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Nov 20

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

Intermittent Fasting

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

9:00 - what is creatine?

10:00 - the benefits of creatine

11:15 - common misconceptions

12:35 - body building supplementation

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

15:00 - what creatine does

Creatine Supplementation in Women’s Health: A Lifespan Perspective

18:40 - GABA Research

20:35 - creatine and brain health

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

25:20 - gender differences in creatine needs

27:15 - creatine and sex hormones

29:25 - sarcopenia

34:50 - muscle memory

36:55 - andropause

39:40 - low testosterone, mood and motivation

41:50 - BDNF

45:50 - learning new things

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

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

54:45 - hormone replacement therapy

57:15 - sleep

1:00:45 - creatine sources and supplemental dosage

1:05:45 - vegans and Vegetarians

Introducing... Creatine by Cynthia Thurlow

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

TRANSCRIPT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get my favorite electrolytes for free. Yes, completely free. And the feedback we have received about LMNT electrolytes from our audience is overwhelming. You guys love LMNT and I'm so excited because our new offer allows new and returning customers to get free LMNT. On top of that, they're super popular Grapefruit flavor is back. If you've been having issues with intermittent fasting, electrolytes may just be the thing that you need and/or have you heard of something called the keto flu? 

Here's the thing. The keto flu is not actually a condition. Keto flu just refers to a bundle of symptoms, headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, and insomnia that people experience in the early stages of keto dieting. Here's what's going on. When you eat a low-carb diet, your insulin levels drop. Low insulin in turn lowers the production of the hormone aldosterone. Now, aldosterone is made in the kidneys and it helps you retain sodium. So, low aldosterone on a keto diet makes you lose sodium at a rapid rate. Even if you are consciously consuming electrolytes, you might not be getting enough. In particular, you need electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium in order for nerve impulses to properly fire. Electrolytes can easily be depleted while intermittent fasting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: They use the term bioenergetics. 

Scott Emmens: Bioenergetics.

Cynthia Thurlow: Which makes sense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: [crosstalk]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Interesting. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Emmens: All right. Take care.

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription] 

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Nov 13

Episode 291: Meat Intolerance, Generic Medications, Micronutrient Testing, Apple Cider Vinegar, Bone Broth Fasting, Grass Fed Butter, Ghee, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 291 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Two, 10 Oz Ribeyes FREE In Every Box For A Whole Year When You Join Plus An Additional $10 Off!

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

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

Introducing... Creatine By Cynthia Thurlow

Melanie: How She Grew

Cynthia: How She Grew

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

20:40 - Listener Q&A: Linsey - Opening your eating window at different times.

Early Vs Late-Night Eating: Contradictions, Confusions, And Clarity

28:15 - Listener Q&A: Tammy - Meat Intolerance

36:35 - Listener Q&A: Tricia - Generic Medications

Vibrant America

Genova Diagnostics

SpectraCell Laboratories

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

43:30 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

46:10 - Listener Q&A: Angela - ACV mid fast drink - Thomas Delauer

50:20 - Listener Q&A: Heather - IF... 12-18 hours

Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

53:50 - Listener Q&A: Taylor - Butter?

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

Hi, friends, I'm about to tell you how to get free grass-fed, grass-finished ribeyes for a year plus $10 off? Yes, that's free grass-fed grass-finished ribeyes for a year plus $10 off. So we are huge fans around here of a company called ButcherBox. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free range organic chicken, heritage breed pork that's really hard to find by the way and wild-caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door. When you become a member you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect, and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency regarding grazing practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox. All of their beef is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished. That's really hard to find and friends you can taste the difference in their beef and steaks. I am a steak girl. I love steak. I've been eating a lot of ButcherBox steaks recently and I can promise you they are some of the most delicious steaks I've ever had in my entire life. And they work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. This is so important to me. The value is incredible. The average cost is actually less than $6 per meal. And it's so easy, everything is shipped directly to your door. And this Black Friday your search for amazing deals on high-quality protein ends with ButcherBox. ButcherBox is offering our listeners one of their best steak deals ever. You can get free grass-fed ribeyes for a year plus $10 off, yes, that is two 10-ounce grass-fed ribeyes free in every box for an entire year when you join plus an additional $10 off. Sign up today at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and use the coupon code IFPODCAST to get those free ribeyes for a year plus $10 off. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and use code IFPODCAST to get the special Black Friday deal. Friends do not miss this and we'll put all this information in the show notes.

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is episode number 291 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hi, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm definitely having one of those days where there's a lot of really great things that are ongoing, but I feel a little overwhelmed.

Melanie Avalon: Well, that definitely makes you relatable to probably a lot of people. So, in general, how often are you-- in your life how often do you oscillate between feeling overwhelmed and feeling not overwhelmed?

Cynthia Thurlow: Probably a daily basis because there are so many things that are at play, being a mom and solo parenting this week and running a business and I've got a dog that's got a digestive issue. And so, today's definitely one of those days, I'm like okay, we can do it, we can totally do it. So, I have to psych myself out. But I would say as an entrepreneur, I think there's almost every day, I have a moment where I'm like I don't know how I'm going to do all this, but it's going to happen. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I was just thinking about how, it's interesting how people can be so different with their psychology of how they approach planning out their life or not planning and dealing with that, because for me as long as I really plan everything, I feel safe and my ability to do everything, but I was just thinking about how some people, get really overwhelmed at the thought of planning things out. And so, it's just really interesting concept to think about. My calendar looks really intense if you look at it, but that's my safety net, knowing everything is scheduled and has a place and a time and honoring it. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I think it's the idiosyncrasies of life. When things that are not planned pop up, then you're "Okay, how do I roll with it," I think years of working in an ER and working in more acutely sick environments. If I was calm, everyone around me could be calm. And so, I may not look stressed, but internally, I'm like "Okay, what do we need to do?" I usually plan out my days. And I'm like "Okay, the big hump of the day is here and once I've done that, then things will be easier." And so, I just got over my big hump, so everything else today is going to be on downhill, so it'll be good.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Yeah, for me, I have to really really honor all of my daily self-care things and my sleep. And I really have to prioritize that. And it took a while to reframe that is not being selfish [laughs] because taking care of yourself. But I do think it's just so important, and the way that you can show up for everybody else in your life.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and I think a lot of women have to give themselves permission to acknowledge that having boundaries and prioritizing self-care and that could look different for every person is really helpful. I know for me there are certain things I have to do in the morning to get my day started that allow me to feel I'm relaxed and I'm ready, and I can give 100% to whatever I'm doing. But I don't-- as an example, I'm not someone who likes to wake up late. So, if I've set my alarm and I sleep through an alarm, which occasionally happens, I have to reframe my morning because I then don't have the luxury of being able to do the things I need to do normally. But thankfully, that doesn't happen very often.

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny because I'm obviously the opposite. If I get up early, it throws me all off [laughs]. So, everybody's definitely unique.

Cynthia Thurlow: Um-hmm.

Melanie Avalon: So, I have two quick fun announcements for people to share. One, so this episode airs midway through November. And we don't have the exact date yet. But we're hoping planning to release my berberine supplement at the very beginning of December, so it might be two weeks away when this airs. It's been really exciting because berberine is something I've been taking every day for a long time it has really beneficial effects on blood sugar levels, which is why I started taking it while wearing a CGM, NutriSense by the way, we can put a link in the show notes to a code for them. Actually, I should just say it, because I know people don't check the show notes. Oh, that's a thing in the Facebook group the other day, people will still comment and not realize that we have transcripts for this show. So yes, there are transcripts if you go to the show notes at ifpodcast.com/episode291. So, the NutriSense CGM code is nutrisense.io/ifpodcast. And I think if it's a coupon code, it's IFPODCAST for a discount. Meandering way to say I always have seen beneficial effects on my blood sugar levels from berberine. And it's been exciting because I've been researching other topics and it keeps popping up and I don't know if that's just because I'm manifesting it or looking for it. I think last week, we talked about its role in autophagy and then I'm prepping to interview Dr. Heather Moday right now. She has a book all about the immune system, she had a section on it. So, it can really be a beneficial compound that I think a lot of people might benefit from bringing into their life. And so, if you've enjoyed my serrapeptase and magnesium, that is coming up next. So to get the information, because we will definitely be doing a launch special. You can get on the email list at avalonx.us/emaillist. And you can get text updates if you text AvalonX to 877-861-8318. Are you setting up an email list for your supplement line, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, and it should be out basically we're told by mid-November. I don't have a date yet, but it'll definitely be out before Thanksgiving. And yes, we do have, we'll put a link in the show notes to the creatine weightless page, which you'll be made aware of when it goes live and is available for purchase.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome, so wow, mid-November. When this is airing, it might actually be out or almost out, that's very exciting.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I'm super excited. I feel it's been a long process, but one that I feel really comfortable. I think it's a supplement that will certainly help people enormously. I don't think a lot of people realize what all goes into-- "Well, I don't want to make assumptions." But a lot goes into making these like my serrapeptase. I first met our partner Scott in April of 2021. And we launched it in that November. So, half a year, so much goes into it, but it's really, really, exciting. So, good things are coming. The other baby announcement I have is I've been talking a lot about launching an EMF-blocking product line. And so, I'm still working on the device that you will put on your bed stand to protect yourself from EMF from your phone at night and still letting you charge your phone and keep your phone not in airplane mode because I know it can be important to receive calls and such. So that is coming soon, we're working on it actually, the process that we're at right now is like renders of the models and prototypes and things that. In the meantime, I might actually just go ahead and launch the line, just to get it going with something that I use every day, I'm using right now actually, which are EMF-blocking headphones. So, basically, when I see people using, I mean not even just normal headphones but using AirPods, I just shudder thinking about the effects that might be having on our brain, which I know people think it is woo-woo sometimes, but there are a lot of studies on the effects of EMFs on the calcium channels and health and it's even considered a carcinogen by one of the World Health Organizations. So yes, if you want EMF-blocking headsets, stay tuned that's coming. I should probably set up an email list for that as well, but just putting it out there.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's so exciting.

Melanie Avalon: Anything new in your world?

Cynthia Thurlow: Goodness, I think a lot of what's new in my world is navigating business travel and trying to run a business. And so, next week, I'm going to be in Chicago. I'm not speaking in Chicago, I'm attending an event. And then we just planned out LA travel. And I picked up another podcast while I'm out there. So, I'm trying to figure out how to fit all these things together and to do so gracefully and with incredible gratitude and just savor a very exciting time. So, I would say the big things for me right now we're just trying to figure out how to make all these things work, and still celebrate holidays and be fully present for my family and be 100% present in my business. And the challenges of being an entrepreneur it's wonderful, but you have moments where you're trying to drink from a fire hydrant, there's just so much. It's like okay, let's just try to focus on all the wonderful things and processing and all of that.

Melanie Avalon: Which actually, I wonder if it'll still be available when this airs, we should plug our How We Grew Summit that both you and I did, which Cynthia and I were both guests in a Summit hosted by my good friend Noelle Tarr, also Liz Wolfe and I think three other women. So, it's a collection of interviews, that's a lot of interviews with all female entrepreneurs and how they're doing what they're doing. Last night, I was listening to Noelle had Liz on her podcast and they were just having a conversation and talking a little bit about it. And I was like man, I need to actually listen to all these interviews. I feel there's so much to learn from incredible women that are doing great things with their own businesses and such. We both have links for that, it's both of our websites, so melanieavalon.com/howshegrew and cynthiathurlow.com/howshegrew is the link for that if women would to learn more.

Cynthia Thurlow: Did I ever tell you the connection for me to Liz Wolfe?

Melanie Avalon: No.

Cynthia Thurlow: I read her book, Eat the Yolks and reached out to her and said where did you get your training? And she responded the same day. And I told her when we were interviewing, I said, I really credit you with helping the trajectory and the changes that I made in my business. And I'm so grateful to be able to give back because first of all I was stunned that she responded and then second of all, reading her book really was instrumental in setting the path in motion for me to dive into the functional space, and on a lot of levels like really changed everything I was doing. So, I was so happy to participate because she had in some small way contributed to the massive shift I did.

Melanie Avalon: I did not know that. It's funny, I feel like I know her because I talk to Noelle all the time and Noelle always talking about Liz and you know Liz. Yeah, I've never actually met her.

Cynthia Thurlow: She's lovely and I like that she's a little snarky and I can be a little snarky. And so, I appreciate that, when I see that in other women and it's not in a way that's meant to be hurtful. It's just funny and you're not hurting anyone. You just speak your mind, which I love.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome, so yep, listeners can definitely check all that out.

Hi friends. I'm about to tell you how to get 15% off my favorite blue-light blocking glasses ever. So, I am often asked what are my favorite "biohacking products?" And something I truly, honestly cannot imagine my life without are blue-light blocking glasses. So, in today's modern environment, we are massively overexposed to blue light. It's a stimulating type of light, which can lead to stress, anxiety, headaches, and in particular sleep issues. Blue light actually stops our bodies from producing melatonin, which is our sleep hormone. So, our exposure to blue light can completely disrupt our circadian rhythm, make it hard to fall asleep, make it hard to stay asleep and so much more. Friends, I identify as an insomniac, I would not be able to sleep without my blue-light blocking glasses. I also stay up late working and wearing blue-light blocking glasses at night has made it so I can do that and still fall asleep. My absolute favorite blue-light blocking glasses on the market are Bon Charge, formerly known as BLUblox.

Bon Charge makes an array of blue-light blocking glasses in all different designs, so you can truly find something that fits your style and reap all of the benefits of blue-light blocking. They have their clear computer glasses. You can wear those during the day, especially if you're looking at screens all day to help with anxiety, headaches, and stress. They have their light sensitivity glasses, those are tinged with a special yellow color scientifically proven to boost mood, and they block even more blue light. Those are great for the day or evening. Then they have their blue-light blocking glasses for sleep. Those are the ones that I put on at night while working before bed. Oh, my goodness, friends, it's something you truly have to experience. You put on these glasses and it's like you just tell your brain, “Okay, it's time to go to sleep soon.” They also have amazing blackout sleep masks, those block 100% of light with zero eye pressure. I wear this every single night and I don't know how I would sleep without it. And you can get 15% off sitewide. Just go to boncharge.com and use the coupon code IFPODCAST to save 15%. That's B-O-N-C-H-A-R-G-E dotcom with the coupon code IFPODCAST to save 15%. All right now back to the show.

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: So to start things off, we have a question from Lindsey. The subject is "Opening your eating window at different times." And Lindsey says, "Hey there, I've been soaking up all things IF in the last couple months and I have to say your podcast is a great resource when it comes to navigating this newly found lifestyle of mine. I'm about a month into a 4:3 protocol and I'm already enjoying the weight loss benefits while learning what works best for my body. Eventually, I'd like to switch to one-meal-a-day window because mentally and socially I think it will be easier to stick to long term. Right now, I notice how lethargic I feel after lunch on my eating days. So, a daily dinner time window of about three hours is what I would like to transition to in the future. I'm curious about something though and wonder if either of you have ever experimented with this. If you change your eating window, start time from day to day while still keeping the amount of hours you eat consistent, will it dramatically affect the benefits of fasting both health-wise and weight loss-wise. I work in a small closeknit office where we have a delicious healthy lunch prepared for us daily free of charge. I'm friends with a lot of people at work. So, it's nice to eat lunch with them sometimes during the week. It's also nice on my wallet to get a free healthy meal here and there. Let's say twice a week I open my eating window from noon to 3:00 PM and the rest of the week I stick to an evening window of 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Will the earlier eating window a couple of times a week become a major roadblock in my fasting success? Thank you for passing along all your fasting knowledge and helping others along the way."

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Lindsey, thank you for the great question. I would say how nice it is that your workplace is offering up a healthy lunch. I think you're probably in the minority. If there are lunches provided, they generally tend to not be particularly healthy. So, there are a couple of things to unpack in this question. First and foremost, I don't know your age. But certainly, I do think some degree of variability of fasting windows is something that I myself am a proponent of. My concern is if you're only eating one meal a day that you will get into a position where you are going to not be consuming enough protein, which can potentially contribute to many things, but can contribute to muscle loss. And so, I think from my perspective, I just want to make sure I fully understand the question. I do think that when we eat earlier in the day, we tend to be more insulin sensitive. When we're eating in the evening, we can become or potentially become more insulin resistant. We know that we just have better insulin sensitivity earlier in the day. So, I think from my perspective, I would just be cautious about wanting to do an OMAD situation every single day. If you alternate between two meals versus one that might be some degree of variability. I see a lot of people doing 30/16, where they'll do 30 hours fasted and then eat and then have a 16-hour period of time in which they're not eating. But I would just be certainly careful about just having a very narrow eating window day to day, week to week because that could potentially set you up for slowing your metabolism. And that's something just to keep in mind. Melanie, how would you address this, because I know that you are my unicorn friend and you eat in the evening and go to bed late. And that works for you and you're very metabolically healthy. So, I think that's something to stress. This is where bio-individuality really is very, very important.

Melanie Avalon: I think I've mentioned this article a lot before but I wrote a blog post called Early Versus Late-Night Eating: Contradictions, Confusion, and Clarity. I'll put a link to in the show notes. The link for it is actually melanieavalon.com/eatingtiming. With that article or that blog I tried really hard to objectively non-bias look at all of the literature on eating timing and how it affects things and one of the most-- what would be a good word? Clouding things about it all is that the majority of studies looking at later evening are looking at it in the context of also eating earlier, compared to fasting all day and then eating later which can potentially see a different effect than if you had been eating even just a little bit earlier in the day.

My takeaway when I was reading it was if I had to pick a perfect window, even granted the fact that people are bio-individual but just looking at it, it seemed that around 4:00 to 7:00 ish hormonally seem to be the best, but that's not a blanket statement and everybody is individual, of course. But speaking to the switching it up, I'm totally down with people switching things up. And the thing that obviously-- maybe this isn't obvious, but if you switch it up, then you will naturally have-- assuming you maintain the same eating window, you will naturally have some shorter fast and then some longer fast as well. As far as the actual fast, I don't see it as a roadblock. I agree 100% with Cynthia about making sure you're getting enough protein in that window. Especially if you're-- well, I know for me when I'm eating late at night, I'm eating a ton of protein. And it's easy to do because I just buy it all myself and I have it. If I were to eat out, it's hard for me to get enough protein, I would not be able to eat out. I know she's talking about eating at work, but I wouldn't be able to do a restaurant meal and a one-meal-a-day situation every night, I just wouldn't be able to get enough protein. And when I do get restaurant meals, I normally get protein as dessert. Have I talked about that on here, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't think so.

Melanie Avalon: So, yes, my family or whoever I'm with will usually get a dessert and I'll usually get a second round of the appetizer if it was Sashimi or Carpaccio, and I went to a restaurant actually a few weeks ago and ordered that. And I was like "Has anybody ever done that before?" And you said yeah, people do order "Home savory desserts," so I felt better. So, just a fun fact, you can always order if you're not eating dessert, you can order another round of salmon. But in any case, yes, I would focus on making sure you're getting enough protein. I wouldn't stress about the hours being different. And I'm actually jealous almost of people that can mix it up like that, because I think some people can really well and I think some people struggle a little bit. I have tried in the past to change things up and eat earlier and it does not go well. It's just operation fail and Gin was the same way as well. We have this in common. We both found that she did one-meal-a-day evening window earlier than mine, but we both had the experience where if we were to open our window earlier, we could eat, we could feel good. And then come dinner we would have the exact same signaling and appetite and just rinse and repeat. So, I'm not the type of person that could eat earlier and be done. I'll be starving again at night. So, yeah.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's the beauty of bio-individuality. It's figuring out what works best for us and leaning into it without apologies.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly for me I just love going to bed on a full stomach and one of the things I disliked growing up when I would try to be dieting was that whole don't eat three hours before bed thing. I would try to do that and that was so miserable. I so disliked that. One of the things I love best about the fasting situation for me now is that I can just go to bed really full and happy which is actually going to relate a little bit to our next question. Shall we go to that one?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is from Tammy. Subject is "Meat intolerance." "Hey, ladies, the only thing I enjoy about Monday mornings, lol. I've always thought that eating meat didn't agree with me. I've never felt wonderful after a meal with meat. But always ate it because I thought we were supposed to. Well, since I started Intermittent Fasting last March, I've noticed lately that I feel tired, almost lethargic after eating a meal with meat. The other night I baked chicken. I couldn't hold my eyes open and just had to lie down. If I have a meatless meal, I'm perfectly fine. So, is this something you've heard of? I've seen people in the Facebook group mention they are tired after eating and even mention they eat just before bed because they are so tired. Because my body is sending me these signals."

Melanie Avalon: Awesome, Tammy. So, I have the date of when this question came in and this question is actually four years old. So that's just to inspire people if you submitted a question a long time ago, keep listening because we might answer it because sometimes I-- especially when I'm trying to create variety on the show with a question, sometimes I go way back in the archives. So Tammy, if you're still with us, let us know if you're still with us I'd actually be really curious. So, this question is interesting. So, the times when I would experiment with opening my window early. If I were to do like Tammy said and not have meat, so have just fruit or something like that I would not get tired, but if I were to eat protein and meat during the day, I get super tired and I don't-- "Well, I guess I do notice it at night. It's very conducive to my sleep at night because I do get tired and I find it really helps me sleep." And what I think is going on here, well a few things. So, I have a general answer and then I have a Tammy-specific answer. The general answer is that protein requires a lot of energy to digest. So, it has the highest thermogenic effect of any food, it's estimated and this is just an estimation, but around 30% of the calories from protein might actually be required to actually digest it. So, yes, that can make people tired and this is just my theory, I haven't read this anywhere. But it makes a lot of sense in my head.

My theory is that-- so if you're eating smaller meals throughout the day, you're not getting that big of a shift as much between sympathetic and parasympathetic, basically, the two types of the nervous system like the energetic, fight or flight, norepinephrine, epinephrine, hormones like that state and then the parasympathetic, so the rest, the digest, the relaxation, and I think when people are doing fasting, especially if they're doing a long fast and then this meal, I feel it makes it much more evident that switch from sympathetic to parasympathetic. And I think it probably hits people harder and makes them sleepier and then on top of that they're probably eating more because they are eating in smaller eating window. So, that's my theory about what's going on there. Because even for me, before fasting when I was eating throughout the day, I wouldn't fall asleep after a meal. I mean maybe on occasion, but I didn't get that response compared to now if I were to eat during the day, I would like want to take a nap. My Tammy-specific answer is I find it really interesting that meat didn't agree with you that you've never felt good after me and I wonder what's going on there. So, is it a specific type of meat? Is it a food sensitivity? Or is it that you don't digest? Maybe you need more stomach acid, so maybe taking a HCl supplement or something like that might help.

But the fact that you've always had issues with meat, it doesn't surprise me that you have an even more intense response to it now. And then just one last little piece, the concept of you ate meat because you thought we were supposed to. So, that's a loaded thought or statement. And I like to think that I'm diet agnostic. I really do think when you take a whole foods approach, you probably can make most approaches work if you try really, really hard, so I think for most people a meatless approach, a 100% vegan, plant based meatless approach. Most people I don't think will thrive on that and would need to take concentrated efforts to make sure they're getting enough protein, enough nutrients that they're missing. Whereas you could have even just adding a little bit of meat, get some of those nutrients and protein that you might be missing. And I'm actually really excited because-- and I'm sorry I'm going on so many tangents.

So, I just started reading Megan Rossi's book last night, she calls herself the gut health doctor. So, her first book is called Love Your Gut: Supercharge Your Digestive Health and Transform Your Well-Being from the Inside Out. And her new book is called How to Eat More Plants: Transform Your Health with 30 Plant-Based Foods Per Week (and Why It's Easier Than You Think). And I literally just started it, but what I'm really excited about is a large portion of the beginning of it she is talking about how-- she's actually not-- even though she's known as a plant-based figure that she's not even necessarily advocating going 100% plant-based approach, and she talks about how, if you actually look at the studies, it seems that nutritionally for most people having a little bit of meat is probably a good thing. And she references, I got to look it up. But she said there's a new study that came out.

So researchers from 16 countries looked at 1000s of scientific papers. And they came up with a "planetary health diet." That establishes a universally healthy reference diet that takes into account nutritional needs, overall health of humans and the environment, and long-term sustainability, and it is inclusive of animal foods. And the reason I'm bringing that up is there is this idea that people feel like, well, it's funny because people feel they should not eat meat like that's what they're supposed to do. So, I find it really interesting that some people think that and some people think that they should eat meat. I would step outside of the framing of what you should or shouldn't do or what goes back to bio-individuality, like what everybody should do and instead what should you do and what are your needs. So, that was a little bit of an esoteric tangent, but Cynthia, what are your thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: The first thing I think about is, if you're tired after a meal, I always think about blood sugar. I don't know if Tammy has checked her blood sugar, pre-meal and post-meal to see what it's doing, certainly if she was eating a carbohydrate bolus that would be much more suggestive of a potential blood sugar dysregulation. But quite honestly, this is where bio-individuality really is important. I don't at all question what she's experiencing is absolutely real. But I think I'd more information, I'd really to know what her blood sugar's doing that is precipitating that degree of fatigue. And, we tend to be more insulin resistant as the day goes on. And obviously, life stage plays a role. I don't know, Tammy's age or what life stage she is in. Generally, in your 20s and 30s, you're much more buoyantly insulin sensitive, largely is a byproduct of that degree of muscle mass that you maintain at that stage. So, there is a lot of things that could be going on. But I think the starting point for me would be to get a glucometer where I have a CGM so that you can monitor what her blood sugar's doing.

Melanie Avalon: So glad you brought that up and that's something that I need to remember more. I need to get outside of my own experience of it. Because my experience typically with blood sugar swings, when I would have them, what I would tend to get either reactive hypoglycemic or basically presenting as reactive hypoglycemia, but actually not having low blood sugar. And the response to me has always been an adrenaline boost or epinephrine. So, I get awake from that. And I forget that for a lot of people, they get that crash. So, the fact that she does not have that experience, though, after a meatless meal, just makes me think it may be more about the actual protein digestion, but it's hard to know, I would definitely suggest trying some HCl supplements that might help which is something I do plan to make in the future. In the meantime, I take Pure Encapsulations, I really their brand.

So, we have a question from Trisha. The subject is "Generic medicine." And Trisha says, "Good morning. I was listening this morning and I was so happy to hear Cynthia speak about fillers and inconsistency in generic medications. I recently experienced this myself, I take bi-thyroid." What is bi-thyroid? Do you know?

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm not familiar with that. I don't know bi-thyroid. I don't know if that means that she gets T4 and T3.

Melanie Avalon: Bioidentical thyroid, maybe?

Cynthia Thurlow: I've never heard it describe that one.

Melanie Avalon: And with it, she takes extra T3 from a pharmacy. What's really interesting is that's what I do. I take compounded thyroid with extra T3. She says, "This has served me well for some time. I noticed with this last batch I started having bloat, gas, and terrible stomach pains. The only thing I could trace it back to was the T3. I looked up at the ingredients and it has mannitol in it. I have terrible reactions to sugar alcohols. I spoke with my wonderful pharmacist and his ingredient list didn't have mannitol in it. However, he said generic meds are very inconsistent. And so, we highly recommended I have the T3 compounded. So, I did and although it is terribly expensive, my symptoms disappeared. Another issue I have is maltodextrin. I can't believe how many generic meds and supplements use that filler. I have even worse reactions to maltodextrin; swelling, gas, heart palpitations, irritability, etc. I check the ingredients on every label now. I take LDN for Hashimoto's. And I have to have it compounded in Colorado because they're the only ones who make it in pill form with no fillers." By the way, Trisha I take LDN as well, we're so similar. "I used to think I was crazy, but the body doesn't lie. I have IBS-C," me too Trisha. "And I'm super sensitive to many things. I recently realized that lactose bothers me as well. I've been IF'ing for years for health, but I think it also helps my gut? She says, "I wanted to ask if you think it's beneficial to have my nutrients tested. I'm not sure what the test is called, but it's a blood test that is comprehensive and can tell you what you are deficient in and what supplements you need. If this is helpful, would you please suggest a company that will follow through with the results? I'm meeting with my doctor to go over my genetic test. So, do you think that will be enough? I'm 61, really healthy except for gut issues that I've suffered with my whole life. I take supplements from Dr. Gundry, that seemed to help but would really to fix this once and for all." Thank you both for all you do to help us.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Trisha, I'm so grateful that you're putting those pieces together for yourself. And it's not at all uncommon for there to be tremendous variability in batches of medications, especially generic ones. In fact, now I take all compounded medications, both thyroid, progesterone and testosterone. And to be completely fair, I think it's the first time on my thyroid medication in two years where I'm feeling probably somewhat like I used to feel. So, I applaud you that you have a provider and a pharmacist that are open to helping support your needs and certainly sensitive to the fact that you are sensitive to these fillers. In terms of nutrient testing, I really like Genova's NutrEval. But you actually have to go through very likely a functional or integrative medicine healthcare professional to review the testing. You can't just order it by yourself and as far as I know, at this point in time Genova is not providing testing results to patients directly that you have to go through a provider and the provider would then review the testing with you. But I think that's probably the best one in the market that I've seen. I did that a few years ago, one of my children's also done it and it was very, very insightful.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome, it's so interesting. I'm actually really torn about the compounded situation. I get all of my meds compounded. I really the pharmacy that I work with and like you said, Cynthia, I think it's really important to find a pharmacy that you can work with that you trust. The reason I'm torn about it is I've had a lot of conversations with Dr. Alan Christianson, and he makes the case that the-- so. not generic, but the non-generic, the official form of everything has much more regulation than obviously a compounded pharmacy where there's, it's self-regulating, there's a book about compounded medication-- I don't want to scare people. But there's a book out there about compounded medication like errors that have happened. So, not to be a negative Nancy. And I said, I get all compounded medication myself, but I just think it's really important to well, two things to take away from this one. Like I said, finding a pharmacy you trust and two, like you were Trisha, being intuitive with yourself and if something seems off looking more into it. So, I really applaud you for that. As far as the test, I was going to be really curious what you said. So, that's a good resource to know. Have you heard of-- one that I've seen pop up on a lot of people that I've interviewed and that Heather Moday, The Immunotype-- book that I'm reading, she listed two tests, and one of them is one I keep hearing about, have you done SpectraCell?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I have not.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, that's what I've heard from multiple people that I've interviewed. So, I think I haven't done it, but it might be a good resource. It's spectracell.com. And then the other one she listed, which I hadn't heard of before, so I take it with a grain of salt, but it's called Vibrant America. So, I'll put links to both of those and the Genova one in the show notes. I do wish that was something that was more easily accessible for people.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think the problem as a provider, I understand as a consumer wanting to have access to that type of testing, but it also sets up if there's an abnormality, I mean, the testing company could be held liable. So, you have to do it through a practitioner so that the practitioner reviews the results with the patient. And, I admittedly it's not a test that I ordered in my clinical practice. It's just one that I have working knowledge of. Genova has really high-quality testing modalities and so that's the one that I'm most familiarized with.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. I think it was Dr. Anthony Beck that I had on that was also talking about SpectraCell, and maybe I know it's come up quite a few times. So, we'll put links to that and the Genova test.

Cynthia Thurlow: Awesome.

Melanie Avalon: I will put out one more resource. It's not a full spectrum micronutrient testing, but let's get checked, they do have some specific micronutrients that you can test and we have a code for them, so I can double-check it. You can always go to ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike to see a lot of the stuff that we like and I'm just noticing how I need to update this page. If you go to-- hopefully this is still active. Try lgc.com/ifpodcasts and the coupon code IFPODCAST30 should get you 30% off.

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is from Angela. Subject is "Apple cider vinegar mid-fast drink. Thomas DeLauer." "Hello, I was wondering your opinion on drinking apple cider vinegar mid-fast. I listened to a YouTube video from Thomas DeLauer and he talks about drinking a drink made up of eight ounces of water, apple cider vinegar, pink Himalayan salt and cream of tartar, mid-fast or an hour or two before opening your window. I do the clean fast, strictly water and black coffee. But according to him this drink helps you retain minerals, and helps to get the most out of your fast. I decided to drink this one hour before opening my fast and I noticed that also curb my appetite and I was able to wait longer to open my window food-wise. What is your opinion on this? I love your podcast and you helped me stay motivated." Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Thank you for your question, Angela. I had Thomas booked for the show and it fell through and we haven't rescheduled it. So, I'm going to email him after this. So, my thoughts I do consider apple cider vinegar. I know a lot of people like Thomas and others advocate it during the fast. I do consider breaking the fast especially because it can stimulate digestion. Although it is interesting that it curbs your appetite and people do experience that as well. I would err on the side of having this right before eating as a way to prepare yourself for food. That said, I'm also for if you're doing it-- like I'm not the fasting police. If you're doing it and you like it, and it's working for you. I mean, just do it. I'm not so intense with people. I think it's less of an issue when it's like this where it's closer to the end of your fast, mid-fast I might be a little bit more suspicious but an hour or so before eating and you're enjoying it, I think it's fine. And even mid-fast and you're doing it and you're enjoying it, people you can do what you want. It's when things are not working that you might want to reconsider. What are your thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I love Thomas, I've been a guest of his twice on his YouTube channel. And I think the world of him he's super smart and generally speaking, he's really well steeped in the research. I can tell you when I wrote the book, apple cider vinegar without the mother, so not the Bragg's variety that has protein in it, but the filtered apple cider vinegar, which I don't know anyone would buy that but that's a whole separate conversation, will technically not break a fast. However, we're talking about a clean fast water apple cider vinegar from my perspective, pink Himalayan salt is probably fine. I don't know enough about cream of tartar, but I do know Thomas well enough to know he's very well researched and super smart. So, I think this really begs me to go check this out and learn more about it. He's so well-researched and so smart as I've said multiple times that this is a good instance where I would probably go watch the video and then pull up the research and take a look at it and there might be something that I'm unaware of but typically, apple cider vinegar without the mother is not going to break a clean fast, but we know that people take apple cider vinegar for a variety of reasons. Sometimes people take it pre-digestion to help with digestion. Some people use it to blunt blood sugar response and cravings and so I'm actually grateful that Angela asked this question because now I'm going to go down a rabbit hole when I'm done with this podcast recording today because I know I want to go look for this and see what I can learn. Yeah, I looked up cream of-- I always called the cream of tartar, but it probably is tartar. And it looks its obviously very minimal calories, but they are carb calories, whatever it is.

Cynthia Thurlow: I guess the retaining minerals part. I mean, that's the only thing I can think of is there something special about cream of tartar, I don't know. I'm a good baker, but I'm not down with all the chemistry behind baking.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Cynthia Thurlow: I will reserve my opinion until I have done more research.

Melanie Avalon: Alright, so now we have a question from Heather. The subject is "IF 12 to 18 hours" and Heather says, "Hi, I wanted to fast yesterday from 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM 20 hours, but I got hungry last night around 10:00 PM and decided to have a bowl of chicken broth. I had coffee at 9:00 AM this morning. Did I make it so it was not beneficial to me? Or is that still a beneficial fast? I'm trying to heal leaky gut? I have a hard time going too long on a fast. Can I still benefit from shorter fast or fast that just allow bone broth? Hmm," that was her not me. What are your thoughts, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think there're a couple things that are going on. If we're talking about a clean fast, obviously, bone broth is a protein that technically breaks your fast. However, this is someone Heather mentions that she is struggling to go towards longer fasts and when we're thinking about leaky gut and helping to repair leaky gut, we don't want to overtly stress the body. So, my feeling is not to stress about this. We know that there are benefits from doing longer fasts in terms of stem cell activation and overall gut microbiota improvement. But if you're fairly new to fasting, and you're feeling you're struggling to do longer fasts, I would lean into what you're able to do with the understanding that you are-- it's like a fasting muscle, you're flexing your muscle, you're developing this fasting muscle so that you can then go on to fasting longer, but adding additional stress like worrying about, what did bone broth do? I mean some people will actually drink bone broth with longer fasts, A, because they get some electrolytes, but also provide some degree of nourishment. And they can sometimes do longer fasts that way. But I wouldn't let that be a deal breaker for you. I think we put enough pressure on ourselves in general that I would focus in on doing a successful fast, focusing on why you're doing it, and then if you're really focusing in on leaky gut, building that fasting muscle so that you can then ultimately go on to fast longer. What do you think, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: I agree, 100%. And the only other thing I would add is-- and a lot of people are probably aware of this, but people may not be-- with the chicken broth or the bone broth. if you're making it yourself versus getting it at the store. If you're getting at the store look at the ingredient panel, you'd be so surprised how many of these broths have so much stuff in them that you don't want. So, try to find ones that are organic and very minimal ingredients, especially if it's in this, "Fasting type situation." And I think this is something where it's really important to have that come from good sourced meats and such. So, we love Beauty & the Broth. Those are shelf-stable, they come in packets, and you reconstitute it with water and it's organic and really delicious and we have a coupon code. So, if you go to melanieavalon.com/broth that will redirect to their website and the code MELANIEAVALON will actually get you 15% off any order, so that's a great option. Those were game changers for me when I was doing my colonoscopy prep and could only drink broth. Bonafide is another brand that I really at Whole Foods, it's frozen. So yes, just be careful to look at the ingredient lists.

Alright, so we have a question from Taylor. The subject is "Butter." And Taylor says, "I've been vegetarian for over 11 years and have been mostly vegan for the last year of that. I'm wondering what you think in regards to butter. I have been using earth balance buttery spread the organic version in place of the Kerrygold grass-fed butter I was using previously, but was just reading up on vegetable oils in The Obesity Code. I did generally feel better on a low to no dairy regimen, but I know that I would feel just as good as I do when I am dairy free if I was using a little butter. Do you think the grass-fed dairy or ghee would be healthier than the "natural flavors and vegetable oils and earth balance?" And then she lists the ingredients and it's stuff like natural oil blend with palm fruit, soybean, canola and olive oil, water, salt, less than 2% of natural flavor, dry form corn, soybeans, soy lecithin, I can never say that word, lactic acid and anatto for color." She says please let me know your thoughts as I'd be happy to switch if real grass-fed butter or ghee is a better health and weight management option. Thanks so much for everything you do.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Taylor that's a great question. I would say from my perspective that grass-fed butter or ghee is going to be a much healthier option than the earth balance buttery spread, which contains inflammatory seed oils in conjunction with olive oil. From my perspective, the inflammatory seed oils are really adulterated, oftentimes rancid? If you want to dive down a rabbit hole go Google what constitutes creating canola oil that will cure you have any desire to ever consume that again? So, from an inflammatory perspective and an anti-inflammatory perspective, I would absolutely lean into ghee, which is definitely better tolerated for those that are sensitive to dairy. I do find that many of my patients that also have dairy sensitivities do find with grass-fed butter, that you may want to experiment a bit. But I would definitely ditch the earth balance so that you can find a healthier option for you.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really happy that there's an increasing awareness and shift away I think from these products that are just full of so many ingredients that I think can often potentially be inflammatory. And even the natural flavor stuff, I've mentioned this a lot, but interviewing Mark Schatzker for his book, The Dorito Effect, and the End of Craving just really opened my eyes to the potential effects of these compounds on our health and wellness. So, I think grass-fed dairy and ghee can have a lot of amazing health benefits and work really well for people. I'm also not the person that says eat all the butter to lose weight, because I think people take things to the extreme, especially in the Keto world, but especially for Taylor, she wants to just add a little bit, I'm not saying adding a lot would be a problem, but the point that I'm saying is that I would definitely err on the side of grass-fed dairy and the ghee. And it's nice to hear that Cynthia about people's reactions with ghee specifically. Do you have any favorite brands?

Cynthia Thurlow: I would say Kerrygold and there are a couple of French butters that we get in our local Whole Foods, I can't remember the name, I can try to look them up. But those are-- they generally tend to be very rich, they don't need a lot of them. And I always buy salted butter, it does make a big difference. I'm a salt aficionado now, I'm obsessed with salt. I carry it with me when I travel too, which makes me sound a nut job. But with that being said, Kerrygold generally speaking is going to be high quality. If you lean into some of the European butters, they generally tend to be a higher fat content so they can be very rich. And so, you don't need as much of them. In terms of ghee brands. I really like 4th & Heart. They have a lot of variations. There's one that actually has Himalayan pink salt in it that we really like.

Melanie Avalon: Do they cater that in Whole Foods.

Cynthia Thurlow: Um-hmm.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I've seen it. Very, very cool. Awesome. Well, these have been absolutely wonderful. So definitely keep the questions coming, especially with the holidays coming up. We'll have to have a discussion, Cynthia about maybe next week, we can just have a nonlinear Q&A discussion about how to do the holidays with your fasting window, because I know that's a big challenge or obstacle that a lot of people perceive so we can discuss that a little bit next week. So, the show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode291. And like I mentioned, those show notes will have a full transcript, so definitely check that out. And you can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike and I definitely need to update that page. And you can submit your own questions by directly emailing questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. And you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_ and I think that is all the things, and this is going to date us and we talked about this already. But are you doing anything this weekend for Halloween?

Cynthia Thurlow: My best friend from college is coming in town. I haven't seen her in four years because of the pandemic, she lives in Atlanta. So, she's flying in on Friday, flies out on Sunday and my teenagers are planning on going to parties this weekend. So, my husband and I, we've had this complete shift in our personal lives where now our kids' social lives run our weekends, one is driving, one is not because my youngest goes to a high school that's pretty far from our house. It means his friend group is all over the suburbs and so we spend a lot of time on Friday and Saturday nights carpooling them everywhere. So, they are not doing anything officially until Monday, but I believe there is one Halloween party on Saturday night for my oldest and that's a whole minefield of topics that we've had to have discussions over. For anyone that's a listener that has teenagers or young adults, ooh, you think it's hard when they're babies and toddlers, it's a whole another level of conversations when they are teenagers, especially if they're driving and, crossing your fingers that the 16 years prior to this that we have embedded in them good decision-making properties in their brains, which are not fully developed. 

Melanie Avalon: So, this is a good moment for me to have something I discussed yesterday. I interviewed, do you know A.J. Jacobs, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do not.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, listeners please listen to this interview when I air it. It is out of my entire show the most fun I've ever had on an interview in my entire life. He is a four times New York Times best seller. He just does random crazy stuff that he gets curious about. So, his newest book is called The Puzzler and it's all about puzzles, all the different types of puzzles, and just he went and did all this crazy stuff, and how they affect our life and what we can learn from them. And he has a book on where he tried to live biblically for a year, follow the Bible, literally-- what it literally says to do, it's so funny. And his most well-known book is called The Know-It-All, I think. And he read the entire encyclopedia [laughs]. I am like shared what he learned. But he was such a joy. And I was cracking up laughing. And it was a fascinating conversation. I just really thoroughly enjoyed it. The reason I'm talking about this, so sorry, is one of his books is called, it's about gratitude thanks-- something, I'll put in the show notes, where he decided to thank every single person involved in making his daily cup of coffee. Every person. Like the person who made the beans, the person who made the cup, the person-- and he went and found all them and told them thank you. 

So, it's a book about gratitude and one of the things he talked about was the importance of being specific in gratitude. So, when you're thinking about what you're grateful for or telling somebody what you're grateful for, you can amplify the gratitude potential if you're really specific. So, I'm going to take this moment for specificity gratitude, to say, I am so thankful to my mom for driving me back and forth to play practices growing up, because we lived a little bit far away from the school and she would pick me up take me home, I would do some more work, then she would take me back to play practice. Wait, then she would leave, then she would come back and pick me afterwards. "Oh, my goodness." That is so much driving. Thank you, mom [laughs]. So, thanks to all the moms out there. Thanks for driving your sons and daughters.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, it's one of those jobs we don't look for those thank yous, but when we get acknowledgment, it's just an amazing feeling.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, so, well thank you. So, this has been absolutely wonderful. And I will talk to you next week.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Nov 06

Episode 290: Creatine, Vitamin E, Safe Tanning, Slow Weight Loss, Cheating On Your Diet, Toothpaste, Digestive Enzymes, Leaky Gut, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 290 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

Introducing... Creatine by Cynthia Thurlow

Ep. 234 Metabolic Longevity and Vitamin E with Dr. Barrie Tan

16:40 -  NUTRISENSE: Get $30 Off A CGM At Nutrisense.Io/Ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST

20:35 - Listener Q&A: Charles - Safe Tanning Bed

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

Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp

28:15 - Listener Q&A: Rachel - Weight loss too slow

34:20 - Listener Q&A: Darcy - Diet Cheating

40:30 - Listener Q&A: Deborah - What about Toothpaste?

Primal Life Organics

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

43:30 - Listener Q&A: Ann - Digestive Enzymes

53:00 - AVALONX MAGNESIUM 8: Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

55:40 - Listener Q&A: Alyssa - IF and digestive changes

Gut Assist - Leaky Gut Repair Supplement Powder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hi everybody and welcome, this is episode number 290 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie, how are you?

Melanie Avalon: I'm good, I started the last podcast off with a question. But I have another question for you for this podcast. How is your creatine going?

Cynthia Thurlow: Good, we're officially told that it will be out before Thanksgiving. I keep getting these vague ideas and we'll make sure we link up the waitlist for creatine so that we can ensure people that are most interested in receiving it. But yes, things are moving forward in a quick direction. I'm hopeful that everything will be out by mid-November. That's what I'm assured will happen. So, it's very exciting.

Melanie Avalon: Why did you choose creatine as your first supplement?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think because-- what's really been a struggle for me as a middle-aged woman is not only the muscle piece, it's so much harder to maintain and build muscle in perimenopause and menopause. And the more research I dove into and the more I talk to colleagues of mine like Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, the more I realized I was like, "This is a huge issue for women." So, last year, I started taking creatine, and in my Stories this past week, I actually put objectively how I've been able to increase the weight week to week, and my trainers like thrilled and so from my perspective, I think for a lot of women, one of the things we have to work very diligently and actively on is not just muscle health, but also brain health. And those are the two key areas with regard to creatine that for me I think are really compelling. And I think my second-- I really believe, I just did a great podcast with Dr. Barrie Tan, talking about the value of a certain type of vitamin E, it's tocotrienols.

And so, the supplementation with that is actually really beneficial for bone health, like significant improvement in bone health. And so, I think my first couple of products are going to really be geared towards helping women find supplements that can be beneficial at different stages of our lives, but also make them accessible. I'm going to take all the research and really understand it, so that I can then provide information and say, "Hey, listen, I myself have no interest in ever being diagnosed with osteoporosis, but I'm doing all the things along with supplementation with these tocotrienols, which is a form of vitamin E and taking creatine to help maintain muscle and bone health, which we know is really, really, important and honest to God, I never thought about it. So, I was probably 45." And I want younger people to think about it before that time period and I want people that are older than me to have options that aren't surrounding the latest potion, pill, or powder which you and I both know is proliferative in the health and wellness space.

Melanie Avalon: I cannot agree anymore and that's interesting about the creatine. It's something that honestly, I think I just disregarded for a very long time because I eat such a high-protein diet that all of the amino acid-related things I've been like a-- well, I probably get getting enough. But I've been hearing more and more it pop up on so many conversations on different podcasts like Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, like you mentioned talking about a lot when Layne Norton was on either Rogan or Peter Attia, he talked about it at length, and I keep seeing it pop up other places, too. And I'm like, "Oh, I think this is something I should be supplementing with." And the timing of it is just working really well in that I'll just start with yours because I know it'll be the best on the market. So, very excited for that.

Cynthia Thurlow: I appreciate all of your support, for everyone that knows Melanie and I are each other's biggest cheerleaders and it's totally genuine, and I love seeing what you've been able to build in your business and how many people you've been able to help with your supplement line.

Melanie Avalon: I'm just excited that yeah, together we can make a change because like you mentioned it's such a sketchy world, the supplement industry. And I already knew that before making my own, which is the reason I wanted to make my own. But now actually being in the process, it's like my eyes are being opened and I've just learned so much. So yeah, listeners definitely vet the supplements that you're taking. Actually, speaking to the vitamin E, because I know that I think there are like eight forms of vitamin E, how do people know which form to get?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, so it's the derivative are tocotrienols and so what's interesting is these are derived from a plant in South America. I mean, Dr. Tan's whole explanation just blew my mind. He was there in South America to do something else and he stumbled upon this plant called annatto. And so, annatto is the derivation of this particular tocotrienols. And there is so much research being done on this derivative. It helps in metabolic health, there are anti-cancer benefits, there are bone health benefits. So, from my perspective sometimes podcast guests end up on our podcast schedule, and maybe at the time you're not fully familiarized with who they are, or their research, or their areas of expertise. And as I was prepping, I was like, "Oh, my gosh, this is actually really, really, interesting." And how do we make it accessible to everyone so that people can walk away from a podcast and be able to take action? Dr. Tan actually has, I don't know when his podcast-- It should be out in November, but he actually has a book on his website that's totally free. So, people can read the research and read his information. He's just passionate about being able to help people. And he's using gold-standard research. It's not epidemiologic research, it's double placebo blinded trials. And it's interesting that something I thought I would have no interest in has now become something I'm incredibly interested in. So, his podcast will be out in November, I forget which date?

Oh, no, his podcast just came out. What am I saying? It was last weekend. I'm getting all my dates mixed up, Melanie. So, that podcast dropped last weekend and we've gotten so much good feedback. And even though someone else who had interviewed him said, "Oh, we know his accent's kind of heavy-- he's got a wonderful sense of humor." He's so passionate, he's like a derivative of Rick Johnson. Like, he's that passionate, he's so like, warm and you can't help but love him. And so, I got off and thought to myself, I have to bring in back to talk about another topic because we didn't really touch on cancer research. But the long explanation of this is that I do think that there's a lot of value, I started taking annatto a few months ago, and I haven't repeated my DEXA but I'll be interested to see what that looks like. Because I've been staunchly opposed to using biphosphates, which for anyone that's listening a lot the bone-building drugs actually technically they build more bone, but it's not strong bone. And so, what got people concerned about them is that dentists were seeing a lot of mandibular necroses, so bone in the jaw being really like spongy and so there's no drug that's without side effects. So, to find something that has the potentiality of really improving the quality of bone because people may not know this, but teenagers as they're growing, they have this acceleration of bone-building potentiality in their bone for so many years because they're growing. And what happens in menopause is that the opposite happens, you've got more bone destruction than you do bone building.

And this is why women in menopause really are at great risk for weakened bones falling and breaking bones progressing to osteoporosis, which is what we want to avoid. If you're a thin Caucasian woman, you're probably already at risk for osteopenia. But you can't compare my bone strength at 51 to someone who's 20. It's like not a good comparison. And so, I remind people all the time that you can do all the right things, but some of us need a little bit more support. And that's another reason why I think testosterone therapy is not something to fear. If you get to a point where that helps you maintain bone mass that's another-- we actually have testosterone receptors on our bones as well as estradiol and progesterone and I think a lot of people forget that it's that loss of hormones that really start to accelerate bone turnover in a negative way in menopause.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm so happy you're drawing attention to this because I think it's something people just don't think about. People will seem to think that bone is like static or fixed, not that it's like this living tissue that all the process that you mentioned and how much that can be affected by diet and lifestyle. So, now I'm just voting, I vote that you make vitamin E as your second supplement that annatto, what annatto?

Cynthia Thurlow: Annatto, umm hmm.

Melanie Avalon: Annatto I got to find a good one.

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get $30 off one of the most incredible ways to track your blood sugar levels. See how your fasting is affecting you, see how your food choices are affecting you, and truly take charge of your health, that would be the NutriSense CGM program. If you've been listening to this show, you know that we are a little bit obsessed with continuous glucose monitors also known as CGMs. If you know how your body is actually responding to different foods, amounts of sleep, stress, fasting, exercise, wine, anything else you're doing in your life, then you can truly achieve your health goals. Whether that's managing your weight, eating foods that make you feel good, having energy throughout the day, optimizing the longevity, understanding your blood glucose is important. And for example, you might even realize that your diet doesn't need to be super restrictive, it just needs to be the right diet for you that is sustainable.

Here's the problem. True, you can check your blood at the doctor or you can randomly check it with a glucometer at home where you prick your finger. The problem is that's just a snapshot. It's a single picture of that brief moment in time. If I've learned one thing from wearing continuous glucose monitors is that your blood sugar can change a lot even from minute to minute. You really need to get a sense of how your blood sugar is changing all throughout the day. 

When you wear a continuous glucose monitor, which is painless to put on, I promise, I have a lot of videos on my Instagram of how to put them on. So, definitely check those out. It gives you a picture of your blood glucose levels 24/7 for 14 days. What I love about the NutriSense CGM program is it has a super awesome app that helps you interpret the data and really understand what's going on. In the app, not only does it track your data, but you can log meals, see macronutrient breakdowns, and so much more. It even gives you an overall score for each of your meals based on your body's response, so you can really find what meals are working for you. Each subscription plan includes one month of free support from a registered dietitian.

NutriSense dieticians will actually help you identify what you should be paying attention to, what that data actually means, they can really hold your hand if you're new to the space or if you're already knowledgeable, then they can provide you even more advanced tips and recommendations. They'll make sure that you adjust your diet and lifestyle to find what you enjoy doing so that you can have long-term sustainable changes. They will even act as accountability partner on your journey. NutriSense also has a private Facebook group for members, where you can find support from other members and learn about their experience. I love wearing a CGM. I just think it is so profound. Even if you just do it once for 14 days, I think you will learn so, so much. But then, of course, lasting sustainable change can take time. Getting a longer-term subscription, it can be an amazing option to consider. 

NutriSense has 6 and 12-month subscriptions and those are cheaper per month allowing you to not only achieve your health goals but also ensure that you stick to your new healthy lifestyle for the long term. It's helped me realize for example how low carb versus low fat affect my blood sugar levels, how berberine has an amazing effect at lowering my blood sugar, and so much more. You can get $30 off any subscription to a NutriSense CGM program. Just go to nutrisense.io/ifpodcast and use the coupon code, IFPODCAST for $30 off. That's N-U-T-R-I-S-E-N-S-E dot I-O slash IFPODCAST with the coupon code, IFPODCAST for $30 off any subscription to a CGM program. There's a reason Cynthia and I talk about CGMs all the time. We love them. NutriSense is giving you guys access to them. So, definitely check this out. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, shall we jump into some questions for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: This is a question from Charles. Subject is "Safe tanning bed." "Have you come across a safe tanning bed for home use? I believe what I'm looking for might be called a hybrid tanning bed. I live in Chicago and there are several months where I can't get good sun exposure. I'm not interested in tanning, just exposure to light spectrums that could mimic what could be attained from the sun. I believe there are beds that can provide UVA, UVB, and even some red light therapy."

Melanie Avalon: All right, Charles, thank you for your question. Thank you for your controversial question. I feel like people get intense about this question. So, I looked up the hybrid tanning bed thing and what I found-- it looks like it's a bed that combines normal tanning rays, like potentially just UVB but maybe UVA as well, with the red light therapy. So, that's all I could find on that specifically. So, my thoughts on this are at-home tanning beds, all I can speak to is what you would look for in a tanning bed and if you are using it therapeutically for the benefit of vitamin D production. And the reason I wanted to answer the question around now is because this airs on November 7, so getting colder, less sunlight and I believe vitamin D levels are so important to our overall immunity and our health in general. People think vitamin D is a vitamin, but it's actually a hormone. The book I'm reading right now, actually, I'm prepping to interview a woman, Dr. Heather Moday, she wrote a book called The Immunotype Breakthrough: Balance Your Immune System, Optimise Health and Build Lifelong Resistance, I am loving it, it's really deep dive into the immune system.

I'm learning so much but I was actually reading the section last night about vitamin D, she makes the argument that it is the most important nutrient when it comes to the immune system. Actually, every single cell of the immune system has a vitamin D receptor, so it's so so important. And then the stats on vitamin D levels and health are really shocking. And I think they really came into play, especially with COVID because then they started doing more studies on COVID mortality or COVID outcome rates and vitamin D levels and there was a really strong correlation there with lower vitamin D levels being problematic for that. So, the point of that is that I think getting vitamin D from the sun or UV rays likely can have some benefits extending a little bit beyond a vitamin D supplement, which is also an option as well. And you can also get vitamin D from some foods, but not in huge amounts.

So, what I actually do and again, this is controversial and I'm not recommending this as a blanket statement, and I don't take skin cancer lightly, but UVB is the ray that actually stimulates the production of vitamin D in your body. UVA is the ray that actually gives you that tan effect. So, it works well because tanning beds tend to be more expensive when they're more UVA because people want to get it for the tan, but it's actually the UVB that you want. And so, you'll often find that cheaper beds are UVB beds. So, what I often do or have done in the past, although I just got my InsideTracker results back and my vitamin D level is too high. I think I've been supplementing too much, but I will get a membership. And at Palm Beach tan, they actually have a pretty good setup where you can get credits, and I just use it in the UVB bed. And I would literally in the winter go in for literally two or three minutes in the UVB only bed. So, that's a personal choice. I cover my face. Yes, that's a personal choice.

So, I can't really speak to at-home tanning beds I assume if you get a UVB tanning bed at home and try that. The red light though is-- it would have completely different therapeutic benefits. And of course, for red light therapy, we absolutely adore Joovv. I do use red light therapy every single day of my life. It's one of my favorite things. And it's really great for skin health, also for reducing inflammation, red light and near-infrared can help with muscle recovery. I use it for circadian regulation. So, waking up in the morning and going to bed at night. So, if you go to joovv.com/ifpodcast and use the coupon code, IFPODCAST you will get a limited-time discount that's J-O-O-V-V dotcom and I think they're going to have some pretty amazing deals for Black Friday. So, if you've been thinking about getting one now might be the time or upcoming might be at the time. So yes, I'm very curious, Cynthia, what are your thoughts on tanning beds?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I'm not a fan of tanning beds. But for people that are looking for light exposure, especially people that are more prone to seasonal affective disorder, I like Lux Box, so it's L-U-X and you can get them on even Amazon and a certain amount of exposure in the morning can be hugely helpful. And for anyone that's north of Atlanta, which is mostly United States, you don't get enough sun exposure. It's not just the Midwest, areas of the country where it's really cold in the winters. So, I generally recommend that they get a Lux Box, and then just getting sunlight exposure in the morning can be hugely helpful. The way to think about UVA and UVB light is to understand that UVA light is aging, it will age your skin, then UVB light can burn you. So just to kind of differentiate that those are the two, like the UV lights and what I'm more familiar with. Melanie's absolutely the expert on red light therapies much more so than I am. I actually really like my PMF mat, but that's a completely separate tangential rabbit hole that I'm going to avoid. So, I would say Lux Box is what's going to be most helpful if you're feeling like you need some seasonal-- if you're prone to like depression and just otherwise not feeling good during wintertime because you're not getting a lot of sunlight exposure, a Lux Box is not going to give you multiple spectrums of light but it can definitely help if you feel like that light exposure piece is impacting your mood. And it wasn't clear from Charles' question if that was of issue, but I just wanted to-- this was like a general recommendation I do with a lot of my patients in winter.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that's great. I actually use a-- it's not Lux Box brand. Mine is called Day-Light, I got it on Amazon, I can put a link too in the show notes, it's on right now. So, I use that and my red light every day. And I love it. Just as a side note, I think it's really important to get-- I don't know how often you should do this but going to a dermatologist and just having them check your entire body for any potentially cancerous growths on your skin can be really helpful. My mom actually recently went through that, and they did find one and they had to like take out a whole chunk of skin. And not to say it's fine, but it can be fine if they find it early. That's why getting those checks can be really important. It's really intense though how much skin they have to take off just to like, even if you have just a tiny little freckle with cancerous potential.

Cynthia Thurlow: They have to get clear margins. Yeah, they thought I had a squamous cell on my forehead this summer. And so, they took like a punch biopsy, it turned out to be fine. But you definitely want to be getting your skin shocks every year. And to do with them well, you have to be pretty undressed. So, if they're doing it and you're just sitting on an exam table and you're not in a paper gown without your bra and your underwear on, then they're doing you a disservice quite honestly.

Melanie Avalon: Now I'm inspired, I need to go get one. This is inspiring [chuckles] this is action. This podcast is having effects on my life.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. Take action people.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. I'll do it. If you guys do too. Okay, shall we go on to our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: So, this question comes from Rachel, the subject is "Weight loss too slow." And Rachel says "Hello, IF community. I've been clean fasting now for about six months and although I have lost some weight and inches, I feel very defeated and that the weight I'm looking to shed is just not coming off fast enough. Sort of looking for ideas on how to get the process moving quicker. Here is normally what I do each week, 20 to a 22-hour fast each day with no more than a 3 to 4-hour eating window sometimes 2. I try and do a meatless Monday with about a 42-hour fast a couple of times a month. My fast is completely clean with just water and black coffee. I try and limit my carb intake although I am not completely rigid. I do feel great with fasting and I know you need to eat what feels good to you but maybe I'm not making great choices. I'm normally a pretty healthy eater, lots of veggies, not a lot of meat, but just sort of feeling stuck. I'd a few medical things this past year and I wonder if my body is busy healing rather than shedding weight. Thanks for reading and hope to hear back. Love all the books and the podcasts, by the way, best, Rachel.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Rachel, thank you for your question and I mean there is a lot of different variables here when I see that you've been clean fasting and you're frustrated with weight loss resistance. I really start with the basics, what is your sleep like? How are you managing stress? Are you consuming an anti-inflammatory diet? I know you mentioned you're trying to limit your carb intake and I do encourage women if they're weight loss resistant to actually track their macros like to know what you're really eating and chronometer is a free app. They really do a nice job, but I would track total carbs not net, net is a cheat that's a byproduct of the processed food industry. In order to deflect attention to what we really need to be tracking. I would make sure you're eating enough protein, especially if you've got a very narrow feeding window that's another concern, your body may think you're not eating enough food. That's why I think those OMAD situations can be problematic. You can further slow your metabolism, especially if you're not seeing some degree of weight loss or changes in body composition. I think a great deal about are you lifting weights. What's your gut health like? And obviously testing is helpful for that, what toxins are you exposed to, and then you mentioned that you're doing a clean fast, you're limiting your carbs, you're not eating a lot of meat, it doesn't per se have to be made. It could be poultry, it could be fish, it could be eggs, all can be helpful. And then you mentioned you've had some medical things going on, and I don't know what they are. So, it's hard to say if there's a degree of inflammation going on in the body, if you're healing from surgery or healing from an illness, I also don't know from your question how old you are. So, if you're 35 or 40, things can get a little more complicated as you get older, it doesn't mean that it's impossible. So, there are definitely things to think about. I don't like any women to get really rigid and do the same thing every single day.

So, varying your fast is important, making sure you're sleeping, making sure you're managing your stress, getting enough protein in, tracking your carbohydrates, alcohol is a sneaky thing and for some people they don't even register that our bodies will process. Alcohol is a toxin, so if you eat a big meal, and you have a couple of glasses of wine, your body is going to prioritize processing the alcohol before processing the rest of the food which can get stored as fat. So, a lot of things to think about-- certainly you can write us back and give us a little bit more information. But that's kind of my first pass at your question is that there are other things that are going on, we get healthy to lose weight, so we haven't yet determined what's going on. And, if you're really struggling that much, I would encourage you to see your primary care provider, get some lab work done, find out what's going on with your thyroid, find out where you are in your cycle, that can also impact success.

I think that would really be helpful. looking at fasting insulin, I talk about this a lot. Maybe get a glucometer or CGM to determine how good is your blood sugar control. You may think that you're doing really well with your food choices but then you find out that you've got a sustained high blood sugar all day long, and your body perceives that you're under a significant stress and duress. And so, looking and getting a little bit granular about some of those things, I think would be very helpful.

Melanie Avalon: I thought that was very comprehensive. Yeah, so I'm just thinking if she's doing a one-meal-a-day situation with no more than a 3 to 4-hour eating window sometimes 2 like she says, and she's purposely not eating a lot of meat and having a lot of veggies. So that's a lot of volumes. It's hard for me to see how she's getting a lot of protein in that window. And protein is the most satiating nutrient, it's the nutrient that provides the most, building structure for the body, and also from a metabolic standpoint, it stimulates the metabolism that actually requires energy to break down. So, sort of exciting when people are at this place where they have the potential to increase the protein because I think they can potentially see a huge difference if they focus on that specifically, especially when it comes to shedding the weight. So, either adding in protein or switching out some of what you're eating for protein-rich sources, instead, I think might have a huge effect on that. I've also found that-- and I don't want to make a judgment either way. But sometimes people kind of indicate that maybe they know that there could be better food choices that might work better, but I think they just need somebody to tell them that.

And it's hard to know if that's the situation, but it's language like, "I know you need to eat what feels good to you but maybe I'm not making great choices or I'm normally a pretty healthy eater." And so it might be that you are making great choices, and you are a pretty healthy eater, or it could be that maybe there are some things in there that aren't serving you as much as they could be. So that's more like a psychology of it. There's a lot of potential there for making changes in what you're actually eating in addition to all of the lifestyle things that Cynthia pointed out.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: Alrighty, shall we go on to the next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, this question is from Darcy. Hi, "I cheated on my diet while I was supposed to be fasting. Can I just do a 48-hour fast to help get back on track?" Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: So, I love this question because I think it's one of the shortest questions we've answered on the podcast that actually speaks to something that is a huge topic. And it's the idea-- Well, first of all, can you do a 48-hour fast to help you get back on track? Yes, you can do anything and the reason I'm pointing that out is people write us all the time. I think I talked about this recently on another question on another episode, but it's like people think they need permission to do things in their life from-- I don't know from us, from society. You don't need permission from anybody to do anything. I just want to put that out there. So, yes, you can, the question would be, would that be a good thing to do? I think like that's the framing I would put on it. So, I have very mixed feelings about all of this. In general, I think there's a huge benefit to having an intermittent fasting pattern that works for you. And if you have a one-off situation where you "Cheated". Well, first of all, I think we should reframe it and not even see it as cheating, because I mean what is cheating? What does that even mean? You just chose to eat something that wasn't in line with maybe what makes you feel best instead, like it's not really cheating in my opinion. I think semantics are really important. And how we frame these things if you have a moment where you ate things that don't agree with you, or that are inflammatory, or that you feel the need to atone for which goes back to that cheating language. So, you can fast longer and that will very likely help with reducing inflammation, getting you back into the fat-burning state, it can have a very positive beneficial beautiful effect. I encourage people to fast longer if they think it will make them feel better. The sticky thing is I don't want people doing that out of fear and out of a feeling that they have to fast to undo what they did. Because it can very quickly become a disordered eating mindset, it can very quickly become over restrictive. So, in the ideal world people would follow the diet that works best for them. And maybe they have moments where for whatever reason, they're going to eat foods that are going to have side effects that are going to have-- are going to make them not feel so good on the flipside, and that's okay, too. And how you deal with that is okay. You can just keep on with your normal fasting window. If fasting longer physically makes you feel better. I mean I think that's fine. I just think people can get into a pattern like a binge-fast cycle where they're either binging or having these foods that make them feel bad and then responding with an atoning long fast. I think it can quickly spiral into a mindset that can feel like you're in a trap, like we want fasting to be freedom for people, we want it to be a good thing, we want it to bring benefits to people's lives and enhance their life and make them feel better. We don't want fear and insecurity and feeling like it's something they have to do to make up for their choices. So, yeah, I could go on and on about it. But Cynthia, what are your thoughts? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I think our external dialogue is reflective of our internal dialogue. And when you say you cheated on the diet, it's very pejorative, you're judging yourself and in fact, what you should say is today I didn't eat as ideally as I would like to and tomorrow is a new day. So, reframing that whole judgment of yourself is really important. We have to give ourselves grace. None of us are perfect. I have days when my macros are a mess. I always reframe it as like, okay, tomorrow's a new day, I'm not going to-- I'm not going perseverate or overthink it, I'm just going to make tomorrow a better day, I'm going to make better choices tomorrow. Now, when we blow the motherlode, if you will, on a meal or a whole day of not eating ideally, the things that I think are important to lean into is adequate sleep, lots of hydration, eating lots of green things. And by that, I mean salad and if you tolerate non-starchy vegetables, hitting your protein macros, getting some exercise, and if it's appropriate for you, you can do a longer fast, you shouldn't punish yourself.

I think a lot of people it's a self-flagellation behavior where we feel like, we really have to treat ourselves unkindly. And human nature's we are not going to be perfect, life is perfectly imperfect. And so, Darcy, I'd really encourage you to reframe those thoughts and to be kind to yourself and obviously you don't need our permission to do a longer fast, but there are lots of different ways to get yourself back on track when you've not eaten as ideally as you would like to. And first and foremost is that mindset piece. So, the judgmental way that you're describing what you did, I would encourage you to say today wasn't the best day and that's okay and tomorrow I'm going to get back on track and that's really the way to reframe it and move forward.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, we are on the same page. It's tricky because I just think that mindset is so so key, the way you described and the way I was describing it and I also want people to have agency and the freedom to fast if they want. And I think you can do both like you can fast to help yourself feel better from whatever happened. But it can just so quickly become judging yourself and restrictive and atoning and that's not what I think it should be about. Shall we go on to our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: So, Deborah wants to know, "What about toothpaste?" Deborah says, "I in my window in the early evening but sometimes forget to brush right away, later I get ready for bed and need to brush. I use baking soda a lot, but once in a while Dr. Bronner's Peppermint paste, not lately because it's a flavoring. Is baking soda, okay? And okay. I'm excited about this conversation because, Cynthia, have we talked about toothpaste, you and I on the show?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think we have?

Melanie Avalon: We have?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do feel like we have.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I feel, because I know Gin and I have talked about a lot. I couldn't remember what you've said you brush your teeth with?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I use Primal Life Organics and I actually right now have the unflavored variety because my kids-- we were trying to get them onboard and they didn't love the powder as opposed to a paste. And so, I ended up taking it and using it. in regards to Deborah's question, unless you are swallowing your toothpaste, I don't want anyone listening to feel like they have to stress about brushing their teeth because we all need to do that and baking soda is fine. I think as long as you're not swallowing it like toddlers, when we have toddlers and we have to remind them to spit it out and not swallow it. I think you're completely okay. If you're using a cleaner product like Primal Life Organics as an example, we'll link up the affiliate code for that. They're completely clean products, there's no junk, there's no artificial anything, artificial sugars, etc., no fluoride, and we'll link up the podcast I did with Trina Felber, she's another advanced practice nurse who has kind of created this whole clean-mouth line, which I'm obsessed with and I think it's really fantastic. But with regard to Deborah's question, brush your teeth, spit out the toothpaste, and don't stress about it. That's my feeling, I think this is one of those things that should be no stress. It's like if you have to brush your teeth in your fasting window, no big deal. I do it all the time, totally fine. What do you think?

Melanie Avalon: I feel the same way. And it's interesting. I think toothpaste is one of the places where I can really see an evolution in my-- so, I use the word neurosis, it was one of the first things that I went through a period where I was like, "Oh, I have to make own. Order kaolin clay and mix it up myself." And I went from that to, I really don't stress about it as much anymore. I found a few that I really like. I was doing the tooth powders for a long time. I found them a little bit messy for me and I finally went back to tubed toothpaste and I actually use a few different ones. But if you want a tubed toothpaste, it doesn't have really any sweet flavor to it. Well, it is salt toothpaste. I love that toothpaste. It is so strong and it has no sweet flavor which is really hard to find. But I agree with Cynthia that-- I also love Primal Life Organics. So, that's a great plug. And we will put links in the show notes to that. But yes, I agree with Cynthia, don't stress about it, and baking soda is completely fine.

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly.

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, this question is from Ann and the subject is, "Digestive enzymes." "I love listening to your podcast while I'm doing chores around the house. I only have 30 episodes left. I love this. I have a question about taking digestive enzymes. I had my gallbladder removed about 13 years ago. Ever since that I've dealt with stomach cramps and having to go to the bathroom after eating a heavy meal especially if it was the first meal of the day. Before my surgery, I had no stomach issues. I could literally eat anything anywhere anytime with no worries. I come to think that the stomach issues were just a normal side effect of the surgery and I just had to deal with them. However, I started talking to friends and family who have had their gallbladder removed and realized they did not deal with this problem like I do. I heard you mentioned digestive enzymes on the podcast and I did some research and decided to give them a try. I've been taking them for about a month and they've helped so much. I go to the bathroom like a normal person now and don't have to worry about stomach issues after eating."

Here's my question, "I've been doing intermittent fasting for a year. I do mostly OMAD with no restrictions. I've lost about 30 pounds. It has been slow, but I feel great and not restricted at all. I've never been able to stay on a diet this long and have even been on several vacations and I've been able to get back on track easily. About the time I started taking the enzymes my weight plateaued and I felt like I even gained a couple of pounds. My weight loss has yo-yoed up and down the whole time but not like this. I'm just wondering if the enzymes are helping me absorb fats that previously my body could not and that has something to do with the plateaus. I haven't changed my eating habits at all, I definitely don't want to stop taking the enzymes because of how much they have helped me, and I'm sure this is healthier for my body but I'm just curious, I would like to lose about 50 more pounds. Thank you so much for all the great information you provide" Ann.

Melanie Avalon: All right Ann, thank you for your question. I think this is a great question. I've thought about it more in regards to-- so I eat a lot of fruit as listeners know, like pounds of fruit every night and I've gone through different levels of taking digestive enzymes with it. At one point, I was taking barely any and then other times I've been taking a lot. I've noticed that when I take a lot and I take a fruit-- I get like no digestive issues from it. But it really breaks down the fruit like not to be TMI, but I can see the difference in my bowel movements from how it's affecting the fruit. And so, I've been concerned about the sugar release from that. I'm like am I actually turning the fruit into more like fruit juice in me because I'm breaking down the fiber with the digestive enzymes? I don't want to scare people away from digestive enzymes but I just wanted to speak how I have thought about the nuance of this. And to clarify, I tend to go really extreme.

So, I would take tons of digestive enzymes, I wouldn't be concerned about this if it was just like a very small or actually probably even normal dosing. And that said, I have also thought about this more in relation to Ann's question, probably historically, not so much with enzymes. But with people-- especially when I was really having a lot of GI issues and gut health, I would spend hours and hours and hours in Facebook groups about SIBO and IBS and things like this. And people would share stories about having leaky gut and having issues with their gut health, and then gaining weight from healing their gut. And presumably that's from absorbing more food, like absorbing more nutrients. So, I can completely see if you went from a state where you weren't really absorbing your food and then you're taking these enzymes, and now you are absorbing your food. Yeah, I could see how that would make your weight plateau and/or even gain depending on what you're eating which kind of comes back to what I feel like I always come back to on this show, which is-- the enzymes are working for you, that's great. I would keep using them, this is awesome. And you seem to be on that page.

If weight gain is a concern and even if it's not, I would mitigate that or address that with the actual food choices, which she doesn't mention. She just says that she hasn't changed her eating habits, but she hasn't mentioned what those are. So, that's what I would look to, "Oh, I got it, I do mostly one meal a day with no restrictions. Okay." So, it sounds like you're eating just-- if there are no restrictions, I'm guessing it could even be like standard American diet. If that's the case, there is so much potential here for A, both having wonderful and improved digestion with these enzymes and B, not plateauing and not gaining, maybe even losing weight by making some conscious decisions around the food that you are putting in your body. So, if there are no restrictions right now, I mean, you could just start it very basic, which would be shifting from just not having processed foods, so you don't have to worry about macros or even the types of foods but shifting to a whole foods-based diet. That could have a huge, huge impact on your-- not only your weight but your health in general. And then a lot of people in our audience already exist within that whole foods-type paradigm. And then that's when I think you can move to the next step of like a macro-based approach of like low carb or low fat for example. Yes, especially if you have 50 pounds to lose. Yeah, I would definitely look at the food choices, I would keep the enzymes, look at the food choices. What are your thoughts, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: That was a really comprehensive answer. It's interesting, in my patients that have had their gallbladders out, I typically have found tremendous success with ox bile or bile salts, that's usually a starting point for them versus digestive enzymes and a lot of that has to do is when your gallbladder is removed, you still produce bile, but it just drips all day long. So, most of my cholecystectomy patients, which is the fancy word for gallbladder removal-- most of them really struggle with either constipation or diarrhea. And if Ann is finding that she's feeling better on digestive enzymes, I would stick with what she's doing because she feels better. Yes, and I don't know Ann's age but we start absorbing less nutrients as we get older. That's why we actually need more protein as middle-aged people, so Ann could be young, but I'm guessing she's probably at least middle aged just based on the fact the way she's describing things. The other thing I think about is OMAD and weight plateaus. I started thinking about the fact that your body might have just gotten to a point where with just only one meal a day you're not getting enough macros in, you may need to change things up. I always say when you hit a plateau, it's time to change things up either tracking your macros to see very clearly how much protein you're eating a day. Are you overeating fats? Are you eating too many carbs? How's your sleep? How's your stress management? Are you lifting weights? As people start losing weight, sometimes they want to get more physically active. Do you take walks? Where are you in your menstrual cycle? Or are you no longer menstruating? Those kinds of things are very helpful. But I would say shaking things up is going to be very important. And then, giving consideration, most of my patients with a cholecystectomy really benefit from ox bile or bile salts. These are supplements you can get over the counter. And those have been hugely impactful.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, by the way, have you ever taken, Cynthia, ox bile or anything like that?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have, I tend to be-- I think probably the listeners know that in 2018, I got the worst food poisoning in my life in Morocco, picked up a parasite and then ended up six months later having a 13-day hospitalization. So, my gut has really been ravaged over the last several years. And I've been told by my providers that I've had episodes of fat malabsorption, so have I ever taken it? Yes. What we've kind of worked on is artichoke, artichoke extract is actually a little more gentle than traditional digestive enzymes. And the more I've learned, the more I understand that there's so much bio-individuality, you may be able to take a really strong digestive enzyme, which for me would just not work. And so, there's a little bit of give and take, but yes, I have tried ox bile and bile salts, I do and have had episodically. I'm not someone that tolerates like a lot of animal fat. So, lean meat I do much better with and I think my gut microbiome really took a massive hit in 2018 into 2019. So, I'm definitely very carefully navigating what I add in to support digestion. How about you? Have you tried it?

Melanie Avalon: I went through a period where I was using it like you, I favor lean meat, so I didn't really see the need for it specifically not being on as high of a high-fat diet. I'm glad you brought up the individuality with digestive enzymes. This is a very vague teaser, but I think after we get out the next few supplements that we have, I have a really big supplement idea, project that I want to do that's going to relate to bio-individuality with digestive enzymes, I think it's probably going to be my big supplement project of 2023. So, people get excited. So yeah, but it's so true because especially with the digestive enzymes because goodness knows I have tried so many different ones and it really is about finding the one that works for you and that suits your personal digestion.

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Melanie Avalon: Related to digestion. We have a question from Alyssa. She says, "IF and digestive changes." And Alyssa says, "I am new to IF, about three weeks in doing a 17-7 window and I have never had any sensitivities to food. I have found since starting IF my stomach has become sensitive, as soon as I open my eating window and start eating, I find myself nauseous and bloated. I have experimented with many different types of foods, tried eliminating different food groups to see what is triggering this, and always have the same outcome. I've also had increased problems with loose bowel movements since starting IF. I'm wondering if my body is just taking longer to get used to this new eating pattern and if this is a common finding among new IFers. I definitely want to make this a lifestyle as I've researched and researched and I found nothing but good information. But the stomach issues are such a turn off. I think I've lost a little weight, but at this point, I really just want to get a handle on the way I feel and focus on weight loss as a secondary concern. I have about 25 pounds to lose but I did lose 40 before discovering IF, but hit a plateau for several months. I'm 29.5 not willing to claim 30 just yet female and have two kids, ages 1 and 2, if that information means anything to you." So, continuing the digestive issue conversation. Thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: Alyssa? Well, I think that there's obviously something going on, I would start with lighter foods, try some bone broth to break a fast, I would have a light salad, I would gauge to see if it's certain types of foods that are exacerbating your loose stools. I actually had a really good podcast with Megan Ramos and we kind of talked about troubleshooting some of these issues. And I just find that breaking the fast with a lighter meal or backing off on fasting entirely, you're talking about a 17-7, maybe especially as a 29-year-old female, you shouldn't be fasting right before your menstrual cycle. I would really try to give yourself a solid week in your follicular phase, which is after your bleed week and see how you feel, trying a little more protein, not doing as much uncooked vegetables, light, light, light stuff and see how you feel.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, something that I'm focusing in on is the fact that she said she'd never had sensitivities to food and now she does. And I think so-- this actually could be very helpful, it could be a flashlight situation. It's possible that you were having inflammatory reactions to food, but you just weren't realizing it until IF kind of like paved the way for you to have that moment where you actually saw how your body was reacting to food, which I think a lot of people do experience that, which is a good thing. I think. So, I love Cynthia's suggestion, definitely check out that episode with Megan Ramos. I'd be curious-- you said you've tried many different types of foods and you've tried eliminating different food groups. I'd be curious the extent to which you have tried A, elimination protocol as like an actual protocol because I've interviewed a lot of people who talk about elimination diets to solve these issues and a consistent theme with all of them. I'm thinking of like Dr. Will Cole, I'm thinking of Dr. Peter Kozlowski, I'm sure quite a few others.

A consistent theme is like really doing it properly, like actually committing to this short-term elimination diet rather than just kind of like, casually, like eliminating one thing here, because there-- Well A, the effects of food could probably last up to three days as far as just like, for some people the transit time and just the effects from that food. So, if it's a casual approach to eliminate things, you might not be able to see a difference if you just eliminate one thing one night and see how you react and there are so many factors involved. I think taking a conscious approach to an elimination diet might be helpful, but is possible that your body is still adjusting because it has been about three weeks. I would love to hear if things have changed. But yes, yes, yes, yes. I do think a lot of people do experience this. And there's a lot of potential to find the answer. And so, something that might be a game changer. This is something that I'm definitely, definitely, definitely going to make my own version up in the future because it's something that when I go through issues, especially with feeling like my stomach is sensitive and reacting to foods, like right when eating, there are different blends that involve L-glutamine and when taken on an empty stomach it can really help rapidly heal the gut. Particularly L-glutamine, as well as DGL which is, I don't even know how you say it, deglycyrrhizinated licorice extract. So, the one I take right now and I have got to make a version of this, it is shocking how much it helps me. I would love to hear Alyssa if you take this if this really, really, helps you. So, it's called Gut Assist. It's by Dr. Danielle, you can get on Amazon, I'll put a link to it in the show notes. Like right now it has 6337 reviews and 4.5 stars. So, it is a combination of L-glutamine of something called arabinogalactan, and then that DGL as well as some aloe vera. I would definitely, definitely try that. And then also stay tuned because I'm definitely going to make my own in the future. So, if you want to get updates about that, you can go to avalonx.us/emaillist. And you can also text AvalonX to 877-861-8318. That will get you text updates as well as a 20% off coupon code. So definitely check that out. Okay. Any other thoughts from you, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think you did a great job.

Melanie Avalon: You as well. 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/episode290. Those show notes will have a full transcript, so definitely check that out. And you can follow us on Instagram, we are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_ and I think that is all things. Anything from you before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, this has been fantastic as always.

Melanie Avalon: I agree and keep the good questions coming and we will talk to everybody next week.

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

 

 

Oct 30

Episode 289: Halloween Candy, Flavored Coffees, Autophagy, Atherosclerosis, Berberine, PMDD, Type 1 Diabetes, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 289 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

18:25 - BON CHARGE: Go To boncharge.com And Use Coupon Code IFPODCAST To Save 15%

20:50 - Listener Q&A: Amanda - Insulin release

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #167 - Mark Shatzker

32:50 - Listener Q&A: Vanesa - Autophagy and atherosclerosis

Noncanonical inhibition of caspase-3 by a nuclear microRNA confers endothelial protection by autophagy in atherosclerosis

Role of autophagy in atherosclerosis: foe or friend?

Text AVALONX To 877-861-8318 For A One Time 20% Off Code for avalonx.us

46:15 - NUTRISENSE: Get $30 Off A CGM At Nutrisense.Io/Ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST!

50:10 - Listener Q&A: Angela - PMDD

56:05 - Listener Q&A: Jessica - Type 1 diabetes and intermittent fasting

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #44- Cyrus Khambatta, PHD and Robby Barbaro, MPH

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

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

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

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

Hi, everybody and welcome. This is episode number 289 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hi, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: I have a question for you, Cynthia. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: This episode actually airs on Halloween. I have two questions. One question is, how do you feel about Halloween? Is it one of the holidays where you go all out or not so much? And then I have a fasting food-related question to it. But I guess first, yeah, what's Halloween like in your family?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I can tell you that when my kids were younger, so they're teenagers now. When they were younger, we went all out. Decorating the house and getting all excited about their costumes. And now, they're teenagers and I think my 15-year-old who's a freshman, he'll probably go out with his buddies. My older son will probably stay home and want to hand out candy. But in our neighborhood-- our new neighborhood, people are like serious. They have some serious Halloween displays to the point where people are spending thousands of dollars on two story skeletons that light up, are animated and spiders. And so, it's interesting. Last year, I think I was so consumed by having just gotten into the house, and the book launch, and all those things that I didn't pay as much attention, but there's some serious decorating game in our neighborhood. We just have like mums and pumpkins like fall flowers, and a few like, I would say in terms of décor, we have a lot of pumpkins inside our house. I do enjoy decorating for the fall. It is my favorite season. But in comparison to my neighbors, we're probably low into the game. It's impressive in our neighborhood. I should take some photos and share them on Instagram. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, please do. I love looking at that stuff. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I love Halloween because I like creepy fun Halloween movies. I love all that. I like being scared about things that are highly improbable. I don't like the stuff that is creepy and potentially could happen, but I was one of those kids that loved Stephen King movies and love being creeped out. Kids of the 80s, we had Children of the Corn and all the Stephen King movies. And so, I love suspenseful, scary stuff, but my husband not so much. So, we don't get to watch a lot of those movies unless I want to watch them by myself. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm all about it. Growing up, I loved it. I love the decorations. I'm just thinking now though about the timeline of, because when you're a kid, you get to dress up. And then I remember wanting to still dress up in high school probably and my parents being like, "You're too old for this." Or, I remember the last year I wanted to go trick or treating. I don't know what age it was and my parents were like, "You can't go." I was like, "Yes, I can." And then it's funny because when you go into the dry period, I feel of Halloween. But then when you become an adult, it gets fun again. I'm really excited. My sister and I are going to dress up like on Anna and Elsa from Frozen. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, I love it. 

Melanie Avalon: I literally ordered I think seven Frozen costumes, because I have to find the perfect one. I think I'm going to combine too. I think I'm actually going to use-- I found this gorgeous blue prom dress, all sequins. And I think I'm going to combine it with the Elsa costume to make like the perfect costume.

Cynthia Thurlow: I love the dedication.

Melanie Avalon: For like an hour last night, I was trying them on and then I would go to my computer and watch the Let It Go song on YouTube and stare at the costume and try to figure out what color it was exactly. And then stare at the costumes and figure out if I could cut them up. I don't know how to sew. So, we'll see how this goes.

Cynthia Thurlow: I love your dedication. I think that's awesome. I would say that I'm a big fan of adults enjoying the process of Halloween. I was just at event in Scottsdale and the first big night of this event, it was like a costume party with a theme. And truth be told, I'm not like a big costume person. I'm all game for having fun with my friends. But I bought the bare minimum costume accessories and just decided at Scottsdale, it's like 100 degrees. I don't want to be in anything that I have to wear too much clothing, I don't want to wear something super skimpy. And so, I loved seeing how like some will really get into the costume theme. I marvel at the creativity of people. I really do. I just love to just watch. I think it's so interesting.

Melanie Avalon: Was this where I saw the costume from Gin? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, I took a video and send it to Melanie of Gin. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: It's on Gin's Instagram I think, I laughed so-- Please, listeners, please go look at Gin Stephens's Instagram.

Cynthia Thurlow: She was so excited about her costume. She was like, "Wait till you see my costume." And I literally-- She had the best time, she looked so happy.

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny. I couldn't figure it out at first when you sent me the video. I was like, "Wait, what"? From the video you sent, it literally looks like not a costume. It looks she's-- [laughs] It's an alien abduction costume for listeners. I always want to find a costume that's attractive. I want like a girly girl costume is what I always go for. Although, one year when I was a kid, I dressed up like a marshmallow and everybody thought I was a roll of toilet paper, [laughs] which is appropriate given all my bowel issues I have these days.

Cynthia Thurlow: That is humorous. There's most definitely a theme.

Melanie Avalon: Really last quick, rapid-fire question. Did you ever-- because Halloween is very centered around like candy and all of that. How did you handle that with your kids growing up and did you ever get into the--? Some people will hand out like healthy treats or they'll do that snack swap thing.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting. My older son has peanut and tree nut allergies. That has always been a concern like exposure, cross-contamination. When he was little, we could bring all the candy home and go through it. My husband loves Snickers bar. He would keep all the Snickers bars for himself. Whatever the age the kids were, that's how many pieces of candy they kept. Well, they got to a point where they started to eat the candy while they were trick or treating because they knew they could then consume more. I tend to be very much a realist. When my kids were preschool age, early elementary school age, yeah, I could hand out healthy treats. It was always a healthier version of the conventional Halloween candy. And then I just got to a point where I was like, "You know what, most people don't appreciate it." I'm spending exorbitant amounts of money. Really what's most important is making sure that my kids are not eating the stuff 24/7. So, I've relaxed some of my rules. 

I have some hard and fast about certain things, I can't actually buy Halloween candy early because the teenagers will find it. It doesn't matter where I put it. It's almost like they have a beacon, they find it. It becomes a running joke. My husband can't even keep a clean peanut buttercup in the house because the 15-year-old finds it and just despite him will eat it. [laughs] In my house, it's one day out of the year. I let them enjoy themselves. I don't allow them to keep candy in their rooms, which they did one year when we were living in a rental and I didn't know any better because we have dogs and I'm like, "What if the dogs get into it and they get sick?" That's a problem. I think for everyone that's out there, it's one day. I tend to buy the candy that I don't like. So, it's never tempting, which drives my husband crazy. He's like, "I don't understand that reasoning, that thought process." I said, "It's simple. By buying stuff I don't like, I'm not going to eat it. I want you to be tempted to eat it."

Melanie Avalon: What is that? What do you not like?

Cynthia Thurlow: Most stuff, because I don't feel good when I eat it. I'm not attracted to Snickers or Reese's peanut buttercups. I can buy that stuff, but it's crack for my husband. So, I have to be very balanced. I tried to give all the candy away. That's my other strategy. "Give it all away, then you don't have any left." Things like Skittles that are horrible. [laughs] I just--

Melanie Avalon: I never liked Skittles, either. They gave me a headache.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Well, there are so many artificial colors and God knows what else. To me, my strategy is, I buy stuff. Liam is my 15-year-old and usually he comes with me to purchase that candy. I always tell my methodology is, I buy stuff that I don't like and then it's not tempting at all, which he doesn't agree with at all. But he'll usually direct me to what do the kids like right now. He's my conductor. But the goal is to get rid of all the candy. I'm the parent that is handing out handful of candy to get rid of it, which everyone loves to come to our house because I'm giving out some unlike, I don't want to take any of them to my house. The other thing in my neighborhood that's interesting, everyone has very long driveways. Usually, people are at the end of their driveway to hand out said candy, it's very orderly. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, woah, they wait out there?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Most people set up tables at the end of their driveway. 

Melanie Avalon: Tables? [laughs] Oh, my goodness.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I've got a very long driveway. It's actually nice. The other thing is people are not trick or treating late at night. When it gets dark usually everything ends, which is wonderful. Because the last neighborhood I was in, you'd get your doorbell 9, 10 o'clock at night. Kids were still coming around. Here, not as much. They're younger, so the parents take them out early, which is fantastic. So, it's a quite an interesting process. But I love seeing all the costumes and getting rid of all of the Thurlow candy, which my family doesn't agree with, but I do.

Melanie Avalon: I totally forgot about this. I guess I really always have been an entrepreneur. Before Halloween, I would go stock up on all the candy. I had these little vending machine things. They were so cute. I had two of them. I'd fill them up with candy and then I would sell candy to my brother and sister. And then I didn't find out until literally adulthood that they would sneak into my room and steal my candy. I didn't know that. They were getting away with it. Yeah, I would sell it for like a dime, like a Snickers bar. 

Cynthia Thurlow: That's hilarious. 

Melanie Avalon: I would actually love listeners to write in, even though it'll be after Halloween, but I'd be really curious to hear how people handle candy and Halloween in their lives with their family.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's all about balance. I think people when they get really rigid, there were years where they'd have the switch-witch or when your kids are really young and they have no clue what's going on, that's very different than when they're very vested in the candy game, and parties, and trick or treating, and they have an agenda, and Halloween trick or treating independently of their parents. You have to just release some control. In all honesty that's the best method of pick your battles. I think that's really important because you can't control everything. So, you might as well zone in on one or two things that's important and trust that your children will make good choices.

Melanie Avalon: I think that's very good advice. 

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. 

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a question from Amanda and the subject is "Insulin release." And Amanda says, "Hello, there. I enjoy your podcast so much. I have been listening and fasting since January 2020 and I've made my way through all of the episodes. You're my favorite podcast and I listen to a lot. Anyway, I recently watched a YouTube video with Dr. Mindy Pelz, where she says, "You can test if something is breaking your fast by checking your blood sugar prior to having insert item here and then after having whatever you're testing." I decided to check to see if coffee is causing a response. I drink it black, but I drink Dunkin Donuts brand coffee, and it is caramel coffee cake flavor. I don't think it has a sweet taste, but I was curious if it is causing any response. I checked my blood sugar at around 6 AM prior to my coffee, this would have been 12 hours fasted. I was shocked to see my blood sugar was 122. I'm not diabetic and I've never had an abnormal fasting blood sugar when tested at the doctor's office. Is it the dawn phenomenon? I'm confused. I'm a nurse and in my world, this would be concerning. Anyway, I went ahead and drank my coffee and around 7:00 AM, I rechecked my blood sugar and it was 112. 

Now, Dr. Pelz said, "If you see an increase by 5 to 10 that would mean you had a response." In my mind, I'm thinking that the decrease could be a response too. If I had an insulin response, wouldn't that lower my blood sugar? The coffee may not spike my blood sugar, but cause an insulin response therefore lowering it. I hope I made that clear enough to understand. What I'm not sure about is if my result of 122 was caused by the dawn phenomenon. I checked it around 6:00 AM and from my understanding that occurs between 4:00 to 8:00 AM. Wouldn't it be on the decrease when I checked it later at 7:00 AM? I did check again around 9:00 AM and it was 114. I was still drinking my coffee, second cup. I'm just curious on what you two think and if anyone has ever brought this up, if it helps, I'm 36 years old. I've been fasting since January 2020. I started out 18:6 and I've worked up to one meal a day. I fast every day and love it. I can't thank you ladies enough for all you have taught me," Amanda.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Amanda, thank you so much for all of your support and the fact that you get so much out of the podcast. There are a lot of things that I think about as I'm reading and listening to your question. First and foremost, where are you in your menstrual cycle? Because you're going to be less insulin sensitive heading into your luteal phase and especially the week before your menstrual cycle. Are you using a glucometer or are you using a continuous glucose monitor? If you're using a glucometer, has it been calibrated? Does it need to be calibrated? It's not typical that your blood sugar, per se, would go down after consuming a potentially-- I don't know what the caramel coffee cake flavor is. The potentiality of, perhaps, an artificial sugar or whatever that is flavored with, I would imagine it would probably break your fast.

There're so many things here that it's hard for me to say because fasting blood sugar is only one piece of the puzzle. I think really looking at fasting insulin and looking at other inflammatory markers is certainly more helpful. Just one or two blood sugar values to me doesn't give a full clinical picture. Dawn phenomena, yes, that is a real thing. Typically, I don't see that in insulin sensitive individuals that are young, not with any great regularity. I saw quite a bit of it in the hospital with older, even middle-aged or older patients. I would say at this point, where are you in your cycle? Is it a glucometer, has it been calibrated? Is it a CGM? Where are you in your cycle? 

The other thing is, you're 36 years old. You're obviously still very young. We have to remember that intermittent fasting is a form of hormesis. It is a hormetic stressor in the right amount at the right time. You're also doing OMAD, which I know that it may not be as popular for me to express this opinion on the podcast, but I just think that that's not the right strategy for a younger woman. I get concerned that you're not getting enough protein macronutrients in particular into such a tight feeding window and that in and of itself could potentially be of concern. So, there're a lot of different variables.

It could be that maybe your glucometer needs to be calibrated. It could be that simple. If we know your insulin sensitive, if you haven't had a fasting insulin checked, I would definitely ask your primary care provider to do that. It's a very inexpensive test. It runs about $12 that is covered by insurance. A lot of traditional allopathic trained providers don't know how to interpret it, but we want to see that value between 2 to 5. That's ideally what we're looking for and that's actually a better biomarker for insulin sensitivity than a fasting blood sugar. What are your thoughts, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I would piggyback and agree that because it sounds like she might be doing a CGM, but probably not. I would definitely recommend Amanda doing a two-week trial at least of a CGM. And just to define it, it's basically a sensor that you very easily apply to your arm. I have videos on my Instagram of what it looks like to put it on. It will continuously monitor your blood sugar over 24 hours. The benefit of that is that you will see the slope and the curve of what is actually happening in the morning with that wake-up dawn phenomenon as well as the coffee and everything thereafter. You'll also see the entire 24 hours the impact of your blood sugar levels and what your average is. We actually do have a coupon code for the podcast. So, if you go to nutrisense.io/ifpodcast, the code, IFPODCAST will get you $30 off any subscription to a CGM program. So, that definitely might be helpful. 

At least what I've experienced and what I've seen a lot of people share is that, especially if they're having a dawn phenomenon response in the morning, which basically what it is, is a cortisol release in the morning that is prepping your body to get ready to move. And so, the purpose is to release glycogen from the liver. You release stored sugar, stored glucose and that's what causes that spike. That's normal. What I've seen and what I think a lot of people see is, if you do have that spike and it's up, and then on top of that you have coffee, especially if you're having coffee for a while. Coffee also, because of the caffeine causes the liver to dump glycogen. I think it can basically not give your body a chance to bring those blood sugars down and maybe even perpetuate it a little bit. That might be what is happening. If you've got a CGM and experiment you could try, is you could try a day with coffee and a day without coffee and see what's happening with all of that. 

Yeah, and it might be a situation where you realize that having your coffee in a slightly different pattern is actually more beneficial for your blood sugar. Maybe it's not sipping it as long or maybe it's just having a caffeinated one and switching to decaf or something like that. Then I wanted to point out a few other just quick comments. One is that I like to clarify it, because we always talk about things, breaking the fast, which is true. Things can create an insulin response. I just like to clarify that. Your body can have those responses to things that people wouldn't consider breaking the fast. This is just an esoteric conversation about this topic. But the example would be, you could do some high intensity exercise and have the same blood sugar raising effects or you could go do some breathing exercises and have the same blood sugar lowering effects. So, I just like to point out that-- I guess the reason I'm pointing this out is, you're still fasted is my point. I do think it's very important to have a "clean fast," water, coffee, and not take in things like these flavored coffees. But I just like to add that subtle nuance, because I think people think that they're not fasted anymore, which is not true. The way you're not fasted is by eating food.

That said, I have a little story to share. I recently released an episode with Mark Schatzker. He wrote a book called The Dorito Effect, as well as The End of Craving. It's honestly been one of my most fascinating interviews to date. I've talked about it a lot in the show. I'll put a link to it in the show notes. But he talks a lot in his book about the role of these artificial flavors. After reading it, it makes you very hesitant about taking them in. Basically, they're very confusing signals to our bodies. He makes the case that they can be doing a lot of metabolic damage. I actually had an experience recently. I had bought some artificial cake flavor, and I had it in my refrigerator. If I ever have like a holiday or something or my birthday, I'm going to make a paleo birthday cake flavored thing and I'm going to use this flavoring. It was in my refrigerator. I was cleaning out my refrigerator and I broke the bottle. And so, it spilled all over my kitchen. I was thinking about Mark's book, because he talks about the potency of that flavoring chemical and how potent it is. And that smell, my whole apartment smelled like Disney World for like-- You know how Disney smells like? Would you go to Disney ever, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I haven't been there since my kids were four and six.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, Disney is the place my family is obsessed with. I don't know, if you remember, like, Main Street smells like a baked cookie basically. My whole apartment smelled like Disney World and I had a headache for three days. After that, I was like, "I can't believe I've been ingesting this," if just smelling it is making me feel this way. So, just a little cautionary tale about removing these if possible, if you're open to it, removing artificial flavors. Any other thoughts from you?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think it's much like anything. I used to tell patients that I never took one or two values unless it's an exception. I never really took it at face value. I was like, "Okay, we need more information before we can determine what's going on." There're so many things that can impact blood sugar and food consumption. All these things can definitely be impacted by many, many variables.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I agree. I didn't know this until recently. They make at home. It's like a glucometer, but it's HbA1c tests.

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't know if I find a lot. I honestly don't see a ton of value in A1cs anymore. I think when they came out 20 years ago, it was such a remarkable test. And now, I really lean into other biomarkers like fasting insulin, uric acid that I think provide a much more comprehensive picture of what could potentially be going on. It doesn't mean that does it help. It certainly doesn't hurt. But I think there are other blood values that I think are far more important. Even triglycerides, HDL, that is more valuable to me.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think it's a problem because of the false-- Well, it's not false positive, false negative, because it's not black and white like that. But the implications of your actual red blood cells can affect, like the size of them and how long they're sticking around. Their longevity can affect the readings. I think the value is, if you're regularly testing HbA1c, then presumably you could see over time if you're having a significant drop or rise in general. I think that's probably the most benefit. So, shall we go on to our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. Our next question is from Vanessa. "Hi, Cynthia and Melanie, I love your podcast. I listen all of the time and learn something new every time. This morning on my commute I listened to episode 162 where you discuss at length some studies. I enjoyed listening to the discussion so much. I'm at the end of a graduate program and reading studies has been my life for the last few years. I love that you normalize how complicated research can be, while at the same time sticking with it, and then bringing us the information. Thank you for being women with high standards. In my Google Chrome feed, I came across this study and would love to hear your thoughts. From what I gathered, autophagy protects, if not reverses atherosclerosis. If this is true, this is super exciting as heart disease runs in my family. I came to intermittent fasting for weight loss and have found a way of life that has surpassed my expectations as far as health benefits. Thank you so much," Vanessa.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Vanessa, thank you for your question. This is a great question. The article that she sent us a link to was very specific, very granular, and it's a rodent study. The title is noncanonical inhibition of caspase-3 by nuclear microRNA confers endothelial protection by autophagy and athero-- I can never say this word for my life, atherosclerosis. I remember when I was recording my book, I have that word in it a few times and it's the word I just can't say. In any case, so this was published in Science Translational Medicine in June 2020. I looked at it briefly and honestly it was very specific. It was about very specific pathways in rodents and autophagy, and the role and that word, I can't say. I decided to be more beneficial to look at other research rather than this specific study. And so, I found a really good journal article that I'll put a link in the show notes too. It's called role of autophagy and atherosclerosis: foe or friend? It's 2019 May in the Journal of Inflammation, London. And I read all of it. It is very long. It's very interesting, I learned a lot about autophagy that I did not know. It goes into all the different types of autophagy and all of the different immune-related factors involved like macrophages, and cytokines, and things like that. 

The basic takeaway is that autophagy-- Oh and what is autophagy? Let me define that for people. Autophagy is basically a process in the body where the body recycles old and damaged proteins. It's a cleanup process. It helps clean up ourselves, get rid of waste, keep things fresh and new. The process can actually just get rid of those materials or they can be recycled into new materials. It's used ongoing as a cleanup process. People think that you only get autophagy from fasting, which is just not true. It's happening all the time. Not some of the time, all of the time. It's ramped up by things like exercise, even coffee ramps it up, different compounds ramp it up. I'm going to circle back to that. Its normal purpose is like a cleanup and then when you're under times of intense stress, it gets a dual purpose and that it can actually be used to create building blocks for the body and energy. So, that's why fasting in particular can further activate it. It's interesting. 

I was listening to Peter Attia's most recent episode, I think, and he was talking more about his feelings on fasting and autophagy. I don't know if I agree with him on this, but he said he doesn't think fasting even creates any measurable difference of note in autophagy that you'd have to fast a really long time. I don't know the extent to which is upregulated from a daily type of fast, but it is a good thing to consider. All of that said, back to the question. For its role in atherosclerosis, it seems that in the beginning stages for people who have it, it is probably pretty beneficial in reducing inflammation, potentially mitigating that progression and being helpful. It has the potential to actually become inflammatory in later stages. And that's because the autophagy process, just basically, it can go a little bit awry and actually create more inflammation rather than less. I don't want to scare people away from it, but that was the conclusion of this article. I think in general, it's something that-- I wouldn't focus on autophagy as the thing to address this. I would focus on a healthy diet and lifestyle, and I think that will support an anti-inflammatory state, and that will support autophagy and the way you want it. I wouldn't get too distracted by it, if that makes sense. What are your thoughts, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: Ironically enough, I just interviewed Dr. Stephen Hussey talking about the heart and talking about cardiovascular disease. For that discussion, I was knee-deep in the role of the metabolic theory of cancer, and Otto Warburg, and the role of mitochondrial dysfunction and what's really at the basis for atherosclerosis. Dr. Hussey, he has type 1 diabetes, but young guy who had a negative coronary artery calcification score, hit a zero, and then went on to have a heart attack six months later for a variety of different reasons. But why this is particularly relevant is that I think a lot of the modern day thought process about what causes atherosclerosis is so far off base than what actually creates it. We know it's related to oxidative stress, and free radicals, and glycation, and really looking at the role of endotoxemia, heavy metals, and how these things all kind of interwoven together. I'm tongue-tied myself. I'm really at the basis of all this is metabolic inflexibility. What's one of the things that can help with metabolic flexibility is intermittent fasting vis-a-vis through a lot of different processes. 

As you mentioned, autophagy is one of them. But I really think our modern-day lifestyles are contributing to a lot of what we're seeing. If we reflect back on the fact that autophagy can be upregulated by many things. Not just fasting, but understanding that eating less frequently is a way to promote or to reduce inflammation, reduce oxidative stress, improve insulin sensitivity. It just makes sense to me intellectually as a clinician that this would validate this. I think there's more and more research coming out that's really looking at what are the drivers of atherosclerosis. One of the things that Dr. Hussey talked about is that as an example and we talk about Oura Rings and heart rate variability a lot, but HRV is the best measure of stress response. I think that was really surprising and looking at an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system, remember, one is fight or flight, that's sympathetic and then rest and repose when we can poop, and have an orgasm, and digest our food, and detoxify, that this imbalance stress response is another big contributor to why we are seeing escalating rates of atherosclerosis and heart attacks. 

I'll just mention a couple of statistics that I quite frankly was stupefied by. By 2035, 130 million people in the US will have some form of coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis. The annual direct and indirect costs of MI and stroke are $329.7 billion a year that came out of circulation. And lastly, in 2018, there were 720,000 first time myocardial infarcts which are heart attacks and 335,000 recurrent MIs in the US. I love that Vanessa addressed this atherosclerosis piece because it really does impact all of us whether or not you yourself, but more than likely with those statistics. You know of someone either or someone you're related to, someone you're friends with, someone you care about that's in your sphere of influence is going to be impacted by vascular disease. Maybe that's easier to say it that way. We used to call it CAD or CVD. Cardiovascular disease, it's an easier way of saying that, but really an important thing to consider. It's one of many reasons why I think upregulating autophagy with fasting or other types of hormesis is really incredibly beneficial. I think a lot of us want to focus on the body composition and the changes in weight loss, but really, it's deeper than that. 

Melanie Avalon: Two points to that. One is, because interestingly that study I linked to on autophagy, it didn't mention fasting once. It was talking about the role of fasting, like I mentioned happening as an ongoing process all the time, anyways. And so, I would imagine, I know I talked about how it concluded that autophagy could be detrimental in the later stages of-- So, is cardiovascular disease the same thing as atherosclerosis.

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm. We don't call it. We used to call it coronary artery disease. Atherosclerosis can be diffuse, so it could be carotid arteries, peripheral vascular disease, coronary artery disease. Atherosclerosis can occur in any vascular vessel.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, gotcha. Yeah, so, I think the important context here would be autophagy in the context of fasting would be as well in an anti-inflammatory state compared to what it's talking about in that article, which is just the autophagy process not in that anti-inflammatory state. That might be something to keep in mind. Well, I'll put a link in the show notes. That interview sounds really, really fascinating. I'm glad you brought that up about the cardiac scores because that's something that-- I feel especially in the low-carb world and often I see it in the carnivore world are people on really, really high saturated fat diets and then they'll say, but I have a zero score. But really, when it comes to that, when you're young you should have a zero score. If you don't, there's a major issue. And then it can be argued that, if you don't have a zero score, things are already really bad. It's not the thing where you slowly start to see it progress. It's like it goes from zero to like there's an issue. So, I wouldn't rest in the seeming safety of a cardiac score, which I think was demonstrated by that guy's heart attack.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. He's like 32. I think it's the diabetes, plus some other factors that he talked about, but really sobering.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, the stats are really intense. And right before we go on to our next question, I wanted to mention one more thing. I was so excited when I was reading that article because it actually had a section on compounds that upregulate autophagy. The first one it mentioned was resveratrol, which is the compound that is made famous by red wine and you guys know I love red wine. But then even more exciting, the second compound I mentioned was berberine, which made me so excited, because the next supplement that I'll be releasing for AvalonX is actually berberine.

Going back to Amanda's question, if she is experiencing blood sugar issues, I realized we didn't even give her suggestions on what to do there. First and foremost, I think dietary approaches are paramount when it comes to blood sugar control, so looking at your diet and finding the diet that works with you. Again, that's a reason that a CGM can be so helpful because you can try out different dietary approaches and see how they're affecting your blood sugar levels and after or injunction or on top of something like berberine, it might be really helpful. It is actually a plant compound, an alkaloid, and it rivals the effects of metformin. Metformin is the primary prescribed medication for blood sugar issues, diabetes. It has a blood sugar-lowering effects of metformin without the side effects. Like I said, it's a natural plant compound. People often focus on it for the blood sugar-lowering effects. I personally take it. I take 1 gram every morning. When I started doing that, I saw a really nice effect on my blood sugar levels but it has so many other benefits as well. 

It actually has a lot of metabolic health benefits. So, I found one study that was talking about how it didn't reduce body weight, but it actually created a redistribution of fat. People ended up having less visceral fat, which is the inflammatory type of fat surrounding the organs and it's been shown to potentially have anti-cancer benefits. And then going back to topic that we were talking about that article was talking about how it actually is a very potent stimulator of autophagy. That's very exciting. That will be coming out sooner rather than later. To get text updates for that you can go to avalonx.us/emaillist or you can text AvalonX to 877-861-8318. When you sign up for text updates, not only will you get all of the latest specials and news because there will be a launch special. You also get a 20% off code when you sign up there. 

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get $30 off one of the most incredible ways to track your blood sugar levels. See how your fasting is affecting you, see how your food choices are affecting you, and truly take charge of your health. That would be the NutriSense CGM program. If you've been listening to this show, you know that we are a little bit obsessed with continuous glucose monitors, also known as CGMs. If you know how your body is actually responding to different foods, amounts of sleep, stress, fasting, exercise, wine, anything else you're doing in your life, then you can truly achieve your health goals, so whether that's managing your weight, eating foods that make you feel good, having energy throughout the day, optimizing the longevity, understanding your blood glucose is important. And for example, you might even realize that your diet doesn't need to be super restrictive. It just needs to be the right diet for you that is sustainable. Here's the problem. True, you can check your blood at the doctor or you can randomly check it with a glucometer at home where you prick your finger. The problem is that's just a snapshot. It's a single picture of that brief moment in time. If I've learned one thing from wearing continuous glucose monitors is that your blood sugar can change a lot even from minute to minute. You really need to get a sense of how your blood sugar is changing all throughout the day.

When you wear a continuous glucose monitor, which is painless to put on, I promise, I have a lot of videos on my Instagram of how to put them on. So, definitely check those out. It gives you a picture of your blood glucose levels 24/7 for 14 days. What I love about the NutriSense CGM program is it has a super awesome app that helps you interpret the data and really understand what's going on. In the app, not only does it track your data, but you can log meals, see macronutrient breakdowns, and so much more. It even gives you an overall score for each of your meals based on your body's response, so you can really find what meals are working for you. Each subscription plan includes one month of free support from a registered dietitian. NutriSense dieticians will actually help you identify what you should be paying attention to, what that data actually means. They can really hold your hand if you're new to the space or if you're already knowledgeable, then they can provide you even more advanced tips and recommendations. They'll make sure that you adjust your diet and lifestyle to find what you enjoy doing, so that you can have long-term sustainable changes They'll even act as accountability partners on your journey. 

NutriSense also has a private Facebook group for members, where you can find support from other members and learn about their experience. I love wearing a CGM. I just think it is so profound. Even if you just do it once for 14 days, I think you will learn so, so much. But then, of course, lasting sustainable change can take time. Getting a longer term subscription can be an amazing option to consider.

NutriSense has 6 and 12-month subscriptions and those are cheaper per month allowing you to not only achieve your health goals, but also ensure that you stick to your new healthy lifestyle for the long term. It's helped me realize for example, how low carb versus low fat affect my blood sugar levels, how berberine has an amazing effect at lowering my blood sugar, and so much more. You can get $30 off any subscription to a NutriSense CGM program. Just go to nutrisense.io/ifpodcast and use the coupon code, IFPODCAST for $30 off. That's N-U-T-R-I-S-E-N-S-E dot I-O slash IFPODCAST with the coupon code, IFPODCAST for $30 off any subscription to a CGM program. There's a reason Cynthia and I talk about CGMs all the time. We love them. NutriSense is giving you guys access to them. So, definitely check this out. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Angela. Subject is "PMDD." And Angela says, "I have PMDD. I was diagnosed in November of 2018. I was put on Prozac for 14 days a month. It helped for two months, then stopped working. I first started IF doing mostly 16:8 in July of 2019. I did great until October. My symptoms greatly decreased. Then I slowly started closing my window sooner and sooner until I was back to my old eating ways, which is eating all day long. I gained back all the weight. I had lost about 15 pounds. January of 2020, I decided to try it again. It's now March. So, I've been through two cycles of PMDD and I was curious as to how long you would think it would take the food cravings to go away. The food cravings during those two weeks from ovulation to the start of the menstrual cycle are like no other cravings. They are worse than my pregnancy cravings. I do so good with 16:8 during two weeks, then that hit and bam. It's so hard to stick with IF. Please give me any suggestions that might help. I've tried keeping busy, drinking more water, eating more protein. IF has seemed to help all the other symptoms from PMDD, besides the food cravings. Sorry for jumping all around, but I desperately need help." Okay.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Angela, my heart goes out to you. And for listeners that are not familiar with PMDD, this is the most severe form of premenstrual symptoms. First and foremost, I have to give you a lot of credit that you are being so diligent about trying to determine what is exacerbating your symptoms. If you're at all familiar with my work, I'm not really a fan of women doing a lot of fasting prior to their menstrual cycle, especially five to seven days. Preceding that, you could certainly do 12 hours of fasting. I would also look very closely at what you're eating. Are you really leaning into enough protein? Because those powerful cravings could very well be that you need more high-quality carbohydrate along with high-quality protein.

I actually did a podcast with Dr. Chris Palmer, which unfortunately I can't release until November. His publisher has made it very clear that they don't want his podcast being released until the week of publication. But he is a Harvard trained psychiatrist and he has a very unique lens on mental health issues and metabolic health. And so, we had a really vibrant discussion about the interrelationship between the foods that we're eating, the types of neurotransmitters that we're creating, and a lot of those neurotransmitters are predominantly created in the gut. 

I would really be thinking about gut health, the types and qualities of foods that you're consuming. Leaning into protein, high-quality carbohydrates which are going to be the unprocessed variety, healthy fats, you may benefit from getting some testing done to look at the gut microbiome. I'm a huge fan of the GI map, or even working with an integrative medicine or functional medicine, physician or nurse practitioner to dive a little bit deeper. Because it sounds like your symptoms are really significant. I do think there are other ways of tackling PMDD. But absolutely positively, no fasting the week before your menstrual cycle, that explains why you're saying I feel good in my follicular phase when I'm fasting. I don't feel good. I feel I'm really struggling with fasting and that's your body's way of telling you. We need to liberalize what you're doing. 

The other thing that I would really encourage you to do is make sure that you are working with someone that can do a proper evaluation and testing. I know you tried Prozac before. There are other drugs that may be of benefit. There are newer SSRIs that are out there, as well as other types of treatment modalities. And again, I wish Dr. Palmer's podcast episode with me would be out concurrently with when this is released. But definitely look for that in November. I think he's really making incredible strides, making the interrelationship between mental health issues and also metabolic health that they're all very closely interrelated.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Yeah, I think that was all really amazing. Cynthia knows much more about the actual hormonal stuff than I do. The only thing I would add is that focusing on nutrient rich food, I think can be really, really helpful. If you think about it like pregnancy cravings in particular, obviously, there's the craving for actual energy because you're growing another human being inside of you. People get very specific cravings. That's likely because the body is needing more of a specific nutrient that it's associating with that craving for better or worse, which goes back to Mark Schatzker's book that I mentioned earlier about how these things can be misleading. The signals can signal to the body that they have a certain nutrient and then when they actually don't. But in any case, the reason I am talking about that is, you get cravings from pregnancy. And now, she's comparing it to that saying, "This is worse though." Focusing on protein is great and also focusing on the nutrient rich sources of foods I think can be really helpful. Things like egg yolks, and liver, and salmon and-- 

There's a study that came out recently that I want to find-- I've heard Chris Kresser talking about it on a few shows. I got to find it. Apparently, it's a list of-- They recently came up with a nutrient score for all of these foods based on mineral density and things like that. It was shocking. He was talking about, I think, on Robb Wolf's podcast and he was talking about the number score shift from, I think the top was like liver and something else. And then the shift down to the next foods was so huge because basically, there're a few foods that are just overwhelmingly nutrient rich. Yeah, so, I just wanted to add that piece about the food, but I think Cynthia's advice was very helpful.

Cynthia Thurlow: And yours as well. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Shall we answer one more question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. This is from Jessica. Subject is "Type 1 diabetes and intermittent fasting." "Hi, I've been intermittent fasting for a month and a half now. I started in the hopes of losing some weight. I have an added challenge and that I am a type 1 diabetic for 13 years now. I take precautions during my fast and always monitor my blood sugar. My question is about taking insulin during my fast. Especially in the mornings, the dawn effect makes my sugars climb and I don't hesitate to take insulin to correct it. I was curious if this breaks my fast and stops the benefit of it. Of course, I won't stop correcting no matter what the answer is, but I'm still technically getting anything out of it while I'm doing this. Thanks."

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, thank you, Jessica, for your question. I'm actually glad to circle back to this question because I felt I was going on a tangent earlier about the nuance of the breaking the fast question and I forgot that this question was in here because this is the reason I like to emphasize that nuance. She wants to know if she's getting anything out of her fasting by taking insulin and does insulin stop the benefits of the fast. Well, now, I'm going to add further nuance to the nuance. You are still fasted-- If you're not taking in food, you're still fasted and especially in your situation, Jessica, where you're type 1 diabetic and you must be monitoring and addressing and for lack of a better word, controlling your blood sugar levels with exogenous insulin. That means that's just the way it has to be. It's not breaking your fast. It's not going to make you not fasted. The nuance I wanted to add to it because she's saying, "Does it stop the benefits?" 

One could argue in general stepping a little bit apart from Jessica's question that insulin release can make people, especially if they're in the fat burning state and then they release insulin, then it can turn off the ease of using the fat stores for fuel. So, it can have that negative effect to the fast. But everything, I don't say everything, but you're still getting the autophagy like we talked about earlier, you're getting the low mTOR, the low IGF-1 signaling, the reduced inflammation. I don't want to make a blanket statement, but it's really this insulin piece which is the one thing that's being affected, but it's very different releasing insulin, fasted compared to while eating. For people with type 1 diabetes, you have to take insulin. The way you're taking it, keep taking it. You are still getting the benefits from the fast. So, I would not stress about that. What are your thoughts, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm a little conflicted. I have to be honest with you. Typically, I like to look at the questions before we sit down and record and I didn't have that luxury this week. It's been super busy. A lot of my patients when they start using insulin, start gaining weight and so it could be very challenging when you're trying to lose weight and you are using injectable insulin because your body doesn't have the endogenous ability to secrete insulin. As a type 1, you have an autoimmune issue and that means the beta cells are destroyed. And so, I really sit in kind of a neutral position. I'm not one direction or the other, but I think it can be challenging to be type 1 to be using injectable forms of insulin and trying to lose weight simultaneously. 

I think it's a very sticky wicket. I would probably endeavor to connect with some of my endocrinology friends because from my perspective, it has always been the case that went. By the time my patients are using insulin, they're usually struggling with weight loss resistance to some extreme or another. And so, I think the diet has to really be dialed in if you're counting your carb hydrates, if you're ketogenic or low carb. I think that will definitely improve things, but type 1 is very different than type 2. Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle issue generally from too much carbohydrate, inadequate amounts of protein intake. I'm going to have to sit on the fence and I'll definitely on one of our subsequent podcasts, I will do a little bit of digging and see if I can rectify or change my opinion. But I think it's going to be a little bit challenging to lose weight.

Melanie Avalon: I totally miss that in the beginning about I started in the hopes of losing weight. I didn't even focus on that my answer, and I think that's a really good, salient point. And so, maybe the purpose of our discussion right now, because I'm really glad you brought that up and I do agree. Rather than focusing on the insulin and that being the hindrance to the weight loss, if Jessica, she doesn't talk at all about what she's eating or the diet that she's on. It's very possible. I know she's type 1 diabetic, not type 2, but it's very possible that she could find a diet that would make her just not have as many issues with the blood sugar spikes and actually reduce in general her insulin use.

Often, people think low carb for that. But then just to play devil's advocate or throw in the contrary opinion, you have Cyrus and Robby, who wrote a book called Mastering Diabetes that I've had on my show. I think they're both type-- One of them is type 1 for sure. They're both type 1, I think. I have to double-check that. They actually manage their diabetes with a high-carb, low-fat diet. It's very possible that a dietary approach could maybe be the best of both worlds in helping reduce the amount of insulin needed in the first place. So, then Jessica doesn't run into this problem that Cynthia is talking about where weight loss becomes a very difficult issue while taking exogenous insulin. Any other thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I am going to reserve my opinion and do a little bit of research.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. 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. You can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/289. The show notes will have a full transcript. So, definitely check that out. I will just plug again. If you want to get the latest for my berberine, definitely text AvalonX to 877-861-8318. I am super-duper excited about that. And yes, I think that is all the things. So, everybody have a fabulous Halloween and we will see you next week. 

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

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 23

Episode 288: Fiber, Psyllium Husk, Glyphosate, Constipation, Nutrient Timing, Hunger During The Fast, Protein, Bioidentical HRT, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 288 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 one 10-
14 lb Turkey FREE 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!

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 One 10-14 Lb Turkey FREE In Your First Box!

How She Grew Pre-Sale! 

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

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

13:25 - PREP DISH: Get A Free 2 Week Trial With The Paleo, Keto, And SUPER Fast Menus (Plus More!) At prepdish.com/ifpodcast!

15:10 - Listener Q&A: Becca - Benefiber and psyllium husk pills

Simply Fiber: Digestion Resistant Starch/Fiber Blend

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

26:35 - Listener Q&A: Samantha - Nutrient Timing?

#224 ‒ Dietary protein: amount needed, ideal timing, quality, and more | Don Layman, Ph.D.

Use Code CYNTHIA30 for $30 off or MEL for $50 off at lumen.me!

39:30 - Listener Q&A: Moose - Struggling with IF

Ep. 206 Pt 1: A Deep Dive into Perimenopause- Hormonal Imbalances and Birth Control with Dr. Tabatha Barber

Ep. 212 Pt. 2: A Deep Dive into Hormonal Imbalances and Menopause with Dr. Tabatha Barber

46:15 - AVALONX MAGNESIUM 8: Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

49:00 - Listener Q&A: Robin - Two Questions

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #123 - Dr. David Minkoff

Get a discount at melanieavalon.com/perfectamino with the code melanieavalon

Ep. 198 – Dispelling Myths About Hormone Replacement Therapy

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

Hi friends, the main course for Thanksgiving dinner can sometimes be a main source of stress. Well, not anymore because I'm about to tell you how you can get a free sustainably raised 10 to 14-pound turkey with no problematic additives with your first ButcherBox order. 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 truly what benefits not only ourselves but the planet. And 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. 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. Every month ButcherBox members can get a curated selection of high-quality meat shipped straight to their homes. 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 should 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. All right now back to the show.

Hi everybody and welcome, this is episode number 288 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon, I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie, how are you today?

Melanie Avalon: I'm good, how about you?

Cynthia Thurlow: Doing well, just in the throes of homecoming and trying to narrow down options for my grumpy 14-year-old child who is intermittently grumpy but today it's mostly grumpy.

Melanie Avalon: Homecoming like homecoming dance?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, so they have a homecoming event. My kids go to two different high schools and my older son’s already had homecoming, and so this is my younger son's first opportunity to go and today I finally got him to tell me what he wants to wear. And it's an interesting compilation, it's interesting to see between different high schools what kids are wearing and I have my work cut out for me.

Melanie Avalon: Just having flashbacks now. I'm just thinking about how funny growing up there is the key moments where you get to dress up and wear dresses. And now in my life, any chance I can get, I like to dress up for things with dresses.

Cynthia Thurlow: I love it. I'm actually in the midst of finalizing my outfit for this black-tie event for an event I'm going to in Scottsdale. And my poor husband was watching just like box, after box, after box, coming to our home because we live in a--

Melanie Avalon: Did you order from Macy's?

Cynthia Thurlow: I did not, I did not. It was from a variety of places. There is a wonderful woman I work with who's a stylist and I love her to pieces and she knows me really well. And so, we were trying to find a heel that wasn't six-inch stilettos because I was trying to explain it. I was like, I cannot stand in five-inch heels all night long, my feet will hate me. And I finally found the right dress, and I found the right bag, and I found the right shoe, and I found the right earring. And so now I feel I'm finally I can exhale and I have my outfit for next week. Because I don't get an opportunity to get that dressed up all that often but I will be on stage a couple of times, so, I'm excited.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, that's the crème de la crème, the black-tie events. I have one coming up in November and, "Oh, it's so exciting." I'm like all about it.

Cynthia Thurlow: I know you are you wearing black?

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes. Always.

Cynthia Thurlow: I love it. I'm wearing like a-- it's an off shoulder, it's maroon, it's fitted, which is generally what I look better in any way. And then these really beautiful shoes and beautiful handbag. And because you have to have something to throw your lipstick and your phone into, now we're getting very nuanced, but I love getting dressed up. And it's a full day, I have a documentary I'm participating in, and then I have that in the evening. And I have to give an award out. I will be on stage and have to be 100% and I was laughing and saying I think I'm going to need a nap because I'll be on Pacific Coast time. And my body's going to think it's a lot later than it is?

Melanie Avalon: How tall are you again?

Cynthia Thurlow: 5'3.5”.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, we've talked about this. You look a lot taller.

Cynthia Thurlow: Everyone tells me that. It's one of the most common things people are like you're short, and I was like, with heels on I look very tall. But I usually, I've started now wearing heels on stage. And then my feet have absolutely decided they're done with heels, I almost always bring some fashion sneakers that I have that are awesome, they're very neutral, and then people are like, "Oh my God, you're so petite." I'm like, “Yes, I am.”

Melanie Avalon: That's how we're similar to. People say the same thing about me. They think I am a lot taller.

Cynthia Thurlow: How tall are you?

Melanie Avalon: 5'4.5”.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, yeah, so you're not much taller than me?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I actually love my height. I would to be like really tall. I don't know I think it could be fun. I like when your average female height, which I think literally 5'4.5 is average female height. I can still wear you're mentioning-- I love wearing really tall heels. I can still wear the really tall ones and then be a really good height.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, well and it's funny. Lewis Howes last week was humored because I came in, in my fashion sneakers, and he complimented me on those. And then I was like, "Oh, hang on a second," I had the shoe in the bag and he was laughing. He's like, every woman does this. And I was like, “Oh, why are you going to kill your feet?” And I put them on for the interview and photos and stuff. And then before I left, I quickly changed my shoes again and he just thought that was hilarious. And I said men don't understand a lot of these really beautiful shoes. And I love a beautiful shoe, are not shoes you can walk in the city and be comfortable. And I'm all about-- I'm just at a stage in my life where comfort is important, fashion is important, but there is a point to which I'm like, I'm not going to go down an elevator, walk across a bunch of concrete, try to flag down a car, and have to do that in four-and-a-half-inch heels. I'm gotten very practical.

Melanie Avalon: Also, the thing that related to that, that men don't understand, the getting ready process. It's so funny. I went-- Oh, it was fabulous. I went to this event at the Georgia Aquarium. It was called Aqua Vino so it was wine tastings and dueling pianos and an auction. So, I was supposed to go with my dad. But this happened right after all of the hurricane stuff that I talked about last week. And he was just really stressed and wasn't feeling up to it. And thanks, dad, you let me know like right before. I was like, who can I find to go with me? And I was like, well, it has to be a guy because no girl would be able to get ready at this last minute. So I went with my cousin, it was really fun. Although I got so many DMs about my date, I was like, "It's not a date."

Cynthia Thurlow: Nope, Melanie. This is my cousin. That's on Wednesday night.

Melanie Avalon: A decade younger than me.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, my cousin and I went out with him and I was laughing because he's super tall. And, he has a wonderful girlfriend who wasn't able to make the dinner. And we ended up going to this French bistro place and it was fantastic. We both had an amazing steak and I was saying to him I was I forget how tall you are, you are a foot taller than me. I look like a midget standing next to you.

Melanie Avalon: Good times. Some women do not like dressing up, which I will never understand.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I'm a total girly girl. I mean, I'm all about the details.

Melanie Avalon: I live for it.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm all about the details and it totally makes a difference.

Melanie Avalon: Especially traveling, it's so stressful for me and I don't like doing it. But if there is any chance of getting me there be like well, there is a formal or black-tie thing. I'll be like, okay, maybe. So, yes. Well, okay, two quick announcements before we jump in. I mentioned both of these last weeks. There is an amazing online conference summit thing called How She Grew. It's by a few influencers, including Noelle Tarr, who is the co-host of the Well-Fed Women Podcast and one of my really, really, good friends. And I am a speaker in it. Cynthia might be, we're not sure. But it is all about-- really, it's all interviews with successful women and how they grew. So how they're doing what they're doing with their businesses, very practical, helpful information to just like learn how these women did and do what they're doing. You can go to melanieavalon.com/howshegrew, if Cynthia is doing it, you can go to cynthiathurlow.com/howshegrew. This episode airs October 24th, up until November 1st, they will have a pre-sale discount. So, use that link now to snag that discount.

And then, the second thing I want to talk about, I talked about this last week as well but as of this recording right now, the episode that is airing on Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast is with Dr. Karen Becker for her book called The Forever Dog. Definitely, friends, even if you don't have pets, listen to it. But if you do have pets, listen to this episode. This is actually fun fact. My editor who edits the show, he never comments, I just send him the episode he sends it back edited. He never ever makes a comment about the content for this episode. He literally wrote out like, wow, this was one of the most amazing things I've ever listened to. And so many people have told me that. It's mind-blowing if you care? If you are concerned with the health of your pets, listen to it. All of that to say I think what we feed our pets is really, really important. And I'm thrilled because there is a new company called Yummers. And I think I'm really good friends with the co-founder Rebecca. She actually co-founded it with Antoni Porowski from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and his boyfriend, Kevin. But they actually make really incredible healthy toppers for dogs and cats. Literally no problematic additives, just the good stuff, they have like, liver supplement toppers, chicken toppers.

One of the problems with conventional pet food is that they include all of these natural flavors and enhancers to make the pets really want to eat it. And that pet food really ends up commercial pet food. I mean, it's shocking. It's basically the equivalent. This is what Dr. Karen Becker was talking about. It's the equivalent of eating breakfast cereal for like every single meal of your life. So, like an entirely processed diet, fake, low moisture, not the correct macronutrients to support health it's really, really, a problem. And they use these natural flavors to make the pets basically addicted to it. Yummers uses real food ingredients that have that same palatability effect for the dogs and cats so they love it and it's super healthy. My mom's puppy, Mia, loves it, my sister's cat Jackie loves it. So, definitely check it out. I'm excited to see the future of the company because they might have more products in the future but they have a lot right now as well. So, you can go to yummerspets.com. That's Y-U-M-M-E-R-S-P-E-T-S dot com. And you can use the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON, to get a discount site wide.

Cynthia Thurlow: There are many things I love about the fall. The crisp cool weather, the warm, cozy fall flavors, all of the festive holidays coming up. One thing I don't love though is the constantly growing to-do list that seems to come with the fall season. Shuttling my kids to various activities combined with all of the prep work for holidays can feel like another full-time job on top of my actual job. I know I'm not alone in this. That's why the Prep Dish is the best way for busy people to get healthy meals on the table without 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. And if you think you don't have time to meal prep, I used to think the same thing. But with the Prep Dish super-fast meal plans I can prep five healthy dinners in just one hour. Trust me that one hour of meal prep pretty much saves my sanity for the rest of the week. It is 100% worth it. If you want to serve meals like these without the stress, the founder Allison is offering listeners a free two-week trial to try it out. You can't beat that. Check out prepdish.com/ifpodcast for this amazing deal. Again, that's prepdish.com/ifpodcast. So, your first two weeks free, this is a total no-brainer. Recent favorites were the slow cooker Moroccan spice chicken with roasted sweet potatoes and kale as well as the bison burgers with caramelized shallots and sauteed asparagus. Again, you can check out prepdish.com/ifpodcast for an amazing deal, giving you a two-week trial to try this out.

Melanie Avalon: Let's jump into questions. Would you like to read the first question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure, this is from Becca. Subject is: "Benefiber and psyllium husk pills." “Before I started intermittent fasting, I was taking Benefiber and psyllium husk pills in the morning and before bed, I have continued to do that since I started fasting. I was wondering if I'm breaking the fast with these two things. I have not really been successful at losing any weight. I've been doing intermittent fasting since January. I feel good and my clothes fit better. But it is occurred to me that I may be breaking my fast without realizing it by taking these two things. Any suggestions? Maybe I don't even need the fiber or I should be taking something else instead. Thank you for your help. Becca.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Becca, I'm really excited about this question because it's something I've been wanting to talk about. Because it's becoming a thing. I know Dave Asprey talks about it in his fasting book. I know Dr. Gundry talks about it, I think in his most recent book, a lot of people have been-- I know she's asking about it breaking the fast but a lot of people I guess, Dave Asprey and Gundry, and maybe some others have talked about the benefits of taking fiber while fasting to not feed you but feed your gut microbiome, which then can create short chain fatty acids from that. That idea does not resonate with me so much. And the reason being is even if fiber is non-nutritive to us, like I said, just now the gut microbiome can break it down and create energy from it. And just on top of that, it's a substance that stimulates the digestive process. even if it doesn't have "calories" to us, it still has to go through that digestive process and stimulate that. I think personally, taking in something that is doing that while fasting, I find it counterintuitive to the concept of fasting. I'm not a fan of fiber during the fast. On top of that, I don't know why you're taking the fiber. You don't say why? I'm wondering if it's just because there is this conventional idea that we need to be taking fiber. I am all about getting fiber from whole foods, I would look at your food choices. And how can you eat fiber-rich fruits and vegetables that really work for you and your digestive system? So those are my thoughts "Oh, she said she's not been successful and losing any weight." I mean, that could be a lot of factors. I don't know that it's the fiber completely, I would look at your food choices in general and the fasting window that you're doing. But those are my thoughts on that. What are your thoughts, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think on a lot of levels, typically Benefiber and psyllium are recommended by traditional allopathic trained providers. For a lot of people, it's to help with constipation, just to include the amount of fiber in their diet, I do agree with you and echo your sentiments about getting fiber from whole food sources. My concerns about Benefiber and psyllium husk is the exposure to glyphosate. For listeners that's a pesticide, herbicide that is most of our crops are exposed to. We know that there is a direct link with developing small intestinal hyperpermeability, which is when we develop leaky gut, foods that you're eating or then you're leaking food particles into the bloodstream, which can set up an inflammatory response and you can become sensitive to the foods that you're eating. From a health provider's perspective that's the first thing I think about, there are definitely other options. I prefer that fiber be taken if you do have to consume it during your feeding window. I do the idea of resistance starch, I actually have a product called Simply Fiber, which has green banana flour in it and potato starch, which are in their clean sources. But I always recommend that people consume those in their feeding window as opposed to in their fasted state.

And I agree with Melanie, that there can be many, many contributing factors to why you're not seeing weight loss. It could be as simple as your macros, meaning insufficient protein, too many of the wrong types of carbs, and inflammatory fats like seed oil, really closely examining what you're eating in your feeding window, and making sure you're getting a sufficient amount of protein in, I say no less than 100 grams a day. I do talk a lot about these types of subjects in my book. I also think about what else are you doing? How's your sleep? What's your stress management style like? Are you lifting weights? What's your gut health like.” There can be many things that can contribute to weight loss resistance or an inability to see weight loss in and of itself. I think there is a lot that could be going on, I would experiment with the types of products you're using. I would try to bump up your non-starchy vegetables to see if that's able to help you in the absence of using Benefiber and psyllium husk and then really getting acquainted with other options that are available to you if you feel you do need those to have a bowel movement, and there are people that benefit from taking supplementation with fiber, but you want to look at the quality of what you're consuming, to make sure it's the least inflammatory choice of all options.

Melanie Avalon: I am so glad you brought up the glyphosate issue. I do think that is such a huge problem. I really think that's a problem, too. I was mentioning earlier how dog food and pet food is eating cereal all day. That's something I think it's probably a lot of huge issue for glyphosate exposure.

Cynthia Thurlow: And it's interesting not to step on your toes while you're speaking. But there was a podcast I did with Jeffrey Smith last fall that to me really opened up my eyes. He's doing a lot of research and a lot of advocacy to help educate people about exposure to glyphosate and genetically modified foods. And we'll include that in the show notes so that that's available for you to learn from. He's a researcher and also an advocate and pretty powerful message. And someone that does it in a way that makes the information accessible and not scary. But certainly, it's a resource that I recommend for people to learn more about so that they're limiting their exposure overall to glyphosate as much as possible.

Melanie Avalon: I'm glad you said that, I really need to bump him up. He's the one that fell through the cracks with us trying to schedule him for the show.

Cynthia Thurlow: And that happens. I mean I think we all realize that happens, especially when you've got a show your Biohacking Podcast where you just get inundated. We do too. I would say, more often than not, we end up turning potential people away because there just isn't- there aren’t enough slots in here to get all the podcasts people in. But yeah, he would be fantastic on your podcast.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I really, really want to interview him. I think what happened was he reached out at the height of a lot of the politicalness of COVID. And I wasn't quite sure the extent of his content, and I wasn't sure if it was going to be too controversial for the show. But now after hearing you interview him, really looking at his work now I really want to bring him on. And it's not because I personally, I like to think I'm very open minded. it's not about me, it's more about concerns with podcast, censorship that can happen.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and we stayed way away from the fray of discussions about the pandemic, and the virus and all those things to stay. He didn't even bring any of that up. I completely understand.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I'm happy you brought that up. And then I'm so happy you brought up the constipation piece. Because yes, that is a reason that a lot of people take this often. And I wish that I was the type of person that responded well to fiber helping constipation because there are a lot of people who fiber does help constipation. There are also a lot of people who, and I existed for a very long time-- this is a reason that I want to talk about this. I existed in a very long-time experiencing constipation and thinking fiber was the answer and like trying to shove the fiber down my throat. And it just made it much worse. And it took me a long time to really realize that. I just want to encourage people that if they're taking fiber for constipation, and it's not working, they might benefit A, from just not taking extra fiber, B looking at the type of fiber they're taking, so like for me, I do really well with a low-FODMAP diet. So, I eat fiber-rich vegetables that are low in FODMAPs, which are easily fermentable different substrates that can exacerbate gut issues due to fermentation.

That's why people see my stories all the time buying pounds of cucumbers from Costco, like, I do really well with a lot of fiber from cucumbers and blueberries and things like that, so just Becca, if it is constipation related, the fiber may or may not even be helping, I will put out a resource. If you're curious about FODMAPs, you can get my app called Food Sense Guide. It has over 300 foods for 11 potentially problematic compounds that are found in foods so things you may be reacting to based on your personal constitution. It does include FODMAPs. It also includes lectins and gluten and histamine and oxalates and sulfites and all these things. you can get that at melanieavalon.com/foodsenseguide and Cynthia do you have thoughts about Dave Asprey, Gundry, and people who say that you actually should take fiber while fasting to create these short-chain fatty acids?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think there are many different ways to impact short-chain fatty acids and I'm embarrassed to say I know far more about this subject than I'd like to. Just because of my own gut health journey post-- goodness, so many different things including LPS, lipopolysaccharides. I probably had some E. coli, I got a parasite when in Morocco, I've been treated for said parasite and there has been a lot of gut rebuilding, and I think it's going to be a long process. I actually do better when I take-there is actually a product called [unintelligible 00:25:06] and I do better taking that in a fed state. My stomach's just--

Melanie Avalon: What is it?

Cynthia Thurlow: [unintelligible 00:25:11]. I'll have to give you some separate information. It's essentially a fertilizer for the short-chain fatty acids. And my functional medicine practice really likes it. And so, from their perspective, that's a superior option. I think for a lot of people, some of these resistant starches can be very bloating, and you had mentioned, some people are more sensitive to some of these FODMAP-esque properties, some of these carbohydrates. I think on a lot of levels, obviously, Dr. Gundry is an incredible resource. Dave Asprey obviously does his research as well, he's very comprehensive, but I really think it comes down to the beauty of the N of 1, what really works best for you. And the products I take, I take in my feeding window because I then don't get bloating, I then don't have some of those side effects. There is a degree of experimentation that I think can be helpful. I think for some people they're told to take these products on an empty stomach to lessen the likelihood that they are going to have slowed absorption or less likely to interact with other foods or other supplements or medications and I get that, but I think it's all about the individual. And I know we talk a lot about that. But I think each one of us have to do a little bit of experimentation to find out what works best.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. I love that, same page, alright. Shall we go on to our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: This question comes from Samantha. The subject is: Nutrient Timing? And Samantha says, "Hey, ladies, thank you as always for all you do, seriously changing the world for the better." You cover so many great topics, but I'd like to ask more about exercise. I really embrace exercising while fasted which feels great. I usually do light lifestyle exercise, a brisk walk with the dog, house and yard work, sports with my kids. I know I should start doing more lifting and weight-bearing exercise as I'm approaching 40, it's on the list. In past episodes, you’ve spoken about refueling not being an urgent postexercise need. What you do in the 24-hour period is what matters. Also, I love the discussion surrounding the need for protein. I have made protein a focus for me and my family. Recently, I've noticed the phrase nutrient timing. I've heard Cynthia refer to it and today, Dave Asprey. Can you elaborate and discuss, are there certain levels of exercise where the timing does matter more for certain macros pre and post workout? Also, on a side note, my son plays hockey and hates to eat prior. He's only 10 and a strong lean kid. I encourage at least a protein smoothie. Sometimes he accepts and sometimes he refuses, but he has a ferocious appetite for the rest of the day, so I'm not overly concerned. He eats super healthy too and definitely does not lack for energy. But might he benefit from some better nutrient timing? Thanks, sincerely, Samantha in Canada, she also says she is excited for her Lumen delivery this week.

Cynthia Thurlow: Great question, Samantha, thank you for your questions. And I'm glad that you are leaning into the possibility of starting some weight-bearing exercise, strength training is so so important for us. And for anyone that's listening, the more muscle mass we have, the more insulin-sensitive we are. And this becomes even more important as we are getting closer to middle age, in terms of protein and refueling and nutrient timing, obviously with a teenager and I'm assuming your son is, oh he is 10, so he's a preteen, so he's a tween, kids are still growing. And I think it's certainly very important to make sure that they are getting the right types of fuel in around workouts, they're still growing. Hopefully, we are not still growing at this stage of life we're in, protein and carbohydrates around workouts for them. I think for each one of us, and I'll go back to the bio-individuality piece, I think it's very, very important to identify what makes our bodies feel good. Obviously, if you're lifting heavy things, and you're doing intense physical activity, it's going to be more important to how you are timing those food intakes. And if you're intermittent fasting, I get less concerned about people feeling the need to refuel around a workout. Because as we've talked about before, it's more important over a 24-hour period of time, what I get concerned about though is that a lot of women undereat protein, and if you're trying to build muscle, you're trying to lean into metabolic flexibility.

And remember peak bone and muscle mass is our 20s and 30s. if you're 40 you're already at that stage where you're losing some degree of muscle mass and I know on days I lift heavy yesterday was a leg day and it was a punishing leg day, because I had not been lifting heavy the entire week because I was traveling, I did break my fast earlier and I ate more food than I normally do not because I overate, but intrinsically, my body was telling me I needed to have a larger serving of protein, I needed a bit more carbohydrate. And when I talk about nutrient timing, I also like to think about intuitive eating. And not everyone that's listening is at a point where they're able to intuitively eat. I don't want to spend a lot of time focusing on that. But I do want to encourage people to understand that if you are eating to build muscle and you are intermittent fasting, you have to be very careful about when you're eating. And this goes along with not doing these long fasts, not just eating one meal a day, it's very important that you're getting two good-sized portions of protein in in your feeding window, along with the right types of carbohydrates, and healthy fats if they're not already incorporated into your protein source. It sounds like you're doing a lot of the right things. But kids are very different, even my teenagers are still growing. I'm more concerned about them getting their fuel in around their workouts because they are still growing up, so they're still in this massive anabolic phase. I'm on the other end of the spectrum trying to make sure I'm not breaking down my muscle by not giving it enough stimulus and then not giving it the right nutrients over a 24-hour period of time. Melanie, what are your thoughts?

Melanie Avalon: I thought that was great. This was perfect timing because I'd already scheduled this question in the lineup. And then I had been listening to Peter Attia’s, I think his most recent episode, have you listened to it with Don Layman?

Cynthia Thurlow: So good.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. it's episode number 224. The title is Dietary protein: amount needed, ideal timing, quality, and more by Don Layman, PhD. I was excited last night because he started talking answering this question. I was like, yes, it’s perfect. So, interestingly and apparently, he works with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon a lot, which is awesome. He talks about the nutrient timing of protein. And I realize--, okay, she specifically makes it about protein, which in general, nutrient timing, I do believe is speaking to this protein question. Something I did not know until listening to that episode last night. Yes, so protein is key to maintaining muscle, building muscle post workout. He talks about how if you don't achieve a certain amount of protein after the stimulus of working out, you're not going to build muscle, you've got to have at least was it 30 or 50 grams, I'd have to double check. People who just graze on protein in small amounts all day, they made the case that even if you ate the same amount of total protein, if you ate it in small amounts constantly, you wouldn't get those benefits, especially if you're older because there is a slight caveat for children.

Cynthia Thurlow: Your protein needs change as you get older, you actually need more protein, because you may not be capable of breaking it down as efficiently, so I totally agree with you.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. That's why I mean, even in the longevity sphere of people who are really steeped in the vegan world, who are proponents of low-protein diets, even they say, after a certain age, I think it's 60, how you do need a higher protein intake. And what it likely comes down to is just the ability of the body to actually utilize that protein. And you can overcome that by adding more protein to the mix. The fascinating thing that I did not know until listening last night was he said, for people who are new to training, resistance training for muscle building for them-- yes, you can always, within 24 hours, the signals that are created from that muscle training lasts for up to 24 hours, you can refeed later with protein. If you're new to training, you will get a better effect within two hours post workout. If you are accustomed to training and you've been doing it for a while, those benefits aren't really there anymore. So basically, the more trained you get, the less important it becomes to eat right after working out.

But if you're new to it, it might be more important to eat right after working out. And I was glad to hear that because I had not heard that before. I had been just saying basically the 24-hour thing, which is still true. But I think that's a really important nuance to understand. Something else he talked about and this relates to the question about the kids is apparently kids having little amounts of protein all throughout the day, they actually can utilize that pretty well and that will benefit them, like protein snacks and just that's going to help them. He said for older populations basically said there is no point, really once you're a certain age you've got to get a concentrated amount of protein. And having a little bit of protein here isn't really going to add anything, like it's not going to create the benefits that you want. If anything, it might just be taxing on the system. He came to the same conclusion that Cynthia said, which was, you definitely want to get at least two big protein-rich meals. And the most important ones are the first and last meal. He did say also that you can counter some of the effects. When you get older and you're struggling with the body really utilizing that protein, that's when it becomes even more important to do things which stimulate the hormones to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Again, that's resistance training. Even fasting is counterintuitive as it may seem, but maybe not to our audience because we talk about that a lot. Fasting actually does, prime the body to have a growth stimulus once you actually do start eating again, which is super awesome.

Yeah, and then also they talk about, I know, there are a lot of people who follow for various reasons vegetarian and vegan diets. I completely respect everybody's opinion on that and why they do that. If you're doing it purely for health reasons, and not for personal ethical reasons, I would reevaluate that the more and more I learn about animal protein and its role in the human body, and especially listen to this episode with Don Layman, he really makes the case just how much more suited that is to the human body. And it provides the amino acids that we really need. He also talks about the specific amino acids that are key for muscle building, specifically leucine as well as methenamine and those are going to be higher in animal products. And then something else, I did know this, I don't think it's talked about enough in the vegetarian and vegan world. We often will look at herbivore animals and say, well, they're eating all like a plant-based diet. And they have like, they're super muscular, gorillas and cows and things that. What's really important to understand is that they could have a certain type of gut bacteria that actually ferments plant-based protein and fibers. I don't even know if it's necessarily protein. It can ferment is plant substrates into protein compounds that the animal then can use and we don't necessarily do that. I think that's really, really important to keep in mind, that was a tangent, any other protein thoughts.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think that the biggest takeaway for everyone irrespective of what nutritional philosophy they embrace is the importance of protein. Protein, protein, protein is so important. And I find after working with thousands and thousands of women, when women tell me what they're eating, more often than not, they're really undereating protein and they're wondering why they can't build muscle. They're wondering why they're losing insulin sensitivity irrespective of the life stage that they're in. And I just remind them, this is really something that we can lean into. And it doesn't mean that you go from eating 40 grams total a day to 100. But it's something you can be diligently work towards every single day to get to a point where you're going to garner the best benefits.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Alrighty.

Cynthia Thurlow: Next question.

Melanie Avalon: I will just comment one last thing. She said she was excited for her Lumen delivery, if listeners are curious what that is. Do you have a Lumen?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it measures the levels of carbon dioxide in your breath to ascertain if you are burning carbs or fat and then it helps make macronutrient recommendations to help you take charge of your metabolic health. Do you have a code for them, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. It might be CYNTHIA, will have to double-check them.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, we can put both in the show notes. I know mine is melanieavalon.com/lumen and while it changes around right now the code is MEL M-E-L that gets you $100 off, which is amazing, but sometimes it changes. If you want to check the most recent code, you can actually have a Facebook group for Lumen as well as for CGMs and Biosense, which is a ketone device. So, just go to Facebook and type in Lumen Melanie Avalon, and that should come up. So, Okie Dokie. Shall we go on to our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. Our next question is from Moose and the subject is: Struggling with intermittent fasting. “I first learned of intermittent fasting about six months ago when my yoga teacher suggested I check out the Delay Don't Deny Facebook group. I ordered the book since I've also ordered Fast. Feast. Repeat and I'm reading that as well. I have been listening to the podcast also. I've been attempting intermittent fasting since then and did have a hiccup. For a phase I was drinking Laqua because I thought that was allowed but I learned otherwise and quit that several weeks ago. I have been drinking black coffee and water and doing the clean fast, I know no gum, mints, etc., or anything with flavor. But I really struggle with being so hungry and my tummy growling, I have been tracking my fasting and on occasion I make it to 16 hours, but often I get hangry before then. I'm just wondering if this is common since most of the stories I hear on the podcast people share they have no problem. And it was easy for them to go 18-plus hours early on. I feel like a failure and I'm frustrated. I believe in fasting and the health benefits and want to embrace it completely and lose weight. And I'm not in a hurry but I know that what I am doing, only making it 12 to 16 hours is more for maintenance and not weight loss. For reference, I am 5’6” and currently about 170 pounds and 45 years old, I would like to lose at least 25 pounds. Thank you much for any support or advice.”

Melanie Avalon: Thank you for your question and whenever we get a question like this, I always think it's a little bit telling or noteworthy when people tell us about their fasting experience and issues with either hunger or not working, and then there is no mention of what they're eating, so it's just about fasting. And to me that says I think a lot of people look to fasting and they think fasting, all of the magic is in the fasting, but there is much magic in what you're eating as well. And this actually piggybacks pretty nicely off of the question right before this. Because if you're experiencing hunger, addressing what you're eating could possibly help that a lot. So, are you eating a high protein or moderate to high protein diet in your eating window, making sure that you actually are getting in the fuel and the substrates that you need? So, we'll make it much more likely that you won't be as hungry while eating. Also, the actual macros of what you're eating can be really helpful, so some people do really well with low carb, for example, and they find that when they go low carb with their eating choices, it actually really, really helps their hunger in the fasting period. Some people, it's the complete opposite. they try to stick out this low-carb situation, and they just never feel full. And then they add in carbs. And that's magic for them. I personally follow a-- and I always wonder how many people think I'm low carb, I eat a really high-carb, low-fat diet. That's all whole foods, it's really high protein. But I basically eat a ton of like, and I'm not saying everybody should do this, because I think everybody should find what works for them but like, for me what really works is really high protein from fish and shellfish and chicken and steak, lean cuts of all of that. And then, I eat a lot of fruit and it works really well for me, and I do the fasting. But some people do really well with low carb. Their handle is Moose Elk, so Moose Elk, I would look at your eating and what you're doing there. Yeah, I would really look at the eating honestly. Do you have thoughts, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do and I'm not 100% sure if this is a male or a female, I'm going to assume a female and just speak from the perspective of if you've been doing this for six months, and you're still struggling to get to more than 16 hours, then something needs to shift. It may be that you're not eating enough in your feeding window. It could be as simple as you need larger portions of protein which is going to help with satiety like Melanie mentioned there needs to be a degree of experimentation. You're also if you're a female, you're in this perimenopausal range and it is going to get a little more challenging, it does not mean impossible to fuel weight loss because you're having these fluctuations and progesterone and estrogen. This is a perfect example of, really leaning into what's your stress management like, how is your sleep? Are you consuming an anti-inflammatory diet that could be, removing inflammatory foods like gluten, grains, dairy, and yes, dairy can be inflammatory in certain people alcohol, sugar, I would definitely try an elimination diet to see if maybe there is a food that's inflaming you I do find for a lot of perimenopausal women that gluten and dairy, in particular, can be problematic as well as alcohol, making sure you're lifting weights. I don't know if you're doing any weight training that is certainly very important that will help with insulin sensitivity. But I do find that perimenopause is a particularly challenging time. Sometimes people are over fasting and that's driving problems. People are eating too many nuts and too much cheese which is easy to overeat. I think you really just need to look comprehensively at what you're doing and make some adjustments and know that no one should have to white-knuckle fasting. If you're really struggling then I would break your fast and eat.

But I would also really make sure you're eating the food and the meals that you're consuming. Melanie and I are very transparent about the way that we eat. I eat a lot of protein. I generally carb cycle which means I don't eat the same amount of carbohydrates every day. I really like berries a couple of times a week depending on how much I'm lifting, I may have squash or sweet potato. I really try to stay away from grains because they generally don't agree with me. But I think for each one of us, it's leaning into what makes our bodies feel good. I do better with leaner meat and leaner fish than I do with fatty fish and fatty meats. And I've been consistently that way my entire life, but I would encourage you to really, maybe keep a food diary, maybe do a whole 30 to figure out what's going on. And the other thing that I would say is because you're 45, I would make sure you have baseline metabolic health markers done. What's your fasting insulin? Do you have a glucometer? Or do you have a CGM, continuous glucose monitor I am really looking at the nuances and we will link up some of the more popular podcasts I've done talking about perimenopause, one of the top five podcasts this year was with Dr. Tabatha Barber. And we'll include that with the show notes so that you can listen to that at your leisure. But perimenopause is a time when a lot of things have to change. I'm obviously a living example, I tell everyone that you can navigate your 40s and 50s and still be metabolically healthy and flexible. But you have to make changes and that's the most honest answer I can give you.

Melanie Avalon: That was very helpful and very comprehensive. Thank you.

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we go on to our next two questions?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: We have two questions from Robin. She says, “I am a 67-year-old female doing IF since August 2021. I'm 5’7”, my starting weight was 188, my current weight is 155, and my goal weight is 145. Number one, what protein powder do you recommend? Can I mix it in Greek yogurt? I find it hard to consume enough protein in my four to eight-hour eating window.” Do you have a recommended protein powder?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do if you tolerate whey, I like MariGold, It's New Zealand small batch whey. They have chocolate malt, they have vanilla, they have unflavored and that's my preferred whey protein. If you're going to mix it, I would do full-fat Greek yogurt. But I would also make sure that that's not the only protein source you're getting in your window. You really should have an eight-hour window to make sure you're getting no less than 35 to 50 grams of protein in boluses. I think that's super important.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, so basically refer to the earlier questions about all of the proteins. I had Dr. David Minkoff on the show. I really like his perfect amino protein powder. If you go to melanieavalon.com/perfectamino, the coupon code MELANIEAVALON will get you a discount. Beyond that, I eat much just real protein, I don't ever eat really protein powders. But if I do eat protein powders, I encourage listeners to look at the ingredients on the protein powders, because there are many on the market and they're full of just gross stuff, like additives and flavors and just things you don't want in your body. So, finding protein powders that are really just the source of the protein is, in my opinion, really ideal. So, that PerfectAmino is literally just aminos essentially. There are some nice grass-fed whey proteins on Amazon that I've ordered before. I also like single ingredient like egg white-type protein powders. And yes, Cynthia said, of course, yes, you can mix it in your yogurt.

Cynthia Thurlow: And that will definitely bump up your protein and MariGold is great. It's a small company and if you use code, CYNTHIA, you'll get free shipping on it. But that's probably my best recommendation. If someone's listening that's plant based. There is a lot of junky plant-based options that are out there, but Food Babe’s Truvani is probably the cleanest that I've seen for people that are looking for a plant-based option. I personally don't love it because it doesn't mix very well. But I've tried everything, everything I've recommended, I've tried including the whey protein, although I have to be careful with that because I'm dairy-free and dairy doesn't always agree with me. But I think if you're tolerating dairy that is a nice option and if you're looking for a lower likelihood of immunity, evoking immune response, you can look at Tera’s whey T-E-R-A, Tera’s whey. They have a sheep milk protein that is super high-quality small batch and you can purchase that pretty readily and easily as well.

Melanie Avalon: And here's a huge question for you, Cynthia. I'm super excited for when you release your creatine powder. So, creatine is an amino acid. Is it something that people use for their protein intake? Or is it a more specific use not really related to protein intake numbers?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's an important question. It's to be used in addition too, we know that women's creatine needs to change with their menstrual cycle, they actually increase if you're vegetarian or vegan. And there is a lot of really good research to demonstrate that creatine is absolutely critical with menopausal, perimenopausal women, so there is really no one that doesn't need it to help with ATP production, to help with healthy muscle maintenance, to help with cognition, and brain health. And I was telling Melanie before we started recording that we're getting very close, hopefully next month the creatine will be available and I'm really excited because the more I learn about creatine, the more I realize that we should all be adding this as a supplement. So, you can throw it into things like a smoothie, you can throw it into water, it's going to be very multifunctional and no junk.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited especially because I keep hearing people talk about it. And I do think it's really important. I've never personally used it and I can't wait till you have yours because I'm going to integrate it into my personal arsenal.

Cynthia Thurlow: Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: All right, second question from Robin. She says, “I've been on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy since I went through menopause at age 57. I still have a uterus, so I take estrogen and progesterone sublingually as well as topical testosterone. In the past when I took too much estrogen, I bled some, so now I take a lower dose. My gynecologist told me I have a hypersensitive uterus. I've even considered a hysterectomy. I won't have to worry about this. My question, “Can I do bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for life?” And all your podcasts I've listened to on hormones I haven't heard this question addressed. Also, what do you think about a hysterectomy for my situation? Thanks, Melania and Cynthia. I love you ladies. And I'm thankful for you both.” And she is from Florida. I hope all is well with her with that hurricane situation.

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. Well, Robin, thank you for your thoughtful question. First and foremost, a lot of the research and this is not medical advice let me just say that upfront, just based on what you've shared. I really oral progesterone that actually is much more protective of the uterus, so that might be something worth discussing with your GYN. I don't think it's so much that you have a hypersensitive uterus. I just think there is a right dose for you. And perhaps you and your GYN have not finetuned that enough yet. Yes, when estrogen and progesterone are not properly balanced, it can cause you to have some bleeding which, of course, is not fun in menopause, of course. In terms of whether or not you can take bioidenticals for life, the research is now suggesting that it is safe to do so. There are just many benefits. I think for a lot of women, they go a period of time greater than three to five years after going through menopause before starting the medications, starting hormone replacement therapy. And there is some research to suggest that the most benefit is garnered when it started within three to-- there is a beautiful three- to five-year window after going into menopause when you've utmost benefit from starting it. But that does not mean if we have a listener who hasn't started it in that window that there are not benefits. We know there are a lot of benefits, especially because we think about brain health, heart health, bone health, cognition, vaginal health, etc. I'm glad that your GYN is comprehensive because you're also on testosterone, which is also very important. And for people that are listening, the more you learn about testosterone and the benefits of that it's very, very important for maintaining healthy body composition.

Although it can be tricky because some healthcare providers do not offer that as an option. Your second question is what do you think about a hysterectomy for your situation? I would have to really be at a point where I was having a lot of bleeding to consider going through a surgical procedure although hysterectomies can now be done through the vagina, so they can be pretty benign. That's probably a better question for your GYN. Some women think it's no big deal to have their uterus removed. Others are very sensitive to having their uterus removed emotionally and otherwise. And so, I think that's a highly personal question. But with dosage adjustments, hopefully, you will not have any more bleeding and that will not be problematic, and you will avoid having to have a surgery. But I'm grateful that it sounds like you've got a very comprehensive GYN that they're so on top of not only your symptoms but helping to take care of your brain, body, bones, and heart in menopause. Melanie, what are your thoughts?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, just a few quick things. We've talked about this on the show before. But every time the question of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy comes up, I do think it's important to share the information about how a lot of the potential fear surrounding bioidentical hormones was based on studies that have since been reevaluated and that they're potentially misleading in the cancer risks for women related to this, just something to consider. it could be really beneficial for a lot of people and I think a lot of the concerns and fears surrounding it might be based in some misleading data that happened with, was it the Women's Health Initiative?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, that came out in 2002 and we have a whole generation of providers and women who are fearful to take hormone replacement therapy. I did an excellent podcast with doctors Avrum Bluming and Dr. Carol Tavris earlier this year, which we'll link in the show notes. There is a fantastic resource called Why Estrogen Matters. And I have to honestly tell you that that book is life-changing. I can't tell you how frequently I recommend it, not just for other healthcare professionals that I work with and interact with, but also patients. And I think it's very important that women understand that you don't have to white knuckle perimenopause, and menopause, you don't have to suffer. Your quality of life is hugely impacted by replacement of the hormones that you've lost. It does not mean there is anything wrong with you. I think it's all about honoring each woman and what they want to have done. I worry the most about brain health. I should be completely honest with you. We look at women's rates of Alzheimer's, they go up exponentially when they're in menopause, as we're becoming less insulin sensitive. I just did a fantastic podcast with Max Lugavere talking a lot about this and about his trajectory in his career and the impact of his mother's illness on his decision to really lean into cognition and brain health. And really that's become his life's work. And so, I always say to women that each one of us have to make the decision that makes the most sense for us.

But education and empowerment are absolutely critically important. And I would strongly recommend if you're on the fence or you're feeling unsure, or you're working with someone that's not comfortable prescribing hormones that you work with someone that is and a lot of the clinicians that I've done podcasts with and there are many of them. Dr. Tabatha Barber, Dr. Shawn Tassone. Dr. Bluming is, I believe, no longer practicing. But there are many practitioners Dr. Felice Gersh, who's going to come back on the podcast this fall and we're going to talk all about perimenopause and menopause. There are many heart-centered practitioners, who want women to thrive in perimenopause and menopause. You don't have to do it white-knuckling it kind of like this is this reoccurring theme in this podcast? You don't have to white-knuckle fasting and you don't have to white-knuckle going through reverse puberty. Hopefully that's helpful, Robin but I think you're It sounds like you're in very good hands. And I'm very happy to see that.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you for drawing attention to that. Something I haven't even remotely thought about, not having had that experience of perimenopause and menopause. The only other thing I was going to comment on was, the testosterone piece is just something I want to share. It's with the Women's Health Initiative study thing. I mentioned last episode, how I recently had Doc-Koz back on my show for his new book called Get the Func Out which is a really comprehensive look at seven key hormone systems in the body and how to address that. But he actually opens up the book, and we talked about his story on the show. He went on testosterone therapy, so this is for men. We talked about this, like, I don't know why this isn't more well-known apparently if you're a man and you go on testosterone therapy it can actually lead to infertility, at least while you're on it. So, like, while he was on it, it dropped his sperm to like 0, which he didn't even know is a thing and apparently, it's very, very common. And he was able to reverse it by going off of the testosterone and doing a lot of specific nutritional protocols. And he did say he reversed the fertility issue while he is in this period of maybe wanting to have children, but then he did say, once he after-- when he is on the flipside of children, he'll definitely go back on it because it's the best he's ever felt. I asked him about testosterone supplementation in women and he said that he doesn't really see it.

Cynthia Thurlow: Is he a clinician?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, he's a doctor. Yeah. And then I was talking with one of my other doctor friends about females and this is why I'm just really curious your thoughts on it about testosterone supplementation in women and he was not a fan either. Have you done it in your practice?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, here's the thing, and this is going to come. This might be the most strongly worded response this entire podcast listener base has ever heard from me. When men are trying to tell women, this is very much part of the patriarchy. Rarely will you hear me sound this firm about this. When men are trying to tell women that testosterone is not important, we actually have more testosterone in our bodies until we go into menopause than we do relative to estrogen. It is in smaller amounts. But it is very important for brain health, for bone health, for muscle health, to somehow suggest that women don't need supplemental testosterone. And obviously, this is prescription. This is not supplementation. Typically, it's in a cream form. I think on a lot of levels when you have women going into menopause, and they're starting to struggle with body composition changes, they're losing muscle mass, it is a direct reflection of this loss of testosterone and testosterone starts to slowly peter off, unlike estrogen that gets almost you get shoved off a cliff. It can be a precipitous drop, as you're in the latter stages of perimenopause. I always with caution when I hear male physicians suggesting that it's not important. That has never been my clinical experience. Most if not all of the male and female physicians that I refer to and work with and interact with that are GYNs. They're very pro-testosterone for the right person. Obviously, most people in the United States, both male and female, that have low testosterone levels, it's a direct reflection of stress because our body has a hormone hierarchy. They can also be a direct reflection of insulin resistance. And you get this aromatization of testosterone to estrogen. That's why you sometimes will see feminization of men, not because they choose to become more feminized, but it's because their testosterone is being aromatized into estrogen. And I think it's highly personal. I do find most in the functional integrative medicine space talk very openly about using testosterone. It's very much a bio-individual thing.

But the more I learn about the way that hormone therapy has been put on hold effectively since the Women's Health Initiative came out, the more I feel it's important for providers to speak out and just say that most of the women that I see fully optimized in perimenopause and menopause are very likely on some degree of testosterone and I'm not talking about pellets? Pellets are wildly unpredictable. I have colleagues that call it 1920s medicine. Now, if you're someone that gets pellets and you feel good on pellets, great, but I find most women feel good for about a week or two, and then their testosterone levels plummet and they don't feel great. But testosterone is needed for a lot of different things in the body. And although I respect the physicians that you've interacted with, I have to politely disagree and say that testosterone therapy is absolutely part of bioidenticals for the proper individual at the right time. I see a lot of people do really well starting with progesterone and then adding in testosterone if it's needed, and then adding in the estrogen piece, but it's really dependent on your labs, how you feel, the symptoms you're experiencing, and finding the right provider to be able to support your body and your needs and your goals in a way that is aligned with what you're looking for?

Melanie Avalon: Thank you for sharing that. Yeah, like, I'm so new to the whole testosterone supplementation. And it was-- it was interesting that within a very small timeframe, I discussed it with two different doctors. And yes, very interesting that it was the male perspective and so that's really valuable information.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and I never, like anyone that knows me the phrase, the patriarchy never comes out of my mouth. However, it has been my experience, the more I learn about this time period in women's lives, the more that that really becomes apparent. And I think for everyone listening, finding a provider that can meet your needs is absolutely important. There are some really good books and maybe that'll be part of another podcast where we can unpack that a little bit more and just talk about some of the books that I think are very, very helpful for women. But Why Estrogen Matters is a great starting point to have that conversation with your healthcare professional. And quite frankly, I say this a lot, www.ifm.org I have no affiliation with them but those are functionally integrative medicine-trained people. And you can look in your area, there might be people that are practicing gynecologists or there’re internal medicine physicians, and NPs, and PAs that have an interest in women's hormones and women's health and can meet your needs and you don't have to suffer, so that's the big take home as you do not have to suffer in perimenopause and menopause.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really glad I said that because I'm really glad to hear that answer, so that was very valuable. Thank you.

Cynthia Thurlow: You're welcome.

Melanie Avalon: Quick comment on the patriarchy thing. I wish it would be possible to-- because if you use that word, it feels it comes with all of these assumptions about-- I wish we could just acknowledge it when it actually is existing objectively without feelings of a bias or emotions, but there might just be systems that are from a patriarchy type system manifesting especially in things healthcare.

Cynthia Thurlow: I rarely say that so for listeners to understand that it takes a lot to get me fired up about something. And this is definitely a subject that I feel it is going to be part of my life's work and helping to dispel bad information, bad research, bad results that were reported from Women's Health Initiative and how we effectively have an entire generation of clinicians and women who were fearful to prescribe and then fearful to take hormone replacement therapy.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. While this was very valuable information for listeners, okay, [01:07:40] a few things for listeners before we go. If you would to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode288. Those show notes will have a full transcript, so definitely check that out. It will also have links to everything that we talked about and we talked about a lot of things. And you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast and I am @melanieavalon and Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. I think that is all the things. Anything from you, Cynthia, before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, just know that keep the questions coming. We're loving all the variety and we appreciate you and all the listeners’ support. It really means a lot.

Melanie Avalon: I echo all of that completely. While this has been absolutely wonderful and I will talk to you next week.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Thank you 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! 

 

 

Oct 16

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

Intermittent Fasting

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

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

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

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 500-500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook!

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

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

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

How She Grew Pre-Sale! 

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

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

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

Unfunc Your Gut

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

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

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

Primal Life Organics!

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

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

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

Simply Hydration!

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

TRANSCRIPT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie, how are you?

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, please do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Those were some good friends.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Where is she?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's amazing. 

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Probably.

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

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump in to fasting stuff? 

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: It's game changer for me. 

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Shall we answer one more question? 

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: That was so comprehensive and so helpful. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

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

[Transcription provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

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Oct 09

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

Intermittent Fasting

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

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

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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 10 Oz New York Strip Steaks And 8 Oz Of Lobster Claw And Knuckle Meat FREE In Your First Order!

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

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #12 - Elle Russ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

High dietary protein intake, reducing or eliciting insulin resistance?

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

Protein: metabolism and effect on blood glucose levels

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

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

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #94 - Marty Kendall

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

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

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

TRANSCRIPT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie, how are you?

Melanie Avalon: Good, how about you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: No.

Melanie Avalon: That's the thyroid reset diet.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Really?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Keep it simple.

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Is not what it says.

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Shall we jump into everything for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Yep. Absolutely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: No, it definitely makes sense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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All right. Shall we answer one more question?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: In what? Supplement?

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Legally?

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, up to 20%.

Melanie Avalon: Um, it's concerning.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah.

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: You're welcome.

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

Cynthia Thurlow: It sounds good.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Oct 02

Episode 285: The Mandela Effect, Dry Fasting, Nutritional Supplementation, Pregnancy, Prenatal Health, Maintenance Fasting, Intuitive Eating, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 285 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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

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SHOW NOTES

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

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

20:00 - GREEN CHEF: Go To greenchef.com/ifpodcast135 And Use Code IFPODCAST135 To Get $135 Off 5 Boxes And Free Shipping!

20:40 - AVALONX MAGNESIUM 8: Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At avalonx.us And mdlogichealth.com!

25:20 - Listener Q&A: Leah - Ship food and I don't mean cruise liner

Enjoy 20% Off at At Energybits.com With The Coupon Code MelanieAvalon or CYNTHIAthurlow!

Ep. 226 The Ultimate Superfoods: Spirulina and Algae with Dr. Catharine Arnston

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #129 - Catharine Arnston

Get an exclusive discount at melanieavalon.com/perfectamino with the code melanieavalon!

34:40 - Listener Q&A: Jacek - Fasting without water

Dry Fasting Physiology: Responses to Hypovolemia and Hypertonicity

Effects of Daytime Dry Fasting on Hydration, Glucose Metabolism and Circadian Phase: A Prospective Exploratory Cohort Study in Bahá'í Volunteers

43:30 - Listener Q&A: Sara - Fasting and pregnancy

51:50 - Athletic Greens: Get A FREE 1 year supply of immune-supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE travel packs with your first purchase at athleticgreens.com/IFPODCAST.

53:00 - Listener Q&A: Rebekah - 16 Hour Daily Fasts Enough for Weight Maintenance?

58:10 - Listener Q&A: Heidi - Learning your body

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

Hi, friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get my favorite electrolytes for free. Yes, completely free. And the feedback we have received about LMNT electrolytes from our audience is overwhelming. You guys love LMNT. And I'm so excited because our new offer allows new and returning customers to get free LMNT. On top of that, their super popular grapefruit flavor is back. If you've been having issues with intermittent fasting, electrolytes may just be the thing that you need.

And/or have you heard of something called the keto flu? Here's the thing. The keto flu is not actually a condition. Keto flu just refers to a bundle of symptoms, headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, and insomnia that people experience in the early stages of keto dieting. Here's what's going on. When you eat a low carb diet, your insulin levels drop. Low insulin in turn lowers the production of the hormone, aldosterone. Now, aldosterone is made in the kidneys, and it helps you retain sodium. So, low aldosterone on a keto diet makes you lose sodium at a rapid rate. Even if you are consciously consuming electrolytes, you might not be getting enough. In particular, you need electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium, in order for nerve impulses to properly fire. Electrolytes can easily be depleted while intermittent fasting.

Robb Wolf, who as you guys know is my hero in the holistic health world, worked with the guys at Keto Gains to get the exact formulation for electrolyte supplements to formulate LMNT Recharge, so you can maintain ketosis and feel your best. LMNT Recharge has no sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients, no junk. They're used by three Navy SEAL teams, they are the official hydration partner to Team USA weightlifting, they're used by multiple NFL teams, and so much more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hi everybody and welcome. This is episode number 285 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: Cynthia, I have an important question for you.

Cynthia Thurlow: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: When you had your boys growing up, did they watch VHS Disney movies? Or is that more of a girl thing?

Cynthia Thurlow: Did they watch Disney movies? Yes.

Melanie Avalon: There's a reason I'm asking.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. So, DVDs, yes. And that was before like streaming was a thing.

Melanie Avalon: So, were they growing up at all during the VHS phase?

Cynthia Thurlow: No. Unh-uh.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so this might not be applicable. My sister and I [chuckles] had like a two-hour conversation about-- have you heard about the Tinkerbell Mandela Effect?

Cynthia Thurlow: No.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, this is not even relevant. Well, I will [chuckles] put it out to the audience, because I posted about this on Instagram. And I don't think I've ever received so many DMs in my life about something. So, are you familiar with the Mandela Effect?

Cynthia Thurlow: Not offhand.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's so fascinating. It's basically the concept of memories that society will have that are not real. It started from this idea where apparently-- you would know this. Do you have a memory of Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 1980s?

Cynthia Thurlow: I thought Mandela died in the 2000s because I was actually in South Africa when he was still-- let me see, what year did he die?

Melanie Avalon: 2013.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so you are not part of that. So apparently, a lot of people remember him dying in the 1980s.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, because I was going to say when I was actually in Cape Town. I was in South Africa when he was still alive.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Wow. Yeah. So, that's where the name came from. But there's all of these examples. So, if you google Mandela Effect and there's a Wikipedia page about it. There's all these things where people have memories that are just not accurate. And it's a lot of like weird things where it's like why would everybody remember this very specific thing? That's not true. It's a lot of like logos like people think the Fruit of the Loom has a cornucopia logo, but there's not people think with a Chick-fil-A that it's spelled, how do you think Chick-fil-A spelled?

Cynthia Thurlow: Isn't it? It's like CHIK?

Melanie Avalon:  Right? That's what people think it's not. It's CHICK.

Cynthia Thurlow: See, you know what's interesting though like to me in my brain there's a difference between knowing when Mandela died. Versus like fast-food names. But I agree with you, I can see that.

Melanie Avalon: I remember in the VHS's, of Disney movies with the opening icon where it's the castle, I remember some sort of thing where Tinkerbell comes and flies and like dots the 'I' or like touches the castle with her wand. And if you go online and my sister remembers if you go online, there are like Reddit threads and boards like hundreds of comments and YouTube videos with people being like, "This happened. I remember it," but it didn't. Nobody can find any footage of it. And when I posted it on my Instagram, I probably got 40 DMs of people being like, "Yeah, that happened. I have it in my VHS's." And I had to respond to everyone and be like, "Well, if you find it, you're going to go viral, because nobody can find it." Isn't that crazy?

Cynthia Thurlow: That's just crazy.

Melanie Avalon: So, I don't know. It is a rabbit hole. So, listeners, if you remember this, and if you have footage, please let me know. Because you'll change the internet. Sorry, that's my random opening.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, no, I was going to say, were we spending time last evening thinking about this contemplating?

Melanie Avalon: No, I just had it on my to do list to bring it up on the show, because I literally went down the rabbit hole sort of recently. And then with the Instagram I was like I have to talk about on the podcast. I want to hear our listeners' thoughts, because we have an audience of 40,000 people, and I want to be vindicated in this memory.

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] But it's so funny that when you said Mandela died in the 90s, I was like "No, he didn't." I was there. Like I wasn't there when he died but I was in Cape Town the year that he passed away. So, that left an indelible impression on me. And if any listeners have ever been to South Africa or Cape Town, it's one of the most beautiful cities I've ever been to.

Melanie Avalon: It's just so fascinating. Some of the other ones are people apparently remember some Sinbad Genie movie that does not exist and--

Cynthia Thurlow: Are you talking about the really bad, like 1960s version that has very obvious faux creatures.

Melanie Avalon: Is it with Sinbad?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. But no, not the Sinbad. Like the comedian in the Sinbad story.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, oh, no, this is the comedian.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, yeah, no, mm-hmm.

Melanie Avalon: And then like, where's Waldo?, people remember him incorrectly. There's so many things. I find it so fascinating. Oh, Froot Loops is the way it's spelled. It's F-R-O-O-T, Froot Loops.

Cynthia Thurlow: Is it really?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm

Cynthia Thurlow: My parents never let me have those cereals.

Melanie Avalon: I need to ask my mother this, because we could eat the conventional cereals. Like all of them but we couldn't eat Fruity Pebbles because it "had too much sugar." And I have no idea. Like, didn't they all have too much sugar? Why was Fruity Pebbles different? Yes.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, my mom is first generation, and she was very strict about what we ate. Not per se in a bad way but it was a very nutrient-dense whole food. Like we were eating fresh, made bread and liver before it was in vogue.

Melanie Avalon: Wow, I'm jealous of you.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I don't like liver. To this day, I don't like-- I think it's too metallic. I'm never going to be that person that can eat organ meats and do it with a smile on my face. I'm just being honest.

Melanie Avalon: I've thought about this a lot. I've talked about it with things. I would think that I would like organ meats because of the way I eat and they're so nutritious, but I just don't. They don't taste good to me.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's very metallic. I remember and I know you've interviewed Paul Saladino on your podcast as well. And one of the listener questions was what is he eating, and he had just had like spleen and pancreas. And I think I vomited in my mouth. I was like, "Wow."

Melanie Avalon: Testicle?

Cynthia Thurlow:  Yeah, I was like, "That's so impressive." And I'm so impressed. But I could not do that. Not willingly.

Melanie Avalon: It reminds me of the guy who runs Ancestral Supplements who's on Instagram, he's always eating all the organ meats. And Joe Rogan recently made a comment about him being on steroids or something. And he responded and he's like, "No, it's all the organ meats."

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, jeez. [chuckles]. More power to you, my friend.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, well, in any case, anything new in your life?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, just three programs are like underway. September's always like a super busy month. And I'm just grateful. And hopefully my creatine will have a date for it to be officially launched. I'm just kind of holding my breath. Lots of little things along the way that we've had to dial in on to make sure it's perfect to be able to share with the world.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited for you for that and I'm so excited to start taking because I've never taken creatine.

Cynthia Thurlow: The one thing that's interesting is if you read the research on creatine, that's number one. I mean, there's real research, but I've been taking it consistently, since I-- so, when I had my hip surgery in May, and then I wasn't clear to go back to the gym until June, and I didn't get back to the gym until like late June, early July. I track all of my progress through an app on how much weight I can lift and I'm consistently going up by 10 or 15 pounds every single week. And that's with consistent utilization of creatine, which I'm excited about.

Melanie Avalon: Do you know if a person-- because I eat such a high protein diet, do you think I would still benefit from creatine supplementation?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think you could, and I've had conversations with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon about this because obviously I've had her input on some recommendations. We know if you look at research that menstruating women, so if you're actually actively menstruating, menopausal women, vegetarians, and vegans actually need more creatine than those that are not actively menstruating, those that are not postmenopausal. In terms of the research, I think most would do well with at least 3 grams a day of creatine. And then if you're one of those people, like vegetarian, vegan, because you just don't get enough exogenous creatine in your diet, they would likely need 5 grams a day. So, definitely there's differentiators for individuals. And you're still at an age where you've got peak bone and muscle mass. Very different than if you're looking at a 40-year-old woman versus a 50 or a woman versus a 60-year-old woman. So, I think that you're at a position to be able to really maximize muscle mass at your age, knowing what you know, versus people that are a little bit older. They have to work a bit more diligently to build that muscle.

Although it's interesting, one of the things that I've learned is, as we get older, our protein needs actually increased because we don't pull as much-- I mean we just don't break down the amino acids quite as effectively. And so, a 30-year-old like yourself, I know you eat copious amounts of protein, your body probably does a better, more efficient job breaking the protein into amino acids and assimilating them than someone at my stage where I might have to eat a little more protein to make up for the fact that my body doesn't utilize it as efficiently. And that's something I'm constantly thinking about. That's why it's so important you're hitting those protein macros, as opposed to things we just take for granted. Our bodies just don't work as efficiently as we get older. It's almost like we become a very fine-tuned car. And so, there's less bandwidth with which to work with and you have to really be consistent to be able to see efforts. I look at my teenagers who put on muscle effortlessly, because their bodies are in this massive anabolic phase, versus where I am where I'm in more of a catabolic phase, unless I'm working against that diligently. I'm not sure, did that help?

Melanie Avalon: It sounds like, especially as you're older, it's much more of a needs-based situation compared to maybe from just more of an optimization situation.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. And that's the beauty of being younger/.Things just work at a more optimal level. And of course, we don't realize this until we get older than we're like, "Oh, I never appreciated that because I just didn't know." That's kind of how I reflect on the differences of what I knew 15 years ago, versus now like, "Dang, had I known I would have lifted really, really heavy in my 20s and 30s." And whereas now it's like it requires twice as much effort to get enough of that muscle protein synthesis, and a little bit of HRT definitely helps.

Melanie Avalon: Or it's kind of similar to-- the next supplement I'm making with the NMN, very similar. And that I feel like when you're older, we know NAD levels are so depleted with age. And so, you would definitely from a needs space be wanting to take it and in higher quantities compared to when you're younger, it just helps. It just optimizes everything. Obviously. We're curious, in general, with that, with creatine, with anything, I wonder what the effects are. If you do start younger, and doing it consistently, are you kind of warding off some of those deficit issues later?

Cynthia Thurlow: I would hope so. I've had whole conversations with my kids about the fact that-- one's almost 18 years, he's fully grown, He's 6 feet tall. And whether or not we're going to consider adding creatine, that remains to be seen. I think when you're a fully grown adult, it's different than people who are still kind of growing in this massive anabolic phase, especially young men.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, completely makes sense. Wow, super excited for that to be available. So, listeners, stay tuned. When it is available? You think it will be on your website?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's the general plan. We're going to actually create a lead page so that people can get on the list for when it goes on sale, because we do anticipate it will sell out and so they'll get the first rights of purchase over other individuals.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get $135 off plus free shipping on our favorite meal delivery kit ever. I knew I wanted to partner with a meal delivery service for this show, but I knew it had to be the best of the best. I looked at all of them, Green Chef is that. Green Chef is a CCOF, that's California Certified Organic Farmers meal kit company. Green Chef uses seasonal produce, premium proteins, and organic ingredients that you can trust, giving you access to unique farm-fresh ingredients, plus sustainably sourced seafood. They are actually the only meal kit that is both carbon and plastic offset. I was under the impression that meal delivery services would be more taxing on our environment. So, my mind was blown when I realized that with Green Chef, you're actually reducing your food waste by at least 25% compared to grocery shopping.

I know our listeners follow an array of different diets. Green Chef has plans for keto and paleo, vegan, vegetarian, fast and fit Mediterranean, and gluten free. Yes, they are actually the only meal delivery kit that has a keto version.

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All right. Shall we jump into everything for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: All right. So. to start things off, we have a question from Leah. And the subject is "Ship food, and I don't mean cruise liner." Leah says, "Good morning, Cynthia and Melanie. I'm a Navy sailor and so is my fiancé, Chris, who is actually on deployment right now. He is totally on board with IF. Ha, ha." I think your pun is funny, Leah. "And he tried to start it while he was out on the ship but it's difficult because meals have set times when the galleys are open, and the food is definitely not choice food. Knowing that IF is here to stay for me even if when I should wind up back on the ship, and that he very much wants to get into shape and stay that way, so IF we'll probably stick around for him too, I have questions about supplementation in the absence of being able to make better food choices.

For those of us who don't have the ability to get food that is good for our bodies, is there something we could use to give our bodies the nutrients needed? Examples would be anything fresh in the way of fruits and veggies. For my last deployment. I remember it being difficult to find spinach and the salad bar was often quite sad and fruit was really, really rare. Everything was ultra-processed, and the breads were all the cheapest white breads. Rice too was low quality. Now that Cynthia is on the show as a resource from the healthcare field, and knowing that Melanie is all about the food choices, I wonder if either of you all would have ideas on how to be as healthy as possible without access to wholefoods or farmers' markets, or such things as I've started to utilize after learning about food industry things. God bless your tangents, Melanie. That led to your other show.

I fully intend to utilize some of the supplements I've already experimented with while looking for foods that had the things, like iron in the form of beef organ supplements and Melanie's magnesium that I also got my mom onto." Yay. "And try others as I go along. But my knowledge of supplements is limited to what I've learned from y'all. There's also powders for greens and things, but I don't know how to sift through them. Ha, ha, you can tell I love dad jokes and puns and learn which ones are good and which ones are not worth it. Basically, assume I'll get some form of meat, pork and chicken and occasionally ground beef, limited to one or two servings per meal. And that's about it. Everything else will need to be something I provide myself. This is daunting. Sorry, y'all, Leah."

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Leah, thank you to you and Chris for all that you do to help protect us as a nation and for Chris' current deployment. When I read through your question, I thought immediately of Athletic Greens, which is a product that I myself have used over the last two years. And for full transparency, I think I've tried everything on the market, and I'm not exaggerating. And I find most greens powders are incredibly herbaceous, to the point where they're not palatable. Athletic Greens has been something that myself, my husband, and my kids have been able to utilize. And I think it's a really nice balanced way to get quite a bit of vitamins, minerals, and greens powders into your diet, especially if you're feeling or perceiving that when you are deployed, you're really limited in your fresh fruit and vegetable options alongside with protein. So, I probably would make one investment as opposed to multiple investments and at least try it out. I think that's a good first step in order to kind of flesh out the options that you have available. And plus, it's convenient, because they have little packets that you can just throw into water. So, you don't have to a blender, you can literally throw out one of their shaker bottles and use some filtered water and you've got a really clean option that you can utilize. It's high in ORACs, so high in antioxidants. And it tastes good, which is most important because if it tastes good, then you'll consume it.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Yeah, speaking to the Athletic Greens, personally, I have actually haven't tried them or used them, but I knew Cynthia was a huge fan. And they approached us about wanting to support the podcast, which is awesome. And I was like, "Oh, I know Cynthia loves them." So, we will have a code for them. Because I know they're on your other show as well. In general, Cynthia, do they normally have a discount code? Because we don't know right now, as of this recording, what our offer is going to be. Is it normally a discount?

Cynthia Thurlow: Typically, what they do is they give you a free vitamin D and then travel packs. That's part of using the discount code. So, it's really convenient, because for me, I don't like to have to put things in plastic baggies to take them with me. I can just throw the travel packs in my luggage or my bag and it's totally portable. And who doesn't need more vitamin D? Let's be honest.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. So, by the time this episode does air, there will be a spot for it, an ad for it in this episode. So, either look in the show notes and/or listen to that when it plays in probably a few minutes, and it will have the offer. So, check out that link for the offer for that. I would supplement that, no pun intended, I'm a little bit unclear if she can just bring supplements, or if she can also bring packaged food type situations. Because basically the way I would approach this is maximizing-- I know you said you're limited on how many servings of meat that you can have, but maximizing all of the servings of meat that you can get. The nice thing about meat, and this is something that Robb Wolf talks about a lot, which is that even the worst quality meat-- and I know there's lots of issues with conventional agriculture. And I could go on a whole tangent about that and problems with it and how it's not humane and the environment. And I'm not just saying that that's not a problem. That said, conventional meat is still very nutritious, which is great for protein, vitamins.

So, I would maximize all of the meat that you actually can eat. If you can bring actual packaged food with you, some things you could bring would be-- I don't know what stores are called in different places. But like at Kroger and Ralph's and places like that, you can get salmon pouches that are in these-- I don't remember what the brand is. They're like packets and they're salmon and the good thing is, they don't say wild caught on the-- or they might. I have read that canned salmon and packaged salmon tend to be wild caught actually. So, I would get like those packets, those would be really easily transportable. Other protein sources like jerky sticks and things like that. I know. Isn't there a brand that you'd like for jerky, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I love Paleovalley, I'm devoted to Paleovalley. I love Paleovalley. We'll include a link in the show notes. That's my favorite by far.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, awesome. So that would be an option as well. Then also, if you feel like you're just not going to get enough protein, this might be a situation where you want to bring a protein powder. I've had on my shows, both John Jaquish as well as Dr. David Minkoff. They both have a protein powder supplement that's a complete protein powder without additives. Dr. Minkoff's is called Perfect Amino. I'll put a code in the show notes for that. So, for that, you can go to melanieavalon.com/perfectamino and use the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON. So, that might be something to try.

And then, moving beyond the actual protein, the second aspect of it would be what Cynthia was talking about with Athletic Greens. Getting those greens-related nutrition, and then some. I do think the Athletic Greens would be an amazing way to go. Something else might be spirulina tablets. We're actually currently in development to create a Spirulina that I will have produced, in part, which will be very exciting. So, stay tuned for that. In the meantime, I love, and listeners have really loved Catharine Arnston's ENERGYbits.

Cynthia Thurlow: She's awesome.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I really like those listeners really love those. And those are really, really rich nutrition. Do you have a code for them as well, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. I literally just had a podcast drop about a week and a half ago from her. So, we can include that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I know, mine for that is energybits.com with the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON, for 20% off.

Cynthia Thurlow: And mine's CYNTHIATHURLOW.

Melanie Avalon: Perfect. So, either of those will get you 20% off. And then like I said, we are hopefully developing my own. But I think that algae situation is a really great way to get really concentrated nutrition in a very travel global form. Another thing to consider might be nutritional yeast, if that's something that you like. Well, first of all, I find it so delicious, but it is just like super high and all of the vitamins including B12. So, it can be great for vegetarians and vegans, which I know does not apply to you but that's another great option. Although I personally really advocate getting a version without folic acid because a lot of them are fortified with folic acid. There's one brand I really like called Sari, S-A-R-I, so I'll put a link to that in the show notes. But that's all the things I would look into.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's very comprehensive.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, hopefully that was helpful for Leah. Shall we go on to our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is a question from Jasick. The subject is "Fasting without water." "Could there be some health benefits to prolonged not drinking anything? I mean, not even water? Do you know of anyone who's seriously considered that or is it just assumed that there are none? Seems to me, all the evolutionary arguments usually given in favor of fasting apply just as well also in that case."

Melanie Avalon: All right, Jasick. Thank you so much for your question. I'm actually very surprised by the lack of scientific literature looking at this, I thought there would be a lot more studies and there are all I could find like as far as large studies go, I found a 2020 study called "Dry fasting physiology responses to hypovolemia and hypertonicity." And then, I found one called Effects of daytime dry fasting on hydration, glucose metabolism and circadian phase. A prospective exploratory cohort study." And do you know if it's Baha'i, is that how you say it, Cynthia? B-A-A-H-A-I with a lot of interesting punctuation, symbols. Something in India, I believe Baha'i fasting. So, in those volunteers, and that was a 2021 study- It was nice reading the studies. They also noted in the study that there's not a lot of literature, which not that I like reading that, but it makes me feel better about not completely missing something when they're saying that, "Yes, indeed, this is not very much explored."

So, the 2020 study was a very small study, but they basically looked at five consecutive days of dry fasting, that's a long fast, preceded by two days before where they ate normally, and then three days after where they ate normally. And they were just basically looking at their biomarkers and were trying to see if it had any negative effects on everything that they were experiencing. And they concluded that it was essentially safe to follow and there wasn't anything too concerning.

And then, the follow-up study was the one that talked about in those Baha'i fasting people. And what it was noting was that a lot of the studies on fasting are typically on people fasting for Ramadan, and that this Baha'i fasting situation was actually a more appropriate way to look at dry fasting specifically. And they as well found that it's safe and has no negative effects on hydration, it can improve fat metabolism and it can cause transient phase shifts of circadian rhythms. The improved fat metabolism is something that I think people talk about, because you will hear about people dry fasting, and it's come up in a few different books that I've read.

And it is advocated, and I say this hesitantly because this is what "they say, but like I said, I couldn't find many studies on it. They say that you will burn more fat if you're dry fasting. And the concept, or at least one of the theories is that when you're not taking in water, your body needs hydration. And so, we can actually create metabolic water by breaking down fat. And it's actually something that's not in the context of dry fasting and weight loss but Dr. Rick Johnson, who Cynthia and I both love, he actually talks about this whole process of metabolic water created from fat.

And so that study that I referenced in the Baha'i people who are fasting, they did find when they compare the data to Ramadan fasters, that it seemed like-- they said basically, in Ramadan, with weight loss, it can be all over the place. Like sometimes people lose, sometimes they don't. In this Baha'i study, everybody seemed to lose. And they posited that potentially dry fasting could lead to more weight loss than not dry fasting. So, yes, my takeaway, it sounds like when it's studied scientifically, that it's probably okay and safe from a health perspective. That said, I can totally see that people might have issues with electrolytes. So, please don't go by just that. If you're going to dry fast, go by your body and how you feel. It's possible that you might lose more weight dry fasting than not. We definitely need a lot more research on all of it. Do you have thoughts, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. And it's interesting, because the conversation that I had with Rick Johnson when we talked about the camel, everyone assumes the camel has water in its hump and it's actually fat. And so that metabolic water that's created as the camel needs food was fascinating, and I think in many ways, really shifted my thought process about dry fasting. Now with that being said, I think dry fasting is absolutely positively a more advanced technique. This is not for newbies; this is for people who are very attuned to their bodies. I think that dry fasting is something that's employed by a lot of influencers that are out there. And I think you have to be very mindful of your own baseline health before you start utilizing it. If you're someone that's prone to orthostatic dizziness, you're dizzy, you get lightheaded, probably not the strategy for you because part of dry fasting is not ingesting any water. And there's hard dry fasting and there's soft dry fasting, let me explain a distinction.

Melanie Avalon: Did not know about that.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, yeah, it's fascinating. So, I've been down a rabbit hole about dry fasting. So, soft dry fasting means you still take a shower. Because you're still absorbing water, when you are showering, right? If you are a hard dry faster, it means you are not bathing. Or maybe you're quickly washing your armpits and other areas that need washing. But you're really not getting in a shower, you're not getting in a bath, you're not absorbing water through your skin. You're very, very devoted to the process of a hard dry fast, which is designed to be exactly that, hard. It's my understanding that a lot of people were so conditioned to being hydrated during the day, I know I'm very water focused all day long, which is why, more often than not, if I do a long podcast, I have to run the bathroom when I'm done just to empty my bladder.

But with that being said, I think this is absolutely a strategy that we probably need more research on. It's not one to be entertained by people that are new to fasting. That's my personal opinion, I think it's a strategy that should only be utilized by people who are ready for that kind of fasting, because it is going to be a bit more vigorous than a traditional water fast for 24 hours or a water fast or 48 hours. And you really have to understand that you may lose weight during the dry fast. But as soon as you hydrate, that's probably going to just kind of equal out. I think it's being very clear about what are you trying to do. A lot of people are like, "Oh, I want to do dry fasting, because I want to lose more fat." And that's all fine and good. But I think for me personally, although I have tried dry fasting, I'm the kind of person who really enjoys drinking water. So, it's actually harder for me not to drink water than it is for me not to eat food because it's such a part of my lifestyle.

I think there's a lot that remains to be seen. I would imagine a lot of the big intermittent fasting community probably would be aligned with what we're saying that we need more research. This is a more advanced technique. In fact, I'm in the midst of creating like an advanced intermittent fasting, either webinar or series or class or something, and dry fasting will absolutely positively be part of that.

Melanie Avalon: I wish they would do some randomized controlled trials, and really trying to figure out if this theory about dry fasting, creating the need for water, and so breaking down fat to create metabolic water that we otherwise wouldn't have broken down, I would just love to know if that's actually what's happening. Because if so, it's potentially a very nice tool in the toolbox to do smartly. But it would be nice to know if that's actually the case [chuckles]. Or if it's just people are not drinking water and so all the weight loss is more related to dehydrated cells. I'll be excited to see what you continue to learn with all that, especially if you do integrate it into some of your programs.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, definitely, it's on the to do list. And every week, my team and I have a meeting and every week, we say. "Cynthia is going to table this till next week." I was like, "That's right."

Melanie Avalon: It's one of those things.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, It's like I have a long list of things I want to do when I can't get all the things done in my life. So, it'll happen eventually.

Melanie Avalon: So, my assistant for the biohacking shows emails me every Wednesday with an updated list of guests we are reaching out to and where I'm at with certain guests. And there's some people that I just table every week. I'm like, "Ask me next week [chuckles] Ask me next week." But it's always on the list.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I mean, there's the things that have to get done. And then, there's a long list of things that should get done.

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: So, the next question comes from Sarah. Subject is "Fasting and pregnancy." And Sara says, "Hey, gals, you've covered bits and pieces of this question on other podcasts, but I'd love to hear what you imagine would be a good beginning to protocol to follow once one discovers she is pregnant. I'm not currently with child, but if I was, for instance, do you IMMEDIATELY stop fasting when you get pregnant, when is it okay to start fasting? Again? I know fasting while nursing is a no, no, but when is it okay to resume? How do you resume a more typical all-day eating schedule? Do you talk to your doctor at all about fasting? Inquiring minds want to know. Very best, Sara."

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Sara and this is definitely an area that I talk about in my book and certainly across social media. I feel very strongly that when you are creating a human or feeding human, it is not the time to restrict your macro intake. If you found out at six weeks that you were pregnant, I would stop that, and this would be my best recommendation. Of course, I would discuss this with your physician, OBGYN, etc. My general recommendation would be when you find out that you're pregnant, you stopped fasting. You're in a position where you're growing a human and especially at the key areas of neurodevelopment, you don't want to be restricting healthy fats, protein, etc.

And from my perspective, when you're done breastfeeding, I think it's absolutely fine to resume intermittent fasting. I know that I have never had a larger appetite than I did when I was breastfeeding. I have two boys. I breastfed both of them for a year. And I jokingly say I could eat like a linebacker. I have never been able to eat that much food since then. But I cannot fathom-- and this is not judgmental. I'm just saying I cannot fathom how you could get by with fasting and breastfeeding because I ate copio-- I mean, I probably had three or four meals a day, large meals, and I was still hungry. And that was not even with exercising. I just walked when I was breastfeeding, I didn't even go to the gym and lift.

I think from that perspective, stopping when you find out you're pregnant with fasting, resuming fasting only after you're done breastfeeding, and having a conversation with your healthcare professional. I've spoken to many, many, many physicians and researchers about this. And we're 100% in agreement about how important it is not to be fasting while pregnant, and not to be fasting while breastfeeding.

Melanie Avalon: So, at that moment, when they find out they're pregnant, and they immediately stopped fasting, do you have a recommendation for how they resume that all-day eating schedule?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think just having like a 12-- like having three meals and maybe having a 12-hour eating window, I think is absolutely fine. I don't encourage anyone to stuff themselves. But when you're actively growing a fetus, the idea of being restrictive about behavior is one that's woefully unaligned with fetal development and neurobiology and all the things that I know. And certainly, I'm not a researcher. But in conversations with so many experts, I feel very, very comfortable saying I would not recommend fasting. I think a 12-hour digestive rest kind of formulation. Same thing I tell women, five to seven days preceding their menstrual cycle, if they back off on the fasting and just have a 12-hour eating window, I find a lot of women actually do really well with that. And 12-hours should really be the minimum for all of us whether we're fasting or not. There should just be 12 hours of digestive rest. It's a great way to optimize digestion.

For a lot of women in pregnancy, they start struggling with constipation, they have a lot of reflux. Especially as the fetus is growing and it's putting more pressure on their digestive organs, it can make eating more challenging because they just can't eat large boluses of food. So, they may find that they have to eat a little more frequently, not in a negative way, but they may find that they tolerate maybe a slightly smaller meal and maybe they're eating every four to six hours in that window.

I had two boys that are 26 months apart. I had an 18-month-old when I got pregnant with my second son. And I remember I was one of those people that when I breastfed, I was working part time as an NP and my options in the hospital were either to have time to pump or eat. So, for the first year of my older son's life, I pumped in the hospital while I was running on patients, and I really didn't have time to sit down and eat a proper meal. So, I ate whatever I could grab on the go. And I'm not suggesting women do this, but it was either I ate a protein bar or I ate nothing. And so, I ate a lot of protein bars on the days I worked. And by the time I got pregnant with my second son, I had no adipose tissue, I was very skinny. I don't recommend anyone do this. But I didn't even realize it was so subtle, I had really lost all my fat stores because they were being utilized to create breast milk. So, I recall my first-- and I was underweight for where I normally was. In the first trimester with my second, I want to say I gained 10 pounds. And my OB wasn't worried because he knew. He just said, "I think your body had to get back to a certain level of body fat to be able to sustain a pregnancy." And I just kind of mindfully ate. I remember there were certain things I craved but I didn't crave junk. It was mostly like protein and carbohydrates, and that's really what my body craved.

I think each pregnancy is unique and different. I was surprised at how good and active I was throughout my pregnancies. I know not everyone may be in the same position, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Melanie Avalon: Do you know if there's a concern about if a woman is breastfeeding and losing weight of the toxins from the fat stores going into the breast milk?

Cynthia Thurlow: I mean, that could be. I mean, that certainly could be a possibility. I think that this is why we want our health really optimized before we become pregnant. I think a great deal about the fact that I have one child who has life-threatening food allergies, so it weighs heavily on me. Was there something I did that made him more susceptible to developing food allergies? I think every mother blames themselves. There's something I must have done that created this, even if empirically there's no evidence to suggest otherwise.

But I think if a woman is already obese, and she gets pregnant and she's potentially releasing some of these toxins, whether it's heavy metals or estrogen-mimicking chemicals, etc., absolutely, I think about-- and I don't have current research on this. So, I can't speak to it beyond just thinking in my knowledge about what happens through lipolysis. I do think that would be of concern if someone was unhealthy and became pregnant. And it also speaks to the fact that people who are metabolically unhealthy are more at risk for certain pregnancy complications, gestational diabetes. Certainly, women that already have PCOS, as an example, are at greater risk for complications related to a multiplicity of factors.

I think the big takeaway from me is, get as healthy as possible before you become pregnant. I know sometimes that occurs randomly, and sometimes people don't have-- the planning per se is maybe not in place but it's certainly something- and that's why I think prenatal nutrition is important. Prenatal care is important. I think it's important to be thoughtful about if you're choosing to have a child that your health is really optimized. Before becoming pregnant, I'm in some ways, I'm grateful, I didn't know as much as I know, now, back then. Because there's a lot that I think about. But from a de facto clinical perspective, absolutely. Everything is intertwined. And we used to think about adipose tissue as just being its own organ, but we didn't think about how sophisticated it was, we didn't know. And now, we understand it's highly inflammatory, full of cytokines, all sorts of inflammatory matter that you don't want to have released into breast milk ideally. But having said that, certainly people have survived through the millennia without knowing as much as they do now.

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Melanie Avalon: All right, shall we answer another question?

Cynthia Thurlow: This is a question from Rebecca. Subject is "16-hour daily fast enough for weight maintenance." "Over the course of the past two years, I lost 100 pounds through Weight Watchers. I found that I enjoyed eating bigger meals. So, a lot of times I ran out of points by 2 PM and unintentionally fasted intermittently in order to make Weight Watchers work for me. A coworker asked if I ever looked into intermittent fasting since I was already doing it many days per week without realizing it. Now that I've already reached my goal weight, I started tracking my fast with a goal of 16:8. Most of the time when you two recommend smaller windows to listeners, it seems to be for weight loss. Since I already have my portions under control and have been maintaining my weight for seven months so far, I wanted to ask how important is it that I try to increase my length of daily fast.

I think what I'm asking is it okay if I just enjoy my life on 16:8 since I feel great and I'm at a healthy BMI. I feel the pressure to only eat one meal per day since you both follow this plan, but I'm resisting the idea. Asking your permission to stay where I am. Thank you for your podcasts and your books. I bought both of them." And I just want to note that this question actually came in while Gin was still hosting.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, the comment about only eating one meal a day was the protocol that Gin and I follow, although we debate the terminology of what constitutes one meal a day. So, I actually could answer all of this just in one word, which is yes. It's okay. You have permission, Rebecca. But the longer answer is-- I find it really interesting. I feel probably Rebecca and I think a lot of people might experience this, especially in the dieting world. It's safe and comfortable to exist within a specific plan. So, Weight Watchers was a really regimented system and it worked for you which is great and congratulations on losing 100 pounds, that's incredible. So, that probably felt very safe. And while existing in that, you were doing what the system told you to do, and it worked. And so now, you're at a weight that you love and at BMI and you feel great, but you're not quite doing the system that has been attributed-- although historically, I hope we haven't given this impression that you can only lose weight on one meal a day, because that's not at all the impression I would want to give. So hopefully, we can clear up that confusion. But there's probably this idea that sticking to that protocol, instead, will-- again, it brings that safety as the thing that you should be doing to have the weight loss.

But there's all of this theory and conjecture and what people can say will work. And then, there's what's actually working. And what you're doing right now is working. So, 100%, you are totally fine to be living your life on 16:8 and having that for maintenance. You don't need permission, you can grant yourself permission for anything you want to grant yourself permission for. I'm all about listening to your own body. So please don't feel the stress. Of reason that you might want to do a longer fast, I wouldn't even say for the maintenance of the weight loss. It might just be a therapeutic longer fast. So, maybe you want to get some of the health benefits of increased autophagy, and just a longer fasting from that perspective. So that's the reason I would do a longer fast if you wanted, but I wouldn't for the maintenance. Thoughts, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think that was a beautiful explanation. Congratulations, Becca, on your sustained weight loss, that's incredible. I come at this from a similar/different perspective. I think that a lot of what is important for sustainability in terms of weight loss is getting sufficient amounts of protein in and that's much easier to do in two meals a day. So, if that's working for you, I think you should experiment if you want to do an 18-hour fast, a 16-hour fast, a 14-hour fast, you want to do a 20-hour fast, I think one thing that I think is very important is that we not get into a widget where we only do the same thing every day. We don't eat the same foods every day. We don't do the same exercise every day. I think it's important that we honor and nourish our bodies with some degree of flexibility. And one of the ways that you can do that is just to play around with your fasting window. And if you don't feel like doing a longer fast, there's no pressure to do so. I think that being very clear about what your goals are, what's important to you, you're not looking to lose weight. And there's a lot of research to demonstrate this kind of law of diminishing returns. If you're already at a healthy weight, doing a prolonged fast, finding where exactly that middle ground is, in terms of how much benefit are you getting from 24 hours of fasting or 48 hours of fasting, if you're not looking to lose weight, you can end up losing muscle. Muscle is pretty important for women. I don't know of your age, that's another piece of the puzzle. But I think you're doing a beautiful job. And I would just encourage you to experiment to find what works best for you and your lifestyle.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I thought that was great. And we actually have another question that sort of relates to all of this from Heidi. Would you like to read that, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. Subject is "Learning your body." "Hi there. I've been off and on for intermittent fasting for a year or so. For some reason, I keep giving myself reasons to stop. Anyway, I've been listening to your podcasts and reinforcing what I know about the process. My question is, I keep hearing you mention to listen to your body, and it will tell you what to do. Keep fasting, eat what you want to eat, etc. How do you learn to know what you're listening for? How do you become more in tune with what your body needs? I can get through about a 62-hour fast and feel pretty good, but not sure how to determine what my body needs after that. Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you in advance, Heidi."

Melanie Avalon: All right, Heidi. This is a great question, and it ties really well into what we were just talking about, especially because I think it provides a little bit more nuance and complexity to what we were just saying about potentially switching things up or listening to your body and making those decisions. Because I think on the flip side, so while we want to support everything that we just said, I think people can also get into a space where maybe having some sort of paradigm to exist in that does have more delineated-- I don't want to use the word 'rules', but does have some sort of parameters, I think can be very, very helpful. Because on the flip side of listening to your body and living intuitively, some people can do really well with that, and they really will just fast as long as they need to fast and eat when they need to eat. Some people won't. Some people need some sort of guidance. And it sounds like for you, you've been doing IF on and off, but then you don't stick to it you give yourself reasons to stop but then you also do like a 62-hour fast which is very long. So, clearly you are able to fast. There just seems to be some sort of-- I don't know if it's like cognitive dissonance or just inability to find a protocol that is something to stick to while still being intuitive.

What I would suggest, and I hope that doesn't undo everything that we were just saying, is if you want IF to be a part of your life, I would subscribe to a daily fasting window that maybe has flexibility in the parameters, but it would still be a daily fasting window. So, rather than fasting, and then not fasting, and then doing a 62-hour fast and being confused about what to do, and then worried about what to eat, maybe deciding to, "I'm going to fast daily," maybe around like 16:8, and then having some sort of flexibility surrounding that. So, maybe fast, a little bit more one day, a little bit less one day, but I would find something that you can stick to that actually can provide some consistency. And then, within that consistency, being more flexible if your goal is that you want to have IF as a daily part of your life. I wanted to talk about this with everything that you were saying, Cynthia, is I think it can be hard for people because we can say, "Be intuitive and listen to your body," but it's kind of like what Heidi says, what does that actually mean? And I think some people actually do benefit from picking some sort of system and then being more flexible within that system.

Cynthia Thurlow: I couldn't agree with you more. And one thing that I think is important for listeners to understand, we can talk about bodily intuition and intuitive eating, intuitive fasting, but if you're not metabolically healthy, which is most people, most people are, I think it's 92% to 93% of people are not metabolically healthy, you have to get those hormones balanced first. And I agree with you 100% that you need some type of a system to work within before you're going to be ready to intuitively fast, eat, etc. I think we do a lot of disservice when we expect people who are not metabolically healthy to be able to intuitively lean into what their body's telling them because there's this lack of insulin sensitivity, there's profound food cravings that go on, they're not sleeping well, they've got stress management issues, there's so much to unpack there.

And I say this with love. This comes from the most loving place in the world. But if you're feeling you're struggling with the concept of intuitively doing anything, it's because your body's not in a place yet where it's ready to do that work. So, until that point, I would have systems in place. And it doesn't have to be complicated. It could be as simple as, "I'm going to check my blood sugar after I eat a meal. If I'm still feeling hungry, and my blood sugar is high, then it might be that I had too many carbohydrates. It could be that I need to ratchet down on a portion of something that's going to mitigate and improve some of those symptoms."

We could have a whole episode just talking about these things. But I think it's important for people to understand that those processes and those symptoms take time to lay down. I think even for those of us that are metabolically healthy, I'm always changing things up. I'm usually transparent after the fact is I kind of work through carbohydrate tolerances, exercise, etc. So, I think we always have to invite ourselves to change things, to not feel like we have to be rigid and dogmatic. And I think dogmatism is a huge problem. Whether it pertains to a particular nutritional dogma or fasting in general, sometimes people don't realize that they're so rigid that they're no longer serving their primary needs of why they're embracing a particular philosophy or strategy.

Melanie Avalon: That was so perfect. That was exactly what I was trying to say [laughs]. It's very rare that I hear something-- well, probably shouldn't say it's rare. It is rare that I hear something within the type of content that I tend to consume, where I think it's a concept that could be doing a lot of damage. And I think there's a lot of potential damage that happens with messaging surrounding intuitive eating. Like I was listening to one podcast, and they were basically saying that you should be able to eat these processed junk type foods intuitively. And if you can't, then that means you're not an intuitive eater. Basically, you should be able to have the cake and just have a little bit of cake. But some people would be better off just not having the cake, because having the cake will create factors in their body that create a completely different metabolic state that then you have to fight against. I'm all about the intuition coming in with knowing how you exist in your relationship to food and fasting and knowing what you need. Do you need systems or not, do you need rules or not? And then living within that. And so, it sounds like for Heidi, coming up with a more like picking an actual system to stick to might be something that would work well for her.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

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 will have all the links, that will be at ifpodcast.com/episode285. And again, by the time this comes out, we mentioned Athletic Greens, which is a new supporter on the podcast and the amazing offer from them will be in the ads, so listen to that. You can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I'm @melanieavalon. Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. Yes, I think that is all the things. Anything from you, Cynthia, before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, keep the great questions coming. We've been really enjoying all of the feedback and great questions we've been receiving. So, keep them coming.

Melanie Avalon: I cannot agree more. All right. Well, enjoy the rest of your evening, and I will talk to you next week.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. Bye.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice, and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes.

We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman editing by Podcast Doctors. Show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner. Transcripts by SpeechDocs. And original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Sep 25

Episode 284: Adrenal Fatigue, Hormetic Stress, Scent Memory, Menopause, Hormone Replacement Therapy, Tips And Tricks For New Fasters, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 284 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 Two, 10 Oz New York Strip Steaks And 8 Oz Of Lobster Claw And Knuckle Meat Free In Your First Order!

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 Two, 10 Oz New York Strip Steaks And 8 Oz Of Lobster Claw And Knuckle Meat Free In Your First Order.

3:30 - 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!

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

19:15 - BON CHARGE: Go To boncharge.com And Use Coupon Code IFPODCAST To Save 15%.

21:40 - Listener Q&A: Bo - Adrenal Fatigue & IF

Ep. 216 The Science Behind Stress and How to Create Sustainable Change with Dr. Doni Wilson

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #164 - Ari Whitten

Master Your Stress, Reset Your Health: The Personalized Program to Calm Anxiety, Boost Energy, and Beat Burnout

35:30 - Listener Q&A: Gretchen - Smells

40:35 - Listener Q&A: Ute - Menopause

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

Ep. 220 A Detailed Guide To Healthy Hormones With Dr. Lara Briden

Ep. 227 The Upgrade: A Unique Perspective on Perimenopause and Menopause with Dr. Louann Brizendine

Hormone Repair Manual: Every Woman's Guide to Healthy Hormones After 40

The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep and Sex Drive; Lose Weight; Feel Focused, Vital, and Energized Naturally with the Gottfried Protocol 

The Upgrade: How the Female Brain Gets Stronger and Better in Midlife and Beyond

55:50 - AVALONX Magnesium 8: Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

58:30 - Listener Q&A: Sybil-Anne - Need help from South Africa

1:03:10 - Listener Q&A: Cheyenne - Easing into a fast

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

Hi friends. I'm about to tell you how to get two grass-fed, grass-finished 10-ounce New York strips and one-half pound of sustainable wild caught lobster meat all for free. Yes, for free. So, we are huge fans around here of a company called ButcherBox. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, that's really hard to find by the way, and wild caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency regarding grazing practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox. You can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. But I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. 

All of their beef is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished, that's really hard to find. They work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves, but the planet. This is so important to me. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. The value is incredible. The average cost is actually less than $6 per meal, and it's so easy. Everything ships directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing. 

We are so excited because ButcherBox, has an incredible offer just for our audience. You can get some of those steaks for free and lobster to go with it. You can go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and get two 10-ounce grass-fed, grass-finished New York strips and one-half pounds of wild caught sustainably raised lobster meat, all for free in your first box. Yes, completely free. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and we'll put all this information in the show notes. 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 and 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 1000 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 body's 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 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. 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. Use the coupon code CLEAN for all 20, 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. Definitely check it out, and you can join me in my Facebook group Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well. 

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 CLEAN for all 20 to get 20% off your first order. 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 284 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hi, Melanie, how are you? 

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Doing well, doing all the things. All the mom things, we're heading into week three of the school year and I feel maybe everything's-- the kids are getting settled back into a routine, I have a new driver in the household with exceedingly exorbitantly expensive car insurance, just to be able to allow him to drive, it's insane. He doesn't even have a car. 

Melanie Avalon:  But just because of the demographics that he falls into.

Cynthia Thurlow: Correct. We had to have a whole discussion about that. I was like it's the outliers of the population that generally are the ones that are more likely to have accidents, and especially young males, which is what you are. 

Melanie Avalon:  It's interesting that there's not more political backlash about stereotyping with insurance companies, even though it's based on data. But that could be a thing, that could be like a cancel the insurance companies. 

Cynthia Thurlow: We're fortunate. We have USAA because my father was many years ago served in the navy during Vietnam. I told my husband, "It'd be way worse if we didn't have USAA." So, I don't even want to complain however, I said, I'm not stressing about this, because our wonderful 17-year-old is going to pay for his own insurance he has a certain amount he has to pay us every month and I feel like I'm teaching him some degree of responsibility. You should have seen the expression on his face when we said, "This is what you will owe us every month." He was like, "What?" I was like, "Yes, and you have a job and you have money in savings and I know how much you have in your savings; you can totally afford this."

Melanie Avalon: Wow. Nice, sets him up for life. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. 

Melanie Avalon: I've been having an interesting experience related to something that our audience loves. I forgot how often do you wear CGMs? Do you wear the one all the time still?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, probably the first 18 months I wore them near continuously. During the book launch, I just found that I would get like excited when I had press to do or podcasts or media work to do, but I would just watch my cortisol go up and my blood sugar would go up and it was like up down, up down all day long, so I didn't wear them for about two to three months. This summer I've had maybe once a month I've been wearing it, but I think I definitely have a better sense now of where I need to be in terms of my macros and managing my stress. So, to answer your question, there's a lot of utility but I don't wear it as much as I did two years ago. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I was similar. When I first started using them a year ago or a year and a half ago, I went months [laughs] having one on all the time. Now it had been a while, but I actually reconnected with a friend from high school who comes here to Atlanta and she's into all of this stuff. So, we decided to put one on together and make a Reel and all of that stuff. So, this is the first time I'm wearing one. And for listeners who are not familiar, a CGM is a Continuous Glucose Monitor, it goes on your skin, super painless to put on and it measures your interstitial fluid to continuously measure your blood glucose levels, which can be incredible to see how you react to food and fasting and exercise. And as Cynthia, was talking about, adrenaline are stressful situations. But in any case, so I haven't worn one in about a year, and my blood sugar control seems to be substantially better from a year ago. I don't know if this is what it is, but I think it might be all the Emsculpt that I did, that I've been doing, building muscle.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I mean it makes sense, you know insulin sensitivity.

Melanie Avalon:  I just think we know that insulin resistance likely starts at the muscle and our muscles are a bank basically for glucose. Really, the only big thing I've changed in the past year is probably doing. I've been doing so much Emsculpt, which is muscle stimulation that literally builds muscle. I think I've built a lot of muscle; I'm just looking at my levels. My peaks are much lower than they were before and this is eating massive amounts of carbs, and then during the day just the average is probably like five or six or seven points lower. So, yeah, it could be other things as well, but it's cool to see. It's motivating. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's also important just to, from the perspective of checking in with yourself to see how you're doing. I'll give you an example, so last night we had dinner at a neighbor's house. They know that I don't drink alcohol, so they came up with a mocktail. I literally when she started telling me what was in the mocktail, I was like, "Oh, Lord, I can't like politely not."

Melanie Avalon:  It was like all sugar? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, it was pineapple juice. She was like, "Agave syrup." I literally like my husband, like kicked me under the table. So I just had to sip it and the whole time I was like, "Lord," I'm just going to have to make sure that I go to the gym tomorrow and lift heavy things. But, yeah, it was humorous to just imagine in my mind understanding like I'm just going to just eat protein tonight. I'm going to politely sip this drink. I'm going to dump it when no one's looking. But it was so thoughtful, I want to be very clear, but I don't normally consume sugary drinks ever. That's just not really my thing, but in terms of insulin sensitivity, it's one of those things. In my head, I was like, "Okay, what could I do after we leave here?" I'm like, "Okay, I can walk the dogs like." We would do that anyway, all the things. "Okay, tomorrow, I'm going to go to the gym. I'm going to fast a little longer, I'm going to lift heavy things." Like in my mind, I was already knowing the things I needed to do to help dispose of the said sugary beverage that I consumed. 

Melanie Avalon: That's so funny. Yeah, so out of curiosity, when you're in situations like that, at dinners where somebody has made something for you, what are your lines or rules? How often do you have the sip, or versus just saying, "No, thank you." 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I felt obligated to consume some of this because she specifically made sure to have a mocktail. So, I had actually brought a bottle of low sugar kombucha with me and I was like, "I'll just have this over ice, this will be fine." I would say that, something like that, knowing that I'm very physically active, very insulin sensitive, and like one half cup serving of that is not going to derail all the good things that I do. But it definitely makes me very cognizant of just how-- I don't want to use any negative work note or terminology, just how happy I am with my current lifestyle and how I eat food and consume beverages and I just don't realize how unusual sometimes my habits may be to other people. They were incredibly accommodating. They know I'm gluten free and I'm dairy free and so they had this lovely charcuterie platter that was out that I was trying to eat as much meat as I could, while I was sipping on said very sugary beverage, but I would say that there are some deal breakers like for me, I just don't do well with dairy. 

So, if I went to someone's house, and they had a very dairy heavy dessert, or were trying to incur, I would politely say, "I actually just don't do well with dairy." I think most people don't have a problem with that. I do find that the most triggering thing of all is when you just explain either, "No, I'm not drinking," or, "I don't drink alcohol." Then people don't know what to do with, and I was like, "I'm totally fine with that. You do what you need to do, and I'd be happy with a glass of water." I genuinely do pretty well with what works best for my body. 

The interesting thing was the guys were having some type of local pubs beer brew, and the mom was saying, "Oh, I don't normally have mocktails. But I didn't want you to feel left out." I was like, "No, no, I'm really good. I'm not triggered by what if everyone else is drinking, that's not a problem for me, but I think it comes down to--" first of all I have to genuinely be hungry to eat. I don't ever eat at someone's house just out of a sense of obligation, but I also am very grateful and try to be very appreciative. I don't want anyone to feel like the efforts they've made are not appreciated and valued. To me seed oils are probably at the top of my list of things, I really try to avoid as much as possible. So, I'm the person that will sometimes come to someone's house and I'll make a wonderful salad dressing, because then I have some control over what's in it. But I would say the other thing is, if I'm at all concerned about something not meeting my needs, like desserts are easy to pass up, alcohol is easy to pass up, it's usually when you sit down, and I'm sure any listeners probably have experienced this, you go to someone's house, and they have a bunch of salad dressings out and most conventional salad dressings are not going to meet my needs, so sometimes I'll just ask for olive oil, and vinegar, and people generally don't have an issue with that either. 

I don't want to sound like I'm one of those unappreciative guests. I'm generally very easy, but I think all of us have to figure out, how to navigate those social situations and not feel like you're a weirdo. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think it's such an important topic, because I just think it's something so many people struggle with. Honestly, I think it can be one of the hardest things about any dietary change or protocol that you're adhering to. And I hadn't really thought about it before, but the similarity between not drinking is really similar to like, if a person is fasting, not eating, I get so many DMs about this, whenever I post pictures of me at events or parties, where there's obviously food, I just normally don't eat anything. This is for the fasting, not for the alcohol related thing, unless it's like a dinner I'm going to where I can like order specifically what I want to order. But it took me a long time to get to the place where I am now. I don't know if I'm still like a little bit insecure about it, but I mostly just don't care. I feel pretty comfortable in just saying like, "No, I'm not eating right now."

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's important, irrespective of where we are, who we are, what we're doing, just feeling comfortable with your decisions and not feeling a sense of obligation. One of the things I've really been working on the last few years is, I grew up in a family with a lot of trauma. So, the way that I that I mentally work through all that in my childhood and young adulthood was to be the people pleaser, and to always be the good kid and the kid that never got into trouble and got good grades. So, my people pleasing tendencies I've been actively really working on the last several years. Sometimes I'm just okay saying, "No, I appreciate that. But I'm not interested in having that." And feeling very comfortable and not feeling like I have to explain myself and I think that's a beautiful thing to get to that point. So, I love that you stand your ground and advocate for what you and your lifestyle need.

Melanie Avalon: I'm glad you said that, because that's what I have found to be the most minimal drama response because I think I used to feel the need to explain. It's funny, I'm just thinking about now how you've helped me with other things in life where you're like, "You don't have to explain, you can just say no," but I think I did used to feel the need to explain and now I normally say, "Thank you. I'm good." Normally that just does it. Sometimes there'll be follow up questions, "Oh, are you not hungry?" or "Are you not eating," or, "Why?" And then you have-- 

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's a sense of you just want to make people feel inclusive. I know if I had someone at my house and they were abstaining from eating-- I just want to make sure like, do you have options and you feel good about the options that are available and as long as they're good, I'm like, "Okay, we're all adults." We're all adulting we have to figure out what works for us. 

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. So, I will give a link for listeners if they would like to get a CGM, though. Oh, which by the way, CGM, if you were that to a party, you will get a lot of questions.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, you will. 

Melanie Avalon: Our link for it, you can get $30 off. Just go to nutrisense.io/ifpodcast, and that is good for any of the subscription programs that they have. The subscription programs are more cost effective, so we definitely recommend going that route especially, you'll probably find it's hard to do it just once because it lasts for two weeks. So, you can do it just once, but a lot of people want to keep it on for a little bit.

Cynthia Thurlow: Very insightful. 

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Melanie Avalon: Okie-dokie. Shall we jump into questions for today? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a question from Bo. The subject is, "Adrenal Fatigue and IF." Bo says, "Hello, first off, thank you both for guiding me through my first few months of IF. I started in September 19th of 2018. I don't think I could have gotten through my first couple of months without binge listening to your podcast, joining both of your groups on Facebook and listening to both of your books as well." By the way, this question was written when Gin was still hosting the podcast." She says, "Thank you for all the resources, also giving up stevia in September was probably one of the best things I've done. Thank you, Gin, I will most likely never ingest stevia again. I would choose honey or maple any day. I have been paleo-ish, mainly gluten free, dairy free, wholefoods approach for several years now, and even with my clean diet a couple of years ago, I was diagnosed and treating hypothyroidism. More recently after starting IF, I was diagnosed with the dreaded adrenal fatigue.

Even though I am treating both adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism and doing IF 19:5 to 17:7, I'm still not losing weight. I originally lost five pounds the first couple of weeks and since then nothing. I'm about 15 to 20 pounds away from my ideal weight and feeling my best body. Since starting my IF lifestyle, I've gone down the rabbit hole of health-related podcasts, all the usual suspects in the keto/paleo sphere. I've heard them mention not to do IF with adrenal fatigue, what are your thoughts? My doctor, who is treating my adrenal fatigue says to listen to my body and see how I feel with IF and my energy levels. My energy levels are always pretty wonky, sometimes stable, other days awful, but never that amazing energy and mental clarity that you both talk about all the time. 

I'm wondering if I should focus on healing my adrenals, then come back to IF when they heal in a few months. Do you know if IF is too stressful for adrenal fatigue? Maybe this is why I'm not losing weight. Thank you for your help. Big hugs, Bo." 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Bo, I think you've answered your question here. First and foremost, for listeners, when we hear the term adrenal fatigue, it's really not adrenal fatigue. It's Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Dysregulation, which is a big fancy way of saying, your brain which oversees communication with glands and different organs in the body. As we are transitioning, I don't know Bo's age, so Bo might be in perimenopause, might be in menopause, we don't know but that's when women tend to be much more susceptible to this dysregulation. What drives a lot of HPA dysregulation is stress and inflammation and insulin resistance. There's many, many factors that play into this. I find that our modern-day lifestyles are a huge contributing issue, so I'm grateful that you're working with a knowledgeable physician, number one. 

Number two, even in my book, I talk a lot about adrenal and thyroid health and how important it is? I would be the first person to say that you really have to view intermittent fasting as a form of hormesis, so that's a beneficial stress in the right amount at this right time and based on what you have shared here, and again, I'm not giving medical advice, I would defer to your primary care provider internist functional medicine person that you're that you're seeing, but I would not be adding in more stress when your body is already overstressed. Whether it's an underactive thyroid, you have insulin resistance, you just went through a divorce, a hospitalization, you had a big move. Goodness, the pandemic hasn't helped anybody, any of these things can really overtax the body. And from my perspective, depending on what life stage you're in whether or not you're still menstruating, I really think you need to focus in on healing your body before you start adding in additional stressors. Another good resource for you, I interviewed Dr. Doni Wilson earlier this year, she has a great book called Master Your Stress, that you can find on Amazon and we'll put a link to that. 

I did a great podcast that we'll link in the show notes as well. She talks a lot about, you know, she has a very specific methodology on how she supports her patients when they are going through this specific type of stressors, how to manage it. She's not a fan of utilizing intermittent fasting when people are still healing. I would probably say that I would be in 100% alignment on that. That's not to suggest that doing 12 hours of digestive rest is a bad thing, but when you think about intermittent fasting as a form of beneficial stress, when your body's already too stressed, it's probably the time to give it a rest and then later reintroduced when you're feeling consistent energy, sleeping well, just the fact that your weight loss resistant tells me that your body has some degree of inflammation and figuring out why your body is so inflamed is going to be an important piece of that puzzle. I hope that helps. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Yes, I'll just add to that. I was curious how you're going to start off or how are you going to approach the adrenal fatigue concept because it's interesting how debated it is, even in our world, just as far as does it exist? Does it not exist? Is it a real thing? I recently interviewed Ari Whitten. He's kind of known for his book on red light therapy, but his newest book is called Eat for Energy. He actually opens the book by talking about his experience with being diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, and then researching it and realizing that in the actual scientific studies and literature, it's hard to find support that it's an actual thing. That your adrenals are actually fatigued, or that's actually a concept of what's going on. 

I was just looking at a quote, he says in his book, "The vast majority of studies that tested adrenal function and cortisol levels and those with chronic fatigue conditions versus normal healthy people found no differences whatsoever in adrenal function or cortisol levels." But the larger picture that it goes to from that is that people get into the states of fatigue and over stress, and he breaks it down to basically the mitochondria, not being able to adequately deal with all the stressors that were exposed to. Cynthia was saying, intermittent fasting is a hormetic stress, but of course, based on your entire stress bucket, it may or may not be too much for you. I think it's interesting, we talked about this recently, when we were talking about some of Dr. Sarah Ballantyne's work, we can put a link in the show notes to that episode. But we were looking at some studies on intermittent fasting and how it affected stress biomarkers.

And in those studies, they actually found that it was contrary to what they thought they were going to find, but they actually found that intermittent fasting, at least in the setup of those studies, it overall encouraged parasympathetic tone, which is actually the opposite of the overly stress state. All of that to say is, I think I've said a lot of stuff, I think is very individual. So basically, for some people, and how you're doing intermittent fasting, it may be too stressful with your life situations and your "adrenal fatigue," depending on what that actually is or for some people it may be that it fits in well with their life, and it actually alleviates some of their stress and helps their "adrenal fatigue." I think it's just really, really individual so I think you have to do a more comprehensive picture of how you are reacting to it, which is what her doctor told her exactly.

Cynthia Thurlow: Bio-individuality rules, as it always goes.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I was thinking about this actually, yesterday. Why was I thinking about this? Oh, I'm prepping to interview Dr. Nayan Patel, he wrote a book about called, The Glutathione Revolution, all about glutathione. I was reading my notes on antioxidants and oxidative stress. He has a chapter about, what type of stress does glutathione help? I was just contemplating, does mental stress create free radicals? I'm on a tangent right now, but does it create free radicals and physical things like that, or is it that it's a taxing stressful situation that leads to the same stressed-out end angle, that physical stress leads to.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's a good question. I think it could be either. The other thing that I would just tack in there before I forget. I, at one point trained with one of the big functional medicine doc's Andrew Hyman, and he was talking to me about adrenal fatigue. In the context of people are really getting this wrong, it's really related to the hippocampus, which is this part of the brain and how sometimes the hippocampus doesn't heal from the insult or the stress that people are experiencing, which can leave them in this kind of downward spiral. This is, I promise, relevant to what you're saying about Ari's book. But you start thinking about if most people over the age of 40 have got mitochondrial dysfunction, is it any surprise that I see prolific amounts of women, north of 35, north of 40, that are just so exhausted. 

I think it's a combination in modern day lifestyles and depletion of role of antioxidants, depletion of glutathione. I literally was looking at a research article this weekend, talking about how the past two years, like our longevity here in the United States is actually getting worse and not better, but that probably isn't a surprise. But they were looking at all these like retrospectives, like what's the longevity of someone in Japan or in Korea versus the United States, it's quite significant. I start thinking about these kinds of chronic insults, it's like a bucket, the bucket continues to fill year after year. And then we just get to a point where our bodies are not as stress resilient. 

We talk about adrenal fatigue, but really, we're talking about the accumulation of many, many years of insults to the body, whether we're cognizant of it or not, and the resultant fatigue that comes out of that. And for many people, they don't get the answers they want or deserve to get, and so I love that you're introducing so many of the listeners to different perspectives on how people navigate these changes. I will have Ari on, but not until I'm going to say February, because we had to reschedule because he got scheduled on my birthday, which is a whole separate tangential conversation. I don't work on my birthday. That's a standing rule. 

Melanie Avalon: Neither. I'm so glad you elaborated on that, because I should probably share his central thesis, which is that the mitochondria basically have two roles. They have a dual role. They have the energy production role, and then they have a defensive stress sensing role. They can't really do both at the same time. So, if they're in the stress mode, the stress mode reacting to threats, it shuts down energy production. So, yeah, I'm excited for you too, to interview him. It's a really good book. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I mean it's definitely I feel very grateful, as I know you do that. We get opportunities sometimes to read people's books before they are ever officially published. As I'm looking at the voluminous amount of books, I have in my study I feel very grateful, because there's always opportunities to learn something that not only can you share with listeners, but you can take a bit of that and apply it to your own lifestyle. I'm looking at James Nestor book Breath, because it's such a bright cover, it stands out amongst all these other muted books. Makes you realize, every book I read, I try to take something away to be able to share with listeners, share with my community, improve my quality of life, improve someone else's quality life and that's really what it's all about. 

Melanie Avalon: I cannot agree more. That example of that cortisol sentence from Ari's book was something that really, really stuck with me, because I had never read that. That he had reviewed the literature and that the majority of it didn't find substantial differences in cortisol levels, which I actually find that really-- I think it's very reassuring, because I think a lot of people get a little bit stressed about being stressed. I do think cortisol levels can be an issue, like you were talking about how they are an issue for people, but I think it's nice to know that maybe it's not quite as intense as we think it might be, because I think it can be very easy to get into a just like an overwhelmed, stressed state about our state of stress and like worried that our cortisol levels are super high, and we should address it, but we can do that without fear. I think just hearing that one sentence, I mean, it made me feel a lot better. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: Random thing about James. I didn't realize he wrote a book that I had years ago and now I want to-- I don't know if I actually read it though if I just bought it. But now I want to see if he wants to come on to talk about this book, even though it's like one of his really old works. He wrote a book called Get High Now (without drugs). Have you heard of this book? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not.

Melanie Avalon: It's like all of the different non drug related things that create a different state of consciousness. From the description, he says, "Lucid dreaming, optical and auditory illusions, controlled breathing, meditation, time compression, physical and mental exercises." I want to invite him on for this. I wonder how often authors get invited to do an interview on one of their old-- this is a 2009 book.

Cynthia Thurlow: I bet you, he'd be very flattered. I found him to be delightfully down to earth. Given his-- would I perceive to be definitely one of the more well-respected science writers that’s out there.

Melanie Avalon: I'm going to reach out. So okie-dokie. Shall we go on to our next question? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is from Gretchen, and the subject is "Smells." "Thank you so much for your podcast. I've been listening to it nonstop and started my IF journey on mundane. My question about smells. We're spending most of our time at home nowadays. And my husband loves to cook big breakfast and lunches. He's downstairs making something delicious for lunch, and my mouth is watering from the glorious aromas. Can this cause insulin levels to spike just as artificially sweetened beverages can? I've been able to breezed the days without hunger unless he is cooking. "

Melanie Avalon: All right, Gretchen, thank you so much for your question. I believe my thoughts on this answer are, yes. We've talked about this before on the show but it's to the same extent as the artificial sweeteners. What I think is important to understand is, I think people think with insulin release, that it's just one process so it's released or it's not released. And once it's released, it's releasing. But there's actually two phases to insulin release. There's the cephalic phase insulin response, which basically your pancreas always has a little bit of insulin ready and waiting and it taps out. There's only so much there and that's for when you smell something or when you're anticipating about to eat, so it releases a little bit of insulin, but then for the actual, like insulin bolus that keeps going in a sustained, that's created then in the pancreas, and that's more when you're actually eating. I've looked at a study before and I think we've talked about on a prior show. 

Basically, yes, the smells can likely release some insulin, but it's probably not going to start that second train of insulin production. Meaning, you can basically wait it out, if that makes sense. Do you have thoughts, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I would agree with you too. I think that we don't want to navigate our lives feeling fearful that if we smell something delicious, that somehow we've broken our fast or derailed our fast. We have to think big context, like when we're talking about breaking your fast, I really think it needs to come down to ingesting something as opposed to smelling something. I think we would otherwise go through our lives, not just enjoying, being present, being around family, being around friends, being in a work environment, and being fearful, we're going to smell something delicious. I think we have to think about the big picture. Generally, I look at it, have you ingested the food? That is more important to me than if you just smelled the food because the cephalic phase insulin response, yes, that's there. But I have to believe that our bodies, it's more sophisticated than that. I mean, you will get this small release in response to smelling something delicious but that's really irrelevant. It's more about what habits are going to break your fast and ingesting the food we'll do that.

Melanie Avalon:  Exactly. I'm trying to remember because there was definitely [sighs] there was a study I had read and it was about people smelling chocolate, or it was literally asking this exact question, and what were the effects? The answer was that, yes, it likely releases insulin, but it's just that small amount. And it's something that you weighed out, I'm really glad that you drew attention to the practicality of it all. If you couldn't smell things, that's no, not practical.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting because there's-- and I don’t mean to speak over you. One of the most powerful connections to memories that we have, is there an olfactory system. If I smell carrots, I instantly and brought back to my grandparent's garden in Colorado. Our memories are so intertwined with smells, and our olfactory system, I think it's really important that we not try to diminish those experiences. I think that's just important to state that it's really tied in with memories. There are certain smells like wonderful, delicious smells related to food that bring me back to happy times in my childhood or young adult adulthood. And you don't want to diminish those. I think that's important. 

Melanie Avalon: I could not agree more. I'm trying to remember Mark Schatzker, who I keep talking about with The End of Craving and The Dorito Effect. I learned in that book that we have more DNA devoted to our nose and the mouth than any other part of the human body which is fascinating. It's definitely something that we should be engaging in. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Exactly. It's the same thing and I'm sure you get these questions, where people are paranoid to brush their teeth or they're paranoid to take a medication that's prescribed with for fear that it's breaking a fast. And I always say let's think big picture. Like not brushing your teeth, the ramifications of that are greater than brushing your teeth, provided you're not swallowing your toothpaste, which I don't think anyone--that's an adult does that. I know toddlers are notorious for that. I just think we always have to be focused on the big picture. I think that's what's most important.

Melanie Avalon: I cannot agree more. All right, so we can go on to our next question. I don't know how to say her name, It's U-T-E, Ute maybe.

Cynthia Thurlow: Ute, that sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: She's from Germany. The subject is "Menopause." Ute says, "Hello, ladies. I discovered your podcast last weekend while researching a healthy lifestyle that I can maintain effortlessly. Calorie counting is so depressing and it drives me bonkers. Thank you for all the great information and tips. Since I'm going through menopause, fun times, I wonder if there is some advice you can give." That's a very wide-open question. This is a Cynthia question.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Truly. Well, I think it's always the reframe. We shouldn't perceive that menopause or perimenopause is a negative thing. I mean, you're going through reverse puberty, but there's so many benefits to not having to worry about getting pregnant anymore, you're not having a cycle every month, your fertility is waxing and waning, and then it's gone. But to me, being at a different stage in my life, I think it's really empowering. I have the bandwidth to do things I wasn't capable of doing 15 or 20 years ago. So, in terms of resources, I would say I've done a lot of podcast around perimenopause and menopause, most recently with Dr. Louann Brizendine, who is a neuropsychiatrist, trained at Harvard. I mean, she's absolutely brilliant. She wrote a book called The Upgrade. The upgrade is menopause, but she said, if we really reflect on the fact that a lot of the terminology around women and aging was created by men, generally, male physicians and the pharmaceutical industry.

She does a really beautiful job of helping us reframe what's happening in our bodies, so we are no longer menstruating or we're getting close to no longer menstruating. We're not in a position where we can become pregnant without technology, that there are changes to our brain, there's changes to the way we perceive the world. There's changes to the way our body responds to certain macronutrients and exercise and sleep. There's lots of really wonderful books. I would say, The Upgrade is definitely a favorite. 

I would say Dr. Lara Briden, has a really excellent book called Hormone Repair Manual. That's Dr. Lara Briden, and I've had her on the podcast. Dr. Sara Gottfried has some fantastic resources, probably my favorite book of hers is The Hormone Cure. Then I think about researchers like Dr. Lisa Mosconi, who is an Alzheimer's brain health researcher at Cornell, she wrote a book called, The XX Brain that I recommend almost daily. I would say those are really great resources and I've done podcasts with each one of them except Dr. Mosconi because she's doing so much research, I literally harass her publicist, probably once a month. I'm going to eventually get her on the podcast. I think a lot of menopause is reframing things. Hot flashes, weight, gain, inflammation, etc., are largely a byproduct of how well we take care of ourselves. So, there's always room for improvement and I find most women, usually within a year or two going through menopause, their symptoms will settle down. 

It's important to understand the things we need to prioritize in this time in our life. I think about sleep quality, stress management, anti-inflammatory nutrition, that could look different for most everyone. But I find the most inflammatory foods for most women are dairy and gluten and alcohol and sugar. Let me put an apostrophe time seven next to sugar. And understanding that your relationship with certain types of foods are going to shift really focusing on, they call it neat, but the exercise we do outside of formal exercise is important. Walking, just being active, not sitting on your rear end all day long and then lifting weights. 

I see so many women that I'm inspired by on social media, there's the good and the bad with social media, but there are definitely average everyday women that I see on social media that are just killing it in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond, like doing amazing things. It's a time of tremendous creativity, it's a time to really reflect on your life and your contributions. And so I would say, I hope that those resources are helpful, we'll make sure that we link those podcasts, and those books in the show notes, so that will be available to you as well. 

Melanie, is there anything that you'd like to add? I know that you're not in this stage of life, but I'm sure you probably interviewing so many people, you probably have some suggestions as well.

Melanie Avalon: Resources wise, that was very comprehensive and amazing. I'm actually just personally, I'm very curious what my experience will be when I go through menopause because I feel like when I had my period of heavy metal toxicity, like to the extreme mercury toxicity that I exhibited, it was like all the symptoms that I see listed as menopausal symptoms. Just because of the, I guess, the hormonal dysregulation from that. I've been very curious when I go through menopause, if it will be. I remember when I was in that I was like, "When I go through menopause, it's going to be a breeze once--" I guess if I can get through this. But I would get all of that like hot flashes and fluctuations and insomnia, and create, like just so many, all of the things. So, that's not very helpful. It's just my experience.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think the better you take care of yourself in perimenopause. From 35 up, the better you take care of your nutrition and your sleep and your stress management and doing the right kinds of exercise, the easier that transition will be. I would say for most people, it's bumpy, because they still want to act and behave like they did at 20 and you can't. And that's not a bad thing. I don't want to eat the way I did when I was 20, I don't want to live the way I did when I was 20, and so once I kind of understood, I had to eliminate some foods, focus on other areas really prioritize sleep, which I affectionately call an art form, because truly it is. Melanie, at some point, I'll have to tell you about my new sleep device that I'm using that you'll probably laugh about. But we'll talk more about it. 

Melanie Avalon: Do I know what it is? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Probably not, because I haven't talked a lot about it on social media. But I have something called Somnox, S-O-M-N-O-X. It looks like a stuffed bean. Like it's the shape of a bean or like a mitochondria. That's probably a better more apt description. You hug it while you're starting to fall asleep, and so I set mine for 30 minutes, and it actually will adjust to your breathing pattern. And what it's doing is stimulating the autonomic nervous system parasympathetic. I've doubled my deep sleep. 

Melanie Avalon: Is it a similar concept to the Apollo Neuro where it's using the vibrations? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's different. It's different than the Apollo Neuro which obviously I love, and love, love, love that. That's certainly very helpful for stress reduction. But for me, I've just been using it before I go to sleep. And my husband is like, "Oh, my God, what's next for you? You sleep with the sleep mask, you've got your blue blockers--[laughs] You've got all these things that you do and you sleep with your Oura ring." But it's honest to goodness, it's doubled my sleep. Let me be clear, they gifted this to me, I was not even aware of it. They gifted to me, and this is my objective opinion. I don't have an affiliate account with them. I mean, I don't get anything for talking about it. Just really have been impressed with the technology and then it turns off. It's not exposing me to anything that's negative. But, yeah, I now sleep with what looks like a little mitochondria tucked up against my chest. 

Melanie Avalon: Can you connect me to them? I want to try this. I'm surprised they haven't reached out to me. That's right up my alley. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I know. It's completely random that they reached out because sometimes I'm sure this happens to you too. People reach out to you randomly and sometimes I'm just very polite and say, "I don't really think I would use that. I don't want to waste your time or your resources sending me something that I don't think I would use or support." I looked at and I was like, "Oh, it can't hurt." My husband was like, "What next?" I was like, "I don't know." I just know that’s helping my deep sleep and that for me as a middle-aged woman is pretty incredible. 

Melanie Avalon: What was it called again? Somnox.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's Somnox, S-O-M-N-O-X. I think it's a German based company. 

Melanie Avalon:  That is so cool.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's very cool. Except my husband is now embarrassed. He's like, "What is that thing?" I'm like, "It's my little Somnox."

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. What color is it? 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's blue. It's a delightful pleasing blue. It's blue like dark blue and light blue. 

Melanie Avalon:  You hug it, basically. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's curved, so it's designed to just fit in to your chest as you sleep, so I turn on my side. I do like 30 minutes and it acclimates to my breathing and I just fall blissfully asleep. It's amazing. There's no nothing else that's changed. 

Melanie Avalon: I need this. Okay, this is great. Wow. To-do list. One other question, I don't even know if I should ask it because it's a big question but with the menopause stuff, do you find people benefit from HRT? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. I think the Women's Health Initiative came out in 2002. So right as I was finishing up my NP program, and the research that was done, and the points that were drawn from the research, there's a lot to unpack here. I did a great podcast with Dr. Avrum Bluming and Carol Tavris, talking about why estrogen matters. That's their book, but it basically explains what was flawed about this study. And it's really important that I just state an entire generation of clinicians, and an entire generation of women have been harmed by the way that this research was shared. We're just now getting to a point where I think most, if not all, clinicians are talking openly about the fact that there is benefit from replacing hormones that our bodies have naturally stopped producing. 

As an overall, like general statement, I do think women benefit from Bioidentical Hormone Replacement. I do. I myself take compounded, good Lord, compounded progesterone and compounded T4/T3. I have testosterone, I also have estrogen, I've got it all. I really do think for me personally that they help asleep, they help with inter kind of synergistically, each one of them is helping me with different aspects of navigating these years. But the thing that I get most concerned about, and anyone that's listening, that's 35 and up, I worry the most about cognitive function because Alzheimer's and dementia, they don't start in your 70s or 60s, the groundwork is laid many years before. This is important 30s, 40s, 50s, how well we take care of ourselves sets us up for developing disorders of cognition. 

For me, I'm most concerned about brain health, and then secondarily to that bone and heart health, of course. Then beyond that, just wanting to be able to navigate every stage of life that I'm in, I want to be able to enjoy my life and not feel like I can't be 100%. So, getting back to your original question, I do. I think it's all about finding practitioners that are not only capable, but current and openminded to help you find the combination of medications that are best for you. Like I've now gotten to a point that anything that's made conventionally just has not worked well for me. Now we just finally stopped Synthroid and Cytomel, now I'm on compounded T4 and T3 and my functional medicine doc told me I have the most "curious thyroid panel" he's ever seen. With that being said, everyone that's listening, I have women who are petrified of hormones, I have women who are openminded to hormones. I think it's just important to have those conversations, like whether it's with your GYN or your internist or your girlfriend, just understand there are options, you don't have to suffer. 

Melanie Avalon:  I'm really, really happy to hear you say that. That was my understanding of that, of the Women's Health Initiative because basically, the takeaway was they said it encouraged, was it breast cancer? It was not done correctly and interpreted correctly and created a potentially-- Yeah, well, everything that you said, misled.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's unfortunate because the samples, the study participants were older, they weren't 49, 50, 52, they were in their 60s. Many of them had been smokers, they had high blood pressure, they were diabetic, they were obese. They weren't a healthy population to start with and they used Premarin and they use Progestin, which is synthetic form of progesterone. It's interesting, everyone knows that you and I both love Huberman and Dr. Peter Attia, they had a really interesting discussion. Peter Attia was a guest on Huberman lab. Fairly recently, in about an hour in to the podcast interview, Peter Attia effectively stated that this was one of the greatest disasters he's ever witnessed as a clinician, that it has such profound implication and impact. 

I look at my mother's generation, my mom is 76 and has terrible osteoporosis and we're starting to see some degree of cognitive changes. It's unfortunate, because she thought, "Oh, if I'm using vaginal estrogen that's going to protect me." And I said, "It doesn't protect your bones, maybe your vagina," which I mean, let's be honest, that's an important part of being a woman, but there was just not good information given to these women. They were not fully informed and so I think we just have a whole generation of women and clinicians that are fearful about prescribing hormones. I almost get a question about this every single day on social media, which tells me that we need to continue talking about it. It's important for people to know that working with a talented, competent clinician, if you're in a situation where you need hormonal therapies that there are people out there that can help you through that. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'm just thinking, I don't know if I'll be able to articulate this, but it was an effect that was very pervasive because I feel like even me, even before I was super steeped in the health and wellness sphere, and even when I was younger when I wasn't even thinking about this type of stuff, there was a vibe surrounding HRT that it was, like not a good thing to do. I just think it really, really got into culture, which is kind of a shame that it went that way. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely, because we have a generation of women that are struggling. It's not like the conversation I had with Dr. Louann Brizendine, and she's based out of California. She's almost 70, she doesn't look at first of all, and she's like, "I have amazing bone strength." She's been on HRT for almost 20 years and she's a tiny petite person and she said, "I have amazing bone strength. I've got very healthy bone, but I credit that to HRT."

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All right. Shall we answer one more question? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is from Sybil Ann, subject is, "Need help from South Africa." "Hi, first of all, thanks so much for all the effort you put into the podcast. Love, love, love the podcast. I'm not sure how to 100% phrase my question, but what strategies do you or did you use to stick to the plan. I started out really strong. The first two weeks, I almost effortlessly fasted 18 to 20 hours daily and then all of a sudden it became difficult. It's like I have a mental block, I can't move past. Nothing significant has happened in my life, so it's not related to stress or anything. I follow all recommendations and fast, totally clean. Did this ever happen to you? You wake up one day and fasting seems hard. I don't understand how I could do so well and feel so good, and then a few weeks in, feel different. Did this ever happen to you? Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my question. Best regards, Sybil." 

Melanie Avalon:  All right, Sybil from South Africa. Thank you so much for the question. So, I do think this is a common thing that happens with people. It's not exactly the same thing but it's sort of how with even calorie restriction or normal diets or crash diets, people can sometimes do it really well in the beginning and then it becomes really, really hard. The reason that happens is because it's not sustainable, whatever dietary restriction that the person is doing. I think with fasting a lot that this can also happen where somebody starts intermittent fasting. In the beginning, it's great, they're losing weight, their adrenaline's probably up, they have energy. But then if the actual eating window is not a sustainable amount, then you're going to reach a point where your body's going to give signals to you that it's not a sustainable amount. 

This is the case I would really, like, where you just randomly one day it's hard, I believe it might be because you're actually not fueling adequately in your eating window. So, I would suggest one of two things, either having a longer eating window, so changing the fasting hours, or really addressing what you're eating in that eating window, making sure that you're getting adequate fuel, adequate protein, especially, depending on what macros you're doing. If you're doing a mixed diet, then this wouldn't really apply, but if you're doing a low carb diet, making sure you're getting ample fats to support your fast, if you're doing high carb, making sure you're getting enough calories in the form of the carbs. So yes, I think what happens, I've already said it, but it's people like going on adrenaline and doing well in the beginning, but their eating choices aren't actually sustainable. So that's what I would look at. Do you have thoughts? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I mean, of course, I always come from the perspective, are you having a harder time with fasting depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle? Because it's much easier to do that when estrogen predominates in the follicular phase, which is in the beginning versus the week before your menstrual cycle. I do think when we are creating lifestyle change opportunities, we have to be really mindful of what is sustainable. Are you too restrictive? Are you not getting enough macros during your feeding window? Are you not sleeping well? Are you over exercising? Is there just too much stress going on in your personal life? I think sometimes we set really not necessarily unachievable, but not sustainable goals. And so I would really encourage you to think about what is something you can do for the rest of your life versus something for just a couple of weeks, because that's a really important distinction. 

For me, personally, if someone said to me I could never have dark chocolate for the rest of my life, that would not be sustainable, versus if I say to myself, I'm allowed to have a small piece of dark chocolate every other day, and I can sustain that, then that is a sustainable goal. I'm giving a terrible example. Dark chocolate is my one vice. If people don't know that already, that's like my one vice in life. It'd be very hard to give that up. So, I think when you're looking at a plan and you're creating changes, sometimes I see people doing too many things all at once. Meaning, they're trying to improve their sleep, they're trying to exercise or trying to fast, they're trying to do all the things all at once. What they really need to do is pick one thing at a time, master that and then add more things and that is much more achievable and sustainable. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I cannot agree more. So hopefully that's helpful. All right. One more question we can sneak in. This comes from Cheyenne, and the subject is "Easing into a fast." Cheyenne says, "Hello, I've been listening to your podcast for just a few days and love it. I've been practicing IF for about 9-years. For most of those years, I had great success and practicing a 16:8 fast and have been able to maintain a healthy weight. That said, I've been slowly putting on weight for the last year or so, I'm starting to think it has to do with my age. I'm currently 41. After listening to your podcast, I thought I might try to increase my fasting to a 24 or one meal a day. It was tough. About two hours before I was to break my fast, I got really cold in my extremities and became pretty weak. When I finally broke my fast, I didn't binge but I was extremely tired and had to go to sleep. My question is how do I ease into a longer fast comfortably? P.S. I did have my thyroid checked, and though it's on the low side, it's still a normal range and my doctor is a big proponent of IF. Thanks so much. 

Cynthia Thurlow: This is a great question. This goes back to something a theme that I am starting to talk about more openly on social media. The presumption that what you have to do is fast longer and restrict more and what it may mean because you're in that perimenopausal age range, it can be a lot of factors, that could be why you're becoming weight loss resistant. Have you lost muscle mass. Melanie and I were talking earlier about the loss of insulin sensitivity with less muscle that we have and we start to lose muscle after the age of 40. And depending on who you're talking to, it could be 3%. It's pretty significant and it starts to just accelerate like a freight train. What's your stress management like? What's your sleep quality like? Are you exercising? Are you lifting weights? Are you having an anti-inflammatory diet? I don't like short feeding windows, because you're never going to be able to hit your protein macros. I would encourage you to explore those other lifestyle pieces first. If you decide for yourself that you got all those things ratcheted in, I would not be doing a short OMAD type eating methodology. I would not be doing that every day. It's going to be very hard to hit your protein macros, and you don't want to be losing insulin sensitivity and muscle mass, especially as you're heading into perimenopause and menopause. Melanie, what are your thoughts? 

Melanie Avalon: I think it's interesting, because people, like you basically just said this, but people when they have an issue with not losing weight, or not feeling like their diet is working, they think the answer is automatically fast more, like that's the answer. I personally think there's so much benefit that can go into looking at the food choices specifically. Especially, when people writing questions, I don't think she mentions at all what she's eating. When people don't mention actually what they're eating, then I feel there's possibly the potential for a lot of the benefits that you want to experience by addressing what you're eating rather than fasting more. If you're not eating a whole foods based diet, moving to a whole foods based diet. Like Cynthia said, really focusing on the protein, things like that can be huge. But then if you do want to fast for no reason-- so basically, she went from going nine years 16:8, jumping into a short eating window. I would suggest just slowly tightening it up and slowly approaching if you want to make a shorter eating window, so doing a 17:7, and then 18:6 and seeing how you feel going a little bit longer. 

There's nothing wrong with just fasting a little bit longer, you don't have to jump into a short eating window you could just add an extra hour here or there. Also, little hacks that you could do maybe fasting just a little bit longer, like adding an extra hour and really putting in some physical activity near the end of that fast, that can have a really beneficial effect for people, both for fat burning, as well as setting you up for your eating window, insulin sensitivity and things like that. So, yes, I would just take a different approach than the jumping all in to the short eating window approach. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I agree. I think and I hope that we will continue kind of investigating this triad that I'm seeing in a lot of women where the presumption is more fasting, more exercise, more food restriction is going to allow them to lose the weight they're frustrated with.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Awesome. All right, so this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can find the show notes, I feel like we talked about so much stuff in today's episode. I always feel bad for Brianna, our show notes creator, all the links we'll be sending her way to put into the show notes. They will be at ifpodcast.com/episode284. You can follow us on Instagram as well. That is @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Anything from you, Cynthia, before we go.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, just we got through a lot of questions today. I think I always feel very productive when we can make that happen. 

Melanie Avalon: Same thing. All right. Well, I will talk to you next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription] 

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Sep 18

Episode 283: PCOS, Infertility, Stevia, Glucose Tolerance, Healthy Snacks, Polyunsaturated Fats, Fish Oil, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 283 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - 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!

IF45 Class

IF45 Coaching Certification program

Optimal Protein Podcast (Fast Keto) with Vanessa Spina

Use Coupon Code MELANIEAVALON or CYNTHIA For an exclusive discount at mdlogichealth.com!

15:30 - NUTRISENSE: Get $30 Off A CGM At nutrisense.io/ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST!

22:20 - Listener Q&A: Veronica - IF and PCOS

Ep. 221 Part 1- An Integrative Approach to PCOS and Menstrual Irregularities with Dr. Felice Gersh

35:30 - Listener Q&A: Rebecca - Another Stevia question

Personalized microbiome-driven effects of non-nutritive sweeteners on human glucose tolerance

46:00 - 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: Harper - Snack Suggestions

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

Ep. 131 – Bucking the Biggest Medical Lie: How the Foundation for Your Good Health Starts with the Foods You Eat with Dr. Cate Shanahan

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

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

Transcript Text

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! 

 

 

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