Jul 03

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

Intermittent Fasting

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

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

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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!

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

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

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

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

21:35 - Listener Feedback: Sarah - CGM

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

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

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

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

Cynthia's favorite Thyroid resources

The Institute For Functional Medicine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simply Hydration: Magnesium-Charged Electrolyte Concentrate for Rapid Hydration

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

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

TRANSCRIPT

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 272 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with, Cynthia Thurlow.

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: This is very exciting. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's nice.

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Are there airlines that still serve peanuts?

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

Melanie Avalon: What will set it off?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow:  I did.

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

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

Melanie Avalon: No.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: It was very interesting.

Melanie Avalon: That sounds like a health page turner.

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Hiding, I don't know.

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, literally hiding. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. [laughs] 

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

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into everything for today? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: 69.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-mm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. 

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: I’ve heard of him.

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, very good friends.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Bye. 

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Jun 26

Episode 271: Slow Weight Loss, Extracellular Matrix, Endocrine Disruptors, Inflammatory Grains, Alcohol Cancer Link, Liver Detoxification, Cholesterol, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 271 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 and $10 off your first order!!

Bon Charge: Overexposure To Blue Light In Our Modern Environments Can Lead To Increased Anxiety, Stress, Headaches, Insomnia, And Other Health Conditions. Unlike Many “Blue Light Blocking” Glasses On The Market, Bon Charge Provides Glasses That Block The Exact Blue Wavelengths You Need To Regulate Sleep, Reduce Anxiety, And Much More! They Also Provide Different Types Of Glasses For The Time Of Day, Season, And Your Personal Electronic And Light Exposure! until the end of June 2022 Go to boncharge.com and use coupon code
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AVALONX SERRAPEPTASE: A proteolytic enzyme which may help clear sinuses and brain fog, reduce allergies, support a healthy inflammatory state, enhance wound healing, break down fatty deposits and amyloid plaque, supercharge your fast, and more! Avalonx supplements are free of toxic fillers, common allergens, heavy metals,  mold, and triple tested for purity and potency. 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 And $10 Off Your First Order!!

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

22:25 - BON CHARGE: Until The End Of June 2022. Go To boncharge.com And Use Coupon Code
BONCHARGE To Save 25%.

25:00 - Listener Q&A: Mary - Slow weight loss

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

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

37:50 - Listener Q&A: Denite - Alcohol should have cancer warning labels, say doctors and researchers pushing to raise awareness of risk

#193 – AMA #31: Heart rate variability (HRV), alcohol, sleep, and more

1:03:40 - AVALONX SERRAPEPTASE:  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!

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!

1:07:00 - Listener Q&A: Deborah - LDL higher since IF

Ep. 128 – Cholesterol Obsession: Why It’s the Intellectual Property of the Animal Kingdom with Dave Feldman

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #126 - Azure Grant

INSIDETRACKER: Go To insidetracker.com/melanie And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE25 For 25% Off All Tests Sitewide!

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

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get sugar free, nitrate free, heritage breed bacon for life, plus $10 off. Yes, free bacon for life, plus $10 off. We are so honored to be sponsored by ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get high-quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, that's really hard to find, by the way, and wild caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency regarding grazing practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox. You can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. But I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. All of their beef is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished. That's really hard to find. They work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves, but the planet. This is so important to me. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. 

If you recently saw a documentary on Netflix called Seaspiracy, you might be a little bit nervous about eating seafood. Now, I understand why ButcherBox makes it so, so clear and important about how they work with the seafood industry. Everything is checked for transparency, for quality, and for sustainable raising practices. You want their seafood. The value is incredible, the average cost is actually less than $6 per meal, and it's so easy. Everything ships directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing. I remember the first time I had one and I just thought, “This is honestly one of the best steaks I've ever had in my entire life.” On top of that, did you know that the fatty acid profile of grass-fed, grass-finished steaks is much healthier for you than conventional steaks. And their bacon, for example is from pastured pork, and sugar and nitrate free. How hard is that to find? I'm super excited, because ButcherBox’ bacon for life is back and it's even better, because you get $10 off as well. Yep, right now, new members will get one pack of free bacon in every box for the life of your membership, plus $10 off when you sign up at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. That's one pack of free bacon in every box for the rest of your life plus $10 off. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. And we'll put all this information in the show notes.

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 271 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with, Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hey there. 

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Cynthia? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm doing well. How are you? Now, we're three days before our vacation. So, I'm super excited.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I'm really excited for you. I can't wait to see the pictures from all the places. Are you guys’ big touristy people? Do you do all the touristy stuff or how do you approach a vacation?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it depends. My kids, well, I should say, we've been incredibly fortunate that even when our kids were younger, it has always been a big priority to expose them to different countries and travel. Believe it or not, there's ways to do that very affordably. I think there's this perception that it's all obscenely expensive. I think a Disney vacation could cost as much as or even more than going to Europe, as one example. We find a balance. To me, I always like to stay in places where it's not so touristy. When we've stayed in Paris, we have stayed in areas where it's still wonderful, but you can walk right outside and go to a café, and I like to go to grocery stores in there, I like to make picnics. To me, there's a lot to be said if you're really exposed to the culture. We'll do cooking classes and we'll still see some of the iconic sights when we're in certain cities. But to me, it's a combination of togetherness, and connection, and being able to be exposed to different cultures, and see museums. My kids actually if you were to ask them their favorite thing they've seen in London as an example, they would say, Westminster Abbey. We're definitely a family that like to be inspired when we go on vacation, but I'm also not someone that necessarily wants to do a lot of tourist trapeze stuff. 

We like good food and we definitely do our due diligence prior to arriving. We're going to be in Prague for a couple days and where we're staying is like a restored monastery. It's got this cool vibe and everything I've heard about Prague is that it's beautiful, and the people are wonderful, and I'm just looking forward to just exploring, and not having too too much plans. One thing I don't like on a vacation is feeling micromanage like, “Oh, every day, we get up and we do this and every day we get up and we do that.” There's built in downtime, which I think is really important, especially coming off of the book launch. I feel I owe my family a lot of family time and connection. I feel there hasn't been as much of that over the last six months. 

Melanie Avalon: Are you going to Budapest? 

Cynthia Thurlow: We are and we're ending in Budapest and I'm super excited.

Melanie Avalon: I was talking with a friend actually, the girl who does my hair at the salon this week, and she was going on and on about Budapest, and she said her favorite thing there was, have you heard of the bone chapel? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. 

Melanie Avalon: Are you going to go there? I like the creepy morbid stuff.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. No, it's interesting, because we had the ability to stay longer in Budapest. We opted not to just because of the proximity at the time we were booking this with the Ukraine and all the unrest that was going on there. I just said, “Okay, well, we'll just be in Budapest for two days,” and then we'll head home, but the heading home part is a little less fun than the going to, because Budapest doesn't fly direct to any major place that's close to where we're going. We have to fly to Paris, and then Paris to Boston, and Boston to our new hometown. So, it'll be a long leg back. But I kept saying the kids, I was like, “It's going to be so great. We don't have to fly into New York, which is great,” because I don't know if anyone listening is flown into. Anytime you fly internationally, there are certain airports you want to avoid when you have to go through immigration and it's been my experience in New York is one of those that you want to avoid. So, I'm actually happy we're flying into Boston, little smaller of an airport, but we'll see. 

Melanie Avalon: Very nice. I'm just thinking, my favorite thing in London was probably Tower of London and in Paris going back to the morbid stuff. Have you been in the catacombs?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have. But I haven't done that with my kids and so, I think there'll be old enough this time when we go back. You know it is, I'm a total Francophile. I actually love the culture, and the food, and just how Parisians are unlike anywhere else in the world and it's such a beautiful city. I love the architecture and I don't know I just absorb it all.

Melanie Avalon: I remember when I was there, we were eating on a street café, and a girl from my film fraternity walked by, I was like, “What are the odds?” Makes you wonder and especially, people that you meet in the future who you might have crossed paths with. It's just crazy. How can be such a big world, but such a small world?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's funny. My cousin and I were just talking yesterday, and she's actually going to Paris with one of her college friends, and she was saying, “Oh, the exchange rates fantastic. You can really get a nice bag.” I was like, “Oh, don't make me jealous.” The last few times I've been there, the lines are so long that I've just completely discouraged me from procuring a bag at a great price. I just said, “I'll live vicariously through you.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, the shopping. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm. That's dangerous. Although, it's funny. When I'm with my husband and my boys, I don't do a lot of shopping, which my husband really appreciates largely, because teenagers don't want to be dragged into any shopping situation. They've always not been big shoppers. I think that's probably been a blessing. So, we go to these amazing cities and I'm not as encouraged to go do that.

Melanie Avalon: My mom is just like a shopaholic. There's more estrogen in my family than testosterone where me and I have a sister and a brother. My brother's the one with all the girls. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, that's funny. Yeah, no, it's funny. I have one sibling, and my brother has all girls, and I've all boys, and I always say, “God has a sense of humor, because if you had asked us before we had kids, I would have ended up with all girls, and he would have ended up with boys.” But I ended up with exactly what I needed. And now that I have boys, I can't imagine-- I’ve three nieces who I love, but now that I have boys, I can't imagine things being any different.

Melanie Avalon: I love it. Love it, love it. I got to see pictures of them for the first time yesterday.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, the other characters. They are characters. One in particular doesn't like his photo being taken anymore. I basically told them their last day of school was June 2nd. I said to them, because obviously, one was in middle school was in high school, now, they're both going to high school in August, and I said, “I didn't get my end of the year photo” and of course, they were giving me a hard time and my husband's like, “You are going to stand on that porch in front of that door with your backpack and you were going to smile or we're going to leave you here.” They both looked at each other like, “Fine.” But it's amazing how when they were younger. They loved having their photos taken, they love doing those first day and last day of school things, and now, I hear my husband saying, “You're doing it for your mother.” So, if anyone's listening and you understand [laughs] why we say just let me take one photo. That's why we say, it's actually hard to find photos of all four of us, because they do everything they can to undermine said photos. They'll make a funny face, they won't smile, my 14-year-old scowls now on purpose, even though he's not like a kid that walks around with that expression on his face, but he'll do it on purpose, and my husband's like, “Your mother does so much for you.” I'm like, “That's right. [laughs] Just do something for me. It'll take 30 seconds.”

Melanie Avalon: I feel the biggest meltdowns we had in our family were always around taking the Christmas photo. Actually, [chuckles] one of the biggest inside jokes in our family is one year we were doing the Christmas photo, and we had a photo of all of us in Rome at the Coliseum, but my mom didn't like that one of her. She had me photoshop her in to another picture at the Coliseum, and we did it in black and white, and I should find it and see if it's noticeable. I guess, we thought it wasn't noticeable. But I do know, I think my dad got some feedback from work colleagues being like, “Did you photoshop in Europe?” [laughs]

Cynthia Thurlow: That's hilarious. That's hilarious. We are our own worst critics. I know sometimes I'll look at photos of me and I'm like say to my team, “Don't ever use that photo again.” [laughs] But once we don't like a photo, I totally get it.

Melanie Avalon: Yep, I'm the same way. Can I update listeners really quick on my magnesium supplement update? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. 

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, I know you're eagerly awaiting the launch of my magnesium. By the time this comes out, you know what, it probably is launched by now. Maybe. No, no, it's probably right on the cusp of launching. Get on my email list, so you don't miss the updates. That's at avalonx.us/emaillist. But my first serrapeptase supplement did so, so well. The second one I'm doing is magnesium. Magnesium is just such a crucial mineral in our health and wellness. I'm always a proponent of getting nutrition from food, but it can be hard to get all of our nutrients all the time due to our depleted soil today, and our living environment, and our stress depletes magnesium, our lifestyles deplete magnesium. I think a lot of people can really benefit from a magnesium supplement. As you guys know, I wanted to make the best form possible. Mine is going to have eight forms of magnesium. Eight, because actually, my partner and I at MD Logic, we're trying to figure this out how many magnesium types there actually are, I think there's around 17, actually. We picked the eight that we think are most beneficial and it actually has activated cofactors to help you absorb it. So, it has methylated B6 and chelated manganese, no potentially toxic fillers, no rice, no seed oils, no palmitates, no stearates, it's in a glass bottle. Basically, it's the best of the best. 

Then here's the fun thing. We really wanted to include magnesium three and eight in it or I wanted to, which is a specific type of magnesium that crosses the blood-brain barrier. We had it in the initial formulation, but then we realized that in order to get the full therapeutic amount, it wasn't enough, basically. And also, not everybody wants the mind effects of magnesium three and eight. We're going to release it as a second launch as a nightcap that basically you can add on to your magnesium if you specifically want that relaxation effect, that sleep-inducing effect, and the amazing incentive that we're doing for that is, so, my magnesium supplement is going to be called magnesium spectrum eight. If you get it at launch before we sell out, because I anticipate that we're probably going to sell out. Everybody who gets it from that first run, you'll get a coupon code for when we launch the magnesium three and eight nightcap for a major discount. So, definitely get the magnesium spectrum eight at launch before it sells out. Again, get on the email list because that's where I will be releasing the information. In the meantime, if you'd like a discount on serrapeptase or any supplements at MD Logic, you can use the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON for that. But ooh, I'm just really excited. I've been bit by the supplement bug. So, yeah.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's very exciting. I'm very excited to see your product and I look forward to when I can share officially what I'm working on. But I'm starting to respond to people's DMs on Instagram to stay tuned. I will definitely be creating something that is relevant to some of our past conversations.

Melanie Avalon: I am so excited. I can't wait. [chuckles] Between me and you, we're going to have people covered I think with-- Once we fill out the lines, it's going to be such an amazing resource for people who-- Because the supplement industry is so sketchy and so it can be really hard to find quality stuff and know what you're putting in your body and trust it. It's nice that I think you and I-- We were talking about this before recording how in general, there are a lot of things we want to do, and there are things I want to do that Cynthia might not do, and things Cynthia would want to do that I might not do. So, I think between the both of us, it's going to be really great.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. I want to express publicly how grateful I am that you made the intro with this company and I'm really excited because one of the things that I've always been very verbal about is why supplement quality is so critically important and why, generally speaking, you shouldn't source off of big websites like Amazon that most of the pharmaceutical grade companies don't third party source. I'm saying in most instances. And so, it's really nice to know that MD Logic has super high qualities, super high integrity, which I think is also really important and also transparency.

Melanie Avalon: Yep, I'm so, so grateful. They're actually making, because some of their products right now have fillers that I personally wouldn't use. That might not be a problem for everybody, but I personally don't like, but they're actually making A, what you said about transparency. They're so transparent. You're not going to have to worry about the quality or things are tested for toxins, things are tested for allergens, but they're also making steps to move towards even less of those ingredients. So, definitely, check out their website. We talked in the past about their melatonin that Cynthia really likes.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, my goodness, I laugh about-- Actually, it's interesting, my cousin, who I think the world of and is a physician. She now listens to this podcast. The first thing she said after she listened to that podcast was, “Tell me how to get [laughs] their melatonin because I need that.” She just bought a couple bottles and I'm waiting to get her feedback. But yeah, it's very potent. I've used another brand and really did not find the potency to be equivalent at all. Meaning, the MD Logic was clearly more potent and more potent means you actually will end up using less product. And so, that was really important to me.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, we actually both have codes. You can use the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON or CYNTHIATHURLOW and get a discount on the MD Logic products. 

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a question from Mary. Subject is: “Slow weight loss.” Mary says, “Hi, I've been listening to your podcast for the last month and I've learned a lot. I have been overweight all my life, but in my teens gained a huge amount of weight due to a shop which we had for three years. I'm thinking maybe this fat does not want to shift because it's been there a long time stored. Can fat laid down for years impact on how slow weight loss occurs or do you think slow weight loss could occur because of the fact that I've passed menopause or I have an office job? I walk for 30 minutes a day in my breaks, I do mostly 20:4 these days. My average weight as an adult has fluctuated from 193 to 167, but I usually hover around 172. When I started IF in July after a stressful year, I was 185 and I'm down 12 pounds to 173. I'm thrilled because it has been very low and I'm aiming to get down to 145 pounds now that I'm not scared of looking old as I realized that autophagy will help with that and also remove the loose skin from my legs, which I've had all my life. I'm thinking to do the DNA test too to see if I would be better off cutting out grains altogether or not. I've included a lot here and I hope that you can give me thoughts on anything I mentioned. Thanks in advance.” Mary is from Tasmania, which is super cool.

Cynthia Thurlow: That is super cool. Well, hi, Mary. Thank you for your question. I would say, first and foremost, give yourself grace. You've been on this journey for a long time and I do find that when women in particular, I don't know your age. It's hard for me to speculate. I think that when women get north of 35, there's a little bit of hormonal flocks that can make weight loss-- can give you some plateaus. I think, first and foremost, we have to really get back to basics. I applaud you for your efforts thus far. Slow and steady wins. We don't want to be losing a nonsustainable amount of weight too quickly. We definitely want to do one to two pounds a week is really what we want to be focused on. I think that your questions about carbohydrates, I would say, we really want to reframe that thinking and be making sure that we are hitting our protein macros. During your feeding window really focusing on good quality animal-based protein, 35 to 40 grams of protein with your meals, which is going to help with satiety. I think non-starchy carbohydrates are a great way to go. I'm not anti-carb, but really earning your carbohydrates. If you're going to have starchy carbs like sweet potato, or root vegetables, or if you tolerate grains, keeping the portions very small especially if you're trying to continue to lose weight and being very mindful of your physical activity, it sounds you do a good amount of walking, which I think is fantastic and that can help with insulin sensitivity as well. 

If you get to a point where you want to start adding in, more things that can help with insulin resistance. Thinking about strength training is very important, getting high quality sleep, which means seven, eight hours a night is very important, and also understanding that if we're aligned with our own chronobiology, if we're really aligned with our sleep-wake cycles, we really want to be eating when it's light outside and not eating when it's dark outside. Now, with that being said, I know you're in a different hemisphere and we're heading into summer and you're heading into winter. That might be a little more challenging. But eating earlier in the day is going to be easier for insulin sensitivity than later in the day. And then obviously, as I mentioned, I don't know your age range, but if you are north of 35 or 40, there're a lot of things to really lean into in terms of your physiology that can help as well. You definitely don't want to be over fasting around your menstrual cycle as well. But I think you're off to a great start. And yes, I do find that long-term insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress in the body takes a bit of time to get to a point where your body's better calibrated. 

The other thing that I would really encourage you to do is to make sure that you are getting some baseline labs with your primary care provider or internist. You have things to compare to. Really looking at inflammatory markers, things like high-sensitivity CRP, looking your fasting insulin, really examining, looking at your lipid profile, which here in the States we're looking at triglycerides, and HDL and LDL, and then looking at your sex hormones as well to get a good sense and a good baseline so that you have something to compare it to.

Melanie Avalon: That was all really great, really comprehensive. I'll just speak briefly. I'll just add to it about the does fat not want to shift because it's been there a long time stored and does the amount of time that it's there affect? It's basically your weight loss potential. There's actually quite a few factors involved here. I know Cynthia and I have both interviewed Joel Greene for his mind-blowing book. His book is very intense. The Immunity Code, that's what it's called, I think. He talks a lot in his book about the extracellular matrix, the ECM. Basically, it's kind of like the clothing on your body in a way and how if you lose weight and your clothing is now too loose, how it is a lot of energy intensive to alter your clothes, and take it in, and make it fit. Your body would almost rather just wait until you regain the weight and keep the clothes on. That was not a very scientific answer. Only to provide more context. Basically, the extracellular matrix, he talks about how every time we lose weight this fluctuation in weight loss, the fat cell is having less fat in it and it still has this matrix that is too loose in a way for the fat cell. The body would rather just fill up the fat cell again, then actually, address that matrix and make it smaller, and that's one of the reasons that the body would prefer to just regain weight rather than maintain a sustained loss. 

He talks about how every time we lose and regain and lose and regain, it actually becomes harder and harder to make the changes to that matrix. It actually becomes stiffer. Basically, the longer you've had the fat, especially if you are fluctuating back and forth, which it sounds you have done, it might make it harder each time to have a more permanent change with the fluctuations. Something else that I think is so, so huge and this is something that people don't talk about a lot, but our exposure to endocrine disrupters through our diet, our lifestyle, our environment, especially our skincare and makeup, those compounds mess with our hormones, and can get stored in our fat cells, and they're even compounds called obesogens. These are endocrine disruptors, which actually make the fat cell more likely to gain weight, more likely to be inflammatory, more insulin resistant, and less likely to lose weight, and then it gets even worse. Basically, it's self-perpetuating. When our fat cells enter this signaling state of inflammation and weight gain, they signal to the rest of the cells to also do this as well. The longer you've been alive, the longer you've probably been exposed to endocrine disruptors and obesogens, especially if you're using conventional skincare makeup, if you're using conventional skincare makeup, you're most definitely putting these compounds into your body. That can have a huge effect. 

You could be doing all the things and dieting, but there could be hormonal signals because of these endocrine disruptors in your fat cells that are making it harder to actually lose weight. A reason that Cynthia and I love Beautycounter, for example, because they make skincare makeup that is free of endocrine disruptors and obesogens. There's also-- The number three would be, there's a set point theory. This is debated and I've done deep dives into this, but it does seem that the hypothalamus in our brain basically perceives a weight that it wants to be at and it will defend that weight. Some people think that there is a timeline aspect to it, so that basically, the longer you've been at a certain weight, the more your body's going to want to stay there. It's possible that even when you lose weight that you have to stay at it for a certain period of time before that resets in the hypothalamus. Again, this is debated, there's not a ton of literature on it I found some, but just anecdotally and from what I see with people, it does seem to be a thing. I say all of that to validate you and that yes, it is quite likely that it is harder to lose the weight, because of the time that you've been alive and what you've experienced. I actually want to be empowering and all of that aside, you can definitely work with your body hormonally, and through diet, and with fasting, and it's not like this is a closed door. Once you have the knowledge, you can be empowered to make the change that will actually work for you.

Then just the very last thing, I don't know what DNA tests you will be doing to check about the grains. I'm just curious what that would be because normally the testing for grains would be something like a food sensitivity tests, but those are heavily debated. I don't know what your thoughts are on food sensitivity tests, Cynthia.

Cynthia Thurlow: I do see some value. I don't use them as often as I used to, because typically when I'm working in a group, we'll do a broad-based Whole 30 and that usually knocks out most things that people are sensitive to whether they're aware of it or not. I know that there's some genetic susceptibility to-- There's a small percentage and I don't even know the statistics offhand. There are some people that don't do as well off of grains, although, I do find it's usually someone who's already insulin resistant that is craving the grains or craving the carbohydrates. I do think broad-based elimination diets like a Whole 30, which there's tons of recipes. Unlike 10 years ago, when I think I first did a Whole 30, you had to make your own ketchup, and you have to make your own mustard, which is craziness. Now, there are Whole 30 compliant things that you can buy ahead of time, which is really nice. But that can oftentimes be very beneficial for people to determine what their specific threshold is. I do find, especially for most of the women, I work with that gluten grains and dairy can be hugely inflammatory, not to mention the processed sugar. So, pulling them out even for a month can be very insightful.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I do think that can be the gold standard for a lot of people is doing that short term. It might be long term if you stay on a Whole 30 type approach, but at least a short-term “elimination diet” of sorts can really be a way to figure out what is inflammatory for you personally. Actually, this will tie into the next question, I have done, because I have my data from-- Did you do 23andMe? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I did.

Melanie Avalon: I did a Facebook group version of it. It was called Genes for Good and it was a research project on Facebook. It was completely free and you got your genetic data. It basically was the equivalent of 23andMe. But I have run that data, well, through Prometheus, which is a mind-blowing rabbit hole of looking through everything, but also through different services that will interpret it for you. It basically told you how well you processed grains, carbs or different food-related things and then alcohol. I was red for everything and green for alcohol. So, basically, genetically, I was like, “I'm good with wine and nothing else,” which will tie in to the next question. But any other thoughts about this question? I guess, there's also the celiac test, but it's a little bit different.

Cynthia Thurlow: Obviously, Australia has progressive allopathic medicine routes. I don't know what the gold standard is there. Here, they generally like to do biopsies and there's different ways around it. But autoimmunity is not at all uncommon to see in women and especially women having-- All of us have been through a pandemic the last two years, we've been under unprecedented amounts of stress would not be at all unlikely that there could be something else at play. But that's why I think getting a check in with your primary, get those labs done, especially thyroid function, which I don't think I mentioned earlier, looking at those sex hormones, looking at a fasting insulin, inflammatory markers, all that could be very helpful.

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. This is from Denite. “Alcohol should have cancer warning labels,” say doctors and researchers pushing to raise awareness of risk. “I sure enjoy your podcast and want to say thank you for all the work you do. I came across the article below and it piqued my interest. I do not drink alcohol myself, but my father and mother-in-law recently started drinking wine and/or gin every night to help them sleep. My father-in-law also has high cholesterol and someone suggested he drink wine to lower it. What do you think about the articles claims of the carcinogens in alcohol? In your opinion, do the benefits outweigh the risks? I know that you promote Dry Farm Wines and I actually suggested to my in-laws that they check them out as a better and healthier option. I would love to talk to my in-laws about intermittent fasting for the lowering of cholesterol, but I feel that they will not understand it and just shrug it off. Do you have any advice for me on how to broach the subject in a way that they will understand the great benefits of it and at least give it a try? Thank you so much for your help.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Denite. Thank you for your question. She actually had two questions and actually didn't plan this, but our next question ties into the cholesterol. Maybe when we get her cholesterol question, we can read that second question and do that all together. To talk about the alcohol, okay, we've been looking forward to talking about this for a while. I have so many thoughts. First of all, I will start this off by saying, I have no agenda either way about if you do or do not drink alcohol. I just say that because I know my book is What When Wine and I've been very vocal about being a fan of the benefits of wine for health and how I personally really love wine. And yes, I drink Dry Farm Wines, which we can maybe talk a little bit why we love them in particular. The thing about alcohol is, whatever opinion you hold about it, if you want to support that opinion with hundreds of studies from the scientific literature, you can do that. The reason I'm saying that is because I want to step back and I say that I think context is so key. Because if you want to say it's a carcinogen and nobody should ever drink it, you can find tons of studies probably showing that. On the flipside, if you want to say, it's the best thing for longevity, and supports heart health, and everybody should be drinking, you're going to be able to find tons of studies showing that. So, I think it really does come down to the individual. 

Yes, alcohol is a carcinogen and that's what the link is talking about. If it was a carcinogen, which it is, but if that was the end, so if alcohol is our carcinogen, so, we shouldn't drink it, period. I don't think the epidemiological data would support what we find, which is that it often correlates to longevity, to reduce cardiovascular health. There's something more going on here that is beyond looking at a potentially reductionistic view of alcohol like saturated fat. I know it's not the same thing, but you could make arguments that a lot of people in the actually plant-based sphere will say, “Saturated fat is a toxin and by itself is just something we should not have.” I don't think that takes into account, the full picture of things. As far as the actual correlations of alcohol to different health conditions, it tends to be a J shaped curve. What that means is basically the biggest benefits correlationally are with low to moderate alcohol consumption. If you're a complete abstainer, if you're not drinking alcohol in most of the studies, you actually have a higher risk of certain things like longevity and cardiovascular health than if you're actually having a small amount of alcohol or a moderate amount of alcohol, and then of course, the J shaped, if you can envision like a J on a graph, it starts a little bit high, and then it curves down, and so that down curve is when you are the low and the moderate drinkers, and then it shoots up. Because once you get to high consumption, then it's correlated to a lot of detrimental health effects. 

As far as the cancer specifically, so, the cancers that alcohol tends to correlate to are related to parts of the body that actually touch alcohol, specifically. Throat cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, it does also correlate to breast cancer. But then other cancers, there's often found no correlation and even kidney cancer, there seems to be a reduced risk of cancer with alcohol consumption. Then other conditions that correlate to health benefits are diabetes, gallstone, stroke, and many things related to cardiovascular health. I was reading one study. It was a review of alcohol and cancer. It talks about how drinking, especially heavy drinking does increase cancer risk, which is what she's bringing to us with this statement. But the study actually concluded that “total avoidance” of alcohol, although optimum for cancer control cannot be recommended in terms of a broad perspective of public health and particular in countries with high incidence of cardiovascular disease. I think that really speaks to her question because basically they're saying, yes for cancer control, avoiding alcohol is really important. But if you take in the full picture because of cardiovascular disease, having some alcohol intake might actually be beneficial. 

Then just some other last thoughts to it. I think there is something to the context, especially something like wine. The role of the other compounds in wine like polyphenols seem to have a beneficial effect on our health. Even in the blue zones, which I know is hotly debated, but that's seven countries that are linked to longevity, and six out of seven of them all include alcohol in some part in their diet. Something else and-- I feel I'm going all over the place, but something else important to point out is that gender does play a role here and what is low or moderate drinking, and actually, Peter Attia had a really good episode recently on this that I can put a link to in the show notes. It's recommended that women drink less than men and there're two reasons. There could be more, but there're probably two main reasons for that. One is that it has to do with the hydration content of our bodies, and how that affects the metabolism of alcohol, as well as what it's called first pass metabolism in the stomach. Women, because of the levels of that in the stomach, we actually experience a quicker effect from alcohol than men do. That was all over the place. But to step back, basically, I think context is key. What is the role of alcohol in your diet? For example, Denise says that her father and mother are taking it to help them sleep. That is not a reason I would suggest somebody take alcohol to help them sleep because while it is a depressant and it can make you feel sleepy, it actually can have a rebound effect and cause reduced quality sleep in the long term. 

I think the reason that you're having alcohol is important to consider. I wouldn't take it to induce sleep like I would not take it for that reason. I would take it though, maybe she's talking about high cholesterol and the benefits there that might be a reason to include it in your diet. I also think maybe reason that we see a lot of longevity with people who drink could be the-- especially not the heavy drinkers, but just people who have it in their life as part of a healthy lifestyle. I think there's a social aspect to it. Not advocating turning to alcohol for stress relief, but I think some people, especially low to moderate drinkers, it's a part of their ritual, it's part of their lifestyle, it does provide stress-relieving benefits, and I don't think we should discount that, because I think that can have a huge, huge effect on health. I do want to mention, because a lot of studies will find that like I said that low to moderate drinking is better than complete abstainers. That's a little bit confusing though because people who abstain often were heavy drinkers. The data might be a little bit convoluted and that it can be hard to separate people who don't drink at all from people who were alcoholics and just aren't drinking now. That was all over the place. Cynthia, I'll let you provide some perspectives.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, you brought up some really good points. Like you said, at the very beginning of the answer that question is, there's almost always research that will support whatever prevailing philosophy you have. I do, however, want to be very transparent and say that one of the things about alcohol that lot of people don't talk about is, people drink alcohol because they think it helps them sleep. We know that it disrupts your REM sleep, it reduces melatonin, it increases cortisol, it dysregulates your blood sugar. For people who suffer with hot flashes, it can actually make them worse. The vasomotor symptoms, a lot of people experience in perimenopause and menopause. There's actually some research to demonstrate that alcohol, of course, is considered to be a toxin and it can actually shrink the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that actually helps regulate the HPA or the hypothalamus pituitary axis, which why is that important because this is our main communicator from our brain to our endocrine system. If this is dysregulated and for a lot of people it has been. We've dealt with a lot of stress the last two years. And so, a lot of the work that I do is helping people understand the interrelationship between stress and the net impact on the body. 

The other thing that I would mention that I think is important about alcohol, as we know, it impairs estrogen metabolism. Most of our estrogen metabolism occurs in the liver. We have Phase 1 and Phase 2 liver detoxification. It's important to understand that this puts a burden on the liver. If you're drinking excessively and often they can actually impair the way that your body packages up and gets rid of estrogen. Melanie touched on earlier, we can get exposed to estrogen mimicking chemicals in our environment, personal care products and food, and you laid that on with a lot of alcohol drinking, it can really up your risk of things like fibroids, and even breast cancer. It's interesting a lot of the work that I do is looking at women's breast cancer risks. And so, you really have to make the decision that makes most sense for you. There's no judgement from either of us about whether people choose to drink or they don't choose to drink, but you want to make sure that you're doing it responsibly. Obviously, if you're drinking alcohol to help you sleep, it really isn't helping you sleep. If you're drinking alcohol to help manage stress, we have to be thinking broadly about ways that we can manage that really effectively. 

The last thing that I want to add is that I moved from a very much a drinking culture, the environment that I lived in, in my last city. I think for a lot of women, there's the mommy drinking culture and just being aware, building awareness about our habits, and how that can influence decisions that we make the joke is, I don't drink alcohol because it's the only thing that gives me hot flashes and it wrecks my sleep, and so that's my personal choice. But obviously, I work with many women who do choose to drink alcohol. I always look at it from a very objective opinion to make sure that people fully understand the impact of alcohol and just being responsible about it. I think that's the big takeaway that I would say that I think is important that I love that this young woman is so concerned about her in laws and wants to help educate them about good decision making. Maybe it really needs to just come from a place of sometimes with men I feel if you're really straightforward and just let them know, actually, it's not helping your sleep, let's think of some other ways to help you sleep. That might be an effective strategy.

Melanie Avalon: I love that and I also think it's important-- I know Cynthia and I have talked about this. I think it's very possible to understand that alcohol may or may not work for some people, and may be a detriment to some people, and still provide a resource to people who do want to drink. So, the Dry Farm Wines, for example, because Cynthia, you don't drink, right?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I don't. I made that decision during the pandemic because I was like, “It's the only thing that makes me get hot flashes and it just wrecks my sleep.” In my hierarchy of my life, as a 50-year-old woman, my sleep is pretty important. [laughs] Because of that the one thing that I needed to eliminate and it's amazing to me, Melanie, how triggering that is for people. I always say like, “I don't judge what other people do.” We even had a party at our house last night and it made people uncomfortable that I wasn't drinking. I said, “I'm totally fine. I'm here drinking my LMNT electrolytes and I'm great. I'm totally happy,” because I'm not going to go to bed dehydrated, I'm not going to go to bed and wreck my sleep, I'm going to hit the pillow, and I'm not going to wake up until I wake up. It's a very interesting dynamic as I try to navigate reassuring people, I'm completely fine in this space. There are no issues that I have whatsoever. People choose to drink. Of course, my husband drinks responsibly, but it's an interesting place to navigate. Figuring out what works best for us and the N of 1 that very powerful value of bio-individuality figuring out what works for you or what doesn't.

Melanie Avalon: It's similar to I feel, if you are doing fasting and you're not partaking in the food situation for whatever reason at a social gathering and people can be very triggered or pressure you to that you need to be eating to enjoy yourself. Especially if I go to, so, not like a dinner, but a gathering where there's food involved, I'll often just not eat. I just would be happier if I go and then I'll eat later. It's so interesting, people-- the social pressure. I used to really struggle with it, but now, I just realized like, “I don't owe anybody anything. I can just do what will make me feel the best in the situation.” But social pressure is definitely very interesting. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: Going back to the Dry Farm Wines, so, you don't drink and I don't want to put words in your mouth, but based on the conversation that we just had, I think we can both understand for some people that they do have a healthy relationship with alcohol and for them it's beneficial that we can provide a resource like Dry Farm Wines, for example. So, for the people who do want to drink can do it in the healthiest way.

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly, they have healthy choices. Yeah. I think one of the things I did not know, until I dove down that wine rabbit hole is just how many contaminants are in wine, and how they're exposed to so many chemicals, and how most of the wineries here in the United States really don't even protect consumers. That was something that when I found that out, I was like, “Wow.” I make good use of buying Dry Farm Wines for family members or friends as gifts and just to try to introduce them to products that are certainly cleaner and safer.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. For listeners, who aren't familiar with Dry Farm Wines, because it's really shocking if you think about it. If you go buy a bottle of wine, there's not a label. There's not a nutrition label. It doesn't show the ingredients. You would think it's just fermented grapes, but it's not usually, especially in conventional wines in the US, they have additives, they have stabilizers, they have colorizers, there's something called mega purple, which is actually to make wine look more purple. If you've ever had wine, especially if it's cheaper wine and you've noticed that it really stains your teeth like red, wine shouldn't do that. Not to the extent that it can when you're drinking cheap wine. It's not from the grapes. It's from this mega purple color additive, which is just shocking to me. Dry Farm Wines, I am obsessed with Dry Farm Wines. They're all a drink. 

They go throughout Europe and they won't even do wines from the US, because they said none of the wines in the US meet their standards. They find all of these wineries practicing organic practices, because there are a lot of wineries that are being organic, but they don't have the time or the money to get an organic certification. They test the wines and then they make sure the wines are free of toxins, free of additives, free of mold, free of pesticides, dry farmed, meaning, they're not pumped up with water. The wines are also low alcohol and low sugar. They're all 12.5% alcohol or less and they're all less than, is it 0.5 or one gram of sugar. They're all low sugar. When I drink Dry Farm Wines, it's such a difference. When I drink “normal wine” if I'm at a dinner or something I'm like, “Oh, this is either too sweet or high alcohol.” I really, really recommend them. You can actually get a bottle for a penny at our link which is at dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast. I as well, Cynthia, I gift it to so many people, especially when the holidays come, I'm like, “Okay, just going to send the Dry Farm Wines to all the people.”

Cynthia Thurlow: No, and it's so easy. It's funny. My husband really likes their reds. The thing about Dry Farm Wines is you get three bottles, or you get six bottles, or 12 bottles. And so, they pick them out for you and my husband, who is pretty picky about his red wine, actually, he's really liked what they've been sending recently.

Melanie Avalon: I think they've really evolved because I've been promoting them since almost a long time. In the beginning, I just think they found so many more wineries that the wines just continued to get better and better. What's really cool you can do, I did this literally yesterday because like Cynthia said, you get a mixed collection of wines. You don't choose them. If there's one that you really like, you can actually email them and order that bottle specifically. You can do an order of three. I asked if I could get two of one and then one of another, and they were actually out of the one, but they said they would pick one that was similar to it, and put that in there. So, I'm excited.

Cynthia Thurlow: Do you want to hear a fun fact? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. I love fun facts.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. I am speaking at an event in July here in Virginia, which never happened. Like unicorn event in Virginia and it's me, and Vinnie Tortorich, and Dr. Phil Ovadia, who's this cardiovascular surgeon who's changed his life by eating a low-carb lifestyle, and fasting, and then actually, Todd White will be there. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, nice.

Cynthia Thurlow: I’ll get to meet him in person.

Melanie Avalon: I've actually interviewed him twice, I think. Have you interviewed him on your show?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not. It's on our fall to-do list. As I'm sure is a podcast, you have a podcast where you have people and we're booking into December, and some people want us to create other slots, and I'm really, now that the book launch is behind me, I'm trying to be very deliberate about my availability. Because as an example, I have three podcasts this week to record and sometimes, the unicorns pop up and you have to say yes. Both you and I are interviewing Mark Sisson this week, which is really super-duper exciting. It's hard to find balance. I struggle constantly and one thing I've told my family is heading into the summer, I'm always working in my business. But I'm only working in my business where I'm visible on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays this summer, because I want to be able to spend time with my kids and not be working constantly. So, hopefully, I'll get to interview him in the fall.

Melanie Avalon: For Mark Sisson, was that a last minute? Was that a spontaneous thing?

Cynthia Thurlow: It was. The opportunity came up, I was told he was in town literally, in the country for two days. And so, I was like, “I have an opening on Tuesday. I'll make that happen.” So, it was that spontaneous.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. I wonder if the two days are-- Because I'm interviewing him the day after you.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, exactly. I think that's exactly what it is and then I think he's out of the country again. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. That's amazing. 

Cynthia Thurlow: So, yeah. When you have those unicorn interviews and one thing I think is really cool about-- I know this isn't relevant to this podcast, but I'm sure listeners, we've interviewed some people, we've had overlap and others we haven't, but I've listened to your interviews that I've done interviews with, and we get different information. If you're a really good interviewee, you can get different information. I'm sure you probably have interviewed people that they spout the same rhetoric to everyone they talk to, but I think we've been fortunate that we've been able to interview some pretty dynamic individuals that really make interviewing them. It’s just such a blessing, it's such an amazing experience.

Melanie Avalon:  I know. I am so grateful and I'm so excited to see how both of our interviews go.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm sure Mark doesn't remember me, but I met him actually in-- Not intentionally met him. I literally was not paying attention. My head was going in one direction, my body was going another, and I bumped into him. He was very polite and that's what struck me he was incredibly polite. I didn't realize, when I ran into him who it was until I fan geeked after he walked away and then I was like, “Oh, my God, I just ran into Mark Sisson. How does that happen?” And he could not have been more polite.

Melanie Avalon: I love that. I love that. Can I tell you what was my funniest celebrity run and moment that but I didn't realize like yours that you didn't realize? This is so funny. I was doing a really small little feature bit in a commercial. I didn't know much about the project and so the director came up to me, and he said his name, and I didn't really hear, and then I said, “Sorry, what was your name again?” He said his name then he walked aside, and then I specifically sought him out and said like, “Sorry, what was your name again?” It was Lance Bass.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I guess, that's forgivable. I think it's good to be humbled. I really, really think it's important to be humbled. It's been my experience. Sometimes, I go to events or places and everyone knows me. Sometimes, I go to events and people, no one knows me. I always say to my husband, he's usually with me, “It's actually good to be humbled.” It's actually a good thing to sometimes have people not know who you are.

Melanie Avalon: It was just funny because I remember I said, “What was your name again?” He said, “Lance” and then I walked away and I was like, “Oh.” [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's hilarious. Like I said, it's good to be humbled, right?

Melanie Avalon: Growing up, I was very sheltered. I was like NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Britney. I was exposed to them through school and the skate rink, but they were not in my collection. I was not watching, listening to their stuff at home. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Okay. So, I'm now curious. What does “I was sheltered mean”? What does that represent? I want more information.

Melanie Avalon: A very Christian-- I don't want to say moral because that sounds you're not moral, if you're not Christian. But everything had to be filtered through focus on the Family, and nothing sexual, and so things like Britney Spears, and even NSYNC, and all of that was not something I was listening to the Christian pop stuff.

Cynthia Thurlow: Do want to hear something funny. The very first time I saw Britney Spears on a video, I was like, “Oh my gosh, she's going to be a flash in the pan.”

Melanie Avalon: Really? [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, because you have to remember, I was at different stage of life, I was in my 20s, and I was like, “What is this?” Because it was so highly sexualized. Her very first single that came out that I remember, we were at a party and of course all the guys were gawking at her. I remember just thinking like, “Oh, every other teenybopper teenage oversexualized singer that's out there. Where was I wrong?”

Melanie Avalon: Because I know a lot of people can feel they were suppressed or they could be resentful. I'm not a rebellious type and I don't feel bothered by that upbringing specifically. But even looking back now, I'm like, “Oh, yeah.” I don't think my mom was being crazy and not wanting me as like a third-grade girl to be watching Britney Spears’ stuff. Looking at it now, I'm like, “Oh, yeah, that is little bit sexual.” [chuckles] 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Well, and it's interesting because I view things through the eyes of a parent. My husband and I were making returns, which this is completely irrelevant to the conversation, but I'm going to just to share. I'm the type of person I'm now in a city where the shopping is terrible. I buy a bunch of stuff online and I just bring it all back. My husband was walking around with me as I was making these returns, and there were a couple of young women that passed us who were probably teenagers, maybe early 20s, and my husband was like, “Thank God, we have boys because I don't know what I would do if my daughter walked out of the house with her boobs hanging out and super short, booty shorts. I know that a lot of that's the style.” It's not a judgment. It was just funny that he said that because of course, the boys there're a lot less options for them and certainly, there's not stuff hanging out when they go out. But it's very interesting viewing things as a parent like things that maybe weren't on my radar in my 20s and 30s that I now seen, I'm like, “Oh, God, that's bad.” Meaning, that's an oversexualized representation of what a young woman could be doing for herself positively or negatively.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Friday nights were the Friday night skate nights and I loved it because that's when I got to hear all the music, because it's really-- It was the prime time of really good solid pop music. Her music’s really amazing for pop. [laughs] So, needless to say, that is why I did not recognize Lance Bass is my excuse.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's a good thing. You probably humbled him enormously.

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Melanie Avalon: Okay. And then to briefly address Denite’s other question and I'll go ahead and read the second question we had because it all ties together. So, Deborah, her subject was: “LDL higher since IF.” She just said, “I've gotten my best friend to join me in IF, but after only two months her blood work came back with an LDL of 148. Previously, it was completely normal. Her son, who was an RN told her that's why he stopped IF. Help, research on this,” and then as a refresher, so, Denite’s question was about “Intermittent fasting for lowering cholesterol and actually advocating it to her in-laws” and did we have any thoughts about that? So, fasting and cholesterol.

Cynthia Thurlow: Okay, I think everyone by now knows my whole background as an NP for 16 years was in cardiology, so, you better believe I have seen a lot of lipid panels, both straightforward lipid panels, which are total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and then advanced lipid analysis. Number one, I don't really worry about total cholesterol. In fact, we don't want it to be too low. I had patients on very, very powerful lipid-lowering agents and when their total cholesterol got close to 100, you have to remember what cleaves off of cholesterol that includes our sex hormones. How many patients had erectile dysfunction and other issues related to too low cholesterol? You don't want to be looking for a too low of a total cholesterol. I'm not sure if she was specifically referring to triglycerides and HDL, which I typically see being abnormal, meaning, triglycerides over 150, HDL for men being under 45, women under 55, we know those are pathologic. With that being said, I do generally, when I see someone with an LDL that's “abnormal.” I want more information and I actually don't think 148 for an LDL is all that bad. What you want is more information. You want an advanced lipid analysis, you want to look at particle size. This is super important because not all LDL is bad. 

I think we have to start really re-familiarizing ourselves. This includes healthcare professionals and the general public. There are a lot of physicians, and nurses, and nurse practitioners who are practicing with 30-year-old medicine. I see it all the time because I get this question probably five or six times a week. The first thing is you need more information. You need to do an advanced lipid analysis, we used to call it a VAP. I'm not sure what your insurance coverage will cover or even if your physician or nurse practitioner even going to order this, but it is generally covered by insurance. It's looking at LDL particle size. You want light and fluffy like light, fluffy, non-atherogenic. LDL cholesterol is benign. That's actually what I have. Number two, if it's small and dense and you also have concomitant risk factors for cardiovascular disease, or you are insulin resistant, or diabetic, then you've got work to do. Generally, first line of defense is lifestyle management. Can intermittent fasting be part of that? Absolutely. Have I read anything that suggests that you're going to have a worsening of your lipid panel relevant to fasting? No, but it's interesting. 

I always think about Dave Feldman's work. He's an engineer, entrepreneur, and he is doing research in this area. He's changing the way clinicians are practicing because of the work that he's doing. There's actually something called a Lean Mass Hyper Responder. It is beyond the scope of this discussion, but I highly recommend you check out my podcast that I did with him at the tail end of 2020. He's doing a lot of really interesting research. There are a lot of people who actually in a low carb, ketogenic fasted state will actually produce more cholesterol, but it's not pathogenic. I definitely encourage you to dig a little bit deeper, get those advanced lipid analysis done, they are covered by insurance. Not all LDL is bad and I want that to die a death on a hill, because there are a lot of people that are stressed and worried needlessly. 

The other thing that I want to reemphasize is, we do not want our total cholesterol to be too low. When someone says it's high, my question is always quantify it. When you're sending us questions, please tell us how old you are and [chuckles] please tell us, what it is that? If it's too high, tell me what that is, tell me what the lab is, so that I can at least lay my eyes on it. But I would say don't fast because of your concerns relevant to total cholesterol, which is bogus. Not saying you're bogus, but the claims that fasting is somehow going to hurt your cholesterol are bogus. The other thing is if you're told that your LDL is “too high,” you want more information before you get yourself into a panic.

Melanie Avalon: I thought that was very comprehensive and you have so much more of a knowledge base about this than I do. So, I'm super grateful for that. The only thing I will add to it is that if you google, go to Google Scholar, you can actually find a lot of studies looking at fasting and cardiovascular health. I'll put links in the show notes to one I found because it was about this specifically. It was time restricted eating to improve cardiovascular health and it was a 2021 review. Looking at everything, but basically, it concluded that the effects of fasting on cholesterol tend to improve parameters when it comes to that and decrease total cholesterol, even though I know Cynthia was just talking about that's not necessarily always the thing, but does it have a beneficial effect on LDL? Interestingly, some studies sometimes don't find any effects on HDL. Not really sure what's going on there, but in general fasting seems to have a beneficial effect on our cholesterol panels. Something that people can experience is an increase in cholesterol transiently due to weight loss. So, that can be something to consider because basically if you're freeing up all of the stored fat, and triglycerides, and it can lead to a transient increase in cholesterol levels. But it's not necessarily-- It doesn't mean that they're increasing over the long term. Then one other last thing I was going to mention-- what was it? Wait, it'll come to me.

Cynthia Thurlow: One thing I just wanted to say while you're thinking about that is, you think about the reduction in inflammation, and oxidative stress, and the improvement in mitochondrial efficiency relevant to vis-à-vis, eating less frequently and changing your macros is pretty significant. That's just something to keep in mind. I think unfortunately, we, and I say we as an allopathic trained physicians and nurses many times just are so reactionary instead of thinking, “What could be going on?” I try to be very, very respectful of my peers and there are a lot of people doing some tremendous work, but this is definitely an area of medicine that I’ve gotten more and more outspoken about that we really need to turn the tide and stop focusing on the wrong parameters.

Melanie Avalon: I thought of it and also I'm so glad that you said that because that was something I wanted to touch on was, I think it can be a little bit nearsighted to just look at fasting, because with Deborah's question, she's talking about fasting was the thing that raised her LDL, which unlikely to me, but the broader context of the effects of dietary interventions is just huge. I would look at diet as a key player in your cholesterol. But the two things I just thought of, one was, I interviewed Azure Grant on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Her focus is actually ultradian rhythms. Basically, the different time rhythms in cells and she's done a lot of work that helped influence the work of Oura Ring. That's how I was connected to her through Harpreet, who used to be the CEO of Oura. But in any case, she has a fascinating study where they tested cholesterol levels and a group of people constantly throughout the day, which is super cool. These people were testing their cholesterol, which must have been very unpleasant with all of the pricks, but all throughout the day. The fluctuations in the levels were crazy. Every single person at some point during the day had a result that went into the pathological levels, even if they probably didn't have a pathological panel. 

The point of that is that when you test, it was 148, but if you had tested at a different time during that day, it might have been completely different. I think that's why it's actually important to be regularly monitoring these things. I use InsideTracker to keep all of my data together and it's amazing because I can see over time. I put my cholesterol panels in there because we can get really microscopic, and just see this one result, and it can be hard to see the overall picture of like, “What does my panel look like in general? Where am I moving, where am I trending, how are the different levels relating?” I have my cholesterol levels since I started using InsideTracker in 2019. And looking at those graphs, it has been very, very helpful for me, I think get a more, I guess, telling picture of what's happening. But yeah, a lot of good stuff. I got to interview Dave Feldman some time.

Cynthia Thurlow: He's amazing. We spoke together at Keto Salt Lake, and that was the first time I had met him, and my husband got to meet him in person. Dave went on a tangent talking to me to a level that at one point, I was like, “Dave, you just blew my mind.” He's absolutely one of the smartest people I've ever met and just brilliant. He's doing cutting edge research in relationship to LDL particles, and cholesterol, and he's really changing the narrative for medicine, and I'm just so very grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with him, and also be his friends. I would absolutely encourage you to connect with him. He's just so smart. He'll blow your mind. [laughs] He'll have a good meeting of the minds with him for sure.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so fascinated by all of the cholesterol stuff because it is just so debated. There are some really intense camps. It's confusing. 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 at ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode271. The show notes will have all of the links to everything that we talked about, which was a lot of stuff, as well as a full transcript. So, definitely check that out. And then you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_ and our joint account is @ifpodcast. So, definitely check that out. All righty, well, Cynthia, enjoy your trip.

Cynthia Thurlow: I can't wait. I'm so excited. I'll be posting as much as I can photos of our journey. But I'm really so excited and it's been a very exciting last six months, but I am ready to disconnect and get rejuvenated. We took a big vacation in December and I planned this at the same time knowing that I would need it, and I'm so glad that I did.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I am so excited for you. I can't wait to see and hear all about it. Actually, I'm glad we're talking about this now. For listeners, since Cynthia will be traveling, next week, we're going to air an episode that I did recently with Rick Johnson. Cynthia and I are both major fans of Rick. His work is so mind blowing. Get really excited because I think you guys are really going to enjoy it. That'll be next week. So, all righty, well, this has been absolutely wonderful and I will talk to you in two weeks.

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good, my friend. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

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! 

 

 

Jun 19

Episode 270: Window Creep, Busting Old Habits, Low Dopamine, Protein Absorption, Whey Powders, Cheese Making, Branch Chain Amino Acids, mTor, 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:

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

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

20:10 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

22:45 - Listener Q&A: Christina - Struggle with Habits

Never Binge Again™: How Thousands of People Have Stopped Overeating and Binge Eating - and Stuck to the Diet of Their Choice! (Glenn Livingston, Ph.D.)

The Little Book of Big Change: The No-Willpower Approach to Breaking Any Habit (Amy Johnson, Ph.d.)

The Melanie Avalon biohacking Podcast Episode #23 - Dr. Amy Johnson

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Charles Duhigg)

Play Audible sample Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones (James Clear)

34:35 - Listener Q&A: Angela - Intermittent Fasting

How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution

Reduced resting skeletal muscle protein synthesis is rescued by resistance exercise and protein ingestion following short-term energy deficit

44:20 - AVALONX SERRAPEPTASE: 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!

47:30 - Listener Q&A: Margaret - Protein Question

go to marigoldfoods.com and use the code CYNTHIA for an exclusive discount!

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

Use the code Melanieavalon at melanieavalon.com/perfectamino for an exclusive discount!

MyWhey

Opportunitias

1:00:20 - Listener Q&A: Maggie - Are They Lying to Me?

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 270 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 if it's that time and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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

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

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

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Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 270 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow. How are you today, Cynthia?

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

Melanie Avalon: I'm doing very well. Do you like the change to the hotter temperatures with the summer?

Cynthia Thurlow: I tend to be someone that likes-- I like the springtime and the fall and the part of the country I'm in, we go from being comfortable in the 60s and 70s, right into 95 degrees with 95% humidity. Although, I enjoy warmer weather, when we get to the sultry soppy summer here in Central Virginia, then I am like, “You know, I don't love this. The dogs don't like to walk as far.” My hair gets really frizzy. Again, these are first world problems, but I do like warmer weather. But if I could find the perfect climate where I didn't have as much humidity that would be perfect. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: Same here. Listeners know this well, but I am obsessed with the cold. I actually have discovered a new hack though for the summer. I'm doing it right now. I'm going to do it every single day as long as it's hot. Would you like to know what it is? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: I got those cold packs for like muscle pain and I freeze them and then I strap them to my body and wear them all day. 

Cynthia Thurlow: That's amazing. 

Melanie Avalon: So, it's underneath my dress right now. There's something about, I don't know, I like my baseline state feeling cool. And it's hard to achieve that when it's hot outside.

Cynthia Thurlow: I sleep-- When we go to bed, my kids and my husband have now acclimated to the temperature of 64 degrees at bedtime. I love being cold inside. I actually enjoy it. Right now, I have my typical mom uniform of like Lululemon tights and a sports bra, and I've got a long sleeve shirt on. And, obviously we're recording two podcasts today. But for me, I can't stand being hot. During the day, I hate being hot in my environment. So, if I couldn't get comfortable in my environment that would be a distraction. But I think that we definitely share that. I'm definitely at the stage of life where I laugh and I always say, the only two circumstances that I'm going to share that I will get a hot flash number one is if I drink alcohol, which is why I don't drink alcohol and then number two is, if I'm in an ambient temperature that's too warm, I'll actually start to get hot flashes. 

For me, there's a very therapeutic amount of cool that I need in my environment to stay in a position where I'm very homeostatic. So, I think we're totally in agreement. Although I would imagine your ambient air conditioner temperature’s probably lower than where mine is. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. During the day, I keep it at 67, and at night 60. I was actually yesterday, though pondering this either/or question which I'm so glad I don't have to make this decision. But I was thinking and I'd be curious your answer, would you rather be very hot all the time, uncomfortably hot, but be able to fast or be cold all the time, but not be able to fast?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think neither sounds ideal because I can tell you when I'm really uncomfortably hot, even in the middle of summer, the difference between my appetite when I'm cooler versus too warm. When I'm hot, when we head into summertime, even if we go out to dinner and we do something, I don't want to eat a whole lot. I just don't feel comfortable. And then if it's the other extreme, I guess I might pick being cold because if I could still have several hours in between meals, I could probably acclimate better to that. But when I'm too hot, too ambient temperature, too warm, then I'm less likely to eat anything. 

Melanie Avalon: That's why I was thinking about it because I was reflecting on how and I'm really hot. Like the last thing I want to do is eat and how I'm so grateful for fasting during the summer. So, I was thinking about that. And I get flashbacks. have you been Gone with the Wind?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have. It's a very long movie, but it's lovely. 

Melanie Avalon: It is very long. I don't know if you remember it might be the opening scene, but I just know she's like wearing this massive dress and it just looks like the south and they're complaining about how hot it is. And she's about to go to the party and her mom's like, “You have to eat all this food before you go.” And I remember when I watched it, I was like, “Ugh. Why? Why would you want to be in the southern south plantation wearing all these clothing and eating your breakfast?”

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting. I was born in South Carolina and my father's side of the family. We still have family there. And my grandmother, who was born and raised her entire life in South Carolina. I remember asking her, “What was it like before the advent of air conditioning?” And she said-- I'm not exaggerating. So, she lived in Charleston, and she said, “We didn't move a whole lot, so that's why everyone had porches and that's why you'd sit outside.” But she said it was really, really miserable.

Melanie Avalon: Like not being able to escape the heat. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Well, I mean, they talk about how the south really got settled after the advent of air conditioning because the southeast of the United States gets uncomfortably hot and humid.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. Well, I have one more super random fun fact. May I share it? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. 

Melanie Avalon: This is so random. So, I apologize in advance, but it just blew my mind. And I think about it every time I experience it now and I just need to share it with listeners. As listeners know, I'm very obsessed with scallops. Have we talked about this before?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think you've shared that with me. It might have been personally. 

Melanie Avalon: Do you like scallops? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. My husband hates them. So, I don't eat them a lot but I do like them.

Melanie Avalon: That's fortunate though because they're so expensive. Have you ever bought a bag of frozen scallops though? 

Cynthia Thurlow: No. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Have you seen a bag of frozen scallops? Probably not.

Cynthia Thurlow: Not recently.

Melanie Avalon: So, for anybody who buys a bag of frozen scallops, there are sometimes bright. There's like a bright orange scallop. This happened to me the other night and I freaked out because I thought it was like bacteria or sick or something. So, I threw it in the trash. And then I thought about it more. And I was like, “You know what? Maybe there's something going on. Maybe that wasn't a bacteria,” so I researched it. Do you know what causes bright orange scallops?

Cynthia Thurlow: Is it like exposure to something while they're maturing?

Melanie Avalon: No. Here's a hint. It has to do with flamingos being pink. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Isn't it plankton that makes them pink?

Melanie Avalon: Astaxanthin, it's an antioxidant. So, if you see an orange scallop, it is a female scallop spawning. 

Cynthia Thurlow: No way. 

Melanie Avalon: Isn't that crazy?

Cynthia Thurlow: I didn't know they had genders. I was like, “Hmm,” they're a little more advanced than I thought they were, like, it's just the scallop. [laughs] They have genders I would not have known.

Melanie Avalon: I know. When I read that, this is going to sound crazy, but I just tossed in the trash and I was like on top of like, because I eat so many cucumbers. It was just on top of cucumber peel. So I pulled it back out because I was like, “Oh, this is really high in nutrients.” A little fun fact, I've been like dying to share that for like a month.

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm so honored that you decided and learned something new, Melanie. [laughs] I didn't know that scallops had gender. So, it just goes to show you clearly how little I understand about scallop physiology.

Melanie Avalon: Me, too. So, but what's interesting is none of the articles that I read when I looked that up, none of them mentioned the nutritional effect of that. But my first thought was, “Well, that's an antioxidant, so this is probably a more nutritious scallop.” 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's fascinating. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. In any case, would you like to share anything or shall we jump in?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, no, I'm super excited. I will be on vacation for the first time in six months in a little over 10 days.

Melanie Avalon: That’s very exciting. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm very excited. My whole team is probably not excited but I'm very excited because I was like, “I am going to unplug.” 

Melanie Avalon: Where are you going again? I know this. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. So, we are flying to Prague and so we'll spend three days in Prague, and then we will be going to Germany and Slovakia and Austria and then we'll end up in Budapest. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. 

Cynthia Thurlow: As much as I've been all over the world, I have not actually been to Eastern Europe, I'm embarrassed to admit, but my youngest has been learning German. And he has been begging, begging for two years to be able to go to Germany. And so I thought this would be a unique/fun way to see that part of Europe, and then decide for ourselves like where we wanted to go back to.

Melanie Avalon: Germany is the other country besides the US I have been to the most.

Cynthia Thurlow: Really? 

Melanie Avalon: We have family there. My family's from there.

Cynthia Thurlow: My maternal grandmother, her family's from Germany. And the interesting thing about my grandparents’ fun fact is that my grandmother was German, and my grandfather was Italian and so having a romance in the midst of World War II was very controversial, if you will.

Melanie Avalon: Wow. My grandmother was German and came over on a boat to the US and met my grandfather here. She was like younger during World War II. Where are you going? What part of Germany?

Cynthia Thurlow: We're doing a Danube cruise. So, we've never done a cruise before. However, I've had friends like really rave about a river cruise because it's very small. It's really devoted to families that’s not just retirees that was my biggest thing. We don't want to be the only family going and then it's all retirees, no offense to retirees, of course. So we will be in Regensburg, which is, I think, the best-preserved baroque architecture in that part of Europe because it was untouched during World War II. So, we'll be there. And then we go down to Vilshofen to get on the boat, and then we sail from there. So, we're actually spending the most time in Prague, but I've been wanting to go to the Czech Republic for a long time.

Melanie Avalon: I can't wait to see pictures. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I'm excited. I'm just hoping that my teenagers, here's an interesting fun fact. So, if you've been to Europe with kids, you probably know after a certain age, you have to get two rooms. So, we managed in Prague to have just like a family suite, which is great, we all get to be together. And then when we go on the ship, we have adjoining rooms, but my teenagers will be in one room, my husband and I will be in another. And trying to explain to them that when we all go to bed, there's no getting out to go check out the ship. And I'm not worried, my kids are actually pretty obedient about that, but they're both boys, they're both teenagers and they're like disgusted having to share a bed. They're like, “No way.” 

And I just looked at both of them and I was like, “I don't want to hear anyone complain because you were so fortunate that you get to go on this trip, that I'm not listening to any of this.” They're like, “Can I just sleep on the floor?” I'm like, “No, you're not sleeping on the floor.” Provided that the teenagers are like not grumpy and hormonal, we will have a great time.

Melanie Avalon: Have you seen the TV show White Lotus?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I’ll just put a recommendation. It's my favorite TV show of recent time. I’m actually really curious if you like it or not, there's just a teenager in it that sleeps on the floor. So that's why I thought about it. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I'll have to check it out. Yeah, it's funny. Obviously, we have same gender children. So, I just looked at them and said, “You're just going to have to suck it up.” “No, I'm not giving up my bed, so that you can have a bed all to yourself.” I was like, “You should really be very grateful for the opportunity to be able to take this trip.” And normally they're great. They actually really enjoy traveling but I'm just crossing my fingers that the hormones will not be keeping them in a position where I will be frustrated. Usually, they're pretty good. 

Melanie Avalon: And they're 16?

Cynthia Thurlow: 16 and 14. I've enjoyed every stage is apparent, but I especially enjoyed this stage because they have definitive likes and things that we're interested in and we have a pretty active itinerary which is great because I have one kid who needs the mental stimulation of being busy. And we have to find the happy medium because three of us are introverts, and then said child who likes to be going 24/7 has to kind of slow down a little bit, which is good for him. But it's always an interesting balance with both of them.

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Shall we jump into some intermittent fasting-related things for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This question is from Christina and the subject is “Struggle with habits.” “I have been doing IF since 2019. I had window creep that lasted approximately two years. And now I'm back to longer fasts. During the creep, I would fast maybe 12 to 15 hours. Now I'm pushing to get back to 19 to 20. How long does it take to actually not have the urge to swing by Starbucks in the morning? I seem to have been fighting that urge for the past month and a half since I started the longer fast again. I know IF makes me feel a million times better. My back stops hurting and my energy level goes up. Knowing that, why isn't it easier to do what makes me feel better? Looking forward to Cynthia's perspective on IF. Thanks, ladies.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Christy. Well, thank you so much for your question. A lot of things going on here. First of all, your question about how long does it take to not have the urge to swing by Starbucks in the morning. So obviously, I say obviously, but that's something that I think obviously is going to vary by each individual. Some people can jump right in and be good and others it takes a really long time to deal with urges and old habits and things. I'd be super curious, actually, Cynthia, when you started fasting, do you have any urges that were hard to break? Like, was it hard transition for you? And did you just jump in right away or did you slowly transition to fasting?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's a good question, I would say that I pretty quickly got into a 16:8 pattern to start. I always feel like the last hour for me, if I'm really hungry can be a challenge. But I recognize that that's not necessarily the norm. When someone tells me that they're struggling with a longer fast, I started thinking about, “Where are you in your menstrual cycle? Are you still menstruating? How's your sleep and what's your stress management?” And the other piece is getting enough protein in your feeding window the day before? Because one of two things is happening. There's insufficient protein intake which helps the satiety in a lot of levels, this is my feeling or they're trying to fast in a time during their menstrual cycle if they are still menstruating, really they should be backing off. 

And I think that the average person when they try to push longer fasts around their cycle, they'll find that if they just lean into what their body needs them to do that more than likely, it won't feel like such an overwhelming task. Meaning, if it's the week before your menstrual cycle, maybe you need to be fasting 12 or 13 hours. And then when you start bleeding, you can open up that fasting window again. But those are my initial thoughts. But I definitely was one of those people that once I started fasting, I felt so good that it wasn't a challenge to fast for at least 16-18 hours. And that could be that I'm just odd or weird. But feeling good to me just made such a big difference that I didn't feel like it was actually all that hard for me. But I might just be unique.

Melanie Avalon: The way I started because I don't even know if we-- in all of our conversations if we've talked about our genesis stories, but I was going to do fasting as an experiment, the one meal a day approach because I read online, this blog post written by Rusty Moore. And this was like back before, I mean, Facebook was there, but groups weren't like a thing or anything like that. It was really just the days of like reading blog posts that had lots of comments on them. And there's just one post, I wonder if it's still up, it might be. And it was about eating one meal a day to lose weight. And I was like, “I'm just going to try this for a week.” And I jumped in. I thought it was going to be really hard. It just wasn't. 

What's interesting is I literally remember my first day doing it because I was working on my friend's film set, and I was in college at USC. And I just remember like drinking tea all day from the craft services table. But I just felt so good and that I just never stopped. 

Back to Christy's question. I love what she asked about why isn't it easier to do it makes me feel better, even though she knows that she feels better with IF, but like Cynthia was saying, there's a physical aspect to this. So, how are you actually approaching your fast and is it supported? Are you actually in a state where you shouldn't be hungry because of your dietary choices and the support that you're getting, or you should be hungry because of your menstrual cycle or not eating enough or things like that. But then there's the mental aspect to it. So, you're having the urge to go buy Starbucks, that is probably a very habit driven, dopamine driven thing that has arguably nothing to do with the actual fasting. It's something that is a habit for you.

And it would be so nice if we could talk ourselves into making the decisions that we know are best for us. But as people probably know that can be really hard to do and there are a lot of reasons for that. Our brains doesn't matter how much we know something is better for us in the long term. As a species, our bodies want to favor the immediate gains of any action because from an evolutionary perspective, it is certain. Basically, our bodies don't favor long-term health compared to short-term gains. We're always going to want to do the thing that will give us the most pleasure at that moment. When we have a habit that has taught us to get that dopamine hit and our body thinks it's something good for us, we want to just keep doing it. 

This is something where there're so many approaches to addressing this and changing habits. They all work for different people. So, you really have to just find what works for you. A resource that I do really like that I mentioned a lot on this show, and I'm really good friends with the author. And we've talked about this before how the title is a little bit misleading because it doesn't only apply to what the title says. It's more of a concept beyond that. But I really love, for example, Glenn Livingston's book Never Binge Again. His approach to all of this is identifying the voice in your head that is telling you to do the thing that you don't want to do. He calls it “the pig” in his book. There's a massive freedom and the ability to identify an urge that you're having for something, and realizing that you don't have to engage with it. And it sounds really simple to say, “Just don't do it.” Like who does that? You just don't do it. But when you have a reframe and realize that that is an option, like you can have these urges, and you can just not do it. You don't have to fight the urge. You don't have to debate with the urge. You can just not go to Starbucks. I know that sounds so simple, but that's why it’s, I think, important to read these books that talk about this in greater length. 

I also love Amy Johnson has a book called The Little Book of Big Change: The No-Willpower Approach to Breaking Any Habit. I really love her book as well. I've had her on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. So, I'll put a link to that in the show notes. She was actually so, so amazing. I had her on the show, and then I brought her back for her second book, which was called Just a Thought: A No-Willpower Approach to Overcome Self-Doubt and Make Peace with Your Mind. And I actually have an endorsement on that book, which was really an honor. But those are two good resources to check out. You could also check out Charles Duhigg. Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. But basically, there are a lot of resources here and I think the biggest reframe is that it doesn't have to go away. Like you're saying, like, “When is it going to go away?” It doesn't have to go away, you can always have these desires and urges, but you don't have to engage with them and I think that might be a freeing mindset to partake in.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that you bring up some really good points. I love Glenn Livingston's work. And ironically, today, I was scrolling through Instagram, while I was giving myself a break from writing. And Dr. [unintelligible [00:31:04] had some information on low dopamine signs, and so that plan of pleasure seeking and obviously Starbucks coffee is pretty benign, in comparison to some of the things that people will do in an essence to get a dopamine hit. But I agree with you with the reframe, and really just understanding it's a lot of its human nature, and so much of its habit because we're used to doing X, our body's like, “Oh, I want to get that pleasure hit.” So, there're so many different ways I always love the book Atomic Habits because it's these little changes that we make in our personal lives have a lot of impact. 

When someone feels like they're really struggling, the question is, “What are you wanting in the morning that you're not giving yourself?” And it probably isn't the food, it maybe you're used to getting sugar in your coffee at that time or maybe you're used to, like, we know, dairy can be very addictive, maybe you're looking for that hit in your brain in response to exposure to certain foods. I think there's a lot of different ways to look at this. And I would imagine there are a lot of listeners that are struggling with their own little things in their personal lives as well. I love chocolate and I don't allow myself to have chocolate every day. When I start getting that like urge or that desire, it's like, “Okay, what am I really looking for? Am I looking for a little bit of serotonin? What are other ways I can work on that without having to indulge in the chocolate.”

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you brought that up. And, yeah, because replacing it can be key because you are probably going to have an urge for something at that moment. If you have something that you replace it with that can be super, super helpful. I wonder, Christy, do you like normal black coffee without all of the other things, can that be something? Or could there be something else that you do during that time that you do instead is like a rule? And Atomic Habits, I haven't read it in forever. But it must be helping a lot of people because it has been on the New York Times bestseller list, like number one or number two for how many weeks?

Cynthia Thurlow: Forever. Actually, my publisher is his publisher. Every week when I get a list of the New York Times bestsellers, I always think, “Good for him.” But I think the reason why that book is so resonated with people is that it's not encouraging to take these extraordinary leaps. It's really making things small, digestible, so you can have these small wins, you can continue making small subtle changes that have a large impact. I actually read it every year, and I almost always-- in my groups I almost always encourage people to read it because I think, it's so insightful. And I feel like every time I read that book, I get something else out of it. I now have a physical copy and a copy on Audible, depending on my mood whenever I go to read it. It's like, “Do I want to listen to it or do I want to read it?” 

Melanie Avalon: Have you had him on the show? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not. I kind of thought he was like a unicorn. He's probably gotten to a point where he's so saturated with interviews. I've always said, “Well, if I have an opportunity, I think it'd be in a really amazing interview.” But I think sometimes when people's books are so successful, I would imagine they might get tired of talking about it. Maybe, maybe not.

Melanie Avalon: I was thinking that as well. We should put it out to the universe, that we interview him. All right. Well, hopefully that was helpful, Christy, and definitely write us back how this goes for you and if you find something that really works for you. Okay, so now we have two questions, both about protein. I'm going to read both of them. While I might read them both together, we'll see how it goes. The first one comes from Angela, the subject is “Intermittent Fasting” and Angela says, “Dear Cynthia,” oh, she addressed this to you. “Dear Cynthia, I am a qualified nutritional therapist, a fitness instructor as well as a functional medicine practitioner and I fast daily. I am postmenopausal and I like to fast 16 to 20 hours. My question is this, as it is so important to eat enough protein, how can one eat enough in a four-hour window, if it is true that you can only absorb 30 grams of protein in one sitting?” So actually, maybe we can start with this and I am so excited to talk about this.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. Well, this is one of my favorite topics. So, this is very timely. It's actually a misnomer that your body can only absorb 30 grams per sitting. In conversations that I've had with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, who I know you just interviewed, it's really over a 24-hour period of time. So, don't let that be a concern. However, and this is definitely one of those things that I get concerned about. We know that women's needs for protein actually increase in menopause. As you're getting older, we actually require a bit more protein. My concern is always if someone has a very small, narrow feeding window, especially if it's a woman, especially if it's a middle-aged woman, the question is always can you get enough protein in during your feeding window.

After many, many conversations with Gabrielle, who is also a friend of mine, 100 grams is about my threshold for recommendations. So, if you're not there, you need to start getting there. And I really fervently believe that we need to have variety in our fasting windows. And this may be a departure from other messages that have been shared on the podcast, and I respect people's opinions, but our bodies like variety, that's why we don't eat the same food every day, we don't do the same type of exercise every day. And so, I am a fan of us kind of shaking up our windows, and maybe for Angela, there would be value in maybe having a slightly wider eating window to allow her to get a bit more protein in, but I'm less concerned about people eating a certain amount of protein right round exercise, and more concerned that they're getting sufficient amounts of protein overall over a 24-hour period of time.

Melanie Avalon: I thought that was great. Thank you to, Cynthia, also just recently interviewed Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, and I can't wait to air it because it's going to be so, so helpful for our listeners. Yeah, she actually texted me right before we started recording. So, I'm going to tell her when we get off that, that we just talked about her at length on the show.

Cynthia Thurlow: I jokingly tell her that I quote her daily, like she's always in my head. And I don't know if I've shared this on the podcast. But when I first met Gabrielle, we spoke on a panel, together with Terry Wahls, and another individual, I'm embarrassed I can't remember her name, but she was lovely as well. And the first thing Gabrielle said to me other than “Hello, nice to meet you,” was, “I bet you're not eating enough protein.” And so, she has really made it her mission to make sure people understand how critically important it is. And I'm sure your interview with her is going to be phenomenal. I'm like waiting for her book to come out, so that I can interview her again. I'm just waiting.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I love what she's doing. She talked about in our interview, what you were just talking about with-- this idea about the cap on the absorption. And just to provide some more information about that for listeners, because I know people hear that all the time. And just so people can-- if they are presented with that they can know what is actually going on. So, I found this incredible study, it's called How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle building implications for daily protein distribution? I'll put a link to it in the show notes. And the show notes, by the way, are at ifpodcast.com/episode270. But it actually talks about where this idea started about the 30 grams. It's a few things. 

One, the 30 grams, it was based on studies where they would give fast-acting protein supplements, I think whey protein maybe. Basically, hit with a massive bolus all at once, which is not the equivalent of a meal of protein, which takes a long time to digest and absorb. You're going to have a much slower absorption if you're having protein in whole food form. Actually, when I interviewed Gabrielle, that's what she was saying, because I was telling her how I eat so much protein all at once. And she was saying, “Well, you'll digest it slower, so it'll be just a slower trip into your system.” But our body doesn't stop absorbing protein. Your body does not stop absorbing food. If that was the case, we could just, I don't know, then there wouldn't be any implications to eating more than 30 grams of protein, like, what happens, does it just magically disappear? No, it does get absorbed. There might be some limits and things like the maximum amount of mTOR stimulation that you can get at one time. There might be a cap as to the amount of muscle growth that you could get from any one given meal, but that doesn't change the ability to use that muscle or-- to use that protein if that makes sense. 

Actually, another interesting thing that I found speaking to with Cynthia was just talking about with the need for protein to support your body, this is not answering that specifically. But when I was going down the rabbit hole tangent researching this, I found a really interesting study called Reduced resting skeletal muscle protein synthesis is rescued by resistant exercise and protein ingestion following short-term energy deficit. So, I'm not advocating calorie restriction right now, that would actually be the antithesis of what we're talking about probably with the protein and the muscle support. Basically, what the study found was that if you're on a calorie restricted diet, you have less muscle protein synthesis potential. So, that's the ability to create muscle from protein. But the people in the study, if they did resistance training, so like muscle building, even in a calorie deficit, and then ate their meal, it was a wash out. Basically, it made it so that they had the same muscle protein synthesis rates as if they weren't on an energy deficit. 

The reason I bring that up and this is actually something that Gabrielle talks about in my episode as well, was there’re other ways, if your concern is supporting muscle, in addition to having ample protein, doing muscle resistance also supports the use of that protein to form muscle. So, that might be something, that's like another factor that you might want to keep in mind when you're trying to support your muscle health, especially with Angela being in menopause, and wanting to make sure that she really supports her muscles, so that was a little bit of a tangent.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's all really important. And I think the point that I want middle-aged women to understand is that sarcopenia is not a question of if, but when. One of the ways that we can ward off or lessen the impact of sarcopenia is eating enough high-quality protein and lifting weights. I think a lot of women don't understand and I would say men as well is that actually insulin resistance starts in our muscles. And so, it is critically important. I cannot tell you how much harder it is at 50 to maintain muscle mass than it was even 10 years ago. And that doesn't mean it's impossible, it just means I have to make a greater effort. And that's why I hope people really understand why it's so important. I know that we're giving some context to this, but when Gabrielle says muscles, the organ of longevity, it has a lot to do with the fact that a lot of the reason why we're dealing with an obesity epidemic is because people are so insulin resistant, they're also, as she refers to it under muscled. And so, I just think that this is a point that I hope I can continue to bring up over and over again to help remind people why it's so important. 

Even if maybe, you're getting in 50 grams of protein a day and you slowly work it up to 100, that's going to help, and lifting weights, even if it's bodyweight exercise will help. But it's really important for us when our sex hormones are fluctuating so significantly, that it makes it a whole lot harder to build or maintain muscle. So, I don't know how old Angela is. Sometimes it's helpful when I have that context. But I just wanted to make sure I reiterated that one point.

Melanie Avalon: I actually recently listened to an interview. Peter Attia did a guest interview. I don't remember who that guest was. But it was a deep, deep dive into this concept of insulin resistance starting at the muscle. But it was so incredible that he then did an AMA where they just basically deconstructed or walked listeners again through that episode because it was so complex that they wanted to just talk about it again. I'll put a link to that in the show notes, but if you want to learn more about the nitty gritty mechanics of how insulin resistance starts at the muscle, it's fascinating because they're basically a lot of potential ways that could happen. And they've figured out where the actual, like transport mechanism for that happening is happening. But, yes, so just a link for the show notes.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, the brilliant Peter Attia. I think I have everyone I know listening to his podcast, including my cousin who's a physician and is very impressed. [laughs]

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Okay, so we have another protein question. This is from Margaret and the subject is “Protein Questions.” So maybe it's questions. Margaret says, “Hey, y'all, thank you so much for your podcasts and books. My name is Margaret and I have been intermittent fasting for a little over two months now. And I've noticed a great improvement in my energy levels and gut health. I've only lost two to four pounds of scale weight, but I am down an inch and a half on my waist, an inch on my butt and both thighs. Yay. As we are getting into the springtime and I'm trying on my shorts, they all seem a little bit loose. I still have about 20 pounds I want to lose to get to my goal weight, but I can see how this lifestyle can just make me feel better regardless of the scale weight. I'm a very active person. I'm a physical therapist in hospital and I'm up on my feet walking all day for 11-to-12-hour shifts. 

On top of that, I do HIIT workouts usually four times a week and take my dogs on many miles of walks each week. When I do the workouts, I notice I can't quite make as long of a fast and can get very tired, because of this, I've been playing with my macros. Thanks, Melanie. And trying to up my carbs and really up my protein. I've been making protein shakes with fruits and eating protein bars. Adding all of this protein has really helped me to feel better and make my fast last a little longer. And my body isn't so achy, I don't naturally eat a lot of meat. I'm not a vegetarian, but upping too much meat just doesn't feel right on my stomach. I've always felt this way, but I've also found out recently I am type A blood type. Go figure."

And just as a side note, in the blood type world, they say that-- I think the A type is like the agrarian. It's something that they advocate to have less protein, which is why she's saying “Go figure.” But that's a whole tangent about blood type. Okay, she says, “I've just started to slowly cut out some of the ultra-processed foods that are in my diet, trying not to do too much at once, but slowly transitioning into better food choices. My question is, do you know of any protein powders, shakes or bars that are considered more clean than others? I don't want to cut these out of my diet because I feel so much better incorporating them into my eating window, but they seem ultra-processed because where in nature can you find protein powder? Should they just be the ish part of my diet? Or, are there any brands y'all can recommend? Thank you so much for everything you do. I look forward to hearing more podcasts in the future.” All right.

Cynthia Thurlow: Awesome. Well, Margaret, congratulations on slowly kind of changing your food frequency and making all these other lifestyle changes. It sounds like you're making really great progress. A couple things I would say that from my perspective, if you're slowly transitioning to a less processed diet, there's really no shame if you're choosing to utilize some protein powders, I tend to be very picky. And I really like Marigold way and we can actually include a discount code for you for that, but it's New Zealand way that's ultra-filtered and its really high quality, has very few ingredients. And their chocolate malt is amazing. That's actually the protein powder my husband and my boys use here at our own house. If you don't tolerate whey, obviously, whey is a really nice option.

In terms of plant-based protein powders, I'm not really a fan of most of them. But Truvani, which is the one that Food Babe has created is fairly clean, it does have pea protein. I always like to be very clear that my greatest concern with a lot of the plant-based proteins are contaminants. And I'm not sure how she sources pea protein that's utilized in her products, but it is a fairly clean product. In terms of bars, I usually recommend Marigold if someone tolerates whey they have really high-quality bars, they actually have to be kept in the refrigerator. I would say the cleanest bars I've seen that are plant based are Wawr, it's W-A-W-R. And it is a plant-based bar, but it's actually palatable, but you do have to keep it refrigerated. So that's kind of a bummer that both of those require refrigeration, but you can put it in a pocket and take it with you. 

The other thing that I think about is, it's really important to be hitting those protein macros, because that really helps the satiety. When someone says they still want a lot of carbs, they want a lot of fruit, they're trying to lose weight. Depending on what life stage you're in, you may need to reduce the carbohydrate consumption, really keeping it fairly reasonable. I would say at least under 100 grams a day of total carbs, you may need even less to continue to lose weight. And I think it's also important. I'm not at all vilifying carbohydrates at all. But I do think it's important for people to understand that you want to get your carbs from whole foods sources. So, if you're having a starchy carb like sweet potato or squash, we tolerate grains, which I find most, a lot of women do not and it has a lot to do with the way these food sources are exposed to, whether it's glyphosate or other types of pesticides and how that can impact gut health and low-glycemic fruits. 

So, if you're going to have fruit, have berries have low glycemic apples, a tart apple, not a Honeycrisp, although they are delicious as well. But being very mindful of your portions of carbohydrates and really pushing the protein, so if you don't feel well eating red meat, maybe try some poultry, maybe try some fish, you definitely want to be getting in different types of protein. And I do appreciate as someone that worked in hospital for many years, that it can be challenging sometimes to have to eat meals on the go as you're rounding on patients. That's probably where I'd start from. 

The other thing that I think is important, and I don't have a problem with HIIT, but I when women are telling me they're doing HIIT, three to four days a week, five days a week, you really would probably get more bang for your buck if you will, if you did some strength training and that would also facilitate weight loss. It would also facilitate more insulin sensitivity, even taking a walk after a meal will help with insulin sensitivity. So, hoping those are some practical advice, but Marigold whey is my go-to recommendation. They have bars and they have protein powder. They also have a product you can put in your coffee. That's actually something my swimmer uses when he's getting ready to do a race, but how about you, Melanie, what are some of the recommendations you make for protein powders? Do you have a favorite?

Melanie Avalon: For straight up protein powder, like not whey, just actual just protein powder. I had Dr. David Minkoff on the show on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. The link for that episode, which was really fascinating because we dive deep into protein as well is that melanieavalon.com/perfectprotein, his supplement is called PerfectAmino. And from what I can find, it's the cleanest, it's literally just-- according to him the perfect amino acid ratio that you need and there's no additives, no fillers. So, you can get that at melanieavalon.com/perfectamino and the coupon code MELANIEAVALON will get you a discount. For the wheys, I went through a period where-- this happened when I went through my cottage cheese making period. Have you made cottage cheese before?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I don't eat dairy and I've never been a fan. It just makes me want to vomit, sorry. [laughs] My husband loves it, but it makes me-- just the look—just, ugh, can't do it. 

Melanie Avalon: Cottage cheese specifically or all dairy? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I haven't eaten dairy for four years, but I've never been a cottage cheese fan. There's something about the way it looks that just doesn’t-- My husband loves it, but when he buys it, I'm like, “You can't eat that around me.” It's like the only thing I feel that way about, like, when I look at it just it's like a visceral response. I feel so sorry saying that to you.

Melanie Avalon: It's one of the foods that it's polarizing like that. I love cottage cheese. And I hadn't had dairy, I mean, in probably almost a decade. But then recently, I decided I wanted to try integrating some fat free cottage cheese, because I tend to eat low fat, high carb in my eating window, high protein. So, I wanted to have fat-free cottage cheese, and you can't find fat-free cottage cheese without fillers and additives. So, I started making my own. And then I realized how cool of a science experiment it is. And I started learning about, I don't know, I got really interested in the concept of like, whey versus casein and just different things that you could do with milk. At one moment, I was like, “I'm going to make cheddar cheese,” and then I researched how you do that, oh, my goodness, if you look up the cheese making process, it is the most complicated thing. It's like, “Get the milk and then get it to this exact temperature and then let it sit for-- I'm making this up, but let it sit for like seven minutes. And then it was so specific, it sounds like potions class in Harry Potter. And you have to use different starters and rennet enzymes. I'm on a tangent. 

The point of this is when I was doing that, that's when I started researching whey protein more. I found two sources that I really liked. So, they're on Amazon. One is a whole form. So, it's called [unintelligible [00:56:39] My Whey, grass-fed organic raw whey protein, cold pressed. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. And then I found an isolate version that I really liked, which was grass fed whey protein powder isolate by Opportuniteas. And they also have flavors for those as well. But that was just from looking on Amazon for probably hours at all the ingredients and trying to find what looked the best for all of the processes involved in it. So, I'll put links to that in the show notes.

Cynthia Thurlow: Have you ever tried the PerfectAminos?

Melanie Avalon: I have not. I know a lot of listeners have seen really amazing experiences with it. Have you tried them?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have, I didn't like the powder, because it was very-- I don't know how to describe the taste. It just wasn't something-- I couldn't mask it. And I didn't like it, and the pills were actually really large. Teri Cochrane, when I worked with her actually wanted me-- this three years ago when I lost so much weight, and she was like, “We just can't get enough protein into you.” And so I bought them. I was trying to explain to her, so to consume eight pills, and they're not like soft, they're actually hard. I'm not normally someone that's so sensitive to these things, but I didn't like the taste of the powder. So that was a no and I think I passed it off to a colleague. And then the PerfectAminos that were in pill form, maybe things have changed now. But they were so large to have to consume, like 8 to 10 at a setting was just not a viable option. I was like, “I'm just going to have to continue to boost my protein intake with each one of my meals and make it up that way.” And that was much easier for me. Maybe things have changed now.

Melanie Avalon: It's funny, so when I interviewed him, and I really appreciated that he told me this. When we stopped interviewing because when you listen to this interview, you're going to be like, “Oh, I need to be on this protein powder.” Like that is the takeaway that you're going to have. And I actually think for most people, like we often talk about upping your protein is key, but I eat so much protein, so much protein. When we stopped recording off air, I asked him, I was like, “So how much would you recommend that I take of this PerfectAmino?” And he was like, “You don't need it.” He was like, “Don't take it, you're doing good.” I haven't had the experience with it. But if you're on my Facebook group, a lot of listeners have reported back having good experiences. And they have a fake Facebook group with-- it's like a whole culture of people that use it. But it sounds like for some people it might not work based on the taste. I don't know what it tastes like. So, I can't speak to it.

Cynthia Thurlow: I definitely get to my 100-110 grams a day, so for that reason I feel it was a good trial. And I think there are probably people out there who really struggle to hit their protein macros every day. But I think it goes back to what I always say, like, we really genuinely want to try to get it from a whole food source ideally, but I get it. When I'm traveling, sometimes I'll take you know protein powder, I'll take bars or I'll carry jerky, that's usually my “protein bar of choice.” And I don't mean to sound at all negative. It's just that was my experience. And I'm sure there are lots of people. It's like anything sometimes, you'll recommend a product and it works really well for you and it doesn't for someone else, and I think that really gets chalked up to bio-individuality. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, definitely. And I'm just thinking about it more one last comment. The earlier question about getting enough protein within a four-hour window. So, like I said, I eat so much protein, I'm literally almost eating protein nonstop for a large portion of that window. So that's just to clarify for listeners that if you are trying to get a lot of protein in a short window, you're going to be eating a lot for an extended period of time. So, I just wanted to clarify that.

Cynthia Thurlow: Next question is from Maggie. “Are they lying to me?” “What a power duo, the sad second, I found out Gin was leaving the show, I immediately thought I wish Cynthia could step in. Imagine my happiness when the announcement was made. Thank you both and Gin, for your dedication to health, wellness and living an optimal life. You've changed my life. I've been intermittent fasting for two years now. I used to do OMAD before I started heavy weightlifting and then switched to a six-hour window to prioritize protein and optimize muscle protein synthesis. I'm 48 years old and I tried to fit at least 140 grams of good quality animal protein in a day. Sometimes I have to do my best and settle for a protein shake to get me there.”

“My question surrounds BCAAs. I've stayed away from taking pre or post workout supplements because I work out in the morning while fasted and do not want to break my fast. I recently came across a company that claimed or produced them in pill form that do not break a fast. This, of course intrigued me. I would love to optimize my hard work and see accelerated gains, but not at the cost of breaking my fast. I recently read in Cynthia's book that BCAAs will indeed break a fast. I wonder if this new claim is bogus or not. There doesn't appear to be any fillers, added sugar or carbohydrates, just amino acids. What do you think?”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Maggie, thank you for your question. So, this is a good question to end with, because it ties into everything that we were just talking about. I don't know what brand she's talking about. It could be the PerfectAmino actually because I do know that they make this claim. So, I went deep into the literature researching BCAAs and the fasted state. And I definitely could not find any scientific literature that would support amino acids not breaking the fasted state. So amino acids are basically the signal, like out of all of, I guess carbs, too, but you could make the argument out of all the different macros that were exposed to amino acids are a signal for growth, which is the antithesis of the catabolic fasted state. So, I do know companies make this claim, but everything I could find shows that BCAAs stimulate mTOR, that they stimulate that basically like the fed state. And even in really, really small amounts, the most potent of all of them to do this is leucine, which is often very common in these BCAA supplementation options. 

So, yeah, all of that said, depending on your goals, and again my goals are not intense muscle gains and all of that even though I'm very much about supporting muscle, but if my goals were weightlifting, and body composition when it comes to muscle size, and really really optimizing the formation of your muscle, I might find an approach where I am having a longer window and maybe integrating these BCAAs and doing it. There might be an approach that can really maximize your goal while having a longer eating window while still using these. Basically, I wouldn't sacrifice your goals just for the concept of having a longer fast, I'm talking all over the place. And I'm not articulating this well. There might be something that you want to do, but I would not assume that it does not break a fast.

Cynthia Thurlow: I have to agree with you. And especially because with this book just coming out and all the research that I did, it was very evident that there was nothing to support that amino acids do not break fast. So, if you really feel compelled to take these, I would save them for your feeding window, maybe use it to break your fast with but with the understanding from everything that I read in the literature, and I went down massive rabbit holes on this, in particular, because there are still a lot of, I'm sure well-meaning fit pros out there that suggest otherwise, but I remind people that that mTOR signaling is activated by the consumption of protein and amino acids.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. And I tried to find something but there are a lot of studies on this. And it basically just shows what we both just said. All right, well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will have all of the links for everything that we talked about today. Those are at ifpodcast.com/episode270. And you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon. Cynthia is, and I've got it out, @cynthia_thurlow_. And, yes, I think that is all the things. Anything from you, Cynthia, before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think these are really great questions. I feel really fortunate that we're continuously every week getting lots and lots of questions, so definitely keep them coming.

Melanie Avalon: I agree. I've been thinking about as well, like really, really great questions coming in. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful and I will talk to you next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Jun 12

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

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 269 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free BACON For LIFE Plus $10!!

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

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

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

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

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

Square Feet Specialty Coffee

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRANSCRIPT

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

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get sugar free, nitrate free, heritage breed bacon for life, plus $10 off. Yes, free bacon for life, plus $10 off. We are so honored to be sponsored by ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get high-quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, that's really hard to find by the way, and wild caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency regarding grazing practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox. You can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. But I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. All of their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished that's really hard to find. They work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves, but the planet. This is so important to me. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. 

If you recently saw a documentary on Netflix called Seaspiracy, you might be a little bit nervous about eating seafood. Now, I understand why ButcherBox makes it so, so clear and important about how they work with the seafood industry. Everything is checked for transparency, for quality, and for sustainable raising practices. You want their seafood, the value is incredible, the average cost is actually less than $6 per meal, and it's so easy. Everything ships directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing. I remember the first time I had one and I just thought, “This is honestly one of the best steaks I've ever had in my entire life.” On top of that, did you know that the fatty acid profile of grass-fed, grass-finished steaks is much healthier for you than conventional steaks. And their bacon, for example is from pastured pork, and sugar and nitrate free. How hard is that to find? I'm super excited, because ButcherBox’ bacon for life is back and it's even better, because you get $10 off as well. Yep, right now, new members will get one pack of free bacon in every box for the life of your membership, plus $10 off when you sign up at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. That's one pack of free bacon in every box for the rest of your life, plus $10 off. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 269 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow. How are you today, Cynthia?

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

Melanie Avalon: When did they get out for school?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: She's so smart. 

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

Cynthia Thurlow: No way. 

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Did you sacrifice your firstborn child? 

Melanie Avalon: Basically. [chuckles] 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: No way. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Or, the reverse. Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into everything for today?

Cynthia Thurlow: Let's jump in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Women, Food, and Hormones. 

Melanie Avalon: Wait. Straight to the point. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: I love his AMAs. 

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yes. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Like nine. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. Just to make it complicated. 

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Thanks. To you, as well. 

Melanie Avalon: I will see you next week. 

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

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]

STUFF WE LIKE

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

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Jun 05

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

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 268 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

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

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SHOW NOTES

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

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19:35 - Listener feedback: Scott - Dry mouth

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

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

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

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

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

Acid Alkaline Food Chart

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

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 268 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, biohacker and author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and cynthiathurlow.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this show do not constitute medical advice or treatment. And no doctor-patient relationship is formed. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine if it's that time and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is episode number 268 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow. How are you today, Cynthia?

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: What is the discount code?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: How did you meet her?

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. 

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

Cynthia Thurlow: It's an important distinction.

Melanie Avalon: Do you do oil pulling, Cynthia?

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't.

Melanie Avalon: I do. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: He said trauma.

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: How often do you wear one? 

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: She's an author.

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

Melanie Avalon: It's a new book?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Glucose Revolution. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Projection. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly, exactly. 

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: 7.45.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds great. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

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

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May 29

Episode 267: Melatonin, The New Controversial IF Study, Fasting Insulin, Visceral & Subcutaneous Fat, Creatine Use For Men & Women, Sarcopenia, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 267 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 2 10 Oz. Ribeyes, 5 Lbs Of Chicken Drumsticks, And A Pack Of Burgers For FREE!!

BLUBlox: Overexposure to blue light in our modern environments can lead to increased anxiety, stress, headaches, and other health conditions. Even a tiny exposure to artificial light can completely offset your circadian rhythm! Unlike many “blue light blocking” glasses on the market, BLUBlox 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! Plus, for every BLUblox purchase, they donate a pair of glasses to someone in need! Go To blublox.com And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

AVALONX SERRAPEPTASE: A proteolytic enzyme which may help clear sinuses and brain fog, reduce allergies, support a healthy inflammatory state, enhance wound healing, break down fatty deposits and amyloid plaque, supercharge your fast, and more! Avalonx supplements are free of toxic fillers, common allergens, heavy metals,  mold, and triple tested for purity and potency. 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 2 10 Oz. Ribeyes, 5 Lbs Of Chicken Drumsticks, And A Pack Of Burgers For FREE!!

4:00 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

18:10 - BLUBLOX: Go To BluBlox.com And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

Leave A New Review (Or Update An Old One) On iTunes To Get Exclusive Access To The Lost Epsiode: Epiosde 1!

23:20 - Discussing The New Calorie Restriction/IF Study

Calorie Restriction with or without Time-Restricted Eating in Weight Loss

Fasting Has NO Benefits?! (Jason Fung)

Studying Studies: Part V – power and significance  (Peter Attia)

44:30 - Order At Avalonx.Us, And Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At melanieavalon.com/avalonx!

49:45 - Listener Q&A: Zack - Creatine

51:00 - Listener Q&A: Loredana - Creatine For Women

CON-CRĒT® PATENTED CREATINE HCl® POWDER - UNFLAVORED

#205 – Energy balance, nutrition, & building muscle | Layne Norton, Ph.D. (Pt.2)

The influence of creatine supplementation on the cognitive functioning of vegetarians and omnivores

Use The Code MELANIEAVALON For 10% Any Order At avalonx.us And mdlogichealth.com, And Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist

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

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 267 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 a free grilling bundle with over seven pounds of delicious meat all for free. Yes, for free. We are so honored to be sponsored by ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get high-quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed grass-finished beef, free range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, that's really hard to find, by the way, and wild caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect, and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency regarding grazing practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox. You can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox, but I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. All of their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished that's really hard to find. And they work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves 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 ships directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing. I remember the first time I had one and I just thought, "This is honestly one of the best steaks I've ever had in my entire life." On top of that did you know that the fatty acid profile of grass-fed, grass-finished steaks is much healthier for you than conventional steaks. And their bacon, for example, is from pastured pork and sugar and nitrate free. How hard is that to find? 

And for a limited time, ButcherBox is offering our new members a free grilling bundle in their first order. Friends, this is a deal you do not want to miss, especially with the warm weather upon us. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and you will get two 10-ounce grass-fed ribeyes, five pounds of organic free range chicken drumsticks, and a pack of grass-fed burgers all for free. Yes, for free. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to claim this deal. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. 

And one more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? So, 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 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-ageing, 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 267 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I am here with, Cynthia Thurlow. How are you today, Cynthia?

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

Melanie Avalon: What's crazy and new in your life? I know you're all over the place with shows, and book madness, and everything.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. No, I think our mindset were four weeks away from a vacation. It's getting two teenage boys, and my husband, and myself mentally prepared. If anyone's listening has teenagers, that they grow so fast at this point that they have to try on a bunch of clothes, because where we're going to we're going to need some nicer things for dinner. And so, nothing that they had from last summer fits them. Absolutely nothing. There's been a lot of growing pains in this past weekend. Lots of boy hormones and nonsense, but I think we finally got it organized and under control. We live in a part of the country where we have four seasons. I was transitioning closets, and sheets, and all of these things, lots of motherly things, and then gearing up for a busy week of Everyday Wellness podcasting myself.

Melanie Avalon: I don't think I know, how old are they? 

Cynthia Thurlow: My oldest is 16 and my youngest is 14. One is six feet tall and the other one is 5'5". They're wonderful, but we have moments. Hormonal moments with boys, even though, they keep to themselves. I would say, it's almost living with a college student, because they stay up really late, they sleep in and I let them sleep in, because we're coming off of spring sports, we haven't yet started summer sports. And from my perspective, as long as they get good grades and they've got a nice group of friends. I'm pretty tolerant. But yeah, it's like they come out of their rooms to eat, and shower, and then they go back. They are like moles. I just think it's very different than when I grew up. My mother would not have been tolerant of that, but I just think it's coming off the past two years of a pandemic. The fact that they had an entire school year, where they were physically in school, and got to participate in sports, and got to spend time with friends that I'm like, "Them sleeping in on the weekend is really not a big deal," although, they do stay up later than my husband and I. It's a known fact. They're probably up till two on the weekend and then they sleep until noon. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm researching sleep a lot, and adolescence, and even like in your teens and stuff you really do need more sleep. Whenever I read that, I get jealous of my former self because I still sleep in and so back then it was scientifically normal. And my mom as well always let me sleep in which I'm very grateful for.

Cynthia Thurlow: They really do need to sleep. If you understand physiologically what's happening with their bodies that to me, there's no value in waking them up at 7 AM and having them be really grumpy and disagreeable. I'm like, "I'd rather they sleep." Much to the same point, one of the blessings of the past few years is that I was much less regimented about getting up really early to go to the gym. And now, most days, I wake up without an alarm clock and my body naturally on its own will wake up somewhere between six and seven, and I'll go to bed between 9:30 and 10. But I think it's important for all of us to lean into our biologic needs as it pertains to honoring our own unique chronobiology. I know that I tend to get up early, and you tend to stay up late, and even as adults, I think each one of us has our own innate, I don't want to say peculiarities, but things that make us unique. I think I would never have survived working in medicine, if I was not someone that could get up early, because we had to be rounding really early in the morning like obscenely early.

Melanie Avalon: That's something that we'll carry on. Gin, as well was or is [chuckles] a lion, an early bird as well. We balance that dynamic. It's funny. I sleep in, I stay up really late, I work late, I sleep in, I still feel guilty about it every single morning. I should probably work on that. Because I don't think I need to be feeling guilty, but I do. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. No, you shouldn't. Well, because I think as a culture, we praise people.

Melanie Avalon: it's out of line with society. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's like we praise people. But now, if the past two years have taught us nothing, we have way more flexibility than we ever thought were possible. If you have the ability to work from home, find the schedule that works for you. I can tell you quite honestly, I would much rather work really hard while my kids are generally in school, and then late afternoon when carpool starts, I can jump into that, and then I can relax into my evening as opposed to-- Years ago, I would fight myself to stay up really late and work, and there's this law of diminishing returns that I fervently believe in. And for me, especially, when I was writing my book, I was like, "I'm much better in the morning. Much better in the early afternoon." And then as the day goes on, I get a little less patient and a little-- It's not that I can't do podcasts recordings, because I'm sure both of us have had to be flexible with people that live overseas or have varying types of different work schedules. But as a rule, I've just come to find out like I'm at my best earlier in the day.

Melanie Avalon: Yep. And I'm at my best at night.

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] And so, we record in the afternoon when we're bridging both.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. [chuckles] Works well. My mom, though, she's been very supportive of my sleep schedule like you, she let me sleep in. Every time I come to her, and lament my staying up late, and sleeping in late, she's like, "Melanie, that's just the way you are. Don't try to change it," because she's a night owl, too, and her mom and her dad are. 

Cynthia Thurlow: That's really interesting. My mom was one of those people, who worked. She's always had a very demanding job. Before she retired as a CIO of a huge medical system, I think she was probably getting by on three or four hours of sleep a night. And now, that she's retired, it is so nice to see her actually sleeping in. There was a Sunday morning, I think I called her at nine and she was like, "Oh, we hadn't gotten up yet." I was like, "I'm glad to know you're becoming a normal human and listening to what your body needs." She even acknowledges now that all those years where she didn't get enough sleep and it impacted so many things including her metabolic health that she wishes she had listened more to what her body was trying to tell her.

Melanie Avalon: Have you interviewed Matthew Walker? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not.

Melanie Avalon: I really want to interview him. He's the sleep guy. What's his book called?

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm not familiar with his work. But yeah, I think all the chronobiology and all the research that's emerging about circadian biology to me is really fascinating. The more I understand and the more I can share with people. It just explains so much about melatonin clocks, and digestion, and why we shouldn't eat two to three hours before bedtime, and how that impacts insulin sensitivity. All of a sudden, all these things make sense. I don't know about you, but if I eat too late into the evening, my Oura Ring's just squawking at me the next day. Your heart rate was up, it was elevated overnight. I'm like, "How does it know I didn't even eat that much?"

Melanie Avalon: It's funny. I eat very late, and right up until bed, [chuckles] and my Oura Ring, so, It's interesting. I've hit a glass ceiling I think in that-- It'll say that I slept really great and it will give me a good readiness score. Actually, when I interviewed Harpreet, who was the CEO at the time of Oura, he's not anymore. I don't know-- [crosstalk] 

Cynthia Thurlow: I know. I know, because I was trying to get him on the podcast and then they politely told me he was gone.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I saw that on Instagram. It says former CEO. I was like, "Oh." Basically, I could have a perfect sleep, but because I go to bed so late, even though, the Oura Ring knows I go to bed late, and it recommends that I go to bed at 2 AM, it's not going to give me over a certain score. Because one of the factors is, if you went to bed early, so, I think that hinders my score. But it's interesting. It will say, "Did you eat too close to bed?" But I still get a really good score.

Cynthia Thurlow: But I also think there's an age-related variable. I think Peter Attia was talking about as an example like HRV, if you plot it someone at 30 is going to get a different HRV than someone say, my age. I'm 50. If listeners don't know that, I'm 50. He was talking about like an HRV predicted average for a 30-year-old might be very different than someone at 50. I have patients that are always fixated on their HRV information or a variability, and I have to point them to his article and I'm like, "Maybe you need to take a look at this," because there is some age-related variance. Just like my bone mass and my muscle mass isn't going to be the same as it was in my 30s and that's okay. I think HRV is another one of those metrics that can be impacted by age. Just based on chronologic age, not that I'm not a good example of a healthy 50-year-old, there're some variances that you got that are unique to the aging process.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, I finally bit the bullet and subscribed to his subscriber feed. I'm working my way backwards through all of his Q&A episodes.

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh.

Melanie Avalon: They are so good. I just listened to the HRV one. It took me a while to bite the bullet, but totally worth it.

Cynthia Thurlow: It was totally worth it. I was actually telling my husband is obsessed with Peter Attia and now, listens to his podcasts and Huberman. He's an engineer. To him, the level of detail he really appreciates, even though he's not someone that's an academic and he's works for a German-based company. I was trying to convince him to get the insider with Peter Attia and he was like, "Well, you can just tell me what I need to know." I was like, "Buddy, I take notes." When I listen to Peter, I have a notepad out, same thing with Huberman. I just take notes, because I'm learning so much. I think that's one of the really amazing attributes of podcasting is you have the ability to impact so many people unknowingly. It's a wonderful resource and it's a wonderful way to learn.

Melanie Avalon: If I get to interview him, I told you how I finally connected with his people, right? So, if I get to, I will be so nervous. I don't even know. Oh, my goodness.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that'd be a really cool thing. 

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Friends, you know I'm a night owl. I like working late. With BLUblox, I can totally do that and still get an amazing night's rest. The thing is there are a lot of blue-light blocking glasses on the market. As you guys know, I only want the best of the best, that is BLUblox. Andy Mant founded the company, because he realized just how profound of an effect blue-light blocking glasses were having on his own health. But he realized most of the ones on the market weren't actually blocking all of the blue light. That's why he made BLUblox. They have an array of glasses to fit different needs. They're clear computer glasses. Those are actually great to wear during the day, especially if you're staring at computers all day. They also have their light sensitivity glasses. You can also wear those during the day with screens. They're tinted with a special yellow color that actually has been shown to boost mood. And then lastly, they have their blue-light blocking glasses for sleep. Those are the ones that you put on two to three hours before bedtime to help get the best night of sleep possible. If you had all struggled with sleep issues, when you start using these, you're going to wonder how you ever slept without them. Same with computer issues. If you get headaches, dry eyes, tension, anxiety from our modern environment, definitely check out their computer glasses and summer glow glasses.

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Melanie Avalon: For listeners, we have gathered some feedback, which I was posting in my Facebook group, IF Biohackers about Cynthia being on board, which is just so exciting. I'm already just so enjoying this. But it was interesting because people were putting comments of what they were looking forward to-- Oh, which if you haven't heard the announcement. If you would like to get the missing secret Episode Number One of this show, which was lost for a long time, and I did get a question about this. Somebody emailed and said, "I thought you said this was lost. How do you now have it?" It was lost. When Gin was working on making the transition, she was cleaning up her emails and everything, and she found it in our old emails to each other. That's how it randomly popped out of the universe. If you would like to hear the missing Episode number 1, we will send it to you. Just write a new or update your old iTunes review for this show and include in the review what you are excited to experience or learn about with Cynthia specifically, and email that to questions@ifpodcast.com, and we will send you that first episode. 

All of that to say, one of the feedbacks that we have been getting is that people are really excited, especially, so, Cynthia is a Nurse Practitioner, and has a clinical background, and so, people I think are really excited for us to dive a little bit more into more clinical stuff, and studies, and things like that. We thought for today's episode, which is still listener Q&A, but we would start things off by, it was actually perfect timing. A study came out which a lot of you might be familiar with because it hit all of the headlines. The study itself is called "calorie restriction with or without time-restricted eating and weight loss." It was published on April 21st, 2022 in the New England Journal of Medicine. We'll put a link to it in the show notes. And again, the show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode267. But in any case, what is so special about this study is that it took over the news. The headlines were things like, "time-restricted eating, no better than counting calories study finds," that was on CNN. New York Times said, "Scientists find no benefits to time-restricted eating." It definitely created a lot of controversy. We thought we would actually take a moment, and look at this study, what is it showing, what is it finding, are these headlines correct, and what they are portraying? You want to start Cynthia, anything to say about the study?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's interesting. The media likes to just be sensational and sensationalize information. As soon as it came out, I went and pulled the study, and looked at it, read through it, and most of my clinical peers felt very similarly that when you're looking at research, and I'm not sure. If you've talked about this on the podcast before when you're looking at research, you want to look at how many people were enrolled, were they healthy, was there a breakdown? One of the things that stood out almost automatically was that I think the BMI range like as an example. Body mass index, which isn't per se necessarily, particularly accurate, especially if you're muscular. But the body mass index was between 28 and 40. And for context purposes, a BMI of 30 and above is obese and then 40 and above is considered to be morbidly obese for most metrics that are used. It stood out to me initially, they're saying that no one is diabetic. But yet, clearly, this is not the healthiest population of people to start with. That was the first thing that stood out. 

Another thing that stood out for me was that in terms of looking at the population, there was no accountability for physical activity. They weren't observing people eating and they had some degree. I forget how the terminology they use, but there was some type of processed food products that they were expected to consume. We don't really know, per se, and this is why nutritional science is so confounding is that it's actually very hard to track with every single thing people put into their mouths, unless they're in a controlled environment. So, those were the first two things that stood out to me. How about you, Melanie? When you were looking at the research what stood out for you?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I actually have it pulled up right here, so they can comment on what they were eating. They were following, for men, it was a 1,500 to 1,800 calorie per day diet and women, it was a 1,200 to 1,500 calorie per day. And then that processed food you were talking about was they were provided one protein shake per day for the first six months to help improve adherence, which speaks to what you just said that it's difficult when it's an outpatient study, where it's not controlled, [chuckles] where they're not in a metabolic ward receiving all of their food, it's difficult to actually have people to know exactly what they're eating and if they're adhering. 

That was one of the big things that stood out. Because the study is talking about the benefits of intermittent fasting versus calorie restriction. It's actually shocking to me that they did not pull the participants on their ease of use. They didn't ask them at all about their psychological experience of it, because oftentimes, they'll ask that in studies. I forget the terminology they use, but it'll be like, "Was it difficult or not?" And they didn’t ask them that at all. We have no idea if the people who were doing the calorie restriction versus the fasting and calorie restriction, if one of those was an easier protocol to follow or not, which would have major implications for how this actually would apply to real life.

Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting not to interrupt you, but one of the other things that something you said reminded me of this one issue. When you were looking at the macro breakdown to the breakdown of protein, fat, and carbs. I was like, you already have a potentially, metabolically unhealthy group and it was very heavy on carbohydrates. I'm not anti-carb. Let me be really clear. I don't think that everyone has to be low carb or ketogenic. But if you already have a population of people that are being enrolled in a study that we know are probably insulin resistant or at least are diabetic, even though they screen for diabetes, but there's no way someone with a BMI of 40 is not insulin resistant. It's really interesting to me that instead of pushing the protein lever, it was still a very carbohydrate focused diet. With a macro breakdown to me was not the macro breakdown I suggest for people when they're trying to lose weight.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. No, that's an excellent point. I wonder the screening, because they did screen for diabetes. I wonder if they were screening for type 1 and type-- They're probably screening for both, but they didn't screen at all for prediabetes. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. The conventional Western medicine or allopathic model is still really looking at fasting glucose and A1c, which is a 90-day snapshot of blood sugar control. The thing that I like to always introduce, well, your fasting blood sugar can be okay and your A1c can still be okay. But if your fasting insulin is dysregulated, that's oftentimes the very first biomarker that will dysregulate, they're very likely not even looking at that. I can't tell you how many people, like, I talked to them and they'll share their labs and I'm like, "Where's the fasting insulin?" Then they get a fasting insulin back. And instead of being between two and five, which is where ideally it should be, it's 20. I'm like, "Okay, well, this explains why your weight loss resistant." 

I don't think that they provided information about how they were screening. I agree with you that that could have also very likely been a way that they may have missed people, who would not have been metabolically flexible enough to be able to participate in a meaningful way. Not to mention the fact that oftentimes, insulin resistance can also be connected with leptin resistance. I'm sure our listeners are really savvy about leptin being this other hormone. I just start to think about all of the little nuances like as a clinician that I didn't see were even addressed or mentioned in that study. I think the other piece is like, New England Journal of Medicine is a preeminent Journal. Even really good journals can have research in them that cause us all to scratch our heads and say, "Okay, well, it was helpful. We have to do more research to look at these variables, and we have to be even more conscientious about who we're enrolling in these studies, and what's really going on for them outside of this laboratory environment."

Melanie Avalon: So, something you said sparked a very tiny little baby rabbit hole for me tangent. Actually, the episode I was listening to last night that Peter Attia, Q&A episode, I was listening to the one on continuous glucose monitors and he was talking about, "Would we ever have a continuous insulin monitor?" The potential with that or the issues with that he answered the question of what did he think was the first biomarker that would be off that would indicate prediabetes or headed that route? Do you want to guess what it was?

Cynthia Thurlow: Probably, not going to be like uric acid or something like that.

Melanie Avalon: It's in the realm of what you were talking about. 

Cynthia Thurlow: So, did he think it was insulin? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, but what type. when? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Probably, postprandial?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Basically, after eating, the insulin that would be the first thing. But that's something that we're not really ever testing. So, that's why he was saying, one of the benefits of having a continuous insulin monitor would pick up on that. In any case, back to the study. I guess, we can talk about what it actually found. This is probably the first thing that stood out to me the biggest thing, which was, if you had come to me and said, "We're going to do a study, where we will compare people on calorie restriction and then people on calorie restriction with fasting," what do you think we'll find? Honestly, I think I would say, "What this study found is pretty much exactly what I would have anticipated finding," which is I would anticipate that they both lose weight or I would guess that the fasting people would lose a little bit more weight. But I wouldn't think that it would be a massive amount more, because both are calorie restricted. I would expect that all other biomarkers would probably improve a little bit more in the fasting group, which is exactly what this study found, despite the lack of "statistical significance," which is something I can comment on in a little bit of detail. We'll put a link in the show notes. 

Jason Fung did a nice write up on this in his Substack. We can put a link to that. He talks about this in that right up. But basically, for people who aren't familiar, when you have a study, significance means statistical significance. It doesn't mean because if people hear significance, they might think it means like, "Oh, that was like a really good effect." But it just means that it's showing statistically that this is happening. But I think a lot of people don't realize is, it's not you do the study, and then you look at the data, and then you determine if what you found was statistically significant. It's set up from the beginning to only be statistically significant if a certain outcome happens. That's a subtle nuance, but it's really important and it has to do with something called powering a study. 

This study was powered to find a weight loss difference of 2.5 kilograms, which is five and a half pounds. What that means is that if the fasted group did not lose five and a half pounds more than the other group, then the conclusion is it's not statistically significant. What ended up happening was, the fasting group lost about four pounds more, not 5.5. Because of that, they can conclude, "Nope, there's no statistical significance," which I think is doing a bit of disservice to the whole concept. What Jason talks about in his write up is he says that if you look at the numbers, so, basically, the calorie restriction group, they lost 6.3 kilograms after 12 months, which means that the fasting group in order to be statistically significant would have had to have a 40% increase in weight loss, numbers wise. 

As Jason points out in his overview, that's a really high bar, [chuckles] especially when they're already losing a significant amount of weight. But when I say significant, I don't mean statistically significant. In any case, the study was underpowered. Not that it was set up to fail, sort of was. We can put a link in the show notes. Peter Attia also has a really nice write up, where he it's a five- or six-part series, where he talks about how to interpret and read studies. He talks about this about powering studies and he talks in that about how just because something is not statistically significant, it doesn't mean that it's not showing something. And just because something shows something, they don't necessarily correlate. So, I have other thoughts, but I'll stop because that was a lot.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think you did an excellent job. I think on a lot of levels, right after that study came out, I jumped on and did a really short IG live saying, "This is not going to change my perspective on fasting." I think this really speaks to the fact that the media likes to jump on one little snippet and say to propagate this misinformation that, "Oh, fasting isn't valuable." I always explained that if you looked at the groups, the fasting group always did better. It just didn't reach, as you mentioned, the statistical significance that had been set up prior to the study starting. I think this is a really important reason for why even at a very basic level, each one of us need to understand how to properly interpret a study or even to be able to look at some of the big highlights that you and I have talked about, so that you can examine it and say, "Is this really valid?" Can we extrapolate from one study, that fasting is invaluable or is not valuable, rather? I think it really goes back to not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I mean, I hate that expression, but it just seems really appropriate in the circumstance. And certainly, you and I both have seen thousands and thousands of people that have benefited from eating less often. 

The other piece is, and someone asked me this, and I never dove down the rabbit hole to figure out who had sponsored the study. I know it was done in China, but I don't know who sponsored the study. Because sometimes, when you see who's sponsoring particular research, it makes you understand why they're getting results that might be contrary to what is commonly believed to be true. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It says that it was supported by some Grants National Key Research and Development Project, Outstanding Youth Development Scheme of Nanfang Hospital, a lot of other research programs. It's just so interesting. In a way, it's arbitrary. If the researchers had decided beforehand, let's set it up to look for a four-pound difference, then it would have been a completely different interpretation. Isn't that crazy? You would have a completely different headline, same findings, probably, to that point about the benefits extending beyond just the fasting. Basically, in the fasting group, because they looked at the participants results six months out and 12 months out, and basically, everything got better in the fasting group compared to the calorie restriction groups. The HOMA-IR, which is huge comparing insulin and glucose, the insulin, glucose, HDL, triglycerides, blood pressure were all better in the fasting group. LDL was very similar in the two groups, which is interesting. I don't know why that might be. I was actually wondering if you had any theories on why the LDL is really interesting. At six months, it was down negative 5.9 in the fasting group and down negative 11.3 in the calorie restriction group. So, almost double. But then it evened out at 12 months. Negative 8.4 compared to negative 8.9.

Cynthia Thurlow: I wonder if it's really a marker in that instance of inflammation and a reduction in oxidative stress, because it's not uncommon. For listeners benefit, when we're looking at LDL, it's only one piece of a puzzle. I always like to look at advanced lipid analysis. Looking at particle size and as an example, you can have light and fluffy or you can have dense and small. The latter, it tends to be more atherogenic. If you're already looking at a population that to me sounds, they're not metabolically healthy. I think that weight loss is probably what's driving the lowered LDL numbers. Why the HDL--? Well, they didn't account for physical activity. I think that was one of the things that stood out to me, because we know that HDL is-- There are many things that impact HDL, obviously. But one of the things that's impacted by HDL is exercise. If these people were couch potatoes, I don't know what the equivalent would be. I don't know how physically active this group was. I'm assuming they weren't. That could account for why there wasn't a significant change in their HDL, my first thought.

Melanie Avalon: I think the biggest difference just looking through the charts, the area of abdominal subcutaneous fat was really different. At 12 months, the calorie-restricted group lost 37 centimeters squared and the time-restricted eating group lost 53.2. 

Cynthia Thurlow: That's significant. 

Melanie Avalon: This was subcutaneous. The visceral was still it was 21 for the calorie restriction and 26 for the fasted group.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, so that differentiators, the subcutaneous fat is an annoying fat. That's the one that most of us, when we think about fat on our bodies that we don't like, that's not as pathogenic as visceral fat. I think that with weight loss, you'll see changes in both, but one is certainly more significant than the other. And obviously, where we carry fat is significant. On our butt, in our thighs, as women is much less significant than our abdomen area like our truncal. They call it truncal obesity, but that area is much more significant, because that's closer to our major organs and generally correlates with metabolic inflexibility and insulin resistance.

Melanie Avalon: Yep. That's all in my head right now because I'm prepping to interview Sara Gottfried on Monday, who Cynthia just interviewed as well. She talks a lot about the role of different types of fat in the body and how it changes for women in menopause and good times. But yeah, so, basically, it's frustrating, honestly, because the study showed in my opinion, really great things about fasting and just the takeaways in the headlines are just so not representative of what it actually found. And then on top of that, I can see the benefit of comparing fasted calorie restriction to calorie restriction. But at the same time, I think, in general, the reason people love fasting is they get the benefits without the calorie restriction. I was reading one comment on the study and I actually laughed, because it's not funny, but it's the type of thing I would laugh at and it was like-- Somebody said, "Well, basically, all the studies showed is that calorie restriction works," which yes, [laughs] if it's actually controlled.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, and I think it goes back to there's always this debate about calories versus the carb, insulin hypothesis, and weight loss. It's two different dogmas really fighting fervently to better understand what drives inflammation, and weight loss resistance, or weight gain, and so. The debate is still out there. There's no question that fasting is a valuable resource. For a lot of people, who don't want to calorie count and I'm definitely one of them, I just enjoy knowing that I can eat within a particular window and I can modulate a lot of different factors that helped me maintain a healthy weight.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I think what's interesting and this is a question that has stuck with me in my show, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. I've interviewed so many people, but every now and then I ask a guest a question, and it just sticks with me asking them, and it sticks with me their answer. And one of those questions was, when I had James Clement on the show. He wrote a book called The Switch and we've become really good friends. But I asked him all of these different things like fasting, calorie restriction, protein restriction, are they additive, or are they all activating similar pathways? So, they're not additive. He said, "They're not." They basically cancel each other out. If you're doing calorie restriction and calorie restriction in fasting, you're not necessarily going to see a huge additive benefit, because they both work by similar mechanisms even though fasting doesn't necessarily require calorie restriction. They activate similar pathways. So, yeah.

Cynthia Thurlow: I haven't interviewed him, yet. 

Melanie Avalon: He's lovely. Although, I was just talking to him, because [chuckles] I was giving him my monologue of what I thought about the study and to see what his thoughts were and he said he basically agreed. So, I felt good. [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: Good to have that validation.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I was like, "Okay, from the scientist." He runs a lab that studies the blood work of super centenarians. He did this huge super centenarian study, and then he wrote The Switch, and right now he's actually working with Steve Horvath, who I would die to interview. [laughs] George Church wrote the foreword to his book, it's all the big wigs in the genetics world. He did say, last night, he's not really doing podcast interviews anymore. I don't think they're his thing. 

Cynthia Thurlow: A lot of those researchers-- I always think like Rick Johnson, for anyone that's listening, he's this amazing fructose researcher. But he is probably one of the most gregarious, happy, extroverted researchers I've ever met in my entire life. I thought when I recorded with him that it was so dense in terms of content that I was like, "Well, I'm going to be curious to see how this resonates with my listeners" and they loved it. They're like, "Oh, my gosh, he makes it so clear." I agree with you that sometimes these research folk tend to be a little more cerebral, they're a little more introverted, they might be less comfortable doing podcast interviews, which is a shame because I think podcasting is such an amazing way to really get a sense for what people are doing and to share ideas in a way that can inspire others to take better care. My feeling is, I listen to podcasts, because I'm always looking for another angle to look at to help patients take better care of themselves. But not all of us are extroverts and introverts. Some people are just true introverts. The thought of being on a podcast probably gives them hives.

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Melanie Avalon: I'm glad you brought Rick up. When Gin and I were discussing, transitioning her out of the show, and I wasn't sure yet about Cynthia, I was like, "Oh no, I need to bank up some interviews." I actually reached out to Rick to see if you'd like to come on this show, because I just think his content is so valuable and listeners of this show would really love his work, because I had him on the other show. So, I'm actually interviewing him for this show. I don't know when we'll air it, but just to have it. I'm interviewing him this week.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think he's amazing. He's probably easily one of my favorite interviews I've done this year.

Melanie Avalon: He's just fabulous. [laughs] So, listeners get excited. I'm not sure when we'll air that, but we will have an episode on this show with him upcoming. Okay, I think we tore that study apart. Again-- [chuckles] For listeners, again, the show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode267. We'll put a link to that study there. If you want to read the whole study, it is in the New England Journal of Medicine. Right now, only the abstract is available, but you can sign up for a New England of Journal Medicine account and you get I think at the beginning three free studies. Use them wisely. [laughs] So, you can grab this one if you like. Okay, shall we jump into some listener questions? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. 

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, this is very exciting, because Cynthia and I were brainstorming about topics to talk about and Cynthia, specifically, wanted to talk about creatine and I was like, "Well, I got you covered," because if listeners are curious, we have this massive document of all questions that have ever been submitted to the show ever and it is hundreds and hundreds of questions. If there's ever a topic we actually want to talk about, we don't have to make up a question. I just have to go in there and find it, because I'm sure somebody has submitted one before. We have two questions about creatine that I'm going to read and then I'm super curious to get Cynthia's thoughts on this. The first question is from Zach and the subject is: "Creatine." And Zach says, "Hi, thank you for all the work you do on this podcast. I'm a former American football player, who has had great success using intermittent fasting one meal a day, paleo eating, and HIIT workouts to lose weight and develop an awesome fulfilling lifestyle. When I finished playing football, I was 300 pounds with zero diet discipline. Luckily, my brother." Hi, John, "told me about your podcast and your books and in the 10 months since my football career ended, I've lost about 80 pounds. I'm still losing weight, but I am also at the point, where I would like to work on muscle mass and tone again. In pursuit of this, I've hidden my scale, opting instead to focus on being happy with my body and not relying on what the scale tells me for my happiness. I use a one-meal-a-day approach. While I have tons of energy for my workouts, I am looking for something to maximize my muscle recovery given my intense workouts. In the past, I've had success taking creatine for this purpose, but that was during my football, eat everything, and get as huge as possible regardless of impact on your body stage. That's my comment." That sounds really intense. He says, "I don't think that creatine has been discussed on the show yet and if so, I apologize for the repeated question. What are your thoughts about supplementing creatine, whether it is beneficial or harmful? If beneficial, when to take it, how much to take, etc.? Thank you so much in advance and keep up the amazing work." And then, Cynthia actually got a DM question from Laura Dana or Laura Dana. And she says, "That she would like advise/education on using creatine as a woman. When, how much, expected reaction, brand? Thanks." She says she loves Cynthia's book, which, by the way is Intermittent Fasting Transformation. So, creatine questions from a man and a woman.

Cynthia Thurlow: I love it. It's interesting. I started working with a new trainer in 2021 like out of her mouth, the first thing she said to me and she's very research based, she's a former attorney, she's just incredible. She was like, "You need to use creatine." I was like, "Wait a minute." I was like, "I've heard so many conflicting things." For benefits of the listeners, there are sex differences between the utilization of creatine. But in terms of benefits, they include things like increased muscular endurance, they increase muscular power, strength, they can improve bone health, and we know that it improves brain health, and it can improve cognitive function, and it helps recycle ATP, which I'm sure Melanie and Gin have talked about, it decreases the effects of sleep deprivation, improves mood and memory. There's lots of benefits, obviously. 

And obviously, the first question comes from someone who played what sounds to be professional football. The second question comes from a young woman, who's asking and so, what I always say is that there are sex-related differences with creatine. We know that women make 70% to 80% less amounts of endogenous creatine in their muscle tissue. But what's interesting is we have increased higher resting concentrations of creatine. It's like, what we do have is significant in terms of, it's almost like testosterone. Women make less testosterone, but what we have in our bodies is the most bioavailable hormone. So, much the point of what we're saying with creatine, there are sex-related differences. What's interesting though is when I looked at the research, we know that there are changes during our menstrual cycles with creatine. We actually get, when we have a more higher estrogen state, so in the follicular phase, we have increased creatine kinase and this can impact glucose oxidation. We know that creatine supplementation in women can be really beneficial in perimenopause and menopause, can actually improve muscle, bone strength and help ward off sarcopenia, which is a term that is essentially muscle loss with aging.

It's not a question of if but when, it starts to accelerate after 40. For those that aren't aware, we have peak bone and muscle mass in our 20s and 30s. I, of course, didn't appreciate this until I got to middle age. It's really important. I think even if you're looking at a review of randomized controlled studies, it definitely looks like supplementation with creatine has a lot of benefits. If people want us to go into a deeper dive into these things, there's a lot. It's so interesting. If you look at the research, sometimes, people will talk about needing a loading phase. I'm not sure, per se, that we all need a loading phase. But I do think it is interesting and what I generally recommend people aim for is a gram a day and the product that I use and take which was recommended to me by my trainer. I want to give her full credit is a product called Con-Cret. It's CON-CRET. And the manufacturer is Promera Sports. You can go to their website. 

What I like that is important is that a lot of times people are worried about taking creatine, because they think it's going to make them bloated, it's going to make them look bulky. As it pertains to women, we just don't have enough circulating testosterone for that to be an issue. Obviously, I use one scoop a day in a protein shake and that works really well for me. Do I feel like it has to be timed around workouts? No. That's oftentimes the question I get. But I do take it during my feeding window. I don't take it in a fasted state. I would imagine men could definitely start with a higher starting dose. This Con-Cret product, it's 750 milligrams in a scoop. Obviously, if we're aiming for a gram a day, you probably want a little more than a scoop and a half or a woman. For a man, you might want a product that has more concentration of the product per scoop. Because for men, it was looking like maintenance phase is somewhere between two to five grams a day. Now, with that being said, I think low and slow is the way to go. Try it out, see how you feel, be careful sourcing supplements on Amazon. I don't know if you've talked about this before.

Melanie Avalon: We talk about this so much. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. You may actually get something legitimate on Amazon, but the statistical likelihood is pretty low. As it pertains to creatine, you can go directly to the Con-Cret website. I have no affiliation with them whatsoever. But that's generally the recommendation, because there's a lot of junk that's out there. I'm not going to name stores that I think of when I say this, but you really want to look like-- My trainer at one point was an IFBB like bodybuilder. She now looks like a very petite normal person. But this is the product she uses and recommends for her clients, and she's very research based, and very smart. And so, I always like to give her props. But creatine, yes. Creatine supplementation, especially for women really important. We don't have as much circulating in our tissues. In our menstrual cycles, we definitely want to be supplementing it. If we are perimenopausal, menopausal, we want to be more apt to be utilizing creatine because it can help with muscle and bone strength. Like I mentioned, it's not an if but when. Sarcopenia will happen if we don't work against it. That's why Melanie and I always talk about this. You have to eat enough protein, make sure you're doing some weightbearing exercise, getting high-quality sleep, all of which can help you ward off sarcopenia.

Melanie Avalon: I love this. Did you listen to--? How many times can we say Peter Attia on today's episode? Do listen-- [laughs] We're such fan girls. Did you listen to his interview with Layne Norton, recently?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have not, because I went down a rabbit hole listening to-- So, do you know the Low Carb MD Docs?

Melanie Avalon: I do. Who are they? I think so. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's Dr. Tro and then Brian Lenzkes. They're very good friends. But Tro and biolane as he calls himself have had some knockdown drag outs. But they did actually have a very respectful conversation. I've listened to him on a few other people's podcasts and I have to set aside the time, because as anyone who knows Peter Attia, or Huberman Lab, or any of those, it can sometimes be a two-and-a-half-hour conversation. I have to mentally be on my game to set aside that amount of time and take notes. I haven't listened yet. That was my long explanation for having listened yet, but I do intend to.

Melanie Avalon: Do you what's funny? Speaking of sleep earlier, I listen to very specific podcasts at night during my routine. The shows I listen to at night are always either Ritual, Well-Fed Women, or Peter Attia. I just wonder if I were to listen to Peter Attia during the day, if I would get sleepy, because I'm so conditioned to-- It's like my wind down. I find it very comforting to hear him talk about. [laughs] In any case, though, that recent episode, we can put a link to in the show notes, because they did a deep dive into creatine. Layne was talking about the importance of what you just talked about of finding a good version. They were talking a lot about all the claims that are often put on them are just marketing. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Melanie will share the research study I shared with her via text message before we jumped on. My hope is that we are going to be able to offer up some research-based opinions on a lot of topics that people are interested in learning more about. And obviously, if people are interested in learning more, I actually have a lot of notes. I took a lot of notes when I was reading a lot of research articles, because there's a lot to creatine, it's really interesting. Maybe what we'll do is create a mini-creatine PDF or something in the future.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that'd be amazing. Questions for you. "Should everybody be taking creatine?"

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, from what it sounds like, I didn't see any major contraindications. Meaning, things that people shouldn't be doing. But I think when women are in their follicular phase, that's when actually creatine is at its lowest. It's reduced in pregnancy, it's obviously lower in postmenopausal women. Obviously, if you're pregnant, I'm not advocating you take this. Let me just put that caveat in there. You have to have a conversation with your OB or your nurse midwife. But menstruating women, yes. Postmenopausal and Perimenopausal women, yes. Because what people don't understand is that muscle loss with aging also impacts our insulin sensitivity, and impacts our metabolic health, and we want to do everything we can to maintain as much lean muscle mass as we can throughout our lifetime. What's interesting is we become insulin resistant in our muscles first. This is really important for people to understand. 

To me, I want to do everything I can to preserve my muscle mass and to continue to build it. I know you're going to interview Dr. Gabrielle Lyon. She's a good friend and I've interviewed her on my podcast. We can even include that link. But she is a muscle protein synthesis expert and she talks a lot about these kinds of topics. I always say she's rubbed off on me entirely, forced me to really understand muscle physiology to different level. For everyone that's listening, unless you're pregnant, I'm not making any blanket statements about pregnant women. But menstruating women, men, and women in middle age like perimenopause and menopause, you can benefit from this. I think it's fairly inexpensive. I want to say, when I bought Con-Crete, I think it was under $25 and it's got 64 servings. You might buy a couple of these a year trying to see how you feel it does for you. But for me, because I'm at a stage where I need to continue to preserve, and maintain, and build what I have, and I'm working at a hormonal disadvantage at this stage. If you're under the age of 40, you're at a hormonal advantage to someone who's middle age. So, it's easier to build and maintain muscle. But at my stage, I have to work harder at it and I'm okay with that. I'm not complaining.

Melanie Avalon: "Since it's an amino acid would you consider breaking the fast?" 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I would take it. I take it in a shake. To me, I can consume it in a feeding window. I think one of the things that I've seen pretty consistently in your communities and our new shared communities, but also in your own community, people are trying to figure out like, "When they can take something?" When they can't take it, take this with food, or take this with a meal, or take it in a shake. There's no taste to it. I've even put it on water. That's not my preferred way, but you don't have to take it immediately after exercise. Just like you don't have to consume 30 grams of protein immediately after exercise. Your body keeps track over a 24-hour period of time. Don't get caught up in the before and after nonsense. There's so much misinformation about that in particular that I just see across social media. People are paralyzed about when to take stuff. This is definitely something worth taking in your feeding window. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that was actually something from the Layne Norton episode. He's all about eat protein constantly all day.

Cynthia Thurlow: Have you seen him? He's pretty big. He's a big guy.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. What's interesting about the creatine, so, it recently, semi-recently came on my radar, independent of all of this conversation. I'm going to interview a guy named Simon Hill, he wrote a book called The Proof Is in the Plants. Do you know him? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-mm.

Melanie Avalon: He's big in the vegan world. He was on Rich Roll and they were talking about creatine because there is this study that is, I guess, hotly debated. It's called The Influence of Creatine Supplementation on the Cognitive Functioning of Vegetarians and Omnivores. And basically, what it did was it looked at omnivores and vegetarians before with no creatine supplementation, and then gave them these different cognitive tests, and then had an arm who took creatine to see how they performed with the creatine. When they did that the vegetarian arm performed way better, way better. Whereas before, they had been pretty similar in their performance on the cognition test. It's complicated and the reason it's debated is people debate about how to interpret those findings. But the main way it's been interpreted is, since the vegetarians did way better with creatine supplementation than the omnivores indicates that maybe they were deficient in creatine. That might be something to consider, which is that if you are everything. Cynthia was just saying, if you're not getting all of your protein, or if you're on a vegetarian, or a vegan diet, this definitely might be something that you would like to supplement with.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I'm so glad you brought that up because that was a part of my little segue. The other thing that I just want to interject that I thought was interesting is, we know that creatine has benefits on sleep, because it interacts specifically with glycine and GABA. These are these inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain. A lot of people take GABA before bed. But I will say that since I've been taking creatine, I feel there's a whole mountain of things I take to support sleep. I'll be totally transparent. But when I've been consistently taking certain supplements, I've definitely noted an improvement in my sleep quality for sure. But there's also research to show that it can be helpful for sleep support as well.

Melanie Avalon: Out of curiosity, what have been some of the main things that you've implemented that you've noticed? Again, it's hard like you just said because there are so many factors. But what are some of the things that you've noticed the biggest effects on your sleep?

Cynthia Thurlow: In terms of supplementation or just lifestyle? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I guess, anything.

Cynthia Thurlow: I would say GABA and L-theanine for me have been huge, huge. Those two in particular and then high-dose melatonin, and obviously, north of 40, we make less melatonin. Just like every other hormone, we start producing less and less of things. I started working with a new integrative medicine doc towards the tail end of 2021. When he looked in his labs, the first thing he said was, "Oh, my God, you need some melatonin." I said, "Well, my sleep isn't that bad." And then we started talking about the role of melatonin and how it's this master antioxidant. And so that's something I've been using with my own patient's, high-dose melatonin that has really been life changing. This is not medical advice. Obviously, have a conversation with your healthcare provider. But if you're north of 40, you're making less of it and melatonin is more than just helping you sleep. I think those three things for me, the GABA, the L-theanine, the high-dose melatonin has really made a tremendous net impact. I think you're going to interview Dr. John Lieurance, right on your Biohacking.

Melanie Avalon: I did interview him. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. He reschedules, I reschedule. He reschedules, but he has a product called Sandman. Have you tried it? 

Melanie Avalon: No, it's in my refrigerator.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think it freaks everyone out, because it's per rectum, which my entire family thinks it's hilarious. I only maybe use it once a week. But wow, that stuff-- it's pretty powerful. Don't be afraid of it. But I think when you're younger, there's probably less need of being on super physiologic dosing. I look forward to connecting with him because the more I learn about chronobiology, and circadian biology, and melatonin, the more I feel I'm just I'm like, "Wow, my eyes are open to a whole new world."

Melanie Avalon: I think you and I talked about this when I interviewed you on my show. But I interviewed John, I read his book, which is I think called like Melatonin Miracle or something like that. I was like, "Well, this is very convincing." I still even despite reading his whole book, which talks a ton about there not being a feedback loop system that would hinder your natural melatonin production, I was still not quite sold. He sent me that you use different words that I normally hear. What word did you use for it?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, per rectum, it's how you take it. I was trying to explain to people like you put it up your bum, that's how you take it. It's a very vascular area. So, it's a good way to administer medications or supplements.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, what's funny-- It's fit in my refrigerator. I feel like John will text me every month or so. I'll be like, "Have you tried it yet?" I'm like, "It's still there."

Cynthia Thurlow: No, don't freak out about it. But I do agree with you, Melanie. Even when I was talking to Michael Breus, I asked him what he thought about high-dose melatonin. He wasn't a fan. I think it always needs to be taken in the context of, for me, I'm 50 years old. My body makes less of it. I sleep better with some supplementation. I'm okay with it. But would I have taken that at 30? Probably, not. Your body's still making vibrant amounts of that hormone and so I think maybe cut it in half and use half the dose.

Melanie Avalon: Well, two things shifted my thinking on that. One was I-- Three things. One was, when I got COVID, the doctor I was working with who is more-- He's a conventional MD, but more open minded. Part of his protocol was getting on melatonin for COVID. I was taking pretty high-dose melatonin during that and not experiencing any perceived negative benefits of that. And then two other things happened. One, the melatonin I currently use is by Pure Encapsulations. It's the exact same bottle as my digestive enzymes. Same size, same color, same everything. I take an exuberant amount of digestive enzymes, like a ton, especially I eat pounds and pounds of protein. I took half a bottle, not realizing it. [chuckles] What was interesting was, I woke up the next day, because I didn't realize that I'd taken that much-- I didn't realize until the next night that I'd taken in half a bottle of melatonin. I was like, "Oh, okay, I think may be my perception--" I didn't experience any feelings of grogginess or anything. I just felt really good the next day. I was like, "I wonder how much my perception of melatonin making me feel too drowsy or an issue. How much of that is psychological?" Because when I took half a bottle not realizing it, it was fine. 

The third thing that sold me on it was interviewing Dr. Steven Gundry for his newest book. His book, Unlocking the Keto Code, he talks a lot about the mitochondria in the cell and everything that's happening with energy production. And even though, John Lieurance talked about in his book, I don't think I really grasp the fact until I read Stephen Gundry's Unlocking the Keto Code that in our cells, the two things that are really keeping those mitochondria going and serving as antioxidants are glutathione and melatonin. Then I was like, "Oh, so, melatonin, it has a lot of benefits on a cellular level beyond just sleep." Now, I do supplement with it more. I'm trying to find my right dose, but I take at least one of my pills each night. I think it's three milligram. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it sounds appropriate. It's funny. MD Logic makes a product and I was transitioning from designs for health. They have a sustained release formulation. In my mind, I was like, "Okay designs for healthy dose and I'll make the equivalent with this other product." It's the first time I've taken too much melatonin. Three of the same, it was the same dose, but MD Logic's product was stronger. I woke up the next day and I could barely get my eyes open. I was like, "The thing you do if you've taken too much melatonin as you get sunlight exposure on your retinas that will help suppress melatonin, increase cortisol." I'm oversimplifying, but yeah, I got out and took a two mile walk outside in the Sun without sunglasses, and then felt better. But I was like, "Whoa, that is not the same. It's much stronger."

Melanie Avalon: Which brings us back to the importance of vetting your brands. There actually is a study, when I was researching, I think for this show, I was researching, when they test supplements, the actual-- what's included in the supplement and there's a study on testing melatonin supplements. Oh, my goodness, the range of what was in them compared to what they said is just so scary. [chuckles] You definitely want to make sure that you are taking brands that you trust, and it sounds like MD Logic's melatonin probably, actually has what it says it has. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, no, no, it was unbelievable. I was stunned. I think after many years of prescribing medications, and supplements, and things like that, I'm pretty savvy. But that was a little humbling. I was like, "Oh, thank God, I'm glad I didn't have to be talking on a stage that morning. I would have been feeling I was struggling a bit." I'm like, "I got a little too much melatonin," but you can work around that.

Melanie Avalon: If you would like to get their melatonin, we'll put a link to their website in the show notes, but the code, MELANIEAVALON will get you a discount code on their website. So, okay, well, this was so fun. I'm excited, because this was our first-- Last week, I just interviewed you. But this was our first normal episode [chuckles] and I really enjoyed it.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. No, it's nice to have a forum to be able to discuss some of these things, because it's hard on social media. I endeavor to try to respond like when that New England Journal medicine article came out, I did a very brief IG live, just so that it was available to be able to send out and share with people. But as I'm sure you're in the same boat, it's impossible to get to every question and answer every question. I look forward to seeing what the listeners want to learn more about. And obviously, we didn't get to all the questions that we've been asked. So, we'll get to those in future episodes.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Yeah, it's really nice to have, especially the creatine as well, to have had a foundational conversation. Then in the future, when people are like, "What about creatine?" We can be like, "We talked about it on the IF podcast. For listeners, if you go to ifpodcast.com, there is a search feature there. Because we have transcripts for all the episodes, you'll usually find the episode, where we talked about it, which is really nice. Definitely take advantage of those transcripts and the search function, which some resources for you guys. 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. You can get all of the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike and you can follow us on Instagram. I will say, Cynthia, you're one of my Instagram role models. [chuckles] You do it so well. You do all those IG lives and I'm like, "Ah." They drain me so much, the IG lives.

Cynthia Thurlow: You and I've learned shorter is better. Not only does it get more views, because I used to get so many questions when I would do Ask Me Anything. I was like, "Oh, I'm going to do an IG live and I'll answer all them all at once." No, no, it turns into an hour-long discussion. I told my team, "Now, I'm going to just be targeted." When I come on, I've got something to say. My team did reels yesterday that has gotten some interesting feedback. I may have to address that in an IG live this Week at some point.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, exciting. For listeners, if you'd like to see all of that content, okay, tell me your handle, again. There are underscores in it, right?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It's @cynthia_thurlow_. If anyone who's wondering, I used to have a business name. And so, after the viral TED talk, I got the bright idea that I was going to change all of my social media handles to the same thing. The unfortunate thing for me was that a lot of the handles that I wanted were already taken by other Cynthia Thurlow. So, I was left with-- It's bizarre constellation of different usernames on different platforms. But yeah, @cynthia_thurlow_, you'll see me there.

Melanie Avalon: And I am just @melanieavalon. I've actually been pretty surprised with social media that knock on wood. Melanie Avalon was pretty much always available everywhere. Even on Venmo, [chuckles] it's like a unique name that I guess nobody has.

Cynthia Thurlow: This is my married last name. And so, there are a lot of Cynthia Thurlows and that's their maiden name. So, inevitably, at least once a month, I get a message asking, if I'm someone that's from Maine, and I'm like, "No, this is my married name. I'm nor that person. Nope, nope, nope."

Melanie Avalon: So, yes. Well, I think that is all the things. This has been absolutely wonderful and I will talk to you next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds great.

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

May 22

Episode 266: Introducing Cynthia!, Fasting In Middle Age, Diet Recommendations, Peri- And Post-Menopause, Accepting Success, The Wellness World, Being Realistic, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 266 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 Sample Pack For Only The Price Of Shipping!!

PREP DISH: Prep Dish Is An Awesome Meal Planning Service Which Sends You Weekly Grocery And Recipe Lists, So You Can Do All Your Meal Preparation At Once, And Be Good To Go For The Week! It's Perfect For The IF Lifestyle! The Meals Are All Gluten-Free, Keto, Or Paleo, Which Is Fantastic If You're Already Doing So, But Also A Wonderful Way To Try These Out With No Feelings Of Restriction! Get A Free 2 Week Trial With The Paleo, Keto, And SUPER Fast Menus (plus More!) At prepdish.com/ifpodcast!

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

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

SHOW NOTES

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

3:50 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter 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!

Leave a new review (or update an old one) on iTunes to get exclusive access to the lost epsiode: Epiosde 1!

14:45 - about cynthia

17:40 - Allopathic Medicine

20:40 - PREP DISH: Get a free 2 week trial At prepdish.com/ifpodcast! You'll get weekly gluten-free and Paleo grocery and recipe lists!!

23:40 - having serious health challenges

Intermittent Fasting: Transformational Technique | Cynthia Thurlow | TEDxGreenville

27:35 - when your TedTalk goes viral

29:30 - creating a fasting program from scratch 

31:30 - confronting old wounds; doing the internal work for healing

33:20 - accepting an award and appreciating your success

36:15 - being in the wellness sphere 

37:50 - how Cynthia started fasting

40:00 - having fasting variety

43:35 - being realistic about habits

44:45 - AVALONX: Order At avalonx.us, And Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At melanieavalon.com/avalonx!

Cynthia's Podcast Everyday Wellness

49:20 - how to fast for your cycle

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #74 - Benjamin Bikman, Ph.D.

54:45 - progesterone and hunger

56:10 - what type of diet approach does cynthia recommend?

1:01:55 - the clean fast

Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

1:08:30 - Creating the book

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

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

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

You can get a free LMNT sampler pack. We're not talking a discount, we're talking free, completely free. You only pay $5 for shipping. If you don't love it, they will even refund you the $5 for shipping. I'm not kidding. The sample pack includes eight packets of LMNT, two Citrus, two Raspberry, two Orange, and two Raw Unflavored. The Raw Unflavored ones are the ones that are safe for your clean fast and the other ones you can have in your eating window. Word on the street is the Citrus flavor makes an amazing Margarita, by the way. I am loving LMNT and I think you guys will, too. Again, this is completely free. You have nothing to lose. Just go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. That's D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dotcom forward slash IFPODCAST. I'll put all this information in the show notes.

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

Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so, you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends these products really, really work. They are incredible. They have counter time for anti-aging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life and their makeup is amazing. Check out my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey, even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready. They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, products for babies and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. Also, make sure to get on my clean beauty email list, that's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list. So definitely check it out. 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 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 266 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I am so, so excited and thrilled to be here with our new cohost, Cynthia Thurlow. Cynthia, welcome to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Cynthia Thurlow: Thank you. I'm really excited to be here.

Melanie Avalon: Listeners, you might be familiar with this change that happened. We talked about it on the episode last week with Gin. We sent some email announcements, talked about it on social media, but basically, the story leading up to this whole change and transition that we are very excited about, it's been an amazing five years having this show with Gin Stephens, who is a wonderful partner and we've just really had a beautiful time doing this show. But just due to her life's transitions, and what she's doing, and she has two other podcasts, and she's focusing on her personal social media community, Delay Don't Deny community that she has, we decided that it was time to part ways on this show. The backstory that happened and I knew I had to find the perfect cohost for the show. And honestly, the first thing I thought was that Cynthia Thurlow would be the perfect cohost for the show. I didn't know if it would actually manifest. I was hopeful, but I put it out there to the universe and I was so, so thrilled that Cynthia was even remotely open to the idea. 

Our personal connection leading up to this, I've had Cynthia on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast twice. I've also been on her show, Everyday Wellness, which is absolutely incredible. And Cynthia herself is basically a legend in The Intermittent Fasting Community. I'm sure that many of you are probably very familiar with her. But actually, probably, just be asking Cynthia more to tell her story about all of this, but she has a TED talk that went viral about intermittent fasting called Intermittent Fasting Transformational Technique. If you look at it today, it has over 11 million views, which is crazy. And she recently released the fabulous book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation and for my second episode with her on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, we dived deep into that. And she's been everywhere all over the news like ABC, and Fox, and Medium and Entrepreneur. On top of all of that, as if those credentials aren't enough, Cynthia and I are personally friends. We even before as being cohosts now, we're talking most days. She's a beautiful, kind, amazing, incredible human being. She's also a Nurse Practitioner. She really has the savvy of the science and the clinician knowledge when it comes to all of this. When I say that Cynthia is the perfect cohost for the show and I am just so excited. I really mean that. So, again, Cynthia, thank you so much for being here.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it's ironic that I think back to when I first got an email from you in 2019 to interview me for your podcast, that was really the first opportunity we had, and we became fast friends, and certainly, it's just been a very organic friendship and conversation. I was telling my team earlier today that in so many ways, you inspire me to be a better interviewer, a better podcast host, to be curious about the world as I always have been, but to do it through a different lens, and so it's really exciting to have us both together to be able to tackle some of the topics that come up for our listeners and for people that follow us on social media, I was laughing and sharing with Melanie that I was already getting DMs with questions about things specifically, our listeners hope that we will discuss on this podcast. And so, that's really exciting. As many of you probably already know, there's a real natural ease to our discussions and so, my hope and my intent is to continue to provide really valuable conversations to my community, to your community, to this joint community, and to be able to honor the wonderful work that both you and Gin have done in the past, and offer a different perspective moving forward as a clinician, and as a human being, and certainly, as a fasting aficionado as well.

Melanie Avalon: Well, first of all, thank you for saying that. That is so, so kind. Yeah, I was just thinking about how, because you and I talk offline all the time. We often talk in voice messages via text. So many of our conversations could be podcast episodes just by themselves, because we're always just talking about health-related stuff and fasting. I just think there's so much content that we can dive into that actually answers a question I was going to address for the audience. The format of the show is going to be staying pretty similar to the way it has been, still listener questions, we're going to be answering them, but we will be bringing Cynthia's new perspective. It'll be really, really exciting to dive deep into all of that. Today's episode is actually going to be more of an interview style to introduce you guys to Cynthia. No listener questions today. They will be coming in all of the future episodes. And actually, I will go ahead and mention this now. We have an exciting announcement. 

As you guys know, there is the mysterious missing Episode number 1 of this show, which is not available to the general public and we get questions about it all the time. Well, we now have it. It's not going to be public. It's not on the feed right now. But if you would like to get it, we came up with a fun, little incentive that we thought we would do to welcome Cynthia and also give you guys access to that episode. If you have written an iTunes review, go into iTunes and update it and/or if you haven't written one before, you can write a new review. All you have to do is review the podcast, but include in there somewhere, what you are excited about or what you're looking forward to with Cynthia being on board. Anything that in particular you're excited to experience with her, and send a screenshot of that review to questions at ifpodcast.com, and then we will send you a link, so that you can listen to the mysterious Episode number 1, which will also be a nice little thing to do in honor of Gin, as well. So, very excited about that. Okay. To start things off, Cynthia, for those who are not familiar with you, would you like to tell them a little bit about your personal story? So, what was your personal health journey, what led you to intermittent fasting, and why you are doing what you're doing today?

Cynthia Thurlow: It's a great question. One that I think is really important because I would imagine that the span of the IF Podcast audience is probably 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. We can speak about it from two different perspectives. The easiest way to explain it was that I fell into intermittent fasting, because I hit the wall of perimenopause. For anyone, who's unfamiliar with what that represents, it's the five to 10 years preceding menopause. It was in my early 40s, doing all the wrong things. I had a very demanding job. I, at the time worked for a really high-level cardiology practice in the Northern Virginia suburbs. I was seeing patients in clinic, in the hospital. I had two young boys. I had a husband, who did a lot of international travel, and I probably wasn't sleeping enough, and was doing the wrong types of exercise, and that represents doing things like CrossFit in the context of all those other variables, and so, I got stuck.

I woke up one morning, I was exhausted, and I stayed exhausted, it wasn't getting better no matter how much sleep I had. I was starting to feel like I was becoming increasingly sensitive to the foods I ate. For the first time in my adult life, I was weight loss resistant. It didn't matter what I did. I couldn't lose the weight that I'd packed on during this timeframe. A colleague had mentioned intermittent fasting to me and this was completely contrary to anything I had learned as a clinician. I used to tell my patients, "Eat to stoke your metabolism, and eat every two to three hours, and make sure you have snacks," and things that make me cringe at this point. I rather tentatively started fasting and felt so much better. Didn't lose weight automatically, let me be clear about that. But I felt so much more cognitively clear. I had so much more energy, I started sleeping better. Then I started weaving it into the work that I was doing with my own patients. I would talk about it, which of course, their expression when I talked about fasting was probably the same expression I had when it was brought up with me that it seemed completely contrary to what the antiquated dogma had been. 

My journey really started with that. But as it pertains to how I got so well known in this space was that six years ago, about six years ago, now, I left clinical medicine. I've gotten to a point where I was really struggling with the volume of prescriptions I was writing that I felt very unaligned with the traditional allopathic model, although, let me be clear. If you're emergently or urgently sick, allopathic medicine is where it's out in terms of technology. We just don't do a great job with prevention and we certainly don't do a great job with chronic disease management. For me, I was so disaligned with how I had trained and so, I left clinical medicine without a business plan, which I would not recommend doing. Then leaped into the space and said, "I'm going to be successful." My husband thought I was insane. I did become successful pretty quickly, because I started attracting the same type of woman that I was. Middle-aged women, where there's not a lot of emphasis on care, physicians, and other Nurse Practitioners, other providers don't really know what to do with us in this stage of life. Sometimes, they offer things up like oral contraceptives to "control our menstrual cycles," they offer things like IUDs, and ablations, and hysterectomies, and then sometimes, they offer up hormones.

But the point of why I'm sharing this is that it really empowered me to want to be someone that would speak on behalf of all middle-aged women, because we were so poorly represented. And then quite frankly when I started really digging into management for women in middle age, it became even more glaringly obvious that we were so underrepresented. And so, being an introvert, I decided to do a TED talk. I thought this was really safe way to work through my introverted nature. I was offered one in probably October of 2018 and talked about the super sexy topic of perimenopause. Very relevant, I promise. And very soon after I was offered the opportunity to do a second one. It was very special to me because I was going to be delivering this talk in South Carolina. For many listeners, they may not know that's where I was born. My father was finishing his PhD at University of South Carolina. South Carolina has always held very special memories. I still have a lot of family there. And I kept saying, now, this is going to be great. I'm going to do this second talk in South Carolina. This will be wonderful. Family will be able to come. 

But fast forward to a couple of weeks before then I actually got quite sick. I almost died. And part of my healing journey was convincing myself and my children that I was okay. And so, the intent that I set for that second talk that you alluded to at the very beginning of this introduction was really just to show my kids I was okay that I had gone from being a super healthy person to suddenly being critically sick. I did that talk with a ruptured appendix and really the rest is history. Because when that talk came out in May of 2019, it changed everything. I didn't realize that I would be standing on a platform, not only for women, but also as an expert in intermittent fasting. So, I very humbly share that story, because all of those pieces all now make sense, although at the time they did not.

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Melanie Avalon: I forgot that your experience of the hospital and everything that happened prior to that talk, it's interesting because it's something we've talked about before, because I had my own experience in the hospital with my severe anemia, and being admitted, and all of that. It's an experience unless you've had that where you could in theory technically die, and you're in the hospital, it provides such a layer of empathy to other people, who are going through health challenges on whatever spectrum that may be of severity. Not that I love that you went through that or that I went through that, but I think it's really nice that we both have gone through that and we can empathize with people, who have struggled with health conditions to a really intense effect.

Cynthia Thurlow: I agree. I think my mindset is always through adversity comes opportunity. For many people, no one would have questioned if I hadn't done that talk, no one would have ever questioned it. But to me, so much of it was proving to my children that I was okay. I think for anyone who's listening, we've all had instances in our lives, where are you showing up? For me, that's a large part of who I am as an individual. And although, I didn't realize it at the time how critically important that was on so many levels, because I think there's this forgotten misnomer that individuals don't realize that when we have those circumstances, when we have those instances where we have opportunities that come up after going through an illness, after going through a struggle and it doesn't have to be something health related, it allows us to show up differently. And so, I say all the time that those little micro decisions that made no sense to me at the time now are so abundantly clear to me why they happened as they did. I sit in complete gratitude. I say to everyone, I think as a clinician, how many thousands and thousands of patients I took care of over 20 years. Until I got sick, I really didn't appreciate and understand how powerless you are when you're lying in a bed and you're that sick. 

I remember, there were very specific nurses, I had great nursing care and I had terrible nursing care. It's not just about nurses. As a nurse, I can say, there were certain nurses, I would pray when they came on board, because I could relax. Because as sick as I was, I was aware of how sick I was. I had such great physician care and I was really fortunate, because not everyone has that. But I was so, so grateful and I remember really coming from a place of gratitude and deciding that from that day forward that I would in some way practice gratitude, because it is a practice every single day for the rest of my life, and that I would ensure that if I was given this opportunity, and it was a choice. If I was given this opportunity to live, I was not going to play small. I was not going to be fearful, or timid, or tentative. Because as an introvert, I sometimes can-- The before me, I might not have jumped at that chance, whereas the new me is always "everything is either a heck no or hell yes and there's no in between." That's how my life exists. Just like when you ask me, if I might be interested in being your cohost, it was a heck yes. There was no hesitation. So, that's the world that I now exist in. It's what I would encourage anyone who's listening to consider how are you living your life, how are you showing up, how are you practicing gratitude?

Melanie Avalon: I am so happy to hear you say this, because the gratitude piece is just so important to me as well. I think it's so powerful and I'm really excited that we can integrate this whole roll of mindset into our conversations. Oh, this is wonderful. I remember when I had my hospital experience, I as well like the whole nurse thing, some that are not so pleasant and some that were amazing. When I did have the great ones like you, I was just so grateful. I just felt, I was just like, "How do I thank this person for being here with me during this time of darkness?" So, yay for gratitude. I have a question about the TED talk. Did it go viral right away or did that happen later?

Cynthia Thurlow: No. And it's interesting, I knew that it was going to come out in May. Actually, I was standing in line, my kids were getting measured for swimsuits, and yes, you get measured for swimsuits, because they were competitive swimmers at the time. A colleague texted me and she said, "I think this is going to be different." I was like, "What are you talking about?" And she said, "Your talk is out and it's got a lot of views." The first day, I had 89,000 views and that was a little overwhelming, because I had just gotten through telling my children that we were going to have a laid-back low-key summer. And then we had a million within a week and then it just kept rolling forward. And so, yeah, it happened pretty quickly. I think I was still processing what was happening. And then my team wasn't prepared for that to happen. My website crashed and people were finding backdoors into the website, which is a whole separate topic. 

Melanie Avalon: What do you mean finding backdoors?

Cynthia Thurlow: I guess, if your web so-- I don't have the same website person now. But if your website isn't fully secure and I wouldn't know because this is not my area of expertise, but they were finding backdoors into programs, they were finding backdoors into stuff that I obviously was not properly secured. And then there was all this attention on me, like, people came to me and they're like, "I want you to teach me how to fast." I was like, "What?" [laughs] So, I didn't have a formal program. But the irony is, so from that viral TED Talk in May of 2019, within two weeks I created a program which was the foreshadowing to IF-45. When I tell people that the book that I completed last year, which was just published in March that it was easier to write than I had anticipated, because I had this existing program that became the backbone of the book with a lot of fleshing out. So, this is where all the lines make all the little dots that got me to where I am. It started making sense that that was the universe's way of creating this opportunity. Like, are you going to step up and take full advantage? That's a terrible way to explain. Are you going to take full ownership of this opportunity that awaits you? Give people what they're asking for. People are coming to you. They want to learn how to fast. 

And obviously, the complete irony is that the organizers of that second TEDx, so, the TEDx Greenville organizers asked me to do a gender slanted talk. They were women all the time, feel they're underrepresented. We really want you to do a talk just about women. Before then I worked with men and women. And then all of a sudden, I was evidently only going to talk about women and fasting. The things that make us unique and why we need to fast differently. It's another opportunity where the universe gave me another blessing, where I was able to continue to fine tune what I was doing. Not realizing that in December of 2018 when I accepted that talk that I would then be doing all the amazing things I've been doing the last several years. I always sit in complete gratitude. And truly when I say that it's not just for lip service. I really practice it every day being true to who I am, but also, acknowledging that these are blessings, these are amazing opportunities that came out of a talk that I did to demonstrate to my kids that I was okay like setting that pure intention.

I never did a talk for any other reason other than challenging myself and wanting to show my kids I was okay. The irony is, last year, I accepted an award and I cried through my entire acceptance speech. And anyone that knows me knows I'm not a particularly emotional person, but it was my brain finally processing. The trauma of being hospitalized for 13 days and what came out of that which-- If anyone's ever gone through a traumatic experience in their lifetime, it's like opening up a can of worms. Like all the stuff you thought you were dealing with, it's like, "Oh, no. The universe is going to throw you a wrench." And now, you got to work through all of it. It gave me an opportunity to deal with stuff that I hadn't dealt with before. I'm a huge advocate of doing internal work all the time. I have a Reiki provider I work with, I've got an energy person, I have a therapist, and I think it's been important for my trajectory of my lifetime to ensure that I'm consistently working on my stuff. All of us have stuff. I'm just using it in air quotes. All of us have stuff, but working on the stuff so that I'm a better mother, I'm a better wife, I'm a better human being, I can give more to people by being honest about how I'm showing up, and how authentic I'm being, and how transparent I'm being, and how honest I'm being. So, I look at that as one enormous exercise in evolving as a human being and as an individual.

Melanie Avalon: I love hearing you say that about working on yourself, and the therapists, and all of that stuff, and hearing you cry during the acceptance speech, and then how it related to your hospital experience. It's interestingly, I didn't realize the extent to which my hospital trauma had affected me, but then when I started working with my therapist on it, whenever it would come up in a therapy session, the subject of actually just even doctors or any of that I would just start bawling. I think it's so fascinating how we can hold trauma deep inside of us and not realize in our day-to-day life what it's doing until something opens it up and so, your experience when you were accepting that award. Which award was that, by the way?

Cynthia Thurlow: I'm part of a Mindshare Mastermind community. It was an award. It was Health Influencer of the year. But part of what made it so significant was, sometimes, I don't think I'm necessarily cognizant of what other people's perceptions are of how we define success. Joining that mastermind for me came at exactly the right time. It forced me to level up and stop being scared, or tentative, or fearful about embracing what had transpired in 2019. I'm very coachable. I tell everyone that like I'm very coachable. When I got direction, I took it. It meant a lot to me because it meant out of thousands of people that are in this big community, I'm the person that they felt best represented or help people define like, "Who in this space is really doing amazing things?" I kept saying very humbly, "You have to understand, I just did that talk to show my kids I was okay." And from that came all of this incredible success professionally and personally. There have been so many things that have come from that that have allowed my family to do things we wouldn't have otherwise been able to do. 

I was raised with the mindset of-- I have specific family members that have been incredibly and this is really taking off on a tangent. So, my apologies. I have family members, who've been very, very successful and I'd always been conditioned to believe that as a nurse and a Nurse Practitioner that I was just going to make a decent amount of money and all these things put in motion that I was going to be able to do a lot of different things. It goes back to that gratitude piece of just saying, I acknowledge that decisions I made, and things that were put into motion, and things that happened including winning that award very humbly were just things that came along the way from a lot of hard work and effort. I think sometimes people forget. I don't know if you recall that. There's a graphic out there that talks about people's perception of success. They just see the top of the iceberg and yet underneath there's all this other work. People will say, "Oh, you're so fortunate." I'm like, "Yeah, but I've actually been working hard for a while. This didn't just happen. But I'm really humbly grateful that all these things have occurred." Yes, I think for both of us we definitely have been through some health challenges that provide a lens and a perspective that we're able to see people differently and that is such a gift, because there are a lot of people that go through life who don't ever see that. They don't ever see adversity or they haven't experienced it. So, it colors their lens with which they view the world.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Two thoughts about that. One is that I'm really grateful and it's really thrilling that we are alive at the time that we're alive right now, because we are able to do this thing that we're doing in the health sphere that wasn't a thing. Even five, not maybe five years ago, even 10 years ago, which is this whole social media influencer sphere with health, and spreading education, and awareness. We're really able to create our worlds in that which I just think is so cool. Because with my background, with acting in the entertainment industry, and always wanting to do something related to that, it's a really cool hybrid that has manifested and I just really love it. The second piece was that I did it so because I've been hit with so many diagnoses, hypothyroidism, anemia, heavy metal toxicity, mold toxicity, even Lyme disease, or digestive issues, SIBO. For the longest time, I was like, "Someday, I'll be grateful for this, but not really [giggles] like maybe." But now, I think I can honestly say I am because I wouldn't be doing all of this if that hadn't happened. With each diagnosis that came it really put me on a fervent tangent research craziness to try to find what was going on and how to address it, which has just led to a cumulative ocean of knowledge. Not to say that I know everything, but I think it's all worked for purpose like you were saying. Question about fasting. So, when you first started fasting, how did you do it? What type of window?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. To be honest with you, I think I started with a 14:10, because in my mind, I was like, "I'm going to die if I'm not eating more regularly." I think many people face these concerns and then I think fairly quickly within a week, I was probably doing a 16:8 and I felt really good. The nice thing was that the way my work schedule was, I had an augmented-- I'd a very part time augmented schedule. They just kept accommodating what other crazy schedule I asked for as a Nurse Practitioner and so I was able to accommodate said crazy schedule, because I could eat when I needed to. Oftentimes, I would break my fast in the morning in between seeing patients and then I pick my kids up from school at 2:30, so then I would then eat another meal. And then sit down with my kids when they had dinner. Initially, probably, a 14:10 and then progressed to a 16:8. But back then I didn't know that variety was a good thing to do. I probably steadily kept at that pace for, gosh, probably six months. And then as I started doing more research and learning more then I got more creative and by then, I think my husband had started fasting as well and he just effortlessly, like, he stays up later and likes to fast till a later point during the day. And so, it was fascinating to see how he was fasting. 

And then I would work with my women and see, because at that point, I also had this private business. I was taking on clients and on days, I wasn't working in the clinic or the hospital. I was working with these other people. It was really interesting and fascinating to me to see all the variables that are at play with women in particular, whereas my husband could do the same fasting schedule every day effortlessly with no problems. I couldn't do that. I very early on recognized there were times in my menstrual cycle when I could fast easier than others, but I didn't really understand why, and so that probably got me down a rabbit hole of figuring out what was contributing to that.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. I'm so, so glad to hear you talk all about that. That will be a little bit of a change or not a change, a different perspective that I think you'll bring to the show because both Gin and I, we are like your husband. [giggles] Gin maybe breaks it a little bit more than I do. We both do the one meal a day, all day, every day. We both have later windows. Mine is really late. Gin's is more normal, socially late with dinner. It'll be really interesting to hear your perspective on the different windows and such. So, I'm curious. When you're working with women, how many people are like me and Gin, where they do just stick to the same thing every day compared to more fluctuating windows, or adjusting for their cycle or longer windows, what have you seen?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Well, I can tell you the most people if they're working with me were, we have variety, because I think that's just fundamentally, I feel that's important to embrace what's going on in our cycles while we're still getting cycles and just having variety. I remind my patients, "We don't eat the same foods every day, we don't do the same types of exercise every day, we should fast differently most days." Because I think our bodies are really primed or if we want to think about it that way for variety and adaptability. Now, everyone's an individual. You'll oftentimes hear me say the term bio-individuality, but it's really leaning into what makes you feel good. And for me I don't feel good and my Oura Ring barks at me if I eat late. As an example, we were talking before we started recording and we were laughing about Oura Rings. I said, "My Oura Ring wants me in bed at 8:30," which is a joke, because I'm never in bed at 8:30. But I endeavor to be in bed by 9:30. And Melanie was joking and saying, "Her Oura tells her to go to bed at 2 AM."

Melanie Avalon: That's a true statement. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. It just goes to show you, I'm an early bird, you're a night owl, or if we want to embrace the terminology of Dr. Michael Breus, we might know the dolphin and I'm a lion, but I'm completely aligned with that. But to me, I guess, because I'm looking at this as a middle-aged woman, the things that I see with OMAD that concern me for middle-aged women is, can you get your protein intake in? That's always the basis of the conversation of, these are the macros that I want you to aim for and that usually gets the conversation going. Because when I was in my 20s and 30s, my macros were different, my sleeping was different, it was effortless, and that's something I didn't appreciate enough until I got to be where I am. Now, it's like an art form in order to make sure I sleep through the night. But in all sincerity from my perspective based on insulin sensitivity and looking at research on where we are in our menstrual cycles, those variations of fasting in terms of windows and macro breakdown can be very important. But I think first and foremost, it always goes back to honoring yourself as an individual. I can make recommendations, but I really try to teach women to experiment to find what works best for them. 

But then also look at the science and say, "Okay, well, the science says X, but that doesn't work for me and I have to find something that's sustainable." I always say like, "I'm a complete realist." I can say we used to call it ivory tower back in the day because I went to this big academic research center. There were ivory tower nursing and then there was reality. I think of it very much the same way. We can look at the research and make recommendations, but we'll have to be realists. If you come to my house, Melanie, if you came to my house, I have two teenage boys. We have some junk food in my house, but it is the healthiest "junk food" that is out there because of some parameters that I set for my husband. When we go grocery shopping, however, I'm a realist. When it comes down to, we'll have to live our lives. If I make a recommendation and someone says, "I cannot do that," that does not work for me. That's okay. It goes back to the bio-individuality. 

Does this work for you? Is it something that's sustainable? Because that's something that I think is unique is that if something is not sustainable for you, you're not going to be successful with it. It's the recognition of what are your hell yeses and hell noes, and I have some and I know you have some as well. But my hell noes, I can't commit myself to doing because I cannot sustain that. We want to make sure or at least my endeavor is to make sure recommendations I make are something that can be potentially sustainable for someone as opposed to a quick fix. I'm not a big quick fix person. I will never be the person that's going to recommend, do this five-day cleanse and lose 30 pounds, like, that's not sustainable and that's crazy.

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AvalonX supplements are free of all common allergens like wheat, gluten, eggs, soy, dairy, shellfish, nuts, even rice, which is very, very common in a lot of supplements. Check for that. They also come in glass bottles and are vegan. For my first supplement serrapeptase, we created a special process that requires small batches to make that uses only a small amount of MCTs as the lubricant and filler. None of the other serrapeptases on the market are doing this. That was actually one of the biggest things to tackle because most of the serrapeptase on the market has problematic fillers and suspicious enteric coatings, which likely contain plastics and other potentially toxic compounds you don't want in your body. We use a special delay release capsule that ensures the serrapeptase reaches your small intestine, so that it can be absorbed into your body.

What is serrapeptase? It's a proteolytic enzyme created by the Japanese silkworm. When you take it in the fasted state, it actually breaks down problematic proteins in your body. So, it can really help anything where your body is reacting to problematic proteins. That's why it can radically help with allergies, it clears my sinuses like none other, and it can clear brain fog, studies have shown it may help reduce inflammation, enhance wound healing, help with pain, even reduce cholesterol, and break down amyloid plaque. Basically, it's the coolest supplement ever and it is an awesome way to really amplify your fast. I take it every single day. We also recently launched subscriptions so that you can get a big discount on my supplements, as well as help, support, sustainability by reducing emissions from shipping. And my next supplement is coming soon. That is magnesium. Get excited. If you want to get the latest information, specials, news about new supplements, and stay up to date on everything, AvalonX. Definitely get on my email list. That's at avalonx.us/emaillist. When you join that list, check for the welcome email to make sure it doesn't go to spam. And you can shop, of course, at avalonx.us. Again, that is avalonx.us. AVALONX dot US, avalonx.us. And I'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: I bet listeners can now see even more why I'm so excited about having you on the show. You just referenced all the things. I'm super excited about one, the importance of bio-individuality and finding what works for you. I cannot express enough how important I think that is, and just being open to new ideas, and really looking at the science, and knowing what you think is probably accurate, but also being open to different ideas and different things working. And then, yes, Cynthia does the things I do with the Oura Ring and I'll do another plug for your show, Everyday Wellness. A lot of the guests, because Cynthia mentioned Dr. Michael Breus, who wrote The Power of When. A lot of the guests that I've had on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, Cynthia has had on her show as well. That's another show for you guys to check out if there are certain guests that you really like and like to hear more content. That's amazing. And also, this is probably giving listeners ideas of questions to ask. If you do have questions about fasting, and the menstrual cycle, and hormones, and all of that, definitely start sending them, because we will really be able to talk about them. Listeners are probably dying to know, because I'm sure we have so many episodes together coming up or I'm sure we'll talk about this. But just briefly, how are you encouraging women to adjust fasting for their cycles?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. If a woman has a regular cycle, so, I'll just say, if you have the textbook, 28-day cycle, day one is when you start bleeding and up until day 14, that's the follicular phase when estrogen predominates and I always say, estrogen is our superpower. We are more insulin sensitive, we can go keto or low carb, we can push our workouts, we can also do all the things with fasting, longer fasts, 24-hour fasts, shorter fasts, whatever kind of fasts you want to do, you can get away with it. Then we ovulate, then we have the luteal phase when progesterone predominates. Progesterone is a hormone that is designed to be more a little more mellow, a little more laid back. You might not have as much energy. You become increasingly less insulin sensitive, which is really important, because we know most Americans are not insulin sensitive. About 90% of the population based on a study from 2018, which was pre-pandemic. You start to think about, what changes do I need to make. I always say that the closer you get to your menstrual cycle, this is usually when I will ask women to think about shorter fasting like 12 hours of digestive rest, which is still a great-- You're still doing great things for your body, 12 hours, 13 hours.

And perhaps, leaning into the fact that your body might need a little bit more in terms of quantity of carbohydrate to help with progesterone production. When I think about this, it could be as simple as hundred more, I don't count calories and I want to be clear about that. I'm a macros counter. If you want to count macros, great. But it could be that you have half a cup of sweet potato or maybe you're having a third of a cup of squash. Let me just also stick this little caveat in. I do with middle-aged women. Middle-aged women as they are getting closer to perimenopause, the five to 10 years preceding menopause, you become less insulin sensitive for a variety of reasons. One of them is that you're losing progesterone because your ovaries aren't producing as much and you are becoming increasingly more estrogen dominant. You're having a lot of symptoms. But a lot of times when I'm talking about recommendations, it's really for most of the women that I'm talking to. However, this can apply to younger women. You're going to want a little more discretionary healthy carbohydrate. And by that, I mean, don't go after like the bread and the pasta. Get some real whole food sources. Maybe for a younger woman, you can go with a couple of berries, maybe for a middle-aged woman, it's half a cup of berries, but experiment to see what works well for you. 

But understanding that as we are getting five to seven days preceding your menstrual cycle, we're going to back off the gas of fasting. Maybe we're just doing 12 or 13 hours of digestive rest, because we're having fluctuating amounts of progesterone. This is when women sometimes have sleep disturbances, this can be when women have more cravings. I find if we're really attuned to the changes physiologically that are happening in our bodies, then all of a sudden, the beautiful thing happens where we have less cravings, you're not struggling to get to 15 hours. I get DMs from women almost every day about this and I just always say, "If you're close to your menstrual cycle, don't fast for long times. And then when you start bleeding, you're heading back into your super power phase. And so, you can really push the envelope." That's a general methodology. Now, if you're a perimenopausal woman with really irregular cycles, if you're someone, who has PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome and has really irregular cycles, this is when I think testing can be helpful and we can obviously go into this in more depth in the future. 

More often than not, PCOSers are insulin resistant and they have a luteal phase defect. Meaning, their bodies aren't producing adequate amounts of progesterone, so it can prolong this anovulatory or cycle without ovulation. That's why these women can have cycles of 40 days, and they never ovulate, or even perimenopause when women are either on oral contraceptives, or IUDs, or maybe they've had a hysterectomy, but have their ovaries or they've had an ablation. They've no idea where they are in their cycle. There're definitely ways that you can hack that or maybe not hack, but you can work around how best to strategize with fasting. And so, lots of different ways we can look at that. But I always say, menopause is when women don't have to worry about those variables as much, but they do have other things they have to consider. So, a lot to unpack and definitely, I want the listeners to be sending questions, so that we can help honor wherever they are in their cycling or non-cycling journey.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'm really excited to see all the questions that I'm sure will come flooding in. Whenever I hear PCOS now, I always think of somebody we found on both of our shows Dr. Benjamin Bikman and everything that he talks about with the role of insulin and PCOS. So, I definitely recommend listeners check out those interviews if they're interested more in that.

Cynthia Thurlow: I bow at his temple. I think he's brilliant.

Melanie Avalon: He's so amazing. He's so nice, too.

Cynthia Thurlow: I heard he's writing a new book.

Melanie Avalon: Really?

Cynthia Thurlow: Mm-hmm. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Do you know what it's about?

Cynthia Thurlow: I don't know. He keeps alluding to it like, "What do you think I'm writing a new book about?" I'm like, "Ben, about insulin." "But what about insulin? That's always my response." I'm like, "I'll have to like pay more attention to what he's showing on IG Stories and what he's showing in his IG Feed, because I think he's probably giving us hints."

Melanie Avalon: Ooh. Oh, okay. He's going to have to come back on our shows [chuckles] for that one. Speaking about diet, actually, before that really quick question. Is progesterone, it's the reason we get really hungry right? Doesn't it boost metabolism?

Cynthia Thurlow: It can. The mindset methodologies, even if you don't want to get pregnant, your body is preparing itself for the potential pregnancy. And so, yes, it's going to increase and it falls along with that insulin. Lack of less insulin sensitivity, your body is looking for a food source. It is looking for a growth mindset. It is a time period in our bodies where the potential and I always put air quotes, "potential" for an ovum, and fertilization, all those things. It's really getting your body fine-tuned to prepare for the potentiality of that happening, even if it's not what you want to have happen. But yeah, I think it nicely correlates with the cravings that drive more caloric consumption. It's interesting because a lot of women will say, "That's the only time in my cycle I'll crave salts or that's the only time in my cycle I crave sugar." I think it's our body's way of trying to ensure those additional macros or calories, however you want to think about it. It's your body's biologic drive to prepare for the potentiality of growing a human.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, very, very fascinating. A question about, because you mentioned the dietary choices, the protein, counting macros, what in general, and again, we'll dive deep into this in future episodes. But in general, what type of macronutrient approaches are you recommending for women? Do you find women can find success on different macros? And also, because I imagine, I don't know what percent exactly of our audience, but there is a portion of our audience that does fasting and they don't really want to make any changes to their dietary choices. So, what do you find with that? Can you find women can be successful without changing what they're eating as well?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, actually, I have a college sorority sister who said to me, "I did nothing else other than eliminate breakfast." She wasn't eating the healthiest diet, admittedly and she lost 10 pounds right off the bat, and so, she was thrilled. It was later that she then became more vested and interested in changing her diet. Can people lose weight just with fasting? Absolutely. But I find for most women, especially, someone who's experiencing weight loss resistance, there's a reason for why that's happening. That the common errors that I see being made with macros are as follows. One, not enough animal-based protein. Number two, too much of the wrong type of fat. And the most consumed fat in United States right now, a la Bikman, is soybean oil. Number three is the wrong types of carbohydrates. I'm not anti-carb, but I do find for most women they have to flip all that. More protein, which is going to help us satiety, which is going to help with muscle protein synthesis. I know you're going to be interviewing Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, who I think is absolutely brilliant and she talks a lot about muscle protein synthesis and why you need to be hitting your protein macros. Changing up those fats, I'm not anti-fat either, and then changing up your carbs.

The methodology in my mindset, when I'm teaching someone about intermittent fasting is talking about the macros. More protein with your meals, it could be maybe you're eating 25 grams of protein with your meals, but really you need to be hitting 50. You're slowly working up and really thinking thoughtfully about the types of fats. I do better with plant-based fats like olives, coconut oil, etc. I don't do as well with animal-based fats, lard, duck fat, etc. Some people do, I just don't. I also gravitate towards leaner meat. I do better with that. So really, this is where the bio-individuality piece is really interesting. And then carbs, I eat carbs, but I cycle my carbs. I think it really goes back to what is sustainable. You said there are probably listeners that they can fast, but they don't want to change their diet. What is sustainable? Maybe it's just fasting and that's okay. If you want to take it up a notch, it's changing your macros. If you are a middle-aged woman and you are dealing with sarcopenia, which is not a question of if but when, meaning muscle loss with aging it will happen if you are not consuming enough animal-based protein, you're not strength training and you're not sleeping well. And for a lot of women, they struggle with all of those that can be a real possibility. 

I think it really goes back to what is sustainable. Because you and I can talk about the intricacies of different macros with different nutritional paradigms. But if someone's listening saying, "Hey, I can't do that and sustain it," then you stay with just do the fasting piece. And then if you want to add another layer, then maybe you tweak your macros. And then if you really are super, like, I always say if you're the Type A class, you want to be the teacher's pet. that next level is taking it up a notch, and getting really nuanced about ingredients, and where things are sourced from. But I remind people all the time, we have to meet them where they are. The way that people can successfully fast and change their lifestyle is based on meeting them where they are. I got shamed the other day, which drives my team crazy, because I had done a post about quick protein that people could take with them or quick to put together. Someone said, "I cannot believe that you are recommending a protein powder." I said, "Well, I'm all about meeting people where they are and do I use protein powder? Yeah, not every day. But I do on occasion." 

I think it goes back to the same thing, like, my intent is things that we talk about. I want things to be sustainable and I want people to feel they're getting those wins, and that they feel good about themselves, and that they're not feeling shamed. That's one of the things about social media, that's good/bad is that if we compare ourselves to everyone else, we're not going to feel good about ourselves. We have to just like, "What's working for me, what can I sustainably do, what makes me feel good, what makes me sleep well?" That's the stuff you lean into. Not the stuff that when you compare yourself to the FitPro, who's photoshopped on every social media platform that is not sustainable or realistic for anyone. If that's what you're using as your-- that's who you're comparing yourself to. You're setting yourself up for disappointment because that person doesn't even exist.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I'm so happy to hear you talk about the protein stuff, because that is just so, so important to me. I think it's so important and I think, especially, women who struggle with not feeling full or-- yeah, or hunger cravings, really focusing on protein can be pretty magical for that. I know we've both interviewed a lot of people, who talk about that as well. I'm really excited to interview Dr. Gabrielle Lyon. Thank you, by the way, Cynthia introduced me to her. Robb Wolf talks about it a lot, who I absolutely love. So, teaser. I think because we just had a question come in recently about recommended protein powders or our thoughts on protein powders. We'll have to maybe answer that next week and we can hear more about that. Here's a big question for you. I bet people are dying to know. What are your thoughts on the clean fast?

Cynthia Thurlow: I am very aligned with clean fasting. The reason why is I want people to get their best results. The best results mean you don't cheat. If you are coming from a Standard American Diet and you are completely sedentary, you may need to have a dirty fast for a period of time until your body is able to go a little longer without food. If I'm asking someone to go from three meals a day, snacks and mini-meals, and a highly processed hyperpalatable foods, that is going to be a big shift for them. The methodology about how we go about doing this, but it's a slow Band-Aid tear off. We're not going cold turkey. Remember what I said. We want this to be sustainable. It starts with no snacking, and then we move on to restructuring your meals, and then we go from dinner to breakfast, and then maybe this person is going to add a little bit of MCT oil to their coffee or they're going to add in a little bit of cream, because they're really struggling. Their body is not metabolically flexible. And metabolic inflexibility does not happen overnight and it's not going to be fixed overnight. That's, unfortunately, the conditioning with the toxic diet culture here in the United States that people assume that they're going to be able to remedy what other health issue they're having. I have to remind people it probably took you 10 years to get here. It's not going to change overnight. But we are going to make small incremental changes that are going to make it easier for you to get to your goals. 

When I talk about clean fasting, I always say for certain people that is a goal. For some people, they're like a duck to water and it's not a big deal for them to be able to drink bitter teas, and drink unflavored electrolytes, and etc. But for a lot of other people, it's meeting them than where they are. But it's always with the understanding. You're not going to have a stick of butter in your coffee every day for the rest of your life. Really being very clear and intentional about what are your goals, what's realistic for you? No shaming, because I think Dave Asprey does a really good job of talking about how he was a metabolic inflexibility disaster and that Bulletproof coffee, well back then, it wasn't called that, but fatty coffees were what allowed him to get to a point where he could consider fasting, like, truly fasting. I think they have their place. But dirty fasting is not the methodology that I really come from. I do think clean fasting is the best way to get the results. It's also when people realize and there are FitPros out there, God bless them. They talk about, "Oh, if it's under 50 calories, that doesn't count on." Its food. It technically counts and that stuff can add up. If you're someone that has tried fasting and you feel you're not getting the results you want, it could be because you're unknowingly consuming these types of things. This is impacting insulin sensitivity and you're not clean fasting, you're not becoming fat adapted.

To answer your question, again, yes, I'm a proponent of clean fasting. But it's always in the context of like, "What are your goals?" Because some people will fat fast like a champ or they want to do bone broth fast I'm like, "Okay, well, that's a different type of fasting, and it's a different goal, and looking at what people want to do." But clean fasting is the way if you want to do it in a way that I believe is sustainable, and also is going to get you the best results. It's really with that understanding. I always say if you're weight loss resistant, and you're really struggling, and you want to get back to change body composition, or you want to get back to a healthier weight, then you have to toss out the extra. It's just like condiments. If you're putting five tablespoons of salad dressing on your salad and you're wondering why you're weight loss resistant. It's like let's look at our condiments. It could be that little. That kind of data and information can be the missing link for why you are struggling. So, it definitely gives the listeners a sense of that we're definitely aligned on this. But it's always in the context of, who are you, how metabolically flexible are you, what are your goals? I think all of that's super important.

Melanie Avalon: I love hearing this as well, because I love the clean fast, obviously. I think we've had very consistent messaging on this show about the importance of the clean fast, which is basically, water, black coffee, tea, unsweetened. I think I've been consistent about this when I have been asked this or addressed it. It's because my own experience of starting fasting, I did not jump in to the clean fast automatically. I was doing at the time artificial sweeteners like commercial artificial sweeteners. Not like stevia or something like that. I think I was probably doing a little bit of cream in my tea or coffee and that worked for me. It worked as a transition. And yes, ultimately, I did come to the "clean fast," but I know for me, it actually worked fine transitioning that way. I know we've always been a proponent of just jumping in and committing in to the clean fast. I do think for a lot of people that actually will make it easier even if they think it won't. But I also think it's okay for people to go on the path that they need to go to. So, sounds like we're very much aligned in that aspect. Really quick thing about Dave. So, I've had Dave on my show. Cynthia has been on Bulletproof Radio, which is super cool. And has Dave been on your show as well?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. His last book, which is Fast This Way. It's like having a little mental moment. I was like Fast This Way. Yes.

Melanie Avalon: It's just a little fun fact. Did you know he just released a new coffee line?

Cynthia Thurlow: I do because I think he had disassociated with Bulletproof.

Melanie Avalon: I just learned about this because we actually have a mutual friend and he was saying that-- I think he's still a shareholder in Bulletproof coffee, but they wouldn't let him have the coffee in his coffee shops. [giggles] So, he had to make his own. Just a little fun fact. In any case, we are coming up on time. I'm sure that listeners are just so excited about sending questions and the future of this show. Maybe a good question to end with, because you did just recently release Intermittent Fasting Transformation, which friends go get this book right now. It is such a valuable resource. It is all of Cynthia's thoughts on all of these things that we've touched on. But in great detail, it is specifically speaking to women, which is amazing. It's a deep, deep dive into all the hormones, which you guys know, I love the deep dive into the science of things. Maybe two little quick questions to end with about the book. What was the most challenging thing writing the book and also, what were you most excited to share in creating this book?

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, great question. Actually, I've never been asked that question. The book proposal. Now, unless you've ever written a book proposal, you have no idea how difficult it is.

Melanie Avalon: I remember when you were writing it. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, it was painful. I didn't get a lot of guidance initially by my lit agent, who's wonderful.

Melanie Avalon: We've the same agent, yeah.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. And so, I didn't get a lot of guidance. That was issue number one. Once I got set guidance, I've realized how far off base I was. That was the hardest part by far. It was much easier to write the book, which does a lot. In terms of what I was so excited about was probably, this book was written with the intent. Remember, we started talking about intention. Written with the intent of this is the book I wish I had when I was younger and that was the sole intent that I really wanted women to feel heard, and understood, and by sharing my embarrassing perimenopausal journey that women would align with that and understand. This is not a book just written for middle-aged women. It's written really with the intent to be helpful to all women, women in 20s, and 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. 

I think what got me excited was the realization that all of what had been percolating in my brain for the last six years was coming to fruition and knowing that the intention had been set that I wanted this book to make an impact. Women would feel really loved and would feel they were in literally, I was there with them. Because I'm such a heart centered person, which I know Melanie knows this, but the listeners may not yet know this that the reason why I became a nurse, and the reason why I became a Nurse Practitioner, and the reason why I left clinical medicine and became an entrepreneur was because I wanted to make an impact. I wanted to connect with people, I wanted people to feel heard and valued, and there was such an enormous void in this space. So, there weren't any nurses that were writing books like this. I felt like it was an opportunity to really fill a void that was really needed. It comes from that heart directed place of wanting to help women, navigate the stages in their lives in a way where they felt hopeful, as opposed to scared, because that's the unfortunate thing, Melanie is that I feel a lot of women fear getting older for a variety of reasons. 

But what I hear from women most often is that women are fearful of not having a sense of what's happening to their bodies as they get older. When I say older, you could be like 35. When I say older, the things I didn't know were happening behind the scenes in my body, because I had two little people that required all my attention. I think there's really not enough for women that allows them to feel empowered about these life stages in a way that's accessible information, because you can go read a textbook or you can read a book that is written by a clinician, who's trying to prove to you how smart they are. I wanted it to be accessible and I'm sure this is becoming a convoluted explanation, but there were a lot of things that were on my mind when I was writing it, but the intent was to make women feel heard, and to make sure people understood that I cared, and I wanted them to feel empowered, and not to be scared.

Melanie Avalon: Well, that is definitely the feeling that I had reading your book. So, goal accomplished. For listeners, we'll put a link to the book in the show notes, so that you can get it, and Cynthia does record the audiobook for it. It is on Audible. They're one of the sponsors for our show. That's really exciting. And again, the show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode266 and the show notes will have a full transcript, and links to everything that we talked about. Definitely check that out. And again, just a reminder. If you would like to get the mysterious missing Episode number 1 of this show, those many, many years ago, and also help welcome Cynthia to the show, just go to iTunes, find your old iTunes review, and update it, or write a new iTunes review, and include somewhere in that review. It can be however short or long you like, but just include somewhere in there what you're excited about having Cynthia onboard as the new cohost of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. So, oh, my goodness, it's just such a good moment. I'm so happy. We're like ooh, first one in the books. [laughs] 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, and I think for me, because I interview people on my podcast. It's so different to be just talking. it's refreshing.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's fun. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's refreshing. I have to be honest. I have two podcasts on Monday and I'm knee deep in prep work, but it's nice to be in a position, where I'm talking to a trusted friend, talking about topics that we both love and embrace, and hoping that our conversation inspires others to do great things. There're so many layers to what I want to communicate.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad to hear you say that. That's actually something that Gin and I would reflect on a lot when we were doing the show, which is, because we have so many other things going on like you do as well. The fun, amazing thing about this show is, all of that just fades away and we get to just come here, and talk, and it's just like a conversation with friends. But we have a wonderful, amazing community listening with us. Yeah, so, I think it's going to be really fun. I'm excited. [laughs] All right, well, again, the show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode266. You can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. You can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon. Your handle is Cynthia Thurlow, right? Just your name?

Cynthia Thurlow: No, but I'm realizing, when I changed everything over from my old business name to just my name, it was never so easy. So, it's @cynthia_thurlow_ just to make things more complicated.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, I got it. @cynthia_thurlow_. Just look for the verified [laughs] profile. Yeah. All right. Well, I think that's everything. This has been absolutely wonderful and I will talk to you next week. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

May 15

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

Intermittent Fasting

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

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

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get 2 10 Oz. Ribeyes, 5 Lbs Of Chicken Drumsticks, And A Pack Of Burgers For FREE!!

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 2 10 oz. ribeyes, 5 lbs of chicken drumsticks, and a pack of burgers for FREE!!

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

10:00 - scott's personal story

12:00 - orphan drugs

20:30 - MD Logic

24:25 - purity, potency, and testing

28:00 - GMP (Good Manufacturing process)

31:00 - testing for authenticity, purity and potency

32:00 - melatonin

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

34:00 - organics

36:00 - Other Ingredients

38:00 - variances in dosage

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

47:45 - fillers and side effects

56:45 - MCT as the flow agent

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

1:00:30 - enteric coatings

Frequently Asked Questions

1:07:00 - serrapeptase

1:10:00 - timing

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

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

1:21:20 - rotation

1:21:35 - vitamin d

1:23:30 - magnesium

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

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

1:34:50 - HCL and digestive enzymes

1:35:40 - heartburn medicines

1:38:50 - Recommendations for other supplements

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

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

TRANSCRIPT

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

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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? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Emmens: I'm sticking with that story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Emmens: Dosage and context. 

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? 

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

Melanie Avalon: I'm not sure, probably.

Scott Emmens: What year was that? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Emmens: No, much smaller than that.

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

Scott Emmens: That product will soon to be coming. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: PQQ? 

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

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

Scott Emmens: Fasting is a tremendous mitochondrial support.

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

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

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

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

Scott Emmens: Sounds great. Thank you, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Scott Emmens: Bye-bye. 

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

May 08

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

Intermittent Fasting

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

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

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

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

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

TRANSCRIPT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

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

Melanie Avalon: Yes. So, Gin--

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Probably. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Maybe so.

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's right. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: No.

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: This is my laugh. Yeah.

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

Gin Stephens: Yeah. 100%.

Melanie Avalon: You learn a lot.

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

Melanie Avalon: What did they write?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: I love that. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Twice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: That is so crazy. 

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

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

Gin Stephens: I forwarded it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: It's a job.

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: This is true. 

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Wow, this was meant to be.

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow, really? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

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

Melanie Avalon: Methylcobalamin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay. Awesome. 

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

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

Gin Stephens: Other than an elimination protocol. 

Melanie Avalon: Yep. Any other thoughts about that? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: 100% right back atcha.

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

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

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

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

May 01

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

Intermittent Fasting

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRANSCRIPT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: Of 2017?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: I was so excited. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Wait, sorry. That just happened?

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

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

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

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

Gin Stephens: Now, that would be interesting. 

Melanie Avalon: Since the beginning. 

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

Melanie Avalon: I don't either. 

Gin Stephens: I don't know. 

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

Gin Stephens: Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: A lot of people started listening. 

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

Melanie Avalon: We had a lot of pun names.

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

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

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

Melanie Avalon: I know. 

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

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

Gin Stephens: Like a filler. 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. I was thinking how we haven't done that and I was thinking like, "Would I ever do that in any situation?" I know recently, this week on Peter Attia show, he aired an episode with a woman, who is pretty big in the low carb world, who passed away. So, he aired it like an honor of her.

Gin Stephens: Like a memorial, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And then I was thinking about my show and I was like, "Oh, would that be something I would do if that happened on that show." But--

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Hopefully, you'll never have to answer that question about someone passing away. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, listeners, thanks for being here. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and if you've been around for five years, plus, listening to every episode-- I know there are people that have listened to everyone. People, who like binge listen, but I don't know if they started back there in May of 2017, because [laughs] that was a long time ago. I feel like a whole different person now. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I do for sure in a good way. Well, I'm so grateful for the show.

Gin Stephens: Me, too. It's been a great ride. 

Melanie Avalon: And the listeners. 

Gin Stephens: And seriously, if it hadn't been for you, I wouldn't. [laughs] I'm sure I would not have any podcasts, because--

Melanie Avalon: Well, likewise. I still think the funniest thing is--

Gin Stephens: When you got kicked out of my group?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Not by me. I just have to say that. It was my moderators. I don’t know for anyone who hasn't heard the story, it's been a long time since we talked about it. It was back when I did have two Facebook groups. I had the one-meal-a-day group and I had the Delay, Don’t Deny group. Just those two. And the one-meal-a-day group was by far the biggest. It probably had, I don't know, 4,000 members, which sounded so big to me, then. Delay, Don't Deny had barely been out, because it came out at the very end of 2016 into 2017. So, it was probably what's it like March or April of 2017. You made a post in the group that said, "Hi, I'm an author of--"

Melanie Avalon: Okay, okay. I really wanted to start a podcast. I was like, "I need a cohost. How do I find a cohost?" So, I was googling the Facebook groups for intermittent fasting. That blows my mind. So, it was only around 4,000 members?

Gin Stephens: Something like that. I can't believe it was much more than that, because when I wrote Delay, Don’t Deny, I think it had 3,500. But it was the largest one-meal-a-day group. It was the only one-meal-a-day group really for a long, long time.

Melanie Avalon: I was like, "I really want to find a cohost." The important thing about the post I made was my goal with the post. I wanted people to know that I wasn't just some--

Gin Stephens: Right. You wanted to establish credibility.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I want to establish credibility. But I also didn't want to seem I was promoting my book. I don't remember the exact post, but I didn't even put the link to my book in the post. I said, "I had a book coming out, but I wasn't putting it in the link," because I didn't want to make it seem this was self-promotion. I was like, "How do I do this?" so that I establish credibility, but I make it super clear that I'm not trying to self-promote and it still completely failed. They kicked me out.

Gin Stephens: One of the moderators, they're like, "I just removed this girl." I'm like, "What?" Then I was like, "Oh, let me." Then I think I messaged you and I'm like, "Hey, sorry about that. The moderators thought you were in there." Because people would all the time come in and try to self-promote stuff, you know?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that completely makes sense, but it's just funny that I tried so hard to not do that and it failed.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, those moderators, they were very protective and I appreciate them so much, because they were like, "Not today, Melanie Avalon." 

Melanie Avalon: Shut down. I was wondering if that post is still there in archived.

Gin Stephens: No, well, I guess, it could be. I don't know. 

Melanie Avalon: Can you search through old posts? 

Gin Stephens: I don't go to Facebook anymore. I haven't been on Facebook.

Melanie Avalon: Can a person, like, can I?

Gin Stephens: Yo-yeah. It's archived. The group is archived. It's frozen in time, and nobody can go in, and put mad face emojis or comments, but you can go in and search. You can't join. Well, I don't think you can join it. The regular Delay, Don’t Deny group, I think the moderators-- there are still a few moderators were letting people join, but you can't do anything. We're not. That one is not archived, but it's not active either, but you can still search it. That was a long time ago. But five years is not a long time, but it is a long time. 

Melanie Avalon: I know. Yeah. 

Gin Stephens: Anyway, so much has changed. But thankful for the journey. 

Melanie Avalon: Likewise. 

Gin Stephens: Anything new going on with you?

Melanie Avalon: Not really. Just finishing up the magnesium specs, finishing up the artwork for my EMF locking device, launching the subscriptions for serrapeptase, prepping the other shows. So, all good things. How about you?

Gin Stephens: Well, not much just still. Doing some packing, getting ready to make the move, not sure what the timeline is going to be, that sort of thing. There's a lot going on. Master's week is ending like I said, so, that's when the real estate market picks back up in Augusta. Fingers crossed. We will sell our house soon. Ready to sell it and get going.

Melanie Avalon: Very exciting. 

Gin Stephens: It's a great house. Someone's got to love it as much as we did. I never thought I'd leave. The only thing that could get me out of here is going to the beach. So, [laughs] I'm really looking forward to being there all the time. Today, it'd be a beautiful day to go to the beach if I was at the beach, but--

Melanie Avalon: And you guys really fixed it up, right, the house?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we did. It's a house that was built in 1979. We didn't do everything that could have been done to it, of course. I'm also the kind of person that doesn't think every house has to match the year trends. You know what I mean? This is a house that was built in 1979. The kitchen does not look like 2022. It's a beautiful kitchen. It's a quality kitchen, but it's not updated. 

Melanie Avalon: What about the appliances and stuff?

Gin Stephens: The appliances are really great. They're KitchenAid professional appliances, like, built in. They're all good appliances. They're not brand new, but they're not old appliances. It's a gas range that's built-- A gas stovetop that's built in and a microwave. You don't look at them and think they look old.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, gotcha. Yeah, I don't know anything about house trends.

Gin Stephens: Well, I watch a lot of HGTV. [laughs] But the thing about house trends is, they really do come and go and you can't remodel your house every five years. So, eventually, you get to the point where you want more of a timeless look that isn't going to date it.

Melanie Avalon: When I build my dream house, it's my goals, my visualizing, it's going to be a biohacker house. So, I don't think it'll be any trends. It'll be like the biohacker trends.

Gin Stephens: I did not know you wanted to do that. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? 

Gin Stephens: You've never mentioned that to me. Now, where will it be? Where is your biohacker house going to be?

Melanie Avalon: Probably, in Calabasas in LA or something. It's going to be so great. [giggles] It's going to have lots of natural light and stuff, but controllable light. So, you press the buttons and the things adjust, like the windows.

Gin Stephens: You can make it completely black.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes.

Gin Stephens: I was just at a beautiful home. I stayed with somebody and it was the most beautiful home ever. But it didn't have any blinds on the windows. I was like, "Is there a way I get that--" Nope. But I'm like, "Okay."

Melanie Avalon: They just don't want them?

Gin Stephens: They just didn't have blinds on the windows, but it was really bright, because the moon was out. Anyway, I like a very dark room.

Melanie Avalon: I do, too. Although, I would love a sky window.

Gin Stephens: A skylight kind of a thing? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. 

Gin Stephens: Just you want to be able to close it.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Right. My bedroom will have to be a skylight window that closes, but then I got to mitigate all that EMF. So, I have to figure that out. It's going to be crazy and I want a cryotherapy chamber.

Gin Stephens: Well, that doesn't surprise me at all.

Melanie Avalon: Goals. 

Gin Stephens: And a sauna, big sauna. I know you'll have that.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. And a cold plunge, but definitely hardcore with the EMF mitigation and grounded. I want the whole floor to be grounded. 

Gin Stephens: Well, I think that's really smart. 

Melanie Avalon: So, just putting it out there. This is whiles away, obviously. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: Well, I can't wait. That's going to be cool.

Melanie Avalon: You can come visit. 

Gin Stephens: All right.

Melanie Avalon: It'll be super fun.

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Melanie Avalon: Oh, I have one, this is super random, but I'm always looking at random studies and I don't know how I found this one, but I thought it was really fun and I thought we could play the guessing game really quick. 

Gin Stephens: Okay. 

Melanie Avalon: The title is: "associations between liking for fat, sweet, or salt, and obesity risk in French adults: a prospective cohort study."

Gin Stephens: Are you going to need to read that one more time? Me not being an auditory learner. Say it one more time.

Melanie Avalon: "Associations between liking for fat, sweet, or salt, and obesity risk in French adults.

Gin Stephens: Okay. It's whether people prefer salty, sweet, or what was the third?

Melanie Avalon: Salt or fat.

Gin Stephens: Salt, fat, or sweet.

Melanie Avalon: And how it relates to obesity risk? This was, okay, over five years among 24,776 French adults, they basically took a questionnaire about their likings and then also each year for five years, they collected their body weight data and stuff. The question is, what do you think for each of them, how do you think the flavors related to obesity? We can go through them one by one. So, either was linked to an increased risk of obesity, a decreased risk or no association. 

Gin Stephens: All right, well, I would predict that fat was linked to an increased risk of obesity.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, that is correct. Do you think it was more in men or women?

Gin Stephens: Oh, I don't know. I didn't know we were gendering it to. I would predict that'd be men and women. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, correct. Women, it was 52% and men, it was 32%.

Gin Stephens: 52%, what? More likely to be obese? 

Melanie Avalon: It says, "dietary intake explained 32% in men and 52% in women have the overall variation of liking for fat and obesity. Does that sound like it was a stronger correlation in women? 

Gin Stephens: Yep. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, how about sweet?

Gin Stephens: I'm going to say that it did not have an association with obesity.

Melanie Avalon: Sensory liking for sweet was associated with a decreased risk of obesity.

Gin Stephens: See, I'm not surprised. That would absolutely run contrary to the conventional wisdom as "fat is your friend and sugar is the reason everyone is fat." I've said this before. A lot of people falsely associate things as being carbs are fat. They think that French fries are carbs when really, they're very high fat and high carb. I think people are just really confused. They're like, "See, I can't eat French fries. Carbs make me gain weight." But French fries are not just carbs. Anyway, that's what I think a lot of the confusion comes from that a lot of the food that's ultra-processed or "junk food" is lumped in the carbs category, when they're not just carbs. 

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.

Gin Stephens: Because I think of people, who really are looking for a sweet taste, they're probably people who eat a lot of fruit, for example.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And also, actually, if you think about it more, so, let's say even this is completely just me hypothesizing. So, this is not super scientific. But let's say we have two groups of people that are following a standard American diet. They are eating processed foods, but one likes more fatty and one likes more sweet. In that situation, it's possible that they're both eating processed foods, it's possible that the group that likes fat is going to be eating the fattier processed foods. They're both going to be in this state of food that is metabolically not healthy, but probably the high fatty stuff is going to just be a higher caloric load overall and more calories that are very easily stored as fat. 

Gin Stephens: Well, I also think about myself and I'm someone, who definitely it's the fat that I like. For example, I don't want to eat plain fruit. I want to eat ice cream. I want my sweet to have the creaminess of the fat with it too or the fat from the ice cream. So, I totally get the fatness for even the sweet things I want or fat sweet, right? Not low fat sweet.

Melanie Avalon: And what about salt?

Gin Stephens: I'm going to say that had no correlation at all.

Melanie Avalon: No significant association between salt liking and the risk of obesity.

Gin Stephens: I like salty fatty and I like sweet fatty. I know that and I was obese. So, that's why it doesn't surprise me at all.

Melanie Avalon: So, we can put a link to that in the show notes, but I just thought it was a fun study.

Gin Stephens: I liked it and I'm so proud of myself for guessing it right.

Melanie Avalon: It's hard to go back and wonder what you would have guessed. but okay. For fat, I probably would have thought increased for sweet. I don't think I would have guessed decreased, but I might have guessed no association like you did. And for salts, I probably would have said--

Gin Stephens: Oh, I thought I said decrease for sweet or not associated. Okay. That's what I meant. I meant it was not-- Okay, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: So, there's decreased and then there's no association, which are different. 

Gin Stephens: Right. The salt, I clearly said no association, but I meant for sugar the opposite. I didn't say it very well. Not associated with obesity. I meant associated the other way. Anyway, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: It was interesting. So, prior to reading Rick Johnson's Nature Wants Us to Be Fat and David Perlmutter's Drop Acid, I would have said salt was no association. But after reading their books, I should actually, I'm friends now with Rick, I should send him this study. Now, after reading their books, they make a case that salt-- Actually, they reference a lot of studies where salt links to obesity. So, that's interesting.

Gin Stephens: Again, though, I think it's hard to untangle it from what you're eating. If you're eating French fries, you might think that it's the salt, but it's really the fat. It's hard to untangle. The study that you were talking about, if I'm correct, it was people who said what their preference was.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Yes, right. Oh, yeah, rather than what they're actually eating.

Gin Stephens: Right. I can hone in on the fact that I like fatty tasty things, whether it's a sweet fatty thing or a salty fatty thing, I know that I need the butter, I need the sour cream, I need the whatever. So, I think that's probably a big variable.

Melanie Avalon: This says that previous studies have shown that subjects with high fat liking have higher fat intake, but also lower intake of nutrient dense foods such as fruits and vegetables, dairy products, whole grain products, and fish. That relates to what you were saying about the sweet tasting, where people who are sweet tasters probably are eating more fruits and vegetables, because they're going to gravitate towards that type of food.

Gin Stephens: Well, I gravitate towards all that really good food just with plenty of added fat now. In the past, back when I was obese, I was eating the ultra-processed higher fat foods. But now, I'm going to have potato wedges tossed in olive oil, baked in the oven. That's not a low-fat food. It's also not a low-carb food, but it's a healthy fat, it's a healthy carb, it's real food, but certainly it's both fatty, carby, and salty.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, shall we jump into questions for today? 

Gin Stephens: Yes. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, we have a question from Carrie and the subject is: "not losing, but gaining. SOS" and Carrie says, "Hi, Gin and Melanie." That's an interesting way to spell your name. You probably get all different--

Gin Stephens: Well, I do, I do. This one is Jin and I don't know that I've gotten that one very often. I get Jen, because sometimes people think it's like Jennifer, but it's Gin for Virginia like gin and tonic. So, that's actually how you spell it in case anyone wondered.

Melanie Avalon: She says, "I've been doing IF for the past year on and off, but regularly, the past two months. I tend to stick to a 20:4 window, but sometimes, do a 22 or 23-hour fast when the days are busy or an occasional 15 or 16-hour fast, if I am at an event or race. When I first started doing IF, it was to help me with binge eating, especially at night and it was worse at first actually. I was binging all the time, but now, I feel more in control with the fast and make sure I eat a giant salad or a delicious vegetable dish before I even think of anything sweet. My weakness is always the sweets, cakes, cookies, you name it." This is appropriate. This is what we were just talking about.

Gin Stephens: But again, all those foods are also very high fat. Cakes and cookies [giggles] are sweet and fat.

Melanie Avalon: So true. She says, "Sometimes, if I bike 40 plus miles or run 10 miles, I will tell myself, "I deserve the goodies" and it usually ends in a binge of chocolate-covered peanuts, and cakes, or donuts. However, now that I feel I have a handle on the fasting part, I am not losing any weight, but sometimes even gaining weight. When I started getting more strict with the fasting longevity in February, I was 135 pounds and now I'm in the 140s. I'm 5'4" and 22 years old and have an athletic build under all the chub. I love working out. I am kind of a cardio junkie with swimming, biking, and running. When I was in high school, I weighed 115 and was captain of the swim team, and I really hope to be able to get to at least 125 pounds with IF. I used to be able to run eight to 10 miles no problem a few months ago, but now, it's my body does not have the energy that it used to. Anyways, my questions for you two lovely ladies is, why am I not losing weight and how can I fix this? I clean fast only black coffee and water. I do need to take a probiotic B12, vitamin D, and a fiber supplement in the morning for my ulcerative colitis, and I am a vegetarian, and I don't consume too much dairy. On a normal day, I consume 1,500 to 2,000 calories. Should I cut calories, should I fast more? I know Gin mentioned she lost the most weight when she was doing ADF with a 5:2 pattern." 

Gin Stephens: That's actually not true. I don't know where that came from, because I did not. [laughs] No.

Melanie Avalon: Do you want to talk about that now?

Gin Stephens: I'm just popping in there to say, we can just say that is not when I lost the most weight. I lost the most weight when I was doing a one-meal-a-day pattern with delaying all processed foods and alcohol. That is where I lost the most weight. 5:2 with ADF was never the weight loss. I never lost weight with a 5:2 ADF pattern. I did lose some weight with a 4:3 ADF pattern, but two down days wasn't enough for me. I needed three. So, anyway, I'm just popping that in there.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I wonder why she thinks that. Okay, she says, "I want to try this but I'm scared to. Should I work out more or less? All the questions. Please help. Also, as a sidenote, to give you ladies as much information, I have experimented with all the fat weight loss hacks like apple cider vinegar, and Garcinia cambogia, my fair share of weight loss pills all throughout high school and college, even some Hydroxycut, and energy patches that are supposed to help appetite. I have always struggled with my self-image and thought I was fat when I was in high school. So, now, all this chub on my stomach, and arms, and legs is really making me upset and depressed. I am at a loss and I really am struggling with liking the way my body looks now that I am the fattest I've ever been. I love the podcast and listen to it while I'm running and biking. Please help," Carrie. 

Gin Stephens: All right, Carrie. There's a lot to unpack here. First of all, I want to talk about the fact that you've just been doing this regularly for two months. You're still in very early days. That's really important to know. You are two months in, that's important. Also, I want to talk about the binging that you mentioned. When you first started, you were having trouble with binging and you were actually binging a lot at first. We actually find before people are fat adapted, their body is not really assessing fuel efficiently during the fast, so you're under fueled and so you are going to when you open your window be more likely to binge. We see that all the time with people in the adjustment phase. So, keep that in mind. But after you're past the adjustment phase, if you start feeling the urge to binge, that is linked to not fueling your body well enough for what you're doing. You're over restricting in one way or another and it sounds like how you just mentioned in this question, if you bike 40 plus miles or run 10 miles, you end with a binge. You're framing it as that it's because you're weak, because you said, "I tell myself I deserve the goodies and then it ends in a binge." 

Actually, I want you to flip that. It's not because you're deserving the goodies or you're weak. It's because you just biked 40 miles or ran 10 miles and your body is like, "Help me, I need more fuel." I want everybody to really get out of your way when it comes to what a binge is telling you. It is not telling you there's something wrong with you, it's a sign that you're not fueling your body well. Now, again, at the very beginning, when you first start IF, you're not fueling your body well, because your body is not well fueled during the fast. But once you become fat adapted, your body should tap into your fat stores. This is assuming you're fast and clean. Your body should tap into your fat stores well, you'll feel much better, you should not be binging. If after you're adapted, you are still seeing a lot of binging kind of behavior, ask yourself, "Am I over restricting in my eating window or am I over exercising?" 

Now, you said you're only eating 1,500 to 2,000 calories, but you're a cardio junkie with swimming, biking, and running. It sounds to me you might be under fueling your body even day to day. Please don't cut calories or fast more. That is not what I would recommend. I actually think you might want to try a little something more gentle with your working out. And again, you're only two months in. Fast. Feast. Repeat., I talk about the 28-day fasts are not to expect any weight loss at all. You're one month past that. It also sounds to me, like, the way that you phrased it, you said, "I am not losing any weight, but sometimes, even gaining weight" makes it sound to me you're putting a lot of focus on fluctuations, Not losing weight, but sometimes gaining over a two-month period, that's just what weight does. It goes up, it goes down. You fluctuate. I want you to take some time to pull out a copy of Fast. Feast. Repeat., listen to it, get it if you don't have it, and I want you to read the scale-schmale chapter or listen to it. I want you to have a well-rounded plan for how you're going to track your progress. Because if you get on the scale and the weight is up, that doesn't mean you just "gained weight." Technically, yes, it does mean you just gained weight, because it's up on the scale. But it might be inflammation from your muscle use, it might be water retention. It's not fat gain is what I'm saying. So, you need to have a strategy for looking at what your trend is doing over time. 

Weighing daily, calculating your weekly average, an app like Happy Scale that will do that for you, I want you to take progress photos today. Put on your workout clothes, take photos from the front, from the side, from the back, and then I want you to look at those every-- Take new photos, maybe every three weeks or something like that. Same outfit every time and really compare. Because especially, with the amount of working out that you're doing, you might see your body shrinking in the photos, but the scale is actually continuing to go up with all the muscle building you might be doing especially at the age of 22. But I want you to really, really think about not overdoing it. It really sounds to me like you're fasting a lot and working out a lot. So, you may need a more gentle approach, you need to nourish your body, and take the sign of wanting to binge as an alarm sign and say, "Okay, this is telling me I need to nourish my body more or I need to work out less." That's really, really important. I think I got it all. [laughs] Oh, I had one other thing. I did forget something. The probiotic and the fiber supplement, I would recommend those in your eating window. I understand that you have colitis and that you need to take the fiber, but I would just move it to open your eating window instead of having it in the fasted state.

Melanie Avalon: I agree. Yes, I thought that was all great. I think Carrie, well, first of all, I really empathize with you with feeling. It's interesting, because when I first started reading the beginning of it, it sounded you were looking back to your high school time as a time when you were happy with your weight. But then at the end, you revealed that you felt uncomfortable in your body this entire time, which is a long time to not be happy with your body. What's interesting about that is, it says to me that the piece here, yes, some of it might come from losing the weight. But the fact that you felt this way even when you were, because in high school, you weigh 10 pounds less than what you want to weigh now, but you weren't happy then with your weight either. I think there's a huge, huge reframe that can happen that is not even dependent on your weight. And that's going to be something that I would suggest looking into mindset practices or working with a therapist. I am a huge, huge proponent of working with therapists for everything. Just a really quick tangent about that, Gin. Do you think this is based on where you live? I guess the stigma around therapists, do you think that's still a thing today more?

Gin Stephens: I don't know. It might be age more than anything. I'm not really sure. Maybe older people feel more of a stigma, I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I was just thinking about it, because I've had a therapist since 2014. I've had a few different ones, because I've moved around, but it's just such a normal-- It's so helpful for me and it was just wonderful to have that space, where you can just discuss all of these things and reframe in a non-judgmental, safe atmosphere. But it was just funny, because I was going to my-- Did I mention this on the podcast already? I was going to cryotherapy the other day, and I mentioned that I had just come from a therapy session, and her response made it seem like she was like, "Oh, I hope everything's okay." It made it seem I was going for something traumatic that had happened. I was like, "No this is what I just go as part of my daily life." That was a tangent. Point being, I think that could be something that could be really helpful for your body image and all of that stuff. 

Another reframe I think you can do and this is what Gin sort of talked about, with the binging for example, it can come from, like Gin said, your body is begging or screaming, I don't know what words you used, but for nutrition. A huge reframe that you can have there is probably right now, I don't know, but probably, since your habitual experience of having this signal from your body, this binge feeling, it sounds like the way you respond to that in the past is with sweets, and cakes, and cookies. You've created this association in your head that, when I get this really hungry, bingy feeling the solution or what I will do on autopilot is sweets, cakes, cookies. Have you tried when you have this feeling to look to the abundance of foods that you could have instead of sweets, cakes, and cookies? Because you might find that there's actually nothing to fear with this feeling that you get, because you actually can nourish yourself and you actually can eat all you want and it doesn't have to be these foods that will make you feel not so good in the end, these processed foods. I don't think it can be overstated, overstated, the importance of--

Gin Stephens: That's right. 

Melanie Avalon: I don't think it can be overstated the importance of protein. If you weren't vegetarian, what I would have said, if so for anybody else experiencing this, I would have said really, really focusing on animal protein. Chicken, steak, fish, things like that. I think that can really, really help with hunger. There's especially something we've talked about a lot which is the protein leverage hypothesis, which is basically that your body will, you will feel hungry until you satisfy your protein needs. I talked about it with Ted Naiman and William Shewfelt, who actually they were on this show, too, weren't they? Yes, they were. 

Gin Stephens: Ted Naiman was not. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's just William on this show?

Gin Stephens: Right. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, we've had William on the show and then I've had William and Ted Naiman.

Gin Stephens: Oh, they came on together to your show? Well, no, I take that back. Did we have Wade Lightheart and his partner on at the same time? 

Melanie Avalon: We did, yeah. 

Gin Stephens: Okay. I can never think of his name. 

Melanie Avalon: Matt Gallant. 

Gin Stephens: Matt. But other than that, I don't think we've ever had four of us on this one. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'll put links in the show notes to the one on my show with Ted Naiman and William Shewfelt, because I really like Ted's book. It's called, I think The PE Diet, but it's about basically this idea of the importance of protein. You're vegetarian. I am wondering what your main protein sources are and I would turn to them in the beginning of your meal when you're having these post workout meals or even your meal situation that you're in. Yes, so, upping the protein, I think could be really, really helpful. And also, another reframe is, especially if you've had this experience in the past of not being happy and responding to these urges with binges, you can feel destined to repeat that, but you are not. 

Every single day, instead of being scared of it as another day, where things might get worse, or you might gain weight, or you might binge. What if you reframe that every single day, you have newfound knowledge that maybe you didn't have in the past and so every day can be a step towards something better? I think you can feel really, really empowered, especially since Gin said, the focus we don't think shouldn't be on, it's not a restrictive answer. It's not cutting calories, it's not exercising more, it's not fasting more, it's providing your body with nutrition, which is actually state of abundance. So, the solution here is actually abundance not restriction, which is very exciting. I feel that was all over the place.

Gin Stephens: Well, I really agree with your recommendation for more protein, because that's very true as well. Your body sends you that signal. I very much believe that protein leverage hypothesis to be true.

Melanie Avalon: I really do. Even just for me like N of 1, I am starving if I don't get enough protein. I was actually thinking about this. During that study, I wish that they had had umami as one of the tastes. People who really like umami and like the protein.

Gin Stephens: I love umami. 

Melanie Avalon: I do, too. That's my thing. The protein is my thing. I think I'm much more aware of how satiating protein is for me, but I think if I didn't naturally gravitate towards a high-protein diet, I wonder if I would fall into this state, where I wouldn't necessarily turn to protein. So, I would just feel perpetually hungry.

Gin Stephens: Well, I eat less protein than you. I don't crave it as much as you'd like. I don't eat as much meat as you do. But sometimes, my body directs me to want more meat. My body does let me know when I think back.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I wonder if so for vegetarians and vegans. I wonder if they naturally gravitate towards when they get protein cravings. I wonder if it appears as a similar food. I wonder if it's legumes and beans or if it's soy. How that craving manifests?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't know. For me, when it's a really strong protein craving, it is meat. 

Melanie Avalon: Me, too. Me, too. That's why I'm super curious. 

Gin Stephens: I had a great burger last night. It was Green Chef, by the way, one of our sponsors. It was so good. But it was so good. It was a burger with Monterey jack and then it had those potatoes that I was talking about sliced potatoes tossed in olive oil, roasted in the oven, so good. 

Melanie Avalon: Now, I'm getting hungry, too. 

Gin Stephens: I know. Now, I'm really hungry. Sometimes, I just really love some red meat. It's funny around our table. Will doesn’t like a ton of meat unlike, Chad doesn’t like a ton of meat, Cal is practically a vegetarian, because his wife is a vegetarian. So, Cal will eat meat, but they don't eat meat at home. I don't know, maybe he doesn't really eat it at all, just rarely. But it's interesting that we've all just naturally gravitated that way.

Melanie Avalon: I think I'm really the only you huge meat eater in my family.

Gin Stephens: And what's your blood type? 

Melanie Avalon: O.

Gin Stephens: See. I don't think blood type is the whole thing, but there's some kind of connection there, something. We're all A. I don't think blood type, it's not quite as simple as eat right for your type, but we're all A and A is supposed to not need as much meat. And O is associated with needing more meat. So, I don't know that everything they say is right, but that sure seems to be on the money for a lot of people. 

Melanie Avalon: A lot of it might be the stomach acid correlation to type O.

Gin Stephens: That could really-- That makes a lot of sense just because if I eat too much meat, it feels it sits like a rock in my stomach. That's the same way that everyone else in my family feels, too. That's why you naturally just don't want to eat too much of it, because it doesn't feel good to overeat it.

Melanie Avalon: It is a question, though, of chicken and egg with that even. Do people who are type O, is there something and then that needs more meat, so they have higher stomach acid or do they have higher stomach acids, so they naturally just do better with more meat? I don't know. But in any case, Carrie, we are sending you lots of love. We think you can do it. There's a lot of potential and I think a lot of just reframes on the situation can be very helpful here. Any other thoughts from you, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I think we covered it. There was a lot going on in that question.

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Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Danielle. That is my sister's name. "Why isn't if it's good for us, is it not for our babies contradicting advice?" That is an interesting title. Danielle says, "Hey, ladies. Love the podcast. I'm currently binging all of your episodes. What a great duo you are. I've jumped on the IF train mostly interested in the health benefits as I have chronic disease mild and giving my gut a break is so good for it. I'm studying herbs and started listening to a new podcast called What's The Juice that focuses a lot on educating us about the lymphatic system. I love it. But in the first episode, she addresses IF and her opinion on it, she makes the statement, "would you have your baby fast until 2 PM?" And they talked about science reasons for why it's not good to fast for long periods. It made me start thinking and I was wondering what your opinion is about this."

Gin Stephens: Can we answer that part, now? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: That is just really not a good analogy at all that this host used on this other podcast, because I want you to think about how babies eat naturally. I don't know. My babies like to wake up every two hours and eat in the middle of the night. When Cal was a baby, I swear for the first four and a half months of his life, he ate every two hours around the clock, because they're building a body. You would never fast to baby, because they need constant fuel, they're growing, they're building. But we're adults. For adults, it's a whole different thing. I'm not trying to grow a body or build a whole new body. Here I am. I don't want to grow anymore, because we're not growing as a society physically bigger as far as getting taller like children do. We are growing horizontally. If you look at society, people are gaining weight, because we're eating too much. It's not a really good analogy to compare how a baby needs to eat with how an adult needs to eat, because it's completely different. You got a completely different goal there. We're trying to keep our bodies nourished as adults and eat the nutrients that our bodies need to function. We want to eat sufficient protein to maintain muscle mass, that sort of thing, nourish our bodies, but we don't need to eat around the clock. If we ate every two hours around the clock, how big would we get? It would not be good. So, not a good analogy. Good try, lady on the other podcast.

Melanie Avalon: On the flipside, you could say, "Why aren't we eating like babies?" Then we're not having breast milk and we're not eating a baby diet.

Gin Stephens: You can't compare how a baby eats to how an adult eats. In fact, what I like to say, whenever someone's like, "Well, how do I tell my children that I'm fasting, but it's not good for them?" I'm like, "Well, you just say, because you're not growing anymore." Growing bodies need to eat differently than bodies that are already grown. I think that's really important to know. When people start throwing away how "it's not good to fast for long periods," it depends on what you mean by long periods, obviously, there is a period of time that it's too long to fast for. But it sounds like they think 2 PM is too long. When I look at the people, who are scientists in the field, who have studied this, who have studied fasting and like Dr. Mark Mattson that I've talked about before, and I had a guy, gosh, Gil Blander, was he from InsideTracker? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: I had him on Intermittent Fasting Stories. He's a longevity expert and he said-- Look, this is a longevity expert and he said, "The number one best thing you can do for your body for longevity is intermittent fasting." When these people are saying things like that, these hardcore research scientists who have studied longevity, the brain works and really understand intermittent fasting, I don't feel the need to then go out and defend intermittent fasting to someone, who has some opinion that they think it isn't good. Because I'm going to trust the scientists, who studied it and are doing it. That's all I have to say about that. So, I am giving you permission, Danielle, to stop listening to the naysayers and do what feels good to your body. That's really all you need to know.

Melanie Avalon: I don't want to say anything unkind, but especially, if it's that analogy or that comparison just doesn't make sense, like, it just doesn't make much sense.

Gin Stephens: There was some analogy someone gave about a car one time and how you needed to keep fueling your car and I'm like, "You don't stop every 20 miles and put more gas in?" No, fill it up and then your drive. I'm like, "That is such a bad analogy." When someone's making really bad analogies, it's like, they don't understand what they're saying. [laughs] That's what I think. So, no, please do not make your baby fast till 2 PM. That is bad. [laughs] But you are not a baby. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly. 

Gin Stephens: Okay, now the rest of her question.

Melanie Avalon: The rest, she says, "The second episode also addresses this and her guest, I believe a neuropathy doctor also suggests that 13 hours overnight is good, but extreme fasting is bad, because going too long can spike cortisol, etc. I'm confused, thoughts, keep up the good work, ladies."

Gin Stephens: And again, this sounds it's somebody who doesn't think you should fast for more than 13 hours. If you listen to all the contradictory voices that are out there about any topic, you're going to get so confused. You don't know if you should fast for 16 hours or eat every two hours around the clock. You can really get confused, because no matter what anybody says about help, someone is saying, the 180-degree opposite, literally, about everything when it comes to health. If you're really interested in the health benefits of intermittent fasting, you need to really immerse yourself in podcasts, and books, and experts, who explain those to you. I would avoid the naysayers. And then you need to tune into your own body, because I actually agree with something that that guest said, that extreme fasting is "bad," but I would disagree with the definition of extreme fasting. Maybe this, this naturopathic doctor has experience working with patients, who are over fasting, overexercising, and over restricting. 

In that case, if you're fasting 16 hours, which I wouldn't consider extreme, because I fast more than that almost every single day, but I also nourish my body well in my eating window, but if I were doing ultra-marathons, and fasting 16 hours a day, and then eating little tiny diet meals in an eight-hour eating window, 16 hours would be too much fasting. But it's not so much, because it's 16. It's because of everything else. 16 could be extreme fasting, if you are not nourishing your body well and overly working out versus 20:4 is not extreme if then you nourish your body well in your eating window. It's all got to be in context. We don't really know what this doctor, what this background it's coming from. But it's true, that over restriction is not good for our bodies, but to think that fasting is coupled with over restriction is I think the flaw in the thinking.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Context is so, so important. I think we actually talked about this last episode? 

Gin Stephens: You talked about cortisol. You sure did. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I can briefly recap. Yeah, so, basically, it's a stress hormone. It has a really bad reputation. People think, "Oh, cortisol is bad. We never want cortisol," which is just not even true. It's not a bad hormone. Really, no hormones are bad or good. They all have a purpose and they all need to be in the right context. Cortisol is something, for example, that naturally spikes in the morning. We want that spike. That's actually a reason that people often get high blood sugars in the morning. It's the dawn effect and a spike in cortisol. But cortisol has a natural rhythm throughout the day. It can go up in fasting, but the context is important. Cortisol in a fasted state actually helps us burn fat. It actually releases fatty acids and helps us burn them. We shouldn't be scared of cortisol. Cortisol in the context of eating makes us more likely to store fat. 

That's why it's really important to not eat in a stressed-out state to have, even a ritual surrounding eating, where you're in a, I don't want to say a meditative state, but we don't want to be just eating on the go and in a stressed-out state. So, fasting can actually help you have a really healthy relationship with cortisol, where you have higher cortisol during the day, you're burning fat. And then well, I'm assuming right now that you're doing a one-meal-a-day situation. But regardless of the window, you have cortisol higher when you're fasting, you're burning fat, and then when you're eating, you're in more of a rest and digest a lower cortisol state. The actual specifics of it is cortisol can make you preferentially store fat as visceral fat in your belly, if it's high while you're eating. So, misconceptions surrounding cortisol.

Gin Stephens: So many, and people just say it like it's--

Melanie Avalon: Fact. 

Gin Stephens: Fact. Exactly. Again, I want to just reframe this, Danielle, one more time. You need to listen to your own body and how you feel. If fasting, as you get adjusted, again, get through the adjustment period. If you find yourself feeling better and better over time, trust that. If you're doing something that's bad for your body, you're not going to feel better, and better, and better over time. So, trust how you're feeling, you really can do that. Don't let the other voices get inside your head from people, who are giving the advice like, "Oh, yeah, you shouldn't fast." Do what's your body telling you.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode263 and then you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens, and I think that is all the things. 

Gin Stephens: Yep. Great episode. Five years.

Melanie Avalon: I know. Crazy. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful and I will talk to you next week. 

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice. We're not doctors. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, theme music by Leland Cox. See you next week.

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