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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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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.

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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! 

 

 

May 15

Episode 265: All About Supplements With Scott Emmens, The Supplement Industry, Purity, Potency, Testing, Toxins, Authenticity, Organics, Common Additives, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 265 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:

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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 2 10 oz. ribeyes, 5 lbs of chicken drumsticks, and a pack of burgers for FREE!!

4:00 - 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!

10:00 - scott's personal story

12:00 - orphan drugs

20:30 - MD Logic

24:25 - purity, potency, and testing

28:00 - GMP (Good Manufacturing process)

31:00 - testing for authenticity, purity and potency

32:00 - melatonin

Melatonin Natural Health Products and Supplements: Presence of Serotonin and Significant Variability of Melatonin Content

34:00 - organics

36:00 - Other Ingredients

38:00 - variances in dosage

41:00 - BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

47:45 - fillers and side effects

56:45 - MCT as the flow agent

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #136 - Dr. Steven Gundry

1:00:30 - enteric coatings

Frequently Asked Questions

1:07:00 - serrapeptase

1:10:00 - timing

1:12:20 - long term supplemental use, should you take a break?

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1:21:20 - rotation

1:21:35 - vitamin d

1:23:30 - magnesium

1:26:30 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

1:31:00 - taking with or without food, fasted or unfasted

1:34:50 - HCL and digestive enzymes

1:35:40 - heartburn medicines

1:38:50 - Recommendations for other supplements

use the code melanieavalon for 10% any Order At AvalonX.us and mdlogichealth.com, And 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

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 265 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.

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get a free grilling bundle with over seven pounds of delicious meat all for free. Yes, for free. We are so honored to be sponsored by ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get high-quality humanely raised meat 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. And 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. 

If you recently saw a documentary on Netflix called Seaspiracy, you might be a little bit nervous about eating seafood. Now, I understand why ButcherBox makes it so, so clear and important about how they work with the seafood industry. Everything is checked for transparency, for quality, and for sustainable raising practices. You want their seafood. 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. I remember the first time I had one and I just thought, "This is honestly one of the best steaks I've ever had in my entire life." On top of that, did you know that the fatty acid profile of grass-fed, grass-finished steaks is much healthier for you than conventional steaks. And their bacon, for example, is from pastured pork, and sugar and nitrate free. How hard is that to find? 

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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 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 265 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I am here with somebody very, very special. Friends, I've been so excited about this episode for so long. You guys know on the podcast, we have been fans of a supplement called serrapeptase for quite a while and a lot of you're probably familiar with it now, but I actually, recently in winter of 2021 launched my own supplement brand AvalonX and the first supplement was serrapeptase. And you guys were so, so excited. It's done so well. I learned so much in that process about the world of supplements, how they're made, how they're created, what you need to be looking for with brands and ingredients, and I have learned so much. I've been getting so many questions from listeners. I thought it would be very, very appropriate and welcome to bring on my fantastic partner, who made the entire AvalonX product line a possibility, I would not be here today if it were not for this incredible man, this human being, who has become one of my dearest friends of all time, I am here with Scott Emmens. He is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, COO of MD Logic supplements. And we've been looking forward to this episode for so long to tell our stories about how we met up and started the whole process of creating the AvalonX supplement line. And yeah, actually, just having an educational episode as well on the supplement industry and what you need to be looking for when taking supplements. There're so many things that I'm excited to tackle. And Scott, thank you so much for being here.

Scott Emmens: Melanie, thank you so much and we do have quite the story to tell about this journey that we've both been on together. I'm thrilled to be on The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I've been listening to you for quite some time now. It's quite a privilege to be a guest on the show.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, this is a really surreal moment. I'm just taking it in right now, because I remember-- Well, Scott and I have a debate about in the beginning, who reached out to who and who rescheduled on who, because Scott insists that I rescheduled on him multiple times and was pushing him off to talk to [giggles] in the beginning. 

Scott Emmens: I'm sticking with that story.

Melanie Avalon: But just going back to the beginning, it's really surreal from that moment that we first connected to where we are now. Because I know, regardless of the details of how it happened, we did have a phone call to meet each other many, many months ago, about a year ago now, right?

Scott Emmens: Yeah. It was almost a year to the day. It's just about a year. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's crazy. We had a phone call. Basically, Scott reached out to me. Again, we debate how this actually went down. But he reached out to me to talk about his MD Logic line and just the potential for synergy there. We weren't quite sure in what capacity, but I had been wanting to potentially create a supplement line and potentially make a serrapeptase. When we had our first call, we just connected on so many levels. I think we literally talked about the role of enteric coatings in supplements for probably 45 minutes and I think that's when we know that there's something here. I'm going to stop talking though, Scott, would you like to tell listeners a little bit about your personal story, because you do have a history in the pharmaceutical industry prior to your work at MD Logic. So, what's your background, what's your story, how did you come to MD Logic, why are you and I working together now, just all the things?

Scott Emmens: Yeah. I'd love to tell my side of how we met. Actually, I think it was you that either responded quickly or maybe liked something I sent your way and it was near infrared and my DYI infrared sauna. So, I put that on Instagram. I think I just either copied you or sent you.

Melanie Avalon: Scott, I don't think that happened.

Scott Emmens: It did. You totally loved my DYI Infrared Sauna.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, maybe. I think maybe you DM'ed me it and maybe I liked the DM. Is that possibility?

Scott Emmens: You know what? That's very possible. That's probably more likely. I said I'd love to catch up with you and discuss how we could partner together. And you said, "That sounds good. We'll be in touch." And then we set up a date, and then you rescheduled, and then we set up a date, and then you rescheduled, and then I thought, "Well, if the third one doesn't happen, this is probably not going to happen." And then we ultimately did connect by phone and you're right. It was supposed to be, I think, a 30-minute exploratory phone call and we've spent two hours on the phone just talking about the geekiest stuff you can possibly talk about when it comes to supplements, and science, and biohacking. It was a great conversation. I knew immediately that we'd end up working together from that moment. I was excited. 

To answer your question a little bit about my background for you and for your audience, so, I did start my career in pharmaceuticals. I spent a good 20 plus years in the biotech pharmaceutical space and it ranged from your mundane blood pressure medications, all the way to orphan drugs, and rare disease medications. Orphan drugs are drugs that are for diseases. They're really made for orphan diseases. And those are diseases that are defined as, I believe it's less than 20,000 patients. You have to double check me on the number. But if you have a drug that's in the orphan or rare disease space, orphan being the most rare. Then the FDA gives that usually Fast Track approval and typically, they're going to give you a voucher to get your product to market sooner. 

The reason that they do that is, if it's a disease that's "an orphan disease" and then 20,000 patients that have it, well, there's not a lot of impetus or motivation from a pharmaceutical company to take the time and energy to find the population, to conduct the study, and then to make a drug that's reasonably priced enough, that's not going to break the bank of those 20,000 patients, but these people need help and support. So, the FDA gives special timelines and a slightly different review process for orphan drugs. It really just allows them to get to market much faster for less capital upfront.

Melanie Avalon: Last night, I was listening to Peter Attia, one of his Q&A episodes on drug trials, and he was talking about how Phase 1 of the drug trial is testing only for toxicity, basically. So, in that situation, do they even Fast Track that, because not to be morbid, but there's less chance of hurting people? 

Scott Emmens: No, you're still going to have to do all of your toxicity studies right and you're going to have to do all of the basic toxicity studies, and metabolite studies, and you're going to have to do all the essential things to make sure the product is essentially safe and effective. However, where there are some differences is, for example, the size of the trial. For a cholesterol medication, you might need to do 5,000 to 7,000 patients. But for an orphan drug, you may only need to study, let's say, two studies of hundred patients per study. Because it's so difficult to find those patients and enroll them, you're not going to be able to do that with 5000 people. It's only 20,000 people. Where you see the speed pickup is in the number of patients that are in the trial, it's going to be a much smaller trial, and then the FDA expedites review of that product. 

The other thing that can happen is, in the regulatory decision, where the FDA has to make a decision on this drug for said orphan disease, they might be more inclined to approve it, even if it has some known side effects. Because there's nothing else or there's the other products in the market also cause side effects, they're not very effective. So, you might get a little bit more leniency in an orphan drug or disease state that's very serious, but just really doesn't have any effective treatments.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. That's what I think I was getting at the leniency. That would make sense.

Scott Emmens: Yeah. When the FDA board votes, they'll take everything into consideration. Risk benefit ratio and when you're looking at an orphan disease, obviously, the benefit to risk ratio is going to bump up a little, because you've got so few patients that are really, really sick, because typically, these orphan diseases, the outcome is a lot of morbidity and mortality and it's rather quick. Often, they're going to give the benefit of the doubt to get that product to market. What they'll do if the product, let's say, has some side effects they're pretty concerned about, they might do what's called an extension trial. I think it's called [unintelligible [00:15:39] the acronym. And that's basically a post-marketing tracking of every prescription written to every patient that gets that drug and then you track everything that happens with that patient for a period of two to three years to make sure that those concerns you might have had don't show up in a larger population or in a more significant way.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so, back to your story.

Scott Emmens: I spent a lot of time in the biotech industry. But my mother was an early influence on me. She was a little bit of a hippie in the day in the 70s. Everything was organically made, everything was homemade. For Easter, I literally got sesame sticks, like, that was my Easter candy. [laughs] My treat might be some grapes. I didn't know what a cookie was or a Ring Ding until I went to kindergarten and I tasted another kid's lunch and I was like, "What is that spectacular thing you're eating?" I kind of grew up in this health environment and then in sixth through maybe 10th grade ate a lot of junk food as most kids that age do. But I did notice, I didn't feel as good. I started playing sports, and I started wrestling, and I really wanted to get healthy. That's when I got back into, "How am I going to keep my performance as a wrestler in peak performance?" and this was the 80s, 90s. I'm dating myself a tad, but that's Muscular Development. What was the other magazine that was out of the time? Ironman, something or other. I don't even know if Men's Fitness was out at that point. 

I really started to dig into that and then I started to dig into some biology books, and just felt like, "This was what I wanted to do." I loved understanding how the human body worked, I loved enhancing the optimization of my own personal physical performance. Then I just loved science, it was my thing. As you know, all things sci-fi including Star Trek. When I went to college, I became an environmental science major, to kind of dig in that, but I got more and more into weightlifting, which then turned into bodybuilding. Now, bodybuilding is probably one of the greatest ways to self-learn biohacking, but I don't recommend it. It's not exactly the healthiest sport that there is on earth. But you do learn exactly how your body feels. You get to the point, where when you're bodybuilding, you've got to get down to 4% body fat, you've got to keep your muscle mass going. I was a natural bodybuilder, not doing steroids. For me, I had to work a little harder, I had to know the nutrition a little better, I had to really make sure that what I was doing was working, because I was going up against these guys that I knew were doing other testosterone therapies, we'll call it. So, I really wanted to continue on that path and so I switched majors at that point to become a biology major with the intention of going into sports medicine as a physician assistant. So, that was the path. 

While I was doing, my physician assistant rotation in the hospital, these pharmaceutical people were coming into the hospital to talk to doctors. Well, a few folks started talking about it, a couple of managers met me and the next thing I knew I was getting recruited/drafted into the pharmaceutical industry. I found myself with a really well-paying job and I really enjoyed teaching the science and helping, spread the message about education, about how to prevent diabetes or whatever the disease I was working on at the time, prevent hypertension. And then, explaining to the physicians, where our drug was appropriate, where it wasn't appropriate. It was a really good career and I really enjoyed that for a long time. Ultimately, though, I started my own biotech company. That worked out really well. We sold that in 2020. And then my passion, which has always been optimizing human health and longevity, I had an opportunity to begin building this wellness company with one of the other partners from my biotech company and we decided to do that in February of 2020, literally, one month before the pandemic.

Melanie Avalon: A few thoughts to that. First of all, I know your story and I've gotten to know you so well over the past year. But just hearing your story again now, it just iterates to me how perfect of a partner you are, because you have the background, and the experience, and all the things like you just talked about. You have the health and wellness background from growing up and realizing the importance of nutrition, the bodybuilding world, which is such a world, I think for understanding. Again, like you said, how things really do affect your body and including things like supplements. Then you have the pharmaceutical background, and then ultimately, MD Logic. Can you talk a little bit more about MD Logic and also, because MD Logic already existed prior to 2020? So, what brought you to that company and what are their current goals? What do you guys do?

Scott Emmens: That's a great question. MD Logic was started in 2005 by a group of physicians, who were really struggling at that point. There were a number of physician-only brands, but not nearly as many as they are today. And they didn't feel they were getting the exact products that they wanted. They created MD Logic, and worked with our manufacturer to design and make their line of products. They didn't want them to be private label with their physician, individual physician names on it. They want it to be a brand of products that physicians could trust and go to. They created that brand in 2005 and brand again till 2020. What made us decide to take on MD Logic was, it just really happened organically. My partner, Wes and I both are big tennis buffs, we love playing tennis, and we would talk about strategy, and talk about playing tennis. 

One day, Wes just got into the topic of, "What do you do for maintenance of health and how do you keep your joints in shape?" Because Wes is about my age. I'm 51 years old. At that age, these things are important. I started telling you, "Oh, actually, I'm really into the supplement world and in the biohacking world, here are some things I can give you some guidance on." I started giving Wes some tips on what you might want to take for tennis in terms of a pre-workout mix, what do you might want to take post workout, how to avoid--? He was getting some cramps in his legs, things like that. We just had these informal discussions. And then as we got closer to selling our biotech company, the opportunity to buy MD Logic came along, because the owner of the brand had moved the other physicians, only two or three physicians still actively using it at that point. We had an opportunity to purchase it and we said, "You know what, this looks like a really good brand. We know the manufacturer and we know that they're going to continue to support the product, we know that they have the highest standards of quality, they test the product before they-- every ingredient is tested before it even comes in for purity, for potency, for toxic metals, mold, and then its composition to make sure it is what they say it is." Every single ingredient is tested before it even walks in the door. 

And then all those products that are made are retested, again, to make sure that they have that same purity, that same potency, that they have all the things that we've said that they were going to have in them and they pass all the compliance tests as well. We knew the quality of the company, we knew a few of the positions, we interviewed with them. They raved about the brand, they raved about the products, they just felt like it needed some tender loving care. Having been in the biotech industry and being a supplement buff, Wes also liked supplements. He was into health. We just said let's pool our money together, and bring in some investors, and start this company. And so, that's what we did. We bought MD Logic, the brand and then turned it into a company in 2020.

Melanie Avalon: Well, congrats on that, by the way. A few things I wanted to touch on. One was, I just want to tell the listeners, when Scott says that he's into the biohacking stuff, he really is into the biohacking stuff. That's been one of the most amazing things about our relationship, as well as we can just geek out on all of the biohacking things for so long. You listen to all of the stuff I listen to and are really interested in all the different dietary and lifestyle approaches. It's been really, really wonderful. I'm glad you brought up the purity and the potency and the testing and all of that, because there're two really big topics that I definitely want to tackle in today's episode. And one is the actual supplement industry itself and what's going into that, what to look for, and then also the huge topic of what supplements people actually need to take, or should be taking, or might want to take? And as a teaser, I do have a lot of questions from listeners I'll be leaving those in as well.

I was debating which avenue to go first, but maybe since you did touch on that purity, that potency that testing, so, stepping back a little, supplements in general, because there's pharmaceuticals that require a prescription from a doctor, then there's this whole supplement world, where people can get supplements on the shelf to the store, they can get them online, they're very easily accessible. And at least from my understanding, there seems to be very little regulation. So, here's the first question. I think supplements can seem more credible if they're on a store shelf, but what does that even mean? Are all supplements safe to take? What are your thoughts on where we get our supplements from, what should we be looking for in supplements?

Scott Emmens: There's a lot of different questions and a lot of nuances to what you're asking. I think everyone has those questions. Everyone wonders like, "Is this generic brand from drugstore A, is this a good brand?" "Is this stuff from large, shipping company, is this a good supplement?" The brand itself may very well be a good brand. The issue with them going and being sitting in other warehouses or sitting in third party warehouses with the brand have no control over what's going on. It could accelerate the degradation of that product. Yes, I think people tend to think when they see it on a shelf that it might have a higher quality in point in fact, though, it might just be easy to take those products and put them on the shelf, because they can manufacture them in huge bulk for very little cost, and they're using ingredients that aren't necessarily the best forms of ingredients. For example, you and I will talk more about this. I'm sure have been working on a magnesium and what are all the right forms you want. We've discovered there're somewhere between 12 and 16 different magnesiums depending on how you want to define which ones are "allowed in the US," which ones are under patent, et cetera, but there's no less than 12 forms of magnesium. 

We know that magnesium oxide, for example, while it contains a high amount of elemental magnesium, your body only absorbs about 5% of it. It's not a very good magnesium by itself to replace low dietary magnesium. Just because something's on a shelf, or at a store, or even at a high-end store, a lot of times those products are just third-party manufactured for that high end store by another manufacturer. Since you don't have visibility into who that manufacturer is, you don't necessarily know if it's good. The things to look forward that a lot of folks know are and the most important is, United States manufactured, meaning assembled. Now, they're going to get ingredients from all over the world. You're going to source ingredients from all over the world. But you want a manufacturer in the United States, so that it's done under certain stringent guidelines, and those stringent guidelines are the same ones that the FDA has for prescription drugs and that's called GMP or good manufacturing process. Most people don't recognize that if you have GMP, it's not just a certification that you get once. If you're a GMP-certified manufacturing facility for supplements, you were under the FDA's purview all of the time. 

Just part of their natural way that they do business, if you're a GMP facility is they're going to come to your facility, every year, sometimes two or more often, if they suspect something is going wrong, but at least every year, sometimes it's a surprise, sometimes they announce it, and they come in and they look for various things you're not doing correctly to the GMP process. For example, one of the things that they want you to do is isolate ingredients, so that you're not getting cross contamination. If they were to come into a facility and see two ingredients that were crisscrossing or touching one another, that might be a note in their findings. And then you can get various degrees of warning letters that will either create them to want to be in your facility more often. They'll ask for a written, how are you going to resolve this. That's the GMP manufacturing portion. The FDA does inspect all of the GMP certified facilities and make sure that they're doing what they're supposed to do. That's why that GMP certification is so important. So, you don't see that on your bottle or it's not clearly clear, then you probably don't want to go with that company.

Melanie Avalon: Wow, I learned so much just now. I didn't realize all of that nuance behind that certification. I've learned a lot. This is very helpful. Does that certification include the testing for purity, and potency, and toxicity as well?

Scott Emmens: Yes. Order for the products to be considered safe for human consumption, you've got to do a baseline of certifications. Now, if you get a CFA from the vendor, some companies would take that CFA from the vendor and say, "Okay, this is clean, because we have the CFA vendor put it on to the vendor." Meaning, the person who sold you the raw ingredient. The problem with doing just that way though, is A, you're not really following the spirit of the laws of GMP meeting. You've tested it. And B, there are companies that will sell active ingredient that maybe is a little old, maybe it's supposed to be 80% pure, but it's only 75% pure, it's not quite reading specs, and they'll try and discount it, and there are some shops that will purchase that stuff. Now, there's nothing wrong with it as long as it doesn't go bad and they disclose that their percentage is lower. But if they don't test it, how would they know. It's really important that every company test their active ingredient or the raw ingredient that comes in for the potency of that product, the purity of that product, and then to make sure that that product is free of toxins, and molds, and heavy metals. And finally, that the product that you've gotten is in fact, the product that you said. Meaning I asked for astragalus, and I got astragalus or I asked for astragalus, and it's 60% astragalus and it's 30% just cellulose.

Melanie Avalon: Speaking to that, there are some pretty shocking studies where they do just that they look at different brands and see if they actually contain what they say they contain and it's just not. Like, did you say that study on the melatonin? 

Scott Emmens: I did not. But it's interesting, you bring that up a mutual friend of ours, who just tried the MD Logic melatonin. She said, "She took three," because she always takes three of her brand and she said, "it knocked her out," because and then she said, "I don't think that the brand I'm taking actually has six milligrams, it says six milligrams, but I was taking three and I was fine in the morning. I took three of yours, which are five milligrams and I was so tired in the morning." She said clearly, they weren't six milligrams. So, I'm curious to hear this melatonin story or study I should say.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I haven't read it in a while. So, I'll put a link to it in the show notes. But it basically just looked at these different melatonin supplements from multiple brands and it was all over the place as far as if it actually contained what it said. It was pretty scary.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, that doesn't totally shock me, especially with melatonin, because I have had some interesting experiences with melatonin as well, much like our friend. But I think that's why it's so important. Again, if you're following GMP all the way, and then you're going that extra level, for example, we don't just test the ingredients as they come in, we then batch test, meaning, we randomly pull bottles off of the assembly line, and then test those bottles, and the product in it to say, "Okay, we've said there's five milligrams of melatonin in every capsule, is there five milligrams of melatonin in every capsule?" Or the multi-ingredient like our immunologic, which has seven, I think it's 14 different ingredients. You got zinc, quercetin, vitamin D, vitamin C, astragalus, selenium. We have to then take those and individually test a few of those bottles coming off the shelves as the batches going through to say, "Does it have 10 milligrams of selenium or does it have the 50 milligrams of zinc that we've said." It's not just that we're testing the ingredients as they're coming in. We make sure that once the final product is done, that final product also passes all of those same tests in the additional test is, does it have the milligrams of each ingredient that we've said it has. If it doesn't, then it just gets thrown away and we either check the batch or that might be a bad bottle, maybe it's a one off, or you just make an entire new batch. We're not going to send something out that does not have what we say is in it.

Melanie Avalon: It's something else that this made me think of and it's something you and I have talked about a lot, because you're talking about testing for the toxins and the mold and things like that. Because we've been working on formulating a berberine, for example. It was really important to me to get a USDA organic berberine. But then the more we are talking about it, the more I was realizing that say you don't use an organic berberine. If you yourself are doing all of that testing to ascertain if there are toxins or not, it's almost like not that the USDA organic label isn't important, but I can see how it'd be possible that you could have a non-organic supplement tested that would be "safer" than an organic supplement that wasn't tested. Thoughts?

Scott Emmens: Yeah, that's absolutely true. I think it's just like when we say natural flavors versus artificial flavors, you could have a natural product or natural flavor. There's just as many downsides or more than something that is artificial. There is some truth to that. To your point, because you're testing for the purity of that ingredient, you're testing for the heavy metals and the toxins in that ingredient. You're likely going to the point mitigate the risk of "it's not organic." Now, it's always better if you can, not always, it's mostly better if you can start with organic, because then you are more likely to have less toxins and then there are some things that are just really difficult to detect like pesticides and to what level of the pesticides in there. Those are tests that are not necessarily as easy to complete with every single ingredient. So, if it's organic, you're a little more confident that it's not covered in some sort of pesticide. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, 100%. Another question from that. That said, we're testing the actual ingredients for toxicity, and mold, and issues, and heavy metals. But there are all of these other ingredients that are very, very common in supplements, GMP-certified supplements as well, but might actually pose an issue. I've learned so much about this with our own formulation for the serrapeptase and our future supplements. Why are there these other ingredients in the first place? Jessica says, "How can I better understand what the other ingredients in a supplement may be doing to my body?" What are these other ingredients, are they necessarily safe, why are they there, other ingredients? And for listeners, I mean, maybe this is being too over clarifying. But if you look at the supplement bottle, you see the actual supplement that you're buying it for the active ingredient, but then there's this other ingredient list and it often includes these other things. So, what are those and should we be concerned about them?

Scott Emmens: Before I get into what those are, because I think your listeners are going to learn something about what the purpose is. They might know what those things are, they might have heard of magnesium stearate or calcium palmitate, but what is the purpose and why are they used? I want to take one quick step back, because earlier you had said, it's not a lot of FDA supervision on the supplement companies. I would say, actually, the FDA does a really good job of monitoring claims of companies that are making claims about their supplements. They do a good job on the companies that are GMP certified and making sure that they're following the good manufacturing processes to prevent contamination, to prevent any toxins from getting in there to make sure that all of the processes are being followed, so that the ingredients are correct. They do a pretty good job of that and they do a really good job of watching what people are putting claims on. There is a good bit of scrutiny from the FDA on supplements. 

I think where the public perception comes in is what you were talking about earlier, that sometimes, the ingredients are just not to the level that they say. They're a little bit too much, a little bit too little. But interestingly enough, that can actually happen with prescription drugs. A generic drug can actually have a variance of 10%. Meaning, they say it's got 1000 milligrams in it, maybe it only has 900, maybe it has 1,100. There are variances. Even within prescription drugs, they allow for a slight variance within that spectrum. What might happen is, these companies are is taking a variance a little too far. But there is a good oversight. I just want to be clear that there's a good oversight. I think the majority of companies try to do the right thing, especially in today's climate and with a lot of the quality companies that are out there. But there are a lot of folks that are just either trying too hard to get their product to market and maybe taking advantage of that 10% on either side.

Melanie Avalon: That's a good clarity. Really quick question. The 10%, is it 10% across the board or is it adjusted for--? If you have a supplement, where the effective dose is a very narrow range, like, the 10% might have more implications based on what the original dosing is?

Scott Emmens: Yes. Especially, if it's a medication that has a really narrow therapeutic index to put that into normal terms, that means that the dose that you take for getting well and then the dose that will make you really sick are really, you're talking about a couple of milligrams difference. If 10 milligrams makes you better, but 12 makes you sick, that's a narrow therapeutic window. In that case, you've got to be really spot on with your product. There are some products, for example, that have been generic for decades. But the main manufacturer is still the one that makes it, because the process to do it and make sure that it stays within that that really tight, narrow therapeutic index is so difficult that the generic companies don't want to take it on. 

A great example of that are some of the thyroid hormones, because they have to be really specific. I think Premarin might still be manufactured by the original makers of it, it might be generic, but I think it still might be manufactured by them, don't quote me on that, but there are drugs like that. Antidepressants, there's some where the generic version wasn't quite getting it done. So, they had to go back to the branded one to make sure it was within that therapeutic window. So, very astute, Melanie, I think, if you've got a product that has a narrow therapeutic window, meaning, a tiny miss on either side could cause problems, yes, at that point you're going to have much more stringent guidelines and you should.

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Melanie Avalon: There's a book I've been wanting to read and now, the title of it is slipping my mind. I was discussing it actually with Dr. Alan Christianson. He wrote an array of books like The Thyroid Reset Diet and The Metabolism Reset Diet, but he works a lot with the thyroid. And he, for example, is not a fan of compounded thyroid medication, because of the potential for what you just spoke about. It's such a narrow range that if it's even just off a little bit, it can have massive implications. And there's some book that came out recently that was all about this. I'll have to find it and put it in the show notes. But it was about compounding pharmacies doing the wrong amounts of things and the issues that happen with that.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, compound pharmacies are a great thing to have. Because there're certain people that need very special designs of medications or kids that can't swallow pills. Compound pharmacies serve a really important niche in the healthcare space, where they've gotten into trouble is where exactly what you've said. They're not spending enough time being precise with the exact dose on medicines that it really makes a difference in and to the listeners so I'm sure most know what a compound pharmacy is, but in case you don't, a compound pharmacy is a pharmacy that will take a medication that's in a pill form or gel form, and they'll blend it into a liquid for a child, for example, or they'll take two or three other medications, and they'll blend them together to get to the right progesterone or estrogen ratio, let's say they were working on a hormone product, for example. So, that's what they do and they serve that great purpose.

But yes, you're right, Melanie. Where they've gotten into trouble is, where they've got these products that are narrow therapeutic windows and they're over or under prescribing or adding that active ingredient. And the other places, sometimes, there was one big case in the early 2000s I want to say, where there was a tremendous amount of cross contamination with bacteria, and viruses, and things that were getting into the, I think, it might have been even E. coli that was getting into this one particular product.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, that brings everything together full circle, because the other use of compounding pharmacies could be included in what you just said, but it might be a little bit different, which is sometimes, they will rather than get the generic form and crush it up or dose it differently, they'll get just the source ingredient and then you can actually choose your own fillers. This is why everything comes together. For example, I get things compounded often, because I'm on thyroid medication. I do actually use a compounding pharmacy, but they get just the pure thyroid hormone and then I choose the filler. So, I usually compound them with ascorbic acid, which is vitamin C, which brings us back to this filler thing.

Scott Emmens: It does, pulls that to full circle.

Melanie Avalon: So, the fillers, I've been very specific about them for a while. So, what are they? 

Scott Emmens: There're two things that people sometimes get confused. There are anti-caking agents and then there are fillers, and they're used for two very different purposes. The most common thing you're going to see on your labels is going to be magnesium stearate, or calcium palmitate, or silicon dioxide and that will be on the other ingredients list. You also see micro cellulose from time to time, stearic acid, hypromellose things like that. But the big ones are the stearate, the palmitate, [unintelligible [00:48:17], silicon dioxide rather and those are anti-caking agents. Why do you need an anti-caking agent? Well, when you're making these products in massive quantities, they're going through these machines and then you have to get into this tiny little capsule at a very high rate of speed. But a lot of these supplements are sticky and they attract water. Well, as soon as the water, let's say, the machine is cold, and you're putting warm powder in there, and condensation, all of a sudden, the moisture from the air, the product starts to kick up. And then if you're adding another product that maybe is a little bit sticky, the product really starts to kick up. 

They use these anti-caking agents, which are things like magnesium stearate, and calcium palmitate, and so forth, so that the product just flows through the machine quickly and easily into the capsule without jamming up the machines, so, they can make 20 million capsules at the price that it would cost to make 20,000 capsules if you're doing it smaller. That's why those anti-caking agents are used and they're the mainstay of the industry. In terms of their health benefit or health effects, magnesium stearate is actually in foods that you eat. You're going to see magnesium stearate and other stearates in things like beef, and milk, and eggs. It is a natural stearic acid. I believe it's a long chain saturated fatty acid. But again, it's a flow or anti-caking agent. Its main deal is just keep a barrier, so that that powder gets in there and the consistency of the medication is precise. That's what it's doing.

In terms of what it could be doing negative, there are people that feel it could have a laxative effect on you, for folks that do have delicate bowel situations, which I know is something that you talk about quite a bit, it can irritate the mucous lining of your bowels and trigger some issues in your bowels that aren't necessarily going to be positive. There are some studies, however, they haven't really panned out that there could be a minor in large doses mind you not like one pill, in large doses. There could be some mild impact on immune system if you're taking them in significant amounts. And then there's a little bit of a concern from people that think that pesticides might be in that stearate, because a lot of the stearate comes from seed oils and seed oils are particularly of concern, especially some of the genetically modified ones that are designed to be sprayed with various insecticides and pesticides. 

In terms of what the FDA says, magnesium stearate is G.R.A.S., which is generally recognized as safe as are all the other anti-caking agents. If you're taking one or two supplements a day, I wouldn't be concerned about at all. Even three or four supplements a day, I wouldn't be concerned about at all. But when you start taking 10, 11 supplements a day, many of us biohackers do, that's where you start to think maybe I'd like to dial down my magnesium stearate. I know that was a particular point, when we were creating your serrapeptase, you were adamant that you did not want any serrapeptase in your--magnesium stearate, palmitate, anything that was on that spectrum of potentially bad, you didn't want that in there. And I'll pause there to get your either follow up question or thoughts on that.

Melanie Avalon: I look at so many supplement brands. I'm always looking at different supplements, because it's been a huge part of my life for so long with my focus on health and wellness in biohacking and all the things. And maybe I err on the side of being overcautious. I thought what you just gave us a very nuanced and excellent answer to the question, because you're not saying like, it's going to kill you. It's bad automatically, nor that it's completely fine. It seems context is really important. 

Scott Emmens: Dosage and context. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. Although, interestingly, I was just thinking, because there's again, I'm going to reference a book that I don't remember. Although, I did remember the other book, the compounding book was called Kill Shot. It came out in February of 2021. The tagline says, The Untold Story Of The Worst Contaminated Drug Crisis In U.S. History.

Scott Emmens: That's the one I was talking about, where they--

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? 

Scott Emmens: Yeah. What year was that? Early 2000?

Melanie Avalon: I'm not sure, probably.

Scott Emmens: What year was that? 

Melanie Avalon: That it came out or that what it's about?

Scott Emmens: When the contamination happened? I was thinking early 2000s. 

Melanie Avalon: It was the New England Compounding Center. They don't say the date. 

Scott Emmens: And that's really what got compounding pharmacies on the radar in a negative way. That was a landmark case.

Melanie Avalon: They don't say the date in the brief description, but I'll put a link to it in the show notes. There was another book, I don’t know if it was a book or just a person in this sphere, but he was advocating the idea that potential toxicity of the buildup of these fillers and things in our supplements in our body, which again, it's hard to know to what extent these things are actually having certain effects. But I guess, just for me, I just would love to err on the side of-- If I can take it all out to the extent that I can, that would be amazing. Okay, friends, listeners, so, when I met Scott, this is going to answer this topic, this question that we're talking about, we decided to create serrapeptase for the first supplement and maybe we can circle back to why we made that decision. But in the initial formulation process, I was so intense and Scott had to look up so many things for me. I was like, "He's going to leave, he's going to give up on me."

Scott Emmens: It was close, Melanie. it was borderline for a while there. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: I felt so bad, because I would basically veto everything and then he would go and do all this research, and he would come to me really excited with an ingredient we could possibly use and I'd be like, "Nope, we can't use that either, because of blah, blah, blah." He found an organic rice related supplement and then I was like, "No, because people with autoimmune issues might struggle."

Scott Emmens: I was so excited about that one, because you would say, "I don't want any magnesium stearate, I don't want any--" I'm like, "All right, I still need some sort of flow agent." And so, I found this flow agent that was made from rice husks and I was like, "Oh, perfect, organic rice husks. This is perfect. She's going to love it." And then you're like, "Yeah, no, I don't do rice." I was like that was the one that broke me. I was like, "Oh, my God." [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Because you also came to me with acacia and you were so excited. You're like, "This has been shown to help people's bowel movements, it has benefits" and I was like, "No, we can't do acacia. It's a no for people who have-- I think people, who react to FODMAPs."

Scott Emmens: Yes, which I learned about that day. Yeah, I remember.

Melanie Avalon: I will say, thank you for sticking with me, because I know that was really rough. [giggles] But then I'll let you tell the story what we came to.

Scott Emmens: The reason that I stuck with you was because I had the same vision of like, "What's the cleanest possible product that we can create?" Not just the first product, but to the entire line. You and I have discussed that, MD Logic is beginning to look at all of our products and figure out, where can we get rid of the stearates and the palmitates, and what will we use to replace them. It's not as easy as just swapping out. For each product, we're making with you, Melanie, as you know and well, tell it to the audience, it's not like we can just come up with a system that works for every product, because each ingredient has its own level of stickiness. Enzymes happen to be particularly sticky. Serrapeptase is particularly prone to caking up. That one took a lot of how are we going to make this with just medium chain triglycerides, which was a huge, huge success. The fact that we could make a high-potency serrapeptase in MCTs which our research as you and I were discussing it not only could act as the flow agent, but also might enhance its absorption as what we saw in the literature said that the serrapeptase is likely helped by fatty acids and medium chain triglyceride in terms of the absorption through the intestine. So, it was like a double win. 

You're getting this pure MCT with no other fillers, just the capsule and the serrapeptase in the flow agent of MCTs and then that MCT also helped absorption. It was such a huge win. But it was a challenge to get to that point. But the reason I was so hell bent on figuring out how we're going to do this is, I just knew that if we can do it for this product, we can do it for others. And that's where the long-term vision of MD Logic and that's the long-term vision for AvalonX. To your point, let's have the cleanest powerful product. Maybe the magnesium stearate, it's not that bad. But if you're taking, again, 10, 20 capsules a day and you can eliminate it, why not?

Melanie Avalon: I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much. Because I just see what you told me going back and forth and bringing me these things. Even with the MCTs, it was an up and down situation. We thought it would maybe work, but then it was like a no, but then it was a yes, but then it was a no. I was riding on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen and I just can't even imagine all the phone calls and things that you had to do to make that happen. So, thank you so, so much. The thing I love about the MCTs is and to clarify for people, because this is the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Listeners are concerned about the clean fast and things like that. And actually, a lot of listener questions about that. So, from my perspective, the MCTs, well, first of all, it's a tiny, tiny amount in these supplements. It's not like you're taking a tablespoon of MCT oil.

Scott Emmens: No, much smaller than that.

Melanie Avalon: It's tiny. But even in that amount, I personally don't see any way that it would break your fast, if anything I think it would actually enhance your fast. And then on top of that, it really helps with the absorption and things like that like we said. And actually, after interviewing Dr. Steven Gundry on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast for his newest book, which was Unlocking the Keto Code, he really got me thinking, maybe I should be supplementing a tiny bit of MCTs in my diet every day. And so, maybe this can contribute to that a little bit through the supplements.

Scott Emmens: That product will soon to be coming. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, teaser, teaser, teaser. Actually, another question though because this actually relates to all of this, because with serrapeptase specifically, and we should probably define what that is. But before we do, I'll just ask this question. A lot of people historically have experienced GI effects with serrapeptase. For example, Morris said, "Why do some people experience GI distress because of serrapeptase?" Actually, before we created our AvalonX serrapeptase, I thought it was from the enzyme itself. I thought it was something in serrapeptase that was upsetting people's guts. That might be the case, but I actually now, after everything we went through and ended up creating our formulation, and myself, so many of my audience reporting back that they experienced no GI distress with serrapeptase, and I can say personally, because I've been taking serrapeptase for years, and I always experienced a little bit of discomfort with it and with my AvalonX, none, gone, like it's completely gone. I think it might have been actually from the enteric coatings that are often used in serrapeptase. 

Scott Emmens: That's a good point. We should probably talk briefly about that maybe. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I think so. Especially, because I think there's a lot of confusion out there about enteric coatings versus acid-resistant capsules like we use. What is the purpose of enteric coatings and acid-resistant capsules?

Scott Emmens: In enteric coating, whether it's on the product itself in the bead, where they make those little enteric-coated time release beads or within enteric coated-capsule.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Wait, can I pause you really quickly? Now, I'm getting a flashback. That was the thing, because when we first had our phone call, I was saying that the enteric coating was what we bonded over. But it was this discussion, when I was asking you about the enteric-coated beads versus the enteric-coated capsules. You were so excited, because I don't think anybody probably asked you that before and it was something you had thought about. So, yeah. Sorry, I interrupted.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, I was very excited, because I'm like, "Ooh, I have studied this. I have this answer." Yes, I was excited to be able to discuss it. You were equally as excited to talk about it. I remember distinctly we were having a conversation about, you said, "Well, shouldn't it be enteric coated, because it has to get through the acid of the stomach." I said, "It absolutely has to make it through the stomach." It's acid liable, meaning, it gets destroyed in acid. Yes, we've got to make it get through the stomach intact. But I don't think enteric coating is the best way to go for a couple of reasons. The first is, it's either a chemical coating on the capsule itself and that chemical coating is usually some plasticized chemical. Basically, it's like a plastic. These enteric-coated capsules, they don't necessarily tell you the ingredients in that enteric coating either. It might say, enteric-coated beads or enteric-coated capsule. But it doesn't always tell you what that enteric coating is made of. When the enteric coating came up, I said, "Well, if you do the enteric-coated beads or capsules, you're going to be putting another-- a different chemical on and/or a chemical/plastic, that's going to act as protectant before it gets into the stomach."

The other thing with enteric-coated beads, especially is, some of those beads break up before others, some don't make it through intact, so just to be wasn't the right way to go for your brand, because you wanted it so clean. Once we had the discussion, I think memory serves, you were like, "Yeah, absolutely I'm on board with that." The difference between your capsule and most of the "enteric-coated capsules" is it's a very, very robust, delayed, release capsule that is designed to not degrade in acid, but designed to degrade much faster in a pH of seven or above. I took four brands plus yours, and I had a video that I'll send out to you at some point in time. We put them in vinegar, which is about a three pH or so. The AvalonX brand was literally still intact three hours later. However, you put that in water and it dissolves in 10 minutes. I think that also might have something to do with the fact that you're not getting an upset stomach, because you're not having to digest plastics or other enteric-coated chemicals that are on these enteric-coated products that could have an impact on your GI system for sure. Your serrapeptase uses the capsule is a vegetable delayed capsule release, so it's vegan, there's no chemicals, nothing else on it. It's just designed to be acid resistant through its thickness in its osmotic layer and that's it. So, you're getting a pure delayed capsule versus an enteric released capsule or beads.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and I was so thrilled when you took those videos and did those experiments at home, because that really shows the effectiveness. You can see that our AvalonX serrapeptase is not breaking down in the acidic conditions compared to how some of the other brands were, and then it does break down in the alkaline environment that you need it to release into the intestine. And then actually, since we're talking about it, that would answer-- Tracy's question was "serrapeptase." She wants to know, will coffee affect it and other people have been asking me that as well. Now, people can understand, why coffee is okay to have with it, because coffee is slightly acidic itself. And then I actually asked you this, Scott and you were saying that, coffee on top of once it gets mixed with your stomach acid, that environment will still be acidic enough that it's not going to break down the capsule.

Scott Emmens: I take my serrapeptase every morning with my coffee. That's the first thing I do is, I have my coffee, put a pinch of salt in my coffee. For a couple of reasons, it helps with bitterness and it also keeps you a little hydrated. Then I take my serrapeptase, no problem. You're right. Once you drank that coffee, it's hitting your stomach and that's a pH of two or three. It's not going to be anywhere near alkaline enough to dissolve that capsule.

Melanie Avalon: And then actually, we have another good question from Bridget. She says, "I just received your serrapeptase. I'm wondering when to take it? Will it break my clean fast and are there any contraindications with other supplements?" We've answered a bit of this, but we can recap. And also, for listeners, they can actually go to avalonx.us/faq and we have a lot of questions there. Briefly answer your questions, Bridget, "Well, will it break my clean fast?" I was talking about that earlier that it's fine for your clean fast. And then when to take it? It is super important to take it on an empty stomach for the reasons discussed, because if you take it with food and maybe this is the time, where we can actually talk about what it is, then there's a potential that it will break down, because it's a proteolytic enzyme that breaks down things that will actually attach to your food and break down your food rather than getting into your bloodstream, where it then breaks down problematic proteins in your body. So, to define serrapeptase, this actually goes back to Scott and I's first conversation because you hadn't heard of serrapeptase, right? 

Scott Emmens: No. I got to say, we both caught each other with a supplement that neither of us had heard of. You had mentioned serrapeptase, I was talking about galantamine and I said, "I can't believe it, but I've never heard of serrapeptase." And then you started telling me about it. I think there's something here.

Melanie Avalon: Even now, I'm actually still shocked that you hadn't heard of it. But yeah, it's just funny, because it's a very niche supplement. But our audience on this show, they're so familiar with it, because I'm very well experienced and versed in supplements and I experiment with a lot of different ones, and we can talk about that a little bit later about what you should or should not be taking. But my cohost, Gin at the time, she doesn't take a lot of supplements, but there was one supplement she was currently taking when she and I first met, and it was serrapeptase. It created this whole serrapeptase fan club. Yeah, so, I was really passionate about it for so long. What it is? It's an enzyme originally created by the Japanese silkworm and it is not cultured in the lab, so yes, it is vegan. That's a big misconception. But when you take it in the fasted state, it actually goes into your bloodstream and then it can break down problematic proteins in your body. So, it can really help potentially alleviate conditions, where your body is reacting to these protein buildups. 

The reason I started taking, for example, was for my allergies. It will clear your sinuses like none other. It's amazing for me for that and a lot of listeners have experienced that as well, and then people may experience reduced brain fog. And since then, I've gone and dived deep, deep, deep into the clinical literature about all the studies on it. There's been studies showing how it may reduce inflammation, and even potentially break down amyloid plaque, and reduce cholesterol, and enhance wound healing, and so many things. It's really just a wonder supplement and that it can really enhance so many beneficial processes in your body. That was a reason I wanted to create it as the foundational beginning enzyme. Do you have any thoughts about that or should I--? 

Scott Emmens: Well, that's why I was so in favor of it, because one of the key success factors is that the person selling the product has to have a knowledge of it and a passion for it, and then their audience needs to have some education about what it is. Based on what you told me, I've been on an Intermittent Fasting Podcast for many years, it became a cult little enzyme amongst the audience that you and Gin talk to. I think that was part of the reason I wanted to do it with you as you had such a conviction and passion for it. After having done the research that you had sent over to me that you had and then doing my own research I thought, "This is some kind of product." I had actually ended up buying a few bottles of other brands to test them out. There were a couple I tested out that I was like, "I could feel after three or four capsules, my nasal passages clearing out, allergies getting better, and then I dug into the research on the amyloid plaque. Wow, there's really something here." Yes. I thought, "It was the perfect for supplement to start." It turned out to be true.

Your audience, thank you all. You guys have made it just such a tremendous success. It's really remarkable. I just want to circle back to the question of when to take it and about the fast. I think you've said this, Melanie. But actually, first thing in the morning is probably the best time to take it while you're still in your fasted state, because of the way that it works to the proteolytic enzyme and breaking down problematic proteins, it's going to do that better when your body is already in an autophagy state anyway, and you're almost assisting your body giving you that extra little boost during that time. I will also take it in the evening if I haven't had anything to eat for two or three hours. I'll take one before bed and I find it that helps me kind of wake up a little bit-- a little bit more pep in my step.

Melanie Avalon: I'm glad you said that because we had a question from Teresa and she said, "Do you get benefits from taking serrapeptase more than once a day as in taking two at first wake up, then taking more, say, four hours later while still fasted?" That's actually a different situation than before bed like you were saying, but so, yes, you can take it multiple times and presumably if you're getting more into your system, there's more enzyme to be doing its magic. 

Scott Emmens: Yeah. I think anything that you take multiple times is always going to be better than one time. That's just if you look at the way your body metabolizes things of the half-life of certain things, you're going to get a better outcome if it's in your system for a little bit of a longer period of time. Take one in the morning or two in the morning, one four hours later, you're going to spread the power of it over a longer period of time. For me, the reason I take one in the evening is, doing the research, although, it's mostly in animals. But when you look at the research that it has on breaking down various clots in the blood and various issues in the brain, I thought your brain does this rinse at night when you're sleeping. The cerebral fluid goes in your brain. For lack of a better word, like dishwashes your brain, cleanses it out. So, that's why I take my serrapeptase in the evening with my magnesium. 

Melanie Avalon: And now, I'm so glad we're talking about this, because this actually ties into a much broader topic that we got a lot of questions about. There're actually two big questions here. One, we definitely need to get to, "Which is how to know what to actually take?" I think we can circle back to that. But first, since we're talking about the timing, we got a lot of questions about, "Should you be taking supplements regularly or should you be switching things up?" I'm just going to read some of these and then maybe we can just address all of it in a general answer. For example, Kimmy says that, "She has quite a few supplements that she likes to take and she wanted to know if it could or would be beneficial to take a few supplements one day and then on the next day take different supplements and alternate on different days." 

I think the reason she's asking this is because Terry, for example, said, "should supplements be rotated, so that the body doesn't rely on them?" And then Tina wanted to know, "How do you know what to take long term versus short term?" Oh, and then also, Teresa wanted to know, "How frequently should we test changing doses or skipping doses and what might be assigned that a supplement is no longer working?" I think there's a lot of questions out there about, "should you take supplements every day, do they need to be rotated, do you build up a tolerance?" I think the answer is very long and nuanced, and it depends on what you're taking, and why. I have a lot of thoughts, but Scott, what are your thoughts about this?

Scott Emmens: As an avid taker of supplements, both personally and then as part of my profession, I understand where this question is coming from, because I have had this discussion many times. As a bodybuilder, one of the things you do is you switch up your exercises, so, your muscles don't get used to that same exercise and you continue to get growth. It makes a lot of intuitive sense to ask that question. The first thing I'll say, though is, this is a question you definitely want to work with a health coach on or a physician, someone qualified to work with you. If you can get some testing done, I think a lot of folks want to take supplements and just let their body tell them if it's working. If you're in tune with your body that's going to work more often than not. But I think you want to know where you're at from a testing perspective. 

You know Melanie, we're working with a company right now as you are aware that does some great bloodwork that looks for various, I think it's almost 50 different biomarkers in your blood to determine what nutrients you need. They can combine that with a DNA test. We also have a DNA company working with, and you can combine those two things to look at what's going on, and then you can track that over time to see how it's going. So, there are ways to track what's happening in your body and what's going on both physiologically, meaning, how you feel and then what is happening from a blood chemistry level. I think those are important things to do. Now, they're expensive. So, I don't do them very often.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I don't know what company you're speaking about specifically, Scott. For listeners, I will provide a resource to a very similar company, which is InsideTracker and they've actually sponsored quite a few episodes on this show. They do provide bloodwork testing and I'm glad you were talking about that, because it goes into a broader question, which I think we need to answer. In order to answer the when to take and if you should rotate and all of that stuff, which is Sharon's question of, "How do we know which supplements to take to benefit us?"

Scott Emmens: That's exactly why I wanted to start there. Because if you don't know what's going on, you're using InsideTracker, they're going to let you take a blood test pretty much anywhere. The Quest Diagnostic is who they're mostly connected with. They'll even send someone to your home to take the blood for you. That's pretty easy. But that's your starting point. Because if you have no idea where your blood levels of magnesium, and iron, and copper, and manganese, if you don't know where they are and you just start randomly popping nutrients, you could be offsetting the balance. 

One of the things that I've learned in this industry is that everything has a tradeoff. If you take too much vitamin A, you can bump down your vitamin D. Too much vitamin D, you bump down your vitamin A. Too much copper, you're messing with your iron. Too much iron, you're messing with your copper. Everything you take is going to have an impact on other nutrients, and so, you want to have them in balance. The first thing to do I think is to test. Once you've got that baseline test, you can decide what you're going to focus on and optimize, and then retest later, and see what's going on. That's I think pretty important to do because listening to your body is only going to get you so far. If you're taking things you don't need, you could be shifting the delicate balance of minerals in your body in the wrong direction. So, I'll leave that at that.

Melanie Avalon: These are examples of nutritional supplements. Vitamin D, iron, things like that, but I think it's important to step back, and there're big categories of supplements with different goals, and I think that informs what testing is needed, and how you might be taking it, and if it would need to be rotated. Things like the nutritional supplements that you just talked about, you're taking it for nutritional purpose, it's something that probably depending on what it is. It can be tested, so, you can actually see where your levels are. And then that would inform the frequency or the dosage that you're actually taking of that supplement. It would be a goal that would be related to what your blood level is showing. It's not necessarily-- I would love to hear your thoughts and if you have different thoughts about any of this, Scott, but it's not really something I don't think where you're going to build a tolerance, because you're filling in a nutritional gap. It would have been anyways an external nutrient that the body would need. For whatever reason, you're not able to get it via your diet or you need it in a different, more concentrated dose. So, it's not something where I'm as concerned about the tolerance effect. It's more about just what is the amount that you need and what are you getting? That'd be one category.

Scott Emmens: Yeah. First, let me start with, I completely agree with, what are your objectives in taking the supplements? Are they for beauty, are they for brawn and muscle, are they for your brain health, are they for emotional health, are they for hormonal health? I think the objective of why you're taking it and what you're trying to accomplish is just as important as the testing. You've got to know like, "What is the objective of trying to achieve? If I'm just trying to optimize my nutrition or am I trying to optimize my nutrition for a specific outcome?" That's important. Once you know those two things, you know your DNA says, "Oh, you've got a problem converting folic acid into usable folate." And then you go get tested and sure enough your folate levels are really low. Now, you know that folate it's probably something I'm going to need to take. Now, at what point do you want to "rotate it out?" Well, you may never want to rotate out folate because you've been tested, you know that your DNA doesn't process folic acid. So, that might be a vitamin that you just keep on going. 

Another one, for example, is going to be magnesium. I'm never going to not take my magnesium, because I know I'm not getting it in my diet and I know it's crucial to so many different enzymatic processes of my body. It's crucial for athletic performance, it's crucial for ATP performance, it's crucial for bone manufacturing. I know there's no way in heck I'm getting enough magnesium. Things like that, I'm not going to necessarily rotate out. Things that I do rotate out, for example, are things that are more hormonally based or maybe a vitamin D, vitamin D3, I take in the wintertime, but I don't necessarily take in the summer, because I try to get out in the sun and get natural vitamin D. However, I was once surprised to see that I was doing that tactic, went and got my blood tested and my vitamin D was 32. Now, 32 is actually "normal." But for me, I like to be around 50. So, 32 was surprisingly low considering how much I was in the sun, at least how much I felt I was in the sun and how much vitamin D I was taking. 

The other things I'll rotate, I rotate DHEA. I don't want to take DHEA all the time. I take that from time to time, give my body a little extra boost in the hormone arena. And then there's a product we make called Estro Detox. And that's for both men and women. I think men see that and they think it's a drug just for women. But there are so many plastics in our diet that act as estradiol, or estrogen mimickers, or what do they call muscle obesogens. On top of that, there's a lot of conversion from testosterone that can be to various forms of estrogen. I will do two weeks, I call it a cycle. Two weeks of Estro Detox, three capsules a day, and then I'll go three months and I won't take that. And then I'll retake it again and cleanse my body out of all that estrogen and plastics. There are things I do rotate. But in general, rotation to your point is not something you need to do for building up a tolerance to it. I think it's really more about do you really need it? And if you don't need it, why you're going to take it?

Melanie Avalon: For example, with a vitamin D, I think vitamin D is so, so important for immunity and so many things. That's something where it's been so helpful to have InsideTracker. For listeners, because it can be pricey, we do have a discount code. If you go to insidetracker.com/melanie and use the coupon code MELANIE20, you can actually get 20% off sitewide. So, that's super helpful. But I just pulled up, for example, my InsideTracker app and I can see my vitamin D levels since 2019 on this really cool chart, and I can actually see every test what it was at. When I started, I was pretty low. I started at 36, I dropped at 27, down to the lowest I think was 24. Similar to you, Scott. And then I really got on top of it and I went overboard. So, I started doing one-to-three-minute sessions in UVB tanning booth and supplementing vitamin D and I actually shot it up to 126.

Scott Emmens: Wow, that's a big bump. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: It was a slow. It went to 38, and then to 45, and then the next time I tested it was 126 in the red and I was like, "Oh, we need to backtrack a little bit." [laughs] I've actually been pretty good. The last four tests have been between in the 80s, which is the upper high range for InsideTracker's range. Yeah, so that's something super helpful. And then I'm really glad you mentioned that about magnesium because that's a perfect example. Because in my dream world, we get all of our nutrients from food. That's just the way it would be. But unfortunately, that's can be really hard to do with today's modern diet, and farming practices, and nutrient depleted soils. Magnesium is one for example that is involved in so many processes in the body. Our soils are so magnesium depleted that it can be really hard to get enough and most people are magnesium deficient. That's why we've been so excited to be working on our next supplement, which is magnesium. 

I got so many questions when I asked her questions. Jobeth, "When is your magnesium available? Susan, "I'm wondering the same thing. I need to reorder my magnesium before too long." Carly, "Is your magnesium available yet?" Tony, "When will your magnesium be available?" Friends, it is coming soon. I did get questions about, because we've been partnering on this show historically with BiOptimizers that's a really good example of me being really concerned for brands before I had my own and still the importance of finding brands that you really, really trust. I know the founders of BiOptimizers. I've had them on the show multiple times. I felt really, really comfortable partnering with them. I know so many people have benefited from their supplements. It's really been a wonderful thing, because I got this question from Lizzie, for example. She says, "You use to advertise a magnesium. Do you still recommend it?" This is an example, where when I create with Scott and MD Logic, the AvalonX brand, basically, my goal is to look at the supplements that I'm currently taking. So, I was taking Magnesium Breakthrough by BiOptimizers. Find what's there, find what's working, and if I can at all improve on it in any way, do that. Yes, I still recommend BiOptimizers and the AvalonX magnesium that we are creating that I am so excited about. We're basically just going a step above with some things that I really wanted to fine tune. Really making sure they're no extra fillers that are in there.

There'll be less fillers than there are in BiOptimizers. We wanted to add in, Scott was talking about the role of people having issues processing certain like B vitamins, for example, and that can be a genetic thing. We wanted to put in cofactors for magnesium that takes that into account. We're using activated forms of B6 and manganese, which are cofactors in magnesium absorption. And then putting it in a glass bottle, because something that's really, really important to me is the health of not only our bodies, but the planet and I'm just really concerned with plastics in our environment, in our bodies, in the planet. Yes, your BiOptimizers magnesium, I'm not reneging on everything I said about that. I'm grateful to them for creating such an amazing product and I'm really excited to create my own manifestation of magnesium and the best way that I see possible. That was long. So, you have thoughts about that, Scott?

Scott Emmens: Yeah. Condensed that into this one sentence, which you basically did the same thing with serrapeptase that you did with magnesium and we worked with you to do that. How do we make this magnesium? It's really good, take it to insanely perfect level and that's what we did. If you like BiOptimizers, you're going to love AvalonX. And if you want to skip your BiOptimizers, you can certainly do that. But I promise you, this is going to be a tremendous magnesium. I think some of the surprises you're going to announce that are going to go along with that Melanie will just make it all the better. So, I won't spoil that for you.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I'm so excited about everything in the future. 

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Melanie Avalon: We are going back to those different pillars of foundational supplements. The nutritional ones, something like serrapeptase though, that's not a nutrition. That's an enzyme. That's taking a supplement, where it has it's like a verb. The other supplements are like nouns. The serrapeptase is like a verb, because it's doing something in your body. That's something where you don't have to really worry about tolerance or something like that, because it's doing an action that you are supporting your body with. I think the issue with tolerance and things like that comes in with supplements that are more stimulant related. You know caffeine, coffee, things like that or neurotropics, where you might be playing around with neurotransmitters, where there could be the potential for some downregulation of your brain's neurotransmitter system, that's where I think you might need to take into account rotating on and off. Thoughts about that?

Scott Emmens: Yeah, no, I agree completely. I think the area that I brought up where I rotate things on and off are the hormone products or detox products. I don't want to be on a detox product long term. Alpha-lipoic acid is great. But if you're on alpha-lipoic acid all the time, you're in a chronic state of detox and you might just be pushing a lot of things to float through your blood if you're not using a binder with it. There are things that are designed for a specific purpose and a specific timeframe. And then there are things like magnesium and serrapeptase that have specific reasons you're taking them that don't have any build up effect that you should take. A detoxifying agent like a colon cleanse, you're not going to take that on a regular basis or alpha-lipoic acid that's always detoxifying. You could become anemic, because you pull out too much of your iron, or copper, or zinc, for example. 

In the hormones, I rotate, because if you overdo hormones like DHEA or Estro Detox, those can start having some odd effects that you don't want to have either. Those are the only ones I rotate really. If it's got a specific purpose, it's an essential nutrient that I know I'm not in getting my diet. I don't rotate that out and I don't see necessarily a rationale or reason to do so. But in the examples, you and I both gave, I think it makes perfect sense to rotate them out or pause them for a while.

Melanie Avalon: One more topic that it relates to all of this, but we got a lot of questions about taking into consideration the fasting and the eating window. Terry wants to know, "Best supplements to take on a fast versus an eating window." Amy said, "Best timing of supplements. Should it be while fasting, with food? If it's with food, is it before or after and how much? If it's with fasting, how long from the start of the fast to how long before breaking the fast?" Aaron wanted to know, "When to take supplements?" This might be in relation to the serrapeptase fasted or not. Jocelyn, "When best to take if you only have a five-hour eating window." 

My thoughts on that is that, it was a type of supplement, where it is nutritional based. A lot of them can be taken in your eating window with food. I try to put everything that I can in the eating window into the eating window, because why not err on the side of keeping the fast as clean as possible. I take probiotics in the eating window. I know a lot of people take this fast, but I take them in the eating window. I really take most things in the eating window, unless it specifically needs to be fasted. So, that would be serrapeptase, which I think really enhances the fast. Something like-- I'm trying to think, what do I take? Oh, I take berberine fasted, as well as you can also take that before food. But yeah, Scott, you have thoughts on fasting versus eating?

Scott Emmens: Yes. I take most of my water-soluble vitamins and things that are liver supporting or detoxifying on a fasted state. My B vitamins, I'll take on a fasted state, because they're stimulating anyway. I usually take those in the morning. I will take my magnesium. Sometimes, I'll take it one in the morning along with maybe some zinc, although, that's not an optimal way to do that, because zinc can be a little upsetting on the stomach. So, you got to be careful. Certain liver things, I'll take. Milk thistle for example, and berberine. I'll combine those and take those on a fasted state. A lot of the water-soluble vitamins or vitamins that are specifically there to help detox or help with autophagy, I'll take those during my fasted state. 

Things that are there that are antioxidants, that are fat soluble vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K2, CoQ10, all of those I'm going to take with food. And then if I'm taking something like immunologic, which has a lot of different nutrients in there, I'll take that with food. And obviously, my digestive enzyme, I'm going to take with food as well. I'd say, if it's a water-soluble vitamin, that is going to be working alongside the fast and supporting the fasting or supporting detoxification. I'll take those in the fasted state, usually in the morning, or late morning, or early afternoon. And then I'll take all of my fat-soluble vitamins and other types of nutrients typically with my first meal of the day. And then with dinner, I'll take a few extra things like krill oil, and phosphatidylserine, and then I'll do two more magnesium before bed.

Melanie Avalon: I'm glad you mentioned the digestive enzymes, because that's definitely something where for example, I take HCl and digestive enzymes with my meals every night and I probably will be for life and that really helps me radically, and helps me absorb my food, it helps with any potential GI issues. I just feel like a better person taking them. I know people will say, "Oh, but maybe you're down regulating your natural production of enzymes." But I've looked into it, and I think it's debated a little bit, and I just know that I personally experienced so much benefit that I have no problem taking it every night.

Scott Emmens: I don't think there's any sufficient evidence to show that it downregulates your own acid production. But there is evidence to suggest that heartburn medicines will upregulate your acid production. Proton pump inhibitors, they have a history of studies that show that they have a conglomeration of various side effects. There's a rise in all-cause mortality, there's a rise in fractures, there's a rise in I think, even maybe-- Don't quote me on this. I might even say it, but there's rise in many disease factors of long-term use, not short-term use, but long-term use. And I was on those suckers for 15 years and I decided it was time to get off. I restarted researching like, "How do you get off of these acid blockers?" Because if you're taking acid blocker by virtue of that, you can't digest all your calcium properly. You can't digest your magnesium properly. Your body needs acid to break down your proteins properly, to get vitamin B12 properly, to get your minerals, especially properly. I decided I had to get off it and I started taking the digestive enzymes. This is about four or five years ago.

I wouldn't leave the house without my proton pump inhibitor. Because the heartburn was so bad. I literally was able within a month or two to get almost completely off. And within three months, I only needed those on rare occasions when I just really overdid it. It got to a point where even I didn't even need the digestive enzymes every single night. I only needed to take them with large meals, like, if I was eating dinner out, or having a large holiday meal, or tons of meat, or tons of fat and meat. It's the only time I really need them now, which tells me I didn't downregulate anything. In fact, my digestive system seems to be working better than it was when I was taking the proton pump inhibitors. Ironically enough, my best friend just came to visit me. I haven't seen him in two years since COVID and I was telling about the digestive enzymes last night. He goes, "I always get heartburn. Let me try one of those." 

He had this massive meal, he took only just one of the digestive enzymes, and this morning he woke up he goes, "Dude, I have never slept so great without heartburn in my life." That was just his first time taking it. There're no question digestive enzymes are really important. We know as you age, your acid in your stomach begins to decline, your digestive enzymes begin to decline. So, I think that's one that you probably will be taking for life. But in terms of downregulating, I personally haven't seen it. In fact, my digestive system seems better than ever. 

Melanie Avalon: That's definitely. Yeah, it'd been my experience, and what I've seen from a lot of our audience, and what I've seen just from my own research. I won't say anything in set in stone, but I'm very passionate about digestive enzymes and I'm very passionate about making things that I'm passionate about. I'll just leave it at that which actually speaks to maybe something that we could end with which is we got a lot of questions about other supplements. Shannon wanted to know about, "NMN recommendations," which was something that I had previously thought we were going to be making soon, but we ran into some issues with regulations surrounding that. Christina wanted to know about "Algae supplements." Linda wanted to know about, "Berberine," Nicole wanted to know about "Multivitamins," Carly wants to know about, "Collagen and fiber." So, the future of both AvalonX and MD Logic with these supplements, not sure what we want to say or what you want to say, Scott? Yeah, what would you like to say about just questions about future supplements?

Scott Emmens: Yeah, I'm comfortable answering those. I think you had told me there was a question about the algae and we be able to offer algae at a less expensive price and something like that.

Melanie Avalon: I'll read it. Christina said, "Is there any way you could offer algae supplements that are less expensive than what is available now?"

Scott Emmens: Ah, well, the answer to that is yes. We are working on three different USDA organic forms of algae. I'll leave it at that, but I think they are the ones that you're looking for, the packaging, they will not be tablets, they will actually be in a powdered form, and it'll be in a travel size, so you can take them on the road, you can just rip it open, pour it into your smoothie, no chewing necessary. We're pretty excited about that. They will be less expensive and you will get more total grams of algae per unit. I think you'll be happy with that. Expect that sometime in July, maybe a little sooner. In terms of berberine, how could we not do a berberine and that's going to be an AvalonX product and that is likely not too far off from the magnesium, which don't hold us to this date, but we think we're going to launch in late May. We're pretty confident, it will be ready for shipping sometime in late May and we're also extremely confident. You're going to love the formula for all the reasons Melanie mentioned.

In terms of collagen, that one I will definitely answer. We are literally about to launch an MD Logic marine collagen sustainably wild caught, sustainably caught white fish that is tested for all types of toxins and mold, etc. Also tested to make sure that it is in fact pure fish marine collagen. It is top tier marine collagen. It is highly dissolvable. So, it's not going to cake up. It is flavorless. But what we added to it, which is very important, there are small amounts of the collagen cofactors. What folks may or may not know that are collagen junkies like I am is that, in order for your body to utilize the collagen that you're taking in, you have to have copper, zinc, vitamin A, C, and manganese. Those are those five. 

Now, there are others, but those five are absolutely essential for your body to be able to convert the collagen you intake, because the collagen peptides we all drink in our coffee, or OJ, or whatever we put it in, those collagen peptides are essentially broken down collagen. It's broken down into its amino acids. Your body then has to reconstitute those amino acids from the collagen into functional elastic or elastin skin. To do that, it's either got to turn into tendons, or skin, or cartilage, or whatever it's turning that collagen you've eaten into. But every time it does that, it requires molecules of copper, zinc, manganese, and vitamin A and vitamin C is actually one of the most important to create collagen. Without that, without those cofactors, to create the enzymatic processes, your body literally can't reconstruct that collagen. If it does it can't do it in an efficient way, where the collagen is meeting the needs that the body wants. If we added those cofactors, plus we added biotin for hair, skin and nails, because collagen by itself without biotin is a great ingredient.

But again, you need that biotin for your body to really grow that hair. We've created a collagen that gives you just the right amounts and the right proportions of these cofactors all in one minus the manganese, because manganese tastes horrible. You've got to flavor this collagen with the biotin in it that you can put in your coffee or wherever. We're super excited about that. MD Logic Health is going to be launching that soon. If you're looking to get it, please sign up to MD Logic Health. I'm sure Melanie can put something in the show notes, Melanie, if that's possible. So, in summary, collagens are not all created equal. You definitely want to have those cofactors in your collagen to get the most of it.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. For listeners, I know a lot of you guys have been wanting a collagen supplement. When I say that the person you want to trust with this collagen is Scott Emmens at MD Logic. The person that you want to trust with this collagen is Scott Emmens at MD Logic. He has been telling me about this collagen for so long and is so excited about it. When people, who have the knowledge, and the science, and the savviness get really excited about something, that's when you get really amazing products that you want. I'm just so thrilled, Scott that you are creating this and I can't wait for listeners to try it. Information because I know people are probably really excited and want all this right now. The things that are not available, you need to get on my supplement email list, because that's where I'm going to be sending the emails to let you know when these products launch. You can always, of course be checking mdlogichealth.com. But if you want to get the latest and know when it's coming, and get it before it sells out, because there's always the potential with first runs that things sell out, get on my email list. That's at avalonx.us/emaillist. A-V-A-L-O-N-X dot US slash emaillist. So, get on that right now. 

And then I do have a coupon code for listeners, a discount code, and this code will work on both AvalonX supplements, which right now, I just have the serrapeptase, but the magnesium will be coming soon. Although, the launch special for magnesium will be pretty amazing. The code will probably not work on the initial launch of any new supplement, but it will after the launch. The serrapeptase and then also, you can use this code sitewide at mdlogichealth.com. They have so many supplements. Definitely, definitely go check out all the supplements. And again, we talked about this earlier, but some of those supplements do have things like stearates and such, which, may or may not be a problem for you. It's really an individual case by case basis. But in general, I don't want to put words in your mouth, Scott.

Scott Emmens: Yes. We're working on a few major projects right now. The big one is taking our core product line-- I mentioned this earlier, taking our core product line and getting the stearates and palmitates out. One of your listeners had a question about, "If you're taking seven different supplements of magnesium stearate, at what point does it become a problem, etc.?" The FDA says 2,500 milligrams. You have to take fistfuls of vitamins. Literally, fistfuls to hit that amount, because there's very little in any of these products individually. But I also agree with you, Melanie. If you can take it out, why not take it out. That's what we're trying to do. But as I alluded to before, so, for example, every time you change a formula, you need a specific anti-caking for that particular blend of formula. For example, with your serrapeptase, we used a specific MCT. With the magnesium, we're using different kind of organic MCTs. And then for the berberine, we had to use a very specific, very pricey product for the anti-caking that's found in nature. We've got these very natural safe "anti-caking agents," they're almost really not even anti-caking. They're really just a way to make sure the flow happens, which is why we also have to make your products in small batches, which is a good thing, because then the quality control, again, is even higher on those products. 

What we're doing is, we're looking at each one of our products at MD Logic Health to say, "How can we get the stearate and palmitate out and what's the proper ingredients or ingredients that are more natural and that will help the product with either absorption, or long lasting, or how can it benefit besides just not being a stearate?" Each one of those top five products and replace the stearates wherever possible and that will take some time, but that's our long-term vision to be as clean as we can. We're working on sustainable packaging in two different forms and that probably won't happen till 2023. But when it does, we're going to be very excited to be able to promote that.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Those are all really, really exciting things. I'm personally so, so excited. But even before that, like I said, the supplements at MD Logic Health are amazing. Definitely check out that whole catalog. I don't know if I got to saying this, but that coupon code MELANIEAVALON will not only get you 10% off at avalonx.us but also at mdlogichealth.com. So, super, super amazing. This has been so amazing. We've got through a lot of stuff.

Scott Emmens: We did. There's one last question that I would like to answer, because I'm obsessed with mitochondria and Shannon asked about "The NMN and any recommendations for mitochondria?" And I'll bet you'll have some, too.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. So, Shannon wants to know, "NMN recommendations and any specific mitochondrial support," Scott.

Scott Emmens: I'm going to give you five supplements and two things to do. Supplement wise, copper between two and four milligrams a day, Vitamin A and if you listen to the copper book, I think it's called copper Cu-RE. It'll explain why copper is so important for your mitochondrial health and why vitamin A is so important for that.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. And to interject really quickly for listeners, I'm actually interviewing that author His name is Morley Robbins. It's called Cu-RE, spelled Cu dash RE and the Cu is like copper. Cu-RE Your Fatigue: The Root Cause and How To Fix It On Your Own. So, it's a whiles away, end of 2022, but I will be interviewing him on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Okay, so, sorry to interrupt. What were the other supplements?

Scott Emmens: I would just say, do not miss that interview. It will blow you away. I've been taking copper now for a couple of months and it has made a remarkable difference in my stamina. It's remarkable. Next, CoQ10, krill oil, melatonin, magnesium, and then PPQ is a question mark. I'm not sure just exactly how effective that one is. 

Melanie Avalon: PQQ? 

Scott Emmens: I think it's PQQ. Yeah. What did I say? PPQ? Then trans-resveratrol is probably a good one to do. Those are some of the core mitochondrial support nutrients I take on a pretty regular basis. And then proven mitochondrial support is red light therapy and deliberate cold exposure. Primarily, when I say cold exposure in a tub of very cold water about 50 degrees, obviously, don't do that if you have a heart condition, talk to your physician. Take your time, start with cold showers, work up to it. It takes a while. I was telling Melanie the other day. If I could only have one single bio hack, it would be cold immersion.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I think those are great recommendations. I do personally love NMN. I currently take another brand. I hope someday I can make my own or an NR, just because that whole industry, that whole world, I think there's a lot of benefit there, but it's really sketchy. It's really hard to figure out which brand to take. People ask me all the time if I recommend a brand and I don't, because I just don't know. But for mitochondrial support, I'm a big fan of that. I like the ones you mentioned. I don't supplement with resveratrol. I actually just try to get it from wine. I'm on the fence about my thoughts about supplementation with it, but I know there's like science behind it, so, I can see why you think that. CoQ10 is definitely a good one. But yeah, the lifestyle things, I love, love, love. So, Scott does his ice baths, I do my daily cryotherapy, which just makes me feel like a million bucks. I really, really recommend that. And again, red light therapy is amazing for mitochondrial health, even just the lifestyle things that we practice like fasting here on the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I think fasting can be one of the best things that you can do for your mitochondria.

Scott Emmens: Fasting is a tremendous mitochondrial support.

Melanie Avalon: Which is perfect. Well, this has been absolutely amazing. Scott, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so, so much for reaching out to me like a year ago and I'm just so grateful, and thrilled for how everything has manifested, and I'm so passionate about this journey that we're on and the future of everything that we're doing. What's really exciting and gratifying is, it's not just me and you. I see this manifest and all the listeners and they get to try the supplements and report back. I get testimonials and feedback daily, literally, daily from people, who have tried the serrapeptase, for example, and just experienced amazing benefits. So, I'm really excited. You're such a wealth of knowledge. I'm sure listeners got a lot out of this. I'm really excited to see what's in the future.

Scott Emmens: Well, thank you so much, Melanie. It's just a pleasure working with you and your audience is tremendous. They're always giving extra little tidbits of health. They're giving each other guidance and advice of what's working for them. They're super supportive of you and of each other. They ask really intelligent questions and it's great to see how engaged they are. They've really helped us be successful and I love working with you. Trust me, folks, when I say, when Melanie says, she wants it clean, she means clean and she goes out of her way to make sure she's looking at every single ingredient all the way down to every ingredient within each capsule, and you guys are getting the absolute best products possible when you're buying MD Logic or AvalonX. There's no question about it. She's just done a tremendous job and I think you're going to love the products to follow.

Melanie Avalon: Yay. I'm so happy. Well, again, for listeners, the show notes for today's episode, which you'll definitely want to check out, we'll put links to everything there. ifpodcast.com/episode265. To get on the email list, to get the updates about all of the future supplements, definitely get on that, avalonx.us/emaillist, to get the serrapeptase supplement, which is live now that's at avalon.us. You can save 10% on that serrapeptase or anything at MD Logic Health with the coupon code MELANIEAVALON. I didn't mention this, yet. You can save 15% on serrapeptase, if you get a subscription. That's an amazing way to get a super discount and also help with sustainability, because you're reducing shipping, because you actually get three bottles at once at that lower price every four months. That's more sustainable for the planet as well. All of that is at avalonx.us, and there will be a full transcript, and all of the notes in the show notes. 

This has been absolutely wonderful. Normally, I say to my cohost, I'll talk to you next week. But Scott, I talk to you pretty much every day. So, I will talk to you very soon.

Scott Emmens: Sounds great. Thank you, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Scott Emmens: Bye-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 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! 

 

 

May 08

Episode 264: A Bittersweet Announcement! An Exciting Announcement! Serrapeptase Timing, Inflammation, IBS, Bloating, Diet Mentality, Junk Food, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 264 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:

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 Sample Pack For Only The Price Of Shipping!!

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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 Sample Pack For Only The Price Of Shipping!! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

3:50 - 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!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #144 - Bill Tancer (Signos)

26:30 - GREEN CHEF: Go To greenchef.com/ifpodcast130 And Use Code IFPODCAST130 To Get $130 Off Including Free Shipping!

33:00 - Listener Q&A: layla - AvalonX timing/B12/vegetarian

Frequently Asked Questions

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #46 - Dr. Will Cole

What is an Elimination Diet and Why Should You Do One?

46:40 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

52:00 - Listener Q&A: Julie - Delaying certain foods

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 264 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. 

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get free electrolyte supplements, some of which are clean, fast approved, all developed by none other than Robb Wolf. Have you been struggling to feel good with low carb, paleo, keto, or fasting? Have you heard of something called the keto flu? Here's the thing. The keto flu is not actually a condition. Nope. 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. Low aldosterone on a keto diet makes you lose sodium at a rapid rate. 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. 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. Guess what? We worked out an exclusive deal for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast listeners only. Guys, this is huge. They weren't going to do a deal, I begged them, here we are. 

You can get a free LMNT sampler pack. We're not talking a discount, we're talking free. Completely free. You only pay $5 for shipping. If you don't love it, they will even refund you the $5 for shipping. I'm not kidding. The sample pack includes eight packets of LMNT, two Citrus, two Raspberry, two Orange, and two Raw Unflavored. The Raw Unflavored ones are the ones that are safe for your clean fast and the other ones you can have in your eating window. Word on the street is, the Citrus flavor makes an amazing Margarita, by the way. 

I am loving LMNT and I think you guys will too. Again, this is completely free. You have nothing to lose. Just go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. That's D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dotcom forward slash I-F-P-O-D-C-A-S-T. 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 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 264 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with, Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: And [giggles] before I say, how are you today, Gin, so, people I think we might have announced this before this episode airs. So, people might be familiar, today is a special, sad--

Gin Stephens: It's bittersweet, right? Is that the right word for it? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: The people might have heard about it on as of the episode comes out on maybe Instagram, or in your Facebook group, or in my group, but for some people who just only listen, this might be the first time they're going to hear it. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. So, Gin--

Gin Stephens: I know. We haven't rehearsed this, we haven't talked about it.

Melanie Avalon: Normally, I'm a planner. So, normally, I have everything planned out. But Gin will be leaving the podcast.

Gin Stephens: Yep, this is my last episode. This is the last one and it isn't anything, like, there's not a giant reason. All of a sudden it felt it was time for me to go in a different direction and that's all. I've loved this podcast. If you listened last week, we were reflecting on. We already knew. We've been talking about this. Gosh, it's been about a month that we've been talking about it and planning for the transition? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Probably. 

Gin Stephens: Probably. Maybe even a little bit longer than that. But reflecting on five years, so, last week talking about the five years, and all the positives, and how grateful I am for this experience for all the listeners, whether you've been there since 2017 or whether this is the first time you've listened to everyone in between, I'm grateful for every minute of this podcast and for everything for you, Melanie. It's funny and I know we've talked about how we met when you came into the Facebook group. I think we talked about that last week. But the universe works in a mysterious way. The very week before you popped into the group asking, "If anyone wanted to start a podcast?" Do you remember that the very week before was the first time I'd ever been a guest on a podcast? Do you remember me telling you that story? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: I had never been a guest on anybody's podcast before. I didn't listen to podcasts, which everyone knows. Someone, who had been in my Facebook group had started a podcast. I can't even remember the name of that podcast. I think it was political-- I don't even know. But he's like, "Would you talk about fasting?" I'm like, "Sure, why not." It went really, really well. I remember, I was talking to my sister and I'm like, "I'm good at this. I wonder if I could do a podcast?" Then like, "Yeah, I didn't know how to do a podcast." And the very next week, you popped in there asking, "If anyone wanted to cohost a podcast?" It felt divine intervention and I wouldn't have Intermittent Fasting Stories, we wouldn't have Life Lessons. If it hadn't been for you showing up that day, I might think that maybe one day I would have done it, but I didn't know enough about doing a podcast. I don't think I would have. So, I owe it all to you and the divine timing of you popping in there that day.

Melanie Avalon: It's so crazy. For me, I had been wanting to do a podcast for years, literally, probably, years, really years. I've probably been wanting to do a podcast since I started listening to podcasts in middle school.

Gin Stephens: I remember you saying that. You've said that before. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I wanted to do an Intermittent Fasting Podcast specifically, probably. We launched this in 2017, right? Probably, since 2014 or so I'd wanted to do this. I am so, so grateful as well, because what I just said, wanting to do this, what manifest is literally, the dream manifestation of what I'd always hoped for and I don't know, but I don't know if that would have been possible without you. I'm so grateful for our friendship and what we've created in five years.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, all of that. Me, too. All of it.

Melanie Avalon: It's been really, really wonderful. Oh, I feel it's been for both of us. It really launched both of us into the social media world more and everything that we're doing now, not that it's due to this at all, but this was definitely, at least for me a catalyst for so many things. 

Gin Stephens: Well, it was huge. It was huge, because getting our message out there, mine and yours., the podcast, people found us all different ways. Some people found us through the Facebook groups, some people found us through maybe they read What When Wine or Delay, Don’t Deny, or Fast. Feast. Repeat., or maybe they found us through this podcast. But it all works together. Maybe they found us on Instagram, although, probably not me. [laughs] They probably didn't find me on Instagram. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Not me, not me in the beginning. [giggles] 

Gin Stephens: Here I am. Here's my cat. [laughs] Anyway, it all just really worked together, and it's just been a beautiful journey, and I'm really, really grateful for it. Like I said, so, if anybody who's listening in and you're sad, don't be sad. I'm not going anywhere in the world. I'm still going to be everywhere I am right now. If you want to follow the ins and outs of my life, it's not going to be Instagram, because that's-- I'm pretty boring there. But the Life Lessons Podcast every Wednesday, I'll still be talking to share. If you're not a Life Lessons listener, you might like it. It's not about fasting. We really love talking about all the different topics on that show. Just like I know you love the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, where you get to talk about all different things. It's fun to explore different topics, sometimes.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think and also just stepping back, because both of us were doing so many things. I think for this show it was just a moment. With you and everything that you're doing, it just didn't really line up with everything that you were doing moving forward. I don't want to speak for you.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, yeah, I think so. I think that's a good way of saying it. Like I said, it just felt like it was time to go in a different direction. I've always been a very intuitive kind, I make my decisions. I think about something, but then it just feels right. All of a sudden, it just felt right. I don't know. It's hard to explain. But it doesn't take away from how amazing this journey has been with this podcast and how grateful I am. Like I said to the audience, to you, to our wonderful assistants, who make it happen week after week behind the scenes, I'm grateful for every little bit of it. Everything we've learned, we've learned a lot along the way.

Melanie Avalon: What's really crazy is, I don't know if I ever mentioned this publicly on the show, but when we started, I just moved to Atlanta, too, I think, right?

Gin Stephens: Maybe so.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. I moved to Atlanta in 2014.

Gin Stephens: Okay. You might have been just about to move back to LA. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's right. 

Gin Stephens: So, it was Atlanta, LA, back to Atlanta.

Melanie Avalon: That's correct. Well, the guy I had been dating in LA before moving to Atlanta was an author and a podcaster. So, he was my mentor and able to tell me basically exactly what to do. But it's confused. If you haven't done it before, it's just confusing.

Gin Stephens: It's so confusing. I bought the book, Podcasting For Dummies when I was going to start Intermittent Fasting Stories, because even though, I had been a cohost with you on this one for over a year at that point, I didn't know how to do all the stuff you did. I didn't know how to edit, I didn't know how to-- Because you were doing all of that. I didn't know anything or how do you upload it? What's the host? I don't know. I got the book, Podcasting For Dummies and I'm like, "I'm so dumb. I can't even understand it from this book." So, that was when I was like, "Wait, I can hire a company" and that's how I ended up with resonate recordings. They helped me. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Well, yeah, because what's funny about it, so, I think every other platform like YouTube, Instagram, you go into a platform and you create the content within the platform. It's like a one-stop shop. Podcasting, for those who are not familiar, it's very vague. [giggles] There're lots of hosts and then you have this feed that you submit to the distribution channels, but it automatically submits, but not. [laughs] It's weird.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and I'm like, "I don't even know." The editing, I'm like, "I don't know how to edit audio. I don't think I'd be good at that." I mean, maybe I would. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, because I was at the beginning, I was editing it.

Gin Stephens: All of it. You did all it for a long time.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my gosh. [giggles] If listeners are curious, I was so neurotic in the very beginning, because we released our first few episodes, and I would go read iTunes reviews, and people would be nitpicking things, making comments about my voice or my laugh. I think I probably told you this, Gin. I don't know. Did tell you what I was doing with my laugh?

Gin Stephens: No.

Melanie Avalon: I went through a period in the beginning. Somebody wrote a comment about how they didn't like my laugh. So, I would edit out my laugh.

Gin Stephens: Oh, my gosh, what a jerk. Who said that? Whoever doesn't like your laugh, I don't like their laugh.

Melanie Avalon: They're like, "it makes her sound like a valley girl or something." I'm very grateful. I finally reached the point, where it was like-- 

Gin Stephens: If you don't like the laugh, pick a different podcast, buddy. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm just going to be me. 

Gin Stephens: This is my laugh. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I remember at one point, I don't know if it was that show or for my other show, somebody emailed me to tell me that-- What did they say? They said that, it might have also been about my laugh. It was something about-- something I do after I ask a question to guests, I do something, and they were like, I don't know if they were saying it out of kindness, but he basically said, "I know you're a really strong, intelligent woman, but you do this thing that makes you sound like not intelligent." I answered her very nicely. But that was the moment where I was like, "I can't be in my head while I'm recording with somebody thinking about how I'm coming off. I just have to be there."

Gin Stephens: Yeah. 100%.

Melanie Avalon: You learn a lot.

Gin Stephens: You do learn a lot. And that's why I've never been a review reader. [laughs] I don't read them, because I'm like, "You know who Glennon Doyle is." 

Melanie Avalon: What did they write?

Gin Stephens: She had a blog called "Momastery" or something that I read. It was a long time ago, and she is a blogger, and now she has a podcast, and she put something out that-- It was a blog post and it was early in the days of when I had just released Delay, Don't Deny, and I used to read all my reviews, and they would hurt my feelings. When someone then, I would try to answer them. Someone said, Delay, Don't Deny was plagiarized. I'm like, "What in the world?" Then somebody else was like, " Delay, Don't Deny is just the squirrels memoir." I'm like, "How can it be plagiarized and just my memoir?" That doesn't even make sense. I have a doctorate. I wrote a dissertation. I know how to not plagiarize. There's nothing plagiarized there. Anyway, I would get mad at the reviews when they would say things that were clearly not true. 

This blog post by Glennon Doyle, she talked about how it is not our responsibility to follow our art around in the world and defend it. This is for any creator, anyone who's creating anything. She wrote it to a literal artist, who put art out in the world, and had a website with her art, and people would criticize or critique her art, and then the artist would get her feelings hurt and whatever. She's like, "No, you create the art, you put it out there, your part is done. It is not yours--" But the way she said it, "It is not your responsibility to babysit your art and follow it around the world and defend it." I thought, "Well, there you go."

Melanie Avalon: I can also apply to the artist, I think.

Gin Stephens: You don't have to defend yourself.

Melanie Avalon: Part of the art? Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: Oh, right. Exactly. Yeah. But you don't have to defend it. It is what it is. Our art, our words, our writing, it is what it is, and it'll either resonate with you or it won't, and that is not my responsibility. I did the best, I could I put it out there. 

Melanie Avalon: I love that. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's been my philosophy. Literally, Glennon Doyle, I don't know if she knows I exist, but I know she exists and that really shaped my resilience when it came to not even needing to read a review.

Melanie Avalon: The thing that really shaped or it's more been more recent, but I had Bill Tancer on the Biohacking Podcast, and he wrote a book called Everyone's a Critic. If anybody has created anything, where they are dealing with reviews, I highly, highly suggest reading that book. It's an entire book about reviews and how actually negative reviews can actually help. You actually want some negative reviews, if you have a collection of reviews for something. It makes people less suspicious of the reviews, it makes people more trusting. He goes into the nuances, which you can probably guess this, Gin. So, the grammar of the reviews affects things.

Gin Stephens: Well, I feel if it's got really poor grammar, you might not take it as seriously. Is that true or is it the opposite, if that's true?

Melanie Avalon: If there are negative reviews that are poor grammar and things like that, people dismiss them and think they're spam. It makes them more likely to trust the entirety of the reviews, because they know they're negative reviews, but then they disregard the negative reviews, so, it actually helps. That's just one of the many fun facts in his book. Actually, speaking of reviews, they do really, really help and we have something exciting that ties this all together, because I do want to tell listeners about now, they're probably wondering--

Gin Stephens: What's going to happen? We did notice we didn't say we are ending the podcast. This is the last episode. We did not say that, because it's not. It's just my last episode as cohost.

Melanie Avalon: When Gin and I were discussing this, we decided that I would continue with the show. Obviously, I don't want to have the show by myself. I was looking for a cohost and I'm really, really excited and really grateful because we have a wonderful cohost coming on board, and listeners are probably-- I bet a lot of listeners are probably very familiar with her, already. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I've had her on my show twice. How many times has she been on your show? 

Melanie Avalon: Twice.

Gin Stephens: See. And I've met her in person.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, you have. I've done an IG Live with her, she's very active in my groups. I want to play the guessing game with the audience, but I can't, as they can't talk back. [giggles] 

Gin Stephens: I will tell you this. This is funny. I have a group of friends. They were moderators. It's just a few of them. We were the ones who were using the Biosense at the same time back in the day. Whenever that was, we were a little Biosense group, we were talking about it, but now, we're just talking about stuff. It's not even called Biosense anymore. But I said, "Y'all, I'm leaving the podcast." I was wanted to like-- Oh, no, because one of them very much listens to this podcast and she was mentioning something she'd heard on it. I'm like, "Well, I'm leaving it" and she said-- I'm like, "There's going to be a new cohost, but I can't tell you." I haven't told them who it was. But she guessed this person. She said, "I think it's going to be--" And then she said it. I'm like, "I can't tell you. [laughs] You'll just have to wait." Anyway. But she guessed the right person. So, in the guessing game, no one guessed anybody else, but it was this person was guessed. 

Melanie Avalon: What's really interesting is, I had spoken with a few friends when I was brainstorming, trying to think of who to bring on and two people, three people, I didn't get any other suggestions. But at least two people specifically suggested this person before I even said anything. I was like, "Oh, that's maybe a sign."

Gin Stephens: Yeah, oh, I think it is totally a sign.

Melanie Avalon: The new cohost will be, Cynthia Thurlow. For listeners, who have not met her yet, you will be meeting her. I'll tell you that the upcoming schedule for everything. But she is the author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation, a book that just came out that we have talked about actually a lot on this show. It's a fabulous intermittent fasting book, it's specifically geared towards women, and specifically, their hormones, and transitions like perimenopause and menopause. That's a really, really wonderful work. She actually became famous in the intermittent fasting world, because I would say that she's famous in the intermittent fasting world. She had a TED talk in May of 2019 called Intermittent Fasting Transformational Technique and it's had over 10 million views, and that really launched her into the whole IF world. She's a Nurse Practitioner. That's going to be really exciting for the show. Gin and I get a lot of more medical questions and we can give our opinions, but we're not doctors. She literally is in that vein. So, none of this is to say that, this is any better than what I have done. It's just going to be different. I'm really, really excited. To keep everything, like I said, bring everything full circle, so Gin found the other day, I am so excited. Again, I want to play the guessing game, but they can't talk back. She found the first episode-- the missing first episode for this show.

Gin Stephens: And it's funny. It was in my email. I sorted my email between the two of us. I was like, in the intermittent fasting email box that I've got and I sorted it from oldest to newest, because I wanted to look back and I was actually looking for something else. I was looking for a different document and apparently, [laughs] Melanie had sent me the audio file for Episode 1 after she edited it for me to listen to and there it was. I'm like, "What?"

Melanie Avalon: That is so crazy. 

Gin Stephens: I didn't know I had that in my email. I didn't even know, I mean, email from 2017.

Melanie Avalon: Gin's excited when she emailed me and texted me at the same time to check my email. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: I forwarded it.

Melanie Avalon: I know that will be very, very exciting for listeners, because we get questions all the time about the mysterious missing Episode number 1, which I started listening to it. Actually, need to finish listening to it. I told you this already, Gin, but we sound so young. I think I sound so much younger. Did you listen back?

Gin Stephens: I did. I listened to it. I didn't listen to the whole thing. I just listen to a little bit of it. 

Melanie Avalon: It's like how Taylor Swift rerecording all of her music. You can tell her voice is older. You can hear it in the voice. In any case, we're trying to decide what to do with it. We're thinking of releasing it as an episode, but instead, we thought we would give it to the people who really, really want it, and also help support the show with reviews and the transition. If you would like to receive and listen to the mysterious missing Episode number 1, the first episode of this show, super easy. What you can do is, if you've written a review for the show The Intermittent Fasting Podcast on iTunes, take a screenshot of that. If you've already written one, you just need to update it, because you can go and update your review to include this one piece of criteria, which I'm about to tell you or you can write a new review and include this one piece of criteria that I'm about to tell you, and take a screenshot of that, and email it to us. 

What we'd love to see in the review is what you are looking forward to with Cynthia on board, what you'd like to learn from her, what you're excited about. We just would love to hear your thoughts on that. That will help in so many ways. It will help us see, what you're thinking with where the show is headed, so we can incorporate that into the show. It'll help welcome Cynthia, because she's definitely coming on to, we've had the show for five years. That's a big transition. Those reviews really do help so much and then it helps us thank you for the views and then you guys get to listen to the series Episode number 1 will actually directly email it to you. So, to do that, send a screenshot of your updated old review or your new review to questions@ifpodcast.com and just make the subject: "iTunes review." Thank you in advance.

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Melanie Avalon: Just speaking of gratitude and Gin had mentioned our assistance, we do have a really, really wonderful team. It's not just me and Gin. I think that's another misconception about podcasts, Gin, that not that they're not a lot of work, but I don't think people realize that--

Gin Stephens: Oh, there's a ton of details, a ton of them. 

Melanie Avalon: It's a job.

Gin Stephens: So much to do. You have to check each episode. Someone has to listen to the whole thing after it's been edited to make sure that there's not anything weird. For example, the most recent episode of Intermittent Fasting Stories that I have someone who listens to them and writes the show notes, there was some weird noise at a certain point in it. I had to send it back to the editor team and say, "At this exact point, you got to take this weird noise out." That's time, it takes so much time all these things from uploading, writing the show notes to everything. 

Melanie Avalon: This show goes through three check stages. It goes to our main editors, who edit it altogether and add in the ads and stuff and then it goes to our show note creator Brianna. She edits a little bit more, and make show notes, and then it goes to Tamara, who listens to it for what Gin just said to make sure that nothing slipped through. We also have on our team, our assistant, Sharon and she actually just coauthored a book with Nancy. And I should have asked her how Nancy says her last name. Nancy DuCharme or DuCharme. It's D-U-C-H-A-R-M-E. Oh, my goodness. Sharon had sent me this book. It's called The Lifechanger Cancer-Fighting Cookbook: Learn How to Improve the Odds for a Full Recovery Using This Keto Based Program. I started reading it last night, because I wanted to talk about it on the show and promote it on all my socials. It blew me away. It's incredible. If you have cancer, if you have friends or family with cancer, or if you just want to learn more about cancer, this book, I'm so, so impressed and grateful with what they've created. It's very scientific, very nuanced. It dives really deep into the mechanics of cancer, things that affect it, things like HDAC inhibitors, and genetics, and ketones, and specifically, how a ketogenic diet can be a modality and fighting against cancer, because Nancy's hypothesis is that, when you treat cancer with just one modality, so just chemotherapy or something like that, then there's the potential that cancer can adapt to that and actually grow stronger that it can possibly be better to attack it from multiple avenues.

It was interesting because I'd actually just been listening to, I don't know if it was a Peter Attia episode or something. And the person there was talking about the same concept. She talks about the importance of diet and making sure that you're following a diet that is constantly supporting, you're fighting cancer. And this is a cookbook, because she has another book called Lifechanger: How to Starve Cancer Using Metabolic Strategies & Deep Therapeutic Ketosis. That's the deeper dive into the science of all of it. This is her follow-up cookbook, which like I said, approachably and briefly recaps the science, and the reasoning, and the game plan, and then it has the recipes created by Sharon, which just look amazing. Definitely, definitely get this book. I cannot recommend it enough. We will put a link to in the show notes. Congrats, Sharon and Nancy. You've done a really, really wonderful, beautiful job. I did want to plug that. So, we were debating on, if we were going to do anything else "special for this episode," but we decided just have our normal episode per usual.

Gin Stephens: Although, I will say, there was one that I was like, "Hey, let's leave that one for Cynthia" [laughs] already. We all have our areas of expertise and that's the beauty of it. We do not all have to be experts on the same exact things. 

Melanie Avalon: This is true. 

Gin Stephens: All right. Our first question is from Leila, and Leila, she is actually the person who guessed it was going to be Cynthia. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? That's so funny. 

Gin Stephens: Ah-huh. She's in that group. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Wow, this was meant to be.

Gin Stephens: It's not funny. That is a coincidence that wasn't planned at all. This question literally just came in. You can tell when I read it, but it just came in. The subject is: "AvalonX timing, B12, vegetarian." Leila says, "Good morning, lovely ladies. I have a question about AvalonX serrapeptase, B12, and vegetarianism. I've been fasting for three years, April 6th Is my fastaversary." Hooray. "My fast links have run the gamut over that time. I've done lots of window timings and fast links, including a couple month long rounds of ADF and I've settled into 24 fairly nicely at this point with some longer fasts sprinkled throughout every once in a while. At my lowest weight, I was 157 pounds. I'm 5'4". While that's not my ideal size, yet, it is a significant loss. As I started at 272 pounds with deadly inflammatory markers and was always so tired, I doze off on my commute home, and could never enjoy evenings with my sons, because I would need to go to bed." I'm going to say something about Leila here. I've been following her progress. She actually came on Intermittent Fasting Stories a long time ago. But she is just solid muscle. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow, really? 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, she is. She is very, very strong and even at 5'4", you would never guess in a minute, she reveals that she's weighed in at 164, but she is just solid muscle. She's a great example of body re-composition, and how you can be lean and very, very muscular, and the scale doesn't reflect that change in body composition. Anyway, I just have to throw that out there. She said, "Now, I have boundless energy, run nearly every day, and I'm getting ready to begin a weightlifting program." She's always done lots of stuff in to build muscle. I know that about her. She said, "I've had a bit of stress recently. My mother is in her early 60s and has dementia so badly. She's in a nursing home already, and I've had to take conservatorship over her, and I'm doing the same for one of my adult sons, who has a brain injury. I weighed in this morning at 164 pounds. I can feel the thickness in my middle, so I'm attributing it to stress and increased cortisol at this point, and just giving myself grace. 

My question is on supplement timing. I am a morning eater. I usually wake around 4 AM, have a glass of water with one AvalonX serrapeptase, and then drink my black coffee. First question. Is it okay to have a cup of black coffee within minutes of taking the serrapeptase? I know the supplement is coded in a way that makes it open in the intestines and I wonder if I'm speeding up the opening before it reaches my intestines by drinking coffee with it." Do you want to just answer that first?

Melanie Avalon: Yes. This is a great question. And also, I'm glad she brought this up, because it's something to clarify, because I've been talking historically a lot. Backtracking really quickly. Serrapeptase is my first supplement that I launched with my AvalonX line with MD Logic. It's a proteolytic enzyme created by the Japanese silkworm. You take it in the fasted state, it breaks down problematic proteins. It can really help your body with anything, where there is your body responding to these problematic proteins. That's why it can help clear allergies, reduce brain fog, enhance wound healing, help reduce inflammation. Studies have shown it may reduce even cholesterol and amyloid plaque. Serrapeptase is not the same thing as nattokinase, but that's another enzyme that people often take that's very similar and I was reading a book last night. Oh, I think Gin I told you, did I tell you that I actually, finally booked the Fiber Fueled, guy?

Gin Stephens: Oh, I love him. Will, whose last name I can't pronounce. It starts with a B. It's long and has a W and Z. [laughs] I don’t know. I love him, though. He's also now on the board of ZOE. Did you know that? 

Melanie Avalon: That's actually how I was able to lock him down. 

Gin Stephens: And he lives in Charleston? I'm a huge fan of his. Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, cool. Yeah, I'm really excited to interview him. Yeah, I was thinking of you, because I remember you're a huge fan of his book. He was talking about nattokinase in his book and he was pointing out how nattokinase has all of these anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, cholesterol reducing, all of these different things. He was saying it was-- and he listed all these pharmaceuticals. I'm not saying serrapeptase is a pharmaceutical, but he was saying how nattokinase was a statin, and aspirin, and heparin, and all these different things all in one, which is an interesting way to think about it. But in any case, so, back to serrapeptase, which actually is appropriate that we're talking about that, because that was also one of the other uncanny, weird things that Gin and I connected on in the beginning. What are the odds Gin that--?

Gin Stephens: Well, I know. One person recommended it to me when I was talking about having fibroids. I think this is in my very first Facebook group I mentioned it, and it was just really there were just a few of us in there, and we were talking about personal stuff before the group got big, and she's like, "Oh, serrapeptase helps with fibroids." I'm like, "Oh, I'd never even heard of it." So, I'm like, "Well, let me try it" and I started taking it.

Melanie Avalon: And what's crazy as Gin was self-proclaimed like, not big on supplements, where me, I was into all the biohacking and lots of supplements, but it was my one go-to supplement that I've been probably taking the longest, and it was one of the only, if the only supplement that Gin was taking. I think I remember the moment on the podcast when we realized that, where I mentioned it. I remember I was sitting. It's crazy. In any case, the thing that needed to clear up was, I have been saying that the serrapeptase needed an enteric coating to reach the small intestine, so that it can properly be absorbed, because it is a very delicate enzyme and it will be destroyed in the stomach acid and that is correct. The caveat is that, enteric coatings, because you have two options. You can use an enteric coating or you can use an acid resistant capsule. Enteric coatings often have problematic plastics and things in them that you don't want. I promise you, when you look at your supplement, if it says enteric coating, it normally doesn't say what the enteric coating is made out of. So, I avoid enteric coatings and our AvalonX uses an acid resistant capsule. But to answer your question, Leila, coffee is completely fine. So, coffee is actually-- Oh, this is a good question for you, Gin. Do you know the pH of coffee?

Gin Stephens: I cannot remember which are higher, higher acids or bases. I know seven is the pH of water. I'm going to guess it's going to be either direction. I can't remember which way is acid, which way is base. But I'm going to say it's either a 5 or an 8.

Melanie Avalon: So, higher numbers are bases, lower numbers are more acidic.

Gin Stephens: That's what I was thinking, but I wasn't certain. So, then I'm going to guess that it is a six, but I could be totally wrong. That's just my hunch.

Melanie Avalon: You're closer before to a five. You said five the first time. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's what I meant.

Melanie Avalon: You're actually closer than me. I actually thought it was going to be more acidic. I thought it was going to be a 4 or 3.

Gin Stephens: Well, because we tend to think things are way worse than they are. Everyone's like, "Oh my God, coffee. It's so acidic" and I'm like, "It's not really that bad."

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Even by itself, since the serrapeptase is in an acid resistant capsule, the coffee, because it is acidic, it's actually going to make the capsule not break down. Then on top of that, once your stomach acid, which is much more acidic, your stomach acid is around a pH of 3. When you take the serrapeptase with the coffee and your stomach acid, it will actually keep the capsule from breaking down and then when it reaches the small intestine, which is alkaline, it will open up there. So, you're good. You're good. Awesome. 

Gin Stephens: All right. You ready for me to keep reading? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: All right. "In addition to serrapeptase, I also take a vegan B12 supplement. The brand is Live Conscious and it is 100% methylcobalamin." I don't know how you say that. Can you say that, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Methylcobalamin.

Gin Stephens: There you go. I've never heard anybody say that. But when you said it, that sounded just right. I'm just going to leave it there. B12, 5,000 micrograms per one milliliter. Leila, thank you for making me say all these hard things. [laughs] "The ingredients are water, glycerin, and organic citrus extract. Barely a hint of flavor, but I'm well versed in the clean fast and understand the citrus extract breaks my fast. I take it about an hour or two after the serrapeptase, then wait about 30 minutes before eating my meal. I know that's a lot of details, but I'm wondering a couple of things. Do you think I need to wait 30 minutes after I take it to eat? I've heard it is water soluble and I should, but there are no directions on the bottle. It's sublingual liquid. I'm around 18 hours fasted when I started my workouts and hit 20 by the time I'm finished and showered for work."

Melanie Avalon: I don't think you need to wait an entire 30 minutes, especially if it's sublingual. If it's sublingual, it's supposed to be absorbing under your tongue. If there aren't directions on the bottle, I would not stress about it too much. 

Gin Stephens: All right. She said, "I've also battled psoriasis for 20 years, which has significantly reduced with a plant-based diet. But I do get flares, particularly, after eating highly refined flours from conventional bakeries and sugar. I'm trying to bake more at home with almond flour and that tends to help although, I'm wondering about the whole grains and links to psoriasis. I've also read that nightshade vegetables can cause flares, but haven't figured out which it is for me yet. I have not done an elimination protocol yet to find out as I am one who can fall right back into restrictive diet mentality at the drop of a hat. So, I try to be very careful in my approach to things."

Melanie Avalon: Fortunately, elimination protocols really can be game changers, if you're trying to pinpoint a food that's not working for you. I think what's really important to understand here, because I understand that you have a tendency to fall back into restrictive diet mentality. I think if you are able to step back, find an elimination protocol that you want to follow, and there are a lot of different ones out there. I like Dr. Will Cole's protocol. He wrote The Inflammation Spectrum. I've had him on my show for that book. You could check that out. But there are a lot of ones. You can just google AIP protocol and follow that. But maybe if you step back, and give it a timeline, and this is the good thing about it. I think a lot of people will try elimination protocols pretty casually and they'll just say, "I'm going to do an elimination protocol, I'm going to remove these foods, and then I'm going to reintroduce them." By not giving it a timeline and giving it specifics, it can make it seem like a more ongoing restrictive diet mentality that you might be jumping into compared to a plan that has a beginning, it has an end, it has a reintroduction protocol, and it's very specific, and it's not meant to be forever. 

I think if you can separate that in your mind that doing an elimination protocol, because this is the purpose of elimination protocols. Because people often will do elimination diets with this restrictive diet mentality, and get stuck there, and can't come back out, and it's the very issue that you're talking about. That's not the way it's meant to be. It's supposed to be a flashlight and to show you where you're having your issues. I do want to emphasize too that I think a lot of people don't properly do the reintroduction period. They'll do the elimination and then they'll again casually approach how to do the reintroduction. But in all the different protocols, it's very specific. You're supposed to reintroduce one thing at a time. It depends on who you're following, but one thing at a time, you give it a certain amount of days, you look for symptoms. Amy Myers has a really good protocol as well. We'll put links to all of this in the show notes.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. JJ Virgin has a great one, The Virgin Diet. That was one of the original, if not the original elimination protocol. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay. Awesome. 

Gin Stephens: I heard her talking about it last week and I think she was one of the very first that actually had a book out there about how to do it for-- I'm not saying that doctors hadn't been doing it, but yeah, The Virgin Diet.

Melanie Avalon: We'll put a link to all of those. Leila, I encourage you to look around, pick one, and then tell yourself, "This is not like a diet. This is not a thing I'm going to be doing for life. This is a very specific protocol to find the foods that are your flares for your autoimmune conditions and psoriasis." I just want to clarify, because psoriasis is considered to be autoimmune. I honestly don't know that there's an alternative. If your goal is to find the foods that are causing this, there's not really any other way to do that. 

Gin Stephens: Other than an elimination protocol. 

Melanie Avalon: Yep. Any other thoughts about that? 

Gin Stephens: No. I think just the whole idea that it is not-- Leila is somebody who can fall under restrictive diet mentality. I have seen her do it and I've also seen her come back out of it. The thing to keep in mind is that, you're not doing it as a diet. You're doing it for science just when we did ZOE, we did it for science and we weren't. When you ate the muffins, you ate them for science.

Melanie Avalon: I was just about to say, it's like ZOE. It's just a little bit slightly longer.

Gin Stephens: You're not manipulating what you're eating for the point of trying to lose weight. You're manipulating what you're eating like, "I'm not going to eat these foods and I'm going to see how my body reacts." It's nothing diety about it really and I know a lot of people use elimination diets to try to lose weight, but that would not be at all the purpose here.

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Gin Stephens: All right. She says, "One last question about AvalonX. I was hoping to take a second pill later in the day. I mentioned I had deadly high inflammatory markers in the beginning of my journey. While they were perfect a year ago when I tested, it's probably time to test them again. How long after I eat is it safe to take it again? I've been waiting around six hours. I'm usually done eating by noon most days. So, 6 PM or so feels okay. I do sometimes have to take melatonin however. If I take serrapeptase at 6 PM, is it safe to take a melatonin shortly after?"

Melanie Avalon: Yes, six hours will definitely be fine, Leila. The recommendation on our website is actually to wait two hours. So, you'll be good. Of course, the longer you wait, probably the better, but you should be good. And listeners, if you have questions, we actually have an FAQ all for this. Just go to avalonx.us/faq.

Gin Stephens: All right. Finally, she said, "Gin knows me in real life. Huh, so, she's probably rolling her eyes at me right now saying, "Oh, Leila." I'm not rolling my eyes, Leila. [laughs] Look, I love all the kids in the classroom, even the one with a lot of questions. I love the one with a lot of questions. Leila says, "I know, I know, figuring out all the things ha ha. Anyway, love you both. I've listened to every episode of this show and you've been my sisters, confidants, teachers, and friends through this journey, and it has been a wild ride trying all the things. I've done ZOE, then served as their first retests subject. I've tried using a glucometer, had a breath ketone meter, I've done red light, infrared sauna, all the things. I have appreciated and trusted your expertise throughout the entire process and I'm still here going strong and muscling through my little setbacks here and there. Thank you for all you do and I'm anxiously awaiting your response. Thank you," Leila from Iowa.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, thank you, Leila. That brings everything full circle with her sign off at the end there.

Gin Stephens: It really does. It really does. All the things, Leila is an experimenter. She's very much about her study of one, and she's a biohacker, [laughs] and she wants to do it right, heard all those questions. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. One more question. I wanted to end with a question that was the spirit of Gin. This is a Gin question. The subject is: "Delaying certain foods." Julie says, "Hi, ladies, I found your podcast very early on in my IF journey and it has been such a help to me, especially learning about the clean fast. I started in June 2019 and within about two months, I lost around 21 pounds in weight. I then went on holiday, put on a few pounds, and since then have been losing and regaining the same five to six pounds. I knew my window was getting longer and I was having more two meal days than one meal a day. Switching things up again a couple of weeks ago, managing to go around 19 to 21 hours fasting and having a window of between two to five hours. One meal a day five out of the seven days. Still no weight loss, no more shrinking or getting smaller, in fact. 

My IBS, which initially got better seems to have gotten worse, and I am bloated, and experiencing intense cravings for sweet things. I'm so disappointed as this seemed to get easier at first, but now, it is very challenging. I wonder if I need to delay sugar and/or highly refined carbs until I lose some more weight and get rid of this GI distress, but I'm fearful that this will just bring back that diet mentality, which I have been so pleased to have shrugged off for the first time in 30 years. I'm 50 and just going through perimenopause. I feel hormonal a lot of the time, which doesn't help with the sweet cravings. Am I expecting too much of the fasting? Expecting to lose weight, get smaller while still eating so much junk during my window. I need you to tell me straight if I can't have my cake and eat it. Thanks," Julie. 

Gin Stephens: Well, Julie, we do not need to tell you straight, because your body is telling you straight. No matter what, I say or Melanie says, your body is telling you that what you're doing right now is not working for you. Here's how you know it. You're not losing weight, your IBS has gotten worse, you're more bloated, and your cravings are intense. Your body is sending you very powerful signals that what you're doing right now is not working well for your body. Now, there's something in there that is really important and I'm glad you included it that you're 50 and that you're in perimenopause right now. I'm going to be honest with you. Our bodies change when we go through this very important hormonal change of life. If you could "get away with" I don't know that sounds kind of diety, but what we could do when we were younger is not what we could do as we get older. That is true. We can complain about it all we want, but it is just the fact that as our bodies change, we have to respond to these changes. I've really had to change the amount of alcohol I drink now versus before. I used to be just fine having a glass of wine every day and then sleeping great. Now, my hormones are different, I can't do that. I'm not mad about it, I just accept it. You have to accept that your body is changing. 

You talked about, you use the words, junk. Ultra-processed foods really are not ideal for our bodies. If you haven't read Clean(ish), you may want to take a look at that and just see. I understand you don't want to bring back diet mentality, but that's assuming that, if you get rid of what you call junk, that everything else is just like gross food and you don't want to eat. But that is where you need to shift your mindset. Because once you start shifting towards real food, that stuff that you're calling junk, the sugar and the highly refined carbs that you're talking about that you said you're eating a lot of, those things are not as appealing once you really start eating real foods and feel good. The key is eat real foods that are delicious. You eat real foods that are delicious, that's not dieting. That's not diet mentality. That's nourishing your body. That's eating like a grown up, because you know your body needs those nutrients. Does that mean you can never have sugar or ultra-processed foods again? Of course, not. But if you know that that is making up a huge amount of what you're eating-- If you had a small child in your life, you wouldn't just feed it that junk, you would nourish that child. Nourish yourself the same way you would nourish a child. And feed yourself nutritious foods that you love, that are delicious. You're not going on a diet, you're eating to respond to what will make you feel better, you want to get rid of that bloating, get rid of all that intense craving. That's what I would recommend.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that's great and I think it speaks to one of, I think the biggest-- I don't know if it's a misconception or it's an association that people make that is a very small, subtle nuance, but it's so profound. It's that people think that saying no to foods, because they are dieting or they want to lose weight is the same thing as saying no to foods that because they don't make them feel well, that if you are restricting foods, that it's always the exact same mentality or reasoning behind it. That's just not true.

Gin Stephens: Like Leila said, she mentioned that, she didn't want to get in diet mentality with an elimination protocol. Same exact thing, but that's not what it is.

Melanie Avalon: It's so common. I think what it is, it's more of a triggering situation than being the same thing. People, who have dieted before, it looks the same on the outside to not eat a food. If you're not eating a food for whatever reason, because you want to lose weight or because it doesn't make you feel good, objectively from the outside, it's like, "Oh, I'm not eating this. I can't have this food or I'm not eating this food." It can trigger the reasons for not eating foods that are not the same reasons now. Not eating a food, because we want to lose weight and feel like you can't have the food, and the food has morality, and you're a bad person, if you eat it, and if you eat it, you'll gain weight, that's an entirely different mindset and reasoning than not eating a food, because it makes you feel unwell, because it's not doing good things for your body. So, choosing not to eat foods that don't make you feel well and don't support you nutritionally is not diet mentality. 

Gin Stephens: It's powerful is what it is. It's an empowering moment to say, when I decided that French fries that I get at a restaurant made my stomach hurt, so, I'm not going to eat them. That's me having the power to say, "I don't want to have a stomachache."

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Actually, this is the thing that is similar between both of those. It's letting the food not have power over you.

Gin Stephens: Right. You have the power. You're not dieting. You're helping your body feel good.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I feel there are a few different big misconceptions out there and I think this is one of them. We could do a whole episode on this. Like one would be that you have to be low carb to lose weight. I think this would be one. There's quite a few.

Gin Stephens: Well, I think that was a great question for us to end with. I have spent a great episode and again, thank you so much, Melanie for everything.

Melanie Avalon: Likewise. For listeners. 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. Again, if you would like to receive the first episode of this show ever, send us a screenshot of your old iTunes review or new review. Just make sure that the review includes what you are looking forward to or excited to experience with Cynthia coming on board. Oh, yes, the timeline of that really quick for listeners. Next episode is going to be a very special episode with actually my partner Scott at MD Logic. We're going to answer actually a lot of questions about the AvalonX line and serrapeptase, and the upcoming magnesium, and all of those things. So, it's an intermission and then the episode after that will be Cynthia on board. So, Gin, thank you so much for the past five years. This has been such an incredible, beautiful, amazing journey. I'm so grateful.

Gin Stephens: 100% right back atcha.

Melanie Avalon: I'm grateful for our friendship, for the show and obviously, the good thing is, we'll still be here. So, we'll still be friends, we'll still be talking, and maybe we can bring you on the future for a guest episode. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: Maybe. I'll be open to that. I will not say no, I will not say never. [laughs] But yeah, everybody can still find me on Intermittent Fasting Stories or the Life Lesson Podcast. If you really want to know what I'm doing in life, Life Lessons is where to get it. [laughs] All right, signing off.

Melanie Avalon: The show notes for everything will be at ifpodcast.com/episode264. 

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! 

 

 

May 01

Episode 263: 5 Year Anniversary, Bingeing, Weight Fluctuations, Over-Exercising, Mindset & Therapy, Less Restriction, Protein Intake, Blood Types, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 263 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:

AVALONX SERRAPEPTASE: 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!

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 500500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook!

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 - - AVALONX: 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!

4:20 - 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!

21:00 - AUDIBLE: Go To Audible.com/IFPODCAST Or Text IFPODCAST To 500500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook! 

Associations between liking for fat, sweet or salt and obesity risk in French adults: a prospective cohort study

30:35 - Listener Q&A: Carre - Not losing but Gaining?! SOS

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode # 30 William Shewfelt And Ted Naiman

49:50 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

52:35 - Listener Q&A: Danielle - Why isn't if it's good for us ...is it not for our babies? Contradicting advice

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 263 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.

Hi, friends. I am so thrilled that the moment you guys have been waiting for, for so long is finally here. My serrapeptase supplement is available. After realizing the sketchiness, and problematic fillers, and questionable ingredients, and quality in the supplement industry, I finally took it upon myself to just make my own supplement line, so that I can truly feel good about what I'm putting in my body and you guys can as well. Oh, my goodness, have I learned a lot and I can confidently say that my supplements are honestly the best on the market. I plan to make my own versions of everything I am currently taking, because I only want to take the best of the best. I and my partner, MD Logic relentlessly search to find the highest quality sources, and then we test those ingredients multiple times for purity and potency, and to make sure that they are free from heavy metals and mold, which you guys know is so, so important. I have suffered from toxicity from both of those things. So, testing is key.

AvalonX supplements are free of all common allergens like wheat, gluten, eggs, soy, dairy, shellfish, nuts, even rice, which is very, very common in a lot of supplements. Check for that. They also come in glass bottles and are vegan. For my first supplement serrapeptase, we created a special process that requires small batches to make that uses only a small amount of MCTs as the lubricant and filler. None of the other serrapeptases on the market are doing this. That was actually one of the biggest things to tackle, because most of the serrapeptase on the market has problematic fillers and suspicious enteric coatings, which likely contain plastics and other potentially toxic compounds you don't want in your body. We use a special delay release capsule that ensures the serrapeptase reaches your small intestine, so that it can be absorbed into your body. What is serrapeptase? It's a proteolytic enzyme created by the Japanese silkworm. When you take it in the fasted state, it actually breaks down problematic proteins in your body. So, it can really help anything, where your body is reacting to problematic proteins. That's why it can radically help with allergies, it clears my sinuses like none other. And it can clear brain fog, studies have shown it may help reduce inflammation, enhance wound healing, help with pain, even reduce cholesterol, and break down amyloid plaque. 

Basically, it's the coolest supplement ever and it is an awesome way to really amplify your fast. I take it every single day. We also recently launched subscriptions, so that you can get a big discount on my supplements, as well as help support sustainability by reducing emissions from shipping. And my next supplement is coming soon. That is magnesium. Get excited. If you want to get the latest information, specials, news about new supplements, and stay up to date on everything, AvalonX, definitely get on my email list. That's at avalonx.us/emaillist. When you join that list, check for the welcome email to make sure it doesn't go to spam. And you can shop, of course, at avalonx.us. Again, that is avalonx.us. A-V-A-L-O-N-X dot US, avalon x.us. And I'll put all this information in the show notes.

And one more thing before you 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 263 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, this is an exciting date. If you think about it, this podcast that's coming out today, the day it's coming out is May 2nd of 22. Our very first podcast came out in the beginning of May in 2017. So, we've crossed the five-year mark.

Melanie Avalon: Do we ever figure out what day it was, exactly?

Gin Stephens: It was the very first Monday of May, whatever that was.

Melanie Avalon: Of 2017?

Gin Stephens: Yeah. So, if we go back--

Melanie Avalon: Can you Google, like, a specific day, like, first?

Gin Stephens: I have my calendar right here. [laughs] I'll just look it down. If I go back, yeah, May 1st. It was May 1st. We have crossed the five-year mark. I think that's pretty remarkable. I also see that May 1st of 2017 was a Jeans Day at my elementary school. So, that was very exciting. I had it recorded in my calendar. We got through Jeans Days. Oh, Lordy.

Melanie Avalon: I was actually thinking about that, because how long were you a teacher before you weren't a teacher when we were recording?

Gin Stephens: Well, I retired in 2018. So, I taught for one more full year after we started the podcast. One more full year.

Melanie Avalon: Because what I was thinking about was, I don't really remember that experience of recording with you while you were teaching still.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it was a lot, because I taught five days a week and I also taught Gifted Endorsement classes after school on Monday and Tuesday. I was working so hard. I was working constantly. We recorded on Sundays, because that was really the only time I could do it. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I definitely remember when you switch to not being a teacher. Not like an identity crisis, but you were like-- You have such a different experience of your life.

Gin Stephens: Well, it was huge, because I thought about it. I was in school or teaching school from the time I started kindergarten until I retired in 2018. There was never a time of my life that I was not on a school schedule, even in college, of course that schedule is slightly different, but you're still on a school schedule. But then it was after I retired, the spring of 2018, it was May was when the school year ended and that was when I could start Intermittent Fasting Stories, because I didn't have time to record with people. I barely had time to record with you. But we have crossed the five-year mark. So, that just feels something we should celebrate.

Melanie Avalon: It's so weird for me to think about with me, because I was working the serving job and everything. It was just such a completely different experience of life back then.

Gin Stephens: Things were very, very different. I very much had to live my life around being at work at 7:45, [laughs] five days a week. I still think like a teacher. Right now, we're recording this. It's Master's week in Augusta. All the teachers have had the last week off, they're going back to work next week, and I still think about that, and I'm so grateful to have-- To be self-employed is such a different kind of thing. Yeah, thank you for all the teaching me how to podcast.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you for podcasting with me for five years. Oh, my goodness, that's crazy. Half a decade.

Gin Stephens: And we didn't have an ad for the whole-- When did we get our first ad? 

Melanie Avalon: The first few years of the show was when I was moving a lot. 

Gin Stephens: You sure were? You were moving a lot. 

Melanie Avalon: I was moving, and had my serving job, and then the podcast. Basically, I remember myself as serving and where was I living. So, I remember that first ad we booked, I was in an LA, I think. It would have been 2018.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't think we had an ad till 2018. 

Melanie Avalon: I was so excited. 

Gin Stephens: It really was. [laughs] I was at a conference this week. It was a virtual conference this weekend and someone was talking about starting a podcast. It was the guy, he has an entrepreneur podcast and he has it seven days a week. He's like, "I recommend you to have seven episodes a week." I'm like, "Oh, Lord have mercy. No."

Melanie Avalon: Wait, sorry. That just happened?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it was yesterday, I was at this virtual conference and then someone in the chat-- because it was on the Zoom. Someone in the chat was like, "How profitable is a podcast?" I'm like, "Well, give yourself a year to make zero, at least." People don't want to hear that. You have to really put in the time. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, definitely. Ooh. Well, happy half a decade anniversary.

Gin Stephens: The day that this comes out, we will have just crossed it.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. I wonder how many listeners have listened to every single episode.

Gin Stephens: Now, that would be interesting. 

Melanie Avalon: Since the beginning. 

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't know. I don't even remember how many listeners we had back then.

Melanie Avalon: I don't either. 

Gin Stephens: I don't know. 

Melanie Avalon: I do think it went up pretty fast. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: A lot of people started listening. 

Gin Stephens: And that was the genius of how we named it. That was the smartest thing we ever did was name it, Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Melanie Avalon: We had a lot of pun names.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, little cutesy names that we were throwing around and I'm like, "Wait, I don't know about any of these." We're like, "Let's just do Intermittent Fasting Podcast," and that really has helped people find it. Especially, now, anybody who's thinking about starting a podcast, there are so many podcasts. 

Melanie Avalon: I know. It's a bit overwhelming. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. And so many that are great. 

Melanie Avalon: I know. 

Gin Stephens: But think about this. How many podcasts, besides the guy who had put out seven a week, because Lord have mercy like I said. But how many podcasts never take a break, never replay, never have a hiatus? We put out an episode every single week for five years, now. 

Melanie Avalon: I was thinking about that, too, this week, actually. I was thinking about how we've never-- Because a lot of shows will air an old episode.

Gin Stephens: Like a filler. 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. I was thinking how we haven't done that and I was thinking like, "Would I ever do that in any situation?" I know recently, this week on Peter Attia show, he aired an episode with a woman, who is pretty big in the low carb world, who passed away. So, he aired it like an honor of her.

Gin Stephens: Like a memorial, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And then I was thinking about my show and I was like, "Oh, would that be something I would do if that happened on that show." But--

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Hopefully, you'll never have to answer that question about someone passing away. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, listeners, thanks for being here. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and if you've been around for five years, plus, listening to every episode-- I know there are people that have listened to everyone. People, who like binge listen, but I don't know if they started back there in May of 2017, because [laughs] that was a long time ago. I feel like a whole different person now. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I do for sure in a good way. Well, I'm so grateful for the show.

Gin Stephens: Me, too. It's been a great ride. 

Melanie Avalon: And the listeners. 

Gin Stephens: And seriously, if it hadn't been for you, I wouldn't. [laughs] I'm sure I would not have any podcasts, because--

Melanie Avalon: Well, likewise. I still think the funniest thing is--

Gin Stephens: When you got kicked out of my group?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Not by me. I just have to say that. It was my moderators. I don’t know for anyone who hasn't heard the story, it's been a long time since we talked about it. It was back when I did have two Facebook groups. I had the one-meal-a-day group and I had the Delay, Don’t Deny group. Just those two. And the one-meal-a-day group was by far the biggest. It probably had, I don't know, 4,000 members, which sounded so big to me, then. Delay, Don't Deny had barely been out, because it came out at the very end of 2016 into 2017. So, it was probably what's it like March or April of 2017. You made a post in the group that said, "Hi, I'm an author of--"

Melanie Avalon: Okay, okay. I really wanted to start a podcast. I was like, "I need a cohost. How do I find a cohost?" So, I was googling the Facebook groups for intermittent fasting. That blows my mind. So, it was only around 4,000 members?

Gin Stephens: Something like that. I can't believe it was much more than that, because when I wrote Delay, Don’t Deny, I think it had 3,500. But it was the largest one-meal-a-day group. It was the only one-meal-a-day group really for a long, long time.

Melanie Avalon: I was like, "I really want to find a cohost." The important thing about the post I made was my goal with the post. I wanted people to know that I wasn't just some--

Gin Stephens: Right. You wanted to establish credibility.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I want to establish credibility. But I also didn't want to seem I was promoting my book. I don't remember the exact post, but I didn't even put the link to my book in the post. I said, "I had a book coming out, but I wasn't putting it in the link," because I didn't want to make it seem this was self-promotion. I was like, "How do I do this?" so that I establish credibility, but I make it super clear that I'm not trying to self-promote and it still completely failed. They kicked me out.

Gin Stephens: One of the moderators, they're like, "I just removed this girl." I'm like, "What?" Then I was like, "Oh, let me." Then I think I messaged you and I'm like, "Hey, sorry about that. The moderators thought you were in there." Because people would all the time come in and try to self-promote stuff, you know?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that completely makes sense, but it's just funny that I tried so hard to not do that and it failed.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, those moderators, they were very protective and I appreciate them so much, because they were like, "Not today, Melanie Avalon." 

Melanie Avalon: Shut down. I was wondering if that post is still there in archived.

Gin Stephens: No, well, I guess, it could be. I don't know. 

Melanie Avalon: Can you search through old posts? 

Gin Stephens: I don't go to Facebook anymore. I haven't been on Facebook.

Melanie Avalon: Can a person, like, can I?

Gin Stephens: Yo-yeah. It's archived. The group is archived. It's frozen in time, and nobody can go in, and put mad face emojis or comments, but you can go in and search. You can't join. Well, I don't think you can join it. The regular Delay, Don’t Deny group, I think the moderators-- there are still a few moderators were letting people join, but you can't do anything. We're not. That one is not archived, but it's not active either, but you can still search it. That was a long time ago. But five years is not a long time, but it is a long time. 

Melanie Avalon: I know. Yeah. 

Gin Stephens: Anyway, so much has changed. But thankful for the journey. 

Melanie Avalon: Likewise. 

Gin Stephens: Anything new going on with you?

Melanie Avalon: Not really. Just finishing up the magnesium specs, finishing up the artwork for my EMF locking device, launching the subscriptions for serrapeptase, prepping the other shows. So, all good things. How about you?

Gin Stephens: Well, not much just still. Doing some packing, getting ready to make the move, not sure what the timeline is going to be, that sort of thing. There's a lot going on. Master's week is ending like I said, so, that's when the real estate market picks back up in Augusta. Fingers crossed. We will sell our house soon. Ready to sell it and get going.

Melanie Avalon: Very exciting. 

Gin Stephens: It's a great house. Someone's got to love it as much as we did. I never thought I'd leave. The only thing that could get me out of here is going to the beach. So, [laughs] I'm really looking forward to being there all the time. Today, it'd be a beautiful day to go to the beach if I was at the beach, but--

Melanie Avalon: And you guys really fixed it up, right, the house?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we did. It's a house that was built in 1979. We didn't do everything that could have been done to it, of course. I'm also the kind of person that doesn't think every house has to match the year trends. You know what I mean? This is a house that was built in 1979. The kitchen does not look like 2022. It's a beautiful kitchen. It's a quality kitchen, but it's not updated. 

Melanie Avalon: What about the appliances and stuff?

Gin Stephens: The appliances are really great. They're KitchenAid professional appliances, like, built in. They're all good appliances. They're not brand new, but they're not old appliances. It's a gas range that's built-- A gas stovetop that's built in and a microwave. You don't look at them and think they look old.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, gotcha. Yeah, I don't know anything about house trends.

Gin Stephens: Well, I watch a lot of HGTV. [laughs] But the thing about house trends is, they really do come and go and you can't remodel your house every five years. So, eventually, you get to the point where you want more of a timeless look that isn't going to date it.

Melanie Avalon: When I build my dream house, it's my goals, my visualizing, it's going to be a biohacker house. So, I don't think it'll be any trends. It'll be like the biohacker trends.

Gin Stephens: I did not know you wanted to do that. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? 

Gin Stephens: You've never mentioned that to me. Now, where will it be? Where is your biohacker house going to be?

Melanie Avalon: Probably, in Calabasas in LA or something. It's going to be so great. [giggles] It's going to have lots of natural light and stuff, but controllable light. So, you press the buttons and the things adjust, like the windows.

Gin Stephens: You can make it completely black.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes.

Gin Stephens: I was just at a beautiful home. I stayed with somebody and it was the most beautiful home ever. But it didn't have any blinds on the windows. I was like, "Is there a way I get that--" Nope. But I'm like, "Okay."

Melanie Avalon: They just don't want them?

Gin Stephens: They just didn't have blinds on the windows, but it was really bright, because the moon was out. Anyway, I like a very dark room.

Melanie Avalon: I do, too. Although, I would love a sky window.

Gin Stephens: A skylight kind of a thing? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. 

Gin Stephens: Just you want to be able to close it.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Right. My bedroom will have to be a skylight window that closes, but then I got to mitigate all that EMF. So, I have to figure that out. It's going to be crazy and I want a cryotherapy chamber.

Gin Stephens: Well, that doesn't surprise me at all.

Melanie Avalon: Goals. 

Gin Stephens: And a sauna, big sauna. I know you'll have that.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. And a cold plunge, but definitely hardcore with the EMF mitigation and grounded. I want the whole floor to be grounded. 

Gin Stephens: Well, I think that's really smart. 

Melanie Avalon: So, just putting it out there. This is whiles away, obviously. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: Well, I can't wait. That's going to be cool.

Melanie Avalon: You can come visit. 

Gin Stephens: All right.

Melanie Avalon: It'll be super fun.

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Melanie Avalon: Oh, I have one, this is super random, but I'm always looking at random studies and I don't know how I found this one, but I thought it was really fun and I thought we could play the guessing game really quick. 

Gin Stephens: Okay. 

Melanie Avalon: The title is: "associations between liking for fat, sweet, or salt, and obesity risk in French adults: a prospective cohort study."

Gin Stephens: Are you going to need to read that one more time? Me not being an auditory learner. Say it one more time.

Melanie Avalon: "Associations between liking for fat, sweet, or salt, and obesity risk in French adults.

Gin Stephens: Okay. It's whether people prefer salty, sweet, or what was the third?

Melanie Avalon: Salt or fat.

Gin Stephens: Salt, fat, or sweet.

Melanie Avalon: And how it relates to obesity risk? This was, okay, over five years among 24,776 French adults, they basically took a questionnaire about their likings and then also each year for five years, they collected their body weight data and stuff. The question is, what do you think for each of them, how do you think the flavors related to obesity? We can go through them one by one. So, either was linked to an increased risk of obesity, a decreased risk or no association. 

Gin Stephens: All right, well, I would predict that fat was linked to an increased risk of obesity.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, that is correct. Do you think it was more in men or women?

Gin Stephens: Oh, I don't know. I didn't know we were gendering it to. I would predict that'd be men and women. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, correct. Women, it was 52% and men, it was 32%.

Gin Stephens: 52%, what? More likely to be obese? 

Melanie Avalon: It says, "dietary intake explained 32% in men and 52% in women have the overall variation of liking for fat and obesity. Does that sound like it was a stronger correlation in women? 

Gin Stephens: Yep. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, how about sweet?

Gin Stephens: I'm going to say that it did not have an association with obesity.

Melanie Avalon: Sensory liking for sweet was associated with a decreased risk of obesity.

Gin Stephens: See, I'm not surprised. That would absolutely run contrary to the conventional wisdom as "fat is your friend and sugar is the reason everyone is fat." I've said this before. A lot of people falsely associate things as being carbs are fat. They think that French fries are carbs when really, they're very high fat and high carb. I think people are just really confused. They're like, "See, I can't eat French fries. Carbs make me gain weight." But French fries are not just carbs. Anyway, that's what I think a lot of the confusion comes from that a lot of the food that's ultra-processed or "junk food" is lumped in the carbs category, when they're not just carbs. 

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.

Gin Stephens: Because I think of people, who really are looking for a sweet taste, they're probably people who eat a lot of fruit, for example.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And also, actually, if you think about it more, so, let's say even this is completely just me hypothesizing. So, this is not super scientific. But let's say we have two groups of people that are following a standard American diet. They are eating processed foods, but one likes more fatty and one likes more sweet. In that situation, it's possible that they're both eating processed foods, it's possible that the group that likes fat is going to be eating the fattier processed foods. They're both going to be in this state of food that is metabolically not healthy, but probably the high fatty stuff is going to just be a higher caloric load overall and more calories that are very easily stored as fat. 

Gin Stephens: Well, I also think about myself and I'm someone, who definitely it's the fat that I like. For example, I don't want to eat plain fruit. I want to eat ice cream. I want my sweet to have the creaminess of the fat with it too or the fat from the ice cream. So, I totally get the fatness for even the sweet things I want or fat sweet, right? Not low fat sweet.

Melanie Avalon: And what about salt?

Gin Stephens: I'm going to say that had no correlation at all.

Melanie Avalon: No significant association between salt liking and the risk of obesity.

Gin Stephens: I like salty fatty and I like sweet fatty. I know that and I was obese. So, that's why it doesn't surprise me at all.

Melanie Avalon: So, we can put a link to that in the show notes, but I just thought it was a fun study.

Gin Stephens: I liked it and I'm so proud of myself for guessing it right.

Melanie Avalon: It's hard to go back and wonder what you would have guessed. but okay. For fat, I probably would have thought increased for sweet. I don't think I would have guessed decreased, but I might have guessed no association like you did. And for salts, I probably would have said--

Gin Stephens: Oh, I thought I said decrease for sweet or not associated. Okay. That's what I meant. I meant it was not-- Okay, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: So, there's decreased and then there's no association, which are different. 

Gin Stephens: Right. The salt, I clearly said no association, but I meant for sugar the opposite. I didn't say it very well. Not associated with obesity. I meant associated the other way. Anyway, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: It was interesting. So, prior to reading Rick Johnson's Nature Wants Us to Be Fat and David Perlmutter's Drop Acid, I would have said salt was no association. But after reading their books, I should actually, I'm friends now with Rick, I should send him this study. Now, after reading their books, they make a case that salt-- Actually, they reference a lot of studies where salt links to obesity. So, that's interesting.

Gin Stephens: Again, though, I think it's hard to untangle it from what you're eating. If you're eating French fries, you might think that it's the salt, but it's really the fat. It's hard to untangle. The study that you were talking about, if I'm correct, it was people who said what their preference was.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Yes, right. Oh, yeah, rather than what they're actually eating.

Gin Stephens: Right. I can hone in on the fact that I like fatty tasty things, whether it's a sweet fatty thing or a salty fatty thing, I know that I need the butter, I need the sour cream, I need the whatever. So, I think that's probably a big variable.

Melanie Avalon: This says that previous studies have shown that subjects with high fat liking have higher fat intake, but also lower intake of nutrient dense foods such as fruits and vegetables, dairy products, whole grain products, and fish. That relates to what you were saying about the sweet tasting, where people who are sweet tasters probably are eating more fruits and vegetables, because they're going to gravitate towards that type of food.

Gin Stephens: Well, I gravitate towards all that really good food just with plenty of added fat now. In the past, back when I was obese, I was eating the ultra-processed higher fat foods. But now, I'm going to have potato wedges tossed in olive oil, baked in the oven. That's not a low-fat food. It's also not a low-carb food, but it's a healthy fat, it's a healthy carb, it's real food, but certainly it's both fatty, carby, and salty.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, shall we jump into questions for today? 

Gin Stephens: Yes. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, we have a question from Carrie and the subject is: "not losing, but gaining. SOS" and Carrie says, "Hi, Gin and Melanie." That's an interesting way to spell your name. You probably get all different--

Gin Stephens: Well, I do, I do. This one is Jin and I don't know that I've gotten that one very often. I get Jen, because sometimes people think it's like Jennifer, but it's Gin for Virginia like gin and tonic. So, that's actually how you spell it in case anyone wondered.

Melanie Avalon: She says, "I've been doing IF for the past year on and off, but regularly, the past two months. I tend to stick to a 20:4 window, but sometimes, do a 22 or 23-hour fast when the days are busy or an occasional 15 or 16-hour fast, if I am at an event or race. When I first started doing IF, it was to help me with binge eating, especially at night and it was worse at first actually. I was binging all the time, but now, I feel more in control with the fast and make sure I eat a giant salad or a delicious vegetable dish before I even think of anything sweet. My weakness is always the sweets, cakes, cookies, you name it." This is appropriate. This is what we were just talking about.

Gin Stephens: But again, all those foods are also very high fat. Cakes and cookies [giggles] are sweet and fat.

Melanie Avalon: So true. She says, "Sometimes, if I bike 40 plus miles or run 10 miles, I will tell myself, "I deserve the goodies" and it usually ends in a binge of chocolate-covered peanuts, and cakes, or donuts. However, now that I feel I have a handle on the fasting part, I am not losing any weight, but sometimes even gaining weight. When I started getting more strict with the fasting longevity in February, I was 135 pounds and now I'm in the 140s. I'm 5'4" and 22 years old and have an athletic build under all the chub. I love working out. I am kind of a cardio junkie with swimming, biking, and running. When I was in high school, I weighed 115 and was captain of the swim team, and I really hope to be able to get to at least 125 pounds with IF. I used to be able to run eight to 10 miles no problem a few months ago, but now, it's my body does not have the energy that it used to. Anyways, my questions for you two lovely ladies is, why am I not losing weight and how can I fix this? I clean fast only black coffee and water. I do need to take a probiotic B12, vitamin D, and a fiber supplement in the morning for my ulcerative colitis, and I am a vegetarian, and I don't consume too much dairy. On a normal day, I consume 1,500 to 2,000 calories. Should I cut calories, should I fast more? I know Gin mentioned she lost the most weight when she was doing ADF with a 5:2 pattern." 

Gin Stephens: That's actually not true. I don't know where that came from, because I did not. [laughs] No.

Melanie Avalon: Do you want to talk about that now?

Gin Stephens: I'm just popping in there to say, we can just say that is not when I lost the most weight. I lost the most weight when I was doing a one-meal-a-day pattern with delaying all processed foods and alcohol. That is where I lost the most weight. 5:2 with ADF was never the weight loss. I never lost weight with a 5:2 ADF pattern. I did lose some weight with a 4:3 ADF pattern, but two down days wasn't enough for me. I needed three. So, anyway, I'm just popping that in there.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I wonder why she thinks that. Okay, she says, "I want to try this but I'm scared to. Should I work out more or less? All the questions. Please help. Also, as a sidenote, to give you ladies as much information, I have experimented with all the fat weight loss hacks like apple cider vinegar, and Garcinia cambogia, my fair share of weight loss pills all throughout high school and college, even some Hydroxycut, and energy patches that are supposed to help appetite. I have always struggled with my self-image and thought I was fat when I was in high school. So, now, all this chub on my stomach, and arms, and legs is really making me upset and depressed. I am at a loss and I really am struggling with liking the way my body looks now that I am the fattest I've ever been. I love the podcast and listen to it while I'm running and biking. Please help," Carrie. 

Gin Stephens: All right, Carrie. There's a lot to unpack here. First of all, I want to talk about the fact that you've just been doing this regularly for two months. You're still in very early days. That's really important to know. You are two months in, that's important. Also, I want to talk about the binging that you mentioned. When you first started, you were having trouble with binging and you were actually binging a lot at first. We actually find before people are fat adapted, their body is not really assessing fuel efficiently during the fast, so you're under fueled and so you are going to when you open your window be more likely to binge. We see that all the time with people in the adjustment phase. So, keep that in mind. But after you're past the adjustment phase, if you start feeling the urge to binge, that is linked to not fueling your body well enough for what you're doing. You're over restricting in one way or another and it sounds like how you just mentioned in this question, if you bike 40 plus miles or run 10 miles, you end with a binge. You're framing it as that it's because you're weak, because you said, "I tell myself I deserve the goodies and then it ends in a binge." 

Actually, I want you to flip that. It's not because you're deserving the goodies or you're weak. It's because you just biked 40 miles or ran 10 miles and your body is like, "Help me, I need more fuel." I want everybody to really get out of your way when it comes to what a binge is telling you. It is not telling you there's something wrong with you, it's a sign that you're not fueling your body well. Now, again, at the very beginning, when you first start IF, you're not fueling your body well, because your body is not well fueled during the fast. But once you become fat adapted, your body should tap into your fat stores. This is assuming you're fast and clean. Your body should tap into your fat stores well, you'll feel much better, you should not be binging. If after you're adapted, you are still seeing a lot of binging kind of behavior, ask yourself, "Am I over restricting in my eating window or am I over exercising?" 

Now, you said you're only eating 1,500 to 2,000 calories, but you're a cardio junkie with swimming, biking, and running. It sounds to me you might be under fueling your body even day to day. Please don't cut calories or fast more. That is not what I would recommend. I actually think you might want to try a little something more gentle with your working out. And again, you're only two months in. Fast. Feast. Repeat., I talk about the 28-day fasts are not to expect any weight loss at all. You're one month past that. It also sounds to me, like, the way that you phrased it, you said, "I am not losing any weight, but sometimes, even gaining weight" makes it sound to me you're putting a lot of focus on fluctuations, Not losing weight, but sometimes gaining over a two-month period, that's just what weight does. It goes up, it goes down. You fluctuate. I want you to take some time to pull out a copy of Fast. Feast. Repeat., listen to it, get it if you don't have it, and I want you to read the scale-schmale chapter or listen to it. I want you to have a well-rounded plan for how you're going to track your progress. Because if you get on the scale and the weight is up, that doesn't mean you just "gained weight." Technically, yes, it does mean you just gained weight, because it's up on the scale. But it might be inflammation from your muscle use, it might be water retention. It's not fat gain is what I'm saying. So, you need to have a strategy for looking at what your trend is doing over time. 

Weighing daily, calculating your weekly average, an app like Happy Scale that will do that for you, I want you to take progress photos today. Put on your workout clothes, take photos from the front, from the side, from the back, and then I want you to look at those every-- Take new photos, maybe every three weeks or something like that. Same outfit every time and really compare. Because especially, with the amount of working out that you're doing, you might see your body shrinking in the photos, but the scale is actually continuing to go up with all the muscle building you might be doing especially at the age of 22. But I want you to really, really think about not overdoing it. It really sounds to me like you're fasting a lot and working out a lot. So, you may need a more gentle approach, you need to nourish your body, and take the sign of wanting to binge as an alarm sign and say, "Okay, this is telling me I need to nourish my body more or I need to work out less." That's really, really important. I think I got it all. [laughs] Oh, I had one other thing. I did forget something. The probiotic and the fiber supplement, I would recommend those in your eating window. I understand that you have colitis and that you need to take the fiber, but I would just move it to open your eating window instead of having it in the fasted state.

Melanie Avalon: I agree. Yes, I thought that was all great. I think Carrie, well, first of all, I really empathize with you with feeling. It's interesting, because when I first started reading the beginning of it, it sounded you were looking back to your high school time as a time when you were happy with your weight. But then at the end, you revealed that you felt uncomfortable in your body this entire time, which is a long time to not be happy with your body. What's interesting about that is, it says to me that the piece here, yes, some of it might come from losing the weight. But the fact that you felt this way even when you were, because in high school, you weigh 10 pounds less than what you want to weigh now, but you weren't happy then with your weight either. I think there's a huge, huge reframe that can happen that is not even dependent on your weight. And that's going to be something that I would suggest looking into mindset practices or working with a therapist. I am a huge, huge proponent of working with therapists for everything. Just a really quick tangent about that, Gin. Do you think this is based on where you live? I guess the stigma around therapists, do you think that's still a thing today more?

Gin Stephens: I don't know. It might be age more than anything. I'm not really sure. Maybe older people feel more of a stigma, I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I was just thinking about it, because I've had a therapist since 2014. I've had a few different ones, because I've moved around, but it's just such a normal-- It's so helpful for me and it was just wonderful to have that space, where you can just discuss all of these things and reframe in a non-judgmental, safe atmosphere. But it was just funny, because I was going to my-- Did I mention this on the podcast already? I was going to cryotherapy the other day, and I mentioned that I had just come from a therapy session, and her response made it seem like she was like, "Oh, I hope everything's okay." It made it seem I was going for something traumatic that had happened. I was like, "No this is what I just go as part of my daily life." That was a tangent. Point being, I think that could be something that could be really helpful for your body image and all of that stuff. 

Another reframe I think you can do and this is what Gin sort of talked about, with the binging for example, it can come from, like Gin said, your body is begging or screaming, I don't know what words you used, but for nutrition. A huge reframe that you can have there is probably right now, I don't know, but probably, since your habitual experience of having this signal from your body, this binge feeling, it sounds like the way you respond to that in the past is with sweets, and cakes, and cookies. You've created this association in your head that, when I get this really hungry, bingy feeling the solution or what I will do on autopilot is sweets, cakes, cookies. Have you tried when you have this feeling to look to the abundance of foods that you could have instead of sweets, cakes, and cookies? Because you might find that there's actually nothing to fear with this feeling that you get, because you actually can nourish yourself and you actually can eat all you want and it doesn't have to be these foods that will make you feel not so good in the end, these processed foods. I don't think it can be overstated, overstated, the importance of--

Gin Stephens: That's right. 

Melanie Avalon: I don't think it can be overstated the importance of protein. If you weren't vegetarian, what I would have said, if so for anybody else experiencing this, I would have said really, really focusing on animal protein. Chicken, steak, fish, things like that. I think that can really, really help with hunger. There's especially something we've talked about a lot which is the protein leverage hypothesis, which is basically that your body will, you will feel hungry until you satisfy your protein needs. I talked about it with Ted Naiman and William Shewfelt, who actually they were on this show, too, weren't they? Yes, they were. 

Gin Stephens: Ted Naiman was not. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's just William on this show?

Gin Stephens: Right. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, we've had William on the show and then I've had William and Ted Naiman.

Gin Stephens: Oh, they came on together to your show? Well, no, I take that back. Did we have Wade Lightheart and his partner on at the same time? 

Melanie Avalon: We did, yeah. 

Gin Stephens: Okay. I can never think of his name. 

Melanie Avalon: Matt Gallant. 

Gin Stephens: Matt. But other than that, I don't think we've ever had four of us on this one. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'll put links in the show notes to the one on my show with Ted Naiman and William Shewfelt, because I really like Ted's book. It's called, I think The PE Diet, but it's about basically this idea of the importance of protein. You're vegetarian. I am wondering what your main protein sources are and I would turn to them in the beginning of your meal when you're having these post workout meals or even your meal situation that you're in. Yes, so, upping the protein, I think could be really, really helpful. And also, another reframe is, especially if you've had this experience in the past of not being happy and responding to these urges with binges, you can feel destined to repeat that, but you are not. 

Every single day, instead of being scared of it as another day, where things might get worse, or you might gain weight, or you might binge. What if you reframe that every single day, you have newfound knowledge that maybe you didn't have in the past and so every day can be a step towards something better? I think you can feel really, really empowered, especially since Gin said, the focus we don't think shouldn't be on, it's not a restrictive answer. It's not cutting calories, it's not exercising more, it's not fasting more, it's providing your body with nutrition, which is actually state of abundance. So, the solution here is actually abundance not restriction, which is very exciting. I feel that was all over the place.

Gin Stephens: Well, I really agree with your recommendation for more protein, because that's very true as well. Your body sends you that signal. I very much believe that protein leverage hypothesis to be true.

Melanie Avalon: I really do. Even just for me like N of 1, I am starving if I don't get enough protein. I was actually thinking about this. During that study, I wish that they had had umami as one of the tastes. People who really like umami and like the protein.

Gin Stephens: I love umami. 

Melanie Avalon: I do, too. That's my thing. The protein is my thing. I think I'm much more aware of how satiating protein is for me, but I think if I didn't naturally gravitate towards a high-protein diet, I wonder if I would fall into this state, where I wouldn't necessarily turn to protein. So, I would just feel perpetually hungry.

Gin Stephens: Well, I eat less protein than you. I don't crave it as much as you'd like. I don't eat as much meat as you do. But sometimes, my body directs me to want more meat. My body does let me know when I think back.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I wonder if so for vegetarians and vegans. I wonder if they naturally gravitate towards when they get protein cravings. I wonder if it appears as a similar food. I wonder if it's legumes and beans or if it's soy. How that craving manifests?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't know. For me, when it's a really strong protein craving, it is meat. 

Melanie Avalon: Me, too. Me, too. That's why I'm super curious. 

Gin Stephens: I had a great burger last night. It was Green Chef, by the way, one of our sponsors. It was so good. But it was so good. It was a burger with Monterey jack and then it had those potatoes that I was talking about sliced potatoes tossed in olive oil, roasted in the oven, so good. 

Melanie Avalon: Now, I'm getting hungry, too. 

Gin Stephens: I know. Now, I'm really hungry. Sometimes, I just really love some red meat. It's funny around our table. Will doesn’t like a ton of meat unlike, Chad doesn’t like a ton of meat, Cal is practically a vegetarian, because his wife is a vegetarian. So, Cal will eat meat, but they don't eat meat at home. I don't know, maybe he doesn't really eat it at all, just rarely. But it's interesting that we've all just naturally gravitated that way.

Melanie Avalon: I think I'm really the only you huge meat eater in my family.

Gin Stephens: And what's your blood type? 

Melanie Avalon: O.

Gin Stephens: See. I don't think blood type is the whole thing, but there's some kind of connection there, something. We're all A. I don't think blood type, it's not quite as simple as eat right for your type, but we're all A and A is supposed to not need as much meat. And O is associated with needing more meat. So, I don't know that everything they say is right, but that sure seems to be on the money for a lot of people. 

Melanie Avalon: A lot of it might be the stomach acid correlation to type O.

Gin Stephens: That could really-- That makes a lot of sense just because if I eat too much meat, it feels it sits like a rock in my stomach. That's the same way that everyone else in my family feels, too. That's why you naturally just don't want to eat too much of it, because it doesn't feel good to overeat it.

Melanie Avalon: It is a question, though, of chicken and egg with that even. Do people who are type O, is there something and then that needs more meat, so they have higher stomach acid or do they have higher stomach acids, so they naturally just do better with more meat? I don't know. But in any case, Carrie, we are sending you lots of love. We think you can do it. There's a lot of potential and I think a lot of just reframes on the situation can be very helpful here. Any other thoughts from you, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I think we covered it. There was a lot going on in that question.

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Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Danielle. That is my sister's name. "Why isn't if it's good for us, is it not for our babies contradicting advice?" That is an interesting title. Danielle says, "Hey, ladies. Love the podcast. I'm currently binging all of your episodes. What a great duo you are. I've jumped on the IF train mostly interested in the health benefits as I have chronic disease mild and giving my gut a break is so good for it. I'm studying herbs and started listening to a new podcast called What's The Juice that focuses a lot on educating us about the lymphatic system. I love it. But in the first episode, she addresses IF and her opinion on it, she makes the statement, "would you have your baby fast until 2 PM?" And they talked about science reasons for why it's not good to fast for long periods. It made me start thinking and I was wondering what your opinion is about this."

Gin Stephens: Can we answer that part, now? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: That is just really not a good analogy at all that this host used on this other podcast, because I want you to think about how babies eat naturally. I don't know. My babies like to wake up every two hours and eat in the middle of the night. When Cal was a baby, I swear for the first four and a half months of his life, he ate every two hours around the clock, because they're building a body. You would never fast to baby, because they need constant fuel, they're growing, they're building. But we're adults. For adults, it's a whole different thing. I'm not trying to grow a body or build a whole new body. Here I am. I don't want to grow anymore, because we're not growing as a society physically bigger as far as getting taller like children do. We are growing horizontally. If you look at society, people are gaining weight, because we're eating too much. It's not a really good analogy to compare how a baby needs to eat with how an adult needs to eat, because it's completely different. You got a completely different goal there. We're trying to keep our bodies nourished as adults and eat the nutrients that our bodies need to function. We want to eat sufficient protein to maintain muscle mass, that sort of thing, nourish our bodies, but we don't need to eat around the clock. If we ate every two hours around the clock, how big would we get? It would not be good. So, not a good analogy. Good try, lady on the other podcast.

Melanie Avalon: On the flipside, you could say, "Why aren't we eating like babies?" Then we're not having breast milk and we're not eating a baby diet.

Gin Stephens: You can't compare how a baby eats to how an adult eats. In fact, what I like to say, whenever someone's like, "Well, how do I tell my children that I'm fasting, but it's not good for them?" I'm like, "Well, you just say, because you're not growing anymore." Growing bodies need to eat differently than bodies that are already grown. I think that's really important to know. When people start throwing away how "it's not good to fast for long periods," it depends on what you mean by long periods, obviously, there is a period of time that it's too long to fast for. But it sounds like they think 2 PM is too long. When I look at the people, who are scientists in the field, who have studied this, who have studied fasting and like Dr. Mark Mattson that I've talked about before, and I had a guy, gosh, Gil Blander, was he from InsideTracker? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: I had him on Intermittent Fasting Stories. He's a longevity expert and he said-- Look, this is a longevity expert and he said, "The number one best thing you can do for your body for longevity is intermittent fasting." When these people are saying things like that, these hardcore research scientists who have studied longevity, the brain works and really understand intermittent fasting, I don't feel the need to then go out and defend intermittent fasting to someone, who has some opinion that they think it isn't good. Because I'm going to trust the scientists, who studied it and are doing it. That's all I have to say about that. So, I am giving you permission, Danielle, to stop listening to the naysayers and do what feels good to your body. That's really all you need to know.

Melanie Avalon: I don't want to say anything unkind, but especially, if it's that analogy or that comparison just doesn't make sense, like, it just doesn't make much sense.

Gin Stephens: There was some analogy someone gave about a car one time and how you needed to keep fueling your car and I'm like, "You don't stop every 20 miles and put more gas in?" No, fill it up and then your drive. I'm like, "That is such a bad analogy." When someone's making really bad analogies, it's like, they don't understand what they're saying. [laughs] That's what I think. So, no, please do not make your baby fast till 2 PM. That is bad. [laughs] But you are not a baby. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly. 

Gin Stephens: Okay, now the rest of her question.

Melanie Avalon: The rest, she says, "The second episode also addresses this and her guest, I believe a neuropathy doctor also suggests that 13 hours overnight is good, but extreme fasting is bad, because going too long can spike cortisol, etc. I'm confused, thoughts, keep up the good work, ladies."

Gin Stephens: And again, this sounds it's somebody who doesn't think you should fast for more than 13 hours. If you listen to all the contradictory voices that are out there about any topic, you're going to get so confused. You don't know if you should fast for 16 hours or eat every two hours around the clock. You can really get confused, because no matter what anybody says about help, someone is saying, the 180-degree opposite, literally, about everything when it comes to health. If you're really interested in the health benefits of intermittent fasting, you need to really immerse yourself in podcasts, and books, and experts, who explain those to you. I would avoid the naysayers. And then you need to tune into your own body, because I actually agree with something that that guest said, that extreme fasting is "bad," but I would disagree with the definition of extreme fasting. Maybe this, this naturopathic doctor has experience working with patients, who are over fasting, overexercising, and over restricting. 

In that case, if you're fasting 16 hours, which I wouldn't consider extreme, because I fast more than that almost every single day, but I also nourish my body well in my eating window, but if I were doing ultra-marathons, and fasting 16 hours a day, and then eating little tiny diet meals in an eight-hour eating window, 16 hours would be too much fasting. But it's not so much, because it's 16. It's because of everything else. 16 could be extreme fasting, if you are not nourishing your body well and overly working out versus 20:4 is not extreme if then you nourish your body well in your eating window. It's all got to be in context. We don't really know what this doctor, what this background it's coming from. But it's true, that over restriction is not good for our bodies, but to think that fasting is coupled with over restriction is I think the flaw in the thinking.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Context is so, so important. I think we actually talked about this last episode? 

Gin Stephens: You talked about cortisol. You sure did. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I can briefly recap. Yeah, so, basically, it's a stress hormone. It has a really bad reputation. People think, "Oh, cortisol is bad. We never want cortisol," which is just not even true. It's not a bad hormone. Really, no hormones are bad or good. They all have a purpose and they all need to be in the right context. Cortisol is something, for example, that naturally spikes in the morning. We want that spike. That's actually a reason that people often get high blood sugars in the morning. It's the dawn effect and a spike in cortisol. But cortisol has a natural rhythm throughout the day. It can go up in fasting, but the context is important. Cortisol in a fasted state actually helps us burn fat. It actually releases fatty acids and helps us burn them. We shouldn't be scared of cortisol. Cortisol in the context of eating makes us more likely to store fat. 

That's why it's really important to not eat in a stressed-out state to have, even a ritual surrounding eating, where you're in a, I don't want to say a meditative state, but we don't want to be just eating on the go and in a stressed-out state. So, fasting can actually help you have a really healthy relationship with cortisol, where you have higher cortisol during the day, you're burning fat. And then well, I'm assuming right now that you're doing a one-meal-a-day situation. But regardless of the window, you have cortisol higher when you're fasting, you're burning fat, and then when you're eating, you're in more of a rest and digest a lower cortisol state. The actual specifics of it is cortisol can make you preferentially store fat as visceral fat in your belly, if it's high while you're eating. So, misconceptions surrounding cortisol.

Gin Stephens: So many, and people just say it like it's--

Melanie Avalon: Fact. 

Gin Stephens: Fact. Exactly. Again, I want to just reframe this, Danielle, one more time. You need to listen to your own body and how you feel. If fasting, as you get adjusted, again, get through the adjustment period. If you find yourself feeling better and better over time, trust that. If you're doing something that's bad for your body, you're not going to feel better, and better, and better over time. So, trust how you're feeling, you really can do that. Don't let the other voices get inside your head from people, who are giving the advice like, "Oh, yeah, you shouldn't fast." Do what's your body telling you.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. 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. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode263 and then you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens, and I think that is all the things. 

Gin Stephens: Yep. Great episode. Five years.

Melanie Avalon: I know. Crazy. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful and I will talk to you next week. 

Gin Stephens: All right. 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 17

Episode 261: Weight Watchers, Calorie Counting, Feeling Cold During Fasting, Food Induced Thermogenesis, Arthritis Pain, Dental Health, Oral Microbiome, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 261 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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SHOW NOTES

1:10 - LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A Sample Pack For Only The Price Of Shipping!! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

3:45 - 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!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #122 - R Blank

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17:50 - AVALONX: 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!

21:10 - Listener Q&A: Detra - Weight Watchers?

30:40 - Listener Q&A: Tyloria - Why do I get so cold during IF

Lower core body temperature and greater body fat are components of a human thrifty phenotype

Core body temperature, energy expenditure, and epinephrine during fasting, eucaloric feeding, and overfeeding in healthy adult men: evidence for a ceiling effect for human thermogenic response to diet 

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47:05 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

50:10 - Listener Q&A: Sherri - Fasting length

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 261 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.

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get free electrolyte supplements, some of which are clean, fast approved, all developed by none other than Robb Wolf. Have you been struggling to feel good with low carb, paleo, keto, or fasting? Have you heard of something called the keto flu? Here's the thing. The keto flu is not actually a condition. Nope. 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. Low aldosterone on a keto diet makes you lose sodium at a rapid rate. 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. 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. Guess what? We worked out an exclusive deal for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast listeners only. Guys, this is huge. They weren't going to do a deal, I begged them, here we are. 

You can get a free LMNT sampler pack. We're not talking a discount, we're talking free. Completely free. You only pay $5 for shipping. If you don't love it, they will even refund you the $5 for shipping. I'm not kidding. The sample pack includes eight packets of LMNT, two Citrus, two Raspberry, two Orange, and two Raw Unflavored. The Raw Unflavored ones are the ones that are safe for your clean fast and the other ones you can have in your eating window. Word on the street is the Citrus flavor makes an amazing Margarita, by the way. 

I am loving LMNT and I think you guys will too. Again, this is completely free. You have nothing to lose. Just go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. That's D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dotcom forward slash I-F-P-O-D-C-A-S-T. 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 are 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 combined 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 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 261 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 fantastic. I've got some very exciting news.

Melanie Avalon: I think I know what it is and I'm excited to hear. 

Gin Stephens: We are moving.

Melanie Avalon: Again? [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: Well, look, it's been over two years since we moved. It feels like we just moved. But by the time we get moved, it will have been over two and a half years in this house. [sighs] We only made eight-tenths of a mile. We're moving out of town, we're moving to South Carolina, and we're moving to the beach, and I am so excited. We found a house this week, and we're under contract, and now, we just need to sell our house, and move, and we're downsizing this time for real, which is thrilling.

Melanie Avalon: Because last time you were, too. 

Gin Stephens: Well, I wanted to downsize last time, but I couldn't find the right house to downsize into. We upsized. We ended up in a 4,900 square foot house. Okay, nobody judge, but [laughs] now that we've been here. Going to the beach and being in our little tiny cottage, that's 900 and something square feet, I've realized how little I really need. The house we're buying is 2,700 square feet. It's 2,200 square feet smaller. So, not quite half the size, but similar. Almost half. But just slightly more than half is what I'm trying to say. I am getting rid of so many things. Here's a tip for our listeners, who probably all know this already if they're like me, but have an estate sale, get an estate sale company to do your moving sale. They sell everything that you don't want to take.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's fantastic. I don't have to-- Anything, I don't want to take, literally, anything. I just don't pack it and then, I leave.

Melanie Avalon: Whoa. 

Gin Stephens: And then, they're doing an estate sale with everything else that I don't take. 

Melanie Avalon: That's so cool. Wait, wait, so wait. So, you just pack and leave, and then leave, and then they do everything? 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. We arrange it around the closing of the house and we're tentatively on the schedule, because we don't have a closing set yet, but yeah.

Melanie Avalon: So, what about the stuff you leave that's not sellable. They toss it? 

Gin Stephens: The company that we are using, they're just a local Augusta company that does a couple of these every month and they have a contract with someone, who buys them out at the end anything that doesn't sell, and they tell them how much the buyout is going to be. So, it's like, "All right, we got this much leftover, you're going to give us this much money for it," and the people say, "Okay." They don't like donate or anything. I know another company that we talked, too. They just donate what isn't sold and I'm like, "Well, I don't. It depends on how much that would be." But this company, they have that relationship with the company that does the buyout, and they always buy it out, and they don't argue about the price. They just pay what they say, because it's good stuff. 

Melanie Avalon: Hmm. Why did my family not do that? Oh, wait, wait, so wait. Okay, I know so little about moving. How does it affect the next person moving into your house?

Gin Stephens: Not at all. They just move in after the sale. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. Why didn't my mother not do this? 

Gin Stephens: Maybe she didn't think about it, because I've always thought of estate sales as being like, when somebody dies, you have an estate sale. But someone in our neighborhood just a matter of note some point last year, had an estate sale. It was a giant house that's a really old house and it was like this mansion amazing house from, I don't know, hundred years old, beautiful house. They were having an estate sale and I was like, "I just want to see that house." [laughs] So, we went to the estate sale. They're actually moving to the lake. So, they were downsizing and I'm like, "Oh, my gosh, I didn't even know people did that." 

Melanie Avalon: That's a very helpful tip for moving people. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. It's very exciting and we don't need so many of the things. I'm not going to have a formal dining room and I'm not going to have-- It's just not going to be any formal spaces. Just very casual, beachy living. We'll need to get some new stuff, because not everything we have is going to travel. But we're taking stuff out of the den, and stuff out of the master bedroom, and then our personal items. Today, I packed the books I want to take with me. You can't even tell that I packed them, because the library, and the bookshelves, and the halls are still fully stocked with books.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. Well, that's exciting. 

Gin Stephens: It is exciting. Anyway, so many changes. Chad's retiring, Will's coming with us. So, it's going to be nice. I have a room, that's going to be my podcast studio and my office. It's on the third floor of the house and it's the only room up on the third floor. And it's just going to be for me up there. I can't wait. 

Melanie Avalon: Isn't an attic? 

Gin Stephens: It's not an attic. There's attics on either side of it. It's in the little peak of the roof and I guess, they could have turned it into an attic, but instead, they turned it into a bedroom with a bathroom, and then you have attic access and a closet in there.

Melanie Avalon: Very cool. Well, keep us updated. That's exciting.

Gin Stephens: It's very exciting. I can't believe it's happening. Anyway, hopefully, send positive thoughts for sale. Masters week as we're recording this in a couple of weeks. Obviously, before it comes out, but Masters week is here in Augusta and how sales usually take off right after Masters, because people in Augusta don't really think about moving till after Masters because they rent. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Like all my neighbors. The neighbor across the street, who is now mowing. If anyone can hear mowing, they didn't rent, but we didn't rent, but everybody else on all the sides of us. A lot of the neighbors rent. We have a golfer staying next door.

Melanie Avalon: A famous golfer? 

Gin Stephens: Yes. 

Melanie Avalon: Nice. 

Gin Stephens: I cannot reveal who it is, [laughs] but it's funny all week in Augusta. You see a lot of Mercedes Benz driving around, because a lot of people come to town, businessmen come, and it's just a different kind of week. 

Melanie Avalon: Very cool. 

Gin Stephens: So, what's up with you?

Melanie Avalon: Well, I have a very exciting announcement. I think I announced this on the last episode, but I was fuzzy on the details. Now, I have all the details and this is perfect timing, because this ends tomorrow, if you're listening on the day that this episode comes out. We officially launched subscriptions for my serrapeptase supplement. I've all the details. It's very exciting. It's the biggest discount we have had yet on the serrapeptase. You get it 25% off, and not only do you get it 25% off, you get 25% off for life, because that's how it works. It actually not only do you save money, but it saves on time, and it helps support sustainability of the planet, which is super exciting to me. That's because the way we set it up is you get three bottles every four months. It saves on shipping, and emissions, and all of that stuff. You can pause or cancel at any time. There's literally nothing to worry about. My partner originally had it set up that you had to at least wait one or two cycles, I think before canceling, but I was like, "No, no, no, I want to have it pause or cancel anytime." Yeah, there's really nothing to lose. So, I'm really excited. 

Oh, by ending tomorrow, so, we'll have the subscriptions as an option ongoing and the subscriptions will always be discounted, but it's not going to be 25%. If you want that, sign up right now. You do get that 25% for life unless you-- If you cancel and then rejoin, then you'll rejoin a whatever the current discount is, which will not be 25%. Yeah, that's my big announcement. Just for listeners who are not familiar, although I feel you're probably overwhelmingly familiar by now, but serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme created by the Japanese silkworm. You take it in the fasted state. It's very fasting friendly and it helps break down problematic proteins in your body. It can really help anything where your body is reacting to proteins. So, that's why it can be really good for allergies, clearing sinuses, brain fog, scar tissue, reducing it. There have been studies showing it can help reduce cholesterol, and break down amyloid plaque, and help with wound healing, and it's just really, really all the things. So, that's the thing. 

I know people are eagerly awaiting my magnesium and that will be the next big thing and it's not that far away. We're in the very final process right now of locking down everything. My last baby teaser, which I can talk about more in the future, but I'm really moving forward with the EMF blocking product I want to make where you can put your phone on your nightstand at night and still receive calls. You don't have to put in airplane mode, but you will be protected from the EMF coming from that. Because so many people sleep with their phones. I'm very wary and concerned about our exposure to EMFs in general. But if I were to think about everything, I think probably the most problematic daily or nightly thing that people are experiencing is at night when they're sleeping with their phone right by their heads. So, I'm very, very excited. So, it's all the things, all my little entrepreneur stuff.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I really think that our house, I think I've talked about this before. The master bedroom is right next to where all the electrical comes in. I won't tell that to anyone looking at the house. Hey, everyone, check out where the electricity comes into the house right by the--, no, anyway. It's just something I never would have thought of before. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: But it's right by the master.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Even with me, the electrical panel for my apartment is in my bedroom. I purposely set up my bed. It's on the opposite side of the room, but still, I think it can have a huge impact on a lot of people and they might not even realize.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's probably true. And now, I'm like, "Where's it coming into the new house?" [laughs] I may have to look, plug and see where that is. I think all the lines are buried in this house, so that should help a lot and it definitely won't be by the master, because it's a raised house, the bottom floor, it's garage, and then there's a lower level living down there, but the master bedroom is up. The main living level is really the second floor. That's where the kitchen, and the living room, and the master, they're right in the middle.

Melanie Avalon: Nice. Actually, there's something you might want to get for your house. I don't think you do. You don't use any grounding mats or anything like that, do you? 

Gin Stephens: I do not. I just walk on the beach a lot. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Oh, yeah, I don't have that. That's amazing. 

Gin Stephens: Walk outside barefoot whenever I can.

Melanie Avalon: The reason I was asking was R Blank, who I had on the show runs the company Shield Your Body and he makes EMF-blocking products, and he just created a product. A lot of people use grounding products and they actually feel it's making them worse. Grounding mats, and grounding canopies, and stuff like that. It's a few different things. He has a whole pamphlet about it. But it can actually be made worse based on how it's plugged in and what is actually feeding it. It can make things worse. He has made this thing that fixes all of that, so that you can use grounding products and not get the negative effects. I can put a link in the show notes to that. I think I have a coupon, too. So, I'll put a link in the show notes. 

Hi, friends. I am so thrilled that the moment you guys have been waiting for, for so long is finally here. My serrapeptase supplement is available. After realizing the sketchiness, and problematic fillers, and questionable ingredients, and quality in the supplement industry, I finally took it upon myself to just make my own supplement line, so that I can truly feel good about what I'm putting in my body and you guys can as well. Oh, my goodness, have I learned a lot and I can confidently say that my supplements are honestly the best on the market. I plan to make my own versions of everything I am currently taking, because I only want to take the best of the best. I and my partner, MD Logic relentlessly search to find the highest quality sources, and then we test those ingredients multiple times for purity and potency, and to make sure that they are free from heavy metals and mold, which you guys know is so, so important. I have suffered from toxicity from both of those things. So, testing is key. 

AvalonX supplements are free of all common allergens like wheat, gluten, eggs, soy, dairy, shellfish, nuts, even rice, which is very, very common in a lot of supplements. Check for that. They also come in glass bottles and are vegan. For my first supplement serrapeptase, we created a special process that requires small batches to make, that uses only a small amount of MCTs as the lubricant and filler. None of the other serrapeptases on the market are doing this. That was actually one of the biggest things to tackle, because most of the serrapeptase on the market has problematic fillers and suspicious enteric coatings, which likely contain plastics and other potentially toxic compounds you don't want in your body. We use a special delay release capsule that ensures the serrapeptase reaches your small intestine, so that it can be absorbed into your body. What is serrapeptase? It's a proteolytic enzyme created by the Japanese silkworm. When you take it in the fasted state, it actually breaks down problematic proteins in your body. So, it can really help anything, where your body is reacting to problematic proteins. That's why it can radically help with allergies, it clears my sinuses like none other. And it can clear brain fog, studies have shown it may help reduce inflammation, enhance wound healing, help with pain, even reduce cholesterol, and break down amyloid plaque. 

Basically, it's the coolest supplement ever and it is an awesome way to really amplify your fast. I take it every single day. We also recently launched subscriptions, so that you can get a big discount on my supplements, as well as help, support, sustainability by reducing emissions from shipping. And my next supplement is coming soon. That is magnesium. Get excited. If you want to get the latest information, specials, news about new supplements, and stay up to date on everything, AvalonX. Definitely get on my email list. That's at avalonx.us/emaillist. When you join that list, check for the welcome email to make sure it doesn't go to spam. And you can shop, of course, at avalonx.us. Again, that is avalonx.us. AVALONX dot US, avalonx.us. And I'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show. 

Melanie Avalon: So, shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Yep, let's get started.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a question from Ditra and the subject is: "Weight Watchers?" And Ditra says, "Hello, my name is D." Oh, it's D. "My name is D, and I've read two of Gin's books, and I've been intermittent fasting for two months, and feel great. I'm not weighing myself or counting calories, just judging the progress on how much healthier I'm feeling. I know you state over and over not to calorie count, but a friend asked the other day if I could use Weight Watcher points with my food window to make sure I'm staying within a healthy range. And I tried to look it up, but I couldn't find a whole lot of info on how that would work to fuse them together or even if I should. So, that's my question. Are there people who do both to increase weight loss or is that something you would discourage, because it's tantamount to counting calories? Thanks so much for the podcast." Tantamount, I need to integrate that into my vocabulary. That is an excellent word.

Gin Stephens: It is a nice word. [laughs] Well, D, thank you so much for the question. I'm glad to hear that you're feeling great after two months of intermittent fasting. You asked, "Are there people who do both?" I'm certain there are, because there are people, who count calories with fasting, there are people, who count macros with fasting. Personally, I would encourage you not to just because whenever we have these external measures of how much we are "allowed to eat" that teaches us to disregard our body's hunger and satiety signals. Let me talk about how it causes you to disregard both of them. I've never actually done Weight Watchers. I've definitely done calorie counting. But Weight Watchers is similar. You've got points, and you have a point budget for the day, and you can have, like, I don't even know how many points it would be, but let's say the answer was 22. I don't know. 22 points. You're encouraged to eat no more than 22 points. For me, I'm going to relate it to when I was calorie counting. 

Let's say I was trying to do a 1,200 calorie a day diet and I'm counting my calories or whatever. When I was counting calories, first of all, it led me to a lot of processed foods just because those were easier to count. I'm not sure if the same is for Weight Watchers as well, because I know certain things are zero points and those are things they want to encourage you to eat like fruits and vegetables. But I know that it steered me towards more processed foods than I would normally have eaten just because there's so much more easy to count. Also, I would eat something just because I had calories leftover. Even if I wasn't hungry, I'd be like, "Well, I've only had X number of calories today. I'm going to eat something else, because I can." That taught me to override any feeling of I've had enough just because I had calories leftover. With points, I know a lot of people are like, "Hey, I have points leftover. So, I'm going to eat something else." Again, the goal is really to reconnect with your body's hunger and satiety signals within your eating window. If you're still hungry, you're going to eat more. You're not going to say, "Well, I'm still hungry today, but I've already eaten all my points. I better not eat anything else." If you're still hungry, we want you to eat more, because our needs are not the same from day to day. 

Somebody today in my community was talking about they had been on a 5K this morning. And they ran a 5K, and they were done with the 5K, and then they were really hungry. They decided to open their window earlier and have a longer eating window. That's what she's doing. She's listening to her body, she's hungrier, she's eating more. She's going to have a longer window. I would really encourage you to give up all those artificial ways of managing what you're eating and really listen to your body. Look back, I imagine you've got Fast. Feast. Repeat. If you've read two of my books, that's probably one of them. Going back to the chapter on calorie counting, and every time I use the word calorie, insert the words Weight Watchers points and really think about how you want to teach your body to let you know when you've had enough instead of relying on an external counting mechanism of any type. Because that's really the goal. Animals in the wild do not count calories and they know when they've had enough. So, what do you have to say, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: I think that is excellent. I'm glad you pointed that out that never occurred to me, the thing about how it would actually encourage you to eat more, because you can fill out your points.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that was me. If I had done Weight Watchers, I would have been the person eating all the zero-point stuff nonstop. I would just be eating zero-point stuff all the time and then, I would have 22 points of ice cream or something that would probably be the way I would try to game the system. 

Melanie Avalon: That's so funny. 

Gin Stephens: If there's going to be a number limit, I'm going to game it. 

Melanie Avalon: It's really interesting. I have not done Weight Watchers. It's so funny. I had a friend growing up in middle school and high school and she was always doing Weight Watchers. I remember, she would show us the food list. I wonder if this is still on there. It had things on the list that, I mean, this could be wrong. I feel it had stingray or something. It had all of these-- [crosstalk] 

Gin Stephens: That might be a really old list. My mother did it back in the day in the 70s, 80s, and she had this old Weight Watchers book, and it did have crazy stuff in there. 

Melanie Avalon: I remember she would show us we were like, "What?"

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I think they've modernized their lists and they have a million different plans, and lists, and programs. They keep reinventing it. 

Melanie Avalon: That's what I was actually just going to talk about, because I'm looking at their website right now and I'm wondering when they introduced this. I was trying to figure out when, but I couldn't quite figure out. Because they have introducing new zero-point foods. What's really interesting about zero-point foods, it says that it's personalized to you, so you'll get a different list. But the list, I find this so interesting. The list of zero-point foods includes something within these non-starchy veggies, potatoes and starchy veggies, fruits, low fat or fat free yogurt and cottage cheese, brown rice, and whole grains, avocados, fish and shellfish, oats and oatmeal, poultry, whole wheat pasta, noodles, tofu, tempeh, corn, popcorn, beans, peas, lentils, eggs.

Gin Stephens: Do you know how much food I would eat? I'd be like, "I had zero points today" and it would have been 5,000 calories or something. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: I don't understand. It's funny, because it's basically all Whole Foods.

Gin Stephens: Well, whole foods are good. Whole Foods are really, really good.

Melanie Avalon: I wonder how this works. You get unlimited of that and then, you get also your points of other stuff. How does that work? 

Gin Stephens: Say the zero, the zero points would be tripping me up. I'd be like, "Everything I ate was zero points." Like I said, I'm going to have 22 points of pizza. [laughs] I think I always knew I would do it wrong. That's why I didn't even try it.

Melanie Avalon: But what's really interesting though is, in theory, you could combine fasting with Weight Watchers, the zero points system only, and then, it basically would be fat. It would just be eating unlimited of Whole Foods, which is what fasting is.

Gin Stephens: Well, the goal is, we want you to eat foods that are delicious, nutritious, and satisfy you. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, which is what this list is. 

Gin Stephens: And stop when you've had enough. [laughs] Although, I wouldn't be having any fat free dairy. No.

Melanie Avalon: I do not mean to say fasting is eating nutritious Whole Foods. I meant an approach that would work for a lot of people with intermittent fasting is to eat "unlimited," because it's to satiety ideally and from my perspective from Whole Foods, which is what the zero-point list is. So, yes, I think we're team not combining.

Gin Stephens: You can't if you want to. I know people have. But I know there're people who count calories in their window, there're people who follow diets in their window. But the goal is to get away from that. The freedom of intermittent fasting is adjust your window until you find a window that gives you weight loss and you don't have to worry about what and how much you're eating. When you get your window dialed in, you're going to have something that really works for your body without having to do all that counting.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and I would actually also suggest, so, I don't really suggest calorie counting combining it with fasting in general. The exception might be, if you've been doing fasting for a while and you've plateaued, I think something that might could work for people is not calorie counting every meal, because then you're just basically doing calorie restriction. But instead of doing straight up ADF, I think something that could work would be every other day or a few days per week, calorie counting the meal rather than every single day. Because then you're sending your body that signal in general, the feasting signal, but then having being a little bit sneaky and having a few days in there, where it's lower calories, I think that might could work for some people.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's the down day option of ADF, the 500-calorie down day.

Melanie Avalon: I guess, to clarify was saying like, you could do it and not necessarily make it 500 calories. You could make it thousand or maybe not go to the extreme of ADF of the down-day approach. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and if you do have a down day with 500 calories, the next day needs to be an up day. Remember that everybody. It needs to be at least two meals and it needs to be probably eight hours or more. I wouldn't try to restrict on a day after a down day. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Agreed. 

Gin Stephens: All right, we have a question from Tyloria and the subject is: "Why do I get so cold during IF?" She says, "I've been doing IF since December and I've lost 14 pounds, three inches in my waist, two inches in my hips, and two inches in my bust. My endocrinologist recommended IF to me. When I saw her last week, I was shocked at how much weight I had lost. My A1c went from 7.3 to 6.7. My current weight is 203 and I'm looking forward to being under 200 pounds for the first time in 20 years. That being said, I have had a new experience. I get extremely cold, especially at night. I'm so cold that it's uncomfortable for me. I live in Mobile, Alabama, where the average temperature is 70 degrees plus and humidity averages 70% to 90%. But lately, in the evenings around bedtime, I'm so cold. I have to put on my heater and socks. I have a small heater under my desk at work that I keep running all day. I have read a few things online that talk about your body heat being diverted from your extremities during the digestive process. I have also read that this indicates fat burning or even ketosis. I have also read that it may be low iron or low blood pressure. When I started this, I listened to a few podcasts by Dr. Andrew Huberman. I think he mentioned your book Fast. Feast. Repeat."

Melanie Avalon: Okay, pause. Do we know if this is a true statement? 

Gin Stephens: I don't know if that's true. But if it is that is.

Melanie Avalon: Can we find out? 

Gin Stephens: I don't know. 

Melanie Avalon: I read that and my jaw dropped.

Gin Stephens: Well, if it's true, I'm amazed. So, I hope it's true.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. For listeners, I'm sure there's people-- He has the number one health podcast normally. I'm such a fan of him. Listeners, if you listen to his show, I'm such a fan. I don't actually actively listen to his show. I'm more listen to him on other people's shows. Listeners, if you listen to his show and you've heard this episode, can you let us know? 

Gin Stephens: That would be amazing. 

Melanie Avalon: I would love to listen to that and hear what he says.

Gin Stephens: I bet he didn't. I bet he recommended something else. But it's good it's possible. Anyway, I love that the book was life changing.

Melanie Avalon: I am friends with his agent. I want to ask him. He's crazy. Okay. Well, if anybody knows, let us know.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that would be really mind blowing to me, so anyhow. I also love her endocrinologist recommended IF. That makes me so happy that doctors are recommending IF. Anyway, we go back to the question. She says, "When I read your book, it was life changing for me. That being said, I trust your opinion and your research. You covered every possible scenario, but I don't recall info on this topic." Actually, it's there in the Frequently Asked Questions section. But that's way in the back. I could see how somebody could miss it, but it is there. She says, "My brain is analytical. If I understand the science behind what's happening to my body, it makes sense to me. I would greatly appreciate any insight you could provide. I do subscribe to your podcast" and she also says, "Can you all let me know when this question will be answered? Thank you." I'll answer that. The answer's no. You just have to keep listening.

Melanie Avalon: We're answering it now. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, today. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. Tyloria, so thank you for your question. Okay. I did a bit of research on this, which I'd actually talked about this. Now, I'm curious. I think I talked about this in What When Wine as well and I want to revisit what I say in there. I think in there, I talked about the blood flow aspect to the extremities, as well as the correlation to longevity of low body temperatures. That said, I did some more recent updated research and this was very interesting. I found two fun studies that I read through. One is called lower core body temperature and greater body fat are components of a human thrifty phenotype, and the other is core body temperature, energy expenditure, and epinephrine during fasting, eucaloric feeding and overfeeding in healthy adult men, evidence for a ceiling effect for human, thermogenic response to diet. Okay, let's go through this. So, question, Gin. What percent of our basal metabolic rate do you think contributes to maintaining our body temperature? I did not know this.

Gin Stephens: Huh. That's interesting. I don't know. I'm just going to guess 15%.

Melanie Avalon: That's what I would have guessed. It's 50. 

Gin Stephens: Really? So, you would have said more 15 as well? That's amazing. 

Melanie Avalon: About half of our daily metabolism is just maintaining our body temperature. That's a really interesting concept to think about. The way it relates to all of this is, yes, people, while fasting often get colder and I think the primary reason for this isn't so much-- Well, it depends how you look at it. It's like a glass half empty, glass half full. Is it that you're getting colder or is it that eating makes you warmer? Because across the board, when people eat, there is something called diet-induced thermogenesis, which is basically heat production from the eating process. People's core body temperature consistently tends to elevate when we eat. If you are eating throughout the day, you are presumably going to have a higher resting body temperature than when you're in the fasted state. What's really interesting about one of these studies was talking about was and I'm going to preface it by saying other studies have not found this. There're conflicting findings. But one of these did find that, there're two phenotypes like the thrifty phenotype. That's like their body is less likely to lose weight, more likely to gain weight. It's trying to protect you from future starvation, and then they have the spendthrift phenotype, which is more laissez faire and more easily burns calories and loses weight. Between these two metabolic states, the thrifty phenotype people tend to get colder while fasting, and then, interestingly, when they eat, they don't get as warm. So, their bodies-- [crosstalk] 

Gin Stephens: You said that's the thrifty phenotype doesn't get as warm? Because I get so hot after eating. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And do you get cold while fasting a lot? 

Gin Stephens: Yes, but not crazy cold. 

Melanie Avalon: But not crazy cold. The spendthrift phenotype, they're the ones that are more likely to not get overweight. They get hotter after eating. That all said, there's another little caveat to this and it's that, if you are the type that like your basal metabolic temperature is already at the ceiling, which is 37 degrees Celsius, what is that in Fahrenheit? If your normal basal body temperature is considered the ceiling of normal basal body temperature, which is 37 degrees Celsius or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, then, you actually, probably won't get that much hotter from eating. Because they call it a ceiling effect. All of that is to say that it's nuanced and complicated, but if you are the type and it sounds like Tyloria might be this type, because she's struggled with being overweight. If you are the type of person that is their body more naturally gravitates towards becoming overweight, it's possible that you're in this thrifty phenotype. What's interesting is it means that you are probably going to get colder while fasting and then, when you eat you'll get hotter, because there's a higher potential for you to get hotter, because you're not hitting that ceiling. So, it even further exacerbates feeling colder. I don't know if I'm explaining that correctly. Because if you're constantly just running at a higher body temperature, you're not going to experience that big difference between fasting and eating, like, you would if you're this other phenotype. 

As far as the reasoning for it, like, why is that happening, the study I was looking at was saying it could be due to a lot of things. It could be genetics. It could be sympathetic nervous system response. I was looking at another study and for example, epinephrine is a hormone that is often released in fasting. It's one of our stress hormones, but it has a lot of benefits like keeping us alert and releasing fat stores. So, people who naturally have higher epinephrine levels tend to run at a higher body temperature. So, that could be a factor. Prior weight loss attempts, so, your history could actually affect how your body responds with its body temperature. I didn't read the link studies for that, but I'm going to assume. Don't quote me on this, but I'm going to assume that you've dieted in the past that your body might become more "thrifty." Differing levels of physical fitness or individual hormonal responses, also, something like brown adipose tissue could be a factor. People, who have higher amounts of brown adipose fat, they'll actually be warmer when fasting or when cold, because one of the purposes of that fat is actually to generate heat. 

All of that to say is that, yes, it is completely normal to have a lower body temperature while fasting. It's very different between individuals and it's possible that as you evolve in your body weight and are making beneficial changes, it's possible that it could change, because especially, with something like brown adipose tissue, for example, that's something that we know we can actually increase with cold exposure. It's one of the reasons I do cryotherapy every single day. If you were to build that up, that would help your response. So, that was all over the place. Oh, and lastly, I think some people if they are doing fasting and it's too restrictive for their body, I can see how it might negatively affect their thyroid and they might feel colder from that. That's something definitely to keep in mind. You might want to monitor your thyroid levels. But all of that to say and I said this at the very beginning, but a lower body temperature actually is correlated to longevity. So, maybe, you can reframe it as having some longevity spiking potential. 

Gin Stephens: Yep, that's very true. We talked so much about not wanting to slower metabolisms, but actually a slower metabolism is linked to longevity. [laughs] Basically, once you get to your happy weight and you right now, I don't care what my metabolism is, because I'm eating in a point that allows me to maintain. 

Melanie Avalon: What was in your book about it? 

Gin Stephens: Well, I kept it simple. It was in the Frequently Asked Questions section and it's one paragraph. On page 307, I talked about the two just big generalities. First of all, digesting food creates a lot of heat, which keeps us warm and toasty. And also, when we're fasting, just like Tyloria said that when we're fasting, our bodies direct blood flow to our fat stores and away from our extremities to mobilize fat for fuel. So, having less blood flow to the extremities can make us feel cold.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, now, I'm just looking at what I said in my book as well and it also was very short. I said, "You shouldn't feel uncomfortably cold while fasting though, I've personally become a colder person in body not spirit." Since losing body fat from IF, I said, "If IF makes you a little chilly, make sure you're eating enough in your fasting window as unintentional undereating may or may not cause issues."

Gin Stephens: You didn't say fasting window there, did you? 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, sorry.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] I was like, "Oh, did we just find a typo in your book?" Did you say fasting window?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I did.

Gin Stephens: Uh-oh. Typos are everywhere. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. 

Gin Stephens: Ain't that funny? You never noticed it, never would have. Yeah. Do not eat more in your fasting window everybody. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: That's amazing. Well, so, if you read that, that's not what that supposed to say. I said to combat cold consider eating more, fasting less, or eating thermogenic foods such as coconut oil. Oh, no, I said, if you can't seem to fix your inner thermostat, consider getting your thyroid checked. I will say what I eat C8 MCT and add that to my food, I get so hot and it lasts throughout the next day. That might be something to consider trying. When I listened to your audiobook, Gin, I only heard one thing. Do you know what it was? I guess, you would want to know, because you would--

Gin Stephens: No.

Melanie Avalon: The MTHFR.

Gin Stephens: Oh, did I say it wrong? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it was the wrong order of the letters. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's so funny. That was just a tongue twisted. I'm sure just my mouth saying it wrong.

Melanie Avalon: What's funny about it is, because I was thinking about it and I was thinking like, do you talk about MTHFR much? 

Gin Stephens: No. 

Melanie Avalon: That's what I was thinking. I was like, "So, people who don't have MTHFR or have never looked into it, they wouldn't think about the order of the letters." 

Gin Stephens: It's funny that the director didn't notice that I said it wrong. I'm sure I didn't have it wrong in the book.

Melanie Avalon: I doubt you did.

Gin Stephens: I just said it wrong. Yeah, it is. So, you know. You've read audiobooks before. It is so hard to read audiobook. 

Melanie Avalon: The reason I was thinking about it was, I was like, the only people who are going to notice it are people who have MTHFR. Because we say MTHFR is like a--

Gin Stephens: Was that in Clean(ish) or Fast. Feast, Repeat.? 

Melanie Avalon: Clean(ish)

Gin Stephens:  I was like, I don't think I mentioned it in. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I didn't hear anything in Fast. Feast, Repeat. Oh, it's so-- 

Gin Stephens: Oh, well. Well, I can't even find it. I don't even know where I was looking in the index here of Clean(ish). I don't even know where it is. [laughs] But yeah, I know I have it in there. I do know what it is, but who knows. I was also sick while I was recording that. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: I know. I can't believe you did that. 

Gin Stephens: It's amazing that any of it is coherent to tell you the truth. I had a fever.

Melanie Avalon: It's a lot. I can't believe you recorded the entire audiobook for both. That's a lot.

Gin Stephens: For both of them, oh, I know, I know. I feel I had to, because everybody knows my voice or well, okay, not everybody, but a lot of people who know my voice would be listening, give their podcast listeners, they are more likely to want the audiobook. So, I had to do it, but I was happy to do it. I was mainly happy when I was finished it. I'm so glad I did it. I am not complaining.

Melanie Avalon: I've shared the story before, but my publisher made me audition and then they wouldn't even let me do the whole thing, which looking back is just so surreal to me, because I feel I should have narrated it. 

Gin Stephens: You totally should have. 

Melanie Avalon: It doesn't make much sense. 

Gin Stephens: I made him put it in my contract, because I remembered that from you. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? Nice, nice. Yeah. 

Gin Stephens: Because I was like, "[unintelligible [00:45:14] going in the contract."

Melanie Avalon: I know it's a thing, though, because I just interviewed Bill Schindler recently and he said, they made him audition for him as well. 

Gin Stephens: Really? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, my gosh. I guess, it might also just depend on the publisher and who the team is. But it never even was a question, because I think like I said, they know that I have such a big podcast audience with this one and the other one that people would expect to hear me. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Who was your audiobook publisher? Was it also--?

Gin Stephens: Macmillan.

Melanie Avalon: Okay.

Gin Stephens: Macmillan Audio. They are amazing. Such a good team. So, fabulous to work with.

Melanie Avalon: I wonder if, because my audiobook publisher, it was not my publisher publisher. It was Tantor Audio.

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: Which is a really big audio publisher. I think maybe if my audiobook publisher had been my publisher, I feel it would have gone differently. But it's like they were not outsourcing it, but they handed it off to this really big publisher. So, then, they were just looking at me objectively and we're like, "You got to audition."

Gin Stephens: Yeah, because your main publishing house was not one of the big giant ones, is it?

Melanie Avalon: It was an imprint at one of the big ones, but it wasn't. But they didn't have like a--

Gin Stephens: They don't do it there. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: Okay, okay. Yeah, I guess, I'm just lucky that they have Macmillan Audio right in there. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. 

Gin Stephens: It's quite a process. The amount of time that it takes to record an audiobook is crazy. But I am surprised nobody noticed. I said it wrong. Because the team that was with me recording Clean(ish) was amazing. They'd be like, "You said that a little weird. Would you read that, again?"

Melanie Avalon: I'm guessing none of them have MTHFR issues. 

Gin Stephens: No. 

Melanie Avalon: Like I said, that's all I was thinking you're only going to notice it if you're a person that has gone down the MTHFR rabbit hole, because you use the word colloquially as like a phrase compared to just looking at letters, but fun times.

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Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Sherry. The subject is: "Fasting link.' Sherry says, "Hi, Gin and Melanie, I'm a faithful listener to this podcast and the ones you each do separately. You guys are so knowledgeable and helpful. I have been intermittent fasting for over a year with a four-hour eating window. I am experiencing so many benefits that this is definitely my life. I know everyone must find their own path, but I was wondering about information on how long someone should fast for to reduce arthritis, pain, skin health, and dental health. Gin, on your podcast, Intermittent Fasting Stories, your guest said, she had to fast for so many hours to not have pain. I was wondering if you guys were familiar with this, I adore you guys and you have both found your calling. Thanks in advance. Intermittent faster for life." 

Gin Stephens: Well, thank you, Sherry. I think Melanie and I would agree that we do believe we found our calling and we love it. We love the work that we're doing. I know we both do. I'm speaking for you, Melanie, but I knew that was the answer. 

Melanie Avalon: That is correct. 

Gin Stephens: Here's the thing about that question, Sherry. I have heard from so many people that they have had reduced arthritis pain, or their skin has gotten better, or their dental health has improved. But intermittent fasting doesn't always "fix" those things for everybody. It really just depends on why you have the pain, or what what's happening with your skin, or what's going on with your dental health. Intermittent fasting addresses inflammation, for example. Anything that's related to increased inflammation, if you do intermittent fasting, you can expect you'll likely see benefits there. But from what I understand not all arthritis is strictly just because of inflammation. I think there's other things like your joints can be damaged. It might not make any difference at all depending on the root cause of why you're having that pain. The same thing with skin. Someone in our community yesterday was talking about she's like, "I've been doing intermittent fasting and my acne is terrible. It's just not getting any better." I asked her, I said, "Did your acne get worse after fasting or has this always been a problem?" She said, "No, it's always been a problem." I said, "Well, then, unfortunately, it just seems like whatever is the cause of your acne is not something that intermittent fasting is correcting." So, that doesn't mean that someone else won't have an improvement with acne, thanks to intermittent fasting. It's really just a matter of what your root cause might be. 

Perhaps, you're having arthritis pain or issues with your skin due to something you're eating, that's not working well for your body. Intermittent fasting isn't going to correct that to the fullest. If you're eating something that doesn't agree with your body, the best thing to do would be to take that out. You'd have to do an elimination approach to try to figure out what that might be. Dental health, again, that's also really, really complex. I've definitely heard from people on the podcast, who have an improved dental checkup after doing fasting, because you're not eating all hours of the day anymore. But I still had to have crowns and dental work done. It's like when you're doing intermittent fasting, you know it's doing great things in your body, but it isn't going to necessarily correct every issue that you have had, unfortunately. So, we can't say here's how many hours to fast not have pain, because fasting might not have anything to do with your pain as far as the underlying cause it might not correct that underlying cause. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I thought that was a great answer. It's so, so individual. I will say, I'll just speak briefly to each of them. The skin health and Gin just touched on this. My experience with fasting is that, it really, really helps my skin. I will say though, if you are having skin issues, I would really, really look at what you're eating, because I think that often really can affect our skin. I know for me, historically, even, I went through a period where I was really struggling with psoriasis, and I just could not figure it out, and I ended up figuring it out, and it was something I was eating. It was lettuce. 

Gin Stephens: What? This is while you're doing fasting? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: Lettuce?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. The reason I figured it out was it was happening on my fingers, mostly. But it was also happening on my face. But I put [unintelligible [00:54:41] together that I was chopping lettuce every night, so it's where I was touching it, and then it was also manifesting my face. When I cut out lettuce, it all went away. 

Gin Stephens: I wonder if it's something that they had sprayed on it? 

Melanie Avalon: I've been wondering about that and I'm trying to remember, because this was a while ago and I'm trying to remember if I was just eating organic or if I was eating conventional as well. But I really feel for people, who struggle with psoriasis and conditions like that, well, also acne because I had acne growing up as well. I identify with you if you have skin issues, because you can feel just so helpless, because you just don't know how to make it go away. I remember when I had the psoriasis on my fingers, I was like, because this is when I was doing a lot of acting. I was always looking at casting calls and I would see casting calls [unintelligible [00:55:31] models, and I was like, "I can never apply for that, because I have psoriasis on my hands." I will say, looking at what you're eating can be huge. Especially, things like acne, I do wonder, if I could go back to growing up when I had really bad acne, because I ended up doing Accutane, which did fix my acne problem, but I do wonder going back if I had just done dietary changes that would have actually resolved the acne.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, well, I refused my boys wanted to take Accutane, because they had friends doing it. I'm like, "Nope, we're not doing that."

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. And boys, it's even worse, the side effects.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we didn't do it, but it all resolved. But I had zits here and there. What bad didn't have what you would consider acne, it wasn't-- Both my boys did. It comes from Chad's side of the family and it was hard for them. It's definitely a struggle.

Melanie Avalon: My experience, too. Have I shared this on the story before like they put me on birth control first? 

Gin Stephens: I think you might have. 

Melanie Avalon: I had to be on birth control in order to get on the Accutane, because it's part of the Accut--. I don't know if it goes this way now. I don't know if it's changed. 

Gin Stephens: It leads to birth defects. Big time. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. At the time, I'm really curious if they still do this. You have to do this whole thing. Accutane as the company has this whole-- You have to get a workbook. You have to take online quizzes, you had to be on birth control, you had to do all of this stuff. Yeah, I think I've shared this before, but basically, I had to go on birth control for certain amount of time, a long time, like a month or something. We went in to actually get Accutane, because I qualify now, because I've been on birth control for so long. The dermatologist was like, "Oh, well, I think the birth control is making enough of a difference. So, I'm not going to prescribe it." I just started bawling in the room and it's really frustrating to look back, because I shouldn't have been on birth control when I was 16. I don't know. All of that to say, oh, that's also when I realized when I went on birth control, I didn't change anything that I can see in my diet. But if you look at my pictures in high school, I probably gained-- Again, I was never overweight, but I definitely gained probably, a substantial amount in a very short amount of time and I really think that that was the birth control. 

Gin Stephens: But I also wondered since you did it for a month and then you started the Accutane, I wonder if the Accutane affected your gut somehow. 

Melanie Avalon: Mm, yeah, that's a good question. Yeah. 

Gin Stephens: Because you didn't do the birth control by itself very long.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Well, did I stay on it?

Gin Stephens: On the birth control or the Accutane? I feel they would make you take them both at the same time.

Melanie Avalon: Well, what ended up happening was, we gone to that one dermatologist and when she said, no, and I was crying, and we went home, we knew another dermatologist that was out of our network. The reason we gone to her was she was in network. We knew our friend's dermatologist would prescribe it without birth control. So, we went to her. She just trusted that you were not sexually active--

Gin Stephens: On our system. 

Melanie Avalon: All of that to say, what I have learned from my journey and my experience is that, the food that you're eating has a major effect on your skin health. Also, if you want to support skin health in general, red-light therapy can be super amazing. Oh, we should have talked about this earlier because I think Joovv is actually sponsoring today's episode. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's funny. 

Melanie Avalon: I know. I did not even realize that. So, listen to the spot for Joovv, because their red-light therapy devices are amazing. I think our link is joovv.com/ifpodcast and I think IF PODCAST gets you a code. That's something I would use daily for skin health. I do personally. And then, I just want to talk really briefly to the other things, which was the arthritis. Yes, I'm glad Gin talked about that, that there can be a lot of causes for that. I will do a plug for my serrapeptase, because there actually is clinical studies on it reducing arthritis pain. So, that might be something that you could use to amplify your fast and maybe help with that. And then, dental health, I'm so excited about this. I connected with a company called Bristle, recently. I will find out if I can-- I think I'm going to have a code for them, but they actually do an oral microbiome test which is so exciting. Have you done one of those, Gin or have you--?

Gin Stephens: I have not done an oral microbiome test. I actually have an oral hygiene company that sponsors Intermittent Fasting Stories and they are big in the oral microbiome as far as like, "You don't want to kill your oral microbiome." I was like, "I had no idea." "All the mouthwashes that you use and swish around, you're killing the good guys, too." I was like, "Mind blown, I never thought of that." [laughs] So, I switched to my toothpaste. Lumineux is the brand name.

Melanie Avalon: I've been thinking about that for a really, really long time and it's really interesting, because it's how the gut microbiome was a new frontier, and it's only relatively pretty recent that exploration of the gut microbiome has become so exploded.

Gin Stephens: Once they could sequence what was in there and figure it out, they used to didn't know.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. But I think the next wave will be the oral microbiome. There're actually new theories that a lot of gut issues and such might actually, the root cause might not always be completely in the gut. It could be your oral microbiome. 

Gin Stephens: Well, the whole thing is really from mouth to hiney, [laughs] is just a tube that just goes through straight through you. So, and everything along the way from mouth to backside.

Melanie Avalon: I'm actually just got an email today saying that my results were received. It was super easy to do. You just spit saliva into this little tube thing and send it back. 

Gin Stephens: That does sound interesting. 

Melanie Avalon: If you want to try it, I can connect you with them. I'm sure they would send you one.

Gin Stephens: I actually heard someone talk about your digestive system is actually being on the outside of your body. Have you heard that? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. You're like, "Wait a minute." [laughs] Because you're putting stuff. It's all and obviously, stuff goes in and out through, but stuff goes in and out through your skin as well. Just the same way.

Melanie Avalon: If you think about it--

Gin Stephens: You're like a hose pipe, a tube.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, like, if you have a box and then you put a tube from one side of the box to the other side of the box, into the box, a hollow tube.

Gin Stephens: The interior of it is not in the box. It goes through the box. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Our digestive system goes through us and stuff goes in and out of it into our bodies. Just like I said, stuff goes in and out of our skin. I know that was mind blowing. I'm like, "What?"

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I've been pondering that concept. I have not received my discount code from them yet, but I'll put it in the show notes, and I will try to make it MELANIEAVALON. If you go to bristlehealth.com, so, that's B-R-I-S-T-L-E-H-E-A-L-T-H dotcom, that's where you can get that system. Again, I don't have the code yet, but I'm going to email them right after this and I will try to make the code MELANIEAVALON. But you can check the show notes to confirm that and the show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode261. Okay, so, that was wonderful. A few other 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. I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens, and yes, you can get all these stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. 

Gin Stephens: Awesome. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, I think that is all the things. Anything from you, Gin before we go?

Gin Stephens: No, I think that's it.

Melanie Avalon: Okey-dokey. Well, this was wonderful and I will talk to you next week. 

Gin Stephens: All right, 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 10

Episode 260: Dairy, BCAAs, Dry Mouth, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Kids Appetites, Natural Flavors, SIBO, Probiotics, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 260 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!!

3:25 - 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! 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!

20:30 - BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

24:25 - Listener Q&A: Celia - consistency of fasting schedule

30:15 - Listener Q&A: Stephanie - Dry Mouth

The SCD Specific Carbohydrate Diet Podcast

37:45 - Listener Q&A: Renee - Juice plus capsules

39:00 - Listener Q&A: sally - Children and fasting

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #119 - Robb Wolf

Episode 237: Our Taste For Sodium, Electrolytes, Low Carb Diets, Hydration & pH Balance, Fatigue & Muscle Cramps, Thermoregulation, Exercise, Sauna, Need Vs. Optimization, And More!

49:35 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

52:15 - Listener Q&A: amy - Gut!

Healthy Gut, Healthy You: The Personalized Plan to Transform Your Health from the Inside Out

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #19 - Dr. Michael Ruscio

Gut-microbiota-targeted diets modulate human immune status

ATRANTIL: Use The Link Lovemytummy.com/ifp With The Code IFP, To Get 10% Off!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #9 - Dr. Ken Brown

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 260 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 make 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 wejump 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 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 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 260 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I am doing great. I just had a great trip last week to Little Rock, Arkansas. So, shoutout to everyone, who got to meet all. I was there. It was an intermittent fasting trip and I loved it.

Melanie Avalon: So, what was it for exactly?

Gin Stephens: Lisa Fischer is just somebody who is amazing. She was on the radio for years in Little Rock, Arkansas. She was a radio talk show host. She discovered intermittent fasting. Actually, funny story. Her son started listening to our podcast years ago, I swear likw 2017 and was like, "Hey, mom. You should try this. I listen to this. These two ladies, you should try this intermittent fasting." And she started doing it, and loved it, started talking about it on the radio. Basically, Little Rock has a great intermittent fasting community, thanks to her. She wanted to have me come out in 2020 when Fast. Feast. Repeat. came out. But obviously, [laughs] there was no traveling. Things are opened back up and she's like, "Let's finally do it." We did. We had a Topo Chico and coffee party in the morning with a bunch of people there, and we recorded a podcast love. She's also a podcaster. Then, we had an event at a restaurant in town that was just amazing, and people came, and I got to meet so many amazing people, and then, we had an event at somebody's home, beautiful home. I stayed with somebody, who is just fantastic.  One of those beautiful houses I've ever been in in my life. They are like, "Hey, you want to come stay with someone you've never met? I'm like, "Count me in." But it was great. There was an event for the medical community to come to. There were doctors there, and all sorts of different practitioners, and we taught intermittent fasting. It was a very long day, but I loved it. As I said, I met so many fabulous people, and intermittent fasting is changing lives, I know we hear it from the questions that we get. But it's amazing to see real people, and connect with them, and that's my favorite thing. It's been a while since I've been able to do that. We had the cruises in 2018 and 2019, and I love nothing more than meeting intermittent fasters, and hearing how intermittent fasting has changed their life. 

Melanie Avalon: How many people were there?

Gin Stephens: 25 to 50 at each event. They were small. We talked about how to open it up and what to do. I wanted to keep it small. I would have the ability to connect with everybody versus having it be huge and me giving a talk. That's not what I wanted to do. Instead, I got to meet everyone, and talk to them, and we had a meet and greet kind of a vibe. 

Melanie Avalon: Did you drive? 

Gin Stephens: No, I took a plane. Little Rock's a long way.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really bad with evaluating distances in the South. Even though, I used to live, I lived in Memphis, which is not that far I don't think from Little Rock.

Gin Stephens: Memphis is all the way on the edge of Tennessee. Even though, Atlanta is close to Tennessee, Tennessee is long. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. Because it's two hours from Little Rock. 

Gin Stephens: Right. It would be a very long drive I think to drive to Little Rock. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, definitely from--

Gin Stephens: From Augusta. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I was just trying to remember when I was in Memphis.

Gin Stephens: It's right above Louisiana, Arkansas is. It's pretty far over there. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, that's fun. 

Gin Stephens: It was so much fun and Little Rock is an amazing town.

Melanie Avalon: I've heard that. I haven't been, but I've heard it's really--

Gin Stephens: I had never been there. Now, I'm really spoiled, because this was such a great event that [laughs] people are like, "Would you come to my town?" I'm like, "Well, I don't know if anybody can compete with Lisa Fischer and her friend, Becky," because it was just flawless. Everything was just amazing. 

Melanie Avalon: When did you get back? 

Gin Stephens: I got back on Wednesday. I do not love traveling, though. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? 

Gin Stephens: No. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I thought you're fine with it.

Gin Stephens: I don't love being on a plane, or traveling, or being in the airport. I am fine with it, but I don't love it. 

Melanie Avalon: You know what's really funny. I used to love it. Can you believe that?

Gin Stephens: Well, I think I used to love it, too. Back when I was a kid, I used to fly. My dad was here in Augusta and my mother was in Virginia. It was very frequently. When I was 12 and over, I'd be a 12-year-old, they threw me on the plane, maybe even younger than that and I would fly from Augusta and usually would have a layover in Charlotte or something for several hours, and I would entertain myself. I was fine. They would put the little wings on you if you were a kid. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Would a flight attendant go with you?

Gin Stephens: I don't think that happened very frequently. I think there were only a few times that I was that young that the flight attendant would look out for me. Other than that, I was pretty fun. But yeah, I flew a lot by myself. That was back in the day when you could smoke on a plane. I wasn't smoking. I was a kid. But there were the no smoking sign, the no smoking section.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. Things have changed. 

Gin Stephens: They really have. But it was such a good event and I loved it. I don't know. Arkansians, I don't know how to say it. I think that's wrong. Anyone from Arkansas [laughs] is listening, I loved being there. So, anyone that I met, thank you for such a fabulous event. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. 

Gin Stephens: Anything new with you?

Melanie Avalon: I have two really quick fasting things and then, one other thing. I hosted my first IG Live.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I caught a glimpse of that. I didn't watch the whole thing, but somebody was like, "Oh, Melanie's on Instagram Live." I popped in, and saw you and Cynthia talking, and I was like, "Oh, there they are." It was so great to see all together.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it was really fun. I didn't even realize until she commented in the Facebook group yesterday that we went an hour and a half, which is a really long time.

Gin Stephens: Because you're just talking, right? Just time flies when you're talking to a friend.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. So, that was really fun. I just felt so awkward at the beginning, because she hadn't joined for a few minutes and I was just there. I was like, "I don't know what to do." So, idealize her.

Gin Stephens: But could you see her the whole time you were talking? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Once she's there.

Gin Stephens: That's good. What I really don't like is doing some Instagram Live or it's just me looking at the camera. I'm was like, I'm talking at nothing. I don't like that at all. I feel awkward definitely. So, that's how it was. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, right in the beginning, that's how it was and I was like, "This is so awkward. What do I do?" I was like, "Somebody, please ask me a question." But then, people started asking questions. So, then, I was good.

Gin Stephens: That's good. And I'm a bad multitasker. I'm not good at reading questions that people are asking and answering them. I'm not good at that. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. No, to that point, because it's similar to an interview. But normally, in my interviews, it's just audio. I have my notes. I'm just focusing on the conversation. But with the IG Live, well, it's on video, which I don't like, because I'm super aware of all of that. And then, I had my preps questions, but then, the live questions are coming in. It adds another layer to interviewing.

Gin Stephens: It does. It's really hard to see it, because people are also typing random stuff. You don't know what to pay attention to. It's really hard to multitask, and ask good questions, and listen. I don't like it. I don't want it. People are like, "Would you like to do some Instagram Lives when Clean(ish) is coming out?" I'm like, "No, I do not."

Melanie Avalon: If you're being interviewed, it's fine. Because you're just on the receiving end. I was like, "This is a skill. This is a whole another layer of interviewing."

Gin Stephens: Oh, it has a total skill. Yep. At the point in my life where I'm okay with saying, "That's not my skill. [laughs] I'm not even going to try it, because I already know." I've done enough of those kinds of things to know. There's a lot of things I'm good at. I'll just stick to those. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so, there was that second intermittent fasting thing. I've started reading Thomas DeLauer's intermittent fasting book, because he's going to come on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. I've only read the first third, which is just about the health benefits. But I just got to the section about how to do intermittent fasting. It's just always really interesting. Again, I just started it. So, I don't know his whole approach, but it's just always interesting to see people's ideas. 

Gin Stephens: That's true. I, of course, hear all of them from people who are like, "I was reading blah, blah, blah and it said this, or I watched this video and it said that." Because we get a lot of beginners. I don't know if y'all have a lot of beginners in your Facebook groups. 

Melanie Avalon: Some.

Gin Stephens: That was the whole thing about Facebook for me is, it was a lot of beginners all the time popping in. Yeah, but I saw this video, and it said to do this, and then, we were like, "Yeah, but that's not what we do." They're like, "Well, I'm going to do whatever I want to do." I'm like, "Well, yes. But just we're not going to do that here, that sort of thing." That made it really difficult, because there are a lot of conflicting opinions. Today, someone in my community was talking to a friend of hers, and she was conveying to us the frustrating conversations she had, where they were talking about coffee and her friend somehow had the idea that creamer broke a fast, but cream did not. I'm like, "Okay, that's interesting." [laughs] Yes, the baby cow. If he's fasting when he's drinking his mama's milk, the answer is no. [laughs] She probably saw a video that someone's like, "Creamer breaks fast, but cream is fine. Go figure."

Melanie Avalon: What do you think is the most fasting breaker thing that people sometimes wonder if they can have?

Gin Stephens: Well, honestly, I do think it's probably dairy. Because dairy is, it is nature's perfect food for growing a baby and it is definitely not fasting. Anything dairy, I feel that's the food that mammals eat during the period of time where they're growing the most. That's how nature designed it, right? We need rapid growth. Have some dairy. I don't know. It just doesn't seem fasting at all to me. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's a really good one. The one I was thinking was one people post about my group a lot, which is BCAAs, branched-chain amino acids. Amino acids are going to very quickly stop autophagy.

Gin Stephens: Well, it's all a matter of-- I got broke down on Fast. Feast. Repeat., what are your goals, why are you fasting, why did you choose fasting instead of a low-calorie diet? That's what you have to keep in mind. I'm not against if somebody would rather just say, "You know what, I'm not going to fast. I'm going to do a low-calorie diet. I like that better." Then, do your low-calorie diet. There're more ways to lose weight than fasting. But if you want to do fasting, why are you doing fasting? You're doing fasting for autophagy, you're doing it for the metabolic benefits, you're doing it, so you can tap into stored fat. Why do you want to do anything that's going to keep you from doing those things? Just take the clean fast challenge, and try it, and see.

Melanie Avalon: I think when this comes out, it will have either just ended yesterday or I might actually push it to end today, because of when this airs. We should have, again, this is in the future, I think we will have launched a subscription service for my serrapeptase supplement and it's amazing for a few reasons. What was going to end today was the brief enrollment period, where you could get it at an incredible discount, which is 25% off. And basically, the way it works is you get three bottles and subject to change, but I think it's three bottles every four months. And so, that saves on shipping, it's more sustainable, and then, you get that massive 25% discount, if you signed up in the enrollment window. You would have known about the enrollment window or you do know about it if you're on my email list for my supplements, which is melanieavalon.com/avalonx. But for those of you who have been loving the serrapeptase, which I've been getting so many incredible testimonials about and so many people asking-- It's funny, just recently, probably three or four times within a week, people asked me like, whether upcoming sales or was there a way to save money on ordering. If that's you, this is the solution. Then, the great thing about it is, if you need more than that, of course, you can just order bottles a la carte, but it's a nice way to just have your stock ready, saving money, all the things. So, that's really exciting. 

Again, I think it was supposed to end on the 10th, but I think right after this, I'll talk to my partner and see if we can extend it to the 11th, which should be today. The other announcement is that, my magnesium is moving forward. There will be more information about that soon. But it's going to be a full spectrum. Well, not full, because I realized there's a lot of magnesium. It's more than I thought, but it's going to be eight types of magnesium, including three and eight, which can cross the blood brain barrier, and free of toxic fillers, and a glass bottle free of allergens tested for heavy metals and mold, and it will have activated forms of B6 and manganese to help with absorption. If you guys are looking for an amazing magnesium supplement, that is coming soon. It's going to be called Magnesium Spectrum 8.

Gin Stephens: Awesome. You're right about being so many forms that we just don't even realize. When I was writing Clean(ish), Chad and I had, I don’t know, a fight about mercury. I was talking to him about-- Remember that? We were talking about mercury and he's like, "You need to specify the blah, blah, blah." I'm like, "Nobody knows, nobody cares." They just say mercury. Everything you read, it just says mercury, He's like, "I know. I care or whatever." [laughs] I was like, it wouldn't make sense for me to dig in so much more just on that one topic. I've got a 400 and something page book already. I can't go down every rabbit hole. But he strongly disagreed with my decision not to go farther and specify the type of mercury. That just resonated with me. Trust me, trust me, you just say mercury and fish, and that's all you need to say. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think the people who have gone really down the rabbit holes like me with mercury toxicity, there's three, I think main forms. That's so funny. There's a lot. There's a lot of stuff.

Gin Stephens: You just need to know. Be careful with fish. It's a kind of mercury. Pick the kind of fish that doesn't have any of the kinds.

Melanie Avalon: There's one that's environmental. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, don't ask me. I don't eat fish. [laughs] For all of you that eat fish, you're going to have to look into this a little more than I do, because I literally don't eat fish. I've told you that.

Melanie Avalon: Because I think there's like a mercury in the environment and then, when the fish eat it, it becomes a different form. The implications for the human is, I don't know if we metabolize them differently. They have different potential effects.

Gin Stephens: Anyway, there're a lot of types of stuff. That's the moral of the story.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. So, I will give the link though for to get the serrapeptase, the subscription, and the magnesium when it comes out is avalonx.us. 

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. 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 found 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 broths that I really love always have salt added. This doesn't. Her bone broth are made from grass-fed ranch raised beef and vegetarian-fed free-range chicken bones from Certified Humane USDA Organic Farms and 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. All 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 simmered 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. 

If you've been looking to finally jump on the bone broth train, do it now and do it with Beauty & the Broth. And 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. And 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.

Melanie Avalon: All righty, shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we have a question from Celia and the subject-- Oh, she goes by Cel and the subject is: "Consistency of fasting schedule." And Cel says, "Hi, Melanie and Gin, I am a longtime listener and IF-er. Although, I just realized I might have cut it off and it's possible that it was Sicilia or Celia, regardless.

Gin Stephens: Or, maybe you did pronounce it Cel, C-E-L. I don't know. I'll just say Celia.

Melanie Avalon: So, Celia, she says, "I am a longtime listener and IF-er. I love and truly believe in the benefits of the IF lifestyle. Recently, my schedule changed and I find that my fasting times are not as consistent as they used to be. I used to do 16:8 every day. Now, I'm able to range from 15 to 20 hours of fasting with every day being different. But most days are at least 16 plus hours and that would be a fasting." She says, "Will this be beneficial to my weight loss or is it better to stick to one schedule? Thanks in advance and thanks for wonderful podcast."

Gin Stephens: Well, that is a great question, Celia. It's really hard for us to say what plan will give you the weight loss that you need. For example, you said you used to do 16:8 every day. That was not a weight loss approach for me. If I were to ask somebody, will 16:8 work for me for weight loss and they were somebody that it did work for, they would say yes. But then, when I did it, the answer was no or vice versa. If you asked me, will 16:8 work for weight loss. If I only based it on my experiences, I would say no, whereas there are people who lose weight on 16:8. So, I just want to toss that out there. I was just not one of them being a volume eater and 16 hours was not enough. Average time for fasting, plus an eight-hour window was just too much eating for me. 

Now, that being said, it sounds you're having to move your window around to different times of the day, meaning that your fast is sometimes shorter and sometimes longer. I would like to encourage you to do what worked for me when I was in weight loss mode. I didn't track my fasting hours. I tracked my eating window. We know every day has 24 hours in it. We know that. As long as I stuck to an eating window of five hours or less, no matter how I shifted it around five hours or less for my eating window, my fast averaged 19 hours or more. Because if one day, my window was shifted this direction and I had only fasted for 15 hours, but I kept it to five hours or less, then the next day, if I shifted it to later in the day, I would have had a longer fast, if that makes sense. Just think about it. It's your window is this little sliding thing that slides earlier, it slides later. But the boundary on the window will mean your average fast will be whatever the difference is. If your average window was six hours, your average fast would be 18. 

Average, of course, you might have a 16 one day and a 20 the next that averages to 18. See if that helps you. I'm a big believer in switching things up being beneficial to our body. I don't think it would hurt you to switch your window around if you need to as long as you have those boundaries somewhere. For some people, the boundary is the fast must always be X amount of time and that's the boundary that works for you. For me, it was the boundary on the eating window that made a huge difference.

Melanie Avalon: That's actually a really good visual. If you visualized the sliding bar thing, if you visualized a lot of bars and there's just a sliding bar on each day.

Gin Stephens: That's my elementary teacher coming out. I'm really good at explaining things, so that kids go, "Oh, yeah." [laughs] One time I taught time. I don't know, elapsed time. My principal was in there. She's like, "That's the best explanation of elapsed time I've ever seen." I'm like, "Well, good."

Melanie Avalon: Nice. I agree. 

Gin Stephens: Awesome. By the way, elapsed time is hard to teach to children. Just FYI. 

Melanie Avalon: Wait. So, what is elapsed time?

Gin Stephens: It's the amount of time that passed from one thing to another and it was really, really tricky. Because of the way we do our time with noon and then, it goes to one again. If you ask a third grader, you get to school at 8:30 in the morning, you leave at 3:30 in the afternoon, how long were you there? 

Melanie Avalon: That's elapsed time? 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's tricky. Elapsed time is time between one event and the next. And that's harder than you think.

Melanie Avalon: Why is it hard?

Gin Stephens: You can't just do a simple math. You have to think, well, from 8:30 until noon, and then, from noon to 3:30. You have to think about the amount of time in between.

Melanie Avalon: Like nine, 10, 11, 12, one, two, three counting that number?

Gin Stephens: Right. And that was an easy example. It gets harder if we're talking about something how much time is between 9:45 and 1:15. 

Melanie Avalon: All right, and then, you're adding like-- Yeah. Or, 9:42 to 1:04. So, you're adding the four and the--

Gin Stephens: Correct. You can't just do a simple math equation of subtraction, because we've got an hour there. Because we don't do our time in 24 hour, we don't say it's 13 o' clock. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Two people in their head do that differently, you think?

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. There's lots of ways to do it. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's so interesting, because I just do it the way I do it. It never occurred to me.

Gin Stephens: That other people would do it differently. Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: If it's 9:42 to 1:12, I add the amount from 9:42 to 10 and they add the amount from 1:00 to 1:12, and then, I add the hours in between.

Gin Stephens: That makes sense. Yep. 

Melanie Avalon: I like math. 

Gin Stephens: I like math, too, and I like teaching kids' ways of thinking about it as they understand what's happening. That was one of my gifts and strengths. So, anyway.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I think you answered that really well. 

Gin Stephens: All right. Well, ready to go on to the next question? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: This is from Stephanie and the subject is: "Dry mouth." She says, "Hello, I've just discovered your books and I'm super interested to IF. I have one concern about clean fasting. I have severe dry mouth issues due to medications. I use Biotene mouthwash at night, plus, I frequently squirt Biotene moisturizing spray into my mouth during the day. I also put a XyliMelts on my gums every night before going to sleep, so that the dry mouth symptoms won't wake me up. During the past week, I have experimented with using these products less frequently to see how I do. My thought was to eventually eliminate them altogether, so that I can try clean fasting. I have concluded that the dry mouth symptoms are too miserable to leave untreated, as well as bad for dental health. I don't think these symptoms would lessen over time if I quit using dry mouth products is they are known side effects of my medications. These are essential meds, all the other meds of this type cause dry mouth as well, and my taking them is non-negotiable. Can you suggest any alternative dry mouth products that do not have any artificial sweeteners or anything I could make myself? I've been searching online and cannot come up with anything. Thank you so much. I very much want to try IF and especially, the clean fasting. Sincerely, Stephanie."

Melanie Avalon: All right, Stephanie. Thank you so much for your question. When we first got this question, I was doing a lot of research on it really hoping to find the magical answer and was not finding much. And then, actually, interestingly, I met a woman, her name is Lee Bernstein and she hosts a podcast, The SCD, Specific Carbohydrate Diet Podcast.

Gin Stephens: I know Lee.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you do? 

Gin Stephens: I actually helped her get started on her podcast. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. She's an intermittent faster from my community and I'd been on her podcast. But she was like, "How do I start a podcast?" So, we talked on the phone and I helped her.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, nice. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I love her. 

Melanie Avalon: Do you know her Barney story?

Gin Stephens: I don't know a Barney story. Uh-huh.

Melanie Avalon: She wrote the Barney song like the I love you, you love me.

Gin Stephens: I did not know that. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, she said that she wrote it for some teacher-- I don't know if it was a book, a teacher book. I'd have to ask her again. She wrote it for something, some project and then, somehow it ended up in Barney. One day, I think it was one of her kids, they said, "Mom, they're playing your song on the show." She was like, "That's my song." So, it's a little fun claim to fame. I actually, really recommend her podcast for anybody who is interested in the specific carbohydrate diet. I historically was very interested in it, especially, when I was trying to find the diet that best worked for my GI issues. Actually, it was one of the initial inspirations for my Food Sense Guide app that I have now, because I originally wanted to make a guide that compared a lot of the diets. The SCD diet, the FODMAP diet, Dr. Pimentel Cedars-Sinai diet, and then, there was this low-fermentation diet. But then, I realized with legalities, I couldn't really go that route. So, that's how it manifested instead to what it is today, which is food sensitivity compounds. Regardless, if you're interested in the SCD diet, definitely check out that podcast. 

The SCD diet is basically a diet, the mentality surrounding it is that for carbs, you eat specific carbs, so you eat monosaccharides, because the idea is that those are much more easily absorbed. You don't get potentially the GI issues that might come if you struggle to break down more complex or disaccharide carbs. In any case, I was doing a call with her, and she said she really struggles with dry mouth, and I was asking her, because I was like, "We have a listener, who has a question about this. So, what do you recommend?" I felt a little bit better, because I hadn't found an answer and she didn't have that much of an answer. She said that-- This is external, but she actually was talking about Beautycounter, their lip glosses that she uses externally, and she says, it's the first thing she's found ever that helps her symptoms externally, which was pretty amazing that she doesn't react to. She said, internally that putting coconut oil-- This will not be during your fast, but she was saying at night soothing with tea with coconut oil in it is really, really soothing and can have a lasting effect. But she didn't have any suggestions for during the fast and everything I found wouldn't really work. 

For what you're doing at night, so, putting the XyliMelts on your gums each night before going to sleep, I don't want to make an assumption. But since most people are eating a little bit later rather than doing a breakfast only window, I would honestly just keep going with what you're doing at night and then, for during the day, I know you say that you really need it and that it probably won't get better without it. But I mean, so unhelpful, because my suggestion is to try it without it and see if you can do a lot in your eating window that will have a lasting effect. But I'm sure that since you've struggled with this that you've tried a lot of things. If you want to get to more clean fasting, I would do as much as you can in your eating window with addressing the symptoms, and then, still do the thing at night, and then, try to not do it during the day. I feel that was not too helpful. Gin, do you have thoughts?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and this is just one of those situations, where sometimes we don't have an ideal situation. If you have to take these essential medications, and it gives you dry mouth, and the dry mouth is miserable, and then, the only alternative is something that breaks a fast, then, you have to do what you have to do. I am 100% on team clean fast, except when you have a medical situation like yours, and it's miserable to not use it, and you're just going to have to recognize a few things. Number one, it might make it really harder for you to fast. Just keep that in mind. You may have to figure out "Okay, maybe I can't have a 16-hour clean fast, but maybe you can fast clean for 12 hours, and then, just do the very best you can to stretch out as many clean fasting hours as you can. This is not a reason for someone else who's listening to say, "Ooh, I'm going to put artificial sweetener in my coffee, because Gin said it. No. [laughs] This is just one of those very special circumstances, where you have to choose the lesser of the evils. It's not an ideal situation no matter what. I'm sorry that you're suffering from that, but you've got to be able to live a good quality of life with your dry mouth. I don't have a better suggestion for how to combat dry mouth, because I don't know of any and I don't suffer from it. I can't say, "Oh, I just try to--" No, I know it's miserable and you can't deal with it. It's not good for your mouth. So, sometimes, when we have a choice between this or that, you choose the lesser of the two evils and pick the one that you can live with.

Melanie Avalon: I think that's very insightful. It's interesting. When I got the question, I was like, "Oh, I'm sure I'll find something," but I didn't. I think she probably would have found it as well.

Gin Stephens: I think so, too, because she knows all about it.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. We feel free, Stephanie. Let us know, though if you do find something that works. We have a question from Renee. The subject is: "Juice Plus capsules and Renee says, "Hi, I've just read your book, Fast. Feast. Repeat. I have started 28 days of clean IF. My question is, can I take Juice Plus capsules in the morning without breaking my fast? I've included the labels below. I appreciate your help. So, looking at the label."

Gin Stephens: I do not even need to look at the label to answer this question. [laughs] We've gotten this question before. So, I'm familiar with this product. 

Melanie Avalon: You've gotten it before in the groups?

Gin Stephens: Oh, millions of times. Oh, yeah, oh, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. What is it? It's like fruits and vegetables? 

Gin Stephens: Well, here's the thing. We want to avoid anything food like during the fast and Juice Plus markets, they are products as being amazingly food like. They themselves tell you how food like they are. So, keep that in your eating window with the rest of your food.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, definitely, definitely, definitely.

Gin Stephens: Any supplement that is very, very food like is not going to be a great thing to have during the fast. Just put that in your eating window and you can get all the benefits from that product that you want just in your eating window. That's where all the nutrients come into our day in our eating window.

Melanie Avalon: Perfect. All right now we have a question from Sally. Subject is: "Children and fasting." And Sally says, "Hello, Mel and Gin. I have always been a breakfast girl, but I have gradually decreased what I eat at breakfast and I have started the 16:8 fast the last two days and I'm loving it. I pretty much forced my kids to have breakfast every day and now, I'm thinking that maybe that's not the best idea. Our kids naturally conditioned to do the fast and then, we push our three-meal-a-day beliefs on them. Should I be making them have breakfast? Sorry, if you've already answered this. I am only on Episode 7 of your podcast, which I am loving. Sally." We have answered this before, but it's been a while. So, I thought we would bring it back. And she has another question. She also says, "Does toothpaste break your fast?" Oh, she's from Australia.

Gin Stephens: All right, well, Sally, brushing your teeth is something that's very brief. Just brush and go about your day. It's very different from if you're having a diet soda that you're having for a long period of time. Because you rarely would have one sip of diet soda and that's it for the whole day. People drink it over a period of time. In fact, I remember back when I was having all those diety drinks, I was sipping on one nonstop, morning till evening. I was always having something that broke a fast. Anyway, toothpaste is brief. Your brush, you go on, brush couple times a day, that's it. So, please, brush your teeth. Now, as far as the kids go, we really just do everything we can. It seems like to get them to not listen to their natural hunger and satiety signals, when you think about the way we raise them in today's society. We say, "Oh, go ahead and eat this." We have the regular meal times. We say, "Clean your plate, go ahead and eat more." If they tell you, you are full, "We are like eat three more bites for mama." I mean, I remember saying that. It didn't seem enough to me, but he was full, but I was trying to get him to eat more. 

It's no wonder that by the time we grow up, we have lost complete touch with our hunger and satiety signals we've been trained to eat, I guess, Pavlov's dogs, right? We eat on cue, we eat when it's time to eat, eat because we're told to eat. I really do think that we offer food to kids at different times and then, see if they're like, "No, thank you," then, we don't force them to eat. I think that even comes to breakfast. Offer them breakfast, if they eat it or not. If you're having to force them to eat something, I think that's never a winning strategy. Now, on the flipside, I would never say, "All right, kids are fasting," because that's a whole different thing. You might think what's the difference, if they're not eating breakfast, they're "fasting." Well, we call it break fast, because everybody breaks their fast. But don't tell children, they're doing an intermittent fasting approach or make a big deal out of it. Because maybe on Tuesday, they're not hungry for breakfast, but they wake up hungry on Wednesday and they want it. That's what you want to teach your kids. "Are you hungry right now?" If the answer is yes, then, let's go ahead and have something to eat. If you're not hungry right now, then let me know when you are hungry kind of a thing. I know you're like, "Well, this is when we're eating." That's sticky. But I know that so many of us have just grown-up eating, because it was time to eat, and that was the only reason, and that hasn't really served us very well.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. This is not the same thing. This is about the eating portion of it. But I did think that was something a really, really valuable section of your book, Clean(ish) was your whole section about working with your kids. When you're making changes in your dietary choices and I liked what you're saying about how we like to just not blame the kids, but just say, oh, they're picky eaters, when really it's probably a manifestation of-- They don't have to be picky eaters.

Gin Stephens: They don't. Children are not naturally picky eaters in the world. And then, parents will sometimes say, "Yeah, but my child has sensory disorders." I'm like, "Well, that's a different thing." If your child has a diagnosed disorder that causes sensory problems and they can't eat things that are crunchy, for example, that's a whole different can of worms or if your child is autistic, whatever issues. I also think that those issues are not our natural state of being. We have to think, why are so many children having these issues now? That's not normal or natural. Again, it goes to our chemical world, changing our kids and their gut microbiomes for example. So, it's really a giant can of worms [laughs] and in some parts of the world, they eat those worms, but our kids are like, "No." [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Speaking of worms, Monday is when I interview Bill Schindler that Eat Like a Human, the one where he talks about like insect protein and all of these crazy things. I'm super excited. Do you remember, because Gin, you mentioned this stat in your book and I've read it a lot of other places, too. How many times you have to introduce a food to a kid before they might--?

Gin Stephens: I can't remember the number off the top of my head. It's an average number. It is a lot of times.

Melanie Avalon: It's like a dozen or something. It's around there. 

Gin Stephens: The first time I gave Cal carrots and he didn't like carrots. I'm like, "Cal didn’t like carrots." I didn't know any better. You just keep offering it. Eventually, they'll like the carrots.

Melanie Avalon: So, I just looked it up briefly. This one research site says, at least 12 times maybe up to 30 times.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and my kids were above average. So, they probably would have needed 30. [laughs] Joking, but you know.

Melanie Avalon: I do want to comment on the toothpaste really quickly, because I know we've talked about a lot of different toothpastes that we've used over the years. The one I use right now, I actually really, really like and it has no sweetness to it at all. It is Weleda Salt toothpaste. I get it at Whole Foods. I'm looking at the EWG rating for it right now, the Environmental Working Group, and this is the 2016 formulations. I'd have to double check and make sure it's the same formulation. Oh, and to clarify, the Environmental Working Group also something that Gin talks about in her book, Clean(ish), which we will put a link to in the show notes. It's an organization, where they rate the potential toxicity a lot of chemicals, and ingredients, and things pervasive in our food, in our cosmetics, in our environment, and they give ratings, and you can see what products are rated, and you can also see the breakdown of why it's rated, because normally, the number-- or the number is an average of all of the ingredients. 

Gin Stephens: Can I pop in real quick comment about that? If you're using the app, it gives you less information than if you're on their website. Just FYI. If people are ever looking at the app and they're confused by the number, go to their website, because they're more in depth on their website. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, that's really good to know. They also have their specific, what is it skin deep database specific to cosmetics? Looking at the salt toothpaste, for example, so, it has a three, which is fair, but the reason it has a three, all of the ingredients are actually ones and two, except there are two ingredients that are fours, which is not as good. But those ingredients, one of them is peppermint oil, and the reason it's a four is because people can have allergies to it. I know I'm good with peppermint oil. So, I'm not concerned about that. And then, the other four is unspecified flavor, which as we know that can be really anything, but on the label, it says that it's from natural essential oils. I personally feel completely fine with this formulation. The reason I'm mentioning it is because it has no sweet taste. It's very salty and a little bit of pepperminty. It's actually very strong on the peppermint front. It's a really good one. If you do want to toothpaste that doesn't have any sweetness to it, which are really hard to find. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, they are. I just like, "No big deal. I don't even try."

Melanie Avalon: Honestly, this may be one of the only ones-- The amount of hours probably that I've spent in the Whole Foods toothpaste section like looking at every single one, it's really hard to find ones without sweetness.

Gin Stephens: it really is. That was a really good tip you just gave about. Really digging into the rating and figuring out why it gets the number, it gets instead of just using it as like, "Oh, that's whatever. I can't use that." That's the whole point of being educated and say, "Well, why is this rated the way it's rated?" And knowing what is your personal definition of clean(ish), what you would or would not tolerate in your product is different than what I would or would not tolerate in my product.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, to that point, I recently had a listener reach out about LMNT, the electrolyte supplement that we talked about a lot on the show. They have a raw unflavored version, but then they have a lot of flavors. The way it's listed on the packet is natural flavors. This person was very concerned, because they had watched this YouTube video about natural flavors and how toxic they are or how they are something that you should avoid at all costs, which in general, I definitely agree with.

Gin Stephens: Because they can hide anything under those names. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. She sent me the video and I was like, "Yes, this is quite often a problem. Natural flavors can really be anything." I was like, "That's why it's really important to trust and find out what is in the flavors." I was telling her how-- When we interviewed Robb, I don't know if I asked him about the natural flavors on this show or on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Because I had an electrolyte episode with him on both shows. But in one of the episodes, I'll just put a link in the show notes to both. I asked him about the natural flavors and he was able to tell me literally what it comes from. I really trust Robb. What was funny was, I told her all this, but she couldn't really see that perspective, because watching this YouTube video that made it sound all bad all the time.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. Natural flavor could be just fine or it could be something really terrible. They didn't have to tell you, because they just call it natural flavors. That's the thing. That's where you're like--

Melanie Avalon: We need nuance. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, you just don't know what it is. If I don't know what it is, I'm suspicious of what it might be. But if you have talked to the creator and he tells you what it is, then, it's okay.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. I was like, "How do I explain that--? I was saying what we just said that it really is context dependent. But it goes back to what we were saying in the beginning of the show. I think you were saying about people hear ideas, very black and white intense ideas, and then, it can be hard to have nuance surrounding everything. So, I just encourage doing your research and diving in deep. 

Gin Stephens: Absolutely. 

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: All right, this is from Amy and the subject is: "gut!!" which I just love that subject. [laughs] All right, she says, "Hi, ladies. Love your podcast. I've been doing IF off and on for about six months. I've been doing it correctly with the clean fast and the whole works for three months and I feel great. I don't have a lot of weight to lose, but the science is fascinating and I learned so much with Gin's book, Fast. Feast. Repeat. So good." Thank you so much, Amy. "I have lost about five to eight pounds and my clothes continue to feel better on me. I like Gin do not weigh myself anymore. I don't care about the number. However, just to give you an idea, I'm 5'1" and I think I'm around 130. That sounds high to some people, but I feel good here. My life has been nothing, but diet after diet and I've been as high as 155." So, 130 feels great. "Anyway, my question is for Melanie. I could listen to you all day long about SIBO and gut bacteria. I have a huge, long history of digestive issues. I have been diagnosed with SIBO, lactose intolerance, and fructose malabsorption through breath testing, I feel much better following a low FODMAP diet and either taking lactase before I eat dairy or just eliminating it altogether. Okay. Now my question is, my doctor has told me not to take probiotics because I have too much bacteria in my small intestine and by the way, we have tried to treat it multiple times with various antibiotics, but it never really goes away. Natural probiotics such as apple cider vinegar, kombucha, sauerkraut, etc., make my gut worse as in terrible gas and diarrhea. I am typically more on the constipated side. I'm wondering if you have the same issues and why, when something is supposed to help feed good bacteria and I'm having the opposite effect. Do you have these issues with your SIBO problems? Side note, IF has helped tremendously with the gas and bloating if I do happen to eat too much of something I'm not supposed to. I assume because I don't have food breaking down in my gut constantly. It does not seem like rocket science, so, I don't know why this has taken me so long to figure out and why all of the digestive doctors and nutritionists I have seen through the years never mentioned that maybe I should give my digestion a break during the day, so, the gases don't build up so much. Anyway, I appreciate any thoughts on why I can't handle certain natural probiotics. Thanks, Amy."

Melanie Avalon: Awesome, Amy. Thank you so much for your question and yes, I definitely relate to all of this. Okay, so, there is a lot here. First of all about the fasting, and giving your gut a break, and the beneficial effects. Yes, that's one of my favorite benefits of intermittent fasting for sure. There's a lot of reasons for that. Like Amy mentioned, giving your gut a break. Your migrating motor complex, which is the natural intestinal movements of your GI tract, so, they actually happen on a clock. When you're fasted, it allows those movements to happen and actually move things through, and Amy said, "Keep things from building up." And also, it's thought that fasting selectively helps support good bacteria while helping bad bacteria die off, which is really, really nice. Thomas DeLauer, reading his book, I just read this section last night and he was saying, I never thought about it this way. He was saying that the bad bacteria tend to replicate a lot faster. They need to be basically fed. The fasting helps prune them out a bit. I know that fasting has been shown to boost-- Who is it who talks about this? I think it's Dr. Gundry talks about this all the time. Akkermansia, which is a beneficial gut bacteria and it goes up and fasting. Yeah, so, fasting can be great for the gut microbiome. 

As far as the SIBO, which is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, basically, it's a condition where there is an excess of bacteria, potentially, good and bad in the small intestine, which is supposed to be relatively sterile compared to the large intestine, which is our colon. And sidenote. It's thought historically that that is "bad bacteria" coming up from your large intestine. But I was listening to a podcast recently with Dr. Ruscio, who we've had on the show and I actually, I really suggest his book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You to help tackle a lot of this. He works with low FODMAP diets and he addresses all of this. We can put a link to both our interview with him as well as his book in the show notes. But recently, they've started doing research and wondering if small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is actually created more from top down. Bacteria from your mouth going down, rather than up from the large intestine, which is very interesting concept. But in any case, so, just a quick clarification about your terminology, because you're talking about probiotics but then you say, I'm wondering when something is supposed to help feed good bacteria, am I having the opposite effect? 

Probiotics don't feed gut bacteria. Probiotics are actually bacteria. Prebiotics are the substrates that would feed bacteria. That's a lot of types of foods. When you're mentioning natural probiotics such as apple cider vinegar-- Okay, so, apple cider vinegar, if it's natural, not pasteurized with, they call it with the mother that would have probiotics in it. Kombucha probiotic, sauerkraut-- Okay, so, these are all probiotic foods. A few different things going on here. One, a lot of people with SIBO need to clear out some of that bacteria before they're bringing in the bacteria and sometimes, it can just exacerbate conditions. Some people do great. Some people probiotics and probiotic foods really, really help. Other people, not so much. It's so individual and I wish there was one answer, but there's not. Just like there's not one diet for everybody. If you are experimenting with these foods, I'd recommend, I don't know how much of them you're eating. If you want to try them, I would try very, very minimal amounts and see if that helps. It's actually thought-- This is interesting. A few things about these foods. If they are completely unpasteurized, it is possible that you're getting live probiotics from it. But the benefits actually might be more from the signaling from them. 

A few for things. Basically, they might even have an antibiotic effect, which is really interesting. And then, also Dr. Gundry talks about this in his new book, Unlocking the Keto Code. But these foods actually can create short chain fatty acids when they're metabolized and that can actually have a beneficial effect on the gut. It might not even be the actual bacteria themselves in this that it's having the effect. Another thing that speaks to this is, there have been studies on probiotic supplements that are dead. So, they're not even alive and they have beneficial effects. The thinking is that, it's more the body's response to the probiotics maybe not so much even the probiotics themselves. All that said, if it's making things worse for you, I would not keep doing it. I would focus more on the foundational diet. It sounds this low FODMAP diet is working for you and the lack tastes before dairy. I would focus on that. If you want to experiment with these foods, like I said, try just a tiny bit, and maybe write it out, and see if it helps. That's something to consider. Also, something else, there was a very fascinating study pretty recently. I might have talked about on the show. Okay, so this is going to sound a little bit contradictory to what I just said. 

But there was a 2021 study published in Cell fascinating. It's called gut microbiota targeted diets modulate human immune status. They actually compared a high-fermented food diet to a high-fiber diet for the effects on the gut microbiome as well as inflammatory markers and they found the-- This is why I'm saying. This is a little bit contradictory. They found that the high-fermented food diet was substantially better than the high-fiber diet, because it seems seemingly the fiber diet just exacerbated symptoms. The point of all that is, I think you touched on this. I think you've figured a little bit of this out, because you're doing the low FODMAP diet. So, that's probably a reason that that is benefiting you so well. But I think the point of all this to bring everything together is that, you really have to find what works for you and things are different for different people. Because what that study, for example, people often say, "Oh, eat tons of fiber to fix your gut." But it might be more individual. I think one of the nuances of that study was it actually depended on people's baseline gut microbiome state as to what effects the dietary approaches had. So, I'm going to stop, but I just wanted to encourage you-- I would not feel you have to be doing these foods. You could also try, because you're talking about probiotics from foods. You could also try probiotic supplements and see how those help. You might find that those work. A lot of people really like BiOptimizers, P3-OM. I've found that one really beneficial. I've also experimented with Bifidobacterium-specific probiotics. So, if you do go that route, those will probably be more beneficial than the lactobacillus ones, especially, if you have trouble with dairy. But yes, that was all over the place. Gin, do you have thoughts?

Gin Stephens: Because it's so complicated and it's not easy. If we're starting from a healthy gut, then, we should be able to tolerate so many foods, especially, these probiotic foods, and these fiber foods, and these healthy foods. A healthy gut does great with those foods. But as I talk about in Clean(ish), for example, Will, my son that's 22 now, I'm pretty sure he was not born with a healthy gut based on the way I ate when I was pregnant, and probably, my own gut microbiome, eating a lot of ultra-processed foods. He was a baby, he had thrush. I think he had a really terrible gut and that led to a lot of his issues. In the modern world, we're not always starting with a healthy gut. So, there's the issue. Things that would have been fine are no longer fine. I actually thought it was very interesting. Something that really stuck in my mind while researching for Clean(ish), the whole idea of fiber, exacerbating gut issues, and it just came in my mind when Melanie was talking. People were like, "Well, fiber destroys your gut. Every time I eat it, it's terrible. Fiber must be bad." But really, you got to go back several steps. 

Let's say, you have a traditional standard American diet, the SAD diet, and you're eating a lot of ultra-processed foods or mostly ultra-processed foods, your gut bacteria might actually eat your gut lining, because they don't have enough fiber to work on. Now, they're eating your gut lining. Now, you've got leaky gut. Now you're like, "I'm going to eat healthier, I'm going to add all these good fiber foods, because I'm upping my eating healthy." Then, you eat those foods and your gut is damaged from all the years of poor eating habits. And now, you can't handle fiber because your gut lining is compromised. Now, you have leaky gut and fiber exacerbates the problem. That book that you mentioned by Dr. Ruscio, I loved when I read it. It was years ago, but he talks about that we can heal. Whatever state you're in right now, don't assume that that is the state of your gut forever. I love that he talks about that you can heal your gut. I would focus on that. In the meantime, though, you do have to work with the gut and the body you have now. If something exacerbates your problems, you got to figure out, is it worth it, is this going to help me get better, or is this just making things worse? Really, ideally, in a perfect world, we would have a gastroenterologist, who understood all the ins and outs literally, and could guide you through rebuilding your gut microbiome, and having things be healthy, and working as intended with a strong gut lining, and a great gut microbiome habitat just in general.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Yeah. What I really love about Dr. Rucsio, because he has a podcast you could check out. He's always reading all of the latest research, and he has a very nuanced approach, and everything Gin just said, he really understands that it's very individual and you have to find the path that works for you. I think with the fiber, also, what Gin was saying, it might be a process to getting to a place, where you can have more of it and it might be a slow journey. So, I think we shouldn't be hard on ourselves if we can't eat a wallop of fiber.

Gin Stephens: Absolutely. And that doesn't mean the fiber is bad. It just means that your body isn't processing it correctly, why?

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Oh, I did run into on one resource, because she said, she struggles with constipation. So, I love Atrantil. Did we have Ken Brown on this show? We did, right?

Gin Stephens: I think we did. I know we had Atrantil on here. Yeah. I did remember his name, but I know we did. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: And he was one of my first guests as well on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Wow, that seems so long ago.

Gin Stephens: It really does. We've been doing this show for five years. 

Melanie Avalon: That's crazy. Wow. Atrantil, it was developed by Dr. Ken Brown, he's a gastroenterologist. It's all natural polyphenols and a few other compounds. It can be really a game changer for bloating and constipation in particular. I love it. I love, love, love it. If you go to lovemytummy.com/ifp and use the coupon code, IFP, that will get you 10% off at checkout. I will say, because I think you can order on Amazon as well, but ordering from their website, they actually do have really fast shipping. It's pretty comparable to Amazon. It's really hard for companies to compete with shipping with Amazon.

Gin Stephens: I know. It really, really is. I think they take a loss on it. Honestly, I think Amazon takes a loss to get your business.

Melanie Avalon: Well. In any case, hopefully that was helpful. 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. The show notes will have a full transcript as well as links to everything that we talked about. So, definitely check that out. They will be at ifpodcast.com/episode260. And then, you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon and Gin is @ginstephens and I think that is everything. So, anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: Nope, I'll just see you next week.

Melanie Avalon: Okey-dokey. 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.

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