Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 192 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, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.
Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. I want to take a minute to tell you about one of our sponsors, Prep Dish. Prep Dish is changing the way thousands of families do mealtime. Here's how it works. Prep Dish thoughtfully crafts a week's worth of gluten-free and paleo meals that feature seasonal ingredients to make the most of your budget, save you time and surprise your taste buds. You may be thinking, but we aren't gluten-free or paleo. Well, when I have used Prep Dish, my family didn't even notice that the meals were gluten-free because they are based on real food ingredients and the meals were delicious. There's also a keto plan if that's what you're looking for.
When you join Prep Dish, along with the weekly menu, you'll get a printable grocery list and instructions for prep day. Just two hours of preparation yields scrumptious, good for you dishes all week long. You shop once, prep once.
When you join, not only do you have access to this week's menu, but you can choose from past week menus. The dilemma of what's for dinner is solved forever. Go to prepdish.com/ifpodcast for your free trial. Yep, it's totally free. And once you see how easy it makes your life, you won't know what you did without it. That's prepdish.com/ifpodcast, and now back to the show.
Melanie Avalon: And one more thing before we jump in. Are you looking for the perfect gifts this holiday season for yourself and others? Well, the average male uses six skincare products per day, the average female uses 12. And as it turns out, conventional skincare and makeup is full of toxins. We're talking things like endocrine disrupters, obesogens. Meaning, they literally cause your body to store and gain weight, and even carcinogens linked to cancer. So while you may be fasting clean, you may be putting compounds directly into your body during the fast, they can be affecting both your health and weight loss. Thankfully, there's an easy solution.
There's a company called Beautycounter and they make an array of skincare makeup products that are extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can feel good about all of the ingredients that you put on. Their products are even tested multiple times for heavy metals. And for the holiday season, Beauty Counter has so many amazing gift sets. These are bundled products at a discount, and they make incredible gifts. Think about it. You can get the products for yourself or for your friends and family and help clean up their skincare, all in disguise of gift-giving. Works pretty well. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. And if you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order. If you're trying to figure out exactly which products to get, check out my beauty counter quiz, that's at melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz. And for the latest discounts and giveaways from me, definitely get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. All right, now back to the show.
Hi everybody, and welcome. This is episode number 192 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.
Gin Stephens: Hi everybody.
Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?
Gin Stephens: I am doing great, sitting here with my mug of hot water.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome.
Gin Stephens: Drinking it. My EM-TEA.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, right. EM--
Gin Stephens: The best kind of tea.
Melanie Avalon: Wait, what's the EM?
Gin Stephens: Well, you know the word empty. There's nothing there. It's empty. It's just hot water. Somebody in one of my Facebook groups invented that word for hot water in a mug. I can't remember the name of the person who did it, but I love it.
Melanie Avalon: What is the M stand for? Oh, I thought it was like Em-T.
Gin Stephens: Well, it's like tea. Okay, it's like tea, but it's not tea. It's just hot water. It's EM-TEA.
Melanie Avalon: It'd be perfect if like WT met empty, because then it would be water tea. Are you following? If I'm saying if the EM stood for something related to water.
Gin Stephens: Well, we spell it E-M, capital T-E-A. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: What's her name? Emily, who founded?
Gin Stephens: No, but it's like empty, it's a play on words. Okay.
Melanie Avalon: I know it's a play on words. I'm trying to make both sides of it work.
Gin Stephens: Well, it's just a play on words. It's EM-TEA, empty.
Melanie Avalon: I can talk about words for hours.
Gin Stephens: Anyway, I'm enjoying my EM-TEA. It's delicious.
Melanie Avalon: How was your Thanksgiving?
Gin Stephens: It was nice. We had a small family gathering. We all stayed safe. Yep. It was delicious. Here's what's so surprising. I'm using my Shapa scale and I fully expected-- I've noticed that the Shapa age goes up as your weight fluctuates upward, in whatever, but I was expecting the day after Thanksgiving that my age would have fluctuated upward and it didn't. Then, yesterday, the day after the day after thank-- Wait, no, yesterday was the day after Thanksgiving. I still ate two meals of Thanksgiving foods. We had all these leftovers. So, this morning, I was like, “Surely, my weight will fluctuate up.” No, I'm still 23 on my Shapa app, isn’t that crazy? Are you getting a Shapa age, have you seen it?
Melanie Avalon: I am. I'm not very happy with it. It says that I am my age. How does it determine the age?
Gin Stephens: I don't know. Some kind of formula of some sort. It might have something to do with my-- I'm just guessing. Remember how we filled out a survey? Or we answered a survey when we got the app? Like when did you feel your best? Or what weight were you when you felt good, stuff sSomething like that? I have a feeling it has something to do with that. Or, what age did you feel your best? I'm not really sure. I know we answered a bunch of questions at the beginning. I bet it used some of that information.
Melanie Avalon: I Facebooked you, I was so excited. I finally got my color. I'm suspicious because I as well-- So, teal is losing weight, right?
Gin Stephens: A little bit. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: I was convinced that after Thanksgiving, I still did one meal a day, but I ate a lot of the Thanksgiving food. I was like, “It's going to tell me I'm gaining weight,” or something. But it still says I'm losing weight. I'm like, “Is this right?”
Gin Stephens: Well, remember, it lags behind your overall trend. Even if your weight fluctuated up three pounds the day after Thanksgiving, it's still going to show teal, if your overall average for the past 10 days, it only goes by that. It looks at the last 10 days, and what that average is compared to the previous average of the 10 days before that, something like that. It's like turning a battleship. Your Shapa color is not going to change a lot quickly. I'm not surprised my color has been blue because I had that gray after going to the beach a couple times, my overall trend started to go up. Then I just kept doing what I normally do. It's blue now because of the gray before. That's me fluctuating within-- so I'm not like losing beyond my-- if that makes sense. My blue now is because it was gray before, but the thing that surprised me is that my Shapa age didn't fluctuate upward.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it says my Shapa age is exactly my age. Oh, and for listeners, I know they probably aren't familiar-- Basically, this is a scale that instead of showing your weight, shows you a color.
Gin Stephens: I actually put a page on my website, finally. I figured out how to make pages with things on the lucky-- like you always have been doing. I finally made ginstephens.com/shapa.
Melanie Avalon: A redirect. Good job.
Gin Stephens: It's not a redirect. Weebly doesn't redirect. They don't let you redirect, but I figured out how to make a page, and then I can put information on it. It's not a redirect. If go to ginstephens.com/shapa, it has everything about Shapa, plus a link to Shapa. See, before I couldn't figure out how to do it without making a million pages, but they're all there, but they're not showing up in the navigation. I finally figured that out.
Melanie Avalon: Good job.
Gin Stephens: I know. I'm not like a web designer, but every time I figure out something new, I'm like, “Woo, I feel so good.”
Melanie Avalon: I know, it's really exciting, especially when something pretty useful.
Gin Stephens: Because I do my website myself.
Melanie Avalon: Me too. It'd be nice to outsource but it's also really nice to have complete creative control and like, I don't know, being able to do everything.
Gin Stephens: Well, when I did Intermittent Fasting Stores, the website for that I outsourced that. I had it professionally done, and they used a different platform. I use Weebly, but they put it on a different platform, and I can't figure out how to do anything there. It's completely not set up the way I would do it and so I've never loved it. I can't figure out how to change it.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I will say though, I really want to interview the founder of Shapa, so I'm going to--
Gin Stephens: Awesome. He's brilliant.
Melanie Avalon: Whenever I talk to him. I didn't realize, he's a New York Times bestseller.
Gin Stephens: I did know that. Yeah. He has like TED Talks that have been huge. He's a top mind. He's a professor at Duke University, I believe.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, perfect. I love when they're universities because they can very easily find their contact information.
Gin Stephens: Oh, good.
Melanie Avalon: Because I always have a professor email. That's how I contacted David Sinclair, Benjamin Bikman. I feel when they're professors, they actually read their professor email. So, it's very-- Oh, that's exciting.
Gin Stephens: Being married to a professor, I could vouch for that.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. Valter Longo, yep. This is great.
Gin Stephens: That's one I will definitely want to listen to, because I just love him because I love Shapa. Shapa is a great product, and he's a brilliant man. So, definitely get him on there, but I have one other follow-up. I talked last time that I'm going to be eating according to my PREDICT 3 study results, and I was going to do it after Thanksgiving.
Melanie Avalon: Mm-Hmm.
Gin Stephens: Well, they want you to commit to doing it for 28 days. So, I was starting to plan it., and I'm like, “Okay, I'm going to be ready to start.” And I'm like, “Wait a minute.” I'm going to the beach for few days with a friend. And then I also have Cal and his wife are coming to stay. What am I going to eat? And then we have Christmas. So I was like, “Nope, I'm waiting. I'm going to wait till right after Christmas.”
Melanie Avalon: Do they care when you do it?
Gin Stephens: No. They don't care what I do it. I'm going to start it after Christmas because I was just like, “I just can't.” I have a hard time with any not just eating whatever I want. I really feel I have to try it. I have to try it. I can't go through all this and then not try to do what they say to do.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'll be really interested to see how it goes.
Gin Stephens: I wonder what my Shapa will do. I will have some data there. Maybe I'll be like 12 years old. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Guess who I interviewed yesterday?
Gin Stephens: Was it Jason Fung?
Melanie Avalon: Nope.
Gin Stephens: Oh. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Although I am almost done with his book, Cancer Code.
Gin Stephens: But that one's coming up. Jason Fung is coming up.
Melanie Avalon: It is.
Gin Stephens: Well, then you're just going to have to tell me.
Melanie Avalon: Dr. Alan Goldhamer from True North Health Center, the extended fasting.
Gin Stephens: Oh, okay. Yeah. You told me you were going to talk to him.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. For listeners, he was in the Netflix documentary on well, and he spent a lot of podcast and he runs the-- Is it the only extended water fasting stay in center in the US? At one point, it was the only one.
Gin Stephens: It's the only one that I ever hear people talk about. I would be surprised if it is the only one because there's lots of things all over the place. It's just the only one that people always talk about.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's pretty well known for that, and very interesting conversation. We get so many questions on this show about extended fasting, but we don't really talk about it that much. We stick to intermittent fasting. So, it was really nice to really pick his brain on that topic. I think the most surprising thing for me, was that he basically recommends-- so he's a huge fan of daily intermittent fasting, but not longer than 16 hours.
Gin Stephens: Well, that's interesting.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. He thinks like a daily up to 16-hour fast, and then if you're doing longer fasts, then it's an extended fast, like, you're doing the five days or more.
Gin Stephens: He thinks either 16 or 5 days, that's so interesting.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. 5:40.
Gin Stephens: Either fast for 16 or 5 days.
Melanie Avalon: 16 hours, or 5 to 40 days. I think the reasoning was the protective mechanisms, and everything that happens with extended fasting is really kicking in later. He did talk about a little bit about fasting-mimicking diet. I don't know, it was really interesting, but he did say he really wanted to focus more on extended fasting. We didn't go too deep into intermittent fasting, but it was really motivational. Man, I want to do an extended water fast now.
Gin Stephens: I do not. I do not want to do. I can just say it. I mean, there might be some health situations that would cause me to rethink that. So, I'm not going to say I would never do one, but in the state of health that I am right now, I have no desires to.
Melanie Avalon: If when I move back to California, though, I definitely want to check it out because it's in California, so that could be fun.
Gin Stephens: I know you've talked before on the podcast about struggling with gaining weight, so I wonder-- technically, you're more to the lower end of the healthy weight for your body. Is that right? I wonder what would he say about doing an extended fast at that situation? If you're at the lower end of your weight range?
Melanie Avalon: I actually don't know if I'm underweight still, I might be. I should have asked him that. He did say the most benefits come with people who are healthy and normal weight and they want to just go to revitalize their body.
Gin Stephens: I love that he said that.
Melanie Avalon: I mean, obviously, a lot of people coming in are coming in to address obesity, like health issues, diabetes, gut health, many things. He did say a lot of people come are just normal people. I should have asked him about being underweight.
Gin Stephens: I do believe that's a contraindication for longer fasts.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm sure it is. For listeners, well, it's coming out probably way after this airs, but follow the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast because it's really a good episode to check out. When it airs, I'll mention it again on the show. Shall we jump into everything for today?
Gin Stephens: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: One more announcement before we do our questions. We are nearing Episode 200, and if listeners would like to submit questions, we are going to have an Ask Me Anything episode. So, you can ask us anything. By anything we mean, it doesn't have to be fasting related. It can be just whatever you like.
Gin Stephens: Awesome. I'm a little scared now. No. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: I'm not saying we will answer but--
Gin Stephens: You could ask. Exactly. All right, so we've got something from Shelley. The subject is Feedback for Food Sense. She says, “Hello. I have listened to all the intermittent fasting podcasts, read yours and Gin's books, starting to get into the biohacking podcasts now. I saw your offer for this app this morning and downloaded it right away. I have so many questions.” By the way, she's talking about Melanie's Food Sense app that was developed by Cal Stephens, I'm so proud of him.
Melanie Avalon: For Thanksgiving, I actually-- to my email list friends, get on my email list, melanieavalon.com/emaillist. I offered to give it away as my Thanksgiving gift to everybody. I basically spent all Thanksgiving for the exception of when I wasn't at get-togethers gifting it to people because I did not anticipate how many people would take me up on that offer. But it hit number five in the iTunes Store for all food and drinks. I want it to be number one, but I'm watching it.
Gin Stephens: Very cool. All right. She said, “I saw your offer for the app this morning and downloaded it right away. I have so many questions. I have always known I had food sensitivities. I thought it was gluten/wheat, and dairy. I did give those foods up and felt great. Then, not so consistent. I feel all foods bother me. I'm always constipated and bloated. On one of your podcasts, I heard about the Everlywell blood test. Ordered it and took it. Came back as eggs, egg whites, almonds, and cashews is my sensitivities in the 70s. Gluten wasn't much of an issue on the scale. Besides eliminating those items and reducing gluten, I haven't done a good elimination diet, but looking at Melanie's Food Sense Guide app, I'm trying to figure out the best way to use this app and find the foods that truly bother me.
For instance, thiols are high and eggs. Is that what I'm sensitive to? I looked at the other foods that are high on that, and I eat a lot of those foods, like coffee. I never even heard of thiols. Should I stop my coveted black coffee? If I could find a good clean tea to have in my window, I guess I could change. I guess my question is, what's the best way to use this app and make lists? Am I on the right track, start to eliminate or keep a list of foods with thiols or glutamates and how I feel when eating them. I'm excited to maybe figure out how to feel better.
As a little more background, I started IF two years ago this week. I lost 28 pounds, gained six back. I want to say some of it is muscle, since January I've been doing a cardio-strength class two times a week with cardio the other two to three days. I just don't feel as good as I did when I first started IF, and not losing a pound anymore. Just seeing the scale up. I'm a healthy eater, but getting super frustrated. But this app could be a life-changer. Any feedback or advice you have, I would love to hear. Thanks for all the information and support you provide. Love listening to you and Gin every week. Like you guys said last week, we can hear each of you every day of the week, but Tuesday.”
Melanie Avalon: I love it.
Gin Stephens: I do too. Thank you, Shelley, so much for your question. That actually made me think of one more thing that Dr. Goldhamer said yesterday. He said hands down the people who go on the extended fast. They lose a lot of weight obviously while fasting, a lot of its fat and when they regain it, they pretty much preferentially regain muscle if they're following. He advocates a sugar oil salt-free plant-based diet, and he's very passionate about that. But he did say that the weight gain that they see afterwards is typically muscle, which is pretty exciting. Going back to Shelley's question, for listeners, I made the Food Sense Guide app, with Gin son Cal, who is ridiculously talented and basically created exactly the app I was envisioning. I'm really grateful for that.
What it is, it is a comprehensive catalog of over 300 foods for 11 potentially problematic compounds that people can struggle with foods or that they might be reacting to. It's amines, FODMAPs, glutamates, gluten, histamines, lectins, oxalate, salicylates, sulfites, thiols, and nightshades. I made it because a lot of people follow low or high versions of all these different diets, and it can be really frustrating and overwhelming to know what you're reacting to. Like, gluten tends to be a pretty easy one, but things like oxalates, lectins, FODMAPs, it's really hard to keep all that information in one place. I pretty certain there is not any resource out there besides my app that has every food for all the compounds all in one place.
It can be overwhelming, though, because it's not going to tell you this is your problem. You have to be the detective and experiment with foods and look for trends yourself. It is my concern, and I've talked about this on some interviews where I've talked about it before, but I do get worried that people will do exactly what Shelley's doing. They'll think they're reacting to eggs, so they'll look at eggs and say, “Oh, eggs is high in thiols, it must be thiols, and that's not my intention. It really does require looking at your overall diet, looking for trends. It's a tool in your toolbox. What I would suggest is doing experiments, so if you suspect maybe, maybe it is thiols-- Oh, and by the way, in that there is compound info. If you want to learn about the compounds, you could go to thiols and you can read all about them. If you suspect, “Oh, maybe it's thiols,” then, I would suggest trying a low thiol diet for a little bit. Like she said, you can make list, so you can put different foods and you could do experiments and make notes and see how you feel.
I do think out of all the compounds, just from my perspective, what I think people do see radical changes with, if this is the issue bothering them is a lot of people have histamine overload, and doing a low histamine diet can be radical for a lot of people. My interview with Dr. Becky Campbell on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast all about histamine, so I'll put a link in the show notes to that. Also the FODMAP, I personally follow the FODMAP diet just in general. So, that's really helpful for me.
It's not the best answer for you, Shelley, but I would just recommend working with your foods, seeing how you react to things. I do have a comment about the Everlywell. I recently interviewed Dr. Anthony Beck. I haven't aired that episode yet. I really respect him. He knows a lot about testing things. He actually advocates a very specific because I asked him for testing food sensitivities, like what test should you be using? He advocates a very specific food sensitivity tests, which I will have to find out, which one it was specifically, but apparently most food sensitivity test. Just test your immediate IGM reaction. Is your immune system reacting to that food?
There's another test you can do that actually test the secondary effect of that IGM reaction. So, it tells you, “Okay, I'm having an IGM reaction, but is that actually a problem?” Because apparently we can have IGM reactions, and it's not a problem. What matters is how it's affecting things downstream. I really want to get that test done for myself.
Gin Stephens: Oh, that is interesting.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it has something to do with like the-- I don't know, lymph system, but I'm not sure about that. So, I’ll have to figure out what that test was and put a link to in the show notes because I really want to get that done. Yeah, as far as Shelley says she's excited to, how to feel better. I do believe very, very deeply that finding the foods that work for you is so, so huge for feeling well, also playing around weight loss. You could be eating calories that would typically lead to weight loss, but if those foods are inflammatory for you, it can be a huge hurdle. You can be storing water weight, when your body is an inflamed state, it is less likely to burn fat. Inflammatory cytokines create more fat storage throughout your body from the inflammation response. So, I do think that really looking at your foods and finding what's worked for you can be huge, and that's why I create this app. If anybody would like to get it, it is at melanieavalon.com/foodsenseguide. It is only on iOS iPhones right now because Cal, he's an apple developer, but I do have plans to release on Android in the future. Yeah, Shelley, if you find something that works for you, definitely let us know. Do you have thoughts, Gin?
Gin Stephens: To echo what you just said about when things are inflammatory for you that you'll feel so much better when you eliminate them. You know what I have recently eliminated that I'm still sad about alcohol.
Melanie Avalon: Alcohol.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, but, man, I feel so much better after realizing it wasn't working for my body. Like I said, “I'm not going to say I'll never drink alcohol again.” That's not realistic for me. Although, I mean, who knows? Maybe one day, it'll be 20 years from now, I'll be like, “Oh, I never did drink it again.” Who knows? But I'm not there yet. However, it's been, gosh, I guess-- I can't even think of the last time-- maybe it's been over a month since I've had alcohol. I lost like a puffiness that was around my eyes. Looking back at pictures from a year ago because really I switched to Dry Farm Wines, and I was drinking every day because it's clean wine. I was pretty much having wine every day. Anyway, it made a huge difference when I identified that was not working well for me. If it's thiols or salicylates or whatever it is, taking that out.
Melanie Avalon: I was just looking it up. Red wine because the app does have all alcohol pretty much. Red wine is high in amines, histamine, salicylates, and sulfites.
Gin Stephens: What about white wine? I do feel it's the alcohol versus the wine itself.
Melanie Avalon: Beer is high on almost everything. [laughs]
Gin Stephens: It didn't matter to me what I drank I still always felt bad The next day. Less bad with Dry Farm. I mean, that is 100% true. It has less alcohol than other wines, but less bad is still not fabulous.
Melanie Avalon: This is true.
Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. I want to take a minute to tell you about one of the sponsors for today's show. And that's Audible. Audible is the leading provider of spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks. Ranging from bestsellers to celebrity memoirs, news, business, and self-development. Every month, members get one credit to pick any title two audible originals from a monthly selection, access to Daily News digests and guided meditation programs. Beyond Audible’s normal entertainment and audiobook options, I want to tell you about something special they're offering right now. And that's stories.audible.com.
Families with children are facing unusual challenges right now as schools may or may not be opening as normal. Audible launched a special website where anyone, anywhere can stream hundreds of their titles completely free, no strings attached for as long as the quarantine lasts. Audible’s hope is that stories.audible.com will offer everyone, including parents, educators, and caregivers, anyone helping kids as daily routines are disrupted, a screen-free experience to look forward to each day. You don't need to be an Audible member to access these free stories. To access these free audiobooks and titles, you can simply visit stories.audible.com from your computers, tablets, or smartphones.
The experience is completely ad-free and completely anonymous. No need to download an app, sign up, or login. Just click, stream and listen. And now here's a special offer just for our listeners. Visit audible.com/ifpodcast or text IF Podcast to 500-500. Try Audible for free and get one free audiobook in your first month. Of course, Melanie and I recommend that you choose What When Wine or Fast. Feast. Repeat., or even Delay, Don't Deny. Or you can choose from the thousands of titles available on Audible. That's audible.com/ifpodcast. And now back to the show.
Melanie Avalon: All right, so now we have a question from Becky. The subject is Fasting Window Time. Becky says, “Hello Gin and Melanie. I've been listening to your podcast for about a year now and I've been fasting for about a year and a half. I only started clean fasting in May after listening to you both talk about the importance. I've combined it with very strict clean keto. I track everything and follow my macros to a tee. I've been following this way of life for almost 200 days straight with no cheats. Yay. I have lost over 60 pounds and I absolutely feel fabulous. A little backstory.
I'm a highly emotional binge eater. I will literally eat everything around, regardless of how full and sick to my stomach I feel. I'm a sugar addict. And I find that keto is the best for me because I have absolutely no control when I eat sugar. Fasting is another tool that really helps me because once I start to eat, I tend to want to snack and eat all day. I'm working hard to break these habits, and I've seen a lot of success. I can easily fast 18 to 22 hours every day. I like eating one big meal, and I like eating all of my macros at once. Here is my problem. When I close my window at about 5:30 PM, I struggled to fast when lunchtime hits. I'm a mom of four and I have to make lunches for them. They become very irritable and all I can think about is eating. If I eat a big lunch and skipped dinner instead, I can easily fast the 18 to 22 hours, no problem. I get that maybe my body does better with an earlier eating window, but I would really prefer to eat dinner with my kids and my husband. Is there any tips you can give me to get through the lunchtime torture? I already tried tapping through my urges.” For, listeners, that's tapping, like, what does it stand for? Emotional Freedom Technique? Go to melanieavalon.com/tapping, if you want to learn more about it.
She says, “I remind myself that these thoughts will pass, then my hunger is not an emergency, but I usually end up giving in because my body trying to tell me it runs better on an earlier eating window. I'm hoping you ladies have some great ideas for making my fasting window work better for me and my family. Thank you both so much for taking the time, to not only answer my question, but also for all the work you do for the podcast. I really can't tell you how much you both have influenced my life. Thanks again, Becky.”
Gin Stephens: Well, thank you so much, Becky. This is a tricky one because go back to what you said that you become irritable at lunchtime and all you can think about is eating. It's just one of those things you have to like, weigh out. You make a list, pros and cons, because we can't tell you which of these to do. I can't say I think you should just eat lunch or I think you should just push through and eat dinner. I can't tell you either of those answers. I know that it would be nice if I could, maybe Melanie is going to have a great answer about which to do. I thought and thought about this. For me, when I find myself early in the day, when I was struggling to make intermittent fasting a lifestyle, I would too become irritable because I was trapped in the can't mindset. I can't eat right now. I shifted my mindset thinking instead was like, “No, I'm choosing not to eat right now.” It's not that I can't eat, I could, but I'm going to wait until later because, for me, I feel better when I eat later. I got tired when I ate earlier.
For you, it sounds almost you feel better when you eat earlier. It's hard to tell completely, but if your body is doing better with that earlier eating window, if you're irritable, because it's the thought that you can't eat, and if you're-- you can't shift that mindset to, “Okay, I'm just going too fast, and I'm going to eat with my family,” then maybe you should eat earlier. I want you to make some lists, like pros and cons, like why would I want to eat in the middle of the day? Why would I choose to eat lunch as my big meal? What are the cons to that? Vice versa. Why would I want to eat dinner? And what are the cons with that? I find that when I start writing things down, the answer becomes obvious to me, for myself. I'm struggling with what to do, what to do, but writing it all out, makes it clear. That's what I would suggest that you do.
I don't want you to feel you're giving in or that you're fighting against urges. You’ve got to somehow shift the thinking away from, “I'm fighting this as a battle.” Shift that mindset, like, “You know what, I've realized that it is very important to me to eat with my family and it is not torture that I'm not eating lunch. I feel great when I don't eat lunch, I'm going to be fine.” Is it an emotional feeling that you need to eat? You're really hungry and that's when your body needs to eat? So, make your decisions based on what you write down? The answers to those questions. What you really feel like your body is telling you, and not just your emotions. What do you think, Melanie?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I really like that idea about the list a lot. I really like what you said about, because it is hard to tell from what she said if wanting to eat is emotional or physical. Is it irritable, just because you want to be eating it or-- I mean, she says all she can think about is eating, which makes it sound like it is more physical, like she actually feels-- Well. It's confusing because it sounds like that, but then she also says that it's pretty effortless or easy to fast long and she feels fabulous. If it is a mental thing and not so much an actual hunger thing, I would actually really recommend checking out Dr. Glenn Livingston's work, that might be something that works for you. He has the Never Binge Again approach. It's not just for benching, it's for anything where you're trying to deal with that voice in your head that is upset about what it wants to be doing. He calls it the pig that wants to be eating.
Gin Stephens: I call it my inner toddler who wants it now. My inner toddler wants it now. It's like, “But I want it now. I want to eat this leftover Thanksgiving meal now. Yeah, I don't want to wait.”
Melanie Avalon: I like that toddler. If it is that where it's literally just the toddler or the pig, and it's not anything about actual needing the food, then that could be an approach that might really work for you. I've done two episodes with him. The first episode I think, is melanieavalon.com/neverbingeagain. And then I did a Q&A episode with him. I actually released that last week, that was really popular too. So that's melanieavalon.com/bingetriggers. That's that approach you could try, but it does sound like what Gin said and what she's saying that the earlier window does work better for her. So, if it turns out that physically health-wise peace with food, that everything is better with the earlier window-- I'm wondering, so can she like-- if she does lunch and closes it, is it unpleasant to sit at dinner without eating?
Gin Stephens: Well, she said if she skips dinner, she can easily fast, no problem. So, really, it might be a matter of feeling like she should eat dinner with her kids and her husband. That whole like, “Well, I really should be eating with them because that's “the right thing to do,” I need to eat with my family. Instead, you could just be with your family, being with people. I've gone to family events where-- I could think of a big family party that I went to a few years ago when my niece-- I think she turned 21, and it was lunchtime. I went and it was like, I don't know, an outdoor event place. I looked at the food and it was not something I really wanted to eat. I would have opened my window if it had been something-- I think it was barbecue, and I'm real picky about barbecue, and it looked fine, but I didn't want to eat the barbecue. I was like, “I'm just going to visit with everybody instead.” It wasn't weird, and it was okay. I didn't force myself to eat food at a time I didn't want to eat it. Food, I didn't want to eat at a time I didn't want to eat it, really. Maybe make that mindset shift. They want to be with you at dinner time, but you can have a mug of some clean fast approved beverage that you like, and you could sit there with them and be with your family.
Melanie Avalon: I understand because it can be hard if you feel like, if it's awkward or you feel the odd one out, or that you're not partaking, goodness knows I think it took probably 10 years for my family to finally accept my craziness when it comes to-- whether or not I'm eating at certain get-togethers. I wish there was a really easy answer for this.
Gin Stephens: I will always eat at a gathering if it's window worthy. I'll have a longer window, too. I don't mind having two meals in a day if the food is really window worthy, and I want to eat it. I have no problem with that. I am cheesy, I'm not going to open it just because everybody's eating or it's expected we're all going to eat right now.
Melanie Avalon: I wonder if she can't do dinner with her family, not eat, drink water or whatever. And if everybody is completely accepting and normal, or if that's like that works for everybody, that would be my suggestion. I just don't know if it feels strange. I don't know how old our kids are either.
Gin Stephens: I think modeling a healthy relationship with food is the most important thing. When you do eat, let them see you eat and model that you're not stressed about it.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, definitely. Definitely that.
Gin Stephens: Because all those diets that I did over the years, I'm sure that modeled a lot more craziness than intermittent fasting when people see me eat the foods that I love with gusto.
Melanie Avalon: This made me think of one other thing. Can I share it?
Gin Stephens: No, I'm sorry, you are not allowed to share anything else. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: I feel bad going on tangents, but it's good advice. One of the other things because Dr. Goldhamer who I interviewed yesterday, he also wrote a book called The Pleasure Trap. There's a chapter in it, because he obviously talks a lot about fasting in the book, or following really intense diets. There's a section on dealing with social pressures. I know, this isn't quite relate because this is not social pressure from her family, but just for those who are struggling with social pressures. He points out that the route of pressure that we get from people to break our diet or not follow our diet, or whatever we're doing really has two main routes. It's either a lack of knowledge on their part, like not understanding the reasons for the diet or the fasting, or it's embarrassment from the other person because people often become really self-conscious about their own choices. It becomes a mirror to other people about their own choices. The thing I really liked that nice tool takeaway was for the first option, where people just don't have a knowledge surrounding it. They call it the Seems Approach.
They said, rather than saying, like, really confidently, and you should be confident, but rather than being super, like, “Oh, I'm doing this because this is the way it needs to be and this is healthy and this is going to change my life,” and blah, blah, blah. Just make everything less committal and make it about it seems. It seems to me that this might help me or It seems that I'm feeling better, or it seems, that can come off as a lot less abrasive to people and a lot less scary. I liked that.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, frame it around like how it works for you.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, how it seems to be working. Yeah, Becky, let us know what you settle on. Could you do both? Could you do the lunch some days and then some days you have family dinner?
Gin Stephens: Yep. Also, if you're fasting 18 hours, that gives you six hours for an eating window. You could really just have a smaller lunch and a smaller dinner.
Melanie Avalon: I thought about that, but she says she likes eating one big meal and eating everything at once.
Gin Stephens: Well, it's none of them seem to be perfect. She likes to eat lunch, and she likes to eat dinner, and she likes to eat one meal. Something's going to have to give. There's no way to do all those things.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, maybe you could do a 80% lunch and then like, nibbling at dinner?
Gin Stephens: That's a great suggestion.
Melanie Avalon: Make your dinner the dessert and you just nibble on.
Gin Stephens: Something small. Yeah, really good idea. Substantial lunch, little bit with the family.
Melanie Avalon: That's what they say. I don't like saying it because it crystallizes a approach that I don't think is necessarily needs to be crystallized, but the breakfast like a king lunch, like a-- What is it? Breakfast like a king, lunch like a something, dinner like a--
Gin Stephens: Pauper? I don't know what the middle is.
Melanie Avalon: Maybe could do a lunch like a king, dinner like a pauper approach.
Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. I want to take a minute to tell you about one of our sponsors for this episode, BiOptimizers. According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death. Stress has been implicated in heart issues, inflammation, obesity, mental illness, and more. Most people think of stress as caused by things like work traffic, tense relationships, and they focus on solutions, like meditation, going to the spa and so on. What if the root of much of the stress we experience comes down to deficiency of one overlooked nutrient? That nutrient is magnesium.
Magnesium is the body's master mineral, and it powers over 300 critical reactions, including detoxification, fat metabolism, energy, stress, even digestion. All are influenced by the presence of magnesium. If there's one mineral you should be worried about not getting enough of, it's magnesium. That's why we're so excited to tell you about our favorite magnesium product called Magnesium Breakthrough.
It's the ultimate magnesium supplement. With all seven forms of this mineral. We have a great deal especially for our audience. With volume discounts combined with our custom 10% coupon code, IFPODCAST10, you can save up to 40% off select packages of Magnesium Breakthrough. That's an amazing value. And that deal is only available when you go to bioptimizers.com/ifpodcast. You won't find that deal on Amazon or even the company's own website. Say goodbye to having to by seven different bottles of magnesium to get the complete dose and say hello to Magnesium Breakthrough.
Go to buy bioptimizers.com/ifpodcast and use coupon code IFPODCAST10, to save up to 40% off select packages to get the most full-spectrum and effective magnesium product ever. That's B-I-O-P-T-I-M-I-Z-E-R-S dotcom slash IF podcast. And don't forget to use the code IFPODCAST 10. Now back to the show.
Gin Stephens: All right, now we have a question from Amanda. The subject is Maca or Maca Root, Katie's Question Episode 187. Hi, Gin and Melanie, love the podcasts. You two are a huge part of my life as I spend hours a week with you.” Yay, that was just me. “I wanted to respond to Katie's question, second try has been brutal from this week's podcast number 187. Katie said she started adding maca root to her protein shakes. I was having similar problems getting IF to work as well as it had been. I believe underlying stress is the root cause. Unfortunately, I do not have answers. However, I do know what was not an answer for me. maca root. I experimented with maca root to help balance hormones hoping for relief. This is when things got worse. I felt heavier and got heavier. Research led me to find articles and YouTube videos of people who want to gain weight using maca to achieve this. I had no idea weight gain could be a side effect. I was taking maca powder. Perhaps side effects vary based on dose type, whether taken topically or orally. Sometimes what works for one person,can have the opposite effect on another. Hormones are so complicated. Have you heard of this side effect? Are there other solutions like this, which may be detrimental to some? Thanks for all you do, Amanda.” Again, if I said it wrong, it's maca or maca, or whichever.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I love this question from Amanda not so much to like, go on a whole tangent about-- I say maca about maca, but more because I think she highlighted something that really, really is huge for a lot of people. I'm thinking it's something to think about more, and that's exactly what she said is that a lot of these supplements, a lot of these foods, a lot of these things, especially things that have hormonal effects. It's often easy to think, “Oh, it does this one thing for everybody, and that's what it's going to do, and that's why I should take it.” When really it can be it-- I mean, so many things can have different effects on so many people. She found a good example apparently of maca where some people are taking it for their stress and the help their workouts and maybe lose weight from that, but then some people are taking it to gain weight.
I don't actually have a lot of thoughts on maca. I don't take it myself. I think it's really important for listeners to be aware that if they are taking something that's typically something like a supplement that's not a straight-up food, definitely do your research and definitely see how it's making you feel. If it's not providing the effects that you're looking for, definitely be open to not taking it anymore.
Gin Stephens: This is one Dr. Cabeca really likes, right?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Dr. Cabeca really likes maca. I don't want to scare people away from maca, because a lot of people do do well with it. I know one of the tribes well known for using it, I think they call it-- I think Dr. Cabeca talks about this, but you have some really fancy name for it. It means like wonder or something-- They use it for vitality and energy, and it's like, the bee's knees if that phrase is still used today.
Gin Stephens: Well, as you know, we're all so different with our bodies and the foods and the supplements that work for us. I think I told this story on the podcast, maybe two years ago. I don't know it was a long time ago, but a friend of mine was taking the supplement that she said, I started taking, blah, blah, blah, whatever it was, and it was so fabulous. It made me feel so much better. I'm like, “Oh, I'm going to take that too.” So, I'll start taking it. Just because she said she was taking it.
Melanie Avalon: I remember that. What was it?
Gin Stephens: I can't remember what it was, but she had some kind of one of those genetic things that it's for, if you've got this, whatever.
Melanie Avalon: I remember that. Yeah.
Gin Stephens: I started to feel so terrible. I started to feel anxious. Then I was like, “Could it be the supplement?” I looked it up. Yeah, it was the supplement. She was taking it for this genetic, whatever that she's got that I don't have. It made me feel terrible. It was the wrong thing for me. So, that taught me a very huge lesson. At that point, I was like, “Never take something just because someone you know said it is great for them.” Figure out why they're taking it, what's the purpose? Do you have that same need for it? Isn't going to do the same thing for you and trust how you feel?
Melanie Avalon: 100%. Shall we go to our next question?
Gin Stephens: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: All right, so the next question, it comes from Katie. The subject is Sleep Paleo and a Plateau. Oh, my. Katie says hello, “Gin and Melanie, thank you so much for your podcast. I have both of your books, although it took me a while to get What Went Wine, as I am a recovering alcoholic, and I didn't think it would apply to me. However, I recently switched to paleo and it clicked. I needed Melanie's book. I'll try to keep it short, but also want to give you the full picture, so you can answer my question armed with all of the facts.
I began IF in June 2020, following my mom's lead. She started in May. I have over a decade long history of chronic restrictive dieting. When I began IF, I allowed myself #allthethings I had restricted for years. I'm a 35-year-old mother of two boys, six and nine.” She says, “Gin help.”
Gin Stephens: [laughs] Oh, yeah. They're just starting to smelly years.
Melanie Avalon: Oh my. “I am 4’11”, and my starting weight was 151 pounds. The first 20 pounds came off easily. All the while eating everything I wanted to and my window. I started 16:8, and I am now at about 24 I. have hit the dreaded plateau. The scale has not moved in months. I decided to clean up my diet, but I refuse to count calories because of my obsessive dieting history. I tried keto. My mom has lost 50 pounds doing IF and keto, not for me. Two weeks ago, I decided to attend paleo, bought Melanie's book and was ready to dive in. I have not been perfect and the scale has moved slightly, but I am hovering just above 130 pounds, which I've been at for four months and I want desperately to be in the 120s. My ultimate goal is around 110 pounds.
My question is, is there any further tweaking I can do to reach my goal? I know, I know. Alternate day fasting. Sigh. I take medication every day, which needs to be taken with food and honestly ADF scares me. I don't think I can stop it just 500 calories because once it starts eating, I don't want to stop. I’ve red light device, wearable weights, BiOptimizers products and BluBlox. My credit card is not thank you, lol. I take progesterone as I experience horrible menstrual symptoms, nausea, lower abdominal pain and migraines many days of the month. I have interstitial cystitis and ASPD, advanced sleep phase disorder. So, my sleep schedule is wack. I go to bed early 6:00 PM and rise early 2:00 or 3:00 AM, and wake several times during the night to go to the restroom. I'm overheated. Or if my kids took over my bed.” Does she get up and stay up after 3:00 AM? She goes to bed at 6:00? Wow, that is so interesting.
She says, “Is this just a classic case of my body has reached its new setpoint, and the best I can hope for is body composition through fasting and weight training? Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I work out four to five days a week, alternating between cardio days and lifting days. I think I've been listening to you gals long enough to know what you might say, but I wanted to pick your brain anyways. Maybe there's something else I'm not thinking of. Could it be stress? My sleep schedule? I've adjusted my eating window to around noon to 4:00, since I go to bed so early. Do I just need to get this paleo way of life more time and trust the process? Plus, I wanted to tell you how amazing and beautiful I think you both are.” So nice. She says, “And thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication. I was a member of both of your Facebook groups until I decided to deactivate my account due to a lot of negativity surrounding current events. It was messing with my vibe. Thank you so much, Katie.”
Gin Stephens: All right. Well, thank you, Katie. You're really still very new to intermittent fasting since you started in June. I think the fact that you have a history of chronic restrictive dieting is very important. If you've been doing chronic restrictive dieting for years prior to starting intermittent fasting, it's going to take your body longer to trust you. The first 20 pounds came off easily, and now you are feeling stuck. So, you did just switch up what you're eating two weeks ago and then you said towards the end there, do you need to get this way of life more time and trust the process the paleo way of life? I will say yes to that. You've only been changing what you're eating for two weeks. You definitely need to give that some more time. I would I'd be patient with that.
I hear you on not wanting to do alternate daily fasting because the idea of it sounds scary. You said you don't think you can stop at just 500 calories. Here's something that's interesting. A lot of people say that, and then they try it, and then they realize, “Oh, if I choose strategically for my down day meal, it really can be a filling amount of food.” It's just a matter of choosing food that's really going to fill you up and make you feel satisfied from it. If I have 500 calories snack packs of something, I'd be ravenous. Of course, you're not going to do that because you're eating paleo, but you get my point. 500 calories can be nothing that substantial, or it can be a really, really filling and satisfying meal. So, if your normal window has been between noon and 4:00, I bet if you ate something paleo, a large 500 calorie paleo substantial something at 4:00, then you would be satisfied and you would want to stop because you'd be full. Then the next day would be an up day and see that's where the key is going to be. I think you might need some metabolic boosting. Which is why I think ADF would be so good for you, because of that, that chronic restrictive dieting that you've done for so long.It's going to take time for your body to really start to trust you again.
That's what I would recommend. Don't be afraid of that 500 calorie meal, and the key is just to find something that's going to satisfy you, and make you feel you've had a big meal because you really can eat a large volume of food for a 500 calorie down day meal. What do you think, Melanie?
Melanie Avalon: The biggest thing I saw, reading this was reevaluating the seeming plateau because she says the weight hasn't moved in months. Then, she says she started paleo and not even 100% paleo, and the scale moved in two weeks. That sounds to me you're at a plateau, you started doing paleo, not even complete paleo, and the scale started moving again. To me, I echo what Gin said. This was the main thing I was going to say was 100% give the paleo approach longer because it sounds like it actually is doing something, doesn't sound to me, like it's--
Gin Stephens: Maybe she needs a Shapa scale because really, I can't express highly enough how important it is to have a way of knowing what your overall trend is doing. Are you weighing daily and then calculating your weekly average, you can do that yourself. Or you could go buy a Shapa of color, or you can use the Happy Scale app that does that for you as well, if you need to see the number. But all of those things can really help you see your overall trend, because I know my weight fluctuated a lot. And it wasn't until I started using the trend method of weekly averaging that I finally was able to feel confident that I was making progress, of course, this was way back in 2014, but it saved my sanity. It was the only time I didn't quit, when I started focusing on the trend, was the only time in my life that I didn't quit something..
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I am really liking the Shapa scale.
Gin Stephens: The calibration period is the annoying part, I get it. In order to really have the good statistical, you've got to go through that.
Melanie Avalon: I like how it gives you like a message about how you're doing.
Gin Stephens: You feel like it likes you.
Melanie Avalon: I know. You feel like it's on your side. Normally the scale feels like, ugh, but it's like this scale is on my side. One other thing about the paleo though, it's hard to know what that looks like. Are you pretty much doing-- I'm assuming listeners are very familiar with paleo, but if you're not, it's basically eliminating, and the way I talk about it in my book What When Wine, which I really recommend listeners get if they are at all interested in trying the paleo whole foods approach. It's basically eliminating grains, processed foods. I have it by yes, no, and maybe. Usually eliminating most legumes, dairy, things like that, but there are layers, and you can find what works for you. I would recommend for Katie, if you can commit 100% to the paleo and sticking it out. That can be huge. With being not doing it completely, I don't know what that other stuff that you're having in is. It's really hard to speak to that. When all else fails, going the whole foods route, I think, not the store--
Gin Stephens: I'd be out of luck if I had to go to the store, since we don't have one.
Melanie Avalon: Although I do go to Whole Foods every day. Oh, that's right. I get so sad every time you see that. The foods that are whole route. Actually, something else Dr. Goldhamer said yesterday, which I've been thinking a lot. It's haunting me, and I'm like, “I don't know, maybe this is true.” He actually thinks it is impossible to be obese if you eat completely whole foods plant-based diet, which I thought was really interesting.
Gin Stephens: Whole foods, plant-based?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Only whole plants.
Gin Stephens: That's interesting. Now, I don't know. I'm trying to think about that. It's really hard to do, though for me, like nothing, but plants.
Melanie Avalon: Me, too. I don't advocate it. I talked to him about this on the show. I do think there is massive role and benefit for a lot of people animal protein.
Gin Stephens: I just get so hungry, like so hungry.
Melanie Avalon: I will say though, because, basically, I try to not be on Facebook all the time, especially since I do a lot in my own group. The groups that I flirt between are polar opposites. They're basically like the low carb keto carnivore groups and then they're like the fruitarian 80/10/10 groups just because I'm so fascinated that people thrive on these shockingly different approaches. I will see a lot of people in the fruitarian, 80/10/10, like whole foods plant-based will say that the lowest weights they are is when they're doing that and they're basically-- it's like they can't enough to--
Gin Stephens: The fruitarian.
Melanie Avalon: Mm-Hmm. Especially fruitarian people say they like they can't eat enough to actually maintain the weight. I'm not saying that. I'm not saying do fruitarian, but I'm saying there's definitely something to eating completely whole foods.
Gin Stephens: The skinniest I ever was, I was not eating whole foods. I've talked about this before, but when I was eating really, really low fat, I looked really terrible. I was eating junk. Sigh. No, that's not recommended. Now we know better.
Melanie Avalon: She said keto didn't work for her. Just want to count calories. Yeah, especially if you don't want to count calories, the whole foods paleo approach. So, encourage you to stick it out, get a Shapa scale, and then tweak things from there. I will say I have a hack for keto that people don't talk about. I don't really ever see people talking about it.
Gin Stephens: All right, I've got a guess as to what it might be, but I'm not going to say my guess. But go ahead and say it. Let me see if it's what? I'll tell you if that was what my guess was.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. If you find that keto does work for you, but you're not losing the weight. If you make the entirety as much as you can, the entirety of the fats, the MCT C8 oil, just give that a try. Basically, like instead of fatty meats, and butter, and nuts, and all that, lean meats, green vegetables, and have the fat be MCT oil C8 only, I think it can actually make a lot of people lose a lot of weight. It's all the effects of keto, but the C8 MCT is the least likely-- I mean, it's very unlikely you're going to store it as fat, it doesn't really get stored as fat. It just massively boosts your metabolism, keeps you in ketosis, and the weight often can drop off. A lot people will think they're doing this with coconut oil only, but coconut oil actually has a lot of saturated fat in it. It's not just the medium chain triglycerides. You could do just like normal MCT oil, which is usually C8, C10. But if you do just C8, and I'll put a link in the show notes. They make this. This isn't hard to get it, it's on Amazon. That's my hack. Was that what you're thinking?
Gin Stephens: I knew it was going to be something about tweaking your fat, because I think that's something that-- For me, I know, I tried keto and my macros were perfect. It didn't work for me. I think a lot of it, if I’d eaten, it like you said, with the different fat. I had a lot of dairy fat.
Melanie Avalon: I think I went through a phase where I was doing what I just said. I wasn't counting calories.
Gin Stephens: Is that when you were like dipping your chicken in the--
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, the MCT oil. I love the way it taste. Well, basically, it actually creates like an umami effect. It really just accentuates the flavor of whatever you are eating.
Gin Stephens: After that bad experience I had with MCT oil, I'll never buy it again.
Melanie Avalon: Which one did you take? Well, I guess it was--
Gin Stephens: I don't remember, but it was-- Oh, no, I'm not getting it.
Melanie Avalon: If you do get it, listeners, I have done my vetting. Get the one that I list. It's in glass only. Yeah, get that one. I probably in the period where I was doing that really intensely-- I mean, I was probably eating 4000 or 5000 calories a day, and I am losing weight.
Gin Stephens: I've told you my story before with my MCT oil shots.
Melanie Avalon: Oh yeah.
Gin Stephens: It was my anniversary of 2015. Yes, it was my anniversary.
Melanie Avalon: Your marriage anniversary or your fasting anniversary?
Gin Stephens: My marriage anniversary, is my anniversary with my husband. I had read this book, I was still in those wacky groups that were all doing crazy diet things and someone had read the Shangri-La Diet. We were all talking about the Shangri-La Diet and how--
Melanie Avalon: I remember that.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, you remember that diet? You were supposed to chug olive oil, but not tasted. That was the whole theory of that one. I was like, “Well, I'm going to chug MCT oil instead,” and it was supposed to reset your appetite and make you not hungry or something about the way your body, anyway. I can't remember it. It has a very interesting premise. That was just a theory. I was like, “I'm going to chug this MCT oil.” I took a shot, and then we were going to go out to dinner with my-- I was going with my husband. So, you're supposed to take the oil away from food. I chugged the MCT oil, and, oh my gosh. [laughs] Can you just say digestive upset? It went straight through me. Well, at home before I went to the restaurant-- it wasn't anything embarrassing in public. I didn't have an accident, but I felt like I might, was about to, and it was so painful. My stomach hurt so bad. We went to this great Italian restaurant. I was like, “I've got bathroom, I’ll be back.” [laughs] I'm a little-- [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, listeners, definitely proceed with caution because that's very common response. I was actually talking with James Clement, who wrote the book, The Switch, who I've had on the show, and we were talking about it and about the response that people have because you can also get-- we were trying to figure out the mechanism of action behind it because he was trying it and it made him nauseous. We were trying to think like, why is that? Is it liver processing it? Its effect on bacteria populations? Endotoxin? I don't know. So, go slow.
Gin Stephens: Well, it's like my body rejected it and wanted it out. Let me just put it that way.
Melanie Avalon: Do proceed with caution if you try this crazy hack.
Gin Stephens: However, if you're having trouble with constipation, it might be a solution.
Melanie Avalon: It is good for that.
Gin Stephens: Anyhow. I can laugh about it now. It was painful. My stomach hurt so badly. It was not something I'll ever forget. Good times. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Good times. [laughs] All right. Wow, this is an absolutely wonderful. Few things for listeners before we go. You can submit your own questions to the podcast, just go to email@example.com. Or, you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can follow us on Instagram. Gin, I'm doing Instagram all the time now. Are you?
Gin Stephens: No.
Melanie Avalon: Oh. People are commenting. They're like, “Listening to you talk about Instagram makes this so much more funny.” Like, looking at the pictures.
Gin Stephens: Here's another picture of my cat. Here's another picture of my Christmas tree. [laughs] Okay, I'll do it right now. I'm going to take a picture of this little Christmas tree while I'm recording the podcast--
Melanie Avalon: And say, “This is the Instagram that Melanie's forcing me to post.”
Gin Stephens: I'm doing it right now. All right.
Melanie Avalon: I'm going to like it.
Gin Stephens: Okay, I hope you like it. Everybody can go back to Instagram and see what Gin posted on November 28. They’d be like, “Oh, that was when she was recording the podcast.” It's so hard to post things on.
Melanie Avalon: Did I tell you? I took a picture with your book, but I haven't posted it yet. Oh, at Target. Friends, do that. Go to Target and get Fast. Feast. Repeat. and take a picture and tag Target. Right?
Gin Stephens: Yes, please do that. Target loves to see and they call people guests. Target loves to see their guests sharing things. So, please do so.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Follow us on Instagram. I'm MelanieAvalon, Gin is GinStephens. I think that is everything. Oh, I didn't even say this whole episode, the show notes are at ifpodcast.com/episode192. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Anything from you, Gin, before we go.
Gin Stephens: Nope. Not a thing.
Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, I will talk to you next week.
Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-bye.
Melanie Avalon: Bye.
Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember that everything discussed on the show is not medical advice. We're not doctors. You can also check out our other podcasts, Intermittent Fasting Stories, and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Theme music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week.
STUFF WE LIKE