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Mar 13

Episode 256: Dopamine, Addiction, Mindset, Appetite Correction, Wim Hof Breathing, Cold Showers, Iron, Collagen, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 256 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:

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Ground Beef For LIFE!!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Ground Beef For LIFE!!

3:20 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

13:40 - Listener Q&A: Melissa - history of overeating and IF

18:20 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life (Nir Eyal)

35:50 - Listener Q&A: Nancy - Iron

50:55 - BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon! Learn All About Bone Broth With My Episode with Melissa Boloña!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #60 - Wim Hof

57:20 - Listener Q&A: Kathy - Bone Broth, Collagen And Ketosis Complete

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 256 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 Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get free grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef for life. Yes, for life. Gin and I are huge fans of a company called ButcherBox. As you guys know, it can be hard to get high-quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. ButcherBox is the solution. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, nitrate-free, sugar-free bacon, heritage-breed hotdogs, and wild-caught seafood all directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community that is focused on doing what's better for all parties. That means caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect, and enjoying better nourishing meals together. They go to great lengths to assure the highest quality, so you can find actual 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef. If you've seen the Netflix documentary, Seaspiracy, you might be aware of fish fraud and problems in the seafood industry. ButcherBox maintains very, very high standards for that. 

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One more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disrupters, which mess with our hormones, obesogens, which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. When you're putting on your conventional skincare makeup, you're likely putting toxic compounds directly into your body. These compounds can make you feel bad, can make it really hard to lose weight, can affect your hormones, your mood, your health. And ladies, if you're thinking of having kids, when you have a child, these compounds actually go directly through the placenta into the newborn. That means your skincare makeup that you're putting on today actually affects the health of future generations. 

Did you know that conventional lipstick, for example often tests high for lead and the half-life of lead can be up to 30 years in your bones? That means when you put on your lipstick, 30 years later, half of that lead might still be in your body. Thankfully, there's an easy, easy solution to this. There's a company called Beautycounter and they were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient and their products is extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can actually feel good about what you put on. And on top of that, their products actually work. That's because they're not “all natural.” They actually combine the best of both worlds, both synthetic and natural ingredients to create products that actually support the health of your skin and make your skin look amazing. They have skincare lines for all your skin types, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, anti-aging and brightening peels, and vitamin C serums, and incredible makeup. If you see my makeup on Instagram, that's all Beautycounter. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. 

And if you're thinking of making safe skincare a part of your future like we have, we definitely suggest becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership, totally, completely worth it. Also, definitely join my clean beauty email list at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty, I give away a lot of free things on that list and join me on my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. I do a weekly giveaway every single week for Beautycounter, people share their experience and product reviews, and so much more. And again, the link to shop with us is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. All right, now, enjoy the show.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 256 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 cold. Yesterday, the weather was perfect, and I went and sat in the Sun, and it was beautiful, and I wore flipflops and today I'm back in UGGs holding a mug of warm water.

Melanie Avalon: It's cold where you are?

Gin Stephens: I'm cold. Yeah, it's all. Yeah, it's rainy.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I was excited when it was cold here, but I feel it's been getting warm, which has been disheartening.

Gin Stephens: Have you been outside today? 

Melanie Avalon: No. 

Gin Stephens: It's 51 degrees and raining.

Melanie Avalon: Wonderful.

Gin Stephens: No, it's not wonderful. I'm freezing. Yesterday, it was 70. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that was a problem.

Gin Stephens: It was beautiful. You don't like 70? Come on, now. I can't imagine you wouldn't like 70.

Melanie Avalon: No. I get sad when I look at the weather forecast when it says 70. I want it to be in the 40s.

Gin Stephens: Okay, well, then you probably should not live in Georgia. 

Melanie Avalon: I know. 

Gin Stephens: You need to go to, I don’t know, the Arctic, where we never get to the 70s. I don't know. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Basically, I like the 70s in LA, because it gets cool in the evening still. 

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: I have a random question. 

Gin Stephens: Okay. 

Melanie Avalon: Did you ever get night terrors?

Gin Stephens: Night terrors as a kid? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. 

Gin Stephens: I don't know. I know, I always was like-- I don't think I had really what you would call night terrors. I remember being very anxious as a child. It had to do with us moving, and my parents got divorced, and then we moved to another state, and I remember being very anxious, and high strung at night when it would be time to go to bed, but I don't think I had night terrors. 

Melanie Avalon: Have you ever had the experience where you wake up, but you're still asleep, so, you're interpreting your environment incorrectly? 

Gin Stephens: Like a dream. 

Melanie Avalon: But you're awake. 

Gin Stephens: But you're awake, but you feel you're still in your dream. 

Melanie Avalon: No. 

Gin Stephens: Okay, then. No, I don't know what you're talking about.

Melanie Avalon: I used to get night terrors. I don't anymore, but I had something happen last night that reminds me of night terrors, but it wasn't the same thing. But it's the concept of waking up, and being awake, and knowing your environment. But for some reason, part of your brain is still asleep, so you're interpreting your environment incorrectly. So, with night terrors you see scary things in your environment that aren't there. That's what night terrors are.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't think so. I don't know. It wouldn't surprise me if I did or didn't. I was a high-strung little kid. I don't have memories of having night terrors, but that doesn't mean I didn't because [laughs] I would have to ask my mom. 

Melanie Avalon: I definitely had them and I remember them. 

Gin Stephens: Then, I probably didn't. I do remember being very emotional at bedtime and hysterical about not wanting to go to bed and be left alone. I didn't want to be left alone. But I don't know if I had nightmares or I don't have any memory of them.

Melanie Avalon: You didn't probably remember them? 

Gin Stephens: Probably, so.

Melanie Avalon: I would always see spiders. I'd wake up and see spiders. Then I would have to look for the spider, because every single time I would wake up and see it, and it would take me a while to convince myself that it wasn't real this time. It would happen all the time. So, I'd like turn the lights on-- This happened in high school, too. I turn the lights on and look for the spider.

Gin Stephens: Oh no, I didn't have that. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Last night what happened, this was so weird. I'm just fascinated by the brain states. Last night I woke up, and looked at the ceiling, and the lighting from the window was making a perfect arrow pointing to the window. It's hard to describe, but basically, there was an arrow made of light on the wall, on the ceiling pointing to the window. It was real. I wasn't making it up. But my brain, I spent five minutes staring at it, thinking it was-- I was terrified. I was like that's a sign that there's something outside. I could not convince myself that it was just a light. I thought it was a sign. And then every time I woke up, it was still there. It was weird, but literally, five minutes laying there awake staring at it, contemplating it, thinking that the world was ending, 

Gin Stephens: Oh, gosh. No, I have woken up in an anxious state with weird thoughts in my head that suddenly feel really the world is ending, that kind of waking up. I don't know if it was a dream or just being anxious.

Melanie Avalon: Brain is just really interesting. 

Gin Stephens: It is. 

Melanie Avalon: So, that's my random thing. The other random thing is I interviewed Dr. Gundry again.

Gin Stephens: Oh, how'd that go? 

Melanie Avalon: It went very well. 

Gin Stephens: And what's his new book? I forgot.

Melanie Avalon: Unlocking the Keto Code. 

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: It was perfect timing, because I had interviewed Dom D'Agostino a few days prior all about ketones, and then I interviewed Dr. Gundry all about ketones and they had different opinions.

Gin Stephens: That's the way so many people are, which is almost why I'm like, "Y'all, Fast. Feast. Repeat. That's it. It doesn't matter all those other little things. We don't have to tell you exactly what is happening behind the scenes, but your body knows, and it's doing it, and you don't have to know,

Melanie Avalon: That's why I'm the complete opposite. That's why I'm like, "I want to hear every perspective."

Gin Stephens: But when they disagree, that's where I am at this point in my life at the age of 52. I like to hear it. It's interesting, but when experts who are very, very smart have wildly different opinions, I'm like, " what? It doesn't even really matter. It doesn't matter." All I know is my body knows what to do. That's literally where I am. I like to understand what's happening and I feel I do, but maybe I don't. [giggles] Maybe we've got it all wrong. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: I want to know everything.

Gin Stephens: I'm at the point where I feel even the things we think we know we might not really know, so it really doesn't matter. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I see. 

Gin Stephens: That's what I'm saying. I'm like, "We might think this is all what's happening," and then in five years, we'll think it's something completely different. So, really it doesn't matter. I do like to know. Don't get me wrong. I like to know the science behind how things work, but only to a certain point, because then when we start getting deeper, and deeper, and deeper, we realize how many things are unknown. For example, going back to elementary science teaching, we teach even right this minute, if you go into an elementary classroom, teaching about the structure of an atom, they're teaching it wrong. That's not true what they're teaching. It's not even close to what an atom really is like. I just didn't like we're learning all this stuff. I don't know what is true and what [laughs] we just think, anyway.

Melanie Avalon: I literally think I know nothing. That's why I want to hear everything, because I have no idea and I don't know if anybody has any idea. But that's where we can all keep searching and try to get closer.

Gin Stephens: I do love science. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I don't. I just am like, "I don't need to know all how that's doing it in the background." I know, autophagy is doing something great. I don't need to know the minute that it's doing whatever it's doing. I know ketosis has been official. [laughs] I know that I'm having it. [laughs] Anyway. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, yes, yes. 

Gin Stephens: I'm glad you had a good interview with him. 

Melanie Avalon: It was good. Is anything else new with you? 

Gin Stephens: Well, no. I do have some new interesting things that I'm not ready to share yet, but some really things that are interesting. We're not quite ready like I said to share. So, it's exciting. I can't wait to be able to share, because I like to [giggles] say what I'm doing. Just not quite there yet. I'm just going to tease it. It's personal life, not professional life. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. 

Gin Stephens: That's it. 

Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into everything for today? 

Gin Stephens: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: All right, so, to start things off, we have a question from Melissa. The subject is: "history of overeating and IF." Melissa says, "I've been doing IF for eight months. I'm 5'5" and 138 pounds. When I started this, I lost a few pounds and it was great, but I'm back to where I started with those stubborn 10 pounds. Recently, I've been listening to the Brain Over Binge Podcast." Side note: I booked that author which is very exciting. She has a new book coming out. Wait, wait. Was it her? No, no, no, no. I get them confused. It's the Bright Line Eating woman? 

Gin Stephens: Oh, okay. Her new book's already out.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, well, she's coming on for it. [giggles] Both of them have a similar perspective, I think.

Gin Stephens: No sugar, no flour. Bright Line Eating is no sugar, no flour.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I thought Bright Line Eating is about like bright lines. No sugar no flour, but basically saying no. I think that's what Brain Over Binge is about too.

Gin Stephens: Maybe it's just saying no, but you can never have sugar and you can never have flour on Bright Line, never and also, I think she hates intermittent fasting.

Melanie Avalon: What is her new book?

Gin Stephens: I can't remember the name of it, but I keep my eye on the-- It popped up in the weight loss arena when it first came out. That's how I know what's coming out, because I do keep my eye, I like to see how Fast. Feast. Repeat. is doing and Clean(ish). Well, just FYI like I said, I don't think she likes intermittent fasting at all and she's like, "No sugar, no flour ever." I know some people really do feel that their brains can't tolerate sugar and flour. It might be something that works for them and they need to avoid those things. Someone, the same parts of the brain that light up with drugs, for example. I don't know. For me, that's not the case. I can have a little bit of sugar, I can have flour, I don't feel I'm just a drug addict for it at all. But I know that some people do describe it that way and I believe them that that's how they feel.

Melanie Avalon: That's the way I feel more so. Maybe not quite to that extent, but--

Gin Stephens: It feels that way to you when you consume it. Is that what I'm asking? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. 

Gin Stephens: See, I don't.

Melanie Avalon: Her new book is Rezoom. It came out in December. Rezoom: The Powerful Reframe to End the Crash-and-Burn Cycle of Food Addiction.

Gin Stephens: Yep. She's very much, "Here's the things. Never, never have these things. Like I said, for the people who need that kind of approach, I know some people in my Delay, Don't Deny community, who follow her work and find that they can't do sugar and flour personally. Interestingly, one of them, she's an intermittent fasting coach. She's lovely. I actually met her. We had dinner together in Myrtle Beach. She happened to be there one time when I was there and we met, and she's been on my podcast. She does intermittent fasting, she also can't have the sugar and the flour, but she was a drug addict. Now, she tells her story on the podcast. I'm telling things about her I shouldn't tell, but she was a drug addict and gave up the drug. So, I think certain brains are more likely to light up from certain stimuli.

Melanie Avalon: That's interesting, because I'm prepping to interview Chris Masterjohn, which is exciting. I'm actually going to talk about him a little bit in our next question assuming we get to it. But I was listening to him on Peter Attia, and they were discussing the COMT gene, the worrier versus warrior.

Gin Stephens: Worrying versus fighting? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Do you worry or fight, right?

Melanie Avalon: How it related to addiction. They were talking about was, okay, see if I get this right. The worrier, so the person, who worries, their gene does not break down dopamine that fast. You have a lot of dopamine that sticks around, you get really fixated, you ruminate, but you can be really laser focused. Both traits have good and bad to them. The warrior, the fighter breaks down dopamine really fast. They're more flexible and don't get as fixated on things, but the addiction aspect was, I think that types are more likely to get addicted, because they go through dopamine so quick. You constantly need more. 

Gin Stephens: Well, that's interesting. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, a dopamine releasing substance. You would need to keep pressing the lever, because the dopamine is going away, basically. 

Gin Stephens: I guess, probably, most of us are somewhere along the continuum. We're not on one end or the other. We're somewhere in the middle. I really do believe that our brain chemistries are different. So, I can have sugar, flour, or whatever, take it or leave it. I like it, but I'm not looking for my next fix kind of a thing, and it doesn't make me binge. But I know that some people do.

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Melanie Avalon: Anyways, so, she's been listening to Brain Over Binge Podcast, which, again, is somebody different, but I think it's a similar concept with the Bright Lines. It's just saying no, I think. She said, "I've realized that I have an issue with overeating. I've tried a few different IF patterns. I shoot for 18 to 20 fast hours a day." This is pretty easy at this point. "I exercise five to six days a week, 30 to 60 minutes at varied intensities, ADF doesn't really interest me, here's my question. After eight months, I don't feel I really had appetite correction and I still have the tendency to overeat in my window. I don't always make the best food choices, but I do strive to make healthier choices. My food choices have been worse with this home isolation and stress is not helping. I feel I can't get the mental game under control to make IF a long-term success. What can I do to get my mind in the right spot for this to work long term?" 

Gin Stephens: All right, that's a great question. It's easy to say just get your mind right. [giggles] But I can't tell you how to get your mind in the right spot. I don't think either of us can. You've got to get your mind in the right spot. You can reread the "Mindset" chapter of Fast. Feast. Repeat. where I talk about the importance of mindset. But I can't tell you how to get there. You've got to flip that switch yourself. For me, it helps me to know why I'm doing intermittent fasting. I want to go back to your weight and height. You're 5'5", 138 pounds. That is a very healthy weight for your height. You're not overweight, you're not even close to overweight. You're right in the middle of that healthy weight range. I do understand that you would like to lose 10 pounds and I get it. If I gained 10 pounds from where I am right now, I would want to lose them too. 10 pounds, you have the right to want to lose 10 pounds, but you are at a very healthy weight. I just wanted to put that out there. 

But when I disconnect, why I'm doing intermittent fasting now, like if I got on the scale, I'm 5'5", if I got on the scale and I weighed 138 pounds right this minute, I would still keep doing intermittent fasting even if I never got below 138 again for the rest of my life. Because now, I do intermittent fasting long-term not so the scale will change. I do intermittent fasting now, because it's a healthy way to live. That mindset shift is really the one that was most powerful for me. I guess, even though, I can't tell you how to get your mind in the right spot, if you shift from, "I have to lose these 10 pounds to I am going to do intermittent fasting for the rest of my life, because it's a healthy way to live," that might be the thing that flips that switch and makes it a long-term success for you. That's certainly what did it for me. So, let's talk about those stubborn 10 pounds that you would like to lose and why you didn't have appetite correction. 

I really feel it has to do with that one sentence that you said, "I don't always make the best food choices, but I do strive to make healthier choices." For me, food quality and appetite correction go hand in hand. I tell the story in Fast. Feast. Repeat. about the day that I had McDonas ld's. I had a Big Mac and fries and a Coke. That was plenty of calories, plenty of fuel. I fueled my body with lots of energy. It wasn't good quality, but it was plenty. I didn't need more fuel, but I was so unsatisfied and I was still "hungry." I absolutely did not have appetite correction from a McDonald's Big Mac and fries and a Coke. But when I eat really, highly nutritious foods that are nutrient dense, lots of vegetables, good protein, beans, eggs, avocado, things like that, I could eat the calorie equivalent, of course, I don't count calories, but I have to get that out there. I could eat the calorie equivalent of that Big Mac fries and Coke meal, and have amazing appetite correction, food quality makes all the difference in the world for me. 

If you feel you're not making the best food choices, start with really highly nutritious foods. There's a term in the nutrition space called "crowding out." You crowd out the things that are not the best with things that are the best and you're not going to have as much room for them. If you start with highly nutritious foods, you tell yourself, "You know what, I've got some ice cream, I want to have that later." But really nourish your body well. Then later, if you want to add in a little bit of that, whatever it was, ice cream for me would be the one, then add it in. That's how I'm Cleanish. But if I start with nutritious foods, I don't really want that much ice cream. A little bit is fine. If I started with ice cream, hello, I could see all the ice cream in the world and still not probably be full and satisfied. I really think that might be what you're missing out on. Also, you are doing a good bit of exercising and that makes you hungry. For me, how they call it working up a good appetite? You said that you have the tendency to overeat. You might not be "overeating" to the point that you think you are. I think we've been trained, especially as women to think we're supposed to have dainty appetites. Especially, if you're in the paradigm of eating five, six small meals a day that sort of thing, then you might really need to eat tiny little amounts. But if you're having a 20-hour fast and a four-hour window and you've exercised for 60 minutes at high intensity, you need to have a lot of fuel and your body is going to tell you that. So, it might feel you're overeating when really, it's exactly the amount of food you're supposed to have. But you're thinking, you're supposed to be eating this little diet amount, but your body's like, "No, we worked out hard today, give us more food." 

By combining high-quality food choices to open your window, our bodies don't count calories, they count nutrients like my Big Mac story illustrates, by having the high-quality foods understanding that you might need to eat more than you think you do, and also realizing you're at a really healthy weight for your height, and really just changing the quality of your food, it might really get that needle going down a little bit. Put all those things together and I definitely don't think you need to do ADF, unless you're really want to. But again, I want to reiterate from what I said before. If you shift that mental game from, "I am doing intermittent fasting to lose 10 pounds to I am doing intermittent fasting because it's the healthiest way I can live my life, and I can do some tweaks to see if I can lose those 10 pounds or not," I think that might flip that switch to make it feel a long-term lifestyle. I've just said a lot of things.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. You said a lot of things that I was going to touch on. So, that is excellent. I actually just finished a book by Nir Eyal all called Indistractable, bringing him on the show as well. It wasn't about eating or anything like that. It was about not being distracted in our environment. But one of the things that he talks about that this made me think of was when there's something like a trigger or a habit that we're trying to break, there's basically internal and external triggers. He goes through four different things, but two of them, one is an internal trigger, and one is an external trigger that could be prompting that. The internal trigger would be probably stuff that she talks about in the Brain Over Binge Podcast. But I really like this process that he talks about. I've started to do it with my own self. Basically, when there's something you don't want to do or don't want to engage in, you notice the feeling that happened right before that. So, it's an internal feeling and it usually will always be there. 

He talks more about how to actually deal with it, or replace it, or what you do with that. But I do think it's really fascinating, because it can make you realize with your overeating experience, for example, or your cravings, or your lack of appetite correction. Is that coming from a place of needing more nutrients like Gin was talking about or is it coming more from a place of unsatisfied craving for whatever reason? Noticing the feeling right before that might be pretty telling. There's so much you could do on the mindset side of things. We're talking about earlier, more of an addiction type thing rather than a nutrition type thing. Either way, really focusing like Gin said on your nutrition quality is going to be huge. I think a lot of people find that if they make their meals centered around a moderate to higher protein meal, that can really, really help with cravings. I also think it goes back to the sentence that Gin said, and that's what I'm going to bring in the external triggers. The sentence, "I don't always make the best food choices but I do strive to make healthier choices." First of all, I applaud you for striving to make healthier choices. That is amazing and it can be really hard to do with our processed food environment today, and things that we're exposed to. Gin, do you feel we get this sentience from a lot of people struggling with this issue? 

Gin Stephens: They're trying to make healthier choices? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we did that a lot. That's such an interesting phrase. I'm striving to make healthier choices, because if went out on the street and asked a hundred people, "What's a healthy way to eat?" We'd get a hundred different answers.

Melanie Avalon: The perspective I was taking from it is, it's often the focus on the-- 

Gin Stephens: Oh, the intermittent fasting? 

Melanie Avalon: No, no. The focus is on like, "I'll try to do that rather than that's what I do." This actually goes into something else, which he talks about these-- and I'm going go back to the external triggers as well. I'm all over the place. But he talks about the different ways that people can make habit change and what is most effective. One of the most effective ways to make habit change is to have an identity change. Not become an entirely new person, but to have an identity change around the issue. They did a study that was on voting. I don't remember the exact numbers. I can look them up, but it was a striking difference between people, who actually voted based on the initial criteria was, there're people who said they were going to vote in the poll. They responded by saying, they were going to vote. Then they did a poll, where they asked people if they were voters. The people who said they were voters were way more likely to vote than people who literally said they were going to vote. It goes into this whole identity thing.

The analogy here is, we can say we're going to vote and try to vote and do all this and that's good, because it's an intention and something you want to do, so that's great. But we're actually much more likely to vote if we just say I'm a voter. The way this all ties into this is, maybe instead of striving to make healthier choices, you could try adopting or trying on an identity of just saying, you make healthy choices rather than trying to or striving to. And then, you can make it even easier for yourself so that the identity barrier is one thing that helps-- or boundaries, I think they're called boundaries. But having actual boundaries can help that, because it's hard to combat what's right in your face. If you're trying to make healthier choices, you could just make healthier choices and those foods that you know are problem foods for you just don't have them in the house. That would be getting rid of external triggers creating an actual boundary to engaging in whatever habit you're trying not to engage with.

Gin Stephens: Can I pop in something there that just came to my mind? It's Yoda. "Do or do not. There is no try." That's one of my favorite Yoda quotes. 

Melanie Avalon: I thought about that so long and I put that in my What When Wine book, because I talk about in What When Wine how I never really understood that phrase until I did intermittent fasting, and then it made perfect sense, because you don't try to do intermittent fasting. You either do or you don't. There is no try. You do or you don't. 

Gin Stephens: Well, exactly, right. 

Melanie Avalon: Same thing here. Again, I don't want to discount or not be encouraging, because it is amazing to strive to make healthier choices. I'm not trying to downplay that. I'm just saying a slight shift, where you just make healthier choices, you get rid of all those things that are causing the problems. Just don't have them in the house. 

Gin Stephens: Or, be cleanish. Don't start with them.

Melanie Avalon: Do you want elaborate on that, because I don't think people might not know what you're saying, exactly?

Gin Stephens: I've said it a minute ago. I said how I start with things that are nutritious, and then I crowd out, and then I might have the ice cream, and I'm cleanish. 

Melanie Avalon: So, yes. I think there's a lot that can be done there. Especially, if you feel you can't get the mental game under control, stack the cards in your favor, do everything you can to stack the cards in your favor. It can sound scary to make things seemingly more intense in your approach, but can actually give you freedom because you're not fighting all of these temptations and things like that. Yes, that was all over the place. That book, Indistractable, it's actually really short. So, it might be something to listen to. Again, it's not really about food specifically, but it's got a lot of really fascinating information in it. Anything else?

Gin Stephens: Nope. I think we've said a lot of things. I hope that it helps Melissa.

Melanie Avalon: I like what you said, too, about focusing on the nutrient fulfilling foods would probably really help.

Gin Stephens: You know how you said she should tell herself, I eat healthy foods. She should also say, I am an intermittent faster. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly. 

Gin Stephens: Because then, that's who I am. I am an intermittent faster. So, that is my identity. I don't have to get up every day and decide if I'm going to do intermittent fasting. That's just what I do. It's who I am.

Melanie Avalon: And another one is saying, I don't instead of I can't. Instead of saying, "I can't have those foods, I don't have those foods," making it a choice. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I don't use artificial sweeteners. If you offer me something that it has artificial sweeteners, I will not eat it. [laughs] Also, I could say, I can't, because that would not upset me, because I just really don't want to and I don't like them. But anyway, same, same kind of thing.

Melanie Avalon: So, shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes. We have a question from Nancy and the subject is: "Iron." She says, "first, love the podcast, love the books, love you guys." Thank you, Nancy. She says, "I always learn a lot and my own journey is crazy. IF does not work for me for anything other than feeling I don't have to focus on food all day. But I love that in terms of weight loss or anything like that. This is not my jam. Never worked for me and I've been doing this almost since you guys started this podcast. Thanks to my daughter. However, that is not what this email is about." Now, I got to stop there, Melanie. When she says, "IF does not work for me for anything," I have to dig into that a little bit, just because it's not working for weight loss, Nancy, it doesn't mean it's not doing amazing other things. That's the thing. Okay, so, you haven't lost any weight, but I bet it's done a lot of amazing things inside your body that you can't identify. It's like when people ask me, "What has your vibration plate done for you? How has it helped you?" I say, "Well, I don't know because there's no path I've been on where I didn't use it." I have used it. So, I'm not sure how much muscle mass it's helped me maintain. Because I don't have a study where the Gin didn't do it. [laughs] Here's the Gin who did it, here's the Gin who didn't. I only know the one who did it. 

For Nancy saying that intermittent fasting hasn't worked for her, well, who knows what have happened if she hadn't done intermittent fasting? Does that make sense? Am I making myself clear? I think that it might not have given you weight loss, Nancy, but I want you to tell yourself like what you just were talking about with Melissa. What you tell yourself, change what you're saying and say, intermittent fasting is my secret to living a healthy life. Because I really think that it's a healthy way to live even in the absence of weight loss, it is doing something for you. I had to throw that out there. Chad does it, didn't need to lose weight, didn't want to lose weight, doesn't want. He would be upset if he lost weight. Mark Mattson of Johns Hopkins, he's been doing intermittent fasting since I think the 80s. They don't do it for weight loss. They do it for the health benefits. So, never, never, never lose sight of that. So, do you have anything you want to add? 

Melanie Avalon: Just that I agree completely. 

Gin Stephens: Okay. So, anyway, I'm glad you're doing it, Nancy. I'm glad you're a listener. I'm glad that you're still enjoying doing it and that it gives you freedom from that focus on food, because even if that was all that it did really, that's huge. I mean that is huge. All right, so, she says, "Okay, so, I have something a little bit weird for you guys. I've been playing with Wim Hof breathing for around two years and cold showers for about six months. I've tried to give blood for a couple of years and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, because my iron numbers are not high enough, and they can't take your blood unless your iron is at a certain level. I went to give blood a couple of months ago and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to or not. But after they did my finger prick, the tech said, "Your blood numbers are great, perfect. You're doing great." My numbers were usually just over the line in the past when I could give blood. The only thing I did differently was cold showers and sometimes putting my feet in ice and water. Ever since then and it's only been twice. So, this isn't a study. But ever since then I've been able to go in and just give blood, no problem. 

Before that, I tried different iron supplements, liquid iron, which only turned my teeth black, which I stopped immediately and brush crazy till the stains went away. But this cold-water stuff, I have a feeling that cold water really helps with iron. I looked it up just on Google not PubMed or anything and there was something about it. Not anything that was earth shattering, but I thought, "Well, this could be a thing." I know you are both into research to a level that I will never be and have resources that I don't have. So, I thought I would just throw this out after listening to the podcast, where you talked about the woman, who could be low iron. I thought I would share my crazy experience. Sincerely," Nancy.

Melanie Avalon: All right, Nancy. Thank you so much for your question. Really, quick thing. I don't really think I have that many more resources than other people as far as research goes. It's actually very easy in our world today to access research and information. There are books, that's where I get a lot of my information. Google Scholar is my favorite place to be. There're so many studies. You can't always read the full study, but you often can. If you sign up for a ResearchGate account, you can often get the full study through that platform. 

Gin Stephens: Or, if you're married to a college professor. He can get you anything.

Melanie Avalon: Or, if you went to college anywhere, you often as an alumni can have access to their library system. I guess the one resource I have that most people don't is, I can often directly ask questions to some of the authors I've had on the show. But beyond that, it's really all just self-study. Just want to point that out. It's funny, Nancy, about this question. We've had it in the lineup for a long time, because I was waiting because I thought the information was going to organically come to me at some point. I feel it did this week. I was like once it comes to me, I'm going to wait till it comes to me and then I'm going to talk about it and it came to me this week. I've mentioned this earlier, but I am prepping to interview Chris Masterjohn. He doesn't have a book or anything, but he has been in the sphere for a long time and he writes very epic blog posts, and he does have eBook type things you can buy but he really researches nutrients and metabolic health, and what's the word for metabolic systems in the body?

Gin Stephens: Metabolic systems really just sums it up.

Melanie Avalon: It's funny, Gin, because prepping to interview him, because normally I'm focusing on a book. But there's just so much. He's covered everything. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, he's written about everything. Yeah, he's brilliant. I've been reading his stuff for, well, before I wrote my first book.

Melanie Avalon: it's not he just writes about everything. He goes really deep in everything, in all the different topics and he gives a perspective that nobody else usually is talking about. We're talking earlier about not knowing what do we know, what do we not know. He always gives a new perspective and I'm like, "Why have I never heard that before?" That sounds right [laughs] if that makes sense. Prepping to interview him. I'm like, "What do I talk to him about?" I think I'm just going to talk to him about all the things presently I'm very fascinated with and would like to know his thoughts on. But in any case, he has been writing a lot actually, recently about iron status because he's been looking at a lot of the studies about how COVID affects iron status. He talks about the mechanisms of action and what is going on there. I think I got a lot of clarity reading it about what might be going on with you, Nancy. Before I answer that, the first resource I went to--

Gin Stephens: I have a question. Does he say that it's better, because I think I remember reading some stuff about this early, early on in the pandemic. For COVID, is it better to have high iron or low iron?

Melanie Avalon: I didn't read about better to, the stuff I was reading. I'm sure he's probably written on it. That's a good question and I should check it before I interview him. The stuff I was reading was, how does COVID affect iron status? So, that's a good question, though.

Gin Stephens: For some reason, I seem to-- I don't know. We've had so much over the past few years. For some reason in my head, I feel I read something early on, I mean, really early on 2020 early, early, early that was correlating low iron with better outcomes. I don't know. Because I usually have had low iron like Nancy. For some reason, that stuck in my head, because I'm like, "Oh, maybe having low iron is good." I don't know for COVID.

Melanie Avalon: Well, yeah. What he talks about is how people think that the inflammatory state of COVID would deplete iron being an inflammatory state. But actually, and this relates to Nancy's question. Inflammation raises a hormone called hepcidin, which is the insulin for blood sugar, but it's a regulator of iron status.

Gin Stephens: I did find a couple of things. The U-shaped association of serum iron level with disease severity and adult hospitalized patients with COVID-19. A U-shaped curve is interesting. Too high is not good, too low is no-- 

Melanie Avalon: Too low is not good. 

Gin Stephens: Right. That's interesting. Again, so much stuff we still don't even know. So, I'm not giving medical advice about this. 

Melanie Avalon: This answer is not to speak to COVID, specifically. It's to speak to the inflammatory state. In the inflammatory state, hepcidin goes up, hepcidin decreases. I don't know if it's a hormone as well. I guess so called ferroportin. Ferroportin is the transporter responsible for transporting iron both from our food into our bodies, and then also in and out of cells. What happens when we get inflamed, hepcidin goes up, ferroportin goes down, we no longer easily absorb iron from our food. In an inflamed state, it's likely that we'll have low iron. But what's interesting and this is what he talks about. This is the how it gets more nuanced. When you get a full iron panel, you measure basically, your free iron, your iron saturation, your hemoglobin, which is your iron-containing oxygen transport, metalloprotein in red blood cells, and then your ferritin, which is actually your storage form of iron. 

What's interesting is that when your inflammation is up, your hepcidin is up and your ferroportin transporter is down. Not only do you not absorb iron from your food, but you stop moving iron around. It can get locked in your ferritin, which is your storage form, especially if you're in an inflammatory state, The macrophages in the inflammatory state might actually grab the iron and put it into ferritin, because iron is actually very inflammatory. It can create oxidative stress. You don't want a lot of iron. 

Gin Stephens: You don't want to have too much. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That's why it's such a complicated thing. Your body really has to regulate it and a lot of people for whatever reason things get wonky on either side.

Gin Stephens: Yep. There's that U-shaped curve. By the way, I did find something that sounds like the opposite of what I said before. It just said that severe COVID-19 appears to be characterized by high hepcidin. I don't know how to say that and marked functional iron deficiency. So, you don't want to have iron that's too low.

Melanie Avalon: Right. What you just said is what I was literally just saying. 

Gin Stephens: The reason I'm saying it is because what I said seems to be the opposite of the truth. So, I wanted to correct it. I just remember reading something early. Lord knows what it was. It was two years ago. I remember reading something that made me think, "Oh, maybe low iron isn't bad. Maybe it's protective." 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Again, I don't really want to speak to COVID, but I'm really glad you read that sentence, because that actually describes what I was just saying. Basically, an inflammatory state, COVID would be an inflammatory state. Hepcidin is going up, so you're going to stop absorbing iron. You're more likely to get deficient. But then what's interesting and what he talks about is, like I said, you stop absorbing, but you also trap iron where it is, so people can actually present with having low iron, but high ferritin, because the iron is all trapped in their storage form because their body was like, "Oh, we got to get rid of this. So, let's put it into ferritin." 

Gin Stephens: It's there. It's just stuck. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Then you have to deal with getting it out in a healthy way because too much iron is inflammatory. So, the point of all of that and I think when I talk to him-- Oh, this was really interesting. So, do the way how we get rid of the iron and ferritin?

Gin Stephens: I do not. [laughs] Leeches? Is it leeches? No, I'm kidding.

Melanie Avalon: I know. Well, probably that might do it. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: Wait, I feel I might, give me a minute. I feel I read something.

Melanie Avalon: It's something we talk about a lot sort of.

Gin Stephens: Go ahead. 

Melanie Avalon: It's called ferritinophagy. 

Gin Stephens: Is it autophagy? Is it part of autophagy? Is it linked to autophagy?

Melanie Avalon: When the cell runs low in iron, it sends ferritin that storage form of iron into the general autophagy system. So, then it breaks down the ferritin in the autophagy system and freeze the iron. Isn't that cool?

Gin Stephens: It is very cool. You know how at the beginning of the podcast, where we were like, "Yeah, that's more than I needed to know about stuff. That's where [laughs] iron." [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: It hits home to me because I have had severe anemia in the past, severe. 

Gin Stephens: But you're good now there, right? 

Melanie Avalon: I am. Actually, I'm posting about it today on my InsideTracker. But it's a struggle. For people who struggle with iron issues on either side, it's a struggle. If you have iron overload, really the only solution is donating blood.

Gin Stephens: That's what it was. Donating blood, I knew there was something when I said leeches. It's donating blood for real. That is what you do. I was like, "I feel I know it. What is it?" Yes, it's donating blood. Dah. I can't [laughs] believe I didn't think of that. That's practically the same thing as leeches.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. That's why when you said that I was like, "Basically." [giggles] 

Gin Stephens: That's funny. Okay. I knew I knew it. I just couldn't remember that I knew it.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. Then on the flip side, the anemia side and this is something I really want to talk to him about, because there're just so many reasons and things that could happen. The thing I want to talk to him about for me is the way I tend to present now, because I've been supplementing with grass-fed spleen, which does keep my iron up. But my ferritin, my storage form tends to always be low, but my iron saturation will go up really high. I feel I'm not converting iron to ferritin. I'm going to ask him about that. Oh, to clarify, I do want to clarify, even though, I know Gin mentioned that we're over a lot of heads right now. But this is important to point out, because I did say that ferritinophagy, so, autophagy is what digest ferritin. That is not regulated by autophagy. What I mean by that is, it's not like you if you're in a high autophagy state. They are automatically going to do that process, it's regulated completely by cellular iron status. What that means is, it only does that process when you need to do that process. It's not like, "Oh, I'm in a high autophagy state. Let's break down all the ferritin." It would do that if you needed iron. 

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Melanie Avalon: In any case, how this all relates to Nancy's question? It was interesting because I pulled up Wim Hof's book, because she was talking about doing Wim Hof breathing and the cold showers. I have had Wim Hof on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. I will put a link to that in the show notes. Honestly, listeners, if you want an inspiring episode, that was my most inspiring episode of all time. 

Gin Stephens: Wim Hoff? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, followed by Farmer Lee Jones. I looked at his book to see if he talked about iron status and anemia. I know she didn't mention anemia, but she mentioned low iron. Interestingly, he didn't really talk about it. But the weird thing is there is one sentence about it, but I don't know why he didn't expand on it, because the only sentence in the book that mentions anemia is "the connection between tinnitus and the Wim Hof Method has various possible causes," because he talks about how the Wim Hof Method can help tinnitus. He says, "Medical research shows a direct link between pulsatile tinnitus and anemia, which the Wim Hof Method may ameliorate through the elevated oxygen intake." It's really interesting. Basically, he's hinting that the Wim Hof Method may help anemia. I don't know why he doesn't expand on it. But the reason I think that, Nancy, this is possibly what might be going on is all Chris Masterjohn's work. He talks about how to increase iron status when you are in an iron deficient state for whatever reason and the answer is cooling inflammation. He literally uses that phrase. 

Combating inflammation is a key to helping iron status, helping your iron numbers. The Wim Hof Method, the breathing, the cold showers, one of the main things that is doing in your body is combating system wide inflammation. That's the reason I do cold therapy like cryotherapy. The anti-inflammatory benefits are incredible. It could have something to do with the oxygen content, which is in the Wim Hof what he says in his book. In addition to that, I would really think there could be something going on with it helping your inflammatory status and not helping your iron status. Again, I'm not a doctor, but those are my thoughts.

Gin Stephens: In summary, yes. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Possibly, possibly.

Gin Stephens: Well, she said, "Could it be." She said, "Could it be." The answer is yes, it could be. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Very cool. 

Gin Stephens: But yes. We don't want to be too low, we don't want to be too high, we want to be just right like Goldilocks, when it comes to really almost everything.

Melanie Avalon: For supporting your body's, handling of iron and having a healthy iron profile. an anti-inflammatory lifestyle is really key for that. Cold exposure, Wim Hof breathing would be great tools for that. All right, shall we do one more question? 

Gin Stephens: All righty. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. We have one more question. This is from Kathy. The subject is: "Bone broth, collagen, and ketosis complete." Kathy says, "Hi. I've been doing the IF Fast. Feast. Repeat. for several weeks. Before then, I was doing a keto-type program avoiding sugar and other things. I was drinking a shake with collagen, bone broth, and the ketosis complete." I looked this up. I think I found it because I found a product called ketosis complete that did have-- She says, "It has BHB, beta hydroxybutyrate and a healthy fats blend." But what I was looking at just had BHB. It didn't have healthy fats blend. So, I'm not sure if that was the same thing. 

Gin Stephens: Well, maybe just it's her collagen and her bone broth, and added some fats. Maybe, she was putting in healthy fats in addition. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's possible. 

Gin Stephens: Adding fat, yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: She says, "I have been fasting clean averaging 16 to 20 hours per day and I would like to know if I can have a shake made with these things after I break my fast or do I have to wait until I have done the full 28 days. Thank you," Kathy.

Gin Stephens: All right. Here's the thing about your eating window. You can have whatever you want in your eating window. There is no need to wait any time to have anything in your eating window. Here's what you can't have in your eating window during the first 28 days and here's what you can have after that. If you have something you would like to enjoy in your eating window, you can do it at any point along the way of your intermittent fasting journey. Now, let's talk about the shake and what you need out of that shake. Interesting about collagen, I'm not convinced that we need to ingest collagen. I was having a conversation with someone on the Delay, Don’t Deny community about this recently. She's a doctor. I am not a doctor, she is a doctor, talking about collagen and she's somebody, who I really respect, but she is not a big fan of most of these "products that are out there with all the health claims." She's not a health claims fan because so many of them are made without any good backing. Collagen is one of those things. 

When we ingest collagen, our body breaks it down into the different building blocks. Like, it does with any protein. It's not ingesting collagen and then it's used as collagen. Your body loses the ability to create collagen as you get older. But ingesting collagen, it is not like take the collagen and then stick it places where collagen would be. Am I explaining that well, Melanie? It breaks it down.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Actually, it has probably more to do with something else Chris Masterjohn talks about, the amino acid profile ratio found in collagen versus muscle meats. 

Gin Stephens: Well, my point being that, I'm not convinced that we need to supplement with collagen. That's all I'm saying. I've looked at it all sorts of ways, because people are talking about collagen all the time, and they want to have collagen, and I am not convinced that there's a role for me. Let me just say, for me. I'm not convinced that supplementing with collagen is going to do anything for me. Really, if you're having trouble with a saggy skin, and you think that having collagen will help with that, really, if your body's not good at using collagen, or building collagen, or whatever the wording really would be, I think I just didn't say it very well but that's the issue. Something like red light therapy, it can help your body better than drinking collagen. There're other ways to get your body to be better at maintaining collagen levels versus intaking it. Does that make sense, Melanie? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. 

Gin Stephens: Anyway, so, if you love the collagen, have the collagen. Bone broth has a lot of healing benefits. I think you would agree with that. Have the bone broth. Definitely, bone broth is a great thing. Ketosis complete, any kind of ketone product, I really can't think of any reason why you would have that in your eating window honestly. I remember reading something Mark Mattson-- I was listening to him on a podcast. It was Mark Mattson, the guy mentioned earlier, he was from Johns Hopkins. He was talking about taking in ketones, that was back when exogenous ketones were all the rage and your body was making all these claims about them. In the interview, he said, he could imagine-- I'm paraphrasing and it's been years since I heard this. I could be getting something wrong. But it was something along the lines of he could see a mechanism of action, where it would actually be detrimental to have ketones-- to take in ketones during in the presence of food. Because that's not how our bodies naturally are. I can't remember the mechanism of action he was talking about because shoot I'm not a scientist like he is, but our bodies never have lots of food coming in and ketosis going on. So, that's not really a natural state. 

Ketosis is absence of food our bodies get into ketosis. I just can't think of any reason why you'd want to have that in your eating window. Collagen, up to you. If you feel it's giving you benefits, you certainly can. Bone broth, I could totally see that. A ketosis product, no. I just wouldn't. You can if you really want to. I can't think of a reason why I would, unless you have Alzheimer's or seizures, and you're having a therapeutic kind of ketone experience. But for the rest of us who are just, no. Anyway, that's how I feel. Let your body make ketones for free during the fast. That's it. 

Melanie Avalon: First of all, just to discuss a little bit more the collagen versus the bone broth thing. The benefits people turn to collagen for, I think it can often be got from a more whole foods synergistic form of bone broth. Actually, today's episode is sponsored in part by Beauty & the Broth, which is one of my favorite bone broth companies. Check out the spot in today's show to get the details about that. We have a code for I think 15% off. But her bone broth is, it comes in concentrated form. It ships straight to your door and then you reconstitute it to whatever strength you like with water, it has no added salt, which is huge. It's organic, delicious. So, that might be something to try to if you want to open your window with something rather than this shake of collagen and exogenous ketones like Gin was talking about. I would just have some bone broth.

Gin Stephens: And some food. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, which bone broth in a way is a food.

Gin Stephens: And some food along with it, but not-- Yeah, bone broth is a food. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I think what Kathy is touching on is, I don't know how common this confusion is out there, but what I'm getting from her question and possibly there are other people who think this. I think they think they're doing a keto diet and fasting is creating ketosis. That means, it goes together still. They think they still have to do a keto diet with fasting, which is not the case. So, intermittent fasting does not mandate a keto diet in your eating window. You can do one. You don't have to. 

Gin Stephens: Yep, but you don't have to-- There was a period of time where people were really saying that like, "If you're not doing intermittent fasting with keto, you're wasting your time." I'm like, "Really? Okay. Well, I guess tell that to my 80 pounds that I lost." 

Melanie Avalon: That's funny. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: Oh, and when this episode comes out, Melanie, it will be almost exactly my seven-year maintenance anniversary. Seven years of maintaining my weight. In that seven years was I keto for any of the days? No.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. Yeah. Point being Kathy is, you don't have to be keto in the eating window and for the BHB exogenous ketones, well like I said, I did interview Dom D'Agostino and we went into the deepest of deepest dives into ketones. Of course, he is more pro-exogenous ketones.

Gin Stephens: Is he?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: He thinks you should. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, no, no, sorry. That's a blanket statement. His work in part is clinically studying exogenous ketones, and the signaling effects they have, and their effects in different therapeutic states. You were saying differently for therapeutic diet addressing a specific issue.

Gin Stephens: There are definitely roles for exogenous ketones, but not for most of us, I think. That's what I really think.

Melanie Avalon: I think if you listen to the episode, which again, it's not out yet. We'll put a link to it in the show notes. I think listening to my conversation with him, he is very pro-exogenous ketones, but for specific situations, and I think listening to it, you don't walk away thinking I need exogenous ketones. That's not what you walk away thinking.

Gin Stephens: Good. I actually walked away from that Mark Mattson interview. He's a neurological guy that's his expertise. I walked away thinking, "Yeah, we really don't want to have that with food [laughs] for whatever reason." Again, whatever his mechanism was that he talked about. Nobody please ask me to find that, because I swear, it was 2017 or something, and people were just starting to talk about exogenous ketones, and I heard him talking about on our podcast, and I don't even remember who.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, So, I'm really excited to air that. That was a moment, because I've been following him for so long. So very long. We've talked for two hours.

Gin Stephens: That's when I interviewed Mark Mattson for Intermittent Fasting Stories. It was surreal. I was so excited. That one hasn't come out yet. By the time people are listening to this, it hasn't come out yet, but it was so exciting to talk to him because he knows his stuff.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I already told you this, Gin, but he was like, "Yeah, I'm going in few days to stay with Rhonda Patrick." I was like, "Oh, my goodness." [laughs] So close. But in any case, Kathy, I hope that helped with your question.

Gin Stephens: But just to go back to it again, like I said, you can have whatever you want in your eating window, and if that shake is something you want, and you love it, and you want to keep having it, because you feel it's giving you benefits, have it. Go for it. We're not telling you not to. I just would hesitate on feeling like you needed exogenous ketones, especially in your eating window. That's all. 

Melanie Avalon: Agreed. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own question for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode256. Those show notes will have a full transcript. So, definitely check that out. And then, you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens, and I think that is all things. All righty. I just want to say, I'm so happy we got to the iron question. It's been hanging over me for months. I was like, "It'll come to me."

Gin Stephens: Awesome. I'm glad we talked about it. I'm glad I was able to research and find more answers, because [laughs] it was so long ago that I read that article. I was like, "I got to look this up a little bit more."

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, anything from you, Gin, before we go? 

Gin Stephens: No. I think that's it. Talk to you soon. 

Melanie Avalon: Talk to you next week. Bye.

Gin Stephens: Bye. 

Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice. We're not doctors. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team, administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, theme music by Leland Cox. See you next week.

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Feb 27

Episode 254: EMF Blocking, New IF Study, Alternate Day Fasting (ADF), Protein Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF), Calorie Restriction, Supplement Timing, Collagen Peptides, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 254 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:

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Ground Beef For LIFE!!

JOOVV: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels! It literally 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!! These devices are literally LIFE CHANGING!! For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Support Your Health With Delicious USDA Organic Beauty & The Broth Bone Broth! It's Shelf Stable With No Preservatives, And No Salt Added. Choose Grass Fed, Grass Finished Beef, Or Free Range, Anti-Biotic And Hormone Free Chicken, Shipped Straight To Your Door! The Concentrated Packets Are 8x Stronger Than Any Cup Of Broth: Simply Reconstitute With 8 Ounces Of Hot Water. They’re Convenient To Take Anywhere On The Go, Especially Travel! Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Ground Beef For LIFE!!

3:20 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quizmelanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

Differential Effects of One Meal per Day in the Evening on Metabolic Health and Physical Performance in Lean Individuals

20:00 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

23:05 - Listener Q&A: Shay - 2.5 yrs of IF

Get 10% off Maria Emmerich’s PSMF packages, supplement plans, ebooks, classes and strength training programs with the code melanieavalon at melanieavalon.com/ketoadapted

46:35 - Listener Q&A: Jen - Bone broth/collagen peptide timing, serrapeptase timing 

51:50 - BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

AVALONX SERRAPEPTASE: Get Melanie’s Serrapeptase Supplement: A Proteolytic Enzyme Which May Help Clear Sinuses And Brain Fog, Reduce Allergies, Support A Healthy Inflammatory State, Enhance Wound Healing, Break Down Fatty Deposits And Amyloid Plaque, Supercharge Your Fast, And More!

AvalonX Supplements Are Free Of Toxic Fillers And Common Allergens (Including Wheat, Rice, Gluten, Dairy, Shellfish, Nuts, Soy, Eggs, And Yeast), Tested To Be Free Of Heavy Metals And Mold, And Triple Tested For Purity And Potency. Order At AvalonX.us, And Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At melanieavalon.com/avalonx

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 254 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 Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get free grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef for life. Yes, for life. Gin and I are huge fans of a company called ButcherBox. As you guys know, it can be hard to get high-quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. ButcherBox is the solution. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, nitrate-free, sugar-free bacon, heritage-breed hotdogs, and wild-caught seafood all directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community that is focused on doing what's better for all parties. That means caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect, and enjoying better nourishing meals together. They go to great lengths to assure the highest quality, so you can find actual 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef. If you've seen the Netflix documentary, Seaspiracy, you might be aware of fish fraud and problems in the seafood industry. ButcherBox maintains very, very high standards for that.

The whole process is so easy. They deliver all of this directly to your door. Once you sign up, you choose your box and your delivery frequency. They offer five boxes, four curated box options, as well as the popular custom box. With that one, you can get exactly what you and your family love. They ship your order frozen at the peak freshness and packed in a 100% recyclable box and the shipping is always free. Basically, ButcherBox makes it easy, so that you can focus on cooking amazing meals, not spending hours searching for meat that meets your standards and save money in the process. What's super amazing is ButcherBox makes sure their members are taken care of and today we have a special offer just for our listeners. ButcherBox is giving new members free ground beef for life. Yes, for life. You can sign up at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and you will get two pounds of ground beef free in every order for the life of your membership. Just log on to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to claim this deal. I'll put all this information in the show notes. 

And one more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disrupters, which mess with our hormones, obesogens which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. When you're putting on your conventional skincare makeup, you're likely putting toxic compounds directly into your body. These compounds can make you feel bad, can make it really hard to lose weight, can affect your hormones, your mood, your health. And ladies, if you're thinking of having kids, when you have a child, these compounds actually go directly through the placenta into the newborn. That means your skincare makeup that you're putting on today actually affects the health of future generations. 

Did you know that conventional lipstick for example often tests high for lead, and the half-life of lead can be up to 30 years in your bones? That means when you put on your lipstick, 30 years later, half of that lead might still be in your body. Thankfully, there's an easy, easy solution to this. There's a company called Beautycounter and they were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient and their products is extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can actually feel good about what you put on. And on top of that, their products actually work. That's because they're not “all natural.” They actually combine the best of both worlds, both synthetic and natural ingredients to create products that actually support the health of your skin and make your skin look amazing. They have skincare lines for all your skin types, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, anti-aging and brightening peels, and vitamin C serums, and incredible makeup. If you see my makeup on Instagram, that's all Beautycounter. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. 

And if you're thinking of making safe skincare a part of your future like we have, we definitely suggest becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership, totally completely worth it. Also, definitely join my clean beauty email list at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty, I give away a lot of free things on that list and join me on my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. I do a weekly giveaway every single week for Beautycounter, people share their experience and product reviews, and so much more. And again, the link to shop with us is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. All right now enjoy the show.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 254 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: Doing great. Coming to you from the beach cottage looking at the ocean. So, that's always good.

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny to me that you made a last-minute trip there with the amount of time that it gets to get there. By this time, I wouldn't have been able to answer like a last-minute email and you made an entire trip to the beach.

Gin Stephens: Oh, by this time of the day? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, no. [laughs] Yeah, we decided yesterday, we would come down Will and I. Will came with me and we decided, and I'm like, "All right, we have to leave at 9:30." 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wait, you decided last night. Okay. Never mind, this will be different. I thought you decided today. 

Gin Stephens: Well, we decided last night that we would get up and come. 

Melanie Avalon: That I could do, because I would have planned. 

Gin Stephens: I didn't have to do anything. The thing about coming to the beach, it's so easy. All you have to do is throw clothes in a bag and go, because I have everything I need here, including my toothbrush. I don't need to bring any of that. All I need is clothes. We literally just threw our clothes and bags, hopped in the car, and came down. It takes about four hours to get here with stops, and they're always bathroom, and get more coffee stops for me, but Will is a frequent eater. So, we had to get him food.

Melanie Avalon: Can I ask you a question? 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: Both at your house and at the beach house, what is on your nightstand?

Gin Stephens: Okay, well, at my regular house, I have a really good sized, a big nightstand that's like drawers. It's bigger than a normal nightstand. It's almost a small chest of drawers. We have one on each side of the bed. They're the same. I have a lamp, and I have a book, and I just chose it because it's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and I didn't choose that especially, but it's a southern book. But that's just the one I happen to have, because it's just a black, simple, and I like the name of it. On top of that, I have a vase. Well, it's a blue and white like urn kind of a thing with some dried roses in it. I had the blue and white vase, whatever it is, bowl, it's a bowl. But my neighbor, when we moved in gave me these flowers. They're roses that she dehydrates, and they're white, and they're sitting in. Anyway, that's what I have. 

Melanie Avalon: That's all you have? There's nothing else?

Gin Stephens: Well, I have a coaster, in case I want to sit something on. But at the beach, it's a tiny, tiny little bedroom, because this whole house is just under thousand square feet. It's really a tiny little cottage, and it's three bedrooms, two baths, and just under a thousand square feet. That tells you how little it is. The bedside table is literally 12/12, it's tiny. So, nothing sits on that. I have a floor lamp that I turn off and on that's behind it. I have room for a floor lamp, and in that tiny little table and at night I do put my phone on it to charge. Is that what you're going to ask me? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. 

Gin Stephens: Yes, I do sleep with my phone beside the bed. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I've been brainstorming and gathering data. Have I mentioned on this show about how I went to develop the line of EMF-blocking products?

Gin Stephens: I think you did. Yeah, because we talked about how I have all that electrical stuff coming into my house.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, yes. I've been polling in my Facebook group what people have on their nightstand, because I really want to create something that goes on your phone, so that you can use your phone on your nightstand at night, and be protected from those EMFs. Most people are sleeping, phone is on their nightstand very near to their head. So, I really think that can affect a lot of people's sleep and health.

Gin Stephens: It would not surprise me. I actually started plugging it in the bathroom for a few weeks, and that just lasted a few weeks and I brought it back. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: The way that they finagled the studies, it is stuff that happens in the processed food industry and a lot of industries. The way they set up the studies to establish safety for EMFs, especially with things like phones, it's not any way you'd be using it in real life. It just is not. But when I did my poll about 80 people answered, what do you think was the number one thing and it was open ended. I just said, "What's in your nightstand?" and then I made an Excel doc.

Gin Stephens: A lamp or did they say their cell phone? 

Melanie Avalon: Lamp was number two, phone was number three, what do you think number one was? Oh, no, books were number two. Water.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's interesting. I do not sleep with water beside my bed.

Melanie Avalon: I do. 

Gin Stephens: Do you? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. 

Gin Stephens: You're waking up drinking water in the bed? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, just in case. I'm thirsty in the middle of the night.

Gin Stephens: Nope. I've never once been like, "Man, I'm thirsty in the middle of the night." I think I'll [laughs] some water. Unless I'm in the past days of when I was super hungover, I might would get up and go drink water but that's not something that's typical now at this stage of my life.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, water was number one, then lamp, then book, and then phone.

Gin Stephens: See, I didn't even say phone because it doesn't sit there all the time. That's not a part of my nightstand, it's just there while I'm sleeping. If you'd said, "What's on your nightstand while you're sleeping?" Phone would have made it. But if I just walked into the bedroom, the phone is not on my nightstand.

Melanie Avalon: Very, very true. Other things were like lotion, that had a lot. Phone charger, glasses.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I've got my phone charger. This is how I've made it pretty, so, you don't have to see it. I took one of those Command adhesive hooks and Command adhesived it to the back of the dresser, the bedside table, and then I have the phone charger tied in a knot around that hook. So, I just pull it up to charge, and I throw it back there, so you don't see it during the day.

Melanie Avalon: If I made something for you to put on your phone, when your phone is on your nightstand at night, how would you want it? Would you want it really minimal, would you want it to hold something? What features would you want? What do you want it to have a way that you put your charger? 

Gin Stephens: That's super tricky. Could it be also integrated with the charger?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, yes, it could. 

Gin Stephens: See, I'm very into aesthetics and minimal clutter. If it's not pretty and minimal clutter, I'm not going to use it. 

Melanie Avalon: That's why my initial feeling was just a very minimalistic box that maybe was a tray on top, but very minimal, and then you put your phone underneath. The cool thing is the blocking. It does not have to go 360 cover completely. It just has to go vertically between you and the phone. Does that make sense? There just has to be like a vertical wall of protection between you and the phone. So, it could be one sided or it could be on a swivel, so, you can turn it around. This is way harder to brainstorm for than I thought. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I can imagine. That does sound hard. Plus, everyone has such a different aesthetic.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I was thinking very minimal for the beginning, and then if it goes well make options for different more elaborate things. So, you vote minimal?

Gin Stephens: Well, I do. Just because I'm not going to put something that's bulky or whatever. That's just not my aesthetic. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, listeners, if you have ideas or if there are other EMF blocking products you would like, let me know. 

Gin Stephens: I was imagining just you slipped it into this little sleeve or something.

Melanie Avalon: That was my initial thought. Now, I'm thinking, but people do really like the charging option. What I really wanted to do was a wireless charging option. So, you're putting it in and it is wireless charging. But that actually itself emits EMF.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. See, it would have to be have cords, extra cords. I try to minimize the number of cords that are stretching all around when I can.

Melanie Avalon: Same, same, same. Yeah, maybe it just has a slot for the cord. I wish all phones had a universal charger, because then it can be integrated. 

Gin Stephens: You wouldn't want it to just have a USB port, because I think all of them plug into that.

Melanie Avalon: Well, the thing about the USB port, because it's due to the USB port that makes it more integrated and easier, then there's the clutter of the cord. Because then you put the phone in, and you plug the phone into your cord, and the cord to the USB.

Gin Stephens: Well, then, I think you just want something with a slot that they put their charger cord that they already have through.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. The life of brainstorming. Did you see, I wanted to talk about intermittent fasting study that came out recently?

Gin Stephens: I might have seen it. I don't remember. I see a lot of things people share them with me obviously as you know. I think I did see something recently. What was it?

Melanie Avalon: It was January 11th. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, I saw that.

Melanie Avalon: Differential effects of one meal per day in the evening- 

Gin Stephens: Wait, then maybe I didn't. 

Melanie Avalon: -on metabolic health and physical performance in lean individuals.

Gin Stephens: They didn't compare it to other meal timing there right. 

Melanie Avalon: They compared a single meal and a 22:2 split, which is very cool, because normally I feel it's rare that these studies actually look at one meal a day in two hours versus three meals per day. It was only 13 participants.

Gin Stephens: I'm not sure if I saw that. Actually, I can't remember. January 11th is a million years ago. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I know. 

Gin Stephens: When I was also-- those were the days when I was hot and heavy recording all the time because Clean(ish) had just come out. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. They consumed the same amount of calories. 

Gin Stephens: Okay, yeah, I have not seen this one.

Melanie Avalon: I'll put a link to it in the show notes, but the findings were very favorable. The conclusion was that a single meal per day in the evening lowers body weight and adapts metabolic flexibility during exercise via increased fat oxidation, whereas physical performance was not affected. 

Gin Stephens: How long did they do it for?

Melanie Avalon: They did it for 11 days. 

Gin Stephens: If I were designing an intermittent fasting study, it would certainly not be for 11 days. It needs to be longer, so that they really have time to develop their metabolic flexibility. It almost seems to me like that's just way too short. I'm happy they found positive things, but knowing what we know about how long it takes your body to adjust, 11 days is nothing.

Melanie Avalon: It was a randomized crossover. They did one of the options, then two weeks washout, and then the other option. What they were focusing on was athletic performance. Oh, and they were wearing a continuous glucose monitor, which is very cool and they did a lot of testing of different athletic performance tests. Like a cycle test, where they check their fat oxidation, and their maximum oxygen uptake, they did a strength test.

Gin Stephens: And again, I think that it would make so much sense to give them time to really adapt, because I bet and on a 11 day, I know that a lot of people, obviously, the group that they used was athletic lean males, so, they probably adapt more quickly than someone maybe a 45-year-old woman, who's been struggling with her weight for decades. It's a different group of people. But I could imagine for someone like that in the second group, someone who's metabolically not healthy. They could actually have reduced performance during the first 11 days. I would actually predict that instead of improved performance.

Melanie Avalon: These people were healthy, they were trainers-- Well, not trainers, they had training experience. Their BMI was between 20 and 30, their fat was between 12% and 30%. They were likely already a more metabolically healthy population. it was a small study, very small. It's only 13 people.

Gin Stephens: Anybody who's listening, we would love to have some studies where people have time to become really adapted before we see how their body change. Or, maybe you could check them all throughout as they adapt to. That would be fascinating. See how the body changes every day as you're going through the adaptation period and we certainly know anecdotally from people who go through it, it's very common to feel good, and then you feel terrible, and then you feel better, and there's a lot that our bodies have to go through as we're adapting. I would not judge intermittent fasting on what happens in the first month to your body is all I'm saying.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think it's a little bit better just based on, this wasn't like menopausal women who are sedentary. This was like active, young, healthy people. Well, there was one really interesting finding. They actually found lower blood sugar levels during the second half of the day in the one meal per day group. Isn't that interesting?

Gin Stephens: Well, it echoes what I find in my experience. When I was wearing the CGM, my blood glucose went down and stayed down after my body flipped that metabolic switch every day. That's exactly what my body did. So, I'm not surprised at that at all. 

Melanie Avalon: They ate between 5 PM and 7 PM for the one meal a day. 

Gin Stephens: That's a cool study. 

Melanie Avalon: So, we will put a link to that in the show notes.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I had not seen that one. I saw something. I can't remember what I saw. Something came out recently and I don't remember a thing about it, except that it was positive. But it definitely wasn't that. Unless someone shared, and all I did was read the abstract, and didn't dig in, it is possible, and it didn't register. I know there was something that came out, but my brain is full. [laughs] Stuffs falling out right now actively. 

Melanie Avalon: It's interesting. It was funded by a diabetes foundation.

Gin Stephens: Well, I definitely think that this is a great protocol for fasting for anyone who has diabetes as we know from The Diabetes Code.

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into some listener questions for today? 

Gin Stephens: Yes. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we have a question from Shay and the subject is: "2.5 years of IF." Shay says, "I started IF in August 2019 at 125 pounds after hearing about the health benefits. I am 39 years old, five feet 4.75 inches tall." 4.75 that is very specific. She says, "I started with 16:8 and worked my way up to 20:4 within a few weeks as that felt good. I do not restrict anything in my window but aim to eat mostly Whole Foods. I am moderately active. I do Pilates two times a week and walk a few miles each day. I also take a few HIIT classes or HIIT classes here and there. I manage to maintain my 125 pounds, but I started mixing in two full down days when the pandemic hit and I started working from home. I enjoyed the way I felt doing the full down days. How long should we spend on a new method of IF if we decide to switch it up? 

Within the past few months, I have gained some weight and now I'm at 133 to 135 pounds depending on the day. My pants are definitely showing the tightness as well. I'm not happy with how I feel or how my clothes are fitting. I played around with a modified ADF with two 500 calorie days a week. I'm not sure if I like the full down days or the modified down days better. I've been able to do both with no issue. I have blood work down with my doctor and everything came back great. I'm feeling very discouraged with IF and the fact that I've gained around 10 pounds. I believe that I am just able to eat a lot more than I should be in my eating window. This is where it would be helpful to have a guideline of how many calories, etc., I should be consuming per day, but I know we want to avoid a diet mindset. Help, I have no idea what IF schedule I should be following, or what type of diet I should be eating, or does IF no longer work for me. But I do know is that I'm 10 pounds up and I do not want to give up the health benefits of IF." frowny emoji.

Gin Stephens: Well, there's a lot in there, Shay, and I know it's super frustrating to be gaining weight, and not understanding why. I can remember this is before I was doing intermittent fasting, I gained 50 pounds in 18 months. I was not doing intermittent fasting at the time, but I gained 50 pounds in 18 months, and I did not change what I was eating or doing during that period of time. Well, okay, I say that. I did stop taking diet pills. [laughs] That was that period of time in my life when I stopped taking the diet pills. Other than that, though, I didn't change what I was eating or doing. But I was no longer taking diet pills and I gained 50 pounds in 18 months. I remember talking to the doctor, I'm like, "I don't know what's happening. I'm not eating more," but I probably was. I was under a lot of stress, I'd probably messed up my body in many, many ways, I had some hormonal changes going on, I had used one form of birth control and switched to a different one. There were so many variables going on at the time. 

But something changed in what I was doing or in my body and the weight just piled on. It certainly didn't seem I was eating so much food that I should be gaining 50 pounds. But I tell that story to say that the body is really, really complicated and there are so many factors. So, let's unpack what's happened. You are between 133 to 135 right now, and you're almost 5'5". You and I are about the same height. You are in a healthy weight range, because the last time I got on the scale-- I'm 5'5". The last time I got on the scale back in 2017, I saw a weight of I think it was 130. We're a very, very similar size. I know that is no comfort if you feel you're fluffier than you want to be. It doesn't matter. Well, I don't care that Gin and I are the same size. I want to be leaner and I get it. But I'm telling you that you are in a healthy weight for your body. Now, if you are slowly gaining and you're going to keep gaining, that's definitely not okay. Now, if your body is just come to a new point where it's settling, that's different. Maybe this is the way your body wants to be right now at this stage of your life. Our bodies do change over time for whatever reason. 

But I would ask you to look back and think, you've been doing intermittent fasting for two and a half years, and it sounds like for two years of it, your weight was stable or even just over two years, because it was only recently that you started to gain weight. Something changed. Something in your body has changed. When I look back to me at that time, when I rapidly gained 50 pounds in 18 months, there were several things that changed. I stopped taking diet pills, I moved, I was under a great deal of stress, my birth control was changing. All those factors, I can't put my finger on-- Well, it was the quitting the diet pills, that probably was a huge factor. Oh, it was the birth control change. Actually, my weight started to go up before I stopped taking the diet pills when I changed my birth control that really felt it was a factor at the time. All that again to say, our bodies are really, really complicated. You asked, does IF no longer work for me? Well, of course, IF still "works for you," because intermittent fasting is a very healthy way to live. Of course, IF is working for you. It's a very healthy way to live. We're talking about the weight gain. 

Intermittent fasting itself does not "cause" weight gain. You haven't been doing this approach for all these years, and maintaining your weight, and all of a sudden, intermittent fasting broke, right? That isn't what happens. But something in your body has changed and I would see if I could figure out what that might be. It could be the stress, it could be a new medication, it could be maybe you were sick. I know, I've talked before. I don't know if on this podcast if I have, I probably have. I have a friend that got food poisoning, and it changed her gut dramatically, and it took her over a year to get back to health from that. So, see if you can go back and see what might have changed at the time. Intermittent fasting doesn't "stop working," but there's something you're going to have to dig into more deeply. I don't know what you said. Your very last sentence was, I do not want to give up the health benefits of IF. I don't know why you would. To me, if you quit intermittent fasting and went to an all-day eating paradigm, I can't imagine that causing more weight loss or health benefits than sticking to intermittent fasting. Does that make sense, Melanie? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: Like quitting intermittent fasting, I feel you might would see really rapid weight gain at that point if your body's already having some weight gain. I don't feel that would be the answer, but I would try to figure out, what could it have been? What could have changed in my body, what happened right before the weight gain started, have I been under a lot of stress? Maybe your body doesn't like the down days, because you talked about how you're very, very active. You do Pilates, you walk every day, you do high intensity interval training here and there, you were maintaining, then you started doing two full down days, and you were working from home. Maybe that feels too much for your body. Maybe you need to go back to a daily eating window approach and see. I don't think that more fasting is always the answer. It could feel too much to your body, but that also might not be it. It could be something else. It could be something that's changed with your gut or something that's changed with your health. Something that's changed hormonally. Maybe you're like, "Oh, that's when I started taking-."

Melanie Avalon: Or, a medication. 

Gin Stephens: -such and such medication. Exactly. "Oh, that's when such and such happened, that's when I had this illness and I'm still inflamed from that." For example, I'm just going to say COVID. We don't talk a lot about COVID on here, because that's not our expertise, and the science is unfolding. But COVID causes a great deal of inflammation in the body. Anecdotally from people that are in the Delay, Don't Deny community, we're seeing a lot of people, who after going through COVID have a lot of inflammation that sticks around for a really, really long time. What comes along with inflammation, weight gain. That's just an anecdotal kind of a thing, but that's a factor. We're still learning, of course, what the long-term effects of COVID might be on the body, but how long does the inflammation go on, long COVID, I don't know. 

You didn't mention whether you had COVID or not, but I'm just throwing that out there. Maybe somebody is listening and they're now they're having the ding, ding, ding going off in their head of, "Oh, my gosh, I did start having increased inflammation after COVID, and my weight went up, and I had been stable before that." Does that mean intermittent fasting has stopped working? I would say in that case, that means your body probably needs it more than ever, because we know intermittent fasting tends to decrease inflammation. Anything you could do to decrease inflammation would be a good thing. I know I talked all around in circles. [laughs] I hope that this is just a temporary little blip weight gain and you're not just going to keep going up and up like I said, because really 133 to 135 is a healthy weight. I know if we've been 125 for two years, we feel really good at that. It doesn't feel good to go up at all, and then stabilize at a new spot. I know that's frustrating. So, hopefully some of what I said will help somebody. Hopefully, you. Hopefully, it'll help you go, "Oh, it's got to be this, and then you can start thinking about what to do next." But as far as the part about us telling you how many calories to eat, that wouldn't make any sense at all just because our bodies are all so different. 

Calories in, you can only adjust calories in so much, but then it's the calories out that makes all the difference what your body does. If your body slows your metabolic rate, you can have the same exact amount of calories you've always had, and now, you're gaining weight, because your body has allowed your metabolic rate for whatever reason. There isn't going to be a calories formula we could give you, because our bodies are too different. I know I went all around, and around, and around on that answer, but there's just a lot going on in there, and it's hard to know. So, what do you think, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: I thought those were all fantastic thoughts as per usual. I actually had some follow up questions for you. It's such a perfect question she asked, because we were just talking about this with that other study. So, how would you answer her question about how long should we spend on a new method of IF if we decide to switch it up?

Gin Stephens: I think you need to give yourself time to see what happens. I can't give you a number of that as well. If you don't like it, then you can stop. You don't have to give it time. I say that, but with ADF, for example, some people might not like it the first day, but after they've done it for a week, they settle in. Maybe give yourself a week to see if you like it. Then two or three weeks, at least, minimum to see if anything changes or at least even a month. The longer you give it the more you'll know if it's suiting you. If you absolutely hate it, let's say you try a down day with full fast, no calories, zero calorie, clean fast down day for 36-hour fast, and then a 12-hour up day, for example. Let's say, you feel miserable and you hate it. You might be like, "Oh, I felt shaky, I felt terrible, I don't like that." You might want to try it one more time a couple weeks later just to see if that was just a one off or if really, "Okay, I feel the same way again, I don't like it." Then you have permission to never try that again if you hate it.

Melanie Avalon: And then second related question, because I find with ADF, I feel like most people are pretty aware of if they like it, don't like it, and then if they modified or just complete, like a full down day, she says that she doesn't know which one she likes better is one better, if they can do either one.

Gin Stephens: Here's some interesting stuff about the research. People actually lost more weight when they had the 500-calorie down day. There's this mistaken-- Oh, the full fast is "better," but they actually had better weight loss results or I think even fat loss results on the 500-calorie down day. Now, we don't recommend that you like to snack on the 500 calories all day long. Keep it in a really short eating window at whatever time of the day works better for you. For that, you're doing a clean fast, then you have the meal, then you have a second clean fast. Sometimes, people get really confused. They're like, "Doesn't food break a fast? So, why am I eating a meal?" Well, yes, it breaks the fast. It does break the fast. You're not fasting during the part of it where you're eating the 500-calorie meal. Because some people get really confused. They're like, "I did a 42-hour fast and I had the meal." I'm like, "Well, you didn't do it 42-hour fast with a 500-calorie meal in the middle of it. What you did was maybe a 21 hour fast and then the 500-calorie meal, and then you did a second fast that might have been 20 hours and a half or something. So, that's not a 42-hour fast. 

Eating a 500-calorie meal does break the fast? Yes, but it is a well-researched ADF approach, and it was great at giving the participants the metabolic benefits because of the up day, they had great fat loss. So, there is no "better." It's all what feels good to you. You don't have to do it the same way every time. There are some people who just say, "You know what? I'm going to do a full fast if it feels right." If maybe around the time I normally eat dinner, I'm really, really struggling, I'll eat a 500-calorie meal, and then have the second fast, and that's perfectly fine. It doesn't have to be the same way every time, and it isn't always going to be one versus the other.

Melanie Avalon: You have good answers for both of those. Yes, so, going back to everything that Gin originally said about Shay's question, I agree 100% that there are so many factors that could have changed that would lead to this. It's not necessarily the fasting. There could be a big change that happened, so, revisiting all of that. Something I wanted to touch on was, she asked us a guideline of calories and Gin was saying that there's not one answer for people, which I agree with as well. But I wanted to touch on, you're saying that we don't give a guideline of calories because we want to avoid a diet mindset. I believe it is possible to live in a paradigm of what you're eating that does influence what you're eating without being a diet mindset. The calorie counting, that's where I feel it is becoming restrictive, because when you are calorie counting, you're putting an end point to, "I cannot have any more food after this point even if I'm still hungry." It's automatically being restrictive, because it's saying that you cannot have more food after a certain point in time when the eating period should be a time when you're eating to satiety till you're full, not to some imaginary finish line that you can't cross. 

On the flipside, you can make conscious choices I believe about what you're eating and I don't consider that to be a diet mindset or even restrictive. It's just because you're choosing what foods you are choosing to eat. If you're making certain choices in that food realm, it can encourage in a way automatic calorie restriction potentially based on the foods that you're eating. I don't know what you're eating Shay, which actually-- 

Gin Stephens: Well, she said mostly wholefoods. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wholefoods, okay. Shay is eating mostly wholefoods. But just to expand the question a little bit beyond Shay and then I will come back to Shay specifically, if a person is eating more on the processed food realm just switching to wholefoods, for example, it could make a massive, massive difference, and their satiety, and the level of calories they consume to reach that satiety. I don't consider that a diet mindset. It could become a diet mindset, but I don't think it has to be. For Shay, mostly wholefoods is still vague. You could keep playing around and trying different fasting things or you could look at what you're eating, and maybe play around, and make tweaks there. That might have a pretty measurable effect. I don't know, if you have tried low carb, that might be something to try. I don't know if you've tried lower fat from wholefoods. That could be something to try. But there's a lot that could possibly be done there in regards to what you're eating. Then the mostly part, maybe it is really mostly wholefoods or maybe it's mostly wholefoods, but then enough of non-mostly wholefoods that create a state where you're not losing weight, that's a possibility as well.

Gin Stephens: The part that really strikes me is just that she was weight stable with what she was doing for over two years and then all of a sudden, bam, up 10 pounds.

Melanie Avalon: How did it align with a pandemic? So, she started working from home? 

Gin Stephens: Yep, and then she started switching up to the down days, and I'm not really sure when the weight gain began. Yeah, I just don't know. I don't know when the weight gain started. That's the question that I'm not really sure about. But she's been doing it for two and a half years overall and she said that she's gained the 10 pounds. It sounded pretty quickly and recently. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, in a few months, basically.

Gin Stephens: It sounds like the pandemics been going on for a long time. So, it seems it just all of a sudden has happened even as the pandemic has been going on.

Melanie Avalon: As far as guidelines of how to help this, something else we could try. I recently interviewed Maria Emmerich. I have not aired the show yet. She talks a lot about the protein-sparing modified fast approach. The interesting thing about her approach, so the protein-sparing modified fast approach is, while there are a lot of definitions to it, but I think the clinical definition, like, when they would use it in the studies is, its calorie restricted and its basically just protein. It is very calorie restricted. It actually could fall into a modified ADF approach.

Gin Stephens: Is it down day? It's a down day, a protein down day.

Melanie Avalon: Basically, only protein and then weighing chicken breasts, and egg whites, and stuff like that. Then you can maybe add lettuce and I think broccoli, like, some greens. I do actually think so just stepping aside if one is doing some severe calorie restriction, making it mostly protein in my opinion is the way to go to maximize muscle mass preservation and overall health and wellness. Maria Emmerich's approach, though, is not calorie restricted at all. She advocates for having a couple days a week of PSMF day, and basically on that day you just eat PSMF foods. So, it's not calorie restricted, but the effect of it, and she has all of these recipe books. She gave me a discount code. So, I'll put a link to that in the show notes. She has amazing recipe books. But basically, you can eat these really delicious meals. I'm in shock with all the recipes she's come up with, but they're basically just protein. That for a lot of people can be the thing that can really jumpstart this whole process. That's something you could try, basically, keep doing-- Is she doing one meal a day? 20:4, yes.

Gin Stephens: Well, it's hard to know what she's doing exactly right now, because she said she's doing some down days with ADF. I don't really know exactly what she's doing this minute. She was doing a couple down days. I don't know if she still is.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Okay. That is something you could try where a few days a week you do a one-meal-a-day type approach in your 20:4 window and you eat these PSMF foods. I actually think that that might especially since ADF in the past has- 

Gin Stephens: Been something that she enjoyed? 

Melanie Avalon: -enjoyed. Yes. I think that might really, really work for you. Then I also just reread the sentence, because all I was saying that she eats mostly wholefoods. I didn't read the part before that. I do not restrict anything in my window, but aim to eat mostly wholefoods. There might be things slipping in there that because of whatever they are, are going to make it difficult to lose weight. Those are my two suggestions. Looking at what you're eating anyways, and then possibly trying this PSMF days approach.

Gin Stephens: All right, well, let us know, Shay, and really, really do that deep dive into what changed. What change, what was different? Were you sick, was it a medication, something like that? If you can think of something, then let us know.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. The medication for example, that could be something that you might not notice it until you notice it, and then it's made metabolic changes that have encouraged your body to be at this new setpoint. I don't want to make a sound hopeless, but it's medications can make your body, and your hypothalamus, and everything slowly come to a different weight, and really want to stay there. 

Gin Stephens: That's really my whole journey to when I gained all that weight. It was really I had been taking the doctor prescribed diet pills off and one to maintain my weight for several years and maintaining no problem. I wasn't taking them every single day of my life. There were periods of time when I would take them and then not take them. But as I took them from the doctor, like I said, but then I changed my birth control and then all of a sudden, I gained the first 10 pounds, but I was still doing the diet pills, and not changing what I was eating. Then, shortly after that I was like, "Well, I got to stop taking these diet pills. These are awful for me." I feel terrible. But then the weight gain just escalated. The weight gain began just from when I changed my birth control. There're just so many factors in there, it was hard to know. 

We also moved and so that was another reason why I stopped taking the diet pills, because I didn't have the same doctor anymore. I don't know. I've never really made that connection, but that was a big part of it. I'm sure I could have gotten them, and we had been living in Carrollton, and then I moved to Augusta. I'm sure I could have gotten them somewhere in Augusta, but I was like, "Well, we've moved, and I don't have any more, and I don't like the way I feel. So, I'm going to stop now."

Melanie Avalon: I went on birth control in high school for acne. Relatively, rapidly to my life gained a decent amount of weight pretty fast, but you don't really like, you're not expecting it. Because you're not doing anything different besides the medication. 

Gin Stephens: Well, see, I had been on birth control. I had two children, I didn't want to have any more at that point I didn't think, but I was on birth control regularly, but then I just switched to a new one. That's when my weight started picking up. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. All righty, well, let us know, Shay. 

Gin Stephens: We have a question from Gin and the subject is: "bone broth collagen peptide timing, serrapeptase timing." She says, "Hi, ladies. Love the podcast, and all the great information, and recommendations you both have shared over the years. A bit about me. I've always been normal BMI and have been doing one meal a day IF with clean fasting for about two years now, typically, around 20 to 22 hours of fasting with a three-hour eating window. I'll also usually do a 40 to 44-hour fasts about once a week with a longer eating window the next day." As you want to pop in there, Gin, we recommend make sure you have what we would call an up day. I know you said a longer eating window. The recommendation is at least six to eight hours with at least two meals. Three meals would also be fine. All right, so, she said, "I'm omnivorous and typically eat a more wholefood-based diet, but still enjoy some processed snacky type foods and desserts. 

My first question is about opening my window with collagen peptides or bone broth with my one-meal-a-day lifestyle. How long after collagen peptides or bone broth should I wait before eating my actual meal? Melanie has mentioned multiple times how breaking the fast with collagen peptides or bone broth can be very nourishing, especially since the gut has been rested and is primed and ready to receive these rich nutrients. That makes sense to me especially since I've heard how collagen can possibly help heal leaky gut. Of note, I don't have any digestive issues that I'm aware of and can eat pretty much anything comfortably, though my gut microbiome was rated as bad when I took the ZOE test. I want to maximize the benefits of opening my window with collagen peptides or bone broth and don't want to rush the process, but I also don't want to extend my eating window longer than necessary. Not because I'm trying to restrict my window, but because if I wait too long, I find I'm too full to eat as much of the actual solid food I was looking forward to having and/or I finished eating too late in the day and end up uncomfortable sleeping poorly and feeling sluggish the next day. I find I just naturally want to stop eating for the day after about three hours."

Melanie Avalon: All right, so that is a great first question. I love, love, love having bone broth on an empty stomach as a way to open your fast because like Gin said, bone broth is really, really rich in collagen and amino acids that can directly really help heal your gut lining. Actually, today's episode, we have Beauty & the Broth as one of the sponsors. That company makes wonderful concentrated bone broth, so you reconstitute it with water. We do have a coupon code. If you go to melanieavalon.com/broth and use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON, you can get a discount, and you can listen to the ad about it to learn more about their practices. But it's organic, free of added salt, which is really, really hard to find and it's just delicious. I don't know if it's out yet, but she's launching a mushroom vegan version soon, which is exciting. Again, that one's not going to be as rich in the nutrients for healing the gut lining with bone broth. 

That to say, I don't think there's a scientific answer to this question. I will just say anecdotally for me what I do is, I typically when I am opening it with a broth, you know how if you have a liquid meal, or a soup, or something, I think it's just intuitive how long you might need to wait before eating. You're not going to like chug a whole thing of liquid, and then want to eat right away with that dilution of your digestive juices, and HCl, and things like that. When I was doing it, I usually would just have some and then probably, because I tend to do it while I'm making the dinner, I'd be sipping on it. By the time I actually eat, it's probably about 15 minutes later, 20 minutes later. I like to think about it, like, if you were at a restaurant, you're having a soup course to start your meal. 

Basically, I wouldn't stress about it too much. I would just have it probably minimum 10 minutes, again there's nothing scientific behind that, just intuitively what feels best. Then, that all said, I would not sacrifice because you talked about how if you eat too long or if your window doesn't end up being around three hours that it can interfere with your sleep and feeling sluggish. So, depending on your schedule and that night and what's happening, I would choose the overall eating window timing honoring your sleep rather than stressing about the amount of time after the bone broth. You're going to get the nutrients either way. It's not if you don't have it to open your window and you have it with your window that you're not going to get the benefits, you're still going to get the benefits. Basically, I would have it, maybe wait 10 minutes, maybe a little bit longer, but I would honor the overall eating window and how it aligns with your sleep most importantly. 

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get 15% off of my favorite bone broth, which is an incredible way to open your eating window. I've been talking about the incredible health effects of bone broth for years. Bone broth is so nourishing for our body. It's rich in collagen, which can really support your gut health, your skin, curb cravings, boost your energy and your immunity, but there are a lot of brands out there, a lot of them have ingredients that I don't like and making it yourself can also be very time consuming. That's why I am thrilled about Beauty & the Broth. Beauty & the Broth was created by Melissa Bolona. She's an incredible actress and entrepreneur. I've had her on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. So, I'll put a link to that in the show notes. But Melissa started Beauty & the Broth after she realized the profound effect that bone broth was having on her own health, specifically, gut issues and its ability to give her radiant skin perfect for the camera. She found Beauty & the Broth which hits everything I could want in bone broth. It uses 100% whole organic ingredients. Yes, it is certified USDA organic. It is one of the only few bone broth companies in the entire US that has a USDA certification for organic bone broth. It has no artificial flavors, no preservatives, no phthalates, no sugar, and something that I love, no salt. 

Friends, even other bone broths that I really love always have salt added. This doesn't. Her bone broths are made from grass-fed, ranch-raised beef and vegetarian-fed free range chicken bones from Certified Humane USDA Organic Farms. All certified organic vegetables are using the broth as well. There's no antibiotics, no hormones, only the good stuff. Here's the super cool thing about Beauty & the Broth. It can be a little bit of a hassle to transport bone broth. It's heavy, you have to keep it frozen. Guess what? Beauty & the Broth comes in shelf stable packets with no preservatives that you keep at room temperature and they are in concentrated form. That means that you add back water to reconstitute and you can make it any strength that you like. They're single servings, so you can take them with you on the go, and even on the plane as yes, they are three ounces and they're delicious. Oh, my goodness, friends, they will just make you light up. They're honestly one of the most amazing things I've ever tasted. If you've been looking to finally jump on the bone broth train, do it now and do it with Beauty & the Broth. 

Melissa has an amazing offer just for our listeners. You can go to thebeautyandthebroth.com or melanieavalon.com/broth and use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON to get 15% off. That's thebeautyandthebroth.com with the coupon code MELANIEAVALON for 15% off. All of the listeners who have tried it ever since I aired my episode with Melissa have talked about how much they love it. It is so delicious. You guys will definitely love it. So, definitely check that out. By the way, bone broth does break your fast. This is something that you want to have in your eating window. In fact, it's an amazing way to open your eating window, because when you're in that fasted state, when you take in bone broth as the first thing, all of those rich nutrients and collagen goes straight to your gut, help heal your gut, help with leaky gut, help digestive issues. And again, you can go to thebeautyandthebroth.com and use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON for 15% off. I'll put all this information in the show notes. All right now back to the show. 

Gin Stephens: All right, so we have the second part of her question, and it says, "somewhat related, I started taking the Avalon X serrapeptase supplement about a month ago." Congrats, Melanie. "I don't have a specific goal in mind, though, I'm hoping it will help with some scar tissue I have. The directions say to take it on an empty stomach. Number one, how far in the fasted state do I need to wait until I can take it? And two, how long after taking it should I wait before opening my eating window? As with the collagen peptides or bone broth, I want to maximize the benefits of serrapeptase. Would it be reasonable to take it at bedtime about five to six hours into my fast, but wouldn't I still be in the fed state? Since serrapeptase somewhat mimics autophagy, I imagine I also want to wait a good while after taking it before I break my fast, so it can work. Its magic. Thank you, ladies. I appreciate the time you both take for your listeners," Gin.

Melanie Avalon: All right, Gin. Wonderful questions. I have answers for you. The serrapeptase for listeners, who are not familiar, it is a supplement created by the Japanese silkworm, but now we culture it in a lab. It is vegan. When you take it in the fasted state, which I will elaborate on for Gin's question, it goes into your bloodstream and it can break down problematic proteins that your body may be reacting to. It can really help with things like allergies, and inflammation, and brain fog. It's amazing for that. Then studies have shown that it can help enhance wound healing, actually reduce cholesterol, break down amyloid plaque, do so many things. As far as when to take it, she mentioned that it somewhat mimics autophagy. Autophagy is a process that happens in our body during the fasted state. It actually happens 24/7, but it's ramped up in the fasted state. When our body starts breaking down old and problematic proteins in our body to recycle, and reuse, and just clean up shop, the thing about autophagy is like a concept that our body is engaging in is it is influenced by-- 

If we're eating, that's going to ramp down autophagy, if we're fasting, it's going to ramp it up, if we exercise, it ramps it up, coffee can ramp it up. There are signals that turn it up and down. The way that's different from serrapeptase, once you get the serrapeptase enzyme into your system, it's not ramping up and down as activity based on other signals. It's just doing what it's doing because it's an actual enzyme doing stuff compared to your body deciding to do autophagy if that makes sense. Now, getting it into the bloodstream is why there are so many things you need to follow to take it to make sure that happens, because it is a proteolytic enzyme breaking down proteins. If you have it, it's absorbed in the small intestine, not the gut. It passes through your stomach into the small intestine, which by the way, this is a reason. The serrapeptase is on the market have to have some enteric coating or some sort of protection of the serrapeptase to make sure that it reaches the intestine. If the capsule opens in your stomach, it'll just get degraded. It's actually pretty sensitive enzyme. If it opens in your stomach, you won't get it in your body because it won't make it into your bloodstream. So, it's got to make it to your small intestine. 

We've done some tests where we have ordered a lot of our competitor brands and put them in capsules of vinegar, because vinegar mimics the condition of your stomach. Many other brands, they open up really fast, which means they're not even getting to your small intestine. Ours does, which is amazing. All of that to say, if you have it when you have lots of food and in the small intestine, the serrapeptase enzyme can open up in the small intestine, and then instead of making it across your gut lining into your bloodstream, the enzymes will break down the food, the protein, and they won't be active to happen in your body. That's why they need to be taken in a very fasted state. The recommendation is to take it in the morning because then your fasted probably at least eight hours. The more fasted you are when you take it likely the better. But the good thing is, there's less of that window on the other side, because you just need it to be before the food, not after. 

It's not like you take it and then you need to fast five more hours to get the effects. You just need to take it on empty stomach, so that it gets into your body. Then once it's in your bloodstream, it's not getting affected by what you're eating. All of that to say, I would recommend taking it in the morning. If you're only taking one and you want to up your dose, I would-- rather than taking it again later, I would try just upping your dose in the morning. But you could try taking it later as well, especially if it is at bedtime, you've been fasted five or six hours, that might be enough time, so that if you wanted to be having a higher dose, you could try that as well, but morning is probably what works best for most people.

Gin Stephens: All right, yep, [laughs] I don't know how to add anything to that. When I took serrapeptase in the past or when I've taken it, I would just take it first thing in the morning after brushing my teeth and then I don't have to think about it. Habit stacking, put things in together, then you won't forget. Brush my teeth, took my serrapeptase, moved on. That was how I did it. Then it was so far away from any eating that I knew it wasn't going to be a problem, perfect.

Melanie Avalon: Of course, to get my serrapeptase, it is at avalonx.us. You can also get on my email list for the whole Avalon X brand, because I will be releasing a magnesium soon. Super exciting. That email list is at melanieavalon.com/avalonx.

Gin Stephens: Well, I'd love to try your magnesium when it comes out.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I will send it to you. 

Gin Stephens: I would love it. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: I want to try it. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: It's very exciting to be in the final steps of formulating and all of that. 

Gin Stephens: Definitely. It seems like now it's going a lot quicker than the first one did, because now you know what you're doing. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, quick point to that and this relates to the serrapeptase question. I was so, so committed to finding a filler lubrication option for my supplements that's not toxic or even potentially toxic, because what I realized, I think people have an idea that magnesium stearates, they're cautious about them, but there's a lot of "fillers" that they make it look like it's something else. They make it look like it's vitamin C, but really, it's vitamin C like a palmitate. It's basically like a stearate, a fatty acid ester of these different things or calcium. They do with calcium. They try to make it look like, "Oh, it's calcium that's added, oh, it's vitamin C, when really it's basically a stearate or palmitate." Some supplements don't require any fillers, which is great, but some do. 

That's why we came up with this MCT production process. It's a very, very, very small amount. There's a lot of studies on helping absorption of certain things, especially if they're in a liposomal format or-- actually some specifically say with MCTs. It's not liposomal, but it is more emulsified. I know I'm using a lot of supplement words. But the point of it is that we had to develop a whole production process to create this. That was a big hurdle for the first one, but now that we have that in place, we can use that for my other supplements if it requires it. It's definitely an easier step, and yeah, we have more of the parameters down, and working with the formulation, [unintelligible [01:02:54]. So, it's all been really, really wonderful.

Gin Stephens: I'm glad. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm learning so much. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. It's fun to create things. It's all just a very exciting process to accomplish new things that you haven't done before. It's fun to watch you doing something that I have no desire to do. I told Chad, I was like, "I'm never going to have a supplement." He's like, "What?" Because he's a medicinal chemist, drug design is his-- [laughs] Honestly, if I said, "Chad, I'd like to start developing supplements," he would probably get super excited. But I don't have any desire to. So, I'm not going to, but you can be the supplement guru, [laughs] and I'll just take the ones of yours that I want, and that'll be good. I'll know that they're good, because you designed them, but I don't have to do my own.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited to just eventually make everything that I take currently, because then I will just feel so good about taking it. Because I know what's in it. I put it there. I wish there was a way to get rid of, I don't know, I feel there's such a stigma surrounding supplements, because the industry is so unregulated and often scammy, and I don't want to be associated with any of that. But I'm trying to change that in any case.

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm glad, because I think it is important to have good stuff going on. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's what people are putting into their bodies. 

Gin Stephens: You'll never sell yours on Amazon or will you?

Melanie Avalon: I'm not sure that. It's funny because I have a lot of friends in the supplement world and I get advice different ways based on that. Some have told me, "Oh, it's the best thing ever." Some have told me, "No, don't do it." We haven't talked about it recently with my partner but I'm not sure.

Gin Stephens: Well, I just know here's a story of a well-known supplement brand that we have endorsed before [laughs] and I still do, and I take their magnesium. Let me just put it that way. A friend of mine uses their magnesium, and instead of ordering it directly from them, decided to order it from Amazon, but she got a copycat that was not them that was pretending to be them, but wasn't. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. Really? 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. You know how I feel about buying supplements on Amazon?

Melanie Avalon: I noticed they were on Amazon and then I'm like not, were they ever legitimately on?

Gin Stephens: I don't know. I don't know if they ever were, but she was like, "Oh, I found it on Amazon and it was less expensive, because it was the free shipping with Prime or something." But then, it was not really them. It was a copycat knockoff. She thought she was getting their brand of magnesium, but it wasn't.

Melanie Avalon: A benefit to not being on Amazon is you can say, I'm not on Amazon. So, if you're buying it on Amazon, it's not me. 

Gin Stephens: Well, exactly. That is a good point. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's so nice to have one source.

Gin Stephens: You could actually say, "I don't sell it on Amazon, because I'm concerned that you might get a counterfeit, because you could." That's the thing because what I learned about the way the buy box works, and the way that whoever selling it for the cheapest price, if they were wanted to buy Delay, Don't Deny from Bob's booksellers, if Bob was selling it for $5, it would pop it in the buy box, and they would get Bob's booksellers counterfeit version, not the real one. For months-- we know back in what was it 2018, for months when I noticed my sales were way down, and it was crazy, and I couldn't understand why until I realized what was happening, but people were just clicking "Add to Cart," and they were getting the counterfeit, literally, a counterfeit version. With supplements, if that happened, you would be devastated that people are getting a counterfeit version. You'd have to look at it every single day, multiple times of the day, because see who's in the buy box. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow, I hadn't really thought about it to that extent. 

Gin Stephens: I like to put everything through the lens of, what if a counterfeiter stole the buy box? 

Melanie Avalon: That would be really awful. 

Gin Stephens: Exactly. And also, two or three times, one of those crazy Fast. Feast. Repeat. cookbook books that if you go look Fast. Feast. Repeat. on Amazon, there's a Fast. Feast. Repeat. cookbook or something. It's obviously not by me, it might be by Stephen Gin or [laughs] something crazy. You can't copyright a title. They have some crazy book that's just a blank book or something and you're charging $9.99 for it. But more than one time, that book has gotten linked to mine on Amazon. People are thinking they're buying Fast. Feast. Repeat. and it's that crazy one linked to mine. We've had to have it unlinked. It's not exactly the same thing, because it's not a counterfeit, but you know how when you go to a book, and it has the audible version, and the Kindle version, and the paperback version? You can click on the different versions, one of the versions was that crazy one that had gotten linked to mine, because it had the same title. There're just so many things you have to be careful of on Amazon.

Melanie Avalon: I don't know, but I wonder if my supplement being in a glass bottle with slightly deter counterfeit people, because it would be a little bit harder to counterfeit. 

Gin Stephens: Maybe. 

Melanie Avalon: That's another thing that really sets our line apart. It's hard to find supplements in glass bottles, but yes, all very good points. Things I will think about. Thank you.

Gin Stephens: You got to think about that. What if someone counterfeited it, and it got in your buy box, and people were thinking they were getting yours, but they got the other one, then they're going to try to return it to you, then what do you do? You're like, "Well, I don't have a record of selling it to you." But they're like, "Here it is." It would just be so many can of worms. I would like to be able to say that Amazon is a perfectly great place to buy things and you don't have to worry about all that. But I think Amazon could do a better job, frankly. And I love Amazon. I love Amazon. So, anyone from Amazon who's listening, I'm not criticizing you, I'm just saying you could do better and shoot. I'd be on a committee for free to help you do better. I'm a teacher, I could be on a committee. [laughs] I will give you advice on how to make it better. That's all I have to say about that. They could totally make it better.

Melanie Avalon: It's like one of my best friends from college and I, we wanted to have a little committee, it'll be both of us, and we want final approval or we want final checks on all of the Disney films that come out because we can tell you if this Disney film was going to do too well or not. 

Gin Stephens: That's so funny. You're going to be on their advisory committee. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, like, I promise you, I can help you. 

Gin Stephens: Right. Well, that's me. Amazon, I can help you. I can help you with how to clean up your book section. For example, Fast. Feast. Repeat. is a New York Times bestseller. So, to have a freaky version Fast. Feast. Repeat. blank cookbook published by Stephen Gin makes your site look trashy, Amazon. I'm sorry, but it does. Do you agree with that, Melanie? It's a self-published book. I could right this minute go to Amazon and put up some blank book that I run through their self-publishing arm and sell it in five minutes. You just have to have a cover design, you put it up, you call it a blank cookbook or whatever, bam, it's out there. I could make a book called What When Wine, blank journal, give myself a pseudonym, and sell it. But Amazon should have a quality control. They're like, "Oh, ooh, red flag. There's a real book called What When Wine. That's actually a real book. This is clearly trying to copycat on that." I think that would be a very easy thing to do to fix that problem. 

Melanie Avalon: I agree. 

Gin Stephens: I've actually had people email me and say, "I bought Fast. Feast. Repeat. on Amazon, and it came, and it was blank. Is it supposed to be blank?" I'm like, "No, it's not supposed to be blank. You bought the cookbook, didn't you? The cookbook or whatever." I would not put a book like that out there in the world. Anyway, Amazon could fix it.

Melanie Avalon: Well, Amazon, if you'd like to email questions@ifpodcast.com. 

Gin Stephens: [laughs] You could just email me directly at gin@ifpodcast.com. I would just love to help them, because I have so much love for Amazon in the point that they-- I wouldn't have had a book if it wasn't for their self-publishing. I think their self-publishing is amazing and it changed my life. I love Amazon for that and being able to get Delay, Don't Deny out into the world, no publisher would have let me publish that. It was only because I could self-publish it, and I was able to get it out there, and Amazon allowed me to do that at no charge. But I hate to see Amazon tarnished by the fraud that's going on and I know they could they could spot, especially just if we only talk about within the self-publishing part. If they just had a little more quality control about what gets out there, it would make such a difference. There was one book one time it was some kind of Intermittent Fasting book and it was by Gin Fung. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. 

Gin Stephens: Okay. Gin Fung is not a person. [laughs] That's all I had to say about that.

Melanie Avalon: In any case, the show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode254. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show or deliver feedback, you can email questions@ifpodcast.com, where you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens, and yes, I think that is everything. Anything from you, Gin, before we go? 

Gin Stephens: No, I think that's it. 

Melanie Avalon: All righty, well, this has been absolutely wonderful and I will talk to you next week. 

Gin Stephens: All right, talk to you then. Bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice. We're not doctors. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, theme music by Leland Cox. See you next week.

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Apr 04

Episode 207: Gin’s New Social App, Whoosh Effect, Water-weight & Inflammation, T1 Diabetes, Energy Toxicity, Collagen, Vitamins, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 207 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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To submit your own questions, email questions@IFpodcast.com, or submit your questions here!! 

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BIOPTIMIZERS: Go To p3om.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save 10% Off Any Order!

3:25 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order!

Delay Don't Deny Social Network

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #86 - Harpreet Rai (Oura)

24:10 - PREP DISH: Try Prep Dish's Super Fast Menu And Get a free 2 week trial At Prepdish.com/ifpodcast! You'll get weekly gluten-free and Paleo grocery and recipe lists!!

25:50 - ASPIRATION: Get a $50 bonus when you create an account with today's sponsor Aspiration. Go To joinaspiration.com/ifpodcast!!

27:45 - Listener Q&A: Jamie - Whoosh 

The Case for Keto: Rethinking Weight Control and the Science and Practice of Low-Carb/High-Fat Eating (Gary Taubes)

Big Fat Keto Lies Book (Marty Kendall)

The Case for Keto by Gary Taubes – honest review

47:20 - Listener Q&A: Daniela - Collagen/Vitamins

Aspen Naturals Grass Fed Bovine Collagen Peptides Powder

Aspen Naturals Marine Collagen

52:00 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

55:00 - Listener Q&A: Elizabeth - Starting IF After HCG

Follow Melanie On Instagram To See The Latest Moments, Products, And #AllTheThings! @MelanieAvalon

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 207 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I’m Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I’m here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Hi friends, Gin and I talk about the importance of gut health all the time on this show. You guys know we are obsessed with the gut microbiome. There's also a lot of confusion out there surrounding probiotics. There are so many different probiotics. It can be so hard to know what to take. I personally have actually experimented with a lot of probiotics over the years. A lot. You guys know me. Did you know there's only one probiotic that I have consistently taken almost every single day, since I found it? It's a nonnegotiable. I see, such radical improvements in my gut health, when I take this probiotic, and it's not just me, you guys, and my audience tell me all the time about how you feel this way as well. That is P3-OM. What is P3-OM? It's a patented probiotic that actually eats up excess sugar, eliminates bad bacteria fast, and protects your gut from inflammation and viruses. What initially made me so intrigued by this probiotic is that it is proteolytic meaning it can actually digest protein. I even saw a video on the BiOptimizers website of the probiotic digesting a steak. Yes, a steak.

P3-OM has also been shown to improve digestion, speed up metabolism, and increase energy throughout the day. What also makes it unique is that it can survive the gastrointestinal tract, and it goes through your whole body to support both your gut and your entire immune response. It's a secret weapon for reducing or eliminating bad gas and upgrading your immunity and protection against bad bacteria. It's personally one of my go-to tools in my biohacking arsenal. I have some fantastic news for you guys. You can get 10% off P3-OM right now, when you go to p3om.com/ifpodcast and type in the coupon code, IFPODCAST10. By the way, if you order it and it's not everything you hoped for, the BiOptimizers support team will give you all your money back, no questions asked. To get that discount, just go to p3om.com/ifpodcast to get a 10% discount on one of my favorite probiotics P3-OM with the coupon code, IFPODCAST10. 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 anti-aging 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 anti-aging 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 melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. 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 melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away so many free things on that list. So 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 fasting clean inside and out? You can with Beautycounter. Again, that link is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show.

Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 207 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 worn out. I am riding high on a bunch of emotions, good emotions, scary emotions, all sorts of emotions.

Melanie Avalon: That's good.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] Do you want me to elaborate a little bit?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, would you like to elaborate?

Gin Stephens: Well, we're recording this in mid-March. Yesterday, I finally announced to the public in the advanced group on Facebook, the project that I’m working on since the beginning of the year, and that was, I have launched Delay, Don’t Deny social network off of Facebook. It's a membership-based platform. Yes, members do need to pay to join. It's $4.99 a month. If you, what's the word, amortize your membership, it's $59.95 a year, and you join and that works out to $4.99 a month, if you join for the year as a founding member. Yes, it's a membership site. Now, we're all together, I have all the spinoff groups going on. It's hard to explain. I was letting people start spinoff groups. We had one spinoff group over there, and another spin off group over there, and I felt like I was losing touch with the community. Does that make sense?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: I didn't have time to manage-- Facebook takes a lot to manage groups. You have membership requests, you have posts to approve, you have people coming in, they don't know who you are, why they're there. It takes a lot of work to manage it. We've got over 100 groups on the new platform. The address is dddsocialnetwork.com. DDD for Delay, Don’t-Deny. dddsocialnetwork.com. Like I said, we have over 100 groups, and they're not all intermittent fasting. We've got groups for different fasting styles, one meal a day, alternate daily fasting, the hybrid approach, but we also have a paleo group, Melanie. We have a vegetarian group. No matter how anybody eats, we've got a group for it. We've got hobbies, we've got different exercise styles. We've got a group for people who are interested in starting podcasts and writers, because a lot of people in my community have started podcasts and written books, which is one of the things, I’m a teacher, nothing makes me prouder than seeing other people create content. Does that make sense? Like inspired, they're like, “Well, Gin did a podcast, I can do a podcast,” or, “Gin wrote a book and self-published it. Melanie wrote a book and self-published it, and I can do that too.”

I feel like in a way the Delay, Don’t Deny community has been an incubator for some of these amazing people that I've connected with in the groups. Graeme Currie, he's got a great podcast called The Fasting Highway, and he started off just in my group. He's written a book. He's from Australia. We'll have a group for people who want to do stuff like that, so they can connect and talk about platforms and the process. We even have a group about dogs and cats if you're a pet lover. [laughs] The tag line is we want to be your favorite social network, because we really do. We were on Facebook, we've been on it for so long, but it's gotten a little harder to navigate, and the artificial intelligence has gotten a little weird lately. Like over Christmas in the Life Lessons group, we had some weird, we got something that Facebook was like, “This post does not-- it goes against community standards. Please review it.” I’m like, “Oh, my God, that sounds so scary.” I went to review it, it was covered up with a mask and how Facebook will cover something. Have you ever seen that?

Melanie Avalon: No.

Gin Stephens: Well, if they think it might be questionable, they're like, “Click on it on your own risk.” I’m like, “What was someone trying to post?” I clicked on it to see what it was that was so questionable and objectionable. It was a Christmas bow tutorial.

Melanie Avalon: That’s strange.

Gin Stephens: The artificial intelligence called it drug paraphernalia, but it was bows made of raffia. The artificial intelligence is also picking up on certain words as hate speech and bullying, like one of the moderators got put in Facebook Jail for clicking on something incorrectly, and then she said, “Oops, I apologize. I must have fat thumbs.” They put on Facebook Jail and said it was hate speech. Clearly, it wasn't, fat thumbs is a saying.

Melanie Avalon: I didn't know there was a Facebook Jail.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I've been In Facebook Jail before. I liked too many things too quickly?

Melanie Avalon: Okay, yes.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, the artificial intelligence--

Melanie Avalon: I've commented too much before.

Gin Stephens: Yes, the artificial intelligence looks for people who are doing things too rapidly. You have to take things slowly on Facebook. So, ever since then if I'd make a post and 100 people comment, I just want to go like, like, like, like, like, no, you cannot do that. I lost the ability to post for 24 hours, when I was in Facebook Jail that time. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: It's weird when it happens in your own group, like it's your group, because it's done that to me, I’m like, “Wait, but this is my group. I should be able to post whenever I want.”

Gin Stephens: You can't though. It's just a million little things like that. You hear stories. My friend Sheri that does the Life Lessons podcast with me. She has a friend, who was running a cooking group. It had like 10,000 members, was a cooking group. She woke up one morning, and her cooking group had been removed from Facebook, and she had been blocked from Facebook, like her account was deactivated, based on something that had happened in the cooking group overnight. I realized that we're at the whim of a platform. Now, I’m not knocking Facebook, because we have enjoyed being there for years and it has helped us grow this wonderful community. I will always have love for that platform, and what it allowed us to build. But at the same time, that terrified me that, I have that one group, the 300,000 plus member group that if something went really terribly wrong-

Melanie Avalon: Right, it could just disappear.

Gin Stephens: -it could disappear and I wouldn't be able to contact those 300,000 people at all. I don't have their email addresses, I don't know, would they ever find me again? I don't know. I’m one of those worst-case scenario people, like what could go wrong, always think about that. I’m like. “I don't want to lose this community that I've built.” We started the new platform, launched it yesterday-- Yeah, there's been some positives and some growing pains with it, not everyone was thrilled that I was starting a membership site, because people say-- well, rightly so, intermittent fasting is free and intermittent fasting continues to be free. However, starting a paid platform is very, very expensive, and Facebook is free, but why is it free?

Melanie Avalon: Ads.

Gin Stephens: It's got ads, they're selling you data, you're the product honestly. If you're on Facebook, you're the product and I’ve been okay with that for myself personally for all these years knowing that Facebook was looking at my data, and whatever, showing me ads, I lived with that for the free platform. But for me to have a platform, it is most certainly not free, because I’m not going to be selling your data and showing you ads, and there's a lot of costs involved in it, so it has to be paid. Anyway, I’m sad about any pushback, because I just made this fabulous community and I want everyone to be like, “Oh my God, I love it.” [laughs] So far, positive people are in there. We've got almost 1000 members on day two. It's just so exciting watching people find their community. Also, some of people that I know that had left Facebook for whatever reason, one of my trusted moderators who I love so much, he's a comedian, people may remember him, John McDonald from the Intermittent Fasting Stories Podcast. He left Facebook completely for personal reasons with his family, but he's joined the new platform. It's so good to reconnect with people that I had lost touch with, it feels amazing.

Melanie Avalon: I made a profile. I’m going to come in.

Gin Stephens: Well, people are waiting for you, because we made a Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast group.

Melanie Avalon: Group.

Gin Stephens: Yes. There's a group that you're in.

Melanie Avalon: Are there people in it?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, you want to know how many members are in, I can tell you right now.

Melanie Avalon: How many?

Gin Stephens: How many people have joined it? Hold on, I got to pull up the-- We're also going to have an app. The app is not out yet. Right now, I'm on my iPhone looking at it. Let's see Melanie. but right now, it's pretty easy to use in mobile on the iPhone. Melanie Avalon, you've got 63 members.

Melanie Avalon: Oh. Okay, now I am very much alert. I mean I was already alert, but let me go see.

Gin Stephens: Let’s see how many are on the Intermittent-- we have an Intermittent Fasting podcast group. Let me search for that one. Anyway, what I’m saying is, I’m certain that we probably have listeners, who are not on Facebook for whatever reason. Not everybody's on Facebook. My sister for example never joined Facebook ever, like ever, in her whole entire life never joined Facebook. From day one, she's like, “For some reason, I don't like that,” so she didn't join. People, that just never joined or didn't want to, we have a place for you now. We have 77 members right now in the Intermittent Fasting Podcast group. We can all get together there, and we also have something called the Podcast Enthusiasts Lounge, where you can go and talk about any podcast you want. If you say, “Oops, fat thumbs, I didn't mean to click that,” we don't even care. If you like things really quickly, go for it, like them as fast as you want.

Melanie Avalon: It's very exciting. Congratulations.

Gin Stephens: It is very exciting. Thank you. I didn't sleep last night, I tossed and turned, I thought, “Have I ruined-- Did I mess up? Is this wrong?” Like I said, I’m very much a people pleaser. I want to do things that make people happy. I’m like, “Look what I created for you. Aren't y'all excited?” “No, no, we're not excited. We hate it. Don't create this thing.” Anyway, ah, now I can take a breath, and the people that are there are very happy to be there, and the people who don't want to join, don't have to join. That's the thing,

Melanie Avalon: Listeners, friends, you can all join, we can put links to it in the show notes. That's very exciting.

Gin Stephens: That'd be awesome. dddsocialnetwork.com. It is very exciting.

Melanie Avalon: I can't even imagine, the logistics and everything that you have to go through to do that, so it's very exciting.

Gin Stephens: Well, setting up those groups was a lot. We thought about what would someone want? What could people want? We actually had a little survey and like, “If you were wanting to join a group, what would you want it to be?” I didn't tell anybody what it was. We got the ideas from members, and then we thought of more just on our own. We've got about 55 moderators/facilitators in there, plus a whole lot of members growing by the minute. I’m just very excited, because I love community. That's really it. The whole reason I started this with my first Facebook group back in 2015, before I'd even written a book, I didn't have a master plan, I’m going to write books, I’m going to have podcasts. No. I started a community, and that was the whole point of it. That's what I’m doing here. Everybody, you're welcome to join my community, I'd love to have you or don't join the community. Intermittent Fasting is still free. If you want to be with us on the platform, join us. I’m not closing down the Facebook groups, though I am going to be very busy with the new platform. The Facebook groups are still going. If you're a member, I’m not going to lock you out. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I was going to ask you that if you're keeping--

Gin Stephens: I might not answer all as much, because I’m going to be on this new place, because these people have joined and I can just take a deep breath, I don't have to approve posts, I don't have to approve members. You just join, there you are, you can do what you want, you can come and go. You can join 100 groups if you want to.

Melanie Avalon: That's exciting.

Gin Stephens: It is very exciting. You don't have to see what you don't want to see. In the advanced group, we've been talking a lot about Zoe, the Zoe app with the personalized nutrition and the gut microbiome testing and the CGM. Some people don't want to see that. They're like, “I’m really frustrated seeing all this talk about Zoe, because I just want to keep it simple.” Well, now you don't have to see it. You don't go to the Zoe group, but we have a Zoe group for people who do.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that makes sense.

Gin Stephens: It does. I think it's nice. I’m so excited. Scared, yes, and excited. All the feels. I have all the feels. I have cried, I have laughed, I have cheered. I didn't sleep at all last night.

Melanie Avalon: Another reason, you know what happened last night?

Gin Stephens: The time change?

Melanie Avalon: Yes. That's when you realize you really are a night person. When you don't know the time change is going to happen, and then you get really confused, because all of a sudden, I was like, “Wow, that hour went by so fast.”

Gin Stephens: Oh, because you were awake?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I looked at the clock and it was 3:00, I was like, “What happened?” [laughs] Yeah, not a fan.

Gin Stephens: I really tossed and turn, because I started having doubts. Do you ever do that? Do you have doubts? I’m like lying on the bed, we had 400 and something members join yesterday, and I was having these doubts. I was like, “What have I done? What if everyone hates it? What if no one is there?” Anyway, but I woke up today, got refreshed, and I started reading what people had been posting, and seeing how they were joining the groups, and everyone was excited, and then people were coming in that I hadn't seen in a long time. It felt like a big party, that I’m like, “Okay, now I can relax,” except I had this book deadline. Why did I do this at the same time that I have a book deadline? I don't know, I might be crazy.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I have no comment. That was some [laughs] interesting choice of timing.

Gin Stephens: Well, all of a sudden, I had that thought in my head that something could happen to my group. I was panicked. I was like, “I got to protect these groups,” so that move to the front burner. Honestly, I really was like, “I've got to do this now,” because it's too late. If I don't, and then something happened, something's probably not going to happen. I know that it probably won't, but it could. Did you know they shut down a bunch of essential oil groups?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: Like all in one fell swoop. One of my members was telling me about it. When somebody like, “Nobody's shutting down groups, unless they're bad, dangerous groups.” This girl was like, “Well, I was on a bunch of essential oil groups, and they all got shut down because Facebook decided essential oils were dangerous,” and maybe they are, if you use them incorrectly, but isn't fasting, kind of like that, too? Couldn't fasting be dangerous if you use it incorrectly?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: The answer is yes. Google restricts what it shows you now when you search, it has chosen which health people they're going to show you in, which health people they're not going to show you based on certain criteria. I felt like we might have a tenuous existence on a platform, that we couldn't 100% count on tomorrow, I’m going to wake up and my groups are going to be there. I’m 99.99% sure tomorrow I’m going to wake up and my groups will be there. But once I had in my mind that maybe they wouldn't be, I’m sure the essential oil people didn't know they were all going to be gone. It's almost like I wish they had told them, “Hey, we're going to remove your groups and one month, you have one month to figure something else out,” that would have been a good thing. I would have-- if only.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, that reminds me of a fun little fact I learned by listening to a podcast.

Gin Stephens: What is that?

Melanie Avalon: Do you know what the difference is between fear and anxiety?

Gin Stephens: Well, no.

Melanie Avalon: As it relates to this conversation?

Gin Stephens: I can't wait to hear though, because I think I have felt fear and anxiety.

Melanie Avalon: Fear is when you are aware of something bad happening, and you have the fear response. Anxiety is not knowing what is going to happen, and having the response, but then it's like, chronic, because--

Gin Stephens: I did have both.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: I had fear because I saw people who were not happy with me. They were not happy that I would do this, and that really hurt my feelings, because I’m like, “Look, number one, it came from the place of, I don't want to lose our community, how am I going to keep that from happening, just in case,” but nobody's making anybody join it. I didn't click archive group on Facebook nearby, come over here. Didn't close the group. My wording may be when I announced it, gave people some things to worry about, because I said, “We're not sure the future of how these groups are going to work on Facebook,” because clearly, I’m one person. I can't be here and there and everywhere all over the place. [laughs] Sometimes, I have to eat, and sleep, and take a shower. We're not closing the groups down, but, yeah, I had fear from backlash, like I made a huge mistake. But then, I saw the love. There was so much love. This morning, I woke up to so much love and there's so much positivity surrounding the new community that I can just let the rest go. The fear is gone. I still have some anxiety, but no more fear.

Melanie Avalon: That is fabulous.

Gin Stephens: Yes. Anything new with you? I’m sorry. I just rambled for 18 minutes, but-- [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: The only thing is I never travel ever, and I travelled somewhere, and I lost my Oura ring.

Gin Stephens: Oh, no. 

Melanie Avalon: I’m so sad. I'm so sad. I did something that I never do, because I don't-- We talked about this. You like jewelry, right?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I wear earrings every day, and I have on my wedding ring every day.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I don't ever really wear jewelry. They have an Oura ring that has diamonds in it. I was like, “If I’m going to get one piece of nice jewelry that I wear every day of my life,” so I upgraded, and I got that.

Gin Stephens: Oh, no, and you lost it.

Melanie Avalon: No, I didn't lose that one. I lost the one I had. I decided to buy a new one, because--

Gin Stephens: I thought you upgraded to the really expensive one and then lost it.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Oh, I would be crushed.

Gin Stephens: That's what I thought you did.

Melanie Avalon: They're already pretty expensive normally, but yes. I think listeners think we get all the things for free all the time, but we don't. I have to purchase things. But that's how much I love it. I was like, it's not a question I’m buying a new one right now, and then I realized, I really want the one with the diamonds. I learned don't wear it on your ring finger, because then you look married or it looks like a wedding ring.

Gin Stephens: I probably would agree with that. I mean, unless who cares? Why do you care if people think you're married, right? That could be a plus.

Melanie Avalon: True.

Gin Stephens: Keep in mind. I've been wearing a ring on my wedding ring finger since I was 21. It's been a long time. 30 years I've had this ring on my finger.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. It's ironic. I lost it, and I actually interviewed the CEO, again for Part Two episode a few days later. I’m airing it very soon, because I wanted it to be timely. If listeners are interested in Oura ring and learning more, I'll put a link in the show notes to that second interview that I just did with him.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. Today, I want to tell you about Prep Dish’s New Super Fast Menus. These are in addition to their three existing meal plans, keto, paleo, and gluten free. Instead of scrambling and spending every single night prepping meals, do all of your prep at once, and under one hour. You'll get delicious healthy meals on the table, even when you have limited time. If you've been a longtime listener, you know we're huge fans of Prep Dish. No more scrambling at each meal. Instead go into mealtime with a plan, like Melanie would say, “You've got this.”

Prep Dish subscribers now get four menus every week. Gluten free, paleo, low carb keto, and the new Superfast menus. Now, you can prep a whole week's meals in just an hour. You don't have to choose between meal prep and spending precious time with your family. With Prep Dish’s new Super Fast Menus, you get fast food, but it's homemade and healthy. If you've thought about trying Prep Dish but worried you wouldn't have time to do the prep, now is a great time to check out the free trial. The founder, Allison, is offering listeners a free two-week trial, and you can get that by going to prepdish.com/ifpodcast for this amazing deal. Again, that's prepdish.com/ifpodcast, and your first two weeks are absolutely free. Try it out, see what you think about the new Super Fast Menus, and then send us an email. Let us know, how you like it.

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into everything fasting related?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a question from Jamie. The subject is “Whoosh.” Jamie says, “When on average does someone, women get the whoosh effect, losing a bunch of weight at once, two weeks in and I've only lost one pound, where my husband has lost 17 pounds.”

Gin Stephens: All right. That's a great question. First of all, let's talk about what is the whoosh? We've talked about it before, but I want to talk about it again. The whoosh effect is when-- let's think about in our bodies biologically, we lose fat at a pretty slow rate, even if you're doing a complete fast, or you're eating nothing, your body probably is only going to lose about half a pound of fat a day max really for fat burning. Keep that in mind. That's like we're not usually losing about half a pound of fat a day with doing an intermittent fasting lifestyle. Let's say, you get on the scale and you don't see your weight change, you don't see your weight change, you don't see your weight change, you don't see your weight change, and then you get on one day and it's down five pounds. Did you just lose five pounds of fat overnight? No, you did not. You had a whoosh.

You had lost fat slowly, but something was hiding that fat loss. We were pretty sure that your body does something with water during the fat loss process, but not everybody has the same experience. Some people never whoosh. They just have a slow and steady down, down, down over time. They have this nice little graph, they're pretty linearly down. Most people don't, but some people do. Whereas someone who whooshes might look more like a stair step, where you have it's just the same, the same, the same, the same and then down. Then the same, the same, and same and then down, like that. I mean, you might zigzag up and down. I tended to have the pattern where I would go way down, and then I would go back up a little and stay there for a while, then I would go way down, then I would go up a little. Mine’s like the stock market's going down a little bit. Why does this happen?

As I said, we have the theory that it's something to do with water balance, because people will notice, maybe they have to get up in the middle the night to go to the bathroom a lot, and then the next morning they're lower. The water is coming from somewhere. There's one theory that I don't think is true, and that theory is that the body is actually putting water in your fat cells. I haven't been able to find any scientific basis for that, and I've heard scientists who are smarter about the body than me saying, “No, that's not what's happening.” Could they be wrong? Could that be what's happening? I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: One of the ones that sounded plausible to me was I think the glycerol. One thing I was reading online, his theory was that fat when we break it down, it breaks it down into glycerol. Is it fatty acids and glycerol? I think so. He says it takes a while for the body to process glycerol and glycerol attracts water.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that makes sense.

Melanie Avalon: It's like you burning the fat, you burn the fatty acid part of the fat-- and I might be wrong with a fatty acid is the other component, I think it is. Then the glycerol takes backlogs and as we process, in the meantime, it's stored with water or attracts water.

Gin Stephens: It's not happening in the fat cell, right?

Melanie Avalon: I’m not sure where the glycerol is?

Gin Stephens: Something's happening with water, we know that. [chuckles] It's somewhere. I also have talked about it before here, I have a hunch. It could be in your lymphatic system, which is the body's sewage system, because as you're clearing out a fat cell, fats not the only stuff that's in there, you've also got a lot of toxins and weird stuff that your body shoved in there. You shove junk under your bed, your body shoves junk into your fat cells when it doesn't know what else to do with it. Toxins do come out, and your body has all that going around in your lymphatic system, and then it can flush it out all at once. You may have puffy fingers, we've all experienced this, puffy ankles, your face might be puffy. That's water retention happening in your tissues, and then whoosh, you wake up and that's gone.

Jamie, not everyone gets a whoosh. Don't expect you're going to get one. But let's address the fact that you're two weeks in and you've only lost one pound. If you think back to the 28-Day FAST Start-- if you read Fast. Feast. Repeat, in the 28-Day FAST Start, I’m very, very emphatic about do not expect any weight loss for the first 28 days, because the first 28 days are the time for your body to adjust to the clean fast, and that's it, your body's not great at tapping into fat stores yet. It may lose a great deal of inflammation, like with your husband with 17 pounds in two weeks. He did not lose 17 pounds of fat in two weeks. I know that we would like to, we don't lose fat that quickly. But even if that's a lot of that's inflammation of water weight, 17 pounds is a lot of mass. Imagine how good it would feel to lose 17 pounds, whatever it is, water weight, inflammation, I know he feels better, but we don't lose fat that quickly.

Just understand that your body is doing what it's doing behind the scenes, and the scale doesn't always reflect that. The scale can go up because of water, it can go down because of water. It can go up if you're gaining fat, but it can go down if you're losing fat, but it can also stay the same while you're losing fat because you're also regaining water. The scale can really just confuse you.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, 100%. Did you read Gary Taubes, The Case for Keto?

Gin Stephens: No, I read Marty Kendall’s critique of it. I really like Marty Kendall. By the way, Marty, we talked about him on the podcast. I think that came out maybe last week, we're recording. It's several weeks ago in podcast world land, but in the real world, it was like last week. Marty listened and he was like, “Oh, thank y’all for talking about me.” Anyway.

Melanie Avalon: On our show?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, when we talked about Marty Kendall and his Optimising Nutrition site, but I read Marty Kendall’s blog post about The Case for Keto.

Melanie Avalon: I finished his book about it. So good. So good. I'm like three fourths of the way through, Gary Taubes.

Gin Stephens: He's coming on your podcast, right?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. I’m so excited. I want to air them back-to-back, like air Marty's and Gary's. I don't know what order I put them-- I guess it depends how that conversation goes.

Gin Stephens: I’m going to tell you Marty Kendall is brilliant, and you would think by reading-- he has a book called Keto Myths or something. You would think by reading the title of whatever, I can't remember the name of--

Melanie Avalon: Big Fat Keto Lies.

Gin Stephens: Yes, Big Fat Keto Lies, you would think by reading it, he was anti-keto, and he's not. He is busting some keto myths, like if you're having trouble losing fat, eat a lot more fat. He's saying some things that need to be heard in the keto community. I actually think some people are listening. One of the big guys, I can't remember which one of my moderators showed me one of the big keto people, might have been the Diet Doctor guy, the guy who runs Diet Doctor. He was somebody really big, well known. I just can't remember, my brain is full. Made some post, I don’t know if it was a tweet, I don't know where it was, but she showed me a screenshot of it, where he said that, he had lowered his fat intake or something and increased his protein. He was getting leaner than ever, he’d stopped eating so much fat. I’m like, “That's huge.”

Melanie Avalon: I think it's one of the biggest misconceptions. This is something I’m going to ask Gary, this is the question I want to ask him, because it's probably the biggest takeaway I took from Marty. It’s the biggest paradigm shift I had about insulin after reading Marty's book, and now reading Gary's book. He talks about this completely, but he doesn't draw the same conclusion and it's really haunting me, and it's the fact that this has made me completely rethink insulin, its main purpose is not to store fat. Marty talks about this, which I'd never realized before.

Gin Stephens: Well, it's antilipolytic, which means if you have high insulin, you're going to have a hard time burning fat.

Melanie Avalon: Its main purpose is not to store fat. Its main purpose is to stop fat from being released. It's putting on the brakes--

Gin Stephens: To fat release. It's putting the brakes rather than shoving it in. That's a very good point. We read so many times that people are saying insulin is shoving the fat in or shoving sugar in something.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it could because its main purpose-- and this is something that Marty pointed out that I hadn't really thought of. Fat doesn't elicit at all or barely any of an insulin release, and so they reached the conclusion that because it doesn't release insulin that it's not easily stored as fat. What Marty argues is the reason it doesn't release insulin is, because it doesn't need insulin to be stored as fat. It was just the complete opposite idea of what people are drawing the conclusion from. They're saying, “Oh, unlimited fat because it doesn't require insulin.” Right, it doesn't require insulin because it just gets stored without it, which is huge. Basically, insulin’s purpose is to deal with the toxicity of sugar in the bloodstream. If insulin wasn't there, we would just be burning fat and then we'd have an overload of fuel in our bloodstream, and so when we eat carbs, the body needs to burn it immediately, because too much sugar glycates and is toxic. It needs to shut down all other potential sources of fuel going into the bloodstream, which is from our fat cells and from the storage of carbs. Insulin is just closing the doors.

Gin Stephens: The traffic cop saying no.

Melanie Avalon: I've been thinking about it. It's like if you live in an apartment, I've been thinking about this, and the hallway is your bloodstream and then the doors to all the apartments are your fat cells and normally the doors are open and stuff is going in and out of the rooms, but once carbohydrates enter the bloodstream, insulin is like, “Nope, shut all the doors so that nothing else can come out and we can just deal with this these carbs right now.” What I want to ask Gary, and it helps me articulate this, because I've been thinking about this, but I haven't said it out loud and I want to like--

Gin Stephens: Well, it's also very interesting.

Melanie Avalon: The thing that I want to ask him about is, I mean, he gives that length-- It's basically, if anybody's read any of his books--

Gin Stephens: They're long.

Melanie Avalon: [laughs] Like, I said, I went on a trip this week, it was a four-hour drive both ways, I listened to the audiobook as much as I could both ways, and I was like, “I filled my Gary Taubes quota for quite a while.”

Gin Stephens: Does he read it himself?

Melanie Avalon: No, he doesn't. He's an investigative journalist. He's not a scientist. He's rather telling the history of all of these things. He makes a very good point that actual scientists-- and now I’m going on tangents, but scientists and nutritionists and doctors don't normally ever study the history of everything in detail, because they don't have time, they don't think it's relevant, but he's saying that, “You can't really understand a subject until you know the history of how it got there,” so, that's what he's doing. In any case, with the insulin, he [unintelligible [00:38:32] idea that it stops fat cells from releasing their fuel, but he'll also say a lot throughout the book that the misconceptions we have and how we've oversimplified calories in, calories out, and we say it's just about calories and really it's about insulin, it's really complicated, it's really nuanced, but I feel the simplistic statement he still continues to make is that insulin leads to fat storage. I'm not articulating this well. The insulin is required for fat storage, like that idea still comes through.

Gin Stephens: Okay, yeah, insulin is antilipolytic. It's anti-fat burning. If you want to tap into your fat stores, you don't want to have high insulin, but that doesn't mean you're storing, you're just not burning.

Melanie Avalon: I need to relisten or reread one part, because there's one part where he specifically says this, but I don't know if he's saying it or he was quoting somebody else, but it was the theory that you can't store fat in the absence of insulin, which just seems to not be true. The takeaway that I’m having right now is-- I don't even know if this is worth pondering, but, because he's trying to deconstruct the calories in, calories out model, I don't know if you are at a genuine calorie deficit even with high insulin. Do you think you can gain weight? Maybe you can't ever burn weight.

Gin Stephens: If nothing is coming in, what are you storing the fat--? What's it being made of? We don't create fat out of thin air. Our bodies don't just create fat out of thin air, It's something comes in, our bodies do something with it and store that as fat. Maybe it was fat already, and we just shoved it away.

Melanie Avalon: What I’m thinking is it seems like insulin could make it impossible to burn fat, so you could not possibly lose weight at a calorie deficit, because of high insulin. But I don't know if you could gain weight at a calorie deficit and high insulin, because if you are literally taking in less energy than you're burning, I don't know how you can have a net gain, even if-- I don't know.

Gin Stephens: You were talking about based on what the metabolism is doing. You couldn't.

Melanie Avalon: I mean, your metabolism could slow down.

Gin Stephens: Right, but if you're still burning more than that slowed metabolic rate, I don't think it's possible. No, I don't think so, that wouldn't make sense. The one thing to keep in mind though, let’s think thing about type 1 diabetics. Their bodies are not making insulin, they were unable to gain weight at all. Low insulin, because they're not making it, unable to gain weight. See, that's one of the big examples Fung uses, I think I used it, you hear it so much. That's why we know that high insulin is related to storing. It's a storage hormone.

Melanie Avalon: To clarify, it definitely encourages the storage of carbs as glycogen.

Gin Stephens: People who had type 1 diabetes before anybody knew what type 1 diabetes was, they would just waste away and die because they didn't have enough insulin. Because they could not, no matter how much they ate, their bodies couldn't store anything away. So many questions, so many complicated things going on. Here's what we need to know. The takeaway is we want to keep our insulin low. That's good, but also fat is not free.

Melanie Avalon: So far what I've read, that’s his thesis.

Gin Stephens: His takeaway is fat is free?

Melanie Avalon: Well, I haven't gotten to that yet, if he does say that. His takeaway is that-- I really like this idea, that everybody has a personal insulin threshold, and that if you're at that insulin threshold or below it, you'll be able to burn fat, but if you're above it, you won't be able to.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, I 100% can buy into that theory, because I don't even know if that's like a-- I think that's true. I don't think it's under question. I think that is a fact. It explains-- I’m sure that I had really high insulin for so many years when I was overweight and having trouble gaining weight, and then, Chad, my husband always been slim, I’m sure he's always had low insulin. We had our insulin tested last year. Mine is low now, thanks to fasting, but Chad's was slow. His was lower than mine. I’m like, “Well, no wonder he never gained weight.” His body just makes less insulin. He's not like diabetic, but his body makes less insulin than me. We all have a different threshold with what our body's going to do based on the amount of insulin we have in our fasted insulin level.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, he talks about while fasted, if you release insulin, and how one person, they can think about something really delicious and yummy, and they don't get ravenously hungry, it doesn't make them-- they can handle it, they don't feel they have to have it and they're not craving and shaky and another person does have that response. He was saying that it's from this cephalic insulin, basically in our brain, and depending on your basal insulin, that may or may not be enough insulin release to put you over your personal insulin threshold. If you're wavering around your personal insulin threshold or if you're already past it, and then you think of something really delicious, then your brain releases cephalic insulin, which is basically some insulin that's primed and ready just to be released, and that might be an--

Gin Stephens: It's anticipating food’s coming in.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. Then it releases that, and then that puts your personal insulin threshold high enough that, it just shuts off the fat cells’ ability to release fat, so then you're not giving any fatty acid fuel. It's really interesting. I’m really excited to interview him.

Gin Stephens: One thing that Marty really helped me understand-- also with Zoe, if I put together Marty and Zoe, it really helps me understand a lot about my body. Marty talks about energy toxicity and having too much energy in your blood, whether it's fat or ketones or glucose. You're having a lot of energy in your bloodstream from any source is not good. I never did feel well when I did keto, that summer of 2014. I felt awful the whole time. I also felt very inflamed and puffy, and I just didn't feel good. Zoe taught me, when I did the study with them, that my body doesn't clear fat quickly. They tell you that if your body doesn't clear fat quickly, then too much fat is inflammatory for your body. I’m like, “Well, that makes perfect sense.” It explains why I didn't feel well when I was doing keto, because I was taking in a whole lot of energy, my body didn't clear it very quickly, and so I’m sure I had a ton of fat circulating in my bloodstream that I was taking in, and I wasn't clearing it. Of course, I also didn't release any fat. I didn't lose any weight. All those butter coffees I was chugging, they were keeping my energy levels topped up in my bloodstream, my body had no need to release any fat.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wait, speaking of, since we recorded last, I did release that episode with Dave Asprey speaking of butter coffee. Listeners, I’ll put a link to it in the show notes. You can check that out. I think my favorite chart-- because Marty has a lot of really great charts in his book, my favorite one is the one that shows “preferred order of burning different fuels.”

Gin Stephens: By the way, I like Marty so very much that even in the new platform, the DDD Social Network, I have a data-driven fasting group over there. For anybody who's following Marty, because a lot of my people have followed Marty, especially since I interviewed somebody on the podcast that talked about him, and then I interviewed Marty. It hasn't come out yet. A lot of people were like, “Hey, I want to learn about that.” Anyway, so data driven-fasting in the DDD Social Network.

Melanie Avalon: This is not the full chart. The full chart is on a different page. The full chart that I saw included alcohol and ketones, I think the order was-- when alcohol and ketones were included, I think it was alcohol and ketones, and then, which is the order of that the body preferentially burns the fuel substrates in our body. I think it was alcohol and ketones, and then glucose in your blood, and then liver and muscle glycogen. I have to ask him about that, because I don't think muscle glycogen would be right there. I think that's incorrect. Then, free fatty acids in your blood and then body fat. So, body fat is basically at the very, very, very last resort.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, our body doesn't want to dig in. I love Jason Fung’s analogy that it's in the freezer in the basement. I’m not going to go down to that basement freezer unless I have to. That's the body to not wanting to-- but it's there, we can get to it if we have to. We just have to give the right environment for the body to tap into your fat.

Melanie Avalon: 100%.

Gin Stephens: Not as easy as it sounds though. [laughs] Ready for the next one?

Melanie Avalon: Sorry for the tangents. Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: No, it was good. I think it's all been very interesting. We have a question from Daniella. The subject is “Collagen/Vitamins.” She says, “When breaking a 19- to 20-hour fast, can I start with my collagen supplement which is powder in water, and gummy vitamins? Please don't judge a grown woman taking gummy vitamins, laugh emoji.” [laughs] I will not. No judging.

Melanie Avalon: Great question, Daniella. The very short and simple answer is yes. The longer answer is, it's a good thing to clarify. I think collagen is something, especially people that are new to fasting, think that it might be something that they can take, while fasting especially, because it's often, “prescribed” to take it the way she's taking it like in water. Collagen is definitely something that’s not fast and friendly. It's a protein, and amino acid, it's going to definitely, definitely break your fast.

Gin Stephens: People like to start in coffee. I don't know why.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. I think Dave started that.

Gin Stephens: Oh, did he?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. I think way back in the day, because I remember reading him writing about it and he was saying for women in particular it was a good thing.

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't know. It's like, “Why’s everybody wanted to put this in their coffee?”

Melanie Avalon: The good thing about collagen though is, it's very nourishing to your gut. It's actually a really wonderful time to take it right when you're breaking your fast, like Daniella is, and then same, it's fine to take the gummy vitamin. I’m not a huge fan of multivitamins in general. I think, it's better to target specific nutrients. There's so much complexities to vitamins that-- it's hard to find a vitamin that you know is actually doing what you want it to be doing, but that aside, it's fine. Yes, Gin, thoughts?

Gin Stephens: Oh, no. I was just thinking, I’m really hungry and I was like, “Why am I so hungry?” Then, I realized it's 3 PM but my body-- Wait, we sprung forward. See, I get so confused with the time change.

Melanie Avalon: Me too.

Gin Stephens: It's only 2 PM to my body. Then why am I so hungry? Okay, sorry. I just got really hungry.

Melanie Avalon: All the emotions, or all of our talk?

Gin Stephens: Maybe, the stress. I also didn't eat a lot yesterday that must be why. My body might need two meals today. I’m just all of a sudden really starving. All that delicious collagen discussion.

Melanie Avalon: Might have been that cephalic insulin response.

Gin Stephens: I don't know, but all of a sudden, I was like, “I need to eat some food right now.” Anyway, I’m going to go eat some eggs on toast, that sounds delicious.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Next question or do you have thoughts about--

Gin Stephens: No, I really think that's it. I don't take collagen. I sometimes wondered if I’m missing out, because so many people take it, but I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: It can do really wonderful things, especially if you are trying to grow your nails and hair, and then heal your gut lining. It can be really great.

Gin Stephens: Well, I’m of the age where collagen production in our skin goes down, and we start to look saggy. I mean, that's just part of the hormonal changes of being in the postmenopausal years. We've all seen those amazing grandmas on the beach rocking their bikinis, but they're all saggy. I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to have to start to get some collagen maybe,” or I'll just embrace the sag, I don't care.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I think the probably the most important thing about collagen is, it's really important the amino acid balance of the meat that we eat. Today, we tend to eat basically muscle meat, so chicken breasts and lean steak, or even fattier steaks, if it's not shank or something like that. Historically, we probably would have been eating more of the whole animal and getting collagen, which is really important for an anti-inflammatory/amino acid ratio, and building your gut like I said.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it may be time, but I will keep it in my window. I don't know why I just can't think of the idea of powder and water. Can you take it in like a pill? That's what I’m going to look for. I don't know. I don't want to dissolve anything in water.

Melanie Avalon: When I took it, of course, I just would eat it with my food, I thought it tasted really good. It’s really important in my opinion to get grass-fed collagen. We can put the link in the show notes to some brands that I like.

Gin Stephens: I don't know why, I have a mental thing against it, like I feel it's going to be gross. I don't know why.

Melanie Avalon: It's funny. I love the way it tastes, but I’m weird.

Gin Stephens: I did eat bone marrow, when I was in Charleston.

Melanie Avalon: Was it delicious?

Gin Stephens: Oh, my Lord. It was good. It was at this little restaurant on King Street in Charleston. Man, it was good.

Melanie Avalon: It's one of those things where if you haven't tried it, it might sound gross, or it might sound like, why would you want to eat that?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I was scared of it, but everybody raved about it on all the reviews.

Melanie Avalon: It tastes like heaven.

Gin Stephens: It was so good.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, well, we agree on a food. [laughs] It's hard to describe the taste. It just tastes like-

Gin Stephens: This is some kind of bone marrow pudding. It was like a bread pudding made of bone marrow.

Melanie Avalon: If you go to Whole Foods or something you can get--

Gin Stephens: Can't.

Melanie Avalon: I was going to say, you can get bones or you can get cuts that have the bone in it, like a shank cut and it'll have that marrow and if you cook it like normal, then you could just eat them marrow plain. It just tastes, oh, my goodness, amazing.

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All right, now back to the show. Shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: This comes from Elizabeth, and the subject is “Starting IF After HCG.” Elizabeth says, “I've read both Delay, Don't Deny and Fast. Feast. Repeat. I discovered you while in the midst of a round of HCG. I am sure IF is for me. My HCG ends this week. My question is, do I need to do the follow-up protein diet and reintroduce carbs, before starting IF, or can I go right to IF after my three days after HCG?”

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's a great question, and I do want to say, I’m really glad, Elizabeth, that you found us even in the middle of HCG, but I do not recommend HCG. I mean, honestly, you didn't know that because you were already doing it before you found us. I’m not saying, you shouldn't have done it, because you can't go back in time. Does that make sense? [laughs] For anyone who has not done HCG, I highly, highly would not recommend that you do it. I certainly tried it back in my diet days. I didn't do the drops, I did the “Go to the doctor, get the prescription, take the injections,” because the theory made so much sense. It was you're going to tap into your fat stores, because you're using this pregnancy hormone, your body thinks you're pregnant, so that it's going to help you tap into your fat stores better and it does something to your hypothalamus. That's the theory. Keep in mind, this was a long time ago that I was doing this. I was desperate to lose the weight. I was obese, so I get it.

Everyone who has tried these things like HCG, I tried them. I've done them. I lost a lot of weight doing it. Then, that was when I really started the diet yo-yo after that. The diet pills really got me, and I got those from my doctor too. The doctor prescribed diet pills, regained the weight, then I did HCG, got that from a doctor, lost a lot of weight, regained the weight, but then I was really like obese and struggling. It's not supposed to damage your metabolism, but I don't agree with that. I don't think that's true. I think that theory, just on my own personal response, I don't think that it's true. I think it tanked my metabolism, because suddenly, I gained way past any setpoint I'd ever had before, and I was over 200 pounds for the first time ever. Before all the crazy diets, I was hanging out around 160s as my upper limit. Then, I did all these crazy diets with the diet pills and the HCG, and then all of a sudden, my setpoint is now 200 or 180, in that range.

It definitely harmed my body long term. Thank goodness, I think intermittent fasting helped me reverse it. If it were me, Elizabeth, if I were finishing HCG right now today, and discovered intermittent fasting in the middle of it, I think I would go straight into the eating window approach, because you've already been eating practically nothing. Gosh, actually see, I don't know, because I’m thinking maybe the alternate-day fasting approach would be a good one for her, because her metabolism is probably slow. So you want to boost it again. I would probably, I don't know, you've already been eating a very tiny amount. Those are down days. I might would do alternate daily fasting. Down day, up day, down day, up day. As far as are you're going to reintroduce carbs, I don't know. The original doctor that created this protocol, Dr. Simeons, did have you restrict carbs, but I don't know that was like the magic. I think that just kept you from “regaining” that water weight because you lose a lot of water when you're doing a really restrictive diet like HCG. Then carbs, you eat carbs, and it causes your body to retain water. It's like rapid weight gain, but really, it's like a lot of water. Restricting the carbs as you ease back into eating would keep that from happening, which is what he wanted you to do.

Then, he wanted you to crash diet if your weight went up, like eat a tomato or something or have a tomato and steak day or some crazy nonsense like that. If your weight went up, you're supposed to have a steak day. Eat tomatoes all day and need a big steak or fast all day and then eat a steak, I can't even remember.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think it's a one meal a day steak.

Gin Stephens: With just a steak.

Melanie Avalon: It's like carnivore one meal a day.

Gin Stephens: Maybe, that could be it. I think that actually is, but that's the super-duper crash diet. I am not judging anybody who does it, because I did it. I’m just going back and giving my back in the past self, giving her a hug.

Melanie Avalon: The interesting thing about HCGs, the macros of it are very similar to protein-sparing modified fast, which Gary actually talks about in his book about basically being the only “crash diet” that actually pretty much consistently always works because I think HCG is, isn't it like 500 calories of basically protein?

Gin Stephens: A day, yep.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. If it were me, I would probably just jump into IF, but maybe start with a longer eating window and making sure that you're eating a lot.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, maybe so, because I was thinking about that too. I almost went that direction. It's hard to know either way, coming from the perspective of your metabolism slowed after all that crash dieting.

Melanie Avalon: I just feel I need to be saying this more when we're getting questions especially from people who are hungry or trying to boost their metabolism, focusing on protein I think is so, so important. That's another one of the Big Fat Keto Lies that Marty talks about, is people think fat is satiating, protein is the macronutrient that is most satiating. I think focusing on protein can be really, really important for boosting metabolism and for weight loss, because it's the best of both worlds in that regard, and that it fills you up the most of any food, but it's not very likely to be stored as fat like we don't preferentially store protein as fat. Oh, actually, I don't know if it was in Marty's book. I think it was Marty's book. He mentioned a study about whey, and even in a study where they added in excess calories through processed whey protein, excess calories, the participants did not gain weight from it which I actually would have thought maybe they would when it's fat processed.

Gin Stephens: Because it was whey.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and it's whey, which is very--

Gin Stephens: Dairy droved.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's growth promoting. Protein is a really good macronutrient to focus on if you're trying to lose weight, trying to be full. It's probably why I’ve been eating such a high-- I eat such a high protein diet for so long. But yeah, I will probably just jump into IF with a longer eating window. Especially if you're worried about gaining back a lot of weight after that, that's another reason I would really focus on protein. So, I would encourage you, Elizabeth, not to go crazy, and if you're eating tons of carbs and tons of fat, it's very likely that you might gain back a large part of-- not just water, you might gain back in fat a large part of what you lost. If you want to maintain whatever you did lose, I would really focus on protein and then looking at your macros.

Gin Stephens: I wouldn't just reintroduce all the things. That's a tricky one.

Melanie Avalon: I know.

Gin Stephens: I’m glad that you found us, Elizabeth, that makes me really-- or Beth. She goes by Beth. I’m glad you found us, Beth, and don't be scared if your weight goes back up a little bit, don't blame the intermittent fasting. Blame the HCG and know that it's going to go back up a little bit, and then it might take a little while longer for you to actually start burning fat well and start really losing more weight, just because your body's got to learn to trust you again. You definitely don't want to do intermittent fasting in a way that's also overly restrictive. That won't be helpful. Can I get something off my chest real quick?

Melanie Avalon: Sure.

Gin Stephens: I’m so frustrated by the whole women shouldn't do intermittent fasting at certain times of the month or we’re too fragile a flower to do intermittent fasting. That is really becoming more and more out there as just common knowledge, but I don't think it's true. I think women should not be overly restrictive with their diet. The fact that all of a sudden, we're like, “Well that means intermittent fasting is out,” intermittent fasting that is overly restrictive is the problem, but that doesn't mean no woman should ever do intermittent fasting during our cycles. I don't know. Maybe they haven't eaten with me. I eat a lot of food. [laughs] Nobody's telling those women not to do a 1200 calorie a day diet. That's overly restrictive, a traditional diet.

Melanie Avalon: I agree as well. I was also just thinking one of the other things people say. People say it's too hard for women especially to eat enough protein. I was just thinking about. It's probably really hard if you're not focusing on protein and so you're eating a lot of fat with it, or a lot of-- carbs might make it easier to a lot protein, but I think people focus so much on fat a lot of the times that that would make it harder to eat a lot of protein.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, just over-restriction is really hard on a woman's body. Over-restriction is hard on our body. But to then say, “Well, then women shouldn't fast certain times of the month,” I don't buy that argument. Even though some really well-known voices that I respect are starting to say that more it's common knowledge, I disagree. Anyway.

Melanie Avalon: I don't feel good when I’m not doing my fasting. This is me personally. I don't feel it helps my hormones. I feel much better hormonally during my fasting window, like hands down. But everybody's individual, that said, I do think there might be some women who do better with--

Gin Stephens: Yep. Particularly if they struggle with eating sufficiently, because they've trained themselves to be a dieter for example, and they're a restrained eater. If someone eats like a bird, tiny little amounts of it, maybe they just naturally can't eat a lot at one time. Okay, then they might need a longer window. It's not the fasting that's the problem, it's the fact that you can't eat enough food within your eating window, like that person shouldn't then try to do one meal a day in a one-hour window. I wouldn't recommend that. If you're eating this tiny little amount of food, that's not good for you, it's over-restriction. We don't want to over-restrict our bodies, women.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.

Gin Stephens: But that doesn't mean that fasting is over-restriction. That's the part that I keep getting frustrated about. Assuming that fasting means over-restricting, and it does not to me.

Melanie Avalon: They're not synonyms.

Gin Stephens: Right.

Melanie Avalon: They are often posited as such.

Gin Stephens: Well, they are. There's this whole complicated graphic that people are now sharing that came from somewhere, and I know where it came from, not going to say, but it's like, “Here's how you fast every week of your cycle.” I’m like, “No, you might have a hungrier day. Listen to your body, do it.”

Melanie Avalon: That sounds really complicated.

Gin Stephens: It does. I don't know that there's solid science of why you would do that. Other than, yeah, your body might need more nutrients at a certain time of your cycle. My body was always good at telling me that, I can remember-- back earlier and before I got on this side of menopause, I remember, when I was doing intermittent fasting and losing weight, there'd be a day and I'd be like, “Oh my God, I’m so hungry today. What's wrong? I just ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and why am I so hungry and then?” Then, boom, the next day, I would have the reason why I would know. Every time it was a mystery. [laughs] Every month, I was surprised that I was so hungry. My body really communicated that well to me and I listened. I didn't try to diet through it. I didn't punish myself.

Melanie Avalon: You still ate what you wanted.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I ate more. My body pretty much commanded me to. I've always had a hard time-- Even though I did those crazy restrictive diets, they weren't easy for me. When I’m hungry, I want to eat. My body's like, “Eat.” I’m like, “Okay.”

Melanie Avalon: Me too. [laughs] That's why we're both here.

Gin Stephens: I think so.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Gin can eat, y'all.

Melanie Avalon: So can Melanie, so much. I've already said this. It's a dead horse, but the amount of protein I eat every day is, I mean, it's pounds.

Gin Stephens: That's so funny, not me. Nope, not pounds of protein.

Melanie Avalon: It's so good. [laughs] Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions to the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com, or you can go to ifpodcast.com, and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode207. You can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. You can follow us on Instagram. My Instagram is-- Gin, it's going really well-

Gin Stephens: Oh, good.

Melanie Avalon: -recently. Follow us. How's your Instagram?

Gin Stephens: I've decided I’m just going to live my life on Instagram. I’m just going to be Gin Stephens’ person on Instagram. If you want to come to Instagram and see what Gin Stephens’ person is doing, I don't need to be Gin Stephens. Argh. [laughs] I've just feeling very much like I just want to get back to basics. Maybe that's why I’m doing this new web platform. Just because I’m like-- I don't want to be, “Here's my dinner. Woo.” Maybe, “Here I am, everybody, come sit by me.”

Melanie Avalon: I think I really like Instagram-- well, besides the fact that selfies really stress me out, I like it, because I really like creating-- my background is film and theater, so I love creating visual content. It's combines my love for visual content with words because you-- I never thought about this until right now. You write as well, so I think that's me probably why I really like it. It's like creating little artwork.

Gin Stephens: Not me. I’m like, “Here's my backyard remodel.” Did you see that picture?

Melanie Avalon: I did. No, okay, I saw it really briefly, and I just saw wreckage and I was like, “Oh my gosh, was there is--" no, I was like, “Was there a storm in Augusta, is her house gone?”

Gin Stephens: Can I just tell you how crazy I am right now? I’m going through so many things, the book, and the website launch, and also our backyard remodel that we tried to start in the fall, but we're demoing everything. Well, it's halfway done, but the wood was rotten on the decks that were on the back, plus there was an arbor, all rotten, all needed to go. We knew it needed to be replaced when we bought the house. We got a great deal on this house, it needed some work. The pool though, huge pool from the 80s, it's full of cracks, a tree fell in it in 2014. They had an ice storm. Well, we had ice storm, and it cracked the pool, and so we were going to have to put all this money into fixing it. They're going to dig it all up. All that concrete is cracked, it has to go. The whole surround. So, I have a bobcat, one of those digger things, is in my front yard right now and they have to get it into the backyard. They're going to take down a fence. I think they start doing that tomorrow. They're going to start digging up all that-- it’s a 10-foot-deep pool.

Melanie Avalon: That's intense.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, fixing it was going to cost more than just digging it up. That sounds crazy, but we're starting over, we're going to put in a screened porch, because I really missed having the screen porch. We're putting in a small pool, like a dunk pool.

Melanie Avalon: You have a real bobcat in the picture. Does Ellie not have a tail?

Gin Stephens: That's Ellie. You remember she got hit by the car, and then her tail had to be amputated. She's just my little cutie, but, yeah, in that picture, she's got a face on it, doesn’t she? She's got some attitude. I love that cat.

Melanie Avalon: It's really funny. I’m looking at it right now.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, anyway, that's what I’m going to put on Instagram. I’m not going to try to influence you at all. I am not an influencer. I’m an anti-influencer.

Melanie Avalon: I’m an anti-influencer, who became an influencer. I give away a lot of free stuff.

Gin Stephens: Oh, I’m not anti-influencers. Let me just say that. I am an anti-influencer, but I’m not anti-influencers.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly.

Gin Stephens: I’m just the anti-influencer. I’m not giving you anything. I’m not giving anything away.

Melanie Avalon: I give away a lot of stuff, listeners, so follow me. I usually give away every week something.

Gin Stephens: Well, follow me to see a very interesting backyard remodel.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my gosh.

Gin Stephens: I can't wait though, because I really want to be able to enjoy the yard, and I like to go outside and sit on a screened porch. The mosquitoes here are tragic.

Melanie Avalon: I feel remodeling for you is therapeutic or something. You're always remodeling something.

Gin Stephens: Well, we bought this house that was built in the 80s, and needed to be-- it’s built in 1979, I said that wrong. It was built in 1979. The people who bought it from moved in 1984. The pool was built in the 80s. It just needed some work. When you have a house, there's always something that has to be done.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: This one needed some stuff. Bathroom, that's all finally done, thank you. The backyard. But it's very stressful.

Melanie Avalon: I can't wait to finally have a house, sometime.

Gin Stephens: I can't wait for it to be done. I told Chad, because I’m so busy. He likes to spend 100 years looking at stuff. “Look, you just pick two things and say which one, this one or that and I'll tell you.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, so he picks. Okay. Yeah, that's good plan.

Gin Stephens: Well, in this case, I like to pick stuff. I don't have time right now to go to Lowe's, and then Home Depot, and then the other place, and then all the places, then back to Lowe's, because that's the way Chad shops. Sorry. [laughs] I’m like, “Hmm, that one.”

Melanie Avalon: He can do that, and pick two and then you pick one?

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: That works well.

Gin Stephens: I’m very decisive.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: The one I'd say that one too is always the one we end up going with. Even if we've been to 100 places, we always get back to the one that I liked immediately. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Wait, can I share really quick one last thing that relates?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: It goes with being decisive. Listeners, fun fact, if you're trying to throw away things, like clean out your apartment, throw away clothes, but you want to hold on to it for whatever reason, just do it when you're completely sleep deprived. It's like when I got back from the trip, and I was completely sleep deprived, I was like must throw away everything. I throw away so much stuff. That's the key.

Gin Stephens: It feels so good, doesn't it?

Melanie Avalon: That's the key. Next time, you're sleep deprived, which is not a good thing, turn it into a good thing. Use the decision fatigue and the exhaustion to throw away all these things that you were having trouble letting go of, like old clothes and stuff, shoes.

Gin Stephens: Very nice. I need to do that. I've got clothes that are no longer in style. Isn't that amazing? I've been the same weight for so long, that my clothes have gone out of style, that I bought.

Melanie Avalon: I think, I must not buy many clothes. I hold on to my outfits for a long time.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, because you always wear the same thing.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, pretty much during the day.

Gin Stephens: That's funny. Oh, by the way, I didn't tell you this. Today is the day, the day that we're recording this, today is the day that six years ago today I hit my initial goal weight.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow.

Gin Stephens: Today is the day. March 14th, 2015. I was 75 pounds down.

Melanie Avalon: Happy six-year anniversary.

Gin Stephens: Thank you. I've maintained for six years. Oh, also one more funny story. My Shapa was acting super wacky. I was like my age was going up, I was gray, gray, gray, gray, gray. I’m like, “That's not right.” It did that for three weeks. I changed the batteries. [laughs] It needed the batteries to be changed. People, if your Shapa is acting wacky, change the batteries. Got on it. I was 24 again instead of-- [laughs]

Melanie Avalon:  Oh, wow. That's really interesting.

Gin Stephens: It was interesting. No scales, when they lose-- It was also taking it a long time to take a reading. I would stand on it, and it took forever.

Melanie Avalon: I still want to reach out to the founder. Gin, I am so overwhelmed with guests. I have interviews scheduled for episodes airing through November. They're all people I have to read like-- [laughs] people keep coming to me and being like, “Oh, you should have this person on your show.” I’m like, “Nope, [laughs] the door is closed.” Unless you’re a New York Times bestseller, that'll get you in the door.

Gin Stephens: That's nice to be able to have options that people want to come on your show. I know that you're proud of that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, oh, sorry, yeah, that came off as ungrateful. I’m really grateful for it.

Gin Stephens: It did not come off as ungrateful.

Melanie Avalon: I’m just really overwhelmed when people come to, especially because sometimes, like some well-known people in the biohacking sphere will try to recommend their friends and stuff and, I'm like, “I could circle back in a few months.”

Gin Stephens: That does make it hard. Same with me, I've got so many people that want to come on Intermittent Fasting Stories that I keep pushing them back, and I feel bad because I know they have a good story. I would like to tell it, but there's one a week.

Melanie Avalon: It's hard to know too-- I don't want the content to be too old. It's something I’m trying to figure out right now. At what point is that way too far in advance? Typically, it's books, so the content is pretty relevant.

Gin Stephens: But people want to come on right when it's launched. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's hard to know.

Gin Stephens: All right, we’ll come to dddsocialnetwork.com and visit the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast group.

Melanie Avalon: Another social group.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, you're going to love it though.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I will.

Gin Stephens: Everybody there came there specifically because they like the community. That is what is so exciting. It's not like Facebook where people are just there already, and they're like, “Well, I'll come over here if I want to, but I might not like you, and I’m going to tell you.” [laughs] Everybody who's on the DDD Social Network came there on purpose. It is just so exciting to be there with them. I love them all so much. I love the people on Facebook too. Facebook people, do not feel unloved, but sometimes, somebody will wander in that might not be as good of a fit. Anyway, that's all I’m going to say.

Melanie Avalon: I’m really shocked-- this is the last thing, I know we've said that like a million times. I recently started my Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare Facebook group. I’m really shocked. My IF Biohackers Facebook group, which is my main hub, I don't ever get spammers in that group ever, like ever. I don't get people trying to join who are spammers. I don't get spam posts.

Gin Stephens: We get them in the Life Lessons. We do. They try to join.

Melanie Avalon: My Clean Beauty one, like half of the requests are spam requests. I don't know if it has something to do with the keywords like people are searching-- This group has around almost 900 members. Yeah, everyday, half of the requests are spam.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and it's really hard. I feel like people coming to the DDD Social Network and paying a membership fee are not going to be spammers.

Melanie Avalon: Right, that's going to filter that out.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, so I’m not going to have to worry about that. People would join the regular group before we changed the way it posts now. People would join it, and then they would get a post approved, through post approval. Then they would edit their post to some crazy spam posts, even post approval didn't fix it. It'll be some crazy spam post. They had this order, they would do it and it'd be called it getting pancaked, but we couldn't talk about it because we didn't want to teach people you could edit your posts. Someone would come in and they'd post something. They started copying and pasting old posts. There was one of our Hashimoto’s that they would use. Then we started to recognize them, we’d just block them straight from there, but they would copy this Hashimoto’s post, and then they would change it to, “Today, I’m five years sober.” Which, do you know why they would do that?

Melanie Avalon: No.

Gin Stephens: Because that drives a lot of engagement quickly, because everybody's like, “Oh, my God, congratulations. Thank you for sharing that. I support you.” Then they would have a million. Then they would change it to, “The admins of this group are about to start dropping inactive members, please comment me if you want to stay.” Then people would go, “Me, me, me.” I mean, you could just see. Then they would change it to, “These are the best pancakes I've ever had.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's why you called it pancake.

Gin Stephens: Pancaking. Yes. It was always this pancake, and I’m like, “I don't know what happens if you click that pancake link,” but something bad is going to happen if you click it, but we called it getting pancaked, and somebody would post on there, like, “I think we're about to get pancaked,” and we'd be like, “Yeah, that looks like one,” and then we would keep our eye on it, and then sure enough, then we would block them. Now, Facebook has changed it. If you have post approval turned on, it sends edits back through the approval process. So, hallelujah. But now, they're just putting the spam in the comments.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I’m really grateful. Hopefully it won't change. My main hub is much smaller than yours. I think it's almost 8000 or 9000, but I don't know, we don't really get spam.

Gin Stephens: We don't get a lot of spam in the advanced group.

Melanie Avalon: Maybe, spammers are not searching out Biohacking groups compared to-- I don't know, it's weird. Well, okay. This has been absolutely wonderful.

Gin Stephens: It's been a lot of fun. I needed it. Lord, I have so much to do. I have so much to do, Melanie. Anyway, send me positive productive thoughts.

Melanie Avalon: Sending you sane, productive, wonderful vibes. Take some Feals CBD.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's a good idea.

Melanie Avalon: Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right, talk to you then. Bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember that everything discussed on the show is not medical advice. We're not doctors. You can also check out our other podcasts, Intermittent Fasting Stories, and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Theme music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week.

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Nov 15

Episode 187: Blood Sugar Variation, Flexibility, Yen Yoga, Collagen, Elastin, Losing Weight A Second Time, Berberine, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 187 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:

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time, New Members Get 2 New York Strips And 4 Top Sirloin Steaks When They Place Their First Order At Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time, New Members Get 2 New York Strips And 4 Top Sirloin Steaks When They Place Their First Order At Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast

3:25 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At Melanieavalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order!

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #60 - Wim Hof

INSIDE TRACKER: Go To Melanieavalon.com/Getinsidetracker And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

16:00 - Listener Feedback: Miranda - Answer to Paige’s Flexibility Question Ep. 173

25:00 - Listener Q&A: Katie - Second Try Has Been BRUTAL

27:45 - BIOPTIMIZERS: Go To bioptimizers.com/ifpodcast And Use Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save An Extra 10% On The Immunity Protection Stack

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #65 - Mira And Jayson Calton

46:10 - Listener Q&A: Amanda - Berberine

Keto Before 6®

51:10 - BLUBLOX: Go To BluBlox.com And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

Join Our New Facebook Group: Life Lessons with Gin and Sheri

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 187 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting? Then this show is for you.

I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Friends, Black Friday is coming up and I'm about to tell you how you can get early access to ButcherBox’s free steak sampler. We're talking two free grass-fed New York strips and four grass-fed top sirloins. Do not miss this. We are huge fans around here of ButcherBox. They make it easy to get high-quality humanely raised meat that you can trust shipped straight to your door. I hardcore research their practices, you guys know I do my research, and what they're doing is incredible. Their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished. Their chicken is free range and organic. Their pork is heritage breed. And super importantly, they are all about caring for the lives of both their animals and the livelihoods of their farmers, treating our planet with respect and allowing us to enjoy better meals together.

By cutting out the middleman at the grocery store and working directly with farmers to ship directly to the consumer, they're making it actually affordable to get this amazing high-quality meat which has helped supporting the future of our planet. They have boxes that can fit every single need. So, if you want more steak or more seafood or more chicken, it's all there. And those meals come frozen for freshness, packed in an eco-friendly, 100% recyclable box. Their cattle are all 100% grass fed, roaming on pasture with room to graze. Their chickens are raised humanely, no cages, crates, or crowding, and using controlled atmosphere stunning practices to minimize stress in the animals. They uphold the strictest of standards in the seafood industry, which as I found out really crazy things go down in the seafood industry. It's shocking. If you want to learn more about that, check out my blog post about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox.

To get early access to Butcherbox’s insane Black Friday special, just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast or enter the promo code, IFPODCAST, at checkout, that will get you two free grass-fed New York strips and four free grass-fed top sirloins all in your first box. This is an insane offer. Again, that's butcherbox.com/podcast for early access to ButcherBox’s Black Friday steak sampler.

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 6 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 that 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, Beautycounter has so many amazing gift sets. These are bundled products at a discount, and they make incredible gifts. Think about it. You can get the products for yourself or for your friends and family and help clean up their skincare, all in disguise of gift-giving. Works pretty well!

You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. And if you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order. If you're trying to figure out exactly which products to get, check out my beauty counter quiz, that's at melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz. And for the latest discounts and giveaways from me, definitely get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. All right, now back to the show.

Hi everybody, and welcome. This is episode number 187 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 good. Can I tell you that my bathroom is almost done?

Melanie Avalon: Oh, like finally?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we've had the plumbing, the lighting was done yesterday. And so, all we need now is the towel bars-- oh, and the medicine cabinet and the mirror have to be hung, then we will be finished. But you could actually go in there and do everything a bathroom is supposed to do. Just you can't look in the mirror or hang anything up.

Melanie Avalon: That is a plus.

Gin Stephens: I know, it is very exciting.

Melanie Avalon: And then, is it just the yard that you're working on?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we're going to be working on a backyard remodel. That's going to be huge. Huh!

Melanie Avalon: To your tropical oasis with Paris?

Gin Stephens: Will see. Yeah, I'm excited. I can't wait. I miss my screened porch. I looked at my Facebook memories today, and one year ago today I was sitting on the floor in my old house with workmen. We were getting ready. It was under contract and we were getting ready to close at the end of the month. So, gosh, so many memories from that. But I haven't had a screened porch since we left that house.

Melanie Avalon: I didn't realize you had a screened porch.

Gin Stephens: At my other house? Oh yeah, I loved it. I sat out there all the time.

Melanie Avalon: I would not sit up there all the time. Actually, I would during the winter.

Gin Stephens: Mainly, I'm out there in the summer, in the spring, in the fall. When it's cold, no. But I like it the rest of the time.

Melanie Avalon: Speaking of the cold, guess what showed up at my door yesterday and made my life?

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't know, unless it was a chest freezer.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that would really make my life. You know I had Wim Hof on the show recently? It was a celebratory Wim Hof giftbox with the official-- Oh, it's so exciting. I had a galley of the book. So, I had a pre-release, not finalized version. So, it was like the hardcover actual version, like a Wim Hof towel that says, “Breathe mother F,” because he always says that, that's his phrase. And then, an ice cube tray and a motivational magnet. Oh, my goodness.

Gin Stephens: That's so fun!

Melanie Avalon: My day was made. So, I have a CGM update.

Gin Stephens: Oh, okay, how's that going?

Melanie Avalon: It's going well. I don't know-- today might be the last day. I'm actually interviewing Levels tomorrow. And then, I'm interviewing Nutrisense in a month, but I had a huge epiphany. So, we were talking just a second ago, you and I. I recently did the-- so InsideTracker, which is a David Sinclair affiliated company. They do a lot of genetic testing and blood testing and things like that. And they have a new InnerAge thing. They test, I don't know, it's like 12 key biomarkers to determine your “biological” or your real age. The good thing was that said I was younger than I am. So, I was like, “Okay, that's a plus.” But what was really interesting was I measured my blood sugar on it, and I guess just because of the timing of it-- and it matched my CGM for the time that I got it, but the timing of it, my blood sugar was 79, or something, which is my good number. Historically, I always feel really good in the high 70s.

But looking at my CGM over the past few weeks-- we talked about this last show, it fluctuates so much, even during the fast. If I hadn't been doing the CGM and I just done that one blood test, I would have been like, “Oh, I'm sure my blood sugar is always in the 70s then.” It made me realize getting a blood test and checking your blood sugar, you have no idea. You've no idea what that even means.

Gin Stephens: You don't know where you are on the curve exactly. It could be on the way up, on the way down. That could be your peak, that could be your valley. It's so interesting.

Melanie Avalon: It is. I'm just looking back at all the blood tests I've done historically and how I would so judge myself almost based on what the blood sugar was. Now, I've realized literally, depending on which minute I went in, it could have been--

Gin Stephens: I mean, 10 points higher. Yeah, it's crazy. That was the most eye-opening thing for me.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And then, the other thing was, how high would your blood sugar go after meals? After your curvy meals?

Gin Stephens: Gosh, I'm trying to remember. It's been over a month. I don't know, like 130 normally? That’s how it would go.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because I've been in 120s.

Gin Stephens: 120s, 130. One time, it went up a little higher than that, but I don't think it ever went out of the 130s. I don't know. I don't know where that data. I had it somewhere downloaded, but--

Melanie Avalon: Was it just through the FreeStyle Libre app or was it--?

Gin Stephens: It was, but then I found a website that you could sync it with. Let me see, I might have some notes.

Melanie Avalon: While you're looking, the interesting thing that I realized was eating lower carb meals or even fruit meals, my blood sugar, it would spike, but it would go like 110, highest like 120 and then pretty quickly go down, and then it would go down too far. But last night, I ate way more carbs than normal and, oh my goodness, it went up to like 200 something.

Gin Stephens: Oh my gosh. Okay, see, I found some of my data. This is just some very early data that I-- I went up to 135 one time. But normally, like after dinner, I would go up like 112. After pasta, I went up to 121.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because the highest I would really ever go when eating my normal foods was 120. But it would normally go to 110-ish, between 110 and 120.

Gin Stephens: Here's some data that I had. I had two pieces of toast and two eggs on top, and my blood glucose went up to 109 after two pieces of toast with eggs.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so last night, I ate some-- it's like Rice Krispies but there's no additives or anything like that. And it shot up to 200.

Gin Stephens: Wow, yeah, I never saw anything above-- Really, maybe 140 at one time. I never saw anything above, and I was like, “Oh my God, what's happened?”

Melanie Avalon: 217!

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I wish I had all that data. Even after the muffins, it didn't go up all that much.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it never really dropped hypoglycemic, did you, after meals?

Gin Stephens: No, not after meals. In the middle of the night, it got down in the tiny little red. I can't remember what the boundary was. Was it, like 69 was the boundary? It turns red. I can't remember. But I got down there just a couple times. But mostly it was not there.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, mine would always draw pretty well, although I was talking with Levels about it and they said a few things. And I'm excited because I'm interviewing them tomorrow, so I have so many questions for them. But they said that, A, if you sleep on the sensor, that can cut off circulation, like if it's on your arm, so that can lead to false like--

Gin Stephens: The middle of the night readings can be weird.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it could be that. And then, he also said that they never really test like historically people's blood sugar levels all night. So, we don't have a lot of data in general about what's normal for--

Gin Stephens: That's a good point.

Melanie Avalon: --nighttime, so yeah. Oh, and for listeners. A CGM is a continuous glucose monitor. I've just assumed that everybody knows what you're talking about. But it's basically a little thing that you put on your skin and it measures your-- What is it, interstitial fluid? To give you a sense of your blood sugar levels throughout the day constantly.

Gin Stephens: And it really is fascinating data and I really hope that it becomes more mainstream for people to use as a preventative health measure. It's not a trinket, it's not a fun toy. It's not something like, “Oh, look at this!” It's something that is powerful data. Yes, it's fun to see, it's interesting to see, but it's powerful data about how your body responds to these foods. And so, it can really make a difference when you choose. You're probably not going to choose that Rice Krispy thing again, right?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, no.

Gin Stephens: For me, though, when my blood glucose went up to 135, that was after coconut water, which really surprised me. I mean, I love coconut water.

Melanie Avalon: It's really interesting. It did make me feel better though about the fruit because I was stressing about the fruit. But now it's like, “Oh, well, compared to that.” So, maybe it was a good thing to experience.

Gin Stephens: I made sure to eat the way I normally eat when I was using it. I didn't test things in isolation. When I had the toast with eggs, that's how I would normally have it because I wanted to get a picture of how it looked with my normal day. My normal day really made me happy. My normal day, my blood glucose is within a tight little range and it goes up, but then it goes down. And it's a nice little gentle-- It looked good. It made me feel really good about it.

Melanie Avalon: I'm still a little bit sad because it seems that if I do my keto-ish like approach, it's pretty good, and the Levels app gives me a good metabolic score and it stays within the target range, but I would still in general like it like a little bit lower and then I would also like to be eating more fruit, but goals. The good thing is because it comes in two weeks cycles, the sensors, and I have Levels send me too. So, I have another one I can use. I have to try out Nutrisense and then Levels said they're going to start trialing other brand. So, I think I'll probably trial that as well. So, I think I have like-- what is that? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, that's like 6 more weeks' worth of sensors that I can potentially play with. And then, I'm going to be like never again, not really.

Gin Stephens: It's just so interesting. I really think that people who are concerned about long-term health, before you start having prediabetes, that's when you would know, you could really dial in what works for you and then prevent. If health insurance companies were smart, they would let everybody have a trial of these to see what foods-- anyone who's interested. Maybe not everybody, not everybody cares. But for anyone who did, it shouldn't be so hard to get them. They should pay you to do them. It should be like, “We'll give you $250 if you wear this for two weeks and learn from your data.” I mean that would be a wellness strategy for these insurance companies and it would prevent them from paying out thousands of dollars later for sickness. Anyway, I'm not in charge of that. Nobody has to be!

Melanie Avalon: So, listeners, stay tuned, though, because I will be having two interviews with both companies, and I'll probably have discounts or some sort of offer. So, exciting! Shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes. We have some listener feedback, which is answer to "Paige’s Flexibility Question From 173," and it's from Miranda. She says, “Hello, Gin and Melanie. I've been listening to your podcast for two years now and I love all the great information you have to offer and your willingness to entertain so many questions from your listeners. I'm happy to be part of such a valued community. I'm just getting caught up on some older podcasts and have some answers for a question you had from Paige from Australia in episode 173 - does IF increase your flexibility? You weren't able to fully answer this, and I am happy to fill in some blanks for you.

I have been practicing yin yoga for over 10 years and teaching it for over six years. Yin yoga is a style of yoga that focuses on purposefully stressing our connective tissue to increase elasticity and ease of movement. It is thought to have been discovered by monks thousands of years ago to help them sit more comfortably during hours of meditation. Connective tissues are the plastic-like tissues in the body, the fascia, ligaments, tendons, etc., that wrap around and connect muscles and bones. And now, they're discovering it runs like a web through muscle and bone. With stress, injury, dehydration, and life, the connective tissue gets tangled, sticky, and begins to shrink wrap our bodies restricting movement. In order to "untangle" and rehydrate that connective tissue, it needs to be purposely stressed. This is what we do in yin yoga. Stressing muscle is done through resistance movement, with or without weight. We're all very familiar with this.

Stressing connective tissue requires consistent tension and/or compression. Usually, both are happening concurrently with minimal muscular effort for a period of time, usually four to six minutes. It takes an average of two to three minutes for the muscles in the area to let go so that the stress can be focused on the connective tissue. During this time, the area being stressed sends a message out, “here's where the work needs to be done.” And the fibroblasts know where to go to start untangling those bunched and knotted-up collagen and elastin fibers and start laying them out in nice, neat, stretchy layers.” And then she adds a little note, this is a very simplified explanation. “This works similarly to acupuncture, but on a wider scale and not literally a pinpoint. Think of a big knotted-up ball of yarn. You have both loose ends in hand, but when you pull, they don't go far. If you take the time, you can untangle the ball of yarn and then layer it back and forth into a nice, neat skein. Now, when you pull on the loose ends, you can pull for miles.

The answer to Paige’s question is twofold. First, Melanie, you are on the right track looking for studies about the effects on cartilage. And Gin, you were partway there when talking about being as flexible at 50 as you were when you were a teen dancer. I believe a lot of that can be attributed to IF and increased autophagy. When our bodies have the time, as they do with IF, they get to go around and clean up the broken-down proteins, i.e., collagen and elastin, which tends to get deprioritized as we age. So, you have less tangled messes that can get taken care of without a practice like yin yoga or acupuncture, although either or both would still be very beneficial.

The second part of the answer, and what I think Paige is experiencing as she was pretty recent in her IF journey, is looking at our flexibility and asking, ‘What's stopping us?’ That answer is either tension or compression or a combination. It's different for all of us in different positions or poses. An easy way to experience this is to stand up, bend over, and try to touch your toes. Can you do it? If not, what's stopping you? Is it the tight sensation you feel in your lower back or in your hamstrings or calves? That's tension. That can be worked through over time with consistent practice. Are you able to touch your toes? Yes. Can you fold completely in half with your head between your knees, your knees on your ears? Why not, what's stopping you? Now, you're likely experiencing compression.

Compression comes in three major forms. Soft, medium, and hard. Soft compression is how it sounds, soft tissue meeting soft tissues, big fat. Using the same example as above, envision an obese person doing the same exercise. Let's pretend they don't have too much tension stopping them from doing that forward fold. They will likely be stopped by the compression of their belly pressing against their thighs. They may still be able to touch their toes or the floor because that can somewhat displace and make space for that to happen. With IF, as we lose this thigh and belly fat, we can increase flexibility. This position in particular will feel a little more comfortable, at least from the compression side of things. And we may start to meet our tension threshold in our lower back and our hamstrings now that we have more flexibility/range of motion. This sensation will likely change as our bodies change.”

Melanie Avalon: Can I interject really quick? So, is she saying that literally losing the weight, it's like a physical barrier that's creating?

Gin Stephens: Yes. When I was obese, I couldn't reach down and paint my toenails. My belly got in the way. 100%.

Melanie Avalon: That is so interesting. I mean, it makes complete sense. I just never really thought about it that way.

Gin Stephens: Yep, I've been there. It's true. I had to sit differently. I couldn't sit cross-legged. And there are a lot of ways I couldn't move. I mean shaving your legs, things like that just were so different to do. It's hard to even remember.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Putting on shoes, all those things. But, yeah, and now I appreciate being able to just do whatever, use my body however I want to. All right, back to her comments. “Medium compression is interesting and what we often experience in our joints. This is a bone-flesh-bone sandwich. Try sitting on the floor cross-legged style. Do you feel a pinching in your leg creases? This is medium compression. It often feels pinchy. If that position feels completely comfortable to you, great.” It does, by the way, I can sit like that. Can you sit cross-legged comfortably, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Pretty sure.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I do all the time. “But I'm sure you've experienced the same sensation in other positions at some point in time. Medium compression often doesn't change in people unless they have “fat show” or “deposits” around the tissues of the joints, most likely in someone more obese. Again, as those fat stores are being used for energy and decreasing in size, there is more space for movement, which equals more flexibility. IF for the win again.

And finally, hard compression. This is bone-to-bone compression. Think of trying to do side splits. Many people can do front to back splits.” Yep, that's the only kind I could do. “But several of those still cannot do side splits.” Yep, I could not do those ever. “Why? Hard compression. They can spread their feet from side to side, have zero tension in their inner thighs, slide down and down, close to the ground and then stuck. What's stopping them? Their hip sockets. The head and neck of their femur fitting into the cup of their pelvis does not have the optimal sizes and angles to make this happen. In yin, we say this person doesn't have skeletal permission to go any further. There is no amount of yoga or stretching that will make this happen for them. Even IF will not change this. This is where we learn to accept our limitations. So, yes, IF can increase your flexibility and I hope this will help people have a little better understanding of their functional anatomy.

If you notice changes in flexibility and increases in the range of motion in your body, please be aware that it's critical to also strengthen the muscles in these areas to prevent injury. We need to have the strength to support the range of motion. Of course, I recommend yoga for this, more flow styles as they strengthen and lengthen muscles at the same time. If you do resistance training, it's very important that you have a great stretching routine on your rest days or at the end of your workouts. Try to hold your stretches with minimal muscular effort for three to four minutes instead of the likely 20 to 30 seconds you're used to. Thank you for listening to this long answer. But I know how much you both dig into research and I didn't want to sell you short.” That was great. Thank you, Miranda.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I learned so much. Who knew?

Gin Stephens: I did not know.

Melanie Avalon: I liked her part about this-- What did she say about the skeletal--?

Gin Stephens: Limitations. It's true. Yeah. I was never going to be able to do a side split no matter how hard I tries.

Melanie Avalon: It's good to know that that was not in the cards. Yeah, good to know that with IF and the weight loss and everything, that it can definitely affect our flexibility. All right, shall we move on to our questions?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: All right. So, to start things off. We have a question from Katie. The subject is, “Second try has been brutal.” And Katie says, “I sometimes wonder if my metabolism is irreparably damaged. I'm so discouraged and ready to give up and regain, no pun intended, that unfortunate fat girl mindset that Gin has often described as accepting that you're just going to get fatter and fatter.”

Gin Stephens: I want to interject there. I felt that way for a time. So, for people who haven't heard me say that, there was a time in my life I gave up, and it was sometime around 2012 to 2014 when I just got bigger and bigger, no matter what I did, I couldn't stick to anything. And I just said, “You know what? This is just me. I'm going to be in this big body.” I gave up. But not forever. I didn't give up forever. Thank goodness. All right. Back to you, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: That's so surreal to me. Till 2014, you were still--?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, 2014 is when I was 210 pounds.

Melanie Avalon: I know we talked about this a lot but the reason that's so mind blowing to me is that-- because I so associate us meeting the first time that I moved to Atlanta, and I moved to Atlanta first time in 2014.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we didn't meet till 2017.

Melanie Avalon: Was it '17?

Gin Stephens: It was '17. It was early in 17 because the podcasts-- and my book had come out already by the time we met. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, I guess it was like the tail end of when I was in Atlanta the first time but it's just really surreal to me that time in Atlanta the first time around seems so short. So, the fact that all of that transformation happened all during when I was in Atlanta, and we still met when I was in Atlanta--like, that's a really quick turnaround all things considered.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it really was because I really just was like, “This is it. This is going to happen.” And it did. Yeah, it was. I'm really, really, really proud of that. Looking back, it's hard to remember, I was just talking about how hard it was to paint my toenails and bend around and move. But you just feel hopeless because you've tried so hard. I tried so hard. I talk about this a lot for people who listen to intermittent fasting stories. This theme comes up again and again. And that's my other podcast, Intermittent Fasting Stories, for people who have not listened to that one. But people over and over share how they were successful in so many areas of their life, good at things, smart, well educated, but could not get a handle on the weight. It's really frustrating.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, inspiring, though. Very inspiring.

Gin Stephens: It is, but it's not you, it's biology, it's your body. I wrote this in Fast. Feast. Repeat. It's not that you have failed diets, diets failed you.

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Melanie Avalon: So, back to our question. She says, “I don't want to be back in that place, but I'm starting to feel like I don't have a choice. Not to say bad things about body positivity, but I don't feel positive or healthy in the current permutation of my body, no matter how much I try to regurgitate the mantras of health at all sizes, and it's the size of your heart that matters, not the size of your waist. Tell that to an obese person with an enlarged heart. Originally, I started IF 16:8 in 2017. It worked marvelously. I lost 30 pounds in less than two months without even really thinking about it. I took it very naturally. I figured I'd found the magic formula that would finally work for me after literal decades of failed diets. Naturally, I plateaued but stuck with the process. My doctor even told me how proud she was of me.

Then, my personal life kind of imploded. Last year, my father passed away less than two years after my mother did. Plus, the stress of an estate sale, the holidays, putting the house on the market, and trying to find a place to live. Needless to say, my discipline with food went straight down the toilet. I regained most of the weight I had lost.

Fast forward a year, I'm finally mostly settled. I'm in a new house, I have a decent nest egg. I'm generally in a good place emotionally. For once in my life, I feel fairly secure. I decided it was time to start fasting again. I thought I could slip right back in no problem since the first time it came naturally and worked marvelously. Boy, was I wrong. I've been at it about a month and the only way I can describe it is agonizing. Just as agonizing as all the other diets I did in the past and eventually failed it. It's 100% stagnation and frustration. Before, I ate whatever, and the weight dropped off. Now, no matter what I eat, it stays put. Before, it was easy for me to wait until 2 or 3 PM to eat and stop at 10 or 11. Now, I feel hungry all the time, regardless of how nutritious my meals are. I know, I know. I can already hear you both saying it's only been a month, but what a terrible month it has been, especially contrasted with how easily I fell into it before. What is happening?

I'm 39, so it's a little early for menopause, though it's not totally out of question. I don't have any other symptoms of early menopause though. Does my body need longer to recalibrate the second time or something? I thought once your body learned to be fat-adapted, it remembered. That seems to not be the case with me. Is this a common problem? Help. I love you guys so much. I'm a fan of this podcast and your individual podcast too. Thank you for all your help and advice.” And then, I sent her an email and I asked her what she was eating. She said, “It depends on the day. Sometimes, it's an Impossible Whopper with onion rings. Sometimes it's nutritious Poke Bowl filled with vegetables, beans, and tofu. Sometimes, it's Taco Bell. Sometimes, it's [unintelligible [00:32:42] stir fry with garlic, onions, peppers, snap peas, spinach, mushrooms, and baby corn. Sometimes, it's protein shakes and bars, which I don't necessarily think are the best. But I found that if I have them around, I will have fewer Burger King and Taco Bell days. I also started adding maca root to my protein shakes as suggested by Anna Cabeca on your show, since I also have hormone balance and energy issues. Katie.”

Gin Stephens: That’s a lot. And I see that the shift happened when you had the very stressful time of your life. You were having a lot of trouble in your personal life. Your father passed away, you recently had lost your mother, lot of stress, the holidays. And then, we've had a pandemic. So, I don't want to make light of that. But even people who did not have all the other stresses that you're going through, people have had trouble this year just because of the stress that the pandemic and all of that-- I mean, even if you had been safe at home and you haven't had any thing that is really gone wrong for you, still, the word 'pandemic,' the way that everything is set uncertain, watching the news, it has been a terribly, terribly stressful year. So, I want you to not discount all of that. The fact that it seems like you're wanting to eat, it's very likely to have something to do with the stress response, like you are just in-- you're craving food early in the day. You can't wait till 2 or 3 to eat. You’re also only a month in, which I know you said that we would say, but it is true. So, think about this. A lot of stress. You've been through a lot. You're hungry, hungry, hungry. You're fighting with it, and it's only a month in.

So, I want you to think back to when you first started in 2017. I bet you approached it with a different kind of mindset. I bet you were just trying it, you were excited, you were eased in, you let it unfold. You felt great. But right now, it feels like you're starting in a different mental place. I would encourage you if you don't have Fast. Feast. Repeat., get it. If you do have it or once you get it flip to the Mindset chapter. That is a really, really important chapter that I think could make a difference for you. Start working on changing yourself talk.

You may also want to kind of ease back a little bit. It sounds like you're really trying. Sometimes, when you try, try, try that makes it actually even harder. Maybe you're forgetting that it was a little challenging at the beginning when you first started, and you've forgotten what it was like in 2017. And you're expecting to just all of a sudden be able to wait till 2 or 3, when really, maybe it took you a while. I also want you to really examine your fast and make sure you're fasting completely clean. You didn't mention that at all. You also said you started intermittent fasting in 2017. That was a long time ago. That was before-- my guidelines for the clean fast have certainly evolved, the more I've learned and the more people I have worked with over the years since 2017. So, I really want you to examine what you're drinking. Are you putting lemon in your water? Are you putting a little splash of something in your coffee or sweeteners? That sort of thing. Is it having a little apple cider vinegar? Really, really think to anything that you're having. Stick to plain water, no flavors, nothing added. Sparkling water, no flavors, nothing added. Black coffee, plain tea, avoid all those fancy herbal teas with the fancy names. Just stick to tea, actual tea, and see if that helps.

Instead of forcing yourself to wait till 2 or 3, maybe say, “Alright, I'm going to open at noon. And I'm going to have a high-quality lunch. And then later, I'm going to have a high-quality dinner.” And you could probably fit in a six-hour window with a lunch and a dinner that are not giant lunch, giant dinner, but a satisfying lunch, satisfying dinner, within six hours. If you're white knuckling it, I want you to switch things up and try them, do different things, and see until it feels good again.

Also, work to de-stress. Anything that makes you feel good and helps you relax, add those things in, whether it's a hot bath, a sauna, working out, reading a book, anything. Listening to music, anything that helps you de-stress and feel better. What would you say, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think you said a lot of great things. I recently interviewed the Caltons, they wrote a book called Rebuild Your Bones. It's about osteoporosis and bone health. But it's really about the role of micronutrients in our health and how our modern diets, it's hard to supply enough nutrients and how things like stress, really, really deplete a lot of our nutrients and our bodies aren't getting all the nutrients they need. It's very likely that we won't ever feel satisfied or full. And you went through such, such an intense stressful period that I feel probably when you first started IF, it was working for you, there wasn't this whole stress aspect. And then, this is what Gin was talking about, going through that really, really stressful time, it can really, really deplete a lot of nutrients in our body can be really taxing on our body and have a lasting effect. And I think when a lot of us go through that, it can make everything harder, including fasting, including adhering to a diet and everything.

And I say that to encourage you because I think focusing on nutrition could be really, really huge. Originally, she didn't say what she was eating, and if we just had that question without knowing what she was eating-- because you were saying that when you first did IF, you ate whatever you wanted, and the weight just dropped off. And now, it doesn't seem to matter how nutritious your meals are. What I'm wondering is because just hearing your meals, it sounds like you do alternate between meals that are potentially more on the nutritious side, like whole foods based meals, and then a lot of fast food. While a lot of people can do IF and eat fast food and see weight loss and experience the benefits, I still think food choices are really, really huge. So, I think it can be hard to know if you're doing well regardless of what you're eating, if you're not eating a certain way for a long enough period of time. So, what I mean by that is, say one day you eat more on the nutritious side. But then, the next day, it's more fast food and then it's back and forth.

Unless you're eating really nutritious meals for a longer period of time, it might be hard to know if you really are feeling this way regardless of what you eat. If you're open to not eating the fast food and focusing more on like whole foods-- and when I say whole foods, I don't mean store, I mean whole foods, especially that the foods that really appeal to you and that are really high in nutrition. I would give that a try. I would almost say in the situation that it might even be better if you're open to it. If you're really struggling with hunger, I would almost say try a spiel of-- because what windows she's doing?

Gin Stephens: She didn't say. She said she's having a hard time getting to 2 or 3, which is why I suggest, don't force it, if you're not feeling good yet. Even though before you eat-- but right now is different.

Melanie Avalon: It was easy for me to wait until 2 or 3 and stop at 10 or 11. So, she was eating like an eight-hour window from 2 to 10. So, I would almost suggest-- I don't know why I say almost. I would actually suggest that you maybe consider trying a not a fasting approach right now and actually just a food approach and eat when you're hungry, but eat whole foods and see if you can get more in touch with your satiety signals and how you're reacting to food without the fast food and things like that that might be hacking your cravings and making you want more. And then, after cleaning that up for a little bit, then move into the eating window and you might find that it's a lot easier to have a fasting window. I just really think the food choices are really huge. I think a lot of people think that when they do IF that it means they can eat whatever they want during the window. And that doesn't always work, especially if it's meals that are not that nutritionally supportive.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I have a section in Fast. Feast. Repeat. about the phrase, “Eat whatever you want” and that people misunderstand it. When we say eat whatever you want, we mean eat whatever you want. We're not going to say this is the style you must eat to do intermittent fasting. But it doesn't mean eat whatever you want! Like, often use the analogy, you're a college freshman with your first meal plan and mom's not there. That happens for a lot of people. They've been careful eaters and then they start intermittent fasting, that is portrayed as eat whatever you want and then they throw all the other out the window. I was already eating like a college freshman before I started intermittent fasting. I did not have good nutritional habits. Over time, my tastes did change. I've talked about that a lot. But most of us are going to find, we feel better when we eat nutritious foods. That's just a fact and that's what our bodies need. So, really keep in mind that, yes, you can eat whatever you want, but that's not permission to eat whatever you want.

Melanie Avalon: Few other things, she says that she has protein shakes and bars, which she doesn't think are the best. But if she has them, she's less likely to eat Burger King or Taco Bell. What other foods could you keep on hand, whole foods that would also if you eat them, make you less likely to eat Burger King or Taco Bell? You're the one in control, you're the one in charge here, you're the one choosing what you want to buy what you keep in your house what you have access to. So, I'm sure there are foods you can find that you do think are the best and that you can keep on hand and that you could eat and have fewer of the fast-food days. Also, if you're drinking protein shakes, that's something actually, for example, that I would suggest switching that to whole foods protein. Instead of a protein shake, have chicken breast or steak or something because it's going to be much more satiating. I don't see really any reason to, especially if you're struggling to lose weight, to make all of these calories so easily assimilated.

Gin Stephens: Can I tell you what I found recently that has been just amazing for opening my window? I don't have an official affiliate relationship with them, although I'd love to. Hello, Daily Harvest, send me an email. Daily Harvest, I've been using them after I saw several people recommend them. And, yes, gin@intermittentfastingstories.com, Daily Harvest, I would love to hear from you. But I can't figure out how to contact them because I would love to have them sponsor my podcast.

Melanie Avalon: Wait, what did they do?

Gin Stephens: They have food, it is-- I mean, I know it's not all-- it's a lot of grain in there, some grain, not all grains, but it's some things you probably wouldn't eat, but it's whole foods and it comes frozen. And they have bowls, and they have flat-breads, and they have smoothies, but the ingredients list is so clean and good.

Melanie Avalon: Are they plant based?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: I think they might have emailed us before.

Gin Stephens: Well, see if you could find that email because I just found them as a person. Gin Stephens, the person. And I have been opening my window every single day with one of their soups or one of their bowls. My husband and I will split one of their smoothies after dinner as a dessert. They don't work well for me on an empty stomach, but they work great as a dessert. We'll just share one. They are so good. If you go to ginstephens.com on the Favorite Things tab, I do have a link there that you can use to save money. It's not official, like sponsorship or anything. It's just like any person could share their link. That's what I'm doing. But it's on the Favorite Things tab at ginstephens.com. But it's also really, really tasty, and I'm not plant based. So, I might have one of their bowls and it might have lentils in there plus a ton of veggies, maybe kale. But it's so quick, you can just pop it in the microwave.

I'm going to cook a big dinner later and I cook it and prepare it, but I don't want to also fuss around with something to open my window. So, their lentil bowl with all the veggies that I can pop in the microwave, maybe I'll throw a little sour cream on there. Yes, that flavor profile that would do well with some sour cream. And I am just so satisfied. Instead of grabbing the cheese and crackers again, I'm having this really nutritious food. So, I'm just a fan. I'm really excited and recommend it. The food is so good. And my husband loves it, I love it. And it's quick. See, that's the thing. I'm busy, I'm working during the day and then I'm going to cook a full meal later for dinner, I don't also really have the time to-- and I was finding myself always grabbing broccoli and hummus or cheese and crackers. And I was in a rut just because I could grab that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that's a great suggestion. I would really focus on the food choices if it was me.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think that's good advice. All right. We have a question from Amanda. Amanda says, “I started listening to the podcast last week on episode 41 now. I remember you mentioned berberine and I want to know if I can still take it without a meal because I've tried to do one or two 40-hour fast a week. Bottle says once daily with meal or as directed by a healthcare professional. I typically have a window later in the day for regular days, just not sure about taking it on 40-hour fast days. I just bought it today. So, I want to know the best way to take it before I start. I've been intermittent fasting since February of 2020.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, berberine. So, this would actually be a really good situation to have a CGM to see how you react to berberine during the fast. So, for listeners berberine is-- Well, okay. So, there's a drug called metformin that a lot of listeners are probably familiar with. It's often prescribed for diabetes, but it can have really remarkable effects on lowering blood glucose levels, lowering HbA1c, discouraging the liver from producing glucose, things like that. Oh, and activating ANPK, which is one of the main genes that we activate during fasting that has a lot of the beneficial effects of fasting.

So, the reason I say all that is berberine is a natural plant compound that has been found in studies to have very comparable effects to metformin without a lot of the potential side effects of the pharmaceutical. Studies have found that by taking berberine, that it can decrease insulin resistance, just in general can make the insulin in your body be more effective. It can help your cells break down sugars, so use sugar more effectively.

Like I said, it does decrease sugar production in the liver, and I mentioned this before, but one of the most mind-blowing things to me is that in diabetes, the majority of the elevated blood sugar is actually not coming from the diet, it's coming from the liver producing sugar. Do, berberine can interfere with that process, and it might actually even support beneficial gut bacteria, which is really interesting. So, point being, I actually ordered some berberine after doing all this research. It's usually suggested that you take it right before meals, like three times a day. I assume you could take it during that long fast but my only concern would be, depending on how you're reacting to it-- Did she say she started taking it already?

Gin Stephens: No, she wanted to wait.

Melanie Avalon: And she's going to do a 40-hour fast. You might find-- if your blood sugar is already low, on that long fast, the only thing I would be worried about would be if it dropped you too low and then you got symptoms of hypoglycemia. So, that would be something that you'd have to experiment with.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I probably would just follow the directions of the bottle and not try to take it in a long fast. I just wouldn't. I would just take it once a day with the meal, like it says, or if you're not having a meal, don't take it.

Melanie Avalon: If you are measuring your blood sugar-- although we just talked to the beginning about how that might be all over the place. But that might be a situation where if you're long into your fast and you measure your blood sugar, and it's good, I probably wouldn't take berberine at that moment because probably just going to drop it lower. On the flip side, if you're long into your fast and your blood sugar's high, then you might want to take it and see what happens. I'm really excited now because I just ordered some and I want to see how it affects my CGM.

Gin Stephens: Well, definitely share that after you've tried it for a while and let us know what happens.

Melanie Avalon: I will. I do take oftentimes Keto Before 6, which is my Quicksilver Scientific, and it has a lot of ANPK activators. So, I just mentioned that ANPK is genetic pathways that are activated while we're fasting and is responsible for a lot of the benefits of fasting. And so Keto Before 6 contains-- it's different compounds that all activate ANPK. So, it contains berberine. It also has quercetin and I think resveratrol and milk thistle and a few other things. I've been taking a little bit of berberine via that, but I haven't taken like just berberine. So, I have to report back. But I'm a fan of the concept of berberine. I'm not a fan of most pharmaceuticals, but I don't really know how I feel about metformin. I'm very intrigued by metformin. I think if I ever were to experiment with a pharmaceutical, I would experiment with metformin out of curiosity.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, because a lot of people just take it for health benefits.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I know David Sinclair talks about it a lot. Peter Attia, I think, talks about it. It's one pharmaceutical that often comes up in discussion on a lot of the podcasts that I listened to about the potential benefits. Some people will pretty much take it for life, kind of like aspirin. It doesn't do the same thing as aspirin but as far as “pharmaceuticals” that potentially might have more health benefits than not.

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In today's world, we're way overexposed to blue light. While blue light is energizing, we're not supposed to be seeing it 24/7. It can raise cortisol, stress levels, create tension and headaches, disrupt your sleep and so much more. Of course, there are a lot of “blue light blocking glasses” on the market these days, Andy Mant, the founder of BLUblox, he personally realized how incredible blue light blocking glasses were for him personally. So, then he did something crazy and actually tested all the brands on the market to see if they actually were blocking blue light like they said they were. They weren't really. That's why he took things into his own hands to create glasses that would block the blue light you need to be blocking to truly have the healthiest relationship possible with light.

That's also why he made BLUblox light blocking glasses in a lot of different versions. They have clear computer glasses you can wear all day while looking at the computer. They have their SummerGlo lens that block the draining form of blue light while still allowing in some of the energizing wavelengths. They're also tinted with a special yellow color, scientifically shown to boost mood. And, of course, they have their Sleep+ lens, you can put those on a bed and it's just like, bam, tired. At least that's the way it works for me because actually blue light can block melatonin production, which helps us naturally fall asleep. Also, get their Sleep REMedy Mask. Oh, my goodness, I use it every single night. It gives you complete blackout while still putting no pressure on your eyes. Like you wear it, and you can open your eyes completely, and it's completely black. It's mind blowing.

In case you're wondering, I'm still not supposed to be wearing glasses, but I ordered this weird contraption head thing to hold the glasses over my eyes because I just really need the blue light blocking glasses in my life. These glasses also come in a huge array of styles, so you don't have to feel like a weirdo biohacker like me. You can really get any style or frame to fit your personal style. You can shop with us at blublox.com, that's B-L-U-B-L-O-X dotcom, and use the code, IFPODCAST, to get 15% off. Something else amazing, for every pair of glasses you buy, BLUblox donates a pair of glasses to someone in need. The glasses can also come in prescription made to order. Again, that's blublox.com with the coupon code, IFPODCAST, for 15% off.  All right, now back to the show.

We have a question from Heather. Subject is "Transition Period." And Heather says, “Hi, guys. I just started IF five days ago. I'm currently doing a six-hour eating window. My husband and I decided to start a healthier lifestyle and we each chose our own method. He is counting calories and I am attempting IF. I've absolutely loved IF so far. I'm the type of person that has in the past claimed to need food every 10 minutes. I truly didn't know that I would be able to maintain this lifestyle for more than one hour. I know, I'm crazy. Anyway, this week has been wonderful. I feel more energy throughout the day. I've not felt deprived at all, and I am enjoying my food so much more than I did when I was eating all day. I'm currently going through your podcast from the beginning and I'm on episode 11.” I hear you meant 11, that’s so long time ago.

Gin Stephens: I'm sorry if we gave bad advice on episode 11.

Melanie Avalon: Sometime, I'm going to have to go back and listen to just like a random episode from that time period. I might do that. She says, “I hear you mentioned the transition phase or period, and I'm curious how long that usually lasts. I've had moments in my fasting period where I'm tempted to reach for food out of sheer habit or quick moments where I feel hungry because my body is used to eating very often. Does this go away? I thought I would add that I've only lost about one pound so far. I would have been discouraged by this if it were not for your podcast. I'm trusting the method and I'm waiting for more results. Thanks so much.” All right.

Gin Stephens: All right, Heather is on day five. So, Heather, I hope that you fast forward to this new episode and hear it now. I really don't want you to expect any weight loss in the first 28 days. That's what I've got in my 28-Day FAST Start of Fast. Feast. Repeat. So, a pound and five days is actually really good. Remember, also, I don't want you to weigh every day and think of the fluctuations. I mean I do want you to weigh every day, but I don't want you to get caught up on the daily fluctuations. I want you to weigh daily and then once a week, calculate your weekly average. So, if you're on day five, you don't even have a week yet to have a weekly average. And, of course, I don't want you to do that till after your first 28 days.

So, on day 29, I'd like you to weigh again, and then weigh daily and once a week, calculate your weekly average because really, it's only the overall trend that matters. So, as far as the adjustment period, that really varies for everybody. Bert Herring talks in his book about three weeks. Three weeks to adjust. And I think that is actually overly optimistic. And maybe now with how everyone seems to have metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, people are just not in great shape starting out. I sure wasn't. When I started out, I wasn't in great shape, physically, I was obese. And so, three weeks is a little bit optimistic. So really, some people find it takes as long as 8 weeks, 12 weeks even, depending on you and your body, to really feel like you're starting to adjust to intermittent fasting.

And if someone's been obese or overweight for a long time, it can take even longer. A lot of that has to do with what your fasting insulin level is, and you're not going to know what that is unless you've had a test, and most people haven't. Melanie, someone was talking recently in the Facebook groups about trying to get a fasting insulin test, and her doctor's like, “That's not what you mean. You want to get a blood glucose test.” And she's like, “No, I want fasting insulin,” he's like, “No,” [gasps] And the doctor could not understand why someone would want a fasting insulin test, or couldn't figure out how to write it on the forum, didn't know what she was talking about. I'm not saying that to say bad things about doctors, because there's a lot of doctors who are using them and understand them and all of that. So, you probably don't have your fasting insulin levels. But if your fasting insulin levels are high, it's going to take time for that to come down and that's part of your body's adjustment before you'll see the benefits of fasting.

Long story short, we really could say three to eight weeks for the adjustment period, but it really can vary wildly. If you were someone who was eating keto prior to starting intermittent fasting, your body may already be fat adapted, and so your adjustment period might be very brief. I mentioned before on the podcast, in 2014, when I finally was able to start intermittent fasting and finally stick to it for the first time ever, I had been trying keto that whole summer, failing at keto. I mean I was doing it, I didn't lose any weight. I did it 100%, didn't lose a single pound. Now, I know that's not how my body feels best. But I probably became fat adapted, and I was definitely in ketosis. Wasn't losing body fat, probably because I was eating a lot. Eating a lot of fat, not having any need to tap into my body fat. But as soon as I switched to intermittent fasting and added that carbs, I felt immediately better, and I started losing weight right away. I didn't have to have an adjustment period. So, all that to be said, it really, really varies.

Melanie Avalon: I think that's great. I think you covered it.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. It's going to be months before Heather gets to this episode if she's listening from episode 11.

Melanie Avalon: Good times. Okie-dokie. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. If you'd like to submit your own questions for the podcast, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode187. Those show notes we'll have a full transcript, so definitely check that out. You can join our Facebook groups. I have IF Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life. Are we plugging your new Facebook group, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Well, I do have a new Facebook group if anyone is interested in things outside of intermittent fasting because I talked about that I've started a third podcast. We've actually recorded episode 0, which is our trailer episode and also episode 1. The Facebook group is Life Lessons with Gin and Sheri. The podcast will come out-- we're hoping for Episode 1, December 2nd is our target release date. And our first episode is all about sleep.

Melanie Avalon: I just recorded two back-to-back part one and part two episodes again with Dr. Kirk Parsley, listener Q&A on sleep and both of them are almost three hours.

Gin Stephens: We talk about Dr. Kirk Parsley and his Sleep Remedy on the podcast, but we also talk about the sleep chronotypes. You and I've talked about that before, right? I'm a lion, you're a--

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. What was it, a wolf or something?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think you're a wolf. Sheri is also a wolf, my friend Sheri. Late at night, yeah, Sheri’s a wolf. My cohost on the other podcast is a wolf, just like you. That'll be coming out December 2nd. The reason we decided to start with sleep is because we asked people what they were interested and hearing and that came up over and over. People are struggling with sleep.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I emailed the first heart one episode to my assistant and it was three hours. She was like, “I didn't realize there was so much to know about sleep.” And I was like, “This is just part one. There's a part two coming.” There's so many questions. There's so much. That was one of the good takeaways. Because so many people will say that we all are naturally early birds, and I asked him about that, and he was like, it's not really debated in the scientific literature about there being different circadian rhythms for people.

Gin Stephens: It's known that it's true, right? Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. He was like, it's not really controversial. And I was like, "Oh, okay. Then, why is everybody saying that we're all early birds."

Gin Stephens: I know. The early birds started that. People who are one way, really, really assume that everyone else should be like that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Kind of like with food and diet and everything.

Gin Stephens: I mean, I really think they're like, “Well, I wake up really early, and I feel great and I get a lot done. So, you should do that, too. And if you can't, you must be super lazy.” And that's how these things get started. And, no, it's not that you're super lazy or even lazy at all. You just have a different rhythm. You're more productive later in the day, and you could feel like a loser and a failure because you're fighting against your body.

Melanie Avalon: Yep. 100%. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. And I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right. I look forward to it.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Gin Stephens: Bye.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember that everything discussed on the show is not medical advice. We're not doctors. You can also check out our other podcasts, Intermittent Fasting Stories and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Theme music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week.

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Aug 21

Episode 18: How Much Food?, Favorite Recipes, How Many Calories Break A Fast, IF Weekend Struggles, Collagen Peptides, Window Changes And Timing, And More!

Collagen Peptides , Intermittent Fasting , Mindsets , paleo , Struggles , Supplements , Vegetarianism , What To Eat , Windows

GET THE EPISODE ON ITUNES!

 Subscribe For Updates HERE!

Welcome to Episode 18 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of The What When Wine Diet: Effortless Weight Loss - Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Hi friends! In this episode, we talk about how much food we eat in our window, and our favorite recipes! We also tackle how many calories break a fast, and tips for sticking to IF when you're bored/not working/it's the weekend/ etc. We also clarify some things about the eating windows, like how strict they are and if you can change them up. And much more!

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

SHOW NOTES

2:05 - Gin's vacation experience

5:10 - Listener Feedback: Camilla - Veganism As An Ethical Rather Than Dietary Choice  

7:35 - Listener Feedback: Kelley - Micro Algae Omega-3 Supplementation

10:00 - Listener Q&A: Jessica - How Much Food Do You Literally Eat In Your Window?

14:35 - Listener Q&A: Annie - What Are Gin's And Melanie's Favorite Go-To Recipes?

21:55 - Listener Q&A: Phillip - How Many Calories Break A Fast?

28:2o - Listener Q&A: Stephanie - How To Do IF On The Weekends, Or When Not Working?

Gin's Post: The Importance Of Mindset 

36:5o - Listener Q&A: Sandy - Can You Have Collagen Peptides During The Fast?

Gin's Post: Does A "Clean" Fast Really Matter?

40:55 - Listener Q&A: Mimi - What If You Have Bladder Pain During A Fast? Is It From Oxalates? 

Melanie's FREE Food Sensitivity Guide

40:55 - Listener Q&A: Mimi - Can You Benefit From IF If You Don't Fast For More Than 16 Hours?

47:50 - Listener Q&A: Susanne- Can You Alternate IF Methods And Windows?

47:50 - Listener Q&A: Susanne- How Strict Is The Timing For The IF Windows?

STUFF WE LIKE

50 Awesome Delicious Gluten-Free Paleo Recipes In Melanie's New Book: The What When Wine Diet!

Collagen Peptides (Bulletproof - What Melanie Currently Uses)

Collagen Peptides (Vital Proteins - Melanie has used this in the past, and many people love it!)

Collagen Peptides (Marine-based: Melanie's recent research indicates that marine based peptides may be ideal, and better than bovine-based)

REFERENCES

LINKS

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: MelanieAvalon.com  

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Nov 20

Episode 292: Creatine, Brain Health, Sex Hormones, Muscle Building, Insulin Sensitivity, Sarcopenia, Andropause, Mood, Motivation, BDNF, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 292 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

 JOOVV: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels! It literally 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!! These devices are literally LIFE CHANGING!! Black Friday Thru Cyber Monday Only Get $50 Off Joovv Go, $150 Off Mini, $200 Off Solo, $300 Off Half-Max, $400 Off Duo, $500 Off Max, $600 Off Quad, $800 Off Elite Plus Special Financing Offers! After That Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount! black friday thru cyber monday only get $50 off Joovv Go, $150 off Mini, $200 off Solo, $300 off Half-Max, $400 off Duo, $500 off Max, $600 off Quad, $800 off Elite plus Special Financing Offers! after that Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

4:45 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

9:00 - what is creatine?

10:00 - the benefits of creatine

11:15 - common misconceptions

12:35 - body building supplementation

13:50 - if you're considering supplementation...

15:00 - what creatine does

Creatine Supplementation in Women’s Health: A Lifespan Perspective

18:40 - GABA Research

20:35 - creatine and brain health

23:25 - LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

25:20 - gender differences in creatine needs

27:15 - creatine and sex hormones

29:25 - sarcopenia

34:50 - muscle memory

36:55 - andropause

39:40 - low testosterone, mood and motivation

41:50 - BDNF

45:50 - learning new things

47:05 - age related changes in the body; Bone health

48:50 - AVALONX berberine: Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

54:45 - hormone replacement therapy

57:15 - sleep

1:00:45 - creatine sources and supplemental dosage

1:05:45 - vegans and Vegetarians

Introducing... Creatine by Cynthia Thurlow

Our content does not constitute an attempt to practice medicine, and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Please consult a qualified health care provider for medical advice and answers to personal health questions.

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 292 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, biohacker and author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: A 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and cynthiathurlow.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this show do not constitute medical advice or treatment and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine if it's that time and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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You guys know how seriously I take my health routine. That is probably the understatement of the year. One of my literal non-negotiables that I talk about all the time that I use every single day of my life is getting my daily dose of red-light therapy. For years now, yes years, I've been using Joovv. And I love it because it is so relaxing and so easy to use. You've probably heard me talk about Joovv before. That's J-O-O-V-V. I use my devices daily to support healthy cellular function, which is the literal foundation of our health. If you've heard any of my episodes on mitochondrial health, you know this is true. Having healthy cellular function helps give me peace of mind that my body is working efficiently and has the energy that it needs to get through the day. 

There are so many clinically proven benefits from red light therapy and I have personally experienced so many of them. I use the red light to naturally regulate my circadian rhythm. I wind down with it at night and wake up in the morning with it. Whenever I have any muscle pain or soreness, I shine my Joovv red light on it and the pain instantly goes away. It's actually kind of shocking. I love it for skin health. It makes my skin glow. And you can also use it for things that I originally got into red light therapy for which was supporting my thyroid. Yes, I struggle with hypothyroidism and supporting hair growth. Aside from the benefits, I've been recommending Joovv for years because the quality of their devices is simply the best. 

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

And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends your skincare and makeup may be playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because ladies when we have babies, a huge percentage of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years.

Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that, there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. They have counter time for anti-aging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life and their makeup is amazing. Check out my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. 

They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. Also, make sure to get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list, so definitely check it out. You can join me in my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well. 

And lastly, if you're thinking of making clean beauty and safe skincare a part of your future like we have, we definitely recommend becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership. It is totally completely worth it. So, again to shop with us go to beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hi, everyone, and welcome. This is Episode number 292 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Cynthia Thurlow and I'm here with Scott Emmens, cofounder and COO of MD Logic Health.

Scott Emmens: Cynthia, thank you for having me on the IF Podcast. It's a pleasure to be here with you today.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. Today, we're going to unpack creatine. I think this is certainly a supplement that I used to have probably prejudicial thought processes on, but the more I've understood the science and the more that I've understood about the benefits of creatine, both for men and women, the more I was interested in sharing the research and connecting with you. I'd really love to start the conversation there. What exactly is creatine? 

Scott Emmens: Creatine is organic acid that is endogenously produced in the body. You can also take it as a supplement. It's a combination of three amino acids, which are arginine, glycine, and methionine. It's produced in the kidneys and in the liver.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's interesting. When I was doing my research before we even talked about bringing creatine to market, was it the liver and the kidneys produce 2 grams a day on their own and it's all stored in our skeletal muscle. And so, I think from my perspective as a clinician what I understood about creatine was that it was something just utilized by bodybuilders and what I've come to find out is there're so many variations of creatine, there're so many options available. The two consistent things that I saw in the literature that really stood out for me was the improvement on muscle health and muscle strength and then also the cognitive benefits. And so from my perspective, this is something that's applicable to everyone. It's not just gender specific, it really is applicable to everyone.

Scott Emmens: Well, it's been like a second coming from me, Cynthia, because I started out as a biology major and a bodybuilder in college. So, I'm very familiar with creatine. I'd used it back in the days when you took 20 grams and that was it. It was a bodybuilding supplement, 20 grams, by the way, is a lot, way too much, that can really cause some GI upset, kidney damage, and so forth over the long term. But at lower doses, it's really an effective product. What I was so blown away by was after 30 years out of the bodybuilding scene, gauged myself a little, I could not believe how many studies are continuing to go on with this product and how much more benefits that we're seeing across a wide array of issues including brain health. That was one thing that shocked me the most was the number of different studies that are ongoing, or that are in early trials for various different brain health issues.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and so because you started your experiences with creatine at a different stage of life, what have been some of the common misconceptions that you have seen or heard over the last 30 years particular to creatine use?

Scott Emmens: First of all, that it causes weight gain or weight gain in women, which is highly unlikely, it's not zero probability, that it can be very dangerous with a lot of controversy about the danger of creatine. It's in fact one of the most studied supplements that I've ever seen, it's been studied and researched well over 30 years at this point. So, its safety is pretty much unparalleled. And then the other misconception because, A, it's only for bodybuilders or for only for men, or that it's only for athletes. When in fact the research shows that there are many people that can benefit particularly by vegans and women that benefit from making sure to maintain muscle mass, especially postmenopausal. So, there's just a tremendous amount of research coming up. This is an [unintelligible [00:12:12] nutrient that your body requires creatine. In fact, if you have creatine, it can cause some pretty significant problems.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. It's interesting because I admittedly was a little prejudicial in my thought process, and I think it was because my knowledge of creatine was really related to the bodybuilding set. At one time, I was an ER nurse in inner city, Baltimore, and I saw quite a bit of people that are using anabolic steroids and they were using other types of supplementation. I'm sure that creatine probably got lumped in with some of the other side effects that were completely unrelated to the creatine utilization and more a byproduct of illegal exogenous use of anabolic steroids.

Scott Emmens: I can attest to that having been in that world, you would get approached with someone trying to sell you something that was illegal on a regular basis. And as a person of health, it just wasn't in my wheelhouse. So, I had to understand how these products worked. And I was a big supplement user in my early age because in order to compete with people that were using anabolic steroids, they can go eat a pizza and still look ripped. Whereas for me I was doing things like creatine and using things like boron and zinc combinations and other minerals, amino acids and branched chain amino acids and the essential amino acids way before they became popular or in vogue. There was definitely a large combination of people in joining creatine and other including diuretic cause other serious problem.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, absolutely. For full disclosure, I had been skeptical about creatine until my very well researched trainer, who's also an attorney, she's got a really interesting background, she was actually sharing the research last fall and kept saying, "I really think you should consider supplementation with creatine." The one thing that I have found personally and we'll talk about this today, the benefits of creatine, how it works in the body was that I went from as a menopausal female, when women really do struggle with not only building but maintaining muscle mass unless they're taking exogenous testosterone. I was able to consistently lift heavier weight week to week and I was able to see more of those gains, and we track all of our metrics because she and I are a little bit OCD about this. For me, I kept saying, "If I am capable of achieving and maintaining muscle mass at this stage of life I am in, then this is something that can be really beneficial for other women and certainly other men that are considering wanting to build maintain muscle mass because we think of muscle as an organ of longevity." Certainly, I follow really closely with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon's work and she was very excited when I told her that I was seriously considering bringing creatine on as my first product in conjunction with MD Logic. 

Let's talk a little bit about what creatine does. From a technical perspective, creatine re-phosphorylates utilized ATP. So, ATP is this energy molecule in the body. Adenosine triphosphate becomes adenosine diphosphate when you move muscles, so your body's using this energy when you're moving your muscles and creatine actually attaches another phosphorus group to ADP. So, it's a way to keep recycling creating the stored energy. And for anyone that's listening that saying, "I don't even know what you're talking about." We're talking about what goes on inside the mitochondria. This is a very savvy science-oriented listener base. And so really think about this is going on in the mitochondria. So, the powerhouses of our cells.

Scott Emmens: I think what's important for people to understand too, is that sometimes we associate ATP with just our muscle cell. But in fact, it's all of our cells. It's your brain cells, your heart cells, all of the cells in your body, your immune cells, every cell in your body requires ATP for energy. If you run out of energy, then you're going to run out of life. What creatine is able to do is to your point, make that ADP back into ATP, which is the foundational molecule for energy, much faster, you got creatine stored in your body and creatine serum in your blood going to replace that quicker, and your brain and your heart probably use up more ATP and more energy that get into organs in your body. So, it makes sense when you think about how it could work for your brain because of the way that works on ATP.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. It's involved in energy mobilization and metabolism in the brain. I also think about the net impact on things like glycine and GABA, which impacts sleep. As women, especially in their perimenopausal years, 10 to 15 years preceding menopause and their ovaries are producing less progesterone, this is a time when upregulation of GABA is really important for high quality sleep. When you really dive into the research, one of the things I found interesting and there's a great article that we'll link up, it's called Creatine Supplementation in Women's Health: A Lifespan Perspective. Researchers here really talk about how creatine has a place throughout a woman's lifetime, not just perimenopause and menopause, but your menstrual cycle. We're not going to touch on pregnancy or lactation because I don't want to touch that with a 10-foot pole, but there is research that kind of touches on how this can be beneficial. 

It's not just as you said, it's not just the muscles, but it's really a systemic supplement that has a lot of benefits. The one thing that I really like about this article in particular is that it admits despite extensive research on creatine evidence for use among females is understudied, so they acknowledge like many things, there's not enough research being done on women in peak fertile years, in perimenopause and menopause. But they do see the importance, it actually says supplementation during menses, pregnancy, postpartum, during and post menopause. Again, we're not talking about pregnant or lactating women, but we'll talk about women that are still in their peak fertile years, perimenopause, and menopause, that there really are quite a bit of benefits from supplementation.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, absolutely. It's not surprising that it wasn't studied and even that happens, they're quite often. I did find it interesting that there are some variations in women that have or store creatine. So, I'd like to talk about that when we get a chance. But I didn't read this research that you read on sleep and GABA upregulation. Tell me a little bit more about that.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting that it can have a positive net impact. There's an excitatory neurotransmitter and that's glutamic acid and then there's inhibitory neurotransmitter and that's GABA. The thought processes is that the creatine absorption will upregulate the inhibitory neurotransmitters, it also has some impact on neuronal ATP resynthesis, which impacts areas in the brain that will impact memory, cognition, and attention. Again, it's downregulating excitatory areas of the brain and helping to facilitate concentration as well as relaxation. There was research and in one of the articles that I had shared with you talking a little bit about the sleep piece, it wasn't a huge area of focus but I think in particular, for individuals that are north of 35 or 40, where sleep becomes much more of a-- I always say jokingly, it becomes an art form, all of a sudden you have to think a whole lot more about it. You have to think about what you're doing preceding bed, what you eat, what you drink, whether that's alcoholic or not, and all the things you need to do in order to help facilitate sleep.

One of the things that it talks about in particular was this brain metabolism and then also secondarily to that it's involved in the synthesis of key neurotransmitter, so it's actually found in the cerebral spinal fluid, which is important. There are actual dopamine and serotonin and creatine metabolites that they're finding in the cerebral spinal fluid, which means that it must have some good absorption. When we talk about the blood-brain barrier, there are some things that are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and there're some things that are not able to cross the blood-brain barrier and so that's pretty significant. If we're getting cerebral spinal fluid levels, then you've got some good absorption in the brain, which a lot of supplements and drugs do not have good absorption in the brain, and that can complicate how well or how effective they can be.

Scott Emmens: I saw another article on just specifically creatine and brain health and talk about being able to cross the blood-brain barrier. The fact that it was able to do that really gave the brain some neuroprotective properties as well. And they think that that also could be because the brain has more energy. That was interesting. I think this goes back to the ability to focus and concentrate, not get excited. It's usually if you have a stimulant or something that gives you energy going to make you jittery, but this has the opposite effect where it calms you, but also gives your brain the ATP that it needs to perform. And so, the hypothesis is that your brain fatigue comes from the fact that it's eating up the ATP faster than it can create it, so that that creatine crossing the blood-brain barrier really allows your cognition to be at a constant steady level, because, I think, where the real benefit for so many of us come from, if you're getting good sleep on top of that, well, then your cognition is going to just continue to enhance.

One thing I just want to go back to, Cynthia, you said when you first started taking it, you felt yourself getting stronger. I wanted to point that out because as a former bodybuilder and a trainer, one of the things that happens, you can start to lift heavier weight, it then becomes a positive cycle upward. Because as you lift heavier weight, you get stronger, as you get stronger, you get bigger and stronger muscles. Of course, you hit a point where you've hit a plateau, but the fact that that gives you that jumpstart to be able to lift heavier weights allows for both your skeletal system to get stronger, your joints to get stronger, as well as your muscles to get stronger and protect yourself from sarcopenia, and we're going to talk about later, which really is serious at the end of the day. I mean, it's sort of the beginning of the end stage of life and certainly a predictor for longevity.

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Cynthia Thurlow: I think that a good place to start is perhaps talking a little bit about gender differences. There's no question that men and women can both benefit. But it's interesting, from a perspective that women actually make less creatine than men as a standard. That could be related to so many different factors but understanding that just at a cellular level, our bodies make less of this substance. I would argue that it makes it even more important to consider supplementation to help maintain muscle mass, brain cognition. When we're really looking at such a small percentage of the population, back to brain health, only 7% to 8% of Americans right now are metabolically flexible. This is research looking post pandemic, pre-pandemic it was 12%. Now even less people. And so really thinking about ways to augment metabolic flexibility. One of those is really leaning into lifting weights, intermittent fasting or eating less often. It could be 12-hour feeding window, just really understand there are a lot of things within our control that we can do to utilize supporting health and wellness. 

I always say, "My greatest hope is that people look at-- They don't fear aging, but they understand that you don't want to just survive, you want to thrive at each stage of life." If you're peak fertile years, perimenopause, menopause, really important to understand you want to have a high quality of life.

Scott Emmens: Absolutely. There's definitely differences between men and women. Women do make significantly less creatine. From the research I could see, estrogen did play a role in that and it did go along with the cycle. There definitely seems to be something there, which to your point makes it all the more important for certain populations, I think women being one of them, which is ironic because it's been utilized in male bodybuilding role for so long. But in reality, women will benefit tremendously from creatine.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. There's a really good graphic that's in this one study that I'm looking at. It's talking about the menstrual cycle may influence creatine homeostasis due to the cyclical nature of sex hormone regulation. You mentioned in particular that it's sensitive to estrogen, which also explains why women and perimenopause and menopause that are having these faltering amounts of estrogen may have even greater needs. But you can actually plot on this graph they have on the X-axis is creatine kinase activity and estrogen and progesterone concentrations and then on the Y-axis, they're looking at different phases. The follicular ovulation, luteal phases, which everyone in this podcast is very familiarized with. You can literally look at how they plot out. Glycogen storage, carbohydrate oxidation dependent on how much sex hormones are and where they are peaking and where they're ebbing and flowing throughout the menstrual cycle. 

It's interesting that we know that estrogen influences creatine and also creatine kinase, and that estrogen in and of itself is a master regulator of bioenergetics. What does that mean? As we are losing estrogen either in our menstrual cycle, or in perimenopause or menopause, it is a direct reflection of the loss of insulin sensitivity. So, obviously, in middle age, it's going to eventually be a permanent thing unless you're taking hormone replacement therapy. For menstruating women peak fertile years, they have cyclical alterations in their estrogen month to month and that is the ebbs and flows. They have days where it's higher and lower throughout their menstrual cycle, whereas with middle*aged women, they're on a downward trend. Ultimately, they'll be on a downward trend.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, that's very interesting. When you said that estrogen is the master hormone for-- what was the word that-- [crosstalk] 

Cynthia Thurlow: They use the term bioenergetics. 

Scott Emmens: Bioenergetics.

Cynthia Thurlow: Which makes sense.

Scott Emmens: So, essentially, once you have no estrogen, your bioenergetics is essentially completely downregulated.

Cynthia Thurlow: You're no longer in anabolic growth phase of any kind, you're really in this catabolic phase unless you're actively progressively working against it. From my perspective, is we've touched on sarcopenia, which is this muscle loss with aging. It's not a question of if but when. People if you think you do nothing and I can now recognize middle-aged women or even older women that are just skinny, and it's because they've lost their muscle mass. They really start replacing adipose tissue, which is highly inflammatory with our muscle tissue. I always use the analogy because I'm very visual. When we're looking at nonsarcopenic or healthy muscle tissue, it looks like filet versus a ribeye. People love eating ribeye but we don't want to become a ribeye, and I use that to understand, like the marbling in the meat is what starts happening to your muscle, because you're losing muscle mass. 

In fact, I was at an event this summer, actually, with Gabrielle Lyon and a few other people. There was a special type of scale that you stepped on. And it could tell you pretty accurately how much muscle mass you had on. She and I had a pretty good laugh when we're looking at my results. But the point I'm trying to make to everyone is that you want to maintain muscle mass, like your life depends on it. I don't think I appreciated that enough in my 20s and 30s. Certainly, you start seeing the slippery slopes. Forty is about when we start losing a significant amount of muscle mass, and then it just accelerates. So, you want to be doing all the things you can to maintain as much as possible, so that you're less at risk for metabolic diseases, insulin resistance, etc.

Scott Emmens: Cynthia, I've heard you talk about this on the IF Podcast before and in Everyday Wellness as well, that sarcopenia creeps up on you. But also, when you're in your 20s and 30s, what should you be doing? In my personal opinion and experience, people that have built up their muscle in their 20s and 30s, when they have all those natural anabolic hormones circulating through the blood tend to do much better when they hit their 40s and 50s if they're continuing, even if they're just doing a maintenance work out or just push up and pull ups, the basics. You'll see that the people that kind of had that foundation tend to stay better. It's never too late to start right, but if you're in your 40s, and you haven't been working out, you probably should hit the gym and get a trainer and learn how to work out is the point of no return. And that's the point where you've really got to face the fact that, "Hey, if I don't have muscle in my 60s and 70s, my knees are going to be rough. And that's the way you don't just have longevity, but you have health span. If you want to be healthy in your 80s, you got to be able to get yourself up out of a chair without using your arm, just to be able to stand up. And that sounds easy. But when you're 80, it's not so easy. 

I completely agree that, A, you've got to make sure that you have a foundation if you're 20 or 30 now you're listening to this podcast, start making your muscles strong now. You won't regret it. You will never regret having really strong lower legs and really strong arms and shoulders, and a strong back and a strong core. You've never going to regret that. And creatine is one of those things will help you get to that place in a very natural way. It's a natural substance that you get from meat, but your body is usually excreting more than it's taking in and extra creatine has been demonstrated time and time again to help you get there. 

The other statement which I thought was profound is that you're in a constant state of anabolic state, constant catabolic state after menopause. That basically means you're eating your own muscle tissue. And that is a dangerous place to be. I would really recommend those folks also hit the gym, take both protein whether that's in the form of essential amino acids or whether that's in the form of a protein powder, combined with the creatine, or get the protein from your diet. That’s how you got to be getting about a gram per pound, in my opinion, protein a day. It might be less, women may be 20 grams per pound, you definitely need to have that protein. And creatine is one of those things that'll make that proteins better for you. All that said, it's all going to work much better for you if you're working out with weight.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I agree with you and you really bring up some excellent points. I always use myself as an example because it makes it relatable. We have muscle memory, so if we've been working our muscles for years, or even if we go through a period of time where we take a break, when we go back to training, we'll be able to get back to where we were a little bit faster than someone that's new. But in 2019, I spent 13 days in the hospital, I lost 15 pounds, all of which was mostly muscle. And there were many, many months where I was convinced, I was using bands. I mean they had me doing bodyweight exercise and then bands and then I could finally graduate to using weights. And the one thing my trainer said, because at that point I was coming back from a long hospitalization. I did hire a trainer because I didn't want to hurt myself. I remember him saying, "You're at an advantage. Although you've lost a lot of your muscle mass, your muscles once they start growing again, they'll know what they need to be doing." 

I encourage everyone to-- if you're not currently lifting or doing weight training, even if you start with bodyweight exercises and then graduate to bands and graduate to dumbbells and graduate to get to a point where maybe you're using machines, really take the time to be thoughtful about understanding the physiology of your body. I don't believe in having regrets, but I do wish someone had talked to me in my 20s and 30s about the fact that when you're at your peak bone and muscle mass, and then you just start to have this slow, slow decline that you may not even be perceptible for a long period of time. And men go through this too. Let me be very clear. Andropause is a real thing.

Men, much like women, they may not have as exaggerated demonstration, women go through reverse puberty, that's essentially what's happening in perimenopause. Men can go through andropause and they may have trouble maintaining muscle, they may have trouble building muscle. Most of the reason why men in the States start losing testosterone is from exogenous sources of estrogen mimicking chemicals, also from insulin resistance. Again, we go back to the same things about maintaining metabolic flexibility, how important that is, that I'm sure for those of you that are familiar with both Melanie and my single podcast, we talk a lot about toxins, we get exposed to our environment, our personal care products, our food, it is important, you do want to care about those things. But maintaining muscle mass is of particular significance. And if you're not currently lifting, you can change that. If you start off really simply, it can make such a big difference. 

The one thing that I found working in hospitals for over 20 years, there's nothing more sad than having a 55-year-old patient that can't get off a bedside commode because their muscles in their quadriceps, which are their big muscles in their legs have atrophied from lack of use. If you don't use it, you will lose it. And that's why I think it's so important to understand that we're not saying this is just related to aesthetics, we're just saying from a functional perspective, you want to be able to get out of bed, you want to be able to get off a toilet, you don't want to fall, fall risk is significant. You don't have to be 60, 70, or 80 years old to be at a fall risk. We had plenty of younger patients that were just so sedentary that they had really lost their muscle mass, they didn't even realize it until they got to the hospital and they were so weak, they just couldn't do normal, we call them ADLs, activities of daily living, and this is quite significant.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, absolutely. I can relate to that on two personal notes. First, at 52, I feel like I might be hitting andropause. Is that a real term?

Cynthia Thurlow: It is a real pause. It is a real term, but it's not utilized as openly probably as menopause.

Scott Emmens: It's getting more difficult for me to maintain muscle mass, but to your earlier point, two things. One, on a humorous note, you work out for 15 years, you put on 30 pounds of muscle, you spent 13 days in the hospital, and bam, you lose 15 [chuckles] pounds of the muscle like that. It's not quite fair on the working, how fast you lose that. But that goes to show you that if you're not maintaining it through diet and exercise and supplementation, you're going to lose it, just naturally. So, I do feel that. In fact, since we started working on this project together, I've been up my dose of creatine, I used to take every other day when I worked out. Now I'm taking it every day. I've actually seen a difference in about just the last couple of weeks. That's been nice. But my dad who is--

Cynthia Thurlow: [crosstalk]

Scott Emmens: Thank you. My day who is 74, this was four years ago, we went to Lake George, and we were at my uncle's house and he couldn't get out of the boat. I had to literally pick my dad up out of the boat. And I took my dad in the house and then we chatted as well later that night, I just sat him down and I said, "Hey, we're going to have to get you working out again because if you can't get out of a boat by yourself, and you're living on your own, I'm nervous where you're heading." I didn’t even call it sarcopenia but I said muscle wasting at your age is the first sign of you kind of going downhill. I know what your life goals are. And at 74, you shouldn't be not able to get out of a boat. And now he's on the Stairmaster doing an hour and a half a day, and I'm thinking he's doing better than I am. So, I'm really proud of him but I saw that firsthand at 74, he's in better shape at 78 than he was at 74.

Cynthia Thurlow: It just goes to show you that you don't have to be 20 and still see benefits from weight training and physical activity. We are designed as human beings to be active. I unfortunately, probably not our listeners, but looking at the general population here in the United States, people are far less active than they should be. It's almost like a domino effect. I'd plenty of cardiology patients that they would say, "It's too hard to get back in the game." One thing that I will share with the listeners is that, low testosterone and so that can happen in perimenopause and menopause. It can happen to men as well. It's important to know that a sign of low testosterone is a lack of motivation, a lack of desire. 

Last year, I was on a full complement of hormone replacement therapy and we found that I was on like way too much and so we stopped it. I had a six-week washout. You can imagine you go from feeling pretty good to then feeling pretty bad. I remember talking to Gabrielle Lyon and I said, "I can tell my testosterone is low because I have zero motivation to go to the gym, which is not me. I have zero motivation to do these things. So, I had to really just force myself to do it. But I want to just identify and be fully transparent and say that that can be a sign your testosterone levels are low if you're really feeling incredibly unmotivated." This also ties into one other benefit of creatine use that I think is really interesting. And we're looking at a study that it talked about, as an example, depression is not vis-à-vis, it's related to many factors, gut health, situational circumstances, etc. But we know that depression in women is two times higher. We know it's directly linked to hormone milestones like puberty. 

I have two teenagers, trust me when I tell you, they are grumpy and moody. It's also linked to menopause. What's interesting is that if you have a low creatine intake, either from diet or supplementation, you're at 31% greater incidence of depression than those that are taking exogenous creatine supplementation and/or getting it from animal-based protein. I thought that was really interesting, especially coming off the tail end of the past two and a half years. We won't mention what's been going on, we're all quite aware of it. But I think for a lot of people just also understanding that there's also this mental health benefit from creatine use that keeping adequate levels of creatine endogenously in the body is intricately interwoven with depression and anxiety as well.

Scott Emmens: That really struck me, was not only is it good for your cognition, your focus, but your mood as well. It seems to have from this early data we're looking at, some significant enhancement on your overall mood, motivation, and really depression, which is interesting. I'm not sure if there was a mechanism action identified in that but it's just remarkable how important creatine seems to be for your overall mental health.

Cynthia Thurlow: There was also some research I read about BDNF, so brain derived neurotrophic factor, which we know is a stimulatory protein, it diffuses across the blood-brain barrier, but we know that it increases new brain cell production. So, it's increasing neuroplasticity, while improving the performance of existing brain cells. And so higher BDNF is a lower risk of depression. So, I wonder if it's tied into that. It's interesting how just the process of aging and stress can decrease BDNF, especially those that are not actively learning your skills or hobbies. We're going to touch on neuroplasticity here but this is why you were going to be lifelong learners. We should always be learning. I just spent the weekend with one of my college roommates and we had an amazing time, and she's a teacher, and we were talking about this. She was saying even in like her own teaching population that she said those that are still continuing to take classes and learn are thriving, and those that are kind of at the standstill, colleges 30 years ago, and they haven't really taken-- they don't do continuing education, they're not investing in conferences, they're not listening to podcasts, they're not reading books, and how that's impacting their brain health. This just validates that aging and stress can impact BDNF. We also know that creatine in and of itself vis-à-vis can improve BDNF levels as well in the body. So, it's neuroplasticity, learning new things, exogenous supplementation can also be beneficial for brain health. 

Scott Emmens: Yeah, I'm obsessed with BDNF. Everything that I think can raise brain derived neurotrophic factor. I figure, "Well, how can that possibly hurt?" And exercise is one of those things. Again, we're back to a positive circle up. If creatine helps you get more motivated, helps you get better exercise, you get more exercise, we know exercise is good for BDNF as well. So, it's sort of a nice cycle upward instead of the cycle down. Lack of exercise is going to lower your BDNF, lower creatine is going to lower your BDNF. Again, this is a nice way to think [unintelligible [00:43:59] cycles down, how can you cycle up and the way that you do that, you take creatine which helps you exercise, which helps BDNF, which helps you exercise and helps BDNF. 

Just a quick aside, there was a recent study that came out as an avid tennis player, I have to mention this, they showed that tennis both extended your lifespan, but the longest of all sports, but also had the best impact on your overall brain health because it's both a sport of strategy, at the same time you're running around the court, but it also applied to pickleball for those of you who are getting into pickleball, which is the new rage. Even works in ping pong. Ping Pong had a really positive effect on the brain. So, you're looking for some exercises to help with your brain. Paddlesports, badminton, tennis, pickleball seems to be the best.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's really interesting how important I think it is for people to be either it's the hand-eye coordination or just the concentration, but doing things that make you a little-- when I say uncomfortable, I'm not talking physically uncomfortable per se, but just intellectually, like pushing yourself, learning something new, getting outside your comfort zone. I have a friend that's learning, I don't know why she wants to learn a language. Someone in one of my group programs, who thinks she loves to do puzzles for that exact reason that she wants to push herself outside our comfort level. I was actually mentioning to my husband, he just started doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu right before the onset of the pandemic. He was a college athlete. Now that we're in a new part of the state, he is unable to play seniors level lacrosse. 

For him, he said, "It's like playing chess." But he gets to roll around on a mat with-- sometimes guys that are like 20 years younger than him, but he can hold his own and of course you know he is a former college athlete, he loves that. He gets that validation that he's still strong and virile. But I think for each one of us, we have to find ways to constantly be challenging ourselves. I think, on a lot of levels, we're just so fortunate to be in a time where information is accessible at any point in time. I have a large stack of books. I'm always reading. I'm always prepping for podcasts, but I haven't heard a lot about pickleball. I don't know how it differentiates from tennis, and I don't want to take like a huge rabbit hole jump. But I'm just curious how different is it than tennis, I know it's with a racket and a ball.

Scott Emmens: It's kind of if you were to combine ping pong and tennis and put yourself on the ping pong table, that would be the best way to describe that.

Cynthia Thurlow: Interesting. 

Scott Emmens: It's a lot less running and a lot more about sort of teamwork and strategy usually playing doubles. And it's just so much fun because it's fast paced and you get crazy wild points. It's just a lot of fun, but it's a lot of good exercise too without having to run all across the court. If you want to learn pickleball, it's the sport to get into. It's the fastest growing sport in America.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'll definitely have to check it out because my husband and I will be empty nesters in four years. For us, we're looking for all sorts of ways to do things together and new things together. Let's talk about some of the age-related changes that happen in our bodies and how creatine can potentially be a countermeasure to changes in muscle and bone strength. It can be implicated in reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. I did see a couple articles talking about improvement in bone reabsorption. But when I went down that rabbit hole, I didn't feel the strength of the research was strong enough to be able to say this is an indication per se. Maybe in the future, we'll hear more about it but I do think in particular for people in menopause, andropause, where we are de facto in a state of chronic low-level inflammation, sometimes high-level inflammation if we're insulin resistant and metabolically unhealthy, but how creatine can be beneficial for these specific timeframes.

Scott Emmens: Let's quickly address the bone issue. So, I went down the research rabbit hole on bone and couldn't find anything specific for creatine that was definitively positive. I think the reason for the mixed results, and this is just my personal opinion. But, again, I think it goes back to, if you're able to lift heavier weights or use heavier bands, really what we know for sure is that if you're putting weight on your skeletal system that can tolerate, it's going to stimulate proper bone growth given you have the right nutrition. I think what creatine can do is by making your muscles stronger, allowing you to lift heavier and heavier weights under the guidance of professional trainer and [unintelligible [00:48:34] hurt yourself. That, I think, in and of itself could be the way that creatine could help with bone. It may not be a direct result. It may be an indirect result of creatine. It's just a theory because I couldn't find anything definitive in the research.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends. I am so thrilled to announce that my next AvalonX supplement is official and almost here. It is something that I currently take every single day of my life and that is berberine. I first started taking berberine when I first started using a continuous glucose monitor which constantly monitored my blood sugar levels. I found that taking berberine had a dramatic effect on my fasting and post meal blood sugar levels. Berberine is a plant alkaloid which has been shown to rival Metformin when it comes to reducing blood sugar levels without any of the side effects. Blood sugar regulation is so important for health. It's a key factor in metabolic syndrome and preventatively taking care of your blood sugar levels or treating high blood sugar levels is so, so important for health and longevity. That's why I am thrilled to be making a berberine supplement. And it's not just blood sugar control, berberine has been shown to have so many benefits. It's been shown in studies to beneficially modulate adipose tissue. It can actually help change the composition of your fat to a more healthy profile. Think less visceral fat, which is the inflammatory fat found around our organs. 

It's also been shown to have beneficial effects on PCOS and reductions in inflammation and is a potent stimulator of autophagy, which is one of our favorite things. Berberine has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on blood lipids, which is huge, and I wanted to make the best berberine on the market. We looked so hard to find a source of berberine that tested to be high potency and free of pesticides. Yes, we did third party lab testing on our source, as well as testing to assure its quality. It is tested multiple times for toxins including heavy metals and mold, and has no problematic fillers. It also comes in a glass bottle to help prevent leaching of plastics into our cells and the environment. This is the berberine that you want, I promise. And it is coming midnight of Friday, December 16th. To get all of the updates about it, definitely get on my email list that's at avalonx.us/emaillist, we'll be announcing the launch special on that list. 

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Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I was the same. I went down that rabbit hole and I wanted it to be true. But I didn't feel like the research was strong enough to say this is an indication per se. But I would agree with you that someone that's going to work diligently about building maintaining muscle is very likely getting improvement in their bone health. One thing I just want to interject is that our bone building accelerates in puberty and then it plateaus. And then interestingly enough in andropause and menopause, but I can speak more specifically to women because I'm more familiarized with the research. What starts to happen as our bone diminishing activity starts, osteoclastic activity up regulates, which means we're actively breaking down bone as opposed to building bone. And that's why women in many ways are at greater risk for osteopenia, osteoporosis at that time in their lives. Obviously, osteopenia is kind of a lack of a better way to put it, it's a diagnosis that was created by the pharmaceutical company, it's really not a diagnosis per se because they're comparing the bone tensile strength of a 50-year-old to a 20-year-old and you can't compare that great of a difference in age. Osteopenia, I don't get terribly concerned about but obviously osteoporosis is significant, and really does need to be addressed proactively.

Interestingly enough, one thing that kind of accelerates a lot of these processes in the body in women is that as we have lower and lower estrogen level, so tail end of perimenopause because in menopause, we can have very high estrogen levels prior to going into menopause, is that this is what really drives inflammation, it drives the oxidative stress, it drives the degree of insulin resistance. And it also blunts muscle protein synthesis, and also satellite cell response to anabolic stimuli, which is a fancy way of saying strength training. It's not in your head. If you find that in perimenopause and menopause, it is a lot harder to build muscle, you are working against hormones. The hormones that are saying, "There's not enough estrogen around." Estrogen is definitely one of these hormones that we have estrogen receptors throughout our body, but directly impacts this muscle-protein synthesis, and so it is not in your head if you're struggling to maintain and build muscle. Estrogen and testosterone can definitely play a role in that.

Scott Emmens: The power of hormones is undeniable. You feel it when you go through menopause, you feel it when you go through andropause, you see it when people take artificial steroids. If you look a gentleman or woman on steroids, you can tell, at least I can tell. They're very powerful. People also underestimate the power hormones on your mental cognition as well. A lot of effects on your mentality, as you're alluding to earlier about when your testosterone lowered, you'd have no motivation. You think that's in your head, but it's not. It's a hormonal issue.

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. The Women's Health Initiative is a study that I definitely talk about on the podcast, but in 2002, the Women's Health Initiative really changed the narrative and the comfort level of clinicians prescribing hormone replacement therapy, made many, many patients scared. There's no other way to put it. Scared to take hormone replacement therapy. I did a really great podcast with Dr. Avrum Bluming and Dr. Carol Tavris talking about this. He's a clinician, he's a physician, he's an oncologist. She's a researcher and they really debunk the Women's Health Initiative. Unfortunately, it was done on an older population of women, they already had insulin resistant, they were former smokers or current smokers, they had high blood pressure, a lot of health issues, and they put them on synthetics, and then drew conclusions from that. I always like to just interject, there's no judgment, there's no shame. I see a lot of women who are fearful to take hormones and so they're white knuckling it into perimenopause and menopause. Each one of us has to make a decision. This applies to men as well. Each one of us has to make a decision that makes the most sense to us. But understanding that hormone replacement therapy can be very beneficial, in particular for muscle and bone and brain health, and cardiovascular health, etc.

Scott Emmens: I've heard that podcast and I paid very close attention because I was in the pharmaceutical industry in 2002 when that study came out, and I was partnered with Eli Lilly, I think they either funded this study. They were making a product for hormonal replacement therapy for osteoporosis is what it was. And doctors stopped using it and folks frenzy and I read that study, then I thought, "This seems awfully skewed." It's 20 years later and just the other day, I kid you not, I heard people talking about that study in a negative light, which is a lot what happened to creatine, what are some of the common misconceptions. People thought, "Well, it's bad for your kidneys, it's bad for your heart," and had all this negative press going into it. But that stuff is 20, 30 years old, it's been one of the most studied supplements there is. It's interesting that you use that study because this is tantamount to that like, this is one of the best things you could do. That study sort of ruined HRT for a lot of people, which is a shame.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely, because there's a whole generation of women. I think about my mom's generation that have really suffered needlessly because they were told that it was going to give them cancer. We've now figured out that that's not actually the case. But let's sling back to sleep and sleep deprivation. The reason why I think this is particularly important, we get a lot of questions on the podcast about sleep. We know that high stress, chronic stress will actually deplete not just creatine stores, but actually ATP. So again, less energy circulating. And we know that supplementation with creatine based on the research that we've both been looking at, can impact tasks that rely on the prefrontal cortex, which is our executive functioning brain, the one that helps with cognition and attention and memory, very important. Also very important because we know women are more sensitive to sleep deprivation, and particularly women that are most at risk, or the women that are pregnant, breastfeeding, postpartum, and menopause.

Based on this research I was looking at and I thought that was really interesting, because for any woman that's listening that went through pregnancy and then had the postpartum period where you weren't sleeping for weeks or months on end, that's pretty harrowing, but also in the same research article, they were talking about menopause as the same degree of sensitization to sleep deprivation. I think a lot of women that are listening or women know of other women who have spent years of having terrible sleep deprivation in middle age both in perimenopause and menopause, and it's totally normalized. I think that's really, really unfortunate.

Scott Emmens: It is and there was actually a study, I don't know if it was one of the ones you have had send me or one that I had read separately, that talks specifically about creatine's ability to support brain fatigue and sleep deprivation. I wouldn't call that a band-aid, what I would call that is going to allow you to get the energy you need to function throughout your day properly, so that when you do go to bed, you're back in your rhythm because one of the things that we know about sleep is it's all about your rhythm, your circadian rhythm, your exposure to light, your lack of exposure to light in the evening, your cortisol spikes and peaks amongst other things, but sleep is a lot about rhythm. If you don't have enough energy during the day, and you're resting all day, and you're sitting down all day and you're not active, well then what's going to happen at night, is you're going to kind of be that wire-tired mode, you're exhausted, but yet you're tired. 

The information I looked at really said, "Hey, look, if you're in this sick deprived state, not only can it help you get out of it, and really help your brain heal itself and be as active as it was and it gotten that sleep." To me, that's a way to reset your circadian rhythm at least your energy circadian rhythm, and then you've got to do other things obviously to support that.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's really important. And it's something that I didn't realize until I was looking at the research that what has been different over the last couple months, in particular, because I've been taking creatine consistently, was my sleep quality is improved and how do I track that? I track that on my Oura ring? And then I probably will screenshot it and share it in IG stories and people say, "Oh, my gosh, how did you get that much deep sleep?" And I'm like, "I think it's a couple things." But I keep trying one thing, pulling that out, trying something else because sleep in many ways becomes an art form. And I don't think I ever thought about sleep to the degree that I do now. But knowing that potentially the creatine I've been taking has been improving that sleep support, which again I think most, if not all women, and men for that matter, would truly desire to have better quality sleep.

Scott Emmens: Yeah. I've been a chronic insomniac pretty much my whole life. Recently, I've been sleeping pretty good. Got the whole system down. I do the light in the morning, try to keep it dark in the evening, creatine, occasionally I'll do melatonin when I feel I just need to reset my clock. But I've been doing really well. I'm getting up at the same time every morning, going to bed at the same time every evening. And I have been taking creatine now for a couple of weeks almost every day.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's great. Well, probably important to talk about where we can get food sources of creatine. And then talking about dosing because I think that will be a huge question for many people. How much do I need? I'm carnivore-ish, do I really need more? The answer is yes. But what are some of the sources of animal-based protein that are most creatine dense, I guess is the way to put it.

Scott Emmens: It's going to be all of your essential meats. It's going to be steak, in turkey, things of that nature. I don't think fish has a ton, but it has more than that. But basically, the really only place you're going to get creatine in your diet is from various meats. So, it could be pork, it could be yak, it could be bison, but meat is really going to be the only substantive way to get it into your diet. Eating meat, you're going to really be at risk for being low in creatine. If you're a vegan or vegetarian, especially if you don't eat any fish, you're going to be at serious risk of a major creatine deficiency. Even if you're eating meat, there's not really enough per kilogram if you look, it's like, I don't know, I can't remember the exact numbers, maybe you've got it at your hands. But it's something like 0.8 milligrams per kilogram of meat. Well, the kilogram is 2.2 pounds. I don't eat 2.2 pounds of any meat. So, there's not a ton of creatine going in. And the data I looked at says that average woman stores about 100 grams of creatine and excretes a net 2 or 3 grams a day. Men hold 120 and excrete about 2 or 3 grams a day as well. So, you're always in this negative deficiency unless you're eating enough meat to compensate for that. 

When it comes to the dosing, for me it's somewhere between 3 and 5, or 3 and 6, or even I'd even go to 9 if I felt like I needed some creatine because I hadn't had meat in certain period of time. But I think it is dependent on what your diet is like, are you vegan? Are you a carnivore? Athlete? Like, for example, my daughter is a Division I track athlete and she runs the 400 meter, the 100 meter hurdles. No, that is a lot of energy. She's got three-hour practices every day. So, I've got her on 9 milligrams of creatine a day, broken up into three doses, one with breakfast, one with lunch, one with dinner. My [unintelligible [01:03:46] actually like to take 9 milligrams all at once. I don’t take 9, I usually take 3, 3, and 3 or 5 and 5. I like to break it up. I have her just on 3, 3 and 3. And that changed her trajectory because in high school she wasn't the star of the team. We put her on creatine, some amino acids, but this was the only thing, she practiced and trained with a lot of other things but she ended up finishing 100 meters [unintelligible [01:04:14] in Pennsylvania, six in the entire state of Pennsylvania. So, was it creatine? No, not alone, but did that help? Yeah, I bet you that helped.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's an incredible story. I think it's important for people understand that the average person listening could probably get away with 3 grams per day. Like Scott mentioned, his daughter's a Division I athlete, totally different. Needs based on research that we looked at, the vegetarians and vegans need probably 5 grams a day. And so just understanding that very athletic people, and by that, I mean ultra-level conditioned athletes. I'm not talking about person who does CrossFit twice a week. Although that's great, you're probably not the person that needs that high amount of creatine. And also, it's interesting depending on where a woman is in her menstrual cycle, she may need more or less. But we didn't want to get terribly nuanced about that because there're so many other factors that impact hormone regulation and insulin sensitivity throughout a menstrual cycle. But just understanding that 3 grams a day has been our recommended for the average person that includes myself. But certainly, if I were giving this to my very athletic, sports-oriented kiddos, it would probably be more because they're still growing.

And, obviously, if you are vegetarian or vegan, your creatine needs, because you're not eating animal-based food or products, is going to be higher. And what was interesting, and I just want to make sure I'd dovetail this into our discussion about vegetarianism and veganism, is that it was even discussed in some of the research that their needs for creatine just based on brain health or even higher because they're not getting those animal-based products. And we respect people's choices. I just wanted to make sure I mentioned that they have to take more creatine to ward off the brain health related concerns.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, absolutely. I think we all make our individual choices. We obviously respect those choices. But it is important for people to know when they make any choice, whether it's to eat meat, what those risks are, or to not eat meat, what that diet will require you to do. Like we know, most vegans know that vitamin B12 is an essential supplement. I would put creatine in that same bucket. If I were vegan, there's no question I'll be taking creatine. I take it anyway I'm not eating because I know I'm excreting a little more than I'm taking in. I can feel the difference. But for sure, if you're vegan, you're going to want to, at the very least you do some research on your own, talking to physician or a functional medicine specialist, and I think you'll find that creatine will be a great addition to your diet.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. Well, I want to make sure I'm respectful of your time because I know that you have a lot going on as well. This has been an incredible podcast. I hope listeners find it to be just super information savvy. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can follow us on Instagram, we are @ifpodcast, I am @cynthia_thurlow_, Scott is @longevityprotocol, and MD Logic is @mdlogichealth. The show notes for today's episode that will have a full transcript as well as links to everything that we've talked about will be at ifpodcast.com/episode292. You can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike.

This has been wonderful, and we will see you next week. And before we go, I wanted to make sure that I also included the link to get on the waitlist for my creatine. It's cynthiathurlow.com/new-shop/creatine. Gosh, that wasn't made easy, was it? Got to make things complicated. I'll tell my team make it easier next time. Scott, is there anything that you want to add before we go?

Scott Emmens: Well, yes, I would like to add that I have your updated information and the product by the time this airs, I think is November 21st, that the creatine will be available for purchase on November 21st. So, if you are not on the list already, you can order. It should be able to be ordered through your site, Cynthia, on November 21st.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's super exciting. I feel like this has been many months coming to fruition and I can't wait to share with the listeners the next product we're going to be working on.

Scott Emmens: I can't wait either. This has been great. Thank you so much for having me, Cynthia.

Cynthia Thurlow: Awesome. This has been so wonderful, and we will see you next week.

Scott Emmens: All right. Take care.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice, and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs. And original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription] 

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More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Oct 16

Episode 287: Thyroid Mysteries, Functional Medicine, Gum, Oral Microbiome, Halitosis, Electrolytes, 48 Hour Fasts, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 287 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

LMNT: For Fasting Or Low-Carb Diets Electrolytes Are Key For Relieving Hunger, Cramps, Headaches, Tiredness, And Dizziness. With No Sugar, Artificial Ingredients, Coloring, And Only 2 Grams Of Carbs Per Packet, Try LMNT For Complete And Total Hydration. For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase!

AUDIBLE: This is Melanie's well-known secret for reading #allthebooks #allthetime! Audible provides the largest selection of audiobooks on the planet, in every genre! With Audible, you can listen on any device, anytime, anywhere! Every month, members get 1 credit to pick any title, unlimited Audible Originals, access to daily news digests (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post), guided meditation programs, Audible Sleep, and more! Audible provides rollover credits, easy exchanges, discounts on titles beyond credits, and audiobooks you'll keep forever! For those with children, check out the free Stories.Audible.com! Go To audible.com/ifpodcast Or Text IFPODCAST To 500-500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook!

 JOOVV: Like Intermittent Fasting, Red Light Therapy Can Benefit The Body On So Many Levels! It Literally 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!! These Devices Are Literally LIFE CHANGING!! For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

4:10 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #165 - Dr. Karen Becker

Go To yummerspets.com And Get 10% Off Sitewide With Code MELANIEAVALON!

How She Grew Pre-Sale! 

25:20 - AUDIBLE: Go To audible.com/ifpodcast Or Text IFPODCAST To 500-500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook! 

26:50 - Listener Feedback: Knowles - Thank you!

29:40 - Listener Q&A: Sandra - Please help me!

Unfunc Your Gut

38:35 - Listener Q&A: Tracy - Gum

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #162 - Danny Grannick (Bristle)

Ep. 153 – Fix Your Mouth/Fix Your Health: Reversing Tooth Decay Naturally with Trina Felber

Primal Life Organics!

53:10 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

55:55 - Listener Q&A: Anna - Fasting, electrolytes and hot, humid weather

Ep. 213 All About Electrolytes: Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions for Electrolyte Imbalance with Robb Wolf

Simply Hydration!

Our content does not constitute an attempt to practice medicine, and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Please consult a qualified health care provider for medical advice and answers to personal health questions.

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 287 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, biohacker and author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and cynthiathurlow.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Hi friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get my favorite electrolytes for free. Yes, completely free. And the feedback we have received about LMNT electrolytes from our audience is overwhelming. You guys love LMNT and I'm so excited, because our new offer allows new and returning customers to get free LMNT and on top of that their super popular Grapefruit flavor is back. If you've been having issues with intermittent fasting, electrolytes may just be the thing that you need and/or have you heard of something called the keto flu? Here's the thing. The keto flu is not actually a condition. Keto flu just refers to a bundle of symptoms, headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, and insomnia that people experience in the early stages of keto dieting. Here's what's going on. When you eat a low-carb diet, your insulin levels drop. Low insulin in turn lowers the production of the hormone aldosterone. Now, aldosterone is made in the kidneys and it helps you retain sodium. So, low aldosterone on a keto diet makes you lose sodium at a rapid rate. And even if you are consciously consuming electrolytes, you might not be getting enough. In particular, you need electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium in order for nerve impulses to properly fire. Electrolytes can easily be depleted while intermittent fasting.

Robb Wolf, who as you guys know is my hero in the holistic health world, worked with the guys at Ketogains to get the exact formulation for electrolyte supplements to formulate LMNT Recharge, so you can maintain ketosis and feel your best. LMNT Recharge has no sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients, no junk. They're used by three Navy SEALs teams, they are the official hydration partner to Team USA weightlifting, they're used by multiple NFL teams, and so much more and we have an incredible offer just for our listeners. You can get a free LMNT sample pack that includes all eight flavors. Citrus, watermelon, orange, raspberry, mango chili, lemon, habanero, chocolate, and raw unflavored and the raw unflavored, by the way, is clean fast friendly. You can try them all completely free when you make a purchase at our link, drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. You can get this offer as a first time and as a returning LMNT customer and I know there are a lot of returning LMNT customers. The feedback I hear from you guys, "loving LMNT" is amazing. LMNT offers no questions asked about refunds on all orders. You won't even have to send it back and this offer is exclusively available only through VIP LMNT partners. You won't find this offer publicly anywhere else. So, again, the link is drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast and we'll put all this information in the show notes.

And one more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat but do you know what is possibly one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting, it's actually our skincare and makeup. As it turns out, Europe has banned over a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disrupters, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens, which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream and then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup maybe playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because ladies, when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years. 

Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so you can truly feel good about what you put on and friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. They have counter time for anti-aging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their overnight resurfacing peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life and their makeup is amazing. Check on my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey, even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. Also, make sure to get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list. So, definitely check it out and you can join me in my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well. 

And lastly, if you're thinking of making clean beauty and safe skincare, a part of your future like we have, we definitely recommend becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership. It is totally, completely worth it. So, again, to shop with us, go to beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order and we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 287 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie, how are you?

Melanie Avalon: I am good. Can I tell you the crazy hurricane story?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, please do.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. So, at the time of this recording, Hurricane Ian just happened a few days ago and my family has a condo in Sanibel Island, where it basically landed in Fort Myers, Sanibel Lee County right in that area and they didn't know it was going to land there until-- The county didn't do a mandatory evacuation until 24 hours before, because they thought it was going to hit Tampa. Were you following it, the hurricane? I know you're crazy traveling.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, I've been following it because I was initially concerned obviously about all my friends impacted in Florida but I was also concerned I might not make it back from the West Coast. So, we had a very, very turbulent last 30 minutes of my flight on Friday.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. Yeah, I bet. I didn't even think about that. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and it's interesting as soon as we got on the plane, the two pilots were former Air Force pilots that had transitioned to the civilian sector and I jokingly said to the person sitting next to me, I was like, "I feel complete confidence because they have dealt with far worse than the impact of Ian coming up the coast." So, lots of turbulence, more than I've had in a long time but we safely landed and I'm grateful to have gotten home on Friday.

Melanie Avalon: Random quick sidenote about planes. When I flew to Austin on the way back after we landed, they told us that-- Basically, they were like, "Congratulations, we were actually testing autopilot to land and it was a success." And they tried to phrase it like it was like congrats and everybody on the plane was like, [laughs] "Is that a good thing?" I told my family and they're like, “We have never--” "Have you experienced that on a plane after the fact they tell you that?”

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think there are probably a lot of things just like when I worked in healthcare that go on that you have no idea is going on behind the scenes and then you just blissfully and naively get off the plane and you're like, "All is good." In the past week, I've been up and back to New York and then across the country to LA and back, and one of the legs of my flight, I think it was Denver to LA, there was some type of "dent" in the side of the airplane and so, we had a 90-minute ground delay while maintenance determined if it was "safe to fly." So, it was one of those things where I was like, "Dang, I don't want to not fly today." But obviously, safety is of the utmost importance and so we ended up flying without any issues but it was funny how they were talking about this dent and I'm thinking, "Is it a big dent, a little dent?" They didn't identify how large or small it was, but I'm grateful someone was paying attention.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. I remember my piano teacher growing up, she said one time on her flight, they were flying and then they didn't land. They were just circling and they told them it was because they knew something had fallen off the plane, but they weren't sure what it was. [laughs] So, then they found out later it was a hubcap to the wheel. So, it was fine. But can you imagine--?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I can't. Sometimes, again, it goes back to that being somewhat blissfully naive to the interworkings of aviation is probably to my benefit, because I think both of us are probably very similar. I'm such a critical thinker. I'd be like, "What impact would that make? Would that impact drag on the plane? What would go on?" And I made the mistake of watching-- Anyone that's listening, don't watch the documentary about Boeing.

Melanie Avalon: Wait, wait, wait, is that the one where the pilot got sucked out the window? 

Cynthia Thurlow: No, this was about how Boeing was bought out and their safety and maintenance strategies changed enormously when they were bought out. And then there were two major airline disasters. I was saying to my husband, I was like, "Why did I--?" Because I tend to be a documentary nerd anyway and I was like, "Oh, I started to watch it." And then I was like, "I probably should not be watching this on a plane at the same time." Probably, not a good idea. Yeah, it wasn't about anyone getting sucked out but there were two major crashes in the late 2018, 2019 that were related to Boeing not wanting to properly train the pilots in this system that was helping the plane, like stayed kind of equal. Again, I'm not a pilot so I'm probably not explaining this properly, but there were some technical things that had changed about the newer planes that Boeing did not disclose.

Melanie Avalon: Wow, the pilot sucked out one scarred me for life. The window broke, literally the pilot got sucked out the window. I don't even know the details. I have to rewatch it. It was some United flight. But then the crazy thing is, they landed the plane because of the oxygen levels dropping from the window, it made the pilots be at the level of being drunk. They landed the plane successfully and the pilots survived. They've been holding on to him and he was outside the window, scarred me for life.

Cynthia Thurlow: Those were some good friends.

Melanie Avalon: I know. In any case, the hurricane. My mom had decided to stay on the island. My sister had evacuated and the night before it hit when we all realized it was going to hit the island, she was wanting to drive back after all, mostly, because she was worried about the car. My dad's car getting ruined in the garage and we all convinced her to stay, because we didn't want her to leave and get stuck driving in the middle of the hurricane. In retrospect, maybe she should have left because maybe she would have gotten far enough away. In any case, the hurricane hit Sanibel. Actually, I bet a lot of listeners have been to Sanibel, because I've been posting about this and I've been getting so many DMs of people who have been to Sanibel or knew about it. It’s this beautiful-- Well, it was. This beautiful, gorgeous island, 14 miles long, one mile wide, really nice restaurants and no streetlights. Like an old town feel, but really nice. 

So, in any case, that's where the hurricane hit and my mom said, the water-- She was on the third story at the condo. She said the water went up past the garage up to the first story of the condo. We think it was probably about 18-feet high, the water. She actually thought she was going to die. This is so sad. She said she was in the closet because she had our puppy and my sister's cat and she said that she thought she was going to die, and she was writing us all letters, and she put out a lot of food for the pets hoping they would survive. It's so sad. So, that was that night. And then we weren't really hearing from her because the cell signal was so spotty. And then the causeway to Sanibel, it broke. It's gone, half of it. The island got shut off from the mainland, covered in water. We weren't really able to get in touch with her. Most of the boats in Florida are all wrecked. All the ones that were basically on-- Not in Florida, but Fort Myers in that area and on top of that you couldn't even barely get down there. We were trying to find a rescue mission. Literally, all day, it was the craziest day of my life.

I'm friends with Kirk Parsley. I've had him on The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. He's a sleep doctor and a Navy SEALs. He connected us to this group of military and SEALs that help people with rescue-type missions. You can hire them ala carte to help you with things and they were so nice. The woman in charge, Stacy, shoutout to Stacey. She found us this guy, Captain Dave in Fort Myers who had a pontoon boat and so, the few times we were able to vaguely get a text through to my mom, which on top of that-- Oh, this is a good lesson for people, this might help somebody. If you're in a situation where you don't have good cell service like this situation, if you have your phone, set on iMessage, then you'll have a lot of issues getting through texts because it'll wait for iMessage to be online. Basically, my mom could only text my aunt, because she has Android and she wasn't realizing it was her phone settings. So, we were having to text her through my aunt and we're trying to communicate with her that she had to be on the beach the next morning at 8 AM and wave a signal. We didn't know she was going to be on the beach. It was literally the craziest thing.

And then Captain Dave in his pontoon boat, [chuckles] the next day went across the ocean to Sanibel with two other guys and picked up my mom and three neighbors and rescued them and my sister and brother had driven down the day before, so they picked her up. It's just insane and it's so crazy to see pictures of the island and it's so weird, because my whole childhood was basically there and to know that it's all just gone. It's very, very weird feeling. I'm so grateful. Last I checked, I think, I don't know what the death count is at, I think it's in the 60s, not just Sanibel, but the whole area where it hit. My heart goes out to everybody and it's just a crazy experience. So, I had to share that.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I'm so glad that your mom was able to be rescued along with some of her neighbors. I have a lot of friends in the Naples area and the photos-- 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, that's where it hit too. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I have friends that left Northern Virginia, and were building houses down there, and they lost everything. They lost their cars, they lost their homes, the photos are just really, really heartbreaking. The irony is, one of my Hopkins nurse friends lives down there and her house was okay, but another friend of mine that I've known for, gosh like 15 years, I was able to connect both of them and I just think for all of us that are so fortunate that we're not adversely impacted by these storms, we owe it to ourselves as community members to try to find ways to help and donate. If you can donate money, donate time, or working with local organizations, because all of us probably know people that have been impacted. My mentor and the head of my mastermind, she actually had to evacuate and I've been at her home and-- [crosstalk] 

Melanie Avalon: Where is she?

Cynthia Thurlow: Tampa. A lot of people just picked up and took their pets and left because they had to. They were so close to the water or live on the water and gosh, there're so many people impacted but in terms of your mom's story, of course, it sounds like an incredible-- This is where networking and podcasting is so helpful. I'm glad that Kirk was able to get you connected individuals that could get her to a safe place and neighbors as well, and pets. Can't forget the pets.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so grateful. Yeah, that's the other thing that I forgot. In the condo, we had hurricane shutters. They actually stayed intact. Actually, the inside of our condo is okay, but almost every single unit, the shutters blew in and it's a situation where basically, the whole wall facing the ocean is window shutters. All the other condo units, they blew in. I can't even imagine if that had happened. But my mom, like she said, she thought she was going to die, because the whole building was shaking. Super grateful. I know from all the DMs. I got that a lot of people had situations, where they had friends or they weren't hearing from people and when we air this it will have been a while ago.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm so glad that she's safe. I know we were texting over the weekend, and I was crossing my fingers, and grateful to know that there was a happy ending.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, indeed. So, anything you'd like to share before you jump in? I know you've been crazy with travels.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I've had some really cool professional things. I was able to speak at an event at Lincoln Center and having grown up in New Jersey, Lincoln Center is a really special part of Manhattan, and then I flew out to the West Coast earlier this past week and was on two of the biggest podcasts that are out there, not just in the health and wellness space, but two of the big ones and that was such a surreal experience and they were both incredibly humble, warm, made me feel incredibly welcome. I left hugging both of them and really just feel incredibly grateful. It's such a cool experience. I have a cousin who works at USC, so I got to see him and then some other friends for dinner the last night I was there but yeah, it was a whirlwind week between New York and LA. Literally, it was home for a day and then flew back out again.

Melanie Avalon: I can't wait to personally hear more about it. I know you literally texted me about it the day of operation. What my siblings and I are calling the operation delta-alpha, which stands for a name we've given my mom for her decision to stay on the island. You were texting me all during that, so I didn't really get to absorb it. I can't wait to hear more later about the actual experience because I'm really excited and happy for you. It's awesome.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Here's the thing. For anyone that's listening, I think vision boarding is really important, because the process of manifestation without going down a gigantic rabbit hole is just such a cool thing. Because one of these people was on my vision board from five years ago. When I was finished recording with him, and I was leaving, and he and his team were wonderful, and I just said, "I have to let you know, you've been on my vision board for five years and I knew one day I would meet you," and this is just such an incredible, incredible experience. I'm so very grateful and appreciative. Then I walked outside and flagged down an Uber [laughs] went back to my hotel. So, yeah, it was really cool. Really, really cool.

Melanie Avalon: Just one comment I love, because especially when you have a career like us, where it's very nebulous, because it's all creative and creating your own path and there's not milestones, per se. So, it's really nice to have those moments, things that were personal milestones. That's amazing. Have you had him on your show?

Cynthia Thurlow: No. I'll have Sean Stephenson on my show in November and I think Lewis is not doing a ton of press right now. He's got a book coming out in 2023. No, I've haven't had him on. That would be a gigantic unicorn guest. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's amazing. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. For context, Lewis House is who I'm talking about, but he could not have been more gracious and just how can I help you, very heart centered and very genuine. He's done the work. You can tell it. And yeah, I sit back and complete-- I'm just feeling very, very-- There's no other way to describe it. And I'm a pretty articulate person just sitting in complete gratitude. There's not a lot wrong in the world right now for me.

Melanie Avalon: It's amazing. Well, I have two quick announcements before we jump in. Speaking of pets, I will talk more about this next week, but there's a company called Yummers that I am obsessed with. If you listen to my episode that I aired with Dr. Karen Becker, which is one of my favorite episodes to date on The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, you will really, truly realize the importance of what we feed our pets and so, Yummers makes amazing toppings for your pets that are completely like everything I would design there. No problematic additives, just healthy, just the good stuff. And the founder is a personal friend and so, I just wanted to share it with you, guys. By the way, I was talking about our cat and dog that survived the hurricane. They love Yummers. So, I do have a link. You can actually get 10% off site wide with the code, MELANIEAVALON. That's at yummerspets.com. Y-U-M-M-E-R-S-P-E-T-S dot com. I'm going to talk about it more at length probably next episode. 

And then second announcement before we jump in. There is a summit coming up called ‘How She Grew.’ It's being hosted by five different influencers but one of them is my dear, dear friend Noelle Tarr, who cohost The Well-Fed Women Podcast. Noelle's one of my bestest friends and I've been listening to Well-Fed Women, which used to be called the Paleo Women Podcast, literally since it started years ago. It's one of my favorite shows and I still listen to it every week. Noelle created ‘How She Grew.’ The purpose of it is for women who really want to learn about creating their own business and just doing something like themselves that out of-- Actually, I don't even know, if it might be traditional jobs as well, but basically they just interview a lot of really successful women. I'm doing an episode. Cynthia might be, we're not sure we were talking before this. But in any case, I think it'd be super, super valuable. So, there is a prelaunch discount. I'm going to make a redirect. If you go to melanieavalon.com/howshegrew-- And then we don't know if Cynthia is doing it. We’ll put in your redirect. It might not be there. Would it be like cynthiathurlow.com/howshegrew?

Cynthia Thurlow: Probably.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. You can try that too. [laughs] But in any case, I think they're going to have the basic one, where you can get just the interviews and I think it's going to be around 199. And then before November 1st for premium access, which will include the videos, lot of bonuses, a Facebook group, lot of cool stuff that'll be $2.27 and then it goes up in price after November 1st. So, snag it now. You can use those two links that we just gave. I really do think it'll be really valuable. I had a really great conversation with Noelle. Ours is sort of focused on podcasting and influencer stuff, but yes.

With my super busy schedule and how I'm always on the go, I don't have a ton of time to do the things I want to do like reading and that's why I love Audible. Audible offers an incredible selection of audiobooks across every genre from bestsellers and new releases to celebrity memoirs, mysteries and thrillers, motivation, wellness, business, and more. Recent favorite is Jennifer Worth, Call the Midwife. As an Audible member, you can choose one title a month to keep from their entire catalogue, including the latest bestsellers and new releases. All Audible members get access to a growing selection of audiobooks, Audible originals and podcasts that are included with membership. You can listen to all you want and more get added every month. My personal favorite way to enjoy Audible is while driving in my car and also, while at the gym. Let Audible help you discover new ways to laugh, be inspired or be entertained. New members can try it for free for 30 days. Visit audible.com/ifpodcast or text IFPODCAST to 500-500. That's audible.com/ifpodcast or text IFPODCAST to 500-500 to try Audible free for 30 days. audible.com/ifpodcast. 

Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump in to fasting stuff? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. We've got some feedback and it says, "Thank you, Melanie and Cynthia. I was so surprised to hear my name and question yesterday on the podcast. I really appreciate your in-depth answers and will be relistening to make sure I got it all. We had house guests last weekend and I ate breakfast to be convivial and was starving the rest of the day. I really prefer skipping breakfast and I'm happy to know that I'm not damaging my health by doing so. Thanks for all you do. Fondly, Knowles." Knowles, we're so glad that you submitted a question and we're even more appreciative to know that you found so much value in our responses.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And one thing I just like about hearing this back from Knowles is, so, obviously, her issue or her question had to do with really feeling like she had to eat breakfast. That did not suit her life. It made her more hungry. It's so interesting to me that people, because I know I'm this way personally. I struggle with autonomy. I need somebody to tell me that it's okay. This is probably a character trait that I should work on with my therapist. But I find it so interesting that people need to know-- Especially, with intermittent fasting, they just need somebody to tell them that the decision that they intuitively know is okay and right, is okay and right. So, I do want to empower people to feel what they're doing is okay but I like that we cannot provide that service, but that we can help out in that aspect to reassure people that they should listen to their bodies and do what feels right. And if they want to skip breakfast even in a social situation, that is okay.

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. And I think the other piece of it is, more often than not, when people are uncomfortable with the decisions that we make for our own betterment or our own self-improvement, it's really a mirror of their own issues and not your own. If people are bothered by the fact that you fast or you don't eat breakfast, feel comfortable and confident that you were doing what is aligned and most in step with supporting you and your body and don't feel you have to over explain yourself. That's the other thing and I don't know if it's life stage of where I am, but I'm definitely in a stage where I no longer feel I have to explain myself. I tried to just be respectful and respond to people's questions or concerns but by the same token, one of the things that I think we as a group of clinicians have not talked to our patients enough about consistently is the value in the power of N of one. Meaning, you as an individual and doing a degree of experimentation to find what works best for you, your lifestyle, etc.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I love that. All right, shall we jump into some questions?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a question from Sandra and the subject is: "Please help me." And Sandra says, "Hello, beautiful ladies, first of all thank you so much for the amazing work you do with this podcast. I absolutely love it. Love the chit chat, the tangents, the honesty, and your personalities. I'm 29 and according to my blood work, perfectly healthy and yet I have all the symptoms of someone with hypothyroidism. I started IF exactly a year ago on March 14th, 2019 and had great results not only a weight loss, but also in my general wellbeing until this February. In the past one month and a half, I've gained the 25 pounds I had lost. I'm 5'1" and I'm weighing 135 pounds. I know the number on the balance isn't everything, but my pants don't fit me anymore and I feel extremely bloated, heavy, tired, and sluggish. I'm also presenting symptoms of IBS, bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation. I'm a Mexican student living and working in California. I've been to see several doctors including naturopaths and no one seems to know what's wrong with me. All my tests come back normal, but I feel so awful it's hard to function. I really don't know what to do and would love some guidance, advice, and help. Thank you so much. Love, Sandra."

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, Sandra, goodness, there is clearly something going on. If you have gained 25 pounds in a short amount of time, I think more so than anything, the fact that you sound from what you've described that you sound like classic symptoms of potentially an underactive thyroid. I think that you need to find an integrative medicine or functional medicine doctor, MD, Nurse Practitioner, PA in your area. When people say, everything's normal, that to me sounds very aligned with an allopathic perspective. And so, the reason why I'm encouraging you to not settle with people telling you what's going on is normal. It is not normal because there's some degree of metabolic imbalance that's going on that has precipitated you feeling so poorly and it could be any number of things, which is far beyond the context of this podcast and that's why I think if you go to and I have no affiliation with IFM, but www.ifm.org, you can put in your zip code or your part of California that you live in, and you can find providers in your area that have special testing to look beyond just the traditional labs and labs that are covered by insurance, but looking at a full thyroid panel, looking at an iron panel, looking to see what else might be going, looking at your sex hormones, your blood counts, your chemistry panels, really diving into what's going on, probably doing some potential stool testing, food sensitivity testing, etc., but I would not settle for someone telling you that everything is normal if you feel that poorly. And to me, it's almost the analogy of peeling an onion. There're probably multiple layers of things that could potentially be contributing to one another, but you need an absolutely thorough diagnostic evaluation. Again, IFM, no affiliation with them, but that's generally where I send people that live in parts of the country, where perhaps I don't know have a personal recommendation in their area, but there's absolutely a provider that can help you.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Yeah, I think that's an amazing resource and I really empathize with you, Sandra, because it's so common and it's so confusing, and I've been there and often have existed there, which is just not knowing and not being able to find somebody who can help you and just not knowing what the source is. And I remember for me, especially when I was at the really-- And I'd be curious of your thoughts on this, Cynthia. When I was at my really low point with my energy levels and everything I was experiencing and before I knew exactly what was going on, I remember on the one hand thinking like, "I should be able to just intuitively figure this out." If I just listen to my body, I should be able to eat the foods that nourish me, and I should be able to sleep, and I should be able to rest, and I should be able to get better. 

But looking back, I actually don't-- I don't know that I could have intuitively lived my way out of my situation, because for me it ended up being severe anemia to the point of hospitalization and ended up being mercury toxicity, thyroid issues all along the way and I guess, I just say that to say the importance of finding a practitioner who will test and find the things that are happening. Does that question make sense? I've been haunted by this question for so long, like, feeling like you should be able to just intuitively get better versus needing to test and work with somebody.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm probably not the best person to ask that up, because I come from a clinical background and to me, as she's describing what's happening, I'm thinking a really thorough medical history is important and then you need testing to backup what you're already thinking. And so, I think for anyone that's listening, even people like myself with as much knowledge as I've had, I definitely have had periods where I've had to humbly surrender and let a practitioner figure it out for me. Intuitive to a point, but then I think we also get to a point where we start second guessing ourselves. I'll give you a good example. 

I've had hypothyroidism for about six years and was doing pretty well till about two years ago when my Nature Throid was taken off the market and many people that are probably listening, they probably have been on a series of different medications. And now, I truly believe I'm working with probably one of the smartest physicians I've ever met in my entire life. And I don't just say that, because I know him personally as well as professionally. And I'm on compounded medication now and he is checking my thyroid levels every two weeks and he has told me, he said, "You have one of the most interesting thyroid panel results I've ever seen." And I was like, "I don't necessarily want to have the most interesting thyroid panel you've ever seen." But I do feel sometimes. we have to wait to work with the people that are going to be able to get us to the next level. 

And so, part of why I'm saying this in the context of answering Sandra's question is really understanding that the right practitioner is out there and it sounds like she's taking account of all the things she's experiencing and now, just needs the right practitioner to help her figure it all out. Really looking at that relationship as a partnership, so that they can work together, because how many people listening irrespective of what age they are are being told exactly these things, you have all these constellation of symptoms, you feel terrible, and you're being told everything's normal. And it's not normal, right? And so, part of this is empowerment and part of this is getting connected to the right people. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you mentioned that about your experience with the hypothyroidism, especially-- I know I've mentioned my journey and especially the doctor I'm working with now that I started working with because I actually found her under my insurance. Upfront, she actually tested all the things like TSH, free T3, reverse T3, everything and she seemed to really understand. But as we progress, the decisions she's making based on my thyroid medication, they don't make sense. They don't make sense and she also like you're mentioning your practitioner tests every two weeks. She's like, "Well, we'll test in three, or four, or five months." I don't know, after changing your dose if we should wait that long. All that to say, what Cynthia said at the very beginning answering Sandra's question, which I'm not being a good example of right now but the importance of finding somebody who really understands you can work with you. 

I do want to provide a resource actually that might be helpful for Sandra and other listeners. I just interviewed last week. I brought back Doc-Koz. His first book was called Unfunc Your Gut and people loved it. And he has a new book called Get the Func Out. Func is spelled F-U-N-C. It's like a play on functional medicine. That book is very comprehensive and covers basically the seven hormones that he thinks are related to health like fatigue and issue, thyroid related hormones, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, all these things. It's very, very helpful and eye opening and he actually lists all of the tests that he likes specifically and I think it's just a valuable resource. Or, if you do find a practitioner to work with, especially if it is a conventional doctor under your insurance, it's empowering because you can actually have a list of things that your doctor might be opening to test. So, I'll put a link in the show notes. Actually, by the time this airs, because that book is coming out pretty soon, yeah because this episode comes out the 17th. It will be coming out next week. So, I'll put links to that in the show notes. Okay, shall we go on to our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is from Tracy. Subject is: "Gum." "Hi, ladies. I'm thankful for your guys' podcasts and I think I've converted at least a dozen people since I started back in October. One being my husband, who has blown me out of the water with opening his window on 5 PM or 6 PM and closing it four to five hours later. He looks great and has lost all his pregnancy sympathy weight. He calls it ha-ha and then my mom who is down 30 to 40 pounds in the last four to five months or so with an average 12 to six-window. I am a hairstylist and I'm constantly in people's faces. I start work around 1 PM or 2 PM a couple days a week and much earlier on Saturdays. 

I prefer to chew gum throughout the day to make sure I'm not breathing bad breath at my clients. I brush my teeth often, but I just can't handle the thought of not having a piece of gum in my mouth while I'm talking away. I've tried the WOW Drops and peppermint essential oil, but it is just not the same in at times I'm working without any breaks for hours at a time. Would it be beneficial at all if I chewed gum a couple of hours before opening my window while working or would it just be the same as having cream in my coffee at the same time? I love to advocate the clean fast. I have kept 20 pounds off back to pre-baby weight thanks to intermittent fasting and working out three to four days a week as of having a baby in late June, but would like to continue to keep losing maybe another 10 to 15 pounds. I've been staying around the same size for a few months now. I know I lose weight when I can fast for longer periods of time consistently, but I'm struggling with workday fasting. I used to start work later in the day. So, this was not an issue. 

I find myself opening my window with food earlier on work days and leaving it open way past the eight hours, just so I can chew gum and eat after my day is over with my husband. I could care less about chewing gum when I'm not at work and closing my window early in the evening just doesn't work for me. My perfect scenario would be a 19:5 opening my window on 3 PM or 4 PM. Thank you and sorry, if this is a no brainer. I just wanted to know you guys’ thoughts and if you had other ideas on how to work around this."

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, thank you, Tracy for your question. I'm just reading it. Cynthia, are you reading this as the gum is triggering her hunger, making her want to open her window earlier to eat? Is that how you're reading this?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think I can read it from two angles that or that she wants to chew gum because the purpose of the gum is to keep her breath smelling fresh for her customers and her clients and we could unpack that a couple different ways.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because she says, I find myself opening my window with food earlier on workdays and leaving it open way past the eight hours, just so I can chew gum and eat after my day is over. I'm not understanding is, is she opening the window with food, so she can chew the gum or is she chewing the gum which makes her hungry, which makes her open the window with food?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's more the latter. That's my assumption.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. In any case, I guess, regardless of the details, the gum situation is making her open her window earlier for whatever reason. So, Tracy, I as well have a slight borderline obsession with clean breath. And there's a reason because of this. I think I've shared this story on the podcast before. I don't know, I think I have. No, it was right after graduating, I went on a date with a man and I had gone through like a garlic phase. I just discovered garlic and I didn't realize how intense garlic was. And this was a first date with this guy and it was blind. I think he hit on me in Costco and asked me out. I don't know, but we had mutual friends. I went out on one date and then at the end, he tried to kiss me and I don't, in case boys are wondering, I'm not going to kiss you on the first date. So, I refused that kiss and then he made a comment about how I had had garlic earlier and then he said, but I should be flattered that he still wanted to kiss me even though of the garlic. 

In any case, that was a little bit traumatic for me and ever since then I have been uber obsessed with fresh breath. It's a problem. And it's the reason that I started using that peppermint oil spray that she talks about which we've started a fandom with on the show. We'll put links to it in the show notes. And it's on ifpodcast/stuffwelike. And I realized Tracy said, it doesn't really work for her, but it's a game changer for me. I basically just put a few drops of organic food grade peppermint essential oil, and water in these adorable little glass bottles that they have on Amazon and I keep those in my purse. Those really work for me. They're way more potent than chewing gum and they just clear out my whole head. 

All of that to say, Tracy, I know, you think gum is the only answer to the bad breath situation. But I would challenge you that gum is not the only answer. There are other answers here. One, it has actually nothing to do with the actual freshening of the breath. What you're eating and the timing of it and how you're digesting can have a huge effect on your breath. And also, obviously, the garlic is an example of something that stays with you, but there are things that you eat that because of those sulfur compounds and things like that will have a lasting effect on your breath the next day. I personally know that based on what I'm eating, it can affect how my breath smells. 

Something that might be really, really helpful. I recently aired an episode with a company called Bristle. They are incredible. They test your oral microbiome, which nobody is testing the oral microbiome. I’m becoming obsessed with this company, because I had thought for a long time that the oral microbiome was a big deal and nobody was talking about it and I'm pretty-- The more I learn about it through Bristle, the more I'm realizing that was the case. I aired an episode with Danny Grannick, who is one of the founders. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. It is the most eye-opening conversation ever about the oral microbiome. 

If you do Bristle, they'll test your oral microbiome and then it's all science based and they make personalized recommendations based on your gut bacteria. You basically get a list of results and it will show how your personal gut bacteria correlates to things like cavities, and gum disease, and halitosis, which is bad breath and then it provides personalized recommendations, not for products made by them, just ingredients that can address that. I would get that and I would follow the recommendations for the halitosis, because there might be some products that can work for you and I know the products, I know there can be a lot of debate about the toxicity of mouthwashes and things like that, but I think it's a very complicated situation and I think especially if you listen to my episode with Danny, you'll realize how there are multiple approaches to this, like, food, diet also products may work. 

I know, for example, I actually really like TheraBreath, the one that is unflavored and doesn't have any sweeteners or anything in it but it has an ingredient in it that specifically-- this is such a casual way of describing it. It deactivates the sulfur-producing bacteria, I think. I'm probably not correctly communicating what it does. But in any case, it has a lasting effect that really for me lasts all day. So, that might be something to try. All of that said, I will get Bristle-- Oh, if you'd like a discount, you can go to melanieavalon.com/bristle, B-R-I-S-T-L-E and the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON will get you a discount. I had to ask them for this. It will actually get you a discount on their subscriptions as well, which those are already discounted. So, that's actually a really good route to go, especially if you think you're going to be retesting. 

I would do that. I would reconsider that maybe you don't have to be chewing gum. I know you said you don't like the peppermint spray. Maybe if you just reevaluate and try it again. I know she said she doesn't like it. I just think there are other options than chewing gum. As far as if the gum actually breaks the fast, there're a lot of ingredients and different gums, a lot of them can be sweet and just the chewing process, I don't know that our brains know that when we're chewing gum, that it's not food. It's a very food stimulating process. It's definitely sending mixed signals to our body. I'm not a fan of chewing gum during the fast. And you're experiencing the effects of that. You're saying, it makes you more hungry. So, I would just reframe, if maybe that you can try some other options. Oh, I also really like oil pulling every morning. Cynthia, that was long.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. No, that was a very comprehensive response. I would just echo that. I understand that desire to have clean breath. I am not a coffee drinker and so, when I used to round on patients in the hospital, I would actually chew gum, but discreetly chew gum. No one knew I was chewing gum, because one of my biggest pet peeves are when people chew gum in a noticeable way, which I know is not the question. But I always tuck gum up into my gum. And so, I would chew it in between seeing patients. And during the pandemic, I stopped chewing gum, because obviously, I was home and there was no need to do it. And I realized, I actually didn't enjoy chewing gum. I just felt this compulsion. It became a compulsion when I was in the car or when I was seeing patients and so, what that has demonstrated for me and why I think this is relevant to Tracy is that what I really need to do is be hydrating more, because when your mouth is hydrated with water, that breath concern is not a concern, because sometimes dehydration will mitigate the feeling of having poor smelling breath and the other thing is, a lot of people drink copious amounts of coffee and so that can give them that kind of stale appearance. 

But the other thing that I would loop into what Melanie said is, Trina Felber is an advanced practice nurse and she has a company called Primal Life Organics. I've learned a lot about mouth care and the mouth microbiome. And so, I do tongue scraping every morning, I use her clean dental products, which don't disrupt the mouth microbiome and we'll link up that podcast I did with her, as well as a discount to Primal Life Organics. But I really do think looking closely at what you're eating, what you're drinking, and then also oral microbiome care can be hugely impactful. And I think for a lot of people, it's really just a habit. I do think that when you're chewing gum, your body thinks you're going to be eating food that you're actually going to swallow food. And so, do you get a cephalic phase insulin response potentially. Most of the gums that last a long time in terms of flavor have artificial flavors in them. They've got sucralose, they've got a lot of chunky things. Let's be clear, the gums that are clean don't last very long and that's from personal experience I can tell you. You definitely want to try to mitigate the net impact of some of those foods as much as you can. Then does it mean that you'll go from chewing gum all day long to not chewing gum? Probably not, but maybe integrating some of these other thoughts and I do like Melanie’s suggestion to rethink whether it's you're chewing on a fennel seed, or you're trying the WOW Drops, or using some essential oils, or you're drinking more water, those actually have some health benefits versus gum unfortunately has a lot of things about it that probably are not ideal to be doing all the time and it sounds like it's actually making you hungrier, which makes sense that your body thinks food is coming. 

The other thing that I just have to loop in here is that you're obviously a young woman still probably at peak childbearing age. Fasting for your menstrual cycle is really important. You may find that you struggle more on days when you're closer to getting your period and you really want to know that there are times in your cycle where it's ideally optimized to fast from the day you start bleeding up until ovulation. And then as you're getting closer to your menstrual cycle, the last five to seven days, you may want to back off on the fasting a little bit. And certainly, it sounds you've got a very tight window, a very narrow window. And the last piece that all add in here is, just making sure you're eating enough food. You were saying you're still trying to lose more weight and your body may think that you're not eating food, if you're not able to get two good-sized meals into a pretty tight window. So, those are my thoughts. I hope that's helpful.

Melanie Avalon: That was so helpful. You exactly articulated what I was trying to articulate, but you're much better, because you had the personal experience, which was, like, you're talking about how you really thought you needed it and then you realized it was a habit. It wasn't really about the gun per se, because it's interesting. Tracy was saying that the WOW Drops and the peppermint essential oil aren't the same. If the goal is addressing the clean breath, drops and the peppermint essential oil, they're going to have a very similar effect. So, it not being the same as probably that habitual aspect of wanting to chew the gum like Cynthia was experiencing. That was very powerful. Also, I forgot, do you do tongue scraping, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. I do every day. Actually, it's become part of my morning ritual that my husband thinks is really funny and I'm like, "Oh, but look at all the stuff you pull off your tongue." [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: It's game changer for me. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm. That's great for breath and everything else. I remember feeling paranoid when I was rounding. If I didn't have a mint or gum, it was because I had been conditioned. I probably walked around dehydrated all day long, because I didn't want to have to pee, God forbid. If you're dehydrated, you can get funky breath just from that. In many ways, I think the freedom of not chewing gum anymore is that I don't feel that way. It's like, "Oh, I'm feeling my breath is getting funky. I'm going to go drink some water." And then inevitably, I feel between that and tongue scraping and changing my dental products has really made a big impact in a positive way.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Definitely, report back Tracy, if you find something that works for you implementing all of this. So, awesome. 

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we answer one more question? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This comes from Anna. The subject is: "fasting, electrolytes, and hot humid weather." Anna says, "Hi, ladies, I love the podcast. Definitely wouldn't have got through the first few months of one meal a day, 23:1 to 20:4 without it as it took me two months to become fat adapted. I've been doing one meal a day for two to three months and now that I'm fat adapted, it's become so easy and the scale hasn't moved much. I thought I'd try a 48-hour fast. I have the weight to lose 25 plus kilograms. I work outdoors in the hot, humid tropics, very sweaty. I drink around 7 to 10 liters of water a day around 2 gallons. I also clean fast. 48-hour fast was going so well. I was feeling completely fine and happy at work until around hour 43, I suddenly got blurry spots in my vision, felt extremely lightheaded, and really couldn't focus. I could hardly see or think. I'm wondering if this is just because I didn't supplement with electrolytes. I honestly thought a two-day fast should be fine and it felt so good until the eye floaters popped up. I felt normal the next day again after eating and sleeping. I am a healthy besides being overweight ha-ha young woman. I just wanted to write in because I think a lot of the info you guys give out is more suitable for indoor workers and more temperate climates than where I live. Thank you both so much for all your hard work on this podcast."

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, thank you, Anna for your question. I would say, first and foremost, there's a couple things that come to mind. I think if you're working in an outdoor environment where it's very hot and humid, you're doing a lot of sweating and you're not using electrolytes you're setting yourself up to become dehydrated very easily. I love that you clean fast. I think that's very important but electrolytes and fasting go together. It's not an either/or. In fact, I teach women all the time that you salt your food, use electrolytes and no it's not a couple sprinkles of salt in your water. You need a comprehensive product. And so, understanding the role of magnesium, and potassium, and chloride, and sodium is very, very important. We know that when you're in a fasted state, you're also going to upregulate excretion of sodium in your urine. Even though, you're consuming 2 gallons of water a day, you're not going to hold on to it. So, you will get dehydrated. 

You mentioned what sounds to me, you became symptomatic during a longer fast which I also wouldn't recommend, if you're in an outside environment and you're going a long period of time. A couple things for anyone who's fasting, especially if you're in a hot, humid environment, you're outside, water with electrolytes together throughout the day. There are plenty of clean products on the market. I think about unflavored LMNT, I think about Redmond's, I also have a product called Simply Hydration, that's also safe to take, it will not break a clean fast. And then if you're comfortable consuming stevia sweetened product, LMNT also makes a wonderful product with lots of flavors. My favorite is orange, obsessed with it. In my house, grapefruit is also a very popular option as well but I think if you're setting yourself up for longer fasts and you're not using electrolytes, that's a great concern. 

The other thing is, you're mentioning that you're in a position where you still want to lose more weight and I think that you probably need to have some varying amounts of time in which you're eating. You have a very compressed feeding window, you're not going to be able to get enough protein in a very compressed feeding window. I would recommend at least two meals in a feeding window. If you really like OMAD and that's your preference, then I would ensure that you are not over fasting because your body may be holding on to everything in an effort to-- because it perceives that you're not bringing on enough food in an unfed state. So, just some things to consider but I would say electrolytes are going to be your friend, you want to embrace them, find a product you like. 

And then the other thing is, I know Mel and I’ve both on several podcasts with Robb Wolf. We'll be happy to link up our podcasts with him but he provides some really compelling research and information that makes electrolyte utilization really important with fasting. And then lastly, I don't know how old you are but you want to make sure that you're not over fasting in a timeframe around when you'll get your menstrual cycle, because that can also make it quite challenging to fast effectively.

Melanie Avalon: That was so comprehensive and so helpful. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: Appropriately enough. LMNT is a sponsor on today's episode. You can actually go and listen to wherever we run that ad in this show. So, if you go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast, that's D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dot com slash ifpodcast I believe the offer right now is eight single serving packets for free with any order. So, like Cynthia mentioned, the unflavored one is just epic and wonderful to be clean fast friendly and then depending on the context, they do have a lot of really amazing flavors. And word on the street. Have you made--? Oh, wait, you don't really drink. I know a lot of people make a margarita with the citrus salt one. Yeah, so, I think everything that Cynthia said, I echo. Those are really great suggestions. 

I did want to clarify because she was saying that the info that we give may be more suitable for indoor workers in more temperate climates. In general, the longer fasts, I think for anybody they shouldn't just be done casually. I think indoor or outdoor, there's definitely be attention paid to doing it correctly and paying attention to electrolytes. And definitely thank you, Anna, for drawing attention to that. Definitely, if you are in a situation like her, where you're in the elements and it's hot, and dehydration possibly being a factor, needing more water that definitely people should not take that lightly. I know we actually have had questions in the past about that and it definitely can make a big difference and not even just with longer fasts, but with shorter fasts as well. So, yeah, I'd be curious, Anna, if you try it again with electrolytes, let us know how it goes.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I think it goes without saying, I see a lot of people, men and women that fast and then wonder why they're dizzy, or they've got cramping, or they're new to fasting entirely, and they get "keto flu," and just explain the physiology of the body and how when we are eating a lower carbohydrate diet, and we get these renal losses of sodium, how that can mitigate and precipitate some of the side effects people will experience. And so, I'm not a believer in white knuckling it through fasting and certainly, electrolytes to me go together so beautifully with fasting. You just have to find a product that you like. For me, it's orange salt all the way during my feeding window and then my other product that I have that is not too salty. That's one of the things. Sometimes, people will say, the unflavored varieties are too salty. I totally get it. You just need to dilute it with more water and it'll be totally fine.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I'm so glad you said that, because yes, some people love it as is, but you really can dilute it and make it last longer. I've given one of my friends a lot of boxes of LMNT, and she loves it, and she just drinks them like candy. Some people just like it as is. Okay, awesome. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. And the show notes for today's episode that will have a full transcript, as well as links to everything that we talked about will be at ifpodcast.com/episode287. All right, well, this was fun, Cynthia. I feel we haven't talked a lot recently, because it's been so crazy. So, it's been really nice to record today.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. And it just means for listeners, we're going to dive right in on our next recording. So, we'll get more questions fit into our discussion.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, all right. Well, I will talk to you very soon. But for listeners, we will see you guys all next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcription provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Oct 09

Episode 286: Thyroid Regulation, Iodine, Fasting For Your Cycle, Insulin, Glucagon, High Protein Diets, Surgical Menopause, Prescription Medication, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 286 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get A 10 oz New York strip steaks and 8 oz of lobster claw and knuckle meat FREE in your first order!

BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Support Your Health With Delicious USDA Organic Beauty & The Broth Bone Broth! It's Shelf Stable With No Preservatives, And No Salt Added. Choose Grass Fed, Grass Finished Beef, Or Free Range, Antibiotic And Hormone-Free Chicken, or Their NEW Organic Vegan Mushroom Broth Concentrate! The Concentrated Packets Are 8x Stronger Than Any Cup Of Broth: Simply Reconstitute With 8 Ounces Of Hot Water. They’re Convenient To Take Anywhere On The Go, Especially Travel! Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

FEALS: Feals Makes CBD Oil Which Satisfies ALL Of Melanie's Stringent Criteria: It's Premium, Full Spectrum, Organic, Tested, Pure CBD In MCT Oil! It's Delivered Directly To Your Doorstep. CBD Supports The Body's Natural Cannabinoid System, And Can Address An Array Of Issues, From Sleep To Stress To Chronic Pain, And More! Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get A 10 Oz New York Strip Steaks And 8 Oz Of Lobster Claw And Knuckle Meat FREE In Your First Order!

3:25 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #12 - Elle Russ

Ep. 129 – Middle Age, Menopause, and Mindset: How These Components Affect Your Thyroid Health with Elle Russ

Ep. 105 Thyroid Physiology and Chronic Illness – with Dr. Eric Balcavage

Ep. 166 How to Maintain a Healthier Thyroid: Interesting Thyroid Physiology Health & Preventative Care with Dr. Eric Balcavage

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #1 - Dr. Alan Christianson

Ep. 154 How to Normalize Your Thyroid Function: What You Can Do To Help Support Your Body with Dr. Alan Christianson

Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

Text "AVALONX" To 877-861-8318 For A One Time 20% Off Code for avalonx.us

18:40 - BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

23:00 - Listener Q&A: Ashley - Struggling with consistency

28:45 - Listener Q&A: Monica - 3rd time is a charm?

High dietary protein intake, reducing or eliciting insulin resistance?

Effects of high-protein diet on glycemic control, insulin resistance and blood pressure in type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Protein: metabolism and effect on blood glucose levels

Ep. 109 How To Transform Your Health With Diet And Exercise – With Dr. Ted Naiman

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode # 30 William Shewfelt And Ted Naiman

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #94 - Marty Kendall

44:15 - Listener Q&A: Jessica - Menopause, HRT, etc

56:50 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

Our content does not constitute an attempt to practice medicine, and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Please consult a qualified health care provider for medical advice and answers to personal health questions.

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 286 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, biohacker and author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and cynthiathurlow.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for the Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Hi friends, I'm about to tell you how to get two grass-fed, grass-finished 10-ounce New York strips and one-half pound of sustainable wild-caught lobster meat all for free? Yes, for free. We are huge fans around here of a company called ButcherBox. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, that's really hard to find, by the way, and wild-caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect and enjoying deliciously better meals together.

There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency regarding raising practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox, you can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. But I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. All of their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished. That's really hard to find. They work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves but the planet. This is so important to me. I'll put a link to that in the show notes.

The value is incredible, the average cost is actually less than $6 per meal. And it's so easy. Everything ships directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing. And we are so excited because ButcherBox has an incredible offer just for our audience. You can get some of those steaks for free and lobster to go with it. You can go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and get two 10-ounce, grass-fed, grass-finished, New York strips and one-half pound of wild caught sustainably raised lobster meat all for free in your first box. Yes, completely free. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and we'll put all this information in the show notes.

And one more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense, because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat. But do you know what is possibly one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting. It's actually our skincare and makeup.

As it turns out, Europe has banned over eight thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disruptors, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens, which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream. And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup maybe playing a role in that.

Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health, and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because ladies, when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years. Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means, when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that, there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves.

That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so, you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible, they have Countertime for anti-aging, Countermatch for normal skin, Countercontrol for acne and oily prone, and Counterstart for sensitive. I use their overnight resurfacing peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life. And their makeup is amazing. Check on my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more.

You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20, to get 20% off your first order. Also, make sure to get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list. So, definitely check it out. You can join me in my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well.

And lastly, if you're thinking of making Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare, a part of your future, like we have, we definitely recommend becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership. It is totally, completely worth it. So, again, to shop with us, go to beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20, to get 20% off your first order. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show.

Hi everybody and welcome, this is episode number 286, of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie, how are you?

Melanie Avalon: Good, how about you?

Cynthia Thurlow: We were just commiserating about this. But when your thyroid medication gets changed, it can sometimes be a little bit of a bumpy ride. So, I'm feeling I need to prop up my eyes with toothpicks today.

Melanie Avalon: I've been on the same bus that you've been on with trying all different forms of thyroid medication. It's just so complicated because there's so many opinions and there's so many options. And it can be hard to really find what works for you.

Cynthia Thurlow: Totally, I think if anyone that has an underactive thyroid that's listening, I know you understand [chuckles]. I know you understand, so I'm trying to just wait it out. My functional medicine doc is encouraging me to wait it out another week and get my labs checked. Goodness, I feel I need a power injection in the afternoon because I feel like I need a nap. And who has time for that every day?

Melanie Avalon: Well, I will say, this actually made me think about this. Sort of recently, I was in a period where I was feeling I needed a nap every day. And I just realized you know how you don't really notice when the negative things are gone? I just feel when I'm experiencing something negative once it actually goes away, I don't you may normally realize it. I just realized, "Oh, I haven't been needing a nap every day." I think the difference is, when I got sick a few weeks ago and started really high dosing the NMN and I stayed on the NMN every day at a higher dose. I don't need naps anymore. I think that's what it is, I don't know what else it would be. Although I have realized I feel a little bit more wired at night as well. So, I'm maybe I'm too high dosing. So, that's a benefit. I didn't used to be a nap person, and then I was and I'm not. How about you?

Cynthia Thurlow: Every once in a while, might need it but I generally, power through my day. And on a lot of levels, the fact that I consistently every single day, I'm this tired, the only variable that's changed is the thyroid medicine. And I knew this would happen because what typically happens is I get insomnia. And then, I have a crash in the afternoon. That has been a consistent pattern. Even though they've increased my T4, they lowered my T3. And my functional medicine doc said, and I quote, "You have the most interesting thyroid panel I've ever seen." And I said I don't want to be interesting I just want to be normal. I'm trusting the process. And he's absolutely brilliant and one of the smartest physicians I've ever met, so I am trusting in the process but in between, I will need naps in order to function.

Melanie Avalon: Do you think you'll increase your T3?

Cynthia Thurlow: He might. I think it's interesting, I'm supposed to have lab, he wanted labs drawn two weeks after I started the medication. So, I've already got that appointment set up, and I knew as soon as I started, I knew that there would be this bumpy-- this has been the pattern every single time they've changed my medications. In fact, I thought for a moment, because I keep all my old medicines just to describe to people, I'm not kidding, I really have been on 10 different prescriptions in the past two years. And it's a bag of thyroid medicine. And my husband was like, "What is that?" And I was like, "I don't know, it's a trophy. I'm keeping this for posterity's sake, I'm not sure." But to really demonstrate this is what people go through. And I'm a clinician and we still haven't gotten it right, so it goes on to just suggest that many people listening, are probably struggling with the same thing. So, that's why I wanted to share, to be transparent and say, "Yes, I'm a clinician. But yes, I'm still struggling to get the right combination of medications."

Melanie Avalon: I don't love that you're experiencing that. But [chuckles] I love it that's your approach. And yeah, some good resources for listeners. Have you interviewed Elle Russ?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have Elle and Eric Balcavage, Balcavage, sorry, I just mangled his last name, he's wonderful. He does a great Thyroid Thursday on Instagram. So does a lot of teaching. I think he's a great resource. And we both have had Alan Christenson on, but I would say Eric does a lot of didactic teaching as a clinician, which I love. And then Elle is all about empowerment, which is fantastic.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And Dr. Alan Christianson, who you just mentioned, it's funny, when I first met him, I was really struggling with my own thyroid panels. He is the nicest person ever because I literally just met him, and we've been vaguely emailing actually about intermittent fasting stuff. We were debating the literature on it. I guess at some point, my own thyroid issues came up and he was so nice. At one point, he was like, "Well, send me your labs to look at." I sent them to him, and he called me, he was like, "I have to talk to you about this [laughs] We have to get this fixed now." I was like, "Oh my goodness. You're the nicest person ever." He has a book called The Thyroid Reset Diet. He was actually my first episode of the The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast.

Cynthia Thurlow: You what's funny, so fast facts. Alan was part of my Mastermind. When I joined it, and I recall the very first time I met him in person, I was sitting next to him at a lunch, and I was trying to be really cool. Because sometimes when you meet these people that you've been following them for years, and then you're socially around them. All I say to myself is, "Just be cool. He is a normal guy." And he is as nice as nice could be. I just think Midwesterners in general are just such nice, down to earth, human beings. And he really is as nice as he appears to be, and very quiet and introverted and I really enjoyed the time that I had with him, but I think he's a great resource.

Another funny thing to share with you is that the podcast team that I had at the time that I recorded a podcast with him about his new book about iodine, the podcast title was Intermittent Fasting and Thyroid Health, and I just about had a minor heart attack, because he's not a big fan of Intermittent Fasting. And I literally was like, "You cannot put that out. You cannot do that." And then, I had to explain the context. I was like, that is absolutely the worst title you could ever come up with.

Melanie Avalon: It's funny, the way I met him actually was-- I don't know if it was him or it was probably his publisher, or publicist, or somebody. They pitched him to come on this show. And it was for his metabolic reset diet. And literally at that time, he literally had a video on YouTube about-- it was basically deconstructing intermittent fasting. I wanted to engage with them. But Gin was not too excited about the idea. And so, that's why I started talking to him via email and started discussing the studies. And he actually took down that video, I think, after it because we talked about it some more and I think he realized there was a slightly more nuanced perspective on that specific content that he had created. And I just thought that was so impressive. But yeah, I know, I love his work. He has the thyroid reset diet, the adrenal reset diet. What's the book on iodine called?

Cynthia Thurlow: No.

Melanie Avalon: That's the thyroid reset diet.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: I'm still haunted by that. I still don't know what I think about it.

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't agree, politely I don't agree.

Melanie Avalon: I need to reread it, because it's interesting, because it's so contrary. It's not like it's slightly different than the popular idea. So basically, for listeners, a lot of people in the functional health world, and I guess nonfunctional as well, advocate needing more iodine to help thyroid and just health in general. And a majority of the book is about how iodine is actually the issue, and we actually need to be on a low-iodine diet. So, yeah, I don't know.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's important to entertain the possibility that there may be aspects to that argument that are applicable, but I don't necessarily agree but I don't have enough background, I'm not an iodine specialist, but I do ask my functional medicine friends and I would say iodine is a controversial issue because you have people like Brownstein, who is pro iodine, and wrote the book, The Iodine Crisis. And then, you have other doctors that feel differently. So, we have to agree to disagree. And I don't feel I know enough to feel I could take a stand on it. I'm in a state of flux.

Melanie Avalon: Reading his book, it's very convincing. And I do think there's probably a lot to maybe the difference between people who are eating a conventional diet, so they're getting iodized salt, compared to people who might not be having conventional salt, and so not having that source, I do wonder what role that plays. I do know iodine-- I know I've shared this on the show before I don't know if I've told you before. It's the only supplement that I experimented with that I had such obvious scary reaction that I was like, "I'm never taken this ever again." My eyes literally turned bloodshot red.

Cynthia Thurlow: Really?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's kind of frightening [chuckles]. I remember I can't-- I can't even know if I can go to work. It was when I was still waiting tables. Yeah, so we will put links in the show notes. To the interviews we have had with all of these individuals.

One little announcement I do want to share with listeners, by the time this comes out, I feel bad because I think that this special will have already ended but the concept is still available, which is all the more reason you need to be on my email list for my AvalonX Supplements, which is avalonx.us/emaillist. And also, you can actually get text updates, and a 20% off one time code. I'm so excited, I set up text updates. If you text 'AvalonX' to 877-861-8318-- I'm just going to emphasize for clarity, Cynthia, have you ever set up a text service?

I have not. It's really funny because I say text 'AvalonX', all of the iterations I get of people texting that it's not AvalonX, people will text Avalons, or, give me the code or all these things. I'm like, "No, you have to text just the word AvalonX." So, it's a kind of like-- I don't know, it's just really funny to see all the messages. So, that's A-V-A-L-O-N-X to 877-861-8318. And if you are on that list, you would have known that we launched magnesium subscriptions. And we actually had a two-week window where you could get grandfathered in for life at a 25% discount, which is the largest discount we should technically probably ever do. And you get it for life as long as you stay on the subscription, which you can also pause. So, that's amazing, if you didn't snag the 25% you can still get a subscription now at 15%, so that's an option. Anything else from you, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I am hopeful that we will finalize a package for the creatine so that I can get a date that this will be available. That is, I've got my fingers crossed.

Melanie Avalon: I'm very excited for you. Then someday, you'll have subscriptions on that as well, probably?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, you'll be able to tell me all about text options too.

Melanie Avalon: That's the thing I've learned, is be very clear in what people text to you.

Cynthia Thurlow: Keep it simple.

Melanie Avalon: It is simple, but people just extrapolate and text all the things and I'm like, "No, that is not what it says."

Cynthia Thurlow: It says not direct access to Melanie 24/7.

Melanie Avalon: Is not what it says.

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get 15% off of my favorite bone broth, which is an incredible way to open your eating window. And all of the bones and this broth, Beauty & the Broth, are grass fed with no antibiotics or hormones and are traceable. Also, if you're suffering from mold or any autoimmune disease, bone broth is a basis of a lot of those protocols. But you want to make sure you are getting the best of the best. That's why I love Beauty & the Broth. Also, for all of you, vegetarians and vegans, stay tuned, because there's something for you too.

I've been talking about the incredible health effects of bone broth for years. Bone broth is so nourishing for our body. It's rich in collagen, which can really support your gut health, your skin, curb cravings, boost your energy and your immunity. But there are a lot of brands out there, a lot of them have ingredients that I don't like and making it yourself can also be very time consuming.

That's why I am thrilled about Beauty & the Broth. Beauty & the Broth was created by Melissa Bolona. She's an incredible actress and entrepreneur. I've had her on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. But Melissa started Beauty & the Broth, after she realized the profound effect that bone broth was having on her own health, specifically gut issues, and its ability to give her radiant skin perfect for the camera. She founded Beauty & the Broth, which hit everything I could want in bone broth. It uses 100% whole organic ingredients. Yes, it is certified USDA organic. It is one of the only few bone broth companies in the entire US that has a USDA certification for organic bone broth. It has no artificial flavors, no preservatives, no phthalates, no sugar, and something that I love, no salt. Friends, even other bone broth that I really love always have salt added. This doesn't.

Her bone broths are made from grass-fed, ranch-raised beef and vegetarian-fed free-range chicken bones from certified humane USDA Organic Farms. And they are all traceable, meaning you can find exactly where these bones came from. And all certified organic vegetables are used in the broth as well. There's no antibiotics, no hormones, only the good stuff.

And here's the super cool thing about Beauty & the Broth. It can be a little bit of a hassle to transport bone broth. It's heavy, you have to keep it frozen. Guess what? Beauty & the Broth comes in shelf-stable packets with no preservatives that you keep at room temperature, and they are in concentrated form. That means that you add back water to reconstitute, and you can make it any strength that you like. They're single servings, so you can take them with you on the go, and even on the plane as yes, they are 3 ounces, and they're delicious. Oh, my goodness, friends, they will just make you light up. They're honestly, one of the most amazing things I've ever tasted. And for all of you vegans and vegetarians, Beauty & the Broth has a brand-new vegan broth concentrate. It is USDA organic and is a slow-simmer broth, which is reduced into a thick gelatinous gel. You mix it with hot water and turn it into a delicious sipping broth. It features organic mushrooms and chickpeas, ginger, seaweed, and pea protein. It is so delicious. So, definitely check that out. 

So, if you've been looking to finally jump on the bone broth train, do it now and do it with Beauty & the Broth. Melissa has an amazing offer just for our listeners. You can go to thebeautyandthebroth.com or melanieavalon.com/broth and use the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON, to get 15% off. That's thebeautyandthebroth.com with the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON, for 15% off. All of the listeners who have tried it, ever since I aired my episode with Melissa, have talked about how much they love it. It is so delicious, you guys will definitely love it. So, definitely check that out.

By the way, bone broth does break your fast. This is something that you want to have in your eating window. In fact, it's an amazing way to open your eating window, because when you're in that fasted state, when you take in bone broth as the first thing, all of those rich nutrients and collagen go straight to your gut, help heal your gut, help with leaky gut, help digestive issues. And again, you can go to thebeautyandthebroth.com and use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON for 15% off. I'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show.

Shall we jump into everything for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a question from Ashley and the subject is "Struggling with consistency." And Ashley says, "Hi, I have been a fan and I've listened to your podcast from the start, which means I started IF back in April of 2017. I wish I could say I have done IF every single day since then. But no, it has been the struggle bus for me to do it consistently." Typically, since 2017, I IF on average four to five days a week. Some weeks are better than others when I can complete six to seven days of IF, where other weeks are harder one to two days. My window varies from 16 hours to 24 hours. Really at this point, I have been in maintenance, at times losing and gaining 5 pounds.

Now that I'm approaching my third year of IF, I've hit a roadblock in the mornings. I find myself so hungry. I usually close my window at 7pm the night before having dinner with my husband is very important to me, which is why I don't want to break my fast in the morning. It seems lately, I can only make it to 12 hours before caving on eating something some days. What I'm getting at is, do you all have tips or advice for getting through these humps? Have you ever experienced it before? I'm disappointed in myself with the inconsistency I've done with fasting over the past couple of years, which I know leads to not getting the best results. I do love the health benefits of IF and never regret it when I do fast for at least 16. It's just some days I find myself starving, and then I cave. Any recommendations you have, I would appreciate so much. Thank you."

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Ashley, I don't know how old you are. So, I'm going to just keep this a broad response. When a woman is telling me she really struggles to get to 12, 13,14 hours, I think you need to look at your macros. Are you getting enough protein? Are the meals that you're consuming in that feeding window, are they sufficient enough calorically to be able to fill your body? Where are you on your menstrual cycle? We know the follicular phase from the day you start bleeding up until before ovulation is a time that you can get away with longer fast. And then as you transition to the luteal phase, as you're getting closer to when you're going to get your menstrual cycle, I generally recommend women fast no more than 12 or 13 hours. So, I don't know if you're in a premenstrual situation and the end stage of luteal phase and that's why you're struggling. I would really dig into if you're feeling you're a little bit weight loss resistant, how's your sleep? How are you managing your stress? Are you getting enough macros in? Are you over exercising? So, there's a lot of variables that aren't entirely clear. And I just start to see a lot of women that get into these situations where they start to feel they're not seeing the results. So, they restrict more, they're just not feeling their bodies. And I get concerned that your body may in response to not feeling it's getting enough food and is really pushing the envelope. And if you're that hungry, I would definitely recommend breaking your fast, but also understanding that there are things you can do that could potentiate your fast, but I just feel I need more information to be more specific than I already have been. How about you, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I thought that was great. I love how comprehensive that there are so many potential factors going on. I would just add to it that I think a lot of people, when they're having issues with and this is what you're talking about, but a lot people when they have issues with finding the fasting hours that work for them, they think the answer is in the fasting hours, like adjusting when they're fasting. But I personally find that looking at the food intake side of things can often be potentially just as helpful or more helpful than that. Especially when people send in questions, because we have a pattern of people who send in questions.

Some people, when they're discussing fasting and their issues, they also paint a very clear picture what they're eating. Some people don't mention it at all, it doesn't even come up in the question like this one. And I don't know this is the case but that says to me that it's possible that there's not as much of a focus on what you're eating as there could be that would possibly really, really help. So, making sure that you're getting adequate protein in your eating window, which we have a question about protein coming up. And for some people, it's looking at the macros that you're eating can actually be super helpful for satiety levels. So, some people do better with the lower carb approach, and that's what really helps them tap into fat burning and not be hungry. Some people do better with a higher carb approach, and actually, those carbs are what keeps them satiated. So, I would definitely look at what you're eating, there's a lot of potential to find something there, in addition to all of the other amazing things that Cynthia brought up.

Cynthia Thurlow: Now, it's such a good point, I think we have to look at things comprehensively. When a strategy is not working, it's okay to take a break from fasting. That's the other thing that I don't hear enough people talking about, that there are times and cycles in our lives when fasting really does well for us and times when it does not and it's okay to take a break. If you feel your body's really communicating that it's not working, there are definitely ways around that.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly. Especially tying into-- I was just looking at the part where she's talking about how it's some weeks that are good, and some weeks that are harder. And I really, really wonder, you were talking about with the menstrual cycle, if it does align that way. I think oftentimes people, with the menstrual cycle, they don't make the connection that there's that connection going on there.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yep. Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: All righty. Shall we go into our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely, this question is from Monica. And the subject is "Third time's a charm." "I've listened to your whole podcast. I love all the information. It has seriously been so helpful in my fasting journey. Fasting has helped me overcome so much. Major hormone imbalances and an obsession over food that is totally mellowed out with the control I feel with fasting. It's wonderful and truly life changing. My question is something I never really thought could be an issue. But I found an article that said otherwise. Can a diet focused primarily around protein contribute to insulin resistance? I follow Dr. Ted Naiman who is a huge fan of protein over pretty much all else. But if you're constantly getting the spike in insulin from protein, could not have the same effect on our tolerance of insulin as sugar does. For example, a diet of low carb high protein low to moderate fat. I'd love to hear your thoughts and research. Love you guys. Seriously keep it up."

Melanie Avalon: Okay, Monica, thank you so much for your question. Really, I got so excited about researching this question, and I did a lot of research. So, I'm so excited to talk about this. So, yes, protein does release insulin. The difference between how it releases insulin compared to carbohydrates, for example, it varies. I was looking at a lot of different literature and there are charts on different foods and insulin release. And some charts will say, for example, that beef releases more insulin than carbs. But then, something else I was looking at was saying that protein requires about half of the insulin of carbs. So, it seems to be all over the place. But the point is, they both do release insulin in substantial amounts compared to fat, which is very, very minimal.

The difference with protein is it also releases a hormone called glucagon. And you can think of glucagon as the counter-regulatory hormones to insulin. So, insulin reduces blood sugar, puts sugar into storage. Glucagon actually spurs the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream. Let's say you're just eating protein, and you are nondiabetic, and you are good with your insulin regulation in general, in theory, you would eat some protein. And because you're not eating carbs with it, this is my example, the insulin would lower your blood sugar, actually, and then glucagon would actually encourage your liver to release glucose. And then, you just have a straight-line response, and you wouldn't really have those dips and swings.

All of that said, there can be some issues, potentially with, one, the fact that protein does release insulin. So, if we are eating a lot of protein constantly, we could be getting-- it could potentially encourage insulin resistance from all that insulin release, especially in the context of if you're eating a mixed diet, and you're also getting insulin released from carbs and things like that. And then, releasing the glucagon can actually also potentially be a problem, because now not only are we releasing insulin to store carbs that we might be eating with a meal, but we're also potentially releasing glucose from the liver, which might create a longer-term blood sugar insulin issue.

On top of that, the constant release of-- protein stimulates something called mTOR, which actually, it's a growth signal in the body. And there are studies on mTOR and insulin sensitivity, and too much stimulation of mTOR constantly, might also encourage insulin resistance. And then on top of that, there's a lot of studies on BCAAs. So, those are branched chain amino acids. They are some of the potential amino acids that we can get from protein. And studies are pretty consistent that high levels of those in the blood tend to correlate to insulin resistance. But the problem is, we don't know if it's chicken or egg. We don't know if high BCAAs in the blood cause insulin resistance. Or if when you are insulin resistant, your body is unable to properly get those BCAAs out of the blood. And the studies are very conflicting and inconclusive on the BCAAs.

I found a very amazing study that literally looks at this question that Monica had. It's from July 2014 and it's called, "High dietary protein intake, reducing or eliciting insulin resistance?" And it looked at all the studies to date. So again, it's a little bit older of a study, 2014. But it was looking at the studies to date that all looked at high protein intakes in different situations, and how did it affect insulin resistance and glucose control in the subjects. And I actually, because there's a lot-- It's a very long article. I actually went through and counted, because they didn't really give a graph. I just went through and counted what they actually found. I'm going to tell you because I find it very telling.

In studies of healthy people who are not obese, who are not losing weight, so this is a short-term, energy-balanced high protein diet. Basically, just going on a high protein diet for the short term, not calorie restricted, not losing weight. Three other studies found that when they compare that to a normal diet, there was no effect on insulin resistance, so we didn't see a negative effect there. And then, one study found a benefit, so that's favorable. The second category was people who are overweight also doing the same thing. Short term, they're eating a high protein diet, but they are not losing weight. One of the studies found that when they made the protein high diet with whey protein that there was a benefit. And when I say benefit, I'm talking about on insulin resistance. One study found that there was no change, so there wasn't any difference. One study found when they use casein and whey that there was no change. Another study was six weeks, it was high protein, and the protein was from legumes and whey, and they found that it actually-- the high protein decreased insulin sensitivity, but then it actually normalized the longer the people were on it. Another study in diabetics with that setup found that the high protein improved insulin sensitivity. The conclusion was that it's inconclusive.

Then, they looked at people who are on short-term diets where they were calorie restricted and high protein, and losing weight. And in those, well, they started off by saying that most weight loss diets leading to weight loss increase insulin resistance. So, if you're on a high protein diet and you lose weight, you're probably going to see a benefit in insulin sensitivity. But it's hard to know if it's from the protein or if it's from the weight loss. They found that two studies compared high protein diets to other calorie-restricted diets for weight loss and the high protein diets had more of a benefit. One study found, comparing it to a control, so not to a calorie-restricted diet, it found a benefit. One study found that the high protein diet did not have as beneficial of an effect on Homa IR, which is a good marker of insulin sensitivity, but it did have a better effect on beta cell function and the pancreas. So, that's a little bit confusing. And then, two studies found that it was the same benefit. And then, one study found that it was looking at high protein versus high carb in a calorie-restricted situation, and the high carb was superior.

Last category, I'm almost done. And then, the section looking at long-term intake of high protein diets, one study looked at six months of people who are healthy on high protein diets. And they found that those on the higher protein diets had higher insulin resistance and more glucose issues. A collection of observational studies on diabetes found that high protein diets led to more issues. But then The Nurses' Health Study looked at low carb high protein diets and they did not find those issues. And then they actually did find that long-term intake of high protein from vegetable protein actually benefited insulin resistance. And then, there was another meta-analysis that they referenced. And that looked at 15 randomized control trials of more than 12 months on the long-term effects of diets high in protein. And it showed neither a positive nor a negative effect on glycemic control compared to diet low in protein in both healthy and insulin-resistant subjects.

Okay, sorry that that was so much information. But basically, there's been a lot of studies looking at this issue. Like I just went through all of those, the effects seem to be pretty mixed. It's interesting, because the study I was referencing, they concluded that high-protein diets and insulin action are not univocal, which means unambiguous. So basically, it is ambiguous. And that insulin sensitivity seems to have a beneficial effect in high-protein diets when people are overweight or insulin resistant, and they are losing weight. In the short term, having a high protein diet doesn't seem to really affect insulin action. But in the long term, there might be a-- or they say it seems to be deleterious when the intake is prolonged. And that this goes along with seeing high plasma BCAA levels in the blood, like I was talking about. Their ultimate conclusion is that in the long term, increased insulin secretion and consequent hyperinsulinemia might lead to reduced hepatic insulin sensitivity. Increased hepatic glucose output results in a decrease glucose control, although a direct effect in insulin action and insulin sensitive tissues can also have a role.

My thoughts stepping away from all of this is that yes, if you are doing high protein-- well, especially if you're doing high protein in the context of energy-toxic diet, a diet with too much energy in the long term, I think definitely can encourage an issue, contribute to an issue. If you're eating protein constantly 24/7, it could have those issues with mTOR. It could have basically all of these issues. In the context of weight loss, I don't think most people would need to worry about this at all. In maintenance as well. I'm not sure but I do feel for people who are doing intermittent fasting, we're getting that period during the fast of low insulin. We're getting that period of low mTOR. I think it's crucial that we get adequate if not high protein when we do eat. So basically, I really think that the issue here is energy toxicity, not protein completely. That was a really long answer. Cynthia, do you have thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I am in awe of the research that you did. My clinical context, just thinking thoughtfully about this question is, I'm 100% in agreement that the energy toxicity, meaning you're eating too much food, is really the issue. Now, when we look at the bulk of the population, we know 92-93% is metabolically inflexible and unhealthy, it is likely not too much protein, that's the issue. It's the overall there's just too much caloric or the macros are imbalanced. It's overwhelming the body's storage sites. And it is less about protein, and more about all of the other factors. Most people, perhaps not our listeners, but most individuals here in the United States are drinking caloric beverages all day long. They're eating anywhere from 6 to 10 times a day. And when you're really looking at the degree of meal frequency, the average American is doing-- average westernized person combined with those beverages, I think that is a greater issue. And for them, if they suddenly go high protein, and they still have all these other behaviors that I've identified, then that can become a larger issue.

And it's interesting, Ted Naiman, I've interviewed and I'm very aligned with him on many, many things. And he has this amazing book that is only an electronic book, which means I don't own it, because I like having physical books for most of my things that I want to reference. But he posts a lot of fantastic content on Twitter and YouTube. And it's a great resource. And he talks about how a certain amount of protein and fats will shut that satiety, you'll hit those satiety hormones that you just physically can't consume more food. And I think that's an important distinction along with everything else that you said. But I'm so grateful you did all that amazing research. I'm just going to speak to it as a clinician, and I think it has everything to do with an overconsumption of calories, in general, that is creating this toxicity and this degree of lack of metabolic flexibility and insulin resistance.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, what you just said is basically exactly how I feel. And I think the nuance as well is that, so say we are in energy toxicity situation on a low protein diet, the energy toxicity is primarily coming from carbs and fat. Just stepping aside, in general, energy toxicity is, I think, the issue. If you have low protein, the factor that you don't have going on in that situation, is that you're not getting that glucagon stimulation, that would be prompting the liver to be constantly also releasing glucose from the liver, which would be further exacerbating issues as well as the potential buildup of those amino acids in the bloodstream. Compared to when you do have the protein, you've got that secondary issue going on.

And I did want to throw in, because I left out one other thing because that was 2014. There was actually a 2020 meta-analysis, and it looked at 12 articles with 13 studies including patients with diabetes, and they actually concluded that a high protein diet does not significantly improve glycemic control and blood pressure. They didn't say that it hurt it, they just said it doesn't improve it. But it can lower LDL, TC, TG and Homa IR levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Further studies are needed to clarify the effects of high protein diet and glycemic control, insulin resistance and blood pressure control and type 2 diabetes. I just want to throw that one in there because I left it out.

But I'm glad you brought up Ted Naiman, I love him, we can put links to the episodes that we've had with him. I also really love Marty Kendall. He had a really good article on the glucagon aspect of this that I was reading, and he actually referenced Ted Naiman in that study as well. All that to say I agree with-- what you just said is what I agree with that. I think the issue is the energy toxicity.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, it definitely makes sense.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, I don't know if Monica expected that long of an answer. [Cynthia laughs] All right, we have a question from Jessica, and the subject is "Menopause, HRT, etc." Jessica says, "Hi, I love this podcast and I learned so much about IF. My doctor advised me to start IF a month ago when she put me on HRT. I'm 37 and still breastfeeding my daughter aged one, but I'm also postmenopausal as my ovaries were removed in December. My doctor advised HRT because my estrogen was unsurprisingly very low, and my DHEA and testosterone were very high. I've been doing IF starting at 16:8 a month ago, and now usually doing 18:6 and sometimes 20:4. I have not lost a single pound. My clothes do not fit differently. I am at my highest weight ever and getting so discouraged every time I step on the scale.

I have now been on low doses of bioidentical estrogen and progesterone for a month while doing IF. And although I feel some benefits, it's helped some digestive issues. I need the scale to move in order to feel my health is improving. Losing even a few pounds would give me hope, but it is just not happening. How long do I stick with this before it's time to admit it is not working for me? I'm also a vegetarian, but I sometimes eat the occasional fish. I'm reading that the research on IF for women is mixed, and it may have negative consequences for postmenopausal women. Is it possible this just isn’t for me? I hope that's not the case. Because this is the only diet, I've ever tried that I felt was sustainable. Thanks in advance, keep up the good work."

Cynthia Thurlow: Ah, Jessica, you have a lot going on. Oh, my goodness. You're still a very young woman, and we know women that have their ovaries removed before the age of 42 are at greater risk for developing cognitive issues. So, I'm grateful that your doctor is being very proactive and considering hormone replacement therapy. My concern is, and I'm just going to start from the top, I'm not in agreement with women breastfeeding or being pregnant and fasting. You're wanting to lose fat, but your body is still feeding a baby. And I'm sure if she's one, she's probably eating a lot of solids. And so, her breastfeeding might be brief and just a few times a day. But just something to think about in the position that you're in, you're giving your body mixed signals. You want it to lose fat, but you still want to be able to sustain being able to breastfeed, and I find for most women while they're breastfeeding, it's harder for them to lose body fat. So, that's number one. Since you're so young, I'm curious to know why your ovaries were removed at such a young age because that's very significant.

You're mentioning that your testosterone was high. The question is why. Did you have polycystic ovarian syndrome? When I start thinking about the reasons why women can have high testosterone, that's almost always the first thing I think about. Does your husband take supplemental testosterone? Probably not, because you're both very young, but you can sometimes get exogenous exposure that way. Just in thinking about the bioidentical hormones, it could be a combination of too much stress on the body, breastfeeding, fasting. Going into menopause is a big adjustment, and you have surgical menopause, meaning the average age of a woman in the United States to go through menopause is 51. You're 37. So, you're very, very young. And so, from my perspective, it's trying to get a sense from what you've shared as to what could be going on.

The other thing that I get concerned about is most vegetarians in my clinical experience consume too many carbohydrates, not enough protein. And you really have to work at that very diligently. If you're eating very limited, animal-based protein, hopefully, you're eating some eggs, which will make that easier. But the challenge is, if you're trying to fuel weight loss and you are vegetarian, you're very likely overconsuming carbohydrates. And then, you're also breastfeeding, and your body needs a little bit of extra fuel to be able to make that happen. I wrote a whole book about women and fasting.

And I generally will suggest the women check that out. There is research on postmenopausal women. And I find the women that generally do the best are the women who have stable hormones, meaning, when you're no longer menstruating, your hormone levels are stable, much more stable day to day, week to week than a woman who's still in peak fertile years, or even a perimenopausal woman-- there's a lot of good research that women can do very well in menopause, with intermittent fasting, provided that they're sleeping high quality sleep, they're managing their stress. And as a new mom, it's not unstressful to have a little baby at home and then stressing about trying to lose weight. I mean, those are two big things, eating anti-inflammatory nutrition, and really thinking about, things that fuel insulin sensitivity. And I think about walking after a meal, and lifting weights and things like that.

So, there's a lot to unpack here, I would give it more time. If you're breastfeeding, you need to give yourself some time. I used to always say six months was always that time period that I felt most of my patients got to a point where they were starting to see some weight loss, 12 to 18 months. And if you're still breastfeeding, it's going to make it a whole lot harder to lose weight. So, please give yourself some grace. Make sure you're getting your hormones tested, make sure you've got a DUTCH as well as serum blood labs. I think that would be very helpful. And the other question that dovetails into that is why is your testosterone so high? Did you have PCOS? What was the precipitant for removing your ovaries? That's a pretty drastic surgery for such a young woman. I would imagine there's a good reason, but just not a reason that's entirely clear to me right now. What do you think, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Well, I thought that was absolutely amazing and comprehensive. That was one of the takeaways I really took away from reading your book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation, was the difference with fasting in pre-menopausal and postmenopausal women and where do you think this idea-- because people ask this a lot or say this, that there are negative consequences for postmenopausal. But have you seen that? I mean, would the concern be I guess sarcopenia, not getting enough protein? I'm just wondering where this idea is coming from.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think there's a degree of fear mongering This is why I'm not a fan of OMAD. And that may upset people but I'm going to just say it, you just can't get your macros in. And once you're going through perimenopause, and menopause, physiologically, we are just much more at risk for muscle loss and the way that you need to think about how important and-- Gabrielle Lyon has been on your podcast, she has been on my podcast, she's a really close friend. I tell her all the time that her work completely changed everything that I talked about. But you want to think about muscles as a glucose reservoir. They're critically important for being metabolically healthy. And as you are losing muscle, and that's being replaced by fat--

I always talk about the filet, which is young muscle. Melanie has young muscle Melanie, so Melanie is a big fillet. And I'm 51, so my muscles, if I don't work really hard, are going to look like a ribeye and a ribeye is delicious. But we want to be a filet for as long as we can be. And I'm not talking about aesthetics. I'm talking about musculature, it's so important. And the concern I get is when postmenopausal women, perimenopausal women are just bucking this trend of, "I'm only hungry for one meal a day and that's all I eat," I just have to remind them, one of the reasons why you're not more-hungry, is you're starting to lose lean muscle mass. And as Gabrielle says, "You are not overfed, you're undermuscled." So, it's really important to understand that I think a lot of the concerns and fear about menopausal women is largely a byproduct of this concern that they are going to lose muscle mass if they're not eating at least two meals a day, we're not talking about 6 meals a day, or 10 meals a day, which I eat two meals a day so that you can get enough protein in your diet.

The other thing that I think is important note is that we're de facto less tolerant of stress as we head into perimenopause and menopause. It's a byproduct of the loss of progesterone from our ovaries, as our adrenals are stepping in to help support our body, we are just not as stress resilient. That doesn't mean we can't manage stress, we don't manage it as well. And so, I think on a lot of levels, there's this concern that if women head into their 40s, and 50s and beyond, and they're overfasting, overrestricting, not exercising or doing the wrong types of exercise, that they can put themselves at risk for a lot of inflammation, a lot of bodily stress. But I sometimes feel menopausal women have an easier time because they don't have to deal with the factors of a menstrual cycle and follicular phase and luteal phase. I would say men and menopausal women can sometimes have the easiest time fasting of all because they don't have to worry about this biology of procreation and conception and fertility and infertility that younger women have to worry about. But I do think it's a huge problem.

In fact, I'm not going to say this person's name, but there's a person who just had a book come out and they love to fearmonger about women and fasting. And I've had to have this discussion quite a bit. And I don't want anyone to perceive that. If you're sleeping well and you're dialing in on your nutrition and you're managing your stress and you're fasting for your cycle and you're not overexercising, that fasting can't be a part of or eating less often, can't be part of your strategies that you use to feel good about navigating whatever stage of life you're in. I think a lot of that comes from well-meaning people who don't really know what's going on. That's my feeling.

Melanie Avalon: I cannot agree more. It's actually similar or relates to the findings speaking of what you're talking about earlier with protein, on protein and longevity. There are so many people, researchers and such like Dr. Valter Longo, who I've had on the show-- he's actually been on this show, and he's been on the biohacking podcast, but he and people in his sphere are very much pro low protein for longevity up until, I think, age 60. And then, you need higher protein. So, I think that does relate to everything Cynthia was talking about, about when you are at that older age and the more difficulty it is to create and maintain muscle, women in particular really need the higher protein when they're older. I don't think that should be lumped in with the fasting, which I think can happen. It just might be like Cynthia was saying that you need a longer window to get in that adequate protein intake if you're not like me where I eat all the protein.

Cynthia Thurlow: The unicorn, but I think that's one of the reasons why I love podcasting with you as we really speak to such a wide age range of women. And I think that's really important because if we were both 50 somethings or if we're both 30 somethings, we would not necessarily totally represent our demographic, right?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. It's funny before I even started the show, way back, I remember brainstorming about what did I want the show to look like. And at first, I was like "Oh, I want to cohost with somebody like my age. And it'll be two girls having wine night, two young people." But when I met Jen, I was "Oh, this is actually much more appropriate," because it's just so much helpful to give the broad perspective, and then it's even better when we're friends as well. It's all the good things.

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. And I think it's important for people to understand that there's a genuine camaraderie here. So, we can both benefit from our own experiences. My kids know who Melanie is. When we talk about Melanie's eating window, and her sleeping habits and how different we both are, and that's the beauty of it is that there's listeners who very likely-- there might be someone who has a long, evening eating window and stays up really late-- And I think, it's only when I was traveling in Europe that we overlapped at the same time, like we were awake for the longest stretch of time at the same time. I was like, "This is cool."

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's funny, I get DMs from people because I do think my approach is very rare. But there are? I know you guys are out there who actually do it very similar to me, and quite a few people DM me, and they're just like, "Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone in my crazy late night, feast every night." So, we are out there, but it definitely doesn't work for everybody, that is for sure.

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All right. Shall we answer one more question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is Mary, "Prescription meds breaking fast." "Hello, I've just begun IF." So, her eating is either 19:5 for two days or 20:4. "I've long abstained from between meal eating, so this was a fairly easy transition for me. I am determined to have clean fast. However, I saw a comment today on Facebook regarding melatonin, and the word was that it does contain sugar, so realistically breaks the fast. I have a long list of prescription meds. So far, I've looked at four that are must-haves, and they all have that same ingredient. My feeding window is 12:30 to 4:30. I can take my evening pills right at 4:30 and some of my AM pills right at 12:30. But some must be taken 12 hours apart. My question is, if I take the must-haves when I wake up, does that wreck my clean fast? Eager to hear. I want to do this right. Thank you for your time, Mary."

Melanie Avalon: All right, Mary, thank you so much for your question. So, something to clarify, because I can see how this can happen. You talked about how you heard melatonin, and it contains sugar, and so, it breaks the fast. And maybe this goes without saying but with something like melatonin, which is not a prescription, there are many brands of melatonin, and they do not all contain sugar. So, melatonin does not equal sugar, does not require sugar to be taken. For melatonin, for example, you can find a melatonin that is fast friendly. We love melatonin from MD Logic for example. So definitely check them out. You can use the codes, MELANIEAVALON or CYNTHIA, to get a discount on that I know Cynthia in particular has really benefited from that melatonin. So that's supplements like non-prescriptive supplements, you can usually find a version that is clean, fast friendly, especially when it's not a prescription because there's normally lots of versions of it.

When it comes to prescription medications, if you have to be taking your prescription medications, you have to be taking your prescription medications. Some of them might contain ingredients that break the fast like she has found out. I'd be curious what she found in it that was-- I'm wondering what the sugar ingredient that she's thinking. I'm wondering if it's something-- I'm just wondering what it is exactly. There are a few things. One, I think a lot of people don't realize this, but this is actually an option. You can actually get a lot of prescription medications compounded, I actually do. If you have a compounding pharmacy that you like and can work with, they can often make compounded versions of your medication with the exact fillers that you want, or even no fillers. It's not always a possibility. And sometimes if it's a possibility, it's extremely expensive, so then it's not really a possibility. But for some of the medications, it is a possibility. I've done that in the past for things.

If that's not the case and you need to go with the traditional prescription form, there are a lot of generic versions of a lot of prescription medications. You can look up the prescription and you can try to find the one that is the most "fast friendly." It does take a little bit of detective work, I'm thinking of little detective emoji in my head. But that is an option. And you can talk with your doctor if you want a specific generic version prescribed. All of that said, if you need to take the prescription medication and you cannot find a clean, fast friendly and you cannot get it compounded. It's okay, [chuckles] you have to take your medications when you have to take them. It's not like this is actual food. I'm not giving a greenlight to taking in minute amounts of sugar or anything that in general. But when it comes to medication, you have to take your medication. Don't stress about it. It will be very minimal, if anything. Those are my thoughts on medication. Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: The irony is I have 45 cohort going right now, and we had our first group call. And that was the first question that I was asked today. And here's the thing, if you have to take a medication, you have to take a medication, period. There should be no stress about, does it break your fast, does it not breaks your fast? I'm always very transparent talk about the fact I take now compounded thyroid medicine, and I take that during my fasting window and that does not break my fast. Now, the issue with generics, and people may not know this, but you can get these tremendous variances. There are generics you can get sometimes like 20% variants. As an example, before I was taking compounded progesterone, I would sometimes wonder why some nights I'd sleep really well and some nights I wouldn't. My functional med doc actually pointed out, "Well, you realize, you probably remember this but for generic medications, even though it's a bioidentical, you still have this variance." And so, I would just state that-- sometimes the trade medications that you pay a little more for-- and by no means am I telling people to break their budget to do this, but if you feel you don't do as well on a generic, just understand it can be 20% different than the trade product. I had a lot of women, especially my thyroid patients, that would tell me they would not take generic Synthroid. They only took regular Synthroid because they had intolerances. I had patients on antihypertensive, so medications for their blood pressure, same thing. We're all individuals but please do not let the concern about breaking a clean fast be the reason why you perceive that you have to do all these different things to me make this work.

Now, there should be no sugar in melatonin. And if there is, then I would definitely look for another option. I speak very openly that the two options I use are Sandman, that's a whole other special conversation about that supplement. But the MD Logic melatonin is more efficacious, meaning it's stronger than the Designs for Health product I'd been using for several years, and I even used on myself as well as my patients. One capsule of MD logic was equivalent to three of the Designs for Health sustained release. To give you an idea, it's very cost effective, and I'm not sharing that to sell everyone on that brand, but just to share that's what works for me. Sandman is a per rectal melatonin, but it's also largely cost prohibitive for the average person, I probably use it twice a month. But with that being said, please don't let that be a concern. Now, if your supplement has sugar in it-- there was a woman in my other group who had a product that had 40 grams of sugar and 30 grams of carbs. And I was like, "First of all, you need to throw that in the garbage."

Melanie Avalon: In what? Supplement?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, there were gummies. And I said, "Okay, well, a gummy is going to be full of sugar, because it's going to be soft and--" Anyway, a whole separate conversation. But the point of what I'm sharing is, we want to try to find the cleanest options that are out there. Things without gluten and dairy and grains and soy, just be diligent when you're selecting supplements to try to find really high-quality products. Yeah, that's my ramp. But please don't let concerns about your medication breaking your fast keep you from taking medications that you are prescribed and that you need.

Melanie Avalon: That's so fascinating. I know you said you've seen it in hypertensive medications as well. Do you find it is more the hormonal supplements where that's an issue or is it just across the board?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it's interesting, because many years ago, when I was taking oral contraceptives, I remember when I was a student at Hopkins, I had this one brand of oral contraceptives. And I also had mild phenotype PCOS, I had no idea why I had these crazy wild periods. Well, it's because I had PCOS and that's why I initially went on the pill. And the student health center was "Oh, we've got the generic version of what you're taking." I went on the generic and gained 10 pounds. And I remember them saying, "Oh, there's nothing different in this." And then, I remember talking to my faculty, and they were like generic is exactly that. They only have to have 80% of the formulation the same.

Melanie Avalon: Legally?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and you can have different fillers. There's lots of things that happen with these medications that I used to say-- Some people do fine with the generics, let me be clear, there's nothing wrong with generics. But I think there are definitely people who are much more sensitive to additional fillers and different formulations of medications. And so, that's where I think it's important to just have the conversation. If you're doing fine on what you're taking, great. If you're not, investigate what other options are available.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. It's interesting, because I had sort of vaguely wondered that in general about the generics, but I hadn't really looked into it.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, up to 20%.

Melanie Avalon: Um, it's concerning.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Well, thank you. That's very valuable information. Thank you for sharing.

Cynthia Thurlow: You're welcome. It'd be a little depressing for everyone to hear. But the irony is one of my pharmacist friends and one of my doctor friends just happened to say that to me the other day, and I was like "Oh, my gosh, I forgot that. It's so true. It makes complete sense."

Melanie Avalon: Wow, wow, wow. Well, thank you.

Cynthia Thurlow: You're welcome.

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, if you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode, which are going to have a lot of links, as well as a full transcript, will be @ifpodcast.com/episode286. And then, you can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. And you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon, and Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. And I will talk to you next week.

Cynthia Thurlow: It sounds good.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman. Editing by Podcast Doctors. Show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner. Transcripts by SpeechDocs. And original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Sep 11

Episode 282: EMF Protection, Insulin Levels, IF Weight And Fat Gain, Heart Palpitations, Electrolytes, Hydration, Digestion Changes, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 282 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Chicken For A Year!!

SHIELD YOUR BODY RADIATION SAFETY DAY: Go To shieldyourbody.com/rsd For FREE And Easy Ways You And Your Family Can Radically Reduce Your Exposure To EMF Radiation, Without Impacting Your Enjoyment Of Modern Technology, And Win A FREE $2000 Canopy! Use The Code Melanieavalon For 15% Off Sitewide At melanieavalon.com/syb.

ATHLETIC GREENS: 75 High-Quality Vitamins, Minerals, Whole-Food Sourced Ingredients, Probiotics, And Adaptogens In One Delicious Scoop! Get A FREE 1 Year Supply Of Immune-Supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE Travel Packs With Your First Purchase At athleticgreens.com/ifpodcast!

 JOOVV: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels! It literally 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!! These devices are literally LIFE CHANGING!! For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Chicken For A Year!!

3:50 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

12:00 - SHIELDYOURBODY: Use The Code Melanieavalon For 15% Off Sitewide At melanieavalon.com/syb.

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #122 - R Blank

20:30 - ATHLETIC GREENS: Get A FREE 1 Year Supply Of Immune-Supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE Travel Packs With Your First Purchase At athleticgreens.com/ifpodcast!

22:00 - Listener Q&A: Erica - Eating and insulin levels

31:00 - Listener Q&A: Kathryn - IF Weight and Fat gain

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

Ep. 140 – The Nature of Bingeing: How to Break Out of the Food-Prison with Dr. Glenn Livingston

42:50 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

45:55 - Listener Q&A: Lydia - IF and Palpitations

LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

AvalonX Magnesium 8: Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

Simply Hydration: Magnesium-Charged Electrolyte Concentrate for Rapid Hydration

55:20 - Listener Q&A: Sarah-Lynn - Positive side effects

Our content does not constitute an attempt to practice medicine, and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Please consult a qualified health care provider for medical advice and answers to personal health questions.

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 282 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, biohacker and author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and cynthiathurlow.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Okay, friends, you can take chicken breasts off your grocery list. ButcherBox is offering our listeners an incredible deal that they have never offered before ever. Free chicken for a year. Yes, you can get two pounds of free-range organic chicken breasts for free for a year. I am not making this up. There is a reason we adore ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get healthy, delicious, humanely raised meat and sustainable seafood that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, that's really hard to find, by the way, and wild-caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door.

When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect, and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency regarding grazing practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox. You can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. But I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. All of their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished. That's really hard to find. They work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves, but the planet. This is so important to me. I'll put a link to that in the show notes.

The value is incredible. The average cost is actually less than $6 per meal. And it's so easy. Everything ships directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing. And their chicken is incredible, humanely raised, free range, organic and you can get it free for a year. Get two pounds of free-range organic chicken breasts for free in every order when you sign up at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. That's two pounds of free-range organic chicken breasts for free in every order when you sign up at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. Claim this deal at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. If you've been wanting to try ButcherBox, now is the time. We will put all of this information in the show notes. 

And one more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense, because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat. But do you know what is possibly one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting. It's actually our skincare and makeup. As it turns out, Europe has banned over a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disruptors, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens, which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream. And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup maybe playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health, and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because, ladies, when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years. 

Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that, there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. They have Countertime for anti-aging, Countermatch for normal skin, Countercontrol for acne and oily prone, and Counterstart for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life. And their makeup is amazing. Check on my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready.

They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo, and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20, to get 20% off your first order. Also, make sure to get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list. So, definitely check it out. And you can join me in my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well. 

And lastly, if you're thinking of making clean beauty and safe skincare a part of your future like we have, we definitely recommend becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership. It is totally, completely worth it. So, again, to shop with us, go to beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 282 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: How are you, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I am doing well. I've got both my kids back in school.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, nice. More me time for you? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, at least they're not laying around the house. That's the one thing about teenagers is that they're like bears. They come out to eat, they come out to be taken places, and then they spend a lot of time in their rooms sleeping. And so, at least now during the day, my husband and I have a completely immaculate house, unlike when they're home. They're essentially savages. So, they're at least gone during the day. They're in school. They're being intellectually stimulated. It's all good.

Melanie Avalon: That makes sense. That's one thing I miss about being a teenager. It was okay to sleep like hours and hours and hours.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting. My mom came to visit. My mom was very militant. We weren't allowed to sleep in, ever. And so, she was like, "You let your children sleep?" And I said, "Yes. Because they stay up late, and they need the sleep." [laughs] So, that's always the place I come from. I'm like, "As long as they get their work done, and they get their chores done, and they have good grades, I don't mind if they sleep," and it's really not an inconvenience to me. My husband and I go have half a day to ourselves before they wake up.

Melanie Avalon: That's the way my mom was growing up as well. That is something to be grateful for all the little things. Because that would have been miserable, if she had made us get up.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, my mom was just tough. I think because she was a healthcare professional, and was up early rounding, and seeing patients, and so, from her perspective, she had to be up, we should be up as well. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Growing up, we would go to Sanibel Island in Florida every summer and I would always have a friend come with me. And it was funny, because I loved when I had the friend that had the same sleep schedule as me. We would both sleep until 2 PM. Because some of my friends were early morning birds. So, they would get up at 10 AM and have to wait for me for couple hours.

Cynthia Thurlow: So, this is not a new lifestyle.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, no, no. I think I've talked about this before on the show. I feel bad about it. I feel I should be a morning person. And every time I talk to my mom, my mom's like, "Melanie, you've always been a late-night person. You will always be a late-night person. Just accept it."

Cynthia Thurlow: We are very opposite.

Melanie Avalon: We are and I'm jealous.

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] No, I was thinking to myself, if we were ever in the same location at the same time, what would be the optimal hours we would be up at the same time? I'm like, "From 12 to eight." 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. 12 is pushing it. [laughs] 1 to 8, 1 to 9. Is 9 pushing it for you?

Cynthia Thurlow: 9 is pushing it for me. Maybe 30, I'm generally like, "Okay, I want to go." I want to get on my PMF mat and start getting ready for bed.

Melanie Avalon: So funny. The socially acceptable hour that works for me to be like social is 7 or 8. Because most people are still like, they'll get drinks at 7 or dinner at 7. I know 8 pushes it for some people. But in any case, we have something exciting to share with listeners. Actually, two exciting things. One, would you like to share the winner of your giveaway?

Cynthia Thurlow: I would. The winner of our giveaway was Louise Sparks. So, we will be sending out your goodies within the next week. And I just wanted to take an opportunity to thank everyone for the wonderful, wonderful reviews that were left for the book. I'm so very grateful to be part of this community and very appreciative of everyone that submitted entries. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it was really wonderful to read all of the reviews that, because I got to see them as well obviously being emailed in. It's just so wonderful how supportive, and kind, and just wonderful everybody can be. So, thank you. And what was the price? 

Cynthia Thurlow: We had very generous individuals, companies that donated products to the book launch. And so, there were some products from designs for health, some Redmond's products, all sorts of fun goodies. It was overwhelming how generous these companies were. And so, there were so much that was donated, we wanted to extend another option to share it with individuals that had read the book and loved it. So, thank you again, Louise Sparks.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Awesome, awesome. And then another exciting announcement. This is an opportunity to both learn very important things and also win very exciting things. So, okay, I'm so excited about this. I have a dear friend, R Blank. I've had him on The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Cynthia, have you connected with R before?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not definitely like on my radar, though.

Melanie Avalon: He's fabulous. He has a company called Shield Your Body and they are the global leader in laboratory tested EMF protection products. And okay, so, I am so passionate about this EMF situation. And it's interesting, because I feel people are skeptical of the health effects of EMF, but there have been-- Well, first of all, the World Health Organization lists EMF as a class to be carcinogen. So, this is not something that's woo-woo or not real. It's literally a carcinogen. And there's been thousands of high-quality peer reviewed scientific studies looking at EMF radiation from things like our cell phones and our air pods, and they found negative health effects like sleep disruptions, even infertility connections to Alzheimer's, obviously, connection to cancer. It's a really big deal. If you want to learn more about it, definitely check out my interview I did with R on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. I'll put a link to it. 

The reason I really, really like what he's doing is, he is all about the science of everything and what is actually something to be concerned about what's not something to be concerned about, how can you actually mitigate it, and what is practical. He's not going to tell you to never have a cell phone or never use Bluetooth. Although, I think he personally, probably never uses Bluetooth. I don't want to put words in his mouth. But he's very good about making everything approachable and practical, which is why he has this company, Shield Your Body. And they have all these incredible products that will help protect you from EMF and they're tested, which is so, so key. But in any case, the exciting announcement. So, this episode airs September 12th. And on September 22nd, Shield Your Body is actually having EMF Radiation Safety Day. This is the fourth year that they've done it. It's actually on Faraday's birthday, so the guy who invented the Faraday cage. And the purpose of the event is just to spread awareness and help people learn more about the dangers of EMF exposure, how they can really shield themselves and protect their health, the health of themselves and their family. 

And so, basically, they offer tons of free, yes, free and easy ways to reduce your EMF exposure. And it actually according to them all comes down to two key rules. And no, I'm not going to tell you what those two key rules are. You have to get them for free. To get those two key rules and to be a part of Radiation Safety Day, because when you go to get all these free resources, you'll actually be entered into a giveaway to win a Shield Your Body canopy worth $2,000. So, that's just incredible. You can potentially win that canopy and in addition, they're going to be giving a lot of other prizes as well. So, you can go now to get the free resources and to enter to win. You will go to shieldyourbody.com/rsd. Again, that stands for Radiation Safety Day. And you can enter now all the way up until September 22nd. September 22nd is when they are going to do the raffle drawing. 

And in addition, while you're at Shield Your Body or just in general, if you would like to purchase any of their products, you can use the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON, and that will get you 15% off. I love their stuff. I'm actually right now using their wired headphones that do not have Bluetooth exposure. So, that's great. I really recommend their pad that goes underneath your laptop. If you are sitting with a laptop on your lap, again, there's studies showing that EMF exposure can affect fertility. So, it can be really, really important to have something like that protecting you from your laptop. They have bags, they have some apparel like a beanie, they have stuff for your kids. So, definitely, definitely check it out. Maybe you'll win that canopy.

Cynthia Thurlow: Ah, that sounds amazing.

Melanie Avalon: How do you feel about EMF exposure, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, we had our house evaluated before we built it, the property and the geothermic forces underneath the house. And we have special material that was laid underneath our floors. And we have special-- [crosstalk] 

Melanie Avalon: I'm so jealous.

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] We didn't do a canopy in our bedroom. because I kept explaining to my colleague, I was like, "I am going to have teenage drivers. I can't be in an environment, where if there's an emergency and they're driving that I can't have my phone working. Maybe if they were a little younger, it'd be different." I would say, we probably did 50% of what was recommended. To do it fully 100% would have meant that there would have been absolutely no Wi-Fi at all upstairs in our bedrooms. And I was like, "That's not entirely realistic." We do shut down the Wi-Fi at night much to our kids' disappointment, especially because they are bears and they're up all night. But this house was definitely designed to be very conscientious. We have ethernet cables. All of our computers are wired into the wall.

Melanie Avalon: I am so happy right now to hear this. Same. I use ethernet. I'm on a wired computer right now. I turn off Wi-Fi at night. And we've talked, you know the EMF product that I'm creating, right? The issue that you just expressed, which I know is an issue for a lot of people. You need to have your phone on at night. So, what do you do about that? I'm actually working with R right now. We're working on a cobranded product. I am so excited. And it's going to be something to address that exactly. It's going to be something that you put on your nightstand, and you'll be able to put your phone in it, and it will shield you from your phone, but then you'll still be able to receive calls and you'll be able to charge your phone. I'm so excited. Stay tuned for that. But in the meantime, definitely go to that link, shieldyourbody.com/rsd. Enter to win the giveaway. Learn the two key rules to protect yourself and so much more.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's really important. And here's the one thing that I don't know, if listeners realize that some of us are much more sensitive to EMF. I'm a canary in a coal mine. And so, for me and my last house in Northern Virginia, there were so much external radiation and EMF that was coming into that house. As soon as we moved into the house, I stopped sleeping. And when Brian Hoyer came out and evaluated the house, he looked at me and he said, "You realize when EMF is this high, it upregulates cortisol and this is why you're not sleeping." And so, I just started to cry, because my husband thought I was nuts. But I'm trying to explain to him that there are those of us that are just much more sensitive to it and there are a lot of data centers in that part of Northern Virginia almost as much as what they have on Silicon Valley. And so, from my perspective, I think awareness is key, not to scare people, but just to bring awareness and then finding strategies that fit your lifestyle, I think is really important.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, when Gin was on the show, she had a whole experience, because she's always moving. She moved into a house and started getting a lot of sleep issues. And she thought it correlated to some other factors. And then when they were moving, she realized that her bedroom was right by the power grid and was thinking that that probably had something to do with it. It's so true. It affects people more than others. I actually also had Joseph Mercola on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast to talk about it as well. One of the really shocking things and this is just frustrating and it's maybe like the processed food industry or something. But the studies they use to set up safety regulations for cell phone use, the models don't match reality. The way they test for safety is not the way we would be using our phones. Normally, it's not the exposure we would be exposed to. It's very, I don't want to say rigged, but there's a way they keep continuing to make these devices that are having these health effects and it's really binging the rules and it's upsetting. But yes, there are things you can do. shieldyourbody.com/rsd. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Cool. 

Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into some questions for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is a question from Erica. Subject is: "Eating and insulin levels." "I recently had a short conversation with Dr. Herring about insulin. Somebody on his Facebook page was talking about glucose and how if they have creamer in their coffee, their glucose doesn't rise after 30 minutes. I said, "If it doesn't rise, it's because insulin has been released and done its job." Dr. Herring then came in and said, "If insulin had done its job and the glucose reading would be lower." I asked, "Let's say you start with a fasting reading of 5 in just anything wouldn't a level go up to 7, insulin brings the reading back to a 5 or thereabouts. Are you saying that the levels should go even further down say, 2 or 3?" He didn't answer that question. Nearly three years living intermittent fasting now, thanks to you two for keeping me motivated via the podcast while I walk. I will never stop as it's just my normal now. 50 kilograms gone. Regards, Erica."

Melanie Avalon: And Erica is from Western Australia. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Perth is beautiful. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you've been there?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not. But my boyfriend before my husband, who my husband has actually met, was from Perth and the photos, they had a farm, they were just beautiful. It's considered to be one of the most isolated areas of Australia in the world. But the photos were gorgeous. One day, I will get there.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. I want to look up pictures. I love looking at pictures of places. That's so cool. Well, Erica, first of all, congrats on your success with the weight loss and thank you for your question. And so, I think this is good question because it taps into a lot of broad concepts that I think people get confused about or have questions about. So, I can speak briefly to it. Your blood sugar levels at any given time, there are so many factors that are affecting that. What's really crazy to think about-- It's actually mind blowing, if you actually think about it. The amount of blood sugar, so like, she's using millimoles to measure a blood sugar. But we in the US measure in the 90s or 80s, or one hundreds, that correlates to a very small amount of blood sugar. Like a teaspoon, I think is what I've heard. And so, it's really crazy to think that we will eat a bolus of carbs, like a massive amount of carbs. 

And when people who are diabetic can have issues. But even people are prediabetic, even that the levels might go high, but they never equal the amount of sugar that you're eating. The body does a really good job, even people who struggle with high blood sugar at keeping that regulated. Stepping back just to paint a broad picture, obviously, you can take in carbohydrates or sugar and that is a source of sugar entering your bloodstream. Or, your liver can release stored sugar or carbs in the form of glycogen into the bloodstream. Actually, fun fact, the majority of the blood sugar that you have in your bloodstream, including and diabetics is not from what you're eating. It's from the liver releasing it, which is just something interesting to think about. The third way would be the liver can actually make sugar, if it doesn't have sugar. Those are the three inputs. 

And then on the flip side like Erica was talking about, what's removing the sugar from the bloodstream is insulin, which is being regulated by the pancreas. And so, there's a lot of nuances here. And so, if you're taking in something that has carbs in it, presumably, that's going to lead to a blood sugar spike, which would go down, because you have insulin. In this case, she's talking about creamer in the coffee. And so, it's hard to know the actual creamer. So, this could be a creamer with carbs in it or it could be a creamer without carbs in it. If it had carbs in it and the glucose didn't rise, then yes, presumably, insulin put the carbs into storage and so they're not in the bloodstream. If the creamer real didn't have many carbs and it was fat-- And this is something that I think people get confused about as well. Fat is very easily stored. It doesn't necessarily require insulin to be stored. A reason that you could take in fat and not see a blood sugar rise and it's not because you put energy in your bloodstream and insulin got rid of it, it could be that insulin just wasn't even required. 

And the reason I'm saying all of this and sorry, if this is a lot of information, people are so unique. They'll do studies, where they have people basically getting a continuous infusion or injection of both insulin and glucose, and they can see how much insulin is required to keep the glucose level. Basically, how much insulin do you require to take in this blood sugar and not see any effect, any bump in your blood sugar level? And the reason that's important and the reason it relates to Erica's question is, that's going to be different. It's not like everybody requires x amount of insulin to take care of x amount of carbs. In this situation where the glucose didn't rise and she's asking, well, it should have dropped lower, it's completely an individual basis. Some people, they might release the perfect amount of insulin that they perfectly store it and it doesn't rise. Some people might release a little bit more insulin. And so, it actually drops lower than before, which would be the situation she was talking about the end. Or, if there weren't even carbs in it and it was just fat, which is a possibility. Insulin might not have been released at all, because in some wasn't required and there wasn't bump. That's a lot of information. Cynthia, thoughts? 

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think you did a beautiful job. But the big takeaway is, fat has a much more negligible impact on blood sugar response. And so, that could explain why there hasn't been-- There's this negligible response. And so, I think it's important to delineate and discuss how blood sugar works, because I think it's oftentimes very misunderstood. I think people think about it in a very linear fashion, it's just one way. But there are multiple ways the body can impact blood sugar, insulin release, etc.

Melanie Avalon: I actually learned about something recently that I'm shocked. I didn't know about earlier. I'm very shocked. I used to always think that I had reactive hypoglycemia. I don't know if it's necessarily the example she gave, but it's the example she gave, where if you eat something, and then your body releases too much insulin, and your blood sugar drops lower than it was before, and you get feelings of having low blood sugar. I always used to assume that's what was going on. Maybe it was. But actually, I didn't know there was something called idiopathic postprandial syndrome and that's actually where it feels like reactive hypoglycemia. It feels like you ate and your blood sugar dropped. But if you were to actually test your blood sugar, it would be high. What's so cool about the reason that-- Well, I don't know if it's cool, but the reason that's happening there, like, theories about it, but it's likely because the body's trying so hard to control the blood sugar level that you get all of those hormonal feelings of anxiety, or shakiness, or fatigue, or adrenaline, and it's your body trying to control things rather than actually being low blood sugar. I'm just surprised. I didn't know that until a month ago. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, the word idiopathic really just means we don't understand why this happens. It'd really be a diagnosis of exclusion when they've rolled out everything else. But I think when we talk about reactive hypoglycemia, those are typically the people they get sweaty, they get diaphoretic, they get dizzy, they feel nauseous, they can get pretty symptomatic. And I think many years ago, when I was in school, we used to think of that as being very benign, but I look at it as it's sometimes that beginning stages of identifying that your cells are not well adapted to insulin.

Melanie Avalon: I just find it so interesting that you can have that exact experience and not have low blood sugar and that's like a thing. Got to love the word, 'idiopathic' for-- 

Cynthia Thurlow: Idiopathic means we don't understand why. That's basically what that means. People were like, "Oh, we'd--" [crosstalk] 

Melanie Avalon: But it makes it sound fancy. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. And I'm like, "It's really not." It means we don't understand why this happens and you're in this bucket.

Melanie Avalon: Love it. Love it, love it. Shall we answer a question from Catherine? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: This is from Catherine and the subject is: "IF weight and fat gain." And Catherine says, "Hi, I've read so many books and products you have recommended. I love this lifestyle and I love your books and podcasts. I've been wanting to write for a while and I kept telling myself, "I just needed to figure it out on my own." But as time goes by, my weight and fat keep creeping up, I thought I better seek your wise counsel. I began intermittent daily clean fasting, the first week of August 2019. I began my IF journey to maintain a weight loss of over one hundred pounds, but I've gained 20 pounds since starting IF. I'm 57 and 5'6.5". I walked 2.5 miles daily. I play pickleball." What is pickleball?

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't know. I think it's like a smaller bat.

Melanie Avalon: Pickleball according to Google is an indoor or outdoor racket paddle sport like you said. Like tennis with little, small bats. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] She's probably English. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes. Okay. She plays pickleball or does it work out a few times a week. "Before if I was counting macros and every calorie I consumed or burnt daily to not regain. And I was successfully maintaining and still losing, but it was not fun at all, and I did not feel well. After dieting off and on, my entire adult life, I'm being overweight my entire adult life, I finally lost weight with the ideal protein diet. I think I heard Gin's recommendation to continue your current way of eating and add IF, but I did not follow that advice. Also, although I know it is not what you two would recommend, I just think I went overboard with eating what I had been denying for so long. I know that is not advised, but after limiting carbs or fat for so long, I just went for it. I love the simplicity of delaying and freedom of not denying but fear I have taken it too far." 

She said, "I usually fast for 19 to 20 hours and have a two to five-hour eating window. Typically, I have a shorter eating window on weekdays one to two hours and sometimes will lengthen it on weekends to three to five hours. I eat a healthy, typically paleo supper meal each day. I think my problem might be too much of a snack before and after that healthy meal. I started out between 125 to 130 pounds in August wearing a size four to six with very little fat on my bones and coming from a very restricted diet. I now weight 145 and I can see fat on my body. I can still wear the same jeans, but not all my clothes from 20 pounds ago. I feel great, I feel healthy, I look healthier. My hair is glowing. But I really liked the number 125 and I really liked seeing myself skinnier. if I'm completely honest, I looked pretty gone at 125. I do look healthier now. I hear all the stories of weight loss and feel, I should have at least been able to maintain my weight with IF. 

Honestly, I could probably be happy with 135. I do not want to continue gaining weight. I'm wondering if I need to deny sugar and chocolate indefinitely as it is probably a trigger for me. Should I start counting the calories of my snack or dessert? Is there anything you can recommend for me? I will not go back to dieting. I am IF for life. Thank you so much for your books and podcasts. I have learned so much from you. I so look forward to your direction and thank you in advance."

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Catherine, thank you for your question and congratulations on the progress you've made. A lot of what I hear in this question is, you really like one number, but you feel healthier, better, your hair looks healthier at a different weight. And herein lies a lot of the problem in the weight loss industry. We get very fixated on numbers. And I'm speaking to you as a clinician that at a minimum, I would get some basic lab worked on, so that you can see where your triglycerides are, and your HDL, and look at your fasting insulin, your glucose, your A1C really get a sense of your thyroid and sex hormones to see really where you are. 125 pounds is pretty thin for 5'7" female. 

And you yourself mentioned that you've looked gaunt. From my perspective, it's really stepping back and objectively saying, what is driving the focus on that number? Because it sounds to me that you actually feel better at a different number. I would say, the other thing and this is a resounding theme for me is that if you're only eating within a very short window, are you eating enough food? Because your body could be perceiving that you are not enough food that you're starving and it's going to hold on to every single calorie and morsel of food. Really making sure that your meals are structured focused on protein, as well as non-starchy vegetables. You may be craving chocolate and sweets, because you're not getting enough food. And so, I really think you need to objectively and honestly look at, are you eating enough food in your feeding window? You may not be. And checking in with your primary care provider, your internist, your GYN to get some baseline labs, I think is a really important first step. And then also giving yourself grace. 

There are so much focus in our society on weight numbers, instead of focusing on health and what allows you to go out and play your sports, and to walk, and doing all the things you're doing it. It doesn't sound like for you that you want to track macros and that's okay. I would really try to be deliberate about getting enough protein in your diet and we usually focus in on a hundred grams a day. Hundred grams per pound of ideal body weight. And really focused in on healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables and also, that mindset shift. I know, both Melanie and I have interviewed Dr. Glenn talking a lot about our relationship with food. I think that those interviews would be super helpful to hear his perspective and he talks about the inner pig, not that we're a pig, but the inner pig in our brain that's telling us to behave a certain way. 

And make sure you're getting enough sleep. And make sure that you have great relationships with loved ones. And making sure that you feel satisfied in your personal life, I think is certainly a very, very important part of this. But the concerns that come up for me are, are you eating enough? Having this fixation on a number that may not be a healthy number for you to be at. I have had so many female patients that will say, "I want to weigh what I waited 18" and yet, this is 20, 30 years later, and it's woefully not realistic for them to weigh. What they did at 18 years old, when they probably weren't nourishing themselves or probably not getting enough sleep, etc. Melanie, what are your thoughts?

Melanie Avalon: First of all, I love all of that that you said, and I agree. I want to clear up one little thing. She says that she had heard Gin's recommendations about continuing your current way of eating and adding IF, so not changing the way you're eating. What's interesting about Catherine situation is, so, Gin's perspective on that it's normally not Catherine situation. It's normally people who are coming from a standard American diet and Gin says, "Start IF rather than cleaning up your diet at the same time." Whereas Catherine situation, she was on a really restrictive diet. And so, she did "change" when she started IF, because instead of staying on the restrictive diet, she started eating much more freely, which the two clarifications there is that I think-- I don't want to put words in Gin's mouth, but I think Gin would be more on board with that concept, actually. 

And then, two, I think people can do it either way, but I actually don't have a problem with people starting IF and making dietary changes at the same time. I actually think it's really great. I think if people want to like start, especially if coming from a standard American diet and they want to make a healthy, whole foods type choices at the same time as they start IF, I think that's great. I just wanted to clarify on that. I think everything that Cynthia said that that lower weights that Catherine was at might not necessarily be a sustainable weight, if you want to maintain certain health and energy related goals at the same time. So, really what you have to ask yourself, because I'm goal-- Am I goal agnostic? I'm goal agnostic for other people. I personally believe that our goal should be health and wellness and energy and vitality. But also, I believe that people can have whatever goals they want. It's their body. You can pursue what you want to have in your body. And for some people, if they want to be a thinner weight that requires dietary restriction, you can do that. It might not be a healthy approach to life and it might be hard to maintain. Because Catherine experienced that. She was calorie counting, she was macro counting, she wasn't enjoying her life, she didn't feel as good. So, that might just be what is required to have been at that weight. And so, you just have to ask yourself, "Is that what you want?" 

And what I am wondering, though is, I think there actually is a lot of room. Stepping back, I know you did actually, physically gain weight because you say with an exclamation point, how you can see the fat on your body. But I also do wonder if making this change from having been calorie restricted and being in a calorie deficit to sounds like you're just going and eating all the things. I wonder if there's a level of inflammation that came along with that style of eating, so there might be a happy medium. This is just an idea. But there might be a happy medium that doesn't actually require calorie counting, it doesn't require macro counting, it doesn't require restriction, where you're just cleaning up those food choices that you are making. I think that might be a place to start rather than trying to go the restriction route. 

Cynthia was talking about the importance of a high protein diet and the green vegetables. And so, maybe having a mindset shift, where we What are the healthiest foods you can put in your body in your eating window, what is the healthiest way you can approach your snack and your dessert? If you have them, can you possibly have other versions? Can you not have the snack or can you have other versions of the dessert and snack that might be more fulfilling or healthier for your body? I would just maybe approach it more from a health mindset with a few choices rather than a restriction mindset. Because I think it's completely 100% possible for you to actually have all the goals, which would be the energy, and the skin, and feeling amazing in your body from that perspective, and also, being at a weight that makes you happy, and it doesn't necessarily require restriction. Any thoughts to that?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do fervently believe a lot of it's a reframe. So, really thinking about your relationship, not only with your body, but with food as well can be very, very helpful, for sure. 

Melanie Avalon: Also, I love that you brought up Glenn Livingston. He is honestly one of my favorite people on the planet. His book, again, it is called Never Binge Again, which is a little bit of a misleading title, because it's not just for people who are struggling with binge eating disorder, but it's really wonderful for that mindset shift and reframing how you are seeing food, your cravings, your wants, your desires. I find it very helpful.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's a great book. Actually, I think twice this week already, I suggested that episode to women in different groups. 

Melanie Avalon: I love that. I love that. 

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Melanie Avalon: All right, shall we go on to our next question? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm excited for this question, because it's a Cynthia question. This comes from Lydia and the subject is: "IF and palpitations." And Lydia says, "Hello, I'm Lydia. And recently, July 11th to be exact began doing intermittent fasting. I purchased Delay, Don't Deny and listen to the podcast regularly, as well as join the Facebook groups. Well, I soon began to have heart palpitations and I have read that maybe I was dehydrated. I upped my water intake, I added Himalayan salt occasionally, but I was really having a bad time with the palpitations. They especially occurred when I lay down for whatever reason. I'll be seeing a cardiologist soon after getting an electrocardiogram and after wearing a Holter monitor for 48 hours. But after I stopped doing the clean fasting and I stopped longer fast, the palpitations are mostly gone. So, is it possibly dehydration after all? Have you heard of others having this issue? I was so happy to have lost 10 pounds by August 14th. But now, I'm slowly gaining back since I haven't been clean fasting. By the way, my starting weight was 167 and I'm about 5'6". Now, I'm back to 161 after getting to 157 by August 14th." Thank you, Lydia.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Lydia, this is my wheelhouse. The listeners know that my whole background as an NP was in ER Med and cardiology. And the one thing that I know a lot about are palpitations, ones that are benign, but annoying and dehydration. And I would absolutely agree that if you are going too fast, you need electrolytes. And yes, Himalayan sea salt is great, if you're salting your meals. But you actually need a more comprehensive product and that one that is going to provide potassium, and magnesium, and sodium, and chloride. And so, anytime anyone is fasting, especially in summer, it's really, really important that you're replacing those electrolytes. And it more than likely, I would imagine that the palpitations are probably precipitated by low magnesium. And this is more often than not the electrolyte in particular that I see most people are not keeping optimal levels of. And really the blood tests that you want to ask for when you see the cardiologist and any cardiologists will order this as a red blood cell magnesium. It's much more accurate. But also doing a comprehensive metabolic panel. It sounds like they're doing quite a big workup if they're doing a Holter as well as an EKG. 

If you're seeing an association of fasting correlated with the palpitations and now that you are stopped the clean fasting and stop longer fast, and the palpitations are almost gone, I think, oftentimes, we'll say correlation is not causation, but this is clearly a relationship that sounds it is directly related to the dehydration. You're probably experiencing by not replacing the electrolytes in a fasted state. One thing I teach people when they're fasting for the first time is that electrolytes are critically important, especially, if perhaps at that time, you lowered your carbohydrate intake. We know when you tend to be lower carb, you have release of glycogen, which is stored sugar and you'll actually urinate out more electrolytes including sodium. And so, it's very, very important that you're replacing that. And there's lots of clean options. I have a product called Simply Hydration. There's LMNT and many other options that are out there. 

The other thing is you mentioned that your weight fluctuated from 161 to 157 pounds. It is not at all uncommon depending on what we're eating and drinking that our weight could fluctuate by three to five pounds. And so, I don't know what age you are, but that can happen around our menstrual cycles, it could happen if we had a lot more carbohydrates. And so, I wouldn't get too concerned about four pounds. It's always over the period of time. There's a colleague of mine that always talks about there's the Hell No Way. When you get to a point where you're like, "Okay, this is five pounds over where I generally am average wise and then it's time to ratchet in on the cleaner eating." I would absolutely follow up with your cardiologist. They sound like they're doing a really nice job. I would focus on comprehensive electrolyte replacement and especially, in a fasted state. More hydration, more electrolytes, and recognizing that there is that interrelationship. And it's probably related to low magnesium and I'm actually setting Melanie up, so that she can talk about magnesium. 

Melanie Avalon: I love that. Well, first of all, for listeners who might not be familiar, Cynthia, what is your background in cardiology?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it's interesting. I did general cardiology, but then when I transitioned into to predominantly doing office setting, I worked with a lot of our electrophysiologist, who are specialized cardiologists that do defibrillator, and pacemakers, and deal with arrhythmias. When I tell you that I know magnesium backwards and forwards, more often than not even in the benign arrhythmias, it was magnesium that was precipitating episodes. And more often than not in the lethal arrhythmias, things that originate from the ventricles, which are the bottom chambers of the heart. It was magnesium that was driving some of those symptoms. When I tell you that I know magnesium well, I've gotten very creative over the years with magnesium replacement. We could certainly if Melanie, if you want to we can talk about other ways to replace magnesium either with transdermal applications, or soaking our legs, or taking products by mouth. All can be very, very helpful when getting our magnesium levels back up.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Well, first of all, I just love that you have that background and that knowledge. I will put in a plug for LMNT. Cynthia mentioned them. But we do have an offer for them. There are full-spectrum electrolyte supplements. So, not just magnesium. It's magnesium, potassium.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sodium chloride.

Melanie Avalon: Dah. Sodium. So, you can go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast and we have an offer there. I believe the offer right now should be to get free electrolytes at that link. Definitely check that out. And then, yes, it is so, so exciting that Cynthia is on board and on the same page as me about the importance of magnesium. So many people are deficient in magnesium. I'm actually not for taking all the vitamins all the time. I think it should be very nuanced and specific to the individual. And that, when possible, we should try to get our nutrients from food. That said, it's really hard to get adequate magnesium levels today. Our soils are depleted. It's been estimated that in the past one hundred years, the soil levels of the magnesium have gone down by 90%, which is crazy. And then on top of that, that's just the actual levels of magnesium. That doesn't account for the fact that pesticides and glyphosate in the soil actually chelate magnesium. So, a lot of that magnesium isn't even available to the body to be used in its proper form. And then on top of that, it is potentially toxic, because it's attached to a pesticide. 

The fact that most people are deficient is no surprise. And so, like Cynthia said, there's lots of ways that you can boost and raise magnesium levels. I recently released my Magnesium 8 by AvalonX and I formulated it to honestly be the best magnesium on the market. I promise, it is the best, because I wanted to make the best. It is eight forms of magnesium and their most bioavailable forms. But it comes with methylated B6 to help with absorption, not the non-methylated form, which is often used in supplements. And then it has manganese, because magnesium can often displace manganese. And then it's in a glass bottle, because I am not about plastics leaching into our bodies in the environment, which by the way, Cynthia, I just booked a guest. I'm really excited about. Matt Simon, he's the head editor at WIRED and he has a book coming out in 2022. He has some other books, but his book coming out in 2022 is about the effects of microplastics and the environment. I'm so excited, because I think that's a really big problem. So, I'm really excited to read this book and learn about that. 

Oh, and this was crazy. One of my best friends from college ever worked at WIRED. I emailed him. I was like, "I don't know how many people are on staff at WIRED, but do you know my friend?" And he's like, "Oh, yeah, we sit next to each other in the office." It's such a small world. So, all that to say, you can get my Magnesium 8, that is at avalonx.us. The coupon code, MELANIEAVALON will get you 10% off. I think we will have launched subscriptions by the time this comes out. If you get a subscription for that, you can get actually 15% off. The other ways of getting magnesium would be like transdermal.

Cynthia Thurlow: And I like a product called Ancient Minerals that we will link up. You can spray that into two cupped hands and rub it on your, I usually say, trunk. Like upper arms, legs, trunk. And if your skin tends to be sensitive, you want to pick the sensitive skin formulation. But you can leave that on for 20 minutes and then rinse off. That's super efficacious.

Melanie Avalon: So good resources there. Hopefully, that helps, Lydia. Do we have time for one more question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. Our next question is from Sarah. Subject is: "positive side effects." "I've been doing IF since the first of the year as an experiment just to see how it worked for me. Your podcast has been a valuable resource for me and I'm grateful for all your tips. I don't need to lose any weight or gain energy, but I was tired of constantly thinking about when and what I was eating to get maximum nutrition benefits. I felt I was either eating or preparing to eat all the time. Needless to say, IF has changed that with a shorter afternoon window usually 3 PM to 8 PM. I have always eaten a pescatarian diet with a balance of nutrients. I do enjoy at least a small, processed food snack a day like Chex Mix or Cheez-It and I've not changed my diet at all. 

I am so much less stressed about food, and I think I can finally achieve the rest and digest state. One of the positive side effects that I've noticed in myself that I don't think I have heard you discuss is the change to my bowel movements and the decrease in gas. I often had gas in the evenings and carried Gas-X in my purse at all times. I have not needed to take it on the last two months. Also, sorry, if this is TMI, but my bowel movements were previously very soft. Since intermittent fasting, I noticed my bowel movements are now more solid and easier to clean. Just wondering, if this is truly a result of intermittent fasting and why the change. Thanks, and keep up the good work." Casey.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for your question and we're very excited for you that you've experienced so many wonderful effects with intermittent fasting. Earlier, Cynthia was using the phrase "correlation, not causation and how it's hard to know." But I would say, it's very likely that if the only thing you perceived as having changed was IF and then you had this substantial change in your bowel movements, then it's probably related to IF or changes from IF that led to this. I mean, it's a good problem to have. So, I'm happy that we're not trying to find the problem and solve it. But there's so many different things that could be going on for why you might experience better bowel movements. By not eating constantly, it gives our GI tract. It allows for the natural peristalsis of the intestine, and it allows things to be moving. So, it can create a better synchronicity and rhythm to your system, where your digestive system has time to rest to clean out with those cleansing waves and not have things build up that are creating gas. It also might be--

You talked about how now finally when you're eating, you feel you're in the rest and digest state, so the parasympathetic state. That is so, so important for properly digesting our food, for creating stomach acid to digest our food, enzymes. The fact that you are just likely digesting your food better, it could be a huge reason that you're not having gas anymore, you're having better, more well-formed bowel movements. It's just helping your body process food better. And then the effects on the gut microbiome, so, there's a lot of effects that could be happening there. It's possible that this change with the fasting is actually supporting a more favorable gut population. There have been studies on fasting finding favorable effects on the gut microbiome. So, it's possible that you've had changes there. Cynthia, thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: I would echo your sentiments. And I think a lot about the migrating motor complex. And so, in our digestive system, we really do need four to five hours between meals to allow this sweet sweeper of the GI tract to be able to do its magic. And there's so much good research talking about the gut microbiome and the benefits of eating less frequently. And is it any surprise that your digestive processes is out now in a position, where it can properly package up and get rid of waste? And so, not at all surprised to hear that your bowel movements are much more solid. We use that Bristol stool scale. Melanie, have you seen that before?

Melanie Avalon: Have I? You're talking to like the-- [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: We aim for the for. That's what we're working towards. And so, it just shows that your stool is-- there's enough time for your body to break down absorb nutrients, get rid of what doesn't belong, you're not dehydrated. I think our stool is really one of many indicators of our health. So, bravo and excited that you've had seen so many benefits so quickly.

Melanie Avalon: I probably shouldn't share this. I should probably envision thousands of people listening before I say this. It's funny, because they'll do things. I don't know who 'they' is. You'll see things where people say, "Eat something really pigmented, so you can figure out how long your transit time is," like do a beat test or like a blueberry test. 

Cynthia Thurlow: We used to do corn.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, corn. And it's funny. Whenever I see that I'm like, "Wait, doesn't everybody always monitor that, like, monitoring that 24/7?"

Cynthia Thurlow: You're hilarious. No, it's interesting. There's a program that I teach in the fall called RESTART. I think it's week two. I actually have them bring corn to class, and they ingest two tablespoons of corn, and then they let me know how long it is before they see it in their stool.

Melanie Avalon: I had an intake form with a doctor and he's like, "We're going to do this." I was like, "I do that every day. I can already tell you that." 

Cynthia Thurlow: You are like, I'm an ideal patient.

Melanie Avalon: I already know the answer to that question. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. We will put links to everything that we talked about in the show notes. Those will be at ifpodcast.com/episode282. A reminder to everybody to definitely go to shieldyourbody.com/rsd for Radiation Safety Day. That's where you can learn the two key rules to help protect yourself from EMF exposure for free and get entered to win a EMF blocking bed canopy worth $2,000, as well as a lot of other prizes. All for free. Lots of resources. That's shieldyourbody.com/rsd And again, the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON will get you 15% off, if you would like to purchase anything from Shield Your Body. 

And there will be a full transcript in the show notes. You can definitely check that out. And then lastly, if you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. And you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon, and Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Cynthia and I will talk to you next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Aug 21

Episode 279: Organic Wines, Blood Ketones, Urine pH, Fasting Insulin, Continuous Glucose Monitors, Appetite Hormones, Lean Protein, ADF, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 279 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

LMNT: For Fasting Or Low-Carb Diets Electrolytes Are Key For Relieving Hunger, Cramps, Headaches, Tiredness, And Dizziness. With No Sugar, Artificial Ingredients, Coloring, And Only 2 Grams Of Carbs Per Packet, Try LMNT For Complete And Total Hydration. For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase!

JOOVV: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels! It literally 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!! These devices are literally LIFE CHANGING!! For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

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

SHOW NOTES

Visit IFpodcast.com/episode279 For FULL Shownotes, And IFPodcast.com/StuffWeLike For All The Stuff We Like!

1:10 - LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

4:10 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

DRY FARM WINES: Natural, Organic, Low Alcohol, Low Sugar Wines, Paleo And Keto Friendly! Go To dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast To Get A Bottle For A Penny!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #5 - Todd White

Episode 26: IF & Low Sugar/Alcohol/Toxin Wines For Health – Special Interview With Todd White Of Dry Farm Wines!

21:10 - Listener Q&A: Doreen - My first inquiry

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #70 - Kara Collier (Nutrisense)

Ep. 132 – Continuous Glucose Monitors: Why They’re Not Just for Diabetics Anymore with Kara Collier

NUTRISENSE: Get $30 Off A CGM At Nutrisense.Io/Ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST

18:10 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free BACON For LIFE Plus $100 Off Over 5 Boxes!

56:00 - AVALONX MAGNESIUM 8Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

Our content does not constitute an attempt to practice medicine, and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Please consult a qualified health care provider for medical advice and answers to personal health questions.

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 279 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, biohacker and author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and cynthiathurlow.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this show do not constitute medical advice or treatment and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. 

Hi, friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get my favorite electrolytes for free. Yes, completely free. And the feedback we have received about LMNT electrolytes from our audience is overwhelming. You guys love LMNT and I'm so excited because our new offer allows new and returning customers to get free LMNT. And on top of that their super popular Grapefruit flavor is back. If you've been having issues with intermittent fasting, electrolytes may just be the thing that you need and/or have you heard of something called the keto flu? Here's the thing. The keto flu is not actually a condition. Keto flu just refers to a bundle of symptoms, headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, and insomnia that people experience in the early stages of keto dieting. Here's what's going on. When you eat a low-carb diet, your insulin levels drop. Low insulin in turn lowers the production of the hormone aldosterone. Now, aldosterone is made in the kidneys and it helps you retain sodium. So, low aldosterone on a keto diet makes you lose sodium at a rapid rate and even if you are consciously consuming electrolytes, you might not be getting enough. In particular, you need electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium in order for nerve impulses to properly fire. Electrolytes can easily be depleted while intermittent fasting.

Robb Wolf, who as you guys know is my hero in the holistic health world worked with the guys at Keto Gains to get the exact formulation for electrolyte supplements to formulate LMNT Recharge, so you can maintain ketosis and feel your best. LMNT Recharge has no sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients, no junk. They're used by three Navy SEALs teams, they are the official hydration partner to Team USA weightlifting, they're used by multiple NFL teams, and so much more. We have an incredible offer just for our listeners. You can get a free LMNT sample pack that includes all eight flavors. Citrus, Watermelon, Orange, Raspberry, Mango Chili, Lemon Habanero, Chocolate, and Raw Unflavored. And the Raw Unflavored, by the way is clean fast friendly. You can try them all completely free when you make a purchase at our link, drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. You can get this offer as a first time and as a returning LMNT customer. I know there are a lot of returning LMNT customers. The feedback I hear from you guys, "loving LMNT" is amazing. LMNT offers no questions asked about refunds on all orders. You won't even have to send it back. And this offer is exclusively available only through VIP LMNT partners. You won't find this offer publicly anywhere else. So, again, the link is drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. And we'll put all this information in the show notes.

And one more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat. But do you know what is possibly one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting. It's actually our skincare and makeup. As it turns out, Europe has banned over a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disrupters, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream. And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup maybe playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because ladies, when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years. 

Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. They are counter time for antiaging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life. And their makeup is amazing. Check on my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey, even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. Also, make sure to get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list. So, definitely check it out. And you can join me in my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well.

And lastly, if you're thinking of making Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare, a part of your future like we have, we definitely recommend becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership. It is totally completely worth it. So, again, to shop with us, go to beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 279 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, there. 

Melanie Avalon: And Cynthia, I have a fun topic that we can talk about briefly if you would like. You already know this, because I asked your advice about it yesterday. For listeners, yesterday, I went to a gender reveal party for one of my friends and it was an evening event. And I knew there was drinks and wine. I actually asked her ahead of time. I was asking Cynthia, I was like, “Is it okay, if I bring my own organic wine to this pregnancy related event, if there's already drinks?” You said that you thought that would be appropriate. So, I did. But I did not bring Dry Farm Wines and I regret that decision. My [laughs] Oura Ring this morning, it's crazy how much it knows when you're drinking wine you shouldn't be drinking and maybe too much of it and not sleeping well. But what's really interesting is, my sleep was great, just my readiness score is awful. I bring it up because I think I need these moments to remember why I only drink Dry Farm Wines and you recently interviewed Todd White.

Cynthia Thurlow: I did. First of all, it was really interesting to prep for that discussion. And then when I got off the phone, I'm sorry, I got off the recording, I was saying to my husband it has been very common for me over the last several years to just send team members, family members subscriptions to Dry Farm Wines and how easy that has been. And I said, “I didn't fully appreciate and realize the differences between conventional winemaking here in the United States versus natural practices.” Certainly, from this point going forward, I really understand and appreciate the chemical and exposure load that you get from conventional wine, which I was really-- 

Let me be very clear. I think I'm a pretty well-educated person about processed food industry and nutrient dense Whole Foods, but I hadn't really considered the net impact of conventional winemaking here in the United States. And so, that was a really enlightening podcast. I can imagine how you felt differently. I think, if I recall from our conversations last few days, you were planning on bringing an organic option or organic options with you. So, even with the organic wines, you still felt poorly. I wonder if it was the alcohol content.

Melanie Avalon: I was telling you this already. But basically, at home, I only drink Dry Farm Wines. And for listeners that are not familiar, they're not a wine producer. They're like an investigator and a distributor. They go all throughout Europe, only Europe, because Todd says that, “None of the US wines meet their standard.” And I think that's in part, because of just how saturated the US environment is in pesticides, even organic like plots of land. The wineries from there, they did a test. I don't know. Did he bring up the test that they did a while ago and they tested all these different wines in California, including organic ones and every single one tested for pesticides, which is just crazy. They find the wines that are low in sugar, so less than I think one gram, and then low alcohol, so 12.5% or less, and then they test them for heavy metals, pesticides, mold. I noticed such a difference drinking them. 

But what I did for this party was, I do have a collection of wines that are not Dry Farm Wines that are organic that I just have from over the years that I'm not going to drink by myself at my apartment, because I really just drink the Dry Farm Wines. So, I bring them to events like this. But now in retrospect, I'm like, “I should have just brought Dry Farm Wines.” Then again, I did have a lot.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, maybe it was dose dependent. Meaning, perhaps, if you had had one glass of the organic wine, maybe you were fine. Maybe it was two glasses might have been just enough to disrupt your sleep quality.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, probably.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's my guess. I always say, “Maybe it's dosage dependent.” I say that to patients like, “Maybe it's the quantity and not so much per se that it was not Dry Farm Wines.” But the one thing that I think I was really surprised by when I spoke with Todd was the differences in alcohol content. Conventional wines can be greater than 15% alcohol versus six to 12.5 is-- Most of the Dry Farm Wines really run and they are, as you mentioned, lower sugar. And so, we know that that impacts us on pretty significant profound ways. So, but did you have fun? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I had so much fun. It was fabulous. And even that said, I'm still good. This is not my college days or anything. No, I did. I have not been to a gender reveal party before. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Neither have I. But that also says generationally where I am. My oldest will be 17 next week. And so, I'm just at a different-- When I was pregnant, people chose to either find out at 20 weeks what gender child they were having or not. And so, now, people can find out a whole lot earlier and it seems to be something that's very trendy and fun. And I think there's always opportunities to celebrate babies. It's such a fun exciting time.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I agree. It's funny. They wanted you to wear blue or pink based on what you thought it would be. I only wear black dresses. I wear a black dress, but then I wore sparkly shoes that were blue and pink.

Cynthia Thurlow: I like that. You're in a neutral zone. 

Melanie Avalon: Yep. [chuckles] So, yeah. But for listeners, to learn more about Dry Farm Wines, which I'm just so obsessed with, our link will get you a bottle for a penny. So, go to dryfarmwines/ifpodcast and that's where you can get that offer. And then, Cynthia when do you air that episode with Todd?

Cynthia Thurlow: Actually, next Saturday. So, it will be August 13th that episode will air.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Awesome. So, that'll actually be aired by the time this comes out. We'll put a link to that episode. We'll also put a link to the episode that I did with Todd way back in the day. He was one of my first episodes on The Biohacking Podcast. Well, I'll also put an episode we've had him on the show. So, I'll put a link to that as well.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, he's a great guy. It's interesting, because I'm married to a Todd. And my Todd really likes the red selections from Dry Farm Wines. And it's interesting. We recently placed an order and he always feels there's too much white wine in our house. I think because maybe our guests drink the red wine. This last order that we've received, he has been very happy with.

Melanie Avalon: Well, so, that's something because I know that you personally you don't drink at all, right?

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't. It's the only thing that really erodes my sleep. By this, for everyone who's listening, if you're not yet in the perimenopause range, it is the only thing that gives me hot flashes. So, I just don't drink for that reason because hot flashes, especially when you're trying to fall asleep are not fun. But yeah, that was a large decision why I stopped drinking much of anything. I didn't drink much to begin with. I've always been more of a very, very light drinker.

Melanie Avalon: With me having drank the Dry Farm Wines over the trajectory of there, because I probably started, I don't know, when they were founded.

Cynthia Thurlow: Seven years ago, I think, Todd was saying.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I started drinking them in probably 2014 or 2015. I probably started drinking them right at the beginning, like 2015. They have not improved, but they have improved. You were talking about the red wine. In the beginning, most of the reds all were very, very light. They didn't have many more robust reds, because I think it's harder for them to find those that fit all their criteria. But they have evolved. That's a good word. They've evolved so much in the red wines that they source and some of their wines are just delicious.

Cynthia Thurlow: Awesome. You can drink them with a good conscience.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes. And now, I think I need these nights every now and then, like, last night to further appreciate why I only drink Dry Farm Wines normally. So, before we jump into questions, Cynthia, would you like to tell listeners one more time about the giveaway that you are doing?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. So, this is the last week of the giveaway. And all we're asking you to do is, if you've purchased my book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation, please leave a review, screenshot the review, send it to questions@ifpodcast.com, and you will be eligible for an entry. You have to live in the continental United States and it's a grouping of some of my favorite products and designs for health, and a few other wonderful retailers that I work very closely with as a thank you. We'll pick one winner. This is the last week of the giveaway. So, please make sure you get your entries in and we will look forward to randomly selecting a winner.

Melanie Avalon: And I will just say, so, I know a lot of you guys have Cynthia's book, because we get feedback. I see it in the groups. But we haven't had that many entries and I'm just saying that to say you have a good chance of winning. So, if you have the book-- [crosstalk]

Cynthia Thurlow: The odds are in your favor. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I always like to emphasize this because I think giveaways where people think, “Oh, there's so many people entering. I have no chance of winning.” But a lot of people will think that and [laughs] you do have a good chance of winning. And it also just really helps support Cynthia's wonderful book and we'd be so appreciative. So, definitely, definitely do that.

Cynthia Thurlow: And I don't think until I wrote a book that I realized how important those reviews are. So, please know that each and every review, I appreciate on a level beyond I can properly articulate. There are so many people that have really benefited from the book. I'm speaking from a place of gratitude and I would love to be able to send these goodies to one select individual. So, definitely get those entries into us.

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into some questions for today? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. To start things off, this is a long question, but she has a fun story and then she has a lot of questions that we could just do rapid fire. This comes from Doreen and she wrote this to us back when Gin was on the show. So, she says, “Hi, Melanie, hi, Gin. Let me start off by saying, I absolutely love the podcast. I feel like you ladies have become my friends. You make me smile and laugh. You're smart. You're funny. Initially, I was listening in no specific order, but then I decided to listen every Monday to the new episodes and backtrack when I'm walking. Like many of your listeners, I have many questions that sometimes get answered before I need to submit them. I have several drafts with questions, but I can't prioritize which questions are the most important. Finally, after listening to Episode 159 with Dr. Anna Cabeca, I've been motivated to get some questions answered.” Really quick question for you, Cynthia. You are personal friends with Anna Cabeca, right?

Cynthia Thurlow: I am. She's wonderful.

Melanie Avalon: I think she's actually been on this show twice and on my Biohacking Podcast, maybe twice. Done a lot of interviews with her. I really like her work. Doreen says, “I am 54 years old, a certified personal trainer and yoga certified. I teach mainly hot yoga. It's very tough with a mask. I was heavy as a teenager at 5’2”, 184 pounds. My family celebrates everything with food. I'm Italian. At 16 with mom's help, I joined Weight Watchers and reached my goal in 1981. I'm still an active lifetime member and still track and weigh every few months. Diet and exercise and healthy eating, I've managed to stay within a six-to-eight-pound window with the exception of having my two children and some health issues. 

In 2015, I was diagnosed with cancer. I caught it early Stage 1. I did have some weight gain that crept up and I don't weigh myself now because of the way my clothing had stopped fitting. My first thought during the pandemic was panic. I'm going to gain weight without hot yoga. So, I took to the pavement, I started walking. During walks when my friends got back to work, I would binge listen to podcasts and I didn't gain the weight. Based on listening alone, I began adding IF into my routine and I feel fantastic. It's also helped with health issues, IBS, and GERD, et cetera. Melanie, I tried to get your book and Barnes & Noble had no copies. I was very excited to crack the book on our road trip from Long Island to Vermont. One of our favorite stops is for a place called the Creamery, which is a cute little country store. It's a constant on our trips to Vermont. I promise there's a reason for this story. 

I'm a shopaholic. So, while my husband and friends were getting the ice cream, I was power shopping around the store. I looked up and could not believe my eyes to my surprise staring me in the face was a copy of What When Wine with Melanie's beautiful face on the cover. I screamed. I was so excited. And of course, I bought it. It was divine intervention and favor. In Ludlow Vermont, they're carrying Melanie's books.” Okay, I just have to stop. This blows my mind. [laughs] I can't believe my book was in this random country store in Vermont. That is so random to me. Do you think these stores just order books and resell them, I guess?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I suspect maybe the owner or someone who's connected with the owner probably is a fan. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. That would be so exciting to me, if I was in some random little country store and saw my book. I would not know what to do.

Cynthia Thurlow: You've made it, you know? You've saturated the rural country market.

Melanie Avalon: I know, I know. So, Doreen, thank you for sharing that story. That really made my day. Okay, so, now, she has rapid fire a lot of questions. Here we go. Number one, “With regard to ketones, pH levels in urine and all measures to determine clean fasting and eating. During the podcast with Dr. Cabeca, she discussed how important it is to test your urine for pH levels regarding ketones. I believed you said one could be burning ketones, even though you don't turn the strip's purple. There's also a question about blood sugar. I remember a discussion of different types of testing for blood sugar and blood fasting sugar. What's the difference? It would be very helpful, if you can clarify the importance of measuring pH levels in urine, ketone burning, and blood sugar, and which tests for IF purposes would be best, and where to get these kits and tests, and will they cost a fortune?” Okay, so, ketones, pH testing, blood sugar testing, would you like to talk a little bit about this, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: if you've been fasting and you're not new to fasting, then I would not anticipate that you would have urinary ketones present. It's much more accurate to actually test blood. But for the purposes of your constellation of questions, I would say that as a woman that it sounds you're in perimenopause/menopause that it'd be most valuable for you to know a fasting insulin and a fasting blood sugar. And a fasting insulin, you can get drawn with regular lab work. A Keto-Mojo is a good meter to use if you want to track your blood ketones. 

And then lastly, a fasting blood sugar with a glucometer or if you want to have a continuous glucose monitor, typically where I stay, I think it's important to know what your blood sugar is when you are in an unfed state. I think it's equally important to know what your blood sugar is in response to stress, nutrition, meals, exercise, etc. There's a lot of different variables to look at. I did a really great podcast. I know that Kara Collier has been on my podcast and also, Melanie's Biohacking Podcast at least once or twice. And that's a really fantastic resource and we will link that in the show notes.

Melanie Avalon: Do you put much weight into measuring the pH levels?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I don't. I really don't. I think that there are a lot of metrics that we can measure. It doesn't necessarily mean that the information is all that valuable. Because if you're eating a nutrient dense Whole Foods diet, and you're not drinking excessively, and you're not eating a lot of processed carbohydrates, then ideally, and I have encountered a few functional medicine practices that will have their patients do urinary pH strips, but I think it gets expensive. And I've come to find that most of us like you and I, if you were to measure our urinary pH, it's probably more alkaline based on the types of foods that we eat. 

With that being said, when people are trying to budget for different types of home testing or monitoring, I think the most valuable one of all is really looking at fasting blood sugar or looking at a continuous glucose monitor. If someone is new to a lower carb ketogenic lifestyle, and they have not been in ketosis, and they're obese and overweight, then testing at least initially with urinary strips for ketones can be valuable. But if you have been in ketosis and you've been fasting for a long period of time, they're not going to show up in your urine. They are going to show up in your blood. I don't know if you have anything that you'd like to add to that. 

I think the big thing for me as a clinician is, there're a lot of metrics that we can measure. It doesn't mean we should measure everyone. We should decide based on our budget and our interests what is the greatest priority? I'm getting ready to bring the Keto-Mojo individuals on the podcast to talk more about testing ketones, because I get a lot of questions about it. But it really needs to be taken in the context of what are your risk factors, are you insulin sensitive, what are you trying to measure, what are the metrics you really want to look at and going from there?

Melanie Avalon: Are you interviewing Dorian? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I am, but not until February. Because right now, I'm booking into March. Yeah, which is I took time off around the book launch and now, we're back into eager beaver stage where we're booked out like six months.

Melanie Avalon: I was having flashbacks, because I connected with him right when they launched, I think as well and had him on this show. I think we had him on the show. He's British, right? Flashback to his-- He has the best accent. 

Cynthia Thurlow: And then his wife, I guess, is Emma?

Melanie Avalon: Is she British, as well?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, she's American, but they're really cute. They're cute little couple.

Melanie Avalon: Aww. Yeah, I'll just echo everything that you said just to really bring it into people's heads. With the ketone urine strips like Cynthia said, if you've been fasting for a while, if you've been even ketogenic for a while, you might not see that on your urine. I think they're most useful for somebody going from a standard American diet, not fasting to either ketogenic diet or fasting, because it shows when you start, just in general creating those ketones and the excess are spilling into the urine. But then the body becomes more efficient and you don't see that as much necessarily. So, there's real a time window when I would use those. 

And then for the blood sugar testing, yes, we are major, major fans of continuous glucose monitors. Those will really give you, because you'd asked me about the difference between the fasted blood sugar and then just the blood sugar. It's always blood sugar, but it's either fasted or postprandial, which means after a meal. And the only difference is just based on if you ate or not. And so, the levels might be different based on that. And so, continuous glucose monitor is so helpful or can be, because it shows you constantly how your blood sugar is reacting to fasting or eating short of that with just like a finger prick type situation. And this is what Cynthia said, as well. So, I think we're very aligned, 

I think if you had to choose-- once you try a continuous glucose monitor, you will realize just how much potentially your blood sugar can change even minute to minute. And I say that because you might do a finger prick and get a number that if you had tested 15 minutes earlier would be pretty different. It's much more clear picture with a continuous glucose monitor. If you don't like pricking yourself or you don't want to be pricking yourself all the time and you had to pick one time to prick yourself, I would probably go the Marty Kendall route, which is right before eating to see if you actually are in a lower blood sugar state ready for that meal. Because his data driven fasting is all about how people will open their eating window when they actually have high blood sugar. They think they need fuel, but they actually don't. It's very interesting. The link for that is nutrisense.io/ifpodcast and the coupon code, IFPODCAST will actually get you $30 off any subscription to a CGM program. So, definitely check that out. That can be a really helpful resource. 

Her next question, she says, “I'm in between ADF and one meal a day depending on what's happening in my life. Sometimes, I will do four straight days of 18:6, but then eat regularly on the weekend. I thought this protocol was good. Is it there a gray area and discussion about this topic? Do you agree that every day shouldn’t be a short eating window? Please clarify. I find myself contradicting my thoughts and I feel worried about opening my window too early.” I'm actually very curious your thoughts on this, Cynthia, because Gin would talk about this a lot, which was, in particular in regards to ADF, which is something that I personally have never done ADF. But she would often talk about the importance of if you're doing ADF not having a shorter eating window and not under eating on your fasting day. So, I'm really curious your thoughts on that and also on just if somebody was doing one meal a day, every day type situation?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think listeners are probably not surprised to hear that I don't like ADF or OMAD as a sustained strategy for women or men for that matter, because there's just no way you're going to be able to get enough protein in one meal or this alternate day fasting. And there's a lot of what I believe to be emerging, both anecdotal and also research to suggest, unless someone's really stubbornly obese and is really trying to break through plateaus, most of us that are close to our ideal body weight, you start looking at the law of diminishing returns. And so, you just can't build enough muscle protein synthesis. I've spoken to Gabrielle Lyon about this extensively. I've spoken to Ted Naiman. And for listeners, those are both physicians in that space about how to stoke appropriate muscle-protein synthesis. 

I do like people varying their fasting and feeding windows. I think variety is very important, not just in our fasting windows, but also in the foods we choose to eat. I like a lot of variety. Same thing with exercise. However, especially when someone is trying to figure out what works best for them, it requires a degree of experimentation. What gives you plenty of energy, what supports sleep habits, what is allowing you to break through a plateau, do you need to be honest with yourself about the fact that you're not eating a particularly nutrient dense diet, and then you're attempting to do these prolonged fast to work through challenges that you're experiencing? And I'm starting to believe and starting to speak about this more that I am starting to see many women in particular that are doing this over-fasting, overtraining, over-restriction in an effort to lose weight. And we will obviously unpack more of this as the podcast goes on and I'll certainly be talking about it on my own podcast.

But in the context of this question, I don't like ADF and OMAD for a sustained strategy for women. It’s just impossible to get your protein in. And I'm very protein centric and I admit that. But when I look at the research and when I-- I'm a 51 year old woman. I just realized that I had a birthday last week. I have to remind myself, I mean, you're older. It requires a bit of effort to get sufficient amounts of protein into my diet. It is work that I'm happy to do. But I think in the context of answering this question that that's my prevailing thought process. How about you Melanie? 

Melanie Avalon:I keep rereading her question because I'm actually a little bit unclear now what she's actually doing. Because she says, she's in between ADF and one meal a day, but then she says, sometimes, she does four straight days of 18:6.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think she's doing a lot of variety. 

Melanie Avalon: 18:6, for example, would you consider that like a one meal a day, a six-hour eating window? I guess, it depends what they're actually eating during it. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Correct. I think a lot of people are just eating one big meal and maybe they're not hungry at the end of their six-hour feeding window. And that's the concern that I have. The more I talk to other metabolic health experts, the more I start thinking that we have to be less rigid and we need to really lean in like-- I've been experimenting this whole summer with having a wider feeding window. And, especially, because I've been lifting more, I've been more hungry, I've been breaking my fast earlier, I'm finding that I'm getting better results. And each one of us has different goals and different aspirations. But I think a certain degree of experimentation is important to not be so rigid with-- If something has been working, try something and try something new. We have a wider feeding window. And by wider, it's not my feeding window was 12 hours. It might be an eight-hour, a nine-hour or a 10-hour, so that I can have more meals with my family.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, yeah, I love that. I feel we always say that it's individual and you have to find what works for you, which feels like a cop out answer. But it's so, so true, because people are just so different. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Bio individuality rules. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Because me, for example, I do a shorter eating window. Yeah, I was thinking about this with you're talking about how you're struggling to get in enough protein and so many people say that to us. We get so many questions about that. And it's just interesting to me, because it's so easy for me. [laughs] I just eat so much protein.

Cynthia Thurlow: But I think my appetite was different at 30 than it is at 51, because I've tried to reflect on that like, “How much more food did I eat when I was younger?” There was definitely a point in my early 40s that I felt my appetite change significantly. A lot of my patients, and clients, and friends, we'll talk about this openly. We're like, “Oh, yeah, we don't eat nearly as much food.” I think that is a biologic drive. If you talk to someone who's 70, they don't have the appetite they had at 20. It's because ideally, we should not be in an anabolic growth phase at that stage of our lives. Whereas, I have teenage boys and they're very much in this anabolic building stage and they're healthy, they're lean, they're muscular. It's a very different phase of life. And so, I think so much of it's dependent on where we are in time and space. It is a concerted effort. 

For me, to hit my protein macros every day and it's not that I don't like to eat. Protein will fill me up and then I'm full and I'm like, “Okay, now, four or five hours later, I ate another protein bolus.” And that's how I navigate. I eat a lot of eggs. Someone asked me the other day, “How do you get that much protein?” I was like, “I eat a lot of eggs.” Because I can eat a good amount of eggs and I don't feel nearly as full as I would if I ate a piece of steak. But I always like to shake things up.

Melanie Avalon: I'm super curious. When you did have a higher appetite, when you were in your 20s and 30s, did you ever do an approach like me where-- Literally, the foundation of my meals is lean protein., I don't really add-- It's hard to describe, but I basically just eat tons and tons of chicken, fish, scallops. That's the volume of my meat. That's the base of it. Did you ever do that approach or was it always in the context of adding some fats, some oils? I'm just wondering how much that affects how much you actually eat.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, you have to remember that when I was 30, I was in a hospital working all day long. And I became a parent when I was 34, a second child at 36. And so, I would never have been able to manage the kind of eating schedule that I have now around those responsibilities, because you're lucky if you can eat at all [laughs] when you're working in a hospital and you're rounding on patients. I think that definitely would play a role in it. Personally, I don't do well with fatty meats. I never have. I don't like duck. I tend to lean into lean cuts of meat. I've always been that way. I have a child that's the same way. I think it's just some genetic-- It's this desire, like, we acknowledge. It's not that my body has trouble breaking down fats, because I eat healthy fats, but I don't eat a lot of healthy fats. I can definitely mitigate a carbohydrate load, if I'm exercising. Today, I lifted. And so, I'll probably have some fruit this afternoon after my dinner. 

But with that being said, I would not have been able to eat the way I do now, if I was still working in a hospital and had little kids. I acknowledge that my N of 1, what works for me now is largely because I'm an entrepreneur and I can break my fast whenever I want to. Generally speaking, I don't have to worry that little people are going to stick their fingers in a light socket when I'm trying to eat. Whereas now they largely-- I always say, they're free roaming mini adults right now. They're very self-sufficient for the most part. So, it's hard for me to answer that question because I just don't know. Even when I was in the beginning stages of perimenopause and I noticed that I had that drop off in my appetite, I really think and I haven't been able to get 100% good answer on this, because I've asked a lot of people. I think it's a combination of the muscle changes that impact insulin sensitivity in late 30s, early 40s. That [unintelligible [00:41:28] even though I was always lifting and eating properly, etc. 

And then I do think that there's some loss of estradiol signaling in the gut that may also impact that as well. Again, I haven't gotten great research to be able to back that up. But in talking to other researchers and clinicians, that's been the working hypothesis of why that starts to happen. But we also know that physiologically, we don't need as much food as we get older, whether some people that bothers them or not. I think Mark Sisson, who I know you just interviewed on the podcast as well, he kept saying, “Heck, I don't eat nearly as much food as I used to and I do just fine with--" As a guy, he's like, “I do just fine having one really big meal a day.” He's like, “I'm happy.” So, so many factors.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it’s so interesting. It's interesting that you and I are both really similar with that lean meat thing. I still do, basically, lean meats most nights, but probably once a week, I just crave salmon and I'll just do a bolus of really fatty salmon. And I've found that that works for me right now. It's really interesting just how the body changes over time and how your cravings change. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. One thing I've noticed and this applies to our audience and listeners, too, is that I can tell where my estrogen levels are by how much cravings I have. I generally don't crave. I crave healthy food, but I don't have cravings that wake me up at night or I don't think about chocolate constantly or something sweet. But estrogen is this cravings modifier, if there's any way to explain it that when our estrogen levels are optimized, it helps with insulin sensitivity, it helps with those cravings, it helps buffer. 

And so, a colleague of mine and I were talking about how we can tell when women are in this perimenopause/menopause state. And a lot of people, they're never full. They might have just eat a meal, but they still don't feel full. And a lot of that can be this diminishing levels of estrogen. And so, really being proactive about getting your levels tested, knowing where they are, and if appropriate, getting some support and that could come in the form of supplements, that could come in the form of hormonal replacement therapy depending on the individual.

Melanie Avalon: Gotcha. So helpful. I so love having you on this show and having your knowledge about all of this. It makes me so excited. I'm like, “Oh, so much good information for people.” Okay, her next question. She says, “I've been doing well with IF. I learned midway through that Splenda and my black coffee and apple cider vinegar with seltzer was a no-no or so called “dirty fast.” I still found success before I learned this, but now, I have saved those things for when I open my window. The days when I did this and I don't open my window for 18 to 20 hours, can this dirty fast still be beneficial? What I mean is, I'll wake up, I'll open my window with coffee and half in half, I'll get sidetracked. I'm a touch ADD. And then several hours later, I've done 18:6, not on purpose. So, do you think my body does not repair like it would without the cream?” This is a good question.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's important to keep in the context of dairy as insulinemic. And if you are at your goal weight or whatever metrics you're tracking, you're happy with where your progress has been made, I wouldn't stress and worry if one day out of the week you have a little bit of half and half or cream in your coffee. However, and I'm laughing because I was just at an event this past weekend with Vinnie Tortorich and some other metabolic health people and getting clarification, because some half and half in your coffee for one person might be a teaspoon and for another person, it might be half coffee, half, half and half and that was the joke that Vinnie was telling at this event was that get clarification.

If you're having a teaspoon or a tablespoon, that's probably not going to derail your overall fasting regimen. But if you're derailing your weight loss efforts, because you're consuming a lot of fat, like, what Melanie and I were just talking about, fatty meats. Just fat in general. Fat is calorically very dense. It's great, but too much of any one thing is not beneficial. I think it really depends on what your goals are, but I don't want anyone that's listening to stress that if one day of the week, they decide to have a teaspoon of cream in their coffee that somehow that makes them a bad faster or a dirty faster. It's always in the context of what are your goals, what are you shooting for? If you're weight loss resistant, that's probably not the best choice I would rather that you just use-- 

You can change the flavor profile of black coffee with things like cinnamon, which can boost insulin sensitivity. You can use high-quality salt like Redmond's. And we'll include a link to Redmond’s. I love Redmond’s. They are such great salt. But it can really change the flavor profile, if you're struggling with how bitter coffee can be. But also remember, bitter means that there's a high polyphenol content in the tea or the coffee that you're drinking and you don't want to diminish the net impact of the benefits of those bitter compounds.

Melanie Avalon: That makes me want to go on a really quick tangent. Actually, two thoughts. One about the cinnamon. I'm interviewing on Monday, Ari Whitten. You said you are interviewing him, right? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I think in February. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I haven't read his first book about red light therapy. But his new book is called Eat for Energy and he just goes into all the topics about diet and sleep and it's very supplement focused. So, what type of compounds and supplements can benefit that? It was interesting. His chapter on blood sugar, he goes really hard pushing the cinnamon. I didn’t really considered cinnamon that-- I knew it had those effects on blood sugar, but he really makes the case for having it with every meal, which was pretty interesting. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Like how much in terms of quantity?

Melanie Avalon: He recommends a teaspoon added to meals.

Cynthia Thurlow: Okay, so, it's not a lot. Obviously, when I was doing research for the book, it was something that really stood out as something that could be certainly efficacious. And so, I've recommended people sprinkle some in their coffee, but a teaspoon is a good amount.

Melanie Avalon: And it was interesting, because I do remember you talking about it in the book. And then I was just very, I guess, surprised about the link to which he talked about it. He talked about it and vinegar, which she talks about taking. Oh, since you said it, people are going to really be wondering. [laughs] You don't think or do you think how does cinnamon affect the fast in coffee?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it changes the flavor profile, but it's supposed to help improve insulin sensitivity. I don't recall from the research that I looked at so long ago now. It seems it was million years ago. What was the therapeutic amount? I would have to go back and do some digging. But it's certainly not something that is going to break a clean fast. I think that's the distinction our listeners are probably focused on. But it's oftentimes the hook that I get people interested in using black coffee is use Redmond salt or try cinnamon, and almost everyone is able to ease that transition. It just helps curb that bitterness of the plain coffee.

Melanie Avalon: I keep mentioning Mark Schatzker’s book, The End of Craving and I finally just finished both. I was so proud of myself, I read both his other two books in three days. Steak and The Dorito Effect. His books are just amazing. And now, I really want to re interview a carnivore figure like Paul Saladino, or Shawn Baker, or something. Because he doesn't talk about in the context of the carnivore movement or anything. But he makes a really good case for-- Because you're talking about polyphenols and the bitterness and how that might relate. He talks about how basically kids don't often like these bitter vegetables and stuff. And the carnivore movement, people will use that as an example of why we shouldn't be eating plants because they're saying like, “Intuitively, our bodies know not to eat it.” And then we conditioned ourselves to eat it.

When he makes the argument that the body is learning to eat it. It wasn't so much intuition that we shouldn't have eaten it. It was that our body had to learn and adapt in order to get the health benefits from it. I just thought that was a really nicely reframed on that concept with plant toxins.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and I think the one thing that I fervently believe having gone through a healthcare hiccup is that there was a time posthospitalization that the only thing my body tolerated was meat. But then I got to a point where I started to crave vegetables. I think as your gut heals, you become more tolerant to those plant-based compounds. I truly, truly believe that the average person should be able to eat a variety of macronutrients and not just protein. That's my feeling. I went through nine months of just eating meat. Anytime I tried to reintroduce a vegetable, it was a disaster. No exaggeration. But I think as my gut has healed. And it ebbs and flows. I don't think it's ever going to be perfect. I find myself craving certain things. It'd be interesting to see. I know that Paul is perhaps a bit more outspoken than Shawn. And I've met Shawn in person now. So, I feel I can comfortably say that. But it would be interesting to see what their take would be.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm just curious. When you were doing the meat only, were you still eating leaner cuts or did you eat fattier cuts?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's funny. I've never and it drives my husband crazy, because I'm sure for everyone listening, all of our meat prices have gone up exponentially. And my husband was grumbling about how the two ribeyes he bought were a third of the price is the filet that he bought for my birthday or whatever piece of fish I'm having. There is a cost difference, but I just feel so much better. I just don't do well with very fatty meats. And just you'll never see me using or eating duck fat fries, or using lard or tallow. Not that there's anything wrong with using those products. I just don't do well. It'll feel like I have a rock in my stomach and it's really unpleasant. I just tend and always have-- always done much better. Throughout my lifetime, it's not something that's just new to this stage of my life, but I've always craved leaner meat. 

Now, we're getting into minutiae. But for me, cartilaginous, very textured meat was just never something that appealed to me and I have a child that's the same way. There's team lean meat. There are two of us. And team fatty meat, they are or two on the other side. And generally speaking, when we buy a cow share it works out beautifully, because [laughs] there are 50% of the house likes leaner cuts and 50% is more flexible. So, it all works out. How about you? Did you always know that you were this way or was it just an evolution as you got more mature?

Melanie Avalon: When I first started doing keto back in the day, I ate fattier meats then and I ate a lot of coconut oil. [laughs] But in the context of a low-carb diet, I was much better with it. When I switched to high carb, I couldn't do the fattier meats and the high carb. It’s like I felt the fat in my system and is very like-- it’s like a feeling. But basically, the next day I just felt more sluggish. I felt I wasn't clearing the fat as much. I just feel better on lean meats. I find when it comes to craving, the thing I crave is the protein. I just crave that lean protein. So, I like fattier meats.

If I were to sit down to have a meal of a ribeye, it would be delicious, but I wouldn't feel as good from it. I don't think and that's why I was curious about when you're doing only meat. If I was doing only meat, I would be very curious. I might be better with fattier meats then, but I haven't done that in a while.

Cynthia Thurlow: No. They sent me home from the hospital telling me to eat a standard American diet. Essentially, a devoid of fiber, highly processed. And my gastroenterologist and surgeon were like, “You know exactly what to do.” And so, I recall it had to be stewed meat or braised meat. It had to be really, really cooked meat. I remember even reintroducing shellfish was a problem. It was a long journey. But I could eat a cooked burger like a champ and I probably ate burgers every day. It was one thing that my body really had a strong desire for, but it had to be a plain burger, nothing on it. Salt and pepper. That was about it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I have one more thought. Oh, so, reading his book, Steak, where he basically travels all over the world. I learned so much and tried steak in all these different countries, and tried to figure out what makes a good steak. And after reading that book, I was craving a steak. I have quite a few steaks in my freezer from ButcherBox. I will say, “Oh my goodness.” Have you had the ButcherBox filets?

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-mm.

Melanie Avalon: They're really, really good. I love carpaccio. I pulled it out and I was like, “I wonder if I can make my own carpaccio from this?” I sliced it rare and it was so tender, it was so delicious. So, plug for ButcherBox. They have really good steaks. And our link for them is butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. I'm not sure what the offer is right now, but they usually have really good offers going. I'm excited to interview him, but I think his takeaway was that the thing that most affects flavor, it's funny how just how different the different ideas are in different countries about what makes a good steak. The USDA prime concept is just about the marbling. It's nothing about the flavor. I don't know, I think it's very misleading as far as what makes a good steak. 

And then, wait, there was one other fact. Oh, this blew my mind. The criteria for Angus steak is so arbitrary that you would think it would be from the Angus breed, but it's not. They do it based on-- The criteria is like, “Is the cow black?” Because most Angus cows are black. And then all these other criteria, but none of it is actually is it an Angus steak. So, there's all of these crazy nuances in the steak world that just blew my mind. I was like, “Oh, wow, can't trust a label.”

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think that goes for anything here in the United States, [laughs] unfortunately.

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Melanie Avalon: So, her next question. She says, “Due to my health history, I get bloodwork frequently. My glucose is often, high 109. I don't understand. It is frustrating, because I don't eat processed foods much at all. Could alcohol affect this? Before you answer that, if I'm being honest, I'm drinking more now than ever during COVID-19, but I mostly clear liquor, tequila, and vodka, and yes, wine several days a week. If my sugar is up, can I still be successful at IF? This is very confusing to me?”

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, clearly, it sounds like you're in perimenopause. You're going to be prone to less insulin sensitivity. If you're fasting blood sugar's 109, that's high. I would be asking for a fasting insulin. I would want to know an A1c, I want to look at inflammatory markers, like, a high-sensitivity CRP, and you would be an ideal person to have a glucometer or continuous glucose monitor without question.

A lot of things impact blood sugar, sleep quality, stress management, overexercising, inflammatory foods, gut health, toxins. I would say at a bare minimum you need a deeper dive. But a blood sugar of 109, if it's been that level multiple times, it's a wakeup call that you're setting yourself up to develop some degree of insulin resistance. It's time to have an honest conversation. If you're still eating gluten, and grains, and dairy, and alcohol, and processed sugars, all of those things can exacerbate insulin resistance. So, it's really a wakeup call.

Melanie Avalon: I agree. And just speaking to the alcohol piece specifically, typically drinking alcohol in the fasted state will actually lower your blood sugar. But if you're having alcohol with your meal, it also might lower the blood sugar effect, but it's very individual. For some people, it might have the opposite effect because the body's processing the alcohol. And so, the glucose from your meal is staying elevated in your bloodstream. Again, it's a thing where you're going to have to monitor with a continuous glucose monitor to see how it's affecting you specifically, but agreed with Cynthia that it's concerning. So, definitely something to look further into.

Not to put a Band-Aid on it with a supplement, but something like berberine might also be helpful supplement to integrate into your protocol. She also says, “She thought she was in perimenopause, but then she had a full-blown cycle” and she just wanted to point that out. I think she was saying this, because I cut down this question a little bit. But Gin had an experience, I think where perimenopause and the definition of it and then having thinking you're done, and then you're not, and so, she was referring to that. Do you see that a lot with your patients, by the way, Cynthia, people who think they're at a certain point with perimenopause or menopause and then have a surprise?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, not all that often, because so, let me backtrack. Over the past two years without getting controversial, if anyone received a vaccine for a virus that we have been in a pandemic over, I'll just put it that way. I've seen a lot of women in menopause that have started menstruating, again. I've seen women that are peak cycling years that have gone on to have months, and months, and months of irregular shorter, longer cycles. So, certainly, if you fall underneath those parameters, that may be directly related to the vaccine. Let me just put that out there. 

Number two, generally, if you've gone 12 months without a menstrual cycle, you are menopausal. If you suddenly start bleeding after that 12 months that absolutely warrants seeing your GYN or your internist to make sure there's no other reason to explain why that would happen. If someone is not yet in menopause, and they have 18 months without a menstrual cycle, and then they get one that's obviously different. This is a question that is best directed to your healthcare professional. But again, if you're 51 years of age or older, that's the average age in the United States for menopause. And you have not had a period for 12 months or longer and you suddenly get a period, you need to let your GYN know that requires follow up with them. And it could turn out to be completely benign, however, you need to make sure it's not related to another issue.

Melanie Avalon: She has one last question. She said, “She's not been able to drink diet soda or regular soda since chemotherapy, which is a blessing in disguise. And she also can't consume anything with artificial lemon or lime. They all give her a horrible aftertaste. But she can have cherry or orange Tootsie Rolls, which is strange.” She says, “She knows we're not doctors, but do we have thoughts on why.” I will just say, I don't know, but I will say, after reading, I mentioned it already. But in particular, The Dorito Effect and learning the mind blowingness about all of these artificial flavors, and how they're created, and what they are, and what they do, and how they signal to our bodies. It doesn't surprise me that going through something like chemotherapy, I don't know what happened, but it has some effect and how your body is interpreting these flavors. So, that's not surprising to me.

Cynthia Thurlow: Very common for patients that have gone through chemotherapy to develop. Sometimes, it can be transient, short-term, but also long-term taste preferences. And I think it would be highly dependent on the type of chemotherapy that you received. Whatever chemo toxic agent you received, some of them may have more lingering long-term effects than others. That would be my first guess. But certainly, something to discuss with your oncology team. If this is someone else that's listening that's experiencing this, I have someone on my team who very openly talks about being aggressive cancer thriver. That's how she refers to herself. And I fervently agree with that that she definitely had a period of time transiently, where she had some taste preferences, or things that tasted metallic or cottony in her mouth that ever resolved. But I think it's largely dependent on the type of cancer you're being treated for and the type of chemo toxic drug that you received.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you. That was so helpful. I did not know that. [laughs] And also, Doreen, sending you lots of love with that whole situation with your cancer and we're happy that you caught it early. And it sounds like the chemotherapy is going well. So, very happy for you with that. She says, “I want to thank you, ladies. I feel blessed beyond words to have been able to include you in my daily life. Love and light.” Oh, she goes by D. So, thank you D for your question, which apparently was our episode. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It was a long question, but our next episode, we're going to get a couple for sure fit in. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode279. Those show notes will have a full transcript. So, definitely check that out. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. And again, a reminder to enter the giveaway for some goodies from Cynthia. If you have her book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation or if you don't, if you get it, which you should, just leave a review on whatever platform you bought it on. It's super easy to do and just send a screenshot of that to questions@ifpodcast.com to enter to win and this is US continental residents only. Yes, I think that is all the things. Anything from you, Cynthia, before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, thank you. Keep those great questions coming. Obviously, today was an unusually long question, but we will definitely get to several on the next episode we record. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, I will talk to you next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

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