Category Archives for "Intermittent Fasting"

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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:

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!

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

FEALS: Feals Makes CBD Oil Which Satisfies ALL Of Melanie's Stringent Criteria: It's Premium, Full Spectrum, Organic, Tested, Pure CBD In MCT Oil! It's Delivered Directly To Your Doorstep. CBD Supports The Body's Natural Cannabinoid System, And Can Address An Array Of Issues, From Sleep To Stress To Chronic Pain, And More! Go To Feals.Com/Ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - 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! 

 

 

Sep 11

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

Intermittent Fasting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

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

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #122 - R Blank

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simply Hydration: Magnesium-Charged Electrolyte Concentrate for Rapid Hydration

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

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

TRANSCRIPT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: How are you, Cynthia?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: We are very opposite.

Melanie Avalon: We are and I'm jealous.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Ah, that sounds amazing.

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

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

Melanie Avalon: I'm so jealous.

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Cool. 

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

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

Melanie Avalon: And Erica is from Western Australia. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Perth is beautiful. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you've been there?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: But it makes it sound fancy. 

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: I love that. I love that. 

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Sodium chloride.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: We used to do corn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Sep 04

Episode 281: Myth Busting, Fasting Research, Fat Burning, Inflammatory Markers, Media Spin On Studies, Early Vs. Late Night Eating, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 281 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!

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

FEALS: Feals Makes CBD Oil Which Satisfies ALL Of Melanie's Stringent Criteria: It's Premium, Full Spectrum, Organic, Tested, Pure CBD In MCT Oil! It's Delivered Directly To Your Doorstep. CBD Supports The Body's Natural Cannabinoid System, And Can Address An Array Of Issues, From Sleep To Stress To Chronic Pain, And More! Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - 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!

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!

Oura Referral Link!

22:00 - Get $30 Off A CGM At Nutrisense.Io/Ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST!

26:00 - Listener Q&A: Knowles - Myth Busting3

Paleo Mom Podcast Episode 386: Intermittent Fasting

Paleo Mom Podcast Episode 381: Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?

Intermittent Fasting: Secret to Weight Loss or Dangerous Fad? 

Is Breakfast The Most Important Meal of the Day? New Science Has Answers!

Alternate Day Fasting Improves Physiological and Molecular Markers of Aging in Healthy, Non-obese Humans  

Short-term modified alternate-day fasting: a novel dietary strategy for weight loss and cardioprotection in obese adults

Alternate day fasting for weight loss in normal weight and overweight subjects: a randomized controlled trial

44:30 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

Impact of breakfast skipping compared with dinner skipping on regulation of energy balance and metabolic risk

Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves 24-Hour Glucose Levels and Affects Markers of the Circadian Clock, Aging, and Autophagy in Humans

Is advice for breakfast consumption justified? Results from a short-term dietary and metabolic experiment in young healthy men

The effectiveness of breakfast recommendations on weight loss: a randomized controlled trial 

Effect of skipping breakfast on subsequent energy intake

The causal role of breakfast in energy balance and health: a randomized controlled trial in lean adults  

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

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

[intro ends]

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 Electrolyte 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 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. 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 element 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 fast and 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 a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disrupters, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens, which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream. And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things, like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup maybe playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because ladies, when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking. And the effects last for years. 

Conventional lipstick, for example, often test high in lead, and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means, when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that, there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so you can truly feel good about what you put on. And, friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. 

They have counter time for anti-aging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life. And their makeup is amazing. Check on my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey, even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted the Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. 

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

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

Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is episode number 281 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hello, there, my friend.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Cynthia? It's been a while?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I'm doing well, because it's like hard for me to say this, but my kids are all going to be in high school as of next week.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow.

Cynthia Thurlow: They're going back to school. Two different schools, but, yeah, we're in that mode of back-to-school shopping and supply purchases and new computers. And it's just hard to believe the summer is effectively over for them.

Melanie Avalon: So, this is actually a mind-blowing moment for me. So, when I was in high school, I was like the only person-- I brought a laptop to class, like nobody had laptops. Do all the kids use laptops now?

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, it's interesting. My youngest is going to a magnet high school and they require laptops, so we had to purchase one for him. And my other son who goes to the local public high school, they are supplied with Chromebooks, which is like a laptop. And that's what they utilize. But I'm actually giving my oldest son my Apple because I'm going to get a new laptop. And he'll have that he can use for school.

But, yeah, it depends on where you are in school, like the STEM focus magnet schools and the school where my younger son is going, they require them, because they want them to be able to work from anywhere, not from the perspective of 24/7, like a lot of adults do. But they allow them to have a lot of freedom during the course of their day. And they like them tethered, not tethered to an outlet that they can just get up and use their laptop anywhere. Outside, inside, in the lounges, etc.

Melanie Avalon: It's just so funny to think about how things have changed, because literally I was the only person and I brought a laptop to-- I had to get permission to do it. And they were fine. But it was because I was like it's so much more efficient for me to type my notes during a lecture than write them because I ended up retyping them anyways.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'll really date myself here. When I went to college, there were three of us in college at the same time. Back then computers were super expensive, like prohibitively expensive. I had a word processor. I'm sure there are probably some listeners who remember what that was. But I had a word processor, not even a computer. I didn't have a computer until I went to graduate school. I think it was even like a hand me down like iMac that my mom had. So, yeah, past facts.

Melanie Avalon: Things have been changing.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: I have an interesting experience to share with listeners. How long have you had an Oura ring, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: A little more than a year, might be about a year and a half.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, I've had mine about two years. I can verify on it that I got sick for the first-time last week, with the exception of COVID. I don't really count COVID. I haven't gotten sick in at least two years. I don't remember getting sick, like before my Oura ring. I think it's probably been about three years of getting sick non-COVID. I had a fever and chills. And it's so funny, I was so excited-- not excited, but that night that it hit me, I was like, I can't wait to wake up and look at my Oura ring and see if it knows that I'm sick. I did. And my score was awful, and it knew, that's when I was able to look back through the data and see if I'd had a fever at all in the past two years. But what's interesting is, the very next day, I was completely back to normal HRV wise, readiness score wise, and I've actually been better since before getting sick. But I have been so tired. It's like I'm experiencing the COVID fatigue that people talk about. But I didn't have COVID because I tested, I didn't have COVID this time around. Some things I've noticed during this experience, to share with listeners is one, for people who take my Serrapeptase, I'm blown away because my memories of being sick are congestion and runny nose and not being able to breathe. Interestingly, I haven't had barely any of that. I know it's all there, but the Serrapeptase just keeps me so clear. So, I've been so, so grateful for that.

And then secondly, I mean, it's a little bit disconcerting that I'm still really tired. Normally I've been canceling everything, calls, going out with friends. Normally I do business calls when I'm running errands, and I haven't been doing any of those because I've been like I can't run an errand and talk on the phone at the same time. I've been scratching my head about what to do. I was talking with my friend James Clement, who wrote a book called The Switch. And actually, Morgan Levine talks about him in her book as well, who I interviewed and who you are interviewing in an upcoming episode. She's amazing. I've been talking to him about what to do. And he keeps saying that I said high dose NMN. Cynthia, do you take NR or NMN?

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't. Admittedly, it'll be fully transparent. I don't feel like I know enough about the better brands for those products. I think that's really what it comes down to, because I know there's a lot of smoke and mirrors in the supplement industry. For full disclosure, I usually just lean on Melanie's recommendations, if it's something I don't know a lot about. I'm like, "What would Melanie do?

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's so funny. Well, especially with NR and NMN. For listeners who are not familiar, there's something called NAD in our body. And Peter Attia, did you listen to this episode, he recently did an episode with a guest expert in NAD?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's on my list. But it's like I really have to set aside the time like I've been listening to the Huberman and Attia podcasts. And since it's like more than two hours, it's been two gym workouts, and I'm still not done with it.

Melanie Avalon: We talked about this. So, you listen to podcasts while working out?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do, or books. It depends on my mood. But lately, I've been getting back to podcasting.

Melanie Avalon: I have to do music if I'm at the gym. I listen at night, usually to podcasts. But he did do a recent dive into NAD. In any case, NAD is how I keep talking about magnesium being the master mineral in the body. NAD is basically the master coenzyme in the body, literally involved in everything. It's an all of the cells. And there are some theories out there and talking to James, this is his theory that especially with COVID, that post COVID fatigue and long COVID, might be due to depleted NAD in the body. And we see with age that NAD actually goes down as well. A lot of scientists also think a lot of aging effects are due to depleted NAD. So, keeping your NAD topped up is super important.

But you can't take NAD as a supplement. But you can take the precursors, which are NMN and NR and there's been so much debate about which version is better. And like you just said, Cynthia, especially with NAD and NR, a lot of just sketchiness in that industry. I've been historically taking both and experimenting. And I think I can announce this, I announced before that we were going to make NMN at AvalonX. And then we couldn't because it's in the gray zone with the FDA. But things are changing. I probably will be releasing an NMN upcoming sort of soon, which I am so thrilled about. So, needless to say, I was talking with James, and his direct quote to me was, "Do not underestimate the effect of high dosing NMN."

What he actually does, he has a lab; he made his name by doing work on the blood work of super centenarians. And now he does a lot of anti-aging lab work. And he's literally testing NMN and NED and stuff like that in his lab all the time. He's been helping me figure out a dosing schedule. I started high dosing the NMN that I'm taking right now two nights ago. And I actually did start feeling a little bit better. And today's the first day I feel, like this is not wearing me out right now to talk. And I took so much NMN last night. And I think it's so important that I actually over the next four days, I said, you can't take NED as a supplement, but you can as an IV, or as an intramuscular injection. So right after this, I'm going to go get an NAD injection. And then I have two IVs scheduled and then another injection. I mean, I can't keep being sick this long. I'm like not down with this. That was a lot. But basically, listeners, I think NAD is so, so important.

Stay tuned, because, hopefully, I'll be releasing my own NMN soon. For updates on that, definitely go on the email list. That's at avalonx.us/emaillist, avalonx.us is also where the Serrapeptase is and the magnesium and the coupon code MELANIEAVALON gets you 10% off. But I just share all of that because I mean, I love these supplements, but getting sick has made me realize, it's when you're sick that you realize what's important to you. So that was a long spiel, but you got sick sort of recently, right, with laryngitis?

Cynthia Thurlow: When I came back from Europe, I was convinced I must have had COVID because I spent two days in bed. And then I was like, "If I didn't have COVID, I must have flu." And I kept coming up negative for both. But I started a whole regimen of high dose vitamin A, vitamin D, a slew of other things that thankfully, my physician friends called in for me and I felt better, usually within a day and a half. But my Oura ring, the day before I started feeling poorly was already telling me something was brewing and it stayed abnormal for like four or five days. And then it went back to normal. I don't know what I had. But I do think for all of us we lean into the narrative that, "Oh, it has to be COVID." And I just think you can get an apparent virus.

Melanie Avalon: There are other things. Sorry, I'm so glad you said that, didn't mean to interrupt, because so many people I've talked to they're like, "Oh, it's probably COVID. I'm like, "Well, I had COVID. I tested this time around, it was negative. And they're like, "Oh, but it's probably still COVID. I'm like, "Guys, there are other viruses besides COVID."

Cynthia Thurlow: And, unfortunately, that's the mentality is, "Oh, if you get sick now, you can't just have like a common cold virus."

Melanie Avalon: What happens all the other coronaviruses, like it's COVID19 because there are a lot of other coronaviruses.

Cynthia Thurlow: Right. We flew from Budapest to Amsterdam, ran through an airport, I'm not kidding, ran, sprinted to our flight to Boston, Boston to our home. And I was like, "Who knows what I got exposed to?" Even though you know, travel to me is generally pretty enjoyable. But your immune function can be impacted by a lot of things. And certainly six hours ahead, the net impact of time differences and things you get exposed to while you're traveling and the stress of traveling. Let's be honest, it's not stress free. I'm mentally gearing up for three trips I have back-to-back in September and early October. And I was telling my husband, in between the LA and Scottsdale trip, I think I'm home for two days. And I'm like, "Oh, I'm going to be like really hunkered down as an introvert in between those big trips. So, yeah, there's a lot that goes into it. And not every viral illness is the pandemic bug, it could very well be just a latent, benign summer virus that people used to never think twice about.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you said that, because it's like everything's COVID now.

Cynthia Thurlow: Right. And it doesn't have to be. In between my trip and then I had a week at home and then I went to a business trip in Austin and I felt like I did tell every single person I saw that I tested four times for COVID only because I wanted to be able to demonstrate I really didn't have it. Not because I thought I had it but it's now become an expectation that people are hypersensitive, hyperaware to what is now an endemic virus. And the joke is amongst my ER medicine friends, the only people that don't have COVID are the ones who have been tested. Meaning, you probably have had it; you may just have had a really mild case, you may not have tested. Anyway, I don't want to dive down that rabbit hole. But the point is not every viral illness is COVID, or flu for that matter.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. So definitely been an experience. And I'm really excited to see again, so the high dose NMN is helping, but I'm really excited to see over these next four days with the NED, if that just gets rid of the fatigue, although I've heard that the IV can be a very unpleasant experience. We'll see if I make it through that. Oh, and last thing, I had a call with Oura ring yesterday. Listeners, I might have a code soon, finally. So stay tuned for that. People ask me for a code like every day in my life.

Cynthia Thurlow: I actually have an Oura ring code.

Melanie Avalon: With your name?

Cynthia Thurlow: Why did they sign--? It's people get money off and they get six months of free service?

Melanie Avalon: What? Like a CYNTHIATHURLOW code?

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't even know. I mean, we'll include it in the show notes. But they made it just for me.

Melanie Avalon: Whoa, I have been trying so hard. I had the call yesterday. And they were like, "Well, we'll fix that for you." Treasure that, they do not give those out easily. My listeners know I've been trying.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, because I tagged them constantly. I'm always like showing my data and then I talk about Oura ring probably as much as you do. And I tell everyone, it's like my favorite form of technology that really has been helpful for me determining what I need to do to-- for me, it's really been-- my REM sleep was always good. My deep sleep was the one that needed work. And so, I'm constantly working on that, constantly.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, wow. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode281.

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. Did you know that the majority of chronic illnesses actually stemmed from an inability to manage your blood glucose levels? 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 key. 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. And 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. 

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. So, this is from Knowles. "Hi, Melanie and Cynthia. I'm a 65-year-old woman 110 pounds, and I've been fasting since August of 2021. I'm doing it for the health benefits. When I read something like the issues raised by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne below. I don't know what to think. She sounds legit, and so do the studies. I'm doing fasting for health reasons, so need to know the scoop. Please address this soon. Thanks, and I love your show. I hope you can shed more lighter on this and other recent studies. Thanks for all the information." And here's what she says, "Myth busting intermittent fasting." "Most studies in humans have shown that intermittent fasting doesn't provide any additional benefit compared to other diets, with metabolic and cardiovascular benefits attributable solely to the weight loss during the study. In addition, the most common way of IF'ing by skipping breakfast results in higher inflammatory responses, and increases in measured insulin resistance after lunch. Studies also show that routinely skipping breakfast increases the risk of type two diabetes by a shocking 55%. Increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 21%. And increases all-cause mortality by 32%. All in all, there's far more science pointing to the benefits of breakfast, and eating dinner on the early side to support better sleep."

Melanie Avalon: And then she lists out two different blog posts. One is called Intermittent Fasting Secret to Weight Loss or Dangerous Fad. One is called, Is breakfast most important meal of the day. New Science has answers." And then there are links to two of her podcast episodes. Episode 386, Intermittent Fasting and episode 381, "Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?" And that is on her, what podcast is that?

Cynthia Thurlow: The Paleo Mom.

Melanie Avalon: I have so many thoughts here. Okay, well, to start things off, when her podcast episode 381 published, I breakfast most important meal of the day came out, or it might have been one of those that she links, people were asking about it in my Facebook group. And she actually co-host The Paleo View. Or at least she used to with my good friends, Stacy Toth. This came up in the group, I listened to the podcast episode, and I did a deep dive into what she talked about. And so, I'm going to talk about all that here. And all of this is not to argue her, try to discredit or disprove what Dr. Ballantyne is saying, I just think she brings up a lot of good topics. And I learned a lot listening and diving into what she was referring to. And then I also did a deep, deep dive into one of the specific studies that she talks about because her blog post Is breakfast the most important meal of the day, new science has answers, that is an analysis of a 2017 study called Impact of breakfast skipping compared to a dinner skipping on regulation of energy balance and metabolic risk.

I was reading that study, and it was actually a really fascinating study. I'd love to talk about it anyways. So, I'm just going to talk about all that and then people going to-- we can see where we go from there. So maybe I'll start with that blog post about the 2017 study. So basically, in one of her emails, I'm going to read what she says about the study, and then I'll read what the study actually said. She says that a 2017 study used a randomized crossover design to evaluate skipping breakfast versus skipping dinner, compared to the standard three meals per day. Time restricted feeding, either skipping breakfast or skipping dinner resulted in slightly higher energy expenditure for the day. And while skipping breakfast, but not skipping dinner increased fat oxidation. It came at the expense of higher inflammatory responses, a whopping 54% increase in the postprandial HOMA index, meaning increased insulin resistance, and higher blood sugar and insulin levels after lunch. 

And then she says, "A recent study of how intermittent fasting affects insulin sensitivity showed that the feeding window didn't really matter. What did matter was having the first meal before 8:30 AM." That's Dr. Ballantyne's words. The actual study, what they did was they looked at-- well, first of all, a problem I have with the study, it was very short. So, people basically did like a day of skipping dinner and a control day, and a day of skipping breakfast with a washout period. And it was only a day of each of these. And I think that right there is a problem because it doesn't give people time to acclimate to whatever IF pattern they're doing, because we know it can take the hormones a little bit of time just sorts of regulate to a new rhythm. So that's just a little bit problematic, starting thing off. But that said, there were a lot of good findings in the study.

The participants ate the same similar macronutrients throughout the days. One of the biggest things, the biggest takeaway, at least for me, and Dr. Sarah Ballantyne mentioned this, was those that skipped breakfast, so when they ate dinner, they actually burned more fat. So, it's a huge takeaway from the study is that the participants who skipped breakfast, so basically, they were having a leader eating window, they not only did they burn more fat than those that skipped dinner, they burned fat when the other group was burning carbs. So basically, the people who ate all throughout the day, were burning carbs more. And it was the exact same for the people who skipped dinner. So, the people who were eating earlier burn the same amount of carbs, essentially, as those that were eating throughout the day, compared to those that skipped breakfast and only ate dinner. It's like flipped. They basically burn fat all day, not all day, but they burned a lot of fat. So, they were fat burning for the majority of the day compared to the other group that wasn't. And I just think that that is huge. 

What's interesting is, she mentioned how the HOMA-IR at lunch was worse for those that skipped breakfast. And what HOMA-IR can tell us is, it's like she mentioned a measure of insulin and glucose that can give us a picture of insulin resistance. So, it was worse for those who skipped breakfast after lunch.

One of the problems about the setup is they didn't test HOMA-IR all throughout the day, they only tested one data point, which will-- it was a few different times, but it was basically amount of time surrounding the lunch meal. And what's important to note about that is that's testing the HOMA-IR at a different timeline for the two setups. So, like if you really wanted to make it controlled, I think you would have needed to have tested HOMA-IR, so that it would match the amount of time into the eating window for both of the two arms, the breakfast skippers and the dinner skippers. I don't know if that's quite making sense. But basically, just like looking at one snapshot, I don't think gives a full picture of the entirety of everything, especially when fasting insulin sensitivity 24-hour glycemia, and glucose variability, and 24-hour insulin secretion were all similar for all of them. So basically, all of that was really similar. But when they looked at this one time point, they found a difference. I don't know that that's actually a full picture of what's going on.

And then something fascinating from the study. And I find it interesting that Dr. Ballantyne didn't mention this at all when she talks about the study, even though later in her email, because what we read was from her email, later, in her email, she talks about other studies looking at the role of cortisol and how fasting might have a negative effect on people's cortisol levels and people's stress levels. This study actually found that those who skipped breakfast had a better stress response. While the cortisol and the 24-hour cortisol profile was similar between all the groups. Those that skipped breakfast, I will quote, "It says overall HRV," so we were talking earlier about Oura ring. HRV is your heart rate variability, and it can be used as a marker of your body's stress levels, and higher HRV is basically a better stress response. The study says that overall HRV, heart rate variability, was higher on the breakfast skipping day than on the dinner skipping day. It says that the findings of the study argue against a higher sympathetic tone and suggest improved autonomic regulation with breakfast skipping. 

The sympathetic part of the nervous system is basically like our fight or flight version of our nervous system. The parasympathetic is the more relaxing, calming part of our nervous system. This study found that for those who skipped breakfast, they had a better stress response. They're less of the sympathetic, more the parasympathetic, and improved autonomic regulation. They found that skipping breakfast was better for their stress levels, which is the-- Well, Dr. Ballantyne didn't even mention that from the study, and then it contradicts what she says a little bit later about another study on cortisol. The study makes this case and Dr. Ballantyne makes this case that maybe breakfast skipping is leading to metabolic inflexibility because of that HOMA-IR score. But what's confusing to me, and I'll be curious to hear your thoughts on this, Cynthia, it's like why would we assume metabolic inflexibility based on this one HOMA-IR score taken at one point, when overall, when we look at the entire day, those that skipped breakfast were burning more fat? 

It just doesn't make sense to me. If they're burning more fat for a substantial amount of time, clearly it's a different message than metabolic inflexibility. I find it interesting that that's a conclusion that's drawn. Interestingly, what the study concluded their final, final conclusion was that-- and this is also interesting, because you can make a lot of conclusions from this study. And this is what I want listeners to understand the way these studies are handled, because we'll talk about how there'll be a study, and then it gets interpreted in the media or interpreted by bloggers, or doctors or scientists or influencers, and you can put whatever spin on it you want. But even the study itself, they often put whatever spin on it they want. They focus on what they want to focus on. So, everything I just told you, you could have concluded so many things. You could have concluded skipping breakfast is better for your stress levels, you could have concluded, skipping dinner decreases fat burning. There's a lot of things you could have concluded. But what did they concluded a causal role of breakfast skipping for the development of obesity is not supported by the present data. They basically concluded a negative. Rather than saying, skipping breakfast leads to more fat burning, they concluded that skipping breakfast does not encourage obesity. And it's a small thing, but it just really shows, I think, what the aim can be with certain studies.

So, that was my analysis of that study, honestly reading it, I was like, this makes me want to skip breakfast. Like you'll burn more fat--Oh, I left out the inflammatory response potential. I am so sorry. There was another aspect of this study, where they looked at the immune response. And Dr. Ballantyne talks about this. And it's interesting about here what they did is they looked at the-- again, look, they looked around lunch, and they looked at the blood of the participants, and they didn't look at the inflammatory response of the blood, right then. It wasn't like they looked at them eating the meal and then they looked for levels of inflammatory markers like IL-6. So, they put into the blood either LPS, which is lipopolysaccharide, which is basically a byproduct of gut bacteria that our body registers as a toxin, or they put in hemagglutinin, which is a glycoprotein that causes an immune response in red blood cells. It's kind of like the whole lectin type thing. And they saw how the blood reacted.

So, they didn't look at the inflammatory response of the blood right then. They took the blood, they put in something that the immune system that would react to, and then they tested to see how the blood reacted. And they did find that those who skipped breakfast, had a more exaggerated inflammatory response when they put in basically, a toxin or something that aggravates the blood into the blood. And I don't know enough about immunology to really speak more length on that. Other than to say that I'm not really sure what's going on there and I'm not really sure what the implications are. They concluded that it was maybe because the participants who skipped breakfast were burning more fat when they ate, so they had higher levels of fat in their blood, and that that could exacerbate the immune response to LPS and hemagglutinin. I don't know. Again, it's a thing where I would set it up differently where I would have that response tested so that it's being tested on the early eaters and the late eaters equivalently based on how long they've been fasted, or how long they've been eating, that was in there as well. That was so much, and I also have thoughts about her other blog posts. But I'm going to stop talking for a little bit. Cynthia, do have thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think this really speaks to what happens in the media and many other well intended, I have to believe, this is a well-intended email and blog posts that were written. It's under the presumption that most people don't know how to read research. And it's under the presumption that we aren't going to question what she believes was the key takeaways from this research that was done. And this is why Melanie and I are very committed to really taking the time to thoughtfully look through the research and to be able to say, "This actually isn't the case. If you really look at the research, you really look at the variables, there are so many things that impact, the HPA, the hypothalamus pituitary axis, the stress response in the body, a lot of that could have absolutely nothing to do with meal timing. I feel fervently and strongly that this is one of many reasons why there's so much fear mongering about fasting. And really, we would not be here as a species if it wasn't something that was very aligned with ancestral health perspectives. But when you start layering in the stresses of a modern-day lifestyle, like many of us experience, stress going to work, and stress with kids, and stress with getting sick and all these other things adding in additional layers of stress on top of fasting may make it a less than ideal circumstantial choice. But I don't think that the key tenets from that email and from that study were extrapolated in a way that's particularly helpful. In fact, I think it contributes to the fear mongering mantra and message that we see all over social media, from health influencers, etc. 

And Melanie did a really, really nice job kind of diving into the research, and looking at what it did actually really show. Even when I do little IG lives or I do really short videos, I always say, "Look at the research, was it statistically significant? What was the endpoint they were looking for?" So really getting at least somewhat knowledgeable about what to be looking for and to question. And really, that's what science is doing is, is forcing us to question and to consider, do we need to look at this differently? But it has always been my experience that fasting-- and when we look at the bulk of the population here in the United States is one example. It's anywhere from 8% to 9% of the population is metabolically healthy. So hello, that's most everyone is not metabolically healthy, eating less often is not going to hurt you. I think that's the big thing to stress, like, the big takeaway is, who benefits from us eating all day long? What industry benefits? 

The other thing that I like to look at, Melanie, I'm not sure if you actually looked at this. But I'm always like, "Who funded this study? Who funded the research that we're looking at?" To see if there's any biases, because I think that can also be very, very impactful. But this is trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater, one of those old sayings that my grandmother used to say that, you really have to dig a bit deeper and understand that even people with research backgrounds can actually cherry pick data. It happens super commonly. This is one of many reasons why I think it's important to get savvy or at least familiarized with basic research tenets, and to also, is it something that is outside the norm of how you would normally think about, something like be humble enough to say, "No, maybe there's something here I haven't looked at." But I looked at this as well, and I have to agree with Melanie that, there's nothing to support, the key takeaways that Dr. Ballantyne has in that article or in those emails. I think it's unfortunate, because many years ago, I think I did actually follow her, but I got to a point where I had to unsubscribe. But I think in a lot of levels, I appreciate when our listeners bring these things to our attention, so that we can address them proactively and say, sometimes there's going to be a time when we might say, "Hey, we may need to rethink our thought process on a particular area," versus saying, "I still felt pretty confident that eating less frequently, and not eating large boluses of food throughout the day is ultimately going to improve metabolic flexibility, is going to keep our insulin levels lower, is going to improve those HOMA-IR scores that you were referring to." It just goes to show that even well-meaning people can put out cherry pick data, which is when I first read this that was my visceral response.

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It's really interesting, because I understand that that HOMA-IR when they measured it around lunch seemed worse on the breakfast skippers. But I don't know how you draw the conclusion that they're becoming metabolically inflexible when they started burning fat, and the control group didn't and the dinner skippers didn’t. And then interestingly so, I mentioned that it concluded that skipping breakfast was better for your stress. So later on, Dr. Ballantyne talks about how IF might negatively affect cortisol levels, two references to 2019 study where she says, early time restricted feeding altered the diet neural patterns and cortisol, morning cortisol was elevated and evening cortisol was lowered. And she says this implies that this is not an appropriate dietary strategy for anyone with unmanaged chronic stress. So, this really confuses me, because last time I checked, the cortisol pattern that we wanted was higher cortisol-- like the natural cortisol rhythm is higher cortisol in the morning, lower at night. The study found that, that fasting led to higher cortisol in the morning and lower at night. I don't know. Do you have thoughts on that? That's what I think we would want to see.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. The circadian biology, if you look, you actually get a spike in cortisol about 30 minutes after awakening, and you want to see it ebb and flow throughout the day. But it follows a very commonly, and a healthy person follows a common distribution and higher in the morning, it ebbs and flows throughout the afternoon, and then it's lower in the evening. And you wouldn’t want your cortisol to be the opposite. If it was low in the morning, you would be dragging, you can barely get out of bed. And if it's high at night, then you're wide awake and you can't fall asleep and you can't relax. Circadian biology is something that I have really gotten to know very well. And so that doesn't seem at all aligned with the way things should ideally be. Meaning, we want to see a vibrant cortisol response in the morning. It's what gets us up out of bed, it suppresses melatonin, gets us moving. And then we want cortisol to be lower in the evening when we're getting ready to go to bed, some of us earlier than later. And we want to see a nice vibrant response with melatonin. So that doesn't make any sense to me. And maybe there's something I'm missing.

Melanie Avalon: I've read it so many times. I remember when I heard it in the podcast, and she said that and I was so confused, because I was like, "Well, what do you want to see then?" I just don't understand.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, sometimes I think some of these individuals, and maybe it's not even Dr. Ballantyne, who wrote that maybe it was an assistant or someone on her team. But the assumption is made is that most people don't know basic science. And if you understand, like very basic science, you would say, "Hmm, that doesn't make sense to me because the normal distribution of cortisol and I look at these labs almost every day," that's what you want to see. When it's dysregulated, when you've got hypothalamus pituitary dysregulation, meaning your brain and your pituitary gland and your cortisol, or the adrenal axis, so it's HPA axis. When that axis is disrupted, that's when you'll see an abnormal distribution of cortisol throughout the day into the evening. And so, I have to agree with you.

Although it's interesting when you think about stress, like if someone is going through a divorce, they're having like they've lost their job, or they're going through a contentious move, that might be the time not to add more stress to the body, even if it's a beneficial hermetic stress. But in most instances people can take their foot off the accelerator, and maybe they're doing 12 hours of digestive rest, but I still don't understand how you could say that it's not beneficial, honestly. We're looking at the degree of metabolic ill health we have here in the United States, it's almost-- I actually am getting more bolder on social media, I was saying on Twitter, something along the lines, like, if you're a health care provider, and you're not advising your patients to check their blood sugar's or to recommend a glucometer or CGM, and I'm getting a little off on a tangent, we're really doing them a disservice. And so, I think the same thing, if you're not telling every single patient to go 12 hours without eating, that's criminal, absolutely criminal.

Melanie Avalon: That ties in a little bit to one of the podcast episodes that was referenced. She did bring up a lot of topics, which I think are good topics for discussion. There are things we will be talking about anyways. The one that that made me think of was, she believes the benefits of intermittent fasting are often basically all due to calorie restriction. And that the fasting is harder than calorie restriction. And I have a lot of thoughts surrounding that. Even if the benefits because I know this is an age-old debate, or as long as it can be an age-old debate, which is as long as IF has been a colloquial idea. But even if the benefits of IF are just due to calorie restriction, which I do not believe they are, I believe they activate similar pathways as calorie restriction. But that you can get the benefits without calorie restriction. Even if the benefits are just due to calorie restriction, and people are just accidentally eating less by doing IF, I think it's very hard to get people to do calorie restriction normally, so if people can easily, "unintentionally" do calorie restriction because they're fasting, I see that as a win. I don't have any issue with that.

Cynthia Thurlow: Melanie, I think it's also this very reductionistic thinking, when people say, "Oh, the only benefits are that you've reduced your calories." And I'm like "No, that's actually not correct." And it's an opportunity to really help educate people that there's so much more to the benefits of fasting that people are unaware of. I think people come to it because they want to change body composition or lose weight. But if it were simply about the calories, then we wouldn't have all this other vibrant research that suggests that there's a lot of benefits that maybe aren't apparent, reduction in inflammation, autophagy upregulation, all these other things that people sometimes lose sight of.

I think it also speaks to the fact that we have conditioned our patients to believe that they need to be eating all day long, and eating snacks and many meals and the reality situation is. Even people who are thin have plenty of stored food in their bodies, stored fat that they can access if they're fat adapted. And there's a lot to unpack here. And I'm trying to restrain myself, because I could go off on many different tangents about the fear mongering and the cherry picking of data that seems to be really prevalent, much more so now than ever before.

Melanie Avalon: That's why I thought about this part of it because how you're saying that doctors should be telling people to go a certain amount of time without eating. But there's often this response of it requires calorie restriction or it's not sustainable. And it's just better to eat all day. I don't see that. In that podcast, she talks about how-- she speaks specifically about ADF, alternate day fasting, and how it's more difficult than calorie restriction. So, interestingly, ideally for me, it wouldn't be more difficult than calorie restriction, but I do find ADF, it does not appeal to me, I think it'd be too difficult for me, not something that I would like. That said, there are so many studies that have found that not to be the case. So, I'll put links in the show notes. But for example, one called alternate day fasting improves physiological and molecular markers of aging and healthy nonobese humans. That one they saw no dropouts in six months for people doing ADF. They saw two drop outs in two months for people who were not doing ADF compared to one drop out in three months of ADF.

And then there's one called short-term modified alternate-day fasting, a novel dietary strategy for weight loss and cardio protection and obese adults. They found that the compliance on ADF was very high, 86%. And it was even higher, because often in studies, they'll do like an enforced part of it, where they basically give the people the meals, and then there's like the self-done version. And they actually found that people were more compliant when they were doing it themselves, which is pretty cool. And then there's one called alternate day fasting for weight loss and normal weight and overweight subjects, a randomized control trial. And they found that people doing ADF had adherence rates of 98%, and that their hunger did not change. And the longer they did ADF, they felt more satisfied and more-full. ADF is probably hard for a lot of people. Like I said, I don't want to do it. But there's been a lot of studies where people find it very easy to adhere to. I wouldn't make a blanket statement about it being something that's not practical or not implementable.

And then she does have a lot of takeaways about breakfast studies. And this claim that the majority of studies show the benefits of breakfast, and I have dived deep into breakfast studies, especially when I was writing What When Wine. What Cynthia was talking about earlier with funding, this is where it is shocking the amount of studies that are funded by the breakfast cereal industry. It's just shocking. And there's actually a 2013 meta-analysis. Up until that point, their conclusion was "a majority of pro breakfast studies feature bias interpretations, misleading language and proper citations and inappropriate terminology." So, basically, there's a huge bias in the literature.

On top of that, there's the healthy user bias. That's the idea that the people who skip breakfast are often the type of people that are engaging in other healthy habits, because we've been told for so long that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Sorry, I said people who skip breakfast, people who eat breakfast tend to smoke less, drink less, eat more fiber, eat more micronutrients, be physically active, that can be a misleading thing for all the studies. And then if you actually look at the studies on skipping breakfast, that's just not what it shows. A lot of the studies show that skipping breakfast, people do not overcompensate, they usually end up eating less throughout the day overall, when they skip breakfast, they don't make up for skipping an entire meal, even if they eat like a little bit more at lunch. I'll put a link in the show notes to my blog post that I did on early versus late night eating. And that was more in the context of fasting. But when I actually looked into the literature on everything, and I tried to be as unbiased as possible, and I walked away thinking that the best time to eat, it's not what I do, by the way. It's not like late at night, like I do. But it did seem to be between like 4:00 to 7:00. Basically, later afternoon to early evening, while the sun is still up. I tried my hardest to be as unbiased as possible. And I looked at so many studies.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think you're also a unicorn. I lovingly say that I think that it works for you. You're metabolically flexible, you are insulin sensitive, but the average metabolically inflexible individual would probably struggle with-- like when I think about late night eating, when it's dark outside, it's not aligned with the way our bodies are designed to thrive. For the average person in that subsect, it could be detrimental if it was something they did all the time. But this is when bio-individuality really rules. And this is certainly a degree of experimentation. I know when I used to work crazy shifts in the hospital like 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM. More often than not even would get a dinner break in the evening, and you would just eat because if you didn't eat then you weren't going to be able to eat later. But I think it's really leaning into what works for each one of us.

Then the research is helpful. That's one thing I want to respond as clinician. Research is helpful to guide suggestions and recommendations, but ultimately, it's the clinician or the N-of-1 or the patient or the individual really determining what works for them and is in their best interest. I think that's really important. If we get hung up on, and I'm just speaking in very general terms, research is helpful. Research confirms many things that we do clinically. Research can also just leave us with more questions like, "Oh, we need more research done on this area." We know that women there's not enough research done on women as one example, because there have been a lot of fears about subjecting women to research that are of childbearing, ages, for many concerns about the potential teratogenic effects. Meaning, anything that could potentially happened to their fertility or an unborn child. But I think there's now a push and a demand for not just being exclusive and looking just at men or menopausal women, but looking at everyone to get a really good representation of what the research holds for. I mean, that's my feeling. I'm always looking at it objectively and saying, yes, research is helpful, it can confirm what we need, or it can cause us to look at different variables that are impacting fasting or metabolic health. But I always think it's important to determine for each one of us what is working or what is not working,

Melanie Avalon: I cannot agree more. I think bio-individuality is so, so key. I am a late-night person. According to Dr. Breus, I'm a dolphin, and I have cortisol spikes probably late at night. Eating late at night really brings down that cortisol for me. It's just really interesting because I honestly think if we could get rid of all of the biases of society, and we didn't have this narrative about breakfast, and I think if people just objectively sat down and looked at the hormonal profiles of people naturally, like, what would they conclude? I don't think you would conclude that you should eat breakfast, because once you wake up, cortisol spikes, adrenaline spikes, you have hormones that are releasing fuel from your body. It's not a time where your body is asking for fuel. Ghrelin, the hunger hormone raises a little bit later, not right when you wake up. I did a deep dive into the hormonal profile, it was really, really interesting. But then again, there are people that love breakfast, and that's what their body wants. And that's where, like you said, bio-individuality is key.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: I feel this was the anti-fearmongering episode. I'm also glad you brought that up about the role of women in studies. One another reason I loved interviewing Morgan Levine, I find that it's the female scientists that are the ones talking about this. She talks about in her book, some of the problems with anti-aging research and how women often historically haven't been as included in the studies. There's definitely a need for more women in studies.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it's interesting, even when I was writing my book, and I've got so many references, they're housed on my website, because it would have taken up on a 20 or 30 pages in the book, there just isn't enough. We can't compare ourselves to lab animals. And we can't compare ourselves to primates. We really do need good researchers really looking at all these variables. And to be honest, anecdotally, I'm starting to see emerging trends that are coming up. Actually, I'm doing a webinar for the DUTCH company. So, this is a Precision Analytical DUTCH test, is a test that I use quite frequently in, especially in programs like Holistic Blueprint, which we're enrolling for in September, and they'd asked me to do a very slanted discussion on metabolic health and fasting and nutrition, which, of course, I'm happy to do. And I identified for them, I'm starting to see this triad of women, they are over-fasting, over-restricting, over-exercising, and those are the women I worry about the most in terms of adding in more fasting, it's the extremes that we as women don't weather quite as much.

It's not to suggest women can't work hard and work out hard, and doesn't mean they cannot fast. But if we're over-restricting everything in our diet, and we're anti-carb, we're not eating enough protein, we're eating the wrong types of fats, we're exercising seven days a week during CrossFit. And sorry to pick on CrossFit, I'm just trying to think of a very intense form of exercise without recovery. And then on top of that you're doing two 24 hour fasts a week, guess what? That's not going to balance your hormones, that's not going to put you in an advantageous position. As we are asking and demanding for more research, we're going to see some interesting results that come out of that. And I think Ben Bikman was recently talking about suppression of mTOR and how that can impact, I hope I'm not miss speaking. I think he was talking about ovarian follicle health. You really start to think about the fact of why I always say like, if you're a healthy woman under the age of 35, don't over-restrict your food and don't over fast. That's the kind of research we need to see, what's the net impact of hormetic stress on different stages of life. Not just women's still at peak fertile year, but in perimenopause and menopause, I think that would be really interesting and certainly very telling. I'm glad that there are researchers like Dr. Levine who are advocating for women and certainly doing the research. They're in the thick of things and hopeful that that will yield more helpful information to guide recommendations and clinical decision making, N-of-1 decision making moving forward.

Melanie Avalon: I'm glad there are people like you, like clinicians, working with patients and looking at all of the research and advocating, so strongly for women and all of this. So, thank you.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: Well, so that was a deep dive.

Cynthia Thurlow: That was a one question IF Podcast episode, but we will be back next week with lots of questions.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I knew that was going to happen. When I was reading, it took me a long time to read through the study, I was like, "This is going to be a long episode." For listeners, there will be a full transcript, which I know will be very helpful because that was a deep dive. And links to everything that we talked about, because we talked about a lot of things in the show notes, those are at ifpodcast.com/episode281. You can submit your own questions by directly emailing questions@ifpodcast.com. Or, you can go to ifpodcast.com and you could submit questions there. Lastly, you can follow us on Instagram, we are @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. I think that is all the things.

Cynthia Thurlow: Great deep dive into that question. And thank you, listeners, keep them coming. It's always enjoyable when Melanie and I dive into the research and look at different ways of making observations and certainly helping you, wade through a lot of misinformation that's out there, and there are certainly plenty of it.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. All right. Wow, this was absolutely wonderful, and I will talk to you next week.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Aug 28

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

Intermittent Fasting

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

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

4:15 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

The Forever Dog: A New Science Blueprint for Raising Exceptionally Healthy and Happy Companions

Intermittent Fasting Masterclass with cynthia Thurlow

IF45 Coaching Certification Program

Wholistic Blueprint class

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRANSCRIPT

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

[intro ends]

Hi friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get sugar-free, nitrate-free, heritage breed bacon for life. Plus, up to $100 off. Yes, free bacon for life. Plus, up to $100 off. We are so honored to be sponsored by ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get high quality, humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, that's really hard to find, by the way, and wild caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect, and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency regarding grazing practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox. You can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. But I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: It's garbage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. 

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Shall we start off with a listener question?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: No, hmm-hm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Do you do oil pulling?

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Hmm-hm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good.

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Aug 21

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

Intermittent Fasting

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

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

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

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #5 - Todd White

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRANSCRIPT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, there. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, probably.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

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

Cynthia Thurlow: I am. She's wonderful.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Are you interviewing Dorian? 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Is she British, as well?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Bio individuality rules. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: I think in February. 

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Like how much in terms of quantity?

Melanie Avalon: He recommends a teaspoon added to meals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If I were to sit down to have a meal of a ribeye, it would be delicious, but I wouldn't feel as good from it. I don't think and that's why I was curious about when you're doing only meat. If I was doing only meat, I would be very curious. I might be better with fattier meats then, but I haven't done that in a while.

Cynthia Thurlow: No. They sent me home from the hospital telling me to eat a standard American diet. Essentially, a devoid of fiber, highly processed. And my gastroenterologist and surgeon were like, “You know exactly what to do.” And so, I recall it had to be stewed meat or braised meat. It had to be really, really cooked meat. I remember even reintroducing shellfish was a problem. It was a long journey. But I could eat a cooked burger like a champ and I probably ate burgers every day. It was one thing that my body really had a strong desire for, but it had to be a plain burger, nothing on it. Salt and pepper. That was about it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I have one more thought. Oh, so, reading his book, Steak, where he basically travels all over the world. I learned so much and tried steak in all these different countries, and tried to figure out what makes a good steak. And after reading that book, I was craving a steak. I have quite a few steaks in my freezer from ButcherBox. I will say, “Oh my goodness.” Have you had the ButcherBox filets?

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-mm.

Melanie Avalon: They're really, really good. I love carpaccio. I pulled it out and I was like, “I wonder if I can make my own carpaccio from this?” I sliced it rare and it was so tender, it was so delicious. So, plug for ButcherBox. They have really good steaks. And our link for them is butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. I'm not sure what the offer is right now, but they usually have really good offers going. I'm excited to interview him, but I think his takeaway was that the thing that most affects flavor, it's funny how just how different the different ideas are in different countries about what makes a good steak. The USDA prime concept is just about the marbling. It's nothing about the flavor. I don't know, I think it's very misleading as far as what makes a good steak. 

And then, wait, there was one other fact. Oh, this blew my mind. The criteria for Angus steak is so arbitrary that you would think it would be from the Angus breed, but it's not. They do it based on-- The criteria is like, “Is the cow black?” Because most Angus cows are black. And then all these other criteria, but none of it is actually is it an Angus steak. So, there's all of these crazy nuances in the steak world that just blew my mind. I was like, “Oh, wow, can't trust a label.”

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think that goes for anything here in the United States, [laughs] unfortunately.

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Melanie Avalon: So, her next question. She says, “Due to my health history, I get bloodwork frequently. My glucose is often, high 109. I don't understand. It is frustrating, because I don't eat processed foods much at all. Could alcohol affect this? Before you answer that, if I'm being honest, I'm drinking more now than ever during COVID-19, but I mostly clear liquor, tequila, and vodka, and yes, wine several days a week. If my sugar is up, can I still be successful at IF? This is very confusing to me?”

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, clearly, it sounds like you're in perimenopause. You're going to be prone to less insulin sensitivity. If you're fasting blood sugar's 109, that's high. I would be asking for a fasting insulin. I would want to know an A1c, I want to look at inflammatory markers, like, a high-sensitivity CRP, and you would be an ideal person to have a glucometer or continuous glucose monitor without question.

A lot of things impact blood sugar, sleep quality, stress management, overexercising, inflammatory foods, gut health, toxins. I would say at a bare minimum you need a deeper dive. But a blood sugar of 109, if it's been that level multiple times, it's a wakeup call that you're setting yourself up to develop some degree of insulin resistance. It's time to have an honest conversation. If you're still eating gluten, and grains, and dairy, and alcohol, and processed sugars, all of those things can exacerbate insulin resistance. So, it's really a wakeup call.

Melanie Avalon: I agree. And just speaking to the alcohol piece specifically, typically drinking alcohol in the fasted state will actually lower your blood sugar. But if you're having alcohol with your meal, it also might lower the blood sugar effect, but it's very individual. For some people, it might have the opposite effect because the body's processing the alcohol. And so, the glucose from your meal is staying elevated in your bloodstream. Again, it's a thing where you're going to have to monitor with a continuous glucose monitor to see how it's affecting you specifically, but agreed with Cynthia that it's concerning. So, definitely something to look further into.

Not to put a Band-Aid on it with a supplement, but something like berberine might also be helpful supplement to integrate into your protocol. She also says, “She thought she was in perimenopause, but then she had a full-blown cycle” and she just wanted to point that out. I think she was saying this, because I cut down this question a little bit. But Gin had an experience, I think where perimenopause and the definition of it and then having thinking you're done, and then you're not, and so, she was referring to that. Do you see that a lot with your patients, by the way, Cynthia, people who think they're at a certain point with perimenopause or menopause and then have a surprise?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, not all that often, because so, let me backtrack. Over the past two years without getting controversial, if anyone received a vaccine for a virus that we have been in a pandemic over, I'll just put it that way. I've seen a lot of women in menopause that have started menstruating, again. I've seen women that are peak cycling years that have gone on to have months, and months, and months of irregular shorter, longer cycles. So, certainly, if you fall underneath those parameters, that may be directly related to the vaccine. Let me just put that out there. 

Number two, generally, if you've gone 12 months without a menstrual cycle, you are menopausal. If you suddenly start bleeding after that 12 months that absolutely warrants seeing your GYN or your internist to make sure there's no other reason to explain why that would happen. If someone is not yet in menopause, and they have 18 months without a menstrual cycle, and then they get one that's obviously different. This is a question that is best directed to your healthcare professional. But again, if you're 51 years of age or older, that's the average age in the United States for menopause. And you have not had a period for 12 months or longer and you suddenly get a period, you need to let your GYN know that requires follow up with them. And it could turn out to be completely benign, however, you need to make sure it's not related to another issue.

Melanie Avalon: She has one last question. She said, “She's not been able to drink diet soda or regular soda since chemotherapy, which is a blessing in disguise. And she also can't consume anything with artificial lemon or lime. They all give her a horrible aftertaste. But she can have cherry or orange Tootsie Rolls, which is strange.” She says, “She knows we're not doctors, but do we have thoughts on why.” I will just say, I don't know, but I will say, after reading, I mentioned it already. But in particular, The Dorito Effect and learning the mind blowingness about all of these artificial flavors, and how they're created, and what they are, and what they do, and how they signal to our bodies. It doesn't surprise me that going through something like chemotherapy, I don't know what happened, but it has some effect and how your body is interpreting these flavors. So, that's not surprising to me.

Cynthia Thurlow: Very common for patients that have gone through chemotherapy to develop. Sometimes, it can be transient, short-term, but also long-term taste preferences. And I think it would be highly dependent on the type of chemotherapy that you received. Whatever chemo toxic agent you received, some of them may have more lingering long-term effects than others. That would be my first guess. But certainly, something to discuss with your oncology team. If this is someone else that's listening that's experiencing this, I have someone on my team who very openly talks about being aggressive cancer thriver. That's how she refers to herself. And I fervently agree with that that she definitely had a period of time transiently, where she had some taste preferences, or things that tasted metallic or cottony in her mouth that ever resolved. But I think it's largely dependent on the type of cancer you're being treated for and the type of chemo toxic drug that you received.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you. That was so helpful. I did not know that. [laughs] And also, Doreen, sending you lots of love with that whole situation with your cancer and we're happy that you caught it early. And it sounds like the chemotherapy is going well. So, very happy for you with that. She says, “I want to thank you, ladies. I feel blessed beyond words to have been able to include you in my daily life. Love and light.” Oh, she goes by D. So, thank you D for your question, which apparently was our episode. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It was a long question, but our next episode, we're going to get a couple for sure fit in. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode279. Those show notes will have a full transcript. So, definitely check that out. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. And again, a reminder to enter the giveaway for some goodies from Cynthia. If you have her book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation or if you don't, if you get it, which you should, just leave a review on whatever platform you bought it on. It's super easy to do and just send a screenshot of that to questions@ifpodcast.com to enter to win and this is US continental residents only. Yes, I think that is all the things. Anything from you, Cynthia, before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, thank you. Keep those great questions coming. Obviously, today was an unusually long question, but we will definitely get to several on the next episode we record. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, I will talk to you next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription] 

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Aug 14

Episode 278: Food Rules, Fortified Foods, Synthetic Vitamins, Weight Loss Timelines, Constipation, Magnesium, Bitter Foods, Bile, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 278 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free BACON For LIFE plus $20 off each box for the first 5 months of your membership!

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

FEALS: Feals Makes CBD Oil Which Satisfies ALL Of Melanie's Stringent Criteria: It's Premium, Full Spectrum, Organic, Tested, Pure CBD In MCT Oil! It's Delivered Directly To Your Doorstep. CBD Supports The Body's Natural Cannabinoid System, And Can Address An Array Of Issues, From Sleep To Stress To Chronic Pain, And More! Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free BACON For LIFE Plus $20 Off Each Box For The First 5 Months Of Your Membership!

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

The End of Craving: Recovering the Lost Wisdom of Eating Well
Steak: One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef
The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor
(Mark Schatzker)

23:30 - BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

27:50 - Listener Q&A: Violet - IF Timeline

40:25 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

43:00 - Listener Q&A: Liv - 1-2 hour window, constipation, when everything balances out?

AvalonX Magnesium 8: Get Melanie’s Broad Spectrum Complex Featuring 8 Forms Of Magnesium, To Support Stress, Muscle Recovery, Cardiovascular Health, GI Motility, Blood Sugar Control, Mood, Sleep, And More! Tested For Purity & Potency. No Toxic Fillers. Glass Bottle.

Episode 276: Magnesium Benefits, Supplementing A Whole Foods Diet, Medication Interaction, Stress and Depletion, Absorption, Dosing, and Effectiveness, And More!

She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period. (Sherry A. Ross, MD)

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

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 278 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, biohacker and author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and cynthiathurlow.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this show do not constitute medical advice or treatment and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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

If you recently saw a documentary on Netflix called Seaspiracy, you might be a little bit nervous about eating seafood. Now, I understand why ButcherBox makes it so, so clear and important about how they work with the seafood industry. Everything is checked for transparency, for quality, and for sustainable raising practices. You want their seafood. The value is incredible, the average cost is actually less than $6 per meal, and it's so easy. Everything ships directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing. I remember the first time I had one and I just thought, “This is honestly one of the best steaks I've ever had in my entire life.” On top of that, did you know that the fatty acid profile of grass-fed, grass-finished steaks is much healthier for you than conventional steaks. And their bacon, for example is from pastured pork, and sugar and nitrate free. How hard is that to find? I'm super excited, because ButcherBox’ bacon for life is back and it's even better, because for a limited time, ButcherBox is giving you $20 off each box for the first five months of your membership. That's free bacon for life and up to $100 off. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to get one pack of bacon for free in every box for the rest of your life, as well as $20 off each box for the first five months of your membership. butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. And we'll put all this information in the show notes.

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

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Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 278 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with, Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hello, my friend. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, first of all, happy, early birthday to you.

Cynthia Thurlow: Thank you. Yeah, it's been a good year. I feel I'm not one of those people who gets freaked out or weirded out about birthdays. In fact, I just look at it as, how much growth have I had in the past year? And I think it's been a pretty amazing year. So, I'm very grateful. But thank you. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's definitely a really nice milestone or it's a nice moment to reflect on how far you've come to quantify time.

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. There's been a lot of growth in a lot of different areas. I feel I'm in a good, healthy place.

Melanie Avalon: So, question for you that will apply to all of the listeners. Well, I guess, I need to know more about-- Okay, so, your everyday dietary choices that you follow, personally for you, do you do gluten free, dairy free? Do you have food rules?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. I've been gluten free for 10 years and that put an autoimmune issue that I have into remission. And I've been dedicated dairy and almost 100% grain free. Occasionally, I may have a little bit of rice, but I'm dedicated to no gluten, no dairy, and almost 100% no grains. And I'm heavily meat focused. I would say the last three years, I've been much more diligent eating a lot less fish and chicken and really expanding my repertoire of meat and then a lot of vegetables. I like vegetables genuinely.

Melanie Avalon: And how do you exist within the Whole Foods versus processed foods paradigm?

Cynthia Thurlow: I would say, on occasion, I will have a cracker. I like Hu crackers. They're super expensive. So, it just reminds me that I really do portion out my portions. I'm a big aficionado of dark chocolate. So, clearly, that's processed. I think it's a lot of our perspectives on nutrition really need to be based on what are our goals, what fuels our body makes us feel good. And I think that's highly individual. I would say, obviously, my electrolytes are processed to an extent. Electrolytes are a large part of my world. I realize when I travel, I'm like, “Oh my gosh, my electrolytes.” I feel so much better with them. But normally, I tend to eat a less processed diet. I'm not perfect. I'm not like I’m living off the land, and I have my own cow, and I process it, and I only eat what I have in my yard. No, that's not the way I live my life. But I do endeavor to eat as minimal processed food as I can within a realistic framework. Because I can honestly tell you after spending a weekend in a very rural part of my state, I do realize that there are conveniences that are important for me, and my sanity and my family sanity, and I don't have a problem with them. If I'm buying something processed per se, I'm buying the cleanest version of that product possible within the context of what's important to me. Like, no seed oils, no high fructose corn syrup. I'm thinking more about my teenagers and it's getting more challenging as they get older to be able to navigate that realm and still ensure that they're having some fun foods.

Melanie Avalon: Well, first of all, I think that's a really healthy approach [laughs] that I would encourage for everybody. There're two paths I want to take right now. One is, because I want to talk about a book that I just finished that relates to all of this. But the reason I was asking you all of those questions, you might see this coming. When you have something celebratory like your birthday, is there some sort of food indulgence that you treat yourself to or how does that go?

Cynthia Thurlow: In our new city, everyone knows I have these mental food rules that are important to me. We've struggled to find a restaurant that meets all of those needs. The kids and my husband decided, “We're going to just make a really nice dinner.” We have steak and I love shishito peppers. I'm obsessed with them. And my husband will grill them for me. But my treat is not alcohol. My treat is for making a gluten free brownie and I'm going to savor and enjoy every single bite of said brownie. My kids just made, I think, they even put chocolate chips in it. And then there is a dairy free, junk free, it's like Cool Whip, but it's not Cool Whip. It doesn't have all the junky emulsifiers and whatever is in Cool Whip that I try to avoid. There's a product that's out there that's clean. It's made with coconut milk. And so, I'm going to put that on top of my brownie probably with some blueberries and I'm going to savor every single bite.

I generally avoid eating products that have flours in that [unintelligible [00:12:38] flour. And then because it really has a detrimental impact on my blood sugar, but I'm also going to take a walk after I eat my dinner. So, [laughs] that's usually where I will enjoy myself. I'll have a dessert for my birthday. I believe fervently that all of us, when we have a celebration, we should enjoy ourselves that we will build into our week, or day, or what have you ways to kind of buffer that indulgence.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you said that, because that relates to the book topic. But first of all, do you know the name of that coconut milk, Cool Whip? Because listeners might want to buy it. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's called Cocowhip. It changed my life. It's better than Cool Whip, but to me, I don't eat ice cream. Okay, so, it has filtered water, coconut oil, tapioca syrup, cane sugar, pea protein. Okay. It's not the cleanest thing in the world, but it is certainly better than-- There's one that's even cleaner than this one that they have it my Whole Foods, but that's the brand.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, awesome. Yeah, I'm all about finding the things that work for individuals. Awesome. So, we'll put links to everything in the show notes.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds like a crazy person. I can't remember the name, but it makes me feel I'm having ice cream and I'm not and it's delicious. My kids think I'm a wackadoodle. They're like, “Just have the ice cream, mama.” I'm like, “No,” because dairy does not agree with me. It's just an unpleasant interaction with my digestive system.

Melanie Avalon: The book, I kept texting you about this book and I finally finished it last night. It is blowing my mind. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Really?

Melanie Avalon: Yes. So much. I'm going to read his other two books. But listeners might be familiar because Gin would always mention this book called The Dorito Effect. It's not The Dorito Effect, but it's his newest book. The author is Mark, I think it's Schatzker. It's spelled interestingly. The book is called The End of Craving. Okay, there's so much in this book. I was just going to read it for the interview, but I just think it's so amazing that I'm going to read his other two books, The Dorito Effect. And he has a book called Steak. The subtitle is, One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef. Apparently, it's like a travel food thing, where he went all over and learned about the different raising practices of cows and the different steaks, and he talks a lot about steaks. So, I'm can’t read that. In The End of Craving, he talks about a lot of stuff. But basically, the main thesis is that, when we started fortifying foods and adding additives, and flavorings, and all these things, but all of that is what led to the obesity epidemic. And so, there's a lot of different topics that he discusses. But I'll just give like two of them, for example. With the fortification of foods, this is so crazy. He talks about the pellagra epidemic. Are you familiar with that that happened?

Cynthia Thurlow: Vaguely. 

Melanie Avalon: I actually want to interview Bill Schindler, who wrote a book called Eat Like a Human. He talks about it, too. But basically, there was this mysterious disease called pellagra and it killed so many people. And they didn't know what caused it. People thought it was infectious and then they thought it was socioeconomic. They couldn't figure out what it was and it ended up being niacin deficiency. It was because we started eating a lot of corn. It's a long story behind that. But in any case, so, the US started fortifying foods in the 1940s. They started adding niacin, other B vitamins to flour. And so, that cured the pellagra epidemic in the US. Italy, they also cured the pellagra epidemic, but not by fortifying. They just made it so people started eating foods with B vitamins. He says that that is the reason that the US became obese and Italy didn't. It's because when we add these vitamins, it does a few things. It gives us the ability to turn the processed food into energy and fat. When they do studies on pigs on diets that might include processed feed, when they add the vitamins, the pigs get fat and it's linear. It's the more vitamins you add, the fatter they get. Basically, this idea that the added vitamins are making us fat, which is crazy.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sorry, no. So, synthetic vitamins, is he also accounting for what else is in the “chow” or the feed of these animals? I'm totally curious.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so that's the thing. There was rodent studies and pig studies. But if they were given feed that's processed without the vitamins, they would stay malnourished and actually die. And then once vitamins were added, they would live and also get fat. And the more vitamins you added, the fatter they got. If listeners are curious, whenever I'm prepping a book, I read the whole book. I take a lot of notes. If there are studies, I want to look at deeper, I look after having read the book. I haven't pulled up these individual studies. Just fact check them. But he says, with artificial sweeteners, this blew my mind, that they've done studies where basically, they'll have five drinks and they'll all be artificially sweetened. But then they'll have different levels of maltodextrin, which gives it the ability to add calories or not add calories. Basically, in this study, there were five drinks, they all tasted the exact same, but one had actually zero calories, one had 75 calories, one had 100 calories. It was different numbers of actual calories. 

When the participants would drink the drinks, if they drank the drink that matched the calories, the way it tasted, it tasted like a certain amount of calories based on sweetness. They drank the drink that had the same amount of calories as what it tasted like, their metabolic response rate when they would check it afterwards would burn that amount of calories. But if the drink had more calories in it than it tasted like or less calories in it than it tasted like, the body wouldn't burn it at all. It would just shut off the metabolism. He says, it's because the body gets really confused by all of these signals. When it gets confused, it interprets it as uncertainty and it has a loss aversion type mindset. So, it goes into fat storage mode, which blows my mind.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I'm sitting here, I'm just processing. One thing at this conference that I was at over the weekend, one of the doctors who's absolutely brilliant was saying that, “Medicine has lost its ability to be--" He was using the term of, “We've lost the ability to be humble. We've lost humility.” And so, I'm sitting here processing everything you're saying and I'm like, “Oh, I need to go read this.” Because I think it's so important to consider alternative perspectives. If you were to say to me, synthetic vitamins are driving all of these metabolic disorders or diseases that are contributing to it, I would never have made that connection. So, of course, now, I'm like, “Hmm, I need to go read about this.”

Melanie Avalon: I know. Or, the idea that you could have a drink-- You could add artificial sweeteners. Because what he talks about is, we have all these processed food products where they'll make it less calories. Not calorie free, but less calories by putting in some artificial sweeteners to lower the sugar load. He basically makes the case that, even though, it is less calories, all of the confusing signals, our body, basically, like I said, it enters a mode of uncertainty. So, it starts storing fat. It's crazy. He basically says that we need to eat whole foods where the nutrition matches what our brain is expecting.

Cynthia Thurlow: Interesting. Because I think it's so complicated, because our soil is so depleted. As an example, if we're saying, we're just going to eat arbitrarily organic fruits and vegetables as well, it's not going to have the same mineral content that it did for my grandparent’s generation. And so, I think it gets tough. I'm not suggesting we go and consume synthetic vitamins. But you just start to realize that a modern-day lifesaving, if you're eating pretty clean likely necessitates the utilization of additional supplementation, whether it's on our own or it's added to our foods. Preferably, on our own. So, we get to choose what goes in our bodies. But that opens up so much. You’re just really unpacking the processed food industry. On so many levels, we can take it from multiple different angles about how it's detrimental to our health and this is a new angle.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. No, exactly. And that's actually a key question I want to ask him is, because he doesn't talk that much about supplementing in a vitamin form versus when it's in the actual food. He really just talks about it being in the food, because he says, “Basically, there's so much to when we're actually eating and then what is in the food and what our brain thinks is in the food.” He writes it like a page turner to-- He basically in the first chapter talks about the pellagra epidemic. At the end-- today, he compares Italy to the US and compares how it seems a very similar dietary approach from the outside. They still have McDonald's and they still eat a lot of high calorie food. But for some reason, we have an obesity epidemic. It's like a cliffhanger. He doesn't really address it to way later in the book. That was a long intro. Basically, I really recommend, at least that book and I need to go back and read The Dorito Effect and Steak, as well.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, that's really interesting. I feel I maybe during this three-hour drive to and from this rural part of my state I got through a book for a podcast guest I have on Thursday and I started reading another book by Jenna Kutcher, which is more of like a personal development book and I was like, “Gosh, I made such good use of that time.” I'm really proud of myself.

Melanie Avalon: Was it Morgan's book that you finished? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. 

Melanie Avalon: I didn't know you're integrating her that soon. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. On Thursday. 

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny for listeners. Cynthia and I are so in sync. This week, I was literally listening to Morgan Levine’s True Age. Is that what it's called? And then I flipped over to check my text and it was sent Cynthia via being like, “Have you read this” and it was a screenshot of--? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. I was in the car. It depends. If it's a book, I think I may want to reference. I get the physical copy, a lot of other books I listen to and I enjoy that, too. But for me, I need that visual. I really need the visual.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, same.

Cynthia Thurlow: Makes me weird. But-- 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's not weird. I'm the same way. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] We're very simpatico.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Yes, yes. 

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we answer some listener questions about fasting, the other side of food? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. So, to start things off, we have a question from Violet and the subject is: “IF timeline.” And Violet says, “Hello, this is my 109th day of fasting. I was wondering if you can give me a rough timeline on when I might see more fat loss. I've definitely decreased in clothing size. I'm not as hungry, but since I've been at this a while, I was wondering when more fat loss can be expected. What is the average for an IF-er to see bigger results? Six months, a year? I know everyone is different, but I'd love to have something to look forward to and keep up my momentum. Thank you so much for your books and inspiration.”

Cynthia Thurlow: This is a great question, Violet. I always come at this as a clinician. So, I don't know your age or life stage. I'm not sure, if you're you no younger like in your 20s and 30s pr if you're a perimenopausal, menopausal. That will definitely impact that loss for a number of different factors. I think it's important even if we're fasting that we consider the quality of the food that we're eating. And by that, I mean, are we eating an anti-inflammatory diet, are we eating a less processed? I remember I said less that doesn't mean no processed food. I'm saying less processed food. What is your stress management like and that doesn't mean five minutes of meditation? Are you exercising? Because one of the most important things, I think when women are talking to me about fat loss, I think about strength training, I think about high intensity interval training, and I think about just being physically active during the day. 

It was interesting at this conference I was at. One individual indicated, “If you exercise hard for an hour and then you spend the rest of the day sitting on your butt, you've just undone all the good of that exercise.” I think it's important to track your movement and you don't have to be vigilant about it. I know how much I walk every day, just during my day, or with my dogs, or cumulatively with exercise. I think that's important. Strength training, high intensity interval training really being active during the day, not being a couch potato, nutrition and then where you are age wise, but I also think about sleep. And my standard foundational approach to women with fat loss, and weight loss, and things like that is, if your sleep isn't high quality, high-quality sleep means you wake up rested, you really don't need an alarm clock, but you can easily get up and get out of bed. If you're not getting high-quality sleep, you're losing out on opportunities to support your body, not just hormonally, with leptin, ghrelin, these appetite regulatory hormones, blood sugar, insulin, but it also impacts your food choices that you're making. 

I really take a foundational approach and those are the things that I would look at first. I would say most women-- intermittent fasting for a lot of people, it's not instantaneous gratification. I think it's more unusual that people get an instantaneous gratification. And so, I think it is all about staying with the mindset of, “This is a journey, not a race.” Unfortunately, the processed food industry, the weight loss industry, which is a trillion dollar a year industry has convinced us that weight loss should be effortless, fat loss should be effortless. You take a potion, a pill, or powder, and it happens effortlessly. I'm here to tell you as a clinician that is not sustainable. What I generally recommend is giving yourself a solid three to six months, celebrate the non-scale victories, your clothes feel looser, make sure you take measurements. I think that's very helpful. I'm not suggesting you get on the scale every day. But measure your waist, measure your hips. If you have another problem area that bothers you, then you can appropriately track it objectively. But I think that that's probably where I would start from. And in terms of really giving yourself grace, because I think we as women, we're so hard on ourselves. I have been that person and I speak with love when I say this that really giving your body time, because we get healthy to lose weight or lose fat.

It's not supposed to be instant gratification. In fact, that's a rare occurrence. I see more often than not with women, especially if you're still your peak fertile years or you're still getting a cycle every month. Your body is conditioned for reproduction even if you're choosing not to have a baby. When a woman is in perimenopause and menopause, your hormones start recalibrating themselves and it gets a little more challenging to lose fat. It does not mean it's impossible, but you have to be more diligent. So, those are the things I would definitely consider, Violet, and I'm sure Melanie, you have some insightful recommendations or suggestions as well.

Melanie Avalon: First, quick question. What was the theme of the conference that you spoke at?

Cynthia Thurlow: It was called “Momentum in the Mountains.”

Melanie Avalon: Was it just all different health topics or--? And what did you speak on?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, they asked me-- This is usually what happens. I was the only female that spoke and so, they wanted to have a female slanted. This is like the story of my life. They wanted me to have a female slanted conversation. And so, I talked about perimenopause and menopause, and then I slid into metabolic health, which is always my natural progression. But I was able to really dig in deep and a lot of women came up to me and said, “Gosh, I wish I had known that information 20 years ago.” So, that's what I spoke about. But I had a cardiovascular surgeon, who spoke before me, who was talking about metabolic health from his perspective. He wrote a book called Stay off My Operating Table and he means it. [laughs] And then I had a doctor after me, who was talking about childhood obesity. And then Vinnie Tortorich, who's absolutely hilarious. For any listeners that don't follow him, he has a podcast called Fitness Confidential. He's one of my favorite people. He's just a no muss, no fuss kind of guy, was talking a lot about what goes on in the food system. And so, it was nice variations on themes throughout the discussion. But yeah, it was great. It was a lot of fun.

Melanie Avalon: Very cool. Yes. So, for Violet’s question, [chuckles] I always feel I'm not the best person to have data on this since I don't actively work with people who are trying IF all the time. I really just have my experience and then I have the vague sort of people writing in or people in the audience saying like, “I started intermittent fasting and I’m finally losing weight.” But for my experience, because it's been so long ago that I first did it. I was thinking about this. Looking back, I don't remember quantifying the speed of the weight loss when I started fasting. But I remember there was a huge feeling of a paradigm shift in my body, which was that prior to IF, I always felt with dieting that I was actively trying to lose weight and looking at the pounds and felt like, “I would lose and gain” and it just always felt like a challenge and a struggle. And with fasting, something clicked and then I finally felt, “This is very not scientific.” I'm talking about my feelings. But I finally felt during the day when I was fasting that I was literally burning fat which I was. And so, basically, it felt I went from a trajectory of yo-yoing or struggling to “oh, okay, every single day I am burning fat.” It felt I was making slow and steady for progress movement. 

And on top of that, so, I know she's asking like what is normal and she's looking forward to keeping up her momentum. In general, there's a lot of magic and Cynthia touched on this, like, the importance of what you're eating and everything, but there is definitely a lot of magic in the foods that you are eating. I think a lot of people will be on a standard American diet, not fasting. Eating all throughout the day, and they can start fasting, and maintain that standard American diet, and lose weight, which is great. But on top of that, if you are also looking at the food choices, there's just a lot of magic that can happen there. I feel like a broken record, because I say this all the time. But on the macro side of things, so, for some people, doing low carb is really, really magical, so that might expedite the weight loss. If you are existing in that low carb world, not necessarily embracing the idea that low carb, for example, has to be super, super high fat. Because you could be doing low carb, high fat and there might be a lot of potential to lose more weight, if you titrate down the fat a little bit while still staying moderate to high protein, of course. 

And then on the flipside, some people do really well, actually, with a higher carb, low fat approach. And that can be something that can really catalyze weight loss. I think really it's all about finding what works for you, but there's definitely magic that can happen if you tinker the food choices on top of just the fasting. Of course, I love everything that Cynthia said about lifestyle choices and sleep and all of that and that's huge. But yeah, I feel it's very individual, which always feels like a cop out answer. But people's bodies are different and they respond differently to change. So, I don't know that you have to even focus on what's normal or average and rather just focus on what is or is not working for you personally. So, you don't have to compare yourself to other people.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, and I think that's important, especially we, as women do a really not so stellar job of we're chronically comparing ourselves to others. Even when I'm teaching IF:45, which is my signature program for fasting for women, the one thing I always tell them is put your blinders on and focus on you. Because we tend to-- we see that there's someone else in the group or someone else, we know that effortlessly loses weight or maybe that's our perception. And yet, we don't know what's going on underneath the hood, if you will. And so, I always say that people come to intermittent fasting, because they want to lose fat or they want to lose weight, and then they end up staying for all the other benefits. And giving it time and I think I've shared, if not on IF Podcast, certainly, on my own that when I started fasting, I didn't lose weight right away. And obviously, I was in my 40s when I started doing it, it took longer. 

But for me, the single most important thing I did that allowed me to lose that last bit of perimenopausal weight was an elimination diet. Getting dairy out of my diet was abso-- Even though, I eat dairy so sporadically was a game changer for me. And so, I always say to people, “Sometimes the foods you love may not love you back.” So, really getting diligent about-- Maybe you do a whole 30 for a month, maybe just see how your body responds to reducing inflammation in the body. I would get creative and be open-minded to trying different things to see what will be most effective and efficacious.

Melanie Avalon: Perfect. I love that. That reminds to me because I was looking at her last sentence, “Thank you so much for your books and inspiration.” Cynthia, we forgot again. Do you want to talk about the giveaway?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. So, I have not been good about mentioning this in our episodes, but we are ready to draw a winner. And the winner, all you have to do is purchase my book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation and submit a review. So, if you bought it on Amazon, submit the review, screenshot it, send it to us at questions@ifpodcast.com and we will submit your review and your book purchase. And if you bought the book when it first came out, you can still do that. Just screenshot it and send it to us. But we're super anxious to send some really great goodies that some very generous companies shared with me during the book launch and I really would love to be able to provide an opportunity for some of the IF Podcast listeners to get some fun things. But we will poll one person. Let me just be make sure that's very clear. So, just send that to questions@ifpodcast.com.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. And so, to recap, everybody, I think can benefit from Cynthia's book. It is so amazing and it's such a valuable resource. So, all of the stuff that we talk about on here with fasting and hormones in women's specifically, and protein intake, and how to do this, and sleep and lifestyle, it's all in there. It can definitely benefit listeners from getting her books. If you already have it, definitely, super easy. Just go write a review on wherever you bought it and send us that screenshot. If you haven't bought it, now it’s a great time to get it and write that review. Yeah, so, we'll pick a winner and send out lots of goodies. 

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Cynthia Thurlow: Do you want to jump into our next question? 

Melanie Avalon: Sure. 

Cynthia Thurlow: This is from Liv. And so, the subject is: “a one-to-two-hour window, constipation, when everything balances out.” “Hi, I adore your podcasts and love to skip around depending on the day and what I need regarding tips, IF education and motivation. I'm a 30-year-old female and I have been athletic and health food based my entire life. Growing up on a fruit orchard with health-conscious parents was very helpful in my building blocks were plant-based and Whole Foods eating. I worked in a Whole Foods store through high school and college, and I've always been drawn to naturopathic and holistic medicine. That said, I avoid junk, processed foods, and excess of dairy or meat. However, like most people, I keep a balance and do eat desserts every now and then. I drink wine regularly. I used to kill myself at the gym to knock out my stubborn 10 pounds of extra fat. That seems to be so cozy around my midsection and hips. I could run five to seven miles a day and nothing was as successful for me as intermittent fasting. I've been on and off this way of life for five years and never stuck to it for maintenance as I should have. I am now back on, I'm assuming two weeks eating with in a one-to-two-hour window and feeling amazing. 

Weight is falling off again and I'm sticking to my tennis game and more leisurely physical fitness. Huge plus in this heat in Ohio. My question is, one, I have not heard discussed too much on your podcast or maybe I'm missing the episode. Pooping.” You know, as a nurse I love these questions. “Yes, can we all admit, we poop and discuss IF and pooping?” Absolutely. “I am someone, who likes to poop every day and when I don't, I get irritable. Does my window reflect too small of an eating window to produce a daily bowel movement? Is constipation a temporary thing? As women, I feel we are more subjected to this physiologically. How long does it take to regulate? Can you please describe your experiences and/or share your research on this topic? I think ketosis and fasting can really change things for people here and I feel it is valuable to discuss in order for me to feel a little more normal. Also, I've read that most people are carrying around a minimum of 10 pounds of bile. Yay, yuck. I have to guess that if IF helps this, because sometimes, and sorry, this is nasty. Sometimes, what comes out in these first few weeks back to fasting feels that type of stored sludge for lack of a better term backing me up. No shame in the pooping game. Love you both, Liv.” That warms my nurse practitioner heart. I love to talk about poop.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that I'm so excited. Then we both do. So, this is great. And actually, it's funny, because she said that she hadn't heard it discussed on the podcast before. We've had a lot of episodes on it. Just maybe not recently. And so, this is a little resource for listeners. If you go to our website, ifpodcast.com, there is a search bar there. Because we have transcripts on every single episode, if you search for keywords, it will find the episodes. So, you could search for poop, but more likely, if you search for constipation that'll probably bring up a ton of episodes. But it's nice to revisit it now and it's nice to visit it with Cynthia. [chuckles] I get excited because there're so many topics we've talked about so much on the show, but I get to discuss it all anew, because I haven't heard your perspective specifically. So, it's very exciting for me. Yes, but so my thoughts on all of this, whoo, I have a lot. 

First of all, so, I do struggle with, I know, this is a way that Cynthia and I are different. I do struggle with constipation. And Liv, when you say that you're irritable if you don't have a daily bowel movement, irritable is an understatement for me. I have to keep things moving and I really have to stay regular. And I've found the system that works for me to do that and I stick to it. But I've learned a lot over the years. And interestingly, I've first started struggling with this issue. It's hard to know, because a lot was going down. I had a living situation from 2012 to 2014, where I was in an apartment that had black mold and there was carbon monoxide leaking every night and that's when I first got hypothyroidism. And so, it's hard to know what was what. At that time, that's the first time I took the antibiotic. Some people might be familiar with for SIBO called rifaximin. That's when I started having issues with regularity and digestive issues was after taking that antibiotic. I don't want to scare people away from it because for some people it's a game changer for SIBO, which is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. But for me, it had some negative side effects. 

To go through some of your questions, she's asking, if, because she's eating less in a shorter window, is that affecting the bowel movements or not? It's really interesting, because and I know that Liv is in the plant-based sphere. If you look at what people are saying and in general, people will say, “Add lots of fiber, add lots of bulk to encourage bowel movements.” And for some people, that really works. For others, it doesn't. For others, it causes the exact opposite problem, it causes bloating, and things just get backed up. If things aren't moving and then you're just adding more fiber to the fuel, then it just gets worse and worse. And especially, people with digestive issues who are creating methane, if you have methane-producing bacteria, they eat the food and they produce methane. And methane actually works as a neurotransmitter in the GI tract that stops motility. So, it becomes a vicious cycle where you might be adding more fiber to try to move things along and it's just making things back up even more. That's I know what I experienced for a while. 

I went through a period where I was like, “I'm going to find the right fiber that will keep things moving that just made everything really worse.” What ended up working for me was a low FODMAP diet. That works really, really well for me. But that said or and [chuckles] it's interesting, because so, people in the carnivore sphere and the low-carb sphere, but really the carnivore sphere, they'll go on a zero-fiber diet. A lot of them will say that they have the perfect bowel movements. Before that, they were constipated and then once they caught up with the fiber, everything was great. And they often reference, they'll say-- Studies will show that people on a no fiber diet that it resolves constipation. Everybody quotes the study. There's only been one study, but it's a pretty telling study, but it's very small. It was only in a few people, but they basically found that-- I think all people had existing GI issues and they went on a zero-fiber diet and in every single person, it resolved their constipation which is really interesting. I just wish there are more studies looking at this. But back to the question, I feel I'm circling all-around of, is more food required for bowel movements? Based on everything that I just said is very individual, I think. Some people do not require that bulk and they will have just dandy bowel movements. Some people do benefit from having a certain amount of bulk or a certain amount of fiber and things like that. We have heard from a lot of listeners that they start fasting and they struggle with constipation. It may or may not be temporary. So, it may resolve, it may not. If it's not resolving, there are a lot of things that you can try. 

What really, really works for me is magnesium. It is my favorite thing. I'm super excited because I did recently launch my magnesium supplement. So, that's Magnesium 8 by AvalonX. You can get it at avalonx.us and the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON will get you 10% off. I think getting your magnesium levels, because most people are likely deficient that's for a lot of reasons. We talked about this-- We did a whole episode on this. You can check out Episode 276, if you'd like to learn more about magnesium deficiency. But I think getting your magnesium levels up in general can be good for motility. Specifically, high dose magnesium to keep things moving. So, I take my AvalonX Magnesium 8 and then I also use Natural Calm, which is a magnesium drink form. I use that every night and that really, really helps for me to keep things moving. Some people will use high dose vitamin C that will work as well or may work as well. I'm all over the place with this. But I did recently listen to a fascinating episode all on the gut and the connection between the nervous system and motility in the gut. It's actually Peter Attia’s-- At the time of this, his most recent episode and it's with a GI doc.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm halfway through it. I'm like, “Dang, it's a two-hour episode. It is excellent.” But it's almost harkening me back to my days at Hopkins, when we would get lectures from med school faculty. It is very detailed. It nerds me out and I love it and Melanie loves it. It's very detailed. If you're part of Peter Attia’s membership, which Melanie are both part of you get all the behind the scenes, little nuances, but that's an excellent podcast. I'm going to come at this as a clinician. When I think about poop, obviously, nurses and nurse practitioners, we talk a lot about poop. It's completely our zone of genius, because doctors generally don't like to talk about it. I think about a lot of things. Could it be that you are not eating a large enough bolus of food that is telling your GI tract, there's actually a mechanism in the gut that signals the innervation in the small and large intestine and move things forward as you eat? I think a great deal about something as simple as what's your hydration status like, are you moving every day? Exercise will actually help with peristalsis. I also think a great deal about the parasympathetic nervous system. So, we have the autonomic nervous system and this is a branch. 

Sympathetic nervous system is when you're being chased by a rabid animal and parasympathetic is rest and repose. We actually have to be in the parasympathetic to poop. I cannot tell you how many patients and women I've spoken to over the years, who think if they're super stressed, they can force themselves to poop in five minutes. That's not how it works. When you've got a two-year-old banging on the door in the bathroom and you have five minutes to go out the door, that is not the time. You actually have to set aside this time to go. I've had lots of women, who've had success with a Squatty Potty. They just need to reposition things. 

Melanie Avalon: Squatty Potty is the best.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, Squatty Potty, I would say bitter foods, arugula, bitter greens, things that will help with viscous bile. Anyone’s thinking or talking about constipation, already thinking about viscous. The bile in the gallbladder is viscous and thick and in there it's having a hard time emulsifying and breaking down fat. The bitter foods, things that will be helpful for bile are artichokes, shaved beets, carrots, all very supportive and nurturing. One of the tricks that I learned how to use, like, when people are having pretty benign constipation, one tablespoon of fresh ground flaxseeds combined with one tablespoon of fresh ground chia seeds. And that together is magic. You can throw it in a smoothie, you can throw it on top of a salad, very, very effective. And then I always say, you can also use things like aloe vera juice. Even a quarter cup, it doesn't taste great. But if it's a frustration and definitely sounds like this young woman. Liv definitely gets frustrated when she's not able to go and I completely understand that. 

Other things that I think about are, you mentioned, a lot of people will recommend fiber. I think this is highly person dependent. I can tell you that three years ago, when I spent 13 days in the hospital and was in gigantic GI distress mode, I didn't have a solid stool for a year. And you believe fiber made my body very inflamed and very miserable. I went back to eating just meat for nine months and that helped me get over that. So, that's very dependent on the individual. With that being said, there is value in consuming, maybe you haven't-- Have an apple every day. You will be getting in some fiber or maybe you're having salads. That's one thing I generally recommend is make sure you're getting some uncooked vegetables and fruits into your diet, because that may be beneficial, but again, highly dependent on who you are. I also think about prebiotic rich foods. It's interesting. I just interviewed Vincent Pedre on my podcast and we were talking about the research around prebiotic rich foods, even fermented vegetables like a tablespoon of fermented cabbage, or okra, or whatever fermented vegetable you like can be very beneficial to nourish the right bacteria in the gut microbiome. So, that's where I come from. But a lot of its--

There is a great deal to it that's psychological. I would experiment, as Melanie said, there are supplements that can be helpful. I think about Triphala, that is an ayurvedic option that can be very beneficial. Magnesium and Melanie's magnesium is a nice choice. There's a product by Designs for Health called TriMag, I try every supplement out that I recommend to clients and patients. That destroyed me. Because I have a very vibrant digestive system, I go effortlessly and easily. I only share as to give you context and I actually gave it to my mother who struggles with constipation and she loves it. It's just a powder that she takes before bedtime. But there are lots of options and I do like magnesium. Vitamin C can be tricky. I say this from personal experience, because I sometimes will add vitamin C to my liquids if I'm under a lot of stress. There's a very fine line with vitamin C. You'll know if you've had too much, because you will get loose stools. But it's not always predictable. So, I would be careful with vitamin C, although it can be very, very helpful. But hopefully, those are the things that will be helpful for you. 

I would say and I think listeners know this about me. I don't like women to have a one-to-two-hour feeding window. I do think you genuinely need a wider feeding window. And ironically, maybe, Melania. and I can talk about this on the next episode. But I was watching some research that Ben Bikman was providing on his brilliant IG account. He was talking about the role of mTOR signaling and how if women are doing too much fasting. That was the context of what he was talking about that that can impact fertility in nonbeneficial ways. And obviously, I don't want to get off on a tangent, but I just wanted to interject. I like women to eat within a larger feeding window. I know, Melanie eats a large bolus of food over several hours and I just think it's very hard for women to get in enough protein in a very, very short window, unless you're a unicorn. And there may be a few unicorn listeners. But from my perspective, I'm always very protective of the protein piece. But constipation, I totally get it. It can be very, very frustrating. I do find that for most women that struggle with this, it can be not just a physiologic component, it can also be an emotional component really getting into that parasympathetic, really setting aside time in the morning, or the evening, or whenever your body likes to have a bowel movement. Just setting that time aside, so that you can actually have that and then integrating nutritional options and supplements that can help support your body.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you said all that made me think of-- I took some notes because that made me think of quite a few different things. First of all, on the magnesium piece, I forgot one of the ones that really helps me. And I actually want to develop my own version of this as a standalone separate magnesium in the future. But I think it's called Mag-07 and it's just magnesium oxide and that is a very poorly absorbed form of magnesium.

Cynthia Thurlow: 11% is what you absorb. 

Melanie Avalon: It has a very osmotic effect in the intestines and that works really well for me. And so, I plan to make my own version, especially, because I don't like some of the fillers in it. But yes, so that version specifically, I've played around with it. I don't know how you say it, the Triphala. I know a lot of people, it's game changes for them. It didn't really work for me. The herb that did work and I know this is a little bit controversial, because it is a stimulant herb. It potentially has the possibility of reliancy on it, but cascara can work for a lot of people, especially, if you're in a rut.

Cynthia Thurlow: I also think about Smooth Move tea.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, I'm having flashbacks to my really constipated days. [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: My kids would kill me, if I told share this with listeners, but it's okay. We're all women and people, who are supportive, right? I think about how I had a kiddo, who really struggled with constipation. And so, we had this whole formula of what we would use. Every once awhile, he needs Smooth Move tea, which I recommend you brew half of what is in there and save the other half for another time. But that can be very effective. Senna, but those are things you don't want to be taking regularly because it can make your bowel lazy.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. And there's definitely a difference, at least in my personal experience. The urgency related to the osmotic effect of magnesium or potentially vitamin C, for example, it can have an urgency feeling loose stools like Cynthia was saying. But then the stimulant version, so like senna, the Smooth Move tea, cascara, that can be more, at least for me of like a crampy, really unpleasant urgency that, it's urgency to the next level urgency.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's a signal that you got to go.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Because it's basically, the osmotic version is working, because it's pulling in all of this water. It's signaling to the intestine with that bulk to push things forward. But with the stimulant versions they are actually-- I don't know the details of it, but it's actually communicating with the intestines to move.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's like a whip.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Yeah, that's a good example. [laughs] Then I'm glad you mentioned the bile again, because I wanted to answer. She was saying 10 pounds of bile. I think she's confusing bile with fecal matter, because I just googled it and according to a 2010 study on the gallbladder, the liver produces about 27 to 34 fluid ounces of bile every day.

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm. It's small amount. I mean the gallbladder is small.

Melanie Avalon: It's not 10 pounds of bile. And then even on top of that, I have wondered about that and I think it varies drastically between individuals for two main factors. One, the actual amount of bulk in your stool based on what you're eating and your gut bacteria. And then number two, the transit time. Some people have faster transit time, some people have slower. There's a lot of permutations of different factors that could affect how much stool you actually have in you. Question for you, Cynthia. I know I've asked you this before. When you did the nine months of the meat only, did you have regular bowel movements on that? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, but it was-- Sorry, TMI, it was still literally just liquid all the time. And no one was worried about it, I just kept saying, “When am I going to have a formed stool?” There's something called Bristol's Stool chart and this is something we can include in the show notes. That's a good way to describe your poop. You can see visually, people that are absorbing too much water versus not enough. If you're absorbing too much water that's diarrhea. If you're absorbing not enough, you'll have pebbles and it can be hard. You can develop hemorrhoids internally or externally. And then there's the perfect poop, which is number four. And so, it gives people an idea of what's your normal and then you can actually have a communication with your healthcare professional, if you ever need to. 

The other thing that I was thinking about is, just this whole mindset and methodology about being comfortable talking about things that are very normal. But yet, as a society, we get uncomfortable talking about bodily functions. And so, I'm glad that we're having this discussion, so that more women-- Wherever our listeners are, I think we're predominantly women. I know we have many male listeners as well. I think that whomever is listening that they understand, you're more than welcome to ask these kinds of questions because it's so common. I mean, everyone poops. In fact, I used to have a book for my boys that was like, Everyone Poops and it was all these different types of animals and how different their poop was. Of course, as a healthcare provider that was the greatest book ever. I think I got it at the San Diego Zoo. But the point of why I'm sharing this is to encourage people, don't feel uncomfortable sharing this kind of information. There's probably 20 other people listening who had the same question.

Melanie Avalon: I've actually been thinking about that a lot recently not with the poop subject, but I released my episode week before last with Dr. Laurie Mintz who wrote Becoming Cliterate, which is about orgasm equality. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I need to listen to that. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's so good. And her work is so good. But it's made me realize how far I've come with all of that, because speaking to what you were talking about how we have these certain topics that are off limits to talk about, so sexual health and sexual awareness and all of that was something I did not talk about. If I heard a podcast or talking about it, I was like, “Oh, how scandalous?” I released that episode now and didn't even think twice about it. But what's funny is I've been getting so much feedback from listeners thanking me for talking about something that people are uncomfortable talking about. And every time I get that, well, it's helpful, because it makes me feel better about talking about these types of things, but also, it reminds me just how much subjects are taboo.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, even talking about aging, Melanie, I was talking about this in the context of my lecture and I was saying how embarrassed I was when I hit the wall of perimenopause and did then do a TEDx about it and then to be talking about it all the time. I've come to realize, even as a healthcare professional, my faculty members arguably went to one of the best medical institutions in the country. And no one talked to us about this time. It's like, women go off to pasture. And so, those topics that were uncomfortable to talk about, we need to be talking about. Whether it's talking about our sexual health, or talking about aging, or pooping, we need to have opportunities to explore these topics and do it, so there's less stigmatization. I think maybe my children's generation might grow up differently than certainly my generation did. 

But even now, I still feel what I hear for most women and obviously at middle age a lot of women just don't want to have sex. And so, that's the new thing that people bring up in conversation and then it runs like, “Yeah, we don't want to talk about that. [laughs] We don't want to talk about that.” That's a whole separate-- You should be having that conversation with your best girlfriend, not amongst mix company. My hope and certainly our hope and our intent is that we can have these conversations, so that people have a safe place to be able to get input and feedback on.

Melanie Avalon: I haven't aired it yet. Did you connect with Dr. Sherry Ross?

Cynthia Thurlow: I did but I think she's going to end up being like a 2023 guest because she can only record on Fridays or after 5 o'clock and 9. I was like, “That doesn't work for my schedule.” [laughs] But I will. We're connected with her, but thank you for that.

Melanie Avalon: She wrote a book called She-ology. She's a celebrity gynecologist. I'll be airing that in the next few months. But one of the biggest epiphanies I had even with that was growing up in the south, girls, we didn't go to gynecologist. And I think it was because they thought by going to a gynecologist who would encourage having sex. And just stepping back, I'm like, “This is such a problem.” There's a lot happening with the vagina that has nothing to do with sex that needs to be looked at by a healthcare practitioner.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and that's on every level. That's one thing that my conversations with women and so, I have a program called Holistic Blueprint, where we do the DUTCH, and we do the GI map, and we do a lot of testing, we have a lot of conversations. And when women are speaking with me privately, that's when they'll start the conversations. And so, a very common conversation for women to be having is the changes that occur in middle age within the vagina and the vulva or vagina/vulva. And some of them are so stigmatized like, “Oh, I'm not supposed to talk about this.” I'm like, “Well, what's the other option? Suffer in silence? We don't want that either.” So, I'm excited to hear your conversation with her.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Awesome. We're on the same page as per usual. So, basically, listeners, the take away is, ask us all the questions.

Cynthia Thurlow: Please do. Poop is a subject. I could talk about till the cows come home. And this is one of the few things where Melanie and I are very divergent on. It's easy for me, not as easy for Melanie. But it also gives us different perspectives. It really makes me reflect on how common women believe or just people in general, like, my patients. All my patients used to think it was normal that they would poop twice a week. I'm like, “Listen, that is not normal. [laughs] It's not good.” Making sure that if it's a chronic issue or if it's something that's new and concerning, make sure you see your healthcare professional. That is one thing I just want to dovetail in there and say, “If it's new, and it's persistent, and you're having other changes, make sure you have a conversation with your healthcare professional.” But definitely these nutritional changes and stress management supplements that might be an easy fix. But if those things aren't working, you're still having symptoms, you definitely want to follow up with your local healthcare professional.

Melanie Avalon: And actually, just one last point to that point. I totally forgot the thing that really switched the lever on, because I was in a period where I was trying everything. I was having so many flashbacks during this conversation, because it was all during a time where I was just trying all the things and nothing was working. It wasn't until I saw a practitioner and got put on thyroid medication for my hypothyroidism that that really was a game changer in the motility department. So, yes, yes, yes. 

Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for this show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode278. They'll have a full transcript and links to everything that we talked about. Definitely check that out. Reminder to enter the giveaway to win all of the amazing goodies from Cynthia. Again, for that, if you already bought a copy of her book or if you do buy a copy of her book now, either way, just leave a review on whatever platform you bought the book from. Send a screenshot of your review to questions@ifpodcast.com and we will enter you into the drawing. And yes, you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon. Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. I think that is all the things. So, anything from you, Cynthia, before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, keep the great questions coming. I think we've been very humbly and beautifully overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and we look forward to diving into questions next week.

Melanie Avalon: Likewise, and happy early birthday, again.

Cynthia Thurlow: Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: I will talk to you next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription] 

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Aug 07

Episode 277: Manifestation, Vision Boards, Cholesterol, Fasting Insulin, Cassava Flour, Headaches, Cephalic Phase Insulin Response, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 277 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!

GREEN CHEF: Get easy, affordable meals made with organic ingredients for a variety of lifestyles - including Paleo, Keto, Vegan, and Vegetarian - shipped straight to your home! Go To greenchef.com/ifpodcast135 And Use Code IFPODCAST135 To Get $135 Off Including Free Shipping!

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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 #41 - Dr. Shawn Baker

Studio Wendt Handmade Fine Jewelry

19:20 - GREEN CHEF: Go To greenchef.com/ifpodcast135 And Use Code IFPODCAST135 To Get $135 Off Including Free Shipping!

22:00 - Listener Q&A: Holly - Cholesterol Conundrum

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #126 - Azure Grant

Get $30 Off A CGM At Nutrisense.io/ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST

39:45 - Listener Q&A: Karen - Cassava Flour

Ep. 198 – Dispelling Myths About Hormone Replacement Therapy

Estrogen matters book

53:30 - 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!

56:15 - Listener Q&A: Florence - Headaches/Smells

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 277 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 a 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. 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 test high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that, there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves.

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

You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20, to get 20% off your first order.

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

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

All right, now, back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 277 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 feel like it's been such a long time since we've talked.

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] I know. Business travel is wonderful, but it's also hard to fit in all the things alongside that. And so, thank you for letting me have the bandwidth because I didn't get home, I had four hours asleep when I got home on Sunday, and probably would not have been as mentally sharp and acute as I am right now after having a good amount of sleep for a few days in a row. I love doing business events and certainly KetoCon was fantastic. But three solid days of an introvert trying to pretend to be an extrovert is challenging.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, we were just talking about this, our common introvertedness. I'm really curious about KetoCon. Okay, have you attended KetoCon before?

Cynthia Thurlow: I had not. I had not and I was asked to keynote the first day, which was really cool. And so many of my close friends in the low carb Keto community were there. And so, it was really nice to see people in person again and connect with so many people that have been impacted by this podcast, my other podcast, and the book. And so, to me, I was very heartfelt. I do fervently believe that the Keto community is one of the most supportive communities in which events that I've spoken to. And so, for me, it's a lot of connecting with friends and meeting people. Austin's a great foodie city. It was nice to participate in that. For me, so much of its reconnecting with our roots really having the ability to connect with people that we impact their lives so profoundly and that's really a blessing. 

And so, as hard as it is for me as an introvert to spend three days being, going from full day events into parties or events in the evening. I always remind myself how incredibly fortunate I am to have a platform to stand on to be able to advocate for women. And so, I come home and then I can't talk for two days. I'm just so wiped out, but I really had a great. I think they were having some massive heat surge while I was there. It was like 105. And they would talk about it being humid. But you and I know it humid weather. It’s like it didn't feel humid to me as an East Coast or it just felt like an oven. It genuinely felt like an oven and that was fascinating. I was like, “How do people deal with this heat being so intense?” It's hot all day long. It's not like you get up in the morning and it's 20 degrees cooler. It was like an oven 24/7. And so, that I found that really fascinating. That's one of the things I love about traveling is just experiencing new weather, new people, new things.

Melanie Avalon: Did you meet any podcast listeners from this show?

Cynthia Thurlow: Not specifically, although. It was interesting. I kept having people introduce me as, “This is Cynthia Thurlow, she has her own podcast, and then she also has a podcast with Melanie.” And so, definitely, there's some recognizableness within that community of individuals who were aware of IF Podcast and so.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, cool. Other people would say that when they were--? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: That's fun.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. No, and it's nice. It's nice to have that added side. When I would talk about the fact, like, I have my own podcast and then I cohost a podcast with a good friend of mine, and people would oftentimes say like, “Did you and Melanie just were had you been friends up until that point?” I was like, “Yeah, we've been friends for three years.” So, it was very serendipitous when this opportunity came up. To me, podcasting is one of the best ways for people to get to know you, and to get to know what you stand for, and what you advocate for. And so, as you and I always say, podcasting is some of the best networking you can do. For me, meeting a lot of people that I had been on their podcast or they have been online was really neat. 

As an example, Dr. Gabrielle Lyon and I are good friends. We text multiple times a week and talk on the phone, much like you and I do. And then meeting like Shawn Baker, and Shawn Baker, for anyone who doesn't know, he's 6’5”, 225 pound, just this massive orthopedic surgeon who is this gentle giant. It was so enjoyable to meet him in person, just a really nice, low-key guy who's changing the narrative about meat and certainly, anti-inflammatory diets. And so, to me, it's always a blessing when the person that you think someone is ends up being exactly how they are. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I love that. Yeah, for listeners, he's like the carnivore guy. You've had him on your show as well, right?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have, I have. I've been on his podcast and he's just very low key, which I think is really refreshing, because there are people in the health and wellness space that are loud and obnoxious. Thankfully, not a lot of them. But there are people that are out there that there's nothing subtle about their message. I recognize we have to make space for everyone. Everyone may have a different approach. I tend to have a softer approach. But to me, it's really nice when you meet someone in person and they're as they appear to be. That's how I would say it. And certainly, Ben Azadi, and Dr. Anna Cabeca, and Mindy Pelz, and so many people that I know in that space, it was really fortuitous and nice. It's just a nice community of humans. Everyone that was there really a great lineup of professionals. There was actually someone I was thinking about for you for your podcast when bringing your mind, Chris Palmer. He's a Harvard MD, but he talks about metabolic health in relationship to mental health and has a book coming out this fall. When I was talking to him, I was like, “Oh, my gosh, I absolutely need to bring you on, because that's a totally different angle than not a lot of people are talking about.” And so, there were some really cool people there.

Melanie Avalon: I do remember interviewing Shawn Baker, because I remember I had interviewed Paul Saladino a few times. He's very intense in his messaging. I remember interviewing Shawn Baker and thinking, “Okay, this will be the approachable episode for people who might less intense, more welcoming, more casual in general, and just approachable.” I really like him.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I'll never forget having a conversation with JJ Virgin recently, and she was saying how important it is for people to remain humble. She's like, “No matter someone's success. No one wants to be around an asshat.” I was like, “That is true. That is so true.” That's my PC way of saying conceptualizing that. Some people get really famous and they're not particularly nice individuals. So, it's always a pleasure when you can connect with people and find out that what you see online is really how they are.

Melanie Avalon: I agree. Can I tell you a really funny story that happened to me? So, I saw this past weekend Blue Man Group, have you seen Blue Man Group before? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not, but I know what they are. 

Melanie Avalon: I was really excited to see them. I sat in the front row, which is really exciting. I remember thinking, because I launched my Magnesium the night before, actually. So, that was launch day of the magnesium and I was thinking, “Man, I wish I could somehow get my Magnesium to the Blue Man,” because I'm sure could help with their drumming, and their intense activity, and everything. And if listeners would like to learn more about the Magnesium, actually, last week, Episode 276 was with Cynthia and Scott, our partner at MD Logic. So, check out that interview. That was like a little baby goal, but I wasn't going to actively pursue it. I saw the show, I sat in the front row, it was fabulous. I went home, posted about the group on my stories, and then I followed some of the members. One of the Blue Man from that show DMed me and said like, “Hey, I saw you in the front row--” 

I had been posting about the Magnesium. So, he said, “Hey, I saw you in the front row. It's nice to see that your magnesium fam. My mother just sent me this to help with the drumming and everything and it was BiOptimizers Magnesium.” I was like, “What are the odds?” Then I was like, “Oh, that's actually the magnesium.” I was like, “We are sponsor” and that's actually how I formulate in mine based on theirs what I liked from theirs and just making it a little bit better for me personally. So, I sent the whole group some of my Magnesium.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. You manifested that. That's awesome. 

Melanie Avalon: Isn't that hysterical?

Cynthia Thurlow: I love it. It’s serendipitous.

Melanie Avalon: I know. What are the odds that what do I get my damn box, but a picture BiOptimizers Magnesium from the Blue Man? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. That’s the thing. Manifestation, so, my 14-year-old hates that word. He's very black and white. And so, I was trying to explain to him. Last week, I had shared with you. I put someone on a vision board four years ago and their team reached out and wanted me to come on the podcast. It was really one of those moments that manifestation is really powerful. And so, you were thinking about, you wanted to find a way to interact with them and then ended up happening. And so, I think, for all of us listening have a vision board. Have something that you, or a goal, or something that's very concrete and you can make it happen.

Melanie Avalon: And the fact that I specifically was thinking like, “Oh, how do I get some Magnesium in their hands” and then literally came to me. [laughs] So, yeah. But I do really recommend them, by the way, for anybody who has not seen that show. It was really fabulous.

Cynthia Thurlow: I really liked theater. I feel the past two years has really thrown that off, because we used to live in Washington, D.C. and we went to the Kennedy Center and my kids grew up seeing theater. I grew up seeing the theater in New York City. And so, for me, I feel we took this to your pause which was such a bummer. We really get some great performances in the Washington, D.C. area. And so, I was actually saying to the kids, I was like, “Maybe we should do Hamilton, but we'll do that in New York. I think that would be awesome in the fall.”

Melanie Avalon: Hamilton is amazing. You will love it.

Cynthia Thurlow: I know. That's like they're old enough. Now, we can trek up there, and see that, and enjoy it, and come back, because now, we're in a smaller city and the statistical likelihood we're going to have Hamilton come here is probably a little smaller.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I absolutely, absolutely love that show. It’d be excited to hear if you do see it.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I have it on my list of things. I'm like, “Okay, the things that will happen are--" 

Melanie Avalon: [unintelligible [00:18:38] [chuckles] And actually, I just realized, I probably should do a quick plug. The Blue Man guy who messaged me about the Magnesium, his name was Steven and he actually has a very cool company. I'll put a link to in the show notes. It's called studiowendt.com. It's studio W-E-N-D-T dotcom. And he actually melts down jewelry and makes it into new jewelry. That's very cool. So, if people are looking for unique custom jewelry, you can order direct, I think from him or you can get your own stuff melted down and remade. So, I'll put a link to that in the show notes. 

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get $135 off, plus free shipping on our favorite meal delivery service 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. If there's one thing we need more of today, it is time. And with Green Chef, mealtime can become so easy and so delicious.

With Green Chef, pre-measured and prepped ingredients come straight to your door including premade and premeasured sauces, dressings, and spices. It makes it so easy for you to cook up a fresh, amazing meal. What I personally love is you can tailor it to your own specific likings, so, you can make it exactly the way it comes or if there's a certain ingredient that you don't like, you could sub that out, so, you can really make it work for you. For me personally, their salmon and barramundi dishes are incredible. Basically, Green Chef is the best of the best. Like I said, we have an incredible offer for our listeners. Go to greenchef.com/ifpodcast135 and use code IFPODCAST135 to get $135 off across five boxes, plus free shipping on your first box. Again, go to greenchef.com/ifpodcast135 and use code IFPODCAST135 to get $135 off across five boxes, plus free shipping on your first box. Friends, this offer is so incredible. That's Green Chef, the number one meal kit for eating well. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show. 

Melanie Avalon: In any case, shall we jump into questions for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we have a question from Holly and the subject is: “cholesterol conundrum.” And Holly says, “Hi, Melanie and Cynthia, I just heard the big news yesterday and I'm saddened that Gin will no longer be on the podcast, but I'm so excited to hear that Cynthia is joining you. I am such a super fan of you ladies. I just finished Cynthia's latest book and learned so much. I have been intermittent fasting since December 2019, and have lost close to 35 pounds overall, and I'm so happy with this lifestyle. I had the pleasure of being a guest on Gin’s, Intermittent Fasting Stories Podcast as well, Episode 153. Anyways, to my question, I recently had Regular Labs completed and although my primary doc said that all my levels are normal, I am concerned about my cholesterol. My total cholesterol was 217, and LDL was 132, HDL was 70 and trigs was 76. The last time I had Labs was September 2020 and my numbers were total cholesterol 205, LDL 124, HDL 66 and trigs 74. Also, my A1C was 5.6% in 2022 and 5.4% in 2020. I'm concerned because heart disease runs in my family. My grandfather passed away in his early 50s from a sudden heart attack and my father passed away at 72 due to heart disease. 

My question is, should I be concerned with the numbers creeping up? If so, what are some of the best ways to improve the numbers, a low fat diet, less saturated fat and more unsaturated? I know not all fats are bad and I'm just confused as to what would be the best fats for me in this situation, or is just trying to avoid saturated fats and inflammatory oils best. I love more direction particularly on how Cynthia might advise clients in similar situations. Not sure if this matters, but for background, I am 49 years young, 5’2”,115 pounds. I work out seven days per week, but nothing too strenuous. Mainly walking and strength training as well. I do eat relatively healthy such as Whole Foods with some dairies such as cheese, no milk, and eggs. I do love red meat, but maybe that might be an area to tweak, such as eating less red meat and increase seafood or lean meats. Thanks so much for the both of you for all you do and I look forward to hopefully hearing back soon. A sincere super fan, Holly.”

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, well, Holly, thank you for the very detailed question and congratulations on the progress you've made. That's amazing so far. When you listed your Labs, I didn't see anything that looked statistically significant between the Labs from 2020 and currently. Your total cholesterol looks okay. LDL, the only thing that I would say and I don't think an LDL of 132 is bad at all is that if you're really curious to know, you can look for an advanced lipid analysis. Some internist and primary care providers are savvy with these types of Labs, others are not. When we're looking at particle size, it actually breaks down the LDL to look at whether or not you have light, fluffy, buoyant LDL or if you have a predominant of small, dense atherogenic, those that are more prone to producing plaque and inflammation. 

If we really look at what drives cardiovascular disease and heart attacks, and we know women present statistically very differently. Men typically present with a classic crushing chest pain, left arm pain. Women may have symptoms as subtle as fatigue or shortness of breath. I'm sure your primary care provider is monitoring you carefully. I'm not sure if you've actually had a baseline stress test that may be something to discuss with them. But when I start looking at strong family history, certainly, our grandparent’s generation, a lot of them smoked. And so, that can be a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease. I also think a great deal about insulin resistance. So, A1C is helpful to a point. But I actually order less of those now and order a great deal more targeted lab work like a fasting insulin. This is a test that's covered by insurance, I see a lot of perimenopausal women. And 49 years young and I'm glad that you use the word young. 

49 years of age, you are close to menopause, if not already there. Average age in the United States is 51 and we do become more insulin resistant as we get older and that has a lot to do with the fluctuating and reduction in estradiol, which is our predominant form of estrogen prior to going through menopause. I think at a minimum, you need a fasting insulin drawn. I would want to be looking at your fasting blood sugars, seeing the net impact of your meals. You didn't really identify if you prioritize protein. And certainly, in perimenopausal, menopausal females, it's absolutely critical that you are prioritizing protein for a number of different reasons. I know everyone hears me talk about this a lot. The role of sarcopenia, which is muscle loss with aging can also contribute to insulin resistance. As you're losing muscle, you are losing this metabolically active tissue. And so, if you're not getting sufficient amounts of protein in your diet and I can't tell from what you've identified here. Animal-based protein is going to be superior to plant-based protein in terms of the amino acid composition. 

I just listened to a lecture with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon at KetoCon last week and I love that she was providing some context of what her recommendations are. And so, no less than hundred grams of protein a day as a female and then also no more than 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrate per meal. That is important, especially in a middle-aged person. So, not really fully understanding what types of protein you're gravitating towards. I think that's also very important. Getting the additional labs fasting insulin, inflammatory markers like high sensitivity, CRP, really looking at homocysteine, really, really looking more deeply at your LDL particle size, which I would imagine would probably be quite good. And then I think about other hormones. Thyroid hormone, sex hormones, really digging deep. IGF-1, which is a clinical marker for growth hormone, how that is going on as well. I think I would want to get more information. 

I don't think it sounds like you're doing anything wrong. But I do think with your baseline family history, a baseline treadmill stress test, I know a lot of clinicians and cardiologists are leaning towards chemical stress tests or stress values, which I think are completely reasonable. Meaning, they can put you on a treadmill and also give you a specific tracer to see what's going on with blood flow to the heart is certainly very reasonable. But I would think from my perspective, I would really want to make sure that your insulin sensitivity is optimized. You're not a very big person, but I do see some degree of insulin resistance even in smaller, more petite women. And so, I think looking at things from a very comprehensive perspective would allow us to be able to give more targeted recommendations. So, what I'm saying is, I think you're doing a lot of really good things. We need more information, more Labs, I'd love to know what your macro breakdown is. I love that you're already omitting inflammatory seed oil. So, lots of protein, right types of healthy fats, optimizing your carbohydrate intake, and that really is something that is a very powerful N of 1. If you're not using a glucometer or continuous glucose monitor, I would also advocate that we have a sense of what your blood sugar response is to your food intake as well. What do you think, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: I thought that was extremely comprehensive and fabulous. Yeah, just some quick comments. For listeners, they might benefit from listening to my interview with Azure Grant. She does a lot of work with ultradian rhythms, which are 24-hour rhythms in the body. A lot of her work was used to develop work with Oura Ring. So, that's why I had her on the show. But she has a really fast seating study, where they-- It was a small study. I thought it was very telling, where they looked at, I don't remember how many people were in it. It wasn't that many, but they basically tested their cholesterol levels like we do with the CGM testing or blood sugar all day, but they did it with their cholesterol all day. Every single participant in the group fluctuated wildly with their cholesterol levels based on just the moment to moment like we do with our blood sugar. And actually, every single person in the study at one point had one of their markers crossed into a risk factor category, which I thought was just really fascinating. 

Basically, the takeaway is not to be concerned about your cholesterol. It's that Holly's test right there was just a snapshot of that one moment. And so, it could have been different, even within that day significantly. And so, it's hard to even know how different it is from the two years prior that she tested, because just to how much it can change. There's that factor. How do you feel Cynthia about the HDL to trig ratio or is it trig-to HDL? Wait, what’s the order of it?

Cynthia Thurlow: Usually, trig to HDL, typically.

Melanie Avalon: How do you feel about that?

Cynthia Thurlow: I kind of eyeball. Meaning, I'll look at the triglycerides, 76 to 70 and then I decide if I need to actually make that calculation, a lot of the insulin resistant, obese overweight patients I used to work with would sometimes have triglycerides in the 300s or 400s, and then they would have very low logic, HDL, so, 20, 30. And then I would be forced to calculate it to really hone in on them that there's really a lot of work to do. But when I see them at a normalized ratio, sometimes, what I'll look at is the fasting insulin to have a sense of how much work we need to do. I'll give an example. I recently had a woman talk a lot about weight loss resistance, which hack-- So many of us deal with that, right? It's very common. Her primary is only doing fasting glucose and A1C, and of course, they “looked fine.” I said, “Ask for a fasting insulin. Just ask for one Lab.” And so, they did fasting insulin and it was 12. I said, “Well, now, we know. Fasting insulin’s up, then you're going to struggle to lose weight.” And so, we worked very targetedly. Did I just make up a word?

Melanie Avalon: Targetedly.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, targetedly. We made some very targeted recommendations, so that she could improve her insulin sensitivity. And three months later, when she retested, it was within normal limits. I think on a lot of levels, when I'm looking at labs, it's big picture to decide like, “What do we need to do next?” But yes, in a lot of instances, you're looking at that comparison of triglycerides to HDL to really get a sense of, is someone really metabolically healthy or are they not and they have work to do?

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. And then I wanted to comment. We were talking a little bit before this, but your comment about the A1C, it's interesting, because I actually, of course, I mentioned Peter Attia on every episode. I was listening to an episode recently where he was going on and on about the problems with HbA1c and how basically, a big factor in it can be how fast your red blood cells turnover. So, basically, if they're turning over faster, you might have a seemingly better A1C, but you actually might still have issues. Whereas if you have longer living red blood cells, that gives them a longer time to become glycated. And so, then you have a higher A1C, but it might not actually be telling about what's actually happening with your blood sugar levels, which is why Cynthia said, wearing a continuous glucose monitor, for example, might be something to check out. 

For those who would like to try out a continuous glucose monitor, NutriSense is a great option for that. We actually do have a link for them. If you go to nutrisense.io/ifpodcast, the coupon code, IFPODCAST will get you $30 off any of their programs. Subscription programs, I believe. So, that's definitely a great resource for listeners. 

The only other thing I was going to comment on was that she was asking a lot about the types of fats and things like that. And Cynthia did comment on that. The cholesterol thing is something that-- It's funny. I haven't had an episode on it yet, dedicated to it yet on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Because I feel I've just been passively gathering information for years. Dave Feldman, right?

Cynthia Thurlow: And listeners will be hammered to have me say this. I almost got a lipidologist There was a certification that we could take and some of the MPs and MDs did, and I got very close to doing it, and I opted not which was a good decision. But so, I can very much nerd out on lipids. Dave is next level. I had a conversation with Dave at an event in Salt Lake City and about 15 minutes into the conversation, I was like, “Timeout.” Any conceptual concept I had ever known and I do understand things at a very deep level, he's next level. He's an engineer with a very fresh perspective. I think you would completely love nerding out with him about cholesterol, and the lipid hypothesis, and lean mass hyper responders. It's fascinating.

Melanie Avalon: Where does he exist-- if it can even be said succinctly, where does he exist in the--? People on carnivore diets or low carb diets who actually have really high LDL levels and say, “It's not a problem,” does he have thoughts on that very basic idea?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. We actually spoke about an individual that we both know, who has very, very high LDL while on a carnivore diet. He himself and I witnessed a meeting multiple times over the weekend. He's definitely carnivore-ish, low carb ketogenic in his approach and that works really well for him. But he had some interesting insights. He's doing a lot of research, which-- I think most importantly, he's changing the narrative for clinicians and he's doing it in a way that is generating a great deal of high-quality research. And bravo to the engineers in the world. They have just very unique angles.

Melanie Avalon: I love that. I'm definitely happy to connect with him. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I'll be happy to do an intro. He's lovely.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you. I love that. My like which is very, not super informed, but just from the-- I feel I've been passively absorbing information regarding cholesterol through osmosis for years. I'm trying to just build up my bank of thoughts about it, because I'm very much torn about a lot of the debates surrounding it. Just like the saturated fat one, for example. I know people on the low carb and carnivore sphere will often say that, “It doesn't matter and all the saturated fat.” But that does seem one thing, where if you do switch saturated fats for mono unsaturated fats, for example or more unsaturated fats, that it possibly can have a favorable effect on those levels. I'm not going to ponder what that actually means, but I think that is something that is seen. So, it's definitely something that people can try. That's a very vague approach to that.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's important to find balance. There are people who tend to be more focused on saturated fat found in animal meats and they don't eat as many of the-- And I'm rarely will you hear me use this term, plan- based fats. But I think they're equally important. And so, for me, personally, I do better as an example with leaner meat, but I can do fats in the plant-based variety and digest them really well. And so, maybe doing a little bit of experimentation to see what makes you feel good, I think is completely reasonable. But not to fear, fat, that is unfortunate that we have propagated that as a medical community for a long, long time.

Melanie Avalon: I think because there was that fat fear, then there was a counter regulatory response that was very intense in the other direction, which was like, “All the saturated fat and all the butter forever and ever and pounds of it.” I don't know that that is necessarily the best thing, either. [laughs] Maybe there's just a more nuanced approach to everything. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I agree with you, Melanie. I think that one of the mistakes I see, women in particular making is, their husband does keto, their boyfriend, their significant other, their mom, their dad does keto and loses a bunch of weight, and it's not to suggest that a low carb lifestyle is not a good idea. It's how we go about doing it. Fat is calorically more dense than protein and carbs. And so, it's just important to understand that a whole avocado although the healthy, yes, has a lot more calories than people realize. And so, the quantity of fats that you have to be careful about, it might be that you just measure. I always say, “I tolerate a quarter of an avocado.” I'm a 50-year-old woman, I'm okay with that, I measure my nuts, I love macadamia nuts, I measure them out. I measure MCT oil, I measure olive oil for me personally, because it is easy to overeat. And then, all of a sudden, you've derailed your best efforts at managing an anti-inflammatory nutrient dense diet.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I agree. If people are eating all Whole Foods base or I guess, even not Whole Foods base, but a lot of times, we will be eating up ancestral type diet. But if there's some foods that will, I think easily encourage weight gain, it's nuts and dairy products.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. Slippery slope. 

Melanie Avalon: Yep. So, okay, Holly, hopefully, that was helpful. Shall we go on to our next question?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is Karen. The subject is: “cassava flour.” “Hi, Melanie and Cynthia. I've been listening to you for three years now and love every episode. I'm a 63-year-old retired OB nurse.” Yay. “Since I've retired, I started watching my weight, sugars and flours due to increase weight gain. I have been intermittent fasting and, in the beginning, lost weight, but now, have regained 15 pounds and can't seem to lose anything. I still do 16 to 18-hour fast, clean and unclean. Wore a CGM for a month to see if I have sugar problems. Had blood work and I'm not insulin resistant. I use the sweeteners that are safe and oils that are not toxic. I exercise three times a week at the gym, do walking and weightlifting, and I don't overdo it. I feel frustrated. I get confused about foods. 

Recently, I've been trying different grain-free pasta and found one by jovial made with cassava flour, but heard that it might be a toxic grain. I would like both your opinions on it and sorghum pasta as well. I have lymphocytic colitis and I'm supposed to be doing lectin free. I bought Dr. Gundry’s books and try to follow lectin free as much as I can. I love pasta and I have tried zoodle noodles, but I just don't like them. I know this is a lot to talk about. Thanks for all the great research and work you both do. I look forward to listening to you at the gym and I've learned so much from your podcast. Thanks, and good luck with your careers. Karen.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Karen. So, thank you so much for your question. I did a deep dive into all of these different flours. It's funny. There's so many alternative flours in the grain free world. The go to ones are usually coconut and almond flour. I find but they are these other different ones. So, cassava? I learned so much about cassava. Do you ever cook with cassava, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do, because I have a kiddo with a nut allergy. And so, I've had to balance finding gluten free flours that are nut free. And so, I think cassava flour, especially, Otto’s is the flour that for me most mimics what wheat flour does when you bake with it. And so, we've had a lot of success. But it's not low carb. So, let me just make that clear. It's not a low carb option, but it's a nice option to have.

Melanie Avalon: It's funny. Basically, just hit all the points I had about it. [laughs] They were that it's paleo, but it's also AIP and it is nut free. So, check. Closest in texture and properties to all regular, all-purpose flour. You just said that. Check. And then that it's not low carb, that it's actually pretty high carb. It's actually fun fact. The third highest yield of carbohydrates per person in many parts of the world following sugar cane and sugar beets. It's also low oxalate. So, that's a nice benefit. And the toxin I guess, she's referring to is it has a toxin in it called cyanogenic glycosides. Those are actually also found in almonds and spinach, but I believe they are addressed in how it is processed or cooked. But I'm guessing that's what she's referring to. It sounds like it's a good flour. And Cynthia has used it as well, but it is high carb. Keep in mind. I didn't realize that tapioca starch is actually made from cassava as well.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's interesting. Obviously, I have teenage boys, and they're both very athletic and lean. So, they can manage the carbohydrate influx. I made banana bread with cassava flour, and then I basically told my family, “They need to eat it or I'm going to chuck it, because I can't eat it. It's just too high carb it for me.” But I think that it's certainly an option for those people that are out there that need a gluten free option for sure.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, and then also interesting, something I didn't know was that arrowroot starch, I always thought arrow-- I learned so much, Karen, with this question. I always thought arrowroot starch was that it was a thing. Arrowroot was a plant, but it's not. It's actually a combination of different things, one of which is tapioca starch. That blew my mind. I was like, “Oh, okay.” Well then, the other one she asked about was sorghum and that actually is a green, but it's gluten free and it's low glycemic, higher and fiber and protein. Have you tried sorghum? I have not.

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not. I'll be honest and this may be controversial. But when I decided to go gluten free, I found I didn't miss pasta. My mother is Italian. She would probably be disappointed to hear that. I really don't miss pasta. I've been able to get away with spaghetti squash and zoodles. I generally sometimes miss bread, but for me, I haven't tried all the varieties of gluten free pastas. They're out there, because I think for me, I just got more interested in feeling better and I just don't do well with the alternatives. I don't feel good, I know it messes up my blood sugar. As I said, when I was talking about being around like-minded people at this event last week, I was like, “It's nice to be around people who don't have to explain myself.” So, I think each one of us have to decide what works for us and what impacts our blood sugar. Obviously, finding healthier alternatives and things that you really love that you're no longer eating, probably, a long explanation, but it's an honest one.

Melanie Avalon: Like my favorite meal, pre-dietary changes was definitely like Alfredo pasta. I just couldn't eat it now probably, because I think I wouldn't digest it well. It would just sit in me. When it comes to the flours, I've used the coconut flour and the almond flour for making baked good type things. But I haven't used these ones that she talked about. Cynthia, did you say that you'd looked up some options?

Cynthia Thurlow: I did. Cappello is one that's made with almond flour. If you're not oxalate sensitive, that might be an option. It's usually refrigerated. They have pizza crusts and all sorts of pasta options. There were things like hearts of palm, which I've tried and I can honestly say, I've tried it multiple ways in an effort to be able to recommend it. It was just a mushy mess, so that probably wouldn't be my first suggestion. There are some things like chickpea pastas and I'm fervently a believer that the processed food industry is desperately trying to corner the market continuing to encourage people to eat pasta despite this. I've just come to find that some of the bonza pastas that are made with chickpea flour, some people enjoy them. I just think it requires a degree of flexibility. 

And certainly, depending on where your live stage monitoring your blood sugar response, because maybe Karen as an example can have some chickpea pasta and to be completely 100% fair. I don't know, where that falls in the lectin category or not, because that's just not an area of focus of mine. But finding an alternative and maybe keeping the portion small, if that's something you really love and really miss. But Cappello is because it's almond flour is going to be a lower carb option than many of these other suggestions we've talked about.

Melanie Avalon: I actually also really like pumpkin seed flour. I've had that before. There's a one I really like. I think I talked about it when we were talking about vegan protein powder alternatives. Did you ever go through--? I went through this phase when I first went low carb and I feel a lot of people did, the shirataki noodles. 

Cynthia Thurlow: They smell bad. That was something I wrote down in my notes, but I actually, just like the hearts of palm, the shirataki noodles smell bad. I'm one of those people like, if something doesn't smell appealing, I can't eat it. 

Melanie Avalon: They smell like formaldehyde. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. They smell very much like a preservative laden product. And so, I bought them once. Once. I know people swear by them, but they stunk. Just like the hearts of palm, that was a mushy mess. And so, it's hard for me to find something that mimics what I recall pasta really acting like. But the Cappello's, in my house, it has been popular. But my kids are going through this phase as teenagers that they want to be able to eat whatever they want. And so, we've had to bring in some organic pasta into the house to appease their desires to still eat gluten containing pasta.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I definitely went through that phase. If listeners haven't had it, if you remember high school lab when you would dissect things and that formaldehyde, that is what they smell like. It's actually not the noodles. It's what they're preserved in. I would like, “Boy, you can boil them and it goes away and you don't taste it.” But actually, the main problem for me was, they literally are just indigestible fiber. So, they have no calories and they would just sit-- If I would eat them now, they would probably sit in me for days. That was back when I was digesting things better. So, yes. But thank you for those resources. And also, do we want to comment on the first part of Karen's question, just her a little bit her issues with not losing weight?

Cynthia Thurlow: Weight loss resistance, that's definitely a common theme. I think when you're a menopausal female, you have to change your relationship with your macros and you have to be focused on protein, limiting carbohydrates, right types of healthy fats in the right quantities. I also think about sleep quality. Seven, eight hours of high-quality sleep, how do you define that? Cold dark room, waking up rested, being able to fall and stay asleep. Stress management? No, it's not a joke and it's not five minutes meditation once a week. As a menopausal female, you have to actively work at this. I speak from personal experience that I know when I'm not doing enough stress management and that has to be an active practice day to day. I think about just inflammation. Karen mentioned that she had worn a CGM. What's your fasting insulin? Well, these are common themes that I will respond to, but digging a little deeper, because of fasting blood sugar, your fasting blood sugars can still be decent. What's your response to your meals? 

If your blood sugar is going up? 25, 30, 40 points, you're not eating the right combination of. micronutrients. And then I also think about gut health and there's no menopausal or perimenopausal woman that I have looked at stool samples on that does not have some degree of dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is non-beneficial bacteria in the gut and it's exacerbated by stress. There's no one listening that hasn't experienced more stress in the last two years of our lives. And certainly, a nurse had a lot of stress in her occupation, but now, in retirement, maybe not as much but really looking at gut health due to latent infection. 

The other thing that I think about are just toxins in general that we're exposed to cumulatively throughout our lifetime. Environment, personal care products, food, all can tip over that bucket. When a woman in perimenopause or menopause is talking about weight loss resistance, you have to get honest with yourself. Sometimes, that's a hard thing to do. It may be, you really have to back off on intensely fasting, really making sure that you're eating enough food. I would imagine if you're doing 16 or 18-hour fast that you are very likely getting at least two meals in a day, but are you eating enough protein? Are you eating too many carbs? We can't eat unfortunately. In middle age, you cannot eat like you did when you were 20. It is a sad fact, but you can't. And so, there are many, many variables that I think could be at play. 

The unfortunate thing is, weight loss resistance is such a common, common problem that when a woman reports this to her internist, GYN, etc., sometimes, that gets brushed under the rug and you're told, “It's just the way things are at x age,” which I fervently disagree with. But also going back to what I was saying earlier, fasting insulin, what's your thyroid doing? Are you on hormone replacement therapy? No woman should be afraid of replacing hormones. No one. There's a great book. I actually interviewed Dr. Avrum Bluming and Carol Tavris on the podcast. The book is Estrogen Matters. There's a whole generation of women that are scared of taking HRT, there are a whole generation of clinicians that are afraid to prescribe HRT, and there are many, many variables. I know that was a lot of information, but it just goes to demonstrate that there are many, many factors of why middle-aged women can deal with weight loss resistance and it really requires diligence, and patience, and a little bit more digging.

Melanie Avalon: I agree with all of that. Yeah, one of the things I look at first and I guess, the first thing you mentioned was the macros, for example. Because it sounds like she's doing Dr. Gundry’s, which we've both interviewed Dr. Gundry. So, we can put links in the show notes to our interviews with him. Actually, maybe that's not the best diet we’ve following. Maybe lectin free isn't where the focus should be and it should be something else more comprehensive with the food like the macros. So, focusing on higher Whole Foods protein intake, I often say, trying either low carb or low fat. It might be, especially if she's doing cassava pasta, for example. It might be that she's at this spot of eating seemingly Whole Foods and lectin free, but eating both high carb and high fat together, she could be. And that might be a combination that's not quite working, where you actually need to be doing one or the other. So, that's something I really love to focus on, but there's a lot there. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

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Melanie Avalon: I think we have time for one more question and this comes from Florence. And the subject is: “headaches/smells. And Florence says, “I've been experimenting with time restricted eating for about 18 months. But after reading Delay, Don't Deny and Fast. Feast. Repeat., I started proper IF in April of this year. Post the 28-day fast start, I've been doing one meal a day, Monday through Friday and approximately 14:10 eating window at the weekend since May, about six weeks now. I never weighed with scales. So, I can only go off how my clothes feel and using a tape measure. So far, I've definitely lost a few inches, but post the fast start, I was hoping it would have been a few more. I keep going through as I'm interested in the other health benefits, not just the weight loss or maintenance. Anyway, having binge listen to a lot of your episodes, I think it's probably the wine I drink at the weekend, which is holding me back. But my question today, isn't how to lose more inches? Although, any advice you may have about tweaks, I could make to my eating window would be appreciated. 

My main question is about headaches. I still experienced them and I worry that fasting could be causing them Should I just power through? I'm definitely clean fasting and I drink a lot of water, but I worry that other things like smells can be triggering an insulin response which caused my headaches. For example, the smell of my kids’ bagels in the morning or helping the kids at school chop up their dinner at lunch. There's not a lot I can do to avoid smells, though, is there? But I do wonder whether I should take supplements in case my headaches are due to a lack of magnesium or something like that. Currently, I take a multivitamin and my eating window as an insurance policy. Other than the headaches, I feel good fasting and I especially find it easy when I'm busy at work. 

I'm a primary school teacher. I have just as much if not more energy during the school day, but I will get a slump at lunchtime. When the kids have gone home and I'm reaching for the painkillers more than I'd like. Did I have headaches before IF? Yes, but not as many. Food use to help them go away. Thanks for any advice you're able to give. Best wishes, Florence.” All right, headaches and smells. Cynthia, do you have thoughts?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. My thoughts are all over the place. I think about water and electrolytes and I would imagine that a teacher probably can't stay as hydrated ideally as she would like to be given the fact she's in front of a classroom of students all day long. I think about where is she in her menstrual cycle, if she's still getting a cycle, because we know that there is an uptick and propensity for developing headaches, especially as women are north of 35 north of 40, there's usually a preponderance of more headaches prior to menopause. It could be cyclical. I also think about magnesium is a slow muscle relaxant and so, could it be a tension headache? She doesn't describe what sounds like typical migraine symptoms. And so, my first thought would be, hydration and electrolytes, potentially the right formulation of magnesium. 

I also think about where she is life stage, because we definitely see more women reporting headaches symptoms in perimenopause. Again, I don't know how young Florence is. Heading up into menopause that a lot of women that have had headaches throughout their lifetime, once they go through menopause, they have much less headaches. And then the piece about alcohol, I don't know if per se there's a interrelationship, but I definitely see a lot of weight loss resistance around just alcohol use. There's a lot of research that's starting to support this as well. Again, life stages important. If you're in perimenopause, the 10 to 15 years preceding menopause, that could be a larger issue. But I think based on what she's suggesting here, it's more that the headaches are of greater concern. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: I was going to say that about electrolytes for sure. And actually, LMNT is a sponsor on today's show. So, check out the ad that we ran for them. We have a really great offer for them. They're actually giving a free sample pack with any purchase. So, we'll put a link to that in the show notes. But that is at drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. And just a note about that, the unflavored raw one, that's the one that is clean, fast, friendly. All the other ones would be for during your eating window. But yes, I was thinking electrolytes, also thinking magnesium. So, my AvalonX Magnesium might be a great thing to try. I'm really fascinated by-- Well, her thoughts that smelling something releases insulin, which causes the headaches. Would that be from a drop in blood sugar that would cause the headaches? What would be the mechanism there?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Could you get a headache when you're hypoglycemic? Absolutely. She did mention that she gets slumps at lunchtime. I don't know, if that's preceding or after eating meals. There's definitely things that could precipitate that-- The fact that she's sensitive to smells makes me think there could be a migraine component to this, because I used to have migraines prior to going gluten free and I was very sensitive to smells. That was oftentimes, a little bit of a precursor to when I would develop a headache. I think that there's probably multiple things. Dehydration is a common reason for developing a headache. And hypoglycemia is a common reason for why people can develop headaches. So, I think there probably needs to be some experimentation there. Maybe she should not be fasting as long and see if that improves, because she mentions farther down that she wasn't getting as many headaches prior to intermittent fasting.

Melanie Avalon: She's having to reach for the painkillers a lot, even things like that, there's a lot of potential here to get out of a spiral that's not quite working for you. Because even with the painkillers, there's something causing the headaches. Taking the painkillers, it doesn't really address the root cause. If we find the root cause, hopefully, you could be taking less and less of those. And even painkillers themselves can have a pretty not so good effect on the gut causing intestinal permeability and things like that. And gut health is so connected to everything. So, I definitely think there's a solution and I'm hoping that you can find that. It's interesting, the fact that the food makes it go away. To me, it does say that it might involve either blood sugar issues or electrolyte issues. So, hopefully, something works, Florence and you can report back and let us know. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, definitely do.

Melanie Avalon: All righty. 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 get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. The show notes for today's episode, which will be very helpful, because we talked about a lot of things. So, there will be links and a full transcript. That’ll be at ifpodcast.com/episode277. And then you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_ and I believe that is all the things.

Cynthia Thurlow: Awesome. Well, another fabulous podcast. Keep all those questions coming.

Melanie Avalon: I know I'm really, really enjoying them. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful and I will talk to you next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds great. 

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! 

 

 

Jul 31

Episode 276: Magnesium Benefits, Supplementing A Whole Foods Diet, Medication Interaction, Stress and Depletion, Absorption, Dosing, and Effectiveness, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 276 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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

SHOW NOTES

1:00 - 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!

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

10:50 - magnesium clinical lab testing

15:30 - magnesium's benefits

18:35 - AUDIBLE: Go To audible.com/ifpodcast Or Text IFPODCAST To 500-500 For A 30 Day Free Trial, Including A Free Audiobook!

20:05 - modern causes of magnesium deficiency

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #139 - Farmer Lee Jones

26:00 - Magnesium, Vitamin B6, and stress

27:10 - menopausal women

30:00 - manganese

31:20 - whole foods containing magnesium

34:00 - chocolate

35:30 - dosage & effectiveness

40:00 - types of magnesium & absorption rate

49:30 - best way to take magnesium

52:20 - magnesium threonate

57:05 - PREP DISH: Get a free 2 week trial At Prepdish.com/ifpodcast! You'll get weekly gluten-free and Paleo grocery and recipe lists!!

58:30 - taking magnesium with medication

1:02:00 - pregnancy

1:04:45 - slow motility

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!

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

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 276 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, biohacker and author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and cynthiathurlow.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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

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

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 276 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I am not just here with my fabulous cohost, Cynthia Thurlow. We are here with a very special guest on the show. This is a repeat guest. He has appeared on one episode before which we will put a link to in the show notes. But we are back with Scott Emmens, who has quickly become one of my favorite human beings on the planet. Scott is the Chief Operating Officer at MD Logic, which is actually the fantastic supplement company that I partnered with to cobrand my supplement AvalonX line. So, we launched our serrapeptase back in November of 2021 and then very recently in July of 2022, we released my magnesium supplement. Things are also potentially in the works with Cynthia and Scott. So, stay tuned for developments there. 

But the purpose of today's show, we released my AvalonX Magnesium 8, like I said very recently in July. And the response has been really, really amazing and we've also received so many listener questions about magnesium. There’s a reason that magnesium was my second supplement, because it is so, so important. And I already knew that I wanted to make magnesium as a supplement, but then diving really deep into the clinical literature. Oh, my goodness, why are people not talking about magnesium more? It's funny. I was doing even some more research last night and was reading this really fabulous review pretty recent on magnesium. And it basically starts out by saying that “Magnesium is--" and I'm obviously using very casual terminology and it was much more eloquent. But it says that “Magnesium is so, so important and just very understudied and that there needs to be more awareness surrounding this.” So, the purpose of today's episode is to bring us all together, we got a lot of listener questions, we're going to dive deep into all of that. So, Cynthia and Scott, thank you both for being here.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. And I have to just echo what you just said working in clinical cardiology for 16 years as an NP and prior to that as an ER nurse, magnesium is woefully underrepresented and appreciated. I 100% agree.

Melanie Avalon: Did you want to make a magnesium, Scott? Was that on your radar?

Scott Emmens: That is on my radar. There are so many different forms of magnesium. And first, I would like to say, although it is my second time on the show, it's my 31st time since Cynthia joined the show. So, this will be my very first Cynthia and Mel show. So, I'm thrilled to be here. But I had thought about making multiple different kinds of magnesium’s, because there's some that forms that are really great for sleep, some forms that are great for anxiety, other forms that are really derived for athletic performance, especially if you blend it with some other core ions and electrolytes like potassium and perhaps, some sodium chloride. There's a whole, I think, magnesium world waiting out there for us. After doing the research on magnesium for the last several months that we've done, I really feel there's no limit to the amount that we can continue to study it and the various different forms and ways to take it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Actually, speaking to what both of you guys just said about how there's so much to learn, how it's underappreciated, we actually got questions about that. So, Kenna, for example said, “Why doesn't standard lab work a complete metabolic profile cover magnesium levels?” Damon asked, “Should we get lab tested for it?” What's so interesting is one of those articles that I was reading was talking about this very issue and we'll dive into everything that it's involved in. But it's so important and it affects so many things and it's connected to so many health issues. But unfortunately, there's not a clinical marker that's really easy to look at to see if magnesium deficiency is the problem. For example, with anemia and iron, that's something that is very easy to measure and evaluate with calcium. Like osteoporosis, again, something very easy to evaluate. Magnesium flows under the radar and a major reason for that is that it's very tightly controlled in the bloodstream. The majority of the magnesium in our body is actually in our cells, in our muscles, in our bones, less than 1% is in our bloodstream and then our body is very good at regulating that. So, even if it is on a standard lab test, you could be severely magnesium deficient and it's probably not going to show up. The stats on deficiency are pretty intense. A large percentage of people are likely deficient. And again, it's hard to evaluate. So, even if it was on a lab work, it might be hard to see.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think this is an important time to interject that there is a good blood test for magnesium. But typically, most clinicians order a regular magnesium level, which is drawn from the blood. As you very appropriately mentioned, very little of magnesium is actually in our serum or blood. But a red blood cell magnesium level is looking at intracellular magnesium and this is what we used exclusively in cardiology. We would sometimes get frustrated when we're rounding on patients, because we would say the nurse, “Okay, we need an RBC mag.” Inevitably, what we get ordered was a regular magnesium and I used to say, “Well, this isn't really helpful.” Because [chuckles] we really don't have a good sense of what their magnesium is with that traditional lab. 

People that are listening to this podcast that maybe I've never heard that term, red blood cell magnesium or an RBC mag. It is covered by insurance, it is inexpensive. Every single one of us should be drawing RBC mags, at least once or twice a year. Because more often than not, it sends you down a rabbit hole. As an example, I know Melanie's had Robb Wolf on to talk about electrolytes on her podcast as well as my own. I tell people that not enough clinicians even think about magnesium. They worry about sodium, which is on a complete metabolic panel, they worry about potassium that's also on a complete metabolic panel. But you have to add the extra test. I think for a lot of clinicians, unless they're in ER medicine or cardiology, they're very likely not ordering these tests, because they're just not thinking about it.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you brought that up and that's actually one reason I really like InsideTracker, because they test RBC magnesium. Interestingly, I found a study last night that was looking at this and it was encouraging because red blood cell magnesium was more telling, I guess, than normal magnesium levels, which-- From reading that I was like, “Oh, you really can't tell anything from normal magnesium levels.” I still don't know that it's ideal. It still might not reveal deficiencies like there may be, but it's definitely much better than normal magnesium levels. And urine, for example, which apparently is all over the place. The thing they said was most promising was isotope testing but that seemed more intense. Have you heard of that before, Cynthia, the isotope?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have but it's not something I've used. I think when I worked in electrophysiology, which is a subsect of cardiology. These are the physicians that are very, very cerebral and they are dealing with arrhythmias, and pacemakers, and defibrillators. I learned so much working with them and with arrhythmia patients in particular, and their feeling at that time and obviously there's always new and emerging testing that comes out, but that and RBC mag was what we usually used to guide recommendations. But I'm sure there will be emerging testing that will come out that will be even easier, hopefully, covered by insurance. Because I think for a lot of people that is an issue when they're testing is not covered by insurance. We definitely want to make sure that the testing that's being used is something that the average person can get as opposed to just the biohacking community.

Melanie Avalon: Maybe that's a good place to start with the whole magnesium. So, definitely got questions about that. Laurie wanted to know, the benefits of magnesium. Leah wanted to know, what are each of them good for, there are so many different strains to magnesium. I don't know what they all do in the body. So, I guess, any of us can take this. Scott, do you want to talk about the benefits of magnesium?

Scott Emmens: Well, they are plentiful. But really, if you start off with looking magnesium is critical, but it's critically going to do for the body. It's going to be used in the brain for all types of neurotransmitters. It's going to be used in the muscles to both contract and relax your muscles. It's going to be used in the brain to relax the body and the brain. They are used to say 300 different enzymatic reactions. But in reality, there's data now to support between 600 and 800 different enzymatic reactions. So, it's pretty much involved in everything. But at the heart of it, it's your energy production, it’s your metabolic health, it's your DNA. It is the second most abundant cation or electrolyte in your body. So, really important for that. 

And it also helps transport other essential minerals in the body. There is a balance and I know that's one of the questions. There's a very nuanced balance between zinc, magnesium, manganese, copper, etc. But the list is many and plentiful. But in terms of the benefits that I see things like sleep, relaxation, reduction, and stress. I've had friends who had chronic migraines or headaches their all lives. That's really helped them out tremendously. For me, personally, it's been really great for muscle cramps. I play a lot of tennis outside in the heat and afterwards, I just get really bad muscle cramps. And since I started taking Mag 8, Magnesium 8, no cramps. And I have been an electrolyte fiend. Sodium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, I've been taking this now for, I think, five days and no cramps. That's my big win.

Melanie Avalon: What's actually really interesting is that same study that was talking about all the different testing methods, they basically concluded because of the potential issues with testing methods that it might be more beneficial to go off of a categorical list of major and minor symptoms. If you had a certain combination of these symptoms that that might indicate magnesium deficiency and it's so many things that you just discussed. Even before jumping on, Cynthia, you were talking about the role of magnesium that you've had in your patients. Have you found it benefits a lot of your patients?

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, absolutely. I think for a lot of women, I do find magnesium supplementation is helpful. Not just for the electrolytes, but also for sleep. There're definitely formulations of magnesium that are helpful for people who struggle with constipation. One of the things I've just found is that it's so multi useful that more often than not, I haven't found a patient yet who hasn't needed it. That should be totally honest for a variety of reasons. But yes, I do find a lot of clinical utility in utilizing magnesium and it's something that I take every single day without question. 

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Melanie Avalon: We got questions about “Why people might be deficient?” So, Wendy wanted to know, “How do we know if we have a deficiency, what causes a deficiency? I heard caffeine is one but are there other things?” Dorie wanted to know, “Do our magnesium needs change with age and/or lifestyle? Do menopausal women need more or less magnesium? If you're very active and athletic, does your body require more magnesium?” Before diving into those specifics, so, it's really interesting, because I say this a lot, but I am a huge proponent of getting our nutrients from food. 

In my ideal world, we wouldn't even have supplements. We would just eat food and life would be great. But unfortunately, our modern farming practices have severely affected the nutrients of our soils and the food that we're eating. And so, for example, this was fascinating. I didn't know this. It's estimated that in the last one hundred years, there's been up to a 90% decrease in magnesium in the soil, which is just shocking. There's a lot of reasons for that. It's the conventional farming methods. Pesticides actually chelate and bind to magnesium so they can make it not absorbable. We've been genetically modifying our food to make it, so that we can have high yield and a lot of it, but it's much less nutrient quality. Actually, it’s just complete tangent. If you want to learn more about the nutrition and food, check out my interview with Farmer Lee Jones. Did you interview him, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: Not yet. But I interviewed Jeffrey Smith and he spoke at length about glyphosate and how it chelates our minerals. It was both disturbing and fascinating to learn all of that. I think the other thing that I would just add to that is, even if you're eating all organic fruits and vegetables, the soil is so depleted of magnesium that it's unlike the type of soil that my grandparents had. So, that's one of many reasons why deficiencies are becoming more common is that even if you're eating a, what I would refer to as pure as possible, as clean as possible, you're still probably not getting enough minerals in your diet from your food intake, unfortunately.

Scott Emmens: Well, what's really alarming is, I had enough concerns about glyphosate. But to know that it's chelating and binding to our minerals making it harder for our bodies to absorb when the soil is already so depleted as it is, is rather alarming. And then just to add on to that, there's some very common medications that are used both prescription and over the counter. Proton pump inhibitors probably being the most egregious of them. When you take a proton pump inhibitor, it's been demonstrated through multiple studies that your minerals, calcium, zinc, magnesium, all of your minerals really reduced. I don't know, Cynthia maybe you know the exact mechanism, but it's likely due to reduction in acid. So, you're not able to really digest your minerals properly in your food. But those proton pump inhibitors can really have an impact on your magnesium level.

Melanie Avalon:  I'll just comment really quick because I looked that up. Yeah, it was the pH. The pH has to be a certain pH to absorb the minerals properly and the magnesium specifically. The magnesium absorbs better in a lower pH environment. So, that's probably what's going on there with the proton pump inhibitors.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Then alcohol is another big one. People that drink three or four drinks a day, they think that's normal. It's really a lot of alcohol. That's going to deplete your magnesium as well. And finally, if your minerals are out of balance, you’re taking too much zinc or too much copper, that's going to throw off your magnesium. So, you really want to make sure that your ratio of minerals is in line as well.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's also a good point to mention that we know we make less hydrochloric acid in our stomach as we get older. Our pH tends to not be within an ideal range, which can make us susceptible to opportunistic infections. I always think about certain medications. The PPIs are a big one. But I also think about diuretics. If you're taking a thiazide diuretic, if you're taking Lasix or any of the loop diuretics, you will be losing not just magnesium, but also potassium and also sodium. It's just this domino effect. It becomes cumulative over time. 

One of the things that I used to see, obviously, if you're drinking alcohol excessively, but alcoholics in particular, people that drink excessively are really at risk and that can put you at risk for certain types of heart arrhythmias, which you don't want to end up in the ER with these particular lethal arrhythmias that are related to chronic low magnesium levels. In fact, we would frontline-- If someone was a proponent or had identified as an alcoholic patient, you would give them magnesium along with everything else you were doing to help correct that imbalance because there are specific arrhythmias we will see with alcoholics. 

I also think about just the cumulative stress. I think everyone over the past two years has really been under way more stress than probably the preceding 10 years. And so, stress can also be incredibly impactful. Finding healthy ways to manage and mitigate stress can also be beneficial to maintaining healthy magnesium levels.

Melanie Avalon: This is actually a pretty interesting study. When we formulate it and we'll talk more about the formulation later, but when we formulated my AvalonX Magnesium 8, we included methylated B6 as a cofactor to help with absorption. There's actually a really fascinating study on it. There are some studies just showing that adding the-- Well, I don't know if it was methylated, but there were studies showing that adding B6 magnesium increases absorption. But there was a really fascinating study where they looked at people who had certain levels of stress and taking either magnesium alone or magnesium with the B6. All of it raised the people's magnesium levels and had a beneficial effect. In the people who were severely stressed with even lower magnesium, adding the B6 actually provided a 24% greater reduction in their stress levels than the magnesium alone. 

I know that's talking about the cofactor, but it just speaks to me that how much stress affects our magnesium levels. They could see actually a huge difference in adding the stress in the participants stress levels. Yeah, there's so many factors. And then so, for those questions specifically, that's fascinating, by the way about the alcohol. On the flipside, Wendy asking about the caffeine. Caffeine working as a diuretic is going to deplete magnesium. But what's really interesting is that one of the highest foods or food/drinks in magnesium is actually coffee. There might be a slight offset if you're getting magnesium from the coffee with a diuretic effect, but still the net effect is likely going to be a depletion. Cynthia, what have you found for Dorie’s question about menopausal women, although you did just speak about when people age how their HDL levels are affected? But hormonally with menopausal women, do you find that they might require more magnesium?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, they're less stress resilient. We know as our ovaries are producing less and less progesterone that our adrenal glands have to pick up the slack with progesterone. I do find that this is a time when many women, there's a much more narrow window in terms of where their magnesium needs are. They're also much more easily they become dehydrated. They may not realize they're dehydrated until they get really thirsty. Both of us have interviewed Dr. Rick Johnson. We know that's a really not a good thing to be clinically dehydrated. I've just oftentimes, really, really, really emphasized why it's important to take oral as well as transdermal magnesium, especially at this time period. 

Yes, middle-aged women, if you're 35 and up, probably need to be much more diligent about supplementation. You can probably get away with a little less when you're younger, but I definitely find that stress resiliency becomes a huge issue. And so, we just really have to be much more proactive about magnesium repletion.

Scott Emmens: Agreed. I just want to circle back because I don't want to jump over the B6. The fact that the B6 that we have is the methylated form of B6, which is otherwise known as P-5-P. There are some studies that actually show that there is a potential higher risk of a nonactivated form of B6 actually displacing the activated form of B6 and thus high, regular nonactivated B6 can actually cause the same symptoms as a B6 deficiency because it's pushing out the activated form. It's competing for that same receptor side. So, it's a big difference to have that activated receptor. I just wanted to point that out. I think it makes a big difference, I should say. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm so glad you pointed that out, because I know a lot of our listeners take BiOptimizers Magnesium Breakthrough, which so many people have benefited from that. I'm so grateful to them. I wanted to take what I really liked about that supplement and make it even better, because so, when I make my own versions of supplements, I basically want to make the very best version possible. Looking at their formula, it had the non-methylated form of B6 like Scott just talked about. We definitely wanted to make that switch. I'm really glad that you pointed that out. The other one that is a change is they have a nonchelated form of manganese, which it's not a cofactor in magnesium absorption. Actually, Scott, do you want to talk about manganese because you and I have had a lot of conversations?

Scott Emmens: Yes, sure. I learned a lot about manganese this last couple of months. Manganese in of itself is a cofactor for so many things. It's a very important nutrient, particularly, in wound healing and collagen formation. In fact, it's absolutely essential. You cannot make proper collagen folds and proper elastin of collagen in your body without manganese. But to your point, Melanie, it does not increase the absorption of magnesium. However, high doses of magnesium can reduce manganese slightly. For two reasons, you want to have that manganese in there. One, it's such a critical enzyme or mineral for so many enzymatic factors just like magnesium is. But two, whatever minor displacement of that manganese you might get you're receiving from the chelated version of manganese that we have in Magnesium 8.

Melanie Avalon: That's the reason for that being there. And again, so, with BiOptimizers, it was not a chelated form. We made a chelated form. For listeners who are not familiar with chelated, it's basically creating a form of the minerals which is going to be more easily absorbed, which we can talk about when we talk about the magnesium types. I will talk about the actual foods that are higher in magnesium. Actually, Scott and Cynthia, I was looking at charts of magnesium in food. Do you guys know what is probably the food with the highest amount of magnesium per weight?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I'm thinking either like a leafy vegetable or a seed.

Melanie Avalon: It's something that Cynthia loves. I love guessing games.

Scott Emmens: Macadamia nuts? 

Melanie Avalon: I say what is the two foods I don't like. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] What are the two foods you don't like? 

Melanie Avalon: Olives and oranges. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, my God, I'm obsessed. I'm obsessed. I am that crazy olive person. My kids know not to touch my olives. I have super crazy expensive olives. But it's one of my little, like, no one touches my olive stash.

Melanie Avalon: Can I ask you both a question? Did you both or did either of you have the moment? I don't care how old you were, but was there a moment where you realized that the pimento was not part of the actual plant or is this just me?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, no, I think I always knew that because I used to pick them out.

Melanie Avalon: Scott, did you have this moment?

Scott Emmens: I didn't really have a moment. I know it. I just don't recall having a moment about it. 

Melanie Avalon: I always thought because you know when you're growing up, you see the pictures of the olives with a little pimento. I always thought that pimento was the interior of the olive, and I had a mind-blown moment when I found out they put that in there and it's not--

Scott Emmens: I'm going to go out on a limb though on the olive issue and say this that you either love olives or you hate them. I have never found someone that says, “Oh, I really like olives.” No, no, they either love olive or they hate them. That's it

Cynthia Thurlow: Conduit to salt. That's how I learned how to drink martinis in my 20s was that I’ve realized it's just a conduit to salt. So, I used to drink dirty martinis with extra olives and I was the happiest person you've ever seen.

Scott Emmens: I did dirty martini with blue cheese olives.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, no, I don't like blue cheese. But the olives, yes.

Melanie Avalon: I like none of it. I had an allergy panel test and I felt so vindicated, because I'm basically allergic. Trees are great. No allergies, Olive trees that I'm allergic. I was like, “Oh, see, my body knows.”

Cynthia Thurlow: That's interesting. No, there's not a lot of things that I get obsessive about and olives are one and probably a close second. 

Scott Emmens: Macadamia nuts are another.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Again, and they have to be salty. Don't give me an unsalted sack of macadamia nut. It is another thing that my family thinks I'm crazy about. I'm like, “It's just they make me happy.” Makes me-- it's so simple.

Melanie Avalon: So, the answer was not olives. [laughs] What else, Cynthia and Scott?

Scott Emmens: I’d go with macadamia nuts. That's what I thought it was.

Melanie Avalon: For magnesium?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, pumpkin seeds, green leafy veggies.

Scott Emmens: Avocado, maybe? 

Melanie Avalon: Well, so, to address the nuts.

Scott Emmens: Dark chocolate. Doesn't dark chocolate?

Melanie Avalon: The nut that's the highest is cashews, but yes, cacao or cacao, I get confused. One of them is like leaps beyond all the other foods. It's like that and then it drops massively for the thing below it.

Cynthia Thurlow: See, this is why I eat high-quality dark chocolate and I have raw cacao in my smoothies.

Melanie Avalon: I'm wondering if a reason sometimes people crave chocolate might be.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Oh, absolutely. That's why the people crave it pre-menstrually.

Melanie Avalon: The magnesium. So, in any case, that tangent. What's really interesting though is, all of the different studies I looked at talking about the role of magnesium and foods, it would list these charts multiple times though. They would say that, “You really just can't get enough from food.” That is an unfortunate situation. We got some questions about how do you know if it's “working?” I love this question, because so, my first supplement, serrapeptase, one of the things I love about that supplement, which for listeners who are not familiar, it's a proteolytic enzyme created by the Japanese silkworm, and you take it in the fasted state, and it breaks down problematic proteins in your body. So, true it can help things that you don't “notice” like reduce cholesterol, or break down amyloid plaque, or reduce inflammatory markers. But it also can have a very noticeable immediate effect in clearing brain fog and reducing allergies. You will go from needing allergy meds to just having completely clear sinuses. So, people really notice it. Or, it'll make cysts disappear and external things go away.

Magnesium can be a little bit more vague because it can affect so many things. Elinor said, for example, “How do you know it's working?” She also wants to know, “How much should she take” and she has questions about that. We can go into that. Sunny says, “How do you know it's working? Most “supplements” I take, I always say, I can't tell the difference.” Although, she says even serrapeptase, which contradicts what I just said. But she says, “If you're a reasonably healthy person with no issues per se,” she says, “Basically, how do you know it's working if you're a reasonably healthy person with no issues, per se, but you just trust that it's working?” So, how will people know if it's working?

Scott Emmens: Would you like my personal experiences for magnesium or are we looking at the data here?

Melanie Avalon: We are talking after releasing our version. Then you notice something very specific right away. Would you like to talk about that?

Scott Emmens: Yeah. The two things I noticed right away were just general energy level and feeling. I work out a lot. I'm ex-bodybuilder, which by the way, I never recommend to anyone the most unhealthy sport on Earth when you're doing it, because of all the things you have to get there. But it does teach you how to get your body to do things that it should be able to do. It teaches you all kinds of ways to make sure that all your micronutrients are in alignment. You really get in tune with your body. I was working out with my son. He's 22 years old. We went to the gym, I'm trying to teach him how to lift weights in the with the proper form, if he doesn't blow out a shoulder at 22. I just felt so much stronger. I felt my pump from the workout was better, because my muscles do seem fuller, my energy was better, but most importantly, I mentioned already the cramps.

Then on top of that also, my brain settles down at night, I sleep really well, anxiety seems to abate a little bit. For me, anxiety/sleep, because I have a terrible time going to sleep, especially if I have to catch like an early flight in the morning, then I'm just up all night worrying about the alarm going off. But for sleep, for cramps, and just general overall energy, and feeling energetic in the gym, those were things I directly noticed within just five days. I had been taking magnesium taurate and threonate for the brain for many years prior to this. So, the combination for me has really worked wonders.

Melanie Avalon: Cynthia, do you have any experience?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that in my personal experience, there are specific forms of magnesium that I would recommend. And so, what I typically would see if someone was dealing with palpitations, if we knew they had a benign arrhythmia. We had specific types of formulations of magnesium. We would recommend if someone was dealing with constipation, we had another one. Someone was dealing with sleep issues, we had another formulation of magnesium that we would use. I think it was a combination of just symptoms along with finding a targeted magnesium formulation that would be helpful.

Let me just back this up and say that the medical community as a whole, uses magnesium oxide in most clinical, hospital situations and the absorption of magnesium oxide is about 11%. If anyone's solely taking magnesium oxide or mag oxide as we used to call it, it's like throwing your money in the toilet. You definitely want Melanie's product and specific types of formulations that are designed to be absorbable, so that you actually get a net benefit from the supplement and not just literally urinating it out in the toilet, which is what magnesium oxide just by itself will do. It's very, very little. 11% is what you absorb in your body.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you brought that up, because I guess, we can address this now, because people were wanting to know like, “Is it better to do a complex or individual magnesium’s?” I have a comment on the oxide. But what's really interesting is, there are so many forms of magnesium. Basically, the way these different magnesium’s often are formed is there the magnesium mineral basically combined with something else [chuckles] that will turn it into the form that it's in. For example, magnesium with glycine becomes magnesium glycinate or magnesium taurate, for example, would be magnesium taurine.

But to comment on the oxide, so, yes, that's a thing well known that it's not very well absorbed. It's a reason that people often will get a form of magnesium oxide just by itself to serve as a laxative. Because basically, when it's not absorbed like that, it just draws in water into the colon and can help with peristalsis and movement down there. Actually, I want to develop down the road a magnesium that will specifically be for this purpose for bowel movements. But we have a question about this on Instagram as well. The highest magnesium in the AvalonX Magnesium 8 is actually magnesium oxide. But and I very rarely use the word but or I try not to. So, it's magnesium sucrosomial magnesium oxide and I could talk about it or Scott, would you like to talk about it?

Scott Emmens: I'll do a brief intro and then Mel, I think feel free to continue on. Yeah, the reason that that that magnesium was chosen as the number one ingredient and which would thus be the largest level of magnesium is that there is a study showing that the sucrosomial magnesium, which is basically coated in some fatty esters does two things. One, it prevents other nutrients and food in the body from preventing the magnesium from getting digested and absorbed properly. And two, it's been demonstrated to increase red blood cell magnesium, which I think is the gold standard test. Cynthia had talked about earlier. Substantially more than the gold standard of glycinate and citrate. This specific form of magnesium sucrosomial magnesium really gets into the cells as highly bioavailable. And then also because of the way it's surrounded these fatty esters, it does not create the typical side effects you would expect for magnesium oxide. So, that is why that is the number one magnesium. It's going to give you that highest red blood cell increase in magnesium.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so, they had a 2018 comparison study on it and they found it had the highest absorption of all the magnesium’s tested. I definitely want to clarify that because we got a good question on Instagram saying what Cynthia had said, “Why is the number one magnesium [unintelligible [00:42:24] oxide when that's not well absorbed?” And so, that is why. I guess, since we're talking about it now we can talk a little bit about the other forms as well. This was very interesting to me, because like I said, there are so many forms of magnesium and I don't know that this is happening, but I wonder if this is happening a little bit where people will say, “This type of magnesium is good for this health benefit and this type of magnesium is good for this health benefit.” I do think that is the case, although, when you look up these magnesiums individually in the clinical literature, there will be a handful of studies for each type looking at a very specific issue. It's hard for me to discern. Are we just ascribing certain benefits to certain magnesiums because that was the one benefit that was tested for that type of magnesium, if that makes sense? So, that's a reason that I wanted to have multiple forms just to assure that you're getting magnesium and all these different forms to help with all of these different benefits and like the kitchen-sink approach rather than just putting all your eggs in one basket. 

For example, looking at magnesium orotate, which is one that we have in AvalonX Magnesium 8, there's a really, really fascinating study that looked at its effect on gut health specifically, and found really amazing benefits, and how it modulates the microbiome gut access. It affects the microbiome beneficially and from there it effects neurotransmitters and inflammatory signals, and helps with motility, and the gut wall, and even DNA synthesis. It's hard for me to know, is that just because they did that study on the gut health with magnesium orotate, what would have happened if they had done a different type of magnesium? So, that's something I'm on the fence about, but I think the best approach and a reason I wanted to make the blend was just to hit everything. Or, for example, they did studies on magnesium amino acid chelate, which we have in ours and they found that it was really protective of DNA and dramatically could actually increase RNA folding and prevent RNA degradation. But again, I don't know if it's just because they chose to study that with that type. So, yeah, any thoughts on any of that?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that there's a lot of misunderstanding in the ergogenic aid industry. I'm going to say this purely as a clinician. I do find that there's value in supplementation, but not enough people do the due diligence. One of the things I really respect about Melanie is how detail oriented you are to really look at the literature, and see what would be most beneficial, and find other products that you liked. But you want to improve upon them. From my perspective, there were specific formulations that we use. But I don't even think at the time I recognize that not only are most ergogenic aids not regulated. You don't always know what you're truly getting. So, working with a really high-quality supplement company is a number one important. But then also really understanding what does your body need or if you are comfortable figuring out what it is that your body needs, working with someone to help you better understand what your unique needs are and then finding a supplement that will meet those needs.

Melanie Avalon: I agree so much and we could go on a whole tangent. Actually, if you want to learn more about the whole supplement industry, and the testing, and the quality, and all of that, check out the first episode, Scott and I did, because we went down the rabbit hole talking about all of it. And so, yes. And Scott, what were your thoughts?

Scott Emmens: Yes. My thoughts are a couple of things. I do think that each form does have subtle differences for two reasons. The first is that, whatever amino acid, or organic molecule, or even inorganic molecule that the magnesium is bound to, it gets cleaved at different parts in the metabolism and then that amino acid has its own effects on the body. The magnesium then also has varying degrees of solubility and bioavailability, plus the amino acid, or organic, or inorganic salt attached to that magnesium also plays a role in how it's going to affect your body. I do think that the different forms make a difference. That's why I like this, let me get a global approach to have all of the core magnesium in there, but in the proper order. What is that proper order? What is being absorbed the most, what are the most absorbable forms or the most bioavailable forms? Then there is a separate issue of which magnesiums have the most elemental magnesium. This gets a little complex. Stop me, Melanie, if I get too far down the rabbit hole on this one. 

But for example, magnesium oxide is used because it contains the most elemental magnesium per gram. 60% of magnesium oxide is elemental oxide or-- elemental magnesium. The issue though is that it's very insoluble. Therefore, its bioavailability is very low. What you want is a product that has that perfect in between world. That's where things like glycinate and citrate really shine. Even chloride shine, even though it's not definitely the best. But that's where these shine, where they have a very high magnesium content, they're highly soluble, and they're highly bioavailable. And with glycinate, for example, we know that that also works to help calm your nervous system, help calm your gut lining. Glycinate as an amino acid or glycine as the amino acid really helps make that magnesium better in terms of its absorption, but also, the amino acid itself helps with some of the things magnesium does, i.e., calming you down, creating GABA in the brain. So, yeah, I think there is a big difference and that is across the board of both the content, the solubility, and the bioavailability. Then what does that specific amino acid and/or organic or inorganic complex salt attached magnesium do for your body.

Melanie Avalon: Two thoughts to that. One, Scott and I went down the rabbit hole. How many hours do you think we spent trying to find the answer to this question? Basically, what I was pondering was that process, for example, magnesium being complex with an amino acid, does that mean that when you take it in, because we wouldn't say that magnesium breaks the fast. But then I was thinking, “Oh, well, if it's complex with amino acid and then that is broken down, and then we received the amino acid, would that actually be “breaking the fast?”’ And so, Scott and I've spent hours trying to find the literature on the actual metabolism of magnesium amino acid QA, for example. I think where we landed was hard to know, but just to be safe. If you want to be super safe about not “breaking your fast,” probably take it in your eating window. We got questions about that. For example, Laurie said, “How do I take it for maximum results, fasted or nonfasted?” And then Nydia said, “Will the magnesium affect my fasting or should I take it in my eating window?” And then, Tracy said, “How should I take your magnesium and when should I take it? Empty or full stomach?”

For two reasons, I would say potentially either opening your eating window or with your eating window. One, if you're concerned about that fast breaking potential of the complex amino acids, it might be a thing. I'm not sure, but it might be a thing. Then number two, there's a lot of research on absorbing magnesium and it's actually, likely more absorbable with a meal with some caveats. But high protein intake can help with absorption. The actual meal itself for two reasons. One, because of the release of stomach acid and remember how we were talking earlier about the low pH helping with absorption. So, that could be a factor. And then also, when you have a meal, magnesium is absorbed throughout your entire GI tract. It is actually pretty rare. Most things we take in, they're specifically absorbed in one part of the GI tract, but magnesium can go all the way it can be absorbed. And so, when you have food, it actually carries it and helps with absorption all throughout the GI tract. And then this was interesting to find. Sugar can actually help with absorption, but that is contradicted in a way because the insulin release actually is taxing to magnesium levels, so that might not be a net benefit. But MCTs can actually help with magnesium absorption. Our AvalonX Magnesium 8 is formulated with a very tiny amount of MCTs as the-- okay, Scott, make sure I use the right terminology as the what? The filler or the lubricant?

Scott Emmens: That is the lubricant.

Melanie Avalon: A lubricant. It's very minimal, but it likely also helps with the absorption. But going back to the food, so, taking it with food can likely help absorption. I would suggest either to open your eating window or with your eating window. That was a lot. Any thoughts about the taking of it, either of you?

Scott Emmens: I think you nailed it. I think definitely you want to take it with food if you can because you're going to get a better absorption of the magnesium. Also, because there is a potential and I think it's very minimal that it could break your fast. There are amino acids in there. It could technically break your fast. So, I think for both that reason and the fact that you're going to get more absorption, I would take it with a meal.

Melanie Avalon: Great. And then also something I wanted to point out, because we're talking about the way it's absorbed and I was talking about the different benefits of the different ones. Magnesium threonate, Lucy Ann said, “Does the mag threonate that you've made--" To clarify, we're launching a separate magnesium threonate nightcap and I'll talk about why we're doing that. She said, “Is that a separate product only to help with sleep or do we need to buy both it and the Magnesium 8 to get all of the benefits?” The thing about the magnesium threonate is, it is a special type of magnesium that is specifically created to cross the blood-brain barrier. The majority of magnesiums do not cross the blood-brain barrier. Magnesium threonate does. And so, it can have pretty profound relaxation effects, and stress relief effects, and helping into sleep. Originally, we were going to include it in our blend. But after looking into it more and Scott can actually talk a little bit to this a little bit in more detail, but we decided to create it separate, so people could use it individually if they specifically wanted that sleep-inducing effect that relaxation. Scott, do you have thoughts about the amount that was required to get effective?

Scott Emmens: Yeah, absolutely. Threonate is a magnesium I've been taking for quite a long time. And not only does it help with sleep and stress and anxiety, but there are studies that have shown-- There is one human study that's been published. I believe in a peer-reviewed journal. I'll try to find that article for you, Melanie, where magnesium threonate at 1.5 to 2 grams per day actually showed a reduction in the age of the brain and had a substantial improvement in cognitive ability and also showed an increase in cerebral magnesium within the cerebral fluid. There is something specific about magnesium threonate in the brain and the brain health that is very different. 

Now, going back to this magnesium elemental content, meaning, how much actual elemental content is there in each form. Oxide has the highest. It's 60%. But yet it's insoluble, so you don't really absorb it that well. Whereas glycinate, for example, has a 10% elemental content, and it's very soluble, and it's highly absorbed. You're going to get more from a glycinate than you would otherwise. Threonate is one of the lowest. It's close to 7%. Meaning, you need a full gram of magnesium threonate to get 70 milligrams of that into your brain to cross that brain-blood barrier. When we first thought about putting it into your Magnesium 8, we could not get to the therapeutic doses. You would literally need to have taken six capsules to get there. It just didn't make sense to incorporate a subtherapeutic dose of L-threonate in that formula. 

To answer the second part of that question, do you need it to sleep? No, there are many people that take one magnesium, and they sleep great and they feel great. But if you're looking for that extra sort of mind focus and this is where you had asked me earlier, “Are there other magnesiums you want to launch in the future?” Absolutely. There are things combined with threonate. A threonate alone, the one you're launching, which is a threonate solo product for sleep and for anxiety, and potentially for other things with the brain. You don't need to have it. But for those of you looking for that brain specific effect, I would highly recommend it because I've been taking that magnesium threonate along with magnesium taurate, which is a blend for a long time, like, five years, probably. But it wasn't preventing my cramps. It was helping my brain, it was helping my heart, but my muscle cramps weren't going away, my energy levels weren't higher. So, that's where the Magnesium 8 comes in. It helps with that physical muscle cramps, my physical workouts, I have more energy, I feel better, I feel fuller, just more energetic in general. But then the threonate is the one that gives me that brain power. So, I'm going to take both, but you don't need to take both. It's really what you feel you need in your life.

Melanie Avalon: One last thought to that. Since most people are likely deficient, I would definitely take the Magnesium 8 to address the deficiency issue. And then if you are looking for that specific benefit of the threonate, then I would get the threonate, which I'm very excited about launching. So, stay tuned for that.

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Melanie Avalon: We had a few questions about taking magnesium with other supplements. I'll just read some of these. Andrea says, “Does magnesium work well alone or should it be taken with other supplements for maximum benefit?” Kim wanted to know, “Does magnesium affect the absorption of other meds and/or supplements?” She says, “She's currently taking meds for hypothyroidism and recently read that she shouldn't take it with magnesium.” Angie said, “She wanted to know if iron was affected." She said, “I saw in a running blog not to take magnesium and iron together. So, I love to have this answered.” And Kim also said, “Does she need to eliminate iron.” So, I know Cynthia you had some thoughts about the hypothyroidism meds and magnesium.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's interesting. Magnesium is a cofactor for healthy thyroid production. In addition to magnesium, things like iodine, selenium, also iron are all very important. And so, I don't think someone should be fearful that magnesium is going to be harmful, especially if you already have an underactive or autoimmune thyroid issue. In fact, because I have an autoimmune thyroid issue, I'm very proactive about repletion of my magnesium. It's interesting when I was looking at the literature, because I saw some of these questions ahead of time. I started thinking about the fact that there are other types of supplements and maybe this is something we can talk about in a subsequent podcast. There are other types of supplements that may be beneficial for thyroid function, specifically things like L-carnitine, and myo-inositol, and melatonin, and resveratrol. Some of them have some decent studies, others do not. But I would not be fearful about repletion with magnesium if you have a thyroid health issue. You do however want to make sure that you take your magnesium separate from your Cytomel, Synthroid, Nature-Throid whatever type of thyroid medication you're taking, you really want to take that in a fasted state, with an empty stomach, and then not be taking supplements at the same time, because that could be nonbeneficial, of course.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, thank you so much for looking into that. The iron thing, so, this is really interesting and I already told Cynthia that she's going to hear this story twice. I wanted to look into this iron issue. And so, there's not a lot of literature saying that there is an issue with iron and magnesium. There's one study and it was a case study. It was one person. It was an anorexic Asian woman, who was 28 years old and was using high amounts of magnesium as a laxative. They found in the study that the high use of her laxatives with magnesium was potentially causing and/or exacerbating her anemia. And that when she stopped the magnesium laxatives, her hemoglobin went up. And then when she started back on them again, because she did, her hemoglobin dropped again. What's interesting is, so that's the study I could find saying that it was a problem and there's a lot of studies that reference that study. I wouldn't take away from that that we shouldn't take magnesium and iron together. Even in that study, they say that magnesium and iron can be taken safely together. So, that's an extreme example. 

In general, it should be fine taking iron and magnesium together. If anything-- and this relates to what Cynthia just said. If anything, magnesium levels are actually pretty important for proper iron use and not having anemia. So, that's something to consider. We got a really interesting question from Cathleen and I don't know if you have thoughts on this. But she said that her OB said, “She could keep taking her magnesium until her third trimester, but then it could delay labor.” Do you have thoughts on that?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, yeah, we know that magnesium has the potential for being a smooth muscle relaxant, which is why we use it with asthmatics and people like that. Magnesium sulfate is something that is used to treat eclampsia or preeclampsia. That's when women have abnormally high blood pressure during pregnancy, they get swelling in their legs that can be quite serious. Because I'm not an OB and I don't know Cathleen's history. I think that she should follow along with whatever has been recommended to her. I take pregnant women pretty seriously. When they're asking questions, I always defer back to their obstetrician or gynecologist. I think it's reasonable to follow the recommendations based on pregnancy. I think that's completely reasonable. With that being said, yeah, that's interesting.

Melanie Avalon: Well, also, with the whole concerns, things, and maybe this is something we can end with, we have questions about taking either too little or too much. So, Judy wanted to know, “Can we take half dose of your Magnesium 8 and still see effects?” And then Alyssa said, “How do you know if you're taking too much?” And Laurie said, ”Is too much toxic in anyway?”

Cynthia Thurlow: Unlike things like if you take too much potassium, which can be life threatening, you take too much salt, that can be life threatening. Magnesium, you take too much of it, you will get loose stools. It is self-limiting, which means if you take too much, you'll get some loose stools. You'll say to yourself, “Oh, I took too much magnesium.” You will stop, your magnesium levels will come back down, your stools will harden up, and it goes away. So, it's pretty benign. I, myself have had instances where I'm trying new products and I include myself in and I'm like, “Okay, I had too much in that product and this is the side effect.” Generally, not a dangerous thing. Magnesium is very forgiving. And so, for that reason, it's one of my favorite things to replace electrolytes with, because it tends to be pretty user friendly. And so, if you get loose stools, you might just need to back down on your dose or take it less frequently.

Scott Emmens: That is literally the exact the moment you took too much, you go like, “Oh, I took too much.”

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm.

Melanie Avalon: And for people who do struggle with slow motility and constipation, it can be a game changer on that front. Earlier, we were talking about effects that you can see. Because I have a lot of IBS and digestive issues and so, taking magnesium is so, so helpful for me with motility. I'm honestly so grateful when I think about magnesium. What's really funny and I think I probably might have told both of you this before, but when I recently had a colonoscopy, my GI doc was asking me, because I was telling her how I struggle with slow motility and she was asking, “What do I do for that?” I said, “Well, I take magnesium.” She was a conventional doctor and she was really nice and great with the procedure. But she was like. “Oh, well, you shouldn't be doing that because you should be taking MiraLAX.”

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, MiraLAX is garbage. 

Melanie Avalon: She was saying, “You really need to be taking MiraLAX.” I was like, “Well, the magnesium work so” and she's like, “Yeah, well, it hasn't been studied for that. You should not be taking that.” I was, “Oh.” [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: You know what? I could tell you that MiraLAX is designed to only be used for four weeks. What are most people doing that are taking MiraLAX, they're taking it for their entire life. And so, that to me speaks to someone that is not current in the research. I was humored by how many of my elderly patients were on MiraLAX. I remember asking a colleague, I was like, “Is this benign?” And then so I went down a rabbit hole and looked at all the research and said, “This is a self-limiting drug.” Meaning, it's designed to be used for a short-period of time, but what we do is, we don't find the root cause of the constipation. We treat it with a drug that ends up being a hypermobile medication, instead of, is it the medication, another medication? Is it because their bowel is lazy? Are they a diabetic that now has a lazy bowel? Do they have a tumor? There're so many things that it could be. To me, I would much rather take magnesium than take a drug that is not designed to be used chronically and habitually.

Melanie Avalon: It was such a moment, because I was like, “But the magnesium has all these health benefits. There's not an issue to overtaking it, it helps me. What is the problem here?” There is that. For Judy's question about taking half a dose and seeing the effects. Of course, you can try half a dose and see how it works for you. We did formulate it to help people get the recommended daily intake. So, we would recommend taking the recommended dose on the bottle. But it really, it's always an N of 1 situation. So, finding what works for you is key.

Scott Emmens: And I did warn you, Cynthia to not take five of our magnesiums like you do with the melatonin because it'll have catastrophic consequences. [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: No, no, no. Magnesium, I'm very comfortable with. But for anyone that's listening, MD Logic has very effective melatonin. Because I've been taking another manufacturer's product and been taking 80 milligrams, I thought, “I'll just take three.” I could barely wake up. So, I can now get by with one. It's very efficacious. But yes, Melanie's product is formulated to be very effective and I'm actually starting it tonight, I'm going to be excited to be able to share it on social media, and talk about it, and obviously, support my cohost. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I'm so happy. All right. Well, this has been absolutely incredible. We got into so many topics and we had even more questions that we didn't get to. If listeners have more questions, definitely feel free to submit them and we can answer them throughout other episodes. I'd love to hear people's feedback on trying the AvalonX Magnesium 8 to feel free to post pictures and all the things. I love seeing those. If you would like testimonials featured on the website, so if you would like to be on the website, let us know. We can put that up there. And discounts and codes for everybody because we love those things. 

You can get AvalonX Magnesium 8 as well as my serrapeptase at avalonx.us. You can use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON or the coupon code CYNTHIA. Either of those will get you 10% off. And then you can also shop at MD Logic. Any of their supplements, you can also use the coupon codes, CYNTHIA or MELANIEAVALON to get 10% off sitewide there as well. So, definitely stay tuned for more developments. I have a whole line of supplements that Scott and I want to make together. And then I hinted at the beginning, hopefully, things will be manifesting with Cynthia and Scott. And so, just speaking for me personally, I am just so, so grateful that Scott came into my life. If you want to hear the whole story again, check out the first episode that we did. But we didn't anticipate in our first call that we would end up where we are right now doing this, but it has been--

Basically, long story short. I always knew I wanted to make my own versions of supplements and I wanted them to be the very best that I could make. I didn't have the time, or capacity, or actually, desire to actually find the facilities, do the production, do the ordering, the shipping, logistics. And Scott came into my life and not only could he do all of that, but he's like me with really caring about the science, and what's happening, and the quality, and the purity, and the potency, and so. It's just been a dream relationship and I'm really excited for the future. I'm excited that we're all friends, me, Scott, and Cynthia. So, Scott and Cynthia, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for being here. Either of you have any last thoughts before we wrap this up?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I'm super excited. You know how much I like magnesium. So, anyway, I can help support you, my friend. I'm super excited about continued collaborations with Scott and looking forward to getting my creatine out there later this summer/early fall.

Melanie Avalon: I am so excited about your creatine.

Scott Emmens: So am I, because I ended up taking all the supplements we've created together. [chuckles] I think that's what makes this such a great team is, everyone really cares about the quality at the end of the day and about the customer or clients and fans that we have. We're going to make sure we always do right by them. I think you've summed it up great today, Melanie, both at the beginning and the end is you wanted the best of the best and that's we're doing. We're creating the best of the best product using all the best things from all the best products and making them even better.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Well, thank you guys so much. For listeners, the full show notes and the transcript, there'll be two links for that. You can go to either ifpodcast.com/episode276 or you can go to ifpodcast.com/magnesium. And again, the coupon codes CYNTHIA and MELANIEAVALON will get you 10% off sitewide at both avalonx.us and at mdlogichealth.com. And stay tuned for future developments and we'll have to do some more episodes, the three of us with future product launches. Thank you, guys so much and I will talk to both of you very soon. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds great. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Scott Emmens: Bye. 

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Jul 24

Episode 275: Stress Management, EMF Mitigation, Sleep Quality, Gabapentin, Insulin Resistance, Strength Training, Protein For Vegans & Vegetarians, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 275 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Bacon for life Plus $10 Off Your First Box!

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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% off any order at Avalonx.Us and MDlogichealth.com!

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

Leela Quantum Tech: Get 10% off at melanieavalon.com/leela with the code Melanie10

23:10 - BON CHARGE: Go To boncharge.com And Use Coupon Code IFPODCAST To Save 15%.

25:40 - Listener Q&A: celeste - Medications

A Possible Case of Gabapentin-Induced Mild Hyperglycemia

#212 – The neuroscience of obesity | Stephan Guyenet, Ph.D.

40:45 - Listener Q&A: tina - Protein for vegetarians

Ep. 183 – Uncontrolled Blood Sugar Imbalance Complications with Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo

Why Is There Such A High Incidence Of Diabetes Among Asian Indians?

The Elevated Susceptibility to Diabetes in India: An Evolutionary Perspective

50:20 - AVALONX MAGNESIUM 8: Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% Off Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #116 - John Jaquish, Ph.D.

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

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

Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder - New Resealable Pouch!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #134 - Dr. Neal Barnard

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 275 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 co-host, 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 and fix that time and get ready for the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. 

Hi friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get sugar free, nitrate free, heritage breed bacon for life, plus $10 off. Yes, free bacon for life plus $10 off. We are so honored to be sponsored by ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get high quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass fed, grass finished beef, free range organic chicken, heritage breed pork that's really hard to find by the way, and wild caught sustainable and responsible seafood, shipped directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency regarding grazing practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated? I did so much research on ButcherBox. You can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox.  

I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. All of their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished that's really hard to find. And they work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves with the planet. This is so important to me, I'll put a link to that in the show notes. If you recently saw a documentary on Netflix called Seaspiracy. You might be a little bit nervous about eating seafood. Now, I understand why ButcherBox makes it so so clear and important about how they work with the seafood industry. Everything is checked for transparency, for quality, and for sustainable raising practices. You want their seafood; the value is incredible. The average cost is actually less than $6 per meal and it's so easy. Everything shifts directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak, "Oh my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing." I remember the first time I had one and I just thought this is honestly one of the best steaks I've ever had in my entire life. On top of that, "Did you know that the fatty acid profile of grass fed, grass finished steaks is much healthier for you than conventional steaks." And their bacon, for example is from pastured pork and sugar and nitrate free. How hard is that to find and I'm super excited, because ButcherBox’ bacon for life is back and it's even better because you get $10 off as well. Yep, right now new members will get one pack of free bacon in every box for the life of your membership plus $10 off. When you sign up at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. That's one pack of free bacon in every box for the rest of your life plus $10 off. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and we'll put all this information in the show notes. 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 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. 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 275 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.  

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, how are you today? 

Melanie Avalon: I'm doing really great, how about you? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm doing well. It's amazing how therapeutic a vacation can be? I'm ready and raring to go back to work. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: It's an amazing feeling to take time off. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's really important. That was one of the things I can tell you when I was traveling, people saying Americans don't seem to do a good job of disconnecting. I was like I have to agree with you and I don't want to be one of those people. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. In my daily life even, you and I talk about this a lot via text, I'm so intense with my boundaries surrounding what I know I can do and not do, because you and I both, we're doing so many things, now we have two shows, other projects, presentations, product lines, there's so much. I know for me; I have no shame. People, they kind of wear not sleeping as a badge of honor. I'm like, nope, I need my nine hours and I make that sacred and I really prioritize self-care, because I know in the long run that's what’s sustainable. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's important for people not to feel guilty for creating healthy boundaries. This is something that I value and appreciate a lot about you and our friendship is that we're both very respectful of one another. For me, I have a tendency as a reformed people pleaser to not want to disappoint people. I now understand this really what happens to me when I do things that are not aligned with my true purpose and not aligned with honoring what's best and most important for me. I try to really lean into that and to stop saying yes to things that aren't a hell yes. I jokingly always say that when Melanie asked me to potentially consider coming on as a co-host, it was a hell yes. And if it had been any other thing, if I had a different reaction, it would have been, thank you so much for this opportunity, but I'm really not interested. Because if it's not a hell yes, it's a hell no, there's nothing gray in my life. It's either yes or it's no. I think that's very important for all of us.  

What's interesting fun fact, as women are getting older. Obviously, we're at two different life stages, you're still at peak fertile years, I'm in menopause. As women start losing estrogen in perimenopause, guess what starts to happen, many of us stopped being people pleasers. Because estrogen is the hormone that generally encourages us to be people pleasing and as wonderful as estrogen is when we have less of it circulating. All of a sudden, I'm like, "Oh, well that explains why I speak my mind now, that explains why I'm no longer as accommodating." So really kind of reflecting on the fact that physiologically this starts to happen. And for the way that I was raised and I'm sure you were probably raised similarly. As a woman, we were expected to behave a certain way and present ourselves a certain way and all those things are fine and good. Ultimately, we have to honor who we are as individuals and healthy boundaries are so important. My mom's generation, they just served, served, served, served, served. My mom had a very high-profile demanding job and when she retired, she lost 20 pounds because she was so stressed all the time, she didn't even realize it. Now, she's finally at this healthy weight she wanted to be at for years. I said, "Well, it's the lack of stress." In your life as a retiree, but we don't want to wait till we're in retirement to be in that methodology and mindset. I just wanted to reaffirm how important I think that is to for all of us. Everyone listening, finding ways to honor who we are and to say no more often, and not apologize for it. 

Melanie Avalon: I love hearing that. Something I as well, I'm probably not quite reformed with people pleasing. It can be draining actually. Especially, interacting with so many different people all the time and new people and I do I want everybody to just be happy. Normally, I feel like everything kind of pans out the way I would like, but I definitely could work on understanding more. The role of saying no and not having to make everybody happy and it's a struggle. I do think women-- not to make a generalization, but I do think women struggle with this made me more than men. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, absolutely. I think it's part of our social conditioning. I know that there were definitely expectations that I was expected to behave a certain way and look a certain way. As much as I love my parents, some of that set into motion that desire to be a people pleaser, and as a nurse and a nurse practitioner, oh my gosh, you're expected to be exactly that. When I reflect back on my career, why was I so successful at what I did? Oh, because there was a lot of people pleasing going on, at whose expense, oftentimes my own. We're all a work in progress, I think part of it's just acknowledging. I never would have described-- I would have never thought I was a people pleaser. Retrospectively, I'm like, oh my gosh, I've been this way my whole life. I always wanted things to be good and didn't want anyone to have a lot of argumentations, or arguing or dissent. Now I'm like oh I understand why I created that environment for myself. We all work in progress and I'm sure I will be working on that for the rest of my existence, I'm in a better position now. For people that are listening, just understand Melanie and I are real people and we go through that too. And just try to find small ways to make sure that you're articulating what needs to happen for you and your lifestyle. And having people that are in your life honoring and respecting the need for you to create boundaries. I think that's the most important thing. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. You touched on the subtle nuance of it all. Which is you're saying how it did relate to your success and I don't know if that's part of the issue, but that's part of the complexity of it which is that it does benefit you like if you're a workaholic that works. It manifests with career success and such, but at what cost? Yes, just prioritizing self-care like I said. It's kind of the cliche airplane thing about putting on your own mask before others. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. Yeah, I'm going to give you one really good example that will be relevant to listeners as well. I'm getting ready to speak at KetoCon and I'm the first speaker the first day. Just like every time I prepare, I like my talk to be run a certain way, be perceived a certain way. I want it to really be valuable. There was one graphic that I'm using in my slide deck that I shared on Insta Stories this morning. 99.9% positive reaction except for the one triggered person, who then vomited in my DMs. The old me would have wanted to explain myself and identify that her perception was wrong and then I just decided, I screenshotted it, sent to my team, I said, "No one's responding to this, there's no need to, this person was triggered, she has to take ownership of that. This is not a representation of me or our brand, or us and that's how I have to perceive it." The old me would have felt a need to explain myself and win her over. Now I'm like this person doesn't understand the context that this was shared in. I'm talking about metabolic health is wealth that's the context. That person didn't hear that or see it and just reacted. This is a good example of old me behavior versus new me behavior. And me feeling very comfortable saying, "Okay, that person may decide they want to unfollow they didn't like the whatever it is. That's okay. I'm not for everybody and that's totally okay." I'm coming from a place of education, inspiration, empowerment. I want, every person who listens to be educated to take the right steps for their health, to feel inspired, to feel empowered., that's the platform we come from. Well, occasionally people miss the mark absolutely. But I can't take ownership of that. 

Melanie Avalon: I think that's so wonderful and it's interesting. This is a concept that prior to social media would not even be a concept. Prior to social media, you wouldn't have random people coming up to you and expressing their opinion and expecting an answer. Everything would have been context driven because you'd be talking to people first. [chuckles] People don't understand that if they are reaching out with their opinion, and especially if it's something that doesn't quite align with what you're doing, we get a lot of people reaching out. It's not-- there's necessarily the time to engage with every single argument brought to us. 

Cynthia Thurlow: That's like bless and release, bless and release. That's my mindset, I’m like bless and release. 

Melanie Avalon: [chuckles] I love it. Which speaking of sleep, I mentioned last episode, I would talk about something I have been I think is causing the massive increase on my Oura score. Okay, it's something where I feel it's what it is? But I'm skeptical. I got connected to this company called Leela Quantum Tech, it's L-E-E-L-A. I got connected through a fellow “biohacker" in the sphere and I did a call with the founder. It's interesting. It's supposed to be dealing with quantum energy and stuff like that. Which sounds very woo-woo. I talked to the founder on the phone for a long time and he said, they've been doing studies on it, and they'll be releasing it. And he said, "You'll see differences if you actually track and monitor blood tests or Oura ring or whatever." Since using this, it's great, my Oura ring scores have just been really boosted so much. Are you familiar with this type of stuff, Cynthia? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm not. That's why, I'm like listening intently. Tell me more.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay, the main device that he gave me is this-- and if you go to their website, you can see what it looks like. But It's this, you put it together, it's kind of like a box, a metal looking box thing. It's really hard to describe. If you look at the website, you'll see it. You're supposed to just set it down and it does stuff. It's similar to-- I've been using the Somavedic, which was my first experience with something that was supposed to do stuff like this and that's more for EMF mitigation and it can structure water, and they sent me a unit and I noticed an increase in my Oura scores. I was very impressed and I ordered a second unit completely on my own, because I felt like it was doing something, but this is next level. One night where I was not set up to have a good night's sleep based on the activities I had done and going out and drinking and all of that and using this and I was fine. They also have necklaces and they have these cards. I'm excited to interview him and ask him a lot of questions. But if listeners would like to give me feedback, if they've used something like that before. I did ask him for a coupon code. He said, "They never rarely ever give coupon codes" But he said, "I guess since we gave a coupon code to Dave Asprey and Luke Storey, we’ll give one to you. [chuckles] I was so happy about that. So the link and code for that is, you can go to melanieavalon.com/leela. That's L-E-E-L-A and you can use the the code MELANIE10 will get you 10% off. I don’t know, it's just funny because I'm so skeptical because I can't see why it would be doing what it's doing, but the Oura scores are just very impressive.  

Cynthia Thurlow: Well. I've to check it out. It's interesting on vacation consistently my deep sleep was almost two hours and my REM was no less than 90 minutes. And as a 50-year-old that's pretty darn good. I was kept saying to my husband, it is possible. [chuckles] Because sometimes my deep sleep will be the area that I'm constantly tweaking and fine tuning and definitely with my post vacation viral illness, non-COVID, non-flu went down the toilet was my deep sleep. That was the first thing, I noticed that in my temperature and my readiness. It actually didn't give me the option of putting the rest mode on, [chuckles] it just put me into rest mode which I appreciated because I had a couple days where I could not pay attention to what my readiness score was. I was like this is stressing me out. So, anything that we can do to improve our sleep quality, I'm all for it. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. The actual numbers difference I've seen on Oura. I feel prior to Somavedic which was the first thing I feel I was usually the low 70s for things and then I felt when I got Somavedic, I’d started creeping up to higher 70s. And then with this, it's very comfortably in the 80s and even so it's up to the point where it'll hit 89. I'm pretty sure the algorithm of Oura, I know for the sleep, I'm not sure about for the readiness score, but I think they probably relate because if the sleep is affected, it would affect the readiness, because of how late I go to bed. Even if I have a perfect sleep cycle, everything could be perfect. It basically detracts points because I go to bed so late. The only time I ever get in the 90s for sleep is if I had to go to bed early for something then I will get in the 90s. Basically, I approach the limit of what I think Oura will give me ever since using this. I don’t know, I would love to hear listeners thoughts if they've used something like this before. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Do you want to know something I realized when I was six hours ahead of the world from you is that we were awake at the same time. [laughs] I was literally texting you. I was like she's awake right now and it’s like oh it's because it's a godly-- 

Melanie Avalon: It's 3 am here. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I’m away, it’s like morning here and Melanie is still awake. 

Melanie Avalon: Yep. I did ask when I had Harpreet on the show, I asked him that about the score. Is it impossible for me to get basically a perfect sleep score? And he's like, yep, because of how I go to bed. 

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Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a question from Celeste and the subject is: Medications. Celeste says, please help me, how can I find out which medications can interact with fasting? I'm specifically wondering about gabapentin. I heard it raises your insulin. I've conducted research, but I can't find anything that addresses it. Again, please help me I've hit a plateau and I'm clean fasting for 20 hours a day and I have a three to four max eating window, Thank you. I will say before you jump into this, Cynthia, I'm excited to hear-- we haven't answered a question about gabapentin on the show before, but we've answered questions a lot about medications and fasting, but it's exciting to have you on now because we get to revisit all these questions and hear a potentially new perspective. I would love to hear your perspective on medications in general while fasting. I know you did some research on gabapentin. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. First and foremost, most of the questions that I receive across social media and even in my groups are relevant to hormones. By this I mean thyroid medication, maybe someone takes progesterone, maybe someone is taking oral contraceptive, etc. Now, I'm the first person to say that if you've been prescribed either a synthetic or non-synthetic hormone and you've been directed take it on an empty stomach like thyroid medicine, I do not believe that breaks your fast. I don't want anyone to get so focused or fixated on minutiae or little details that are not going to really impact your fasting in a negative way. I take thyroid medication every single morning, I take it on an empty stomach, because that is where how you have it prescribed. For that reason, I tell everyone do not let this be of concern specifically to gabapentin as one example. I did some research on this and there is an observed causal relationship between the use of gabapentin and the potentiality of some degree of insulin resistance, although they don't understand the mechanism of action, meaning there's been a little bit of research, there have been anecdotal, meaning there are clinicians who have reported they suspect, there's this interrelationship between the utilization of gabapentin which is used for neuropathic pain and people that had developed insulin resistance. 

Now, there are so many things that impact insulin resistance. When they talk about correlation is not causation. We talk about this causal relationship. It's because they can't necessarily say it's directly attributable to the gabapentin use. I think when someone is dealing with chronic pain, what we're really talking about is. If you have a heightened pain response, you are dealing with a heightened level of cortisol. What does cortisol do chronically over time, it's going to raise blood sugar, which could potentially lead to blood sugar dysregulation, which could reduce the sensitivity of insulin sensitizing cells on the cell receptors, excuse me. And in lieu of that, we could then make poor quality choices, when it comes to food, we don't crave broccoli and chicken when we're stressed or when our blood sugar is dysregulated. We're going to crave things that are not going to serve our blood sugar regulation really in the best-- the best way. There are a couple things that could be going on here. I did read that there's a clinical trial that was done prior to bringing this drug on to market, which reported there was some degree of insulin resistance, but there's not a lot of research demonstrating that there is this interrelationship, so what I'm trying to say here is there's enough information reported that is suggestive that there may be this relationship. 

Obviously, the N of 1, the power of you as an individual bio-individuality is critically important. Now, I don't know your age. I don't know how physically active you are. I don't know what your macros are during your feeding window. There's a lot that could be at play. If you are a perimenopausal or menopausal female, you are more prone to insulin resistance already. As you were having these fluctuations in estradiol, progesterone, etc., you are going to be more at risk for insulin resistance, just by virtue of a hormonal dysregulation. If you're dealing with chronic stress, if your sleep is in the toilet, if you're doing the wrong types of exercise, if you're not consuming an anti-inflammatory diet, you are going to be at greater risk for insulin resistance. If you can hear from what I'm saying, it may not just be the gabapentin, if you are dealing with chronic neuropathic pain that could be contributing as well. I was prescribed gabapentin after my hip surgery, I only took it for a couple days. Thankfully, I didn't need the narcotics and the gabapentin for very long. I didn't see any changes in my glucometer anything, but that's not to suggest that this was something I needed to take every day, that could potentially impact my blood sugar in negative ways. We need more information. What's your blood sugar like. Are you seeing differing trends. What's your fasting insulin like? What is your A1c? What are your inflammatory markers showing? There's a lot here that you may be able to discuss with your prescribing provider, may be able to do on your own so that you have information. Have you seen weight changes, are you seeing non-scale victories that are changing? The other thing that I always think about when someone has a very short eating window, are you getting enough food in your eating window, does your body perceive that you are not getting enough food in and that is why you are starting to see some degree of insulin resistance. 

There's a lot that could be going on here, but I think the big takeaway is, if you've been prescribed a medication that you need to take, I don't want anyone worrying that it's going to break your fast. That's number one. Number two, there's enough anecdotal and observational data about gabapentin, we also need to be thinking about what else can be contributing to insulin resistance. It has been my clinical experience that when people have chronic pain, they don't move as much. They're not as active because they are in pain. Just the heightened cortisol impact and the dysregulation of your blood sugar could also make you more likely to become insulin resistant. So just some things to think about. Obviously, when listeners are sending in questions, please don't feel like you can't share a little bit more about your personal circumstances, not enough so that you feel you're disclosing things you're uncomfortable with. But give us age ranges, let us know what stage of life you're in. It allows me to have some context so that I can answer these questions a little bit better.  

Here's my other big takeaway about medications in response to feeding and fasting windows. Some medicines you have to take with food, eat it in your feeding-- or consume it during your feeding window. Sometimes, you need to have the food to buffer what you're taking. I was on a medication last week that I had to take with food and I waited till I opened up my feeding window. I took the medication with my food, which helped slow the absorption and allowed me not to get nauseous or have any side effects. Melanie, I'm curious, what is your take? Did you find anything out about gabapentin that I didn't already mention? 

Melanie Avalon: Not about gabapentin. I do want to say, thank you so much. I really appreciate you researching that. That was fascinating, I did not know any of that. My thoughts are, you kind of touched on this, but people get really wrapped in their head about this idea of something like medication potentially “breaking fast.” What's interesting is, unless it's with a food which would be a different situation, but a medication, so a signaling molecule for your body. Even if that does raise insulin or have hormonal effects, which wouldn't be ideal. Raising the insulin in my opinion and this would be a little bit complicated, but that's not technically breaking your fast. What I mean by that is you could do exercise and increase cortisol or increase blood sugar levels completely independent of food. The insulin levels in your body which are fluctuating, the blood sugar levels of your body which are fluctuating, a lot of factors can affect that including medication. That doesn't mean you're not fasting. Even if your insulin level goes sky high, you're just fasting with an insulin level that went sky high, which again, not ideal, but it's just a reframe of the “breaking the fast.” I know she didn't use the terminology breaking the fast, she said interact with fasting which would be what's going on. I just wanted to speak to that and actually I was thinking a lot about this because listening to Peter Attia's most recent episode with Stephan Guyenet, have you listened to that one? 

Cynthia Thurlow: So good. I'm almost done. It's really long. 

Melanie Avalon: I really want to interview him. 

Cynthia Thurlow: He sounds young. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm so confused by him. I've been following him for a long time. It's Stephan I think Stephan not Steven, Stephan, he seems-- what you just said. He seems so young, but he's friends with all the people. He was on Joe Rogan with Gary Taubes. There's an interview with Gary Taubes and Stephan Guyenet. Yes, so I just confirmed it. And this was a while ago on Joe Rogan and I just remember because Gary says at one point because they have a thing between them now, Stephan Guyenet and Gary Taubes. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I think as in like a negative thing. 

Melanie Avalon: A negative thing. Yes, they have some sort of thing that happened between them. The interview I've listened to it twice which has a lot, because Joe Rogan's interviews are long. It's just interesting because Gary says at one point, it is so funny the way he says it, they're talking and then Gary's like, what happened with us? We used to be buddies and [laughs] it's so precious. What's interesting about it is he makes it sound like they go way back. I'm like, wow, and that was a while ago, even. I don't understand how Stephan Guyenet has-- he must be way older than he looks and sounds. 

Cynthia Thurlow: He sounds very young, but then I have to understand that this is for anyone who's listening who's middle aged. You don't think of yourself as old as you are. In my mind, when I hear someone sounds really young. I'm like are they really young or do they just have a youthful voice. [laughs] When I heard him, I was God, he sounds like he's a post-doc. Maybe he's 30 but clearly, if he's on Rogan and he's hanging out with Gary. 

Melanie Avalon: He's on Rogen, a while ago with Gary talking about how way back in the day, they used to be buddies, so he's been around. [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: You should Google how old he is? 

Melanie Avalon: I'm trying to figure it out. The recent episode on Peter Attia is Stephen Guyenet and did you get to the part yet where they talk about semaglutide? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, because I get so many questions about that drug. 

Melanie Avalon: That really got me thinking because they actually addressed this in the show. I had not gotten to the point yet where they address this, but they had brought it up, semaglutide, which is a weight loss drug. Then I was googling it and it talks about how-- what it does is it raises your insulin; I was like that's interesting. Peter says that when people are on it long term, it goes down and that's probably not the actual main mechanism of action. What were you going to say? 

Cynthia Thurlow: No. It's interesting, because I've had patients who have been prescribed it by other providers. The two big takeaways are number one they stopped eating as much because they're horribly nauseous and then they get horribly constipated because it slows gut motility. 

Melanie Avalon: I saw that. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I always think to myself, my gosh, if you're trying to lose weight, I can think of a lot of other ways that won't make you constipated, nauseous as a side effect. People are losing weight and they're so fixated on that as opposed to the side effects on a lot of levels, I think it's kind of the traditional. This is what western medicine does, they create a drug to treat a problem, that lifestyle could probably fix more effectively and long term. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I looked it up and I was like this sounds miserable, but what's interesting and what we can think about-- thinking about this drug is that's a drug that literally raises insulin, apparently, it also increases insulin sensitivity. You're just using, it seems like a little bit more complicated than it just raises insulin. That would be a situation were looking at it from the outside, you'd be like, oh this is something that really breaks the fast and yet it has the effect of actually expediting weight loss. Point of all that, is that I wouldn't stress as much about medications breaking fast. But have the understanding that the medication you're having might like Celeste says, "Interact with your fasting, and may make it easier or harder accordingly depending on what it's doing." 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, but don’t, I think the biggest takeaway because people can get fixated-- I've had people send me DMs like if I brush my teeth does it break my fast and in a lot of levels, I appreciate the attention to detail. It also shows me that there are people out there who are stressing about everything. That's not the place I want people to come from, I want them to feel that fasting is something they could do that supports a healthy lifestyle as opposed to making them feel like they have to be fearful about everything that they come in contact with. That's my big takeaway. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm glad you brought up the brushing the teeth thing, because I think something important to keep in mind is that there are different phases of insulin release and so there's the cephalic phase insulin response and basically if you're exposed to a queue that would have been the beginning of a meal, now today we might get that by like brushing our teeth with something that has a flavor or walking by a store that has smells. The body can release a small amount of insulin that it basically has primed and ready and it's in that first phase of your insulin response. What's nice is that it's kind of there's a cap, it only has a little bit ready and waiting and that's separate from the insulin that would be released when you actually eat. It's not you have this exposure and then your body just goes into the main action of releasing insulin. It's probably that cephalic phase insulin response, which is temporary and doesn't necessarily speak to elongated insulin response. Shall we go on to our next question, and thank you again for researching gabapentin. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, absolutely. I was happy to do that. 

Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Tina. The subject is: “Protein for vegetarians.” Tina says, "Hello, Melanie. I've been listening to your podcasts and I have enjoyed the down to earth and common-sense advice given on the show. I'm very excited to have Cynthia onboard. I've been looking her up on Insta and listening to her podcast and it's prompted me to write in with a question I've been wanting to ask for ages. I'm a vegetarian who also increasingly does not eat eggs. This is a lifestyle and personal choice for me and I would never go back to eating meat or fish again. I do eat eggs on very rare occasions, but they are definitely not a daily or even weekly food source for me. I do consume dairy but not a huge amount. I'll drink oat milk, but this is also not part of my general diet. I do consume Skyr yogurt quite regularly, you could say I'm almost vegan apart from the Skyr and sometimes Greek yogurt or even Indian homemade yogurt, which we call and I've never known how to say this, this is a Dahi.  

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it's Dahi.  

Melanie Avalon: My question is, where do I get my mass and take a protein that you and Cynthia advocate. Everything's protein-esque also has quite high carb content like lentils and quinoa and nuts have high fat and none of these have anywhere near the same protein composition as animal sources. Do you have any recommendations or anything that I am not thinking of, do I just have to live with having a probably lower protein intake than a meat eater and should I just focus on getting as much as I can through the yogurt and the lentils? I feel that I'm not able to implement your advice around macros being a vegetarian. I'm 42 years old, 5 foot 2, live in the UK, have been IFing for a while, lost a huge amount of weight in a short amount of time through Dr. Michael Mosley's fast 800 regimen in the summer of 2020. Then faced the holiday seasons and work stress and emotionally late-night binge, ate my way back up to a higher weight by spring 2022. Now, that the latest period of work stress is over. I'm focused again on my healthy eating choices and I'm doing it slow and steady and focusing on clean fasting, healthy food choices, whole real very unlimited ultra-processed foods, eating to satiety and focusing on mindset rather than the calorie counting fast weight loss method advocated by Dr. Mosley. I've only lost around two pounds in around six to seven weeks, but I'm not focused on the weight loss and rather want to achieve a sustainable lifestyle. I feel that increasing protein consumption will help and after any advice that you're able to please offer. Many thanks in advance. My origins are Northwest India where the majority of people are non-egg eating vegetarians definitely, dairy consuming. I remember you used to talk about eating the same foods as your ancestors. I wonder if this is also relevant information. Thanks so much in advance if you do get around to answering my question. Either way, I listen every week, so I definitely won't miss it even if you answer in a year's time. All right, Tina. Cynthia, what are your thoughts? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Tina, thank you for your thoughtfully and carefully worded question. I thought about this a great length. I want to respect and honor your desire to do a primarily plant-based diet. I think the challenge that I always have when young women and you're a young woman, when young women are wanting to eat a predominantly a plant-based diet. You're now 42 so perimenopause years and this is a time when we tend to be becoming more prone to insulin resistance and so when we're talking about plant-based protein, we're really looking at things you mentioned nuts and seeds, which can be a little bit calorically dense. I think about things like nutritional yeast, which when you look at the macros on that about 16 grams work out to be eight grams of protein, beans and lentils, as you mentioned, some of the ancient grains, hemp seeds, which two tablespoons of those will give you about eight grams of protein and that tends to be a complete plant-based protein. Then I think also about things like spirulina. But always my greatest concern for my plant-based females is, how are they going to be able to get enough protein in and not completely create a circumstance where they're going to be consuming so many carbohydrates that it's going to put them at a disadvantage metabolically.  

I did a podcast with Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo. I did that last year, we'll include that in the show notes and she's actually a physician that is plant-based keto, and has been for a long time. We have had a lot of really good vibrant discussions. She's actually in her 60s and looks amazing and she's usually my go to resource. If I have someone who really wants to be dedicated either ketogenic low carb and plant based. She eats a lot of seeds and nuts, has created a lot of like delicious recipes and she probably is not hitting the protein macros that Melanie and I embrace, but that is what works for her and her methodology. We definitely want that to be available as a resource. I'm not a huge fan of soy. I don't know what Melanie's position is on this but for me, I'm not a fan of soy, genetically modified, etc. I'm not sure how different that is in the UK if it's any different here than it is in the United States. My other thing that I get concerned about is just the issue with sarcopenia. You're in perimenopause, this 10 to 15 years preceding menopause and after the age of 40, we start to lose muscle mass. It's not a question of if but when and the way that we help maintain muscle mass is eating enough protein, lifting heavy weights, lifting, doing strength training, and getting enough sleep. If you're not able to get your protein macros where we have ideally kind of identified them, I would really encourage you to make sure that you're really leaning into doing some type of weight training even if it's weight bearing exercise to start because the more muscle mass you have, the more insulin sensitive you will be. Let me say that again, the more muscle mass you have, the more insulin sensitive you will be. This is critically important. There is not a woman listening to this that doesn't need to understand, we need to maintain muscle mass as we get older, what starts to happen after the age of 40 as we start replacing adipose tissue with that muscle mass, so we start losing more insulin sensitivity.  

The other thing that I get concerned about, during my cardiology experience which most of my nurse practitioner years were working in cardiology clinic both in hospital-based medicine and clinical cardiology, and I had the experience of working in Washington DC where it is a very multicultural city. I had the opportunity to work with a lot of different ethnicities, races, etc. I had many south Asian physicians I worked with and so I feel very confident saying one thing that's interesting if you look at the research that south Asians are prone to insulin resistance. And they think some of this is epigenetic, meaning some of it is genetic based, genetic mediated, things that we inherit. If it gets turned on in expression to things we're exposed to our environment, or in our food, etc. They talk a lot about this thrifty genotype and it might be why some south Asians are more prone to insulin resistance, because their bodies have gone through periods of-- generationally have gone through periods where there's been a lack of access to food, and then there is access to food. So, there's a higher prevalence of diabetes and insulin resistance. This is something that they anticipate, will continue, will link some research articles that I was looking at in anticipation of this question. 

I just think you do the best with what you have, so you know that you have a desire to no longer consume animal-based protein and you occasionally eat eggs. You have to really lean into eating as much protein as you can plant-based without disrupting your blood sugar without becoming insulin resistant. That podcast that I mentioned, we'll make sure is linked in the show notes so that you can listen to that. Dr. Ritamarie is an excellent option. You're probably going to have to do a little bit of experimentation. I think it'll be very unrealistic to think that you can hit 100 grams of protein a day with just plant-based protein, you'd either have to be eating constantly or you would really be detrimentally impacting your macros by way too many carbs and way too much fat. So, I think it's going to be a very delicate balance. It's not in possible to try to find the right balance for you, but I think given your origin story that you so graciously shared, just really being very mindful of the fact that you are going to be more prone to insulin resistance just based on your country of origin and the research that's being done in that area and how many thin south Asian patients I took care of that were insulin resistant. They always talk about TOFI, thin on the outside fat on the inside and a lot of the Indian physicians I worked with used to talk about this that we had to always be anticipatorily assuming, don't assume because you have a thin patient that they don't have insulin resistance. I would make sure you have a conversation with your internist, your primary care provider about markers to be looking for inflammation and insulin resistance. We've talked about these in a lot of the podcasts trying to be as proactive as possible. Hopefully that was a helpful bit of information. Melanie, I'm sure you probably have some insights as well that you probably will want to add. 

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Melanie Avalon: I find it so fascinating the different body types, and especially how they might relate to ethnicity and the potential implications on metabolic health. Like you said, "It's really ironic because a phenotype that is naturally thin and maintains a thin body." On the one hand, it may be a person that's very metabolically healthy but then on the other hand, and this is what you're talking about, especially with the Asian population. Basically, they don't easily make fat cells like new fat cells. If they're consuming a diet that is an excess of energy, rather than creating new fat cells which would be protective in the short term, because that would allow an absorption of that extra energy, they just don't. It leads to elevated blood sugar levels and metabolic issues and it can create this like you said, "You don't see it on the outside, but they can have metabolic syndrome on the inside." It's really, really interesting. It's interesting to think how obesity in a way is protective against metabolic syndrome until it's not anymore and it's not when you hit that point where you hit that limit of the body can no longer absorb the extra energy. People who are metabolically that phenotype where they just don't do that, they hit that at a very thin body weight potentially. It's so fascinating to me. 

Cynthia Thurlow: You did a great explanation of a very complicated concept. 

Melanie Avalon: There's this one I always mention it, Peter Attia has one episode with-- I don't want to say the wrong person, I think it's Dr. [unintelligible [00:54:21] but I'm not sure. It's basically a two-hour episode just about this concept, but basically that's what it boils down to is that concept. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I need a whole year of my life to catch up on Peter Attia. It's now, I get 30 minutes here and there I'm like okay, I got 30 minutes down. I got I need an hour and a half more to get through this podcast. 

Melanie Avalon: Actually, my daily-- because I listen to certain podcasts during the day and certain ones at night and so I always listen to his new episodes, but then when I run out of new episodes of five or so consistent shows, I listen to you. Then I go and I'm working my way back through his Q&A episodes. I'm halfway back. I'm going backwards in time. It's kind of fun. Yeah, he's amazing. But yes, so appropriately enough I already mentioned this episode that Rhonda Patrick episode with Stuart Phillips, although we were talking about that last week, I think. Last week I mentioned an episode that Rhonda Patrick did with Stuart Phillips. It's all about protein intake, and muscle and all of that. He actually talks about this because she asked him, "What does he think about protein intake on a vegetarian or vegan diet, and he said that his thoughts surrounding it have actually changed because he used to think that it was not really possible or sustainable but now with the evolution of food products, now it is more possible for vegans and vegetarians to get higher protein intakes because we have food processing. Now, we have protein powders and basically there are options that can work.  

Cynthia, was mentioning some, but I was just thinking you can get rice protein powder and for all of these, I would really look up the source and make sure it's organic. Something that you feel confident is tested for toxins and things like that. There's rice protein powder, there's pea protein powder, you mentioned that's being fatty, there's actually defatted almond protein powder. Since you're doing eggs, you could do egg white protein powder that might be a good option for you. There's pumpkin seed protein powder, I actually have one of those that I really like, I'll put a link to it in the show notes. I've done two episodes with people who also had their own protein powder, which was a complete protein powder, all nine essential amino acids and vegan. One was with John Jaquish and then one was with David Minkoff. David Minkoff’s episode was all about this that might be a good episode to listen to. His is called PerfectAmino. If you go to melanieavalon.com/perfectamino, you can use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON to get a discount on that. So that might be something to try and just a thought I have surrounding all of it. And this is something that I interviewed Simon Hill recently, who's big in the vegan world, and we had a really good nuanced discussion about this concept, which is that people like to think that in order for a diet to be an ideal diet that it wouldn't require supplementation or wouldn't require kind of finessing it to actually work. So, we see that with veganism or vegetarianism or potentially even something like carnivore to me and this is just my opinion. I'd be curious of your opinion, Cynthia. To me, I don't have any issue with, say you're following a vegan diet and in order to make it give you adequate protein intake, you eat these protein powders or you do something to reach what you need. I don't have any problem with that. People think that it has to necessarily work as whole foods only, I am more fan of whole foods but people may think that it's a wrong diet because you can't get it all from foods. But just in general, it's hard to get all of our nutrition today especially with our nutrient depleted soil. The point of that is I don't have an issue with people being super aware of this issue and making sure they hit what they need with their diet, especially if it's like they're doing it out of culture or ethics or personal reasons. So, I do think it's a possibility now but you'll have to focus on it. 

Cynthia Thurlow: That's correct. I'm a realist. I tell everyone that I have whey protein powder in my house because three out of four of us tolerate dairy, I not being one of them. I have protein powder that I use on occasion, I don't use it every day. Sometimes that's how I choose to break a fast, sometimes that's how I get my macros in. I am a fan and a proponent of a less processed, nutrient dense Whole Foods diet but I'm also a realist. The only concern I have about a lot of the vegetarian plant-based protein options. Just making sure you get it from a really high-quality source because I think even pea protein can be highly contaminated even if it's organic and same thing with rice, with arsenic and those are the things I would just say are my concerns. But beyond that there's no judgement and I respect and honor where people are in time and space. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm glad you said that because that made me think of two other things. I did want to focus on she was talking about yogurt and Greek yogurt, because I know one of her concerns is getting protein without necessarily high carb or high fat as well. I'm sure if she probably knows this but you can get basically fat free yogurt, well, I guess it would have carbs too. But you can get very high protein, not too high carb yogurt, especially with the Greek yogurt. Then you would ask me about my thoughts on soy, my opinions have been evolving a little bit. I used to be very much in the camp of being very concerned with soy and I am still very concerned with soy, I believe it's the most genetically modified crop that there is. I'm suspicious on a lot of the literature showing the beneficial effects across the board on soy. A lot of it probably has to do with-- a lot of benefits of soy are attributed to something called I think it’s Equol production. It's this compound that's created when your gut bacteria digest soy, you actually have to have the gut bacteria that create that compound. That's one of the reasons, so Asian populations, for example, are high in these bacteria and so that might be one of the reasons they benefit so much from soy compared to us, Americans. 

If you don't have that gut bacteria, you're not going to get that beneficial effect from soy, so I think that's something huge to keep in mind. Also, like traditionally fermented soy and things like Tempeh. Tempeh might be something to try Tina because you can find some good fermented non-GMO Tempeh that would be high in protein. The way my thoughts have been evolving as I did interview, Dr. Neal Barnard on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, and he is very big in the vegan world. He actually specifically wanted to come on just for his study about soy, a soy inclusive vegetarian diet and its vegan diet and its effects on menopausal symptoms. His study has a very big flaw, which I asked him about, which is that he had no control group to compare a vegan diet without soy. He just compared a vegan diet with soy to a Standard American Diet. So, I don't know how you can attribute anything to the soy specifically and not just the vegan diet with soy. But in any case, and prepping for that show. I really tried to go through the literature on soy, and I walked away feeling less apprehensive than I was because there is a lot of good literature on beneficial effects from soy. But I think context is so key and I think a lot of it today is genetically modified and processed and possibly might be more estrogenic than the way it's advocated which is as a phytoestrogen, which would modulate your estrogen levels and I feel like I'm getting very long winded. Basically, I'm on the fence about soy. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't love soy but having said that, the really cool thing about having our other podcasts is it gives us opportunities to connect with individuals that can change our perspectives. We're both open minded enough to be able to facilitate that, yeah. There's a lot that can be said here and hopefully we were able to answer her question in a very thoughtful way that will be really, really helpful. But we'll make sure all those links are included to podcasts. I've done and Melanie has done and products that we've talked about. Gosh, we have so many great questions, we have not yet answered, we rest assured that we're trying to make sure that we are answering these as thoughtfully and as deliberately and as helpfully as possible. We really do put a lot of love and effort into this podcast and we hope that it shows. 

Melanie Avalon: I just want to say thank you, Cynthia, because it does really show. I'm just so happy. It's been really exciting to have the evolution of this show. And I'm really, really enjoying our conversations, and I so appreciate all of the research that you've been putting in and I really feel like—I hope I feel like we're really benefiting listeners. Thank you. Thank you for being here. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, absolutely. I'm excited for us to do our next call together so that we can dive into some other topics that I was super prepared. You know what it is? I think we go into such depth in our explanations that we're averaging probably two questions for each episode. Maybe we'll be able to squeak a third in. 

Melanie Avalon: I think it's all amazing content. All right, well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode275. They will have a full transcript as well as links to everything we talked about which was a lot of stuff. So definitely, check that out. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can follow us on Instagram we are @ifpodcast. I’m @melanieavalon and Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. Okay. That is everything. Anything from you, Cynthia, before we go. 

Cynthia Thurlow: No. Just excited to dive into more questions next time. 

Melanie Avalon: I know and to have fun in Austin. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. This is the biggest group of people I've spoken in front of in real life, ever.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? Yeah. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's like 2,500 are at KetoCon. It's kind of cool. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's very exciting. How many people when you did your TED Talk? How many people? 

Cynthia Thurlow: 500 I think and I think about that now and I can't even watch that. 

Melanie Avalon: Really. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Now, because I had been so sick, it was only 27 days after I left the hospital I got up on that stage. When I think about it's a little overwhelming. Okay, my brain had not caught up with my body, clearly. When I watch it now, I'm just oh, yikes. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Well. Clearly, it panned out fine. Nobody picked up on it. Because you have what 11 million views? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's funny. My 14-year-old likes to pay attention. I he said, It's 11.5. It's just, yeah, it's not slowing down. 

Melanie Avalon: It's amazing. So cool. Well, congrats. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Thank you. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, happy travels and I will talk to you next week.  

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good.  

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

 

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

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

 

 

Jul 17

Episode 274: Fasting On Vacation, Chocolate, Menopause, Ovulation, Hypothalamus, Nulliparous Women, Magnesium, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 274 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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SHOW NOTES

1:10 - 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!

4:05 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
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24:00 - NUTRISENSE: Get $30 Off A CGM At nutrisense.io/ifpodcast With The Code IFPODCAST
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The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #117 - Tim Spector

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38:50 - Listener Q&A: Deanna - IF and the aging menstrual cycle

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

Menstrual cycle variability and the perimenopause

#76 Stuart Phillips, PhD, on Building Muscle with Resistance Exercise and Reassessing Protein Intake

55:35 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

58:10 - Listener Q&A: Monica - Magnesium Question

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Ep. 194 – The Toxic Truth About GMOs

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

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

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

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Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 274 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with, Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, there.

Melanie Avalon: How was your trip?

Cynthia Thurlow: Amazing. I think that's the best, the best way I can describe it. I think on a lot of levels that far too many of us don't take breaks from work. For me, I was really, the entire time during the book launch, I kept saying to myself, “If I can get till June 15th, if I can just get to June 15th, then as soon as I got on that plane, I was so ready to disconnect and spend time with my family” and it was absolutely perfect. We had great weather, we ate amazing food, we saw amazing things, we had a lot of togetherness. I'm sure the teenagers would say that they loved it, too, even though, there was a lot of togetherness and a lot of disconnection from their electronics because we didn't allow them to have an international plan on their phones, which I thought was the best decision ever.

Melanie Avalon: My family is actually in Europe right now and they did get a plan. It's so funny how things have changed because I remember when they would go to Europe years ago, now, it just feels the exact same as them being here in the US with the international plan.

Cynthia Thurlow: I didn't even have an international plan. That was my decision that I really did not want to be that accessible. My husband has an international plan. So, I kept saying, “You know what, anyone that was, the dog sitters, the house sitters, anyone that needed to reach us, they could reach my husband, but I only had Wi-Fi in my hotel.” And so, it was wonderful.

Melanie Avalon: That's so nice. What was the highlight of the touring and everything that you saw? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, I think Prague. We started our journey in the Czech Republic. We as a family have all said the same thing that Prague absolutely blew our minds like everything about it. The fact that we just really explored every square inch of the city, and we're able to do a laundry list of things, the kids had prioritized, and my youngest has been learning German, and so, he's been really interested in going to Eastern Europe, and he identified very specifically as is his personality. things he wanted to do, and so, we hit all the things that everyone wanted to do, and just really enjoyed the culture, and the people, and whether or not listeners know this about me or not. My first undergraduate degree was in international studies. I had a foreign affairs degree and I was all pre-law and undergrad, and gotten into law school and didn't go. But here's the big thing. I was in college when the Berlin Wall came down. I was in college when Eastern Bloc countries really started to dismantle. And to actually be there, and to be able to ask people what it was like to live under communist rule, and what it was like when the Soviets occupied a lot of these countries, for me being a gigantic international studies nerd, it just-- My kids were so embarrassed like, “Please don't tell another person that you were in college, when the Berlin Wall came down.” They were so embarrassed. But for me, I just savored every bit of it and love the people. 

When you think about just the influence on architecture and the hardships that people have really grown up with, I found everyone in Prague to just be so gracious, and humble, and interested. Another thing that really impressed me was the support for those in the Ukraine throughout Eastern Europe. Everyone was happy to take in the refugees and there were a lot of demonstrations, very peaceful ones. But for me, I would say probably, Prague. I was really surprised. It's a very, very special place for all of us and I think it's really cool that my kids got to see so much history during this trip, not just in the Czech Republic, but throughout Eastern Europe. 

Melanie Avalon: Here's a question for you related to the show, because Gin and I used to discuss this a lot. So, how do you change or how do you adapt to your fasting and eating windows when you travel?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's a question I got so often that I just didn't ask me anything on Instagram, because I was like, “Thank you for the 500 questions I've gotten in my DMs.” I adopt a more relaxed pattern. And so, it may be that I have a wider feeding window, I may do a longer fast, I definitely had days where I really wanted to travel and savor the foods of where we were traveling to. I might have had something around breakfast time, I might have eaten something midday, I might have had a dinner. I would say, I allotted a lot of flexibility. We did a lot of walking. We were very physically active. So, I wasn't worried if I was consuming more food because I know for myself personally. It isn't dessert unless it's chocolate and there's just not a lot of chocolate there. For me, there wasn't the temptation of having dessert. It was more-- one place or we traveled to, they would make me gluten free bread, which I then felt obligated to eat, which I then slathered a lot of butter on. And so, I just savored the fact that I was on vacation.

The honest answer is everything was a little different each day, I definitely had some days where I would have-- there might have been a day where I eat more than I normally did. The next day I might have just fasted longer. The thing that I found most humorous was obviously, I've teenage boys. So, they ate voluminous amounts of food 24/7. I would sit down and try to explain to a waiter or waitstaff that I wasn't eating, they were like, “Are you sick, are you on a diet?” And so, finally, it just said, “No, I intermittent fast” and they're like, “What is that?” That was a very easy way to make conversation with people, but I just leaned into my body, I made sure I hit those protein macros more often than I asked for extra protein. Anytime there was a steak served, I always asked for a bigger piece of steak, which they were humored to say they're like, “You really want more steak?” I was like, “More steak.” 

I think the message I would send to our community is to just be open, to not being so strict on vacation. To me, I just enjoyed eating foods I don't normally eat and then not stressing about it, because I was doing so much walking and I knew I could just augment what I was doing very easily. The next day, it's like, “Okay, yesterday, I had gluten free bread twice. Am I going to beat myself up? Absolutely not. Am I going to make sure I fast maybe a little bit longer today and then I really lean into those non-starchy veggies and lots of protein? Absolutely.” I came back from vacation. I have not weighed myself, but my clothes fit the way they did before I left for vacation. And so, from my perspective, it was a win-win without feeling any sense of guilt. Having a conversation with my kids all along the way. They think I'm weird anyway that need as much food as they do. But just encouraging them, “Try something new, I tried lots of new food,” and I definitely felt it was the perfect balance of having fun, hitting most of my macros most days because I can conventionally, visually evaluate like, “Did I hit my protein macros,” and then just enjoying the rest, and not being super strict.

But I might be one of those people that's just unusual or odd that I've never been someone like I go on vacation. I blow the Mother Lode on my nutrition because I just don't feel good and it's more important to me that I sleep well and I feel good then it is that I eat something that I know isn't going to agree with me. So, it's easy to avoid those kinds of things. For me, those kinds of foods are generally alcohol and a lot of sweets. In Eastern Europe, there just aren't a lot of sweets, at least, not where we were. If they did, it was more like bread sweets, which just isn't really my thing anyway. But if they had showed me a lot of chocolate and I did indulge in some chocolate in Vienna, there was this amazing chocolatier that was there and we got some tiny truffles, but they were delicious and I was like, “That was worth it.” But beyond that, unless it's chocolate, it's not dessert in my mind.

Melanie Avalon: Well, first of all, for me for traveling, I haven't traveled that much recently. But the one thing I used to dread before adopting a Whole Foods type lifestyle and intermittent fasting, I would be the type that would just go crazy with all the food and everything. Now, I remember feeling so happy once I found a dietary approach that I genuinely-- I love the foods that I eat, and I can still eat the way I eat at restaurants and such and still enjoy it to the same extent that I would have before with the way I used eat. I'm super grateful that-- It gets rid of the one stress I had surrounding traveling, which was just going off the rails with diet, because now, I just keep doing what I'm doing with the jet lag and such. Have you ever used fasting to align your circadian rhythm with the new time zone?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I definitely do that. In fact, I'm the person on the plane that never eats. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: You and me both.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I don't eat on the plane and I have to always just explain to-- Yes, I know. They ordered me a gluten free and dairy free meat. Yes, I know that they did. I won't eat it. Thank you very much. And then they just look at me like I have two heads, but I just find that I do a whole lot better especially if I'm not sleeping well on the plane. I didn't on the way to Prague and we had a two hour-- It's not worth boring the listeners with the two-hour ground delay we had. We were on the plane, and there was some maintenance form that hadn't been properly signed, and so, we had to go back to the gate, so, it ended up being a 10-hour flight. By the time that we touched down in Prague, I hadn't slept much at all. I always credit hydration electrolytes and fasting for helping me get pretty quickly on schedule. And so, for me, it's just one less thing to worry about. 

Then I'm not dealing with eating food that is not going to agree with me, although I always travel with Paleovalley beef jerky and salted macadamia nuts, and a little bit of dark chocolate. Those are things I typically travel with. If I were exhausted and starving, I could have something. But I do think that utilization of fasting as an adjunct to improving jet lag, I think I really credit it with being able to travel as much as we do and feeling-- When I hit the ground, I don't have the degree of jetlag I used to have when I was younger, which you would think would be completely the opposite seeing as I'm now older, but I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the circadian biology, it's get light exposure, get hydrated, get yourself moving. We did a lot of walking on the first day in Prague, a lot. I really credit that with everyone being able to get on that schedule, 26 hours ahead of me, it's manageable, but not feeling quite as jetlagged as we could have been. 

Melanie Avalon: I think it's such a valuable hack that a lot of people don't realize and there's actually been studies on it. They've studied using fasting. I'm trying to remember-- It's been a while since I read it, but there was one on jetlag and using fasting patterns to basically alleviate those symptoms, because like you said, they are such a-- What's the word? Zeitgeist? Oh, no, no, zeitgeber, so basically something that informs your body of the time. [chuckles] You can travel, and essentially adopt the pattern you would have had in your normal time zone, and it can sink your body to the new time zone. If I'm just traveling, because when I was in California, I would often travel back and forth between Eastern time zone and Pacific, and that's not a huge difference, but there was zero issue with switching back and forth. Continental travel for me is no issue, because I just always stick to my window which is an evening dinner and I just basically reset my body wherever I go.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, the fasting longer piece is usually how I do that. I'll be in Austin in a couple days and I already know-- I’ve an early morning flight, I'll land there at 12, and my plan is to get off my flight. I know exactly where I want to go for lunch. I'm going to have a big lunch, and I'll you know break my fast which will probably be fairly long, almost probably I would guess closer to 24 hours at that point, but I'll break my fast, so that I'll get as quickly as I can, because if you look at conventional research on changing time zones, you need one day per hour of difference, where is time for that. I don't have time for that. I know you don't have time for that. And so, I do all the things to make sure I try my hardest to buffer those time differences as quickly as possible. But I love that you even at your stage, you're able to go back and forth to the West Coast and then just keep that consistency with your meal timing.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it was literally no issue doing that for me. You mentioned that when you were in Prague and such, people would look at you strange with the fasting, so, did you find that--? Because now in the US, I feel fasting is a known thing, intermittent fasting is. Did you find it wasn't as much of a thing there?

Cynthia Thurlow: No. I think it has a lot to do with Europeans overall. They eat smaller portions. They don't understand-- You ate last night, but now, you're not hungry at all. You're hungry, but you're not going to eat. And so, just trying to explain to them that this is not a diet. This is a lifestyle. I do this, so that I can enjoy all the other things I eat in my feeding window and so, I definitely felt I had a lot of conversations, although, ironically, for part of our trip we were on a ship, there was a very large table of Americans sitting next to us, and I heard a woman say, “Oh, yeah, I've been using this new strategy. It's intermittent fasting.” And so, I heard that, my whole table, my kids and my husband, their ears perked up. I was humored to listen to her talk about this. She was probably a woman in a different life stage than I am, but she was talking about it very openly and saying, this is how she has been able to fuel her lifestyle and feels good. She was explaining it to the waitstaff as well. And so, I feel I was probably not the only one that talked to them about that. But they were fascinated. They're like, “You choose not to eat, even though you could.” I was like, “Yes.” They're fascinating.

Melanie Avalon: This is something I haven't looked up. I wonder if there are any other countries that-- I feel it's well known in the UK because we have a lot of UK listeners and Canada. I wonder if there are any other countries that practice this as a lifestyle more and more. 

Cynthia Thurlow: What's interesting is, a lot of the Eastern European countries we were in are predominantly Roman Catholic, at least based on the guides that we had, discussions that we had. And so, a lot of the major religions, it's an aspect of practicing their religion. I would imagine that there's probably some degree of fasting, although it's probably more related to high holy days as opposed to something people are doing ritualistically every day. But I can tell you that when I talked about fasting with people who are curious, they were like, “Wow.” But what's interesting to me consistently and I was in five different countries, people were much more active and it could have also been that we were closer to cities and where people are just more active to begin with. But I didn't see the amount of obesity we have here in the States. People were very active, portions were small, certain countries, there's a lot more smoking, but people were just more focused on enjoying lives. They're enjoying their lives. They don't work the same hours that Americans do. I think that there's a lot more savoring experiences in their lifestyle. And of course, this is a gross generality. I was not in every square inch of each one of those five countries, but just my general observations, being a tourist, I was really pleasantly surprised to see that.

Melanie Avalon: And speaking to the religious piece, I'm actually currently reading-- It's funny. I thought I had read the book, but I actually haven't. It's Jason Fung and Megan Ramos’ Life in the Fasting Lane. So, I'm enjoying that book. But I think it's in that book, they were saying, they made the case that every single major religion has fasting in it. I was like, “hmm.”

Cynthia Thurlow: It really does. It's interesting that when people try to, “Oh, it’s new and novel.” No, it's not. [laughs] It dates back to Biblical times, people and beyond.

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Melanie Avalon: Last question. So, you're a chocolate person?

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm absolutely a dark chocolate aficionado snob/patron. Love it. It's my one like vice. It's the one thing my husband will say to my kids, “Don't touch anything of your mother's as it pertains to chocolate without asking her first.” I'm always like, “It's the only thing in the house that's mine.”

Melanie Avalon: That's my mom, too. I'm fascinated why there's a dichotomy between chocolate and vanilla. Why? Because that must just be cultural. It's not they're opposites in their compounds inside of them, but I am very much a vanilla person.

Cynthia Thurlow: I like vanilla, but I love chocolate.

Melanie Avalon: I like chocolate, but I don't crave chocolate ever. I think I have once and I was like, “What does this mean?”

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] Well, that's why we say to people, when our waiters would always offer dessert options, I was like, “No, I'm good.” They were always like, “We don't understand.” I said, “Unless, it's chocolate, it's not dessert.” That's my mentality. I've been that way my whole life. It's not even a chocolate cookie, chocolate cake, it's like, “Give me a piece of chocolate and my life is good.” That is my mentality. Whereas my kids and my husband, if you give them ice cream, they don't need anything fancy. They would just love some ice cream. And so, I think each one of us in our minds designate. For me, it's not a craving. It's a polyphenol rich substance that if used appropriately is something that can be beneficial to your lifestyle. But for me, I'm not eating a Hershey's chocolate bar. I don't even like that kind of chocolate. I am a purveyor of higher end dark chocolate, and I just have a little bit, and I'm so happy. In a pinch, I might have some stevia sweetened dark chocolate in a pinch. However, that chocolatier in Vienna, oh, my gosh. I even took photos, I took videos, it's all in my fasting stories, little thing for Austria. Yeah, for me, those are moments that make me so happy. Something really simple like that. I don't have to make it complicated, it doesn't need to be Black Forest Cake or some type of intricate latticework on a pie. Nope, just give me a piece of dark chocolate and I'm happy and very simple.

Melanie Avalon: I know listeners know exactly what my equivalent is to that. Do you know what mine is?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I don't. You have to tell me. 

Melanie Avalon: Funfetti cake.

Cynthia Thurlow: Really? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's--. Is it the moistness, is it the little sprinkles?

Melanie Avalon: There's some chemical they have that just speaks to my brain. But yeah, the Funfetti cake, so any birthday cake with the Funfetti flair to it, it used to be a running thing on the show because I hadn't had it since changing my diet. Gin was insistent that if I were to have it now, I wouldn't like it anymore and I was like, “No, you don't understand.” [laughs] It will taste amazing. And then finally I tried. They have a gluten free version. So, it wasn't even the original and it was the most fantastic thing. Oh, here's a question. Did you do ZOE, the muffins?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's still in my freezer and my husband is so mad at me because we just had a colleague of mine, they have a cow share, and they had too much meat. They gave us part of their cow share, which means our freezer is completely packed with grass-fed meat and my husband's like, “Please get rid of these.” I was like, “I promise I'm going to do them” and he's like, “You've been telling me that for three months.” “No, I need to do it. It's embarrassing.” I'm saying this to the entire IF Podcast community. I will be doing that the month of July. I will be doing it. It's some two-day, one-day interval. It's coming up.

Melanie Avalon: I'm very excited to hear your experience and lot to talk about it on the show. I have a theory about it, though, and I polled my audience, and my polling confirmed my theory, which is that the muffins, people will talk about how they're the worst tasting thing. I was looking at the ingredient list before doing it. Again, it's something Gin and I would talk about and I was like, “I'm going to love these muffins.” I can just tell. These muffins are going to taste like heaven and they did because this was the first time eating a sugar fat process combination and probably, I don't even know how many years. It was literally, I saw my brain light up. It felt like a drug to me. And then I pulled in my Facebook group and I asked, “Did you like the muffins?” There were four options. It was like, I liked the muffins and I don't normally eat processed foods, I like them and I do eat processed foods, I don't like them and I—So, every combination of that. Basically, the people who don't normally eat processed foods liked the muffins and people who do, do not.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'll be interested. I'm not a vanilla cake person. Here again, you can see, there has not been this desire to eat said muffins, but I'm like, “I have it, I'm going to do it. I'm probably going to have a love-hate experience with this,” because three muffins is a lot. I was like, “How am I going to eat all that, especially because they're not chocolate?”

Melanie Avalon: I was like, “This is going to be a breeze.” I was licking the foil, I was like, [chuckles] “I need more.” Because then there's this miserable period where you can't eat for so many-- For listeners, I'm just assuming listeners know what ZOE is because we talk about it all the time on the show, but it's a program created by Tim Spector, who I've had on Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, if you want to listen to that episode. Have you interviewed him?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not. The reason why I have not is because I think I literally went through-- I got them and then I had that whole histamine response, head to toe hives after being treated for Candida and parasites. And so, then that put the kibosh on doing anything. I explained to them, I was like, “I had three days of systemic hives, something's amok.” And so, that got stabilized and then I had surgery, and I was not-- Because you can't exercise when you eat those things. I was like, “There's no way I'm eating this and then being completely sedentary.” I've just had a million excuses, which I didn't mean to make excuses. It's just been a couple of things have happened that I've not been able to do it sooner, but it is on my to do list, it will happen in the month of July. So, I haven't had them on yet, because I haven't done the testing. I had to explain to his assistant very nicely, I was like, “I am so sorry. It will happen this summer and then we'll get him on in the fall.”

Melanie Avalon: I really, really think his work is very nuanced. He's very plant based and everything, but he just does a really nice-- really, at least from my perspective approaching as unbiased as you can be analysis of the literature. His chapter on wine and alcohol was-- It's the first time I've read somebody basically-- He talks about the role of wine, and alcohol, and health, and he literally says in the book that and this is very controversial. So, I don't even want to say it. But even with pregnancy, it's probably not as much of an issue as people think. But in any case, so, for listeners, what the program is, it's these muffins that you have, and you wear a CGM, they provide you with the CGM, and it evaluates how your body processes sugars and fats, you also do a gut microbiome test, then it gives you a personalized interpretation of how you basically handle food, and what foods you should be eating. I think I have a code for that. Had they given you a code yet?

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm the slacker that they're waiting on me to get my act together. So, I will eventually have a code.

Melanie Avalon: My code is MELANIEAVALON10, yours will probably be CYNTHIATHURLOW10, because I think that's the format they use. One last thing about it, though, that's funny is, so, when I looked at how you have to do it, because basically the first day you eat these muffins, and then I think you have to wait four or five hours. For me, they were a miserable four or five hours because you basically eat something that just spikes your blood sugar, and then you have to fast. It's so hard. I was like, “This is what it's like to not be adapted to fast, to live in the blood sugar swinging state.

Cynthia Thurlow: Eating a Standard American Diet. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Mm-hmm. I was like, “This is what this feels like.” It gave me empathy for people who haven't experienced the ease of fasting yet because I'm like, “This is probably what they're thinking fasting would be,” which is just really unpleasant. If you do a dinner only eating window like me, you can still hack it. I started it at, I don't even know what I did. I timed it so that I still could eat my dinner pretty late, and still have the muffin, and all be within the evening window. I think I was eating at 2 AM.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, for me, because I am so protein centric, the thought of having something that I know is going to dysregulate my blood sugar so substantially, which has not been-- The N of 1 experiment has not been the one I've been looking forward to doing. I'm like, “Okay, this is not going to make me feel good.” Years ago, before I started putting two and two together as a perimenopausal woman, I would say to my husband-- Sometimes, we would have these dinner parties, and we would all eat good food, and then you'd have, I don't know-- Back in the day, when I could get away with eating a little more dessert and having a little more alcohol or having any alcohol, and then I would want to take a nap, and I didn't realize because my blood sugar had crashed, I was like, “That's just not a good feeling.” And so, I'm going to think optimistically that I'm going to be able to weather whatever happens. But for me personally, as much like you do, I think because we eat such a nutrient dense Whole Foods diet and keep our blood sugar really within a very healthy range, those extremes don't make you feel good. And so, I need to just rip off the band-aid and do it.

Melanie Avalon: I was so apprehensive about doing it. What I do recommend is planning it out, so that in that time following it, you have an activity, something very distracting. Actually, a fun fact they might have changed this. I feel I probably drove them crazy. I was asking them, because they have really amazing customer service and the app when you're doing it, and you can message and ask a lot of questions, and I asked so many questions. You technically, at least when I did it don't have to do day two of the muffins. Just a little fun fact.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, I'll have to check that out because I have a package of three and a package of two, and I just kept saying, “God.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. At least when I did it day two, it did not inform your personal results. It only informed their data collection. So, I was like, “Well, if it's not affecting me, I don't know if I'm going to--" But then actually, I did end up doing it because they were so delicious and I was like, “I want to repeat this experience.”

Cynthia Thurlow: Your fun Funfetti ZOE, that's hilarious. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, So, for listeners, we'll put a link to everything that we talked about in the show notes. Okay, shall we answer some listener questions?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we have a question from Deanna and the subject is: “IF and the aging menstrual cycle.” And Deanna says, “Hi, I have tried to search for answers on this. I googled, but I'm not finding any info from actual IF-ers. Only what Western medicine has to say. I've been doing IF for about three months. I started in February. I was really surprised at how simple it was right from the start. I thought, “Wow, I have finally found something that works” is totally doable and actually sustainable. Yay! I have been clean fasting since day three, which is when I learned what it was. Even the black coffee was a fairly easy transition. I originally thought it would be totally impossible and wasn't even going to try it, but I did and now, I crave my black coffee. I'm still amazed. That was one month-- One month ago, I experienced some cramping and a very short spell of bleeding. It stopped after a couple of days and it wasn't heavy at all, it was somewhere between spotting and light. But now, a few days ago, cramping again. Nothing sharp, but dull and constant, and the bleeding started again, but heavier this time around, also a longer duration for days so far. 

I thought maybe I'd worked too hard. I raked and burned leaves all day, Saturday and Sunday for 15 hours. I'm 52 years old. I had an IUD placed in January of 2018. I stopped getting a period entirely early mid-2020, which was awesome. I was told at the time of the IUD that I was in perimenopause and that by the time it would need to be removed, it's a five-year thing. I would likely be in menopause and would probably not have a period anymore. What are your thoughts about my resurrected period? I’ve a doctor appointment this week, it's about something else entirely, but I will bring this up. I'm just afraid the doctor will poo-poo my IF lifestyle. I feel IF has to be a part of what's happening, but I was hoping it was just making me age and reverse. Ha, ha, could that be true? I think it sounds reasonable. I would love to hear what you think about all of this. I know I can't possibly be the only one that has had this issue, but I asked in my IF Facebook group, and everyone thought it was really odd, they had never heard of such a thing, and they all told me to contact my doctor. I'll be watching for podcasts about this, but if you don't, no worries, I'll keep reading and searching for answers. Thank you for your time, Deanna.” So, this is a fun, interesting question.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Well, I have multiple thoughts. Deanna, thank you for your question. Being 52 years of age, here in the United States, the average age of menopause is 51. When your doctor placed, I presume a progesterone-related IUD, intrauterine device. You mentioned that you went two years without any bleeding, whether or not that is a byproduct of the IUD, I'm not sure. Could that have been menopause already? Not sure. And then you started having more bleeding. There's a lot of anecdotal evidence about women. When they start fasting, sometimes, they may get changes in their menstrual cycle either lighter, heavier, more frequently, less frequently, and I always give women the advice that to weather whatever is happening, meaning it could be your body, just finding a way to recalibrate hormones in a healthy way. Really the only way to know where you are and at 52, you're very close to menopause. What we typically end up seeing is, as women are at the tail end of perimenopause, for anyone's listening, 10 to 15 years preceding menopause starts in your mid-30s, mid to late 30s, you're there, and this is when we start to get this drop off on progesterone. We get some relative estrogen dominance. 

Women can have very different experiences in perimenopause. Some people breeze through it very easily, others really struggle through a variety of reasons. When you see your doctor, I would absolutely identify that you hadn't had any type of bleeding or cycles in about two years and whether or not that's a byproduct of the IUD. I'm not 100% certain. I have plenty of patients that don't get menstrual cycles while they're on the IUD. I have others that do sometimes have some ovulatory discomfort, although the closer you get to menopause, you're not ovulating every month. Could this have just been a quirky ovulatory period? Absolutely. But your doctor needs to run some labs. I actually have done quite a few podcasts on these kinds of topics. If you're not a listener of Everyday Wellness, most recently, I did two podcasts with Dr. Tabatha Barber. She's called The Gutsy Gynecologist. She's absolutely lovely. We talked about topics just like this. How do we find out where we are in perimenopause, are we in menopause, what's going on? The IUD is just a band -aid, so it can really mask knowing when that transitional period has occurred. They can draw an FSH, a follicular stimulating hormone, typically that needs to be drawn at least on two separate occasions. This is communication between the brain ovaries. And typically, when it's greater than 40 on two separate occasions, that can be a sign. It's not definitive that you are very close to menopause.

You can look at a DUTCH, a dried urine and saliva test and I've done a lot of podcasts with different experts talking about the DUTCH and the validity of that. But I think this is just one of those times where as your body is getting better balance, you're probably getting more insulin sensitivity, probably getting a little bit better balanced with your sex hormones, and better appetite regulation. You may see some changes in your menstrual cycle, but this is one of those vague questions. Meaning not that you haven't given enough information, it's just we need more information to be able to provide additional insights. But I would say Dr. Tabatha was a recent favorite. I actually did a podcast with Dr. Sara Gottfried recently. But if you do a Google search on my website, it'll bring up all the perimenopause and menopause-related podcasts that I've done. I can tell you from personal experience that a lot of women go from having super regular cycles to then having none, I've had women, as they get closer and closer to menopause, I've had a lot of other women that just start having more and more regular cycles, heavier, lighter, shorter, more frequent. For each one of us, it's really very unique. Sometimes, we can talk to our mothers to see what their experiences were like. But average age of menopause in the United States is 51. So, it's very likely you're very close to that period. Good luck. Do you have anything you want to add, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Well, first of all, I just knew that you'd be a wealth of knowledge about all of that. I'll just add two really quick things. I did find one really interesting review, especially because Deanna says, she likes reading and researching. It's called menstrual cycle variability and the perimenopause. It just talks about this whole transition, and process, and why those fluctuations might be happening. I always think it's funny when there's, what's the word, colloquial language, very casual language. The abstract is very scientific. It says, “another hypothesis is that the increased variability and that variability being the changes in your cycle” reflects “slippage of the hypothalamus, which loses the ability to regulate menstrual cycles at older reproductive ages.” Basically, the hypothalamus because it talks about how the dwindling pool of follicles is changing and creating changes. But I just love this concept of the hypothalamus. I don't know if I love the concept, but it's a funny concept to me that the hypothalamus is just--

Cynthia Thurlow: It’s a slipped gear. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's not quite handling the signals that are coming in and not quite sure what's going on, which would make sense with something like hormonal birth control or an IUD affecting those hormones and further exacerbating how the hypothalamus is interpreting what's going on. So, that would make sense.

Cynthia Thurlow: Do you want to know something interesting? In my book, I actually talk about the five phases of perimenopause, because there's just not enough research done in this area, but I'm getting ready to interview Dr. [unintelligible [00:46:49] Brighton, and there is some research to show that if you're on oral contraceptives for years and years and years, like many of us were including myself that it may actually hasten going into menopause. So, it's something that I'm going to talk to her about in greater detail, but the use of synthetic hormones may actually shorten that duration of reproductive years. I thought that was really interesting. For listeners, once I interview her, I will then feel more comfortable talking about that. But I do talk about in my book about perimenopause pretty extensively that there are these five identified phases of perimenopause. Do all of us go through each one of those neatly and nicely? Probably, not. But I love that you brought up the interrelationship between the HPA axis or HPO, hypothalamus pituitary ovarian axis. There were always constant communication and it's a slipped gear that it was working efficiently and now, it's like slipping a gear on a bike.

Melanie Avalon: That actually reminds me of, I would be curious if you have any thoughts on this. I interviewed Simon Hill this week. Do you know him? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't.

Melanie Avalon: The Proof Is in the Plants guy. He's really big in the vegan sphere. He was so nice. It was a really good episode. One of the things we're talking about, I don't remember why this came up, but we were talking about the role of reproduction evolutionarily, and how basically our bodies, the goal in our body from an evolutionary perspective is to have a child. And so, what I was wondering, I don't know if they've done studies on this and I haven't looked into this, but I wonder if you've had a child and you control for-- Let's assume that you have a child and you return, afterwards you regain your metabolic health to the same extent that you had it before. So, a healthy person who's equal levels of “health on both sides of a pregnancy” is her lifespan going to be shorter, because she's accomplished the goal compared to a woman who never has a child. If you haven't had a child as the body's still like, “We can do this.”

Cynthia Thurlow: These deep questions that Melanie comes up with I'm like, “I don't even know which angle to hit that from.” It's interesting because you'll see certain types of cancers are more prevalent in nulliparous, which means women who have not had a child.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, what's that word? I need this word in my vocabulary.

Cynthia Thurlow: Nulliparous. Yes, it's one of those weird, awkward medical words.

Melanie Avalon: Nulliparous. It a noun like I am nulliparous or it's an adjective?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, no, I am nulliparous or we would talk about a patient, this is a nulliparous female. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, so adjective.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. From my perspective, looking at it from the perspective of whether it's by choice or someone tried and couldn't does that put them at greater risk for certain types of disorders, cancers, etc. I come at it from a different angle. This is the thing I love about Melanie as my friend is that she comes up with such creative, interesting, refreshing takes on topics maybe that I've never even thought of-

Melanie Avalon: Thank you.

Cynthia Thurlow: -things I love about you, I'm like, “Oh, I hadn't thought about that before.”

Melanie Avalon: I love that you love engaging with the content or [laughs] just like, “Okay.”

Cynthia Thurlow: No, that's more to critically thinking. It's putting those thoughts out there.

Melanie Avalon: When I asked Simon about it, it wasn't the first time I thought about it. I think I thought about it a lot because I don't know, but I don't think I'm going to have children. And so, I'm so obsessed with longevity. I've thought about this concept a lot. Is this hurting or helping my longevity?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think I would probably guess it might help your longevity and I love my children. Let me be very clear. I was meant to be a mom, I'm happy being a mom, but there are moments in my children's lives that I know have hastened my longevity when I say this with love and reverence, I have a child who fell out of a second story window when he was two and had no injuries. Said same child when he was 10 years old-- 10, yeah, it was four years ago. 10 years old, coming back from all stars practice for swimming, fell off his bike and broke his arms, and needed emergency surgery, and walked in the house and his arms were concave, and I was like, “If any child has hastened my life, it's this kid.” I have no doubt there have been moments as a parent that have been terrifying and have likely killed off a lot of telomere length, and given me gray hair that I now pay copious amounts to cover up and that's a whole separate topic. But yeah, I would imagine it would probably help your longevity, Melanie. That's my guess.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. Two quick things. One, he fell out of a two-story window?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. To give context to this conversation, this was the same week after his brother had fallen and broken his arm, and we had to take ambulance to a tertiary care center, because the hospital near my house would not reduce his fracture. My anxiety levels as a clinician were through the roof. Yes, and this child who we call him like MacGyver, he managed to open up a window out of curiosity, he was looking at something outside, pushed the screen and fell out two stories.

Melanie Avalon: Did you see him fall out?

Cynthia Thurlow: I did. I was sitting in the den and I saw a flash of red, and it was my two-year old, and it was the worst thing that's ever happened to us. 

Melanie Avalon: I can't even imagine.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. And so, for listeners, he was fine. There was an ER physician walking her dog who was at his side and called EMS. I can get very emotional thinking about it. He was okay. We spent two days in the PICU and everyone was amazed, this kid did okay. From that point forward, I was like, “This kid is going to do big things,” because this could have ended very differently. I was an ER nurse, a trauma nurse. So, I've seen lots of horrible things happen with kids falling out of windows and the house that we lived in at the time any other window if he had fallen out if he would have fallen on something hard. 

Melanie Avalon: What did he fall on to?

Cynthia Thurlow: Grass. We had a bay window and so, he must have pitched himself in such a way that he bounced off of this other window, and then fell into the grass, and it had rained the night before. So, the ground was soft.

Melanie Avalon: Was he all scraped up?

Cynthia Thurlow: He had a scratch on his toe. When I say my kid is meant to do big things, [laughs] I have no doubt. But for the longest time, anytime, I heard an ambulance or a fire truck because the ER doc, who was at my son's side said, “If it were really bad, I would have called the chopper” and she's like, “You know that.” I was just like, “Whoa,” as a parent. Then the kid, when he was 10, fell and broke both his arms and had to go in for major-- He has plates and rods in his arms because he did such a bang-up job. I've told him, I was like, “Liam, I can't handle another big thing [laughs]. you have done it all.” Yeah. So, I think that being a parent is a wild ride and one that I'm grateful for. [laughs] I can speak from two experiences being a parent that have definitely aged my husband and we joke about it. We're like, “Yeah, he keeps us on our toes.” Actually, that's why we don't have any more children. We're like, “That was God's way of telling us we were done.” We have our hands full and he reminds us of that every day why he would never have been a middle child.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. Well, the second thing that reminded me up was, last night, I listened to Rhonda Patrick's newest episode. It's with a guy named Stuart Phillips. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, I need to listen to that. 

Melanie Avalon: I really recommend it for listeners. It's a deep dive into protein intake and muscle. Really, really fascinating. A lot of stuff we talk about on this show. They talk about, do you really need the amount of protein that they say, and he argues that, yes, that dietary recommendations should not be called recommendations, they should be called minimal intakes. But he was talking about why when you're very young, you break a bone or something happens and kids, they don't need rehab or anything. The body fixes itself. And then when you're older, not so much. So, he just talks about that concept. So, I can put a link to it in the show notes. 

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This comes from Monica. Subject is: “Magnesium question.” “Can you share your favorite magnesium brand for sleep? I was using magnesium complex by Nature's Way. I ran out and I couldn't find it, and used another brand, and don't really care for it. Before I go looking for the Nature's Way, I wanted to see what you recommended. Thank you.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Monica, thank you for your question. [chuckles] I always want to laugh when I get questions like this that are so perfect for what's happening in my life product wise. I feel like Cynthia I have to fill you in on all the inside jokes on this show. Gin and I used to laugh because one time we got an email from somebody who basically accused us of creating questions, making up questions to plug products or whatever and we were like, “If people knew how many questions we get, they would realize we would never need to [laughs] create a question.” We have hundreds of questions. But in any case, I did want to time this for this episode because I am currently this week. When this comes out, it will have already happened. But right now, the moment I'm in right now, we are launching my magnesium supplement this week, which is so so exciting. It's been such a long journey. That's with MD Logic. My first one, the AvalonX serrapeptase. This is AvalonX Magnesium 8 and then (broad spectrum complex). I know Monica's asking about sleep and I'm going to speak to that specifically because there is a certain type of magnesium that is better for sleep. 

But just in general, magnesium and my head has been literally yesterday was just magnesium all day. Researching, and writing, and getting together promo material, but basically, if you go into the literature on magnesium, it is shocking the extent to which this mineral is crucial for so many processes in our body. They used to say over 300 in somatic processes, but I found a really recent article, I think 2022 saying, actually, now it's over 600. It's involved in basically, every single cell, so a third of the magnesium is in our cells, two thirds-is in our bones, less than 1% is actually in our bloodstream, and the significance, on top of that it's actually highly controlled in our bloodstream. It's calcium. It’s how people will say that a certain diet might not affect your calcium levels and you can get a blood test and look at your calcium. But pretty much your blood calcium is probably always going to be in normal range. Things have to be really off for it not to be. 

The same is with magnesium, because so little of it is actually in the bloodstream. It might not be reflective of underlying deficiencies. It's so important. It's involved in energy production, creating ATP in the mitochondria, it helps create glutathione, so it can serve as an antioxidant, and then cardiovascular health, bone health, blood sugar control, muscle recovery, so many things, and of course, sleep, and mood. The AvalonX-- which was so exciting, you can buy this now. It is available. AvalonX Magnesium 8 will be great for all of that, it will also support sleep. So, Monica, definitely, definitely try that. On top of that there's a certain type of magnesium called Magnesium Threonate. It is actually a type of magnesium that specifically crosses the blood-brain barrier. It has an even more potent effect on sleep and relaxation. That would be something to consider. I'm going to be releasing a magnesium threonate probably next. So, stay tuned for that. I think we're going to call it Magnesium Nightcap or something. The reason Threonate is not in my blend is because you actually need a pretty high dose to get that therapeutic effect and so, we wanted it to be a separate add on type thing. But yeah, so basically, Monica, my recommendation is getting my Magnesium Spectrum 8, and then the Nightcap when it's available, and you can use the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON, and that will get you 10% off. So, that was a lot about magnesium. Cynthia, do you take magnesium?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do, I do. With my background in cardiology, I'm very mag savvy and I'm super excited about your new product. But if Monica is looking for something right now specific to mag L Threonate, while you're waiting for your next product to come out. I like designs for health. You're right. You do need quite a bit in order for it to be properly therapeutic, but that's actually the product I take before bed. I do take other types of magnesium during the day and I also fervently believe that people need both oral and transdermal magnesium to be able to absorb it properly. The product that I recommended to my cardiology, my electrophysiology patients, so people that were dealing with palpitations, and had defibrillator errors, and pacemakers, and all sorts of electrical issues with their heart, when I could get their magnesium levels more therapeutic, and then this started to work into all of my work with everyone. Everyone needs magnesium. There's no one listening who does not need repletion, we lose it when we're stressed, we lose it if we're having diarrhea, if we're having an acute illness. Certainly, when you travel, you're losing electrolytes. And so, I'm a big fan of transdermal applications. There's a company called Ancient Minerals. I have no affiliation with them. I just think they have high quality.

Melanie Avalon: I've used them before. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, they have sprays, they have lotions. I’ll typically recommend people spray. The oil is my first choice. Couple pumps into two hands, rub it on your trunk, your arms and legs, leave it on for 20 minutes. Use it before you get in the shower. You need about 20 minutes for absorption. When people do both of those things, they supplement with oral magnesium and they also use transdermal magnesium, they find that that is the perfect combination. For a lot of people, they need the additional, literally layer of magnesium to help them with sleep quality. Now, I'll be completely honest and say that when we get questions about sleep, there's so much that goes into sleep. Maybe we'll have to do a whole separate-- We’ll have to do a whole episode just talking about sleep modalities, because there are so many things that can impact our sleep quality. I know Mel and I are very, very proactive about our sleep and I feel I have maybe finally for myself found the right combinations and the right things that I do prior to bedtime and right before I go to bed that have really netted an impressive amount of improved sleep quality measured by Oura Ring data, etc. But I do think that using that two-pronged approach with magnesium is generally what I recommend. Transdermal and oral therapies, it sounds like Melanie has an amazing option right now. Magnesium L Threonate is the thing I think is so helpful for sleep and then using transdermal magnesium as well.

Melanie Avalon: Is it true? They say that this is why you experienced this and I experienced this that, if you put on a transdermal and it stings, they say it's because your skin is sucking it in so fast. That's why it stings. Do you know if that's true?

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, what I used to tell patients was that it was just validating that they needed more magnesium. Now, there are definitely people who are sensitive to magnesium. They'll feel tingly and it's uncomfortable. A little bit of tingle is expected. Really tingly, uncomfortable. 

Melanie Avalon: Mine was painful. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Those people sometimes need the sensitive skin varieties of which Ancient Minerals has plenty of options. But I usually tell people, “It's just validation that you need to do this more often.” If you can tolerate, obviously, don't shave your skin and put it on. That would be torturing yourself. 20 minutes in your bathroom with your privacy, then jump in the shower. Some people don't like how it feels a little oily and I would say, just do it before-- I used to do before I would take a bath. I would literally just load up, do whatever I needed to do for bedtime, then get in the tub, then I would soak in more magnesium. I'm a little magnesium crazy. I'll admit after all the impressive things I saw it improve in patients, I was like, “This is something I need to commit to doing regularly.” But yeah, the tingle is generally a sign that needed the repletion.

Melanie Avalon: Gotcha. I'm glad you brought u, because I didn't even touch on how our modern lifestyles deplete our magnesium and-- [crosstalk] 

Cynthia Thurlow: Magnesium depleted soil. Just think about it. You could be eating all organic and you're just not getting the same nutrient profile that our grandparents did. It's just impossible.

Melanie Avalon: If you're eating conventional, specifically glyphosate, chelates, minerals. I know it can be controversial to talk about glyphosate. I literally read this in the PubMed scientific article I was reading.

Cynthia Thurlow: Have you interviewed Jeffrey Smith, yet?

Melanie Avalon: No. Ever since. [laughs] I feel so bad. I actually had it on my list to follow up with him. For listeners, he's a wealth of knowledge about GMOs, and glyphosate, and such.

Cynthia Thurlow: We'll plug my podcasts with him. But I interviewed him and the first thing I said to Melanie after I finished was, you need to interview him. He was just-- everything you wanted to know about GMOs, glyphosate in a way that is designed to educate and empower, and not scare the bejeebers out of you.

Melanie Avalon: What happened with that was he reached out to me independent of all of this and wanted to come on the show, and I got really excited, because I saw he had books on GMOs, and I was like, “Yes, I would love to do an episode on GMOs.” Then his people said, “Well, we really want to focus on his current work,” which was a little bit political and based on current events. I was like, “I just don't know if it's the best fit right now,” because this was a while ago and this was in the heat of a lot of political stuff. I don't think I really realized who he was. If so, I think I would have handled that differently and I reached back out to him ever since you told me about it, but I haven't heard back. So, I need to reach out again, because I really want to interview him now.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think you'd really like him. I know your listeners would really enjoy that conversation, too.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, to-do list. And then I will say just one last thing before we go. All the supplements that I make, I really wanted to make the best form of the supplements on the market and only what I would want to put in my body. It's free of all potentially problematic fillers, it's tested for allergens, super, high-quality, it has activated cofactors to help absorption, so, it has methylated B6, and then it has chelated manganese, because magnesium can actually reduce your manganese levels, so, it's to help with that. Definitely the way to go and that is again, avalonx.us, not to sound like a commercial. But this was absolutely amazing. I've missed talking to you, Cynthia, because it's been so long.

Cynthia Thurlow: I know. But the cool thing is, we're recording a second episode right after this.

Melanie Avalon: I know. [laughs] So, here we go. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. You can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_ and we are @ifpodcast on Instagram, and I think I'll open up next week with something that we're talking about sleep. I started using something that I think has had a massive influence on my Oura Ring. So, maybe I'll start with that. All right, well, for listeners, this has been absolutely wonderful and I'll talk to you next week. But I'll actually talk to you right now. [laughs]

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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