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May 03

Episode 159: Anna Cabeca, Keto Green, Hormonal Changes, Menopause, Alkalinity, IF for Women, Reversing Infertility, Sexual Health And More!

Intermittent Fasting


 Subscribe For Updates HERE!

Welcome to Episode 159 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 Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Dr. Anna Cabeca, an Emory University trained gynecologist and women's health expert was diagnosed with early menopause at age 38 y.o. Devastated she went around the world looking for answers and healing and found it. She is now a triple board-certified, menopause and hormone expert. She is internationally acclaimed for her work in gynecology and obstetrics, integrative medicine, and anti-aging and regenerative medicine. Dr. Cabeca has changed the lives of thousands of women across the globe, connecting to others through humor, honesty and passion. Her new book “Keto Green 16” and other empowering transformation programs have helped women of all ages become their best selves again. Her successful line of all-natural products features the alkaline superfoods drink Mighty Maca® PLUS and the rejuvenating vulvar cream Julva®. Recently, Dr. Cabeca was named “2018 Innovator of the Year” by Mindshare Collaborative, the premier community for health and wellness influencers and entrepreneurs. In 2017, the Age Management Medicine Group presented her the prestigious Alan P. Mintz Award for Clinical Excellence.

You can discover more about Dr. Cabeca at and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Get Keto-Green 16: The Fat-Burning Power of Ketogenic Eating + The Nourishing Strength of Alkaline Foods = Rapid Weight Loss and Hormone Balance

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:

BiOptimizers: A company whose mission is to fix your digestion! They make a range of awesome supplements, including digestive and proteolytic enzymes, gluten-hacks, a "one size fits all" superstar probiotoic, HCL, and more! Get their super potent Masszymes to digest your food properly!!! Use The Link To Claim Your Free Bottle!

BLUBlox: Overexposure to blue light in our modern environments can lead to increased anxiety, stress, headaches, and other health conditions. Even a tiny exposure to artificial light can completely offset your circadian rhythm! Unlike many “blue light blocking” glasses on the market, BLUBlox provides glasses that block the exact blue wavelengths you need to regulate sleep, reduce anxiety, and much more! They also provide different types of glasses for the time of day, season, and your personal electronic and light exposure! Plus, for every BLUblox purchase, they donate a pair of glasses to someone in need! Go To And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

To submit your own questions, email, or submit your questions here!! 


01:10 - BIOPTIMIZERS:  Use The Link To Claim Your Free Bottle!

Episode 97: All About Hormones With Dr. Anna Cabeca: IF And Menstrual Cycles, Menopause, The Keto Green Diet, The Importance Of Alkalinity, The Role Of Stress, Insulin/Cortisol/Oxytocin, And More!

05:20 - Anna's Personal Health Journey; Reversing Infertility And Menopause

07:40 - Sailing Through Menopause With Keto Green and IF

09:00  - Stages Of Hormonal Change; What Is Normal?

12:35 -  It Takes More Than Hormones To Fix Our Hormones; All Of The Hormones At Play  

15:30 - BEAUTY COUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order!

17:30 - Living In A Modern World And It's Effect On Hormones

22:10 - Stress Management In This Uncertain Time

24:00 - Irritability On A Standard Keto Diet; Urine pH And Chronic Disease

27:15 - Dr. Cabeca's Approach To Keto; Green Food And Importance Of Alkalinity

29:55 - Dirty Keto Vs Keto Green

31:35 - Alkalinizing Your Body

36:00 - Listener Q&A: Anjali & Teegan  - Is IF Safe For Women, Fertility, Hormonal Balance

Get The Hormone Fix: The natural way to balance your hormones, burn fat and alleviate the symptoms of the perimenopause, the menopause and beyond

Prolonged Nightly Fasting and Breast Cancer Prognosis

41:05 - Listener Q&A: Melissa  - Which IF Window Is Right For Women?

46:00 - Breaking Through A Plateau With Keto Green

Get Keto-Green 16: The Fat-Burning Power of Ketogenic Eating + The Nourishing Strength of Alkaline Foods = Rapid Weight Loss and Hormone Balance

52:10 - BLUBLOX: Go To And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

54:00 - Listener Q&A: Stacy  - What Effect Does IF Have On Sex, Sexual Hormones, And Sex Drive?

56:30 - Supplementing With Hormones; Is There A Benefit?

1:00:00 - Toxins And Endocrine Disruptors In Beauty Products


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


BUY Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine, Gin's Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, and/or Gin's Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast

Intermittent Fasting Stories

More on Melanie:  

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Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox:

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



Feb 25

Episode 97: All About Hormones With Dr. Anna Cabeca: IF And Menstrual Cycles, Menopause, The Keto Green Diet, The Importance Of Alkalinity, The Role Of Stress, Insulin/Cortisol/Oxytocin, And More!

Diet Mindsets , Hormones , Intermittent Fasting , Metabolism


 Subscribe For Updates HERE!

Welcome to Episode 97 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 Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Dr. Anna Cabeca, a triple board certified, Emory University trained physician and hormone expert was diagnosed with early menopause at age 38. Devastated, she set out on a personal wellness journey to reverse her menopause side effects, which resulted in her delivery of a healthy baby girl at the age of 41.After experiencing her own health successes, Dr. Cabeca began counseling others, ultimately changing the lives of thousands of women across the globe. Her new book The Hormone Fix and other empowering transformation programs have helped women of all ages become their best selves again. Her successful line of all-natural products features the alkaline superfoods drink Mighty Maca® PLUS and the rejuvenating vulvar cream Julva®.Recently, Dr. Cabeca was named “2018 Innovator of the Year” by Mindshare Collaborative, the premier community for health and wellness influencers and entrepreneurs. In 2017, the Age Management Medicine Group presented her the prestigious Alan P. Mintz Award for Clinical Excellence.

You can discover more about Dr. Cabeca at and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Get The Hormone Fix: Burn Fat Naturally, Boost Energy, Sleep Better, and Stop Hot Flashes, the Keto-Green Way!

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by

Australis Barramundi: Melanie's FAVORITE fish!! Australis utilizes sustainable practices to raise delicious barramundi fish with fantastic omega-3 levels, tested to be free of mercury and other toxins! They raise their fish responsibly, paying the utmost care to animal health, employee safety, and environmental sustainability, flash freezing their fish at peak freshness! Their barramundi are easy to cook, and even kids love the mild and buttery taste! You can find Australis Barramundi in the freezer section of many fine grocery stores, including Whole Foods! Check out the for more information, and specifically for all the awesome benefits! You can also follow Australis: @thebetterfish on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook! Go To Better.Fish/ifpodcast For An In Store Coupon!

Joovv Red Light Therapy: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels. It works on the mitochondrial level to help your cells generate more energy! Red light can help you burn fat (including targeted fat burning and stubborn fat!), contour your body, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, produce collagen for epic skin, support muscle recovery, reduce joint pain and inflammation, combat fatigue, help you sleep better, improve mood, and so much more!! Use The Link Joovv.coom/IFPodcast with the code IFPODCAST for a free gift!

BioOptimizers: A company whose mission is to fix your digestion! They make a range of awesome supplements, including digestive and proteolytic enzymes, gluten-hacks, a "one size fits all" superstar probiotoic, HCL, and more! Check out the interviews we had with their founder, Wade Lightheart, in episodes 74 and 84! Use The Link With The Code ifpodcast, To Save 20% On All BiOptimizer Products!!

To submit your own questions, email, or submit your questions here!! 


01:05 - AUSTRALIS BARRAMUNDI: Go To Better.Fish/ifpodcast For An In Store Coupon!

01:05 - BIOPTIMIZERS:  Use The Link With The Code IFPODCAST For 20% Off!

5:00 - Dr. Anna Cabeca's Personal Journey: Addressing Hormonal Issues And Reversing Menopause 

10:30 - Is Weight Gain Inevitable With Age?

11:00 - The Importance of Insulin Sensitivity And Ketosis 

11:30 - is IF Detrimental for Women? How Fasting Affects Hormones - Insulin, Cortisol, And Oxytocin 

14:10 - The Ideal IF Windows

14:55 - Extended Fasting 

17:30 - Why Do Women Face So Many Hormonal Issues Today?

19:40 - The Role Of Bioidentical Hormones

20:00 - Stress And Hormonal Disarray (Cortisol, Stress Perception, And Tips To Deal!) 

25:43 - JOOVV RED LIGHT THERAPY DEVICES:  Use The Link With The Code IFPODCAST For A Free Gift!

26:45 - Listener Q&A: Michelle  - Can Hormones Stop Fat Burning? Is It Ever Too Late To Address Hormones?

30:40 - The Importance Of Testing (Urine PH, Thyroid, Other Factors)

37:55 - Is Ketosis A Natural State To Be In? And The Role Of Alkalinity In Keto!

48:12 - Listener Q&A: Jennifer - Is IF Not As Beneficial For Women As Men? Are There Negative Effects?

48:27 - Listener Q&A: Carina - Is There A Wrong Way To Do IF For Women? 

37:55 - Is Ketosis A Natural State To Be In?

53:45 - Listener Q&A: Sarah - Can Fasting Affect Your Period?

54:10 - Listener Q&A: Madison: Should You Be Worried By Changes In Your Cycle With IF?

1:00:00 - Get The Hormone Fix: Burn Fat Naturally, Boost Energy, Sleep Better, and Stop Hot Flashes, the Keto-Green Way!

1:01:40 - LISTEN TO US ON HIMALAYA! Download the free Himalaya App ( to FINALLY keep all your podcasts in one place, follow your favorites, make playlists, leave comments, and more! And with Himalaya, you can LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE!! 


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


 Mediterranean Way of Drinking and Longevity


BUY Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine, Gin's Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, and/or Gin's Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle

More on Melanie:  

More on Gin:

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox:

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



May 16

Episode 213: Perimenopause, Poor Digestion, Nausea, Prepping For Surgery & Recovery, Injuries, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 213 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 Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:

BLUBlox: Overexposure to blue light in our modern environments can lead to increased anxiety, stress, headaches, and other health conditions. Even a tiny exposure to artificial light can completely offset your circadian rhythm! Unlike many “blue light blocking” glasses on the market, BLUBlox provides glasses that block the exact blue wavelengths you need to regulate sleep, reduce anxiety, and much more! They also provide different types of glasses for the time of day, season, and your personal electronic and light exposure! Plus, for every BLUblox purchase, they donate a pair of glasses to someone in need! Go To And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

INSIDETRACKER: Get The Blood And DNA Tests You Need To Be Testing, Personalized Dietary Recommendations, An Online Portal To Analyze Your Bloodwork, Find Out Your True "Inner Age," And More! Listen To My Interview With The Founder Gil Blander At Melanieavalon.Com/Insidetracker! Go To And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

MOLEKULE: Clean air is vital for health! Molekule air purifiers actually work on molecule level (thus the name!) to eliminate - not just mask or neutralize - indoor air pollution, including pollutants 1000 times smaller than traditional HEPA filters! Say goodbye to viruses, mold, airborne chemicals, bacteria, and allergens! After all, if you’re breathing clearer with serrapeptase, don’t you want to breath cleaner air to boot? Go To And Use The Code IFPODCAST120 At Checkout For Up To $120 Off Your Order!

To submit your own questions, email, or submit your questions here!! 


1:10 - BLUBLOX: Go To And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

4:00 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order!

13:50 - Listener Feedback: Danielle - Thanks

17:50 - Listener Q&A: Liz - Update & New Question

Episode 208: Bloating After Eating, Glucose & Ketones, Podcasting, Wine, Chocoholics, Replacing Bad Habits, And More!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #39 - Dr. Anna Cabeca

Episode 159: Anna Cabeca, Keto Green, Hormonal Changes, Menopause, Alkalinity, IF for Women, Reversing Infertility, Sexual Health And More!

Get $25 Off A Lumen Device At With The Code melanieavalon25

Lumen Lovers: Biohack Your Carb And Fat Burning (With Melanie Avalon)

29:40 - INSIDETRACKER: Go To And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

32:20 - Listener Q&A: Rebecca - What's With The Weak Stomach?

Shortened Preoperative Fasting For Prevention Of Complications Associated With Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: A Meta-Analysis

Postoperative nausea and vomiting: A simple yet complex problem

Preoperative Fasting Abbreviation and its Effects on Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting Incidence in Gynecological Surgery Patients

43:10 - Listener Q&A: Beth - Surgery

43:40 - Listener Q&A: Lisa - IF And Injuries

47:20 - MOLEKULE: Go To And Use The Code IFPODCAST120 At Checkout For Up To $120 Off Your Order!

The Effect of Fasting during Ramadan on Outcomes after Bariatric Surgery at an Academic Medical Center in the Middle East


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 213 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. 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,, and Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment., 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.

Hi friends, I'm about to tell you how to get 15% off something I use every single day of my life, non-negotiable, and which has a massive effect on my stress, anxiety, sleep, so many things. As it turns out, we are massively overexposed to blue light today. Blue light is found in daylight, and it's also really high in all of the electronics and indoor lighting that we use. While it's great because it can keep you alert, overexposure to blue light is actually really, really terrible for stress, anxiety, our circadian rhythm, and so much more. Basically, it tells our bodies to constantly be on and can really do a number on our health.

But there's an easy solution. It's blue light blocking glasses, it's why I've been using these, every single day of my life for years now. Wearing blue light blocking glasses in the evening and night can filter out those blue wavelengths so that you can have a normal sleep schedule, wind down, reduce headaches, reduce migraines, embrace more of a sense of calm, and so much more. BLUblox is also super amazing in that they make different blue light blocking glasses to fit all of your needs. They have clear computer glasses that you can actually wear during the day. Those will still allow in blue light to keep you alert, but they mitigate some of the damage of overexposure to blue light.

BLUblox has their yellow-toned SummerGlo glasses. Those are tinted with a special yellow color shown to boost mood and they also help filter out some of the blue light as the day is winding down. Lastly, they have their Sleep+ lens. Those are a red tone, and they block all blue light. Friends, it's almost shocking when you put them on, how tired you instantly feel. I wear these every single night. I will not change this habit. I cannot recommend enough that you guys try this.

BLUblox’s glasses come in so many styles, you can really find whatever look you're looking for. They come in prescription if you need that. For every pair of BLUblox classes you buy, BLUblox donates a pair of reading glasses to someone in need. BLUblox blocks also makes the REMedy Sleep Mask, it has zero eye pressure. Meaning, it goes around your eyes so you can open up your eyes completely, and it will be complete blackout. The padding around your eyes as memory phone and their new light version is even more comfortable. You can barely tell you have it on. True story, when I first got the mask, the first night I used it, I woke up and tried to check the time on the phone, by the way, don't do that, that's not a good sleep habit. In any case, I kept trying to turn on my phone and I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't light up. Then I realized I had on the sleep mask and didn't even realize I had it on.

BLUblox has a special offer just for our listeners. You can go to and if you use the coupon code, IFPODCAST, you'll get 15% off your order. Again, that's, with the coupon code, IFPODCAST, for 15% off your order. We'll put all this information in the show notes.

One more thing before we jump in. Are you concerned about aging? Well, thankfully, fasting is super incredible for its anti-aging benefits. It activates genes in your body called sirtuins, which repair your body and help extend lifespan. Also, during the fast, your body can clean up a lot of harmful chemicals which may be taxing your detoxification systems. In fact, the reason people go gray is because their detox systems start producing a lot of hydrogen peroxide when dealing with toxins. Do you know where a lot of those chemicals come from? Your skincare and makeup. As it turns out, there are thousands of compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup that Europe has banned due to their toxic nature and the US has banned less than 10. When you put these on your skin every single day through your skincare and makeup, you're adding to your body's burden and likely aging your skin faster.

Thankfully, you can easily clean up your skincare with a company called Beautycounter. They make incredible products that are extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can feel good about every single ingredient that you put on. They also have an amazing antiaging line called Countertime. Friends, this is a game-changer. It's full of active ingredients which nourish and support your skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and support a beautiful glow. It also has a safe alternative to retinol, so you can get all of the antiaging benefits of retinol without any of the toxic effects of retinol, because, yes, that stuff is toxic. Guys, put it away now.

You can shop with us at If you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order. Also definitely get on my clean beauty email list that's at I give away so many free things on that list. definitely check it out.

Lastly, if you anticipate making safe skincare a part of your future, just like Gin and I do? Definitely become a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for safe skincare. You get 10% back on all of your purchases, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that costs way more than the price of the membership. It's completely worth it. Friends, are you fast and clean inside and out? You can with Beautycounter. Again, that link is We'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show.

Hi, everybody and welcome, this is Episode 213 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: Well, I'm doing great. I'm very excited that our backyard remodel is starting to finally-- they're now starting to build back instead of just remove.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that is exciting.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, because they did all the demo, which was insane. Taking out the old broken pool is a lot of work. Yeah, they took it all out, they took out the rotten deck, we had stuff that needed to be-- it needed work. Starting fresh, they had to bring in a bunch of dirt. The new pool is actually in the hole, which is exciting. We got a fiberglass pool and it's small. The guy who delivered it from Tennessee said, “This is the smallest pool I've ever delivered.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: What made you decide to do a small one?

Gin Stephens: Well, it's what's considered a dunk pool these days. Actually, it's 16 feet long by 9 feet, 16x9, which is plenty big. We don't want the whole backyard to be pool. It's going to have a water feature going into it like a waterfall. Fiberglass is a really durable finish for a pool, you don't have to replaster it, that sort of thing. It's just going to be a nice little place. You can hop in on a hot day, cool off, but it won't need as much maintenance, it won't need as many chemicals, it won't need as much everything. We're not going to be training for the Olympics in there. Also, I have realized that I'm so excited about?

Melanie Avalon: What?

Gin Stephens: You know how I like to be warm?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Because it's small, it's going to be warmer than a big pool.

Melanie Avalon: That's nice.

Gin Stephens: I'm so excited.

Melanie Avalon: Are you going to get it heated?

Gin Stephens: Yes, we do have a pool heater, so we'll be able to heat it like-- I'm not going to say we're going to heat it 12 months out of the year. What's funny is the evolution of the project, when we decided to demo the old pool, because it was going to cost more to fix it than we wanted to put into it. Which I know sounds crazy, take out a pool, put in a pool, but the cost of redoing an old huge pool is extensive.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I can imagine.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and the maintenance is ongoing. My original thought was why don't we just get a really big hot tub? They had the big spas, and you don't have to turn the heat on, you could use it as like a little pool in the summer. Let's just get a really big hot tub. Then, that kind of morphed into a really small pool. [laughs] But we'll be able to warm it up.

Melanie Avalon: Is it going to be saltwater?

Gin Stephens: Yes, it will be saltwater. We'll be able to keep it warm. Like I said, I don't know that it'll be 12 months out of the year, but let's say we're having an unseasonably warm November, I can heat it up and go out there and get in the water and it won't cost a million dollars to heat it.

Melanie Avalon: You could also make it an ice bath.

Gin Stephens: I could. That's true. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: On the flip side of things.

Gin Stephens: On the flip side, yeah, I'm not going to make it an ice bath, but I could, if I wanted to. I'm really excited. They have put the foundation in for the screened porch. I have not had a screen porch since we moved into this house in 2019, and I miss it. We had a screen porch in our other house. It's going to be really nice. I cannot wait.

Melanie Avalon: I want to see pictures.

Gin Stephens: All right, right now, it's like a big dirt hall with a cinderblock foundation and the pool is just sitting in a dirt hole. So many decisions, like what do you do for your pool deck? Chad is not good at decisions. Let me just tell you, he's not good.

Melanie Avalon: So, do you make the decisions?

Gin Stephens: Yes, but I have to let him be involved and then we do what I wanted to do, but it takes a long time to get to where I wanted to be and so I have to get there. I know what we're going to do.

Melanie Avalon: Right. Do you narrow down it to a few options?

Gin Stephens: Well, yeah. We've been married for almost 30 years, so I know how to play the game [laughs] now. We're going to go with the item I have chosen and he's going to like it, and it is the one he would like the best, and I know that. I just had to get him there. It's like when we go out to eat, and he's trying to decide what to pick off the menu. I already know what he's going to like and I know what he's not going to like. Sometimes, he'll pick the thing I know he's not going to like, and I'm like, “All right, you shouldn't have picked that,” and I was right. [laughs] But you could get to know someone better than they know themselves.

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny. [laughs] Oh, my goodness.

Gin Stephens: Please don't pick that dinner, anyway. Yeah, good times.

Melanie Avalon: Do you pretty much when you go to dinners end up liking what you order?

Gin Stephens: Oh, I always do.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, me too.

Gin Stephens: Because I very carefully choose what I'm going to get.

Melanie Avalon: Me too. I'm very, very specific. That may look picky, but I always end up liking it and everybody's happy.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Now if I order a steak, for example, and I order it medium rare on the rare side and it comes back and it's well done, even if it was medium, I'll send that back. I'm not much of a person who will send back, but I will if the steak is overdone.

Melanie Avalon: We might have talked about this already. I'm still trying to figure out how to get like an actual rare steak. They just don't do it.

Gin Stephens: I like medium rare, so if I order rare, it's always fine.

Melanie Avalon: I like blue.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't want it to be that rare. If you order rare, it will come out rare to medium rare.

Melanie Avalon: I've started eating raw steaks at home.

Gin Stephens: Okay, that's a lot of information. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I was slicing it-- Okay. [laughs] Okay, wait, let me backtrack.

Gin Stephens: You get in your sauna that's like a coffin. You're eating raw meat. Are you a vampire? [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Maybe. Okay, to clarify a little bit. Like at the grass-fed steaks, I was like, “Oh, I can make carpaccio,” because you slice it really thin, but then what ended up happening was I just would end up eating the whole thing. I was like, “Oh, okay.” It's like if you slice it, you ate carpaccio, but if you don't slice it, then you ate a raw steak.

Gin Stephens: I mean, there's really no difference. You're exactly right, between carpaccio and just eating the steak. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: When you slice it like carpaccio, though, it's really easy to eat compared to when you don't.

Gin Stephens: Now I will say this. Okay, interesting point. I do like cold meat. When I was at the beach with my sister recently, we went out to eat, and I ordered a rare steak, and it was really good, but I could only eat half of it. She was going home the next day, and I was staying one more day. I'm like, “Well, I'll just eat this later.” You're not going to reheat a steak that's already been cooked, so I ate it cold. I really enjoy a leftover steak cold. That sounds weird, but it's probably the same thing as what you're doing. It's got a different kind of experience. All right. I kind of almost did the same thing.

Melanie Avalon: It is funny though, if you think about it. We categorize things in our head differently, like the carpaccio versus raw steak.

Gin Stephens: That's true. I made a carpaccio, a thick-sliced carpaccio. [laughs] My carpaccio was one-inch thick.

Melanie Avalon: Oh.

Gin Stephens: No, I'm just saying, that's what you did.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. Yes. That's funny.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that works.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Now, I'm hungry.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I haven't opened my window. Yeah, I'll probably do that after this. I got to get back to writing though. [sighs] Getting close to that deadline.

Melanie Avalon: It's crazy, crazy, crazy. I'm actually getting delivered on Saturday a mirror.

Gin Stephens: The exercise thing?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: Very cool.

Melanie Avalon: I'm very excited.

Gin Stephens: Are they going to be sponsoring your podcast?

Melanie Avalon: No.

Gin Stephens: You just ordered it.

Melanie Avalon: No. [laughs] They're giving it to me.

Gin Stephens: Okay. That's awesome.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really excited. Well, shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes, we shall. All right. We've got some feedback from Danielle and the subject is, “Thanks.” She said, “No question, but I just wanted to say thank you so much for the podcast. I started listening on a Saturday and had enough information by Monday to start IF the right way. I listen every day and I feel like I have my own personal coaches to guide me along the way. Every time I have a question, it seems to be answered in the next episode. Keep up the great work. Thanks again.”

Melanie Avalon: You're welcome, Danielle. Thank you. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I love that too. Somebody in Delay, Don’t Deny Social Network said, just this past week, she asked a question-- I have an Ask Gin Group that people can ask me anything. She asked me the question, then I answered it. Then she said, as a follow-up, she's like, “Oh, I just listened to episode, I can't remember what it was. Someone asked the almost exact same question. You gave exactly the same answer.” [laughs] I'm like, “See?” That made me happy. Yeah. Well, I mean, I did have a lot of practice with all those years in the Facebook group. I mean, how many hundreds of thousands of questions have I answered, and how many of them were unique questions versus the same question over and over again?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, there are many, many questions. It is nice to see though that I thought about this a lot like even since writing What When Wine, because I'll think about different topics and what I wrote about initially in that book. I'm pretty sure I still pretty much agree with everything I wrote in that book. I was thinking about it recently with the cholesterol stuff. I was like, “Oh, I wonder what I said about cholesterol when I wrote it then.” I'm, of course, always open to change. It is nice when things seem to be consistent. That's true.

Gin Stephens: I've gone back and looked at Delay, Don’t Deny, which I wrote in 2016, which is a long time ago. I have so much more experience now. I had only been in maintenance for just over a year when I wrote Delay, Don’t Deny. I've gone back and looked at it, and I'm like, “Wow, I can't believe I said this back in 2016. Go me.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I’d be curious, I should revisit my book and see if I have changed my mind substantially on anything.

Gin Stephens: That would be interesting. I still would like to republish Delay, Don’t Deny, an updated version, be a little more specific about the clean fast, use the words ‘clean fast,’ because I did not we had not invented those words yet in 2016. I didn't say the word ‘clean fast’ a single time because we weren't using that terminology till 2017, which is so interesting. Then also, I would like to have an updated testimonial section. I've talked about this before on other podcasts because reading the testimonial section is so interesting, because obviously no one had read Delay, Don’t Deny yet because it wasn’t out. The testimonial section is a hodgepodge of just really any kind of fasting I could cobble together. Anyone who had fasted-- they weren't following my method, because my method was not out there. They're just people that I connected with through fasting groups. Some of the [unintelligible [00:16:51] are interesting, and not what I would recommend.

Melanie Avalon: I remember talking about that on one of our episodes, somebody had asked a question about one of the testimonials.

Gin Stephens: Right, and so it's interesting, I would like to revise that section. So, hopefully one day I would like to do it with a traditional publisher one day, we'll see how that goes.

Melanie Avalon: Fingers crossed.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Speaking of fasting, that is a big update. Tomorrow's the recording for Dave Asprey-

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's fun.

Melanie Avalon: -conference.

Gin Stephens: Which will already have happened by the time people hear this episode.

Melanie Avalon: I wonder if they'll have a-- they probably won't, the ability to re-watch afterwards. It's a biohacking conference, though. Not fasting specifically, but it's very exciting.

Gin Stephens: Fasting is a biohack. Although we talked about this before, and you said you didn't think it was, I still do. I still do, sorry. Well, I have to agree to disagree.

Melanie Avalon: Semantics. Shall we jump into our questions?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: All right, so to start things off, we have a question from Liz, the subject is “Update and a New Question.” Liz says, “Hi, Melanie and Gin. First off, I wanted to start by thanking you for answering my questions in Episode 208. I've continued to binge listen to the IF podcast and am up to Episode 171. On Mondays, I usually listen to at least three episodes. The episode released that day and two previous episodes while I am traveling to and from and in between sites for work. I was totally shocked to hear my questions answered so quickly after I submitted them. Only a month and two days wait. I loved how in answering my initial questions, Melanie suggested many products that I have already purchased throughout the past six weeks based on suggestions in previous episodes, i.e., BiOptimizer’s Masszymes, HCL, P3-OM and the Food Sense app.” Oh, that makes me really happy. She says, “I've also bought a Joovv, a Life Pro vibration plate, and a yearly membership to Gin's Delay, Don’t Deny Social Setwork, so proud to be a founding member.”

Gin Stephens: Yay.

Melanie Avalon: “I'm with you Gin. The IF lifestyle isn't faring to be so cheap for me given all of the good food and tools I have added to my longevity toolbox.”

Gin Stephens: The good news is the money you save on foods, you can spend on other things. [laughs] Right? I know it's not cheap for her because she's bought all these tools and better food, so it balances out. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: The money you save on them, not eaten meals, you can put towards the eaten meals.

Gin Stephens: The better food and the tools. Exactly.

Melanie Avalon: And save on healthcare costs.

Gin Stephens: Absolutely. Yes, I think so.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'll plug it again. I talked about it last episode, but I'm really getting an appreciation of healthcare cost reading Dr. Robert Lustig’s Metabolical and where money is spent and how much things cost in the system.

Gin Stephens: Oh, it is crazy. The system is crazy. Chad just had to have something removed from his dermatologist on his leg and then they sent it off for testing to make sure it wasn't skin cancer. They sent it to a non-network lab without even telling him or asking him or anything. He got this bill for thousands of dollars, it's a crazy bill. He's like, “What?” They're like, “Sorry, not covered, out of network.” He's like, “How could I have possibly prevented that from happening?” He called and everything got worked out and they just-- whatever. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: One of the things he talks about in the book is the problem that comes in where things become unaffordable for people that have become mandatory for life. Insulin, EpiPens, things like that. It's a system that we've become locked into, that feeds on itself and feeds on disease. It can only exist as long as we're sick. Not to sound conspiratorial, but if we were all healthy, or didn't need prescription medication, there would be no industry.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's true. Dun, dun, dun.

Melanie Avalon: Ominous music cue. Liz says, “To update you on my previous questions, BiOptimizers products have helped my digestion TREMENDOUSLY.” That's an all caps. She says, “I love the Wade and Matt episode so much, I rarely experienced bloating after eating now. Wearing the CGM also affirmed Melanie's thoughts that I would be less worried about my blood glucose levels after observing the normal fluctuations. I'm no longer testing blood ketones, but I did purchase a Keyto Breath Sensor based on a suggestion, and Melanie's Lumen Biosense and CGMs Facebook group. It has been so encouraging to see that I can be in high ketosis even after only 12 hours of fasting. According to the readings on the keto sensor.” Really quick tangent, there might have been something. Somebody sent me a message on Instagram the other day, and they had a Biosense ketone measure and then they had the Lumen device which measures carb or fat burning, it doesn't measure ketones. For listeners, it measures CO2 levels in your breath to tell you if you're burning carbs or fat. She was so confused. She said that the Lumen said she was burning fat, but the Biosense was not registering ketones, and she could not understand how she could be burning fat and not burning ketones. I just bring that up because I still just think this is one of the biggest misconceptions out there. We've talked about it a lot in recent podcasts, but you can burn fat without burning ketones. I just want to drill that into people's heads because I think so many people think you only burn fat when you're in ketosis, which is just not the case.

Anyways, back to the question. Liz says, “Now to my question, I've made terrific progress in the past six weeks, five days. Thanks to your wonderful guidance, I lost eight pounds following a 20:4 one meal a day protocol, and the first four weeks, and have lost an additional two pounds following a 4:3 protocol the past three weeks. I'm hoping to lose another 10 to 15 pounds to be at the mid-range BMI for my height. My goal weight is the same way I was in high school and college, after I lost the freshman 15 in my junior year. I'm 45 years old and I've not been at my goal weight since I gave birth to my first child nearly 10 years ago. After my second child, while I lost weight initially after giving birth in 2017, I never got down to my goal weight. My weight has since crept up during COVID. Once I hit a BMI of 27.2, I knew it was time for a change. How feasible is it for me to reach my high school/college weight living an IF lifestyle? Am I chasing a pipe dream given that I am in perimenopause? Thanks again for sharing all of your knowledge. While I'm not a big fan of cruises, I always joke that they are like prisons with the possibility of drowning. I do hope to get the chance to attend a Delay, Don’t Deny cruise someday once life gets back to normal, whatever that is.”

Gin Stephens: Well, I love hearing that, Liz. Let me speak to the cruise first. We planned one obviously for 2020, that was cancelled because all cruises were canceled. Then, we optimistically, at that time, which was March of 2020 when we were all still very optimistic. Remember those days, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: We planned one for June of 2021. That one also got canceled, although they are running some cruises. Personally, I've decided I am not willing to go on a cruise until we're not wearing masks and back to normal, being able to hug people. I don't know if that's ever again. If cruises are now a masked thing, I can't think of anything that sounds less fun, being packed into a cruise ship because it's hard enough, it's a small ship. I love being on a cruise ship. I don't think I would love it with COVID precautions. If we don't ever get back to society where things were normal, which terrifies me as a human who's 51 years old and doesn't want to have to learn a whole new way of living, we'll have to make a plan for doing something that's land based. One day, there'll be an event. Will it be a cruise? Will it be land based? I don't know. We'll just have to see. The reason we do cruises, they are just such an affordable vacation. You can spend a whole lot more on a land-based trip than on a cruise because cruises are just you can travel and the rooms that are inside rooms and you can make a very economical trip. I wanted more people to have the chance to go. If you want to travel in a suite on a cruise ship, you can. You can spend more and have a more upscale vacation, or you can really go on a budget. That's what I love about cruises. They fit all the budgets.

Anyway, back to the question. Can Liz go back to her high school college weight living an intermittent fasting lifestyle? I think the answer to that is a resounding yes. Especially since she says that she got back to that weight when she was about 35 after having her first child. If you can get back there at 35, I think you can get back there later. One caveat. If you're in perimenopause, it might not happen till you're on the other side of menopause because this hormonal change is really no joke. If all you can do during the perimenopausal, menopausal transition is maintain, that is a victory, because a lot of women gain weight. In fact, most women gain weight over the menopausal transition. So, if you maintain, you're winning. Then, once you get to the other side, maybe you'll lose the rest of the weight then. That's just something to keep in mind. Yeah, hormones are no joke.

We're actually, Melanie, talking to Dr. Anna Cabeca on Wednesday for the Life Lessons podcast, I'm so excited.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Let's see-- Oh, this is great timing because this episode that we're recording today comes out May 17th, and we're recording a two-part episode with Dr. Cabeca for Life Lessons, and the first one will come out May-- what is that? 19th. If somebody is listening right now, two days from now, you can hear on Life Lessons, we're going to talk to Dr. Anna Cabeca about the menopausal transition, women's hormones. then the week after that, which is May 26th, we're going to talk about sexual health for females.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow.

Gin Stephens: I know. I look forward to talking to her. We're not talking about fasting. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: That will actually be between the two of us, probably like the fifth interview with her because I think she's been on my show twice. She's been on IF Podcast--

Gin Stephens: Twice. We had her on our show twice.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, she's been on IF Podcast twice, my show once. Okay.

Gin Stephens: There'll be a total of five Anna Cabeca episodes. She's wonderful. I'm really looking forward to that. Anyway, we'll talk to her. She's obviously an OB/GYN and female hormone expert, so I look forward to that. This period of time is really no joke. We have a lot of questions as women because it's not something that we've openly talked about, historically, the hormonal transition, it's all shrouded in mystery.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That's exciting. I'm going to listen to that episode.

Gin Stephens: All right. So, yeah, we'll have two parts.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome.

Gin Stephens: We're glad Liz is doing so well. Also, Liz, I'm so glad that you're in the Delay, Don’t Deny Social Network.

Melanie Avalon: Yep. She's in all the groups. I was laughing during it in my head, because it sounds like we wrote this to talk about all the things that we love, because she loves all the things.

Gin Stephens: Didn't we get one review one time which said we make up things?

Melanie Avalon: That's what I was laughing about.

Gin Stephens: We don't, I promise. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: One time, we got an email saying that we make up emails from listeners, and I laugh thinking about it. [laughs] Listeners, I do not have time to make up fake emails. [laughs] It's way too much effort.

Gin Stephens: That is so funny. If we were going to make up a fake email, I would have said that, but we did not, and I know who Liz’s because I've actually interacted with her in the Social Network.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you have?

Gin Stephens: Yes. Her question was also on last week, and now her name is in my head. Yep. Just today, she posted something in the Ask Gin Group, and I responded to her. Liz is real.

Melanie Avalon: She's a real person.

Gin Stephens: She's a real person. We have now talked on the network.

Melanie Avalon: A resource for listeners if they would like to get that Lumen device. The link for it is, and the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON25, gets you $25 off. Then, that Lumen Biosense CGM community that she talks about, you can join that.

Gin Stephens: Melanie, unless it's all fake. The DDD Social Network is also, all just me.

Melanie Avalon: Every single person, and every single person in my IF Biohackers Facebook group is not real. Oh, man. That would require a lot of effort.

Gin Stephens: It would require a lot of effort. I can't even imagine, unless it was artificial intelligence or something.

Melanie Avalon: Good times.

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We have a question from Rebecca.

Gin Stephens: All right, and the subject is, “What's with the weak stomach?” She says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. before I get into my question, I want to thank you ladies for changing my life. I am 27 and had struggled with yo-yo dieting and binge eating for six years. Watching the scale creep up year after year was devastating and it felt like there was nothing I could do to stop it. Then, about a year ago, I experienced some hardships and turn to food to cope. I indulged in all my cravings and binged almost every day on garbage food. I gained 35 pounds in six months and I was already overweight. I remember feeling so helpless and thinking, ‘Okay, I'm giving up. I'll just be fat forever.’ Then, I stumbled upon intermittent fasting. The first few tries were unsuccessful until I found this podcast. Listening to you ladies gave me the support, knowledge, and motivation that I needed to stick with it. In five months of IFing I lost 48 pounds, I definitely still have some weight to lose, but I have not felt this good in a long time. I now have a healthy relationship with food. I've noticed incredible changes in my body not just weight loss. Not to mention the massively positive effect it has had on my mental health. I finally feel free.

Now on to my question. The only negative I have found with IF is that I now have a “weak stomach.” If I see something gross on TV, or if someone is talking about something gross, I can't handle it anymore and feel I'm going to gag or throw up. I know this may seem silly, but I never had this issue until I started IF. I'd say it started around month two, it happens both in the fed and fasted state. What the heck is going on? Why do I now have a weak stomach? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Any research on the subject? Any tips to stop this nonsense? Anyway, thank you so much for everything. Please just keep doing what you're doing and spreading the word about this wonderful lifestyle. Sending positive vibes your way, Rebecca.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Rebecca. Well, thank you so much for your question. I really liked this question. I don't think we've ever had this specific question before. Okay, I sat down to research this and just trying to research intermittent fasting and nausea, when you go that route, you pretty much get a lot of things just talking about people, like contraindications for fasting and if you get nauseous while fasting, stop fasting type thing. Which was not really what I was looking for, because Rebecca's question is, she's not saying that she eats fast and gets nauseous. Is she fast and sees a trigger for nausea, so something that grosses her out and then feels nauseous when in the past she didn't.

A different route and researched fasting and the role of preop and postop and nausea responses in surgery because I was thinking, okay, maybe a correlation to this would be exposing the body to something that would make it nauseous. Does fasting make you more or less likely to be nauseous? I think that will probably correlate to our question, but just surgery, obviously, can create nausea to probably a much greater extent than what Rebecca is seeing. In any case--

Gin Stephens: Anesthesia makes me super nauseous.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's an example. They'll often give you antinausea medications with those procedures for that very reason. This actually might be something that I haven't changed my mind about from the book, but I think the only time I mention, I don't know if I mention it in What When Wine, but I do talk about the role of fasting and chemotherapy. There are studies showing that fasting tends to help with chemotherapy outcomes and the nausea. In my head, I was thinking that fasting will probably be supportive of not getting nauseous, but actually, there's a lot of studies and I'll put links in the show notes to them. Some of the studies for example was Shortened preoperative fasting for prevention of complications associated with-- this was a very intense one, laparoscopic cholecystectomy: A meta-analysis. The effect of preparative solid foods status on the occurrence of nausea, vomiting, and aspiration symptoms and enhanced CT examinations, post-operative nausea and vomiting. A simple yet complex problem, post-operative fastening abbreviation and its effects on post-operative nausea and vomiting incidents, and gynecological surgery patients. I’ll stop now, there's even more. Oh, relationship between preoperative time of fasting and postoperative nausea and vomiting.

There's actually a lot of research on this. it was not what I think. Although it might explain Rebecca's question. Most of the studies on it find either no correlation, so fasting doesn't seem to help either way with nausea. Or, some of them do find that fasting makes the nausea worse. In some of the trials, when they have shortened fasting times or if they prefeed with carbs before the surgery, the postop nausea is significantly reduced. What I'm thinking might be going on with Rebecca is, and this is just me theorizing, but it sounds like for some people, fasting makes the body, if exposed to a trigger for nausea, more likely to get nauseated. That's my thoughts on that. Gin?

Gin Stephens: I don't know that I would use that surgical medical kind of stuff because those aren't people who are living in intermittent fasting lifestyle, they're just fasting before a procedure, so they don't throw up in the middle of surgery and aspirate. They're not fat adapted. I'm just not sure that's a good state to compare. You know what I mean?

Melanie Avalon: I think it probably is, because, I know for me, I'm more likely to get nauseous while fasted than not. My visceral experience of that is that when I'm exposed to a nausea trigger when I'm fasted, it's more likely to affect me than if I have food.

Gin Stephens: I understand that if it was just in the fasted state-- I remember when I was pregnant, I had morning sickness, and the only thing I could do is keep food in my stomach to keep from being nauseous. I do get that part of it. She said she's experiencing it in the fed and the fasted state, both times, that's the part--

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I missed that.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it happens both in the fed and the fasted state. I don't know why she would be nauseous in the fed state.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that is weird.

Gin Stephens: Right. That's why I don't understand why that might-- I've never heard anybody say that they also had increased nausea in the fed state after starting intermittent fasting. Never, ever have heard anybody say that. I would wonder if it was something else going on?

Melanie Avalon: I would think so. If she said just fasted, I still think--

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, 100% I'm with you on that. I'm still not sure though, that the surgical is quite the best-- because people are not adapted to fasting. We do find that when people are new to intermittent fasting, they're more likely to get nauseous early in the process before being fat adapted. In fact, we tell them go ahead and eat if that happens if you're trying to ease into fasting and you find yourself shaky or nauseous. Eat, that's your body telling you, time to go ahead and break the fast. Once you adapt, we don't usually see people having the nausea.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I just feel like I've been doing fasting for a decade and I do feel like I'm more likely to get nauseous while fasted still. I don't really get nauseous, but I'm probably more susceptible to it now than if I were in the fed state.

Gin Stephens: I believe that too. I mean, I do believe that it shouldn't be a common occurrence.

Melanie Avalon: I don't walk around getting nauseous.

Gin Stephens: No. Although the worst seasickness I've ever had was in the fed state. [laughs] But that's a whole different thing. Seasickness is different. I always have had trouble with motion sickness before fasting or after fasting. It's not worse now. It's certainly not better though. [laughs] To me, I wonder if she's got something going on with her inner ear that's completely unrelated to fasting because if you have an inner ear problem, she said it started around month 2. It wasn't something that was happening from day 1. Something might have happened in month 2, maybe like I said, with her inner ear, because that can cause you to have vertigo.

Melanie Avalon: That is a really good suggestion.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I would not assume it's related to fasting, since it's happening in the fed and the fasted state, and it didn't start at the beginning.

Melanie Avalon: You might also want to work with a doctor or a GI.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, I would have your ears looked at by a doctor, first of all. If it is your ears, would you get back with us and let us know? Gin, the diagnostician. [laughs] Hey, teachers have to be good diagnosticians. We learned to do that in the classroom. When do you need to send a child to the nurse? When are they just fine? When is a band aid going to solve everything? When do you need to call their mom?

Melanie Avalon: I think I've shared this before, but I have a little tip for people who get nauseous or faint while getting their blood drawn.

Gin Stephens: What is that?

Melanie Avalon: Instead of thinking of them taking blood out and making you faint, because you're losing blood, I like to visualize them taking out-- This is going to sound weird, but taking out something I don't want in me, so pulling the badness out or something. I only fainted once while getting my blood drawn, it was literally in college. It was forever ago. Once you've done that once, you're just anticipating that might happen again. Ever since I've tried this little mental trick, I envisioned that it's making me stronger, or you can pretend that instead of they're taking your blood that they're giving you an IV with nutrients, that works too. It's incredible, if you just think about it differently. I don't get faint at all anymore.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's good. I don't get faint when they take my blood at all. But that's good.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes. That is good. It's really scary. Have you fainted ever?

Gin Stephens: I don't think so.

Melanie Avalon: It's very scary.

Gin Stephens: I feel like I would know.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, you would know.

Gin Stephens: I remember when I was a kid, I like wanted to faint. I was like, “That sounds fun. I want to faint.”

Melanie Avalon: It sounded so like a movie.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Maybe it's dramatic. Like you just faint. Like on Little House on the Prairie, which I always used to watch. I'm sure you didn't watch the Little House on the Prairie, did you?

Melanie Avalon: I did.

Gin Stephens: Okay. Yay.

Melanie Avalon: I love Little House on the Prairie. My sister started watching it again recently. She's like, “I've been watching all the Little House on the Prairie.” I'm like, “Okay.” [laughs] She's 26. [laughs] Okay. This is a related question next, which is why I threw it in here. It's from Beth and the subject is “Surgery.” She says, “I'm wondering if you have any experience getting ready for surgery while doing IF. I'm living on one meal a day lifestyle. In one month, I will be having surgery. I want to be as healthy as possible so I can bounce back quickly. Do you have any tips for before and after surgery? I'm thinking bone broth after surgery. Any books I should read? What are your thoughts? I enjoy your podcast. You keep me on track. Thank you for your support.”

Oh, and I put another one in that is also sort of related from Lisa. It was about injuries. She says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. My name is Lisa and I live in Australia. I've recently started doing IF again after trying 5:2 years ago and getting great results. I regularly use your podcast for extra motivation, and I love the content. This time around I've decided to do a 16- to 18-hour fast two to three times per week, which I'm finding great. However, I've just fractured my leg, sporting injury. My question for you is, am I okay to continue to do IF while recovering from a fracture? My guess is yes but I would welcome any recommendations on the best IF protocol whilst injured as well or any other thoughts you have. It's hard to find much on this online. Thanks so much and keep up the great work.” Two questions there, but basically injuries, surgery, recovering. What do we think about fasting? Then do we have any other suggestions?

Gin Stephens: One thing that has shocked me over the years of doing the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast is how many people have something that they had for a long time, whatever it was, a condition, a scar, whatever something they've had forever, and they start doing intermittent fasting and that thing just clears right up. Like Donna Dube who I interviewed in the first year of the podcast, she had a thick ropey C-section scar for over 30 years. Melanie, have ever told you this story? It went away and the ropey thick part of it disappeared from intermittent fasting 30 years later. Basically, when we are in the fed state all the time, our body has to direct resources to digesting food, and it can't clean up things that it needs to do. We're not supposed to have those thick scars, our body is supposed to repair our skin. It can actually go back and manage old scar tissue. Shocking. I wouldn't write a book and say, “And you'll lose your scars.” That sounds fake and made up. But I've heard so many people report it that obviously, it's not fake and made up, it's happening.

Anyway, that lets me know that if I needed a bone to repair or if I had surgery, and my body was working on healing, the fasted time I think would be very beneficial. Now, of course, you want to talk to your doctor, because it really depends on the kind of surgery that you're having how you want to manage the time, whether you're having your digestive system as part of the surgery or whether it's on your toe. It could be anything in between. Who knows what it is? It will make a difference with how you refeed like whether you need to introduce food slowly with bone broth, if it was your digestive system, that might be just the right thing. Maybe if you're having joint replacement, you could have whatever you want to eat, it doesn't matter so much. Talk to your doctor about that and see what would be most appropriate for refeeding after surgery. But depending on what surgery you have done, that would make a difference about how you need to refeed and what you need to eat and what you need to prioritize. Do you need to prioritize protein, or do you need to eat gentle things that are easy to digest? It just really depends on what part of the body is working to heal.

As far as the fracture, yeah. I wouldn't even hesitate. I wouldn't even think about intermittent fasting being a detriment to bone healing, because human growth hormone is going to be increased, which is great for building bone. I actually, Lisa, would encourage you instead of doing a 16- to 18-hour fast two to three times a week, why aren't you doing it seven days a week? That's what I would do. I would fast every day, not just three to three times a week.

Melanie Avalon:
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I've looked up studies on surgery and fasting. There's actually a really good study that looks at people during Ramadan and surgical outcomes, which is I think really appropriate because that's people who are accustomed to fasting and then the study was called The Effect of Fasting During Ramadan on Outcomes After Bariatric Surgery at an Academic Medical Center in the Middle East. They saw there was not an increased risk for people fasting, it didn't make any difference.

Gin Stephens: Did it increase the speed of healing?

Melanie Avalon: I don't think so. They saw no difference. That's what they concluded.

Gin Stephens: Did they look at the speed of healing? I just wondered because you mentioned that it didn't cause negative effects. I was wondering if they also looked at the positive.

Melanie Avalon: They looked at the differences between perioperative outcomes, emergency department visits, readmission rates, reoperation, and complications, and there was not statistical difference between the two.

Gin Stephens: But that doesn't mean that people didn't have better healing, they just didn't measure that. Okay. Yeah. I would predict that if we did a study, and they actually looked at that, I've just, again, seen a lot of people in the community who have maybe they did knee replacement, now they're fasting, and they had done it on the other knee years before and they heal better this time. Anecdotally, we do hear that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I will not be surprised. As far as the nutrition and such to have, yeah, I love bone broth. Oh, I don't know if I told you about this, Gin. I interviewed-- her name is also Melanie. Melanie Boloña. She's actually an actress, but she started her own bone broth company. Did I tell you about her?

Gin Stephens: I don't think so.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. I'm like obsessed with her. We're like the same person. She's in Nashville right now, so we might actually do a day trip and meet up to meet in person because we're very similar. Just if you need a recommendation for bone broth, she started a shelf stable bone broth concentrate with no added salt, all organic, and it ships to your house. It's delicious. I just ordered a whole new pack for myself. I don't know if the code is live yet, but I'll make sure that it is, but I'll put a link in the show notes. It's called Beauty & the Broth. I think the code is going to be MELANIEAVALON, and that will get you a discount. I think bone broth, yes, is a great thing for healing. The food that you're going to be eating will depend on what type of surgery you have and what you can have. I will say that a lot of times, they try to- when you're getting surgeries, depending on what you're getting, they will give you packets of these recommended nutrient shakes and things for recovery. They're probably not the best thing to-- [laughs] so, I would not go that route. Whole foods, bone broth, protein content is so, so key for recovery. Even if it has to be an easily digestible form, so bone broths and whatever type of protein you can tolerate, if it's like eggs or dairy, or straight up meat, depending on what you can tolerate when it comes to the bones. I will put a link in the show notes.

I did an episode with the Caltons. They wrote a book called Rebuild Your Bones. It's a fantastic book, I will say they're not a fan of fasting. Well, they are, but they think it's hard to get all of your nutrients within restricted windows. We talked about it on my show. We talked about how to do fasting and still get all your nutrition, but that episode is really valuable information for what you need to build bones. We dismantled a lot of the myths surrounding bones.

Gin Stephens: That they were open to listening to you?

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes, yes.

Gin Stephens: Your ideas? Is that they leave with a different idea about fasting?

Melanie Avalon: No, I don't think so. But they basically were able to-- because I was very clear that my audience, a large portion of them are fasters. Basically, it was like if you're fasting, how would you recommend eating to have all this nutrition, and there's a transcript in the show notes. The show notes and the episode are at, I think. She did say that she was supportive of IF, but they had hesitancies and that it was really important to get all of your nutrition in. But the conversation was very, very valuable for understanding what nutrients are required for bones. We talked about how a lot of people think bones are dead or that you don't regain bone or that you can't grow bone, but you completely can. We talked about how common drugs for osteoporosis actually affect bones and they actually they make your bones harder, but they can be more likely to fracture because it's like they're more likely to just snap because they're not flexible.

Gin Stephens: Do these drugs prevent you from getting the minerals in your bones that you need, have I read that somewhere?

Melanie Avalon: There's two basic types. Was it [phonetic] benzophiazonate, I can ever say the word. Something like that. They stop the breakdown process in the bone. Basically, in your bones, you have osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Osteoclasts break down your bones, osteoblasts build up your bones. I hope I'm getting this right, so don't quote me on this. Most of those drugs for osteoporosis, they stop the process that breaks down the bone. Then you're not losing bone and you're just building bone, but the problem is you need to be turning over that bone, because it's not going to create a healthy bone if you're not breaking down the bone-- because you're supposed because you're supposed to be constantly breaking down and rebuilding, so you're not supposed to be not breaking it down. It creates bones that are very hard and actually brittle, and more likely to fracture, which is ironic.

The other form of the drug, there's another one that has a slightly different mechanism of action, I'm not certain. In any case, the inspiring thing for Lisa, she's not talking about osteoporosis, but she is talking about repairing and rebuilding bone, is that it can completely 100% be done. You're definitely going to want to pay close, close attention to your nutrition, getting everything that you need, so getting your protein, vitamin D is super important for bones. The magnesium and calcium are really important. Check out that episode, because we do talk about all of it.

I'll also make another suggestion for surgery. I have found massive, massive benefit from supplementing NR and NMN, which helps support NAD levels. NAD is a master regulator in your body. It's involved in so many processes and it gets really depleted by stress by our modern lifestyles, and definitely by things like surgery. So, I would really suggest getting an NR or NMN supplement. I really like Quicksilver Scientific NMN. There's a discount at I like Elysium Basis, they've actually been a sponsor of this show. I take their Basis every night actually, I think our code, IFPODCAST, gets you discount on that as well. I think that's my suggestions.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] Well, that sounds good. In a nutshell, fasting, good. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: And food and nutrition, even more so. Between the fasting and the food, in these situations I feel like the food is-- it's not even a dichotomy worth comparing, but the nutrition is very, very, very important.

Gin Stephens: I don't know. See, we always have a slightly different opinion about this, because I think that the rest from eating all the time is also really, really important. I don't think we can say it-- I don't know. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Again, it's a dichotomy, because you need both.

Gin Stephens: You do need both. I will give you that. We agree on that.

Melanie Avalon: You can't make something out of nothing, and you can make toxins out of bad things. To thrive, your body needs healthy nutrition.

Gin Stephens: Your body does need healthy nutrition 100%. Yes, that is true. I really do think that the fasting is such a key part of it.

Melanie Avalon: I see it more as the cleanup and the maintenance and the repair, like the actions, its actions compared to building blocks like material.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't know. Maybe we could just agree that they both are equally important.

Melanie Avalon: I don't know that they're equally important though. [laughs] If I had to pick--

Gin Stephens: I still pick the fasting. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I'd pick the food. Thankfully, we don't have to pick.

Gin Stephens: That's right, we can do both. That's exactly true.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I will say, we were talking about the scar being broken down. I talked about it last week. I really do think that I'm going to develop a serrapeptase supplement. I think it works similar in that it's a proteolytic enzyme that goes throughout your body and breaks down old scar tissue. Sort of like the process of autophagy that's activated by fasting, breaking down these things, it can do that as well, catalyze that process. I posted about it in my Facebook group If Biohackers, and asked people if they would want to serrapeptase supplement that I developed, and I got so many comments. Tons of people saying that it was most life changing thing. A lot of people saying, well, not a lot, but quite a few people saying they got nauseous from it, appropriately enough, so that's something I want to look into more. Also, a lot of people saying why would you make your own when there's already so many, which the reason I would want to make my own is because a few reasons. There's all of this debate out there and I said this last time, but there's a lot of debate between the ideal form to have, and do you want the actual serrapeptase enteric coated or do you want to in an enteric-coated capsule? What strength to do have? Then I am so, so big on fillers and ingredients and quality and potency and purity.

Gin Stephens: Knowing the supply chain.

Melanie Avalon: Knowing, yes, exactly. I take this every day of my life, so I would love to just make my own and then be able to share with others because people ask questions a lot about my recommendation.

Gin Stephens: While you were talking about that I was thinking more about the fasting versus eating. Here's why I always say it's the fasting, because if I gave up fasting and had a super clean diet, but ate all day, I know I would regain all the weight I lost. With the food, I would still gain all the way back, even if I was very careful about my food, because all those years that I struggled with my weight, I would cycle through different eating styles from clean eating to low carb to low fat. The only thing that made a difference was the fasting and not the what. Of course, now I'm very careful about what I eat, because it makes me feel better to eat high quality foods. I'm not planning to go back to eating the standard American diet all the time, but if I did in an eating window, I feel like I would still maintain my weight and help a lot better than if I started eating around the clock. That's one reason that I base my answer on that. Just knowing for me, the fasting is the only thing that has improved my health, helped me lose weight, and keep it off. Even though my eating is not perfection, I eat the foods that I want to eat.

Melanie Avalon: Quick question about that. For the fasting, I'm assuming it requires a minimum amount of fasting to achieve this benefit, right?

Gin Stephens: For me, yeah. There was a minimum amount of fasting, maximum eating window. Because remember, when I switched to intermittent fasting, after having no luck on low carb, keto, I introduced intermittent fasting and also all the foods. I ate all the foods and felt so much better and lost 75 pounds. Although the last little bit I did “clean up” what I was eating for the last 10 weeks or so back then in 2015. For me, I just know, I feel like if I went back to eating all day, even if I were eating ultra-processed diet, I don't think I would have the same health benefits that I'm having.

Melanie Avalon: An ultra-unprocessed?

Gin Stephens: That's what I meant. Yeah, even if I was eating an ultra-unprocessed diets, skipping the ultra-processed foods, and eating a really clean diet, I don't feel like I could have the same health benefits that I have now.

Melanie Avalon: I guess the qualification question is-- so the fasting requires some sort of qualification, it has to be a certain minimum amount of hours. Then, if it were too long, you would probably have a detrimental return on effect, potentially. You could apply the same thing to food with eating only whole foods, but there is going to be qualifications, like you can't-- like you're not eating, bingeing eating or eating pass point satiety, 24/7. Like just normal eating of whole foods.

Gin Stephens: The thing is, is that I lose my satiety signals when my window is too long.

Melanie Avalon: Even with completely whole foods?

Gin Stephens: I remember back when I tried, I think it was Tosca Reno, I can't remember her name. There was a lady, the first eating clean book I ever read. It was a long time ago. I'd never heard of eating clean before, but her book was like The Eat-Clean Diet or something. I tried it, didn't lose any weight. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: What were you eating?

Gin Stephens: I mean, it's been so long, Melanie. I was following her recommendations, so I can't tell you exactly, but she was very stringent and what she allowed you to eat, but I didn't lose any weight. I also didn't have the palate for it back then, so I don't know what I was eating. I was certainly good at following directions when I would try a diet. I just know, for me, that fasting is a nonnegotiable, food quality came second after fasting, for me. When I tried to do food quality only all those years, those struggle years, was basically me trying to change my food quality and none of them ever made a difference. It was only the fasting that then allowed me to change my food quality. I could see it being opposite for somebody else. Maybe only changing their food quality would allow them to be able to do fasting. I don't know. But for me, the fasting was the magical piece.

Melanie Avalon: I guess, for me, the fasting is the magical piece. For me, it's what works better, so I'm complete same with you. I still feel like fasting is working-- depending what you're eating, it might be undoing damage or preparing you for damage, but then if you're eating healthy, then it's just further catalyzing everything compared to the food-- I don't know. I just feel like food is the foundation and it can easily be toxic, like putting something toxic into you. It can be toxic and that you just eat too much of it, so it's just a pure too much energy problem, but I don't know. It's hard for me to say that the fasting is more important than the food choices, even though for me the fasting is what works better. So, yes, I don't know. In any case, it's a good thing that we don't have to choose.

Gin Stephens: That's right. We can do whatev-- we can do both.

Melanie Avalon: That we can do both, which I love doing.

Gin Stephens: I'm sure we'll debate this again in the future.

Melanie Avalon: Probably. For listeners, if you'd like to submit your own questions for the podcast, you can directly email, or you can go to and you can submit questions there. You can get the show notes for today's episode at You can get all the stuff that we like at You can follow us on Instagram. Oh, I just posted this really cool thing on Instagram, is this jewelry called InvisaWear. They have key chains and necklaces and bracelets and hair scrunchies. You set it up with emergency contact numbers, and you can put 911 and you click it, and it'll call and it’ll tell the people where you are if you ever are in an unsafe situation. It works automatically once you buy it or you can pay for a subscription to ADT and actually have the option to call like a security system or have them text you or call you. It's very, very cool. I feel so safe now.

Gin Stephens: Wow. That's good.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and it's really pretty. I have coupon, it's MELANIE10 at, I-N-V-I-S-A-W-E-A-R. I really, really like it. It makes really good gift for people especially like Mother's Day coming up and stuff. In any case, anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: Nope, I think that's it.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this was absolutely wonderful, and I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right, bye-be.

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 podcast, Intermittent Fasting Stories, and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Theme music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week.


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

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Dec 20

Episode 192: Food Sensitivities, Using Food Sense Guide (How To), Plateaus, Maca Powder, Bingeing, Emotional Eating, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 192 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 Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:

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16:15 - Listener Feedback: Shelly - Feedback for Food Sense Guide

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The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #62 - Dr. Becky Campbell

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26:55 - AUDIBLE: Go To Or Text IFPODCAST To 500500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook!

29:10 - Listener Q&A: Becky - Fasting Window Time

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #27 - Nick Ortner

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #45: Glenn Livingston, Ph.D.

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #68 - Glenn Livingston, Ph.D.

Never Binge Again: How Thousands of People Have Stopped Overeating and Binge Eating - and Stuck to the Diet of Their Choice! (By Reprogramming Themselves to Think Differently About Food.)  Glenn Livingston, Ph.D.

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44:30 - Listener Q&A: Amanda - Maca Root and Katie's Question episode 187

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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,, and 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.

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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 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 And for the latest discounts and giveaways from me, definitely get on my clean beauty email list. That's at 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

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, 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, 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 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

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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, 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 And then I did a Q&A episode with him. I actually released that last week, that was really popular too. So that's 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.

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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 Or, you can go to 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 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.


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