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May 21

Episode 57: Dr. Valter Longo!: The Fasting Mimicking Diet, Eating For Longevity, High Vs. Low Protein Diets, Ancestry Diets, Meat Vs. Plant Diets, Rebuilding The Gut, Food Tolerances, Mindset And The Immune System, The Blue Zones, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

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Welcome to Episode 57 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

Hi Friends! You can support us and help keep our podcast and research going, by pledging on Patreon! Every dollar helps!! It would seriously mean the world and help SO much!

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

ABOUT Dr. Valter Longo

Dr. Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and Biological Science and Director of The Longevity Institute at the School of Gerontology at USC, is one of the world's premier experts on living longer, healthier lives. He's been dubbed "The Guru of Longevity" by TIME Magazine. Dr. Longo is interested in understanding the fundamental mechanisms of aging in yeast, mice and humans by using genetics and biochemistry techniques and identifying the molecular pathways conserved from simple organisms to humans that can be modulated to protect against multiple stresses and treat or prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease and other diseases of aging. The focus is on the signal transduction pathways that regulate resistance to oxidative damage in yeast and mice.

Dr. Longo's new book, The Longevity Diet: Discover the New Science Behind Stem Cell Activation and Regeneration to Slow Aging, Fight Disease, and Optimize Weight, is the one-stop guide to his 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 of which 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. 

Follow Valter Longo on Facebook

SHOW NOTES

4:00 - Dr. Longo's Background

5:20 - What Are The Longevity Diet And Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD?)

6:20 - How Does The FMD Compare To Intermittent Fasting?

9:00 - How Does The FMD Compare To Keto?

10:55 - When Should Someone Do A FMD?

13:45 - What Are The Health Benefits Of the FMD?

15:05 - What Is Prolon?

Dr. Longo's Prolon FMD

17:07 - How Does Dr. Longo Feel About Homemade Versions Of The FMD?

Melanie's Blog Post: The Fasting-Mimicking Diet: Eat Your Way Through A Long Fast?

17:07 - How Does Dr. Longo Feel About Homemade Versions Of The FMD?

21:30 - What Is Juventology?

22:40 - How And Why Should You Eat Based On Your Ancestry?

25:00 - What Commonalities Are There In The Blue Zones?

27:50 - How Far Back Do You Need To Look In Determining Ancestral Diet?

29:10 - What About People Who Suffer With GI Distress From Lots Of Plant

34:05 - What About People Who Thrive On Higher Protein Diets?

36:45 - Tips For Rebuilding Gut And Adding In Foods? 

36:45 - Tips For Rebuilding Gut And Adding In Foods?

38:45 - Should You Use Probiotics?

40:30 - Why Are We Seeing So Many Degernative Diseases Today?

42:20 - How Does Mindset Affect Our Food And Immune System?

44:00 - What Does The Longevity Diet Look Like? 

48:35 - What Are The Five Pillars Of Longevity?

52:55 - Why Do We Need Higher Protein When Older?

55:00 - Centenarians Who Eat Whatever They Want (Genetics Explained)

58:10 - Three Principals To Support Health And Longevity?

1:10 - Dr. Longo's Typical Diet... What Has He Eaten Today? 

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! 

 

 

Jan 08

Episode 299: Cynthia Thurlow: Intermittent Fasting Transformation, The Monthly Hormonal Cycle, Hormonal Dysregulation, Extended Fasting, PCOS & Thyroid Dysregulation, Getting Enough Oxytocin, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 299 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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

mANUKORA: Support optimal immune and digestive health with Manukora. delicious, raw, sustainable, traceable Manuka honey from New Zealand. Manukora superpower honey is high in antioxidants, prebiotics, and the natural antibacterial MGO compound. Go to manukora.com/ifpodcast for a FREE pack of honey sticks with your order!

NUTRISENSE: Get Your Own Personal Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) To See How Your Blood Sugar Responds 24/7 To Your Food, Fasting, And Exercise! The Nutrisense CGM Program Helps You Interpret The Data And Take Charge Of Your Metabolic Health! Get $30 Off A CGM At Nutrisense.Io/Ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST!


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

SHOW NOTES

2:15 - 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!

5:20 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #59 - Cynthia Thurlow 

Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program For Women To Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, And Slow Aging

Everyday Wellness Podcast 

12:40 - Cynthia's Personal Journey With Fasting

Intermittent Fasting: Transformational Technique | Cynthia Thurlow | TEDxGreenville

16:25 - Best Practices For Fasting For Women?

17:55 - OMAD

21:35 - Fasting And Feeding For Your Cycle; Is It Intuitive?

24:00 - The First Two Weeks Of Your Cycle

25:35 - Nutrition For Your Cycle

27:30 - The Lack Of Research On Cycling Women

Ep. 188 – Troubleshooting Your Fasting Method With Megan Ramos

32:20 - Extended Fasting

35:40 - What Can Effect Our Cycles The Most?

40:20 - MANUKORA: Go to manukora.com/ifpodcast for a FREE pack of honey sticks with your order!

44:30 - Amenorrhea

45:00 - Hormonal Dysregulation

52:45 - The Effect Of Fasting On Hormones; PCOS & Thyroid Regulation

55:00 - Weight Loss And Adipose Tissue

56:50 - Autoimmunity

1:00:10 - Carbohydrate Intake, Low Carb Diets

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #75 - Joel Greene (Part 1)

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #88 - Joel Greene (Part 2)

1:06:10 - Cortisol

1:13:00 - Testing Cortisol

1:14:40 - What Should We Be Testing?

1:18:00 - Oxytocin

1:20:40 - NUTRISENSE: Get $30 Off A CGM At Nutrisense.Io/Ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST

1:24:00 - Clean Fasting, Breaking Your Fast

1:28:45 - Coffee

1:30:20 - Using A Glucometer

1:31:30 - DHEA

1:34:50 - Having Your Sleep And Stress Dialed In Before Beginning Fasting

1:37:10 - Melatonin

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

1:41:30 - CBD

1:43:25 - Perimenopause

1:53:00 - Mindset

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 299 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 everybody, and welcome. This is episode number 299 of the Intermittent Fasting podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon, and we have a special episode for you today. We are actually going to air an episode from 2022 when Cynthia Thurlow came on my other show, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, to talk about her book Intermittent Fasting Transformation. I was recently looking at the downloads, all from 2022, and this episode was actually one of my most popular episodes of last year. It's a really great deep dive into all things fasting, especially for women. I really think you guys will enjoy this. These show notes for the episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode299. Of course, we are normally a listener, Q&A format style show. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, just directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can also follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. Without further ado, please enjoy this wonderful conversation with me and Cynthia Thurlow.

Hi friends. I'm about to tell you how to get my favorite electrolytes, including clean fast, friendly electrolytes for free, yes, for free. I talk about a lot of products on these shows. When it comes to supporting fasting and/or the ketogenic diet, there is a supplement which is a game changer. I cannot tell you how many times I get feedback from my audience about how this was the key to addressing issues that people often experience with keto or fasting.

It is so important to replenish electrolytes if you want to have energy and an active lifestyle. A lot of people experience the keto flu or issues while fasting, like headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue, sleeplessness. These are all common symptoms of electrolyte deficiency. You might think you're not doing well with fasting or that the keto diet isn't for you when really you just need electrolytes. Electrolytes facilitate hundreds of functions in the body, including the conduction of nerve impulses, hormonal regulation, nutrient absorption, and fluid balance. If you'd like to learn all about the science of electrolytes and get answers to commonly asked questions, definitely check out the interview I did with my hero Robb Wolf on this show. He's also one of the co-founders of LMNT. There have been moments in my life where I needed electrolytes and drinking some LMNT took me from a state of fatigue to feeling like my body was actually alive.

Of course, it can be hard to find electrolytes, which are clean and good to put in your body. That's why I adore LMNT. LMNT is a tasty electrolyte drink mix with everything you need and nothing you don't. That's a science-packed electrolyte ratio 1000 mg of sodium, 200 mg of potassium, and 60 mg of magnesium with none of the junk. No sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients, no gluten, no fillers, no BS, because we don't have time for that. You guys know I'm obsessed with purity and quality of supplements. LMNT is the electrolyte supplement that I recommend. When you sweat, the primary electrolyte lost is sodium. When sodium is not replaced, a common side effect is muscle cramps and fatigue. LMNT is used by everyone, including NBA, NFL, and NHL players, Olympic athletes, Navy SEALS, and of course, everyday moms and dads, those practicing intermittent fasting, the keto or paleo diet, and exercise enthusiasts.

Right now, LMNT has a fantastic offer for our audience. You can get a free sample pack with any purchase. That's eight single-serving packets of eight different flavors for free with any LMNT order. Yes, the raw unfavored version is clean fast friendly. This is a great way to try all eight flavors or share LMNT with a salty friend. Get yours at drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. That's D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dotcom/ifpodcast. Try it, totally risk-free. If you don't like it, share it with a salty friend and they will give you your money back, no questions asked. You literally have nothing to lose. We'll put all this information in the show notes.

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

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

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

Hi, friends. Welcome back to the show. I am so incredibly excited about the conversation that I am about to have. It is with, first of all, a repeat guest, which I guess that my audience absolutely loved the first episode that we did. But not only that, this guest is such a good friend of mine. I was actually thinking about this right before starting, how there are some people in your life that it's weird to think of a time when you didn't know them or when they weren't in their life because I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow and Cynthia, I was thinking back to when we first met and how did we get connected originally?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think you had reached out after that second TED Talk. I just recall it was like summer of 2019, 2020.

Melanie Avalon: It might have been through Gin, maybe, Is that possible?

Cynthia Thurlow: Could have been, absolutely. I just remember how polite you were.

[laughter]

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. Good times. In any case, I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow, she is a nurse practitioner, CEO, and founder of the Everyday Wellness Project. Like she just mentioned, she has two TED Talks on Intermittent Fasting, which kind of really catapulted her into the intermittent fasting fame world. She has a new book coming out, which is so exciting. That's why we're bringing her back on the show. I had her on the show earlier. I'll put a link to that in the show notes, and it was just intermittent fasting and women and female and hormones and all the things. Her new book coming out is called Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. I will say this book, listeners, as you may be familiar, I'm also the host of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

I'm thinking about intermittent fasting all the time, I'm talking about it all the time. I'm always really curious when a new book comes out that's focusing on it because I'm always just wondering, what approach are they going to take? What am I going to learn? What type of information will be in this book? Friends, listeners I cannot encourage you enough. Men and women, but especially women out there, get this book. It is so comprehensive, so amazing. It covers everything about intermittent fasting, how to do it, a really wonderful approach, in my opinion, to the role of diet and diet quality and macronutrients and what to focus on with all of that. A deep deep dive into hormones, into women's cycles. It's just such an incredible resource. I'm grateful, Cynthia, that you wrote this book, and I'm thrilled for it to release. I'm really excited for you. So, listeners, I will put a link to that in the show notes, Cynthia, thank you so much for being here.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, thank you for having me in. That of course, wonderful introduction. For listeners that are listening to this, as I tell everyone, I'm just a shy introvert who did a talk that really changed the trajectory of everything I was doing. I feel really committed to helping women navigate irrespective of their age or their stage of life they're in, to be able to make decisions and new strategies that can allow them to live their best lives.

Melanie Avalon: You are definitely doing that. I will also put a plug; you also host the Everyday Wellness Podcast, if listeners are not listening to that podcast as well. Really, really awesome podcast. A lot of overlap, a lot of the guests that I've had on my show as well, a nice focus on, again, women, hormones, all of that. So, definitely check out that podcast. I actually have a question about your personal story to start things off, and you talk about your personal story in the book, which is really valuable, about the intermittent fasting. Did you anticipate I think about this with my own journey because when I first wrote my book, it was intermittent fasting, paleo, and wine, I didn't anticipate that intermittent fasting was going to become like the thing. I know your TED Talk was about it, but prior to that, did you anticipate that it was going to become the sensation that it is today? How much of a role does it actually play in your day-to-day practice with patients?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, that's a great question. I myself fell down the intermittent fasting rabbit hole in 2015. Initially, it was just something I did. It was something I did to help support my health. I was in a position where I was stuck with a weight loss issue relevant to perimenopause. It just started to literally bleed into the work I was doing with women. Of course, I left clinical medicine in 2016 and really became part of nearly every program I worked in with women. The irony is, in 2018, I decided to do a TED Talk. I thought that would be a challenging thing to do as an introvert, a safe thing to do. Initially, my first talk was on perimenopause and around the time that I accepted that talk, I was approached about doing another one in the state that I was born in, which was really special to me, largely because South Carolina, I have so many wonderful memories from spending my summers with my grandmother in South Carolina.

Obviously, you can't do a second TED Talk that is even vaguely reminiscent to your first. I looked at my husband and this is probably December of 2018, and said, what do I know a lot about? He said intermittent fasting. I told the organizers; I'm going to talk about intermittent fasting. It was that easy of a decision. No, I never would have guessed that would have been a strategy that I would be really well known for. I can tell you I just about fell over when that talk started going viral, largely because I had gotten so sick prior to giving it. I love the fact that as a traditional allopathic trained nurse practitioner, I can empower men and women to embrace a strategy that really isn't new or novel. I think on so many levels, individuals really believe that it's something new. I just remind them as I'm sure you and Gin do on your own podcasts, that are specific to fasting, that it really dates back to biblical times.

It was just as much a surprise to my family as it was to me that this is now what I'm known for. The irony is, this book really came out of the work I was doing with women. The IF:45 plan that is depicted in the book was what came out of all of a sudden, I had to scramble to try to create things to meet the needs of people that were coming to me saying, "Hey, if you're someone that really knows how to strategize about fasting, can you help me?" This has really become three years' worth of work to be able to then share the programs that I've created with the masses. Some more people, maybe not everyone, can work with me personally, but they now can have some insights into my background and methodologies for this program that I created.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that was actually a huge question I had about the programs and the book and everything because there are so many different intermittent fasting approaches. Obviously one of the biggest questions we get on the Intermittent Fasting Podcast and just in general, is fasting is safe for women and how should women approach be fasting. In your experience working with women, like the IF:45 plan, did that precede the book? What IF windows did you ultimately find work best for women? Should there be concerns about fasting for women? Like, what are your thoughts on that? Like 16:8 versus one meal a day? Oh, all the plans?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it gets so much more confusing with women because I would say postmenopausal women and men have a much easier time making fasting work for themselves. I think the beauty of women that are still in their reproductive years, that are still getting their menstrual cycle, there are a couple of extra steps you have to think about. To answer your initial question, I think an 18:6 is a good starting point for women. I think overall, obviously, each woman is her own individual. You have to look at a lot of different factors to determine what is the best way to proceed. Let's be clear, there are times when we shouldn't fast as women, and then there are times it's completely reasonable. What I don't like is when men try to tell women that fasting is unsafe. That actually makes me a little bit upset and cranky, I have to be honest with you because it's very reductionist.

I think we as a culture we want to boil everything down that there's this one size fits all. I would argue that an 18:6 is a good starting point. I'm not a huge fan of OMAD for women, largely because I feel as if most women can't get enough macronutrients in that feeding window. Now, I know there are men out there on, Twitter is a good example. There're a lot of men on Twitter that fast, and they'll say, "OMAD, I get 2000 calories in a meal." I just think to myself, there's just no way in heck that could ever happen for me. There's no way I could get 2000 calories into one meal. I wouldn't be able to move. I would probably vomit. I think I like OMAD if it's around a holiday or maybe you've overindulged the day before, but I think it can set women up in a cycle where they're just not going to get enough macronutrients, not enough protein, not enough healthy fats, and certainly not enough healthy carbohydrates.

I think that when people talk about OMAD for women, I always want to put an asterisk to say, let's clarify that. Is that something you can do as needed? Sure, it's probably okay. Do I occasionally do it? Yes. It is not something I do on a day-to-day basis. I think the big thing about this book in particular is that I want people to have a starting point like here's a reasonable starting point to navigate success with this as a strategy that is specific to where you are in your menstrual cycle that is specific to where you are lifestyle wise and that even includes this nebulous period of perimenopause that a lot of people, including myself, had never been aware of. No one had ever talked to me about it until I literally fell into it. I think that's really a good starting place for people to say, this is what we're going to work you towards.

Once you have success with that, then there's all these other options. It's almost like, and this is a terrible example, it's almost like you go to a buffet, and the buffet for fasting, you get lots of different options. As you're moving towards that buffet, you have a starting point. You need to be able to succeed with this basic 18:6 before you open up into a lot of more challenging fasts or varying your fast significantly. It's like I always say, we want to start with the basics. We want to ensure that we have great success with those before we start entering more advanced strategies.

Melanie Avalon: Funny that you started saying the thing about what frustrates you. I was like, I know what she's going to say. Also, I'm really glad that you clarified about defining one meal a day. Like, for example, I always say that I do one meal a day but I'm not eating that one meal a day for me is a minimum usually 4 hours. It's actually more like 20:4 and sometimes it's even longer. I think that's actually really important to clarify. Something I love you open up the book talking about the differences between men and women and I learned so much about how women are different biologically. Like, you pointed out that our brains are actually younger than men and you point out how we actually need more sleep because our brains are more complicated than men, which works for me, just in the differences between men and women.

When it comes to fasting and eating and just for listeners, again, I'm going to refer you to this book because it goes into the details of the actual plan and what to do and the recommendations and there is a path to follow. Definitely get the book because the path is not going to be all in today's conversation. But that said, how intuitive? Because you talk, for example, about how to eat according to your cycle or you just talked about right now about fasting, how it might change based on your age and where you are in your life cycle, how intuitive is that? Do we need a plan? Or like when it comes to food and exercise and fasting for your cycle, for example, do we need an actual plan on paper that we implement, or could we just be really intuitive? Like I'm craving these types of foods now and I want to fast like this now. Like how intuitive can we be versus needing a plan?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's a really great distinction. I feel like many women are not intuitive or they're not connected to their intuition and that's not a criticism. I think we've gotten to the point with our patient population that we've been telling people what to think, what to do for such a long period of time that women's intuition that we should lean into, we have largely gotten disconnected from it. I would love if every woman that I worked with would really lean into their intuition. I do find that there are people who don't trust their intuition. They're not ready to do that. This is a perfect example of why having something on paper can provide the reinforcement, the encouragement, the support that they may need because maybe they're not at a point where they feel they may not lean into what foods make them feel good. They may be on synthetic hormones that make it more challenging for them to acknowledge that there's a follicular cycle, there's an ovulatory cycle, there's a luteal phase in our menstrual cycle, or there could be in this, as I refer to effectually the nebulous period of perimenopause five to ten years prior to going through menopause.

I think on so many levels it has been more my experience working with females that they initially want the structure and accountability of a plan as opposed to just barreling forward and saying, "Okay, today I'm craving meat, so I'm going to have more meat, or I'm noticing I'm craving more starchy carbohydrates, I might be close to my menstrual cycle, so let me lean into that." I think it's a good starting point to say that having a plan available to people can be very reassuring and also the knowledge and recognition that on so many levels, having that information is really validating to say, "Hey, no one ever told me that I needed to look out for these things." Let me just give you a heads up because as an example the first two weeks from the day we start bleeding till right before ovulation, that's when estrogen predominates in our menstrual cycle.

That's the time that we can push the lever on a lot of things. We can do harder workouts; we can do longer fast once we've gotten the basics. It's a time when sleep, I don't want to say sleep isn't important, we may not need as much sleep, we might have more energy. Really leaning into the fact that this menstrual cycle or this infradian rhythm, this 28-day period of time when we are having this menstrual cycle, is really a time to just acknowledge that through different phases, we have to honor our bodies in different ways. I think that it's probably more the minority of women that don't feel like they need as much structure. It's been my experience, especially when trying a new strategy, especially with a lot of misinformation that's out there. I'm sure you would agree with me, there's a lot of misinformation, fear-mongering, et cetera, about women in fasting, really acknowledging our own unique needs and our own bio-individuality so that we can ensure that we're getting the best results, we're getting the best feedback from our bodies. Eventually we'll get to a point where we can lean into that intuition confidently as opposed to leaning into it skeptically.

Melanie Avalon: I agree. Even for myself, when I started intermittent fasting, I started with a regimented plan that I stuck to. When I first started, I mean, paleo, for example, I was following more of a regimen than I do now. And now it is "More intuitive." Eating for your cycle, because you dive deep into the book again, it's very laid out and you talk about the specific nutrients and the different foods to focus on for the different parts of your cycle. So, two-part question, one just for listeners who are not familiar. Could we have a little educational moment where you just briefly outline the four phases of the cycle and then two, finding the foods that work for the different phases? What is that based on? Is that in the clinical literature, is that based on working with your patients? I'm just curious where that knowledge comes from.

Cynthia Thurlow: First and foremost, there's not enough research on cycling women. I think this is something that I'm sure you have found to be the case as well. And, for me, after working with thousands of women so let me just back up. My whole background is in ER medicine and cardiology. Over the last six years, having the opportunity to use a lot of trial and error, but also leaning into looking to see what my peers, other healthcare professionals, MDs, NPs, nurses, et cetera, that are working with women and seeing what works successfully for them. It could be an end of a couple of thousand, but it hasn't necessarily been done in clinical research. There is good information about the infradian rhythm, there is good information about ways to honor where we are in our menstrual cycle, there is good information on what happens to our bodies as we go through our menstrual cycle.

The concept of lifestyle medicine, the concept of marrying, stress management, sleep quality, nutrition, exercise, etc., that is a newer kind of methodology, that's a newer perspective on how to honor our bodies as women. I do think research opportunities will be forthcoming. I think, unfortunately, there isn't enough research done on cycling women. I think there's been for many years, a fear of it's too complicated, there's too much to it. I mean, there are researchers out there. I can think of one in particular. She's a female Ph.D., she works with female athletes and she is not pro-fasting. I do respect the work that she's doing and we do acknowledge that during the menstrual cycle, a lot of her work is what I kind of leaned into looking at how do we support our bodies at different phases exercise-wise throughout our cycle. There's good research there in terms of exercise in women's physiology, but certainly not enough and not enough done on humans versus lab animals like you and I both know, and probably many of the listeners do as well because they listen to the high-quality podcasts that you have that you can't compare per se, lab animals, ovulatory cycles, lactation and pregnancy to humans.

That's where the waters get a little muddied. I always say anecdotal evidence is not inferior in the sense that it's not a randomized controlled trial, but it's a good starting point. To say this is information that we should be taking to, whether it's a research institution or a research facility. Saying we really think this is information that needs to be followed up on. Like, here's my hypothesis and let's see if we can create a research model around this that might be able to yield and validate the findings that many of us are experiencing. It's interesting. I recently had a great podcast with Megan Ramos, who works with Dr. Jason Fung, and she and I were both talking about the fact that it's upsetting that so many women are fearful to fast even in a small amount of time because of bad information that's out there.

I think that if we were in a position where we had really good research done on women throughout their lifetime, not just obese postmenopausal women, which there's plenty of research there, I think that would put some of these fears to rest. I do want to believe that they're well-meaning individuals that are out their fear-mongering. I do have moments where I just kind of shake my head and I think to myself if we look at the lack of metabolic flexibility, how incredibly unhealthy we are as Americans, we should be doing everything we can to find strategies to help men and women become healthier. And so, what's the harm in trying? That's kind of where I come from. I think the other piece of that is I've just watched people get sicker over the last 20 years. That to me is so disheartening as a nurse practitioner that clinically don't do a very good job with prevention.

If there's a strategy that women can utilize that can help them become healthier, and more metabolically flexible, I'm all for it. But I think that's a great question. It really speaks to the fact that we need to be demanding more, we as women need to be demanding more of the research community, asking them to not be fearful to utilize women at peak fertility years and even beyond for research purposes. Don't just use it on lab animals, which I know that can be helpful, it's a good starting point. There are plenty of clinicians like myself that have just seen such significant changes in people's health. Not only that, their biophysical markers and their sleep quality and so many things that are so important in terms of lifestyle medicine.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, just speaking to that with the rodent studies, and we might have talked about this last time you came on, but I think it's very valuable to have animal studies and you have to start somewhere. If you're studying something like longevity and rodents, that would be easier to study because you could see how things just affect longevity. It's a broader thing that's not affected by "Let me further clarify, I'm not clarifying myself here." Let's compare studying longevity and a rodent to like fertility. Longevity is more a broader thing you could see is the rodent living longer, but then when it comes to fertility, so like a rodent fertility cycle, they're reproducing all the time, and so they're much more sensitive to things that would throw that off. And then on top of that, fasting. this is the thing that gets me the most, is that when they test fasting in a rodent, it'll be like a normal fast for us, like 24-hour fast, that's the equivalent of days in a rodent. Basically, the majority of the literature, I believe, on fertility in rodents and fasting is not intermittent fasting. It's like the equivalent of extended fasting. I just think that's really important to point out, which actually, speaking of extended fasting, what do you qualify as extended fasting?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I was about to say what, in your vernacular, is extended fasting. I think when we're talking about 24 hours or longer, I know that there's a lot of interest in people doing three to five-day fast. And it was interesting. I was listening to Dr. Ted Naiman and Maria Emmerich having a conversation about this, and Ted, who's an engineer and also a physician, said there's this law of diminishing returns when people are already lean and they want to fast for a really long periods of time. I thought to myself that really makes sense. I think if someone is obese, metabolically unhealthy, I think longer fast can be a springboard into a consistent fasting regimen. I, per se, am not a huge fan of long fasts. I think it has something to do with the fact that in 2019, I wasn't able to eat for 13 days involuntarily because I was so sick.

Since that time, I haven't done anything more than 24- or 30-hour fast. I think it can be helpful for specific purposes. A lot of people talk about and I know you've had Valter Longo on stem cell activation when you're getting to that three to five-day period, wanting to kind of improve gut health and change the composition of the gut microbiome. I'm not a huge fan of people doing consistent long fasts and I do have women I always say they are the overachievers and I value that and I'm not being critical at all. The women who start right out of the gate and they're like, "I want to do a 48-hour fast, I want to do a 36-hour fast, I want to do a 24-hour fast. "I'm like, okay, let's ensure we can get through the basics first, and then as you have success, yes, opening that up for some people that are plateau-busting, it can be a great opportunity for people to do a 24-hour fast every week.

I think it really ultimately depends on where are you in your menstrual cycle, what are your goals, what are you hoping to achieve. I think the more metabolically flexible you are-- this is my personal, my N of a couple thousand. The more metabolically flexible you are, I think it becomes this law of diminishing returns in terms of what are you looking to obtain from doing longer fasts. We know that digestive rest, bumps in autophagy, growth hormone, etc., I mean, those are all wonderful things to want to focus on, but I think you have to be careful. Especially if someone's peak fertility years and I say 35 and under predominantly, and especially if you're very lean, I just think those longer fasts can set your body up for putting you into this feast-famine mindset. We know that the hypothalamus-pituitary is very sensitive to nutrient depletion.

I really think you have to be careful in that age range. I know we could springboard into a thousand different conversations from here. I'm not opposed to prolonged fasting, but I do think people have to be very clear about their goals. I think they have to be very transparent about where they are in their life cycle. Are you peak fertility years, perimenopause, menopause? Menopausal women can generally get away with as much as men. Our hormones are a little more stable. But being really honest and transparent about where you are, I think is really critically important.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really glad that you touched on the potential sensitivity of women to fasting. Working with all of your patients that you've worked with as far as, like, things that affect a woman's cycle, so fasting, calories, overexercising, undernutrition, maybe stress, lack of sleep, is there one that tends to cause problems more for women when it comes to cycle issues or being too, "Restrictive?" Or is it really an individual case-by-case basis?

Cynthia Thurlow: There're definitely factors that I think are bigger insults to the body than others and so stress and sleep, like how many women don't sleep well and they think it's no big deal? Well, what you get away with in your 20s and 30, you oftentimes can't in your 40s and 50s. A lot of that's just the changes that occur physiologically. I would say the people I get most concerned about are the over-exercisers who under nourish their bodies and then they don't have proper mechanisms to address sleep and they sure as heck don't manage their stress properly. I would say those are probably the four big things that I look at. Obviously, it's a case-by-case basis, but I think on so many levels we have primed our patients to think this way. We tell them calories in, calories out. We tell them you have to overexercise to deal with the surplus of calories you just took in.

We've been giving bad information out to our patients for a long period of time. Of course, in their minds it makes sense. I'm just going to do 2 hours of cardio to counteract the deluge of crap I ate when I went out last night. It's this concept of punishing our bodies, the self-flagellatory mindset that is so toxic. Like I would say it's that toxic mentality that we have unfortunately ingrained not only with our patient population but also in our culture. What's the newest box of crap that's out there or potion or powder that's somehow going to magically make everything work? We want fast results. We don't want anything that's going to take a long period of time. We've, unfortunately, and I say we as clinicians contributed to this. Melanie, I think that's such a great question and I think bio-individuality rules. You'll hear me use that term a lot in the book.

Ultimately, it's really dependent on who we are as individuals. I could also add into there like "How lean are you?" I have a lot of women who are very lean. Like their body fat is nearly nonexistent. They might also be on the precipice of amenorrhea where they're not even getting their menstrual cycles, or they could even be in their 30s and 40s and they're skipping cycles regularly. One thing I want to emphasize is that I want women to use their menstrual cycle as a barometer for how much stress they are putting themselves under, whether it's physiologic, physical, etc. Because if you are getting your menstrual cycle every month, great. If you start fasting or you're already not regularly getting your menstrual cycle and you don't know why and you add in fasting, that might be the tipping point for your body to say, time out, you're not taking care of me.

Therefore, I'm going to put the brakes on everything because I'm thinking that there's not enough sleep, there's not enough stress management, there's not enough nutrition coming into this body. I want to make sure that there's no way I have to support the potential pregnancy. I think that really adding in to that equation is learning and being honest and saying what's my menstrual cycle like? Because when a woman tells me she starts menstruating or she starts fasting and loses her menstrual cycle, that's like a danger sign. To me that's like we got to back up the bus. We need to look at everything you're doing. We need to work on making sure your body is properly nourished on every level. I don't want to sound woo-woo, but on so many levels it's not just the food we put in our mouth, it's like the toxicities in our environment, and are we being kind to ourselves?

I think on many levels people come to fasting, women in particular because they want to change their body composition. They want to lose weight and that becomes their very myopic view of that's health is looking at the number on the scale. I think that can be profoundly unhealthy. It's like, "Okay, let's make sure we get healthy to lose weight," that needs to be the mentality as opposed to intermittent fasting isn't working for me because I am not losing weight. It's like, wait, no. We have to kind of reframe these thoughts so that we can put ourselves in a healthier state of mind before attempting to do any of that.

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Yeah, that was one of the things I loved about your book so much, is just how comprehensive it is on the full picture of everything. It's not just the fasting, it's the mindset, it's the diet, the sleep, it's all the things. It's interesting that you were saying about how some of your patients are really lean and the factor that that might play because I was actually reading a study and it was looking at the effects on women's cycles in-- I'd have to find it. I think it was endurance athletes. What was really interesting was getting amenorrhea did not relate to the amount of exercise. It correlated instead to their body weight. If they were too low of weight, the level of exercise, it was a problem compared to women that had much more ample fat, they could exercise a lot more and it not affect the cycle.

I almost didn't want to mention that study, though, because then that makes it sound like it's a blanket statement, but when it's going to be individual. Yeah, I thought that was really interesting. Speaking of hormonal issues with women and I'd love to go into perimenopause and menopause and all of that, but just in general. You dive deep, deep, deep into all of the hormones, which made me so excited because I love learning. Like when I was reading the part of the book that was going over insulin, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and all the things, I was just loving it. I was like this is amazing, so comprehensive, I learned so much. Okay, hormonal issues. There are so many hormonal issues out there, PMS, PMDD, PCOS, I'm sure we'll go into perimenopause and things like that. Are hormonal issues inevitable? Do all women experience them? How common are they? With your patients, do you see that they necessarily do correlate to lifestyle? Or can some women be doing all the things and still experience hormonal issues?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's a great question, Melanie. I think in our increasingly kind of toxic world that we live in, when I say toxic, I'm talking about things we're exposed to in our environment, our personal care products, and our nutrition, we're bombarded by toxins that can influence our hormones, how they're balanced, adding in the volume of individuals that are on synthetic hormones. I mean, I'll be the first person to say I was put on synthetic hormones in early adulthood because I had amenorrheic cycles, probably because I had very mild PCOS, which is a whole separate conversation. I think being on oral contraceptives as an example didn't allow me to ever deal with what was really the issue for me as an individual. I think that it is a byproduct of our westernized lifestyle that most, if not all individuals and again, we've touched on a little bit about metabolic flexibility, that most, if not all of us are not as hormonally balanced as we should be.

Many people assume whatever symptoms they're experiencing, bad PMS, even more, significant PMDD or having luteal phase defects where they have this significant precipitous drop in progesterone during their luteal phase that begets the PMS, the PMDD, also can create some menstrual regularities, can create this estrogen dominance where people have very heavy cycles and weight gain and breast tenderness, etc. We're just talking about people still at their peak fertile years, so I do think it's a byproduct of the environment that we live in in this kind of traditional westernized society. Not to mention the fact that most people are not eating to nourish their bodies. Again, it's not because they don't want to. It's they've been conditioned that everything in the supermarket is healthy, everything that is in a box, a bag, or a can is nourishment. I know you and I would argue against that, but it's also the information that we get from the FDA, the USDA, the food guide pyramid is now kind of spawned into my plate.

It's the imbalanced macros where people are encouraged to eat heart healthy grains or they're encouraged to eat what I think is dessert for breakfast. These are further contributing to this hormonal dysregulation. We're like a hedonistic culture where we have accessibility to information 24/7. It's very different than when I was growing up. The TV went off at like 01:00 in the morning, and there was no cable TV when I was really young. Now we could be on our computers or iPad or iPhones or social media all the time. Our bodies are just inundated with artificial light and all of these factors disrupt this orchestration between all these hormones, which are governed by our brain and the endocrine system. That's kind of an overly simplistic way of saying I think most, if not all of us are navigating our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond with some degree of hormonal imbalances.

It may not be until we find a symptom that's particularly troubling, for a lot of women it's the weight gain piece. Like when you have what I call weight loss resistance when that happens, then people start digging, they're like, this is not acceptable, something must be off. They're told maybe they've got a thyroid problem or again synthetic hormones are offered, or surgical interventions. I mean that certainly was the case with me and perimenopause. I think on so many levels it doesn't have to be that way, but it would not be the norm for women who I work with. Again, I'm in a niche within my industry. It would not be the norm that women wouldn't be coming to me with specific problems, like sleep problems, you know waking up in the middle of the night. They've got really heavy periods, they have stubborn weight gain, they have energy issues, and those are all a sign of hormonal imbalances.

On every level that I can think of, I think our modern-day lifestyle is creating, "The perfect environment for these hormonal imbalances." I think it's more the norm that we are conditioned to believe whether it's the limiting belief of "Oh, this is just the way things are because I'm X age, whether it's 35, 40, 45, 50 or beyond, or this is just the way things are because now I'm a parent, or this is just the way things are because I have a very demanding job and a travel schedule. Don't even mention the fact we're all in year two of a global pandemic. And so we're in unprecedented times. I do think our lifestyle is a reflection of the fact that we are so far off base as a culture in terms of really honoring the way that our bodies are designed to thrive and not just survive.

That is a huge distinction for me. I feel like on every level I've been able to see it from being a clinician in a broken medical system to being a clinician that's an entrepreneur and seeing things from a different angle. In many ways, we have created this environment that our patients are living in, and they're not thriving in, most of them are not they're feeling stuck. It's an unfortunate situation, but I think as more of us become educated and obviously, you have such a great platform for this as well, Melanie, being able to help educate people about all the things in their environment and things that we can be doing to making ourselves healthier. We're starting to slowly kind of turn the corner on this. I think in years to come, women are going to be better educated about the changes that are going to occur and be able to do more to support themselves.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, the nuance of that answer that I love is that it's both, in a way, inevitable. Like you just said, our environment is so toxic. I mean, even like, we're born into this because we know now that the stress and the lifestyles of our mom and even prior generations carries through to future generations. On the one hand, it's like we're in this inevitable soup of toxicity, but at the same time, there's great agency, and we're not destined to that like, we can make changes. So, I love that so much. One of my favorite things about your book that I'm sure listeners will love, love, love, is that in the book, Cynthia goes through all of these different hormones, how they affect the body, and then she actually talks about how fasting affects those hormones, which was just so incredible. A question about fasting and affecting hormonal issues, because there are so many, like I said, so many different things that women experience, but I think there are two that I'd love to touch on, two things that I think a lot of women experience.

One of them, it's generally accepted that intermittent fasting helps it and the other, it's generally accepted that intermittent fasting might hurt it. I'd love to hear your thoughts on both of those. One would be PCOS and the other would be thyroid issues. I'm just using that as an example for those issues, for example, what are your thoughts on fasting and those?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, great question. PCOS is something that I unknowingly had, even though I'm a thin phenotype, so I'm a thin woman probably contributed to why I struggled with infertility getting pregnant with my children. I especially feel this in my heart. The basis of PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is the fact that most women are insulin resistant or have some degree of insulin resistance. We know that changing our diet, not only changing our diet, going to a more nutrient-dense, whole-food diet, focusing on animal-based protein and non-starchy vegetables and healthy fats along with periods of eating less often, can be hugely instrumental in rebalancing insulin. It's just one. The more common phenotype with PCOS is to have someone who's obese or someone who's overweight. I've had such incredible success working with women who were at this unique situation and my heart goes out to them because I know what that was like, that impacted my fertility.

That's really how it manifested and why I was on oral contraceptives for 1000 years, because it was, "Fixing the problem." Not really, was putting a Band-Aid on it. I do feel that in particular when you're looking at PCOS, where typically you've got insulin resistance, you generally-- a lot of people, your androgen levels, your testosterone levels are higher than normal. I do see some resolution, especially with weight loss, that you are. Let me back up a little bit, when we're looking at adipose tissue, which is in and of itself its own organ in the body, it's so sophisticated, it's not just fat, it has so much signaling that goes on in inflammatory markers. We know that many women when they lose weight, they're priming this estrogen pump. What ends up happening with PCOS oftentimes is you have this aromatization. You have all this testosterone that is going from being testosterone aromatized into estrogen and you can get this relative estrogen dominance.

With weight loss, you are getting this net resultant lowered levels of estradiol, the predominant form of estrogen in our bodies prior to going through menopause. I think that it is critically important when someone has PCOS to consider looking very closely at nutrition, looking very closely at weight reduction. One of the ways you can do that is by intermittent fasting. It doesn't have to be done excessively. You could even just start with 12 and 10 or 12 and 14, 12 hours fast with a 12-hour eating window just as a starter, just kind of meandering to that. Now, coincidentally I also have an underactive thyroid, which I think is a byproduct of the age and stage of life that I'm in. It's much more common as women are navigating perimenopause five to ten years to see episodes of underactive thyroid. The predominant reason why women will develop hypothyroidism in any age group is related to an autoimmune issue called Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

In fact, it's very few people, it's like one to 2% of people with hypothyroidism don't have Hashimoto's, even if you've had negative antibodies like me. I was about 44, that's when I was diagnosed. People ask me all the time; do you think that fasting-- Do you think that's what drove the hypothyroidism? I always say no, because autoimmune issues are almost always driven by gut health issues and I've had two other autoimmune issues. Once you have one, you just are more prone to others, which is unfortunate, but that's even based on research. I think that the average person who has an underactive thyroid or an overactive thyroid like Graves' disease, you can successfully navigate fasting. It always goes back to those pillars that we've talked about earlier, stress management, sleep quality, nutrition, really looking not overexercising, because you can have hypothyroidism and still exercise, still get high-quality sleep, still manage your stress properly and you can do beautifully.

If you have hypothyroidism and you get less than 6 hours a night of sleep and your stress is out of control and you're the CrossFit or Orangetheory bunny and you're doing that five days a week and there are plenty of women doing it and you over restrict your macros then you are setting yourself up for tanking or thyroid. Tanking obviously is not a clinical term, but you're not going to do your thyroid any favors. I really want women to understand that the endocrine system in the body really is this complex interaction between our body's perception of stressors, sleep, stress, management, nutrition, exercise, and our response to it. You can successfully navigate fasting with hypothyroidism or thyroid disorders where you could also make it harder on your body. The other thing to touch on is that there's a lot of misinformation about you need so much carbohydrate in order to go from inactive to active thyroid hormone.

I really don't necessarily believe that it has to be that you have to have so much carbohydrate in order to have this proper conversion. I think it's more a reflection of your degree of metabolic flexibility, so let me be clear about this. When you are obese or overweight, you're not as metabolically flexible. The choice of carbohydrates for you, it's going to be very focused on portion and the quality, even more so than for anyone else. It's not to suggest that you can't be lower carb or even ketogenic and also fast and also do all these other things, but a lot of its bio-individual. You also have to be very very attuned to how flexible is your body. Because what I might be able to get away with as a middle-aged woman might be very different than someone else at the same age stage who maybe hasn't taken as good care of themselves.

It's really getting very honest with yourself about what's the lifestyle pieces, how well are you taking care of yourself before you add in another stressor. We have to really define intermittent fasting as a hormetic stress. The beneficial stress in the right amount at the right time can be beautiful for honoring our bodies. If it's not the right time, if it's too much stress, if our body perceives that it's under threat, it is not going to do well with that type of stress. Really being very clear, but I do think both PCOS and thyroid issues can do beautifully with fasting, but you have to look at all those other pieces of the puzzle as well.

Melanie Avalon: It is really interesting that at least when I would review the clinical literature on fasting and women that there were a lot of studies on PCOS and women, which I always thought was really interesting and they're pretty much favorable for it. I have some more questions about the hormones. Since you did touch on the macros just now and the carb intake and all of that, what are your thoughts on a low-carb diet? In your IF:45 plan which includes three phases, like the induction phase that you have, what is the role of carbs and low carbs?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's a good question. I do think so if we look statistically, I think it's a 2018 study from UNC. At that time, this is pre-pandemic, it was 88.2% of Americans are not metabolically healthy. When people come to IF:45, the first thing I say is, listen, if the average American is consuming 200 to 300 g of carbs and that's conservatively per day, if we really want to get our bodies primed to be able to fast, there are a couple of things we need to do, and one of them is reducing our carbohydrate intake and really focusing on whole carbohydrates. And that means the unprocessed varieties. I'm not anti-carb, I do eat carbohydrates, I want to be really clear about that, but in that induction phase, it's really to get people ready so that when they start fasting, they're going to have better success.

And so I'm not anti-carb. I do think low carbohydrate diets can be very helpful for women, especially if they're wanting to change body composition, wanting to lose weight. For a lot of people, unfortunately, they've had the complete opposite. For most of their adult life they've sat down with a big plate of pasta, they've had bread with every meal, they've had rice or grains with every meal, or they've had unfettered access to tropical fruit. It's just an example and it's never a judgment. I'm just being observational and I find that women that are able to limit or moderate their carbohydrates and really focus on animal-based protein and healthy fats are going to have much more satiety. They're going to be much more satiated. They are going to be much more successful by readjusting those macros. For a lot of people that's why we have a whole week of induction because it can be very, very challenging.

There are a lot of people that are really emotional eaters. Again, not a criticism, just an observation. I think on many levels it gets people really ready to understand like we are going to learn how to fuel our bodies in a way that we are going to feel full, satisfied, and be able to step away from the table as opposed to feeling like we have to constantly snack. Because I'm sure you see this with the women that you interact with as well, that we've been conditioned that we need to have three meals a day and snacks and we have to, like, rip the Band-Aid off and start with the basics. So, I get very granular like these are the things we need to do. We have to limit our carbs. We need to stop snacking. I want you to adjust your macros because I want people to have a lifelong strategy that they can embrace as opposed to this. Unfortunately, it's huge here in the United States. The latest, greatest thing that's going to help them lose weight really fast and they're not going to be able to sustain their results because yo-yo dieting as you and I both know is detrimental metabolically to our bodies.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I think it is so detrimental. It reminds me of Joel Greene's work. I know you interviewed him as well and his book is like mind-blown moment after mind-blown moment, but he talks about the actual-- and I'll put a link in the show notes to the two-part episode that I did with him. After reading his book, I finally understood why yo-yo dieting makes it harder and harder to lose weight. It basically has to do with how it affects something called the extracellular matrix surrounding fat cells, and they become stiffer the more that you lose and regain and lose and regain and it's just really fascinating.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think when I read his book, Melanie, I literally, like, my chin was on the table, and I remember saying to you, now I'm sure everyone that listens to you knows that you are like a copious researcher. I think I told you, I think I went through 20 pages of a legal notepad taking notes, and my husband was like, what are you doing? I said, "This man has written this book and it's completely blowing my mind." Like, it's so different than anything I've heard anywhere else. Yeah, he's just exceptional and I love that there are people out there that I would call disruptors who are not embracing this mindset of cognitive dissonance and are willing to think outside the box because that's really what we want people to do is really find something that works for you to keep you as healthy as possible.

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny. He's the only time that I emailed ahead of time, and I said, can we record for 4 hours so that I can make it a two-part episode? He was so kind and agreed, and I think we had, like, technical difficulties at the beginning, so I think it was like a five-hour experience. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. Going back to the hormones, there were some that I want to touch on specifically. Cortisol is a big one, and I think cortisol is one of the ones-- I think cortisol and Insulin are probably the two that well-- there might be more, but maybe the two that I see the most as far as people being really aware of them and thinking, even if they haven't tested thinking in their head, I have high insulin or I have high cortisol.

One thing I love is when you talk about cortisol, you actually start by talking about the benefits of cortisol, and you kind of dismantle the idea out there that cortisol is just a bad hormone. So, could you talk a little bit about cortisol, why it actually is beneficial, but then the problems when it goes awry, specifically how it can encourage visceral fat storage and things like that, so cortisol?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, cortisol, I feel like cortisol is the bully on the block, meaning it's gotten such bad press, it needs a good PR group to come in and sweep in and help it out. I think when we think about cortisol, cortisol is designed to be an emergency backup system in the body. We talk about the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the autonomic nervous system, and just acknowledging that cortisol's role predominantly is to be part of that fight or flight. You're being chased by a saber-toothed tiger. It makes you be able to focus. It shuts down digestion. You can't stop to poop. You aren't going to stop to have sex. Your body is being fueled with the energy to get away from this threat. The common misunderstanding about cortisol, though, is that in our over-harried, overstressed lives, very westernized lives, we're constantly in this hedonistic culture where we're just inundated by information 24/7.

Our bodies can no longer differentiate between acute stress on being chased by a rabid animal versus chronic stress. That's the first tipping point that is problematic about cortisol. Cortisol does a lot of things. It frees up glucose so that we can be fueled. When I tell people when they're dealing with chronic stress, the things that will show up for them, they're not going to sleep as well. Because think about it physiologically. If you're fleeing danger, your body is not going to allow you to fall asleep properly. You're not going to digest your food. You can't properly detoxify. You're not going to poop. You're going to deal with that as well. That's a whole separate conversation that we could have because the whole constipation thing is fascinating. We think about the fact that chronic stress is going to impact the reproductive system because our bodies are going to perceive that we're under this surveillance of threat.

I also think about the fact that as an example, people talk about the cortisol belly. Why do I have abdominal fat? I just remind them that we have 40 times more receptors in the abdomen for cortisol. If you're really chronically stressed and chronically dealing with high cortisol levels, at least initially, you may see some abdominal issues. You may be more prone to leaky gut. You may be more prone to sleep disturbances like I talked about. You may really struggle with infertility. The initial phase with cortisol is heightened, so it becomes elevated and then over time, if we're chronically debilitated by stress, we will have the opposite. Our body is trying and trying and trying to keep up, and then over time, we'll have lower cortisol levels, which can show up as fatigue. Like, you have no energy and you develop gastrointestinal problems, you develop a leaky gut. You're prone to developing opportunistic infections in the gut.

You may deal with digestive problems beyond that, again, reproductive issues. You can have brain fog, and there's this downstream effect because what people don't realize is that cortisol impacts estrogen and testosterone, it impacts DHEA, all these sex hormones that are designed to kind of reflect and manifest not only an outward appearance but our menstrual cycle, our libido, etc., can all take a massive hit. Cortisol is beneficial, but cortisol can also be a sign when our body is under constant stress. It's important to interject in here that if you are someone who's not sleeping well, who's chronically overstressed, we don't want to add more stressors. This is where fasting can be beneficial versus detrimental. If you're someone that is going through a divorce, has had a significant life stressor, you've lost a job, you've been in the hospital, this is a good time to indicate that your body is still recovering from this significant stressor.

Right now, let's be honest, we have macro stressors and micro stressors. There's a lot going on in the world. You better believe in 2019, when I was in the hospital for 13 days, I didn't fast for months because my body was just wrecked from being so sick. Cortisol, I think, Teri Cochrane calls it the dirty cupcake, but it's really kind of emphasizing for people that when your cortisol is properly balanced, you're going to be able to sleep and manage your stress. Your blood sugar is going to be better controlled. That's one thing I forgot to mention. If you're chronically stressed, you're going to have blood sugar dysregulation, which can manifest as insulin resistance. This is where we get this tie-in with insulin. It's really all about mastering these key hormones so that we can put ourselves in an advantageous position.

I talk quite a bit in the book about the things that you need to do to balance the body. Bring yourself back into the autonomic nervous system, where you're not so focused on the sympathetic, but you're focused on this rest and repose side. That's one of the key aspects of helping to properly balance cortisol, is to ensure that your body doesn't think you're running a marathon every day and that you're not being chased by a saber-toothed tiger. Let me just lastly interject that stress can show up in weird ways. I know you had David Perlmutter on and in his last book, he talked about how when we're really stressed, we override the prefrontal cortex and we can't make executive decisions. You're not going to sit down and do calculus; you're probably only going to manage being able to get out the door because you just can't sit down and do advanced level thinking because your body is just flooded with cortisol and the amygdala overrides that prefrontal cortex. You're not able to make really good decisions. It's when people make impulsive decisions that's when people do things that are, I hate to say this word stupid sometimes because they aren't able to really think through their decision-making processes. Certainly, the last couple of years have shown us that there's a lot of that going on.

Melanie Avalon: Question about cortisol because it is something that women can test or they can do like a urine test. How beneficial do you think that is actually testing cortisol? Or should women just assume that their cortisol is high? So, when it comes to actually testing.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, I love to test it's like one of my favorite things to talk about. I always say test, don't guess. That is my standard mantra. You can test cortisol levels with a couple of different substances. You can do it with saliva, you can do it with urine, you can do it with blood. I like a combination of all of the above. I think serum is helpful, it just gives you that snapshot. So, a serum is blood. Immediately at that point in time when your blood is drawn that's exactly what your levels are. I do like the DUTCH test, which is a dried urine and saliva testing, depending on which kit you get. That can be hugely beneficial because it can plot out your circadian rhythm. Cortisol follows a rhythm in the body kind of like the infrared rhythm, but it follows-- melatonin suppression is when cortisol is highest. We would expect cortisol to be highest in the morning.

It ebbs and flows throughout the day and is lowest at night, which tells our body to go to bed. The DUTCH is really helpful because it will plot it out throughout the day and it gives you controls like high and low and so you can see for yourself how is your body metabolizing cortisol? Does your body not make enough cortisone, which is the inactive form of cortisol to convert to cortisol? Do you not have enough circulating cortisol? Do you have too much-circulating cortisol? It maps out your sex hormones, your melatonin, all of these things are interrelated and so it can be hugely beneficial. I'm an enormous fan of the DUTCH in particular because it gives us a very unique way of looking at our hormones. The caveat for anyone that's listening is you have to work with someone who's looked at hundreds of them.

I say this with love, but there are a lot of people who end up becoming either they're in our groups or they're working with me one on one. They've had a well-meaning clinician order these tests, they are not inexpensive and then it's not properly interpreted. The caveat I would say is if you're going to do the testing, make sure the person you're working with has looked at hundreds of them. The DUTCH is a complicated test. I actually took a whole class to be able to interpret it. I have a binder that's gosh it's probably six inches thick. I'm not exaggerating. It took probably looking at 100 of them to feel comfortable/confident to be able to use that information. Because in the functional medicine, integrative medicine world, there're a lot of great tests that are available, but they're only as valuable as the person that knows how to interpret them. That's an important distinction that I think, certainly your listeners, they want to just make sure that whoever they're working with, it's someone that's worked with a lot of these so that they can provide the best advice.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really glad that you touched on that because I've done a cortisol DUTCH test once and I remember getting the results because I'm a self-researcher and I like to try to interpret things. I just remember looking at this and thinking how important it was to work with somebody knowledgeable who actually could interpret it. Hearing what you just said about all of the research and the binder and all the things that you definitely need to be working with a practitioner on that. The other hormones-- since you love testing, not guessing, out of all the hormones and all the things that can be tested with that, what can you test? Do you do insulin tests? What about estrogen levels? I know estrogen dominance is a problem today. Can that be tested?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Are you asking specifically to the DUTCH or just in general?

Melanie Avalon: Just in general, with women, do you do a full hormonal panel? When you do, what does that cover? Like, what should women be testing?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I think at a minimum, so we know progesterone as one example is better tested with blood as opposed to the DUTCH. Because when you do the DUTCH as an example, it's just a test between days 19 through 22 in your cycles to during your luteal phase, I do think testing for-- there're three predominant forms of estrogen. There's estriol, estrone, and estradiol. Estradiol is the predominant form of estrogen prior to going through menopause. Estrone is the predominant weaker form of estrogen that most women produce in fat tissue in menopause, kind of a bummer because that's when women really don't want to be adding to their fat stores. I think it's important to do a free and total testosterone, so really looking at that is very helpful. On the other side of that, I like to look at DHEA. I definitely like to look at fasting insulin.

I know that a lot of well-meaning healthcare professionals will do like a complete blood count. They'll do a CMP, which is a comprehensive metabolic panel, which just looks at fasting glucose. We know that your fasting insulin can dysregulate, sometimes five to ten years, way before the glucose and hemoglobin A1c start becoming abnormal. Fasting insulin is, for me, the biomarker that I will look at. You can look at fasting leptin, which is oftentimes absolutely fascinating, although you'll oftentimes see abnormal fasting insulin as well as fasting leptin. This is when people say this is hedonistic, they can't stop eating. There's all this miscommunication between their brains and their stomach. Other things that I like to think about, I mentioned progesterone. I do like to look at a full thyroid panel, so TSH, free and total T3 and T4, reverse T3, looking at antibodies, I'm a huge fan of looking at iron panels, so total iron, TIBC, percent sat, ferritin, which is oftentimes a better marker of iron storage.

I do like to look at inflammatory markers, so a high-sensitivity CRP, I do like to look at homocysteine. This is just like a baseline. I'll look at like an RBC or red blood cell, magnesium, and zinc, iodine, folate, B12. That's a starting point. Obviously, each person is an individual, but I think it's a good place to start from so that you have a good sense of what's going on with your body. Now, obviously, a DUTCH is not covered by insurance, but I think doing those serum blood markers and urinary iodine can be very, very helpful.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Again, listeners, there is a full transcript in the show notes, so have no fear. If you get Cynthia's book, you'll have all the resources. Another hormone I'd love to briefly ask you about, you talk about oxytocin in the book. All of the things that can benefit that hormone, I did not realize. Well, first of all, you talk about oxytocin. Is oxytocin on or off or is it more like a dimmer switch? Also, you talk about how it lasts three to five minutes. Do we need to be doing oxytocin-stimulating things all the time? And what is the role of oxytocin?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, so it's this amazing hormone that is secreted by the hypothalamus-pituitary gland. Think about it like when a woman is bonding with her baby, if she's breastfeeding her baby, it can be secreted by the uterus and the placenta, and so it can create this amazing bonding experience. It's why like hugging your pets, I'm laughing because one of my dogs is walking over to get his back scratched right now. It's this amazing hormone that when we're tapped into it and again you can't be in the super overly stressed environment 24/7 and think that you're going to get any good feelings from oxytocin. You get it from sexual intimacy, you can get it from hugs with your loved ones, and you can get it from rubbing your dog. It also contributes to staying full and having satiety. I remind people there's more to this hormone.

We kind of think of it as the mother hormone. It's the hormone that kind of begets all other hormones, how critically important it is to nourish it. And you're right, it doesn't last. That's why you need those. I love that I have dogs because now I have teenagers who are much less interested in being snuggly with their mom like they were when they were younger. Getting those little hits of oxytocin throughout the day can be super helpful, but it doesn't necessarily have to involve you being around other people. I mean, just even laughing, just having levity like watching something that makes you happy, doing something that brings you joy. I always get questions like; do I have to be around other people? No, not necessarily. If you love to garden, if you love to get out in nature, if getting on a bicycle or exercising brings you joy, I mean, there're other ways that we can stimulate this hormone.

It's really important to understand that it is critically important for staying full. Like, we have receptors all placed in our body, in our brain, in our uterus, our placenta, our ovaries. Our body is constantly taking information from the outside and kind of deciding, like, are we nourishing our bodies or are we depleting our bodies? This is a poorly understood, poorly appreciated hormone, but one that I think is so, so important.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends. We talk all the time on this show about the beneficial effects of intermittent fasting and especially how it can affect your blood sugar levels. How much do we talk about this? How diet affects them, how exercise affects them, how fasting affects them? But how do you actually know what your blood sugar levels are? Besides when you go to the doctor and get a snapshot of that one moment in time, or give yourself a finger prick, which again, is a snapshot of that one moment in time. What if you could know what your blood sugar was all the time? That would be revolutionary insight that could really help you meet your health and wellness goals. Guess what? You can do that now. I'm going to tell you how to save $30 off while doing it. We are obsessed with a company called NutriSense. They provide access to and interpretations of the data from the biosensors known as Continuous Glucose Monitors, aka CGMs.

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Yeah, I love you talk about the study in the book about, I think it was overweight men looking at delicious food and oxytocin reduced their appetite or their cravings, which is so cool. Again, listeners, all of the hormones are in the book. So some more fasting-related questions. I love to touch on a few of the things that I feel like at least on the Intermittent Fasting Podcast, we don't really talk about that much, or it's not something of a focus of ours that you do touch on because I think listeners would love to hear about it. As far as things, okay, I just laugh about this question because it's such a question on the other podcast. As far as what breaks a fast, what are your thoughts on what breaks a fast and the idea of clean fasting? In particular, I'd love to hear your thoughts on medicinal mushrooms because that's not something that I really play around with and Gin doesn't either. So, I'd love to hear about those. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I think all of us are very aligned about the concept of clean fasting. I do like people to understand why when you're learning the basics it's important to distinguish between what will or will not break your fast. In my mind, and there are a lot of, again, well-meaning fit pros out there, and they'll say, "Oh, if it's under 50 calories, it doesn't count. I'm like, okay, well, the grapes that you just told someone to eat are definitely going to break their fast. I think about how certain supplements can break your fast, like branched-chain amino acids, flavored electrolytes. I think about the fact that-- this is just my personal feeling, we know that dairy products are insulinemic, and so when people think it's no big deal to put heavy cream in their coffee, and they're being very purposeful, like, what is your purpose of fasting?

Like, if you're trying to change body composition or lose weight, then those little things can add up. One of the funny things that my interview with Vinnie Tortorich on the podcast, and he was saying, when people tell you that they're putting healthy fats into their diet, always clarify. I always do that now, but what might be cream in my coffee might be half cream, half coffee, so those things can certainly add up fast. But I think about bone broth. I think about distinguishing between proteins we know will break a fast, being really clear about the fact that anything that is going to stimulate an insulin response and I know I was laughing a couple of days ago. I was watching something on YouTube and the concept of cephalic phase insulin response, which I know you all talk about as well. There were people that were fighting like they were splitting hairs over what would do that.

I thought it might be helpful just to say when we talk about that, it's the sight, smell, or taste of food that will secrete some insulin. We know it increases salivation, we know that it increases bile secretion, all because your body thinks food is coming, it increases gastric juices, it increases gut motility, and that alone can last eight to ten minutes. When people think it's no big deal to smell like grandma's apple pie, but I don't want anyone getting paranoid feeling like they can't enjoy being in a fasted state and smelling food. Just to understand, our bodies are very attuned to the environments we're in. When it comes to breaking your fast, I tend to be very much aligned with you and Jen. It's bitter teas, bitter being bitter, not meant to be sweet, plain coffee, filtered water, I think are absolutely fine, unfavored electrolytes are absolutely fine. The things that will break a fast are the things that are construed as food. Whether it's chewing gum, whether it is sucking on a mint, I've had people that get really upset. They don't like their keto breath and so they're always frustrated. I'm like, "Well, I guess you could chew on some fennel, but technically your body is going to think food is coming." I think it's important for people to understand there are things that can kind of amplify fast, things that can be beneficial, and I dove deep into the research on this. Things like-- think about Chaga or Reishi mushrooms. This is something that Siim Land talks quite a bit about as well. He's super well versed in the literature. I'm not sure if interviewed him on the podcast before.

Sulforaphanes like broccoli sprouts, just to potentiate autophagy, which is that waste and recycling process in the body. Turmeric and ginger, things that are certainly not sweet, but based on research can potentiate autophagy. There are also other things that can potentiate those things as well. I'm hoping I answered your question because I know that the concept of a clean fast is something that not necessarily everyone embraces. I know we both have had individuals on our podcast who feel differently. Like, you can have fiber and you can have all the fat you want. Yes, maybe fat may not be processed differently in the body, but I do like people to learn the basics so that they can have success. If you then go on and you're going to do a bone broth fast, but you're doing a different type of fasting, then that's a differentiator but when people are learning how to fast, I want them to learn how to do it clean so that they'll get the best results.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly. One thing I love is you dive deep into coffee and the cost-benefit of coffee, especially because I think with coffee, it can be a really great aid for fasting, encourage fat burning and energy and reduce cravings, but then on the flipside, I think probably for some women that they might get too much of a cortisol response to it. What do you find with all the women that you've worked with as far as coffee goes? Do some women, it's just they can't do coffee because of the cortisol? Is tea a better option? What are your thoughts on coffee?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, great question. When I think about coffee, there're two things. First, exposure to mycotoxin so if anyone's listening and the concept of mold, so making sure you use a clean brand, I think is the first thing. If someone suspects that they're either getting an exaggerated response, they feel jittery, they don't feel good, I encourage them to use a glucometer, like check your blood sugar before and check your blood sugar after because that can be very insightful. Sometimes people don't realize that their body gets stressed when they consume this coffee product. Maybe it's the caffeine. It may not even be the coffee per se, maybe it's the mycotoxin. Really getting granular if they really love coffee. Trying to figure out is it that brand of coffee, is it you're sensitive to caffeine. What can we do to try to honor your desire to have the therapeutic benefits from the polyphenols and other things?

Can you try green tea? What I do find for a lot of women is it's very insightful when they start using the glucometers to be able to determine what's their net impact. If their blood sugar goes from 70 to 100, it's like, okay, well, this might be something that's stressing your body. This might be unique to you. This could be a temporary blip. This might be that you've got too much stress going on and this is another stress or your body is just saying time out. Or maybe you need to consume a better-quality brand coffee, that is tested for mycotoxins. I know you probably have talked about this on your podcast quite a bit. I'm surprised at how many people have a genetic susceptibility, I'm one of them, that I'm very sensitive to mold exposure, whether it's in my environment or in my food.

Sometimes you have to take those extra steps. Either find a manufacturer that screens for mold or perhaps you need to try something else like green tea or black tea, a bitter tea that might work better for you, or take a break entirely to see how your N of 1. I always say the N of 1 is important, but it may be that for right now that's not the right substance for you to consume. That might be hugely impactful.

Melanie Avalon: So, another question, just because like I said, you talk about things that I don't personally really talk about on the other show and I think it's so important. So, the hormone DHEA, I remember forever ago before I was really into all of this stuff, I was reading about DHEA and I was like, "Oh, I'm going to supplement with DHEA. And then that did not go well. Since then I supplemented with something called 7-keto-DHEA. I was wondering what your thoughts are on DHEA.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I always like to look at a DUTCH before I render an opinion because the lifestyle piece always plays a role if DHEA is suppressed. Just to give an overview, like DHEA is another very important hormone downstream that effect is DHEA will cleave off and create testosterone and androgen metabolites. It's also supposed to work in conjunction with cortisol. They're just kind of balance one another out. If you have someone that is really depleted, your body will preferentially fuel production of cortisol over DHEA. It's the vitality hormone, it's a hormone that's important for energy. Obviously, if your DHEA is low, your libido may have gone poof. And so, I think supplementation is reasonable. 7-keto-DHEA I have used, the thought process is it's less likely to be aromatized into estrogen. That can be a huge problem with DHEA.

You don't know how the body is going to use it. It going to aromatize estrogen or is your body going to use it to kind of fuel those testosterone pathways? I think it's highly bio-individual. I like to do the DUTCH specifically to look at that. If testosterone levels are low, sometimes I want to look at serum testing to corroborate that. I do think it can be helpful, and I think for a lot of people, especially as they're getting closer to like middle age, like 40-ish and above, more often than not, we will supplement with some DHEA. Although what's interesting to me is that I see clinicians doing really high doses of DHEA, and I don't think I've seen enough research to suggest that they should be supplementing with like, 100 mg of DHA. I generally start pretty low because, for some people, it's very stimulating.

I take DHEA as does my husband and oftentimes it can be helpful for kind of priming the pumps, like, as our bodies are making less of these hormones as we're getting closer to menopause and andropause it can beneficial to help replete them. The foundational work always needs to be on the sleep, the stress, the not overexercising, etc. One thing that I think is really important for people to understand is that supplements are great. Supplements can be so beneficial on so many levels. Obviously, I talk about them in the book, but the real foundational approaches to health or what we have to do first before we start adding in supplements, because I think it's so easy to say, "Oh, I don't want to work on the sleep piece. I'm just going to take in supplements to help my sleep". I'm like, "You got to work on the sleep first and start adding supplements," as just one example. I'm sure, Melanie, you see quite a bit of that as well.

Melanie Avalon: That was something I highlighted in your book where you were saying "Starting intermittent fasting. I think you said that if your sleep is not in line or your stress, that's got to be dealt with first."

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, because I cannot tell you how many women and I don't fault them for this because I think this is human nature. They want to lose weight; they want to fast. I'm like, okay, let's back up the bus. We got to make sure we've got your sleep dialed in, because if your sleep and stress are out of control, your body is going to perceive we're heaping on another layer of stress, it's not going to be as amenable. Again, much like the menstrual cycle, I use sleep as a barometer for how well people are managing and mitigating their health, and what's their hormone balance like and I'm oversimplifying, of course there's far more to it than that. I know when my sleep is bad. I'm obsessed with my Oura Ring. Every day I look at my REM sleep and my deep sleep, and I tell my husband, like, I'll be darned. I don't want to be tethered to this thing, but I love it because I get up in the morning and the days I feel great, my data always correlates. It always-- The same thing if I have a crappy night of sleep, it's like my REM and my deep sleep are down. I'm like, "Ah, it's just validation."

Melanie Avalon: I love the Oura Ring and I talked about this on the other show and on my Instagram, but I recently had COVID and the effects it had on my Oura Ring because I didn't feel that bad, so I'm not sure that I would have thought necessarily it was COVID. My Oura Ring was like you're dying. Not really, but it gave me-- the scores were so fascinating and this is really interesting. Since then, I've been taking some medications for COVID and I think they've been affecting my sleep. But interestingly, I don't feel like I'm sleeping as well, but my Oura Ring has actually said that my sleep has been fine and I haven't been tired during the day. I think there's just something changing, this is completely N of 1 and probably not helpful for anybody, but it's like my experience of my sleep at night has been changing, and I don't really know what that means. Oh, another tangent. You talk about melatonin in the book, so have you interviewed John Lieurance?

Cynthia Thurlow: He is coming on next month. I cannot wait.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so for listeners, he is the melatonin guy, and he's all about high-dose melatonin. This is so funny Cynthia, so I think two nights ago so I've been taking melatonin in part for COVID. It's the same brand as my digestive enzymes. I currently get Pure Encapsulations. The actual pills look the exact same. The bottle looks almost the exact same. I realized last night when I was pulling out my digestive enzymes, that I had thought the night before my melatonin bottle was my digestive enzyme bottle. I take a lot of digestive enzymes. So, I counted the pills out, I think I took like 15 melatonins the prior night.

Cynthia Thurlow: What was the amount that you took?

Melanie Avalon: Maybe 20, 3 mg. So, it probably ended up being somewhere, it might have been like 60 mg of melatonin.

Cynthia Thurlow: You know what's funny is that I've completely nerded out on sleep and melatonin in the last, like two months. I'm so glad you're asking me about this because now it's like bleeding into my work like every group person I'm talking about melatonin all the time. Probably a month ago, I decided I was going to step up my sleep game. I'm like you, I'm very conscientious about what I take when I take it. I started with the consent of my integrative medicine doc and started doing high-dose melatonin. His feeling was, let's do this to kind of replenish because after the age of 40, we don't make as much. I was doing 18 mg every night and it was like I went from having good sleep to great sleep. Like every night my REM and deep sleep were doubled. I mean, it was unbelievable. I'm doing all the other things and then I got the SandMan.

Melanie Avalon: Which is in my refrigerator, by the way.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh my God. If you can get beyond the fact, yeah, so if you can get beyond putting it in your rectum because I know like, my whole family, I don't tell my whole family, but I was telling my husband. He was like, I don't even want to know. Don't even tell me. He's like but here's the thing. It's a very vascular part of your body. It's actually a really good place as an ER nurse, we used to put a lot of things, medications in the rectum. You have to put it in the rectum. Oh my God, you wake up the next morning, you're like, I had the most delicious, amazing night of sleep. I cannot wait to bring him on and pick his brain. I am all about the net impact of what melatonin does in the body. That's the thing that I've completely started really nerding out on is like the antioxidant benefits, especially we know with COVID that it's very helpful for healing COVID.

It's one of those things, like, I was trying to explain to someone that we think of melatonin just as a hormone. Like we think it's your sleep hormone. It works in opposition to cortisol and it gets suppressed in the morning when we get up and get light exposure. The antioxidant net impact of melatonin impacts every part of our bodies. We've got clocks, these suprachiasmatic clocks I don't know why I'm struggling to say that today, but we have these clocks in our gut, all over our body. Having melatonin healthy dose also has this net impact on serotonin and estrogen and it's amazing. Don't be afraid that you took that much because when you have the SandMan on board, I forget it's like 100 or 200 mg of melatonin. But I've been taking I did 18 mg and 12, now I'm down to six every night and it's almost like it's reset those melatonin receptors. It's really been fascinating.

Melanie Avalon: It was definitely a moment I was like, "Oh, my goodness." [laughs] And it's so interesting, like I said, I have the SandMan in my fridge, and I've been very open about this. I do all the things, like, I do colonics, I do coffee enemas. I don't know why I can't do the suppositories.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, you know what's funny? I had to laugh. There's a woman on my team who's another advanced practice nurse, and so she got SandMan first. She's a fellow nurse. The two of us laughed on the phone when she told me all about her experience. She just said, I think nurses just have terrible potty humor because we just giggled like schoolgirls laughing about it. I think once you get over the fact that you're putting it in your bottom, it's like, not a big deal, but like, the net impact. I think the other thing is it's also expensive. Let me be clear, I'm not using this every night. I'm using it like once a week just because it's not inexpensive. But I cannot wait to interview him. Have you interviewed him yet?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I've become pretty good friends with him, so I'm probably going to text him after this and say that were fangirling over his work. Another suppository that just came in the mail, because this is the type of things that people send to me, a CBD suppository I just got in the mail. Do you take CBD, do you use it?

Cynthia Thurlow: Not regularly. I mean, I went through this period of time where I had a lot of either podcast sponsors or people who wanted to sponsor Instagram content. I was getting a lot of CBD products, and it became a running joke. Like, I had so much, I couldn't use it all. So now that is all slowed down. I think for me, I initially used it for sleep, but then I started feeling like there were other supplements that for me personally were more beneficial. So, I kind of let that go. I know the whole physiology behind, I think, CBD, if it's a good quality product, which I'm sure you received in the mail. It's all fascinating, but I've just found other things that are more beneficial for me for sleep or if I want an anti-anxiety thing, I'll grab GABA. That's just worked well for me.

Melanie Avalon: Because I found that CBD is definitely very individual. For me, it's a game changer.

Cynthia Thurlow: Really, that's awesome.

Melanie Avalon: Once I found my dosing, so I take it every single night. And it's just really amazing for me. I work historically with one brand because the problem is there're so many CBDs on the market now, and there's just no regulation and it's really a problem. I found Feals, and I love Feals and take Feals all the time. This company that reached out for you because I literally get approached by CBD companies probably weekly. It's crazy, but they reached out and this relates actually to everything we're talking about. They make lubricants and oils and a lot of that stuff and it's so hard to find.

Cynthia Thurlow: Clean stuff. I have some other stuff. It's good.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, I was very excited about that. There's so much more that we could touch on, but there's one big topic that I did want to circle back to that we kept approaching but we didn't actually really discuss, and that is the perimenopause transition to menopause. Do all women go through perimenopause? I didn't realize, for example, that there's five phases. I learned that in your book, like with your patients, how many women struggle with it. Something I thought that was really interesting was you mentioned that for smokers and for women without kids that it might come earlier. Do you know why that is? Do you have any idea?

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't know. The smoking piece. I think just in general smokers tend to embrace less healthy habits. I think that's probably what it's based off of in terms of being we use the term nulliparous as you haven't had children, I'm not entirely sure. What I have seen clinically is that thinner women are going into menopause earlier. Like 47, 48. Average American is 51. So, does everyone go through perimenopause? Yes, if they live long enough. Hopefully, everyone listening is going to live long enough to go into perimenopause. For some people, it could be five to ten years preceding menopause. I think that the women that do best making that transition are the ones that are doing the work. You can get away with a lot in your 20s and 30s. I can officially say this as a middle-aged woman you can get away with a lot.

Like what I got away with in my 20s and 30s in terms of what I ate and how little I slept and not managing my stress. I have a super stressful job. Forty was definitely leveling the playing field. If you are not over-exercising, you've got an anti-inflammatory diet, you have a job that brings you tremendous joy, you have great relationships, you're getting good quality sleep, you're not over-exercising. You're going to have an easier transition than someone who's doing the opposite, standard American diet, very sedentary, smoking. Doesn't have a job that they love. Maybe they have a lot of significant financial and other types of stress in their lives, doesn't have a support system. Your perimenopausal transition is really a barometer of how well you're taking care of yourself. We as women tend to do a really great job of taking care of everyone but ourselves.

It's no surprise that this is the time when a lot of women start advocating. It's also the time a lot of women have children at home and maybe their parents are aging. It can be a very stressful time period. The women that I see that aren't riddled with horrible hot flashes and tremendous weight gain are the ones that are doing the work. I think that obviously I had that blip when I hit the wall of perimenopause but then I straightened everything out. I stopped doing 5:30 AM conditioning classes, I slept more, I didn't have such a-- I didn't perceive it was a restrictive diet, but probably too low carb for me. Managed my stress better, really took better care of myself. I do think women can get through that time period. That research that I found there's not a lot of great research on perimenopause because it's this nebulous time. For some people that might only have five years in perimenopause and then boom, their period stops and it's all over.

It's certainly been my experience that we recognize that hormones like estrogen, so obviously, at the beginning stages of perimenopause, you're going to have this relative estrogen dominance because progesterone is starting to wax and wane. The ovaries, you may not be ovulating every month, and you may not even be cognizant of it. Your symptoms might be as benign as you're waking up in the middle of the night. Maybe you have more anxiety and depression because progesterone is that kind of buffering mellow sister hormone. And you've got this relative estrogen dominance. So, you're gaining weight, you've got fibrocystic breasts, you got very heavy crime scene periods, as I affectionately used to refer to them. That can be kind of the beginning stages, but a lot of the rest of it can be very bio-individual. Something that's important for people to understand is the weight gain piece, which can be so distressing, especially when you're doing all the things that you should be doing to help maintain your weight.

It can really be a byproduct of cortisol being up. Remember we talked about these cortisol receptors? We've got 40 times more cortisol receptors on our abdomen. It can also be a byproduct of the fact that we lose the buffering effects of estrogen. So, estrogen is an insulin-sensitizing hormone. Meaning as you are getting closer to the end of your menstrual cycle for the rest of your life, you are going to be more prone to insulin resistance. Add in poor dietary choices, stress, sleep disturbances, it's like the perfect storm. It's really just kind of cruel. I look at my teenagers and they're hitting puberty, and mine was starting to peter off. The lens with which I look at perimenopause as a transitional point is that women do have control over a lot of things. And so that's always that reframe. What do you have control over? It goes back to those pillars that I've talked about throughout our conversation.

In my book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation is really honoring sleep quality, stress management, anti-inflammatory nutrition, not over-exercising, connecting with people, and doing things that you love as opposed to forcing yourself, doing things that you don't enjoy. Perimenopause can be a wonderful time for women. It can also be a harrowing stressful time. What I do find is for a lot of women that when they finally go 12 months without a cycle, it's a big sigh of relief. It's like one less thing to have to worry about. For a lot of people, there's a tremendous amount of shame and embarrassment with no longer being fertile, which I think really is a detriment as women that we really need to reframe it. We spend 40% of our lifetime in menopause. Why not make it wonderful? It's a time when people can have tremendous creative purposes. Their children may be grown, or they may be at a different point in their career, or they may be able to travel. 

There can be just a lot of wonderful things that come out of no longer having a menstrual cycle every month. Certainly, I'm an example of someone that made that transition pretty effortlessly. I think a lot of women can. They shouldn't look at it as something to fear. That's what I get DMs about, "Oh my God, what am I going to do?" I just say, "Hey, it's part of life. If we live long enough, it's going to happen." If it makes anyone feel better, men go through andropause it's just a little less dramatic.

Melanie Avalon: That is a beautiful reframe, which appropriately enough is one of the topics that is near the end of the book and also typically tends to be near the end of my episodes. But that is the role of mindset. You talk a lot about mindset. One thing I love in particular that you talk about is reframing limiting beliefs. One of the things I love about your book and talking about limiting beliefs is there are a lot of limiting beliefs surrounding dieting and fasting specifically. You talk about how to reframe them, but you would need the knowledge in order to properly reframe them, especially when it comes to concerns surrounding fasting like it's unsafe or I'll be hungry. You really do need that knowledge to know why that's not true. What are some of the mindset practices that you find really can benefit women? Limiting beliefs, gratitude. Oh, I love your good, better, best. I've talked about that on an episode of IF podcast for so long because I had never heard of that before, like that concept. It's the perfect solution for people like me and a lot of listeners who might be perfectionists. They're really intimidated by making changes or doing things because they think they have to be perfect. So, I just said a lot. But yeah, mindset, the role of mindset.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I think mindset is everything. I say that to my kids that probably makes them grow to hear their mother saying that ad nauseam. I really do think that whatever challenges we're presented with in our lifetime, it's all about the reframe. It's all about the mindset shift. It's all about finding the good, through adversity comes opportunity, which my kids here all the time. Even if you're having a crappy day, like finding one thing to be really grateful for. I think starting your day with gratitude, getting really granular, it could be as silly as "I'm grateful for day I woke up before my alarm clock." It could be that simple. But we know that it helps. It changes the physiology in the brain. We recognize how critically important it is to just look at life. It's not being pollyannaish, it's just acknowledging that there are going to be bumps in the road.

You're going to have a time when maybe you're traveling. This is an example of the good, better, best. Especially for, as Melanie said, those of you that are more perfectionistic, you're in a store or you're in a restaurant, and you can't get grass-fed, pastured anything. And so, it's good, better, best. It's like, what is the best option I can make at this restaurant? I'm going to eat it, I'm going to enjoy it, I'm going to let it go. Just giving yourself grace, that's another aspect that I would say for me, where I am in my lifetime is, I'm a reform people pleaser and I'm a reform perfectionist. I say this from the heart, is giving myself grace. Like, not every day is going to work out the way I wanted it to. Not everything is going to work out the way that I wanted to and I think it's so important as women that we acknowledge our uniqueness and how special we are, but also acknowledge that sometimes things just don't go the way we want, and that's okay, we can just roll with it.

I always say to my kids, there was something that happened professionally this week that was a total bummer, but I reframed it and said, okay, this is the way things are going to be at this time with this particular class. It's totally okay. We're going to work through it. It's that constant acknowledgment of looking at the good in your life, reframing things, expressing gratitude, understanding, like something as simple as learning something new. It doesn't have to be complicated. I've been nerding out on audiobooks recently, which I go through periods of time where I've fixated on one thing or another. I was saying to my husband, like, just being in my car, because every woman that's listening probably spends too much time in their cars, I was able to get through 15 hours of an audiobook, and it brought me so much joy because every time I got in my car, I could listen to the audiobook again.

Just acknowledging, like, learning something new can create more synapses is this concept of neuroplasticity, how critically important it is for us as women to make sure we've got, like, a healthy dialogue in our brains, because we can what wires together, fires together. I tell people all the time that your thoughts become your actions. So, again, that neuroplasticity piece is so important. I think far too many people think terrible things in their head and maybe they say nice things out of their mouths but your brain hears everything that you're thinking. It's really important that we're very dedicated to making sure that we're just as healthy-minded as we can be. I think, again, the past two years have taught us a lot, and I think at many levels, really were to celebrate that we're making it like, on the other side, we're all better for these past years what we've been through.

Just really acknowledging that creating a practice of proper mindset is something you work on every day. It's not like I wake up every day and I'm thinking everything is going to fall into place. There are days where I just happen to stumble across something. Mel Robbins, who I think is brilliant, has written and I'm like, "Oh my gosh, how did she know, this is exactly what I needed to see this morning to put a smile on my face." Just surrounding yourself with positive messaging people who are encouraging, creating boundaries, that's one other thing I probably didn't talk a lot about in the book. Creating boundaries for individuals, making sure the people that you spend time with you interact with are healthy, well-adjusted humans and not toxic people that take your energy from you.

Melanie Avalon: I could not agree more. I just think it's so important and I love how you're talking about trying new things and learning new things. Perhaps my favorite benefit about intermittent fasting is definitely up there, but it's one that's not quite anticipated by a lot of people, and it's just how much time you get back. At least for me, it opens up so much time and opportunity because you're not focused on eating 24/7, I love that. Well, this has been absolutely amazing. Listeners there is so much information in this book, you've got to get it, so many things we didn't even touch on, gut health and muscle and Cynthia dives deep into really specifics of all the different fears surrounding fasting and what to eat and traveling and prepping and just so many things. We'll put a link to in the show notes. Definitely get the book. The last question that I ask every single guest on this show. I asked you last time, but I will ask you it again, and it relates to everything that were just talking about. What is something that you're grateful for?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I would say one of the things that I posted on Instagram today is that one of the really cool things about my job is that I have opportunities to connect with amazing people in the health and wellness space. I'm so very grateful that we connected and we became friends and so on so many levels Melanie has added so much to my own podcasting journey and my own kind of perspectives on life. Right now, I'm grateful for your friendship, Melanie. So thank you for that.

Melanie Avalon: Aww, I am so grateful as well. I really, really, really am. You're one of the people that I'll just have moments randomly. Maybe it's when we're talking, maybe not, but I'm just like I'm just so grateful for Cynthia. Yeah. This has been so wonderful. I'm really excited because normally I record episodes and then they air months from now. We're going to time this around your book release so listeners get to hear it sooner rather than later. And I'm so excited. During this whole conversation, I've just been thinking, wow, listeners are going to love this. Thank you so much for all that you're doing. I am forever grateful for you and our friendship and your work and everything that you're doing, and I can't wait to see where it all goes from here.

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! 

 

 

Aug 28

Episode 280: Pet Foods, Fibroids, Estrogen Dominance, IF After Pregnancy, Protein & Autophagy, Macros, Hashimoto’s, Oral Microbiome, Mouthwash, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 270 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free BACON For LIFE plus $100 off your first 5 boxes!

Bon Charge: Overexposure To Blue Light In Our Modern Environments Can Lead To Increased Anxiety, Stress, Headaches, Insomnia, And Other Health Conditions. Unlike Many “Blue Light Blocking” Glasses On The Market, Bon Charge Provides Glasses That Block The Exact Blue Wavelengths You Need To Regulate Sleep, Reduce Anxiety, And Much More! They Also Provide Different Types Of Glasses For The Time Of Day, Season, And Your Personal Electronic And Light Exposure! Go To boncharge.com And Use Coupon Code IFPODCAST To Save 15%.

AvalonX Magnesium 8: Get Melanie’s Broad Spectrum Complex Featuring 8 Forms Of Magnesium, To Support Stress, Muscle Recovery, Cardiovascular Health, GI Motility, Blood Sugar Control, Mood, Sleep, And More! Tested For Purity & Potency. No Toxic Fillers. Glass Bottle. Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free BACON For LIFE Plus $100 Off Your First 5 Boxes!

4:15 - 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 Forever Dog: A New Science Blueprint for Raising Exceptionally Healthy and Happy Companions

Intermittent Fasting Masterclass with cynthia Thurlow

IF45 Coaching Certification Program

Wholistic Blueprint class

18:55 - BON CHARGE: Go To boncharge.com And Use Coupon Code IFPODCAST To Save 15%.

21:15 - Listener Q&A: Niki - Fibroids

27:25 - Listener Q&A: Lucy - My story and getting started again

never binge again™: How Thousands of People Have Stopped Overeating and Binge Eating - and Stuck to the Diet of Their Choice! (By Reprogramming Themselves to Think Differently About Food.)

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

37:30 - Listener Q&A: Niki - Protein & Autophagy

41:30 - Listener Q&A: Dana - More Protein

48:00 - AVALONX MAGNESIUM: Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

50:40 - Listener Q&A: Angela - IF And Gargling Salt Water And/Or Mouthwash

go to melanieavalon.com/bristle and the coupon code MELANIEAVALON will get you 15% off sitewide

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

1:01:30 - Listener Q&A: Barbara - Over 70 Women And IF

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

[intro ends]

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All of their beef is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished, that's really hard to find. And they work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. All about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves but the planet. This is so important to me. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. If you recently saw a documentary on Netflix called Seaspiracy, you might be a little bit nervous about eating seafood. Now I understand why ButcherBox makes it so, so clear and important about how they work with the seafood industry. Everything is checked for transparency, for quality and for sustainable raising practices. You want their seafood. The value is incredible. The average cost is actually less than $6 per meal. And it's so easy, everything ships directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing.

I remember the first time I had one and I just thought this is honestly one of the best steaks I've ever had in my entire life. On top of that, did you know that the fatty acid profile of grass-fed, grass-finished steaks is much healthier for you than conventional steaks, and their bacon, for example is from pastured pork, and sugar and nitrate free. How hard is that to find? And I'm super excited because ButcherBox's Bacon for Life is back. And it's even better because for a limited time ButcherBox is giving you $20 off each box for the first five months of your membership. That's free bacon for life, and up to $100 off. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to get one pack of bacon for free in every box for the rest of your life as well as $20 off each box for the first five months of your membership butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. We'll put all this information in the show notes. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi everybody and welcome. this is episode number 280 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey there.

Melanie Avalon: I'm just thinking 280, Cynthia, is there something that we should do fun for episode 300?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, I think we need to come up with a fun like giveaway or bonus or what do you think?

Melanie Avalon: These are really fun, Gin and I would usually do for milestone episodes, Ask Me Anythings, so then we can just like anything goes. And it's kind of like refreshing because it's not fasting related, just like life related. Those are fun.

Cynthia Thurlow: Happy to, although it's funny. I think I'm starting to get inklings of things that people want us to talk about because sometimes they'll send it to me and my team in the DMs and I'm like, "Please email the podcast. We can't keep track of all this stuff." Yeah, that would be a lot of fun.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, which is a way we could do that and a giveaway or something. Awesome. I have another question for you. This was appropriate timing. It was yesterday that you were talking to me, and you're on the way to buy pet food. And I had just interviewed Dr. Karen Becker, the author of The Forever Dog. I'm super curious. What do you feed your dogs?

Cynthia Thurlow: We feed what is considered to be grain-free, largely grain-free food. So Acana and Stella & Chewy's, and there's a couple other brands that are seemingly expensive that we give our dogs, but for me, it's the right decision. I have a dog that's 10 and one that's almost nine and they can walk minus the humidity in the summer they normally walk four or five miles a day. So, they're doing really, really well. Other than having yearly checkups at the vet, they rarely ever get sick. So that's worked really well for them that drives my husband crazy because with two dogs, two doodles that have to be groomed every month and have crazy expensive dog food, it ends up being a labor of love. Like I always say, "We love our dogs and this is what I feel is the best choice for them." If you look at them, they're super healthy and alert and smart and active, and they say they're a reflection of how we perceive their lives should be, and so they're joy in our lives. But how was your interview?

Melanie Avalon: It was absolutely amazing. I cannot recommend her book enough. Again, it's called The Forever Dog. She talks about everybody. When people I've had on my show, Jason Fung, Tim Spector, David Sinclair, Dom D'Agostino, literally, even if you don't have a dog, you will learn so much about human health and longevity, and health span and lifespan. It's just shocking, we think it's bad with processed foods for the human food. The pet food industry is, it's really shocking, like, what we're feeding our pets and how it's affecting their health.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's garbage.

Melanie Avalon: It's very eye opening. What's really interesting too, is she was saying that, for the book, she interviewed all these people, she would often ask them what they would feed their pets. And often it would be like this awkward silence. Where they would have a moment and think, "Oh, I'm feeding them," probably what it shouldn't be.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it's unfortunate because I got my first dog right out of college. And the vet at that time recommended a brand called Eukanuba, which I thought was the best dog food in the world, because I didn't know any better. And I had a Bichon Frisé, so I had a very small non-shedding dog, and she was just the sweetest, sweetest dog. And I came to find out the most conventionally made animal feed or animal food is really a byproduct of grains, and fillers, and a lot of foods that tend to be allergenic for pets. So, it was really very interesting. And obviously, I haven't had the opportunity to read her book or interview her. But I would imagine that the way that we feed our animals is in a large part comes from a place of ignorance. Like, I know, there's a really wonderful Facebook group that I'm a part of, where basically, pet owners can ask questions, and the vets in the group are wonderfully gracious with their time. Whenever nutrition comes up, they are very anti raw food. And I do occasionally do raw food for the dogs, but not often. They're anti raw food, they're anti grain, they're pro-grain anti, no grains, and keep citing literature about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy for dogs. And it's been very interesting, because I would imagine most veterinary specialists are like most medical trained professionals, and that we get little to no nutrition, like, truly get nutritional training, unless it's someone that's in the researching industry. And I would imagine, it's probably no different for vets, I would imagine by based on what I know.

Melanie Avalon: It definitely is. Actually that was a big part of what she talked about, and there's so many things that were just mind blowing. For example, I've been fascinated by this for a long time, and it's the fact that we have this idea often that it's not safe to feed our pets "human food" that will injure them or that they'll only be healthy if they eat pet food. And it's this fear based on, just not based on reality, but created by the pet food industry. Do dogs not eat real food?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it's funny. I have a labradoodle, and labs are known for being just prodigious food hounds. And he will eat just about anything. He'll eat sugar snap pea, he'll eat a cucumber, he'll eat a piece of meat, he would eat anything. My golden doodle is very discerning, will only eat protein. But it's really interesting to me, like when I buy them, when I would effectively call a treat, but it's literally dehydrated sweet potato or it's a fish skin that's been sourced from a healthy location. That's the kind of treats they get. It's not flour made biscuits. And things when people think of what like what a normal treat is like, but there's so much garbage, even going to the grocery store. If you buy your treats in the grocery store, how many of them have canola seed oils in them and flour. Our dogs, they're canines, they're carnivorous, they're really not meant to be ingesting flour or grains, in my estimation, based on my research, and so my very spoiled dogs get very expensive. Again, using the word treat, it's like a dehydrated sweet potato stick and it's literally just sweet potato and salt. It's mind blowing. And then isn't any wonder that these dogs are dealing with a large part of the animal population. They're overfed, they're under exercised, they're given these rancid seed oils, they're given inflammatory flour that should not be a part of their diet, and they're really meant to just eat meat. 

My vet that I had back in Northern Virginia was great. He used to say, "Listen, I have no problems if you give him sweet potato, if you give him a little bit of green beans, stay away from the fruit. Cooper likes blueberries every once in a while, I give him some blueberries, but he'll eat anything. So, we have to be careful. Like he'll counter serve, he's really [unintelligible [00:15:17]. He ate a block of cheese one night when we had a party.

Melanie Avalon: Well, speaking to everything that you just spoke about. The evolutionary diet of a dog is 50% fat, 50% protein. And now the amount of carbs at like you said, so much of conventional food now is actually very carb rich, because it's cheap. And it's a good filler, and it makes a good texture. And it's just doing an awful number on their health. And then in addition to that, there's often mycotoxins in pet food, it's high in AGEs, she has a whole chapter or section about that. It's just really, really a problem. And what's also really sad, I didn't know this, did you know that vets have the highest suicide rate of any profession?

Cynthia Thurlow: I've heard that, and I don't know if it's because there's not enough people going into the profession. And it's one of the few professions where they can actually euthanize animals as opposed to, traditional kind of allopathic medicine. We do everything we can to prolong life, and veterinary medicine, in conjunction with owners, they can help hasten an animal's demise. I don't know if it's because of-- there's probably a variety of factors is what I'm trying to say. But I was surprised/not surprised to learn that

Melanie Avalon: I think that's a huge part of it because not only is it the frustrations of the conventional medical system in general with being-- in general, not preventative, so being reactive, and then coming from a model where it can be hard to address the health of these pets for them, what you said, it's the only profession where you actually euthanize, so, yeah.

Cynthia Thurlow: I couldn't deal with that. I affectionately refer to the time we will not speak of with the vet, because Cooper's 10, and we just had his yearly vet visit, and he's doing well, and I told her, I said, "We refer to it in our house is the time we will not speak of," because there will be a time that we will have to have some tough conversations. And the one thing about pets that if you have a pet, then you understand this, we're on borrowed time from day one. We know that we're going to outlive our pets. And we have these perfect little beings for a period of time. Dogs and cats and other types of animals really teach us to be present and to be grateful, because each day is a gift, we don't know how many days we're going to have with our pets. So, you have to make it count.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. So, I will put a link in the show notes to the interview won't be out yet, but to her book. And I just want to emphasize, it's so approachable, again, so nuanced, and sciencey and deep, but it's very comprehensive, and how to navigate the pet food system and to find what works for you in your budget. If you want to go all out and make your own, if you want to still buy conventional food, like she makes it very accessible. So, I'll put a link to that in the show notes. Is there anything else new with you in your world before we jump into questions?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, just gearing up to launch some programs in September, that's our big focus for the month of August. So, IF:45, which is the 45-day intermittent fasting program and then Wholistic Blueprint, which is the 12-week program that allows women to do DUTCH testing and GI-MAP and other types of hormone testing. So, in my world, that's a large focus of the month of August, so for listeners, if they're interested in getting on the waitlist, we will put links in the show notes so that you can learn more about each program.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. 

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Shall we start off with a listener question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. So, this is from Nikki. Nikki says, "Cynthia and Melanie, I know you've touched on this from time to time, but I don't remember a lot of discussion on it on any of your podcast. If I'm wrong, please let me know. I'm pretty sure based on how my last period went that I have fibroids, really heavy period, soaking a pad once an hour and passing clots the size of golf balls. Prior to this, my period has always been light to moderate. Also, my stomach always looks bloated even when the rest of my body looks pretty fit and toned. Though I understand that could also be many other things like insulin resistance, cortisol, etc. I will get it properly diagnosed. But I'd like to go into that appointment with a good understanding of possible noninvasive treatments because everyone I know, my mother included, who had this ended up getting a hysterectomy, which I think sounds terrifying. I know Gin mentioned using Serrapeptase to clear hers, and yes, Melanie, I have your supplement and just started taking it. But what else? Should I take more than one Serrapeptase per day, does fasting help? What about nutrition or other supplements? Thanks all for your help. Nikki. P.S. Cynthia, I'm 40 years old."

Melanie Avalon: Awesome, Nikki. Well, thank you for your question. So. I'll just speak briefly to the Serrapeptase part of it. And then I was really excited because I wanted to have this question on, but fibroids is not my forte. But Cynthia said she knew a lot about the topic. So, it was perfect. But for the Serrapeptase. That is one of the reasons that people will often take that supplement. So, what it is, is it's a proteolytic enzyme created by the Japanese silkworm. When you take it in a fasted state, it actually goes into your bloodstream and breaks down problematic proteins in your body. And so, it can really help fibroids and that is the reason that Gin started taking it, and she did effectively clear it with hers. Just to answer your question about taking more than one per day, I think that's fine. I would dose up and see how you react. I personally take two per day. So, you could try starting with that. But see how you react, you could even take more. If anybody is interested, you can get it at avalonx.us. And the coupon code MELANIEAVALON will get you 10% off, but I will let Cynthia speak to the rest of it.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's super interesting about Serrapeptase. So, because you're 40, Nikki, you're very likely in perimenopause. What you're really speaking to is relative estrogen dominance. This is when your ovaries are producing less and less progesterone, you may not be ovulating every month. In response to that you have a relative estrogen dominance and more circling estrogen than progesterone. This is super common. This actually happened to me. I did not have fibroids, but estrogen dominance is what will feed those symptoms, you're experiencing, very heavy, very clotting periods. And conventional allopathic medicine will offer you options like synthetic oral contraceptives, they will offer you things like an IUD Intrauterine device. And ablation which goes in and actually destroys the lining of the uterus, or a partial hysterectomy, which is what you mentioned your mom had gone through. I don't think any of those are necessary per se. There are definitely a lot of things that you can do proactively before you ever need to get to that point. But, again, I would definitely have a conversation with your GYN or your primary care provider.

Estrogen dominance is a constellation of different symptoms. Again, largely I suspect yours is related to life stage, but it can also be related to poor liver detoxification, your gut health, if you're not getting enough fiber in your diet, if you're consuming too many processed sugars, I'm sure if you're a listener to this podcast, you probably aren't. But I just mentioned that along with stress. You can even if you err on the side of being someone that has polycystic ovarian syndrome, I just did a really great podcast with Dr. Felice Gersh on that, you can definitely check that out. You can actually get aromatization, which means you can aromatize testosterone to estrogen, which can contribute to more circulating estrogen. Even things like poor gallbladder function can also impact that. And the other thing to think about is that we were exposed to estrogen mimicking chemicals throughout our lifetime. And I find for many women, whether it's through a personal care products or environment or food, our perimenopausal years are really when we start to see this tipping over of a bucket. So, throughout our lifetime, we get exposure to these chemicals and then in perimenopause, everything kind of goes haywire.

So, things to think about are an anti-inflammatory diet. So really thinking about, are you eating gluten? Are you eating dairy? Are you drinking too much alcohol? [unintelligible 00:25:54] any processed sugars? There are specific herbs that we know that can be beneficial for estrogen dominance, things like turmeric and ginger, which I love, as well as supplements like Chasteberry and Milk Thistle. Milk Thistle, in particular is very helpful for liver detoxification. Really digging into gut health. So, doing a GI-MAP, which is a DNA based stool test, looking at a DUTCH, which is a dried urine and saliva-based test, making sure your blood sugar is properly managed. I find for a lot of people, the lifestyle changes first and then really leaning into nutrition. And then lastly, supplements, and then if it's not helpful or effective, seeking other options through your primary care or GYN's office, but you absolutely can navigate perimenopause.

Unless you've been told you have a fibroid, obviously your GYN could do an internal examination and then if necessary, can do an ultrasound to look for that. But I find most estrogen dominance symptoms are improved upon by lifestyle changes first, and not every woman in perimenopause needs to go on synthetic hormones, get an IUD, have an ablation or hysterectomy, if they're willing to put in the work. Obviously, fasting and eating less often can be certainly very, very helpful. I would be interested to see how you respond to serrapeptase. As Melanie mentioned, that may be very, very helpful for you. Keep us posted.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you, that was so overwhelmingly comprehensive and helpful. All right, so we have a question or some feedback on a question from Lucy, and the subject is, "My Story and Getting Started Again." And Lucy says, "I am a 28-year-old female from Wales, UK. I started listening to your podcast about a year ago. When listening, I fell in love with IF and starting my journey. I started researching IF, and I came across your podcast when I wanted to lose weight in January 2021. I've never been a large person, a UK size eight. But after having many infections, my metabolism basically shut down and I put on quite a bit of weight during the winter of 2020. The pandemic didn't help ha-ha. 

After starting IF, I felt amazing. I started running, my skin cleared up and I stopped having infections and I lost two stone in weight which is about 28 pounds. I felt I was getting intuitive with my eating and was fasting 20 hours of the day and had a four-hour eating window. Then July 2020, I suddenly started getting hungry all the time. Waking up and wanted breakfast, I never ate breakfast, even before fasting. So, this was strange. I remember when you said on the podcast about knowing how when your body is needing food and when it's just cravings. This wasn't cravings and I decided to listen to my body and I had an eight-hour window for a few days. I told myself that come Monday I'll try and get back to my normal fast. On that Saturday, I found out I was pregnant. So, I definitely think my body was giving me signs to eat for the baby. I didn't do IF during pregnancy of course, and now my baby girl is five months old. 

I'm finding it hard to get back into IF. I want to do it for my health. However, as I'm off work on maternity leave, I find I'm always reaching for snacks, also as I am taking the baby playgroups, etc. The other mothers and I often go to a cafe. I don't want to be that person who doesn't go because I'm fasting as this is the only social life I have at the moment. I can't really go and sit with just water. I don't like tea or coffee. The only thing I can think of is on these days I adjust my window to open and close at an earlier time. Any advice on this and how I can just get started again? Thank you. And again, sorry for the long email. I love the podcast. Best wishes, Lucy."

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Lucy congratulations on your baby. It isn't clear if you're breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, I do not recommend fasting, you are feeding your own baby and you don't want to restrict your food intake. If you are not breastfeeding and you're feeling like you're really struggling to recommit to fasting, maybe you need to just have a more relaxed feeding window. It could be that you have a 10-hour feeding window, maybe a nine-hour feeding window, I would encourage you to experiment a bit with either different types of herbal teas, like green tea, or black tea, or even adding things like high quality salt or cinnamon to your coffee to make it more palatable. There are compounds in bitter coffee and bitter tea that are beneficial in a fasted state. I myself learned to drink green tea, I'm not a coffee drinker by drinking it iced, so I would brew it, I would ice it, and then I would stick a straw on it and drink it. That was how I started doing it, because there's just so many benefits. But, again, it's not entirely clear if you are breastfeeding. And if you are breastfeeding, I would definitely recommend you hold off until you're no longer breastfeeding to get back to fasting. Melanie, do you have any suggestions?

Melanie Avalon: So, first of all, echoing what you said about, congrats on the baby. And also, the concerns about the breastfeeding or not. So, I'll just answer it based on assuming that it is a time that you'll be getting back to fasting and are not breastfeeding. I like what you said about the tea and the coffee and trying different varieties, that didn't occur to me, that's actually a good idea. I would challenge your idea, Lucy, that when it comes to the playdates and stuff. I think you have two options here. One, you say I can't really go and sit with just water, you actually can go and just sit with just water. And I say that just because we get a lot of fear surrounding social acceptance and what people will think and will it be weird, and if people are eating or drinking coffee, and I'm not like what will they think. But especially it sounds like this is something that you go to regularly. You really can go and drink water, and it might feel weird at first, but especially if this is something that you're doing a lot, people will adapt. And it's really a matter of how you feel about the situation. And you know what makes you feel good in your body, rather than what other people think. And that's just my personal opinion. I also think it opens up a lot of freedom to life when we don't have that concern and that anxiety surrounding us with like the fasting or the eating window. And maybe this is in part just me having done intermittent fasting for so long, and being so overwhelmingly concerned about in the beginning and having a lot of anxiety about it. And now I'm just like, "I don't care." Maybe you get to a point where you're over it, and you're like, "I'm just going to do what makes me feel good." 

For example, I went to a party last night and there was a dinner. I didn't eat the dinner, because it was definitely not food that would have made me feel well. Nobody thought anything of it. Like it's fine. I think people are a lot more concerned with what other people are thinking about them than they're thinking about you, for better or worse. So, that's my one thing. And then the second thing was you saying, could I adjust my window to open and close at an earlier time? And, yeah, you could do that too. That's totally an option. I think there's a lot of options here. And then as far as getting back into the fasting, again, you find yourself always reaching for the snacks. A few different things, I would look at the environmental cues surrounding that, because I know you are off works, you're at home, it's easier for you to reach those snacks. What sort of barriers can you put in place to change that habit? What sort of things are you reaching for? And if there's snacks, and this would be an easy thing to address if this is the case, and I don't know if this is the case. This might be hard to address if these are snacks that you have in the house for other people. But if these are snacks that literally you would just have for snacks, and they're not actually a part of anybody's meal in the house, just don't have them in the house. Make your environment as suitable as possible to you to encourage the habits that you want to have. You can start putting in some systems that you follow. So, you know maybe when you're eating in the house, you only eat at mealtime in the kitchen. And I know it sounds interesting because it sounds so simple to say, "Just don't do it." Like how can that be the answer? But it's sort of the answer because you can really exist in one or two places. You can exist in a mindset of the bright line eating concept. Or, you can exist in a world of where you have a system and you have boundaries and you have lines and it's just yes or no, on or off. So, you do eat snacks or you don't eat snacks, or you can exist in a world where you're fighting that and you maybe eat snacks and you try not to eat snacks and that mindset shift, I think can be huge.

So, if you can tell yourself, "I don't need snacks," then you can stop yourself from even engaging in it, because you're not going to have that debate each time of whether or not you're going to do it. I always referenced this book, again, I wish I had a different title because it makes it sound like it's only about binge eating, which it's not. But I really like Glenn Livingston's book Never Binge Again, it's really about engaging with the voice in our head that wants to encourage us to have any sort of eating behavior that we don't want to be engaging in and a reframe for how to address that. I really like that book. I've had him on my show, so I can put a link to that in show notes as well. It's funny because Cynthia's answer, I think, this is great, because we are giving a lot different perspectives, because Cynthia's answer, which I also agree with is maybe you just need to be more flexible with the window. I think that's great. On the flip side, if you do want to try to stick to a stricter eating window, I do think there are steps you can take to try to do that. And it's really just a matter of finding, which approach for you right now is what you want to be doing. Do you have thoughts about that?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think Glenn's book is such an incredible resource. I too, have been fortunate to connect with him. I think so much of our conversations in our heads. I reflect back on when my kids were little and certainly in the days of being on a maternity leave, and your days are a little more isolating because your kids are so dependent on you. And they're napping, and they're in diapers. And, your mommy interaction might be the only interaction you have with an adult during the day if your spouse is working outside the home. And so it can be very isolating. I think now at a different stage of life, like my kids are older, and I just don't have the bandwidth to even think about those things. But I remember thinking a great deal very thoughtfully about a lot of different health related issues at that time. So, give yourself grace. Melanie certainly provided a lot of really good resources for books and interviews that we've done with people that are leaders in this space. I would definitely lean into that. I think you're asking a lot of great and very thoughtful questions.

Melanie Avalon: I'm glad you brought that up because I was thinking this. It's something that I haven't had that experience of being a mom and going through this and being on the flip side. So, I'm really speaking from a place of no experience. I imagine it's probably a lot more harder than I imagined. I'm glad, Cynthia, you can bring that perspective to it as well. But either way, you got this, Lucy. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Shall we go to our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Next question is from Nikki. Subject is "Protein and autophagy." "Hi, Melanie and Cynthia, welcome to the podcast. Cynthia, I'm excited about this new dynamic. So, I'm wondering how much protein the process of autophagy generates. Melanie, we have talked about this before in your Facebook group, but that was a while back. I'm hoping maybe there's been more research on the subject. I'd love to get Cynthia's thoughts as well, especially as you're both big proponents of getting enough protein as I am. The two of you, along with other experts like Robb Wolf, Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, Vanessa Spina, Dr. Ted Naiman, all land somewhere in the vicinity of recommending roughly one gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight. Here's my question, how much should the ramp up of autophagy due to intermittent fasting affect your protein goals? In other words, how many grams of protein does autophagy generate? I use quotation marks because I don't know if I'm even thinking about it the right way. If we fast for 18 to 20 hours, for example, we have a lot of autophagy happening, shouldn't that mean we don't need to eat quite as much protein. But if that's true, how much? Is this even possible to answer? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Melanie Avalon: All right. This may be my most favorite question I've ever received for this show. I love this question. I have thought about this a lot. And unfortunately, I have no idea and the amount of time-- I spent so much time trying to find an answer and I could find nothing. I'm going to keep looking. I also reached out to people I thought might know the answer. Authorities, authors I've had on this Biohacking Podcast, and nobody knew the answer. I just wanted to include it to say that it's something I've thought about I don't know. I do wonder, though, if part of this, and this is just me hypothesizing and not knowing really what's happening, but there's been quite a few studies on fasting and muscle mass, very favorable for the effects on muscle retention. I mean, I don't know but I do wonder if, this is involved a little bit. But it's a really good question. And if anybody sees or hears at any point, the answer this question, please let me know. And if I ever have the honor of interviewing Peter Attia, I'm going to ask him this because I would love to hear his thoughts on it. Even though he seems to be-- I don't know, not as much in the fasting. His views on fasting are very interesting these days. Do you have any thoughts at all?

Cynthia Thurlow: I mean, nothing that is conclusive. I think the longer I fast and the more research that I look at, the more I'm a proponent of just remaining open minded the possibility that sometimes we don't have the answers. I am definitely very aligned with Ted Naiman in that. I'm not a huge fan of long fasts, especially for people who are at goal weight or healthy weights. And so, it's impossible to measure autophagy at this time, unfortunately. And I think there just needs to be more research, whether or not that's going to be information that we have accessible to us in the near or the long term. I'm not sure, but it's certainly a great question. Thanks, Nikki.

Melanie Avalon: I'm actually really surprised. I'm sure somebody studied this. I couldn't find it. And I don't know if it's that I can't, because for people who go down the rabbit hole of PubMed and stuff, sometimes when you're looking for an answer, it takes a while to figure out the keywords that you should be googling to find it. And then once you find the keywords, it like opens up this whole world that answers your question, because you have to figure out how people are talking about it in the clinical literature. And I was like, "Maybe if I can just find the right keywords, I'll be able to find the studies," but I found nothing. I'm going to keep looking. But it's a really interesting thing to ponder.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: All right. So, we have a question from Dana. The subject is "More Protein." And Dana says, "Hi, ladies, I asked this question on Facebook. And Cynthia asked me to send it here for many more people to see the answer. Cynthia, can you please direct me to where to find macros for my lifestyle? I have Hashimoto's and remission 10 years, age 64, five to 10 more pounds to lose, gluten and dairy free. IF approximately a five-hour window for two years and active lifestyle. I tend to feel better on low versus high fat. I did strict clean keto, less than 20 grams of carbs for one year, a few years back, and it really messed up my thyroid. My body seems to love carbs. Thank you. Thanks for all the things you do."

Cynthia Thurlow: Dana, thank you for your question. I would say first and foremost, there's no way to provide a macro breakdown for every single listener because there's so many different variables, you're obviously in menopause. I love that you're already doing gluten and dairy free. That's certainly very helpful, especially keeping Hashimoto's which for anyone who's listening who's not familiar with that, that is autoimmune hypothyroidism, so underactive thyroid. The first things that kind of really stand out to me is, are you varying your fasting window? I talk a great deal about this in my book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation, I love that you're active, and that you've determined that you do better on low versus high fat foods. I generally don't recommend anyone do sustained ketosis. Meaning, someone doing strict keto for a long period of time. I do think that we need a carb cycle for that low. Meaning, you want to kick yourself out of ketosis. And this is something that I try to document as much as I can on IG stories. Examples of meals that I'll put together on days when I'm lifting heavy, when I will increase my carbohydrate intake, and getting carbs from low glycemic berries, maybe I'm having squash or sweet potato, etc.

I would encourage you to vary what you're doing. I don't think anyone should do the same fasting window every single day, 24/7. I do encourage you to adjust your carbohydrate intake based on your physical activity. And I would definitely encourage you to vary what you're doing. I think that it's certainly super important to be doing strength training, to make sure you're getting high quality sleep. High quality sleep is if you're not measuring it on an Oura or a WHOOP band, waking up rested, having plenty of energy, managing your stress, all of which are very, very important. And really focusing in on a nutrient dense whole foods diet. So, protein centric diet 100 grams a day is what you want to aim for. So, more protein in that five-hour window because you could be that you're chronically under eating, if you're just having one meal in that five-hour feeding window. I hope that helps. How about you, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I agree with everything that you said. Something I'm really curious for me personally, is at least right now because I haven't hit perimenopause, I haven't hit menopause. And I have done strict keto diet. For me, personally, I felt a lot better, especially with intermittent fasting. Doing a high carb lower fat diet with intermittent fasting. What I'm really curious about is when you're at an older age, like perimenopause or menopause, this approach of having more carbs, can that be a metabolic fix for most people or am I going to hit menopause, for example, then not be able to do my high carb low fat anymore. But I do find that I think a lot of people get in these restrictive mindsets where they're doing a lot of fasting and they're doing a lot of ketos. And like Dana says they might experience thyroid problems or just not or even not the weight loss that they want. And they actually find a benefit when they do bring back the carbs. I think it's great that Dana is intuitive with her body and realizes that her body loves carbs. I do think it's important to-- when it's carbs, there's different types of carbs. So definitely finding the right type of carbs that work for you. I know she's literally asking us how to find the right macros that would work. But I would also encourage her to if she is working in the carb paradigm, she might do better with starches, for example, or she might do better with more like fruit-based carbs. 

For me, I do so well with fruit, starches, not so much. If I do starches, my blood sugars are high, I don't feel good, and it's really, really interesting. So, it's something where-- she wants us to direct how to find the right macros, but it's something she just literally has to test for herself. We can't know what's going to work better for her. I do think it's important for a lot of people to lose the carb fear, because I think a lot of people have carb fear.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's unfortunate because I cannot tell you how many people are paranoid. I remind people that there's different types of carbohydrates, like a processed carb, like bread or pasta is very different than having a root vegetable or a tart apple or, a small orange, very, very different. And depending on whether or not your insulin sensitive, and really the only way to know that is you need some lab work done, you can get a glucometer or continuous glucose monitor. Knowledge is power. And I find more often than not women are insulin resistant, perhaps even unknowingly if they're not particularly overweight. And they have no idea what the net impact of certain food choices are. And it could be as unique as each one of us. I talk very openly about the fact I can eat tropical fruits without any trouble. But if I eat a plantain, my blood sugar spikes, and it doesn't matter how I eat it, I've tried many different variations. I just don't eat plantains now. But I think that this requires more information, like really having a conversation with your internist, your primary care provider getting some baseline labs, I always say get that fasting insulin, get the fasting glucose, get inflammatory markers.

The other thing that I didn't mention, Dana, is that, depending on whether or not you're taking hormone replacement therapy that can impact your insulin sensitivity as well. We know estrogen is an insulin sensitizing hormone along with a little bit of progesterone, can be very helpful not only for your thyroid, but also for insulin sensitivity. So, a lot to unpack here, but hopefully we've given you some things to think about and consider, but carb fear is a huge problem. I agree with you, Melanie.

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Cynthia Thurlow: Next, we have a question from Angela. Subject is "IF and gargling saltwater and/or mouthwash." "Hello, ladies. I've been intermittent fasting since February of 2019, and will get a bad taste or smelly breath. I tried to drink water throughout the day and the peppermint drops you've mentioned in the podcast definitely help. But if it's related to bacteria, I'd like to gargle with salt water or mouthwash and I'm concerned it will break my fast. On a side note, I go for regular teeth cleanings every three to four months to help with wine and coffee stains. And I haven't had a cavity in quite a while. I love the IF lifestyle and it suits me well. I normally have a four-hour window, but I'm more relaxed on the weekend. But we usually maintain 14 to 16 hours of clean fasting on weekends. Thanks for everything. I really enjoy all of the podcasts and listen to them over again."

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, thank you, Angela, for your question. This is perfect timing. I actually interviewed last week, the cofounder of a company called Bristle. Did I tell you about Bristle, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, hmm-hm.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, my new obsession. So, they're so cool. It was so amazing to connect with a co-founder, I was blown away by the science that's going into this. They provide an oral microbiome test. And it's like a spit kit, a saliva test, super easy to do, you send it off. And then you get a profile of the oral microbiome in your mouth. And they give you the raw data of all the strains in your mouth, but then they also group it by how you compare to healthy people, bacteria wise when it comes to issues like halitosis, which is bad breath like Angela speaking of, also cavities, gum inflammation, and also gut inflammation. Then they make personalized recommendations for how to address it, and then you can retest. And so, like the recommendations, they basically list like specific ingredients, or even oral probiotics that might be beneficial. So, it's super cool. It might be a cool resource for Angela to try to maybe see what's going on. And so, you can go to melanieavalon.com/bristle, that's B-R-I-S-T-L-E and the coupon code MELANIEAVALON, will get you 15% off sitewide. And this is super amazing. It was just going to be 15% off for the one-time kit, but they said they would give it to me for this subscription, which is super amazing because the subscription is already discounted. So, you can get 15% off on top of that. So, I highly recommend that. 

To go to Angela's specific question. Gargling with salt water or mouthwash, so saltwater, zero concern about that breaking your fast. Mouthwash more iffy, it depends on the ingredients in the mouthwash. That said, you are not swallowing the mouthwash. So, you're not having that effect. But we do know that the flavors can have an effect on insulin and some mouthwashes are sweet. I've been trying so hard to find a mouthwash that's not sweet because I had one that I really, really liked. It was Desert Essence prebiotic plant based brushing rinse. Honestly, I don't know if they're just using that word probiotic because it's a keyword. I was looking at the ingredients. And I was like, "I'm not really sure if this is actually a probiotic," but maybe it is and I probably should have asked this when I interviewed bristles. I think I might send them a follow up email and ask them. I loved it because it was so minty, not sweetened. It never gives me the perception because I'll use it during the day. It doesn't give me the feeling or the perception at all that I'm breaking my fast. 

They've stopped. I don't know if they've stopped making it. It's really hard for me to find now, so I'm like on the hunt to find another one that I really like. But long story short, my opinion on mouthwash, and I'll be super curious to hear Cynthia's thoughts because we've talked about this topic a lot in the show, but I haven't heard Cynthia's thoughts on it. I wouldn't overwhelmingly stress about it. I would find a mouthwash that doesn't taste sweet and super flavored and I wouldn't stress about it like. When it comes to fasting, I think there are things to be really concerned about putting cream in your coffee. And then, there are things that I think aren't as big of a deal like, are you finding a minty mouthwash? Those are my thoughts on the mouthwash. Do you have thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I interviewed the CEO of Primal Life Organics. Trina Felber, who's a fellow advanced practice nurse, and we will link this in the show notes. She talks a great deal about, we have an oral microbiome, we have our gut microbiome, we have a vaginal microbiome and what effectively what mouthwashes do is they disrupt the oral microbiome, so I don't use any mouthwash products and generally recommend that we avoid them unless it's something very specific that's been designed that is not going to disrupt the oral microbiome.

And as someone who is completely anal retentive about my teeth, this is something that-- even when I go to my dentist who has a clean practice, I don't get fluoride, I don't get mouthwash there. I mean, we have these-- it's a negotiation. But I follow Trina's advice very closely, again, she's another advanced practice nurse. I find that things like saltwater and gargling are actually great. It's not only great for stimulating vagal tone, and your vagus nerve is this longest nerve in our body. It is very important for heart rate variability, it taps us into the parasympathetic, which is the rest and repose side of our autonomic nervous system. I always encourage gargling, humming, things like that. But I would avoid mouthwash unless you know it is not comprised of products that are going to kill off beneficial bacteria in the mouth.

Melanie Avalon: So, I'm really glad you brought that up, because I think it's a really important nuance to discuss. And it's another reason that I really like Bristle because I think before interviewing Bristle, I was very black and white about it. It shouldn't be having any of these compounds that wipe out things for that very reason. And I still lean heavily towards that. That said, reading the research from Bristle, if you do this test, some people have pathogenic strains in their mouth that actually might benefit from a temporary, short-term approach with certain mouth washes that have certain ingredients that might target that bacteria. And it's interesting, because one of those studies that they have, and by the way that the Bristle blog is great. If you have any questions about oral health and the oral microbiome, and all of this, they have blog posts about everything. And they're ridiculously nuanced. And they look at all of the studies, and I feel personally that they're pretty not biased when it comes to their agenda and their goals. So, like, there's a really, really fascinating study where they were looking at the effects of a beneficial probiotic on restoring beneficial bacteria populations in the mouth.

It actually had a more favorable effect if they first "wiped out" the oral native population with the certain ingredients and then have the probiotic compared to just having the probiotic. I think the mouth is like the beginning of a massive frontier that I think should probably be as important as gut health, and we're just not talking about it. In general, I do think people are probably doing more damage than not by having these antiseptic mouthwash is just wiping out everything all the time. So, I think it needs to be a more measured approach and a more informed approach. And that's why I really like Bristle, for example, because then you can see, do I have pathogenic bacteria that I potentially need to be addressing compared to-- because if you don't, then you definitely shouldn't be having those ingredients. If you do, it might be something to think about and what approach are we going to take to address it? I'm just very excited about this topic and what we continue to learn in the future.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I think, for me, the understanding that there are these different microbiomes in the body, and they all impact one another. So, if you have a lot of dental caries, or have a lot of gingivitis, or a lot of mouth issues that can impact the health of your gut microbiome, your gut microbiome can also be impacted by your vaginal microbiome. I mean, it's all interrelated. And as someone that's at a different life stage, it's something that suddenly I've become very interested in. As an example, my husband, from the time that I met him 20 years ago, always use Listerine mouthwash. And to him, having his mouthfeel tingly was a sign that it was clean. And, boy, was he disappointed to learn he was actually killing off beneficial bacteria in his mouth. And so, I've got him completely weaned from that habit. But he misses to this day, he misses that feeling that tingling in his mouth. And so obviously, if Melanie and I come across products that allow us to not kill off the beneficial bacteria, we'll definitely make sure we pass those along as well.

Melanie Avalon: One last oral health related question for you-- oh, wait, before that, Cynthia, you're talking about the vaginal microbiome and how these things can affect each other. There was a really interesting study sort of recently. I don't know, I say that a lot. It was probably a few months ago. Looking at SIBO, I don't know if you saw this, because we often think that SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is from colonic bacteria in the colon, migrating up to the small intestine, which very likely, maybe it was actually positing that, in part might be the oral "bad strains" from the oral microbiome migrating down. So, it's really interesting.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's all interrelated, that's what most people aren't talking about. It's not like there's an ecosystem in the gut that doesn't communicate the rest of the body at all.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Do you do oil pulling?

Cynthia Thurlow: No. I do tongue scraping. And then I have Primal Life Organics' tooth powder and like a tooth serum. And then I have their-- it's like a tooth whitening product.

Melanie Avalon: They don't have a mouthwash, right?

Cynthia Thurlow: Hmm-hm.

Melanie Avalon: I'm on the hunt, because I have an oral breath fixation. And I'm on the hunt to find-- I really liked that one I was using and the fact that they're not making any more it makes me so sad. I'm paying an arm and a leg to like, because on Amazon they'll have like the last few bottles from third party sellers. The amount of money I'm paying for this mouthwash, because I'm trying to like get all the last bottles.

Cynthia Thurlow: You're like, "I must have them all."

Melanie Avalon: I know. It's bad. All right. I think we have time for one more question. This is from Barbara. The subject is "Over 70 Women and IF." And Barbara says, "I'm very interested in IF. I need to lose 80 pounds, at least. I scrolled through all your success stories. Any stories you've heard of 72 plus year old women who have had joint replacements, who have lost their weight with IF." I love these questions where I haven't heard Cynthia specific answer yet. It's like I'm listening to the podcast. So, yeah.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, thank you for your question, Barb. I would say first and foremost, there's a lot of things that can impact, significant weight loss. And I would make sure that you have a conversation with your primary care provider internist, because if you're taking any medications right now, for blood pressure, or insulin resistance, or cholesterol, you may need adjustments, but I've had many menopausal women who have had significant weight loss improvement, or that have been struggling weight loss resistance, in conjunction with intermittent fasting and changing their diet. So, to say one without the other is really putting you at a disadvantage. So, eating less often combined with an anti-inflammatory diet, and that could look like not eating bread, not eating pasta, maybe you're getting carbohydrates from other sources. But if you have more than 80 pounds to lose, I would want to combine that with-- I know you mentioned that you had some joint replacements, so I'm not sure if you can do water aerobics, where you're being taught by an instructor who is knowledgeable about women that have had joint replacements, it'll be gentle to your knees, maybe your hips and your shoulders. Finding ways to be as active as possible, along with high quality sleep, and managing your stress because there's no one in the past two years who hasn't had more issues with higher amounts of stress than usual.

When it comes to deciding what fasting window is appropriate for you. If you are coming from a methodology where you are consuming three meals a day and snacks, the kind of way that I walk women through this as you stop snacking as number one, that will force you to restructure your meals. Even if you're just having two meals in your day, it's going to force you to increase your protein. I'm going to encourage you to reduce the amount of carbohydrate in your diet. I'm not saying anti-carb, but getting your carbs from non-starchy vegetables, salad, arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, and then adding unhealthy fats as appropriate, is really a great way to go, and to not eat from dinner to breakfast. That's the next step. But I would absolutely positively encourage you to have a conversation with your internist, your primary care provider, your NP, whomever it is that you see before you engage in intermittent fasting. Just to make sure they may need to monitor you more closely, if you're on blood pressure medications or diabetes medication, so that they can determine if they need to make adjustments and those medications, but definitely keep us posted. Melanie, do you have anything you want to add?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, just the only thing I would add is, I'm so fascinated by the trajectory of aging. I remember how you talked about this in your book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation which everybody should get. And you talk about how fasting can be for older women maybe safer. When you're in your menstrual cycle years and your fertility years that it can be more of an issue with over fasting but when you're older, that's a little bit less of an issue. Am I saying that correctly? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: What I am so fascinated by is the dichotomy of that coupled with, on the flip side, the increased need for protein when you are older. Even people in the low protein camp, like vegan people and Valter Longo, even they say, when you're older that there's definitely an increased protein need after, I think, they usually say after age 60, maybe? I'd have to double check that exact age. So, it's this interesting nuance where, yes, fasting can be very helpful and beneficial and even easier and even, potentially "safer." I'm not a medical doctor, but trying to communicate that concept with you also need more protein. I think the nuance of that is really important in that, yes, you can do the fasting to lose weight, but you've got to be getting adequate protein. And so, you've got to do an approach that will ensure that you get adequate protein. Yeah.

Cynthia Thurlow: And I would imagine, I mean, this is probably the norm is just about everyone listening unless they know otherwise is chronically under eating protein. And protein intake, in particular, for those that are middle aged, and even older than 65, we know that our protein needs and increased substantially because we don't break it down as effectively. And so, we have to almost over bolus ourselves. Most of the patients that I've taken care of over the last 20 years that are dealing with weight loss resistance, or obesity or being overweight and just struggling in those areas. They're not eating enough protein. So, protein is satiating, protein helps the muscle protein synthesis, but in the context of a young woman who has 80 pounds to lose and is very interested in intermittent fasting, I would encourage you to take little steps. You don't have to do anything drastic, not even snacking every day, not eating between dinner and breakfast can have a huge net impact on weight loss resistance.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I'm very glad that we're so aligned on this concept.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: Also, I'm super excited that we got five listener questions in to make up for last week where we had one listener question,

Cynthia Thurlow: But it's all about balance, listeners. We're always striving for balance.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, so that's an average of three questions per episode, which I think is probably our average. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode280. The show notes will have a full transcript and links to everything that we talked about. So definitely check that out. Then you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon, and Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Anything from you, Cynthia, before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, keep the questions coming. I mean, we appreciate that we're getting so many because it allows us to keep the podcast really nicely organized, but don't feel like there's no topic that's off that we're not willing to face and chat about. So, don't feel at all uncomfortable. There's probably 20 other people that have the same exact questions and maybe don't have the nerve to ask it. So, nothing is off limits.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Thank you for saying that. I cannot agree more. All right. Well, this has been so great. And I will talk to you next week.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good.

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Nov 07

Episode 238: Bingeing, Over Restriction, Shorter Fasts, Fasting For Women, mTor Activation, High Protein Vs. Low Protein, Medical Tests, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 238 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!

PREP DISH: 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! The Meals Are All Gluten-Free, Keto, Or Paleo, Which Is Fantastic If You're Already Doing So, But Also A Wonderful Way To Try These Out With No Feelings Of Restriction! Get A Free 2 Week Trial With The Paleo, Keto, And SUPER Fast Menus (plus More!) At prepdish.com/ifpodcast!

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 magbreakthrough.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon 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!

5:10 - 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 Quizmelanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

The Delay, Don't Deny Community

Stay Up To Date With All The News And Pre-Order Info About Melanie's New Serrapeptase Supplement At melanieavalon.com/serrapeptase!

20:35 - PREP DISH: Get a free 2 week trial At prepdish.com/ifpodcast! You'll get weekly gluten-free and Paleo grocery and recipe lists!!

22:20 - Listener Feedback: Carre - Episode #214 Binging Question

26:15 - Listener Feedback: Evelyn - follow up; donating blood

34:15 - Listener Q&A: Piia - Too much fasting for my body?

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

52:10 - BIOPTIMIZERS:  Go To magnesiumbreakthrough.com/ifpodcast And Use Code IFPODCAST10 To Get Your Discount And Free Gifts Today!

54:55 - Listener Q&A: Kathy - Tests?

Go To insidetracker.com/melanie And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

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

Try Zoe at ginstephens.com/zoe!

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 238 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 14-pound free range humanely raised 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 the 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 is 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 eight 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 a free 10 to 14-pound turkey. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to sign up. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to receive a free 10 to 14-pound turkey in your first box. I'll put all this information in the show notes.  

And one more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds including endocrine disrupters which mess with our hormones, obesogens which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. 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.  

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is episode number 238 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 great. Long time no talk. 

Melanie Avalon: I know--. I know, like two weeks, maybe? 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I was in Arizona for five days for a conference. It was amazing. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited. Anything you'd like to share about it?  

Gin Stephens: Well, I do want to share one thing that was really cool. You know all about the Delay, Don't Deny social network. I talked about the issues that we were having with technology, and why we switched platforms, right? So, we switched to a different platform. Circle is the name of it. And gosh, it's been I think like almost a month since we made the switch to the new platform and started migrating different members over. For anybody who wants to know more about that, it's a ginstephens.com/community. But this is what is so very exciting. After we made the mistake and ended upon the wrong platform, by the way, the conference I went to was for healthcare professionals, wellness professionals that sort of thing, and a lot of physicians there, but one of the main mantras of this community is take action even if your action is imperfect action, that made me feel better about making a bad choice the first time, take action even if it's imperfect action. So, that's what we did.  

We took imperfect action, but then we were like, "Oh, we got to do something different." So, we changed the platforms. But this entire health and wellness community announced at the conference that they are also leaving Facebook. Leaving it completely and going to the same exact platform that I've already moved to. It's so exciting for like many reasons. Number one, we looked at everything and we realized the place we had chosen wasn't working out technologically. We looked at everything out there, and I'm like, "I really don't want to make another mistake," because I owe it to the community to not make a mistake. So, we looked at everything and this is the one that felt right to me. So, I'm so glad that they agree.  

But the other thing that's so exciting is that they are very powerful in the health and wellness world, this community, and there is 0% chance they will allow the platform to be buggy or have technological problems. So, I have now got the power of this huge group. They met with the founders. They're not going to put up with bugginess. So, I just feel like all the mistakes we made with choosing the wrong platform, the technological problems, all that, I just felt like this big relief off my shoulders like, "Okay, not only are we in good hands, but we've got the backing of a very powerful community that is not going to let it be bad." So, oof. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, that is nice. That's very exciting.  

Gin Stephens: Isn't that nice? Yeah? I was like--, I just feel like this is just felt like a new beginning.  

Melanie Avalon: Awesome.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. And so people are already loving the community and that makes me happy. It's been a relief because you don't want to bring something to people and then it's like frustrating. Because you feel so responsible even though every decision we made was in good faith. We're walking away from a contract that was tens of thousands of dollars because it was such a bad platform. You just sometimes have to just cut your losses, but you just really don't want to make a mistake again. So, anyway. 

Melanie Avalon: The pressure is enough the first time around. So, having a knock on while the first time-- I can just imagine the pressure was huge to find the right platform. 

Gin Stephens: The community was amazing. People tried so hard to connect on it even with the frustrations of the-- When you're trying to post on the live feed and it jumps and you can't even see what you're trying to comment on. People were amazing and the way they connected, they had Zoom's like the people from England would get together, and we would have coffee and so people made the best of it and I cannot be more grateful.  

Melanie Avalon: Awesome.  

Gin Stephens: But now, we're somewhere good. [laughs] Anyway, that was it. Sorry. 

Melanie Avalon: So, for listeners in the show notes at ifpodcast.com/episode238. We'll put links to the new platform. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, so many things. Three really quick things to share. One, I interviewed--, I already told you this, but we've been wanting to interview Robb Wolf on this show for a deep dive into electrolytes. So, it's really crazy, Gin, how it worked out. We had him booked and Gin just happened to be gone, and so it's awkward sometimes for three of us on an episode. So, we're like, "Okay, I'll just do the interview." 

Gin Stephens: We'll just do it.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.  

Gin Stephens: It was exactly the right time because I was in a whole other state. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, it was perfect. The episode is two hours. So, for listeners if you missed episode 237, definitely listen to it. And I already told Gin this, but I had an incredible moment at the end because I almost started crying because I was telling him just how great, oh, I'm starting to cry now. Just how grateful I am for him, because reading all of his books, like reading The Paleo Solution, it's the reason I changed my diet, and it's the reason I became really obsessed with how food affects our bodies, and then I just had been following him since then and that was around 2012-ish. So, I was saying that, I was like, "I'm not going to cry," and then he was like, "Oh, I might cry," and I thought he was kidding, but then when he responded to me, he actually sounded teary. So, it was just an amazing moment. It was really amazing. But the episode was amazing. We answered so many listener questions. So, it's not just an interview. We probably answered like 30 listener questions from you guys. So, definitely check that out. That was one.  

Two was, I posted this on my Instagram, an update about Whole Foods guy, and I got so many-- People are so invested in this, Gin.  

Gin Stephens: I believe it. Yeah.  

\Melanie Avalon: He might be listening now. I don't know--. I don't know. So, I teased the story on my Instagram and 30 people were like, "Tell me what happened." So, I went into Whole Foods this weekend and he was there. So, I just walked straight up to him. Gin, you're in my head now. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, my God, I love it. I love it. 

Melanie Avalon: I walked straight up to him, and I was like, "Hi." [laughs] I was like, "I have to tell you something." [laughs] He was like, "What?" I was like, "Well, I'm still super embarrassed about how I just walked up to you that time." He was like, "Don't be embarrassed." I was like, "Well, also, I'm a podcaster. So, I might have shared that story on the podcast. So, it's possible that 50,000 people now know about you." But I was like, "Don't worry. They don't know your name." He thought, it was hysterical and asked how he could listen.  

Gin Stephens: That's so funny. Hello, Whole Foods guy. 

Melanie Avalon: He's listening. Yeah, he was like, "How can I listen? I was like, "Well-- so yeah." So, that's that--. Then the third thing is that, I have a super exciting announcement. I think I can announce this now. You know how with the serrapeptase supplement that we were developing. I'd have to text the guy making this after and make sure this is okay. You know how I was saying that we've been researching all the serrapeptases on the market. All of them had fillers, it's sneaky. So, we were trying to formulate it without fillers and we've been doing all these lab tests, and basically, the issue-- So, I've learned so much about the supplement industry.  

Some supplements basically require--, there's two things. There're fillers in case people are curious. Fillers that's just to fill up the capsule. So, some supplements, the actual material, the active ingredient is not big enough volume wise to fill up a capsule. So, it needs to filler. Some ingredients and/or some ingredients need a, what's the word?  

Gin Stephens: Binding agent?  

Melanie Avalon: So, it doesn't clump in the machine. There's a word for it and I'm forgetting. It's basically like a binding agent, and then some need both. Serrapeptase needs--, I think it needs both. So, it was really important to me to find because a lot of supplements use steroids, which have been linked to toxicity, palmitates, which have been linked to toxicity rise which is pretty benign, but some people have gluten allergies, you don't have a problem with that. Cellulose often, but that can't really be used as the binding agent, a lubricator. That's it. Its lubrication. So, I was like, "What do we do?" So, we tried so many things, and I'm so happy.  

We're going to be able to make it with pure MCT. We're going to have to do it in small batches like they're going to have to reformulate the machines, especially, to make this. But pure MCT oil was the only thing I was really comfortable with oil wise, and we think it's going to make it--. We don't know, but it might make it more bioavailable as well. I'm just so excited. So, friends, this is going to be literally the best serrapeptase on the market. The cleanest "fillers" and the only one in a glass bottle. Okay, that was long but I'm just so excited. [giggles] Yeah, so, if listeners would like to get on the pre-order list, because we're anticipating that it's probably going to sell out. The link for that is melanieavalon.com/serrapeptase. S-E-R-R-A-P-E-P-T-A-S-E, and we're going to do an amazing preorder special, probably tiered. So, basically, the first X amount of people who order will get it at the lowest price ever, and then it'll go up from there, but super excited.  

But really quick, what is serrapeptase? If you're not familiar, it's a supplement created by the Japanese silkworm. You take it in a fasted state, it breaks down proteins that build up in your body. So, it can address things like allergies. If your immune system is reacting to protein buildup, so, it clears my sinuses like none other. It can breakdown fatty deposits, studies have shown, it can help reduce cholesterol, breakdown amyloid plaque, which is found in Alzheimer's, breakdown fibroids, it's an anti-inflammatory, and it can rival NSAIDs for pain reduction, so things like Advil. It's amazing. I'm sorry that was long, but I'm really excited. 

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm excited for you. I know, it feels great to be figuring it out, and there's just so much to learn along the way, right? 

Melanie Avalon: I'm learning so much. So, I'm want to make all the supplements now. If you had to make a supplement, what would you make? 

Gin Stephens: Well, I guess, a magnesium maybe? I don't know, that's the one [laughs] that I've taken regularly for so long, and it's made such a big difference in my life with sleep and everything. So, it would be magnesium.  

Melanie Avalon: You know what, that's actually--, this was not planned, that was perfect. Listeners, there is an ad running on this show for BiOptimizers and I actually just recorded it. So, it's really fresh on my mind. 

Gin Stephens: And they've got a great magnesium. So, maybe, I don't need to make one. But they've got a great one. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: Well. Yeah, so, literally, the ad that's running-- this episode airs November 1st and they're running a go find the ad listeners and listen to it because it's all about their Black Friday special, which is--  

Gin Stephens: Oh, it's a good special. Yeah.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's a really good special and they're focusing on magnesium, and they're giving away lots of free stuff. So, check out that ad.  

Gin Stephens: The other thing I would make, if I could make a supplement would be essential vitamins, but out of Whole Foods. You know the ones that are made out of Whole Foods instead of like weird synthetic things, because we get nutrients from food. So, I would do something like that if I could, but things like that exist already.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, now, and I know so obviously, the supplements I take, they exist, and I take them, and I feel well. I actually don't feel good about the serrapeptases now. People are asking me now until mine comes out which one to take and I'm like, "Well, now, I can't recommend any of them, because I know what I know." 

Gin Stephens: That is one reason I stopped taking serrapeptase completely. I'll be honest with you.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? 

Gin Stephens: Well, because I just like, I'm very, very choosy, you know? I'm so choosy about what I will take and I don't trust. I do not trust. But oh, oh, oh, I haven't said this yet. I actually got to meet Wade Lightheart face to face at the conference. He was at the conference. So, it was Todd White from Dry Farm Wines. I got to meet him face to face at the conference. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I'd like, "Hello, Wade, nice to meet you." [laughs] Melanie says, "Hello." 

Melanie Avalon: I know. Oh, wow. 

Gin Stephens: We drank Dry Farm Wines the whole time by the way.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I bet.  

Gin Stephens: They sponsored the conference and that was the wine they served. So, only Dry Farm Wines was available. 

Melanie Avalon: That's amazing. Oh, I love that.  

Gin Stephens: I know. It was so fun.  

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, Wade is one of the founders of BiOptimizers, and Todd is the founder of Dry Farm Wines. Oh, that's amazing. 

Gin Stephens: Todd was running around pouring everybody wine. I mean it was great. 

Melanie Avalon: I bet. [laughs] Yeah, that's what I was going to say was like, really the only brands I really trust are BiOptimizers. I like ThorneI like pure encapsulations. None of them make a pure serrapeptase. But I basically just want to make everything that I'm currently taking, make my own version. 

Gin Stephens: I don't blame you. Not one single bit.  

Melanie Avalon: I might as well, then I'll feel really good about what I'm taking.  

Gin Stephens: Well, because you'll know exactly what's in it.  

Today's episode is sponsored by Prep Dish. I want you to think through your day. What are the hectic daily moments you dread? For many of us, it's 5 PM when you realize the dinner hour has somehow snuck up on you again and you have no plan. Naturally, this is also the time young kiddos start losing it. Trying to throw together a healthy meal amidst that chaos is just plain hard. Even though, my kids are grown, I remember those days well. Often, I would just hit the drive through again. Prep Dish is the best way for busy people to get healthy meals on the table without the stress. Subscribers receive an email every week with an organized grocery list and instructions for prepping meals ahead of time. This means dinnertime is super quick and easy every day.  

The best part, Prep Dish has weekly superfast menus. This means in addition to gluten free paleo, and low carb, or keto menus, subscribers now receive a new superfast menu each and every week. These menus require only an hour to prep the week's food, and we're not talking boring pasta or plain chicken. Superfast menus include items like shrimp tostadas, slow cooker sausage and kale soup in smothered mushroom chicken with mashed potatoes. The founder, Allison is offering listeners a free two-week trial to try it out. I mean, what's better than free? Nothing. Check out prepdish.com/ifpodcast for this amazing deal. Again, that's prepdish.com/ifpodcast for your first two weeks free. And now back to the show.  

Melanie Avalon: 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 subject is: 'Episode 214 binging question.' And Carrie says, "Thank you so much. You've answered my question about binging. When opening my window on Episode 214 and your feedback was wonderful." A side note. Gin, it's exciting when we get feedback saying that what we suggested worked, because normally we don't hear back. So, it's like, "Well, I hope that helped." [laughs] She says, "Melanie, I listened to the Glenn Livingston Podcast, and I just purchased his book and can't wait to read it. What a helpful guy he is." 

Gin Stephens: Can I say a little caveat about that? Not everyone resonates with his book. I got a personal message from somebody the other day. She's like, "I read it and it didn't really click with me." [laughs] She's just like, "Is it just me?" I'm like, "No." It is the right message for some people, but not the right message for others, the way that he phrases things. Some people it rubs in the wrong way and other people, it's exactly what they need to hear. So, I just wanted to put that out there. So, if you are someone who's read it and you're like, "That just rubbed me the wrong way," that's okay.  

Melanie Avalon: It's very interface and it's a very intense approach to everything. If it works for you, it works really well. It could be a game changer.  

Gin Stephens: Some people need that kind of tough love, right?  

Melanie Avalon: It's also a concept that may or may not even work for people, but it works really well for me, and it works really well for a lot of people. But if it doesn't help you, it's like anything. Everybody's unique and individual.  

Gin Stephens: Exactly. But if you're somebody who read it and you're like, "What? This isn't--" Just know, that's okay. It's not the approach that works for everybody. But for the people that it does work for, it's fabulous. 

Melanie Avalon: I think the Kindle version is either always free and/or his website. You can always get it for free somewhere.  

Gin Stephens: Like through Kindle Unlimited?  

Melanie Avalon: I think so. Yes. So, I believe the Kindle version usually will always be free. It's always accessible somehow. So, nothing to lose their money wise. Back to Carrie's feedback. She says, "I've been playing around with my IF window now, and on days where I am training more, I will open sooner if I feel like I need to. I typically have a window now from one to seven. Some days, I fast longer and some days, I open it at 11 AM. I took Gin's advice and started to eat for fuel and look at food as fuel for my workouts, and I now perform so much better. I eat lunch and dinner now, and we'll have fruits and veggies in between to snack on usually closer to when I open my window. Every day, I now open my window with a greens powder mixed with some electrolytes and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to help start the digestion process. This has helped so much in addition to playing around with the window.  

On days where I am hungrier, I just eat more and earlier, not being as strict has helped a bunch. I'm 5'4" and will be 24 next month, and I've gotten down to 130 pounds and I feel great. I do hope to lose five more pounds, but if I don't that's okay. I might just throw my scale away like Gin. LOL. I feel great and have been swimming, biking, and running faster than I have in years, my clothes fit better, and I even fit into an old pair of size two Express jeans from my freshman year of college that had been in the back of my closet for years now. I still do love my sweets, but I do not crave them like I did before. And if for some reason I do, then I'll usually go ahead and have something, but it doesn't lead to that binge effect anymore. Thank you both so much for all your wisdom and knowledge. You've helped me so much these past few years and I am such a fan of IF. Definitely the lifestyle for me and I am now trying to convince my boyfriend to do it. Thanks again, Carrie, and she said that yes, we did pronounce it right the first time. Awesome. Shall we go on to our next feedback? 

Gin Stephens: Yep. We have something from Evelyn and the subject is: 'Follow up donating blood.' "Hello, ladies. I just heard my question being read on Episode 229. Then, also the RN reply on 233. Thank you for filling this topic. Ladies you said you wished you knew what my experience was then after giving blood that day. My first time giving when they almost turned me away when just fine. I was fasted and never had any trouble. At this point, I've given blood both fasted and not fasted. Meaning, I ate a small breakfast so that I can honestly say, "yes, I've eaten, LOL." Both ways work for me. I don't get dizzy or have symptoms later in the day. I like what you said, "Do what's best for you. Once again, listen to your body." Also, dizziness is not about blood sugar, but rather blood pressure. Yes, that makes sense now that Melanie says that, but I was focused on the "need to eat."  

The mission behind giving blood is bigger than my need for keeping the fast. So, if needed four times a year, I can break my fast early or like you suggested, book my appointment later in the day. What an easy solution. It was also nice to hear from the RN and her input too. Again, ladies many blessings to each of you as you continue this good work. Sincerely, Evelyn." 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, I love this feedback from Evelyn. It's definitely really unique. I still encourage people if they're at all nervous about fainting that they do eat before, especially, since I fainted. Again, I'm really struggling now, having fainted recently, I'm so worried, it's going to happen again. For example, yesterday I did Emsculpt. Have you heard of Emsculpt?  

Gin Stephens: Not really.  

Melanie Avalon: It's muscle stimulation. So, it's the equivalent--. I'm doing it on my biceps and triceps. It's the equivalent of 20,000 curls in a 30-minute session. It stimulates your muscle because your brain subconsciously limits your muscles from going to their full, there's a word for it. Basically, their full potential of what they can do. If you're doing muscle building it bypasses that. So, it's like a deeper stimulation that you could ever get doing it on your own. It builds muscle just laying there. It was a little bit unpleasant and not something that would make you--, I didn't faint. But it's not something that would ever have triggered thoughts of fainting or anything like that. But now that I recently did, I'm like, "Oh gosh" I started feeling like a little weird. I was like, "What if I faint?" I need to work with my therapist on this, because now it's going to be like a trigger. Now whenever I start feeling like a little off, I'm like, "Oh, no. [laughs] What if I pass out?" So, you said, you had not fainted, right?  

Gin Stephens: No, I've never fainted.  

Melanie Avalon: Huh. Yeah, so, I'm really happy for Evelyn. [laughs] She can make it. The feedback that we've been getting from most people have been people who successfully give blood. I don't think we've received any feedback from people who have fainted giving blood. But what's our official recommendation? Do what feels right for you? 

Gin Stephens: Well, my official recommendation is, I am not a giving blood expert. So, I would always just ask them, "What do you want me to do?" And I would do that. But if you find that you give it in the fasting state and it works well, who am I to say not to do that also? [laughs]. So, that's what I always say. Because I don't want to give you a recommendation, and then you faint, you're like, "Gin said, I could do it." No, I'm not saying you can do it. I'm not saying to do it, I'm not saying not to do it. Ask the blood donation center, ask your doctor, but if you do decide to do it, pay attention to your body. They've got food there if you need it.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, they do.  

Gin Stephens: Right? I think they do. They've got snacks if you need it, they give you snacks after you're done.  

Melanie Avalon: They do recommend to eat before, right?  

Gin Stephens: Yeah.  

Melanie Avalon: Because she said-- 

Gin Stephens: Probably, yeah, I think they do. I'm never ever, ever going to give someone the advice to ignore what a medical professional in the field tells you. Never. Even if I in my mind thought they might be wrong, I would not say ignore that. I might say try to ask someone else and see. That's what a second opinion is all about. There are many things that if we ask five doctors, we will get five different recommendations. But the key is that they are the one supervising you and they're also trained to do that.  

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I think you said that well.  

Gin Stephens: So, my official recommendation is that "Don't ask me." [laughs] Ask somebody, who that is their job. Now, if you'd like to talk about whether you should have your child tested for the gifted program or analysis, no, I'm kidding. [laughs] By the way, Abel James just interviewed me. You knew this because I told you for his podcast, it's coming out near the end of the year at some point. He's like, "Let's talk about the gifted program." And I thought, that was fun.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?  

Gin Stephens: He wanted to talk about school, and education a little bit, kids. Yeah. I love talking. No one ever asks me that. Wait, does he have kids? 

Melanie Avalon: No. But he has a really wonderful like poetry book. That would be great to read kids. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, no, I didn't know that. He is a great guy. That was super nice. You said he was, you were right.  

Melanie Avalon: He's the guy we're like--, "He's the nicest guy." But really and then when you meet him, you're like, "Oh, he really is." 

Gin Stephens: He's so nice. His voice is just cheerful. Every word sounds like a smile. 

Melanie Avalon: I know. [laughs] I am like, "And his voice is the perfect voice for announcer type." It's  just a very beautiful voice. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Anyway, he was so nice, and he had a copy--. Did I tell you he had a copy of Clean(ish) and I haven't even seen one yet?  

Melanie Avalon: Yes, and Gin doesn't even have a copy. [laughs]  

Gin Stephens: No. I didn't even know that they were already printed up, and like this is the early reader edition. But usually, the author gets one pretty early, not other people. But I was like, "Let me say it." He held it up. It was beautiful. He said, he loved it. He loved Clean(ish). That made me so happy.  

Melanie Avalon: Wait, it comes out beginning of January, right?  

Gin Stephens: January 4th, yeah.  

Melanie Avalon: Gin, we have to book you for my show.  

Gin Stephens: Well, I would love to.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Making a note. Can you send me a copy of the book? 

Gin Stephens: Well, probably, they can. [laughs] They could send it to Abel James. I'm going to be on Cynthia Thurlow's podcast soon, and I was like, "Let's get Cynthia a copy." They just sent her the electronic version. But I could get you the electronic version any time. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. If I can get both that'd be awesome, because like--  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. There's something about a paperback.  

Melanie Avalon: I like posting it on Instagram.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I'm so glad that he said he liked it. I figured if he hated it, he wouldn't have said anything. But the fact that he said he really liked, it was a good sign. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Yeah, and what I really loved was, I talked to Gin after that interview, and we were talking about the podcast high feeling, because with my other show, I'm interviewing people like Abel James all the time. So, I'm always getting this high. Gin got to experience it.  

Gin Stephens: Well, it's true. I'm on a lot of podcasts, but this was the first time I had been talking about Clean(ish). It was my first Clean(ish) interview, and I've been on other high-profile podcasts. But this was a pretty high profile one, and somebody that I admired because I remember him from back in the day when he was on that TV show, My Diet Is Better Than Yours. Did you watch that TV show? 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I thought it was on Fat-Burning Man TV show or something. 

Gin Stephens: No. He was on a reality show called My Diet Is Better Than Yours, and there were several experts with different diets, and his was intermittent fasting.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes. Now, it's coming back to me.  

Gin Stephens: This was a long time ago, and he didn't "win," but his guy lost more fat.  

Melanie Avalon: Right.  

Gin Stephens: So, [laughs] anyway, so, I was hoping it would win, because it was intermittent fasting. But we know there's a lot more to intermittent fasting than just what the scale says.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.  

Gin Stephens: That's when I first knew who he was, was only when he was on that TV show. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. So cool, so cool where everything is-- where we are now with everything. Love all of it.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah.  

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

Gin Stephens: Yes.  

Melanie Avalon: So, this question comes from Pia. She's from Finland, ooh, and Pia says: "Too much fasting for my body?" Pia says, "Hi I've been fasting for two and a half years thanks to you both. Before that, I was always on some diet. I'm 42. Even though, I've never been more than maybe a little over five kilograms overweight and I felt miserable, I suppose that did more harm than good. My fasting journey even though, I love this lifestyle has been difficult since the very beginning, I have been all over the place and not found my long-term happy place. I started with 12 hours and very slowly moved to 14 to 15 hours of fasting. I felt great and lost five kilograms with that. After losing the weight, I started feeling off at the end of my fasts, get hot flashes and started gaining the weight back. I decided to move my windows and started breaking my fast about an hour after waking up and felt better with a morning/early afternoon window, maintained though.  

Since then, I have tried shorter fasts, 13 to 16 hours and longer ones, 17 to 20 hours. I seem to lose weight after lengthening my fast, but quite soon feel off, get the urge to binge in my eating window, and start gaining the weight back. The binging feels physical, not psychological. When I fast longer, I also feel a dip in my energy levels, I feel anxious and get wired, but tired when it's time to go to bed. That's the same feeling I get when I'm super stressed. Can it be that I have broken my body during the years of not listening to my body and even 16 hours is too much fasting for me right now? More importantly, how can I get my weight to moving down again without feeling burned out? I've been to the doctor, and I've been told I'm fine according to the Western Medical Standards, maybe just stressed if anything. I eat quite a healthy diet although I wonder if I eat enough. Can you please get into the details of fasting when overly stressed and all things, cortisol and hormones? I still feel so much better on this fasting struggle bus than before and want to continue feeling better and live longer and healthier, thanks, Pia from Finland. 

Gin Stephens: All right, this is a great question, and I think, Pia, the real issue is not whether you're doing too much fasting. The words too much fasting or what I want to take off the table, instead, I want you to focus on are you over restricting for your body? Because I think those are two different things. You can do 14 to 15 hours for example. No one would think that that was "too much fasting." However, if you are also not eating very much during the nine to 10 hours of eating, if you're also low calorie dieting in a 10-hour eating window, that's not good for your body. So really, I want you to ask yourself are you nourishing your body well during whatever eating window you're doing? I would suspect the answer is no. There are three clues I highlighted in your question that made me think you are not nourishing your body well enough.  

First of all, you said I wonder if I eat enough. If your inner voice is telling you that you're not eating enough, you probably are not eating enough and especially nutritious foods. The urge to binge, that you said you're having the urge to binge that is a classic sign that you're over restricting for your body. That wired but tired feeling, if I don't eat enough, like I was super busy the week before I went to Arizona because we had just launched the new community to open it up to people, and so, I had a million emails coming in all day long, I was recording a lot of podcasts, so I was trying to get that done because I was going to be gone, and so I had probably, I don't know, what, three days in a row of one-hour eating windows. That's just how it shook out. I did not have time to have a luxurious long snack and a meal like I normally do. So, I was barely having time to even cook dinner, much less eat it. I started to get that wired but tired feeling, and that just lets me know it's like extra ketosis. I like the feeling of ketosis I get during my fast every day, but this would like be after I'd eaten even. If I don't eat enough in my eating window, I feel that wired but tired crazy. It's like ketosis goes too far. So, it's like, "Ketosis, good, good, good, good, good. Oops, that's too much for me." That's the way my body lets me know. So, it lets me know that I need to increase what I'm eating.  

If you're having the urge to binge in your eating window, you're having a crazy wired but tired feeling that doesn't feel good, and you suspect you're not eating enough? I think the answer is you probably are not. Focus on nutrients. Prioritize, I know Melanie talks about protein all the time. Your body may be crying out for protein. Maybe, you're not eating enough of that. Increase your nutritious foods in general, and make sure that you feel satisfied and good. We can theorize about you know what your hormones, or cortisol, or all that might be doing, but we're just theorizing. You don't really know unless you start testing things. We might say maybe this is happening, but unless you have it tested, you're not going to know hormonally. But we do know, the female body doesn't do well with over restriction. Of course, the male body doesn't either. An interesting side note, Melanie. It was so interesting, I was the only intermittent fasting person really-- A lot of people at this conference were doing intermittent fasting. They just did it. That's how they live, a lot of people were doing it, especially, the doctors. But when we introduced ourselves to one another, we all said, "what do you do? What do you do?" It was fascinating. A lot of OB-GYNs were there, which was cool.  

Melanie Avalon: How many people were there?  

Gin Stephens: It was around 200. It was smaller than usual just because people are still not traveling quite as much. But a lot of people were there. They did a combo virtual and in person. Some people were participating on Zoom. So, it was more than that if you added up all the people that run Zoom. But whenever I would say, I am an author and a podcaster, intermittent fasting is what I talk about, they're like, "Yeah, but what about women?" Like almost every single person said, "Yeah, what about women?" I'm like, "Well, let me tell you about that." I told every single person that my philosophy is that for some reason we think that intermittent fasting is synonymous with the idea of over restriction. Really, you could over restrict in any length of window. Even if you're eating from sunup to sundown, if you're having tiny little diet meals in low calorie dieting, that's not good either. So, we don't want you to do intermittent fasting in an overly restrictive way because that really is going to be too much. Anyway, that's what I have to say about that. It was just so interesting that that's what everyone said. Then, when I explained it they're like, "Oh, well, that does make sense." [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, no, it's definitely the question on everybody's mind. Yes, we are on the same page and actually this is perfect timing this question because something I actually wanted to address. Actually, I know you've seen my posts about it. I released an episode with Valter Longo. What is today? This past Friday. It was all about fasting, and the fasting mimicking diet, and for listeners who are not familiar, we have had Valter Longo on this show as well. He's the author of The Longevity Diet, and he is the head of I think the Gerontology school--, or he has a position at USC, and he's a renowned fasting researcher. That episode, [giggles] it's always really interesting to see when I release an episode, what the responses and what stimulates the most discussion? That episode has stimulated so much discussion, and a lot of people freaking out a little bit, because he advocates shorter fasts. I thought it was a very nuanced discussion about it, but he's on the low protein train as well, which is just something I was thinking about in my head now, and it's something I talked about with him in the show, which was, can you get the best of both worlds if you fast longer, but you have really a moderate or high protein intake in your eating window? Does that solve all the "issues" that he thinks that you might be seeing with longer fasts, and is it also mTORism?  

I always forget, it's like protein releases or stimulates mTOR, which is a signaling pathway for growth, and people who advocate low protein diets in part often advocate it because they say it stimulates less mTOR and less IGF-1, which can also be linked to aging. This is a long meandering way of saying. Well, I wanted to respond to that first because people keep asking me, "What are my thoughts on this? Should people be fasting less?" Which goes in with Pia's question, which is why I want to talk about it. My thoughts on that is that I think all information is information. So, listen to the episode, see what you take from it. So, listen with an open mind, take from it what resonates with you, but in the conversation, I do tell him my approach which is longer fasting with a high protein intake. I really think it's fine what works for you, and people keep asking me, "Am I going to change my fasting approach based on that conversation?" My answer is, "Most definitely, no." Because what works for me, it works really, really well for me. So, for Pia's question, it's a lot of what Gin just said. I don't equate fasting with restriction. It doesn't have to equate with restriction. But if you become restricted in your eating, then that will be a stressor on top of a stressor and everything will likely become too restricted for you, especially, I think women are much more sensitive to this. So, my suggestions for you are actually really, really similar to Gin. So, I would try one of two things. If you want to try the longer windows, it's what Gin said. Make sure you're getting enough in that eating window. I really, really say focus on protein. A lot of people find that if they really focus on protein, especially, with something like this where you have a shorter eating window, there's the protein leverage hypothesis. I've interviewed Ted Naiman before. We had Ted Naiman on this show, too, right or just William Shewfelt on this show?  

Gin Stephens: We had William Shewfelt, not Ted Naiman.  

Melanie Avalon: So, in their book, The PE Diet, they really, really break this down and explain protein leverage hypothesis, which is basically that your hunger signals will continue until you satiate your protein needs and your protein requirements. 

Gin Stephens: I feel like that's true.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I 100% believe it's true.  

Gin Stephens: You know, I don't eat meat every day, but I absolutely every now and then I'm like, I can tell I need to eat more protein one day, I can just feel it, and I listen. I have a lot of meat at the conference more than I usually do. Everything was gluten free and dairy free, but they had amazing meat. It was all like grass fed, organic. So, I had just a lot of meat and veggies.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, nice.  

Gin Stephens: But then the last night, this is a funny story. The last night of the conference, I went to a restaurant with a friend when the conference was over. We were having a pool party, there wasn't really like dinner. So, we're like, "Let's go eat." That was somebody that I met at the conference. We went and ate and she was carnivore. So, she had a giant steak. [laughs] We got a meat and cheese plate, and she ate the meat off of it, and I ate all the cheese, and all the bread, and then, I ordered also French onion soup, a caprese salad and ate the mozzarella. So, apparently, my body was like, "Eat the dairy, eat the bread," because I hadn't had any. But I just ordered what looked good off the menu, and that is what it was. Cheese plate, bread, French onion soup, and a caprese salad with the cheese.  

Melanie Avalon: That's so funny.  

Gin Stephens: I know. My body was really missing the dairy and the grain.  

Melanie Avalon: The interesting thing for me is, I always need that hunk of protein. I'm never not craving a big whack of protein.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I got protein obviously in the dairy, but that was what I wanted because everything was so heavily vegetable, vegetable, vegetable, meat, that was it. Vegetables and meat. It was delicious. But I always order what sounds good off the menu. I wasn't like, "I haven't had any cheese. Let me get some." That's just what I was drawn to. My body was like, "Oh, I want that, I want that," and then, when I looked back at what I ate, I'm like, "That's kind of comical." 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That is funny. So, yes. So, Pia, if you are-- I'm just echoing what Gin said. Make sure if you're doing longer fasts that you're getting enough in that eating window with an emphasis on protein. My second suggestion is, if you want to keep in the shorter fasts, which seem to be working well for you, but the issue seems to be that you're not losing weight on the shorter fasts, we don't know much about what you're eating. You just say that, you eat a quite healthy diet, but you could also try a shorter fast and playing with your macros, and that might stimulate weight loss. 

Gin Stephens: I also had a question about that because we don't know how much she needs to lose because I have run across people over the years, through the hundreds of thousands of people in the groups who are at a very healthy weight for their body, and yet feel like they want to lose more weight. But their body is not with that program. Because your body is not going to lose below a place that feels good to your body. So, I don't know if that might be what Pia is up against. Like her desired weight might be lower than her body's happy weight, and it is always going to be hard to fight below that. So, I just don't know.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. No, that's a really important thing.  

Gin Stephens: She might really just need to stay where she is. The urge to binge also might be a signal that you're trying to push your body to a lower weight than your body is comfortable maintaining. So, that's just another factor. If I had decided at some point that I needed to weigh, I don't know. I'm just going to make up a number 115 pounds. Like, let's say, I thought I needed to weigh 115 pounds, and I became fixated on that, I would never have been happy with my body, and would have struggled really hard, and probably felt terrible. If I could have gotten to 115, it wouldn't have been good for me. That's too lean for me. That would not have been a good weight for my body. But if I had really tried, I probably could have white knuckled my way there, but I would have felt bad, and I wouldn't have been able to maintain it. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. No, I think that's a really important thing to point out. If that's the case and you still want to lose and/or if that's not the case and you want to lose with the shorter fasts, my recommendation would be looking at the macros. So, again I don't know what a healthy diet is. That's a really broad term. A lot of people can experience weight loss if they go and I'm going to use the word 'extreme.' But if they go a little bit extreme with the macros, so that's doing a ketogenic diet that really actually is low carb. So, it's got to be low carb enough to really be ketoticand then if weight loss is the goal, and given the context of everything, low carb keto diet without all the added fats because if you have all the added fats, it's going to make it less likely that your body is going to tap into your body fat.  

The flip side of that something to try would be going actually low fat and buy low fat, not conventional low fat, which is 30%, but super low fat. So, like 10% fat, and that would include no added fats. Some people find that that really works well. Even within that low-fat sphere, some people find that the type of carbs they're having with that can matter. So, carbs from primarily fruit versus carbs from starches, some people don't lose weight well on starches, some people do. So, basically playing around with the type of foods within this "healthy paradigm" can encourage fat loss when you find what clicks with your body, but all of that said, definitely paying attention to nutrition within that focusing on the protein, focusing on the essential nutrients, focusing on food quality, you basically want to--, if fat loss is the goal, in my opinion, put your body into a state where it's getting all of the protein that it needs to sustain your muscle mass, sustain your body's protein, it's getting all the nutrients it needs to-- Nutrients, I mean, micronutrients. So, vitamins. I also mean like EPA, DHA, things like that. It's getting all of that that it needs to do all of its body's processes.  

The only thing that is missing is the extra calories/fat. So, your body is tapping into your own fat or if you're doing keto, the carbs are missing. So, it's making your body even more likely to tap into fat stores, and then you're not adding in extra fat, so it's really being forced to tap into those fat stores. I really should write this book.  

Gin Stephens: Write the book. Write the book. [laughs] It's hard to write a book.  

Melanie Avalon: It is.  

Gin Stephens: It is really hard, and then there's so much information in there. When I was going to be on Abel James, I was like, "I better just like get some little things I can say," because I could talk about fasting all day and all night with no note. But I need to have some notes about Clean(ish) because I haven't ever talked about it before. 

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Gin Stephens: So, we have time for one more question. This is from Kathy and the subject is: "Tests." She says, "Hi. I've read all your books and listened to tons of your podcasts. I'm about three months in and doing great. I'd like to get testing done to check the different levels of things that would help me better understand my body and what works best for me. What are the names of the tests, what should I ask for from my doctor, which tests should I order online, is there a simple resource for this that I'm missing? Thanks, and keep up the great work," Kathy.  

Melanie Avalon: All right, so, yeah. This is a great question from Kathy about tests. Oh, my goodness, so, the world of testing is obviously huge. Kathy is approaching us just from helping her better understand her body. I do want to answer both that as well as people who are trying to figure out health issues because I think that's two different things. If you're just trying to get a good understanding of your health and your body, so, a traditional doctor is going to do a basic metabolic panel. That's going to include things like your liver enzymes, and your blood sugar, and so, a conventional doctor is going to run something called a comprehensive metabolic panel. You're probably familiar with that, because pretty much every time we're doing a checkup, and really, even if you're going in to test something specific, often times, doctors just run this. Because it's 14 tests, it's things that-- it's like blood sugar, it's your electrolytes, it's liver enzymes, calcium, it's basically like that picture. That gives you a general idea of very basic conventional medical standards view of what is going on.  

That said, the conventional ranges are not necessarily the ideal ranges and what's actually scary is the ranges keep changing as the years go on partly because the averages are changing, because our population is getting sicker. So, the averages are like the average person is different now. So, we get tested against a standard that probably isn't as strict or as ideal as it should be. That's why Gin and I love a company called InsideTracker. They actually test you by ideal ranges, and then on top of that, they don't test just the comprehensive metabolic panel. They dive deep into the things that they think really show your true health status, your true "inner age," so, how old you are on the inside. So, that's where I would recommend Kathy start. So, with their tests in addition to what I just mentioned, they test things like HbA1c that Gin and I talk about a lot, which shows how long-- it's a better indicator of your blood sugar levels over a range of time. They do a deep dive into your iron panel. So, things like ferritin and hemoglobin. What's incredible for example is I got an iron panel done to check my iron, and this is where I'm a conventional doctor. This is so weird to me. So, in the medical codes, the normal iron panel does not include ferritin, which-- sorry, I'm just like flabbergasted by this. But ferritin is a storage form of iron. 

So, when I asked my conventional doctor for example, to run an iron panel, it did include ferritin, I got back my results. I thought my iron was great. Then I ran InsideTracker. They do include ferritin and I realized, "Oh, my ferritin is super low." So, my iron looks good on the outside, but actually maybe it's not. Then with InsideTracker, they also check another enzyme called GGT. That's a liver enzyme that is specific to the liver, because the liver enzymes tested by the conventional metabolic panel. AST and ALT can also be affected by muscle stress. So, GGT can kind of tell you if you have elevated liver enzymes, where the problem is like, is it specific to your liver or is it may be coming more from exercise or something like that. Then they test other things as well like Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a huge marker of health. They test RBC magnesium, which is super important, because that is basically a level of magnesium--, your cellular magnesium, and when we interviewed Wade Lightheart coming full circle, he talks a lot about the importance of the RBC magnesium test, and that's something that your doctors probably not going to be checking unless you ask for it. So, those are the types of tests that I would check. You could go to InsideTracker and you could get that straight up, or you could ask your conventional doctor, if hopefully, they're willing to work with you, you could ask for these individually, and/or you could order them individually through something like Let'sGetChecked. They have a lot of really great tests that you can order individually. So, we'll put links in the show notes to all of those services. We have amazing discounts for all of them.  

My second part of the answer was, if you are struggling--, so for people who feel fatigue and they feel like something is off, and they feel like something is wrong, and that's why they're looking for tests. In addition to everything that I just suggested, I already mentioned the iron, but I would definitely, definitely getting that iron panel with ferritin from whoever you have to get it from, because that can be a huge source. I would definitely do a full thyroid panel to see if your thyroid is off. A conventional thyroid doctor is probably just going to check TSH and T4. But you really want to check TSH, T4, free T3, and reverse T3, and then other things you could look for are things like-- blood mercury is something to look forward to see if you have a heavy metal issue, and then working with a holistic practitioner, who can really do a deep dive into things like gut testing. So, you can see if you have any parasites or if you have a gut microbiome that's off, you could do a hormone panel, a DUTCH test, which is a 24-hour urine collection thing where you basically see how your hormones are going all throughout the day, that can be really helpful. You can always check as well for things like celiac, you can check for-- There's just a lot you can check for. 

If you are approaching this from a place of fatigue and feeling unwell, I would not take on--. Everything I just said, I would not take that on your own. I would find a holistically minded practitioner, an MD, a nurse practitioner, somebody who is on the same page about all of this who can do super thorough testing and somebody you're comfortable with and then go with their guidance about everything. But if you're like Kathy, and you're just trying to better understand your body, see where you're at, I probably start with something like InsideTracker. Oh, and then last thing with InsideTracker is, you can also get their inner age, and that will look at the specific biomarkers are correlated to your inner age, and then they'll give you an inner age-- like your inner age, and it's really cool because you can track it over time, and it's a nice way to see if you're making progress. Oh, and then I forgot cholesterol panel, but that would be included in that as well. So, Gin. 

Gin Stephens: Well, you were very thorough as I knew you would be. [laughs] But I want to throw out there ZOE too. I love ZOE. Everybody knows if you're depending on whether what Kathy meant, the different levels of things that would help her understand her body, that's the wording that she uses. ZOE helped me understand my body better than anything I've ever done. So, you can go to ginstephens.com/zoe to read about that. And Melanie's done it, too. You don't have your results back yet, though, do you? 

Melanie Avalon: I do.  

Gin Stephens: Oh. Have we ever talked about the results?  

Melanie Avalon: I don't think we have. So, next week. 

Gin Stephens: All right. I look forward to hearing about ZOE. 

Melanie Avalon: So, we'll put a link in the show notes to all of that stuff. The InsideTracker, the ZOE, and the Let'sGetChecked.  

Gin Stephens: Fabulous.  

Melanie Avalon: So, okay. Well, this has been absolutely amazing. 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 at ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode, which I feel like will be super helpful because oh my goodness, we talked about so many things and the show notes have a full transcript. Those will be at ifpodcast.com/episode238. Then, lastly, you can follow us on Instagram. I, @melanieavalon, and Gin is @ginstephens, and on the Instagram is @ifpodcast.  

Oh, fun fact. When I asked Whole Foods guy or told him about the shows, I asked him if he was on Instagram. He said, no, and he said he's not a big social media person. So, that's good, because I've been posting things there. [laughs] Yeah, good times. All right. Well, anything from you, Gin, before we go.  

Gin Stephens: Nope. I got nothing.  

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

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye.  

Melanie Avalon: Bye.  

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember 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. The 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 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! 

 

 

Sep 19

Episode 231: Dawn Phenomenon, Instant Coffee, Hidden Sugars, Added Color In Wine, Gluconeogenesis, Unexpected Hunger, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 231 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 New Members Will Get Free Ground Beef FOR LIFE!

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

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SHOW NOTES

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

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

Stay Up To Date With All The News And Pre-Order Info About Melanie's New Serrapeptase Supplement At Melanieavalon.Com/Serrapeptase!

15:20 - Listener Feedback: Andrea - chronic inflammation getting better quickly!

20:30 - AUDIBLE: Go To audible.com/ifpodcast Or Text IFPODCAST To 500500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook! 

22:45 - Listener Feedback: Diane - Just listening to your #226 podcast.

Go To Melanieavalon.Com/NutrisenseCGM And Use Coupon Code MelanieAvalon For 15% Off Select Packages

Skip The (115,000 Person!) Waitlist By Going To Melanieavalon.Com/LevelsCGM With The Coupon Code MelanieAvalon!

30:55 - Listener Q&A: Pam - OMG! My instant coffee is full of sugar!

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

38:15 - Listener Q&A: Bill - Blood Glucose

46:05 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

48:45 - Listener Q&A: Teresa - Hungry after 6 months on clean IF

55:55 - Listener Q&A: Allie - Alternate daily fasting?

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 231 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: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.  

Friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get free grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef for life. Yes, for life. We are huge fans of a company called ButcherBox. As you guys know, to get high quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. ButcherBox is the solution. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, nitrate-free sugar-free bacon, heritage-breed hotdogs, and wild-caught seafood all directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community that is focused on doing what's better for all parties. That means caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect, and enjoying better nourishing meals together. They go to great lengths to ensure the highest quality so you can find actual 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef. If you've seen the Netflix documentary, Seaspiracy, you might be aware of fish fraud and problems in the seafood industry. ButcherBox maintains very, very high standards for that, and the whole process is so easy. They deliver all of this directly to your door. Once you sign up, you choose your box and your delivery frequency, they offer five boxes, four curated box options as well as the popular custom box, so with that one you can get exactly what you and your family love. They ship your order frozen at the peak freshness and packed in a 100% recyclable box, and the shipping is always free. So, basically ButcherBox makes it easy so that you can focus on cooking amazing meals, not spending hours searching for meat that meets your standards and save money in the process. 

What's super amazing is ButcherBox makes sure their members are taken care of, and today we have a special offer just for our listeners. ButcherBox is giving new members free ground beef for life. Yes, for life. You can sign up at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and you will get two pounds of ground beef free in every order for the life of your membership. Just log on to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to claim this deal. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. 

And one more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disrupters, which mess with our hormones, obesogens which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. 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 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 231 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 great, still at the beach. 

Melanie Avalon: Exciting. 

Gin Stephens: It is. I've really enjoyed it. I had a friend that came and stayed with me, and then another friend came and stayed with me, and now, Will is on his way to come and spend a few days, and then I'll be going home.  

Melanie Avalon: Nice.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we have a renter that's going to be here for the entire month of September. [laughs] I'm going to have to switch everything over. It's different for when you're staying here versus when you're renting it. Anyway, I've really enjoyed my time here. It's just beautiful. The water is so warm in the ocean.  

Melanie Avalon: That is nice.  

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

Melanie Avalon: Do you know what's exciting about Episode 231?  

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't.  

Melanie Avalon: Every time we hit a one, like 31, 41, a 51, that's when I re-record the intros for the next 10 episodes, and it's like a marker and time. Because I guess that's what, two and a half months, and I always just feels like just yesterday that I was recording.  

Gin Stephens: Time is flying. Yeah.  

Melanie Avalon: It's so weird. It's so weird. I have a funny story. I don't know if I should share it. 

Gin Stephens: Well, then you totally should.  

Melanie Avalon: I did something crazy.  

Gin Stephens: Oh, well. Everyone wants to hear this. Everyone's saying, "Share it, share it, share it." [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: I don't know. Okay. I did something kind of crazy last night.  

Gin Stephens: Well, if you think it's crazy, it's found to be crazy. Go ahead. Okay, share it.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay, you can let me know if this is crazy. I don't know. Okay. [laughs] I've had like a miniature crush on this guy who works at a Whole Foods here for four years, and I really want to talk to him, but every time I go into Whole Foods, I don't go into Whole Foods when I'm dressed up and looking nice, because why would I do that? So, I was like, “How do I be at Whole Foods dressed up and nice and talk to him?” But I don't want to dress up and go to Whole Foods. If he's not there, it's just silly. Yesterday, it was a Friday, and I saw him during the day, and I was like, “Oh, well. I could dress up, and it's Friday. And then, I could come back later, and it would make sense that I would be going to Whole Foods dressed up on a Friday night.” Like I could pick out some wine, it would make sense like why I was there in a cocktail dress. Then, I can go home and I can take selfies for Instagram and stock up, so, it'll all be productive. So, I literally went to Whole Foods at 8:30 in a cocktail dress, full done up with makeup and then just went and sat in the wine section.  

Gin Stephens: At 8:30 in the morning? 

Melanie Avalon: No, at night. [laughs] Then, I didn't think he was there. I was like, “Oh, well, I guess I'm here for no reason,” and then he walked by me and I almost fainted.  

Gin Stephens: Well, did you talk to him? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Then, I was like, “Oh, my gosh, [giggles] what do I do?” Then, I picked out a wine, and then I just awkwardly walked around--  

Gin Stephens: Holding your wine?  

Melanie Avalon: Holding my wine because I wasn't sure where he was. I was like, "I have to have an agenda, what am I doing?"  

Gin Stephens: That's so funny. I can just picture it. I'm imagining you in your cocktail dress. [laughs]   

Melanie Avalon: He was at the cashier. Then I hey went to the cashier, and he was like, “Hello.” I was like, “Hello.” He was like, “Are you going out?” I was like, “Yes.” [laughs] He's never asked me a question in my entire life. In my defense, I was going out. I was going outside after leaving. 

Gin Stephens: Well, there you go. There you go.  

Melanie Avalon: He was like, “You look nice.” I was like, “Thank you.” Then, I had this [laughs] whole plan orchestrated because I wanted to have an activity to do with him at the cashier register. When you have cards that-- it's like a prepaid card that has a random amount on it, and you need to use $3.11. So, I had two of those. I was like, “I need help with something.” I was like, “Can you help me with this?” Then, it was super awkward and embarrassing because I hadn't used those cards in forever, so, I couldn't remember the pins. Then he did come around and help me, and it was so embarrassing, and then I left. 

Gin Stephens: Well, you've made contact. Now, I have to give you advice from a 52-year-old who's been in a 30-year marriage.  

Melanie Avalon: Yes.  

Gin Stephens: You need to meet him looking scruffy next.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, but he's seen me scruffy every day. That's the thing.  

Gin Stephens: That's what people see most of the time around the house is scruffy. You don't need them to like you looking dressed up. You need for them to like you scruffy. 

Melanie Avalon: He knows what I look like, because he sees me. Well, I don't know. Maybe I look so different that he doesn't realize I'm the same person. I don't know. I was like, “Mission accomplished.”  

Gin Stephens: Well, now, he's seen you both ways. So, that's good.  

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Then I left, and then I was really productive and took a lot of selfies for Instagram. So, it was like the best Friday night ever. 

Gin Stephens: Well, good. Now, I've got to go look and see how you were looking on your Instagram photos. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. [laughs] Ah, man. I don't know. I go to great lengths when I have something I want to do, like meet a man at Whole Foods. [laughs] So, that's my story. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, I have to tell you something funny.  

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Go.  

Gin Stephens: Here I am. Oh, no, I'm logged in as Cleanish Gin. Okay, I was apparently, I'm not following you on Instagram, but that was my other profile, the Cleanish Gin one. 

Melanie Avalon: It's my story from last night where I said Happy Friday. So, that's what I wore. 

Gin Stephens: Okay, anyway, now I'm officially following you in all the places not just the other one, because like, “Why am I not following Melanie? That's so weird. What's wrong with me?” Oh, there you are. Look at that. You look fabulous. 

Melanie Avalon: That was before going to Whole Foods.  

Gin Stephens: There you go. Looking good. Happy Friday. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: I felt like in high school. I was so nervous, and I couldn't figure out the pin, and I couldn't swipe the card. It was just--  

Gin Stephens: That's great.  

Melanie Avalon: He was probably like, “What is this girl doing?” So, good times. That's my life. Really brief announcement for listeners. Go to melanieavalon.com/serrapeptase and get on the email list, because we are signing the contract officially today probably, and starting production Monday.  

Gin Stephens: Fabulous.  

Melanie Avalon: If listeners would like my serrapeptase supplement, or more information about it, or the preorder special, it will probably never be that low of a price again. Go to that link.  

Gin Stephens: Well, I know you're excited.  

Melanie Avalon: I'm very excited.  

Gin Stephens: Well, congratulations.  

Melanie Avalon: Thank you. Was that a crazy story?  

Gin Stephens: No, not at all.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I don't seem like crazy? [laughs]  

Gin Stephens: No, it sounds fun.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay.  

Gin Stephens: [laughs] You want him to see another side of you. Now, he's seen it.  

Melanie Avalon: This is true. This is true. 

Gin Stephens: Next time though, when you're looking all shlumpy--  

Melanie Avalon: Talk to him?  

Gin Stephens: Talk to him. Talk to him then. Yeah, because you know-- 

Melanie Avalon: If I wear a mask--  

Gin Stephens: What do you mean?  

Melanie Avalon: Then, he can't see my face.  

Gin Stephens: Why don't you want him to see your face?  

Melanie Avalon: I don't know.  

Gin Stephens: That's the part that sounds crazy. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: Well, he's already seen my face.  

Gin Stephens: Okay, then let him see your face that's not made up.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay.  

Gin Stephens: Your bare face. I promise you. Look, when we were in college, my college roommate and I noticed something funny. When we were all dolled up and going to eat in the cafeteria, everybody's like, “Hey, how you doing?” But let's say we'd been lying out in the sun, and we looked all scruffy, and our hair was back, and we hadn't showered, we had on no makeup, I swear, more guys talk to us than then if we look fancy. I think guys really like a natural look, a lot of guys. They find that attractive. So, be confident that you look attractive in your normal face. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, actually, I think there's one picture on my Instagram where I don't have makeup, and two guys have commented that that's their favorite picture of me on Instagram. 

Gin Stephens: I'm telling you, I'm telling you. We dress up and put on all that makeup, really honestly for other women. Men like a natural look. So, no mask, you let him see your naturalness.  

Melanie Avalon: I promise.  

Gin Stephens: Do it. 

Melanie Avalon: We'll see. I'll report back.  

Gin Stephens: I never forgot that from when I was in college that she was right. My college roommate noticed that. I'm like, “You know what? You're right.” After that, I was never as worried about, "Do I have on makeup or do I not?" and, "Does my hair look good?" I don't know.  

Melanie Avalon: Baby steps. The problem is he literally might not realize I'm the same person. So, what if I'm like that and then I reference the card extravaganza, and he's like, “What is she talking about? [laughs] Who is this girl?” 

Gin Stephens: I bet he'll figure it out. I can't imagine that you would look that different. Also, if he can't figure out that's still you, then he's not very smart, and just say goodbye. [laughs] That's my advice. 

Melanie Avalon: True that. All right. Well, anything else new from you?  

Gin Stephens: No. That's all. I'm just enjoying my beach time, getting all tanned, getting some sun.  

Melanie Avalon: Vitamin D.  

Gin Stephens: Exactly. Hanging out with the lizard on my porch, all that stuff.  

Melanie Avalon: All right. Shall we jump into everything for today?  

Gin Stephens: Yes. We have some feedback from Andrea, and the subject is "Chronic inflammation getting better quickly." Andrea writes, “Dear Gin and Melanie, I wanted to write and share with you my exciting news. I've struggled with my health for the past four plus years. I got Lyme disease in 2017 that eventually led to fibromyalgia, and autoimmune inflammation, and arthritis, which put me in a vicious cycle of chronic inflammation. I've been in a tremendous amount of pain. Then in January of this year, I got COVID. My body never had a chance to recover before another issue would pop up and keep me inflamed or make me worse. I've tried every supplement to bring down the inflammation and calm my body but nothing worked. I even did hyperbaric oxygen. If I heard of something that was supposed to work for inflammation, I'd try it. I honestly had given up. I not only was in a very unhealthy state with my weight, but really with my health, and I thought I just had to live with it. 

I had always tried to do fasting, but always would fast dirty and it would never work. But with my latest issue in March that threatened to take away my vision, I decided to go cold turkey and fast clean. As an artist, the thought of losing my vision was just too much. This was the thing that finally got me to give up cream and my coffee. I had my CRP, C-reactive protein, and ESR checked in March right before I started fasting clean. Both are indicators of inflammation in the body. Both were very high. CRP was greater than 10. The scale only goes to 10. If you're over that, they don't even give you a number on the lab. My ESR was 45. Both extremely high and concerning. I'm happy to report that I just got my blood work back that I had done in July, and after only a little over four months of fast and clean on a 20:4 schedule, and one long 48-hour fast, my CRP was 4.8. Still high, but coming down quickly.” So, just for listeners, it had been over 10. The scale only goes up to 10. She was over 10. Now, it's 4.8. That is amazing. Then, she says, "My ESR was in the normal range at 14." So, it had been 45, now it's 14. That's incredible. She says, "I feel so good and have a ton of energy. I'm able to exercise and be very active. I've lost some sizes, about two, but I don't know what sort of weight loss I've had, because I really want to focus on the healing and know the weight loss will follow. 

I want to share a bit of my story now to hopefully encourage others out there who are struggling with inflammation, pain, Lyme, and autoimmune, or any type of inflammatory illness. This is the first thing that has really worked for me, and I just want to share it with everyone. Thank you and take care, Andi." Now that's huge, Melanie. The clean fast is really, it's a nonnegotiable. So, she's had that much healing once she finally began fast and clean. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's an incredible story, and I really wonder, the scale only going to 10, it could have been anything. It could have been even way higher than 10, and it I went down in four months to 4.8. That's amazing. I have not had ESR checked before. Have you?  

Gin Stephens: Not that I know of.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I know InsideTracker that we partner with, check CRP. So, did you get CRP? Have you had that done?  

Gin Stephens: I can't remember. I've done InsideTracker, but it's been a while and I haven't. I don't remember. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm always really obsessive. But checking CRP, that's just really, really wonderful. I love that story, and I love hearing it because a lot of times we hear feedback from people, amazing things like this, but it's just going from not fasting to fasting, but this was her going from dirty fasting to clean fasting and the difference there. 

Gin Stephens: Right. It's really hard for people to wrap their minds around what difference could a little cream make. Because this person says, it's okay, that person says, it's okay. So, you're like, “Well, it's got to be okay. You're clinging to it like a life raft.” [laughs] "Well, this person says it's fine." But honestly, then you let the clean fast take over, and you fast clean, and your body is not having to focus on digesting and working with even that tiny bit of cream. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. A lot of people think that it will make it harder, because whatever they're using during the fast, they think what they're having in the fast making it easier. So, they think the cream and the sweeteners are making it easier. But really on the flip side, it's much easier without it for a lot of people. 

Gin Stephens: Yep, and I hear that over and over again on Intermittent Fasting Stories. People are talking and sharing their story, and they're like, “Yeah, I didn't think that was true. I was doing it the other way, and then I went to the clean fast, and immediately it was better.” I've heard that so many times now. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, we are super, super happy for you, Andi. Thank you so much for writing in. That was a really beautiful, and incredible story, and inspirational. 

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. I want to tell you about one of the sponsors for today's podcast, Audible. Audible is the leading provider of spoken-word entertainment all in one place. At Audible, you can find the largest selection of audiobooks ranging from bestsellers and new releases to celebrity memoirs, languages, business, motivation, and more. As an Audible member, you will get one credit every month good for any title in their entire premium selection. Those titles are yours to keep forever in your Audible library. You'll also get full access to their popular plus catalogue. It's filled with thousands and thousands of audio books, original entertainment, guided fitness and meditation, sleep tracks for better rest, and podcasts, including ad-free versions of many of your favorite shows and exclusive series. All are included with your membership, so you can download and stream all you want. No credits needed to access the plus catalogue.  

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Melanie Avalon: All right, so, we have some more feedback. This comes from Diane. She says, "Just listening to your 226 podcast. You may address this later, but I am walking away for now and I don't want to forget. I wanted to offer some anecdotal info. My friend's son has Type 1 diabetes, and she said in her couple years’ experience, the CGM has a lag time, something like up to 20 minutes. I actually helped to fundraise for a specific service dog that monitors his body chemistry, and it is far more accurate in real time as to blood sugar drops even overnight. Isn't that incredible?" To clarify for listeners, Gin, this dog, it can monitor the blood sugar drops? 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, these dogs are amazing. I don't know what, they've got all these different senses you don’t have. I guess. I don't know, maybe you smell different. I've no idea what they're noticing, but yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: I've actually wondered-- this is a tangent really quick, but I've wondered if people with higher blood sugar levels are more sensitive to mosquitoes and stuff like that, because I've noticed, when I had better blood sugar level control, I was impervious to mosquitoes, and getting bit, and then when I felt I started, I don't know, having issues with that, I would get bit and everything. I'd read somebody saying that at some point it had to do with your blood sugar levels. I should go down that rabbit hole.  

Gin Stephens: That's so interesting. Yeah, it wouldn't surprise me. There’s so many things about us that we can't perceive. 

Melanie Avalon: Because I'm guessing-- Okay, this is going to come off as completely awful. This is not true. But when mosquitoes suck your blood, they're using the sugar, right?  

Gin Stephens: I don't know what they're getting. I don't know.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay, I actually just really quickly googled. Listeners, I have not dived in deep, but it looks like yes, mosquitoes use sugar as a fuel source, but it's probably not the determining factor into why they're attracted to certain people. 

Gin Stephens: You never know though. There might be something if a dog can notice when your blood sugar's dropping, then it certainly is feasible that mosquitoes might be attracted to--  

Melanie Avalon: To something.  

Gin Stephens: Yep. Just because we don't know doesn't mean it's not true.  

Melanie Avalon: True. Okay, the rest of her question, she says, "Anyhow, thought you would like to hear that if you were unaware," and what she's referring to is that there's a lag with the CGM. She says "Also maybe your blood sugar AM spike--" I don't know if she's referring to a listener who wrote in or just in general, but she says, "Also, maybe your blood sugar AM spike is just dawn phenomenon, and not related, but just coincidental with your black coffee." Oh, this is great, because we actually have a question about this later, I think. But yeah, what Diane is referring to, she's referring to continuous glucose monitors that Gin and I talk about a lot on this show. Basically, there are really small sensor that you can just put on to your arm, and it measures the interstitial fluid around yourself, and can give you a reading of your blood sugar levels throughout the day. Yeah, it is understood that there is a lag somewhere between 10 to 20 minutes. So, basically, when you scan your CGM, it's probably what your blood sugar was 10 to 20 minutes ago. If you have a glucometer, like a home blood sugar monitor, you can check it. That is something really good to keep in mind. 

Actually interesting, Gin, I had the call this week or this week, yeah, this week with somebody at ZOE, because well, I'm supposed to start that soon. I'm trying to get up the courage to eat the muffins. But I asked her though if it's measuring, because sometimes the CGM, we've talked about this before, sometimes they are off by 10 points or something, and I asked her if that would affect the results. I need to confirm this with Tim Spector when I interview him. But the representative that I talked to, she said their calculations is just looking at the change, not the absolute values. So, the CGM could be wrong, like it could be off, but because it's not wrong with a difference in how it changes, it shouldn't mess up the ZOE information. 

Gin Stephens: They're looking at the response, how it goes up or down after the input. Yeah, that makes sense. 

Melanie Avalon: That was really cool. If listeners would like to get their own CGM, two links I have. You can go to melanieavalon.com.levelscgm. That will let you skip their waitlist, or you can go to melanieavalon.com/nutritioncgm and the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON, will get you $40 off. Gin, have you got your level CGM, yet? 

Gin Stephens: I've got it. I'm not going to put it on until I get home from the beach. I would rather have it and use it during more of a normal period of time for me versus traveling.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that makes sense. I'm about to put another one on once I start ZOE. So, exciting.  

Gin Stephens: I also want to add, you know, Diane mentioned coincidence with black coffee. That's not a coincidence. When your blood sugar changes after black coffee, that's not a coincidence. It's because we know that black coffee can make your liver dump some glycogen. So, if you see your blood glucose go up after black coffee, that's not a surprise. Remember, it's not coming from the coffee cup. It's coming from within your own body. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, basically, people experiencing spikes in the morning, there are two factors that could be leading to that. It could be making it even more exponential because there's the dawn phenomenon like she spoke about, and then also the black coffee. The dawn phenomenon speaks to a natural inherent circadian-- I guess, it would be an infradian rhythm of cortisol. No, no, no. Ultradian, ultradian. 

Gin Stephens: I don't even know. [laughs] Those words are not words I can use in my vocabulary yet. 

Melanie Avalon: For some reason, I can't get it to stick in my head which is which, but infradian is greater than 30 days and ultradian is less than. So, ultradian. 

Gin Stephens: Circadian is day to day. So, why wouldn't that be circadian, it would, right?  

Melanie Avalon: I said that wrong. 

Gin Stephens: Okay.  

Melanie Avalon: Infradian is greater than a day, I didn't mean to say 30, a day. Circadian is a day 24 hours, ultradian is less than 24 hours.  

Gin Stephens: Wouldn't the dawn phenomenon be circadian?  

Melanie Avalon: No, because it's speaking to the fluctuations of cortisol throughout the day.  

Gin Stephens: But if they happen every morning of the dawn time, wouldn't that be once a day?  

Melanie Avalon: Right, but it's how it's changing, like cortisol changing-- 

Gin Stephens: Well.  

Melanie Avalon: Because cortisol changes throughout the day.  

Gin Stephens: But we're talking about the once-a-day dawn phenomenon. It's not called the dawn and then later on to-- [laughs] Sorry. I'm being persnickety here with my vocabulary.  

Melanie Avalon: I have to google this or think about it more.  

Gin Stephens: But because dawn only happens once a day. 

Melanie Avalon: Right. It's naming one of the peaks of cortisol that happens. Cortisol is changing throughout the day, and there's a peak point known as the dawn phenomenon. Does that make sense? 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I would just call something that happened every day around dawn circadian because it's once every 24 and the other peaks would be something else. I don't know. It doesn't really matter. It's just semantics. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it’s a good question. Ultradian are biological circles occurring within 24 hours. So, that is something that occurs within 24 hours, and the cortisol continues to change after that. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Our bodies are constantly in flux. A lot of our levels flux throughout the day. That's good for people to keep in mind.  

Melanie Avalon: Yes. All right, shall we go on to our questions?  

Gin Stephens: Yes.  

Melanie Avalon: This question comes from Pam. The subject is, "Oh, my gosh, my instant coffee is full of sugar!!!" Pam says, “Hi, Gin. I just thought I'd share something with you that I discovered this morning. I thought my Nescafe instant coffee was just freeze-dried coffee. It says 100% coffee beans on the label, but it is far from it. There is no ingredient list on the jar. You have to google it or scan the barcode for more information. Oh, my gosh, sugar is the first ingredient. There are at least two more types of sugar, palm oil, and some other crap. I thought you'd want to share with your listeners as they too may find they have been spiking insulin all day," then she has a frowny emoji. "I've also got a story to share and it's a doozy. I've had no luck trying to reach you at gin@intarmittentfastingstories.com. Anyway, thanks for all you do,” Pamela. 

Gin Stephens: Let me speak to that last part first, Pamela. You're spelling intermittent wrong. The way that you wrote it there, you've got an A instead of an E. So, you got to spell intermittent with an E instead of the A. That's why so y'all I am available at gina@intermittentfastingstories.com. Now, I don't answer intermittent fasting questions there. So, don't send them to me. Continue to send those to questions at ifpodcast.com. Because I just don't have time unfortunately to answer all the questions, but it has to be spelled the right way. That's a mouthful. I should have just been IF stories. Gin at ifstories.com would have been easier. But no, it's Gin at intermittent with an E fasting stories dotcom. Sigh. Why did I do that? Sometimes, I even spell it wrong when I'm typing it. It's a lot too tight. Typos are difficult. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: Have you thought about buying ifstories.com 

Gin Stephens: No, it's not that big of a deal. I think we could figure it out. I get plenty of people getting to me. [laughs] Just check your spelling everybody. That's all I'm saying. Check your spelling. All right. So, yeah, that is absolutely frustrating. I know, because if it says 100% coffee beans, and then when you actually research, you find that that's not what it is. That doesn't seem like it would be illegal. But everybody, check your products. If there's no ingredients list, google and try to find one that way. 

Melanie Avalon: It is frustrating how this happens I think with a lot of products. 

Gin Stephens: Like with wine, for example. We know that they don't have ingredient list. 

Melanie Avalon: They don't even put labels on wine and--  

Gin Stephens: What's in there, we don't know.  

Melanie Avalon: Yep, and it's actually not usually just wine. That really blew my mind when I first learned that. I was like, “Oh.” Listeners, if you ever have wine, and it's particularly some cheap wine, and you notice that it really made your teeth red or purple, it's probably because it has a very common colorizer that is common in conventional wine to make it redder. You'll notice now if you go and have some cheap wine, and your teeth turn a little bit red, that's why. It's not the wine. It's not crazy.  

Gin Stephens: Years ago, over 10 years ago, well before intermittent fasting and us during this podcast, I actually made a decision that I was not going to drink red wine in public anymore because of how crazy my teeth looked. I was like, “I just don't want to look like that in front of people with those crazy red teeth.” So, I do not drink red wine in public anymore. That was what I said to myself. Come to find out when we had Todd White on this podcast, he's like, “It's not the wine, it's the color.” I'm like “What?” Anyway, I still won't drink those wines in public, but I also won't drink those wines in private. Red wine, it's either Dry Farm Wines or I'm not drinking it. 

Melanie Avalon: If listeners would like Dry Farm Wines like us, they can go to dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast and get a bottle for a penny. My order just came yesterday. I get so excited when my new order comes. Did you know, Gin, they also label the amount of sugar on the back? 

Gin Stephens: Yes, I did know that.  

Melanie Avalon: It's very cool.  

Gin Stephens: Because I look at the back. I always want to know where it's from, what country, what they have to you know, that sort of thing for everyone that they send.  

Melanie Avalon: I really liked how they label it like that.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, they didn't used to do it. Their labels have changed since they used to way, and also their wines have gotten better over time. When we first started-- when did we first start partnering with them? Was it 2017, has it been that long?  

Melanie Avalon: It was forever ago.  

Gin Stephens: t's been a long time. But when we first started, their wines were a little more obscure, and I don't want to say weirder, that sounds bad, but the quality is noticeably better now. As they've gotten bigger, the wines have gotten better. You know what I mean? Every now and then, a long time ago, when we first started the wine, I'd be like, “This one's a little weird.” 

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you said that. I hadn't really thought about that, but yeah, when I first started, the whites I actually always really liked, but the reds sometimes were a little watery. I didn't mind drinking them, but I wouldn't know if always there would be a wine I want to like bring to a dinner. But now, they're always amazing. 

Gin Stephens: Of course, if you find one that you don't like it, they do offer refunds if you don't like them. At any time, you can just contact them and say no, that one was a dud. They will take care of you. But for anybody who tried it a long time ago when we first started, and they're like, “Yeah, they were weird. I didn't like them,” well, really, I've noticed a difference now. Now, there's never a dud.  

Melanie Avalon: I have too.  

Gin Stephens: Try again, anybody who tried it and was like, well, there's might not be for me. Try it again. 

Melanie Avalon: If you're actually a white wine drinker, I think the white wines are just incredible. If you're like a sweet wine, they're not going to be super sweet is the thing, they're really fantastic.  

Gin Stephens: If you think you must have the sweet ones, train your palate to break away from that and it will surprise you. I used to think I liked the sweet ones way back in the day. Now, I realized I don't. 

Melanie Avalon: It's so nice because I used to shy away from white wines, because I wouldn't know if they would be too sweet. But the Dry Farm Wines ones are just, they're really nice. Then the reds are-- especially, today like you said are just I love them. Body wise, they tend to be on the lighter side for reds, but they're very complex and nuanced, and some are earthy, some are minerally, some are fruity, might I can talk wine all day.  

Gin Stephens: What When Wine, that's one-third of it right there.  

Melanie Avalon: If there's a certain type of wine you like, say, you're hearing this and you're like, “Oh, well, I really like heavy-bodied cabs," if you email them, you can request for them to make a custom box for you of whatever type you like. So, if you do want heavier reds for example, just email them and say, “Hey, can you send me a box of full-bodied reds?" and they'll customize it for you.  

Gin Stephens: Awesome. Great tip.  

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I gave the link right for the free bottle.  

Gin Stephens: Give it again.  

Melanie Avalon: dryfarmwhines.com/ifpodcast. 

Gin Stephens: It really is worthwhile. I just can't believe how much it is. I wish you could just go anywhere and buy any wine. [laughs] But you can't.  

Melanie Avalon: If you're my friend, you now basically get Dry Farm Wines for your birthday if you're a wine drinker. This is perfect, because the next question relates to something we just talked about. 

Gin Stephens: Absolutely. So, this is fun Bill and the subject is "Blood glucose." Bill says, “Ladies, I enjoy your podcast. I don't get the feeling a lot of men are doing IF, but might be wrong.” Bill, you are wrong. There are a lot of men doing IF or a lot of men, a lot of men. There might even be more men doing it than women. I just feel maybe more women join the groups.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's a good question. I would love to know--  

Gin Stephens: A lot of men, they just do it. They don't need a group, they just join. They just start. 

Melanie Avalon: I guess a lot of the ones that are at the gym, and you know where they're all about the macros in the diet, but in general, they don't talk about their diet as much as women do. 

Gin Stephens: Let me think about just my family and the people that are related to me, just the people who are related to me that are doing it. My brother-in-law's doing it, my brother is doing it, Chad does it, my sister-in-law does it. But notice how many of the people I just named are men. It's mostly the men in my life are all doing it. Cal used to do it. Now, he doesn't. Will does it. In my personal life, more of the men that are related to me than the women do intermittent fasting.  

Anyway, yeah, lots of men. They're just not joining groups. They just quietly do it. [laughs] All right, so, although there are plenty of men in the groups, and hello to all of you who are there. I'm glad you're there. He goes on to say, “My doctor suggested IF and it's really working. I started my wife on it, and she is also succeeding. My question relates to blood glucose. I'm 60 and not a diabetic. I'm now doing a 20:4, last meal by 6 PM. But when I wake up and test my blood, it's 102 to 107, then drops as the morning goes on as I continue my fast. What's up with that? What's raising the glucose? Is this normal? Thanks." 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, this was perfect, because we just discussed this earlier, but there are two factors that primarily lead to higher blood sugars in the morning. One is the dawn effect. The natural ultradian rhythm of cortisol. What's happening there is cortisol is prompting the liver to release its stored glucose in the form of glycogen into the bloodstream. So, you're just releasing endogenous blood sugar that you already have in you. I might have to fact check that because it might also perform gluconeogenesis. So, it might actually create blood sugar. 

Gin Stephens: Are you creating if you already have plenty in your liver, would your body wouldn't create it if you had some? 

Melanie Avalon: I actually don't know, because my weird, random obsession with gluconeogenesis. I don't know why, but I'm very much fascinated by it, and the gluconeogenesis process, from what I understand, doesn't line up necessarily black and white with the level of glucose that you have either from your food or already stored. It's thought that-- like I said, I need to research it even more, but I think overdoing gluconeogenesis when you actually don't need to be doing it is a major factor related to diabetes. I think it's possible you could be engaging in gluconeogenesis even with topped-off glycogen tanks.  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I just don't know. I would think that your body wouldn't, but I don't know.  

Melanie Avalon: Like metformin and berberine, one of the proposed mechanisms of action is that it's stopping that pathway.  

Gin Stephens: Okay. It's like a healthy body wouldn't be doing that probably, right.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly.  

Gin Stephens: But that would be part of those if you were already going down that metabolic route and problems, that would make more sense. 

Melanie Avalon: I think so. And then, I was reading a study, and I'm trying to remember. I was reading a study this week actually, where this came up again, and it was-- Trying remember what I was reading about, but it was talking about the levels of gluconeogenesis while fasted versus after you eat, and how in some people it can basically be the same. That process can basically just be going on. I should probably just do a whole episode on it.  

Yeah, so point being with the natural cortisol rhythm, there's a motivation in the morning for the body to produce or release blood sugar, so that can lead to your higher levels, and then on top of that coffee can also stimulate this. So, yes, it is normal. It's good that it's going down because he says that it drops. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's true. Do you have any men or very many men in your Facebook groups?  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, probably what I've noticed is there are but I feel like they don't talk as much. I should look at the stats. I'm sure there's a way. You would know this better than me, Gin, if there's a way to just look at the-- 

Gin Stephens: There absolutely is a way. That's how I know.  

Melanie Avalon: Is it a quick check?  

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's in the admin area. I can't remember what to click on, but in the admin panel, there's some things to look at where you can click it. You can see where people are from, that was always interesting, like the countries, and the cities, and then you can see the percentage by gender. And also, they break it down by age. 

Melanie Avalon: My Facebook group IF Biohackers, well, that is not what I would have thought. So, it's 92% female, 8% male. 

Gin Stephens: That's actually larger percent male I think than some of my groups.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?  

Gin Stephens: Yes. That's actually a pretty high percentage of males. It was always over 90% of women. Again, I don't know if that's a function of just women being more likely in general to join a Facebook group or maybe just the fact that they were so women focused that the men just maybe came in and said, “Oh, wait, this is all women, and maybe not,” but we always had a strong core group of men that stayed around, and posted, and I appreciated hearing from them. I loved having the male members in the groups. I didn't want to have an all-woman group, [laughs] but it just shook out that way. It wasn't purposeful. So, thank you to all the men who were actively contributing to the group's back but before I left Facebook, because there were a lot of amazing men there that I got to know, that worked as moderators in the group and that thing. Their voices were valuable, and I consider them an important part of the community, especially those men that are confident enough to walk into a group full of 90% something women and just engage. I loved it. 

Melanie Avalon: Do you know what's interesting? My CGM Facebook group. I have another Facebook group called Lumen, Biosense & CGMs: Carbs, Fat, Ketones & Blood Sugar. It's the exact same percent. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that doesn't surprise me. I wonder probably a lot of the people are in both of them. It's very similar, the same people. 

Melanie Avalon: My Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare group is 99% women.  

Gin Stephens: That's not a surprise either.  

Melanie Avalon: 1% male. So, fun times.  

Gin Stephens: Although they do have amazing men's products. Beautycounter has a great men's products. 

Melanie Avalon: My dad just, because at Christmas I gave him all the things, and he just told me that he ran out and he needs more, because they were really great products. I’m like, “I got you covered.” My uncle told me the same thing. So, great, Counterman is their line. So, ladies, if you ever need presence for men in your life, that's actually a really great gift. 

Gin Stephens: It really is. Because you know men are hard to buy for, especially, the men in my life, I don't know what it is about that. But I guess they all are probably if mine are that hard to buy for, but yeah, get them the man's collection, and it's just really good stuff because they deserve clean beauty-- Well, I don't want to say beauty. They deserve clean skincare also and products.  

Melanie Avalon: Wine and skincare, and we're good for presents.  

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

Gin Stephens: Absolutely.  

Melanie Avalon: This question comes from Theresa. The subject is "Hungry after six months on clean IF." Teresa says, “Hello, ladies. Absolutely, love your podcast. I've only just started listening. So, bingeing at the moment.” She means bingeing on the episodes. She says, “I'm only up to Episode 25. So, you may have answered this in the upcoming episodes. I've been following a fasting lifestyle on and off for almost two years. For the last six months, I've been clean fasting. My fasting windows change with variations of 17:7 to 23:1 depending on what's happening in my life, but my window is always in the evening. I generally aim for a four-hour window of 3 PM to 7 PM one meal a day. I eat good food, homemade nutrient-dense meals, and I avoid processed food for the most part. I drink wine occasionally. I don't follow any special regimen. I'm not paleo, keto, or vegetarian.  

Just recently, I found that I'm getting hungry and this is new. I've been fat adapted for a while, and enjoy the energy, and I'm usually ready to eat around 3 PM or 4 PM. I'm now hungry in the morning after my usual black tea, and I'm struggling making it through to 3 PM. I thought it may be the tea, so I switched to water with no difference. I'm still hungry around 9 AM. I'm wondering what's happening. I've recently returned to full-time work after eight months off, and I was wondering if I'm just needing more food as I'm more active now. I'm not worrying too much about weight loss although I am still bigger than I want to be, I know I'm getting smaller, so, I'm just going with the flow. I want the health benefits more than the weight loss. I will change my window this week to a 17:7 two meal a day temporarily to see if it helps. Could it be that I'm depleted in something? I'm not sure how to manage this. I want to get back to normal ASAP. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated. Many thanks, Theresa." 

Gin Stephens: There's so much that could be making you feel temporarily hungrier. One clue is that you just changed your routine. You're back to work after eight months off and now that seems to be coinciding with you being hungrier and you're more active now. So, that could be it. You said that you're bigger than you want to be. So, I don't really know what-- There's a big difference between like, “Oh, you'd like to lose five more pounds versus you'd like to lose 50 more pounds.” Let's say, you only want to lose 5, 10 more pounds. It's possible that your body has reached a point where it's really, really happy, and you're at a healthy, ideal weight for your body even though your mind might want to lose a little bit more. In which case, your body's naturally ramping up the hunger because it's ready to maintain instead of lose more. So, that could be it. If you still have 50 pounds to go, that wouldn't be as much something to think about.  

Really, the fact that you're just back to work and have a new routine, I think, could be a lot of it. You just have to be your own study of one and see what you can do. It also depends on the kind of hunger that you're experiencing. If you're feeling shaky, and nauseous, and like, “Oh my gosh, I have to eat,” that's different. That's physically you need to eat. But if it's just a little bit, “Oh, I’m feeling a little more hungrier,” that doesn't mean you have to eat. Just ignore it, see what happens, and 30 minutes after that first wave a hunger, do you feel better? Because that's usually what happens for me. I went for a long walk on the beach yesterday, and when I came back in, I was hungry. That was 11 in the morning or something and it wasn't time for me to eat, but I had just done a lot of activity. But I ignored it, didn't eat, then I recorded a podcast from here at the beach. Then, I got busy and did some shopping, and then it was like 5:30 and I still hadn't eaten yet. I just forgot that I'd been hungry, and I was like, “Oh, after I finish this podcast, I'm going to eat because I'm so hungry.” Then, I went and ran an errand, and then I forgot I was hungry, because I was busy. 

So, really just pay attention to the kind of hunger. Is it the shaky, nauseous, “Oh, my gosh, I have to eat” hunger that's different than, “Wow, I'm hunger than I had been being” which does pass? So, be your study of one, keep experimenting, and see what feels right to you. 

Melanie Avalon: I love everything that you said there. This might be a situation where Theresa might find some insight from wearing a CGM, because it would be interesting to see, when you're experiencing this hunger, are you getting hypoglycemic? Is your blood sugar dropping? I think one of the most fascinating things that people can experience with CGMs is realizing how their perception of hunger may or may not correlate to, ironically, low or even potentially high blood sugar levels. So, maybe getting a CGM and seeing what happens after you eat, what happens when you fast, and then with that-- I know she eats nutrient-dense foods and not a lot of processed foods, but playing around with the foods that you're eating might also help. If you've never tried keto, that works really well for some people with hunger. For some people, that gets rid their hunger. Some people, they're always hungry. So, it's just something that if you haven't tried it, that might be something really interesting to try and see if that helps with your hunger. I would not suggest trying vegetarian for hunger. 

Gin Stephens: I don't know. Now, seriously, though, there are a lot of people who feel great vegetarian. I'm one of those people. When I eat more vegetarian versus when I ate keto, the difference is striking. Just FYI.  

Melanie Avalon: Do you eat completely vegetarian for more than a few days in a row?  

Gin Stephens: Probably. I don't really think about it. Here at the beach, I'm more likely to be vegetarian a lot of the time. When I say vegetarian, I'm not vegan, obviously. I guess I had eggs. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Yeah.  

Gin Stephens: But I don't always have eggs. Eggs and beans, I get plenty of protein. But you can be vegetarian and still get plenty of protein just without animal meat, you know?  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I definitely think you can. Maybe for Theresa, she's the type that her gut microbiome can really utilize a vegetarian diet. I feel like from a large amount of people, protein provides a lot of satiety, and not everybody has the gut setup to really thrive on vegetarian. Some people do. It just won't to be my first choice of something to try, but definitely try it. Maybe, it is the thing. [laughs] Maybe, it is the thing that would make you. So, I'm glad he said that. In any case, I would really focus on-- For hunger, I would really focus on protein. 

Gin Stephens: Well, she says, she eats homemade nutrient-dense meals. It sounds like she's getting great nutrients. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I just mean focusing on protein specifically for--  

Gin Stephens: Satiety?  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. But I like what you said, Gin about when it lines up with her big change. So, I think that's probably a big factor. 

Gin Stephens: When something changes and you notice other things are different, it's usually something is causing that. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. All right, so, we have a question from Allie. The subject is "Alternate day fasting." Allie says, Hi, Gin and Melanie, I started listening to both of you after I had my first baby in 2018, and I learned about fasting. I had to stop breastfeeding sooner than I would have liked. I had my second baby in November 2020, and I'm back to fasting since I sadly," again, she had to stop breastfeeding sooner than she would have liked. "When I first started fasting a few years ago, I fasted 19 to 20 hours every day, and had amazing results, and even better, I felt amazing. In the last few weeks, I have started 36-hour fast, because I just wasn't feeling great doing 20 hours like I did before and was not getting results. The ADF has been going well so far, and I am seeing the scale move again. 

My question. I know that both of you stick to 19 to 20 hours and that is your preference. Most of the people who write in also seem to fast this long, and I've listened to podcasts where you answered questions about longer fasts. Both of you always answer that longer does not necessarily mean better. I think I am misinterpreting your answers, and I have it in my head that you don't support longer fasts. Please, please correct me if my assumption is wrong. Is there a reason for why you say longer is not better? Do you still support ADF even though it isn't either of your preference? I would love to hear. Thank you for all the work that you do. It truly keeps me inspired and going. Intermittent fasting has changed my life. Much love from Canada, Allie." 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's a great question, and let's analyze that word, ‘better.’ Longer doesn't necessarily mean better. But that doesn't mean we think it's worse. So, really unpack what I just said and think about it. Let's say someone's fasting for 20 hours consistently, and they're not getting the results, maybe longer would be a good strategy for them. We don't say that it's always necessarily better. Keep that in mind. So, if you're a listener of the Intermittent Fasting Stories Podcast, and if you're not, I would encourage you to listen, I have many stories of people who do an alternate day fasting approach and a lot of them are like, “Oh, gosh, I was scared to do it. Then, I decided to do it, and it's been amazing.” So, we hear that all the time from people who really love it. If you read Fast. Feast. Repeat, I've got a whole section in there on ADF, a whole chapter. If I did not support it, I wouldn't have put it in there if I thought it was bad. I actually do have a section in Fast. Feast. Repeat where I caution you against doing fasts 72 hours and beyond unless you're under medical supervision, and I'm very specific in Fast. Feast. Repeat that these longer fasts are not recommended for weight loss according to what I have found in the research. 

In Fast. Feast. Repeat, I wouldn't have put it, like I said, if I didn't recommend it. So, I absolutely recommend it for anyone who feels great using that approach. I like to eat every day. That's my personal preference. I know many people who feel great on an alternate daily fasting approach or even I have a section in there where I talk about what I named the hybrid approach, where instead of a strict alternate daily fasting, where it's up day-down day, up day-down day, alternating like that, or even a 5:2, instead a hybrid approach where sometimes you have a down day followed by an up day, then the next day might be 19:5, and you really just mix it up to suit you. Just because I personally feel better eating every day doesn't mean that I think that's the approach everyone should follow. Whenever I say or we say, longer doesn't necessarily mean better, that doesn't mean that it's worse either. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. I thought that was a beautiful answer. I'll just share my thoughts on the longer fasting. Basically, for me, I think that the benefits of intermittent fasting a lifestyle for weight loss and for the health benefits. It's practiced-- There's that circadian word. I don't know if that's the right word for this. It’s practiced with a daily fast, and if it seemingly not working, I believe for most people, the sustainable answer is not to necessarily fast more, that there's much more potential that can be achieved by tweaking what you're eating, and then continuing with the same amount of fasting. The phrase more is better or more isn't better, I think it's just because we're trying to discourage this idea that if people aren't getting the results that they desire, the automatic thought is, “Oh, I just need to fast more.” That's just a slippery and misleading slope, because that's probably not the answer, and it can often backfire. So, I think that's what we're trying to discourage people from falling into.  

When it comes to longer fasts, I think they're really great. I don't think that their “purpose” is the purpose that people who find themselves in the situation turn to them for. So, like Gin said, they're not for weight loss.  

Gin Stephens: Well, the ADF is for weight loss.  

Melanie Avalon: Sorry, yeah. I'm talking about longer fasts, like multiday fasts.  

Gin Stephens: Extended, when you get out of the ADF paradigm, yeah.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, this is not ADF. I’m talking about extended fasting, I think they have a lot of benefits, things like complete digestion resets, or stem cell activation, or cellular cleanse, kind of things like Dr. Valter Longo talks about with his work, it's not for weight loss. That's my thoughts on the extended fasting. It's more for like healing. 

Gin Stephens: Right. Extended fasting, not for weight loss. Alternate daily fasting, great for weight loss. But you have to feel good in the pattern. How do you know it's not right for you? If you ever start feeling the urge to binge, that's a sign that what you're doing is not right for you and your body, it needs you to switch it up. 

Melanie Avalon: It's a thing for me where I probably don't recommend ADF. I could recommend it as something to try, but I can't recommend it with a passionate testimonial, because for me, it doesn't work for me. But it is something to try, and I'm not against it in any way. Gin and I both have sections on it in our books. 

Gin Stephens: I actually did it for a couple months back in 2016. Yes, in the spring of 2016, it was right after The Obesity Code came out. The reason I switched to it is because, you read The Obesity Code, and in the back, that's what he's got. It's alternate daily fasting. I'm like, “Oh, that's what he has in the back. I'm going to try that now.” [laughs] So, I did it. It's a great strategy for lowering insulin even more, because you're fasting longer, and then you have that up day that keeps your human metabolism from adapting. So, it's a great strategy if you know you're insulin resistant, and you really want to target that, or if you've been doing the daily eating window approach, and you feel like your body might have adapted. Let's say, you felt great on 23:1, and you've been doing 23:1, and it's been wonderful, and you've done it for a few months. Then all of a sudden, oop, scale is at a screeching halt, you're not losing any more weight, you may need to shake it up with there's a little bit of an alternate daily fasting approach. That doesn't mean you have to do full on every other day. You could throw in a couple of down days a week followed by a couple of up days, and that might be enough to get that metabolism going. Again, the up days are so important when you're doing that.  

Melanie Avalon: Yes. I'm really glad we got this question from Allie though, because I think it's nice to clear up our thoughts on all of this. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, because sometimes, we can say something and people interpret it. “Oh, well, you don't like ADF," but that's not it at all.” Somebody sent an email, we’re not answering it today, but just this past week, where they like said, I was hostile to keto or something-- [laughs] Did you read that one? That's so interesting that someone has listened in and come away with the idea that I'm hostile to any eating style, because I'm not. Just because an eating style doesn't work for my body, doesn't mean I don't believe it's completely right for somebody else's body. So, every time I say that keto didn't work for me, that is not me secretly telling somebody that it was not going to work for them. 

Melanie Avalon: Same with me. What I was saying earlier about vegetarian, I don't think it works for a lot of people, but if it works for you, it works for you. I think Gin and I both are just about finding what works for you, and we're not wedded to you doing any one thing. 

Gin Stephens: I think it's the difference between if people are just listening to the podcast versus if they've read my books. If you've read the books, you can say, “Oh, she does talk about ADF in there and recommend it,” or “Oh, she does say find the way that works for you, and if you're insulin resistant, you may need to lower your carbs.” So, if you just hear the title of my book, Delay, Don't Deny or hear me say keto didn't work for me, you might be really confused. [laughs] I've got a lot more behind the scenes in the books.  

Melanie Avalon: Yep. Context and nuance.  

Gin Stephens: Absolutely, yes. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode231. The show notes will have a full transcript and links to everything that we talked about. You can also get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike, and you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I'm @melanieavalon, and Gin is @ginstephens, and I think that is all the things. All right. Anything from you, Gin, before we go? 

Gin Stephens: No, I think that's it and I'll talk to you next week.  

Melanie Avalon: I will talk to you next week. Bye.  

Gin Stephens: Bye. 

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

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Jul 25

Episode 223: Melatonin, 24HR+ Fasts Vs. OMAD, Fasting Red Flags, Intuitive Fasting, Testing Glucose, Rapid Weight Gain, Birth Control, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 223 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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18:55 - Listener Q&A: Emma - The Longer The Better?

33:45 - Listener Q&A: Alison - How often should i change up my fasting window?

42:55 - Listener Q&A: Teresa - Testing Glucose in a long fast

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TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 223 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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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 223 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 fabulous. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: Good. Happy Fourth of July.

Gin Stephens: Yep. Happy Fourth of July to you, although the listeners will have celebrated that way in the past. [laughs] We're recording on the Fourth of July.

Melanie Avalon: This is true. I feel like we record on a lot of holidays.

Gin Stephens: Well, we tend to record on Sunday afternoon. Holidays happen on Sunday. Yeah. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: We're always like, “It's a holiday. Do you mind?” We're like, “No.”

Gin Stephens: I don't mind. We record in the middle of the afternoon. I'm not often doing anything in the middle of the afternoon.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, so true. I have some things to share.

Gin Stephens: All right. Well, I can't wait to hear.

Melanie Avalon: First one is, I just finished reading-- his name is Dr. Jonathan Lieurance, and I heard him on Ben Greenfield. He has an entire book about melatonin, like an entire book about melatonin. Not so much-- Well, yes, it's rolling sleep, but basically, it's rolling a ton of processes in our body. But he pointed out something that had never occurred to me when it comes to eating windows in the evening or the morning. You know how we have this whole debate about is it better to eat in the morning or evening?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Did you know the pancreas has receptors for melatonin. Melatonin tends to be inversely correlated to insulin. Basically, at night, when in theory, our melatonin should be higher, our insulin is lower, which could be a reason that late night eating is less than ideal, because there's not as much insulin to deal with the glucose load, but glucose levels might stay elevated more at night, which is like-- I'd read that a lot, but I was not aware that the pancreas had melatonin receptors.

Gin Stephens: Although I will say once you're metabolically healthy, like, just, for example, from people that we've heard about who've had their insulin tested, the wide range of fasting insulin levels, for example. It's going to be so different from person to person. Maybe that's why it varies, why an evening eating one day might be more of a problem for someone who's super insulin resistant, but not as much of a problem for someone who's healthy.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I mean, I still eat really late at night, and I'm not changing that.

Gin Stephens: I can't sleep when I eat in the morning and don't eat at night. I can't wrap my head around why that would be better.

Melanie Avalon: I feel like it just goes back to, if all things are controlled, it's probably better to eat early, but it doesn't practically manifest for a lot of people.

Gin Stephens: I still don't think we can make that generalization. Just based on the way that people have tried different things and the way they feel the best. Most people have not found they felt the best with the morning eating window. Some people do, but I don't think we can make any sweeping generalizations. I almost wish we didn't even have all that research. Instead, the only thing that mattered was the study of one and how you feel.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm not trying to make an argument either way, because I think people should do what they want to do, but I was just fascinated because I was like, is it just the studies not taking into account the fact that most people who do an intermittent fasting late night eating window haven't eaten during the day, so they might be more insulin sensitive, but I never come across this third factor, which seems to be completely independent of insulin sensitivity, and that regardless of your insulin sensitivity baseline, melatonin is going to compete with insulin at night. It could be different if you had high melatonin during the day, so I just found that interesting information.

Gin Stephens: It is interesting. My only fear is that then people try to force themselves into trying to do this-- what they have now perceived as now ideal, you know what I mean? They're like, “Oh, well, this is better. So, I'm going to do it,” and then it doesn't work out. Then, they quit completely, because they're like, “I just couldn't do that.” I don't know. But don't let striving for some kind of a theoretical perfection, make you do things that don't feel the best for your body. There are a lot of people who do though. They're like, “Well, I read it, I heard that blah, blah, blah is better, so I'm trying to force myself to do it.” Then, it didn't feel natural.

Melanie Avalon: Do you think a lot of people do that? Where they try early because they think it's better and then they stop?

Gin Stephens: I think you'd be surprised at how many people do.

Melanie Avalon: They stop intermittent fasting?

Gin Stephens: Well, I think a lot of people stop when things are hard. There are people who try to do what they think is the best thing to do. Then, they're like, “Well, I can't do it. If I can't do it the right way, I'm just not going to do it.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I feel very comfortable and being open to lots of ideas. I try really hard to not be wedded to any one idea, even if it works for me. I thought about that a lot with the diet example. I think the reason it works with a diet example, like vegan versus carnivore and stuff like that, is that low carb works really well for me. I think carnivore in theory works really well for me. I so desperately want to be vegan in theory, that keeps me very open to everything. I think it's the same situation with this. Late night eating works well, for me, so well. That said, I feel like the ideal approach is not what I'm doing. So, I don't have to ever worry about confirmation bias because I literally think the other [laughs] thing might be better. I was just thinking about it. Gary Taubes was talking about in an interview with Peter Attia.

Gin Stephens: I just think we try so hard to define better, and forget that there is no universal better. We're assuming there is, I think there's not.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think there's the better for the individual. Any individual probably has something that will at that point in time work better for them.

Gin Stephens: Right. Which is why I want people to not look for theories necessarily, work on yourself as a study of one, like I was saying. Anyway, it is also very interesting theoretically to consider.

Melanie Avalon: I don't think we should be scared of the science though.

Gin Stephens: I hope I'm not sounding scared of the science. I just don't think there's science that confirms here is what is better. I haven't seen it. [laughs] I haven't seen that science yet. Anything that made me convinced that, “Oh, gosh, they're right, that is universally better.”

Melanie Avalon: Well, I haven't seen any science showing that late night eating is better, and I've seen a lot.

Gin Stephens: I've never said late night eating is better either. See, I've never defined ‘better.’ For me, actually, late night eating is not what I do. That's not better for me. I tend to be more late afternoon, early evening, because I probably am done eating before you're starting, truthfully. I'm usually done by 7:00 PM.

Melanie Avalon: Are you typically done before it gets dark?

Gin Stephens: I usually am.

Melanie Avalon: What you're doing would probably fit very well into this paradigm of melatonin and pancreas receptors.

Gin Stephens: Unless it's the winter. I will rephrase that. In the summer, I'm usually done eating before it gets dark. In the winter, I am not. I'm usually done by 7:00 or 8:00. So, you can tell by the seasons, some seasons that’s dark and some seasons it isn't.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I feel like it's light out so late.

Gin Stephens: Well, it is in the summer. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Other quick update. I'm still working on developing a serrapeptase supplement.

Gin Stephens: How's that going?

Melanie Avalon: It's going well. I'm really, really torn about the exact formulation to use, which speaks to the ongoing debate about all the serrapeptases out there currently on the market. My biggest question is, should the enteric coating be on the capsule or on the individual serrapeptase itself? These are the things.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] The debate goes on.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, listeners can stay tuned, because when I do move forward with it, I think we're probably going to do like a preorder special, where we're going to make it the lowest price it will ever be. It's just special for the preorders just for my audience. I'm really excited. I can't wait to actually move forward with all that.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Again, I will not be producing a supplement. [laughs] Even a magnesium supplement, even though I take that daily.

Melanie Avalon: Depending on how the serrapeptase does, I could eventually-- the supplements that I take personally anyways, I can make my own version of them. Like I take a vitamin D, so I could make a vitamin D.

Gin Stephens: Right. Well, that makes sense, because you'd be more certain about the origin. I get it.

Melanie Avalon: Anything else new with you?

Gin Stephens: No. I'm back home from the beach. It's very quiet in Augusta compared to being at the ocean. Two weeks by the ocean, literally by the ocean all the time, I come home and like, “Why is it so quiet?” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: It's really quiet in my apartment.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's quiet at my house. I like it.

Melanie Avalon: I like quiet.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Me too. Although I do love the sound of that ocean. That's a noise I can get behind.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I haven't heard that in a long time actually.

Gin Stephens: What, the sound of the ocean?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: When's the last time you went to the beach?

Melanie Avalon: Probably almost a decade.

Gin Stephens: Oh my gosh. Get to the ocean.

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Shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes. All right, so we've got a question from Emma, and the subject is “The longer the better?” Without even reading it, I'm going to say the answer is no. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: There's that word ‘better’ again.

Gin Stephens: Whatever this is going to be about, there's never going to be a case where the longer is always going to be the better. Sometimes the longer is too long of anything. Here we go. She says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. I started intermittent fasting three months ago and recently found out about your podcast. I really enjoy listening to it and found this as a great support resource. Thank you both so much. I am 5’6” and my starting weight was 150 pounds. I had been losing 15 pounds. I hope to lose another 10 pounds.” Let me do some math there. She started at 150, she's lost 15 pounds, so that means she's right around 135. She wants to lose another 10 putting her at 125 is her goal. Is that how you're interpreting that, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Okay. All right. She said, “I first adopted 16:8 and then gradually went to 20:4. Finally, one meal a day eventually, because I did not feel hungry. However, two weeks ago, I started using an IF app to track my fasting time, and I became very competitive. I developed the mindset that the longer the better, and only 28-hourlong fasting can trigger autophagy, the app indicated this. Shoutout for, ‘I would like to punch that in the face.’” [laughs] I don't like apps that make it so cut and dried like that, that make people think-- that's just an example of that.

Melanie Avalon: That's not even a true statement.

Gin Stephens: No, it's not true. That makes me so frustrated that now someone's got an idea that, “Oh, I can only get this if I do that.” Now, it's messing up her happy fasting. She said, “I can fast for 48 hours, and only have a one-hour eating window. I might have started to develop--” Of course, I'm not a fan of that. I keep putting in my own words there, sorry, instead of just reading the question, let me keep going. “I might have started to develop an unhealthy relationship with IF and want to change back to one meal a day, but I am very afraid that I will gain the weight back. Scale moves like crazy with long fasting. Have you experienced or seen someone with a similar mindset? Is it a good strategy to go longer to boost more weight loss, and gradually move back to a more sustainable schedule? Thank you so much for your time.” Ooh, so many thoughts. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Actually, this reminded me of something that has happened since our last recording, Gin. I interviewed Dr. Longo. So, that ties a lot into this because I've mentioned him a lot before, Dr. Valter Longo, He's the one at USC who studies fasting a lot. He has the fasting mimicking diet, which is a five day fast that is supposed to create the effects of an extended fast, like Emma is talking about except you do eat a little bit during it. To start, so many things here. First of all, we talked about this before. Autophagy, and for listeners who are not familiar with autophagy, it is a process in our bodies where the body goes down and breaks down old protein buildups and recycles them to make things anew. And it's kind of like cleaning house. It's a really, really great cellular process, happens in the entirety of our body. And mind-blown fact, it actually is happening all the time. Yes, all the time. Well, I don't like to say absolute, but according to the science, the research that I've read, some form of autophagy is happening somewhere in your body all the time. Granted, there are things that ramp it up considerably, so that would be exercise, coffee, fasting, but it's still always happening.

Gin Stephens: Yep, and also decreased autophagy is so linked to diseases of aging. As our bodies start to slow down autophagy, the things that we do like eating all the time or overeating, that makes our bodies downregulate autophagy and leads to, like I said, increased aging. So, we want to have increased autophagy. That's the key.

Melanie Avalon: Interviewing Dr. Longo with his extended fasts, it is true one of the key benefits of extended fasting is you do really, really ramp up autophagy. Doing longer fasts, yes, you are going to really, really ramp up autophagy. That said, for longer fasts, and this is just my personal opinion, I would not go to them for weight loss. I would go to them more for, like she said, wanting autophagy, but not as like a daily thing, like I just want more autophagy, I would do it as a concentrated thing with a goal in mind. But as far as the actual weight loss, I know she's seeing a lot of results with her longer fasting, and that's probably very exciting, and it makes sense because she's asking about people who have this similar mindset. It's a dangerous slope, though, because seeing those really intense results from a longer fast on the weight loss side of things can make you perceive-- not that you're addicted, but think that that's the only way or make you crave those really quick results. It's not sustainable, which is a word that she used.

I actually personally don't think that it's the best way to go about weight loss, because the amazing thing about one meal a day or a daily intermittent fasting is that you get the weight loss benefits, but you also get daily signaling to your body with your eating window that the body is not in a state of intense fasting or famine. So, you don't get the potential downsides of the metabolism dropping or what's the word, the body compensating for the long fasts.

Gin Stephens: Like panicking.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. You're mitigating all of that. It's very sustainable and it is supporting weight loss without the potential negative effects that might come with weight loss from longer fast. I know she's worried about gaining weight by switching back, going back to a meal a day. I wouldn't be worried about that, because one meal a day as a start tends to-- well, depending on who you are, but especially if you have weight to lose, and especially depending on what you're eating, it tends to promote weight loss or weight maintenance. Weight gain is less likely, for most people, I think, compared to those two options. Two, the weight might slow down, because you've been doing really long fast, and now you're not doing really long, fast. Or, you may perceive that you're gaining weight just because of food volume, and water retention and things like that. But it's very, very sustainable, and it can still lead to weight loss. Also, don't underestimate the power of food choices. If you're making concentrated food choices that in and of themselves, macronutrient wise, are just unlikely to create weight gain. On top of that, coupled with one meal a day, you can put your body in a situation where it would be very unlikely to gain weight. Those macronutrients would be high carb, low fat or low carb, high fat, but with the low being actually low, not sort of low, so, 10%, I have more thoughts, but Gin, would you like to jump in?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm having a hard time figuring out where to start with my answer. First of all, Emma, I would stop using the app, because if you're starting to feel like you've got to do more and more and more, that starts to get into what to me feels like a red flag for disordered eating. For example, in Fast. Feast. Repeat., I talked about fasting red flags, where you need to start becoming concerned. One is when you start feeling, like you said, very competitive, and that you need to fast longer for whatever reason. It seemed like that you got triggered with the app, making you think that you only were successful when you reached what the app told you was successful. Again, these apps that say, “Now you have ketosis, now you have autophagy,” they're just estimate based on big, broad ideas.

The whole idea that autophagy, like Melanie already discussed this, autophagy doesn't start at a certain time. It does get upregulated over time as you're fasting, but we don't need to be at this Mach level, turbo autophagy all the time. We don't want to assume that more and more and more is going to be better, better, better. Cleaning our house, for example, we don't want to never clean our house, our house will get really messy. But you don't want to only clean your house all the time, that's what people do when they have OCD, that's not good either. There's a happy medium where you're doing the right amount of house cleaning that your house needs. The same with your body. And that's where the daily eating window approach, as Melanie already said, is so great, because we have time every day where you do one thing, the autophagy is upregulated because we're fasting. And then, we have time during the day where we're doing the opposite end of the spectrum, we're eating, we're nourishing our bodies.

Like with sleep, we have an amount of sleep that's good for us. Sleeping a lot less than that is not good. Sleeping a lot more than that is also not good. You're like, “Well, sleep is good. I'm going to sleep for 20 hours a day,” that is not good for you. So, you’ve got to find the balance of what feels right. Already, this is not feeling right to you, because you're turning it into, “Gosh, I got to meet this, what this app tells me.” I would delete that app from your phone right now. Also, I want to talk about something you said, you're fasting for 48 hours and then eating one meal, or having a one-hour eating window. Then, I guess you're getting into another fast. That to me is really worrisome, because for some reason, we know or we've gotten the idea that fasting cannot lead to lowered metabolism, and it absolutely can I talk about this in Fast. Feast. Repeat. Now, do we know the amount of fasting that will make your metabolism suffer? No, we don't have research on that. We do know from that one study I talk about all the time, where they tracked people for a 72-hour fast. We know that metabolic rate went up over time, and then it started to go back down again, so that by the time they got to hour 72, the trajectory was downward. This was with one 72-hour fast. You can't assume that fast after fast after fast, it's going to do that exact same thing.

If you did 72-hour fast, then a one-hour eating window, then another 72-hour fast, for example, you wouldn't expect it to have that same exact curve that it had in the first one. Eventually, your body is going to think, “Gosh, there's really not anything coming in, I’ve got to slow down my metabolism.” Fasting for 48 hours and having a one-hour eating window, if you keep doing that, your body is going to slow your metabolic rate, it's going to try to conserve energy because it wants to save you. It doesn't know that you're like trying to beat this app or whatever, trying to get to increased autophagy, because your app told you, that was a good thing, which is why I really don't like those apps, like I said, because they're giving people a false picture of what to even shoot for. You need to really think about nourishing your body, and that is equally as important. That's so important, putting in the right nutrients for your body.

I would also like you to really think about your weight loss goals, because at 5’6”, if you started at 150, and you've lost 15 pounds, it sounds like you're right in the middle of your healthy weight range right this minute. So, trying to lose an excessive amount of weight is not what I would recommend. I would let your body slowly and surely do some body composition. You may find you don't ever lose another pound. You might even go up five pounds, especially if you've been really over restricting with a lot of fasting, and then you're like, “Okay, I'm going to go back to one meal a day.” Also, I don't want you to define one meal a day as one hour, because it sounds almost like you might be doing that. Because you said you went from 20:4 to one meal a day. I consider 20:4 to be a great one meal a day paradigm because I don't really know anybody who's getting two full meals in a four-hour eating window. Our bodies really aren't going to let us do that without a lot of discomfort. I would think about 20:4, or even if you felt great at 16:8, try to find, maybe it's a six-hour eating window, maybe it's a five-hour eating window, maybe it varies from day to day.

Focus on instead of what the scale is doing and what your app is telling you and how fast your weight’s going down. I would focus on honesty pants, photos, your goal body because you sound, like I said, you're at a healthy weight for your body right now, and you want to get into a healthy pattern that feels good to you. I guarantee if you've been doing longer and longer fasts and fasting for 48 hours, then having a one hour eating window and then doing another one like that, you're going to see some weight regain, and your metabolism probably has little slowed. That doesn't mean you've like permanently ruined it. Long term, we can heal our metabolisms by nourishing our bodies well, and helping our bodies see that we're not in a restrictive paradigm anymore. I'm glad you reached out now, because you don't want this to go on long term. Do you have anything to add to that, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I thought that was great. I liked your analogy about the OCD cleaning. I never thought about it that way. Just a last thought, just to echo something I already said, which is I think a lot of people just look at the fasting as the avenue to weight loss. When you're just looking at the fasting, the only option that you might perceive for increased weight loss would be more fasting, but the food portion of it is so, so huge. So, so huge, and you can make huge gains, if you look at the fasting and the food, and that doesn't require any more fasting than you're already doing if you're doing a one meal a day. I would look more at that than fasting and fasting and fasting.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. There's going to be a point where you've fasted so much that your body is going to rebel. Some people don't acknowledge that, but I think it's true. Our bodies want us to stay alive.

Melanie Avalon: Yep. All right. Shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: This question is from Allison. The subject is, “How often should I change up my eating window?” Allison says, “Hi, wonderful humans. I'm Allison and I'm a month into my IF lifestyle, and I'm hooked. I started at 177 pounds at 5’4”. I'm two years postpartum with a goal of 135. I'm already down to 163 and feeling great. I've been playing with my windows, and this week, I'm trying a different window each day. 16:8, 19:5, 20:4, 21:3, 22:2, 23:1, and then back to 16:8. Am I changing things up too much? Should I be doing this differently? Thanks so much, Allie.” I don't think we've ever received this question before.

Gin Stephens: Not one exactly like this, no. It sounds to me, Allie, your eating window is going 8, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and then it sounds like you'll be going 8, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I didn't pick up on that. You're right.

Gin Stephens: I would absolutely not do it that way [laughs] because it's too regimented. My big push, my goal is to communicate with everyone that you can learn to listen to your body. What if the day that you have 23:1 on the books, you're hungrier because you just had a two-hour window the day before, and a three-hour window the day before, and a four-hour window the day before, and now you're really hungry, and you're going to try to force yourself to do 23:1, when really, you need a seven-hour eating window, because you've restricted for the past three days? I would be more a fan if you want to switch things up. 16:8 one day, 23:1 the next, 16:8 the next day, because that's a mild up down day kind of approach. To me, every day getting more restrictive, I would feel miserable about that 23:1 day and be tempted to binge because my body would be fighting back.

I would not try to artificially construct your eating window like that. Instead, what feels good? Are you full after three hours? Stop. Maybe tomorrow, four hours has gone by and you're still hungry, eat a little bit more, respond to how your body feels. Can you change things up too much? Only if your windows get way too long over time, that slippery slope of window creep, that could happen. Or, if you get too restrictive, that would not be good. As far as changing things up from day to day, as long as you're within the period of time where you're getting enough fasting, not too much fasting, enough of an eating window, not too much of an eating window, then I don't think it's possible to change things up too much within that paradigm. What do you think?

Melanie Avalon: I really like what you said. I can think of two situations where this might work. One would be if it just so happens that Allie tries this for a week and really likes it, then keep doing it. But if you experience any of the things that Gin was mentioning about feeling restricted by it, or it doesn't feel intuitive, or it's not creating the results and the ease that you want, then I would not do it. But I don't see anything wrong with trial running it out of curiosity and seeing how it does. I feel like for a lot of people, it probably would feel too restrictive. For some people, there might be the odd soul that it works really well. They like this pattern that they came up with.

Gin Stephens: I would like switch it around more, maybe if you want to have those exact numbers, but sprinkle them.16:8 followed by 23:1, followed by 20:4. Instead of having them sequential like that, where you're eating windows shrink, shrink, shrink, shrink shrinks.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, well, that's actually the second thing I was thinking of that, this could also be a scenario where somebody is trying to get to a smaller eating window, and they just slowly are shortening it every single day, but then they wouldn't be starting all over again. If the end goal was to get to a smaller eating window, it might manifest as something like this, but I don't think it would be repetitive or cyclical. You probably stay at the shorter eating window.

Gin Stephens: Again, I've said it before, I'm not a fan of too short of an eating window over time, over and over again, because then your body will adapt. If you do 23:1 every single day, it's more likely that your body's going to adapt to what you're doing than if you do switch it up from time to time. Again, just as we said with the previous question from Emma, longer is not always better. I do think changing things up and switching things around is good. But what makes me chuckle a little bit, Melanie, is that this sounds like something I would have done a plan, I would have made years ago when I was still very much in that that regimented mentality of, like, “I need a plan and I'm going to follow it.” I would try to make a plan-- I can remember one year sitting, it was like, “Okay, let me figure out what my maintenance plan is going to be. I'm going to do this many hours on Monday and Tuesday.” I was writing it all down. It's so much more peaceful when you really get to the point where you are listening to your body, and you're able to be in tune with it. Was I in tune with my body from day one? No. I know it might sound foreign to even imagine that one day, you're not going to need to really think about it that much. But you really won't. Do you know exactly how long your eating window was yesterday, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: No.

Gin Stephens: Me neither. Or the day before?

Melanie Avalon: Um-hmm.

Gin Stephens: Me neither.

Melanie Avalon: I just don't want to give the impression that that means that you should jump straight into “intuitive fasting.”

Gin Stephens: No, and I even talked about that in Fast. Feast. Repeat., the whole 28-day FAST Start, it's more regimented and it's to train your body to become fat adapted. You're not going to be ready on day one. But the goal is to become intuitive with it. Again, this sounds like something I would have been like all over at the beginning. Even the first couple years, I wasn't comfortable with the idea that I could trust my body.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I think especially in the beginning when you're not fat adapted and everything, and we just talked about this but just to make it even more clear, having a plan is a really great thing. It can be a really great thing, because you're probably not going to be intuitive at the beginning.

Gin Stephens: Yep. I would be cautious with an overly restrictive plan. If you say my plan is, I'm going to do 23:1 every single day for a month, I would be cautious about that. Give yourself a plan within something like a 19:5 or a 20:4 kind of thing and be flexible within either side of that, perhaps. Just my two cents.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Thinking back to when I first started, I was rigid on one side and flexible on the other, and we've talked about this a lot before, but basically my rigidity, my plan was fasting a minimum amount of hours, but then I was flexible on the eating window. So, I didn't put an end cap to the eating.

Gin Stephens: See, I was the opposite. I didn't count my fast at all. My goal was to keep my eating window at five hours or less. It's all about what feels right to you. I've just heard people will be like, “Wow, I never thought of doing it that way.” Whatever the other way is. Whatever you're doing now, think about doing it the other way and see if you like that better. There are people who like both ways, and there is no better way. It's whatever feels good, and it might change for you from time to time.

Melanie Avalon: Super curious now, I think after we finished recording, I'm going to post a poll on my Facebook group and ask do people count the fasting hours or the eating hours? I'm really curious what the breakdown is. If it's like half and half or--

Gin Stephens: Yeah. What's interesting, if we go back in time, early days of intermittent fasting, really people, other than Brad Pilon, who had the Eat Stop Eat where he would go 24 hours, his goal was to go to 24 hours, a couple days a week. Other than that, everything was talked about with eating windows. We had Fast Five, which is where the five-hour window came from, or 16:8, where people were focused on that eight-hour eating window. It seems like the fasting apps that had the milestones in them really got people to focus on the fast.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's just what I always naturally gravitated towards.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's interesting.

Melanie Avalon: I feel claustrophobic in an eating window, in a restricted eating window.

Gin Stephens: It was what I needed, though. I needed that, “Now, your window is closed.”

Melanie Avalon: I guess also, when you're having a later eating window like I do, it naturally closes itself because of sleep. When you're eating up until bedtime, you can only eat so long.

Gin Stephens: That's true, because then you go to bed.

Melanie Avalon: If I had to do, for whatever reason, earlier eating window, I would probably count that eating hours.

Gin Stephens: And you would need to close it at a certain time.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. That'd be upsetting.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] The good news is you don't have to.

Melanie Avalon: I know. Thank goodness.

Gin Stephens: Yay. All right. So, we have another question, and this is from Theresa, and the subject is “Testing glucose and a long fast.” Theresa says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. I love your show. I'm a member of your Facebook groups, have read your books, and started IF in September of 2020 after finding your podcast. I've been clean fasting since then, eight months. Mostly 16:8, but some 20:4, 22:2 etc. I've played around with my window, and I've also bought a lot of the biohacking gadgets, participated in the Zoe study, trying to figure out why I can't lose weight. I'm 39 work a desk job and not very active. I eat clean, mostly paleo/whole30 style. I don't drink much, occasionally a seltzer or a glass of wine, but not even once a week. I've put on about 25 pounds in the last year, putting me 50 pounds overweight and have struggled with energy. I am completely exhausted by 4:00 to 5:00 PM each day, which is why I'm not exercising. I have kids and it's all I can muster to get dinner going and help them with the bath, bedtime, and then I feel like I literally can't move anymore.

I was convinced it was my thyroid. I checked the box for every Hashimoto symptom, but I had a full panel and my numbers are okay. From listening to you, I knew to ask for TSH, reverse T3, T4, antibodies, etc., and they are all “in the normal range.” I realized they might not be optimal levels, but it wasn't the smoking gun I was expecting. I take serrapeptase in the morning fasted. I also take Selenium and I do think that it has helped with my energy level. I take Magnesium Breakthrough and Magnesium Calm at bedtime. I signed up for InsideTracker and my inner age is 45. They recommended I add AHA supplement, So I take the one from Thorne.

After hearing Melanie and Marty talk recently, I looked into data-driven fasting and did a test. I stopped eating at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, and on Thursday fasted clean, just black coffee, unsweetened iced tea and some LMNT Raw and tested my blood glucose and ketones with my Keto-Mojo. At 10 AM, my blood glucose was 111 and ketones 0.2, Lumen was 1. At 3:00, my blood glucose was 80, ketones 0.4, Lumen was 2. At 6:30 PM, 24 hours into the fast, my blood glucose was 91 and ketones 0.5, forgot to use the Lumen. This morning I checked at 8:30 AM, and my Lumen said 2, my blood glucose was 105, and my ketones were 0.4. Shouldn’t I have higher ketones and lower blood glucose at 38 hours of clean fasting? I'm perplexed.”

Melanie Avalon: Can I interject really quickly?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: I probably should have said this before we read that part. For listeners, the Lumen is a device that measures if you're burning carbs or fat, primarily. When she's registering a 1 or 2, that is a fat burning mode. As you go up, 3 is carbs and fat, and 4 and 5 are carbs. It's not measuring ketones, or blood sugar, it's actually measuring levels of carbon dioxide in your breath, which they can show the source substrate of what you're burning. If you want to learn more about it, I actually have a Facebook group, I'll put a link in the show notes to it. Then you can also get a discount for Lumen if you like at melanieavalon.com/lumen. The code changes around, but I think right now it's MELANIEAVALON30 for $30 off, but we'll put a link in the show notes. Just to clarify for listeners, what's going on there.

Gin Stephens: All right. She goes on to say, “I'm perplexed. I feel like I'm doing all the things, but the weight won't budge. I've actually gained 5 to 10 pounds since starting IF. I have berberine on the way after listening to Melanie's most recent podcast with Shawn Wells. I'm a little hesitant to try longer fasting, but that really is what I haven't tried yet. This is my longest fast, but I'm apprehensive after hearing from Dave Asprey and others that women with hormonal issues shouldn't do extended fasts. I think my sleep is okay for the most part, but I have an Oura ring being delivered today. Blackout curtains changed my life. My stress level isn't anything crazy. I do wear my Apollo Neuro, I'm serious, I bought all the things and do breathing exercises. Before COVID, I was a yoga guide twice a week, so I'm sure my stress is higher than it was a year ago, but I'm pretty level most of the time. Should I try alternate day fasting? Do you think the longer fasts are what I need to start seeing weight loss? I don't usually struggle with hunger until about 20 hours into a fast but now that I'm at 38 hours and not hungry, if it's a mind game, I'm for it. Are there any other labs I should ask for?

I know something hormonal is off. I started taking birth control pills, low hormone, to help with period related migraines. I get two-to-three-day migraines right before my period and they are unbearable. I was also having terrible cystic acne despite a very clean skincare and makeup routine. I've been on clean beauty since 2014. The birth control pills immediately cleared up my skin and my migraines are still coming, but seem to last a day instead of two to three. Sorry to write you a book, but I don't want to be the listener that you can't help because I didn't give you enough info. What would you do if you were me? Thank you for all you do.”

Melanie Avalon: All right. Thank you, Theresa, for your question. I know this was a very long question and very specific to Theresa, but I think she touched on so many things that can probably help so many people, so I would love to address it. For starters, the fatigue. Fatigue often indicates that your cells are not receiving the energy that they need. It could be that you during the fast are not tapping into a fat-adapted state or a ketogenic state and that your cells are literally struggling to get the energy that they need. I know you checked your thyroid and you checked for all the things. I would do a full iron panel. When I say full, we want to make sure it has hemoglobin, iron, iron binding capacity, iron saturation, and ferritin, which a lot of the panels don't include ferritin. So, you have to ask for it specifically. Fun fact, even if you get the iron panel on the conventional list, I think with like LabCorp or something, it doesn't even include ferritin, like you have to add it on which is just shocking to me. A lot of women struggle with iron issues, and personally having had iron issues, the fatigue, you can get from it-- I'm not saying this is what you have, but it might be and for any other women or men listening, it could also be a thing. The fatigue from it is very intense. So, I would check that out.

As far as the weight loss and all of the things, I get a sense that for the weight loss, you're searching for a solution, a supplement or a lifestyle practice, like I get the sense that you're searching for the answer, and one thing outside of yourself. When I would step back-- this is for the weight loss, and I'm going to sound like a broken record, but I would look, first and foremost at the food choices. I know you said that you are doing a paleo/whole30 approach, but what are you eating in that paleo Whole30 approach. Out of all that we don't actually even know the macros that you're doing. So, are you doing low carb? Or, are you doing higher carb approach? Again, I don't know the answer, so I can't give an answer. But all of these situations may or may not be working. You could be doing low carb, and it could be that your body actually doesn't do well with low carb. Actually, you need more carbs. So, you might benefit from a fatigue level and an energy level, and even a weight loss level with more carbs, less fat, and just continuing the fasting, or might be the reverse. Maybe you have carbs, and you actually-- your body would do well with lower carbs, so you might want to try a lower carb approach.

I think people think that if they're doing fasting and Whole30 or paleo that checks all the boxes, and so that the automatically lose weight, especially if you're eating things like nuts, for example, there are a lot of foods that you can eat that actually are going to be weight promoting. Fasting is not an automatic, instant weight loss solution. It works really well for a lot of people, but it doesn't get rid of the potential for weight gain or weight maintenance or weight stagnation from food choices. Same with the food choices. Eating a paleo diet or Whole30 diet, doesn't automatically mandate or necessitate weight loss.

Gin Stephens: What you're saying is, just to summarize it for people, you can still overeat in an eating window, even if you're eating clean, paleo, Whole30, and then you won't lose weight, you might gain weight. That was what Melanie is saying.

Melanie Avalon: Perfect, thank you.

Gin Stephens: If you're overeating for your body, you're not going to lose weight, you'll gain weight.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and I feel like a broken record, but that's why I so often suggest people trying either low carb and really low carb or low fat, and actually low fat because the tweaks you can make with the macronutrients, they set up your body, because of the nature of the macronutrients, to make it much more difficult to gain weight and much more likely to lose weight. She's gaining weight, and I get the sense that she's attributing the weight gain to the fasting, but she also mentioned a lot of other factors that happen sort of recently, they didn't all have specific dates, so it's hard to know how things lined up. How long has she been fasting? Eight months. One of them was, she went from doing teaching yoga to not, and she says she’s sedentary and doing a desktop.

Gin Stephens: There's something else out there, that's a huge red flag. She gained 25 pounds in a year. That's an indication that something's going on. She's only been doing intermittent fasting for eight months, but before starting intermittent fasting, she was gaining weight rapidly. There's some underlying something. I don't know what that is. We can't know, but something caused that to start happening in her body. I wonder if she's going through menopause.

Melanie Avalon: She's 39.

Gin Stephens: Oh, she did say 39?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: I doubt that's perimenopause.

Melanie Avalon: Another huge change is the birth control. That could have a major effect. The power of hormones is just so huge, and birth control is messing with the hormones. I even look back in high school for the same-- She's going on it for the migraines, and then she said it cleared up her skin. I shudder her so much about this. I went on birth control when I was 16 for acne. Just looking back, so I was never crazy overweight, but I gained a significant amount of weight really fast. I'm assuming it was most likely from the birth control.

Gin Stephens: I had that happen. I got an IUD that had hormones that it released. This is after I had both of my kids and I didn't want to have more kids. It was a hormonal IUD. I started gaining weight rapidly when I had been pretty weight stable. So, that was interesting. The InsiderTracker part is interesting because her inner age is six years older than her real age. How do they base that, is it like based on inflammation, just a wide variety? There's something up in her body.

Melanie Avalon: What they look at to determine your “inner age,” they test a lot, but the actual inner age thing looks at LDL, glucose, GGT. GGT, this is fascinating. People usually just test AST or ALT liver enzymes, but GGT is another liver enzyme, and it's actually specific to the liver. AST and ALT can be increased from exercise, but GGT is really just the liver, so it can indicate if you have elevated liver enzymes if it's the liver, or if it might be something else, like actually fasting or exercise. Sorry, so they also test DHEA, lymphocytes, triglycerides. How do you say the word? I've never said it out loud. Eosinophils?

Gin Stephens: Oh, I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: I've never said that out loud. I see it all the time on blood tests.

Gin Stephens: I do not see that all the time. Isn’t that funny?

Melanie Avalon: RDW, monocytes, basophils, total iron binding capacity, albumin, HbA1c, and BMI. That's what they test. I would be curious from her InsideTracker specifically, what were the ones that were raising her inner age. That would actually paint a better picture as well of what might be going on.

Gin Stephens: There's something going on in her body that started when she was rapidly gaining weight before she started intermittent fasting. It sounds like maybe the intermittent fasting has slowed the rapid weight gain, but it hasn't mitigated it. Now, she's slowly gaining weight instead of rapidly gaining weight. It's still you’ve got to figure out the cause, and that's so much easier said than done. I love what Dr. Jason Fung said, that always comes back to me. Obesity is a multifactorial problem, and you’ve got to find the root cause for you and address that. If it's not something fasting-- fasting might be one piece of your puzzle, but it may not be the only piece of your puzzle. Does that mean fasting doesn't work? No. But it may not be addressing the thing that is-- if your problem with energy is iron levels, fasting isn't going to fix that.

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Gin Stephens: Her main question was testing glucose in a long fast. What would you say to that part, Melanie? We haven't talked about that at all.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I was just going to say we haven't answered that yet. I think people get really confused by this. Basically, if the body is not relying solely for whatever reason on fatty acids, the body can increase blood glucose, if it thinks it needs more sugar. Even if you are fasted a long time, even if your glycogen is depleted, well, if the glycogen is not depleted, it can pull blood sugar from your glycogen in a fasted state. If it is depleted, it can make blood sugar. The liver can make blood sugar through a process called gluconeogenesis. In the Lumen group that I mentioned earlier, my Facebook group, we have how many members? Maybe close to 5000 members, and people share their experience with Lumen a lot. A lot of people see this. They'll be in a fat burning mode, like 1 or 2 and then they fast longer, and it goes up, to 3.

Gin Stephens: Your body has introduced some blood glucose from somewhere or some glucose.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, so many people experience this. I think what's going on is that the longer into the fast, instead of the body being like, “Yeah, we're fasting, we're burning fats,” it actually is sensing it as a stress. So, it's upregulating blood sugar. I wouldn't be surprised that's happening. That said, she still stayed in a fat burning mode. She was asking, shouldn't I have higher ketones and lower blood sugar, I would not be surprised. For her at this point in time, a longer fast, her body is not responding with more ketones, it's responding with more blood sugar. It has that choice. We have very little consciously, very little control over this. Some people are going longer into the fast and for all of the reasons, their body is like, “Yay, we're going to rely on ketones more,” so it makes more ketones and blood sugar lowers. Some people's bodies say, “No, we're not going to rely on ketones more,” and it makes more blood sugar, and then the ketones don't go up.

Peter Attia has talked about when he went on a keto diet for a really long time and he's a doctor and testing all the things, he was saying it was shocking how long it took his body to fully keto adapt, like really, really long time. And that's with doing like a really, really stringent ketogenic diet and fasting. I think a lot of people experience this, because I think some people just never quite-- their body never quite gets to that point where they could do a 38-hour fast and not have this response. I always wonder if, like, everybody, if they just did it long enough, and by long enough, I don't mean fasting longer. I mean staying on a ketogenic diet, staying on the fasting long enough, would everybody's body eventually adapt to where they could go 38 hours and not have this response, or some people will this always be the case? I don't know the answer to that.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. We're all different when it comes to what our bodies do. I think of that normal distribution, the normal curve of everything from cat tail length to the height of a pine tree, they follow that normal distribution. There are people on either extreme of every factor, and that's going to be even how quickly your blood glucose goes down, or how well your body gets into ketosis. You might be an outlier on one end or the other. We're all just so different. Back to what I said about those apps before that treat us like we're all just carbon copies, and everybody's going to be doing bam, the same thing at the same time, that's why that make me so mad.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Also, to answer her question, she's doing a 38-hour fast and she said that this is the longest one she's done, and she wants to know, should she do longer? Should she try alternate day fasting? I didn't plan this, but this was perfect. She asked the same question. Do you think the longer fasts are what I need to start seeing weight loss? Honestly, it goes back to the same answer I gave with Emma's question, which I would not necessarily turn to the longer fasting as the first thing to lose more weight or at all. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: I will say that an alternate day fasting approach or a hybrid approach, if you feel good doing it, that could be a great strategy. Maybe two down days a week, follow by up days, and then the other days having an eating window, that might be a sweet spot for your body. So, you can certainly experiment with that. Go back to Fast. Feast. Repeat. and look at the Intermittent Fasting Toolbox chapter and think about how you can try to experiment. But the thing that worries me, going back to the very, very beginning of Theresa's question, is that she doesn't have good energy even now eight months in. I just keep honing in on that as something's up. Even with the longer fast, I wonder did her energy-- at 38 hours, did she feel more energy? That would be interesting. If the answer is yes, when you’ve got to 38 hours, you did have more energy, then I would say maybe you do need to throw in a couple of down days a week. But if you still never got there even with 38 hours, made me think, no, that would not be the answer.

Melanie Avalon: I didn't pick up on this earlier.

Gin Stephens: There's a lot here. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I know. That she's 50 pounds overweight, I'm assuming that's by the conventional BMI standards, I would really look at what you're actually eating. And not physical activity to lose weight, but just because there's a lot to moving around compared to a desk job, sedentary, especially if she was doing like yoga before, so that's a big change. There's so much, the hormones, the exercise, the food, definitely check the iron panel. And I'm really, really curious if you check the iron panel, if you find something, let us know. I'd be really, really curious about that.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, me too.

Melanie Avalon: I would just say that being anemic can feel like death. It can just feel like fatigue, and you just can't move, that's what she said.

Gin Stephens: That is what it sounds like to me. I was going to say iron too, but you said it first.

Melanie Avalon: She says I feel like I literally can't move anymore, I would really check the iron. Having been there, that is exactly what it feels like. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode223. The show notes will have a full transcript and they'll have links to everything that we talked about. I’ll also put links to all the stuff that Theresa talked about lumen, the Oura, the Apollo Neuro, all of the things. Magnesium Breakthrough, she really did touch on a lot of things. And yes, you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I'm @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

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

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful and 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! 

 

 

Jul 18

Episode 222: Fasted Marathons, Quitting Smoking, Double Standards, Restrictive Diets, Disordered Eating, Night Shifts, Dizziness, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 222 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 2  Grass Fed Ribeye Steaks And 2 Lobster Tails All For Free!

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! Go To molekule.com And Use The Code ifpodcast120 At Checkout For $120 Off Your 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!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get 2 Grass Fed Ribeye Steaks And 2 Lobster Tails All For Free!
The Science, Nutrition, And Health Implications Of Conventional Vs. Sustainable, Grass-fed, Pastured, And Wild Meat And Seafood, Featuring My Honest Butcher Box Review!
The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #57 - Robb Wolf

3:55 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! 
Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's QuizMelanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

To Join The Supplement Study Email Dr. Lustig at: Rlustigmd@gmail.com
The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #99 - Dr. Robert Lustig

17:00 - Listener Feedback: Madeleine - Fasting During Triathlons

Episode 218 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast

20:35 - Listener Q&A: Marcela - I have run marathons fasted

Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking

#161 – AMA #23: All Things Nicotine: deep dive into its cognitive and physical benefits, risks, and mechanisms of action

Get $50 Off X3 Resistance Bands And Grow Muscle 3x Faster Than With Weights! Go To melanieavalon.com/x3 And Use The Coupon Code SAVE50

26:50 - MOLEKULE: Go To Molekule.com And Use The Code ifpodcast120 At Checkout For $120 Off Your Order!

29:20 - Listener Q&A: Jenny - Interesting article

The damaging double standard behind intermittent fasting

47:30 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

50:20 - Listener Q&A: Heather - Night Shift Nurse

56:05 - Listener Q&A: Eric - first week of IF

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 222 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 to grass-fed ribeye steaks and two wild-caught lobster tails all for free. Yes, for free. We are so honored to be sponsored by ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get high-quality, humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, that's really hard to find by the way, and wild-caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door.

When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency, regarding raising practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox, you can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. But I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company.

All of their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished, that's really hard to find. They work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves but 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?

Now, you can celebrate this summer by savoring every moment. For a limited time, ButcherBox is offering new members, two free lobster tails and two free ribeye steaks in their first box. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to receive this special offer. Yes, that's free lobster tails and ribeyes in your first box when you go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast.

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

Did you know that conventional lipstick for example often test 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 222 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi everybody.

Melanie Avalon: Gin, you know what 222 is?

Gin Stephens: The number after 221?

Melanie Avalon: It's a palindrome.

Gin Stephens: Oh, well, it is. Yeah, it is. It's also a nice number. I like repeating numbers.

Melanie Avalon: Me too. Well, how are things with you?

Gin Stephens: They are great. I'm still at the beach. We had a whole week with my whole family here--Well, Chad didn't come. He doesn’t like to come to the beach, apparently, [laughs] and neither of my children were here. All the 20 something kids were off living their lives. It was just the younger kids and the adults except for Chad. We're all here, and we were here for a week, and it was great.

Melanie Avalon: Well, that's exciting.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we had really good family time. We hadn't taken a family beach trip, my brother, Zach, figured out, for 22 years.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. That's a long time.

Gin Stephens: Yep.

Melanie Avalon: You put a picture on Instagram, was that your brother or--?

Gin Stephens: Those are two of my brothers and my sister. There are four of us.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay, because I was like, “That's not Chad, who is that?” I’m so confused. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: The one closest to me was my brother, Zach, and my sister, Alison, and then my other brother, Ben. We're all in that photo. It was so much fun. We had a surprise engagement for one of my nieces. At one time, I didn’t really how many people there were on the beach, there were 27 people on the beach for that surprise engagement. Her boyfriend, and his family, and their best friends all surprised her right in front of our beach house. We said we were going to do family photos, and so we all were there, and then, surprise, there's her boyfriend with an engagement ring and all of their family and friends plus us. So, there were a total of 27 of us on the beach and she had no idea.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, that's so fun. I love that.

Gin Stephens: That was right when we took that picture. It was so much fun. Yeah, it was so much fun. Anyway, this might be the last trip we all take as a family. So, even though Chad wasn't there, and my kids weren't there, and one of my nieces, one of my nephews, because they're old-- not old enough to have time off work [laughs] but too old to be a kid. It's that in between age.

Melanie Avalon: I guess, they'll grow into the time when they can come.

Gin Stephens: Exactly. But it was such a fun trip. Now, I'm here by myself. I'm staying till Thursday. Right before we recorded, I went for a swim in the ocean. I would say all by myself, except the ocean is packed full of people. So, I had to keep making sure I didn't run into people in the ocean. Back at the condo for this this week, our house is rented, and it was so sad to pack up from the house and come to the condo.

Melanie Avalon: I bet.

Gin Stephens: I love the condo, but I love the house. It's so much more isolated, even though, it's not isolated at all, the condo’s like wall to wall.

Melanie Avalon: Well, we can be grateful things opening up this summer.

Gin Stephens: It is. I'm so grateful. Exactly, and that everybody's here having such a good time. Yes, all those things. But I'm tired of eating out, can I just tell you. So now, I'm just eating at the condo, meeting things like avocados, and tomatoes, and raisin toasts, and it's so nice to just be eating plain [laughs] simple foods. I'm going to have a big spinach salad to open my window today.

Melanie Avalon: Very nice.

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

Melanie Avalon: Actually, a few really important things or exciting things. I've been telling you this, but I'm really making forward progress. I think I'm going to produce a serrapeptase supplement.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's really fun.

Melanie Avalon: I'm learning so much about making a supplement., like how the process works and everything. So, I'm really excited. Listeners, stay tuned, because you know, there's so many serrapeptase-- for listeners, who are not familiar, Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme created by the Japanese silkworm. When you take it in the fasted state, which is obviously easy for many of our listeners, it goes into the bloodstream and breaks down residual proteins in your body. So, those are things that can contribute to inflammation or allergies, or-- Gin, you took it originally for fibroids, right?

Gin Stephens: I did.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Brain fog is another thing. A lot of people just really find it to be a game changer. I've taken it pretty much every day for years, and there's all this debate out there about which brand to use, and potency, and strength, and should you get enteric-coated serrapeptase, or should you get enteric-coated capsules. So, I've been doing all of the research, and I'm working with a preexisting company that I really like. I'm probably going to produce it with them. So, stay tuned.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's really fun.

Melanie Avalon: I know. [giggles]

Gin Stephens: I am never going to make a supplement. Can I just say that?

Melanie Avalon: I know, I know.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] If I ever do, that's a sign that I've been kidnapped. Come and look for me.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's so funny. I didn’t think I ever would I think something like this would be appropriate, I realized maybe it would be appropriate to make the supplements that I personally take every day, I might as well make my own version?

Gin Stephens: With this one, not only do you take it every day, but you haven't found a company that you really, really trust with it.

Melanie Avalon: Right, exactly.

Gin Stephens: That's the difference.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Then, listeners just ask all the time. People ask my Facebook group like, “Which brand?” I was like, “I just need to have my own.” That's one exciting thing. We're still figuring out all the details but what we're probably going to do, just to tease it now, is have the launch date, but we'll probably, do a special preorder setup where you'll get it at a really discounted price. So, stay tuned. I will have more details about that.

Gin Stephens: Very cool. What else? You said there are lots of things, is it just two?

Melanie Avalon: The second thing is, I released this week on Friday, last Friday, this past Friday, and the episode with Dr. Robert Lustig for that Metabolical book. Oh, my goodness. Gin, have you read it yet?

Gin Stephens: I haven’t. I'm reading some fiction right now. I'm reading this trilogy of fiction that's really long by Ken Follett. If there are any Ken Follett readers out there, they know what I'm talking about.

Melanie Avalon: What genre, fiction? What, like fantasy?

Gin Stephens: Historical fiction. The trilogy I'm reading now is World War I. And now, I'm in World War II. Then, I haven't read the third one, is, I guess, Post World War II.

Melanie Avalon: Nice. [laughs] I've not read any of that stuff.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't read fantasy.

Melanie Avalon: I know I said that, and I was like, “Wait, she's not reading fantasy.”

Gin Stephens: No. I don't like fantasy.

Melanie Avalon: I was like, “This is Gin.” I don't even know what books you like, but I know you're probably not reading fantasy.

Gin Stephens: No, I like realistic fiction a lot. But it's been so long since I read, I'm almost embarrassed to-- It's been a long, long time since I read fiction.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, me too.

Gin Stephens: But I'm really enjoying it.

Melanie Avalon: Me too. Well, when you come back to the nonfiction world, I still think you would love Metabolical. Especially, it just really lines up with your new book so much, but I have an update about it. So, the episode has been so, so popular. I've been sort of blown away, which I anticipated that. I was supposed to release this episode way later like in the fall, but I was so excited about it that I bumped it up to now. But Dr. Lustig in the episode talks about-- I don't know if he owns the company-- Okay, so it's called Biolumen, and he's basically making a supplement, but it's all food compounds. It's technically considered food. The way it works is, in their early studies, they've shown that it inhibits 35% of sugar load-- well, I guess any sugar. The ingredients in it, sequester sugars and starches in the gut, and it makes them so that they're not immediately absorbed higher up and instead released further down in the intestine. It goes with his whole thing of “protecting” the liver and feeding the gut. They're still doing trials on it and studies. They're looking for listeners who use a CGM, who would like to be involved in his studies and his trial, and he mentioned it in the episode, but I didn't have the information then. So, now, I have the information.

If anybody wants to do, this to qualify, you have to routinely use Abbott FreeStyle Libre CGM. If you use a Dexcom, you can also participate, but you'd have to be able to send screenshots of your data. Or, for our listeners who are doing NutriSense and Levels, he didn't talk about this and the information that he gave me, but that-- What do those use? I think those use the FreeStyle. Those would work because you can send screenshots with the data. You also can't have diabetes, but it's okay if you have prediabetes. You can't be taking glucose-lowering medications, including insulin, and you obviously have to be willing to share your CGM. But if you'd like to participate, and if you participate, they'll send you these capsules, I have all the instructions, but basically, you'll be taking them in conjunction with your food, you'll have your readings, and also, you will be compensated a little bit for it as well.

If you'd like to do this, just contact Dr. Lustig directly. His email is RLustigMD@gmail.com. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. This is really exciting. It says that he'll email you back or if you prefer, if you include your name and phone number, he will call you directly. So, [giggles] that's very cool. I was excited when he sent me this, because I was like, “Well, we have a big audience, and a lot of our audience is wearing CGMs.” So, if anybody's interested, this could be a fun little thing to do.

Gin Stephens: I wonder if he's going to be surprised.

Melanie Avalon: I know. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: That has definitely happened [laughs] when I've interviewed people on Intermittent Fasting Stories, and then they're like, “Oh, I wasn't expecting that.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: That many people, yeah. He just sent me this email this morning, and then, I just emailed back, and I was like, “Yeah, I'll mention it on our podcast.” We shall see. That's really cool that he'll call you though. I had other things, but I can save it for next week.

Gin Stephens: Well, those are some exciting things.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Shall we get started with the feedback?

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: This is from Madeline, and the subject is, “Fasting during triathlons.” She says, “Hello, ladies. I've been listening to your podcast from the start, and truly believe this is the best healthy way of longevity. Thank you for all you do. You ladies are fun to listen to and full of great knowledge. I don't have a question, but just to share an experience I've had with IF in the course of my life. As per your request from Episode 218, a little about myself. I am a retired RN and a personal trainer from Ontario, Canada. Hello from the North. I too, like Gin, once weighed 216 pounds 25 years ago, 1996, and have kept it off.” Just a little side note for me. 210 is the highest number I saw on the scale, but it was probably 216 when I was on that cruise [laughs] because I wasn't weighing.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: She says, “I have kept it off. I basically lost it during the IF style of living. However, it wasn't recognized clearly back then. I did however do dirty fasts, i.e., my coffee. That has changed now especially as I know better, thanks to you gals, had to adjust it for menopause. After my huge weight loss, I had lots of energy that encouraged my performance as a triathlete. Over the course of 10 years, 2000 to 2010, I competed in multiple road races and triathlons placing first for my age group. During that time, I often was accused of taking some drug to give me such energy/speed to perform, LOL. It wasn't any drug, it was just IF. I was in my fasted state which I performed my best run, 5K, 24.3K bike, and 5k swim, and placed first every single time. I have a collection of medals on my wall. I don't race anymore as I train people to optimize their health to be their best. Thank you once again, all the best, Madeline.”

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, this was really, really amazing to hear, because I remember when we discussed this on the earlier episode that we can put a link to and again, Gin and I-- We can research the science and we can share anecdotal stories like Madeline's, but we don't have any. Well, Gin, have you ever run a marathon?

Gin Stephens: Oh, Lord no. Is that a joke? [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I did not want to presume.

Gin Stephens: That joke that, if you ever see me running, you better start running too. Have you ever seen that, because something's chasing me?

Melanie Avalon: That’s so funny.

Gin Stephens: I'm not a runner. I had so much fun playing in the ocean, today. That's what I like to do. Anything that is just fun and doesn't feel like you're exercising. I jumped up and down a million times, and the waves were knocking me over. I like to exercise like a kid playing.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, me too. Me too. It's nice to hear from people who actually have done this and it's crazy that she's a triathlete as well.

Gin Stephens: I love it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: I know people love to do that kind of thing, and I admire them for loving it. I just don't.

Melanie Avalon: This is what we talked about last time, but I do want to iterate that this still likely requires a lot of training in the fasted state to do this in the fasted state. It's not something you want to just jump into willy-nilly, which actually our next question, I think, speaks to a little bit. Doesn't it?

Gin Stephens: It does.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. We’ve got another question or another feedback, and this is from Marcella. Madeline and Marcella. She says, “Hello, ladies. I just finished listening to podcast 218,” so that same episode. She says, “I have to write I have run marathons fasted, I am an ex-smoker.” Oh, we also talked about smoking in that episode. She said regarding, “Running fasted, you definitely need to train your body.” This is Melanie talking. That's what I was just talking about. She says, “I will never forget listening to ‘real runners’ telling me I was crazy doing it. But really, I am 60 years old, and I have been working out since I was 13 years old and back in the 70s, you shouldn't eat or drink when working out.”

Gin Stephens: That's true. I think things were different. This whole idea of the pre-workouts, and fueling up, and eating all the time, this is new.

Melanie Avalon: They're onto something back then. [laughs] She says, “Now, I do drink water if working out more than one hour. Since I’ve turned 50 years old, I’ve run 12 half marathons and two full ones. Always fasted, black coffee only before the race, water during the race.” Before I read her next part-- That's great. That's two people reporting back that they run marathons fasted, but like Marcella pointed out, definitely something to train for. I'm so motivated now. She's done so many marathons.

Gin Stephens: Are you going to do one?

Melanie Avalon: No.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] Well, then, what are you motivated to do? [laughs] Inspired? Is that a better word?

Melanie Avalon: I'm motivated not to run a marathon, but I'm motivated about energetically active activities.

Gin Stephens: Okay, that makes sense.

Melanie Avalon: I was actually rereading, or I reread Dr. Valter Longo's book, The Longevity Diet, because I'm going to interview him. He was talking about this at the beginning about the different ages that people are doing certain things, and he was saying how a lot of the best marathoners are-- I don't remember that age range he gave. Mid or late 30s. I don't know, that was also motivating. Then, Marcella says, “Regarding the ex-smoker question, I am also an ex-smoker over 10 years. When you smoke, you smoke when hungry. That is why smokers are thin. When quitting, it's important not to replace cigarettes with food. Try to replace them with some hobby. Cigarettes keep your metabolism higher, because you have to breathe more times than a regular nonsmoker.” I've never heard that before.

Gin Stephens: Well, think about it, because you need oxygen. So, it does make sense that you would be breathing more times because you're breathing in the smoke and not the oxygen, and you have to breathe to get the oxygen.

Melanie Avalon: It must be that plus I know nicotine as well has an effect. I'm guessing it's a synergistic thing. She says, “An easy fix is increase your activities. Walk, run, do something with your body. Thank you for sharing all what you know, I love listening to all of your podcasts.” When these questions come in, I read them, and then I ask our assistant to put them either in our prep document if we're going to read them, and so our assistant, Sharon, she wanted to add in after reading this question. She said, “I would like to add that I am an ex-smoker. When I quit, I vowed that every time I wanted a cigarette, I would chug two cups of water. It filled my stomach, cracking down on the hunger issue and gave me that hand-to-mouth replacement habit that smokers need. I always had a bottle of water with me everywhere I went. I also added one half hour of exercise every day. Even if it was just a simple walk, I never gained a pound, not one. I've helped several people in my health coaching practice to quit smoking, and the one book I recommend is Allen Carr's The Easy Way to Stop Smoking. It changed my life as it has many others including quite a few celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres.”

Gin Stephens: I think he wrote one about drinking as well, The Easy Way to Stop Drinking. I feel he did.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, very cool. Again, for listeners, we'll put links to all of that in the show notes. I'm not smoking but I find that motivating, too for any habit. I'm just pondering the meaning of the word ‘motivating’ now. Does motivating have to motivate you to do the thing that it's talking about?

Gin Stephens: I know you said you were motivated before, and so it made me feel like you were motivated to run. You can be motivated to do something else. It doesn't have to be the same exact thing. I was just trying to understand what you were motivated to do, because if you're going to--

Melanie Avalon: Not run a marathon.

Gin Stephens: I'd like to see that. [laughs] No, I'm not going to do it, so I get it. I'm motivated to go play in the ocean some more. How’s that?

Melanie Avalon: That's great. I've started using more and more that X3 System, the resistant bands, the John Jaquish? I'm very impressed. I watched the videos online, but I've been a bit casual in my approach. I'm just pulling the bands, and doing the thing, and I should probably sit down and do the concentrated exercise, but I'm seeing massive improvements just from doing it for a few minutes. I'm very much in shock.

Gin Stephens: Wow, that's great. I need to maybe do something like that. I would do that.

Melanie Avalon: Let me do it for real, actually watch the videos and do it and report back. I want to have done it by the time I release his episode. I'm very, very impressed. For listeners, what I'm talking about, the link is melanieavalon.com/x3. The coupon code, MELANIEAVALON, I think will give you a discount. I'll check on that and put the right code in the show notes if it's not that. But yeah, any other thoughts about the smoking, the weight, the running?

Gin Stephens: Just a disclaimer to say, please don't start smoking to lose weight.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes.

Gin Stephens: That's all. [laughs] Because Marcella mentioned that's why smokers are thin. That would not be the thing to do.

Melanie Avalon: I'll put a link in the show notes. Dr. Peter Attia recently released a really good episode on nicotine that was very interesting. I’ll put a link if people want to learn more.

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Gin Stephens: All right, so we have a question from Jenny, and the subject is “Interesting article.” She says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. I just found an interesting article very much the opposite of what you're preaching.” The article that Jenny shared, we’ll have a link to it in the show notes. It's called The Damaging Double Standard Behind Intermittent Fasting. Yes, it just came out, and then of course, anytime anything like that comes out, a million people send it to me. [laughs] Did they send it to you, too?

Melanie Avalon: Did a lot of other people send it to you?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's so interesting.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. People send me things all the time. They're like, “Have you seen this?” I'm like, “Yes, a hundred times. Thank you.” [laughs] But if no one sent it to me, I would see it zero times. It's better to see it a hundred times than zero times, right? Anyway, she said, “I love to listen to your podcast, and I'm doing IF for over a year, on and off. I work in hotels and restaurants, and my shifts are always changing. It's very hard to keep a daily routine. My sister-in-law is a doctor, and all about fasting and how it's benefiting people with bad health conditions. I think her handle is #TheDoctorAaron on Instagram. She's all about changing healthcare with focusing on the whole body, and not just giving people prescription drugs.

I'm originally from Germany, and live in Alaska for a little over two and a half years. It's such a fun place. Everyone needs to visit. I met my now husband the first day I visited Alaska as a tourist in 2016. He showed me the northern lights and, well, the rest is history. Keep up the good work. It's really fun to listen to you guys, Jenny.”

Melanie Avalon: Again, we'll put a link in the show notes to this article. The article is The Damaging Double Standard Behind Intermittent Fasting. Basically, it talks about Jack Dorsey who practices intermittent fasting, eating. I'm sorry, it kills me, because when I hear his interviews, he eats the same thing that I eat. But he does basically a one meal a day approach with protein, greens, and mixed berries, and then the bulk of the article is about how with different dietary approaches-- and they list a lot of other things as well not just intermittent fasting. Like when Gwyneth Paltrow did a 300 calorie a day detox, Nicole Richie talking about her diet of sunflower seeds, celery juice, and chewing gum. They talk about today's shows, I'm going to backtrack a little.

I really want to encourage listeners to have a very discerning eye when reading articles, and how things are portrayed and subtly put together to create certain implications. For example, in this article, they list these different diets. They list Gwyneth Paltrow doing 300 calories a day in January. Nicole Richie eating sunflower seeds, celery juice, and chewing gum. Then, right after that, they list The Today Show hosts who weighed themselves on live television after spending the week eating only between 10 and 6. The first two are extremely restrictive things, extremely restrictive. Not even slightly restrictive. No questions asked, restrictive, and then the next thing they list is an intermittent fasting example. But because you have in your head, the two prior examples of crazy diets, that's what your brain is set up for, and you're automatically prescribing that to intermittent fasting. Eating from 10 to 6, which is an eight-hour window., so that's a 16:8 approach.

In my opinion, again, this is all my opinion, just as a concept that is nowhere near eating 300 calories a day, [laughs] or eating sunflower seeds, celery juice, and chewing gum. That's an example, I think, of how intermittent fasting can be portrayed in the media. They're equating it to other restrictive things when it is not necessarily that, and the reason I say not necessarily is because those hosts, true, from 10 to 6, they could have been just eating 300 calories, in which case, it would have been the same level of restriction but it's not necessarily. That's not even the main point of the article.

The main point of the article-- because it does talk more about intermittent fasting and it does sort of paint it as a restrictive approach. The main point of the article is that, when women engage with these dietary approaches, be it restrictive diets, or intermittent fasting, even though the articles linking those together, that men can engage in them, and the response is different. Basically, when women do these diets, it's seen as an eating disorder, disordered eating, a problem, an issue. When men do it, it's often seen as a way to be successful or a way to optimize their performance. That's really the thesis of the article, is how culture perceives men versus women engaging in these diets.

I actually think this is something really important to draw attention to, not so much for the takeaway that I take from this article, which-- the takeaway I took from the article, and people can read it for themselves, and see what they feel about it. I felt like it was saying intermittent fasting is disordered eating, and that when women do it, it may be seen as disordered eating, but when men do it, it's usually not seen as disordered eating. I disagree with that. I think that intermittent fasting by itself does not mandate a state of restriction or a state of disordered eating. It can. It very easily can, especially if you struggle with eating disorders, and especially if you're being restrictive in your fasting window.

Then, on top of that, and this is what I really want to draw attention to, and why I actually like things like this article, because I think it gets people thinking is, how men versus women engaging in any dietary approach are treated differently in culture. There's a reason for that. It's because women in general are more prone to eating disorders. But I think that does a disservice to both genders, because women on the one hand might not have disordered eating, but are more likely going to be, especially if they're doing something like fasting, which may raise some eyebrows, more likely to be “accused” of disordered eating, even if they're not. Then, on the flip side, for men, they might have disordered eating, and it won't be seen that way. Because there's this stigma that or this idea that men don't really have eating disorders the way that women do. I think that's equally a problem. Because for men who are struggling with eating disorders, I think that can be really, really hard. Because there's such a social stigma around it, that I think it can be really hard for men to seek out help if they need help in that regard.

If I were to rewrite this article, [laughs] I would talk about how intermittent fasting is not necessarily, I have already said this, but just to say it again, it's not necessarily restriction. It's not a synonym to restrictive eating or disordered eating, but it very easily can be. Men and women both can struggle with eating disorders. Men and women both cannot as well. I think we should do the best that we can to look at the individual and lose the social paradigm, and the preexisting ideologies, and beliefs, and biases that we have surrounding fasting, restriction, eating disorders, and just look at the person, and what is happening, and what are they eating, and is there an eating disorder, and those are my thoughts. That was long.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I'm always so irritated by articles that hint that intermittent fasting is an eating disorder. I've never felt saner about food since I've been an intermittent faster. It feels everything I did before intermittent fasting felt disordered. Now, finally, I feel undisordered.

Melanie Avalon: I don't really get that feeling. For me, being selective in my food choices makes me feel better. I feel really good existing within the foods I choose to eat. To a lot of people, I think that looks restrictive, and it's concerning to me that that can be seen as an eating disorder or something. One of the quotes in the article, they're quoting Dr. Cynthia Bulik, she's the Director of the Center for Excellence for Eating Disorders at the University of North Carolina, and the Director of the Center for Eating Disorders Innovation at the Karolinska Institute. She says, people who have extreme eating behaviors intermittent fasting, biohacking, like, I don't even know I'm so confused. Biohacking? Biohacking, extreme pickiness can have variants of anorexia nervosa or avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, and go undetected, because they are packaged as healthy or productivity promoting.

This is another example, like lumping in the word biohacking with-- I'm just very confused as to how the word ‘biohacking’ is an extreme eating behavior. They're just a lot of generalizations. But on top of that, I agree. I think a lot of people do have restrictive eating patterns and present it as what she says healthier productivity promoting. Making the generalizations, it just doesn't take in the nuance, and it doesn't take into account all the people who feel so, so free with intermittent fasting, and finally don't feel restricted, and finally our eating all that they want in their eating window, all the nourishing food that they need, all the cellular energy, and are finally free from the cravings. I was thinking about it even more, one of my posts this week on my Instagram, I feel this whole thing is a soapbox.

But one of my posts this week on my Instagram is in reference to the conversation that I have with Dr. Will Cole for his book, Intuitive Fasting, and it was one of the problems with intuitive eating, and I was just quoting what he was saying about how it can be really hard to intuitively eat with our modern diet and our modern health conditions, and our blood sugar, and our inflammation, and sometimes people just can't healthily-- Depending on your type, and your body, and your health, and your mindset, it might not be possible for them to “intuitively” moderately engaged with certain foods, and it might actually be easier and healthier to completely avoid the foods that aren't working for them, and I got a lot of comments.

Gin Stephens: Can I jump in on that?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: I know you've heard me talk about this before, but I don't know if you remember, though. I was doing intuitive eating big time. I read all the books, and this is prior to intermittent fasting. That's what I was most recently trying to do when I got up to 210 pounds. But they tell you in all of the intuitive eating literature, “Don't change what you're eating. Just start listening to your body.” I was like, “All right.” They're like, “Eat what you want, not what you think you should eat.” Okay, so, I continued to eat the standard American diet and all the ultra-processed foods, and I was unable to be intuitive within that eating paradigm, because my body was still craving nutrients that I wasn't sending it. If I asked myself, “Are you hungry?” The answer was always, “Yes.” Because I seriously was starved for nutrients. He's right. The intuitive eating paradigm totally let me down when I did it that. But once I started doing intermittent fasting, started listening to my body, now I feel I am an intuitive eater within my window, whereas I could not be an intuitive eater before. So, the intuitive eating community just railed on him about the fasting as being so unintuitive, but amazingly, that's what unlocked the intuitive part. It's like, “Huh, [laughs] he's right.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, no, 100%. I think the intuitive eating so much more easily comes after you've made those changes and especially something like fasting. Can I read the quote from him?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, you can check out my Instagram for this. But he says, “I agree that diet culture is messed up and shaming your way into wellness is not going to happen. But the result then is this rebound, opposite other extreme, where they suspend all science and logic, that you can somehow intuitively eat junk food, and somehow that's going to bring about you feeling great in your body. Over 60% of the United States has a massive blood sugar problem. This is most people. This isn't some rare sect of people. So, if intuitive eating works for you, that's great, but you're not the majority of the United States. The majority of the United States has a massive blood sugar problem and are somewhere on that inflammation spectrum, more specifically, the insulin-resistant inflammation spectrum.

The majority of the human race, specifically in the West are struggling with hangriness and insatiable cravings, that drive them towards things that perpetuate their problems. They're going to feel horrible in their own body, and they're actually going to be decreasing their quality of life. If you really love yourself, you have to ask the question. Is that really your intuition? The reality is, it's not going to bring about health. If it works for you keep on doing it, but many people are not served by broad sweeping overgeneralized statements where they're romanticizing junk food and calling itself love. Feeding chronic disease isn't self-love. It's actually metabolic problems. That's part of the conversation that I wanted to have in the book, Intuitive Fasting.”

I just think it's a really, really wonderful, nuanced conversation. I think this article here is tapping into this dialogue where people who feel they need to change their food and be “restrictive” in their food choices. That's leading to freedom and metabolic flexibility ultimately, but not necessarily, I don't know.

Gin Stephens: Well, there's a fine line. Have you ever read anything by Dr. Steven Bratman?

Melanie Avalon: No.

Gin Stephens: He's the guy who invented the terminology orthorexia, and that's the fear of eating certain things. I actually dug into this in Clean(ish). Now, available for pre-order, because I'm talking about eating mostly clean. One of the biggest criticisms of the clean eating movement in general is that it leads people to develop orthorexia, or fear of food. I wanted to confront that right on and explain there's a difference between eating for health versus orthorexia, fear of eating. He does a great job talking about it. He, actually Dr. Bratman, in his book explains his own descent into orthorexia, and how it helped the health food movement that got him there, and how he came out of it. It's just a very interesting story.

There's a fine line sometimes. You want to eat for health, but not be paralyzed with fear about food. We went to a seafood buffet last week. [giggles] It was totally not what I normally eat. Everything was fried. I know those oils aren't good, but I ate them. I wasn't scared of them, but I realized I wouldn't feel my best. I didn't feel my best the next day, and now, I'm really glad to be eating at home or at the condo, but even if I had said no to eating those fried foods, that would have been okay too. To say, “You know what? I don't want to feel that, so, I'm not going to eat that.”

He talks a lot-- there's a self-test you can do to see if you might have some of the characteristics. It's not a recognized eating disorder yet, orthorexia. But it's a proposed eating disorder. So, if you find yourself, this is for listeners, feeling like you're going down that rabbit hole of, I can only have celery juice, and sunflower seeds, and gum, [giggles] then maybe you want to check out that self-test and see.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I reread the conclusion. I get now what they're proposing. They're proposing that, if people saw men as having eating disorders more than fasting-- it sounds like they think that, because men aren't seen as having eating disorders in society that intermittent fasting maintains all of its perceived benefits, because men are doing it and we don't see anything wrong with it. Basically, they're saying that if men were seen as having eating disorders, then fasting in general would probably be seen as an eating disorder regardless.

Gin Stephens: That's why that article irritated me so much, because it seems to be very preachy about it. He shares all these really extreme examples and paint the picture of intermittent fasting as an eating disorder, but we glamorize it because they're men. That's the part that makes me so frustrated, because anyone who has an eating disorder is going to misuse all the tools. Fasting is a tool, colonics are a tool. When I use that, [giggles] but you know what I'm saying? All of the tools taking a laxative, any tool that is actually a living tool can be abused. Eating carrots is a tool for healthy food. But if you only eat carrots, and you only eat three carrots a day, that's an eating disorder. But that doesn't mean carrot is an eating disorder.

Melanie Avalon: That's an amazing way of putting it. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: It's frustrating to see the lack of nuance in all of this.

Melanie Avalon: In a topic that clearly begs nuance.

Gin Stephens: Absolutely.

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Gin Stephens: Let's shift into the question from Heather, and the topic is “Night shift nurse,” and this dovetails in with what Jenny said about her shifts changing and being hard and to keep a daily routine. Heather says, “Hey, Gin, and Melanie. I've been listening to you ladies for a while now off and on. I recently started working 12-hour night shifts on weekends. I'm struggling with figuring out a schedule, because I sleep all day, and work all night on the weekends. The transition is what I'm struggling with trying to figure out. Do you have any advice, tips, or tricks? Thanks so much, Heather.”

Melanie Avalon: All right. This is a great question from Heather. We've had episodes before on night shifts, but I was just thinking through her schedule. I'm assuming she works during the weekdays during the day, and then goes to sleep, and then, it sounds like on the weekends, I'm guessing she probably goes in at 6 PM or something, and works until 6 AM-ish, something like that. One suggestion I had, and I'm really curious, Gin, if you have go-to suggestions people have shared. But if you're doing a one meal a day schedule, could you always have your one meal a day as dinner, for example? On weekdays, you're just having dinner after work, and then going to bed, and then when you switch to the night schedule, you have your dinner before work, and then go to work, and then come back and sleep, and then wake up and eat, and then go into work ff you don't mind working on a full stomach, some people prefer working on an empty stomach. But it might be possible that you literally would not really have to change your eating window, is just that the working and sleeping would change around a little. Another thing you could do is, do your fasting during the weekdays normally, and just for the weekends-- some people don't do intermittent fasting every single day. The weekends, just be more lacs and just eat when you're hungry, and don't stress about it too much emotionally or mentally, and then just get back into the routine of things during the weekdays. Gin, do you have suggestions?

Gin Stephens: Well, gosh, I wish I had my friend, Sheri, who cohost’s Life Lessons with me, because this is exactly what she does. She has 12-hour night shifts on weekends. Yes, she works in healthcare. I'm pretty sure this is what Sheri does. During the week, when she's not working the shifts, she eats-- Probably, she does a loose one meal a day, usually snack and a meal kind of a thing. She’ll open her window, midafternoon, and then eat, and then have a dinner kind of thing closes her window. Snack and a meal, probably for four-hour window, five-hour window something like that. Then, when she goes into work on the weekend, she doesn't eat at her normal time that day, but she delays and she eats overnight, later in the shift. She'll just have a longer fast--

Melanie Avalon: Oh, during the shift.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. She just has a longer fast when she gets off work. She eats during work at some point. She'll take something with her and eat it later into her shift, and then she comes home and goes to bed, and then when she wakes up. She just basically ends up-- Then, she has her work fasting schedule, and she just has that one longer fast as she transitions.

Melanie Avalon: It's actually sort of similar to what I said, but she pushes back the meal a little bit.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, she pushes back that first day that she has the night shift.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yay. I'm excited. That's similar to what I suggested.

Gin Stephens: But she doesn't eat before she goes to work. She pushes it later. She has just a little bit of a longer fast.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, gotcha.

Gin Stephens: But she makes it work for her. That might not be what works for Heather. So, you've got to figure out what feels right to you and when you choose to eat, there's no right or wrong answer.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, what I would probably do if it was me, because I know myself, I know what I would probably do. I would be doing my dinner every night, and then the first night shift, I would probably do the whole shift fasted, and then, I would eat once I got back, I would sleep, and I would eat after the next shift and sleep, and then I would go back to my dinner routine during the weekdays.

Gin Stephens: I just don't know. I would not be good at working a night shift, because I would not be able to stay awake that long. I don't know how all of y'all do it. Everyone who does the night shift, I admire you. I am no good without-- and I could get so sleepy. That was one thing when I was here with my family, because I stayed up later every night, but I still woke up bright and early. In the beach house, in the summer, that appears to be 6 AM, because that's when the sun comes up, and I can see it through the blinds. So, every day I woke up at 6 AM no matter how late we stayed up the night before talking.

Melanie Avalon: See, this is why-- because me and my night person-- This is why my example I just gave, I could do that. I would get so alert during the night shift. If I were to eat, then I would get really tired. So, I would have to eat after. Actually, now that I think about it, sometimes when I was doing extra work in LA after I graduated, it would be the situation because sometimes we would have night shoots, and on those days, I get back at 4 AM, or 5 AM, or 6 AM. I never would eat. I would just eat when I got back. Then, I would just reset to-- If I got back at 6 AM, I would eat and then I would sleep and then I would still eat my normal dinner that night, and that would get me back into normal routine. It was a longer fast, but then it got compensated for in a way because I would eat much sooner.

Gin Stephens: One night was longer, the next was shorter.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly.

Gin Stephens: I think we have time for one more.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. All right. We have a question from Eric. The subject is, “First week of IF.” Eric says, “Your podcast has been so helpful. Thank you. This may be a routine question. If so, I apologize. I'm 45, 6’2”, and 195 pounds. I started IF this week and I'm shrinking my window to five hours. I notice that by the 15th hour, I’ve start to get lightheaded, tingle sensation, and hangry. Will my tolerance increase over time? I'm worried I won't be as kind at home as I am when I am on my best behavior at the office when feeling hangry.”

Gin Stephens: The answer is yes. Your tolerance will increase over time. Even if we knew that this was not his first, week you can tell just by the 15th hour the way he's starting to feel. Yep. Your body is learning how to do something new, and you're not fat adapted yet. Once, you get to that point, you still might have a little wave of hunger at some point in the morning, but it'll come and go very quickly. This is totally normal for the adjustment period, Eric, and so, by the time you hear this, you're probably going to be already over that. You'll have answered it yourself by the fact that you feel better, but totally normal at first.

Melanie Avalon: I have a question, because I know in the past there have been situations I feel like where people have said that they feel dizzy or something, and you've said to eat, and he mentions lightheaded?

Gin Stephens: Well, okay, if you feel shaky or nauseous, then go ahead and eat. I don't know what he means by a tingle sensation. I've never heard that before. I don't know what that is. If you feel shaky or nauseous, don't push through that. Go ahead and eat. That's your body signaling that your blood sugar is low. It probably, don't push through lightheaded. I was just saying, yes, it gets better.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I was just trying to clarify.

Gin Stephens: As you adjust. you will not feel shaky, and nauseous or lightheaded once your body adjusts. As long as you're fasting clean, you shouldn't have those feelings. It does get better but you don't want to push through a low blood sugar shakiness kind of thing. But I don't ever get those. Do you ever feel shaky or nauseous or anything?

Melanie Avalon: Nuh-huh. Nauseous, I started getting nauseous, but it was not related to the fasting. It was a lot of other factors, I think. But yes. In any case, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com, or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode which will be super important, because we feel we talked about a lot of things, those will be at ifpodcast.com/episode222. You can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, Gin is @ginstephens, I am @melanieavalon, and I think that is all the things. Can I tell you one quick thing before we go?

Gin Stephens: No. [giggles] Sorry. I was joking. Yes, please tell me.

Melanie Avalon: Can I give you an update on my cottage cheese adventures?

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

Melanie Avalon: I make it every day, and I've been trying all different milks, basically, all the possible fat-free organic milks that you can find.

Gin Stephens: What do you mean?

Melanie Avalon: Like Organic Valley.

Gin Stephens: Oh, you mean the brands. I was wondering if you were talking about dairy milk versus almond milk, and I wouldn't think those others would work.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, they don't. Organic Valley has a grass milk. There's a grass milk, there's a lactose-free milk, there's the normal-- Apparently, fun fact, apparently, did you know, Gin, that the milk that is in the cartons is usually ultra-pasteurized, but the ones in the gallons like the plastic is usually just pasteurized?

Gin Stephens: Well, no, I actually did not know that.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, and so apparently, just pasteurized works better but I can't find the fat-free pasteurized in a gallon. So, this is the conundrum that I'm in. But last night, when I tried, I read that when you make, it separates it into the casing and the whey, and the casing is the curds and whey is the whey, like the liquid. I was reading that you could, A, turn the whey into ricotta, I haven't tried that yet. And or B, turn it into-- have you heard of brown cheese?

Gin Stephens: Brown? Like the color brown?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Okay, wait, it's also called--

Gin Stephens: No, I have not heard of brown cheese.

Gin Stephens: It's also called I have no idea how you say this, G-J-E-T-O-S-T.

Gin Stephens: No. Uh-huh. I don't know how to say that. That sounds German.

Melanie Avalon: It's Norwegian.

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: I tried to make it last night. I don't know if it really worked. I'm not sure, it's in the fridge right now. But oh, my goodness, Gin, it tasted like honey. I was shocked. It was shocking. It tastes like caramel. Like caramel honey, the amount of sugar, my heart jumped through the roof, and I was just like, I was like I can't believe there's this much sugar and milk. If you reduce it, it was shocking. It also made me realize that you could bake really intense desserts and not even need a drop of refined sugar, because this-- I don't know. I'm in shock how that whey transformed.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's interesting. Yeah. I had no idea.

Melanie Avalon: Experiments in the dairy and cheese world.

Gin Stephens: [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: That's fun. You make your bread, I make my cottage cheese.

Gin Stephens: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: So, anything else from you before we go?

Gin Stephens: Nope, I don't think so.

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

Gin Stephens: All right, talk to you then. 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. The music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week.

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 27

Episode 219: Exercise, Muscle Building, Protein Intake, Electrolytes, Hydration, PCOS, Fertility, Pregnancy, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 219 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

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

INSIDETRACKER: Get The Blood And DNA Tests You Need To Be Testing, Personalized Dietary Recommendations, An Online Portal To Analyze Your Bloodwork, Find Out Your True "Inner Age," And More! Listen To My Interview With The Founder Gil Blander At Melanieavalon.Com/Insidetracker! Go To insidetracker.com/melanie And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

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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 BACON For LIFE!! The Science, Nutrition, And Health Implications Of Conventional Vs. Sustainable, Grass-fed, Pastured, And Wild Meat And Seafood, Featuring My Honest Butcher Box Review!
The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #57 - Robb Wolf

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

19:00 - INSIDETRACKER: Go To insidetracker.com/melanie And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

21:40 - Listener Q&A: Ryan - IF All Or Nothing

43:05 - BIOPTIMIZERS:  Go To magbreakthrough.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save 10% Off Any Order!

46:00 - Listener Q&A: Mikelle - Not working? (PCOS)

Intermittent Fasting Stories - Episode 34: Cecily Ganheart

47:15 - Listener Q&A: Kati - Pregnancy

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

BEAUTYCOUNTER: Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 219 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.

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get sugar-free, nitrate-free, pastured bacon for life. Yes, free bacon for life. We are so honored to be sponsored by ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get high quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, that's really hard to find, by the way, and wild-caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door.

When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone, that includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency, regarding raising practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox, you can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. 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. It's so easy, everything ships directly to your door.

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I'm super excited because ButcherBox’s bacon for life is back, by popular demand. Yep, right now new members will get one pack of free bacon in every box for the life of your membership when you sign up at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. That's one pack of free bacon in every box for the rest of your life. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast, and we'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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 219 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 good. How are you?

Melanie Avalon: I'm good. For listeners, we're struggling. Gin and I forgot how we--

Gin Stephens: I think either you didn't say or maybe my sound cut out. Because I swear I don't think I heard you say it. I was waiting by sitting here. The likelihood that it's my sound going out is highly likely because my internet is still wacky.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, we struggled recording our intro that we recorded 219 times. [laughs] Good times.

Gin Stephens: It's like when you're so good at driving a car that you forget how to drive the car when you're trying to think about it, it's like, “I don't know how to drive the car. How do you start the car? I don't know.”

Melanie Avalon: Like you're driving and then you randomly for a second overanalyze the lanes or the turn signal or something, and you're like, “Wait.”

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I will be driving in my car, and Chad will say, “How do you turn on the whatever?” and I'm like, “I had no idea. I just turn it on.”

[laughter]

Gin Stephens: Anyway.

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny. We run so many programs and the part of our brain that just runs it on autopilot. When we think about it, it's a different part of our brain.

Gin Stephens: It's true. Just try to walk and think about every action your body's making. You just can't do it. Even walking across the room.

Melanie Avalon: Stressful.

Gin Stephens: It is. Anything new going on with you?

Melanie Avalon: Actually, yes. Well, more of just updates. I'm continuing to take care of my cucumbers. It's perfect timing, because I'm reading a book called Flowerevolution, it's about flowers, but it is blowing my mind about plants. You know how we were talking last time about the consciousness of plants?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Do you know they've done studies on plants where they put stress detectors on the plants, and then they do things and the plants know, the plants freak out?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I am fascinated by that type of research. Even playing music for plants. Have you heard the studies about what they do to water? Scream at the water and then pour it in the plants, and the plants are, like, “Oh my God, what's happening?” Just because you screamed at the water. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I have to read the original study. She said they did one study where the guy had a plant, it was his plant, and then he went to another state. They did a surprise birthday party for him, and at the moment that they screamed surprise, and he got really scared, the plant spiked.

Gin Stephens: Wow, that's fascinating. It all does sound really crazy until you think about the fact that we are all just energy. Even my chemist husband, who's just Mr. Science mind, he's like, “Yep, that's true. We are all energy,” at our molecular level, and we're mostly space and we're energy. The way our energy is all connected, like quantum physics, it's just way so, so much. There's so much that we're still understanding.

Melanie Avalon: Something that made it seem very clear and not as woo-woo to me, was she compared it to the internet and text messages. We send messages every day through energy, like with text messages.

Gin Stephens: The only reason it's woo-woo is because we don't understand it.

Melanie Avalon: That's what she said. She says that we don't understand the plant language, like we don't understand that energy system. We don't think it's there, we think it's not real.

Gin Stephens: Well, it's like when they used to think thunder was God is mad at you. [laughs] They didn't understand scientifically why we were having thunder. When we can't understand it, we think, “Well, that can't be true,” or that has to have a magical source or whatever. Yeah, it is fascinating. It's why you just can't discount things even though it might sound, like you said, woo-woo.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. Second update. I am prepping for Valter Longo for the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Remember when we interviewed him, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Yes. Now, what if I had said, “No, I don't remember that.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: That would be--

Gin Stephens: Crazy? Yeah, no, I do remember.

Melanie Avalon: I'm rereading his book. Is it The Longevity Diet? Yes, The Longevity Diet. There's so many books with the word ‘longevity’ in them. It's interesting to me how much I forgot from that book. Just rereading it now, because I only read it a few years ago, but I feel like I'm reading it for the first time.

Gin Stephens: It was like four years ago, right? Or was it 2018? Was it 2018 that we had?

Melanie Avalon: Probably 2018.

Gin Stephens: Okay, that was three years ago.

Melanie Avalon: Do you want to play the guessing game for something from it?

Gin Stephens: Oh, Lordy. Yeah, go ahead.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, I just read this right before we got on the call. I was like, “Oh, this is the perfect guessing game question.” For listeners, Valter Longo is the-- I don't know if he's the director of, but he he's at the Gerontology Longevity Institute at USC, and he is a fasting researcher and he developed the fasting mimicking diet and his company is ProLon. So, he's all about fasting. Oh, and he's in everything. I feel like everything I watch now, I see him. He was in that Goop Lab show. I've been watching Zac Efron’s show on Netflix called something about the earth. It's a lot of biohacking health stuff, he was in that. I just keep seeing him everywhere.

In any case, what do you think, when they were studying fasting water fasts in mice? What was the four changes that they identified as the important, protective, antiaging, health-promoting factors of fasting that they tried to recreate with the fasting mimicking diet? Like they wanted to create a diet that would create these four factors? Isn't this a fun game?

Gin Stephens: Well, no, it's going to be hard. All right, number one, would be calorie restriction.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, wait, no.

Gin Stephens: I don’t understand the question.

Melanie Avalon: When they tested the blood, what four blood markers?

Gin Stephens: Okay, okay, okay. I'm going to say blood glucose went down.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. One. Oh, this is so fun.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] Insulin went down.

Melanie Avalon: I thought that would have been one of them.

Gin Stephens: But did they not test it?

Melanie Avalon: He didn't list it as the four.

Gin Stephens: Okay, in their blood. Did ketones go up?

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Two.

Gin Stephens: Okay. I don't know, do mice have cholesterol? Do they measure cholesterol?

Melanie Avalon: I don't know. It's not one of the ones.

Gin Stephens: Okay. All right. So, I got two of them. Let's see.

Melanie Avalon: I think you can get the third. I don't think you'll get the fourth.

Gin Stephens: Something they're measuring in the blood of mice. Okay, blood glucose down, ketones up. I don't know, cortisol?

Melanie Avalon: No. I can give you a hint. It relates to growth.

Gin Stephens: Oh, human growth hormone went up?

Melanie Avalon: No.

Gin Stephens: Okay, well, then I don't know. You're just going to have to tell me.

Melanie Avalon: You're close, lower IGF-1. Then, the fourth one that I didn't think you would get, higher IGFBP-1.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I was not going to get that.

Melanie Avalon: Which is a growth factor inhibitor.

Gin Stephens: I still didn't get it. [laughs] Even though you said it, I couldn't tell you that, no.

Melanie Avalon: Basically, I just found that was really interesting. They found what the water fast that there was lower IGF-1, that's a growth factor promoter. Lower glucose, so lower blood sugar. Higher ketones, and then higher growth factor, IGFBP-1, and that's a growth factor inhibitor. When they created ProLon, or the fasting mimicking diet, they wanted to create a diet that would create those four factors. Pretty cool.

Gin Stephens: Very cool.

Melanie Avalon: Anything new with you?

Gin Stephens: No, not really. I'm in a fabulous, nothing new kind of a time. It feels good. I have been so stressed out the whole from the beginning of the year till when I turned my book in, and also the new Delay, Don't Deny Social Network. So, it has been like just bam, bam, bam. I don't even know where the year went so far, we're already in June. I've got a big family beach trip coming up and it just feels-- Of course, I've got a lot of editing coming up these different weeks when they're going to send me the copy edits and whatever. But right now, I'm in a nice little lull. I'm reading, I think I talked about this before. I bought a hummingbird feeder for my front yard yesterday. The lady said there probably aren't going to be any hummingbirds for a while, that it's still early or something, I don't know. They are in their little nests. Can you imagine how cute a little hummingbird nest is? Oh my gosh, I know. I would just die if I could see a hummingbird nest. That'd be so cute. Anyway, I was joking with some friends yesterday. I was like, “Does this mean I'm legit old and retired because I'm putting my hummingbird feeder in my yard [laughs] and I'm going to stare at it?”

Melanie Avalon: I spent like an hour before this pruning my cucumbers.

Gin Stephens: Okay, well, and that is not a euphemism, people. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Wait, what? A euphemism?

Gin Stephens: A euphemism. It's when you say one thing, but it means something else.

Melanie Avalon: For pruning my cucumbers?

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, spicy?

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. [laughs] Ah.

Gin Stephens: I don't even know what that would be. But it just sounded a little bit like one of those double meaning kinds of phrases.

Melanie Avalon: No, these are very real, cucumbers.

Gin Stephens: I do want to say the little baby birds that we had in the nest around Mother's Day, they're gone. They've moved out of the nest.

Melanie Avalon: Where did they go?

Gin Stephens: I guess they flew away. Where do birds go? [laughs] But we actually thought for a brief period of time that they were going to die because Ellie had a bird in the dining room, and we thought it was mama bird. It seemed injured, but we put it out, and Chad's like, “That bird is going to die. If that was mama bird, the babies are going to die.” Then, we were like really sad for a while. I don't know, that bird might not have been injured. If it was a mama bird, she came back and fed them. So, the babies didn't die. The last time Chad looked in there at the nest, they were big babies, they're getting so big. Anyway, the circle of life. This is what I'm doing. It's pretty much birds. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Birds and the bees, I'm contemplating-- I don't know, I wish I could get a pet bee to pollinate my flowers.

Gin Stephens: I think you need a whole ecosystem. That sounds like too much. What's next? [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I was seriously contemplating this. I was like, “Could I have a pet bee?”

Gin Stephens: I don't think so. I don't think it's got everything it needs to thrive.

Melanie Avalon: Oh right, because then I have to feed the bee.

Gin Stephens: Well.

Melanie Avalon: Wait, the bee eats the flower?

Gin Stephens: No, it doesn't. It's the nectar and then it does something with it. It's getting the nectar out of there, then takes the nectar back to its hive.

Melanie Avalon: Okay.

Gin Stephens: I could be wrong. I don't think it's like eats the nectar. Eats the nectar, then spits it up in the hive, I'm not sure.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I do remember that.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, like all coming back to me. It's like bee spit. Honey is bee spit. Right?

Melanie Avalon: Another fact I learned from the book about bees and flowers. They used to think bees were attracted to the flower’s color and scent.

Gin Stephens: Isn't it something with like ultraviolet light, like a runway?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's like the energy. It's not the flowers-- or it's not the color.

Gin Stephens: If you look at the flower differently, it's a different wavelength. It's not the visible light spectrum that we see. It's a different wavelength you could see. If you go to the airport and on the runway, like go here, arrows. It's kind of like that to the bee. It's like a landing strip, the way it looks to the bee. I think so. For some reason, that's in my head. It's all that elementary school knowledge. [laughs] Maybe I saw it on Magic School Bus or something.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. I asked my Facebook group for ideas about turning my podcast into a TV show, and one person said, it should be like the adult version of Magic School Bus. I got so excited. That would be so incredible. They were like, “And David Sinclair can be the narrator.” Oh, my goodness. Very cool.

Gin Stephens: I loved that TV show when I was a teacher, but see, you were a kid, I was a teacher. I could have been your fourth-grade teacher.

Melanie Avalon: Oh.

Gin Stephens: It's true.

Melanie Avalon: Could you have? Yes.

Gin Stephens: Yes. I was teaching fourth grade in 1990.

Melanie Avalon: You could not have been my fourth-grade teacher. Oh, wait. Well, you were teaching it after then, too?

Gin Stephens: Yes. And after then. Yes. I could only not have been your teacher if you were in fourth grade prior to 1990.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I see what you're saying. Okay. Wow.

Gin Stephens: I know. That's how old I am. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: That would have been so crazy.

Gin Stephens: I know.

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Shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes. We have a question from Ryan and the subject is “IF, all or nothing.” Ryan says, “Thanks for the comprehensive and fun pod. I've been IFing for eight months and know it has influenced my eating for life. I'm a 35-year-old male who started IF for the health benefits and lifestyle compatibility. I'm finding myself fit as I was a decade ago with my exercise during these IF months oriented around cardio, and mid to low intensity bodyweight workouts. Recently, however, I've increased the intensity of my bodyweight workouts in a push for the summer body I always wanted, but never once had. Removing breakfast and lunch in lieu of a nighttime window has increased my work performance which is great, and I exercise after work in the fasted state before opening my window until bedtime. I've also finally learned to respect the need for adequate sleep, which prompts the first part of my issue.

My window, typically three to four hours, seems no longer large enough to accommodate the calorie intake I need without uncomfortably stuffing myself. I usually spend one or both weekend days eating normally and have started switching my Wednesdays back to non-IF as well. But my body tells me I'm still not getting enough calories in, which wasn't a problem until this recent exercise change. One obvious solution would be to give up my insistence that all workouts occur in the fasted state and to eat lunch or a smaller meal in the early afternoon.

Enter the second part of my issue. I've learned a lunch will throw me for a mental loop for the rest of the workday. Even if it's a low-carb salad with lean protein and healthy fats, for example, avocados, nuts, and seeds, I feel mentally foggy and have notable loss of cognitive function and alertness. I knew this was a problem when my boss asked me on multiple occasions, if I was okay, which itself is a sign that I was not. And this was an issue before the recent increase in exercise intensity, so I know ratcheting back the exercise won't solve it.

Have you experienced this or counseled others who've dealt with it? I can't be trapped by IF, such that deviating from my usual eating schedule puts me somewhat out of commission on work matters. Successful days are either entirely non-IF or fully IF with my usually intense, but short nighttime window. I'd really appreciate your thoughts. Many thanks, Ryan.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, Gin. I have to tell you something, and I can tell listeners as well. I'm so upset. For listeners, I just went to turn off the pumps on the hydroponic plant things and I realized I hadn't turned the pump on one of them. I hadn't turned the pump back on from my last podcast interview. So, the pump hasn't been running for a few days.

Gin Stephens: It'll be okay. Plants are hardy. Think about in the real world, they have to be able to withstand droughts, they have to be able to withstand monsoons, they are resilient. It will be okay.

Melanie Avalon: I was sitting there today. I was staring at it, and I was like, “I just feel like it's not getting the nutrients it needs.” That's probably why.

Gin Stephens: It is fine. It will be okay.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you for talking me off the ledge.

Gin Stephens: Just think about how in nature, plants can do all sorts of crazy things. They're hardy.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so it's okay. Okay. I'm glad that that happened.

Gin Stephens: Your plant was fasting.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. [laughs] But they're in a growth mode right now, remind me at the end to turn the pump back on. Ryan, this is a really great question, and I thought about it a lot, and I have so many thoughts. Okay, to start, hope I can articulate all of this well, the first thing I have is a question. He talks about how he upped his workout to get the summer body that he always wanted, but never had. He doesn't tell us what his weight or what his stats were before. So, it's important to know-- I'm guessing this is the final push, that stubborn last part, especially since it's for the summer body. The reason I think that's important is, I'm wondering, when he says that he feels he's not getting the amount of fuel-- Does he say fuel or calorie intake?

Gin Stephens: He says calorie intake. Remember, we talked about this last time. The fuel comes from what you're taking in, but also from your body.

Melanie Avalon: All right, so his body says that he's not getting enough calories in. I'm curious what he's experiencing, feeling like he's not getting enough calories. Is it hunger? Is that lack of energy? Does he feel he's not building adequate muscle? What is it? The reason I'm emphasizing that is that if this is the final push, I feel it's a situation where it might be normal to experience hunger. Does that make sense? If it's the final push to do something that's a little bit resistant, I don't know if doing so can be done without feeling any sort of--

Gin Stephens: A little hungry.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I would evaluate first, as far as maybe, are you getting enough calories in? Maybe you are for the goal that you're achieving? I don't know, because I don't know exactly where he's at. But that's my first part. I also want to do a disclaimer and a clarification, obviously, we're not doctors. But two, I do think when it comes to this, as far as the body having hormonal issues and things like that, that it's less common in men. Men can more healthfully do what Ryan is doing than women without having to worry quite as much about creating a lot of hormonal damage. And the reason I say that is if it is a natural state of hunger that he actually needs to be in to get the “body” he wants, it might all be okay.

All of that said, the continuation of my thoughts. First of all, I completely relate with when you're doing fasting, and then it's hard to go back to daytime eating and experiencing the brain fog or the loss of cognitive function like he says, and I'm really jealous. I feel some people do fasting, like a one meal a day type thing, and then they are able to eat on days that they want and they don't experience that, and I'm really jealous, but that's not me. I completely understand and identify with that. My suggestion would be, what do you want to preserve with everything? It looks like you really want to preserve the fasted state in the workday, it looks like that's the thing that's really important to keep.

Gin Stephens: The mental clarity. I would keep that obviously-- and then sure, we are going to have to adjust other factors if you do decide that you really do need more calories. Well, I like what he's doing where he said he was doing one or two days of the weekend not fasting, so just do both days of the weekend not fasting is like a thing. Then, he talks about potentially fueling the workout, or not doing the workout in the fasted state. Again, if you decide that you can still get the body composition changes that you want, while not working out in the fasted state some days, then I think that's completely fine. This might sound crazy, but this might be a thing where you might want to do a bulletproof decaf coffee and don't really qualify it either way about it being part of the fast. You might be able to do something with the workouts to get in more calories throughout the day and fuel the workouts without breaking the cognitive state and getting the lethargy. This might actually be a situation where something like MCT oil before some of the workouts might actually work for you.

I'm also wondering, it sounds like you cram everything into your window, your dinner window. I'm guessing there's not really much room to lengthen that at all. Otherwise, I'm assuming you would have done that. But if there is a way you could do that, even if it's just changing around how you're prepping your dinner, maybe there's a way that you can eat your dinner sooner after your workout and have a longer window. Also, if you wanted to add just calories to your window and make them more easily absorbable without feeling like you're completely stuffing yourself, that actually might be something where I brought up the MCT oil, you might be able to add that to your food, to your dinner, and that actually might, A, get you even faster to your goals because I personally experienced and there's this girl on Instagram who's been talking about it a lot. She has a big following, but they're experimenting with adding MCT oil to the meals and actually losing more weight. So, that might be a way to actually add in a lot of calories, but also move you closer to your goal.

The very last thing is, it's a little bit ironic because I'm saying focus on protein and nutrient density. The reason I think it's ironic is because if you're not doing this already, which I feel he probably is, based on what he said, the type of things that he eats. True, if you eat more protein, it's actually going to make it harder to eat more, and I know he's thinking that it needs to eat more, but it's the nutrients, especially with the bodybuilding state and the fat loss state that you want to be eating and need to be eating. So, it might be possible that you don't actually need to eat more calories, but you just need to focus on the protein and the nutrients. So, playing around with what you're eating, it might not be a calorie thing, it might be a macronutrient-nutrient thing. Those are my thoughts. I thought about it a lot.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. It's all just a matter of tweak it till it's easy, Ryan, and finding what feels good to you. You'll really only know it when you feel it and you find it. It sounds like you were feeling great before you increased the intensity of your workouts. That made you feel hungrier, like you weren't getting enough to eat. And then, having the longer window, including lunch, takes away that mental clarity that you were enjoying so much. That totally makes sense, but think about what we always were told by our grandparents, you exercise, you're working up a good appetite. Your body is telling you, you need more fuel, if that's indeed what your body is telling you. It sounds logical to me. Figuring out a way-- and this is where you've just got to tweak it. Like I said, figure out a way to-- I would not suggest having the lunch because clearly that's not feeling right, that would not be the tweak I would make, but playing around with maybe having something in the late afternoon, a little something, and then having your workout.

You hinted earlier that you would consider maybe not working out in the fasted state, so to try that. Just see how that goes. You said, the only way you're having success is to be either all or nothing, non-IF or fully IF. Then, you said you have an intense but short nighttime window. I also want you to consider that as you get to your goal, you're probably going to need more fuel, just in light of the fact that you're not going to be burning as much body fat. Like I found when I got to my goal size, I did need a little more food than I was to lose weight. You need to eat more in maintenance than you did to lose the weight, that's just how our bodies are hungrier because we're maintaining and we're not getting as much fuel from our short fat, if that makes sense. I think I just talked in circles. But hopefully, I made sense with it. Depending on how much fat you're still burning, and how much working out you're doing, think about lengthening that window, but not so long as to impact your workday and make you sluggish. You've got to figure out how you can do that. I wonder if you could work out early before work, then you'd really be ready to go for work and then have an afternoon snack before the end of work.

Melanie Avalon: I thought about that, but then I thought he probably would just be hungry and would have the cognitive issues of eating.

Gin Stephens: Well, it depends. I don't know, working out in the fasted state, it might just really pop up his alertness, make him feel better and more alert, because he's deep in the fat burning state and then have a longer window on the back end.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I guess it would depend if it makes him super hungry right after.

Gin Stephens: Exactly. It would depend on that. I find that when I'm really, really active in the fast, that I'm not as hungry for a while after working out-- during the fasted workout. It all changes up when just in-- maybe the next day, I might be hungrier though. I really do believe that if your body is sending you, “I'm hungry” signals, there's a reason.

Melanie Avalon: I mean, the reason might be that it's this final push and that's why it might be something that you have to just accept. It's hard to know where he's at and what he's trying to do. Like I said, I'm much more comfortable talking about this when it's a man than a female. Not because it's a gender bias, because it's just literally our bodies are different.

One other thing I thought of, so I'm actually interviewing tomorrow, John Jaquish. I don't know how you say his last name. I think I might have mentioned it. Did I mention him to you, Gin? He makes the X3 Resistant Band system.

Gin Stephens: Yes, you mentioned him to me.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really excited because I learned so much in that book. It was a situation where-- because I don't actively seek out exercise science books or information, I probably should. So, it's really nice when it just lands in my lap, they reached out to me to bring him on the show. He's been on Dave Asprey and a lot of other shows and other podcasters that I listen to have been mentioning his bands. His book goes into the exercise science of muscle building, I learned so much. It's so interesting when something that you're steeped in normally-- like tomorrow when we record, I just still don't feel like I have the knowledge that I would like to engage in an intellectual dialogue about it, but that's fine, I'm going to learn.

The point of all this was he talks about usability of proteins. I was trying to look up charts online, because I think people often say that whey protein is super usable, and that's why they use it. I feel he said in the book that it wasn't, which is confusing, but something that also might help Ryan is experimenting with the type of protein that he's eating. For example, like egg whites are typically known to have the highest bioavailability and then fish. Fish is more easily digestible sometimes than other meats, so you might be able to eat more of it, and also get more protein that you need. Then, meat is farther down the line. I was trying to figure out exactly where chicken lies, but that might be something to look up. You could google protein bioavailability.

Gin Stephens: Can I tell you something cool that I just thought of while you were talking? We have new neighbors across the street, and they have gutted the house across the street from the 60s, and they are totally rebuilding it. They're there are a lot, and now that I'm sitting in the front yard, since we're redoing our backyard, I have a lot of time to talk to them, because they are in the front and you're waiting for the workers that are working on the house if they can lock up. Well, the husband of the couple, he is a retired exercise physiology researcher. Fascinating stuff. He was telling me all these stories about-- he worked with top level tennis players and the impact of heat and sweat. He wouldn't tell me what tennis player it was, but it’s somebody we would know. The amount of sweat output he was having, and so he helped him with electrolyte supplementation based on that. He and I had a great discussion about electrolyte supplementation, and who needed it and who didn't. It was really fascinating. This is just in the wild with my neighbor.

Melanie Avalon: No, that's amazing. Exercise science is so fascinating.

Gin Stephens: It really is. Basically, a lot of us don't need it, [laughs] the electrolyte supplementation. But some people do, obviously this high-level tennis player who was working out like crazy and sweating like buckets, he had the highest sweat output, like I said, this exercise researcher had ever seen, is going to need supplementation.

Melanie Avalon: I think a lot of people who are not eating the standard American diet needs electrolytes more, because our processed food is so high in sodium and when people switch to a whole foods diet, they lose a lot of electrolytes.

Gin Stephens: Well, he and I didn't get into that. But we also talked about children and how much heat they can take, which was interesting to me as an elementary teacher. He actually was instrumental in the writing the American Academy of Pediatrics advice for what kids can do in the heat before they need to hydrate and stuff like that. Basically, healthy kids are very resilient. There's no one size fits all, that was the best thing that I took away from the whole conversation, which is everything we say all the time. There is no one size fits all recommendation for anything. He, as a science researcher, found that in everything he was doing as well. He talked about how difficult it was, because the American Academy of Pediatrics wanted a one size fits all recommendation. He's like, “If you're going to do that, I refuse to be a part of it. I'm not doing that.”

Melanie Avalon: One of the things that John says all throughout the book is how he thinks exercise science is-- it has a lot of tenets in it that it sort of wanted to cling to and that it was hard to evolve appropriately.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's all science. I think that's true because when you come up believing something and you're trained in it, just like the cholesterol paradigm, for example. With doctors, that's just one example. When you're trained in something and it's what you believe, it's hard to shift as we learn new things. That's true for all of us.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, one of the stories that Valter Longo tells in his book is, how I guess, in 1994, because there's all these debating theories about aging and longevity and what causes aging. I guess, he formed the idea that we have programs for aging. Cells are programmed to die at a certain time, and maybe you can manipulate those programs based on diet and fasting and things like that. He says a story about how I guess he had a debate in 1994 about the cause of aging, and he put forth his thesis. He said at the end, the audience voted, and the audience was all scientists and lots of people like that, and they voted who they thought was correct, and he lost. With the follow-up polls, he had actually convinced over half of the people of his idea, but people don't like-- I guess in science, it's hard to not accept the current idea, even if they think that something else makes more sense.

Gin Stephens: It's true. Confirmation bias is real, and the inability to change your paradigm is hard. It's hard for people to do when you've believed something for so long. But we all have that in us, and we have to fight against it.

Melanie Avalon: Also, the power of groupthink, so not wanting to go against all the studies they do, where they have people-- like people enter rooms, and they don't know that it's a setup, and everybody will do something weird, but because everybody else is doing it, they'll start doing it, or they won't. This happened to me in real life the other day, and I saw it happening. I was like, “I know this is what this is,” but I still did it. Outside of my apartment, there's the street and there's parallel parking on both sides. You know how parking in streets around communities or neighborhoods can be casual. People might park the wrong way with the parallel parking because it's not the outside world. The road right outside of my apartment, there's parallel parking, and everybody on one side was parked the wrong way. They were all parked opposite the flow of traffic with the parallel parking. There was one open space, and there's like six spots. I was like, “Do I park the way I know I'm supposed to park? Or do I park the wrong way like every other single car?” So, I parked the wrong way. I was like, “This is what this is.”

Gin Stephens: That'd be hard for me as a rule follower.

Melanie Avalon: Would you park the right way?

Gin Stephens: It might depend on what was convenient. Was it more convenient for you to park the “right” way? Or, was it more convenient for you to park like everybody else, based on the way your car was pointed?

Melanie Avalon: Oh, at the time?

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: That's a good question. I don't remember. I definitely sat there. I was like, “Hmm.”

Gin Stephens: That would be a factor. Yeah, that actually might have been a factor now that I think about it but I definitely had the debate. I was like, “This is what this is. This is me wanting to go with the group.”

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

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: We have two questions sort of related. The first one is from Michelle. The subject is “Not working/PCOS.” Michelle says, “Hey, ladies, love your podcast, I have been intermittent fasting for about a month now. I'm doing a 20:4, sometimes 19:5 window, eating from 3:00 to 7:00 PM, and I feel really good while fasting. However, I am gaining weight, not losing. I do treat myself to ice cream somewhat frequently. Other than that, I eat mostly meat, veggies, fruits, and rice. I also exercise for 30 minutes about three to four times a week, usually jogging or weightlifting. I have PCOS, which I know can make weight loss harder, but I can't help but feel discouraged. I'm not planning to stop doing IF because I really like it. But any advice on what I should change or do differently? How long does it take to start losing?

Lastly, my husband and I are trying to start a family. With PCOS, it's a bit harder but we are working with a great OB-GYN and are hopeful. I listened to your IF stories podcast with the OB-GYN, and I've heard you guys mentioned great things about IF for people with PCOS. My mom keeps sending me articles that say not to do IF when trying to become pregnant because it messes with your cycle. Should I be worried about that? Thanks for all you do.”

Then, a continuation of that after we answer that, we can also address Katie's question about pregnancy. And she says, “Hi, ladies. Love your podcast. I'm currently testing out intermittent fasting. After many hours of research, I see that IF may not be suitable for those trying to get pregnant, or those who are pregnant. Could you shed some light on this? I am trying to conceive, but don't want to do anything to harm myself or the baby. Thank you.”

Gin Stephens: Of course, the number one best advice is have these conversations with your OB-GYN and don't take what we're saying as advice of what you should do. Even the doctor, I'm getting ready to mention Dr. Cecily Ganheart, she says the same thing. I am not your doctor, she'll say-- I've seen on Instagram say it, “Even though I am a doctor, I'm not your doctor, I'm not giving you medical advice.” That would be her talking, not me, because I'm not a doctor. I'm definitely not giving you medical advice. Even a doctor will not give you medical advice at random. So, just keep that in mind.

I want to first go to what Katie said do not do intermittent fasting while you're pregnant. 100%. For everybody who has not yet listened to the episode that Michelle was talking about, it's Episode 34 of Intermittent Fasting Stories, Dr. Cecily Ganheart. If you go to just any Google, whatever, and type in Intermittent Fasting Stories, Cecily Ganheart, G-A-N-H-E-A-R-T, or probably you could type in Intermittent Fasting Stories Episode 34, it'll take you to her episode, and she's an OB-GYN, who is an intermittent faster herself, but she also works with a lot of patients who have PCOS and fertility issues. Her strategy that she uses with those patients is intermittent fasting coupled with dietary changes. So, not to be flippant, I would listen to her before I would listen to your mom. Sorry, mom. I think Dr. Ganheart knows based on what's working with patients. You could find all sorts of articles that say literally anything, including the earth is flat. So, I would not go based on articles anyone is sending you from the internet, unless they're written by-- if there’s any medical journals, that would be different.

With PCOS, Michelle, let's address that, first of all. PCOS is linked to high insulin levels. The reason intermittent fasting works so well is because it lowers your insulin levels naturally, because you're fasting clean, and insulin goes down during the fast. But that is also why Dr. Ganheart with her PCOS patients works on what they're eating as well because when you describe what you're eating, mostly meat, veggies, fruits, and rice, she tends to employ a low-carb approach with her PCOS patients because that's also great at lowering insulin and that’s what you targeted, you're trying to do. She finds with her patients that when you lower insulin levels, fertility increases, and that is what you're hoping to find. You're hoping for increased fertility, so lowering insulin should be what you're focused on. On the flip side, there's the whole mastering diabetes mindset of actually eating low fat, high carb, also to lower your insulin levels. You just really have to decide. I think both are good at it, but you can't be there in the middle. Melanie and I've talked about that many times. In the middle is where it's murkier. If your goal is lowering insulin levels, you need to really commit to one or the other, if it's for this purpose of fertility with PCOS.

Back to Katie's question as well, who didn't say anything about being PCOS, should she do intermittent fasting while she's trying to get pregnant? Well, that depends. As long as you're not using intermittent fasting in an overly restrictive way, it's likely to not be a problem. Just like Melanie talked about a few minutes ago, when we were reading Ryan's question, women's hormones are more delicate in a state of over-restriction. You don't want to over-restrict while you're trying to get pregnant. But intermittent fasting is not necessarily overly restrictive. That's the whole-- I mean, I also wouldn't do the hCG diet, when I'm trying to get pregnant. I wouldn't do a very low-calorie diet when I was trying to get pregnant. You need to nourish your body well, but you can do that in the intermittent fasting paradigm, but you just have to be mindful of how you're nourishing your body.

Back to Michelle who said that she's been doing intermittent fasting for about a month and not losing weight and actually gaining weight, that's not abnormal. I talk about that in Fast. Feast. Repeat., that's why I want you to take that whole first month, as just the 28-Day FAST Start, you're nailing the clean fast, you're not even looking at the scale. Then after that you can start-- you're tweaking it for weight loss, if that's your goal. The foods are going to be even more important, if you're trying to think about getting pregnant. If your goal is fertility right now, maybe weight loss should not be your goal. Put that on the back burner and focus on nourishing your body and an eating window that feels good to you, getting insulin down. I think that's your best bet. Also, ready to quit the intermittent fasting as soon as you find out that you're pregnant. Back when I had the Facebook groups, we heard all the time from people who had trouble with fertility, started intermittent fasting, bam, then they were pregnant. Did I get to everything that she said?

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Well, I guess just to clarify, when you actually are pregnant--

Gin Stephens: Stop.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. That was a really fabulous answer.

Gin Stephens: Dr. Ganheart says that. She loves intermittent fasting, but she does not want you to do it when you are pregnant. Do it as part of healing the PCOS, then take a break until the baby is weaned, not just through the pregnancy, but all the way through the breastfeeding time too. Do you know why my number one reason for not recommending breastfeeding and intermittent fasting, Melanie, is not just about your milk flow and your supply, like some people think.

Melanie Avalon: Is it because toxins?

Gin Stephens: Yeah. We're in a different world now. Actually, I was having this conversation we were having with one of the moderators in the Delay, Don't Deny moderators, I'm not there anymore. I mean, it was a really good conversation. It wasn't like a bad conversation, or anybody was in trouble, or we were mad. No. It was just we were having a conversation behind the scenes about breastfeeding. One of the moderators said, “I can't think that it would actually be really a problem because women always were breastfeeding their babies in times of famine, and then they were able to.” I'm like, “Well, a lot of things are different now. First of all, not just because your baby is going to be fine. We want your baby to be optimal, not just fine.” That's one thing, but just having a milk supply is not the only thing because now we live in such a toxic world. This was reiterated when I was researching for Clean(ish). How many toxins are actually passed through breast milk to the babies? It's because we're just like in this whole chemical soup now. Even if you're trying really hard not to be, you are you, you can't help it. So, you've got toxins stored in your fat, even if you live a pretty clean life.

When you're breastfeeding, if you're losing fat, then you're going to be releasing those toxins from your fat stores. So, it's almost like you really don't want to be losing weight at all while you're pregnant or breastfeeding, because of the toxins. This is different. This is not like thousand years ago, when people were still able to grow a healthy baby even with all the crazy famines and whatever they were going through. We've got a different environment than they had.

Melanie Avalon: I was going to bring that up. Also, one of the biggest detox moments that a woman experiences is actually when she's pregnant, because the toxins actually go through the placenta, into the baby. That's why it's so, so important that those are the toxins are coming from processed food, our environment, and then that's why we always talk about our skincare and makeup because that is one of our largest sources of exposure. If you're using conventional skincare and makeup, you are literally putting on probably compounds straight into your body. These are endocrine disruptors, and there's been thousands of compounds that Europe has banned, they actually regulate it there. The US has banned around a dozen. You can pull it up on their website on the FDA. They list like 12 things.

Gin Stephens: It's true. When I was researching for Clean(ish), it really just made it so much more important than it ever had before. The understanding of why this is so important. I have a whole chart in Clean(ish) about all the things they found in the cord blood of the baby’s and in the breast milk. It's shocking. I don't want to scare people into being afraid to live because we have to live, but there's a lot going on.

Melanie Avalon: Well, that's why I love Beautycounter.

Gin Stephens: Me too.

Melanie Avalon: By the way, for women, because Beautycounter makes skincare that you need, they make sunscreen, they make shampoo and conditioner, which I love. They make makeup, their makeup’s amazing. Tina Fey actually wore it at the Golden Globes this past year. But they also make-- I don't think most people realize this, they have a line for kids. They have like a baby wash and diaper balm and all of that stuff.

Gin Stephens: And for men, they have a men’s line.

Melanie Avalon: By the time this comes out, this will have aired, but for Father's Day, my dad is getting a lot of Beautycounter. He's getting Beautycounter and Dry Farm Wines. I emailed Dry Farm Wines and asked if they could make me a-- because normally those wines are on the lighter side, like body wise, but he likes heavy cabs[?]. I asked if they can make me a box of like the heaviest cabs that they have. Fun fact, if you like Dry Farm Wines, you can email them and they will make you a special box for whatever you want. So, I did that for him. Then I did it for a friend who specifically likes wines from the Loire Valley. I was like, “Can you make me a box of wines from the Loire Valley?” So, fun times. Links, if you want any of that, a bottle for a penny of Dry Farm Wines, is at dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast, and then you can shop with us at Beautycounter at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter.

Gin Stephens: Awesome. Did you have anything you wanted to add?

Melanie Avalon: Her mom was talking about IF messing with your cycles. Gin talks about this. Yes, if IF is too restrictive, then it can create hormonal problems. The emphasis, and it's a slight change in words, is that her mom is cautioning her not to do IF because it messes with your cycle. The way to approach it would be, isn't messing with your cycle. If your cycles not changing, I don't think IF is sneakily changing your cycle behind the scenes, but it still appears normal, like you will know. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: Also, on the flip side of that, people often have cycle changes as their bodies are adjusting to IF and then things regulate. Just because you have a couple of months that are wonky, doesn't mean, “Uh-oh, I better quit.”

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.

Gin Stephens: It doesn't happen-- it's not that fast. If it does cause hormonal problems that's going to happen later, as you're going. If things start getting worse and worse and worse and worse, bad sign. But if things are weird for a while, then they improve, that's normal.

Melanie Avalon: Then, the last thing I wanted to touch on was, I think a lot of the fear surrounding fasting and fertility-- Well, Gin talked about this already that people equate fasting with over-restriction, which it can be. It can easily be, but it's not a synonym for it. The other thing though, and I've talked about this on prior episodes as well, but the majority of studies in fertility for females that are used to create this idea of it being an issue are in rodents. I just can't say this enough. So, rodents are reproducing on a much faster timeline. They have a shorter lifespan, they've a much shorter lifespan. I think it's like two years max. They're reproducing much more frequently, so they're much more sensitive to factors that would throw that off.

Gin Stephens: Stressors.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, they do “time-restricted eating” in a rat, where they're fasting for a day. That's days and days, if not weeks in a human a fasting. Those two factors together, the fact that the fasting studies in rats are the equivalent of very long, extended fasts, and they're more sensitive to fertility issues with fasting anyways, if you see a rodent study that says fasting creates hormonal problems and fertility, I don't think you can make those connections to humans at all. I actually just finished reading an entire book about female fertility and the female cycle and all of that. It was very, very informative. I learned so much. I didn't know about the different phases of the cycle, like the follicular and the luteal, and ovulatory. I didn't know how hormones changed, and I learned so much. I'm probably going to do an episode with that author about that book. But the author does talk about fasting and its effects on fertility and makes the case that fasting is very detrimental for fertility. If there were an author to make this case-- if there were studies that really showed this, I think the author would have found those studies and put them in, but there really weren't any studies listed that to me, seem to make that case.

There was a rodent study, there were some studies that showed hormonal changes, but overall, it was more nuanced and complex than fasting is bad for your hormones or something like that. The reason I say that is I think a lot of people have this idea that fasting is a negative thing for fertility, but when you actually sit down and look at the literature, I don't see it anywhere. I'm looking for it. I see in the rodent studies, but I don't think they're applicable, and then on the flip side, I think we have so much-- just like Gin was talking about with-- what was the doctor?

Gin Stephens: Dr. Cecily Ganheart. She actively uses it as a strategy to help her patients that are having trouble with fertility.

Melanie Avalon: Right, exactly. I think the issue is just that fasting, and I said it already, but it can-- Oh, especially for a lot of women very easily become too restrictive, but it doesn't have to, and it can actually be really incredible and really healing and really supportive of fertility. So, it just depends on how you are doing the fasting.

Gin Stephens: And any diet could be a problem for women with fertility if they're overdoing the restriction.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Exactly. Maybe we can do it next week. We actually had another question that's sort of related to this. But in any case, yeah, this has been absolutely wonderful. 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. Just fun fact, those are the ways to submit questions. People keep DMing me on Instagram, trying to submit questions and I'm like, “If you want it on the show, it's got to go through the email.” Speaking of, you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens. The show notes for today's episode, which will have a full transcript as well as links to everything that we talked about, those will be at ifpodcast.com/episode219. Lastly, you can get all of the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. All right, well, anything from you, Gin, before we go?

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

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful, and 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! 

 

 

Apr 18

Episode 209: Social Media Management, Easy Insulin Testing, Bile, The Gallbladder, Cholesterol, Long-Term IF, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 209 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:

INSIDETRACKER: Get The Blood And DNA Tests You Need To Be Testing, Personalized Dietary Recommendations, An Online Portal To Analyze Your Bloodwork, Find Out Your True "Inner Age," And More! Listen To My Interview With The Founder Gil Blander At Melanieavalon.Com/Insidetracker! Go To insidetracker.com/melanie To Get 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

BIOPTIMIZERS: A Company Whose Mission Is To Fix Your Digestion! Support Your Gut Health With A Patented, Proteolytic, Anti-Viral, Superstar Probiotic, P3OM! Go To p3om.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save 10% Off Any Order!

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 - INSIDETRACKER: Go To insidetracker.com/melanie To Get 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

3:15 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order!

Delay, Don't Deny Social Network

Change Is In The Air

IF Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life

Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon 

Lumen Lovers: Biohack Your Carb And Fat Burning (With Melanie Avalon)

24:15 - BIOPTIMIZERS: Go To p3om.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save 10% Off Any Order!

26:35 - Listener Feedback: Sarah - Insulin Testing

33:40 - Listener Q&A: Catherine - Gallbladder and Fasting

Effects of fasting on the composition of gallbladder bile

50:05 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

54:05 - Listener Q&A: Celeste - Crashing When my Window Opens

58:05 - Listener Q&A: Amber - 15 hour fast?

1:01:45 - Listener Q&A: Jennifer - Long Term Intermittent Fasting

#1624 – Mark Sisson

TRANSCRIPT


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 209 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. 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 wanted to tell you about one of the most incredible resources for taking charge of your blood tests and lab work, ever. I am a huge fan of a company called InsideTracker. They are actually a David Sinclair-partnered company. What they do is they provide access to the blood tests that you need to be testing, as well as interpretations so that you can figure out what that all means. Basically, we often go to our doctor, we get blood tests, we test things, but is it what we need to be testing? What does it even mean? That's what InsideTracker is here for.

They've done extensive testing to figure out which blood markers can tell you the most about your actual health. These aren't necessarily all the tests that you might expect. They provide personalized interpretations of those results along with dietary and lifestyle recommendations so that you can truly take charge of your health. Their InnerAge, for example, analyzes your blood work to determine your true “inner age” and how to lower it. I did it recently and thankfully, my inner age was lower than my actual chronological age, but there were still some things that I could work on. So, InsideTracker has really helped me meet my goals in that way.

They've also got DNA testing, as well as one of my favorite things, which is their online portal. Guys, this online portal is a game changer. It includes your results from InsideTracker, but then you can upload all of your own data from any other blood results that you've had through your doctor, so helpful. You just go into the portal, you drop in your lab results, and then you have all their lab results all in one place. It's so easy to see how things have changed over time, and they interpret these lab results from other companies by their standards. It is so helpful. I cannot even describe how much I use this platform.

If you'd like to learn more about them, as well as all about bloodwork testing, definitely check out my interview I did with the founder, Gil Blander. That's at melanieavalon.com/insidetracker. InsideTracker also has an amazing offer just for my audience. It was 20%, I asked if it could be 30%, and they said yes. They are so amazing. If you go to melanieavalon.com/getinsidetracker, you can use the coupon code, MELANIE30, to get 30% off sitewide. Yes, 30% off sitewide, melanieavalon.com/getinsidetracker, with the coupon code, MELANIE30. That’s M-E-L-A-N-I-E 30, I'll put all of 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 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.

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 anti-aging benefits of retinol without any of the toxic effects of retinol, because, yes, that stuff is toxic. Guys, put it away now.

You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. If you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order. Also, definitely get on my clean beauty email list that's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away so many free things on that list. 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 fasting clean inside and out? You can with Beautycounter. Again, that link is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. 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 209 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, and got a lot going on.

Melanie Avalon: What do you have going on?

Gin Stephens: Well, you already know but I'm going to share it here for the first time. Although, gosh, this is coming out-- this is the April 19th episode, so we're three weeks ahead approximately, recording it three weeks before it comes out. By the time it comes out, a lot of listeners will already know this news, because I'm announcing it officially tomorrow. Tomorrow is March 29th in the real world, because we're three weeks in the past here recording, but I am officially leaving Facebook tomorrow, March 29th. It's also Cal's birthday, he will be 23. That's just a coincidence.

Melanie Avalon: Wow, that's big.

Gin Stephens: It is big. I didn't make this decision lightly. I know some people are going to wake up tomorrow and see my announcement and be like, “What has just happened?” I actually wrote a blog post about it, and it's going to drop overnight. For anybody who hasn't heard this news, or maybe you heard about it, but you didn't read my blog post yet, I want you to go to ginstephens.com. Go to the blog post area, and it's called Change is in the Air, unless I decided to call it something else between now and tomorrow when it goes live, but right now, it's Change is in the Air. I really poured my heart into that blog post. I'm going to try not to cry. Gosh, I feel so emotional about this. I feel the tears like welling up and so I'm going to take a deep breath and try to not get emotional. I've reflected on all the time-- I've been on Facebook since 2008. Do you remember when you joined?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I think we talked about this. Yep. It was around 2008 for me as well.

Gin Stephens: Okay. Well, just like everybody else, I used it as a casual user, but then in 2015, when I started my first group, my usage really changed. What's that they say on top of really long things? Too long didn't read, TLDR, you know what I'm talking about? TLDR, that little abbreviation.

Melanie Avalon: I know that abbreviation, I don't know what it means.

Gin Stephens: It means too long, didn't read or something like that. It's basically a one-sentence summary. Basically, I realized-- really not just recently, but over the past few years, I've realized that I haven't been fully present in my life, because of Facebook. It's been like this huge Catch-22. I love the work I've done on Facebook since 2015 with my intermittent fasting communities, I love it so much. I love supporting members and helping them and providing a safe place for them to get together and form a community. Yet, 16 hours of my day, all the time of the day when I'm not asleep, it's in my mind. Like it never sleeps. Facebook never sleeps, even if I'm sleeping, Facebook isn't sleeping. The pressure to be there and be in the groups and respond to everybody and the pending posts, it's heavy.

I've known for years, like I said, that I couldn't do this for the rest of my life. I could not spend 16 hours a day every day on Facebook. In the past year, I've started a third podcast and I'm working on a new book. I also want to have some time to talk to my husband or whatever else I want to do. I just realized that Facebook's got to go for my own mental well-being. Anyway, I encourage people to go find that blog post and read it all the way through because Facebook has just been such a part of my identity. It's what I do. It's how I spend all my time. For the past week, knowing that this is coming, I've been purposely trying to put my phone down, and my brain is looking for it. Does that sound crazy?

Melanie Avalon: No, not at all.

Gin Stephens: Like, “I’ve got to look, got to see, got to check, are there pending posts?” I'm like, “No, stop. Stop. Stop doing that.” Here's the part, that's the hardest and the part that has literally kept me up at night. I have not slept well-- I wasn't sure what I was going to do even a couple weeks ago. I started the Delay, Don't Deny Social Network. That was multifaceted, part of it was, of course, because as I've already shared, I was concerned about trusting my entire platform to Facebook, everything I've built. But then, I started thinking, “Do I really need to be on Facebook 16 hours a day?” This whole multifaceted, moving off of Facebook to a new platform that's just us, taking control of the platform. But also, it's not a place where I need to be from the minute I wake up to the minute I go to bed, so I'm going to be able to check in periodically. Like first thing in the morning after I get my coffee, I can spend some time there. Then later in the day, maybe I can go there again, but not feeling like I have to go every 10 minutes. It's almost like I feel like I'm withdrawing from a drug, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, no. It sounds like that combined with moving.

Gin Stephens: Maybe I also want to say the hardest part of this, I started to say and then I got sidetracked, is the groups. I've had these groups, the Advanced group and the One Meal A Day group are the groups where I started, the One Meal A Day group started in 2015. It's where I met you.

Melanie Avalon: I know.

Gin Stephens: We have a whole community there. There's certain people that are well loved in that community. The Advanced group, that group’s about 30,000 members, and everyone there has read at least one of my books and so that they are my people, and I love them. But I don't think that anyone realizes how much of my life that it takes to run them. I just don't think they do. Maybe they do, but maybe they don't. But it's not something I can turn over to moderators and say, “All right, run the Advanced group, run the One Meal A Day group.” It's just too much. I mean, I can't ask volunteers to spend 16 hours a day managing these groups.

Melanie Avalon: How does it look different, the management and all of that?

Gin Stephens: Going forward? Well, I am actually archiving the Advanced group and the One Meal A Day group. What archiving means is, I click a button, and from that point going forward, nobody is able to post or comment or put a mad face on the fact that I just archived the group or cry face with the-- people are going to be sad, I get it. No one can respond or comment or do anything, but the content is still there, which is so important to me. You can still go in and search your question. You've got a question about anything, you put it in the search bar, and old posts will come up, and you'll be able to read. There's still a huge resource of information. You can find success stories there. It's just it freezes it in time. You want to see what people ate for dinner three months ago? It's still going to be there in the One Meal A Day group. We just aren't going to be adding any new content. That's the hardest part. That's the part that's kept me up at night, is how do I--

You know the song, Hotel California? “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” That is how I have felt about Facebook. I've built this huge thing, and now I am trapped by it. I'm trapped and consumed, and it's a good thing, but anything good can just be also too much. Does that make sense? [sighs] I hope that people hear what I'm saying about it and how hard this decision was for me. But the main group, the Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting support group, that group has over 300,000 members and we're not closing that one down. The moderators are going to continue to manage that one. We changed the way that group was managed in the summer of 2020 when it got really clear that we couldn't manage 300,000 people. We were having over 1000 posts a day. Did I ever tell the story about how I started crying when I was trying to make dinner?

Melanie Avalon: I think so.

Gin Stephens: I don't know if I told you on the podcast or just to you. There was one night over the summer or spring, maybe just over a year ago from today, when I was trying to make dinner, Chad said, “Is it time for dinner?” I'm like, “Yeah, I'll make dinner as soon as I can get these pending posts under control.” When I started, I don't remember the exact number. Let's say it was 32. I don't know, that's just-- 32 pending posts. When you had the pending posts, you had to go in and you had to approve them and then you had to make a comment on them. Sometimes though, you didn't need to approve them, like if they were, “Can I have lemon in my water?” If we approved every one of those, that's all the feed would have been. We would actually give personalized responses to those. We would decline them, but we would decline with feedback. We would say, “Sorry, lemon is not part of a clean fast. Please go check out blah, blah, blah resource,” but it took a lot of time for each post. We didn't just decline randomly. We gave feedback to everyone personally or we would add comments, we spend a lot of time on those posts.

I started, we had, let's just say, like I said, 32. I worked for about 20 minutes. At the end of that 20 minutes, we had more posts than when I had started, we were up to like 35. I just burst into tears and said to Chad, I said, “I can't keep t