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Jun 12

Episode 269: Heavy Meals, H. Pylori, Digestive Enzymes, HCL, Modified Keto, OMAD, Lowering Fat, Measuring The Fast, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 269 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 $10!!

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

BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Support Your Health With Delicious USDA Organic Beauty & The Broth Bone Broth! It's Shelf Stable With No Preservatives, And No Salt Added. Choose Grass Fed, Grass Finished Beef, Or Free Range, 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!

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 $10!!

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!

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!

28:05 - BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

31:55 - Listener Q&A: alexa - IF foods

48:20 - Listener Q&A: Leah - Coffee Differences

Square Feet Specialty Coffee

52:25 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

55:20 - Listener Q&A: Trina - Keto AND OMAD question

Summary of Women, Food, And Hormones: A 4-Week Plan to Achieve Hormonal Balance, Lose Weight, and Feel Like Yourself Again (Sara Gottfried, M.D.)

MenuPause: Five Unique Eating Plans to Break Through Your Weight Loss Plateau and Improve Mood, Sleep, and Hot Flashes (Anna Cabeca, DO)

#157 – AMA #22: Losing fat and gaining fat: the lessons of fat flux

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

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get 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’ 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 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 269 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow. How are you today, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm doing well other than two surly teenage boys.

Melanie Avalon: When did they get out for school?

Cynthia Thurlow: Officially on June 2nd. We've already had the award ceremonies, and I'm happy to report they had high academic honors, which was awesome. But they are teen boys and they did not permit any photos to be taken of them. And so, all the friends of mine that have daughters, there were pictures of the family, and their awards, and my kids, no, not so much. I took pictures from far away and I just decided I was like, “There are battles worth fighting and this is not one I choose to fight.” But yeah, they will officially be out on June 2nd and I'm pretty excited. This is really their first full year of school in two years, to be physically in school, the entire school year. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. That's crazy. 

Cynthia Thurlow: No, the pandemic has definitely-- It's not just my kids, it's every child, every family has been impacted by the pandemic. For me, I'm just so grateful that they were in school for an entire year. Things that you take for granted that we never imagined we would have two years of or a solid year of being at home and being in school, and then partial back to school last year. So, I'm just grateful they got to be in school with their peers, part of the year unmasked, then they've been doing really well, despite all the stress and the drama of the last two years. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm getting flashbacks now. There's something so glorious and wonderful when you are growing up and summer vacation. It is just so exciting. [chuckles] 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it's done and to be honest with you as a parent, I always really, really looked forward to mid-May, because all of a sudden, the sports were over, [unintelligible [00:09:40] education was over, it was like the carpool nonsense that all parents go through just stops. And so, they would just go to school, and they would come home, and it was just a lot more togetherness, and they're probably getting more sleep, and my husband and I are obviously spending less time driving back and forth between multiple sports. It gives you a prelude to what the summer is going to be like. For me, I'm very much the kind of mom where I let my kids sleep in. They have chores, but I like them to actually decompress. I'm not super strict as long as they get their work done. I know that may be a departure from some families that are listening, but I've just come to understand like, “My kids do really well in school and they're good kids.” I let them do a lot of decompression activities during the summer. 

When they were younger and they had to be in a structured activity, because they had so much energy, and they needed an outlet. Now, it's more thinking about what college does my oldest one to apply to. He's leading into STEM curriculum. Looking at AP classes and it's so different. You really develop a very different relationship with your kids as they're getting older and so, it's also to me picking my battles, So, it's less about keeping them under my thumb, and forcing them to do so many hours of reading every day, and now, it's a different playing field.

Melanie Avalon: That's very much the way I was raised as well. My parents were like that. Of course, I was very on top of things. I remember for summer reading, I would read the books a minimum of two times, sometimes more, which looking back, I'm like, “Why did I do that? Why did I read The Hobbit twice after already having read it” in the past as well?

Cynthia Thurlow: That doesn't surprise me that you would be a willing overachiever. Not someone who's doing it for any other reason than to thoroughly be invested, and really understand, and comprehend what you're reading. I love that we both share that although, we would not have been in school at the same time together. I do love that we are both very cerebral and enjoy-- Just enjoyed learning. What a blessing that is, right?

Melanie Avalon: Speaking of, Gin and I used to always talk about, “Would we be friends in high school and will we be at the same lunch table?” We decided that we might be, but probably not, probably slightly different lunch tables. Which lunch table were you at in high school?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's ironic that in high school and in college, I was part of a very popular crew. However, in my popular career, there was the subcategories of popular girls and I was part of the smart girls that got good grades, and weren't promiscuous, and had boyfriends, but we were nice to people. To me, at that stage, it was actually cool to be smart, whereas the people who were the creme de la creme popular people didn't care about school. I just stayed focused on like, “I want to go to college, and I want to do this, and I want to do that, and I know I'm not going to stay in this school.” But I was always nice to everyone. I was also vice president of my class and captain of back in the day I played field hockey. To me, it was important to just be kind and nice to people. Yeah, my kids cannot believe that I was popular. They're like, “You're so dorky and nerdy,” and I'm like, “Oh, but it's all in the down low. No one knows that unless they know me well." How about you? I would imagine you were like top in your class and super, super, super smart.

Melanie Avalon: There's the honors English class and it was basically the really intellectual “smart kids.” But it was similar. It had some popular people from the popular crowd in it. It was just like the nice, smart people. That was my main group. Yeah, I really excelled academically. You probably would have been at my school in the honors English group class. But you would have been in the popular like the popular people who are in the honors class.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's funny because I had this not so nice high school boyfriend. When I look back and he used to call it the nerd herd. He would make fun of the fact that I was in AP classes and honors classes, and I was like, “Who ended up doing better?” Looking at where he is and where I am, and let me be clear, I'm friends with his wife, and his mom, and his sister. I have a very nice relationship with all them. But I look back that he would like tease me and I was like, “There's nothing to be ashamed of for being smart. Smart people run the world.” That's my feeling. It's good to be smart.

Melanie Avalon: I love it. By the way you interviewed Robb Wolf again, right?

Cynthia Thurlow: I did. He's so wonder-- It’s such an easy interview because he's just so gracious and humble. With my cardiology background, we’ve talked a lot about electrolytes and we did talk about overtraining, because I know and I'm very aligned with his perspectives on the overtraining goes along with the over restriction of food, goes along with over fasting, goes along with plateaus. We did touch on that which was really important to me, because I wanted him to also know, there are clearly people that go overboard with all of the above, but it was a really nice conversation. It was nice for someone else to talk about the value of electrolytes and not just me saying, “Oh, by the way, I worked for 16 years in cardiology and I got really, really good at replacing electrolytes.” I got really good at replacing electrolytes and no one really wants to hear about that because it seemingly seems so insignificant, but yet, it's so important. I was actually saying, “Robb, I had surgery almost a month ago” and I knew that my body was going to take a hit, because of this orthopedic surgery, and I was telling him, I said “My HRV, my heart rate variability has really been in the toilet.” [laughs] Clearly, as well as I'm sleeping, my body still perceives, there's all this ongoing stress and my cortisol levels must still be dysregulated. I said, “I just kept adding more sodium and they kept coming down.” I said, “It's just so amazing, something so simple.” It can be so helpful. So, yes, Robb was amazing. Then the other guests that I had most recently that really just-- I'm still in such awe of my conversation with Sara Gottfried, which I know you interviewed her recently as well and she's just so-- [crosstalk] 

Melanie Avalon: We pushed it. So, it's in a few weeks. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, sorry. Well, mine just dropped. When I was listening to it, I feel so very grateful as I know you do that we have platforms in which we can connect with such profoundly influential individuals in the space and be able to share all of their wisdom with the world.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I am so, so excited to interview her. It's really exciting. 

Cynthia Thurlow: She's so smart. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, this upcoming week for me is actually unique. I'm only going on a podcast. I don't actually have an interview, but I'm scrambling. Every now and then, I have a little panic moment where like, “How am I going to prep everything?” But [chuckles] then I take a moment and I breathe. I'm really excited about the lineup. Oh, that's the next person I'm interviewing, Mark Sisson.

Cynthia Thurlow: No way. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited. [chuckles] 

Cynthia Thurlow: Did you sacrifice your firstborn child? 

Melanie Avalon: Basically. [chuckles] 

Cynthia Thurlow: I say that very lovingly. The facetious future born child, I'm like, “That's awesome.”

Melanie Avalon: That's going to be a really, really surreal moment, because it's surreal anyways with all the people that I get to interview, but really there's a handful of people that are the people I've been following from day one. It's basically Robb, Mark Sisson, Dave Asprey, probably those three. Yeah, and I haven't interviewed Mark. 

Cynthia Thurlow: That's so cool. Did I tell you that a couple years ago, I literally ran into him because I wasn't looking where I was walking.

Melanie Avalon: No way. 

Cynthia Thurlow: And he could not have been more polite. I remember, I was so like, “Oh, my God, I just ran into Mark Sisson” and he was so polite.

Melanie Avalon: I got connected to him through Brad Kearns, who I'm pretty good friends with who's coauthor. And so, I've been talking with Brad about what direction to take the interview, because there're so many ways you could go, but I think I might focus more on him. His personal life, because he's done so many businesses, and I would just love to hear all about that rather than focusing on the primal stuff as much.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's so exciting. I'm so excited for you. It's interesting because a lot of these people when you've been following them for a long period of time, that's how I felt about Sara Gottfried in addition to the other people you mentioned. When I was talking to her, I was trying not to fan girl. I was really nervous. I told my husband, I was sweating, I tried to be as cool as I could be, [laughs] but to actually meet some of these people that we've been following for years, and valuing the message and methodology of their brands and their vision and to me its-- I tell everyone all the time like one of my greatest blessings in my business is being able to podcast because as you've said it's the best way to network. You just don't even realize how important it is until you get in a position where you either meet someone in real life and you're like, “Oh, my gosh.” I mean, you really do become friends and acquaintances with so many of these people. We're all trying to positively impact lives in a way that leaves people better off and to me, it's so amazing. So, I love that you-- That was probably a year or two ago, you're like, “Podcasting is the best way to network” and I was like, “Oh, my God, that's exactly what it is.”

Melanie Avalon: Because it's basically conversations that aren't superficial, because they're deep conversations where you're talking about their work, and you're really connecting, and then you're just doing that regularly, and it's all the amazing people. So, I'm just so grateful. I'm really in awe.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, and for anyone who doesn't know this about you, I do know this about you. I probably spend five to 10 hours per each podcast, just organizing, listening to other podcasts, trying to get a sense for what the person's like. Melanie is next level, because she is graciously on a few times shared her notes and they are so detailed. For anyone that's listening, you have no idea. When Melanie says she's preparing, she's preparing to go do a doctoral dissertation. She's so well prepared. If you don't know that about her, you should know that about her. So, as I say, you always encourage me to level up how I prepare and how I get ready for my own podcasts.

Melanie Avalon: Well, thank you so much. I echo that back to you as well, because I feel there are a lot of podcasts out there. and there are a lot of people who don't prepare, and do just show up, and I get the exact same sense from you with the preparation. So, yeah, it's a good place to be. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. I can tell you now that I've been on the other side having had a book launch, the people that were prepared, I really appreciated that because you get to a point where you're just doing so much press that you're exhausted. I remember, there were weeks where I was doing 12 to 15 podcasts a week on top of other media and you were like, “Where do I need to show up and what am I talking about?” You were just showing up, and being yourself, and being enthusiastic, and I would have people, they're like, “Yeah, I haven't really read your book and just tell me what you want to talk about?” I was like, “What?” [laughs] I was like, “Not even a skim, not even read the appendix or read the table of contents anything.” When there's no judgement, sometimes, I was like, “Oh, man, this is going to be harder than I thought.”

Melanie Avalon: When people ask me basically to provide all the questions for the interview. I still do it and I'm so grateful, but I appreciate it much more, like you said, when it's really evident that they've read the book, and they come with the questions, and everything.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, and it's interesting, because I interviewed Dr. Avrum Bluming and Carol Tavris about their book, Estrogen Matters. It was funny. After we recorded, they both said to me, “Cynthia, your assistant reached out to us and asked us to tell you what we wanted to talk about.” They were taken aback and they said, “But now that we've met you, we understand that you really just wanted to make sure that you are aware of what we thought was most important.” But by the same token, you did so much prep work like that podcast, I probably spent more time on than anyone I've done this entire year, because I felt the Women's Health Initiative as an example, had led so many clinicians and patients to be fearful of hormone replacement therapy and I was like, “I know, I've got this platform.” So, I think in most instances, I really endeavor to think about how do I ensure that person knows I value their time, but also let them know like, “I'm in the game, and I'm super prepped, and I've read all your stuff, and I've outlined, and I've listened to podcasts to just to get a sense.”

I just interviewed the head researcher for HVMN and he was so delightful. He was like a Rick Johnson-esque person. So enthusiastic, so excited. He was able to translate the science into layman's terminology and that was such a joy, and I was like, “Wow.” I was so surprised. I instantly liked him and I thought to myself, “This is what's so awesome to be in this space.” We can actually have these opportunities to take real research and make it relatable for the average person, because that's really the platform that I think we're both on, although obviously you're on a biohacking platform and I'm on a 35 and up trying to translate how to navigate our lives without too much stress and distress.

Melanie Avalon: Two thoughts to that. One, so, the way I tackle getting the vibe of what they want to talk about while also having them know that I value their time, I just in the intake form, all of the questions are optional and there's just one question that says, “Are there any topics in particular you'd like to talk about?” Rather than asking like, “What questions you want me to answer?” It's just very open, I feel that accomplishes that goal, at least for me.

Cynthia Thurlow: I may have to borrow that. Of course, with credit given to you.

Melanie Avalon: No, I don’t need. No credit needed. I probably took it from somebody else. The second thought was, I was listening as per usual last night to a Peter Attia episode and they were talking about, it was one of the Q&As and the cohost was saying, how he always will reach out. When he read studies, if he has questions, he'll literally just email the researchers on the studies. The majority of the time they always answer and usually are really excited to talk about the studies. So, I was like, “I should start doing that.”

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Well, you know what's interesting is, so, Dr. Bluming, who I just bow at his feet, his book is so amazing, and he sends me updates. He just did an editorial for a journal and sent me the update and I was like, “Thank you so much. I can't wait to read it.” I meant it genuinely, because he's helping to change the narrative, and the discussions around, and the fears around prescribing and taking hormones. I was like, “He's doing amazing, amazing things.” Yeah, they love to talk about that stuff.

Melanie Avalon: And for listeners, this is Cynthia's Everyday Wellness Podcast.

Cynthia Thurlow: That podcast dropped in February and as you know, I'm a big nerd. I like to look at my metrics. Number one for the year thus far is Megan Ramos and then, Rick Johnson. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm interviewing her in a few months. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, there's no comparison. Her downloads are way more than anyone else's. And also who else is in there? Dr. Bluming is in there. So, clearly, these are concepts and methodologies that are really relating to people, which I think is great. Yeah, but Rick Johnson's amazing,

Melanie Avalon: I should look at my stats and see which ones were the biggest.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I trend it. I don't know if it makes me, like, it just allows me to see who do I want to bring back, what really resonates, what was a do-do? I think sometimes, you do a great interview, and it just doesn't resonate with your listeners, and you're like, “Gosh, that was surprising.” And then sometimes something that you-- [crosstalk] 

Melanie Avalon: Or, the reverse. Yeah.

Cynthia Thurlow: Correct? [laughs] That happens, the unicorns are like, “Where did that come from?”

Melanie Avalon: For me, I have genuinely, because people will ask me, I think actually, you've asked me before like, “Has there ever been an episode that I didn't want to air or didn't really like?” I can genuinely say, I have really loved every single interview that I've done. But sometimes, I do an interview and I love it, but I just don't know if the topic or the content will really resonate. Yeah, sometimes, I'm really surprised that they freak out and [chuckles] love it.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I've only had three and almost four years of podcasting that I had to toss in the toilet, which is always disappointing. But I was like, “Sometimes, you just don't get a good interview.” You could have someone that's super smart and they're just not easy to interview or they go off on a tangent that is so not aligned with your own methodology that you're like, “I can't release this, because it would be a problem.” But yeah, I think that's how you just navigate knowing what your audience really wants to hear and resonate with.

Melanie Avalon: Definitely. Well, before we jump in, I have one really quick baby teaser and this is going to be such a vague teaser. But for listeners, I am so excited because in creating supplements now, there are a few supplements that I really want to create, but I don't know if I can, or it might be tricky, or things with like FDA regulations and such. So, this is just a baby teaser that I found out yesterday or the day before that one of the main supplements I want to make that I thought we couldn't, we probably are going to be able to, because we might have an FDA approved version. So, I get really excited. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Now, I can’t wait to hear more. 

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, if you'd like to know what that is, definitely get on my supplement email list because that's where I will be announcing the news. Also, I keep getting questions literally every day about when am I going to be releasing my magnesium supplement. The email list for all the information is avalonx.us/emaillist.

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into everything for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Let's jump in.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a question from Alexa and the subject is: “IF foods.” Alexa says, “Hello, ladies. I'm on my second week of IF clean and I'm loving it. I tried IF last year, but was not doing it correctly as I was still putting creamer in my coffee. I recently found your podcast and I'm hooked. My question is regarding the type of foods I'm consuming after I break my fast, which I've decided to begin with a 16:8. I find that sometimes, I get hungry early between 9:30 to 10 AM, then it goes away. I noticed once I get past noon, sometimes, I can push through to about 1:00 to 1:30 PM usually, because I'm busy working. But I seem to gravitate towards a heavy lunch. For example, a tuna melt, bag of chips and water, or sometimes, I'll have Mexican tacos that are super delicious. Typically, carne asada or other type of meat. I am just wondering if I should be careful about breaking my fast was such heavy food. Also, sometimes, I don't get too hungry for dinner, so I'll have a light dinner. Do you have suggestions on how to eat correctly when IFing. I forgot to mention that I also work out three to four times a week. Thank you and sorry for all the rambling.”

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Alexa, I think first and foremost, just the fact that you're asking if you need to break your fast with a lighter meal demonstrates to me that you're already thinking that might be a problem. I typically recommend that you break your fast like maybe start with some bone broth as a light alternative or a light salad, and then perhaps, have a less complicated meal like maybe you're having some chicken, or some steak, or you're going to have a bison burger, or you're having a piece of fish with some vegetables like non-starchy vegetables, because it could very well be that between the mayonnaise, and the cheese, and I don't know if you're making the Mexican tacos or buying them out, you can be exposed to seed oils. It might just be overwhelming your digestive processes. So, that's my first thought is break your fast with something lighter and less fat dense that might be part of it. 

The other thing is, depending on where you are in your cycle, so, I don't know if you're still menstruating. I am an advocate of women. You can get away with intermittent fasting for usually the first three weeks of your cycle. But if you're within a week of getting your menstrual cycle or bleed week, then I typically recommend you back off. The fact that you are feeling like you're having such a heavy meal and then you're not really hungry for your second meal makes me concerned that you may not be hitting your protein macros. For anyone who is new to listening to me on the podcast, I'm all about protein, protein, protein. We really need it for so many reasons. One of them is satiety and other one is to have adequate muscle protein synthesis. Hitting those protein macros is going to be really important. So, I would probably recommend you start with a lighter meal when you break your fast, so that it'll allow you to get in enough protein between your two regular meals during your fasting window.

Melanie Avalon: That reminded me of the interview that I did have in the interim since we talked which was Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, who is as well all about the protein, and really, really knows the science of it, and why it's so important. I really can't wait to air that. I agree with everything that you said. I like what you said about the fact that she's asking means that she might be intuitively on to something. I do think that this is something pretty intuitive because we are really, really unique everybody, individually. Some people can handle having a big bolus of food and be fine, and some people are delicate butterflies, and need to really take a more measured approach like Cynthia said with maybe breaking with bone broth, or something more gentle. I found for me, I break my fast, I post about this all the time on Instagram so people know, with cucumbers and wine, but then I move into a really heavy meal, actually. But I do slowly ease into it. I will say, if you are eating heavier--

I don't know if we need to define what heavy mean, because on the one hand, you could have a meal like I eat, where it's a huge amount of protein, which would seem like a “heavy meal.” But it's not necessarily heavy in the sense that it's a lot of mixed macros, and fat, and processed foods and that type of heavy. I think heavy can mean different things. Mine's just heavy in a mechanical sense and that protein requires a lot of energy to break down. There's a reason it has the highest thermogenic effect of any food. You “burn” about 30% of the calories and protein just by breaking it down because it does require a lot of digestion and energy to do that. All that to say if you do want to eat “heavier meals” and find that you're not digesting it well, you might want to consider HCI supplementation and/or digestive enzymes. That might be something that can really help. I've always been really fascinated in the ordering of it, because the natural digestion process would happen in a certain order. So, basically, we release stomach acid first, HCl and then later as the food moves into the intestines that's where enzymes process that. I've always been a little bit haunted about just there needs to be a certain order to it. I've asked a lot of guests this and I get different answers. But the way I do things is I use HCI first in my meal and then I add digestive enzymes afterwards. So, that might be something to consider. I don't necessarily think there's a correct way, but we are really individual and it's good to be intuitive.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, this is just my little clinician caveat that in the past two years, I have not done one GI-MAP, maybe one or two out of hundreds of women that hasn't had H. pylori. I tend to be a little more conservative with recommending betaine or HCl, because if someone has an active or unknown H. pylori infection, that can actually exacerbate symptoms. I would say that under normal circumstances, I think digestive supports are great. But I think of in the hierarchy, digestive enzymes are pretty benign, but I tend to be a little bit more conservative about HCI just in case someone has H. pylori, which, if you're not familiar what that is, it's opportunistic organism that sometimes in the setting of low hydrochloric acid can flourish. And so, I'm just seeing so much of it now on GI-MAPS, which is a DNA based stool test that I'm tending to be really conservative with HCl until I have testing. So, I agree with everything that you're saying. 

However, that how we define a heavy meal might be different to each one of us, but I define a heavy meal is something that's going to be harder on our body to digest. If you're not making the tuna melt, you don't know what the ingredients are, if you're not making those Mexican tacos, you don't know what seed oils are being used and so, that could be contributing to why it's feeling like you're having a little bit of a digestive backup or just feeling very full. The other thing is if you're sleepy after a meal that could be a sign that not only is it too large of a meal, but you might have eaten enough carbohydrate that you're getting some degree of blood sugar dysregulation. If that persists, you may want to check your blood sugar. I think that's certainly really reasonable. Glucometers are very inexpensive, but your blood sugar should come back to baseline within two hours of eating ideally, just a thought.

Melanie Avalon: Question about the H. pylori. So, it flourishes in low HCI environment or high HCI environment?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, low. Because it's like anything. We start producing less hydrochloric acid as we get older. It's much more common to see HCI flourishing, because it's the first line of defense. Hydrochloric acid is designed to kill things. If you have inadequate levels and certainly it gets depleted, you can get HCI depletion just from not having enough precursors like certain types of zinc. I remind people that until proven otherwise, until I know someone definitely doesn't have H. pylori, and this is just my own clinical environment. My sometimes will hold off on doing HCl, but there's certainly other things you can do to help support digestion. As you mentioned, digestive enzymes are great. I'm just seeing so much H. pylori now, I think it has a lot to do with the impact of stress on the gut microbiome. That's been my working hypothesis that the doctors at the GI-MAP lab agree with, because I've never seen so much H. pylori, never.

Melanie Avalon: Wouldn't taking HCI benefit that then?

Cynthia Thurlow: You have to kill the infection. You remove what doesn't belong and think about it this way. If you are getting H. pylori and you're taking a stool sample, it's gotten from the stomach through the entire digestive system, small intestine, large intestine, into the rectum and expelled. Whatever amount you're seeing quantified on DNA based technology is actually higher. We eradicate first and then we go to supplementation with HCl. But it's usually created in a low hydrochloric acid environment and that's oftentimes related to age-related changes or people don't have the cofactors to be able to create enough hydrochloric acid. That's where I go from, and that's what I was taught, and it's definitely been my clinical experience to see that that you want to make sure that you're not addressing HCI issues if someone has H. pylori.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, I'm still not following. If the problem with H. pylori is low HCl because of the ulcers.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, there's many different types of H. pylori, and so some are prone to precancerous lesions, they can lead to certain types of duodenal ulcers, etc. When you do the testing, especially the type of testing I mentioned, it'll help you differentiate if they have any of the pathologic cofactors that go along with it. But here's the thing. If HCl is at a proper level, you should not have an issue with H. pylori. It's in the setting of a low hypochlorhydria. In that setting that is when you can make this opportunistic opportunity for things not to get killed off, that could be a parasite that you ingest. And yes, it is as horrifying as it is to think. We ingest a lot of things and we are dependent on this first line of defense in our stomach to have enough hydrochloric acid to kill things off. But what I see in most women that I work with is that they do not have optimal levels of hydrochloric acid and therefore, it bypasses this first line of defense. We should not have H. pylori in our stomach. Certainly, not at detectable levels. With DNA based stool testing, you are seeing signs of a mechanism that could be also a reflection of the impact of stress on the gut microbiome, because we know that impacts immune function as well.

Melanie Avalon: So, the reason not to take the HCl is, so that you can test and see if you have H. pylori. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, that's one of the reasons. But that’s also, sometimes, people will start H. pylori and they all of a sudden get reflux, or they're burping a lot, or they're nauseous, or they're bloated and so.

Melanie Avalon: They start HCl or they start--?

Cynthia Thurlow: It can exacerbate their symptoms from H. pylori. Sometimes, it can be very subtle. They might just have bloating and they just assume bloating is normal like, “Oh, I had dairy and I'm bloated” or “Oh, I had some gluten and that's why I'm bloated.” But it could in fact be related to imbalance in the gut microbiome. There's a lot to unpack here, but certainly H. pylori is an opportunistic infection and more often than not it is attributable to a low HCI environment in the stomach.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. [chuckles] I'm just not understanding if it's attributable to low HCl, what is the reason for not taking HCI?

Cynthia Thurlow: Because you have to kill the infection, you remove what does not belong before you start adding digestive support like that. This is a clinical thing like this is a best practice thing. This is something that I learned in school and has been the case I don't start hydrochloric acid, unless I'm sure someone has cleared H. pylori. You think about digestion from a north to south process, what's in the stomach, you have to address what's there before you address Candida, or a parasite, or dysbiosis, or any other worms, which occasionally come up on diagnostic testing. You start north to south and so, you have to eradicate what does not belong in the stomach before you start addressing things that are going on lower in the digestive system.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay. So, I just really want to understand what you're saying. To resay what you just said, you need to address these infections before you work on digestive support as a solution.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, you want to. Before you prescribe or recommend HCl, you want to make sure they don't have H. pylori. That's where it stems from. If they don't have H. pylori, you could absolutely start hydrochloric acid. More often than not, people will see improvement in protein and amino acid breakdown. For many people that can be a simple fix to why they struggle with a protein bolus. But I always like to be thinking as a clinician and that's one of those things I always say, more often than not hydrochloric acid is pretty benign. However, here's my caveat in my clinical experience. “You want to be careful about dosing it if you haven't already ruled out H. pylori.” There's just so much of it. I have seen more in the past two years than I've seen the last 10 years. That's how much I've seen.

Melanie Avalon: Is that an easy test? Can people ask their practitioner for that test or would it be a GI doc that normally does that? I know you're not a GI.

Cynthia Thurlow: I would say it's someone that's functionally or integrative medicine trained. For me, before I started working with the DUTCH, I think the GI-MAP is one of the best tests I've worked with, because it's a starting point. It's been my experience that most primary care providers, internists, and most traditionally trained gastroenterologists are not using it. Because it's not part of that allopathic medical model. It doesn't mean that it's not valuable, but for a lot of people they do pay out of pocket. That can be something that's limiting. I've had people come to me who've been to their traditional, they've done the GI workup, they've had breath testing for H. pylori, and I tell everyone, the gold standard is stool. The best way to rule out H. pylori as disgusting as it is because think about it. H. pylori is in the stomach. If you get a positive test with stool that means it made it all the way.

Melanie Avalon: So, it won't find the dead DNA?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, you're shutting it. It's really going in with testing. I can send you some of the information, so you can learn more about the testing. But it's been one of those things that that amount of shutting, if you get it all the way into your stool is pretty significant. I always say to people like, “Yeah, the numbers not all that high, however.” [laughs] We weren't going into your stomach and taking the sample there. Breath testing is not as reliable. If anyone's listening and they've had that testing, I oftentimes will say, “Gold standard is stool.” It's not impossible to get it done. You just have to advocate. For a lot of people that are experiencing reflux, and heartburn, and burping, and belching, they're put on proton pump inhibitors, which in and of themselves have a lot of long-term health complications. I say this with respect, because we put everyone in the hospital on Protonix, which is a PPI. But the more I learned about how important stomach acid is, we're actually making it worse by putting people on these drugs long term.

Melanie Avalon: I cannot agree more. I've had that stool test and I've had-- Do they test for H. pylori when they do endoscopies? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, they can do little samples and send them off. And obviously, that's up close and personal. Think about it in the hierarchy of costs, it's much more cost effective to do a stool test versus an invasive procedure. But sometimes, you need the invasive procedure. If they're in there, they can do a biopsy or testing.

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. This is from Leah. Subject is: “Coffee differences.” “Hello, I wrote before with a question, but now, I have another one. I'm listening to an episode, where a listener asked about teeth whitening strips and it made me think of the time, Gin said, she had black coffee from McDonald's and it made her shaky. Now, I stopped getting flavored roast and only finished off my current stock of flavored roast during my window once I started fasting. My question is that besides the flavored roast, by flavored, things like hazelnut, toffee, winter mint, etc., how would we who are still relatively new to IF know if black coffee effects are fast in a bad way like McDonald's did for Gin? I buy whole bean coffee from Gobena, a not-for-profit that sends its proceeds to help orphans around the world and partners with adoptive families to help them fundraise and have been getting the Yirgacheffe light roast instead of the flavor roasted beans. I grind them at home and send about half of a five-pound bag overseas to my fiancé, who has also started fasting with me. He already liked his coffee black, so, no trouble there. What could have made that McDonald's coffee different? How could we find out? I want to fast clean, but the sheer relief. I could keep coffee even if I just stopped putting cacao in it during the fast was so nice. You gals will never run out of things to talk about on the podcast. We'll always have questions. Leah.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Leah. Well, thank you so much for your question. I do remember when we were talking about this, and so, I looked up the McDonald's coffee and it is just coffee. There're no additives. I thought this was interesting. They say there's the potential of a dairy allergy. I'm guessing that's cross contamination from they're assuming with the coffee machine that it's possible that dairy could get into it. That's what I'm guessing rather than from the source. I don't know. It could be a few things. One, there's the whole movement of mold free coffee like the Bulletproof coffee with Dave Asprey. Do you drink coffee, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do not drink coffee. However, in our house, we have Purity and we have a company called Square Feet, and the latter of which is a very small like home-based business, but the man who runs it is very OCD about mycotoxins and tests multiple different ways. So, that's typically what we have in our house and what I generally recommend.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, nice. We will put links in the show notes to these coffees. The show notes by the way will be at ifpodcast.com/episode269. My coffee intake, I literally have a sip every morning. It's very, very small, but I drink Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof coffee because of the mycotoxins and mold issue. I've also used Ben Greenfield’s Kion coffee in the past. But people who react to these mycotoxins and mold, I think it can really be a thing. I think it could create that shaky affected people. So, it could be that. I don't know what else it would be. Do you have thoughts about it, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I think the concern about mycotoxins is a real issue, but I just can't imagine that McDonald's quality would be-- Who knows what else it's cross contaminated with. Could it have been blood sugar dysregulation, could have been a spike in cortisol? Because we know in some people coffee or whether it's the polyphenols, we know that you can get some appreciable cortisol dysregulation, which is going to raise your blood sugar, which is going to raise insulin. The shakiness could have been from a few different things. But certainly, quality is important. And so, it sounds Leah’s makes a very conscientious effort to select a product that sounds it's probably high quality. But I always think mycotoxins until proven otherwise, because coffee beans are readily known to be a mold sensitive or mold prone product, just like peanuts and legumes and things like that. So, that's probably where I would lean first. Yeah, I agree with you.

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Melanie Avalon: Okay. We have a question from Trina and the subject is: “Keto and OMAD,” one-meal-a-day question. Trina says, “I've been using OMAD for just under a week and have been doing okay. No weight loss yet, but I do have hunger pains periodically and some lasts for over an hour. I'm also doing keto while I'm having my one meal a day. Is this too much to do OMAD and keto at once and could this be causing me to feel hungry while I'm fasting? Or, should I stay the course or if I'm not going to lose weight, because I'm being too restrictive by using keto, should I add bread, pasta, etc., here and there? I do think I'd feel fuller at the moment, but I don't want the grains/carbs to spike my insulin. I've been keto since April 1st pretty strict and only up and down a few pounds weight loss, but overall, still the same weight. I did IF for 18:6 for a couple of weeks, no weight loss. Now, trying OMAD has been about a week. I maybe adrenal fatigued. Could this be my body healing instead of losing weight? If so, when oh when, can I hope to see any weight loss? I really do like the OMAD, but I'm getting frustrated. By the way, I eat in the middle of the day currently, but maybe shifting to an evening OMAD might help. I work full time, very busy, and was worried. I'd be dragging if I didn't eat in the middle of the day. But eating with my family would be more enjoyable for all of us.” And then she has a second question, but I thought we could answer this first.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, there's a lot to unpack here. Unfortunately, the toxic diet culture has convinced women in particular that weight loss is the only metric to demonstrate if a new strategy is effective. If you look at the research typically, because women have different body fat to muscle mass composition, as well as hormonal fluctuations. I don't know how old Trina is. I don't know if she's insulin resistant. But depending on where you are life stage wise, it may take six to eight weeks to start seeing significant and when I mean significant, really one to two pounds a week over six, eight weeks, yes, I would expect to see some weight reduction. I think it's important to focus on non-scale victories. Meaning, are you getting changes in body composition, are your clothes fitting a little more loosely, are you having more energy, more mental clarity, etc.? I think there's a couple things to focus on. One meal a day for many people may not allow you to get enough macros in. I know this is something that Melanie and I have talked a lot about outside of the podcast. There's a lot of layers to this question. Obviously, the first one being be patient. I know it's easier said than done, of course. But I think that it's important to understand that you may not see a scale shift immediately and to just trust the course. 

The other thing is, can you get enough protein in one meal a day? That's always my concern with women. If you really just have one meal, are you getting enough food in? You also mentioned being adrenal fatigued and so, there's a lot to look at. When women are fasting, I think it's really, critically important that you focus on what's your sleep quality like. That's foundational. If you can't sleep through the night, your sleep quality is eroded, you need to back off on fasting. Number two, what's your stress management like? That's not three minutes of meditation once a week. Anti-inflammatory nutrition, I think keto can be helpful. However, maybe you need to really be thinking thoughtfully about what's working for your body. Protein, non-starchy vegetables, right types of fats. Then the last thing that I think about is, I don't know if you're exercising. It sounds like you've got a very busy schedule. But we know that insulin resistance starts in our muscles as an example. Some type of physical activity is going to be very important to help with insulin sensitivity. But it's hard for me to completely provide some perspective about the adrenal fatigue. If you're in perimenopause or menopause, more than likely your adrenals need some love and support and that's why the stress management and sleep are so important and the right types of exercise and food. Melanie, what would you add to that?

Melanie Avalon: That was very comprehensive. That was wonderful. The only thing I would add would be, so going back to the keto, I think there's this binary dichotomy that people have viewing keto, where they're either keto or they're eating bread and pasta, where I think it's much more nuanced than that. Adding carbs to keto doesn't have to be bread and pasta. It doesn't have to be this huge whack of high GI, potentially inflammatory carb source. You can add in some carbs while still existing more within a “keto paradigm.” A lot of people on keto do include berries, for example like small amounts of berries. Even upping the vegetable intake could potentially up the carb count. I would not go to bread and pasta to make yourself less stressed or less restrictive. I don't think for most people that that would be the solution. Some other thoughts about existing within the keto paradigm and frame, Cynthia mentioned this, but the role of protein is so important. I don't know if you're doing a super high fat version of keto or not, but adding that more protein and maybe if you are doing super high fat, titrating down the fat, that might be a way to A, feel more full because the protein is going to do that. B, more nourished via the protein and potentially encourage weight loss by titrating down the fat. 

Also, switching out the types of fats might be helpful. Depending on what type of fat you're having in your keto diet, MCT oil, for example, is a very thermogenic fat. If you are adding oils or butter, or things like that switching some of that out for MCT oil might have a beneficial effect on your weight loss. There is the option because you're worried about keto plus fasting being too stressful. There is the option of trying fasting with not keto. That is an option. Trying a higher carb, lower fat approach, for me personally that works really well. Again, we're all individual. When did she start this? Only a couple of weeks. Okay. I wouldn't jump to this right now, because like Cynthia said, it's only been a couple of weeks and I would stick it out a little bit longer. That said, if you make it months, and you're still not happy, and you're not seeing weight loss, some people do find that they do better on a higher carb, lower fat approach with the fasting. So, that is definitely something to try. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, It's interesting. When I talked to Sara Gottfried a few weeks ago, one of the things she was talking about is, women have to use keto differently than men. It's been my experience that men seem to be able to eat copious amounts of both plant-based and animal-based fats. We really have to reflect on the fact that carbs and protein are four calories per gram, even though I don't encourage people to count calories. Let me just put that in there. Whereas fats are nine calories per gram. You don't need as much fat as you think you do. As an example, if you're having a piece of salmon steak or a ribeye, guess what the fats are already in there. You don't need to add more fats. This is where I see a lot of women get into trouble, because dairy, cheese, cheese is delicious and nuts are delicious. And so, people are like, “Yay, I'm doing keto. This is awesome.” Before they know that they've eaten four portions of cheese, and three have nuts, and they've blown, any caloric deficit that might have even been created by intermittent fasting. So, just something to think about that plant-based fats for a lot of people including myself. I tend to do better with those, so less heavy fats, but really leaning into where you life stage wise, are you insulin resistant, and maybe being really mindful about your portion sizes of fats.

Melanie Avalon: Three thoughts to that. I'm glad you mentioned Sara Gottfried because I was going to bring her up in my answer because I was going to say that her, and you, and Dr. Anna Cabeca, all of you guys are really wonderful in talking about the nuances of keto for women specifically and how that might need to be adapted for women. I think that's really valuable. Cynthia's book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation, Dr. Gottfried’s-- What is Dr. Gottfried’s most recent book?

Cynthia Thurlow: Women, Food, and Hormones. 

Melanie Avalon: Wait. Straight to the point. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, Women, Food, and Hormones.

Melanie Avalon: So, if that title doesn't just say it. Dr. Anna-- What's Dr. Anna Cabeca’s most recent book?

Cynthia Thurlow: MenuPause. So, it's like M-E-N-U-pause.

Melanie Avalon: I actually haven't read-- I think that's her only book I haven't read. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's beautiful. The photos, and the recipes, and she really did a nice very thoughtful, very, very thoughtful job. Yeah, it's a beautiful book. The photography is so pretty. We think about we eat with our eyes. And so, I told her, I was like, “Oh my gosh, the book is so beautiful.” If you do nothing else, it's artwork just to look at.

Melanie Avalon: I'm going to have to check it out. That's amazing. Well, we'll put links to all of those books in the show notes. The other thought I had was, again, listening to Peter Attia last night, one of the episodes I was listening to was, he was talking about people not losing weight on keto. He said, the first thing, if that's the case is he suggests titrating down the fat, which is just to echo what we both just said, Oh, yeah. The third thing is, I'm so glad you brought this up, because I think about this a lot. I think because we do live in such-- especially with the keto movement and this idea that has to be super high fat, we just have this feeling that with all of our food, we need to cook it in fat, and add all these oils, and you don't have to. Especially, if you're talking about salmon, salmon has a lot of fat in it. A not lean chicken breast, chicken thighs or chicken breasts with skin, that has fat in it. Steak has fat in it. So, you don't necessarily have to add a ton of fat. I know there are people like, is it Dr. Gundry, who says he pours olive oil by [laughs] a liter?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think about it. He's a dude. I always say like, “That's the one thing we--" Bio-individuality rules, but I don't see a lot of women that can eat copious amounts of fat. The worst thing is when someone says, “Oh, my God, I did keto and it was great until I gained 10 pounds.” It's almost always because they didn't realize how calorically dense fats are. I always say like, “If a little bit is good, too much is not good.” I will fully disclose that my favorite healthy fat, I love macadamia nuts. I have to portion out a quarter cup because they're so easy to overeat. I literally take the bag out, take my measuring cup out-- I don't measure my food otherwise. Take my measuring cup out, put in a bowl, put the bag away, and I'm like, “I'm done.” Because it's like kryptonite, it’s very easy to overeat fats.

Melanie Avalon: Nuts are a gateway food for me. I've said this on the show a lot. I don't know if I've said this to you. But one of the biggest epiphanies I had with all of this was, people will say that on keto, for example, that you can have unlimited fats, because they don't raise insulin. But the reason they don't really raise insulin is because they don't really need insulin to get stored. The ironic thing is, the same concept of fats not releasing insulin and the conclusion you could draw could be one of two things that are complete opposites. The conclusion that most people draw is, “Well, no insulin. So, it's not going to get stored. I can have all the fat I want.” But really no insulin, because it's so easily stored. So, just something to ponder.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting. Ben Azadi always says, “You want to burn endogenous fat before you consume exogenous fat,” which means all of us have plenty of fat just to burn off. We want to burn the fat in our bodies as opposed to ingesting lots of fat. When we're thinking about evolved keto, meaning, as Melanie just said, people say, “Oh, I've no blood sugar spikes on my CGM.” It's understanding because you make it very easy for that extra energy just to get stored as fat. And so, we want to burn the fat inside before eating copious amounts of exogenous or external sources of fats as delicious as they are.

Melanie Avalon: I'll put a link in the show notes to that Peter Attia episode because it was his AMA #22.

Cynthia Thurlow: I love his AMAs. 

Melanie Avalon: Me, too. The title is Losing fat and gaining fat and it was all about the concept of fat flex, and how does fat actually go in and out of cells, and how does keto affect that. So, be very helpful for people. Trina had one last quick question. She said, “Also, do we count our fasting from beginning of eating window to the next beginning of the eating window or do we count it from where we end our eating? I'm getting confused on the whole 22:2 or 23:1, and where the hours are counted from. Thanks for all you do and I appreciate your time.”

Cynthia Thurlow: I always count it from when you stopped eating. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting because I'm running a fasting group right now and there were two or three women that were struggling because they were thinking about it too much. I just said, “Whenever you stop eating is when your fasting window starts and that's the easiest way to think about it. Don't overthink it.”

Melanie Avalon: People get really caught up because when you end your meal, you're fasting but you're not in the fasted state. It can be confusing. If Cynthia said, if you're overthinking it, but don't overthink it. You are fasting and that's what you're counting. So, fasting is when you're not eating. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I tell people it really takes about 12 hours for your body to get to a point where it's burned off or working through that last meal. It's important to not stress yourself out, because I tell everyone, I'm like, “We're so hard on ourselves, we endeavor to integrate these new strategies to make ourselves healthier.” Then next thing I know people are down a rabbit hole stressing and I'm like, “Listen, no stress. There's no stress.” When you stop eating is the beginning of your fasting window until you eat again.

Melanie Avalon: Here's a question for you that we've often discussed on this show and I'm always curious what people’s thoughts are. If you're doing a time approach where it's a 16:8 or something like that, would you rather count the fasting hours or the eating hours? I can clarify more if you need me to clarify. So, Gin, for example, likes to have a four- or five-hour eating window, whereas I like to have minimum fasting hours. I like to count the fasting hours.

Cynthia Thurlow: I count the fasting hours. I really lean into how I feel in terms of-- Because I have a wider eating window. That's one way I can get in the amount of protein that I need every day. For me, I really reflect on what my minimum fasting hours should be and that's usually what I work from.

Melanie Avalon: Same. It's exactly what I do.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I'm checking myself like, “When I stop eating last night?” Last night, I went out to dinner with my 16-year-old, so, I ate a little later than I normally do which is okay. Yeah, I usually focus on, “Okay, how do I need to adjust my fasting windows to make sure I'm at least hitting that minimum for me?”

Melanie Avalon: Same. What I don't like is, I don't like the thought of having to close my eating window at a certain time. Once I start eating now, I have this amount of time to eat that I find that very stressful.

Cynthia Thurlow: When do you open up your feeding window, because I know you stay up a little later than I do? 

Melanie Avalon: Like nine. 

Cynthia Thurlow: That's hilarious. For listeners, I know, you know that Melanie stays up a little later and I go to bed a whole lot earlier. But I was thinking one day, I was like, “I wonder what time she starts eating,” because I know what time I start eating and they might be like 12 hours apart. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: It's very possible. The only time I eat earlier is if I'm getting dinner out. I've been doing it for so long, too.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's what we're-- This is really leaning into what works for you and your body. If I eat at 9 o'clock at night, my sleep would be a disaster. [laughs] But I also go to bed a lot earlier. So, I think last night I was up late. My Oura was like, “You stayed up till 10:15.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I would be so proud of myself if I went to bed at 10:15. I would be so proud of myself if I got up when you get up, too.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, well, it's funny. My Oura was squawking at me last night that it wants me in bed between 8:30 and 9:30 and I'm like, “Oh.” Sometimes, I just don't want to go to bed that early. And then it squawks at me, because my sleep latency is two to three minutes because I take progesterone which is sedating and helps me fall asleep. So, I just say I'm not going to worry about the sleep latency. I know why I fall asleep quickly.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think I've said this before, but I I've hit up ceiling on my Oura Ring. I don't think I can get better than a certain score that I received. I don't think I can get higher than 90, because of how late I go to bed. Even if everything else is great, it considers that a problem, even though it tells me to go to bed late. It's ironic. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. I want to just keep answering questions, but I guess, we'll have to wait till next week. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, directly emailquestions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and submit questions there. I will say, Cynthia, we've been getting because you weren't here before you were here. There's definitely been an influx in questions and Cynthia has come onboard and it's really exciting. I think people are really excited to get your perspective on things. So, keep the questions coming. The show notes again will be at ifpodcast.com/episode269 and you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon. Okay, wait. Let me try. Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. Just to make it complicated. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. I think that's all the things. Anything from you, Cynthia, before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I'm loving all the questions. In fact, as Melanie stated, we have an influx of questions and we're just trying to diligently hit a couple every episode. So, keep them coming and I've been encouraging people that have been asking questions in my DMs across social media to email them to us, so we can answer them on air.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, definitely. Because people will DM me as well. But if you want it on the show, the email is where it needs to be. That's how it goes through the system to potentially get into the lineup. So, all right, well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Cynthia Thurlow: Thanks. To you, as well. 

Melanie Avalon: I will see you next week. 

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

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

 

 

Jun 05

Episode 268: Episode Giveaway!, Dry Mouth, Oil Pulling, Sleep Apnea, Adaptogens, Autoimmunity, Botox, Urine pH, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 268 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

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

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19:35 - Listener feedback: Scott - Dry mouth

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34:55 - GREEN CHEF: Go To greenchef.com/ifpodcast130 And Use Code IFPODCAST130 To Get $130 Off Including Free Shipping!

42:10 - Listener Q&A: Maria - Struggling With IF

50:10 - Listener Q&A: Jessica - Botox

58:15 - LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Free LMNT Sample Pack With Any Order! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

1:01:25 - Listener Q&A: Leah - Urine pH

Acid Alkaline Food Chart

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 268 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.

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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 four 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 268 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow. How are you today, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm doing well, my friend. How are you?

Melanie Avalon: I'm very good. I'm excited to hear we were just talking before recording about how you're going to be speaking at KetoCon. Would you like to tell listeners a little bit about that?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's exciting. They haven't had KetoCon in two years because of the pandemic and so some of my absolute, favorite humans in the health and wellness space are going to be there. People like Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, and Chris Irwin, and Ben Azadi, and Anna Cabeca, and Mindy Pelz, and all sorts of humans. I am going to be the first speaker on the first day, and I'm doing a book signing, and I'm doing a couple other things, a little Q&A. And so, I'll have an opportunity to actually see people up close and personal as opposed to its smaller events that I've been doing over the last year and a half. And Austin, such a great foodie city. For anyone who's been there, they have great restaurants and they generally tend to avoid inferior seed oils that you and I are both not fans of. It's always a location that I enjoy visiting. We actually have family there as well. But it'll be hotter than Hades, because it's Texas in the summer, but we will navigate lots of air conditioning, and I'm really excited to be going, and so, we'll make sure that we include-- I have a discount code if people would like to go to the three-day event, we'll include that in the show notes for everyone.

Melanie Avalon: What is the discount code?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's EWP, but I'll double check.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, awesome. We've had Anna Cabeca on the show twice, I think, on this show. So, listeners loved those interviews.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Anna's amazing. She is amazing.

Melanie Avalon: Out of our whole audience, I'm sure some people are going. Hopefully, they can see you. That'd be really, really exciting. I'm actually interviewing, well, hopefully, Dr. Gabrielle Lyon on Monday. This Monday, tomorrow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I think your listeners are going to love her. She's so smart, she's coming out with a book next year, and she has such a fresh perspective on muscle protein synthesis and the value of muscle as an organ of longevity. I've just learned so much from her. In fact, I jokingly tell her, I quote her almost on the Daily, because she's made such a large impact on my own, not only on my own personal health journey, but also the information I share with women. I think your listeners will get a lot out of it. It'll really keep people thinking about how to be ensuring they're getting enough protein into their diets, because she did her residency and her training, working with gerontologic population. Older patients and so sarcopenia, which is this muscle loss with aging is a huge issue. 

And ladies, it's not a question of if but when. It will happen if you don't do everything you can to work against it. The one thing that I think is really important to dovetail into this conversation is that insulin resistance starts in our muscles. It really reaffirms the need to consume enough protein, and make sure that you are getting enough rest, and your strength training. It's really, really important. It's not just for aesthetics. I think a lot of people assume that those of us that talk about this that we're just concerned about aesthetics. I'm like, "No, no, no. This is really about your health and understanding that metabolic flexibility really starts with your muscle physiology."

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think it is just so important. I think that insulin resistance starts at the muscle. It's such a paradigm shift because I think most people think it would be in the fat cells that we first become insulin resistant, but yeah, the role of muscle is just so, so huge. I think there could be a lot of benefit of people, because we're so fat focused, but there could be so much benefit if we shifted our focus more to supporting muscle. Even when it comes to diet, eating more protein and rather than cutting calories, or cutting fat, or cutting carbs, just focusing on the protein is huge.

Cynthia Thurlow: Because I know even in the work I do with women, we've been conditioned that we want to count calories, we want to count macros constantly, and I just say, "Listen, if you can aim for 100 grams of protein a day, everything else will fall into place" and that blows people's minds. Even, I'll use a good example. I don't know if I've told you this. My husband is the meal prep guy in our house, because he's an engineer. He doesn't mind spending two or three hours prepping protein. That's really the most important thing because we have teen boys. This morning, all of the normal things we would have in the house weren't here and so, I had leftover shrimp, I had leftover mahi mahi. I calculated how much protein was in this meal. I'm always trying at a minimum 40 to 50 grams in a meal because it's so important to me make sure in my two meals. I'm really pushing the envelope with protein a little lower than what I would normally eat, and my husband was laughing at me, and he was saying, "Yeah, I know. I completely flummoxed your meal prep today, because we had to go to the grocery store." Sometimes, I think you just have to make do with what you have. But for me, if I hit a certain threshold of protein intake, I'm very full and then I'm ready to eat four or five hours later.

Melanie Avalon: I think that is so important, especially, because we get a lot of questions from people who struggle with feeling full or just reaching satiety. It's really incredible if you just focus on the protein aspect. That's what I do. As I eat exuberant amounts of protein. I probably eat too much protein. I don't know. I'm going to ask Gabrielle that tomorrow. 

Cynthia Thurlow: That'd be a great question for her. 

Melanie Avalon: I do. I don't know. I think I texted you at the other day. It's over 200 grams definitely each night.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's amazing. And for ladies that are listening, this is because Melanie is at different life stage, like, if I ate 200 grams of protein, I probably would fall over and my stomach would explode. That's why I do a bolus in two meals and I generally can hit it. I met Gabrielle in 2020, sorry. The first thing she said to me is, "You probably don't eat enough protein." I looked her like she was crazy. Of course, she was right. Since then, I was like, "You made such an impression." I went home and started measuring how much protein I was eating and I was like, "She's right." Pushing those protein values like Melanie is a unicorn. Don't listen to what Melanie is saying and feel somehow, you're inferior. It's just she is it a different life stage. She can probably bolus her protein that way. I have to divide it between two meals, but always aiming for 100 grams a day. Somedays I hit 110, somedays, if I'm really good, I can hit on her 120, but that's always the goal, two big meals.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm so excited to talk to her about this and this is actually really helpful for me prepping for tomorrow because I'm thinking about what I'm going to ask her. Because I actually wonder about myself. I've been eating this way for so long. The reason I'm eating this way is because I had an epiphany like a decade ago. I'm a little bit embarrassed to say this, but the reason I did this was I realized, protein is the one macronutrient that is most likely to become muscle and least likely to become fat. I realized, "Oh, if I just eat protein, I can literally eat as much as I want, and probably lose weight," and that's what happened. But then I just started loving protein so much. I'm wondering if my body preferentially uses protein as its fuel source, which I don't think is, I don't know necessarily that's healthy. So, I need to talk to her about that aspect.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I can't wait to hear your conversation. She's just such a firmly science-based clinician and so smart. I was teasing her the other day because she's on all podcasts. She was just on Lewis Howes, and Drew Pruitt. Gosh, every day I turn around, there you are. [laughs] I love that she's getting information out there that all of us need. It's so, so important.

Melanie Avalon: How did you meet her?

Cynthia Thurlow: I met her at a conference. I was actually out in Portland, and we were on a panel together, and it was instantly, she was just one of these people I wanted to get to know and be friends with. I met her husband and her daughter. She now has another child, but just an instant connection. As I still do one of the first things she said to me, "You're probably not eating enough protein" and I was like, "What?" [laughs] After hearing her speak, I was like, "Oh, my God, I'm totally not eating enough protein." 

Melanie Avalon: Well, I'm excited. And then one other little thing for listeners yesterday-- Was it yesterday? No, no, a few days ago, I interviewed Rick Johnson for this show. I can't wait. I'm not sure when we're going to release that episode, but that'll be very exciting for listeners to hear, because he just dived so deep into metabolic health, and insulin resistance, and fructose, and all these really cool things, and why our bodies naturally want to store fat based on our diet and lifestyle.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. Well, he's probably, I would say, I was just looking at my metrics on my podcast today and he is a top three downloaded podcast for the whole year, which is just incredible. I think it's because he makes the information accessible. You and I both know, there are a lot of researchers that are just brilliant, but they don't bring it down to a level where the average person has something, they can take away. They just go, I don't know what that person just said, [laughs] "I have to have-- Melanie needs to translate it or Cynthia needs to translate it." But his enthusiasm is infectious, and his book is wonderful, and I just-- For anyone that's listening, before we even recorded together, he read my book. I was so touched because I thought to myself, "Here is this very respected researcher, who's reading a book about fasting and women" and he had so many nice things to say. He's just a really nice human, who just happens to be kind, compassionate, smart, and as far as I'm concerned, utterly brilliant.

Melanie Avalon: I sent him my book, I think after I interviewed him, maybe. He sent me a picture and he was like, "Here it is on my shelf. I'm reading it." I was like, "Oh, my goodness, [laughs] I'm so honored." Yes. So, I think listeners will really, really enjoy that. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: Exciting announcement for listeners. We are actually going to do a giveaway for this episode. So, what all is included in the giveaway?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's products from one of my favorite pharmaceutical grade companies, Designs for Health and it's some of their special chocolates, and also some of my favorite products that they utilize. We thought it would be fun for people to participate in the giveaway. I think what we had talked about was, if you have purchased my book, we'd like you to leave a review, and screenshot, and share that with us, and we will enter you into the giveaway that will be sent to you, whoever is the lucky participant. But it's some of my favorite designs for health products, including things like inositol, which can be helpful for blood sugar regulation, as well as sleep support. And those chocolates, which are really interesting. Some of them have reishi in them, so medicinal mushrooms, not wacky mushrooms, medicinal mushrooms and some other things. So, really, it's a fun, a fun grouping of products.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. We're going to put that picture for the giveaway on our Instagram today, the day that this episode airs. So, again, to enter to win that, go to Amazon. Amazon, or any other review, or what are the platforms?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, so, Target, Barnes & Noble, your local bookstore, wherever you purchased it from, you just need to screenshot the review, and share that with us, and we will enter you into the giveaway.

Melanie Avalon: So, to recap, friends, listeners, go to Amazon or wherever you review your books, write a review of Cynthia's incredible book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation, send a screenshot to questions@ifpodcast.com, and we will enter you into that giveaway, and instructions, and pictures of the giveaway, and such will also be on our Instagram. So, check that out. Our Instagram is @ifpodcast. And important note for that giveaway. It is open only to listeners in the continental United States. Okay, shall we jump into everything for today? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. 

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have some listener feedback and this actually comes from Scott. It is feedback from a question which was pre-Cynthia. So, Cynthia, we got a question from a listener who really struggled with dry mouth and was looking for suggestions on how to deal with that, especially with fasting and things like that. Scott wrote in and he said, "Hello, ladies, on the April 11th episode, a question on dry mouth was asked. Here are two tips that helped me significantly. After coffee in the morning, coconut oil for 10 to 15 minutes." So, he's referring to oil pulling, not eating coconut oil.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's an important distinction.

Melanie Avalon: Do you do oil pulling, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't.

Melanie Avalon: I do. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't. I scrape my tongue. I use Primal Life Organics and I love their products. I don't, I don't I think for me, it's one extra step I just don't want to do.

Melanie Avalon: I do it. I remember when I started doing it, I was on-off, on-off because, I saw it as something like you just said, where something extra to do. But now, it's just so integrated in my routine that I do it while I'm-- because I eat really late, as listeners know. Every morning, I'm cleaning up the kitchen from the night before, unloading the dishwasher, and such. So, I oil pull while doing that. [chuckles] It's basically where you take coconut oil, or I use MCT oil, and you swish it around in your mouth, like Scott said, for 10 to 15 minutes. I think it's an Ayurvedic tradition. I know it's debated, but the thoughts are that it pulls toxins out of your mouth and potentially even bloodstream. Again, it's debated. I really enjoy it. He's saying that it might help dry mouth. Then he says, "He also oil pulls after each meal." I do not do that. Oh, and "he does one last oil pull right before bed." And then he says, "Lastly, if you have no breathing obstructions such as apnea, try mouth taping before sleep." Have you done in mouth taping?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have, but I'm not an obligate mouth breather, and I've actually had a sleep study, and I do not have sleep apnea. So, I've done it, but I didn't see an improvement. For me, I track my sleep on my Oura anyway. It gives me some degree of objectivity. But when I think about dry mouth, I start thinking about, "Are you taking a medication that's drawing your mouth out, like antihistamines?" I then think there are certain autoimmune issues that people can develop where they will get a dry mouth. And so, that's the direction my brain goes in. I think Scott's suggestions are really easy things to do upfront, while you're considering that maybe it's related as a side effect to a medication, maybe you're not drinking enough water, especially with electrolytes. I know we were just talking about Robb Wolf and I'm a huge fan of electrolytes. In fact, I would say that my HRV stuff has been off since I had surgery, which is not surprising and it was like, after two weeks, I was frustrated. I was like, "Okay, I'm doing all the things. Now, what do I need to--?" For the last three days, I've been really dedicated about electrolyte repletion, and my HRV numbers, and my sleep scores are improving. I have to believe that that's part of it. When I'm thinking about how this could pertain to Scott, I'm thinking about definitely thinking outside the box. But I love that he brought up oil pulling because that certainly doesn't hurt.

Melanie Avalon: Two thoughts to that. I'm glad you said that, because that jogged my memory about the original question. The woman who wrote in, she was on medications, which were non-negotiables for her at that moment and they were causing dry mouth. She was looking for ways to mitigate it while still being on the medication. And then the LMNT. I'm glad you brought that up. Did not play in this. They're actually a sponsor on today's show. So, listeners, listen for the ad in today's show, because our offer actually will give you a free sample pack. You can get some of those for free. I think our link is drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. Oh, and then the mouth taping, just really quickly, I know you and I both interviewed James Nestor. After I interviewed him, I tried mouth taping, but I didn't continue. I'm not a mouth breather as well. So, yeah, I've never done a sleep study though. Is it outpatient or inpatient?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it was a little device shows up at your house, and you do it, and then it uploads all the data, and then someone meets with you and evaluates. Mine was fine. It didn't suspect that I had sleep apnea, but my integrative medicine doc insisted I do it. Probably, based on my age, this is one of those things I'm like, "Based on your age, we should probably do those" and I'm like, "Okay." [laughs] So, I'm happy to report that I'm middle aged without sleep apnea.

Melanie Avalon: I have three questions for you about that. One, is the device uncomfortable in any way? Would it interfere with your normal sleep wearing it?

Cynthia Thurlow: No. It was a little electrode and then I had a little pulse oximeter. If anyone's familiar, it almost looks like a little clip you put on your finger. It's monitoring your heart rate, and your pulse rate, your oxygenation. No, it wasn't. Although, the instructions identify, if you toss and turn, you might impact the validity of the test, so I made sure, I'm a corpse sleeper, meaning, if you were to ask my husband, I don't really move around a lot at night. By the time I fall asleep, I either lie flat on my back or on my side. I don't really toss and turn much. But I would imagine if someone's a disruptive sleeper who's back and forth that they could potentially knock the apparatus off. But it was pretty benign. It wasn't as cumbersome as a traditional polysomnography test, where you're in an environment where you've got electrodes all over your body, and you're in a lab sleeping in a hospital bed, which of course is not at all akin to the average person really having a restful night's sleep under those circumstances. 

This is probably a screening tool. If they're concerned about it, this might be a good screening tool, but it certainly is sensitive enough that if there isn't an indication that you're having periods of apnea, or hypopnea, or anything like that, that they can successfully rule out that you've got something significant. Plus, the other thing is, your listeners may or may not know this, but when I worked in cardiology as an NP, especially with men, if someone had a really big neck size, let's say, a size 17 shirt or greater, you assume they have sleep apnea until proven otherwise. Yeah, so, if someone has-- Even if it's a woman and they have a big neck, I'm going to be thinking about sleep apnea. Just one of those clinical pearls over the years that I learned. I used to, sometimes, I was like, "Do you snore when you sleep?" And people were like, "What?" I'm like, "Well, you have a big neck." And then as we get older, collagen and elastin don't work quite as well. And so, it's more common for people to get floppy in the back of their posterior pharynx, which can obstruct things or if they've got a deviated septum. I mean, there's a whole slew of things that can make you more prone to developing sleep apnea beyond just being overweight.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that was the reason I asked was because I've always been suspicious of the inpatient studies, because that just seems-- especially, if it's somebody who is already struggling with insomnia, it seems being in a foreign environment like that. It wouldn't naturally capture your normal sleep state. Being able to do it at home in a noninvasive manner, sounds pretty cool. I didn't even know that was an option.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I'm presuming they leave it for people that they think there's a low threshold for them actually having a positive test. I know in order for insurance to cover CPAP or BiPAP, which is the traditional technologies to address sleep apnea. Beyond the lifestyle stuff, you have to have a formal test. We actually had a sleep specialist in our practice that just that's all they did. [laughs] All day long was sleep studies and so, I would sometimes circulate to that part of the practice and would marvel at all the technology that goes on with it.

Melanie Avalon: So, is it measuring things beyond something that an Oura Ring would capture?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. You have electrodes everywhere. They've got a 12-lead EKG that's going on, they're looking at brainwaves. It depends on how sophisticated the environment is, but more often than not untreated obstructive sleep apnea puts you at risk for diabetes and high blood pressure. We know that if you're not properly oxygenating your body, it's a stressor and not in a good way. We used to always say like, "How many of these patients--?" Once we started treating their sleep apnea, their blood sugar got better, their blood pressure got better, they lost weight. And so, much to what I tell my female patients and clients is, "If I can't get you to sleep through the night, I can't get you to lose weight." And for a lot of people, it's oftentimes that missing link. If anyone's listening to this and they know they snore or they have periods of apnea, where they stopped breathing, you definitely want to connect with your internist and ask them to consider evaluation. Now, some internists will actually just order the test. Others want to refer you to a pulmonologist or a lung doctor, so that they can follow you.

Melanie Avalon: Wow, that is insanely helpful and it also reminded me of one super random, very quick tangent, I promise. But the jostling of the device, I was listening again to another Peter Attia episode, and he mentioned something that I have always wondered and didn't understand until now. This is his theory. I don't know if this is true, because he said, it was his theory. I'm not sure if this is actually what's happening. But why do you think when people put in a CGM that it takes a few days to be correct? how the first few days that they say it can be off? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, they tell you to throw the data away. I thought it had more to do with the device itself and trying to get acclimated, but is that due to people that are making changes because they then have the CGM.

Melanie Avalon: He said he thinks-- I thought it was as well what you said. He said he thinks it's because putting it in creates an injury to trauma in that area and that affects the use of glucose in that area. And so, it has to regulate. I was like, "Oh."

Cynthia Thurlow: When I think injury, I think-- [crosstalk] 

Melanie Avalon: He said trauma.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's like a micro trauma? Yeah. I have to tell you, I generally think Peter's pretty brilliant. I'll have to think about that. 

Melanie Avalon: I haven't googled it or researched it, but I was like, "That's interesting."

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I call it the Peter Attia rabbit hole, because sometimes he makes me think about something and I'm like, "All right, I need to process." And then after I process, I need to go down a couple rabbit holes and then I have to think more about it. But I think what's important is that we understand and consider that there might be different variables that impact how well a glucometer is reading things. Sometimes, I put on my CGM and I have to calibrate it. within 24 hours. My glucometer says one thing, and my CGM says another, and there's such a disparity. This one I have on beautiful, because I waited two and a half weeks after my surgery to even put it back on, because I just didn't want to know [laughs] what my body was doing. But I'm happy to report my blood sugar is looking pretty darn good. 

Melanie Avalon: How often do you wear one? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I wore it for about 18 months and then I needed a break. 

Melanie Avalon: Who, whoa, whoa. I thought I was doing a lot.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Well, because I was fascinated with it. And then in March, I decided because of the book launch, I didn't want to know, because I'm the type of person I get excited when I do a podcast. I get excited when I do something when I connect with other people. Every time I would do an interview, my cortisol would go up, and my blood sugar would go up, and I could literally just watch these little micro spikes all day long, and I was like, "This is going to make me crazy." I took a two-month break and it was good. Now, I'm putting it back on and I'm like, "Okay, now, I'm ready to--" I've got two more upstairs. I'll do it for a little while and then I'll reassess. But I think it's helpful. I don't think you have to do it for 18 months, but I tend to be a data geek and I tend to really enjoy tracking information. But I acknowledge I don't stress about it. I just go, "Hmm, okay, what do I need to do differently today?"

Melanie Avalon: I probably wore one for maybe four or five months and then I haven't recently. I actually just reached out to NutriSense and asked them to send me some more, because I want to jump back on. But that was something else-- Because the episode I was listening to was, it was either the CGM episode or just a blood sugar episode. But he was talking about HbA1c, and blood sugar regulation, and he did mention similar to what you just said, and I think this is important for listeners to know. He said, the highest spikes he sees and he thinks are often possible for people actually aren't from eating. They're from things like exercise, from the liver shunting out glucose. High stress events can definitely cause things like that. He was actually suggesting, if it makes people uneasy or stressed about it like you were talking about with the launch, just not looking at that data during-- because you know why it's happening. So, you have to know yourself, and know your relationship with the data, and how it makes you feel, and what's the most healthy way to engage with it.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's important. It's interesting. So, listeners may or may not know this. I carb cycle. On Friday. I decided Friday was going to be my higher carb day of the week. I had some sweet potato. I was happy to see that I didn't get much of a glucose or blood sugar spike. It was a difference of I think it went up 25 points, but it came down almost immediately and that's really what you want to see. Not this prolonged elevation in blood sugar. For me, on higher carb days, I'm really mindful of what mitigates my blood sugar response, and I almost always start with protein, and then add in the carb, and it's interesting. Have you read Glucose Goddess yet, her new book? 

Melanie Avalon: She's an author.

Cynthia Thurlow: She, I believe is a biochemist and her book is do doing really, really well. But she's a proponent of starting with vegetables first and then protein. I haven't gotten the book. I haven't ordered. It should arrive this week. 

Melanie Avalon: It's a new book?

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm. It's a new book and there a lot of people in the metabolic health space that are talking about it. I actually reached out to her, because I was like, "I'd love to interview you, I'd love to understand more about your book and your work, etc." But I think she's a biochemist. I think she's got a refreshing take and she's in Europe, I believe.

Melanie Avalon: Does she have a book before this or is this her first book?

Cynthia Thurlow: I thought this was her first, but it could be mistaken.

Melanie Avalon: I'm looking on Amazon right now. Is it how to be a Glucose Goddess?

Cynthia Thurlow: She's called Glucose Goddess, but I think-- What's the name of the book?

Melanie Avalon: Okay, yes. I just found it. So, it's--

Cynthia Thurlow: Glucose Revolution. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Glucose Revolution: The Life-changing Power of Balancing Your Blood Sugar by Jessie. I've no idea how you say your last name. Do you know how you say her last name?

Cynthia Thurlow: In-cha-chauspe. I don't know if she's French, but she speaks English really clearly. But I think she's French.

Melanie Avalon: It came out March 31st of this year and it already has 732 ratings five stars. Her endorsement is by Tim Spector. Have you heard back from her? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. She said yes and I'd be supposed to reach out to her. I was like, one of those things I wanted to make sure I mentioned it to you, because I know you would want to have her on your radar, too.

Melanie Avalon: Her other endorsement is from David Sinclair. Very cool. One of my favorites. I've to check it out and listen to your interview with her. 

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Melanie Avalon: Going back to Scott, he had a quick PS. He said, "Also that ashwagandha and kefir have both been shown to help with dry mouth." Are you a fan of adaptogens, Cynthia? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, gosh, I use tons of them. I'm a huge fan. In fact, when my HRV was off and my readiness score was in the toilet, [laughs] I've been that way since I had surgery. I started tweaking with some adaptogenic herbs. And so, I'm a big proponent. I don't use them all the time, but clearly my body was still perceiving a significant stress response. I've been, again with the electrolytes last couple days, and then adding in. There's an herbal blend that I will sometimes use by Designs for Health that has got a little bit of licorice root, so it can be a little bit stimulative, it's got ashwagandha, it's holy basil. It's designed to be nourishing to the adrenal glands. To me, it's not at all stimulating. I don't take that if I feel I need an adrenal glandular, but I do love adaptogens. They're plant-based compounds, if people are unfamiliar with them. But to me, it's a really nourishing way to help balance cortisol. 

The really cool thing is that a lot of these adaptogenic herbs can help buffer cortisol if it's high and they can-- If your cortisol is low for some people, ashwagandha is a good example of this. It can do both. It can also be a little bit stimulating. That's the amazing thing with these plant-based compounds and that's why it's also important to work with someone that understands how a lot of these plant-based compounds worked. But to me, it's one of the easiest ways to provide adrenal support and stress support in the body, and it could be as simple as drinking holy basil tea. You don't even have to make it complicated, it doesn't have to be in a capsule form. There's a lot of different ways, a lot of different ways. I love teas in particular. There's a friend of mine, who's a master herbalist and an acupuncturist, and she has a company called Striving for Health. She makes the most amazing tea blends. I used to be able to see her in person, but I order her teas as gifts all the time, because people really enjoy them.

Melanie Avalon: I know. People are going to ask, "Are these teas okay for the clean fast?"

Cynthia Thurlow: It depends on which tea you're looking at. A lot of them have got different components, because she's a master herbalist, she pulls different things together. There are a couple, but I always say, when in doubt, just have it when you break your fast or have it before bedtime. Most of her herbal teas are not caffeinated. If they are, she is very clear about identifying which ones are. She's got some for immune support, she has some for stress, she has some that she calls them like love. It's not meant they don't boost your libido, but they're very calming and so, you can definitely check out her products on her website. It's really high-quality teas, and she sources very carefully, and she's a bit OCD. She used to have CBD products that were phenomenal. I think with the pandemic, it really changed her business model a bit. I think those are now on hold, but she really has some beautiful, beautiful tea as if people are tea drinkers or just want to try different things. One thing about tea, people may or may not know, a lot of it's contaminated. So, you always want to make sure you're getting from a good source, whether it's organic or working with a master herbalist, who knows a lot about where they're sourcing their products from.

Melanie Avalon: The adaptogen, I've had the most success with personally, at least, because I think something to understand is that we're all unique. And so, different adaptions might work for different people. The one that always works for me really well was rhodiola. I just respond well to that one.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting. I've only had one patient who didn't do well with rhodiola. Generally, it's very nourishing. You take it before bed, it's very calming, it helps buffer cortisol. There was some genetic SNP. I forget what it was. But she took it in and she was like wide awake all night long?" I was like, "Oh, my God, I've never seen this happen." But yeah, we'll have to do a podcast and we'll dig into the adaptogens, because they're really fascinating. And how some are better before bed, some are better if you need things to be stimulating. There's really good research on ashwagandha and maca. Those are two that I generally say are-- there's enough research on both of them to feel comfortable saying. You can go, pull research, and look at the effects in women, and it's fascinating.

Melanie Avalon: Do you have thoughts on--? I remember when I was in my adaptogen research crazy phase people will say that ashwagandha is a nightshade. Have you heard that?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. And so, if you're sensitive to tomatoes, and potatoes, and peppers, you want to be careful with ashwagandha. To be fair, it's in that family. If you don't tolerate eggplant, and white potatoes, and peppers, you might want to be careful with ashwagandha.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Okay. Shall we go on to our next question. Thank you for the feedback, Scott. That was really helpful and inspired a lot of tangents. Shall we go on to our first question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is from Maria. Subject is: "Struggling with intermittent fasting." "I have been fasting for approximately five months, but I am struggling. I started with 16:8 and I've worked my way to fasting 20 to 22 hours a day. I have done two 24-hour fasts. I have Raynaud's, which makes fasting difficult on some days because I get so cold and it is hard to get the blood flowing in my hands. On a recent visit to my doctor for my annual exam, my blood work showed a positive result for inflammation specifically RA and ANA. I have an appointment with a specialist soon. I feel better than I did when I was eating all the time and I've lost a few pounds, but I'm not really seeing any changes in my body. Although, I'm not going to give up on fasting, I'm feeling discouraged. I know the process is different for everyone because everyone's body is different, and has different needs, and I keep reminding myself to let the process work. But I'm wondering if I need to tweak what I'm doing and what that should look like. I'm basically eating whatever I want during my window including sweets. I used to work out all the time, but I have not since school started in August. I hope to get back to it this spring. I am not sleeping well and I definitely do not feel energetic. Could I be one of those that will need to modify my diet, looking for some guidance on what to do? I don't want to give up on fasting."

Melanie Avalon: All right, Maria. Well, thank you so much for your question. I've always said Raynaud's. Is it Raynaud's, or Raynaud's, or--?

Cynthia Thurlow: We used to call it Raynaud's. And so, it's a vasospasm in the fingers.

Melanie Avalon: I used to struggle with that pretty badly. I think a lot of people don't realize that it's considered to be an autoimmune condition as well, which makes sense. It might tie in to your blood work that you got back about autoimmune indicators. I think this question is really important because they think there's a-- When she says at the end, "Could I be one of the few that will need to modify my diet? I think there's this big misconception in the fasting world that fasting is the be all end all. It will magically solve everything and that your diet choices don't matter. I just feel so strongly that your diet choices do matter and especially, if you're struggling with autoimmune conditions. With autoimmune conditions, your immune system is reacting to things and it has misidentified certain proteins in your body as being problematic, and having an immune attack on those, and that can very intensely be linked to dietary choices, and what you're eating, encouraging that, or sparking that, or keeping that going. Because I've had a lot of episodes on autoimmune issues, and elimination diets, and stuff. 

I would check out my interview with Dr. Will Cole for his book, The Inflammation Spectrum, because we really dived deep into autoimmune conditions and how they start-- By the time you see antibodies on your results, that was a long time coming. They don't just pop up overnight. That episode, the show notes are at melanieavalon.com/inflammation. 0

You don't need to give up on the fasting, because the fasting is not working. It is that's probably something else you're doing is not working. [chuckles] I don't think you are one of the few that needs to modify your diet. It's just my personal opinion. I think a lot of people will thrive when they find the diet that best suits them. This can be very empowering Maria, because there's so much potential here for change, especially since you haven't made any changes in what you're eating. There is so much potential here. I think you can make radical shifts, if you find the diet that works for you and figure out what's exacerbating these conditions. Oh, and I want to bring up to the Raynaud's. My Raynaud's went away when I adopted-- I was low carb, but I wasn't "paleo." I was still eating a lot of processed foods, a lot of gluten, even additives, and a high-fat, low-carb diet, and I had Raynaud's. When I switched to paleo, and cut out the additives, and just ate a diet of Whole Foods, fruit, vegetables, meat, my Raynaud's went away. So, there's a lot of potential. Do you have thoughts, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. The first thought is, once you have one autoimmune issue, you're more prone to them again. Autoimmune issues almost always speak to hyperpermeability of the small intestine aka leaky gut. So when I think about, we already know she's got some type of inflammation. She's not sleeping well, she's eating a lot of sweets. She mentioned that she's eating sweets. This is not a judgment. I'm just pointing out what she shared with us. I think this really speaks to we need more information. When she sees that specialist, who I'm assuming is going to be a rheumatologist very likely. They may or may not talk to her about nutrition, but the lifestyle piece is critically important. You got to dial in on the sleep. And in fact, in my book, I talk a lot about the fact that if you can't sleep through the night, your body's not in the position to be able to add the hormesis or the hormetic stressor of fasting. This isn't to suggest 12 hours a day isn't great. That's a great starting point. But this is absolutely, positively. I don't know how old Maria is. She's perimenopausal, menopausal. We don't respond to stress the same way. 

My first recommendation would be, obviously, you're going to see that specialist which I think is great. You're already prone to developing another autoimmune issue. That's number two. Number three, you got to dial in on the sleep and the nutrition. I love Melanie's suggestion about looking into Dr. Will Cole's book, The autoimmune-- When we look at autoimmunity and we're looking at diets that re going to reduce inflammation in the body. It's pulling out the most inflammatory foods. Gluten, and grains, and dairy, and sugar, and alcohol, and really looking at your relationship with each one of those, if that's triggering, if that is bothersome to hear, really looking at like, "Well, maybe I'm eating the sweets, because I'm so tired, because my body's not getting the degree of nourishing sleep that it really needs." And so, that's really a great starting point. Start with the lifestyle piece, but the sleep, if you are not sleeping through the night and that's the way it is consistently, you have to address that first. Because we know based on research what is happening in your body when you're not getting restorative sleep, we know that it leads to blood sugar dysregulation, it leads to issues of leptin and ghrelin, which are these hunger and satiety hormones. You don't make good choices when you're sleep deprived. You're not going to crave broccoli, you're going to crave sweets because your body's looking for a quick fuel source. So, definitely keep us posted. But when I read that, those are the things that stood out to me.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you brought up the sleep aspect. It's interesting. I was recording my intro, because the episode is releasing, I think in two weeks on my other show is with Dr. Michael Breus. I released one episode with him about sleep, but this is a Part 2. When I was recording the intro, I made the statement that I think sleep is, out of all the health things, the thing that I think about the most or most prioritize. I said it and then I was like, "Is that a true statement?" Because I think a lot about fasting, I think a lot about diet, but it is. I think sleep is so, so important. So, I'm really glad you brought that up.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. And I love Dr. Breus. He's another person that I think of like Rick Johnson, whose enthusiasm for what he does is infectious.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, he's so enthusiastic. All right. We have a question from Jessica. I'm really excited about this question. This came in and I was like, "Cynthia, would you be able to speak to this?" She said, "Yes, so." I was excited. The subject is: "Botox." And Jessica says, "Hi, Melanie. Welcome, Cynthia. I believe I've listened to all of the IF podcasts and I don't think I've heard any Botox discussion. Could IF I make my body metabolize Botox quicker? It usually lasts about three months. I have some non-IF friends, who have Botox that lasts longer, closer to four to five months. We go to the same plastic surgeon. So, same Botox supply, same Botox areas and injection procedure. I'm 40 years old, very healthy overall. I've done IF for two years and now I'm in maintenance mode. I'm 5'6" and I weigh 135 pounds. I've only been doing Botox for the last year. I don't know how my body would have reacted to Botox with no IF. I'm also curious on your thoughts on Botox in general. Do the two of you do Botox? I know it's a personal question, but I trust the two of you so much and would love any insight on the risk versus reward. I will say it makes me feel good when I look in the mirror, which is just one piece of the puzzle for my overall wellbeing. Thank you."

Cynthia Thurlow: This is a great question. I will be happy and transparent with everyone, and say that I have used Botox for about 12 years. I initially started using it because I have a very hypermobile forehead and it just bothered me. I also have one eyebrow that sits a little lower than the other. I think that Botox is fine for people to utilize. I think it really requires a very precise application, because no one wants to look like the real housewives who are over Botoxed, and overfilled, and over plumped. I think on a lot of levels-- I'm very transparent about this on social media because people are shocked when they hear me talk about. I said, "There's no shame, if you decide to use Botox." I've never had a bad situation with Botox. I've always gone to the same provider, who's in Northern Virginia and is arguably one of the most talented providers I've ever met in my entire life. I think there's nothing wrong with doing Botox. 

Obviously, I was middle aged when I started using it. The irony is that my Botox doesn't last as long as my friends does. The general school of thought because I've talked to plastic surgery friends of mine, I've talked about this with my own provider, and they think there are just some people who metabolize the Botox toxin faster than others. It isn't always in thinner, fitter people. Sometimes, it can be in heavier people. I think that's really speaking to our own physiology. Actually, what I do now is what we affectionately refer to as baby Botox. I do very small increments, but I do it more frequently and that's worked better for me. That's actually lasted longer than when I was doing, I don't know, 20 to 30 units every six months. Now, I do about half of that and do it more frequently. And that has worked well. I don't want to have a frozen face, I don't have any desire to pretend that I'm not a 50-year-old woman, but I even looked into research to see if there's anything to suggest. There's an association with being a faster metabolizer. There was nothing that I was able to locate, but I think this is probably just what makes you unique. 

Jessica and I share the same issue. I think on a lot of levels that the more often those of us that are on platforms that are connecting with a large variety of men and women, the more transparent we can be. We can destigmatize talking about these kinds of things. I think there's absolutely no shame. If you choose to get filler, or you choose to get Botox, or you just choose to get a laser, or whatever it is you decide to do, there's no judgement. I think we each have to decide what works best for us. I just build this into my discretionary budget that I use. I just say, "Okay, every eight to 10 weeks this is what I do." I do a little bit of Botox at a time, and that works a whole lot better for me, and it ends up being the same amount of money, because I'm not doing as large of a dose. I'm just doing a little bit at a time and that's worked better for me. How about you, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: I have not done Botox. I've been interested in doing it, actually. One of my friends said she did it. Well, she's done it in her face and then she did it for TMJ or I know it's not TMJ. It's TM. The right acronym is different. TMJ is actually just the name of the joint.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, that inflammation or people that have migraines still use it therapeutically.

Melanie Avalon: I clench my jaw and I get inflammation there. She said, "It's been a complete game changer getting it in her jaw actually." I'm glad to hear that you went into the research on the fasting. I probably would have thought that it speeds it up, but it's interesting to hear that there's not really any research. I was of the same opinion that people are so different. Some people metabolize things much faster than others and it's just really unique. I cannot agree more about the stigmas. I echo what you said and then what Jessica said, where she said that it's one piece of the puzzle for her overall wellbeing. I find it really ironic that and maybe I'm going to go on a soapbox, but we don't stigmatize makeup. And that's arguably changing your appearance. The only difference is that it's temporary and you can wash it off. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Or, how's it different than a filter? That's the one thing I struggle with this a little bit, because I'm obviously 50 years old and listeners may hear me say this more than once that there's so much [smoke and mirrors, and it's not unique to any one age group. But there's absolutely nothing wrong if you want to get your hair highlighted, or you want to go to the gym and exercise, or you choose to use an injectable, or you want to get your teeth whitened. I think of it all on a similar continuum, although, I do find and I'm sure you probably see this on social media. Sometimes, if someone looks really good for their age, they just assume they have to had done something to themselves. I think that's unfair. There are some people who are just unicorns and they look great, probably rolling out of bed. But the rest of us may require a little bit of, I don't want to use the word, smoke and mirrors. We might require a little bit of makeup or we might require-- Maybe we've got Spanx on underneath their dress. These things that make us feel good about ourselves. It's not for external validation. It makes us feel better.

Melanie Avalon: If we're going to stigmatize cosmetic surgery fillers, Botox, I honestly think it should be in the exact same bucket as filters on Instagram, makeup, even the clothing you choose to wear, because all of it is be at the motive to make yourself feel more attractive for yourself or for other people. The motive is making you feel better in your own skin and your actual appearance. And so, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I think people should just do what makes them feel good. Yeah, I have no issues with it at all. I do think it's really important to do your research and make sure you're working with practitioners, so that you'll be happy with it. So, it doesn't become something that you obviously regret.

Cynthia Thurlow: We don't want anyone to look like a muppet. That's my general gestalt. I have teenage boys and sometimes, they'll ask if they see something on TV or in a print ad. They'll say, "What's wrong with that person's face?" I'm probably going to guess they used a little too much filler." There's no judgement, but to each his own about what works for you and what aligns with you philosophically and otherwise. I just think the world is a better place when we don't pass judgment on one another and we just accept that we may have different opinions about a lot of different things.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And with the judgment piece, what does it matter? What does it matter what somebody else looks like? [chuckles] Why do we have to judge them or even have a feeling about that either way? It's people's personal life.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think people get triggered, and then they get nasty, and they're keyboard warriors, and--

Melanie Avalon: Projection. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly, exactly. 

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Melanie Avalon: All right, shall we answer one more question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yep. This is from Leah. "Hello, I was introduced IF via Gin's book, Fast. Feast. Repeat by one of my best friends three weeks ago while I was visiting her. I quick read through two thirds of it while I was there. I agree with everything I saw so far and started IF that very day. Now, I'm binging the podcasts. Melanie, I just discovered you have a separate one like Gin does and will be starting that one very soon along with searching out your book, What When Wine. I'm on episode 104-ish of this one. I vaguely recall an episode with a guest. I think that mentioned testing urine pH or maybe it was in the Stories Podcast, but can't really remember what the pH is supposed to ideally test as alkaline or acidic, nor what this indicates. 

I have a matchbook pH strips that I ordered immediately after hearing about such an easy and inexpensive way to test things, but ADHD and can't remember what I'm testing my pH for. Could you all shed some light on this, and maybe go into the science behind it or something? You both explain things so well and in layman's terms, so it makes sense to all of us listening. I did have another question originally, but I wanted to catch up on the present before asking. And although, I'm only a third of the way through the episodes, they've all been answered in the podcast so far. Joovv, Dry Farm Wines, and the bone broth people, I'll hear the name next podcast, LOL. All sounds awesome and I intend to give each one of them my business as I'm able and when I have the freezer space. Thanks for such awesome recommendations. Much appreciated. Leah."

Melanie Avalon: All right, Leah, thank you so much for your question. Perfect timing. The guests that you're referring to was Dr. Anna Cabeca, who we were talking about earlier. We'll put a link in the show notes to the episodes that we've had with her. But so, basically, the idea with urine testing for pH is that our bodies need to maintain a certain pH in the blood. I just asked Cynthia on it. She said, "It was what 7.35 to--"

Cynthia Thurlow: 7.45.

Melanie Avalon: 7.45. Here's the thing. People will often make the argument that your food choices and everything don't matter, because we don't really see a change in the blood pH, because our bodies buffer it accordingly, which tends to be true. When you measure your blood pH, you're usually not going to see it outside of the parameter that needs to be in. If you're eating a really acidic diet, for example, your body has to do things to buffer that acidic load and create the more alkaline state that needs to be in. That requires certain minerals and nutrients. Those have to come from somewhere. It's a stressful process for your body to maintain the pH that needs to be, if the diet that you are eating doesn't quite support that. The place that you can see that, because again, measuring your blood, it's probably not going to show up in your blood. You can see it in your urine, because that's where you're going to see the metabolic byproducts of that process. Measuring your urine with a pH strip can show you if your body actually is "more acidic." And again, the confusing thing about it is your body's actually not acidic, because your body is mitigating it but it's a stressful process that can be pulling minerals and such from your bones, for example, so eating a diet that supports a healthy pH state and they often call it an alkaline diet can support that.

And then there's a lot of controversy around that because there's a difference between-- If you go online and you google alkaline versus acidic foods, you're going to get a lot of different lists. Because some people will say, the certain foods are alkaline and acidic based on the actual food itself. Some people go by the PRAL score, which I think is more important and that's the potential renal acid load and that actually speaks to the metabolism of those foods and the resulting acidic or alkaline effect it has based on the ash that is created from those foods. I would go by those lists. You can just actually google PRAL, P-R-A-L. We can actually put a link in the show notes. There're some pretty good lists online. But yes, so, the purpose of the pH is to see if your body is more easily maintaining the pH that it needs to be at. What are your thoughts on that, Cynthia? I might have screwed some of that up. 

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think you did a beautiful explanation. When I think about pH and obviously, my backgrounds in ER med in cardiology. We did arterial blood gases. We were looking at really minutia of information on people who are very sick. I think that testing urine pH is certainly reasonable to be looking to see if you're leaning more alkaline or acidic. I think what's most important is that you're really leaning into a healthier, less processed diet. Lots of polyphenol rich foods, if you tolerate-- I start thinking about eat the rainbow along with less processed meats, eggs, fish, etc., you're going to more naturally lean towards an alkaline-based methodology. Do I routinely check my urine?" No, but my integrative medicine doc every once in while wants me to check. I have these strips in my house. You can buy on Amazon and it's very easy to do. I use it as a check in. I can pretty much tell you that I exist in an alkaline state more often than not, but if I were to eat too much dark chocolate or if I ate a bunch of processed food, I'm sure I'd probably lean more acidic. But I don't think anyone should worry or stress about this too much, because our body does a great job of buffering. We have bicarbonate, we have things in our bodies that are designed to buffer pH. There's a whole methodology in our respiratory system and our kidneys really do a nice job fine tuning this. So, don't put a lot of stress into it. I'm so glad that you are enjoying Gin's book. And yeah, there's so much goodness in this podcast. I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Yeah, I've actually also heard, I don't know if this is true, but we actually talked about this before on the show when I was going down my rabbit holes of researching pH and alkaline and acidic states. People will say that the reason you sigh after a big meal is because one of the methods of offloading, because you're talking about all the different ways that we buffer that acidic load is actually through our breath. I don't know if that's the case, but it actually makes sense to me.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, you saying the lungs and the kidneys are what provide the buffering, whether it's alkalosis or acidosis. When you look at results from an ABG, it can show you how the body is trying to compensate and it's really cool. Back in my critical care days, I loved diving into all the science behind that. But the body really is very sophisticated. Unless you have a kidney problem or you have a respiratory problem, your body works very, very hard at fine tuning your blood pH and pH in your body overall because we know for homeostasis it's really important that we keep things in this very narrow parameter.

Melanie Avalon: I know we're running out of time, but even something-- Because when talking about how our body regulates things, it really is impressive. For example, calcium, people could be following a pretty low-calcium diet. I don't want to make absolutes. But if you go to the doctor and test your blood calcium, it's probably still going to be fine. It's really impressive what the body can do. Even when you think about blood sugar, I know we talk about people's blood sugar spiking. Even the massive spikes that we think of, if you compare that to the amount of sugar people are taking in that led to that, it's really impressive that the body even keeps it at numbers that we would think would still be really high. I think we see that with people who have type 1 diabetes because that's when they will get blood sugars that are even in the five hundreds or something. It's like, "Oh, so, this is what would be happening if the body actually couldn't regulate." 

All righty, well, this has been absolutely wonderful. 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. A reminder to listeners to definitely enter the giveaway that we talked about in the beginning of the episode that was to win an awesome collection of goodies from Cynthia's team, supplements and some really fun things. Check out our Instagram, @ifpodcast.com to see what you can win. And again, to enter, write a review of Cynthia's book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation on Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, wherever you got the book from. Send a screenshot to questions@ifpodcast.com and we will enter you into that giveaway. This is open to listeners in the continental United States only. 

And then some more resources for you guys before we go. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode268. The show notes will have links to everything that we talked about as well as a full transcript. So, definitely check that out. You can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon on Instagram and Cynthia, I promise, Sunday, I'll remember your handle. Wait, let me try, let me try @_cynthia_thurlow. 

Cynthia Thurlow: @cynthia_thurlow_. I know and for everyone who's listening, it is innately frustrating, because I was not able to have the same name across social media. So, yeah, my team even scratches their head. It's @cynthia_thurlow_ and I have a blue check, so, you'll be able to find me. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, you're very easily findable. So, that's good. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful and I will talk to you next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds great. 

Melanie Avalon: 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!

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May 15

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

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 265 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get 2 10 oz. ribeyes, 5 lbs of chicken drumsticks, and a pack of burgers for FREE!!

4:00 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

10:00 - scott's personal story

12:00 - orphan drugs

20:30 - MD Logic

24:25 - purity, potency, and testing

28:00 - GMP (Good Manufacturing process)

31:00 - testing for authenticity, purity and potency

32:00 - melatonin

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

34:00 - organics

36:00 - Other Ingredients

38:00 - variances in dosage

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

47:45 - fillers and side effects

56:45 - MCT as the flow agent

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

1:00:30 - enteric coatings

Frequently Asked Questions

1:07:00 - serrapeptase

1:10:00 - timing

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

INSIDETRACKER: Get The Blood And DNA Tests You Need To Be Testing, Personalized Dietary Recommendations, An Online Portal To Analyze Your Bloodwork, Find Out Your True "Inner Age," And More! Listen To My Interview With The Founder Gil Blander At melanieavalon.com/insidetracker! Go To insidetracker.com/melanie And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE20 For 20% Off All Tests Sitewide!

1:21:20 - rotation

1:21:35 - vitamin d

1:23:30 - magnesium

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

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

1:34:50 - HCL and digestive enzymes

1:35:40 - heartburn medicines

1:38:50 - Recommendations for other supplements

use the code melanieavalon for 10% any Order At AvalonX.us and mdlogichealth.com, And Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist

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

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 265 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get a free grilling bundle with over seven pounds of delicious meat all for free. Yes, for free. We are so honored to be sponsored by ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get high-quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, that's really hard to find, by the way, and wild caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect, and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency, regarding grazing practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox. You can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. But I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. All of their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished. That's really hard to find. And they work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves, but the planet. This is so important to me. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. 

If you recently saw a documentary on Netflix called Seaspiracy, you might be a little bit nervous about eating seafood. Now, I understand why ButcherBox makes it so, so clear and important about how they work with the seafood industry. Everything is checked for transparency, for quality, and for sustainable raising practices. You want their seafood. The value is incredible. The average cost is actually less than $6 per meal. And it's so easy. Everything ships directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing. I remember the first time I had one and I just thought, "This is honestly one of the best steaks I've ever had in my entire life." On top of that, did you know that the fatty acid profile of grass-fed, grass-finished steaks is much healthier for you than conventional steaks. And their bacon, for example, is from pastured pork, and sugar and nitrate free. How hard is that to find? 

And for a limited time, ButcherBox is offering our new members a free grilling bundle in their first order. Friends, this is a deal you do not want to miss, especially with the warm weather upon us. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and you will get two 10-ounce grass-fed ribeyes, five pounds of organic free range chicken drumsticks, and a pack of grass-fed burgers all for free. Yes, for free. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to claim this deal. 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? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disrupters, which mess with our hormones, obesogens, which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. When you're putting on your conventional skincare makeup, you're likely putting toxic compounds directly into your body. These compounds can make you feel bad, can make it really hard to lose weight, can affect your hormones, your mood, your health. And ladies, if you're thinking of having kids, when you have a child, these compounds actually go directly through the placenta into the newborn. That means your skincare makeup that you're putting on today actually affects the health of future generations. 

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Emmens: I'm sticking with that story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Emmens: Dosage and context. 

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? 

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

Melanie Avalon: I'm not sure, probably.

Scott Emmens: What year was that? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Emmens: No, much smaller than that.

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

Scott Emmens: That product will soon to be coming. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: PQQ? 

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

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

Scott Emmens: Fasting is a tremendous mitochondrial support.

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

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

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

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

Scott Emmens: Sounds great. Thank you, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Scott Emmens: Bye-bye. 

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

May 08

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

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 264 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

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

3:50 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

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

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

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

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

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 264 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. 

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get free electrolyte supplements, some of which are clean, fast approved, all developed by none other than Robb Wolf. Have you been struggling to feel good with low carb, paleo, keto, or fasting? Have you heard of something called the keto flu? Here's the thing. The keto flu is not actually a condition. Nope. Keto flu just refers to a bundle of symptoms, headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps and insomnia that people experience in the early stages of keto dieting. Here's what's going on. 

When you eat a low-carb diet, your insulin levels drop. Low insulin, in turn lowers the production of the hormone aldosterone. Now aldosterone is made in the kidneys and it helps you retain sodium. Low aldosterone on a keto diet makes you lose sodium at a rapid rate. Even if you are consciously consuming electrolytes, you might not be getting enough. In particular, you need electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium in order for nerve impulses to properly fire. Robb Wolf, who as you guys know is my hero in the holistic health world worked with the guys at Ketogains to get the exact formulation for electrolyte supplements to formulate LMNT Recharge, so you can maintain ketosis and feel your best. LMNT recharge has no sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients, no junk. They're used by three Navy SEALs teams, they are the official hydration partner to Team USA weightlifting, they're used by multiple NFL teams, and so much more. Guess what? We worked out an exclusive deal for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast listeners only. Guys, this is huge. They weren't going to do a deal, I begged them, here we are. 

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

I am loving LMNT and I think you guys will too. Again, this is completely free. You have nothing to lose. Just go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. That's D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dotcom forward slash I-F-P-O-D-C-A-S-T. I'll put all this information in the show notes. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody, and welcome this is Episode number 264 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with, Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

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

Melanie Avalon: Yes. So, Gin--

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Probably. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Maybe so.

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's right. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: No.

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: This is my laugh. Yeah.

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

Gin Stephens: Yeah. 100%.

Melanie Avalon: You learn a lot.

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

Melanie Avalon: What did they write?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: I love that. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Twice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: That is so crazy. 

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

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

Gin Stephens: I forwarded it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: It's a job.

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: This is true. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Wow, this was meant to be.

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow, really? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

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

Melanie Avalon: Methylcobalamin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay. Awesome. 

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

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

Gin Stephens: Other than an elimination protocol. 

Melanie Avalon: Yep. Any other thoughts about that? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: 100% right back atcha.

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

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

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

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

May 01

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

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 263 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

AVALONX SERRAPEPTASE: A Proteolytic Enzyme Which May Help Clear Sinuses And Brain Fog, Reduce Allergies, Support A Healthy Inflammatory State, Enhance Wound Healing, Break Down Fatty Deposits And Amyloid Plaque, Supercharge Your Fast, And More!  AvalonX Supplements Are Free Of Toxic Fillers And Common Allergens (Including Wheat, Rice, Gluten, Dairy, Shellfish, Nuts, Soy, Eggs, And Yeast), Tested To Be Free Of Heavy Metals And Mold, And Triple Tested For Purity And Potency. Order At AvalonX.Us, And Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At melanieavalon.com/avalonx!

AUDIBLE: This is Melanie's well-known secret for reading #allthebooks #allthetime! Audible provides the largest selection of audiobooks on the planet, in every genre! With Audible, you can listen on any device, anytime, anywhere! Every month, members get 1 credit to pick any title, unlimited Audible Originals, access to daily news digests (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post), guided meditation programs, Audible Sleep, and more! Audible provides rollover credits, easy exchanges, discounts on titles beyond credits, and audiobooks you'll keep forever! For those with children, check out the free Stories.Audible.com! Go To audible.com/ifpodcast Or Text IFPODCAST To 500500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook!

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

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - - AVALONX: Order At AvalonX.Us, And Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At melanieavalon.com/avalonx!

4:20 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 263 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 263 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with, Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Of 2017?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: I was so excited. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Wait, sorry. That just happened?

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Now, that would be interesting. 

Melanie Avalon: Since the beginning. 

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

Melanie Avalon: I don't either. 

Gin Stephens: I don't know. 

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

Gin Stephens: Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: A lot of people started listening. 

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

Melanie Avalon: We had a lot of pun names.

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: I know. 

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

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

Gin Stephens: Like a filler. 

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

Gin Stephens: Like a memorial, yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: And the listeners. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Right. You wanted to establish credibility.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Can you search through old posts? 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: I know. Yeah. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Likewise. 

Gin Stephens: Anything new going on with you?

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Very exciting. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: What about the appliances and stuff?

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? 

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

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

Gin Stephens: You can make it completely black.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes.

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

Melanie Avalon: They just don't want them?

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

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

Gin Stephens: A skylight kind of a thing? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Goals. 

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: You can come visit. 

Gin Stephens: All right.

Melanie Avalon: It'll be super fun.

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

Gin Stephens: Okay. 

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Salt or fat.

Gin Stephens: Salt, fat, or sweet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Yep. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, how about sweet?

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: And what about salt?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Yes. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: That's right. 

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

Gin Stephens: Ted Naiman was not. 

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

Gin Stephens: Right. 

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

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

Melanie Avalon: We did, yeah. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Matt Gallant. 

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: I love umami. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: And what's your blood type? 

Melanie Avalon: O.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Can we answer that part, now? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Fact. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode263 and then you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens, and I think that is all the things. 

Gin Stephens: Yep. Great episode. Five years.

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

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Apr 17

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

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 261 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

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SHOW NOTES

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

3:45 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #122 - R Blank

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17:50 - AVALONX: Order At AvalonX.Us, And Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At melanieavalon.com/avalonx!

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 261 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get free electrolyte supplements, some of which are clean, fast approved, all developed by none other than Robb Wolf. Have you been struggling to feel good with low carb, paleo, keto, or fasting? Have you heard of something called the keto flu? Here's the thing. The keto flu is not actually a condition. Nope. Keto flu just refers to a bundle of symptoms. Headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, and insomnia that people experience in the early stages of keto dieting. Here's what's going on. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 261 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. 

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin? 

Gin Stephens: I am fantastic. I've got some very exciting news.

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

Gin Stephens: We are moving.

Melanie Avalon: Again? [laughs] 

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

Melanie Avalon: Because last time you were, too. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Whoa. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Isn't an attic? 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

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

Melanie Avalon: A famous golfer? 

Gin Stephens: Yes. 

Melanie Avalon: Nice. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Very cool. 

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Walk outside barefoot whenever I can.

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Yep, let's get started.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: That's so funny. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Agreed. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Can we find out? 

Gin Stephens: I don't know. 

Melanie Avalon: I read that and my jaw dropped.

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

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

Gin Stephens: That would be amazing. 

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: We're answering it now. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, today. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Yes, but not crazy cold. 

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: What was in your book about it? 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, sorry.

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

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I did.

Gin Stephens: Uh-oh. Typos are everywhere. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. 

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

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

Gin Stephens: No.

Melanie Avalon: The MTHFR.

Gin Stephens: Oh, did I say it wrong? 

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: No. 

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

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

Melanie Avalon: I doubt you did.

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Clean(ish)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: You totally should have. 

Melanie Avalon: It doesn't make much sense. 

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Really? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. 

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

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

Gin Stephens: Macmillan.

Melanie Avalon: Okay.

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

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

Gin Stephens: Okay.

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: They don't do it there. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

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

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. 

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

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

Gin Stephens: No. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: That is correct. 

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: Lettuce?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: I think you might have. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: On our system. 

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

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's funny. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: That does sound interesting. 

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

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

Melanie Avalon: If you think about it--

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

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

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

Gin Stephens: Awesome. 

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: All right, bye. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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Apr 10

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

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 260 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

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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!!

3:25 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

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

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

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

The SCD Specific Carbohydrate Diet Podcast

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

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

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #119 - Robb Wolf

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

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

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

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

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

Gut-microbiota-targeted diets modulate human immune status

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

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

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 260 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 260 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

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

Melanie Avalon: So, what was it for exactly?

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

Melanie Avalon: How many people were there?

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

Melanie Avalon: Did you drive? 

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, definitely from--

Gin Stephens: From Augusta. Yeah.

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Well, that's fun. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: When did you get back? 

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? 

Gin Stephens: No. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Wow. Things have changed. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. 

Gin Stephens: Anything new with you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Once she's there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Some.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friends, even other bone broths that I really love always have salt added. This doesn't. Her bone broth are made from grass-fed ranch raised beef and vegetarian-fed free-range chicken bones from Certified Humane USDA Organic Farms and all certified organic vegetables are using the broth as well. There's no antibiotics, no hormones, only the good stuff. Here's the super cool thing about Beauty & the Broth. It can be a little bit of a hassle to transport bone broth. It's heavy, you have to keep it frozen. Guess what? Beauty & the Broth comes in shelf stable packets with no preservatives that you keep at room temperature and they are in concentrated form. That means that you add back water to reconstitute and you can make it any strength that you like. They're single servings, so you can take them with you on the go, and even on the plane as yes, they are three ounces, and they're delicious. Oh, my goodness, friends, they will just make you light up. They're honestly, one of the most amazing things I've ever tasted. All for all of you vegans and vegetarians Beauty & the Broth has a brand-new vegan broth concentrate. It is USDA organic and is a slow simmered broth, which is reduced into a thick gelatinous gel. You mix it with hot water and turn it into a delicious sipping broth. It features organic mushrooms, and chickpeas, ginger, seaweed, and pea protein. It is so delicious. So, definitely check that out. 

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

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

Gin Stephens: Absolutely. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Nice. I agree. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: That's elapsed time? 

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

Melanie Avalon: Why is it hard?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: That makes sense. Yep. 

Melanie Avalon: I like math. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

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

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

Gin Stephens: I know Lee.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you do? 

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? 

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, nice. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I love her. 

Melanie Avalon: Do you know her Barney story?

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

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

Gin Stephens: I did not know that. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yes, definitely, definitely, definitely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and my kids were above average. So, they probably would have needed 30. [laughs] Joking, but you know.

Melanie Avalon: I do want to comment on the toothpaste really quickly, because I know we've talked about a lot of different toothpastes that we've used over the years. The one I use right now, I actually really, really like and it has no sweetness to it at all. It is Weleda Salt toothpaste. I get it at Whole Foods. I'm looking at the EWG rating for it right now, the Environmental Working Group, and this is the 2016 formulations. I'd have to double check and make sure it's the same formulation. Oh, and to clarify, the Environmental Working Group also something that Gin talks about in her book, Clean(ish), which we will put a link to in the show notes. It's an organization, where they rate the potential toxicity a lot of chemicals, and ingredients, and things pervasive in our food, in our cosmetics, in our environment, and they give ratings, and you can see what products are rated, and you can also see the breakdown of why it's rated, because normally, the number-- or the number is an average of all of the ingredients. 

Gin Stephens: Can I pop in real quick comment about that? If you're using the app, it gives you less information than if you're on their website. Just FYI. If people are ever looking at the app and they're confused by the number, go to their website, because they're more in depth on their website. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, that's really good to know. They also have their specific, what is it skin deep database specific to cosmetics? Looking at the salt toothpaste, for example, so, it has a three, which is fair, but the reason it has a three, all of the ingredients are actually ones and two, except there are two ingredients that are fours, which is not as good. But those ingredients, one of them is peppermint oil, and the reason it's a four is because people can have allergies to it. I know I'm good with peppermint oil. So, I'm not concerned about that. And then, the other four is unspecified flavor, which as we know that can be really anything, but on the label, it says that it's from natural essential oils. I personally feel completely fine with this formulation. The reason I'm mentioning it is because it has no sweet taste. It's very salty and a little bit of pepperminty. It's actually very strong on the peppermint front. It's a really good one. If you do want to toothpaste that doesn't have any sweetness to it, which are really hard to find. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, they are. I just like, "No big deal. I don't even try."

Melanie Avalon: Honestly, this may be one of the only ones-- The amount of hours probably that I've spent in the Whole Foods toothpaste section like looking at every single one, it's really hard to find ones without sweetness.

Gin Stephens: it really is. That was a really good tip you just gave about. Really digging into the rating and figuring out why it gets the number, it gets instead of just using it as like, "Oh, that's whatever. I can't use that." That's the whole point of being educated and say, "Well, why is this rated the way it's rated?" And knowing what is your personal definition of clean(ish), what you would or would not tolerate in your product is different than what I would or would not tolerate in my product.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, to that point, I recently had a listener reach out about LMNT, the electrolyte supplement that we talked about a lot on the show. They have a raw unflavored version, but then they have a lot of flavors. The way it's listed on the packet is natural flavors. This person was very concerned, because they had watched this YouTube video about natural flavors and how toxic they are or how they are something that you should avoid at all costs, which in general, I definitely agree with.

Gin Stephens: Because they can hide anything under those names. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. She sent me the video and I was like, "Yes, this is quite often a problem. Natural flavors can really be anything." I was like, "That's why it's really important to trust and find out what is in the flavors." I was telling her how-- When we interviewed Robb, I don't know if I asked him about the natural flavors on this show or on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Because I had an electrolyte episode with him on both shows. But in one of the episodes, I'll just put a link in the show notes to both. I asked him about the natural flavors and he was able to tell me literally what it comes from. I really trust Robb. What was funny was, I told her all this, but she couldn't really see that perspective, because watching this YouTube video that made it sound all bad all the time.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. Natural flavor could be just fine or it could be something really terrible. They didn't have to tell you, because they just call it natural flavors. That's the thing. That's where you're like--

Melanie Avalon: We need nuance. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, you just don't know what it is. If I don't know what it is, I'm suspicious of what it might be. But if you have talked to the creator and he tells you what it is, then, it's okay.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. I was like, "How do I explain that--? I was saying what we just said that it really is context dependent. But it goes back to what we were saying in the beginning of the show. I think you were saying about people hear ideas, very black and white intense ideas, and then, it can be hard to have nuance surrounding everything. So, I just encourage doing your research and diving in deep. 

Gin Stephens: Absolutely. 

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: All right, this is from Amy and the subject is: "gut!!" which I just love that subject. [laughs] All right, she says, "Hi, ladies. Love your podcast. I've been doing IF off and on for about six months. I've been doing it correctly with the clean fast and the whole works for three months and I feel great. I don't have a lot of weight to lose, but the science is fascinating and I learned so much with Gin's book, Fast. Feast. Repeat. So good." Thank you so much, Amy. "I have lost about five to eight pounds and my clothes continue to feel better on me. I like Gin do not weigh myself anymore. I don't care about the number. However, just to give you an idea, I'm 5'1" and I think I'm around 130. That sounds high to some people, but I feel good here. My life has been nothing, but diet after diet and I've been as high as 155." So, 130 feels great. "Anyway, my question is for Melanie. I could listen to you all day long about SIBO and gut bacteria. I have a huge, long history of digestive issues. I have been diagnosed with SIBO, lactose intolerance, and fructose malabsorption through breath testing, I feel much better following a low FODMAP diet and either taking lactase before I eat dairy or just eliminating it altogether. Okay. Now my question is, my doctor has told me not to take probiotics because I have too much bacteria in my small intestine and by the way, we have tried to treat it multiple times with various antibiotics, but it never really goes away. Natural probiotics such as apple cider vinegar, kombucha, sauerkraut, etc., make my gut worse as in terrible gas and diarrhea. I am typically more on the constipated side. I'm wondering if you have the same issues and why, when something is supposed to help feed good bacteria and I'm having the opposite effect. Do you have these issues with your SIBO problems? Side note, IF has helped tremendously with the gas and bloating if I do happen to eat too much of something I'm not supposed to. I assume because I don't have food breaking down in my gut constantly. It does not seem like rocket science, so, I don't know why this has taken me so long to figure out and why all of the digestive doctors and nutritionists I have seen through the years never mentioned that maybe I should give my digestion a break during the day, so, the gases don't build up so much. Anyway, I appreciate any thoughts on why I can't handle certain natural probiotics. Thanks, Amy."

Melanie Avalon: Awesome, Amy. Thank you so much for your question and yes, I definitely relate to all of this. Okay, so, there is a lot here. First of all about the fasting, and giving your gut a break, and the beneficial effects. Yes, that's one of my favorite benefits of intermittent fasting for sure. There's a lot of reasons for that. Like Amy mentioned, giving your gut a break. Your migrating motor complex, which is the natural intestinal movements of your GI tract, so, they actually happen on a clock. When you're fasted, it allows those movements to happen and actually move things through, and Amy said, "Keep things from building up." And also, it's thought that fasting selectively helps support good bacteria while helping bad bacteria die off, which is really, really nice. Thomas DeLauer, reading his book, I just read this section last night and he was saying, I never thought about it this way. He was saying that the bad bacteria tend to replicate a lot faster. They need to be basically fed. The fasting helps prune them out a bit. I know that fasting has been shown to boost-- Who is it who talks about this? I think it's Dr. Gundry talks about this all the time. Akkermansia, which is a beneficial gut bacteria and it goes up and fasting. Yeah, so, fasting can be great for the gut microbiome. 

As far as the SIBO, which is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, basically, it's a condition where there is an excess of bacteria, potentially, good and bad in the small intestine, which is supposed to be relatively sterile compared to the large intestine, which is our colon. And sidenote. It's thought historically that that is "bad bacteria" coming up from your large intestine. But I was listening to a podcast recently with Dr. Ruscio, who we've had on the show and I actually, I really suggest his book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You to help tackle a lot of this. He works with low FODMAP diets and he addresses all of this. We can put a link to both our interview with him as well as his book in the show notes. But recently, they've started doing research and wondering if small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is actually created more from top down. Bacteria from your mouth going down, rather than up from the large intestine, which is very interesting concept. But in any case, so, just a quick clarification about your terminology, because you're talking about probiotics but then you say, I'm wondering when something is supposed to help feed good bacteria, am I having the opposite effect? 

Probiotics don't feed gut bacteria. Probiotics are actually bacteria. Prebiotics are the substrates that would feed bacteria. That's a lot of types of foods. When you're mentioning natural probiotics such as apple cider vinegar-- Okay, so, apple cider vinegar, if it's natural, not pasteurized with, they call it with the mother that would have probiotics in it. Kombucha probiotic, sauerkraut-- Okay, so, these are all probiotic foods. A few different things going on here. One, a lot of people with SIBO need to clear out some of that bacteria before they're bringing in the bacteria and sometimes, it can just exacerbate conditions. Some people do great. Some people probiotics and probiotic foods really, really help. Other people, not so much. It's so individual and I wish there was one answer, but there's not. Just like there's not one diet for everybody. If you are experimenting with these foods, I'd recommend, I don't know how much of them you're eating. If you want to try them, I would try very, very minimal amounts and see if that helps. It's actually thought-- This is interesting. A few things about these foods. If they are completely unpasteurized, it is possible that you're getting live probiotics from it. But the benefits actually might be more from the signaling from them. 

A few for things. Basically, they might even have an antibiotic effect, which is really interesting. And then, also Dr. Gundry talks about this in his new book, Unlocking the Keto Code. But these foods actually can create short chain fatty acids when they're metabolized and that can actually have a beneficial effect on the gut. It might not even be the actual bacteria themselves in this that it's having the effect. Another thing that speaks to this is, there have been studies on probiotic supplements that are dead. So, they're not even alive and they have beneficial effects. The thinking is that, it's more the body's response to the probiotics maybe not so much even the probiotics themselves. All that said, if it's making things worse for you, I would not keep doing it. I would focus more on the foundational diet. It sounds this low FODMAP diet is working for you and the lack tastes before dairy. I would focus on that. If you want to experiment with these foods, like I said, try just a tiny bit, and maybe write it out, and see if it helps. That's something to consider. Also, something else, there was a very fascinating study pretty recently. I might have talked about on the show. Okay, so this is going to sound a little bit contradictory to what I just said. 

But there was a 2021 study published in Cell fascinating. It's called gut microbiota targeted diets modulate human immune status. They actually compared a high-fermented food diet to a high-fiber diet for the effects on the gut microbiome as well as inflammatory markers and they found the-- This is why I'm saying. This is a little bit contradictory. They found that the high-fermented food diet was substantially better than the high-fiber diet, because it seems seemingly the fiber diet just exacerbated symptoms. The point of all that is, I think you touched on this. I think you've figured a little bit of this out, because you're doing the low FODMAP diet. So, that's probably a reason that that is benefiting you so well. But I think the point of all this to bring everything together is that, you really have to find what works for you and things are different for different people. Because what that study, for example, people often say, "Oh, eat tons of fiber to fix your gut." But it might be more individual. I think one of the nuances of that study was it actually depended on people's baseline gut microbiome state as to what effects the dietary approaches had. So, I'm going to stop, but I just wanted to encourage you-- I would not feel you have to be doing these foods. You could also try, because you're talking about probiotics from foods. You could also try probiotic supplements and see how those help. You might find that those work. A lot of people really like BiOptimizers, P3-OM. I've found that one really beneficial. I've also experimented with Bifidobacterium-specific probiotics. So, if you do go that route, those will probably be more beneficial than the lactobacillus ones, especially, if you have trouble with dairy. But yes, that was all over the place. Gin, do you have thoughts?

Gin Stephens: Because it's so complicated and it's not easy. If we're starting from a healthy gut, then, we should be able to tolerate so many foods, especially, these probiotic foods, and these fiber foods, and these healthy foods. A healthy gut does great with those foods. But as I talk about in Clean(ish), for example, Will, my son that's 22 now, I'm pretty sure he was not born with a healthy gut based on the way I ate when I was pregnant, and probably, my own gut microbiome, eating a lot of ultra-processed foods. He was a baby, he had thrush. I think he had a really terrible gut and that led to a lot of his issues. In the modern world, we're not always starting with a healthy gut. So, there's the issue. Things that would have been fine are no longer fine. I actually thought it was very interesting. Something that really stuck in my mind while researching for Clean(ish), the whole idea of fiber, exacerbating gut issues, and it just came in my mind when Melanie was talking. People were like, "Well, fiber destroys your gut. Every time I eat it, it's terrible. Fiber must be bad." But really, you got to go back several steps. 

Let's say, you have a traditional standard American diet, the SAD diet, and you're eating a lot of ultra-processed foods or mostly ultra-processed foods, your gut bacteria might actually eat your gut lining, because they don't have enough fiber to work on. Now, they're eating your gut lining. Now, you've got leaky gut. Now you're like, "I'm going to eat healthier, I'm going to add all these good fiber foods, because I'm upping my eating healthy." Then, you eat those foods and your gut is damaged from all the years of poor eating habits. And now, you can't handle fiber because your gut lining is compromised. Now, you have leaky gut and fiber exacerbates the problem. That book that you mentioned by Dr. Ruscio, I loved when I read it. It was years ago, but he talks about that we can heal. Whatever state you're in right now, don't assume that that is the state of your gut forever. I love that he talks about that you can heal your gut. I would focus on that. In the meantime, though, you do have to work with the gut and the body you have now. If something exacerbates your problems, you got to figure out, is it worth it, is this going to help me get better, or is this just making things worse? Really, ideally, in a perfect world, we would have a gastroenterologist, who understood all the ins and outs literally, and could guide you through rebuilding your gut microbiome, and having things be healthy, and working as intended with a strong gut lining, and a great gut microbiome habitat just in general.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Yeah. What I really love about Dr. Rucsio, because he has a podcast you could check out. He's always reading all of the latest research, and he has a very nuanced approach, and everything Gin just said, he really understands that it's very individual and you have to find the path that works for you. I think with the fiber, also, what Gin was saying, it might be a process to getting to a place, where you can have more of it and it might be a slow journey. So, I think we shouldn't be hard on ourselves if we can't eat a wallop of fiber.

Gin Stephens: Absolutely. And that doesn't mean the fiber is bad. It just means that your body isn't processing it correctly, why?

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Oh, I did run into on one resource, because she said, she struggles with constipation. So, I love Atrantil. Did we have Ken Brown on this show? We did, right?

Gin Stephens: I think we did. I know we had Atrantil on here. Yeah. I did remember his name, but I know we did. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: And he was one of my first guests as well on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Wow, that seems so long ago.

Gin Stephens: It really does. We've been doing this show for five years. 

Melanie Avalon: That's crazy. Wow. Atrantil, it was developed by Dr. Ken Brown, he's a gastroenterologist. It's all natural polyphenols and a few other compounds. It can be really a game changer for bloating and constipation in particular. I love it. I love, love, love it. If you go to lovemytummy.com/ifp and use the coupon code, IFP, that will get you 10% off at checkout. I will say, because I think you can order on Amazon as well, but ordering from their website, they actually do have really fast shipping. It's pretty comparable to Amazon. It's really hard for companies to compete with shipping with Amazon.

Gin Stephens: I know. It really, really is. I think they take a loss on it. Honestly, I think Amazon takes a loss to get your business.

Melanie Avalon: Well. In any case, hopefully that was helpful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will have a full transcript as well as links to everything that we talked about. So, definitely check that out. They will be at ifpodcast.com/episode260. And then, you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon and Gin is @ginstephens and I think that is everything. So, anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: Nope, I'll just see you next week.

Melanie Avalon: Okey-dokey. Bye. 

Gin Stephens: Bye. 

Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice. We're not doctors. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, theme music by Leland Cox. See you next week.

STUFF WE LIKE

Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving us a review in iTunes - it helps more than you know! 

 

 

Apr 03

Episode 259: Bariatric Surgery, Neurodegeneration Disease, High Cortisol, High Blood Pressure, Eating After A Workout, Protein Intake, Bloating, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 259 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:

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SHOW NOTES

1:10 - LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A Sample Pack For Only The Price Of Shipping!! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

3:50 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

21:20 - AVALONX SERRAPEPTASEGet Melanie’s Serrapeptase Supplement: A Proteolytic Enzyme Which May Help Clear Sinuses And Brain Fog, Reduce Allergies, Support A Healthy Inflammatory State, Enhance Wound Healing, Break Down Fatty Deposits And Amyloid Plaque, Supercharge Your Fast, And More! 

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26:00 - AUDIBLE: Go To Audible.com/IFPODCAST Or Text IFPODCAST To 500500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook! 

28:10 - Listener Q&A: Marilyn - IF and bariatric surgery

The Intermittent Fasting Revolution: The Science of Optimizing Health and Enhancing Performance (Mark Mattson)

IF Stories Episode 37: Lori LaMantia

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #115 - Valter Longo, Ph.D.

41:10 - Listener Q&A: Leigh Anne - Cortisol and High blood pressure

IF Stories Episode 61: Gagan Behl

Effect of intermittent fasting and chronotherapy on blood pressure control in hypertensive patients during Ramadan 

Blood Pressure Changes in 1610 Subjects With and Without Antihypertensive Medication During Long‐Term Fasting 

Effects of Ramadan fasting on anthropometric measures, blood pressure, and lipid profile among hypertensive patients in the Kurdistan region of Iraq 

Effects of Intermittent Compared With Continuous Energy Restriction on Blood Pressure Control in Overweight and Obese Patients With Hypertension 

51:15 - GREEN CHEF: Go To greenchef.com/ifpodcast130 And Use Code IFPODCAST130 To Get $130 Off Including Free Shipping!

52:20 - Listener Q&A: Maryka - Eating After A Strenuous Workout?

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 259 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. 

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get free electrolyte supplements, some of which are clean, fast approved, all developed by none other than Robb Wolf. Have you been struggling to feel good with low carb, paleo, keto, or fasting? Have you heard of something called the keto flu? Here's the thing. The keto flu is not actually a condition. Nope. Keto flu just refers to a bundle of symptoms. Headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, and insomnia that people experience in the early stages of keto dieting. Here's what's going on. 

When you eat a low-carb diet, your insulin levels drop. Low insulin in turn lowers the production of the hormone aldosterone. Now aldosterone is made in the kidneys and it helps you retain sodium. Low aldosterone on a keto diet makes you lose sodium at a rapid rate. Even if you are consciously consuming electrolytes, you might not be getting enough. In particular, you need electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium in order for nerve impulses to properly fire. Robb Wolf, who as you guys know is my hero in the holistic health world worked with the guys at Ketogains to get the exact formulation for electrolyte supplements to formulate LMNT Recharge, so you can maintain ketosis and feel your best. LMNT recharge has no sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients, no junk. They're used by three Navy SEALs teams, they are the official hydration partner to Team USA weightlifting, they're used by multiple NFL teams, and so much more. Guess what? We worked out an exclusive deal for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast listeners only. Guys, this is huge. They weren't going to do a deal, I begged them, here we are. 

You can get a free LMNT sampler pack. We're not talking a discount, we're talking free. Completely free. You only pay $5 for shipping. If you don't love it, they will even refund you the $5 for shipping. I'm not kidding. The sampler pack includes eight packets of LMNT, two Citrus, two Raspberry, two Orange, and two Raw Unflavored. The Raw Unflavored ones are the ones that are safe for your clean fast and the other ones you can have in your eating window. Word on the street is the Citrus flavor makes an amazing margarita, by the way. 

I am loving LMNT and I think you guys will too. Again, this is completely free. You have nothing to lose. Just go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. That's D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dotcom forward slash IFPODCAST. I'll put all this information in the show notes. 

One more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disrupters, which mess with our hormones, obesogens, which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. When you're putting on your conventional skincare makeup, you're likely putting toxic compounds directly into your body. These compounds can make you feel bad, can make it really hard to lose weight, can affect your hormones, your mood, your health. And ladies, if you're thinking of having kids, when you have a child, these compounds actually go directly through the placenta into the newborn. That means your skincare makeup that you're putting on today actually affects the health of future generations. 

Did you know that conventional lipstick, for example often tests high for lead and the half-life of lead can be up to 30 years in your bones? That means when you put on your lipstick, 30 years later, half of that lead might still be in your body. Thankfully, there's an easy, easy solution to this. There's a company called Beautycounter and they were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient in their products is extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can actually feel good about what you put on. And on top of that, their products actually work. That's because they're not “all natural.” They actually combine the best of both worlds, both synthetic and natural ingredients to create products that actually support the health of your skin and make your skin look amazing. They have skincare lines for all your skin types, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, anti-aging and brightening peels, and vitamin C serums, and incredible makeup. If you see my makeup on Instagram, that's all Beautycounter. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. 

And if you're thinking of making safe skincare a part of your future like we have, we definitely suggest becoming a band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership, totally, completely worth it. Also, definitely join my clean beauty email list at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty, I give away a lot of free things on that list and join me on my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. I do a weekly giveaway every single week for Beautycounter, people share their experience and product reviews, and so much more. And again, the link to shop with us is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. All right, now, enjoy the show.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 259 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Freezing.

Melanie Avalon: I know. It's amazing.

Gin Stephens: It's not amazing. Anyway, I will say that we just had the time change. We're recording this a few weeks before it comes out. It's my favorite time change. This is the one I like.

Melanie Avalon: Wait, that blows my mind. I know you like earlier, but do you like losing an hour of sleep?

Gin Stephens: I don't lose "lose an hour of sleep." You lose one hour of your life, but to me, I didn't lose any sleep. What happens is, the time I naturally want to go to bed and the time I naturally wake up are more socially acceptable with this version of time. This morning I woke up and instead of looking at the clock and it was 5 AM, and I'm like, "Man, it's too early to get up." I looked at the clock and it was 6 AM and I'm like, "Awesome. Time to get up."

Melanie Avalon: That concept didn't occur to me. There would be a way to not lose sleep.

Gin Stephens: Because I just wake up naturally. I don't ever wake up-- At night, the whole winter time, whatever-- I can never remember, which is daylight savings, which is the other. I always have to look it up, which is standard, which is anyway. But the winter version of it, I'm ready to go to bed at 8:30 at night every single night. But when the time changes, suddenly, that's 9:30 and it's okay to go to bed at 9:30, if you want to, but 8:30 feels crazy. I can no longer adjust. I naturally want to go to bed at the same time year-round, but in the winter, I want to go to bed at 8:30 and I wake up at five. In the summer, it's okay to go to bed at 9:30 and wake up at 6. It's exactly the same. I like what the clock says better.

Melanie Avalon: I think the reason, because this actually, honestly did not occur to me. Because I know there are people that are like you. But the reason I think it didn't occur to me was, there's all those articles out there about how this time change has such a negative effect on people's health. So, I just assumed it was applying. I assumed even people who get up early were losing-- felt like they were losing an hour of sleep, but that's interesting.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I just wake up naturally. Now, it was different when I had to set an alarm clock and wake up to go to work. I had to set my alarm clock for 5:30 to get up. You can see how that would be different. Today, I naturally woke up at 6 AM, new time. Had I had to set an alarm for 5:30? It would have been 30 minutes before I naturally woke up. But I really very much have-- Just like you get in touch with your hunger and satiety cues, I am very much in touch with my I-need-to-go-to-bed-now [laughs] cues and I wake up naturally. So, it's really hard for me to wake up and it's 5 AM and I'm like, "It's just too early to get up," but I'm awake. But it's okay that it's six. Anyway, this is the one that fits with my natural rhythm better.

Melanie Avalon: I cannot honestly remember the last time I ever went to bed and the reason was because "Oh, I need to go to bed now." It is always me. I've set in place all the programs that make my body fall asleep, but it's never like, "Oh, I need to go to bed."

Gin Stephens: My body tells me every night that I need to go to bed. It's sometimes it's hard, because I'll be like, "I got to go to bed now" and Chad's like, "What? It's Saturday night." I'm like, "I don't care. I don't care what night it is." [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's my dad. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. But I've really always been like that looking back to college. I would always be the one who's like, "I'm going back to the dorm now or whatever." [laughs] It was just always me. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. I remember last time I said I was going to do a poll in the Facebook group. 

Gin Stephens: I do remember that. What was it about? I forgot. 

Melanie Avalon: That's a funny thing. Then I sat down, I was like, "I'm going to do the poll" and I was like, "Wait, what was the poll?" [giggles] 

Gin Stephens: I do remember. You were going to, but what it was about? No.

Melanie Avalon: At first, I thought it was early versus late night eating. Then I was like, "No, it's not that." Then I thought it was like a one meal a day and I was like, "No, it's not that." But I think I remembered what it was, which was, "how did people's coffee intake changed based on fasting?" I asked my group, "How did starting fasting affect your coffee intake type, amount, etc.?" I added originally seven or eight options and then people added other options, but the most common response, do you want to guess? I'll give you the vibe. The types of options I gave were more coffee before fasting, more coffee after fasting, switching to black coffee, having more coffee in the beginning of fasting, and then last, basically, I just came up with all the different options. What response would you come up with as the most common for people's coffee intake?

Gin Stephens: I bet people would probably say that they drink more coffee now.

Melanie Avalon: Or, also similar amounts as an option, too.

Gin Stephens: I bet they would say, they drink more coffee, now. I'm not sure if that's true, because people-- I just remember walking around my elementary school as a teacher and every single person that I passed had a coffee tumbler in their hand all the time, literally, all the time. People had something in their hand. That was coffee in there. But I bet people said they drink more now.

Melanie Avalon: The number one vote with 186 people was, "I drank similar amounts of coffee before fasting, but switched to black coffee for fasting."

Gin Stephens: Well, okay, that's what I would say is true for me. People don't always say like, they might have a perception that it's different. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. 

Gin Stephens: Well, good. That's what happened for me as well. Similar, it's just black now. 

Melanie Avalon: The second one with 92, so half of the amount as the first one was, "I drink more coffee after fasting." 

Gin Stephens: Well, that's what I thought more people would pick. I'm not certain that it's true, because like I said, people always like-- This is when I was teaching and the people were not walking around with black coffee. They're walking around with their hot milkshakes. But I would think people might think they're drinking more than they used to.

Melanie Avalon: The next one 57 votes was similar to the first one, but without the black coffee. So, it was, "I drink similar amounts of black coffee before and after fasting," 20 votes, "I went cold turkey and switched to black coffee with fasting." That's a nuanced answer that doesn't really apply. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it doesn't tell us whether it's more or less. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. This is one I did. 15 votes, "I drank more coffee in the beginning of fasting, but now drink less coffee than I did before fasting." I think that's what we were talking about last time. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's what you said. You did, yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Then it drops down, the next one is, "I gradually weaned myself off of cream and sweetener with fasting," which was 11 people. Then it just goes into really random miscellaneous things. But there're a lot of comments to about people talking about their coffee habits. People like discussing their coffee habits and fasting.

Gin Stephens: Oh, trust me, look, I ran those Facebook groups for so long. Coffee, it's like the hot button issue, no pun intended. People are really, really protective of what they think is how they have to have their coffee. I used to be, too. I had a period of mourning and like, "I'm just going to have to drink zero coffee rather than switch to black." But then I realized I enjoy the ritual of-- Right now, I'm drinking hot water, because it's so freezing and it's in the afternoon. But I love my hot coffee, I like the smell of it, I like brewing it. Yeah, I just enjoy coffee. So, black coffee, luckily, I adjusted pretty quickly. 

Melanie Avalon: Yep. I was that the vote about. "I gradually weaned myself." I did not go cold turkey. I don't think.

Gin Stephens: After I read The Obesity Code and I understood the cephalic phase insulin response, keep in mind, I'd already lost almost all the weight. I lost the amount of weight I thought I wanted to lose at that point. I was at what I thought was my goal, but didn't understand the cephalic phase insulin response. Then The Obesity Code came out, and I read it, and I'm like, "Oh, gosh, I'm shooting myself in the foot with vanilla creme stevia, and cinnamon, and sometimes, lattes that I'm having and thinking I'm fasting." Once I really believe something is true like that, you have to read The Obesity Code and understanding the role of insulin, it explained why I was so hungry, and it didn't make any sense to wean myself off. I knew I needed to stop.

Melanie Avalon: Totally, make sense and sounds like a lot of people easily switch.

Gin Stephens: And it made a huge difference. I used to white knuckle it to my eating window every day. Because I was so desperate to lose the weight, then I lost 75 pounds, even though, I wasn't fasting clean, so, I didn't know anything about that, yet. [giggles] But it was worth the white knuckling just to finally be at a goal weight, but it was still white knuckling. If I had not figured out the clean fast, would I be sitting here today, seven years later after hitting my initial goal still actually wearing smaller jeans than when I hit my initial goal. By the way, two days from now, as of the date we're recording, this is my anniversary of hitting my goals. Seven years. Yep. 

Melanie Avalon: Happy anniversary. 

Gin Stephens: I know. This is the first time in my adult life, actually, it's the first time my entire life if you go back to childhood and beyond that I've ever worn the same clothes for seven years in a row. Not had to get bigger clothes. When I was a kid, I was constantly having to get bigger clothes because I was growing like children do. But this is the first time, seven years, I've not ever had to get clothes, because I needed bigger clothes. It is the first time in my entire 52 years of life that I've gone seven years without needing bigger clothes.

Melanie Avalon: I'm just thinking about this now. I guess, I've worn the same clothes since I really switched to a low-carb diet 10 years ago.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's pretty amazing, because I was a yo-yoer all those years and it's funny. Now, that I am the same size all the time, it's funny to watch people who have never struggled with their weight and looking at our wardrobes. I used to always have to buy new clothes, because I was a totally different size. Maybe I was gaining weight, maybe I was losing weight. Every time the weather changed, I needed new clothes, because I was a different size than I was the year before. I was constantly needing different clothes, because I was always up or down, up or down. Looking at people who are maybe naturally slim, for example, I think I have several friends, who are naturally slim and they've always been the same size. Sometimes, you look at their outfits and you're like, "Okay, it's time to get rid of that one, time to retire it, because it's out of style." I am finally one of those people, who has to go through my closet and say, "All right, what's out of style and get rid of those clothes?'

Melanie Avalon: My clothes never go out of style, because I basically just wear black dresses and they don't ever really go out of style. So, I'm good.

Gin Stephens: Well, black dresses do change. You're still young. Just wait. They do. 

Melanie Avalon: I don't know. Like a classy black dress. 

Gin Stephens: I look back at some black dresses I've worn over my 52 years of life, even my adulthood and there are definitely some of them that are not in style anymore. But maybe you're just getting 100% classic ones that will never go out of style. 

Melanie Avalon: I always wear the classy black-- the cocktail black dress. I don't like sleeve, so it never has sleeves. There's not much that could be crazy. 

Gin Stephens: Fabrics change, and the cuts change, and the hem length changes, things like that do change. Fabric really changes.

Melanie Avalon: I always wear a cocktail length, usually. Unless, the concept of a black cocktail dress goes out of style, I think I'm good. 

Gin Stephens: All right, well, that's really unusual. [laughs] There are some clothes that are classic. When I was in Arizona in October, I pulled out a dress that I had from, I don't know 20 years ago, and it was classic. It was a very classic cut. It was a navy-blue dress, very classic cut. But very few things in my closet I think would last like that. 

Melanie Avalon: The majority of my closet would.

Gin Stephens: Sometimes, you don't even care. Because for example, once my feet discovered how much they loved Uggs in the wintertime, I'm going to wear those forever because they're just so comfortable. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that's the way I am. I feel I have my style that's me. So, it doesn't really matter. It's like not a crazy style. 

Gin Stephens: I'm for the most part like that, but things like shirts, it's mainly shirts that change.

Melanie Avalon: I don't really wear shirts.

Gin Stephens: I do. Sheri, my friend that records Life Lessons with me, she's so funny. She told the story of-- The first time she came to my house, we were getting ready to go on a cruise. I guess, we're going to go together from my house, but she drove to my house, and I was getting ready to cook dinner, and I said, "I need to change my shirt to cook in," and I took off one blouse, and put on a different blouse. She describes it as a blouse. That's just the way I dress up. [laughs] I changed back as-- whatever blouse I was wearing the sleeves probably were too going to get in the way, so I changed from one blouse to a different blouse, and she laughed, and I just thought that story was funny. I wear jeans pretty much every day. Unless it's summertime and then I'll wear shorts.

Melanie Avalon: I haven't really contemplated this recently about, I don't really wear shirts. I have a lot of shirts, but--

Gin Stephens: You just wear dresses. 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: I basically have stopped wearing dresses, unless it's really a funeral. I just had to go to a funeral last month, and it was cold day, and I did not have a dress that you would want to wear in the cold, cold weather, so I wore pants. But everybody else had on pants. So, I'm like, "Well, okay."

Melanie Avalon: Not to be a sad topic, but a funeral I went to recently, we were actually discussing that how the attire for funerals has changed. It's appropriate. Now, you can wear pants.

Gin Stephens: Everybody had on pants, like, every woman there and the men, too, had on pants. Yeah, at first, I was like, "Gosh, I don't know. I don't know if I've ever worn pants to a funeral," but I didn't have a wintery dress.

Melanie Avalon: I just wore a non-wintry dress with a jacket. 

Gin Stephens: All of my non-wintry dresses are clearly summer dresses.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: The fabric, or the pattern, or whatever. Anyway, good times. [laughs] Not the funeral, but you know what I mean? Talking about clothing. Funeral was not good times.

Melanie Avalon: I could talk about clothing for the entire show. Can I make an announcement? 

Gin Stephens: Sure. 

Melanie Avalon: I keep talking about how we're making our next AvalonX supplement, which is magnesium, and I finally signed off on the final spec sheet. It is moving forward. I wanted to give listeners more concrete details, because I know I've been a little bit vague about everything. It is eight forms of magnesium. Eight, because there are multiple types of magnesium. One of the special forms in there that I'm really excited about is magnesium three and eight. That's actually the only form of magnesium that can cross the blood brain barrier. Magnesium has a lot of benefits. It's involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body. It's really, really crucial for energy production and just so many things that our body does. It's really great for motility and bowel movements, which I love it for. But it's also really great for sleep and stress. If you in particular like that aspect of it, the three and eight, its effects on the brain is very calming. If people are currently taking a magnesium supplement and finding that it helps them wind down or helps them sleep, this should help even more so, then whatever they're currently taking, but it's not going to knock you out. If you take it during the day, it's not it makes you fall asleep. It just has a calming effect on the brain. 

Then it has no potentially toxic fillers or anything like that. It just has a tiny bit of organic MCT as the lubricant. It has an activated form as two cofactors to help with the absorption of magnesium, so that's B6 and manganese, and it actually has the activated form of B6, because especially, for people, who have like methylation issues and stuff, you really need that activated form. That activated form is called pyridoxal-5-phosphate. Then, it also has the most absorbable form of manganese, so that's manganese bisglycinate chelate. The capsule is just from natural forms of basically a type of fiber and I actually just got the details about this, because I wanted to know specifically what it was made from. It comes from a tree pulp, and it is in a glass bottle, and it's tested for heavy metals, and mold, and purity, and potency, and it is just friends, it is going to be the best magnesium on the market. We might change the name, but right now, we're calling it AvalonX Magnesium Spectrum. If you would like more information about that, definitely get on my supplement email list that's at melanieavalon.com/avalonx and then you can actually currently buy my serrapeptase, if you don't have it yet at avalonx.us, and that's also the website where the magnesium will be. I'm not exactly sure when we're releasing. I'm hoping April, but we shall see. This episode comes out probably in April.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it does. It's April 4th. It comes out on my dad's birthday. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, happy birthday to your dad.

Gin Stephens: My dad was born on 4-4-44, which is very easy to remember. [laughs] Isn't that cool? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: So, happy birthday, dad, when this comes out. 

Melanie Avalon: Happy birthday. I will have to send you Gin [giggles] once I have it, a bottle.

Gin Stephens: Oh, please do. I'll try it. If it's better, if I can tell the difference, I will definitely switch. All that research you are doing, I trust it with supplements. We were just having this conversation in my community today about supplements and how you just have to be so careful, because so many things are not regulated very well. You just read Clean(ish) recently, and I talked about this in Clean(ish) about how a lot of supplements, for example, products targeted to men might actually have actual Viagra in there [laughs] you know that coming out of a lab somewhere and that's not what it says it is. You just have to be careful. You just don't know. I am now at the point that literally I only buy supplements if I know the person who runs that company. Isn't that funny? 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's interesting. 

Gin Stephens: If that's true for you, too, they right?

Melanie Avalon: No. I [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: It's true for me. I only buy supplements if I have met the person, who runs the company.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I basically trust BiOptimizers.

Gin Stephens: I've met Wade face-to-face now.

Melanie Avalon: The only slight caveat with BiOptimizers and this is a reason I wanted to make my own versions of things is, I completely trust them, but they do have some ingredients that I'm just so intense that I wanted to take it one step further.

Gin Stephens: I'm not Melanie intense. I'm perfectly Wade intense. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, in general, I trust BiOptimizers, I trust Pure Encapsulations. I say all of this with the right to change my mind in the future, but Pure Encapsulations and I trust Thorne. The Thorne website has been very helpful for when I was formulating and trying to look at different ingredients. They have a lot of literature on their website about ingredients.

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Melanie Avalon: So, shall we jump into some things for today?

Gin Stephens: Yep, let's get started. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we have a question from Marilyn and the subject is: "IF and bariatric surgery." Marilyn says, "Hi, ladies. Love, love, love your podcasts and all that it's taught me about IF. I've been IF-ing for about three months and I've had great success with weight loss about 20 pounds in that time. I'm making my way through the podcast, but I haven't yet heard you address the issue of weight loss surgery with regard to how much someone can eat at one time and how that affects IF. In my experience, I can fast just fine. But because I cannot eat very much at a time, I cannot consume many calories in a shortish eating window. I've experimented with 18:6, I didn't lose much weight. 20:4, I had decent weight loss, and one meal a day, again, decent weight loss, and 42-hour fasts, very good weight loss. Having said all of that my primary goal no longer is weight loss, but autophagy. I'm a 57-year-old postmenopausal woman, whose parents both suffer from neurodegenerative diseases." She says, her dad has Parkinson's and her mom has Alzheimer's. An autophagy is a process believed to be highly protective against neurological degeneration. 

The question is, "Is daily IF enough to induce significant benefits of autophagy? Scientific literature that I read indicates autophagy is maximized more in the 36 to 72-hour range. Because of my smaller stomach, I had gastric sleeve surgery May of 2019. I cannot eat more than approximately one cup of food at a time and then it takes a couple of hours before I can eat more. I'm concerned about under eating in the longer fast scenarios and creating more of a calorie restriction situation, rather than attaining the benefits I want from fasting, which is a neurological support. Does that make sense? Whatever insight you can provide would be most appreciated. Keep up the good work and thank you for all that you do." 

Gin Stephens: All right, great questions, Marilyn. Thank you for sending them in. The best resource that I know of for what should we do if we want to prevent neurodegenerative diseases is Dr. Mark Mattson. He is currently adjunct professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins and he was the Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging. I think he's probably the number one expert in the entire world when it comes to fasting and how it's neuroprotective. Seriously, I think he is. Guess what he does? He has a daily eating window and he's been doing that since the 1980s. He doesn't do 36-to-72-hour fasts. If the number one expert on neuroscience and fasting has a daily eating window, that's pretty good for me to realize that I don't need to think that I have to do more. That's just the way I look at it. You know what? I'll have what he's having, right? [laughs] So, you may want to read his latest book. It came out it and it was his first book. He also has written a lot of journal articles. But his book is called The Intermittent Fasting Revolution: The Science of Optimizing Health and Enhancing Performance. It really reads like a journal article, because that's his background. He's written for medical journals his entire career. 

If you really want to dig into the science, that's where I would start that whole. That whole where you talk about autophagy being "maximized between 36 to 72 hours," you just have to think about the source and what they're actually doing. For example, let's talk about a human. A lot of the research on autophagy is not in humans, but let's talk about humans. Let's imagine you're a human, who doesn't fast at all. That person still has autophagy. But we're trying to maximize our autophagy or have increased autophagy. But if someone has no metabolic flexibility, they might need to fast for 36 to 72 hours before they experience increased autophagy. But for us, it's different. If you think about the state of ketosis that we get into when we're fasting, intermittent fasters, who are metabolically flexible, we can get into ketosis every day. Now, someone who is not metabolically flexible, if they just started fasting, they might not get into ketosis for 72 hours or something. I'm just throwing that number out there. So, does that mean that everybody has to fast for 72 hours to get into ketosis? No. What does that have to do with autophagy or ketosis and autophagy the same thing? They are not. But they happen in the same state in the body, when we are in the fasted state and our body is rummaging around to find energy sources. 

Our body is rummaging around to find energy sources turning fat into ketones, there's the ketosis, and at the same time, autophagy is upregulated, because our body is like, "Well, we got no protein coming in. Let's recycle some old protein." They happen at the same time. Just think of it as when ketosis is maximized, autophagy is also getting ramped up at the same time. Now, if you enjoy doing 42-hour fasts, then do them. I actually for you, however, because you've mentioned that you have a hard time eating enough because of your gastric sleeve, you may want to do 36-hour fasts instead of 42, and then give yourself 12 hours to eat, where you're eating your small amounts. So, 36:12 might be a better approach to eat for you or even 40:8, where you are fasting for 40 hours, then you have an eight-hour eating window, because you're right. You don't want to under eat on your up day, and you've got that surgically altered stomach that is going to keep you from being able to actually be up. If you have for example, a six-hour window, I cannot imagine you eating enough food in six hours with your small stomach to really truly be considered up like the research on up days. 36:12, possibly 40:8 might be better for you. 

Now if you'd like to listen to somebody, who shared their story on Intermittent Fasting Stories, someone who's been through a gastric bypass, Sue Wilsey, Episode 7 of Intermittent Fasting Stories is one to listen to. She talks about her struggles just like you're saying. You can't sit down and eat a giant meal. But Melanie and I, we were volume eaters, but you can't do that, because your body physically won't let you do that anymore. See about that, listen to that episode, and think about how you can make sure. If you're doing the longer fasts, make sure your up day is up enough. If you really want to make yourself feel competent that you don't have to do the longer fasts to experience neurological benefits, check out Dr. Mark Mattson's book, The Intermittent Fasting Revolution, because like I said, he is probably the premier expert on neurological diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and how fast you can be beneficial for those, and he eats every day.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. You had a lot of amazing thoughts and I agree with most of it. I have a slightly different idea about one of the things. Yes, one thing that is important to point out and Gin touched on this, but it's the concept, and she didn't really talk about this in her question, but just to dismantle an idea that's out there. Autophagy is not on or off. It's more like a dimmer switch. I think people often think that it's either on or it's off. But it's actually we have some autophagy going 24/7 all the time. It just gets ramped up substantially with things like fasting, exercise, even coffee. Oh, she did say something about that. She said-- Oh, that the significant effects are-- Oh, that it's maximized in the 36-to-72-hour range, which is likely the case that the longer you fast, the autophagy will be substantially ramped up. My initial thought was, I was actually thinking, Marilyn might like to do something like a fasting mimicking diet a few times a year, which is what Valter Longo, he's a researcher at USC and the Gerontology school there, I believe. He's done a lot of work and research on a five-day fasting mimicking type diet and the effects on autophagy. He has ProLon, which is a commercial version that you can buy and just do it. Some people do their own DIY versions of it, but it's basically a super, super low-calorie diet with very specific macros and very specific nutrients that stimulates a lot of the fasting epigenetic processes without actually being completely fasted. But you do get the ketones, and the autophagy, and they've seen a lot of effects on the immune system, basically, regenerating, which is pretty cool. 

That's something that you could play with, especially, since you're used to those smaller meals, some people with the fasting mimicking diet, especially, if they're coming from an intermittent fasting approach like I do, where they're eating really large meals, they're just miserable doing a fasting mimicking diet, because you're eating these really small meals. But if that's something you're used to and if you're used to longer fasts, that might actually be something that would be a cool thing to try. Then I do like a lot, what Gin said about the 36-hour fast, if it is something that you like. Then I guess, the question I have is and it sounds maybe, I mean, you didn't say this, but the fact that you've experimented so much with these different fasts, although, I wonder do you think these fasts she experimented with, do you think that was before or after her surgery?

Gin Stephens: Well, the surgery was in 2019. So, I would have a feeling-- She says, she has been doing IF for three months.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay. You're right. Oh, sorry. Yeah, wow. Yes, that would be the answer. Gin figured it out. The fact that you've experimented with these and you didn't mention, the thing I'd be worried about is that you do these longer fasts, and then you have this, not that it's binging, but you have this intense need to eat a lot, because some people do experience that. But you didn't mention that being a problem. It sounds like you are able to do the longer fasts and then just jump into a longer eating window. If that is working for you, I think it's a great thing to continue doing. But I do really like what Gin said about how Mark Mattson. How he does the daily eating window and loves that for the neurological protective effects. I will do a plug. I would actually really, really suggest supplementing with serrapeptase, if you haven't. It is not autophagy. But what autophagy does in part is, it's breaking down old and problematic proteins in our body and recycling them. Actually, that's what serrapeptase does. It actually goes in and breaks down problematic proteins. I think it can really, really enhance that process. There are actually been studies on serrapeptase and it rivals the leading therapeutic used for breaking down amyloid plaque. It actually can do that as well, both in vitro and in vivo in animal studies. What that means is, putting serrapeptase directly on amyloid plaque breaks it down, but also when rodents are given-- I think it was it was definitely animal studies. I think it was rodents. When rodents are given serrapeptase, that breaks down the amyloid plaque in their brain. I would definitely suggest fasting and supplementing it with serrapeptase. So, you get my AvalonX serrapeptase at avalonx.us. But yeah, those are my thoughts on all of that. Any other thoughts, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Nope, I think that's it. 

Melanie Avalon: Okey-dokey. Shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes. We have a question from Leanne. She says, "Hi, I am a huge fan of your podcast and have read Delay, Don't Deny and What When Wine. I am a fasting disciple and always recommend your books as well as those from Dr. Jason Fung. I am an avid listener to your Intermittent Fasting Podcast and have fasted clean since January 2019. I am 45 years old. So, losing weight has not been easy in the last five years. However, right away, I saw the benefits. I went quickly into one meal a day, because it just felt right since I hate to diet. I did eat whatever I wanted and lost 10 pounds within six months. I could see the muscle mass increase. Since February of 2020 however, I have had weight gain. I decided to start eating more healthy to try and lose the weight. I had many stressors in my life, a move, building a house, decrease of income due to cutbacks in company due to COVID, and my daughter graduated from high school. I have had many symptoms that point to high cortisol. 

After listening to Episode 61, I'm very interested in trying and--" It's a doctor that I interviewed for Intermittent Fasting Stories. Yeah. She said, "I couldn't find on your website, his number and I believe I need to have my levels checked. I have been to several doctors and I'm currently on blood pressure meds. The doctors are only treating symptoms, high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, weight gain, low libido. I have noticed that I continue to not get hungry at my window, which is usually three or four, but my blood pressure is going higher, the longer I wait to eat. This makes me so sad, because I know it is the key to all my health problems. My question, can fasting make blood pressure increase if one has high cortisol levels? Thank you for your wisdom and insight. This lifestyle has truly changed my life. You're both a blessing from God. May He continue to bless each of you." All right. This is an old question. It's from June of 2020. Yeah, there's a lot of COVID stress different in June of 2020 versus today. Can I real quick before you answer it, Melanie, talk about the doctor that I interviewed for Intermittent Fasting Stories. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that'd be great. 

Gin Stephens: When I had that interview, he is fantastic, by the way. I worked with him, and Chad worked with him, and he checked our levels. It was great. But for some reason, everybody's like, "Oh, let's all-- we have to call go to that doctor. He's the only doctor we could go to." No, [giggles] I'm not going to share his number or I noticed I haven't even said his name. Because I don't want everyone to think that-- He was about to retire last time I talked to him, he was getting ready to retire, turning his practice over to some of the younger doctors in the practice. It's really important to find somebody who's close to you. Telemedicine is amazing and we can-- we can talk to people all over the place that way. But I really think the best thing to do is to find people close to you and I'm not comfortable endorsing one doctor, okay? Because here's what happened. People are like, "Well, I've heard you talk to him on the podcast, so, I'm going to call him," and then they like, "Maybe they didn't like what he said." Then they're calling me or emailing me, and they're like, "Well, I talked to him and I didn't like what he said." I'm not going to endorse the doctor and say, "This is the doctor, you should go to." 

Me, interviewing one should never be taken as an endorsement of that's the doctor everyone should go to. He is a very great guy and he's done amazing work with people. He uses fasting in his practice. But I want you to find somebody close to you that you can go see. I know, that's easier said than done, but that's the best I can do. I don't want to endorse any one doctor and let everyone think like, "Here's the doctor that is magically going to solve everybody's problems" and that's all I can say about that. [giggles] Does that make sense, Melanie? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, 100%. 

Gin Stephens: I do understand Leanne, your frustration with doctors only treating symptoms, because we know, it's better to treat the root cause than just treating the symptoms. So, I get it. It's tricky till you can find somebody that really works with you the way that you need the doctor to work with you. A lot of this does sound like stress. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it definitely does. 

Gin Stephens: I actually wrote a blog post about it in the spring of 2020 and it was about the pandemic, and stress, and how we were all under different kinds of stress than we'd ever really been under before. Even if you weren't moving, building a house, and having your income cut back, just the whole COVID was just a crazy stress for all of us and not knowing what was happening.

Melanie Avalon: This question, if it wasn't posited in the context of cortisol and stress, I think the answer might be a little bit different than if the question was just fasting affecting blood pressure, if that makes sense. Because I did a lot of research on the effects of fasting on blood pressure. But then the caveat about all of that is the studies I'm looking at, we're looking at it really in the terms of a psychological stress. I don't know if in a stressful situation with a blood pressure context. Maybe it is that fasting can raise blood pressure, because of that psychological context of cortisol. I'll talk briefly about just blood pressure and fasting in general. There's not a ton of studies, but there are some. These are all actually fairly recent studies. I read one study, a 2021 study and it was called effects of intermittent fasting and chronotherapy on blood pressure control and hypertensive patients during Ramadan. What's interesting is, in that study, they say that studies on the effects of fasting on blood pressure and heart rate of hypertensive patients are rare and have provided inconclusive results. That said, all of the ones I pulled up that were recent were all favorable for fasting effect on blood pressure. But apparently, there are ones that are inconclusive. That 2021 study, they found that, there was no significant changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as heart rate during the two periods. In their study, they found no effect on fasting and blood pressure. 

The other recent ones I looked at, there was blood pressure changes in 1,610 subjects with and without anti-hypertensive medication during long-term fasting. That was a 2020 study. They found that long-term fasting tends to decrease blood pressure in subjects with elevated blood pressure values and that the effect persisted during a four days of food reintroduction, even when the subjects stopped their hypertensive medication. A 2020 study called the effects of Ramadan fasting on anthropometric measures, blood pressure, and lipid profile among hypertensive patients found that Ramadan fasting could contribute to the improvement of blood pressure and also lower triglycerides, body weight, BMI, and WC of adult hypertensive patients. Then, I found a 2022 study effects of intermittent compared with continuous energy restriction on blood pressure control in overweight and obese patients with hypertension. It found that intermittent energy restriction is an effective alternative diet strategy for weight loss and blood pressure control, and is comparable to continuous energy restriction. Basically, calorie restriction in overweight and obese patients with hypertension. That's a really quick overview of a lot of recent studies, but all the studies I saw looking at blood pressure control and fasting tended to find a favorable effect on blood pressure. 

All of that said, and this is how I started it, and this is going off of what Gin said, I don't know the psychological effect of the cortisol. The fact that Leanne is seeing that the longer she fasts, at least at the time that she sent in the question that her blood pressure was going up, then that's what's happening. I would suggest that she work with her doctor and find the approach that doesn't have that effect. It might be that she's looking at the fasting, but she might be able to address the cortisol aspect of it without necessarily having to change the fasting so much. There are a lot of lifestyle practices that you could implement to work on stress levels, so many things. Working on your light exposure, focusing on your sleep, things like meditation, gratitude, even things like CBD and supplements that might have a beneficial effect, breathing exercises, cryotherapy, there're so many things you could do to try to work on your cortisol levels. Maybe the solution would be to ease off of the fasting a little bit and also really work on your other lifestyle habits that might be contributing to your cortisol and seeing if there's a way to address all of it that way. Do you have thoughts, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Well, I think, you said some great things there. Stress, it has such an impact on so many things in our bodies. The period of time when she wrote those, June of 2020 was a very stressful period of time. I would love to have a follow up, Leanne, and we could probably pop it to the top [laughs] of the queue. I would bet if we would like to hear what actually happened, because it's been over a year since we heard from her.

Melanie Avalon: She also, it wasn't and not even just COVID. She said she moved, built a house. daughter graduated from high school. She had a lot. So, definitely report back. Yes, like Gin said, we can bump it up, because I am very, very curious. I will say for listeners, the show notes at ifpodcast.com/episode259 have a complete transcript as well as links to everything. So, we'll put links to all of those studies there.

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Melanie Avalon: So, we have a question from Marika. Is that how you would say it?

Gin Stephens: I don't know. Marika, maybe? 

Melanie Avalon: Marika? 

Gin Stephens: Or, maybe it's Mary Kay. 

Melanie Avalon: Marika. 

Gin Stephens: Mary Kay. It's a beautiful spelling. I just don't know how to say it.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. [giggles] The subject is: "eating after a strenuous workout," and Marika, Mary Ca, Mary Kay says, "Hi, Gin and Melanie. It's so exciting to be writing to you finally. I love your show, and the information, and the dialogue between you two. Sometimes, I laugh out loud while I am listening to you on my walks. Here's a little bit about me. I'm a 26-year-old mom of a six-year-old and one and a half year old twins." She says, "to lose weight from my first, I consistently counted calories and did IF. I have come back to and I've been doing IF since I stopped nursing my twins at nine months old. I was 190 pounds in April 2021 and I am now, 155, thanks to IF. I generally aim for 17:7 although, it varies. I do clean fast and I feel amazing when I do. I'd like to lose 20 to 25 more pounds. Here's my question. Do you have to eat after a strenuous workout? I recently started a kickboxing class and my classes later. I try to go two to three times a week. I rush home, and put the kids to bed, and by the time I'm done, it's 8:30 or 9:00. Then I eat after that a wrap with chicken, Greek yogurt parfait, or protein smoothie. I feel better once I've eaten, but the next morning I always feel bloated and hungry. Generally, I feel best if I stopped eating by about 6 PM, then again, the next day around lunchtime. But on kickboxing nights, I feel I have to eat at least protein. What would you recommend for me, continue this way and extend my fast the day after to keep consistency in my fasting links? Why do I always feel hungrier the next day if I've eaten closer to bed? Even on non-workout evenings, it's the same if I eat too close to bed. I would love your input on the risks of not eating after a workout."

Gin Stephens: All right, I don't think there's any risks for not eating after a workout. There we go. Thank you for the question. The risks would be, we've talked about this before. You need to get sufficient protein within the 24-hour period surrounding your workout, but it doesn't have to be immediate. Also, remember, when we're fasting clean, we have increased autophagy. Some of our protein needs are being met from within our own bodies, because we're better able to recycle and upcycle the proteins that our bodies are breaking down. So, keep that in mind. We tend to think that all of our needs need to come from external sources, when some of them are coming from internal sources. I'm trying to figure out, if you're doing 17:7, it sounds you're not working out in the fasted state. You eat earlier in the day, then you go to kickboxing, and then you think you have to eat again, just because you've done the workout. I'm going to release you from that. You do not have to eat at 8:30 or 9 o'clock after kickboxing. You can just go to bed, you don't like to eat that late. Your body is telling you, you don't need to do that. So, don't do it. Just eat at your normal time before you go, like, you're already doing. Go do your kickboxing, come home, go to bed, wake up the next day, feel great. Maybe the next day, you'll want to have a little increased protein during your eating window. But it doesn't have to be bam immediately after working out. That's just a myth. 

As far as why are we so much hungrier if we eat late, for me I really like to think of it as you're just not as deep in the fasted state the next day. Your body's like, "All right, feed me." It's the way if I eat lunch, I can't just do one meal a day that day, because I always get hungry eight, nine hours later. I have to eat again, before I go to bed. Same kind of a thing. If you just eat and then go to bed, you're not fully getting into that fasted state. You wake up and you're like, "Right now, I'm hungry, again." That's right when your body's ready to eat. Then you have to get to the fasted state, at least that's what it feels like to me. You're just not getting there yet. But if you eat a few hours before bed, then you go to bed, you're already a few hours into the fasting time. When you wake up, you're probably deep enough into the fast that you're feeling like you can just keep going. That would be my hunch.

Melanie Avalon: We had a question about this recently about that concept and why are they hungrier the next day when they eat later. I agree that I think that's probably often the case. Yeah, so, it sounds when she's not kickboxing, she's eating between 12 to six-ish. Yeah, so, if you're not in the fasted state anyways with the kickboxing, I would try front loading the protein, because it sounds what's happening is, she gets back and-- Because she says that she feels the need to eat. I feel it's because she actually feels hungry for the protein compared to she just feels she needs to based on what society says. But it sounds it's more that she feels like she's hungry.

Gin Stephens: The way she said it, she said, "On kickboxing nights, I feel I have to eat at least protein." I feel the way that she worded it later when she said, what are the risks of not eating, she instead of feeling physically she has to eat, I think she mentally feels like she has to eat. That's the way I interpreted it. I could be wrong.

Melanie Avalon: The reason I interpret it differently was earlier, she says, "I feel better once I've eaten."

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's hard to know. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's a subtle nuance that could go either way. I actually think it's important for my answer, because if it's completely mental, if it's completely just you think you need to be eating protein and that's why you're doing it, and you feel better psychologically, because you ate your protein, I would just not worry about that [giggles] like Gin said. See how you feel not eating it. If it is a little bit or all that you actually are craving that protein and you feel physically better after eating the protein, I would not encourage you not to eat the protein, actually.

Gin Stephens: I would have it earlier in the day. Have more protein before she works out and then her body would have that protein, then.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, that's what I would suggest. I would suggest trying that and seeing if that solves that problem of craving the protein, it very well might. If it doesn't and you still feel this need to have the protein, and again, it's hard to know exactly what you're experiencing. But I would probably work on finding the minimal effective amount of protein that you can eat that it doesn't make you feel bloated. She says, she's trying a wrap with chicken, Greek yogurt parfait or protein smoothie.

Gin Stephens: I can't imagine just a protein smoothie making you feel bloated the next day. I could see how it might make you feel hungry. 

Melanie Avalon: I would maybe try something like, I mean, this might sound crazy, but just a plain chicken breast without all the other stuff, and seeing if that gives you that satiety, and that good feeling from the protein post-workout, and then not having the bloating issue the next morning. Oh, and then I also wanted to address, I wouldn't stress about extending your fast the next day for the consistency in the fasting links. I wouldn't really stress about that. I would just go back to you know what you do normally that feels well. I wouldn't change it in your head mentally to make up for having a longer eating window the day before. But if you naturally want to fast longer, I would just say go for it. I would just let it happen naturally. I don't have really one answer. I think it's going to require some experimentation to figure out what is the best solution. 

Gin Stephens: Absolutely, yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: But I think we can definitely-- if anything, we can help you with the psychological concerns about needing to have protein right away.

Gin Stephens: Right. Yeah, at least you can say, "No, there aren't any risks. There are no risks."

Melanie Avalon: She's trying to lose weight. So, it doesn't sound she's trying to be a bodybuilder and build muscle. If you were like a competition bodybuilder or something like that, I do think that actually has a different set of rules, as far as-- It's really intense with the exact methods to follow with eating protein to get the maximum muscle protein synthesis and things like that. I'm not talking to the bodybuilding people here. I'm just talking to people, who want to work out, and support their muscle during that, and then the timing. So, just is my caveat. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: 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 will be at ifpodcast.com/episode259. All the stuff that we like will be at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike and you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, and Gin's @ginstephens. And I think that is all the things. All right. So, anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: Nope. I'll just talk to you next week.

Melanie Avalon: Okey-dokey. Bye. 

Gin Stephens: Bye. 

Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice. We're not doctors. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, theme music by Leland Cox. See you next week.

STUFF WE LIKE

Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving us a review in iTunes - it helps more than you know! 

 

 

Mar 20

Episode 257: Caffeine Pills, Glycogen, Dietary Fat, Hypoglycemia, Stevia, Dirty Fasting, Hunger, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 257 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:

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SHOW NOTES

1:10 - LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A Sample Pack For Only The Price Of Shipping!! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

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13:45 - Listener Q&A: John - Caffeine Pills

Understanding the role of bitter taste perception in coffee, tea and alcohol consumption through Mendelian randomization

23:30 - PREP DISH: Get a free 2 week trial At Prepdish.com/ifpodcast! You'll get weekly gluten-free and Paleo grocery and recipe lists!!

25:10 - Listener Q&A: Giuseppina - Lots Of Topics With Questions!! Glycogen, Dietary Fat, Hypoglycemia, Stevia, Dirty Fasting, Hunger

52:25 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 257 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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When you eat a low-carb diet, your insulin levels drop. Low insulin in turn lowers the production of the hormone aldosterone. Now aldosterone is made in the kidneys and it helps you retain sodium. Low aldosterone on a keto diet makes you lose sodium at a rapid rate. Even if you are consciously consuming electrolytes, you might not be getting enough. In particular, you need electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium in order for nerve impulses to properly fire. Robb Wolf, who as you guys know is my hero in the holistic health world worked with the guys at Ketogains to get the exact formulation for electrolyte supplements to formulate LMNT Recharge, so you can maintain ketosis and feel your best. LMNT recharge has no sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients, no junk. They're used by three Navy SEALs teams, they are the official hydration partner to Team USA weightlifting, they're used by multiple NFL teams, and so much more. Guess what? We worked out an exclusive deal for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast listeners only. Guys, this is huge. They weren't going to do a deal, I begged them, here we are. 

You can get a free LMNT sampler pack. We're not talking a discount, we're talking free. Completely free. You only pay $5 for shipping. If you don't love it, they will even refund you the $5 for shipping. I'm not kidding. The sample pack includes eight packets of LMNT, two Citrus, two Raspberry, two Orange, and two Raw Unflavored. The Raw Unflavored ones are the ones that are safe for your clean fast and the other ones you can have in your eating window. Word on the street is the Citrus flavor makes an amazing margarita, by the way. 

I am loving LMNT and I think you guys will too. Again, this is completely free. You have nothing to lose. Just go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. That's D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dotcom forward slash I-F-P-O-D-C-A-S-T. I'll put all this information in the show notes.

One more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disrupters, which mess with our hormones, obesogens which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. When you're putting on your conventional skincare makeup, you're likely putting toxic compounds directly into your body. These compounds can make you feel bad, can make it really hard to lose weight, can affect your hormones, your mood, your health. And ladies, if you're thinking of having kids, when you have a child, these compounds actually go directly through the placenta into the newborn. That means your skincare makeup that you're putting on today actually affects the health of future generations. 

Did you know that conventional lipstick for example often tests high for lead and the half-life of lead can be up to 30 years in your bones? That means when you put on your lipstick, 30 years later, half of that lead might still be in your body. Thankfully, there's an easy, easy solution to this. There's a company called Beautycounter and they were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient and their products is extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can actually feel good about what you put on. And on top of that, their products actually work. That's because they're not “all natural.” They actually combine the best of both worlds, both synthetic and natural ingredients to create products that actually support the health of your skin and make your skin look amazing. They have skincare lines for all your skin types, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, anti-aging and brightening peels, and vitamin C serums, and incredible makeup. If you see my makeup on Instagram, that's all Beautycounter. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. 

And if you're thinking of making safe skincare a part of your future like we have, we definitely suggest becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership, totally completely worth it. Also, definitely join my clean beauty email list at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty, I give away a lot of free things on that list and join me on my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. I do a weekly giveaway every single week for Beautycounter, people share their experience and product reviews, and so much more. And again, the link to shop with us is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. All right, now, enjoy the show.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 257 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Well, it is a beautiful day. I've been sitting out in the sun. I actually read something really interesting the other day, which might explain why I've had more trouble sleeping lately and why I sleep so much better at the beach.

Melanie Avalon: Is it grounding? 

Gin Stephens: No. [laughs] It's sunlight. Of course, we all know that when you go out in the sun it increases your vitamin D levels. But it also affects your melatonin production. You probably knew that already. I'd never thought about the sunlight and melatonin. I've got low vitamin D. I just had InsideTracker. I just had my bloodwork done.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you did? 

Gin Stephens: I did it. Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah? Did you find anything interesting?

Gin Stephens: Well, my vitamin D level is really low. [laughs] But I had been really struggling to sleep. I was like, "Why am I all of a sudden having such a hard time sleeping?" Well, it's been winter I haven't been outside, I haven't been getting sun, I've been very, very busy. The past couple days, I've been going outside and now that the weather is warming up, I've been purposefully going out and getting sun. Last night I slept great. 

Melanie Avalon: Nice. 

Gin Stephens: I know. I think we hear about the sun and vitamin D so much that you think that's all the sun is doing, right? I hadn't really thought about it with melatonin production.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it really regulates the rhythm of your melatonin release getting that sun early in the morning.

Gin Stephens: Yep. Getting that sun, I'm getting out there, but that explains like I said that why I always sleep so much better at the beach or that might be part of it. Because I get a lot more sun when I'm at the beach. 

Melanie Avalon: Very exciting. 

Gin Stephens: It is exciting. Oh, can I also tell you something else? I am going to throw up. I have ruined everything moment yesterday. Oh, my God, it was the worst. ginstephens.com disappeared. It was gone. I was trying to redirect. How we had the social network, the Delay, Don’t Deny social network, dddsocialnetwork.com, and that didn't work out well with the technology. We moved it to circle. Now, we have the Delay, Don’t Deny community, but it's a separate platform. The web address is different. We had dddsocialnetwork.com for the one that we left, we left them in September, but it was still hanging out there. I was like, "I need to redirect that site in case people ever go back and try to find it." We had some final words there, but we're going to lose the access to it, because it's been a year. We had a year contract with them. So, it's going to disappear. I'm like, "All right, well, if it disappears, I need it to redirect." I'm in Weebly trying to redirect dddsocialnetwork.com, so, it goes to ginstephens.com, and somehow, I don't know what I did, but ginstephens.com was gone. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. 

Gin Stephens: And I was freaking out. All the content, it suddenly was like, "Get started and publish your website." I'm like, "What, what, what?"

Melanie Avalon: How long was it down for?

Gin Stephens: It was not very long. I got on chat with tech support for Weebly. They were fantastic. So, if anyone is thinking about starting a website, Weebly was great. It's an easy website builder. But I was like, "Oh, my God, I've lost all the content." He sent me a screenshot. He's like, "You mean this content?" I'm like, "Oh, my God, hallelujah, it's somewhere." [laughs] I don't know, but he fixed it. Oh, I thought I was going to die. 

Melanie Avalon: I use GoDaddy for our sites. I also love GoDaddy. But I've had quite a few panic calls with GoDaddy, where it was like, "Talk me off the ledge. The website is somewhere."

Gin Stephens: It's somewhere and he was able to also help me fix it, so that it does redirect. If you try to go to dddsocialnetwork.com. It does redirect to ginstephens.com now. Ah, anyway, I was really freaking out. But can you imagine if you lost everything for your website, everything?

Melanie Avalon: Does Weebly have the backups and everything?

Gin Stephens: Apparently. [laughs] Thank the Lord, because-- Anyway, oh, my God, it was the worst. So, what's up with you? Anyway, it was actually the best, because they fixed it. 

Melanie Avalon: And now, you know that there are backups. 

Gin Stephens: Exactly. But I never want to touch the backend all that. That technology man, it's hard. 

Melanie Avalon: I don't understand it. 

Gin Stephens: They start saying things like-- Anyway, just the word redirect is hard enough. Now, I understand redirect, honestly. But there's just there's a lot going on.

Melanie Avalon: Every time we've switched platforms for our show, I've been so nervous. There's been moments, where I was convinced that we lost, because we recently switched platforms a few weeks ago for this show. There was a moment where I thought we lost half our episodes. Did you know that happened? 

Gin Stephens: I didn't know. You thought you lost half the episodes? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, half of them stopped showing up on all the platforms. I was like, "What is happening?" Our host was like, "Yeah, this sometimes happens if something about didn't finish importing." I was like, "Oh, my goodness." [laughs] like they were gone. But all is well, all is well. 

Gin Stephens: Well, yeah. All is well, if you don't lose everything. That's all I'm saying.

Melanie Avalon: But if you do, you can just start afresh.

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't want to start afresh. [laughs] I did not want to start afresh with my website. No. Anyway, I was imagining, I was going to have to do it. I was like, "I'm never going to sleep again. I'll be rebuilding my website." But okay, I didn't have to.

Melanie Avalon: If that happened, I would just hire somebody out to--

Gin Stephens: You see, I've got all the blog posts that I had written. They would have been gone. The content, exactly. Well, I could rebuild it. Weebly is easy to build on. I would not hire someone now. I built it the first time. I could rebuild it, but I don't want to. That's what I'm saying. I do not want to. Anyway, good times. Anything new with you?

Melanie Avalon: Just all the normal things. We are getting closer to our final formulation for our magnesium for my next AvalonX supplement. So, that's really exciting. It's a matter of figuring out which forms to put in, and which amounts, and there are so many different magnesiums. Yeah, that's the main thing. Then, so, I'm working on the EMF blocking product line and then also working on a pet food line.

Gin Stephens: You really are. You're going forward with the pet food. 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. 

Gin Stephens: Very cool.

Melanie Avalon: Yep, and then just the shows. So, life is good.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, well, the busier you are, the more you get done. That's what I've always found.

Melanie Avalon: It's just fun. I just love doing all the things. I'm just so grateful that you get to wake up and work on things that we love. 

Gin Stephens: Exactly. 

Melanie Avalon: And not have to report to anybody like being your own boss. 

Gin Stephens: That's huge, because I was a teacher for 28 years and so, very much not my own boss. I loved it and I was good at it, but that last year, when I really realized how much I wanted to be doing that I couldn't do, because I felt stuck to the job all of a sudden. After never feeling that way, I all of a sudden did. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, that must have felt really freeing for you. 

Gin Stephens: So freeing. Grateful, ever grateful. 

Melanie Avalon: Do not take it for granted. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, no. Not for one second.

Melanie Avalon: So, shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes, let's get started. 

Melanie Avalon: All right, so, a very short question to start things off. This comes from John. The subject is: "Caffeine pills". John says, "I can't drink black coffee. Is it okay to take a caffeine pill upon waking instead?"

Gin Stephens: Well, you can. [giggles] When we think about something like a pill of any kind, they're all going to have fillers and stuff in there. Your caffeine pills going to have fillers in there. I feel for me, if I was not going to drink coffee, I would wean myself off of caffeine. I don't know. I don't think I would need caffeine. I enjoy coffee, the experience of coffee. Personally, I wouldn't want to put a caffeine pill every day into my body. I would just wean myself off caffeine. Yeah, you can if you want to. But I probably wouldn't, but you can. Is that though the worst answer in the history of answers, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: No, no, not at all. I actually went through a caffeine pill phase. 

Gin Stephens: Did you? Were you taking it for caffeine benefits, like, adding extra caffeine?

Melanie Avalon: I was taking it, it was probably right after college, and in college, I was drinking so much coffee. I wanted to have a way I could control my caffeine intake and not-- Because you know what the coffee, you could just keep drinking coffee. I wanted to switch over, and just have a dosage, a pill, and then be done for that morning, pep in your step. Gin just said this, but can you or is it okay? Yes, it is okay. You probably would want to look at the other ingredients in the pill. I would look at the why, for why you want the caffeine. So, if you want the caffeine-- [unintelligible [00:15:28] don't want to drink coffee.

Gin Stephens: Well, he doesn't like black coffee. Actually, now, that I mentioned that part, I think John could drink black coffee. That's what I would do. I would just retrain those tastebuds, John.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. A lot of the proposed benefits for coffee are due to the caffeine. But a lot of the benefits are found in decaf as well. A lot of the benefits aren't necessarily even from the caffeine. They could be from polyphenols and the plant compounds in coffee. You're not going to get all of those benefits from a caffeine pill. And also, the way your body handles the caffeine, we think we talked about this in an episode a while ago, but the curve of how your body processes the caffeine is different when it's in coffee or tea form versus caffeine pill. The caffeine pill tends to be a much bigger spike and drop compared to coffee and tea, which is a more gentle slope and likely has more beneficial effects throughout the whole body.

Gin Stephens: Exactly. Yeah, because so much of what's good about the coffee is not just the caffeine. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. You know what so interesting, though is, I just think it's so interesting how, especially in the plant polyphenol world, how people attribute different things to the benefits. So many people will say, the polyphenols in plant compounds and coffee are working because of this reason. The Sirtfood guy diet would say, it's all about the sirtuins. But then I just interviewed Steven Gundry and he talks about polyphenols. But for him, it's all about the mitochondrial uncoupling. People have different reasons for why it works. But I guess, it doesn't change the fact that good things are happening. 

Gin Stephens: They do so many things we don't even know. That's the thing. For example, beta-carotene in carrots, right? People are like, "Oh, carrots are good for you. It's because of the beta-carotene." But then when they made a beta-carotene supplement, it didn't have the expected effects the same way like a carrot would. It's just because there's also thousands of other compounds inside that carrot. We've identified this one, but that doesn't mean it's the magic compound.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Exactly. I feel that's a long-winded answer. So, the answer is yes. But yes, and maybe there's a better option.

Gin Stephens: I really do want to go back to what John said, because I think I'm getting the psychology of it now, like, when I read it again. "I can't drink black coffee" from John. The reason he wants to take the caffeine pill, I'm now assuming, I'm reading more into this question. He's used to drinking coffee just not black coffee, so, now that he knows it needs to be black to fast clean. He's like, "Well, that's a deal breaker. I just am going to quit coffee." So, John, I want to tell you my story about this. I was the same way. When I read The Obesity Code and realized that stevia would cause you to have a cephalic phase insulin response, and I wanted to keep my insulin low during the fast, and so, it was counterproductive to drink stevia in my coffee all morning long, that wasn't good for me. I was like, "Well, I can't drink black coffee. So, I guess it's no coffee for me" and I quit coffee for just a few days. Then, I realized I missed coffee. 

I liked the act of drinking coffee. I was like, "Well, I'm just going to hold my nose, and suck it up, and I'm going to drink my coffee black." I did and I adjusted so quickly that the old me probably wouldn't believe that it would happen so quickly. Your tastebuds really do change. If you think you can't drink black coffee because you're used to drinking it with stuff in it, if you like the smell of coffee and you've enjoyed coffee in the past, then you can train your tastebuds to black coffee, too. I really think it opened up my tastebuds, my palate to the point that now I can tolerate a lot more bitter foods that I used to find to be really yucky. Now, I think my tastebuds had a whole remodel. So, now, I don't mind so many other foods that used to bother me, anyway.

Melanie Avalon: I have a question for you about this. We talked about the importance of the clean fast and the black coffee. Let's say, a person really only likes drinking coffee, super steviad up, super creamed up. Would you prefer or suggest, if they are open to tapering down? So, doing slightly less cream, slightly less stevia, and tapering down over a few weeks, would you suggest that or would you suggest not?

Gin Stephens: Well, it's just going to make it harder in the long run. You think it's making it easier? 

Melanie Avalon: The tapering?

Gin Stephens: Well, it's going to also, you're not going to be fast and clean. It's going to make your fast harder. It going to make your fast really hard. I just know from what I've heard from so many people, even if it was just my own experience. My own experience was, when I switched to the clean fast, I could not believe the difference in myself. But if it was only my study of one, obviously, that's just me. But I've also heard it literally from thousands of people. It makes such a difference. My recommendation is not to taper or drag it out, because you're only making it harder. If you just, bam, you just do it, and your tastebuds will change.

Melanie Avalon: I just find this so interesting. I think we have the same thoughts about this concept, but flipped for food versus fasting. For fasting-- I don't know. I haven't really thought about this. 

Gin Stephens: What do you mean? I don't know what you mean. 

Melanie Avalon: I feel for fasting, I think if a person felt comfortable with the tapering approach with fasting, that's what I would maybe advocate for with the food. I feel I would rather just go all in rather than taper with the food approach.

Gin Stephens: You're more all in with the food anyway or I am not. I'm ish with my food. I'm clean-ish. I don't ascribe to a very regimented eating style.

Melanie Avalon: The end point would be different. 

Gin Stephens: Right. Now, I'm not trying to get to a regimented eating style. I appreciate that some people feel better on a lot of different eating styles, some of which are regimented, but I don't want to or feel better that way. So, yeah. That was an interesting thought. Yeah, different end point. I just know that from what I've heard from people like Dr. Fung and his group, I think they call them crutches. When you're putting cream in your coffee, they call it a crutch, and you wean yourself off of it. We've actually found with people. It actually makes it harder. You think that it's helping you, you think it's making it easier for you to transition, but it actually is delaying your transition and making it more likely that you're like, "I hate fasting, it's so hard." If you just from day one, fast clean, it's just such a difference. I've just heard it in my community, because I'm so clean fast, working with lots of new fasters over the years, thousands and thousands of them. The number of people who have said, "This is what I used to do, and then I switched to what you said to do, and oh, my gosh, the difference." I've heard of a lot of times. I really think it makes a difference. So, that's what I would recommend.

Melanie Avalon: I wonder if they've done any studies on the timeline of people's tastebuds changing.

Gin Stephens: With coffee or just in general? 

Melanie Avalon: Probably in general. 

Gin Stephens: We've talked about one before. I remember us talking about something at some point where how quickly your tastebuds turnover. It's faster than you think. I can't remember what we said, but I know it was years ago we talked about this very topic.

Melanie Avalon: I want to read this study. I just googled it briefly. This one's called "understanding the role of bitter taste perception in coffee, tea, and alcohol consumption through Mendelian randomization." [laughs] Put that on the to read list. [laughs] Good times. Okay, so, you can do it, John. 

Gin Stephens: You can, John. You can drink black coffee. [laughs] All right, or, you can have a caffeine pill but I wouldn't. 

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Gin Stephens: We have a question from Josephine and the topic is, lots of topics of questions. "Glycogen dietary fat, hypoglycemia, stevia, dirty fasting, and hunger." She says, "Dear Gin and Melanie, as an avid longtime listener, I have stockpiled my most persistent nagging questions for you after listening to every one of your podcasts and still not finding the answers. I would so appreciate you giving some thought to my questions as I cannot find clear answers to them no matter how deep a rabbit hole I dive with research. Most of these questions stem from the intriguing information I have culled from wearing a CGM for the last several weeks. For context, I am slightly dirty fasting about 14 to 16 hours every day." Josephine you're getting my teacher look. I'm looking at you with it right now. She says, "and I have been off and on for the past year. I took a five-month break from clean fasting to follow the Ray Peat bioenergetic diet as I was feeling sluggish and low energy at one point while clean fasting. The first few months of clean fasting I felt great, lost all the weight, but then stopped sleeping well, and found out I was hypothyroid. At which point I read Ray Peat's philosophy and thought I'd try it. 

I did feel good not fasting and following the bioenergetic way of eating. Breakfast upon awakening, orange juice and milk between meals for adrenals, avoiding high-fiber vegetables, etc. But I gained a ton of weight and hated in the end feeling heavier. So, I went back to fasting, and listening to you guys, and dropped the weight and felt better. Only this time, I added stevia and a teeny splash of milk in my coffee. So, I enjoyed my life more. Maybe I'm weird, but black coffee is so depressing to me. I can't sustain fasting like that for my whole life." 

Melanie Avalon: Here it is again.

Gin Stephens: Oh. [laughs] "Now, that's what I do. 14 to 16 hours of dirty-ish fasting. When I ate, it was mostly lean proteins, and fruits, and vegetables. I got the CGM, because I wanted to understand what amount of food and combination of macronutrients during my eating window would allow me to feel satisfied, but not gain weight. Here are my questions."

Melanie Avalon: Can I jump in really quick? I was just going to talk about what-- so people know what the Ray Peat diet is a little bit.

Gin Stephens: I also want to talk about the dirty fasting and what my philosophy about that. But go ahead and talk about Ray Peat first.

Melanie Avalon: I'm very familiar with Ray Peat. I find his work very fascinating and he doesn't really have a diet. He doesn't ever say, this is what you do. It's a collection of philosophy that he's written about, and there are a lot of forums, and people have come up with his takeaways, and created this Ray Peat diet. The way I found his work is because I kept googling what I was eating. He's not a fan of fasting. But I kept googling the types of foods I was eating and I kept coming back to Ray Peat. Basically, the foods I eat are very Ray Peat-ish. So, that said, he does advocate things like orange juice, and even sugar, and Coca Cola. He's for a low fiber, low residue, running on glycogen, and glucose high, less inflammatory protein, so fish. He loves fruit, he loves dairy. He's all about like stroking the metabolism.

Gin Stephens: Did you mean stoking?

Melanie Avalon: Both stoking, stroking. Is it not stroking? Is it stoking?

Gin Stephens: Stoking. Stroking, I don't understand stroking the metabolism. Maybe that's the thing. I don't know about stroking the metabolism, but stoking the metabolism is like firing it up. Is that what you meant? 

Melanie Avalon: That is what I mean. 

Gin Stephens: You're stoking it.

Melanie Avalon: I'm going to see if anybody says that. 

Gin Stephens: Stroking the metabolism. Here's a funny story, where we are not going to edit this out, by the way. Here's the funny story. Really intelligent people all the time use words wrong. Here's an example. Chad, my husband, PhD, very smart guy. He thought the phrase was "Don't take me for granite." G-R-A-N-I-T-E. All his life, he thought it was "Don't take me for granite," instead of granted.

Melanie Avalon: When did he have that?

Gin Stephens: I don't know. It's been in the past couple years. He's like, "Wait, it's what, it's what?

Melanie Avalon: I would love to know, because I'm sure there are tons of things like that for everybody. What are the three biggest things for me personally, where I would just be like, "What?" [giggles] Stoking the metabolism, yes, he's all about that. But what's really interesting is, so, you can do his approach and I think lose-- He says this, because I've googled this. He says, "If you want to lose weight on his approach, you got to do the low-fat version." You got to eat the low-fat foods. Oh, he loves coconut oil, too. If you do it eating the higher fat foods that he advocates, so the high fat dairy, and I mean, it's a lot high fat dairy. A lot of people to gain weight. I don't think it's so much about Ray Peat's approach causes weight gain as much as how does your version of Ray Peat manifest, and are you doing a type that encourages weight gain or encourages weight loss? All that to say is, I think you can eat Ray Peat foods, and lose weight, and still get the benefits.

Gin Stephens: I think I would feel so terrible. If I tried to eat that all that sugary stuff, I don't do well. I don't do well with that.

Melanie Avalon: I don't eat the sugar, all of that. The foods I eat that are very Ray Peaty is. I eat a ton of fish, scallops. He likes fruit, vegetables, so, I can eat the cucumbers, fruits. He thinks a lot of fiber is irritating to the gut. So, not eating a ton of veggies and things like that.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, he's the opposite of what I eat. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: It's funny. Yeah, he probably is, completely. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think so.

Melanie Avalon: I was just going to clarify that. So, go ahead.

Gin Stephens: "About the dirty fasting, I'm really proud of bringing the terminology clean fast to the world," because that happened in our Facebook group. We created the words fast and clean, the clean fast back in probably around 2017. It was after I wrote Delay, Don’t Deny. But then we started using the word. We needed something to talk in a way to differentiate what we were doing versus what you might find in other fasting groups. We're like, "We want you to fast clean." We started using that terminology and now, it's everywhere. People are using it. But when you say clean fasting, that implies there must be the opposite of that meaning dirty fasting. But I genuinely believe you're either fasting clean, or you're not fasting. So, I love that we brought the terminology 'clean fasting' to the world, but I really don't like the terminology 'dirty fasting,' because to me, if you're fasting clean, then you're not eating food, for example, or taking in energy or all of that. 

That being said, if you're having milk for example, that is not fasting. It is food, milk is food. You're doing a low-calorie diet. When you're having a little bit of milk here, a little bit of milk there, a little bit of milk, that is a very, very low-calorie diet. Can you lose weight that way? Yes. We've all lost weight on low-calorie diets. You could just have milky coffee all the time and I'm not talking obviously about Josephine, but just in general, hypothetically, someone could just drink milky coffee all day long if it's a low-calorie diet. But it's definitely food. Dairy is nature's perfect food for a mammal baby. We all feed our baby, all mammals feed their babies some kind of milk. So, it's food that's created for the period of time when you are growing the most. Think about that. When are creatures growing the most when they're babies and they're growing? So, to me, that's the last thing you'd really want to take in during the fast is dairy. Anyway, so, I really don't like the terminology dirty fasting just because first of all, it makes it feel it's a choice. "Well, I do a little dirty fasting, but it's no big deal." I really think you're not fasting if you're doing that. The same thing with the stevia. 

Your goal is to keep your insulin low. We've got three goals for the clean fast. Number one is keep your insulin low. Why? Why do we want to keep our insulin low? Well, it's because if you've read Benjamin Bikman's book, Why We Get Sick, high levels of insulin are linked to so many of our problems. Our health conditions that are just rampant. And also, insulin is anti-lipolytic. Meaning, it keeps you from tapping into your fat stores effectively. So, now, let's think about you're having the stevia in there that's keeping your insulin raised. When I gave up my stevia it was because I read in The Obesity Code that stevia actually caused your body to release more insulin than table sugar. Jason Fung said that in The Obesity Code. I highlighted it, and took a screenshot of it, and I'm like, "What?" So, I certainly wouldn't put table sugar in my coffee. Why would I want to raise my insulin more? Because high levels of insulin keep your body from tapping into your fat stores well. Like I said, it's anti-lipolytic, anti-fat burning. I'm like, there is no reason why I would want my insulin to go up. When I'm fasting, I want my insulin to go down, because I want to tap into fat stores. Okay, so, fasting goal one: keep insulin low. Fasting goal two: tap into your fat stores by not adding anything that's energy for the body. That would be whether you're adding your MCT oil, or butter, or anything like that. You don't want to do that either. 

We also want to keep autophagy going strong. Protein affects autophagy. There's a little bit of protein in milk. I would really encourage you to rethink what you're doing. You're fasting in my opinion until you have that stevia and milk. Then your window is open and now you're low-calorie dieting. Keep that In your mind and it made me sad the way you said. I'm trying to find it in the question that the black coffee was so depressing that you can't sustain fasting like that for your whole life. I would encourage you to make a mindset shift, because as long as you think "I can't enjoy my life if I'm drinking black coffee, it's so depressing, I can't sustain fasting like that for my whole life. That's what you're telling yourself. That's the story your brain is telling you." But what if you flip the switch and said, "I want to have low levels of insulin, because that is healthier for my body. I want to get all the benefits of the clean fast and I want to tap into my fat stores, because I have low levels of insulin, and I'm not taking in milk, and that is what I want to do for my whole life doing it for the health reasons." 

If you make that mental shift and went to the black coffee and instead of thinking of it like, "Oh, this is so depressing. I can't believe I'm drinking this terrible black coffee." If you're like, "Well, I'm drinking this because it's a much better choice for health for me." If you could just flip that switch and realize you want the benefits from fasting, fast clean, so, I'm going to encourage you to really do that and I think its life changing. Do you have anything to add to that, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Just that, that is going to be very helpful for the question she asks a little bit later. I'm glad that you said all of that.

Gin Stephens: It also goes along with the question that we had a minute ago from John, the black coffee. All right, so, we're ready to keep going with the questions. All right. She said, "in the beginning, my blood sugar levels were 70 to 80 while fasting. Whenever I ate, they would rise and fall quickly to below my fasting blood sugar levels. So, reactive hypoglycemia, what would you say? Would you say that's reactive hypoglycemia?

Melanie Avalon: Probably, yes. Basically, reactive hypoglycemia is where when you eat, your body releases insulin, but it releases more insulin than is needed. It's too effective in a way. So, then your blood sugar drops below what it was prior to eating.

Gin Stephens: Okay. So, it goes on to say, "This was interesting, because it helped me understand why I was never satisfied after starting to eat. I upped my dietary fat intake and was pleased to find out that it helped the reactive hypoglycemia and level of satisfaction." So, yes, that is true. That's one thing that really I learned doing the-- I knew this already, but doing the ZOE testing was how it changed things when you combine different foods. It made a huge difference. I knew that if I ate for example of plain baked potato with nothing on it that I would feel a crash later, but if I put butter and sour cream, then the fat helps the way your body processes those quick acting carbs and then it's steady, and you don't have that crash. But it was interesting to see it right there in ZOE to see the numbers change. Like, "Here's what a plain potato is. Now, you add this butter to it and it increases the score for my body." Anyway, so, that makes a lot of sense. 

The way I'm interpreting this, Melanie, in the beginning, this means probably back when she was fasting clean. She used to fast clean and, in the beginning her blood sugar levels were 70 to 80 while fasting. I think that's important. Then here's the next part of that question. "However, now, my fasting blood sugar the next day remains in the 90s and the 100s literally all day. I never want to open my week eating window when the levels are so high like that. Does this mean I don't clear fat well? I don't want to gain weight by eating if my glycogen levels are never depleting enough. Yet, I also don't want to go back to low fat and find myself hypoglycemic and hungry all the time, what to do?" Now, I'm so curious what not clearing fat would have to do with blood-- Maybe she means, because she ate fat yesterday?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, what she's saying is, when she was doing low fat, really low fat, she would have a reactive hypoglycemic response and she would still be hungry. But the next day, she would have lower fasting blood sugar levels. When she added fat, she didn't get that reactive hypoglycemic response. She felt more satisfied. But the next day, she had higher fasting blood sugar levels.

Gin Stephens: I'm curious if one of these was done with clean fasting and one of them was not. Because she said, she did do clean fasting, then she stopped doing clean fasting.

Melanie Avalon: She went back to fasting. I think she's been doing her version of the dirty fasting through all of this, because she says she was doing Ray Peat, and then when she went back to fasting that she did it with the stevia and the tiny splash of milk, I think that's been consistent from what I'm reading.

Gin Stephens: Okay. So, when she says in the beginning she's talking about recently.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. The time I'm getting from this what it sounds is, she did clean fasting, then she did Ray Peat, then she went back to fasting, but she did it with the dirtiest fasting.

Gin Stephens: Milk and stevia?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. But the beginning of her return to fasting was low fat. She's having reactive hypoglycemia. Then she went to a higher fat, no more reactive hypoglycemia. But she has higher fasting blood sugar levels the next day. That's the timeline I'm getting from this. 

Gin Stephens: Well, we'll assume that's what it is. 

Melanie Avalon: Feel free to let us know, Josephine, if it's not. But I do have thoughts on this. Do you want me to jump in? 

Gin Stephens: Yep. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, this is what I've seen. Actually, I'm really fascinated by this, because a lot of people say, adding fat to a meal reduces the blood sugar spike of the meal, which is true. However, what is often not accounted for is the longer-term effect, which has-- I've read studies on this, and this is what Josephine is experiencing, and that it can create a longer, higher blood sugar. That's like a much longer timeline.

Gin Stephens: It's like slow release. It becomes slow release instead of bam.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. It's longer. Rather than being up and down, it's not as high up, but then it's longer. Carrying into the next day, so that's quite a while. The next day she's seeing that she's having all day these higher blood sugar levels, I do think it's the fat that is causing that, and I do think that she's saying that her glycogen levels aren't depleting enough, which is likely happening. I would keep tweaking to find what works for you. Because I think in your head, it sounds like you think it has to either be this super low fat or this higher fat version. I think there are two options here. I would maybe try-- I don't know how you're adding the dietary fat. Were you actually adding fat like pure fat, which would be like oils, butter, things like that? If that's how you're adding it, I would maybe add it through more whole food versions. So, instead of oils and butter, just having maybe fat. Oh, yes, yes, because she's eating lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. This is what I would try, Josephine. I'm very excited. If you're upping the fat was adding oils and butter, I would not add oils and butter. I would eat fattier cuts of meat. Instead of eating the lean protein, just have more whole foods, fattier protein, I would try that. I would see if that works. 

Another thing you could try is not upping the fat, upping the protein. Because protein can have a really beneficial effect on satiety and/or regulating blood sugar regulation. Instead of trying to fix it with the fat approach, you could try to fix it with the protein approach. Those are the two things I would try, and I would just keep tweaking, and I would keep using a CGM until you find the approach that works for you. Because Josephine, we actually follow a very similar diet it sounds like because I eat mostly lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, although, my vegetables are cucumbers. I will have the same response. If I go higher fat by adding in fat like oils or butter, I will have higher resting blood sugars the next day. But if I add in just fattier cuts of meat, so salmon, maybe adding in some more red meat and things like that, I can mitigate all of this. So, that's what I would try. 

Gin Stephens: I would also, again, I'm going back to fast and clean, because we haven't talked about the fact that when you're putting milk in your coffee, the milk breaks down and there's sugar in your bloodstream. Some of that might be coming from that milk. Anyway, just FYI. Milk can absolutely cause your blood sugar to go up. So, if you see what happens, leaving the milk out, see how that affects your readings. 

Melanie Avalon: If the milk was consistent through all of it, then it probably is more the dietary shift that created it. But that said--

Gin Stephens: Stop adding stuff in during the day and that will--

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it could be that if you do the black coffee, then it results that without having to.

Gin Stephens: Exactly. Change what you're eating. Yep, I just know my blood sugar. We're all different with the way we our bodies clear the fat, and the blood sugar, and all that. My experience may not be the same as someone else's. But from wearing a CGM briefly, what I found was, when I woke up in the morning, my blood sugar was a certain amount. By the way, before coffee, of course, it was lower and then after coffee, it goes up. So, when I just had my InsideTracker results, my fasted blood glucose was 86 when I woke up.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really curious. When did you have it tested? In the morning, or--? 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it was in the morning. I'd been up, I'd already showered, I'd been moving around. We know that it goes up and down. But generally, in the morning, whenever I was wearing the CGM, I would notice after coffee, it would go up and be in that 90 range for a little while, while I was drinking my coffee. Then eventually, mid-morning, it would go down into the 70s and then I would have right when it was going down is when I would have a mild wave of hunger. That's how I knew. I'm like, "Oh, I'm having a mild wave of hunger," and then I would check the CGM. Sure enough, that's when it was going down. Then it would stay in the 70s the rest of the time. So, it was fascinating to see. Actually, maybe when I was sleeping, I'm trying to remember. Maybe when I was sleeping, it was like 70s, 80s, I don't know. But then after the coffee, it would go up. After coffee, it went up and that was my body dumping out the glycogen from my liver in the coffee helps with that. But then midmorning, boom back down and then it would stay in the 70s the whole rest of the time that I fasted, and it was very steady. It didn't go up and down, up and down, up and down. It just stayed there. 

Understanding what the coffee was doing was important. But that's why this time when I had the InsideTracker, I was like, "Well, I'm not going to drink coffee till after they come," because I want to see what it's doing. Sure enough, the last time I'd had fasted blood work, I drank coffee beforehand, because I didn't even think about the glycogen dump. Then I'm like, "Why did I drink that coffee?" I just wasn't even paying attention. Really, it was when I wore the CGM that I was like, "Okay, it really does make a huge difference" and it did. So, I really wanted to try to see what it was, what the fastest blood sugar was without the coffee and it was better. 

Melanie Avalon: Was that your first time doing InsideTracker? I just love InsideTracker so much. 

Gin Stephens: It was not. It was the second time.

Melanie Avalon: We were talking about this before, but I got too high vitamin D often on my InsideTracker, because I've gotten so intense on trying to raise my vitamin D.

Gin Stephens: What do you do to raise it? 

Melanie Avalon: Supplement vitamin D every night. I take the Thorne D/K2 blend, that's a supplement I want to make in the future of vitamin D. Then I was doing three-minute really short EPB tanning sessions last winter. I haven't done them in a while. I stopped doing them once I realized my vitamin D was really high.

Gin Stephens: You know me and supplements, I'm not a supplement person. I'd rather get it from the sun. Again, the sun doesn't just give us the vitamin D. It also helps with our melatonin. I may have heard that before, but it never really clicked with me. You know how you hear a lot of stuff, and you just, like, whatever, and then all of a sudden, one day it clicks, and I was like, "Oh, I'm not sleeping. Oh, my vitamin D is low, my melatonin is probably also low." It was the right time to read that after I'd had a very restless night sleeping. A lot of things just suddenly came together and suddenly I was ready for that information.

Melanie Avalon: I think it has to do with the sunlight going into your eyes.

Gin Stephens: I think so. I 100% think so. I've heard that, too.

Melanie Avalon: That affects the melatonin release. It resets the clock. 

Gin Stephens: It really does. I've heard that before. That's not new information. But I guess, I needed to hear all that at the same time after just having gotten my vitamin D back and having trouble sleeping all at the same time. It was the right time for it to really be reinforced.

Melanie Avalon: I've actually been experimenting-- Well, ever since reading Dr. John Lieurance's Melatonin Miracle book and having him on the show, I've been very fascinated about melatonin. Then when I got COVID, I was really looking into the role of melatonin helping that. Then when I did that moment, Gin, where I took a whole bottle of melatonin by accident and felt so good the next day. I've been really experimenting with supplemental melatonin and then when I interviewed Dr. Steven Gundry and he talks about the mitochondrial uncoupling in the mitochondria, he was saying that the two master antioxidants in your mitochondria that, I forgot exactly what their role is. But they are very, very helpful was melatonin and glutathione. So, I've been experimenting supplementing with melatonin as a supplement.

Gin Stephens: It makes me feel hungover. I don't feel good with it.

Melanie Avalon: Have you tried a version that is not the chewable flavored pills? 

Gin Stephens: Oh, I don’t take chewable flavored pills. [laughs] Yes, I've tried several different versions, but I don't take chewable anything ever. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. 

Gin Stephens: Every time I've ever taken it, it just made me feel hungover. Also, Benadryl makes me feel hungover. So, my brain is weird about things. 

Melanie Avalon: Benadryl can make me feel hungover, but it just knocks me out so well. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, not me. It makes me like wired. But interesting, you were just talking about COVID. I remember early on, we heard about vitamin D linked to COVID and when people who had low vitamin D levels had worse experiences with COVID, but then also the role of melatonin. Really was it the vitamin D that was the problem or was it the melatonin, because they go hand in hand. That's where we can get the cause and effect wrong. We're like, "Oh, look, we can measure vitamin D. Their vitamin D is low. They must need vitamin D. Let's give them supplemental vitamin D." When really, that was just the marker for it and it was really melatonin that was making the difference.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's like-- I was actually just emailing, because I work a lot with InsideTracker and I've been emailing them a lot, because they do make one recommendation and it depends on-- When you get your results, its recommendations tailored to you, so not everybody gets this recommendation. But one of the recommendations that has to do with one of their biomarkers, I think specifically HDL, maybe. It actually says to sleep less is the recommendation. I went and looked at all of the studies they're basing that off of. What's interesting is too much sleep in general, so sleeping more than, is it eight or nine hours? Sleeping more than is what is thought to be the healthy amount is correlated to health issues. My big question for that is¸ is it sleeping more that's causing the health issues or is it people, who have health issues are sleeping more? 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, my brain went right there.

Melanie Avalon: I really think that's what's going on.

Gin Stephens: It's a study, I heard him say one day on the radio years and years ago, and my boys were little. They're children, who are spanked are more violent. I'm like, "Or, our children who are more violent likely to be spanked more." [laughs] I don't know. We tend to make the line this way when it could be the other way. Anyway.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I keep telling them, I'm like, "Please, I'm--." All they would have to change, I would just change it to get more quality sleep. That would still be the same recommendation in a way.

Gin Stephens: It's just an example of why we have to be so careful, because all that information about vitamin D levels and COVID, everybody's like, "Oh, we need to supplement with a tons of vitamin D." But really, maybe that wasn't the thing. It wasn't the vitamin D at all. It was the melatonin.

Melanie Avalon: The type of people with more vitamin D may be the type of people who are outside. 

Gin Stephens: Well, because generally, that's the thing. It's hand in hand. They noticed that COVID was hitting people worse in areas, for example, Italy and New York where that's the period of the year where their vitamin D levels are lower, because it's their latitude. Latitude is a factor. But along with latitude, comes the strength of the sun's rays and how much vitamin D you're making. But of course, melatonin is in there, too. So, anyway, don't just start taking supplements when we don't really know what it is. [laughs] It's the moral of that story. It could be the totally wrong cause and effect.

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Melanie Avalon: She says, "also, I hesitated to admit the stevia/splash of milk in my coffee to you both, because I know how adamant you are about clean fasting." Oh, she knows us well. She said, "however, I don't understand one thing. If the idea is to avoid insulin production, so the body doesn't go into fat storage mode, and a little bit of stevia, and milk raises insulin, which causes a dip and for hunger levels to rise, what about people like me who do not feel hungry from stevia and milk in their coffee? I feel exactly the same whether I drink it black or add the sweetener in milk, same level of hunger. Since it satisfies me and doesn't make me hungry, isn't it okay for me to have that tiny amount? Yes, it spikes insulin a little, but not that much. So, the fat storing hormones are only present briefly. I'm not hungrier, and then they go away, and I can continue to fast. In that case, isn't it okay for me to have the stevia/milk? How much of a problem does that little bit of stevia/milk pose for my desire to burn fat, if it doesn't create a hunger issue for me?" 

Gin Stephens: All right, well, that's a faulty thought that if it doesn't make me hungry, then it's not breaking my fast. I've never once said, "If something doesn't make you hungry, it's not breaking your fast." Now, I have said, "If you do find reactive hunger happening after something like cinnamon in your coffee, for example, that's a sign that it was." But the absence of the hunger doesn't mean it wasn't. Does that make sense? Do not use whether it makes you feel hungry or not to decide that something is okay. Only use that test to decide if something is not okay. Why would something cause you to be hungry and lets you know it's not okay, if it causes your blood sugar to crash. Now, you just said that your blood sugar is in the 90s and a 100s. Your blood sugar is not crashing. Your blood sugar's steady in the 90s and a 100s. Remember how I mentioned a minute ago how when I was wearing my CGM, I would notice that I would have a little wave of hunger, and look at my CGM, and that was the moment that my blood sugar was dropping. Josephine, your blood sugar is not dropping. It's in the 90s or 100s, because you're also having milk, which is keeping it up. Hunger is not the right metric here. There's really nothing you can measure to let you know how much insulin is going on in your body right now. 

But let's reframe that, okay? Since you're saying it doesn't create a hunger issue, it's not a problem. We said before milk is food. It's food for mammals. What if you had the equivalent of instead of milk, you're having a little bit of pizza? Same amount of pizza, would that be fasting? It wouldn't, that's food. Just because it's liquid, it doesn't make it not food. You wouldn't eat Tic Tacs or something. I'm just thinking of things people might be eating or you wouldn't eat a little bit of cheese and say, "Well, I eat this little bit of cheese and it doesn't make me hungry. I feel it's okay." But it's still eating, not fasting is the point I'm trying to make. Just because milk is a liquid, it's still food. I don't know if I'm explaining that very well or not. But hunger is not the factor. I am never going to say it's okay to have food and say that you're fasting. With one caveat, you have to take medication with food and there's no other choice. You have to. It's over and done. You have your medication that must be taken with food, you have it, you're finished, you move on. 

But when you're drinking coffee with milk all morning long, it goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on. I am never going to say that that is fasting. I just can't. You're keeping your insulin up, and you're having food, and it's a low-calorie diet. Eventually, if your body is not tapping into your fat stores effectively because of that milk and that stevia keeping your insulin high, consider that it might slow your metabolism, because you're no longer well fueled during the fast. You might be-- this is hypothetical because we don't have a study where here's somebody who fasted clean and here's somebody who had stevia and milk. Let's see what their metabolisms did. But we know what happens with low-calorie diets over time and we know what happens to metabolic rate. I would really encourage you to fast clean. That's all I can say. 

Melanie Avalon: Is she still trying to lose weight or she said she lost all the weight? 

Gin Stephens: But then she gained it back. 

Melanie Avalon: She said, she gained it back. Gained a ton of weight.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, she took a five-month break from clean fasting and then she found out she was hypothyroid, and then she gained a ton of weight and went back to fasting.

Melanie Avalon: Dropped the weight and felt better second time around. I agree that the clean fast is the way to go. The black coffee and the water is definitely the way to go. I am really interested about more of a hypothetical thought experiment question. I know she was talking just about literally hunger as the measure for whether or not it was breaking the fast. Something I do think about is, are there people at a maintenance place, where they do have this little bit of stevia and milk. I think maybe, for some people, long term on the flipside of the clean fast, they might be happier having a different approach to fasting. But I don't think they will know that unless they have done the clean fast, and really experienced the clean fast, and the benefits of it. 

Gin Stephens: I just can't help, but think that the health benefits of the clean fast are going to be so much greater. It's like, "Why are we doing it? Why are we fasting?" We're fasting for all these things that happen during the fast. We want our insulin to be as low as it can be during the fast, I mean obviously not. We don't want it to be zero. It's never zero. But we want to keep our insulin down during the fast. We want to encourage all these processes. We want to encourage increased autophagy. We got to remember, "Why are we fasting?" If you want to do a low-calorie diet, that is okay. But it isn't fasting as all I'm saying. If someone wants to have stevia and milk all morning long, and drink that, and it works for them, and they feel good, but it's really not fasting is all. That's all I can say. I do not believe dirty fasting exists. You're either fasting clean or you're not fasting. So, here's an example. If you had to go have surgery, and the doctor said, "You need to be fasted for your surgery," would you put stevia and milk in your coffee? Or, would the doctor say, "You can't have that, that's not fasting?" What would the doctor say?

Melanie Avalon: I think they would say, no to the milk. They might be okay with the stevia. It's a thing where it might be for some people, the stevia doesn't affect their insulin. It's hard for me to say-- 

Gin Stephens: Actually, there was one of the studies I talk about in a blog post that I wrote about insulin response, why doesn't everyone agree? They actually found that people who are overweight and have struggled with their weight have a much more robust insulin response than other people. We do have varying responses just like fat clearance levels, or blood sugar or we have different responses to things.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you said that.

Gin Stephens: It does make sense that everyone would have a personalized insulin response, too. But anyone who's ever struggled with their weight, they found in this study that they had a more pronounced insulin response. Anyone who's trying to lose weight, you probably have an exaggerated insulin response, which is even more reason for you to fast clean. Someone like Chad, Chad has never had a weight problem. His fasted insulin level way lower than mine. He probably just doesn't release much insulin ever, which is probably one reason why he's never had trouble with his weight. His body doesn't store fat well because his insulin is really low.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so, I'm actually, I'm so glad that you brought that up, because I think I find it so interesting with artificial sweeteners and things like stevia. Some people say, it releases insulin, some people say, it doesn't. I really honestly think its personal.

Gin Stephens: Oh, really, everything in our bodies is personal. Everything we've got going on is so different. But since we can't measure insulin, it wouldn't be nice if we could. If we could all measure our insulin levels all the time, we could manipulate what we're doing to keep them at a low level, but we can't.

Melanie Avalon: That's why it's complicated and I think it's an interesting thought experiment. But I don't think we can have an answer to it. But I could see a situation where there's a person, who with stevia literally does not affect their insulin.

Gin Stephens: Versus Jason Fung cited a study that showed that stevia in general caused a greater release of insulin overall average than sugar, white sugar. But there could be someone-- If you think about that normal curve distribution for everything, I remember learning about that in high school, I guess. It was fascinating. Even the number of leaves on a tree follows a normal distribution, and how many hairs on your head, or IQ, or shoe size, they all follow that normal distribution. That means there's always someone on the low end and someone else on the high end of everything. Someone is going to release a ton more insulin whereas most people will be in this average section, but then there'll be people down there on the left of that normal curve that release none. But you can't measure it and know which you are. True or not? You'd be like, "I hope I'm down here. So, I'm just going to do it and hope I'm down there." That I wouldn't do that.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. It's a really interesting thought experiment. It's really hard to practically draw conclusions about-- 

Gin Stephens: Man, I wish we could measure it. That'd be amazing.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. I'm just thinking how cool it'd be if there was a CGM that was your constant insulin?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, continuous insulin monitor if that would be-- Honestly, that would be amazing. Because ever since I read, I think it was written by a Nurse Practitioner. I can't remember. It was when I was writing Fast. Feast. Repeat., it was a journal article about hyperinsulinemia. The nurse, who wrote it said, "We are measuring the wrong thing by measuring A1C and tracking that. We should be looking at patient's fasted insulin level, because that's the leading indicator. If we knew when that started to go up, that precedes when you start having blood sugar problems. What we don't know nobody knows. But once that insulin starts to go up," and again, reading Why We Get Sick by Benjamin Bikman, same thing. That high insulin, if you could just get that insulin under control, that really seems to be such an important health marker. So, I would encourage you, Josephine read Why We Get Sick by Benjamin Bikman, and then you're not going to want to risk your insulin being any higher than it could be. That's my recommendation. Fast clean, Josephine. [laughs] Fast clean, Josephine.

Melanie Avalon: Josephine has one more question. She says, "what are the ways in which we can measure what will cause hunger? Blood glucose levels, insulin levels, leptin levels? I honestly got the CGM just to see if I could correlate my glucose levels with my hunger levels. I hate when I am really full and still want to keep eating. Dietary fat seems to be most successful in keeping my hunger at bay, but as I said before, it causes me to have higher glucose levels and less effective fat burning in fasting mode. A high-carb, super low-fat diet works best for me to burn fat, but I sleep terribly and am hungrier far more frequently. Thank you for tackling my wild and complex questions. I love, love the two of you and you better never go off the air," Josephine. 

Gin Stephens: Well, thank you, Josephine. The way to measure what causes hunger is just to feel your hunger. [laughs] There's nothing you can measure to see what will cause hunger. You just have to listen to your body. Because it's way too complicated. Wouldn't it be nice, again, if we had a fuel like your car, you get in your car, I know how much gas I have in my car, I know when I need to get more gas, it's not a mystery. I just get gas when the fuel levels low, but our bodies don't work like that. There's way too much going on. The only thing you can measure is blood glucose. You can't measure insulin at home, you can't measure leptin at home. I do find my glucose level does go really nicely with my hunger level. I want you to try fast and clean and seeing if maybe it does. Maybe when my glucose went down, but it didn't go forever. My glucose went down, I had a mild hunger wave, then my body kicked into fat burning mode, and I went into ketosis, and the hunger was gone. It feels maybe keeping your blood sugar in that 90 to 100, you're not getting down into the low enough level to really you're not getting into ketosis, perhaps. Anyway, fast clean Josephine, and see what happens. We can't really measure what causes your hunger. You just have to feel it and start. You are the study of one and figure out what works for you.

Melanie Avalon: I love that you said that. What's really interesting about the blood sugar levels is, people could have hunger on, well, they could really have hunger at any blood sugar level. But they could definitely have it at either side of the spectrum, because with a hypo for similar reasons, but different, which is really interesting. They could have it on the low side, especially if they're not in a ketogenic state. They are relying more on blood sugar. So, if they have too low levels, they're going to be hungry likely.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. Because if you're not fat adapted, you're not going to be able to tap into your fat stores. So, you are going to be hangry.

Melanie Avalon: You could have low blood sugar, if you're not in ketosis. Be hungry, because your body needs fuel and sugar. On the flipside, ironically, you could have high blood sugar levels, and also, be hungry because your cells aren't getting the energy. It's staying in your bloodstream rather than getting into your cells. So, it's interesting that it could be a similar cause of hunger on either side of the spectrum. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's an excellent point. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. But yes, but I echo what Gin said, really, it's going to be just you have to experience the hunger and see how it correlates to what you're eating, how you're fasting, what you're doing, and learn from there. I do think the CGM can be a very valuable tool and seeing how your hunger correlates to your blood sugar levels, and seeing how your diet affects that, and how your fasting affects that. But you just got to be a little detective and try all the things. 

Gin Stephens: It was fascinating to see it. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, on the CGM. Yeah. 

Gin Stephens: Correlate how I felt what it was doing. I love that then it just stayed steady, because we hear from people that worry that your blood sugar is just going to go down and crash, and crash and burn, but as I went on in the fast, it just stayed so steady, just steady, steady, steady right there in the 70s.

Melanie Avalon: I love it. 

Gin Stephens: Me, too. 

Melanie Avalon: All righty, well, thank you, Josephine for your long questions. This has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode257. The show notes will have a full transcript. So, definitely check that out, and they'll have links to everything that we talked about, and you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens, and I think that is all the things. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think so. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Anything from you, Gin, before we go? 

Gin Stephens: No. I think that's it. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, I will talk to you next week. 

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-bye. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice. We're not doctors. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, theme music by Leland Cox. See you next week.

STUFF WE LIKE

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Feb 06

Episode 251: EMF, Diabetes, Melatonin, Circadian Food Timing, Organic Cheese, Raw Milk, Insect Protein, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 251 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:

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To submit your own questions, email questions@IFpodcast.com, or submit your questions here!! 

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A Sample Pack For Only The Price Of Shipping!! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

3:50 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #122 - R Blank

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #85 - Dr. Joseph Mercola

25:10 - BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To thebeautyandthebroth.com To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

28:35 - Listener Q&A: Christie - Is Diabetes a Circadian Disorder?

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #112 - Dr. John Lieurance

Biohackers Magazine

Early Vs. Late Night Eating: Contradictions, Confusion, And Clarity

49:05 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

51:45 - Listener Q&A: MaryEllen - Organic Cheese?

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 251 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. 

Hi friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get free electrolyte supplements, some of which are clean, fast approved, all developed by none other than Robb Wolf. Have you been struggling to feel good with low carb, paleo, keto, or fasting? Have you heard of something called the keto flu? Here's the thing. The keto flu is not actually a condition. Nope. Keto flu just refers to a bundle of symptoms. Headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, and insomnia that people experience in the early stages of keto dieting. Here's what's going on.  

When you eat a low-carb diet, your insulin levels drop. Low insulin in turn lowers the production of the hormone aldosterone. Now aldosterone is made in the kidneys and it helps you retain sodium. Low aldosterone on a keto diet makes you lose sodium at a rapid rate. Even if you are consciously consuming electrolytes, you might not be getting enough. In particular, you need electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium, in order for nerve impulses to properly fire. Robb Wolf, who as you guys know is my hero in the holistic health world worked with the guys at Ketogains to get the exact formulation for electrolyte supplements to formulate LMNT Recharge, so you can maintain ketosis and feel your best. LMNT Recharge has no sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients, no junk. They're used by three Navy SEALs teams. They are the official hydration partner to team USA Weightlifting, they're used by multiple NFL teams, and so much more.  

Guess what? We worked out an exclusive deal for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast listeners only. Guys, this is huge. They weren't going to do a deal, I begged them, here we are. You can get a free LMNT sampler pack. We're not talking a discount. We're talking free, completely free. You only pay $5 for shipping. If you don't love it, they will even refund you the $5 for shipping. I'm not kidding. The sample pack includes eight packets of LMNT, two Citrus, two Raspberry, two Orange, and two Raw Unflavored. The Raw Unflavored ones are the ones that are safe for your clean fast, and the other ones you can have in your eating window. Word on the street is the citrus flavor makes an amazing margarita by the way. 

I am loving LMNT and I think you guys will too. Again, this is completely free. You have nothing to lose. Just go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. That's D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dotcom forward slash ifpodcast. And I'll put all this information in the show notes.  

One more thing before you jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disrupters, which mess with our hormones, obesogens which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. When you're putting on your conventional skincare makeup, you're likely putting toxic compounds directly into your body. These compounds can make you feel bad, can make it really hard to lose weight, can affect your hormones, your mood, your health. And ladies, if you're thinking of having kids, when you have a child, these compounds actually go directly through the placenta into the newborn. That means your skincare makeup that you're putting on today actually affects the health of future generations.  

Did you know that conventional lipstick for example often tests high for lead and the half-life of lead can be up to 30 years in your bones? That means when you put on your lipstick, 30 years later, half of that lead might still be in your body. Thankfully, there's an easy, easy solution to this. There's a company called Beautycounter and they were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient in their products is extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can actually feel good about what you put on. And on top of that, their products actually work. That's because they're not “all natural.” They actually combine the best of both worlds, both synthetic and natural ingredients to create products that actually support the health of your skin and make your skin look amazing. They have skincare lines for all your skin types, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, anti-aging and brightening peels, and vitamin C serums, and incredible makeup. If you see my makeup on Instagram, that's all Beautycounter. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter 

And if you're thinking of making safe skincare a part of your future like we have, we definitely suggest becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership, totally completely worth it. Also, definitely join my clean beauty email list at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty, I give away a lot of free things on that list and join me on my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. I do a weekly giveaway every single week for Beautycounter, people share their experience and product reviews, and so much more. And again, the link to shop with us is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. All right, now, enjoy the show. 

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome, this is episode number 251 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens. 

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.  

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?  

Gin Stephens: I am fantastic. How are you? 

Melanie Avalon: I am good. Can I tell you two nice things that happened that I can speak to just how far my journey has come in the podcasting world?  

Gin Stephens: 100% yes, and then in a minute, I have to talk about snow because I promised I would.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, let's talk about snow first.  

Gin Stephens: That's I promised that would be the first thing I talked about this week.  

Melanie Avalon: This snow that did not happen.  

Gin Stephens: It happened.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it happened for you?  

Gin Stephens: Yes. We had an inch of snow.  

Melanie Avalon: What?  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. We had snow on Friday night.  

Melanie Avalon: I was going to say, what happened to the snow because it didn't snow here.  

Gin Stephens: Okay, we had an inch of snow. It was so much fun. I was watching the radar and it was actually hilarious because you know how I talked about the fall line, and where we are in our geography. All day long, you could see that line. Even when it started to be freezing rain and snow north of us, there's that line. You're like, "There's the fall line. There it is." It stayed like rain, rain, rain. I was looking-- Myrtle Beach was under a winter storm watch. At one point, I looked at the beach and it was snowing at my beach house, but raining here.  

Melanie Avalon: Wow.  

Gin Stephens: I know. But around about 10 o'clock, when they said, Will and I stayed up as to watch it. Right around 10, a little before that it started you could hear that it was ice and then just clockwork, there was the snow, and it was so much fun. It was 10:30 at night, and we were outside, and it was snowing, and you could hear kids in the neighborhood because look, we stay up because we're really want to see it. The kids in the neighborhood were up. All over Instagram, people had posted pictures of their kids at 11 PM because we stayed up, buddy. We knew it was coming. Then I woke up the next day and it was still on the ground.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it was?  

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. We had about an inch like I said. It didn't stick to any of the pavement because the pavement wasn't cold enough, but it stuck to the grass, it stuck to the roof for a little while, and then it was gone. I got my snow fix. That's all I needed. That was it. Good times.  

Melanie Avalon: After our recording last week, I'm really obsessed with scallops. I don't know if you saw this on my Instagram.  

Gin Stephens: I didn't.  

Melanie Avalon: I'm really obsessed with scallops and they're nowhere now. Whole Foods doesn't have them anymore and they haven't been at the Costco by me. So, I call Costco and asked if they had any of the frozen scallops anywhere near me and the closest one was an hour away. So, I drove in that snowy, icy situation. I've realized I hadn't driven in snow. I didn't know. I was like can the car drive, is it okay to drive? I drove an hour and then I bought--  

Gin Stephens: All the scallops?  

Melanie Avalon: $700 worth of scallops. Because I have a chest freezer. I had to stock up because I think they're going to be gone for good. I got stock up for, I don't know.  

Gin Stephens: From Costco?  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Have you ever had them, the frozen scallops?  

Gin Stephens: I don't like scallops.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, right, right. I don't know. I called Costco and they said they were deleting them from the system. He said there're 71 bags at this one an hour from you. It's like I'm going in the snow.  

Gin Stephens: That person who came right after you who was needing some scallops was really sad. They should have called sooner. That's all I'm saying. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: But it's just funny because I was driving and I was in the car, I guess it's fine. I was looking around I was like other cars are driving. 

Gin Stephens: It all depends on what the pavements doing. Cars are fine.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay.  

Gin Stephens: I grew up in Virginia, we didn't do anything special with our car other than you had special tires, like your snow tires or chains. 

Melanie Avalon: Will the car slide?  

Gin Stephens: That would be if the pavement was icy.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Then I was thinking like, "Well, there's always snow in Colorado and they're driving around."  

Gin Stephens: Well, it's a bit. A lot of them have snow tires, which are designed different. You put different tires on in the winter. That was true. We also had chains I remember. You would put chains on your tires. I don't know if they still do that. But this was the 70s, 80s, we had snow chains, and the chains helped you get traction. I remember when it would snow, we would hear people going down the road because we lived in the mountains and you could hear [imitating sound] the sound of the chains on the cars. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: I was really excited because my car does have a snow button. A physical button that says sport. I don't know what the sport is for. Sport and snow. I was like, "I'm going to use this button."  

Gin Stephens: Awesome. My car warns me if it's cold. So, that's good.  

Melanie Avalon: Nice. Nice, nice.  

Gin Stephens: Tell me your good news. I had to talk about the snow before I forgot, but tell me about your other news. I'm excited to hear. 

Melanie Avalon: I had two moments last week that have really just been a sign of how far I feel my other show has come. The first one was, I was listening to Rich Roll, and he had on this guy, who wrote a book called The Proof Is in the Plants, and I loved the interview. I was like, "I got to interview this guy." I wrote him down on my list of people to interview. But the thing is, I have this really long list of people I like to reach out to, but I don't actually really reach out to them because I'm so booked out. It's at the point where people come to me. I book people to come to me, but I'm not actively trying to book people is the point.  

Gin Stephens: That's just like me for Intermittent Fasting Stories. There're just so many people waiting, I have to put them off, which is sad.  

Melanie Avalon: On a rare occasion, I'll know a book is coming out and I'll be like I've got to get this person but usually I just don't. But this guy's in the vegan world. Like I said that with an attitude. My audience is not hardcore vegan. So, there's not much of an overlap. He commented on my Instagram. I had a post of about cholesterol from a guest. He said, "I have a different perspective. I would love to come on your show."  

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's awesome. The universe connecting you.  

Melanie Avalon: I was so excited. So, he's booked. Isn't that exciting?  

Gin Stephens: It is. I actually had a week that was pretty exciting for me I didn't share on Wednesday. I got to interview my two scientist heroes on the same day.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wait. Let me guess. Tim Spector?  

Gin Stephens: Yep. We did a webinar together in my community. It wasn't really an interview. So much as it maybe we talked, but we were face to face on the Zoom webinar for the community. But who's the other one?  

Melanie Avalon: Bert Herring?  

Gin Stephens: No.  

Melanie Avalon: What does it start with, the initials?  

Gin Stephens: M. 

Melanie Avalon: Mark Mattson.  

Gin Stephens: Yes.  

Melanie Avalon: That's why I was going to say but I couldn't remember his name.  

Gin Stephens: Yep. Mark Mattson. Can I tell you, you will get this because you use the same booking software that I do where people go into a calendar link and book it? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes.  

Gin Stephens: Well, I got a message from Mark Mattson. For anyone who can't place him, he's the guy, he wrote that New England Journal of Medicine article that came out in 2019 that everyone went crazy over and suddenly people were wanting to do intermittent fasting for the health benefits. That's Mark Mattson. He is a superstar in the medical world. He works at Johns Hopkins and neurological work. That's his specialty. He's been doing intermittent fasting since the 80s. So, he has a book that's coming out in February. Yep, actually I have an early copy of it right here. It's called The Intermittent Fasting Revolution: The Science of Optimizing Health and Enhancing Performance. Anybody who really wants to dig deep into the science, you want to read his new book. Because it's super-duper digging into the science. It sounds like the New England Journal of Medicine article.  

Anyway, so, his publicist had reached out to me about being on the podcast, I'm like, "Sure. Here's the link, I'd love it," and that made me super excited. Because people have been saying, I should have him on for a long time. He's been doing intermittent fasting personally since the 80s. But I just thought if it happens, it happens, but then they reached out to me. The morning on Wednesday, I was out driving around with Will and I got an email from Mark Mattson that was like, "Could you send me the link for the recording?" I'm like, "I would love to. First, you go ahead and sign up for a time." He's like, "Are we not doing it at 9 AM today?" I'm like, "What?" Apparently, he had gone and chosen the date, but it didn't save or maybe I don't know but he wrote it on his calendar.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, he thought he booked it.  

Gin Stephens: But it hadn't booked fully. I don't know if there was a glitch or if he hadn't pressed that one final button to confirm and I've no idea. But I was like, "Okay, Mark Mattson thinks I'm flake."  

Melanie Avalon: Wait. So, it was before 9 AM or after 9 AM?  

Gin Stephens: Well, he sent the first message right at 9:00. Then I replied and then at 9:07, he's like, "I thought we were recording at 9:00." Fortunately, we were able to do it at 10:30. I booked myself back home [laughs] as fast as I could and I was like, "I'm so sorry. I promised I'm not flaky." But it was a great interview. I don't know what happened because that's never happened. I've never had anyone say, I booked and it didn't.  

Melanie Avalon: I've had that but I'm always booking six months out. So, it's not a problem. 

Gin Stephens: I remember thinking I'm surprised he hasn't booked yet. I need to reach back out to him. But I was giving him time to book it, but apparently, he had. Anyway. But both of them were the same day. So, that was very exciting and I was so tired. I was supposed to record Life Lessons with Sheri at 3:00. She was like, "Do you just want to do that tomorrow?" I'm like, "Oh, thank God." 

Melanie Avalon: One per day for me, one per day.  

Gin Stephens: I had two for the day and that was a lot, but then when I had that third one to pop in with Dr. Mattson and then the stress of that, and then I started thinking I used to teach all day long. I was in front of kids all day but it wasn't the same. It wasn't as intense. Was there something else you wanted to share and I just interrupted your exciting share with my other share? 

Melanie Avalon: These are all related. These are the stories of how far we've come. I have two more. Also, last week, there was a guest that I actually-- Before I launched the show, that's when I was trying to book guests for the show and there was a guest that I tried to book, and this guest, their team said that they declined, which completely makes sense because when you're not a show yet, it's hard to know if it's going to be a show worth going on. This is a high-profile guest. This high-profile guest now wants to come on my show.  

Gin Stephens: Well, that's good. Is it the one I know about?  

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. What's funny is, I remember when they declined two years ago or three years ago whenever that was, I was like, "Someday, they're going to want to come on my show." So, I'm very, very excited about that. 

Gin Stephens: That is very exciting. Exactly.  

Melanie Avalon: Yes. The third thing that you and I were just talking about was, I just emailed one of the guests that I've had on my show asking for an intro to somebody I would die to have on my show and it was really funny because I didn't realize they are not on speaking terms, so that was a really funny moment and also just goes to show how far we've come the people we're interacting with.  

Gin Stephens: I don't take a minute of it for granted as I know you don't either, right? 

Melanie Avalon: I know. It's just so wonderful. I don't know. I feel I'm going to feel like this forever. I feel I'm going to be the starry-eyed fangirl. Like, "What is happening in a decade?"  

Gin Stephens: Oh, I know. That's how I felt with Mark Mattson. I'm like, "It's Mark Mattson." I was like, "I don't know if you're familiar with my book, Fast. Feast. Repeat,." He's like, "Yes, I've seen it." [sound] [laughs] Then Tim Spector, the fact that he agreed. The first day that was super exciting for me is when I was on Instagram a couple years ago maybe and I look, maybe, I don't know. Just over a year ago, Tim Spector, I went to look at his page and it said, follow back, that was so exciting. Now, I'm pretty sure it was probably his team. I don't know if he was [laughs]. Now, I understand a little bit more. On Instagram, I am pretty much it's just me. I don't have a team doing anything with Instagram but I know he probably does. It was very exciting. Then now that he knows who I am, I looked back, I actually read his book, his first book, I read it in 2015. I've known who he was in 2015 and he was shaping my thinking. 

Melanie Avalon: Like Robb Wolf, 2012 was when I read his book. I guess, Robb's book, The Paleo Solution is what catapulted me into paleo. But what really catapulted me into low carb was Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, and I read that in 2010. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it was a while ago. I read that a long time ago. Yeah.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.  

Gin Stephens: The whole idea that it wasn't just calories in, calories out, that was what was astonishing. I don't agree with his whole carbs are bad manifesto but it helped me to understand the baby beginnings of, oh, insulin, oh, hormones. Oh, it's not just counting. 

Melanie Avalon: It's such a dense book.  

Gin Stephens: I haven't read that one in-- I don't know it's been a while. 

Melanie Avalon: Remember I pulled it out when I interviewed him and all my notes were in it still, and highlights. I was like, "Oh, my gosh, this is such a moment." One little thing I just want to throw out there for listeners, listeners, I'm thinking this is just the baby beginning. I just started doing calls about it, but I'm thinking of making an EMF-blocking product. Let me know if this is of interest and what you would want. 

Gin Stephens: That's very cool. I'm pretending EMF didn’t exist right now because I'm so bewildered about what to do. I don’t know [laughs] what to do. I'm like, "La, la, la." I didn't bring it up in Clean(ish), because I had no idea how I would even address this topic. So, I'm going to pretend it isn't real because [laughs] I don't want anyway. Oh, one more funny thing in a minute. Go ahead with your EMF.  

Melanie Avalon: The thing I really want to make, I want to make a night slip that I sleep in. Like Victoria's Secret, but EMF blocking. But I did poll on my audience to see what people would want, the top ones were headphones and when you put your phone on your nightstand at night, something that you'd put on your phone so that you can have your phone on your nightstand at night, but it would be protected. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's a good idea. I've started to have a hunch that perhaps some of my sleep issues that I claimed were wine/menopause might have to do with when we moved, in 2019 because our bedroom is on the corner of the house where the electric meter is. I sleep 10 feet from our electric meter.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. A smart meter? Yeah, no bueno. 

Gin Stephens: Well, it's where the master bedroom is. [laughs] I need a cage. I don't know. Because I sleep so much better at the beach. I'm like, "Hmm, anyway."  

Melanie Avalon: If you get one of the canopies?  

Gin Stephens: Will see. I don't know.  

Melanie Avalon: If you do, you need to get it properly installed because I think I told why. I put mine up and then I read that if it's not properly installed it'll just make things worse, so I took mine down. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, we're energy beings. If we have energy disrupted, it all makes sense. But I don't understand the ins and outs of it enough to really-- That's why, I didn't put it in the book. Because I just can't go down that road yet, I'm not ready.  

Melanie Avalon: R. Blank is who I had on the show. Well, I've had on Dr. Mercola and R. Blank. I'll put links to both of those in the show notes. But R is the one that I've been doing calls with and you would love him. He's so science minded. I think he taught engineering at USC, actually, I think. But his dad was really big in the science of EMF world, I think. But he's so science driven. In the call, we had the call, because the biggest request I got was for jewelry. I was like, "Can we make jewelry?" and he was like, "That doesn't do anything." [laughs] I was like, "No."  

Gin Stephens: I wanted it too. Yeah. He knows, he knows. Can I tell you a funny story?  

Melanie Avalon: Yes.  

Gin Stephens: Jason Fung, he and I have never actually spoken to each other or back and forth. I know you've had him on your show, but he's now with our same agent. Did you know that?  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, no. I didn't know that.  

Gin Stephens: They're trying to connect us to do something like an Instagram live, he and I together or something. Something together. His publicist or somebody was like, "I'm working on, you're getting a date, when we can do this? But can I send you, his book?" If someone said, "Could I send you his book?" Would you assume he had a new book coming out? Well, I did. I assumed he had a new book coming out. I'm like, "Sure, send it to me." I thought he might have a new book. They sent me The Obesity Code. I'm like, "Oh, that's so sweet." I read that in 2016 when I preordered it. That's what's so funny. I preordered it. They thought I might not have read it. But I was like, "Oh, anyway, that was just funny," because I've been talking about it since I read it to anyone who would listen and that was before I even had. [laughs] It's recommended reading in both of my books, anyway.  

Melanie Avalon: He has had a few books.  

Gin Stephens: He has, he has. But I just assumed he was working on a new one and they were going to send me that. Then it came in. I was like, "Oh, this is so exciting." I opened it, it was The Obesity Code. I'm like, "Oh, my Lord." [laughs] Now, I have an extra copy of it. That's one I have on Kindle, in the paperback, and now I have another one. Anyway.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I had him on for The Cancer Code 

Gin Stephens: Right.  

Melanie Avalon: That was a really, really good-- I actually really liked that because I would like to talk more about fasting with him, but it was really nice to not talk about fasting with him, an entire different topic. I hadn't done an episode on cancer. So, yeah.  

Gin Stephens: Well, anyway, I just thought that was funny. I had to share that. He and I might be doing an Instagram live at some point. Our schedules are hard to sync.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, you've done Instagram lives.  

Gin Stephens: I don't like to do them-- I don’t like to do I don't know why.  

Melanie Avalon: I don't either, actually.  

Gin Stephens: It's because we've talked about this before. I feel Instagram is some place I don't understand. [laughs] I've got to know how to do a lot. One time someone asked me to do an Instagram live on their page, and I thought they were just going to be interviewing me, but I had to do it all by myself. I'm like, "Wait a minute, why did I agree to this?" I'm talking straight into the camera, that's just not me, I don’t like that.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I wouldn't like that.  

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Melanie Avalon: Okay, shall we answer some listener questions for today?  

Gin Stephens: Yes.  

Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we have a question from Christie. The subject is: "Is diabetes a circadian disorder?" Christie says, "Hi, ladies. Y'all are awesome, amazing. I took a Dental Sleep Medicine course this week. The MD presented that diabetes could be a circadian disorder. Physiologically, based on hormones, the best time of day to eat is when the sun is shining. For instance, shift workers eating at night instead of eating during the day have a higher incidence of diabetes. Of course, this is not taking into account IF, I just thought it was interesting and a great conversation starter. Thanks for all, y'all do," Christie in Arkansas.  

Gin Stephens: I find that to be so interesting. We do know that shift workers do have a lot of circadian disturbances. That does often show an increased weight. She said they are increased incidence of diabetes, but there's so much more to it than just that they're eating. We aren't supposed to be awake all night either. Sleep disturbances, forget about the eating. Let's just take that completely out of the equation. People who have bad sleep, poor sleep, in general, tend to have also higher instances. I just don't know that we can untangle. Oh, it's because they're eating at night. That could be a factor but there're so many factors at play. It's just not natural. I don't think it's natural. I would just come right out and say that physiologically based on hormones, we aren't supposed to eat for 16 hours a day. I think that that's more to go along with it, because now we're eating from early in the morning, early, early to late, late, late at night, and that's not natural. It's really hard to untangle all the factors.  

But I would still love to see a study, we haven't got one yet. There's a lot of theory. We like to take theories and make blanket statements using them. We all do it. We like to find patterns, we like to make connections, but we still don't have a really good quality study that compared eating windows, all else being equal. The only thing being timing of the eating to see exactly what happens hormonally. We draw a lot of conclusions based on by the end of the day, our hormonal response is not as good, but that's in a paradigm of eating all day. So, it's hard to disconnect the paradigm of eating all day versus only eating during this period of time.  

Again, overnight is very different, because you're not in sync with your normal circadian rhythm. Yeah, that was a whole lot of me saying, that's an interesting question and it's really hard to know exactly what is the root cause? This is the one thing when really, it's likely to be a combination of factors. Can I just say, Wednesday, when I was talking to all my science heroes, I love talking to hard scientists, because they are so not likely to make blanket statements. Tim Spector at one point is like, "Yeah, a lot of people say that we don't really know it. We just say it." Sounds that is so cool [laughs] to hear a scientist say that, instead of like, "Yeah, we know everything there is to know about that and let me tell you all the answers." Instead, he's like, "That's a theory, we don't really know, we're still figuring it out." That made me happy to hear.  

Melanie Avalon: I could not agree more with everything that you said, so many things. The first thing that you were saying Gin about, there're so many factors involved in, it's not just the eating with the shift workers. Melatonin alone is probably going to be drastically affected in shift work. I have had on Dr. John Lieurance on my show. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. He talks all about the role of melatonin not really related to sleep so much as it being the master antioxidant in our body and all of these overwhelming effects it has. When you're not getting melatonin production appropriately that it can be a huge problem. It's really actually very mind blowing.  

Gin Stephens: It's not just a sleep hormone, basically.  

Melanie Avalon: That would be super messed up with or probably is messed up with shift workers. I actually have a really funny story, Gin. He promotes high dose melatonin and he actually has a melatonin suppository. Interestingly enough, I've interviewed Cynthia Thurlow yesterday and the topic of melatonin came up, and she was just going on and on about how incredible his melatonin suppositories are. I actually have some in my fridge and I haven't tried them. If listeners would like to try them, they're called Sandman. I'll put a link with a discount code in the show notes. Something that I did do recently. This is so funny.  

When I had COVID, I was taking melatonin that's actually recommended to take more for its benefits. I was taking melatonin and it's the same brand as a brand of digestive enzymes that I take. Same bottle like it looks the exact same, the pills look the exact same, I take a lot of digestive enzymes. I was eating and I thought I was using the digestive enzymes. Then the next day I looked at my melatonin bottle and it was half empty. So, I had taken over 100 grams of melatonin, [laughs] which I felt really good the next day. The high dose, the Sandman melatonin suppository that he has I'm pretty sure it's like 100 and something grams. But I just thought it was funny that I accidentally high dosed myself with melatonin. 

Gin Stephens: I wonder why it makes me feel hungover.  

Melanie Avalon: I was really thinking about like the placebo effect and I wonder how much people feeling groggy from melatonin is placebo.  

Gin Stephens: Well, I wasn't expecting to feel groggy from it. I didn't even know people said they felt groggy. All I ever hear is people talking about how amazing it is. The fact that I felt hungover was just not-- I didn't know that that happened because I haven't really studied melatonin much.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's interesting. Well, because the thing I was thinking about was, I wasn't tired at all and I took so much.  

Gin Stephens: Benadryl also makes me not sleep.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, right. Yeah, and Benadryl knocks me out.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I've got that weird brain chemistry.  

Melanie Avalon: In any case, the point of that is that, the melatonin aspect alone. After reading John Lieurance's book, it's called Melatonin: The Miracle Molecule. That alone would be a huge thing for shift workers. Then something I wanted to speak to as well. The actual studies, I'm really excited, I was going to post this blog post already. The reason I have not is because-- I was on the cover of Biohackers Magazine in December. I'll put a link to in the show notes. If you want to get that issue, it has an interview with me and lots of fun stuff. The next issue that's coming out, they asked if I wanted to write any content for it. I decided before posting this on my blog to put it in that magazine. You'll be able to get it in that magazine when it comes out, which I'm not sure when it might be out by the time this is out. If so, I'll put a link to it. It will eventually be on my blog, and the link will be melanieavalon.com/eatingtiming 

Actually, if you go to that link, there'll be a link to that Biohackers Magazine, but in any case, the blog post is called "early versus late night eating, contradictions, confusions and clarity." I, friends did so much research, months and months, and I went and actually read all the studies, and I nitpicked, and I tried to really find what was going on with all of this. One of the sentences I wrote, it's basically what Gin just said. We are not well controlled studies directly comparing an early eating window to a night eating window and what they do and Gin was talking about this oftentimes is, they'll have the majority in the evening or the majority in the morning. While you might think that can tell you something, it might actually tell you nothing. The thing that I wrote, I'm just going to read it because it sounds it's similar to what Gin said. I said, "Perhaps most importantly, can we realistically draw any conclusions from late-night eaters correlating to health issues when the majority of these late-night eaters were likely also eating throughout the day. Simply skewing the majority of the calorie intake to earlier versus later in the day may have drastically different implications than only eating earlier, only eating late."  

It's a huge hurdle in evaluating the studies because the former, those who eat throughout the day but with the majority at night may seem searingly relevant and their implications about meal timing. When in reality, it may bear little if any relevance. It may be that fasting throughout the day and then eating only in the evening reduces, if not eradicates all the issues of eating later when you're also eating earlier. Unfortunately, it's hard to know are there a few studies directly comparing early versus late night eating?  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and I also am 100% of the mindset that we are not all the same when it comes to that. I don't think that just like the whole glycemic index is a lie because it's based on an average. I think that even if they'd said here's the perfect time for everybody to eat because we averaged everybody together and this is the best time average, that would also be a lie. It'd be like saying, if we averaged all women's height together and said, "All right, the average height for a woman is--" I don't know. What? 5'5", I'm making that up. If you're a woman, you're 5'5", because we're not average. There are people that I know, like you, Melanie, who like to stay up really late because that's how your body feels the best. I could write a book all about how you're supposed to wake up at 5:30 in the morning because then you'll be super productive, and feel your best, and you should go to bed at 8:30. I could say I feel tired every night at 8:30. So that means you should, too, and I would be wrong. We're also very different with our circadian, what feels right and what our body likes to do. 

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Even her question, she's saying is diabetes a circadian disorder?  

Gin Stephens: It could be.  

Melanie Avalon: It's not necessarily the eating late version of that is the disorder. It might more be the individual person and what their hormones are, their natural rhythms, and if they're living in accordance with that or not. Interestingly, so one of the studies I discuss in my article, it was a 2021 nutrient study and it was called Beneficial Effects of Early Time-Restricted Feeding on Metabolic Diseases. Importance of Aligning Food Habits with a Circadian Clock. It was a bit frustrating to read because it dives deep. It was a really excellent overview of basically every single hormone when it's released and what that meant about when you should eat. Just reading it objectively, the takeaway I took and I think I will briefly go through the example of the hormones, but after I looked at what they said the data honestly the best window seemed to be between I concluded probably 4 PM to 7 PM. 

Gin Stephens: Your eating window? That is very similar to what I do.  

Melanie Avalon: But their agenda is so clearly for early eating that they conclude the opposite, not the opposite, they conclude that you should eat in the morning. The examples, I'll just go through briefly and again read this whole article if you are interested because it goes in deep. Here's what they said and why I interpret it that way and Gin, you can let me know if you agree with my interpretation. It's a really fun game. They say that the hormone when it peaks and then I said, just based on that one hormone when I would eat, and that's how I came up with the window that I thought was best. Okay, so, the first hormone is cortisol. That's a catabolic hormone. It breaks down muscle. A catabolic hormone often associated with the fasted state and it encourages the release of all fuel substrates into the bloodstream, fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids. That's what cortisol does in relation to eating or not eating. It peaks in the early morning. 

Gin Stephens: Right. I would want my body to be breaking things down in my body and not eating.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That was my takeaway. You don't want to be eating when you're already releasing fuel from yourself. I would not want to eat in the early morning with cortisol. Okay, so, then adiponectin, that's a hormone which promotes fat burning in carbs. It correlates to eating disinhibition. 

Gin Stephens: Not being hungry.  

Melanie Avalon: Right. But interestingly, not eating restraint or hunger. It's nebulous. It has mixed eating behaviors and this is really interesting. It can have different roles but it's actually secreted basically all day from 10 AM to 9 PM. It peaks at 11 AM between 8:00 and 4:00 though specifically, so 8 AM to 4 PM, that's when it's also produced with a hormone called FGF-2, FGF-1. And together they're produced and they promote fatty acid oxidation, glycolysis, and they actually inhibit fat accumulation. That one's confusing. But my takeaway was, it's always going but you're in a more fatty acid burning state from 8 AM to 4 PM, which doesn't speak to me that you should be eating earlier because that's an earlier window. Oh, here's the second part. The nuance of it is that it can actually be catabolic or anabolic and it has to do with whether or not insulin is involved.  

Gin Stephens: If you're low insulin, it's catabolic and if you're high insulin, it's anabolic.  

Melanie Avalon: Yes.  

Gin Stephens: Another reason to keep your insulin low during the fast.  

Melanie Avalon: Natural insulin secretion occurs from 2 PM to 6 PM and peaks from 4 PM to 5 PM. My takeaway from that was that 2 PM to 6 PM would be a good time to eat. Then also the hunger hormone ghrelin, which makes us hungry peaks at 6 PM. That said to me that perhaps a perfect time to eat is around 6 PM. 

Gin Stephens: Well, all that is hilarious because my body told me that I feel my very, very best if I open my window around 4:00 and I'm finishing my dinner sometime just around after 7:00. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. This is okay because that was literally the window that I came up with. Ghrelin, it is higher at noon than at 8 AM and it peaks later. Basically, around that afternoon to early evening was really the takeaway that I got. Then, so one other hormone is leptin, which makes us feel full and it actually begins to rise at 4:00 and peaks at 7:00. 

Gin Stephens: Love it. Thank you, body for already knowing that.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Okay, so to recap, the hormones in general just seem primed for us to eat late afternoon, maybe even a little bit later 4:00 up until 6:00 or 7:00. That's what's my take away. They concluded the complete opposite that early eating was better. I don't really know how they did.  

Gin Stephens: I have another question.  

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. 

Gin Stephens: I'm thinking back to the glycemic index example. When they were like, "Yep, this is the glycemic index of potatoes" because they average their body's response together and then came up with that. I wonder if we all have different pulses of when these hormones peak, also, when they're like, "All right, whatever, between 4:00 and 7:00, maybe that's the average, and yours peaks between 9:00 and 11:00." Somebody else, theirs might peak in the morning. I know people who have morning window is what feels best for them. They feel great with their morning window. I wonder if their hormones do different things than mine do.  

Melanie Avalon: I would guess so. I think the shift might be the same. The patterns of-- what is the terminology for it? In comparison to each other, what we just discussed with the different hormones like cortisol being earlier and then later, ghrelin and insulin like that might be similar, but the actual times would be different.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. The way that it goes one after the other in that time sequence. Yeah, that makes sense. But just with the whole normal curve that we have the normal distribution curve, there're people that are exactly average right in the middle. Maybe I am just a lucky average right in the middle. My average is the same as what that article discussed. But somebody else might be shifted to the left side of that and someone else is on the right side. You're on the right, you're in the later part of the day versus there're people that are on the left extreme feel better in the morning part of the day.  

Melanie Avalon: Can I read you this one part? This is where I was like-- I don't know what to do with this. Because they talk about when the different hormones are released and then they literally they draw the conclusion on the hormone based on what they want it to be, which is an early window. When they're talking about insulin, first they say, "It was based on the timing of, I think that the window they wanted to promote." They say, "The consumption of food should not occur during the insulin peak because it induces fat storage." First, they say, "We shouldn't eat when insulin is high because it'll induce fat storage." I could talk about how that doesn't make much sense to me because I think Insulin is the storage hormone. We probably should be eating when it's high like the reason we're eating.  

Gin Stephens: That's its purpose. The reason it's high is because that's when your body is dealing with food.  

Melanie Avalon: What are you going to do? You're not going to store food when you eat it? [laughs] But then later they talk about insulin levels at night, and they talk about how insulin levels are low, and they say that you shouldn't eat when insulin is low because it says, "If glucose consumption occurs during the evening, the body will not be able to process it properly because of the low insulin." [laughs] Basically, they literally draw the exact opposite conclusion about insulin.  

Gin Stephens: It all goes down to this, what feels good to you do that. If I tried to do the wrong thing, if I tried to eat at a time that doesn't feel right, it doesn't feel good.  

Melanie Avalon: Well, and then to that point, what's actually really interesting is at least one, maybe two of the studies, they talked about how they were looking at these late-night eating windows, and that the people would be full-- Okay, I think it was two different studies where they might have been overlapping. But in one of the cases, they wanted to make the calories equal. For the late-night eating window, they had to make it really processed. They had to make it high calorie in order to make sure that they ate enough. Then in another study, they literally said the people would not have eaten all of it if they hadn't been forced to eat all of it.  

Gin Stephens: They force fed people food that [laughs] they didn't want to eat.  

Melanie Avalon: They were looking at a shortened eating window at night. The irony of it is in that study at the end they talk about how the window probably only-- The benefits might require a calorie restriction. But in the study, they forced the people to eat more than they wanted. I was saying that, when people follow intermittent fasting pattern in their natural day to day life, they're probably naturally going to eat less, because in the studies they're forced to eat more. In any case, it's definitely very individual. 

Gin Stephens: It really is. It's why I will never tell you what is, "The best time to eat." I genuinely think you've got to find that for yourself. If I did exactly what you did, Melanie, I would not feel my best, and you would not feel your best doing exactly what I do. That doesn't mean what you're doing is wrong or what I'm doing is wrong. We've been doing this a long time. [laughs] If it was not sustainable, we wouldn't be able to sustain it.  

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.  

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Melanie Avalon: Hopefully, that was helpful. Do we have time for one more?  

Gin Stephens: I think we have time for this next one.  

Melanie Avalon: All righty.  

Gin Stephens: Okay, this is from Mary Ellen and the subject is: "Organic cheese." She says, "Hi, Gin and Melanie, I feel like a stalker because this is the third question I've submitted, but instead I'll coin Melanie's term 'fangirl' and go with that." Now, if you show up on my doorstep, Melanie that would be stalker. [laughs] Sending lots of questions, we'd love that. 

Melanie Avalon: Mary Ellen, you mean?  

Gin Stephens: What did I say?  

Melanie Avalon: You said me.  

Gin Stephens: Oh, I meant Mary Ellen, Mary Ellen. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: I'm going to show up at your door.  

Gin Stephens: Well, you could show up at my door anytime.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, likewise. Actually, just let me know. I'm a planner. I would actually not do well. 

Gin Stephens: Okay. Yeah, that's true. I like planning, too. Yeah, I met Mary Ellen. She said, "My last question was regarding celery powder and I thank you for your timely in-depth response. I am 50 years old and have been following IF for a few years. I had mentioned previously that I had a concerning colonoscopy, and am reducing my meat intake, and removing bacon and processed meats from my diet. I have also decided to follow Melanie's advice and Gin's advice in Clean(ish) to remove vegetable oil and canola oil from my diet when possible. In my quest to improve my colon health, I'm trialing no dairy. I have had lifelong issues with constipation. Hence, my first question about a year ago regarding magnesium supplements.  

I plan to be dairy free for a few months to see if my bowel habits improve. My question is, when I reintroduce dairy into my diet, are there some cheeses that are healthier than others? For example, is ricotta less inflammatory than cheddar or should I be okay as long as I buy organic cheeses only? Cheese is one of my favorite foods, and although I will reduce the amount, I eat overall. After my test, I plan to take a Clean(ish) approach. Life is too short to never eat pizza. Thank you again," Mary Ellen.  

Melanie Avalon: All right, Mary Ellen. Thank you so much for your question. This is a wonderful question, which has an answer. I feel similar to the question we just did and that it's very individual as far as the inflammatory potential of cheese, I think. This is very timely because I just finished reading a book somebody I'm going to have on the show. His name is Bill Schindler. He's been on a lot of National Geographic crazy stuff. I don't even know what the shows are that he was on, but really intense living like a caveman-type stuff. His book is called Eat Like a Human: Nourishing Foods and Ancient Ways of Cooking to Revolutionise Your Health. This book blew my mind. He talks about the historical things that we ate as hunter gatherers and our evolution, and he's all about eating like a human. He talks about eating nose to tail, and insect protein, and soil, and just so many things, but he has a whole section on dairy.  

The reason I bring this up is I share his opinion. But there are so many different opinions on dairy. I'll tell you what he says, but then other people are going to say something completely different. For dairy, I really think you'd have to find just what works for you. Gin, do you know the history of why raw milk is considered to be so problematic?  

Gin Stephens: I can't tell you the ins and out, but yeah, it's a little bit maddening because anyway.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. He talks about this in the book. The regulations on raw milk started in the 1920s. Prior to that, there were dairies next to distilleries to maximize profits, and they would actually feed the cows, this grain swill mashed stuff that was created from the alcohol production, it led to really disgusting milk from these cows. Then they would doctor up the milk with I'm not making this up, things like molasses, plaster of Paris, animal brains, and probably some other things. They would make it look all pretty, and then they would sell it as country fresh milk, and this led to the sickening and killing of thousands of people. There're 8,000 deaths and it was mostly children that were dying from it. Then regulation started in 1920s and milk had to be pasteurized and raw milk was banned. The thing is actual raw milk that's not coming from alcohol grain-fed cows with plaster of Paris, and brains in it. Between 1993 and 2012, almost 10 years, I don't take hospitalizations lightly but there were only 144 hospitalizations in a decade from raw milk.  

Gin Stephens: We've had more hospitalizations from spinach or iceberg lettuce. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I don't know those 144 individual cases. I don't know. I would guess that maybe a handful of them probably wasn't even entirely the raw milk. These aren't deaths. These are hospitalizations.  

 

Gin Stephens: It makes me wonder though how much of it is because people just don't have access to it. I've only had raw milk when I was a little girl, and grew up, and some friends had a dairy farm. I had it there. But I can't buy it in my state. We can't buy it. I don't know. That's just a factor. I am not anti-raw milk and I wish I could buy it. I'd be buying it all day long. But that's just a variable. 

Melanie Avalon: I wrote that down. I'm going to talk to him about that. That's a really good point.  

Gin Stephens: But I would 100% buy raw milk if I could.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's just a little bit, like, you're talking about being political. The CDC, they actually say that raw milk is one of the riskiest health things that there is. There're arrests, and there've been fines, and loss of family farms and so. But in any case, he's a huge, huge fan of raw milk because it has all of the enzymes. People have issues with milk, it has all of the enzymes in it naturally needed to help it digest properly in our system because when it's pasteurized, it kills all those enzymes. Pasteurization also kills the bacteria that can have a really beneficial effect potentially on our gut. He advocates out of like, "What are the best milks to buy?" This is milk, realize, but this would extend to dairy as well. He says, number one, high-quality raw from a small dairy farm, but don't buy if you don't know the source. It's really, really important to know the farm that it's coming from. Then two, low temperature, non-homogenized, organic from a small dairy. Three, pasteurized, non-homogenized, organic whole milk. Four, pasteurized, homogenized, organic, whole milk. Then for cheeses and stuff, he's all about, again, made from non-pasteurized, and organic, and made actually using-- it's called, is it rennet or rennet that's used to make it?  

Gin Stephens: I think it's rennet, but I could be wrong. In my head, I've always said rennet, which doesn't mean it's right.  

Melanie Avalon: I'm not sure. Rennet, rennet. Using that rather than a lot of cheeses now are very produced and they use things like citric acid. He's all four like the original form. Also, I don't know. I don't really see like cheese made from A2 milk but that's the type of milk that is supposed to be less inflammatory because it's the original type of milk that we were originally drinking. Oh, another reason that pasteurization can create a problem, so, casein is a type of protein in milk and cheese. When you pasteurize it, it actually de-natures that protein, and it can make that protein inflammatory and hard to digest. If you are getting non-pasteurized milk and cheese, it's the potential that it will be less inflammatory.  

Another thing that can be inflammatory for people might be the lactose. The sugar in the milk, when you get it in its raw form and non-pasteurized, again, it has those enzymes in it naturally to help break that down and/or if it's fermented dairy, then the bacteria can actually ferment that lactose and convert that sugar into lactic acid. So, people who have lactose intolerance can often have fermented cheese and dairy products. But all of that to say, that's his opinion. He would be for raw cheese's, fermented, non-pasteurized, but then you could talk to somebody else. I'm reading Rick Johnson's new book right now called Nature Wants Us to Be Fat. He's actually all for dairy because he thinks it's not involved in the obesity spiking problems that we have from protein foods rich in umami. That savory taste that we get. But he's all for actually low-fat dairy, which would be the complete opposite of what Bill Schindler is saying. You're going to get all different answers.  

As far as what is less inflammatory, I don't think there's a blanket statement. If I were to make approaching a blanket statement, a lot of cheeses are pretty processed. You go to the store, and if you actually look at the ingredients, and it has all this stuff in it, I would stay away from that. That's in the spirit of Gin's book, Clean(ish). I think going closer to the source and not having those additives is probably going to be better but you really have to find what works for you.  

Another thing to keep in mind is some people have problems with FODMAPs. You can get my app, Food Sense Guide, melanieavlon.com/foodsenseguide, It will tell you the FODMAPs potential of all the different cheeses. I put so many cheeses in it. So, that might be a helpful resource. For her question, "Should I be okay, as long as I buy organic cheese?" I would dive a little bit deeper. I would look at the cheese that you're eating, and the ingredients, and just see what works for you, and that was all over the place. But Gin? 

Gin Stephens: Cheese is just so tricky as far as organic. Anyway, I just have to tell you finding organic cheese is not easy. There are so many amazing cheeses out there that they don't claim to be organic. I bet a lot of them probably are. Some of the imported cheeses but they're not USDA certified because they're not American. [laughs] I don't know. Cheese is just tricky. If I said I'm only going to buy organic cheeses, I would be very limited to my cheese options. I prioritize organic dairy, like, organic cream. Yes, I can find that, and organic sour cream, yes, I can find that. But if I'm looking for Brie, I don't have a store on Augusta with organic Brie. I don't. If I want to eat Brie, I'm just buying the French Brie. I try to stick with the ones that I feel probably were made more traditionally and that's probably from another country. That's just a little something right there. Did you watch Michael Pollan's, Cooked on Netflix, Melanie? Did you ever watch them? 

Melanie Avalon: No.  

Gin Stephens: You should watch it. You would love it. There're only four episodes. You would love it. But there was one on one of them, I can never remember which one is which. But maybe it's air where they talk about fermented things, I can't remember. Whichever one talks about-- they talk about kombucha, I think, but they also talk about cheese. There was a story that really sticks out to me. It was a nun, and she was making cheese in a cave, and they're like, "That is not hygienic. You cannot make cave cheese in a barrel." It wasn't "hygienic." Then they made her make it in a kitchen in a stainless steel, whatever, but it ruined the cheese, and it actually was worse and spiked the levels of whatever it was. Because anyway, so, then she was ended up making it back in the cave. Just because we think that being germ free and bacteria free is what we want but that's the opposite of what we want really. We need those things. Kids, who are out playing in the dirt correlationally tend to be healthier than the kids that are in their hygienic hand sanitizer bubble.  

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.  

Gin Stephens: There is a book called Eat Dirt. Do you Remember that book? 

Melanie Avalon: Is that Josh Axe?  

Gin Stephens: Maybe.