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Dec 11

Episode 295: Food Choices, Macros, Ketosis, Chronic Pain, Oxalates, Organ Meat, Variety In Fasting, Exercise, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


Welcome to Episode 295 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Ground Beef For LIFE Plus $20 off your first box!!

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

FEALS: Feals makes CBD oil which satisfies ALL of Melanie's stringent criteria: it's premium, full spectrum, organic, tested, pure CBD in MCT oil! It's delivered directly to your doorstep. CBD supports the body's natural cannabinoid system, and can address an array of issues, from sleep to stress to chronic pain, and more! Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Ground Beef For LIFE Plus $20 Off Your First Box!!

4:10 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz

Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

Go To cynthiathurlow.com/creatine and use code CYNTHIA for 10% off!

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

21:40 - BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

25:40 - Listener Q&A: Heather - IF

32:10 - Listener Q&A: Robyn - Chronic Pain Flair

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #104 - Sally Norton (Oxalates)

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #153 - Bill Schindler

Ep. 238 Eat Like A Human: What Should We Eat? with Dr. Bill Schindler

Go to eatpluck.com an use the code CYNTHIA15 for 15% off!

FOOD SENSE GUIDEGet Melanie's App To Tackle Your Food Sensitivities! Food Sense Includes A Searchable Catalogue Of 300+ Foods, Revealing Their Gluten, FODMAP, Lectin, Histamine, Amine, Glutamate, Oxalate, Salicylate, Sulfite, And Thiol Status. Food Sense Also Includes Compound Overviews, Reactions To Look For, Lists Of Foods High And Low In Them, The Ability To Create Your Own Personal Lists, And More!

Go to safecatch.com and use the coupon code for MELANIEAVALON for 20% off!

The Science, Nutrition, And Health Implications Of Conventional Vs. Sustainable, Grass-fed, Pastured, And Wild Meat And Seafood, Featuring My Honest Butcher Box Review!

51:40 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

54:30 - Listener Q&A: Therese - Repetitive Routines Or Mix It Up?

55:10 - Listener Q&A: James - Constantly Changing Fasting Windows

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

Hi friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get free grass-fed, grass-finished beef for life plus $20 off, yes free grass-fed grass-finished ground beef for life plus $20 off. We are so, 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 raising practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox. You can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. But I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. All of their beef is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished that's really hard to find 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 restaurant, I usually order 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? And ButcherBox has an incredible deal for our audience. For limited time, you can get free grass-fed grass-finished ground beef for life in every box of your subscription plus $20 off, yes, new members can get free grass-fed grass-finished ground beef for life plus $20 off when you go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast, that's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast for free grass-fed grass-finished ground beef for life plus $20 off and we'll put all this information in the show notes.

And one more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat. But do you know what is possibly one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting, it's actually our skincare and makeup. As it turns out, Europe has banned over a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disrupters, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens, which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream. And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things, like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup may be playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because ladies when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years.

Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means, when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that, there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so, you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. They have counter time for anti-aging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life. And their makeup is amazing. Check out my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey, even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. Also, make sure to get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list, so definitely check it out. You can join me in my Facebook group Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well.

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

Hi everybody and welcome. This is episode number 295 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie, how are you?

Melanie Avalon: I'm okay as you know. I honestly forgot what this is like to be super sleep deprived because I put a lot of effort into making sure that I get a lot of sleep, like I prioritize it like none other. So right now, I'm currently in the virtual queue for the Taylor Swift Presale Concert. And it's been five hours and I'm like not present. And I was texting Cynthia being like, I don't know if I'm going to be able to record but we are here. But I forgot what this feels like, I took some coffee.

Cynthia Thurlow: Good. So, a stimulant will definitely help you, but you're like a real person.

Melanie Avalon: I know. But I feel like I'm not quite present.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, but it's amazing how when you have like one blip in your sleep radar, you actually you'll be fine. You'll be tired, you'll go to bed probably around your normal time and then tomorrow you'll wake up and feel totally normal.

Melanie Avalon: So true, I don't normally-- I think we've talked about this. How much coffee do you drink? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Zero.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, none.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I'm not a coffee drinker. And it's funny because I had some genetic testing done and they actually said I do fine with, caffeine but I have to be completely transparent and say I made it through all my pre-med classes, all of undergrad and grad school never drinking coffee.

Melanie Avalon: With no coffee?

Cynthia Thurlow: No coffee. And the nights, I worked nights in ERs and worked overnights in the hospital and no coffee. I would drink, I can't limit this. I used to drink Diet Pepsi, which is disgusting.

Melanie Avalon: So, you weren't getting caffeine?

Cynthia Thurlow: But I couldn't tolerate it, it's not something I could drink every day. It was like, I would bring it with me in case I felt like I literally could not keep my eyes open but not every day. So, I'm officially very much an early bird that is uncaffeinated, except for my occasional green tea, which I don't necessarily have every day out of laziness.

Melanie Avalon: I was thinking about it actually a few days ago. Because normally I think I've shared this before I literally just have like a sip of coffee, like a sip every morning. It's more just a mental thing. It's probably like no caffeine in it at all. But I was reflecting their day on how nice it kind of is to not be dependent on coffee because I know and I mean I would go through, like in college really intense periods and coffee is something were-- like I did my experiment with alcohol and wine where I didn't drink for a year to see if I was like happier not drinking and I realized I was much happier having wine every night. Like with coffee, I feel like if I go into a coffee every day, I think I am happier without coffee, because it's just nice not to have to use it. And then when you need it, like right now, it's like very potent, and I probably just had like, a quarter of a cup and I'm like, okay.

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] But I think it's also recognizing that this is like a good indication of a day that you do well with it. Like, I will take adaptogenic herbs or I will take glandular products if I feel like I definitely need a little bit of support. But I don't, I like the way coffee smells. I just don't like the way it tastes, I never have and it's ironic that I have a child that's kind of an espresso Americano snob and really is into his coffee and then the other three of us don't drink it at all.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. Yeah. I will say though my thoughts on coffee just in case people are curious because I'm not trying to scare people away from coffee. I feel like the studies are pretty consistent that coffee drinkers have health benefits.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well absolutely, the polyphenols and the plant-based compounds in coffee and bitter teas are, it's undeniable. I think that's how I actually started forcing myself to drink green tea a couple of days a week with a understanding that those bitter plant-based compounds actually have physiologic benefits. And so, I'm like, "Okay, you're going to learn how to drink this?" And so, I iced my green tea. That's how I drink it.

Melanie Avalon: It's also pretty mind blowing. I'm pretty sure they say isn't coffee our biggest source of magnesium? Am I making that up?

Cynthia Thurlow: I mean I think about getting a lot of those from brightly pigmented vegetables. And I think coffee is very bio-individual because I have some patients that will actually increase their cortisol, which increases their blood sugar. And so, it's figuring out what the right amount is for everyone. I used to have patients that would drink, I don't know, 10 cups of coffee a day. And I was like, how are you functioning? I would be a like nervous, jittery, mess.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I mean there's definitely that tolerance that happens. I shudder thinking about how much I drank in college. I don't know why I was thinking coffee was this high source of magnesium. But I think it is definitely like the number one source of something like polyphenols or something in Americans' diets, which is interesting.

Cynthia Thurlow: That is, I would hope it would come from a combination of things and not just something drinkable. But I think Americans just really, like I understand, I love the idea of something warm and my hands like the ritual of that I get, but I don't know, I like getting polyphenols from a variety of things, even bitter herbs and vegetables and things like that.

Melanie Avalon: I looked it up, it is antioxidants for most people. That's crazy.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, think about how many people are drinking regular coffee as opposed to like understanding that it tends to be a mycotoxin-rich food product and just understanding that there're some nuances to the healthiest options that are out there. I'm probably going to get hate mail from the coffee lovers out there. But that's always the way I think about it. As I think if you tolerate coffee and you enjoy it, that's great. Just try to pick the best quality product that your budget permits.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I definitely think like you mentioned those mycotoxins are quite an issue. And then just one other comment about what you're mentioning about the sleep. I'm prepping right now to interview, Heather Moday, she wrote a book about the Immune System and Immunotypes, I think I mentioned it on a previous episode. And something that just stuck with me that she was talking about was sleep and she was saying how like out of all the lifestyle factors like diet, sleep, exercise, sleep is hands down the thing that can give you the fastest return on investment, but basically what you were just saying like with one night's sleep, you can see so many changes and improvements in so many biomarkers, compared to like diet where you have to like takes a little bit and exercise even so, yes, value your sleep is the point. So, anything new with you?

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh goodness, we are finalizing our plans for spring break. So that's been exciting. And every year I plan a spring break trip and no one knows what I've planned. And so, there were some requests at the end of last year they didn't want to go away for Christmas. I was like, "Okay, I got that." And so, we're doing something different. We are flying to Portugal and we'll be in two cities there and doing a variety of historical things and food tours and I'm excited.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome and how are things going with your creatine?

Cynthia Thurlow: Good, it's really exciting, we've got amazing feedback. And from my perspective, women having a better understanding of how it can improve both cognition and muscle health. And it was interesting, I was presenting a research article to some of my coaches today and I was telling them about the role of lowered levels of estrogen, how that impacts muscle protein synthesis, and why in those instances, it's even more important that we're taking exogenous, meaning creatine outside the body because our body-- women actually make 70% to 80% less creatine endogenously, inside the body, this gets exacerbated further heading into perimenopause and menopause. So, I was talking to them about how they were looking at two different groups in this randomized control trial. Women that were taking creatine and not doing any strength training versus women that were taking creatine and doing strength training. And there was no comparison in terms of the net improvement in muscle quality and muscle health. I think on a lot of different levels, what I've been loving is just having the conversation about the unique needs of women. And also identifying that men benefit from taking creatine as well. So, it's going really well, I'm very excited. I'm so appreciative that you encouraged me to create my own supplements.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited, I'm really excited as well to hear people's feedback after trying yours. And I just got my notification email that yours is coming, I can't wait to try it. So, I know I've asked you this a lot, "How do I take it, can I take it with food?"

Cynthia Thurlow: You can take it. Typically, what I've been doing is using it in a smoothie, but you can take it with food, you definitely don't want to take it in a fasted state. It's for one of those feeding windows in terms of getting the maximize benefits, but it's a white powder, it's easy to measure, that gives you a complete-- the scoop is for 3 grams. All the research has been done on 3 to 5 grams, 5 grams is I'd be leaning more into individuals that are vegetarian or vegan because their needs are actually increased by virtue of the fact they are not consuming animal-based protein. So yeah, it's super easy to take. It doesn't taste like anything, it blends really easily, thankfully, because I think we've all had powders that are chalky, and don't mix well with water and that's never a good thing.

Melanie Avalon: So, you said it doesn't taste like anything.

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm.

Melanie Avalon: Really like, nothing?

Cynthia Thurlow: Not to me. I've got this acute sense of taste, I think, which is why I don't like coffee, because it's just too-- I was one of those weird people, anything that I would say I would be like the taste tester a couple 100 years ago to determine if something was poisonous, because I have this crazy acute sense of taste and smell, which is not to my benefit having worked in healthcare for many years.

Melanie Avalon: Wow, oh, I can imagine. I'll probably take it like literally with my food. I'm super weird. I like to take supplements with food like I just eat them. And that's okay, like open capsules and like pour them on things. And like I would order quercetin powder and just like add to my food, I would order all these random things like milk thistle.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, you're very adventurous.

Melanie Avalon:  Well, very exciting, so how can people order?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, so you would go to my website and the correct address should be-- www.cynthiathurlow.com/creatine is what it should be. There are all sorts of technological glitches that occur throughout this launch process, it's eliminated, little glitches that we don't think are a big deal and then you realize with coding, any little miss stroke of a key can make things not work properly.

Melanie Avalon: I know it's crazy. I remember when I launched serrapeptase the night before-- the day of because it was a midnight launch. We realized there was a glitch and they had to rebuild my entire website right up until, it was so stressful. Yeah, technology-- and I'm like right now I'm still in this Taylor Swift queue. I'm like staring at the thing. [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm really impressed with your dedication.

Melanie Avalon: I have got to get these tickets. The thing is when they come out, if you know about, you probably don't-- about this verified fan presale that Ticketmaster does?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do not.

Melanie Avalon: So, I learned about it with this, for the different artists they try to make it so that the fans can get tickets without it going through all of these resellers where they jack up the prices so they do this like a special sale where you have to be on their email list and then you have to apply and then you have to be accepted and it seems very arbitrary how they accept you or not. Like my good friend did not get accepted, but I did. So, then if you get accepted, then the day of which was this morning you get in the waitlist, and then you have a code for once you get in to like actually get the seats. But it's been so glitchy I think. Ticketmaster sort of crashed from all the Taylor Swift Fans. So, that's where I am waiting. But okay, sorry, tangents.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, that's super exciting. I'm excited for you.

Melanie Avalon: Last question about the creatine, is there a launch special or coupon code for people?

Cynthia Thurlow: It should be CYNTHIA, it we'll give you 10% off. During the launch we had even more amazing discounts, but now that it is officially on sale, you get 10% off with code CYNTHIA.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome, awesome, awesome. And last question about it. How is your creatine different from other creatines on the market?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think we really did an incredibly conscientious effort to keep it simple, there were lots of ideas that were proposed. And I really wanted it to be creatine monohydrate and without any fillers, to know where it was properly sourced from. And I just think when you get online, and you buy things from Amazon as an example, obviously, there are great things that come from Amazon. But I think when it comes to supplementation, we just have to be careful. And so, we know where this product was sourced from, we know where it's packaged, we know what it's not full of. And I know much to your point about not having fillers and gluten and dairy and soy and other garbagy things that get added to supplements in an effort to keep costs low. This is what I believe to be the most high-quality creatine monohydrate that's available in the market.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, I can definitely attest to all of that just for listeners who are not familiar, both Cynthia and I work with MD Logic to create our supplements. And the amazing thing about it is the ability for us to really make exactly what we want to make to the highest quality and they test multiple times for heavy metals and toxins and fillers, and it's nice to feel very confident in the products that we're creating. So, I'm very excited for you and the creatine.

Cynthia Thurlow: Thank you. Likewise.

Melanie Avalon: 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 founded Beauty & the Broth, which hit everything I could want in bone broth. It uses 100% whole organic ingredients. Yes, it is certified USDA Organic. It is one of the only few bone broth companies in the entire US that has a USDA certification for organic bone broth. It has no artificial flavors, no preservatives, no phthalates, no sugar, and something that I love, no salt. 

Friends, even other bone broth that I really love always have salt added. This doesn't. Her bone broths are made from grass-fed ranch-raised beef and vegetarian-fed free-range chicken bones from Certified Humane USDA Organic Farms and all certified organic vegetables are used the broth as well. There're 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 3 ounces, and they're delicious. Oh, my goodness, friends, they will just make you light up. They're honestly, one of the most amazing things I've ever tasted. And for all of you vegans and vegetarians, Beauty & the Broth has a brand-new vegan broth concentrate. It is USDA Organic and is a slow simmer broth which is reduced into a thick gelatinous gel, you mix it with hot water and turn it into a delicious sipping broth. It features organic mushrooms and chickpeas, ginger, seaweed, and pea protein. It is so delicious. So, definitely check that out.

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a question from Heather, the subject is "IF." Heather says, "Can you tell us, ladies, what a day of eating looks like for each of you? How much protein and carbs y'all eat and still are able to maintain ketosis? I'm about to receive all three books from both of you in the mail." This question is from actually a few years ago, she's probably talking about my book and then when Gin had two books. "I'm about to receive all three books from both of you in the mail, so, excited. I have been on keto way of eating for over a year and just starting to look into expanding my carb intake XOXO."

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Heather, thank you for your question. I would say when I was first new to fasting, I didn't track my macros per se. But obviously, Dr. Gabrielle Lyon's work has had a huge influence on me. And so initially, after I met her, I started tracking protein and that's my guide. Now, I don't track macros because I generally don't need to and I just lean into more of an intuitive eating approach. As an example today, I didn't break my fast until gosh, almost 12:30, because I had to drive to DC with my husband for a doctor's appointment. And so, I sat down and had a bison burger, I had three deviled eggs, I had some sauteed mushrooms, a lot of this is just leftover stuff. And I would say that this is a lower-carb meal for me. I tend to hover under 75 grams, under 50 grams, sometimes as much as 100, but I definitely am conscientious and it's not that I don't enjoy carbohydrates. But even the non-starchy variety just depends on the day. And for me, it was eating a meal quickly because I had things I had to do this afternoon. And then my second meal today will probably be, I think we're going to boil some salmon. And I might have salad, we do a lot of food prep in my house just to make meals move along faster. Today is going to be a lower carb day. A higher carb day, I might have 100 to 125 grams of carbs. I just do better, me personally, when I keep my carb threshold about under 75, under 50 a day, but it's never to be restrictive. It's just I lean into what my body needs. Like yesterday, I needed some more carbohydrates, so I had some blueberries as dessert last night and some dark chocolate. But I think for each one of us, it's really determining what makes us feel good, and I definitely carb cycle. On a day when I have more carbohydrates, I may have three meals in my feeding window, open up my feeding window, and just have more discretionary carbs that might be sweet potato or root vegetables. But the protein piece for me is almost always at least 100 to 125 grams of protein a day. And that's really what I lean into. And then the fats as I need to like today I had olives, which I know that Melanie hates. But I love olives, they're like one of my favorite things. What about you, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, so I actually really like this question for a few reasons. One, because people ask me a lot what I eat and I don't like to hardcore share because I'm so crazy. And also, I don't want people to eat what I'm eating because it's what I'm eating. But in any case, to answer this, I don't count protein or carbs, I sort of exist within a macronutrient paradigm. So basically, I just do either low fat, high carb, or low carb, higher fat, not really high fat, I don't ever really go like super crazy on the fat. But in general, I'm usually doing a low-fat, high-carb, high-protein approach. And I'm happy that she asked about still being able to maintain ketosis because I'm going to comment on that. I do the one meal a day for four hours or so every night and it is about a couple of pounds of meat and it's a couple of pounds of fruit. And I just looked up the fruit, I probably eat about 200 grams of carbs and fruit, which is a lot mostly from like blueberries. I used to do pineapple. But the thing I wanted to comment on is maintaining ketosis. I actually don't know if I'm going into ketosis during the fast or how deeply I am If so, I haven't measured ketones and forever. Like last time I was measuring ketones was probably back in like 2018. And interesting, I mean this isn't surprising, but I did find that when I was on the higher fat days especially if I added MCT oil, the ketones would go through the roof compared to not so much on the high carb. But what I want to point out is, you don't have to be in ketosis to burn fat. And I think a lot of people can get all the benefits of intermittent fasting without worrying so much about whether or not they're in ketosis during the fast. So yeah, I honestly don't even know if I'm getting into ketosis, but I am eating about probably 200 carbs every night. And who knows how many grams of protein, whatever is in a couple of pounds of meat?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think the big thing is understanding we're all bio individuals. So, asking us is certainly a great question but by the same token understanding depending on how metabolically flexible you are, depending on your age, how much muscle mass you have, can really influence what your carbohydrate threshold is. And certainly, you don't want to be in ketosis 24/7. In fact, that's why I kicked myself out. That's why I actually alternate the amount of carbohydrates that I consume. And I know Ben Azadi and I talk about this quite a bit. If you don't know, Ben Azadi. He's amazing, a friend of mine who heads up the podcast Keto Kamp and has proliferative content around ketosis and ketones and things like this. And so, we want to vary what we're doing day to day and I think that's certainly important.

Melanie Avalon: Like because of this question, I said, at the beginning, I get so nervous about people thinking there's one answer that they have to do what another person is doing when bio-individuality is so key. I'm actually recording with Ben tomorrow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, good, I love Ben.

Melanie Avalon: I've never met him, just through email. So, I haven't like talked to him or anything.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, he's one of the most positive people you will ever meet. Like really and genuinely one of the most positive people. And I mean, we've been friends for several years and have spoken on so many stages together. And my husband knows, he and his fiancé and I know them and, like we just really enjoy each other's company. He's a good person, a good human.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really, really excited about that. So okey-dokey. Shall we go on to our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure, this is from Robin and the subject is "Chronic pain flare." "I enjoy your podcast and I'm loving the diet. However, I'm having a significant flare-up of my chronic pain and wonder if it is related to intermittent fasting. I've been diagnosed with central sensitivity, chronic Lyme, and fibromyalgia. Is it possible there is another variable play? Always too many variables? My wife suggested I ask you. My internet search didn't yield any answers and I'm hoping you also haven't heard of this happening or if it does happen to some that it will subside as my body adjusts. I've been doing intermittent fasting since mid-April and vary between four to eight-hour windows with only occasional lapses when I've been sick. I really love it, so don't want to stop." Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: All right, Robin, thank you so much for your question. So, I thought a lot about this and I have a very casual answer. And then I have what I found from researching, which did not find the answers I was hardcore looking for. I'll start with the research side of things. So, I did a lot of searching for fasting and chronic pain. There's a lot of studies on fasting helping chronic pain. So, there was a really nice review. I think it was a review, but it was called Intermittent Fasting: Potential Utility in the Treatment of Chronic Pain across the Clinical Spectrum. I had never thought about pain, how it breaks down, like all the different types of pain. So, it talks about like all the different types of pain and like how there're six main types and has this really nice chart about how fasting can benefit most of those types with sources. But just in general if you do a search in PubMed or Google Scholar, there's a lot of studies about fasting benefiting pain, which is not the experience that Robin is sharing. I found another study called the analgesic effect of refeeding on acute and chronic inflammatory pain. And it was speaking to the effects specifically of fasting versus eating on pain perception. It was in rodents, not humans, but some of the interesting findings. So again, I don't know how much of this applies to humans because of the rodent aspect. But they did find that both fasting and feeding helped pain, but that for fasting in the rodents it was only in the second half of the fact that they started experiencing the pain-relieving effects and fasting helped only the inflammatory type of pain and not mechanical, whereas food seemed to help both. Again, that's nuanced I don't know how much of that applies to humans, especially when the majority of the studies that I could find were that fasting helped pain, my casual, non-scientific sort of N of 1 I haven't experienced it but I feel like I've seen all people talking about this, a lot of people will say that when they start fasting, whatever issues they have, can get worse before they get better. And I don't know if it's like a healing crisis or a detox effect or what's going on. I mean it does sound sort of like that rodent study where it said the pain-relieving effects started in the second half of the fast. So, have you heard that Cynthia, where people say that it gets a little bit worse before it gets better with fasting?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's funny, I always think about food-based sources of inflammation that can be exacerbated, especially with someone that has chronic Lyme, I think there's a lot to unpack there. I mean, you've got a chronic inflammatory response syndrome. And I can come at this question with many different angles. More often than not, people feel a whole lot better as they're pulling things out of their diet. I wonder if there's a diet variable that hasn't been examined that may be making things worse in conjunction with fasting.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I would encourage you, Robin, to keep on with the fasting, I would imagine there are other variables at play, and I can't see how the fasting would continually perpetually continue to make things worse. I would probably stick it out and see what happens and see if it gets better. And definitely, like Cynthia said, look at other potential issues for what might be going on there with food and things like that. Talking about, Cynthia, where like when people start fasting, they experience things. I don't know if it's because the body is like finally cleaning up and tackling stuff, but I feel like people will experience, I don't like using the word healing crisis because that sounds very woo-woo but do you know I'm talking about in this idea?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do, again, I'm going to come out this as a clinician, and from my perspective, if there's this upregulation of autophagy and there's some degree of deeper healing that's ongoing. And then on top of that their detoxification pathways aren't properly opened. I mean that could be contributory. I'm just looking at this as just from the perspective that we know, we detoxify every day, we poop, we pee, we breathe, we sweat. But the two main sites of detoxification where our body is getting rid of toxins, breaking down medications, etc., two phases that occur in the liver and then the bulk of toxins are then hopefully excreted through the digestive system and the gut. And so, I think there're many variables at play when people tell me that they're having an upregulation in pain, I believe that but obviously, I think that there's probably a component to this that is probably not completely clear in the question. And it's not a criticism of Robin, I'm just saying that chronic pain people just have an upregulation in inflammatory cytokines and other inflammatory processes. And there could be something else going on. When people tell me they have fibromyalgia and they have a tick-borne illness. There's a lot going on. From my perspective, I think it's digging deep, anti-inflammatory nutrition, removing the most common predicators of inflammation in the body, the gluten, grains, dairy, alcohol, sugar, soy in conjunction with fasting can be really powerful. But I would also want to ensure that Robin has taken the steps or is leaning into opening up those detoxification pathways that could be exacerbating why there's a pain response.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that's great. Another thing I was thinking of, this is not probably what's happening with her, but it's just an example of something where something might get worse before it gets better, people will talk about when they go on, like a carnivore diet, and they have oxalate dumping, things like that where some sort of restriction for whatever reason causes a release of a compound or toxins or a stir up of something else.

Cynthia Thurlow: This plant-based defenses are real thing. I think that for many of us, obviously if you have chronic Lyme, you've had multiple rounds of antibiotics. There's no question you've got some degree of hyperpermeability of the small intestine. There's a lot that can go on. So, from my perspective, those are the people who tend to be the most sensitive to those plant-based defenses, whether it's oxalates, whether it's saponins. There're just so many variables that could be impacting that. And I find that even those of us that are abiding by like a gluten-free diet, I always think about almonds as the best example like they're proliferative and keto and low-carb products. But the oxalates can be a huge hindrance to, really dampening down the inflammatory response in the body. And for a lot of people, they may get pain, others may get diarrhea, they may have abdominal pain. It's interesting I interviewed an oxalate expert on the podcast.

Melanie Avalon: Who'd you interview?

Cynthia Thurlow: Monique, and she trains underneath, who's that woman? It's like Sharon Sandy.

Melanie Avalon: Sally Norton and Susan Owens mixed up.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, it's one of the two. And so, she trained with her and she's in a wonderful resource and all her content is leaning in the oxalate. I was stunned at how much I learned. And so, for me, I don't tolerate a lot of the heavier oxalate foods and still don't to this day. And I think a lot of it had to do with the 13 days of being hospitalized, a lot of antifungals, antibiotics for six weeks, and my gut's probably still healing. So, when I look at this, there's a lot of different things that could be going on. But I would start with nutrition as being a huge driver in the detoxification.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'll put a link in the show notes. I had Sally Norton on my show. The oxalate is one of those topics where I don't normally think about it and I think a lot of people don't normally think about it. But then like you just said, when you hear the information about it, it's mind-blowing. It's like, "Oh, maybe this actually is a major issue."

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. And I just had Bill Schindler on the podcast. I know you've had him on your podcast. We talked about oxalates and I said if you look at them under a microscope, they look like little crystals. And I said is it any surprise that these plant-based defenses are designed to protect the plant, but in someone who's susceptible to them, like me, this is why my mother, I've got an Italian mother, she's always trying to get me to eat more greens. And I finally had to say, I was like leave me alone about the kale and the spinach. I'm like it doesn't agree with me. And someone else, it's probably absolutely fine. But for me, I know exactly what it does to my digestive system. It just reminds me that, there's a very fine line with a little bit and then enough that will provoke a flare. And I'm just not willing to go there.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'll also put a link in the show notes. My app Food Sense Guide has oxalates as one of the compounds that it shows if people are curious about the levels of oxalates in food. So, you can get that at melanieavalon.com/foodsenseguide and we can put a link to the interviews with Bill Schindler. He's so amazing.

Cynthia Thurlow: He was lovely and it was funny. I make my husband listen to my podcast episodes. He was like he's talking about bugs and he's talking about organ meat and he was like, "I got to meet this guy, he sounds amazing." And I said, "No he's a complete realist." Like, he'll tell you his kids didn't love the insects, but he talks about the value of cricket flour and just being open minded to the fact that back in paleolithic days you just ate what was available. You weren't picky about like I'm only eating muscle meat, I probably would have starved. But yeah, I'm not the most foodie adventurous, I'm not eating the cartilage and organs every day and goodness. I like Pluck though. Have you tried Pluck? 

Melanie Avalon: No, what is?

Cynthia Thurlow: So, it's like an organ meat-based seasoning. It's really good. We'll have to link it up in the show notes.

Melanie Avalon: Wait, that sounds so cool. Wait, it's made from organ meats, but it's a seasoning, wait.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, it's a chef that created it, James Berry, mm-hmm. I have had him on the podcast.

Melanie Avalon: Wait, this is so cool.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and it's really good. And actually, they came out with some new flavors. And so, the spicy is really good. Actually, I like all of them. But we'll link it up, we'll give you my discount code. But unlike anything that can get organ meats, in general, more accessible, to me if I throw it over deviled eggs, it's no big deal. But if I sat down and ate a piece of liver that probably wouldn't happen. So, I think the understanding is trying to make these things accessible. I know Bill does a great job with that. James Berry does a great job with that and he's a chef, and I just really appreciate people trying to find clever ways to get people eating more nutrient-dense foods.

Melanie Avalon: I'm looking this up. Okay, so like their main one, like the normal all-purpose one so it has a blend of liver, spleen, kidney, heart, pancreas with onion, salt, paprika, lemon, pepper, garlic, parsley, mustard seed, thyme. Wonder if they have one that's AIP friendly. Let's see pure. Let's look at the pure one.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's just organ meat.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, yeah. And then Zesty Garlic, let me look at that one. I like doing online shopping. Wait, this is so cool.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and they're really good. And so, James is like a real chef. And I love just how clever he is.

Melanie Avalon: Friends, I want the Zesty Garlic one, it has liver, spleen, kidney, heart, pancreas, and then onion, garlic, lemon peel, salt, carrot, garlic, cabbage, parsley, oregano, marjoram, basil, and thyme.

Cynthia Thurlow: Totally good. And spicy is good, too. We're kind of spicy people. We like a little bit of spice, my husband more so he does than I do. But it's going to be part of our holiday gift list because I think it's just a fun way to get people exposed to eating organ meat in a way that's not scary. Like I'm not going to sit down and eat a plate of spleen although I can respect those that do.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and they actually do list on their website if it's AIP or not. Super cool, that never occurred to me, that's smart. And then there's a lot of people like there's some company that makes, it's like breadcrumbs, but it's like made from meat. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, is that like the pork panko?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think so. It's like they have it like chicken.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's a little salty. I like the idea. We tried it and it was so salty. And I was like, I like salt but it was a little too salty for me.

Melanie Avalon: So, another company actually reached out to me called Safe Catch?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, they reached out to me, I think I told you about the scallops with them.

Melanie Avalon: The scallops you told me about were-- because I read it down to look them up was Seatopia?

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, they all run together.

Melanie Avalon: Seafood is my thing. So, I've been like taking notes. I literally have written down in my agenda to look up your Seatopia scallops. So, you like those?

Cynthia Thurlow: I thought they were good. I like to buy fish the day of-- that's my husband is a fisherman and likes to go deep sea fishing. And so, he's super picky about seafood. So, we tend to buy it the day that we're going to eat it. So, I think it's super convenient. Like I think ButcherBox is awesome in terms of like, meat shows up at my door, I don't have to go to the grocery store. I'm not 100% sold on seafood being sent to my house. I'm not there yet.

Melanie Avalon: So, I'll comment on the seafood aspect. Often times when you're buying it fresh, it's actually less fresh than frozen. Because frozen, they freeze it right there. And so that stops histamine production, and basically just freezes it in time compared to when you buy it at the store. If it hasn't been frozen in between which sometimes they freeze it and thaw it again. But regardless, it's a longer shelf life where it's been not frozen which is interesting. I think a lot of people don't think about that, which is why I'm all about the frozen. So, the Safe Catch, the reason I really, really like them is they have tuna and salmon and they test all of it for mercury. And I just think this is such a problem, especially with tuna because with tuna, there're so many different species and so many different sizes. So, the mercury levels in tuna can range, some tuna can be low mercury, but some can be really, really high. And so, they actually test, so all of their tuna test to be super low in mercury and the same with the salmon and it comes in, they just sent me a box, but it comes in pouches. So, I'm really, really excited that they reached out to me, they gave me a coupon code. So, this will only be through the end of the year. So, stock up now. And this would be a great thing to stock up on because like I said it comes in pouches. So, you can just stock up. You can get 20% off with the coupon code MELANIEAVALON. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. But their website is safecatch.com, which is easy. But yeah, going back to the fish thing because I'm like such a fish fan, you can always ask at the counter. Like if it's been frozen or not frozen or like what the deal is with it. Oftentimes, it's just a little fun fact at Whole Foods, half of the time this stuff that they have in the fish counter, is just a thawed version of the frozen bags that you would buy in the frozen section. Like they do with the shrimp. They do that with the barramundi, I think they might do it with the salmon. So, it's kind of crazy.

Cynthia Thurlow: Awesome. Now, it's always good to learn about options that are out there that are safer. I think after my mercury issue about five years ago, I've just been very conscientious about sporadically eating fish and not eating it often.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, once you have that mercury toxicity problem and it's something where you can just stop me because I'm so passionate about this subject. I'll talk about it for an hour, but it's something where you don't see it, like you don't see the mercury in fish. So, if you could see the mercury, I promise you people would not be putting even moderate mercury species of fish into their mouth. I've said this a ton of times but if you look at like the spread and you take a piece of tilapia that has the lowest amount of mercury possible and you compare it to a piece of swordfish that has the highest amount, it can be 300 times. So, if you eat one piece of swordfish that could be like eating 300 pieces of tilapia for the mercury in one meal.

Cynthia Thurlow: My mom would throw a sea bass, like fixation for a long time.

Melanie Avalon: Chilean sea bass?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I know. It's so good.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and when I tell you it was like years. That's like every time we showed up, she went from being vegan to eating fish and eggs and we were very happy about this. And now she's back to eating meat. But the joke was, she would buy the most massive piece of sea bass and sea bass is wonderful, but it's like one of those overfished fishes that's why it's so expensive, that's the other thing is like trying to get acclimated, like being open to trying different things. I think that's important, just being open minded is certainly very helpful.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, definitely. When it comes to the fish. I actually have a blog post, I'll put it in the show notes. I talk about the fish that I will eat because I really only will eat. I'm very, very limited. I'll eat scallops and shrimp because they're so low on the totem pole. I'll eat farm salmon, I won't even eat wild salmon with the exception of this Safe Catch, which is very exciting. And then I eat responsibly farmed tilapia if I know the source and then I'll eat Australia's barramundi and then when I go out, I might get like, sole or trout or something. It's funny Gin and I had completely different food tastes. So, she was like not about the fish at all. [chuckles]

Cynthia Thurlow: I grew up at the shore, for anyone that's from New Jersey, the shore, the Jersey Shore. And so, we had a lot of fish growing up. And it wasn't really until, probably until I got to Baltimore, because Baltimore's on the water and there's just a lot of like crabs. And I mean, you just eat a lot more shellfish and fish in general. And then I met my husband who's from Annapolis, and we don't eat a ton of fish because my kids don't love it. And it just isn't worth it, it's expensive. They like shrimp, so we do shrimp, but my husband and I will usually get fish for ourselves and then give the teenagers the meat, which is what they want.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's interesting, that fish seems to be more of an acquired. "Oh, my queue is moving, okay, okay, I'm sorry, well, okay, okay. I might have to-- Oh, it's moving, I'm like 1,288 people in front of me.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh my God.

Melanie Avalon: For the past five hours it's been at 2,000 plus and now it's just oh, 1125, I'm going to get in in a second. Okay, okay, I will just say about the fish. Sorry, this is real-time, real-time Melanie getting her Taylor Swift tickets. 950, I'm going to have to jump it a second, 762. I'll just say about the fish really quickly. It's interesting that it seems to often be an acquired taste. I feel like kids shy away from it. 

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Melanie Avalon: Okie-Dokie, shall we go on to another question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: So, we actually have two questions and they go together, sort of, they're similar topics, so I thought I would read them together. So, we have a question from Therese. The subject is "Repetitive routines or mix it up." And Therese says, "Hi, love your podcast." I recently started IF and the first weeks, I simply followed the 16:8 method. I found an app that has great programs and found a program for weight loss and the setup seems to be switching it up with different intervals of eating and fasting. I think of it almost as when you exercise you get best results when you switch it up by doing both cardio strength and different types of intervals. Does weight loss via IF get better results when you're not letting your body get used to a steady rhythm, but rather surprise it with different internal windows of fasting and eating." And then James, his subject is "Constantly changing fasting windows," and he says, "I started IF about a month ago using the BodyFast app, which recommends a different program every week, 24-hour fast 16:8, 20:4 and everything in between to prevent your body getting used to a pattern. I also move fasting periods myself to allow social occasions. I have heard you talk positively about keeping the same fasting rhythm. What is your view on switching schedules in these ways?"

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Therese and James, if you are at all familiar with my work, I am a huge proponent of variety as it pertains to nutrition, exercise, and a fasting program. Obviously, for women that are still menstruating there are times in the menstrual cycle when we should lean into more fasting as opposed to others when we should not. Men and menopausal women have the advantage of not having as much hormonal fluctuation. I typically do recommend-- our bodies get lazy, if we are doing the same thing, think about if you did the same workout at the gym every time you went, over time your body gets acclimated and you're no longer challenging it. And so, we want to think about exercise and a fasting regimen is a form of hormesis, beneficial stress in the right amount at the right time to keep things changed and challenged. And I'm absolutely a proponent of different types of exercise, which includes strength training, high-intensity interval training if that's appropriate for you, NEAT, which is just being physically active throughout the day that's not structured exercise. And then, leaning into the fasting piece. In fact, I was listening to a video of Chris Kresser today and he was presenting some new research, looking at women in particular in fasting and a lot of it goes back to things that I talk about, you have to have a large enough window to get enough protein in in your feeding window, not having to narrow the window, getting concerned with over fasting losing muscle mass. And so, there's a fine line for each one of us. And for me personally and I'm just going to use myself as an example, I'm in a very healthy weight, I don't want to lose muscle mass. I don't do long fasts. There are people to do them and if you have a lot of weight to lose, you're struggling a bit maybe you needed to have like a digestive reset, you have more latitude with that than someone that's already at a goal weight or already pretty metabolically flexible. I think it's a very individual decision, but I'm absolutely a fan of varying what we eat, when we eat, and not doing the same types of exercise every day. What do you think, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so I've thought about this a lot in general, with the exercise and everything, I definitely agree that mixing it up is so key including all those different types, like you were saying, because that's really most in line with how we would have evolved as a species, we weren't going to the gym and like working out for 30 minutes every day or like doing the same thing every single day, and we were moving functionally, we weren't just exercising this one muscle to, really aesthetically the way it looks. So, health-wise, exercise, mixing it up, I think is great. With fasting, I think as well, it can be great to mix things up. But I think the complicated nuance is, because I just know how I personally am, which for me, like it really works following the same fasting schedule. And when I go off of it, I don't feel as well. And I think part of that might have to do with the peripheral clocks of our body are driven independent within themselves. I was actually just reading about this in a book that I'll probably talk about next episode because have you heard of-- I think I mentioned it before, it's the Oldest Cure in the World?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I have not.

Melanie Avalon: It's by Steve Hendricks, it came out September 6 and it's the deepest dive into the history of fasting I have ever read. So, the subtitle is Adventures in the Art and Science of Fasting. I'm going to interview him which is really exciting, but its mind blowing some of the things I've been learning. But in any case, that part I was reading last night was about the SCN. So, the master clock in our body, which light affects and which drives a lot of our circadian rhythms. But then all of our cells have peripheral clocks and they can function on their own. So, they can be informed by the SCN, but they can also be completely informed on their own. And so, eating is actually a very intense clock within us and it's on its own rhythm and it's often based on how we're eating. And so, the reason I'm bringing this up is I find for me personally that if I follow my same fasting window of a one-meal-a-day situation at night, then I feel good during the day, I'm not hungry during the day, I'm hungry at night. I feel good at night, I find it that when I break it, it messes with that clock for me, and I just get ravenous. So, like if I were to like widen my eating window, which works really well for a lot of people like to have those days where they have a longer window. For me it like just doesn't work, it would just make me hungry and miserable and not feeling good. And so, I wonder if with the fasting it's something where people really should take it individually for how it affects them. And, how do they do with mixing it up or not mixing it up? I think some people will do better with mixing it up and some people won't. Do you have thoughts on that concept?

Cynthia Thurlow: I mean, I do. I just think overall if the bulk of the population here in the United States is not metabolically flexible, they have to change things up. I see where you and I are both coming from, honoring our bio-individuality, honoring the fact that I always call you the unicorn. And I mean that in the most affectionate way, like manner, not in a pejorative way. But like, I can get up early, I have to go to bed early, you can stay up late, you like to sleep in. So, it's like figuring out what works for our bodies. But knowing that the bulk of people are metabolically inflexible here in the United States and most westernized countries, changing things up in some capacity, even if it's, you lift an extra day that week, or maybe you go an extra hour without eating or maybe you shorten your window, like some degree of flexibility I think is important for us. And that's what I feel like intrinsically. And certainly, after coaching 1000s of people through this process, there are always exceptions, so let me be very clear. But I feel like most of us need some degree of alteration in schedule. Today's a good example, over the last several months, I've been leaning into eating a little earlier in the day and closing my window a little earlier and that has worked really well for me. But today, I didn't eat till I came home. So, I had an unintended almost 20-hour fast. And that's not my norm. But I was like, I'll be totally fine. I had a big meal, I'll have one more smaller meal before I go to bed, and I'll be good. Unfortunately, when I trained 1000 years ago, the mindset and methodology was you treat every patient the same in terms of if they have blood pressure problems, everyone starts with this medication at this dose. And I've just learned to be a little more thoughtful and a little more individualized. So, some type of variation of what you're doing it doesn't have to be dramatic, can be very helpful.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really glad you said that nuance and that's something I was actually going to comment on. I wasn't quite sure how to say it and I think you said it really well. So, for me, the way I would bring in variability in a way or switching things up would be like fasting a little bit longer. Like it would be like a slight tweak rather than just a completely different eating window or I think I could get similar benefits possibly by changing completely what I'm eating in my eating window, like, be it macro wise or whatever. So, or even like a low-protein day just to like switch things up, or switching to a low-carb day to switch things up. I definitely think there is some magic there with the metabolic [unintelligible [01:03:13] piece. I do wonder though if for some people just sticking it out, at least while they're metabolically inflexible to a certain window might be important until they're metabolically flexible. I don't know if I'm articulating it correctly.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, no, no, I totally agree with you and in fact, I had someone on Instagram the other day. And I know of her, she's very thin, she's an exercise person. She kept saying I don't know why you don't just tell people to intuitively eat. And I said that works fine if you're metabolically flexible, but if you are not, you can't and to think that everyone can is pejorative. And so, I have to very politely say that every time because she always comes back and says, "Don't tell women over the age of 50 they can't do this and this and this." And I'm like, "Well, maybe you're an outlier." But generally speaking, I'm trying to come from a place of kindness, but it's clearly a triggering topic. I think what I hear you saying is very aligned with what I think that we have to be gentle and kind and realize that some people are ready to jump in feet first and some people have to like dip their toe in the pond. They're terrified of adjusting what they're doing and so just acknowledge what resonates for you what feels good. We would never advocate that people do something that's beyond their comfort level. Like if you said to me, I want you to play to organ meat, I would struggle with that I have to be completely upfront, it might be just as scary as suggesting someone to change their feeding window. So, I think just entertaining the possibility of making subtle adjustments can be beneficial.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I cannot agree more and it's really glad to hear your thoughts about that. I often wonder, especially in the beginning when people are fasting if they hadn't flexed their fasting muscle yet, they might want to switch things up, but it's because they haven't stuck to it long enough to really get in the flow of fasting. So, I get nervous about people trying to be too intuitive, too soon. Some people are great though being intuitive, but some people aren't. You just have to know who you are and what works for you.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, unfortunately, I sometimes see very metabolically flexible people shaming other people for not leaning into intuitive eating. I'm like, they can't it's not that they don't want to, the hormonal regulation in their body is off and they just can't lean into that. So, I think that we have to be kind and open minded and compassionate, I think that goes a long way.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly, even for me, it would be really, really hard. And it's not a skill that I feel like I need to learn. I don't feel like I need to be able to intuitively eat a brownie. Maybe if I eat a brownie that makes me really cravy and want more food and maybe that's just the way it is. And maybe I can just know that about myself and not feel bad that I can't, moderate things like that. I think it should be okay if you know that certain foods are troublesome for you to abstain if that makes you happier.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, no, no I think it's interesting. The thing that I'm always intuitive about is carbs, I don't count carbs, but I have a good sense of how much I'm eating. And so, like yesterday is a good example, I wanted blueberries. And by some miracle, my 15-year-old hadn't eaten them all yet. My husband bought them on Sunday. And usually, he finishes off any fruits that's in the house within 24 hours. And so, I had some blueberries and my husband was like, I'm actually glad to see you eating some blueberries. I said, "Well, I wanted them." And it was like, my body wanted something healthy, and I'll lean into that. And so that's the intuition. But I acknowledge that not every person and quite frankly if we look at statistics 7% to 8% of Americans are metabolically flexible. So, the average person can't do that. I think it can be validating to hear that and also gives people something to work towards.

Melanie Avalon: All righty. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode295. You can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_ and I want to apologize to you, Cynthia, for my craziness today and to the audience for my craziness, but I have the Taylor Swift tickets now. [chuckles]

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, so you got your tickets. I was saying to Melanie, the ticket prices have gotten so insane. I was like how do young people afford to go. I went to so many concerts when I was a teenager and a 20-something, kind of makes me sad.

Melanie Avalon: I know. It's crazy.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's probably why I have tinnitus. I have chronic tinnitus, a chronic ringing in my ears, and my working hypothesis from my ENT, it's all those concerts you went to and I was like probably Red Hot Chili Peppers was especially loud many years ago.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I bet. So, we're going to like rock and roll-type concerts?

Cynthia Thurlow: I've been to everything. It runs the gamut from alternative music when I was in college is now considered very mainstream. But I've seen Red Hot Chili Peppers, I've seen U2 multiple times. I'm dating myself, but yeah, but now it's like I have no interest in being in a big loud crowd. I'm like okay I can watch everything online, I'm good. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Well, I go to concerts. I'm going to Mannheim Steamroller in a few weeks and I'm going to Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but I don't normally-- and I go to musicals that doesn't count. [laughs] I know I'm not a concert person except for Taylor Swift.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I'm very excited for you.

Melanie Avalon: So "Oh, my goodness." Okay. Well. This has been wonderful. Thank you again, sorry again, and I will talk to you next week.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team, administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and re-composed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Dec 04

Episode 294: Creatine, Excess Skin, Toning Up, Clean Hair Dye, Hormones, Caffeine, Cortisol, Hormetic Stress, Jet Lag, Hydration, Melatonin, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 294 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:

AVALONX BERBERINEThis Natural, Potent Anti-Inflammatory Plant Alkaloid Reduces Blood Sugar And Blood Lipids, Aids Weight Loss, Supports A Healthy Body Composition, Stimulates AMPK And Autophagy, Benefits Gut Bacteria And GI Health, And More! Stock Up During The Launch Special From 12/16/22-12/31/22! Avalonx Supplements Are Free Of Toxic Fillers, Common Allergens, Heavy Metals,  Mold, And Triple Tested For Purity And Potency. Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - AVALONX BERBERINEUse The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

4:05 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

Go To cynthiathurlow.com/creatine and use code CYNTHIA for 10% off!

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

LOMI: Turn Your Kitchen Scraps Into Dirt, To Reduce Waste, Add Carbon Back To The Soil, And Support Sustainability! Get $50 Off Lomi At Lomi.Com/Melanieavalon With The Code MELANIEAVALON!

16:30 - LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase And try the chocolate medley while supplies last! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

20:00 - Listener Q&A: Dillon - Too “Skin'ny"

22:00 - Listener Q&A: Sarah - Toning Up

28:00 - Listener Q&A: Marili - Hair dyes

Light Mountain | Madison Reed | Arctic Fox | VANICREAM™ Hair Spray

Go To melanieavalon.com/dime To Get 10% Off Site Wide At DIME Beauty!

39;20 - Listener Q&A: Kelly - Cortisol

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #118 - Dr. Michael Breus

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #148 - Dr. Michael Breus (Part 2)

46:25 - GREEN CHEF: Go To greenchef.com/ifpodcast And Use Code IFPODCAST To Get $5.99 Per Meal Plus Free Shipping On Your First Box!

49:50 - Listener Q&A: Lynn - Jet Lag

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #112 - Dr. John Lieurance

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode # 3 - Dr. Kirk Parsley

Use The Code MELANIEAVALON At Melanieavalon.Com/Sleepremedy For 10% Off!!

Ep. 233 How to Optimize Your Hormones & Metabolism For Vitality

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

Hi friends, I am so thrilled to announce that my next AvalonX supplement is official and almost here. It is something that I currently take every single day of my life and that is berberine. I first started taking berberine when I first started using a continuous glucose monitor which constantly monitored my blood sugar levels, I found that taking berberine had a dramatic effect on my fasting and post-meal blood sugar levels. Berberine is a plant alkaloid which has been shown to rival metformin when it comes to reducing blood sugar levels without any of the side effects. Blood sugar regulation is so important for health. It's a key factor in metabolic syndrome and preventatively taking care of your blood sugar levels or treating high blood sugar levels is so, so important for health and longevity. That's why I am thrilled to be making a berberine supplement. And it's not just blood sugar control, berberine has been shown to have so many benefits. It's been shown in studies to beneficially modulate adipose tissue. It can actually help change the composition of your fat to a more healthy profile. Think less visceral fat, which is the inflammatory fat found around our organs. It's also been shown to have beneficial effects on PCOS and reductions in inflammation and is a potent stimulator of autophagy which is one of our favorite things. Berberine has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on blood lipids, which is huge, and I wanted to make the best berberine on the market, we looked so hard to find a source of Berberine that tested to be high potency and free of pesticides. Yes, we did third party lab testing on our source as well as testing to assure its quality. It has been tested multiple times for toxins including heavy metals and mold and has no problematic fillers. It also comes in a glass bottle to help prevent leaching of plastics into ourselves and the environment. This is the berberine that you want I promise and it is coming at midnight of Friday, December 16. To get all of the updates about it definitely get on my email list that's at avalonx.us/emaillist, we'll be announcing the launch special on that list. You can also get text updates and a 20% off coupon by texting AVALONX to 877-861-8318. That's AVALONX to 877-861-8318.

By the way, if you would like to get a CGM to monitor your blood sugar levels and see just how berberine is affecting it, you can get $30 off NutriSense CGM at nutrisense.io/ifpodcast with the coupon code IFPODCAST, that's nutrisense.io/ifpodcast with a coupon code IFPODCAST. If you'd to get any of my other amazing supplements at avalonx.us, use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON to get 10% off sitewide at avalonx.us. You can also use that coupon code MELANIEAVALON to get 10% off sitewide and my fantastic partner MD Logic Health for that go to melanieavalon.com/mdlogic.

And one more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat. But do you know what is possibly one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting, it's actually our skincare and makeup. As it turns out, Europe has banned over a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disrupters, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens, which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream. And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things, like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup may be playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because ladies when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years. 

Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that, there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. They have counter time for anti-aging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life. And their makeup is amazing. Check out my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey, even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo, and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. Also make sure to get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list. So, definitely check it out. You can join me in my Facebook Group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well.

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

Hi, everybody and welcome. This is episode number 294 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: How are you, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm doing well. I'm super excited. We're a couple of weeks into the creatine and we're getting such great feedback. It's really exciting. And I have to thank you for encouraging me to do my own supplements as opposed to white labeling supplements as I had been doing.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited for you. By the time this airs, it will have come out right? This airs December 5th.

Cynthia Thurlow: Correct.

Melanie Avalon: So, just as a recap, why did you choose creatine as your first supplement?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it had a lot to do with the fact that I was getting more involved in the research. I myself over the last year started taking creatine last fall and was noticing a lot of beneficial gains in the gym, every week increased the amount of weight I was lifting. And that's been really important to me because I psychologically like to know that I'm getting stronger, not weaker with age. And we understand the complex in relationship between how we start losing muscle mass, and frankly bone mass in our 40s. It's really important to help maintain that. My thought process was I want all my supplements to be focused on two key areas. One is maintaining muscle mass and number two is anything that's going to be helpful for supporting brain and cognition. Creatine was an easy first start because both men and women benefit from taking creatine, but in particular, really my life's work is really helping women understand how it can benefit them. And I think there's a lot of common misconceptions, but it's probably one of the most well researched ergogenic aids or supplements that's out there and I just like people to understand how it can benefit them and not just about the muscle piece, but understand there are certain times during our menstrual cycle where our creatine needs go up and why vegetarians or vegans actually need more creatine than the rest of us. And taking into account the changes in physiology as we get older. For all those reasons, I decided that I would keep it pretty simple. I think you and I are in alignment that we'd like to keep the supplements simple so that we know what works or what doesn't work. And so, creatine all by itself seemed to be a good starting point.

Melanie Avalon: It's interesting because it's something that wasn't really hardcore on my radar or I think maybe I was sort of writing it off in my mind, because I associated it with a protein supplement, probably erroneously. And I was like "I don't need to take any protein-related stuff." But I'm realizing more and more how it's not really about that, as all of these other benefits and I've been hearing it pop up on so many places, so many books, podcasts. So, I'm really, really excited to get yours. We were mentioning the vegan thing, there's that one I would say famous, I realized I probably think things are famous that aren't famous. But there's that one well-known study that looks at creatine supplementation in vegans versus omnivores. And it's debated because they try to debate the interpretation of the results. But me reading it, I think it makes a strong case that vegans likely are, needing creatine to have better brain function compared to meat eaters. What makes your creatine special?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, we really went to the research and it's creatine monohydrate. So, it's a pure form of creatine without fillers, there's no concerns about contaminants. I think the high-quality nature of it, I always jokingly say that you have to be careful where you buy your supplements and who you buy them from. And I just felt that MD Logic was the right company to partner with so that I could get the quality of supplements that I was looking for. But creatine monohydrate is the form of creatine that's best studied. And something that's important for people to understand is that you can't get enough of it from your diet, and just like everything else, we make less of it as we get older. I think for a lot of people, we made the association at the gym bro thing, you think about people that are using anabolic steroids. I just remind individuals that the amount that we're recommending based on the research is much smaller than what bodybuilders are using. It's not as if you're going to get puffy or start retaining water that's not going to happen because we're using therapeutic amounts as opposed to super therapeutic amounts that are used in that population of individuals.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm glad you mentioned that. I think that was one of the main associations I had in my head, which is why I was miss categorizing it and its potential benefits. And I know I can also speak because I know you're working with MD Logic. So, it's going to be tested multiple times for purity and potency, and for toxins and heavy metals and mold, which is, that's really important to me. How can people get your creatine and you have code for listeners?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, the code is CYNTHIA to get 10% off. You can go to cynthiathurlow.com/new-shop/creatine/ and that will get you direct access to a really interesting page of information. And you can use code CYNTHIA to get 10% off and we'll make sure we put that in the show notes.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Okie Dokie. So, we will put all of that in the show notes. I do want to share just I mentioned I was going to share something last week. I wanted to share it really quickly because I know with the timing of this, and the holidays for two reasons, all the food festivities coming up and also, I know people are looking for gifts and I think this would be the most amazing gift ever. I have something in my life now that I am obsessed with. I'm beyond obsessed. Do you have a composter?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do not. We weren't allowed to have them in our last neighborhood outside.

Melanie Avalon: So, a brand actually reached out to us wanting to partner with IF Podcast, so I'm hoping we can partner with them in the new year. We were booked with inventory for this year, but I did book them for my other show and it's Lomi. It's a composter that you can have in your kitchen. Friends. Oh, my goodness. I've been wanting to compost for so long, but it seemed very daunting. It just seemed like a big task. I have been throwing away as you guys know, I eat so many cucumbers. I throw away pounds of cucumber peels every night. And now I put all of my cucumber peels and all of my cilantro stems into this wonderful little device. It's like if you think of a crockpot, it's probably the size of two crockpots. But it's very sleek and savvy and quiet and I just have it down on the floor next to my trashcan. I throw all of my scraps in it every single night. I press the button, it runs overnight, and the next morning, it's magically turned into dirt. It is the most incredible thing. And you can put in these little pellets that will make it more microbial-rich dirt if you want to use that dirt to put in the garden or grow stuff yourself. I don't I just actually throw out the actual dirt. But it's becoming one of my favorite things. And I'm so happy it's in my life with all of the waste coming up off the holidays and are looking for a gift. This would be an amazing gift for people. I wanted to share it for so long because I've been so obsessed. So, now's the time, hopefully we'll have a code for them on the show in the new year. But for now, if you go to lowmi.com/melanieavalon, the coupon code MELANIEAVALON will get you $50 off. So, definitely check it out. It's honestly one of my favorite things.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's so awesome, yeah, our last HOA was really strict and so even the crunchy people in our neighborhood couldn't have composters, just silly to me. But maybe this will force me to revisit the concept because I have a husband who likes to garden. That's his thing, he loves planting fruits and vegetables and loves being out in the yard and doing yard work, and maybe that will encourage him to make good use of things that otherwise get tossed or put down the garbage disposal.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, you have it inside. You have it in your kitchen, so anybody can really have it. It's just so cool, the first time you do it too if you haven't done it before, though it's so cool to put in all of these food scraps, and then it's just this nice dirt in the morning and the dirt, it smells really good. It's fruity-smelling dirt for me at least because it's the cucumbers. And yeah, definitely check that out.

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Melanie Avalon: Okei dokei, shall we get into some listener questions for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have two questions. I'm going to read both of them because they speak to a similar concept and it's something that we've talked about on the show before. But I really wanted to get Cynthia's input on this and see what she has experienced with her patients. So, the first question comes from Dylan, the subject is "Too "skin"ny." Hey, ladies love the podcast, I started listening in the middle of January this year when I started my IF journey. And I've since caught up and listened to every episode, you're both so funny and encouraging. I'm typically on a 24 routine but often find that I eat all of my food within one to two hours and I feel satisfied. I also do a 44-hour fast once every other week. Since January, I've lost over 50 pounds and have 10 more to go, but I'm at my target weight. I started at 235 pounds, the heaviest I've ever been. I'm also happy with the fact that I'm gaining muscle about as quickly as I'm burning fat by doing occasional HIIT and light weightlifting.

My question is regarding extra skin. I've lost weight so rapidly that I have a lot of extra skin, especially in my abdominal area. Will my body eventually begin to shed the extra skin through autophagy? Do you have any tips for reducing stretch marks without expensive creams or lotions? Any tips regarding this will be greatly appreciated. Keep up the great work. I recommended your podcast to several friends and coworkers and a few of them have started their own IF journeys. One of those converts is a friend of mine who is beginning his residency to become a physician. And by researching several papers and studies is now a major advocate for fasting. Regards, Dylan. First of all, I'm going to say, Dylan, that's awesome about sharing it with doctors because it's really nice to get some of this perspective into the mainstream medical community.

And we have a question from Sarah, the subject is "Toning up." Sarah says, "I've been doing IF around six weeks and I've just been introduced to your podcast, which I'm listening to on catch-up. So, apologies if my question is answered in a podcast that I haven't reached yet. I am doing IF for weight loss and anything extra from clean fasting is a bonus. With large weight loss comes saggy skin, will I have help with this over time or will I need additional exercises to target this? Loving the podcasts. All right, so Cynthia, have you had experience with this?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, so thank you to Dylan and Sarah for your questions. And yes, they are very similar in terms of people that have lost quite a bit of weight and are looking to have some improvement in the excess skin. One thing that I say to patients is in many ways when your skin stretches out, it's been stretched out for a period of time, depending on how old you are, obviously if you're a perimenopausal, menopausal it's going to be harder because as we're losing estrogen that is critically important for collagen and elastin formation. That doesn't mean it's impossible but I do find when people have lost large amounts of weight that sometimes it becomes more challenging. Now there are specific types of lasers, there are topical products that can help to some degree. But I would be remiss if I were to say that I think all of that can be ameliorated just with weight loss and fasting. But I think it really comes down to what bothers you and how aggressively you want to fix it.

I'm an advocate of people feeling comfortable in their bodies and feeling comfortable with where they are, but probably if you're feeling doing laser to help stimulate more collagen and elastin and if that's not something that's going to fix the problem or topical things are not going to be aggressive enough, then you could potentially move on to surgical interventions. And obviously, I'm not a plastic surgeon and I can't speak for them. But for a lot of my patients, they end up getting to a point where they want to surgically address this, I have just as many that are comfortable doing nonsurgical options as an aside, but as you are getting more to your ideal weights, there will be some changes to the skin, but a lot of it can be mitigated by, where we are in time and space, obviously a 30-year-old losing a bunch of weight, it's going to be-- they're going to have a better rebound effect than someone that's a little bit older. And just when women have pregnancies and they stretch their abdomens out over a period of 40 weeks, for many people they do get some rebound of that skin and really a lot of it can be genetically mediated. In a very broad context, I think that a lot of it is dependent on what you're doing and what bothers you enough? For some people, they're completely comfortable pulling on some Spanx and going about their day for others that would be problematic, but I would wait till you get closer to your goal weight before examining what options are available. What do you think Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I know Dr. Fung has talked in the past about how one of the things they noticed in their weight loss clinics with fasting patients is that the fasting patients wouldn't experience all or at least the extent of saggy skin effects that people often see with weight loss. And I think he's proposed that it could be something with the autophagy that's going on there helping to mitigate that effect. I do think that losing weight with fasting can potentially have a more beneficial effect on the excess skin and the effects like. I agree completely with everything Cynthia said. This is something where depending on how intense it is, I know Dylan was saying that he was not so much interested in expensive creams or lotions. I do think most creams or lotions are probably not going to do that much. That said I actually do think there is a benefit to some topical treatment especially because you can put these compounds directly on the skin. I would to formulate some sort of cream in the future that might help with skin tightening. That said the most effective thing is probably going to be what Cynthia mentioned with the lasers and the things like that. I actually really, really like-- I've done something called CryoSlim, it's a cold therapy application and a warm therapy that has a really nice skin tightening effect, also building muscle in the area can be great depending on where the area is filling up that area with muscle and having a beneficial effect on the perception of the skin. And especially I've talked about it before, but I've been doing a lot of EmSculpt, which is muscle stimulation-- electrical muscle stimulation and I've actually built a lot of muscle using it. And it has the added benefit if you do the Emsculpt Neo specifically.

It also has a radiofrequency application, I believe it's radiofrequency that also has a skin-tightening and fat-burning effect. And so, people might think that who am I to make a testimony about this? But I think when you do get down to the really intense lingering things, you really can tell what is working and what's not. And I've seen a huge effect on some personal areas doing the Emsculpt Neo in particular. And I really, really like that because you get the muscle-building effects, which is going to have a huge benefit for metabolic health. And then on top of that it seems to have a really nice effect on the skin surrounding the area as well. But then there are also lots of other skin tightening options and I do think there're a lot there. So, you can just like cut those different options out, again that is going to be a more expensive and committed route to go. Shall we go on to our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: This is from Marilee and the subject is "Hair dyes." "Hello, do you dye your hair? What do you use? Hair dyes have all the nasty ingredients, so I'm wondering what are your thoughts on that. I am bleaching my hair monthly and I'm wondering where all the nasty stuff I'm ingesting through my skin. Also, I'm from Estonia and was shocked in a positive way that Melanie has two podcasts with my fellow Estonian, Siim Land. Best wishes," Marilee. Melanie, what are your thoughts on this?

Melanie Avalon: Also, I did not plan this last week. I know we were talking a lot about Siim Land. I am all about the nontoxic environment, cleaning up our exposure to toxins in our environment. I don't know how much I can talk about it. I feel I talk about it all the time. I'm going to be completely honest and transparent. I haven't done this with my hair dye. I'm actually blonde, I'm dirty blonde, I lighten it, I probably should look more into this, but I've just personally decided that I've cleaned up everything else so much, all of my skincare, all of my makeup, my food, my environment, the hair is the one thing where I'm just going to just do it and I'm not going to stress about it. That said, I know it is probably something in the future that hopefully I will look into more. And I did look into it little bit and interestingly I have a Facebook group you can join called Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon. And people have asked this before, somebody actually asked about this last week, which was perfect timing. And there were about 30 comments of people having suggestions. Some of the things that came up and I would recommend that you do some further research on these because again I don't have experience with them. And I didn't hardcore vet them. Well, a lot of people in the group-- I actually think that the nature of the question was somebody was saying she wanted to use henna and again this would not be for lightening. This wouldn't be for Marilee's issue. But for people who are going dark, she was saying that she was thinking of using henna and her hair girl was saying that it could have heavy metals in it and be an issue. Comments, people were saying they did not have that experience and we're not aware of that and I haven't seen that anywhere else. So, I don't know if that's an issue, but henna is often used to go darker.

There's a brand I found called Light Mountain and again, it's really hard to know if this is greenwashing or not. And by greenwashing, I mean are they just using a lot of words to make it seem really great when it's not, but I think erring on the side of at least companies that are purporting to be more nontoxic is probably a safe choice. On Light Mountain's website they say that the premier natural hair color and conditioner product line, they say they use no chemicals, no synthetic ingredients, only pure premium henna and other botanicals that they've been blending since the 1980s and are leading totally natural line in the natural products industry. So, you could look into them. Another person recommended Tints of Nature, which they actually sell on Thrive Market and according to them they say we use the lowest possible levels of PPD pigments and leave out harsh ingredients like ammonia. They say they ensure that all of the ingredients are high quality and sourced from responsible suppliers who do their bit to protect the planet. They believe that natural ingredients are better and they prefer to use kind and gentle natural and organic ingredients that give love back to your hair. They leave out synthetic nasties like ammonia parabens, resorcinol, I don't know what that is, and sulfates and they say the only time they use synthetic ingredients are when they cannot find a suitable natural alternative. That might be an option to look into. A lot of people have recommended Madison Reed, it was hard for me to evaluate if they are great or if it was greenwashing. But in any case, it's probably better than what most people are normally getting, so that might be something to look into. So those are the options that I am recommending. Cynthia, do you dye or color your hair?

Right now, I'm doing a lot of Lowlights because we're heading out of summer and I actually like a really ashy blonde. With each kiddo, my hair got darker and so I do partial highlights throughout the year. I don't use bleach because I have that ashy look and so there's a constant battle to keep that ashy look and not be gold and so bleach for me doesn't really work well. Admittedly my hair is definitely an area where I struggle a bit to find cleaner products. I use things like argon oil to help with frizz and that's obviously clean that's made in Morocco and you can find organic derivatives. But I would say the two that I'm most familiar with the clean hair dye options or cleaner, Madison Reed as Melanie also just identified and also there's a company called Arctic Fox. I have a couple of girlfriends who use that, it's vegan. According to them it works really well on lighter-colored hair, but can work well on dark hair as well. Beyond that, my hair colorist, we try to find the cleanest options that are available but this is definitely an area where I'm constantly a work in progress because I have very coarse hair and so for me using the super clean shampoos generally don't-- They don't clean my hair all that well and they don't moisturize it sufficiently so we're constantly trying different things to find cleaner options, but Arctic Fox and Madison Reed are two options and I think those are available to people that they can purchase on their own. You don't have to purchase it through your hairstylist, but yeah there's not 100% consensus on finding things that are easier on our hair and nontoxic. I know a lot of people, you're starting to see emerging trends. I'm starting to see a lot of women that are middle-aged that aren't dyeing their hair anymore. For me, I don't have a lot of gray so that wouldn't per se necessarily help me out, but I think for each one of us we have to pick our poisons if you will, and for me right now I just haven't been able to go 100% clean on shampoo or hair dye, but I definitely endeavor to keep looking for cleaner, safer options.

Melanie Avalon: So, on the shampoo, conditioner front. I do love, love, love, Beautycounter's shampoo and conditioner. It doesn't weigh my hair down. I just really love how it makes my hair feel. They used to be called Free & Clear. I think they're now called Vanicream, but they make a completely unscented allergen-friendly shampoo and conditioner. I like their shampoo. I like to pair actually their shampoo with the Beautycounter conditioner. Because I find if I do the Beautycounter conditioner and shampoo sometimes, it's too moisturizing for me. I also love their hairspray. I wish Beautycounter would make a hairspray, but I really, really like, like I said I think it's called Vanicream now. I really liked their Free & Clear hairspray, it has no perfumes and works really well. So, I'll put a link to that in the show notes as well. I can't believe I used to spray my whole face with all this hairspray that had all those perfumes and compounds in them. I shudder thinking about it. Now whenever I go get my hair done, she always wants to bring out the hairspray at the end. I'm like no, don't. Don't spray that on me.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's challenging and I don't pass judgment on people that are navigating how to make better options. It's interesting we're doing a webinar on Sunday night talking about cleaner options for your home and for your makeup. And I'm very transparent and just share with people that there are some things that are easy for me and some things are harder, and you just do the best that you can. And if you're avoiding 80% of what's out there, you're doing pretty darn good. So, don't beat yourself up.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I have that experience recently because I really wanted to try eyelash extensions. I was going on a trip to Austin and so I wanted to just try them and not have to deal with mascara. And I was researching it I was okay, well, this is going to require chemicals. But you just got to choose what you-- the cost benefit of everything. I did them, they were super fun, I will say that I took them out and I freaked out by how much my eyelashes seemed shorter. And it's hard to know if they actually were gone or if they just seemed so different compared to the extensions. But then that's the situation where-- so the way I start with eyelash extensions, putting them on the application process seemed more a one-off compared to a chronic administration. When I took them off, I was I've got to find a growth serum. I really wanted to find a clean one. And oh, my goodness, I am obsessed, friends, get this now or if you need gifts for anybody. I tried DIME Eyelash Growth Serum, it's amazing and that's something if you're going to be using it, you're probably using it every single day. So, it was important for me to find a clean version of it. The growth, I'm so excited because now I honestly think I'm going to have fuller more lush lashes than I did even before the extensions because I'm using this every single day, I'm just going to use this every day for the rest of my life. So, if you go to melanieavalon.com/dime the coupon code MELANIEAVALON will actually get you a discount sitewide but definitely try that lash growth serum. But yes, I definitely agree with you Cynthia about-- do the best you can, do a cost-benefit analysis, and just do what works best in your life.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely, and I've had good luck with castor oil, that can be helpful for people that feel their eyelashes aren't as vibrant as they once were. I know for my eyes are super sensitive, so I could never be one of those people that could do eyelash extensions. But when I do special events, I'll do the individual eyelashes that are just temporary and I'll do those, and I can always feel like by day two my eyes are, "Please get this stuff off." I think a lot of it has to do with the glue. I certainly have had some friends who've done really well with eyelash extensions and others that have struggled a bit, so lots of options there for sure.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I'm really glad I did them, they were super fun. If I hadn't done them, I wouldn't have looked into this growth serum. And now I'm just really excited, it's like I'm going to have the most luscious eyelashes ever naturally. I had one more comment "Oh, castor oil," castor oil just makes me want to cry. When I was in my really-- my face when I was really struggling with constipation, people will recommend castor oil to fix that. Have you ever taken castor oil? Have you ever--

Cynthia Thurlow: I never have.

Melanie Avalon: I can't even think about it. It is the worst? It is the most foul thing I have ever put in my body, the taste of it is just mm-hmm. Yes, castor oil makes me shudder. But that's different than you're saying putting it on your eyelashes.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Very cool.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I have some friends that have had really good luck with that.

Melanie Avalon: Nice. If it didn't make me want to cry, I would try that.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, we don't want to induce crying, that would be bad.

Melanie Avalon: Listeners, though, can check out the show notes. We'll put links to everything that we talked about. I feel bad for our editor, Brianna for this one because there're so many show notes to create. Okay, shall we go on to our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm.

Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Kelly. The subject is "Cortisol." And Kelly says "Hi ladies, thanks for all that you do for the podcast. It has helped me and so many others. I've been listening since episode 3." Wow. "And look forward to the new podcast every week. I've been intermittent fasting for six months now and loving it. One side effect I've noticed is being easily startled in the afternoon before I break my fast. I sometimes have one cup of coffee early in the morning, but notice it on days that I don't have coffee too. Does this have to do with cortisol levels, can you speak to the effect of fasting on cortisol levels as a whole?" Thanks.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Kelly, there're many things that could impact how you're feeling and when we talk about coffee, quality is certainly important. Much a lot of crops, coffee is prone to exposure to mycotoxins or mold. When people sometimes feel differently on days that they're consuming coffee or not consuming coffee, I always think about contaminants. But obviously, if your body is dependent on the caffeine that could also explain why you are feeling like you're having a slump in the afternoon and yes, could that be mediated by cortisol, it could also be mediated by what you're breaking your fast with. So, there're many nuances here. Cortisol is definitely influencing many things that go on in the body, cortisol goes up in response to our circadian biology. And when we get up in the morning, that's when cortisol should be highest. it ebbs and flows throughout the day, and is lowest in the evening, except for our unicorn co-host, Melanie Avalon. But certainly, in me that's how you know, my energy is greatest in the morning and early afternoon, and then throughout the rest of the day, it's waxing and waning, but still fairly consistent. But you have to think about fasting as a hormetic stressor. If your body perceives it's too much stress, it can increase your cortisol in a non-beneficial way. And so, I think you really have to take into account many things when considering the net impact on fasting, it can be impacted by the foods you choose to consume, how's your sleep, what's your stress management style like? What kind of exercise are you doing? Where are you in your menstrual cycle? All of which can be impacted negatively or positively by when or how much fasting you are embracing? I think really sitting down and getting nuanced about how caffeine influences how you feel in the afternoon, you mentioned easily startled, yes, caffeine is a stimulant, so some people are slow metabolizers of coffee or caffeine and others are faster metabolizers of caffeine and so that can also play a role as well. But I think looking at it comprehensively getting a little bit nuanced and also understanding, not wanting to overfast because that can impact your cortisol, understanding where you're on your menstrual cycle and how is stress and sleep and nutrition impacting your cortisol as well? What do you think, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: So, speaking to the fact that she has this startling effect if she has coffee or not. It sounds like she's having this wired feeling regardless of the caffeine. And it probably is related, I would guess, to fasting and being in that sympathetic state. So, the fasted state does upregulate hormones and neurotransmitters that are energetic and make you active, so norepinephrine, epinephrine, cortisol. Yes, that startling feeling, coffee or not that you experience with fasting definitely could be playing a role. As far as the effects of fasting on cortisol levels. We actually talked about this in a lot of detail on an episode where we were discussing a study, I think it's when we were talking about a blog post that Dr. Sarah Ballantyne had done on this, and she referenced a study looking at the effects of fasting on cortisol levels. And, actually, I think it was the effects of later eating--fasting with later eating on cortisol levels. And the fascinating thing about that study is I went and looked at it and it seemed that having a fasting window during the day with eating later, really did create the cortisol pattern that we'd want to see with the caveat of like Cynthia saying over fasting and having too much cortisol, but basically, our natural cortisol rhythm, we should get a bump in the morning with the dawn effect. And the purpose is to prep the body with fuel for the day, release glycogen from the liver, so you can get up and go and as a hunter-gatherer get up and go find your meal. It's normal to see a cortisol bump in the morning and then it should slowly taper throughout the day.

It seems that eating later can further stimulate that pattern where you have higher cortisol in the morning and lower cortisol at night. I think fasting can pair really well with cortisol levels. But again, you do want to be careful, Cynthia was saying that you're not going too much with it and releasing too much cortisol not being able to have a beneficial cortisol pattern. It's also interesting. I've interviewed Dr. Michael Breus on my show multiple times. He points out that most people should have these normal cortisol levels, but there's one chronotype-- one sleep chronotype that he calls the dolphin which I am and we're unique in that we naturally get a cortisol bump at night, regardless. I think that's actually a reason that I do so well with eating at night is because I can counter that cortisol bump and because when I eat my main, my big meal, I find that it really reduces my cortisol levels. Well, I don't measure them, but I'm assuming it does. That's the experience that I personally experience. And so that's one reason that I really like my fasting pattern for me personally with my cortisol levels. But yes, the startling it is, I can definitely see how fasting would be encouraging that response.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, absolutely. And I think this is where that piece and bio-individuality really plays in. As an example, Melanie and I are recording this podcast at 5:45 PM, which means she's just getting revved up and my body is okay, we're going to be in bed in a couple of hours. And I think, really leaning into our physiology and doing a degree of experimentation to find out what supports your body. I know I have plenty of patients and clients that do better with tea as opposed to coffee in many ways, there can sometimes be less caffeine in some of the bitter teas. I would experiment to see how you respond to that. You can certainly, depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, you may respond more readily and more easily to longer fast, shorter fast, etc.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's a great suggestion. Yeah, a lot of people do well with the green tea and also a lot of people, I've seen people pair theanine with caffeine and find that it can mitigate some of that so that people can have a less stressful response to the caffeine. So that might be something to try.

Hi friends, there are a lot of meal delivery services out there and I am only obsessed with one of them. Green Chef is my favorite meal delivery service of all time and I'm going to tell you how you can get 599 per meal on your first box as well as free shipping. They are a CCOF certified meal kit company. That is a nonprofit organization that advances organic agriculture for healthy world through organic certification, education, advocacy, and promotion. As you guys know, I tend to eat super plain and I go to the grocery store every single day, but I know there are a lot of people out there who rely on meal delivery services for their daily meals. And so that's why I wanted to find the best of the best for my audience and that is Green Chef. Whether you're keto, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or just looking to eat more balanced meals, they have a range of recipes to suit whatever your preferences are. They are the only meal kit that is both carbon and plastic offset. That means they offset 100% of their carbon footprint as well as 100% of the plastic in every box. I'm obsessed with high-quality seafood. I think it is so incredible for health but the seafood industry is so sketchy and can have so many problems with it. 100% of the seafood in Green Chef meets the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch rankings of certified, best choice or good alternative.

With Green Chef you're actually reducing your food waste by at least 23% versus grocery shopping, plus the recipes are delicious and perfect for the holiday season. They have their festive fair, which is a curated collection of premium dinners to help make your holidays feel extra special. You have the option of USDA-certified organic ground beef, certified organic chicken, and wild-caught sockeye salmon in any meal and you can also add chicken or fish, to select vegan and veggie recipes if you want to add a protein boost, their keto meals are delicious. I know Cynthia loves those, they make sticking to a carb-conscious lifestyle easy. The meals come with pre-made and pre-measured sauces, dressings, and spices to make holiday hosting easy peasy leaving you more time to celebrate. And I love that I can use high-quality ingredients and really make them my own. I can choose if I want to leave out some things or what I do want to include to make it really what I want to eat. But of course, most people will probably just eat it the way it's recommended, which is delicious. I got a salmon with creamy chimichurri.

I left out the sweet potatoes and instead kept the salmon, the shallot, the cilantro, the pumpkin seeds, it was so delicious. They also have quite a few barramundi meals which is so exciting to me because barramundi is one of my favorite fish of all time. And Green Chef has an incredible offer for our audience, do not miss this. You can go to greenchef.com/ifpodcast and use the coupon code IFPODCAST to get $5.99 per meal on your first box and your first box ships free. Go to greenchef.com/ifpodcast and use code IFPODCAST to get $5.99 per meal on your first box and your first box ships free. Green Chef is the meal delivery service that you need and that I endorse. Do not miss this offer, Green Chef, the number one meal kit for eating well. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, so we go on to our next question.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. This is from Lynn, subject is "Jetlag." "I love love, love your show. I'm working my way through your previous episodes. It really helped me the first couple of weeks of intermittent fasting to listen to your shows daily. I started on January 1, 2018 and I'm down 19 pounds and counting. I'm currently doing one meal a day. My question is regarding travel and eating to prevent jetlag. I heard about a study from some, can't remember which one, a university that to start eating a day before on the time of the place you're going to prevent jetlag. Have you ladies traveled far? And how do you do with jetlag? I'm in Hawaii to meet up with my husband who is stationed in Japan for two years. It's a quick trip. Intermittent fasting makes it easy when you're traveling for sure. I really struggled with jetlag yesterday, I also use melatonin and a homeopathic med to help. I still struggle with it. Even in Hawaii, I still want to eat at my scheduled time in Virginia. I am going to Japan this summer, who knows what or how I'll feel in Japan? Any thoughts on food, intermittent fasting, and jetlag? Thank you for all you do. You are an inspiration for all of us out there trying to make this work."

Melanie Avalon: Awesome, thank you, Lynn for your question. I used to travel internationally, I mean, relatively a lot, every year mostly. I haven't done that since I've started fasting. I've just traveled domestically, but I can still speak to it. And I'll be super curious to hear Cynthia's thoughts because she's traveling all the time, I feel internationally. There's been a really interesting study on jetlag and fasting specifically and how fasting can help basically mitigate the effects of jetlag. And the way the setup is, is rather than eating before, she's talking about starting with the way she's eating before traveling, they advocate just once you get to the new place it's fasting and then eating on the time zone of the new place once you get there. So, personally just traveling domestically, so obviously, the biggest difference would only be a three-hour difference. I found that I have zero issues. Whenever I travel between LA and East Coast regardless of which way I'm going, I just fast as I normally do, and then I eat my dinner in my new location. And it immediately sets me back to that wherever I am, I have zero issues, zero.

Our food and our circadian rhythm regarding our food intake can heavily influence our sleep circadian rhythm. Because if you think about it, you could be completely awake and then you could eat a massive meal and get really tired or you could be exhausted and fasted and hungry and not be able to fall asleep. There's a big effect on our food intake and our sleep. It could be a really nice hack to use fasting and then just eat on the time zone of we're going. But again, I haven't done this internationally. Cynthia, what are your thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: This is such a great question. Because I am a world traveler. This is one of my great joys in life is traveling. So gosh, in the past 18 months, we've been to Africa, we've been to Europe, I do a lot of West Coast travel. I do find for me I just get on the plane and I generally just fast and I stay hydrated. And then as soon as I arrived, so I try to get on the schedule of wherever I'm going. So, if I arrive in the morning, what typically happens when you arrive in Europe, you're arriving in there morning, I will try to stay fasted until lunchtime, which is generally when I break my fast. Obviously, when I've traveled to Africa, most recently, you arrive in the evening. And I typically-- if I'm hungry, I'll eat but if I'm not hungry, I'll just go to bed and then the next morning, I'll get up and I'll eat around the time I would at home, even though it's the middle of the night at home. But I think when you really look at the research, it takes about one day per hour of time difference. So usually, a solid week in Europe when it's six plus hours ahead and in Africa, I would imagine Japan is going to take a bit longer because that's more than 12 hours I believe ahead of the East Coast. But obviously, it depends on where your husband is stationed. I think that you can absolutely integrate fasting into helping support jetlag, I think staying really well hydrated and trying to get light exposure on your retinas is going to be important. The other thing I've learned is that I travel really well when I go East and I always struggle a bit more when I go West, I can actually travel more easily to Europe or Africa. And I struggle more when I go to California and I suspect it's because being ahead is easier than being behind.

So, my body at 8 o'clock at night is saying it's really late for me, "Don't laugh Melanie." 11 o'clock at night is late for me, but in my mind even though it's 8:00 PM pacific standard time my body is really struggling to stay awake. I think just understanding it's going to take a period of time, it could take up to two weeks, you may be actually in Japan for that amount of time, so it may take a bit of time to acclimate. And really just being open to the fact that you're going to have a couple of days where you're probably going to drag. But the one thing that I've learned that's been really helpful is staying hydrated, resting when I need to, and then making sure I'm eating the proper macros. Again, protein, vegetables work really well for me regardless of where I am, if I start eating a bunch of junk and I start drinking a lot of alcohol, which I don't do, that would definitely worsen the jetlag for me, so hopefully, that's helpful. And enjoy your time in Japan.

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny, that really speaks to the bio-individuality aspect because for me traveling from Atlanta to LA, I love it because it just gives me a longer fast, it basically adds on, I guess, three additional hours of fasting and I often think every night anyways, "Oh, I could fast for another three hours." So, it's my dream situation. I'm curious, did you have a different experience of jetlag and all of that before you were fasting?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have been, so this is our-- I say everyone has priorities and travel has always been hours. I struggled more with jetlag when I was in my 20s. By the time I got to my 30s, so obviously my 20s and 30s. I wasn't fasting. When I got into my 30s, I remember when we went to Greece for our honeymoon, I was miserable trying to stay awake. So, do I think that fasting probably has helped, potentially, I think I'm also much more aware of the net impact of lifestyle and how that plays in with jetlag. And, I probably walked around chronically dehydrated for years, which probably exacerbated my jetlag. So yeah, I can honestly tell you that I was that person who walked around feeling I was drunk for days. And it was because I just couldn't get over that sleep pump. And, obviously, I would say I've traveled pretty effortlessly since fasting, largely because I understand how to fuel my body. And I think that makes a big difference. And honestly, more often than not, when I'm in an airport or when I'm traveling even domestically, I generally will stay hydrated. I'll drink a lot of electrolytes, but I'll just fast in anticipation of wherever I'm going to. That's a good question.

Melanie Avalon: Fasting is such a wonderful hack and tool for travel I think and not having to deal with airplane food and not feeling chained to having to deal with the meal aspect of it. And yeah, I just find it so, so helpful.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely, and I think it's interesting that one of the standard questions that I think we both get on social media is what do you do when you travel? So, I always travel with the if in need these are the things I'll eat, but I always travel with, Paleovalley beef jerky. I always travel with salted Macadamia nuts, because if I get in a position where I'm really hungry, I don't want to eat crap and most airports here in the US there's a lot of junk, I mean, occasionally you get unicorn airports but generally, there's just a lot of processed junk so, I always have that available if I need it. But it's easy just to stay hydrated. I mean I used to carry glass water bottles and depends on how much traveling I'm doing but now sometimes I'll just go in and buy, I know it's trying to find the happy medium of do I want to carry around a glass water bottle for four or five days or do I want to just buy a bottle of FIJI water and use some electrolytes in it and just forgive myself for the exposure to plastics and just be done with it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, goes back to deciding what's worth it and what's the cost-benefit and I will comment on the melatonin piece. I'm a huge fan of melatonin, I had concerns about it down-regulating melatonin production and whether or not I should take it nightly, but learning more about it, especially reading Dr. John Lieurance's book, I think he calls it Melatonin Miracle. I learned a lot about melatonin and realized it has a lot of antioxidant effects and people do high-dose melatonin supplementation and I've interviewed Dr. Kirk Parsley about this and he has a little bit of melatonin in his sleep remedy supplement which can be really, really amazing. Oh, by the way, I definitely recommend that supplement if you are looking for something to help you naturally fall asleep without pharmaceutical aids. We can get it at melanieavalon.com/sleepremedy and the coupon code MELANIEAVALON will get you 10% off. I think if I were to travel something where I had to just make myself fall asleep because of the timing issue, I would definitely probably do some high dosing of melatonin. I think Peter Attia has talked about this and I think he's more hesitant about melatonin, but he did say on a podcast I listened to recently that he will do the high-dose melatonin route to adjust to time zones.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting, I interviewed Dr. Kyle Gillett, he is a functional medicine provider and we talked about melatonin because to me I use melatonin and it is a master antioxidant. Yes, it can help with sleep, but there are so many benefits and for people North of 40 in particular, many of them have very depleted amounts of melatonin in their bodies. And so, thinking of it from that perspective is very different. But he actually said in all of his patients North of 40 that he has not opposed to them utilizing supplemental melatonin. I think it can be helpful for those that are traveling. But I also think from the perspective of just aging in general. I do find for a lot of my patients and clients, they do very nicely if we do testing, and we confirm that their melatonin levels are pretty low, their urinary metabolites on the Dutch that using a titrated, meaning we go up and we come back down, we'll use a titrated approach to melatonin. I've had some pretty incredible results with utilizing that and I do have a very-- and maybe Melanie, I can talk about this on another podcast, I have a very stepwise approach to sleep support. And I'm very serious about my sleep, very serious about my sleep. So, there are definite products that I think can be very beneficial, melatonin can be one of them. I really personally like MD Logic's product. They're actually reformulating their melatonin, so it's going to be 100% clean, no rice flour or anything that. But that is probably my favorite melatonin to utilize and it's very potent. I can give the example that Designs for Health has a product called Melatonin SRT, sustained release. When I first tried the MD Logic product, I took the same amount except it was so much more potent the next morning when I woke up, I could barely open up my eyes. I remind people to go low and slow and the MD Logic product, which I know, both Melanie and I, both have codes, mine is CYNTHIA to give you 10% off, but melatonin is definitely a supplement that I think is really invaluable to use. And for those of us that are perimenopause or menopausal, it can be really very helpful for sleep support.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm so glad you brought that up. And especially with melatonin, that's one of the studies where they've done studies reviewing, I found one where they I think looked at 30. They looked at, I think 30 bottles of melatonin and it was around a dozen or 15 or so brands. And they tested for the actual amount of melatonin compared to what the bottle said and it was shocking. Shocking how far off they were. And this was mainstream brands. So, definitely finding a product that you really, so that MD Logic Melatonin definitely would be one to try. I think I shared this before but I think the thing that sold the deal for me-- I know I've shared this before. The thing that sold the deal for me about "Okay, it's okay I can be taking melatonin," is that night that I accidentally thought I was taking digestive enzymes and I was actually taking melatonin. They were in the same bottle and they look the exact same and I took, I don't even know how many milligrams I took. And I slept so well and because I didn't know I've had high dosed melatonin. I wonder if I would have felt groggy. How much of the placebo effect might have happened? I wonder if I would have felt it more if I realized, but I didn't realize until the next night that I had taken so much. And so, after that I was okay, it's fine, but melatonin.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's good stuff.

Melanie Avalon: All right, well, we'll put links to all of that in the show notes, which will be at ifpodcast.com/episode294. If you would 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 get all the stuff that we at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. And you can follow us on Instagram, we are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_ and I think that is all the things. Anything from you Cynthia before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think this has been a particularly enjoyable episode. Lots of good topics.

Melanie Avalon: I agree. So incredible and I'll let you go and wind down your day and I will talk to you next week.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team, administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and re-composed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Nov 20

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

Intermittent Fasting

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

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

 JOOVV: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels! It literally works on the mitochondrial level to help your cells generate more energy! Red light can help you burn fat (including targeted fat burning and stubborn fat!), contour your body, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, produce collagen for epic skin, support muscle recovery, reduce joint pain and inflammation, combat fatigue, help you sleep better, improve mood, and so much more!! These devices are literally LIFE CHANGING!! Black Friday Thru Cyber Monday Only Get $50 Off Joovv Go, $150 Off Mini, $200 Off Solo, $300 Off Half-Max, $400 Off Duo, $500 Off Max, $600 Off Quad, $800 Off Elite Plus Special Financing Offers! After That Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

LMNT: For Fasting Or Low-Carb Diets Electrolytes Are Key For Relieving Hunger, Cramps, Headaches, Tiredness, And Dizziness. With No Sugar, Artificial Ingredients, Coloring, And Only 2 Grams Of Carbs Per Packet, Try LMNT For Complete And Total Hydration. For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase!

AVALONX berberine: This natural, potent anti-inflammatory plant alkaloid reduces blood sugar and blood lipids, aids weight loss, supports a healthy body composition, stimulates AMPK and autophagy, benefits gut bacteria and GI health, and more! Stock up during the launch special from 12/16/22-12/31/22! Avalonx supplements are free of toxic fillers, common allergens, heavy metals,  mold, and triple tested for purity and potency. Get on the email list to stay up to date with all the special offers and news about Melanie's new supplements at Avalonx.Us/emaillist, and use the code melanieavalon for 10% on any order at Avalonx.Us and MDlogichealth.com!

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

9:00 - what is creatine?

10:00 - the benefits of creatine

11:15 - common misconceptions

12:35 - body building supplementation

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

15:00 - what creatine does

Creatine Supplementation in Women’s Health: A Lifespan Perspective

18:40 - GABA Research

20:35 - creatine and brain health

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

25:20 - gender differences in creatine needs

27:15 - creatine and sex hormones

29:25 - sarcopenia

34:50 - muscle memory

36:55 - andropause

39:40 - low testosterone, mood and motivation

41:50 - BDNF

45:50 - learning new things

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

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

54:45 - hormone replacement therapy

57:15 - sleep

1:00:45 - creatine sources and supplemental dosage

1:05:45 - vegans and Vegetarians

Introducing... Creatine by Cynthia Thurlow

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

TRANSCRIPT

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

Hi, friends. I have Black Friday Joovv sales for you guys. If you've been wanting to jump on the red light and near infrared train, now is the time for Black Friday through Cyber Monday. That's November 25th through November 28th, you can get up to $800 off Joovv systems. There's a range of discounts. It starts with $50 off the Joovv Go, $150 off the Mini all the way up to $800 off the Elite. Joovv also has special financing offers right now, you can get 0% APR for up to 12 months with orders over 250 and even 0% APR for up to 24 months with orders over 3000. Friends, I use red light and near infrared every single day of my life. I cannot imagine my life without it. If you've been on the fence, Cyber Monday and Black Friday is the time.

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

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

Their modular design allows for a variety of setup options that gives you flexibility. Plus, the treatments are so easy and can be done in as little as 10 minutes. Although I tend to run mine all day as ambient light. All you have to do is relax and let your body take in the light. Joovv offers several different size options including a wireless handheld device called the Joovv Go. That is amazing for targeting specific areas around your body, like hurting joints or sore muscles.

When I traveled recently and had torn something in my knee, I brought my Joovv Go with me, game changer, I don't know how I would have survived the trip without it. Health doesn't have to be complicated and Joovv makes it simple by helping what matters most to our cells. So go check out the Joovv today and while you're there, Joovv is offering all our listeners an exclusive discount on their first order. Just go to joovv.com/ifpodcast and apply the coupon code IFPODCAST to your qualifying order. And, of course, do not miss those incredible Black Friday through Cyber Monday deals up to $800 off, now is the time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Emmens: Cynthia, thank you for having me on the IF Podcast. It's a pleasure to be here with you today.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. Today, we're going to unpack creatine. I think this is certainly a supplement that I used to have probably prejudicial thought processes on, but the more I've understood the science and the more that I've understood about the benefits of creatine, both for men and women, the more I was interested in sharing the research and connecting with you. I'd really love to start the conversation there. What exactly is creatine? 

Scott Emmens: Creatine is organic acid that is endogenously produced in the body. You can also take it as a supplement. It's a combination of three amino acids, which are arginine, glycine, and methionine. It's produced in the kidneys and in the liver.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's interesting. When I was doing my research before we even talked about bringing creatine to market, was it the liver and the kidneys produce 2 grams a day on their own and it's all stored in our skeletal muscle. And so, I think from my perspective as a clinician what I understood about creatine was that it was something just utilized by bodybuilders and what I've come to find out is there're so many variations of creatine, there're so many options available. The two consistent things that I saw in the literature that really stood out for me was the improvement on muscle health and muscle strength and then also the cognitive benefits. And so from my perspective, this is something that's applicable to everyone. It's not just gender specific, it really is applicable to everyone.

Scott Emmens: Well, it's been like a second coming from me, Cynthia, because I started out as a biology major and a bodybuilder in college. So, I'm very familiar with creatine. I'd used it back in the days when you took 20 grams and that was it. It was a bodybuilding supplement, 20 grams, by the way, is a lot, way too much, that can really cause some GI upset, kidney damage, and so forth over the long term. But at lower doses, it's really an effective product. What I was so blown away by was after 30 years out of the bodybuilding scene, gauged myself a little, I could not believe how many studies are continuing to go on with this product and how much more benefits that we're seeing across a wide array of issues including brain health. That was one thing that shocked me the most was the number of different studies that are ongoing, or that are in early trials for various different brain health issues.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and so because you started your experiences with creatine at a different stage of life, what have been some of the common misconceptions that you have seen or heard over the last 30 years particular to creatine use?

Scott Emmens: First of all, that it causes weight gain or weight gain in women, which is highly unlikely, it's not zero probability, that it can be very dangerous with a lot of controversy about the danger of creatine. It's in fact one of the most studied supplements that I've ever seen, it's been studied and researched well over 30 years at this point. So, its safety is pretty much unparalleled. And then the other misconception because, A, it's only for bodybuilders or for only for men, or that it's only for athletes. When in fact the research shows that there are many people that can benefit particularly by vegans and women that benefit from making sure to maintain muscle mass, especially postmenopausal. So, there's just a tremendous amount of research coming up. This is an [unintelligible [00:12:12] nutrient that your body requires creatine. In fact, if you have creatine, it can cause some pretty significant problems.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. It's interesting because I admittedly was a little prejudicial in my thought process, and I think it was because my knowledge of creatine was really related to the bodybuilding set. At one time, I was an ER nurse in inner city, Baltimore, and I saw quite a bit of people that are using anabolic steroids and they were using other types of supplementation. I'm sure that creatine probably got lumped in with some of the other side effects that were completely unrelated to the creatine utilization and more a byproduct of illegal exogenous use of anabolic steroids.

Scott Emmens: I can attest to that having been in that world, you would get approached with someone trying to sell you something that was illegal on a regular basis. And as a person of health, it just wasn't in my wheelhouse. So, I had to understand how these products worked. And I was a big supplement user in my early age because in order to compete with people that were using anabolic steroids, they can go eat a pizza and still look ripped. Whereas for me I was doing things like creatine and using things like boron and zinc combinations and other minerals, amino acids and branched chain amino acids and the essential amino acids way before they became popular or in vogue. There was definitely a large combination of people in joining creatine and other including diuretic cause other serious problem.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, absolutely. For full disclosure, I had been skeptical about creatine until my very well researched trainer, who's also an attorney, she's got a really interesting background, she was actually sharing the research last fall and kept saying, "I really think you should consider supplementation with creatine." The one thing that I have found personally and we'll talk about this today, the benefits of creatine, how it works in the body was that I went from as a menopausal female, when women really do struggle with not only building but maintaining muscle mass unless they're taking exogenous testosterone. I was able to consistently lift heavier weight week to week and I was able to see more of those gains, and we track all of our metrics because she and I are a little bit OCD about this. For me, I kept saying, "If I am capable of achieving and maintaining muscle mass at this stage of life I am in, then this is something that can be really beneficial for other women and certainly other men that are considering wanting to build maintain muscle mass because we think of muscle as an organ of longevity." Certainly, I follow really closely with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon's work and she was very excited when I told her that I was seriously considering bringing creatine on as my first product in conjunction with MD Logic. 

Let's talk a little bit about what creatine does. From a technical perspective, creatine re-phosphorylates utilized ATP. So, ATP is this energy molecule in the body. Adenosine triphosphate becomes adenosine diphosphate when you move muscles, so your body's using this energy when you're moving your muscles and creatine actually attaches another phosphorus group to ADP. So, it's a way to keep recycling creating the stored energy. And for anyone that's listening that saying, "I don't even know what you're talking about." We're talking about what goes on inside the mitochondria. This is a very savvy science-oriented listener base. And so really think about this is going on in the mitochondria. So, the powerhouses of our cells.

Scott Emmens: I think what's important for people to understand too, is that sometimes we associate ATP with just our muscle cell. But in fact, it's all of our cells. It's your brain cells, your heart cells, all of the cells in your body, your immune cells, every cell in your body requires ATP for energy. If you run out of energy, then you're going to run out of life. What creatine is able to do is to your point, make that ADP back into ATP, which is the foundational molecule for energy, much faster, you got creatine stored in your body and creatine serum in your blood going to replace that quicker, and your brain and your heart probably use up more ATP and more energy that get into organs in your body. So, it makes sense when you think about how it could work for your brain because of the way that works on ATP.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. It's involved in energy mobilization and metabolism in the brain. I also think about the net impact on things like glycine and GABA, which impacts sleep. As women, especially in their perimenopausal years, 10 to 15 years preceding menopause and their ovaries are producing less progesterone, this is a time when upregulation of GABA is really important for high quality sleep. When you really dive into the research, one of the things I found interesting and there's a great article that we'll link up, it's called Creatine Supplementation in Women's Health: A Lifespan Perspective. Researchers here really talk about how creatine has a place throughout a woman's lifetime, not just perimenopause and menopause, but your menstrual cycle. We're not going to touch on pregnancy or lactation because I don't want to touch that with a 10-foot pole, but there is research that kind of touches on how this can be beneficial. 

It's not just as you said, it's not just the muscles, but it's really a systemic supplement that has a lot of benefits. The one thing that I really like about this article in particular is that it admits despite extensive research on creatine evidence for use among females is understudied, so they acknowledge like many things, there's not enough research being done on women in peak fertile years, in perimenopause and menopause. But they do see the importance, it actually says supplementation during menses, pregnancy, postpartum, during and post menopause. Again, we're not talking about pregnant or lactating women, but we'll talk about women that are still in their peak fertile years, perimenopause, and menopause, that there really are quite a bit of benefits from supplementation.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, absolutely. It's not surprising that it wasn't studied and even that happens, they're quite often. I did find it interesting that there are some variations in women that have or store creatine. So, I'd like to talk about that when we get a chance. But I didn't read this research that you read on sleep and GABA upregulation. Tell me a little bit more about that.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting that it can have a positive net impact. There's an excitatory neurotransmitter and that's glutamic acid and then there's inhibitory neurotransmitter and that's GABA. The thought processes is that the creatine absorption will upregulate the inhibitory neurotransmitters, it also has some impact on neuronal ATP resynthesis, which impacts areas in the brain that will impact memory, cognition, and attention. Again, it's downregulating excitatory areas of the brain and helping to facilitate concentration as well as relaxation. There was research and in one of the articles that I had shared with you talking a little bit about the sleep piece, it wasn't a huge area of focus but I think in particular, for individuals that are north of 35 or 40, where sleep becomes much more of a-- I always say jokingly, it becomes an art form, all of a sudden you have to think a whole lot more about it. You have to think about what you're doing preceding bed, what you eat, what you drink, whether that's alcoholic or not, and all the things you need to do in order to help facilitate sleep.

One of the things that it talks about in particular was this brain metabolism and then also secondarily to that it's involved in the synthesis of key neurotransmitter, so it's actually found in the cerebral spinal fluid, which is important. There are actual dopamine and serotonin and creatine metabolites that they're finding in the cerebral spinal fluid, which means that it must have some good absorption. When we talk about the blood-brain barrier, there are some things that are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and there're some things that are not able to cross the blood-brain barrier and so that's pretty significant. If we're getting cerebral spinal fluid levels, then you've got some good absorption in the brain, which a lot of supplements and drugs do not have good absorption in the brain, and that can complicate how well or how effective they can be.

Scott Emmens: I saw another article on just specifically creatine and brain health and talk about being able to cross the blood-brain barrier. The fact that it was able to do that really gave the brain some neuroprotective properties as well. And they think that that also could be because the brain has more energy. That was interesting. I think this goes back to the ability to focus and concentrate, not get excited. It's usually if you have a stimulant or something that gives you energy going to make you jittery, but this has the opposite effect where it calms you, but also gives your brain the ATP that it needs to perform. And so, the hypothesis is that your brain fatigue comes from the fact that it's eating up the ATP faster than it can create it, so that that creatine crossing the blood-brain barrier really allows your cognition to be at a constant steady level, because, I think, where the real benefit for so many of us come from, if you're getting good sleep on top of that, well, then your cognition is going to just continue to enhance.

One thing I just want to go back to, Cynthia, you said when you first started taking it, you felt yourself getting stronger. I wanted to point that out because as a former bodybuilder and a trainer, one of the things that happens, you can start to lift heavier weight, it then becomes a positive cycle upward. Because as you lift heavier weight, you get stronger, as you get stronger, you get bigger and stronger muscles. Of course, you hit a point where you've hit a plateau, but the fact that that gives you that jumpstart to be able to lift heavier weights allows for both your skeletal system to get stronger, your joints to get stronger, as well as your muscles to get stronger and protect yourself from sarcopenia, and we're going to talk about later, which really is serious at the end of the day. I mean, it's sort of the beginning of the end stage of life and certainly a predictor for longevity.

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Cynthia Thurlow: I think that a good place to start is perhaps talking a little bit about gender differences. There's no question that men and women can both benefit. But it's interesting, from a perspective that women actually make less creatine than men as a standard. That could be related to so many different factors but understanding that just at a cellular level, our bodies make less of this substance. I would argue that it makes it even more important to consider supplementation to help maintain muscle mass, brain cognition. When we're really looking at such a small percentage of the population, back to brain health, only 7% to 8% of Americans right now are metabolically flexible. This is research looking post pandemic, pre-pandemic it was 12%. Now even less people. And so really thinking about ways to augment metabolic flexibility. One of those is really leaning into lifting weights, intermittent fasting or eating less often. It could be 12-hour feeding window, just really understand there are a lot of things within our control that we can do to utilize supporting health and wellness. 

I always say, "My greatest hope is that people look at-- They don't fear aging, but they understand that you don't want to just survive, you want to thrive at each stage of life." If you're peak fertile years, perimenopause, menopause, really important to understand you want to have a high quality of life.

Scott Emmens: Absolutely. There's definitely differences between men and women. Women do make significantly less creatine. From the research I could see, estrogen did play a role in that and it did go along with the cycle. There definitely seems to be something there, which to your point makes it all the more important for certain populations, I think women being one of them, which is ironic because it's been utilized in male bodybuilding role for so long. But in reality, women will benefit tremendously from creatine.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. There's a really good graphic that's in this one study that I'm looking at. It's talking about the menstrual cycle may influence creatine homeostasis due to the cyclical nature of sex hormone regulation. You mentioned in particular that it's sensitive to estrogen, which also explains why women and perimenopause and menopause that are having these faltering amounts of estrogen may have even greater needs. But you can actually plot on this graph they have on the X-axis is creatine kinase activity and estrogen and progesterone concentrations and then on the Y-axis, they're looking at different phases. The follicular ovulation, luteal phases, which everyone in this podcast is very familiarized with. You can literally look at how they plot out. Glycogen storage, carbohydrate oxidation dependent on how much sex hormones are and where they are peaking and where they're ebbing and flowing throughout the menstrual cycle. 

It's interesting that we know that estrogen influences creatine and also creatine kinase, and that estrogen in and of itself is a master regulator of bioenergetics. What does that mean? As we are losing estrogen either in our menstrual cycle, or in perimenopause or menopause, it is a direct reflection of the loss of insulin sensitivity. So, obviously, in middle age, it's going to eventually be a permanent thing unless you're taking hormone replacement therapy. For menstruating women peak fertile years, they have cyclical alterations in their estrogen month to month and that is the ebbs and flows. They have days where it's higher and lower throughout their menstrual cycle, whereas with middle*aged women, they're on a downward trend. Ultimately, they'll be on a downward trend.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, that's very interesting. When you said that estrogen is the master hormone for-- what was the word that-- [crosstalk] 

Cynthia Thurlow: They use the term bioenergetics. 

Scott Emmens: Bioenergetics.

Cynthia Thurlow: Which makes sense.

Scott Emmens: So, essentially, once you have no estrogen, your bioenergetics is essentially completely downregulated.

Cynthia Thurlow: You're no longer in anabolic growth phase of any kind, you're really in this catabolic phase unless you're actively progressively working against it. From my perspective, is we've touched on sarcopenia, which is this muscle loss with aging. It's not a question of if but when. People if you think you do nothing and I can now recognize middle-aged women or even older women that are just skinny, and it's because they've lost their muscle mass. They really start replacing adipose tissue, which is highly inflammatory with our muscle tissue. I always use the analogy because I'm very visual. When we're looking at nonsarcopenic or healthy muscle tissue, it looks like filet versus a ribeye. People love eating ribeye but we don't want to become a ribeye, and I use that to understand, like the marbling in the meat is what starts happening to your muscle, because you're losing muscle mass. 

In fact, I was at an event this summer, actually, with Gabrielle Lyon and a few other people. There was a special type of scale that you stepped on. And it could tell you pretty accurately how much muscle mass you had on. She and I had a pretty good laugh when we're looking at my results. But the point I'm trying to make to everyone is that you want to maintain muscle mass, like your life depends on it. I don't think I appreciated that enough in my 20s and 30s. Certainly, you start seeing the slippery slopes. Forty is about when we start losing a significant amount of muscle mass, and then it just accelerates. So, you want to be doing all the things you can to maintain as much as possible, so that you're less at risk for metabolic diseases, insulin resistance, etc.

Scott Emmens: Cynthia, I've heard you talk about this on the IF Podcast before and in Everyday Wellness as well, that sarcopenia creeps up on you. But also, when you're in your 20s and 30s, what should you be doing? In my personal opinion and experience, people that have built up their muscle in their 20s and 30s, when they have all those natural anabolic hormones circulating through the blood tend to do much better when they hit their 40s and 50s if they're continuing, even if they're just doing a maintenance work out or just push up and pull ups, the basics. You'll see that the people that kind of had that foundation tend to stay better. It's never too late to start right, but if you're in your 40s, and you haven't been working out, you probably should hit the gym and get a trainer and learn how to work out is the point of no return. And that's the point where you've really got to face the fact that, "Hey, if I don't have muscle in my 60s and 70s, my knees are going to be rough. And that's the way you don't just have longevity, but you have health span. If you want to be healthy in your 80s, you got to be able to get yourself up out of a chair without using your arm, just to be able to stand up. And that sounds easy. But when you're 80, it's not so easy. 

I completely agree that, A, you've got to make sure that you have a foundation if you're 20 or 30 now you're listening to this podcast, start making your muscles strong now. You won't regret it. You will never regret having really strong lower legs and really strong arms and shoulders, and a strong back and a strong core. You've never going to regret that. And creatine is one of those things will help you get to that place in a very natural way. It's a natural substance that you get from meat, but your body is usually excreting more than it's taking in and extra creatine has been demonstrated time and time again to help you get there. 

The other statement which I thought was profound is that you're in a constant state of anabolic state, constant catabolic state after menopause. That basically means you're eating your own muscle tissue. And that is a dangerous place to be. I would really recommend those folks also hit the gym, take both protein whether that's in the form of essential amino acids or whether that's in the form of a protein powder, combined with the creatine, or get the protein from your diet. That’s how you got to be getting about a gram per pound, in my opinion, protein a day. It might be less, women may be 20 grams per pound, you definitely need to have that protein. And creatine is one of those things that'll make that proteins better for you. All that said, it's all going to work much better for you if you're working out with weight.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I agree with you and you really bring up some excellent points. I always use myself as an example because it makes it relatable. We have muscle memory, so if we've been working our muscles for years, or even if we go through a period of time where we take a break, when we go back to training, we'll be able to get back to where we were a little bit faster than someone that's new. But in 2019, I spent 13 days in the hospital, I lost 15 pounds, all of which was mostly muscle. And there were many, many months where I was convinced, I was using bands. I mean they had me doing bodyweight exercise and then bands and then I could finally graduate to using weights. And the one thing my trainer said, because at that point I was coming back from a long hospitalization. I did hire a trainer because I didn't want to hurt myself. I remember him saying, "You're at an advantage. Although you've lost a lot of your muscle mass, your muscles once they start growing again, they'll know what they need to be doing." 

I encourage everyone to-- if you're not currently lifting or doing weight training, even if you start with bodyweight exercises and then graduate to bands and graduate to dumbbells and graduate to get to a point where maybe you're using machines, really take the time to be thoughtful about understanding the physiology of your body. I don't believe in having regrets, but I do wish someone had talked to me in my 20s and 30s about the fact that when you're at your peak bone and muscle mass, and then you just start to have this slow, slow decline that you may not even be perceptible for a long period of time. And men go through this too. Let me be very clear. Andropause is a real thing.

Men, much like women, they may not have as exaggerated demonstration, women go through reverse puberty, that's essentially what's happening in perimenopause. Men can go through andropause and they may have trouble maintaining muscle, they may have trouble building muscle. Most of the reason why men in the States start losing testosterone is from exogenous sources of estrogen mimicking chemicals, also from insulin resistance. Again, we go back to the same things about maintaining metabolic flexibility, how important that is, that I'm sure for those of you that are familiar with both Melanie and my single podcast, we talk a lot about toxins, we get exposed to our environment, our personal care products, our food, it is important, you do want to care about those things. But maintaining muscle mass is of particular significance. And if you're not currently lifting, you can change that. If you start off really simply, it can make such a big difference. 

The one thing that I found working in hospitals for over 20 years, there's nothing more sad than having a 55-year-old patient that can't get off a bedside commode because their muscles in their quadriceps, which are their big muscles in their legs have atrophied from lack of use. If you don't use it, you will lose it. And that's why I think it's so important to understand that we're not saying this is just related to aesthetics, we're just saying from a functional perspective, you want to be able to get out of bed, you want to be able to get off a toilet, you don't want to fall, fall risk is significant. You don't have to be 60, 70, or 80 years old to be at a fall risk. We had plenty of younger patients that were just so sedentary that they had really lost their muscle mass, they didn't even realize it until they got to the hospital and they were so weak, they just couldn't do normal, we call them ADLs, activities of daily living, and this is quite significant.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, absolutely. I can relate to that on two personal notes. First, at 52, I feel like I might be hitting andropause. Is that a real term?

Cynthia Thurlow: It is a real pause. It is a real term, but it's not utilized as openly probably as menopause.

Scott Emmens: It's getting more difficult for me to maintain muscle mass, but to your earlier point, two things. One, on a humorous note, you work out for 15 years, you put on 30 pounds of muscle, you spent 13 days in the hospital, and bam, you lose 15 [chuckles] pounds of the muscle like that. It's not quite fair on the working, how fast you lose that. But that goes to show you that if you're not maintaining it through diet and exercise and supplementation, you're going to lose it, just naturally. So, I do feel that. In fact, since we started working on this project together, I've been up my dose of creatine, I used to take every other day when I worked out. Now I'm taking it every day. I've actually seen a difference in about just the last couple of weeks. That's been nice. But my dad who is--

Cynthia Thurlow: [crosstalk]

Scott Emmens: Thank you. My day who is 74, this was four years ago, we went to Lake George, and we were at my uncle's house and he couldn't get out of the boat. I had to literally pick my dad up out of the boat. And I took my dad in the house and then we chatted as well later that night, I just sat him down and I said, "Hey, we're going to have to get you working out again because if you can't get out of a boat by yourself, and you're living on your own, I'm nervous where you're heading." I didn’t even call it sarcopenia but I said muscle wasting at your age is the first sign of you kind of going downhill. I know what your life goals are. And at 74, you shouldn't be not able to get out of a boat. And now he's on the Stairmaster doing an hour and a half a day, and I'm thinking he's doing better than I am. So, I'm really proud of him but I saw that firsthand at 74, he's in better shape at 78 than he was at 74.

Cynthia Thurlow: It just goes to show you that you don't have to be 20 and still see benefits from weight training and physical activity. We are designed as human beings to be active. I unfortunately, probably not our listeners, but looking at the general population here in the United States, people are far less active than they should be. It's almost like a domino effect. I'd plenty of cardiology patients that they would say, "It's too hard to get back in the game." One thing that I will share with the listeners is that, low testosterone and so that can happen in perimenopause and menopause. It can happen to men as well. It's important to know that a sign of low testosterone is a lack of motivation, a lack of desire. 

Last year, I was on a full complement of hormone replacement therapy and we found that I was on like way too much and so we stopped it. I had a six-week washout. You can imagine you go from feeling pretty good to then feeling pretty bad. I remember talking to Gabrielle Lyon and I said, "I can tell my testosterone is low because I have zero motivation to go to the gym, which is not me. I have zero motivation to do these things. So, I had to really just force myself to do it. But I want to just identify and be fully transparent and say that that can be a sign your testosterone levels are low if you're really feeling incredibly unmotivated." This also ties into one other benefit of creatine use that I think is really interesting. And we're looking at a study that it talked about, as an example, depression is not vis-à-vis, it's related to many factors, gut health, situational circumstances, etc. But we know that depression in women is two times higher. We know it's directly linked to hormone milestones like puberty. 

I have two teenagers, trust me when I tell you, they are grumpy and moody. It's also linked to menopause. What's interesting is that if you have a low creatine intake, either from diet or supplementation, you're at 31% greater incidence of depression than those that are taking exogenous creatine supplementation and/or getting it from animal-based protein. I thought that was really interesting, especially coming off the tail end of the past two and a half years. We won't mention what's been going on, we're all quite aware of it. But I think for a lot of people just also understanding that there's also this mental health benefit from creatine use that keeping adequate levels of creatine endogenously in the body is intricately interwoven with depression and anxiety as well.

Scott Emmens: That really struck me, was not only is it good for your cognition, your focus, but your mood as well. It seems to have from this early data we're looking at, some significant enhancement on your overall mood, motivation, and really depression, which is interesting. I'm not sure if there was a mechanism action identified in that but it's just remarkable how important creatine seems to be for your overall mental health.

Cynthia Thurlow: There was also some research I read about BDNF, so brain derived neurotrophic factor, which we know is a stimulatory protein, it diffuses across the blood-brain barrier, but we know that it increases new brain cell production. So, it's increasing neuroplasticity, while improving the performance of existing brain cells. And so higher BDNF is a lower risk of depression. So, I wonder if it's tied into that. It's interesting how just the process of aging and stress can decrease BDNF, especially those that are not actively learning your skills or hobbies. We're going to touch on neuroplasticity here but this is why you were going to be lifelong learners. We should always be learning. I just spent the weekend with one of my college roommates and we had an amazing time, and she's a teacher, and we were talking about this. She was saying even in like her own teaching population that she said those that are still continuing to take classes and learn are thriving, and those that are kind of at the standstill, colleges 30 years ago, and they haven't really taken-- they don't do continuing education, they're not investing in conferences, they're not listening to podcasts, they're not reading books, and how that's impacting their brain health. This just validates that aging and stress can impact BDNF. We also know that creatine in and of itself vis-à-vis can improve BDNF levels as well in the body. So, it's neuroplasticity, learning new things, exogenous supplementation can also be beneficial for brain health. 

Scott Emmens: Yeah, I'm obsessed with BDNF. Everything that I think can raise brain derived neurotrophic factor. I figure, "Well, how can that possibly hurt?" And exercise is one of those things. Again, we're back to a positive circle up. If creatine helps you get more motivated, helps you get better exercise, you get more exercise, we know exercise is good for BDNF as well. So, it's sort of a nice cycle upward instead of the cycle down. Lack of exercise is going to lower your BDNF, lower creatine is going to lower your BDNF. Again, this is a nice way to think [unintelligible [00:43:59] cycles down, how can you cycle up and the way that you do that, you take creatine which helps you exercise, which helps BDNF, which helps you exercise and helps BDNF. 

Just a quick aside, there was a recent study that came out as an avid tennis player, I have to mention this, they showed that tennis both extended your lifespan, but the longest of all sports, but also had the best impact on your overall brain health because it's both a sport of strategy, at the same time you're running around the court, but it also applied to pickleball for those of you who are getting into pickleball, which is the new rage. Even works in ping pong. Ping Pong had a really positive effect on the brain. So, you're looking for some exercises to help with your brain. Paddlesports, badminton, tennis, pickleball seems to be the best.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's really interesting how important I think it is for people to be either it's the hand-eye coordination or just the concentration, but doing things that make you a little-- when I say uncomfortable, I'm not talking physically uncomfortable per se, but just intellectually, like pushing yourself, learning something new, getting outside your comfort zone. I have a friend that's learning, I don't know why she wants to learn a language. Someone in one of my group programs, who thinks she loves to do puzzles for that exact reason that she wants to push herself outside our comfort level. I was actually mentioning to my husband, he just started doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu right before the onset of the pandemic. He was a college athlete. Now that we're in a new part of the state, he is unable to play seniors level lacrosse. 

For him, he said, "It's like playing chess." But he gets to roll around on a mat with-- sometimes guys that are like 20 years younger than him, but he can hold his own and of course you know he is a former college athlete, he loves that. He gets that validation that he's still strong and virile. But I think for each one of us, we have to find ways to constantly be challenging ourselves. I think, on a lot of levels, we're just so fortunate to be in a time where information is accessible at any point in time. I have a large stack of books. I'm always reading. I'm always prepping for podcasts, but I haven't heard a lot about pickleball. I don't know how it differentiates from tennis, and I don't want to take like a huge rabbit hole jump. But I'm just curious how different is it than tennis, I know it's with a racket and a ball.

Scott Emmens: It's kind of if you were to combine ping pong and tennis and put yourself on the ping pong table, that would be the best way to describe that.

Cynthia Thurlow: Interesting. 

Scott Emmens: It's a lot less running and a lot more about sort of teamwork and strategy usually playing doubles. And it's just so much fun because it's fast paced and you get crazy wild points. It's just a lot of fun, but it's a lot of good exercise too without having to run all across the court. If you want to learn pickleball, it's the sport to get into. It's the fastest growing sport in America.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'll definitely have to check it out because my husband and I will be empty nesters in four years. For us, we're looking for all sorts of ways to do things together and new things together. Let's talk about some of the age-related changes that happen in our bodies and how creatine can potentially be a countermeasure to changes in muscle and bone strength. It can be implicated in reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. I did see a couple articles talking about improvement in bone reabsorption. But when I went down that rabbit hole, I didn't feel the strength of the research was strong enough to be able to say this is an indication per se. Maybe in the future, we'll hear more about it but I do think in particular for people in menopause, andropause, where we are de facto in a state of chronic low-level inflammation, sometimes high-level inflammation if we're insulin resistant and metabolically unhealthy, but how creatine can be beneficial for these specific timeframes.

Scott Emmens: Let's quickly address the bone issue. So, I went down the research rabbit hole on bone and couldn't find anything specific for creatine that was definitively positive. I think the reason for the mixed results, and this is just my personal opinion. But, again, I think it goes back to, if you're able to lift heavier weights or use heavier bands, really what we know for sure is that if you're putting weight on your skeletal system that can tolerate, it's going to stimulate proper bone growth given you have the right nutrition. I think what creatine can do is by making your muscles stronger, allowing you to lift heavier and heavier weights under the guidance of professional trainer and [unintelligible [00:48:34] hurt yourself. That, I think, in and of itself could be the way that creatine could help with bone. It may not be a direct result. It may be an indirect result of creatine. It's just a theory because I couldn't find anything definitive in the research.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends. I am so thrilled to announce that my next AvalonX supplement is official and almost here. It is something that I currently take every single day of my life and that is berberine. I first started taking berberine when I first started using a continuous glucose monitor which constantly monitored my blood sugar levels. I found that taking berberine had a dramatic effect on my fasting and post meal blood sugar levels. Berberine is a plant alkaloid which has been shown to rival Metformin when it comes to reducing blood sugar levels without any of the side effects. Blood sugar regulation is so important for health. It's a key factor in metabolic syndrome and preventatively taking care of your blood sugar levels or treating high blood sugar levels is so, so important for health and longevity. That's why I am thrilled to be making a berberine supplement. And it's not just blood sugar control, berberine has been shown to have so many benefits. It's been shown in studies to beneficially modulate adipose tissue. It can actually help change the composition of your fat to a more healthy profile. Think less visceral fat, which is the inflammatory fat found around our organs. 

It's also been shown to have beneficial effects on PCOS and reductions in inflammation and is a potent stimulator of autophagy, which is one of our favorite things. Berberine has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on blood lipids, which is huge, and I wanted to make the best berberine on the market. We looked so hard to find a source of berberine that tested to be high potency and free of pesticides. Yes, we did third party lab testing on our source, as well as testing to assure its quality. It is tested multiple times for toxins including heavy metals and mold, and has no problematic fillers. It also comes in a glass bottle to help prevent leaching of plastics into our cells and the environment. This is the berberine that you want, I promise. And it is coming midnight of Friday, December 16th. To get all of the updates about it, definitely get on my email list that's at avalonx.us/emaillist, we'll be announcing the launch special on that list. 

You can also get text updates and a 20% off coupon by texting AVALONX to 877-861-8318. By the way, if you would like to get a CGM to monitor your blood sugar levels and see just how berberine is affecting it, you can get $30 off on NutriSense CGM at nutrisense.io/ifpodcast with the coupon code IFPODCAST. If you'd like to get any of my other amazing supplements at avalonx.us use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON to get 10% off sitewide at avalonx.us. You can also use that coupon code MELANIEAVALON to get 10% off sitewide and my fantastic partner MD Logic Health. For that, go to melanieavalon.com/mdlogic.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I was the same. I went down that rabbit hole and I wanted it to be true. But I didn't feel like the research was strong enough to say this is an indication per se. But I would agree with you that someone that's going to work diligently about building maintaining muscle is very likely getting improvement in their bone health. One thing I just want to interject is that our bone building accelerates in puberty and then it plateaus. And then interestingly enough in andropause and menopause, but I can speak more specifically to women because I'm more familiarized with the research. What starts to happen as our bone diminishing activity starts, osteoclastic activity up regulates, which means we're actively breaking down bone as opposed to building bone. And that's why women in many ways are at greater risk for osteopenia, osteoporosis at that time in their lives. Obviously, osteopenia is kind of a lack of a better way to put it, it's a diagnosis that was created by the pharmaceutical company, it's really not a diagnosis per se because they're comparing the bone tensile strength of a 50-year-old to a 20-year-old and you can't compare that great of a difference in age. Osteopenia, I don't get terribly concerned about but obviously osteoporosis is significant, and really does need to be addressed proactively.

Interestingly enough, one thing that kind of accelerates a lot of these processes in the body in women is that as we have lower and lower estrogen level, so tail end of perimenopause because in menopause, we can have very high estrogen levels prior to going into menopause, is that this is what really drives inflammation, it drives the oxidative stress, it drives the degree of insulin resistance. And it also blunts muscle protein synthesis, and also satellite cell response to anabolic stimuli, which is a fancy way of saying strength training. It's not in your head. If you find that in perimenopause and menopause, it is a lot harder to build muscle, you are working against hormones. The hormones that are saying, "There's not enough estrogen around." Estrogen is definitely one of these hormones that we have estrogen receptors throughout our body, but directly impacts this muscle-protein synthesis, and so it is not in your head if you're struggling to maintain and build muscle. Estrogen and testosterone can definitely play a role in that.

Scott Emmens: The power of hormones is undeniable. You feel it when you go through menopause, you feel it when you go through andropause, you see it when people take artificial steroids. If you look a gentleman or woman on steroids, you can tell, at least I can tell. They're very powerful. People also underestimate the power hormones on your mental cognition as well. A lot of effects on your mentality, as you're alluding to earlier about when your testosterone lowered, you'd have no motivation. You think that's in your head, but it's not. It's a hormonal issue.

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. The Women's Health Initiative is a study that I definitely talk about on the podcast, but in 2002, the Women's Health Initiative really changed the narrative and the comfort level of clinicians prescribing hormone replacement therapy, made many, many patients scared. There's no other way to put it. Scared to take hormone replacement therapy. I did a really great podcast with Dr. Avrum Bluming and Dr. Carol Tavris talking about this. He's a clinician, he's a physician, he's an oncologist. She's a researcher and they really debunk the Women's Health Initiative. Unfortunately, it was done on an older population of women, they already had insulin resistant, they were former smokers or current smokers, they had high blood pressure, a lot of health issues, and they put them on synthetics, and then drew conclusions from that. I always like to just interject, there's no judgment, there's no shame. I see a lot of women who are fearful to take hormones and so they're white knuckling it into perimenopause and menopause. Each one of us has to make a decision. This applies to men as well. Each one of us has to make a decision that makes the most sense to us. But understanding that hormone replacement therapy can be very beneficial, in particular for muscle and bone and brain health, and cardiovascular health, etc.

Scott Emmens: I've heard that podcast and I paid very close attention because I was in the pharmaceutical industry in 2002 when that study came out, and I was partnered with Eli Lilly, I think they either funded this study. They were making a product for hormonal replacement therapy for osteoporosis is what it was. And doctors stopped using it and folks frenzy and I read that study, then I thought, "This seems awfully skewed." It's 20 years later and just the other day, I kid you not, I heard people talking about that study in a negative light, which is a lot what happened to creatine, what are some of the common misconceptions. People thought, "Well, it's bad for your kidneys, it's bad for your heart," and had all this negative press going into it. But that stuff is 20, 30 years old, it's been one of the most studied supplements there is. It's interesting that you use that study because this is tantamount to that like, this is one of the best things you could do. That study sort of ruined HRT for a lot of people, which is a shame.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely, because there's a whole generation of women. I think about my mom's generation that have really suffered needlessly because they were told that it was going to give them cancer. We've now figured out that that's not actually the case. But let's sling back to sleep and sleep deprivation. The reason why I think this is particularly important, we get a lot of questions on the podcast about sleep. We know that high stress, chronic stress will actually deplete not just creatine stores, but actually ATP. So again, less energy circulating. And we know that supplementation with creatine based on the research that we've both been looking at, can impact tasks that rely on the prefrontal cortex, which is our executive functioning brain, the one that helps with cognition and attention and memory, very important. Also very important because we know women are more sensitive to sleep deprivation, and particularly women that are most at risk, or the women that are pregnant, breastfeeding, postpartum, and menopause.

Based on this research I was looking at and I thought that was really interesting, because for any woman that's listening that went through pregnancy and then had the postpartum period where you weren't sleeping for weeks or months on end, that's pretty harrowing, but also in the same research article, they were talking about menopause as the same degree of sensitization to sleep deprivation. I think a lot of women that are listening or women know of other women who have spent years of having terrible sleep deprivation in middle age both in perimenopause and menopause, and it's totally normalized. I think that's really, really unfortunate.

Scott Emmens: It is and there was actually a study, I don't know if it was one of the ones you have had send me or one that I had read separately, that talks specifically about creatine's ability to support brain fatigue and sleep deprivation. I wouldn't call that a band-aid, what I would call that is going to allow you to get the energy you need to function throughout your day properly, so that when you do go to bed, you're back in your rhythm because one of the things that we know about sleep is it's all about your rhythm, your circadian rhythm, your exposure to light, your lack of exposure to light in the evening, your cortisol spikes and peaks amongst other things, but sleep is a lot about rhythm. If you don't have enough energy during the day, and you're resting all day, and you're sitting down all day and you're not active, well then what's going to happen at night, is you're going to kind of be that wire-tired mode, you're exhausted, but yet you're tired. 

The information I looked at really said, "Hey, look, if you're in this sick deprived state, not only can it help you get out of it, and really help your brain heal itself and be as active as it was and it gotten that sleep." To me, that's a way to reset your circadian rhythm at least your energy circadian rhythm, and then you've got to do other things obviously to support that.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's really important. And it's something that I didn't realize until I was looking at the research that what has been different over the last couple months, in particular, because I've been taking creatine consistently, was my sleep quality is improved and how do I track that? I track that on my Oura ring? And then I probably will screenshot it and share it in IG stories and people say, "Oh, my gosh, how did you get that much deep sleep?" And I'm like, "I think it's a couple things." But I keep trying one thing, pulling that out, trying something else because sleep in many ways becomes an art form. And I don't think I ever thought about sleep to the degree that I do now. But knowing that potentially the creatine I've been taking has been improving that sleep support, which again I think most, if not all women, and men for that matter, would truly desire to have better quality sleep.

Scott Emmens: Yeah. I've been a chronic insomniac pretty much my whole life. Recently, I've been sleeping pretty good. Got the whole system down. I do the light in the morning, try to keep it dark in the evening, creatine, occasionally I'll do melatonin when I feel I just need to reset my clock. But I've been doing really well. I'm getting up at the same time every morning, going to bed at the same time every evening. And I have been taking creatine now for a couple of weeks almost every day.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's great. Well, probably important to talk about where we can get food sources of creatine. And then talking about dosing because I think that will be a huge question for many people. How much do I need? I'm carnivore-ish, do I really need more? The answer is yes. But what are some of the sources of animal-based protein that are most creatine dense, I guess is the way to put it.

Scott Emmens: It's going to be all of your essential meats. It's going to be steak, in turkey, things of that nature. I don't think fish has a ton, but it has more than that. But basically, the really only place you're going to get creatine in your diet is from various meats. So, it could be pork, it could be yak, it could be bison, but meat is really going to be the only substantive way to get it into your diet. Eating meat, you're going to really be at risk for being low in creatine. If you're a vegan or vegetarian, especially if you don't eat any fish, you're going to be at serious risk of a major creatine deficiency. Even if you're eating meat, there's not really enough per kilogram if you look, it's like, I don't know, I can't remember the exact numbers, maybe you've got it at your hands. But it's something like 0.8 milligrams per kilogram of meat. Well, the kilogram is 2.2 pounds. I don't eat 2.2 pounds of any meat. So, there's not a ton of creatine going in. And the data I looked at says that average woman stores about 100 grams of creatine and excretes a net 2 or 3 grams a day. Men hold 120 and excrete about 2 or 3 grams a day as well. So, you're always in this negative deficiency unless you're eating enough meat to compensate for that. 

When it comes to the dosing, for me it's somewhere between 3 and 5, or 3 and 6, or even I'd even go to 9 if I felt like I needed some creatine because I hadn't had meat in certain period of time. But I think it is dependent on what your diet is like, are you vegan? Are you a carnivore? Athlete? Like, for example, my daughter is a Division I track athlete and she runs the 400 meter, the 100 meter hurdles. No, that is a lot of energy. She's got three-hour practices every day. So, I've got her on 9 milligrams of creatine a day, broken up into three doses, one with breakfast, one with lunch, one with dinner. My [unintelligible [01:03:46] actually like to take 9 milligrams all at once. I don’t take 9, I usually take 3, 3, and 3 or 5 and 5. I like to break it up. I have her just on 3, 3 and 3. And that changed her trajectory because in high school she wasn't the star of the team. We put her on creatine, some amino acids, but this was the only thing, she practiced and trained with a lot of other things but she ended up finishing 100 meters [unintelligible [01:04:14] in Pennsylvania, six in the entire state of Pennsylvania. So, was it creatine? No, not alone, but did that help? Yeah, I bet you that helped.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's an incredible story. I think it's important for people understand that the average person listening could probably get away with 3 grams per day. Like Scott mentioned, his daughter's a Division I athlete, totally different. Needs based on research that we looked at, the vegetarians and vegans need probably 5 grams a day. And so just understanding that very athletic people, and by that, I mean ultra-level conditioned athletes. I'm not talking about person who does CrossFit twice a week. Although that's great, you're probably not the person that needs that high amount of creatine. And also, it's interesting depending on where a woman is in her menstrual cycle, she may need more or less. But we didn't want to get terribly nuanced about that because there're so many other factors that impact hormone regulation and insulin sensitivity throughout a menstrual cycle. But just understanding that 3 grams a day has been our recommended for the average person that includes myself. But certainly, if I were giving this to my very athletic, sports-oriented kiddos, it would probably be more because they're still growing.

And, obviously, if you are vegetarian or vegan, your creatine needs, because you're not eating animal-based food or products, is going to be higher. And what was interesting, and I just want to make sure I'd dovetail this into our discussion about vegetarianism and veganism, is that it was even discussed in some of the research that their needs for creatine just based on brain health or even higher because they're not getting those animal-based products. And we respect people's choices. I just wanted to make sure I mentioned that they have to take more creatine to ward off the brain health related concerns.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, absolutely. I think we all make our individual choices. We obviously respect those choices. But it is important for people to know when they make any choice, whether it's to eat meat, what those risks are, or to not eat meat, what that diet will require you to do. Like we know, most vegans know that vitamin B12 is an essential supplement. I would put creatine in that same bucket. If I were vegan, there's no question I'll be taking creatine. I take it anyway I'm not eating because I know I'm excreting a little more than I'm taking in. I can feel the difference. But for sure, if you're vegan, you're going to want to, at the very least you do some research on your own, talking to physician or a functional medicine specialist, and I think you'll find that creatine will be a great addition to your diet.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. Well, I want to make sure I'm respectful of your time because I know that you have a lot going on as well. This has been an incredible podcast. I hope listeners find it to be just super information savvy. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can follow us on Instagram, we are @ifpodcast, I am @cynthia_thurlow_, Scott is @longevityprotocol, and MD Logic is @mdlogichealth. The show notes for today's episode that will have a full transcript as well as links to everything that we've talked about will be at ifpodcast.com/episode292. You can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike.

This has been wonderful, and we will see you next week. And before we go, I wanted to make sure that I also included the link to get on the waitlist for my creatine. It's cynthiathurlow.com/new-shop/creatine. Gosh, that wasn't made easy, was it? Got to make things complicated. I'll tell my team make it easier next time. Scott, is there anything that you want to add before we go?

Scott Emmens: Well, yes, I would like to add that I have your updated information and the product by the time this airs, I think is November 21st, that the creatine will be available for purchase on November 21st. So, if you are not on the list already, you can order. It should be able to be ordered through your site, Cynthia, on November 21st.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's super exciting. I feel like this has been many months coming to fruition and I can't wait to share with the listeners the next product we're going to be working on.

Scott Emmens: I can't wait either. This has been great. Thank you so much for having me, Cynthia.

Cynthia Thurlow: Awesome. This has been so wonderful, and we will see you next week.

Scott Emmens: All right. Take care.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice, and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs. And original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription] 

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Oct 16

Episode 287: Thyroid Mysteries, Functional Medicine, Gum, Oral Microbiome, Halitosis, Electrolytes, 48 Hour Fasts, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 287 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

LMNT: For Fasting Or Low-Carb Diets Electrolytes Are Key For Relieving Hunger, Cramps, Headaches, Tiredness, And Dizziness. With No Sugar, Artificial Ingredients, Coloring, And Only 2 Grams Of Carbs Per Packet, Try LMNT For Complete And Total Hydration. For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase!

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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 FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

4:10 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #165 - Dr. Karen Becker

Go To yummerspets.com And Get 10% Off Sitewide With Code MELANIEAVALON!

How She Grew Pre-Sale! 

25:20 - AUDIBLE: Go To audible.com/ifpodcast Or Text IFPODCAST To 500-500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook! 

26:50 - Listener Feedback: Knowles - Thank you!

29:40 - Listener Q&A: Sandra - Please help me!

Unfunc Your Gut

38:35 - Listener Q&A: Tracy - Gum

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #162 - Danny Grannick (Bristle)

Ep. 153 – Fix Your Mouth/Fix Your Health: Reversing Tooth Decay Naturally with Trina Felber

Primal Life Organics!

53:10 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

55:55 - Listener Q&A: Anna - Fasting, electrolytes and hot, humid weather

Ep. 213 All About Electrolytes: Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions for Electrolyte Imbalance with Robb Wolf

Simply Hydration!

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

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 287 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, biohacker and author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and cynthiathurlow.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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And one more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat but do you know what is possibly one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting, it's actually our skincare and makeup. As it turns out, Europe has banned over a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disrupters, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens, which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream and then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup maybe playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because ladies, when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years. 

Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so you can truly feel good about what you put on and friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. They have counter time for anti-aging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their overnight resurfacing peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life and their makeup is amazing. Check on my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey, even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. Also, make sure to get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list. So, definitely check it out and you can join me in my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 287 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie, how are you?

Melanie Avalon: I am good. Can I tell you the crazy hurricane story?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, please do.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. So, at the time of this recording, Hurricane Ian just happened a few days ago and my family has a condo in Sanibel Island, where it basically landed in Fort Myers, Sanibel Lee County right in that area and they didn't know it was going to land there until-- The county didn't do a mandatory evacuation until 24 hours before, because they thought it was going to hit Tampa. Were you following it, the hurricane? I know you're crazy traveling.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, I've been following it because I was initially concerned obviously about all my friends impacted in Florida but I was also concerned I might not make it back from the West Coast. So, we had a very, very turbulent last 30 minutes of my flight on Friday.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. Yeah, I bet. I didn't even think about that. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and it's interesting as soon as we got on the plane, the two pilots were former Air Force pilots that had transitioned to the civilian sector and I jokingly said to the person sitting next to me, I was like, "I feel complete confidence because they have dealt with far worse than the impact of Ian coming up the coast." So, lots of turbulence, more than I've had in a long time but we safely landed and I'm grateful to have gotten home on Friday.

Melanie Avalon: Random quick sidenote about planes. When I flew to Austin on the way back after we landed, they told us that-- Basically, they were like, "Congratulations, we were actually testing autopilot to land and it was a success." And they tried to phrase it like it was like congrats and everybody on the plane was like, [laughs] "Is that a good thing?" I told my family and they're like, “We have never--” "Have you experienced that on a plane after the fact they tell you that?”

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think there are probably a lot of things just like when I worked in healthcare that go on that you have no idea is going on behind the scenes and then you just blissfully and naively get off the plane and you're like, "All is good." In the past week, I've been up and back to New York and then across the country to LA and back, and one of the legs of my flight, I think it was Denver to LA, there was some type of "dent" in the side of the airplane and so, we had a 90-minute ground delay while maintenance determined if it was "safe to fly." So, it was one of those things where I was like, "Dang, I don't want to not fly today." But obviously, safety is of the utmost importance and so we ended up flying without any issues but it was funny how they were talking about this dent and I'm thinking, "Is it a big dent, a little dent?" They didn't identify how large or small it was, but I'm grateful someone was paying attention.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. I remember my piano teacher growing up, she said one time on her flight, they were flying and then they didn't land. They were just circling and they told them it was because they knew something had fallen off the plane, but they weren't sure what it was. [laughs] So, then they found out later it was a hubcap to the wheel. So, it was fine. But can you imagine--?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I can't. Sometimes, again, it goes back to that being somewhat blissfully naive to the interworkings of aviation is probably to my benefit, because I think both of us are probably very similar. I'm such a critical thinker. I'd be like, "What impact would that make? Would that impact drag on the plane? What would go on?" And I made the mistake of watching-- Anyone that's listening, don't watch the documentary about Boeing.

Melanie Avalon: Wait, wait, wait, is that the one where the pilot got sucked out the window? 

Cynthia Thurlow: No, this was about how Boeing was bought out and their safety and maintenance strategies changed enormously when they were bought out. And then there were two major airline disasters. I was saying to my husband, I was like, "Why did I--?" Because I tend to be a documentary nerd anyway and I was like, "Oh, I started to watch it." And then I was like, "I probably should not be watching this on a plane at the same time." Probably, not a good idea. Yeah, it wasn't about anyone getting sucked out but there were two major crashes in the late 2018, 2019 that were related to Boeing not wanting to properly train the pilots in this system that was helping the plane, like stayed kind of equal. Again, I'm not a pilot so I'm probably not explaining this properly, but there were some technical things that had changed about the newer planes that Boeing did not disclose.

Melanie Avalon: Wow, the pilot sucked out one scarred me for life. The window broke, literally the pilot got sucked out the window. I don't even know the details. I have to rewatch it. It was some United flight. But then the crazy thing is, they landed the plane because of the oxygen levels dropping from the window, it made the pilots be at the level of being drunk. They landed the plane successfully and the pilots survived. They've been holding on to him and he was outside the window, scarred me for life.

Cynthia Thurlow: Those were some good friends.

Melanie Avalon: I know. In any case, the hurricane. My mom had decided to stay on the island. My sister had evacuated and the night before it hit when we all realized it was going to hit the island, she was wanting to drive back after all, mostly, because she was worried about the car. My dad's car getting ruined in the garage and we all convinced her to stay, because we didn't want her to leave and get stuck driving in the middle of the hurricane. In retrospect, maybe she should have left because maybe she would have gotten far enough away. In any case, the hurricane hit Sanibel. Actually, I bet a lot of listeners have been to Sanibel, because I've been posting about this and I've been getting so many DMs of people who have been to Sanibel or knew about it. It’s this beautiful-- Well, it was. This beautiful, gorgeous island, 14 miles long, one mile wide, really nice restaurants and no streetlights. Like an old town feel, but really nice. 

So, in any case, that's where the hurricane hit and my mom said, the water-- She was on the third story at the condo. She said the water went up past the garage up to the first story of the condo. We think it was probably about 18-feet high, the water. She actually thought she was going to die. This is so sad. She said she was in the closet because she had our puppy and my sister's cat and she said that she thought she was going to die, and she was writing us all letters, and she put out a lot of food for the pets hoping they would survive. It's so sad. So, that was that night. And then we weren't really hearing from her because the cell signal was so spotty. And then the causeway to Sanibel, it broke. It's gone, half of it. The island got shut off from the mainland, covered in water. We weren't really able to get in touch with her. Most of the boats in Florida are all wrecked. All the ones that were basically on-- Not in Florida, but Fort Myers in that area and on top of that you couldn't even barely get down there. We were trying to find a rescue mission. Literally, all day, it was the craziest day of my life.

I'm friends with Kirk Parsley. I've had him on The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. He's a sleep doctor and a Navy SEALs. He connected us to this group of military and SEALs that help people with rescue-type missions. You can hire them ala carte to help you with things and they were so nice. The woman in charge, Stacy, shoutout to Stacey. She found us this guy, Captain Dave in Fort Myers who had a pontoon boat and so, the few times we were able to vaguely get a text through to my mom, which on top of that-- Oh, this is a good lesson for people, this might help somebody. If you're in a situation where you don't have good cell service like this situation, if you have your phone, set on iMessage, then you'll have a lot of issues getting through texts because it'll wait for iMessage to be online. Basically, my mom could only text my aunt, because she has Android and she wasn't realizing it was her phone settings. So, we were having to text her through my aunt and we're trying to communicate with her that she had to be on the beach the next morning at 8 AM and wave a signal. We didn't know she was going to be on the beach. It was literally the craziest thing.

And then Captain Dave in his pontoon boat, [chuckles] the next day went across the ocean to Sanibel with two other guys and picked up my mom and three neighbors and rescued them and my sister and brother had driven down the day before, so they picked her up. It's just insane and it's so crazy to see pictures of the island and it's so weird, because my whole childhood was basically there and to know that it's all just gone. It's very, very weird feeling. I'm so grateful. Last I checked, I think, I don't know what the death count is at, I think it's in the 60s, not just Sanibel, but the whole area where it hit. My heart goes out to everybody and it's just a crazy experience. So, I had to share that.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I'm so glad that your mom was able to be rescued along with some of her neighbors. I have a lot of friends in the Naples area and the photos-- 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, that's where it hit too. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I have friends that left Northern Virginia, and were building houses down there, and they lost everything. They lost their cars, they lost their homes, the photos are just really, really heartbreaking. The irony is, one of my Hopkins nurse friends lives down there and her house was okay, but another friend of mine that I've known for, gosh like 15 years, I was able to connect both of them and I just think for all of us that are so fortunate that we're not adversely impacted by these storms, we owe it to ourselves as community members to try to find ways to help and donate. If you can donate money, donate time, or working with local organizations, because all of us probably know people that have been impacted. My mentor and the head of my mastermind, she actually had to evacuate and I've been at her home and-- [crosstalk] 

Melanie Avalon: Where is she?

Cynthia Thurlow: Tampa. A lot of people just picked up and took their pets and left because they had to. They were so close to the water or live on the water and gosh, there're so many people impacted but in terms of your mom's story, of course, it sounds like an incredible-- This is where networking and podcasting is so helpful. I'm glad that Kirk was able to get you connected individuals that could get her to a safe place and neighbors as well, and pets. Can't forget the pets.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so grateful. Yeah, that's the other thing that I forgot. In the condo, we had hurricane shutters. They actually stayed intact. Actually, the inside of our condo is okay, but almost every single unit, the shutters blew in and it's a situation where basically, the whole wall facing the ocean is window shutters. All the other condo units, they blew in. I can't even imagine if that had happened. But my mom, like she said, she thought she was going to die, because the whole building was shaking. Super grateful. I know from all the DMs. I got that a lot of people had situations, where they had friends or they weren't hearing from people and when we air this it will have been a while ago.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm so glad that she's safe. I know we were texting over the weekend, and I was crossing my fingers, and grateful to know that there was a happy ending.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, indeed. So, anything you'd like to share before you jump in? I know you've been crazy with travels.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I've had some really cool professional things. I was able to speak at an event at Lincoln Center and having grown up in New Jersey, Lincoln Center is a really special part of Manhattan, and then I flew out to the West Coast earlier this past week and was on two of the biggest podcasts that are out there, not just in the health and wellness space, but two of the big ones and that was such a surreal experience and they were both incredibly humble, warm, made me feel incredibly welcome. I left hugging both of them and really just feel incredibly grateful. It's such a cool experience. I have a cousin who works at USC, so I got to see him and then some other friends for dinner the last night I was there but yeah, it was a whirlwind week between New York and LA. Literally, it was home for a day and then flew back out again.

Melanie Avalon: I can't wait to personally hear more about it. I know you literally texted me about it the day of operation. What my siblings and I are calling the operation delta-alpha, which stands for a name we've given my mom for her decision to stay on the island. You were texting me all during that, so I didn't really get to absorb it. I can't wait to hear more later about the actual experience because I'm really excited and happy for you. It's awesome.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Here's the thing. For anyone that's listening, I think vision boarding is really important, because the process of manifestation without going down a gigantic rabbit hole is just such a cool thing. Because one of these people was on my vision board from five years ago. When I was finished recording with him, and I was leaving, and he and his team were wonderful, and I just said, "I have to let you know, you've been on my vision board for five years and I knew one day I would meet you," and this is just such an incredible, incredible experience. I'm so very grateful and appreciative. Then I walked outside and flagged down an Uber [laughs] went back to my hotel. So, yeah, it was really cool. Really, really cool.

Melanie Avalon: Just one comment I love, because especially when you have a career like us, where it's very nebulous, because it's all creative and creating your own path and there's not milestones, per se. So, it's really nice to have those moments, things that were personal milestones. That's amazing. Have you had him on your show?

Cynthia Thurlow: No. I'll have Sean Stephenson on my show in November and I think Lewis is not doing a ton of press right now. He's got a book coming out in 2023. No, I've haven't had him on. That would be a gigantic unicorn guest. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's amazing. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. For context, Lewis House is who I'm talking about, but he could not have been more gracious and just how can I help you, very heart centered and very genuine. He's done the work. You can tell it. And yeah, I sit back and complete-- I'm just feeling very, very-- There's no other way to describe it. And I'm a pretty articulate person just sitting in complete gratitude. There's not a lot wrong in the world right now for me.

Melanie Avalon: It's amazing. Well, I have two quick announcements before we jump in. Speaking of pets, I will talk more about this next week, but there's a company called Yummers that I am obsessed with. If you listen to my episode that I aired with Dr. Karen Becker, which is one of my favorite episodes to date on The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, you will really, truly realize the importance of what we feed our pets and so, Yummers makes amazing toppings for your pets that are completely like everything I would design there. No problematic additives, just healthy, just the good stuff. And the founder is a personal friend and so, I just wanted to share it with you, guys. By the way, I was talking about our cat and dog that survived the hurricane. They love Yummers. So, I do have a link. You can actually get 10% off site wide with the code, MELANIEAVALON. That's at yummerspets.com. Y-U-M-M-E-R-S-P-E-T-S dot com. I'm going to talk about it more at length probably next episode. 

And then second announcement before we jump in. There is a summit coming up called ‘How She Grew.’ It's being hosted by five different influencers but one of them is my dear, dear friend Noelle Tarr, who cohost The Well-Fed Women Podcast. Noelle's one of my bestest friends and I've been listening to Well-Fed Women, which used to be called the Paleo Women Podcast, literally since it started years ago. It's one of my favorite shows and I still listen to it every week. Noelle created ‘How She Grew.’ The purpose of it is for women who really want to learn about creating their own business and just doing something like themselves that out of-- Actually, I don't even know, if it might be traditional jobs as well, but basically they just interview a lot of really successful women. I'm doing an episode. Cynthia might be, we're not sure we were talking before this. But in any case, I think it'd be super, super valuable. So, there is a prelaunch discount. I'm going to make a redirect. If you go to melanieavalon.com/howshegrew-- And then we don't know if Cynthia is doing it. We’ll put in your redirect. It might not be there. Would it be like cynthiathurlow.com/howshegrew?

Cynthia Thurlow: Probably.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. You can try that too. [laughs] But in any case, I think they're going to have the basic one, where you can get just the interviews and I think it's going to be around 199. And then before November 1st for premium access, which will include the videos, lot of bonuses, a Facebook group, lot of cool stuff that'll be $2.27 and then it goes up in price after November 1st. So, snag it now. You can use those two links that we just gave. I really do think it'll be really valuable. I had a really great conversation with Noelle. Ours is sort of focused on podcasting and influencer stuff, but yes.

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump in to fasting stuff? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. We've got some feedback and it says, "Thank you, Melanie and Cynthia. I was so surprised to hear my name and question yesterday on the podcast. I really appreciate your in-depth answers and will be relistening to make sure I got it all. We had house guests last weekend and I ate breakfast to be convivial and was starving the rest of the day. I really prefer skipping breakfast and I'm happy to know that I'm not damaging my health by doing so. Thanks for all you do. Fondly, Knowles." Knowles, we're so glad that you submitted a question and we're even more appreciative to know that you found so much value in our responses.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And one thing I just like about hearing this back from Knowles is, so, obviously, her issue or her question had to do with really feeling like she had to eat breakfast. That did not suit her life. It made her more hungry. It's so interesting to me that people, because I know I'm this way personally. I struggle with autonomy. I need somebody to tell me that it's okay. This is probably a character trait that I should work on with my therapist. But I find it so interesting that people need to know-- Especially, with intermittent fasting, they just need somebody to tell them that the decision that they intuitively know is okay and right, is okay and right. So, I do want to empower people to feel what they're doing is okay but I like that we cannot provide that service, but that we can help out in that aspect to reassure people that they should listen to their bodies and do what feels right. And if they want to skip breakfast even in a social situation, that is okay.

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. And I think the other piece of it is, more often than not, when people are uncomfortable with the decisions that we make for our own betterment or our own self-improvement, it's really a mirror of their own issues and not your own. If people are bothered by the fact that you fast or you don't eat breakfast, feel comfortable and confident that you were doing what is aligned and most in step with supporting you and your body and don't feel you have to over explain yourself. That's the other thing and I don't know if it's life stage of where I am, but I'm definitely in a stage where I no longer feel I have to explain myself. I tried to just be respectful and respond to people's questions or concerns but by the same token, one of the things that I think we as a group of clinicians have not talked to our patients enough about consistently is the value in the power of N of one. Meaning, you as an individual and doing a degree of experimentation to find what works best for you, your lifestyle, etc.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I love that. All right, shall we jump into some questions?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a question from Sandra and the subject is: "Please help me." And Sandra says, "Hello, beautiful ladies, first of all thank you so much for the amazing work you do with this podcast. I absolutely love it. Love the chit chat, the tangents, the honesty, and your personalities. I'm 29 and according to my blood work, perfectly healthy and yet I have all the symptoms of someone with hypothyroidism. I started IF exactly a year ago on March 14th, 2019 and had great results not only a weight loss, but also in my general wellbeing until this February. In the past one month and a half, I've gained the 25 pounds I had lost. I'm 5'1" and I'm weighing 135 pounds. I know the number on the balance isn't everything, but my pants don't fit me anymore and I feel extremely bloated, heavy, tired, and sluggish. I'm also presenting symptoms of IBS, bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation. I'm a Mexican student living and working in California. I've been to see several doctors including naturopaths and no one seems to know what's wrong with me. All my tests come back normal, but I feel so awful it's hard to function. I really don't know what to do and would love some guidance, advice, and help. Thank you so much. Love, Sandra."

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, Sandra, goodness, there is clearly something going on. If you have gained 25 pounds in a short amount of time, I think more so than anything, the fact that you sound from what you've described that you sound like classic symptoms of potentially an underactive thyroid. I think that you need to find an integrative medicine or functional medicine doctor, MD, Nurse Practitioner, PA in your area. When people say, everything's normal, that to me sounds very aligned with an allopathic perspective. And so, the reason why I'm encouraging you to not settle with people telling you what's going on is normal. It is not normal because there's some degree of metabolic imbalance that's going on that has precipitated you feeling so poorly and it could be any number of things, which is far beyond the context of this podcast and that's why I think if you go to and I have no affiliation with IFM, but www.ifm.org, you can put in your zip code or your part of California that you live in, and you can find providers in your area that have special testing to look beyond just the traditional labs and labs that are covered by insurance, but looking at a full thyroid panel, looking at an iron panel, looking to see what else might be going, looking at your sex hormones, your blood counts, your chemistry panels, really diving into what's going on, probably doing some potential stool testing, food sensitivity testing, etc., but I would not settle for someone telling you that everything is normal if you feel that poorly. And to me, it's almost the analogy of peeling an onion. There're probably multiple layers of things that could potentially be contributing to one another, but you need an absolutely thorough diagnostic evaluation. Again, IFM, no affiliation with them, but that's generally where I send people that live in parts of the country, where perhaps I don't know have a personal recommendation in their area, but there's absolutely a provider that can help you.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Yeah, I think that's an amazing resource and I really empathize with you, Sandra, because it's so common and it's so confusing, and I've been there and often have existed there, which is just not knowing and not being able to find somebody who can help you and just not knowing what the source is. And I remember for me, especially when I was at the really-- And I'd be curious of your thoughts on this, Cynthia. When I was at my really low point with my energy levels and everything I was experiencing and before I knew exactly what was going on, I remember on the one hand thinking like, "I should be able to just intuitively figure this out." If I just listen to my body, I should be able to eat the foods that nourish me, and I should be able to sleep, and I should be able to rest, and I should be able to get better. 

But looking back, I actually don't-- I don't know that I could have intuitively lived my way out of my situation, because for me it ended up being severe anemia to the point of hospitalization and ended up being mercury toxicity, thyroid issues all along the way and I guess, I just say that to say the importance of finding a practitioner who will test and find the things that are happening. Does that question make sense? I've been haunted by this question for so long, like, feeling like you should be able to just intuitively get better versus needing to test and work with somebody.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm probably not the best person to ask that up, because I come from a clinical background and to me, as she's describing what's happening, I'm thinking a really thorough medical history is important and then you need testing to backup what you're already thinking. And so, I think for anyone that's listening, even people like myself with as much knowledge as I've had, I definitely have had periods where I've had to humbly surrender and let a practitioner figure it out for me. Intuitive to a point, but then I think we also get to a point where we start second guessing ourselves. I'll give you a good example. 

I've had hypothyroidism for about six years and was doing pretty well till about two years ago when my Nature Throid was taken off the market and many people that are probably listening, they probably have been on a series of different medications. And now, I truly believe I'm working with probably one of the smartest physicians I've ever met in my entire life. And I don't just say that, because I know him personally as well as professionally. And I'm on compounded medication now and he is checking my thyroid levels every two weeks and he has told me, he said, "You have one of the most interesting thyroid panel results I've ever seen." And I was like, "I don't necessarily want to have the most interesting thyroid panel you've ever seen." But I do feel sometimes. we have to wait to work with the people that are going to be able to get us to the next level. 

And so, part of why I'm saying this in the context of answering Sandra's question is really understanding that the right practitioner is out there and it sounds like she's taking account of all the things she's experiencing and now, just needs the right practitioner to help her figure it all out. Really looking at that relationship as a partnership, so that they can work together, because how many people listening irrespective of what age they are are being told exactly these things, you have all these constellation of symptoms, you feel terrible, and you're being told everything's normal. And it's not normal, right? And so, part of this is empowerment and part of this is getting connected to the right people. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you mentioned that about your experience with the hypothyroidism, especially-- I know I've mentioned my journey and especially the doctor I'm working with now that I started working with because I actually found her under my insurance. Upfront, she actually tested all the things like TSH, free T3, reverse T3, everything and she seemed to really understand. But as we progress, the decisions she's making based on my thyroid medication, they don't make sense. They don't make sense and she also like you're mentioning your practitioner tests every two weeks. She's like, "Well, we'll test in three, or four, or five months." I don't know, after changing your dose if we should wait that long. All that to say, what Cynthia said at the very beginning answering Sandra's question, which I'm not being a good example of right now but the importance of finding somebody who really understands you can work with you. 

I do want to provide a resource actually that might be helpful for Sandra and other listeners. I just interviewed last week. I brought back Doc-Koz. His first book was called Unfunc Your Gut and people loved it. And he has a new book called Get the Func Out. Func is spelled F-U-N-C. It's like a play on functional medicine. That book is very comprehensive and covers basically the seven hormones that he thinks are related to health like fatigue and issue, thyroid related hormones, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, all these things. It's very, very helpful and eye opening and he actually lists all of the tests that he likes specifically and I think it's just a valuable resource. Or, if you do find a practitioner to work with, especially if it is a conventional doctor under your insurance, it's empowering because you can actually have a list of things that your doctor might be opening to test. So, I'll put a link in the show notes. Actually, by the time this airs, because that book is coming out pretty soon, yeah because this episode comes out the 17th. It will be coming out next week. So, I'll put links to that in the show notes. Okay, shall we go on to our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is from Tracy. Subject is: "Gum." "Hi, ladies. I'm thankful for your guys' podcasts and I think I've converted at least a dozen people since I started back in October. One being my husband, who has blown me out of the water with opening his window on 5 PM or 6 PM and closing it four to five hours later. He looks great and has lost all his pregnancy sympathy weight. He calls it ha-ha and then my mom who is down 30 to 40 pounds in the last four to five months or so with an average 12 to six-window. I am a hairstylist and I'm constantly in people's faces. I start work around 1 PM or 2 PM a couple days a week and much earlier on Saturdays. 

I prefer to chew gum throughout the day to make sure I'm not breathing bad breath at my clients. I brush my teeth often, but I just can't handle the thought of not having a piece of gum in my mouth while I'm talking away. I've tried the WOW Drops and peppermint essential oil, but it is just not the same in at times I'm working without any breaks for hours at a time. Would it be beneficial at all if I chewed gum a couple of hours before opening my window while working or would it just be the same as having cream in my coffee at the same time? I love to advocate the clean fast. I have kept 20 pounds off back to pre-baby weight thanks to intermittent fasting and working out three to four days a week as of having a baby in late June, but would like to continue to keep losing maybe another 10 to 15 pounds. I've been staying around the same size for a few months now. I know I lose weight when I can fast for longer periods of time consistently, but I'm struggling with workday fasting. I used to start work later in the day. So, this was not an issue. 

I find myself opening my window with food earlier on work days and leaving it open way past the eight hours, just so I can chew gum and eat after my day is over with my husband. I could care less about chewing gum when I'm not at work and closing my window early in the evening just doesn't work for me. My perfect scenario would be a 19:5 opening my window on 3 PM or 4 PM. Thank you and sorry, if this is a no brainer. I just wanted to know you guys’ thoughts and if you had other ideas on how to work around this."

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, thank you, Tracy for your question. I'm just reading it. Cynthia, are you reading this as the gum is triggering her hunger, making her want to open her window earlier to eat? Is that how you're reading this?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think I can read it from two angles that or that she wants to chew gum because the purpose of the gum is to keep her breath smelling fresh for her customers and her clients and we could unpack that a couple different ways.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because she says, I find myself opening my window with food earlier on workdays and leaving it open way past the eight hours, just so I can chew gum and eat after my day is over. I'm not understanding is, is she opening the window with food, so she can chew the gum or is she chewing the gum which makes her hungry, which makes her open the window with food?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's more the latter. That's my assumption.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. In any case, I guess, regardless of the details, the gum situation is making her open her window earlier for whatever reason. So, Tracy, I as well have a slight borderline obsession with clean breath. And there's a reason because of this. I think I've shared this story on the podcast before. I don't know, I think I have. No, it was right after graduating, I went on a date with a man and I had gone through like a garlic phase. I just discovered garlic and I didn't realize how intense garlic was. And this was a first date with this guy and it was blind. I think he hit on me in Costco and asked me out. I don't know, but we had mutual friends. I went out on one date and then at the end, he tried to kiss me and I don't, in case boys are wondering, I'm not going to kiss you on the first date. So, I refused that kiss and then he made a comment about how I had had garlic earlier and then he said, but I should be flattered that he still wanted to kiss me even though of the garlic. 

In any case, that was a little bit traumatic for me and ever since then I have been uber obsessed with fresh breath. It's a problem. And it's the reason that I started using that peppermint oil spray that she talks about which we've started a fandom with on the show. We'll put links to it in the show notes. And it's on ifpodcast/stuffwelike. And I realized Tracy said, it doesn't really work for her, but it's a game changer for me. I basically just put a few drops of organic food grade peppermint essential oil, and water in these adorable little glass bottles that they have on Amazon and I keep those in my purse. Those really work for me. They're way more potent than chewing gum and they just clear out my whole head. 

All of that to say, Tracy, I know, you think gum is the only answer to the bad breath situation. But I would challenge you that gum is not the only answer. There are other answers here. One, it has actually nothing to do with the actual freshening of the breath. What you're eating and the timing of it and how you're digesting can have a huge effect on your breath. And also, obviously, the garlic is an example of something that stays with you, but there are things that you eat that because of those sulfur compounds and things like that will have a lasting effect on your breath the next day. I personally know that based on what I'm eating, it can affect how my breath smells. 

Something that might be really, really helpful. I recently aired an episode with a company called Bristle. They are incredible. They test your oral microbiome, which nobody is testing the oral microbiome. I’m becoming obsessed with this company, because I had thought for a long time that the oral microbiome was a big deal and nobody was talking about it and I'm pretty-- The more I learn about it through Bristle, the more I'm realizing that was the case. I aired an episode with Danny Grannick, who is one of the founders. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. It is the most eye-opening conversation ever about the oral microbiome. 

If you do Bristle, they'll test your oral microbiome and then it's all science based and they make personalized recommendations based on your gut bacteria. You basically get a list of results and it will show how your personal gut bacteria correlates to things like cavities, and gum disease, and halitosis, which is bad breath and then it provides personalized recommendations, not for products made by them, just ingredients that can address that. I would get that and I would follow the recommendations for the halitosis, because there might be some products that can work for you and I know the products, I know there can be a lot of debate about the toxicity of mouthwashes and things like that, but I think it's a very complicated situation and I think especially if you listen to my episode with Danny, you'll realize how there are multiple approaches to this, like, food, diet also products may work. 

I know, for example, I actually really like TheraBreath, the one that is unflavored and doesn't have any sweeteners or anything in it but it has an ingredient in it that specifically-- this is such a casual way of describing it. It deactivates the sulfur-producing bacteria, I think. I'm probably not correctly communicating what it does. But in any case, it has a lasting effect that really for me lasts all day. So, that might be something to try. All of that said, I will get Bristle-- Oh, if you'd like a discount, you can go to melanieavalon.com/bristle, B-R-I-S-T-L-E and the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON will get you a discount. I had to ask them for this. It will actually get you a discount on their subscriptions as well, which those are already discounted. So, that's actually a really good route to go, especially if you think you're going to be retesting. 

I would do that. I would reconsider that maybe you don't have to be chewing gum. I know you said you don't like the peppermint spray. Maybe if you just reevaluate and try it again. I know she said she doesn't like it. I just think there are other options than chewing gum. As far as if the gum actually breaks the fast, there're a lot of ingredients and different gums, a lot of them can be sweet and just the chewing process, I don't know that our brains know that when we're chewing gum, that it's not food. It's a very food stimulating process. It's definitely sending mixed signals to our body. I'm not a fan of chewing gum during the fast. And you're experiencing the effects of that. You're saying, it makes you more hungry. So, I would just reframe, if maybe that you can try some other options. Oh, I also really like oil pulling every morning. Cynthia, that was long.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. No, that was a very comprehensive response. I would just echo that. I understand that desire to have clean breath. I am not a coffee drinker and so, when I used to round on patients in the hospital, I would actually chew gum, but discreetly chew gum. No one knew I was chewing gum, because one of my biggest pet peeves are when people chew gum in a noticeable way, which I know is not the question. But I always tuck gum up into my gum. And so, I would chew it in between seeing patients. And during the pandemic, I stopped chewing gum, because obviously, I was home and there was no need to do it. And I realized, I actually didn't enjoy chewing gum. I just felt this compulsion. It became a compulsion when I was in the car or when I was seeing patients and so, what that has demonstrated for me and why I think this is relevant to Tracy is that what I really need to do is be hydrating more, because when your mouth is hydrated with water, that breath concern is not a concern, because sometimes dehydration will mitigate the feeling of having poor smelling breath and the other thing is, a lot of people drink copious amounts of coffee and so that can give them that kind of stale appearance. 

But the other thing that I would loop into what Melanie said is, Trina Felber is an advanced practice nurse and she has a company called Primal Life Organics. I've learned a lot about mouth care and the mouth microbiome. And so, I do tongue scraping every morning, I use her clean dental products, which don't disrupt the mouth microbiome and we'll link up that podcast I did with her, as well as a discount to Primal Life Organics. But I really do think looking closely at what you're eating, what you're drinking, and then also oral microbiome care can be hugely impactful. And I think for a lot of people, it's really just a habit. I do think that when you're chewing gum, your body thinks you're going to be eating food that you're actually going to swallow food. And so, do you get a cephalic phase insulin response potentially. Most of the gums that last a long time in terms of flavor have artificial flavors in them. They've got sucralose, they've got a lot of chunky things. Let's be clear, the gums that are clean don't last very long and that's from personal experience I can tell you. You definitely want to try to mitigate the net impact of some of those foods as much as you can. Then does it mean that you'll go from chewing gum all day long to not chewing gum? Probably not, but maybe integrating some of these other thoughts and I do like Melanie’s suggestion to rethink whether it's you're chewing on a fennel seed, or you're trying the WOW Drops, or using some essential oils, or you're drinking more water, those actually have some health benefits versus gum unfortunately has a lot of things about it that probably are not ideal to be doing all the time and it sounds like it's actually making you hungrier, which makes sense that your body thinks food is coming. 

The other thing that I just have to loop in here is that you're obviously a young woman still probably at peak childbearing age. Fasting for your menstrual cycle is really important. You may find that you struggle more on days when you're closer to getting your period and you really want to know that there are times in your cycle where it's ideally optimized to fast from the day you start bleeding up until ovulation. And then as you're getting closer to your menstrual cycle, the last five to seven days, you may want to back off on the fasting a little bit. And certainly, it sounds you've got a very tight window, a very narrow window. And the last piece that all add in here is, just making sure you're eating enough food. You were saying you're still trying to lose more weight and your body may think that you're not eating food, if you're not able to get two good-sized meals into a pretty tight window. So, those are my thoughts. I hope that's helpful.

Melanie Avalon: That was so helpful. You exactly articulated what I was trying to articulate, but you're much better, because you had the personal experience, which was, like, you're talking about how you really thought you needed it and then you realized it was a habit. It wasn't really about the gun per se, because it's interesting. Tracy was saying that the WOW Drops and the peppermint essential oil aren't the same. If the goal is addressing the clean breath, drops and the peppermint essential oil, they're going to have a very similar effect. So, it not being the same as probably that habitual aspect of wanting to chew the gum like Cynthia was experiencing. That was very powerful. Also, I forgot, do you do tongue scraping, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. I do every day. Actually, it's become part of my morning ritual that my husband thinks is really funny and I'm like, "Oh, but look at all the stuff you pull off your tongue." [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: It's game changer for me. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm. That's great for breath and everything else. I remember feeling paranoid when I was rounding. If I didn't have a mint or gum, it was because I had been conditioned. I probably walked around dehydrated all day long, because I didn't want to have to pee, God forbid. If you're dehydrated, you can get funky breath just from that. In many ways, I think the freedom of not chewing gum anymore is that I don't feel that way. It's like, "Oh, I'm feeling my breath is getting funky. I'm going to go drink some water." And then inevitably, I feel between that and tongue scraping and changing my dental products has really made a big impact in a positive way.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Definitely, report back Tracy, if you find something that works for you implementing all of this. So, awesome. 

Hi, friends. So, you guys know how seriously I take my health routine. That is probably the understatement of the year. One of my literal non-negotiables that I talk about all the time that I use every single day of my life is getting my daily dose of red light therapy. For years now, yes, years I've been using Joovv and I love it because it is so relaxing and so easy to use. You've probably heard me talk about Joovv before. That's J-O-O-V-V. I use my devices daily to support healthy cellular function, which is the literal foundation of our health. If you've heard any of my episodes on mitochondrial health, you know this is true. Having healthy cellular function helps give me peace of mind that my body is working efficiently and has the energy that it needs to get through the day. There are so many clinically proven benefits from red light therapy and I have personally experienced so many of them. I use the red light to naturally regulate my circadian rhythm. I wind down with it at night and wake up in the morning with it. Whenever I have any muscle pain or soreness, I shine my Joovv red light on it and the pain instantly goes away. It's actually shocking. I love it for skin health. It makes my skin glow. 

And you can also use it for things that I originally got into red light therapy for, which was supporting my thyroid. Yes, I struggle with hypothyroidism and supporting hair growth. Aside from the benefits, I've been recommending Joovv for years, because the quality of their devices is simply the best. Their modular design allows for a variety of setup options that gives you flexibility, plus the treatments are so easy and can be done in as little as 10 minutes, although, I tend to run mine all day as ambient light. All you have to do is relax and let your body take in the light. Joovv offers several different size options including a wireless handheld device called the Joovv Go. That is amazing for targeting specific areas around your body like hurting joints or sore muscles. When I traveled recently and had torn something in my knee, I brought my Joovv Go with me, game changer. I don't know how I would have survived the trip without it. The health doesn't have to be complicated and Joovv makes it simple by helping what matters most to our cells. So, go check out the Joovv today and while you're there, Joovv is offering all our listeners an exclusive discount on their first order. Just go to joovv.com/ifpodcast and apply the coupon code, IFPODCAST to your qualifying order. Again, that's JOOVV dot com forward slash IF podcast with the coupon code, IFPODCAST. Pick up a Joovv today, some exclusions do apply, and we will put all of this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show. 

Melanie Avalon: Shall we answer one more question? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This comes from Anna. The subject is: "fasting, electrolytes, and hot humid weather." Anna says, "Hi, ladies, I love the podcast. Definitely wouldn't have got through the first few months of one meal a day, 23:1 to 20:4 without it as it took me two months to become fat adapted. I've been doing one meal a day for two to three months and now that I'm fat adapted, it's become so easy and the scale hasn't moved much. I thought I'd try a 48-hour fast. I have the weight to lose 25 plus kilograms. I work outdoors in the hot, humid tropics, very sweaty. I drink around 7 to 10 liters of water a day around 2 gallons. I also clean fast. 48-hour fast was going so well. I was feeling completely fine and happy at work until around hour 43, I suddenly got blurry spots in my vision, felt extremely lightheaded, and really couldn't focus. I could hardly see or think. I'm wondering if this is just because I didn't supplement with electrolytes. I honestly thought a two-day fast should be fine and it felt so good until the eye floaters popped up. I felt normal the next day again after eating and sleeping. I am a healthy besides being overweight ha-ha young woman. I just wanted to write in because I think a lot of the info you guys give out is more suitable for indoor workers and more temperate climates than where I live. Thank you both so much for all your hard work on this podcast."

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, thank you, Anna for your question. I would say, first and foremost, there's a couple things that come to mind. I think if you're working in an outdoor environment where it's very hot and humid, you're doing a lot of sweating and you're not using electrolytes you're setting yourself up to become dehydrated very easily. I love that you clean fast. I think that's very important but electrolytes and fasting go together. It's not an either/or. In fact, I teach women all the time that you salt your food, use electrolytes and no it's not a couple sprinkles of salt in your water. You need a comprehensive product. And so, understanding the role of magnesium, and potassium, and chloride, and sodium is very, very important. We know that when you're in a fasted state, you're also going to upregulate excretion of sodium in your urine. Even though, you're consuming 2 gallons of water a day, you're not going to hold on to it. So, you will get dehydrated. 

You mentioned what sounds to me, you became symptomatic during a longer fast which I also wouldn't recommend, if you're in an outside environment and you're going a long period of time. A couple things for anyone who's fasting, especially if you're in a hot, humid environment, you're outside, water with electrolytes together throughout the day. There are plenty of clean products on the market. I think about unflavored LMNT, I think about Redmond's, I also have a product called Simply Hydration, that's also safe to take, it will not break a clean fast. And then if you're comfortable consuming stevia sweetened product, LMNT also makes a wonderful product with lots of flavors. My favorite is orange, obsessed with it. In my house, grapefruit is also a very popular option as well but I think if you're setting yourself up for longer fasts and you're not using electrolytes, that's a great concern. 

The other thing is, you're mentioning that you're in a position where you still want to lose more weight and I think that you probably need to have some varying amounts of time in which you're eating. You have a very compressed feeding window, you're not going to be able to get enough protein in a very compressed feeding window. I would recommend at least two meals in a feeding window. If you really like OMAD and that's your preference, then I would ensure that you are not over fasting because your body may be holding on to everything in an effort to-- because it perceives that you're not bringing on enough food in an unfed state. So, just some things to consider but I would say electrolytes are going to be your friend, you want to embrace them, find a product you like. 

And then the other thing is, I know Mel and I’ve both on several podcasts with Robb Wolf. We'll be happy to link up our podcasts with him but he provides some really compelling research and information that makes electrolyte utilization really important with fasting. And then lastly, I don't know how old you are but you want to make sure that you're not over fasting in a timeframe around when you'll get your menstrual cycle, because that can also make it quite challenging to fast effectively.

Melanie Avalon: That was so comprehensive and so helpful. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: Appropriately enough. LMNT is a sponsor on today's episode. You can actually go and listen to wherever we run that ad in this show. So, if you go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast, that's D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dot com slash ifpodcast I believe the offer right now is eight single serving packets for free with any order. So, like Cynthia mentioned, the unflavored one is just epic and wonderful to be clean fast friendly and then depending on the context, they do have a lot of really amazing flavors. And word on the street. Have you made--? Oh, wait, you don't really drink. I know a lot of people make a margarita with the citrus salt one. Yeah, so, I think everything that Cynthia said, I echo. Those are really great suggestions. 

I did want to clarify because she was saying that the info that we give may be more suitable for indoor workers in more temperate climates. In general, the longer fasts, I think for anybody they shouldn't just be done casually. I think indoor or outdoor, there's definitely be attention paid to doing it correctly and paying attention to electrolytes. And definitely thank you, Anna, for drawing attention to that. Definitely, if you are in a situation like her, where you're in the elements and it's hot, and dehydration possibly being a factor, needing more water that definitely people should not take that lightly. I know we actually have had questions in the past about that and it definitely can make a big difference and not even just with longer fasts, but with shorter fasts as well. So, yeah, I'd be curious, Anna, if you try it again with electrolytes, let us know how it goes.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I think it goes without saying, I see a lot of people, men and women that fast and then wonder why they're dizzy, or they've got cramping, or they're new to fasting entirely, and they get "keto flu," and just explain the physiology of the body and how when we are eating a lower carbohydrate diet, and we get these renal losses of sodium, how that can mitigate and precipitate some of the side effects people will experience. And so, I'm not a believer in white knuckling it through fasting and certainly, electrolytes to me go together so beautifully with fasting. You just have to find a product that you like. For me, it's orange salt all the way during my feeding window and then my other product that I have that is not too salty. That's one of the things. Sometimes, people will say, the unflavored varieties are too salty. I totally get it. You just need to dilute it with more water and it'll be totally fine.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I'm so glad you said that, because yes, some people love it as is, but you really can dilute it and make it last longer. I've given one of my friends a lot of boxes of LMNT, and she loves it, and she just drinks them like candy. Some people just like it as is. Okay, awesome. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. And the show notes for today's episode that will have a full transcript, as well as links to everything that we talked about will be at ifpodcast.com/episode287. All right, well, this was fun, Cynthia. I feel we haven't talked a lot recently, because it's been so crazy. So, it's been really nice to record today.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. And it just means for listeners, we're going to dive right in on our next recording. So, we'll get more questions fit into our discussion.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, all right. Well, I will talk to you very soon. But for listeners, we will see you guys all next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

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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!

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Oct 09

Episode 286: Thyroid Regulation, Iodine, Fasting For Your Cycle, Insulin, Glucagon, High Protein Diets, Surgical Menopause, Prescription Medication, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 286 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get A 10 Oz New York Strip Steaks And 8 Oz Of Lobster Claw And Knuckle Meat FREE In Your First Order!

3:25 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #12 - Elle Russ

Ep. 129 – Middle Age, Menopause, and Mindset: How These Components Affect Your Thyroid Health with Elle Russ

Ep. 105 Thyroid Physiology and Chronic Illness – with Dr. Eric Balcavage

Ep. 166 How to Maintain a Healthier Thyroid: Interesting Thyroid Physiology Health & Preventative Care with Dr. Eric Balcavage

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #1 - Dr. Alan Christianson

Ep. 154 How to Normalize Your Thyroid Function: What You Can Do To Help Support Your Body with Dr. Alan Christianson

Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

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18:40 - BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

23:00 - Listener Q&A: Ashley - Struggling with consistency

28:45 - Listener Q&A: Monica - 3rd time is a charm?

High dietary protein intake, reducing or eliciting insulin resistance?

Effects of high-protein diet on glycemic control, insulin resistance and blood pressure in type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Protein: metabolism and effect on blood glucose levels

Ep. 109 How To Transform Your Health With Diet And Exercise – With Dr. Ted Naiman

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

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #94 - Marty Kendall

44:15 - Listener Q&A: Jessica - Menopause, HRT, etc

56:50 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

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

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 286 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, biohacker and author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and cynthiathurlow.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for the Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency regarding raising practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox, you can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. But I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. All of their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished. That's really hard to find. They work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves but the planet. This is so important to me. I'll put a link to that in the show notes.

The value is incredible, the average cost is actually less than $6 per meal. And it's so easy. Everything ships directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing. And we are so excited because ButcherBox has an incredible offer just for our audience. You can get some of those steaks for free and lobster to go with it. You can go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and get two 10-ounce, grass-fed, grass-finished, New York strips and one-half pound of wild caught sustainably raised lobster meat all for free in your first box. Yes, completely free. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and we'll put all this information in the show notes.

And one more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense, because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat. But do you know what is possibly one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting. It's actually our skincare and makeup.

As it turns out, Europe has banned over eight thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disruptors, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens, which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream. And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup maybe playing a role in that.

Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health, and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because ladies, when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years. Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means, when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that, there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves.

That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so, you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible, they have Countertime for anti-aging, Countermatch for normal skin, Countercontrol for acne and oily prone, and Counterstart for sensitive. I use their overnight resurfacing peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life. And their makeup is amazing. Check on my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more.

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

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

Hi everybody and welcome, this is episode number 286, of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie, how are you?

Melanie Avalon: Good, how about you?

Cynthia Thurlow: We were just commiserating about this. But when your thyroid medication gets changed, it can sometimes be a little bit of a bumpy ride. So, I'm feeling I need to prop up my eyes with toothpicks today.

Melanie Avalon: I've been on the same bus that you've been on with trying all different forms of thyroid medication. It's just so complicated because there's so many opinions and there's so many options. And it can be hard to really find what works for you.

Cynthia Thurlow: Totally, I think if anyone that has an underactive thyroid that's listening, I know you understand [chuckles]. I know you understand, so I'm trying to just wait it out. My functional medicine doc is encouraging me to wait it out another week and get my labs checked. Goodness, I feel I need a power injection in the afternoon because I feel like I need a nap. And who has time for that every day?

Melanie Avalon: Well, I will say, this actually made me think about this. Sort of recently, I was in a period where I was feeling I needed a nap every day. And I just realized you know how you don't really notice when the negative things are gone? I just feel when I'm experiencing something negative once it actually goes away, I don't you may normally realize it. I just realized, "Oh, I haven't been needing a nap every day." I think the difference is, when I got sick a few weeks ago and started really high dosing the NMN and I stayed on the NMN every day at a higher dose. I don't need naps anymore. I think that's what it is, I don't know what else it would be. Although I have realized I feel a little bit more wired at night as well. So, I'm maybe I'm too high dosing. So, that's a benefit. I didn't used to be a nap person, and then I was and I'm not. How about you?

Cynthia Thurlow: Every once in a while, might need it but I generally, power through my day. And on a lot of levels, the fact that I consistently every single day, I'm this tired, the only variable that's changed is the thyroid medicine. And I knew this would happen because what typically happens is I get insomnia. And then, I have a crash in the afternoon. That has been a consistent pattern. Even though they've increased my T4, they lowered my T3. And my functional medicine doc said, and I quote, "You have the most interesting thyroid panel I've ever seen." And I said I don't want to be interesting I just want to be normal. I'm trusting the process. And he's absolutely brilliant and one of the smartest physicians I've ever met, so I am trusting in the process but in between, I will need naps in order to function.

Melanie Avalon: Do you think you'll increase your T3?

Cynthia Thurlow: He might. I think it's interesting, I'm supposed to have lab, he wanted labs drawn two weeks after I started the medication. So, I've already got that appointment set up, and I knew as soon as I started, I knew that there would be this bumpy-- this has been the pattern every single time they've changed my medications. In fact, I thought for a moment, because I keep all my old medicines just to describe to people, I'm not kidding, I really have been on 10 different prescriptions in the past two years. And it's a bag of thyroid medicine. And my husband was like, "What is that?" And I was like, "I don't know, it's a trophy. I'm keeping this for posterity's sake, I'm not sure." But to really demonstrate this is what people go through. And I'm a clinician and we still haven't gotten it right, so it goes on to just suggest that many people listening, are probably struggling with the same thing. So, that's why I wanted to share, to be transparent and say, "Yes, I'm a clinician. But yes, I'm still struggling to get the right combination of medications."

Melanie Avalon: I don't love that you're experiencing that. But [chuckles] I love it that's your approach. And yeah, some good resources for listeners. Have you interviewed Elle Russ?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have Elle and Eric Balcavage, Balcavage, sorry, I just mangled his last name, he's wonderful. He does a great Thyroid Thursday on Instagram. So does a lot of teaching. I think he's a great resource. And we both have had Alan Christenson on, but I would say Eric does a lot of didactic teaching as a clinician, which I love. And then Elle is all about empowerment, which is fantastic.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And Dr. Alan Christianson, who you just mentioned, it's funny, when I first met him, I was really struggling with my own thyroid panels. He is the nicest person ever because I literally just met him, and we've been vaguely emailing actually about intermittent fasting stuff. We were debating the literature on it. I guess at some point, my own thyroid issues came up and he was so nice. At one point, he was like, "Well, send me your labs to look at." I sent them to him, and he called me, he was like, "I have to talk to you about this [laughs] We have to get this fixed now." I was like, "Oh my goodness. You're the nicest person ever." He has a book called The Thyroid Reset Diet. He was actually my first episode of the The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast.

Cynthia Thurlow: You what's funny, so fast facts. Alan was part of my Mastermind. When I joined it, and I recall the very first time I met him in person, I was sitting next to him at a lunch, and I was trying to be really cool. Because sometimes when you meet these people that you've been following them for years, and then you're socially around them. All I say to myself is, "Just be cool. He is a normal guy." And he is as nice as nice could be. I just think Midwesterners in general are just such nice, down to earth, human beings. And he really is as nice as he appears to be, and very quiet and introverted and I really enjoyed the time that I had with him, but I think he's a great resource.

Another funny thing to share with you is that the podcast team that I had at the time that I recorded a podcast with him about his new book about iodine, the podcast title was Intermittent Fasting and Thyroid Health, and I just about had a minor heart attack, because he's not a big fan of Intermittent Fasting. And I literally was like, "You cannot put that out. You cannot do that." And then, I had to explain the context. I was like, that is absolutely the worst title you could ever come up with.

Melanie Avalon: It's funny, the way I met him actually was-- I don't know if it was him or it was probably his publisher, or publicist, or somebody. They pitched him to come on this show. And it was for his metabolic reset diet. And literally at that time, he literally had a video on YouTube about-- it was basically deconstructing intermittent fasting. I wanted to engage with them. But Gin was not too excited about the idea. And so, that's why I started talking to him via email and started discussing the studies. And he actually took down that video, I think, after it because we talked about it some more and I think he realized there was a slightly more nuanced perspective on that specific content that he had created. And I just thought that was so impressive. But yeah, I know, I love his work. He has the thyroid reset diet, the adrenal reset diet. What's the book on iodine called?

Cynthia Thurlow: No.

Melanie Avalon: That's the thyroid reset diet.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: I'm still haunted by that. I still don't know what I think about it.

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't agree, politely I don't agree.

Melanie Avalon: I need to reread it, because it's interesting, because it's so contrary. It's not like it's slightly different than the popular idea. So basically, for listeners, a lot of people in the functional health world, and I guess nonfunctional as well, advocate needing more iodine to help thyroid and just health in general. And a majority of the book is about how iodine is actually the issue, and we actually need to be on a low-iodine diet. So, yeah, I don't know.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's important to entertain the possibility that there may be aspects to that argument that are applicable, but I don't necessarily agree but I don't have enough background, I'm not an iodine specialist, but I do ask my functional medicine friends and I would say iodine is a controversial issue because you have people like Brownstein, who is pro iodine, and wrote the book, The Iodine Crisis. And then, you have other doctors that feel differently. So, we have to agree to disagree. And I don't feel I know enough to feel I could take a stand on it. I'm in a state of flux.

Melanie Avalon: Reading his book, it's very convincing. And I do think there's probably a lot to maybe the difference between people who are eating a conventional diet, so they're getting iodized salt, compared to people who might not be having conventional salt, and so not having that source, I do wonder what role that plays. I do know iodine-- I know I've shared this on the show before I don't know if I've told you before. It's the only supplement that I experimented with that I had such obvious scary reaction that I was like, "I'm never taken this ever again." My eyes literally turned bloodshot red.

Cynthia Thurlow: Really?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's kind of frightening [chuckles]. I remember I can't-- I can't even know if I can go to work. It was when I was still waiting tables. Yeah, so we will put links in the show notes. To the interviews we have had with all of these individuals.

One little announcement I do want to share with listeners, by the time this comes out, I feel bad because I think that this special will have already ended but the concept is still available, which is all the more reason you need to be on my email list for my AvalonX Supplements, which is avalonx.us/emaillist. And also, you can actually get text updates, and a 20% off one time code. I'm so excited, I set up text updates. If you text 'AvalonX' to 877-861-8318-- I'm just going to emphasize for clarity, Cynthia, have you ever set up a text service?

I have not. It's really funny because I say text 'AvalonX', all of the iterations I get of people texting that it's not AvalonX, people will text Avalons, or, give me the code or all these things. I'm like, "No, you have to text just the word AvalonX." So, it's a kind of like-- I don't know, it's just really funny to see all the messages. So, that's A-V-A-L-O-N-X to 877-861-8318. And if you are on that list, you would have known that we launched magnesium subscriptions. And we actually had a two-week window where you could get grandfathered in for life at a 25% discount, which is the largest discount we should technically probably ever do. And you get it for life as long as you stay on the subscription, which you can also pause. So, that's amazing, if you didn't snag the 25% you can still get a subscription now at 15%, so that's an option. Anything else from you, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I am hopeful that we will finalize a package for the creatine so that I can get a date that this will be available. That is, I've got my fingers crossed.

Melanie Avalon: I'm very excited for you. Then someday, you'll have subscriptions on that as well, probably?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, you'll be able to tell me all about text options too.

Melanie Avalon: That's the thing I've learned, is be very clear in what people text to you.

Cynthia Thurlow: Keep it simple.

Melanie Avalon: It is simple, but people just extrapolate and text all the things and I'm like, "No, that is not what it says."

Cynthia Thurlow: It says not direct access to Melanie 24/7.

Melanie Avalon: Is not what it says.

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By the way, bone broth does break your fast. This is something that you want to have in your eating window. In fact, it's an amazing way to open your eating window, because when you're in that fasted state, when you take in bone broth as the first thing, all of those rich nutrients and collagen go straight to your gut, help heal your gut, help with leaky gut, help digestive issues. And again, you can go to thebeautyandthebroth.com and use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON for 15% off. I'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show.

Shall we jump into everything for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a question from Ashley and the subject is "Struggling with consistency." And Ashley says, "Hi, I have been a fan and I've listened to your podcast from the start, which means I started IF back in April of 2017. I wish I could say I have done IF every single day since then. But no, it has been the struggle bus for me to do it consistently." Typically, since 2017, I IF on average four to five days a week. Some weeks are better than others when I can complete six to seven days of IF, where other weeks are harder one to two days. My window varies from 16 hours to 24 hours. Really at this point, I have been in maintenance, at times losing and gaining 5 pounds.

Now that I'm approaching my third year of IF, I've hit a roadblock in the mornings. I find myself so hungry. I usually close my window at 7pm the night before having dinner with my husband is very important to me, which is why I don't want to break my fast in the morning. It seems lately, I can only make it to 12 hours before caving on eating something some days. What I'm getting at is, do you all have tips or advice for getting through these humps? Have you ever experienced it before? I'm disappointed in myself with the inconsistency I've done with fasting over the past couple of years, which I know leads to not getting the best results. I do love the health benefits of IF and never regret it when I do fast for at least 16. It's just some days I find myself starving, and then I cave. Any recommendations you have, I would appreciate so much. Thank you."

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Ashley, I don't know how old you are. So, I'm going to just keep this a broad response. When a woman is telling me she really struggles to get to 12, 13,14 hours, I think you need to look at your macros. Are you getting enough protein? Are the meals that you're consuming in that feeding window, are they sufficient enough calorically to be able to fill your body? Where are you on your menstrual cycle? We know the follicular phase from the day you start bleeding up until before ovulation is a time that you can get away with longer fast. And then as you transition to the luteal phase, as you're getting closer to when you're going to get your menstrual cycle, I generally recommend women fast no more than 12 or 13 hours. So, I don't know if you're in a premenstrual situation and the end stage of luteal phase and that's why you're struggling. I would really dig into if you're feeling you're a little bit weight loss resistant, how's your sleep? How are you managing your stress? Are you getting enough macros in? Are you over exercising? So, there's a lot of variables that aren't entirely clear. And I just start to see a lot of women that get into these situations where they start to feel they're not seeing the results. So, they restrict more, they're just not feeling their bodies. And I get concerned that your body may in response to not feeling it's getting enough food and is really pushing the envelope. And if you're that hungry, I would definitely recommend breaking your fast, but also understanding that there are things you can do that could potentiate your fast, but I just feel I need more information to be more specific than I already have been. How about you, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I thought that was great. I love how comprehensive that there are so many potential factors going on. I would just add to it that I think a lot of people, when they're having issues with and this is what you're talking about, but a lot people when they have issues with finding the fasting hours that work for them, they think the answer is in the fasting hours, like adjusting when they're fasting. But I personally find that looking at the food intake side of things can often be potentially just as helpful or more helpful than that. Especially when people send in questions, because we have a pattern of people who send in questions.

Some people, when they're discussing fasting and their issues, they also paint a very clear picture what they're eating. Some people don't mention it at all, it doesn't even come up in the question like this one. And I don't know this is the case but that says to me that it's possible that there's not as much of a focus on what you're eating as there could be that would possibly really, really help. So, making sure that you're getting adequate protein in your eating window, which we have a question about protein coming up. And for some people, it's looking at the macros that you're eating can actually be super helpful for satiety levels. So, some people do better with the lower carb approach, and that's what really helps them tap into fat burning and not be hungry. Some people do better with a higher carb approach, and actually, those carbs are what keeps them satiated. So, I would definitely look at what you're eating, there's a lot of potential to find something there, in addition to all of the other amazing things that Cynthia brought up.

Cynthia Thurlow: Now, it's such a good point, I think we have to look at things comprehensively. When a strategy is not working, it's okay to take a break from fasting. That's the other thing that I don't hear enough people talking about, that there are times and cycles in our lives when fasting really does well for us and times when it does not and it's okay to take a break. If you feel your body's really communicating that it's not working, there are definitely ways around that.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly. Especially tying into-- I was just looking at the part where she's talking about how it's some weeks that are good, and some weeks that are harder. And I really, really wonder, you were talking about with the menstrual cycle, if it does align that way. I think oftentimes people, with the menstrual cycle, they don't make the connection that there's that connection going on there.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yep. Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: All righty. Shall we go into our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely, this question is from Monica. And the subject is "Third time's a charm." "I've listened to your whole podcast. I love all the information. It has seriously been so helpful in my fasting journey. Fasting has helped me overcome so much. Major hormone imbalances and an obsession over food that is totally mellowed out with the control I feel with fasting. It's wonderful and truly life changing. My question is something I never really thought could be an issue. But I found an article that said otherwise. Can a diet focused primarily around protein contribute to insulin resistance? I follow Dr. Ted Naiman who is a huge fan of protein over pretty much all else. But if you're constantly getting the spike in insulin from protein, could not have the same effect on our tolerance of insulin as sugar does. For example, a diet of low carb high protein low to moderate fat. I'd love to hear your thoughts and research. Love you guys. Seriously keep it up."

Melanie Avalon: Okay, Monica, thank you so much for your question. Really, I got so excited about researching this question, and I did a lot of research. So, I'm so excited to talk about this. So, yes, protein does release insulin. The difference between how it releases insulin compared to carbohydrates, for example, it varies. I was looking at a lot of different literature and there are charts on different foods and insulin release. And some charts will say, for example, that beef releases more insulin than carbs. But then, something else I was looking at was saying that protein requires about half of the insulin of carbs. So, it seems to be all over the place. But the point is, they both do release insulin in substantial amounts compared to fat, which is very, very minimal.

The difference with protein is it also releases a hormone called glucagon. And you can think of glucagon as the counter-regulatory hormones to insulin. So, insulin reduces blood sugar, puts sugar into storage. Glucagon actually spurs the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream. Let's say you're just eating protein, and you are nondiabetic, and you are good with your insulin regulation in general, in theory, you would eat some protein. And because you're not eating carbs with it, this is my example, the insulin would lower your blood sugar, actually, and then glucagon would actually encourage your liver to release glucose. And then, you just have a straight-line response, and you wouldn't really have those dips and swings.

All of that said, there can be some issues, potentially with, one, the fact that protein does release insulin. So, if we are eating a lot of protein constantly, we could be getting-- it could potentially encourage insulin resistance from all that insulin release, especially in the context of if you're eating a mixed diet, and you're also getting insulin released from carbs and things like that. And then, releasing the glucagon can actually also potentially be a problem, because now not only are we releasing insulin to store carbs that we might be eating with a meal, but we're also potentially releasing glucose from the liver, which might create a longer-term blood sugar insulin issue.

On top of that, the constant release of-- protein stimulates something called mTOR, which actually, it's a growth signal in the body. And there are studies on mTOR and insulin sensitivity, and too much stimulation of mTOR constantly, might also encourage insulin resistance. And then on top of that, there's a lot of studies on BCAAs. So, those are branched chain amino acids. They are some of the potential amino acids that we can get from protein. And studies are pretty consistent that high levels of those in the blood tend to correlate to insulin resistance. But the problem is, we don't know if it's chicken or egg. We don't know if high BCAAs in the blood cause insulin resistance. Or if when you are insulin resistant, your body is unable to properly get those BCAAs out of the blood. And the studies are very conflicting and inconclusive on the BCAAs.

I found a very amazing study that literally looks at this question that Monica had. It's from July 2014 and it's called, "High dietary protein intake, reducing or eliciting insulin resistance?" And it looked at all the studies to date. So again, it's a little bit older of a study, 2014. But it was looking at the studies to date that all looked at high protein intakes in different situations, and how did it affect insulin resistance and glucose control in the subjects. And I actually, because there's a lot-- It's a very long article. I actually went through and counted, because they didn't really give a graph. I just went through and counted what they actually found. I'm going to tell you because I find it very telling.

In studies of healthy people who are not obese, who are not losing weight, so this is a short-term, energy-balanced high protein diet. Basically, just going on a high protein diet for the short term, not calorie restricted, not losing weight. Three other studies found that when they compare that to a normal diet, there was no effect on insulin resistance, so we didn't see a negative effect there. And then, one study found a benefit, so that's favorable. The second category was people who are overweight also doing the same thing. Short term, they're eating a high protein diet, but they are not losing weight. One of the studies found that when they made the protein high diet with whey protein that there was a benefit. And when I say benefit, I'm talking about on insulin resistance. One study found that there was no change, so there wasn't any difference. One study found when they use casein and whey that there was no change. Another study was six weeks, it was high protein, and the protein was from legumes and whey, and they found that it actually-- the high protein decreased insulin sensitivity, but then it actually normalized the longer the people were on it. Another study in diabetics with that setup found that the high protein improved insulin sensitivity. The conclusion was that it's inconclusive.

Then, they looked at people who are on short-term diets where they were calorie restricted and high protein, and losing weight. And in those, well, they started off by saying that most weight loss diets leading to weight loss increase insulin resistance. So, if you're on a high protein diet and you lose weight, you're probably going to see a benefit in insulin sensitivity. But it's hard to know if it's from the protein or if it's from the weight loss. They found that two studies compared high protein diets to other calorie-restricted diets for weight loss and the high protein diets had more of a benefit. One study found, comparing it to a control, so not to a calorie-restricted diet, it found a benefit. One study found that the high protein diet did not have as beneficial of an effect on Homa IR, which is a good marker of insulin sensitivity, but it did have a better effect on beta cell function and the pancreas. So, that's a little bit confusing. And then, two studies found that it was the same benefit. And then, one study found that it was looking at high protein versus high carb in a calorie-restricted situation, and the high carb was superior.

Last category, I'm almost done. And then, the section looking at long-term intake of high protein diets, one study looked at six months of people who are healthy on high protein diets. And they found that those on the higher protein diets had higher insulin resistance and more glucose issues. A collection of observational studies on diabetes found that high protein diets led to more issues. But then The Nurses' Health Study looked at low carb high protein diets and they did not find those issues. And then they actually did find that long-term intake of high protein from vegetable protein actually benefited insulin resistance. And then, there was another meta-analysis that they referenced. And that looked at 15 randomized control trials of more than 12 months on the long-term effects of diets high in protein. And it showed neither a positive nor a negative effect on glycemic control compared to diet low in protein in both healthy and insulin-resistant subjects.

Okay, sorry that that was so much information. But basically, there's been a lot of studies looking at this issue. Like I just went through all of those, the effects seem to be pretty mixed. It's interesting, because the study I was referencing, they concluded that high-protein diets and insulin action are not univocal, which means unambiguous. So basically, it is ambiguous. And that insulin sensitivity seems to have a beneficial effect in high-protein diets when people are overweight or insulin resistant, and they are losing weight. In the short term, having a high protein diet doesn't seem to really affect insulin action. But in the long term, there might be a-- or they say it seems to be deleterious when the intake is prolonged. And that this goes along with seeing high plasma BCAA levels in the blood, like I was talking about. Their ultimate conclusion is that in the long term, increased insulin secretion and consequent hyperinsulinemia might lead to reduced hepatic insulin sensitivity. Increased hepatic glucose output results in a decrease glucose control, although a direct effect in insulin action and insulin sensitive tissues can also have a role.

My thoughts stepping away from all of this is that yes, if you are doing high protein-- well, especially if you're doing high protein in the context of energy-toxic diet, a diet with too much energy in the long term, I think definitely can encourage an issue, contribute to an issue. If you're eating protein constantly 24/7, it could have those issues with mTOR. It could have basically all of these issues. In the context of weight loss, I don't think most people would need to worry about this at all. In maintenance as well. I'm not sure but I do feel for people who are doing intermittent fasting, we're getting that period during the fast of low insulin. We're getting that period of low mTOR. I think it's crucial that we get adequate if not high protein when we do eat. So basically, I really think that the issue here is energy toxicity, not protein completely. That was a really long answer. Cynthia, do you have thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I am in awe of the research that you did. My clinical context, just thinking thoughtfully about this question is, I'm 100% in agreement that the energy toxicity, meaning you're eating too much food, is really the issue. Now, when we look at the bulk of the population, we know 92-93% is metabolically inflexible and unhealthy, it is likely not too much protein, that's the issue. It's the overall there's just too much caloric or the macros are imbalanced. It's overwhelming the body's storage sites. And it is less about protein, and more about all of the other factors. Most people, perhaps not our listeners, but most individuals here in the United States are drinking caloric beverages all day long. They're eating anywhere from 6 to 10 times a day. And when you're really looking at the degree of meal frequency, the average American is doing-- average westernized person combined with those beverages, I think that is a greater issue. And for them, if they suddenly go high protein, and they still have all these other behaviors that I've identified, then that can become a larger issue.

And it's interesting, Ted Naiman, I've interviewed and I'm very aligned with him on many, many things. And he has this amazing book that is only an electronic book, which means I don't own it, because I like having physical books for most of my things that I want to reference. But he posts a lot of fantastic content on Twitter and YouTube. And it's a great resource. And he talks about how a certain amount of protein and fats will shut that satiety, you'll hit those satiety hormones that you just physically can't consume more food. And I think that's an important distinction along with everything else that you said. But I'm so grateful you did all that amazing research. I'm just going to speak to it as a clinician, and I think it has everything to do with an overconsumption of calories, in general, that is creating this toxicity and this degree of lack of metabolic flexibility and insulin resistance.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, what you just said is basically exactly how I feel. And I think the nuance as well is that, so say we are in energy toxicity situation on a low protein diet, the energy toxicity is primarily coming from carbs and fat. Just stepping aside, in general, energy toxicity is, I think, the issue. If you have low protein, the factor that you don't have going on in that situation, is that you're not getting that glucagon stimulation, that would be prompting the liver to be constantly also releasing glucose from the liver, which would be further exacerbating issues as well as the potential buildup of those amino acids in the bloodstream. Compared to when you do have the protein, you've got that secondary issue going on.

And I did want to throw in, because I left out one other thing because that was 2014. There was actually a 2020 meta-analysis, and it looked at 12 articles with 13 studies including patients with diabetes, and they actually concluded that a high protein diet does not significantly improve glycemic control and blood pressure. They didn't say that it hurt it, they just said it doesn't improve it. But it can lower LDL, TC, TG and Homa IR levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Further studies are needed to clarify the effects of high protein diet and glycemic control, insulin resistance and blood pressure control and type 2 diabetes. I just want to throw that one in there because I left it out.

But I'm glad you brought up Ted Naiman, I love him, we can put links to the episodes that we've had with him. I also really love Marty Kendall. He had a really good article on the glucagon aspect of this that I was reading, and he actually referenced Ted Naiman in that study as well. All that to say I agree with-- what you just said is what I agree with that. I think the issue is the energy toxicity.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, it definitely makes sense.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, I don't know if Monica expected that long of an answer. [Cynthia laughs] All right, we have a question from Jessica, and the subject is "Menopause, HRT, etc." Jessica says, "Hi, I love this podcast and I learned so much about IF. My doctor advised me to start IF a month ago when she put me on HRT. I'm 37 and still breastfeeding my daughter aged one, but I'm also postmenopausal as my ovaries were removed in December. My doctor advised HRT because my estrogen was unsurprisingly very low, and my DHEA and testosterone were very high. I've been doing IF starting at 16:8 a month ago, and now usually doing 18:6 and sometimes 20:4. I have not lost a single pound. My clothes do not fit differently. I am at my highest weight ever and getting so discouraged every time I step on the scale.

I have now been on low doses of bioidentical estrogen and progesterone for a month while doing IF. And although I feel some benefits, it's helped some digestive issues. I need the scale to move in order to feel my health is improving. Losing even a few pounds would give me hope, but it is just not happening. How long do I stick with this before it's time to admit it is not working for me? I'm also a vegetarian, but I sometimes eat the occasional fish. I'm reading that the research on IF for women is mixed, and it may have negative consequences for postmenopausal women. Is it possible this just isn’t for me? I hope that's not the case. Because this is the only diet, I've ever tried that I felt was sustainable. Thanks in advance, keep up the good work."

Cynthia Thurlow: Ah, Jessica, you have a lot going on. Oh, my goodness. You're still a very young woman, and we know women that have their ovaries removed before the age of 42 are at greater risk for developing cognitive issues. So, I'm grateful that your doctor is being very proactive and considering hormone replacement therapy. My concern is, and I'm just going to start from the top, I'm not in agreement with women breastfeeding or being pregnant and fasting. You're wanting to lose fat, but your body is still feeding a baby. And I'm sure if she's one, she's probably eating a lot of solids. And so, her breastfeeding might be brief and just a few times a day. But just something to think about in the position that you're in, you're giving your body mixed signals. You want it to lose fat, but you still want to be able to sustain being able to breastfeed, and I find for most women while they're breastfeeding, it's harder for them to lose body fat. So, that's number one. Since you're so young, I'm curious to know why your ovaries were removed at such a young age because that's very significant.

You're mentioning that your testosterone was high. The question is why. Did you have polycystic ovarian syndrome? When I start thinking about the reasons why women can have high testosterone, that's almost always the first thing I think about. Does your husband take supplemental testosterone? Probably not, because you're both very young, but you can sometimes get exogenous exposure that way. Just in thinking about the bioidentical hormones, it could be a combination of too much stress on the body, breastfeeding, fasting. Going into menopause is a big adjustment, and you have surgical menopause, meaning the average age of a woman in the United States to go through menopause is 51. You're 37. So, you're very, very young. And so, from my perspective, it's trying to get a sense from what you've shared as to what could be going on.

The other thing that I get concerned about is most vegetarians in my clinical experience consume too many carbohydrates, not enough protein. And you really have to work at that very diligently. If you're eating very limited, animal-based protein, hopefully, you're eating some eggs, which will make that easier. But the challenge is, if you're trying to fuel weight loss and you are vegetarian, you're very likely overconsuming carbohydrates. And then, you're also breastfeeding, and your body needs a little bit of extra fuel to be able to make that happen. I wrote a whole book about women and fasting.

And I generally will suggest the women check that out. There is research on postmenopausal women. And I find the women that generally do the best are the women who have stable hormones, meaning, when you're no longer menstruating, your hormone levels are stable, much more stable day to day, week to week than a woman who's still in peak fertile years, or even a perimenopausal woman-- there's a lot of good research that women can do very well in menopause, with intermittent fasting, provided that they're sleeping high quality sleep, they're managing their stress. And as a new mom, it's not unstressful to have a little baby at home and then stressing about trying to lose weight. I mean, those are two big things, eating anti-inflammatory nutrition, and really thinking about, things that fuel insulin sensitivity. And I think about walking after a meal, and lifting weights and things like that.

So, there's a lot to unpack here, I would give it more time. If you're breastfeeding, you need to give yourself some time. I used to always say six months was always that time period that I felt most of my patients got to a point where they were starting to see some weight loss, 12 to 18 months. And if you're still breastfeeding, it's going to make it a whole lot harder to lose weight. So, please give yourself some grace. Make sure you're getting your hormones tested, make sure you've got a DUTCH as well as serum blood labs. I think that would be very helpful. And the other question that dovetails into that is why is your testosterone so high? Did you have PCOS? What was the precipitant for removing your ovaries? That's a pretty drastic surgery for such a young woman. I would imagine there's a good reason, but just not a reason that's entirely clear to me right now. What do you think, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Well, I thought that was absolutely amazing and comprehensive. That was one of the takeaways I really took away from reading your book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation, was the difference with fasting in pre-menopausal and postmenopausal women and where do you think this idea-- because people ask this a lot or say this, that there are negative consequences for postmenopausal. But have you seen that? I mean, would the concern be I guess sarcopenia, not getting enough protein? I'm just wondering where this idea is coming from.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think there's a degree of fear mongering This is why I'm not a fan of OMAD. And that may upset people but I'm going to just say it, you just can't get your macros in. And once you're going through perimenopause, and menopause, physiologically, we are just much more at risk for muscle loss and the way that you need to think about how important and-- Gabrielle Lyon has been on your podcast, she has been on my podcast, she's a really close friend. I tell her all the time that her work completely changed everything that I talked about. But you want to think about muscles as a glucose reservoir. They're critically important for being metabolically healthy. And as you are losing muscle, and that's being replaced by fat--

I always talk about the filet, which is young muscle. Melanie has young muscle Melanie, so Melanie is a big fillet. And I'm 51, so my muscles, if I don't work really hard, are going to look like a ribeye and a ribeye is delicious. But we want to be a filet for as long as we can be. And I'm not talking about aesthetics. I'm talking about musculature, it's so important. And the concern I get is when postmenopausal women, perimenopausal women are just bucking this trend of, "I'm only hungry for one meal a day and that's all I eat," I just have to remind them, one of the reasons why you're not more-hungry, is you're starting to lose lean muscle mass. And as Gabrielle says, "You are not overfed, you're undermuscled." So, it's really important to understand that I think a lot of the concerns and fear about menopausal women is largely a byproduct of this concern that they are going to lose muscle mass if they're not eating at least two meals a day, we're not talking about 6 meals a day, or 10 meals a day, which I eat two meals a day so that you can get enough protein in your diet.

The other thing that I think is important note is that we're de facto less tolerant of stress as we head into perimenopause and menopause. It's a byproduct of the loss of progesterone from our ovaries, as our adrenals are stepping in to help support our body, we are just not as stress resilient. That doesn't mean we can't manage stress, we don't manage it as well. And so, I think on a lot of levels, there's this concern that if women head into their 40s, and 50s and beyond, and they're overfasting, overrestricting, not exercising or doing the wrong types of exercise, that they can put themselves at risk for a lot of inflammation, a lot of bodily stress. But I sometimes feel menopausal women have an easier time because they don't have to deal with the factors of a menstrual cycle and follicular phase and luteal phase. I would say men and menopausal women can sometimes have the easiest time fasting of all because they don't have to worry about this biology of procreation and conception and fertility and infertility that younger women have to worry about. But I do think it's a huge problem.

In fact, I'm not going to say this person's name, but there's a person who just had a book come out and they love to fearmonger about women and fasting. And I've had to have this discussion quite a bit. And I don't want anyone to perceive that. If you're sleeping well and you're dialing in on your nutrition and you're managing your stress and you're fasting for your cycle and you're not overexercising, that fasting can't be a part of or eating less often, can't be part of your strategies that you use to feel good about navigating whatever stage of life you're in. I think a lot of that comes from well-meaning people who don't really know what's going on. That's my feeling.

Melanie Avalon: I cannot agree more. It's actually similar or relates to the findings speaking of what you're talking about earlier with protein, on protein and longevity. There are so many people, researchers and such like Dr. Valter Longo, who I've had on the show-- he's actually been on this show, and he's been on the biohacking podcast, but he and people in his sphere are very much pro low protein for longevity up until, I think, age 60. And then, you need higher protein. So, I think that does relate to everything Cynthia was talking about, about when you are at that older age and the more difficulty it is to create and maintain muscle, women in particular really need the higher protein when they're older. I don't think that should be lumped in with the fasting, which I think can happen. It just might be like Cynthia was saying that you need a longer window to get in that adequate protein intake if you're not like me where I eat all the protein.

Cynthia Thurlow: The unicorn, but I think that's one of the reasons why I love podcasting with you as we really speak to such a wide age range of women. And I think that's really important because if we were both 50 somethings or if we're both 30 somethings, we would not necessarily totally represent our demographic, right?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. It's funny before I even started the show, way back, I remember brainstorming about what did I want the show to look like. And at first, I was like "Oh, I want to cohost with somebody like my age. And it'll be two girls having wine night, two young people." But when I met Jen, I was "Oh, this is actually much more appropriate," because it's just so much helpful to give the broad perspective, and then it's even better when we're friends as well. It's all the good things.

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. And I think it's important for people to understand that there's a genuine camaraderie here. So, we can both benefit from our own experiences. My kids know who Melanie is. When we talk about Melanie's eating window, and her sleeping habits and how different we both are, and that's the beauty of it is that there's listeners who very likely-- there might be someone who has a long, evening eating window and stays up really late-- And I think, it's only when I was traveling in Europe that we overlapped at the same time, like we were awake for the longest stretch of time at the same time. I was like, "This is cool."

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's funny, I get DMs from people because I do think my approach is very rare. But there are? I know you guys are out there who actually do it very similar to me, and quite a few people DM me, and they're just like, "Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone in my crazy late night, feast every night." So, we are out there, but it definitely doesn't work for everybody, that is for sure.

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All right. Shall we answer one more question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is Mary, "Prescription meds breaking fast." "Hello, I've just begun IF." So, her eating is either 19:5 for two days or 20:4. "I've long abstained from between meal eating, so this was a fairly easy transition for me. I am determined to have clean fast. However, I saw a comment today on Facebook regarding melatonin, and the word was that it does contain sugar, so realistically breaks the fast. I have a long list of prescription meds. So far, I've looked at four that are must-haves, and they all have that same ingredient. My feeding window is 12:30 to 4:30. I can take my evening pills right at 4:30 and some of my AM pills right at 12:30. But some must be taken 12 hours apart. My question is, if I take the must-haves when I wake up, does that wreck my clean fast? Eager to hear. I want to do this right. Thank you for your time, Mary."

Melanie Avalon: All right, Mary, thank you so much for your question. So, something to clarify, because I can see how this can happen. You talked about how you heard melatonin, and it contains sugar, and so, it breaks the fast. And maybe this goes without saying but with something like melatonin, which is not a prescription, there are many brands of melatonin, and they do not all contain sugar. So, melatonin does not equal sugar, does not require sugar to be taken. For melatonin, for example, you can find a melatonin that is fast friendly. We love melatonin from MD Logic for example. So definitely check them out. You can use the codes, MELANIEAVALON or CYNTHIA, to get a discount on that I know Cynthia in particular has really benefited from that melatonin. So that's supplements like non-prescriptive supplements, you can usually find a version that is clean, fast friendly, especially when it's not a prescription because there's normally lots of versions of it.

When it comes to prescription medications, if you have to be taking your prescription medications, you have to be taking your prescription medications. Some of them might contain ingredients that break the fast like she has found out. I'd be curious what she found in it that was-- I'm wondering what the sugar ingredient that she's thinking. I'm wondering if it's something-- I'm just wondering what it is exactly. There are a few things. One, I think a lot of people don't realize this, but this is actually an option. You can actually get a lot of prescription medications compounded, I actually do. If you have a compounding pharmacy that you like and can work with, they can often make compounded versions of your medication with the exact fillers that you want, or even no fillers. It's not always a possibility. And sometimes if it's a possibility, it's extremely expensive, so then it's not really a possibility. But for some of the medications, it is a possibility. I've done that in the past for things.

If that's not the case and you need to go with the traditional prescription form, there are a lot of generic versions of a lot of prescription medications. You can look up the prescription and you can try to find the one that is the most "fast friendly." It does take a little bit of detective work, I'm thinking of little detective emoji in my head. But that is an option. And you can talk with your doctor if you want a specific generic version prescribed. All of that said, if you need to take the prescription medication and you cannot find a clean, fast friendly and you cannot get it compounded. It's okay, [chuckles] you have to take your medications when you have to take them. It's not like this is actual food. I'm not giving a greenlight to taking in minute amounts of sugar or anything that in general. But when it comes to medication, you have to take your medication. Don't stress about it. It will be very minimal, if anything. Those are my thoughts on medication. Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: The irony is I have 45 cohort going right now, and we had our first group call. And that was the first question that I was asked today. And here's the thing, if you have to take a medication, you have to take a medication, period. There should be no stress about, does it break your fast, does it not breaks your fast? I'm always very transparent talk about the fact I take now compounded thyroid medicine, and I take that during my fasting window and that does not break my fast. Now, the issue with generics, and people may not know this, but you can get these tremendous variances. There are generics you can get sometimes like 20% variants. As an example, before I was taking compounded progesterone, I would sometimes wonder why some nights I'd sleep really well and some nights I wouldn't. My functional med doc actually pointed out, "Well, you realize, you probably remember this but for generic medications, even though it's a bioidentical, you still have this variance." And so, I would just state that-- sometimes the trade medications that you pay a little more for-- and by no means am I telling people to break their budget to do this, but if you feel you don't do as well on a generic, just understand it can be 20% different than the trade product. I had a lot of women, especially my thyroid patients, that would tell me they would not take generic Synthroid. They only took regular Synthroid because they had intolerances. I had patients on antihypertensive, so medications for their blood pressure, same thing. We're all individuals but please do not let the concern about breaking a clean fast be the reason why you perceive that you have to do all these different things to me make this work.

Now, there should be no sugar in melatonin. And if there is, then I would definitely look for another option. I speak very openly that the two options I use are Sandman, that's a whole other special conversation about that supplement. But the MD Logic melatonin is more efficacious, meaning it's stronger than the Designs for Health product I'd been using for several years, and I even used on myself as well as my patients. One capsule of MD logic was equivalent to three of the Designs for Health sustained release. To give you an idea, it's very cost effective, and I'm not sharing that to sell everyone on that brand, but just to share that's what works for me. Sandman is a per rectal melatonin, but it's also largely cost prohibitive for the average person, I probably use it twice a month. But with that being said, please don't let that be a concern. Now, if your supplement has sugar in it-- there was a woman in my other group who had a product that had 40 grams of sugar and 30 grams of carbs. And I was like, "First of all, you need to throw that in the garbage."

Melanie Avalon: In what? Supplement?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, there were gummies. And I said, "Okay, well, a gummy is going to be full of sugar, because it's going to be soft and--" Anyway, a whole separate conversation. But the point of what I'm sharing is, we want to try to find the cleanest options that are out there. Things without gluten and dairy and grains and soy, just be diligent when you're selecting supplements to try to find really high-quality products. Yeah, that's my ramp. But please don't let concerns about your medication breaking your fast keep you from taking medications that you are prescribed and that you need.

Melanie Avalon: That's so fascinating. I know you said you've seen it in hypertensive medications as well. Do you find it is more the hormonal supplements where that's an issue or is it just across the board?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it's interesting, because many years ago, when I was taking oral contraceptives, I remember when I was a student at Hopkins, I had this one brand of oral contraceptives. And I also had mild phenotype PCOS, I had no idea why I had these crazy wild periods. Well, it's because I had PCOS and that's why I initially went on the pill. And the student health center was "Oh, we've got the generic version of what you're taking." I went on the generic and gained 10 pounds. And I remember them saying, "Oh, there's nothing different in this." And then, I remember talking to my faculty, and they were like generic is exactly that. They only have to have 80% of the formulation the same.

Melanie Avalon: Legally?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and you can have different fillers. There's lots of things that happen with these medications that I used to say-- Some people do fine with the generics, let me be clear, there's nothing wrong with generics. But I think there are definitely people who are much more sensitive to additional fillers and different formulations of medications. And so, that's where I think it's important to just have the conversation. If you're doing fine on what you're taking, great. If you're not, investigate what other options are available.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. It's interesting, because I had sort of vaguely wondered that in general about the generics, but I hadn't really looked into it.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, up to 20%.

Melanie Avalon: Um, it's concerning.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Well, thank you. That's very valuable information. Thank you for sharing.

Cynthia Thurlow: You're welcome. It'd be a little depressing for everyone to hear. But the irony is one of my pharmacist friends and one of my doctor friends just happened to say that to me the other day, and I was like "Oh, my gosh, I forgot that. It's so true. It makes complete sense."

Melanie Avalon: Wow, wow, wow. Well, thank you.

Cynthia Thurlow: You're welcome.

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, if you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode, which are going to have a lot of links, as well as a full transcript, will be @ifpodcast.com/episode286. And then, you can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. And you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon, and Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. And I will talk to you next week.

Cynthia Thurlow: It sounds good.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman. Editing by Podcast Doctors. Show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner. Transcripts by SpeechDocs. And original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Sep 11

Episode 282: EMF Protection, Insulin Levels, IF Weight And Fat Gain, Heart Palpitations, Electrolytes, Hydration, Digestion Changes, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 282 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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

SHIELD YOUR BODY RADIATION SAFETY DAY: Go To shieldyourbody.com/rsd For FREE And Easy Ways You And Your Family Can Radically Reduce Your Exposure To EMF Radiation, Without Impacting Your Enjoyment Of Modern Technology, And Win A FREE $2000 Canopy! Use The Code Melanieavalon For 15% Off Sitewide At melanieavalon.com/syb.

ATHLETIC GREENS: 75 High-Quality Vitamins, Minerals, Whole-Food Sourced Ingredients, Probiotics, And Adaptogens In One Delicious Scoop! Get A FREE 1 Year Supply Of Immune-Supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE Travel Packs With Your First Purchase At athleticgreens.com/ifpodcast!

 JOOVV: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels! It literally works on the mitochondrial level to help your cells generate more energy! Red light can help you burn fat (including targeted fat burning and stubborn fat!), contour your body, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, produce collagen for epic skin, support muscle recovery, reduce joint pain and inflammation, combat fatigue, help you sleep better, improve mood, and so much more!! These devices are literally LIFE CHANGING!! For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

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

SHOW NOTES

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

3:50 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

12:00 - SHIELDYOURBODY: Use The Code Melanieavalon For 15% Off Sitewide At melanieavalon.com/syb.

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #122 - R Blank

20:30 - ATHLETIC GREENS: Get A FREE 1 Year Supply Of Immune-Supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE Travel Packs With Your First Purchase At athleticgreens.com/ifpodcast!

22:00 - Listener Q&A: Erica - Eating and insulin levels

31:00 - Listener Q&A: Kathryn - IF Weight and Fat gain

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

Ep. 140 – The Nature of Bingeing: How to Break Out of the Food-Prison with Dr. Glenn Livingston

42:50 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

45:55 - Listener Q&A: Lydia - IF and Palpitations

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

AvalonX Magnesium 8: Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

Simply Hydration: Magnesium-Charged Electrolyte Concentrate for Rapid Hydration

55:20 - Listener Q&A: Sarah-Lynn - Positive side effects

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

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 282 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, biohacker and author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and cynthiathurlow.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Okay, friends, you can take chicken breasts off your grocery list. ButcherBox is offering our listeners an incredible deal that they have never offered before ever. Free chicken for a year. Yes, you can get two pounds of free-range organic chicken breasts for free for a year. I am not making this up. There is a reason we adore ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get healthy, delicious, humanely raised meat and sustainable seafood that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, that's really hard to find, by the way, and wild-caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door.

When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect, and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency regarding grazing practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox. You can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. But I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. All of their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished. That's really hard to find. They work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves, but the planet. This is so important to me. I'll put a link to that in the show notes.

The value is incredible. The average cost is actually less than $6 per meal. And it's so easy. Everything ships directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing. And their chicken is incredible, humanely raised, free range, organic and you can get it free for a year. Get two pounds of free-range organic chicken breasts for free in every order when you sign up at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. That's two pounds of free-range organic chicken breasts for free in every order when you sign up at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. Claim this deal at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. If you've been wanting to try ButcherBox, now is the time. We will put all of this information in the show notes. 

And one more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense, because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat. But do you know what is possibly one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting. It's actually our skincare and makeup. As it turns out, Europe has banned over a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disruptors, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens, which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream. And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup maybe playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health, and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because, ladies, when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 282 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: How are you, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I am doing well. I've got both my kids back in school.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, nice. More me time for you? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, at least they're not laying around the house. That's the one thing about teenagers is that they're like bears. They come out to eat, they come out to be taken places, and then they spend a lot of time in their rooms sleeping. And so, at least now during the day, my husband and I have a completely immaculate house, unlike when they're home. They're essentially savages. So, they're at least gone during the day. They're in school. They're being intellectually stimulated. It's all good.

Melanie Avalon: That makes sense. That's one thing I miss about being a teenager. It was okay to sleep like hours and hours and hours.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting. My mom came to visit. My mom was very militant. We weren't allowed to sleep in, ever. And so, she was like, "You let your children sleep?" And I said, "Yes. Because they stay up late, and they need the sleep." [laughs] So, that's always the place I come from. I'm like, "As long as they get their work done, and they get their chores done, and they have good grades, I don't mind if they sleep," and it's really not an inconvenience to me. My husband and I go have half a day to ourselves before they wake up.

Melanie Avalon: That's the way my mom was growing up as well. That is something to be grateful for all the little things. Because that would have been miserable, if she had made us get up.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, my mom was just tough. I think because she was a healthcare professional, and was up early rounding, and seeing patients, and so, from her perspective, she had to be up, we should be up as well. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Growing up, we would go to Sanibel Island in Florida every summer and I would always have a friend come with me. And it was funny, because I loved when I had the friend that had the same sleep schedule as me. We would both sleep until 2 PM. Because some of my friends were early morning birds. So, they would get up at 10 AM and have to wait for me for couple hours.

Cynthia Thurlow: So, this is not a new lifestyle.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, no, no. I think I've talked about this before on the show. I feel bad about it. I feel I should be a morning person. And every time I talk to my mom, my mom's like, "Melanie, you've always been a late-night person. You will always be a late-night person. Just accept it."

Cynthia Thurlow: We are very opposite.

Melanie Avalon: We are and I'm jealous.

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] No, I was thinking to myself, if we were ever in the same location at the same time, what would be the optimal hours we would be up at the same time? I'm like, "From 12 to eight." 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. 12 is pushing it. [laughs] 1 to 8, 1 to 9. Is 9 pushing it for you?

Cynthia Thurlow: 9 is pushing it for me. Maybe 30, I'm generally like, "Okay, I want to go." I want to get on my PMF mat and start getting ready for bed.

Melanie Avalon: So funny. The socially acceptable hour that works for me to be like social is 7 or 8. Because most people are still like, they'll get drinks at 7 or dinner at 7. I know 8 pushes it for some people. But in any case, we have something exciting to share with listeners. Actually, two exciting things. One, would you like to share the winner of your giveaway?

Cynthia Thurlow: I would. The winner of our giveaway was Louise Sparks. So, we will be sending out your goodies within the next week. And I just wanted to take an opportunity to thank everyone for the wonderful, wonderful reviews that were left for the book. I'm so very grateful to be part of this community and very appreciative of everyone that submitted entries. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it was really wonderful to read all of the reviews that, because I got to see them as well obviously being emailed in. It's just so wonderful how supportive, and kind, and just wonderful everybody can be. So, thank you. And what was the price? 

Cynthia Thurlow: We had very generous individuals, companies that donated products to the book launch. And so, there were some products from designs for health, some Redmond's products, all sorts of fun goodies. It was overwhelming how generous these companies were. And so, there were so much that was donated, we wanted to extend another option to share it with individuals that had read the book and loved it. So, thank you again, Louise Sparks.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Awesome, awesome. And then another exciting announcement. This is an opportunity to both learn very important things and also win very exciting things. So, okay, I'm so excited about this. I have a dear friend, R Blank. I've had him on The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Cynthia, have you connected with R before?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not definitely like on my radar, though.

Melanie Avalon: He's fabulous. He has a company called Shield Your Body and they are the global leader in laboratory tested EMF protection products. And okay, so, I am so passionate about this EMF situation. And it's interesting, because I feel people are skeptical of the health effects of EMF, but there have been-- Well, first of all, the World Health Organization lists EMF as a class to be carcinogen. So, this is not something that's woo-woo or not real. It's literally a carcinogen. And there's been thousands of high-quality peer reviewed scientific studies looking at EMF radiation from things like our cell phones and our air pods, and they found negative health effects like sleep disruptions, even infertility connections to Alzheimer's, obviously, connection to cancer. It's a really big deal. If you want to learn more about it, definitely check out my interview I did with R on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. I'll put a link to it. 

The reason I really, really like what he's doing is, he is all about the science of everything and what is actually something to be concerned about what's not something to be concerned about, how can you actually mitigate it, and what is practical. He's not going to tell you to never have a cell phone or never use Bluetooth. Although, I think he personally, probably never uses Bluetooth. I don't want to put words in his mouth. But he's very good about making everything approachable and practical, which is why he has this company, Shield Your Body. And they have all these incredible products that will help protect you from EMF and they're tested, which is so, so key. But in any case, the exciting announcement. So, this episode airs September 12th. And on September 22nd, Shield Your Body is actually having EMF Radiation Safety Day. This is the fourth year that they've done it. It's actually on Faraday's birthday, so the guy who invented the Faraday cage. And the purpose of the event is just to spread awareness and help people learn more about the dangers of EMF exposure, how they can really shield themselves and protect their health, the health of themselves and their family. 

And so, basically, they offer tons of free, yes, free and easy ways to reduce your EMF exposure. And it actually according to them all comes down to two key rules. And no, I'm not going to tell you what those two key rules are. You have to get them for free. To get those two key rules and to be a part of Radiation Safety Day, because when you go to get all these free resources, you'll actually be entered into a giveaway to win a Shield Your Body canopy worth $2,000. So, that's just incredible. You can potentially win that canopy and in addition, they're going to be giving a lot of other prizes as well. So, you can go now to get the free resources and to enter to win. You will go to shieldyourbody.com/rsd. Again, that stands for Radiation Safety Day. And you can enter now all the way up until September 22nd. September 22nd is when they are going to do the raffle drawing. 

And in addition, while you're at Shield Your Body or just in general, if you would like to purchase any of their products, you can use the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON, and that will get you 15% off. I love their stuff. I'm actually right now using their wired headphones that do not have Bluetooth exposure. So, that's great. I really recommend their pad that goes underneath your laptop. If you are sitting with a laptop on your lap, again, there's studies showing that EMF exposure can affect fertility. So, it can be really, really important to have something like that protecting you from your laptop. They have bags, they have some apparel like a beanie, they have stuff for your kids. So, definitely, definitely check it out. Maybe you'll win that canopy.

Cynthia Thurlow: Ah, that sounds amazing.

Melanie Avalon: How do you feel about EMF exposure, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, we had our house evaluated before we built it, the property and the geothermic forces underneath the house. And we have special material that was laid underneath our floors. And we have special-- [crosstalk] 

Melanie Avalon: I'm so jealous.

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] We didn't do a canopy in our bedroom. because I kept explaining to my colleague, I was like, "I am going to have teenage drivers. I can't be in an environment, where if there's an emergency and they're driving that I can't have my phone working. Maybe if they were a little younger, it'd be different." I would say, we probably did 50% of what was recommended. To do it fully 100% would have meant that there would have been absolutely no Wi-Fi at all upstairs in our bedrooms. And I was like, "That's not entirely realistic." We do shut down the Wi-Fi at night much to our kids' disappointment, especially because they are bears and they're up all night. But this house was definitely designed to be very conscientious. We have ethernet cables. All of our computers are wired into the wall.

Melanie Avalon: I am so happy right now to hear this. Same. I use ethernet. I'm on a wired computer right now. I turn off Wi-Fi at night. And we've talked, you know the EMF product that I'm creating, right? The issue that you just expressed, which I know is an issue for a lot of people. You need to have your phone on at night. So, what do you do about that? I'm actually working with R right now. We're working on a cobranded product. I am so excited. And it's going to be something to address that exactly. It's going to be something that you put on your nightstand, and you'll be able to put your phone in it, and it will shield you from your phone, but then you'll still be able to receive calls and you'll be able to charge your phone. I'm so excited. Stay tuned for that. But in the meantime, definitely go to that link, shieldyourbody.com/rsd. Enter to win the giveaway. Learn the two key rules to protect yourself and so much more.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's really important. And here's the one thing that I don't know, if listeners realize that some of us are much more sensitive to EMF. I'm a canary in a coal mine. And so, for me and my last house in Northern Virginia, there were so much external radiation and EMF that was coming into that house. As soon as we moved into the house, I stopped sleeping. And when Brian Hoyer came out and evaluated the house, he looked at me and he said, "You realize when EMF is this high, it upregulates cortisol and this is why you're not sleeping." And so, I just started to cry, because my husband thought I was nuts. But I'm trying to explain to him that there are those of us that are just much more sensitive to it and there are a lot of data centers in that part of Northern Virginia almost as much as what they have on Silicon Valley. And so, from my perspective, I think awareness is key, not to scare people, but just to bring awareness and then finding strategies that fit your lifestyle, I think is really important.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, when Gin was on the show, she had a whole experience, because she's always moving. She moved into a house and started getting a lot of sleep issues. And she thought it correlated to some other factors. And then when they were moving, she realized that her bedroom was right by the power grid and was thinking that that probably had something to do with it. It's so true. It affects people more than others. I actually also had Joseph Mercola on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast to talk about it as well. One of the really shocking things and this is just frustrating and it's maybe like the processed food industry or something. But the studies they use to set up safety regulations for cell phone use, the models don't match reality. The way they test for safety is not the way we would be using our phones. Normally, it's not the exposure we would be exposed to. It's very, I don't want to say rigged, but there's a way they keep continuing to make these devices that are having these health effects and it's really binging the rules and it's upsetting. But yes, there are things you can do. shieldyourbody.com/rsd. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Cool. 

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is a question from Erica. Subject is: "Eating and insulin levels." "I recently had a short conversation with Dr. Herring about insulin. Somebody on his Facebook page was talking about glucose and how if they have creamer in their coffee, their glucose doesn't rise after 30 minutes. I said, "If it doesn't rise, it's because insulin has been released and done its job." Dr. Herring then came in and said, "If insulin had done its job and the glucose reading would be lower." I asked, "Let's say you start with a fasting reading of 5 in just anything wouldn't a level go up to 7, insulin brings the reading back to a 5 or thereabouts. Are you saying that the levels should go even further down say, 2 or 3?" He didn't answer that question. Nearly three years living intermittent fasting now, thanks to you two for keeping me motivated via the podcast while I walk. I will never stop as it's just my normal now. 50 kilograms gone. Regards, Erica."

Melanie Avalon: And Erica is from Western Australia. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Perth is beautiful. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you've been there?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not. But my boyfriend before my husband, who my husband has actually met, was from Perth and the photos, they had a farm, they were just beautiful. It's considered to be one of the most isolated areas of Australia in the world. But the photos were gorgeous. One day, I will get there.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. I want to look up pictures. I love looking at pictures of places. That's so cool. Well, Erica, first of all, congrats on your success with the weight loss and thank you for your question. And so, I think this is good question because it taps into a lot of broad concepts that I think people get confused about or have questions about. So, I can speak briefly to it. Your blood sugar levels at any given time, there are so many factors that are affecting that. What's really crazy to think about-- It's actually mind blowing, if you actually think about it. The amount of blood sugar, so like, she's using millimoles to measure a blood sugar. But we in the US measure in the 90s or 80s, or one hundreds, that correlates to a very small amount of blood sugar. Like a teaspoon, I think is what I've heard. And so, it's really crazy to think that we will eat a bolus of carbs, like a massive amount of carbs. 

And when people who are diabetic can have issues. But even people are prediabetic, even that the levels might go high, but they never equal the amount of sugar that you're eating. The body does a really good job, even people who struggle with high blood sugar at keeping that regulated. Stepping back just to paint a broad picture, obviously, you can take in carbohydrates or sugar and that is a source of sugar entering your bloodstream. Or, your liver can release stored sugar or carbs in the form of glycogen into the bloodstream. Actually, fun fact, the majority of the blood sugar that you have in your bloodstream, including and diabetics is not from what you're eating. It's from the liver releasing it, which is just something interesting to think about. The third way would be the liver can actually make sugar, if it doesn't have sugar. Those are the three inputs. 

And then on the flip side like Erica was talking about, what's removing the sugar from the bloodstream is insulin, which is being regulated by the pancreas. And so, there's a lot of nuances here. And so, if you're taking in something that has carbs in it, presumably, that's going to lead to a blood sugar spike, which would go down, because you have insulin. In this case, she's talking about creamer in the coffee. And so, it's hard to know the actual creamer. So, this could be a creamer with carbs in it or it could be a creamer without carbs in it. If it had carbs in it and the glucose didn't rise, then yes, presumably, insulin put the carbs into storage and so they're not in the bloodstream. If the creamer real didn't have many carbs and it was fat-- And this is something that I think people get confused about as well. Fat is very easily stored. It doesn't necessarily require insulin to be stored. A reason that you could take in fat and not see a blood sugar rise and it's not because you put energy in your bloodstream and insulin got rid of it, it could be that insulin just wasn't even required. 

And the reason I'm saying all of this and sorry, if this is a lot of information, people are so unique. They'll do studies, where they have people basically getting a continuous infusion or injection of both insulin and glucose, and they can see how much insulin is required to keep the glucose level. Basically, how much insulin do you require to take in this blood sugar and not see any effect, any bump in your blood sugar level? And the reason that's important and the reason it relates to Erica's question is, that's going to be different. It's not like everybody requires x amount of insulin to take care of x amount of carbs. In this situation where the glucose didn't rise and she's asking, well, it should have dropped lower, it's completely an individual basis. Some people, they might release the perfect amount of insulin that they perfectly store it and it doesn't rise. Some people might release a little bit more insulin. And so, it actually drops lower than before, which would be the situation she was talking about the end. Or, if there weren't even carbs in it and it was just fat, which is a possibility. Insulin might not have been released at all, because in some wasn't required and there wasn't bump. That's a lot of information. Cynthia, thoughts? 

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think you did a beautiful job. But the big takeaway is, fat has a much more negligible impact on blood sugar response. And so, that could explain why there hasn't been-- There's this negligible response. And so, I think it's important to delineate and discuss how blood sugar works, because I think it's oftentimes very misunderstood. I think people think about it in a very linear fashion, it's just one way. But there are multiple ways the body can impact blood sugar, insulin release, etc.

Melanie Avalon: I actually learned about something recently that I'm shocked. I didn't know about earlier. I'm very shocked. I used to always think that I had reactive hypoglycemia. I don't know if it's necessarily the example she gave, but it's the example she gave, where if you eat something, and then your body releases too much insulin, and your blood sugar drops lower than it was before, and you get feelings of having low blood sugar. I always used to assume that's what was going on. Maybe it was. But actually, I didn't know there was something called idiopathic postprandial syndrome and that's actually where it feels like reactive hypoglycemia. It feels like you ate and your blood sugar dropped. But if you were to actually test your blood sugar, it would be high. What's so cool about the reason that-- Well, I don't know if it's cool, but the reason that's happening there, like, theories about it, but it's likely because the body's trying so hard to control the blood sugar level that you get all of those hormonal feelings of anxiety, or shakiness, or fatigue, or adrenaline, and it's your body trying to control things rather than actually being low blood sugar. I'm just surprised. I didn't know that until a month ago. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, the word idiopathic really just means we don't understand why this happens. It'd really be a diagnosis of exclusion when they've rolled out everything else. But I think when we talk about reactive hypoglycemia, those are typically the people they get sweaty, they get diaphoretic, they get dizzy, they feel nauseous, they can get pretty symptomatic. And I think many years ago, when I was in school, we used to think of that as being very benign, but I look at it as it's sometimes that beginning stages of identifying that your cells are not well adapted to insulin.

Melanie Avalon: I just find it so interesting that you can have that exact experience and not have low blood sugar and that's like a thing. Got to love the word, 'idiopathic' for-- 

Cynthia Thurlow: Idiopathic means we don't understand why. That's basically what that means. People were like, "Oh, we'd--" [crosstalk] 

Melanie Avalon: But it makes it sound fancy. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. And I'm like, "It's really not." It means we don't understand why this happens and you're in this bucket.

Melanie Avalon: Love it. Love it, love it. Shall we answer a question from Catherine? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: This is from Catherine and the subject is: "IF weight and fat gain." And Catherine says, "Hi, I've read so many books and products you have recommended. I love this lifestyle and I love your books and podcasts. I've been wanting to write for a while and I kept telling myself, "I just needed to figure it out on my own." But as time goes by, my weight and fat keep creeping up, I thought I better seek your wise counsel. I began intermittent daily clean fasting, the first week of August 2019. I began my IF journey to maintain a weight loss of over one hundred pounds, but I've gained 20 pounds since starting IF. I'm 57 and 5'6.5". I walked 2.5 miles daily. I play pickleball." What is pickleball?

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't know. I think it's like a smaller bat.

Melanie Avalon: Pickleball according to Google is an indoor or outdoor racket paddle sport like you said. Like tennis with little, small bats. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] She's probably English. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes. Okay. She plays pickleball or does it work out a few times a week. "Before if I was counting macros and every calorie I consumed or burnt daily to not regain. And I was successfully maintaining and still losing, but it was not fun at all, and I did not feel well. After dieting off and on, my entire adult life, I'm being overweight my entire adult life, I finally lost weight with the ideal protein diet. I think I heard Gin's recommendation to continue your current way of eating and add IF, but I did not follow that advice. Also, although I know it is not what you two would recommend, I just think I went overboard with eating what I had been denying for so long. I know that is not advised, but after limiting carbs or fat for so long, I just went for it. I love the simplicity of delaying and freedom of not denying but fear I have taken it too far." 

She said, "I usually fast for 19 to 20 hours and have a two to five-hour eating window. Typically, I have a shorter eating window on weekdays one to two hours and sometimes will lengthen it on weekends to three to five hours. I eat a healthy, typically paleo supper meal each day. I think my problem might be too much of a snack before and after that healthy meal. I started out between 125 to 130 pounds in August wearing a size four to six with very little fat on my bones and coming from a very restricted diet. I now weight 145 and I can see fat on my body. I can still wear the same jeans, but not all my clothes from 20 pounds ago. I feel great, I feel healthy, I look healthier. My hair is glowing. But I really liked the number 125 and I really liked seeing myself skinnier. if I'm completely honest, I looked pretty gone at 125. I do look healthier now. I hear all the stories of weight loss and feel, I should have at least been able to maintain my weight with IF. 

Honestly, I could probably be happy with 135. I do not want to continue gaining weight. I'm wondering if I need to deny sugar and chocolate indefinitely as it is probably a trigger for me. Should I start counting the calories of my snack or dessert? Is there anything you can recommend for me? I will not go back to dieting. I am IF for life. Thank you so much for your books and podcasts. I have learned so much from you. I so look forward to your direction and thank you in advance."

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Catherine, thank you for your question and congratulations on the progress you've made. A lot of what I hear in this question is, you really like one number, but you feel healthier, better, your hair looks healthier at a different weight. And herein lies a lot of the problem in the weight loss industry. We get very fixated on numbers. And I'm speaking to you as a clinician that at a minimum, I would get some basic lab worked on, so that you can see where your triglycerides are, and your HDL, and look at your fasting insulin, your glucose, your A1C really get a sense of your thyroid and sex hormones to see really where you are. 125 pounds is pretty thin for 5'7" female. 

And you yourself mentioned that you've looked gaunt. From my perspective, it's really stepping back and objectively saying, what is driving the focus on that number? Because it sounds to me that you actually feel better at a different number. I would say, the other thing and this is a resounding theme for me is that if you're only eating within a very short window, are you eating enough food? Because your body could be perceiving that you are not enough food that you're starving and it's going to hold on to every single calorie and morsel of food. Really making sure that your meals are structured focused on protein, as well as non-starchy vegetables. You may be craving chocolate and sweets, because you're not getting enough food. And so, I really think you need to objectively and honestly look at, are you eating enough food in your feeding window? You may not be. And checking in with your primary care provider, your internist, your GYN to get some baseline labs, I think is a really important first step. And then also giving yourself grace. 

There are so much focus in our society on weight numbers, instead of focusing on health and what allows you to go out and play your sports, and to walk, and doing all the things you're doing it. It doesn't sound like for you that you want to track macros and that's okay. I would really try to be deliberate about getting enough protein in your diet and we usually focus in on a hundred grams a day. Hundred grams per pound of ideal body weight. And really focused in on healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables and also, that mindset shift. I know, both Melanie and I have interviewed Dr. Glenn talking a lot about our relationship with food. I think that those interviews would be super helpful to hear his perspective and he talks about the inner pig, not that we're a pig, but the inner pig in our brain that's telling us to behave a certain way. 

And make sure you're getting enough sleep. And make sure that you have great relationships with loved ones. And making sure that you feel satisfied in your personal life, I think is certainly a very, very important part of this. But the concerns that come up for me are, are you eating enough? Having this fixation on a number that may not be a healthy number for you to be at. I have had so many female patients that will say, "I want to weigh what I waited 18" and yet, this is 20, 30 years later, and it's woefully not realistic for them to weigh. What they did at 18 years old, when they probably weren't nourishing themselves or probably not getting enough sleep, etc. Melanie, what are your thoughts?

Melanie Avalon: First of all, I love all of that that you said, and I agree. I want to clear up one little thing. She says that she had heard Gin's recommendations about continuing your current way of eating and adding IF, so not changing the way you're eating. What's interesting about Catherine situation is, so, Gin's perspective on that it's normally not Catherine situation. It's normally people who are coming from a standard American diet and Gin says, "Start IF rather than cleaning up your diet at the same time." Whereas Catherine situation, she was on a really restrictive diet. And so, she did "change" when she started IF, because instead of staying on the restrictive diet, she started eating much more freely, which the two clarifications there is that I think-- I don't want to put words in Gin's mouth, but I think Gin would be more on board with that concept, actually. 

And then, two, I think people can do it either way, but I actually don't have a problem with people starting IF and making dietary changes at the same time. I actually think it's really great. I think if people want to like start, especially if coming from a standard American diet and they want to make a healthy, whole foods type choices at the same time as they start IF, I think that's great. I just wanted to clarify on that. I think everything that Cynthia said that that lower weights that Catherine was at might not necessarily be a sustainable weight, if you want to maintain certain health and energy related goals at the same time. So, really what you have to ask yourself, because I'm goal-- Am I goal agnostic? I'm goal agnostic for other people. I personally believe that our goal should be health and wellness and energy and vitality. But also, I believe that people can have whatever goals they want. It's their body. You can pursue what you want to have in your body. And for some people, if they want to be a thinner weight that requires dietary restriction, you can do that. It might not be a healthy approach to life and it might be hard to maintain. Because Catherine experienced that. She was calorie counting, she was macro counting, she wasn't enjoying her life, she didn't feel as good. So, that might just be what is required to have been at that weight. And so, you just have to ask yourself, "Is that what you want?" 

And what I am wondering, though is, I think there actually is a lot of room. Stepping back, I know you did actually, physically gain weight because you say with an exclamation point, how you can see the fat on your body. But I also do wonder if making this change from having been calorie restricted and being in a calorie deficit to sounds like you're just going and eating all the things. I wonder if there's a level of inflammation that came along with that style of eating, so there might be a happy medium. This is just an idea. But there might be a happy medium that doesn't actually require calorie counting, it doesn't require macro counting, it doesn't require restriction, where you're just cleaning up those food choices that you are making. I think that might be a place to start rather than trying to go the restriction route. 

Cynthia was talking about the importance of a high protein diet and the green vegetables. And so, maybe having a mindset shift, where we What are the healthiest foods you can put in your body in your eating window, what is the healthiest way you can approach your snack and your dessert? If you have them, can you possibly have other versions? Can you not have the snack or can you have other versions of the dessert and snack that might be more fulfilling or healthier for your body? I would just maybe approach it more from a health mindset with a few choices rather than a restriction mindset. Because I think it's completely 100% possible for you to actually have all the goals, which would be the energy, and the skin, and feeling amazing in your body from that perspective, and also, being at a weight that makes you happy, and it doesn't necessarily require restriction. Any thoughts to that?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do fervently believe a lot of it's a reframe. So, really thinking about your relationship, not only with your body, but with food as well can be very, very helpful, for sure. 

Melanie Avalon: Also, I love that you brought up Glenn Livingston. He is honestly one of my favorite people on the planet. His book, again, it is called Never Binge Again, which is a little bit of a misleading title, because it's not just for people who are struggling with binge eating disorder, but it's really wonderful for that mindset shift and reframing how you are seeing food, your cravings, your wants, your desires. I find it very helpful.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's a great book. Actually, I think twice this week already, I suggested that episode to women in different groups. 

Melanie Avalon: I love that. I love that. 

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm excited for this question, because it's a Cynthia question. This comes from Lydia and the subject is: "IF and palpitations." And Lydia says, "Hello, I'm Lydia. And recently, July 11th to be exact began doing intermittent fasting. I purchased Delay, Don't Deny and listen to the podcast regularly, as well as join the Facebook groups. Well, I soon began to have heart palpitations and I have read that maybe I was dehydrated. I upped my water intake, I added Himalayan salt occasionally, but I was really having a bad time with the palpitations. They especially occurred when I lay down for whatever reason. I'll be seeing a cardiologist soon after getting an electrocardiogram and after wearing a Holter monitor for 48 hours. But after I stopped doing the clean fasting and I stopped longer fast, the palpitations are mostly gone. So, is it possibly dehydration after all? Have you heard of others having this issue? I was so happy to have lost 10 pounds by August 14th. But now, I'm slowly gaining back since I haven't been clean fasting. By the way, my starting weight was 167 and I'm about 5'6". Now, I'm back to 161 after getting to 157 by August 14th." Thank you, Lydia.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Lydia, this is my wheelhouse. The listeners know that my whole background as an NP was in ER Med and cardiology. And the one thing that I know a lot about are palpitations, ones that are benign, but annoying and dehydration. And I would absolutely agree that if you are going too fast, you need electrolytes. And yes, Himalayan sea salt is great, if you're salting your meals. But you actually need a more comprehensive product and that one that is going to provide potassium, and magnesium, and sodium, and chloride. And so, anytime anyone is fasting, especially in summer, it's really, really important that you're replacing those electrolytes. And it more than likely, I would imagine that the palpitations are probably precipitated by low magnesium. And this is more often than not the electrolyte in particular that I see most people are not keeping optimal levels of. And really the blood tests that you want to ask for when you see the cardiologist and any cardiologists will order this as a red blood cell magnesium. It's much more accurate. But also doing a comprehensive metabolic panel. It sounds like they're doing quite a big workup if they're doing a Holter as well as an EKG. 

If you're seeing an association of fasting correlated with the palpitations and now that you are stopped the clean fasting and stop longer fast, and the palpitations are almost gone, I think, oftentimes, we'll say correlation is not causation, but this is clearly a relationship that sounds it is directly related to the dehydration. You're probably experiencing by not replacing the electrolytes in a fasted state. One thing I teach people when they're fasting for the first time is that electrolytes are critically important, especially, if perhaps at that time, you lowered your carbohydrate intake. We know when you tend to be lower carb, you have release of glycogen, which is stored sugar and you'll actually urinate out more electrolytes including sodium. And so, it's very, very important that you're replacing that. And there's lots of clean options. I have a product called Simply Hydration. There's LMNT and many other options that are out there. 

The other thing is you mentioned that your weight fluctuated from 161 to 157 pounds. It is not at all uncommon depending on what we're eating and drinking that our weight could fluctuate by three to five pounds. And so, I don't know what age you are, but that can happen around our menstrual cycles, it could happen if we had a lot more carbohydrates. And so, I wouldn't get too concerned about four pounds. It's always over the period of time. There's a colleague of mine that always talks about there's the Hell No Way. When you get to a point where you're like, "Okay, this is five pounds over where I generally am average wise and then it's time to ratchet in on the cleaner eating." I would absolutely follow up with your cardiologist. They sound like they're doing a really nice job. I would focus on comprehensive electrolyte replacement and especially, in a fasted state. More hydration, more electrolytes, and recognizing that there is that interrelationship. And it's probably related to low magnesium and I'm actually setting Melanie up, so that she can talk about magnesium. 

Melanie Avalon: I love that. Well, first of all, for listeners who might not be familiar, Cynthia, what is your background in cardiology?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it's interesting. I did general cardiology, but then when I transitioned into to predominantly doing office setting, I worked with a lot of our electrophysiologist, who are specialized cardiologists that do defibrillator, and pacemakers, and deal with arrhythmias. When I tell you that I know magnesium backwards and forwards, more often than not even in the benign arrhythmias, it was magnesium that was precipitating episodes. And more often than not in the lethal arrhythmias, things that originate from the ventricles, which are the bottom chambers of the heart. It was magnesium that was driving some of those symptoms. When I tell you that I know magnesium well, I've gotten very creative over the years with magnesium replacement. We could certainly if Melanie, if you want to we can talk about other ways to replace magnesium either with transdermal applications, or soaking our legs, or taking products by mouth. All can be very, very helpful when getting our magnesium levels back up.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Well, first of all, I just love that you have that background and that knowledge. I will put in a plug for LMNT. Cynthia mentioned them. But we do have an offer for them. There are full-spectrum electrolyte supplements. So, not just magnesium. It's magnesium, potassium.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sodium chloride.

Melanie Avalon: Dah. Sodium. So, you can go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast and we have an offer there. I believe the offer right now should be to get free electrolytes at that link. Definitely check that out. And then, yes, it is so, so exciting that Cynthia is on board and on the same page as me about the importance of magnesium. So many people are deficient in magnesium. I'm actually not for taking all the vitamins all the time. I think it should be very nuanced and specific to the individual. And that, when possible, we should try to get our nutrients from food. That said, it's really hard to get adequate magnesium levels today. Our soils are depleted. It's been estimated that in the past one hundred years, the soil levels of the magnesium have gone down by 90%, which is crazy. And then on top of that, that's just the actual levels of magnesium. That doesn't account for the fact that pesticides and glyphosate in the soil actually chelate magnesium. So, a lot of that magnesium isn't even available to the body to be used in its proper form. And then on top of that, it is potentially toxic, because it's attached to a pesticide. 

The fact that most people are deficient is no surprise. And so, like Cynthia said, there's lots of ways that you can boost and raise magnesium levels. I recently released my Magnesium 8 by AvalonX and I formulated it to honestly be the best magnesium on the market. I promise, it is the best, because I wanted to make the best. It is eight forms of magnesium and their most bioavailable forms. But it comes with methylated B6 to help with absorption, not the non-methylated form, which is often used in supplements. And then it has manganese, because magnesium can often displace manganese. And then it's in a glass bottle, because I am not about plastics leaching into our bodies in the environment, which by the way, Cynthia, I just booked a guest. I'm really excited about. Matt Simon, he's the head editor at WIRED and he has a book coming out in 2022. He has some other books, but his book coming out in 2022 is about the effects of microplastics and the environment. I'm so excited, because I think that's a really big problem. So, I'm really excited to read this book and learn about that. 

Oh, and this was crazy. One of my best friends from college ever worked at WIRED. I emailed him. I was like, "I don't know how many people are on staff at WIRED, but do you know my friend?" And he's like, "Oh, yeah, we sit next to each other in the office." It's such a small world. So, all that to say, you can get my Magnesium 8, that is at avalonx.us. The coupon code, MELANIEAVALON will get you 10% off. I think we will have launched subscriptions by the time this comes out. If you get a subscription for that, you can get actually 15% off. The other ways of getting magnesium would be like transdermal.

Cynthia Thurlow: And I like a product called Ancient Minerals that we will link up. You can spray that into two cupped hands and rub it on your, I usually say, trunk. Like upper arms, legs, trunk. And if your skin tends to be sensitive, you want to pick the sensitive skin formulation. But you can leave that on for 20 minutes and then rinse off. That's super efficacious.

Melanie Avalon: So good resources there. Hopefully, that helps, Lydia. Do we have time for one more question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. Our next question is from Sarah. Subject is: "positive side effects." "I've been doing IF since the first of the year as an experiment just to see how it worked for me. Your podcast has been a valuable resource for me and I'm grateful for all your tips. I don't need to lose any weight or gain energy, but I was tired of constantly thinking about when and what I was eating to get maximum nutrition benefits. I felt I was either eating or preparing to eat all the time. Needless to say, IF has changed that with a shorter afternoon window usually 3 PM to 8 PM. I have always eaten a pescatarian diet with a balance of nutrients. I do enjoy at least a small, processed food snack a day like Chex Mix or Cheez-It and I've not changed my diet at all. 

I am so much less stressed about food, and I think I can finally achieve the rest and digest state. One of the positive side effects that I've noticed in myself that I don't think I have heard you discuss is the change to my bowel movements and the decrease in gas. I often had gas in the evenings and carried Gas-X in my purse at all times. I have not needed to take it on the last two months. Also, sorry, if this is TMI, but my bowel movements were previously very soft. Since intermittent fasting, I noticed my bowel movements are now more solid and easier to clean. Just wondering, if this is truly a result of intermittent fasting and why the change. Thanks, and keep up the good work." Casey.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for your question and we're very excited for you that you've experienced so many wonderful effects with intermittent fasting. Earlier, Cynthia was using the phrase "correlation, not causation and how it's hard to know." But I would say, it's very likely that if the only thing you perceived as having changed was IF and then you had this substantial change in your bowel movements, then it's probably related to IF or changes from IF that led to this. I mean, it's a good problem to have. So, I'm happy that we're not trying to find the problem and solve it. But there's so many different things that could be going on for why you might experience better bowel movements. By not eating constantly, it gives our GI tract. It allows for the natural peristalsis of the intestine, and it allows things to be moving. So, it can create a better synchronicity and rhythm to your system, where your digestive system has time to rest to clean out with those cleansing waves and not have things build up that are creating gas. It also might be--

You talked about how now finally when you're eating, you feel you're in the rest and digest state, so the parasympathetic state. That is so, so important for properly digesting our food, for creating stomach acid to digest our food, enzymes. The fact that you are just likely digesting your food better, it could be a huge reason that you're not having gas anymore, you're having better, more well-formed bowel movements. It's just helping your body process food better. And then the effects on the gut microbiome, so, there's a lot of effects that could be happening there. It's possible that this change with the fasting is actually supporting a more favorable gut population. There have been studies on fasting finding favorable effects on the gut microbiome. So, it's possible that you've had changes there. Cynthia, thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: I would echo your sentiments. And I think a lot about the migrating motor complex. And so, in our digestive system, we really do need four to five hours between meals to allow this sweet sweeper of the GI tract to be able to do its magic. And there's so much good research talking about the gut microbiome and the benefits of eating less frequently. And is it any surprise that your digestive processes is out now in a position, where it can properly package up and get rid of waste? And so, not at all surprised to hear that your bowel movements are much more solid. We use that Bristol stool scale. Melanie, have you seen that before?

Melanie Avalon: Have I? You're talking to like the-- [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: We aim for the for. That's what we're working towards. And so, it just shows that your stool is-- there's enough time for your body to break down absorb nutrients, get rid of what doesn't belong, you're not dehydrated. I think our stool is really one of many indicators of our health. So, bravo and excited that you've had seen so many benefits so quickly.

Melanie Avalon: I probably shouldn't share this. I should probably envision thousands of people listening before I say this. It's funny, because they'll do things. I don't know who 'they' is. You'll see things where people say, "Eat something really pigmented, so you can figure out how long your transit time is," like do a beat test or like a blueberry test. 

Cynthia Thurlow: We used to do corn.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, corn. And it's funny. Whenever I see that I'm like, "Wait, doesn't everybody always monitor that, like, monitoring that 24/7?"

Cynthia Thurlow: You're hilarious. No, it's interesting. There's a program that I teach in the fall called RESTART. I think it's week two. I actually have them bring corn to class, and they ingest two tablespoons of corn, and then they let me know how long it is before they see it in their stool.

Melanie Avalon: I had an intake form with a doctor and he's like, "We're going to do this." I was like, "I do that every day. I can already tell you that." 

Cynthia Thurlow: You are like, I'm an ideal patient.

Melanie Avalon: I already know the answer to that question. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. We will put links to everything that we talked about in the show notes. Those will be at ifpodcast.com/episode282. A reminder to everybody to definitely go to shieldyourbody.com/rsd for Radiation Safety Day. That's where you can learn the two key rules to help protect yourself from EMF exposure for free and get entered to win a EMF blocking bed canopy worth $2,000, as well as a lot of other prizes. All for free. Lots of resources. That's shieldyourbody.com/rsd And again, the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON will get you 15% off, if you would like to purchase anything from Shield Your Body. 

And there will be a full transcript in the show notes. You can definitely check that out. And then lastly, if you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. And you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon, and Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Cynthia and I will talk to you next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Aug 21

Episode 279: Organic Wines, Blood Ketones, Urine pH, Fasting Insulin, Continuous Glucose Monitors, Appetite Hormones, Lean Protein, ADF, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 279 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

LMNT: For Fasting Or Low-Carb Diets Electrolytes Are Key For Relieving Hunger, Cramps, Headaches, Tiredness, And Dizziness. With No Sugar, Artificial Ingredients, Coloring, And Only 2 Grams Of Carbs Per Packet, Try LMNT For Complete And Total Hydration. For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase!

JOOVV: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels! It literally works on the mitochondrial level to help your cells generate more energy! Red light can help you burn fat (including targeted fat burning and stubborn fat!), contour your body, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, produce collagen for epic skin, support muscle recovery, reduce joint pain and inflammation, combat fatigue, help you sleep better, improve mood, and so much more!! These devices are literally LIFE CHANGING!! For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

AvalonX Magnesium 8: Get Melanie’s Broad Spectrum Complex Featuring 8 Forms Of Magnesium, To Support Stress, Muscle Recovery, Cardiovascular Health, GI Motility, Blood Sugar Control, Mood, Sleep, And More! Tested For Purity & Potency. No Toxic Fillers. Glass Bottle.  Get on the email list to stay up to date with all the special offers and news about Melanie's new supplements at Avalonx.Us/emaillist, and use the code melanieavalon for 10% on any order at Avalonx.Us and MDlogichealth.com!

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

SHOW NOTES

Visit IFpodcast.com/episode279 For FULL Shownotes, And IFPodcast.com/StuffWeLike For All The Stuff We Like!

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

4:10 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

DRY FARM WINES: Natural, Organic, Low Alcohol, Low Sugar Wines, Paleo And Keto Friendly! Go To dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast To Get A Bottle For A Penny!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #5 - Todd White

Episode 26: IF & Low Sugar/Alcohol/Toxin Wines For Health – Special Interview With Todd White Of Dry Farm Wines!

21:10 - Listener Q&A: Doreen - My first inquiry

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #70 - Kara Collier (Nutrisense)

Ep. 132 – Continuous Glucose Monitors: Why They’re Not Just for Diabetics Anymore with Kara Collier

NUTRISENSE: Get $30 Off A CGM At Nutrisense.Io/Ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST

18:10 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free BACON For LIFE Plus $100 Off Over 5 Boxes!

56:00 - AVALONX MAGNESIUM 8Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

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

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 279 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, biohacker and author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and cynthiathurlow.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this show do not constitute medical advice or treatment and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. 

Hi, friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get my favorite electrolytes for free. Yes, completely free. And the feedback we have received about LMNT electrolytes from our audience is overwhelming. You guys love LMNT and I'm so excited because our new offer allows new and returning customers to get free LMNT. And on top of that their super popular Grapefruit flavor is back. If you've been having issues with intermittent fasting, electrolytes may just be the thing that you need and/or have you heard of something called the keto flu? Here's the thing. The keto flu is not actually a condition. Keto flu just refers to a bundle of symptoms, headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, and insomnia that people experience in the early stages of keto dieting. Here's what's going on. When you eat a low-carb diet, your insulin levels drop. Low insulin in turn lowers the production of the hormone aldosterone. Now, aldosterone is made in the kidneys and it helps you retain sodium. So, low aldosterone on a keto diet makes you lose sodium at a rapid rate and even if you are consciously consuming electrolytes, you might not be getting enough. In particular, you need electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium in order for nerve impulses to properly fire. Electrolytes can easily be depleted while intermittent fasting.

Robb Wolf, who as you guys know is my hero in the holistic health world worked with the guys at Keto Gains to get the exact formulation for electrolyte supplements to formulate LMNT Recharge, so you can maintain ketosis and feel your best. LMNT Recharge has no sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients, no junk. They're used by three Navy SEALs teams, they are the official hydration partner to Team USA weightlifting, they're used by multiple NFL teams, and so much more. We have an incredible offer just for our listeners. You can get a free LMNT sample pack that includes all eight flavors. Citrus, Watermelon, Orange, Raspberry, Mango Chili, Lemon Habanero, Chocolate, and Raw Unflavored. And the Raw Unflavored, by the way is clean fast friendly. You can try them all completely free when you make a purchase at our link, drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. You can get this offer as a first time and as a returning LMNT customer. I know there are a lot of returning LMNT customers. The feedback I hear from you guys, "loving LMNT" is amazing. LMNT offers no questions asked about refunds on all orders. You won't even have to send it back. And this offer is exclusively available only through VIP LMNT partners. You won't find this offer publicly anywhere else. So, again, the link is drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. And we'll put all this information in the show notes.

And one more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat. But do you know what is possibly one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting. It's actually our skincare and makeup. As it turns out, Europe has banned over a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disrupters, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream. And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup maybe playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because ladies, when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years. 

Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. They are counter time for antiaging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life. And their makeup is amazing. Check on my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey, even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. Also, make sure to get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list. So, definitely check it out. And you can join me in my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well.

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 279 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, there. 

Melanie Avalon: And Cynthia, I have a fun topic that we can talk about briefly if you would like. You already know this, because I asked your advice about it yesterday. For listeners, yesterday, I went to a gender reveal party for one of my friends and it was an evening event. And I knew there was drinks and wine. I actually asked her ahead of time. I was asking Cynthia, I was like, “Is it okay, if I bring my own organic wine to this pregnancy related event, if there's already drinks?” You said that you thought that would be appropriate. So, I did. But I did not bring Dry Farm Wines and I regret that decision. My [laughs] Oura Ring this morning, it's crazy how much it knows when you're drinking wine you shouldn't be drinking and maybe too much of it and not sleeping well. But what's really interesting is, my sleep was great, just my readiness score is awful. I bring it up because I think I need these moments to remember why I only drink Dry Farm Wines and you recently interviewed Todd White.

Cynthia Thurlow: I did. First of all, it was really interesting to prep for that discussion. And then when I got off the phone, I'm sorry, I got off the recording, I was saying to my husband it has been very common for me over the last several years to just send team members, family members subscriptions to Dry Farm Wines and how easy that has been. And I said, “I didn't fully appreciate and realize the differences between conventional winemaking here in the United States versus natural practices.” Certainly, from this point going forward, I really understand and appreciate the chemical and exposure load that you get from conventional wine, which I was really-- 

Let me be very clear. I think I'm a pretty well-educated person about processed food industry and nutrient dense Whole Foods, but I hadn't really considered the net impact of conventional winemaking here in the United States. And so, that was a really enlightening podcast. I can imagine how you felt differently. I think, if I recall from our conversations last few days, you were planning on bringing an organic option or organic options with you. So, even with the organic wines, you still felt poorly. I wonder if it was the alcohol content.

Melanie Avalon: I was telling you this already. But basically, at home, I only drink Dry Farm Wines. And for listeners that are not familiar, they're not a wine producer. They're like an investigator and a distributor. They go all throughout Europe, only Europe, because Todd says that, “None of the US wines meet their standard.” And I think that's in part, because of just how saturated the US environment is in pesticides, even organic like plots of land. The wineries from there, they did a test. I don't know. Did he bring up the test that they did a while ago and they tested all these different wines in California, including organic ones and every single one tested for pesticides, which is just crazy. They find the wines that are low in sugar, so less than I think one gram, and then low alcohol, so 12.5% or less, and then they test them for heavy metals, pesticides, mold. I noticed such a difference drinking them. 

But what I did for this party was, I do have a collection of wines that are not Dry Farm Wines that are organic that I just have from over the years that I'm not going to drink by myself at my apartment, because I really just drink the Dry Farm Wines. So, I bring them to events like this. But now in retrospect, I'm like, “I should have just brought Dry Farm Wines.” Then again, I did have a lot.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, maybe it was dose dependent. Meaning, perhaps, if you had had one glass of the organic wine, maybe you were fine. Maybe it was two glasses might have been just enough to disrupt your sleep quality.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, probably.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's my guess. I always say, “Maybe it's dosage dependent.” I say that to patients like, “Maybe it's the quantity and not so much per se that it was not Dry Farm Wines.” But the one thing that I think I was really surprised by when I spoke with Todd was the differences in alcohol content. Conventional wines can be greater than 15% alcohol versus six to 12.5 is-- Most of the Dry Farm Wines really run and they are, as you mentioned, lower sugar. And so, we know that that impacts us on pretty significant profound ways. So, but did you have fun? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I had so much fun. It was fabulous. And even that said, I'm still good. This is not my college days or anything. No, I did. I have not been to a gender reveal party before. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Neither have I. But that also says generationally where I am. My oldest will be 17 next week. And so, I'm just at a different-- When I was pregnant, people chose to either find out at 20 weeks what gender child they were having or not. And so, now, people can find out a whole lot earlier and it seems to be something that's very trendy and fun. And I think there's always opportunities to celebrate babies. It's such a fun exciting time.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I agree. It's funny. They wanted you to wear blue or pink based on what you thought it would be. I only wear black dresses. I wear a black dress, but then I wore sparkly shoes that were blue and pink.

Cynthia Thurlow: I like that. You're in a neutral zone. 

Melanie Avalon: Yep. [chuckles] So, yeah. But for listeners, to learn more about Dry Farm Wines, which I'm just so obsessed with, our link will get you a bottle for a penny. So, go to dryfarmwines/ifpodcast and that's where you can get that offer. And then, Cynthia when do you air that episode with Todd?

Cynthia Thurlow: Actually, next Saturday. So, it will be August 13th that episode will air.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Awesome. So, that'll actually be aired by the time this comes out. We'll put a link to that episode. We'll also put a link to the episode that I did with Todd way back in the day. He was one of my first episodes on The Biohacking Podcast. Well, I'll also put an episode we've had him on the show. So, I'll put a link to that as well.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, he's a great guy. It's interesting, because I'm married to a Todd. And my Todd really likes the red selections from Dry Farm Wines. And it's interesting. We recently placed an order and he always feels there's too much white wine in our house. I think because maybe our guests drink the red wine. This last order that we've received, he has been very happy with.

Melanie Avalon: Well, so, that's something because I know that you personally you don't drink at all, right?

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't. It's the only thing that really erodes my sleep. By this, for everyone who's listening, if you're not yet in the perimenopause range, it is the only thing that gives me hot flashes. So, I just don't drink for that reason because hot flashes, especially when you're trying to fall asleep are not fun. But yeah, that was a large decision why I stopped drinking much of anything. I didn't drink much to begin with. I've always been more of a very, very light drinker.

Melanie Avalon: With me having drank the Dry Farm Wines over the trajectory of there, because I probably started, I don't know, when they were founded.

Cynthia Thurlow: Seven years ago, I think, Todd was saying.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I started drinking them in probably 2014 or 2015. I probably started drinking them right at the beginning, like 2015. They have not improved, but they have improved. You were talking about the red wine. In the beginning, most of the reds all were very, very light. They didn't have many more robust reds, because I think it's harder for them to find those that fit all their criteria. But they have evolved. That's a good word. They've evolved so much in the red wines that they source and some of their wines are just delicious.

Cynthia Thurlow: Awesome. You can drink them with a good conscience.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes. And now, I think I need these nights every now and then, like, last night to further appreciate why I only drink Dry Farm Wines normally. So, before we jump into questions, Cynthia, would you like to tell listeners one more time about the giveaway that you are doing?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. So, this is the last week of the giveaway. And all we're asking you to do is, if you've purchased my book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation, please leave a review, screenshot the review, send it to questions@ifpodcast.com, and you will be eligible for an entry. You have to live in the continental United States and it's a grouping of some of my favorite products and designs for health, and a few other wonderful retailers that I work very closely with as a thank you. We'll pick one winner. This is the last week of the giveaway. So, please make sure you get your entries in and we will look forward to randomly selecting a winner.

Melanie Avalon: And I will just say, so, I know a lot of you guys have Cynthia's book, because we get feedback. I see it in the groups. But we haven't had that many entries and I'm just saying that to say you have a good chance of winning. So, if you have the book-- [crosstalk]

Cynthia Thurlow: The odds are in your favor. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I always like to emphasize this because I think giveaways where people think, “Oh, there's so many people entering. I have no chance of winning.” But a lot of people will think that and [laughs] you do have a good chance of winning. And it also just really helps support Cynthia's wonderful book and we'd be so appreciative. So, definitely, definitely do that.

Cynthia Thurlow: And I don't think until I wrote a book that I realized how important those reviews are. So, please know that each and every review, I appreciate on a level beyond I can properly articulate. There are so many people that have really benefited from the book. I'm speaking from a place of gratitude and I would love to be able to send these goodies to one select individual. So, definitely get those entries into us.

Hi, friends. So, I often get asked what is my favorite bio hack or what do I use every single day? Something I use every single day of my life is red and near infrared therapy and I'm about to tell you how to get a discount on my favorite brand for that. For years now, I've been using Joovv light therapy devices to achieve all of the benefits of red light and near infrared therapy. Red light is a type of light naturally found in the rising and setting Sun. I use it to help sync my circadian rhythm and also to combat the overwhelming abundance of stimulating blue light that we are exposed to every single day. So, yes, my apartment looks like the red-light district at night. But I cannot express enough how crucial it is for helping me wind down, support my mood, sleep well. It is just so so amazing. Red light can also help with your skin health, give you a healthy glow. Near infrared has so many benefits, including targeted pain relief and muscle recovery. The reason red and near infrared light can seemingly be magic and fix so many things is because they actually affect how your cells, mitochondria generate energy. When your cells are properly generating energy, well, everything just basically works better. 

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. To start things off, this is a long question, but she has a fun story and then she has a lot of questions that we could just do rapid fire. This comes from Doreen and she wrote this to us back when Gin was on the show. So, she says, “Hi, Melanie, hi, Gin. Let me start off by saying, I absolutely love the podcast. I feel like you ladies have become my friends. You make me smile and laugh. You're smart. You're funny. Initially, I was listening in no specific order, but then I decided to listen every Monday to the new episodes and backtrack when I'm walking. Like many of your listeners, I have many questions that sometimes get answered before I need to submit them. I have several drafts with questions, but I can't prioritize which questions are the most important. Finally, after listening to Episode 159 with Dr. Anna Cabeca, I've been motivated to get some questions answered.” Really quick question for you, Cynthia. You are personal friends with Anna Cabeca, right?

Cynthia Thurlow: I am. She's wonderful.

Melanie Avalon: I think she's actually been on this show twice and on my Biohacking Podcast, maybe twice. Done a lot of interviews with her. I really like her work. Doreen says, “I am 54 years old, a certified personal trainer and yoga certified. I teach mainly hot yoga. It's very tough with a mask. I was heavy as a teenager at 5’2”, 184 pounds. My family celebrates everything with food. I'm Italian. At 16 with mom's help, I joined Weight Watchers and reached my goal in 1981. I'm still an active lifetime member and still track and weigh every few months. Diet and exercise and healthy eating, I've managed to stay within a six-to-eight-pound window with the exception of having my two children and some health issues. 

In 2015, I was diagnosed with cancer. I caught it early Stage 1. I did have some weight gain that crept up and I don't weigh myself now because of the way my clothing had stopped fitting. My first thought during the pandemic was panic. I'm going to gain weight without hot yoga. So, I took to the pavement, I started walking. During walks when my friends got back to work, I would binge listen to podcasts and I didn't gain the weight. Based on listening alone, I began adding IF into my routine and I feel fantastic. It's also helped with health issues, IBS, and GERD, et cetera. Melanie, I tried to get your book and Barnes & Noble had no copies. I was very excited to crack the book on our road trip from Long Island to Vermont. One of our favorite stops is for a place called the Creamery, which is a cute little country store. It's a constant on our trips to Vermont. I promise there's a reason for this story. 

I'm a shopaholic. So, while my husband and friends were getting the ice cream, I was power shopping around the store. I looked up and could not believe my eyes to my surprise staring me in the face was a copy of What When Wine with Melanie's beautiful face on the cover. I screamed. I was so excited. And of course, I bought it. It was divine intervention and favor. In Ludlow Vermont, they're carrying Melanie's books.” Okay, I just have to stop. This blows my mind. [laughs] I can't believe my book was in this random country store in Vermont. That is so random to me. Do you think these stores just order books and resell them, I guess?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I suspect maybe the owner or someone who's connected with the owner probably is a fan. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. That would be so exciting to me, if I was in some random little country store and saw my book. I would not know what to do.

Cynthia Thurlow: You've made it, you know? You've saturated the rural country market.

Melanie Avalon: I know, I know. So, Doreen, thank you for sharing that story. That really made my day. Okay, so, now, she has rapid fire a lot of questions. Here we go. Number one, “With regard to ketones, pH levels in urine and all measures to determine clean fasting and eating. During the podcast with Dr. Cabeca, she discussed how important it is to test your urine for pH levels regarding ketones. I believed you said one could be burning ketones, even though you don't turn the strip's purple. There's also a question about blood sugar. I remember a discussion of different types of testing for blood sugar and blood fasting sugar. What's the difference? It would be very helpful, if you can clarify the importance of measuring pH levels in urine, ketone burning, and blood sugar, and which tests for IF purposes would be best, and where to get these kits and tests, and will they cost a fortune?” Okay, so, ketones, pH testing, blood sugar testing, would you like to talk a little bit about this, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: if you've been fasting and you're not new to fasting, then I would not anticipate that you would have urinary ketones present. It's much more accurate to actually test blood. But for the purposes of your constellation of questions, I would say that as a woman that it sounds you're in perimenopause/menopause that it'd be most valuable for you to know a fasting insulin and a fasting blood sugar. And a fasting insulin, you can get drawn with regular lab work. A Keto-Mojo is a good meter to use if you want to track your blood ketones. 

And then lastly, a fasting blood sugar with a glucometer or if you want to have a continuous glucose monitor, typically where I stay, I think it's important to know what your blood sugar is when you are in an unfed state. I think it's equally important to know what your blood sugar is in response to stress, nutrition, meals, exercise, etc. There's a lot of different variables to look at. I did a really great podcast. I know that Kara Collier has been on my podcast and also, Melanie's Biohacking Podcast at least once or twice. And that's a really fantastic resource and we will link that in the show notes.

Melanie Avalon: Do you put much weight into measuring the pH levels?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I don't. I really don't. I think that there are a lot of metrics that we can measure. It doesn't necessarily mean that the information is all that valuable. Because if you're eating a nutrient dense Whole Foods diet, and you're not drinking excessively, and you're not eating a lot of processed carbohydrates, then ideally, and I have encountered a few functional medicine practices that will have their patients do urinary pH strips, but I think it gets expensive. And I've come to find that most of us like you and I, if you were to measure our urinary pH, it's probably more alkaline based on the types of foods that we eat. 

With that being said, when people are trying to budget for different types of home testing or monitoring, I think the most valuable one of all is really looking at fasting blood sugar or looking at a continuous glucose monitor. If someone is new to a lower carb ketogenic lifestyle, and they have not been in ketosis, and they're obese and overweight, then testing at least initially with urinary strips for ketones can be valuable. But if you have been in ketosis and you've been fasting for a long period of time, they're not going to show up in your urine. They are going to show up in your blood. I don't know if you have anything that you'd like to add to that. 

I think the big thing for me as a clinician is, there're a lot of metrics that we can measure. It doesn't mean we should measure everyone. We should decide based on our budget and our interests what is the greatest priority? I'm getting ready to bring the Keto-Mojo individuals on the podcast to talk more about testing ketones, because I get a lot of questions about it. But it really needs to be taken in the context of what are your risk factors, are you insulin sensitive, what are you trying to measure, what are the metrics you really want to look at and going from there?

Melanie Avalon: Are you interviewing Dorian? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I am, but not until February. Because right now, I'm booking into March. Yeah, which is I took time off around the book launch and now, we're back into eager beaver stage where we're booked out like six months.

Melanie Avalon: I was having flashbacks, because I connected with him right when they launched, I think as well and had him on this show. I think we had him on the show. He's British, right? Flashback to his-- He has the best accent. 

Cynthia Thurlow: And then his wife, I guess, is Emma?

Melanie Avalon: Is she British, as well?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, she's American, but they're really cute. They're cute little couple.

Melanie Avalon: Aww. Yeah, I'll just echo everything that you said just to really bring it into people's heads. With the ketone urine strips like Cynthia said, if you've been fasting for a while, if you've been even ketogenic for a while, you might not see that on your urine. I think they're most useful for somebody going from a standard American diet, not fasting to either ketogenic diet or fasting, because it shows when you start, just in general creating those ketones and the excess are spilling into the urine. But then the body becomes more efficient and you don't see that as much necessarily. So, there's real a time window when I would use those. 

And then for the blood sugar testing, yes, we are major, major fans of continuous glucose monitors. Those will really give you, because you'd asked me about the difference between the fasted blood sugar and then just the blood sugar. It's always blood sugar, but it's either fasted or postprandial, which means after a meal. And the only difference is just based on if you ate or not. And so, the levels might be different based on that. And so, continuous glucose monitor is so helpful or can be, because it shows you constantly how your blood sugar is reacting to fasting or eating short of that with just like a finger prick type situation. And this is what Cynthia said, as well. So, I think we're very aligned, 

I think if you had to choose-- once you try a continuous glucose monitor, you will realize just how much potentially your blood sugar can change even minute to minute. And I say that because you might do a finger prick and get a number that if you had tested 15 minutes earlier would be pretty different. It's much more clear picture with a continuous glucose monitor. If you don't like pricking yourself or you don't want to be pricking yourself all the time and you had to pick one time to prick yourself, I would probably go the Marty Kendall route, which is right before eating to see if you actually are in a lower blood sugar state ready for that meal. Because his data driven fasting is all about how people will open their eating window when they actually have high blood sugar. They think they need fuel, but they actually don't. It's very interesting. The link for that is nutrisense.io/ifpodcast and the coupon code, IFPODCAST will actually get you $30 off any subscription to a CGM program. So, definitely check that out. That can be a really helpful resource. 

Her next question, she says, “I'm in between ADF and one meal a day depending on what's happening in my life. Sometimes, I will do four straight days of 18:6, but then eat regularly on the weekend. I thought this protocol was good. Is it there a gray area and discussion about this topic? Do you agree that every day shouldn’t be a short eating window? Please clarify. I find myself contradicting my thoughts and I feel worried about opening my window too early.” I'm actually very curious your thoughts on this, Cynthia, because Gin would talk about this a lot, which was, in particular in regards to ADF, which is something that I personally have never done ADF. But she would often talk about the importance of if you're doing ADF not having a shorter eating window and not under eating on your fasting day. So, I'm really curious your thoughts on that and also on just if somebody was doing one meal a day, every day type situation?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think listeners are probably not surprised to hear that I don't like ADF or OMAD as a sustained strategy for women or men for that matter, because there's just no way you're going to be able to get enough protein in one meal or this alternate day fasting. And there's a lot of what I believe to be emerging, both anecdotal and also research to suggest, unless someone's really stubbornly obese and is really trying to break through plateaus, most of us that are close to our ideal body weight, you start looking at the law of diminishing returns. And so, you just can't build enough muscle protein synthesis. I've spoken to Gabrielle Lyon about this extensively. I've spoken to Ted Naiman. And for listeners, those are both physicians in that space about how to stoke appropriate muscle-protein synthesis. 

I do like people varying their fasting and feeding windows. I think variety is very important, not just in our fasting windows, but also in the foods we choose to eat. I like a lot of variety. Same thing with exercise. However, especially when someone is trying to figure out what works best for them, it requires a degree of experimentation. What gives you plenty of energy, what supports sleep habits, what is allowing you to break through a plateau, do you need to be honest with yourself about the fact that you're not eating a particularly nutrient dense diet, and then you're attempting to do these prolonged fast to work through challenges that you're experiencing? And I'm starting to believe and starting to speak about this more that I am starting to see many women in particular that are doing this over-fasting, overtraining, over-restriction in an effort to lose weight. And we will obviously unpack more of this as the podcast goes on and I'll certainly be talking about it on my own podcast.

But in the context of this question, I don't like ADF and OMAD for a sustained strategy for women. It’s just impossible to get your protein in. And I'm very protein centric and I admit that. But when I look at the research and when I-- I'm a 51 year old woman. I just realized that I had a birthday last week. I have to remind myself, I mean, you're older. It requires a bit of effort to get sufficient amounts of protein into my diet. It is work that I'm happy to do. But I think in the context of answering this question that that's my prevailing thought process. How about you Melanie? 

Melanie Avalon:I keep rereading her question because I'm actually a little bit unclear now what she's actually doing. Because she says, she's in between ADF and one meal a day, but then she says, sometimes, she does four straight days of 18:6.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think she's doing a lot of variety. 

Melanie Avalon: 18:6, for example, would you consider that like a one meal a day, a six-hour eating window? I guess, it depends what they're actually eating during it. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Correct. I think a lot of people are just eating one big meal and maybe they're not hungry at the end of their six-hour feeding window. And that's the concern that I have. The more I talk to other metabolic health experts, the more I start thinking that we have to be less rigid and we need to really lean in like-- I've been experimenting this whole summer with having a wider feeding window. And, especially, because I've been lifting more, I've been more hungry, I've been breaking my fast earlier, I'm finding that I'm getting better results. And each one of us has different goals and different aspirations. But I think a certain degree of experimentation is important to not be so rigid with-- If something has been working, try something and try something new. We have a wider feeding window. And by wider, it's not my feeding window was 12 hours. It might be an eight-hour, a nine-hour or a 10-hour, so that I can have more meals with my family.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, yeah, I love that. I feel we always say that it's individual and you have to find what works for you, which feels like a cop out answer. But it's so, so true, because people are just so different. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Bio individuality rules. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Because me, for example, I do a shorter eating window. Yeah, I was thinking about this with you're talking about how you're struggling to get in enough protein and so many people say that to us. We get so many questions about that. And it's just interesting to me, because it's so easy for me. [laughs] I just eat so much protein.

Cynthia Thurlow: But I think my appetite was different at 30 than it is at 51, because I've tried to reflect on that like, “How much more food did I eat when I was younger?” There was definitely a point in my early 40s that I felt my appetite change significantly. A lot of my patients, and clients, and friends, we'll talk about this openly. We're like, “Oh, yeah, we don't eat nearly as much food.” I think that is a biologic drive. If you talk to someone who's 70, they don't have the appetite they had at 20. It's because ideally, we should not be in an anabolic growth phase at that stage of our lives. Whereas, I have teenage boys and they're very much in this anabolic building stage and they're healthy, they're lean, they're muscular. It's a very different phase of life. And so, I think so much of it's dependent on where we are in time and space. It is a concerted effort. 

For me, to hit my protein macros every day and it's not that I don't like to eat. Protein will fill me up and then I'm full and I'm like, “Okay, now, four or five hours later, I ate another protein bolus.” And that's how I navigate. I eat a lot of eggs. Someone asked me the other day, “How do you get that much protein?” I was like, “I eat a lot of eggs.” Because I can eat a good amount of eggs and I don't feel nearly as full as I would if I ate a piece of steak. But I always like to shake things up.

Melanie Avalon: I'm super curious. When you did have a higher appetite, when you were in your 20s and 30s, did you ever do an approach like me where-- Literally, the foundation of my meals is lean protein., I don't really add-- It's hard to describe, but I basically just eat tons and tons of chicken, fish, scallops. That's the volume of my meat. That's the base of it. Did you ever do that approach or was it always in the context of adding some fats, some oils? I'm just wondering how much that affects how much you actually eat.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, you have to remember that when I was 30, I was in a hospital working all day long. And I became a parent when I was 34, a second child at 36. And so, I would never have been able to manage the kind of eating schedule that I have now around those responsibilities, because you're lucky if you can eat at all [laughs] when you're working in a hospital and you're rounding on patients. I think that definitely would play a role in it. Personally, I don't do well with fatty meats. I never have. I don't like duck. I tend to lean into lean cuts of meat. I've always been that way. I have a child that's the same way. I think it's just some genetic-- It's this desire, like, we acknowledge. It's not that my body has trouble breaking down fats, because I eat healthy fats, but I don't eat a lot of healthy fats. I can definitely mitigate a carbohydrate load, if I'm exercising. Today, I lifted. And so, I'll probably have some fruit this afternoon after my dinner. 

But with that being said, I would not have been able to eat the way I do now, if I was still working in a hospital and had little kids. I acknowledge that my N of 1, what works for me now is largely because I'm an entrepreneur and I can break my fast whenever I want to. Generally speaking, I don't have to worry that little people are going to stick their fingers in a light socket when I'm trying to eat. Whereas now they largely-- I always say, they're free roaming mini adults right now. They're very self-sufficient for the most part. So, it's hard for me to answer that question because I just don't know. Even when I was in the beginning stages of perimenopause and I noticed that I had that drop off in my appetite, I really think and I haven't been able to get 100% good answer on this, because I've asked a lot of people. I think it's a combination of the muscle changes that impact insulin sensitivity in late 30s, early 40s. That [unintelligible [00:41:28] even though I was always lifting and eating properly, etc. 

And then I do think that there's some loss of estradiol signaling in the gut that may also impact that as well. Again, I haven't gotten great research to be able to back that up. But in talking to other researchers and clinicians, that's been the working hypothesis of why that starts to happen. But we also know that physiologically, we don't need as much food as we get older, whether some people that bothers them or not. I think Mark Sisson, who I know you just interviewed on the podcast as well, he kept saying, “Heck, I don't eat nearly as much food as I used to and I do just fine with--" As a guy, he's like, “I do just fine having one really big meal a day.” He's like, “I'm happy.” So, so many factors.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it’s so interesting. It's interesting that you and I are both really similar with that lean meat thing. I still do, basically, lean meats most nights, but probably once a week, I just crave salmon and I'll just do a bolus of really fatty salmon. And I've found that that works for me right now. It's really interesting just how the body changes over time and how your cravings change. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. One thing I've noticed and this applies to our audience and listeners, too, is that I can tell where my estrogen levels are by how much cravings I have. I generally don't crave. I crave healthy food, but I don't have cravings that wake me up at night or I don't think about chocolate constantly or something sweet. But estrogen is this cravings modifier, if there's any way to explain it that when our estrogen levels are optimized, it helps with insulin sensitivity, it helps with those cravings, it helps buffer. 

And so, a colleague of mine and I were talking about how we can tell when women are in this perimenopause/menopause state. And a lot of people, they're never full. They might have just eat a meal, but they still don't feel full. And a lot of that can be this diminishing levels of estrogen. And so, really being proactive about getting your levels tested, knowing where they are, and if appropriate, getting some support and that could come in the form of supplements, that could come in the form of hormonal replacement therapy depending on the individual.

Melanie Avalon: Gotcha. So helpful. I so love having you on this show and having your knowledge about all of this. It makes me so excited. I'm like, “Oh, so much good information for people.” Okay, her next question. She says, “I've been doing well with IF. I learned midway through that Splenda and my black coffee and apple cider vinegar with seltzer was a no-no or so called “dirty fast.” I still found success before I learned this, but now, I have saved those things for when I open my window. The days when I did this and I don't open my window for 18 to 20 hours, can this dirty fast still be beneficial? What I mean is, I'll wake up, I'll open my window with coffee and half in half, I'll get sidetracked. I'm a touch ADD. And then several hours later, I've done 18:6, not on purpose. So, do you think my body does not repair like it would without the cream?” This is a good question.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's important to keep in the context of dairy as insulinemic. And if you are at your goal weight or whatever metrics you're tracking, you're happy with where your progress has been made, I wouldn't stress and worry if one day out of the week you have a little bit of half and half or cream in your coffee. However, and I'm laughing because I was just at an event this past weekend with Vinnie Tortorich and some other metabolic health people and getting clarification, because some half and half in your coffee for one person might be a teaspoon and for another person, it might be half coffee, half, half and half and that was the joke that Vinnie was telling at this event was that get clarification.

If you're having a teaspoon or a tablespoon, that's probably not going to derail your overall fasting regimen. But if you're derailing your weight loss efforts, because you're consuming a lot of fat, like, what Melanie and I were just talking about, fatty meats. Just fat in general. Fat is calorically very dense. It's great, but too much of any one thing is not beneficial. I think it really depends on what your goals are, but I don't want anyone that's listening to stress that if one day of the week, they decide to have a teaspoon of cream in their coffee that somehow that makes them a bad faster or a dirty faster. It's always in the context of what are your goals, what are you shooting for? If you're weight loss resistant, that's probably not the best choice I would rather that you just use-- 

You can change the flavor profile of black coffee with things like cinnamon, which can boost insulin sensitivity. You can use high-quality salt like Redmond's. And we'll include a link to Redmond’s. I love Redmond’s. They are such great salt. But it can really change the flavor profile, if you're struggling with how bitter coffee can be. But also remember, bitter means that there's a high polyphenol content in the tea or the coffee that you're drinking and you don't want to diminish the net impact of the benefits of those bitter compounds.

Melanie Avalon: That makes me want to go on a really quick tangent. Actually, two thoughts. One about the cinnamon. I'm interviewing on Monday, Ari Whitten. You said you are interviewing him, right? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I think in February. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I haven't read his first book about red light therapy. But his new book is called Eat for Energy and he just goes into all the topics about diet and sleep and it's very supplement focused. So, what type of compounds and supplements can benefit that? It was interesting. His chapter on blood sugar, he goes really hard pushing the cinnamon. I didn’t really considered cinnamon that-- I knew it had those effects on blood sugar, but he really makes the case for having it with every meal, which was pretty interesting. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Like how much in terms of quantity?

Melanie Avalon: He recommends a teaspoon added to meals.

Cynthia Thurlow: Okay, so, it's not a lot. Obviously, when I was doing research for the book, it was something that really stood out as something that could be certainly efficacious. And so, I've recommended people sprinkle some in their coffee, but a teaspoon is a good amount.

Melanie Avalon: And it was interesting, because I do remember you talking about it in the book. And then I was just very, I guess, surprised about the link to which he talked about it. He talked about it and vinegar, which she talks about taking. Oh, since you said it, people are going to really be wondering. [laughs] You don't think or do you think how does cinnamon affect the fast in coffee?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it changes the flavor profile, but it's supposed to help improve insulin sensitivity. I don't recall from the research that I looked at so long ago now. It seems it was million years ago. What was the therapeutic amount? I would have to go back and do some digging. But it's certainly not something that is going to break a clean fast. I think that's the distinction our listeners are probably focused on. But it's oftentimes the hook that I get people interested in using black coffee is use Redmond salt or try cinnamon, and almost everyone is able to ease that transition. It just helps curb that bitterness of the plain coffee.

Melanie Avalon: I keep mentioning Mark Schatzker’s book, The End of Craving and I finally just finished both. I was so proud of myself, I read both his other two books in three days. Steak and The Dorito Effect. His books are just amazing. And now, I really want to re interview a carnivore figure like Paul Saladino, or Shawn Baker, or something. Because he doesn't talk about in the context of the carnivore movement or anything. But he makes a really good case for-- Because you're talking about polyphenols and the bitterness and how that might relate. He talks about how basically kids don't often like these bitter vegetables and stuff. And the carnivore movement, people will use that as an example of why we shouldn't be eating plants because they're saying like, “Intuitively, our bodies know not to eat it.” And then we conditioned ourselves to eat it.

When he makes the argument that the body is learning to eat it. It wasn't so much intuition that we shouldn't have eaten it. It was that our body had to learn and adapt in order to get the health benefits from it. I just thought that was a really nicely reframed on that concept with plant toxins.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and I think the one thing that I fervently believe having gone through a healthcare hiccup is that there was a time posthospitalization that the only thing my body tolerated was meat. But then I got to a point where I started to crave vegetables. I think as your gut heals, you become more tolerant to those plant-based compounds. I truly, truly believe that the average person should be able to eat a variety of macronutrients and not just protein. That's my feeling. I went through nine months of just eating meat. Anytime I tried to reintroduce a vegetable, it was a disaster. No exaggeration. But I think as my gut has healed. And it ebbs and flows. I don't think it's ever going to be perfect. I find myself craving certain things. It'd be interesting to see. I know that Paul is perhaps a bit more outspoken than Shawn. And I've met Shawn in person now. So, I feel I can comfortably say that. But it would be interesting to see what their take would be.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm just curious. When you were doing the meat only, were you still eating leaner cuts or did you eat fattier cuts?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's funny. I've never and it drives my husband crazy, because I'm sure for everyone listening, all of our meat prices have gone up exponentially. And my husband was grumbling about how the two ribeyes he bought were a third of the price is the filet that he bought for my birthday or whatever piece of fish I'm having. There is a cost difference, but I just feel so much better. I just don't do well with very fatty meats. And just you'll never see me using or eating duck fat fries, or using lard or tallow. Not that there's anything wrong with using those products. I just don't do well. It'll feel like I have a rock in my stomach and it's really unpleasant. I just tend and always have-- always done much better. Throughout my lifetime, it's not something that's just new to this stage of my life, but I've always craved leaner meat. 

Now, we're getting into minutiae. But for me, cartilaginous, very textured meat was just never something that appealed to me and I have a child that's the same way. There's team lean meat. There are two of us. And team fatty meat, they are or two on the other side. And generally speaking, when we buy a cow share it works out beautifully, because [laughs] there are 50% of the house likes leaner cuts and 50% is more flexible. So, it all works out. How about you? Did you always know that you were this way or was it just an evolution as you got more mature?

Melanie Avalon: When I first started doing keto back in the day, I ate fattier meats then and I ate a lot of coconut oil. [laughs] But in the context of a low-carb diet, I was much better with it. When I switched to high carb, I couldn't do the fattier meats and the high carb. It’s like I felt the fat in my system and is very like-- it’s like a feeling. But basically, the next day I just felt more sluggish. I felt I wasn't clearing the fat as much. I just feel better on lean meats. I find when it comes to craving, the thing I crave is the protein. I just crave that lean protein. So, I like fattier meats.

If I were to sit down to have a meal of a ribeye, it would be delicious, but I wouldn't feel as good from it. I don't think and that's why I was curious about when you're doing only meat. If I was doing only meat, I would be very curious. I might be better with fattier meats then, but I haven't done that in a while.

Cynthia Thurlow: No. They sent me home from the hospital telling me to eat a standard American diet. Essentially, a devoid of fiber, highly processed. And my gastroenterologist and surgeon were like, “You know exactly what to do.” And so, I recall it had to be stewed meat or braised meat. It had to be really, really cooked meat. I remember even reintroducing shellfish was a problem. It was a long journey. But I could eat a cooked burger like a champ and I probably ate burgers every day. It was one thing that my body really had a strong desire for, but it had to be a plain burger, nothing on it. Salt and pepper. That was about it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I have one more thought. Oh, so, reading his book, Steak, where he basically travels all over the world. I learned so much and tried steak in all these different countries, and tried to figure out what makes a good steak. And after reading that book, I was craving a steak. I have quite a few steaks in my freezer from ButcherBox. I will say, “Oh my goodness.” Have you had the ButcherBox filets?

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-mm.

Melanie Avalon: They're really, really good. I love carpaccio. I pulled it out and I was like, “I wonder if I can make my own carpaccio from this?” I sliced it rare and it was so tender, it was so delicious. So, plug for ButcherBox. They have really good steaks. And our link for them is butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. I'm not sure what the offer is right now, but they usually have really good offers going. I'm excited to interview him, but I think his takeaway was that the thing that most affects flavor, it's funny how just how different the different ideas are in different countries about what makes a good steak. The USDA prime concept is just about the marbling. It's nothing about the flavor. I don't know, I think it's very misleading as far as what makes a good steak. 

And then, wait, there was one other fact. Oh, this blew my mind. The criteria for Angus steak is so arbitrary that you would think it would be from the Angus breed, but it's not. They do it based on-- The criteria is like, “Is the cow black?” Because most Angus cows are black. And then all these other criteria, but none of it is actually is it an Angus steak. So, there's all of these crazy nuances in the steak world that just blew my mind. I was like, “Oh, wow, can't trust a label.”

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think that goes for anything here in the United States, [laughs] unfortunately.

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Melanie Avalon: So, her next question. She says, “Due to my health history, I get bloodwork frequently. My glucose is often, high 109. I don't understand. It is frustrating, because I don't eat processed foods much at all. Could alcohol affect this? Before you answer that, if I'm being honest, I'm drinking more now than ever during COVID-19, but I mostly clear liquor, tequila, and vodka, and yes, wine several days a week. If my sugar is up, can I still be successful at IF? This is very confusing to me?”

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, clearly, it sounds like you're in perimenopause. You're going to be prone to less insulin sensitivity. If you're fasting blood sugar's 109, that's high. I would be asking for a fasting insulin. I would want to know an A1c, I want to look at inflammatory markers, like, a high-sensitivity CRP, and you would be an ideal person to have a glucometer or continuous glucose monitor without question.

A lot of things impact blood sugar, sleep quality, stress management, overexercising, inflammatory foods, gut health, toxins. I would say at a bare minimum you need a deeper dive. But a blood sugar of 109, if it's been that level multiple times, it's a wakeup call that you're setting yourself up to develop some degree of insulin resistance. It's time to have an honest conversation. If you're still eating gluten, and grains, and dairy, and alcohol, and processed sugars, all of those things can exacerbate insulin resistance. So, it's really a wakeup call.

Melanie Avalon: I agree. And just speaking to the alcohol piece specifically, typically drinking alcohol in the fasted state will actually lower your blood sugar. But if you're having alcohol with your meal, it also might lower the blood sugar effect, but it's very individual. For some people, it might have the opposite effect because the body's processing the alcohol. And so, the glucose from your meal is staying elevated in your bloodstream. Again, it's a thing where you're going to have to monitor with a continuous glucose monitor to see how it's affecting you specifically, but agreed with Cynthia that it's concerning. So, definitely something to look further into.

Not to put a Band-Aid on it with a supplement, but something like berberine might also be helpful supplement to integrate into your protocol. She also says, “She thought she was in perimenopause, but then she had a full-blown cycle” and she just wanted to point that out. I think she was saying this, because I cut down this question a little bit. But Gin had an experience, I think where perimenopause and the definition of it and then having thinking you're done, and then you're not, and so, she was referring to that. Do you see that a lot with your patients, by the way, Cynthia, people who think they're at a certain point with perimenopause or menopause and then have a surprise?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, not all that often, because so, let me backtrack. Over the past two years without getting controversial, if anyone received a vaccine for a virus that we have been in a pandemic over, I'll just put it that way. I've seen a lot of women in menopause that have started menstruating, again. I've seen women that are peak cycling years that have gone on to have months, and months, and months of irregular shorter, longer cycles. So, certainly, if you fall underneath those parameters, that may be directly related to the vaccine. Let me just put that out there. 

Number two, generally, if you've gone 12 months without a menstrual cycle, you are menopausal. If you suddenly start bleeding after that 12 months that absolutely warrants seeing your GYN or your internist to make sure there's no other reason to explain why that would happen. If someone is not yet in menopause, and they have 18 months without a menstrual cycle, and then they get one that's obviously different. This is a question that is best directed to your healthcare professional. But again, if you're 51 years of age or older, that's the average age in the United States for menopause. And you have not had a period for 12 months or longer and you suddenly get a period, you need to let your GYN know that requires follow up with them. And it could turn out to be completely benign, however, you need to make sure it's not related to another issue.

Melanie Avalon: She has one last question. She said, “She's not been able to drink diet soda or regular soda since chemotherapy, which is a blessing in disguise. And she also can't consume anything with artificial lemon or lime. They all give her a horrible aftertaste. But she can have cherry or orange Tootsie Rolls, which is strange.” She says, “She knows we're not doctors, but do we have thoughts on why.” I will just say, I don't know, but I will say, after reading, I mentioned it already. But in particular, The Dorito Effect and learning the mind blowingness about all of these artificial flavors, and how they're created, and what they are, and what they do, and how they signal to our bodies. It doesn't surprise me that going through something like chemotherapy, I don't know what happened, but it has some effect and how your body is interpreting these flavors. So, that's not surprising to me.

Cynthia Thurlow: Very common for patients that have gone through chemotherapy to develop. Sometimes, it can be transient, short-term, but also long-term taste preferences. And I think it would be highly dependent on the type of chemotherapy that you received. Whatever chemo toxic agent you received, some of them may have more lingering long-term effects than others. That would be my first guess. But certainly, something to discuss with your oncology team. If this is someone else that's listening that's experiencing this, I have someone on my team who very openly talks about being aggressive cancer thriver. That's how she refers to herself. And I fervently agree with that that she definitely had a period of time transiently, where she had some taste preferences, or things that tasted metallic or cottony in her mouth that ever resolved. But I think it's largely dependent on the type of cancer you're being treated for and the type of chemo toxic drug that you received.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you. That was so helpful. I did not know that. [laughs] And also, Doreen, sending you lots of love with that whole situation with your cancer and we're happy that you caught it early. And it sounds like the chemotherapy is going well. So, very happy for you with that. She says, “I want to thank you, ladies. I feel blessed beyond words to have been able to include you in my daily life. Love and light.” Oh, she goes by D. So, thank you D for your question, which apparently was our episode. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It was a long question, but our next episode, we're going to get a couple for sure fit in. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode279. Those show notes will have a full transcript. So, definitely check that out. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. And again, a reminder to enter the giveaway for some goodies from Cynthia. If you have her book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation or if you don't, if you get it, which you should, just leave a review on whatever platform you bought it on. It's super easy to do and just send a screenshot of that to questions@ifpodcast.com to enter to win and this is US continental residents only. Yes, I think that is all the things. Anything from you, Cynthia, before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, thank you. Keep those great questions coming. Obviously, today was an unusually long question, but we will definitely get to several on the next episode we record. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, I will talk to you next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription] 

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Aug 14

Episode 278: Food Rules, Fortified Foods, Synthetic Vitamins, Weight Loss Timelines, Constipation, Magnesium, Bitter Foods, Bile, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 278 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free BACON For LIFE plus $20 off each box for the first 5 months of your membership!

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

FEALS: Feals Makes CBD Oil Which Satisfies ALL Of Melanie's Stringent Criteria: It's Premium, Full Spectrum, Organic, Tested, Pure CBD In MCT Oil! It's Delivered Directly To Your Doorstep. CBD Supports The Body's Natural Cannabinoid System, And Can Address An Array Of Issues, From Sleep To Stress To Chronic Pain, And More! Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free BACON For LIFE Plus $20 Off Each Box For The First 5 Months Of Your Membership!

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

The End of Craving: Recovering the Lost Wisdom of Eating Well
Steak: One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef
The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor
(Mark Schatzker)

23:30 - BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

27:50 - Listener Q&A: Violet - IF Timeline

40:25 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

43:00 - Listener Q&A: Liv - 1-2 hour window, constipation, when everything balances out?

AvalonX Magnesium 8: Get Melanie’s Broad Spectrum Complex Featuring 8 Forms Of Magnesium, To Support Stress, Muscle Recovery, Cardiovascular Health, GI Motility, Blood Sugar Control, Mood, Sleep, And More! Tested For Purity & Potency. No Toxic Fillers. Glass Bottle.

Episode 276: Magnesium Benefits, Supplementing A Whole Foods Diet, Medication Interaction, Stress and Depletion, Absorption, Dosing, and Effectiveness, And More!

She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period. (Sherry A. Ross, MD)

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

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get sugar free, nitrate free, heritage breed bacon for life, plus up to $100 off. Yes, free bacon for life plus up to $100 off. 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. 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? I'm super excited, because ButcherBox’ bacon for life is back and it's even better, because for a limited time, ButcherBox is giving you $20 off each box for the first five months of your membership. That's free bacon for life and up to $100 off. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to get one pack of bacon for free in every box for the rest of your life, as well as $20 off each box for the first five months of your membership. butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. And we'll put all this information in the show notes.

And one more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense, because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat. But do you know what is possibly one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting, it's actually our skincare and makeup. As it turns out, Europe has banned over a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disrupters, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens, which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream. And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup maybe playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because ladies, when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years. 

Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so, you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. They have counter time for anti-aging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life. And their makeup is amazing. Check out my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey, even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. Also, make sure to get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list. So, definitely check it out. You can join me in my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well.

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 278 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with, Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hello, my friend. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, first of all, happy, early birthday to you.

Cynthia Thurlow: Thank you. Yeah, it's been a good year. I feel I'm not one of those people who gets freaked out or weirded out about birthdays. In fact, I just look at it as, how much growth have I had in the past year? And I think it's been a pretty amazing year. So, I'm very grateful. But thank you. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's definitely a really nice milestone or it's a nice moment to reflect on how far you've come to quantify time.

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. There's been a lot of growth in a lot of different areas. I feel I'm in a good, healthy place.

Melanie Avalon: So, question for you that will apply to all of the listeners. Well, I guess, I need to know more about-- Okay, so, your everyday dietary choices that you follow, personally for you, do you do gluten free, dairy free? Do you have food rules?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. I've been gluten free for 10 years and that put an autoimmune issue that I have into remission. And I've been dedicated dairy and almost 100% grain free. Occasionally, I may have a little bit of rice, but I'm dedicated to no gluten, no dairy, and almost 100% no grains. And I'm heavily meat focused. I would say the last three years, I've been much more diligent eating a lot less fish and chicken and really expanding my repertoire of meat and then a lot of vegetables. I like vegetables genuinely.

Melanie Avalon: And how do you exist within the Whole Foods versus processed foods paradigm?

Cynthia Thurlow: I would say, on occasion, I will have a cracker. I like Hu crackers. They're super expensive. So, it just reminds me that I really do portion out my portions. I'm a big aficionado of dark chocolate. So, clearly, that's processed. I think it's a lot of our perspectives on nutrition really need to be based on what are our goals, what fuels our body makes us feel good. And I think that's highly individual. I would say, obviously, my electrolytes are processed to an extent. Electrolytes are a large part of my world. I realize when I travel, I'm like, “Oh my gosh, my electrolytes.” I feel so much better with them. But normally, I tend to eat a less processed diet. I'm not perfect. I'm not like I’m living off the land, and I have my own cow, and I process it, and I only eat what I have in my yard. No, that's not the way I live my life. But I do endeavor to eat as minimal processed food as I can within a realistic framework. Because I can honestly tell you after spending a weekend in a very rural part of my state, I do realize that there are conveniences that are important for me, and my sanity and my family sanity, and I don't have a problem with them. If I'm buying something processed per se, I'm buying the cleanest version of that product possible within the context of what's important to me. Like, no seed oils, no high fructose corn syrup. I'm thinking more about my teenagers and it's getting more challenging as they get older to be able to navigate that realm and still ensure that they're having some fun foods.

Melanie Avalon: Well, first of all, I think that's a really healthy approach [laughs] that I would encourage for everybody. There're two paths I want to take right now. One is, because I want to talk about a book that I just finished that relates to all of this. But the reason I was asking you all of those questions, you might see this coming. When you have something celebratory like your birthday, is there some sort of food indulgence that you treat yourself to or how does that go?

Cynthia Thurlow: In our new city, everyone knows I have these mental food rules that are important to me. We've struggled to find a restaurant that meets all of those needs. The kids and my husband decided, “We're going to just make a really nice dinner.” We have steak and I love shishito peppers. I'm obsessed with them. And my husband will grill them for me. But my treat is not alcohol. My treat is for making a gluten free brownie and I'm going to savor and enjoy every single bite of said brownie. My kids just made, I think, they even put chocolate chips in it. And then there is a dairy free, junk free, it's like Cool Whip, but it's not Cool Whip. It doesn't have all the junky emulsifiers and whatever is in Cool Whip that I try to avoid. There's a product that's out there that's clean. It's made with coconut milk. And so, I'm going to put that on top of my brownie probably with some blueberries and I'm going to savor every single bite.

I generally avoid eating products that have flours in that [unintelligible [00:12:38] flour. And then because it really has a detrimental impact on my blood sugar, but I'm also going to take a walk after I eat my dinner. So, [laughs] that's usually where I will enjoy myself. I'll have a dessert for my birthday. I believe fervently that all of us, when we have a celebration, we should enjoy ourselves that we will build into our week, or day, or what have you ways to kind of buffer that indulgence.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you said that, because that relates to the book topic. But first of all, do you know the name of that coconut milk, Cool Whip? Because listeners might want to buy it. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's called Cocowhip. It changed my life. It's better than Cool Whip, but to me, I don't eat ice cream. Okay, so, it has filtered water, coconut oil, tapioca syrup, cane sugar, pea protein. Okay. It's not the cleanest thing in the world, but it is certainly better than-- There's one that's even cleaner than this one that they have it my Whole Foods, but that's the brand.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, awesome. Yeah, I'm all about finding the things that work for individuals. Awesome. So, we'll put links to everything in the show notes.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds like a crazy person. I can't remember the name, but it makes me feel I'm having ice cream and I'm not and it's delicious. My kids think I'm a wackadoodle. They're like, “Just have the ice cream, mama.” I'm like, “No,” because dairy does not agree with me. It's just an unpleasant interaction with my digestive system.

Melanie Avalon: The book, I kept texting you about this book and I finally finished it last night. It is blowing my mind. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Really?

Melanie Avalon: Yes. So much. I'm going to read his other two books. But listeners might be familiar because Gin would always mention this book called The Dorito Effect. It's not The Dorito Effect, but it's his newest book. The author is Mark, I think it's Schatzker. It's spelled interestingly. The book is called The End of Craving. Okay, there's so much in this book. I was just going to read it for the interview, but I just think it's so amazing that I'm going to read his other two books, The Dorito Effect. And he has a book called Steak. The subtitle is, One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef. Apparently, it's like a travel food thing, where he went all over and learned about the different raising practices of cows and the different steaks, and he talks a lot about steaks. So, I'm can’t read that. In The End of Craving, he talks about a lot of stuff. But basically, the main thesis is that, when we started fortifying foods and adding additives, and flavorings, and all these things, but all of that is what led to the obesity epidemic. And so, there's a lot of different topics that he discusses. But I'll just give like two of them, for example. With the fortification of foods, this is so crazy. He talks about the pellagra epidemic. Are you familiar with that that happened?

Cynthia Thurlow: Vaguely. 

Melanie Avalon: I actually want to interview Bill Schindler, who wrote a book called Eat Like a Human. He talks about it, too. But basically, there was this mysterious disease called pellagra and it killed so many people. And they didn't know what caused it. People thought it was infectious and then they thought it was socioeconomic. They couldn't figure out what it was and it ended up being niacin deficiency. It was because we started eating a lot of corn. It's a long story behind that. But in any case, so, the US started fortifying foods in the 1940s. They started adding niacin, other B vitamins to flour. And so, that cured the pellagra epidemic in the US. Italy, they also cured the pellagra epidemic, but not by fortifying. They just made it so people started eating foods with B vitamins. He says that that is the reason that the US became obese and Italy didn't. It's because when we add these vitamins, it does a few things. It gives us the ability to turn the processed food into energy and fat. When they do studies on pigs on diets that might include processed feed, when they add the vitamins, the pigs get fat and it's linear. It's the more vitamins you add, the fatter they get. Basically, this idea that the added vitamins are making us fat, which is crazy.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sorry, no. So, synthetic vitamins, is he also accounting for what else is in the “chow” or the feed of these animals? I'm totally curious.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so that's the thing. There was rodent studies and pig studies. But if they were given feed that's processed without the vitamins, they would stay malnourished and actually die. And then once vitamins were added, they would live and also get fat. And the more vitamins you added, the fatter they got. If listeners are curious, whenever I'm prepping a book, I read the whole book. I take a lot of notes. If there are studies, I want to look at deeper, I look after having read the book. I haven't pulled up these individual studies. Just fact check them. But he says, with artificial sweeteners, this blew my mind, that they've done studies where basically, they'll have five drinks and they'll all be artificially sweetened. But then they'll have different levels of maltodextrin, which gives it the ability to add calories or not add calories. Basically, in this study, there were five drinks, they all tasted the exact same, but one had actually zero calories, one had 75 calories, one had 100 calories. It was different numbers of actual calories. 

When the participants would drink the drinks, if they drank the drink that matched the calories, the way it tasted, it tasted like a certain amount of calories based on sweetness. They drank the drink that had the same amount of calories as what it tasted like, their metabolic response rate when they would check it afterwards would burn that amount of calories. But if the drink had more calories in it than it tasted like or less calories in it than it tasted like, the body wouldn't burn it at all. It would just shut off the metabolism. He says, it's because the body gets really confused by all of these signals. When it gets confused, it interprets it as uncertainty and it has a loss aversion type mindset. So, it goes into fat storage mode, which blows my mind.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I'm sitting here, I'm just processing. One thing at this conference that I was at over the weekend, one of the doctors who's absolutely brilliant was saying that, “Medicine has lost its ability to be--" He was using the term of, “We've lost the ability to be humble. We've lost humility.” And so, I'm sitting here processing everything you're saying and I'm like, “Oh, I need to go read this.” Because I think it's so important to consider alternative perspectives. If you were to say to me, synthetic vitamins are driving all of these metabolic disorders or diseases that are contributing to it, I would never have made that connection. So, of course, now, I'm like, “Hmm, I need to go read about this.”

Melanie Avalon: I know. Or, the idea that you could have a drink-- You could add artificial sweeteners. Because what he talks about is, we have all these processed food products where they'll make it less calories. Not calorie free, but less calories by putting in some artificial sweeteners to lower the sugar load. He basically makes the case that, even though, it is less calories, all of the confusing signals, our body, basically, like I said, it enters a mode of uncertainty. So, it starts storing fat. It's crazy. He basically says that we need to eat whole foods where the nutrition matches what our brain is expecting.

Cynthia Thurlow: Interesting. Because I think it's so complicated, because our soil is so depleted. As an example, if we're saying, we're just going to eat arbitrarily organic fruits and vegetables as well, it's not going to have the same mineral content that it did for my grandparent’s generation. And so, I think it gets tough. I'm not suggesting we go and consume synthetic vitamins. But you just start to realize that a modern-day lifesaving, if you're eating pretty clean likely necessitates the utilization of additional supplementation, whether it's on our own or it's added to our foods. Preferably, on our own. So, we get to choose what goes in our bodies. But that opens up so much. You’re just really unpacking the processed food industry. On so many levels, we can take it from multiple different angles about how it's detrimental to our health and this is a new angle.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. No, exactly. And that's actually a key question I want to ask him is, because he doesn't talk that much about supplementing in a vitamin form versus when it's in the actual food. He really just talks about it being in the food, because he says, “Basically, there's so much to when we're actually eating and then what is in the food and what our brain thinks is in the food.” He writes it like a page turner to-- He basically in the first chapter talks about the pellagra epidemic. At the end-- today, he compares Italy to the US and compares how it seems a very similar dietary approach from the outside. They still have McDonald's and they still eat a lot of high calorie food. But for some reason, we have an obesity epidemic. It's like a cliffhanger. He doesn't really address it to way later in the book. That was a long intro. Basically, I really recommend, at least that book and I need to go back and read The Dorito Effect and Steak, as well.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, that's really interesting. I feel I maybe during this three-hour drive to and from this rural part of my state I got through a book for a podcast guest I have on Thursday and I started reading another book by Jenna Kutcher, which is more of like a personal development book and I was like, “Gosh, I made such good use of that time.” I'm really proud of myself.

Melanie Avalon: Was it Morgan's book that you finished? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. 

Melanie Avalon: I didn't know you're integrating her that soon. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. On Thursday. 

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny for listeners. Cynthia and I are so in sync. This week, I was literally listening to Morgan Levine’s True Age. Is that what it's called? And then I flipped over to check my text and it was sent Cynthia via being like, “Have you read this” and it was a screenshot of--? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. I was in the car. It depends. If it's a book, I think I may want to reference. I get the physical copy, a lot of other books I listen to and I enjoy that, too. But for me, I need that visual. I really need the visual.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, same.

Cynthia Thurlow: Makes me weird. But-- 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's not weird. I'm the same way. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] We're very simpatico.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Yes, yes. 

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we answer some listener questions about fasting, the other side of food? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. So, to start things off, we have a question from Violet and the subject is: “IF timeline.” And Violet says, “Hello, this is my 109th day of fasting. I was wondering if you can give me a rough timeline on when I might see more fat loss. I've definitely decreased in clothing size. I'm not as hungry, but since I've been at this a while, I was wondering when more fat loss can be expected. What is the average for an IF-er to see bigger results? Six months, a year? I know everyone is different, but I'd love to have something to look forward to and keep up my momentum. Thank you so much for your books and inspiration.”

Cynthia Thurlow: This is a great question, Violet. I always come at this as a clinician. So, I don't know your age or life stage. I'm not sure, if you're you no younger like in your 20s and 30s pr if you're a perimenopausal, menopausal. That will definitely impact that loss for a number of different factors. I think it's important even if we're fasting that we consider the quality of the food that we're eating. And by that, I mean, are we eating an anti-inflammatory diet, are we eating a less processed? I remember I said less that doesn't mean no processed food. I'm saying less processed food. What is your stress management like and that doesn't mean five minutes of meditation? Are you exercising? Because one of the most important things, I think when women are talking to me about fat loss, I think about strength training, I think about high intensity interval training, and I think about just being physically active during the day. 

It was interesting at this conference I was at. One individual indicated, “If you exercise hard for an hour and then you spend the rest of the day sitting on your butt, you've just undone all the good of that exercise.” I think it's important to track your movement and you don't have to be vigilant about it. I know how much I walk every day, just during my day, or with my dogs, or cumulatively with exercise. I think that's important. Strength training, high intensity interval training really being active during the day, not being a couch potato, nutrition and then where you are age wise, but I also think about sleep. And my standard foundational approach to women with fat loss, and weight loss, and things like that is, if your sleep isn't high quality, high-quality sleep means you wake up rested, you really don't need an alarm clock, but you can easily get up and get out of bed. If you're not getting high-quality sleep, you're losing out on opportunities to support your body, not just hormonally, with leptin, ghrelin, these appetite regulatory hormones, blood sugar, insulin, but it also impacts your food choices that you're making. 

I really take a foundational approach and those are the things that I would look at first. I would say most women-- intermittent fasting for a lot of people, it's not instantaneous gratification. I think it's more unusual that people get an instantaneous gratification. And so, I think it is all about staying with the mindset of, “This is a journey, not a race.” Unfortunately, the processed food industry, the weight loss industry, which is a trillion dollar a year industry has convinced us that weight loss should be effortless, fat loss should be effortless. You take a potion, a pill, or powder, and it happens effortlessly. I'm here to tell you as a clinician that is not sustainable. What I generally recommend is giving yourself a solid three to six months, celebrate the non-scale victories, your clothes feel looser, make sure you take measurements. I think that's very helpful. I'm not suggesting you get on the scale every day. But measure your waist, measure your hips. If you have another problem area that bothers you, then you can appropriately track it objectively. But I think that that's probably where I would start from. And in terms of really giving yourself grace, because I think we as women, we're so hard on ourselves. I have been that person and I speak with love when I say this that really giving your body time, because we get healthy to lose weight or lose fat.

It's not supposed to be instant gratification. In fact, that's a rare occurrence. I see more often than not with women, especially if you're still your peak fertile years or you're still getting a cycle every month. Your body is conditioned for reproduction even if you're choosing not to have a baby. When a woman is in perimenopause and menopause, your hormones start recalibrating themselves and it gets a little more challenging to lose fat. It does not mean it's impossible, but you have to be more diligent. So, those are the things I would definitely consider, Violet, and I'm sure Melanie, you have some insightful recommendations or suggestions as well.

Melanie Avalon: First, quick question. What was the theme of the conference that you spoke at?

Cynthia Thurlow: It was called “Momentum in the Mountains.”

Melanie Avalon: Was it just all different health topics or--? And what did you speak on?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, they asked me-- This is usually what happens. I was the only female that spoke and so, they wanted to have a female slanted. This is like the story of my life. They wanted me to have a female slanted conversation. And so, I talked about perimenopause and menopause, and then I slid into metabolic health, which is always my natural progression. But I was able to really dig in deep and a lot of women came up to me and said, “Gosh, I wish I had known that information 20 years ago.” So, that's what I spoke about. But I had a cardiovascular surgeon, who spoke before me, who was talking about metabolic health from his perspective. He wrote a book called Stay off My Operating Table and he means it. [laughs] And then I had a doctor after me, who was talking about childhood obesity. And then Vinnie Tortorich, who's absolutely hilarious. For any listeners that don't follow him, he has a podcast called Fitness Confidential. He's one of my favorite people. He's just a no muss, no fuss kind of guy, was talking a lot about what goes on in the food system. And so, it was nice variations on themes throughout the discussion. But yeah, it was great. It was a lot of fun.

Melanie Avalon: Very cool. Yes. So, for Violet’s question, [chuckles] I always feel I'm not the best person to have data on this since I don't actively work with people who are trying IF all the time. I really just have my experience and then I have the vague sort of people writing in or people in the audience saying like, “I started intermittent fasting and I’m finally losing weight.” But for my experience, because it's been so long ago that I first did it. I was thinking about this. Looking back, I don't remember quantifying the speed of the weight loss when I started fasting. But I remember there was a huge feeling of a paradigm shift in my body, which was that prior to IF, I always felt with dieting that I was actively trying to lose weight and looking at the pounds and felt like, “I would lose and gain” and it just always felt like a challenge and a struggle. And with fasting, something clicked and then I finally felt, “This is very not scientific.” I'm talking about my feelings. But I finally felt during the day when I was fasting that I was literally burning fat which I was. And so, basically, it felt I went from a trajectory of yo-yoing or struggling to “oh, okay, every single day I am burning fat.” It felt I was making slow and steady for progress movement. 

And on top of that, so, I know she's asking like what is normal and she's looking forward to keeping up her momentum. In general, there's a lot of magic and Cynthia touched on this, like, the importance of what you're eating and everything, but there is definitely a lot of magic in the foods that you are eating. I think a lot of people will be on a standard American diet, not fasting. Eating all throughout the day, and they can start fasting, and maintain that standard American diet, and lose weight, which is great. But on top of that, if you are also looking at the food choices, there's just a lot of magic that can happen there. I feel like a broken record, because I say this all the time. But on the macro side of things, so, for some people, doing low carb is really, really magical, so that might expedite the weight loss. If you are existing in that low carb world, not necessarily embracing the idea that low carb, for example, has to be super, super high fat. Because you could be doing low carb, high fat and there might be a lot of potential to lose more weight, if you titrate down the fat a little bit while still staying moderate to high protein, of course. 

And then on the flipside, some people do really well, actually, with a higher carb, low fat approach. And that can be something that can really catalyze weight loss. I think really it's all about finding what works for you, but there's definitely magic that can happen if you tinker the food choices on top of just the fasting. Of course, I love everything that Cynthia said about lifestyle choices and sleep and all of that and that's huge. But yeah, I feel it's very individual, which always feels like a cop out answer. But people's bodies are different and they respond differently to change. So, I don't know that you have to even focus on what's normal or average and rather just focus on what is or is not working for you personally. So, you don't have to compare yourself to other people.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, and I think that's important, especially we, as women do a really not so stellar job of we're chronically comparing ourselves to others. Even when I'm teaching IF:45, which is my signature program for fasting for women, the one thing I always tell them is put your blinders on and focus on you. Because we tend to-- we see that there's someone else in the group or someone else, we know that effortlessly loses weight or maybe that's our perception. And yet, we don't know what's going on underneath the hood, if you will. And so, I always say that people come to intermittent fasting, because they want to lose fat or they want to lose weight, and then they end up staying for all the other benefits. And giving it time and I think I've shared, if not on IF Podcast, certainly, on my own that when I started fasting, I didn't lose weight right away. And obviously, I was in my 40s when I started doing it, it took longer. 

But for me, the single most important thing I did that allowed me to lose that last bit of perimenopausal weight was an elimination diet. Getting dairy out of my diet was abso-- Even though, I eat dairy so sporadically was a game changer for me. And so, I always say to people, “Sometimes the foods you love may not love you back.” So, really getting diligent about-- Maybe you do a whole 30 for a month, maybe just see how your body responds to reducing inflammation in the body. I would get creative and be open-minded to trying different things to see what will be most effective and efficacious.

Melanie Avalon: Perfect. I love that. That reminds to me because I was looking at her last sentence, “Thank you so much for your books and inspiration.” Cynthia, we forgot again. Do you want to talk about the giveaway?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. So, I have not been good about mentioning this in our episodes, but we are ready to draw a winner. And the winner, all you have to do is purchase my book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation and submit a review. So, if you bought it on Amazon, submit the review, screenshot it, send it to us at questions@ifpodcast.com and we will submit your review and your book purchase. And if you bought the book when it first came out, you can still do that. Just screenshot it and send it to us. But we're super anxious to send some really great goodies that some very generous companies shared with me during the book launch and I really would love to be able to provide an opportunity for some of the IF Podcast listeners to get some fun things. But we will poll one person. Let me just be make sure that's very clear. So, just send that to questions@ifpodcast.com.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. And so, to recap, everybody, I think can benefit from Cynthia's book. It is so amazing and it's such a valuable resource. So, all of the stuff that we talk about on here with fasting and hormones in women's specifically, and protein intake, and how to do this, and sleep and lifestyle, it's all in there. It can definitely benefit listeners from getting her books. If you already have it, definitely, super easy. Just go write a review on wherever you bought it and send us that screenshot. If you haven't bought it, now it’s a great time to get it and write that review. Yeah, so, we'll pick a winner and send out lots of goodies. 

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Cynthia Thurlow: Do you want to jump into our next question? 

Melanie Avalon: Sure. 

Cynthia Thurlow: This is from Liv. And so, the subject is: “a one-to-two-hour window, constipation, when everything balances out.” “Hi, I adore your podcasts and love to skip around depending on the day and what I need regarding tips, IF education and motivation. I'm a 30-year-old female and I have been athletic and health food based my entire life. Growing up on a fruit orchard with health-conscious parents was very helpful in my building blocks were plant-based and Whole Foods eating. I worked in a Whole Foods store through high school and college, and I've always been drawn to naturopathic and holistic medicine. That said, I avoid junk, processed foods, and excess of dairy or meat. However, like most people, I keep a balance and do eat desserts every now and then. I drink wine regularly. I used to kill myself at the gym to knock out my stubborn 10 pounds of extra fat. That seems to be so cozy around my midsection and hips. I could run five to seven miles a day and nothing was as successful for me as intermittent fasting. I've been on and off this way of life for five years and never stuck to it for maintenance as I should have. I am now back on, I'm assuming two weeks eating with in a one-to-two-hour window and feeling amazing. 

Weight is falling off again and I'm sticking to my tennis game and more leisurely physical fitness. Huge plus in this heat in Ohio. My question is, one, I have not heard discussed too much on your podcast or maybe I'm missing the episode. Pooping.” You know, as a nurse I love these questions. “Yes, can we all admit, we poop and discuss IF and pooping?” Absolutely. “I am someone, who likes to poop every day and when I don't, I get irritable. Does my window reflect too small of an eating window to produce a daily bowel movement? Is constipation a temporary thing? As women, I feel we are more subjected to this physiologically. How long does it take to regulate? Can you please describe your experiences and/or share your research on this topic? I think ketosis and fasting can really change things for people here and I feel it is valuable to discuss in order for me to feel a little more normal. Also, I've read that most people are carrying around a minimum of 10 pounds of bile. Yay, yuck. I have to guess that if IF helps this, because sometimes, and sorry, this is nasty. Sometimes, what comes out in these first few weeks back to fasting feels that type of stored sludge for lack of a better term backing me up. No shame in the pooping game. Love you both, Liv.” That warms my nurse practitioner heart. I love to talk about poop.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that I'm so excited. Then we both do. So, this is great. And actually, it's funny, because she said that she hadn't heard it discussed on the podcast before. We've had a lot of episodes on it. Just maybe not recently. And so, this is a little resource for listeners. If you go to our website, ifpodcast.com, there is a search bar there. Because we have transcripts on every single episode, if you search for keywords, it will find the episodes. So, you could search for poop, but more likely, if you search for constipation that'll probably bring up a ton of episodes. But it's nice to revisit it now and it's nice to visit it with Cynthia. [chuckles] I get excited because there're so many topics we've talked about so much on the show, but I get to discuss it all anew, because I haven't heard your perspective specifically. So, it's very exciting for me. Yes, but so my thoughts on all of this, whoo, I have a lot. 

First of all, so, I do struggle with, I know, this is a way that Cynthia and I are different. I do struggle with constipation. And Liv, when you say that you're irritable if you don't have a daily bowel movement, irritable is an understatement for me. I have to keep things moving and I really have to stay regular. And I've found the system that works for me to do that and I stick to it. But I've learned a lot over the years. And interestingly, I've first started struggling with this issue. It's hard to know, because a lot was going down. I had a living situation from 2012 to 2014, where I was in an apartment that had black mold and there was carbon monoxide leaking every night and that's when I first got hypothyroidism. And so, it's hard to know what was what. At that time, that's the first time I took the antibiotic. Some people might be familiar with for SIBO called rifaximin. That's when I started having issues with regularity and digestive issues was after taking that antibiotic. I don't want to scare people away from it because for some people it's a game changer for SIBO, which is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. But for me, it had some negative side effects. 

To go through some of your questions, she's asking, if, because she's eating less in a shorter window, is that affecting the bowel movements or not? It's really interesting, because and I know that Liv is in the plant-based sphere. If you look at what people are saying and in general, people will say, “Add lots of fiber, add lots of bulk to encourage bowel movements.” And for some people, that really works. For others, it doesn't. For others, it causes the exact opposite problem, it causes bloating, and things just get backed up. If things aren't moving and then you're just adding more fiber to the fuel, then it just gets worse and worse. And especially, people with digestive issues who are creating methane, if you have methane-producing bacteria, they eat the food and they produce methane. And methane actually works as a neurotransmitter in the GI tract that stops motility. So, it becomes a vicious cycle where you might be adding more fiber to try to move things along and it's just making things back up even more. That's I know what I experienced for a while. 

I went through a period where I was like, “I'm going to find the right fiber that will keep things moving that just made everything really worse.” What ended up working for me was a low FODMAP diet. That works really, really well for me. But that said or and [chuckles] it's interesting, because so, people in the carnivore sphere and the low-carb sphere, but really the carnivore sphere, they'll go on a zero-fiber diet. A lot of them will say that they have the perfect bowel movements. Before that, they were constipated and then once they caught up with the fiber, everything was great. And they often reference, they'll say-- Studies will show that people on a no fiber diet that it resolves constipation. Everybody quotes the study. There's only been one study, but it's a pretty telling study, but it's very small. It was only in a few people, but they basically found that-- I think all people had existing GI issues and they went on a zero-fiber diet and in every single person, it resolved their constipation which is really interesting. I just wish there are more studies looking at this. But back to the question, I feel I'm circling all-around of, is more food required for bowel movements? Based on everything that I just said is very individual, I think. Some people do not require that bulk and they will have just dandy bowel movements. Some people do benefit from having a certain amount of bulk or a certain amount of fiber and things like that. We have heard from a lot of listeners that they start fasting and they struggle with constipation. It may or may not be temporary. So, it may resolve, it may not. If it's not resolving, there are a lot of things that you can try. 

What really, really works for me is magnesium. It is my favorite thing. I'm super excited because I did recently launch my magnesium supplement. So, that's Magnesium 8 by AvalonX. You can get it at avalonx.us and the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON will get you 10% off. I think getting your magnesium levels, because most people are likely deficient that's for a lot of reasons. We talked about this-- We did a whole episode on this. You can check out Episode 276, if you'd like to learn more about magnesium deficiency. But I think getting your magnesium levels up in general can be good for motility. Specifically, high dose magnesium to keep things moving. So, I take my AvalonX Magnesium 8 and then I also use Natural Calm, which is a magnesium drink form. I use that every night and that really, really helps for me to keep things moving. Some people will use high dose vitamin C that will work as well or may work as well. I'm all over the place with this. But I did recently listen to a fascinating episode all on the gut and the connection between the nervous system and motility in the gut. It's actually Peter Attia’s-- At the time of this, his most recent episode and it's with a GI doc.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm halfway through it. I'm like, “Dang, it's a two-hour episode. It is excellent.” But it's almost harkening me back to my days at Hopkins, when we would get lectures from med school faculty. It is very detailed. It nerds me out and I love it and Melanie loves it. It's very detailed. If you're part of Peter Attia’s membership, which Melanie are both part of you get all the behind the scenes, little nuances, but that's an excellent podcast. I'm going to come at this as a clinician. When I think about poop, obviously, nurses and nurse practitioners, we talk a lot about poop. It's completely our zone of genius, because doctors generally don't like to talk about it. I think about a lot of things. Could it be that you are not eating a large enough bolus of food that is telling your GI tract, there's actually a mechanism in the gut that signals the innervation in the small and large intestine and move things forward as you eat? I think a great deal about something as simple as what's your hydration status like, are you moving every day? Exercise will actually help with peristalsis. I also think a great deal about the parasympathetic nervous system. So, we have the autonomic nervous system and this is a branch. 

Sympathetic nervous system is when you're being chased by a rabid animal and parasympathetic is rest and repose. We actually have to be in the parasympathetic to poop. I cannot tell you how many patients and women I've spoken to over the years, who think if they're super stressed, they can force themselves to poop in five minutes. That's not how it works. When you've got a two-year-old banging on the door in the bathroom and you have five minutes to go out the door, that is not the time. You actually have to set aside this time to go. I've had lots of women, who've had success with a Squatty Potty. They just need to reposition things. 

Melanie Avalon: Squatty Potty is the best.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, Squatty Potty, I would say bitter foods, arugula, bitter greens, things that will help with viscous bile. Anyone’s thinking or talking about constipation, already thinking about viscous. The bile in the gallbladder is viscous and thick and in there it's having a hard time emulsifying and breaking down fat. The bitter foods, things that will be helpful for bile are artichokes, shaved beets, carrots, all very supportive and nurturing. One of the tricks that I learned how to use, like, when people are having pretty benign constipation, one tablespoon of fresh ground flaxseeds combined with one tablespoon of fresh ground chia seeds. And that together is magic. You can throw it in a smoothie, you can throw it on top of a salad, very, very effective. And then I always say, you can also use things like aloe vera juice. Even a quarter cup, it doesn't taste great. But if it's a frustration and definitely sounds like this young woman. Liv definitely gets frustrated when she's not able to go and I completely understand that. 

Other things that I think about are, you mentioned, a lot of people will recommend fiber. I think this is highly person dependent. I can tell you that three years ago, when I spent 13 days in the hospital and was in gigantic GI distress mode, I didn't have a solid stool for a year. And you believe fiber made my body very inflamed and very miserable. I went back to eating just meat for nine months and that helped me get over that. So, that's very dependent on the individual. With that being said, there is value in consuming, maybe you haven't-- Have an apple every day. You will be getting in some fiber or maybe you're having salads. That's one thing I generally recommend is make sure you're getting some uncooked vegetables and fruits into your diet, because that may be beneficial, but again, highly dependent on who you are. I also think about prebiotic rich foods. It's interesting. I just interviewed Vincent Pedre on my podcast and we were talking about the research around prebiotic rich foods, even fermented vegetables like a tablespoon of fermented cabbage, or okra, or whatever fermented vegetable you like can be very beneficial to nourish the right bacteria in the gut microbiome. So, that's where I come from. But a lot of its--

There is a great deal to it that's psychological. I would experiment, as Melanie said, there are supplements that can be helpful. I think about Triphala, that is an ayurvedic option that can be very beneficial. Magnesium and Melanie's magnesium is a nice choice. There's a product by Designs for Health called TriMag, I try every supplement out that I recommend to clients and patients. That destroyed me. Because I have a very vibrant digestive system, I go effortlessly and easily. I only share as to give you context and I actually gave it to my mother who struggles with constipation and she loves it. It's just a powder that she takes before bedtime. But there are lots of options and I do like magnesium. Vitamin C can be tricky. I say this from personal experience, because I sometimes will add vitamin C to my liquids if I'm under a lot of stress. There's a very fine line with vitamin C. You'll know if you've had too much, because you will get loose stools. But it's not always predictable. So, I would be careful with vitamin C, although it can be very, very helpful. But hopefully, those are the things that will be helpful for you. 

I would say and I think listeners know this about me. I don't like women to have a one-to-two-hour feeding window. I do think you genuinely need a wider feeding window. And ironically, maybe, Melania. and I can talk about this on the next episode. But I was watching some research that Ben Bikman was providing on his brilliant IG account. He was talking about the role of mTOR signaling and how if women are doing too much fasting. That was the context of what he was talking about that that can impact fertility in nonbeneficial ways. And obviously, I don't want to get off on a tangent, but I just wanted to interject. I like women to eat within a larger feeding window. I know, Melanie eats a large bolus of food over several hours and I just think it's very hard for women to get in enough protein in a very, very short window, unless you're a unicorn. And there may be a few unicorn listeners. But from my perspective, I'm always very protective of the protein piece. But constipation, I totally get it. It can be very, very frustrating. I do find that for most women that struggle with this, it can be not just a physiologic component, it can also be an emotional component really getting into that parasympathetic, really setting aside time in the morning, or the evening, or whenever your body likes to have a bowel movement. Just setting that time aside, so that you can actually have that and then integrating nutritional options and supplements that can help support your body.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you said all that made me think of-- I took some notes because that made me think of quite a few different things. First of all, on the magnesium piece, I forgot one of the ones that really helps me. And I actually want to develop my own version of this as a standalone separate magnesium in the future. But I think it's called Mag-07 and it's just magnesium oxide and that is a very poorly absorbed form of magnesium.

Cynthia Thurlow: 11% is what you absorb. 

Melanie Avalon: It has a very osmotic effect in the intestines and that works really well for me. And so, I plan to make my own version, especially, because I don't like some of the fillers in it. But yes, so that version specifically, I've played around with it. I don't know how you say it, the Triphala. I know a lot of people, it's game changes for them. It didn't really work for me. The herb that did work and I know this is a little bit controversial, because it is a stimulant herb. It potentially has the possibility of reliancy on it, but cascara can work for a lot of people, especially, if you're in a rut.

Cynthia Thurlow: I also think about Smooth Move tea.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, I'm having flashbacks to my really constipated days. [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: My kids would kill me, if I told share this with listeners, but it's okay. We're all women and people, who are supportive, right? I think about how I had a kiddo, who really struggled with constipation. And so, we had this whole formula of what we would use. Every once awhile, he needs Smooth Move tea, which I recommend you brew half of what is in there and save the other half for another time. But that can be very effective. Senna, but those are things you don't want to be taking regularly because it can make your bowel lazy.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. And there's definitely a difference, at least in my personal experience. The urgency related to the osmotic effect of magnesium or potentially vitamin C, for example, it can have an urgency feeling loose stools like Cynthia was saying. But then the stimulant version, so like senna, the Smooth Move tea, cascara, that can be more, at least for me of like a crampy, really unpleasant urgency that, it's urgency to the next level urgency.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's a signal that you got to go.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Because it's basically, the osmotic version is working, because it's pulling in all of this water. It's signaling to the intestine with that bulk to push things forward. But with the stimulant versions they are actually-- I don't know the details of it, but it's actually communicating with the intestines to move.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's like a whip.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Yeah, that's a good example. [laughs] Then I'm glad you mentioned the bile again, because I wanted to answer. She was saying 10 pounds of bile. I think she's confusing bile with fecal matter, because I just googled it and according to a 2010 study on the gallbladder, the liver produces about 27 to 34 fluid ounces of bile every day.

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm. It's small amount. I mean the gallbladder is small.

Melanie Avalon: It's not 10 pounds of bile. And then even on top of that, I have wondered about that and I think it varies drastically between individuals for two main factors. One, the actual amount of bulk in your stool based on what you're eating and your gut bacteria. And then number two, the transit time. Some people have faster transit time, some people have slower. There's a lot of permutations of different factors that could affect how much stool you actually have in you. Question for you, Cynthia. I know I've asked you this before. When you did the nine months of the meat only, did you have regular bowel movements on that? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, but it was-- Sorry, TMI, it was still literally just liquid all the time. And no one was worried about it, I just kept saying, “When am I going to have a formed stool?” There's something called Bristol's Stool chart and this is something we can include in the show notes. That's a good way to describe your poop. You can see visually, people that are absorbing too much water versus not enough. If you're absorbing too much water that's diarrhea. If you're absorbing not enough, you'll have pebbles and it can be hard. You can develop hemorrhoids internally or externally. And then there's the perfect poop, which is number four. And so, it gives people an idea of what's your normal and then you can actually have a communication with your healthcare professional, if you ever need to. 

The other thing that I was thinking about is, just this whole mindset and methodology about being comfortable talking about things that are very normal. But yet, as a society, we get uncomfortable talking about bodily functions. And so, I'm glad that we're having this discussion, so that more women-- Wherever our listeners are, I think we're predominantly women. I know we have many male listeners as well. I think that whomever is listening that they understand, you're more than welcome to ask these kinds of questions because it's so common. I mean, everyone poops. In fact, I used to have a book for my boys that was like, Everyone Poops and it was all these different types of animals and how different their poop was. Of course, as a healthcare provider that was the greatest book ever. I think I got it at the San Diego Zoo. But the point of why I'm sharing this is to encourage people, don't feel uncomfortable sharing this kind of information. There's probably 20 other people listening who had the same question.

Melanie Avalon: I've actually been thinking about that a lot recently not with the poop subject, but I released my episode week before last with Dr. Laurie Mintz who wrote Becoming Cliterate, which is about orgasm equality. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I need to listen to that. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's so good. And her work is so good. But it's made me realize how far I've come with all of that, because speaking to what you were talking about how we have these certain topics that are off limits to talk about, so sexual health and sexual awareness and all of that was something I did not talk about. If I heard a podcast or talking about it, I was like, “Oh, how scandalous?” I released that episode now and didn't even think twice about it. But what's funny is I've been getting so much feedback from listeners thanking me for talking about something that people are uncomfortable talking about. And every time I get that, well, it's helpful, because it makes me feel better about talking about these types of things, but also, it reminds me just how much subjects are taboo.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, even talking about aging, Melanie, I was talking about this in the context of my lecture and I was saying how embarrassed I was when I hit the wall of perimenopause and did then do a TEDx about it and then to be talking about it all the time. I've come to realize, even as a healthcare professional, my faculty members arguably went to one of the best medical institutions in the country. And no one talked to us about this time. It's like, women go off to pasture. And so, those topics that were uncomfortable to talk about, we need to be talking about. Whether it's talking about our sexual health, or talking about aging, or pooping, we need to have opportunities to explore these topics and do it, so there's less stigmatization. I think maybe my children's generation might grow up differently than certainly my generation did. 

But even now, I still feel what I hear for most women and obviously at middle age a lot of women just don't want to have sex. And so, that's the new thing that people bring up in conversation and then it runs like, “Yeah, we don't want to talk about that. [laughs] We don't want to talk about that.” That's a whole separate-- You should be having that conversation with your best girlfriend, not amongst mix company. My hope and certainly our hope and our intent is that we can have these conversations, so that people have a safe place to be able to get input and feedback on.

Melanie Avalon: I haven't aired it yet. Did you connect with Dr. Sherry Ross?

Cynthia Thurlow: I did but I think she's going to end up being like a 2023 guest because she can only record on Fridays or after 5 o'clock and 9. I was like, “That doesn't work for my schedule.” [laughs] But I will. We're connected with her, but thank you for that.

Melanie Avalon: She wrote a book called She-ology. She's a celebrity gynecologist. I'll be airing that in the next few months. But one of the biggest epiphanies I had even with that was growing up in the south, girls, we didn't go to gynecologist. And I think it was because they thought by going to a gynecologist who would encourage having sex. And just stepping back, I'm like, “This is such a problem.” There's a lot happening with the vagina that has nothing to do with sex that needs to be looked at by a healthcare practitioner.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and that's on every level. That's one thing that my conversations with women and so, I have a program called Holistic Blueprint, where we do the DUTCH, and we do the GI map, and we do a lot of testing, we have a lot of conversations. And when women are speaking with me privately, that's when they'll start the conversations. And so, a very common conversation for women to be having is the changes that occur in middle age within the vagina and the vulva or vagina/vulva. And some of them are so stigmatized like, “Oh, I'm not supposed to talk about this.” I'm like, “Well, what's the other option? Suffer in silence? We don't want that either.” So, I'm excited to hear your conversation with her.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Awesome. We're on the same page as per usual. So, basically, listeners, the take away is, ask us all the questions.

Cynthia Thurlow: Please do. Poop is a subject. I could talk about till the cows come home. And this is one of the few things where Melanie and I are very divergent on. It's easy for me, not as easy for Melanie. But it also gives us different perspectives. It really makes me reflect on how common women believe or just people in general, like, my patients. All my patients used to think it was normal that they would poop twice a week. I'm like, “Listen, that is not normal. [laughs] It's not good.” Making sure that if it's a chronic issue or if it's something that's new and concerning, make sure you see your healthcare professional. That is one thing I just want to dovetail in there and say, “If it's new, and it's persistent, and you're having other changes, make sure you have a conversation with your healthcare professional.” But definitely these nutritional changes and stress management supplements that might be an easy fix. But if those things aren't working, you're still having symptoms, you definitely want to follow up with your local healthcare professional.

Melanie Avalon: And actually, just one last point to that point. I totally forgot the thing that really switched the lever on, because I was in a period where I was trying everything. I was having so many flashbacks during this conversation, because it was all during a time where I was just trying all the things and nothing was working. It wasn't until I saw a practitioner and got put on thyroid medication for my hypothyroidism that that really was a game changer in the motility department. So, yes, yes, yes. 

Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for this 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/episode278. They'll have a full transcript and links to everything that we talked about. Definitely check that out. Reminder to enter the giveaway to win all of the amazing goodies from Cynthia. Again, for that, if you already bought a copy of her book or if you do buy a copy of her book now, either way, just leave a review on whatever platform you bought the book from. Send a screenshot of your review to questions@ifpodcast.com and we will enter you into the drawing. And yes, you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon. Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. I think that is all the things. So, anything from you, Cynthia, before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, keep the great questions coming. I think we've been very humbly and beautifully overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and we look forward to diving into questions next week.

Melanie Avalon: Likewise, and happy early birthday, again.

Cynthia Thurlow: Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: I will talk to you next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs and original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription] 

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Jul 31

Episode 276: Magnesium Benefits, Supplementing A Whole Foods Diet, Medication Interaction, Stress and Depletion, Absorption, Dosing, and Effectiveness, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 276 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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SHOW NOTES

1:00 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

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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!

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

10:50 - magnesium clinical lab testing

15:30 - magnesium's benefits

18:35 - AUDIBLE: Go To audible.com/ifpodcast Or Text IFPODCAST To 500-500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook!

20:05 - modern causes of magnesium deficiency

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #139 - Farmer Lee Jones

26:00 - Magnesium, Vitamin B6, and stress

27:10 - menopausal women

30:00 - manganese

31:20 - whole foods containing magnesium

34:00 - chocolate

35:30 - dosage & effectiveness

40:00 - types of magnesium & absorption rate

49:30 - best way to take magnesium

52:20 - magnesium threonate

57:05 - PREP DISH: Get a free 2 week trial At Prepdish.com/ifpodcast! You'll get weekly gluten-free and Paleo grocery and recipe lists!!

58:30 - taking magnesium with medication

1:02:00 - pregnancy

1:04:45 - slow motility

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

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And one more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense, because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat. But do you know what is possibly one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting, it's actually our skincare and makeup. As it turns out, Europe has banned over a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disrupters, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens, which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream. And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup maybe playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because ladies, when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years. 

Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means, when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so, you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. They have counter time for anti-aging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life. And their makeup is amazing. Check on my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey, even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. Also, make sure to get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list. So, definitely check it out. You can join me in my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well. 

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Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome, this is Episode number 276 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I am not just here with my fabulous cohost, Cynthia Thurlow. We are here with a very special guest on the show. This is a repeat guest. He has appeared on one episode before which we will put a link to in the show notes. But we are back with Scott Emmens, who has quickly become one of my favorite human beings on the planet. Scott is the Chief Operating Officer at MD Logic, which is actually the fantastic supplement company that I partnered with to cobrand my supplement AvalonX line. So, we launched our serrapeptase back in November of 2021 and then very recently in July of 2022, we released my magnesium supplement. Things are also potentially in the works with Cynthia and Scott. So, stay tuned for developments there. 

But the purpose of today's show, we released my AvalonX Magnesium 8, like I said very recently in July. And the response has been really, really amazing and we've also received so many listener questions about magnesium. There’s a reason that magnesium was my second supplement, because it is so, so important. And I already knew that I wanted to make magnesium as a supplement, but then diving really deep into the clinical literature. Oh, my goodness, why are people not talking about magnesium more? It's funny. I was doing even some more research last night and was reading this really fabulous review pretty recent on magnesium. And it basically starts out by saying that “Magnesium is--" and I'm obviously using very casual terminology and it was much more eloquent. But it says that “Magnesium is so, so important and just very understudied and that there needs to be more awareness surrounding this.” So, the purpose of today's episode is to bring us all together, we got a lot of listener questions, we're going to dive deep into all of that. So, Cynthia and Scott, thank you both for being here.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. And I have to just echo what you just said working in clinical cardiology for 16 years as an NP and prior to that as an ER nurse, magnesium is woefully underrepresented and appreciated. I 100% agree.

Melanie Avalon: Did you want to make a magnesium, Scott? Was that on your radar?

Scott Emmens: That is on my radar. There are so many different forms of magnesium. And first, I would like to say, although it is my second time on the show, it's my 31st time since Cynthia joined the show. So, this will be my very first Cynthia and Mel show. So, I'm thrilled to be here. But I had thought about making multiple different kinds of magnesium’s, because there's some that forms that are really great for sleep, some forms that are great for anxiety, other forms that are really derived for athletic performance, especially if you blend it with some other core ions and electrolytes like potassium and perhaps, some sodium chloride. There's a whole, I think, magnesium world waiting out there for us. After doing the research on magnesium for the last several months that we've done, I really feel there's no limit to the amount that we can continue to study it and the various different forms and ways to take it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Actually, speaking to what both of you guys just said about how there's so much to learn, how it's underappreciated, we actually got questions about that. So, Kenna, for example said, “Why doesn't standard lab work a complete metabolic profile cover magnesium levels?” Damon asked, “Should we get lab tested for it?” What's so interesting is one of those articles that I was reading was talking about this very issue and we'll dive into everything that it's involved in. But it's so important and it affects so many things and it's connected to so many health issues. But unfortunately, there's not a clinical marker that's really easy to look at to see if magnesium deficiency is the problem. For example, with anemia and iron, that's something that is very easy to measure and evaluate with calcium. Like osteoporosis, again, something very easy to evaluate. Magnesium flows under the radar and a major reason for that is that it's very tightly controlled in the bloodstream. The majority of the magnesium in our body is actually in our cells, in our muscles, in our bones, less than 1% is in our bloodstream and then our body is very good at regulating that. So, even if it is on a standard lab test, you could be severely magnesium deficient and it's probably not going to show up. The stats on deficiency are pretty intense. A large percentage of people are likely deficient. And again, it's hard to evaluate. So, even if it was on a lab work, it might be hard to see.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think this is an important time to interject that there is a good blood test for magnesium. But typically, most clinicians order a regular magnesium level, which is drawn from the blood. As you very appropriately mentioned, very little of magnesium is actually in our serum or blood. But a red blood cell magnesium level is looking at intracellular magnesium and this is what we used exclusively in cardiology. We would sometimes get frustrated when we're rounding on patients, because we would say the nurse, “Okay, we need an RBC mag.” Inevitably, what we get ordered was a regular magnesium and I used to say, “Well, this isn't really helpful.” Because [chuckles] we really don't have a good sense of what their magnesium is with that traditional lab. 

People that are listening to this podcast that maybe I've never heard that term, red blood cell magnesium or an RBC mag. It is covered by insurance, it is inexpensive. Every single one of us should be drawing RBC mags, at least once or twice a year. Because more often than not, it sends you down a rabbit hole. As an example, I know Melanie's had Robb Wolf on to talk about electrolytes on her podcast as well as my own. I tell people that not enough clinicians even think about magnesium. They worry about sodium, which is on a complete metabolic panel, they worry about potassium that's also on a complete metabolic panel. But you have to add the extra test. I think for a lot of clinicians, unless they're in ER medicine or cardiology, they're very likely not ordering these tests, because they're just not thinking about it.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you brought that up and that's actually one reason I really like InsideTracker, because they test RBC magnesium. Interestingly, I found a study last night that was looking at this and it was encouraging because red blood cell magnesium was more telling, I guess, than normal magnesium levels, which-- From reading that I was like, “Oh, you really can't tell anything from normal magnesium levels.” I still don't know that it's ideal. It still might not reveal deficiencies like there may be, but it's definitely much better than normal magnesium levels. And urine, for example, which apparently is all over the place. The thing they said was most promising was isotope testing but that seemed more intense. Have you heard of that before, Cynthia, the isotope?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have but it's not something I've used. I think when I worked in electrophysiology, which is a subsect of cardiology. These are the physicians that are very, very cerebral and they are dealing with arrhythmias, and pacemakers, and defibrillators. I learned so much working with them and with arrhythmia patients in particular, and their feeling at that time and obviously there's always new and emerging testing that comes out, but that and RBC mag was what we usually used to guide recommendations. But I'm sure there will be emerging testing that will come out that will be even easier, hopefully, covered by insurance. Because I think for a lot of people that is an issue when they're testing is not covered by insurance. We definitely want to make sure that the testing that's being used is something that the average person can get as opposed to just the biohacking community.

Melanie Avalon: Maybe that's a good place to start with the whole magnesium. So, definitely got questions about that. Laurie wanted to know, the benefits of magnesium. Leah wanted to know, what are each of them good for, there are so many different strains to magnesium. I don't know what they all do in the body. So, I guess, any of us can take this. Scott, do you want to talk about the benefits of magnesium?

Scott Emmens: Well, they are plentiful. But really, if you start off with looking magnesium is critical, but it's critically going to do for the body. It's going to be used in the brain for all types of neurotransmitters. It's going to be used in the muscles to both contract and relax your muscles. It's going to be used in the brain to relax the body and the brain. They are used to say 300 different enzymatic reactions. But in reality, there's data now to support between 600 and 800 different enzymatic reactions. So, it's pretty much involved in everything. But at the heart of it, it's your energy production, it’s your metabolic health, it's your DNA. It is the second most abundant cation or electrolyte in your body. So, really important for that. 

And it also helps transport other essential minerals in the body. There is a balance and I know that's one of the questions. There's a very nuanced balance between zinc, magnesium, manganese, copper, etc. But the list is many and plentiful. But in terms of the benefits that I see things like sleep, relaxation, reduction, and stress. I've had friends who had chronic migraines or headaches their all lives. That's really helped them out tremendously. For me, personally, it's been really great for muscle cramps. I play a lot of tennis outside in the heat and afterwards, I just get really bad muscle cramps. And since I started taking Mag 8, Magnesium 8, no cramps. And I have been an electrolyte fiend. Sodium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, I've been taking this now for, I think, five days and no cramps. That's my big win.

Melanie Avalon: What's actually really interesting is that same study that was talking about all the different testing methods, they basically concluded because of the potential issues with testing methods that it might be more beneficial to go off of a categorical list of major and minor symptoms. If you had a certain combination of these symptoms that that might indicate magnesium deficiency and it's so many things that you just discussed. Even before jumping on, Cynthia, you were talking about the role of magnesium that you've had in your patients. Have you found it benefits a lot of your patients?

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, absolutely. I think for a lot of women, I do find magnesium supplementation is helpful. Not just for the electrolytes, but also for sleep. There're definitely formulations of magnesium that are helpful for people who struggle with constipation. One of the things I've just found is that it's so multi useful that more often than not, I haven't found a patient yet who hasn't needed it. That should be totally honest for a variety of reasons. But yes, I do find a lot of clinical utility in utilizing magnesium and it's something that I take every single day without question. 

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Melanie Avalon: We got questions about “Why people might be deficient?” So, Wendy wanted to know, “How do we know if we have a deficiency, what causes a deficiency? I heard caffeine is one but are there other things?” Dorie wanted to know, “Do our magnesium needs change with age and/or lifestyle? Do menopausal women need more or less magnesium? If you're very active and athletic, does your body require more magnesium?” Before diving into those specifics, so, it's really interesting, because I say this a lot, but I am a huge proponent of getting our nutrients from food. 

In my ideal world, we wouldn't even have supplements. We would just eat food and life would be great. But unfortunately, our modern farming practices have severely affected the nutrients of our soils and the food that we're eating. And so, for example, this was fascinating. I didn't know this. It's estimated that in the last one hundred years, there's been up to a 90% decrease in magnesium in the soil, which is just shocking. There's a lot of reasons for that. It's the conventional farming methods. Pesticides actually chelate and bind to magnesium so they can make it not absorbable. We've been genetically modifying our food to make it, so that we can have high yield and a lot of it, but it's much less nutrient quality. Actually, it’s just complete tangent. If you want to learn more about the nutrition and food, check out my interview with Farmer Lee Jones. Did you interview him, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: Not yet. But I interviewed Jeffrey Smith and he spoke at length about glyphosate and how it chelates our minerals. It was both disturbing and fascinating to learn all of that. I think the other thing that I would just add to that is, even if you're eating all organic fruits and vegetables, the soil is so depleted of magnesium that it's unlike the type of soil that my grandparents had. So, that's one of many reasons why deficiencies are becoming more common is that even if you're eating a, what I would refer to as pure as possible, as clean as possible, you're still probably not getting enough minerals in your diet from your food intake, unfortunately.

Scott Emmens: Well, what's really alarming is, I had enough concerns about glyphosate. But to know that it's chelating and binding to our minerals making it harder for our bodies to absorb when the soil is already so depleted as it is, is rather alarming. And then just to add on to that, there's some very common medications that are used both prescription and over the counter. Proton pump inhibitors probably being the most egregious of them. When you take a proton pump inhibitor, it's been demonstrated through multiple studies that your minerals, calcium, zinc, magnesium, all of your minerals really reduced. I don't know, Cynthia maybe you know the exact mechanism, but it's likely due to reduction in acid. So, you're not able to really digest your minerals properly in your food. But those proton pump inhibitors can really have an impact on your magnesium level.

Melanie Avalon:  I'll just comment really quick because I looked that up. Yeah, it was the pH. The pH has to be a certain pH to absorb the minerals properly and the magnesium specifically. The magnesium absorbs better in a lower pH environment. So, that's probably what's going on there with the proton pump inhibitors.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Then alcohol is another big one. People that drink three or four drinks a day, they think that's normal. It's really a lot of alcohol. That's going to deplete your magnesium as well. And finally, if your minerals are out of balance, you’re taking too much zinc or too much copper, that's going to throw off your magnesium. So, you really want to make sure that your ratio of minerals is in line as well.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's also a good point to mention that we know we make less hydrochloric acid in our stomach as we get older. Our pH tends to not be within an ideal range, which can make us susceptible to opportunistic infections. I always think about certain medications. The PPIs are a big one. But I also think about diuretics. If you're taking a thiazide diuretic, if you're taking Lasix or any of the loop diuretics, you will be losing not just magnesium, but also potassium and also sodium. It's just this domino effect. It becomes cumulative over time. 

One of the things that I used to see, obviously, if you're drinking alcohol excessively, but alcoholics in particular, people that drink excessively are really at risk and that can put you at risk for certain types of heart arrhythmias, which you don't want to end up in the ER with these particular lethal arrhythmias that are related to chronic low magnesium levels. In fact, we would frontline-- If someone was a proponent or had identified as an alcoholic patient, you would give them magnesium along with everything else you were doing to help correct that imbalance because there are specific arrhythmias we will see with alcoholics. 

I also think about just the cumulative stress. I think everyone over the past two years has really been under way more stress than probably the preceding 10 years. And so, stress can also be incredibly impactful. Finding healthy ways to manage and mitigate stress can also be beneficial to maintaining healthy magnesium levels.

Melanie Avalon: This is actually a pretty interesting study. When we formulate it and we'll talk more about the formulation later, but when we formulated my AvalonX Magnesium 8, we included methylated B6 as a cofactor to help with absorption. There's actually a really fascinating study on it. There are some studies just showing that adding the-- Well, I don't know if it was methylated, but there were studies showing that adding B6 magnesium increases absorption. But there was a really fascinating study where they looked at people who had certain levels of stress and taking either magnesium alone or magnesium with the B6. All of it raised the people's magnesium levels and had a beneficial effect. In the people who were severely stressed with even lower magnesium, adding the B6 actually provided a 24% greater reduction in their stress levels than the magnesium alone. 

I know that's talking about the cofactor, but it just speaks to me that how much stress affects our magnesium levels. They could see actually a huge difference in adding the stress in the participants stress levels. Yeah, there's so many factors. And then so, for those questions specifically, that's fascinating, by the way about the alcohol. On the flipside, Wendy asking about the caffeine. Caffeine working as a diuretic is going to deplete magnesium. But what's really interesting is that one of the highest foods or food/drinks in magnesium is actually coffee. There might be a slight offset if you're getting magnesium from the coffee with a diuretic effect, but still the net effect is likely going to be a depletion. Cynthia, what have you found for Dorie’s question about menopausal women, although you did just speak about when people age how their HDL levels are affected? But hormonally with menopausal women, do you find that they might require more magnesium?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, they're less stress resilient. We know as our ovaries are producing less and less progesterone that our adrenal glands have to pick up the slack with progesterone. I do find that this is a time when many women, there's a much more narrow window in terms of where their magnesium needs are. They're also much more easily they become dehydrated. They may not realize they're dehydrated until they get really thirsty. Both of us have interviewed Dr. Rick Johnson. We know that's a really not a good thing to be clinically dehydrated. I've just oftentimes, really, really, really emphasized why it's important to take oral as well as transdermal magnesium, especially at this time period. 

Yes, middle-aged women, if you're 35 and up, probably need to be much more diligent about supplementation. You can probably get away with a little less when you're younger, but I definitely find that stress resiliency becomes a huge issue. And so, we just really have to be much more proactive about magnesium repletion.

Scott Emmens: Agreed. I just want to circle back because I don't want to jump over the B6. The fact that the B6 that we have is the methylated form of B6, which is otherwise known as P-5-P. There are some studies that actually show that there is a potential higher risk of a nonactivated form of B6 actually displacing the activated form of B6 and thus high, regular nonactivated B6 can actually cause the same symptoms as a B6 deficiency because it's pushing out the activated form. It's competing for that same receptor side. So, it's a big difference to have that activated receptor. I just wanted to point that out. I think it makes a big difference, I should say. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm so glad you pointed that out, because I know a lot of our listeners take BiOptimizers Magnesium Breakthrough, which so many people have benefited from that. I'm so grateful to them. I wanted to take what I really liked about that supplement and make it even better, because so, when I make my own versions of supplements, I basically want to make the very best version possible. Looking at their formula, it had the non-methylated form of B6 like Scott just talked about. We definitely wanted to make that switch. I'm really glad that you pointed that out. The other one that is a change is they have a nonchelated form of manganese, which it's not a cofactor in magnesium absorption. Actually, Scott, do you want to talk about manganese because you and I have had a lot of conversations?

Scott Emmens: Yes, sure. I learned a lot about manganese this last couple of months. Manganese in of itself is a cofactor for so many things. It's a very important nutrient, particularly, in wound healing and collagen formation. In fact, it's absolutely essential. You cannot make proper collagen folds and proper elastin of collagen in your body without manganese. But to your point, Melanie, it does not increase the absorption of magnesium. However, high doses of magnesium can reduce manganese slightly. For two reasons, you want to have that manganese in there. One, it's such a critical enzyme or mineral for so many enzymatic factors just like magnesium is. But two, whatever minor displacement of that manganese you might get you're receiving from the chelated version of manganese that we have in Magnesium 8.

Melanie Avalon: That's the reason for that being there. And again, so, with BiOptimizers, it was not a chelated form. We made a chelated form. For listeners who are not familiar with chelated, it's basically creating a form of the minerals which is going to be more easily absorbed, which we can talk about when we talk about the magnesium types. I will talk about the actual foods that are higher in magnesium. Actually, Scott and Cynthia, I was looking at charts of magnesium in food. Do you guys know what is probably the food with the highest amount of magnesium per weight?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I'm thinking either like a leafy vegetable or a seed.

Melanie Avalon: It's something that Cynthia loves. I love guessing games.

Scott Emmens: Macadamia nuts? 

Melanie Avalon: I say what is the two foods I don't like. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] What are the two foods you don't like? 

Melanie Avalon: Olives and oranges. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, my God, I'm obsessed. I'm obsessed. I am that crazy olive person. My kids know not to touch my olives. I have super crazy expensive olives. But it's one of my little, like, no one touches my olive stash.

Melanie Avalon: Can I ask you both a question? Did you both or did either of you have the moment? I don't care how old you were, but was there a moment where you realized that the pimento was not part of the actual plant or is this just me?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, no, I think I always knew that because I used to pick them out.

Melanie Avalon: Scott, did you have this moment?

Scott Emmens: I didn't really have a moment. I know it. I just don't recall having a moment about it. 

Melanie Avalon: I always thought because you know when you're growing up, you see the pictures of the olives with a little pimento. I always thought that pimento was the interior of the olive, and I had a mind-blown moment when I found out they put that in there and it's not--

Scott Emmens: I'm going to go out on a limb though on the olive issue and say this that you either love olives or you hate them. I have never found someone that says, “Oh, I really like olives.” No, no, they either love olive or they hate them. That's it

Cynthia Thurlow: Conduit to salt. That's how I learned how to drink martinis in my 20s was that I’ve realized it's just a conduit to salt. So, I used to drink dirty martinis with extra olives and I was the happiest person you've ever seen.

Scott Emmens: I did dirty martini with blue cheese olives.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, no, I don't like blue cheese. But the olives, yes.

Melanie Avalon: I like none of it. I had an allergy panel test and I felt so vindicated, because I'm basically allergic. Trees are great. No allergies, Olive trees that I'm allergic. I was like, “Oh, see, my body knows.”

Cynthia Thurlow: That's interesting. No, there's not a lot of things that I get obsessive about and olives are one and probably a close second. 

Scott Emmens: Macadamia nuts are another.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Again, and they have to be salty. Don't give me an unsalted sack of macadamia nut. It is another thing that my family thinks I'm crazy about. I'm like, “It's just they make me happy.” Makes me-- it's so simple.

Melanie Avalon: So, the answer was not olives. [laughs] What else, Cynthia and Scott?

Scott Emmens: I’d go with macadamia nuts. That's what I thought it was.

Melanie Avalon: For magnesium?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, pumpkin seeds, green leafy veggies.

Scott Emmens: Avocado, maybe? 

Melanie Avalon: Well, so, to address the nuts.

Scott Emmens: Dark chocolate. Doesn't dark chocolate?

Melanie Avalon: The nut that's the highest is cashews, but yes, cacao or cacao, I get confused. One of them is like leaps beyond all the other foods. It's like that and then it drops massively for the thing below it.

Cynthia Thurlow: See, this is why I eat high-quality dark chocolate and I have raw cacao in my smoothies.

Melanie Avalon: I'm wondering if a reason sometimes people crave chocolate might be.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Oh, absolutely. That's why the people crave it pre-menstrually.

Melanie Avalon: The magnesium. So, in any case, that tangent. What's really interesting though is, all of the different studies I looked at talking about the role of magnesium and foods, it would list these charts multiple times though. They would say that, “You really just can't get enough from food.” That is an unfortunate situation. We got some questions about how do you know if it's “working?” I love this question, because so, my first supplement, serrapeptase, one of the things I love about that supplement, which for listeners who are not familiar, it's a proteolytic enzyme created by the Japanese silkworm, and you take it in the fasted state, and it breaks down problematic proteins in your body. So, true it can help things that you don't “notice” like reduce cholesterol, or break down amyloid plaque, or reduce inflammatory markers. But it also can have a very noticeable immediate effect in clearing brain fog and reducing allergies. You will go from needing allergy meds to just having completely clear sinuses. So, people really notice it. Or, it'll make cysts disappear and external things go away.

Magnesium can be a little bit more vague because it can affect so many things. Elinor said, for example, “How do you know it's working?” She also wants to know, “How much should she take” and she has questions about that. We can go into that. Sunny says, “How do you know it's working? Most “supplements” I take, I always say, I can't tell the difference.” Although, she says even serrapeptase, which contradicts what I just said. But she says, “If you're a reasonably healthy person with no issues per se,” she says, “Basically, how do you know it's working if you're a reasonably healthy person with no issues, per se, but you just trust that it's working?” So, how will people know if it's working?

Scott Emmens: Would you like my personal experiences for magnesium or are we looking at the data here?

Melanie Avalon: We are talking after releasing our version. Then you notice something very specific right away. Would you like to talk about that?

Scott Emmens: Yeah. The two things I noticed right away were just general energy level and feeling. I work out a lot. I'm ex-bodybuilder, which by the way, I never recommend to anyone the most unhealthy sport on Earth when you're doing it, because of all the things you have to get there. But it does teach you how to get your body to do things that it should be able to do. It teaches you all kinds of ways to make sure that all your micronutrients are in alignment. You really get in tune with your body. I was working out with my son. He's 22 years old. We went to the gym, I'm trying to teach him how to lift weights in the with the proper form, if he doesn't blow out a shoulder at 22. I just felt so much stronger. I felt my pump from the workout was better, because my muscles do seem fuller, my energy was better, but most importantly, I mentioned already the cramps.

Then on top of that also, my brain settles down at night, I sleep really well, anxiety seems to abate a little bit. For me, anxiety/sleep, because I have a terrible time going to sleep, especially if I have to catch like an early flight in the morning, then I'm just up all night worrying about the alarm going off. But for sleep, for cramps, and just general overall energy, and feeling energetic in the gym, those were things I directly noticed within just five days. I had been taking magnesium taurate and threonate for the brain for many years prior to this. So, the combination for me has really worked wonders.

Melanie Avalon: Cynthia, do you have any experience?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that in my personal experience, there are specific forms of magnesium that I would recommend. And so, what I typically would see if someone was dealing with palpitations, if we knew they had a benign arrhythmia. We had specific types of formulations of magnesium. We would recommend if someone was dealing with constipation, we had another one. Someone was dealing with sleep issues, we had another formulation of magnesium that we would use. I think it was a combination of just symptoms along with finding a targeted magnesium formulation that would be helpful.

Let me just back this up and say that the medical community as a whole, uses magnesium oxide in most clinical, hospital situations and the absorption of magnesium oxide is about 11%. If anyone's solely taking magnesium oxide or mag oxide as we used to call it, it's like throwing your money in the toilet. You definitely want Melanie's product and specific types of formulations that are designed to be absorbable, so that you actually get a net benefit from the supplement and not just literally urinating it out in the toilet, which is what magnesium oxide just by itself will do. It's very, very little. 11% is what you absorb in your body.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you brought that up, because I guess, we can address this now, because people were wanting to know like, “Is it better to do a complex or individual magnesium’s?” I have a comment on the oxide. But what's really interesting is, there are so many forms of magnesium. Basically, the way these different magnesium’s often are formed is there the magnesium mineral basically combined with something else [chuckles] that will turn it into the form that it's in. For example, magnesium with glycine becomes magnesium glycinate or magnesium taurate, for example, would be magnesium taurine.

But to comment on the oxide, so, yes, that's a thing well known that it's not very well absorbed. It's a reason that people often will get a form of magnesium oxide just by itself to serve as a laxative. Because basically, when it's not absorbed like that, it just draws in water into the colon and can help with peristalsis and movement down there. Actually, I want to develop down the road a magnesium that will specifically be for this purpose for bowel movements. But we have a question about this on Instagram as well. The highest magnesium in the AvalonX Magnesium 8 is actually magnesium oxide. But and I very rarely use the word but or I try not to. So, it's magnesium sucrosomial magnesium oxide and I could talk about it or Scott, would you like to talk about it?

Scott Emmens: I'll do a brief intro and then Mel, I think feel free to continue on. Yeah, the reason that that that magnesium was chosen as the number one ingredient and which would thus be the largest level of magnesium is that there is a study showing that the sucrosomial magnesium, which is basically coated in some fatty esters does two things. One, it prevents other nutrients and food in the body from preventing the magnesium from getting digested and absorbed properly. And two, it's been demonstrated to increase red blood cell magnesium, which I think is the gold standard test. Cynthia had talked about earlier. Substantially more than the gold standard of glycinate and citrate. This specific form of magnesium sucrosomial magnesium really gets into the cells as highly bioavailable. And then also because of the way it's surrounded these fatty esters, it does not create the typical side effects you would expect for magnesium oxide. So, that is why that is the number one magnesium. It's going to give you that highest red blood cell increase in magnesium.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so, they had a 2018 comparison study on it and they found it had the highest absorption of all the magnesium’s tested. I definitely want to clarify that because we got a good question on Instagram saying what Cynthia had said, “Why is the number one magnesium [unintelligible [00:42:24] oxide when that's not well absorbed?” And so, that is why. I guess, since we're talking about it now we can talk a little bit about the other forms as well. This was very interesting to me, because like I said, there are so many forms of magnesium and I don't know that this is happening, but I wonder if this is happening a little bit where people will say, “This type of magnesium is good for this health benefit and this type of magnesium is good for this health benefit.” I do think that is the case, although, when you look up these magnesiums individually in the clinical literature, there will be a handful of studies for each type looking at a very specific issue. It's hard for me to discern. Are we just ascribing certain benefits to certain magnesiums because that was the one benefit that was tested for that type of magnesium, if that makes sense? So, that's a reason that I wanted to have multiple forms just to assure that you're getting magnesium and all these different forms to help with all of these different benefits and like the kitchen-sink approach rather than just putting all your eggs in one basket. 

For example, looking at magnesium orotate, which is one that we have in AvalonX Magnesium 8, there's a really, really fascinating study that looked at its effect on gut health specifically, and found really amazing benefits, and how it modulates the microbiome gut access. It affects the microbiome beneficially and from there it effects neurotransmitters and inflammatory signals, and helps with motility, and the gut wall, and even DNA synthesis. It's hard for me to know, is that just because they did that study on the gut health with magnesium orotate, what would have happened if they had done a different type of magnesium? So, that's something I'm on the fence about, but I think the best approach and a reason I wanted to make the blend was just to hit everything. Or, for example, they did studies on magnesium amino acid chelate, which we have in ours and they found that it was really protective of DNA and dramatically could actually increase RNA folding and prevent RNA degradation. But again, I don't know if it's just because they chose to study that with that type. So, yeah, any thoughts on any of that?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that there's a lot of misunderstanding in the ergogenic aid industry. I'm going to say this purely as a clinician. I do find that there's value in supplementation, but not enough people do the due diligence. One of the things I really respect about Melanie is how detail oriented you are to really look at the literature, and see what would be most beneficial, and find other products that you liked. But you want to improve upon them. From my perspective, there were specific formulations that we use. But I don't even think at the time I recognize that not only are most ergogenic aids not regulated. You don't always know what you're truly getting. So, working with a really high-quality supplement company is a number one important. But then also really understanding what does your body need or if you are comfortable figuring out what it is that your body needs, working with someone to help you better understand what your unique needs are and then finding a supplement that will meet those needs.

Melanie Avalon: I agree so much and we could go on a whole tangent. Actually, if you want to learn more about the whole supplement industry, and the testing, and the quality, and all of that, check out the first episode, Scott and I did, because we went down the rabbit hole talking about all of it. And so, yes. And Scott, what were your thoughts?

Scott Emmens: Yes. My thoughts are a couple of things. I do think that each form does have subtle differences for two reasons. The first is that, whatever amino acid, or organic molecule, or even inorganic molecule that the magnesium is bound to, it gets cleaved at different parts in the metabolism and then that amino acid has its own effects on the body. The magnesium then also has varying degrees of solubility and bioavailability, plus the amino acid, or organic, or inorganic salt attached to that magnesium also plays a role in how it's going to affect your body. I do think that the different forms make a difference. That's why I like this, let me get a global approach to have all of the core magnesium in there, but in the proper order. What is that proper order? What is being absorbed the most, what are the most absorbable forms or the most bioavailable forms? Then there is a separate issue of which magnesiums have the most elemental magnesium. This gets a little complex. Stop me, Melanie, if I get too far down the rabbit hole on this one. 

But for example, magnesium oxide is used because it contains the most elemental magnesium per gram. 60% of magnesium oxide is elemental oxide or-- elemental magnesium. The issue though is that it's very insoluble. Therefore, its bioavailability is very low. What you want is a product that has that perfect in between world. That's where things like glycinate and citrate really shine. Even chloride shine, even though it's not definitely the best. But that's where these shine, where they have a very high magnesium content, they're highly soluble, and they're highly bioavailable. And with glycinate, for example, we know that that also works to help calm your nervous system, help calm your gut lining. Glycinate as an amino acid or glycine as the amino acid really helps make that magnesium better in terms of its absorption, but also, the amino acid itself helps with some of the things magnesium does, i.e., calming you down, creating GABA in the brain. So, yeah, I think there is a big difference and that is across the board of both the content, the solubility, and the bioavailability. Then what does that specific amino acid and/or organic or inorganic complex salt attached magnesium do for your body.

Melanie Avalon: Two thoughts to that. One, Scott and I went down the rabbit hole. How many hours do you think we spent trying to find the answer to this question? Basically, what I was pondering was that process, for example, magnesium being complex with an amino acid, does that mean that when you take it in, because we wouldn't say that magnesium breaks the fast. But then I was thinking, “Oh, well, if it's complex with amino acid and then that is broken down, and then we received the amino acid, would that actually be “breaking the fast?”’ And so, Scott and I've spent hours trying to find the literature on the actual metabolism of magnesium amino acid QA, for example. I think where we landed was hard to know, but just to be safe. If you want to be super safe about not “breaking your fast,” probably take it in your eating window. We got questions about that. For example, Laurie said, “How do I take it for maximum results, fasted or nonfasted?” And then Nydia said, “Will the magnesium affect my fasting or should I take it in my eating window?” And then, Tracy said, “How should I take your magnesium and when should I take it? Empty or full stomach?”

For two reasons, I would say potentially either opening your eating window or with your eating window. One, if you're concerned about that fast breaking potential of the complex amino acids, it might be a thing. I'm not sure, but it might be a thing. Then number two, there's a lot of research on absorbing magnesium and it's actually, likely more absorbable with a meal with some caveats. But high protein intake can help with absorption. The actual meal itself for two reasons. One, because of the release of stomach acid and remember how we were talking earlier about the low pH helping with absorption. So, that could be a factor. And then also, when you have a meal, magnesium is absorbed throughout your entire GI tract. It is actually pretty rare. Most things we take in, they're specifically absorbed in one part of the GI tract, but magnesium can go all the way it can be absorbed. And so, when you have food, it actually carries it and helps with absorption all throughout the GI tract. And then this was interesting to find. Sugar can actually help with absorption, but that is contradicted in a way because the insulin release actually is taxing to magnesium levels, so that might not be a net benefit. But MCTs can actually help with magnesium absorption. Our AvalonX Magnesium 8 is formulated with a very tiny amount of MCTs as the-- okay, Scott, make sure I use the right terminology as the what? The filler or the lubricant?

Scott Emmens: That is the lubricant.

Melanie Avalon: A lubricant. It's very minimal, but it likely also helps with the absorption. But going back to the food, so, taking it with food can likely help absorption. I would suggest either to open your eating window or with your eating window. That was a lot. Any thoughts about the taking of it, either of you?

Scott Emmens: I think you nailed it. I think definitely you want to take it with food if you can because you're going to get a better absorption of the magnesium. Also, because there is a potential and I think it's very minimal that it could break your fast. There are amino acids in there. It could technically break your fast. So, I think for both that reason and the fact that you're going to get more absorption, I would take it with a meal.

Melanie Avalon: Great. And then also something I wanted to point out, because we're talking about the way it's absorbed and I was talking about the different benefits of the different ones. Magnesium threonate, Lucy Ann said, “Does the mag threonate that you've made--" To clarify, we're launching a separate magnesium threonate nightcap and I'll talk about why we're doing that. She said, “Is that a separate product only to help with sleep or do we need to buy both it and the Magnesium 8 to get all of the benefits?” The thing about the magnesium threonate is, it is a special type of magnesium that is specifically created to cross the blood-brain barrier. The majority of magnesiums do not cross the blood-brain barrier. Magnesium threonate does. And so, it can have pretty profound relaxation effects, and stress relief effects, and helping into sleep. Originally, we were going to include it in our blend. But after looking into it more and Scott can actually talk a little bit to this a little bit in more detail, but we decided to create it separate, so people could use it individually if they specifically wanted that sleep-inducing effect that relaxation. Scott, do you have thoughts about the amount that was required to get effective?

Scott Emmens: Yeah, absolutely. Threonate is a magnesium I've been taking for quite a long time. And not only does it help with sleep and stress and anxiety, but there are studies that have shown-- There is one human study that's been published. I believe in a peer-reviewed journal. I'll try to find that article for you, Melanie, where magnesium threonate at 1.5 to 2 grams per day actually showed a reduction in the age of the brain and had a substantial improvement in cognitive ability and also showed an increase in cerebral magnesium within the cerebral fluid. There is something specific about magnesium threonate in the brain and the brain health that is very different. 

Now, going back to this magnesium elemental content, meaning, how much actual elemental content is there in each form. Oxide has the highest. It's 60%. But yet it's insoluble, so you don't really absorb it that well. Whereas glycinate, for example, has a 10% elemental content, and it's very soluble, and it's highly absorbed. You're going to get more from a glycinate than you would otherwise. Threonate is one of the lowest. It's close to 7%. Meaning, you need a full gram of magnesium threonate to get 70 milligrams of that into your brain to cross that brain-blood barrier. When we first thought about putting it into your Magnesium 8, we could not get to the therapeutic doses. You would literally need to have taken six capsules to get there. It just didn't make sense to incorporate a subtherapeutic dose of L-threonate in that formula. 

To answer the second part of that question, do you need it to sleep? No, there are many people that take one magnesium, and they sleep great and they feel great. But if you're looking for that extra sort of mind focus and this is where you had asked me earlier, “Are there other magnesiums you want to launch in the future?” Absolutely. There are things combined with threonate. A threonate alone, the one you're launching, which is a threonate solo product for sleep and for anxiety, and potentially for other things with the brain. You don't need to have it. But for those of you looking for that brain specific effect, I would highly recommend it because I've been taking that magnesium threonate along with magnesium taurate, which is a blend for a long time, like, five years, probably. But it wasn't preventing my cramps. It was helping my brain, it was helping my heart, but my muscle cramps weren't going away, my energy levels weren't higher. So, that's where the Magnesium 8 comes in. It helps with that physical muscle cramps, my physical workouts, I have more energy, I feel better, I feel fuller, just more energetic in general. But then the threonate is the one that gives me that brain power. So, I'm going to take both, but you don't need to take both. It's really what you feel you need in your life.

Melanie Avalon: One last thought to that. Since most people are likely deficient, I would definitely take the Magnesium 8 to address the deficiency issue. And then if you are looking for that specific benefit of the threonate, then I would get the threonate, which I'm very excited about launching. So, stay tuned for that.

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Melanie Avalon: We had a few questions about taking magnesium with other supplements. I'll just read some of these. Andrea says, “Does magnesium work well alone or should it be taken with other supplements for maximum benefit?” Kim wanted to know, “Does magnesium affect the absorption of other meds and/or supplements?” She says, “She's currently taking meds for hypothyroidism and recently read that she shouldn't take it with magnesium.” Angie said, “She wanted to know if iron was affected." She said, “I saw in a running blog not to take magnesium and iron together. So, I love to have this answered.” And Kim also said, “Does she need to eliminate iron.” So, I know Cynthia you had some thoughts about the hypothyroidism meds and magnesium.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's interesting. Magnesium is a cofactor for healthy thyroid production. In addition to magnesium, things like iodine, selenium, also iron are all very important. And so, I don't think someone should be fearful that magnesium is going to be harmful, especially if you already have an underactive or autoimmune thyroid issue. In fact, because I have an autoimmune thyroid issue, I'm very proactive about repletion of my magnesium. It's interesting when I was looking at the literature, because I saw some of these questions ahead of time. I started thinking about the fact that there are other types of supplements and maybe this is something we can talk about in a subsequent podcast. There are other types of supplements that may be beneficial for thyroid function, specifically things like L-carnitine, and myo-inositol, and melatonin, and resveratrol. Some of them have some decent studies, others do not. But I would not be fearful about repletion with magnesium if you have a thyroid health issue. You do however want to make sure that you take your magnesium separate from your Cytomel, Synthroid, Nature-Throid whatever type of thyroid medication you're taking, you really want to take that in a fasted state, with an empty stomach, and then not be taking supplements at the same time, because that could be nonbeneficial, of course.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, thank you so much for looking into that. The iron thing, so, this is really interesting and I already told Cynthia that she's going to hear this story twice. I wanted to look into this iron issue. And so, there's not a lot of literature saying that there is an issue with iron and magnesium. There's one study and it was a case study. It was one person. It was an anorexic Asian woman, who was 28 years old and was using high amounts of magnesium as a laxative. They found in the study that the high use of her laxatives with magnesium was potentially causing and/or exacerbating her anemia. And that when she stopped the magnesium laxatives, her hemoglobin went up. And then when she started back on them again, because she did, her hemoglobin dropped again. What's interesting is, so that's the study I could find saying that it was a problem and there's a lot of studies that reference that study. I wouldn't take away from that that we shouldn't take magnesium and iron together. Even in that study, they say that magnesium and iron can be taken safely together. So, that's an extreme example. 

In general, it should be fine taking iron and magnesium together. If anything-- and this relates to what Cynthia just said. If anything, magnesium levels are actually pretty important for proper iron use and not having anemia. So, that's something to consider. We got a really interesting question from Cathleen and I don't know if you have thoughts on this. But she said that her OB said, “She could keep taking her magnesium until her third trimester, but then it could delay labor.” Do you have thoughts on that?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, yeah, we know that magnesium has the potential for being a smooth muscle relaxant, which is why we use it with asthmatics and people like that. Magnesium sulfate is something that is used to treat eclampsia or preeclampsia. That's when women have abnormally high blood pressure during pregnancy, they get swelling in their legs that can be quite serious. Because I'm not an OB and I don't know Cathleen's history. I think that she should follow along with whatever has been recommended to her. I take pregnant women pretty seriously. When they're asking questions, I always defer back to their obstetrician or gynecologist. I think it's reasonable to follow the recommendations based on pregnancy. I think that's completely reasonable. With that being said, yeah, that's interesting.

Melanie Avalon: Well, also, with the whole concerns, things, and maybe this is something we can end with, we have questions about taking either too little or too much. So, Judy wanted to know, “Can we take half dose of your Magnesium 8 and still see effects?” And then Alyssa said, “How do you know if you're taking too much?” And Laurie said, ”Is too much toxic in anyway?”

Cynthia Thurlow: Unlike things like if you take too much potassium, which can be life threatening, you take too much salt, that can be life threatening. Magnesium, you take too much of it, you will get loose stools. It is self-limiting, which means if you take too much, you'll get some loose stools. You'll say to yourself, “Oh, I took too much magnesium.” You will stop, your magnesium levels will come back down, your stools will harden up, and it goes away. So, it's pretty benign. I, myself have had instances where I'm trying new products and I include myself in and I'm like, “Okay, I had too much in that product and this is the side effect.” Generally, not a dangerous thing. Magnesium is very forgiving. And so, for that reason, it's one of my favorite things to replace electrolytes with, because it tends to be pretty user friendly. And so, if you get loose stools, you might just need to back down on your dose or take it less frequently.

Scott Emmens: That is literally the exact the moment you took too much, you go like, “Oh, I took too much.”

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm.

Melanie Avalon: And for people who do struggle with slow motility and constipation, it can be a game changer on that front. Earlier, we were talking about effects that you can see. Because I have a lot of IBS and digestive issues and so, taking magnesium is so, so helpful for me with motility. I'm honestly so grateful when I think about magnesium. What's really funny and I think I probably might have told both of you this before, but when I recently had a colonoscopy, my GI doc was asking me, because I was telling her how I struggle with slow motility and she was asking, “What do I do for that?” I said, “Well, I take magnesium.” She was a conventional doctor and she was really nice and great with the procedure. But she was like. “Oh, well, you shouldn't be doing that because you should be taking MiraLAX.”

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, MiraLAX is garbage. 

Melanie Avalon: She was saying, “You really need to be taking MiraLAX.” I was like, “Well, the magnesium work so” and she's like, “Yeah, well, it hasn't been studied for that. You should not be taking that.” I was, “Oh.” [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: You know what? I could tell you that MiraLAX is designed to only be used for four weeks. What are most people doing that are taking MiraLAX, they're taking it for their entire life. And so, that to me speaks to someone that is not current in the research. I was humored by how many of my elderly patients were on MiraLAX. I remember asking a colleague, I was like, “Is this benign?” And then so I went down a rabbit hole and looked at all the research and said, “This is a self-limiting drug.” Meaning, it's designed to be used for a short-period of time, but what we do is, we don't find the root cause of the constipation. We treat it with a drug that ends up being a hypermobile medication, instead of, is it the medication, another medication? Is it because their bowel is lazy? Are they a diabetic that now has a lazy bowel? Do they have a tumor? There're so many things that it could be. To me, I would much rather take magnesium than take a drug that is not designed to be used chronically and habitually.

Melanie Avalon: It was such a moment, because I was like, “But the magnesium has all these health benefits. There's not an issue to overtaking it, it helps me. What is the problem here?” There is that. For Judy's question about taking half a dose and seeing the effects. Of course, you can try half a dose and see how it works for you. We did formulate it to help people get the recommended daily intake. So, we would recommend taking the recommended dose on the bottle. But it really, it's always an N of 1 situation. So, finding what works for you is key.

Scott Emmens: And I did warn you, Cynthia to not take five of our magnesiums like you do with the melatonin because it'll have catastrophic consequences. [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: No, no, no. Magnesium, I'm very comfortable with. But for anyone that's listening, MD Logic has very effective melatonin. Because I've been taking another manufacturer's product and been taking 80 milligrams, I thought, “I'll just take three.” I could barely wake up. So, I can now get by with one. It's very efficacious. But yes, Melanie's product is formulated to be very effective and I'm actually starting it tonight, I'm going to be excited to be able to share it on social media, and talk about it, and obviously, support my cohost. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I'm so happy. All right. Well, this has been absolutely incredible. We got into so many topics and we had even more questions that we didn't get to. If listeners have more questions, definitely feel free to submit them and we can answer them throughout other episodes. I'd love to hear people's feedback on trying the AvalonX Magnesium 8 to feel free to post pictures and all the things. I love seeing those. If you would like testimonials featured on the website, so if you would like to be on the website, let us know. We can put that up there. And discounts and codes for everybody because we love those things. 

You can get AvalonX Magnesium 8 as well as my serrapeptase at avalonx.us. You can use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON or the coupon code CYNTHIA. Either of those will get you 10% off. And then you can also shop at MD Logic. Any of their supplements, you can also use the coupon codes, CYNTHIA or MELANIEAVALON to get 10% off sitewide there as well. So, definitely stay tuned for more developments. I have a whole line of supplements that Scott and I want to make together. And then I hinted at the beginning, hopefully, things will be manifesting with Cynthia and Scott. And so, just speaking for me personally, I am just so, so grateful that Scott came into my life. If you want to hear the whole story again, check out the first episode that we did. But we didn't anticipate in our first call that we would end up where we are right now doing this, but it has been--

Basically, long story short. I always knew I wanted to make my own versions of supplements and I wanted them to be the very best that I could make. I didn't have the time, or capacity, or actually, desire to actually find the facilities, do the production, do the ordering, the shipping, logistics. And Scott came into my life and not only could he do all of that, but he's like me with really caring about the science, and what's happening, and the quality, and the purity, and the potency, and so. It's just been a dream relationship and I'm really excited for the future. I'm excited that we're all friends, me, Scott, and Cynthia. So, Scott and Cynthia, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for being here. Either of you have any last thoughts before we wrap this up?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I'm super excited. You know how much I like magnesium. So, anyway, I can help support you, my friend. I'm super excited about continued collaborations with Scott and looking forward to getting my creatine out there later this summer/early fall.

Melanie Avalon: I am so excited about your creatine.

Scott Emmens: So am I, because I ended up taking all the supplements we've created together. [chuckles] I think that's what makes this such a great team is, everyone really cares about the quality at the end of the day and about the customer or clients and fans that we have. We're going to make sure we always do right by them. I think you've summed it up great today, Melanie, both at the beginning and the end is you wanted the best of the best and that's we're doing. We're creating the best of the best product using all the best things from all the best products and making them even better.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Well, thank you guys so much. For listeners, the full show notes and the transcript, there'll be two links for that. You can go to either ifpodcast.com/episode276 or you can go to ifpodcast.com/magnesium. And again, the coupon codes CYNTHIA and MELANIEAVALON will get you 10% off sitewide at both avalonx.us and at mdlogichealth.com. And stay tuned for future developments and we'll have to do some more episodes, the three of us with future product launches. Thank you, guys so much and I will talk to both of you very soon. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds great. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Scott Emmens: 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 and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Jul 10

Episode 273: Uric Acid And Fat Gain, Fruit & Fiber, Vitamin C, Oxidative Stress, Low Fructose Diets, Metabolic Flexibility, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 273 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

 JOOVV: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels! It literally works on the mitochondrial level to help your cells generate more energy! Red light can help you burn fat (including targeted fat burning and stubborn fat!), contour your body, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, produce collagen for epic skin, support muscle recovery, reduce joint pain and inflammation, combat fatigue, help you sleep better, improve mood, and so much more!! These devices are literally LIFE CHANGING!! For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

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 BACON For LIFE And $10 Off Your First Order!!

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, common allergens, heavy metals,  mold, and triple tested for purity and potency. Get on the email list to stay up to date with all the special offers and news about Melanie's new supplements at Avalonx.Us/emaillist, and use the code melanieavalon for 10% on any order at Avalonx.Us and MDlogichealth.com!

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 BACON For LIFE And $10 Off Your First Order!!

4:10 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #146 - Dr. Rick Johnson

Ep. 205 – Fructose – The Driver Behind Metabolic Disease with Dr. Rick Johnson

10:15 - rick's Beginning

13:55 - the surprising truth about hummingbirds

15:40 - blood glucose metabolism in hummingbirds

17:00 - fending off metabolic damage from excess sugar consumption

19:30 - endogenous antioxidants

22:45 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

25;40 - metabolic flexibility and the survival switch

28:00 - seasonal weight

38:30 - hibernation

42:45 - how fructose can block fat burning 

51:00 - the polyol pathway; turning glucose into fructose

55:05 - AVALONX SERRAPEPTASE: Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

Nature Wants Us to Be Fat: The Surprising Science Behind Why We Gain Weight and How We Can Prevent--and Reverse--It 

58:55 - is whole fruit ok? 

1:00:30 - how fiber factors in

1:02:55 - low fructose diet

1:03:50 - vitamin c 

1:05:45 - oxidative stress

1:08:15 - Unripened Fruit

1:13:00 - AMPK, AMPD and Metformin

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

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get sugar free, nitrate free, heritage breed bacon for life, plus $10 off. Yes, free bacon for life, plus $10 off. 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. 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? I'm super excited, because ButcherBox’s bacon for life is back and it's even better, because you get $10 off as well. Yep, right now, new members will get one pack of free bacon in every box for the life of your membership, plus $10 off when you sign up at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. That's one pack of free bacon in every box for the rest of your life, plus $10 off. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. And we'll put all this information in the show notes.

And one more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat. But do you know what is possibly, one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting, it's actually our skincare and makeup. As it turns out, Europe has banned over a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disrupters, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens, which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream. And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup maybe playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because ladies, when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last four years. 

Conventional lipstick, for example, often test high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means, when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that, there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so, you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. They have counter time for anti-aging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life and their makeup is amazing. Check on my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey, even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. Also, make sure to get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list. So, definitely check it out. You can join me in my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends, welcome back to the show. I am so excited for you guys for our conversation today because this is a super special episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. We very rarely have guests on this show. If we have a guest on the show, it's because you know that we really, really love the work, and the thoughts, and opinions, and knowledge, and science of the guests that we brought on. I am so honored to be here today with Rick Johnson. The backstory on this is, I was first exposed to Rick's work a few years ago. I heard him on Peter Attia’s podcast and you guys know that we love Peter Attia. I was fascinated because I personally am very fascinated with the role of fructose in our diets. I know that's a very granular thing to be obsessed with, but I was so excited that there was somebody else who was really looking at the science of fructose metabolism. And so, I got his first book, The Fat Switch, and then fast forward, I really, really wanted to interview him, and then I heard him again much more recently, again on Peter Attia’s podcast because he has a new book out called Nature Wants Us to Be Fat: The Surprising Science Behind Why We Gain Weight and How We Can Prevent--and Reverse--It. I was like, “I've got to book him for the show for the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. 

Then his people actually came to me, his publicist or PR people asking to come on the show. I was so, so excited. That episode, actually, as of our recording right now is actually airing today on the Biohacking Podcast. But when this comes out, that will have been a few weeks ago. But I just so enjoy that conversation and since then, Rick and I have been emailing, and diving deeper into the science of everything, and I just knew I had to bring him on this show to share all of his incredible work with you, guys. I'm really happy right now. Rick, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Richard Johnson: It's an absolute pleasure really. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: I was just telling you this offline, but for Cynthia Thurlow’s other podcasts for listeners, she also recently aired an episode with Rick and said it was her most downloaded episode of the year. She interviews a lot of heavy hitters. So, that's pretty cool. This content is definitely resonating with people. Rick, for people who are not familiar with you, there might be some people who have listened to your other episodes, but for those who are not, what is your story? You're currently a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, but what led you to where you are today with your fascination with fructose and this thing called the survival switch, and obesity, and just everything?

Richard Johnson: I went to medical school, trained to be a physician, and did my specialty in kidney diseases as well as internal medicine. But from the very start, I always was very interested in the “why” not just how to manage a person, but why were they developing diabetes, why were they developing kidney disease? And so, I began my career quite a few years ago, where I was both a clinician, as well as a researcher. I’ve got a lot of funding from the National Institute of Health to help me along the way and over the last [unintelligible [00:11:08] years, I've been doing research. It started off in kidney disease and then I became interested in high blood pressure because high blood pressure is linked with the kidney. From there, I discovered that there was a substance in our blood called uric acid and that substance was very strongly associated with high blood pressure. We actually found evidence that it might actually play a role in high blood pressure. Big surprise and I just kept following my nose along the way to try to figure out what was this pathway and then pretty soon, I became interested in, “Well, okay, if uric acid is so important, what's driving the uric acid up in our population,” because there's a lot of people with high uric acids.

The classic teaching was, it was from eating purine-rich foods, because high uric acid is associated with a disease called gout. It's associated with drinking beer, and eating a lot of meats, and stuff. But there's another food that dries up uric acid and its sugar. Table sugar or high fructose corn syrup contains fructose. Fructose is a carbohydrate, it's sugar in fruit. But if you eat it, it will generate uric acid. And particularly, if you eat a lot of it, you can really raise the uric acid inside your body and it turns out that that led me to some big discoveries, because the uric acid turned out to have a role in driving obesity and diabetes, and it led me to realize that fructose was really a culprit. Then from there, I started studying fructose and I found out that it wasn't just the fructose that we eat, but that our bodies can make fructose. This opened the door for what might be causing the whole obesity epidemic.

It was a long story. It took me everywhere. I did studies in hibernating animals, and I did studies in people, I did studies in genetically modified mice, and I did studies in indigenous tribes living in the jungle, I even did studies where we resurrected extinct genes. So, I've been around and really, it has been an adventure story, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: I love it so much. And actually, to that point, your book, one of the things I really love about it is it reads like an adventure story, especially the very beginning where you're talking about, it's like a mystery of why did we become fat like as a society? You talk about really fascinating things that happen in animals. Could you tell listeners about the hummingbird for example?

Richard Johnson: Yeah. [laughs] Oh, we think that the hummingbird is this magnificent bird that's has the fastest metabolism of perhaps all birds. I think that it's flaps its wings, what, 250 times a minute. It has an incredible metabolism. You would think that that bird must be the healthiest bird in the world. But it lives off nectar and nectar is really sugar water, and that contains a lot of fructose. It contains fructose and glucose. When that hummingbird drinks this nectar, it is getting a very large amount of sugar. What happens is, during the day, that sugar is so strong that the little bird becomes diabetic. Its blood sugars go up to 500. Perhaps, the fattest liver of any bird, turns like glistening white. And so, by the end of the day, It's fat and diabetic. Then during the night, it will rest, and it will burn off the fat and the glucose, and in the morning it will be back to its normal state. And so, it's like intermittent fasting, [laughs] because a little bird gets really fat and then he fasts through the night. Interestingly, if they burn off all the fat and the carbs, then the he’ll go into torpor, which is a hibernation state, where they drop their metabolism, drop their blood temperature and all that, their body temperature. So, yeah. No, it's a very interesting bird.

Melanie Avalon: With those huge spikes in blood sugar, which that blew my mind when I first read that, is it getting the effects of glycated hemoglobin? Does it have an HbA1c and things like that? How does it long term, how is it handling those spikes?

Richard Johnson: Well, one of the interesting things is, first off, there's not a lot of studies of hummingbirds long term. But what has been done suggest that they actually do all right, so that they're-- What happens is that they have such good mitochondria and they have this very good protective system to help protect the mitochondria from getting permanently damaged. They pair to not get diabetic complications. They've been able to survive diabetes without the complications. Again, no we can talk about what drives diabetic complications and all that kind of thing, but it's really interesting that these guys will raise their blood sugars to over 500. These are very high blood sugar levels, but they seem to be relatively protected. Although, I think more studies really need to be done, but the initial reports suggest that they're pretty protected even though they're very diabetic.

Melanie Avalon: Does that insinuate? This is completely theoretical and not real life at all. But if we could have a metabolism fast enough to burn off everything that we are eating or if we could literally exercise until we exercised off all of our excess calories that we could mitigate damage ourselves?

Richard Johnson: I think that that's true. There are people who have super mitochondria. There really are. There are people running around they tend to be the super athletes. Studies done in these super athletes, these professional athletes, like the guys that win the Tour de France, they have such wonderful mitochondria that they have what we call metabolic flexibility, where they can burn carbs and fat, intermittently going back and forth very freely without any problems. One of the things they have is they have a very high antioxidant system in their mitochondria that helps protect the mitochondria from damage. I have a friend who coaches in the Tour de France and he points out that a lot of these super athletes appear to eat sugar without a problem. Now, my belief is that if they pounded themselves with sugar and fructose that they would get into trouble over time but it is interesting. 

There's this naked mole rat. This is a little guy who burrows into the sand in South Africa. They live in these burrows where there's almost no oxygen, even though they have very low oxygen system. There's low oxygen there and it would normally kill most animals. They've developed a system where they can survive in that low oxygen state. One way they do that is they produce huge amounts of antioxidants in their mitochondria that protect them from the effects of hypoxia. It's interesting. There's a fructose story there, too, but I should probably bring that up later. But basically, if you can have super mitochondria, you can survive under a lot of stress and you can survive in the presence of sugar. I should say that these little naked mole rats make fructose to survive, but they don't suffer the consequences of the fructose because of this high-powered antioxidant system they develop.

Melanie Avalon: To clarify for listeners, because I think a lot of people hear antioxidants and they think exogenous antioxidants. So, they think antioxidants from fruits and vegetables and things like that. But these are antioxidants that our bodies are creating endogenously, right?

Richard Johnson: That's right. They're making it themselves. There's one called Nrf2. This antioxidant is strongly associated with living longer. I have a friend at the Karolinska, who studies this antioxidant. He can show that in many, many species that if you can maintain a high Nrf2 you can live longer. It's actually linked with sugar because if you eat sugar, you induce oxidative stress to the mitochondria. You can accelerate aging in animals by giving them fructose. And so, fructose does this by making the mitochondria put them under stress. That hummingbird is creating oxidative stress in his mitochondria and that would normally be associated with developing obesity and all these complications that would persist. But by keeping the antioxidant system high, which the hummingbird has genetically, by having that very high antioxidant system, he can protect his mitochondria. The super athlete has this incredible antioxidant system and the naked mole rat, which lives 30 times longer than a normal rat. It lives 30 years, whereas a normal rat lives two years. It's thought to be because of this Nrf2, this antioxidant system. 

But it's interesting, this Nrf2 system can be knocked down. One way, it can be knocked down is with fructose. I keep thinking, “Well, the hummingbird is eating all the sugar, he's got this high Nrf2. Can over time this be weathered down and knocked down?” That's why I'd like to see more studies done in the hummingbird and in the naked mole rat where they have this Nrf2. Because we know that if you take human cells and you treat them with fructose, the Nrf2 is knocked down and you get this oxidative stress, and you can accelerate aging. And so, it's a really interesting thing. The antioxidants in the mitochondria are really important at protecting the mitochondria from the complications of obesity, diabetes, and aging. And fructose is usually something that makes things worse and things like these antioxidants can protect against fructose. Some animals that are eating a lot of fructose or making a lot of fructose seem to do well, because they have a high level of these antioxidants. But like us, normally, we don't. But if you're super human-- [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Jealous. 

Richard Johnson: Yeah, I’m jealous of those guys, too.

Hi, friends. I often get asked, “What is my favorite bio hack or what do I use every single day?” Something I use every single day of my life is red and near infrared therapy and I'm about to tell you how to get a discount on my favorite brand for that. For years now, I've been using Joovv light therapy devices to achieve all the benefits of red light and near infrared therapy. Red light is a type of light naturally found in the rising and setting Sun. I use it to help sync my circadian rhythm and also to combat the overwhelming abundance of stimulating blue light that we are exposed to every single day. Yes, my apartment looks like the red-light district at night, but I cannot express enough how crucial it is for helping me wind down, support my mood, sleep well. It is just so, so amazing. Red light can also help with your skin health, give you a healthy glow. Near infrared has so many benefits including targeted pain relief and muscle recovery. The reason red and near infrared light can seemingly be magic and fix so many things is because they actually affect how your cells mitochondria generate energy. When your cells are properly generating energy, well, everything just basically works better. 

The reason I recommend Joovv is because they are amazing quality products. They source from only the highest quality materials, including medical grade components, and they have undergone third party testing, and receive safety marks from nationally recognized testing laboratories. This gives you the safest, most reliable product possible. Other companies claim to be medical grade, but they fall short with no independent safety testing or medical grade components making it a no brainer for me to recommend Joovv as my go to red light therapy company. Joovv offers several different size options. They have a wireless handheld device called the Joovv Go that I use to target specific areas of my body and it is also amazing for travel. Yes, it is TSA friendly. I go to a wellness spa for cryotherapy almost every single day and they have Joovv devices there. I'm just so grateful that I have it in my own home, so, I can use it every single day from the comfort of home. No membership anywhere required. You can check out all of the Joovv today. And for a limited time, Joovv is offering our listeners an exclusive discount on your first order. Just go to joovv.com/ifpodcast and use the coupon code IFPODCAST. Again, that's JOOVV dotcom forward slash IFPODCAST for a discount on your first order. Pick up a Joovv today. Some exclusions do apply. joovv.com/ifpodcast and join me in using one of the most incredible things for your health and wellness that you will ever bring into your life. I promise, I love Joovv. And I'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you're using these words, stress and you dropped in the word, metabolic flexibility, which is something that our listeners love hearing about and we talk about a lot in this show. I think a foundational question here. Because you're talking about activating the stressed out state and how that's a problem, what is that survival switch and how is it different from being in the survival state of fasting, which has a lot of benefits to it?

Richard Johnson: The very first major discovery we had was that there seemed to be this substance in our blood called uric acid. This uric acid is generated from foods we eat, but we also can make it. This uric acid, when it gets high, that can be associated with a disease called gout. You can get these uric acid can crystallize at high concentration and these crystals end up in the joints, particularly the big toe, and you get gout. That was noted a long time ago that gout is associated with being overweight or obese, and it's also associated with being diabetic, and it's associated with all kinds of conditions that aren't particularly what we would like to be. For a long time, it was thought that, “Oh, people who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for getting gout” and it's really the obesity that's leading to the gout. But in fact, our work started to suggest that uric acid might actually have a role in driving obesity. We found evidence that people with high uric acids where risk of developing obesity in and of developing diabetes. And so, that led us to try to understand what could raise the uric acid and it took us to fructose.

Fructose, when you give fructose to an animal, normally, animals regulate their weight just beautifully. If you overfeed it or it will gain weight, but then you stop over feeding, it will come back to normal weight. If you fast, it will lose weight because you're taking away its calories. But then as soon as you let it eat again, it will go right back to the weight it wants to be. Most animals want to carry a little bit of fat, but not a lot of fat.

Melanie Avalon: Can I ask you a quick question?

Richard Johnson: Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: Doesn't it go back to the weight that correlates to the season?

Richard Johnson: Yes, yes, it does. Usually, in the spring animals and the summer animals will really regulate their weight well. But as winter comes and food becomes less available, animals will start to increase their weight in the fall, in preparation for winter. The biggest case, of course, are animals that hibernate. There're some animals that they can't find enough food during the winter that they will actually hibernate and they will drop the metabolism, they'll go into a burrow or something, and they'll just basically go to sleep, and drop their heart rate, they drop their temperatures, and they won't eat, they won't drink, they won't pee, anything like that for maybe three to six months. The bear can hibernate for four to six months. During that time, it's not eating or peeing or anything. It lives off its fat during that time. The fat doesn't just provide energy, but when the fat’s broken down, it produces water. There's this really interesting thing. We don't think of fat as a source of water. Normally, most of us don't. But fat is a source of calories and it's a source of water. When you eat food, you're making calories you eat are turned into energy. Most of the time, we think of energy as this thing, ATP is what we call it in science. This is basically a chemical that activates processes and generates energy. This ATP is what we usually call our immediate energy.

But there's also a stored energy and that's fat. When you're eating calories, they usually are either burned as active calories like ATP or they're stored as fat, and then the fat is later burned to generate energy when you're not eating any foods, so the fat becomes that source of energy, when there's no food around. These animals, all animals like to have a little fat because they want-- In case, if something happens and they don't get any food for a while, they can basically generate the energy they need from their fat, but they also generate water from their fat. Fat becomes a survival tool for animals in the wild. It led to my Nature Wants Us to Be Fat, because these animals would like, for example, if you're a burden, you're going to migrate 10,000 kilometers. You want to have enough fat, so that you can burn it, and get the water and energy you need, so, you don't have to try to find food when you're halfway over the ocean. Because if you're a land bird, that's not a good thing to be.

Anyway, so, what happens is, these animals will gain weight dramatically in preparation. This is the cool. They do it in preparation before they know there's no food around. Beginning in the fall, for example, the bear will start gaining eight to 10 pounds a day and it does that by eating huge amounts of food. Normally, I told you, animals regulate their weight. They have a sensation of when they're full and so, they won't keep eating. But they lose that sensation of fullness in the fall. Suddenly, they will keep eating, and they will eat huge amounts of food, and they'll get fat, and then they'll survive with that fat when they hibernate. So, there's a little bit of evidence that people also tend to gain weight during the winter months, as you probably have read. 

Melanie Avalon: So, do we gain during the winter, do we gain leading up to the winter?

Richard Johnson: Well, that's a good question. For the animals that hibernate, they will keep gaining until they actually hibernate. When they hibernate, they're obviously not eating it off. We tend to keep eating into the winter, [chuckles] as well as during winter. Actually, we're pretty much eating too much all the time if you look and so the problem is, it says, if we have activated this switch to gain weight in a 24/7 pattern. But this was one of the questions that we had. What happened is, we realized that these animals were gaining weight in the fall and they weren't just gaining weight, they were eating more, they were hungry, they were thirsty, and they also became insulin resistant. They develop these features, we call metabolic syndrome. They're foraging for food, and they're eating too much, and they're getting fatty liver, and the fats are going up in their blood, as well as in their adipose tissue, and they're gain insulin resistant, and we go, “Oh, my God, this is what we call abnormal. This is what we call metabolic syndrome.” We consider this almost a disease among people, right? But if you're a bear, this is normal. This is what you want. It's a survival pathway, because if they didn't do this, they might get into trouble. 

When there's no food around, it's late then to store fat. We realized that this whole process was really a survival switch, and that it was turned on, and it was something that animals do to help them survive. This was the first big discovery that really in our group was that there was the survival switch. The metabolic syndrome, what we call-- When people come in and they go, “Yeah, my hemoglobin A1C is high, my blood sugar's a little high, I've got high triglycerides in my blood.” This is part of a syndrome. You have activated the switch. That's what's going on. This was the first big thing. Then the question you had was, “Why would insulin resistance be a survival switch? Why would that be part of a survival switch?” It causes diabetes. Diabetes is associated with increased risk for death. Why would an animal want to be prediabetic? The interesting part is that the brain loves glucose. It’s his favorite fuel, okay? Glucose is its favorite fuel. It will use ketones as well, but it loves glucose, says, it's ideal fuel. Glucose is regulated by insulin and Insulin is the hormone that goes up in our blood, drives glucose into tissues. There're certain tissues that are particularly insulin responsive and the big one is muscle. When you become insulin resistant, there's less glucose going into the muscle, so the glucose begins to collect in the blood and the brain doesn't really require insulin at least for much of the brain. 

It's a way of shunting the glucose from the muscle to the brain. If the animal could think about survival, if it really could do that, it would want to have the glucose that it has be preferentially use for its thinking, rather than for its muscle, because if you can't think, you're not going to do well out in the wild. Insulin resistance is really a way to help an animal when it does not have enough food around to help preserve the glucose, mainly for brain function. There's a scientist that I've worked with who studied starvation and things like that, and when you starve, not only does your insulin levels go down, but you become relatively insulin resistant as well. It's all meant to help when there's no food around, you want that glucose primarily to go to the brain.

Melanie Avalon: The big paradigm shift here are also a debate in a chicken and egg question is, it sounds some people will say, you become overweight or obese and that causes metabolic syndrome. But this sounds more metabolic syndrome has a purpose to make us overweight and obese?

Richard Johnson: Yeah, metabolic syndrome is really another name for a collection of signs and symptoms to help you survive a period of time when there's no food. If you want to maximize how to help yourself during a time when there's no food, you want to have the metabolic syndrome because you want to be insulin resistant, you want to have high fats, and your blood and your liver and everywhere, so that you have enough fuel to survive when there's no food around.

Melanie Avalon: So, what's happening when we practice intermittent fasting? Is that stimulating all of this because we're in a “starvation state” during the fast?

Richard Johnson: Okay. When you quit eating, you're actually not necessarily activating the switch right away. Because you have fat already, everybody has some fat. When you fast, you begin by burning the glycogen and fat that you have. A normal animal, if it starts fasting will not activate the switch. When the animal that gets really fat like the bear, and he gets really fat, and then winter comes and there's no food around, and that's usually the time when they can't find any more food, they'll hibernate, and they switch into a fat, they switch into a burning phase. First, they burn the glycogen, which is the carb stores, and they disappear within a day or two, and then they will burn the fat, and it is a very healthy thing. They're not foraging, they're not hungry, they're sleeping and they're just burning the fat, and they get rid of the fat. Then in the spring, they may have just a tiny bit of fat left and many times, they won't have any fat left and that may actually help stimulate them to wake up actually. Then they wake up and they're back to normal.

When you're intermittent fasting, most people who are intermittent fasting have some fat stores and they have-- Everybody has some fat stores and some glycogen, right? If you intermittent fast, you are burning the glycogen and you're burning the fat. When you're burning the glycogen and fat, everything is fine. You're not in trouble, you're not in trouble. But as soon as the fat burns away, then you know what they have to burn? The protein. That's the only thing. Yeah, the muscle. One of the first things that's released is uric acid and that is like an alarm signal and it turns on the switch and they start foraging, they’re looking for food, and they're desperate. But now, they've turned on the switch in a situation where there really are starving. They've done studies with penguins. The emperor penguin is this magnificent bird. It is. I want to go to Antarctica and see one of these guys. Apparently, there was a penguin that was six feet tall ones.

Melanie Avalon: I was going to say, how tall are they? Yeah, they're tall.

Richard Johnson: These are four feet, I think three to four feet or so three feet, maybe. But there was a penguin that was six feet. That's the penguin, but it's extinct now, unfortunately. The colossus penguin. But anyway, the emperor penguin is this huge penguin and it will get fat in the Antarctic before it nests. The emperor is one of the few birds that nest during the winter. It's nesting during the winter in the Antarctic. It has to store-- It does the same thing. It gets usually fat. Usually fat. It almost doubles its weight. Its liver gets really fat. Birds get particularly get fatty liver. Then it wattles in inland and then the male actually does the nesting, because the male is a bigger bird, so, it can carry more fat. And so, it can survive longer than the female in the winter. When it's nesting, the male will sit on the egg because it knows that it may not that winter’s a long time down there and it can take a while. It wants to have enough fat and so, the male has more fat, so it can last longer. But sometimes, the male doesn't have enough fat. If it runs out of its fat while it's burning the fat, it completely feels good. It just sits there, it's not in distress, same thing is true with people who are fasting. 

If you're just burning the carbs and the fat, it's generally not a stressful situation from the standpoint of survival. But once the muscle starts breaking down, the penguin will desert. It will leave the egg, and will try desperately to get back to the coast to get some food, and it will start making sounds, calling sounds and foraging. It's like a stressful period. If it doesn't get food, it will die. What's interesting is that what heralds, that shift is a rise in uric acid because uric acid is released and is generated when muscles breaking down. That was actually a clue to us that uric acid might be a survival factor and so, it was interesting that fructose raised uric acid. Then we started studying, “Well, why does fructose raise the uric acid and what's the uric acid doing?” What we found is that when you give fructose to an animal, it creates a pseudo starvation state. What happens is, when you eat fructose, inside the cell, the fructose causes this drop in phosphate. And phosphates are critical for energy production, phosphate is part of ATP. ATP, the P part is a phosphate. The way the ATP works is that it donates a phosphate to generate and drive chemical reactions. That's how energy is activated really. What happens is when you eat fructose, there's this acute fall in phosphate inside the cell. When that happens, the ATP levels fall. The breakdown of ATP gets turned into uric acid and then the uric acid keeps the energy levels in the cell low for a prolonged period of time and it does so by causing oxidative stress to those energy factories that are making ATP. It causes oxidative stress to these mitochondria and that suppresses the mitochondrial function. 

Now, again, if you're a super athlete, that's not going to happen. Your mitochondria are strong enough to weather. Your hummingbird, it's not going to happen. Because at least, acutely, you can weather that storm. But for most of us, when that mitochondrial stress occurs, it suppresses the mitochondria, keeps the ATP levels low, and that activates an alarm system. Basically, the animal thinks to itself, “You know what, my energy levels are low. I'm in trouble.” Normally, if my energy levels are low, my fats going to kick in and start being broken down to provide that missing energy. But what fructose does is, it blocks the burning of the fat at the same time. It's suppressing the ability to break down the fat. When the ATP levels fall, the only way to replenish it is to eat more. You can't use that fat, because the fructose is blocking your ability to burn the fat. And so, what happens is you become hungry and you start eating more, and then more food comes in, and again you've got this shunt going on. More of the calories are going to stored fat rather than to ATP. The ATP levels will continue to stay low for a while, and then eventually, you'll correct it, but at the expense of eating a lot more food. So, it's this brilliant system. 

Basically, when you eat fructose, your body thinks it's starving. It will continue to stimulate processes to store fat, to become insulin resistant, but you're actually not starving. It is pseudo starvation. Because you have fat on board and it's only getting bigger, more from this. It's a way to get the animal instead of regulating this weight so perfectly, I'm going to stay skinny. Now, suddenly, you're gaining weight. When people are young, when you're 20 years old, and you're out running on the beach, and you have all the energy in the world, you can drink that soft drink and it's not going to really have a big effect. You're not going to see sudden weight change or anything like that because your mitochondria are pretty healthy and it takes repeated insults, repeated times. But in this world, where 70% of processed food has sugar in it, where soft drinks are everywhere, where they're putting all this kind of foods around, and this high fructose corn syrup is being added to everything. We're being hit hard ,15%, 20% of our diet is from these added sugars. And so, we're chronically activating this switch. Some of us do it better than others or worst-- [laughs] look at it. And so, some people gain weight a little bit easier than others, some are still doing pretty well, and you can battle it by exercise, you can battle it by willpower, but this is a biologic process. So, it's hard to have the willpower chronically when there's a biologic process saying that you're hungry, this looks good. So, this is what's going on.

Melanie Avalon: Basically, when we're eating sugar, and high fructose corn syrup, and things like that, it's really ironic. Because we're taking in calories, we're taking in energy, but it's stopping our body from actually burning energy, so, our body needs to eat more, which is ironic.

Richard Johnson: That's exactly how it works. It's like tricking the system and it turns out when we started studying this, we realized that glucose is actually, really there as an immediate fuel. It's really meant to make ATP, it's not meant to really be a storage mechanism. Fructose, though, is the carb that's really trying to aim at storing energy, as opposed to immediately using energy. Now, I know you're going to say, well, but I know that eating bread, and rice, and potatoes, and French fries, and they don't have fructose in them, but they're fatty. We know that from low-carb diets how powerful bad carbs can be. This was a challenge. This was a challenge to me. Because when I was originally doing this work, and we were giving fructose to animals, and they developed metabolic syndrome, and then we could see that a lot of animals were eating fructose to create metabolic syndrome as a survival mechanism, it seemed the answer was going to be easy. We just had to avoid foods with fructose. I even wrote a book, The Sugar Fix back in 2008. It was one of the first books to say, “The problem is fructose. It's not anything else.” I had a lot of people write me, email me, tell me, “Oh, my God, when I quit eating sugar, I lost 25 pounds, I feel great. Thank you so much.” 

Then of course, you can't completely stop eating sugar. I don't recommend that either. It's a birthday or something, I'll eat sugar. Anyway, the idea was to really limit sugar. Then I had these people contacting me and saying, “I'm sure sugar is important, but I have to cut out all carbs. I really have to cut out starch and especially, high glycemic carbs,” carbs that release glucose into the blood like potatoes, rice, cereal, chips. I knew that they were right because I knew that when I ate bread it seemed like I would gain weight. There's not a lot of sugar in bread, there's a little. Then I said, “Okay, well, buy bread that doesn't have much sugar at all.” I found that I still. There was something about bread and me that was making me gain weight. Then we started trying to figure it out and then we had this really major insight. It was not our discovery. People had already discovered that the body can make fructose. There's only one way you can only make fructose from glucose. There's a specific enzyme. Normally, that enzyme is pretty quiet. When we're born, we do not really have that enzyme anywhere, except in certain regions of our kidney. But otherwise, it's really not around and we call it the polyol pathway. But it was known. Gosh, it was known when I was in medical school that in diabetes, the body can make fructose and this polyol pathway is turned on. It was known that once you become diabetic, you can make fructose even if you're not eating it.

There are studies showing that particularly when diabetes was out of control that you can have high fructose levels in your blood, in your urine, and we've confirmed that sense. Then the question was, “Well, how does it work?” It turns out that the enzyme that makes fructose gets turned on when you're starving, it makes sense. It gets turned on when you're dehydrated. That makes sense because fructose will make fat, fat can be a source of water and it can be turned on when glucose levels in the blood are high in diabetes. That made sense because when the blood glucose goes up, it makes the blood concentrated and what happens is, it makes you thirsty. So. it's another way to create dehydration. We said, “Uh-huh. But what about high glycemic carbs?” When you eat bread, the glucose gets released. We call it high glycemic carbs, because certain foods, when you eat it, the glucose level will go up in the blood right after you eat it. Let's say, you have a blood sugar of 80, and you eat some bread, your blood sugar might go up to 120. It may just go up that fast with just eating a slice or two of bread. That's because when the bread is broken down, it releases glucose very rapidly, and some of that gets into the blood, and it makes the blood concentration go up. So, it's a transient or temporary diabetic state. You're not diabetic when you eat bread, but your glucose shoots up. And so, you have transient, temporary high glucose or hyperglycemia and that turns out to be enough to activate the switch. 

What we found was that high glycemic carbs get turned into fructose in the body. If you block that and we did it in laboratory mice, but we did it beautifully and knocked it out. When that happens, those animals are incredibly protected. They don't get fatty liver, they don't get insulin resistance, they still gain a little weight, but it's a healthy obesity. It is driven by insulin, but it's not actually the mechanism that where you get fatty liver and insulin resistance. it is not from the effects of insulin itself. It's from the fructose. And so, it turns out that high glycemic carbs are bad. They're really bad, but it isn't really just from stimulating insulin. It is because they get turned into fructose. And now, there was just recently a study showing that when you eat glucose, you’re making fructose in the body. It's been shown in humans now. I'm feeling pretty confident that this is a major mechanism. That's why low-carb diets are so great because you are restricting sugar, which is fructose, which contains fructose. You're restricting high fructose corn syrup, but you're also restricting high glycemic carbs. You're restricting the main way that the body can make fructose because it uses glucose. If you restrict foods that make a lot of glucose it's going to work. So, that was like, “Wow, that explains the low-carb diet.”

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Melanie Avalon: For listeners, you'll have to get Nature Wants Us to Be Fat, because he goes deep into all of the technicalities of all these studies that you've conducted and they're just really, really fascinating. And so, just for listeners so they can get the full resource. So, big question. Fructose, we keep saying fructose sugar, high fructose corn syrup. Does this apply to whole fruits as well?

Richard Johnson: Oh, great question. Again, we're studying this right and I'm going, “Oh, my gosh, if this is correct, then I shouldn't be eating an apple or a banana.” I love fruit and fruit is healthy. There are 200 papers out there plus it shows that if you're eating natural fruits, you tend to do well. But there's an interesting thing. It was noted 20 years ago by the pediatricians that fruit juice was not the same as natural fruits. They actually did studies and they found that if children drink fruit juice that that was associated with obesity. The pediatric societies came out and said, “Hey, you got to limit how much fruit juice you're drinking, especially if you're giving it to children,” because they can get obesity from it. It can stunt growth, it can do all kinds of things, but particularly, the obesity and the diabetes were strongly associated with fruit juice. What was the difference? Well, it turns out that when you eat a natural fruit, one fruit has 46 grams of fructose, typically, some have a little bit more, but that's much less than drinking a soft drink that has 30 grams of fructose. We're talking a big difference in the amount. So, that's one.

The second thing is, when you eat a natural fruit, there's fiber in it and fiber slows the absorption of the fructose. That's important because the way the fructose drops the energy in the cell it is like a chemical reaction. It's not based on just the amount. it's based on the concentration. If the fructose hits there and it's at a high concentration, the energy falls a lot and the switch is turned on a lot. But if you get only a little bit of fructose there, the energy just falls a little bit and it's not going to create the same thing. It's going to be a much milder activation of the switch. The switch is really like a dimmer. It's not like on and off. When you drink a soft drink, you're drinking a ton of fructose, 30 grams, and you're drinking it in about five minutes or less. Some people just guzzle it. You get this big wave of fructose that hits the liver and big activation switch. But when you eat fruit, especially you're eating it with a meal, and there's all this fiber, and everything slows the absorption, you're only eating a small amount, you don't get the same dose. You don't get the same concentration.

There's another thing. The intestinal lining can inactivate about four or five grams of fructose. It turns out that the fructose in vegetables gets inactivated. You can eat vegetables. Sweet potatoes can have a little bit of fructose in it, but it's not going to make you fat because your intestines going to inactivate it. Now, if you coat it with brown sugar. [laughs] There's a way to beat everything. You can make it worse. Just keep in mind. It's like the dose and the dose is what happens in the wild. The bear doesn't eat 10 berries and then a nut. It's eating thousands of berries and grapes at a time and I mean it. There're some studies that show that they can eat 10,000 berries in 24 hours. [laughs] But anyway, so fruit. We decided to do a study in people. It's good enough to talk about this, but let's do it. We gave overweight ladies, a low-fructose diet and that included low fruit, low everything man. Anything that had fructose in it, it was limited. One group got that, but one group got the low-fructose diet, but we added back natural fruits. There really wasn't a low-fructose diet. It was really a low-added sugar diet, but they couldn't drink fruit juice and stuff like that. It turned out that even though the people got natural fruits, they still improved their metabolic syndrome and they tolerated it better. They felt better on the diet. So, I think that natural fruits are good. I think it's possible to overdo it. If you're eating a huge amount of fruit in front of the TV, you're probably going to activate the switch.

Melanie Avalon: Would a fourth factor in the fruit be how we talk about-- how we lost our ability to synthesize vitamin C, actually as a mechanism to encourage weight gain. So, would the vitamin C and the fruit also help mitigate the effects?

Richard Johnson: Yes. There's this really interesting thing. We have to take vitamins. When we take a vitamin is because we used to make that stuff, but we don't make it anymore. Vitamin C, humans, our ancestors could make vitamin C, but we lost the ability to make that vitamin C. We have to get vitamin C or we can get a disease called scurvy. One of the great discoveries was James Lind, surgeon, who was on a ship and all these guys were getting this terrible aching joints, and bleeding joints, and bleeding gums. They had scurvy and he gave them some lemons, and oranges, and he could cure it. Later figured out it was the vitamin C. So, people go, “Why would we have lost vitamins?” The ability to make vitamin C, there's no advantage to being vitamin C deficient. In fact, you're going to get scurvy. Why would that happen? And so, it's been a mystery why we would lose vitamin C. One of the things about vitamin C is, it's an antioxidant. Antioxidants are supposed to be good. So, why would you lose an antioxidant? You would think you might live shorter if you didn't have that or shorter time. It's been a mystery. But when we were studying this, we realized that vitamin C turns out to be an antioxidant and it's involved in the survival switch. Remember how I told you how mitochondria that are really healthy have a lot of antioxidant activity? They can block the oxidative stress induced by fructose. 

When you give fructose to an animal, you create this oxidative stress to the mitochondria and it's driven by the uric acid. But the oxidative stress suppresses the mitochondria and reduces the amount of ATP produced, so that the energy that comes in gets converted to fat. What happens is, it's a way to suppress the oxidative stress, suppresses the ATP production, so that the calories are converted to stored energy instead of to instant energy. Oxidative stress is actually a survival tool to prepare you for winter. It's actually to help you store fat. It turns out that the mutation for vitamin C occurred at the time of the dinosaur extinction. This huge asteroid, Chicxulub it was called, came sailing in from the heavens, and smashed the earth, and caused a major extinction. All the dinosaurs basically died except for the birds, which was sort of a dinosaur like thing. It creamed the animals and the primates got creamed. There were a lot of primates. At least, there were some primates we think genetically. But for some reason, some of those primates survived and it turns out, it was that most of those primates, the lemurs also survived, and they did not get this mutation. But all the other primates, there was a common ancestor. And they somehow this one guy lost his vitamin C through a mutation and it provided a survival advantage. The survival advantage was that it led to a greater oxidative stress to those mitochondria from just even a small amount of fructose. And so, it allowed you to store fat more easily. 

The way we prove that was we took mice, and we worked with them, and we got genetically altered mice that were vitamin C deficient just like we are. You have to keep them on a low dose of vitamin C or they will get scurvy. Now, we had him on a low dose of vitamin C just to keep them from getting scurvy. But now, we give one group a high dose of vitamin C and the other group we give a low dose. We have two groups of mice. We have a mouse group that has a high vitamin C and we have a group that has a low vitamin C, and then we gave them sugar. Actually, we gave them high fructose corn syrup. Both groups, all animals love high fructose corn syrup. We put it in their drinking water, they were happy, and it activated their switch, and they started eating more. They don't just get the calories from the sugar water, they’d become hungry and they eat more chow and they eat more, they got fatty liver, they became prediabetic, the whole bit. But the group that had the low amount of vitamin C got a lot more fatter. They got almost 40% more fat. And so, we could show that the vitamin C mutation could help these animals survive when there wasn't much-- It would help them survive if there wasn't much fructose around. But if we give them more fructose, then they actually become fatter than their controls, because they're getting more damage to their mitochondria, so they can survive. 

It turns out that fruit, when fruit is first immature, the seeds are immature. The fruit falls, there's going to be no germination, the seeds aren't going to be able to make a new fruit tree. It's high in vitamin C at that time. Animals won't gain much fat by eating it. They tend not to go after immature fruit. But as the fruit ripens, the sugar content goes up and the vitamin C content goes down. It's almost like the plant knows that the plant wants the fruit to be eaten when the seeds are mature, so that it can promote a new tree. By making the fruit ripe would load vitamin C, the animals know that they're going to get more fat from eating it. They learned this evolutionarily. It isn't they know this, but this brought into the evolution of how these animals work. What's happened is vitamin C, when the fruit that-- we tend to like fruit that's less mature, we like the tart fruits, we like the fruits that don't have as much sugar. We don't like the right mushy fruits that a lot of animals would go after. We want it when it's tart, high in vitamin C. When we're eating natural fruits, the fruit has fiber, and potassium, and vitamin C, and all these things help counter. So, that is why natural fruits are good, even though they contain fructose. But things like fruit juices and sugar, why they're so effective at activating the switch.

Melanie Avalon: Well, again, listeners, if you get Nature Wants Us to Be Fat, it has an entire outline of a diet to follow, because I bet listeners are probably thinking, “Oh, no. What do I eat now?” It's a really, really helpful resource. I want to be really respectful of your time. Can I ask you one last super granular question that I apologize in advance to listeners, because it's going to be so granular? [chuckles] It's based off of what we were talking about recently with some email exchanges. 

Richard Johnson: Yes, please go ahead. 

Melanie Avalon: I had asked Rick about fructose’s effect on AMPK in the cells. And listeners might actually be familiar with AMPK, because we do talk about it a lot on the show is a pathway that's activated from fasting, and how it creates a lot of benefits in the fasted state by signaling the need for energy, and a lot of benefits from that. Okay, so, here's my question. In one of the studies that I was reading and I sent you the quote from it last night, but it was saying that “fructose actually activates both AMPK in the cell and AMPD2 specifically, which is like counteracts AMPK and has the opposite effect of AMPK. I'm probably completely bastardizing this but in layman's terms, that was my takeaway is that it actually stops fat burning and counteracts the beneficial effects of AMPK. Okay, here's my question. One of the other studies you had sent me was talk-- No, I think it was the same study. It was talking about metformin, and how metformin can actually block AMPD2. So, if you were to and this is hypothetical, and I don't even know if this practically could happen. But if you took in fructose, and then you took in a compound like metformin, and if you could block AMPD2, would that actually be all beneficial then, because then you'd be stimulating AMPK from the fructose, but you wouldn't be getting the AMPD2, so, you'd be just getting the benefits?

Richard Johnson: Well, this is pretty heavy question, but let me just say a few things and I'll try to get to that answer. I think you're onto something. But let me just begin by saying that AMPK is this wonderful pathway that when you activate it, it burns fat, and it keeps glucose levels down, and it gets inhibited in diabetes, and it's inhibited. Our group show that it's inhibited by AMPD and by uric acid and AMPD is the enzyme that makes uric acid in the fructose pathway. So, it turns out that fructose activates AMPD and AMPD makes uric acid and they counter the effects of AMPK. There's this ying-yang, where AMPK is considered the good guy and AMPD is what drives fat. And so, we would love to make an AMPD inhibitor and metformin is a weak one. If metformin it stimulates AMPK and it weakly inhibits AMPD and this is probably one reason why metformin has been found to be so beneficial. But if it could really knock down AMPD big time, it could be a huge winner. When we knock down AMPD, we can even cure genetically induced obesity. It's just amazing. We can block addiction for sugar and it's just a very powerful pathway.

Melanie Avalon: In theory, there could be a drug that could do that. If that happened and then you took in fructose, would you get benefits then, because you stimulate AMPK, still? 

Richard Johnson: You probably would, you would because one thing that can stimulate AMPK is a drop in energy in the cell. Fructose drops the energy in the cell, but then the AMPD pathway and the uric acid generated inhibits the AMPK. When you give fructose, you can show that AMPK goes up to some extent, it's actually induced, but then it's inhibited by the uric acid and the AMPD. The net effect is that AMPK is kept low. Now, in a true starvation state, the AMPK can override the AMPD. If you're in a true starvation state where there's no fat around and things like that, you are very minimal. AMPK will be activated. But anyway, you're right. These two players, AMPD and AMPK, the balance of that is so important in intermittent fasting, and low-carb diets, and anything. AMPK should be viewed as pretty much a good guy and AMPD is its evil counterpart, [laughs] unless you're preparing for starvation, then you want that AMPD man.

Melanie Avalon: Well, thank you for entertaining that. I was reading all the studies and I was like, “I have to ask,” and apologies to listeners for the random rabbit hole. Well, this has been so amazing. We only barely touched on just a tiny bit of everything that's in your book. Listeners, go get Nature Wants Us to Be Fat. It's amazing. You will learn so many things. And Rick, I can't thank you enough for your work. I'm so excited to see what the future holds with all of your studies. Are you writing another book right now?

Richard Johnson: I'm thinking of writing another book. I haven't started, yet, but I'm very interested in writing a book about discovery processes just because I've been involved in quite a few and like, what's the art of discovery? Because it's interesting how there're different approaches to discovering things in it.

Melanie Avalon: Does it often start with asking why, like, you were saying in the beginning?

Richard Johnson: Yeah. Well, one thing that's for sure involved with almost every discovery process is just you got to be passionate and curious. For sure, those two are characteristics that are constantly seen. But there's a lot of serendipity and all kinds of things that are involved. There're certain tricks that I think can help that I might be able to write about them. Not necessarily that I have done, but that other people that I've seen others do, too, because I've been doing research since the mid-80s. And so, I've been around and I've been around some wonderful people, I've seen Nobel laureates, talked to them, and over the years, I've just been very curious to know, “What is it? Why did that guy discover that?” I'm interested in, “What was the thinking that led to that?” Not so much what the science of the discovery is, but like, “How did he figure that out and what was the technique?” So, I'm interested in that part.

Melanie Avalon: I love that. I really hope you write that because I would just eat that up. I would love to bring you on in the future if you do and talk all about that. Well, thank you so much. This has been absolutely wonderful. Again, listeners, there will be a full transcript in the show notes because I know we went deep into everything. But this has been so amazing and hopefully, we can talk again in the future.

Richard Johnson: Thank you, Melanie. That was just wonderful. Your knowledge is so strong. It's just really wonderful talking to you.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, thank you. You're amazing and I will talk to you soon. Bye.

Richard Johnson: 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 and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

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