as long as possible, and I want to be in the best shape as possible." So, you start tuning in a little bit more where it may have not been as much of an interest before, whereas women are more primed and tuned to health things in general. 

Melanie Avalon: That's something I'm excited to talk about more in future episodes. Like having a partner and the role of being on similar diets or not, and whether or not there's a health focus or not. So, have you been keto ever since you went keto? Did you ever bring in carbs back at all? 

Vanessa Spina: I haven't very much. I've been keto pretty much very consistently over the last several years, except a few years ago, I started my high protein experiment, which is what led me to become such a protein advocate. I changed the Fast Keto Podcast to the Optimal Protein Podcast. I really focus a lot of my content education on protein now and less on keto and I still talk about keto almost every episode. Like I said before, I'm always changing up things based on what my current goal is and what I'm optimizing for. There're definitely periods of life, I think, where we need more protein and when we need a little bit more like ketosis or we need a little bit more autophagy. So, I think it's important to be flexible with those things. With carbs, I haven't as much because I've personally noticed that when I eat more of high carb low fat, which is kind of the alternative for me to low carb high fat, I don't feel as satisfied and I find myself thinking more about food more often. 

For me, I find incredible food freedom in restricting my carbohydrate intake personally and really prioritizing my protein intake. It has made me as someone who used to be very much like a food addict and fixated on food. I don't really think about food at all now, [chuckles] except for when it's like mealtime. So, for me, that works really well. And there's been times when I've experimented a little bit with like doing more of a high carb, and I just don't like that it makes me feel that way or think about food more. But I definitely eat very seasonally and locally. So, in the winter, I do more of a keto like carnivore-ish approach, and then in the summertime, I definitely eat more carbohydrates. And because I eat a lot of protein, it bumps me out of ketosis, like, pretty much every day because I'm optimizing for muscle growth and building lean mass and optimizing and body composition so that generally kicks me out of ketosis and the intermittent fasting is what brings me back into it. 

Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends. We talk all the time on this show about the beneficial effects of intermittent fasting and especially how it can affect your blood sugar levels. How much do we talk about this? How diet affects them, how exercise affects them, how fasting affects them? But how do you actually know what your blood sugar levels are? Besides when you go to the doctor and get a snapshot of that one moment in time or give yourself a finger prick, which again is a snapshot of that one moment in time. What if you could know what your blood sugar was all the time? That would be revolutionary insight that could really help you meet your health and wellness goals. Guess what? You can do that now. I'm going to tell you how to save $30 off while doing it. We are obsessed with a company called NutriSense. They provide access to and interpretations of the data from the biosensors known as Continuous Glucose Monitors aka CGMs.

Your blood sugar level can significantly impact how your body feels and functions. NutriSense lets you analyze in real time how your glucose levels respond to food, exercise, sleep, and stress. How does that work? Well, CGM is a small device that tracks your glucose levels in real time. The application is easy and painless I promise, promise, promise. Check out my Instagram, I have so many videos of putting them on, so you can see what that process is like. It's actually really fun. Then you can use the NutriSense app to scan your CGM, visualize data, log your meals, run experiments, and so much more, and you get expert dietitian guidance. Each subscription plan includes one month free of dietitian support. One of my friends recently got a CGM and she was going on and on about how cool it was to talk one on one with a dietitian who could help her interpret her results. Your dietician will help you interpret the data and provide suggestions based on your goals. Of course, if you're already super knowledgeable in this space, they will still be able to provide you more advanced tips and recommendations. Friends, seeing this data in real time is what makes it easy to identify what you're doing well and where there's room for improvement.

Some benefits and outcomes that you can experience, weight loss, stable energy throughout the day, better sleep, understanding which foods are good for you, controlling your cravings, seeing how you're responding to fasting, and so much more. Each device lasts for 14 days and of course, lasting, sustainable change takes time and that can be achieved with a longer-term subscription. We definitely encourage you to choose a six or 12-month subscription which are cheaper per month and allow you to not only achieve your goals but also ensure that you stick to your healthy lifestyle for the long term. You can go to nutrisense.io/ifpodcast and use the code, IFPODCAST to save $30 and get one month of free dietitian support. That's nutrisense.io/ifpodcast and use the code IFPODCAST to save $30 and get one month of free dietitian support. Friends you want to be in the world of CGMs. It is such a cool experience and you will learn so much, so definitely check it out and we'll put all this information in the show notes.

I love that you've experimented with all these different manifestations of fasting and we'll be able to speak to it. It's funny that we just answered one listener question. You mentioned extended fasting. How long are those extended fasts when you do them? 

Vanessa Spina: I like to do four to five days seasonal fast. Four times a year and I do them specifically for the purposes of deep autophagy.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Immune system rejuvenation. 

Vanessa Spina: It's such a reset for your cells for especially like, generating a lot of mitochondrial repair, mitophagy. It's amazing for the skin, it's amazing for digestive rest, everything. It's just such a good reset. I like to time it with the seasons. It's always like a good reminder and I always look forward to it and I always feel amazing when I do it. And it just lowers inflammation so much. You really crank up the dial on all the benefits that you get from intermittent fasting during that time. In general, I don't really like extended fasting for fat loss as much, but I do like it for that deep autophagy cellular repair and renewal as you mentioned. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. It hard at all for first few, like, the first few days or what's it like? 

Vanessa Spina: I find it pretty easy. In general, I'm a personality type that is I tend to have characteristics of someone who like easily follows things that I set out to do. I know it's not a super common one. [chuckles] It's like, Gretchen Rubin, the author, she talks about The Four Tendencies and it's the upholder.

Melanie Avalon: Upholder, me too [chuckles] completely upholding everything, inner and outer. We're there [laughs] all the expectations, sign me up. 

Vanessa Spina: I find it easy to do, whereas I also think because I'm so fat adapted, it comes more easily to me after all these years. But it's something that I really look forward to because it frees up a lot of my time. I spend so much time every day, like prepping and cooking meals, and I still do that for my family. But it's just frees up a lot of my time and energy to do other things. I don't find it difficult, I think, because I'm so fat adapted. But if I wasn't, I think it would be quite difficult. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. And you sleep, okay? 

Vanessa Spina: I have some of the best sleep, honestly, some of the best sleep because ketosis can be helpful for sleep. And I definitely don't wake up at all in the night to go to the bathroom or anything like that. It's definitely like some of the deepest sleep. I think there's so much autophagy going on that your body gets into those deeper states of sleep. I just find it amazing. I feel five years younger every time I do it afterwards, [laughs] so it's definitely worth it and definitely not recommended for beginners. For people who've been doing fasting for a long time, especially for someone who's used to doing like, 36, 72-hour fasts, I think most people find that once you get past the 72 hours, it's like a breeze after that. So, just stay busy, staying busy helps a lot, and I'm really busy these days, [laughs] so that makes it a lot easier. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. That's so inspirational. What's really cool is it sounds like the setup of what you're doing is the model of the research behind the fasting mimicking diet in that they look at, I know with fasting mimicking they're eating, but they're looking at that model often of because you said you do it once a quarter, basically. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. I didn't know that's what they did. I know that there's a lot of similarities because there's barely any protein being consumed. You just shut off mTOR and IGF-1, and you just go into a deep autophagy too. 

Melanie Avalon: It's like a four to five day-- [chuckles] It's four or five days of that super low calorie, super low protein, everything. But the way they recommend prescribing it is they recommend doing it, like, four times a year. Have you interviewed Valter Longo? 

Vanessa Spina: I haven't yet. He's definitely on my list. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I think we're talking about that. He's hard to lock down. [chuckles] 

Vanessa Spina: A lot of the big researchers are the hardest to get out of the lab and sit in front of the mic. Like, they're just so passionate about what they're doing. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, yeah. It's so, so true. It's so interesting too. I know we're, like, out of time and this is a complete tangent, but it's really interesting how some researchers do become these celebrity figures, because there are so many researchers studying all this. But it's really interesting, like, the ones that become a public figure, like Valter Longo and David Sinclair, even, Rick Johnson. It's just interesting. I guess it's a mashup of-- it takes a certain personality that's I think more rare in that field. So, when they do have a personality that meshes well with being in the public eye, it's a unique thing, I guess. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. And I love it. I think it's so fantastic that as a society, we're upholding these kinds of people. Like these brilliant people who are dedicating their lives to advancing research to benefit our lives. I think it's just so awesome. [laughs] I love it. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I feel like in a parallel universe, I would be, like, in a lab somewhere. 

Vanessa Spina: Same.

Melanie Avalon: For sure. Well, this was amazing. Our first listener Q&A in the books. How do you feel? 

Vanessa Spina: I loved it. I could record like 50 more with you. I can't wait to do so many of these. Like I said, "I'm so excited for the questions." Because they're so brilliant and I'm so excited to connect with all of you listening and to hear your feedback on these first couple of episodes. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I can't wait. We had a lot of questions on the lineup for today, but Valerie was the lucky winner. So, for listeners, 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. These show notes for today's episode will contain links to everything that we talked about, and those will be at ifpodcast.com/episode317. And you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon and Vanessa is @ketogenicgirl. I think that's all the things. Anything else from you before we go? 

Vanessa Spina: No. I just love this first episode. I'm so excited for all the episodes to come and I'm just sending so much love to all of our listeners. 

Melanie Avalon: Me too. I'm just so happy. I'm so happy. So, I will talk to you next week. 

Vanessa Spina: Sounds amazing. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Vanessa Spina: 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 your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]


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

More on Vanessa: ketogenicgirl.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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