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Apr 16

Episode 52: The THYROID Episode, With Elle Russ! Self-Diagnosing Thyroid Problems, Lab Markers, Hypothyroid Signs, T4 Medication, Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT), Feeling Bad Despite “Normal” Levels, IF’s Effects On The Thyroid & Adrenals, The Role Of Stress, Mindsets, Doing LESS To Gain More, Loving Your Body

Adrenal Fatigue , Diet Mindsets , Fasting Approaches , Intermittent Fasting

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 Subscribe For Updates HERE!

Welcome to Episode 52 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

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

SHOW NOTES

About ELLE RUSS

Elle Russ is a writer and host of the popular Primal Blueprint Podcast. She is the leading voice of thyroid health in the fast-growing Paleo, Primal, and Ancestral Health Movements. Originally from downtown Chicago, Elle lives and plays in Malibu, CA. You can learn more about her at ElleRuss.com

Elle wrote The Paleo Thyroid Solution after consulting with over two dozen endocrinologists, internal medicine specialists, and general practice MDs...but her thyroid condition was only getting worse - and nothing from doctors resembled a solution, or even hope. Exasperated and desperate, Elle took control of her own health and resolved two severe bouts of hypothyroidism on her own – including an acute Reverse T3 problem. Through a devoted paleo/primal lifestyle, intensive personal experimentation, and a radically modified approach to thyroid hormone replacement therapy…Elle went from fat, foggy, and fatigued – to fit, focused, and full of life!

GET ELLE'S FREE THYROID GUIDE!!

Follow Elle On Instagram & Twitter!  

3:04 -Elle's Story & The Problem With Diagnosing Thyroid Problems Today

9:50 - Self-Diagnosing Thyroid Problems With Temps

11:25 - How The Thyroid Works

19:50 - What Lab Markers You Need To Get Tested

21:10 - Conventional T4 Medications Vs Natural Desiccated Thyroid

30:04 - Listener Q&A: Stephanie  - My doctor is concerned about IF affecting adrenally, thyroid and hormone levels?

30:00 - Listener Q&A: Sallie  - Does IF put too much stress on the adrenals and the whole adrenal/thyroid complex?

32:10 - Listener Q&A: Alessandra  - Is an IF lifestyle okay for someone hypothyroidism? 

45:30 -The Importance Of Not Going Too Hard

47:10 - The Significance of Cortisol, Stress And Being Kind To Your Body

47:10 - Listener Q&A:  - The Significance of Stress, Finding the Root Of The Problem, Doing Less Rather Than More, & Loving Your Your Body

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!

REFERENCES

LINKS

More on Melanie: MelanieAvalon.com  

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

BUY Delay Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle and Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Dec 25

Episode 297: Ashwagandha, Diabetes, Berberine, Creatine, Long Term Calorie Restriction, Women In Podcasting, Echo Chambers, The Four Tendencies, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 297 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX:  For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get The New Year Bundle For Free Plus $10 Off When You Sign Up Today. That’s A 14 Oz Pork Tenderloin, 2 Lbs Of Ground Turkey, And 4 Top Sirloin Steaks Free In Your First Box!

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

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #177 - A.J. Jacobs

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #175 - Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

21:55 - ATHLETIC GREENS: Get A FREE 1 Year Supply Of Immune-Supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE Travel Packs With Your First Purchase At athleticgreens.com/ifpodcast.

23:35 - Listener Q&A: Cici - ashwagandha & diabetes

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37:15 - Listener Q&A: Niki - Creatine

49:30 - BON CHARGE: For a limited time Go To boncharge.com And Use Coupon Code IFPODCAST To Save 25% through January 2nd!

52:20 - Listener Q&A: Alex - Hi Ladies!

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

Hi friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get a 14-ounce heritage-breed pork tenderloin 2 pounds of sustainably raised ground turkey and four grass-fed top sirloin steaks all for free plus $10 off. Yes, all of that incredible meat plus $10 off all for free. We are a bit obsessed with the company called ButcherBox, which is always in season. Some of my favorite meals that I had throughout the holiday season were fantastic meat and seafood from ButcherBox. Now, with the new year, it is time to celebrate with only the very best of the best when it comes to meat and seafood that you put in your body as well as meat and seafood that helps support our planet and the environment. 

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. I did so much research on ButcherBox. You can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. All of their beef is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished, they work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves but the planet. This is so important to me. I'll put a link to that in the show notes.

The value is incredible. The average cost is actually less than $6 per meal. And it's so easy. Everything ships directly to your door and it is so delicious. I love carpaccio for example, the ButcherBox steaks are incredible for that. That's how you know it's good steak when you can eat it rare like that. ButcherBox has an incredible offer for our audience. You can get the New Year bundle for free plus $10 off when you sign up today. That's a 14-ounce heritage-breed pork tenderloin, 2 pounds of sustainably raised ground turkey, and four grass-fed top sirloin steaks, all for free in your first box. Sign up at butcherbox.com/if podcast and use code IFPODCAST to claim this offer. Again, to get a 14-ounce heritage-breed pork tenderloin, 2 pounds of sustainably raised ground turkey, and four grass-fed top sirloin steaks all for free plus $10 off. Sign up at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and use code IFPODCAST to claim this offer. We'll put all this information in the show notes.

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

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

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

Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is episode number 297 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie. How are you? 

Melanie Avalon: I'm good. I have a question for you. Have you done, is it, BBL, for laser? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Broadband light?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. I do that in conjunction with Profractional once a year.

Melanie Avalon: I'm about to do it right after this.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, did they tell you that it's not painless? I don't share that with you to frighten you. No one told me that. The first time I had just plain BBL, it's like snapping a rubber band against your skin.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, awesome.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm sure they'll probably give you something topical, but if they don't ask for It.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, should I put numbing cream on my face? I have it.

Cynthia Thurlow: I would bring it with you and just double-checked. They may have something that they want you to use.

Melanie Avalon: Is it okay if you have cream on your face?

Cynthia Thurlow: They're probably going to clean it. I would ask them what their protocol is?

Melanie Avalon: Probably should have thought about this a little bit earlier.

Cynthia Thurlow: Because, I can tell you BBL is not painless, but with numbing cream it is tolerable.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I might put on some numbing cream while we're talking, so it can be like soaking in because I think it has to soak in for a little bit because I do laser hair removal and always use the numbing cream for all of that.

Cynthia Thurlow: Did they give you lidocaine in a jar? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I have that and then I have, there's one I order on Amazon that I like as well.

Cynthia Thurlow: Okay. It's probably not as strong like when I get Profractional and BBL done on my face, it's like the most you can legally prescribe. It works very effectively. Like my face will stay numb for 2 hours.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. Okay, I might grab some. Second question is because I'm glad you've had it, they said I'll be fine because I am recording with Ben Azadi tomorrow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, you'll be fine. Yeah. If you have melasma or if you have any brown discoloration on your face, it'll make it darker, but it's not like you can't function. It'll be darker and then it all flakes off and go away.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's what people said. They said it rises to the surface and then falls off.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's like if you have an exaggerated freckle and then it goes away.

Melanie Avalon: And then it goes away. I'm very excited.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it works very effectively and I think most people don't even realize how much brown pigment they have in their face until they get it done and then they're like, Holy cow.

Melanie Avalon: It's pulling out the pigment from your face, sort of?

Cynthia Thurlow: The laser itself helps to break up the pigmentation. Like you can have red areas in your face and you can have discoloration like brown areas. Especially for women that have been on oral contraceptives or just have had a lot of sun exposure, they can have melasma and pigmentation on their face that most women don't want to have, so it's an easy way to help address it.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. I've heard really wonderful things about it.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I go once a year and I always say, like, I have a love-hate relationship. I love the way it looks once I've healed, but I don't love it at the time. It's quick, so it'll be over before you know it.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I'll start while we're talking, I'll be rubbing some numbing cream on my face. What's new with you?

Cynthia Thurlow: Not a whole lot. Gearing up for the holidays and excited to not be traveling. Last Christmas we went away, we had a wonderful vacation and my kids kept saying, it's just weird for it to be warm [laughs] in Christmas. This year they wanted to stay home and so we are staying home and my mom and stepfather are coming to visit. Be a little bit of high [unintelligible [00:11:15] my mom is here but she means well. You know moms can be.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Holiday, family dynamics.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: Well, actually to that, my dad actually is having surgery, and it's a pretty intense surgery, so I'm sure it's going to be fine. It's really made me want to make sure I do a lot of stuff. I mean, it's going to be fine. We planned a lot of really fun things to do. Like, this weekend I'm going over we're going to just have a game night, and then we're going to do an escape room that's King Tut themed. Have you done escape rooms?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not yet. I think when that started to become really popular, it was like preceding the pandemic and then the pandemic happened and we never did it.

Melanie Avalon: They're so fun and when you do them, you just realize, I feel like they're really good for your brain, your body because you're like moving all around. They're very immersive. Yeah, they're super fun. I've only done two. This will be my third one, but I would love to do them more. Actually it's funny, I interviewed A.J. Jacobs. Do you know him?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do not.

Melanie Avalon: He's so funny. It's been one of my favorite interviews to date. I was dying laughing. He wrote a lot of books. He's like a four times New York Times bestseller. He just does random stuff. Like his most well-known book. He just read the entire encyclopedia and talks about what he learned from it. The puzzle book, though, was about puzzles. In any case, he just has a section on escape rooms and this never occurred to me. Apparently, there're a lot of cliche guests that show up at escape rooms and one of the cliches will be the guy that will ask a girl on a first date and take her to the escape room, but he's done it multiple times, so he knows all the answers, and then he acts like he doesn't.

Cynthia Thurlow: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: Sneaky.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: All the escape rooms, but anything else new in your life?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, just gearing up for 2023 and trying to survive day to day with teenagers that are at times snarky and at times funny and trying to remind myself that those pleasant little cute kiddos are buried deep within them. I have moments where I'm just like, "Oh, my goodness." We just got back from visiting three colleges last week, and one with a big stand out for my son, who I think wants to study engineering. And it's hard to believe. It's like I blink. I remember when he was born and it's like, how is it possible that we're looking at colleges? This is like a top 20 engineering program, and so it's like one out of eight kids get in. It's really intense. Having to explain to him, you got to work your butt off. This is not half-assing anything. And he's got, like, four AP classes. He's got a pretty intense year, so we're just trying to help him head in the right direction, and hopefully, he'll have a couple of reaches and a couple of safety schools and then have some others that are pretty much guaranteed. But we're fortunate we're in a state where there are a lot of, I would say there's probably three or four really good state schools that a lot of people come to from out of state, so we're fortunate. Do you remember those applying to college years?

Melanie Avalon: I graduated early, so I applied when I was a sophomore in high school, so I didn't even go through the college application process.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, my gosh.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I applied to USC. They have an early entrance program. I found out, I guess early junior year and then I left after that year.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's interesting because they have two early decision options now. This is how it is in each school we looked at and one is binding and one is not. Essentially, they take the university he wants to go to. That's his first choice. They take 350 students, early decision.

Melanie Avalon: So, it that where you skip senior year of high school?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, he's going to need to go his senior year.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's just like making the decision earlier.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Well, he would be if he does an early decision and gets accepted, he knows November 1 where he's going to go the following year, but that's binding.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Yeah. I got to live vicariously through my other friends and then also, like, my siblings. And it was fun. They actually let me in my high school, they let me go on the senior trip even though I was gone. I had been in college a year and then I went on my senior trip with my high school friends and they were just graduating.

Cynthia Thurlow: What was that like to go to college? I'm guessing you were a year younger than you would have been, but obviously very dedicated.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I was 17 and it was funny. I don't know if he wasn't in my program. The program that I did, they had 20 people that they take every year for that program. Not in my program, but I met somebody else who had done that and that person had actually skipped a year in high school as well. He was like 16 when he went, which is crazy.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, my gosh. Especially with a boy I can't even imagine. My son will be 18 in his senior year, and then he'll be 19 when he starts. With boys, they need a little more time to mature.

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Cynthia Thurlow: And you get the gift of time. Like I always say, I will never regret sending my kids to school when they were 6 and not 5, so I got an extra year with them.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that makes sense. Besides the fact that I missed out on some senior-year stuff. I missed our basic econ class and government class, which I just feel like I missed out on some basics that I could have learned from that. I missed out on the literature class from senior year. Besides that, everything felt really normal. Like, it just felt like going to school.

Cynthia Thurlow: I mean, I think from my perspective, there are some people who are just way more emotionally mature and ready for the rigor. Like I say all the time, my youngest is at a [unintelligible [00:17:01] High School, and it's like college. I think college will be easy for him after this, and so he's just ready for it. I'm not so sure my 17-year-old is ready for that amount of rigor, but my 15-year-old is very, like, he sits down and literally comes home and rewrites his notes, tapes his notes, writes his notes, spends a week studying for an exam. I say all the time, like, we aren't doing this. He's doing this all on his own. He's very self-directed and so he's got a fire in his belly and that's innate to who he is as a human being, but I think it'll serve him well.

Like, he has talked about, he already knows where kids have been accepted for college from the high school he goes to. He's like, "Oh, they take this many to this university and this one to this one." Whereas, like, Jack, my oldest son, his high school will take three to the same university. Liam is like, "Oh, our school took 65." [laughs] It's an interesting dynamic, but they're exactly where they need to be. That's why I say, like, very self-directed, mature, focused kids. They might be ready earlier for those kinds of academic challenges and things like that.

Melanie Avalon: People are definitely all different. I'm just thinking back about how different me and my siblings are as well. You also can't really tell I don't know if I should be saying this publicly. My brother had his intense period where he was struggling, but he's, like, doing so well in life now, so people can really, I don't know, come out of anything.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, now. I think anyone that's listening, whether they're reflecting on their own siblings or their kids, everyone kind of matures at a different pace. My oldest is a little more-- he's very smart, but he's a little more laid back. He literally for the first time in his life, has been really challenged in one of his AP classes. I'm seeing the effort he's making and he's doing that very self-directedly and I'm proud of him. You can't motivate him the way that I can motivate my younger one. It's very different. I have to be careful. Like, I'm the gunner. I'm the one that had the fire in the belly. To me, I understand my younger son and my husband understands my older son a whole lot better. We try to make sure we're conscious of that.

Melanie Avalon: I think I mentioned recently I interviewed Seth Davidowitz. His most recent book was Don't Trust Your Gut, but he has a whole chapter on parenting and the effects on children and their ultimate-- how they end up. I might have mentioned this on the show before. I just find it so fascinating. He really makes the case that it's mostly nature, not nurture with the exception of one factor. Did I tell you this? There's one parenting decision that parents can make that seems to really affect how their kids turn out. Otherwise, not so much.

Cynthia Thurlow: Interesting. What is that parenting decision? [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: It's where you live?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I can imagine.

Melanie Avalon: I guess because of the effects it has on their entire environment and how they grow up. It's where they live and how many adult role models they have that are not their parents.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's interesting. To give you an example, so my youngest is a high school freshman and when he was in 7th grade in the midst of the pandemic, one of his teachers led a private class for him and a couple of his peers and they learned Macbeth. So, he knows Macbeth backward and forwards. So, sure enough, what are they reading in freshman year? MacBeth and his teacher said his grasp of concepts is so, first of all, it's unusual that he's interested. Number two, his grasp of the concepts and the nuances is so unusual. And Liam loves it. Like, he feels like a total empowered badass. He's kind of quiet in class, but his teacher said he always has this deep insightful comments. She said does he read Shakespeare on his own? And then I explained the context. Like, in the midst of the pandemic, we were trying to get him to interacting with some of his peers virtually.

This one teacher really took advantage of the fact that he could get them to be interested in Shakespeare. He still talks about this teacher how much of an impact he had on him and how grateful I am that during the pandemic, he was able to, A, be interested in learning about something and B, takes such a lead in his own education. He didn't turn it off. He just leaned in and learned and really enjoyed it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. No, that's amazing. Yeah, there's definitely that type of reading. All the things that's what I was doing growing up.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I could imagine you were like a little budding Liam, but the girl version, I get it, totally get it.

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To make it easy, Athletic Greens is going to give you a free one-year supply of immune-supporting vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase. All you have to do is visit athleticgreens.com/ifpodcast. Again, that is athleticgreens.com/ifpodcast to take ownership of your health and pick up the ultimate daily nutritional insurance.

Well, shall we jump into fasting-related things for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. Our first question is from CC, subject is "Ashwagandha and diabetes. I love your podcast. I would like to know if taking ashwagandha breaks your fast. I first read about it in the Prime Diet and started taking it before intermittent fasting, but I'm now afraid it will break my fast. My second question is on the link of intermittent fasting to diabetes. I'm so excited about fasting but just heard of the recent study that links fasting to pancreatic damage and type 2 diabetes. I have diabetes in my family history, but I'm very careful what I eat, more low carb, but this new study is scary. What are your thoughts? Thanks."

Melanie Avalon: All right, CC thank you so much for your question. Well, for the first one, for ashwagandha. Assuming it is just pure ashwagandha, it should not break your fast. I don't really do much with adaptogens, but you are a fan of adaptogens, right?

Cynthia Thurlow: I love adaptogens for many reasons and ashwagandha is one of these really flexible adaptogens, meaning it can be helpful for balancing cortisol. It can also be very calming, so you can take it sometimes in the morning and it can be energizing, and then you can take it in the evening and it can be balancing if you're feeling like your cortisol is high. It's also one of the best-researched adaptogens.

Melanie Avalon: I've taken ashwagandha a little bit. I personally didn't notice many benefits, but I know a lot of people have. Is it a nightshade? People say that.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, it is. If you're sensitive to nightshades, you want to avoid ashwagandha.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. The ones I have tried, I've responded well to Rhodiola.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, Rhodiola is great at nighttime. I think my other favorite is probably Relora, so it's derived from magnolia bark and it's very calming, and that's a great one to take at night.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, interesting. The Rhodiola always made me energetic, so I would take it during the day.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it's interesting. Out of all the patients I've taken care of, I had one woman who swore it made her wide awake at night.

Melanie Avalon: The Rhodiola?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I think that has some bio-individuality, meaning, from that point on I stopped using it not necessarily with every patient, but I really started leaning into other options like Relora, which is really nice and very calming and nourishing for the brain.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Do you think you'll make some adaptogens in the future?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do, although I tend to be kind of a purist and so I definitely think about either a sleep blend or something that will be helpful in the morning to be energizing. I mean, I've vacillated back and forth, but I think most of my focus is going to be either on sleep support or things that are going to help with insulin sensitivity or muscle growth or muscle performance. I think initially those are going to be my focus, so I do think adaptogens will be part of that. It's just figuring out what's the right blend because when you start blending things together, you don't always know what's working and what isn't versus if it's just creatine or just one type of like magnesium L-threonate, which I love. You have a better sense, is this working for someone or not?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, no, that's so true. I agree about the single things because otherwise you won't know. I guess speaking of things that really benefit blood sugar control, my berberine launched, when these airs it will have launched 10 days ago. So hopefully people stocked up. If you would like to get that, we are actually having a special. The special ends at the end of this month. Stock up now at avalonx.us, the special is you get 15% off of one bottle or 25% off of two or more. This is really the time to stock up. I've really been honestly floored because I was taking berberine originally just for blood sugar control, but after deciding to make it, I've really been researching all of the other benefits and it's overwhelming all of the benefits. GI health, obviously blood sugar control, reducing blood sugar, reducing cholesterol and lipids.

When it comes to the gut microbiome, it seems to increase beneficial bacteria and decrease more problematic bacteria. Actually, it helps the body's reaction to LPS, which is the toxic byproduct of bacteria. They think that actually might be a mechanism for how it affects blood sugar, which is interesting, which just speaks to how intensely our gut health relates to our overall metabolic health. I think our gut microbiome is affecting things way more than we realize.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh yeah, I totally agree with you. It's interesting. I did IG Live, I'll be bringing Dr. [unintelligible [00:29:04] on the podcast in January, and she's a gastroenterologist, like a functionally focused gastroenterologist, and she has this great book that just came out talking about the role of viruses in the gut microbiome. It's really apparent to us that she and I trained over 20 years ago and Lord knows we knew very little to nothing about the gut microbiome. And it's almost like peeling an onion. The more you learn, the more humbled I am. That's actually going to be, it's called the antiviral gut, but she was fantastic and I cannot wait. I don't do many IG Lives anymore, but she was well worth the IG Live. That was definitely a highlight of my week.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's amazing. We just don't even realize and I will comment though quickly, that the primary mechanism of action for berberine reducing blood sugar, I mean, I don't know, it's probably not the gut microbiome. It specifically affects pathways in the liver and can downregulate the liver's production of glucose and also can affect glucose absorption and utilization and insulin and things like that so yep. Again, the link for that is avalonx.us. Through the end of the year, you can get 15% off of one bottle and 25% off of two or more, and then after that you can use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON to get 10% off and that code will get you 10% off sitewide as well.

Okay. And then for CC's second question. She wants to know about the link of IF to diabetes. I am not sure what study she's referring to. I researched, I searched a lot to try and find a study talking about intermittent fasting encouraging diabetes and I think I found it because the study came out, it was in 2018, it was called "Could Intermittent Fasting Diets Increase Diabetes Risk?" It was published in the European Society of Endocrinology. It was one of those studies, Cynthia, how these studies come out and then all the headlines are talking about it. That was the case with this one. What's really interesting is it's no longer on the website, so I can't find the actual study. I'm guessing the study got, was it redacted? What's weird is they don't have a note. It just no longer exists. I'm thinking she was probably talking about that study and I'm thinking something happened with that study to the fact that they don't have it published anymore.

In any case, what it was looking at was it was a study in rodents and they put them on fasting diets and they found that, I think it was an ADF approach every other day, and they found that the rodents did lose weight, but their insulin went up and they gained visceral fat. The conclusion or the hypothesis was that even if fasting was resulting in weight loss, it was actually encouraging diabetes and metabolic issues by its effect on insulin. Stepping back from that well, first of all, like I said the study is gone, something happened with it which is suspect. Moving beyond that, I could not find and maybe I didn't search enough, but I could not find any other studies saying this. The overwhelming majority of literature on fasting is that fasting has a very beneficial effect on insulin, on diabetes risk, on things like that.

For example, a much more recent meta-analysis from 2021 called "Intermittent Fasting: Is there a Role in the Treatment of Diabetes?" A review of the literature and guide for primary care physicians. Like just reading from it, it literally says, "The majority of the available research demonstrates that intermittent fasting is effective at reducing body weight, decreasing fasting glucose, decreasing fasting insulin, reducing insulin resistance, decreasing levels of leptin, and increasing levels of adiponectin. Some studies found that patients were able to reverse their need for insulin therapy during therapeutic intermittent fasting protocols with supervision by their physician. Current evidence suggests that intermittent fasting is an effective nonmedicinal treatment option for type 2 diabetes. More research is needed to delineate the effects of intermittent fasting from weight loss." The long story short takeaway is whatever study CC saw that one or another, I would not be worried about intermittent fasting for increasing diabetes risk. I think the overwhelming majority of data supports the opposite. Cynthia, do you have any thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. It's interesting. This is always a good example of cherry-picking research and data mining and the catastrophizing that goes on in the media when people don't know how to read research. I would concur with you that everything that I read and everything that I look at really supports this carb-insulin hypothesis. For someone to somehow suggest that intermittent fasting, which is our ancestral birthright, is somehow going to create pancreatic damage and contribute to diabetes, I think is really dangerous because we as humans are not designed to eat the way that our modern day lives have kind of embraced. It just makes me sad that someone propagated an idea that was picked up by mainstream media that suggested that this would somehow be harmful. In fact, I have Dr. Jason Fung's book sitting in front of me because my intermittent fasting coaches are reading this month.

The Obesity Code talks a great deal about relevant and current research that supports this hypothesis of carbohydrate restriction. That doesn't mean carbohydrates, but I definitely am a fervent believer in carbohydrate restriction for people who are metabolically unhealthy and certainly those that are insulin resistant. I always say knowledge is power and if you know that you are metabolically healthy and metabolically flexible, then you can adjust your carbohydrate consumption accordingly. To suggest that somehow, it's going to damage your pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease. Let me be very clear. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune destruction of the beta cells in the pancreas, very different. To somehow suggest that nutrition is playing a role in type 1 versus type 2 is unfortunate.

Melanie Avalon: I keep saying it, but I find that really interesting that that study is just gone.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, redacted, and it's probably because it's garbage.

Melanie Avalon: Normally, even if a study is not good, you can still find it. It's still up on the Internet. The fact that it's just gone is very weird, but telling?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's a fascinating development.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, it is. Of course, just to comment on what you were saying about the sensationalization of these findings and such, they're not going to come out and say, "Hey, study was redacted." There's not going to be a whole new swarm where they say that this was undone. If you were saying this, it's concerning that these ideas can get out there that might not be accurate, and they can be just so sensationalized and presented as truth. It's hard to unlearn something that you were exposed to even if it wasn't true because once you hear it. By the way, I'm not discouraging different findings coming out. I'm all for all the different findings and questioning things. It's just the problem comes when most people aren't going to actually look at the source material and think about it and they're just going to listen to or many people I should say most, but many people will just listen to the news and take what they say, which also will be a slightly bastardized version of the original source material.

Cynthia Thurlow: I always say it's the rabbit hole that you have to dive down. Like, someone got excited about some creatine research and they shared it with me and I said, well, it's an N of 26, so the potentiality exists that there might be something worth investigating, but it needs to be statistically significant. That's more often than not what I see is various small sample sizes and then they extrapolate from that and then convince people, "Oh, this thing that you've been doing for five years is no longer healthy." It's like, "Wait a minute, let's look at the data, let's look at the research, let's be thoughtful." And I agree. I hope listeners know that we're always happy to read stuff that's contrary to our own opinions. I think that's part of just being an intellectually curious human being. It's like show me the evidence and let me look at it and then we can decide if it will encourage us to form a different opinion or if it just validates what we already think.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I want to know, like, tell me why I'm wrong. That's why I love reading different opinions for me, I love it. I want to know where I'm thinking incorrectly. I would like to know that that would beneficial. I'm not wedded to any one answer or at least as much as I cognitively perceived myself not being wedded to. I know we all have biases that are really hard to see past, but I really do try to be open.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: Okie Dokie. Shall we answer another question? This actually relates to what we're just talking about with your creatine. Nikki says "Hi, Melanie and Cynthia. I would love for you to discuss the science behind creatine a bit more, especially after learning Cynthia has a creatine supplement coming out soon, which is actually now out. I have some Thorne brand and try to take it when I remember, but I'll admit it could be a bit more consistent. I'm a questioner under Gretchen Rubin's The Four Tendencies framework, so it helps me to know why when I'm trying to make something a habit. My question is why is creatine necessary even if you're meeting your protein requirements? In my case, 130 to 145 g a day. My other question is, when is the best time to take it? Thanks for all you do."

Cynthia Thurlow: That's a great question, Nikki. What I can tell you is we don't get enough of creatine, let me just back up, our bodies have 70% to 80% less endogenous creatine sources compared to men, so that's number one. Number two is if you look at the research irrespective of life stage, women have differing needs. When you're menstruating at specific times during your menstrual cycle, you can benefit from a little bit more supplementation. I just reviewed a study this afternoon looking at menopausal women and the same could apply to perimenopausal women as they are losing estrogen, they have greater issues with muscle-protein synthesis and so supplementation could beneficial there as well. What I would say is that we don't get enough from animal-based protein because I would love to say just eat more protein. That's not going to do it. We need this specifically for ATP and the muscle so supplementation is going to be very beneficial.

I have personally been using this for over a year, obviously just only recently using my own product because it wasn't available before. My trainer last year started talking to me about it and there's a lot of really good research. Dr. Gabrielle Lyon is 100% on board with the utilization of creatine in women. To me, since a lot of the focus of my work is really talking about metabolic health and maintaining muscle mass, and gosh darn it's so much harder at 51 maintaining muscle than it was 20 years ago. I just never appreciated it. I wanted to introduce something that would be helpful for women throughout their lifetime. I would recommend taking it during your feeding window, not during your fasting window. Melanie and I were talking about this earlier and I was saying I put it into a smoothie and that's how I choose to consume it.

It doesn't have a taste and it's not granular. That's one of the things that the mix ability is high. There was another product that will remain nameless that I've used in the past and it's almost crystallized, so it was harder to get it to blend easily with liquids. That would be my recommendation. And, yes, I am very familiar with Gretchen Rubin's The Four Tendencies framework. I actually was on TV. Yeah, it's interesting. I was on TV with her.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, when I say on TV with her, when I was at our local ABC affiliate in Washington DC, I got to meet her. At the time I didn't know who she was. I'm embarrassed to admit that. I loved what she talked about so much that I went out and bought the book and every time I worked with a new client one on one, I would give them the quiz.

Melanie Avalon: I feel like I'm so obvious what I am. All I needed was a summary of that book and I was like, yeah, I know exactly what I am.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm not the questioner. I think I was the upholder, no I wasn't the upholder, obliger.

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, it's whether you uphold inner versus outer expectations. If you uphold inner and outer, so inner being you and then the outer being what other people are asking of you. Let's see if I can remember this. If you uphold both, you're an upholder. If you uphold your inner but not other people's, you're a questioner. If you uphold other people, but not your own, you're an obliger. If you just reject everything, you're a rebel.

Cynthia Thurlow: I really feel like, honestly, I'm a little bit of two. I wouldn't describe myself and I think when I took it, I was kind of on the fence about what direction I headed and I think the younger me would have been the obliger. I was never the rebel, although I've had many rebel clients and then I have to remind myself but the questioners, the ones who always ask a lot of questions, it explains so much and anyone who is comfortable and confident with who they are would never see that as a negative. It's a curiosity piece for me.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I agree. For you, I always say either well, I was thinking either a questioner or an upholder.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm a little bit of an upholder, but I'm not rigid and judgmental. That's the one thing that didn't-- I'm much more I always say I don't use the term libertarian lightly. I'm just saying I just accept people where they are. I'm not particularly judgmental unless you're bad to children and animals. I do have strong opinions, but that's a whole separate conversation.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I do think the layer of how you perceive it, I feel like you could withhold or not withhold inner versus outer within the layer of how you, like the judgment layer would be separate. You could be judgmental in all of it or judgmental and none of it. I can see how certain personality traits would probably more likely lead to others.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. I really like her work and I listen to her podcast and I don't know if anyone else has this issue, but I definitely feel like we need more strong female role model podcasters. Do you feel that way?

Melanie Avalon: It's funny, I was recording just yesterday with Elle Russ, who I adore, and we were talking about because she was the cohost and host of the Primal Blueprint podcast for so long and now she has her own show, The Elle Russ Show. We were talking about the role of women, and yeah, there is like a lack maybe. I guess a lot of the podcasts, I'm just thinking to what I listen to. I guess it is a lot of men.

Cynthia Thurlow: I mean, the ones I listen to, like if I really am honest with listeners, I tend to lean into some of the male ones because my husband was making fun of me because we listened to Huberman Lab all the way to DC and back because Huberman Lab was recording with BioLayne. It was almost a four-hour podcast. It was craziness, but only because I was in the car and my husband was like, "Oh, my God, this is so dry." [laughter] I was like sometimes I just want to learn. I just want to absorb as opposed to just be entertained. I think some of the male-dominated podcasts do a nice job with that. It just depends on my mood. There's definitely there's probably, like, six male-dominated podcasts I lean into, and then I listen to yours. I still need to listen to the glutathione one and a few others, but it's probably more, it's more like male-centric. Not on purpose, but they tend to be more, I don't know, data-driven, less fluff.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's true. I'm just thinking I listen to, well, like Robb and Nicki, so that's both Robb Wolf, Peter Attia. I don't listen regularly to Huberman. I listen to Rich Roll all the time.

Cynthia Thurlow: I need to listen to Rich.

Melanie Avalon: Have you listened to him before?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not.

Melanie Avalon: This actually speaks to what I was talking earlier about having an open mind. The reason I listen to him primarily is because he's very vegan. He provides a very different perspective because I'm so seeped in the keto and carnivore world. Listening to a vegan-driven podcast I find very helpful and I find him very open-minded. I find him very comforting. He interviews a lot of people that I interview as well, so he interviews people that I'd be listening to anyways. I feel like I get a different perspective coming from him and I just find him very calming. I listen to him at night and I listen to Mikhaila Peterson. I like her podcast.

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't know her.

Melanie Avalon: She's spicy. Jordan Peterson's daughter.

Cynthia Thurlow: Don't know her.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, she got popular, well, her dad's Jordan Peterson, so that helped. She had a whole thing with carnivores and she went on Joe Rogan and talked about her carnivore experience and that kind of shot her up, so podcasting, I'm just always grateful that I'm in this world because there's so many podcasts I like. Don't take it for granted that we have some amazing podcasts with an amazing audience because it's not easy.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, no. And it's interesting. I'm part of a podcast mastermind and I'm at a different stage in my business and my podcast, so I'm oftentimes giving advice to people in the group, which I lovingly do because I really enjoy this group of women, and I forget how. I don't think we tracked metrics the whole first year we were podcasting. Really, I didn't start taking podcast metrics seriously until Kelly and I, so Everyday Wellness used to be a co-hosted podcast with a friend of mine who's a clinical psychologist. It was kind of her idea and then a little bit over a year in she was less interested in doing it, and it was either sink or swim. It wasn't until 2020 that I started paying attention to those things. I said, okay, I'm going to swim, I'm not going to sink, I'm not going to turn this over. From my perspective, I think that loving what you do is certainly very evident.

I know Gin and you created this amazing community of which I'm very grateful to be a part of, and then our own ecosystems that are separate from Intermittent Fasting podcast. There's no doubt that your podcast in particular is, you do a fantastic job interviewing people and exposing me to new information, new ways of thinking about things and that's really what it's all about.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, no, I as well, I'm so inspired by everything that you're doing. It's so incredible. It's almost eerie the overlap, well, we have a lot of overlap in our guests and who we interview and everything, but we also have different like, I feel like yours is more menopausal and women's issues and hormones skew and then mine is just like all over the place, like deuterium-depleted water.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think mine is skewed because I know that nothing prepared me for being middle aged, and it's not like intellectually I wasn't prepared, but no one had talked to me about the things that were going to happen. I'm like if my experiences can help someone else and if I can bring on guests that can speak to that, I mean, I know my listeners and I know what's going to resonate. I know I can offer alternative perspectives, but I know what content is really going to resonate. It's been validated so frequently that now I don't ever want to be an echo chamber because as an example I had that scientist talking about that form of tocotrienols, annatto and how that can be helpful for bone health, which I think is significant for all of us. I never would have imagined that his research would really like resonated steeply.

Like, I watch all my metrics, I'm a little OCD about it. I only do it once a day, but I know exactly what content resonates and perimenopause and menopause are women north of 35. That's really who we speak to. I think that you bring on guests that have got a very wide, diverse opinions, and I think that's wonderful. I think it's important for all of us to not be an echo chamber because it's easy just to stay stuck in one spot.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so incredibly true. All the more knowledge, all the more things the merrier. I imagine I probably will, when I get to that point in my life, have a much uptake and interest, and I'm interested in it now. Just what you were talking about with what you experienced and the focus there.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, goodness. I want everyone to avoid what I did. I hit the wall and I thought I was doing everything right. I'm completely sensitive to when people tell me I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I'm like, "Oh, it's all hormones."

Melanie Avalon: I was talking about this with Elle yesterday. Having gone through health issues really can be a benefit because A, it makes you learn so much about the topic and gives you agency to take care of yourself and feel better, but then also just gives you complete empathy for other people having similar things.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: I feel you people when you're struggling.

Cynthia Thurlow: Benefit from what we've learned that's what I would say for everyone.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends, exciting announcement. You guys know I love blue light-blocking glasses. I wear them every single night of my life. My favorite blue light-blocking glasses company, Bon Charge, is having a massive 25% off sitewide sale until January 2. Now is the time. I am often asked what are my favorite, "Biohacking products?" Something I truly, honestly cannot imagine my life without our blue light-blocking glasses. In today's modern environment, we are massively overexposed to blue light. It's a stimulating type of light, which can lead to stress, anxiety, headaches, and in particular sleep issues. Blue light actually stops our bodies from producing melatonin, which is our sleep hormone. Our exposure to blue light can completely disrupt our circadian rhythm, make it hard to fall asleep, make it hard to stay asleep, and so much more. Friends, I identify as an insomniac. I would not be able to sleep without my blue light-blocking glasses. I also stay up late working and wearing blue light-blocking glasses at night has made it so I can do that and still fall asleep. My absolute favorite blue light-blocking glasses on the market are Bon Charge, formerly known as BLUblox. 

Bon Charge makes an array of blue light-blocking glasses in all different designs, so you can truly find something that fits your style and reap all of the benefits of blue light blocking. They have clear computer glasses. You can wear those during the day, especially if you're looking at screens all day to help with anxiety, headaches, and stress. They have their light sensitivity glasses, those are tinged with a special yellow color scientifically proven to boost mood and they block even more blue light. Those are great for the day or evening. Then they have their blue light-blocking glasses for sleep. Those are the ones that I put on at night while working before bed. Oh, my goodness, friends it's something you truly have to experience. You put on these glasses and it's like you just tell your brain, “Okay, it's time to go to sleep soon.” They also have amazing Blackout Sleep Masks. Those block 100% of light with zero eye pressure. I wear this every single night and I don't know how I would sleep without it. I'm so thrilled because Bon Charge is currently having a Boxing Day sale, which is 25% off sitewide until January 2. Just go to boncharge.com and choose your favorite wellness products and the discount code will automatically be applied at checkout. That's B-O-N-C-H-A-R-G-E dotcom and the 25% off will automatically be applied at checkout. If you're listening after the sale ends, you can use the coupon code IFPODCAST for 15% off and we'll put all this information in the show notes.

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. "Hi, ladies. New to intermittent fasting and I'm slowly working my way through your fantastic and informative podcast. I am a 24-year-old lean male who is looking to move from 14% body fat to 10% and really get those abs popping for summer. I have followed calorie restriction for a year with no consistent and lasting results. I exercise six times per week, badminton, squash, HIIT resistance training, and football and I'm worried my calorie deficit is too large. I eat approximately 1500 calories per day regardless of how much intense cardio I do. Am I in danger of losing muscle or any other adverse health effects of a deficit that is too large? I eat 10:30 AM to 6: 30 PM and have the above commitments in evenings to start my fast with exercise. Will this also get me into ketosis faster, by starting the fast with exercise? You are both awesome and keep up the good work. Many thanks, Alex."

Melanie Avalon: All right, Alex, thank you so much for your question. You're a 24-year-old male, already lower body fat, doing a massive amount of exercise, and eating a very calorie-restricted diet. I'm guessing that you're doing the calorie restriction because you are trying to achieve these certain goals, which completely makes sense. I am all for people going for whatever goals they want to go for. So, I support in that aspect. That said, I would definitely focus on adequately fueling yourself. I would be worried about losing muscle from that deficit because how long you said you've been doing calorie restriction, for a year with no consistent and lasting results? This is my suggestion, but I would have a complete mindset shift with the food. I would stop counting calories. I would eat to satiety. I would let fasting do its magic. If you are going to focus on something food wise, I would focus on the macronutrient aspect of things, especially if you're pursuing certain body fat goals.

I would focus on protein. Making sure that you're getting adequate protein, especially if you're concerned about maintaining muscle and not losing muscle. From there you can get a lot of benefits. I say this all the time, but you can get a lot of benefits by doing either lower carb or lower fat. There's a lot of metabolic magic that can happen when you're playing with the macros and not restricting calories. You've been doing this for a year. It's a very severe calorie restriction and it's not working. So, I would not keep doing it. I would definitely mix things up. As far as will you get into ketosis faster by starting the fast with exercise? Yes and no, so quite probably you will burn through your glycogen faster and potentially enter ketosis faster. The only slight difference is you could be doing very glycolytic-demanding activity. The actual exercise itself might be a carb-fueled workout if that makes sense. On the flipside, in theory, you should be entering ketosis faster. Do you have thoughts, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. I'm genuinely concerned about the restriction of macronutrients, especially if you're working out six days a week, which is pretty dedicated and intense, and you're doing two days of strength training and you are very likely putting yourself in a position that you are not going to be able to maintain muscle mass. Your body will probably catabolize some of your muscle to make up for the lack of macronutrients you're consuming. Ted Naman talks a great deal about thin people doing this and I always refer to it as the triad, the over fasting, overexercising, over restriction of food. I think we can unknowingly get into some trouble when we're eating in a deficit for too long a period of time. At a minimum, I think that you need to back off on the fasting. I would imagine that simply by maybe swapping out some cardio for some strength training and being very targeted with your macronutrients, especially protein and appropriately timed carbohydrates could allow you to get to the point where you could lean out.

I think at this point you're leaving your body in a deficit where it's depleted. As I mentioned earlier, I think you're putting yourself in a position where you're going to end up catabolizing or breaking down your muscle to fuel your body. Certainly 24 years old if your testosterone is optimized or growth hormone, et cetera, you really don't want to be putting yourself in a deficit like that all the time. I would definitely back off on the intensity work on a recovery day. Maybe instead of doing HIIT and all that explosive movement, give yourself another dedicated day of strength training. I would have three meals a day to make sure you're getting at least 1 gram per pound of ideal body weight of protein because I would imagine you're depleted all the time.

Melanie Avalon: This is like a massive, massive deficit.

Cynthia Thurlow: That triad, I talk about, jokingly people are like, what's your next book going to be on? I'm like it's not going to be about the triad, but I'm starting to talk more about it, this over fasting, overexercising, over restriction, which ends up depleting your entire endocrine system and can put people in some situations where they're heading in the opposite direction. High cortisol, which can lead to high insulin, high blood sugar. This is when you see people that they don't understand the interrelationship of all of these hormones when their body is in a chronically stressed, sympathetic, dominant state.

Melanie Avalon: Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. By the way, Cynthia, my face is completely numb right now. It was like slowly, like, numbing during the show. I was like, "Well, what is happening?" This has been absolutely wonderful though. For listeners, if you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. Do we mention your link, Cynthia? How do people get creatine?

Cynthia Thurlow: www.cynthiathurlow.com/creatine.

Melanie Avalon: And for the berberine, avalonx.us/berberine. And you can follow us on Instagram, we are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. This has been absolutely wonderful. I will talk to you next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. Enjoy your appointment.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you. Bye.

Cynthia Thurlow: 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 re-composed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Nov 27

Episode 293: Holiday Feasting, Liquid Chlorophyll, Iron Supplementation, Anti-Inflammatory Foods, Sauna, Signs of Ketosis, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 293 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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

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!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Ground Beef for Life and $20 off your first order!!

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

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

21:30 - Listener Q&A: Kasi - Liquid Chlorophyll during fast // Window Flexibility // Anti-Inflammatory Foods

The Melanie Avalon biohacking Podcast Episode #43 - Teri Cochrane

Episode 56: The Cochrane Method and Bioindividuality

Ep. 201-The Connection Between Genes, Detoxification, Hormones, and Immune Function

Go to melanieavalon.com/ancestral and use the code AVALON10 for 10% off Ancestral supplements!

Go To melanieavalon.com/aura And Use The Code AVALON For 10% Off Aura Glutathione!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #149 - Chris Masterjohn

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #61 - Dr. Cate Shanahan

44:35 - BON CHARGE: Go To boncharge.com For A Black Friday Sale with a massive 25% off sitewide until 30th November!

46:55 - Listener Q&A: Bruce - Thanks for all you do

Why Combine Sauna and Fasting

SUNLIGHTEN: Get Up To $200 Off AND $99 Shipping (Regularly $598) With The Code MelanieAvalon At MelanieAvalon.Com/Sunlighten. Forward Your Proof Of Purchase To Podcast@MelanieAvalon.com, To Receive A Signed Copy Of What When Wine!

57:30 - Listener Q&A: Justine - signs of ketosis

Lumen, Biosense & CGMs: Carbs, Fat, Ketones & Blood Sugar (Melanie Avalon)

get $20 off of Biosense. If you go to melanieavalon.com/biosense and use the coupon AVALON20

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

Hi friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get free grass-fed, grass-finished beef for life plus $20 off, yes free grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef for life plus $20 off. We are so, so honored to be sponsored by ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get high quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, that’s really hard to find by the way, and wild-caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect, and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency regarding 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? And ButcherBox has an incredible deal for our audience. For a limited time, you can get free grass-fed grass-finished ground beef for life in every box of your subscription plus $20 off, yes, new members can get free grass-fed grass-finished ground beef for life plus $20 off when you go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast for free grass-fed grass-finished ground beef for life plus $20 off and we'll put all this information in the show notes. 

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

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

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

Hi everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 293 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie, how are you?

Melanie Avalon: I'm good, I just checked when this is going to air. I wish I could ask you, how was your Thanksgiving but it has not happened as of right now. But I am super curious since this is the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. How do you tackle Thanksgiving with fasting?

Cynthia Thurlow: This year is a good example of--it's just the four of us, which I'm super excited about because it's really only the second holiday we've spent in our new home. I don't alter a whole lot to be honest with you, we eat earlier in the day, we usually eat by 3 or 4 o'clock. My teenagers will go back for seconds a few hours later, but I'm generally not hungry. I may have like a light meal to break my fast and then really lean into protein and veggies and that's one of the few times in the year I will enjoy pie like I make a really good apple pie. And there's something about even gluten-free crust that I love which is why I don't normally eat pie, but I will allow myself to enjoy and savor every single bite.

I think that I don't treat Thanksgiving any differently than really any other day because I don't alter the way I eat too much. And it's not to say that I can't, I just don't feel good when I eat certain types of foods. So, my kids get a lot of the starchy stuff like stuffing and potatoes and I'm the one that leans into like Brussel sprouts and other things that we might have alongside, the last couple of years we've been doing tenderloin and not turkey but ButcherBox very nicely sent me a lovely turkey. So, we will be having some turkey and some tenderloin for Thanksgiving.

But it's also the one holiday that my husband gets really into and wants to make everything himself. All these women listening, they're like, "Oh my gosh, I wish my husband would do that." He gets a little controlling about his kitchen on Thanksgiving, I really play an ancillary role on Thanksgiving and I'm completely fine with that because he's a really good cook. But it's sometimes an odd dynamic because I think we're kind of conditioned as a society that it's the woman in the kitchen all day long. And actually, it's my husband like up early for the bird and he's all about making the stuffing. And every year he perfects his stuffing and he makes this is horrible, Chex Mix. And so, Chex Mix is like a crack in our house, my husband and my kids will eat it till it is gone. But I jokingly tell them, they need a feed bag just to put the strap on over the back of their neck and just let them eat it all day long, and they could not be happier. There's a lot of feasting in our house. It's usually a pretty relaxed day. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: Similar to you, I personally don't really adjust much. Because doing my one-meal-a-day approach that I do. I literally am feasting already every single day. And, for example, it was my birthday this week, and a friend came in town and we went to dinner. And I got two entrees. It was because I wanted to-- I couldn't decide, I wanted both steak and fish, so he was like just get both. But I was like, "Okay, I'll have like a bite of the steak and eat the fish, but I ate all of it." [laughs] which was fabulous. And that's an addition to the appetizers and all of that. But the point being is, I am so accustomed to eating large amounts of meat at night and protein, so on Thanksgiving nothing really changes much because the foods I want to eat what you were saying about, the foods that make you feel good and the foods that don't, I would like to eat a lot of other different foods that would also taste good, but they would also make me feel not so well. Or I can eat the foods that taste just as good to me but make me feel great. On Thanksgiving, I would still do my one-meal-a-day type thing and just eat a ton of Turkey as my meat.

Cynthia Thurlow: And I think it's interesting because for me personally, this is what my life has evolved into. And I'm completely happy in the space. But I do know, when we have like family or friend's events, people always kind of look at me and they're like, "Well, you're not going to have this and you're not going to have that? And I'm like, "No, because I actually don't feel good when I eat X or Y. And I'm totally fine with you eating X or Y. It's just not what I'm leaning into. I think it's also like being respectful. Sometimes it can be very triggering when people see you eat a particular way, then I always say there's no judgment, I just know that I'm at a stage in my life where it's not worth it for me to eat foods that make me feel badly. Like if I were to have a couple of glasses of wine, guess what my sleep is going to be terrible. I'm going to get hot sweats, night sweats, and I'm going to wake up in the morning and my Oura Ring is going to be barking at me.

From my perspective, it's a cost-benefit, like what makes me feel good, what allows me to wake up on the day after Thanksgiving, and whether we're doing a 5k, we try to do things that are active, and you're asking what the prevailing strategy is, move my body, try to lift if not on Thanksgiving, the day before or the day after, stay really well hydrated, and then choose the things that you want to splurge on and typically mine is apple pie. [laughs] I love apple pie, I love apples in general. But I love, I make a really good apple pie. It's very basic, but it's really good, and my kids laugh because I'll stand there at the counter, and I'm just eating the crust. Like I wouldn't normally eat crust I am like, "Oh, this is good."

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, one of the things I really like about fasting though, in general, with the holidays, like before fasting, I would have a lot of fear. I would love the holidays and I would love the food, but I would have a lot of dread or concern about overeating, weight gain, overindulging, and it was this weird blend of the pure excitement and joy of the food and also dreading the aftermath. And now I never really experience that, like holidays I just genuinely look forward to the whole food experience with minimal, I mean really honestly, no negative effects.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I mean, to me, especially because I have teenagers and I recognize that time is fleeting with them. I've always loved our nuclear family and prior to the pandemic, we always spent holidays with our extended family. And now things have changed a little bit and that's okay. But for me, it's really the joy of having conversations with my kids because as teenagers they spend a lot of time connecting with their friends or disconnecting from their parents. And so, for me we get into these discussions of "Are we going to do like a Harry Potter marathon, are we going to do Lord of the Rings, which that usually sends my kids into orbit?" Trying to find ways that we can connect after eating, "Are we going to play football or am I going to watch them play football?" By just finding things that we can do to connect together that don't per se disconnect us more, because I think it's very easy in our culture to be around other humans but be so disconnected like people that are on their phones constantly. And I'm certainly not perfect. I'm not by any means am I suggesting that, but I really try on holidays to be very connected and very present. And that to me is something I'm much more cognizant of now than maybe I was 10 years ago with my kids.

Melanie Avalon: Have you ever used one of those phone jail things?

Cynthia Thurlow: Not per se, although the other day, interestingly enough, my 15-year-old who is my more challenging child I will say, came home from some team practice. I know his blood sugar was low because he was hangry, he was just really grumpy. I had asked him to help take the dogs out and I got a rash of reaction to that. And because he was so disrespectful, I just said, "Well, I have your phone, and so I hid his phone for two days." So yes, we do have phone jail but said child is pretty clever and so he found his phone in the midst of phone jail and took it. And then he got another day added on to not having a phone. So, yes, we do Institute phone jail but not per se at the table. Usually, phone jail is when an infraction has been incurred and I'm trying to think of what will hurt him the most, [laughter] what is going to be the most unpleasant punishment I can give him. I'll just take your phone, and he feels like he's lost an appendage.

Melanie Avalon: I was going to talk about one other thing, but instead I'll save it for next week. And instead, I have to comment on the phone. When I was driving to dinner--Has your phone SIM card ever decided it's not there? Like your phone is like "can't find SIM card?"

Cynthia Thurlow: No.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. It's crazy. Basically, your phone loses all capability, it can't be a phone, it can't make calls, it can't find the internet, and I was driving and I just realized how dependent we are on our phones because I was all dressed up and had all my stuff. And I was halfway to Midtown Atlanta. And my phone was not getting the internet. And I was like, "I don't know how to find this hotel." I don't know how to get there [laughs]. I was like what am I going to do? Pull off to a gas station and be like, how do I get to [laughs] Four Seasons, it was crazy, it made me realize just how reliant we are and then I just felt so useless that I was not going to be able to navigate, somewhere where I had gone before multiple times.

Cynthia Thurlow: I will just interject that. My mom lives in a rural part of Maryland on a beautiful lake and when I was coming back most recently, the way that I come from Western Maryland to get back to Virginia, I have to go through West Virginia for a brief scooch amount of time. Well, I went from having ways to having no ways, and then not knowing where I was because I had only gone this route once before. And at one point, I was driving for an hour with no ways, no Wi-Fi, no nothing.

Melanie Avalon: Did you feel naked? I felt so naked. "Oh, I felt naked."

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I was like contemplating how do I find a police station and talk to them about the fact that I didn't think to print out directions because why would I have needed them? You start to realize how dependent we are on technology for sure.

Melanie Avalon: It's the craziest feeling and I was like, "Oh, this is what it was like back in the day." I bet people were a lot better with keeping appointments. Because if you don't show up, I was like "They're going to think I'm dead."

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I was explaining to my kids, we used to have MapQuest or we used to have these little Garmin's in our cars, and you would update them periodically, and my kids were like, what? And I was like, "Yes, you had to print things out or write them out." I was like, "That's how old school mom and dad are?

Melanie Avalon: When I was growing up had to print out from MapQuest. So good times.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm glad to know you recall MapQuest.

Melanie Avalon: I was right on the cusp.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. We represent many generations on this podcast.

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In fact, I even got robbed last year and I went from crying with stress and anxiety to taking some Feals and laughing. I said to my mom, “Mom, see how effective this is.” Due to all of its health benefits, we knew we wanted to partner with a CBD company for the podcast, but I have very stringent criteria. You guys know this. So many brands approached us and I kept just saying, “No,” because nothing fit all of my criteria. I wanted CBD oil that was full spectrum, tested for purity, organic, made with MCT oil as the carrier, and that I actually experience benefits from. That's a pretty tall order to fill. We said no to a lot of brands and then Feals came along and it was meant to be. I personally tried it out and started seeing massive effects on my sleep and stress. Feals is so easy to take. You can just put a few drops under your tongue and you'll feel the difference within minutes. I truly do feel it within minutes. 

Of course, it is important to remember that CBD works differently for everybody based on your own unique cannabinoid system. You might need to work to find your perfect dose. Experiment over the course of a week or so, and you may find that you need more or less depending on the effects that you're looking for. I'm also super grateful because they have an incredible offer for our audience. You can start feeling better with Feals. Become a member today by going to feals.com/ifpodcast and you'll get 50% off your first order with free shipping. That's feals.com/ifpodcast to become a member and get 50% automatically taken off for your first order with free shipping, feals.com/ifpodcast. When you get that offer, you'll be joining the Feals community and you'll get Feals delivered directly to your doorstep every month. You'll save money on every order. Of course, you can pause or cancel anytime. So, definitely try it out for the first month with our code for 50% off and see how it works for you. We'll put all this information in the show notes. All right now back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: Would you like to jump into everything for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have some questions actually four questions that we can do rapid fire and they are from Casey. The subject is "Liquid chlorophyll during the fast, window flexibility, anti-inflammatory foods." And Casey says, "I have a few questions shared here." Number one, can I consume liquid chlorophyll in my water while in a fasted state or is this a no, no?"

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, well, I mean it's a plant. I think it depends on how it's processed because chlorophyll does not taste good and most chlorophyll that I have used with patients has some sugar, dextrose, etc., in it to make it palatable. In most instances, if you're looking at an ingredient list, it very likely has sweeteners in it and therefore I would not recommend that for a clean fast. Do you have an opinion?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, especially after interviewing. I know you are friends with Teri Cochrane, she's wonderful. She wrote a book called, is it Wildatarian?

Cynthia Thurlow: Wildatarian? Yep.

Melanie Avalon:  I had her on The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. You've probably had her on your show as well, I'm guessing?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have, twice.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. She has fascinating thoughts on chlorophyll supplementation. I searched high and low to find a chlorophyll-- like a liquid chlorophyll supplement that didn't have lot of additives. The closest I could find was, it's mostly pure chlorophyll but has glycerin. It doesn't taste sweet. It tastes very grassy actually. But to be on the safe side, I would always just kind of have it to open my window. The chlorophyll itself is not a problem. But like Cynthia said, it's hard to find-- maybe I should make a chlorophyll. "Oh, my goodness." Okay, friends, stay tuned. I do think it's really wonderful. I would err on the side of keeping it in your eating window unless you can find a pure version, which, good luck.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's hard to find and it doesn't taste good. That's actually why oftentimes it is sweetened. I oftentimes will recommend chlorophyll for constipation.

Melanie Avalon: Hmm, nice. Teri recommends it for actually iron levels.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, I love Teri. I've had her on the podcast twice. And she always brings such a unique lens to looking at health and wellness, really a unique lens, like the Cochrane Method is her trademarked method and I've learned so much through her.

Melanie Avalon: She's really wonderful. Because she's the one who talks about the amyloid formation in conventional agriculture. I bring this up every time I interview somebody in the-- I don't know what words to use, I just brought it up the other day, interviewing the founders of regenerative pastures, which is kind of like a ButcherBox system, but they're US based only and they have a lot of really amazing options. But actually, that interview was amazing, but anytime I've interviewed somebody where we're talking about like conventional agriculture versus regenerative and holistic, I bring up Teri's theory, which basically is that the stress levels of the raising conditions create these truncated proteins and conventional meat that has a very inflammatory potential, which nobody else is talking about. So, I find that very cool.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and she's not a big fan of chicken and a few other things, but chicken is, I think the basis of a lot of people's diets, and by no means am I telling everyone to panic and stop eating chicken. But just to give it some pause and think that has a lot to do with her desire to encourage people to eat more wildatarian proteins, she certainly has had a huge influence on us. We got very creative during the pandemic.

Melanie Avalon: She's amazing. Okay, so much for rapid fire. Casey's, second question, she has some questions about supplements taken in the fasted state or during the eating window. We can just go through these, D3, B12, iron, so D3?

Cynthia Thurlow: Fat-soluble vitamins, vitamins A, D, E, and K, I generally recommend that you take with a meal so that they can slow the absorption, B12 provided that it's clean. That to me is benign. Iron, I generally like people to take with food for a variety of reasons. But I understand why people ask these questions because they are trying to simplify their lives, but I would say iron and D3 taken in a fed state, B12 or B vitamins I think are fine provided that they're clean taken in a non-fed state. What do you think?

Melanie Avalon: Agreed, the only caveat I would provide B12 similar to chlorophyll, it is water soluble, so it can be taken completely fasted but it can also be hard to find versions without the additives, they're usually always flavored, and also with B12, it can be really important, especially given your MTHFR status to get a properly methylated form, so Methylcobalamin version. And then my iron caveat would be-- and I struggle with iron regulation, really bad, I just don't seem to make ferritin, I do but there's just some issue there with my conversion, I think. I am very in tune with iron supplementation. I personally will use desiccated spleen as well as kidney which has some iron, I use ancestral supplements, I do have a code for them. If you go to melanieavalon.com/ancestral, the code AVALON10 will get you 10% off. I take their kidney every night, I take their spleen a few times a week and I take that with food. I don't take the spleen every day because I found-- researched this and I've talked with my hematologist about it. If you take iron supplements constantly trying to up your iron level, your iron actually has an iron regulation system where it downregulates its absorption if you're taking in a lot consistently. On the contrary, if you're not taking a lot, it will upregulate its iron absorption. It can be nice to do a punctuated approach.

Another option is chelated Iron because iron can be very constipating. I love Elle Russ-- I'm actually having her on my show for the third time coming up soon and I was just recently on her show The Elle Russ Show. She is very in tune with iron supplementation because it can really relate to thyroid issues. And she's a big fan of Chelated Iron by Bluebonnet and that has to be taken on an empty stomach. The reviews for that are very, very positive for people saying they are able to raise their iron and don't get constipated. So, that's another option, but that would be on an empty stomach.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, the Chelated Iron is really key. I think for many years I was on Chelated Iron and there's nothing worse than being put on iron. And then if you're not constipated, then all of a sudden you can't go to the bathroom. So, Chelated Iron tends to be much easier on the gut. And I would agree with you that anemia in general and low ferritin levels, low iron levels can be very confounding. And it's not at all uncommon for women really at any stage of life to have issues surrounding this, so a commonly recommended supplement.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, the iron issues are one of the banes of my existence? I'm really excited actually because I'm going to be interviewing Morley Robbins for his book, Cu-RE Your Fatigue, The Root Cause and How To Fix it On Your Own. And apparently, it's mostly about iron regulation. I'm excited to see what I learn about that.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's interesting, your podcast about glutathione came out today. And I was like, "Oh," I'm knee-deep in podcast prep for two podcasts next week. But I was like, I really need to listen to that.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's so good. I was on the fence about glutathione IVs and glutathione pushes. Now I'm fairly convinced they're a waste. It's just in and out of your body and it doesn't even get absorbed really. I don't know if he's a doctor, I think he's just a researcher and a pharmacist, not just? But I think he's a researcher and a pharmacist. He wrote a book called The Glutathione Revolution. He does have his own proprietary topical glutathione where they have studies showing how it is absorbed in the half-life in the body. I've been using that every single day and night since reading the book and interviewing him, I'm sold. I think glutathione is so important, supporting it naturally, and then if you supplement using his version, I feel like I'm just giving all the codes. But his version that I've been using is melanieavalon.com/auro A-U-R-O is his brand, and then the code MELANIEAVALON should get you a discount.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's interesting because Teri Cochrane is not a fan of IV pushes or IV glutathione drips. As we keep plugging Teri Cochrane that's definitely really aligned with my conversations I've had with her. But I'll definitely have to dive into that podcast.

Melanie Avalon: Let me know what you think. I think I wanted to believe it, because, you want to think, "Oh, I can get some glutathione IVs or pushes and do some good," but it's really like I said, in and out. And then after reading it, I reached out to my friend James Clement, he wrote a book called The Switch, and he's a dear friend. And I really, really respect him. And I really feel like I can always get a very unbiased perspective because he does have a book, but he's not selling anything. He runs a lab that studies longevity. I asked him and he's like, yeah, there's no point in taking glutathione, it was when I was actually feeling really sick. And I was texting him. I was like, "What do I do? Try to get NAD." I was like, "I'm going to go get glutathione" and he's like, "Don't get the glutathione, it's not going to help." So, tangents.

Okay, and then another question from Casey, she said, "She's considering a window of 12 to 8 o'clock, but she feels on a Saturday or weekend that she might need more flexibility due to long runs or social engagements." So you have recommendations on timing to make the weekends work?

Cynthia Thurlow: One of the key aspects of intermittent fasting is flexibility. I'd really encourage you to experiment, maybe you're going to have a wider feeding window on a weekend, maybe you'll have a shorter fasting window on a weekend. I think that the key is really kind of leaning into what makes the most sense for you. I know that pre-pandemic I definitely was much more flexible in the weekends, because we were oftentimes going out or had events, and I couldn't per se time when I was eating or when I wasn't eating, it was oftentimes dependent on other people's schedules. I would say experiment to see what feels good, maybe if you're doing longer runs, you're going to want to break your fast earlier. Maybe if you're going out to dinner, you are going to have a wider feeding window. And that's completely fine and I do encourage people to change up what they're doing. Our bodies get very accustomed to eating the same foods, having the same fasting windows. And so, I do like variety. How about you? Do you have any different ways of doing things on the weekend?

Melanie Avalon: Well, first of all, I love your answer. And that's the answer is basically going to suggest which is just-- I think it's actually-- Especially if you have a regimented window during the week, it's a great time to have some flexibility, and actually, you said change things up, keep your body guessing. Well, I do a completely different window. If I was doing her window, I probably would adjust it a little bit where I might just open it a little bit later and keep it open later. Assuming that you're having social engagements at night dinners, things like that. For me personally, I really honestly do the same window every single night. I don't need to adjust because it literally fits in almost every situation.

The only time it wouldn't fit would be if I had to go to an early dinner. And then honestly, I probably just wouldn't eat. If there's one thing I won't do, I don't eat if I'm not hungry, I don't eat just to be social, I don't enjoy it. So, if that's the case, I usually would just drink and then eat later which interestingly, another tangent, this might be controversial, but they'll often say to have alcohol with food to slow the absorption and have a better effect on your body. I find the only time I'm really drinking with food is when I am having dinner out because normally, I drink before eating. And I find that I do a lot better that way drinking before because I feel like my body processes the alcohol completely and then it's not impeding or competing with the dinner. And I find when I have wine with food, I feel like the alcohol lasts longer in my system. So, just a random thought.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I'm definitely one of those people that I had to drink with food because if I didn't, I would feel the effects pretty strongly. [laughs] I would be the person who would be like, "Uh-oh," I don't feel so great.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, maybe that's why I like it more not because I like feeling crazy, I can drink less and have the drinking experience compared to if I'm having it with food, I would maybe drink more.

Cynthia Thurlow: You know, what's interesting is that I always assumed that because I was the type of person, I could never really drink a lot. What's unique about my body, I don't make enough alcohol dehydrogenase to break this down properly or are my detoxification pathways just not optimized? I mean those are the things I used to spend time thinking about. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I've done my genetic data and one of the systems that I ran it through, I know I've said this on the podcast before, but I don't know if I've said it when I was with you. It basically looked at your, "Oh, I think it was the SelfDecode report. It was the food one," and it showed you like all these different food options, like carbs, I don't know, there was like four food-related things, and there was alcohol, I was bad with everything food related and great with alcohol. Alcohol was like green and then everything else food related was like red, red, red. [laughs]

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it's interesting because I did do genetic testing over the summer with Kristina Hess and that's an area of nutrigenomics, that's her area of expertise. Things that were consistent, and validating were things like, "Do you like lean meat or fatty meat?" I was like, "Oh, lean meat all the way. I don't feel good when I eat fatty meat." And we were going through the report and she was like, "I can see where that is, I can see where you're very athletic, I can see that you're someone that actually would tolerate a little bit of dairy, you can actually tolerate a little bit of alcohol." And I was like, "That's interesting," because it hasn't been my own experience. But we can't consider the fact that or we need to consider why bio-individuality is such an important aspect of whether we're leading into this next question talking about inflammatory foods. For each one of us that could look very different and I know I don't think I ever perceived the foods I no longer consume now were bothersome even 15 or 20 years ago. And so, just understanding that there's the genetics piece plus exposure piece, and they can all play a role in how we feel when we eat certain foods.

Melanie Avalon: I think that's so key and speaking to that it's so interesting when you do pay more attention and "Clean up what you're eating," how you do notice, "Well, I don't really eat foods that bother me now." But if I were too, I really notice and I just look back at my old self and I think about everything that I was eating and how I didn't even notice because I think it was an overall systemic inflammation. So, you didn't really pick up on any one signal from food. But yeah, so Casey's last question which you hinted at. She says, "What are some of your top anti-inflammatory foods? What are the foods you'd recommend avoiding that are most inflammatory?"

Cynthia Thurlow: When I think about top anti-inflammatory foods, I really think about phytonutrient dense foods. When you hear the term eat the rainbow, I think about green leafy vegetables, I think about berries, especially blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. I think a great deal about medicinal mushrooms, and no I'm not talking about mushrooms that are psychedelic. I think about curcumin which is a component of turmeric. I think a great deal about polyphenols that you get in green tea and bitter teas and black coffee, preferably mold-free. The most inflammatory foods in my estimation are seed oils and highly processed hyperpalatable foods, gluten, dairy, in particular people that are susceptible to that, sometimes grains, processed sugars, alcohol, soy, so it really depends, just like Melanie was saying she feels differently when she has alcohol on an empty stomach versus in a fed state. Bio-individuality but seed oils are the most inflammatory foods worth eliminating if you do nothing else. Read labels, ask when you go to restaurants, I think seed oils down to a cellular level the most damaging food like substances that most of us consume unknowingly in many ways. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, we have very similar lists. So actually, my big one for anti-inflammatory isn't so much a specific food as it is an approach to the amino acid profiles of foods. In particular, because there are nine essential amino acids and some of those are more growth-promoting and can be inflammatory in high amounts, particularly things like methionine, which is really high in muscle meats, compared to "more anti-inflammatory amino acids," things like glycine. So, fish, for example, tends to be a more and I'm using quotes because inflammation itself is so complicated and nuanced and in a way, it's hard to really deconstruct what is inflammatory and what's anti-inflammatory, but in general, the amino acid profile of fish tends to be a "more anti-inflammatory amino acid profile" than something like muscle meat and then the amino acid profile of more gelatinous cuts of red meat tend to be more anti-inflammatory. That is actually a large reason that I make shellfish and fish basically the foundation of my protein, it's the reason I eat so many scallops because I read this one study that looked at the inflammatory potential, I think it looked at like liver enzymes or the effect on the liver in particular and it looked at chicken, cod which is fish, scallops and then one more, I'll have to find the study and put this in the show notes. But the effect of scallops, like the anti-inflammatory potential was insane. After I read that I'm eating scallops all the time.

Cynthia Thurlow: You want to know, it's one of the few foods my husband hates. So like, "I can only really eat scallops when I'm in restaurants because he dislikes them that much, but I actually really enjoy them."

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I love those scallops as you guys know. Yeah, having scallops, for example, would be a pretty anti-inflammatory protein. And then it's not just the amino acids as a benefit of fish, also the omega-3, omega-6 ratio. And this is another thing where it's not so much take omega-3 because it's anti-inflammatory, I think what's more important is the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 because we need both. And we just want the ratio to be more in favor of the omega-3 side. I've seen different amounts when they say hunter-gatherers ate omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of between 1:1 to I think between 4:1, which, sorry omega-3 to omega-6, yes, 4:1, or wait it'd be another way around? Probably the other way around. In any case, today, the ratio tends to be I think it can be like 20 or 30:1, it's crazy.

And again, a lot of people will go the route of like, "Oh, well, high dose the fish oil, eat all the salmon." I think it's more about the ratio, I don't think we necessarily need a huge amount of these omega-3s and omega-6s in our diets, but we want that ratio to be more ant-inflammatory than inflammatory. Although if you want a really nuanced conversation on this, which is going to add a lot of caveats, listen to my interview with Chris Masterjohn, because we dive deep into this and he actually has a much more complicated view, which contradicts a little bit about what I said, but it still stands that the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio I think is important.

And then on top of that some things that Cynthia mentioned, a lot of spices can be really anti-inflammatory. She mentioned curcumin that's found in turmeric, I eat so much turmeric every single night. I eat a lot of ginger.

Cynthia Thurlow: I love ginger.

Melanie Avalon: I love ginger, I love turmeric and ginger. They are the two "spices" because I know ginger is a root. I just gravitate towards them like none other and then they always come up in the list of the go-to anti-inflammatory spices. I like to high dose those, ate a lot of that. Everybody knows I went through my pineapple phase. Pineapple can be really anti-inflammatory because of the bromelain, which is a proteolytic enzyme that breaks down proteins, kind of like serrapeptase except serrapeptase, you're taking in a fasted state and pineapple is a food and can help with digesting your food. The main reason I want to get back to pineapple and the reason I haven't is for some reason intuitively, it just feels too sweet to me now, but when I was eating that the reductions in inflammations I just saw personally in myself were amazing. And then for the inflammatory side of things, trans fats, yes, they've been banned, but they are still there, seed oils, that's what I had written down for sure like Cynthia was saying I do think that is huge, especially the processed ones, the refined seed oils, and they're just rampant. I think Cate Shanahan, her book, The Fatburn Fix talks a lot about this, and there's like the three S's, canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, soy, sesame?

Cynthia Thurlow: Sunflower.

Melanie Avalon: Sunflower. Yeah, so definitely looking for those. Gluten, I think can be very inflammatory for a lot of people. Those were the three main ones I wrote down and then just in general, I think the most inflammatory thing, well "processed foods," just processed foods, and then just eating too much like the energy toxicity of overindulging can have a very inflammatory effect compared to a calorie-restricted diet or fasting, which ultimately tends to create calorie restriction or allows for that fasting time can be anti-inflammatory. But the eating process is inflammatory just by its nature.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's all good.

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Shall we go on to Bruce's question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, this is the subject, "Thanks for all you do. I recently listened to all of the episodes on your podcast, and I would like to thank both of you for your dedicated work. I'm wondering if you've seen anything on sauna sessions and fasting. I have a sauna that I built a few years ago and use it four times a week. I have recently started using the red lights that are part of the lighting system that came with the heater control package because Melanie saying red lights were beneficial. Love Bruce." I cannot think of a more Melaniesque appropriate question."

Melanie Avalon: Bruce, thank you so much for your question. I do love the red lights, so I'm glad you're on that board as well as the sauna. I googled sauna and fasting and I didn't really find any studies per se. But I can speak to my personal experience and I found a very wonderful blog post written by Siim Land who I've had on my show twice.

Cynthia Thurlow: Me too, he's awesome.

Melanie Avalon: He's wonderful. Although I was thinking, I feel like he hasn't been posting. I feel like I haven't seen much from him recently.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, he's been quieter. I don't know, he might be writing a book. He's like a proliferative writer.

Melanie Avalon: He's just so smart.

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm and he doesn't have-- one of those things for me, I really am oftentimes fascinated/humbled when people that don't have traditional research or medical training are just able to grasp such complicated concepts, much like you Melanie, you can grasp such complicated subjects and really understand it at a level that even for myself, sometimes I'm like, "Wow, I had never thought about that." So, he's one of those young protegees of the science community.

Melanie Avalon: Well, first of all, thank you for saying that. And yeah, he's younger than me.

Cynthia Thurlow: I guess he's like, 25. [laughs] He's a young buck.

Melanie Avalon: I'm thinking maybe because he is so young maybe he had some life development career-wise.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think he's just smart and curious snd I think that has served him well.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I know he's amazing. I found a blog post by him called Why Combine Sauna and Fasting. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. But I will give you the takeaways from that blog post. This is all the work of Siim Land, not myself. But he makes the case that both sauna and fasting have a lot of similar benefits as far as anti-aging, longevity, and supporting the immune system. And sauna has some benefits that fasting does not automatically provide. For example, the cardiovascular workout equivalent of a sauna session, you're not going to get that from fasting. And then on the flipside, I guess you could say there are things that fasting would provide that sauna wouldn't necessarily. 

But he says that they work really well symbiotically for something that, I would have never come up with this and I don't think I would have ever come up with this. But he talks about the importance of autophagy in both fasting and sauna, so both sauna sessions and fasting instigate autophagy, which is basically a cellular cleanup process in the body. It's really linked to longevity, anti-aging, disease prevention, so many things. What's interesting is one of the main benefits of sauna comes from heat shock proteins that are activated when you do a sauna session. And there are some studies on heat shock proteins in rodents and they found that the autophagy process is actually required to experience the benefit from the heat shock proteins. And the autophagy in part possibly mitigates some of the actual stress or the detrimental effects of heat shock proteins. It's possible that by really ramping up your autophagy, which would happen with a fasted state that you will get more benefits from the sauna, and you'll get a more-- to use that word anti-inflammatory response, you're going to get the benefits either way, and it's not something to be worried about. But basically, the fasting during the sauna session, he said, it's basically like better quality control when your body is doing that cleanup process and inactivation with the heat shock proteins, keeping the healthy cells and getting rid of the negative cells.

And then something else, I actually did think about this, he mentioned this, but I think I would have thought about this too. He talks about how both fasting and sauna increase human growth hormone. And he thinks doing sauna while fasting can further increase that human growth hormone and mitigate any potential catabolic effects of fasting. The reason I think I would have thought about that was because I interviewed Wendy Myers recently, she pointed out something in her book that blew my mind. I read it. I don't know if I mentioned this on the show already. I read it, I was like, "Oh, that can't be." I was like because somebody would have told me that, I actually didn't believe it. And then I went to find a study and it's true. Did you know, in order to release human growth hormone from exercise, it's from the heat created from the exercise, like it requires heat.

Cynthia Thurlow: Interesting. I guess that's why it's important to sweat and raise that core temperature.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that blew my mind. I was like, "No, surely exercise releases human growth hormone by some other mechanism." But no, it actually requires heat, if you're like working out, and you never raise your core body temperature, you actually might not be getting some of the benefits.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting because I do Pilates every week and this morning it was a different type format of Pilates, and it's not my favorite. And I was laughing with the instructor who I love. I just take her classes because she really challenges me. And I was laughing and saying, "Okay, it takes me about five minutes of doing Pilates, we're lifting or whatever I'm doing to warm up enough that I take off whatever shirt I have on." And I was saying to her what we were doing this morning was so much more intense that within like two minutes I was sweating. And so, I think it makes sense and you have to exert yourself hard enough because we're really looking for some degree of hormesis. We want a beneficial stressor to the body, so that would make sense although I don't think I've per se thought about it that way before.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it really blew my mind. But yeah, that word hormesis. I think basically the case that Siim Land makes with a sauna is that you will get a more beneficial hormetic response from sauna use if you're fasting during it. And then I just know for me personally that you could not pay me to go in a sauna with food in me, that experience feels very unpleasant. Because there's something about like the detox and the sweating and letting it all out like to be digesting food and to have all of that and yet at the same time would just feel like "Oof," it would feel " Oof." It'd just not feel good. I do have a sauna recommendation if people would like a recommendation. I personally use the Sunlighten Solo unit every single night of my life. I cannot even express my obsession with this creation. I would love to have a cabin unit which Sunlighten also makes cabin units. But I live in an apartment that's not going to happen and their solo unit is this really cool contraption that you actually lay down inside of. It's kind of like, I don't want to say a coffin, it's a dome.

Cynthia Thurlow: It does not look like a coffin. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: It does not, it looks like, I don't even know how to describe it. And it lights up, it has chromotherapy lights. And what's really wonderful about it, especially for me is your head is outside of it. I attach-- I've come up with this whole-- You can get one of those bendy arms that holds your phone and I attach that too because I put the solo unit on top of a twin frame, metal frame from Amazon that I got, so I can put a link to that in the show notes. I attach an arm and then it holds my phone over me so I can lay in there, my head is out of it, and I can read my books, and do my research, and do emails and it's just the most wonderful experience. They also have their products tested for EMF which is amazing. I recommend that solo unit. I also recommend obviously they're cabin units if you do have the space for that as well. If you tell them I sent you, they will give you a really good discount. That's at Sunlighten. But, Cynthia, do you have a sauna?

Cynthia Thurlow: We do not yet and that has something to do with the fact that we are putting a pool in next year and we're going to create an exterior structure. And I am envisioning that the exterior structure will have our infrared sauna in it, as opposed to it would have to reside in our garage. Even though the Sunlighten people have assured me it's completely fine. The area of the country I live in is very humid in the summer. And the thought of [laughs] being in a steaming garage with an infrared sauna is not really of interest to me. Right now, I have a sauna blanket. And yes, I'm working with the fact this is a temporary solution by HigherDOSE and so it's a sauna blanket that you get inside of and you sweat like crazy. And then I get on my PEMF mat, and I'm just so happy, I cannot tell you how much I enjoy the PEMF mat, I fall asleep on it, it's so relaxing, there are different settings, I have no affiliation with HigherDOSE, I just recommend that mat to everyone. But if you are space-constrained, Sunlighten makes apartment and small space-appropriate options as well as HigherDOSE, coming from a very large house that we had in Northern Virginia with a very large basement to a slightly smaller house with no basement has meant that we've had to get very creative. So, when that exterior structure is created, I'm excited because it's going to have like a little gym area inside that I can work out in.

Melanie Avalon: It's very exciting. Yeah, I can't wait for you to get the experience that you were sharing about just how good PEMF makes you feel. That's the way I feel after my sauna session each night.

Cynthia Thurlow: And I think it's important to find things that make you feel good. For me, I fell asleep on it every night this week, and I was like, Okay, "I cannot fall asleep on it because and I can't fall asleep in my normal time." So, now I have to do shorter episodes because you can change the settings and certain settings are impacting you more for relaxation and pre-sleep mode versus stimulating. And there's nothing better than lying on this warm mat. It's just glorious. Makes me feel so good.

Melanie Avalon: It's amazing. All right, shall we answer one more question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure.

Melanie Avalon: We have one last question; this is from Justine. And Justine says, "Hi guys, love the podcast, I've been listening at work, and I feel like I've learned a lot already. I'm relatively new to intermittent fasting, but I've had a good experience and results so far. You've talked previously about the science you feel when you are in ketosis, metallic taste in the mouth increased or different energy. Could you go over the signs to look for as a new intermittent faster, I am anxiously awaiting a sign that I am in ketosis but I'm not sure what to look for. Thanks, from Ottawa, Canada."

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Justine, welcome to the intermittent fasting world. Typically, when patients or clients are asking these kinds of questions, we're really looking for signs of metabolic flexibility if we're able to effectively utilize stored fats or glucose or create ketones. And so, I think about being able to go longer in between meals. If you can go four to five hours in between meals and have good amounts of energy, you're not having energy slumps after eating, you are able to regulate your weight, part of metabolic flexibility is having the ability to lose weight more effectively. But I think about the brain cognition piece being a big one, if you're able to effectively create ketones and specific ones can diffuse across the blood-brain barrier. So, mental clarity, energy sustained from meal to meal, not getting hangry, effectively being able to lose weight. Those are probably the big ones that I think about what about you, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so those are really good for the signs, I guess the only thing I would add is as far as if you actually wanted to confirm or measure and we've talked about this at length multiple times on the show, but just to briefly go through it, you can measure ketones, there are caveats and nuances to all of it. If you're brand new to intermittent fasting, urine keto strips can be great because you will likely see that shift when you actually start generating ketones and a large portion of those ketones. Your body doesn't know how to use them in the beginning, so it like gets rid of a lot of them through your urine. The issue with urine sticks ongoing is that as your body becomes more used to using ketones, you don't excrete as many through the urine. It's not a really good long-term way to monitor ketosis or you can also monitor blood and breath. Monitoring your blood, there also can be a little bit of that effect where you might see more in the beginning and then as you become better at using it, you might see lower levels on your blood ketone meter. That said, you should always see them, you're not going to be in ketosis and not see ketones on your blood ketone meter. So, that can be a good thing to monitor. I really like Keto-Mojo's brand of their ketone meter. And then you can also measure the breath. So, the breath is also a byproduct of when we burn ketones. Interestingly, Dominic D'Agostino has talked about this, he's made the case that breath ketones are likely more a product of when you're actually burning fat compared to like dietary fat, which I thought was pretty cool just because of the whole metabolic process and what would create those breath ketones, so you can get a Biosense meter for that if you want to measure breath ketones, and I do have a code. You can actually join my Facebook group has a long name, Lumen, Biosense & CGMs: Carbs, Fat, Ketones & Blood Sugar and then (Melanie Avalon) basically if you type in Melanie Avalon Facebook Group, I have three groups and this one will come up. You can get $20 off of Biosense. If you go to melanieavalon.com/biosense and use the coupon AVALON20. What are your thoughts? Cynthia on measuring all of these different ketone options?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I think they're nice. Certainly, Dr. Anna Cabeca talks a lot about urine ketones and when you're new to being in ketosis that can be valuable. But those kinds of things add up. That's why, I typically start with-- these are signs and then you can get further validation. I do like Keto-Mojo, I really, really enjoy the owners. I think that they're delightful and they're really trying to help change the narrative especially about insulin resistance and diabetes, and just making people more aware of the net impact of food choices and lifestyle on our blood sugar. I think those are certainly really great options. I'm not as familiar with Biosense, but obviously I know that you've done your due diligence, but I think the devices to me are secondary to actually getting to a point where you start recognizing the signs that demonstrate that you're becoming more metabolically flexible. And just remember, it's a very small percentage of the population here in the United States, right now, it's about 7% to 8% are metabolically flexible. So, really important for everyone to lean into that.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I agree, I think that's so important, it's a fine line. I just wish everybody could have the full knowledge of ketones before engaging with these devices so that they have the healthiest relationship with the device and what they're learning from it.

Cynthia Thurlow: I totally agree.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because you don't want it to be something that is a hurdle to something that you're doing that's good in your body because you feel like you're not creating enough ketones. I think it can just become an issue. I actually never measure my ketones ever. And we actually have a question that we didn't get to today, maybe we'll get to it next week, about our diets and if we're getting into ketosis or not, and I'll say this again when I answer that question, but I might not be, I don't know, I might not be getting into ketosis, you can burn fat without getting into ketosis. Surprise, well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners, before we go, if you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike although I have it on my to-do list, I really need to get that page updated. And you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_ and I think that is all the things. Anything from you before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No. I'm just looking forward to our next recording and I promise that our first question won't take quite so long.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, well, it was lots of questions.

Cynthia Thurlow: it was, very nuanced, but all good information that I think is applicable to most people that are listening.

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Jul 03

Episode 272: Allergies, Cancer Cells, Hypothyroidism, Menopause, PCOS, High Carb Low Fat, Snacking, Low Iron, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 272 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

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

Ravenous: Otto Warburg, the Nazis, and the Search for the Cancer-Diet Connection (sam Apple)

The Cancer Code: A Revolutionary New Understanding of a Medical Mystery (Dr. Jason Fung)

18:55 - GREENCHEF: Go To greenchef.com/ifpodcast135 And Use Code Ifpodcast135 To Get $135 Off Across Five
Boxes, Plus Free Shipping On Your First Box!

21:35 - Listener Feedback: Sarah - CGM

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #146 - Dr. Rick Johnson

Ep. 205 – Fructose – The Driver Behind Metabolic Disease with Dr. Rick Johnson

29:20 - Listener Q&A: Cia - Help me please!

The Paleo Thyroid Solution: Stop Feeling Fat, Foggy, And Fatigued At The Hands Of Uninformed Doctors - Reclaim Your Health! (Elle Russ)

Cynthia's favorite Thyroid resources

The Institute For Functional Medicine

38:40 - Listener Q&A: Gab - Podcast question

Ep. 211 – Addressing the Root Cause of Hormonal Imbalances with Dr. Sara Gottfried

Eat For Energy: How To Beat Fatigue, Supercharge Your Mitochondria, And Unlock All-Day Energy (Alex Leaf M.S. and Ari Whitten)

Natural Force Organic Pure C8 MCT Oil – Liquid MCT Oil in Glass Bottle

52:50 - LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!

55:50 - Listener Q&A: Christina - Confused on eating in window

1:01:30 - Listener Q&A: Michelle - Blood Work

Cu-RE Your Fatigue: The Root Cause and How To Fix It On Your Own (Morley M. Robbins)

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

Simply Hydration: Magnesium-Charged Electrolyte Concentrate for Rapid Hydration

Use the link melanieavalon.com/ancestral with the code Avalon10 to get 10% off ancestral supplements!

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

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

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

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 272 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with, Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie. How are you today?

Melanie Avalon: I'm good. How about you?

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm great. In three days, I will be on vacation with my family. 

Melanie Avalon: This is very exciting. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It is really exciting. The most exciting part that I've realized is that now, my children are old enough that they have to get all their clothing and all of their things together without my help. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's nice.

Cynthia Thurlow: It’s a huge milestone. For 17 years, I've been packing four people for trips and now, technically, I'm guiding two, and I'm only packing one, and that's very exciting.

Melanie Avalon: I should after this call my mother and thank her for all the time she did that. [chuckles] I think my favorite part of traveling when we were little was everything, she would pack us for the plane ride.

Cynthia Thurlow: I used to do all that. Now, I've got two surly, yet wonderful teenage boys. Other than making sure, I've got one EpiPen packed and a couple sundry things. They're very fairly independent. Let me make-- I provide that qualifier. But I'm Marvel now when we get on planes that I don't have to-- Let me just backtrack. When you have younger children, it's like, “I don't want them to have a poopy diaper, I don't want them to make a lot of noise, I don't want them to scream.” Now, they are quiet, and they either eat or they're attached to their iPads, and it's very pleasant. Very, very pleasant.

Melanie Avalon: Does one of them have a life-threatening allergy?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. My 16-year-old has peanut and tree nut allergies. If I had to pick a child to have a food allergy and I would not, of course want either of my children to have a food allergy, but he is by far the most conscientious of the two. And so, he navigates pretty well. Very responsible. Now, he's at the age where he can carry his own EpiPen, but I always have a backup. He navigates his carnivorish world really nicely. And so, when we travel, it's always the-- Let's hope it's the airline that doesn't serve peanuts as a snack.

Melanie Avalon: Are there airlines that still serve peanuts?

Cynthia Thurlow: Occasionally, I see that and I generally, when I get on the plane, I just politely ask. [chuckles] There is a person on the airplane that an aerosolized peanut could be a problem if you're on a long flight. I have never had a problem. People have always been super respectful of that, thankfully.

Melanie Avalon: What will set it off?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it's interesting. Every couple of years, they do RAS Testing, which is really looking at provoking the inflammatory response in the blood. And so, what's been interesting is that his results have never gotten better over the years. It's like in the hierarchy of nuts, it's like walnut, and hazelnut, and then peanut, and then almonds don't even register, but I just don't ever want to take the chance. And so, from our perspective, he's only had one confirmed contact with a tree nut, which was probably, I don't know, eight years ago, and he vomited violently, and had some wheezing, and it was all incredibly scary, and then, actually had a second exposure, even though we were really diligent when we went to a restaurant explaining what his allergies were. He had the whole like his lips started to tingle, and his tongue started to tingle, and then of course, we go down the rabbit hole of, “How far away from a hospital? Making sure we have the Epi Pen and trying to get things on board to help quiet the inflammatory response, the histamine response,” and it's scary. 

It's interesting because teenage boys are the most likely to trigger an anaphylactic episode because they think they're completely impervious to anything. Their frontal lobe isn't fully developed and I worry more about him when he starts navigating life outside of our house, and dating, and the exposures he can get there, and his allergies have never gotten better. When we looked into peanut desensitization, he would have to do it for the rest of his life like you do a series of these immunological therapies and then it resolves itself, it's like forever, and he said, “I don't want to do that.” He's like, “I'd rather just avoid.”

Melanie Avalon: One of the last serving jobs that I had and this was in LA. It was at a really nice steak house and one of the managers had a peppermint allergy. They said, “You can't have peppermint.” My thing, as listeners know and I might have told this story on the show before. I'm obsessed with my peppermint breath spray. I make it out of peppermint essential oil and water and it's like a thing on this podcast, by the way, people make it. We have links to the way I make it in ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. I have this spray with me all day, every day. I use it all day, every day. I have an oral breath, fresh breath fixation. They said, “You can’t have peppermint” and I was like, “Okay, but I can have peppermints?” I was like, “It can't be that big of a deal.” All he did was use the peppermint spray while working and he had to go to the hospital. I was like, “Oh.” Then it was a running joke and they're like, “It's fine. It's not a big deal. This happens with new servers.” [laughs] I felt so bad. I felt terrible. I brought him the next day, massive gift of like, “Wine?” He's like, “I can't accept this.” I was like, “You have to. [chuckles] I'm so sorry.” So, yeah, that stuff can be serious. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It really can be. Had I not seen the impact as a nurse in the ER many years ago, I would never have understood how significant it can be. I just saw too many anaphylactic episodes. For anyone that's listening, this isn't familiar with that term. It's the most life-threatening response to an allergen and unfortunately, we're seeing more and more of this. Only 30% of kids outgrow their food allergies. It's a really small percentage. There're so many people navigating, young adulthood, and adulthood with food allergies. And so, yeah, it's surprising how the body can manifest exposure to specific allergens. It's really humbling quite honestly. Like, “Had I not had a child with a life-threatening food allergy?” I think my life would have been very different because it changed everything for me. I just didn't view the world as a safe place anymore. When I kept thinking like, “We could go anywhere, and he could get an exposure, and what's going to happen?” I don't want to be jabbing my two-year-old with an EpiPen. Obviously, I would have done it if I needed to. It definitely can be frightening as a parent and I think it's one of those things unless you've experienced it like you did with your boss, you probably can't even appreciate how significant it can be.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. In a way, I'm glad that I had that experience, because I will really, really respect that going forward. Now, I'm just thinking, I bet in the future of healthcare way down the road. I feel they'll probably come up with something where they literally-- I understand that the allergy desensitization is this technique, but I wonder if in the future, there'll be a process where it literally just tells the immune system, “Hey, this isn't a big deal” like an instant shift. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I hope so. I just think there are a lot of families that are navigating. I know I felt fear and overwhelm even as a healthcare professional because my son’s allergist resounding words were, “Carrying EpiPen and pray.” I was like, “Who wants to hear that when they find out their two-year-old has life-threatening food allergies?” It's the last thing you want to hear. There're plenty of people that are hearing the same information from their allergist. Hopefully, there's something coming, there's some amazing, amazing immunologist, allergist out there that's going to revolutionize the way that we look at food allergies.

Melanie Avalon: I bet there is. Did you read Dr. Jason Fung’s, The Cancer Code?

Cynthia Thurlow:  I did.

Melanie Avalon: This was not allergies. But I feel the last part of his book had a really interesting information about immunotherapy for cancer, and just modulation of the immune system, and such.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's interesting because it's such a departure from the conventional allopathic model that has been the norm over the last 50 years. I think Jason's brilliant and I'm so glad that he got people interested in having different types of conversations around cancer therapies because-- Did you interview? Why am I drawing a total blank, Sam Apple? 

Melanie Avalon: No.

Cynthia Thurlow: He brought back Warburg's research on the cancer model that is more aligned with Jason Fung’s book and was moving away from DNA-based or genetic-mediated types of cancers. He was a Jewish scientist in the midst of World War II and for some reason, Hitler took a liking to him and allowed him to continue his research. The book is really interesting. I'd love to share it with you.

Melanie Avalon: Wait, how old is he now? Because you asked me if I interviewed him?

Cynthia Thurlow: He's dead. Yeah, and then at Warburg-- Sam Apple is the author.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so confused about this timeline. [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sorry. No, Sam Apple is the author and he's a research scientist. Yes, Warburg is the-- [crosstalk] 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, what is his book called? Does it the word Warburg in the title?

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm terrible with names. Melanie knows this about me. It's a struggle. I've been this way my whole life. Sometimes, I have these moments where I'm like, “I can't remember.” I can see the cover I’ll have to share it with you separately.

Melanie Avalon: Ravenous: Otto Warburg, the Nazis, and the Search for the Cancer-Diet Connection.

Cynthia Thurlow: It was very interesting.

Melanie Avalon: That sounds like a health page turner.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sometimes, a lot of times, Melanie and I, our podcasts overlap with guests and sometimes it doesn't. But I kept thinking, I was like, “I don't know if you've interviewed him.”

Melanie Avalon: I have not. There were some moments in Jason's book, where I was like, “Dah, dah, dah.” I was so invested. He does really nice reveals. The nuance that I didn't realize until reading his book was that the big paradigm shift that happened with Warburg was re-understanding because basically, the Warburg effect is the idea that cancer cells use-- They use glycolysis. They're running on glucose rather than fat. Jason talks about how they're actually-- it's not because they can't burn fat, it's because they're choosing to burn sugar, which is very interesting to me.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, and you think about in the 1950s as Crick and Watson discovered the DNA Helix. That really shifted research in a totally different direction. And so, yeah, we're coming back to a principle that has been around for 80 years that largely had been left unrevealed, undiscovered, rediscovered, I had to think about.

Melanie Avalon: Hiding, I don't know.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hiding. Hiding probably because of the context in which that research was ongoing. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, literally hiding. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Well, for listeners, we'll put links to all of this in the show notes. And again, the show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode272. 

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into everything for today? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we actually have some listener feedback and this comes from Sarah. Sarah says, “I want to thank you. Several months ago, I got a CGM from NutriSense and I realized my fasting blood sugar was higher than it should be. The NutriSense dietician was encouraging me to eat breakfast earlier to help with high blood sugar in the morning. I just knew that couldn't be the answer. For months, I reached out to you, Benjamin Bikman, Cynthia Thurlow, and another doctor. I just couldn't figure it out. I heard your interview with Dr. Rick Johnson and that was so amazing. Then you guys talked about an interview with Peter Attia and David Perlmutter, and that was also amazing. I bought Nature Wants Us to Be Fat.” And for listeners, that is Rick Johnson's book. “Guess what changed. I started drinking more water and stopped eating dark chocolate with sugar at night. Well, I cut out all sugar, I also started taking vitamin C. That's it. I have lowered my blood sugars to the mid-90s. I couldn't be happier. This could have potentially been so bad down the road and so much harder to deal with.” So, that's some pretty cool feedback from Sarah. For listeners, I had Rick Johnson on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Cynthia had Rick Johnson on Everyday Wellness. 

I said last week that it was going to be this week, but I was incorrect in the lineup. Next week, Rick Johnson is actually going to be on this podcast. This is a really great teaser question for next week's episode. You definitely want to check it out, but Rick has some very, very interesting information surrounding the role of sugar, and fructose, and metabolic health, and in particular, Sarah was talking about some things that he talks about to help with all of that, particularly, the role of vitamin C. But super happy for you, Sarah that you're able to solve the issue. And also, I like the feedback about how-- because if you haven't a CGM from NutriSense, you do get to work with a dietician who can help you with your results, and what they mean and make suggestions. It's nice that Sarah was able to work with them, but also knew that for her personally, those suggestions weren't probably going to-- they weren't what resonated with her. So, I'm glad that she was able to find something that did work. Do you have thoughts, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think it really goes back to bio individuality the N of 1. The recognition that it may take multiple changes to your lifestyle to see some significant improvements. I'm sure the hydration and the reduction in processed sugars really made a big difference. One thing I want to point out that Sarah mentioned was that she stopped eating chocolate at night. And so, it's probably a good reminder, just to remind people that we have more insulin sensitivity during the day. If you're already leaning in the direction of insulin resistance or you're noticing your blood sugars are higher, you really want to be examining, like, how close to bedtime you're eating, what you're eating for your last meal, and sometimes, if you're deciding to have more discretionary carbohydrates, maybe easier and better to do that earlier in the day.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome, awesome, awesome. I think the vitamin C piece was because it lowers uric acid, I believe, I think that's the connection with that. So, again, listeners, tune in next week to learn more.

Cynthia Thurlow: I love Rick Johnson. I think resounding. I say to everyone, he's one of the most delightful interviews I've had easily in my podcasting career. He's just infectious everyone. That's my number two downloaded episode of the year. I'm not exaggerating.

Melanie Avalon: I should go and look at my stats.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm very OCD about that. That's why some people come back multiple times. I'm like, “Your content really resonated and I need to bring you back.”

Melanie Avalon: I should probably do that. Yeah. I rarely look at the numbers. I probably should.

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't know. I'm very competitive with myself. It's like, I want to know each month that there are more people curious and interested and it allows me to see what content really resonates. Obviously, I think you're the same way. You wouldn't bring someone on The Biohacking Podcast unless you were super interested in them as an individual in their work, in their research. But it's always amazing to me, there are sometimes surprises, sometimes, I'm surprised by something will really resonate or other times, I'm like, “Oh, my gosh, this is the best interview” and then it doesn't get as much downloads. And so, I just find it all fascinating.

Melanie Avalon: I was just thinking about that because I was thinking about how people I bring back, it's honestly, it's based on who I really like. I know I've brought back some people that-- Again, I'd have to go look at the numbers, but my gut tells me they probably weren't necessarily the highest in the numbers, but I just really wanted to talk to them again. Yeah, it's an interesting balance. It's really fun. I think it's really fun like how we get to choose the lineup, really creating shows.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely, absolutely. Speaking of amazing people that I know you've had on twice, I've had on twice. Robb Wolf, I could talk to. He's another person I could just talk to you for hours.

Melanie Avalon: Between the two shows, I think it's been, is it four? It's definitely three. He can come on anytime. I'll just have The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Robb Wolf Podcast.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's awesome. He's such a cool guy. He’s just so humble, down to earth, and just a great human.

Melanie Avalon: I know. Oh, and that was super fun. Cynthia and I both got to interview Mark Sisson last week and it was back-to-back.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, we had an embarrassing kerfuffle on my end, which I'm grateful that I have a friend who intervened immediately, but there was a miscommunication between my podcast team member and what time Mark said he was available. And so, I was on the fly. [laughs] I think it turned out fine, but it was one of those things where you can't apologize enough when you're leaving someone at that level in their business wondering what you're doing. So, anyway, I think it'll all be fine. But still, it was a little embarrassing.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, you and I talked about it right after it happened. I just would have been so flustered in my head, but I'm sure he probably didn't think about it nearly as much as you did.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, he's probably like amateur. I think it was fine. I agree with him.

Melanie Avalon: What's really interesting about him is, I was thinking beforehand, because I've been a follower of him for so long. I know Elle really well, I know his coauthor Brad really well, but I've never met him. I had an idea of what I thought he was going to be like and he was exactly what I thought he was going to be like, which was I thought he was going to be just really nice and just really, really energetic. Because I feel with people and interviews, everybody who I've had on has been so gracious and lovely. But sometimes, you get the sense that I thought with Mark, I didn't feel I was going to get any sense that this was out of his way or anything like that. This is what he does. I just thought he'd be all energy, and all in, and that's that was really the vibe I got, which was very inspiring, because I think he's 76? Oh, 67, 67. 

Cynthia Thurlow: 69.

Melanie Avalon: 69. Well, not 76. Sorry.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, no. I was going to say, if he's 76, it looks pretty dang good. He was delightful and humble. I loved that. He is very committed to his family and the tail end of our discussion was about, how did you find balance with your family? Then he gave some really great insights and certainly, things I got off and I was just like, “Wow, the greatest gift you can give your loved ones is time.”

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is from Sia. Subject is: “Help me please.” My name is Sia. I'm 41 and pretty sure I'm pre-menopausal. My thyroid is a tad off and I'm trying to correct that. I started fasting November 15th, and I started at 167 pounds, and here it is April 23th, and I weigh 162 pounds. I've always been a healthy eater, I switch it up with OMAD and ADF, and feel tired all the time. It's been hard to workout, I'm sure because of thyroid. I listen to your podcasts, and I've read your books and others from Dr. Fung. I know we're not supposed to compare ourselves to others, but I feel I'm seeing super slow results. Can you give me some tips or what your thoughts are? Sincerely, Sia.

Melanie Avalon: All right, Sia, thank you so much for your question. First of all, with the thyroid stuff, I'm super curious. This is a good thing to talk about just for listeners in general. The hypothyroidism issue can be a really tricky one to tackle and I think it's really, really important to work with a practitioner who's really knowledgeable in making sure they are addressing it correctly. By that, testing all the levels they need to be testing. The free T3, the total and free T4, the TSH, the reverse T3, Elle Russ has a really great book called The Paleo Thyroid Solution. For anybody who wants to get, I believe the most comprehensive overview of hypothyroidism, and what you need to be testing, and how diet affects it. I've been texting her this week about my own panel, because the doctor and I was telling Cynthia about this as well. I've been working with a conventional doctor on my-- because I have hypothyroidism and I'm on thyroid medication. This has been a whole experience just hitting home again, how important it is to take agency in your own health and your relationship with your doctor, and the labs that are being drawn, and stuff like that, because I've been working with conventional doctor for a while on my thyroid and I was working with her, because I found her within my insurance plan, and she actually was open to testing everything, and what she was prescribing me was what I also thought I should be on, and I was feeling good. 

But actually, the most recent time around, she changed my dosage. I was telling Cynthia about it. But basically, it was incorrect. The way she changed, it didn't make sense math wise for what she was trying to do. All of that to say, I'm all over the place right here. But I think it's really, really important to work with a practitioner who really can help you. I'd be curious, Sia, when you say, it's off. I'm wondering in what regards it's off. Is it what are you low in, how are you addressing it, is it with the medication and how is that being adjusted? And then all of that to say, but I'm super curious to hear Cynthia's thoughts on this. But if you're struggling with hypothyroidism and this issue, it sounds you're doing a lot of fasting and I probably would not be doing all of that fasting, especially like the ADF. What are your thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, I have so much. For full disclosure, Sia, I also have hypothyroidism, probably have Hashimoto’s, but I've never had positive antibodies, probably, because we're gluten free. There's a lot that I think about. When someone's in perimenopause and we're talking about hormesis, which is this hormetic stress in the right amount at the right time, there are a couple things that I think about. You mentioned that your values are off and I don't have a sense of what your labs were, but we have to think comprehensively. We have to think about what's your sleep quality, are you exercising, are you eating an anti-inflammatory diet? We know with an autoimmune issue you really have to work on gut health. I don't know, if you're just on synthetic medications like Synthroid. And if you are, that's totally okay, that's synthetic T4. But if your body can't actively convert T4 to the active form of thyroid hormone, which is T3, that could explain why the way the scale isn't really budging and why you're so tired. 

But the fact that you're so symptomatic, you're very tired. That should be a clue that you need to back up the bus, I would stop doing this really long fasts because in and of itself that is a stress to the body. I would absolutely positively work with a thyroid specialist, whether that's an endocrinologist, an integrative medicine, or an open-minded primary care provider, and make sure that they're looking at cofactors. I would ensure they're looking at iodine, and magnesium, and zinc, and your B vitamins, and looking at inflammatory markers. I see a lot of women that in early perimenopause are becoming insulin resistant and it could very well be. It's a combination of multiple factors that are contributing to why you feel so poorly. Weight loss resistance is more often than not, because of multiple factors. It's not just one factor. I think this really speaks to doing more digging. I would imagine it is not just your thyroid. It could also be adrenals, it could be low progesterone in relationship to estrogen, it could be your sleep quality. Don't give up hope, you just need more information, and I would absolutely positively back off on those long fasting windows. There's just no way you're going to be able to get in enough protein in one meal a day to be able to properly feel your body at this point. It sounds the fatigue is what you really need to use as your gauge. You can do fasting when you're not quite so tired. Then, it might just be that you start with a 12-hour window of not eating and slowly opening that up. But I really do fervently believe that you need more information. 

I love Elle’s book. Elle is a fantastic resource. I also think about and I'm turning my head to look, because I have a bunch of thyroid books. I actually did a reels on this talking about my favorite thyroid resources. We'll put the list of books that I generally recommend. I've got four or five. But I think Elle Russ' book is an excellent first choice to help educate you. She's all about empowerment and she really comes at it from the perspective of she suffered for years because she was navigating a world in which they weren't looking at the full picture. I think it's important to really understand, like, a full thyroid panel is a TSH, it's a free and total T3 and T4, it's a reverse T3, its antibodies. You can split hairs beyond that, but it really is important to have all those factors. If you're on medication that is not supporting your body adequately and you're not getting the right labs, not the errors on your part, but the practitioners are not ordering the right labs, it may not illuminate what is going on and giving you the full picture. So, good luck and definitely keep us posted.

Melanie Avalon: I actually emailed my doctor and I sent her, I was like, I don't know how she's going to take this, but I sent her a really long thing. I tried to approach it to her as not me saying like, “This is the way it is,” but saying like, “Oh, I'm curious about this. What do you think about this?” It was resources surrounding-- A discussion we had been having, because her concern, for example, and Elle was telling me about how this is such an issue is. Oftentimes, when people are on thyroid medications, if they're on T3 medication, it can or it should in a way suppress their TSH. And so, doctors treat to not lower the TSH, and so, then they can possibly keep patients in a hypothyroid state when arguably the TSH should be lowered when you're on T3 supplementation. So, that's a little bit of a nuance and I don't know if it's relative at all to Sia’s situation, but it could be something to consider for people. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's really hard. I have to be honest I have functional training and I can tell you that if I had not been seeing an integrative medicine provider at the time of my diagnosis, I probably would have been left floundering for a few years. There are still individuals that are open-minded. I know Melanie works with someone who takes insurance that's open-minded. These unicorns do exist. Another resource that I generally direct people to is www.ifm.org, where you can look for practitioners in your area that have functional medicine training and tend to be a little bit more open-minded. I certainly have done a lot of podcasts with thyroid experts, some of whom are clinicians. Recently, it was Dr. Amie Hornaman is one. I know she works throughout the United States, I think about Dr. Eric Balcavage, who's wonderful and has a new book coming out. I think about Elle and there's someone else that we have scheduled for the podcast that's coming out this fall. But there's definitely a lot of resources. Dr. Amy Myers has a lot of resources online. Like I mentioned, I will make sure that we put it in the show notes. Some of the books that I give like a stepwise progression, because I probably have every book that's out there on thyroid. The ones that I think that I reference the most for patients, the Elle’s book is a great, first step for sure.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Again, we'll put links to all of that in the show notes and the show notes have a full transcript as well. All right, so, the next question, actually, the good question to piggyback on that. This comes from Gab and the subject is: “Podcast question.” And Gab says, “Hi, I have PCOS, hypothyroidism, and Hashimoto’s. My Hashimoto’s antibodies have gone down. So, it feels I'm mainly dealing with hypothyroidism and PCOS now. I love eating keto because it finally makes my chronic inflammation go down, my bloating has resolved, and I don't feel as swollen. However, I feel very restricted and limited with the way I'm eating and I'm still not losing fat. I have a huge laundry list of food sensitivities and allergies due to my Hashimoto’s, and I've been feeling so much better after staying away from all the foods that came back reactive from the test. I do take HCl and digestive enzymes along with one berberine a day at my meal, which is always in the evening. Melanie and I are very alike. My eating window is later at night. 

I'm in a bittersweet spot. The information of knowing my trigger foods for sensitivities is helpful, but now, I feel I have to eat this careful and clean forever just to feel okay. I'm trying to lose six to 10 pounds and the fat won't come off. I'm only 5’1”. Even two pounds is very noticeable for me and physically uncomfortable. I've heard you talk about this before on, “what exactly is the body running on if carbs are low?” I stay away from all processed foods and PUFAs, and I've been doing protein-sparing modified fast days here and there. My fat is also not high because I know eating high fat can stall fat loss. Nothing is working. The stubborn fat I'm trying to lose is on my arms and thighs. What is going on if my body is not using fat stores as fuel and energy, what am I running off of then? I'm in no way eating at a calorie surplus and I'm definitely not eating enough to maintain either, yet, here I am maintaining or gaining. Am I just doomed because of my hyperthyroidism? I'm finally on a medication that is starting to make me feel a little better each month. I take LDN, a B complex and I am constantly searching supplements and protocols. I take magnesium and CBD at night etc., etc. I do Pilates, lightweight training, walking, and yoga. When I used to do heavier weights training, I bulked up. This is probably due to my PCOS and the fact that I am testosterone and DHEA dominant. I know this probably means cortisol is my root issue. 

Does this mean my body refuses to lose fat because I'm running off cortisol? My body feels best when I'm doing low impact workouts and walking. It still is infuriating because I'm not eating enough and I know starvation mode is half myth, half reality. But you said it best on one of your pods, “you just can't gain fat if you're not eating enough to gain.” I've heard high insulin could also cause fat retention, but my insulin isn't a problem. I got a NutriSense CGM sent to me. I'll be setting up that soon to see what's happening. Please help. I feel hopeless, and helpless, and that my metabolism is permanently shut down. I love you both and I've been binging both of your podcasts. No pun intended. I'm losing my mind. I just want to lose the last pounds of fat, but nothing I do works.”

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, Gab, I have to tell you. When I read this before we got on today and then listened to Melanie share your podcast question, you need to give yourself some grace. I sense that you're really, really hard on yourself and I don't know how long you've been on this journey. I think that sometimes when I sense that patients are really frustrated, we have to really simplify things. There is the power of our minds and I think that we have to look at things from different angles. When we're talking about weight loss and it's something we want really badly, I always remind people that we have to get our bodies better balanced in order to lose weight. I know that that's very often. The point of frustration that people as an example will come to me and say, I want to lose weight, but really, it's all the other things going on. I don't know how long you've been fasting, I don't know if you're doing OMAD, you've mentioned several times in this question that you are concerned you're not eating enough. The concept of your body perceiving that there's not enough food coming on board can absolutely positively-- negatively impact your metabolism. 

I think that we have to be very, very clear that if you're eating at a caloric deficit all the time, and you've got thyroid issues, and you've got some PCOS, and you've got food sensitivities, and you're being really strict with your nutrition, and you're doing this exercising, it tells me that there's a degree of intensity that needs to first be backed off of, but I don't know your age. So, I don't know if you're still in your peak fertile years or you're in perimenopause or menopause, but there's a lot to unpack. I think it really needs to really reflect on simplifying your program, because this degree of intensity is telling me that you're putting your body under an incredible amount of stress, whether you recognize it or not. If you're in the hierarchy of hormones, as I know, Melanie's talked about and I've talked about a lot on podcasts. If cortisol is up, glucose is going to be up and your body is really going to struggle on a lot of different levels. When I work with PCOS patients, yes, sometimes they do very well with a 12-hour, 13, 14-hour period during the day where they're not eating and maybe they do well on low carbs. So, it doesn't mean everyone does well. 

I had Dr. Sara Gottfried on recently and I know Melanie also recently interviewed her. She talks a lot about that there are women, who due to their own genetic makeup do need some degree of discretionary high-quality carbs in order to get that proper T4 to T3 conversion, so, inactive to active thyroid hormone. I think there's a lot here to work with, but I think you also need to start giving yourself some grace. I don't say that to be flippant or unreceptive, because I've been that person, the scale was stuck, and I was frustrated, and I'm not a very tall person. I'm only 5’3”. So, I completely understand that. But at one point and certainly with myself personally, we had to level the playing field and start over and it may be that you need to back off on the intensity of what you're doing. The last thing that I just want to add is depending on how old you are, Melanie is a very young, metabolically flexible woman. Melanie can eat late into the evening and it works for her. But I find for women as they're getting closer to middle age, and certainly, I'm 50. I'm at a different life stage. That doesn't work as well. We know we're less insulin sensitive during the evening and that might be another reason to reflect on when you're eating, what you're eating, and being a little bit kinder to your body. Lean into the lifestyle, give yourself some grace, maybe there's value in working with a practitioner who's going to be able to look at a whole system as opposed to just one issue related to having an underactive thyroid and PCOS. But all these pieces of the puzzle will fall into place eventually. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I thought that was an incredible answer. I could not have said it better. I have quite a few thoughts and they all are very similar and echo what Cynthia said. It's a really good question. You keep asking, if you're literally not eating enough to maintain or gain, how are you maintaining or gaining? That's a reality where if you are maintaining or gaining, you are eating enough to maintain or gain, but it might not be because you are eating a lot. It's more likely the hormonal system that your body is in, and it's learning how to adapt, and how to deal with what you are taking in. It can feel like, no matter how much you restrict, your body's going to just maintain at that or you're saying gaining. It's really, really interesting, especially the more I learn about, the book I'm reading right now, I'm really excited. I'm going to be interviewing-- Do you know Ari-- Is it Ari Whitten?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, he's on my schedule.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Are we both for his Eat for Energy? Have you read the book, yet? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-mm.

Melanie Avalon: I’ve just started it. A lot of it is talking about the mitochondria and it's just making me realize more and more how-- Because the thesis thus far, I just started the book. But the primary thesis is that chronic fatigue and all of these health issues really the root of them is in the mitochondria. If the mitochondria are not producing energy or shutting down their energy production, we're going to have all of these experiences. That's a very hormonal thing. The mitochondria not producing as much energy as they should be, that's what they're doing because of the environmental stressors that they are exposed to. That's a language of your body and that's why the answer, I believe is and Cynthia said this is, in a rebalancing. The answer is likely in a more broad lifestyle shift change and all this rather than-- because you say that you're looking for supplements, and trying all these different things, and the answer probably is not there. I am really curious to see what you learn with the NutriSense CGM. That might be helpful seeing how your blood sugars are reacting to things. I did want to comment on that you say you know that you don't have issues with insulin. I'm wondering how you know that, especially if you still have active PCOS that is often linked to insulin. I would find it interesting if your insulin is great and you're experiencing all these issues and have PCOS. That would seem a little bit like an anomaly to me. I do wonder if maybe insulin is still high for you. 

But going back to the dietary approach, because it sounds what you're doing is, you really want to be doing keto, and you're doing a very restrictive, it sounds like a low-fat version of keto, and it doesn't seem to be working. There are two big paradigm shifts that I would suggest trying. One would be going higher fat on the keto, but adding those fats from C8 MCT oils. Basically, eating what you're eating now, but adding in a- This is just something to try. I'm not saying this is necessarily the answer, but if you add in a lot of fat from C8 MCT oil, you can stay in this keto state that you want to be in, and that's a very metabolic fat, and that it stimulates energy production. It can really stroke your metabolism and it itself is not easily stored as fat. It might be something that can give your body a signal of abundance while supporting a fat burning state. It's just something to try. 

Option number two and Cynthia touched on this going on a higher carb approach. We've had a lot of people throughout the years reach out to this show, who have been doing low carb. They're just wedded to low carb and they just you know are convinced that keto is the only way that things are going to work. We've suggested or I've suggested trying actually-- I know Cynthia was talking about Sara Gottfried’s approach, which is still a ketogenic approach, but with more carbs. But I would also like to suggest that and/or an actually high-carb approach. A lot of people switch to a high carb, low fat approach still Whole Foods based, still high protein. That is like the thing, I can't tell you how many people I've suggested this to and then they reach back out and say, “Wow, I got my energy back, I started losing weight again.” That's something to try. I know it can be really scary, especially, if you are scared of carbs, but it's something to try. To clarify, I like with the high carb doing a lower fat approach, because then you're not hitting your body with fat and carbs at the same time in a high amount, which I think for a lot of people does not work that well for metabolic health. Yeah, those are just some of my thoughts. Any follow up thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I think it's really the N of 1. It's definitely on this journey and there's no one size fits all. But I think if you're too fervently trying to move too many levers all at the same time, it's going to be hard to know what's effective and what has been helpful. But I think getting things back to a really simplistic methodology is the best starting point and just giving yourself grace because I know how frustrating it can be to be weight loss resistant. I've now been there twice in my 40s and so, I think it's important to just understand that there's some imbalanced part of your system. If you look at your body as a system, there's something that's imbalanced that's creating this resistance. Once you figure out what it is, it will fall into place.

Melanie Avalon: And also, something to consider because we don't know what your weight is. It's also possible to evaluate the weight that you're looking to lose and I'm all for people wanting to lose whatever weight they want to lose, like, no judgement. People can do whatever they want. But the six to 10 pounds, are they the last six to 10 vanity pounds or are you coming from a higher weight? It might be that where your body is right now is a very healthy weight and losing those six to 10 pounds are going to be something that will be hard just because depending on what your weight is right now, they're not something that your body has any intention of losing because it doesn't perceive that as something that it needs to be if you're a completely normal weight or on the lower side of normal. So, something else to consider.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. But first and foremost, give yourself grace.

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. This is from Christina: “Confused on eating in window.” “Hello, I'm so excited to start this journey with intermittent fasting. I am four days in and doing a 16:8. So far, it's been good. However, I feel I'm only cutting out breakfast and a snack. I'm a CrossFitter. So, I'm used to eating nonstop through the day. Sidenote, On break from CrossFit as I've been on and off since October, hello sinus season and weight gain. I've been having my normal lunch grilled chicken, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and red potatoes followed up with mixed nuts, snack, and then dinner which varies, but I try to stick to protein and veggies. I'm wondering if this is too much. I'm typically hungry by lunch. As for the snack I worry it's just out of habit. Any recommendations? I'm breaking the constant eating once I open my window. Also, I have now been craving pineapple listening to your podcast all day at work. So, I switched from nuts to a bowl of fresh fruit. Pineapples, strawberries, red grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon as of today. Thanks for the advice and looking forward to this journey.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Christina, thank you for your question. I think you’ve answered your question when you asked us about-- Well, you said you're wondering if it's too much for the snack you worry, it's just out of habit. It sounds you have a pretty intuitive idea that the snack you're eating you're not actually hungry for. I don't want to put words in your mouth, Cynthia, but haven’t you talked before about how you are not a fan of snacks?

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm generally, generally not. I think sometimes, maybe we didn't have-- As an example, she's giving a good example of protein and some healthy carbs, and maybe she needed to add some fat to that meal to maybe keep her satiated, because she was going towards nuts. Whether or not, that's by habit or it's by her body just needing to feel they're fully satiated I, sometimes feel like, “If you're using those carbohydrates, it's fine to use a little bit of olive oil, or butter, or something that's going to keep that satiety.” I don't know, if she's just not getting enough nutrient density in that meal, obviously, that's a clean meal, but maybe there's not enough nutrient density there and that could be what's driving that. I know for myself personally, today, it was my first day back in the gym doing a heavy lifting day and I definitely am finding my first meal that I had was definitely there was more substance to it than on the day that I'm not exercising as fervently. CrossFit is intense. 

The other thing that I think about is, I don't know how young this woman is, but are you exercising for your menstrual cycle? Your follicular phase from the day you start bleeding up until ovulation, if you have a typical 28-day cycle, you can get away with more intense types of exercise. But if you're after ovulation closer to when you're going to start bleeding, your body's going to struggle a bit more. You're going to have more cravings for some carbohydrate rich foods, you may not be able to work out as intensely, and so really examining if you're still menstruating, where you are in your cycle to lean towards what will work best for you. 

The other thing is, if you look at people like Dr. Stacy Sims, who is anti-fasting, but does a lot of research in women's physiology and athletes. We're talking about a very small subsect of the population. Again, the menstrual cycle is important. Where you're training, at the level you're training is important to really be cognizant of how that's going to impact your recovery. Do you really want to be restricting food if you're training for something? Those are the things that come up in my head and definitely as listeners are leaving questions in the future, I would encourage them to at least give us some context like, “Are you 35 or are you 50? Are you 25 or are you 40?” Because that can help guide some of the suggestions that we make.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It sounds like if I'm reading it correctly, so, she's not doing any CrossFit right now. I think the issue is that she's used to eating a lot from doing CrossFit, but now, she's not doing CrossFit and so, she's wondering if this is all just habit from her CrossFit days.

Cynthia Thurlow: But she seems pretty intuitive. When people say, “I wonder if it's X,” they generally, probably already have a sense of what may need to be adjusted.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. [chuckles] As far as it sounds you're eating the exact same amount of food that you're eating when you were heavily doing CrossFit, and now, you're wondering if it's too much. I know it sounds really simple, but you're asking how do you stop the habit of eating constantly the whole time. There's a magic to just creating some rules, some yes/no rules that you stick to and trying it. Rather than saying, “I'm going to eat my meal, and then I'm going to try not to have a snack, or maybe I'll have like a little bit of a snack,” and you could just say, “I'm not having snacks.” I know that sounds very simple, but it's approach that you can stick to. You can have your meal, and have it in a set place like in the kitchen, and then when you're done with the meal putting everything away, and then kitchen closed and no snacks, and even not having the snacks in the house, so that they're not accessible, and then holding yourself accountable, then having your dinner later. I think we can empower ourselves a lot more than we think we can if we just set up a rule that we say we're going to follow and then we follow it rather than trying to follow it, which is a nuance, a small nuance with language, but I think it makes a big difference. Shall we do one more question? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. We have one more question from Michelle. The subject is: “Blood work” and I feel this is a really good question for Cynthia. Michelle says, “Good afternoon. I've been doing IF since March 28th, 2021 and I love it. I'm 39 years old and I'm having issues with bloodwork. My bloodwork is always good, but I've always had low iron. This past time, it was 8.6. My doctor encouraged me to really take my iron for three months and take ibuprofen a few days before my super heavy periods to decrease the flow. Taking the ibuprofen actually works. My last test, my iron was up to 12, but my sodium chloride and potassium were all off. Any ideas of what's going on? Could this be due to fasting? I use the sauna several times a week and I do hot yoga. I'm going to have it rechecked next week, but I wanted to see if anyone else had these issues. Thanks in advance,” Michelle. And now, Cynthia, now that I read this, I see what you're saying. So, thoughts on that?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Well, there's a lot here. I think Michelle is actually referring to her hemoglobin going from 8.6 to 12. It's definitely heading in the right direction. First of all, she's 39. This is perimenopause. When our bodies are heading towards 10 to 15 years out for menopause and our ovaries are producing less progesterone, so, we have this relative estrogen dominance, which can contribute to heavy menstrual cycles amongst other symptoms. That's number one. 

Number two, if she's doing a lot of exercise and she's doing the infrared sauna, you can absolutely lose discretionary electrolytes. I actually just did a podcast with the amazing Robb Wolf on this particular topic, because we get so many questions. And so, yes, you can effectively lose sodium chloride, magnesium, potassium with sweating. You can have renal losses in your urine. If you are not replacing the electrolytes after sauna and yoga, you absolutely need to be. In fact, I generally recommend that people are using electrolytes throughout the day, especially if they're fasting, but then you add in the exercise and all the extra sweating, and you need to replace not only the water that you've lost, but also the electrolytes. 

Couple of different things. This is perimenopause. Your heavy menstrual cycles will probably persist and continue. There's a lot of different ways to address that, but it sounds like relative estrogen dominance, but most importantly and the thing that I think will be most beneficial is to replace the electrolytes. I have a product called Simply Hydration that you can take in a fed or a fasted state and then, I love LMNT, Robb Wolf's product. My favorite is Orange Salt. I would say in our family, the next big flavor is Grapefruit, which unfortunately, they only have out in a limited amount. But those are definitely some options. You want to salt your food and you want to be making sure that you're staying ahead of those electrolyte losses. I don't know what your numbers were, so, they may just be suboptimal or if they were significant, I would imagine this healthcare practitioner probably would have sent you home with some recommendations. So, those are my thoughts. What do you think, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I thought that was great. For listeners, LMNT is actually a sponsor on today's episode. I think it's in the pre-roll. You can listen to that to get a free offer and I think a discount on electrolytes. So, check that out. They just changed it. it’s some offer, but I think it's a discount. Yeah, regarding the iron, the hemoglobin, so, I have struggled historically with anemia and mine got very bad. Very, very bad. Mine got to four. I thought I was dying. The reason I bring that up is you're asking if it could be due to fasting. My historical struggle-- So, now, I very intensely monitor my iron panel. Its changes and its fluctuations have been pretty independent of my fasting experience. There are a lot of potential causes and your doctor, hopefully, talked to you about this. But there are a lot of causes for anemia and the inability to keep up your hemoglobin or keep up your ferritin, which is a storage form of iron. It can be internal bleeding, which is what they thought it was with me because mine was so severe. It can be absorption issues, just not being able to absorb. People with celiac often have this issue. You could have normal iron levels, but not have ferritin, because your body is not converting it to ferritin or hemoglobin is just not building up. I'm actually about to read a book. I'm really excited. Do you know Dr. Morley Robbins? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I’ve heard of him.

Melanie Avalon: He wrote a book called, I think, Cu-RE. I haven't read it yet, but he's going to be coming on my show and apparently, he talks all about the copper-iron relationship and that whole role. I think at least, a reason that the body struggles so much with iron is because it's actually a very inflammatory compound. It's ironic because we need it. It's vital to our life. We would be dead without it. Like I said, I literally felt I was dying when I was that anemic. It does create oxidative stress, it's inflammatory, it can potentially feed pathogens. The body is very, very intense in regulating it sort of like a blood sugar, how blood sugar can be toxic, so the body's really intense about regulating that. There are so many places that things can go wrong. [chuckles] Like, where you're getting it from, where you're absorbing it? All of that to say, I don't believe the fasting is the cause of that. It's probably something else and it's probably something where you really need to work with a knowledgeable practitioner to find the root of it. 

I will say what's worked for me for keeping up my iron, actually, I know you're really good friends with her, Dr. Cochrane? Are you friends with Teri.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, very good friends.

Melanie Avalon: She made the suggestion to supplement with chlorophyll to boost iron and I found that really helpful. I also supplement with grass-fed spleen that has the highest amount of heme iron of basically, any animal product that you can get. I currently use ancestral supplements. If I make my own organ supplements down the line, I definitely want to make a spleen one. But that might be something to try. I can put a link in the show notes. I have a discount code for them, I think. But yeah, the iron one is tricky. So, really quickly do you have thoughts on her taking the ibuprofen for the periods?

Cynthia Thurlow: I know that it helps with prostaglandins and I think that's part of it. When I read that, I was like, “Oh, she's estrogen dominant.” And so, until you address that, that persists and then it goes into the synthetic hormones, and IUD, and ablation, and hysterectomy. That's what's coming for her, unfortunately. That's the allopathic model. I managed to get through perimenopause without any of the above. I'm happy to say, “Thank God.”

Melanie Avalon: Congrats. All right, well, hopefully, that was helpful, Michelle and definitely feel free to update us with anything. 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 emailquestions@ifpodcast.com, where you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. This was definitely an episode where you want to check out the show notes. We had talked about so many things. Everything as well as a transcript will be at ifpodcast.com/episode272. And then you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_ and we are @ifpodcast and definitely tune in next week. Again, I mentioned it before, but Rick Johnson will be our special guest next week. And Cynthia have fun on your travels.

Cynthia Thurlow: I will. I'm so excited. It's hard to believe the past two years, we have not been back to Europe. And so, we are headed to the Czech Republic, and we start in Prague, and end up in Budapest. So, I haven't been to Eastern Europe with my kids. I'm super excited to unplug with them.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really excited for you. You deserve it after all of the book launch. You're coming out of like the storm. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, yeah, that's a whole conversation in and of itself. I'm like, “I'm burned out, I need a break.” So, I'm super excited. But in my absence, I know everyone will love hearing from Rick, who I put on a pedestal.

Melanie Avalon: I know. It'll be great. All right, I'll talk to you in a few weeks then. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Cynthia Thurlow: 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.

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Sep 12

Episode 230: Reversing PCOS, Body Fat Percentage, Measuring Glucose, CGM Vs. Glucometer, Fasting Insulin, Meal Timing, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 230 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

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SHOW NOTES

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51:00 - Listener Q&A: Dana - Meal Timing During Eating Window

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 230 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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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 and 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 and 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. 

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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.  

Hi everybody and welcome. This is episode number 230 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 fabulous.  

Melanie Avalon: Why are you fabulous? 

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm at the beach but I haven't had a chance to enjoy the beach yet, because I've been working so hard, trying to move stuff from the house to the condo and the condo to the house. And Lord, it's like I'm moving. I mean it's moving. I've been working really hard. Such a good workout. I am, of course, doing it all in the fasted state. And, yeah, I've used all my muscles. Today, I had something funny happened here at the house. I was trying to change a lightbulb in the ceiling fixture in the bathroom because I had two lightbulbs in it and I noticed one of them was out and I was just going around doing things. You know how you unscrew like the little metal at the bottom of the glass dome and then the glass dome comes off, then you change the lightbulb and you put that back on and screw it back together? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I always get scared when I do it.  

Gin Stephens: Well, you should be scared because today, the beach, everything rusts at the beach. I was unscrewing, unscrewing, unscrewing, unscrewing, and actually, I wasn't unscrewing the little nut that holds it together. It was unscrewing the entire light fixture. So, the whole thing came out. It was just dangling there by the wiring. I'm like, “Okay, this is interesting.” So, [sighs] long story, I went all around, the people at Lowe's, they were great. The guys were like, “Alright, let's try spraying this stuff on it,” they went over-- and anyway, they couldn't get it apart. I was just going to buy like a new piece, but apparently you can't just buy a new piece. So, they sent me to this hardware store, and the guy had this vise and this equipment and he managed to unscrew the rusted unscrew. I came back and put it back together.  

Melanie Avalon: Good job.  

Gin Stephens: I know, I felt so accomplished. And I put in LED lightbulbs, and they're supposed to last for 10 years. So, 10 years from now, I'm just going to call an electrician to come and put a whole new light fixture in. This light fixture is now abandoned. [laughs] Anyway, I felt so good that I did it. But people are so helpful. 

Melanie Avalon: I always get scared screwing in the light bulb because you don't know if it's on. So, I like screw it in and I hold it really far away. I know I could just unplug the unit, but normally I don't want to do that. Do you know what I'm talking about? I hold it really far from my face and I squint and I screw it.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm not even worried about screwing in a lightbulb to a light fixture because you're not touching the metal part. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm always scared is going to pop or something because that's a good question. Maybe that's why I'm scared. Maybe it happened once.  

Gin Stephens: I wouldn't worry about that.  

Melanie Avalon: I've definitely had it pop while holding it in my hand and it scares me. 

Gin Stephens: Okay. Well, I'm not scared of lightbulbs, but I'm now terrorized about-- and then the other bathroom, the light bulb in there, I can tell it's got two lightbulbs, and one of them needs to be changed because it's not on. I was like, “Well, let me just try to unscrew the bottom of this one just and see.” No, it wouldn't even turn on, I'm like, “Forget it.”  

Melanie Avalon: All of them are like that.  

Gin Stephens: Everything at the beach gets rusty. It is true. It is a different kind of place. 

Melanie Avalon: Can I make a confession about lightbulbs?  

Gin Stephens: Sure.  

Melanie Avalon: In middle school, I think, probably my biggest crush of-- what's it called, like grade school years? 

Gin Stephens: Elementary school? 

Melanie Avalon: Like pre-college. What do you call all of it collectively? 

Gin Stephens: K-12?  

Melanie Avalon: Is there not a word?  

Gin Stephens: I'm not sure what phase you're talking about, like what part of it? 

Melanie Avalon: Kindergarten through 12th grade. What do you call that? 

Gin Stephens: Just K-12. We just say K-12.  

Melanie Avalon: K-12 means all of that?  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, from kindergarten to 12th grade. We usually distinct it by what phase of it. 

Melanie Avalon: You think there'll be one word that means elementary school, middle school and high school.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we just usually say K-12.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay, well. 

Gin Stephens: I'm a teacher, so I'm like, “What is the word? There's got to be a word. Why am I not thinking of the word either?” I don't know. We just say K-12, because we usually just break it down more. We've got undergraduate, that's college, but I don't know. 

Melanie Avalon: But I don’t want to break it down. My biggest crush from that entire K-12, yes. [laughs] I've never heard the phrase, K-12. Okay, my biggest crush from K-12, I'm just going to say it, his name is Jordan Watts. And me and my friend Emily Stock-- Oh, I don't know if I should say names. I know she listens to the show.  

Gin Stephens: I think it's fun to say names.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay. [laughs] I know she listens to this show.  

Gin Stephens: I haven't heard the story yet, though.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay, well, I know she listened to this show, because she wrote in once. And I was like, “Wait, Emily? Is this Emily?” Emily, if you're listening, I hope you don't mind me sharing this. We were obsessed with a boy whose last name was Watts, and we called him Lightbulb. And we would just call him Lightbulb and draw lightbulbs.  

Gin Stephens: That was the code name for him, was light bulb? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Whenever I hear lightbulb, I think of that. 

Gin Stephens: Well, that's funny.  

Melanie Avalon: I think he's married now. 

Gin Stephens: Good times. It's been a very lightbulb day. I also changed on all the halogen lightbulbs in the house because, Lord, they're hot, halogen. They're so hot. We had undercounter lighting that were halogen the you stick in with the little pins, and the plates in the cabinets were hot, because the halogen lightbulbs were so hot. I found these LED replacements that worked, also at Lowe's. Lowe's is amazing. I just wander around Lowe's and ask the people that work there to help me do things and they're great. I'm like, “Hey, I don't know what to do. I have this, I need something else, help me.”  

Melanie Avalon: That's what I do.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. And they're awesome, they're so helpful. 

Melanie Avalon: I really recommend that color-changing lightbulbs.  

Gin Stephens: I don't want any colors.  

Melanie Avalon: That's how I make my whole room red and pink at night.  

Gin Stephens: I just like normal colors. I want it to just be light.  

Melanie Avalon: But then, you can make your whole evening no blue light.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm not going to do all that.  

Melanie Avalon: Honestly, it's probably one of the best changes I've made in my apartment for my sleep. 

Gin Stephens: I've got a lot of rooms in my house, and we go from room to room. That would be a lot. 

Melanie Avalon: Actually, I just put them into two of my lamps, and so at night, I just turn on those two lamps and they're pink.  

Gin Stephens: Okay. 

Melanie Avalon: And then, I turn on my Joovvs.  

Gin Stephens: So, you’re lighting your way with the Joovv?  

Melanie Avalon: Uh-huh. It's great. 

Gin Stephens: I know that all your photos on Instagram are always pink. The light is glowing. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: I like the glow.  

Gin Stephens: Anyway, I'm like a home improvement girl. So, I could totally do that. I could do anything. I could put in-- 

Melanie Avalon: You could. I support.  

Gin Stephens: It's amazing what you do when your husband is not here, because Chad would have handled all that. [laughs] He would have been the one, like, “Why is this broken?” Instead, it was me. 

Melanie Avalon: I always get really proud of myself when I fix something that would have been fixed by my dad. And I'm like, “Oh, look at my new skill.”  

Gin Stephens: Exactly. We can do it.  

Melanie Avalon: Because when you're a kid, you're so in awe of how your parents know how to do everything, and then you realize it's just because you acquire these miscellaneous skills over the years. 

Gin Stephens: Well, and watching the people that come, and when we're having the work done in our house and the people that work for the companies that are doing these things, I'm like, “They don't have a magical skill set. They had to learn how to do it.” I'm as smart as them. I can do it. If they can learn how to screwing a light fixture, I can learn how to screwing a light fixture. Although the guy at Lowe's was hilarious, the guy in the lighting section. I was talking to him about how I couldn't get it apart. He's like, “Well, I don't really know. I'm not an electrician.” I said, “I think unscrewing this from this nut is not really electrical work.” [laughs] Most of it is just finding the parts that go together and put them together. Anyway. 

Melanie Avalon: Fun times.  

Gin Stephens: It was. It's been fun, but I'm ready to be done. My friend, Michelle, is coming to visit me on Thursday. So, trying to get all the work part done. So, then we can relax.  

Melanie Avalon: Very nice.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. What's up with you? 

Melanie Avalon: Yesterday, I was on Brad Kearns podcast. It's always surreal when I go on those show. He coauthors all of the books with Mark Sisson, like all the Primal Blueprint books, and The Keto Reset Diet and all of those books, and he cohosts Primal Blueprint Podcast with Elle Russ, and I've been on that show. But I don't know, I feel it's moments like those where I'm just like, “I've come a long way.” The reason I really feel that is because I'm super excited to be on it, but it's not this huge thing. In the past, myself 10 years ago would have been freaking out about any of the individual interviews I have now. And it's just like, “Oh. I'm just showing up.” 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I was just on the radio, and I didn't even tell anybody. It's at the point where I'm just doing, it's just so routine. You're not like, “Oh, my gosh, I'm going to be on the radio.” 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I don't want to make it seem I'm complacent or that I take it for granted, I don't at all. I realize when I have these moments how far I've come and how the barometer has changed for my goals. 

Gin Stephens: This is our job. Our job is talking to people on different media outlets. It's just making that shift to like, “Yeah, this is what I do. I talk to people for other people to listen to.” My elementary teachers, all of my K-12 teachers, in fact, to pull out that K-12 again, they knew I was going to do something with talking and here I am. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, here we are.  

Gin Stephens: Talking for our living.  

Melanie Avalon: Now, the goal is the TV show. I would like to be at a place in the future where I'm just showing up for my TV show, and I'm like, “Oh, just another day.” 

Gin Stephens: Just another day on your TV show. Yeah, fabulous. I hope you get a TV show. I do not want a TV show. Although I do think that Clean(ish) would make a great TV show.  

Melanie Avalon: I agree.  

Gin Stephens: I've never wanted to be on a TV show, but I'm a teach her, I can do it. But I think it would be a great TV show like Marie Kondo went around and helped people, say, “I love you.” “Thank you for serving me,” to the things that we're getting rid of, or whatever.  

Melanie Avalon: Or it could be a docuseries.  

Gin Stephens: Well, that's true, but I would like to go into people's homes and help them. That's the way I was picturing it. See, I am more like, “Let me help you figure out your house.” I don't want to do a docuseries, that is a big no. Like an expose, kind of thing, like, no. 

Melanie Avalon: No, docuseries is, it's like a documentary in a TV show format. 

Gin Stephens: Well, I know. I know what it is. But we're talking about the issues, like the science behind it, I don't want to do that. You can do the docuseries, that's your boat. You go sail on the docuseries boat. I want to help people look at what's under their cabinets. I'm like in the nitty gritty. That's me. I'm at the application phase. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: We could do a lot of TV shows between us.  

Gin Stephens: We could. You do the science part. I like the science part. I understand the science part, but I don't want that. I don't want to do docuseries. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, I really want to do a talk show. That's what I really want to do. Like the podcast now, but as a talk show with a live studio audience. Oh, I’ll be so excited. I could see the audience. 

Gin Stephens: I feel like I could do that because that's what teaching is. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I would just love that. Okay, can I make a brief announcement?  

Gin Stephens: Please do.  

Melanie Avalon: So, last episode, I said that I had only briefly read the serrapeptase COVID study. So, I actually sat down and read the rest of it. I'm just in shock because this is my first time sitting down and actually reading extensively the literature on serrapeptase. It really is a wonder compound. I'm shocked it hasn't been taken by the pharmaceutical industry and made into a drug.  

Gin Stephens: Can they do that, though?  

Melanie Avalon: That's why I'm not sure. This is the way I think that they could. I want to put this out to the universe. But I feel if the pharmaceutical industry finds something that they normally can't make into a drug, because there are the rules about-- 

Gin Stephens: Because it's unpatentable. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. But I think what they can do is try to make studies to show that it's unsafe as a supplement, and then get it regulated that way, and then turn it into a drug. There's a conspiracy theory out there that that's what's happening right now with-- There's some compound that normally would be a supplement, but now all of a sudden, there are all these studies saying that it's unsafe. What is it? Robb Wolf actually had an episode all about this. It's NAC, so that's something that used to be you could just buy, but now the FDA is turning it into, I think, requiring prescriptions. I think that's the route that could be taken. It's interesting, because the article I was reading about serrapeptase and COVID, they're basically proposing that serrapeptase be made into a pharmaceutical to help treat COVID and it's published in a clinical journal. I'll link to it in the show notes, but they go into all the mechanisms of action, all of the different things that it could do, specifically with COVID and inflammation and with the mucus, and there's so many things it can do, but then beyond that just its anti-inflammatory potential, its antioxidant potential, and it really doesn't have side effects.  

From listeners, the biggest side effect I hear, some people get GI distress from it. It's hard for me to know if it's actually the serrapeptase or if it's the brand they're taking, but in any case, I am obviously a huge fan, but now I'm even more of a huge fan. For listeners, I will be making my own pretty soon. So, you can get on the preorder list and definitely get on the preorder list because the email list almost has the amount of people that we're going to do for the preorder. So, I anticipate the preorder is probably going to sell out. It's going to be a thing where like, when you get the email, you're going to want to jump on it. So, you can go to melanieavalon.com/serrapeptase, and that's how you get on the email list.  

Gin Stephens: Very cool.  

Melanie Avalon: 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 sample pack. We're not talking 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/if podcast. That's DRINKLMNT dotcom forward slash IF Podcast. And I'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show.  

Shall we jump into everything for today? 

Gin Stephens: Yes. We have some feedback from Annie. And her subject line is “The Best NSV,” which stands for Non-Scale Victory for anyone who doesn't know that. All right, she says, “Dear Gin and Melanie. About a year ago, two different gynecologists told me that I had PCOS because I had various symptoms. They gave me different pills, but I always felt that there was so little information, and I started to read a lot about it on my own. When I searched for insulin on the podcast app, I found your podcast in January of 2020. I listened to your then around 200 episodes and started to fast. Sometimes only 16 hours, sometimes 40. I always did what felt best for my body at the moment. After some months, I stopped taking the pills since it didn't make me feel good. And since then, my period has been super regular. I haven't missed a month.  

After a while, I told my best friend who is a medical student that I was fasting, and he has now become more hooked than me, and we've been doing it together ever since. I feel that I'm so incredibly in tune with my body more than I ever was before. I feel better, and I've learned so much during this journey.  

I always thought that I wanted to email you with a thank you. And today, I got the best reason because I was just told by a gynecologist that I do not have PCOS anymore. Since I started, I have not lost any weight, but I don't really need to either. But this feels like the greatest success. All in all, I just wanted to tell you that you are amazing, and that I cannot thank you enough. Lots of love to you both, from Sweden.” And lots of love to you too, Annie, and that is amazing. PCOS is related to having high levels of insulin. It sounds like fasting has lowered your insulin enough to reverse your PCOS, which is incredible. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that is so fantastic. Thank you so much, Annie, for sharing. PCOS is one of the conditions that is looked at a lot in the clinical literature with fasting. This is often found to be the case that it can be reversed. If you'd like to learn more about insulin, I did an interview with Dr. Benjamin Bikman and his book, Why We Get Sick, is so good for understanding insulin. And he talks about PCOS. He basically thinks that insulin is the cause of PCOS always. I also love that she's sharing it with her friend who's a medical student.  

Gin Stephens: I know, I love that.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it’d be nice if fasting could infiltrate the conventional medical system. 

Gin Stephens: I think it's happening, really. I think that it is slowly but surely making its way. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think so too. All right. Shall we go on to our questions?  

Gin Stephens: Yes.  

Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Laura, the subject is “Question about increasing body fat percentage.” And Laura says, “Hello. Thank you, ladies, for all that you do to promote intermittent fasting and provide us all with excellent information. You have both been a great support to me, and I appreciate your resources and continued education on IF. My question is this. I've been doing IF for about five months, not for weight loss, but it started as a structured way to fast for Lent. I liked it so much I kept going with IF. I started at 127 pounds, plus/minus 2 pounds, I had the whoosh effect and lost five pounds and a dress size after two to three weeks. I am 5’2”, and I now stay around 122 pounds plus/minus 2 pounds. I love how I look, and as a mother of four busy kids, ages 2 years to 14, I have more energy and time.  

I fast for 18:6 most days with a 20:4 once a week. However, over the past month, although my weight is staying the same, my scale which also measures body fat percentage is trending upward. Each week, the body fat percentage increases around 0.3%, and the muscle mass is trending down at the same rate. Although I don't have my waist measurements, my honesty pants fit great. My diet has not changed. I eat clean and feel best with a high fat, low carb diet. My activity and sleep have not changed significantly. Any thoughts? Should I try to open my window more and add more protein, weight training? I'm also 40. Maybe this is age related, open to suggestions and ideas. Thanks again for all your efforts, Laura.” 

Gin Stephens: Well, Laura, thank you for writing in. What I know about those scales, the home versions, is that they tend to be inaccurate, and they do a lot of measuring water, and your body is fat. So, they're not good at really measuring because the way they work with bioimpedance, they're sending an electrical signal through your body, and it really can't distinguish between fat and water. So, if your honesty pants are still fitting exactly the same, that's a great sign. I don't know that's really what's happening with your scale. Also, try changing the batteries, I had something crazy happening with my scale one time, and I changed the batteries and it fixed it. I would not say, “Oh my gosh, I'm gaining fat and losing muscle.” That could be what happening is happening. I don't know. But I would not just go by the fact that your scale is saying that just because I'm not sure that's accurate. 

But if you really do feel like you're losing muscle, then you need to do muscle building activities, so weight training would be a great thing to do. I don't know that I would have a longer window, but you could certainly increase your protein if you'd like, see about that. Really, it's just hard to know if that's what's really happening. So, it's hard to say what to do. But if it is happening, then working on building muscle would be a great thing to do. What do you think, Melanie? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, you said pretty much the entirety of my thoughts. Those scales, I really wouldn't recommend. Especially the ones that you buy and have at home, they're so influenced by water. Even things how hydrated or dehydrated you are can massively affect it. If you did want to actually measure, I would instead do more of the old school measuring. There are formulas online you can do with taking actual measurements. Or if you go to a gym, they often can help you out more with that. 

But basically, I thought Gin really nailed it in that it might not be actually happening. If it is, either way, it's not going to hurt you to focus on muscle. Age related muscle loss is a thing. We tend to lose more muscle as we age. So, focusing on maintaining or even building it is fantastic, so weight training, resistance training. I'm going to have an episode pretty soon with John Jaquish, he makes the X3 Bar system, and I'm very much a fan of that system now. That's resistant bands, and his protocol, actually, it's so short. You do it a few days a week and it's like 10 minutes. It's made to maximize all of your muscle maintenance, muscle gains with minimum stress. I should remember this after doing the interview, but it works with the range of motion to give all of your muscle the maximum muscle building stimulus without being limited by range of motion.  

When that episode comes out, I'd recommend listening to it, but it's going to be a while. But in the meantime, his system is at melanieavalon.com/x3 and the coupon code, SAVE50, will get you $50 off. It's nice, because I don't think there's anything going on with your scale. I don't know that your scale is accurate, but it's nice that it tunes you into the importance of your muscle because it really can't hurt to focus on muscle. Adding in activities and also adding protein, definitely, I agree with Gin, I wouldn't lengthen the window necessarily, but adding more protein could be a nice thing.  

Gin Stephens: Awesome.  

Melanie Avalon: We are on the same page there.  

Gin Stephens: Very nice.  

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

Gin Stephens: Yes. We have a question from Becky and the subject is “Question about blood glucose.” She says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. I have a question about blood glucose.” [laughs] Maybe I shouldn't have read that part, because I just said that, all right. She says, “I started wearing a CGM two weeks ago, just out of interest. I'm not diabetic or prediabetic. And my A1c and glucose levels are normal. However, occasionally throughout the couple of weeks, my blood glucose has dropped into the very low range. This is not during fasting, which I tend to do for 16 to 18 hours per day, but it's usually during my eating window. And I've been trying to pay attention to things and it doesn't necessarily happen after I eat sugary foods, but more often seems to be after I have carbs. Usually during fasting, my glucose levels are 4.8 to 5.3.” Now, is that Australian or European? I’ve no idea what 4.8 to 5.3 is. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, 3.3, for example is 60. 4.7 is 85. 5.5 is 100. Normally, her fasting glucose is between around 86-ish to upper 90s. Normally, it's hers in the 90s, and it's dropping to the 50s. 

Gin Stephens: To the 50s after she eats? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.  

Gin Stephens: Okay. She says, “Do you know why this big drop happens and/or, if this is a problem? My thought is that my insulin response is too great and drops my blood sugar too low, and then it takes a bit of time for my glucagon to kick in and bring my sugars up again. What are your thoughts? Thank you, Becky.”  

Melanie Avalon: All right. This is a great question from Becky. The first thing I would suggest, Becky, is if you have access to it, I would get a glucometer. Something where you can check your blood sugar with on your finger, and I would check the meter to see if the baseline correlates because occasionally the CGM can be off by 10 points, maybe even more. I would just do that to check. If the baseline is off, it doesn't mean, and we talked about this before, but if the baseline is off, the precision will be correct. So basically, even if it's off by 10, it'll always be off by the same 10. Check that just so you can figure out because it's possible, I could see how it would be off, and maybe that drop isn't quite as low as you're thinking it is. In any case, regardless, the job is happening. The precision is accurate. And, yes, this actually is pretty common. I experienced this.  

I was wearing a CGM for months, then I took some months off. Now I'm wearing one again. I've been wearing one for about three weeks now. Right now, my blood sugar is 90. The pattern I've noticed in me is actually very similar to you, Becky. I have fasted blood sugar that's good throughout the day. Actually, when I do cryotherapy, it shoots way high up and then it goes down. After I eat, I get the same drop like you do. It doesn't go down to the 50s, but it does drop a lot and then it goes back up again. And I do think it is a basically a hypoglycemic response from over, I don't know, if I'm over producing insulin, but I mean, I guess so. And then finally, it raises again when your body makes the-- Is she doing a low carb diet? 

Gin Stephens: She didn't say. 

Melanie Avalon: She didn't say. If she was doing a low carb diet, then it would be probably things like glucagon or the liver producing cortisol to bring back up the blood. If you're eating a high carb diet, it could just be a matter of the carbs getting shuttled into the cells and then released back and then levels become stable again. So, is it a problem? Well, I'm not a doctor. I don't know how much of a problem it is. My question to you is, when this happens, do you feel starving and ravenous? Or would you not have had any idea this was happening if you hadn't worn a CGM? 

Gin Stephens: I wonder if she's shaky, because I feel if your blood glucose is dropping down and you feel shaky and unwell, that's a problem.  

Melanie Avalon: She says it doesn't necessarily happen after I eat sugary foods, but more often seems to be after I have carbs. Okay. 

Gin Stephens: If she's not feeling shaky, what's so interesting is the fact that we're wearing these CGMs now, people who had no idea what their blood glucose is doing are like, “Hey, this is what my blood glucose is doing. Is it normal?” When really, we wouldn't even have had any idea. So, maybe that is totally what Becky's has always done, and it's normal. 

Melanie Avalon: The thing, I think, is something to be more worried about, because if you're having these drops, but you're not experiencing them as a negative feeling in your body, I personally wouldn't be too concerned. I wouldn't be as concerned about the lows. It's more the super highs that people don't realize are happening. Those are what I think are pretty concerning. Either huge, massive spikes, so they don't realize are happening or baseline high resting blood sugar levels that they don't realize is happening. I wouldn't stress out too much about it. 

I would check the CGM. What you could do is you could play around though and this is one of the great benefits of having a CGM is you can figure out what really works for you. So, there's no harm in playing around with your food choices and your macros, and seeing if you can find a type of diet or meal or combination where you don't experience that crazy low. Thoughts, Gin? 

Gin Stephens: That was it. Also, if you're really concerned, you really do need to check with your doctor just to make sure. We don't know what's really normal for you or what's happening. Feeling good is always a good sign. And it's just interesting that we wouldn't even know what was happening if we didn't have these devices now.  

Melanie Avalon: They're fascinating. I'll put a link in the show notes to the two episodes that I've done on CGMs. One is with Levels and one is with NutriSense. Then, if you'd like your own, the links for those are melanieavalon.com/levels, lets you skip their waitlist. They say their waitlist is 115,000. And then, melanieavalon.com/nutrisensecgm gets you $40 off with the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON, so you can jump on the CGM train for anybody interested. I heard back from ZOE, and I think I am going to do the muffins. They send a CGM, right?  

Gin Stephens: Yes.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, does it link to their practice, the app? 

Gin Stephens: Yes. You don't see what your numbers are doing. It's the old school. It's not like Levels. It automatically sends it. Unless it's a new one.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you don't scan anything?  

Gin Stephens: No.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, so you don't even see the numbers. That's interesting.  

Gin Stephens: You don't see the numbers, you just see your wave. Now I was able to see my numbers because I synced it. Maybe it's different now, but it was the old-style FreeStyle Libre, where you actually have a readout. It's like a little device.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, not on your phone, not on your app. Oh, interesting. 

Gin Stephens: It might be different now, because technology changes. I have the Levels at my house to do, I'm going to wait till I get home from the beach, do it in September. They sent it to me to try. Thank you for having them do that. I'm really excited to try it, but it's really different. Since I'd done the ZOE, I feel like I'm missing, what is this? But you just attach it to yourself, but that's it, and then you scan that. So, it's different than that. 

Melanie Avalon: I'll let you know if it changed. 

Gin Stephens: It might have changed, but I was able to sync, you had to then get your little sensor reader and it would sync with the sensor reader. And then I was able to take the sensor reader and connect it to my computer, and then upload it through this third-party system and see what my numbers actually were. 

Melanie Avalon: You know what made me so excited recently in this whole sphere?  

Gin Stephens: What? 

Melanie Avalon: Did you know they make HbA1c meters?  

Gin Stephens: Nope.  

Melanie Avalon: I was concerned because I got back my HbA1c and it was two points higher than it's been, and that did not make sense to me. And I was lamenting to my friend, James Clement, who I've had on my show. He wrote a book called The Switch. And he was like, “I'll send you a meter.” It was like a glucometer, but it tests your HbA1c. It was so exciting. Except the lancet to get the blood for it was very intense. It requires more blood and I was not anticipating the lancet being so effective.  

Gin Stephens: Good luck with the ZOE test because you do have to squeeze out a lot of blood for that one. You have to drip it on this card, lots of it. That was the worst part. I did not like dripping my blood and squeezing, squeezing, squeezing to get all the blood out because it has to go up. Like on a pregnancy test, it has to go up, the liquid, you have to get enough blood that it goes up this little like-- 

Melanie Avalon: They send the lancet, right?  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, they send you all that.  

Melanie Avalon: If it's like the lancet that came with HbA1c meter, I was fine, because it was very effective.  

Gin Stephens: Well, I didn't like it. I didn't like doing that part, but I did it. It was worth it for the data.  

Melanie Avalon: Worst-case scenario, I guess I could go in any lab test now, do a blood draw. Yep.  

Gin Stephens: Awesome.  

Melanie Avalon: All right. Okay, so our next question.  

Gin Stephens: All right, we have a question from Rebecca, and the subject is “Fasting Insulin Number,” which should fit in very nicely, because it talks about some things we just said. “Gin and Melanie, before I jump into my long email, sorry, thank you for making a difference in my life and countless others. I wrote a question last year and you read it in Episode 194. Thank you. It was in regards to my HbA1c.” 

Melanie Avalon: Oh. Look here. Oh, wait, I just realized we didn't even say what HbA1c is. I'll say what it is after. 

Gin Stephens: Okay. She goes on to say, “You mentioned about getting a fasting insulin test done, which I did via a walk-in lab this past May. Here's an observation and a question since in Episode 221, you both talked about glucose and fasting insulin possibly going hand in hand. Well, after fasting 12 hours, my glucose was 116, but my fasted insulin was 2.5. I can't swing a CGM, so I just have to rely on periodic blood work. Any thoughts on these very far apart numbers? I am 60 years old, 5’10” and 149.03, and an athletic build. My CRP, which indicates inflammation, a diabetes indicator as well, is 0.50, which is great. You two have become best friends in my head, and thank you and so sorry for this very long email. Obviously, I am not good at condensing.”  

Melanie Avalon: All right, Rebecca. Well, thank you so much for your question. Well, first of all, bravo for being interested in all of this, and testing your fasting insulin on your own. That's so cool that she decided to do this. Both blood sugar and insulin, the tests can fluctuate a lot. I think that's one of the things with a CGM that people really realize is just how much blood sugar can fluctuate throughout the day, which can be pretty misleading for people getting blood tests, because there are so many factors that could affect your blood test. When you go into the doctor, you could get a blood sugar spike for something unrelated to your overall blood sugar levels, and it can make it seem like your blood sugar is either lower or higher than it normally would be. Insulin as well, we don't know quite as much about the stats on insulin but I did ask Dr. Bikman this, personally, not from this question, but from another question, wanting to know about fluctuations in insulin. He was saying that, yes, the tests could fluctuate, and they could also be off the same way that blood sugar can be. 

I say all that to say it could have been misleading information. It would be nice-- I know, she said that she can't swing doing it a lot. It would be nice if you could do it again and see if you have that same pattern, because if you continue to have that pattern, that would be a little bit strange, but this is just my thoughts, I'm not a doctor. This was a fasted test, so 12 hours. The fact that the insulin was so low, I feel like that's a more stable reflection of how the insulin is while you're fasting, because it's unlikely that if you were that fasted, that you're fasting insulin would just spike up, compared to blood sugar, which you could have gotten nervous or had some coffee or exercise, or the liver just decided to pump out some more glucose, that can easily spike up. It's really nice that you had that low insulin number. What I'm saying is, it's very possible that you have low insulin and that you also normally have lower blood sugar, but it just spiked, but again, it's hard to know. 

What I would do, is I know you aren't able to get a CGM right now, you could get, we mentioned earlier, a glucometer. Those are pretty affordable. And the great thing is they let you check your blood sugar all the time. It's like unlimited blood sugar tests, you just have to buy the test strip refills. Compared to the earlier things we were talking about large amounts of blood needed, tghere are tiny, tiny pricks that are required. I have a Keto-Mojo and it actually measures both ketones and blood sugar. I also have a Bayer blood sugar. I'll put links in the show notes to both of those. What I would recommend is if you really want to figure out what was going on, since you can't get the CGM right now, get a glucometer if you're open to it and start testing your blood sugar throughout the day just to get a sense, and then next time you check your insulin, see if it is again low.  

What's really interesting is, I was just learning about the HOMA score. There's actually a calculation that you can do, and I want to go back and look at my lab test and do and you could do it for this. But it's a mathematical equation to determine insulin resistance based on your glucose and insulin. Although now having said all that context about how the numbers can be off, I do wonder about the implications of it if the numbers are off a little bit. It's the HOMA-IR formula. And it's actually fasting glucose times fasting insulin divided by 405, and you want that to be less than 2 for insulin resistance, ideally, like the lower the better. Rebecca, your HOMA-IR score is actually 0.71, which is really great. I don't know, I would not be too concerned, if you like I would do any of the things I said about continuing to monitor, but those are my thoughts.  

And then, the HbA1c, because we didn't define it. It is a marker of blood sugar levels over three or four months, and that's because the turnover of the red blood cells is about that length. So, it shows overall level of glycation of your blood cells from blood sugar in your bloodstream. I always forget the numbers. You know what’s really interesting, Gin, I find this fascinating, and it I find it concerning. Did you know that-- I don't know when it was, I was just reading a book, they raised the level of HbA1c for diabetes, like an entire point? 

Gin Stephens: No, I didn't know that. 

Melanie Avalon: I just find it concerning that, we adjust our standards to a disease population, why? We have the standard population, but because of the rise of diabetes and metabolic issues, I just don't know that it's helpful to raise the standard. 

Gin Stephens: Well, it's like I was talking to somebody yesterday recording the podcast, Intermittent Fasting Stories, and she was talking about her fasted insulin levels. She just got her number, and she said that she was told by her doctor that the range from, I can't remember something under 5, I can't remember the number that he said to 20 was normal. I'm like, “Well, 20 might be normal, but it's not healthy.”  

Melanie Avalon: For insulin?  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. But that's what I'm saying is-- and the same with the A1c, like you were just talking about, they've raised it to be normal, and that's not normal.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's very concerning. That's why we love-- on here, we've worked with InsideTracker before, and what they do is they do blood tests, but they look at it by their ideal ranges, rather than the conventional ranges, which I think is so, so important. 

Gin Stephens: There's so much difference between 20 and 5, for example, with insulin. If you got an insulin of 19, that ain't good. it might be normal, but certainly not optimal. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I don't have it right now but I think the A1c had an increase from like 5.5 to 6.5 for diabetes. 

Gin Stephens: I wonder what the reasoning is, is that they want to diagnose fewer people officially? What would be the motivation for doing that? Insurance companies doing it for some reason? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Because the reason you could say is, “Oh, well, more people have higher levels, so that's what's normal, so that's the standard.” But to change the definition of diabetes, I don't know. It's a good question. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I would like to know why.  

Melanie Avalon: That would be interesting.  

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Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Dana. The subject is “Meal timing during eating window.” And Dana says, “I currently do a 17:7 daily fasting.” Whenever people say that one, I always pause because I feel like it's -- like most people don't say 17:7. 

Gin Stephens: [laughs] I don't know why, people just like even numbers? Well, what's funny is people do 19:5. People do 19:5 or all the other. So, I don't know why 17:7 wouldn't be a thing. If you could do 18:6 or 16:8, you could certainly do 17:7, or you could even do like 16.5:7.5. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, goodness. Well, Dana is doing 17:7. She says, “I could easily do with just lunch, 12 to 1 PM, and dinner at 6 PM. But I am worried about getting enough protein and fiber and just two meals, so I have a chia seed fiber/protein shake that I tried to get in, in addition to lunch and dinner. What is the best timing to have that snack? Midpoint between lunch and dinner, or is it better to cluster it with either lunch or dinner to maximize the number of hours between meals and the eating window?”  

Gin Stephens: Now, Dana, I would like to have you define the word 'better' for yourself. There's so many things, like which is better for convenience. What happens in the middle of the afternoon if you have it then? Does it make you hungry after you eat it because I know that if I have just something small random, in the middle of-- let's say I was going to eat two meals one day, and then lunch, and then dinner, and then I had something small in the middle, it would make me hungry or sooner. You just have to fit that in where it feels right to you. I'm not going to claim any of them is better. So, if it works better to have it with your lunch or with your dinner, do that. If you like having it in the middle of the afternoon, have it then. If it makes you feel weird after you have it, then don't have it then. But if you have it in the middle of the afternoon, and you look forward to it, and you love it and you feel great after you have it, have it at that time.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I agree. With me and my digestive issues, I would do for me, for example, what would feel the best digestively. I know she's asking about maximizing the hours between meals. 

Gin Stephens: I try not to worry about all that, because once your window's open, your window is open, your body's digesting food, there's stuff going on. I just figure window's open, window's closed. I don't want you to really micromanage the window so much and worried about what's the best thing. I don't know, that's just my brain thinking. I know some people think differently than me and that's all right, too. 

Melanie Avalon: To that point, exactly, depending on what you're eating, but it's highly unlikely in my opinion that you'd be able to eat at 12, and again at 6 and enter the fasted state in between. So, you're not going to be entering the state of turning on the epigenetic changes and the signaling pathways for the fasted benefits. So, there's really no point in trying to achieve that goal. You can just keep eating in between, but the thing is, that doesn't mean that, “Oh, I'm in the eating window, so it doesn't even matter if I just keep eating.” What I mean by that to clarify is just because you're not going to hit the fasted state, doesn't mean that eating more isn't eating more. 

Gin Stephens: That's meaning we're not recommending overeating. I could make a case for that it's “better" to have it in the middle, just after going through ZOE, and realizing it takes your body a while to clear out, the excess glucose, the excess fat and then having too much in your body at one time. Marty Kendall even talks about this. Too much energy in your body at one time, so you want to spread it out a little bit. Having in the middle of the afternoon, I don't think is a bad thing.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I like your answer. Definitely a question where just do what feels right. I think people really-- [sighs] so much of this is self-experimentation and just finding a window that works for you. And that sounds like a cop-out answer, but there's not some perfect solution and some perfect answer that you're magically going to find. I think we will stress a lot about doing everything right, if that makes sense. 

Gin Stephens: Yes. Well, there's got to be the best time to have this. There's so many things going on in your body. Like I said, when I went through the ZOE testing and understood, when I spaced my food, too close together, I got a lower score, because my body hadn't had time to clear out the last one. Also, the volume makes a difference. I've had a little bit and then later I had a little bit, that's different than having a whole lot, then having more. The way that you crowded them together can be a problem if you're having too much.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I think it's so freeing with fasting and diet as well. I think it's really freeing to-- okay, this is my analogy. I have an analogy, Gin. I feel it's like a coloring book with the outlines. When you're a kid, and you pick up a coloring book, and you're trying to decide which one to color, you find the picture with the outline that you like, and then you just really stick to that outline, and then you color it in however way that you want. With the fasting, you can pick a window that you're sticking to, and then just trust the process, trust the outlines, and color within that.  

Gin Stephens: And you can color it however you want. Yes, that makes me think of when I was five, I entered--- I don’t know I guess my parents entered it for me, I don't know, but I won this coloring contest. And I looked back-- and my mother kept this, this picture of a Christmas coloring contest. I looked back at it years later, and I had colored Santa crazy. It was like the Santa, he didn't have on a red suit when I was done. It was crazy. Of course, this was like, what 1974? So, maybe they really appreciate it. Maybe I was the only five-year-old who entered, I don't really know. But I certainly did not color it in the standard way. 

Melanie Avalon: You know what so funny? Did we talk about this? We're the same person. It's just funny how we have the same stories about-- When I was also around five, I did a coloring contest, but I had just learned-- what was that TV show with a guy and he teaches you how to color that Bob or something.  

Gin Stephens: You mean the painting guy? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.  

Gin Stephens: On PBS? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't know. I forgot the name of it, but yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: I learned the technique of how to do progressive shading. It was like this gymnastic coloring piece and I worked so hard to perfectly shade it so that it gave the depth to the-- what is it called? What do you--  

Gin Stephens: Did you say you were about five?  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.  

Gin Stephens: See, I didn't do it like that. I just went crazy and colored it all crazy.  

Melanie Avalon: We did the same thing, but we're opposites.  

Gin Stephens: The opposite of it. Yeah. My picture was crazy. But it was like, “Color, color.” I mean, Santa had green, it was just-- yeah. [laughs] I was not following the rules.  

Melanie Avalon: I was implementing the technique. Oh, my goodness. That's so funny. I won so much stuff, I got to go see like gymnast, like the collegiate gymnast, and they gave me all this swag.  

Gin Stephens: Well, I won a tricycle and I was already too old for a tricycle, so I remember being mad. I was like, “I am not a baby. I do not need a tricycle. Thank you.” [laughs] Anyway. 

Melanie Avalon: Back to the analogy though, the point I'm trying to make was that, once you pick that outline, the outline is the fasting window in my analogy. 

Gin Stephens: You can color Santa green, or you can do a technique. It's okay. 

Melanie Avalon: But then on top of that, you might not like how you colored it. Just because there's a boundary doesn't mean that it's going to work for you. You can still color it however you want, and you can color it a way that you like or you can color it away that you don't like, but I think there's a freedom in having that boundary of the fasting window and just trusting that process.  

Gin Stephens: Exactly.  

Melanie Avalon: Alrighty, in any case, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions for this show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. There is all of the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. The show notes for today's episode will have a complete transcript and they will have links to everything that we talked about. That will be ifpodcast.com/episode230 and then you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens, and we are @ifpodcast 

Gin Stephens: Awesome.  

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

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

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

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

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Mar 14

Episode 204: Dental Health, Disappearing Cavities, Stomach Size, Fasting Insulin, Thyroid Tests, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 204 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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JOOVV: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels! It literally works on the mitochondrial level to help your cells generate more energy! Red light can help you burn fat (including targeted fat burning and stubborn fat!), contour your body, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, produce collagen for epic skin, support muscle recovery, reduce joint pain and inflammation, combat fatigue, help you sleep better, improve mood, and so much more!! These devices are literally LIFE CHANGING!! For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

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

SHOW NOTES

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

3:00 - 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!

Fast This Way: Burn Fat, Heal Inflammation, and Eat Like the High-Performing Human You Were Meant to Be (Dave Asprey)

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #84 - Dave Asprey

16:40 - Follow Melanie On Instagram To See The Latest Moments, Products, And #AllTheThings! @MelanieAvalon

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!

16:20 - BLUBLOX: Go To blublox.com And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

21:00 - Listener Feedback: Kay - Intermittent Fasting Saved my Teeth

Gin's Waterpik WP-662 Water Flosser Electric Dental Countertop Professional Oral Irrigator For Teeth, Aquarius, Black

Melanie's Dr. Collins Perio Toothbrush

21:00 - Listener Q&A: Marisa - Small Portions

Does Dieting Actually Make Your Stomach Shrink?

21:00 - Listener Q&A: Nita - Hopefully not too late (but may be) for 200th Episode of the IF Podcast

46:05 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

48:50 - Listener Q&A: Paige - Any suggestions for M.D. lab work

Episode 52: The THYROID Episode, With Elle Russ!

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #12- Elle Russ

LETSGETCHECKED: Get 30% Off At Home Tests For Thyroid, Vitamin D, COVID, And More, With The Code IFPodcast30 At trylgc.com/ifpodcast!

INSIDETRACKER: Go To melanieavalon.com/getinsidetracker And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

57:00 - Listener Q&A: Ron - Women Only?

Life Lessons, with Gin & Sheri Podcast

TRANSCRIPT


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 204 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 co-host, Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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And here is that amazing offer we have for you guys for a limited time. New members can actually get two pounds of grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef for free in every ButcherBox order for the rest of your life. I am not making this up. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast, to get free grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef for life. That’s butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and I'll put all this information in the show notes.

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

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Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 204 after Intermittent Fasting podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: Happy Valentine’s Day, Gin.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, we're recording on Valentine's Day, even though people are not going to hear it for a month, [laughs] but I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day. It's cold and rainy here.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, it is. How is everything with you?

Gin Stephens: Well, I am coming to you from my new computer and I'm so excited. Melanie knows a little bit of this saga, but listeners, y’all do not. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Does it feel wonderful?

Gin Stephens: Yes. Let me let me tell you a little backstory. About a year ago, I decided that my laptop wasn't cutting it and I needed a dedicated desktop computer for recording podcast to put in my podcast studio, so I didn't have to go look for my laptop, drag it around that sort of thing. So, I got a new Mac, and I got the wrong one. I made a really bad choice. I didn't realize how much RAM I needed. I'm a big Apple fan, love Apple products, been in the Apple ecosystem. Since the very first iPhone came out, I had one within months. I've been iPhone all the way, Apple computers, love them. But I got one with not enough RAM. My son Cal, who's an app developer said, “What? I can't even believe they sold you that.” I'm like, “Thank you, Cal.” I didn't know. Melanie and I, again, for the audience, Melanie knows this whole story. Melanie said to me, “Oh, you just change out, add more RAM.” Well, I bought one where you could not do that. You could not add your own RAM. I was like, “All right, I have to get a new one.” In there, the big ones. I can't go to the Apple Store, everything's closed due to the pandemic. I had to order over the phone. The guy was like, “Yeah, you get this one here. You add the RAM. It's so easy.” Melanie did that.

Melanie Avalon: Gin was like, “It's going to be hard.” I was like, “No, it's so easy.”

Gin Stephens: It's so easy. Yeah, it was so easy. The RAM came, just like Melanie said, there's a little thing, the computer got here. Of course, it took a month because the pandemic everything shipping slowly. I opened a little window in the back where you just plug in the RAM, I got the RAM that Apple guy told me to get. I plugged in, the computer would not start up. It kept shutting down, an endless loop start up, not start up, start up, not start up. Then I put the old RAM back in that it came with, still wouldn't start up. I don't know if I got a dud computer. I don't know if it was dud RAM, but then my old RAM wouldn't work either. At one point, I was laying on the floor trying to get to the little window [laughs] it was just almost comical. Apple is fantastic, though. They took it all back, helped me find the one I really needed. I was like, “I don't care if it costs more, I'm getting the right one that comes with all the RAM to start with.” The girl on the phone was fantastic, the Apple support person.

She's like, “Alright. This is the amount of RAM that will be enough for you.” I'm like, “Great. Give me double that because I do not want to go through this ever again.” It's here. I'm on it. The screen is bigger. Oh my gosh, it's so fast. Melanie, I could not even open two things at one time before, and now I can have everything. The mail’s open, the calendar’s open, Chrome is open, Safari is open, Word is open, I don't know if I sound excited, it's because I am.

Melanie Avalon: No, it's so exciting. I remember when I got my new computer, and it's like, “Oh, I can do things.” Especially when the nature of our business is using our computer-- I mean lots of people are using computers, but I'm using it every day for work and it's just so freeing when you can just do things.

Gin Stephens: It really, really is. I feel if only I hadn't bought that other one a year ago, but then I felt like I was committed to it. I'm like, “I just bought this computer a year ago,” and it was not cheap. Fortunately, I sound like an Apple commercial, but I did the trade-in program, so yeah, I was able to get a good bit back from the trade in program. Someone who does not need a lot of RAM is going to be really happy. I can't believe that it was not as easy. It would have been fabulous, but no.

Melanie Avalon: Exciting. I'm glad we match now. Yours is similar to mine.

Gin Stephens: It's the 27-inch, which I also thought was going to be too big, because the little desk I use-- well, I use an old Baker's rack. It sounds crazy. I sit on a stool, it's a very narrow Baker's rack that I've used for my desk. Chad was like, “That computer is way too big. It's not going to work.” Well, it does work. It works perfectly. I have a bigger screen, so I can see my document. It's just fabulous. It's not too big at all.

Melanie Avalon: I'm excited. I've been waiting for this moment.

Gin Stephens: Well, I have too but I was being very stubborn. You know when you make a bad purchase and you're angry that you made a mistake, but you just spent a lot of money? My anger was what if I make another bad mistake and buy the wrong thing again, which actually happened, but thank goodness Apple was amazing about it.

Melanie Avalon: Or, it's like, is it the sunk cost fallacy? Where you've put in so much energy and effort into something that you don't try something new because you've already committed so much? It's not the same thing.

Gin Stephens: It is, I know exactly what you mean and that was exactly true. It was finally when Chad said to me, and Chad likes to save money. Okay, so let me put it that way. If you could pull your two-ply toilet paper into two single pliers, and then he would do that. Not really, but you get my point. He was like, “You just get a new one.” I'm like, “Oh, okay,” not that I need his permission. I do not, but when he was like, “Get a new one.” I'm like, it finally felt like, “You're right. I should just get a new one,” so I did.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, you should.

Gin Stephens: I also have another thing to share that is interesting. You know how I had talked about how I've been opening my window with my main meal, and feeling so great?

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Are you not anymore?

Gin Stephens: No. I realized it messed up my sleep.

Melanie Avalon: Oh.

Gin Stephens: This is so interesting. My sleep got worse and worse over time, and then I finally connected that to opening my window earlier. Here's what the problem was with my sleep. Actually, my sleep wasn't worse, but it shifted it, and let me explain.

Melanie Avalon: Wait, I just want to guess.

Gin Stephens: Okay, guess how it shifted my sleep.

Melanie Avalon: You changed to eating more food earlier, right?

Gin Stephens: Like at 2 o’clock, I was having my main meal at 2 o’clock instead of 6:30.

Melanie Avalon: I would think it would shift your sleep earlier, but I'm guessing since you're not liking the effect that maybe it was the opposite?

Gin Stephens: It shifted it so much earlier that it was ridiculous. I wanted to go to bed at 8 PM every single night. I was like, “It's 8 PM, I've got to go to bed now, I am so tired.” Then, I was waking up. I've gotten my clock set to not show a light till 5:30 in the morning. I was waking up, probably around 3 o’clock ready to get up, like wide awake, like I was going I wanted to go to bed so much earlier and I wanted to wake up so much earlier. I was fully rested. It's like it shifted my-- what's the word I'm looking for?

Melanie Avalon: Your circadian rhythm?

Gin Stephens: Well, yeah, it's like it changed my circadian rhythm, like shifted it earlier. I was like, “Well, this doesn't work for me at all.” Unless I wanted to get up at 3 AM every day bright and bushy tailed and go to bed at 7 PM. So, an early window does not work for me, boom, now I know it. If I had to get up at 4 AM, this would be 100% the right thing to do.

Melanie Avalon: That's probably really valuable. You're already pretty familiar with different eating windows and how they affect people, but I bet it was a valuable experience for making suggestions to people.

Gin Stephens: And it also helps me see that doesn't mean that, that this is what everybody should do. But for me, it really impacted what my body wants to do. My body prefers to eat later for the main meal and then go to sleep at some point after 9 PM and then wake up by about 5:30. That's what feels good to me. My body likes to wake up early, but by eating my main meal earlier, it shifted everything, my whole rhythm just changed and got out of whack.

Melanie Avalon: That's one of the things I really love about intermittent fasting, is if there's some reason where my sleep the night before and then my wakeup schedule on a given day is off, I can really always reset it in one night and I think most of that has to do with I just eat my dinner at the same time as I would have regardless, and that just always just sets it right back.

Gin Stephens: It's also one of those things that makes me so frustrated every time I see a one-size-fits-all recommendation, like early eating windows are better.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly.

Gin Stephens: Or, we should all have our main meal at 2. I could take what works for me and say everyone should have their main meal for dinner, but no, that's not true. Anyway, we're all different and that just keeps being proven over and over again. I have friends, their main meal is breakfast time. They eat early in the day, and then they're done for the day and they feel better.

Melanie Avalon: I wish I was like that.

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't wish it.

Melanie Avalon: I know we've talked about this. We've had this conversation.

Gin Stephens: Right. In but in fact, one of my guests that I just interviewed, it was fascinating for Intermittent Fasting Stories. She said that she doesn't get the great energy during the day while she's fasted. She has great energy after she eats. She has an early in the day window with great energy all day. So, I’m the opposite. That's why everyone has to really find what works for them. I mean, just over and over, that is just shown. Anyway, I'm just so tired of so many people thinking that here's what you have to do, and everyone should do, and this is what is right for all.

Melanie Avalon: I just finished reading Dave Asprey’s new book, Fast This Way, because I'm interviewing him on Friday, which is very surreal. Very surreal. Do you know what he said was the reason we started eating breakfast?

Gin Stephens: I can't remember I skimmed all through his book, I got a copy of it, and skimmed through the whole thing really fast. Because I'm doing a million things, I didn't have time to like sit with it. But no, I can't remember what he said.

Melanie Avalon: He said it was because of train schedules. When we started using trains, and they were train schedules. I had not heard this before.

Gin Stephens: I don't know if that's true. [laughs] Sorry, Dave Asprey.

Melanie Avalon: I made a note, I was like, “Look that up.”

Gin Stephens: I actually have heard other--

Melanie Avalon: Maybe it would have been one of the things.

Gin Stephens: Maybe, I've heard breakfast wasn't a thing until certain points in history when people then suddenly started eating breakfast. It was really only like rich women would get up and have a little breakfast, but nobody else would.

Melanie Avalon: I think he talks about some of the other things, but he said, like, the thing was the train schedules. I don't know.

Gin Stephens: Well, if I had a train schedule, I still wouldn't eat before I got on the train. I don't know how that would make me have breakfast anyway. I don't know, but I don't remember reading that because like I said, I skimmed it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm pretty excited. I am going to ask him a lot of questions about bulletproof coffee. It's going to be a fun time. Listeners will have to listen to it when it comes out. Can I do two quick plugs?

Gin Stephens: Sure. No, no, you cannot. Kidding.

Melanie Avalon: One plug is, and this goes back to the Valentine's Day, this will have been over by the time this comes out, but definitely follow me on Instagram, friends, because if you had been following me right now, I am giving away two Apollo Neuros on my Instagram, which is just crazy.

Gin Stephens: Very cool.

Melanie Avalon: Those are the Soundwave therapy devices that instantly stop stress with the touch of a button and I use mine all the time. The second plug, I plugged this a few times before already, but if you're interested at all in clean beauty and safe skincare, join my new Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare Facebook group. It's really taking off. I'm really enjoying it.

Gin Stephens: If you'd like to follow me on Instagram, you can see pictures of my cats and my flowers and my beans. [laughs] Oh, good times. I actually put cats yesterday, but did you see that one? Ellie was so cute all wrapped up in the little blanket, did you see that one?

Melanie Avalon: I just pulled it up right now.

Gin Stephens: Oh my God, she's so sweet. [laughs] Yes, my best friend might be a cat. I don't know. Is that weird?

Melanie Avalon: No. I love cats.

Gin Stephens: She follows me all around the house and whatever I'm doing.

Melanie Avalon: That's something we have in common. We're both cat people.

Gin Stephens: Yay. See, there's so many things.

Melanie Avalon: There's like two things. I'm trying to think what else. There was something else recently we realized, but for new listeners, Gin and I were pretty much opposite on almost everything.

Gin Stephens: On many things.

Melanie Avalon: From preference stuff, so like food-- maybe just food. Just food. Oh, and cold and sleeping. It's like body things.

Gin Stephens: Well, circadian rhythm things.

Melanie Avalon: Food. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: The temperature our shower is going to be. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: The clothes we wear, again, body things.

Gin Stephens: Exactly.

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They have clear computer glasses you can wear all day while looking at the computer. They have their SummerGlo lens that blocked the draining form of blue light while still allowing in some of the energizing wavelengths. They're also tinted with a special yellow color, scientifically shown to boost mood. And of course, they have their Sleep+ lens, you can put those on a bed and it's just like, bam, tired. At least that's the way it works for me because actually blue light can block melatonin production, which helps us naturally fall asleep.

Also, get their Sleep REMedy Mask. Oh, my goodness, I use it every single night. It gives you complete blackout while still putting no pressure on your eyes, like you wear it, and you can open your eyes completely, and it's completely black. It's mind-blowing. In case you're wondering, I'm still not supposed to be wearing glasses, but I ordered this weird contraption head thing to hold the glasses over my eyes because I just really need the blue light blocking glasses in my life. These glasses also come in a huge array of styles, so you don't have to feel like a weirdo biohacker like me. You can really get any style or frame to fit your personal style. You can shop with us at blublox.com, that's B-L-U-B-L-O-X dotcom and use the code, IFPODCAST, to get 15% off. Something else amazing, for every pair of glasses you buy, BLUblox donates a pair of glasses to someone in need. The glasses can also come in prescription, made to order. Again, that's blublox.com with the coupon code, IFPODCAST, for 15% off. All right, now back to the show.

Shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have some listener feedback, and this comes from Kay and the subject is “Intermittent Fasting Saved My Teeth.” Kay says, “Hi Gin and Melanie. Not a question but thought you could share this story with your listeners to highlight one of the many hidden benefits of IF. I started IF about 18 months ago. At that time, I had a dentist appointment where I found my first cavity at age 30 with four other spots on my teeth that were on their way to becoming cavities. One of those four could have been filled at the time, but the dentist said it could wait, so I chose to wait because I was nervous about my first filling. The dentist said at my next visit, we would likely book fillings for the other four. I was so devastated. I brush, floss, and rinse twice a day and always prided myself in never having a cavity my entire life. While today I had my yearly checkup and expected to leave with plans to fill these four cavities, they are gone.

At my last appointment, the dentist said three to four could be reversed, but likely that wouldn't happen because I already brushed and flossed twice a day, they're all gone. I told him I had started intermittent fasting, and he said that without a doubt that reverse the tooth decay process. By not eating often throughout the day, food and plaque isn't building up on my teeth and contributing to the cavities. He also said that fasting can reverse gum disease because the food isn't in your mouth giving bacteria a home. I started for weight loss and, in the process, saved my mouth. Just wanted to share. Thank you for introducing me to this lifestyle.”

Gin Stephens: Love it.

Melanie Avalon: Anybody in your Facebook groups talked about this before?

Gin Stephens: Well, I think it's remarkable that the cavities are gone. I don't know if I've ever heard that. Like her body just remineralized her teeth and filled that all in? That's astonishing. You can't argue that it happened. I actually interviewed Melissa Wages for Intermittent Fasting Stories, Episode 12. She's a pediatric dentist, and so she talks about all the ways that intermittent fasting is beneficial for our dental hygiene. If anybody's looking for that, search for Intermittent Fasting Stories, go to Episode 12, listen to Melissa Wages, pediatric dentist and intermittent faster, but yeah, remarkable.

Melanie Avalon: I think it's really interesting because a lot of doctors say that the mineralization of the teeth is something you can never reverse. I feel like I see a lot of people, not necessarily in intermittent fasting communities, but people just in holistic food and holistic health communities who say quite the opposite.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I've seen that too.

Melanie Avalon: Even actually, when I interviewed James Nestor, who wrote the book, Breath, he made some change. I think it was breathing related or chewing related, it was one of those. He grew, I think, he said like a dime-sized worth of new bone in his jaw. Basically, you can grow new teeth or bone. Very motivating.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's been a while since I've been to the dentist, so I recently started going to the dentist a couple years ago again. I had to get some crowns, which were no fun. Dental health is important. Have you ever used a Waterpik?

Melanie Avalon: No. Every time I think about it, I just remember my roommate in college got one because they were becoming pretty popular.

Gin Stephens: They were really popular in the 70s and 80s. I can remember being a kid and everybody had a Waterpik and I was like, “That looks so fancy.” I never had one.

Melanie Avalon: Did you get one?

Gin Stephens: I just got one. My dentist recommended at my last visit.

Melanie Avalon: What does it do? Does it squirt water really?

Gin Stephens: Yes. Crowns are new to me. I had not ever had crowns, and so now I have a couple crowns but food was getting all trapped in there and I was like, “Oh, my God, this is disgusting.” She's just like, “Get a Waterpik. Get a Waterpik.” I'm like, “Okay.” So, I did.

Melanie Avalon: I'm glad we're having this conversation because my roommate in college got it. She got it and then she said that it wasn't working in our teeth were getting worse and I had written them off is not something to get, so hearing you say this--

Gin Stephens: Oh, my dentist it suggested it. It's like amazing. I brushed my teeth first and then I use the Waterpik and let's just say it's pretty amazing what the Waterpik gets out of there.

Melanie Avalon: Do you still floss at all?

Gin Stephens: Well, it depends on who you ask. My dentist said it does not take the place of flossing but let me just tell you that maybe at my house, it does. So, don't tell her. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I want to order one.

Gin Stephens: I really like it. Yeah, I got one on Amazon. She told me which one to get. Let me tell you get the one with a reservoir, instead of the handheld reservoir. You want one that plugs into the wall and as a big reservoir. Do not put just cold water in it. Let me tell you, it needs to be warm-ish.

Melanie Avalon: Okay.

Gin Stephens: Like a bunch of cold water on your teeth and gums does not feel great. It is too cold.

Melanie Avalon: We can put a link in the show notes for listeners, which will be at ifpodcast.com/Episode204 to the one that Gin got. I'm going to order it too.

Gin Stephens: Okay, awesome. We’ll see if you like it. I really, really do. It surprised me. She also made me get one of those electric toothbrushes to brush--

Melanie Avalon: The sonic ones.

Gin Stephens: Yes. I hated it, hated it. I don't like it. Don't like it. I cannot use it.

Melanie Avalon: They scare me so bad. They remind me of tooth sensitivity.

Gin Stephens: Well, I didn't like it. Apparently, I brush too hard and so she's like, “You’ve got to get this one. It's like so much better for your teeth.” I can't do it. I tried and then I hated it. Then I went back and they're like, “You're not using it.” I'm like, “Okay,” and then I tried again. I'm like, “No, I just can't.” I just don't like them. It makes my whole head feel weird.

Melanie Avalon: They just remind me of dental cleanings, I think.

Gin Stephens: I don't know, it made my head vibrate in a weird way. She's like, “Is something wrong with you?” I'm like, “I don't know, maybe.” [laughs] I love my dentist. She's hilarious.

Melanie Avalon: I have to share my favorite toothbrushes. I will put a link to them in the show notes. Especially if you brush really hard, they're the Perio ones. You can get them on Amazon. They're so soft. If you brush really hard, it's really good for not scraping away your teeth.

Gin Stephens: Well, I didn't know I brush too hard, but she told me I do. I think I also use the electric one too hard probably, I don't know. Also, here's a fun fact about me. If I try to write with a pencil, it snaps the point every time. I just apparently apply a lot of pressure to whatever I do.

Melanie Avalon: That's funny.

Gin Stephens: I know. I can't write with pencils, I can't brush my teeth, I need help. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Whenever somebody pulls out a pencil, I'm like, “Wow.” I feel people don't use pencils much anymore.

Gin Stephens: Well, I do use pencils sometimes. Really, I have to use the regular kind. I can't use whatever one’s, automatic pencils, what are they called-- mechanical pencils. I can't use mechanical pencils because the lead is too small. I really can't write with mechanical pencils, but I can use a regular pencil.

Melanie Avalon: See, another example. I can't write with normal pencils. I have to use mechanical pencils.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I love normal pencils. Yeah, fun fact, we can split a pack of pencils, get all the regular, you get all the mechanical. We'll be good to go. All right, yep, great dental hygiene. Just another benefit of intermittent fasting. We do hear it all the time, people come back and have their best checkups ever. Thank you so much for sharing.

Melanie Avalon: I have one more fun fact that's related. I'm reading right now, the newest-- I don't think it's a rewrite, but you know the GAPS diet?

Gin Stephens: I am familiar with it. I can't remember what it stands for.

Melanie Avalon: Her first one's stands for gut and psychology syndrome. It's about healing the gut primarily for mental health issues, but all different issues. Her newest one is GAPS, it's gut and physiology syndrome. It's talking about other issues as well. It is blowing my mind.

Gin Stephens: Just basically the connection between the gut and our mental health and our whole body, is that the point?

Melanie Avalon: Yes. The GAPS protocol is a very specific protocol that a lot of people follow to try to restore gut health. In the beginning, it's a lot of gut-healing nutrients, and you'd slowly introduce fermented foods, and it has only well-cooked veggies in the beginning and meat and all this stuff. I'm reading the newest version of her book, and it's very long. Oh my goodness, it is the most in-depth thing I have read yet about the gut microbiome.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's good to know.

Melanie Avalon: She goes through bacteria, archaea, fungi, protozoa. This blew my mind. Did you know that there's this form of bacteria called the L-form bacteria? Basically, a lot of bacteria, they can just change what they are. They can be one bacteria one day and then there another bacteria the next.

Gin Stephens: I did not know that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Or, they can do it with our body cells. They can become our own body cells. She said it's a huge problem in studying bacteria because it's like we think we've been studying bacteria in isolated forms, but really they could become other things. Then, also she says that antibiotics-- because when they become the L-form-- sorry, this is such a tangent. When they become the L-form, they lose their cell wall and then they can, I guess, change to something else. She said what antibiotics do is they tend to destroy the cell walls of bacteria. We haven't been taken into account that it doesn't necessarily destroy the bacteria, that they can in a way shape shift to something else. Really, really fascinating.

Gin Stephens: It's so interesting.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, and the reasons related was, she said that the oral microbiome in the placenta, and that the child experiences in the beginning actually most closely resembles our oral microbiome.

Gin Stephens: That's interesting.

Melanie Avalon: Women with less-than-ideal oral microbiomes, it actually has a big effect on their children. It's crazy.

Gin Stephens: It is so interesting. We're learning so much more all the time. When I was talking to Tim Spector’s people after I went through the Zoe test, I was like, “Gosh, this is so much different than the information I got back in 2017,” which doesn't feel like very long ago because really there was like three years difference between I had a test in 2017 with the American Gut Project, and then again in 2020, through the Zoe app, three years. But they're like, “Oh, yeah, three years ago, we didn't know anything, compared to what we know now.” This is really so cutting edge, like you read something that was written about the guT3 years ago, we know so much more now that's different. It changes. Because they couldn't sequence what was down there. They really just started to have a look in there.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. We barely look in the small intestine.

Gin Stephens: The more I learn though, the more I'm like, “Alright, there's so much we don't know, let's just don't even worry about it, just eat good food, do intermittent fasting, move on.”

Melanie Avalon: I don't know. I think a holistic, broad approach through diet is probably most beneficial. I have not read too far into the book, but she says basically, that the largest part of our bacteria is in our gut obviously, and that the biggest change we can make to that is through our diet and that will affect the bacteria throughout the rest of our body as well.

Gin Stephens: Right. It's all connected, everything is connected.

Melanie Avalon: We're just little worlds hosting all of these other symbiotic lifeforms that are living with us.

Gin Stephens: Your health is directly related to the health of that community.

Melanie Avalon: 100%. That's basically her thesis.

Gin Stephens: You can't be fully healthy if your gut’s not healthy.

Melanie Avalon: She even goes so far as to say if you have a really healthy, robust gut microbiome, that you won't get IBS, like you won't get these things. She thinks that it's a required factor of having a messed-up gut microbiome for a lot of diseases and illnesses that we experience.

Gin Stephens: I think so. I really, really do think so. This is the next frontier and we had it all the time, which we didn't know, it's always with us.

Melanie Avalon: Right in our own backyard.

Gin Stephens: Literally. [laughs] On that note, let's go to our first question from Marissa. The subject is “Small Portions.” She says, “Hello, ladies. I've been listening to the podcast for a while now and have been fasting for a little over a year with great results. You’re both super helpful with all the knowledge you share. Here's my question. My mom insists that when I open my window, I need to eat a small portion of food whenever I eat. Now, she's saying that if you eat smaller portions, your stomach shrinks, which to me doesn't make sense. Perhaps, she's living the diet lifestyle. Maybe you guys would know what I should explain to her to help her understand.” All right, so what do you say to Marissa and most importantly, Marissa’s mom?

Melanie Avalon: All right, Marissa, thank you so much for your question. This is definitely a prevailing myth out there that our stomach significantly shrinks, that it permanently becomes smaller or larger based on the size of food that we're eating. I did a lot of research on it and that's just not the case. When we eat a larger volume of food, yes, our stomach does expand substantially. Our normal stomach, if it has no food in it, it can contain about 200 milliliters of volume. How big is that, 200 milliliters?

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm picturing a graduated cylinder in my head that was 100 milliliters, so it's bigger than you think.

Melanie Avalon: 200 milliliters is about seven ounces?

Gin Stephens: Right.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so that's when there's no food in our stomach. When we eat more, when we eat a large volume, it expands accordingly and it can expand a lot. So, yes and no. The problem isn't really from the stretching, or the thing that might possibly be a factor in there, but I don't think it's something to be too concerned about. Stretching, so eating a large volume of food is most likely not going to be a problem, that’s what the stomach is accustomed to do. If you're eating more, it doesn't necessarily make you want to eat more to feel full. There's so many different factors going into satiety, and the stomach literally stretching is only one of them. A lot of it has to do with hormones released, based on what you're eating, there's just a lot of factors. For eating less, there has been a study in mice and they did find that when they reduce the mice’s intake by 20% for over four weeks, it did reduce a few of the important factors in the stomach wall that affect how much food the stomach can accommodate. It's possible that if you're eating smaller amounts, you'll slowly need less to feel full. I don't think it's so much the opposite, where if you're eating a lot that you're going to be eating need to eat a lot. Even for example, in professional overeaters, which you cannot pay me to be a professional overeater, but that doesn't really affect their normal stomach.

They've also found that obese patients or obese people don't really have any different stomach size than normal people. Basically, there's a lot of factors involved in satiety, you don't really have to worry about the large volume being a problem. It is possible that if you're eating really small meals all the time, that maybe you might get fuller sooner. But I don't think it's that much of a concern. Your thoughts, Gin?

Gin Stephens: This reminds me of a very funny diet that came out in the late 80s. I can't remember the name of it. I was watching TV, it was in the morning, you were watching The Today Show or something. It was like my friends from college where because we're in college at the time. I remember sitting in, we were in my dorm room, and the guy was like, “On this diet, you just eat according to the size of your fist. You can eat whatever you want, as long as it's the size of your fist, because you don't want to stretch out your stomach.” We're like, “That's so dumb.” What if I ate a piece of butter the size of my fist? What if I ate-- [laughs] we were only in college, but we already thought that sounded dumb. That was the whole diet plan. Size of your fist, that's how much you get to eat. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I'll put a link in the show notes. I found a really good article in Smithsonian that talks all about it. They even said-- because they're the ones where they talk about that mice study, but they even said even with those findings, I'll even quote it, they say, “It is also highly unlikely that short-term fasting is enough to produce long-term changes in the stomach. Based on our data from animals, we don't have any evidence that a day is enough to do this.” So, yeah.

Gin Stephens: Even then, I could see that eating the amount of food, the size of my fist was not going to be a good long-term dietary strategy. That one never really did take off, but someone sure was trying to sell that on The Today Show. I think they had a diet book, but it was not one that people remember.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I don't remember that one.

Gin Stephens: Probably, they just went on The Today Show, and everybody's like, “No, that's dumb,” and then no one did it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Oh, one other thought. It also talks in this article about patients who have anorexia, if they haven't been eating at all, that might be the type of long term, not getting enough, where they might not be able to actually accommodate more food. But that actually reminds me of something else from the GAPS book, she talked about how people are actually starving, the gut bacteria can accommodate to where they extract more calories from food, which is really interesting. Specifically, the archaea, they're not bacteria. In anorexic patients, they usually have high levels of archaea, and it might be like a protective mechanism because it's extracting more calories from food. Very interesting.

Gin Stephens: That is interesting. Of course, knowing what we know about the relationship between the gut and our psychological health, I have a chicken or the egg question about that. Is it the anorexia causing the gut to be different or the gut difference is causing the anorexia?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I've thought about that as well. It's really interesting. All right, shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: All right. This is some lingering leftovers from when we asked for Ask Me Anything for Episode 200, and I just think these are fun and they keep rolling in. This is from Nita, and the subject was, “Hopefully not too late, but maybe for the 200th Episode of IF Podcast.” Sort of too late, but not really because we're answering it. Nita says, “Hi, Melanie and Gin. I'm probably too late to add a question for your episode. You may have already recorded it, but I thought I do a ‘Would you rather’ game for you both.” Okay, so here's her game. “Would you rather give up IF forever or be forced to eat all the foods you dislike during the eating window?”

Gin Stephens: Well, I am not going to eat any foods I dislike ever. Ever. I'm not going to do it. I only eat foods I like. But again, I also can't give up IF forever because I'm sleeping, so even if I'm only fasting from over night--

Melanie Avalon: Gin, you're not allowed to do-- this is the would you rather game.

Gin Stephens: I'm sorry. I'm one of those loophole people. If the genie said you have one wish, I would wish for all the wishes. I'm sorry I'm looking for that loophole, but I don't know how to answer it. I have a hard time answering it, because--

Melanie Avalon: I feel you would do fasting, give up IF forever, because you would get your fasting during sleeping.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I just have decided I'm never going to eat foods I don't like, ever.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so that answers that question.

Gin Stephens: I guess. I really also am not giving up I have forever. I'm the worst. I'm sorry.

Melanie Avalon: Gin is the worst to play would you rather with.

Gin Stephens: I don't like this game. I'm like, “No, I'm not doing either of those.” I reject the having to pick one.

Melanie Avalon: I would rather give up IF forever.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I knew you would say that.

Melanie Avalon: It's similar to what you just said, I'm just not going to be in a place where I put in foods I don't want to put into my body.

Gin Stephens: Well, I guess, I would accidentally be fasting because I would not eat them. No matter what I'm fasting.

Melanie Avalon: Second question.

Gin Stephens: This one's easy. Thank goodness, I can answer this one. Go ahead.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, good. I was like, I don't know. Okay. Would you rather give up doing a podcast or give up writing books?

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm writing a new book right now, and as I've mentioned in earlier episodes, I'm like, “Why? Why am I writing this book?” I would give that up. Sorry, if anyone's listening, it's going to be a really good book. I go through periods of struggle with it, but it's going to be a really good book, but the writing process is very, very hard. It is more mentally draining than anything I've ever done in my life. Would you agree with that, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: I would agree with that statement.

Gin Stephens: Whereas doing podcasts is fun.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.

Gin Stephens: It's so fun. I would do 27 podcasts. [laughs] I love writing books, so don't get me wrong. I'm a writer. I'm really, really proud of the one I'm working on now. I think it's going to be good. I think it's going to be helpful. I just wrote about you in it, Melanie. I said Melanie was right about something.

Melanie Avalon: Really?

Gin Stephens: Yeah. You'll have to wait to see what that is. I'll tell you off the air, and I didn't want you to be right.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I'm excited.

Gin Stephens: I put my finger in my ears, la, la, la, but you were right about something. The more you look at the evidence, the more you're like, “Okay, she's right.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I do want to thank you, Gin, for putting up with all of my-- I'm always like, “Gin, this--” I don't know, I'm always saying my thoughts about things.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's what we do. But it's so much fun doing a podcast. Doing a podcast, it is work, don't get me wrong. It's so much fun work. Writing a book is so much fun, like childbirth. [laughs] You're so happy that you have your children, but you're like, “Oh Lordy, this childbirth was really not that fun.”

Melanie Avalon: Probably finding out you have the book deal is like finding out you're pregnant.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, exactly. Then you're like going through the glow and then you have morning sickness, and then you're vomiting, then the baby has to actually come out. Your epidural doesn't take and then you're feeling every pain, and anyway. Then, you push for five hours. That's more than anyone needed to know. On the other end of it, you have this beautiful baby. And not everyone's going to like your baby, that's also true. The first time the school calls and they're mad about your baby.

Melanie Avalon: People still ask me if I'm married or have children. I feel it's blatantly obvious how much I'm not married or have children. I just want to clarify that at this moment.

Gin Stephens: I am loving having adult children. It's so wonderful having adult children.

Melanie Avalon: I think I could skip to that point.

Gin Stephens: They're like really good friends that you created. It's true. Anybody with teenagers or struggling along the way, it does get better.

Melanie Avalon: Do you know Tom Bilyeu?

Gin Stephens: I know the name. What does he do?

Melanie Avalon: He has Impact Theory podcast. He was the founder of-- I don't think he was the founder of Quest Nutrition, he might have been.

Gin Stephens: I've heard his name. I don't know much about him.

Melanie Avalon: He has a really cool show that's really similar in format to my show, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. I think it's called Impact Theory. I feel he is me, but a man. He went to USC film school, then he wanted to do all of this health stuff and he wanted to produce a lot of health content in order to ultimately fund creative projects, which is basically my-- I don't know, we're very similar. In any case, he's married. He was on Mikhaila Peterson's podcast, who is well known in the carnivore movement, but she asked him about having or not having kids, because she has a kid and he said that I guess he and his wife decide not to have kids right now, but he knows. I guess they would regret having kids right now because of all they're doing with their business and their career and all that, but he said he knows hands down on his deathbed, he will regret not having kids, and so that's just a choice that he makes, like regretting it now-- or not that it's regretting it but choosing the downsides to not having kids now or later. That got really deep really quick, but it's something that resonates.

Gin Stephens: One of my sisters-- I only have one sister. One of my son’s siblings, my sister, [laughs] I have two brothers and a sister. My sister, she decided not to have kids and her husband, they decided together before they even got married, that they would just not have kids. She wanted to have the aunt relationship with kids, but not be responsible for kids. She's not regretted her decision for a minute.

Melanie Avalon: I think everybody just has to find what works for them.

Gin Stephens: Absolutely. All that from me saying that writing a book was childbirth. I was like, “How do we get to that discussion?”

Melanie Avalon: That's how this show goes down.

Gin Stephens: There you go. Yeah, writing books is hard. podcasts are fun, and also hard.

Melanie Avalon: All of it, though, is very gratifying.

Gin Stephens: It really is. It's fun putting stuff out into the world.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I just love creating content.

Gin Stephens: I do too. I really do.

Melanie Avalon: Especially when it's content that has such a effect on people, like as far as the information that we share.

Melanie Avalon: Right. Is helping people to live their best lives and solve the problems that they're struggling with, and that's the name of the game.

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Gin Stephens: All right. We have a question from Paige, and the subject is, “Any suggestions for lab work?” She says, “I will be seeing my doctor on February 10th,” unfortunately, we have now passed this, Paige, but hopefully it'll help someone else. She says, “What are the suggested labs for someone 49 and female that has struggled to lose weight her entire life? I have done intermittent fasting but never done it clean. I usually drink things loaded with artificial sweeteners or heavy whipping cream in my coffee. This week, I decided I have to be going wrong somewhere. So, I'm going clean during the fasting hours and eliminating all artificial sweeteners. I'm a regular group fitness exerciser for 30 years and have always had exercise discipline. I'm 5’5 and weigh around 170, I do not have documented thyroid issues. I'm an RN. I plan on asking for a fasted insulin level, but please let me know if you have other suggestions. Thank you so much.” Can I just jump in and say something real quick, Melanie? I don't think you need to do any specific “Why am I not losing weight lab work?” Because you haven't been fast and clean.

Melanie Avalon: I knew you're going to say that.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. You've been spiking that insulin all along with an eating heavy whipping cream is food for the body. You have not done intermittent fasting the way we recommend get. Instead of asking what's wrong with my body, we know it's the cream, it's the sweeteners You need to treat day one as the day you went to the clean fast. If a year from now, you haven't lost any weight-- obviously, maybe don't wait a year, but that's when it's going to be time to start digging in. Not now.

Melanie Avalon: For those who have a fast and clean and they want to do lab tests--

Gin Stephens: That's a totally different question. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: What lab tests do you think are most telling for why somebody might not be losing weight?

Gin Stephens: Well, she said the fasted insulin level, which I think is key. I think that every doctor should do a fasted insulin level even before an A1x, and I've talked about this before, we've discussed it on this show. If your insulin level is really, really high, your fasted insulin level, it's hard for you to lose weight. We've had people in the group that have struggled and they got a fasted insulin level and they're like, “Well, no wonder I've been struggling. My fasting insulin level is 20.” So, you’ve got to work on getting that down.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I would probably say there's a few different categories of things that could be indicators insulin, like Gin said would be great. She said she doesn't have documented thyroid issues, but that would be probably the second thing I would look at. You want to make sure that it's the full thyroid panel. If Paige has only tested-- because conventional doctors typically only test T4 and TSH. TSH isn't even a thyroid hormone, it's a pituitary hormone that signals to the thyroid. It just indicates what the pituitary is telling your thyroid to do, it doesn't tell you anything about what the thyroid-- I mean it's correlated to that, but it does not necessarily indicate what the thyroid is actually doing. T4 is the storage form of thyroid hormone. Again, it's a storage form, so it doesn't indicate the active levels in your body. I think it's crazy that the two things we test to evaluate the thyroid, none of it is the actual active thyroid hormone. Isn't that a little bit strange?

Gin Stephens: We test the things that are easy to test, right?

Melanie Avalon: I don't know if it's any easier to test those. The other ones if you're getting a full panel would be T3, so that's the actual active thyroid hormone, and then reverse T3. We've had Elle Russ on.

Gin Stephens: We have.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, we've had Elle Russ on the show. I've had Elle Russ on my other show. I'll put links to it in the show notes. She was on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. She has a really, really great book about hypothyroidism. I often share stuff about the thyroid with listeners, and I can't tell you how many times people tell me they go to their doctor and ask for a full panel, and the doctor will say that it just doesn't matter. Specifically, reverse T3, they say that it doesn't matter at all. But friends, reverse T3 is a thyroid hormone that can be made from T4. So, the storage form of thyroid hormone T4 can become either T3 or reverse T3. If it becomes reverse T3, it blocks the cells from taking in T3. You could have normal thyroid hormone levels like normal T3, but if your reverse T3 is high, it could be blocking all of that. So many people find the reverse T3 is high. That happens really because stress is the main factor. The body is perceiving a stress and so it is trying to slow down the metabolism because T3, the active form of the thyroid hormone is basically our metabolic piece of information hormone. It's what's telling cells to burn energy, to do everything they need to do. So, reverse T3 is a way to slow all of that down. You can also get tested for your TPO antibodies, and those will indicate if you have Hashimoto’s, which is the autoimmune form of hypothyroidism, which is the most common form. Some people even think that almost all thyroid issues are technically Hashimoto’s even if you test negative for the antibodies. That was a really long way of saying a full thyroid panel can be very, very helpful.

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The third thing I would say would be a full hormonal panel, and that's actually not usually a blood draw. It's something like a urine test. The DUTCH test is a really good hormonal panel you can do and that will show you all of your hormones, all of your cortisol, like your female hormones, so progesterone, estrogen. It'll give you a really good picture of you and what your hormones are doing. It's really hard to interpret. Admittedly, female hormones are not my expertise, I really don't know much about them, but that's something where you really want to work with a really functional practitioner who can interpret it for you.

A fourth thing you can maybe check would be CRP and any other inflammatory blood markers because those will show if your inflammation is really high in your body. If your inflammation is really high, that could be causing a lot of things and so you'd really want to find the cause of that. That could often be stress. It can really often be a food that's not working for you. It might indicate checking out your diet.

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Gin Stephens: Yeah. That's a really good, thorough answer to the question. When people say, “Oh, my thyroid’s fine,” the moral of the story is, “Well, is it?”

Melanie Avalon: 100%. All right, so we have time for one more question. This is from Ron, this question was for Gin. The subject is “Women only.” Ron says, “Great book.” He's referring to Fast. Feast. Repeat. He says, “I truly enjoyed it. I did notice all of your testimonials were for women. Is there any difference in the IF [unintelligible [00:56:13] between men and women?”

Gin Stephens: Well, they're really not all from women. If you dig in, they're not even-- I'm not sure if he was talking about Fast. Feast. Repeat. or Delay, Don’t Deny.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay.

Gin Stephens: He didn't say, but neither of them are 100% from women. There are men in the back of Delay, Don't Deny. Not very many, but there are. There are men in Fast. Feast. Repeat. as well, not as many. I think the reflection of why it is a majority women reflects the composition of the Facebook groups. We just so happen that 90 something percent of the members of the Facebook groups are women. It's the skewed community, not that there's something different you need to be doing men versus women. No, not a single thing you need to do differently because you're a man.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, my only caveat to that-- it's not really any different what you would do, but I do think women are more likely to experience potentially issues, not from the fasting per se, but because with fasting, they have begun over-restricting with everything. Female’s bodies are so much more sensitive to stress, as far as how it affects our reproduction and our menstrual cycles, and so it can affect our hormones if we get in that stressed-out state. So, it's no different at the beginning what you're doing, but I think women probably need to pay more attention that they're not over-restricting in their dietary choices, as well as the fasting to the point that it becomes too much of a stressor.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I have a frequently asked question about that in Fast. Feast. Repeat. that over-restriction is not good for anybody, man or woman. But that is a trap that women tend to fall into because of the diet culture that's ingrained in us. Women-- just like that, what was her name, whose mom was telling her to eat tiny amounts of food? That's diet culture, and the whole idea of eat dainty amounts like a woman, well, you don't want to do intermittent fasting, and also eat dainty amounts of food like a woman because you're going to be overly restricting for your body. We don't recommend that for men or women. But women, I think, tend to be more likely to do it just because we're told not to eat a big meal in front of a date because it might-- I'm like, “Oh, forget it. I'm not doing that.” I can remember when Chad and I were dating, he's like, “Boy, you can eat a lot.” I'm like, “Thank you.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I actually look forward to, if I am ever on a date, getting, like a really big steak or something just to be like, “See?”

Gin Stephens: I don't want to live a lie. I don't want to eat dainty in front of someone when I'm dating them. Then, when I really eat, I have to undo my pants buckle. No, I believed in being myself at all times.

Melanie Avalon: Me, too. That's another way we're the same.

Gin Stephens: Yay. We will be celebrating our 30th anniversary here in 2021. I still eat with gusto, as I did during the early days of dating.

Melanie Avalon: Is it this month?

Gin Stephens: No, it's not till July.

Melanie Avalon: Okay.

Gin Stephens: But it's coming, 30 years. I can't believe it, that's a long time.

Melanie Avalon: Three decades.

Gin Stephens: I know. It's like we grew up together. It feels like we were-- 30 years is more than half my life.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. Crazy. I was thinking like, how old would I have to be where I probably wouldn't reach the half my life thing if I got married.

Gin Stephens: Well, you're an intermittent faster, so you still have a lot of time.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: A biohacker and an intermittent faster, we're going to live a long time.

Melanie Avalon: If I do end up with somebody, I'm sure they're probably going to be a biohacker of sorts.

Gin Stephens: I can't imagine it any other way for you. No. [laughs] Cannot. “Honey, why is it red in here all the time?”

Melanie Avalon: I know. [laughs] There's so many things that you’d just have to be okay with.

Gin Stephens: Why are we sleeping in a Faraday cage? [laughs] What is this goat mattress? [laughs] Longtime listeners will get it.

Melanie Avalon: So many things.

Gin Stephens: Love it.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful, so a few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions to the podcast, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can get all of the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode204. Like I said, you can follow us on Instagram, MelanieAvalon, GinStephens, and you can join our Facebook groups. Oh, yeah. Gin, do you want to plug your new Facebook group?

Gin Stephens: Our new podcast that I have with the cohost, Sheri Bullock, the Life Lessons podcast, and our community is called Life Lessons with Gin and Sheri. Oh, funny story, someone said the other day, they're like, “I love this group so much. It's my own private Google. This takes the place of Google.” Because anytime anyone has a question, they're getting real answers. You know how when you're trying to get like a product recommendation, and you're reading all the reviews, and some of them sound crazy and fake? Well, here we are just giving you real feedback. It's a lot more than obviously product reviews. We talk about everything. Seinfeld was the show about nothing. Well, Life Lessons community is the place for everything. People have talked about their divorces and their issues they're going through with their spouse and their family and “Which mandolin should I cut my vegetables?” Then someone's like, “Well, make sure you get the gloves.” I mean, we're really talking about everything.

Melanie Avalon: I love it. My group IF Biohackers is basically-- it's like Google for everything biohacking, and also mindset and diet, fitness, all of that.

Gin Stephens: For example, right before the holidays, someone's like, “My dad's in a memory care facility. Can anyone send him a Christmas card?” He got thousands of Christmas cards. It was like featured on their local news. It was amazing. If you like feel-good stories and positive things, join Life Lessons with Gin and Sheri, and listen to our podcast, we have our podcast.

Melanie Avalon: Podcasts that we would choose over books.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, I know. I'm crazy with the podcast, three is a lot.

Melanie Avalon: Three is a lot.

Gin Stephens: It really is a lot.

Melanie Avalon: I've started actively, actively pitching my other show as a TV show, which would be really exciting.

Gin Stephens: That would be so exciting. That'd be so fun. That's your dream.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. It's going to happen. Manifest.

Gin Stephens: It's going to, we're putting it out there. I believe it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. If anybody who listens to this show, is in the TV creation/producing industry and has some advice they would like to share with me, I'd be happy to hear it.

Gin Stephens: Love it.

Melanie Avalon: If you do have any, email me at melanie@ifpodcast.com. All right. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: Nope. That's all.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

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! 

 

 

Oct 04

Stuff We Like

STUFF WE LIKE

Hi friends! Here's a list to all the random stuff that comes up on the podcast that we talk about liking/loving/needing/etc. Have fun!

SCIENTIFIC PAPERS

Many scientific papers are available (often in full form) via Google Scholar. If you have a college email ending in .edu, you can also sign up for Research Gate for full access to many "locked" papers. Colleges and even alumni accounts also often provide online library access, via resources like JSTOR.

FOOD SENSE


Get Melanie's app Food Sense to tackle your food sensitivities! Reactions to various “natural” compounds in foods can often create an array of health problems, from the GI tract to skin issues to neurological and hormonal imbalances. Food Sense helps you identify your potential food sensitivities and minimize food reactions. It includes an easily searchable catalogue of 300+ foods, revealing the general levels of amines, histamines, glutamates, oxalates, salicylates, sulfites, and thiols in various foods, as well nightshade status. It also features an overview of these various compounds, including typical reactions for those sensitive, and lists of foods high and low in them, as well as the ability to create your own personal lists, and quick instant access to the levels of these compounds for anything you may eat!

LUMEN (Measure Carb Vs. Fat Burning!)

Measure your fat or carb burning by the CO2 ratio in your breath! This technology wasn’t easily available to the public until now, with the breath-analyzing LUMEN device! You can get $25 off at the link melanieavalon.com/lumen, with the code MELANIEAVALON25.

(OTHER) PODCASTS!

Follow Our Himalaya App Playlist  "Intermittent Fasting Podcast Stuff We Like” For All The Other Podcast Episodes We Talk About!


BREATH FRESHENING!

Want to banish keto breath, without all the additives and sweeteners? Mix a drop or two of Organic Peppermint Oil with some water, in these perfectly sized, adorable glass bottles!

Wow Drops: IF friendly breath drops (they're SUPER potent!) 

Liquid Chlorophyll: Eating foods high in chlorophyll (like chlorella, green veggies, etc.) or supplementing can create fresh breath!

Earthpaste Toothpaste: Minimal but healthy ingredients for epic teeth cleaning and remineralization, available in lemon twist, cinnamon, wintergreen, spearmint. They're minimally sweetened with xylitol, except for the unsweetened spearmint, which Melanie loves! 

Uncle Harry's Flouride-Free Toothpaste - Peppermint : This awesome potent, natural, sweetener-free toothpaste contains just Bentonite clay, calcium carbonate, Purified, deionized, microfiltered water and ten parts per million of silver mineral (99.000% pure), sea salt, ionic minerals, mustard seed, essential oils of peppermint, eucalyptus, clove, wintergreen, and oregano. Gluten free, glycerin free, fluoride free, and vegan.

Uncle Harry's Natural Alkaline Miracle Mouthwash: This awesome, super potent, antimicrobial, sweetener-free mouthwash contains just Colloidal Silver Water, Sea Salt, Magnetic Earth, Purified Ocean Water, Active Ionic Minerals; Essential Oils of Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Clove, Wintergreen, and Oregano!

Dirty Mouth ToothpowderMinimal but healthy ingredients for epic teeth cleaning and remineralization.

AT HOME BLOOD TESTS (30% Off!)

LetsGetChecked: LetsGetChecked provides easy, affordable access to at home lab tests - no doctor's order required! They feature a range of tests including metabolic tests, hormonal profiles, cortisol stress tests, Vitamin D, thyroid (including the important free T3!), celiac test for gluten sensitivity, iron tests, a COVID test (coming soon), and so much more! You can get 30% off site wide, at trylgc.com/ifpodcast with the code IFPODCAST30

KETO AIDS

Keto-Mojo Ketone And Glucose Blood Meter: This meter provides the most accurate measuring of your ketones and blood glucose! And check out Episode 47 for an in-depth conversation all about ketosis with the company's founder, Dorian Greenow.

Ketone Strips: You can use these to measure the levels of ketones in your urine. (Note that the amount in your urine may or may not be indicative of your actual ketogenic state.)

MCT Oil: MCT oil is a refined version of coconut or palm oil, and is high in medium chain triglycerides which support ketone production. You can add it to food, or possibly to your coffee during your fast (It's QUITE a debate!). Check out episode 20 for more info! Recommended brands: Left Coast (derived only from coconuts with a nice C8/C10 ratio and quite affordable, but does come in a BPA-free plastic bottle, so consider transferring it to a glass bottle when you get it!), Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil and Clean MCT. (These last two are more expensive, as it is C8 only - which is faster assimilated and potentially more ketogenic).

CBD (50% Off With Free Shipping!) 

CBD supports the body's natural cannabinoid system, and can address an array of issues, from sleep to stress to chronic pain, and more! Feals makes CBD oil which satisfies ALL of Melanie's stringent criteria: it's premium, full spectrum, organic, tested, pure CBD in an organic MCT oil carrier! Feals delivered directly to your doorstep.  Go To https://feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping! (Note that this link is case sensitive, and sometimes finicky. If it doesn't work, try copying and pasting in a new browser, and/or typing it in a new browser.)

EXERCISE AIDS

Caffeine Pills: Please don't take "pre-workout" supplements during your fast, which often contain autophagy-halting protein, insulin-instigating sweeteners, and inflammation-encouraging fillers. Instead, just have some coffee, or if not a coffee fan, caffeine pills. This brand contains no fillers - just caffeine and gelatin capsules.

MAGNESIUM

Struggling with stress, sleep, or bowel movements? Our modern diet is often deficient in the mineral magnesium, which is involved with all enzymes in the body that use ATP for energy, and is vital for a healthy heart, gut, bones, digestion, immune system, and life in general! Supplementing with magnesium, either orally or transdermally with an oil or lotion, can aid sleep, stress, and energy production, among a host of other things. 

Natural CalmMagnesium in a highly absorbable drink form, available in various flavors. Melanie likes the all natural, unflavored form.

Ionic Magnesium: Magnesium in a highly absorbable ionic form. Doesn't taste the best, but you can down it like a shot! We recommend trying the ReMag or Good State brands.

Transdermal MagnesiumThis is a great way to build up magnesium stores throughout your body. You put this magnesium spray on your skin, which sucks it up and transports it where needed. Note that it can sting in the beginning when you start using it, as your body sucks it up so fast! This should stop as you build up and replenish your magnesium stores.

SERRAPEPTASE

 Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme created by the Japanese silk worm. When taken in the fasted state, it enters the bloodstream and breaks down unwanted proteins, fibrous tissue buildups, and overgrowths. It can work wonders for clearing mucous and sinuses, breaking down fibroids and adhesions, easing pain and inflammation, and so much more! Check out IFpodcast.com/serrapeptase for more information, formulation, dosages, and our recommended brands!

SUPPLEMENTS

In general, we recommend getting most of your nutrition and vitality from healthy whole foods. That said, here are some supplements we do recommend!

ATRANTIL (10% Off! - Beat IBS!) 

On episode 79, we discuss the amazing Atrantil with its founder Dr. Kenneth Brown. Atrantil can help you beat IBS and SIBO, particularly for those who are methane dominant. Atrantil contains natural herb compounds which work syngeristically to control bacteria in the small intestine, while also providing antioxidant and other GI benefits. You can use Atrantil to reduce (or even eliminate!) gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea,  and also to support digestive health in general! You need to give the product a full 30 days to evaluate it's effectiveness, as it can take that long to get your gut bacteria back in line, but it's so worth it!! Use the link lovemytummy.com/ifp with the code IFP, to get 10% off your purchase!

BiOptimizers (Discounts And Free Products!)

A company whose mission is to fix your digestion! BiOptimizers makes a range of awesome supplements, including digestive and proteolytic enzymes, gluten-hacks, a "one size fits all" superstar probiotoic (P30m!), HCL, and more! Check out the interviews we had with their founder, Wade Lightheart, in episodes 74 and 84! Check out the most recent shownotes for our current discount or freebie!

GRASS-FED ANCESTRAL SUPPLEMENTS (10% Off!)

These grass-fed, pasture-raised organ supplements from New Zealand are simply AMAZING. They contain NO fillers, and technically, they’re “food!” In the Chinese medicine tradition, think of this as “like supports like!” Taking these supplements can help fill in nutritional deficiencies, without the need to actually eat beef organs (for the squeamish among us!) I cannot recommend these enough!!

Use the link melanieavalon.com/ancestral with the code melanieavalon to get 10% off!!

OPTIONS INCLUDE: 

NATURAL ANTIMICROBIALS (FOR YEAST, BAD BACTERIA, PARASITES, ETC.)
  • Alli-C AllicinThis is a compound found in garlic, and is great for dealing with candida and bad bacteria, to support a healthy gut microbiome.
  • Oil of Oregano: Oregano is rich in the antimicrobial compounds Carvacrol and Thymol. This stuff is super powerful though, so consider taking it for brief stints, or when you feel like you're coming down with a cold. 
  • Gin likes this natural extract, high in antioxidants, for immune support! (
  • Monolaurin: This derivative from coconut is HIGHLY supportive of the immune system, and actually naturally present in breastmilk for that very purpose! Cannot recommend enough! 
  • Manuka Honey: Manuka honey from New Zealand is consistency shown to be highly antimicrobial. In one study, it knocked out EVERY pathogen tested out of dozens, including antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria! It's super pricey, but arguably super worth it. Don't be scammed though - you want to get legit, raw, certified brands with high UMF (or other credibly certified) ratings of their active power, like Wedderspoon, Comvita, Kiva, and YS Eco Bee. 
  • Buckwheat Honey: Want an antimicrobial honey that won't potentially break the bank like Manuka? Buckwheat is the answer!
  • HealthForce's SCRAM: Melanie's all time favorite for parasites and other bad buggers! This wonderful ORGANIC formulation contains clove, wormwood, and black walnut, with additional enzymes and liver support, and no fillers to boot!
GUT SUPPORT

RestoreRestore is an amazing supplement containing Terrahydrite™, a proprietary formulation of Aqueous Humic Substances and trace mineral amino acid complexes which has been shown to actually heal and seal the “tight junctions” forming the gut lining. This can help you beat leaky gutter, seal with food intolerances, boost your immune system, and so much more! While not a probiotic, restore has also been shown to foster a beneficial gut microbiome. Basically, you want restore in your life!

Some good enzymes for digestive support include Enzymedica's Digest Gold (and their other lines) and Pure Encapsulations' Digestive Enzymes Ultra 

HCLProper digestion is key for health, yet it often becomes distressed due to modern food choices, gut dysbiosis, leaky gut, antibiotics, stress, and PPIs, among other things. Hydrochloric acid (HCL) is naturally produced in the stomach to break down protein and fat, and supplementing with it may greatly enhance digestion in some individuals. To use HCL, start with the minimum dosage, then slowly increase at each meal by one capsule, until you feel a warm sensation in your stomach. You can plateau at that number of capsules, before eventually titrating off, if desired. (Studies indicate supplemental HCL does not affect the gastrin hormone which regulates HCL production, so you shouldn’t have to worry about dependency. On the contrary, improved digestion from HCL supplementation may encourage an ultimate return to homeostasis and natural HCL production.) 

Prescript Assist: Ok, there are a LOT of probiotics out there, which can radically help (or sometimes hinder) gut function. We recommend experimenting with different probiotics to find the ones that work for you. That said, Prescript Assist is a soil-based probiotic which Melanie loves, and which works for lots of people with digestive distress. It's the type of bacteria we would have naturally been consuming on fruits and vegetables via dirt (which we we now spray with pesticides, yet wash squeaky clean. #irony).


Ox Bile: Supplementing with Ox Bile can assist you in breaking down fat, especially if you lack a gallbladder. 

DIGESTIVE ENZYMES: Digestive enzymes can be great for supporting the breakdown of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, if you suffer from digestive distress. Melanie personally likes the Enzymedic line (pick your strength/formulation based on your issue and needed support). For a super potent blend, try out Source Naturals Essential Enzymes Ultra.

Trace Mineral DropsAdd these to your water (they don't break the fast) to assure you're getting all the minerals ya need!

ColostrumColostrum is a milky substance rich in which innovates a newborn's gut to support intestinal health and a robust immune system. You can supplement with colostrum derived from cow or goat milk to instigate rapid repair of your gut! Melanie suggests breaking your fast with it. 

Prebiotin Prebiotic Fiber PowderGin loves this prebiotic fiber to support your gut microbes!

DeSouza's Liquid ChlorophyllYou can take chlorophyll as an internal deodorizer!

Vegan Omega 3 From AlgaeOmega-3s are vital for healthy cellular membranes, brain health, and a host of other things. While Melanie recommends getting Omega  3s from low toxin fish, vegetarians and vegans can be hard pressed to get enough, as the form of omega-3 fats found in plants, ALA, must be converted into the body’s preferred form of EPA and DHA. The body’s conversion rate may be a shockingly low 2–10 percent, and some people harbor genetic mutations that further limit this conversion. If you're vegan or vegetarian, we definitely recommend an algae-based Omega 3 supplement.

Fermented Cod Liver OilIf you REALLY want to support your health with fat-soluble vitamins and Omega-3s, look no further than fermented cod liver oil! Don't like the taste? You can also rub it into your skin!

Collagen Peptides: These are fantastic for supporting hair growth. Consider breaking your fast with them! Melanie currently uses the Bulletproof Brand, but also recommends Vital Proteins. Her recent research indicates that marine based peptides may be better than bovine-based. 

L GlutamineGreat for healing the gut and/or dealing with sweet cravings. (Ep. 33)

Gymnema SylvestreThis can help address sweet cravings.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D (which is actually a hormone) is SO important for SO many things! While the natural form from the sun is best, you can also supplement to boost your levels. But choose your brand wisely, to assure assimilation and purity. K2 also helps the assimilation. (ep: 30)

Organic Activated Charcoal PowderThis stuff is great for cleansing, teeth whitening, and so much more!!! 

C-SaltsThese are great for easily assimilated, buffered vitamin C and electrolytes. 

Pau D'ArcoThis is great for combatting candida, mitigating sugar cravings, and makes a great tea!

Dandelion RootDandelion stimulates bile production and aids digestion and detoxification. You can get it as supplement as linked, or eat it fresh!

TurmericTurmeric is a common spice in Indian cuisine, known for it's bright orange color. It's a great natural anti-inflammatory with a myriad of health benefits! You can pick it up in the spice aisle (make sure to get organic), or get it online, like the linked product.

Organic Milk Thistle Extract Powder: For Liver Support - Milk thistle has been consistently shown to help the liver regenerate!

ALLERGY SUPPORT

QuercetinGreat allergy support!

ADRENAL SUPPORT

Organic Ashwaganda: Ashwaganda is an adaptogenic herb which can naturally regulate the adrenals and bring them back into balance!

OTHER

Liquid Gymnema Extract: This herb actually temporarily turns off your sweet receptors, helping combat sugar cravings. It's also an antifungal!

Results RNA ACZ Nano Advanced Cellular Zeolite Extra Strength: Fantastic for detox on a cellular level!


GREEN CHEF (GET A DISCOUNT!)

Green Chef: Want to make the meals in your window healthier, high quality, and a breeze? Green Chef is a fantastic, USDA certified organic meal-deliver service, with Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Mediterranean, Heart Smart, Lean & Clean, Keto, Gluten- Free, and Omnivore plans! You receive freshly picked, pre-measured, perfectly portioned, mostly prepped ingredients, with easy to follow step by step instructions, shipped straight to your door! Use The Link GreenChef.us/IFPODCAST75 For A Total Of $75 Off - That's $25 Off Your First Three Boxes!

PREP DISH (Free 2 Week Trial!)

Prep Dish is an awesome meal planning service which sends you weekly grocery and recipe lists, so you can do all your meal preparation at once, and be good to go for the week! It's perfect for the IF lifestyle! And better yet, the meals are all gluten free or Paleo, which is fantastic if you're already doing so, but also a wonderful way to "try out" gluten free or Paleo with delicious meals, and no feelings of restriction!! We can't recommend them enough! Get a free 2 week trial at Prepdish.com/ifpodcast! You'll get weekly gluten-free and Paleo grocery and recipe lists!!

COOKING

Instant Pot: If you invest in just one kitchen cooker, Melanie recommends the Instant Pot, which combines a Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer! So. Many. Things. But the true beauty is the PRESSURE COOKER, which drastically reduces cooking times by cooking with pressure. It's great for breaking down inflammatory plant compounds while maintaining nutrients, and can even turn tough, collagen-rich shanks—which would take all day in a slow cooker—into delicious tenderness in under an hour! And the best thing to make with it? Bone broth!!  

Manual Meat Grinder: Melanie loves this affordable grinder to make her own ground beef and tartar!

The Wonder Mill: Gin uses this mill to mill her own wheat for her homemade bread!

FOOD AND DRINKS

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

Bulletproof Coffee: Not to be confused with putting butter in your coffee, this is the Bulletproof brand of coffee, which Melanie loves. It's tested to be specifically toxin and mold free.  

Fermented Sauerkraut/Veggies Brands: When buying fermented foods, it's key to purchase refrigerated, non-pasteurized versions (at least if you want the probiotic benefits!). You can find these at many Whole Foods. Here are Melanie's favorites: Rejuvenative Foods (Her all time favorite! You can find them at some Whole Foods, or order online. Their Organic Raw Salt-Free Vegi-Delite Zing Salad is AMAZING, and also their Organic Raw Salt-Free Cabbage-Dill-Sauerkraut) , Wildbrine  (Love their Organic Arame Ginger Salad and Red Beet & Red Cabbage), and Farmhouse Culture (Try the the Organic Horseradish Leek and Classic Caraway! Yum!)

Redmond Salt: Conventional table salt is refined to the point of only containin two minerals (sodium and chloride), while ALSO containing anti-caking agents and sugar (dextrose). Fail. Redmond salt, on the other hand, is an ancient sea salt minded in Utah, which features a whopping 84 minerals and trace elements, and is highest in iodine and calcium of all the natural salts, with less potential for any radioactive elements. Basically, redmond salt for the win! (ep: 30)

The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking (Jeff Hertzberg M.D.) - The book with Gin's famous homemade bread recipe!

Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops: Add These Mineral Drops To Your Purified Water For Perfect, Health- Supporting Water!

Gallon Jars: Use These Glass Gallon Jars To Fill With Filtered Water From Ralphs/ Kroger/ Whole Foods/ etc.

Vacu Vin - Use these stoppers to make your wine last longer in the fridge!

Private Preserve Wine Preservation System - Use this inert gas to remove oxygen from wine bottles, making it last longer!

ORGANIC WINE (DRY FARM WINES - Get A Bottle For A Penny!)

Government regulations make it near impossible to know just what is in any given wine. If you react negatively to wine, you might actually be reacting to its additives (sugar, sulfites, stabilizers, colorizers, fining agents, etc.), pesticides (which are particularly concentrated in conventional grapes) and/or mycotoxins. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to purchase organic or biodynamic wines, which are available at decent prices at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Sprouts. (Melanie's favorites include Albero Tempranillo, Bonterra Cabernet, A to Z Pinot Noir, Candoni Pinot Grigio, and Emiliana Chardonnay.)

That said, many wineries implement organic practices without the certification, due to financial costs, lack of need, or even the stigma of “organic” wines. We wholeheartedly recommend you check out Dry Farm Wines. They travel the world and conduct lab tests to find small, sustainable wineries which produce all natural, organic wines with no additives or pesticides, and which are low alcohol (<12.5%), sugar free (<1 g/L), and mold-free! We personally sought to partner with them for listeners of the podcast! Check out DryFarmWines.com/IFpodcast for more information, and to get a bottle for a penny with your first subscription, shipped straight to your door! #Wine #Winning

BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING GLASSES  (15% Off!)

One of the things Melanie used every single day of my life without exception is blue-light blocking glasses.  They're key for regulating sleep, reducing anxiety, and so much more.  (Check out her interview with Andy Mant - founder of BLUBlox - on The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast!) Plus, did you know the majority of blue light blocking glasses on the market don't block their purported wavelengths, and that you actually want to use different types of glasses depending on the time of day, season, and your personal body? Did you know just a tiny exposure to artificial light can completely offset your circadian rhythm? You do NOT want to miss this fascinating conversation - it might just be a game changer for you!

Use the code ifpodcast at Blublox.com for 15% off! For every purchase, BluBlox donates a pair of glasses to someone in need!

SLEEP HACKS

Dr. Kirk Parsley's Sleep RemedyThis is the ultimate sleep supplement, which Melanie cannot recommend enough! It was developed by Dr. Kirk Parlsey after years of research and experimentation to naturally restore sleep to the sleep-deprived, insomniac Navy Seals. Rather than knocking you out with drugs, this simply provides the necessary neurotransmitters and nutrients in the perfect amounts to naturally support your body's sleep process. Melanie recommends choosing the new Sleep Remedy Capsule versions, which contain NO fillers! She also recommends starting small, and titrating up as needed. Rather than taking the recommended multi-capsule dosage, she's actually personally found the best effects with a mere 1/4 - 1/3 of a capsule! Oh hey sleep efficiency AND money saving!! Use the code MELANIEAVALON for more savings. Yey yey. 

Home-it Adjustable Bed Risers or Furniture Riser bed lifts: Stop sleeping completely flat! Use these risers to tilt the head of your bed, supporting lymph drainage from your brain and better detox while sleeping!

Hypnoser Weighted Blanket 2.0: Sleeping with a weighted blanket mimics the feeling of being held, encouraging more restful, sound sleep!

Gravity Weighted Sleep Mask, Made by the Creator of the Gravity Blanket, For Sleep and Stress: Like the gravity blanket, these weighted masks create a comforting feeling, while blocking sleep-disturbing light to boot!

Chilipad: Use this pad to perfectly regulate your sleep temperature! Get rid of shivers, night sweats, everything!! Melanie will NEVER stop using this one!! Use The Code MA25 For 25% Off The Chilipad, Or The Code MA15 At Chilitechnology.com For 15% Off Their Ooler!

Melanie's EMF Canopy!: EMF Protection from Radiation Sophisticated Box Canopy, EMF Shield Swiss Natural Cotton Comes with Free Under Bed Floor Protection (Full)

f.lux: Install this FREE program on your computer. Like Now. The f.lux program slowly shifts the color tones of your computer to block sleep-disrupting, melatonin thwarting blue light. Simply tell it when you want to get up, and it makes all the adjustments for you! You'l l never look at your computer the same way again. Literally. (And if you ever accidentally turn it off for a second at night, you'll get hit by the overwhelming 'normal" light from your computer and immediately be stimulated and just be like... how was I looking at that at night??) 

Magnesium: Magnesium is the ultimate relaxation, calming mineral, and is vital for sleep. Check out the Magnesium section above to really rock your sleep world.

THE GOAT MATTRESS!!  (5% Off Coming Soon!)

My Green Mattress: Yep, this is THE "goat" mattress Melanie famously discussed! She has the Pure Echo, and absolutely LOVES it!! Having a non-toxic mattress can be KEY for health - after all, you spend 1/3 of your life on it!! My Green Mattress makes totally affordable, organic, healthy mattresses made from organic cotton and wool, and free from chemicals, flame retardants, and other nasties. Plus, they're very comfortable!! They've also got a 10 year warranty, and a 100 day return policy. Even better? If for some reason you don't like it in that time period, (unlikely), My Green Mattress will help you find a charity to donate it to, and then refund it. HOW COOL IS THAT??? COUPON CODE COMING SOON!!

OUR BOOKS

What When Wine: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine (Melanie Avalon): Melanie's book on finding your personal Paleo and IF protocol, the health benefits of wine, a social guide to IF, 50 AMAZING gluten-free recipes, and much more!

The Yoga of Eating: Transcending Diets and Dogma to Nourish the Natural Self  (Charles Eisenstein): A fantastic book if you want to cultivate a healthy mindset around food, your body, and/or deal with thoughts of restrictive eating. The Audiobook is narrated by Melanie!

OTHER BOOKS

Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones:  (James Clear): Learn how making small changes each day can lead to big results. This books explores the science of breaking bad habits, starting new good ones, and how your identity and sense of self plays into everything!

The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage (Mel Robbins) - Mel Robbin's book teaches you an epic brain trick to stop bad habits and start new effortless habits and life changes, stop fears and worries, and more! Melanie cannot recommend it enough!!

The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet (Robb Wolf): The foundational Paleo Bible - Melanie's favorite!

Wired To Eat: Turn Off Cravings, Rewire Your Appetite for Weight Loss, and Determine the Foods That Work for You  (Robb Wolf) : This book goes into great detail about the individuality of glycemic control, and provides a special protocol for determining the best foods for your blood sugar.

The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good At It  (Kelly McGonigal) : Not all stress is bad for you! Mindset is everything! Stop stressing peops!

The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life (Dave Asprey): All about the low-carb, mostly whole foods Bulletproof Diet, which seeks to minimize toxins in your diet.

Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster-in Just Two Weeks (Dave Asprey): A great book if you're obsessed with biohacking (or want to start) and want to rock your mitochondria to supercharge your life.

The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss: (Dr. Jason Fung) A favorite of Gin's, and the fasting community at large! Dr. Fung's Foundational work! This book is what convinced Gin to take up clean fasting.

The Hungry Brain: Outsmarting the Instincts That Make Us Overeat: (Stephan Guyenet) A fantastic book on how the brain's neurological circuits and hypothalamus affect appetite, cravings, satiety, body weight, and more!

The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat (Tim Spector): We love this book about gut health and what we should eat and why.

The Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat (Paul Jaminet and Shou-Ching Jaminet):  Melanie loves this book which takes a scientific look at which foods perfectly suit our bodies to support health and reverse disease. It's a whole foods, Paleo-ish approach, but with a higher carb intake from sweet fruits and "safe starches."

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Charles Duhigg):  Learn all about the neurological wiring of habits, and how to change them for the better.

The Happiness Project: Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun (Gretchen Rubin):  In this super fun book, Gretchen Rubin retells her experiment to do all the things which supposedly make us "happy"... to see what happens!

The Biology of Belief 10th Anniversary Edition: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles (Bruce H. Lipton):  Written by a scientist,  this looks at how our thoughts and mind shape our body and biology.

The Bone Broth Miracle: How an Ancient Remedy Can Improve Health, Fight Aging, and Boost Beauty(Bruce H. Lipton)  (Ariane Resnick): Chef Ariane Resnick developed the 50 amazing gluten-free recipes for Melanie's new What When Wine book, and this is her own book with ALL the details on bone broth! It makes making bone broth a BREEZE, and includes so many awesome recipes (including bone broth based soups!) 

Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia (Natasha Campbell-McBride): This book details Dr. Campbell-McBridge's GAPS diet - a progressive diet based on bone broths, healthy fatty acids, fermented foods, and well cooked meat and vegetables, to heal the gut (particularly Leaky Gut!), solve digestive issues, and even address neurological problems (Dr. Campbell-McBridge originally developed the diet to address autism.)

The Salt Fix: Why Experts Got It All Wrong - and How Eating More Might Save Your Life (James J. DiNicolantonio): Is current conventional wisdom about salt... wrong? Should you actually embrace salt, not fear it? Get the full history and downlow in this fascinating book!

Brain over Binge: Why I Was Bulimic, Why Conventional Therapy Didn't Work, and How I Recovered for Good (Kathryn Hansen): Even if you don't struggle with binge eating, this is a great book for information on "Rational Reasoning" to deal with cravings and urges. Just say no! (Episode 33)

The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever (Mark Sisson) Awesome book for those interested in trying keto! (Episode 33)

Primal Endurance: Escape chronic cardio and carbohydrate dependency and become a fat burning beast! (Mark Sisson) Awesome book for those interested in pairing endurance exercise and a healthy diet! (Episode 35)

The Magnesium Miracle (Second Edition) (Carolyn Dean M.D. N.D): Want to learn more about magnesium? This book has got you covered! (Episode 33)

The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too) (Gretchen Rubin): Learn about four hidden personality types that drive everything we do, so you can further #hack your life performance and understand yourself and others better! (Episode 33)

Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence (Rick Hanson): Learn how to retrain your brain to focus on the good, and cultivate a positive mindset!

Effortless Healing: 9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself  (Dr. Joseph Mercola): A great overview of some easily implementable steps for health! 

Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition (3rd Edition) (Paul Pitchford): An AMAZING overview of all things Chinese Medicine for healing yourself with foods. It's got amazing information on food combining, the yin and yang of foods, and just EVERYTHING. Melanie cannot recommend this book enough! It's like a reference manual! 

Healthy Gut, Healthy You  (Dr. Michael Ruscio): An overview of the complexities of the gut microbiome, and how to personally address your digestive issues and health.

The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest (Dan Buettner): A fascinating look at the diet, habits, and lifestyles of the world's longest lived people.

The Toxin Solution: How Hidden Poisons in the Air, Water, Food, and Products We Us e Are Destroying Our Health--AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO FIX IT (Joseph Pizzorno): A wonderfully thorough exploration on the various environmental and food toxins we're exposed to, how to minimize them, and how to "detox" and get your health back with dietary and lifestyle changes.

Vibe: Unlock the Energetic Frequencies of Limitless Health, Love & Success (Robyn Openshaw): A look at how the energetic frequencies of food affect our health. 

You Can Heal Your Life (Louise Hay), You Can Heal Your Body (Louise Hay): Great books on how changing your mindset can affect your life, health, productivity, body, and more!

The Paleo Cure: Eat Right for Your Genes, Body Type, and Personal Health Needs - Prevent and Reverse Disease, Lose Weight Effortlessly, and Look and Feel Better than Ever (Chris Kresser): A great comprehensive overview of food's effects on the body, inflammation, and health, and how to take your health and life back through dietary changes!

The Longevity Diet: Discover the New Science Behind Stem Cell Activation and Regeneration to Slow Aging, Fight Disease, and Optimize Weight (Dr. Valter Longo): A Comprehensive overview of fasting-expert Dr. Valter Longo's research and philosophies on aging healthier and extending life expectancy. It's medical approach is based on his 5 Pillars of Longevity, where each pillar looks at several key factors that influence our chances of optimal health. The practical application combines a healthy, every day, pescatarian eating plan (the "Longevity Diet") with a 5-day fasting-mimicking diet, or FMD, done intermittently throughout the year.

The Warrior Diet: Switch on Your Biological Powerhouse For High Energy, Explosive Strength, and a Leaner, Harder Body (Ori Hofmekler): Ori Hofmekler’s foundational book on intermittent fasting, including its historical background, and how it benefits the body to make you stronger!

The 7 Principles of Stress: Extend Life, Stay Fit, and Ward Off Fat-What You Didn't Know about How Stress Can Reboot Your Mind, Energy, and Sex Life (Ori Hofmekler): Ori Hofmekler’s latest book, which dives into the intense details of how IF and stress can make you stronger!  This book is EPIC!! Cannot recommend it enough! It will totally alleviate any fasting fears, and help you understand how to grasp resiliency through diet and lifestyle.

Maximum Muscle, Minimum Fat: The Secret Science Behind Physical Transformation (Ori Hofmekler): A very detailed look at dietary and exercise principals to build lean, hard muscle for health and longevity.

Unlock Your Muscle Gene: Trigger the Biological Mechanisms That Transform Your Body and Extend Your Life (Ori Hofmekler): Ori Hofmekler’s foundational book on intermittent fasting, including its historical background, and how it benefits the body to make you stronger!

The Anti-Estrogenic Diet: How Estrogenic Foods and Chemicals Are Making You Fat and Sick (Ori Hofmekler): How to boost your health and fitness by addressing your estrogen levels through diet and lifestyle.

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It (Kelly McGonigal): A wonderful book on how our brain dictates our behavior, and how you can hack it for ultimate willpower!

The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from around the World (Sandor Elliz Katz). A beautiful comprehensive book detailing the history, art, and chemistry of fermented products, including how to basically ferment ANYTHING yourself. I cannot recommend this book enough! It’s so detailed, fascinating, and simply gorgeous!

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods (Sandor Elliz Katz). An approachable, how-to guide for fermenting #allthethings at home!

Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food (Catherine Shanahan M.D.) Both Gin and Melanie love this book, which goes DEEP into the science of how your health is affected by your genes, environment, eating choices, gut microbiome, and more!

The Healing Power of Essential Oils: Soothe Inflammation, Boost Mood, Prevent Autoimmunity, and Feel Great in Every Way (Eric Zielinski D.C.): A wonderful, comprehensive guide to tackling health issues and living a vibrant life with the use of essential oils. How have we not used these before??

Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life Kindle Edition (Max Lugavere): A wonderful look at how foods affect your brain, and how you can use that to your advantage for epic brain power and longevity!

Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health (Ben Lynch ND.): This amazing book looks at various genetic SNPs that can affect your mood, energy levels, health, and life. Better yet, it teaches you how to address them with diet, and even better, use them to your advantage!!

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself Michael A. Singer - Melanie's all time favorite book on mindfulness and how to stop associating your identity with your thoughts. This book could, quite possibly, change your life!!

Wake/Sleep: What to Eat and Do for More Energy and Better Sleep (Ariane Resnick): Filled with recipes for food and DIY health and beauty treatments, Wake/Sleep is two books in one: one half has advice and tips on staying alert and energetic, but turn the book over and discover the best ways to calm down, relax, and fall asleep.

KetoFast: Rejuvenate Your Health with a Step-by-Step Guide to Timing Your Ketogenic Meals (Dr. Joseph Mercola) : A guide to using the principles of ketogenic eating, meal planning, and timing to treat disease, promote weight loss, and optimize health. This book is seriously FANTASTIC!!

Healing Lyme: Natural Healing of Lyme Borreliosis and the Coinfections Chlamydia and Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis (Stephen Harrod Buhner): Stephen Buhner's foundational work on Lyme disease reveals the scientific workings of the Lyme bacteria in the human body, and how to construct an herbal protocol to conquer the bacteria and regain health. The audiobook is narrated by Melanie!

Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health (Dr. Caroline Leaf): Written by a cognitive neuroscientist, this book explores how your thoughts change the manifestation of your genes and cells! It provides guidance for better health and wholeness through correct thinking patterns.

Think and Eat Yourself Smart: A Neuroscientific Approach to a Sharper Mind and Healthier Life (Dr. Caroline Leaf): Learn how your thoughts affect how food affects you, why there is no one "right" diet, and the importance of certain food choices for health.

Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health (Dr. Caroline Leaf): Written by a cognitive neuroscientist, this book explores how your thoughts change the manifestation of your genes and cells! It provides guidance for better health and wholeness through correct thinking patterns.

The Longevity Solution: Rediscovering Centuries-Old Secrets to a Healthy, Long Life (Dr. Jason Fung and Dr. James DiNicolantonio): An exploration of how dietary and lifestyle factors - including types and amounts of protein, polyphenols, calories, fasting, coffee, tea, and wine - affect longevity!

The Diabetes Code (Dr. Jason Fung): An extensive overview of the role of insulin, carbs, fasting, and other factors in diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.


Never Binge Again(tm): Reprogram Yourself to Think Like a Permanently Thin Person(tm). Stop Overeating and Binge Eating and Stick to the Food Plan of Your Choice! (Livingston Ph.D, Glenn): This book is fantastic for understand how the voice in your head wanting to eat #allthethings, is not YOU, and you CAN say no!

Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance (Emily Fletcher): Learn how to easily meditate for 15 minutes 2 times a day! If you've found meditation intimidating or ineffective, this is the book for you!!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Marie Kondo): Learn how to declutter your space and life!

Live in the Balance: The Ground-Breaking East-West Nutrition Program (Linda Prout): This wonderful book provides an easy, approachable and scientific overview of Traditional Chinese Medicine, including the appropriate foods for correct your condition, and getting back into the balance of health! (Audioboook narrated by Melanie Coming Soon!)

Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don't Have To (David Sinclair): David Sinclair's groundbreaking universal theory on aging explores how a loss of information in our genes leads to aging, and how sirtuins and epigenetic expression (influenced by things like diet, lifestyle, fasting, and more) may stop and even reverse again!

You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter (Joe Dispenza): Learn about the powerful affect of the placebo effect, and how our minds can change our bodies on a cellular level. https://amzn.to/30aH49V

The Paleo Thyroid Solution: Stop Feeling Fat, Foggy, And Fatigued At The Hands Of Uninformed Doctors - Reclaim Your Health! (Elle Russ): A detailed, thorough look at the thyroid - particularly hypothyroidism - and how to interpret your hormones and fix things once and for all! 

The Little Book of Big Change: The No-Willpower Approach to Breaking Any Habit (Amy Johnson, PHD) No matter what your bad habit is, you have the power to change it. Drawing on a powerful combination of neuroscience and spirituality, this book will show you that you are not your habits. Rather, your habits and addictions are the result of simple brain wiring that is easily reversed. By learning to stop bad habits at the source, you will take charge of your habits and addictions for good. If you want to understand the science behind your habit, make the decision to end it, and commit to real, lasting change, this book will help you to finally take charge of your life―once and for all.

Metabolic Autophagy: Practice Intermittent Fasting and Resistance Training to Build Muscle and Promote Longevity (Siim Land)  If you want the deep science of what happens on a cellular level especially when it comes to fasting and autophagy, this book is for you!

Rebuild Your Bones: The 12-Week Osteoporosis Protocol (Mira and Jaysen Calton): The health of your bones is so important, and so complicated! This book looks at the role of nutrition in bone health, and how dietary and lifestyle changes can help you restore and rebuild your bones!




AUDIBLE AUDIOBOOKS (Get One Month Free!)

Audible 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! We're obsessed! Audible members can choose 3 titles every month (1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals), with rollover credits, easy exchanges, discounts on titles beyond credits, and audiobooks you'll keep forever! Go To Audible.com/IFPODCAST Or Text IFPODCAST To 500500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook!

BATH AND BEAUTY

Melanie's DIY Makeup Setting Spray: Just fill one of these adorable glass bottles with half water, half plain witch hazel. Spray on your face after applying your make-up, and your make-up will stay fresh all day! Plus, it's great for your skin, with no toxins!



PET STUFF

Check out episode 22 for our epic discussion of IF and pets! Long story short, IF may be ok for dogs, but probably not cats, In any case, a ton of modern pet food today is likely downright toxic to our dear animals 🙁 Try out these brands below.

Primal Pets Freeze Dried Pet FoodSimply add water to these these dehydrated, raw nugets if you want to feed your pets super natural, clean food mimicking their natural diet... without having to blend up your own raw meat yourself.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food: A great limited ingredient, grain-free dry pet food.

Feline Pine Cat Litter: Melanie loves this litter! It smells like a beautiful pine forest and doesn't track!

RED LIGHT THERAPY (JOOVV)

JOOVV: These amazing, affordable at-home red light therapy infrared devices are EPIC for health, inflammation, water retention, skin tightening, sleep, cellular rejuvenation, and so much more! Using the devices can seriously transform your skin and overall health! Melanie has the mini, and keeps it on her desk while working during the day. She's a bit obsessed!!  Plus, they have a full money back guarantee! Nothing to lose, and *SO* much to gain! If you use the link joovv.com/ifpodcast with the code IFPODCAST, you'll receive a discount from Joovv!

INSIDE TRACKER

Inside Tracker provides start to finish blood tests, with personalized, detailed, easy-to-understand analysis and recommendations! It's the Ultimate Tool In Biohacking!
Get 20% Off SITE WIDE at melanieavalon.com/getinsidetracker with the code MELANIE20.

CLEAN AIR - MOLEKULE

MOLEKULE: Clean air is vital for health! Molekule air purifiers actually work on molecule level (thus the name!) to eliminate - not just mask or neutralize - indoor air pollution, including pollutants 1000 times smaller than traditional HEPA filters! Say goodbye to viruses, mold, airborne chemicals, bacteria, and allergens! After all, if you’re breathing clearer with serrapeptase, don’t you want to breath cleaner air to boot? GO TO MOLEKULE.COM AND USE THE CODE ifpodcast10 AT CHECKOUT FOR 10% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER!

OTHER

Vibration Machines: These machines are fantastic for passive exercise, lymph stimulation, and detox! Gin and Melanie both have the large but totally affordable Confidence Fitness Platform Fitness Machine, while Melanie also has the LifePro Power Plate Exercise Machine for under her desk!

Cell Spa Ionic Detox Machine Foot Bath Aqua Spa Cleanse: Melanie loves this machine to draw toxins out of your body by ionizing your system. It's effective at drawing out heavy metals and other toxins! You can use it with this Ivation Foot Spa Massager for a comforting, warming, massaging, DETOXING foot bath! 

Terrain Mat: Terrain mats are great to put on your desk to keep you active and moving at a desk job!

VIVO White Height Adjustable 36 inch Stand up Desk Converter : This is a fantastic hack for an affordable standing desk!



Varidesk Active Chair: I adore this active chair! You can lean against it to "stand" while working. You can also sit on it, but it swivels around -keeping you active. It's the best, and goes great with the standing desk above!

Pavlok: Want to break a bad habit? This Pavlok wristband is SUPER effective!! It uses small (but not unbearable) shocks to rewire your brain to associate bad habits as bad things, making you literally have no urge to do them! You can use it for anything, from cravings to negative thoughts to quitting smoking, to anything! Super recommended. Plus it's got a 100% money back guarantee, which is what convinced Melanie to try it out originally 🙂 (Episode 33)

Ankle And Wrist Weights: Why go to the gym when you can engage in "functional" exercise? Simply wear these weights while doing housework, shopping, cooking, or whatever, and support muscle mass, no gym needed!

M Berry: This makes sour things taste sweet! It's so weird!!

Like A Glove Measuring Leggings: Gin has these "smart" leggings which measure you!

Balance Seat: This nifty addition to seat makes you constantly unbalanced, so you strengthen your core! This is great especially if you have a desk job!

Zand Herbal Lozenge, MentholNeed some lozenges for your fast? These are fairly free of additives, with no sweet taste, and pretty effective! 

Ergonomic Vertical MouseSwitching to a vertical mouse can really alleviate stress on your hand at the computer. Love it!!

Law Of Attraction Planner: Melanie's FAVORITE planner. It helps you effortlessly keep track of long term AND short term goals, daily tasks, habits, etc. It also has affirmations, motivations, visualizations, and just #allthethings. Cannot recommend enough!! Use the code LOA10OFF for 10% off!

Dr. Mercola Earthing Universal Mat: Use this mat to transfer free electrons from the Earth into your body! This is super important these days, since we often no longer walk barefoot outside, and are often also chained to our electric-disturbing desks and computers! A grounding mat provides the  same negatively-charged electrical potential as the Earth, and can be great for health, healing, sleep, inflammation, and so many other things!

The Wave by PureWine - Removes Both Histamines & Sulfite Preservatives, By-the-Bottle or By-The-Glass!

Zebra Glitter Highlighter- As discussed on episode 100, these are life changing. Instant joy and happiness every time you use them!!

LandKissing® Grounding Mats Kit: Melanie loves these grounding mats, which she tested with her EMF meter, and they WORK. They can help mitigate all the electric currents we’re exposed to, and bring the beneficial healing nature of the ground to your indoors!

EARTHLING 3.0 - Erthe Athletic Grounding Shoe Strap: Get the grounding benefits of walking barefoot, while still wearing shoes!

We only list products throughout this website that we genuinely use and love. Some of the links are affiliate links, which simply means, if you decide to purchase through the links, we may receive a small percentage which can help make our podcast possible.

Oct 31

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

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 237 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

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

GREEN CHEF: Get easy, affordable meals made with organic ingredients for a variety of lifestyles - including Paleo, Keto, Vegan, and Vegetarian - shipped straight to your home! Go To greenchef.com/ifpodcast125 And Use Code IFPODCAST125 To Get $125 Off Including Free Shipping!

BIOPTIMIZERS: A Company Whose Mission Is To Fix Your Digestion! Get Their Full Spectrum Magnesium Supplement To Fix Your Magnesium Status, Containing All 7 Versions Of Magnesium! Go To magnesiumbreakthrough.com/ifpodcast And Use Code IFPODCAST10 To Get Your Discount And Free Gifts Today!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get A FREE Holiday Turkey In Your First Box!

4:10 - 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!

Wired to Eat: Turn Off Cravings, Rewire Your Appetite for Weight Loss, and Determine the Foods That Work for You

Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat: Why Well-Raised Meat Is Good for You and Good for the Planet

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #57 - Robb Wolf

LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A Sample Pack For Only The Price Of Shipping!!

9:45 - robb's Personal Story

14:45 - the beginnings of LMNT

21:40 - How do you know what the right combination for your body?

23:10 - our taste for sodium

27:30 - Hydration & pH Balance

32:45 - nicotine

33:10 - Where is the line between hydration and dehydration?

35:30 - sodium depletion during sweating

36:30 - dilution ratios for LMNT

38:00 - GREEN CHEF: Go To greenchef.com/ifpodcast125 And Use Code IFPODCAST125 To Get $125 Off Including Free Shipping!

40:00 - can you have too many electrolytes?

45:30 - how Frequently do you have to replenish electrolytes?

49:40 - exercise

54:25 - oura ring

56:45 - timing your electrolytes for working out

1:01:00 - how well do we need to track electrolytes?

1:03:00 - thermoregulation and sweating in the sexes

1:04:30 - does salt concentration in sweat indicate anything?

1:10:00 - how many LMNT can you drink a day?

1:15:45 - being sensitive to the salty taste

1:16:50 - having the flavored LMNT during a fast

1:18:30 - longevity: are we trying too hard?

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #115 - Valter Longo, Ph.D.

1:21:00 - does it break a fast?

Question: How long should our fasting windows be?

1:23:45 - do you need more if You're keto?

1:27:30 - what is the role of dietary carbohydrate?

1:28:25 - what about the natural flavors?

1:32:00 - BIOPTIMIZERS: Go To magnesiumbreakthrough.com/ifpodcast And Use Code IFPODCAST10 To Get Your Discount And Free Gifts Today!

1:35:00 - labeling in supplements

1:37:10 - should you take LMNT if you use the sauna?

1:40:00 - need vs optimization

1:42:00 - the therapeutic benefit to sweating in the sauna

1:45:30 - is it good for kids?

1:47:35 - regenerative agriculture

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 237 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 10- to 16-pound, humanely raised, free-range turkey for free. Yes, for free. We are so honored to be supported by a company called ButcherBox. It is so, so important to us to buy high-quality meat that you can trust. It tastes better, it's more ethical, it's more sustainable, it's truly what benefits not only ourselves, but the planet. Friends. I've been doing a lot of research on transparency in the food industry and it is shocking what goes down. What you see on the shelves at the grocery store can be very misleading with practices that are not benefiting ourselves or the planet. So, if you're tired of searching for 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, wild-caught seafood, and more, you've got to try ButcherBox. Their entire sourcing is actually done holistically. They keep the farmer, the planet, the animal, and your family all in mind to deliver products directly to you, cutting out the middleman of a grocery store to save you money, and get you quality meat and seafood that you can trust. 

Plus, their products taste amazing. Oh, my goodness, friends, I am a steak girl. ButcherBox' filet is one of the best filets I have ever tasted in my entire life. I recently gave my family some of their grass-fed, grass-finished beef, and my mom told me it was the best ground beef she had ever tasted. My brother also adores their bacon. Yep, if you want pastured heritage-breed bacon that is sugar and nitrate free, you can get that at ButcherBox. I'm also a scallop girl, and their wild-caught scallops are delicious, and I can finally feel good about the transparency with that because friends, the seafood industry is very, very sketchy. A 2013 Oceana study found that one-third of seafood in grocery stores and restaurants was mislabeled. Farmed salmon is often labeled as wild salmon, and other fish species are just complete lies. It's honestly very shocking. 

Every month, ButcherBox members can get a curated selection of high-quality meat shipped straight to their home. Those boxes contain between 8 to 14 pounds of meat depending on your box type and what you want. They're packed fresh and shipped frozen with free shipping for the continental US. And friends, with the holidays upon us, how hard is it to find humanely raised, free-range turkeys without additives. Just go look at those turkeys at the grocery store and look at their ingredient list. It shouldn't be just turkey, it's not usually just turkey. They often plump up those turkeys at the grocery store to make them weigh more and those solutions are full of additives that you do not want in your body. But we've got you covered. You can skip the lines for your Thanksgiving turkey. This holiday ButcherBox is proud to give new members free turkey. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to sign up. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to receive a free turkey in your first box. I'll put all this information in the show notes.  

 Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disruptors, 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. So, when you're putting on your conventional skincare and 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 and 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, antiaging, 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. 

Hi everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 237 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon, and I am here today with a very, very special guest. Oh, my goodness, friends, I am so excited. So, I talk about a lot of people on this show, as you guys know, I'm always throwing you author recommendations and people to listen to. And I think I can honestly say that probably the person I have talked about the most is a Mr. Robb Wolf. And that is because when I first fell into the whole diet world, I was doing low carb and then in 2012, I read a book called The Paleo Solution and that honestly just changed my life. Since then, I became a little bit of a Robb Wolf fangirl, listening to his podcast, his books since then. So, he also wrote Wired to Eat, which I know I talked about at length on this show, that is a really cool book if you're interested in learning how we all react completely differently to carbs in particular, macronutrients and how things affect people differently. And then after that, he wrote Sacred Cow, which is all about the regenerative agriculture world, which is so, so important to me. I will put links in the show notes because we actually did an episode on that book on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. So, I will link to that. And then beyond that, Robb also released the Sacred Cow documentary, which I just watched, by the way, Robb, I'm embarrassed to say, I haven't watched it yet, but it was incredible. I watched on Amazon Prime. 

And then lastly, well, not lastly--, but lastly, for this intro, Robb is one of the amazing figures behind LMNT, which is an electrolyte company supplements that you guys love, love, love. We just figured it was high time to have an educational episode on electrolytes, especially because it relates so much to people doing fasting and it has really benefited so many of you guys, I hear from you all the time about it. So, I have collected a lot of listener questions about electrolytes and then maybe some other topics if we have time. But, yes, I'm just so excited. Robb Wolf, thank you so much for being here. 

Robb Wolf: If I grin anymore, my head may literally split in half and just fall off. Thank you. I am so honored by the intro. Thank you very much. 

Melanie Avalon: You've been on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast twice, and I think I told you this at the time, but I literally almost started crying the first time I interviewed you, which has never been before in an interview. So, I'm just so in awe and so grateful for everything that you're doing. 

Robb Wolf: Thank you. Thank you very much. 

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, I did a second interview with Robb on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast all about electrolytes. So, if you want to really, really deep dive into that conversation that we had, I'll put a link to that. But in today's episode, I have a lot of listener questions about electrolytes. But before we get to that, Robb, I mean, a lot of my listeners are probably very familiar, but would you like to tell them just a little bit about your personal story? I want to hear like your entire life story, but I guess what led you to developing LMNT, the topic of today's show? 

Robb Wolf: I did an undergrad in biochemistry and was looking at either medical school or more of a PhD research route in the autoimmunity cancer area. Around this time, I developed ulcerative colitis, really, really terrible case of it. I'm 5’9” about 170 pounds, it hit the low ebb of my ulcerative colitis, I was about 125-130 pounds. So, I was a mess. I knew enough about ulcerative colitis at that time, that the surgery was the main option on the table, some immunosuppressant drugs were also in the potential future. I knew enough about things at that point that that I did not want to head down that road in a complex set of circumstances put the idea that maybe my diet was the cause of my ulcerative colitis. I started doing some researching. This is about 1998, mind you, and this idea of a Paleo diet got on my radar. I did a little bit of research, there wasn't a lot of material at that time, there were only a few folks, anthropologists researching things, but what I found was really compelling. It talked a lot about Neolithic foods, grains, and stuff like that. For some people, they do wonderfully on them. And for other folks, they oftentimes have some GI and autoimmune-related problems and that really seemed to describe me, I was sick enough that I figured what have I got to lose? And so I embarked on what would now be considered a lower carb paleo-type diet. And it was nothing short of life saving for me. It was really miraculous.  

I've continued to tinker and fiddle and improve my health over the intervening 23 years, but as good as things were eating that way, particularly for like my blood sugar levels, not suffering carb crashes and not having weird GI problems and whatnot. I participate some old guy Brazilian jujitsu when I was really early in the CrossFit scene, I co-founded the first and fourth CrossFit affiliate gym. So, I've been around activities most of my life that are pretty high intensity. And if people have ever tried to do high intensity activity on a low carb diet, it's tough. The fueling just seems completely at odds and it was a lot of struggle. I spent a lot of time on the struggle bus trying to figure out, “Can I add some carbs around workouts or post workout or different things to try to fuel my training and also feel pretty good? But I eventually met two guys, Tyler Cartwright and Luis Villasenor, who are the founders of a community called Ketogains.  

They have hundreds of thousands of people in this community and they're just doing amazing body composition transformations with them. Mainly women, about 85% women between the age of like 35 and 55 thereabouts. People were getting amazing body composition changes. We weren't seeing crazy, like menstrual cycle issues or low thyroid and whatnot. I started asking these guys, I'm like, “What are you doing that's different, and then what do I need to do to be better at what I'm doing?” The long and short of it was that I and many other people when they are doing low carb or fasting, folks tend to be deficient in electrolytes in general, sodium in particular, which is a controversial topic because we're told time and again, that sodium is something that needs to be limited and we can dig into why that is here in a bit. But as most people will do when they have a world expert giving you advice, I ignored their advice at first. I said, “Oh, I salt my food. I'm totally squared away.” The thing was, is that when I finally listened to them, weighed and measured my food, really did a proper accounting of the amount of electrolytes I was consuming, they wanted me at, at least 5 grams of sodium per day and I was getting less than 2 grams of sodium per day.  

I fixed that initially by just literally drinking some pickle juice, which I like and is actually a wonderful option in this whole sodium-electrolyte story. And I felt better immediately. And then I tried some pickle juice pre and post jujitsu training, which I'm sure I had the most amazing breath ever on that particular training day. But I felt really, really good. I had this low gear that I just didn't remember having for ages. I circled back with Tyler and Luis. I'm like, “Hey, this sodium thing is really, really important.” They're like, “Yeah, we've known that for 10 years. [laughs] You're an idiot.” We put together a free downloadable guide that we call KetoAide, and it was basically take this much table salt, this much no salt, which is potassium chloride, a little bit of magnesium citrate, some lemon juice, stevia, water, shake it up, and use it. Within six months, we had like a half million downloads of this thing when we released it, and which we thought was great, it was really helping people. But then folks started asking us for a convenient option, like, they would mention that they were traveling and they're going through TSA and the TSA would look stink eye at them for having three bags of white powder in their carryon bag and stuff like that.  

Tyler and Luis were very dialed in on the need for electrolytes within the context of fasting and low-carb diets. When I became aware of that, it was world shaking. I knew that the bulk of the problems that folks in both my community and the bigger ancestral health community that so many of the problems that people were facing, were electrolyte driven. We started with this freemium option, we just wanted the information out there and we talked about things like pickle juice, and olives and salami being really nutritious sources of sodium rich foods. You don't just have to drink it, but ideally, you get it as part of your diet too. And then, it was actually the folks using that that free downloadable guide that they goosed us into starting this product, like we really didn't set out with the plan of selling people salt, but there was clearly a need there in-- knock on wood, but it looks like we really found a need and have a great solution to it. And everything is gone wonderfully. Like partners, we have with you have been able to spread this message. The really cool thing in it, it really jives with my nutritional philosophy is, if you're struggling at some point, let's figure out a game plan, let’s generate kind of a hypothesis or an idea about what's going on, and then let's test it. Let's try something and you give it a day, you give it a week, you give it a month, whatever the timeline makes sense on that, and then we can assess it. And if you're looking feeling performed better than cool, if not, then we'll iterate and keep going.  

What we've generally found with the electrolyte story is that folks just feel better immediately when they get this addressed. And it's a very enviable place to be when you have some sort of a product because it's like, I've taken vitamins and minerals and different things over the years, and I think they're helpful, but I don't know that I really notice all that much of a difference and it's like, “Oh, this protein powder is great, it was good in a shake. But I don't know if it's really like doing something for me, other than it's just food of some kind.” When you were off on electrolytes, and then you fix it, the results are so profound, and it's over the top, it's hard to ignore. And that's been a really cool position to be in because we do free giveaway stuff and whatnot. We're like, “Just try it, and then let us know how it goes.” It is led to really remarkable growth. So, there you go. 

Melanie Avalon: That is an incredible story. And that's what I was actually just thinking was-- the times when I think I definitely needed electrolytes and then had them, you feel it right away, literally feels like a light switch going on or something. I was also just thinking that it wasn't really until I had the episode with you on the other show, and we dived really deep into electrolytes. I realized because I've had this show for over 200 episodes now and people ask us questions all the time about having issues with fatigue or lethargy, or just not thriving, especially on a low-carb diet. It wasn't until you-- I really became aware of this whole electrolyte thing that I was like, “Oh, this is something I should have been recommending for a long time.” So, apologies to listeners, if I dropped the ball on that. 

Robb Wolf: Well, I only dropped the ball for 22 years. So, keep that in mind. I'm the biochemist guy and I dropped the ball for 22 years. So, no worry. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Picking the ball back up. Really random personal question. I'm curious how many colonoscopies did you have in your adventures with UC? 

Robb Wolf: Like two or three, it wasn't that many. They verified it and then just clinically the symptoms kind of loose stools and gas and just pain--, pretty remarkable pain, was a pretty good bellwether for what my current status was. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I just asked because I just had my third one, a few weeks ago, so I thought maybe you might have been up there with me with the colonoscopies. Fun times.  

Robb Wolf: Yeah, we're around that two to three level. Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm actually about to get the PillCam, which I'm excited about.  

Robb Wolf: Oh, interesting. 

Melanie Avalon: Nervous about the EMFs. But whatever, we'll see, in the name of science. 

Robb Wolf: I'm definitely in a minority here. But I'm not nearly as freaked out about EMFs, as a lot of people are. And I take some heat for that. I did a piece, it was more COVID related, right at the beginning of COVID. I'm a biochemist by training, but I really like physics, and I was reasonably good at it. And I got in and looked at it the way a physicist would with the amount of energy released the type of energy and all that type of stuff. I don't know that I would want to do hot yoga, on top of like a, an electrical transformer deal, but there are these things like the inverse square law, when you get twice as far away from a source, it's four times less powerful, and all these types of things. So, I'm way, way less worried about EMFs than a lot of people are, in-- particularly in a situation like this, where it's a transient process. That seems like a completely trivial risk profile in my mind. 

Melanie Avalon: No, thank you, that makes me feel better. I actually did an interview this week on it, and he was talking about that about how quickly it does dissipate when you're farther away and then also the cost benefit of what is this bringing you. I think the cost benefit, even though it's going to be super close up to my intestinal cells, so but short time and good information should come from it. So, very measured approach, but back to electrolytes. I'm stopping myself from just asking all my own personal questions, because I know, people have a lot of questions. So, this is something that you just touched on in your intro, and it was knowing-- well, maybe I don't know if you actually said it, or I just thought about it when you said it, but actually knowing what you need when it comes to electrolytes. For example, we have a question from Nikki and she said, “I had heard when it comes to electrolytes, everybody needs a different combination in order to be really effective. How do you know what the right combination is for your body? Does it depend on your gut microbiome?” And then just looping in with that one. Josie says, “How would you even know if electrolytes are out of balance?” So, is it individual to the person? 

Robb Wolf: It is, but our physiology is pretty good at sorting that out if we give it the right stuff. Person A versus Person B versus Person C, they may have some individual needs there. But let's just put on like our evolutionary biology hat for a second. If we're living as a hunter gatherer tribe, or even late 18th century farming community, how do you customize every single situation for a given person? That gets a little bit crazy, but this is where our sense of taste, our appetite for things like sodium, out of all the molecules that are involved in health, like vitamin D, and vitamin A, and B vitamins. All these things have a flavor they will taste like something. But literally a huge chunk of our sense of taste, sweet, salty, sour, umami, is allocated to sodium. Sodium, when it's found in fairly high concentrations and foods, usually, denote some high nutrient density and stuff like that. Our most organisms really have a draw towards sodium.  

The symptoms of low electrolytes or maybe one of the best places to start there, because I think it starts giving folks an operational framework for figuring out what's going on. In early signs of low electrolyte status, and when I say that, I'm really mainly focusing on sodium. And maybe we could get a little nuance to that in a minute. But lethargy, fatigue, brain fog, those are kind of the early signs and symptoms. As it gets later, we might see an elevated heart rate because we have both low sodium and low total body water, which would be dehydration, and we want the right amount of water going through our circulatory system, when the heart loads to get ready to pump, it's almost like bouncing on a trampoline. If we're bouncing on a floor, not much rebound, and if we bounce on like a gymnastics mat, there's maybe a little bit of rebound. But it's actually kind of soaking up the energy. But when we bounce on a trampoline, when you get that thing going properly, you're actually benefiting from some of the energy of loading the trampoline to launch you back into the air.  

When our heart is properly loaded with the blood volume, it's very efficient. When we lose fluid volume, when we become dehydrated, the blood volume can become low enough that the heart doesn't really load in the proper fashion. And then it needs to be faster to get the same rate of circulation going through our body, and so it's a stress on the heart. So, elevated heart rate is one of these later stage signs and symptoms of inadequate electrolytes and also hydration. And then further down the road is things like cramping, getting toe cramps and calf cramps and stuff like that. Once we get to that point of cramping, then we are really, really quite far down the low sodium, inadequate sodium, improper electrolyte status.  

In some people when they're in that phase, particularly if they're fasting or low carb, if they go from like seated to standing, then they get very lightheaded, normally like pass out and whatnot. And so that's a spectrum of the symptoms that one might experience when they are low in electrolytes. Oftentimes that like midafternoon energy slump, it's a variety of things that could go into it. But oftentimes it's low electrolytes, folks will notice that if they drink some electrolytes in lieu of a cup of coffee or a cup of tea, getting some more caffeine in their system, what they find is they just needed some more electrolytes, and then they feel really good. When you consider the fact that our sodium, potassium pumps are the main energy production centers in our body, this is the way we make ATP, this is the way we make energy for every single thing that we do. It makes sense that if our electrolytes are a little bit off than our energy, and the way that we feel will be a little bit off.  

I know one of the folks had a question around, does gut microbiota influences? It does, if somebody has, say, like SIBO and very rapid gut transit, it's very easy for these folks to become electrolyte deficient, because they tend to have loose watery stools. The gut contents are going through so fast that the large intestine and colon aren't able to do their job of reabsorbing water and electrolytes, and keeping that balance. Folks with different types of SIBO or other kind of permeable gut situations, they can find themselves in an electrolyte deficient state pretty easily. And this may be some of the chronic fatigue and lethargy that these folks experience because they're constantly dumping that-- that water in sodium, and so feeling kind of rough as a consequence. 

Melanie Avalon: Gotcha. Actually, that just made me think of a question about the actual hydration process as it relates to, the water-- the water we take in, the water in our intestines compared to the actual hydration status of our cells. For example, we got a question from, her name is Met, I think, but she says she's pregnant, and she sometimes throws up because of it. She wants to know does throwing up mess with your electrolytes, how much does it actually affect our electrolytes? And how bad does it have to be to cause harm? And if it does cause harm, can it be canceled out in some way by taking supplements? So that question and then I was just thinking, like losing, water throwing up or taking a lot of water through drinking or through food? How does that actually compare to the hydration status of your body? Because they often say that your intestines--, stuff in your intestines is actually outside your body in a way? 

Robb Wolf: Yeah, it's a tube. It's effectively a tube from mouth to hoo-ha, and technically that stuff is all outside of one's body. That story of say, like vomiting and the potential health effects, it can affect electrolytes, but the thing that it affects sooner than that is pH, because our stomach contents contain a lot of acid-- hydrochloric acid. If we lose a lot of stomach contents from vomiting, people will can end up in a very dangerous situation of being hyperalkalinized. This is actually a really cool and well-timed question and ability to comment on this stuff. If we think about the most tightly regulated processes in our body, arguably pH and electrolytes are it. If you or I show up unconscious to an emergency room, the very first thing that the doctor is going to do is check our electrolytes and our pH, heart rate and stuff like that. Is he or she still breathing? We're going to tick that box, but when they start doing some lab work, electrolytes and pH, pH goes a little high or a little low and we get sick or we can die. Electrolytes go a little off and we can get sick and we can die. There's really a pretty narrow window there.  

Now, if you throw up once or twice, yes, you're offloading some acid and transiently your body is going to be in a bit more of an alkaline state, but then your body will just not dump as much carbon dioxide out breathing, your kidneys will not excrete as much or-- will excrete more bicarbonate. And so, there's ways that the body will adjust to that pretty quickly what becomes problematic is, if this is really explosive for lack of the better term. Oral rehydration therapy was developed for people with cholera, which is a gut microbe which causes really, really severe water loss via diarrhea and that can create an electrolyte imbalance that can kill you. And so oral rehydration therapy is very sodium forward, it has potassium, magnesium also, but it also has a little bit of glucose to really accentuate the uptake of the electrolytes. This has been turned into this idea that you can only absorb electrolytes in the presence of glucose, which is not true, but it can enhance it, but that's another example of an acute situation in which we're dumping either acid in the case of vomiting or electrolytes in the case of very severe diarrhea that could get ahead of our body's ability to deal with that and it can get ahead of anything we can do orally to fix it. It can even get out ahead of IV therapy to be able to stay ahead of that stuff and that's why these things can become life threatening emergency situations.  

Now all that stuff said, generally in the case of morning sickness, this is not what folks are facing, unless it's really severe and really prolonged, I just don't see that being a super significant problem. Some folks do report that consuming saltier beverages, like chicken broth or pickle juice or maybe something like LMNT helps with the morning sickness symptoms, but there's a lot of different things out there that range in the quality of the research that supports it. But there is some that suggested sodium rich beverages can help, bubbly beverages can help, but it's not something I would be super worried about. It's just something that you would take care of with your general nutrition and hydration and whatnot, we’ll sort it out pretty thoroughly. 

Melanie Avalon: My little quick throw up story and I'm just telling you this because I know you might relate to the reason that this happened. I haven't thrown up in like forever, but I was playing around with nicotine patches, and I guess I was not ready for that nicotine patch. And I was, “Oh, this is like college.” [laughs] So note to self, do not put on too much of a nicotine patch. 

Robb Wolf: Nicotine is a really cool molecule for cognitive enhancement, neuro protection, but man, you got to really wade into the water carefully. 

Melanie Avalon: That was my problem, because I had been doing them for a while daily, and I stopped until then I just jumped back in. And then it was not a good idea. So, going back to the hydration aspect, I had this question and so did Katie, when does or where does the difference between hydrating and dehydrating happen? She says salt is used as an electrolyte, but too much is a desiccant. 

Robb Wolf: Absolutely, yeah. It's a really good point. This is like chapters of physiology textbook, and I'm trying to think of a-- it's a really, really good question, and it shows actually a deep understanding even asking the question, but in any given situation, our hydration status, this is worth mentioning, in general parlance, like if we look at a checkout counter magazine, typically they'll talk about hydration, and only what they're talking about is water. But if we look in a textbook of medical physiology, hydration means the water and the electrolytes that go along with it. And that's one thing that we missed in this whole story that we really should be thinking about the electrolytes that are supposed to accompany the water to reach a balanced position there.  

We tend to have more sodium outside of cells and more potassium inside of cells. Our body spends a lot of energy to create that gradient, because then when the process of sodium going towards potassium and potassium going towards sodium, is involved in things like the action potentials of muscles, the way our muscles contract, the way we breathe and the nerve impulses in our brain, like it really kind of underlies everything that we do is, is the gradient of the sodium potassium pumps. And this thing is dynamic. It's everchanging. There's bracketed ranges that they ideally exist within and it's worth mentioning that if we are too low in sodium, it becomes challenging for the body to stay on top of that. And this is a situation where, unfortunately, every marathon, every triathlon, there are folks that get hospitalized. And occasionally they die because they are working at a really high output, it might be hot, it might be humid, the individual is sweating. When we sweat, we lose about 100 to 1 sodium to potassium. The main thing that comes out with our sweat is water and sodium. So that sodium becomes depleted at a very rapid clip. And if we just add water on top of that, internally in our body, what we're doing is further diluting the amount of sodium that's still available. 

There was some old folk wisdom 1940s, 1950s, that folks would say, “You shouldn't drink water, unless you can have some salt tablets with it, because it'll worsen cramping.” And now people look at that, and like, “Oh, that's crazy.” But it was actually some really good advice. And clearly, this runs into a problem at some point, you're going to die of dehydration or there's going to be problems. But there's danger associated with drinking water, absent adequate electrolytes. The thing about all this stuff is that so long as we provide adequate sodium to the body, the kidneys do a really good job of sorting out whether we have too much or too little. If we have inadequate sodium, however, it's difficult for the body to get ahead of that. It can become a downward spiral. And I do like the point that that was made in the question. At some point, sodium can become a desiccant. I mean, this is how we make jerky and part of how we can foods and whatnot. So, there is a dose limitation on that, clearly, when we make the recommendations with LMNT around how much water to dilute the element in when you are at 32 ounces per stick back, then you're in what's called a slightly hypo, it's slightly more dilute than what we would have in our bodies' fluids. It's a little bit more water relative to the electrolytes. If you're at about 24-25 ounces, then you're what's called isotonic, it's about the same ratio of water to electrolytes as what you would find in the body.  

And then in the case of about 16 ounces, it's called hypertonic. It's more concentrated in electrolytes, relative to what our body is. Generally, we want to consume things that are either isotonic, or slightly hypotonic. If you're having a good margarita base, I think making it hypertonic is fantastic because it tastes amazing. But again, our physiology is pretty crafty at sorting that out. So long as we kind of prioritize the right things. And I don't know if that was a good answer to that very good question, but that was my best stab at it for sure. 

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Melanie Avalon: We have another question because I was just thinking about the nuance that you were talking about with how if we're depleted in sodium, adding too much water, might actually make things worse by further diluting everything. This is the flip side of that. Nicole said, “I've heard that taking too many electrolytes when you don't need them causes the body to flush them out to keep the body balanced and usually results in a deficit when you need them soon after. Example, pre-gaming with electrolytes and then working out could create this deficit, then they aren't there when you need them during the actual workout. How does one know if you could benefit from them during a fast excluding the typical symptoms without your body trying to flush the excess and creating a deficit, which might affect you later during the fast.” So, does that happen? Can that flipside thing happen where if you add too many electrolytes, gets rid of them? 

Robb Wolf: Not really-- I guess if you did like really-- not really accurate. If you had a really hypertonic solution, like very, very concentrated, one thing that could happen is folks can get disaster pants because it actually pulls fluid into the intestinal contents, trying to dilute it effectively and it will and it's just really physics doing this. It pulls water into the gut. So, if something is really hypertonic you could end up with GI upset and diarrhea. The other side of this is that our body is changing, we talk about homeostasis, but this is a moving scale and again it exists within brackets, like sodium levels may go up, they may go down but it's going to be a cyclic process there.  

We've been able to do some really cool work with some NHL teams, the big hockey player guys. These are some pretty big dudes, pretty athletic, 200-220 pounds. These guys because of the gear they're wearing and the amount of activity they're doing, they will lose 10 pounds of water in a game. And that 10 pounds of water may remove as much as 10 gram of sodium in the course of the game. Now these guys need to prehydrate pretty aggressively and they need to be topping that off as much as they can during the game. And then after the game, they're still going to need to continue topping that back off or they're going to be really depleted, the next day. And this is where they go to bed and they have the elevated heart rate and whatnot because their electrolyte status is really depleted. So through the course of the game even if the person preloads the electrolytes and then they begin sweating and they're still trying to drink someone top it off. I mean, if we're only consuming 32 ounces of water on some cadence and it's only got a gram of sodium, but at the end of two hours, we've lost 10 grams of sodium. We may still be significantly sodium depleted relative to where we start. We're going to need to take additional steps to address that. In a physical activity standpoint, I'm much more concerned about ending up depleted than I am overcharging, maybe a little bit on the front end and then certainly paying attention while we're doing the event. 

Melanie Avalon: That was the example of athletes, but in general, let's say that you take in a certain amount of electrolytes sodium in particular, and then you go super high on sodium, as an individual how long it would take to go back to what you were before? I've noticed with me if I'm just following my normal diet and then I have a super salty day, it's almost I feel my body losing the salt over two or three days. I don't know, is it individual? How long that process last? 

Robb Wolf: Yeah, but that sounds about right. You might even experience that on a per meal basis, our lunches--. My daughters are seven and nine, and we homeschool and the whole family does jujitsu and we have a really cool life, but it's very, very busy. I can pull off cooking breakfast and I can pull off cooking dinner. I can't pull off a hot lunch. It just doesn't happen. It's where the wheels fall off the wagon. Lunch is frequently like a charcuterie board. It's salami and cheese and olives and pickles and all that stuff. And that's mainly what we do for lunch, like probably five days out of seven or we have some leftovers from something else. What I notice is that if I don't do that charcuterie board-type thing, which is very sodium rich, then I'll usually want some LMNT somewhere later in the day, but if I do something like the charcuterie board, then I'm just doing like water or tea because I got the sodium from that meal. And I just-- even if I taste LMNT, then even if it's properly diluted, it tastes really salty because I already consumed more than enough sodium for that--, that window of time. 

Melanie Avalon: The days that I have those salty days, it's usually, whatever reason I'm craving the deli meat, organic turkey and the sodium just shoots up through the roof, especially because I eat so much protein and meat that if I go overboard on that [laughs] it really lasts. Another question about the timing. Dorothy says-- and we danced around this or addressed it, but just to clarify, she says, “How long does an electrolyte stay in your body before needing replenishment? I'm an avid walker/hiker and gardener.” And then similarly, Holly says, she has some kind words. She says, “I'm so glad you're having Robb Wolf on again, he is a great source of information. And I am only recently learning how electrolytes play such a profound role in our physiology. My question is, are we better off taking electrolytes in a consistent lower concentration throughout the day? Or will your body store higher doses to some degree for use later when needed?” For example, I think I heard somewhere that taking them as a shot is a thing. So, I assume that way they're quite concentrated. 

Robb Wolf: It's tough to say on this. The main thing that I recommend is, folks, it slays me because I'm a biochemist by training, I love really solid empirical benchmarks. The dosing thing is one of the most challenging features of this because it really does depend. We spent two years living in Texas and even on Christmas day, it was 85 degrees and 90% humidity. I used a remarkable amount of electrolytes, even just like living. Not a jujitsu day, not a workout day just motoring long. We live in Montana now and it's much cooler, and although it's dry, it's not bone dry here, like what it was when we lived in Reno, Nevada and so finally electrolyte needs are just generally less.  

Now if I do a class of Brazilian jujitsu, if I do a pretty long workout or something, then my electrolyte needs go up. I've just gotten to a point where I just pay attention to how I'm feeling, am I feeling a little lethargic? Am I a little bit off? And I just also kind of noticed that I know the things that, okay, jujitsu, I really don't want to go to a class without some electrolytes. If we're going to do just a walk around the neighborhood, no big deal. If we're going to go two-hour hike, and I might end up carrying the kids on part of this hike, then I'm definitely going to want some electrolytes. I think you just have to play with it a little bit. I guess it's a little bit similar to just fueling in general, do you need to eat before a workout? Well, it depends on you. I really like to have a little bit of food in my system. Fasted workouts don't work well for me. I'm type A, wound-type person and the stress that comes about from some time restricted eating is more than enough for me as a baseline. I don't need to compound that with stress of fasting and exercise. It just doesn't work out for me. Some people do great with it.  

So, I think that this is just an area that you really need to tinker and experiment. And then on that, like, should you do a bolus versus a low titration? It's going to really depend. Again, maybe using my lunch example of some lunch meat, I usually end up being able to work out if I'm hitting more of a gym session, say around like 4 O'clock. I will do my lunch around noon to 12:30, because it's more like salami and cheese and all that type of stuff. I just sip on water after that, but that's my big sodium bolus early, and then I sip on water to kind of bring things back to equilibrium. And then I'm pretty good to go by the time I get ready to workout. I usually do bring another LMNT with me and if I feel I'm running out of gas and need a little bit of a boost, and I'll sip on it. Or, oftentimes, I feel I'm pretty good because I did have that pretty significant bolus earlier in the day. All that stuff said, if we consume more sodium than what we need, the kidneys are pretty good at sorting that out, and it's about 25-30 minutes before you get back to kind of a normal baseline with that.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm so glad you went that direction with the working out because we got quite a few questions about that. Shantelle wanted to know, “If you work out daily, but you don't sweat very much should I still take them?” Candace says, she works out in the mornings, mainly weights and drinks about 96 ounces of water a day. How do you know if you need to drink electrolytes? Is it mainly for people who sweat a lot and are outside? What are the benefits for the average person? Then Ashley wants to know as well. “Do most casual gym goers actually need to drink an electrolyte drink after a workout? Or is water sufficient?” So, it sounds like people are very curious if they're working out, is their level of sweat, a gauge for if they need more electrolytes, how would they know? 

Robb Wolf: It's a piece of this and maybe a way to think about it, is like a bathtub that's getting filled. If we turned water into a bathtub, the bathtub is going to fill up. Unless, the drain is open and then we're losing some amount of water. If the inflow is greater than the outflow, then we're okay or maybe it's at a stable state, where the same amount going in is coming out. So, this whole picture is going to be really dependent on how much sodium are these folks consuming as part of their just diet, their background, food intake, and whatever other supplements and whatnot, they're taking in. Generally, when folks are eating anything approximating, a minimally processed whole food-type diet, and this could be paleo, this could be vegan, it could be Mediterranean, but the bulk of the sodium that people consume in the modern world is associated with highly processed foods.  

When people move away from highly processed foods, they tend to consume markedly less sodium. It's going to depend on whether or not-- again, somebody, we threw out LMNT as a stop gap-- here's maybe something that will help. The way that we formulated LMNT, the way that we arrived at the amounts and ratios, we looked at about 300 diet records that folks were doing on chronometer, and they were very detailed. The protein, carbs, fat, but also the amount of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium. What we found was that people eating a minimally processed, lower carb, whole food-based diet, they were fine on calcium, they were a little bit deficient in magnesium, more deficient in potassium, and they were really, really, really deficient in sodium. That's reflected in the ratios that we have. So, if folks are eating, let's say their family is more Japanese or Asian in derivation. And they do a lot of soy sauce and kimchis and stuff like that. As a background, they are consuming a lot of sodium. They might not need to supplement with something like LMNT or a different electrolyte. But, if somebody is doing a more traditional Mediterranean diet with lentils and beans and some fruits and veggies, usually the sodium there is very much a garnish. There's not much present and that individual may end up benefiting tremendously from additional sodium intake.  

The main feedback that I have for folks on this, is try supplementing around workouts or around walking or if you have a low energy portion of your day, usually like that 2:00 to 4:00 PM, something like that, try supplementing with some electrolytes at that time. Again, it could be like 10 olives, it could be a swig of pickle juice, it could be LMNT, there's a lot of different options on there. But I would look at those spots and just see like, do you notice a difference in your recovery, in your energy level? Do you see an improvement in your sleep quality? If people are tracking heart rate variability, one of the biggest things that we see is a dramatic increase in HRV score, which shows that the individual is recovering better and sleeping better when they get their sodium properly addressed. And that might actually be one of the better objective measures of whether or not that electrolyte is really benefiting. Feeling better is I think a pretty profound tool in that whole thing. But when your HRV score consistently improves, then that's a pretty good indicator that things are on point.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. We were talking earlier about how it's hard to gauge sometimes what things are actually doing, like vitamins and things like that. Do you wear an Oura ring or how do you measure your heart rate variability? 

Robb Wolf: I did for a long time, but I got frustrated with it, because I would lay down and start reading to go to bed, and then it would ding me because it thought that I had sleep latency. 

Melanie Avalon: You're going to bed? 

Robb Wolf: Yeah. Then I would get a lesser score. So, then I started taking the ring off while I read and then put it back on. And really, I had reached this point where I think that platforms like that are really, really valuable to provide some guidance, but I find that for a lot of people it's good. It became frustrating to me because I started doing goofy things to try to just improve a somewhat arbitrary score. I think heart rate variability is very, very important. It's a very valuable tool. But this is some of where the biohacking stuff raises my hackles a little bit where people lose touch with just what their body is telling them. It's like do you get sleep better, did you wake up more refreshed, and doesn't really matter. When you've got that across like 15 days, 20 days, 100 days, but I'm still getting ding because these platforms are still far from perfect, they get better all the time. So, I ended up abandoning my Oura ring. I use the Morpheus platform occasionally around my jujitsu training. In particular, when I do any type of zone two cardio because it's remarkable how little effort you need to put into getting into zone two for that really restorative cardiovascular training. So, I will use it for that more gauging my heart rate at that time, so that I don't overdo it and start turning it into a stressful session instead of a restorative session. 

Melanie Avalon: If I ever really did get into the working out stuff, I would probably want to do that whole-- the zone, figure out what zone I'm in. I haven't done that at all. It took me forever to get an Oura ring because I thought it was going to make me super neurotic. But I actually have I think a very healthy relationship with my Oura ring. When I first got it, and I realized it was recommending that I go to bed at 1:30 AM I was like, “Okay, we're fine. Like it knows me. [laughs] It knows I'm not going to go to bed earlier.” Question about the workouts though. When they are taking supplements, what would be the timing of it? Dori wants to know, “Before, during or after workout?” Lydia wants to know, "Before or after a run." And Abby wants to know, “Timing with a workout, does it coincide at all with your workout?”  

Robb Wolf: Yeah, it certainly can. There's a couple of different ways that one could tackle this in for-- let's see the little bit more sophisticated in performance-oriented people. There's a little bit of a hack that you can do, you have to get the timing right. But let's say you do your stick pack in 32 ounces and then let's say you down about half of that pretty quick, like you chug it. Again, this will vary from person to person, like a 5’2” female, that amount may need to be less, because she's just going to be like, sloshing around with a belly full of electrolyte mix, so it's going to vary a little bit there. But there's an interesting phenomenon that occurs when we begin exercising, our urine output drops dramatically. And this makes sense because the body is like, oh, we're beginning to heat up. We're going to start sweating, we need temperature regulation, we don't need to get fluids out of the body, we don't need to get sodium out of the body via the urine, we're going to handle that via the sweat and we want to allocate it to the sweat. So, you can stack the deck a little bit if you know the timing of what's going on, because then you enter into that that situation with a little bit more fluid volume than what you would normally have. It's almost like you threw it down the hatch and we're normally, if you drink a lot of fluids 20 minutes later, you would need to pee. You throw it down the hatch, maybe 10 minutes later you start exercising and you do your warm up, you don't just launch into like a full fledge crazy CrossFit workout, you need a little bit of ramp up. But what you end up doing in that situation is trapping some of that water between your mouth and your kidneys basically, and it's going to be allocated into allowing you to sweat more and maintain that fluid volume for proper cardiac output and whatnot. But you need to tinker with that, you have to figure out the timing. Otherwise, you could shoot this stuff down and maybe have a bellyache, you could shoot this stuff down, and then it takes a little longer to get the workout going than what you thought and then you need to pee every five minutes to deal with that. So, but that's a higher level, trick that folks could do to maybe get a little bit of performance bump. I do very much that at jujitsu.  

I sip on an electrolyte usually when we're driving to the gym, I sip maybe about a third of a 32-ounce container on a 20-minute drive to the gym. And then the one hour of technique stuff, it's active, but it's not super active and maybe every 5, 10 minutes, we have a little bit of a water break and sip on some water. Right before I begin rolling, I will drink probably about 15 to 20 ounces of electrolyte and then I immediately turn around and start getting after the hard rolling then, and so I end up doing both. I'm titrating a little bit of electrolytes early in and then I end up hyper loading right before the harder training session. And then at the end of that, if I have a really hard training day, I will notice that I may do two, three, four more LMNTs in that day, or just sodium equivalent. And I gauge my relative fatigue as to whether or not I need more. If I still feel knackered and cognitively out of it, then I'll keep on sipping on some more. So, that's a maybe an example that encompasses all of these questions where I use a little bit pre, I use a little bit during, and then as the intensity changes, I actually preload a little bit, so that it's going to carry me through the remainder of that hour of hard training. 

Melanie Avalon: Within the LMNT community, within the Ketogains community, with all people experimenting with taking these electrolytes to boost their performance, do some people just go completely intuitive? Do some people really plan it out? What do most people do? How intense do people need to be with tracking this compared to just being intuitive? 

Robb Wolf: I really do think that most folks, they need a game plan. But then at the end of the day, it does fall down to a bit of an intuitive level. A habituated schedule lends itself to figuring this out much better than a super randomized schedule. If you don't know when you're going to be able to exercise, then you don't really have an opportunity to preload and tinker with those LMNTs. It really is paying attention to how you're feeling and that brain fog and fatigue, it's something that historically I've attributed to blood sugar imbalance. I thought that that these energy slumps were low blood sugar, what have you, and when I did some work with a CGM, that really wasn't the case.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. CGM is so eye opening. It's like, “Oh, okay, that's not what I thought that was.” 

Robb Wolf: Yeah, because it'd be great if every problem was blood sugar related, and certainly there's a lot of them that are, but that wasn't it. I felt okay, and then I didn't feel okay, and the blood sugar was effectively the same, both of those points, but then I started layering in some electrolytes with it. It's like, “Oh, this is what I needed.” Again, it pains me because being able to provide a really prescriptive dosing regimen would be wonderful. We've talked about some kind of AI driven LMNTs with that. 

Melanie Avalon: I was going to say, make an app or something.  

Robb Wolf: Yeah. But how-- are you male or female. Like females sweat in a bit of a different way than males do. Females sweat tends to be much smaller in the droplet size and it's much more efficient, like women are much more efficient at thermal regulating than men are. Men tend to be more in what we call the super sweater category, where it's just beads of sweat that pour off of guys. Men tend to lose more sweat, more sodium relative to, if we had a male and a female 155 pounds each, all other things being equal, there's a pretty good chance that the genetic male is going to lose more water and more sodium at any given workout put in heat and humidity and all that type of stuff. There's genetic pieces, there are environmental pieces, altitude plays into this. People at high altitude tend to lose more water and require more electrolytes. But then you've got the flip side of that, usually when one is at altitude, it's also colder. When we're colder, we tend to have a suppressed thirst mechanism. It's one of these things where we are going to put some thought and some skull sweat into creating an algorithmic dosing regimen, but I'm not optimistic. There's a lot of moving parts on there.  

I don't know if it's going to be anything closer than like, we’ll just get in and tinker with it. I mean, if we have a 50% error rate in our recommendation, I don't know if it's really helping people all that much. And there's so many different spots there that I could see error introduced into this. 

Melanie Avalon: If you had unlimited time and resources and really could dive deep into it, does the salt concentration of a person's sweat indicate things? If you could test all the things to see what your perfect number is or perfect amount? Because sweat can be like more salty or less salty? 

Robb Wolf: Yeah, absolutely. There are genetic factors there. There's environmental factors. Some of the genetic factors are these folks that are super sweaters tend to produce more sweat, and it tends to be saltier sweat. So I'm not sure-- I see it a little bit more like an accounting ledger, where you've got maybe the beginning of the day and the end of the day. And we need to make sure that books balance by the end of the day, or they maybe don't balance for two days, but we need to make sure that they balance on days, three, four, and five, or something like that. This is where it's such a dynamic open system, that it's funny, being a biochemist, I'm actually one of the more cynical critical people of this quantified self-movement, because we can be buried in information and it's like, “Okay, how is it going to inform it doing anything differently?” Is it going to qualitatively cause you to do anything differently? And if it does, how are you going to gauge that as a beneficial or negative metric? Relative to I'd love things like performance output, like, if you lift weights, or you run or what have you, a little bit of heart rate. 

Let's say the individual is a runner, and they know that they can run a certain course at a certain pace and they have an average-- a given average heart rate. Now, if we do some breath work and we do some like diaphragm development, and we get our electrolytes on point, a goal could be to run, let's say, a mile or two miles, and you do it as fast as what you've done in the past. But you do it at a heart rate that is five to eight beats per minute less. And then you could get in and say, “Okay, now I'm going to run it faster. But I'm only going to keep my heart rate at the rate that it was previously.” So now, you're running the same distance, maybe a couple of minutes faster, but it's still at your old max heart rate. So, things like that, I really enjoy because it's a really hard endpoint. If one lifts weights or they do calisthenics, if you go in and you can bust out 10 really nice pull ups, and then you do some neurosynaptic facilitation, some Russian strength magic or whatever, and you go back out there and you have 15 pull ups in a couple of months, that's a really solid endpoint. Whereas so much of this other stuff, I am just left wondering, what is this really telling us? What's it really doing for us? I really do performance metrics, and this could be like, is it facilitating you learning a language and you're using Duolingo and you're rocking all the quizzes, or like, you're using Yousician, or something like that, which helps people to learn musical instruments.  

There are some really quantifiable end points there that I think are valuable, but a lot of this stuff of taking a snapshot of what my sweat status is mid workout, it's possibly interesting data. But I'm not entirely sure what I would do with that. Maybe over the course of time that might help to inform what my hydration strategy is, and maybe even some of my fueling strategy. But I think that there are less invasive ways of getting there. Again, I'm Luddite with that, like, I'm literally a caveman with this stuff. I've just seen so many screening the gut microbiome, there was all this promise around that. And we know the gut microbiome is important. We know gut health is important. And in my opinion, that's literally all that we know. When we really critically assess, well, is Akkermansia really good for you? Well, some people, it seems to be great, and other people that are super healthy, have none. Some people have this really profound profile of a Bifidobacterium bacteria, and they seem to do a lot of fermented foods, but then you have cultures that don't really do that many fermented foods, and they have wonderful gut health, and they don't have any of these Bifidobacterium bacteria. A lot of this deep information driven diving, I am still waiting for a better outcome that it's going to provide us versus like picking a performance-oriented benchmark, and then structuring our life around improving that. 

Melanie Avalon: I cannot agree more. I think one of the most dangerous things I see is just people drawing these black and white conclusions about so many things, health and fitness from all of this information that we have, but I'm like, “Do you really know that? I'm not sure.” And people will ask questions in my Facebook group and talk amongst themselves all the time about they took this supplement and then it caused this and I'm just like, “I don't know how we know that.” So, I think it can be a little bit dangerous.  

Here's two really good questions speaking about the intuition when it comes to drinking LMNT. This is basically the same question, but we have two listeners that are a little bit obsessed with LMNT and they want to know if they can overdo it. Angelo says, first she says, “What's in it that gives me so much energy?” So maybe we can circle back to that. But he says, “I need to be well hydrated in order to play tennis. So, is it safe to drink more than one package per day? I have a feeling I'm overdoing it, all I want is to drink this magical concoction.” And then Robin says, “Love the podcast. I found out about LMNT through this podcast and ordered my free package. I love the taste and the different flavors so much that I ordered more. It's the only electrolytes I can drink. Any others are too sweet, too yucky, and just horrible that I gag. My question is can I safely drink LMNT other times when I'm not sweating, or exercising and not needing to replace my electrolytes? I like to drink at least one envelope per day on the days I'm not working out, as I enjoy the taste so much, my family members are worried I am taking in too much salt. I do have AFib and this causes them to worry about my health. Thank you so much for such good information you give the audience.” People will really, really like drinking LMNT, can they drink too much of it? 

Robb Wolf: Generally consuming too much means that we're going to get loose stools, like the disaster pants scenario. That really is the first spot that I noticed people experiencing some problems. The other spot, there's a little bit of science on this, but this is way more speculative, and I want to be totally transparent about that, there are not randomized control trials. There's a little bit of neuro regulation of appetite research and some things that support this. But if the sodium is in an isotonic to hypotonic solution, it's not super concentrated. If people need more, particularly with LMNT scenario where there's an overlying sweet flavor, they will taste sweet. And then if they hit a point where they don't really need more sodium, they're topped off, all of a sudden they'll notice that it starts tasting saltier, and really less appealing. I think that that's a pretty good benchmark to use in this case.  

There are some things like the Zinc Tally Test and whatnot where they will use a aqueous solution of zinc and people who are deficient in zinc, they'll put the Zinc Tally solution under their tongue and it doesn't taste like anything, they'll do it again. They maybe do it three or four times, and then the fifth time, they do the Zinc Tally, and it tastes like they're sucking on a chrome bumper. And then ostensibly like their body is saturated with zinc. Again, there's no studies on this stuff. Nobody's done a randomized control trial. So, it's a little bit out into the woo-woo realm, but it makes sense in, I've just had this report from firefighters, hockey players, so many people where they're, like, “Yeah, when I'm really working hard, I never am able to reach a point where it starts to taste salty, like it always tastes sweet.” But then if they're in a situation, say like, they're driving cross country and they're just sedentary and they're not doing a whole lot, they'll be sipping on it, and then they just reach a point where they're like, “Eh, that doesn't taste so great anymore.” And then they just don't drink any for several hours.  

I think maybe that addresses some of that, that dosing and relative perception thing. Angelo's question on the energy, I really think that this goes back to the sodium potassium pump story. Something I need to do, is pull up there are great like Khan Academy and whatnot, but a 32nd video that describes the way the energy is produced via the ATP production sodium potassium pumps would really help people understand this. If you're deficient in sodium in particular, and then you fix that, then you are going to feel better. It's kind of funny, I don't know if we are going to run with this angle, but we are internally saying that currently we are the only real energy drink out there because sodium potassium is the currency of energy. Caffeine is great, caffeine is a great tool, but interestingly, part of what it's doing is goosing the adrenals and the release of adrenal hormones.  

One of the first things that they do is cause a retention of sodium. Some of the benefit that we get from it and they are diuretic also, so there's push-pull on that, but one of the interesting features is that we get an enhanced sodium retention with caffeine exposure. Some of the bump that I think that we get from caffeine in addition to being legitimately a stimulant is that we're getting some sodium retention out of that, but I think that is probably what Angelo's experiencing. You end up in this low sodium ebb and you're feeling kind of tired and lethargic, and then you address that, and you feel much, much better. 

Melanie Avalon: So, does something like Gatorade, does it have potassium in it? 

Robb Wolf: It has a little bit of potassium. Yeah, Sodium and a little bit of potassium. And it's maybe worth mentioning, we had a client that went to the Gatorade Hall of Fame, and saw one of the very first packages of that Gatorade came in. And it used to have a gram of sodium per serving, and then over the course of time, it's gotten much less power than in sodium, much higher power than in sugar. 

Melanie Avalon: This might have answered Melissa's question, which when I first read her question, it never occurred to me what the answer might be, but based on what you just said, I'm wondering if this might be the answer. She said, “I have tried so hard to drink the raw unflavored LMNT packet in my water and I can't get beyond the salty taste. I've even tried half a packet at a time. Is this a taste you grow accustomed to over time? I know I would benefit from the electrolytes during my fast. but I'm really struggling. So, would that be something where her body is just saying she doesn't need that amount of salt? 

Robb Wolf: It could be or she may be legitimately more sensitive to that sodium taste, I would still try doing at least 32 ounces for that dilution. I know folks get a little bit-- this is a value judgment here. So, this is Robb's opinion corner real quick, but I think people get a little bit neurotic on how fastidious they are with their fasts. They look at it the flavored version and they see some stevia and they're like, “Oh my God, I can't do stevia because it elevates insulin levels.”  

One thing with that is it elevates insulin levels in some people not all. Even if it does elevate insulin levels, it's super transient, and it is remarkably small. This is possibly problematic when we're in a situation where folks are eating a mixed diet and this sweet beverage is going to cause people to spin out and make dodgy food choices. But something to keep in mind too, is even if we get a little bump in insulin while we're fasting, what is that ultimately going to do? It's going to lower blood sugar levels on the back end of that and elevate ketone levels. Net-net, I just don't see where that's all that concerning. People will see that it's got a couple of calories in there because there's a little bit of malic acid and citric acid, fasting and autophagy and all the associated benefits in fasting. It's not an on or off switch, it's more of like a dimmer switch. If we're going from consuming normally 2000-2500 calories a day, and then you use an electrolyte product that facilitates you sticking to your fast for multiple days and you're consuming like 10 calories a day as a consequence, that is not a loss. Particularly, when overlaid with, well, you're not mentally able to continue because you feel like such garbage.  

I did a talk, and there's something, Melanie, if you reach back out to me I have a talk that I'd be willing to give to you and you could share it with your community, it's called Longevity: Are We Trying Too Hard? I released it right at the beginning of 2020 and then COVID hit and all the speaking gigs dried up and so this thing has just been sitting pretty much in darkness. But I really take a pretty critical look at, the way that folks are looking at fasting and intermittent fasting and that I think that folks are really over complicating this stuff. Valter Longo’s work, The Fasting Mimicking Diet, they're still eating 500 to 700 calories a day and they show virtually all the benefits that we get from 100% fast. And people recognize that and they acknowledge that, but then they get really twisted around when they notice if there's some stevia or a nominal amount of citric acid or malic acid in a product like LMNT.  

One thing for this person, I would definitely make sure to do the 32 ounces. And then, the other thing is try one of the flavored versions. It may really make that much easier, and if the fasting protocol is super important, I wouldn't sweat the little bit of stevia, a little bit of malic acid that's in there in the bigger context of garnering the benefits from the fast. 

Melanie Avalon: Perfect timing that you said that. I actually the episode coming out this week on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast is with Valter Longo. We've had him on this show and then I had him back on the other show. I love talking with him. We get a lot of questions though. He has a messaging about anti fasting because of the gallbladder, which is a whole rabbit hole tangent. So, yeah, as far as I'm actually more closer in line with you on your thoughts with all this because my cohost Gin, is her thing is that the clean fast and so just water, just coffee. I think that does work really well for a lot of people, especially if people have been-- haven't tried that. And they've been struggling and a lot of people do find when they do cut out the sweeteners that when they go to that approach, it really helps.  

I know for me, when I started fasting, I actually used stevia, and a lot of things like that, and I was fine. So, listeners, I'm not undoing everything I've said. I will say that I am definitely more open to the possibility that for some people, it's not going to be as much of a problem. Yeah, like Elaine said, “Does it break the fast? Will the stevia in it stimulate an insulin response and make me want more?” Becky wanted to know if it's clean, fast, friendly electrolytes? Are they necessary for fasting? That was actually a separate question. But so to clarify for listeners, the clean fast approved LMNT version, especially with Gin Stephens is the raw unflavored, but the other ones, they don't have sugar, they are sweetened with stevia. And so, it might be that they might work for you, I will say. 

Robb Wolf: Yeah. And that's this great thing of just tinker and see. I will say the central backbone of this whole story is this process called the naturesis of fasting, the loss of sodium due to fasting. And so this is something that was catalogued, I think, more than 100 years ago. And it's super well understood that people lose prodigious amounts of water and sodium while fasting in particular, and also ketogenic diets but those are lesser magnitude. I'm of the opinion that if you're going to stretch this out much beyond a day, that it is going to be really sufferville if you're not topping off electrolytes in that process. Some people are really mentally tough, they can do it. But I think for folks that are just not into the headaches and the lethargy, and the super low energy and all that stuff, like topping off electrolytes by hook or by crook, somewhere in this thing is going to really improve the ability to stick with that fast over the duration that you want to do it. 

Melanie Avalon: So, to clarify, it would be the fast longer than 24 hours where that's really going to become an issue? 

Robb Wolf: I think it's going to become really important at the longer point, yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Chris Masterjohn had, I don't know if it was one of his podcasts or if it was just like a Q&A, but he had a really good conversation about when are you actually fasted? It was like what you were just saying about something being a dimmer switch. I have to find a link and put a link to it in the show notes, because it made me think, it was like, “Oh, how do you even really quantify what is fasting?” Especially because there's just the nature of the timeline of food and us and what different fuels we're using, and he was making the point that you could be fasted, but you could be running on glucose and so what does that mean? I thought it was a really good nuanced perspective. I also want to ask, so that longevity talk that you did, because I remember leading up to it, you talking about it a lot on your show, and then, so did you have it? 

Robb Wolf: I did it once at the Metabolic Health Summit. Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: I want to watch it. Question to clarify about the diet because you were talking about the keto. So, Stephanie says, “How much sodium should you consume if you are low carb or keto versus not low carb?” And then Joel wants to know, “What's a good dose to take of LMNT while one is on keto? And does it matter about male versus female?” In general, is it a massively bigger requirement if you're keto compared to not keto? Do some people not even need electrolytes if they're not keto? 

Robb Wolf: Again, it's going to depend a little bit on what-- so when we're talking about electrolytes, we are talking about all of the food we consume and in potentially something supplemental like LMNT. I love soups. I make soups all the time, I make soup for breakfast some time and I'll add a significant amount of sodium or even like a bouillon cube to that. So, in that situation, like I'm good, I ticked my box for that. It really depends. Again, how large or small is a person, what's their physical activity level. In general, this is worth mentioning, this is kind of the way that we bracket things with LMNTs on our science pages.  

There's some good research that suggests that all cause mortality is lowest at about 5 grams of sodium intake per day, for a general population, which is about double what the USDA and the AMA and whatnot recommend. They recommend less than 2 grams per day. But it's worth mentioning that some cultures like the Japanese and Okinawans consistently consumed 10 to 11 grams of sodium per day, and they don't have dramatically higher rates of cardiovascular disease, they have less. And this is usually the main concern in all those stories. And, generally, most of the cardiovascular risk in all this is due to chronically elevated insulin levels. And low carb diets and fasting are great ways to address that. They're not the only tools in the shed, but they're good ways to address that. Five grams per day from all dietary sources seems like a safe beginning place for most people to play with. If somebody is on a ketogenic diet, I just can't imagine them feeling or doing well at anything much below that, like it's going to be really hard to make things work. If somebody is put on a medically supervised ketogenic diet, the dietitian will make sure to prescribe at least 5 grams of sodium per day. So, that's kind of a low inbound. 

We look over it, some very mainstream American Council of Sports Medicine recommendations for more vigorous activity. And even the ACSM, which is in this very high carb centric camp, they recommend 7 to 10 grams of sodium per day for athletes training in heat or humidity. We've definitely seen that reflected within our populations. Small female CrossFit Games competitor, she's doing 12 grams of sodium per day. Again, from all sources, it doesn't mean they're doing 12 stick packs of LMNT. They're eating salami and salting their food and getting all different sources in here. So, I would say somewhere between that like 5 and 10 grams of sodium per day is going to address virtually every person's needs, especially if they're in more that, that low carb side of things. And again, can't emphasize it enough, not saying you do 5 or 10 stick packs of LMNT today. If you do, that's fine. Whatever makes things best for you. But I get more than half of my daily sodium needs from just dietary background, not from stick packs of LMNT. 

Melanie Avalon: What is the role? You touched on this earlier, but the role of carbs with the need for that. I've noticed for me, what's interesting is because I oscillate between either low fat or low carb. And if I'm low carb, I will feel the need for more electrolytes. But if I'm low fat and doing higher carb, I don't feel that need as much, but I'm not adding any sodium through the carbs, because it's just fruit.  

Robb Wolf: But your body is retaining more of the sodium because of the greater insulin load. Insulin goes up, aldosterone goes up, and then your body will be more effective, but retaining sodium. Just real quick that in that low carb state, your body is really primed to offload sodium, it is actively offloading sodium, so you have to get out ahead of that even more aggressively. 

Melanie Avalon: That makes sense. This is a question we get about LMNT. Stephanie says, “I've heard bad things about “natural flavors,” given it's an LMNT ingredient, what are your thoughts on natural flavors? And should we avoid them?” And then Mary Ann said, “Where are the natural flavors derived from?” 

Robb Wolf: Yeah. It varies a bit. Let's take watermelon for an example. Watermelon is in the same family as cucumbers. And if you really close your eyes when you drink a little bit of the watermelon, and if we were to tell people, “Hey, this is cucumber,” and you start sipping on the watermelon, it'll taste like cucumber. And it's because there are the same natural compounds that exist in both of these plants. So, what you end up in, I went into this thing, oftentimes people will say, “Oh, you guys are being nefarious.” And it's like, “No, there's just limited--, there's matter and energy and physics and chemistry, and there's just certain constraints on this stuff.” We have a flavor profile that has a certain assortment of chemicals that you could find in either watermelon or cucumber. And cucumbers have some other things that aren't in watermelon, but if there were two Venn diagrams of watermelon and cucumber in the chemicals that make up their flavor profile, there's a ton of similarity, but there's also some, some differences.  

In these natural sourcing stories or natural flavors stories, like if it's a citrus flavor, sometimes that comes from lemon, sometimes that comes from lime, sometimes that might come from grapefruit or something like that. So, it really depends on what we're catering to those that this is a non-synthetic source of the flavor constituent, and it is derived from oftentimes a variety of different food sources. But if we were to run it through this thing called HPLC, or a gas chromatograph, where we separate out every single chemical constituent in there, then we would see little graphic peaks that indicate, “Oh, this is d-limonene and this is this one, and this is cinnamon aldehyde. And so that is where these natural flavors come from. I wish that there were supernatural flavors, but there's not. We haven't found super flavors from another dimension. And the other alternative is synthetic flavors which honestly is a chemist, whether-- at the end of the day whether they came out of a lab beaker or the chemical factories within a line peeled, it does end up being the same molecule at the end of the day. But the natural flavor sourcing provides this really rich bouquet of flavor and smell and that's the reason why we go with that. And the reason why it's not more specific is the exact sourcing varies from batch to batch. They might use, again, for watermelon there might be a little bit more sourcing out of cucumbers this time versus watermelon because they're trying to hit a certain flavor profile with that.  

We're really not trying to be nefarious and as always, the reason why we did the wrong flavored, we knew no matter how perfectly we tried to put together the flavored versions, for somebody it's not going to spin their propeller, they're going to have objections with either stevia or the natural flavors or whatever, and that's where the raw unflavored is, and then even layer beyond that. We still have our free KetoAide formula, where you use this much table salt, this much no salt, this much magnesium citrate or magnesium malate and you flavor it or don't flavor it exactly the way you want. Just make sure that you get your electrolytes addressed. 

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Melanie Avalon: I will say speaking to the nefariousness, today I just right before this signed the final forms because I'm creating my own supplement. But I have learned so much about labeling and what you can say and what things mean and it's just a whole world, so I bet you probably learned a lot creating this, about the whole supplement creation. 

Robb Wolf: We really did and we thought it was going to be a simpler process than what it was. We've been as transparent with things as we can. We still have a money back guarantee deal, like you buy it, you don't like it, we'll refund your money, we'll send you a different box. We'll bend over backwards to accommodate people, but also folks always make the decision that is best for you given your risk tolerances, or your goals and all that type of stuff. But I do also think a lot of this, if it gets filed under the majoring in the minors, people with really significant health concerns, they have some gut issues and stuff like that, I get it. I'm celiac, so I definitely can't tolerate any type of gluten exposure and stuff like that. And there are people with some complex health issues, that knowing the exact details of natural flavors, they might be really reactive to nightshades or something, they would like to know whether or not that is a constituent in there. I do acknowledge that, but I think for a lot of people, again, they can probably simplify this stuff and not worry so much about those exacting details all the time. 

Melanie Avalon: I will say since you mentioned the grapefruit, we did have just a little testimonial and request from Margaret. She says, “Please ask him to bring back the grapefruit flavor permanently. And tell him thanks for the awesome product. They helped me fast and have helped relieve muscle cramps. My husband takes them to the golf course and also gives them to his friends when playing golf. They've kept him from getting dizzy and dehydrated all summer. People are amazed at how they feel so much better, and only about 15 minutes after drinking these. LMNT is one of my favorite things ever!” Is this grapefruit flavor coming back by chance? 

Robb Wolf: It's coming back but I do think it's going to remain a seasonal option. I don't know that it's going to become a permanent feature in the lineup. I think it's going to remain seasonal similar to what we are launching in November with our fall flavor. When it's here, folks need to jump on it. [laughs] Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. Well, I think we got, yeah, most of the stuff. We did have a question about saunas. Like Joan said, “Do you need to take electrolytes when using a sauna?” Brian said, “If you take an infrared sauna daily, should you supplement them each time?” Would that also be an intuitive thing kind of like the working out? 

Robb Wolf: When people say need, “Do you need to do this?” I don't need to, but I think that your sauna experience is going to be a lot better if you are properly hydrated and have adequate electrolyte levels. You don't need to run with good fitting shoes, appropriate gear for the weather and all that stuff. It's 32 degrees outside right now, so I could go barefoot running in a pair of like Navy SEAL short shorts and go do it but it's going to be terrible. My feet are going to be cold, everything else is going to be cold, the drizzle is going to make it miserable, but I didn't need to do that. But even a pair of like Vibram Barefoots and some mittens on my hands and a beanie on my head would make that whole thing way more enjoyable and I would actually get more out of the training experience because I would probably be able to stay in and do the whole thing.  

The deal with sauna, oftentimes, I don't think folks are even fully aware of why they're doing something. What is the benefit of sauna? I really see it being two pronged. The first prong is the cardiovascular fitness that people obtain from that elevated heart rate while experiencing that heat stress. It's a non-trivial thing. People can maintain a good cardiopulmonary function, by just doing sauna, in wrestlers and some other weight category athletes will curtail their physical activity and rely on sauna to maintain some cardiovascular fitness while weight cutting and doing some different things like that. So, but to get the benefit, you need to be in the sauna about 20-25 minutes at a minimum. If you can't motor through that long without electrolytes, then that's a problem. You're not really getting a benefit. These benefits around heat shock proteins and the anti-aging effects that people get from that, it's a dose response curve. The longer you stay in, the better the kind of response there is.  

And if you start experiencing really severe heat stress because your body's out of water, your body's out of sodium, then you're not going to stay in there as long as what you would have done otherwise. The goal why is one doing the sauna? Well, there are these benefits. Well, the better you can optimize your performance doing that, the more benefit you're going to get from it. I get nervous about like, “Do I need this?” I don't know if you need it, but if you want to garner the most benefits from it, you take more appropriate steps and proper hydration is part and parcel to that. I see it a little bit like, do people need to eat adequate protein when strength training? No, you don't need to, but you're going to get really lackluster results. If you're eating like 30 grams of protein a day and you're strength training, it's better that you're strength training the night, but you're certainly not going to get the benefit of eating 100, 120 grams of protein a day. The need question, I think, there's a better question to be asked behind that, like, what is the benefit here? That would be something that I would throw out to folks instead of asking, “Do I need this?” Like, how do I optimize results? If we were talking about money and finances, how do I optimize my return on investment with this. If I could get a 3x return doing this, but a 10x return doing that, and there's no additional danger or downside, then clearly, I would want that 10x return. So, I would really encourage people to couch these things not so much in like, do I need this? Or do I need that, but how am I optimizing things and what is my goal for even doing this?  

So often, I see folks start fasting or doing sauna and they will ask a question around it. And I'll say, “Well, what is your goal here?” And I get like deer in the headlights look and they're like, “I don't actually know why I'm doing this.” [laughs] Well, that's a problem. If you don't even know why you're doing it, then how do we gauge whether it's a good or bad thing? Whether then maybe it's like, “Well, I'm just going to try out sauna and see what it feels like.” Okay, that's cool. That's totally cool, but we're getting in and getting more sophisticated about this, like we got to move beyond this like, “Do I need this or do I need that? What's optimizing returns?” 

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you said all of that. Speaking to that, so I do an infrared sauna session pretty much every night. The reason I do it is, the cardiovascular benefits for sure, the stress relief, it makes me feel so good. But then the third thing is the detox and the sweating. And this is the question I've actually had about salt intake and electrolytes and sauna because I was speaking earlier about how I can tell how long it takes for me to offload a high salt intake day. And that's how I tell. I was like, “How do I tell?” It's from the sauna. So, like that night, the next night and then maybe the third night, I will sweat much more in the sauna and then it goes down. Do you know if there's a therapeutic benefit to sweating more in the sauna? 

Robb Wolf: I would say that there is just spaced around, you're more likely to stay there longer, but if the timing is the same-- so your suffering is-- I would guess that your suffering is probably less on these high sweat days. If you ever noticed that, like your perceived suffering. 

Melanie Avalon: Do you do infrared sauna? Or do you do traditional heat sauna? 

Robb Wolf: I do both. Mainly traditional hot sauna. The place that we go to is like 200 degrees, so it is no joke in there. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I have a Sunlighten, and I have their solo unit where your head isn't even in it. So, it's remarkably pleasant. Like I could stay in there for three hours. I don't, but I'm not a good gauge for that but if it were unpleasant, I could see how that would definitely be a factor. 

Robb Wolf: Yeah, like this 200 degrees, if I'm not topped off on electrolytes, I maybe make it 10 minutes and then I am in a panic to get out. If somebody is on the other side of the door, I'm like, “You better move because [laughs] I'm coming out fast.” Whereas if I'm topped off on electrolytes, like 10 minutes it starts getting uncomfortable, but I make it to 20 minutes and the perceived suffering, like my relative perceived exertion or whatever, if we're using like exercise terms it's a lot less if I'm properly topped off on electrolytes. And I'm not an expert on, I know that infrared in particular is really powerful for inducing some of that mitochondrial biogenesis and stimulating some of the detox through the skin but I'm not well versed on like-- I would assume that some of that is moving-- all the water-soluble stuff is moving with the fluids, and so if you've got more fluid to offload then you're just potentially transporting more. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I mean that was my thought that maybe like the detox, I know people think that's like a woo-woo thing, but the sweating detox aspect of it might be greater if you're sweating more. 

Robb Wolf: Yeah. The detox associated with fasting is a no joke deal. I mean, like phthalates and xenoestrogens and doesn't really address heavy metals, but all of these fat and water-soluble chemicals that we're inundated with in modern world, it's legit there. Oh, gosh, I'm blinking on his name, but he's a Mayo Clinic researcher who's super sharp on this stuff. He wrote the book Estrogeneration, Anthony Jay. He would be a great person for the podcast, but he's posted great research, good peer reviewed stuff where they're actually like assaying the contents of the sweat and you're getting gunk out of there for sure. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I did a deep dive into the sauna literature and I think it's very promising, such as the cardiovascular health and all of that. One last electrolyte question. “Is it okay for kids?” Theresa says, “Are they okay for kids?” Katie says, “Are they good for kids younger than 10?” And then Amanda says, she has teens who have been media hyped into thinking Gatorade is healthy. So, is it good for them? 

Robb Wolf: Yeah, I think that it's great for kids. One of our big goals with LMNT is to upend this childhood obesity story and so much of that starts at the youth sports level where these kids, youth soccer, these five-year-old kids, they run around for 30 minutes and then they've got juice and Gatorade. It's like they barely did anything. They don't need their glycogen stores topped off yet again. What we do for our kids is I have a big 64-ounce pitcher and we're normally for myself, I do one stick pack per 32 ounces. With the girls end up doing it, it's technically a 34-ounce container, but I'm able to get 80 ounces in it. I do two stick packs in there and then I end up with 80 ounces of water. So, it's like I was doing one stick back and 40 ounces. I just keep that topped off and the girls completely self-regulate that. I don't monitor it at all. They either do water or that based off of what they want and they seem to do great with it.  

There's certainly no need to add carbs at that point. If they were doing some sort of really hard physical activity, like a soccer tournament where they've got six games over the course of a weekend and each game is 90 minutes, then we're going to start talking some different stuff. But even then, I would mainly to try to address their energy needs via whole foods, not drinking liquid calories, but yeah, it's totally, totally fine for kids. All I do is just dilute it a little bit more than what I do for myself. And I don't even know if that's necessary just the kids really enjoy it that way. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, awesome. Listeners, moms, you can get it for the whole family. I just have three quick questions. They're not super sciency or intense like that, but they're about the regenerative agriculture. I was wondering if we could end with that, because it's so important to me. Sophia says, “Has Robb seen any change on the heels of publishing Sacred Cow? It seems that more people are interested in regenerative agriculture, but I'm in that space. So, it's hard to judge. And then similar to that Sherry says, “How far along are we with convincing farmers? Does he see regenerative farming becoming the norm in our lifetime at least in Western society”? So, I was wondering after Sacred Cow and the documentary, which by the way, listeners, you have got to watch and read. Have you seen any change specific to that and also the future, do you see change happening? Are you optimistic? 

Robb Wolf: I'm still mixed. I have seen change happen. Diana Rodgers just had an outreach from some industry folks, actually, and putting together an institute for education around this stuff. Now, industry backing these things is always dodgy because, “This study on milk brought to you by the dairy industry, this study on corn brought to you by the corn.” There's always challenges with that, but nobody else cares enough to put any money into this, but there is a lot more interest. There is more pushback around the standard climate change narrative, that grazing animals are like the primary driver of climate change, which is one of these really common things out in the world. It's a tough thing to push back against. I don't want to overlay politicize this, but we're in a weird spot now. We're even saying, “Hey, we need to have a nuanced discussion around climate change.” All of a sudden, that will go to, “Will you deny climate change? So, you're probably a holocaust denier and you're certainly also a racist.” It's just this like, “How did I end up here?” It's a weird spot in the world to be motoring through this stuff. But there are definitely more and more folks, and interestingly, it's developing countries that are adopting this because developing countries are poised to be crushed by the diabesity epidemic. They are starting to wake up to the danger of having all or most of their food distributed to them from the industrial food complex.  

This is the flip side of this, there is massive money, absolutely ungodly amounts of money that are going into the fake meat, the lab grown meat. There are things that have come to light that two or three years ago, I suspected were true. But it was super tinfoil hat stuff, and then I've actually seen World Economic Forum documents on and I was like, “Holy shit, that's not a conspiracy theory. They're being honest about this stuff.” There's this goal that the consumption of red meat in particular would drop to the size of, basically your thumb per week per person.  

Now, on the heels of that, it's acknowledged, like, people in those same circles also say, “If we do this, then obesity will increase because people are eating such a low protein diet, that they're going to overeat everything else.” And we're also going to have all these nutrient deficiencies, these very plant-based diets look indistinguishable from the problems that we see in developing countries where people just don't get enough food. In particular, not enough animal products. Low B vitamin status, low zinc, low iron, developmental difficulties, pregnancy issues, and whatnot. But there's a mountain of money to be made from tying all of this story into climate change, and social justice topics. And there's all super legitimate compelling stuff in there. But it's also what's fascinating to me, Forbes actually had a great piece on this, and it said, the kind of vegan backed fake meat story was so ironic because the only winner in that is, is Big Food and Big Pharma. Those are the winners in this story. Your decentralized local food production is done with that.  

In many cases, there are initiatives that are being put forward that would make like your ability to go get locally raised, pastured meat, illegal or difficult, or tax it so that it becomes even more prohibitively expensive. And then who suffers from that? Poor people, ethnic minorities. There's a lot of ironic astroturfing and stuff like that, that's happening in this stuff. I'm optimistic on the one hand, but it's going to be a really big lift, like it's going to be a big lift. It's a complex topic to unpack, the process of unpacking it really quickly. You can get one labeled as some sort of like right wing extremist and most of the people doing regenerative Ag are like hippies from the 60s and 70s, they just really believed in pure natural food. [laughs] There is not right wing aligned as you could find someone, but just because they're like, “No, I really think that, here's this plot of land that we-- and here's all the desertified damage to the land 20 years ago, and now look at this like Verdun green oasis that we've produced by holistically managing these grazing animals.” And they have really solid outcome on that, but you become labeled a horrible person pretty quickly by advocating for that stuff.  

It's a complex topic that requires some nuance and some detail and in the current environment, and unfortunately, I feel going forward, it's very difficult to unpack those things and have discussions around them and there's so much-- one thing that that COVID did, it really awakened and people the sensed it like, everybody should do one thing for the greater good. Sometimes that's appropriate, sometimes that's completely inappropriate and really dangerous. And this is COVID, climate change, and social justice topics have all gotten wrapped together in this super ambiguous, easily manipulated fashion that even the real important stuff that needs to be addressed in these situations isn't really being addressed, because we can't talk about it in any meaningful way. So, I find that to be really difficult and dangerous. I guess, if folks believe in this regenerative vaccine, or even just curious about it, when they see people getting dog piled when they're trying to have a discussion like this, these are the folks that we need to stand up for, even to the tune of like they may be wrong, maybe Diana and I are totally wrong, we got all this stuff wrong, but we've carried sway with a good number of people. So, maybe we should have a big discussion around this so we can figure out what we did get wrong. Or maybe we're right about it. It would be helpful to get the winning methodology out there, so that we can scale this and make sure that this benefits many more people. 

Melanie Avalon: Censorship and not being able to talk about things, it's just frightening to an unbelievable amount in my opinion. And I cannot recommend enough that listeners read Sacred Cow. Now anytime that I have a conversation with somebody where they have a very one-sided opinion about the climate change and the role of farming and agriculture, I'm like, “Just read Sacred Cow and then let's have a discussion about it.” But I think what's so confusing, and it's confusing to me, is that it's just presented, especially the people that present a completely plant-based system for the sustainability of our future and our environment. It's just presented as fact. And it's coming from people who I think would know a lot about it, because they're so obsessed with it. It's confusing, just reading your book, I'm like, “Oh, wait, maybe this isn't actually what's going on. And maybe the stats are a little bit different than what we've been told.” It's very confusing, and there's just a lack of education. I understand why people are confused. I just thank you for what you're doing to spread more information about all of it. 

Robb Wolf: Thank you. I always think back to like the old Bugs Bunny cartoons where cartoon characters are in the military, and they're all lined up. And then they're like, “We have this dangerous mission and we need two volunteers.” And the whole line takes a step back, except the two idiots not paying attention. And I feel like that Diana and I are the two idiots we just looked around, we're like, “Oh my God, how did we end up here?” It's interesting. 

Just as a point here, I mentioned this in the news topic of my recent podcast, but for two decades, it's been recommended that folks with risk of cardiovascular disease should take a baby aspirin a day. This idea came about because it's understood that aspirin has some anti-thrombotic, some anti-clotting properties, and clots are at least a part of some cardiovascular events, some stroke events. There was some good thought behind it, there was a good hypothesis, there was a plausible mechanism, there was some research, it seemed to suggest that this was beneficial, but then as time motored forward, and we started looking at 5 years, 10 years, 20 years and people doing baby aspirin, and we looked at all-cause mortality, it didn't seem to benefit anybody, and it seemed to actually be doing damage, like the all-cause mortality was greater in the baby aspirin situations, than-- than the people who weren't taking the baby aspirin across these big groups, people. And correlation isn't always causation, but it starts becoming compelling, the larger the sample size, the more data that's there, and all that type of stuff.  

So, now, the American Medical Association and associated bodies are suggesting, don't take the baby aspirin. This is something that became medical orthodoxy, it was an idea that got tested, it looked promising. Time went by, and then more data was accumulated, and upon further review, it looks like it's more dangerous to take the baby aspirin in general than not. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised that there are some people for whom that baby aspirin is likely a really smart move. And that's probably something that working with your doctor and maybe doing a little genetic testing and stuff like that to figure out if that really is a good fit for you, but at a population wide at a public health level implementation, they are completely upending that recommendation.  

When people say follow the science, you've got to have an understanding that science should have a sign on it. That says, “Good until further notice.” When you say the science is settled, unless we're talking about things a pool table, and billiard balls and we know the mass of the pool, pool balls and how the velocity and where they're going to bounce on this very simple system. Okay, the science is settled, gravity we can predict where the planets are thousand years from now. But when you get into even more complex systems, like biology and human health and public health, it's a really slippery slope to say much of anything [unintelligible [01:59:10]. Antibiotics save lives, healthy eating is good, proper sleep hygiene is incredibly beneficial, and then it starts getting really dubious from there. Exercise will improve the quality of your life. It probably won't extend the duration of your life. We have some understandings there, but then above and beyond that things get murky really fast. And then when we start talking about like a global food system and what should or shouldn't be, the mainstay and do we really want it even more mono-cropped and less variety, which is what a plant-based story. It's like people at the Arctic Circle are going to be eating greens raised at the middle latitudes. And does that make sense from a distribution perspective and a whole bunch of other things? 

Melanie Avalon: Well, to that point, so for people wanting to make change, Todd and Mary Ann, they say, “What is a good starting spot for those interested in regenerative agriculture?” She says, “I have huge chunk of land and want to make it bountiful.”  

Robb Wolf: Hmm.  

Melanie Avalon: Isn't that a great question? That made me so excited. [laughs] I was like, “Oh, tell me more, I'm jealous.” 

Robb Wolf: There's lots of things you could do. Running the animals yourself can be a big commitment. That's something we've wanted to do, but we just haven't been in a position to do ourselves. But if you are in a position to manage those animals yourself, you can reach out to a Savory Institute hub or Holistic Management International. And you can go through training courses, they'll help you figure out, so you live in this environment, and maybe sheep would be better than cows or whatever. You start thinking about the animals and the plants that you could do in that scenario.  

If you have a big chunk of land, but you aren't in a position to manage it yourself. We are friends with the roam free bison operation here in Northwestern Montana. And what those folks do, they own some significant chunks of land, but they've also leased land from some of the local Native American groups and some private individuals. So, you might open up your land for lease and you find somebody who is doing this holistic management process, and then afford them an opportunity to, to make use of that land into reinvigorate that land, because these grasslands co evolved with grazing animals. The two go hand in glove, and without grazing animals on that land, it will desertify--. It will revert to this kind of desertified area, that's a lot of like sagebrush and high erosion and not very productive. That stuff can be recovered. It takes a lot of effort and time. But it's better to head that off, and the way that you prevent that occurring is by implementing these Holistic Management Practice. So, making that land available for lease could be an amazing opportunity there.  

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Do you guys have land in Montana? 

Robb Wolf: Just a little bit. We're on two acres here. We're right on a little cattle lake. The HOA is preclude having any animals, but we are looking at some land within a 10-minute drive because both of the girls are getting into horseback riding, and we want to do some other kind of resiliency related stuff. We're looking at trying to find something within a short drive of where we are, and then we could start spinning up some of that stuff. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Very, very cool. Well, thank you so much, Robb, this has been absolutely amazing. I know listeners are going to love it, and I'm excited because now we can use it as like a resource episode that I can refer listeners to whenever we get questions about electrolytes and all the things. And I haven't even yet mentioned the amazing offer that you have for our audience, which, friends, if you haven't done this yet, you have got to get on this. It's a no brainer. You can actually go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. That’s drink, L-M-N-T dotcom forward slash IF Podcast. And you can get a free sampler pack for LMNT. Yes, completely free. You just pay a small shipping. And then I know Robb has made it known that even if you don't like it, for whatever reason, they will even reimburse you shipping. And that's been very, very popular with our audience. So, definitely get on that.  

Thank you so much. I'm just always forever in awe, and grateful for everything that you're doing. It has personally changed my life, I would not be doing what-- I'm almost crying again, I would not be doing what I'm doing today, if I not read your book. Listeners, if anybody has benefited from this show or from any of my shows or any of my content, I wouldn't be here without Robb Wolf. I'm not going to cry. Thank you. This has been amazing. So, I really can't thank you enough and hopefully we can connect again in the future. There are so many things, so many topics, but thank you for all that you do. 

Robb Wolf: Thank you. I've got to say there is no greater joy than knowing that one's-- I am going to start crying. There is no greater joy knowing that one's work has benefited someone else. And particularly someone like you, that you've helped so damn many people, so that that really is just the crown jewel of my life and my existence, is knowing that my work has mattered to you. So, thank you. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, thank you. Have a wonderful rest of your evening. Enjoy the cold. I'm so jealous. Enjoy the snow flurries. 

Robb Wolf: I will. I'm going to take the dog for a walk, and it's a little bit of snow flurries, so we'll see how he handles it. He's kind of a wimp in the cold. I'm going to have to buy him a jacket. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, have a good evening. Thank you. 

Robb Wolf: You, too. Bye-bye. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye.  

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

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! 

 

 

Jun 06

Episode 216: Undoing Diet Mentality, Irregular Fat Loss, Calories In Calories Out, Alzheimer’s Disease (Type 3 Diabetes), Energy Toxicity, Morning Windows, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 216 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

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46:35 - Listener Q&A: Apryl - Question About IF 

56:25 - Listener Q&A: Jan - IF Question

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 216 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment., pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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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 and 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 led, and the half-life of lead can be up to 30 years and 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. 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, antiaging 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. Again, the link to shop with us is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. All right, now enjoy the show.

Hi everybody, and welcome. This is Episode 216 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. It is summery. It is hot. I'm so happy.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: So, therefore, I know you're sad.

Melanie Avalon: Wait, can I tell you a story related to that?

Gin Stephens: No.

Melanie Avalon: Okay.

Gin Stephens: I'm sorry. That was a joke. Yes, please. [laughs] Tell me the story, I would love to hear it.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, perfect. It's a little bit longer. It's my crazy epic weekend, last weekend, would you like to hear?

Gin Stephens: Does it involve cryotherapy?

Melanie Avalon: It involves-- I could insert that if I wanted, not entirely.

Gin Stephens: Well, I just felt like it did, since I mentioned being hot.

Melanie Avalon: It involves being hot.

Gin Stephens: Okay. Yes, I would love to hear about it.

Melanie Avalon: It just involves the epicness of a weekend. Okay. Are we ready? So, Friday, I interviewed Gary Taubes.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's exciting. How was he?

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, it was--

Gin Stephens: Balmy, is that what are you going to say? Nothing. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: It was incredible. For listeners, who are not familiar with Gary Taubes, he wrote a lot. He wrote Good Calories, Bad Calories. He wrote The Case Against Sugar. He wrote one more in between and Why We Get Fat, I think.

Gin Stephens: Yes, that's it. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and then most recently--

Gin Stephens: I read the first two. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Most recently, he wrote The Case for Keto. I mean, I've been following his work. I know I interview a lot of really amazing people on the show, but I get-- I don't know, when it's somebody that I've been following for that long, because I basically read Good Calories, Bad Calories when I first started getting obsessed with the low carb diet. I mean, I read that before, like Paleo Solution, I think that was the first thing I read.

Gin Stephens: Oh, can I clarify something when I said I read the first two, I don't mean The Case for Sugar. The two that you named the first two, were not his first two. His first two were Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why Do We Get Fat. I read his first two.

Melanie Avalon: I said those out of order.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Melanie, like you said, that was the book that made me realize, “Oh, my gosh, there's more than just calories.”

Melanie Avalon: Which one? Good Calories, Bad Calories?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I read it with my jaw on the floor. All the carbohydrate hypothesis, whatever, even if it's not all 100% exactly like he lays it out. It's still opened my mind to, “Wow, the body is more complicated.” Yeah, I'm fangirling right here with you.

Melanie Avalon: I know, and what's interesting about Gary is, he's not a like a scientist. He's a science journalist. His books are-- they're very historical, so they cover like the history of everything.

Gin Stephens: Well, like Michael Pollan.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, like that. I was nervous, because, A, like I said, I've been following him for so long. I even talk about Good Calories, Bad Calories in What When Wine I reference him. And then, B, I get really nervous. I think I've talked about this before interviewing journalists, because they are interviewers, so they know if I'm asking good questions. So, I'm like, “Oh, I have to show up, I have to have good questions.” It was so exciting because he literally stopped me multiple times. Like he would be talking, answering my question, and then he would stop and just be like, “You're asking really good questions.” I was like, “Oh, my goodness.”

Gin Stephens: I know that's what you wanted to hear, right?

Melanie Avalon: I know. I was so excited.

Gin Stephens: You're like, “I don't care. That's all I wanted.”

Melanie Avalon: I know, I was glowing, glowing. At the very end, he was like, normally I ask them if they want to come back on the show, but I didn't even ask that, and he was like, “I would love to come back on.” He gave me four amazing words. I think like intelligent, sometimes naïve, one other word, challenging questions. I was like, “Oh, my goodness.” At the end, when we stopped recording, he iterated that he really meant everything that he said.

Gin Stephens: By the way, I noticed you said iterated.

Melanie Avalon: I know, every time.

Gin Stephens: I was paying attention. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I never say reiterate ever now. Listeners, iterate means the same thing as reiterate, to iterate.

Gin Stephens: That’s so funny.

Melanie Avalon: I was head over heels, but I got done with the interview, this was Friday afternoon. I noticed my air was not-- it wasn't cold air. So, I called maintenance and I did not have any expectations that they would come. When they hadn't come by 10 PM, I was like, you know me, I can't do heat. I went to Home Depot at 10 PM right before they closed, got a portable air conditioning unit to install. Came back, opened it, it was not the right thing inside of the box.

Gin Stephens: Oh my gosh, did someone had returned?

Melanie Avalon: I think so, and stolen.

Gin Stephens: They're supposed to check that.

Melanie Avalon: I know. But what's funny is, so it was a dehumidifier, but a different brand. But you're not expecting it to not be the right thing, so it took me so long to figure out it was not the right thing. I was like looking at the instructions. I was like, “This just doesn't match the picture.” [laughs] It's like, “I can't figure out how to install this.” Then, I went to Walmart at 11:00 PM, and got another unit installed it, just haphazardly threw it out the window because I knew it was for one night only. Okay, but wait, the story's not over. Are you ready? The next day, I was eagerly waiting for the maintenance people to call because this is the south, I can't do heat.

Gin Stephens: Well, I like heat, but I wouldn't like no air conditioning in the summer heat. Okay, so. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: And I had something that I was needed to be dressed up for, and calm and collected that night. I was like, “I'm going to be a mess. This is awful.” I was very trigger happy with anybody who-- if I had a missed call, I would call them back because I was hoping it was maintenance. So, I had a missed call and I called him back. And he was like, “Hello.” I was like, “I had a missed call from this number.” He was like, “Oh, it must have been an accident.” I was like, “Okay, sorry. I'm just waiting on a call from somebody.” He was like, “Well, who are you waiting on a call from?” I was like, “Well--” And he's like, “Oh, it doesn't matter. Probably not anything.” I was like, “Yeah,” so then I hung up. Then, I realized I accidentally called Gary Taubes.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's so funny.

Melanie Avalon: By accident.

Gin Stephens: But he had accidentally called you first?

Melanie Avalon: He had accidentally called me, I guess, but I called him back. Well, the thing is, I think he probably knew it was me when I called him. It was just very awkward. I was like, “This is my life.”

Gin Stephens: That's so funny. It must be air conditioner because Sheri who is my co-host for Life Lessons, she just had to have her air conditioner replaced.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Well, when the seasons change, you're asking it to do something new that it hasn't been doing, that's when it often fails.

Melanie Avalon: They said the person before had put in too much Freon, so it actually made it overshoot and shortcircuited or something, I don't know.

Gin Stephens: That's interesting. I never heard of too much Freon.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, he seemed surprised, but that was the possibility. So, that's my epic story about--

Gin Stephens: Well, that's good. I'm glad that Gary was great.

Melanie Avalon: He was, and I sent him a copy of my book.

Gin Stephens: Oh, good. I mentioned him in Delay, Don't Deny.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really.

Gin Stephens: His book is in my-- Good Calories, Bad Calories is in the back where I talk about things to read, just the whole idea that it's more than just calories. Really, that is mind blowing considering what we had been told. People still think it.

Melanie Avalon: I can't wait to air the episode. One of the good moments in our conversation was I asked him if my interpretation of his insulin theory was-- basically, it was this what he was saying, and he was like, “Yes, that's it, exactly.” It's that we get fat, not so much because we are gaining weight, but that we lose the ability to lose weight, like we lose the ability to burn fat, and so we necessarily gain weight.

Gin Stephens: I know one way he puts it, tell me if this is what he says, I think it is. This stuck in my head. We're not gaining weight, because we're overeating. We're overeating because we're gaining weight. It's like the draw to overeat happens first. I think I've heard him say that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's one of his main tenets, because one of the interesting things that we discussed was, because this is something I've been thinking about a lot. I don't know if I can properly articulate it, but basically-- okay, so if you're on a super high-carb, super low-fat diet, the insulin response can make it so that you might never be tapping into your fat stores. So, you basically lose the ability to burn the fat that you have, even if-- and this is a nuance that we've discussed on this podcast and something I talked about with Gary, it's that carbs themselves don't readily become fat. Say you're eating just carbs, it would be hard to gain fat from that, but you at the very least it would make it very, very hard to burn your existing fat. Compared to if you ate a low-carb, super high-fat diet, it actually would be relatively easy to store fat from what you're eating, but you would be burning your fat easily.

Gin Stephens: It all has to do with insulin, and whether your insulin is high versus low.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so like the ironic thing about those two situations is, in the high carb situation, it actually might be hard to gain weight, but you're probably not going to lose weight. As a consequence, you probably are going to slowly gain because it's unlikely that you would be at maintenance all the time. Compared to high fat, low carb, it actually might be relatively easy to store excess calories as fat but you're going to be easily tapping into your stores, so it's easier for you to lose weight. It's hard to articulate.

Gin Stephens: Well, again, it has to do with what your insulin is doing. If your insulin is high, high, high and Gary's main theory is it's only going to be high if you're overdoing carbs. His connection is, you're only going to have high insulin in a high-carb state. That's the problem for him. Why he tends to be low carb, or is low carb, he doesn't tend to be low carb, he is low carb.

Melanie Avalon: It was really, really epic. We ended the discussion-- we went to a major tangent on regenerative agriculture, because he talks about that a little bit in The Case for Keto, and I want that to be his next book so bad. He admitted he hasn't really researched it that much. He's not convinced on the sustainability of regenerative agriculture or anything like that. I'd be really excited if he actually would go down that rabbit hole.

Gin Stephens: Yep. So much to still learn.

Melanie Avalon: I know. So, yeah, sorry that was long, is there anything with you?

Gin Stephens: Doing our backyard remodel still. It's going on forever. [laughs] We're just the slowest remodelers ever since the pandemic began-- [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I know, I feel like you're in perpetual remodel state.

Gin Stephens: We got the plans for this drawn in fall of 2020, that's when we had the architect come over. We've never been dragging our feet. It's just taken forever to do everything, but we're finally starting to have things progress. They're building on the back of the garden shed, we are doing the screen porch, about to have the concrete floor put in, the pool is about to-- I mean we're waiting, concrete is next and then so. We might have it done. We might be able to get in the pool before summer's over. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I love looking at pictures of like houses and stuff, so send me pictures when it's done.

Gin Stephens: I will. I'm just really excited. I can't wait to get out on the screen porch. Anyway, what I've been doing is sitting in the front yard. Did I tell you this already?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I think, and read books.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I put out-- we got it two Adirondack chairs. We have this area in the front that's like got pine trees in it, and it's got pine straw, and so it's shady. I'm sitting in the front yard. It just that happens my neighbor across the street, they gutted their house. They just bought it, been a part of an estate, and it sat vacant for a while. We've never had anyone lived there, so they gutted it and they're redoing it. So, they're there all the time, and they're retired. They're similar age to me. They're there doing the work and I'm sitting in the front yard. I'm like out there visiting, in my front yard with neighbors’ people walk by and their dogs. I'm like getting to know the neighbors in a whole new way. I feel almost like a weirdo. They're like, “There's that lady sitting in her yard again.” [laughs] Because I was never in the yard and now I'm always in the front yard just sitting there reading or doing whatever. It's funny, but today she came sat with me. We're both sitting in the front yard together. I was like, “This is what a neighborhood supposed to be.”

Melanie Avalon: I love it. It reminds me of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Gin Stephens: Well, because before I always sat in the back, we tend to sit in the backyard and the private spaces, but I can't go back there because it looks like the moon. I'm not kidding. [laughs] Anyway, it's going to be nice, but I'm going to make an effort to still sit in the front yard sometimes.

Melanie Avalon: I love it.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and get to know the neighbors.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome.

Gin Stephens: All right, so shall we get started? We have some feedback.

Melanie Avalon: Sure.

Gin Stephens: This is from Ginny. The subject is “Fat rolls, not symmetrical.” She says, “Hi, ladies. You're fabulous, and I am definitely binge listening to all of your episodes and I'm a member of DDD Social Network and have read all the books.” That's awesome, Ginny. I'm so glad to hear it. She says, “I would love to have a local group or community, but my parents are fasting now and that is huge support. Listening to the episodes, I started at the most current and went backwards and I'm currently down to Episode 108.” That would be fun, Melanie, listening to us backwards.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that’d stress me out.

Gin Stephens: I don't know. It's funny.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's funny. Oh, wow.

Gin Stephens: “Someone left a question about fitting into jeans and one side of her body had a fat roll, the other did not. I definitely noticed this as well after about my second month fasting. I'm now a few months in and I have not noticed it as much, but it is still a bit different although very subtle. Just wanted you to know the other listener is not on her own. I love fasting and have lost 20 pounds since February 18th of 2021. I was a Weight Watcher lifetime member, I had maintained my weight for 15 years and suddenly when I turned 43, I gained 25 pounds and was unable to lose it. I am 54 and currently in the normal weight range about 135 and would like to still lose 10 pounds, but 130 was my goal when starting IF. I'm still a size 6 and know that my body probably could go down at least a size or two. I'm no longer super concerned about my weight. I recently went on vacation out of the country and felt more comfortable in a bathing suit than I have over the past several years. So, I would say I am a success already. Thanks again, Ginny.”

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, I love that email from Ginny. I think that's such a beautiful place to reach that-- I think a lot of people experience that where you might have a goal weight, especially with fasting and things like that, when you start feeling more and more comfortable in your skin, the numbers seem less important. Then, on the flip side, there are people that do experience that, but the number is more important. It's almost like the number is more important than what they're experiencing in their body. It's just really interesting.

Gin Stephens: A lot of that is undoing the years of-- for example, Ginny was a Weight Watcher, going to Weight Watchers meetings, I would guess, or maybe not going to them. But anyone who did go to meetings like that, there's a weigh-in, and it's number on the scale, and that is it.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, man, that would be so stressful.

Gin Stephens: Yes. I think it makes us get this emotional connection to a number that is more important than anything else, because that's what's drilled into your head. Again, like calories in, calories out gets drilled into your head, you are your number on the scale gets drilled into your head , and so you just get stuck with that. It's really hard to break free of that. That's the thing in all the communities that I've seen, the people who struggle, and it is so much tied up to our diet history. That's why I had to stop weighing and seeing a number because even though I had body recomposition, and I was smaller, I've told the story a million times, I started to get hung up on the number. That was ridiculous. I didn't want to be smaller. I wanted to see a smaller number. I'm like, “Well, that's dumb.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, 100%. Ginny's experience with the uneven fat, that also speaks to the fact that almost the fact that calories aren't just calories, or weight loss isn't just weight loss. The fact that certain areas of our body might respond differently, just goes to show how much is not-- it's not just about the calories and what's in our mouth. Because I'm assuming the reason that we might have uneven fat loss would be completely based-- it must be like hormonal.

Gin Stephens: That is fascinating, that what if we all gained and lost irregularly? Wouldn't that be wacky? I don't mean just a little bit irregularly. What if you only gain weight in your right leg or something? It's a miracle that we stay fairly symmetrical at all, really. I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: That's something I wonder, and that was something Gary talks about in The Case for Keto, which was the amount of fat cells we have, which I had never pondered before. Is it in the billions? I think so. Then, the concept that-- and I don't know if I so much agree with his theory about it, but he was saying that the amount of weight gain, the amount of technical calories that will lead to that would be-- I should pull out my notes. He says that an obese person may have 70 billion fat cells, each contains 0.6 millionth a gram of fat, which is the correlation of 1/5 millionth calorie of fat.

He says that, if you look at it from a calorie perspective, so with weight gain, fat tissue would have to hold on to 20 excess calories per day. That's the equivalent of 1/3 the billionth of a calorie per day her fat cell. I don't know if it goes down like that. Basically, this concept of just fat cells and calories and where they go and how much goes in and how much comes out, there's got to be something so many factors beyond the amount of calories that we put in our mouth.

Gin Stephens: Which is why it still shocks me, whenever I still come across something, where they're like it's only calories in, calories out, we all know that. I'll hear someone say that, and I'm like, “I can't believe someone still thinks that.” I really can't believe they haven't seen any evidence presented to them that makes them understand that it is more complicated than that.

Melanie Avalon: Simplistically, it is more calories went into your fat cells than calories--

Gin Stephens: That's true.

Melanie Avalon: I mean, to say it, and we talked about this with Gary, actually. I think where the confusion comes in is technically it is more calories went into your fat cells than calories came out of your fat cells, but that is no way even remotely the same thing as calories into your mouth versus equals or is related to calories out. It's just not. They're very similar phrases, but they're entirely different meanings.

Gin Stephens: Well, one of them implies that it is 100% in your control, and you could count them and manipulate it. The other understands that no matter how much you count and try to manipulate, you can't, because you're body's doing what it's doing. Those are the two, understanding that you really cannot micromanage your body that way, no matter how hard you try, is a little freeing, but also scary because it lets you realize that number one, it's not your fault, but number two, you can't just easily fix it by counting.

Melanie Avalon: Basically, to re-summarize what I was saying earlier, at least with Gary's hypothesis, if the type of calories you're eating are high carb, then that makes it easy for calories to go in if you have any sort of fat with that, but very, very hard for calories to come out. Compared to high fat, low carb in which calories can easily go in and out, depending.

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All right. Shall we move on to our questions?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, this is a easy, breezy, simple question, but I realized, I don't know if we've actually, like, I don't know if anybody's actually asked this and we answered it. Kyla, the subject is “Clean versus dirty fast.” Kyla says, “Hi, Melanie and Gin. I have just started I have three weeks ago, and I'm surprised by the energy I have. I'm a nurse and I work 13-hour shifts, and I'm pleased with how I feel less exhausted already. Could you please discuss clean versus dirty fasting? I read these terms several times now and am unclear what they mean. Thank you for doing the podcast. I really enjoyed listening.”

Gin Stephens: Yep. That's a great question from Kyla. I want to be clear for me, this is just my own point of view. I feel you're either fasting clean or you're not really fasting. I don't think that dirty fasting really should be a thing. I don't think we should say, “Oh, I'm just dirty fasting.” At some point, you're just not actually fasting. I think you're either fasting clean or not really fasting. Anyway, I don't like the word ‘dirty fast’ at all. I don't like dirty in general. Like, eating dirty, fasting dirty, it sounds bad or wrong to me. That's just my own personal word feeling. Anyway, let's talk about what the clean fast is.

I talk about this in great detail in Fast. Feast. Repeat. so much detail that I have two whole chapters about it. If you want to read the whole ins and outs of the idea of clean fasting, find those two chapters in Fast. Feast. Repeat. Fun fact for anyone who doesn't know it, we actually coined the term ‘clean fast’ in the Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting support group, I believe it was in 2017, right around there, we started using the terminology ‘clean fast,’ and it's stuck. It really makes me proud to see that that's now kind of being used all over the place. The fact that we originated, it makes me proud.

Melanie Avalon: I have a quick question. Could you search through and find the first time that it was ever?

Gin Stephens: I think I did that one time.

Melanie Avalon: I don't know if you can rank it by date.

Gin Stephens: You could. Now there's been so many more posts, I don't really know, but it was after I wrote Delay, Don't Deny. We were not using the terminology clean fast when I wrote Delay, Don't Deny. I mean it's not in there. I didn't say clean fasting, because we hadn't started using it yet. But it was some point after that, it just stuck as a way of explaining, it just felt right. Like, you want your fast to be clean, like an actual fast. The three fasting goals really explain what a clean fast is all about. We have three goals for the clean fast. Number one, we want to lower our insulin levels, and that's what we were just talking about when Melanie was talking about Gary Taubes. Low insulin is what we want during the fast. We don't want to take in anything that makes your brain think that sweetener food, sugar, or glucose is on the way. That's why we avoid anything that tastes like food, or is sweet, because that sets off the cephalic phase insulin response and your body releases insulin. How much insulin, I think that's going to depend from person to person, so many factors. If we know we don't want our insulin to be up, we want to actively keep it down. So, avoid anything that sweet, fruity flavored, we don't put fruit in our water. Anything that tastes like food, avoid.

Fasting goal two is we want to tap into stored fat for fuel. We avoid taking in sources of energy, so we're not going to put MCT oil in our coffee, because if you do, your body is going to use that for fuel. It's an energy source. You want your body to tap into your stored fat, so don't put anything in your coffee at all. No fat, no cream, no creamer. You don't want to take in exogenous ketones either.

Our third fasting goal is, we'd like to experience increased autophagy. We know that if you take in protein that leads to autophagy, not being increased, it decreases autophagy. That's why we avoid things like bone broth. Think about all those things. Bone broth, cream, fat in our coffee, that's all food. And food is not fasting. That's why I always say the “dirty fast” isn't really fasting. You wouldn't eat a cheeseburger and say, “Oh, I just had a really dirty fast. It was extra dirty.” There's a line that you cross when it isn't fasting.

A lot of people throw around numbers. I don't know where they came up with these ideas. Like, if you have fewer than 50 calories, you're not breaking the fast. Well, what if I ate one bite of pizza? What if I had one Jellybean every 10 minutes? Am I fasting? No. [laughs] The safest bet is to not even have any of that. You know that you're fasting if you're fasting. You don't have to worry.

Melanie Avalon: What about non-caloric artificial sweeteners?

Gin Stephens: Well, that goes to fasting goal one that I talked about. You don't want anything that tastes sweet, because that causes your body to think that glucose is coming in, because our bodies don't understand zero-calorie diet soda, because in nature when our bodies have evolved to handle fruit or sugar, anything that tasted sweet had a glucose hit coming along with it. Our brain senses that sweetness coming in and says, “Ooh, got to get ready for a glucose hit. Our blood glucose is going to go up, we need some insulin.” We pump out some insulin to deal with that, but because it's a zero-calorie sweetener, the glucose doesn't come in because you're not really having any, and so that causes a lot of metabolic confusion, and the insulin goes up.

How much does it go up? That's a great question. A lot of it depends on your metabolic health. I have a blog post on ginstephens.com. It's like insulin response, why doesn’t everyone agree? Because sometimes people are like, “No, that's ridiculous. Your body does not do that.” You can find obviously studies that say that that is what happens. Although you can find studies that show that is not what happens. There's also some studies that I talk about in that blog post that says that people who are obese or overweight have a larger insulin response than other people.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's actually something that Gary talks about a lot in The Case for Keto, is people's individualized insulin responses, both to food and both to stimuli in the fasted state.

Gin Stephens: Exactly. Even though we have studies that show insulin response after these stimuli, does that mean every single person alive has that exact same insulin response? No, but we know that is a potential, and if you're trying to lose weight, you don't want to have that potentially happening. We're all different. I think my husband has a very small insulin response to anything ever, because he's always been so lean, always. When we had our fasted insulin tested, his was lower than mine. Yeah, low insulin, hard to store fat.

If you know that low insulin is connected to so many health benefits, I don't know why you'd risk it. Maybe you're a lucky person that doesn't release much insulin in response to a diet soda, but what if you're not? [laughs] Hyperinsulinemia, having chronic high levels of insulin does more than just cause you to gain weight. Chad's aunt had early-onset Alzheimer's, and she was always really, really, really lean. But she always was drinking a regular Coke and having a candy bar. I'm sure she kept her insulin up all the time. They're calling Alzheimer’s type 3 diabetes now.

Melanie Avalon: I actually interviewed-- what's today? Yesterday or two days ago. I was so excited, I interviewed the codirectors of the Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Institute at Loma Linda, they're the authors of The Alzheimer's Solution.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, I've seen that on Amazon.

Melanie Avalon: It was really exciting because they are very, very vegan. It's always really nice to bring on different viewpoints, because so many of my guests are very, very steeped in the low carb and keto world. So, it was nice to engage with them.

Gin Stephens: What did they say? Can you give us a little spoiler? Did they talk about insulin at all?

Melanie Avalon: We didn't talk about insulin, I don't think-- so they have what they believe are the four pathways to Alzheimer's. I learned so much about Alzheimer's. It's a very fascinating condition, because it's sort of like aging, there's not one identified root cause, because we know that beta amyloid formation and tau, “the problem,” but the question is what is causing that?

Gin Stephens: Did they talk about the glymphatic system and lack of sleep?

Melanie Avalon: They do in the book, we didn't on the show. The interesting thing about the beta amyloid and tau is that you can have that and not have Alzheimer's. It's not directly-- doesn't necessarily cause it. They think that there are four main pathways that lead to Alzheimer's. Number one is inflammation. Number two is oxidation. I'm going out of order because I'll say it. Number four is lipid dysregulation. Number three is glucose dysregulation/insulin resistance. Something fascinating, did you know that the enzyme that is responsible for degrading insulin. So, insulin degrading enzyme is also responsible for degrading tau protein, I think?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think I read this and that if you have too much insulin in your brain, it keeps the other from getting degraded.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. That's the theory of why the Alzheimer's would be called the type 3 diabetes because your insulin too high in your brain, causing the action of the other to not happen.

Melanie Avalon: It's partly that. It's also, I think, one of the main theories behind type 3 diabetes is that if insulin resistance occurs in the brain, then the brain cells literally are not getting fuel because they're insulin resistant. Oh, we did talk about that. It's coming back to me more. They made a very strong case that hands down the preferred sort, and we talked about this at length on the show. When it comes out, listeners, definitely check it out. They believe very firmly that glucose is the ideal and preferred source of fuel for the brain. A lot of people say that ketogenic diets are good for Alzheimer’s and that ketones are a better fuel source, especially for people with Alzheimer's, but they think that really glucose is what the brain should be using and that we don't have enough long-term studies on low carb or ketogenic diets to make a case for ketones.

Gin Stephens: That is a really good point. Just because the brain does function well ketones, doesn't mean it's the preferred source for the brain.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so that's what they believe very strongly. What was really nice is they were so open to-- because we talked about it a lot. They were so open to engaging in that dialogue. They knew that my audience tends to be low carb. I was really, really, really grateful for how the conversation unfurled. The thing we talked about with the low carb and keto diets was basically they think that-- so like I said, lipid dysregulation is their fourth thing. They think that high cholesterol and lipid dysregulation that high-fat diets are primarily the cause of that and the way to address that is a whole foods-- high carb, but from like starches and whole foods. So, they're very anti sugar, they have a whole section on sugar and how bad it is. I think they even say in the book that it's like the worst thing for Alzheimer's.

Gin Stephens: Well, you know that Chad's aunt, she was high sugar all the time. Never had a weight problem, skinny as a rail. But sugar, sugar, sugar, and then early-onset Alzheimer's.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it was a really good conversation. This is something I believe, and I think I've talked about a lot on this show, and I said it to them. My concerns with the low-carb diet and the keto diet for a lot of people, I think it's really, really amazing if you do it right and if you're strict about it as far as like being on a super high-fat diet. But I think people get very casual with it sometimes, so their carbs aren't quite low enough, or they flip in and out. So, they're in this state where they're often having a really high fat diet, and they might not be in the metabolic state to support having the health benefits from that. I think it can be potentially dangerous for a lot of people to experiment with a ketogenic diet if they're not doing it correctly.

Gin Stephens: Well, it goes back to what Marty Kendall says, energy toxicity. Too much energy in the blood from any source is not a good thing.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. To clarify, I think that the safe approach to it is to not do a super high-fat ketogenic diet, which is more Marty Kendall’s approach and more my approach.

Gin Stephens: It's starting to become more-- in the community, I think the keto community is starting to be like, “Oh, okay. Yeah, maybe we don't need to pound the fat.”

Melanie Avalon: If you go low carb, but you don't crazy ramp up the fat, then I think it's a lot easier to get all the health benefits of low carb without the potential issues of going super high fat. I'm glad it's becoming more of a nuanced conversation.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, because really, for so long, the number one thing people would say is, “Well, just eat more fat, add more fat.” No, no. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: The thing that they said was they were like-- and again, this is coming from them so it's hard to know exactly, but from what I've seen briefly, they were saying that the majority of the literature really does show that high lipids correlate to Alzheimer’s and all of these issues, because I know a lot of people in the keto world will have extremely high lipids and make the argument that there's no health problems there because of the ketogenic stay in the context of it, but it can potentially be an issue for people.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and only time will tell, like you said, we don't have the long-term data.

Melanie Avalon: Their names, it was Dr. Dean and Dr. Ayesha Sherzai. I think that's how you say it, and they wrote The Alzheimer Solution. Now what I want to do is, I really want to get Dale Bredesen who wrote the Alzheimer's-- what’s the other one? He's the low-carb guy who wrote the big Alzheimer's book.

Gin Stephens: No wonder everyone is confused.

Melanie Avalon: I know. What is his book? Because there's Alzheimer’s Solution, and then there's the Alzheimer-- wait, let me just look it up real quick.

Gin Stephens: I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so there's The Alzheimer Solution by the Sherzais, and then there's The End of Alzheimer's by Dr. Dale Bredesen. He approaches it from a low carb perspective. I've read that book, so I want to bring him on. I'm not trying to confuse people, I'm trying to give as much information as possible, so that people can make their own decisions.

Gin Stephens: Well, and I really think that probably if you go down to the root of almost every one of these approaches, it's like eat real food underlying it. It's the ultra-processed food, that's the problem. If we just got rid of ultra-processed food, maybe we could have our fat and our carbs together, and just be healthy. Don't eat all the time. Do intermittent fasting. Eat real food.

Melanie Avalon: Like Dr. Lustig’s book.

Gin Stephens: It's real food.

Hi, everybody. I want to take a minute to tell you about Prep Dish and what they have going on for you this summer. Summer is my favorite season. I'm sure that you've heard me say that before. But one thing about summer is that we are busy. That's why I'm so excited to tell you about the free Bonus Menus Prep Dish is offering this month, and it's only good through the end of June. If you're a regular listener, I'm sure you're familiar with their new Super Fast Menus. If you thought prepping five healthy dinners in just an hour was the best it could get, somehow, they're upping their game. Just for the month of June, Prep Dish is offering all new subscribers a free bonus menu. It's not just your average meal plan though. It's designed to let you prep five healthy dinners in just 30 minutes. It seriously doesn't get any easier than that.

Don't worry, just because the meals come together quickly, that doesn't mean you'll be missing out on flavor. The Bonus Menu includes things like California burgers with berry salad, shrimp tostadas, and a slow cooker Italian pork. When you subscribe, you'll have access to the gluten-free, paleo, keto and the Super Fast menu, in addition to the Bonus Menu. If you're still not convinced, remember that you get a two-week free trial if you go to prepdish.com/ifpodcast, so you can try the meals out yourself before you commit. Again, that's prepdish.com/ifpodcast for two weeks free, and for the month of June anyone who signs up gets the fastest meal plan ever bonus. Now back to the show.

All right, are we ready to go on to the next question? This is from April. April says, “Hello, my name is April and I'm newish to IF. I've been doing it off and on for about two months now. I have a question I'd love some input on. I've been listening to your IF stories for a while, I've listened to most of the episodes. I started fasting 16:8, opening my window at 11, closing at 7. I really wanted to have dinner with my family, so I figured that was the best window for me. I hate black coffee, so I was having coffee with just stevia and water or bubble water. Fasting was okay, but kind of miserable, wasn't really enjoying my coffee without almond milk and was watching the clock till I could eat. Once I would eat, I would crash.

Anyway, I learned about clean fasting, so I cut stevia and would only have plain water and plain coffee during my fast. Still hated fasting. It was a misery. I would still randomly crash after eating, and I would notice that when dinnertime rolled around, I wasn't even hungry because I would basically binge once my window was open.” Now, this is just me side note, since she's only been doing it off and on for about two months, I wonder if she gave herself time to adjust to the clean fast, because if you switch to clean fasting after not fasting clean, it might be amazing from the minute you start, but now you might not be. I would consider that day one and give yourself that 28 days to adjust. Unless she gave herself 28 days to adjust, I'm just throwing out there that that might be why it was still miserable, because the adjustment period can really be miserable. [laughs]

Anyway, all right. She said, “So, I had a thought, why not do a morning window and open it with my coffee the way I like it, so I switched. Window opens at 6:30 to 7 AM and closes eight hours later, huge change, fasting was suddenly easy and the scale began to move. Now, I'm excited to fast. My question is, it seems that most skip breakfast.” Then, she said she listened to a podcast episode that recommended skipping breakfast, but she says, “Why do I feel awful when I skip breakfast, but perfect when I have a morning window? Is there the same benefit either way, with a morning or evening window? By the way, I accidently tested it again today because I had a longer window yesterday. I waited till 11 for breakfast today and crashed, feel horrible. Thank you. By the way, stats. I'm not overweight, 138-ish at 5’6”. My goal is 130, and I'm fasting not just for weight loss, but that is a goal as well. Thanks for any insight you have. By the way, I know you're probably say just do what window works for you.” Yes, that is what I was going to say. “IF is flexible, but the questioning me wants to know why I seem to be the opposite of most IFers. April.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, April. This is a wonderful question. Now, okay, I wish we had saved this for next week because I think I'll have a lot more insight on it next week. I guess I can tease the information that I think I'm about to learn. Remember, Gin, when you were talking about The Power of When, the chronotypes, like the lion, dolphin, bear?

Gin Stephens: Yes. Yep.

Melanie Avalon: Dr. Breus.

Gin Stephens: Oh, are you interviewing him?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yay.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited. We have a random mutual friend. He's not connected to this industry at all, but I was just catching up with him on the phone, and he was like, “Yeah, I'm friends with him. I'll introduce you.” I'm really excited. I was really familiar with his book, but I haven't actually read it. So, I'm reading it right now. It hadn't really occurred to me thinking about it from that perspective, but I think that explains a lot why some people respond better to early versus late eating windows.

Gin Stephens: We have different chronotypes.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, so I'm still reading it right now, but what I've learned thus far is the dolphin, which the dolphin is me, which, by the way, the dolphin is the insomniac type, all by itself. I thought I was the wolf, like the one that stays up really late. Anyway, but I'm going all over the place, I apologize. His chronotype takes into account not just circadian rhythm like sleep cycle, but also your personality, and basically everything. And they all go together, they're all connected. I haven't learned about the bear. I don't know if the bear eats breakfast. The wolf definitely doesn't like breakfast, neither does the dolphin. I don't think the bear does. But the lion is the one that gets up early and eats and fuels for the day, and then goes.

Gin Stephens: See, I'm a lion, and I don't do that.

Melanie Avalon: Have you taken the quiz?

Gin Stephens: I took his quiz. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: It said you were a lion, not a bear?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it said I was a lion, because I wake up super early.

Melanie Avalon: True. Well, so much for that idea.

Gin Stephens: Who knows? We're all more complicated than just four types. Right?

Melanie Avalon: It seems that there is something intrinsic to our rhythms, like we have metabolic rhythms. I think some people's rhythms, like genetically, they just are breakfast people.

Gin Stephens: Yep, I have a good friend. She's one of the moderators in the Delay, Don’t Deny community, and she has a morning window, she feels better having a morning window. She just does it. I believe that that is the best window time for her. And I know it is not the best time for me, which is why I get so frustrated. I know, we've said this before, Melanie, when we hear the whole, everyone would be better if they had a morning window. There's that theory being tossed around based on an insulin response and glucose response and your metabolic whatever, whatever, and your circadian rhythm, they're calling it circadian fasting, I think, and that everyone should have their eating window at this certain time of the day. We're just not like that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, 100%. He thinks we developed these rhythms, because as we evolved as a species, it had to do with different parts of the tribe needing to be awake at different times, so that the community was always safe. A tribe in the wilderness, everybody can't be asleep all at the same time.

Gin Stephens: So, it's a benefit for us to all have different rhythms.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because if everybody was asleep, all at the same time, the community would be unprotected. We naturally evolved to have people who were up early, like protecting, then people throughout the day, and then people at night, and then the dolphins that are just like waking up to everything.

Gin Stephens: Oh, maybe I'm a dolphin.

Melanie Avalon: You're not a dolphin, I don't think.

Gin Stephens: Oh, okay. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Do you have insomnia?

Gin Stephens: Well, more now, after menopause. I didn't used to.

Melanie Avalon: Well, so you can take the quiz. What's really funny though, is when you take it, so the very first thing at the beginning, identifies the dolphins. So, if you get dolphin, then you don't get to take the rest of the quiz because it categorizes you as dolphin.

Gin Stephens: Maybe I should take it again.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, you should take and let me know. I'm dying to know. I took it and it was like dolphin. I was like, “But I really want to see if maybe I'm a wolf,” because I thought I was a wolf. So, then I took it again. I was like, “Okay, maybe I can answer these a different way.” Then I kept doing it. I literally had to take four times and every time it's like dolphin, dolphin, dolphin. Then, finally I was able to change my answers enough that it let me take the rest of the quiz.

Gin Stephens: I mean, I totally want to go to sleep at 9, 9:30 at night every night.

Melanie Avalon: You're not a dolphin.

Gin Stephens: Okay. I can't help it, and I cannot sleep late. I cannot.

Melanie Avalon: You're not a dolphin. [laughs] No, you're not. The dolphins are super groggy in the morning, takes a long time to get their energy out the day, and then randomly like, “9:00, whoa.”

Gin Stephens: I'm definitely not that. No, I'm not that. [laughs] I'm not a dolphin.

Melanie Avalon: He didn't make this connection, but I just read this and I'm making the connection in my head. He said the dolphins are the only chronotype where all of their rhythms, like their blood pressure, their body temperature, all of that is inversed, so that all goes up at night. Maybe that explains why I want all my food. I eat really well, like really late, so I'm excited to keep reading it. There's personality too.

Gin Stephens: I would say about April, it totally could be the morning window is when her body is primed to eat and that's the better time to eat. That totally could be it. I'm still not completely sure that she's adjusted to fasting. I just don't know, she's only about two months in, she's been doing it off and on for two months. She may not be fat adapted. April, if you're not fat adapted, you really can't judge how you feel yet because you're not there. That's the thing. It depends on when you started the clean fast, and whether you're fat adapted yet. If you've been doing it for a while and you are fat adapted and you 100% feel better when you eat in the morning, then that is definitely a clue that that's your good window time. Your body really does tell you.

Melanie Avalon: Even when I wasn't fat adapted, I was never a morning eater. I was never hungry at breakfast.

Gin Stephens: Well, I ate breakfast because I enjoy the recreation of eating, and I enjoy eating breakfast and they told you to eat breakfast, but I did realize earlier on that I was hungrier when I did eat breakfast than if I waited.

Melanie Avalon: Me too.

Gin Stephens: I didn't know that was true, for me, but that didn't stop me from eating. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: That’s the way I was.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I loved having breakfast eat out. It was not a good breakfast either, I was having like drive-thru breakfast. Oh, Lordy.

Melanie Avalon: It could be that she's not fat adapted, but I feel maybe intrinsically, she's just a breakfast eater.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it could be either of those. I can't say it's one or the other. It absolutely might be that she's a morning person, but it might not be it might just be not fat adapted yet. I just really would be hesitant for anybody to judge what intermittent fasting is going to be prior to when you're adapted because your body's lying to you turn into [laughs] adaptation phase.

Melanie Avalon: Good point. We have time for one last question, and this is from Jan. Jan says, “I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles with this. For the most part, I am comfortable doing 16:8 fast regularly. However, when I am at work and come 11, 12, 1 PM, I just want to eat. It's more like an inner clock. I am not really hungry, but I feel like I have to eat. I'm not sure how to move beyond that point. Any suggestions? I enjoy your podcasts and the guests you have on. Thank you.”

Gin Stephens: All right, well, thank you, Jan. Here's the thing, if what you're doing is working, and you're eating at 11, 12, 1, and it feels right, and you're happy and you're getting the results you want, then you don't need to move beyond that point. You're fasting and if you're doing 16:8, and you feel good with 16:8, you're comfortable doing 16:8, it's working for you, then it's okay. We sometimes get into our heads that you should want to fast more necessarily, or you want to push your window up just to be doing it, but if what you're doing feels right, then it's okay. It's okay to open your window at noon. Even if you're not like super-duper hungry. Maybe this is your body's sweet spot, maybe if you waited till 4, you would binge. I don't know. If however, you're not getting the results you want, if you feel like, “Every day, I'm opening at 11, 12, 1, and I'm not even hungry and I don't even need to eat and I'm not getting the results I want,” that's when you need to have like a conversation with yourself and say, “Okay, am I going to choose to eat because I want to eat? Or, am I going to choose to not eat and then see if I can meet my goals by delaying my eating window?” You've just got to decide which you want to do, which might be easier said than done. I get it.

As I just said a couple minutes ago when we were talking about breakfast. Eating is a lot more than just taking in nutrients. It's recreational, it's something that we enjoy, it's pleasurable. It's a break from what we were doing, you take a break to eat and it feels like a nice rest. I don't know if I'm explaining myself well. It's a routine, it feels nice. So, you just have to decide, “Is what I'm doing right now working for me?” And if so, it's okay to eat at that point if that's when I want to eat. But if what I'm doing is not working for me, how can I flip that switch and tell myself, “You know what, you just want to eat, you don't need to eat, find something else to do, get busy. Maybe have a special beverage, have your San Pellegrino mineral water that you have every day at that time to make it your special instead of like you have to eat, now you're going to have your special San Pellegrino. I don't know, what do you think, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: That was really great. I hadn't really thought about this way before, but when it comes to food, and then perception of hunger, perception of appetite, all these things, people experience things all over the spectrum. A lot of people who write to us, it's the opposite of Jan's what she's experiencing as a potential issue. A lot of people feel they're ravenously hungry, when they're not supposed to be eating, but then some people like Jan, it's when they're “decided to eat” but they're not hungry. The nice thing about fasting is, in a way, you don't even have to worry about all of that because what you can do is you-- and this ties into what you just said, Gin, as far as if it's working or not. You can pick your window, commit to it, try it out, trial run it, regardless of feeling hungry or not feeling hungry. Just trying out that window and then seeing if that window is working, rather than having to focus and fixate on your relationship with food and if you're hungry, or if you're not hungry. It's just picking the window and just resting on the confidence of trying out this window, and then seeing if it works. Does that make sense? It's a different place to focus. You don't have to overanalyze so much the hunger or the lack of hunger, because you're trying out the window. I think it's exactly what you said, Gin. If she's doing this window, and but she's happy with her energy and her body composition and everything, then maybe it's completely fine that she's eating the way she's eating. I like what you said.

Gin Stephens: Well, good. Yeah, it just depends. It might not be a problem. Sometimes, we identify things as problems, because we think they are based on what somebody said, for example. We've all heard, “Never eat if you're not really hungry.” Well, we all “fail” when it comes to that. We all eat when we're not truly hungry.

Melanie Avalon: Hunger is a spectrum. One person's hunger may not even register as another person's hunger. It's so subjective.

Gin Stephens: One of the saddest sayings, I don't remember exactly how it's said. One of the saddest mindsets to me of all is the one that you see where it's like, “Food is not entertainment, it is just to fuel your body.” I'm like that is depressing, because a food is supposed to be a pleasure. That would be like saying, “Activities with your spouse are only designed to procreate, and you're not allowed to enjoy it.” You know what I'm saying? It's one of those puritanical mindsets of, “Well, enjoying it is a sin, so stop enjoying it.” You can enjoy all the physical pleasures, and that includes food. I got a little racy, sorry.

Melanie Avalon: No, I was thinking, “I feel like this is like the most-- Ooh.” [laughs] What am I going to say? Hmm.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] I see, I was an elementary teacher, I can't be too racy. I can't say certain things because I was trying not to say anything like that, anyway.

Melanie Avalon: No, you said that really well. That would go over kids’ heads, I think, I don't know. The one slight caveat I would add is, I think some people-- if there are people who struggle with what they perceive as food addiction, sometimes they feel very free and embracing a food as fuel rather than pleasure standpoint. If that's working for you to view food that way, I don't want to discourage people from doing that. In general, I agree that food is meant to be enjoyed.

Gin Stephens: It's meant to be enjoyed. Yeah, but you can even enjoy-- That mindset makes it sound the only thing you enjoy is garbage food. But you can enjoy a brussels sprout. You can enjoy a healthy food, you can enjoy a tomato. I made some beans yesterday in my pressure cooker. Oh my gosh, they were so good. That was pleasure, eating these beans. It wasn't like I was eating chocolate cake. Assuming that pleasurable food has to equate “bad food.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. I thought that was a really great note to end on.

Gin Stephens: Awesome. Yeah, me too.

Melanie Avalon: All right. 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 podcast, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode216, you can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. And you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens, on Instagram, we're @ifpodcast. Can’t remember that. All right. Anything else from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: Nope, that's it.

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Mar 07

Episode 203: Ketone Levels, Magnesium, GI Distress, Pandemic Plateaus, Heart Palpitations, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 203 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

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12:40 - Listener Feedback: Crystal - Thank you!

15:40 - Listener Q&A: Brenna - Ketosis 

‘Optimal ketosis’ is a goal. More ketones are better. The lie that started the keto movement.

23:20 - Listener Feedback: Mary Ellen - Bioptimizers

26:00 - GREEN CHEF: Go To greenchef.com/90ifpodcast And Use Code 90IFPODCAST To Get $90 Off Including Free Shipping!

27:45 - Listener Q&A: Sofie - AMA 

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47:30 - Listener Q&A: Chris - Heart palpitations

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52:20 - Listener Q&A: Madeline - Tea

52:45 - Listener Q&A: Susan - Flavored Seltzer

56:15 - Listener Q&A: Lisa - Ask me anything episode 200

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

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

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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. So, 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 sample 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 DRINKLMNT dotcom forward slash IF Podcast. And I'll put all this information in the show notes.

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

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

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

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

Hi everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 203 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'm doing great. By the way, if anybody hears something that sounds like a leaf blower, that's my neighbor. The teenager’s outside doing leaf blowing. So, if you hear something weird, that's what it is.

Melanie Avalon: I don't hear anything.

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm glad. [laughs] Someone else might hear. I can hear it even through my headphones.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: How are you?

Gin Stephens: I'm doing great. Just busy-busy, working on the new book. I can't wait to start talking about it.

Melanie Avalon: I know.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm working on it. It's a lot of work. A lot of work to write books.

Melanie Avalon: I was just telling you before, we started recording that every time I think about you writing it, I get very grateful that I am not writing it. [sighs] It's a lot of work.

Gin Stephens: It really is. I thought of something the other day that made me laugh really hard. Let's see if I can paraphrase it. “If you want to be proud, teach someone to write. If you want to live a life of crushing doubt, write a book yourself,” or something like that. That’s not what it was, but I'm like, “Yeah,” because as soon as you write anything, you're like, wait a minute, “Is that good?” “Is it bad?” Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I hear you.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Anyway.

Melanie Avalon: I had a really nice interview, I think, yesterday or two days ago.

Gin Stephens: Uh-huh. Who was that?

Melanie Avalon: I got to interview Terry Wahls.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's exciting.

Melanie Avalon: Which was really exciting. I feel like she's really well known in the holistic health sphere. For listeners, she has a really famous TED talk. She completely reversed her MS through diet, and she's a doctor and does clinical trials. She said something that I thought was so amazing. I was like, “I'm going to start saying this.” Then, I was actually reading Dave Asprey’s book, Fast This Way. He made a similar concept, and it was an idea I wanted to share, which was, she said-- I don't know-- Were we talking about fasting? Yes. I think we were. Yes. Do you know what she does, fasting?

Gin Stephens: No.

Melanie Avalon: She only eats every other day.

Gin Stephens: She's an alternate daily faster.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. I was talking to her about it. She said, she encourages people, when they're trying to find the fasting schedule that works for them, to do everything out of curiosity. The alternative was like, rather than fear or feeling you have to do it, just being curious about it. Then I was reading, like I said, Dave Asprey’s Fast This Way, and he made a similar comment about-- I'm not sure if he used the word ‘curiosity,’ I think he was talking about doing everything out of wants and not needs when choosing your fasting. It was just basically this idea from both of them about not having fear or feeling you have to do certain IF protocol or feeling it's this rigid thing that you have to do, but rather just something that you get to do or you want to do, or you're curious about, and I thought that was really freeing.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, the whole idea of getting your mind in the right place. I had the Mindset chapter in Fast. Feast. Repeat., just having the right mental attitude towards what you're doing. Then, you start appreciating the fast for what it is, instead of just living for the feast. There's a lot of good stuff going on in our bodies, so we learn to appreciate that very much. The fast is powerful.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.

Gin Stephens: I'm glad that you had a great chat with her.

Melanie Avalon: It was good. Then I told you, I'm going to interview Gary Taubes.

Gin Stephens: Awesome.

Melanie Avalon: So excited. I was thinking about it. Well, he's not paleo. I always say that Rob wolf was the person who initiated me into the health world, but I think Good Calories, Bad Calories was the first book I read about carbs at least.

Gin Stephens: Right. Yeah, I read that one.

Melanie Avalon: It's a doozy.

Gin Stephens: It really is. If I just could take one thing away from that book, it was that it's a lot more complicated than we thought. That's what that really taught me and-- oh, just because somebody says something doesn't mean-- [laughs] That really sent me down the path, I think, you're right of this is really complicated. Our bodies are not just calories in, calories out.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. He has a new book. Have you read it yet, The Case For Keto?

Gin Stephens: No, but I've read an analysis of it. Somebody that I really like, Marty Kendall, Optimising Nutrition.

Melanie Avalon: Who I'm also going to interview.

Gin Stephens: I just had him on my podcast.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you did interview him? How did it go?

Gin Stephens: Yep. I interviewed him this week. He's so fantastic. He's great.

Melanie Avalon: Did you read his new book?

Gin Stephens: Which one?

Melanie Avalon: Well, it's not out yet. I don't know if he sent it to you before the interview.

Gin Stephens: The one about keto?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: Yes. I've read it. I read it. The myths?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Yes. It's so good. We talked about it in the interview. Yes, he sent it to me. I read it, but I was like, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah,” the whole time I was reading it. Then when I talked to him, it was great. By the time this episode comes out, mine will not have come out yet with Marty. Marty Kendall has an analysis of Gary Taubes’ new book, on his Optimising Nutrition website. and Optimising is spelled with an S because he's Australian, if anyone's looking for it, but anyway.

Melanie Avalon: I'm curious to see how the timeline goes if I release those episodes back-to-back because I know Marty, I don't know if it's a critique, but he analyzes.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's a bit of a critique, not in a bad way. I think that Marty may have been closer in beliefs to what Gary Taubes is now and then has learned more and moved away from some of them, if that makes sense. Everything that Gary Taubes says, Marty Kendall used to agree with all of them and over time has learned more and moved away from them and maybe feels that Gary needs to move away from some of them as well. I don't know if that makes sense. When I read his critique, I think that's the way I would summarize it.

Melanie Avalon: Do you know Gary founded with Peter Attia, what is it?

Gin Stephens: Was it NuSi?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I followed that whole story when they were doing their studies, and it's fascinating the whole idea of, they funded these studies, and they didn't exactly find what they thought they would find and a lot of debate about that. It's fascinating.

Melanie Avalon: I'm imagining Case for Keto is probably very long. I haven't even picked it up. I'm like, “Oh, no.” I have so many other books I'm reading right now that I just have to get through. I’ve got to take a breather, but it's going to be fun. Shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes, let's get started.

Melanie Avalon: All right, so to start things off, we have some listener feedback. The first one comes from Crystal. The subject is, “Thank you.” Crystal says, “I don't have a question. I just wanted to say thank you. I've been dabbling in IF for the last year, mostly in a 16:8 model. Like many people, I heard that 50-calorie rule, I would wake up to two tablespoons of a sweet creamer in my coffee, because it was only 50 calories at 8 AM. At 10 AM. I'd be starving, like that shaky, low blood sugar hungry. I'd have a small breakfast, then basically snack all day, have a big dinner, stop eating at 6 PM. After 6, I drank a cup of tea with stevia and usually a diet soda. I was constantly fighting hunger, it was a total chore. Many days I would cave and not fast at all. My willpower cannot override the hunger I was experiencing.

Since listening to your podcast and learning about spikes in insulin and the benefits of clean fasting, I've dropped my bad habits and I feel incredible. I rarely feel hungry. I never have that low blood sugar feeling. I no longer crave sugar. I have so much energy all day. I find that if I cave and open my window early, I regret it. My weight loss has increased dramatically. My blood glucose has normalized. I just want to say to those just starting out, having a less strict fast isn't helping you. It just makes fasting so much harder. You gals have changed my life. Thank you so much for all of your research and for sharing.”

Gin Stephens: Well, thank you so much, Crystal. I loved reading that. If it were true that putting a little something in there made it easier to fast, I'd be putting a little something in my coffee too. The science explains why and I'm so glad that you stumbled upon our podcast and listened and that it's helping you. Because I remember those days before I was fasting clean, that white knuckling that I was going through. Oh, by the way, Melanie, that made me think of something that Marty Kendall and I talked about when I interviewed him last week and that was the whole putting all the fat in your coffee and why that is not a good strategy for weight loss. Marty agrees with me. [laughs] He agrees with me that the goal is not-- and actually reading his blog is what informed me because I've been reading his blog since 2017, I think, something like that, but his explanation of ketones in the blood and what does it mean and chasing high ketone numbers being not what we're wanting to do, Marty really has a great way of explaining all of that, so you get it. That really helped me understand along the way reading his blog.

He talks about how our goal is not to have ketones, our goal is to get into ketosis, which I have said multiple times-- we've said it on this program, and in this podcast. Putting the fat in your coffee may not have the giant insulin response that sweetener would have, but it's still not what you want to do if your goal is to burn your body fat.

Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Brenna. The subject is “Ketosis.” She says, “Hello. This question may have been answered before, but I figured I'd give it a go. I've been fasting clean since April 2020 with an average eating window of six hours. Starting out, it was 16:8 and now it's mostly 20:4. I'm a carb lover like both of you, but don't follow a specific diet. My meal/snack foods usually consist of a lot of carrots, potatoes, brussels sprouts and apples, along with chicken or ground turkey for protein. I also enjoy things like Barbara cereals and animal crackers, always a kid at heart.

I recently purchased a Keto-Mojo blood glucose monitor out of curiosity. I am a nurse and I tend to like numbers and raw data. To my surprise, I am barely reaching ketosis when I thought I'd feel it in my body. I would get the odd taste in my mouth and feel energized towards the end of the fast. My average has been 0.4 mmol after 20 hours of fasting, and I've heard 0.5 mmol is considered nutritional ketosis. I've tried to do my own research, but I can't seem to find anything unless it's related to a ketogenic diet, which I absolutely refuse to do. I thought I heard y'all talking about how we shouldn't be measuring ketones, but I may be mistaken. I would love your feedback on this. Thank you so much for your podcast. It's been so great. Thanks again, Bren.”

Gin Stephens: Thank you for asking, Brenna. That is fantastic. Going back to what I was talking about with Marty Kendall, he has got a blog post that I want you to look for on Optimising Nutrition. It's called “Optimal ketosis is a goal. More ketones are better. The lie that started the ketone movement.”

Basically, we are not chasing high ketone numbers. You really need to just read what Marty Kendall says about it, because it's fascinating. He started off the same thing, reading about nutritional ketosis that you're talking about there. Here's something though that's so interesting. People who are in ketosis long term, ketone levels drop over time, Marty talks about this. He even talks about-- he had Steve Phinney who was one of the authors of The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, which is where some of these numbers started off. He had Steven Phinney at his house staying with him, when they were [laughs] having low carb down under and they were talking about it, and about the chart that was in the book that people keep referring to. That chart was based on blood ketone levels of participants in two studies from the 1980s. Okay, that's where they got that chart from.

Melanie Avalon: This is the original chart that came up with--

Gin Stephens: Yes, the one that everyone is using as this is what we should be striving for. Basically, these people were new to a lower carb diet at the time that they were tested, so ketone levels were high. Basically, the whole keto community has begun to realize over time, “Oh, ketone levels go down.” “Oh, it doesn't make any sense to chase high ketones.” All the things you had, and Marty goes into this all in his keto myths-- and he's not anti-keto. When you read the title of his book, you might think that it's a book against keto, but it's a book that's trying to bust the myths, the bad advice that's out there, like, “Oh, if you're not getting high ketones, just add more fat, add more fat, have more fat.” Well, adding more fat is likely to give you higher ketones, but why? Well, because your body is going to be making them from all that fat you're consuming, is that going to help you? No. It might look better on paper if you're shooting for this high number, but now you've got all this extra energy from the fat that you're consuming. He and I also talked about the eat more fat to lose more fat myth. It was fabulous because I said there's one thing that people always say that's bad advice in the groups when someone's saying, “I'm struggling with keto, what should I do?” I'm like, “So, Marty, what do you think the number one bad advice we always hear is?” He said, “Eat more fat.” I'm like, “Yep, that's it.” Eating more fat is not a winning strategy for really anything, basically. It might give you higher ketones, but that's not our goal.

Look for his blog post. Just like back in the day when I was reading Dr. Fung’s blog post, this is before The Obesity Code came out, and I'm digging down the rabbit hole and reading this post and that post from Jason Fung and being like, “Oh, my gosh,” it was mind blowing. The same thing happens when you start reading some of Marty Kendall’s blog posts.

Melanie Avalon: She doesn't even really want to do keto, but she's eating a lot of carbs and not experiencing.

Gin Stephens: Okay, it sounds to me she's confused because she thinks her ketone levels should be higher, because she's heard that you get into ketosis during the fast. So, it sounds to me like Brenna is thinking that you want to be in art and science of low carb living, high levels of nutritional ketosis levels of ketones during the fast, and that is not true. She's chasing high ketone numbers, but we're not trying to get high ketone numbers. We're trying to get into ketosis-- we enjoy being in ketosis. I'm not even going to say we're trying to get into ketosis really, because you can lose fat without being in ketosis. We want to prove that we're in ketosis by finding these high numbers that we think we need. That is not what you need to do. That's my point.

Melanie Avalon: Especially if, like for Bren, if she's happy with her diet and likes how she's feeling, it'd be one thing if she wasn't losing weight and didn't feel she was in the fasted state, and was trying to tweak things, then that actually might be a case where she might want to look at our food choices, to possibly further encourage the entry into ketosis because I don't want to discourage people from doing low carb diets, if they want to do it. It is very likely if you're eating high carbs, and then you switch to low carbs, yes, you'll probably get into a deeper state of ketosis, either deeper or sooner, it is going to make a difference, most likely. I'm not trying to discourage people from doing that. If it's somebody like Bren who has no interest in doing ketogenic is happy with her diet, but the only thing that's bothering her is that she's not getting this certain number on her Keto-Mojo, I would not stress about that.

Gin Stephens: She's been getting 0.4 and she's like, “Well, I really need 0.5.” No, no, no. Even if you're only getting point one, that's showing that you're getting into ketosis, we're not trying to have high levels. Marty has another blog post, not the one that I just said, I can't remember the name of this one but has wonderful graph, I'm pretty sure I've referenced it before here on the podcast that health is associated with less energy floating around in your blood of all types.

Melanie Avalon: Like just in general, yeah.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we don't want to have high levels of blood glucose floating around in our blood. We know that. High glucose in our bloodstream is bad. We don't want to have high levels of fat floating around in our blood. We know that. We also don't want to have high levels of ketones floating around in our blood. During the fasted state, we really want low levels of things floating around in our blood. We're not trying to get them up. That would be like us thinking that we needed high levels of blood glucose in our blood. That mistake, if you're like, “I'm trying to get my blood sugar up as high as I can, because high is better.” No. It would be the similar kind of idea.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. All right. Shall we jump back to-- going out of order.

Gin Stephens: Go back, yes. Anyway, so thank you, Crystal, back to the original question about the clean fast. Yes, the clean fast matters, and we're so glad that you found that it does. Now, we have one from Mary Ellen, and the subject is “BiOptimizers.” She says, “Hi Gin and Melanie. I don't have a question but would like to give feedback on a product you endorsed for others who may have issues with constipation.” She says, “I am a 49-year-old registered nurse. I've been an intermittent faster for two years and have had great success. I love this way of life. I follow a 4:3 or 5:2 lifestyle and my down days are on days I work since I have amazing energy while fasted. I have had chronic constipation since my 20s. I've been to GI docs, have had colonoscopies, have tried every fiber and supplement. But the only way I have a bowel movement is by taking milk of magnesia once a week. This works but as you can imagine, it's a lengthy and “explosive” event.

I heard the endorsement on the podcast for BiOptimizers Magnesium supplement and decided to try it. Well, I have taken two capsules for the past four nights and, drumroll please, I have had a bowel movement the past three mornings. A normal BM, no diarrhea or pebbles. This is amazing. A total game changer for me. I can't believe how much better my tummy feels. I know it's early on and I'm hoping my body doesn't become acclimated to it. I do have plenty of room to increase the dose if necessary. I just had to share this for any other IFers who have the same issue. Thank you, Gin and Melanie for your great advice. Take care, Mary Ellen.”

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, as a fellow struggler of GI issues, I love receiving emails like this. Yes, we've had Wade on the podcast, one of the founders of BiOptimizers, we did a whole episode on magnesium and how basically our bodies are just depleted. Magnesium is one of the minerals that is really hard to get an adequate amount of today from our food, because the soil is just so magnesium depleted. They formulated their magnesium supplement to have-- there's like seven forms of magnesium, so it has all of those forms-- especially in my group, IF Biohackers, people talk about this product, Magnesium Breakthrough. A lot of people experience other great benefits, like reduced anxiety and stress. Then, a lot of people do see a lot of improvement in their bowel movements. Super excited to hear that.

I think they're actually a sponsor on this episode. If you listen to the ad that we are running, I'm not sure where it's going to be placed. It might have been at the beginning or it might be in the middle, that's where you can get the link to our latest offer for them because I don't know if it's magnesium right now. It's always changing. Yeah, they're a really great company.

Gin Stephens: They really are.

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Melanie Avalon: All right, shall we jump into some questions?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Sophie. This is a lingering one from our “Ask Me Anything” episode. She says, “I'd like to know the potential diminishing returns of fasting over time for weight loss. Anecdotally, many long-term IFers seem to hit a wall, and no amount of tweaking seems to make a difference. Me, but I'm not alone. Why do we seem to eventually stop losing weight and even put weight back on? I have read each book and I am aware of the troubleshooting and tweaking and the medical testing for other potential reasons.”

Gin Stephens: Yes. Anecdotally, many, many people hit walls and have issues. I want to say something though that's interesting. I've been in the intermittent fasting community for a long time. The first time that I've seen this happen the way it's happening now has been 2020. I think the stress of 2020, the pandemic-- we did not see a lot of long-term IFers hit a wall and have weight regain and have all these problems until really 2020. It's been different this year. What do you think about that, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: That is such a fascinating answer. I wasn't anticipating that.

Gin Stephens: Well, I've been in the community for a long, long time and I have said before, people get to goal, they stay there. Then, all of a sudden, we've had more struggle in 2020 than we ever had before. Is it because more people really are struggling or because the community is so much larger that it seems like more people are struggling? Because let's imagine, I've got a group of let's say 300,000 in the regular Delay, Don’t Deny group, it's actually bigger than 300,000, it's more than 300,000. But let's say we have 300,000 intermittent fasters and a half of 1% are regaining weight, and they all start talking about it. It's going to feel like a giant amount of people, but it's really a tiny percentage. When you say many, many long-term IFers hit a wall and stop losing weight and put weight back on, I don't have numbers, but I’d really don't think it's many, many, many like you said there. I will say for me, I know that I-- I'm going to say, I haven't weighed myself on a traditional scale since, what was it, 2017 or something like that. I know that looking at photos of me in 2018, which is right after I retired from teaching, I have some photos, I think I hit my lowest, leanest weight in 2018. Then, I think I slowly put on a little bit of weight, not enough to get out of my honesty pants. I still fit in all my clothes. I was a little puffier, just a little. I also was going through menopause during that period of time, which is a hormonal change most women gain a good deal of weight, during menopause.

If I had been weighing every day, I don't know what my scale would have told me. Maybe I gained 10 pounds, I don't know, maybe I didn't. I think I did have a little bit of gain over that transition. What's interesting is now I'm on the other side of that, and I am actually back to what I felt was my leanest weight from 2018. Here we are now, 2021, I think my weight went up a little bit, and now it's back down a little bit. Again, I don't have the numbers, so I can't tell you exactly what it did. But my honesty pants are fitting me like they did in 2018. Chad's like, “Oh, look. Look how you're losing weight, stop doing that.” All of a sudden, he's saying that to me. But I really haven't done anything different, other than I have tweaked the amount of alcohol I'm drinking. Other than that, I think it's my body and my hormones, maybe 2020 and the stress, I don't know. Did I gained some weight and then lose it again? I think I did. What I didn't do is worry or stress or think that intermittent fasting had stopped working, or why did I gain weight? Why am I losing it again? I think that we have normal cycles in our lives, is where I'm going with this.

For me, I think that menopausal transition, I think I may have gained a little weight and then I lost it again, just based on clothes and photos. But again, I didn't grow out of my clothes ever or need bigger clothes. That didn't happen. I think they may have gotten a little tighter. If a person has hit a wall and no amount of tweaking seems to make a difference, something has changed. It might be your hormones, maybe you're going through menopause. It maybe you've had window creep, and you don't feel like you're eating more, but you really are, your window may be different. Maybe it's the stress of the pandemic, but not one of those things is minor. They're all big. I don't think that there's anything that says that we get diminishing returns of fasting. I certainly don't think that anything that happened for my weight over the past from 2018 when I think I was leaner, and then I wasn't as lean, and now I'm back to 2018 again, I don't think it was fasting that had anything to do with that. Does that make sense? Did I explain that well?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I was just thinking about how basically 2020 for many people, even if it was just one factor that could potentially affect weight loss, that would be huge. Say it was just a stressful situation, like stress. But it's not just stress, it's stress, it's the majority of people no longer going into their physical jobs. The physical activity, I imagine, for a lot of people dramatically probably shot down. Not going outside is quite as much for a lot of people. Vitamin D going down. The lack of social connection. There's so many things. Then dealing with a stress, a lot of people probably did turn to more comfort foods, or--

Gin Stephens: Oh, I was certainly doing more baking.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. A lot of, I feel, takeout escalated. It's basically the perfect storm of challenges to face with losing or maintaining weight, or not gaining weight. Yeah, I'm really, really glad that you brought that up. This is a new question from Sophie because I know we answer questions from 2017 but this is a very new one.

Gin Stephens: One thing that seems to be implied in this question is that intermittent fasting is the only tool that we use whether our weight goes up or down. It's all related to intermittent fasting. Well, I did intermittent fasting and my weight didn't go down, so intermittent fasting doesn't work. But really, there's a lot of other things in your body going on at one time, the health of your gut microbiome, you mentioned sleep. Intermittent fasting is a tool in our health and weight loss toolbox. But it's not the only tool and it doesn't work in isolation.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, 100%. The second thing I was going to say was-- she doesn't even mention this question, like you just said it, it's just talking about fasting, but there's so much more, and food choices, I think is really huge. I've said this before, and I'll keep saying it. I honestly think-- and this would never happen, so I'm grateful for that. If I had to choose between fasting with food choices that don't suit my body compared to healthy food choices that support my body and not fasting, I would probably choose the food choices. I think it's really, really huge what we're actually putting into our bodies, so we don't really have any details about what Sophie's eating or her window. There's really not any details. It does seem to be sort of a resigned mindset idea about IF.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, because it seems to imply that you're going to hit a wall, you're going to stop losing weight, you're going to put weight back on. I guess if I had that feeling, especially if I was weighing every day, maybe I would have felt that way in 2020. Maybe I don't know what I weighed, I don't know. I could have been like, “Oh, my gosh, intermittent fasting has stopped working for me.” It didn't. It never did.

Melanie Avalon: I was actually listening to a really, really interesting interview on ritual with-- I don't know who it was, honestly. It was actually in his recap episode, so he was doing little pieces from interviews all throughout the year. I think the guy was a trainer who works with athletes, and he was talking about the effect on athletes during this time and them not being able to train. He was basically talking about the different mindsets. Some people especially were really into physical activity, and then couldn't do it because of the pandemic situation, that some people kind of choose to just not do it anymore and figure that they'll get back to it on the flip side, and then some people keep like a little bit going, so it's like they're at a baseline that's just a little bit removed from where they were. He was saying how much easier it is-- you don't have to be completely perfect and maintaining the exact same thing that you're maintaining. You might perceive, “Oh, I'm not maintaining, or I'm gaining weight.” It's quite possible that you kind of sounds like what happens with Gin, like a baseline that's not egregiously far from where you were, but it is a little bit far. That baseline will probably once the situation changes, the environment changes, you get back to it, it probably won't be that hard to get back to “where you were,” if that's what you're trying to achieve. If you have the mindset of, “Oh, I'm gaining and can't get back to what I was,” then that can be I think the mindsets huge, like that can probably make or break you as far as how you are interpreting if IF is working or not. When it always could, in theory work.

Gin Stephens: I do think that if I had been weighing myself every day, and saw my weight trending up on the scale, it might have panicked me and upset me. Maybe the fact that I threw my scale away, and I didn't have the scale kept me going because it didn't matter. I wasn't worried about it. I also trusted that everything would be fine.

Yeah, I remember us doing an interview, maybe at some point in 2020, for Intermittent Fasting Stories, and I remember saying on the podcast, I think I was leaner a couple years ago, but I wasn't worried about it. The menopausal transition usually comes with a good deal of weight gain for most women. I never had to buy bigger clothes, like I said, so maybe I was a little puffier. I was like, “Alright, everything's okay. I'm not gaining a lot of weight, but I'm a little puffier. No problem.” Now, it's really nice to know that that's changed. Also, interesting, over the holidays I've gotten a Shapa scale now that shows me the color. I've had periods of time where I was gray. Gray means gaining a little bit of weight. I've always been balanced out with periods of time where I go to blue, every time.

Melanie Avalon: I have a question about it, I stopped using mine. I need to start using it again. I finally stepped on it again, it was like, “You have to recalibrate.” I was like, “Man.” Does it always go sequential? Does it have to go from gray to neutral to blue, or does it ever go straight from gray to blue?

Gin Stephens: Well, it shows your trend of the past 10 days, so I feel like it would have to go sequentially just from that because your trend is only going to change a little bit. I guess if you picked up a 50-pound barbell and got on there, I don't know what it would do.

Melanie Avalon: [crosstalk] -liposuction.

Gin Stephens: Do that experiment and see. Something like that might actually make you go to gray from blue.

Melanie Avalon: I wonder if you could go straight from gray to blue.

Gin Stephens: You would have to have a big mathematical difference. It would not be actual fat gain or loss. Just today, I was green yesterday, I was teal, I'd been blue for a little while, but before that, I had a little gray. It all seems to be evening out over time. Since I've been on the Shapa, that's helped me be even more calm about what my weight is doing and seeing it go up a little bit over the holidays, but then naturally come back down without any kind of stress about it. Or, I haven't had to really go crazy with trying to lose it. If I saw gray, gray, gray, gray, gray, gray, gray, gray, over time, and it kept being gray, I'd be like, “Alright, why is this happening?” Then, I would think about it, “What's different? What can I do?” There may be a time that I might have to change something, that would be okay, too. Using the data, making a change, seeing what you need to do, but using it as informing you instead of letting it stress you out, I don't know. The opposite could have been true. I could have found that maybe when I went through menopause, maybe I gained 50 pounds, that could have happened. It didn't, but it could have, but would that mean intermittent fasting had failed? No. It wouldn't have meant that then either, because intermittent fasting is always doing-- unless you take it to the extreme and you're fasting in an unhealthy way. If you're fasting in a healthy way, living an intermittent fasting lifestyle the way you and I talk about, I can't imagine intermittent fasting making your health worse.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I haven't talked about this a lot. The thing that sold me, like sold me on the role of hormones and factors, not necessarily related to what you're actually eating, is I maintained a very similar weight for a really, really long time. Then, one of my doctors suggested a super, super low-dose SSRI for my GI issues, so I trial-runned it and I gained a significant amount of weight in a very short amount of time with no change in diet. That is what really opened my eyes. I didn't continue taking it because I didn't really feel comfortable with it, personally. I just didn't really like how it made me feel. But I'm actually really happy that I had that experience because I don't think I really realized until then, just how powerful hormones are. Again, that's a medication, but the reason it's having that effect is because it's changing something in your hormones. It was really shocking.

So, when we get questions from people who feel like, whatever reason, they just can't lose the weight or something's just not working, it could very well be something hormonal, and it's not on your head, but also doesn't mean that there's not an answer to it either. I think especially with hormonal things, I was talking before about the importance of food, I think this is actually a really good example of where you might be doing fasting, you might be doing calorie restriction, but if it is a hormonal issue, food choices can have a huge, huge effect on that. So, if you're eating foods that are hormonally messing with you, that can be a barrier that you might not be able to break through unless you change the food choices.

Gin Stephens: Intermittent fasting doesn't solve every problem we have and it also doesn't create every problem we have. We hear it [unintelligible [00:42:03] Why is intermittent fasting not solving this problem that I've got? I thought it would. Well, maybe the cause of that is not something fasting addresses, fasting lowers your insulin, fasting does lots of things, but it doesn't change everything in your life. Sometimes, people will have a strange symptom. I've been fasting for two years, and all of a sudden, I have three cavities. Did fasting cause that? Well, we can't say because probably not. But what if you hadn't been fasting, do people still get cavities? Yes. It's impossible to untangle cause and effect.

For example, someone was asking me today. They're like, “Okay, you have a vibration plate, what benefits have you seen?” I'm like, “I can't really tell you because I don't know what would be happening had I not used it.”

Melanie Avalon: Ooh, can I talk about that really quick?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, because when I interviewed Terry Wahls, she talks about vibration plates in her book. Probably 30% of our interview was talking about, not vibration plates, but e-stim, electrical stimulation, where they stimulate your muscle to grow. It basically makes you build muscle in the session, because it makes your muscle vibrate so fast. I was asking her about this, but I think a lot of people do it cosmetically-- or not cosmetically, but you can get it through a lot of spas and stuff. I think the brands are called EmSculpt or CoolToning. The point of all this was that MS patients often lose-- their muscles atrophy because they can't use their muscles, and she was talking about this e-stim, how it builds muscle and the profound, profound metabolic effects it has on the body. The insulin resistance actually typically starts at the muscle. When we're losing our muscle, we're losing a lot of our sinks to take in extra glucose. I'm just thinking about what the pandemic and everything. I think a lot of people, especially getting other gym routines, and if they have more physical-type jobs, the changes in muscle could actually be a huge thing.

I got really excited though, in the interview, because we were talking about it. I was just thinking about it and I said had they considered maybe using this for astronauts, because astronauts are in zero gravity and not using their muscles. Then she said her people or her team had actually proposed this to NASA.

Gin Stephens: Wow.

Melanie Avalon: I was like, “Yes,” but then she couldn't say what they said. Hopefully, it's a good thing. Sorry, that was a tangent. Oh yeah, the vibration plates that Gin and I have. To be clear, the vibration machines don't make you grow muscle, but it is a very, very baby level of that where it's vibrating your body, so it's involuntary muscle contractions that your body actually does rebound from, so it's working out and they've actually done studies on it.

Gin Stephens: The point I was making--

Melanie Avalon: It was a rabbit hole.

Gin Stephens: That's okay. No, your tangent was fabulous, is that I don't have an alternate reality where I didn't use it. I can't say what changes it made if I hadn't ever used it. I don't really know. Maybe it's done a ton of things for me and 100% of my weight maintenance is because I have a vibration plate? I doubt it. But maybe. I don't think so.

Melanie Avalon: Do you use it every day?

Gin Stephens: No, I don't use it every day. I use it a lot of days, but it's impossible to untangle cause and effect, is my point. Even everything, and we've talked about this before, even when they're doing like they're trying to do studies for things, there's so many different things that could be the underlying cause that you think it's one thing, but it really could have been something else, but we don't know because both of those things, you can't do one without the other happening.

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Gin Stephens: All right. Now, we have a question from Chris and the subject is “Heart Palpitations.” Chris says, “A 56-year-old male, doing IF for about a year, going great. Recently, I noticed that when I opened my window, 18:6 typically, with a turkey sandwich and some chocolate squares, my heart races. While I realize a racing heart isn't that bad, just wondering if you had any thoughts? I have experimented with no bread or chocolate, I seem to do better. Just weird that I didn't have that problem for a year, and here it is. Love the show. Thanks.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Chris, thanks for your question. A lot of people do experience a racing heart after foods, and just from my experience and research, it's often a food sensitivity/reactivity problem. Because basically when you take in a food that your body perceives as a threat or something that you're sensitive to, it activates your sympathetic nervous system, your stress response, and that's why you get the racing heart rate. There's actually a method that people do where they test their food reactions by measuring their pulse. You can do it if you have done an elimination diet, where you've taken out foods that you are reacting to, and then you reintroduce them, and one of the ways to test if you are reacting to it is to measure your pulse before and after the food. It is most likely that you're reacting to something in the food. The reason that you didn't see it before and now it's just randomly popping up could be the fact that-- especially before we're doing IF or before we clean up our diet, the body can become more sensitive when we clean it out more. People perceive it as becoming more reactive when often the case is that it's just before you're perpetually inflamed or reacting. Then, once you “clean up” your-- cleanup, I don't like that word, but clean up your body through IF or food choices, it can become more clear that you're reacting to things, especially if you're doing fasting because, then you're in the fasted state, so you're not reacting to anything. Then when you take in food, it's a very obvious signal to the body.

Chris, what I would suggest would be playing around with the food choices to see what you do and do not react to. I made an app it's called Food Sense Guide. it compares over 300 foods for-- I always forget because I just updated it, 12 or 13 compounds and these are all things that people often react to, so gluten, FODMAPs, histamines, lectins, whether or not something is AIP, oxalate, there's so many things. Things that often get people racing heart is histamines, although turkey sandwich and chocolate squares, it's hard to know if there's anything high histamine in there. I would suggest looking at your food choices more maybe being open to trying a-- even if it's not an elimination diet, just looking at your food choices and seeing how you are reacting to things, then definitely get my app that might help you. That's at melanieavalon.com/foodsenseguide.

Gin Stephens: This is just another example of what I said a couple of minutes ago, in that intermittent fasting doesn't itself cause everything that we're experiencing. If you've been doing intermittent fasting for a year, and you're having something new occurring, it's unlikely that like, “Oh, fasting is now causing me to have heart palpitations.” No, it's something else. It's what you're eating and the way your body is responding to it.

Melanie Avalon: Although interestingly, it could seem like IF is causing things when really, it's because IF is the flashlight. It’s like if you were in a dark room, and somebody gave you a flashlight, and say the room is full of things you don't like, if the room was dark, you wouldn't know they're in there. Then, if somebody gave you a flashlight, all of a sudden, you might see all these things that you don't like, did the flashlight cause them? No, it just let you see them.

Gin Stephens: I've heard that same analogy for cholesterol, for example, like high cholesterol. High cholesterol is a sign that there's another problem. Within that analogy, they talk about firefighters showing up at a fire. The cholesterol is the firefighters showing up at the fire. It would be the same kind of a thing, like blaming the cholesterol is just like if we blame the firefighters for starting the fire. They just show up. “Those firefighters, every time there's a fire there they are. Let's get rid of firefighters.”

Melanie Avalon: Or, umbrellas causing rain.

Gin Stephens: Right. Exactly. I think with the cholesterol is the inflammation in our blood vessels, which often can be from-- people debate if it's sugar, or if it's polyunsaturated fats, or whatever it is, the cholesterol is in response to the inflammation. It's not the cause of it. Arterial plaque.

All right. To wrap this up, we have two quick questions about things that break the fast. We have one from Madeline. The subject is “Tea.” She says “I have a tea from Traditional Medicinals that is organic ginger, there are no calories. The only ingredient is organic ginger rhizome. I’m being so careful to adhere to a clean fast. This is okay or not. Thanks so much for your help. I get so cold in the afternoons and coffee is bothering my stomach.” Oh, that's why she needs it tea, sorry. I was thinking that that was like a non-sequitur, but okay. “Thanks for any help you can give me.” Then, we also have a question from Susan. The subject is “Flavored Seltzer.” She says, “I have a question about flavored seltzer. I have black coffee in the morning during fasting, so why can't I have lemon-flavored, no-sweetener, seltzer water. I mean, coffee and tea have a flavor. Why is the flavor of seltzer different? In other words, why does the subtle flavor of lemon or lime seltzer keep you from a clean fast while the strong flavor of coffee doesn't? Susie.” Alright, teas and seltzers.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's a great question. I actually go into great detail on this in Fast. Feast. Repeat. in the Clean Fast section. People are often, like Susan’s question, are like, “Aha, you said avoid flavor, but coffee and tea have a flavor, we got you.” No. [laughs] It's different. The flavor of coffee and tea, that's a bitter flavor profile. A bitter flavor profile is not associated with an insulin response. Our bodies do not taste bitter flavors and think, “Oh, glucose is coming in, I need to release insulin.” That's why the coffee and the tea are okay, because of the bitter flavor profile. What we do want to avoid is anything that tastes like food. Would we say that ginger is a food? Yep, it has a flavor associated with food, and the same with lemon and the same with lime. It's a different type of flavor to your brain. It's a food flavor. We avoid food flavors during the fast. The bitter flavor profile of coffee and tea, they're not associated as a food flavor by your brain.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. One of the things that would make me a little bit nervous about ginger in particular is there's a lot of research on ginger. It helps with bloating a lot because it actually speeds up gut motility and can help with digestion. I feel like that most likely is sending a lot of digestion food signals. I just know that one of the things that I read was that it speeds up gut motility when you're eating, so I would be cautious about it. I would suggest possibly opening your eating window with organic ginger rhizome tea. That could be a really great way to do it. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Also, I have the perfect beverage for you, if you don't want to have something that breaks your fast, but you need something hot. Melanie, I bet you know what I'm going to say.

Melanie Avalon: Hot water.

Gin Stephens: Yep. Em-tea. Hot water and a mug. I'm having some right now.

Melanie Avalon: Nothing I want more than hot water in a mug.

Gin Stephens: It's fabulous, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: Nothing I want more than a cold shower. Fabulous.

Gin Stephens: There's so many things I want more than a cold shower. All the things. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: We could do hot cold therapy. We could alternate hot water, drinking hot water and then getting in the cold shower and then we could drink the hot water in the cold shower.

Gin Stephens: Oh, no, no, no. Not doing that.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, yes. Oh, my goodness.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. That's a great question though, Susie. I love that you said, “Hey, it's a flavor. You said no flavor.” No, we avoid food flavors, so just think about that. Is this a food flavor? Is this a food or a food flavor? Spices, herbs, things like that.

Melanie Avalon: Lemon and lime are very-- they're fruity, even though they're sour. Yeah. All right. We have time for one more question. This comes from Lisa. Also, a carryover from our Ask Me Anything episode. She says, “Two questions, Gin. What brand of jeans do you like/buy? I often hear you saying you're wearing your size zero jeans as you record the podcast.” She says, “Melanie, if I had everything you mentioned in the podcast, I would have nowhere to store it all. Food deliveries, light machines, blocking glasses, mood rings, breathing necklaces, specialty makeup, pills and herbs, vibration plates, arms and leg weights. I listen a lot and I'm sure I've missed quite a few. If you could recommend just one you can't live without, what would it be? Thank you so much for this podcast. I love hearing you two discuss your lives and your knowledge. Sometimes, it's so over my head, my mind wanders out. But when one of you finishes your thoughts and passes the baton to the other, both of you always sound like you listen through the whole explanation. Surprises me every time. I often expect to hear, ‘I'm sorry, I got sidetracked.’ I just retired from 31 years teaching school in California. Now, with the pandemic, I spent hours in my sewing room. I'm always excited when you release a new podcast. I've been listening to all three. Thanks, again.” All right. I loved this from Lisa. Gin, what brand of jeans do you like/buy?

Gin Stephens: I shop at the Loft. They're the best jeans for my body. Their clothes just fit me. Yep. As I talked about, I never outgrew them, but jeans do have some stretch these days. So, my size zero jeans fit me a little maybe tighter, and now they're loose again. My Loft jeans. I love to shop at the Loft. This is not a Loft commercial. But hey, Loft, I would be glad to have one. I just really love the Loft.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. I think I've only been to the Loft like twice maybe.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I really liked their clothes when I was a teacher. I was able to find things there that worked well for the classroom. Now that I'm not a teacher, their shorts fit me great. That's just where I do really well with clothes.

Melanie Avalon: Love it. Then if I had to pick one thing-- This is hard, so I hadn't considered-- because at first, I was thinking like biohacking type stuff. I wasn't considering Beautycounter, like especially makeup, but it's a tie between that because my skincare makeup is so, so important to me and removing toxins from it, and then having makeup that actually works and looks amazing. So, it's a tie between Beautycounter which you can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter, and something special will happen if you use that link. Then, it's just so hard. I'm torn between my Joovv red lights and then the blue light blocking glasses, which kind of go together. I think I'm going to have to say Joovv, just because it has so many uses and running the red light has such a major effect on my mood. Then, you can use it as well for-- I use it more for ambient lighting and mood, but the main reason people usually get it is for fatigue, muscle soreness, skin, so targeted treatments for your body. So, probably that. But then, blue light blocking glasses are really important too. There're so many things. [sighs] Probably the Joovv and the Beautycounter though.

Our link for Joovv is, joovv.com/ifpodcast, I think there's a discount at that link if you use the code, IFPODCAST. I wanted to comment about the listening to the other person. One of the things I love about this show is, it's like the one hour where I just don't think about other things. I just really love sitting here and listening to Gin’s answers.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we have fun with it. We enjoy it.

Melanie Avalon: Just like being in the moment and disconnecting from the rest of social media for a second. Yeah, it's a fun time.

Gin Stephens: It really is.

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, if you'd like to submit your own questions to the podcast, 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. Gin, have you been posting on Instagram?

Gin Stephens: I have. Yeah. I mean, it's not exciting. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I posted today another video of putting on a continuous glucose monitor, of course set to a Taylor Swift song. If listeners would like to see what that looks like, you can follow us on Instagram. I'm MelanieAvalon, Gin is GinStephens. Oh, and you can get all this stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike, and the show notes, I don't think I even said this, are at ifpodcast.com/Episode203. There will be a full transcript there, so definitely check that out. All right. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: Nope. I think that's it. Another good show.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: Bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

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