Episode 326: Weddings, Castles, Ice Baths, Running, Hypoglycemic Response, Electrolytes, Sugar Free Gum, Strong Cravings, Autophagy, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Jul 16

Welcome to Episode 326 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.

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Listener Q&A: Ben - Does chewing sugar free gum like “Extra” ruin most of the benefits of intermittent fasting

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Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 326 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. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine if it's that time and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is Episode number 326 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon, I'm here with Vanessa Spina.

Vanessa Spina: Hi, everyone.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Vanessa?

Vanessa Spina: I am doing awesome. How are you?

Melanie Avalon: I'm good. We were saying last week or actually two weeks ago, because I think last week we had our fabulous episode with Paul, hopefully since we haven't recorded [laughs] it yet, but manifesting putting that out there. I was going to tell you about my experience at my brother's wedding. 

Vanessa Spina: Yes. I can't wait to hear everything.

Melanie Avalon: I decided-- I love weddings. Do you like weddings? 

Vanessa Spina: I do, yeah. They're so much fun. 

Melanie Avalon: It's so exciting because it's seeing people and hanging out and like, drinks and food and fun. But then it's also family and then the blend, did I tell you the blend of families at this wedding? 

Vanessa Spina: Um-mm.

Melanie Avalon: So [chuckles] on my mom's side of the family, her side of the family is Southern, but very Christian, very religious, like conservative. Then my dad's side of the family is like, Southern, more like to have a good time, just a different vibe. [chuckles] And then on her side of the family, the bride's side, her father is Jewish, so there was a whole Jewish culture. It was actually a Jewish wedding. And then her mom is Puerto Rican, so everybody flew in from Puerto Rico. So, it was like this blend of families. [chuckles] 

Vanessa Spina: That's amazing. 

Melanie Avalon: It's just crazy to feel all the dynamics. So even like at the dance party, at the end, half the songs they're playing were all these Latin America songs that none of us knew, but they all knew, like, every word too. And it was my first Jewish wedding. I'd never been to it. Have you been to a Jewish wedding? 

Vanessa Spina: I actually have never been to one.

Melanie Avalon: It was nice to see the traditions. 

Vanessa Spina: I've seen it, it's so beautiful. 

Melanie Avalon: Like in general Jewish weddings.

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. I've just seen some of the traditions in movies or shows and they just look so neat. 

Melanie Avalon: It was exciting. I feel like it was educational and it was at a winery, which was fun. And I did successfully sneak in my Dry Farm Wines because if I'm going to be drinking more than normal, I have to have my organic low alcohol wines. So, I did that successfully. So that was helpful [laughs] for having a lot to imbibe in. But some takeaway highlights were my parents got down on the dance floor, which was-- I was not anticipating that. So that made my life beyond belief. My life is complete. And then I did give a bit of a speech. Have you given a speech before at a wedding? 

Vanessa Spina: I was my best friend's maid of honor and it was huge, they had so many guests. I did a speech in front of all of them and it was really special but nerve wracking.

Melanie Avalon: Had you written it out and read it or how did you do it? 

Vanessa Spina: I think I had notes. I think I had notes for it. What about you? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I kind of had like an outline as a joke. I got ChatGPT to write some of it because my brother and I always talk about ChatGPT. And then I just brought in some personal stuff as well. It was really fun. But then the funny moment for me [laughs] "Oh, I'm trying to decide if I should share this." So, my brother is he's younger, he's like 20-- I should know this. I think he's like 28. His wife, crazy, she's like 25, 26. Everybody was mostly younger as far as like the bridal party and everything. And so there [chuckles] was the party at the wedding and then the winery and it was amazing. And then we went to like, the "after party." I literally felt like I was back in college because it was like, at the groom's-- like the house where the groomsmen and the bridesmaids were staying. It was like old school, college vibes. [laughs] I was like, [laughs] "This is so fun." I saw somebody across the room who looked older. I was feeling like a little bit out of place. I literally just walked up to him and I was like, "Hi, you look old. Can we be friends?" [chuckles] Literally, that was my opening line. I was like, "How old are you?" And he was like, "I'm 38." And I was like, "Oh, great." [laughs] I was like me and you, we're talking. But then what's really funny is it was my brother's boss [laughs] who flew in for the wedding. So, I became like friends with his boss, which was just like precious.

Vanessa Spina: Became besties. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It was a really fun time, though, all around and it was really beautiful. The North Georgia mountains are very, very beautiful. There's like wineries. It's like very unexpected. 

Vanessa Spina: That sounds gorgeous. 

Melanie Avalon: So now, I want to go to another wedding. People need to get married [chuckles] so I can go hang out. That's my life. What's new with you? 

Vanessa Spina: That sounds amazing. That sounds like so much fun. We had a really fun weekend too. We had a lot of fun, a lot of family fun. And we had a little birthday party for one of Luca's little friends, Maya. His little girlfriend was turning two, so we had--

Melanie Avalon: Wait, wait. Pause, his girlfriend? 

Vanessa Spina: No, not really his girlfriend, but him and Maya, they're just like two peas in a pod. They're almost the exact same age. So out of all their little friends here, him and her, they kind of get each other. They're always going through similar stages, and they're really cute. Like, Luca will feed her blueberries or I don't know. They're just so cute together. So, it was her birthday party, and we had, like, a barbecue in the park, this beautiful park in Prague. And we all brought, like, whatever we wanted to grill. Their extended family was all visiting from Arizona, so it was really fun to have all them there. And we just had a great time celebrating with them. And it was just a really fun weekend. They've had this thing called Children's Day here. And so, on Saturday, went to the Castle Royal Gardens, and they had this sort of recreation of what like a medieval carousel would look like. And I was actually asking them if it was the original, because Pete and I were debating if it was the actual original carousel from back then, and she said it's not, but they rebuilt it to look like the one in her grandfather's pictures. So, it was like, it was a good recreation of an original medieval style carousel with just all this so beautifully hand painted and gorgeous. There's just been all these events like that around the city, so Luca's gotten to go on all these carousel rides and stuff and he loves it. So, it's really fun just to have activities like that to go and do. And the weather has just been so sunny and amazing. Just glorious, sunny summer days. 

Melanie Avalon: A carousel? Like a moving carousel? Like a ride. They had those in the medieval times.

Vanessa Spina: Apparently, they did? [chuckles] Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: What motorized them? 

Vanessa Spina: There's one. So, the guy, like, cranks it.

Melanie Avalon: A guy's pumping it? 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. He's like crank. And so, this one had like it was all wooden, and it was beautifully painted. And then they had these little boxes, so Pete and Luca sat in one. But there's another one near our house in the park that's from, I think, about 100 years ago or 150 years ago. And it's from Italy, and it's original, and it's the one with, like, the horses that go up and down.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Oh, that's what I'm picturing. 

Vanessa Spina: So beautiful, it's so beautiful. And it's actually, like, authentically from that time. And that one's really fun, too. We can sit on the horse and stuff. I have a reel on my Instagram where Luca and I are on it together. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay. I'm going to go find that ASAP.

Vanessa Spina: [laughs] It's from last summer. 

Melanie Avalon: That's so cool. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. Just fun little things like that from another time. But as I was telling you last week, we're so excited to go visit more castles, and a lot of the castles here are actually were inspiration for the Disney Castles. I have to send you pictures of that. There's this one, it's about 2 hours south of here and it looks like the actual Disney, like, the main Disney Castle. Like, I'm pretty sure it's the one that inspired their creation of it. And it's so amazing because they have all the original furniture in it. All the original chandeliers like I was telling you. And you can walk through. It takes a couple hours to do a tour and it's so stunning. But I have to send you a picture of it because you'll be like, "Oh, my gosh, that's the Disney castle." 

Melanie Avalon: That's amazing. I want to live in a castle. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah, same. [laughs] I always walk through, and I'm pretending that this was my house. 

Melanie Avalon: You live there? [laughs]  

Vanessa Spina: [laughs] This is my house. And this is, like, my little window sill where I would read books or write poems [laughs] or I don't know, whatever they were doing, like, stitching, needle points or whatever at the window. It just sounds tranquil.

Melanie Avalon: It does. Although we probably really idolize it. Can you imagine, like, the bathroom situation back then? 

Vanessa Spina: That's not the medieval thing. You don't want a medieval bathroom, like no. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, man. And just, like, family dynamics, people. [chuckles] 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. I think life was very good for just a few people. For most people, it was not very good. [chuckles] 

Melanie Avalon: [chuckles] I shouldn't laugh, but yeah, it's a gratitude moment, and I realize even now there are people privileged, but I'm just very grateful to not be, like, a peasant. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. The average person like today's peasant lives and I'm talking about the average person ourselves compared to those kings and queens back in the day, even an average person with a decent income has better bathroom situation than a king 100 years ago. You know what I mean? Our comforts, we talk a lot about the plagues of prosperity, like, the different issues we have from our convenient lifestyles, but we're so comfortable compared to-- we have things that emperors and kings and queens in the past would have only dreamed of. So, I think we have it pretty good. I agree. Thankfulness moment. 

Melanie Avalon: I feel like it really becomes present when you lose it. Like, when the power goes out or the water is not working, and you're like, "Wow, I really need to not take this for granted." It's kind of mind blowing. Even the shower, I can just go in this little room and turn on this thing. And water comes from the ceiling any temperature I want and immediately gets taken care of. It's not messy. [laughs] Everything I don't know, modern life, I appreciate it. 

Vanessa Spina: It's about that every day. I'm thankful every day for my kitchen, for our bed, for the dishwasher. Everyday I'm like, "Pete, dishwashers are amazing." You put it on and it cleans everything for you. We have it so good. 

Melanie Avalon: We really do. 

Vanessa Spina: Technologies, amazing technologies. We're talking to each other right now from across the world. Like, we would have had to take a steamboat or something for, like, two months to have a conversation at a different time.

Melanie Avalon: Or, like, texting now. It's like the modern-day equivalent of writing letters. Think about how much you stress writing a text to your lover. And now think about if you could only do it via letters. And it was like months and months in between.

Vanessa Spina: caring.

Melanie Avalon: You wouldn't know if you've been ghosted because the turnaround time [laughs] is already like ghosting time.

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. It feels like you have to be so patient. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, man. Yeah. 

Vanessa Spina: But it also sounds kind of romantic.

Melanie Avalon: It does. Did you ever send actual letters with people? 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. When Pete and I first met, I sent him a letter with a CD I made for him. I think it was like a CD with mp3s on it of songs that made me think of him. And he loved it. [laughs] He was so excited and thrilled. And because we did long distance for a long time when we first met, I was in Canada, in Vancouver and he was in Denver. We really got to build such a beautiful friendship because we were just getting to know each other a lot. Just, like, talking to each other on, like, what was the messenger? We were on some chat on the computer. We would message each other on there. We would text, we would email, we would call each other, and then we would get to see each other. And it was so romantic. He'd come pick me up at the airport and take me on amazing dates, and then he asked me to go to Hawaii with him. After we had-- I think we'd been on two or three dates of seeing each other in Vancouver and Colorado.

He's like, "Do you want to go to Maui?" I was like, "Yeah." [laughs] So went to Maui together and we took, I think it was like a week holiday or something. And it was amazing because we're dating long distance. Like, normally a long-distance relationship, you're like, together and then you have to live apart. But dating long distance is totally different. So, we kind of had to figure out, is this going to work out? Is this worth dating long distance? We had to get to know each other a little bit faster, and that was, like, the best way. We had the most incredible romantic time there together. I just remember being in my pajamas, like, brushing my teeth with him, and I was like, this is so weird. I don't really know him that well. [laughs] And we're like brushing our teeth with our pajamas on, but it was so amazing. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. We're so similar because when I had a long-distance relationship, I was all about it for all of the reasons you just said. Like, you get to know the person through talking, so it's like all conversations and you don't get to know them one level physically. I don't know. You were talking about, like, cultivating the friendship. I feel like you get a lot of that aspect and then it's just, like, so magical when you actually are together because it's very limited treasure time. So, it's like magical romance and I need my space. So, I was like, "This is great." I was like, "I was made for long distance relationships." 

Vanessa Spina: They're so great. 

Melanie Avalon: We should write a book about it. I remember I was, like, looking up all the stats when I was in it because apparently the stats are not favorable. I was like, "I don't know. I'm down. This works for me." And I've said this before-- I don't know, if I'll ever be married, but I don't know if I could live with somebody. And if I did, I think I would still need my own bedroom. I need my space.

Vanessa Spina: I used to always say I would need a separate wing. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes. Yes. 

Vanessa Spina: No matter the size of the house, I would need my own area. 

Melanie Avalon: In our castle. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. In the castle, exactly, exactly. I think it keeps a little bit of the romance alive longer when you have your own bathrooms that’s definitely--

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I wonder if that would-- not that would solve relationship problems. But it's kind of a cool hack. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. It really, really helps if you can do it just to have your own space. My husband uses  

Melanie Avalon: Do you guys have separate bathrooms? 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah, he uses our hallway/guest bathroom and I use our bedroom one. And it actually works out great for him because he has one of those standing showers in the what's it called? The door. [chuckles] It's got a door to it. I don't know what they're called. Just a shower with a door. Whereas mine is like a bathtub with a shower. So, we each have our preferences and it works really well.

Melanie Avalon: Do you take baths? 

Vanessa Spina: I take ice baths. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: I need to get on that.

Vanessa Spina: The only kind of bath I take lately. But I did like in the last six months, I think a couple of months ago I was having some muscle soreness, which I never have. And so, I did an Epsom salt bath and it was amazing. It really helped. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. I've actually never done one, actually. I might have a long time ago. But people swear by those. Think about what people-- just to bring this awful circle, think about people back in the old times and how often they could take baths and showers. Their hair was probably really greasy. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. And I think maybe in some ways it was better because you'd have more natural oils in your hair whereas I think we tend to now like over bathe.

Melanie Avalon: That's true. They might not have had as much of the rebound effect from responding to all these stripping products. Yeah. Well, [chuckles] on that note, I will just make a really quick announcement, because the day this airs, tomorrow is the last day to get grandfathered in for life for my berberine subscription. So, friends, if you've been wanting to take control of your blood sugar levels with berberine, which is an herb that's been used in ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years, can have a profound effect on your blood sugar, your cholesterol levels, even your gut microbiome, and can activate longevity pathways like AMPK. You definitely want my AvalonX Berberine. I sound like a commercial right now, [chuckles] but I'm not reading anything. I'm just saying this. Tomorrow is the last day to get a subscription for life and you can pick either two bottles every two months or two bottles every three months. And doing so is going to help us figure out what you guys most want when it comes to launching a large bottle option, which in the end is the most sustainable option for everybody. So definitely get that. That's at avalonx.us/emaillist. And then would you like to give your landing page for your Tone Protein, Vanessa? 

Vanessa Spina: Yes. If you would like to get the launch discount, make sure to go toneprotein.com and sign up with your name and email so that you can get the launch discount. It'll be the biggest discount that will ever be had on it. So definitely sign up if you're interested in checking out the protein that I am making. And it is going to be scientifically optimized for muscle protein synthesis in a way that no other protein powder does. So, I am super excited about it and that's at toneprotein.com.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Shall we jump into everything for today?

Vanessa Spina: Yes, I would love to. 

Melanie Avalon: So, to start things off, we have a question from Evie, and the subject is actually questions for Vanessa. So, she has two questions, but of course we can both answer these. So, question one for Vanessa. She says, "I have been low-carb for years, mixing it up with being in ketosis. I am hardly ever hungry and feel good and healthy at the age of 48. What does it mean/what happens when I have a sweet cake and an hour later, I feel cold, sweaty and no energy?" So, I think we can answer that. 

Vanessa Spina: So, my first-- Hi, Evie thank you for your question. And it's great that you've been doing low carb and sort of mixing it up with being in ketosis and sounds like you don't have out of control hunger and you feel good and healthy. But what I would say, my initial thought is that it's a hypoglycemic response and sometimes people who do a keto or low carb, they get a kind of hypoglycemic response, which is just temporary or transient. And it's because your body is not used to receiving these higher carb loads at one time because you're more optimized for fat burning. So, if you do eat something that's like really sugary or processed like a sweet cake, then it probably will send your blood glucose a lot higher than if you were eating carbs all the time. And it's just sort of a temporary response. So that's probably why you're having that, is that your blood sugar is going a lot higher. And then because it's going so high, it's then dropping quite low afterwards. And that's usually what that means if you feel like a cold sweat and no energy. But I'm not a doctor by any stretch, so I would definitely ask a properly trained doctor about that.

If you have concerns about it, just note that it's very common for people who do keto and low carb and then they eat something that they don't normally eat because you're just not trained to. If you were to go back and eat carbs for a week and then have a sweet cake, then you probably wouldn't have that effect, I'm guessing. But because you're so optimized for fat burning, your body doesn't-- it gets kind of overwhelmed by all of that sugar hitting all at once when it's not used to having much in there. And the body's always optimizing for whatever you're giving it on a regular basis. It's always preparing. And so, if you're eating carbs on a regular basis, it's ready to go. It goes, "Oh, I know what this is, it's carb coming in, I have the insulin ready to go to get the blood sugar under control so it doesn't go too high." But then when you're eating keto and low carb, you're not all ready for that. Your body not as primed for that, so it can send blood sugar higher than normal, and then you may have a low. But again, I'm not a doctor, so you'd need a professional interpretation of it. But I'm just thinking that's what it could potentially be. What do you think, Melanie? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, and I think I read it wrong. I think I said cold, sweaty, and it's cold sweat, like you were saying. That was my exact thoughts. Because basically when you get that swing up and then that drop, the body will often respond with like cortisol and adrenaline to raise back up your blood sugar, and that can create those cold sweat feelings. So, it's probably what's going on. This would be a great example of somebody who could benefit probably from wearing a CGM if you haven't. And actually, on today's episode, I did not plan this, but NutriSense is a sponsor of today's episode and I love using their CGMs. And if you wear a CGM, it's basically a continuous glucose monitor and it gives you a real time picture 24/7 of your blood sugar levels and how you are responding to food. It's technically testing your interstitial fluid, but it is a reflection of your blood sugar. 

If you were wearing that during this experience, Vanessa, you could see if that is what's happening and what that would look like. It would go up and then drop down. So, yes, our code for NutriSense, you can go to nutrisense.io/ifpodcast and use the code IFPODCAST, and that will save you $30 and it will also get you one month of free dietitian support. And the cool thing about the dietitian support is they will actually help you interpret what you're seeing on the CGM and give you guidance and advice. So, it's a very, very cool thing.

Okay. Her second question, she says, "What is important to eat in real food form as a lifelong runner?" I ran my first marathon last year. I don't take any supplements ever. I feel healthy now, but I don't want my joints to suffer. I want to be able to run as long as I can. I don't take collagen or protein or energy bars as I don't feel the need, but I worry it may catch up with me. If you recommend any products, please bear in mind, she lives in Prague. [chuckles] She says, "I live in Prague. I like you live in Prague and may not be able to get things." Thank you. I do have a quick question before we answer this. Vanessa being in Prague, is there an Amazon Prague? 

Vanessa Spina: There's an Amazon Germany, so I do order from them a lot. But I usually-- if there's anything that I specifically can't get here, I usually just stock up on it when we're home, and there're a few things that I can get here, but they're just like two, three times the price. So, like, my magnesium calm, I always get that. I think Natural Vitality, I always get some of those when we're home. I bring back lots of LMNT, LMNT packs and there are certain things that now, over time, I've been able to find local replacements for most of them, but at the beginning, they didn't have as many things, so I was, like, bringing over more or my friends or family would bring stuff over also when they came. So, with availability, I would say it's gotten a lot better in even just the last five years. There're all these companies now that have supplements and all kinds of things and it's really popped up in the last few years. It's way more accessible. 

Melanie Avalon: Got you. Yeah. I think I was sharing with you when I was trying to mail you some Beautycounter stuff. I learned [chuckles] all about shipping. I literally went everywhere. 

Vanessa Spina: It's so funny because I ship myself stuff all the time from my warehouse. I wonder what-- it's funny, but I'm so glad that you figured out in the end, even though you had to jump through so many hoops to send it to me. 

Melanie Avalon: So that experience and then I mentioned him before recently, Mark Schatzker, who wrote The Dorito Effect, I was getting a signed copy of it. He lives in Canada and I was trying to get a signed copy of his book for a friend. I was trying to just send him money to reimburse him to Canada and that was a hassle. I literally went everywhere. I was like, "Why is this so hard?" This should not be this hard. But yeah, with the post office, they didn't even have Prague in the computer. 

Vanessa Spina: That's so crazy. 

Melanie Avalon: Just wasn't there. 

Vanessa Spina: So funny, though. 

Melanie Avalon: It's like okay, [chuckles] that's how we handle things. 

Vanessa Spina: [unintelligible [00:27:20] this country, like what? 

Melanie Avalon: It's like an ostrich putting its head in the sand. So, DHL was what ended up being the best option in case people are wondering, at least for me for international shipping.

Vanessa Spina: Yes. DHL, FedEx usually is great. UPS, it all comes here, [laughs] really, but it's gotten better and better. But I totally understand where you're coming from, Evie, because Evie, I know sometimes it's harder to find some of the products that you'll see online or you'll hear people using. And it's frustrating sometimes because sometimes you do find them. But for some reason, imported products are, like, two to three times as much as they normally would be. So that can be frustrating too but it's a really great question. Now, I think the traditional thinking with running is always like carb loading, etc. But I think there are certain sports where a low carb can really actually give you an advantage. And especially if you're doing like a marathon, anytime you're operating between 60% to 70% of your VO2 max, or you're doing that kind of aerobic activity where you're burning lots of fat, it's going to be advantageous to be a fat burner. So, you may have even felt that while you're running.

The biggest thing, I think, that trips people up can be the electrolytes. So, if you can find a good electrolyte supplement, Melanie and I love LMNT, and they have amazing flavors with the electrolyte packets as well. And that's something that I always take with us when we're doing any kind of like hiking or especially if it's going to be dry. And sometimes if I don't have access to that, I'll just sort of make my own electrolyte drink. And I'll do that with some salt and magnesium powder. And it's really the salt I think that's important, especially when it comes to doing endurance. If you're not eating as many carbs, it's going to be a little bit more of a challenge for you to retain electrolytes because your kidneys won't reabsorb as many electrolytes and so you'll sort of release more water and it can become harder to hold on to them. So, supplementing with electrolytes, I think, can be a big thing.

In terms of the foods, like I said, you could either go the carb route and eat lots of carbs and carb load before your races which some people do, but they tend to hit that wall once they run out of the glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. Whereas if you're a fat burner, it's possible to not hit that wall in the same way because you're not running out of glycogen like you're already primed to be fat fueled. I've actually never run a marathon and I don't know what the experience would be like, but I know that if you're doing intense activity, you definitely have to keep the electrolytes up in terms of what foods to eat or supplements. There's more and more protein bars and protein supplements and protein-type foods available here. I've seen them more and more. There's nothing really super special that I would recommend other than finding some local electrolytes. And I use LMNT, so I don't know what they would have potentially available in Europe. Maybe there's something similar. I don't think LMNT ships to Europe yet.

Melanie Avalon: I don't think so. 

Vanessa Spina: There might be an electrolyte drink that does ship here or you can look up online different ways to make your own. It's pretty relatively easy to do and other than that, I can't think of any specific foods that would, like, whole foods or supplements that you would take to enhance running. I think just being adept at fat burning, being fat fueled can potentially give you an advantage if you are sort of in that heart rate zone. What do you think, Melanie? 

Melanie Avalon: Sorry, I got distracted. I was looking up where LMNT ships. It says they actually do ship to most countries. They have a list where they don't ship. Prague is not on that list, so it is possible that they ship there.

Vanessa Spina: I'm going to try to check out while you answer and see if it will ship to me here. I've never tried. I just usually get it when we're home. What are your thoughts on her second question?

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad that you brought attention to the electrolytes. I definitely agree. I as well do not have marathon running experience, so my apologies there. I agree with everything Vanessa was saying about how low-carb diet can work really well for a lot of distance running for the reasons she said about not hitting that wall. So, I understand about the want and the need to consume foods in real food form, which I totally love. So just to speak specifically, because you're talking about like joint health and stuff like that, so collagen, a lot of people do benefit from supplementing collagen. MD Logic Health has a great collagen that people can check out. If you don't want to take supplemental collagen, you could focus on whole food meat with a high glycine ratio. So gelatinous meats, if you're having chicken, like eating all of the whole chicken, so you get the meats around the tendons and all of that. Making bone broths or meat broths can be a good way to up that glycine ratio and get the collagen benefits without necessarily taking a collagen supplement.

And then as far as protein, yes, I'm totally down with whole foods form protein. If protein powders are not a way that you want to go, same with energy bars. But it does go back to just making sure that you're able to absorb and getting all the protein that you need. And some people struggle with that more than others and especially athletes probably have higher protein intake. So just making sure that you are getting what you need and if not, possibly supplementing accordingly. I'll make a brief plug because you're talking about your joints again. So, anything anti-inflammatory will be pretty beneficial for that. So, I really love my serrapeptase supplement, which was the supplement that I launched AvalonX with, just because it can be so anti-inflammatory and really help people with their joints.

It's a proteolytic enzyme, so when you take it in a fasted state, it goes into your body and it breaks down problematic protein buildups and can really help resolve inflammation and sort of be protective on that front. So that might be something to proactively take and then continually take. And then just like anti-inflammatory diet in general with the joints. So going back to that whole food protein, eating a lot of fish with a high omega-3 ratio can be something really great to focus on, low mercury omega-3 fish. So, I love The Better-- it used to be called Australias, now it's called The Better Fish Barramundi. You can get it at Whole Foods and Costco. I am obsessed with this fish. It's a lean whitefish, but it actually has the highest omega-3 ratio of any whitefish and it's tested to be free of mercury. I love that fish. It's a great protein to have. And then salmon, sardines, scallop, shrimp, things like that can be great on the protein front. Yeah, I think focusing on the anti-inflammatory diet sounds like the low carb will probably work well for you or is working well for you with the marathon and focusing on the electrolytes. Did it work, by the way, Vanessa, to ship?

Vanessa Spina: Yes, it does ship here to Prague. So, if you want to order it and I know we both have links for LMNT as well.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, so the link for this show is drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast and that will get you whatever the current offer is. So, when you go to drinklmnt.com/Ifpodcast, you'll get a free gift with purchase, so you'll actually get a free element sample pack with any order. So that's really awesome. It includes all of their flavors to try. So again, that is drinklmnt.com/Ifpodcast. And then one last little piece about it. A podcast I was listening to recently, Vanessa, they were actually saying that BCAAs also could help with hydration, similar to the way electrolytes do. Have you heard that before? 

Vanessa Spina: I haven't. I wonder what the mechanism of action would be.

Melanie Avalon: They were talking about it. It's the same-- [laughs] it's the same episode that I talked about recently with other-- I'm going to send you this episode and I'm dying to hear your thoughts and then maybe we can circle back on some of the points because it was interesting. It was an interview with Kion for their BCAA supplements. So, shall we answer another question? 

Vanessa Spina: Yes. So, the next question is from Ben and the subject is, "Does chewing sugar free gum, like, extra ruin most of the benefits of intermittent fasting?" "Hey ladies, I love, love, love all three of your podcasts." I listen every day during my fasting to keep me motivated. I'm a 36-year-old man who has been intermittent fasting for three months. I've lost weight. I feel absolutely great overall. Still five pounds to lose, but not as worried about that since I feel great. I am curious though does chewing sugar free gum, like, extra completely ruin the benefits of intermittent fasting when eaten during the fasted state? I also count my calories and macros, so that may be the reason for my weight loss. I know intermittent fasting has helped me get rid of my hunger cravings and the eating window helps me to not snack all day and be able to stay within my daily/macros. But am I getting any other benefits, like autophagy, many other benefits that you'll talk about? I chew the gum to curb my appetite or cravings and I may have during the fasted state, which is from 7:00 PM to 1:00 PM the next day and it works great for that. I chew it both in the beginning of the fast as well as at the end. This is working for me, so I probably won't change it, but I'm just curious as to your thoughts on it. Thanks so much. Keep up your amazing work that is helping this farmer from Kentucky," Ben Winters.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome, Ben. Well, just a few comments first about you, Ben personally, one I love when listeners give us a little snapshot of who they are. Like a farmer from Kentucky, I can like, you know, I get like this whole picture of Ben now. 

Vanessa Spina: Me too. 

Melanie Avalon: I love that also, Winters, best last name ever. That should be my last name. [chuckles] 

Vanessa Spina: Yes, I love the last name. 

Melanie Avalon: I really love this question and it's something I've thought about a lot, especially being on this show, talking about intermittent fasting for so long, I know in my own personal journey and I'll be curious to hear about you as well, Vanessa. When I started fasting, I did chew all the gums. It was like training wheels. It was like a nice way for me to get used to the fasted state and sort of like Ben, I felt like it was really working for me, although it was bad. We had a conversation recently on the show about different artificial sweeteners and I would like== do you remember the dessert gums? Did you ever have those, the Dessert Delights or something? Vanessa, it was like Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Did you watch that movie growing up? 

Vanessa Spina: [laughs] Of course, yes.

Melanie Avalon: They had this like Extra Dessert Delights. They had a cinnamon roll and they had an apple pie and a strawberry shortcake and it literally tasted like you were eating that dessert. I mean, it was magical. It was like Wonka level and it was bad. I would go through like he said I think he used the word eat in this question. I felt like I was eating a whole pack and I would often get GI distress as well, which was a fun time. So, my thoughts on all of it are I'm like pausing in the ideal world. I don't think it's ideal. And I know for me, on the flipside of not chewing these gums and having these flavors during the fast, it is so much better for me, so much better. I also used the training wheels with coffee and tea, really making it really sweet and flavored. And it was kind of like extending the eating window into the fast and just making the fast a non-caloric version of the eating window in a way.

It did work for me. It did help me transition to fasting. So, I can't tell people don't do it because it worked for me. And I know it works for people. Long term, though, I feel much better again not being that way and actually experiencing the fast naturally. And I do have, so it sounds like for Ben it doesn't create more cravings and appetites. Or maybe it is maybe if you cut it out, you'll realize that you don't have any appetite or cravings while fasting. And maybe this is the thing that's actually keeping that present and as long as you're doing it's going to stay there. I might bet money [chuckles] on that. So as far as the actual, is it ruining the benefits of intermittent fasting? 

Well, one, these foods or these gums, they actually do have calories oftentimes like they feel like they're zero calories. But when you're having like a whole pack, I think legally they can have a certain amount of calories and still label it as zero. So, it'll stay zero, but it might have a few. And then if you're having a whole pack that can actually add up. You are sending your body signals of eating something. So, it's kind of like mixed messages to your body, I do think, because people will say, that if you take in artificially sweetened things that it does just stop all the benefits of fasting. And I don't agree with that because if you're not taking in any-- I just said that maybe you are taking in some calories with it. But if you're not, I still think you will get benefits of the fast. It just might be harder. 

I think for a lot of people, it will make their body more reluctant to sort of really tap into that fat burning state because it's constantly sort of waiting for what it perceives as the need for something sweet or sugar. I think it can still create a blood sugar roller coaster for a lot of people even if they've been fasted for a while. This would actually be a good chance to try something like a CGM. You could see, Ben, when you're having these cravings and when you chew the gum, what's actually happening with your blood sugar levels, that would be really cool to see. We love NutriSense, if you go to nutrisense.io/ifpodcast and use the code IFPODCAST you can get $30 off. As far as, autophagy, which he asked about and the other benefits-- well, first of all, autophagy, it's not this black and white on/off thing. And we also don't have a ton of information about the extent to which it ramps up on a timeline basis.

I think people make a lot of assumptions. They're like, "Oh, you're fasting. You have a lot of autophagy. You're not fasting. You don't have autophagy." And that's just not the case. You literally have autophagy going on 24/7. And it can get ramped up by certain things like fasting and exercise and calorie restriction so it's hard to know. I don't know, it's hard to know if there's an effect on autophagy from chewing gum or something like that. I would think it's still going on, but it's hard to know. My long takeaway for all of that rambling is that I think you're still getting benefits. I think for a lot of people, it's going to make it substantially harder, and they'll feel probably a lot better on the flipside. And you might find for you, Ben, you said that you still want to lose a few pounds. It might be that you could cut out this gum and keep everything the same and you might actually find that you lose the weight. That's very possible. It would be a fun thing to experiment with. What are your thoughts, Vanessa? 

Vanessa Spina: I agree with most of what you'd say. Yes, autophagy is occurring, like, every night as long as you are closing your eating window further enough away from bedtime to actually get a lot of that repair and restoration. But autophagy gets deeper at night and it can get really deep if you do an actual, like, just water only fast. And the research done on that in humans is measuring the autophagy genes and it seems to ramp up to significantly greater levels between 36 to 72 hours of pure water fasting. So that's like a whole different kind of fasting, in my opinion, than the daily intermittent fasting where you're getting-- I think I agree with you in the sense that you're getting greater cell turnover in that time, that you're not consuming food in that time that you are fasted.

A lot of the benefits that are talked about on this podcast and in the literature on just fasting and what happens, I think it occurs more so in the state of not stimulating insulin that much, but you probably can still get a small fraction of the benefits. But if your main goal, Ben, is weight loss and you're getting there, you're counting your macros as well, and your calories, and you're also finding intermittent fasting helps you to just stick to your calories and macros for the day, which a lot of people find it really supportive of, then I think you're doing great, and I really wouldn't worry about it too much. If you're in a situation where you're like, "Wow, I really want to spend some time ramping up autophagy, maybe doing a deeper cellular cleanse, mitophagy, getting all that stuff really going on. I would maybe do a longer, like an extended fast once a year or something like that for the purposes just of like autophagy, mitophagy, cellular renewal, anti-aging, etc.

But I wouldn't worry too much about it just in the day to day of intermittent fasting. Because like you said, Melanie, we just don't have enough information yet on what's really happening. But we know, okay, you're chewing gum, you're not eating protein, so you're not stimulating mTOR. You're probably still in that AMPK pathway of being in the fastest state of being in that catabolic state of breaking things down, tearing certain things down, repairing them, recycling some proteins, etc. But it's just hard to know exactly how much, like you were saying.

Melanie Avalon: I agree so much. It's interesting because he [chuckles] clearly really feels good with what he's doing. So, I think that's amazing and I love that he's fasting and getting benefits that he does perceive. He won't ever know, though, unless he cuts out the gum if there're even more benefits beyond that, you just won't know unless you try. I don't think you're ruining most of the benefits, but I think you'll get more benefits if you cut it out. 

Vanessa Spina: Yes, perfect answer. 

Melanie Avalon: Perfect answer, okay. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. And when you submit the questions, feel free to insert your favorite emojis so we can see your personality. 

Vanessa Spina: Please do.

Melanie Avalon: Please start putting your favorite emoji at the end so we can know. The show notes for this episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode326 and that will have a transcript as well as links to everything that we talked about. And then you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, and Vanessa is @ketogenicgirl. Okay, I think that is all the things. Anything from you, Vanessa, before we go?

Vanessa Spina: That was everything. It was so much fun. I absolutely love the questions and I'm excited to answer more in the next one. 

Melanie Avalon: Me too. Well, have a fabulous night and I will talk to you next week. 

Vanessa Spina: Thank you so much, Melanie. Talk to you next week. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Vanessa Spina: 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.

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