Feb 28

Episode 202: Caffeine Metabolism, Slow Eating, Hydration, Protein Intake, Insulin Resistance, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 202 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

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SHOW NOTES

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

00:00 - 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!

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!

16:00 - Listener Feedback: Samantha - Eating with family

18:45 - Listener Q&A: Christina - How much black coffee

26:55 - PREP DISH: Get a free 2 week trial At prepdish.com/ifpodcast! You'll get weekly gluten-free and Paleo grocery and recipe lists!!

28:40 - Listener Q&A: sara - Black coffee

32:00 - Listener Q&A: shelley - Podcasts....how do you listen to sooooo many??

34:55 - Listener Q&A: Hannah - what if I don’t “Just Know”

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

47:20 - BIOPTIMIZERS:  Go To p3om.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save 10% Off Any Order!

49:05 - Listener Q&A: jessica - Q&A

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #57 - Robb Wolf

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 202 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 Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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One more thing before we jump in. Are you concerned about aging? Well, thankfully, fasting is super incredible for its anti-aging benefits. It activates genes in your body called sirtuins, which repair your body and help extend lifespan. Also, during the fast, your body can clean up a lot of harmful chemicals which may be taxing your detoxification systems. In fact, the reason people go gray is because their detox systems start producing a lot of hydrogen peroxide when dealing with toxins. Do you know where a lot of those chemicals come from? Your skincare and makeup. As it turns out, there are 1000s of compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup that Europe has banned due to their toxic nature and the US has banned less than 10. When you put these on your skin every single day through your skincare makeup, you're adding to your body's burden and likely aging your skin faster.

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Hi everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 202 of the Intermittent Fasting podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: [sighs] I'm in the stage of book writing, where one minute I'm like, “This is the best book I've ever written.” The next minute, I'm like, “This book is the worst book I've ever seen.” You know what I mean?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: It's the love-hate relationship of the writing process. It makes you question everything, and then you find something-- You find things people are saying. Then, you're like, “Alright, let me find something in PubMed that backs it up” and that's not what PubMed says, you're like, “What? Are we all wrong about this?” Then you start digging some more. Anyway.

Melanie Avalon: I feel it's the perfect example of can't see the forest for the trees, because you've been writing it for so long, and it's all your words, and you can't get a perspective of what it looks like from the outside.

Gin Stephens: Right now, it's a big ol’ hot mess, but it's getting there. I'm getting there.

Melanie Avalon: A lot of trees.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I like to just throw everything in a pile and then sort it. That's what I'm writing, like, it's a big, giant pile, and then I'm sorting it as I go.

Melanie Avalon: That's what I do. I like word vomit, write.

Gin Stephens: That's what I'm doing. I'm in the word vomit stage. That's a really good way of explaining it. Then you clean it up and make it tell a story and make sense. Right now, it feels like word vomit. I'm like, “How am I going to put that--” Anyway, I have the organizational structure obviously figured out, but it's a lot. You forget. It's like childbirth. Once you've had kids, you forget about the process. You're like, “Where’s my baby? My baby’s so pretty,” but you forget about all the hard parts. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I guess for me, it'd be like my septoplasty surgery.

Gin Stephens: There you go. It's worth it now, but going through it, you're like, “Why am I doing this again? I like my other book. That's enough.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I used to think I was original in saying this quote, and then I realized, I feel this is a really famous quote by somebody about writing with wine and then editing with caffeine.

Gin Stephens: I don't know if I've ever heard that.

Melanie Avalon: I always used to say I write with wine, and then I edit it with caffeine, but that's like a quote. Wait, let me look it up.

Gin Stephens: Well, it makes sense because you have to be in the flow. When you're writing and when you're in the creative process, you're in the flow, and you just let loose and you get out of your way. There's that word vomit that you talked about where you just put it all in there. Then, you go back, you're like, “What did I say?” That's when you need to focus and try to make it make sense.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly. I'm sorry that you're off the wine train.

Gin Stephens: No, it's okay. Oh, sorry that I'm off the wine. Well, I am still a little bit salty about that. I must admit. The other night, I had a tiny micro-dose of wine. Chad can go through a bottle of Dry Farm Wines in two weeks. He drinks really slow. He's an original microdoser. He had some, so I poured a tiny little bit in my glass and had a little microdose, a little Melanie Microdose, and I was fine. Then, the next night I was like, “Well, I'm just going to have like an inch, an inch of wine. That's hardly anything.” Then I tossed and turned all night. [exhales] I know it really affects me.

Melanie Avalon: I've definitely learned with my Oura ring when wine does or does not affect my sleep and heart rate variability.

Gin Stephens: Oh, when does it?

Melanie Avalon: Normally, I usually have probably a glass, if that, before my one-meal-a-day dinner. If I do all that, I'm completely fine. Surprisingly, if I am at properly socially distanced gatherings where I'm drinking more, and even if it's not Dry Farm Wines, as long as it's earlier in the evening, and that's all I'm doing and then I come back, I'm actually still fine. It's only when I am drinking a lot more and I'm at home, so I think it's too close to going to bed, it's like the Oura ring knows, it's crazy.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's interesting. I didn't realize it again, like I said before, until I started with my bed tracking. I'd be like, “Oh my gosh, look at how little I slept last night.” Just like the Oura ring, it let me know, it tells me my heart rate variability and all of that. The point of it is it's hard to undo the association that my brain has with, “Hey, it's Friday night and I'm going to unwind with a glass of wine.” Even just one glass I feel like, “No, I don't need to unwind with wine.” That's a tongue twister.

Melanie Avalon: I know. My dad actually texted me yesterday because I got him Dry Farm Wines for Christmas. He's been texting me every time he opens the bottle, like, “Love the Dry Farm Wines.” Finally, yesterday, I was like dad he could sign up for a subscription, and so he is doing that.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yay, Dad.

Melanie Avalon: I know my sneaky Christmas present maneuver because I want him drinking it because I think it's so much healthier. For listeners, if you'd like to get your own Dry Farm Wines, even if you just want to microdose it, like Gin, have a little tablespoon. Our link is dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast and at that link, you will get a bottle for a penny.

Gin Stephens: I'm sure listeners are laughing because how many of the things that you say that you do. I'm like, “I'm never going to do that.” Then I'm like, “Guess what I'm doing now?” [laughs] Oh, that's funny.

Melanie Avalon: I have a really fun story.

Gin Stephens: Okay, I love fun stories.

Melanie Avalon: I was going to tell you this after we talked, but I just realized I could just tell it on the podcast. My new obsession is-- not my new obsession, but my new research obsession is deuterium-depleted water. I think I've been talking--

Gin Stephens: See, I don't even know what that is. You said, and I'm like, “Yeah, I don't know what that is.”

Melanie Avalon: I'm really shocked that people don't know more about it. In the past week, I have talked to basically two of the main figures in that-- it's not even a movement because people aren't really aware of it, but in that sphere, and talking to them and doing research, I am blown away, how we're not thinking about this more. Basically, what it is like really long story short-- and you can ask Chad this, since this is about molecules.

Gin Stephens: I'm sure, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Apparently there are three types of hydrogen. There's hydrogen, like hydrogen bombs that doesn't really exist anymore. There's proteome, which is the type of hydrogen found in normal water. Then there's deuterium, which is hydrogen with an extra neutron on it, so it's heavier than normal hydrogen, and so water can be made of both types of hydrogen. The heavier type, the deuterium-- because water goes into our mitochondria and is used for energy, the deuterium literally wrecks our mitochondria. It gunks up, which for listeners, if you're not familiar, our mitochondria are the part of our cells that generate energy in our body. When we take in high levels of deuterium, it literally slows down and impedes the entirety of our body's energy processes. I'm just blown away.

Gin Stephens: Was water naturally deuterium depleted or didn't have it? How's this happened?

Melanie Avalon: Like, why is it worse now?

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Well, yes, the water changes. It has changed throughout time. We naturally deplete it through healthy practices. What's interesting is one of the guys that I interviewed this week, which has to do with the story, he said he thinks basically, the reason everything is helping the way it helps us, fasting and cold exposure, sauna, exercise, is because it's depleting deuterium. He thinks it's the common factor. He actually thinks it's the common factor in cancer. Yeah, so fasting depletes deuterium. A lot of the lifestyle things that we do that are considered to be unhealthy encourage deuterium buildup. The story is, I first heard about this-- Gin, I think you were on the interview, because it was our interview with Joovv, or I don't know if it was my interview, or the one that we both did. Do you remember it coming up ever?

Gin Stephens: Well, it's been so long.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. When I interviewed Scott at Joovv, because I've interviewed him twice, and one of them was on this show. That's the first time I'd ever heard of deuterium. It was because I remember us both-- like I can see in my head, us both listening to him, talk about it. He had mentioned Dr. Que Collins, and this was literally like two years ago. I was like, “I’ve got to track down this guy, and bring him on my show.” A few months ago, I didn't reach out to him, his agents or his people reached out to me and asked if he could come on the show. I was so excited because I've been wanting to interview him for two years. We had the interview this past week. Gin-- Okay, so I got on the call and he started, freaking out, fanboying saying that he just realized this week that he was interviewing with me and how he's been a fan of me.

Gin Stephens: Oh, wow.

Melanie Avalon: For a long time.

Gin Stephens: That's so awesome.

Melanie Avalon: It was crazy. I was like, “What? People know about me?” People I really look up to and respect, but it was just really, really exciting because I always feel I'm looking from the outside in through a window into the biohacking world. So, it's really exciting to know that people consider me--

Gin Stephens: You're inside the house.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. [laughs] I always feel I'm like looking in the window.

Gin Stephens: I know. Me, too. I know exactly what you mean. “What do you mean you've heard of me? What? Huh?”

Melanie Avalon: What? He was legitimately excited, and I was like, “This is so wonderful.” I'm really happy. For listeners, I will report back because, not him, but the other deuterium figure that I talked to, they're going to send me two months of deuterium-depleted water. So, I'm going to do a deuterium depletion protocol and test my levels before and after, and see if it changes my life.

Gin Stephens: How do you test them?

Melanie Avalon: I'm not sure what the test is. I know there's a saliva test, a breath test, might be a blood test. I'm not sure.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's so interesting. I can't wait to hear. I'm not going to say I want to do that, as long as you don't have to do it while you're in the cold shower.

Melanie Avalon: No, the cold shower would help though. You do have to make all of your coffee with the deuterium-depleted water.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that makes sense.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Right now, what I'm doing is they want me to figure out how much water I drink per day so they can know how much.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that would be tricky, because I have no idea. I'm really bad at tracking and measuring things.

Melanie Avalon: Drink out of the Whole Foods liter, so I'm just seeing how many I drink per day.

Gin Stephens: Right now, I'm drinking a mug of hot water.

Melanie Avalon: You and your hot water, I don't think I'm ever going to do that.

Gin Stephens: I know, because I'm freezing. I'm so cold. It's so good, though.

Melanie Avalon: But I like being cold.

Gin Stephens: I don't.

Melanie Avalon: It's just hot water.

Gin Stephens: It's so good. I promise you. It's delicious.

Melanie Avalon: So is cold water. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I drink that too. It just makes me feel soothed from the inside out.

Melanie Avalon: Cold water on your body.

Gin Stephens: Hot water from the inside out.

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

Gin Stephens: Yes, we have some feedback from Samantha and the subject is “Eating with Family.” She says, “I keep hearing about moms who are trying to IF having issues with family meals. That's definitely an issue for many of us. Today's question partially had to do with the family having to wait around while mom finishes her meal. One of my children and I had this discussion yesterday. Kids are conditioned to eat quickly at school. We need to teach them to eat slowly at home and away from school. It's healthier in the long run to eat slowly and hear your body's cues and savor your food. Let's encourage moms to teach this. It helps everyone with the dilemma.” Man, I love that that is so true, as somebody who was a teacher for 28 years. They have, in Georgia, I don't know what it is everywhere else, but in Georgia, at our school, where I worked, they had 30 minutes, these were elementary kids, 30 minutes in and out of the cafeteria. That didn't mean 30 minutes at the table, because if you were running a little late to the cafeteria, or if the person who was before you in the lunch line [clears throat] teachers who are always late, that's my pet peeve because I was always on time. They were late and they would get there and they would hold you up or the lunch line, if it was pizza day. Your class might take eight minutes to get through the lunch line. Then, by the time they're seated that eats into their 30 minutes, maybe that 10 minutes is gone. You only have 20 minutes, and maybe they get up 30 minutes early, so they're really cramming in the food.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I remember that from the entirety of my school. I remember it being very distressing to me, because I like to have plenty of time. I don't like being just, in general, I don't like being rushed. Yeah, by the time you get your food, it was very, very brief that you actually had to eat. I think that's a huge problem. I think kids having to go to school so early, the sleep deprivation and everything.

Gin Stephens: Right, and that might not be their typical circadian rhythm of stage of their life of when they would want to get up or eat. Yeah, I love that idea. Instead of feeling like you have to keep up with their fast pace, teach them to learn from you and slow down.

Melanie Avalon: We don't talk about it much. I think it's one of my favorite things about intermittent fasting one meal a day is just how incredibly long I take to eat my meal. I love it. I love savoring it. I don't miss rushing meals.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't like to be in a rush either. Absolutely not.

Melanie Avalon: All right, so now we have two questions about coffee that I'm going to read. The first one is from Christina, the subject is “How much black coffee?” Christina says, “Is there a limit to how much coffee you can drink? I'm in my second week of the clean fast. I'm not very good with water, so drinking a few cups of coffee in the morning. Thanks.”

Gin Stephens: Okay, you want me to answer that one now?

Melanie Avalon: Sure.

Gin Stephens: Okay, there really isn't an answer to that that would be universal. I've talked before about being a slow alcohol metabolizer. Meaning that the rule of thumb that we hear is that it takes an hour to metabolize one unit of alcohol, whatever that might be in terms of whether it's wine or beer, whatever. Well, that's not true for my body. My body clears alcohol more slowly, so I have to drink less alcohol than someone else. Then, you can also be a slow caffeine metabolizer. That's the thing. My DNA indicated I was not a slow caffeine metabolizer, thank goodness. So, I can handle caffeine better. Thank the Lord, I'd be so sad if I metabolized everything slowly, but coffee is not a problem for me. Wine is. I think you know when you're having too much, you can feel it. If you feel like it's affecting your sleep negatively, cut back on it. Our bodies tell us when we're having too much of something generally. When we look at long-term research on coffee, there is an association between longevity and coffee consumption. So, I wouldn't worry about, like, “Oh my gosh, is this bad for me?” If you feel great, you're probably fine.

Melanie Avalon: That was exactly what I was going to say was its individual, the caffeine metabolism rate. The half-life of caffeine-- I was thinking about this actually last night, because I was reading Shawn Stevenson's new book, Eat Smarter. He had a whole section on the half-life of caffeine and slow and fast caffeine metabolizers. He was saying the half-life of caffeine is about six hours, which means after you drink coffee, six hours later, half of the caffeine is gone. But that would completely depend, I think, on if you're a slow or fast metabolizer. In any case, I feel like just finding the amount that supports the best energy level for you without creating a slump or a drop, and also, which doesn't interfere with your sleep-

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think that's great advice.

Melanie Avalon: -I think is huge, and that can be really different amounts for different people.

Gin Stephens: You know what really freaked me out when I realized I was a slow alcohol metabolizer, was the idea that maybe I accidentally did drunk driving the next day, without even meaning to. I would sleep all night and wake up. Let's say I'd been at the beach and then I had to drive home, was there enough alcohol in my system because I would never drive after drinking. Never, never, never. If I had one glass of wine, I wouldn't drive. But it's the next day, you're thinking, “I've been sleeping. It's 12 hours later, it must be fine.” Maybe I wasn't. Anyway, that freaks me out to think about because I'm such a law-abiding person. I would never-- I was like, the Uber girl, I would Uber everywhere the night of, but anyway.

Melanie Avalon: I do want to throw out there. I do think in general though, I go back and forth. I do a lot of research. Sometimes, I'm like, I want to drink no coffee, I want to be like no stimulants, no depressants, no, nothing, just water and fasting. The studies pretty consistently show that moderate coffee consumption tends to correlate pretty well to so many health benefits.

Gin Stephens: It's those polyphenols.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. I feel like it's that thing that if you like it, it makes you feel good, you should embrace it because it has benefits. Then maybe, occasionally, if you want to do a coffee fast where you're not drinking coffee to see how you feel, the self-experimentation that can be fun. I think this is just me speaking to my own insecurities. If it works for you, keep drinking it.

Gin Stephens: I also want to point out one thing that Christina said, she said, “I'm not very good with water.” I want to point out that there's a lot of guilt associated with water consumption these days. It's like a spin that's out there in society that you must force yourself to chug water all the time. Think back, Melanie, you follow the paleo lifestyle back in paleo days, were they carrying around jugs of water all the time?

Melanie Avalon: I highly doubt it.

Gin Stephens: Doubtful. We don't need to think of water consumption as guilt. There's also a mistaken truth, which means it's not true. It's a mistaken truth that people will repeat over and over-- because you know how when people just say things over and over again, you begin to accept it as it must be true, because I've heard so many people say it. They say, “Coffee doesn't count as your water.” I've looked into that, I've researched it, that is not true. Coffee is mostly water. The reason that whole thought comes from the fact that coffee maybe slightly dehydrating, but it's not more dehydrating than the amount of the water that you had with it. It doesn't make you have negative water balance. Let's say you have a cup of coffee, it doesn't suck out more than a cup of water from your body. You're still on the plus side. Would you be more hydrated if it were 100% water instead of coffee? Maybe. It's not going to be like negative hydration. Stop with that guilt.

Melanie Avalon: That's what I had heard as well, what you just said. Now I'm just thinking-- okay, follow this train of thought, let me know what your thoughts are on this. I wonder, however, that aside-- because one of the things I talked about in the deuterium interview was the potential ability of a given water substance to hydrate ourselves. There are a lot of factors that affect whether or not water actually is taken up by ourselves and hydrates us. I wonder if depending on context, it could be possible that coffee is dehydrating if the caffeine acts as a diuretic, so it pulls water out of the cells but because of the nature of water or your body or whatever, you're not necessarily getting the hydration benefits from the water.

Gin Stephens: Everything I've read says that it does not have a net dehydrating effect. You know what I'm saying? It doesn't deplete you. It adds water to your body.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I have to revisit all of that.

Gin Stephens: I've researched that because people ask that all the time, and so I'll be like, “Let me look again, see what I see.” It always reinforces that everything I've found.

Melanie Avalon: What do they measure?

Gin Stephens: I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: I'm wondering if they're measuring your-- I don't know the answer to this, I'm just thinking, is it they're measuring your total body water because that might not necessarily indicate hydration within the cell.

Gin Stephens: Well, here's the thing. We know that there are people out there that don't ever drink pure water by itself. Never. They always are drinking a fluid with something else. They don't drink water, they drink juice, they drink tea, they drink coffee, they drink soda. Those things are mostly water. They are liquids and they count. When you eat soup-- Actually, I've even read about-- you can actually get so much of your fluid intake through your foods, like that counts too. Like eating a carrot. Obviously, we're fasting during the day so that we would not be getting carrot fluid during your fast. But even just eating vegetation gives your body fluids.

Melanie Avalon: Most whole foods are mostly water, compared to processed foods which have no water. Even meat is extremely high in water. Which people, I think, find very shocking.

Gin Stephens: Well, our whole body is mostly water.

Melanie Avalon: Yep, exactly. I think we're 98% water.

Gin Stephens: I'm not sure, I can't remember. The point is, is that fluids are fluids. Don't be guilty about what your fluid is, whether it's coffee, whether it's tea, whether it's pure water. We're not that fragile. Some people have found that, “Hey, when I up my water intake, I do seem to have better weight loss.” All right, well, then nothing wrong with that, but stop with the guilt over it.

Melanie Avalon: I was just looking it up because I don't know why I have 98 in my head, something from our water conversation was 98% I the deuterium thing-- we're up to-- on average about 60%.

Gin Stephens: That's what I thought. I was thinking it was more like two-thirds.

Melanie Avalon: Muscles can be up to 79%.

Gin Stephens: It's been a long time since I've taught that lesson in the elementary science class but in my head, I was thinking two-thirds.

Melanie Avalon: Brain up to 85. I don't know what that 98 number was.

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we read our next coffee question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Sarah. The subject is “Black Coffee.” She says, “Hi ladies, I'm about two weeks into IF. I'm trying to stick to 20:4. A couple times a week I end up at more like 16:8. I have found when I drink black coffee in the morning, I end up feeling so hungry, but when I skip it, I feel great. I love the taste and routine. So, I'm hoping that this is just part of the transition. Should I continue to skip it a few weeks, then try to introduce it again? I'm not adding anything to it. I grind my own whole beans, whole two shots of espresso, and add hot water to it. On a side note, I've been walking two to four miles each day while fasting and I love it. I listened to your podcast while I walk and it makes the time fly.”

Gin Stephens: All right. that's a great question. You're only about two weeks in. So, it's really, really hard to say whether it's the coffee or not, but you are right on target, Sarah, when you say that you need to experiment and see. You'll just need to try fasting without it. But give a solid try, a week, see what happens. Even maybe wait till your body adjusts because that is another factor the adjustment period. you'll just have to try it and see. Some people are awfully confused about coffee and whether it breaks a fast or not. Here are some of the common misconceptions people have. First of all, people think that when they drink coffee and then their stomach growls, that means it broke the fast. No. Stomach growling is a mechanical action that does not indicate your fast is broken. Also, some people think-- they'll test their blood glucose, and they'll say, “Oh gosh, every time I drink coffee, my blood glucose goes up. Coffee is breaking my fast.” Again, no, that's not what that means.

Coffee stimulates the liver to release stored glycogen. The glycogen is coming from inside you and being released into your bloodstream. Then, your body uses that glucose, that glycogen that was released and then your blood glucose goes back down. But remember, we want to stimulate or we want to deplete the glycogen in our liver over time, that's not a bad thing. Because once your body doesn't have that source of fuel from the liver, the glycogen, you can tap into your fat stores. Don't feel that blood glucose going up is a bad thing. Don't feel a stomach growl is a bad thing. Now, if you feel shaky or nauseous after coffee, that would be an indication that it's making you hungry, it might be dropping your blood glucose. Keep that in mind, keep those distinctions. A lot of people just are confused about all those concepts. What would you like to add, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: I thought that was great. I just put on my-- I don't even know what number continuous glucose monitor we're on now, but I just put a new one on. For listeners, if you have a continuous glucose monitor, it can be really fascinating to see how your blood sugar responds to things like coffee and how it responds throughout the fast and all of that. But yes, I agree.

Gin Stephens: Totally fascinating. It really, really is.

Melanie Avalon: I wonder if it's both caffeinated and decaf coffee that makes her feel hungry.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't know that. She said--

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wait, it's espresso.

Gin Stephens: You could have decaf espresso.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, true. I always associate espresso with caffeine. That just might be something to try, one or the other. The opposite of whatever you're doing.

Gin Stephens: Yep. We are very much an experiment of one. All right. We have a question from Shelley, and this is subject, “Podcasts. How do you listen to so many?” Therefore, we know this was for Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: [laughs] Because Gin does not listen to podcasts.

Gin Stephens: Even if people send them to me, they're like, “Please listen to them.” I don't want to listen to that one. I don’t have time.” Shelley says, “I started IF at the beginning of 2020, and pretty much stuck with the program for the entire year. This was the bright spot of my 2020. I lost 30 pounds and felt in control of my eating. I still have about 15 pounds to lose, but I'm confident that I can do it. My question, every time I hear Melanie say, ‘I listened to that on a podcast,’ which she says all the time. I always wonder what does she do when she's listening to all those hundreds of podcasts? I listen while I do my stretching, strength training, and while I do housework. If I sit down at night to listen, I fall asleep. It really is a burning question. What are you doing while you listen, Melanie? Thanks for all you ladies are doing in the IF world.”

Melanie Avalon: Thanks, Shelley, for your question. I basically have an audiobook or podcast going-- I'm just thinking about the phrase 24/7 because the phrase 24/7 means constantly, but technically, it's not 24/7, because we don't do anything 24/7 except be alive or breathe. I basically listen 24/7 and whenever I'm doing something that doesn't require concentration, so something I can multitask with, I just have it playing in the background all the time. Driving, exercising, working on website, blogs, it's just always playing. It's like the soundtrack of my life. If I need to focus, I listened to music instead.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I always listen to music, except for if I'm trying to focus, then I can't even listen to music.

Melanie Avalon: If it's something where I can't be distracted, I listen to instrumental music, movie scores.

Gin Stephens: I have to have quiet. I do much better with quiet.

Melanie Avalon: Have you ever tried the focus music with the specific binaural beats are like--

Gin Stephens: I've tried it even in my classroom with students. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Does that work for you, or no?

Gin Stephens: I do better in quiet. I just do. I do better in quiet.

Melanie Avalon: I go to the grocery store every single day because I must go to the grocery store every single day. On the way there and then while shopping and all that, I listen. There's so much to listen to. One of the most freeing decisions I made-- I feel this was right around the beginning of when the pandemic started, but I just had a moment where I was like you don't have to try to listen to every single podcast ever. If I saw any podcasts remotely related to something I wanted to know about, I would put it in this to-listen list, and it was getting so long and I was getting so overwhelmed. Then, finally, I just let it go and I was like, “It's okay. You don't have to listen to everything. You can listen to what you want to listen to.” That has been very freeing. I encourage listeners, if you have that trait at all, where you think you have to do all the things, you don't have to do all things.

Gin Stephens: That's very true.

Melanie Avalon: All right, so the next question comes from Hannah. The subject is, “What if I don't just know?” Hannah says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. You always say that if something breaks your fast, you'll know. My question is that if I don't have a reaction to my fast being accidentally broken, does that somehow indicate that my body isn't really getting into the fat-burning state? I've been doing IF for nine months with an average one meal a day of 21:3, and an occasional meal-less Monday, thanks, Roxy.”

Gin Stephens: Roxy is one of my amazing moderators. She leads a thread called meal-less Monday, where people who are doing an alternate daily fasting approach and fasting on Monday, they fast together in the thread and cheer each other on one. Then, Tuesday is their up day.

Melanie Avalon: Very cool.

Gin Stephens: She's pretty awesome. She's also been on Intermittent Fasting Stories, and I consider her to be a great friend.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, thank you, Roxy. She says, “I lost 20 pounds in the first four months that I am maintaining, which I am just delighted about. However, I still have at least 50 pounds to go and I've been stalled for several months. I know I'm insulin resistant because I was diagnosed with PCOS five years ago. Luckily, I was still able to have my two little ones. I recently had my fasting insulin tested and it was at 10. I keep telling myself that this plateau is just my body healing on the inside, but as I listened to your podcast, I'm also realizing that I don't have the same sensitivity to a broken fast that other IFers experience.

I've never felt shaky or hungry by accidentally licking a finger while cooking. I've had a sip of sweet tea before thinking it was unsweet and had no reaction. I've also tested myself by sipping something flavored on purpose and nothing happens. What could this mean? Am I not getting into the fasted or fat-burning state in the first place, and this is causing my plateau? Is my insulin resistance so severe that this is just going to be a very long road for me? Would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you so much for continuing to devote yourselves to spreading the word about IF. You two are truly a blessing to so many people.”

Gin Stephens: This is such a great question because it gets into the physiology of insulin resistance, high levels of insulin, and you've got the data there, which makes it, Hannah, your data shows beautifully what I'm going to explain. We've talked about chronic high levels of insulin, hyperinsulinemia are not good for our bodies. You've got PCOS, which is linked to high levels of insulin. Your insulin was tested, and it was at 10, which is higher than you want to have it when you're really metabolically in a good place. You know that you're insulin resistant. Hand in hand with high levels of insulin, we typically have high levels of blood glucose over time as well, because insulin resistance, it's that whole path you go down. Your insulin goes up, up, up, up, up over time. Then people generally start having more trouble with their blood glucose swinging up and being chronically high. Your A1c may be high when you have it tested. Then eventually, you may end up diagnosed as type 2 diabetic with the high blood glucose that's chronic.

Let's think about what would happen if we tasted something sweet and we were normal. My blood glucose is at normal levels during the fast. Melanie sees that with her CGM, I saw that when I wore mine for the Zoe test, my blood glucose was at a normal level. It ranged up and down a little bit, but it wasn't high, it wasn't low, it was just in that normal range up and down. Here it goes. If I had had something sweet, like a sip of sweet tea, and my body released insulin in response to that, the insulin would have cleared away some of my blood glucose and I would have had a crash. I would have felt shaky, I would have felt hungry. In fact, that's what happens to me when I have for example, Starbucks, that Nitro Cold Brew. It apparently tricks my brain into thinking that something sweet and creamy is coming, so I have a cephalic phase insulin response. I always get shaky and starving after having it. I think it makes my blood sugar crash because I've had an insulin response.

However, if my blood glucose was already high, and then I had whatever that is, the sweet tea, that Nitro Cold Brew, the sweet whatever it is, the licking your finger, my body can pump out a little insulin and bring down my blood glucose, but not enough for me to feel it as a low. I'm not going to be shaky because my blood glucose didn't go down into that shaky range. It just went down, maybe now it's a little more normal, if my blood glucose had been high before now it's normal, but I don't feel it. That's why you can't use the you'll know a thing. I actually don't always say that you'll know. In Fast. Feast. Repeat., I actually say this is not a foolproof way of telling. It just depends on what your blood glucose is doing. Did I explain that well enough, Melanie, did that make sense?

Melanie Avalon: That was beautiful.

Gin Stephens: I need people to be able to see me because I'm doing all these hand motions. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: That's funny, and just a reference for listeners for insulin levels, because Hannah said that her fasting insulin was at 10. If you'd like to learn all about insulin, like a deep, deep, deep dive, check out-- I'll put a link in the show notes to the interview that I did with Dr. Benjamin Bikman for his book, Why We Get Sick, really, really fascinating. That was actually I think, my first episode of the New Year and people just loved it. He talks about insulin in deep depth, and he recommends-- is it less than a 6, I think, insulin levels?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think 6 is really good for metabolic health. 10, I was going to say this, and I'm glad that you mentioned it, because I forgot. 10 is “normal.” If you got a 10 and somebody was looking at it, who didn't really understand ideal. They might say, “Oh, 10, that's normal, you're fine.” Well, also, insulin resistance is sadly normal these days. Just because you're in that normal range, doesn't mean you're at an optimal, healthy level. Yes, 6 is a good something to aim for, or below.

Melanie Avalon: He said, ideally, your blood insulin levels should be less than 6 micronutrients per milliliter of blood. 8 to 9 is the average for men and women, but it's not good to be average. In this case, a person with 8 actually has-- this is interesting, a person with 8 actually has double the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as a person with 5. He recommends less than 6, the technical average is 7 to 17. Greater than 18 is considered conventionally an issue. But like he said, less than 6.

Gin Stephens: Mine was less than 5.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, mine was, I think, 4 or something when I got it tested, which made me really happy. I was like, “What if it's really high?” I just want to echo what Gin said about really fabulous that Hannah has done this testing and actually has these markers. Just out of curiosity, Gin, so let's see, we got this question from somebody else. They actually didn't have PCOS and their insulin was really good. They had this experience-- I don't know, have you come across have people have this experience where they don't perceive being insulin resistant?

Gin Stephens: We're all different in so many ways. We all probably are likely to have a personalized insulin response as well. My husband has very low levels of insulin. They were in the twos. That is very low. Here's something about Chad that I've said before, he's never struggled with his weight. He's always been very, very thin, the biggest his waist ever got was 32, for a man that's really small. Having low, low levels of insulin, could he drink diet soda all day long and probably be fine? I don't know, but he probably pumps out less insulin than I do. I think that we're all different when it comes to how much insulin we pump out. He might be able to “get away with it.” Obviously, that wouldn't be recommended, because I think over time, it's not going to have a good effect long term. But it would explain why people have different responses because we really do pump out different levels of, I mean, everything.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, with insulin resistance, one of the main issues is your baseline insulin basically has to be higher to keep everything at the same place that another person would be at. That person's body who's insulin resistant, in a way, they are experiencing the same effect and the same body processes as a person with lower insulin levels, but just the bar is all set up way higher.

Gin Stephens: It inches its way up over time.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, it definitely does, slowly. Dr. Benjamin Bikman talks about that. It doesn't happen overnight. It's not like you wake up insulin resistant and you were fine the day before. It's a slow, insidious creep, which is nice, because that means there's a lot of time to reverse that.

Gin Stephens: Well, one of the best articles I ever read was the one that talked about how are we testing the wrong thing with A1c. I can't remember the name of the article, but it was written, I think, by a nurse practitioner, I can't remember, but it was, we're measuring A1c and it would be much better if we measured insulin levels, fasted insulin levels, because that's the precursor to A1c going up. So, if we tested fasting insulin levels, if someone had high fasted insulin, but a normal A1c, we know that's, like, “Well, we're on the rise up.” Eventually it follows along.

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, A1c, it's a longer-term picture of how long and how often the extent to which your blood sugar levels are elevated, because when your blood sugars are elevated, it glycates your blood protein, so it's looking at how glycated are your blood proteins. The turnover for those is three months. It shows you in the past three months what has your overall blood sugar-- you don't get a blood sugar number, obviously, but it's showing how severe was your elevated blood sugar levels.

Gin Stephens: When you start fasting, it isn't going to affect your A1c that day, it takes time.

Melanie Avalon: Right, because like I just said, three months is how long it takes to-- I don't know if that's the half-life or the turnover. I'm not sure. I wish they did test insulin instead.

Gin Stephens: I want to get back to what Hannah said, “Is this just going to be a long road for me?” Well, yeah, it is more likely to be a long road, which I know is not what you want to hear. But if you know you have PCOS, you know you're insulin resistant, that is where strategy, more alternate daily fasting than one meal a day is what I would recommend. I would recommend more down days, maybe a 5:2 hybrid approach. Instead of just meal-less Monday, have Monday and Thursday. You're coming up with a hybrid approach, unless you want to do straight ADF, which is every other day, but that's pretty intense and it was a lot when I tried it. Of course, it's been years, five years ago since I did that. What I would probably start with for you is maybe Mondays and Thursdays, as meal-less days, you can also experiment with them as a down day with the 500-calorie down day approach, reread that chapter of Fast. Feast. Repeat. to remember, you know why to do it like that if you want or how to do it. Monday and Thursday down days, that would mean that Tuesday and Friday would be up days, those are metabolic boost days where you need at least two meals, three is also fine. Then you could do one meal a day the other days if you like it, that would be okay. Having those two longer fasts a week, that Monday and then that Thursday fast, 36 to 42 hours, two of those a week would really help bring down your insulin even more.

Melanie Avalon: One other thing I will draw attention to is-- this made me happy that she realized this, she said she knows she's insulin resistant because of her PCOS diagnosis. PCOS is considered-- definitely within the holistic health world, it's pretty much considered that insulin resistance is usually a, if not the primary cause of it. Actually, when I had Dr. Bikman on, I asked him, like, “Is it accepted now that that's basically the cause?” He said not conventionally, but usually basically that's the cause. I know a lot of women struggle with that. There’s been so many studies on-- I think when it comes to females and fertility and hormones and fasting, a lot of the studies on fasting females is often looking at PCOS. It's usually very beneficial, which does not come as a surprise, since we know how fasting affects our insulin sensitivity. It's very exciting.

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Gin Stephens: We have a question from Jessica. The subject is “Q and A.” She says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. I love your podcasts. Thanks for everything that you do. I was just listening to an interview with Robb Wolf on another podcast and he was talking about how important it is to get enough protein. He was basically saying that while it is really important that we don't eat around the clock, so maintaining some sort of daily fasting protocol, it's also really important to get enough protein in and it's not easy to do that if you fast too much. He specifically called out one meal a day as being incompatible with sufficient protein intake.”

Melanie Avalon: He hasn't met me. [laughs] Wait, he has met me. Oh, my goodness, he has met me. Never mind.

Gin Stephens: Well, he also doesn't follow my definition of one meal a day. Hmm. [laughs] I'm sure he probably is thinking it's 23:1 because that's what people are nowadays, that just has become the definition of it. Even though back in 2015, when I started my one meal a day group, we were the very first one meal a day group on Facebook. We've never considered it to be 23:1. Ideas take root and now pretty much the idea is one meal a day is 23:1. It's hard to get that out of everybody's minds if they're using that terminology everywhere. I will never consider it to be 23:1. I know you don't do 23:1. I bet you, he's talking about 23:1. I have never one time in my life suggested that everybody do 23:1. I just want to say that.

Melanie Avalon: I feel this happens too often where ideas get crystallized about certain things and then they they're just spit out as fact. We were talking about this earlier in the show. Just today in my group, somebody was asking about one meal a day and then somebody commented and was like, they said, “You can't lose weight on one meal a day. It's just for maintenance.” Then they quoted somebody. I'm just like, “I don't know.”

Gin Stephens: That's just suddenly spouted out as truth. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: That's why actually one of the only rules of our group is phrase everything as opinions. It's so important with all of this that we say, I think it's the case that this is the way it is, because we realize we don't know anything and it's so easy to just spit out something as a fact and then once one person hears it, everybody hears it.

Gin Stephens: All those tens of thousands of people that have been in my groups that have lost weight with one meal a day, they didn't really lose weight. Okay. No, they did. They did lose weight. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I do not all like censorship or anything like that, but I do debate if somebody says something as a like straight-up fact, even if it's a fact I agree with, it's really important to me that we add, “I think,” because all it takes is people reading things as facts and then they run with it. It's like the telephone game where you whisper one thing, and then it changes. So, tangents. Shall we finish her question?

Gin Stephens: Yes. She goes on to say, “I found this a bit concerning as I have been fasting for almost a year now. For the last several months, I've been doing 20:4, which is pretty much one meal a day.” Well, yeah, as Melanie and I define it, yes. Maybe not as Robb Wolf defines it, that would be really important to know, maybe he was talking about 23:1, and I suspect he was. “I know you both follow a loose one meal a day protocol and I, of course, know how much Melanie appreciates the paleo lifestyle and Robb Wolf is a proponent of it. I thought you guys might have some helpful insights. Thanks again and keep up the awesome work you do. Jessica from Portland.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Jessica. Thank you for the question. Yes, I'm a Robb Wolf fangirl, if there ever was one. For those who are not familiar, he wrote the New York Times bestselling which Gin is also a New York Times bestseller. He wrote The New York Times bestselling book, The Paleo Solution. He also wrote Wired to Eat. His most recent book called Sacred Cow, which is actually-- I had him on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast for that show. I'll put a link to it in the show notes. Yes, he is basically one of the founding father figures of the paleo movement. He is big, big, big on the role of protein and the importance of protein and diet. We actually talked about this in that interview that I did, I brought him on for Sacred Cow. The interview was about the environmental impacts, and the implications of having or not having animals and regenerative agriculture and the future of our environment. One of the most fascinating conversations and books I've ever read.

If I had them on the show, I obviously going to ask them all the other things. We did talk a lot about protein. It's funny, because, yes, a lot of people will say that you can't get enough protein in a short eating window. Actually, when I had Cynthia Thurlow on the show, she as well said, especially for women, that she finds this often to be a problem. I actually do think this might be a problem for a lot of women, because they don't have the problem that I have, which is I could eat-- I have the opposite problem. I can eat so much protein, animal protein which is the most complete form and dense. I can eat pounds and pounds of it easily. I don't have the experience of struggling to eat enough of it. When I aired the episode with Cynthia Thurlow-- listeners, if you're interested in this, also listen to that episode because we dive even deeper into protein. We did talk about this how much protein especially women need and how it might be a problem with fasting.

When I posted that episode, I was actually really surprised that that was the thing that my audience seemed to identify with, or it really hit home with him the most because I do a weekly giveaway in my Facebook group where you can comment what you learned from the episode and so many people said that hearing that about protein intake was a really big thing for them. I think we already said this, but no, I do not think one meal a day is incompatible with sufficient protein. I don't think that at all.

That said, I think there's nuances to it. I think some people if you're struggling to eat enough protein, which I recommend probably one gram per pound of body weight and that's on the high side compared to the conventional recommendations, because the conventional recommendations, the standard American recommendations, I think it's one gram, I could be wrong-- but I think it's one gram per pound of lean body mass, which ends up being less, but I like to aim for one gram per pound of body weight. I personally have no problem achieving that. If you do find that you can't really get enough protein in your one meal a day, I think there's nothing wrong with having a longer eating window to accommodate for that.

Also, if you're specifically looking to build muscle, you don't have to have protein throughout the day to build muscle to support muscle. Not at all. We talked about this so many times on the show. That said, if you're looking to make substantial muscle gains, I think there is a benefit to having punctuated times a protein intake set apart, because there is a cap to the amount of muscle growth that you can do at any one time. If you want to get a growth stimulus twice throughout the day, you'd probably need to have two separate protein meals, that might be more accommodated by a 16:8 approach.

Long story short, I think protein intake is key, key, key. Emphasizing it is super important for health, for bone health even. For weight loss, it's a highly thermogenic food. It supports body composition, it supports health, we need protein. Yes, I think you can get it in one meal a day, but if you're not, definitely be open to lengthening the window.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think that's great. Also, don't forget our bodies are recycling protein during the clean fast. That's one of the things that happens with autophagy. Not all of our protein intake has to come from food you're putting into your mouth, just keep that in mind. One thing I love, and I actually learned it from you, Melanie, since you read more about it is Ted Neiman’s protein leverage hypothesis, which makes so much sense, because I don't listen to podcasts. I've never heard him on a podcast say it, but I've read about it since you mentioned it.

Anybody that's read anything I've written or listened to me on this podcast knows that I'm a big believer that our bodies communicate with us and want us to have what we need. We get signals like hunger, when we're not sending what we need to our bodies, if we're not sending enough nutrients down. The protein leverage hypothesis is that basically, protein is a need that we will meet and our bodies will say keep eating, keep eating, keep eating until you've met that need. I think that's true. Just with myself, I think it's really true. I think it's true for lots of nutrients, but protein specifically, because it's something we really, really need. I don't always eat meat. I had meat last night, let me think, am I going to have meat tonight? Yes, I'm going to have meat tonight, then the next night I won’t because I'm thinking about the meals I have in my kitchen, with my Green Chef meals.

Anyway, with the meals that I have coming up that I have in my kitchen, I'm not going to have meat every night. But if I go several nights in a row, and I don't have meat, maybe a week with no meat, my body is like have some meat. I think my body lets me know when I need more protein. Or maybe I'll feel like throwing eggs on something, or I'm just not satisfied. I really think it's true for me. My body lets me know when I need more meat or more protein, I also get a lot of protein through beans. I wouldn't worry about it. Unless you feel like you're hungry, if you are not satisfied, it might be that you don't have enough protein and consider having more.

Melanie Avalon: I 100% agree with the protein leverage hypothesis theory. I am not full in my one meal day until my body I think has received the protein that it needs. It's so interesting people often posit fat as being super key for satiety, but it doesn't create the same satiety effects that protein does, for example, it doesn't encourage longtime satiety. According to at least Ted's book, protein is the only macronutrient that encourages both short term and long-term satiety, sorry, that's a tangent, but I think we think protein is very important. It all comes back to what we always say, which is N of 1 and find what works for you. I'd be really interested to know what interview, Jessica that you were listening to where he said that, I just would like to hear what he said. Feel free to send it.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that would be great to know.

Melanie Avalon: Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions to the podcast, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can follow us on Instagram. I got sad because I checked to see when this was airing and I thought maybe this would have aired before Valentine's Day, but this will be after Valentine's Day. Friends, if you're not on my Instagram, get on it, because on Valentine's Day, I'm giving away so many epic things on Instagram.

This week we're doing a signed book giveaway for Dr. Alan Christianson’s The Thyroid Rest Diet. Yesterday, I put up a giveaway for $3,000 worth of blood tests from InsideTracker give away completely free. Then on Valentine's Day, Apollo Neuro, the sound wave therapy device that I have, that I'm obsessed with, they asked if I wanted to give away two on Valentine's Day.

Gin Stephens: Like for a couple?

Melanie Avalon: Because they were like, “Do you want to do giveaway?” I was like, “Sure,” they're like, “Do you want to do for Valentine's Day?” I was like, “Sure.” They're like, “Do you want to give away two?” I was like, “Sure.” [laughs] Basically, friends get it on my Instagram, because there're so many things.

Gin Stephens: If people, they're going to miss it, no, it's too late, because this will already come out, but you join today because you never know what's coming out tomorrow.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I'm on the giveaway rollercoaster now.

Gin Stephens: I'm not going to give you anything, you can look at my cat.

Melanie Avalon: [laughs] I know. Gin is not the giveaway. [laughs] You could give away signed copies of your book.

Gin Stephens: I could.

Melanie Avalon: I give away a lot of Beautycounter on my Instagram.

Gin Stephens: I'm going to show you my cat, and if I do something fun with beans, [laughs] and that's pretty much it.

Melanie Avalon: I think it's so fun. Check us out on Instagram. You can find all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

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

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

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Feb 21

Episode 201: Blood Work, Lab Results, Fasting Support, Social Media, Overeating, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 201 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

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SHOW NOTES

1:10 - For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A Sample Pack For Only The Price Of Shipping!!

3:45 - 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!

16:20 - Listener Feedback: Maria - Not A Question, Just Some Good Feedback

21:20 - Listener Q&A: Beth - Blood Work

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #23 - Gil Blander: InsideTracker

Go To MelanieAvalon.Com/GetInsideTracker And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

28:35 - THERAGUN: Get It Risk-Free For 30 Days Or Your Money Back At theragun.com/ifpodcast!

30:45 - Listener Q&A: Hannah - Q&A episode 200

IF Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life

Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon

Lumen Lovers: Biohack Your Carb And Fat Burning (With Melanie Avalon)

50:00 - BIOPTIMIZERS:  Go To magbreakthrough.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save 10% Off Any Order.

30:45 - Listener Q&A: Cindy - Which do you think has more of an impact on the body, IF or diet?

TRANSCRIPT


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 201 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 Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting podcast.

Hi friends. I'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. We're not talking a discount. We're talking free. Completely free. Yes, guys, you can get a free LMNT sample pack. You only pay $5 for shipping. If you don't love it, they will even refund you the $5 for shipping. I'm not kidding. The sample pack includes eight packets of LMNT, two Citrus, two Raspberry, two Orange, and two Raw Unflavored. The Raw Unflavored ones are the ones that are safe for your clean fast, and the other ones you can have in your eating window. Word on the street is the Citrus flavor makes an amazing margarita by the way.

I am loving LMNT and I think you guys will too. Again, this is completely free. You have nothing to lose. Just go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. That's DRINKLMNT dotcom forward slash IF Podcast. And I'll put all this information in the show notes.

One more thing before we jump in. Are you concerned about aging? Well, thankfully, fasting is super incredible for its anti-aging benefits. It activates genes in your body called sirtuins, which repair your body and help extend lifespan. Also, during the fast, your body can clean up a lot of harmful chemicals which may be taxing your detoxification systems. In fact, the reason people go gray is because their detox systems start producing a lot of hydrogen peroxide when dealing with toxins. Do you know where a lot of those chemicals come from? Your skincare and makeup. As it turns out, there are 1000s of compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup that Europe has banned due to their toxic nature and the US has banned less than 10. When you put these on your skin every single day through your skincare makeup, you're adding to your body's burden and likely aging your skin faster.

Thankfully, you can easily clean up your skincare with a company called Beautycounter. They make incredible products that are extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can feel good about every single ingredient that you put on. They also have an amazing anti-aging line called Countertime. Friends, this is a game changer. It's full of active ingredients which nourish and support your skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and support a beautiful glow. It also has a safe alternative to retinol, so you can get all of the anti-aging benefits of retinol without any of the toxic effects of retinol, because, yes, that stuff is toxic. Guys, put it away now.

You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. If you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order. Also definitely get on my clean beauty email list, that's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away so many free things on that list. So, definitely check it out.

Lastly, if you anticipate making safe skincare a part of your future, just like Gin and I do, definitely become a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for safe skincare. You get 10% back on all of your purchases, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that costs way more than the price of the membership. It's completely worth it. Friends, are you fast and clean inside and out? You can with Beautycounter. Again, that link is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show.

Hi everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 201 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. Oh, can I tell you something cool?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, that threw me off so much.

Gin Stephens: Episode 201 comes out on 2/22/21. It's a day of twos and ones.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. I'm looking at the numbers right now. That is a lot of twos.

Gin Stephens: And the one at the end. Yeah. 201 on 2/22/21. I don't know. I just like numbers.

Melanie Avalon: Happy February 22nd to you.

Gin Stephens: Awesome. Even though we're recording this in January. Yes. I wonder what life is like in the future. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Do you think so broadcasts-- okay, but this isn't broadcast. They say that radio broadcasts, aren't they just going out into space?

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I used to always hear that like if aliens got our broadcasts, depending on where they were, they might get broadcasts from the 1960s, so they would show up to Earth dressed up 1960s?

Gin Stephens: [laughs] I don't know. That's interesting, though. I guess the broadcast waves do make it out through the atmosphere and just keep going. I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: I guess our podcast is not broadcast, so I got really excited for a second thinking [laughs] we were going to live on the universe.

Gin Stephens: That's funny.

Melanie Avalon: Our podcast.

Gin Stephens: I love it. I do want to say one thing. I have just started doing something different with my eating window after all this time.

Melanie Avalon: What is that?

Gin Stephens: Well, it just suddenly hit me. Every day, I've been opening my window forever with a hearty snack and then later having a sit-down dinner with Chad. I just was getting to the point where every day when it was time to cook the big dinner, I was like, I'm doing a lot of things. I'm working on a new book. I had already eaten a little bit, or actually, I've been eating a lot with my snack. So, I have actually flipped my eating. I am opening earlier. Not earlier in the day, but I'm having my main dinner to open. Let's say it might be 3 o'clock, and instead of opening with a snack, I just go ahead and make dinner at 3 o'clock, and then I eat it the way I was eating my snack, but I also set aside Chad's portion. Then when he eats it, I have my something else. That's my snack. I've just flipped it.

Melanie Avalon: You eat the big portion alone?

Gin Stephens: Well, I am now because he works. Well, I was eating my snack alone. But here's what's so nice, it feels better. I was realizing that I was eating a lot in the earlier part of my window by myself. Yes, but it was because Chad's at work, but I was eating the snack and then I was eating a lot, continuing to snack till I felt satisfied. Then, by the time dinner rolled around, I wasn't as hungry. I didn't feel like cooking, like I said, because I'd already been so satisfied from before. I am loving cooking the main meal. It doesn't feel as much of a drag because I haven't eaten yet, I'm more excited. The anticipatory feeling is higher and I'm eating my main meal, and then he doesn't care that it's three hours ago that I made it. He's eating it, and I'm having a little snack at that time.

Melanie Avalon: Have you ever done just having the main meal with Chad and not eating before?

Gin Stephens: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, on many days when I've been busy, but that's not enough food for me over the course of long term. Just having one sit-down experience, it's not enough food for my body. I need more food. One plate a day, 23:1 long term, that doesn't work well for me at this point, because I don't need to lose any more weight and I just can't take in enough food in that short of a time to sustain me day after day after day. Because I'm still a little hungry, I'm eating my main meal early now. Then when it's time for Chad to eat, I'm still eating a little bit and a little hungry at that point. I'm not done for the day.

Melanie Avalon: I feel that approach would apply to some questions we've had in the past from listeners.

Gin Stephens: I remember, we suggested that she flip it, I remember.

Melanie Avalon: One girl was saying that she didn't have enough time to eat all of the food with the family, because she ate slow, and she was eating a lot. Then another girl, I think wanted to eat earlier. She felt better eating earlier, but she also wanted to eat with her family. That would actually be a situation what you just stopped it.

Gin Stephens: It feels great. The main part about sitting with Chad is visiting with him. I'm still getting to eat the meal, but now what I've realized is, again, I'm not annoyed at having to cook later when I'm not as hungry, it was becoming a chore. Instead, it's exciting to cook again. Where was I going with that? Oh, I'm enjoying the meal more.

Melanie Avalon: Nice.

Gin Stephens: Not because I'm alone. Ideally, I wish Chad was at home ready to eat at that time as well, but he's not, but I'm enjoying the actual food because it's the first thing I'm eating.

Melanie Avalon: Very nice.

Gin Stephens: It really is. I don't know how long I'm going to do it. I'm lucky that I have a schedule that's so flexible, I can do what works for me back when I worked outside the home and didn't get home till 4:30 that obviously, I couldn't have this flexibility.

Melanie Avalon: Well, it's definitely a good motivation for listeners to tweak things around if it's not working perfectly.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. The other was working. Then I've just like, “Wow.” The other thing that I'm really enjoying is Chad gets home from work, and instead of feeling like I have to immediately go start cooking dinner, I don't have to do that. I've already done it. We just can visit and talk. I'm like, "Well, let me know when you're ready for me to put your plate on the table.” It's freed up my evening. It's hard to explain.

Melanie Avalon: Exciting.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Anything new with you?

Melanie Avalon: I have something super random.

Gin Stephens: Okay, I love random.

Melanie Avalon: It's really, really random. I hadn't thought about it. Last night, I saw properly socially distance, of course, one of my friends from high school, I haven't seen her in a long time. We're catching up on everything that we're doing now in life. She says what I'm doing now is basically what I've always been doing. I forgot-- So way back in middle school, was in middle school? It might have been elementary school. Like back in the days of when it was like dial-up internet and AOL and everything, I started way back then like an email newsletter for all my friends. I taught myself HTML and I would do news stories and quizzes and polls. It's like what I'm doing now. I totally forgot that I've been doing that since I was a wee child.

Gin Stephens: That's so funny. Yeah, I did things like that. I always like would start clubs, and everyone would join them. I was like the president of the club, “You can be in my club that I just started, but I'm the president.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I guess like sharers of information and organizers of people and stuff.

Gin Stephens: Well, yeah, I always wanted to be a teacher, always. I played school, and all my friends had to also be in my classroom, I would play school and pretend to be their teacher and give them assignments. So funny.

Melanie Avalon: Good times. I just thought it was funny that that was the first thing she thought of. She's like, “You've always been doing this.”

Gin Stephens: I love it.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, last announcement. I announced this last time, but I did start a new Facebook group for listeners who are interested in clean beauty and safe skincare, which is obviously a huge passion for me. It's called Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. Gin, I'm continuing-- I just have to talk about it because I'm so obsessed. Have you tried yet the vitamin C serum by Beautycounter?

Gin Stephens: Yes, I have tried it. I actually had already tried it before. I have it. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Are you using it now every day?

Gin Stephens: Well, I cycled through things. I have a lot of the things and so I don't use it every day. I'm more of like, “I'll do this one today. And this one tomorrow.” I rotate it.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, I'm obsessed. I'm obsessed. I wasn't just going to use it for one day, but I tried it and I have not stopped. Oh, my goodness, friends. If you want brightened skin-- I like going very minimal with skincare. Actually, with Beautycounter I thought I was just going to be using the makeup for a long time and not most of the skincare products, but I've been slowly wrapped in, mostly because I created this skincare group and everybody's talking about everything, and I'm like, “Oh, I want to try this now.” The vitamin C serum is changing my life. I just have to throw that out there.

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm crazy about the deodorant.

Melanie Avalon: I haven't tried it yet.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. I love it.

Melanie Avalon: I should pull it out. I have it.

Gin Stephens: I've talked before on this podcast years ago about my struggle with natural deodorant.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Did this one solve that problem for you?

Gin Stephens: Yes. This one is fabulous.

Melanie Avalon: Which scent are using?

Gin Stephens: I really liked the coconut. Also, I like the lavender, but I'm using the coconut day to day, but lavender I like. Rose is not my kind of fragrance. I got the little sampler and the rose was in there and I gave it to my daughter-in-law and she was here. She likes rose, the smells. The smells are very much like if you like rose, you will like the rose. If you like lavender, you will like the lavender. They're very true to life.

Melanie Avalon: You like coconut. What's the fourth one?

Gin Stephens: The fourth one, actually, I don't know if the fourth ones in the rotation all the time because I don't think I could find it in the full size. The fourth one was a more masculine kind of fragrance. I can't remember what it was called. It wasn't my favorite kind of fragrance for me.

Melanie Avalon: I wish they would make a shaving cream. I thought about ordering the man shaving cream and using it on my legs.

Gin Stephens: I don't even use shaving cream. I just use water.

Melanie Avalon: I don't either, but I just realized, I think I want to start.

Gin Stephens: Okay. Yeah, I never have. I guess I did back in the day when I was starting off because you feel you need all the stuff when you're a kid. Not a kid, but preteen teen.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, man, I'm having flashbacks to when you first start shaving.

Gin Stephens: Like, well, I need it. They make it. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. [laughs] Good times. In any case, listeners, if you like to get any of the Beautycounter products, you can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter, and something special may or may not happen after your first order.

Gin Stephens: It totally will.

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

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we have some listener feedback, and this is from Maria. The subject is "Not a question, just some good feedback." Maria says, "I've been blessed with being thin all my life, but I have also had some kind of major exercising since high school. I walked to school. Yes, uphill both ways. 1.5 miles each way.” Is it possible at all to walk uphill both ways? Is it at all?

Gin Stephens: Well, you could have to go up a hill each direction. For example, if your house is up on a hill, and then you have to walk down that hill into a valley, but then the school's at the top of another hill--

Melanie Avalon: Oh, then you're up a hill again.

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: It was on two hills.

Gin Stephens: Uphill both ways. Yeah. You go down and then up, and then the other way-- Well, actually, okay, now, though, that was wrong. That was down and then up. If your house was at the bottom of valley, I said it wrong. If your house is at the bottom of a valley, and you have to go up a hill, and then down the hill to another valley and then your school is on another hill? Yes, you could have. It's not going to be 100% uphill both ways. That’s impossible.

Melanie Avalon: I just think about that piece of artwork. The one with--

Gin Stephens: Escher?

Melanie Avalon: The one with the water?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I love him, Escher. Yes. optical illusions.

Melanie Avalon: I stare at that picture for too long.

Gin Stephens: M.C. Escher is one of my favorite artists. I love his work.

Melanie Avalon: It's the one with the water, like the water’s flowing?

Gin Stephens: Yeah. He has one with water. Yeah, or several.

Melanie Avalon: Then there's one with stairs.

Gin Stephens: Yep.

Melanie Avalon: Good times. Okay. Back to the question. She says, “After having two children, I lifted weights or played racquetball three to five times a week. After the kids moved out, kayaked,” oh, wow “Three to five hours or long distance biked once a week. We moved and lived in our RV for a year and the exercising stopped. And then, menopause hit. I weigh more now than when I was pregnant. Hearing so much about IF, I decided to give it a try. I have been intermittent fasting several months on and off with really very little change. There is so much conflicting information out there. Milk, no milk, 50 calories okay, 100 calories okay. That is when I decided to read Gin’s book, Fast. Feast. Repeat. Wow. I will read it again and again and again. That's how I learned about a clean fast and not starving myself and enjoying eating again, and my glass of wine when my window is open.

My first aha moment was when I heard someone talking about chewing gum. I did not realize it broke my fast. Also, I had flavored chap stick, which broke my fast. So, I experimented. I decided to have a piece of gum during my fasting period. Immediately, I was hungry. Hmm. Anything with a flavor or a taste? Hmm. I've been clean fasting for three weeks now. Not seeing any weight loss, I am seriously thinking about throwing away my scale. I just listened to a podcast where Gin did the same because I feel amazing. I have so much energy. I'm driving my husband crazy. We are retired and I cannot sit still when I am at home.

Also, I've noticed some skin issues I had that have disappeared. Hmm. I'm attributing that to autophagy. I'd rather feel great than see that number on the scale. I'm 66 and don't exercise the way I used to, due to my husband having some health issues, but I've started walking. One mile, then two, then three. I feel great. Some days, I feel I can go forever. Then, my body reminds me not to overdo it. I love listening to Gin and Melanie's podcast. I feel like I have friends that are sharing with me. Please keep up the good work. God bless.”

Gin Stephens: Oh, I love that, Maria.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I thought that was a really wonderful email.

Gin Stephens: I have two things I want to say. One, I just feel so grateful, she mentioned that when menopause hit, she gained a lot of weight prior to starting intermittent fasting. I was worried about that. I was not in menopause when I started intermittent fasting. It was obvious I was perimenopausal and then I went through menopause and now I'm on the other side of it. 51 is the average age, and that's the age where I am. I hit did it at exactly the average time, but I didn't gain any weight. I was so worried. I didn't know because most women do gain weight over the transition. I didn't. It is so exciting, because I didn't know what would happen. I was like, is fasting going to protect me from the menopausal weight gain?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Yes. I'm confident now that it will and has. Anyway, I just had to throw that out there because that was something I worried about not knowing. Anyway, I also want to just say one thing, if you've been clean fasting for three weeks, Maria, and remember that in the 28-Day FAST Start of Fast. Feast. Repeat, I don't want you to expect to see any weight loss until after the adjustment period. I want you to give yourself you know, 28 days at minimum as the period of time you're not even expecting weight loss, but I'm glad you're feeling good. I would never stop. Even if I had gained weight during menopause, I wouldn't stop fasting just because I feel so good. Fasting just like you.

Melanie Avalon: I love it.

Gin Stephens: Yay. All right.  We have a question from Beth. The subject is “Bloodwork.” “Hi, ladies, and thank you for your podcast. I recently had blood work for my doctor. I was in a fasted state when I had it done. I'm just not sure how to analyze the results. What should my numbers be? Thank you for any help with this. I know you have recommended companies where you can send your bloodwork away, but I just can't afford that right now.”

Melanie Avalon: All right. I thought this was a really great question because I actually I think this is a really important issue to talk about that people don't talk about a lot, because we're often talking about the importance of getting bloodwork and different markers to look for. It actually can be really confusing, because when people get their blood work. There's going to be ranges, and those ranges are actually unique to the lab that you're using. Any given bloodwork marker, there's usually a typical range, but you actually have to look on your actual bloodwork results to see-- it's calibrated to the lab that you're using. All of that said, it's further confusing because the ranges that are determined to be what we're aiming for. They're not necessarily the ideal ranges. They're not necessarily based on healthy populations as well.

I had the founder of a company called InsideTracker on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, and his name was Gil Blander. If you're at all interested in the history of bloodwork and conventional ranges, and why they can be misleading, and why you should look for more ideal ranges and why what you're testing might not even be what you should be testing, it's a really, really fascinating episode. He also does intermittent fasting, by the way, which is really exciting. I think, Gin, you've had him on--

Gin Stephens: I did. I had him on the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast as well, because a lot of times people want to come on my podcast, and they'll send me, “Can I come on your podcast?” I'll say, “Well, I interview people who do intermittent fasting. Do you do intermittent fasting?” And they'd be like, “No,” but he was like, “Yes,” I'm like, “Awesome.” [laughs] It was fabulous.

Melanie Avalon: Do you talk more about the fasting? Or, do you talk about all the bloodwork?

Gin Stephens: The point of my podcast is, really we want to hear your story about you as an intermittent faster. And he really impressed me with a statement that he made. I'm going to paraphrase because it's been a while and I don't have it in front of me. He said that intermittent fasting is the number one lifestyle recommendation he would make for someone who is wanting to be healthy and increase longevity.

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

Gin Stephens: Yes. With his background and scientific knowledge, to say that really just blew me away. It was just really exciting.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, especially because the purpose of his company is analyzing health through bloodwork. They have their Inner Age platform. It's like they're trying to determine what your true “inner age” is based on the work they've done is, it's the blood markers that correlate to longevity, like in populations. That's how they determine what needs to be tested. David Sinclair is actually a partner in the company, I obviously love David Sinclair. I know that Beth is not looking for a service like that. I just wanted to bring it in for educational purposes, for people who do want to do that type of testing because they send blood work tests and then--

Gin Stephens: Analyses.

Melanie Avalon: -analyses. Yeah, it's really an amazing service. I'll put in the show notes a link to their services. For Beth’s question about if you're getting the conventional work from your doctor, first of all, you should be having a follow-up with your doctor where the doctor is going to go through your results. Right, Gin? I mean, that's pretty much usually always--

Gin Stephens: No, not all the time. Sometimes, they'll just send your results and say everything was fine.

Melanie Avalon: Well, yes, true.

Gin Stephens: I think that happens more often than anything else. I think they mainly only call you back in when there's a problem.

Melanie Avalon: There should be some level of communication from the doctor if everything is “fine.”

Gin Stephens: That's the part like you said, the part that's tricky is what is fine, because we know that there's the wide range like you were saying, and you can be “fine,” but really not fine, because optimal would be really different from what you are. Fine and optimal are two different things, and that's so important.

Melanie Avalon: Beth’s question is a bit vague in that we don't know anything about Beth. It's really based on the individual what you're looking for. Are you experiencing health issues? Is there something that you are looking to see if it might be off? Or, is something trending a certain way? In general, I think things that people might want to look at that might seem “fine,” but might indicate that you might want to dig deeper would be things like your cholesterol panel, the ratios and seeing if it's trending a certain way. Thyroid is a huge one. The thing is, I don't want people to feel they have to overanalyze everything if they don't sense that things are off and things do seem “fine.” I think it's a really good question.

I know it can be overwhelming, but you can find out a lot just self-researching. If there's some marker that you want to specifically research, if you research it, there's a lot of help out there. It can be overwhelming and there can be a lot of information. But if you really want to learn, there's definitely a lot to learn on the interwebs. You just want to make sure that you're vetting the sources that you're reading from.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's important.

Melanie Avalon: Do you have any other thoughts, Gin?

Gin Stephens: No, I think you explained it really, really well. Just, I want to reemphasize and reiterate, we both mentioned it already, but making sure that you're looking at and understanding what's ideal versus what is acceptable. Optimal health is very different than your levels are fine.

Melanie Avalon: I will say really quickly, just because I'm obsessed with bloodwork, as listeners might know, I talked about InsideTracker. Actually, my favorite thing on their platform is they have a lab test analyzer portal. Gin, it is the best thing ever. If you have a lot of blood work like I do, because any test that you get through them are automatically uploaded, but then you can upload your own blood test. It's easy.

Gin Stephens: Oh, I didn't know that.

Melanie Avalon: If you have your bloodwork from Quest, or LabCorp, or whatever, you just drag and drop it into the portal. They upload it, usually within a day, it's really fast. It is the most amazing thing, it keeps all of your blood tests all in one place, so you can see the trends over time and it analyzes it by their standards. It pulls in all of your blood work ever and you can see the trends and it makes graphs. Again, it's by their range rather than conventional range. It's a godsend. Every time I go to the doctor, they have an app, so I pull it up on my phone. Also, if you're going into your doctor, you can print out like the whole report, so it's all in one place. Friends, listeners, get this. I think you can actually get just that portal if you want.

Gin Stephens: Very cool.

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Gin Stephens: Oh, that is exciting. I didn't know it did that.

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

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: You know we did the Episode 200, where we did Ask Me Anything, we've been having lingering questions kind of trickle in, and ones that actually relate to intermittent fasting. I'm just going to pull them in, because I think they're fun. If that's okay with you, Gin.

Gin Stephens: I think it's fine. You know what? Even if we just pop them in, even if they don't relate to intermittent fasting, I'd be okay with that. I think it's fun.

Melanie Avalon: We have one from Hannah, the subject was "Q&A for Episode 200." She says, “Hi, ladies, I don't do Facebook. I've never been interested. I'm hearing you both talk about your groups. I wonder what am I missing out? What can Facebook groups offer me that can help me continue my IF lifestyle?" Actually, that does relate to intermittent fasting. Gin, what are people missing out with Facebook groups and how does that contribute to IF lifestyle?

Gin Stephens: Well, I've talked before about that period of time for me between 2009 and 2014, when I would periodically try intermittent fasting and it wouldn't work for me. I didn't give it time and I kept going on and off, on and off and also cycling and crazy diet at the same time. It wasn't until 2014, I did some things at the time that made a difference. For example, weighing daily and calculating a weekly average that helped me to see that it was “working.” But also, that was when I was fully involved in Facebook communities. I was in a few random communities where fasting was occurring. It was a long time ago, and it was the wild west, and it was before I had any of my own Facebook groups. The information could be spotty, but support was so helpful, because I could ask wacky questions and get answers and support from other people. I felt like I was part of a community instead of alone.

That was very, very helpful because everybody just thought it was wacky in my daily life. There was just another crazy thing Gin had done, and having a community of people who are trying the same stuff I was trying and we were trying to figure out, what about alternate daily fasting, what about 5:2, what about a five-hour window. We were experimenting, what about drinking broth. This is back in the day, when we didn't really even know about the hormonal and metabolic benefits. We just thought it was a way to eat fewer calories. Now, we know there's a lot more to it than that. I think having the camaraderie and just the idea that I was not in it by myself helped a lot. Now we have my small intermittent fasting group is over 30,000 members, that's my small one. There's a whole group of people and they've all read Fast. Feast. Repeat. if they've joined since Fast. Feast. Repeat. came out, part of that it was people who had read Delay, Don’t Deny, so they've all read something. We're all coming from a place where we understand there's a lot more to fasting than we used to think.

The support is amazing. We have people sharing their non-scale victories, people sharing their health benefits, people sharing their before and after. Also, people asking for troubleshooting, that can be really helpful. If you think everyone else is just having an easy time of it, and you're the only person who's struggling, that can be lonely and make you want to quit. Just having people share their struggles together is helpful. You realize, “Oh, other people do have to struggle and work through difficult things,” and just helping one another. I think that's what you're missing out on. Is there another place to find it other than Facebook? I don't know. My community is only on Facebook, although I've thought about going to a website, that's just my website. Yeah. I don't think I'll go to another social media platform, other than Facebook, and of course, Instagram, but maybe one day I'll have a support community that's just web based. I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's what I was going to say. I think the social community aspect, especially when you're doing something like intermittent fasting where it can be hard socially, because people are often suspicious or what's the word? I don't know. There's a lot of tension.

Gin Stephens: “I don't understand.”

Melanie Avalon: Having a community of support, I think can be so valuable because any dietary change support can be really, really helpful, but fasting specifically, I think the community is so, so key. That's why I really wanted to create still the dating app for intermittent fasters. Gin, I downloaded a dating app.

Gin Stephens: Oh, my gosh, are you going to--

Melanie Avalon: For research.

Gin Stephens: Oh, for research. I thought, “Well, you're going to have to go out on dates.”

Melanie Avalon: I made my profile and everything. I feel so-- I don't know. I was like, “What am I doing?”

Gin Stephens: Are you going to date people through your app? Or through that app?

Melanie Avalon: I feel like I need to go on one.

Gin Stephens: Well, you have to know what the pitfalls are.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. We'll see. I was thinking about it more, because I had a call with-- actually, well, you know him, Cal’s friend who has been doing the updates for my current app?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Just to get an idea of the scope for the dating app. I think if I did it, it would be a huge project, like huge. I think it would be something I would need to, and I can change I to we, if you ever wants to join this project. [laughs] I'm not getting the sense that it's your cup of tea. I think it's something I would need to, what is it, crowdfund?

Gin Stephens: Maybe? Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Do you think we could do that through our podcasts? Do you think people would be interested?

Gin Stephens: Well, that's a great question. I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: Because I think the budget for is pretty big to create an app where there's a whole social network aspect to it. It's a pretty big project, basically.

Gin Stephens: It's not something your son home from college makes in his bedroom in the week that he is about [unintelligible [00:36:33]. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Right. Also, if it was crowdfunded, they would have an instant audience, like it would automatically have users once it was launched. I really want to do this, like, I really, really want to do this. I'm just putting it out there to the universe. Listeners, stay tuned. Oh, that's what I'm talking about, the importance of community.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Especially I think we're dating. In any case, and then my groups. The IF Biohacker is one that I have, we do talk a lot about fasting in there, but it's a wonderful place, because especially in the biohacking world, which is a very niche community. A lot of people often have really random questions about all these things Gin and I talk about, and the things I have on my other show, red light and blue light blocking glasses and saunas, and deuterium-depleted water, and all of these crazy things. Sometimes, you want to talk to people about their personal experience about it, and how else are you going to find people to talk to? You might, in the real world, the group is pretty amazing for that.

Then, the skincare one is really great, if you are trying to find the perfect products or want to know, it's not just Beautycounter, it's like any skincare and clean beauty. Then I also actually have the Lumen Biosense CGM Group. That's where people are experimenting, especially with their fasting, with different devices that measure your blood sugar, or if you're burning carbs, or if you're burning fat. Again, it's people who are working with these devices, but they want to also get feedback from others and they have questions. It's really great for instantly plugging into communities about content and information that you might not be able to engage with. You might not have anybody you can really talk to about it.

Gin Stephens: That's so true. For example, three of us went through the Zoe app testing the PREDICT study with Dr. Tim Specter’s work back in the fall. We were going through it together. We were on messenger, social media, obviously, small group, but we were able to talk about it with each other and support one another. Now, some of the other moderators are going through it together and supporting one another. But also, people in the big group have now started going through it, and so, they're taught well, it's the small group, but bigger than the moderator group, the 30,000 member group. They're all, saying, “Well, what did you do about the muffins?” Or, “What did you do about the poop sample?” It's support. Now, you don't necessarily want to call the customer service number, when you can ask people who are doing it with you in this community. It's so much fun, watching people help one another and bond over common things that we're doing.

Melanie Avalon: It's the best place to reach me as well if you have any questions about all of the really random thoughts that I have.

Gin Stephens: Best way to reach me as well.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and if I don't have the answer, because sometimes people will be like, the one to know, like, there was some episode where I talked about something-- I normally remember what it is, but sometimes I don't, and other people will remember. They'll be like, “Oh, it was this episode.”

Gin Stephens: See, they'll ask in the group, like, “What intermittent fasting story, did you talk to such and such?” I'm like, “I don't know.” There was one about something with water. It was today someone in the One Meal A Day Group was like, “What was that water thing you use?” I'm like, “I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't use any water thing.” [laughs] I never have, and then somebody else like, “Oh, that was the guest in episode whatever." I'm like, “Oh, that's helpful. Thank you.”

Melanie Avalon: That's amazing.

Gin Stephens: Isn't that funny? I love the community so very much. My brain is full [laughs] of all that information.

Melanie Avalon: I think we answered that question. She had a few more questions. She says, “Melanie, do you still wait tables? Still acting? Are you too busy with the podcast? Just curious what your day job is.” My day job is the podcasts. When I talked about that on the 200th episode, I don't think everybody realizes how much time everything takes.

Gin Stephens: I don't think they do. It does take a tremendous amount of time.

Melanie Avalon: It's literally what I'm doing 24/7 pretty much.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I love it so much.

Gin Stephens: I love it, too.

Melanie Avalon: Just perpetually grateful that this is my life, and that I get to do all this and, and share it and have such a wonderful community that we just talked about to share it with. But ultimately, I would, and I said this all the 200 show, but I would like to turn it into my other show into a TV show, and bring together my love of the entertainment industry with the podcasts.

Gin Stephens: That would be fun.

Melanie Avalon: Then she also says, “Gin, I would love to participate in an IF study, if you designed it. What would be the focus of the study? What would you like to prove?”

Gin Stephens: All right. Well, I can think of a bunch of different studies I would like to design. I would actually like to have a study comparing clean fasting to other styles of doing fasting, that would not be clean fasting, I'd like to see exactly what are the differences. The thing about studies, all the variables have to be the same, except for the one thing that you're changing. It's hard to do that with people. For example, let's say we did do a study where we compared the clean fast to, let's say coffee with butter in it. Okay. The variable is going to be what are you having during the fast. Well, okay, so that's one variable, but it also is going to change the amount of calories that you're having during the day. Are you going to control for that in the eating window, so that everyone in the butter coffee group gets fewer calories in their eating window to counterbalance the amount of calories they had from the butter? But then the amount they're having in the eating window is going to be different than the people who are-- You see, there's just so many variables with people. When you change one thing, it changes another.

Melanie Avalon: What if the setup was clean fasting? No restrictions on what you eat, but same eating windows. One group, they can have water, and black coffee and tea, but no sweeteners. The other one, they can have water, coffee, black tea, but they can have stevia.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's even better. Yeah, that's a better one. Yeah, that wouldn't have the calorie impact. That's a good idea. Also, I would like to see what happens if you do put the butter in, what if you did put the milk in? Again, like I said, that just shows how hard it is with humans, because the amount of energy you're taking in is another variable.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I would really like to see that. The one with the sweeteners.

Gin Stephens: I think so, too. I was going to say there's like a million. I could think of I'd also like to do one where we really compare time of day, but we would have to do it in a really robust way where they have a long enough period of time, and everything else needs to be the same. Other than the time of day, that would be a good one.

Melanie Avalon: I still want to do the one I've said multiple times on this show, where they don't know that it's a fasting study and they take a pill that they can't eat a certain amount of time around. They can't take with food, and they have to wait. Then it's actually a fascinating study, but they think it's testing the pill.

Gin Stephens: Right. That would be cool.

Melanie Avalon: I want to do it so bad.

Gin Stephens: It's not what would you like to prove, Hanna asked. Of course, everyone knows, I would love to prove that the clean fast is more beneficial. I would really just like to see, let's see what happens.

Melanie Avalon: I don't think I would ever want to prove anything. You're trying to learn.

Gin Stephens: There's very little proof in science, believe it or not, right?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'm trying to think of anything that I would want to prove in a study, and I can't--

Gin Stephens: It's hard to-- I mean, really, you can't. That's one of the flaws right there, is the way the fact that we have interpreted.

Melanie Avalon: The study groups that are approved things like that their purpose.

Gin Stephens: Right. Oh, well, that didn't prove anything. It just showed that in these this situation. This is what happened.

Melanie Avalon: So many studies go unpublished because the findings aren't what they wanted to prove. It makes you wonder if we had all the studies ever, if certain ideas would be different.

Gin Stephens: Oh, probably. Yeah. They're like, “Oh, that's not what I expected,” and then they never tell anybody.

Melanie Avalon: It happens a lot.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. All the time. Although some are published-- I'm on a Listserv, do they still call them Listservs? Is that what it is? I don’t know, it's an email from some group in the scientific world, like obesity and whatever. I can't remember the name of it, but I get it periodically. It actually does have a section that shows where they got no results or the opposite of what they expected. I like to look at that section.

Melanie Avalon: I do love when I read studies, and it's different than what they thought, they'll talk about that, like in the intro or in the conclusion. They'll say while we anticipated finding X, Y, Z, we actually found whatever it was, and they often will propose the hypothetical mechanism of action for why that is. I was just reading a study last night-- Did I tell you I'm bringing Shawn Stevenson is coming on my show?

Gin Stephens: I think you did.

Melanie Avalon: He's at The Model Health Show, which is often the number one health show on iTunes.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, you told me that. Yeah, that rings a bell.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really excited. He has a book called I think, like Sleep Smarter. He has a new book coming out.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. Yes. I just read his book. That's why it sounds familiar.

Melanie Avalon: Sleep Smarter or Eat Smarter?

Gin Stephens: Eat Smarter.

Melanie Avalon: Eat Smarter. Yeah. His first book was Sleep Smarter, he has his new book, Eat Smarter. He pointed out a study that was comparing lean fish, fatty fish, and no fish, I think, and how it affected weight loss. I was trying to find the original study, and I went and read it. I don't mean this is a slight to him, but this was actually one example of going and reading the study, and it being slightly different than what-- He said it wasn't different than what he said, but in what he said, he said that it found the male population experienced, like more weight loss with the fish groups. Then when you read the study, that's true, but the females didn't experience any weight loss. That wasn't clear reading his interpretation of it and reading his interpretation made it same for everybody. Sorry, I'm on a tangent. That is an example of a really interesting finding like that it created weight loss and men but not women. Then, I was googling other studies about fish affecting inflammatory markers and weight loss. For example, I found one study, and this is why I'm talking about this. I'm so sorry for the tangents. I found a study that compared like meat diets to fish diets, and they expected to see a decrease in inflammation and all of these different biomarkers, and there was no difference. It was really well controlled. In that situation, they said that this was not at all what we expected. That was the point of that.

Gin Stephens: My favorite part of this Listserv that I'm on is they have a section called Headline versus Study.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. You've talked about that.

Gin Stephens: It's my favorite, because they'll show like, “Here's what the headline was reported.” It was like, “Here's what the actual study was.” You could compare the two and it's hilarious. It's like, the Saturday Night Live of the nutrition world, I guess.

Melanie Avalon: Even, like what I just said, with those two different fish studies, the one study that Shawn talked about was very favorable for fish and weight loss and inflammation. Then, I found another one that didn't show that at all, and it's really confusing, I think, for people. It's no wonder that we have such dietary wars, because really, if you want to try to-- it goes back to that word proof. If your goal is to prove something, you can probably “prove it” if you line up enough studies that show it a certain way, but you can also line up enough studies that probably show something different. So, it just comes back to bioindividuality.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: And doing your own research.

Gin Stephens: Yes. All right.

Melanie Avalon: One last baby question. She says, “How many siblings do you each have?” How many do you have, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I'm an only child and I'm one of four.

Melanie Avalon: Wait.

Gin Stephens: [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: You have step-siblings?

Gin Stephens: Half, I have half, but they're siblings, but I'm my mother's only child. My dad got remarried after my parents got divorced and had three other children. I'm an only child, so I was raised as an only child because I lived with my mother most of the time. But I would spend holidays and part of the summer at my dad's house with my stepmother and my sister and my two brothers. I don't say, “Hello, this is my half-sister.” I don't introduce her as my half-sister. I don't introduce them as my half-brothers. I don't even really think of them differently than you know.

Melanie Avalon: You think of them as normal siblings?

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I'm like, “Here's my brother. Here's my other brother. Here's my sister.” I don't use qualifiers there. But I was raised as an only child because I'm my mother's only child, like I said, and I'm also the oldest of four. But I never lived there all the time, day in day out, went to school in the household with siblings.

Melanie Avalon: Okay.

Gin Stephens: Well, I grew up in a different state. I was in Virginia with my mother and they were here. I'm in Augusta, Georgia. They, my dad, and my stepmother live just across the river in the South Carolina part of the area.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: I have a brother and a sister. I am very much the oldest. I'm just like the characteristics I feel of the oldest sibling.

Gin Stephens: Me very much, too, but then my sister got to be the oldest as well. When I was there. She's got a lot of the older child characteristics, too.

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All right. And then, another question from Cindy. She also intended this for Episode 200. She says, “Which do you think has more of an impact on the body? Intermittent fasting or diet? So, high carb low fat, low carb, high fat, paleo, etc? Have you ever tried eating small meals a day? It's just that I've noticed when I do IF, I tend to overeat my meals during my eating window to an uncomfortable amount. Has this happened with you before and how did you deal with it?” I thought these are really great questions. For her first one, what do you think has more of an impact? IF or diet?

Gin Stephens: They both have an impact. You can't untangle the two, because your diet is so important. What you eat is so important. The older I get and the more I've learned, the more I’ve realized, “Yeah, what you eat really does make a huge difference because the nutrients are important.” I was raised in the era of, “Just eat your Flintstones vitamin and have your fortified cereal, and you're getting all that you need.” That's what we were taught. But now, everything I've read since I've been in the health and nutrition world, I'm like, “Oh, that is all a lie. That's not true.” We were so confused. I talked before and I might have talked about this in Fast. Feast. Repeat., I think I did. I gave my children chocolate-flavored beverage that was fortified with vitamins and nutrients instead of actual chocolate milk because I thought it was a healthier choice because had more vitamins in it. I've learned a lot more. Food is information. Real food is powerful, and you can't get what you need from these supplements versus food. I think that real food diet is key, and it has an amazing impact on the body.

Intermittent fasting also is so important. I guess it would depend on, what are your needs at the time. Food has more of an impact when you're talking about providing the nutrients that you need to build a healthy body. Intermittent fasting has more of an impact when we're talking about cleaning things up, autophagy, letting our body heal, you're bringing down insulin levels. It's impossible to claim that one has an impact that is necessarily more than the other, I guess. It just depends on what you mean, because if you said, which has the greatest impact in letting your body rest and repair? Well, that's going to be intermittent fasting. What has a greater impact in building a healthy body as far as nutrition? Well, that's going to be your diet. They each have an important role to play.

Melanie Avalon: I thought what you said was really great. I like what you said about the qualifying, like resting and repair would, well, I suppose obviously, intermittent fasting would have more of an impact compared to the nutrition building or other things. If I had to answer it, and I'm hesitant to answer it, because I don't want to give the wrong impression about anything, but if I had to answer it, I would say diet. The analogy I'm thinking of is, say that you have a house, and the diet is like the stuff in the house, the furniture and the objects, and then the fasting is having a maid come to the house. What affects that house the most? They're both really important, but the stuff in the house, so the diet is what is forming the foundation of the house. I also think that what-- she was talking about diet, like high carb, low fat, low carb, high fat, paleo, but say you're doing standard American diet-- it's like the, “You can't out exercise a bad diet.” Depending on how “bad” it is, I think there is a certain point where you can't out-fast a really, really bad diet. You might mitigate a lot of the damage, but if you're putting in things that are just attacking your body in a way and really inflammatory every single time, then the fasting will be amazing for you, because it's helping mitigate the damage and cleaning up things, but you're still having that damaging effect.

Gin Stephens: What's really funny is, when you read that I didn't even think about, when I think of diet, nowadays, I didn't even think about paleo, low carb, high carb, whatever, I just thought real food, fake food. That's it. That's my only distinction now. When I think of diet, it's like food and then not food.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, actually, because another way we could interpret her question would be, what has more impact for weight loss, IF with fake food or, not IF with a restricted protocol, so like high carb, low fat, low carb, high fat.

Gin Stephens: Like going on a diet, as opposed to the diet that you eat day to day.  

Melanie Avalon: Somebody might practice intermittent fasting and eat, doesn't even have to be “super.” I don't like using the word ‘bad’ because I don't like attaching morality, but might not even be really processed, refined inflammatory food. It might just be more normal sort of healthy food, IF compared to like really low fat, high carb, but not IF or really high fat, low carb, but not IF. I think that's a really interesting comparison.

Gin Stephens: I think it would depend on what your issues were. If you were someone with insulin resistance, I think that intermittent fasting might be really a tool that you need that might have more of an impact on the body.

Melanie Avalon: That kind of goes into her second question. It might depend on how you're eating because she says her second question to recap was, “Have we ever tried eating small meals throughout the day?” She says when she does IF, that she tends to overeat to an uncomfortable amount. Gin, has this happened with you before?

Gin Stephens: Well, I talk about this in the past Fast. Feast. Repeat. That is that during the adjustment period, when your body is not well fueled during the fast, and therefore your body is learning how to tap into fat stores, but hasn't done it yet, you open your eating window, and you tend to overeat because your body really is not well fueled, and you're like, “Oh, my gosh, I’ve got to eat.” Then when your body adjusts to intermittent fasting, that takes care of that for most of us, probably many of us. We are well fueled during the fast. We don't have that same urge to overeat because our body is not as panicked because we have been well fueled.

Cindy, I'd be very interested to know that because you said when you IF, you tend to overeat. That implies to me that you go back and forth. It used to be back and forth, back in those years from 2009 to 2014 and it was a nightmare because I lived in the adjustment phase and I never got beyond it. If you'd never get beyond the adjustment phase, you're living in the hard part. The hard part where the fasting is hard and then the eating window is hard because you're overeating, and it's uncomfortable. The idea of appetite correction is that your body adjusts, and then you are less likely to overeat to an uncomfortable amount. Will you still do that from time to time? Yes, just because food is delicious. Sometimes, you're like, “Well, I'm just going to keep eating this.” Then you're like, “Oh, I should have stopped five bites ago.” You get way better with that issue, most of us do.

We both have tried eating small meals all day, I would-- I think probably everybody has tried that, because that was the conventional wisdom for so many decades. All that did was made me hungry and kept me on the blood glucose rollercoaster, where I was never satisfied, ever, and always hungry, and always thinking about, “Is it time to eat that next small meal, or do I need to wait for 30 more minutes or can I eat it now?” Never being satisfied. I think we've all tried that. If eating the small meals all day, had worked for me, I would probably still be doing that, but it didn't.

Melanie Avalon: I think the most unpleasant-- I don't know, I did a lot of unpleasant dietary things. I think when I tried the Atkins fat fast, and I was eating like, five macadamia nuts every so many minutes or hours. Oh, my goodness.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] Yeah, and cream cheese. I remember, I tried them.

Melanie Avalon: I did the cream cheese fat fast. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. It was so hard. It was unpleasant. I never felt good. When I did the small meals, I never felt, “Now I'm satisfied.” I never felt that. Whereas every day with intermittent fasting, I feel, “Now I'm satisfied.”

Melanie Avalon: The reason I was saying that was that her second question kind of related is, well, I'm really glad that you picked up on the- that she says when she does it, that's a really nice clue that you picked up on. If there was a person though that had been doing IF for a long time, but did have a tendency to overeat, I do think honestly, there are some people who think it's rarer, but I do think there are some people who actually do better with small meals throughout the day, just because of how they are.

Gin Stephens: I know somebody, she's a friend of ours. Her husband works with my husband. She's a grazer, and she's small and she just eats a little bit, and she eats a little bit, then she eats a little bit. That's how she eats, and she feels good. She's healthy. It obviously works for her. She's not going to do intermittent fasting, but she feels good. She's satisfied. I never felt satisfied and good.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions to the podcast, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com, or you can go to ifpodcast.com, and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode201. We will put links to everything that we talked about, and there will also be a full transcript there. Definitely check that out. You can get all of the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. You can follow us on Instagram, my new favorite place. I'm MelanieAvalon, Gin is GinStephens, and I think that is everything. Anything from you, Gin?

Gin Stephens: No, but you saw those beans that I bought the other day, I saw that you liked that. I was like, “Oh.”

Melanie Avalon: I first I thought a random bean company had been listening to our show, and was like, “They're going to send--"

Gin Stephens: [laughs] No, I just bought all those beans. If you spend $50, you’ve got free shipping. I'm like, “Well, I'm not going to pay for shipping, if I can get it for free.” That's how they get you.

Melanie Avalon: I got really excited for a second. It was like a random--

Gin Stephens: About $50 worth of beans. I posted it and then I'm like, “This looks like an Instagram ad,” but it's not an Instagram ad. I went back and edited it and [laughs] part about, they don't even know who I am. I'm just really excited about these beans.

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny. If listeners are curious though, random brands send us random stuff.

Gin Stephens: They do sometimes do that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I would not at all be surprised, especially now that we've put it out there if some bean company sends you.

Gin Stephens: Well, I would take all the beans. Send me the beans. Send me the beans.

Melanie Avalon: Send Gin the beans. Don’t send them to me. No.

Gin Stephens: Just to me.

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

Gin Stephens: All right.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Gin Stephens: Bye.

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

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! 

 

 

Feb 14

Episode 200: AMA: Music, Hobbies, Dating, Future Plans, Dreams, Personality Types, Travel, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 200 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time New Members Will Get 2 Free Steaks And Bacon In Your First Box For FREE At butcherbox.com/ifpodcast!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:05 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time New Members Will Get 2 free steaks and bacon in your first box for FREE at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast!

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!

7:00 - Listener Q&A: Crystal - Maybe you guys have mentioned this, but do you talk via zoom or Skype?

10:55 - Listener Q&A: jackie - Melanie, do you date, and is that person a science nerd like you? Gin, do you listen to music while jumping on your rebounder?

14:20 - Listener Q&A: Nicole - What kind of music do you both like to listen to? What is one of your most favorite songs?

17:55 - Listener Q&A: Sonia - What’s your favorite taylor swift’s song?

18:25 - Listener Q&A: Michelle - If you never had to worry about money, where in the world would you live?

20:50 - 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!

23:10 - Listener Q&A: Erin - What are your Meyers Briggs personality letters?

26:20 - Listener Q&A: Nicole - Would you guys have been friends in high school?

29:55 - Listener Q&A: Katharine - What are your favorite podcasts?

33:05 - Listener Q&A: Ritu If you and Gin had to lose about 10lbs what protocol would you use?

Are You Ready For Personalized Diet Advice? Here's Zoe!

34:55 - Listener Q&A: Laura - When you were a kid, what did u want to be when u grow up?

38:40 - Listener Q&A: Susan - What’s both of your favorite Happy Songs?

39:55 - Listener Q&A: Lucy - Who are your role models?

41:45 - GREEN CHEF: Organic Meal Delivery Service With Paleo, Vegan, And Keto Options. Go to GreenChef.com/90IFPODCAST and use code 90IFPODCAST to get $90 off including free shipping!

43:30 - Listener Q&A: Theresa - If you could invent a product, what would it be?

46:15 - Listener Q&A: Rose - how did you get into biohacking and what brought you here?

46:15 - Listener Q&A: Brooke - Gin often speaks of her IF journey, but Melanie, why did you start IF? Autophagy, weight loss, or health reasons? I what would you have told your younger self to optimize what you have today? would you consider having an exercise expert on?

51:55 - Listener Q&A: Angelo - Was IF something you ever used to lose weight? How many hours a day do you spend reading and studying in order to be prepared for a new podcast interview? Gin sometimes mentions that she takes breaks on IF on special occasions, what about you? Is there any special occasion where you take breaks from everything you do on daily basis?

55:30 - Listener Q&A: Melanie - What is the one super-power you would love to have?!

57:40 - Listener Q&A: Lindsay - Do you have a personal motto or mantra? What is it? If you could share a meal with anyone, who would it be? If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability what would it be?

59:30 - Listener Q&A: Durita - Why in the world have you two never met?

1:00:15 - Listener Q&A: Samantha - If the 2 of you finally met in person but had to pick a mutually agreed upon meeting place/destination, where would it be?

1:00:55 - Listener Q&A: Anna What/who would you give up fasting for?

1:01:30 - Listener Q&A: Nathalie - What would be your last meal ever, if you could choose, with no consequences?

1:02:45 - Listener Q&A: Charlotte - Have there been times where one of you has to back down because you disagreed?

1:05:35 - Listener Q&A: Trisha - Gin how long do you stand on your life pro/turbo boost? best go to FAST but healthy meal for on the go that is truly filling?

1:07:20 - Listener Q&A: Michelle - do you plan to go back into acting? With that, what would your dream role be?

1:07:25 - Listener Q&A: Christina - Are you still acting or do you consider podcasting your new career?

1:07:35 - Listener Q&A: Theresa - When & Why are you moving back to LA? Will you go back to waitressing post COVID?

1:09:40 - BLUBLOX: Go To BluBlox.com And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

1:12:20 - Listener Q&A: Marion - What are the best and worst things resulting from this pandemic for each of you? What is your greatest asset?

1:15:25 - Listener Q&A: Lisa - what is the no.1 burning question you would want to know the answer to to solve either all your problems, or just give you peace of mind?

1:20:50 - Listener Q&A: Miranda - How would you handle being on set since you’ve changed your skincare and makeup to clean ingredients? Would you take your own or just roll with it?

1:21:40 - Listener Q&A: Denielle - I know you are both avid readers of health related books, but do you enjoy reading for pleasure and if so, what types of books do you choose or what authors do you gravitate towards?

1:24:10 - Listener Q&A: RC - If you could go to any concert-dead or alive whom would you go see?

1:25:35 - Listener Q&A: Amy - Do you listen to each other’s podcast?

1:26:25 - Listener Q&A: Sarah - What opinions have you completely flipped on since starting the podcast?

1:28:20 - Listener Q&A: April - What does Melanie eat in her window?? Are you a good cook? What do eat out at restaurants?

1:31:35 - Listener Q&A: Chantel - I would love to know what’s each of your FAVORITE kind of exercise!

1:33:40 - Listener Q&A: Lauren - Who would each of you cast as yourself and the other in the epic movie of your lives?

1:35:20 - Listener Q&A: Emmy - How have your thoughts regarding fasting evolved and changed over time?

1:39:35 - Listener Feedback: Sarah - Favorite duo and favorite podcast. The perfect pair because your goal is the same and thoughts and ideas differ. I can only imagine how many people you have helped. I don't have a question I'm just so happy you guys found each other even if you haven't met in person. Wow.

1:39:55 - Listener Feedback: Linda - do you each realize how you've improved the lives of thousands of people. talk about having a purpose, an impact on human kind? Ha.

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 200 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 Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. I want to take a minute to tell you about one of our sponsors. This episode is sponsored by Butcher Box. As you know, both Melanie and I love Butcher Box and for different reasons. Melanie loves to grocery shop but can't find the quality of meat she's looking for at our local stores. Butcher box solves that problem for her. For me, there's nothing better than having it delivered right to your door, because you probably know that I hate to grocery shop. Butcher box promises high-quality meat, delicious 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, and wild-caught seafood, all sourced from partners who believe in doing things the right way. It's also an unbelievable value. The average cost is less than $6 per meal. One thing you'll love about butcher box is its flexibility.

Here's how Butcher Box works. Butcher Box partners with folks who believe in better, going above and beyond when it comes to caring for animals, the environment, and sustainability. You choose your box and delivery frequency. They offer five boxes, four curated box options, as well as the popular custom box, so you get exactly what you and your family love. Butcher Box ships your order frozen for freshness and packed in an ecofriendly 100% recyclable box. You enjoy high-quality meat delivered to your door and more time for amazing meals together. And you feel good about your decision to believe in better with Butcher Box supporting farmers and partners who honor nature, the animals, and the environment. Right now, new members will get two New York Strip Steaks and one pack of bacon for free in their first box by going to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. Now back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: Hi everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 200 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I am fabulous. How are you?

Melanie Avalon: I'm good.

Gin Stephens: That's good.

Melanie Avalon: Episode 200.

Gin Stephens: Hooray. I'm really looking forward to this one today. I've been looking forward to it. I'm very excited.

Melanie Avalon: Me too ever since we decided to do it, 200 is a lot of episodes.

Gin Stephens: It is a lot of episodes. It's remarkable, I'm already on the 130 something of my other podcast.

Melanie Avalon: I'm on like 70 something.

Gin Stephens: Isn’t that amazing?

Melanie Avalon: This is crazy.

Gin Stephens: I was chatting with a friend of mine-- Well, someone I've met through podcasting and it's someone who has a podcast. We were talking about numbers. We were talking about downloads. Do you realize that-- Okay, between the two of us, let’s see, we've got four podcasts between the two of us.

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: All four of our podcasts are in the top 5% of all podcasts by number of downloads.

Melanie Avalon: That's crazy.

Gin Stephens: Isn't that remarkable?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: My new one that I just launched in December with my cohost, Sheri Bullock, we're still a baby podcast, we've done 12 episodes recorded so far. Even that one, we’re in the top 5%.

Melanie Avalon: Exciting.

Gin Stephens: It's so exciting, and I'm like, “That's kind of remarkable.” There's a lot of podcasts out there. Listeners, thank you. I do not take your listening for granted and I'm glad you keep coming back.

Melanie Avalon: I do not either. I love our audiences. I guess, our audiences.

Gin Stephens: They are, because I know there's overlap, but not everyone listens to all four, obviously.

Melanie Avalon: I actually have a really related announcement really quick, really brief.

Gin Stephens: I think I know what it is.

Melanie Avalon: Probably. I decided to start a new Facebook group. You've had an effect on me with the Facebook groups.

Gin Stephens: Well, it's addictive because you want to focus your conversation in a place.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. 100%. I have my IF Biohackers as my main group, and then I have my Lumen Lovers, and I don't even know what it's called now. It's for people who use Lumen. It's like Lumen Biosense CGM, something else, I don't know.

Gin Stephens: Wearable Device Peeps.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, for all related to fat or carb-burning though, or ketone burning. That's not the new group. The new group is for Clean Beauty. I asked in my group if people would like it, and everybody was like, “Yes.” I just made it right then. Feel free to join me, it's called Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. It's all for any discussions about safe skincare, non-toxic beauty products, diet, reviews, all of the stuff. Of course, I love Beautycounter, so there's a lot of talk about that there, but it's really anything related to clean beauty and safe skincare.

Gin Stephens: You know I'm researching for my new book that I'm working on now. It's just reinforcing that this is even more important than I like to even think about, it's so important.

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: What we put in is so important. What we put into our bodies.

Melanie Avalon: For listeners who would like to purchase Beautycounter through us, the link for that is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter, and something special may or may not happen after your first purchase.

Gin Stephens: It will. It will happen. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: In any case, so today's Episode 200, we decided to do something-- actually, it's what we did for Episode 100, which is an Ask Me Anything episode, so we asked for questions. There might have been some questions about fasting that I included but in general, most of these questions are not about intermittent fasting. Some of them might be, but they're just random, fun things. I'm really excited. This'll be fun.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm excited, too. Lots of fun. Are we ready to get started?

Melanie Avalon: I think so.

Gin Stephens: Okay. The first one, this is from Crystal. She says, “Maybe you guys have mentioned this, but do you talk via Zoom or Skype? Can you both see each other when you talk? I've always wondered.” I think we should talk about our evolution of all the platforms we've used and why. We started with Skype.

Melanie Avalon: Uh-huh. First, it was Skype.

Gin Stephens: And why we stopped using it. This is the kind of thing that a lot of people are starting podcasts and wondering what platform do you use. People like that are very interested in platforms.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's definitely been a journey. We've evolved and done a lot of different things. We used Skype, and then did we go Zencastr or anything in between?

Gin Stephens: The reason we used Skype, I mean it was something that was available, and it was free. We use the voice recorder app also to record our conversations for that. It got glitchy, especially with guests. It was hard to use. We could see each other. Then we moved to Zencastr, and we could not see each other. Zencastr worked great for a while. Then, it started getting so glitchy.

Melanie Avalon: I actually still use Zencastr though. We think it was something between Gin and I's computer. It would only mess up for us. I use it for my other show, and it's usually fine. We're not really sure, our computers hate each other or something.

Gin Stephens: It might have had to do with the fact that we both had accounts.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Instead of just being a guest. Anyway, it also started to get glitchy for me with guests. It was always a crapshoot as to whether or not somebody would be able to log in. I troubleshoot it with-- troubleshot, what's the word? Troubleshooting? I did a troubleshooting with one person for over an hour before she was able to get on. She finally could, but it was like, now try this browser, now try to unplug this, now get it-- It was hard.

Melanie Avalon: I will say just really quickly, I do still use Zencastr and in general, I don't have issues.

Gin Stephens: I think that's likely because you're dealing with professionals who probably do a lot of interviews, and they have different equipment. Whereas I'm interviewing just a standard person who's cobbling together whatever they can find from friends and family, a lot of them. Whenever I interview somebody who, like I just interviewed someone who has a podcast and I'm always excited because I know they'll be able to log in immediately. It'll be easy. Yeah. that could also be something to do with it. Now we use Squadcast. Squadcast allows you to see each other if you choose.

Melanie Avalon: But Melanie doesn't like to see herself. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: So, we'd turn it off. I use it with every other guest and including with Sheri Bullock for Life Lessons, and we do use the video, and we look at each other.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so listeners, probably the reason I chose Zencastr to do my second show, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, was because I knew there wasn't a video option. I can't think if I can see my face. It throws me off, and especially on that other show--

Gin Stephens: It distracts you.

Melanie Avalon: Also, this is just me being completely insecure, but it's oftentimes me connecting with people I really, really respect and admire and want to make a really good impression. I'm very much image conscious, not in a-- I don't know, I just get really--

Gin Stephens: It would distract you.

Melanie Avalon: It would distract me. I would be worried about what I look like. It's just really wonderful for me to have no video, and it's even easier for me with this to do in a video. Gin and I, in the beginning, we saw each other.

Gin Stephens: We did. That time I fell off the stool and you could see me fall off. Remember that?

Melanie Avalon: I forgot about that? [laughs] Yeah. Oh, my goodness. Such good times.

Gin Stephens: Yep.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, Shall we-- the next one?

Gin Stephens: Yep.

Melanie Avalon: This is from Jackie. She says, “Melanie, do you date? And is that person a science nerd like you? Said with love.”

Gin Stephens: Hey, I'm married to a science nerd. I love science nerds.

Melanie Avalon: I do love science nerds.

Gin Stephens: Oh, can I tell you this? I'm whispering it into the microphone. He's upstairs doing research for me for my new book. [laughs] I was like, “I need some stuff on obesogens.” He's like looking in the journals for me. [laughs] Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: You can see my blog post about obesogens. It has a lot of studies referenced.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, thank you. I'll pull that one out and I'll ask him to find them for me. I also asked him to find some studies on earthing/grounding.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, love it.

Gin Stephens: Yep, because I've got a book about it. I was like, “Read this and tell me what you think?” He's like, “This sounds like mumbo jumbo,” some of the way that it's worded because he's a chemist. I'm like, “Well, find me some studies,” and so that's what he's doing. They're out there. There's good science behind it. It's just the way you present it is important.

Melanie Avalon: I actually. I just interviewed Joseph Mercola. His newest book is EMF*D. We talked about that. He said that the main concern with earthing especially people using the biohacking type earthing devices, is that it, it's not properly grounded. It might make things worse.

Gin Stephens: Well, the only type of grounding or earthing I do is walking outside barefoot. That's it. I'm not going to buy a device.

Melanie Avalon: I think that's completely legit.

Gin Stephens: Exactly. Yes.

Melanie Avalon: To answer the question, I actually hadn't thought about this before. In general, I don't really date that much. When I have, a lot of them have been science nerds, for sure.

Gin Stephens: I love science guys. Bill Nye the Science Guy, love him. Although here's something funny. One of my fifth-grade gifted students, one year, I was talking about Bill Nye. They always said that he looked like my husband, Chad. They look a little bit alike, they kind of do. One of my students, probably was Abby. She said, “Chad, Chad, the Science Lad.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. I love it.

Gin Stephens: I'm like, “Yeah.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I love Bill. It's actually so I have a dream list now of people I want to bring on my other show.

Gin Stephens: Is Bill Nye one of them?

Melanie Avalon: I have three people that are, I think can be really, really hard to get. He's one of them.

Gin Stephens: I love him.

Melanie Avalon: Yep. I date my career and my audience. Oh, I do want to create a dating app though. I've said this before, and I asked in my group about it, and everybody is so obsessed with the idea. The Window Dating?

Gin Stephens: Right. That's funny.

Melanie Avalon: I'm going to do it. The last thing is, I guess, I do like science nerds. “Gin, do you listen to music while jumping on your rebounder?” She says she has a rebounder playlist only 20 minutes. The first song is Jump by Van Halen.

Gin Stephens: I do sometimes, not all the time. I tend to be the person who's watching TV and jumping on it at the same time, so instead of listening to music. I love music in the background, if I'm doing a task like cooking, or cleaning or putting on makeup, or taking a shower, but when I'm on a rebounder, I need a little more mental engagement, so that's why I have the TV on.

Melanie Avalon: We see a lot of questions in the groups about rebounders.

Gin Stephens: I love my rebounder. Yeah, I have a Bellicon and I love it. All right, Nicole asks, “What kind of music do you both like to listen to? And what is one of your most favorite songs?” I know what Melanie likes. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, The Killers.

Gin Stephens: I also like The Killers.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you love the-- Wait.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: We connect on something? [laughs]

Gin Stephens: We do.

Melanie Avalon: I love The Killers. Oh, my goodness, this is so exciting. Those four, and I'll say my favorite song, but Gin, how about you?

Gin Stephens: Well, I listened to a lot of classic stuff. My favorite group is probably U2. I love U2. I like so many different artists.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: I've got a big wide range of things, things that were popular in the 80s. I like 70s, 80s. What I like to do is, I'll find a song that makes me happy, and then I'll make an Apple Music-- like Siri can create it. Like, for example, one summer I listened to Son of a Preacher Man Radio, because she could make a radio station and I'm like, “Siri, create a radio station inspired by Son of a Preacher Man.” I listened to that and they just pull-- she'll pull in songs you didn't even know you liked. Then I'm like downloading all of them to my Apple Music list. This is a weird one, you probably don't even know the song, Chevy Van.

Melanie Avalon: I do not.

Gin Stephens: Okay, it's from the 70s. I had a playlist, Chevy Van songs. It was all songs that had that same 70s kind of vibe. I listened to a lot of different things. I have some country in there, Violent Femmes. I mean, I've got a lot of music in there, but I have zero Taylor Swift. [laughs] Zero.

Melanie Avalon: I think I showed this to you. Or, I might have said this, but my Spotify year in review this year for 2020, it said I was in the top-- on all of Spotify, top 1% of Taylor Swift listeners. I feel like you have to listen to a lot of Taylor Swift to be in the top 1%.

Gin Stephens: Probably so, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: My most favorite song though, is actually Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley.

Gin Stephens: I like that one, too. That one is also on my Apple Music list.

Melanie Avalon: Yay. What's your favorite song?

Gin Stephens: I don't have a favorite song. It's just like, I don't have a favorite color. It depends on the context. I might have a favorite song for when I'm going to the beach. I like to listen to Carolina Girls, which is a beach music song. Or I might have a favorite song if I'm-- for different events. I don't have a favorite color. I have a favorite color for cars. I have a favorite color for home décor. They vary. I can't just pick one.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Runner up for me is-- do you like Trans-Siberian Orchestra?

Gin Stephens: No.

Melanie Avalon: [gasp]

Gin Stephens: Not at all. When I'm listening to holiday music, if that comes on, I'd say, “Hey, Siri, next song.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: No. Trans-Siberian Orchestra is my favorite. They have this one song called Epiphany, it's not Christmas. It's like 11 minutes of epicness.

Gin Stephens: No. Falls on The Gong Show, I would gong them.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. What's your favorite Killer song?

Gin Stephens: I like Mr. Brightside. It depends on the mood I'm in. I don't know, I can't say. I really only have that one Killers album that Mr. Brightside was on. I haven't kept up with their latest. When I say I like the Killers, I like the songs that I have that are Killers.

Melanie Avalon: Try their Battle Born album. It's one of my favorite albums of all time. Okay. Oh, and this was a related question, so I threw it in. Sonia wants to know, to me, “What's my favorite Taylor Swift song?” She says she really wants to know. [sighs] I’d have to be All Too Well, which is a giveaway but I feel like a cop-out answer, but it is. According to Rolling Stones, it was the best song of the decade, the decade that it came out, All Too Well.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's cool.

Melanie Avalon: So, I feel validated.

Gin Stephens: All right, the next one is from Michelle. “If you never had to worry about money, where in the world would you live? Love you both, your books and podcasts have been a life infusion for me.” Thank you, Michelle.

Melanie Avalon: She has a little leaf emoji, which is very random. I would want to have a place in Los Angeles, a place in Atlanta, and then a getaway place out in the middle of-- actually probably Aspen. A place in the mountains where I could disconnect. Yeah, probably Aspen out of those three. How about you?

Gin Stephens: Well, for me, it would be the beach. I love the beach. In my head thinking which beach would it be because right now I go to Myrtle Beach and we have a place there. Yeah, I have to admit I have my eye on beach houses right now. We have a beach condo, but that's a lot of investment and not knowing what the economy and what's going to happen with the rental market. My ideal if I had all the money in the world, I'm not sure what beach I would live on, but I would buy a house on the beach somewhere, but I feel like it would be in the Southeast United States just because I love it here. My family's close by, and my friends that like to come and visit me. I would like to be somewhere where people that I love would be able to come and visit me in a few hours. Probably somewhere on the Georgia or South Carolina or North Carolina coast. I also wanted to have access to great restaurants, an airport and shopping. That's one reason I like Myrtle Beach, people sometimes knock it. I grew up going there with my grandmother, I love Myrtle Beach. There are great restaurants there. There's also super cheesy stuff there, but I like cheesy because it's fun. It makes me go back to my childhood. There's a good airport people can come to. I'm not that sophisticated.

Melanie Avalon: If it was like unlimited money thing, a lot of the money focus would be into the construction of the house, like the biohacking house..

Gin Stephens: Oh, I bet you would have a biohacking house.

Melanie Avalon: Crazy. I would want like an organic farm and a winery, there’d be so much.

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Okay, next question from Erin, “What are your Myers Briggs personality letters?”

Gin Stephens: All right. This a great question. I actually do know mine, but I have to look it up every time. I am an E-N-F-J.

Melanie Avalon: E-N-F-J.

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Mine actually changed. It used to be something very consistently, but then when we got this question, I retook it. One of the quizzes, it had changed, and then for the other quiz, it was 50-50 split. I think I'm moving-- It used to be I-N-T-J. Now, it might be I-N-F-J. The T is changing to an F and that's the thinking and feeling, and I wonder if that--

Gin Stephens: Chad is I-N-T-J. You used to be I-N-T-J?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, but now it looks like the T, the thinking, I'm moving a little bit more towards Feeling. I wonder if that's just like an evolution of me as a person.

Gin Stephens: That's just really funny. Well, you started off the same thing that Chad is, I-N-T-J.

Melanie Avalon: The person I dated the longest in my life ever, who was a very big science nerd, he was also I-N-T-J.

Gin Stephens: I-N-T-Js can be difficult. Sorry. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I feel I'm not that difficult.

Gin Stephens: Right. I could see the F coming out.

Melanie Avalon: Like changing over?

Gin Stephens: Personally, it can be easier to deal with an F than a T, for me.

Melanie Avalon: That's interesting.

Gin Stephens: The T and the F, I think, those are the two things, for me, and for Chad, where I think that we butt heads.

Melanie Avalon: There's a difference.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because that's the thinking feeling.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I think I used to be a lot more rigid in my head, and I can see how that would be a little bit difficult.

Gin Stephens: It can be difficult. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I feel I've really changed. I used to be more bossy and really intense about being rules oriented and all of that. Now, I'm very much--

Gin Stephens: You're mellowing into an F instead of a T.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and so you were E-N-F-J, so extrovert. What's the N?

Gin Stephens: I can't remember.

Melanie Avalon: That's where we're the same.

Gin Stephens: Every member of my family is an N. Chad, Cal, Will, whatever that is, we're all N.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's why it's not intuitive because N stands for intuitive.

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: I as introvert, that's the alternative option.

Gin Stephens: No. E and I are the first ones.

Melanie Avalon: Sorry, we get the wrong thing. N is intuitive, the alternative is S, which is sensor.

Gin Stephens: Okay. I just think it's interesting that my whole family we're all N.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that is really interesting.

Gin Stephens: It's so clear, both Cal and I have the E, and both Chad and Will are the I, which not shocking. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Wait, I thought you said Chad was an I.

Gin Stephens: He is an I. Chad and Will are I. Cal and I are E. Which is why when we would go on cruises as a family back in the day when the boys were little, Cal and I were yucking it up and meeting people, and Chad and Will were sitting in the room. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I am not an extrovert at all, at all. Yeah. Okay, next question.

Gin Stephens: The next one is from Nicole. “Would you guys have been friends in high school?”

Melanie Avalon: That's so interesting. Well, I feel like we probably would have because I think we would have been in the same classes.

Gin Stephens: Yes, I think we would have been in the same classes.

Melanie Avalon: We would have been doing a similar thing? Well, I don't know. Actually, I was doing theater.

Gin Stephens: My mom's a dance teacher and my stepfather at the time was the technical director of a theater, so I was in plays as well and of course, always danced.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, then probably. We'd be in the same classes.

Gin Stephens: I was such a weirdo.

Melanie Avalon: How so?

Gin Stephens: I was not the least bit cool. I just always did whatever I felt like doing.  I don't know, I've always had that same kind of exuberant personality. I don't know that I fit in. I also was young, because I skipped a grade. I graduated high school at 16, so I was young. I don't know. Not very focused on clothes. I don't know. It's hard to explain. I wasn't trendy. I had a weird haircut.

Melanie Avalon: I was in the smart people group, because there are cliques in high school and there are different types. There was the smart, nerdy-type group, but I wasn't in that. I was in the smart, just people doing things.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I was, too. Thinking back, you can think about who did you eat lunch with? My lunch table-- We always we sat at the same lunch table. My high school started 8th grade, so 8th to 12th grade. I sat at the same lunch table from 8-12th grade, and every year, the people would come and go, and it was a big lunch table. It was the kids that were like in the college prep classes. Some of us are nerdier than others, but some played football. We had people, the class president.

Melanie Avalon: That's the same actually. That's like the group.

Gin Stephens: Then, yes, you would have been sitting at my table.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, we would have at the same table because there were some people that were more “popular” that were in that.

Gin Stephens: The cheerleading-- we had some cheerleaders, but then there was me. [laughs] They let me sit there.

Melanie Avalon: I will say though, this is just confession. I want it to be popular so bad. My mom would always say like, “You just walked to the beat of your own drummer and you don't care what other people think about you. That's so great.” I was like, “Mom, that's not me at all. I care so much.” Not proud of this. Yeah. It's pretty interesting. I'm not very confident.

Gin Stephens: Oh. See. That was the difference. I was so confident that I didn't really care that I was a weirdo. I don't know. Does that make sense?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: I was like, I'm just a little different and that's all right. It wasn't like the kind of thing that was prized by other high school-aged boys. They weren't like, “I love your free spirit.” No. They're like, “You're so strange.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: We talked about this. You don't know your anagram?

Gin Stephens: No, I don't know my anagram.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Mine fits me, I'm a three, which is achiever and very image conscious and it explains a lot. Also, why I can't stand selfies.

Gin Stephens: I'm just bad at selfies. I can't do it. I don't know what to do with my hands or my face or whatever.

Melanie Avalon: So funny. Okay, so Catherine wants to know what are your favorite podcasts?

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't listen to podcasts. I do like Stuff You Should Know, is that what it's called?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: If I'm driving and riding in the car, I don't really listen to podcasts. I like to listen to books, like Audible books. I almost said books on tape, that's how old I am.

Melanie Avalon: Oh goodness. I have a lot of favorite podcasts. I love Robb Wolf's Healthy Rebellion Radio. That's the one I've been listening to since day one. Love Noelle Tarr’s Well-Fed Women, which I've also been listening to since day one. That's also with Stefani Ruper. Paul Saladino’s Fundamental Health. I love Ben Greenfield’s Fitness. I like Dave Asprey, Bulletproof Radio. I love The Drive, Peter Attia. FoundMyFitness, Rhonda Patrick. I love Joe Rogan when he's interviewing people in the health and wellness sphere. Love Rich Roll. Oh, I love the ATP Project, Body Mind Empowerment with Siim Land.  Those are my favorites. I've recently started listening to Inglorious Treksters, all about Star Trek. It's my first non-biohacking podcast and it's fabulous. I love Star Trek.

Gin Stephens: That is so funny. I do like the original Star Trek.

Melanie Avalon: The Original, I've seen every single episode. If you tell me the plot of one, I can probably tell you the title of the episode.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's funny. Now I haven't watched one in decades, but I love them.

Melanie Avalon: Do you remember any of them?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, like the Tribbles.

Melanie Avalon: I was going to say if you tell me the--

Gin Stephens: I remember the Tribbles one.

Melanie Avalon: Trouble with Tribbles?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm so surprised, we're not beaming ourselves anywhere yet.

Melanie Avalon: I know. How upsetting. That could go so wrong, though.

Gin Stephens: Beaming people places? Well, it never did on Star Trek. They had it figured out.

Melanie Avalon: Mostly.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I loved it The Starship Enterprise. I loved. You know my love of Leonard Nimoy. I've shared that.

Melanie Avalon: Wait. Are you sure?

Gin Stephens: You remember, we've talked about this. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Have you watched the documentary on Netflix? This is-- or Spock.

Gin Stephens: No, I didn't even know there was one. Oh my God.

Melanie Avalon: I just watched it. It is so good.

Gin Stephens: We talked about that we both loved him.

Melanie Avalon: I guess so.

Gin Stephens: I always knew he had that show In Search of... remember, we talked about that?

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Gin Stephens: I always had a crush on Leonard Nimoy.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, right, because me, too. My first crush, legitimately.

Gin Stephens: Because he's a smart science nerd. Right?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Then, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Chad. Chad the Science Lad.

Melanie Avalon: I think I had a crush on Bill Nye as well. I was too young to register it as a crush, but I was obsessed with him.

Gin Stephens: Well, I was already teaching school, and so we would watch them. My students would watch them.

Melanie Avalon: I'm putting it out to the universe. If anybody knows Bill personally, will you please introduce me to him so I can invite him on to the show? Please watch the Spock documentary and let me know what you think. It's so good. It's so good.

Gin Stephens: All right, we have a question from Ritu. Ritu asks, “If you and Gin had to lose about 10 pounds, what protocol would you use, given both of you are at maintenance and on one meal a day for a long time?”

Melanie Avalon: We've talked about this before on other shows. I'm just going to approach this like crash diet, you want to lose 10 pounds fast and the healthiest way possible, PSMF, protein-sparing modified fast. It's basically just protein. It's really high protein, low calorie, I think it's the safest way to lose fat quickly while maintaining muscle. I would do it in junction with one meal a day. Eating your entire PSMF in the one meal day, and it's not meant to be long term. It's only meant as a crash diet, but that's what I would suggest.

Gin Stephens: I would 100% follow my Zoe recommendations, based on the PREDICT 3 study that I went through. Just based on the one week that I did it, it was astonishing how deep into ketosis I got while eating a ton of carbs every day. It was foods that are supposed to work the best for my body, and I just can't believe how deep my ketosis was. Every day I was blowing high on the Biosense versus now that I'm back to eating like I normally do, I'm getting up to like a 7 even right before I open my window. I was blowing over 40, it was remarkable how much my body loved it. That's what I would do. I have information at ginstephens.com/zoe. By the way, they have a waiting list right now, so many people signed up that they now have a waiting list.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, and for listeners, we'll put links to all of that in the show notes. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode200. Okay, we have a question from Lara. She says, “When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up?”

Gin Stephens: Well, I wanted to be a teacher. Always. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Then, I was a teacher. I think I'm still a teacher, just with a different classroom.

Melanie Avalon: I wanted to be an actress. I think I still do want to act, but I think everything is sort of-- I actually-- this sounds awful. I want it to be like a legend. I want to be like change the world and be like Oprah or something.

Gin Stephens: You sound like Will. Will wants to be a legend also. He was so good, and first chair, Allstate orchestra good, and so good. The best trombone player in the entire state of Georgia for his age group. I'm not just saying that he was. I was like, “Will, you're so good.” He's like, “Mama, I'm state class. I want to be world class.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, yes, I identify.

Gin Stephens: You're the best trombone player in the entire state of Georgia. I think that's pretty good. “Well, no, I'm just state class.” That wasn't good enough for him.

Melanie Avalon: I always just assumed everybody wanted to be a legend. Wouldn't everybody want to be a legend?” Then, so on the occasion that I do date, I was talking to somebody and we were talking about this, I was like, “I want to be a legend.” He was like, “I have no interest in being a legend.” It blew my mind. I was like, “I thought everybody wanted to be a legend.”

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I want to be a teacher. I want to teach people things. I want to help people. That was my job as a teacher, but I like to do it at a smaller scale, but, okay, now we're doing it in a really huge scale. I don't know. It's hard to explain.

Melanie Avalon: That’s so interesting.

Gin Stephens: I've never pursued like, “I want to be famous.” No.

Melanie Avalon: I think I want to be remembered.

Gin Stephens: Well, I think we're both going to be remembered. Isn't that interesting? I told you when we have the same literary agent, when they called me the day that I made the New York Times Bestseller list. They said, “For the rest of your life, and after you're dead, you will be a New York Times Bestselling Author.” I'm like, “Oh my God.” That's so weird. The way she phrased it, “For the rest of your life and after you're dead.”

Melanie Avalon: That would just lighten me up for a year.

Gin Stephens: It's very cool. Oh, and then Cal was home. I told you at Christmas that they came and visited. He's like, “I think it's probably easy to be your New York Times Bestseller. That's not very impressive.” I'm like, “Uh, okay, thank you.” [laughs] He's like, “There's a lot of them, right?” Well, my child is not impressed by it. Well, I think it's hard. Anyway.

Melanie Avalon: I think it's really hard. It does make me realize how far we've come because I remember when I first started the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, I thought bringing on a New York Times bestseller would be-- which is amazing. I was just like, “Wow, if I brought on a New York Times bestseller, that would just be like--”

Gin Stephens: A million people are going to listen.

Melanie Avalon: Well, no, not much that. Well, that, and then also, I just thought that that would be such a stamp of success with the show if it had a New York Times bestseller on it. Now I feel like, I mean, it's amazing, but I don't think about it as much anymore maybe because we're just surrounded by them, and you are one. Congrats.

Gin Stephens: Thank you. You're like Cal, it's not that impressive anymore.

Melanie Avalon: I feel like I'm coming off as really pretentious. I'm not meaning to at all. I'm constantly in awe and in shock of everything. I'm so grateful. [sighs] That's crazy.

Gin Stephens: I get what you're saying. All right. Susan wants to know, “What's both of your favorite happy songs?”

Melanie Avalon: We sort of touched on that earlier. What's yours?

Gin Stephens: I don't have one. Again, it just depends on the mood that I'm in. It could be a different song at any time. Really though, all the songs that make me really happy are the ones that make me think back to happy memories. There's so many songs that do that.

Melanie Avalon: It depends like what you're wanting to be happy about. Is it love? Is it energy? Actually, I got one. I recently found Run by Delta Rae. Oh, my goodness, listeners. Listen to it. It'll just make you want to just run with happiness.

Gin Stephens: I feel bad that I can't just come up with one, but I just like so many songs.

Melanie Avalon: The songs I walk around belting are all musicals or Thumbelina, Swan Princess, something like that.

Gin Stephens: No, none of those are on my list.

Melanie Avalon: No Swan Princess?

Gin Stephens: Zero. [laughs] We [unintelligible [00:40:12] The Killers, though.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. If we meet in person, that can be our soundtrack that we play. Okay. Lucy wants to know, “Who are your role models?”

Gin Stephens: Again, this is a question that I can't just say there's one. It depends on what you're talking about. For example, for so many years, Oprah was a role model. I watched her show every day. I loved the message she was putting out in the world, health and wellness. There are other different people that are role models for me. Mark Mattson is one of my researcher role models. He's from Johns Hopkins. I think it just really depends, if you're talking about in what regard. I love Maya Angelou. She was at Wake Forest as a professor when I was there. I wish I'd taken her class. I've talked about that before. That's one of my biggest regrets is that I didn't really know who she was back to--

Melanie Avalon: She was teaching?

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I could have taken her class. It was the late 80s. She wasn't as well known, maybe everybody knew who she was, but I didn't. It was the late 80s. People were talking about it, but I didn't understand. I would like to go back in time and say, “What is wrong with you? Take her class.” I hadn't really discovered her as a person yet.

Melanie Avalon: Well, the first person I think of is my dad usually. I've always just looked up to him so much. I have so much respect for him. Then, Robb Wolf and David Sinclair in the whole health, biohacking research world, like Gin was saying that category. Then this sounds crazy, but I really, really think everything Taylor Swift has done is amazing. Watching her documentary, I feel I'm very similar to her personality wise, so I'm very much in awe of her work.

Gin Stephens: Today's episode is brought to you by Green Chef. Green Chef is the first USDA-certified organic meal kit company. Enjoy clean ingredients you can trust, seasonally sourced for peak freshness. Ingredients come pre-measured, perfectly portioned, and mostly prepped, so you can spend less time stressing and more time enjoying delicious home-cooked meals. I love cooking, but I really love that Green Chef simplifies it for me. Another thing I love about Green Chef, it's the most sustainable meal kit, offsetting 100% of its direct carbon emissions and plastic packaging in every box, so you can feel great about what you're eating and how it got to your table.

What's on my menu for tonight? This week, we got selections from their Balanced Living menu. I'm making lemon mustard chicken with roasted garlic potatoes, and green peas with roasted red peppers. Tonight, my oven is going to do most of the work. Both the chicken and the potatoes will cook to perfection in the oven, and the peas and roasted red peppers will only take a few minutes on the stove at the end. Totally window worthy.

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Teresa wants to know, “If you could invent a product, what would it be?”

Melanie Avalon: Do you have one right off the bat? I was thinking about this.

Gin Stephens: I actually did invent a product. It was for teachers and it was sold and I got a royalty for a while. It was a pocket chart for classroom management and behavior. I got a royalty for 10 years from that product, isn’t that fun?

Melanie Avalon: Wow.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: It was an actual physical product?

Gin Stephens: Yes, it was a physical product.

Melanie Avalon: Did you produce it?

Gin Stephens: No, I what I did, it was a pocket chart, and I had one that I made in my classroom that I was using. My principal was sending other teachers into my classroom to learn how to use it. Then, everyone on my grade level had one, but we'd all made them ourselves. It was like clothes, pins, and character education. It was whole thing, and then everyone was doing it. Then someone said, “You should market this.” I'm like, “I don't know how to do that.” This was in the early 2000s. I was like, “Well, who makes all the pocket charts?” There was a company, Pacon, P-A-C-O-N, who made them. I just reached out to them, and I said, “I have a product I think that people would buy it.” They're like, “Okay,” so it was fun. I got to design it and sketch it. They manufactured it in China, and they sent it to me and the prototype. It was really fun. I didn't make a fortune from it. Sometimes, the cheque would be $400. Sometimes, it would be $30, but I got those royalty checks for 10 years. I was really proud. At one elementary school where I worked, the principal bought one for everybody.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. Yeah. That's so cool.

Gin Stephens: It was really fun. The little pamphlet that came with it, I'm like, “I wrote that.” That was really my first-- I was published in that little pamphlet. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: It's not really a product. I created the Food Sense app, if an app is a product. Like I said, I want to create the dating app for intermittent fasting. Then if I could invent any product, it probably would be something from Star Trek. Maybe that-- wait, I forgot what it's called. The Trans-- what we just talked about it.

Gin Stephens: Transporter?

Melanie Avalon: Transporter. Yeah. That'd be so amazing.

Gin Stephens: That would be fun. I'm not sure that it's going to be able to be possible. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I'm just thinking back. I remember when I was little, I would try so hard to make the Flintstone car thing where they use their feet to make it move. I would try so hard to make that. I don't think I ever really succeeded. Would you, Gin? Would you do crazy inventions in your room?

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I feel we were similar in that way.

Gin Stephens: Probably so. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: All right. We have a question from Rose. She has a question for each of us. She says, “Melanie, how did you get into biohacking and what brought you here? You're a thin person. I can't imagine that IF brought you to a weight loss program.” Then, Brooke had a similar question. She said, “Gin often speaks of her IF journey. But Melanie, why did you start IF, autophagy, weight loss, or health reasons?” Yeah, long story short was, I initially did start intermittent fasting to lose weight in college. I kept it for the lifestyle benefits, because once you-- you just don't want to go back once you start. It just frees up your life so much, especially with acting and LA and everything, it was really fabulous to have no feelings of restriction and just eat whatever I want and maintain a body composition that I was really happy with. Then for biohacking, honestly, it came about because I had different health issues. Well, I just went into the rabbit holes of trying to find answers for things relentlessly. When you're not feeling your best every day and you feel something is off, you try so, so hard to find things that will make your body feel better. The more I learned, the more I learned.

Honestly, the other show, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast just came out of that. Me, going on all these tangents and finding things that really did radically change my life and wanting to research and share what I found with others.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think I think that's true, wanting to share with others, is so much a part of why we do what we do.

Melanie Avalon: If I learned something, I just have to tell everybody. I just have to tell-- and it's not me trying to sell things. It's me just being like, “Guys, you have to know about this.”

Gin Stephens: Just this morning in my moderator group, one of the moderators is buying a new house, and she was furniture shopping, and she shared some pictures of a bedroom set that she was going to buy. I'm like, “Let me tell you my furniture buying trick.” [laughs] I'm not making any money from it. I'm just sharing it.

Melanie Avalon: We're sharers, we're tellers. The question for Gin from Rose is, she says, “I am a 50 something. What would you have told your younger self to optimize what you have today?”

Gin Stephens: I don't know, I've thought about this before. Would I go back in time and hand myself a copy of Fast. Feast. Repeat. so I could avoid the mistakes that I made? I think the answer is no. I think I needed to go through all of that being obese, having the problems to appreciate where I am now. If I had always been my ideal weight and never struggled, I wouldn't appreciate what it feels like to be my ideal weight as much as I do after having been obese. I don't know if I would go back and tell my younger self anything because I think the whole journey was important.

Melanie Avalon: I love that so much. That's sort of the way I feel. Would I go back and tell myself, “Oh, don't go to that restaurant,” which was on a date with a science person when we got food poisoning and started this crazy gut issues,” like, would you go back and not go to that restaurant? I wouldn't have everything I have right now. I don't think.

Gin Stephens: See, that's the thing. If it had just been easy, and who knows what I would be doing, but it wouldn't be this. Maybe it would be better. I don't know. It's hard to say. But I'm grateful for all the lessons I've learned.

Melanie Avalon: Me, too. Then she has a question for both of us. She says, “I know that neither of you guys exercise.” Well, I do.

Gin Stephens: I do too.

Melanie Avalon: We can put that myth to rest. She says, “So, as a part of the overall picture of health and longevity, would you consider having an exercise expert on in particular to address the physiology of exercise and its impact on overall health and longevity, like yoga, HIIT, strength training? Thanks, and much love.” We do exercise. Well, I actually do now go to the gym and walk on the treadmill for a long time. I hope we don't ever come off as anti-exercise. I personally think exercise is so important. Actually, more and more each day, I'm realizing how important it is as far as, like maintaining muscle mass is so key for longevity, it's so important. And insulin regulation, I think moving and lifting heavy things is so key. I can't emphasize this enough.

Gin Stephens: I think the misconception is that you have to do a formal program. If you're not lifting a weight, for example, that doesn't count as strength training. I actually have some research on this in Fast. Feast. Repeat. in the Exercise chapter that we really can-- What are they called, functional movements? We really do get a lot of benefit out of those because the gym is a very recent invention, and yet people managed to be strong for all of history. It wasn't like people never had a muscle until Gold's Gym came along.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I'm never going to be doing CrossFit, for example.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. No, me neither. If you see me doing CrossFit, something's up with me. I'm not against CrossFit. I love those of you that love it. I still pull out my hula hoop, I get on my vibration plate, I jump on my rebounder. I dance.

Melanie Avalon: I think for the question about having a guest on, I think it probably would be more appropriate for me to have somebody on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, and then we can refer listeners over there. We do that a lot.

We have a question from Angelo. She says, first question, “Was IF something you ever used to lose weight?” Yes.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. You know the answer is for me. Yes.

Melanie Avalon: She says, “How many hours a day do you spend reading and studying in order to be prepared for a new podcast interview?”

Gin Stephens: I think she's talking to you about that for Melanie Avalon Biohacking.

Melanie Avalon: I guess for both shows, but yeah, for me, all day. It's literally hours and hours and hours.

Gin Stephens: If they have a book, you read the whole book.

Melanie Avalon: Right now, I'm a little bit overwhelmed. Right now, I have five really big dense books that I'm prepping, that all need to be prepped within like a month. I'm always listening to a book on Audible. Then I'm usually reading two books as well. Then as far as actually prepping the shows that takes-- I have these really elaborate prep documents that I make, they're really elaborate. I have the best assistant ever. She goes through and cleans them up for me.

I was thinking about this, pretty much every waking hour is mostly spent doing stuff for the shows with the exception of when I'm getting a massage or eating, but I love it.

Gin Stephens: With my podcast, I don't do any prep for it, other than scheduling the guests, because we just talk and the conversation unfolds and they're real people. For the Life Lessons Podcast, we do prep for that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and for this show, it used to be a lot more prep work. Now, we've been doing this for 200 episodes, so we have a pretty good flow of everything. For this one, it is more like I do prep when there are questions that require research, but it's definitely a lot less on my plate compared to the other show. I'm so grateful. I'm just grateful I get to do this, because I love it. Then she says, “Gin sometimes mentions that she takes breaks on IF on special occasions.” What about me? “Is there any special occasion where you take breaks from everything you do on a daily basis?”

Gin Stephens: I just want to jump in right there. It's not that I take breaks, I just don't fast as long. I consider every day I wake up I'm in the fasted state. Some days my fast, I just break it earlier. Like Christmas Day, I break my fast at 9 AM. Was that really a break? I don't know, because I never eat for from the minute my feet hit the floor, till the minute I go to bed ever. There's always a period of the time of the day where I'm still fasting.

Melanie Avalon: I really don't. I experimented with trying taking a break and doing more eating throughout the day, it just doesn't. It doesn't make me happy. Then, as far as taking breaks from everything you do on a daily basis, that's really hard for me. I find so much joy in my “work” and all of my habits and the way I've structured my life. I find so much joy in it that, the closest I come to taking a break is slowing down maybe.

Gin Stephens: Well, I mean, it's like you don't take a break from brushing your teeth or washing your face. It's just your routine.

Melanie Avalon: I definitely don't take breaks from the biohacking stuff, like using Joovv and my BLUblox glasses because those they only add good things to my life. The closest I come to break is all like, I've said this before, I'll scrapbook while watching TV or something.

Gin Stephens: All right, Melanie wants to know, “What is the one superpower you would love to have?”

Melanie Avalon: What's yours, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I thought and thought and thought about this, and everyone I could think of I kept rejecting it. Like the ability to know the future, I'm like, “I don't want to know the future.” All right, the ability to read minds, “Well, no, I don't really want to read people's minds.” The ability to fly, “I don't want to fly.” [laughs] The Wonder Twins, they were able to turn things in the states of water. I don't want to do any of that. I don't want to have a superpower. Is that weird?

Melanie Avalon: I mean, I would love like 100 superpowers. That's so funny.

Gin Stephens: I can't think of one. Name a superpower you think I would like to have.

Melanie Avalon: I would love all of those that you just said.

Gin Stephens: You would like to know the future? Gosh, no. I think I'd have crippling anxiety if I knew the future. If I could read people's thoughts, I don't want to know what they're thinking.

Melanie Avalon: I would like to selectively read people's thoughts. My superpower sort of relates to the future. It's not knowing the future, but I would like to know what to do at every given moment, to manifest the best possible future for my life.

Gin Stephens: See, I don't. I just want it to unfold, isn’t that weird. I don't know. I can't think of any superpower.

Melanie Avalon: What about being invisible?

Gin Stephens: I don't want to be invisible. Why am I invisible? Tell me why. Why am I invisible? What am I doing that I need to be invisible?

Melanie Avalon: Because then you can go places and see things you might not have access to otherwise.

Gin Stephens: I don't want to do that. [laughs] I'm such a weirdo. I can't think of a single superpower I would like to have.

Melanie Avalon: How about this one? I think this would be great. What if you had the power to whenever you engage with somebody, you automatically lift up their spirit? You're the type of person that--

Gin Stephens: If that's a superpower, I'll take it.

Melanie Avalon: Whenever you engage with somebody, they're going to feel so much love, and they're going to feel better, and they're going to like you and like themselves.

Gin Stephens: I'll take that. I'll take the love superpower. All right, that's the only one I would like. I didn't know that was a possible choice. [laughs] There were no superheroes that did that.

Melanie Avalon: Time to have one. Lindsey says, “Do you have a personal motto or mantra? What is it?” Do you have one Gin?

Gin Stephens: No. [laughs] Really, it is just to keep a positive attitude and that. I don't really have a mantra. I think a lot of people use Delay, Don't Deny as their mantra. Maybe that's it, or Fast. Feast. Repeat. might be my mantra or Feast Without Fear might be my mantra. Yeah, they became book titles because that's the way I live my life. I guess those would be my three mantras. I don't really have a motto, but as I said, I try to live with positivity and childlike excitement.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, mine is live vicariously through yourself.

Gin Stephens: Okay. I don't know what that means.

Melanie Avalon: Because most people try to live vicariously through other people or other things. But if you live vicariously through yourself, then it's like you are so enraptured with the experience of your life that you live vicariously through yourself.

Gin Stephens: Isn't vicariously though by definition that it's not you?

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.

Gin Stephens: Okay. [laughs] Okay, all right.

Melanie Avalon: If you could share a meal with anyone, who would it be?

Gin Stephens: Didn't you ask me that on the episode where you interviewed me, and I couldn't think of anybody.

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny how opposite we are. Mine’s Taylor Swift.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

Gin Stephens: The ability to make everyone feel loved. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: The mine is the ability to know what to do at every given moment to manifest the best possible life.

Gin Stephens: All right, we have a question from Darita. She says, “Why in the world have you two never met?”

Melanie Avalon: It probably would have made sense in the beginning. Now, it's like we've just come to know each other so well that-- I don't know.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, we just haven't been in the same place at the same time. I haven't been to Atlanta in ages, probably since before you moved back.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because for a substantial part of this, I've been in LA for it.

Gin Stephens: I've never been to LA.

Melanie Avalon: I am in Atlanta now. How far is Atlanta from Augusta?

Gin Stephens: It's just like two and a half hours.

Melanie Avalon: Well, maybe we should make that happen.

Gin Stephens: Next time I come to Atlanta, but I don't know when that'll be.

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: That does kind of flow into Samantha's questions.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Which is, “ff the two of you finally met in person but had to pick a mutually agreed upon meeting place or destination, what would it be?” She says, “Melanie, it can't be in Georgia. You have to travel a bit.” She says, “Pretend COVID doesn't exist,” which would be nice.

Gin Stephens: Well, I think it would be Atlanta. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: But it can't be in Georgia.

Gin Stephens: I know. Okay.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so practical realistic answers, Atlanta.

Gin Stephens: You could come to the beach with me.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. What about Sanibel?

Gin Stephens: I’d go there. I'll go anywhere that's the beach.

Melanie Avalon: I love Sanibel. It brings me so much happiness, and it has a beach, so maybe that should be it.

Gin Stephens: All right.

Melanie Avalon: Perfect. Oh, my goodness. I'm excited.

Gin Stephens: All right. Anna says, “What or who would you give up fasting for?”

Melanie Avalon: I would give it up if it was no longer what I perceive to be the most helpful, healthy choice for my body.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think so. I can't imagine that being true. That's the only thing.

Melanie Avalon: I would never give it up for a person. If it was like, “Oh, you have to--” No. [laughs] No. Yeah. Only I would give it up for myself, basically, if it had.

Gin Stephens: I agree. Yep.

Melanie Avalon: Natalie wants to know, “What would be your last meal ever if you could choose with no consequences?

Gin Stephens: You know what I always really like is a good cheeseburger and fries that are very high quality, but it's hard to get. Hard to get high-quality fries because I don't like fries made in really low-quality oil. That always makes my stomach hurt. It would have to be like some amazing fries and a really high-quality burger. I can have that all the time. [laughs] That is one of my favorite things to eat. Super-duper good quality fries, and a great burger.

Melanie Avalon: Mine would be probably Chili’s Cajun chicken pasta.

Gin Stephens: Really? You would go to Chili's for your last meal?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I would get that Cajun chicken pasta. I probably wouldn't go there. I probably get it-- Well, I don't know, I might go there. I would have funfetti for dessert, and more funfetti and a cookie cake, and more funfetti.

Gin Stephens: If you like tried to make me eat funfetti, I would not eat it. I just don't like it, but we've talked about that before. Last night I made black bean brownies and they were so delicious.

Melanie Avalon: I saw your picture on Instagram.

Gin Stephens: They're so good. I mean, I don't make them because I'm like, “Oh, these are, like--” I mean, I would also eat regular brownies, but I just like black bean brownies better.

Melanie Avalon: They looked yummy. They're so good.

Gin Stephens: All right, Charlotte wants to know, “Have there been times where one of you has had to back down because you disagreed?” Yeah, we've had disagreements.

Melanie Avalon: I think probably stuff we've talked about, like grains and stuff like that. But I think we do a pretty good job of agreeing to disagree about things.

Gin Stephens: I think so too. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: We got some intense listener feedback about one of our grain discussions, which was really interesting. I think what's really important is we both understand people that different things work for different people. We understand that people have different opinions. I think we can empathize with the other person's perspective. I was thinking about this a lot recently. As long as you can understand that people have different opinions or empathize with other people, there's really no fear of disagreeing about anything.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's true. Yep.

Melanie Avalon: Like, what does it matter? What does it matter? It doesn't.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. The people who get all been out of shape because of the way I defined the clean fast, for example. I'm not coming to your house and forcing you to do anything. I genuinely believe this is the best thing to do, but if you don't, just go do you.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, the concept of being offended, I've just been thinking about this a lot recently, if you're offended by something, it means that somebody did something that is imposing upon-- it can't really be about the other person, because you could choose not to be offended by anything. I think just food for thought.

Gin Stephens: If you don't like-- for example, we do promote the clean fast in my Facebook group, but people get so mad sometimes. I'm like, “There's so many Facebook groups. Go find one that follows what you think you should be,” and be in that one, and you don't need to be upset with me.” That's the thing.

Melanie Avalon: I'm trying to think of things that might be offensive to you. I think, for me, at least the appropriate response would be-- if it's something where I think it's wrong, and it's a bad thing, that would just make me sad, or it would make me want to put forth the alternative or why it should be a different way.

Gin Stephens: I really think that the more intelligent a person is, the more willing they are to understand how little we know, and that there are so many-- there's so much more you don't know than what you do know. It's when you start thinking everything and can't possibly have another way of looking at it that you fall into trouble.

Melanie Avalon: It's like if we just know that we don't really know anything, and we know that other people have different opinions, everything's fine. Okay, Trisha, says, “Gin, how long do you stand on your LifePro/Turbo Boost?”

Gin Stephens: All right. 10 minutes. I do it for 10 minutes.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. She says, “Ladies, what is the best go-to fast but healthy meal for on the go that is truly filling?” I used to always get frozen veggie pasta with cheese sauce.

Gin Stephens: I've got one that is really works for me. I just open a can of black beans, organic black beans, rinse them off, heat them up, and put whatever you like to put on them. For me, it's sour cream and cheese. You can have some organic tortilla chips on the side. That's what I would put on the side and munch them with it or like an avocado. Slice up an avocado and throw that on there. Oh, you really want to be full? This is a meal that Zoe liked for me, black beans, avocado, and also a couple of eggs. So filling.

Melanie Avalon: I'm just thinking about how that would just sit in my stomach and maybe never come out.

Gin Stephens: It makes me so full and satisfied. Honestly, beans are my favorite thing. Like I just said, I made black bean brownies.

Melanie Avalon: So funny.

Gin Stephens: I eat a lot of beans.

Melanie Avalon: I don't really eat fast on the go. That would stress me out. I would just not eat. But if I was on the go, I would probably concoct something from the whole foods.

Gin Stephens: You could take a can of beans on the go. Just heat them up anywhere.

Melanie Avalon: I feel a sense of stress when it's like fast meal on the go, I'm like, “Oh.” I have to have my long meal, my setup.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that makes sense.

Melanie Avalon: I would say nuts if they didn’t sit in me.

Gin Stephens: Nuts?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. If they didn't sit in me for nuts eons.

Gin Stephens: We have three questions together that are the same topic. Michelle says, “Melanie, do you plan to go back into acting? With that, what would your dream role be?” Christina says, “Melanie, are you still acting or do you consider podcasting your new career?” and Theresa, “When and why are you moving back to LA and will you go back into waitressing post-COVID?”

Melanie Avalon: Acting is honestly still my passion. It's the thing that makes me feel the most alive while doing it. My career has evolved into something I obviously didn't foresee at all, which is podcasting, which is my career right now. I think the ultimate evolution and hopeful metamorphosis of it all is, I would love to turn basically the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast into a TV show format, and kind of bridge together all of that, the entertainment industry and the film side of things with what I'm doing right now. Then ultimately, I would love to produce my own movies, and cast myself in them. The dream role would be a Disney Princess or something, like a live-action version of the Swan Princess. Oh, my goodness, especially because I feel I am a swan. Like you know, she gets stuck in a swan body?

Gin Stephens: No. [laughs] I do not. Uh-huh, I don't know anything about the Swan Princess. No.

Melanie Avalon: She's a princess, and then she gets turned to a swan and can't get out of the swan. I felt with my health issues, for the longest time, I was like stuck as this swan, and I just want to turn back into the princess like a metaphor for my life. I'd love to do a live-action version of that. I'll be moving back to LA probably this year. It kind of depends on the COVID situation. Actually, I don't mean for this to sound pretentious at all, but one of the best things that happened to me with COVID was-- I don't know if I would have quit my serving job if that hadn't happened, because it felt like security to me, like clocking in somewhere, so that forced me to not do that job anymore and see how I was without it. The crazy thing is I want to go back to it because it's an outlet for me, like exercise and forces me to-- I'm not very social, so it forces me to put on makeup and talk to people, but I don't think it's the best use of my time now.

Gin Stephens: I get it. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. When they were like we have to let you go, “I was like okay, I guess that's how that's going to happen.”

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Gin Stephens: Marian wants to know, “What are the best and worst things resulting from this pandemic for each of you? What is your greatest asset? Thanks for all of your hard work on the podcasts. I love listening every week and learning new things.” Since I've been retired from teaching, I realized pre-pandemic, post pandemic, my day looks very similar before and after. My routine hasn't changed a lot except that one of the worst things is my Saturday coffee group had to stop. I really missed that, seeing people every Saturday over coffee, so we had to stop doing that. The worst thing is not being able to do all the things like that we used to do, all the restrictions on all of us. I don't like any of those obviously. And not being able to travel to San Francisco to see my son and his wife and not being able to travel freely, I think we would all agree. But day to day life, for me hasn't changed that much other than wearing masks when you go places. That's just so weird and sometimes it still feels like I'm living in a movie.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I've been talking to a lot of my friends in California, and it's made me realize, I think, depending on where you live, how different the experience of the pandemic might be, because for us in the south, the restrictions are not that intense.

Gin Stephens: I just talked to one of my friends, she came over for coffee yesterday, and we sat socially distanced, but she's a teacher, and they still are teaching in person.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: They go to school. The children are there, but some places have not been in-person school since early 2020. Well, almost a year now, they haven't been in person.

Melanie Avalon: Like I said, I've been talking to a lot of friends in California, I think it's a very different experience there.

Gin Stephens: I think so, too. Yeah. What is your greatest asset, that Marian asked? What would you say is your greatest asset?

Melanie Avalon: Well, really quickly for the worst and best for me, I already said that the best which is I think it forced me to quit my serving job. Then, the worst is-- so my one phobia, it is the claustrophobia but related to suffocation. Just the experience of wearing a mask is a little bit distress-- I wear it, but it's just not ideal.

Gin Stephens: Oh, and I never said what the best thing was. The best is that it helped me realize priorities, like what's really important.

Melanie Avalon: It's definitely given me a lot of gratitude.

Gin Stephens: Me too. I mean, gratitude for things like toilet paper, honestly.

Melanie Avalon: Yep. 100%.

Gin Stephens: All right. what is your greatest asset, Marian wants to know?

Melanie Avalon: I think it's my brain.

Gin Stephens: I was thinking that, too. For me, also, I've learned to be a good listener. I wasn't always a good listener. I think that's a good asset that I've got now.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that's huge.

Gin Stephens: It's a skill.

Melanie Avalon: Also, I don't like saying these assets because it sounds like you're bragging or pretentious, which is not how I mean it at all, but I feel I typically relate to people in a kind way. You don't have to worry about-- I’m not going to hurt you. Those both tie into empathy. I think that is something to probably, especially interviewing Dr. David Perlmutter for his book Brain Wash. It's very much a thing in your brain. Some people, their brain can't empathize with other people. It just doesn't, and it can't. So, I'm really grateful for that, it goes back to the brain. Ashley has a question. She says, “Where do you see yourself in five years personally and professionally?”

Gin Stephens: I want to write children's books. I may have said that before. The genre will be nonfiction science.

Melanie Avalon: Which is awesome. Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Gin Stephens: That's right. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I would love to have, yeah, the TV show type thing.

Gin Stephens: Also, I want to be a grandmother.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, personally.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, personally. Cal and Kate, when they were here, I said, “So, what are y'all thinking about kids?” And they said, “We haven't decided.” I'm like, “What?” That's the part that's so strange to me because I can't imagine not-- I always knew I would be a mother and my sister always knew she wouldn't. We didn't have to think about it. It just like, “Of course, I'm going to have children.” My sister was, like, “No, I'm never having them,” but we never wavered. Will, he knows he wants to be a dad, but Cal and Kate are not sure. I'm like, “I don't even know what to do with that.” I want to be a grandmother eventually.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I guess you have Will.

Gin Stephens: I've got Will, thank goodness. Everybody have two children, at least because you never know if they're going to give you grandkids. My friends who are grandparents talk about how it's like nothing else. The love is so different from the love you feel for your children. It's like multiplied.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. Man, I love my children so much, and every parent, of course, loves their children. But what I understand is that the love of a grandparent is just different, because you love them, but then you're not like making every decision. It's like less pressure kind of love.

Melanie Avalon: Like, there's not the stress and the--

Gin Stephens: Mm-hmm. Yep.

Melanie Avalon: I don't think I will have children.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, you don't have the burning desire to do it.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. I would want to have accomplished a long laundry list of career goals, which comes off as pretty selfish, but I would have to have accomplished those first. By the time that happens, I don't know if I will be of childbearing age anymore.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that makes sense.

Melanie Avalon: Lisa, she says, “What is the number one burning question you would want to know the answer to, to solve either or all of your problems or give you peace of mind? And who would you ask?”

Gin Stephens: I don't know. I don't feel like I have any. I'm like the worst. I'm like, I don't know, nothing. I really don't feel like I have problems. Does that make sense? I've got like normal problems, like my cat is a little bit incontinent, and I have to deal with that. Did you know that about Elly, did I tell you that?”

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: After she got hit by the car, and she had the nerve damage? Sometimes she has bladder infections. My biggest problems are that. I'm very fortunate and I know it. I have a good life. I'm happy every day. My biggest problem right now is my computer is slow. I don't have life difficulty problems that keep me from having peace of mind. I have a lot of peace of mind. I guess that's a way of putting it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I think I have peace of mind as well.

Gin Stephens: I want to know are aliens real? I'm interested in that. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I would want to know what to do to resolve lingering health issues. I don't know who I would ask because if I knew who I would ask, I would’ve probably already asked htem.

Gin Stephens: You would have, you totally would have exactly. That's also the thing, the questions, burning questions, either you and I both know how to find the answer or they're unanswerable. I guess that's why I couldn't-- like I came up with the idea of, “Are aliens real?” We know there's nobody I can ask.

Melanie Avalon: That was a really beautiful concept that you just shared.

Gin Stephens: What?

Melanie Avalon: That we know who to ask or they're unanswerable.

Gin Stephens: Yep. Even a lot of the questions that you do ask are still unanswerable. [laughs] Anyway, I think a lot-- I don't know. I've got a lot of peace of mind. I worry about the future. I think all people do right now. There's a lot of unknowns in the future, but I also don't live worrying about the future to the point that because I can't control it. I have peace of mind knowing that no matter what happens, we'll just deal with it.

Melanie Avalon: Yep, I have a lot of peace as well. I just love my life. I love life.

Gin Stephens: We have a question from Miranda. She says, “I would love to know how you would handle being on set, since you've changed your skincare and makeup to clean ingredients. You may have already navigated this or not. Would you take your own or just roll with it?”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's a really great question. I would take my own and see if the makeup artists are receptive to using it, but if they had to use something else, I would let them.

Gin Stephens: Good question.

Melanie Avalon: I do know, my foundation-- especially when I was doing a lot of background TV work--I promise you I've been in most shows that were filmed between certain few years. I would just bring my own makeup and the makeup artists would always comment on how perfect it was for camera, so that really worked well.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's good.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Danielle, she says, “I know you're both avid readers of health-related books, but do you enjoy reading for pleasure? And if so, what type of books do you choose or what authors do you gravitate towards? A reading teacher has to know.”

Gin Stephens: That's a great question. I've been reading for pleasure a lot less than I used to. For example, this summer on the beach, I read-- I mean, I read Atomic Habits, I read that for pleasure. I do read fiction. I'm reading something right now that someone gave me. I can't remember the name of it, but it's set in Atlanta. I like to read southern fiction when I'm reading fiction. I don't read a lot of fiction but someone, like I said, gave me this book. I love Maeve Binchy, is that how you say her first name? M-A-E-V-E? I love Maeve Binchy.

Melanie Avalon: What does she write?

Gin Stephens: She is Irish. She died. She's not alive anymore, but I will read any of her books at any time. I will reread them. She might be my favorite author. She is, she's totally my favorite author. I love Maeve Binchy.

Melanie Avalon: I used to read a lot for pleasure. I mean, that's all I did, basically.

Gin Stephens: Me too. All I did, I read fiction all the time.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, all the time. I loved mysteries. I love Stephen King.

Gin Stephens: Oh, me too. Mysteries and Stephen King. Yeah, I read a lot of mysteries.

Melanie Avalon: I read all the Twilights, Harry Potter.

Gin Stephens: Yep.

Melanie Avalon: Now, if I had time, I probably would reread the Harry Potter series. Now, the stuff I read is usually like-- I will spend hours-- this is going to come off as crazy, I shouldn’t even say this. I will read reviews of Taylor Swift albums [laughs] for a long time.

Gin Stephens: Well, you're in the 1%.

Melanie Avalon: I am in the 1%, or Lana Del Rey. The good thing is, I do get a lot of pleasure out of the majority of the stuff I read that are health related.

Gin Stephens: All right, so yeah, I think so too. I get pleasure out of that. I'm researching right now for my new book. I'm reading a lot of nonfiction again. I really love-- you do too, we both love reading scientific journals.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Oh, I love it. For some [unintelligible [01:24:14] the title, it's something I'm really excited about.

Gin Stephens: I love critiquing them in my mind, because I'm like, that's not very good variable controlling. That's not what this says. [laughs] Anyway.

Melanie Avalon: I do love reading those.

Gin Stephens: RC asks, “If you could go to any concert, dead or alive,” I guess that's meaning the artist is dead or alive, “of course, pre-COVID, whom would you go see?” I'm going to use the words post COVID instead of pre-COVID because we're not going to be trapped here forever. There's going to be a post-COVID world where we're going to concerts again. If we're 10 years from now, listening back on this and go, “Wasn't that funny? Ha, ha, ha,” then I will probably not be happy, you know how we said we have peace? We don't get to a post-COVID world one day I will not be as happy, but I know that we will.

Melanie Avalon: I would go to Taylor Swift, obviously.

Gin Stephens: How did I know you would say that?

Melanie Avalon: I will say which album I would go to, Red or 1989 and then Reputation.

Gin Stephens: All right. I would love to go see U2 again. I've seen them twice before. I love U2. They've got great concerts. I've seen Billy Joel and Elton John. I've seen Elton John twice. I would go see him again. I love Billy Joel. He was great in concert. I've never seen James Taylor and I would really like to. I would also like to see Paul Simon. If I could travel back and see the Beatles, I would love to do that.

Melanie Avalon: Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Gin Stephens: Ah, no.

[laughter]

Gin Stephens: If you made me go to that, I don't know. I might suddenly start listening to podcasts. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Crazy. Crazy. All right. Amy says, “Do you listen to each other's podcasts, IF Stories and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast?”

Gin Stephens: I'm going to answer that for Melanie. I know she does not listen to IF Stories. [laughs] I don't listen to the Melanie Avalon Podcast. I don't think we either of us do. Am I right?

Melanie Avalon: You're right.

Gin Stephens: I don't listen to podcasts.

Melanie Avalon: I listened to the first Life Lessons.

Gin Stephens: Oh, good. I'm glad.

Melanie Avalon: I've listened to at least one IF Stories.

Gin Stephens: Well, good, so you know what it's like.

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: I'm just not a podcast listener. A lot of the moderators listen to the Melanie Avalon Podcast and so they will-- [crosstalk]

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, because they love podcasts and the ones who love podcasts listen to it.

Melanie Avalon: Podcasts.

Gin Stephens: Yep.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Sarah says, “What opinions have you completely flipped on since starting the podcast?”

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't know that either of us have completely flipped on anything, just that we've learned more. Maybe we weren't as certain about what we thought. I can remember I was thinking about this recently, the first time we got a CBD oil question, we're like, “We don't think it's legal, probably mostly.” We didn't know, because it was weird and people weren't really doing it. [laughs] If someone listens to that will sound crazy, that old episode, but I'm not sure that we've really flipped on anything, have we?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I haven't flipped, I've just evolved.

Gin Stephens: Yes, that's it. We've evolved and we've learned more. Maybe some of our earlier ideas were less sophisticated than they are now. We understand the nuances better.

Melanie Avalon: I think the two biggest things for me in this shift is when we first started this is when I was deep, deep in the SIBO rabbit hole and my world was consumed with trying to kill small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in me and now I'm much more lax about that. I don't focus on it as much. Then, also-- this is a big evolution, I felt the need to do a lot of pharmaceutical chelation for heavy metal toxicity, and I now would very hesitantly recommend that for anybody. I think I did a lot of damage to my body. I think I pulled out nutrients out of my bones, in my body. I think when you pull out a lot of those nutrients, it's really hard to get them back in.

Gin Stephens: I know what you mean. Yep.

Melanie Avalon: On a cellular level, like the level of the bones.

Gin Stephens: I was just reading about that today.

Melanie Avalon: I'm grateful for that even because I can tell people now and if they're contemplating doing pharmaceutical chelation for heavy metals, that there's a lot they should consider.

Gin Stephens: We have a question from April. “What does Melanie eat in her window? I know she's paleo, but I'd like to know more details. Are you a good cook? What do you eat out at restaurants?” Kangaroo. Right? [laughs] Meat. “Always interested because she talks like she eats a lot.”

Melanie Avalon: I think we can probably both answer this just because listeners might not know. Yeah, I pretty much rotate between very simple foods, and I find that I crave certain proteins at certain times. Right now, I'm in a scallop phase. I'm eating tons of scallops, but usually scallops or shrimp or turkey or chicken or steak, no seasoning, nothing like that. I don't really add oils, a lot of cucumbers. If I'm doing high carb low fat, I eat a lot of fruit with it. If I'm doing low carb, high fat, a lot of MCT oil with it. At restaurants, I usually get like rare steak with green veggies and wine. Oh, and there's wine with all of that. Low FODMAP. Everything is low FODMAP for me.

Gin Stephens: I eat all the things. I was thinking, “Is there anything I won't eat?” Well, I don't eat things I don't like. Well, I don't like fish. Other than that, if it's something I like, and someone's offering it and I want to eat it right then, I'll eat it. But the definition of what I like has changed. For example, if I go back to 1992, I loved to eat at Pizza Hut. I'm just throwing out an example. Their pan pizza, I loved it. But now, I don't think I would eat that if you paid me to eat it because I don't like it. It would make me feel sick.

Melanie Avalon: That's how we're so different. I still love all of those things. All of them. All of them. I can't think of one, like a “fast food,” or like a process-- I can't think of one standard American diet meal that I enjoyed in the past growing up that I'm like, “Oh, yeah, I wouldn't like that now.” No, I would love all of it.

Gin Stephens: Well, like macaroni and cheese. I love macaroni and cheese, but if you tried to make me eat Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, I'll be like, “No, I'm not eating that.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I would love it.

Gin Stephens: No, I wouldn't eat, but I would like to make my own macaroni and cheese that starts with a Béchamel sauce with butter and flour and you make a white sauce with the milk and good quality, sharp, sharp cheddar cheese. Oh my gosh, I would eat that. 100%. Yeah, my tastes have really changed. My taste buds have changed. When I go to restaurants. I gravitate more towards the vegetable type things just because that's what I'm going to enjoy the most. A lot of things at restaurants are just too processed and heavy that I don't enjoy them. I cook at home a lot, pretty much every night. Last night, I had chicken and I had broccolini and I made biscuits. They were so good.

Melanie Avalon: My taste buds have changed as well in that I love foods that I didn't used to like, so vegetables and I’ll crave things that I wouldn't have ever liked before. I still would adore all of that processed stuff.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I just don't. Except for Doritos, I've never lost my taste for those. Doritos and crackers. I like crackers. I like Doritos. I like chips.

Melanie Avalon: I don't really like crackers.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I love them. I love crisp crunchy things.

Melanie Avalon: All right, we have a question from Shantelle. She says, “I really enjoy your podcast. I'm a personal trainer in California. I would love to know what is each of your favorite kind of exercise, aka soulmate workout. Lol, keep up the outstanding work.”

Gin Stephens: My vibration plate is my favorite exercise to do. I really love it. Then second would be my rebounder. Third would be hula hoop. I also like swimming. When I say I like swimming, I don't swim like a lap. I get in the pool, I jump around, and I have fun in the pool, but it's a lot of exercise.

Melanie Avalon: Mine would be waiting tables if that counts.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it would, it absolutely does.

Melanie Avalon: Because I love not thinking about the physical activity, just having to do it out of the need of accomplishing a task in the moment. And if you're especially-- because I used to work at like different fine dining steak houses, and we would have to carry trays, those plates were so heavy.

Gin Stephens: Oh, they were heavy.

Melanie Avalon: Like so heavy. I loved it because--

Gin Stephens: Lifting that big tray up on your shoulder.

Melanie Avalon: -at no point you're like, “Oh, this is a workout. I have to lift this tray.” It's like, “No, I have to lift this tray because I have to carry it over here.”

Gin Stephens: Did anybody ever come up to, while you were waiting tables and say, “Oh my God, you're Melanie Avalon?”

Melanie Avalon: No, no.

Gin Stephens: That would have been fun.

Melanie Avalon: I don't think so. I also wouldn't tell them my last name, because I have a different legal last name.

Gin Stephens: Now, you've just blown people's minds that didn't know that about you. I knew that about you.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes.

Gin Stephens: People are like, “What?”

Melanie Avalon: It comes in handy.

Gin Stephens: If I could [unintelligible [01:33:37], would I use a different name? I don't know. I just put it all out there with my real name. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I've been using Melanie Avalon for--

Gin Stephens: It was your stage name.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's my SAG name, it's my Screen Actors Guild name. I started using it once I graduated from college. It feels like me. It's weird when people say my other last name. I'm like, “What?”

Gin Stephens: All right. We have a question from Lauren. “Who would each of you cast as yourself and the other in the epic movie of your lives?”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I missed the other.

Gin Stephens: I know who I would cast as myself but not for you.

Melanie Avalon: I know who I'd cast as myself but not for you.

Gin Stephens: Well, go ahead. Who, for yourself?

Melanie Avalon: That’s what you just said. I would want to play myself.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's cracks me up. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Right?

Gin Stephens: Okay. I see it. You're an actress. That makes sense. I guess I would cast you as yourself then. There you go. For me, I actually have had people say more than once that they would cast Reese Witherspoon as me.

Melanie Avalon: Interesting.

Gin Stephens: I've heard that multiple times.

Melanie Avalon: Is it something about your personality?

Gin Stephens: Maybe, she's also a southerner.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so Reese. Then, if I'm not playing me--

Gin Stephens: Taylor Swift could play you.

Melanie Avalon: No. Well, what's really funny is, this has happened historically all the time. People will always come up to me, especially when I was doing acting, and they'd be like, “You look just like, fill in the blank. Do people tell you this all the time?” and it was always a different name.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's weird.

Melanie Avalon: There was never one name that people would tell me all the time. It would always be a new name. I was like, “Okay.” I don't know why. I don't know if I give off different vibes.

Gin Stephens: Well, you're a good actor. You're good at acting. An actor can be a chameleon. That's the true test. If you're the same exact character in everything you do, you're not really acting.

Melanie Avalon: I guess I would probably choose my girl crush, Blake Lively. I don't think I look like her, but I love her. Blake Lively and Reese Witherspoon.

Gin Stephens: All right, I guess so.

Melanie Avalon: Amy says, “How have your thoughts regarding fasting evolved and changed over time?”

Gin Stephens: When I first started fasting back in 2014, really, everything I read, talked about just that it was a way to eat fewer calories. I saw it as a diet, a way to diet and eat less food. Now, I've understood over-- first reading the obesity code, and then reading Mark Mattson’s work, and then reading all the research that I've been reading over the years. I understand that it is a lot more than just a way to “eat fewer calories,” it actually has metabolic and hormonal effects on our bodies. I like to say the health plan with the side effect of weight loss. It's a healthy lifestyle. It's not a temporary thing you do. It's a lifestyle. I didn't understand that at the beginning, but I do now. Also, of course, the importance of the clean fast, and that evolved over time as well.

I go back to even when I wrote Delay, Don’t Deny back in 2016, I deferred to people I respected rather than challenge their thoughts. Like Jason Fung said, “Put cream in your coffee.” I'm like, “Well, okay. I love Jason Fung. He says put cream in your coffee, it must be okay.” But now I've evolved to the point that I am confident in my own opinions. “No, you really don't want to put cream in your coffee. That's not really fasting.” I can still respect Jason Fung and love him and his work and have a different thought, and that's okay, too.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I love that. I think my biggest thing is kind of a fluctuation in a change. It's my thoughts surrounding fasting for women specifically, and concern surrounding over-stressing the body or hormonal health or paying attention to women's reproductive health. I think when I first started, I didn't think it was an issue. Then, I started thinking, “Oh, maybe it is more of an issue than I’m realizing.” Now, I'm at a place where I actually am more comfortable now with females fasting rather than less. I think if you had asked me maybe a year and a half ago, where did I anticipate my thoughts going on female fasting, I might have expected that I would increasingly become nervous or wary of it more than less. But I actually think for most people, fasting is usually a very healthy thing. I think oftentimes the problem is not the fasting. It's not having adequate eating.

Gin Stephens: Yes. When people ask me about women, I say the problem is not the fasting, it is over-restriction. Over-restriction is not good for women. I do not recommend that you treat fasting as something with over-restriction. Over-restriction is bad, whether you're eating 10 times a day or once, and you can over-restrict in a 10-times-a-day model as well.

Melanie Avalon: I think if a female is living a restrictive diet and/or lots of exercise and coupling it with fasting, in that context, it's quite possibly an issue. It depends on where you're at, and the personal female, but I think fasting in general, if practiced “correctly” in a nourishing way, and having the eating window, having ample nutrition-- maybe it's a longer eating window that you need, if the fasting is creating a lot of problems, I don't think it's just the fasting.

Gin Stephens: 100%, and it makes me really frustrated when people continue to say that anything about women just as a general blanket statement.

Melanie Avalon: The reason that's a big change for me is I think I did anticipate not-- I don't know. I was anticipating maybe not thinking that, but yeah. Then I'm just going to throw in, we’ve got two really quick things. They weren't questions but they were for this episode and they were just some kind words.

Sarah said that we are her favorite duo and favorite podcast, “The perfect pair because your goal is the same and thoughts and ideas differ. I can only imagine how many people you have helped.” She says, “I don't have a question. I'm just so happy you guys found each other, even if you haven't met in person.” Then Linda said, “Do you realize how you've improved?” This kind of is a question, but not really. She says, “Do you realize how you've improved the lives of thousands of people talk about having a purpose and impact on humankind?” Wow.

Gin Stephens: Wow is right. That's just amazing.

Melanie Avalon: I thought that was really beautiful, and they said in their words, I think what Gin and I experience and feel a lot, which is we're just so grateful for this show and fasting and the audience, they're the best and I'm really happy. Episode 200.

Gin Stephens: Yay. Thank you everybody who submitted questions, and everyone who listens. I hope that you've enjoyed this. I feel like I'm the most boring person ever though.

Melanie Avalon: Cracks me up.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] I'm just over here with my cat. If I had a superpower, it would be that I would restore that she would no longer have-- [laughs] There's my superpower. My cat would not have nerve damage anymore. That would be my superpower. That would be something I would-- I’ll be able to just heal with the touch of my finger. Okay, that's my superpower. I got it.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, see, yeah, that's a great one.

Gin Stephens: I want to heal with the touch of my finger. The first thing I would heal is my cat.

Melanie Avalon: You could heal me. My health, my issues.

Gin Stephens: With a touch of my finger.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. All right. That's brilliant. Well, for listeners, thanks for being here. I wonder how many listeners have listened to every single episode? Probably a lot, because a lot of people tell us that they binge-listened and then they catch up.

Gin Stephens: That's a lot of Gin and Melanie. I bet it's funny to hear us evolve, like I was just thinking about.

Melanie Avalon: I know. It's crazy. For listeners, the show notes for this episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode200. There will be a full transcript there. You can submit your own questions. If this was your first episode listening, which would be a little bit crazy, normally we answer listener questions about intermittent fasting and diet and lifestyle and all of that, so you can directly submit questions to questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com, and you can submit questions there. You can join all of our many Facebook groups. You can follow us on Instagram, which is my new favorite place to be. I'm MelanieAvalon, Gin is GinStephens.

Gin Stephens: I'm trying.

Melanie Avalon: I'm trying, too. It's a struggle. It's such a struggle.

Gin Stephens: You seem like you've just really jumped right in. You don't seem to be trying. You seem to be rocking it.

Melanie Avalon: It's requiring a lot of effort and energy and insecurities, but I'm having a blast.

Gin Stephens: Well, good. That's how it's supposed to be.

Melanie Avalon: It's fun. All right. Well, anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: Nope.

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

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Feb 07

Episode 199: Personalized Diet Plans, Combination Fasting, Infrared Blankets, Toothbrushing, Kids Eating Habits, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 199 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

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SHOW NOTES

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18:15 - Listener Q&A: Katie - PLEASE HELP!

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38:30 - Listener Q&A: samantha - Trying to catch up as fast as I can

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49:05 - Listener Q&A: Timothea - Changing my eating window on the weekends/menopause/bloating

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TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 199 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 Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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Here's what's going on. When you eat a low-carb diet, your insulin levels drop. Low insulin, in turn, lowers the production of the hormone aldosterone. Now, aldosterone is made in the kidneys and it helps you retain sodium. So, low aldosterone on a keto diet makes you lose sodium at a rapid rate. Even if you are consciously consuming electrolytes, you might not be getting enough. In particular, you need electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium in order for nerve impulses to properly fire. 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.

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I am loving LMNT and I think you guys will too. Again, this is completely free. You have nothing to lose. Just go to drinklmnt.com/if podcast. That's D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dotcom forward slash IF Podcast. And I'll put all this information in the show notes.

One more thing before we jump in. Are you concerned about aging? Well, thankfully, fasting is super incredible for its anti-aging benefits. It activates genes in your body called sirtuins, which repair your body and help extend lifespan. Also, during the fast, your body can clean up a lot of harmful chemicals which may be taxing your detoxification systems. In fact, the reason people go gray is because their detox systems start producing a lot of hydrogen peroxide when dealing with toxins. Do you know where a lot of those chemicals come from? Your skincare and makeup. As it turns out, there are 1000s of compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup that Europe has banned due to their toxic nature and the US has banned less than 10. When you put these on your skin every single day through your skincare and makeup, you're adding to your body's burden and likely aging your skin faster.

Thankfully, you can easily clean up your skincare with a company called Beautycounter. They make incredible products that are extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can feel good about every single ingredient that you put on. They also have an amazing anti-aging line called Countertime. Friends, this is a game changer. It's full of active ingredients which nourish and support your skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and support a beautiful glow. It also has a safe alternative to retinol so you can get all of the anti-aging benefits of retinol without any of the toxic effects of retinol. Because, yes, that stuff is toxic. Guys, put it away now.

You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. If you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order. Also, definitely get on my clean beauty email list, that's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away so many free things on that list. So definitely check it out.

Lastly, if you anticipate making safe skincare a part of your future, just like Gin and I do? Definitely become a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for safe skincare. You get 10% back on all of your purchases, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that costs way more than the price of the membership. It's completely worth it. So friends, are you fasting clean inside and out? You can with Beautycounter. Again, that link is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show.

Hi everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 199 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I am doing great. How are you?

Melanie Avalon: I am good. How is the weather?

Gin Stephens: Well, it's cold. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I know.

Gin Stephens: I also want to talk about my inability to track my food on an app.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. How is that going?

Gin Stephens: Seven days. I made it seven days.

Melanie Avalon: Did you stop?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: You gave up?

Gin Stephens: Okay. The give up is the wrong word.

Melanie Avalon: I know.

Gin Stephens: Rejected the experience. Better way of putting it. No, I just cannot track using an app. Man, it was fascinating. I'm so glad I did it. I would 100% do it again, and I would 100% recommend it to everybody, but I just can't do it. I'm going to say this though, it is amazing to eat according to those recommendations if I needed to lose weight, if I was struggling with that, if I had health issues, I would 100% follow it. I still don't know that I'd like to put things into an app, but I learned a lot. Even in those seven days, I learned a lot about how to tweak what I'm eating to fit within their parameters. I know exactly what foods would work well for me now. Of course, it's beans, beans, and more beans. With lots of veggies. It's beans, it's veggies. I can have fat. I just can't stack it too close together if I'm trying to follow their guidelines, that sort of thing. Did I talk to you about my ketone level while I was doing it?

Melanie Avalon: I don't think so.

Gin Stephens: Oh, my God. I have the breath ketone meter that we got, you should try out, from Biosense. Every day, after I'd been doing it for a couple days, after I think two days of following this, I was blowing the highest level of ketones you can blow, like it said high. When I got to hour 14-- I mean, I was like not that far into the fast blowing high.

Melanie Avalon: It sounds like you're on a really high carb diet.

Gin Stephens: Yes, I was eating really high carbs, and I wasn't even really succeeding with the low fat because every day I got a message that my score was lowered due to the quantity of fat. I can tell you, for example, I wasn't low carb or low fat really. Day six, for example, I got a really good score for the day. 87 out of 100. I had 114 grams of carbs and 50 grams of fat. That's not low carb, and it's not low fat. I was blowing huge ketones. The day before that, I had 136 grams of carbs and 66 grams of fat, 72 grams of protein, 76 grams of fiber. The day after eating 136 grams of carbs and 66 grams of fat and 72-73 grams of protein, I had 1700 calories that day, and I was blowing high ketones by hour 13-14. It blows my mind.

Melanie Avalon: That's really cool.

Gin Stephens: It really is so cool.

Melanie Avalon: Even though you're not using the app, are you going to exist within this dietary paradigm for--?

Gin Stephens: No. Here's why, because I'm healthy, and I'm happy and I like to just eat food when I want to eat food. I'm going to keep in my mind, if I ever found my Shapa turning gray meaning, I was gaining weight, I would be, like, “Oop, let me think back if I've been having too many refined carbs.” I don't score high on refined carbs. One day I ate a baked potato with butter, and my score was high for that meal. Baked potato with butter and beans, and I think avocado, too, but then later, I couldn't find any fats. They're like, “Sorry, you already ruined it.” I didn't say it like that, but it was already too much fat for the day for me. I had a hard time finding other things. If I found I was gaining weight, then I would 100% use what I learned about my body not clearing fat well. That right there was worth the cost of admission. Learning, yes, too much fat is inflammatory for my body, and I always felt that. That was huge, that confirmation. Knowing that beans worked well for me, that's huge.

Melanie Avalon: I guess you probably would have said before, you don't have like ApoE4 or anything like that, do you?

Gin Stephens: I don't know. It's been so long since I've looked at any of that stuff.

Melanie Avalon: That'd be interesting.

Gin Stephens: My genetic stuff?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I think the other one is the FAO gene, what is that?

Gin Stephens: Is that the one that they say that you developed as we became farmers, is that the one that lets you eat carbs, processed carbs better?

Melanie Avalon: No, I think the FAO gene is also related to fatty acid oxidation.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't have them all in my brain as far as what they are.

Melanie Avalon: The ones they throw around a lot are the APOE variants because that's related to saturated fat and Alzheimer's. Then, FAO is something about fat. I just wonder-- It sounds like that. I'd be curious, if you ever look up your data, what you have on that.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that would be interesting. It's been so long, like I said, I don't know. Anyway, I'm so glad I did it. For the same reason, I stopped weighing myself, but I could do the Shapa with no problem and see my color, the same reason tracking food. There was one day when I tracked my food, and I was like, “I haven't had enough calories.” [laughs] And saw, ate more food. I'm like, “Wait, now I'm really full. Why'd I eat that?” Then other days, I'm like, “That was a lot.” Anyway, I don't like the tracking, but it's so valuable. A week was long enough for me to know how to combine the foods. If I wanted to really eat what was ideal for me, I could do that.

Melanie Avalon: Are they collecting the data?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Are they going to be upset you're not using the app?

Gin Stephens: Oh, no, no, no, they're not collecting data from this part. No, no, no. That's the first part of the study. They're collecting data from that.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, they're not collecting data from--?

Gin Stephens: I don't know, well, they got a week of data. But I'm not wearing a CGM for this part. You only wear the CGM during the initial part. The only data they have is the food that I ate for a week.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, gotcha.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: It's exciting.

Gin Stephens: It is very exciting. I actually set up-- if you go to ginstephens.com/zoe, I have a link to it there. You can find out more and you can join yourself. Even if you don't want to, don't let me say the tracking part, you don't have to track your food long term. It just gives you the idea of what would work.

Melanie Avalon: For people who haven't done the study.

Gin Stephens: They will start completely from the beginning. The way it's set up right now, you join, you pay a certain amount, but they divided up over six months, whether you do-- they have one plan, you do the testing, they send everything to you. The CGM, if you're eligible.

Melanie Avalon: But this is different than the study that you did.

Gin Stephens: It's all connected.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. My mind is being blown. Okay.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's the same people. It's the PREDICT people. Yeah, it's Dr. Tim Spector and his group are part of the Zoe app too. It's all the same thing. Yes. It's all based on their PREDICT 3 studies, I was part of PREDICT 3, which I guess everyone is if they opt in. You can opt in or opt out. If you decide you want to do it, if you opt in with Zoe, you're opting into the PREDICT 3 study, I guess. Maybe it's PREDICT 4, I have no idea. You opt in and if you qualify, they send you as part of the whole thing, it’s the same price, they send you the CGM and also where you do your poop sample and the muffins that you have to eat. They send you a box with food in it, that that food and then you have to test your blood after you eat those different muffins that I've talked about before. They see how your body clears the sugar from your blood. They see how your body clears the fat from your blood, which as I said, I did not clear it very well. Then, they take all that data, especially the poop sample, that's really important, and about six weeks later, you get your report. At that time, you get four months with the app. You can use the app, whether you want to or not. Don't feel like a failure. If you're like me, you're like, “I just can't talk about food.” But you have up to four months. And then I think you can subscribe to the app going forward if you want to, you can continue it past the four months. They also have a plan that costs more, but if you do the higher plan, you actually get to work with a nutritionist that you get to talk to and they guide you through it.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, yeah. I didn't realize. I was thinking this whole time that you did the study and then the Zoe app was something they were using to monitor and then people could use the Zoe app for their own dietary choices. I didn't realize it was--

Gin Stephens: No, everybody has different numbers in their Zoe app. That's what’s so cool. A couple of the moderators in my group, they went through it right when I did, and they have different scores for the same exact foods. They can put a meal together in their Zoey app and get a totally different score than I get on mine. Isn't that interesting?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Like the moderator, Roxy, she clears fat great, so she can have more fat, according to her Zoe app. I'm like, “That's not fair. That's not fair.” [laughs] because it made me start thinking diety things. I'm also really good at getting a high score. Then I'm like, “Wait a minute, I just want to eat a meal.” Again, if I were struggling with losing weight, oh my gosh, this is the golden ticket. The way that my ketones went up, oh my gosh.

Melanie Avalon: I'm going to have to look into this. To do it-- Oh, you have to eat those muffins.

Gin Stephens: Well, you do have to eat the muffins. Yes, you otherwise you eat what you normally would eat.

Melanie Avalon: How many days do you eat muffins?

Gin Stephens: It was one day of muffins.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's all one day.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, you do all the muffins in one day. You eat them, then you wait some time-- or it might have been two days. I can't remember, now I'm all-- I can't remember, isn’t that sad? It felt like a lot of muffins. It was either one day of muffins or two days of muffins, but I think it was one. You ate them, then you waited and then you ate some more.

Melanie Avalon: Do you have to do it at a certain time? Or could I make--

Gin Stephens: Better do it in the morning.

Melanie Avalon: Will it know if I do it like in my one meal a day instead?

Gin Stephens: You have to give it a certain number of hours, and you have to enter the time. So yes, it will know, [laughs] because you have to scan it and enter a time and just tell yourself you're doing scientific research. You're eating for science.

Melanie Avalon: I'll let this stew over in my mind a little bit.

Gin Stephens: It was really worth doing, and I'm really glad that I did. They know so much more about the gut than they did even when I had my gut analyzed in 2017 with the American Gut Project, which also is partnered with the British Gut Project, which is also Tim Spector. He's the main guy doing this in the world.

Melanie Avalon: What's the link for that for listeners?

Gin Stephens: Go to ginstephens.com/zoe. Then from there, there's information and you can figure out what to do. But man, it's valuable, such a valuable tool. Again, like I said, if I were struggling with weight loss and couldn't figure out why I wasn't losing weight and struggling, not feeling great, I tell you, I was so full the whole time. It's just the tracking, that's really--

Melanie Avalon: Not your cup of tea.

Gin Stephens: Not my cup of tea. Yeah. I've just been living in freedom for so long with the whole intermittent fasting, eating, how my body feels great, whatever feels right to me, that it's hard for me to track on an app. Even if you don't want to track on the app at all, I would encourage everyone to do it, at least for a week once you get your results. That was very valuable.

Melanie Avalon: Perfect. Well, for listeners, the show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode199 and we'll put links to all of that there.

Gin Stephens: Did you have anything new going on? You haven't shared anything or, I talked a lot. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I'm good.

Gin Stephens: All right. Well, we have got a question from Katie, and the subject is “Please Help.” She says, “Good afternoon, ladies. First of all, I love listening to you both on the podcast. I have also read Delay, Don't Deny, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I need help, and I am having a hard time isolating individuals in my similar situation. All right, be prepared for some rambling.” That was Katie talking, not me. [laughs] Just to be clear. That would be rude if I said that, but that was Katie. All right.

She said, “I started IF three and a half weeks ago after reading Dr. Fung’s Obesity Code. I immediately fell in love because of the ease of delaying and not denying. I was hoping it would be my trick to lose my 15 pounds of squish and I lost the first 7 within my first 10 days. Then it stopped. For two weeks, I have not lost any more weight. I go up two pounds and down two pounds, but never below that 7 pounds I initially lost. I do eat whatever I want during my window. My typical window is 4 to 8 PM.” I don't even want to read the rest of this, Melanie, I just want to say, Katie, you're in the first 28 days. That is not the time to expect weight loss. I'm going to keep reading it, but [laughs] I want to say that right now. All right. So back to this.

“I do eat whatever I want during my window. My typical window is 4 PM to 8 PM as I do not want to miss suppers with my family. I'm married and have three kids and I am unwilling to lose the supper family time. Okay, back to my problem. I am concerned that my issue was stalling out is my running. I am an avid long-distance runner and was nervous about trying IF because I'm so accustomed to eating during my exercise. I run 7 miles every weekday and 13 to 15 on the weekend. Most runs are first thing early in the morning. On my three workdays, I do 7 miles on my lunch hour. I do feel pretty good during my runs despite being fasted. I do feel a bit slower but no weakness or inability to complete the workout. Could my exercise be the reason I cannot lose these last 8 pounds? The exercise is not new. I've had the same routine for years.

My question is, should I give up on IF? Should I clean up my diet in the four-hour window? I do not want to lose muscle or jeopardize my running. I am so hungry all the time. I cannot imagine eating less. Please let me know what you think. Thanks for reading. Again, I have spent lots of hours listening to you girls during my runs. I feel like I know you both. Happy Wednesday. Katie.”

Melanie Avalon: All right. Not Wednesday for us, but Happy Sunday, Katie. Yeah, I love this question from Katie. I know Gin already weighed in with some thoughts.

Gin Stephens: I’ve got so much to say, I'm sitting on my fingers.

Melanie Avalon: Do you want to go first? You can.

Gin Stephens: Can I?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, you can. Please do.

Gin Stephens: All right, Katie. You said you read The Obesity Code. I want you to get Fast. Feast. Repeat. because it doesn't sound like you've read that. What you said, you read Delay, Don’t Deny, but not Fast. Feast. Repeat. Then, I want you to flip to the chapter on the 28 Day FAST Start and you have my permission to read that first. In the 28 Day FAST Start, I very, very clearly say weigh on day zero, then don't weigh again until day 29. You're not weighing during those first 28 days, that's four weeks of letting your body settle in. Then on day 29, you start weighing every day. Then once a week, you calculate a weekly average, and you only compare the weekly averages. If you've already lost 7 pounds in three and a half weeks, first of all, that isn't going to be 7 pounds of fat, because we don't lose fat that quickly. But that would still be pretty remarkable. That's an amazing amount to have gone down. I imagine it's fluid, water weight kind of thing, but that is a lot to lose within the first 10 days. That's not nothing. I'm sure you've lost some fat. But also, sounds like you are doing a whole lot of physical activity. You also need to really turn right to the Scale Schmale chapter of Fast. Feast. Repeat. and you're going to not want to even rely on the scale at all.

Actually, you only want to lose 8 pounds, you would be a good candidate for smashing your scale with a hammer and never getting on a scale again for the rest of your life, because if you're doing this much exercise, and fasting, and exercising during the fasted state, you're going to burn fat and build lean muscle like crazy. I want you to use measurements and progress photos to track your progress, not the scale. No, you don't need to worry about troubleshooting, you're not having trouble. It feels like you are because you're probably used to a “diet plan” where you see slow and steady weight loss for a while or maybe fast weight loss and it's slow and steady. Then, you plateau and then you regained the weight. This is not like that at all. This is not like anything you've done before. Get all those expectations out of your mind.

I really think that Fast. Feast. Repeat. could help you because you need to understand what's going to be going on in your body and why the scale is not going to be your best measure. But it's way too soon to tweak anything. Even if you had been steadily gaining weight for three and a half weeks, I would not be worried. That's why I don't want you to weigh at all at first.

For anybody listening, it is not the time to troubleshoot this early. I'm serious, and I promise it. All right, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: I loved that.

Gin Stephens: Also, she says she's hungry all the time, well, then eat, Katie, eat more food. You should not be so hungry all the time.

Melanie Avalon: The only thing I will say because I thought that was wonderful, the only thing I'll say is this is not her situation, but let's say this is still the situation, she's not losing weight and it's been three months, the thing I would focus on, like she says, is, “cleaning up the diet.” I don't really like the word ‘clean’ but what Gin and I were just talking about right before this question, the magic of finding the foods that work for your body. That's what I would turn to first, rather than giving up on IF or potentially blaming the exercise as the cause. If you have not made any concentrated tweaks to your diet, there is massive amount of potential that can be made doing so.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. She also might need a longer window with that amount of physical activity. Maybe a four-hour window is not long enough for that. If you're doing seven miles, if you're running seven miles on your lunch hour, you're going to need more fuel than you could possibly get. I couldn't get enough fuel in a four-hour window. I have a hard time getting enough fuel in a short window and I run zero miles. Fuel that body, open that window up littler wider, Katie. Really, if you'll send me your address, I'll drive over to your house and I'll bring my hammer, and I'll smash your scale, [laughs] because it's not going to be a good measure, especially 8 pounds. You may even gain weight but shrink.

Melanie Avalon: You know what I was just thinking about?

Gin Stephens: What?

Melanie Avalon: You saying that. I wonder out of all of our listeners, like which listener lives closest to me and closest to you.

Gin Stephens: Well, my next-door neighbor listens. Remember that story when we moved?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: She was a listener. [laughs] Hello, neighbor. They're great. We have great neighbors.

Melanie Avalon: I wonder if anybody in my apartment complex listens.

Gin Stephens: That’d be funny.

Melanie Avalon: That’d be crazy.

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Melanie Avalon: Well, shall we move on to the next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: This question is from Nancy. I have a sidenote something, I have to say. Were you aware? Did we talk about this that Nancy Drew, Carolyn Keene was not one author?

Gin Stephens: I did know that. I don't know if we talked about it, but I knew it. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I'm currently reading another Melanie, Melanie Dale, she has a book called something like, I think it's Calm the H*ck Down. It's about parenting. I'm bringing her on my show, even though I know nothing about parenting, but it's not my expertise, and so I'm going to feel super awkward in the interview, but their publicist pitched it to me, and I asked my audience if they would like that episode, and everybody was like, “Yes.” So, we're doing it. In any case, I learned in her book that Nancy Drew, Carolyn Keene is not one author.

Gin Stephens: That's true. So many things are not true. There is no Little Debbie. [laughs] Captain Kangaroo was not a kangaroo. Do you know who that is?

Melanie Avalon: Captain Kangaroo? I know the cereal box. Right?

Gin Stephens: Captain Kangaroo is a TV show in the 70s.

Melanie Avalon: He wasn’t a kangaroo?

Gin Stephens: No one thought he was a kangaroo, that was just a joke. [laughs] Sorry. No, it's not a good [unintelligible [00:28:23].

Melanie Avalon: No, but you said Captain Kangaroo, and I initially got this image of a cereal box with a kangaroo on it. Oh, because of Cap’n Crunch, that's why.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. That's Cap’n Crunch.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so on that note, we have a question from Nancy. The subject is “Combination of IF Lifestyles.” Nancy says, “Hi, Gin. Hi, Melanie.” This is the first time we've got two separate--

Gin Stephens: Maybe.

Melanie Avalon: Maybe. She says, “I recently discovered your podcast and started listening to it from the beginning. I'm in Episode 30. I've already read your books and did some research about IF which looks like everything I've been looking for. I'm also new with this lifestyle. I got 20 pounds to lose, but a lot of time. Above everything, I want to be safe. I started doing 16:8, maintained it for a month and upgraded to 18:6, I have already maintained it per month, I would like to switch to 5:2 combined with 16:8. I'm very busy with college, so I've noticed that it's easier for me to fast an entire fast day, 36 hours and would like to do it twice a week, but at the moment, I don't feel good eating all day long, three times a day. So, the other days I would like to do 16:8. I've read in a book that in 5:2, it is strictly prohibited to overdo the fast. I'm worried about harming my body. What do you think? Is it safe for me to combine 5:2 and 16:8? Or, if I do 5:2, must I eat three times the other five days? Thank you very much in advance. I really appreciate your work. You're my inspiration.”

Gin Stephens: All right. Well, Nancy, good news. No, I don't believe that it is prohibited for you to do 16:8 on the days following your full fast. In fact, in Fast. Feast. Repeat., I talk about this. You'll be doing a hybrid approach, like I talk about in Fast. Feast. Repeat. In Fast. Feast. Repeat., I do make it very, very clear that after a longer fast, like a 36-hour fast, for example, that you're talking about, you do want to have an up day. For an up day, you just want to make sure that you're not restricting. Our rule of thumb is eat at least two meals, three would be fine. What you don't want to do is fast for 47 hours, eat one meal, start fasting again 47 more hours, no. That's not ADF, that would be every other other day or something. [laughs] We're not doing that. If you want to do, a down day with the full fast day and then the next day have at least two meals, you're going to have that in an eight-hour window. That sounds fine. Then if the next day was another 16:8 day, that's great. I don't see any over restriction happening there. Unless you're also really super dieting within that 60 days, which we wouldn't recommend, you want to give your body the signal that there's plenty of food. It's absolutely fine to combine two down days a week and the other days being 16:8. Sounds good to me. What do you think, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: I think you answered the question.

Gin Stephens: As long as you have an up day after every down day, and we say at least 6 to 8 hours for an up day, 12 is fine as well, but I think six is a little short, but 8 to 12 should be fun.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. All right. Shall we move on to the next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes. All right. The next question is from Frances and the subject is Infrared Blankets. “Hi ladies, I've been listening to your show from almost the beginning. I've been enjoying a daily eating window of about four to six hours a day since 2018. I have loved implementing a lot of your life hacking advice along the way, which has helped with a lot of issues like sleep, mindset, and inflammation. I have all three of the BLUblox glasses, and I love my infrared device, not to mention the life-changing P3-OM enzymes and magnesium supplements I use daily after learning about them on your show. I have found that near-infrared light helps with inflammation, arthritis, scars, sinuses, etc. I am 46 and do hot yoga about three to four days a week. I just heard about the infrared blankets. Is this legit? I love my small unit, but I would love to lay down in a warm blanket that would treat my whole body. I look to you for vetting everything from diets to products, and admire the hours of research that you put into this forum.

You ladies are delightful, and I can't imagine my life without your curiosity and wisdom. Please keep on keeping on. Can you imagine what we will learn even five years from now? Thank you for everything you do. Sincerely, Frances.” And you know what? She's right. A lot can change in five years. When I was talking to the Zoe people after I went through it and we were going over my results, I talked about that my gut looked different than it had in 2017. They're like, “Well, in 2017, we couldn't see what we can see now. We can see so much more now.” They know more now than they did just in 2017.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and to date this podcast, but five years ago was 2016. Think about how much has changed.

Gin Stephens: I know.

Melanie Avalon: So many fronts since then. All right, so I love this question from Frances, and I'm so glad all the things are helping. The infrared blankets, I personally don't recommend them, and the main thing for me is I actually get nervous about the EMF exposure, putting that directly onto your body. I would recommend if you're looking-- well, this is not the same thing as a blanket at all. The infrared therapy treatment that I do-- there's two things here she mentions-- I'm assuming it's probably a Joovv device, the infrared light that she uses because the Joovv device lets out red and near-infrared light therapy and that doesn't heat you up or anything like that. It's for treating things like she said, like inflammation and joint and muscle pain, and it can help your skin, it can help your mood, the color of the red light. The heat aspect comes from far-infrared wavelengths. That would be what would be found in an infrared blanket. Also, in Sunlighten saunas, for example, which by the way, Gin, how's it going with your Sunlighten sauna?

Gin Stephens: Oh, I love it. I love it so much.

Melanie Avalon: I saw your picture today.

Gin Stephens: I love it. Two days this week, I didn't have time to get in there. One day, I had to go to the dentist at 8:30 in the morning, I had to shower, I don't want to get in after I've showered. Then another day, I had a 9 AM podcast and I like to shower before I'm on the camera with people. Those two days I didn't get in and I was so sad. Oh, then one other day I didn't get in, yesterday because I was getting ready to get in, and my husband said, “Let's go--” I can't remember what he want-- we went and did something. I'm like, “But I was going to get in sauna now.”

Melanie Avalon: It feels so good. Of course, you and I have completely opposite routines. It's like the last thing I do. Well, before I eat-- It's the last thing I do every day before stopping work and all of that. I still read in it and so I'm still doing work in it.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, I'm reading in mine. I'm working in mine, but I get up do my morning coffee routine, and then I moderate the Facebook group for a while. Then I get in the sauna, and I'm reading in the sauna, researching for my next book. Then, I go get in the shower and get dressed for the day.

Melanie Avalon: It's so good. Yeah, I can imagine how starting the day, it would feel really good.

Gin Stephens: It does feel good.

Melanie Avalon: It helps me wind down for sleep.

Gin Stephens: I can imagine that, too. Then, do you shower, are you sweaty?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I just rinse off in the shower. And then, I end with a cold blast.

Gin Stephens: No, not me. But, yeah, I get so sweaty. Since I like to get ready for the day early on, and I put my makeup on and do my hair every day. I do it every day.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I don't do that. [laughs] I do it on the days when I need to make all my Instagram content now, which I do. Oh, Gin, you didn't know this. We mentioned it last episode, but we just assumed we were going to be able to get the link. We do have a link and an offer, and I have all the details now, which is exciting. If you go to ifpodcast.com/sunlighten and use the coupon code, IFPODCAST, or if you're talking to a rep, tell them you were sent there by us, The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, you get $200 off their devices and free shipping.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I love it. It was so much easier to put together than I thought. When it was delivered in the big ol’ boxes, I was scared. I was like, “Oh my gosh, what--” but it all just unpacked easily, went together well, you just need three adults, and you can do it.

Melanie Avalon: Then I have the Solo which you lay down in, which is great for people in apartment situations. It's super easy to set up. I don't know if we have it yet. We'll put all this on ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike because I also have a really good-- if you want to get the Solo unit, the way I set it up, I have my whole setup thing. In any case, I don't have an infrared blanket, I did have some of the infrared mats that have the jade stones that they use to create the warmth. I'm not super against them, I just am hesitant about the EMF exposure. The Sunlighten units have been tested to be low EMF. I just feel there might be something different about putting it directly on your skin because in the infrared saunas, it's letting out the rays through the air into you. I'm assuming with these blankets, it's through touch because you're not going to sit by the blanket and be warm. You're going to have to actually put it on your body. Not a lot of help there, but I would definitely look into an infrared sauna, which I know is a little bit bigger than a blanket, but yes.

Gin Stephens: Yep, I love it.

Melanie Avalon: Although I will say, Frances, if you're not in my Facebook group, IF Biohackers, join me there and ask this question, because I'm sure a lot of people will weigh in with their opinions. Our only rule by the way in that group is that all opinions are welcome, and you have to be kind. Shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: This question is from Samantha. The subject is “Trying to catch up as fast as I can.” Samantha says, “Hi, ladies. Just this week, I began listening to your podcast and started my own IF journey and I can't get caught up fast enough. I love it. I really enjoy learning about different topics, but I don't do well with research. Thanks for spoon-feeding it to me. I've learned the basics so far, specifically to avoid triggering insulin production while fasting. No gum, mints, etc. When do you brush your teeth? At the very end of your window makes sense. What about the AM on a typical 18:6 IF schedule?”

Gin Stephens: So, I can go ahead and answer that Samantha. Here's the thing about teeth brushing, it's really, really brief, within two minutes of tasting sweetness, your body releases the insulin. The amount of insulin peaks at about four minutes and then returns to baseline levels. It's only going to be a little 8- to 10-minute blip of your day, and I wouldn't worry about that for brushing your teeth. Of course, that also explains why we don't drink like a diet soda because every sip is a new exposure. You don't want to do that. Brushing your teeth is very brief, and then you go on with your day. I wouldn't worry about that. I have been brushing my teeth every day, the whole time.

Melanie Avalon: You can also get brushing options that don't have a sweet taste. The one I've been using recently because I've-- we've talked about Dr. Bronner's in the past. It's not sweet. The one I'm using right now is a tooth powder.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I got one of those charcoal tooth powders, it was hilarious.

Melanie Avalon: Because it made your teeth black?

Gin Stephens: And it's such a mess. I was like, “No.” [laughs] Reject.

Melanie Avalon: Of course, I didn't reject it because Gin and I are always opposites. I am using Dirty Mouth Toothpowder for teeth whitening, the peppermint flavor, and it has no sweetener in it. I'm really, really loving it. It's really great. They also have a spearmint flavor. I've also used in the past Redmond, they have an unsweetened spearmint flavor. That's really great. If you just want to avoid the sweet thing entirely, you can go that route. Then her second question, she says, “Also, my eight-year-old son has little desire for breakfast. I tend to force him to eat something as I was always taught, we need to, for “the most important meal of the day.” Otherwise, he is a great eater. At what point do you let a child have a shortened eating window? Is it too early to let his body dictate his schedule? Thanks.” I will say this really quick sidenote, I do think when I bring on Melanie, the other Melanie on my show, I feel like I'm definitely going to be talking to her about stuff like this.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, I think that's important. The question about a kid is important. Ideally, we would always let our children's bodies dictate their schedule honestly. What do you think about that statement, Melanie? That we would always let a child's body dictate what and when they eat.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I actually-- I know I'm not a mother and I don't have experience, but I do have thoughts about how I think I would go about this. I feel I would make the food choices that I think are healthy available.

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: But if they don't want to eat it, that's fine. Then, if later, they'll probably eat more, when it's available.

Gin Stephens: Exactly. It does get trickier with an eight-year-old in school. I don't know in this day and age, he may not be going to in-person school and maybe he does have a flexible time that he can eat but that's the problem with-- you go to school and you have a set schedule. It's not like he could just graze on food whenever he feels like it. Maybe he can though. Our kids, when I taught, they were allowed to, in my classroom, to pull out a snack and eat at a time of the day. We didn't have a set snack time. I was a gifted teacher, even when I was the third-grade teacher, I was a third-grade teacher for years before being the gifted teacher, but I was just like, “Look, you want to bring snacks, bring snacks, I don't care, eat whenever you feel like it. Don't bother me. Eat when you want to. They had water bottles on their desk. You don't have to ask me if you can eat your snack. Just don't get in trouble with it. You can eat it.” Not all classrooms are obviously are going to be like that. I believe in letting kids eat when they want to eat and not forcing them because that's how they lose touch with their satiety signals.

Melanie Avalon: I find it also really interesting how growing up, kids rejecting certain foods, often things like vegetables when they're young, but then liking it when they're older.

Gin Stephens: I was the pickiest eater. As for my children, well, Will was not as picky. Cal was terrible. When he was little, he only ate things that were beige. I've said that before. He would eat chicken nuggets, vanilla pudding, crackers, apple sauce. Everything seemed to be beige. Now, he's a vegetarian.

Melanie Avalon: Wow.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Well, he's not completely a vegetarian. I take that back. Kate's a vegetarian, his wife. So, they're mostly vegetarian, but he eats everything.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Did I tell you he stopped fasting? He doesn't do that anymore.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Okay. I thought I did, but I couldn't remember.

Melanie Avalon: Do we answer our question, then?

Gin Stephens: I wouldn't say you're fasting, there's your window. I wouldn't use that terminology with kids. That's the thing that's different. You don't say, “Oh, look, you're fasting. What's your eating--?” No. Offer food, make it available. If he's like, “I'm not hungry,” then say, “All right, you need to take a snack for school. Make sure you have enough lunch,” and let them eat when they're hungry later.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I feel the problem more is not letting a kid eat when hungry. That's a big problem compared to them not wanting to eat.

Gin Stephens: I think forcing them to eat when they're not hungry is also a huge problem, though. That creates disordered eating.

Melanie Avalon: I guess I didn't say that right. What I meant was in relation to, is it a fasting thing or not, but just as far as potentially problematic messaging that is sent, both physically through the body and just surrounding food.

Gin Stephens: There's no better gift that we can give our kids than the gift of exposing them to a wide variety of foods and teaching them to listen to their body as to whether they're hungry or as to whether they're not, but I also wish-- one thing I did wrong, not understanding, I didn't understand is that I didn't continue to offer the foods. I offered one time. “Oh, he doesn't like carrots. Alright, carrots are out.” No, you have to offer foods to kids-

Melanie Avalon: Multiple times.

Gin Stephens: -like 10 times before they might eat it. I would have kept offering if I could go back.

Melanie Avalon: Did we talk about that on this show something about, literally, it was like the number 10 that you have to--? I think it was a book I was reading, and I was talking about how to change your taste buds, and you introduce it to yourself. I wish I could remember what it was from, but I feel like it was saying, this is ringing a bell, that if you make it 10 times and you still don't like it, then it's probably not for you.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Well, I think that's true. It's just like people who say, I can't get used to black coffee, your taste buds can get used to black coffee.

Melanie Avalon: I know who it was, it was Dr. Cate Shanahan’s Fatburn Fix.

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: She has a whole section on cravings and food tastes and all of that, and it's really, really fascinating.

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All right. Shall we move on to the next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Timothia. The subject is “Changing my eating window on the weekends/menopause/bloating.” Timothia says, “Hi Melanie and Gin, I love your podcast, but just started listening so I'm only on episode 15. Looking forward to binge-listening to more episodes. I started IF one month ago with a 6 AM to 2 PM eating window during the week and I took the weekends off, no fasting. I lost 5 pounds in two weeks and was thrilled. When I gained back 2 pounds the third week, I decided to modify. I've kept the same fasting schedule as above during the week, but I shift to dinner only a five-hour window on the weekends. This is so I can enjoy a glass of wine Friday/Saturday night and also eat dinner with my family. Have you seen this type of pattern work for people?”

Gin Stephens: This goes right back to what we had at the very beginning of the show with Katie. Timothia, you just started a month ago. So, you’ve got to come up with a way to track that's not just, “Oh, I've lost 5 pounds, oops, I've gained back 2,” because that's not really what's probably happening. Fluctuations confuse more people than anything. You get on the scale, it's up 2 pounds, does that mean you've gained 2 pounds? No, it means your scale has fluctuated upward, you might have gained two pounds of fat, but maybe you've lost fat, but you have to poop. It's hard to know. All the reasons why your scale could be up. I would like to beg the entire world to weigh daily and use some kind of app that does the trend for you, like Happy Scale on iOS or Libra on Android. I don't know anything about Android, but I've just heard that one's good. I know Russ Shanahan, who made the Happy Scale app, he's awesome. That's the one I recommend for iOS, or just do it old school like I did. At the end of the week, you add it all up, divide by seven, or get a Shapa a scale that shows your overall trend, ginstephens.com/shapa. Any of those things, but you cannot let those fluctuations get in your head. If you lost 5 pounds in two weeks and gain came back 2, you're still down 3, that's a great rate of loss for three weeks. But also, that first month, you should not expect to lose any weight because your body is adjusting to intermittent fasting. I'm so emphatic about that, because the early days, you'll be like, “Oh my gosh, it's not working out. I just gained 2 pounds.” That's not what's really happening.

Melanie Avalon: I know we sound maybe like a broken record, but I do think it's really valuable-- because we just got a question from one person asking this, but I think it is very comforting to listeners to hear it coming from so many different people and slightly different tweaks on it, slightly different versions of it.

Gin Stephens: We've had hundreds of thousands of people come through my Facebook community.

Melanie Avalon: I just love that we're on the same page. I was going to say that saying what I just said might sound like, “Oh, well, maybe things are not working for people and we're just giving the same answer.” Gin, there's hundreds of thousands of people if you'd like to continue that thought.

Gin Stephens: Well, it's also I've talked to 130, 140 people now on Intermittent Fasting Stories, and it's common, over and over and over again. That's one reason why I didn't just slightly revised Delay, Don’t Deny and rerelease it, but I wrote a whole new book, with Fast. Feast. Repeat. because people really need to understand that this is not like other things and that there are common things that you're going to go through. If you think about it the way you've thought about other things you've done, you're going to feel like you failed. Again, that's why I kept starting and stopping all those years. From 2009 to 2014, I started and stopped intermittent fasting so many times, I couldn't believe it. I never stuck with it. I never lost weight. Finally, in 2014 when I stuck with it, that was the time I was weighing daily and calculating my weekly average and that was when I could see, “Oh, look, even though my Friday weight is higher than last Friday's weight, my weekly average is down. This is working.”

Instead of like saying, “Well, this isn't working. I'm going to quit. I weigh 1 pound more than I did last Friday. I'm gaining weight.” No, I wasn't. I wasn't gaining weight, but my fluctuation was up. Our bodies don't just linear go down, down, down, down, down, down. Wouldn't it be nice if they did, but they don't.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Her second question. She says, “I've also been on medication for four years to prevent a recurrence of breast cancer. This medicine keeps me artificially in menopause. Most of my weight gain has occurred since being on the medication. Until my mid-30s, I'm 43 now, I generally ate anything I felt like and maintained a healthy weight. But now, I'm about 50 pounds overweight. My question is do you find IF works less well, the same, or better for postmenopausal women than premenopausal women? I've heard it doesn't work as well. I continue to gravitate towards carbs such as pasta, chips, popcorn, and one to two glasses of wine in my eating window. But this is what I've eaten until late at night, almost every night for 20 plus years. I'm a definite night owl. You say to change not what you eat, but when you eat, but I feel like I'll have to change both. This is another reason I decided to eat 6 AM to 2 PM during the week because I rarely overeat for breakfast and lunch. I'm also at work during those hours, so I have less time to overindulge.” Thoughts on that one.

Gin Stephens: Well, first of all, I would like to say part about postmenopausal, premenopausal and we've heard it didn't work as well. We've got women of all ages in these groups. Women in their 70s, 80s even, not as many, Lots of women in their 50s and 60s, lots of postmenopausal women. I will say that when I was going through menopause, the year when I was waiting for that year, to now I'm postmenopausal, but I did have a little, I think, I wasn't weighing but I think my honesty pants got a little tight. So, I'm sure if I had been weighing daily, I would have seen weight gain, but I wasn't weighing, my pants were a little tight. Now, I'm on the other side, and my honesty pants are once again as loose as they ever were. I am now officially postmenopausal and maintaining great in the range at the low end of what I would guess is my maintenance range. I do not buy into that once you're postmenopausal, all bets are off, I don't think so at all, just from watching the wonderful women in the Delay, Don't Deny Facebook communities. While you're going through the change itself, maybe you might not lose weight that year. What were you going to say?

Melanie Avalon: It's like how things are phrased, but I think there's a difference between saying, IF doesn't work as well, compared to in a certain hormonal state you might be up against hormones that are a larger challenge. It's not that IF is not working or not working as well. It's still doing the same thing, it's just-- I don't want to say fighting because it's not like it's a negative thing. If your body is in a hormonal state that is not that receptive to weight loss, it could be a lot of things. It could just be your personal hormone chemistry. She's on medication, which by the way, we're very happy for you that you got through the breast cancer the first time. Especially if you're on medications that are messing with your hormones, it can be really hard to make at least fast progress when you have hormonal signals that are sending an opposite signal to your body. I don't think it’s that IF is not working or can't work. It's just that it might be perceived as a more concentrated effort, or it might seem harder.

Gin Stephens: You’ve got to something that I wasn't stressing, but it's important. She said, “Do you find that IF works?” It's how are you defining works. IF is always working. In your body, it's always doing positive things. If we're talking about does it work for weight loss, I was interpreting it that way, working for weight loss, but really, IF is always working, even if you're not losing the weight. Also, I like to think about it like this. The average weight gain during menopause, I just looked it up real quick, and according to this one source that just came up when I googled it, this is not scientific rigor. When I googled it, there was an estimate that the average weight gained during menopause maybe 10 to 15 pounds. Let's think about this. Let's say that you're going through menopause, and you aren't losing any weight. Well, if most people going through menopause gain 10 to 15 pounds, but you are staying the same, that's actually working really well.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's a really great point.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Also, there's something that she said you say not to change what you eat, but when you eat. Well, I do say that during your first 28 days, in the 28 Day FAST Start, I want you to not try to do intermittent fasting and change everything you're eating all at the same time, while your body adjusts to fasting. It's wrong that, Melanie and I, don't say to change what you eat, because what I've eaten has changed a lot over time. If the foods you're not eating don't work well for your body, I do think you should change them. Your body will let you know over time. If you went back to 2014 me and said, “Here's a box of Pop-Tarts. Do you want to eat them?” I would be like, “Oh my gosh, I love Pop-Tarts. Yeah, I'm going to eat them.” If you handed me a box of Pop-Tarts today, I'd be like, “Uh-uh, no, I'm not going to eat that. I don't like it.” It's not because I'm on a diet or they're wrong. They're not good. I don't like them anymore. Most people do change what they eat over time, because their body directs them towards the foods that are more nutritious. It just happens naturally. When you get more in tune with your body thanks to fasting, you feel so good that you realize, “Ooh, if I ate a box of Pop-Tarts, I would feel awful.” So, you just don't do that anymore, because you don't like them.

Melanie Avalon: To that point, and I'm grateful I don't have to make this decision, and this isn't a decision that is honestly, that I can think of ever realistically. Well, it might be, I won't say that. If I had to, for some reason, choose between food choices that serve my body and not fasting compared to fasting and food choices that don't serve my body, I would actually choose food choices that serve my body and not fasting. I think Gin and I are different on that.

Gin Stephens: We've talked about that. Thank goodness we don't have to choose.

Melanie Avalon: I know, it's like almost not. The only reason I say it is to draw attention to it how important I do think food choices are, which Gin obviously just said, because it is similar to the whole hormonal signal thing that I was just talking about. If you're going up against hormones that aren't working, it can be difficult. If you're putting in food choices that are inflammatory or encouraging weight gain, or-- I mean that is a thing, IF does not magically erase anything and everything that you eat. What you eat in that window is going to have a massive effect on going back to “works.” It’s going to have a massive effect on how well you perceive IF is working.

Gin Stephens: Also, she said she has one to two glasses of wine every day in her eating window, I would not lose weight doing that. I wouldn't. I didn't start drinking a glass of wine at night-- I was, when I wrote Delay, Don’t Deny, but I was also in maintenance at that point. I delayed wine when I was trying to lose weight even prior to writing Delay, Don’t Deny, I delayed wine. I delayed the overly processed foods. Melanie, here's what's really funny, I was thinking about this. That period of time that I talk about in Delay, Don’t Deny when I delayed ultra-processed foods and alcohol, I bet if I went back and scored those meals using the Zoe app, I bet they were super high scores because I was eating in probably a one to two-hour window every night, so I didn't have time to eat like overdo the fat. I was having butter and sour cream on my potato, with my beans, a little cheese on there, and I was eating a lot of veggies. It was really all those things that would create a high-scoring Zoe meal for me.

Melanie Avalon: I will say for those who do want to attempt wine in their weight loss protocol, definitely check out my book, What When Wine. Gin and I have talked about this before. For some people, alcohol actually works pretty well in weight loss plan.

Gin Stephens: It does. I clear alcohol slowly.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and some people don't. It is entirely possible. Even in that situation if we’re talking about choosing between two things, I think in the greater context of like alcohol and the food choices, it's not the alcohol that's becoming fat ever. I think I can say that as a blanket statement. That said, the food choices can become fat eaten with alcohol, and then depending on how the alcohol is affecting your metabolism, it can be making it harder to lose weight. For some people, it actually is making it easier to lose weight. That sounds crazy but check out What When Wine, I have a whole chapter on it.

Gin Stephens: For me, it all goes back to measuring my ketones has really with the breathalyzer has really helped me see the alcohol. My ketones were low, low, low, low, low. But eating like the Zoe, my ketones were through the roof high. My body doesn't clear things quickly is what I realized. [laughs] Whether it's fat, whether it's alcohol. [sigh]

Melanie Avalon: I do have to do a plug every time we talk about wine. Friends, Dry Farm Wines. If anybody's curious, while Gin is not currently drinking wine.

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm having my little micro-dose, did I tell you that?

Melanie Avalon: Oh yes.

Gin Stephens: Every now and then I'm having a little micro-dose, not enough to feel it. Not enough to have a buzz. Chad's drinking his that I got him for Christmas. I'm like, “Pour me a tiny little bit.” A tiny bit to Chad is little, it's a little, little bit. It's probably a Melanie Avalon micro-dose. Yeah, I've turned into you.

[laughter]

Melanie Avalon: I know.

Gin Stephens: I'm not getting a buzz. I'm not drinking like a whole glass.

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, Dry Farm Wines, they are sort of like a wine investigator. They go to the wineries and they test the wines and then they find the wines that are tested to be low alcohol, low sugar, free of toxins, free of mold, pesticides, organic, etc. If you want to have wine in the healthiest way possible, at least how I believe and possibly not have things like hangovers and such, I cannot recommend enough, Dry Farm Wines. You can get a bottle for a penny at dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast. I think that's the link. I don't think there's a code, but if there's a code, it's IFPODCAST. My favorite thing actually about it, it lets you try all these different varietals that you might not have tried normally because it's like a shipment, so you get a box of like-- you can pick red, white, or both. You get all these different varietals. I always listen to my Lana Del Rey and open a bottle and do a wine tasting with myself. I think it's the Vino app. Oh my goodness. It's like the coolest thing ever. Have you used it, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I don't like to track things. Do you think I'm going to track my wine in an app? I know. I know. It's recording it and keeping up with what you buy.

Melanie Avalon: You scan the label and it comes up, it finds the wine every time. You can put in reviews if you want, but it pulls it up. You get all the information about it and you get the reviews. It's like tasting notes.

Gin Stephens: Okay, yeah, I'm going to do that.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I think a lot of Dry Farm Wines people use it because--

Gin Stephens: It sounds cool.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. A lot of people getting Dry Farm Wines. It's not like we went and sought out that bottle, you're getting what you get. The reason I know a lot of people are using it is a lot of the reviews mentioned Dry Farm Wines.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's great. I love it.

Melanie Avalon: It's great.

Gin Stephens: I just want to make it through my life easy. I want the easy button. I don't want to read about it. I just want to open it and drink it.

Melanie Avalon: I review them now when I taste. You might see my reviews. Last night, I tried one and it had-- it was a blend from Italy. A four varietals, sorry, I'm going on a tangent. One was Cabernet, which people are familiar with one was Primitivo, I think that's how you say it, which is like a Zinfandel. Then the other two I'd never heard of in my entire life. It was so exciting to learn.

Gin Stephens: Wow, you're a wine girl.

Melanie Avalon: I don't know really any of the-- there's a ton of varietals out there. My point is it's really exciting to be exposed. If you're a wine fan, it's really fun, Dry Farm Wines. Okay.

Gin Stephens: All right, we got a little bit more from Timothia.

Melanie Avalon: She has one more question. She says it's about bloating. “When I've gone on calorie restricted diets in the past or change the type of foods I eat¸ I'm usually very bloated for the first few days, but it passes by the second week. After four weeks on IF, I'm bloated almost every night, no pain. Any suggestions?”

Gin Stephens: Well, I was just going to say that it sounds like that Timothia’s body responds to change by her digestive system gets a little sluggish, and that seems to be something that's happened all the time. But it's continuing for four weeks, I don't know, what would you say?

Melanie Avalon: It sounds to me like a food combination overload situation, because in the past, you weren't doing IF, but you were eating foods. When you would change the type of foods, you would get bloating, but it would pass by the second week, so within days. That indicates to me that it was microbiome shifts that were happening because it is very common for people's microbiome to change. If they're changing their foods, they get bloating. But the fact that it would resolve makes me think that your microbiome was adapting. The fact that now with IF, you're bloated and it's not going away and it's been four weeks, I would hypothesize that you're probably overwhelming the system. It's probably not-- it could be a microbiome thing, but it could be like the shortened eating window and the foods that you're eating, you're not going to be able to have that-- either quantity or combination and resolve the bloating.

What I would recommend is a few different things. If you do just want to go the supplement route, Atrantil can be a game changer for bloating. Helps me so much, help so many people that I know in my Facebook group. It's completely natural and it targets a type of bacteria-- it's not a bacteria, it's actually an organism called archaea. It's often linked to bloating in people and it specifically targets that type of entity in your stomach. The link for that is lovemytummy.com/ifp for 10% off. That said, for the food route, I would recommend a few different things. I'd recommend maybe-- I feel like you're going to have to look at your food choices and the quantity/types of food you're eating. You might just need to eat different foods. Low FODMAP helps a lot of people with bloating. You could try that for a few weeks. If that resolves the bloating, that would indicate to me that it is a microbiome issue that's being exacerbated or created by overeating in your window or the food choices. I would definitely try low FODMAPS. You can get my app, it's called Food Sense Guide. It compares over 300 foods for a-- well, when this comes out, probably 12 potentially problematic compounds that create distress and GI issues and other food sensitivity issues in a lot of people, and it includes FODMAP content for over 300 foods. So, that'd be really valuable. That's at melanieavalon.com/foodsenseguide. Those are my recommendations.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think those are great because when I first started responding to it, I had forgotten the fact that she's four weeks in. Then as soon as I read that, I was like, “Oh, yeah, this should have adjusted by now.” Good stuff.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, I feel like we tackled a lot of content today. This has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions to the podcast, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com, or you can go to ifpodcast.com, and you can submit questions there. There will be a full transcript in the show notes, those will be at ifpodcast.com/episode199. Exciting announcement, next week is Episode 200. Guys, tune in because it's going to be a super fun special episode with Gin and I answering random crazy questions.

Gin Stephens: Don't get too crazy. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: We should record it at night and drink wine. Oh, wait. Oh, you don't drink.

Gin Stephens: Oh, I'm not going to drink wine enough to be crazy. Sorry. I'm crazy without it. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, I'll drink wine.

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: Follow us on Instagram. Gin is GinStephens. I'm MelanieAvalon. I think that's everything. Anything from you, Gin, before we go.

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

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

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Jan 31

Episode 198: Personal Health Wearables, Heat Stress, Training For Ironman, Sugar Vs. Sugar Substitutes, Vitamin Fortified Foods, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 198 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time New Members Will Get A Rack Of St. Louis Style Ribs, A Pack Of Bacon, And A Pack Of Pulled Pork For Free In Their First Box By Going To Butcherbox.Com/IFPODCAST!

BiOptimizers: A Company Whose Mission Is To Fix Your Digestion! Get Their Full Spectrum Magnesium Supplement, Containing All 7 Versions Of Magnesium To Fix Your Magnesium Status, reduce stress, and improve sleep quality! Go To www.bioptimizers.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save 10% Off Any Order!

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!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time new members will get A rack of St. Louis style ribs, A pack of bacon, and a pack of pulled pork for free in their first box by going to butcherbox.com/IFPODCAST!

3:20 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order!

SUNLIGHTEN: Get $100 Off The Solo Unit AND $99 Shipping With The Code MelanieAvalon At MelanieAvalon.Com/Sunlighten

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

19:25 - BIOPTIMIZERS: Go To www.bioptimizers.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save 10% Off Any Order!

22:40 - Listener Feedback: Krishcea - What a life hack

Life lessons with gin and sheri podcast

28:15 - Listener Q&A:  Franchesca - Oura ring

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #76 - Harpreet Rai (Oura Ring)

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

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

37:40 - Listener Q&A: Vicki - Ironman training

Intermittent Fasting Stores Epsiode 121

For A Limited Time Go To DrinkLMNT.Com/Ifpodcast To Get A Sample Pack For Only The Price Of Shipping!!

Stronger By Stress: Adapt to Beneficial Stressors to Improve Your Health and Strengthen the Body (Siim Land)

44:10 - BLUBLOX: Go To BluBlox.com And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

46:50 - Listener Q&A: Samantha - Whole food sweeteners, Sugar vs Aspartame & Rick Johnson

The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles (Terry Wahls M.D.)

Sari Foods Co Natural Non-Fortified Nutritional Yeast Flakes (24 oz.)

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 198 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 Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. I want to take a minute to tell you about one of our sponsors. This episode is sponsored by Butcher Box. As you know, both Melanie and I love Butcher Box and for different reasons. Melanie loves to grocery shop, but can't find the quality of meat she's looking for at our local stores. Butcher Box solves that problem for her. For me, there's nothing better than having it delivered right to your door, because you probably know that I hate to grocery shop. Butcher Box promises high-quality meat, delicious 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, and wild-caught seafood, all sourced from partners who believe in doing things the right way. It's also an unbelievable value. The average cost is less than $6 per meal. One thing you'll love about Butcher Box is its flexibility. Here's how Butcher Box works.

Butcher Box partners with folks who believe in better, going above and beyond when it comes to caring for animals, the environment, and sustainability. You choose your box and delivery frequency. They offer five boxes, four curated box options, as well as the popular custom box, so you get exactly what you and your family love. Butcher box ships your order frozen for freshness and packed in an eco-friendly 100% recyclable box. You enjoy high-quality meat delivered to your door and more time for amazing meals together. You feel good about your decision to believe in better with Butcher Box supporting farmers and partners who honor nature, the animals, and the environment. Get ready for game day with Butcher Box. Right now, new members will get one rack of St. Louis-style ribs, one pack of bacon and a pack of pulled pork for free in their first box by going to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast.

Melanie Avalon: One more thing before we jump in. Are you concerned about aging? Well, thankfully, fasting is super incredible for its anti-aging benefits. It activates genes in your body called sirtuins, which repair your body and help extend lifespan. Also, during the fast, your body can clean up a lot of harmful chemicals which may be taxing your detoxification systems. In fact, the reason people go gray is because their detox systems start producing a lot of hydrogen peroxide when dealing with toxins. Do you know where a lot of those chemicals come from? Your skincare and makeup. As it turns out, there are 1000s of compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup that Europe has banned due to their toxic nature, and the US has banned less than 10. When you put these on your skin every single day through your skincare makeup, you're adding to your body's burden and likely aging your skin faster.

Thankfully, you can easily clean up your skincare with a company called Beautycounter. They make incredible products that are extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can feel good about every single ingredient that you put on. They also have an amazing anti-aging line called Countertime. Friends, this is a game-changer. It's full of active ingredients which nourish and support your skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and support a beautiful glow. It also has a safe alternative to retinol, so you can get all of the anti-aging benefits of retinol without any of the toxic effects of retinol, because, yes, that stuff is toxic. Guys, put it away now.

You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. If you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order. Also definitely get on my clean beauty email list that's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away so many free things on that list. So definitely check it out. Lastly, if you anticipate making safe skincare a part of your future, just like Gin and I do, definitely become a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for safe skincare. You get 10% back on all of your purchases, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that costs way more than the price of the membership. It's completely worth it. Friends, are you fast and clean inside and out? You can with Beautycounter. Again, that link is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show.

Hi everybody and welcome. This is episode number 198 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I am fabulous. Happy New Year.

Melanie Avalon: Happy New Year. How was your New Year's Eve?

Gin Stephens: Well, I spent it with my cohost of the Life Lessons podcast. She and her husband came to visit for a couple nights and we put together my new Sunlighten sauna.

Melanie Avalon: I am so excited.

Gin Stephens: Oh my gosh. Yes.

Melanie Avalon: I've been waiting for this moment, Gin, since I first got Sunlighten like, what, a year and a half ago, maybe? Oh, my goodness. Tell me everything.

Gin Stephens: It's kind of funny. Did I tell you how we couldn't put it together because my husband wouldn't make a decision about the garage? As soon as the box was delivered-- we talked about it all the way through the process like, “Okay, I'm going to get the sauna. Should I go ahead and get it?” And he's like, “Yes.” It took a few weeks for it to come. Now I got the mPulse cONQUER Sunlighten sauna which the three people. I'm not going to put three people in it, you'd have to sit really close together, but I can lay down on the bench. It's a pretty good sized-- it's 71 inches wide. It's a good size. Anyway, as soon as the box was delivered, it's actually three giant boxes that had to come special freight. They used a forklift to put it in our garage, that's how heavy the three boxes were. Okay, so I was like, “Oh, that's a lot.”

As soon as it was delivered, he's like, “Now we have to paint the floor of the garage and the walls of the garage before we can put anything up.” I'm like, “Well, okay, let's think about that.” We thought about thought about it, thought about it. He looked at paint chips. He thought about it, he never made a decision. It sat there for over a month, staring at me. Then finally, I was like, “Sheri and Eric are going to be here on New Year's Eve, what if we go ahead and just set up the sauna now?” He's like, “Okay, fine.” So, we did it. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: The sauna I have for listeners, I've talked about it a lot, I have the Solo unit, which is it's great for people like me who live in an apartment, who don't have a lot of space because it's collapsible and you actually lay down inside of it. They actually have it at a lot of spas. Before I had one, I was getting sessions at different spas, so it's amazing for a little apartment dweller like me. Gin got the sauna sauna. Tell me about it.

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm really glad we waited till they were here to put it together because it really did, I think take three people. Now, Eric just had neck surgery, so he couldn't lift anything heavy, but he was the technical director, he read the directions to us and helped us know what to do. I mean, we did it. We just did it. It was pretty easy. The pieces were in there, you start with the floor and then you put it on the back and the side pieces and the front. Then, there's this little pin that just connects the front to the side and these little pins, they're just four. The whole thing was eight screws and four pins.

Melanie Avalon: Are you serious?

Gin Stephens: Eight screws to screw on the feet on the bottom, four pins, one for each corner, and then the roof just set into place. The hardest part was you have to undo the floor panels and then click together the electrical connections. A little tip, if anybody gets one, in the directions they have you put the bench in first and then do the floor connections. Don't do that. [laughs] Because Sheri and I were both in there like hunched under the bench, but we did it. Then, it all worked. It just all worked. Oh, and you can watch TV on the little panel.

Melanie Avalon: It has a TV?

Gin Stephens: Well, it has a touch panel that actually has a media-- it connects to your Wi-Fi, and you can watch like Netflix. I didn't know it was going to do that. It's an Android tablet in there. I had no idea. I'm like, “Oh my God, we can watch TV while we're sitting in here.”

Melanie Avalon: Does it have the chromotherapy, like the color lighting?

Gin Stephens: It has different color lights. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, just in case, they're not familiar, the Sunlighten saunas are infrared saunas. They don't heat up by heating up the air, they actually use infrared wavelengths that heat you up from the inside out. It feels warm, I assume, but--

Gin Stephens: The air goes up to 132 when I'm in there, 132 degrees. The air does go up, but it doesn't go up to the levels of 160, 170.

Melanie Avalon: Like traditional heat saunas.

Gin Stephens: Yes. I mean, it does go up. It's 131, 132 degrees in there when it's really going.

Melanie Avalon: Then you actually heat up from the inside. A way I describe it is, you can have a fever, but not-- you feel warm this on it, but you can have a fever and not actually feel that hot. That's how a sauna works. It gives you an artificial fever. People might be like, “Why do I want to have an artificial fever? The benefits are profound. There's so much clinical literature on the benefits of heat stress, because basically it activates something called heat shock proteins in your body. We're always talking on the show about how fasting activates things like autophagy and different cellular processes that support health. Just like fasting is a stress. sauna used as a stress. Well, A, it can have the cardiovascular equivalent benefits of working out for your heart. They started doing studies actually on sauna use as a veritable or a potential preventative measure for COVID. I was actually reading some studies on it.

Gin Stephens: Oh, wow.

Melanie Avalon: I'll put a link in the show notes to that. I did a really long blog post on this recently. That's why it's all at the top of my head. The conclusion of the study was that heat therapy might be something to consider with this pandemic, because the body's initial way that it combats viruses is with fever, with heat. Viruses are heat sensitive and COVID, the SARS strain is, so that's really cool if you can get in your sauna every single day and hopefully use it as a preventative for COVID.

Gin Stephens: I think I'm going to use it every single day. I don't know what will happen in the summer. We'll have to see, but right now, I mean, every day I've gotten in it because it feels so good. I wake up, drink my coffee, do my normal morning.

Melanie Avalon: You do it in the morning? Oh, that’s so interesting. I do it at night right before eating.

Gin Stephens: Before I get in the shower. Yeah, because I'm so sweaty.

Melanie Avalon: The way I describe it is you get in it and you just feel like your body just gives a sigh of relief.

Gin Stephens: I don't want to get out. I'm not kidding. I'm doing research for my new book, and I was doing research in the sauna. So, I think I stayed in there too long.

Melanie Avalon: It's amazing. A little hack for listeners, if you end up getting the Solo unit that I have, and you want to set it up inside, I'll put a link to the way I set it up because Amazon has a twin mattress frame thing that's all metal and black and it fits perfectly. Like you sit the Solo on top of it, and then I found this, also on Amazon, it's like an arm that holds your iPhone and I attach it to the frame, so then it holds my iPhone over my head, so then I can do work or read a book while I'm in it.

Gin Stephens: I'm finding that it just feels so great just to be in there that I don't want to get out, so I'm going to find ways to do my work in there, too. They technically say don't take your phone in there.

Melanie Avalon: They do? I was wondering if they say that.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it does say that but I think they probably just say that to be safe. I did have my phone in there for a while with me this morning. Then I was like, “Oh, yeah, phone.” So, I took it out, but the unit that I have people are like, “Where would I put it in my house?” I have it in a corner of my garage that it fits in perfectly. We did have to have a new circuit put in.

Melanie Avalon: I was going to ask about that.

Gin Stephens: It was like 100 bucks. It was not expensive.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? Who installed it?

Gin Stephens: Our electrician. We just called, and he was doing some other work for us. We're like, “Hey, do you know how to do this?” He's like, “Yeah, that'll be very easy.” He just did it. It was very easy for him to do it. Just needed a special plug for it. You could have it done in like a spare bedroom, or they can even go outside, but you have to cover it with a special cover that they sell, so I would worry about the longevity of it outside. I feel like it's an investment I want to have protected, but you can put them outside.

Melanie Avalon: This is so exciting.

Gin Stephens: It is so exciting. I just really can't believe how much I love it because I like to be hot. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I was so excited. I was like, “I know when she gets it, she's going to go with it and she's going to love it.” I feel it's not exactly what you anticipate. It's not this miserable, sweaty, disgusting feeling. It's like the most pleasant feeling with so many health benefits. Like I said it, I think it pairs really well with fasting.

Gin Stephens: I think so, too. I'm doing it in the fasted state, so I feel it's accelerating, I don't know, maybe it isn't, but it feels like it would.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, well, to that point, because people often wonder about the metabolic benefits in weight loss and things like that. It actually does burn a substantial amount of calories by heating up your body. Most of the “weight loss” is temporary and it's water, but it actually can support weight loss as well. You can wear your Oura ring in there, in case listeners are wondering. I'm just so happy right now. So happy for you. For listeners. If you'd like to get your own Sunlighten sauna, I promise you, you will not look back it will be one of the best decisions you've ever made. We do have a link for listeners. If you go to ifpodcast.com/sunlighten and use the coupon code, IFPODCAST, there's some sort of discount that you will get at that link. So, that's pretty awesome.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, I can't recommend it highly enough.

Melanie Avalon: I'm so happy.

Gin Stephens: I am so happy. My house was built in 1979, so I don't know why we have this little section in the garage. Maybe it's there a heating ductwork in there, I have no idea. There's this one little section where the ceiling is a little bit lowered. My sauna is exactly the right size to go in that section. I mean like exactly. The height of it was perfect. It looks it was designed for a sauna together. It was the 70s, they were wacky, maybe it was.

Melanie Avalon: Maybe it was. It would have been a probably a traditional sauna.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's true.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's the other amazing thing that I love about the infrared sauna is, it's like self-cleaning in a way because traditional heat, saunas can have a problem about mold growing in them. The infrared saunas, they pretty much take care of themselves. They're very low maintenance for cleaning, which is really, really awesome.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yay. I feel I'm slowly pulling you into all the biohacks world of things.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] These are easy ones. Oh, and I also started the Zoe eating from the PREDICT 3 study. I'm using the Zoe app. I'm just eating a lot of beans, beans and vegetables, mostly.

Melanie Avalon: How do you feel?

Gin Stephens: I feel so fantastic.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? Cool.

Gin Stephens: Yes. It's really, really hard to because my body clears fats really which I'm not [unintelligible [00:16:32] about. That's the only part that's hard for me is, I can have meals that score 100 as far as because it matches what my gut microbiome does well with what foods are good for me, but because I have an eating window, if I stack too many things in it, my body doesn't have time to clear the fat and my score goes down because of that. Like avocados and eggs, for example. They're great for me, but I can't have too much of it close together. That's the only hard part.

Melanie Avalon: That would make sense.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm super bummed that my body clears fat slowly, but so not surprised.

Melanie Avalon: I'm sure I would bet that mine does clear slowly as well. I have a question for you. It didn't test your fat clearance in a non-paired with carbohydrates situation, did it?

Gin Stephens: They were separate. There were two different muffins. I'm not sure what the macronutrient ratio of each muffin was, so I can't tell you that. I know that one muffin was a high sugar muffin with low fat. The other muffin was a high-fat muffin with lower carbs. It tracked how your body cleared the fat after the high-fat muffin.

Melanie Avalon: I wonder if they did the same test on you, if you were doing a ketogenic diet, if it would be the same.

Gin Stephens: Well, I will tell you that I felt terrible all the time when I did keto, like it was inflammatory for me and this would explain why. They talk about in their research that if your body clears fat slowly, too much fat is inflammatory for you. That was like a light bulb of why I felt so inflamed on keto, well, that makes sense.

Melanie Avalon: That's so interesting.

Gin Stephens: It's very high in like I said, fruits and vegetables. Well, I could eat fruits, but vegetables, lots and lots of vegetables, and I'm eating so many beans.

Melanie Avalon: I'm just thinking about the digestive distress I would have.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I feel great. My body's like, “Bring on the beans.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my gosh. That's so funny. I have one really quick update for listeners. I think it will be released by the time this comes out most likely. I should have recently just released an update to my app, speaking of food digestive issues. My app, Food Sense Guide, it did have 11 potentially problematic compounds that people react to in over 300 plus foods, things like FODMAPs and histamine and oxalates and lectins and gluten and all this stuff. I just added AIP, which is autoimmune paleo. A lot of people do that approach. Basically, now it says for each food if it is on the AIP protocol, or not.

Gin Stephens: Awesome.

Melanie Avalon: Very excited. Working still with your son's friend on that. He does my updates.

Gin Stephens: I actually saw Nate over at the Christmas holidays.

Melanie Avalon: That is so lovely.

Gin Stephens: And Nate's dog. I saw him from a distance. He waved at me, actually distanced. [laughs] They played frisbee in the front yard with their masks on.

Melanie Avalon: Oh really, I love it. Responsible.

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Shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes, let's get started.

Melanie Avalon: All right, so to start things off, we have mostly feedback but with one question. It is from Keisha. “The subject is what a life hack.” Keisha says, “My name is Keisha and that is pronounced Keisha.” She says, “I was introduced to IF in March of 2019 by my fiancé and just like the majority of the population, I was unhappy with my body. I'm five foot tall and I weighed 160 pounds prior to starting IF. In February of 2019, I was put on fenofibrate by my physician for my triglycerides were in the 400 range, and I was also prediabetic. Both of these conditions run in both sides of my family, combined with a poor diet, I was set to fail. I've been an intermittent faster since March of 2019 and my life was forever changed. My goal was to lose 50 pounds and I did. I lost five pounds in 10 months doing 16:8 for the first three months which was the adjusting period. I remember hitting a plateau and I took that as my body’s signal to change things up a bit. I combine 20:4 and one meal a day depending on my schedule and the activities I have planned.

After being fully adjusted to IF after the first three months, I noticed that my body was craving high protein, medium fat, low carb items. My attitude towards food changed. I do not look at food the same way as I did before I incorporated intermittent fasting into my life. I listened to my body and honored its wishes. December of 2019, right before the holidays is what I hit my goal. I cannot believe that I was capable of losing 50 pounds, when I couldn't even lose 10 pounds in the past without gaining it back, plus some. I was so proud of myself. The weight loss was the cherry on top.

I found your podcast around October 2019 and you guys have helped changed my life. After finding your podcast, I got interested in biohacking.” Yay, that's me. “And did my own research. I was so fascinated by you guys and all the health benefits that you talk about on the podcast, so I applied everything I learned from you two, and from doing my own research into my life. After my weight loss, my physician took me off of fenofibrate for a scheduled physical and my triglycerides were normal. I was no longer in the prediabetic range, and my IBS-C medication was also fully stopped by the fifth month of IF since I no longer needed it for regularity. My mood, mindset, and attitude was also improved by 50-fold. I no longer get frequent migraines, and I feel one with myself. The purpose of this email is to tell you my story and to show gratitude. You're changing lives, just like how you two helped change mine. The one interest I have is to be part of an intermittent fasting study. Do you guys know how I can go about this? Everyone needs to know what intermittent fasting is and we need to conduct more research about autophagy to really educate the community. Thank you, guys.” And then, she also attached photos to show the changes that she experienced. I really, really loved this email.

Gin Stephens: I loved it, too.

Melanie Avalon: Do you know how listeners can join studies?

Gin Stephens: Are you going to tell me?

Melanie Avalon: No.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] The way you said it sounded like, “I know the answer.” I have no idea. If you have connections, if you're in a research town where they're doing, I don't know. For example, the PREDICT 2 study was word of mouth. I don't even know who first told me that they were doing it. It might have been my friend, Sheri, the cohost of the podcast, Life Lessons, with me. Somebody was like, “Oh, look, they're looking for people to do the PREDICT 2 study.” I think word of mouth is one way a lot of these things spread through communities.

Melanie Avalon: I often see studies come across my emails occasionally. I actually the other day got one from my health insurer-- no, no, I think it was from Quest or LabCorp. I think it was Quest where you get blood draws. I'm on their email list and they sent out a thing where you could sign up to be in their pool for studies. I usually don't qualify for most of them because a lot of the times it's like you can't have had-- when they're like gut related, you can't have had like digestive issues or things like that. I'm like, “Oh, well, that's not me.” I will put links in the show notes, because there are some websites that you can go on, and you can sign up to potentially be matched to studies. I'll put links in the show notes to some of those links. Wait, how did you say, Gin, that you got the PREDICT study?

Gin Stephens: Well, I didn’t know that we were talking about it in the Intermittent Fasting group. I think it might have been my friend, Sheri. I don't know how she found out about it, but somebody was like, “Look, they're looking for people to do this study.” But I think it gets passed around sometimes in interested communities. I feel if there was an intermittent fasting study looking for participants that we would know in our communities.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, for example, just briefly googling, and I haven't used these, so I can't speak to if they're good sources or not. There's a website called researchmatch.org that will match you to studies, there's a website called antidote.me that will match you to studies. If you just google like how to join research studies, there are quite a few websites that pop up. That might be a good way to go. I would actually love to hear from listeners, I wonder if any of our listeners have been in any of the intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating studies.

Gin Stephens: That would be interesting. I wonder what they told them to drink. I'm always so curious.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, listeners, if you have been in one, please write in and tell us. I'm dying to know what that was like. So, yeah, hopefully that's helpful.

Gin Stephens: All right. Are we ready to go on?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Okay. We have a question from Francesca, and the subject is “Oura Ring.” She says, “First, I wanted to know what you thought of the Oura ring. I'm debating whether or not to buy one and have read conflicting opinions and views about its degree of usefulness. I tried looking through your podcasts to see if the titles mentioned them, but there are so many. I have really been working on improving my sleep. I wear blue-blocking glasses after dinner, have a weighted blanket, wear a sleep mask, and keep my room cool. I still tend to wake up a lot. I recently started using the Nutrisense CGM and I have high blood glucose levels during the night, even after they had been low all day. Even when I stopped eating by 6 PM, though they are somewhat lower when I do, they still will go up into the 120s during the night, even though when I go to bed, it will be in the 90s. I go to bed around 10 PM, I eat low carb 30 to 50 grams, moderate fat, 80 to 100 grams, and higher protein, 130 grams. As I am still looking to lose 10 pounds and I lift heavy weights to build muscle and I also do HIIT, do you have some information as to why blood glucose levels can rise so much at night? By the way, I enjoy your podcasts and have learned many useful things to help me with my IF lifestyle that I've been doing on and off for two years. Mostly, the best tip I picked up was not too long ago when it was brought out in your podcast that just the taste of something sweet, even Stevia, could spike insulin as the body anticipates food will be arriving. I usually drink tea and coffee with Stevia while fasting. Now I'm trying to forego the Stevia and have noticed I have much less hunger on my fasts. Thanks so much.”

Melanie Avalon: All right. Thanks so much, Francesca, for your questions. A few things to touch on. Actually, on our website, ifpodcast.com, you don't have to go through and look through all the titles, there's actually a search bar at the top, especially now that we have transcripts and all the show notes. If you search in the search bar, it'll pull up specific episodes that talk about it. Like I said, because we have the transcripts now, it really should pull it up if we've ever talked about it. Well, we only started the transcripts sort of recently, so it'll only search for the transcripts for the past few probably months or so. We haven't talked about Oura ring lot, and that's because I just recently got one, but oh my goodness, I am so obsessed with it. I'll put a link in the show notes because it will have aired by the time this episode comes out, the interview that I did with the founder, Harpreet Rai, that I actually really, really do recommend it.

I was really hesitant to get one for the longest time because I'm hesitant about information overload. I didn't want something telling me all the time, like if I was failing, or I didn't want to always be so aware of everything all the time and get all in my head about my health biomarkers because basically Oura ring, it measures your sleep cycles, your heart rate, your heart rate variability, your body temperature, your respiration, your activity levels. But actually, this is what I talked about in the interview with the founder, it is so comforting, in the way that it talks to you, it basically just gives you the information about your body and makes recommendations for how to tackle your day, how to make yourself better, when you should rest, when you should go harder, it's very empowering. That's how I would describe it. If you are a night person like me, it's not going to try to force you to become a morning owl. It's going to recommend that you go to bed at times that are actually pretty late, which is really exciting. Mine tells me that I should go to bed at like 1:30 AM.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it knows.

Melanie Avalon: It knows. Yeah. I think the software is designed to, if it thinks you should be going to bed earlier, I think it will try to gradually nudge you there by slowly encouraging you to go to bed early and earlier, but I'm pretty sure my Oura ring is never going to tell me to go to bed at 10 PM. Yeah, long story short, I really recommend it. Gin, maybe you can try one someday.

Gin Stephens: Maybe.

Melanie Avalon: Maybe, maybe.

Gin Stephens: When they come up with a smaller one. I don't like big rings. It's big.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it is big.

Gin Stephens: My friend, Sheri, has one that was here, and I kept staring at hers. I meant to try it on, but I forgot.

Melanie Avalon: I don't even really think about it, but people do ask me about it a lot, like, “What is that?” Does it look that strange? I guess so.

Gin Stephens: I don't think it looks strange. I think it's also the way my fingers are shaped, I have short stubby fingers and they don't look good with chunky rings. You know how some fingers look terrible with certain kind of rings? It looks too weird on my hand.

Melanie Avalon: That makes sense.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I've short stubby hands.

Melanie Avalon: He said in the future-- I'm really excited, might start partnering with some jewelry companies to make branded ones.

Gin Stephens: All right, I could get behind on that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, for listeners, I'll put a link in the show notes to the interview that I did with the founder. Oh, that was something I meant to mention at the beginning of the episode. I thought about this with her questions about the CGM. I released this week that Gin and I are recording my interview with Dr. Benjamin Bikman all about insulin. I knew it was a good interview, but I'm blown away by the response to it. The amount of feedback I'm getting from listeners, they're just obsessed. So many people have told me they listened to it multiple times that they've gone on the website and read the transcript that they immediately bought his book. For listeners that are interested in insulin that comes up all the time on the show, definitely check out that interview. It's two hours, but it's all things insulin, so that's really great.

Then, the Nutrisense CGM, the continuous glucose monitor, that is something that a lot of people seem to experience when they get the CGM is surprises in what their blood sugar is doing that they might not have anticipated. I don't know if it was Francesca who asked this exact question in my group or on my Instagram, but somebody asked me this exact question really recently, I think it was a different listener. A lot of people have experienced this as well, where they get the rising blood sugars in the evening, like while sleeping. It's hard to know because there could be a lot of things causing that. It could be a hormonal thing. I feel like it's most likely, in my opinion, probably a hormonal thing.

My suggestion, though, and this is not specific, but play around with your eating window and what you're eating and see how it affects things. Also focusing on your sleep, but it sounds like she's doing a lot to work on our sleep. She does the weighted blanket, the sleep mask, and the room cool. Oh, and she says she tends to wake up a lot. Yeah, it could be a sleep issue. Really just anything you can do to continue to support your sleep and then play around the food and the timing and see what happens, it sounds like she's an experimenter like myself. I will also put a link in the show notes to the interview that I did with the founder of Nutrisense, Kara Collier, because we did a really deep dive into CGMs. That was a lot of information. Gin, do you want to jump in.

Gin Stephens: No, I think that's great. It is so interesting now that we have CGMS, people were not measuring their blood glucose all night long. People just weren't doing it. People didn't know what it was doing. Now we're seeing it, it's hard to know what's normal, you know what I'm saying?

Melanie Avalon: When I first started using it, I was surprised by the very severe drops in blood sugar that I was getting, and that's what I was talking with another CGM app, Levels, about it. They were saying there's not actually like a lot of literature or studies on-- we don't actually know what is normal for nighttime blood sugar levels. It's what you just said.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, because just thinking about it, when would they have been testing people's blood sugar? Well, not continuously during the night while you're sleeping.

Melanie Avalon: I think if there are surprises, I'm not 100% certain about this, but just from my conversation with Tom at Levels, it seems it's likely that if it does tend to be not what we expect, that people's levels might drop lower.

Gin Stephens: That's what mine did. Mine dropped lower than I thought it should, or would, or I was like, “Wow, that's a surprise.”

Melanie Avalon: That's the opposite problem that Francesca is experiencing. But, yeah, so definitely play around with things and see what happens, and definitely feel free to report back. I will say, though, she says it goes up to the 120s, which it's hours and hours after she's eaten, which is weird that it's going up that high, but that's not crazily high.

Gin Stephens: And she's eating low carb.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Which makes me think maybe it's a cortisol thing, because cortisol increases blood sugar and interferes with sleep, and she has trouble sleeping, so it could be that your cortisol is spiking at night, raising your blood sugar, waking you up. A lot of people find-- her doing low carb, they find when they bring back carbs, that they sleep better because of how it hormonally affects them. I know you're really liking doing the lower carb approach, but you might want to consider either trying carb ups, cyclical keto, so having a carb up day, or trying a higher carb, lower fat approach.

Gin Stephens: All right. Yep. Good stuff.

Melanie Avalon: One last thing. Also, she's doing a lot of exercise too. She's doing a lot, so she might actually benefit from some carbs is what I'm thinking.

Gin Stephens: Maybe so, yeah. All right.

Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Vicki. The subject is “Iron Man Training.” Vicki says, “I love your podcast and really enjoy listening to it on my long runs. I currently am doing 18:6 IF most days. I get up and ride my trainer from 3:10 AM to 4 AM.” Oh my goodness, sorry, this is just me. 3:10 AM, that's so early. She says, “I am at work at 4:40 and I'm off at 1 or 2. I work at Trader Joe's, so I'm always active. In January, I will start Iron Man training again, which means in addition to my short workout in the morning, I will be running, riding, or swimming for two hours after work, and one day a week will be riding for five to six hours and a long run, 15 plus miles one day a week. I've done seven Iron Man distances, so I am not new to the training, but I am new to IF during training, and I'm really not trying to lose weight as I am 5’4”, 125 pounds. Any suggestions? Should I eat something small before my afternoon workout? Maybe shorten my fasting to 16:8? I'm not really sure I can ride six hours losing lots of fluids with nothing but water. Maybe take that day off? I really love all the benefits of IF, but I'm not sure how I'm going to make it worthwhile training. I would love your thoughts, and if you do address this, can you please let me know what episode as I am only on episode 19. Thank you so much. You ladies are fabulous.” I will speak really quickly to her last thing. We don't email after when we have your question on the show, so I'm sorry, you have to keep listening to save-- if the question comes on. So hopefully, Vicki heard this.

Gin Stephens: All right, so I have an episode of Intermittent Fasting Stories for people to listen to if they're interested in long-distance endurance athletes who do intermittent fasting. I interviewed someone named Lisa Glick for Episode 121. If you just go to Google and type in Intermittent Fasting Stories Episode 121, or Intermittent Fasting Stories Lisa Glick, either of those will take you to where you can find or you can just go to any podcast app, find Episode 121. Lisa talks about how she trains and runs and how intermittent fasting fits in with all of that. She basically has found that she has better endurance and her recovery time is better, thanks to intermittent fasting. She talks about how she makes it work, so listen to that episode.

Melanie Avalon: What does she do?

Gin Stephens: I can't recall exactly step by step. That episode came out November 12. It means I talked to her in about probably August or September, so I remember that she talked about what she does, but I can't tell you specifically, exactly.

Melanie Avalon: Do you remember if she lengthened her window or anything like that?

Gin Stephens: I know that she does not use the goo and things like that. She does not use stuff like that. She runs and works out in the fasted state.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, awesome. I will speak really quickly to the fluids. If Vicki is looking for electrolytes, I really, really recommend-- and I don't know when this episode is coming out, we probably still have a code with them for-- I'm pretty sure we will, Robb Wolf makes LMNT, which is an electrolyte mix and their unflavored one is completely clean fast approved. It's just electrolytes and water and it was specifically calculated to address electrolyte needs for people fasting or on ketogenic diets. I really, really recommend it. This offer ended yesterday, but hopefully it's still up, I think it might be, I'm going to see if I can get it extended for February. The link is drinklmnt.com. D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dotcom forward slash IFPODCAST. At least in January, you could get a free sampler pack which included eight packets of LMNT, two raw unflavored, that's the one that's clean, fast friendly, two citrus, two raspberry and two orange. By the way, the citrus one apparently is really great for margaritas as a mix. Also, you just pay $5 shipping, and you will get that all free. If you don't like it, they'll also refund you the shipping. If that offer is not still going, I'm sure there's probably going to be some sort of offer at that link. That's definitely something to try.

Then, just my thoughts about it is, I definitely think Iron Man or really intense marathons and all of these athletic endeavors can be paired with fasting. I think fasting is really supportive to these type of things because of the fat-burning state that you are put into. I think most people don't need to pre-fuel with food. That said, I think if you are doing that, a lot of people probably will benefit what Vicki was thinking of extending the eating window, you might find it's just not possible and one meal a day to adequately support yourself based on your own personal needs. Then also, this is a little bit-- I don't know if this is controversial, but I do know a lot of people in the Ketogains community, when they're doing really intense specific training, they actually will take a tiny bit of pure dextrose before. I can't really speak to that, but if you go on Facebook and join the Ketogains Facebook group, there's a lot of talk in there about that. And that's if you're specifically ketogenic, I think.

Also, I actually really recommend Siim Land’s book, Stronger by Stress. I think it's that one that has a really good overview. One of his books, I'm pretty sure that one did, had a really good overview of how to with training and muscle building and different things, how to work with that with fasting. So, yes, we can put links to all of those resources in the show notes, but I think the biggest idea to tackle, is that you can definitely do stuff fasted, but you might need to adjust your eating window and everything surrounding it and your carb levels and definitely want to make sure that you're taking care of electrolytes.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and you can figure out what feels right to you. Listen to Lisa Glick’s episode, see what she does, tinker around with what you're doing, too. Maybe what works for Lisa is going to feel wrong for you. You’ve got to see.

Melanie Avalon: Also, I am just super in awe of Vicki. I was reading that question, I was like, “Oh my goodness. This is so much stuff.” Awesome.

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Gin Stephens: We have a question from Samantha Tuff, and the subject is “Whole Foods Sweeteners, Sugar versus Aspartame, Rick Johnson.” She says, “Hi ladies, I am still loving the podcast, the discussions and the banter. Thank you for educating me in such an enjoyable way. I'm so glad I stumbled into the IF lifestyle. I listened to Episode 149 on fructose and upon your recommendation, listen to Peter Attia’s interview with Rick Johnson. So much good info, but I was curious about your thoughts on his comparison between Coke and Diet Coke. His personal recommendation, including his choice for his own children, is diet soda over regular soda. This surprised me. We are a fairly antisugar family. We limit and restrict sweet intake as much as possible while still enjoying holidays and birthdays. At parties, our children choose cake as they understand it's a treat or an indulgence, but on the off chance that we indulge, I like to choose the best option possible. I was surprised to hear a doctor prefer the diet product. I would think that all of those sugar is not ideal, it is still a more natural option than aspartame. Your thoughts?

He also compares maple syrup to high fructose corn syrup. I thought it would be a more natural sweetener, therefore a better option for sweetening or baking. Do you have an opinion on honey? Basically, I want to educate my children, but still give them treats now and again, but with the best possible options. I would love your thoughts on different sweetener options used for baking special occasions, or heaven forbid everyday use. Thanks in advance for your time. All the best to you both. Thanks, Sam Tuff.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Sam. Thanks so much for your question. Rick Johnson, he is one of the major figures really in the anti-fructose movement, so he's very much not a fan of fructose.

Gin Stephens: Is he like never eat fruit also?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, he's not a fan of fruit much either. I actually really do want to interview him, because I'm like, seriously, I don't know why I'm so obsessed with fructose and fruit and think about it way more than I should. I feel the fructose studies are, I don't know-- I want to read his book and interview him and flesh out some of his thoughts. It's been a while since I've listened to that interview but I think I do remember him talking about that, so I'm just going to tell you my personal thoughts on everything and then you can do what resonates with you. In general, I think that I'm not a fan of artificial sweeteners at all.

Gin Stephens: Ditto, ditto, ditto.

Melanie Avalon: For a lot of reasons. By artificial sweeteners, I'm not including in that stevia, or monk fruit. I'm also not actually including like xylitol or erythritol. I'm talking about aspartame, saccharin.

Gin Stephens: NutraSweet is aspartame. Splenda is-- what is that one?

Melanie Avalon: Sucralose?

Gin Stephens: Yes, it's sucralose.

Melanie Avalon: And saccharin. Those three I'm not a fan of. I think the biggest problem with them is what they do to our gut microbiome potentially, just how they're processed by the body, they're not natural. They tell your body that sweet’s coming in, but then you're not eating sweets, so it's confusing. I just do not advocate those at all.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I agree to the point that there are very few things that I will not put into my body. If I know something has aspartame or sucralose, I will not put it into my body. I'll eat a Dorito, but I will not drink a diet soda.

Melanie Avalon: I'm not advocating this, because I don't think it's the ideal option. If I was forced for some reason, the only time I would choose maybe the artificial sweetener over sugar would be if I had just eaten a super, super high-fat diet. Maybe I was trying to do keto and I was eating all the fat, and then I was like, “Oh, I just need something sweet,” and I had to choose between something with sugar or something with an artificial sweetener, I think in that situation, I might choose an artificial sweetener just because I'm super concerned about combining all of that fat and sugar at the same time. Either way, they're not ideal and if that were the case, hopefully, I would choose something like stevia or monk fruit which in the eating window. I don't personally really eat stevia or monk fruit or xylitol or erythritol. For some people they can work, as far as honey and maple syrup and things like that. If I had to choose something to sweeten food with, I would you sweetening it with honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, especially if it was a baked good situation where you're making your own-- and that's what she's asking about making treats and things like that. That's definitely what I would choose. Actually, because right now I'm reading Terry Wahls’ book-- was it in her book? I think it was. Some book that I was reading really recently, it was actually talking about the potential benefits of maple syrup. I don't remember if it was--

Gin Stephens: And raw honey. I eat raw honey.

Melanie Avalon: When it comes to honey, there actually are potentially a lot of benefits to honey. I think it depends on--

Gin Stephens: Like manuka honey.

Melanie Avalon: Manuka honey has potentially a ton of benefits. Most “normal honey” gets its benefits from the way that it creates hydrogen peroxide, I think, which is like an antiseptic in your body, so it can be antiviral and antifungal. Manuka honey in addition to that actually has some property that also does all that stuff, but it's not by the hydrogen peroxide. That's why it's called the-- what does it the non-hydrogen peroxide potential? It's called the non-peroxide antibacterial activity, which I always think is funny. Yeah, basically, everything I just said. I would choose when baking and things like that, the honey and the maple syrup, coconut sugar, I would just avoid artificial sweeteners at all costs. If you want to go the sweet route that doesn't have actual sugar, I would choose-- not while fasting, but in the eating window, I would choose stevia, monk fruit, potentially erythritol or xylitol, those last two can create GI distress in some people.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yes. The sugar alcohols. Yes, they did for me. [laughs] Oh, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Some people tolerate them really well, and especially in baking, I think they can be subbed out-- one of them, either both of them or one of them is like a one to one sub out for sugar.

Gin Stephens: I think erythritol is.

Melanie Avalon: Erythritol? Yeah. There's also some blends that are like erythritol, monk fruit. There's a lot of different, if you go to Whole Foods, there's an array of options. I think it's really just about finding what works for you. Also, that you might find the benefit of if you're baking, having some of the honey and maple syrup, but then maybe also getting some of the sweet potential by baking with substitutes as well. I'm just so haunted by this fructose question, I think, because the Ray Peat people are so like pro fructose, and I'm opposite ideas.

Gin Stephens: I just have a really hard time with anybody who claims that real foods are so terrible, like fruit. I have a really hard time with the claim that humans are not supposed to eat fruit, or any other real food that people have been eating for thousands of years. I have a really hard time with that. Maybe in the modern world where everything is crazy, but there's a lot of difference between high fructose corn syrup and an apple.

Melanie Avalon: Huge difference.

Gin Stephens: There's so many comments. I was reading something today, and it talked about-- I mean, we know about vitamins, we know about certain phytochemicals, we know about certain things in foods, but we know so little about what's really in that apple that's good for us. We haven't isolated and identified all the things. There are thousands of compounds in that apple that are doing things in our bodies that are positive. You can't be like, “Well, that compound is the one good one and that's the one bad one,” no. It's synergistic. It works together. Dr. Fung says it really well in The Obesity Code. He says the antidote is packed in there with it, the antidote to the poison. Your body knows what to do with the whole apple. Whereas if you just give it high fructose corn syrup, your body's like, “What is this nonsense?”

Melanie Avalon: I think probably the reason that fruit gets so demonized is because the studies on high fructose corn syrup are-- what it does is really, really terrible. I think it's really easy to want to extend that to fruit because we think fruit and fructose, but it's just not the same in real food form. Send me one if you find one, I have not found a study showing problems with fruit, in its natural form.

Gin Stephens: To be honest, if I was going to give what something to my child right now in 2021, if I had a kid over and wanted to give them a soda, I would actually choose-- instead, I would just give them a flavored sparkling water. They have so many of those now. A good high quality or a kombucha. Something like that.

Melanie Avalon: A nonalcoholic one.

Gin Stephens: Well, definitely, I would not choose an alcoholic kombucha, but I think there's so many things like that you can give them. I would not give them either a regular Coke or a Diet Coke. If I absolutely wanted to give them something like a Coke, it would be like a Mexican Coke because they have real sugar, not corn syrup.

Melanie Avalon: The Ray Peat people, they're actually really pro-fueling on sugar. They actually drink Mexican Coke.

Gin Stephens: Pepsi Throwback, I don't even know if they still make that. It was Pepsi Throwback, and you could buy it everywhere. It was made with real sugar. I bought that for years. I haven't bought it in years now though, but for a period of time that's what I chose when I wanted to have a soda, Pepsi Throwback.

Melanie Avalon: I remember listening to that interview with Rick Johnson. One of the most fascinating takeaways that I took from it was-- that's where I learned that fructose is the only sugar that actually costs calories to use because it has to be converted to something and then converted again, and then there's like an energy loss in that process. Which was really interesting. Which I remember he said that, and I was like, “Well, that makes me feel like a really high fruit diet.” [laughs] -the way to go.

Gin Stephens: Especially if it's real fruit. You're eating the whole fruit, I think. I think that's important. That's what another thing I got out of The Obesity Code, eat the whole fruit.

Melanie Avalon: There was also something about, if you just immediately burn sugar or carbs, it releases or provides X amount of energy, but if you convert it to glycogen and then burn it later, both of those conversion processes burn energy to do.

Gin Stephens: Okay, [unintelligible [00:57:50] That makes sense. But, yeah, I actually use maple syrup and honey in baking. My bread recipe has honey in it. I use raw honey, and I made these amazing pecan bars for-- Oh, by the way, how do you say that? I bet you say pe-caan, do you say pee-can?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: I made pecan bars that were sweetened with maple syrup over the holidays. They were so good. They were on like a shortbread crust, instead of like a pie. It was like pecan pie, but instead it was bars, and it was on a shortbread crust with maple syrup instead of corn syrup. Lots and lots of pecans. It was absolutely delicious.

Melanie Avalon: I'm just searching through Terry Wahls’ book. I don't think it was in her books. So, I don't want to misquote her. I don't remember-- It was something I was reading recently about maple syrup. It's probably going to come to me once we hang up, but it was some unique benefit in it.

Gin Stephens: I will say that Christmas morning, we were at my dad's and my stepmother had made breakfast and she had this orange juice. One of my nieces was like, “This orange juice tastes really different.” Chad had some and I tasted it and I was like, “Oh my God, what's wrong with this juice?” It was the diet juice, and it was sweetened with artificial sweeteners. I was like, “Stop drinking that, Chad.” [crosstalk] Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: It was orange juice. Do they take out the sugar and add in?

Gin Stephens: I don't know what they do but it was diet orange juice. Oh my God, it tasted like poison.

Melanie Avalon: That is crazy.

Gin Stephens: I don't drink orange juice. We don't have it in the house. For example, if I was really sick, when I'm sick, I crave orange juice.

Melanie Avalon: Maybe it's because of the vitamin C?

Gin Stephens: Probably. I crave orange juice with pulp. If I had a sore throat, I would send Chad to the grocery store to get like a high-quality orange juice with the pulp in it and I would just drink it. That just makes me feel so much better. That stuff, it was orange watery grossness with artificial something.

Melanie Avalon: I think we talked about this before.

Gin Stephens: What?

Melanie Avalon: The one fruit that like I loathe.

Gin Stephens: Is it oranges?

Melanie Avalon: Like instant headache. I cannot even.

Gin Stephens: Oranges gives you a headache? I don't remember that.

Melanie Avalon: I remember growing up, I didn't understand how people could eat oranges because you know when you're a kid, you feel like if you're reacting that way other people must react. In my head, it was oranges, headaches. Instant headache. If I think about an orange, like I'm thinking about orange right now and I'm getting a headache. There must be some compound in it that my body hates.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, there must be.

Melanie Avalon: Like loathes. Oh, I thought what I was going to say really quick, I have a theory that I want to share with you.

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: It never occurred to me, but I'm wondering if this is the case. Often, well, not all the time. I have seen people report and somebody reported this in my Facebook group the other day, which is what made me think of it. Sometimes, people will do like whole foods diets and they'll feel they aren't ever really satisfied and then they'll binge on conventional food, they'll feel full for the first time. Have you seen that? I see that a lot.

Gin Stephens: No. You're saying that they switch over to a whole foods diet, they don't feel satisfied?

Melanie Avalon: They don't even have to binge, but they'll eat like-- usually it's like a flour-based thing, like cake or cookies or something, and then they'll feel full.

Gin Stephens: I wonder if someone has-- if they're limiting natural starches. For example, for me, I talked about that I'm doing the Zoe from PREDICT 3, I'm eating according to my recommendations. If I don't eat something starchy, I don't feel satisfied. Beans, that's why I'm eating so many beans because I feel so full from beans. If I were eating everything else, but no beans, I think I'd be hungry.

Melanie Avalon: I'll have to see. I feel like sometimes this also happens with people who are eating sweet potatoes and stuff like that. It could be that. My initial theory used to always be that it was a stress response thing. Maybe they're doing low carb, and then they have this high carb, like floury-type thing and they finally feel full. It's an insulin and a stress response thing. I was thinking about it, I wonder if it's because flour is fortified with vitamins. Maybe if sometimes we're not absorbing nutrients, we're not getting enough nutrients, and maybe that that high dose of vitamins. I know they're synthetic, but in a concentrated form. I wonder if that hit temporarily makes you feel full. Nobody's ever brought this up, but I was just thinking about it that maybe that's the case.

Gin Stephens: The vitamins, because you weren't absorbing that? That’s an interesting theory.

Melanie Avalon: Fortified foods.

Gin Stephens: I don't know. I am very skeptical about the fortification itself of those things, because I'm not sure it's a good quality fortification, you know what I'm saying? I'm not sure our bodies can really absorb them.

Melanie Avalon: I don't think it's a good thing at all.

Gin Stephens: I don't know that your body's like, “Oh, good, the vitamins and nutrients I was looking for.”  I'm not sure those are well absorbed and utilized.

Melanie Avalon: I'm just wondering if maybe sometimes if people have been following a whole foods diet for a long time, if they're lacking in one of the vitamins and if their body is really craving that vitamin, if there is the potential that when they eat this floury food that they are actually-- because of gut issues and nutrient depletion of modern food, if they're just able to temporarily maybe absorb that vitamin and they get that.

Gin Stephens: Definitely is filling some kind of void, obviously. For me, it's that my body has to have starches for satiety, like I have to. The starchy beans. By the way, guess how many grams of fiber I ate yesterday? I hate to count anything, but you have to put it in the app to get your score. I want you to just guess how many grams of fiber I ate.

Melanie Avalon: It's probably the grams of protein that I-- was it like 200?

Gin Stephens: No, it was 73. I was like, I wonder what the recommendation is, I don't know. The recommendation is 35, and it's like, “Be cautious if you go over 70, that could be too much fiber.”

Melanie Avalon: I wonder how much I eat every day because I eat so much fruit. I feel I probably eat 40 or 50.

Gin Stephens: Well, 73. I ate 73 grams of fiber yesterday. I had lentils at one point, then later I had black beans.

Melanie Avalon: I love it. We are so different.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I feel so full and satisfied. It's really important. It's weird that I'm not having-- it because my body doesn't clear the fat well, so I'm not having-- I would normally throw some cheese and some sour cream on there, but it's always like, “Nope, too much fat.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. Is that app-- Is it just for the study? Can anybody download it?

Gin Stephens: You have to have done the study because that's how it does. Yeah, because it doesn't know what to recommend. It's personalized to me. That's what's so interesting. A bunch of the moderators have done it as well and we're comparing our scores and they're different. My score for an avocado might be different than my friend, Roxy's, score for an avocado, or also, how much fat my body can handle is different than how much, because Roxy is-- she clears that well, so she gets different scores. She can put more avocado and eggs and whatever on her whatever it is she's eating, than I can. I can eat it, it's just a matter of the way I combine it and stack it. Like last night, I was having black beans and I wanted to put a whole avocado on top, and the meal scored high. When I put it into my day, it lowered my whole day score because it was too much fat all stacked together. I had to go in and instead of a whole avocado, I just ate half of the avocado, and then it was higher.

Melanie Avalon: Have you had nutritional yeast?

Gin Stephens: I have.

Melanie Avalon: That's why I thought about the fortified thing because I recently bought it and I am blown away.

Gin Stephens: Do you feel good eating it?

Melanie Avalon: Well, yes and no. The thing I'm blown away by is the nutrient panel. I'm just blown-- I'm like, “This is the highest source of all of these vitamins that I think I've ever--" I think it might be the most nutrient-dense food that there is, now that I think about it. I might research this. It's just vitamins, it's like all it is. It's like these yeasts just crave vitamins.

Gin Stephens: It really adds a great, like umami flavor to thing.

Melanie Avalon: Tastes divine.

Gin Stephens: Yep. I had it recently when Cal and Kate were here. Kate's vegetarian and one of the meals that I got from Green Chef, it was a vegetarian meal and the nutritional yeast was in something,

Melanie Avalon: It's been making me feel a lot fuller. The thing is, I feel I get a little bit of brain fog from it. I know it's a deactivated yeast. It's not like candida or anything like that. People can still react to it as if it were an active yeast. I feel it might give me a little bit of brain fog, but I will say for listeners, I'll put a link in the show notes to the brand that I've been buying because you want to make sure that you don't get the fortified version because most nutritional yeast, like almost all of it, is fortified because it's basically super high. Like I said, I'm blown away. All the B vitamins except B12, iron, molybdenum, selenium, one serving is like 40% of your iron. It's crazy. They're usually fortified with B12, because they want it to be a complete B supplement thing for vegans. I really, really don't recommend fortification with B12, which is folic acid, because it's not properly used by the body, it can interfere with their own use of B12 or folate. There's two brands. Well, the brand I really like is [unintelligible [01:07:33] I'll put a link to it in the show notes. Sorry, that was a tangent. That's why I thought though that maybe there was something to do with vitamins and fortified foods.

Gin Stephens: Maybe that's an interesting theory. I don't know. I just know that. If I don't get--

Melanie Avalon: Starch.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I just can't be satisfied.

Melanie Avalon: Have you seen Hamilton?

Gin Stephens: I have not. [unintelligible [01:07:53] said that before. I have not seen Hamilton. I don't like musicals.

Melanie Avalon: I know there's a song called Satisfied. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. The show notes which will have a full transcript will be at ifpodcast.com/Episode198. You can submit your own questions to the podcast. Just go to ifpodcast.com and submit questions there. Or, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com. You can follow us on Instagram. I saw that Gin put a picture of her sauna on Instagram. I am about to upload today a video. I'm going to do a video on how to do Wim Hof breathing. So I am loving Instagram. It's so fun, so you can follow us there by our names. I think that is everything. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

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

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

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

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Jan 24

Episode 197: Weight Set Point, Indigestion, Hydrochloric Acid (HCL), Fasting Burps, Coordinating Family Meals on OMAD, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 197 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

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SHOW NOTES

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19:15 - INSIDETRACKER: Go To MelanieAvalon.Com/GetInsideTracker And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

21:40 - Listener Q&A: Becky - how do I know my maintenance weight?

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Join Melanie's Facebook Group At Facebook.com/groups/paleoOMAD For A Weekly Episode GIVEAWAY, And To Discuss And Learn About All Things Biohacking! All Conversations Welcome!

37:40 - Listener Q&A: Samantha - Fasting Burps/Supplements in Canada?

ATRANTIL: Use The Link Lovemytummy.com/ifp With The Code IFP, To Get 10% Off!

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

47:35 - biOptimizers: Go To bioptimizers.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save 10% Any Order!

49:20 - Listener Q&A: Jennifer - “Question”

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 197 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 Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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One more thing before you jump in. Are you concerned about aging? Well, thankfully, fasting is super incredible for its anti-aging benefits. It activates genes in your body called sirtuins, which repair your body and help extend lifespan. Also, during the fast, your body can clean up a lot of harmful chemicals which may be taxing your detoxification systems. In fact, the reason people go gray is because their detox systems start producing a lot of hydrogen peroxide when dealing with toxins. Do you know where a lot of those chemicals come from? Your skincare and makeup. As it turns out, there are 1000s of compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup that Europe has banned due to their toxic nature and the US has banned less than 10. When you put these on your skin every single day through your skincare makeup, you're adding to your body's burden and likely aging your skin faster.

Thankfully, you can easily clean up your skincare with a company called Beautycounter. They make incredible products that are extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can feel good about every single ingredient that you put on. They also have an amazing anti-aging line called Countertime. Friends, this is a game-changer. It's full of active ingredients which nourish and support your skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and support a beautiful glow. It also has a safe alternative to retinol. So you can get all of the anti-aging benefits of retinol without any of the toxic effects of retinol, because, yes, that stuff is toxic. Guys, put it away now.

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Lastly, if you anticipate making safe skincare a part of your future, just like Gin and I do? Definitely become a band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for safe skincare. You get 10% back on all of your purchases, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift, that costs way more than the price of the membership. It's completely worth it. Friends, are you fasting clean inside and out? You can with Beautycounter. Again, that link is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show.

Hi everybody and welcome, this is Episode number 197 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I'm great. I am officially starting to work on my next book.

Melanie Avalon: Ooh. That is exciting.

Gin Stephens: It is exciting. It is not an intermittent fasting book.

Melanie Avalon: Last time when you wrote Fast. Feast. Repeat-- that book you did start completely afresh, right? Or did you already have anything written?

Gin Stephens: Well, when I started writing that one, I already had a complete outline of it. Yes, I had a complete outline that my literary agent sent out to different publishing houses. Then one of them bought it. It was St. Martin's Press of Macmillan, and so that's how that went. But this time, when you're already a published author with a publishing house, they get-- well, I guess it depends on your agreement. But they get first right of refusal, I guess, I don't know if that's the right publishing lingo, but they get the first chance to say yes to my next book, and my next book--

Melanie Avalon: Who get dibs basically.

Gin Stephens: Exactly. We pitched a few things in a casual way. My editor’s like, “Yeah, write that one.” That's what I'm doing. I'm so excited. I can't talk about much yet, but more to come. I have a very tight deadline.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you do?

Gin Stephens: I do.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, man. Have you written anything? Or is it like, you’ve got to just start everything now.

Gin Stephens: I’ve got to just start. I've been thinking about it for months. It develops in my mind. Actually, here's what's really funny. I'm not going to announce what it's about yet, but this is based on concepts that I really wanted to write about almost 20 years ago.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I did not know that.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I actually have an outline of a book I wanted to write. It's not the same book, but it was a similar concept. I have it from like, gosh, probably almost 20 years ago, like I said. It's a topic that's near and dear to my heart. Just general teaser there.

Melanie Avalon: My correlation to that is Taylor Swift and her most recent album, one of the lines she wanted to write in the song since high school.

Gin Stephens: Love it. Yeah, this is not a topic that's new to my heart, but I haven't written a book about it yet. Like I said, that outline that is in this notebook from so long ago.

Melanie Avalon: I am very excited.

Gin Stephens: This book is not going to be anything like I would have written 20 years ago, obviously. But, yeah, I know, Melanie knows the topic, so I'm very excited about it. People in the intermittent fasting community, I think, will really like it, but also it'll have a broader appeal.

Melanie Avalon: I am so excited.

Gin Stephens: Yay, me, too. I have a lot of work to do. I ordered things that I need. I'm like one of those people that needs the right tools. I'm very old school, so I got I've ordered some new toner cartridges for my printer because I do a ton of printing because I like to work from paper. I've ordered some highlighters.

Melanie Avalon: You print out what you're doing and then you--

Gin Stephens: I need paper. I’ve got to have paper. I have old school highlighters. I get those little post-it flags so you can flag things. I got a big file folder, like accordion folder, because I like to file the papers by topic. [laughs] That's how I work.

Melanie Avalon: That's legit.

Gin Stephens: It is. Like I said, I'm old school. When I write my dissertation-- Oh, actually, here's a funny story. Right this today was the day that we're recording this that I submitted my dissertation for approval, it showed up in my Facebook memories.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Isn't that funny? It was either 2008 or 2009, so that's been a long time. When I was writing my dissertation, I just had piles of papers.

Melanie Avalon: It's crazy to think how long Facebook has been around.

Gin Stephens: Facebook, I know.

Melanie Avalon: I don't know why I feel like-- I don't feel like it's still new, but it doesn't feel like it's been around for like that part of my life that long.

Gin Stephens: So, yup, I was new to Facebook, it was 2008. Funny story-- well, I guess it's not a funny story, but I had been in the hospital for 10 days with Cal working on my dissertation, finishing it up because he had just had appendicitis, really bad and it ruptured, and then he had to have a second surgery. We were just there forever, but we spent 10 days in the hospital, got out the day before Christmas Eve, but it really allowed me to finish things up. But Facebook was new to me back then.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, actually, now that you say that, I remember when I first signed up for Facebook, and it was 2008. Yeah, it would have been 2008. So, that is correct.

Gin Stephens: It was 2008 for me, and it's so much fun looking at those memories, but it also is funny that even now so many years later, that's still how I research with my piles of papers and my highlighters, and that's just-- I learn better on paper. I think that we actually have research that shows that the tactile experience of paper, it's different than reading electronically.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It definitely is. I'm just thinking about all the ways I consume media researching everything, like audiobooks versus Kindle versus the physical books. It does feel different.

Gin Stephens: If I really need to learn something, I have to have the paper. I really do better with it. I think that there's, like I said, research that supports that with kids as well. So I hope that we don't think that we should do away with paper books.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. No, 100%. I have an update.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yay. What's your update?

Melanie Avalon: There was something I meant to say, last episode I interviewed Jason Fung.

Gin Stephens: Yay.

Melanie Avalon: It's so exciting. I mentioned you a lot on that show. Just because I was saying that, I mean, we talk about him all the time on this show.

Gin Stephens: Did he say Gin Stephens, who is that?

Melanie Avalon: No, he did not. [laughs] I realize I just mentioned you, I didn't even say Gin Stephens. I just mentioned you, I assumed he already knew who you were. He probably does. But I remember after I said it, I was like, “Oh, I guess I just sort of assumed that he knows who you are.” Yeah, it was really, really great. It's funny because when I first started my other show, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, I really wanted to bring him on. I assumed at that time that when I brought him on, it would be about fasting, because that's his thing, but his newest book, as I mentioned before and as listeners might know, is about cancer. So, that was what the episode was about. It was really, really fascinating, really. I feel listeners will learn a lot.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's fabulous. I will always be a Jason Fung fan.

Melanie Avalon: Me, too. He's so nice, too.

Gin Stephens: He really is. Yeah, he seems like such a nice guy.

Melanie Avalon: He's just a really nice person. So that was quite an honor. I have one other really tiny little thing. You know how last episode we were talking about, the listener had the question about not being able to handle carbs and glucose. We were talking about like fructose and glucose and glycogen and fat and all of that. I mentioned that I was listening to an episode with Peter Attia that basically went deep, deep, deep into the metabolism of all those things. After we finished recording, I was like, “You know what, I should probably finish listening to this episode.” I did. You know how I always talk about that when they do studies on people overeating carbohydrates that really-- it's only really a tiny amount that becomes fat?

Gin Stephens: Yep. And often that their metabolism increases-- [crosstalk] Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: The speaker who I really am going to try to get on my show, he's a professor at Yale. So, I emailed him last night to his professor email, we shall see. He was talking about that process, but then he was actually saying that and people who are insulin resistant and who have metabolic issues that, it can double like the normal rate of fat from carbs.

Gin Stephens: That makes total sense though, think about that. If you have really, really high levels of insulin, all the time, your body is primed to store more things.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so I felt bad that I felt good because he said that I was like, “Oh, man.” I was like, I've been like saying this whole time, and then Peter Attia asked him. He literally asked him about the studies I had read, he said, “You know that they do these studies that test with overfeeding carbs and it really isn't that much of a change.” Peter wanted to clarify, like, “Is that not the case in insulin resistance?” And he said, “Yeah, it does seem to be more.” I felt a little bit better that I guess, Peter Attia was thinking the same thing as me. The good thing is, he said it can double like the normal amount. The normal amount still isn't that high. It's still I think much harder to gain a lot of extra fat from excess carbs compared to extra fat, given the context.

Gin Stephens: Most people do not just eat excess carbs in isolation, and that is why people are so confused because if you say, “Hey, I eat too many carbs,” so tell me what that looks like. And they'll start naming things like pizza and doughnuts and french fries, which are carbs. Also, fat, people just really are confused by what a carb is, like a cookie. If you said, “Is this a carb or a fat?” People would probably say, “Oh, that cookie is a carb.” No.” It is carbs, but it also has a ton of fat. That's I think what really is confusing. People very rarely eat a high carb, low fat diet.

Melanie Avalon: Where it's actually low fat.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: They didn't discuss this specifically, but I would love to bring them on my podcast. I could just pick his brain so much, but I do wonder, in a really insulin resistant person with metabolic syndrome, I wonder what it would look like if they only ate carbs and way overate, compared to an insulin sensitive person, how much fat could be created?

Gin Stephens: Here's the study we need. We need to compare two groups of people doing the same exact thing, people who are metabolically healthy and lean compared to people who have metabolic syndrome and give them the exact same ratio, and see what happens. That'd be fascinating. You and I could design studies.

Melanie Avalon: We could.

Gin Stephens: I totally could. I joke about this in Feast Without Fear, my second book. I taught elementary kids how to do science fair projects. Controlling your variables is like science fair 101. Fourth graders can get it. I remember reading them when we were doing our science fair unit one year, I read them a nutritional study and the children were able to find the flaws, fourth graders. They're like, “You can't do that. They didn't control the variables” I'm like, “Yes, I get it. Yes.”

Melanie Avalon: It's so hard to in a free-living situation.

Gin Stephens: Well, it is. It's easier with paper airplanes than it is with humans.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. The other thing I wanted to clarify, I think this is what I said last time, but I wanted to double clarify because I finished listening to it. His primary theory, this guy, who I really want to interview is that in insulin resistance, first, it's not the liver that becomes insulin resistant, per se, it's the muscles. The muscles throughout our body stop adequately taking up glucose, like blood sugar, sugar from our food, and then the liver becomes insulin resistant. And then everything just goes from there, way worse.

Gin Stephens: All gunked up from there.

Melanie Avalon: He was talking about the massive benefits of exercise for insulin resistance, that is something I was familiar with. But I think I'm realizing more and more how important exercise is because there is non-insulin-dependent glucose uptake into the muscles. Even if you are insulin resistant and can't get glucose into your muscles through the normal mechanism of insulin, you can through exercise. That's why one reason it can be so, so important.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's fascinating. Makes sense. It totally makes sense. Our bodies are amazing. Man, they're not just little simple in/out boxes, there's so much going on.

Melanie Avalon: Also, the evolutionary benefit. Insulin resistance is probably an evolutionary thing. It's our bodies trying to protect us from starvation.

Gin Stephens: Everything our bodies do is to protect us. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: It has good intentions, it just goes all wrong.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, because we're doing all these wacky things that we think are the right things to do, and they're the opposite. And our body's like, “Let me help you with that.”

Melanie Avalon: And like the body Setpoint, which the interview coming up this week. Good times.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, absolutely.

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, this show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode197. I'll put links to all that stuff that we just talked about.

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Shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Yep, let's get started.

Melanie Avalon: All right, so to start things off, we have a question from Becky. The subject is, “How do I know my maintenance weight?” Becky says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie, I love your show. Super fun. Thanks. I've been fasting for four and a half months. Now, I usually do a five-hour window. But I am not super strict and sometimes open it up to eight hours, and sometimes tighten it to three. I clean fast all of my fast. It worked fairly well, and I love how I feel, but my results are interesting/confusing. I started at 182 pounds, I'm 5’8” with an athletic build, and very quickly got to the mid 170s. As the weeks went on, my weight loss slowed, though. Interesting to look back at the Happy Scale app and see that it was 2 pounds per week initially, then 1, then 0.7, then 0.5, then 0.3, etc. Now for weeks, it has been point one pound per week. Well, actually for the past couple of weeks, it has been no loss at all, because I've been eating Christmas goodies. Currently, I'm hovering between 168.5 and 170 pounds.

My question is this, how do I know what my final/maintenance weight will be? When I got married 12 years ago, I weighed 167.5 pounds. I looked fantastic and I was super proud of myself. Like I said, I have an athletic build. I've always been a competitive swimmer. I've competed in triathlons and other races for fun. I'm happy with the way I look, and my husband tells me I don't need to lose any more, but I wonder if I should be shooting for a lower weight? Or is it even possible? I wear a size 8, so I think perhaps I'm just a very dense person. Your thoughts/insights would be appreciated. Thank you so much, Becky.”

Gin Stephens: This is such a great question because so many of us get hung up on that number on the scale, which is why I ended up throwing my scale away. I've told this story a million times. I haven't seen a number on the scale since 2017. I haven't seen a number. The question is, how do I know my maintenance weight? The thing that I think is so important is that you can't know. I've seen so many people really, really stress over a number. They get in their minds that they have to weigh--  let's say for you. You said you weighed 167.5, Becky, and you looked fantastic, and you're proud of yourself and your husband thinks you look great where you are right this minute, but you remember 167.5 is a golden weight for you. Even though right now you weigh between 168.5 and 170, which by the way is statistically you're there at the same weight because weight goes up and down. You're just right in there. Even with a margin of error, if you have a different scale, you could weigh exactly the same amount in your scales just weighing you differently. Does that make sense, Melanie? Do you understand what I'm trying to say? There's like a standard error of measurement with any tool or device or anything. Maybe you're 168 to 170 now is the same as your other scale was at 167.5.

My point is that if you decided you had to see 167.5 on the scale in order to be happy, I think you'd be setting yourself up for long term failure and disappointment just because our bodies are naturally going to fluctuate, and so much of it depends on our body composition. If you're super muscular which you say that you are, you've got that athletic build, and you feel great in your body, and you look great in your clothes in your size that you like, I would 100% forget about the number. You could even gain weight on the scale, and lose fat and be leaner, but your weight is higher on the scale. I think you're now at the point where your scale number is meaningless.

Right now take photos of yourself wearing an outfit that you feel great in or even if you have a pair of pants that are a little tight, make those your honesty pants, take photos from all the different angles with those pants on. Then three months from now, take the photos again and compare. I bet you'll find you're a little bit leaner three months from now, but your weight may not change at all on the scale. I would consider that you're right now in your maintenance range, and let your body do what it does with body recomposition over time. You have my permission to never worry about a number again. It's why I love the Shapa scale so much, I just worry about what my overall color trend is doing, and I don't have to see a number. What do you have to say, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: I love that. I'm just pondering how crazy technology and the concept of time is because I am going to refer Becky to an episode that I have not recorded but will have aired two days ago or three days ago, last Friday. When this episode comes out, this is a Monday, the Friday that just passed, I will have aired that episode about Setpoint. Although I haven't even recorded it yet, but I anticipate.

Gin Stephens: We're time traveling fasters.

Melanie Avalon: I anticipate I will be talking about a lot of this because what's really interesting is she talks about she saw a very consistent weight loss trend on the Happy Scale with the two pounds, and then 0.7, then 0.5, then 0.3, and now 0.1. And that's something at least Jonathan Bailor who I'm interviewing, he has a documentary coming out in his book, Setpoint something. The word ‘setpoint’ is in the title. As you’re losing weight, a lot of things are happening, so there's less of you, so you lost weight. Automatically, your daily energy expenditure automatically is not going to be as high because the more you weigh the higher daily energy expenditure, so there's that, because we don't know at all, but before I say all of this, I'm not saying, Becky, I agree with everything Gin said, I'm just going into this concept of what might be happening with weight loss slowing down as you lose weight.

The second thing is depending on what you're eating, and depending on your fasting habits and everything like that, a lot of people who are doing conventional typical dieting, so this really doesn't even probably apply to Becky, the body does perceive the weight loss is a negative that it has to combat. So, the metabolism can also slow down so it becomes harder and harder to lose weight, the more and more you lose weight. There is this idea of setpoints that the body reaches where it doesn't really want to lose much weight beyond that. And if you think about it, they also doesn't want to gain much weight beyond that.

Gin Stephens: That's exactly right.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's something he was talking about to reframe, like--

Gin Stephens: Exactly. We've got some people in the group that really just have like, I was talking about. I don't think I really explored it, but they want to see a number on the scale that's-- I don’t know, [unintelligible [00:28:44] 10 pounds lower than they are right now. No matter what they do, they can't see that magic number. Their body is happy where they are. It's not gaining, it's not losing. It's just this is where your body is happy. I really think we need to embrace a point where it becomes easy for our bodies to maintain, and you don't have to stress about it.

Melanie Avalon: You can reframe the setpoints as really working in your favor. Most of the studies that they do on setpoints, people who are chronically dieted down their bodies try really really hard to gain back the weight. Then people who are chronically overfed. I mean, most people gain weight, some people gain a lot of weight. Some people barely gain any weight, but regardless of the amount of weight gain, the body-- I'm pretty sure in all of the studies the body makes compensatory adaption. If you eat way, way over your calories, it's very unlikely that your metabolism is going to slow down from that. You're most likely going to burn more, even if it's not burning enough obviously to mitigate the weight gain, the body still fights it. There'll be a lot more information once I actually record that show, which I'm recording in three days from now, I think. I think Gin answered it really well, because Becky sounds happy with her body.

Gin Stephens: She talks about how when she weighed practically the exact same thing when she got married 12 years ago and looked fantastic. I really think, Becky, you are in your maintenance range, and that's the point I want to keep hammering home. Maintenance range. We're recording this, it's almost New Year's Eve. We're not quite out of the holiday season, I'm pretty sure right now, I'm higher on my maintenance range than I was before Thanksgiving, but that's okay. I am very sure my weight goes up and down within that range and has for all these years. I'm not having to buy bigger clothes and not having to get all new, smaller clothes. Focus on that range idea, instead of a number.

Melanie Avalon: That's one thing I want to ask him is what is the typical amount of pounds for that range? Because he did say in the book that it's about 20 pounds?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised.

Melanie Avalon: That it's pretty hard.

Gin Stephens: I don't think mine fluctuates 20.

Melanie Avalon: Sorry, not that it fluctuates 20 pounds, but there's a 20-pound range that your body is going to fight to stay within.

Gin Stephens: Okay,

Melanie Avalon: So, it's going to be really, really hard to gain more than 20 pounds, it's going to be really, really hard to lose more than 20 pounds. Well, depending on what you're doing. Just basically that that might be the window, no pun intended that you have to work with.

Gin Stephens: That makes sense. It makes me really sad when someone's fighting over 10 pounds, it's really, really hard to force your body to be lower than your body wants to be. I am very lucky, and I know it. But I know that my setpoint, if you will, of where I am right now is where my body likes to be because I've maintained it over all these years, since I lost the weight with intermittent fasting. But if I decided I needed to see 10 pounds down, I would have to work really, really, really hard to do it. Could I do it? I don't know if I could do it. I don't think I could lose 10 more pounds and maintain there without really being miserable. So, I want to be happy.

Melanie Avalon: That's something I do really want to ask him. I've heard this theory floating around that if, and I asked for in my Facebook group, which everybody should join, IF Biohackers. I asked what questions people had about setpoint, and a lot of people wanted to know, there's this idea out there that if you hold a weight for a certain amount of time that your body accepts that new setpoint.

Gin Stephens: Research has shown that in general, we don't know a ton about setpoint, Maybe he's going to say a lot of things that are new, that would be exciting. When I was researching setpoint for Fast. Feast. Repeat., it's still a little nebulous, what you can do to lower that setpoint, that whole diet that I did that was so crazy, the Shangri-La Diet, where you're chugging the oil, his theory. He was a doctor that wrote it. His theory was that when you break the calorie association with taste, or something or other, that it would lower your setpoint. I'm like, “I'm going to lower my setpoint. I'm chugging this oil.” That was so funny.

Melanie Avalon: I'm also thinking the calories in, calories out model is just so not comprehensive. One of the other things in that Peter Attia episode that the guest was talking about which-- this is something I've been familiar with, as well. This is a banned drug that nobody should take because people died from it. But have you heard of DNP?

Gin Stephens: I'm not sure.

Melanie Avalon: I'm just really fascinated by this. It was one of the first anti-obesity drugs, and it was in the 1930s. The way it worked was it basically increased, it's called like uncoupling. Basically, it made cells just burn energy as heat. It basically just told yourself to just burn calories and not-- basically just ratcheted up people's metabolisms to the point that people actually died from it and it was removed from the market. That just goes to show that with signaling of things that your body-- we can eat things, but it says nothing to whether how those cells are going to burn it or not. If they want to, if they have the signaling, which was happening with that drug, for example, or maybe other lifestyle options, I don't know what all leads to that. If they “want to,” they can just burn calories as heat, which I guess is what happens a lot in those overfeeding studies.

Gin Stephens: Yep. I really think that insulin has a lot to do with your setpoint, honestly, I think that people with a high level of circulating insulin are likely to have a high setpoint. As you lower your insulin levels, I think it lowers your setpoint, and do I have like a study, I can pull out that says that? No, but I do think that's instrumental.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, that was one of the things he was saying in the book was that I don't remember exactly. It was something to the effect of people who are thin compared to people who are obese, oftentimes-- well, I guess there is the insulin resistance issue, but as far as their experience of food and the calories they're getting from that, and the energy, it's almost it's like the same, it's just that the body setpoint is different, or the insulin might be playing a factor. What I'm saying is basically, people who are obese might be eating less and doing all the things, but because of their setpoint, or insulin, or whatever it may be, to their body, it won't have the same effect. I'm not saying this very well. It was just a really interesting idea of underweight and overweight people sort of being the same, but the setpoint just being at a different place.

Gin Stephens: There's just so much we still don't know, because the body, it responds to everything. It's not like-- just like you mentioned a little while ago, it's hard to do a study and control the variables with people, because even when you try to control all the variables, your body's got a million other variables back in there. You're like, “I'm going to do this.” But your body's like, “Well, then I'm going to do this.” We don't even know all the things it's doing sometimes. My body might do something different than your body does with the same inputs. It might depend on my insulin levels, or whatever. My gut microbiome, my genetics.

Melanie Avalon: We talked about this before, but you could have a thin person who you would think is more insulin resistant, because they don't gain weight as easily. It can actually be because their fat cells, instead of dividing to form new fat cells to gain weight, they just become inflamed and just get bigger and bigger and bigger and become insulin resistant. But it makes it harder for them to gain weight, compared to people who easily gain weight, but it's because when their fat cells are full, the fat cells divide and form new fat cells, which actually protects them from insulin resistance. It's actually more healthy metabolically, but they're more likely to become overweight, which is really interesting. Basically, with so many things going on behind the scenes-- they think that's one of the things in Asian populations, because Asian populations don't have as much of an obesity problem, but they have a lot of metabolic issues. It's probably a genetic thing where their fat cells don't divide to form new fat cells to protect from an influx of excess calories.

Gin Stephens: That's fascinating.

Melanie Avalon: So many things.

Gin Stephens: Our bodies are great and everything they do are trying to help us.

Melanie Avalon: This is true.

Gin Stephens: That was very interesting. I look forward to talking to you, Melanie, after you talk to him.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, I know. I’ll report back.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. All right. So here we go. The next question is from Samantha, and it is two parts, “Fasting Burps/Supplements in Canada?” She says, “Hello, ladies. You are so great and it's lovely to have your company and great banter to listen to during these interesting times. You often keep me company during home renovations. I've been trying to catch up on the podcast right from the beginning and getting pretty close. Some of the many great tips blur together as I've learned so much, so I was hoping for some advice. I started with 16:8, quickly moved to 19:5, and often stretch as far as 21:3, basically one meal a day. I've thrown a weekly 36-hour fast in a couple of times now just to try it and to rotate my clock if I have brunch plans with family. I feel great and my lifestyle really suits the IF lifestyle. So thank you.

I have had a few typical digestion ups and downs as expected, but tweaking here and there as I go. Right now though, I have odd bloating. There were a few days when I wished I could poke my tummy with a pin to release the pressure. I would give anything for a burp. Some helpful advice from the Facebook groups suggested soda water. I thought it odd to add carbonation to a gassy situation, but it seemed to help a bit. Why? Now for the last few days, I've found myself burping on an empty stomach, no soda. Usually 14 to 20 hours into the fast, I burp repeatedly. I did the baking soda test over a week ago and no burp. Now I burp on an empty stomach. Not enough gas. Too much gas. I'm confused. What's the mechanism problem here?

So far, I've been guilty of making too many changes at once regarding my food choices. It's been hard to track what is good and bad. So, I want to slow the changes down. I've been doing IF for 12 weeks, and I think I'm down about 12 pounds. I'm really happy with the big picture and in it for the long haul. I would love to lose another 10 to 15 pounds, but mostly just want to feel good. So far, I often feel great but sporadically have this bloating and gassy issue. Is there a particular supplement I should try first? Is this an enzyme/probiotic issue or an HCL challenge?

Lastly, I'm Canadian. So, I sure hope all these amazing products and hacks are available up here, too. Otherwise, I may have my research cut out for me. All the best to you both and thanks again for such great podcasting. Thanks, Sam from Canada.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Samantha. Thank you so much for your question. A lot of things going on here. I did research on the drinking carbonated water for stomach issues. The consensus on the internet is that it's really most likely an old wives tale. A lot of the original forms of soda that would have been used were things like ginger soda, so maybe the ginger was having an effect, or something about-- you know how Coca-Cola is made from kola bean? Something about the original form of that with the kola. I'm not sure. The thing that made the most sense to me was that oftentimes GI distress is-- this is something I knew before but I saw it again last night. Gin, did you know that our stomachs don't actually have pain receptors?

Gin Stephens: Well, no, I don't think I did.

Melanie Avalon: Any discomfort we feel is pressure, not pain. A lot of stomach discomfort comes from gas, food, bloating, and the associated pressure from that. Supporting stomach motility can relieve it, and so there's this theory that the carbonation stimulates stomach motility that gets things moving and relieves the stomach. In any case, it seems to mostly be-- I mean, if it works for you, great, but I couldn't really find much science behind it. That said, as far as the cause of the burping, this is actually something-- because I struggled with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth for a long time SIBO. That is an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine, so higher up in your GI tract than there should be for that type and amount of bacteria. Something that people experience a lot with SIBO, a lot, is GI distress, burping, gas, especially when they'll go fasting, they will start burping and the consensus in all the people who struggle with it is that it seems to be oftentimes like a die-off effect while fasting of these bacteria releasing gas.

One of the primary bacteria that's associated with GI issues, and especially SIBO and especially IBS with constipation is not actually a bacteria, it's an archaea. It's a methane-producing bacteria called archae bacteria? I'm not really sure. In any case, these little nasties, they release methane gas as a byproduct and they also release it, I don't know when exactly. I feel they're releasing when they're digesting substrates, but then people seem to experience them releasing it while fasting. Like I said, I don't know if that's a die-off effect fact that methane gas and this is getting really granular. That methane gas actually serves as a neurotransmitter in the stomach that further slows motility making things worse.

A lot of people do find that if they can get that under control, though, that it resolves. That's why I love, and so many people in my groups have reported this back, Atrantil. It's a supplement, it's all natural, but it's made with three different compounds. It's some polyphenols and things like peppermint, horse chestnut extract, and one other thing, and they work together to target specifically that type of bacteria. So many people find so much relief. I would definitely 100%, Samantha, consider trying that. You can get it at a lovemytummy.com/ifp, and the coupon code, IFP, will get you 10% off.

As far as the stomach acid, the baking soda. What's going on there is that we should have a certain amount of stomach acid which is really, really important to digest our food. It's really important to keep our stomach free of parasites. It's very antibacterial, anti-parasite, it keeps things clean. A lot of people actually struggle with not enough stomach acid because of the diets that we're eating, our stress levels decrease it. Oftentimes people actually need more stomach acid rather than less. That's why they'll take things like HCL, which is supplemental stomach acid, basically that you can take. I personally use it to support my food. The baking soda test is because baking soda reacts with stomach acid to create, is it carbon dioxide? It releases a gas. [crosstalk] When people do that challenge, it's basically trying to see how much baking soda do you need to create a burp. In theory, if you have adequate stomach acid, when you take the baking soda, you'll burp pretty soon. If you don't ever burp, or if it takes longer than three to five minutes, you might be really low in stomach acid.

What it sounds like to me, Samantha, I would 100% try supporting your digestion. A lot people can try enzymes and/or HCL. Since it seems like you probably have low stomach acid because you never burped with a baking soda. I would start supplementing HCL with your food to help try to make things break down and support motility and I would also try that Atrantil. Yeah, the way they say to take it on the bottle is to take it with meals or before meals, I think. I actually take it in the morning because I do one meal a day and then I take it in the morning fasted and that works really well for me. But I think people also will take it the way the bottle prescribes. I think those two things, and she also wanted to know about Canadian supplements. I don't know if Atrantil ships to Canada. I hope they do. I feel like they might, let us know. HCL, you can definitely get in Canada. Gin, do you have thoughts on all of that? That was a lot.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] I knew you were going to talk about SIBO. I just had a feeling that sounded like SIBO to me. I'm glad that my hunch was right.

Melanie Avalon: Because I've seen that historically in the SIBO communities, they'll experience exactly what Samantha's experiencing. When they do fasting, which tends to really help with SIBO, but they often will get burping while fasting, if they do have those methane-producing organisms.

Gin Stephens: It makes total sense because the gas is coming from somewhere, and it's coming up, so it's coming up through that mechanism from the small intestine. So, that makes total sense.

Melanie Avalon: Something else you could try, Samantha, dietary wise, is a lot of people benefit from a low FODMAP approach. That's basically-- research I've seen, you can get all of your nutrition from it. It's basically just the types of carbs that are less likely to support fermentation from gut bacteria from the gut microbiome. So, that might be a dietary approach to try as well, and your one meal a day. You can get my app, it's called Food Sense Guide, it's at melanieavalon.com/foodsenseguide, and it actually has over 300 foods and it shows their FODMAPs. If they're high, low, medium in FODMAPs. Not just FODMAPs, there's 11 other compounds. So, you can see everything else like histamine and oxalates and gluten and lectins. But the FODMAPs might be something to try, a low FODMAP diet. Again, that was a lot.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, but I think that's good advice. I think you covered it well.

Melanie Avalon: Do you see that in your groups, Gin, people burping during the fast?

Gin Stephens: No. [laughs] Not really, not a lot. I mean, it doesn't come up much.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's so interesting. I thought that maybe it would have come up a lot. But, yeah, it comes up all the time in the SIBO groups.

Gin Stephens: Well, that makes sense. They've got that in common.

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Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Jennifer and the subject is “Question.” Jennifer says, “Hello ladies. I'm new to intermittent fasting but all of my life I have not really enjoyed breakfast, but did it anyway because I was worried that my metabolism would slow down. After listening to you, I have been able to fast guilt-free, so thank you for that freedom. Before intermittent fasting, I had been on a keto diet for about two years. As such, I think that my body fat adapted pretty quickly. I was easily able to immediately go down to just one meal a day and I open my window between 6 and 6:30 PM with a non-alcoholic beverage most days and a glass of wine two days a week. I also have a light snack, such as raw veggies and dip. We usually sit down to dinner between 7 and 7:30. My husband rolls his eyes at my new fasting lifestyle, and did the same with my keto diet. He is happy to eat simple carbs, does not seem to care much about what he eats and loves to feed himself and my two boys, ages 12 and 9, processed foods.

My question to you pertains to when I sit down to eat with my family, I'm usually the one who is making and eating something different than the rest of my family. I'm more flexible on the weekends and usually will join in with what the family is eating as long as I get to pick. This is fine with me and we have adapted to this lifestyle. However, during the week, since my children and husband are eating processed, partially digested foods, they're done with dinner very quickly. It doesn't take long to wolf down a cheeseburger. For me, this is my one and only meal of the day. I like to savor my food and eat slowly. Also, I'm eating whole foods such as a very large salad and raw vegetables which take a lot longer to eat than processed foods. I find myself rushing through dinner, just so I am not the last one eating with everyone staring at me, like I am the glutton who is still eating when everyone else has pushed their chairs back from the table. Also, I am usually the one driving the dinner conversation which makes it even more difficult to eat quickly.

How do I still enjoy my dinner, eat slowly, enjoy conversation with my family without feeling like a glutton because everyone else is done and I'm still eating? I find myself stealing a few bites of my dinner while doing the dishes, just so I don't have to make everyone wait for me. Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with this? Thanks so much. I love your show. It provides me not only with motivation, but validation for what I am doing despite the naysayers I live with.” She also says, “I've been catching up on all of your episodes, I'm worried that I might miss your answer. Do you also email a response in case I don't find it for quite some time if you read my question on the air.” For that last question, because we do get that occasionally. In case listeners are wondering, we don't email when the question comes on air, so you have to keep listening if you want to know of your question. I wish we could. There's just so--

Gin Stephens: So many things to keep up with.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's the answer to that. Jennifer, we are answering your question, so hopefully you're listening. I thought this was a really great question because recently we've been getting this question a lot about, oftentimes mom's not wanting to eat dinner and having an earlier window and struggling with that aspect, but this was the first time getting a question where she does do the one meal day dinner, but there's this timing issue. I just thought this was a great question. So Gin, do you have advice?

Gin Stephens: I think you have two options. One of them is, and this might be a wacky one, but this really might be your answer. You like to open your window between 6 and 6:30. Maybe have your separate meal then, eat the food you want to eat that's going to take you a while to eat, and you're not going to feel like someone's watching you or you're rushing or whatever. And then, when your family eats between 7 and 7:30, you've already eaten, you sit with them, you keep the conversation rolling, you keep them company, you have your family time, and you don't feel you're stressed out with having to shove your food in or finish it later secretly, to say, “I'm going to eat earlier, and then I'm going to sit with you.” Maybe have your raw veggies and dip when they're having their dinner, just flip it. Flip your snack. Have your meal, then have a little something else. That's one suggestion.

The other is, tell your family how you feel. You can say, “I understand that y'all are done first, it would make me so happy if you would sit with me. And then let me eat slowly and we can just use this visiting time.” The part about where you are feeling like you're a glutton, that's something you're putting on yourself. I guarantee your husband and kids haven't said you're a glutton, stop eating, they're not saying that. You've got to get rid of that thought. Stop putting that thought on yourself because you're eating high-quality whole foods, it takes longer to eat those foods. It's 100% you're not being a glutton and I do not think that they think that. They might be irritated because they want to go do something else instead of sit with you. They might be thinking that, because I know families, but they're not thinking that you're a glutton. My mother was always a really slow eater, and I can remember being a kid and sitting there and like, “Come on, hurry up,” especially if we were at a restaurant. She was taking forever and just really, really slow, but it wasn't that I felt like she was a glutton, it was that I was ready to move on and do something different.

So, think about either eating beforehand, or having a conversation with them and saying how you feel. Just say, “I feel I'm having to rush. I feel I'm having to eat really fast. It would make me so happy if you could just sit with me while I finish.” Either one of those would be a solution. What do you think, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I love that so much. So speaking to both, so the first option that you gave about eating before and then finishing with the family, I guess if she did have a conversation about the glutton and didn't feel like a glutton, because that might solve it, because if she has conversation and realizes that's not perceived that way, the alternative to eating more before and finishing with them would be eating with them, and then finishing after, which is sort of like--

Gin Stephens: What she's doing.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Maybe you feel you don't have to make everyone wait for you. We're great at not wanting to put anyone else out, but you know what? Maybe they need to be put out and sit there and be with you as a family. Just say, “We're going to sit here as a family and spend some family time.” So it's not just about eat the food, go.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. At restaurants, I'm always this way. I'm always eating right until the very, very end, eating slowly. And then usually, everybody wants dessert, and I just want like another steak. That's when I eat everybody else's leftover meat, as well. I feel like I did probably used to feel like a glutton with that, because I literally will eat other people's leftovers. But I know I'm not, and I know what's going on. So, I don't really care.

Gin Stephens: I don't take on other people's feelings about how I'm eating at this point. Now, when I weighed 210 pounds, I think I felt more judged. If someone was like, “No wonder you weigh 210 pounds, look at how you eat.” I think I was very sensitive at that time. But now, I'm fortunate, obviously, I'm not overweight, I'm able to disconnect from that, and I don't feel food judgments from people. I don't accept it, no matter what I'm eating. Even if I'm choosing to eat something that's different for me, however much of it I eat is my own business at this point. You know what I mean? I do have a lot of sympathy and empathy for people who are still overweight and feel that judgment because I remember feeling it then I did feel it. And so, I don't have words of wisdom other than it's normal to want to eat a big meal that we were-- what's that Robb Wolf book, Wired to Eat? We are wired to enjoy eating a substantial meal. When I was overweight, I felt guilty about it, but now, I realize that's how our bodies feel great, not overeating, but eating a substantial meal feels good, and we shouldn't feel guilty about it.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. All right. Jennifer, definitely write back and let us know if you implement any of these and how it goes. It reminds me of we got that feedback last week.

Gin Stephens: From Bronwyn?

Melanie Avalon: She had a suggestion for a listener who was struggling with what I said at the beginning of this question. Having an earlier eating window and not wanting to eat with the family. She was saying that once she told her family the situation, it was actually completely fine. So, you might be surprised just talking about it like Gin suggested.

Gin Stephens: If you're eating something different, anyway, I think that makes it easier to just eat at a different time because really the family time being around the table is the being together. That's what it's about. It's about being together.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.

Gin Stephens: Good times. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: 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 podcast, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com. Or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can find all of the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode197. You can follow us on Instagram, my favorite. I am @MelanieAvalon, Gin is @GinStephens. I think that is everything. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

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

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, I will talk to you next week. I guess next time I talk to you might be depending on when we schedule, it might be 2021.

Gin Stephens: I think it will be. Yeah, even if people are listening to this one in 2021, we're still in the past. We haven't time-traveled to the future yet. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: So, I'll see you next year.

Gin Stephens: All right, next year. Bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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Jan 17

Episode 196: Christmas Episode, Low Energy, Brain Fog, HCLF, Fruit, Complex Carbs, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 196 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

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SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To ButcherBox.com/IFPODCAST And Get The Ultimate Keto Bundle!

3:05 - 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!

Lifespan: Why We Age - and Why We Don't Have To (David A. Sinclair PhD)

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25:35 - Listener Feedback: Bronwyn - Becky episode 192

27:00 - Listener Q&A: Rachanna - Energy during Fasting window

27:40 - Listener Q&A: Robin - Lack of energy while fasting

The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles (Terry Wahls M.D.)

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

NUTRISENSE: Go To Melanieavalon.com/nutrisenseCGM And Use Coupon Code MelanieAvalon For 15% Off Select Packages

42:15 - BLUBLOX: Go To BLUblox.com And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

44:50 - Listener Q&A: Grace - Fruit and Hunger, High Carb Definition

IF Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + LifeJoin Melanie's Facebook Group For A Weekly Episode GIVEAWAY, And To Discuss And Learn About All Things Biohacking! All Conversations Welcome!

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

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #71 - Dr. Douglas Graham

IN DEFENSE OF LOW FAT: A CALL FOR SOME EVOLUTION OF THOUGHT (PART 1)

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

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 196 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 Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

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One more thing before you jump in. Are you concerned about aging? Well thankfully, fasting is super incredible for its anti-aging benefits. It activates genes in your body called sirtuins, which repair your body and help extend lifespan. Also during the fast, your body can clean up a lot of harmful chemicals which may be taxing your detoxification systems. In fact the reason people go gray is because their detox systems start producing a lot of hydrogen peroxide when dealing with toxins. Do you know where a lot of those chemicals come from? Your skincare and makeup.

As it turns out, there are thousands of compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup that Europe has banned due to their toxic nature and the US has banned less than 10. When you put these on your skin every single day through your skincare makeup, you're adding to your body's burden and likely aging your skin faster. Thankfully, you can easily clean up your skincare with a company called Beautycounter. They make incredible products that are extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can feel good about every single ingredient that you put on. They also have an amazing antiaging line called Countertime. Friends, this is a game-changer.

It's full of active ingredients, which nourish and support your skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and support a beautiful glow. It also has a safe alternative to retinol. So you can get all of the anti-aging benefits of retinol without any of the toxic effects of retinol because, yes, that stuff is toxic. Guys, put it away now. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. And if you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order. Also, definitely get on my clean beauty email list, that's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I giveaway so many free things on that list. So definitely check it out.

Lastly, if you anticipate making safe skincare a part of your future, just like Gin and I do, definitely become a band of beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for safe skincare. You get 10% back on all of your purchases, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that costs way more than the price of the membership. It's completely worth it. Friends, are you fasting clean inside and out? You can with Beautycounter. Again, that link is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. We'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show.

Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is episode number 196 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, I just forgot the intro for the first time in 196 episodes. It's like when you have a habit of something that is so habitual but then if you actually try to think about it, it's like you overanalyze.

Gin Stephens: Oh, 100%. Somebody in my family got a new iPhone for Christmas. They were upgrading from the kind that had the finger that you had to click on, and so now you don't do that anymore. You just slide up instead of clicking on the little home button. I was trying to show them how to do it, and I'm like, “I can't remember how to do it. I don't know.” They're like, “How do you do this?” I'm like, “I have no idea. I just do it.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, when you actually think about it.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Like, “Can you tell me?” I'm like, “No, I can't tell you. I just have to do it.”

Melanie Avalon: I wonder if it's because it's not in your conscious working memory?

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Well, it's like driving a car. You don't even think about all the things you're doing. You just do it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Like, I wonder if literally, if you consciously try to think about it, like, if you're looking for the information in the wrong part of your brain. It might be in a different part of your brain where it's subconscious. So, trying to actually think about it, maybe the knowledge is literally not there.

Gin Stephens: Everything is hard, that's automatic when you try to think about it. If you had to stand up out of your chair, you're like, “Alright, how do I stand up out of my chair?” But you don't think about it, you just do it. Like walking, you don't know how to walk, you just walk. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny, our podcast episode-- [crosstalk]

Gin Stephens: There you go. We're recording this on the day after Christmas. How was your Christmas?

Melanie Avalon: It was wonderful. We opened all of our presents. We did the immediate family gathering on Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas Day, we did a responsible socially distance gathering with extended family.

Gin Stephens: Very nice.

Melanie Avalon: How about you?

Gin Stephens: Well, I got to see Cal and Kate for the first time in over a year, which is crazy to say. I hadn't seen them since they got married.

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

Gin Stephens: It was so exciting. They didn't think they were going to be able to come home for a brief minute. And then they were like, “We're doing it. We're coming home.” They safely flew Delta with the seat in the middle and they wore their masks. While they were here, they didn't see people. Cal hadn't seen his friends. He's like, “Nope, can't see them.” We didn't go see the whole family, but they just stayed here with us. So, it was just the people I gave birth to and my spouse, and my daughter in law. So that was it.

Melanie Avalon: That’s so exciting.

Gin Stephens: It was exciting. It was very nice to see them. They were here for four nights, it flew by.

Melanie Avalon: Oh yeah, I bet.

Gin Stephens: It really did. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Can I tell you the gifts that I gave to family members?

Gin Stephens: Real quick, I have to tell you something funny. I can no longer say that both of my sons do intermittent fasting because Cal has stopped doing intermittent fasting. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?

Gin Stephens: Yes. He eats all the time, and it was hilarious. They get up in the morning, they're eating, I'm like, “What?”

Melanie Avalon: “What are you doing?” [laughs]

Gin Stephens: He's making egg and she's a vegetarian. He's probably 90 something percent vegetarian now because that's just how they eat around their apartment. We had to go to the store and get all these vegetarian things. And they just ate all the time, all those small meals. We went to a national park that's in South Carolina that I'd never even heard of or been to. It only became a national park in 2005, which explains a lot, but it's Congaree National Park. It's like a swamp, has a boardwalk. We walked all through the swamp. It was beautiful. They're like, “We have to think about what we're going to eat.” I'm like, “Oh my Lord.” We had to pack food and take food and eat the food as soon as we got there. I mean, I didn't. I was in the fasted state. I hiked four miles in the fasted state. They ate before we left, they ate in the middle of a hike, it was really funny. I didn't eat till we got home. That was like 5 PM. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Did it come out of a need for him, because he was doing more vegetarian, like not getting enough food?

Gin Stephens: I don't think so. I don't really know. He was just doing the intermittent fasting loosely and not eating till lunchtime when he was in college. Even I think when he first started working for Airbnb, he would go into the office, but now he's working from home. I think he just got into the habit of starting to have breakfast again, and anyway. They're both really lean and healthy and they get a lot of exercise. Intermittent fasting is a tool that they have if they ever need it, but it was just so funny how frequently they ate.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really happy, I realized now my family finally is just-- they completely accepted all of my strange habits because I didn't really eat at the times that they were eating for different festivity gatherings.

Gin Stephens: While on Christmas Day, we went safely over to my dad and stepmothers, and I ate brunch, I ate all day long. But today, the day after, I'm so happy to not be eating. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: That's the thing about it. I feel it's the one dietary protocol, or I don’t want to make an exclusive statement like that. One of the benefits about intermittent fasting is, if you do stop it for the holidays, I feel so many people are so excited to go back to it, compared to dreading it.

Gin Stephens: Even technically, I say that I didn't. I did fast. I fasted overnight, so I probably on Christmas Day had a-- Well, let me think, let me do some math. I had probably a 13-hour fast, 14-hour fast before I open my window on Christmas. I mean, it wasn't really a window. I guess it technically is always a window, but I still had a 13 or 14 hour fast then I ate. I ate more than I needed to, foods I don't normally eat. Today, though, it feels great to fast longer. Feels great too fast longer, let me clarify. What were you going to say and then I interrupted you with my story?

Melanie Avalon: The gifts related to things we've talked about on the show that I gave to people. I gave Beautycounter to everybody. My sister, my brother, he was so excited, which made me really excited. My mom, my brother's girlfriend, and my uncle, who also was really excited. They have a men's line. That was fun. I'll give links for all these different things I talk about. For that, melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. Then I got, okay, the thing I was most excited about which I think I might have sent you a picture of this when I got it because I got it months ago, but I got my dad, it was my favorite book out of all the health biohacking books is David Sinclair's Lifespan and I got him to sign it to my dad. Did I show you a picture of that when he did that?

Gin Stephens: I don't think so. No, but that's awesome.

Melanie Avalon: I got it way back in the spring. So that made me really happy. I asked him just to sign it to Steve, my dad, but he wrote a whole message and wrote like, “Your daughter is awesome.” I was like, “Oh my goodness.”

Gin Stephens: That's fabulous.

Melanie Avalon: I got that from my dad, and then I also got my dad a pair of BLUblox, blue light blocking glasses.

Gin Stephens: It was a biohacking Christmas.

Melanie Avalon: It really was. Then I got my mom, a chiliPAD OOLER, the mattress that cools down while you sleep. I'm so excited for her to try it because she's been complaining about sleeping really hot at night and not being able to sleep. She said she was going to add it into her budget and buy it later, so I was like, “I'll just get it for her”. I got her an Apollo Neuro, the stress-relieving device, which was really funny because a few days before Christmas, she texted me because she had seen one of my Instagram stories or Facebook or something about Apollo Neuro. She was like, “Does this really work?” I was like, “Yes.” She was like, “I think I want to get one.” I was like, “Oh, wait.” I'd already got it for her.

Gin Stephens: “Do not get one, mom.”

Melanie Avalon: I was like, “I think they're coming out with an update, so you might want to wait.” She was really excited about that. That might have been all of the “biohacking” related gifts. If listeners are curious, it’s not like I got any of this for free, I bought all of this just to show how obsessed I am with all these products.

Gin Stephens: True. I bought Chad Dry Farm Wines, a box of the reds, and I paid for it. I bought it.

Melanie Avalon: Oh yeah, I got my dad that, too. I got my dad and mom that.

Gin Stephens: Oh, and I had some wine last night, but it was like the tiny-- I felt like Melanie Avalon. You know how you had teaspoon or something? Chad opened his one of his bottles of the red. It was a French red. And I'm like, “Pour me.” I mean, it was like half a centimeter of wine of the glass that I just slipped. It was tiny. But it wasn't enough to even have any buzz or impact. It was just a tiny little taste. So, I tasted it.

Melanie Avalon: That's technically probably micro-dosing alcohol. I think that has a really beneficial hormetic effect.

Gin Stephens: Maybe. Well, I micro-dosed it and it was delicious.

Melanie Avalon: I didn't stop my intermittent fasting window or anything. I didn't change my food choices, but what I did go off plan was they were all organic wines. I have all of these really nice expensive organic bottles of wine that I've had for a while but they're not Dry Farm Wines. A lot of them are California and they're a lot higher alcohol and they're not-- I just like to drink Dry Farm Wines. For the holidays though, I brought those bottles over any opportunity I had. So, I'm excited to go back to Dry Farm Wines now.

Gin Stephens: Oh yeah. I can never do anything else. I mean, I'm not ever going to drink like huge amounts of anything ever again, I'm pretty sure, but the Dry Farm Wines is really just so different.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really proud of myself, like at all the gatherings I really stuck to. I brought the really nice bottles, like I said, that are organic, but there's just something different about Dry Farm Wines, but I stuck to them and then I didn't try any of the other wines even though I really wanted to. But, yeah, so for listeners, I'll put links in the show notes. You can get a bottle for a penny, Dry Farm Wines. So, that's dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast. You can get 15% off of BLUblox, the blue light blocking glasses at blublox.com with the coupon code IFPODCAST. You can get 15% off Apollo Neuro, that's the soundwave therapy device, at melanieavalon.com/apolloneuro with the coupon code MELANIEAVALON. For chiliPAD, it's melanieavalon.com/getchilipad, that's C-H-I-L-I-P-A-D. The code MA25, gets you 25% off the chiliPAD, that's the original one. And then, the code MA15 gives you 15% off the OOLER. I actually just got the OOLER for myself as well. I think I talked about that because I bought them on Black Friday when they were having a pretty good sale. And, oh my goodness, I love it. I definitely recommend it over the chiliPAD because the updates that it has, is it has like a UV light to sanitize the water because there is the concern about mold growing. Then, it syncs to your phone, so you can time it. Mine automatically turns on at a certain time every night and then turns off in the morning and it's just a game-changer for my sleep. It was a biohacking Christmas.

Gin Stephens: That's fabulous.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wait, very last thing. So sorry. The present that I received that I got most excited about. My mom got me the Rolling Stones December 2020 edition was Taylor Swift on the cover with, I think, Paul McCartney. Apparently, it's sold out. Is Rolling Stone subscription only? My mom and I were debating about that. Do you know?

Gin Stephens: The magazine?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Can you buy it on the newsstands?

Gin Stephens: I mean, [unintelligible [00:17:09]. Can you now? I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: I'm not sure. Well, she swears.

Gin Stephens: I don’t buy anything on the newsstand now. I can't think of the last time I've gone and bought a magazine.

Melanie Avalon: Probably years when you were on the cover. Did you buy that one?

Gin Stephens: Oh, well. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, that. [laughs] Okay, yeah. I bought that at the grocery store though.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wait, like newsstands?

Gin Stephens: Well, I mean, when I'm thinking about-- I was picturing when you go to the whole display of all the magazines and it's just the one that Fast. Feast. Repeat. was featured in was at the checkout stand.

Melanie Avalon: Then the one that we were in-- or you were in. It was a profile on you, but then it mentioned this show, remember?

Gin Stephens: Was it the intermittent fasting special? Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Good times. My mom, she got me-- Apparently, it's sold out the first edition. So, it's still in the packaging of the Rolling Stones 2020 December, Taylor Swift cover. It made me so happy. And then she got me organic, gluten-free vodka from Hawaii made from sugarcane. The water is Hawaii mineral water. I was like, “Thank you, mom. Vodka and Taylor Swift. You know me.” [laughs] I actually haven't had vodka in, I don’t know, a decade.

Gin Stephens: My very favorite gift was, my son, Will, painted pictures for Chad and for me.

Melanie Avalon: Aww.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. He is my artsy boy, the one that is in a band. His band is called Wing It. If you go to Apple Music, you can listen to their song wishing by Wing It on Apple Music. I think it's everywhere that you can do all that.

Melanie Avalon: Is it on Spotify now?

Gin Stephens: I think it might be. I don't know if it's . It's just like with self-publishing books. Once you upload it to one place, and it goes to all the places or podcasts. Once you upload a podcast, it goes to all the podcast apps, same thing with the music scene. It should be really everywhere that you stream music. Wishing by Wing it. Anyway, I'm just so proud of him. He's doing artsy things. And now he's like, “I'm going to paint.” He's painting and it's fabulous.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? What did he paint?

Gin Stephens: It's an impressionistic looking thing. He painted the scene of his where he lives right now. He painted a daytime version and then a nighttime version, and they're just beautiful. All of his Christmas money, he's like, “I'm going to go buy canvases.” I'm not even kidding, that's what he's-- he's going to go buy canvases and he's such a creative boy.

Melanie Avalon: That's so cool.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that was my very favorite present.

Melanie Avalon: Aww, I love it. Yep. Listeners, Gin sent me a miniature Christmas tree, and it made me so happy.

Gin Stephens: I'm so glad.

Melanie Avalon: I decorated it.

Gin Stephens: Yay.

Melanie Avalon: Staring at me.

Gin Stephens: And that was your only Christmas tree, right?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because I posted a picture on Instagram. I received a lot of plants this year.

Gin Stephens: But I mean, you didn't put up a Christmas tree?

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. It was my only Christmas tree, that made me really happy because I was debating about getting a Christmas tree in my apartment. But I was like, “I don't want to deal--" Mostly I don't want to deal with storing it. If it was artificial, storing it somewhere or--

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that is not easy.

Melanie Avalon: And if it's real, getting rid of it.

Gin Stephens: I am so happy in my house because we have five attics. It's a crazy house. It's got a lot of weird eaves, and in all the little weird eaves area upstairs, there's a little attic crammed in there.

Melanie Avalon: There's always these words that you teach me about houses that I have never heard of in my life. Okay, an eave?

Gin Stephens: Well, think about a roof that's the triangle of the roof. Now imagine a room that's next to where a slanted ceiling comes down. A lot of the rooms in my house have slanted ceilings. Okay, so imagine as the slant comes down, there's all that space that you can't have really in the room. There's doorways that go under the eaves, and that's like storage.

Melanie Avalon: So, it's like a triangle room?

Gin Stephens: It's just that little space. I don’t know, it's hard to explain, but I have an entire Christmas attic.

Melanie Avalon: Nice.

Gin Stephens: I mean, it's fantastic. That's why I have two full-sized Christmas trees that I keep in there. I mean, I have to take them down, but all my Christmas stuffs in that one attic, and it's phenomenal because we didn't have that kind of storage in my other house.

Melanie Avalon: Storage is everything.

Gin Stephens: In fact, when we bought this house, the old owner said beware of the attics.

Melanie Avalon: What do you mean?

Gin Stephens: Because you can put so much stuff in there. They had been in this house since ‘84, and so apparently their attics were packed.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: That's crazy.

Gin Stephens: We're going to try not to fall in the trap. Anyway, you're right, storing your Christmas tree is hard.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Shall we get started?

Melanie Avalon: I think so. I knew we were going to have a lot to catch up on.

Gin Stephens: We did, well, because Christmas.

Melanie Avalon: This will come out into January, but happy late Christmas to everybody. Hopefully 2021 is looking bright.

Gin Stephens: I think it's going to be a great year.

Melanie Avalon: I think so, too.

Gin Stephens: Some great things happened in 2020 though. I know friends who had babies or their first grandchildren or their New York Times bestselling book or other things. We had some good things in 2020. It also taught us a lot about what to value and what's important.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's what I keep thinking. I think it's been like--

Gin Stephens: We [unintelligible [00:22:32] down.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and amazing, like, a forced mindfulness in a way to reevaluate what's important.

Gin Stephens: Bad things happen in every single year. But I don't think we should think of 2020 is only bad, because it also had some amazing things in it.

Melanie Avalon: I agree.

Gin Stephens: And then you feel guilty. You're like, “Well, I had some good things in 2020.” I'm sorry, I had a good thing.

Melanie Avalon: That is a response that I even have that I shouldn't feel good about things that happened. So, I think a reframe.

Gin Stephens: It's like I'm sorry, you only complain. No, we need to celebrate the good things, too.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it doesn't diminish the other things.

Gin Stephens: Right.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends. I wanted to tell you about one of the most incredible resources for taking charge of your blood tests and lab work, ever. I am a huge fan of a company called InsideTracker. They are actually a David Sinclair partnered company. What they do is they provide access to the blood tests that you need to be testing, as well as interpretations, so that you can figure out what that all means.

Basically, we often go to our doctor, we get blood tests, we test things, but is it what we need to be testing? What does it even mean? That's what InsideTracker is here for. They've done extensive testing to figure out which blood markers can tell you the most about your actual health. These aren't necessarily all the tests that you might expect. They provide personalized interpretations of those results along with dietary and lifestyle recommendations, so that you can truly take charge of your health. Their inner age, for example, analyzes your blood work to determine your true “inner age” and how to lower it. I did it recently. Thankfully, my inner age was lower than my actual chronological age, but there were still some things that I could work on. InsideTracker has really helped me meet my goals in that way.

They've also got DNA testing, as well as one of my favorite things, which is their online portal. Guys, this online portal is a game-changer that includes your results from InsideTracker, but then you can upload all of your own data from any other blood results that you've had through your doctor, so helpful. You just go into the portal, you drop in your lab results, and then you have all their lab results all in one place. It's so easy to see how things have changed over time, and they interpret these lab results from other companies by their standards. It is so helpful. I cannot even describe how much I use this platform.

If you'd like to learn more about them, as well as all about bloodwork testing, definitely check out my interview I did with the founder Gil Blander. That's at melanieavalon.com/iInsidetracker. And InsideTracker also has an amazing offer just for my audience. It was 20%, I asked if it could be 30, and they said yes. They are so amazing. So, if you go to melanieavalon.com/getinsidetracker, you can use the coupon code Melanie30, to get 30% off sitewide. Yes, 30% off sitewide, melanieavalon.com/getinsidetracker, you can use the coupon code Melanie30. That’s M-E-L-A-N-I-E 30, I'll put all of this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show.

All right, so we have some feedback from Bronwyn. It is about Becky from Episode 192. She said, “Hi, Gin and Melanie, I'm listening to Episode 192, and wondered if you could tell Becky my experience. I, like her, can't get past about 1:00 PM without needing to eat, but I can easily drop dinner. When I finally decided that I didn't “have to” eat dinner with my family and just sat with them and drank water. Not one of them noticed that I wasn't eating until the fourth night. They are not upset about it. They don't mind at all. Bronwyn.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so that was some good feedback. I'm pretty sure the initial question from Becky, which was a question that we get from a lot of people is, families, is often usually moms who have kids and families and they do better with an earlier eating window. So, they don't want to eat dinner with a family, and there's this whole puzzle to figure out about what is best. I'm trying to remember what we recommended. I think we recommended a lot of different potential options, but it's nice to hear that for some people, like Bronwyn, that just taking the approach that she took can work for some people.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's true. Yep. I think you nailed it.

Melanie Avalon: Now, we have two questions, and they are talking about a similar topic, so we thought we would include both. The first one is from Roshanna, and the subject is “Energy During Fasting Window.” Roshanna says, “So, I hear about this increased mental energy with IF. I had been doing IF now for a few months and have reached my target weight. However, I have a fogged brain through the fasting period. After my eating window opens, and I eat lunch around 12 to 1. I experienced a sudden and sharp dip of energy, which stays through till my dinner time, which is at 7:00, no amount of tea or coffee helps.” Then, we have a question from Robin, the subject is “Lack of Energy While Fasting.” She says, “Hi, I've been fasting now for about three years, started 12:12 and worked up to 24. I do 24 to keep my weight down, especially now since COVID, and not working out at the level I was before COVID. I'm currently working at home and I'm not going to gym for spin class to get my cardio in, to keep my A1C in check. My issue is I never feel energized and focused. It's just the opposite, tired and brain fog. Any suggestions?” All right. Two great question. Great questions from two Rs, Roshanna and Robin. Gin, what are your thoughts?

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm going to be really brief. Most of us have increased mental clarity and energy while fasting clean during the fast. For example, today, it's the day after Christmas, I actually was a little draggy this morning, because I had a long window yesterday. I ate more sweets and things I don't normally eat and so I was feeling a little draggy. But then I just pushed through that and then, boom, on the other side, mental clarity, increased energy, no more brain fog. That is what you want to ideally feel. If you're not feeling that ever, and you know you're fasting clean, and you know you're fasting long enough that you should be getting into ketosis like 16, 18, 20 hours, you never feel it. If you're only fasting 16 hours and you never feel it, you might not be fasting long enough. If you're fasting 20 hours or beyond and you never get out of the brain fog, either you're not getting into ketosis, which is possible or there's something else causing the brain fog. People have brain fog, for all sorts of reasons.

It could be related to something going on in your gut, it could be an allergy. I mean, it could be all sorts of reasons that you have brain fog. If you know you're fasting long enough, you know that you “should be” getting into ketosis and having that increased mental clarity that would come with that and you never, never, never are, then it's time to look beyond what else is going on. Back to what Roshanna said about after she eats, she has a dip of energy. Well, that's normal, because digestion takes a lot of energy. And we tend to have our blood glucose might drop after we eat, depending on what you eat, you feel tired, your body's digesting all that. So, that's normal. In the fast, if you continue to feel lethargic and have brain fog, and you're fasting for years and years, you know that you're having a long enough fast, I would dig deeper. So I know, Melanie, you have a ton to say about that.

Melanie Avalon: What I noticed for both of them, and Gin can probably predict that I would say this, but neither of them said what they are eating. Gin really nailed it in the fact that there are so many potential things that can be going on that, so many things. Even fasting itself, for some people can have a really intense detox effect, and can create fatigue, just from the fasting, for example. This isn't speaking to energy specifically, but right now I am reading The Wahls Protocol by Terry Wahls. I'm so excited because I'm going to be interviewing her and she's really a huge figure in the holistic health world. She's the one that had multiple sclerosis. She was wheelchair bound, like couldn't even walk, and she completely reversed all of it through diet and lifestyle. Originally, she's a doctor, so she has a really nuanced and informed perspective from both conventional and holistic medicine. In any case, something that really stuck out with me was, I was reading her book and is not speaking to energy specifically, but she said that there are basically four things related to chronic disease. Four factors in your body.

Energy issues often overlap with factors in our body that can be trending towards disease. She says that those are one mitochondrial dysfunction. Basically, how your cells are generating energy. Gin spoke to that with the fasting. For a lot of people, if you are fasting, and you are fat-adapted, and you're in the ketogenic state, then your mitochondria are most likely generating ketones adequately, so that may or may not be the problem. If you're not getting the energy from the fast, Gin, just talks about this, it might be that you're never quite getting into that, that ketogenic state that you need to be in, to experience the benefits.

The other thing she says number two is excessive and inappropriate inflammation. I think that's a lot where the food choices come in. You might be fasting and doing all the fasting. Even though you can get the benefits of fasting coupled with a diet that is not health-promoting or not working for you, it's still quite possible to be putting in foods in your body in the eating window that are short-circuiting everything. And so, then when you're actually fasting, it’s mitigating the damage, but you're never able to really reach that state of vitality or energy because you're always doing cleanup every day. It would be like, if you had a house party every night, like a college party in your apartment, and then you came and did a deep clean every day, like a fasting period. If you're always recovering from what you're eating, that can be an issue. Sometimes you might not even realize that it's causing a problem. It can be hard to know, sometimes unless you actually take out the foods that are bothering you. And I'm not trying to moralize food or say that anybody is doing a “bad diet,” but it is possible that the foods are not suiting your body. So, I always recommend if you haven't tried like a Whole Foods type approach diet, where you're eliminating potentially inflammatory foods. I obviously really love the “paleo approach,” which is in my book, What When Wine, but just looking at your dietary choices can be really important.

Then the other two things she says, number three is high cortisol levels. I think that speaks to so hormones. Hormones can be huge. So, you can be doing the fasting and eating the right food. But if your hormones are off for whatever reason, there can still be problems with energy, because hormones are huge. And then the fourth thing she says is absence of or insufficient health-promoting microbes living in and on us, so our microbiomes. I do think our gut health and our microbiome health is, like, huge. If your gut is full of microbes that are not symbiotically supporting you, it can definitely, definitely lead to energy issues, weight gain, things just not quite working. Again, that is something where I think addressing foods can be a huge factor in that, but that was a long answer, just like Gin predicted.

Gin Stephens: I knew you have a lot to say.

Melanie Avalon: I just thought was perfect, because I read that last night, and I was like, that's really four really great things to focus on. Basically, long story short, it might not be the fasting. It could be a lot of things.

Gin Stephens: Just to piggyback when you were talking about things that were inflammatory for your body, it's not the same for everybody. Something that works really well for me, might be inflammatory for somebody else, and vice versa. I'm getting ready to eat according to the recommendations of the PREDICT 3 study just to see how I feel. After doing that study, I found that, to no surprise, to me, a lot of fat is inflammatory to me, because my body doesn't clear fat. If I were just following someone else's protocol of eating a high fat, keto diet, for example, that worked great and lowered inflammation for somebody else, that's inflammatory for me, because of the way my body clears fat based on the results of my blood test. You just really have to figure out what works for your body. The good news is, we're getting more and more tools to do that. Companies that can analyze things for you and say, “Guess what? That's not good for your body.”

Melanie Avalon: The two things now that I always have on, I'm learning so much from my continuous glucose monitor, which I have one on still right now. Gin, are you going to wear another one at all, do you think?

Gin Stephens: Maybe, which one are you using?

Melanie Avalon: It's Nutrisense.

Gin Stephens: Is that the one you like most?

Melanie Avalon: I did interviews with Nutrisense and Levels, I like both. They both use the FreeStyle Libre. Oh, and for listeners who are not familiar, I know Gin and I've been talking about this a lot. But the continuous glucose monitor is a sensor that you put onto your arm, and it measures your glucose, your blood glucose constantly 24/7, so you can see how you react to foods and you can see what's happening when you're fasting, when you eat, when you exercise, like how is that changing your blood sugar, and it's revolutionary.

Gin Stephens: Just to clarify, that's not what told me that fats are inflammatory for me, that was the different part of the PREDICT 3 study. The CGM was part of it, but they also fed me challenge meals and then tested my blood at periods throughout after the challenge meal to see how my body cleared the fat. Anyway, I just wanted to clarify that.

Melanie Avalon: So, they were testing the fatty acids in your blood?

Gin Stephens: Yes, how my body cleared the fat after the challenge meal, that they have the data on how you should clear the fat versus how I did clear the fat. Anyway, the reason I asked about Nutrisense being the one you prefer is because they reached out to the company that does my podcast ads. They're interested in sponsoring Intermittent Fasting Stories.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, doing sponsorships.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Anyway, I wanted to check and see if that's the one because I was like, “I think so, but I'd like to try it.” I'm going to get to try it.

Melanie Avalon: Are they sending you one?

Gin Stephens: Well, I think so.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, they're great. For listeners, I'll put a link in the show notes-- Oh, the show notes, by the way, will be at ifpodcast.com/episode196.

Gin Stephens: But just to say, we don't promote things until we try them. So that's why I asked, because I was like, I'm not going to say yes to any company until I can try it for myself. I say no to all sorts of companies, as does Melanie, as do we.

Melanie Avalon: All the time.

Gin Stephens: All the time.

Melanie Avalon: Definitely every week, and sometimes multiple times a week.

Gin Stephens: I also say no to people who want to come on Intermittent Fasting Stories, and I have turned down to three New York Times bestselling writers who wanted to be on Intermittent Fasting Stories, because-- anyway, I don't get into all the reasons, but if their protocol is not in line with the clean fast, or if they're just trying to promote a book that's really the opposite of what I think is fasting. Anyway, I'm a little wacky with that.

Melanie Avalon: Then they can come over to my show. [laughs] Everybody welcome.

Gin Stephens: I'm here to talk about intermittent fasting stories.

Melanie Avalon: No, it makes sense because you want everything to be in line with what you're doing. So, my show is the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, the point of it is to bring on people of all different--

Gin Stephens: Diverse points of view.

Melanie Avalon: I think the only people I don't want to bring on are people who I feel-- well, it's hard for me to say that because so many people come on are very-- I don't use the word dogmatic, but they definitely think what they're doing is the “one right answer.” I prefer people who feel that there might be different approaches that work for different people. At the same time, in order for me to personally explore all the different options, I feel I have to bring on the people who believe in all the different options. Even if they believe that's the only option. Oh, Nutrisense. Yeah, so I'll put a link in the show notes. I interviewed the founder, Kara Collier. She's fantastic. That was at melanieavalon.com/nutrisense. I'm also going to release the episode with Levels. Right now, they both use FreeStyle Libre. They're different apps. They're both really valuable. They both work. I'm a fan. Levels is still in the beta testing phase right now, that was my reasoning for releasing the Nutrisense episode first because I want people to get it now. Once I release Levels, it's not even out yet, it's a waitlist. So that's why I've been in really hardcore promoting Nutrisense. Right now, the price point is better for Nutrisense and I want it to be most accessible to everybody.

I'm really hoping Levels brings down their price point. We'll see how that goes. I'm sitting on the episode and I might just release it once it's already out. So then that it's not a waitlist situation, but listeners, you can get 15% off on Nutrisense at melanieavalon.com/nutrisenseCGM with the coupon MELANIEAVALON, and yes, I have mine on right now.

Gin Stephens: Good stuff.

Melanie Avalon: That's why that came up. I would say we're talking about like things that monitor and tell us about our health. I wear the Oura ring now. I actually do think you would like the Oura ring.

Gin Stephens: I might. I'm weird about rings. I feel it's a little wide.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. It is big.

Gin Stephens: I don't like wide things on my fingers. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: You can put it on any finger. Does that matter?

Gin Stephens: I really don't like things on weird fingers.

Melanie Avalon: Okay.

[laughter]

Gin Stephens: Like your pointer finger? No, I would go crazy. My friend, Sheri, has one. I'll try hers on and see. I'll see if I can handle it.

Melanie Avalon: I love it.

Gin Stephens: I'm going to see her next week.

Melanie Avalon: I'm just finding it so motivating. I'm actually bringing back the founder for a listener Q&A. I'm really excited.

Gin Stephens: Or, if they wanted to send me one, I would wear one. I would try it, but anyway.

Melanie Avalon: They actually only send tests. They don't let you keep it.

Gin Stephens: They don’t let you keep it. Yeah, that's funny.

Melanie Avalon: Friends, I have a story for you. I recently got septoplasty to fix my deviated septum so that I could breathe better. And in the recovery period, you're not supposed to wear glasses. Oh, my goodness. I cannot tell you how much I realized how much I adore and need and love BLUblox blue light blocking glasses. I've been wearing them every single night of my life until I got that surgery. Guys, you need this in your life.

In today's world, we're way overexposed to blue light. While blue light is energizing, we're not supposed to be seeing it 24/7, it can raise cortisol, stress levels, create tension and headaches disrupt your sleep and so much more. Of course, there are a lot of “blue light blocking glasses” on the market these days, Andy Mant, the founder of BLUblox, he personally realized how incredible blue light blocking glasses were for him personally. So, then he did something crazy and actually tested all the brands on the market to see if they actually were blocking blue light like they said they were. They weren't really. That's why he took things into his own hands to create glasses that would block the blue light, you need to be blocking to truly have the healthiest relationship possible with light. That's also why he made BLUblox light blocking glasses in a lot of different versions.

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

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

Gin Stephens: We're ready for our next question and this is from Grace. The subject is “Fruit and Hunger, High-Carb Definition.” “Hi, Melanie and Gin, I've been a fan of your podcasts, Facebook groups and apps for years. You both are the reason I've been able to maintain my weight and sanity. I greatly appreciate all the invaluable knowledge you provide. My question is about fruit. I have always eaten a significant amount of fruit between 50 to 70 grams of sugar daily from fruit. Since the quarantine, I had cut fruit completely out of my diet to lessen grocery shopping frequency. This decreased my sugar intake to five grams a day. I noticed my appetite decreased once I removed fruit. I've always had issues feeling satiated. I have never been able to portion control fruit because once I have a single serving, I always want more. I have been fasting for years now usually 18 to 20 hours daily. My hunger levels aren't from the adaptation period.

Melanie, you had said that you feel ravenous when fruit is in your diet. And I wanted to know if you had any scientific findings on why this is happening? Could it mean our bodies aren't processing it well? I also feel significantly bloated after consuming fruit. I just love it so much. I often look past the side effects.

Second question. You've mentioned, choosing between low carb or low fat. I started to follow a moderate protein, high carb, low-fat diet and am loving it. My question involves the definition of carbs. If someone is eating a low fat, high carb diet, do they need to make sure their diet is low sugar? Or is that insignificant if fat is low? Do the carbs need to be whole grain/complex carbs? Will refined carbs have a similar enough effect? I know the whole foods approach is the best. But if someone is eating low fat and the appropriate amount of food, will they gain fat eating refined carbs versus whole grains? Is the definition of low fat 15% or less of a person's daily macros? Thank you so much for all your life-changing advice. Love, Grace.” Wow, that's a lot of questions. [laughs] Grace, you're a gifted student, because they have a lot of questions.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you, Grace, for your email and all of your questions, all of the fruit. The first thing I want to focus on was she said, I said that I feel ravenous when fruit is in my diet. To clarify, so I was eating high carb, low fat for a very long time with a ton of fruit and I was not ravenous at all. And then I went low carb, high fat again. And then every time I tried to bring back fruit, that's what I got the ravenous feelings. Just to clarify, I actually currently am doing high carb, low fat, high fruit.

Gin Stephens: And how are you feeling?

Melanie Avalon: I'm still struggling with hunger. I'm still trying to figure it out.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I have to have a certain level of fat or I get hungry.

Melanie Avalon: I typically do have fat for meat and seafood, but it's not usually added fat. But I do have a lot of thoughts on this. It is all going to come back to as we always say is finding the diet that works for you. When it comes to fruit, I've seen this a lot, especially in my groups, which friends, join my Facebook group, IF Biohackers, people post about this all the time. I really want to talk about the sugar thing. I personally do not automatically equate fruit to sugar. I know technically fruit is sugar, but there's a big difference between refined sugar which Grace talks about a lot in her question as well. Like sugar, like white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, which I think it has a lot of metabolic issues compared to “sugar” from the natural whole foods form of fruit.

Please send it to me if you find one. I have never seen a study showing-- I should probably sit down, try to actually find one, but I have never seen a study showing negative metabolic effects from whole foods form of fruit. There might be one out there. Actually, I read a lot of studies about fruit, I guess it depends on the context, but there are a lot of studies showing fruit having beneficial effects on diabetes and things like that. It's usually things like blueberries and stuff that they're testing. The demonizing studies on fructose, which is what gets linked to fruit is usually on high fructose corn syrup, which you just can't compare. It’s basically the refined form of sugar in a liquid form and the ratio isn't even-- it's like even higher fructose than what would normally be found in fruit. It drives me crazy [unintelligible [00:49:33] what drives me crazy also is they will do studies on refined fructose and compared to refined glucose or something and they'll test the metabolic effects, and then people extrapolate from that. They're like, “Oh, fructose--”

Gin Stephens: Fruits bad and fruits bad. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, here's the thing, friends. Fruit is not 100% fructose anyway. It's usually fructose and glucose. Oftentimes, fructose and glucose and sucrose, which is a combination of fructose and glucose. There's no fruit where it's just refined fructose, that just doesn't happen. You get that from agave nectar, which-- okay, so now I'm on tangent.

Gin Stephens: Which had that halo effect of health. People like, “Agave nectar, it's so good for you.” No, no, no.

Melanie Avalon: People thought it was really great because fructose does not release insulin. I don't know if it's 100% it doesn't release it, but it has very minimal effect on insulin. It goes straight to the liver and is processed by the liver, compared to glucose, which instigates insulin to be shuttled into cells. People thought it was really great for diabetics. How it turns out is that refined fructose in the liver is not a good situation. That's where a lot of problems come from. It's linked to fatty liver, it just creates a lot of problems.

Gin Stephens: We have gone far from an “Apple a day keeps the doctor away,” to, “Oh, my God, apples are destroying your health.” No, they're not.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Looking at fruit in terms of sugar, I don't even like using the word sugar because I feel words are really powerful and semantics are really important. I would look at it as 50 to 70 carbs from fruit, that's the way I would look at it. All of that said, some people do really, really well on fruit and it works so well for them. It fixes their hunger. So many people in my group, historically, have been on a low carb, high-fat approach. And then, after listening to some of my episodes, like I did an episode with Cyrus and Robbie, who wrote Mastering Diabetes. That's at, melanieavalon.com/masteringdiabetes. I recently did an episode with Dr. Doug Graham who did The 80/10/10 Diet, that's at melanieavalon.com/801010. After listening to episodes like that, they decided to actually try a high carb, low fat approach.

This is not what Grace is experiencing, but many people have found that actually, finally they have satiety, they feel better, they lose weight. It's definitely something to try for a lot of people, if it's not working for you. Grace is experiencing hunger, then it might not be the thing that works for you.

Gin Stephens: Here's the thing, though, she did say that she's doing moderate protein, high carb, low fat and is loving it. I think the only problem is when she has a lot of fruit. It's like the fruit is causing her to not have satiety.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. Compared to grains or-- she's saying to the carbs need to be whole grain or complex carbs will work? Will refined carbs have a similar enough effect? Yeah, just you need to make sure that diet is low in sugar or is it just about the fat because we actually haven't had a question about that. We've received a lot of questions about going high carb, low fat. But we haven't had a question really about, could those carbs be processed sugar? Do they need to be grains? What they need to be complex? I think for most people, the refined form, if there is going to be a satiety problem, the refined form is probably not going to help you out in the satiety department. I would argue that probably a lot of the metabolic benefits that you're getting from the high-carb, low-fat approach are when it's in the whole foods form. It's really regulating your metabolism. Your body is preferentially using carbs when it needs to, it's entering the fasted state when you're fasted, but those blood sugar spiking, refined carbs are a completely different scenario.

I think they cause problems for a lot of people. I personally think it's important with a high carb, low fat to make them the whole food form of the carbs, and then trying to find the ones that work for you. For some people, it's the fruit. Some people do better with starches. I personally am not a big fan of grains, because I think they have a lot of inflammatory potential for a lot of people, but I think a lot of people can find grains that work for them. I personally love gluten-free options, like rice, quinoa, it's not technically a grain, but rice, quinoa, oats, things like that.

Then lastly, she said, “Can you gain fat eating refined carbs versus whole grains?” You can gain fat eating anything. I think you're more likely to gain fat 100% from refined carbs. Well, whole grains, I think in the refined form, you're most likely more likely to gain from refined forms of carbs. Then lastly, she says, “Is the definition of low fat 15% or less of a person's daily macros?” 15% is usually the highest that you'd want to go for the fat. If you are doing this approach. Oftentimes, it's as low as 10%. I don't remember in the Mastering Diabetes that they even-- I don't know if they even give macros. They might just do like a whole foods approach.

Gin Stephens: I swear I think it's 10%.

Melanie Avalon: Is it? I know 80/10/10 is obviously 10.

Gin Stephens: But I really feel I got that 10% after reading their book. I think they said it because that was when I looked to see what my DNA analysis had said and that was 10%. So, I was like, “Oh, look, these match.”

Melanie Avalon: Okay, from what I've seen in all the research, and Denise Minger, we talked about this a lot on this show, but she has an epic blog post that analyzes a high carb, low fat diet, and all the studies that she referenced, like you really had to be 10% or less of fat to see the benefits. That's something that when I interviewed them, we talked about that a lot. This also applies to the flip side of things with a low carb diet. Oftentimes, people really have to be 10%, or lower, be it from carbs or fat, depending on which version of what macros they're doing, to see that the metabolic benefits because it's like, if you have just a little bit too much, it's like you're shooting yourself in the foot, because you're giving your body too much of that one signal, even if it's by just a little bit, and then it's not really able to enter-- what Denise calls the “metabolic magic” that you can get from a high carb, low fat approach.

I'm just reading, this is really interesting, because I was searching through Mastering Diabetes. For example, in a low-fat diet, they say that and people who eat a high carbohydrate diet containing between 65% to 75% carbohydrate, this is 10% to 20% fat per day, de novo lipogenesis, which is fat created in your liver from carbs that accounted for less than 10 grams of newly synthesized fatty acids per day. Basically, if you are on a low-fat diet, really high carb, your liver is very inefficient at creating fat from the carbs, which is really fascinating. But, yeah, 10% would be a good place to start this really long. Gin, do you have thoughts?

Gin Stephens: I think we got them.

Melanie Avalon: I think so.

Gin Stephens: I think we did. If you find that fruit is making you have trouble with satiety, that's a big key that maybe-- the tweak that you've been having lately, where you're not having as much fruit, that might be what's working for you. I don't eat a ton of fruit personally. So, yeah, listen to your body. Boom.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that made me think of one more thing because she asked what might be going on there with the hunger. This has been my theory for a long time, and I still think this might be the case for a lot of people. It's what the Ray Peat people talk about a lot. That is that, your body's potential to rely on glycogen storage-- Oh, and actually something else to say about this, because this came up a lot in-- I've been listening to a podcast-- did I send it? I think I sent it to you, Gin, the recent Peter Attia podcast about metabolism.

Gin Stephens: You sent me something, I didn't have time to listen to it.

Melanie Avalon: I'm still listening to it and it's like, A, I need to finish it. B, I need to listen to it three more times. C, I need to see if there's a transcript and I need to read the transcript. It is the deepest, deepest dive into metabolic dysfunction and how that relates to processing fuels, glycogen storage, fatty acids, I mean, it's insulin resistance, it is blowing my mind. Something that he talks about in that is that, like with insulin resistance, where is the issue-- it's much more of a deep dive even then Dr. Benjamin Bikman’s book, which I recently had on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, his book is Why We Get Sick, which is all about insulin resistance. The Peter Attia episode which I put in our Intermittent Fasting podcast, Stuff We Like playlist on the Himalaya app, it's like a mystery novel. They're talking about where is the actual issue happening with the body's inability to use insulin and use food fuels properly. One of the things they talk about is basically the muscles inability to take up glucose, basically our glycogen storage potential and the muscles inability to properly use and take up carbs. I think that's what's happening a lot with this is, for whatever reason, the body is insulin resistant and not taking up the “sugar” from the fruit. It can create these blood sugar swings. I need to finish that episode. I'm going to try to do that today. I will probably just start it over listening from the beginning, it's that whole thing.

Gin Stephens: Listening to you describe it, tells me I could never follow it. I'm not a good auditory learner.

Melanie Avalon: It's intense when Peter at the beginning gives an intro saying like, “This is really intense--” because all of his shows are really intense. Any of his episodes that you listened to, they can be hard to follow. When he gives a preface saying that this is really, really deep, then you know it's going to be. I posted in my Facebook group and so many people, I'm jealous, they did listen to it and have been reporting back already. I'm like, “I’ve got to get on that.” That was a lot of tangents. Last thoughts from you, Gin?

Gin Stephens: No, that was it.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. 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 podcast, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com. Or you can go to ifpodcast.com, and you can submit questions there. You can get all this stuff we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. You can follow us on Instagram. Gin, how is Instagram going?

Gin Stephens: I'm really doing better. I'm mindfully using it. Also, here's something funny. I had the app inside of a folder on my home screen, and so I took it out, just having it out of the folder and I see it, and I think about it more.

Melanie Avalon: I'm looking on your Instagram right now and I see your face.

Gin Stephens: There I am. I actually posted it during while we were recording. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Yes, 46 minutes ago.

Gin Stephens: I did it while we were recording.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, in your house with your cats galore.

Gin Stephens: Well, the one I posted was me in front of the fireplace.

Melanie Avalon: The swamp. There's a picture of the swamp you went to.

Gin Stephens: Yep, there's the swamp. If you go to Instagram, you can see--

Melanie Avalon: You guys, visuals.

Gin Stephens: You can see the swamp. Oh, and also you can see that my college, Wake Forest, is going to the Duke’s Mayonnaise Bowl. Is that not the funniest thing you've ever heard of?

Melanie Avalon: That's fabulous.

Gin Stephens: It will have already happened by the time this podcast comes out, but I'll just see that on Instagram. Duke's Mayonnaise Bowl, but that's my favorite mayonnaise. So, boom.

Melanie Avalon: Oh my gosh. That's so funny. Did you see I posted a video, a biohacking video?

Gin Stephens: No, I don’t watch any videos.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, I posted my first. Wait, Gin, look at my Instagram later, I posted to Reels. Listeners, I'm doing Reels now. It makes me so happy because you know I love film. I went to film school. This is like, I'm like, “Oh, I can be like making videos.” I posted one if you go to my profile, one of me putting on a CGM. So, you can see what that's like, and then one about--

Gin Stephens: Is it like a live video?

Melanie Avalon: You'll see it. If you go to my Instagram, there's two recent ones, they look very red because I'm in my Joovv red light. There's a little video icon in the top right corner. Those are the Reels. So I put one of how to put on a CGM, so friends can see that. And then I put one of kind of a joke, when he finds out that you are a biohacker, like somebody you're dating. You have to watch it because it has music that it makes it a joke.

Gin Stephens: Well, do not expect to see me doing Reels, just FYI. I will not do Reels. If you're lucky, you'll see cats and things like that.

Melanie Avalon: I am obsessed. I have one that I'm going to really soon it's going to be my night routine. I got such an amazing response to the dating biohacking one that I sort of wanted to create an app now for dating, for biohackers.

Gin Stephens: We've actually had people joke that they would like an intermittent fasting dating app.

Melanie Avalon: Well, actually, that's what-- I was doing by hacking, but then I was like, it should be an--

Gin Stephens: Honestly, people have suggested that.

Melanie Avalon: Gin, we should do it.

Gin Stephens: For real.

Melanie Avalon: You know what it could be called? I already came up with a name. Do you want to hear the name? You know window shopping?

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: So, it's because window dating.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's funny.

Melanie Avalon: And it can be based on your window.

Gin Stephens: Unfortunately, my app developer said no more apps for you, Mama. That's my son. [laughs] He should not be so quick to do that because the Window app that he made for me, he made it for me, but then he sold it. I didn't see a penny from that. I mean, I didn't make any money from the Window app at all. I went to him, which is indirectly helpful because it was my son, and so I didn't have to give him any money. He had money. He spent a lot of time working on that Window app. So, he's like, “Nope, done with that. Done with apps.” I'm like, “Okay.”

Melanie Avalon: I'm proposing that you and I make a Window Dating app.

Gin Stephens: Window Dating app. That's funny.

Melanie Avalon: We could promote it on this show and the groups.

Gin Stephens: All right, listeners, write in, let us know. Are you interested in that?

Melanie Avalon: Would you want this? Because I want to do it.

Gin Stephens: I don't know that. I don't want to date. I'm married.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I don't want to--- No, I actually wouldn't use it. I wouldn't use it. I'd be the worst person to develop it. I've never even opened a dating app.

Gin Stephens: I'm going to be celebrating my 30th anniversary this year in 2021. So, 30 years married. We didn't have apps.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and I just don't date, so solves that problem. We should do it.

Gin Stephens: Again, neither of us know how to do it. We don't know anything about dating apps.

Melanie Avalon: I'll figure it out. I can suck it up and use a dating app for research purposes.

Gin Stephens: That's funny.

Melanie Avalon: Wouldn’t that be funny? I could start going-- [crosstalk]

Gin Stephens: The joke was, you know how they had that commercial farmersonly.com? farmersonly.com or something. I don't know. We could be fastersonly.com.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I like it. That would be a really good movie plot. Somebody's doing research for dating apps, so they have to use the apps and then they fall in love obviously, and then you know--

Gin Stephens: Well, there you go, see. And they're intermittent fasters and-- it would need to be an intermittent fasting movie.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, well, I could be testing my own app. I'd have to use the other apps to figure out--

Gin Stephens: What you liked and what you didn't.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Listeners, I do not think we're going to be developing this app, I'm just telling you.

Melanie Avalon: I think we are.

Gin Stephens: Do not look for this app anytime soon.

Melanie Avalon: I'm doing it. I'm going to hang up and I'm going to go call somebody right now.

Gin Stephens: You're going to join the dating apps? [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: No, I actually been thinking about this a lot. The one thing I'm hesitant about is, I feel the customer service issue because my app right now, I mean, it's doing so well and I think I said this, it hit number five for Food and Drinks Apps in iTunes, which was so exciting, and it was developed by Cal, Gin’s son, but it doesn't really have a lot of like customers-- I don't have to deal with customer service. I feel with a dating app.

Gin Stephens: You would. See, Cal does app stuff for Airbnb, but he's on one tiny little team, I can't even remember what it is. There are so many people who work just on that one app, for example for Airbnb. It's not like one person does it. It's like teams of people for each little thing. It's way more complicated when you have users doing.

Melanie Avalon: It would require more. For me, it wouldn’t.

Gin Stephens: I think it would.

Melanie Avalon: Maybe we could do it all ourselves.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] Listeners, do not be on the lookout for this anytime soon.

Melanie Avalon: Write in now and tell us that you want this. Convince Gin, I'm already sold.

Gin Stephens: That's funny.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. Okay. Well, this has been wonderful.

Gin Stephens: It's been fun.

Melanie Avalon: Anything else from you, Gin? Oh, right, follow us on Instagram. She's GinStephens. I'm MelanieAvalon. Now I'm done. Anything from you, Gin, before we go.

Gin Stephens: Oh, I see that you just liked my picture that I posted while we were recording. Do you see how good my hair looks in the picture? I'm just going to say that's Beautycounter shampoo. My hair looks so much better.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, your hair looks fabulous.

Gin Stephens: Doesn't it? I just use Beautycounter shampoo, that's it.

Melanie Avalon: I'm Beautycounter shampoo.

Gin Stephens: How could one kind of shampoo? They don't have all these varieties. It's one kind, I was like, “Yeah, that's not going to work.” Well, alas, it does. My hair looks so good now. That's all I'm saying.

Melanie Avalon: All of my pictures of my hair's Beautycounter shampoo as well. Friends, go get Beautycounter shampoo right now. You can get that melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: No, that's it.

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

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Jan 10

Episode 195: Ketones, Insulin Resistance, Measuring Insulin, Alcohol, Resting Heart Rate, Heart Rate Variability, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 195 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!!

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 MelanieAvalon.Com/GetInsideTracker And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

BiOptimizers: A Company Whose Mission Is To Fix Your Digestion! Support Your Gut Health With A Patented, Proteolytic, Anti-Viral, Superstar Probiotic, P3OM! Go To bioptimizers.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save 10% Any Order!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order!

8:40 - LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To DrinkLMNT.Com/Ifpodcast To Get A Sample Pack For Only The Price Of Shipping!!

14:30 - Listener Q&A: Sallie - Question for Gin

21:00 - INSIDETRACKER: Go To MelanieAvalon.Com/GetInsideTracker And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

23:25 - Listener Q&A: Michelle - In Search of lower Insulin

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

Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic At The Root Of Most Chronic Disease―And How To Fight It (Benjamin Bikman, Ph.D.)

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

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

36:15 - BIOPTIMIZERS: Go To bioptimizers.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save 10% Any Order!

38:00 - Listener Q&A: Sara - HANGRY still - sometimes

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!

43:30 - Listener Q&A: Kelly - Alcohol effects on Resting Heart Rate

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 195 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 Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Hi friends, are you struggling to lose weight despite fasting clean? Maybe you're even making healthy food choices, fasting more, shortening your eating window, ramping up your exercise, and yet the weight won't budge? Well, we actually just found a major reason for why that may be. As it turns out, there are compounds in our environment called endocrine disruptors. Meaning, they mess with your hormones. Studies show that a lot of these endocrine disruptors are actually obesogens. Meaning, they literally make you gain weight. They also make it hard to lose weight. These toxic obesogens are naturally stored in fat. When they enter your body, your body creates fat to store them in to protect you. Once they're in that fat, they then change the genes in your fat stores, so that you are more likely to store more fat and less likely to burn it. They can also affect your insulin signaling and boost your appetite, so you want to eat more and store more fat.

Most of us are actually exposed to these obesogenic endocrine disruptors daily in our skincare and makeup, that is actually one of the largest sources of these compounds. Yep. As it turns out, when you're washing your face, putting on makeup, using lotion, or even putting on sunscreen, you are likely putting one up to 1300 compounds banned in Europe for their toxicity and obesity causing potential but they're completely fine for use in US skincare. When you put them on your skin, you're making it that much harder to burn fat, and that much easier to store fat. So, if you're struggling to lose weight, you definitely, definitely want to clean up your skincare ASAP. You can do that easily with a company called Beautycounter.

They make safe skincare and makeup products that are extensively tested to be free of endocrine disrupters, obesogens, and other toxic compounds. They're truly safe and supportive of your health. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. If you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order. If you'd also like exclusive discounts, giveaways, and the latest on the science of skincare, definitely get on my clean beauty email list. That's melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Well now you can. All right now back to the show.

Hi everybody and welcome, this is Episode number 195 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I'm good. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: I am great.

Gin Stephens: You sound super great. What's super great? That was like more emphatic great than usual.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really, really fantastic. Are you aware of what happened this past weekend?

Gin Stephens: Well, no. I'm not aware. What was it?

Melanie Avalon: Taylor Swift released a surprise album.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, definitely not aware of that. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: This is the second time she's done this in quarantine where she doesn't say anything, and then she releases an entire album. I always feel like I have to defend myself being a Taylor Swift fan. But her first album is the bestselling album of 2020, and I am obsessed lyrically with Taylor. Do you Spotify?

Gin Stephens: No.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, you know what it is though, right?

Gin Stephens: I mean, yeah, I do know what it is. I have Apple Music, so I listen to Apple Music. I'm an Apple girl. I listen to Apple Music and I listen to my podcasts through the Apple Music app.

Melanie Avalon: Well, Spotify, they give you a Your Year in Review thing and they show you like your top artists and your top song and everything. Well, obviously mine was Taylor, but the shocking thing was it told me I was in the 0.5% of her listeners. I feel like you have to listen to a lot of Taylor Swift to be in the 0.5.

Gin Stephens: Hmm. I'm probably in the 95.5 [laughs] or 99.5. I should say. There's one song I know that I've heard that I liked.

Melanie Avalon: Which one?

Gin Stephens: I don't know the name of it, but I know I liked it. If you'd like saying all of them, I'd be like, “Yeah, that's the one I've heard.”

Melanie Avalon: All Too Well?

Gin Stephens: No.

Melanie Avalon: Okay.

Gin Stephens: [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Sorry. Very few things just like light me up with the amount of excitement that I was lit up with.

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm so glad to hear it. You don't listen to Apple Music, you listen to Spotify?

Melanie Avalon: No. Yeah, Spotify. I've been in Spotify person since it came out, really. I remember when it first came out, and I was like, “Wow, how is this even possible?”

Gin Stephens: The idea of just listening to whatever you wanted, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I was like, “There has to be a catch here.”

Gin Stephens: Yeah, there wasn't. Look, I'm old enough to remember the days of Napster when everyone was just giving away their music for free and illegally.

Melanie Avalon: And always wondering if you were going to infect your computer with, because on Napster, you could get anything you want, and it was all free.

Gin Stephens: Anything. Yeah, and it was all terrible. Now that I understand how we were all stealing music, it was bad, very bad, but I didn't know.

Melanie Avalon: They actually started suing people who had it, do you remember that?

Gin Stephens: No. I was probably off of it by them because I'm such a rules follower that as soon as I realized, “Oh, gosh, this is not just like listening to the radio,” because-- [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I remember they brought out the scare tactics. I think they locked up a few. I don't know, they sued some people, like my age who were using it, I mean, it ruined their life basically.

Gin Stephens: Well, now that we are producers of content, like books, I completely understand. If all of the books we ever wrote were now available for free illegally, and people were just able to share them, that would be terrible.

Melanie Avalon: If people paid for this show, and then it was--

Gin Stephens: Right. As soon as I realized it was wrong, I was like, “Oh my God. [laughs] I'm breaking the law.”

Melanie Avalon: Get it off the computer.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, exactly. I like to follow the law. Anyway, but it was fun while it lasted. And now that we have Apple Music, everything really is there, or Spotify or whichever you like. It really is amazing because you used to have to buy them one by one. I mean, you don't even remember the day of like driving to the music store, I'm sure. Listening to 45, did you have a record player?

Melanie Avalon: Oh, no. Well, I do now, with my Taylor Swift albums.

Gin Stephens: On a record player?

Melanie Avalon: Uh-huh.

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: Vinyl.

Gin Stephens: That's so funny. We had vinyl everything, but we had little 45s. Have you ever seen a 45?

Melanie Avalon: I think I have. I think my dad has some.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that was the way to do it. You'd go get the one little single and there was always something on the other side and you'd flip it over. Then you would play them over and over again. Good times.

Melanie Avalon: Good times. I remember cassettes.

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Because Chick-fil-A had all the-- we talked about this before the-- What is it, the virtues, the--

Gin Stephens: The cassettes that you could get. I remember that. Yeah, the freedom with music now is just remarkable, though. So, I'm glad that there's another album. She's been very productive it sounds.

Melanie Avalon: I have one more really exciting announcement, actually related to the content of today's show.

Gin Stephens: Well, awesome. What is that?

Melanie Avalon: It's so exciting. You know what it is, though? I think it's really exciting.

Gin Stephens: Well, share the excitement. So, friends, listeners, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm about to give away completely free electrolyte supplements. That's not even what I'm so excited about, even though that is very exciting. Mostly it's because we are partnering with Robb Wolf's company, LMNT. As you guys know, Robb Wolf is my hero. He is the reason that I am in the whole paleo world. Like I read Paleo Solution, and then that's what happened. I think he is an amazing figure of information. I don't want to say authority figure, but I really get the sense that he doesn't cherry-pick that he's open to the science, the information and I really trust his information.

He recently started a company called LMNT, L-M-N-T. Tailored towards listeners who may be following specifically keto diets, because as you guys know, Gin and I are not keto. I go through times of keto. Gin had her keto phases in the past, but they--

Gin Stephens: 2014.

Melanie Avalon: She is no longer keto. I'm not currently keto. I flirt with it occasionally, but in any case, if you have heard of something called the keto flu, it is often posited that the keto flu is not actually a condition, but it may be for a lot of people due to electrolyte issues, and that is because when you go on a low-carb diet, your insulin levels drop, and we know our insulin levels drop off fasting, but when you're doing low-carb, they're significantly drops all the time, and that lowers the production of a hormone called aldosterone. Aldosterone is made in the kidneys. Aldosterone helps you retain sodium. When you have chronically low aldosterone on a keto diet, you are losing sodium at a rapid rate. That is why a lot of people may experience symptoms of keto flu. So, that's things like headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, insomnia, all this stuff. To address this, Gin, are you familiar with Ketogains?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Ketogains is probably, I would say it is the biggest keto community out there. The founder is Luis and I can never say his last name. It's like Villasenor. He and Robb actually developed-- I don't know if he would like actually developed it, but Rob worked with him to develop LMNT to have the exact electrolyte balance that you need to support your electrolyte status, especially if you're on a keto diet. Some people having carbs in their eating window and fasting might also benefit from the electrolyte supplements, but it really varies by the individual. In any case, they made LMNT, and it has no sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients, no junk. They have flavored and unflavored versions. The reason I'm also excited, the flavored versions, those are not clean fast friendly, obviously, because they have flavor. There is a raspberry, a citrus, and an orange flavor. The raw unflavored one is clean fast friendly. It's literally just electrolytes. If you feel like you are on the electric-like struggle bus, you can have the raw unflavored version during your clean fast.

I didn't realize this. This is not just like some small company. They're doing really big things. They work with three Navy SEAL teams. They are the official hydration partner for the USA weightlifting team in the Olympics, which is really cool. They've worked with a lot of other people, like five or more NFL teams. So basically, it's a really cool way to go. I'm so excited because you can get it, listeners, completely free. They weren't going to do this, they were just going to have our spots be educational and tell you about them, but I begged them for something. It's not even a discount, it's free. You can get their sample pack and that will include two raw unflavored. Again, those are the clean fast friendly ones. Two citrus, two raspberry and two orange. Again, the flavor ones you would want to have in your eating window. Apparently, the citrus one is a really great mix for Margarita, word on the street. I have friends who do that. It was actually in the information they gave us, I was like, “Oh, if this makes sense.” But you can just go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast. That's D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dotcom, forward slash, ifpodcast. They will cost $5 for shipping only. That's the only thing you'll pay. If you don't like it, they will refund you the $5 for shipping. So, don't even worry about that. This free giveaway is only for January. So, guys, get it.

I'm just so excited because we're like working with Robb Wolf and I love this product. This is so exciting to me, and free things.

Gin Stephens: I'm so happy that you're happy.

Melanie Avalon: And free things for listeners.

Gin Stephens: Well, free things are always good.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Everybody, go get it now. I think people on the keto diet who are experiencing these issues like this could be a game-changer for them. Even if you're not, get it for the flavors and get the citrus one and make margaritas and report back.

Gin Stephens: Eating window margaritas.

Melanie Avalon: Eating window margaritas.

Gin Stephens: It's like, “I heard Gin and Melanie say that you could have margaritas during the fast.” No, no, that is not what we said.

Melanie Avalon: Clarification. Eating window margarita with all clean ingredients

Gin Stephens: Fasting with Margarita, that's a joke. Do not fast with Margaritas. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Yes. All right. That's that. Shall we jump into our questions for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a super short question. The subject is “Question for Gin.” It's from Sally. Sally says, “Hi, Gin. What made you keep going at your second attempt at IF? When did you start seeing results and what results did you see?” Maybe you can tell us a little bit about your first versus second attempt.

Gin Stephens: Really, I did not keep going at my second attempt, nor my third. It was more multiple, multiple. I first heard about intermittent fasting in 2009, and I've talked about this many times over the course of this podcast and Intermittent Fasting Stories and even in my books, and in the Mindset chapter of Fast. Feast. Repeat. I tried it multiple times, many times over those years from 2009 to 2014. For anyone who has Fast. Feast. Repeat., I really get into why it didn't work for me in all those attempts, in the Mindset chapter. There were several things that were the problem.

First of all, I didn't understand clean fasting. In fact, no one did, because everyone really thought that intermittent fasting was only something that helped to “eat fewer calories.” We thought that anything that was zero calorie was going to be fine. Even if you had just a little bit of calories, that was probably also fine. Fasting was really, really hard. I was white knuckling it all the time, because I was not fasting clean.

Second of all, I didn't understand about the adjustment period, and that your body needed to get fat adapted and so I would start and stop. I feel like I was constantly trapped in the adjustment period, my body never got fat adapted, I just kept living in the hard part. Never got through to where it was easier. Plus, I wasn't fasting clean, put all that together, it was doomed to fail.

Third, I expected weight loss to be linear. I would do it for a few days, it would be hard, I wouldn't lose any weight, and then I would quit. The time that it finally stuck, I still wasn't fasting clean yet, because remember, this was 2014. It was well before The Obesity Code. It was before we understood the hormonal things that go in our bodies while we're fasting. I had been doing keto, that we just talked about, that keto summer that I had, the summer of 2014. I didn't lose any weight, but I was in ketosis. I had a ketone breath monitor. It was one of the early Ketonix models. I was doing keto and I would blow in the Ketonix and I would get red. I was making ketones, but the way I was eating, I wasn't tapping into my stored body fat. I think it was just all the fat I was consuming, putting me into ketosis.

It was at that time that I shifted to intermittent fasting, because I was like, “I'm not losing weight. I don't feel good. Keto is not working well for me. I am going to do intermittent fasting, and this time, it's going to work for me, darn it.” Amazingly, that was the time I never did quit. I think that doing keto for that whole summer obviously, my body was making ketones. I was fat adapted. Suddenly, intermittent fasting was easier than it had been before. I also remember, Melanie, this is how little I understood at the time. I remember a post that I had made on an intermittent fasting group I was in, it wasn't one of my groups. Obviously, I hadn't started one yet, but I remember, I had like a cheeseburger and fries. An hour later was blowing on the Ketonix and registering a red. I'm like, “I'm already back in ketosis. This is amazing.” Well, no, that's not what's happening. Those were ketones that I had made during the fast and I believe that obviously, I was excreting them through my breath. Even though I had just had a cheeseburger and fries. I thought I was back in ketosis. It would be amazing. I didn't know what I was talking about. It was before we understood that, or before I understood that fasting got you into ketosis as well. Now that we understand about liver glycogen, and glycogen depletion, and all of that.

Fasting was easier because I was fat-adapted, thanks to the keto. Also, I immediately started losing weight. Finally. After that whole summer of not losing weight with keto, and also, I was weighing daily and calculating my weekly average. So, I saw the weight loss. Even though my weight fluctuated day to day, I saw week to week, my weekly average was going down. Finally, I saw success. So that was why when I write Fast. Feast. Repeat., I'm emphatic about not expecting weight loss during your first 28 days. Even when you do have weight loss, don't expect it to be linear. First of all, your body has to adapt. And then you have to be aware of how weight fluctuates and that it's only the overall trend that matters. Once I made that shift and understood it was the overall trend, then I could stick with it. I wasn't looking for down, down, down, down, down because that's not what weight loss looks like. And I just felt so much better. After not feeling good doing keto for that whole summer, reintroducing carbs, and intermittent fasting at the same time, feeling better seeing the results I was looking for, that was when it truly over time turned into a lifestyle. I didn't understand it was a lifestyle still as I was losing the weight, it wasn't until later, when I started to understand the health benefits. Intermittent Fasting is more than just weight loss. It took me becoming educated. The more educated I got, the more I realized this is something I would do forever. So, there it is. Anything to add?

Melanie Avalon: Our experiences, we're complete opposite. I was like, “I'm going to do this for a week,” and then I never stopped.

Gin Stephens: You were eating paleo before you started?

Melanie Avalon: Low carb.

Gin Stephens: You were low carb. See, again, we both transitioned from low-carb and started doing it. I never quit again. See, that's the thing. When I started in 2014, I never quit again.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, mine was low-carb IF and then paleo. That was like the--

Gin Stephens: The transition. Yeah. Awesome.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends. I wanted to tell you about one of the most incredible resources for taking charge of your blood tests and lab work, ever. I am a huge fan of a company called InsideTracker. They are actually a David Sinclair partnered company. What they do is they provide access to the blood tests that you need to be testing, as well as interpretations, so that you can figure out what that all means.

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Gin Stephens: All right, we have a question from Michelle, and the subject is “In Search of Lower Insulin.” She says, “Dear Gin and Melanie, thank you for changing lives. Gin's advice about not chasing ketone readings makes sense to me. As your body uses ketones more efficiently, your blood ketone level may drop. I'm wondering if I can use my blood ketone levels for a different purpose. So please bear with me. I would love to be able to directly test my insulin levels at home, but alas. As I understand it, a higher ketone reading should indicate a lower insulin level. For example, if ketones were 0.5 to 1.0, insulin would have to be fairly low. Is this true? Do we know if a certain ketone level corresponds to a certain range of insulin level? I accept that the converse doesn't indicate anything. So, I could have lower insulin without having high ketones. I tend to have pretty high ketones fasting around 24 to 22 with the occasional longer fast. I'd love to take my ketone readings as a good insulin sign. I am not diabetic or pre-diabetic, A1c 4.9. But I do wonder if I have some insulin resistance, and I'd love to have a gauge on how certain foods affect my insulin. Best wishes to you both, Michelle.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Michelle. Thank you so much for your question. My initial thoughts are that there is most likely the correlation, with the exception of, I was just thinking that this follows up pretty appropriately to what you were just saying, Gin, because you had that experience where you measured ketones, but it was right after eating a cheeseburger. So, it really would depend on where the ketones are coming from. I don't think this is the case for Michelle. Especially if you're following like a ketogenic diet, you could, in theory, always measure ketones, but there would still be insulin release when you're in the fed state. You can be producing ketones and be producing insulin, but if you're in the fasted state, and you measure ketones, probably your insulin is low, but the whole issue is, with insulin resistance, people can experience higher baseline levels of insulin and not realize it. If you're generating ketones, that way it would imply that, hopefully, your body is fat adapted, and the insulin is working correctly, but I can't really make blanket statements about it, especially after reading, for people who want like the deepest dive into insulin ever, check out Dr. Bikman’s Why We Get Sick. I also interviewed him on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, that episode might be out when this show comes out. I'll put a link to it in the show notes.

I don't want to say correctly working body but if things are working the way they should be, there should be a correlation, but then there could also be lots of other factors that might finagle it. What are your thoughts, Gin?

Gin Stephens: We don't have a gauge. She said she'd love to have a gauge about how certain foods affect her insulin. I wish we could measure at home like that, but we can't. Minute to minute, you can't know what your influence doing. For example, a friend of mine is using a company called Walk-In Lab. I don't know anything about that company, she just mentioned that she was using it and they're able to order the test for you. I'm imagining that they have physicians on staff, they look at your request, and then they approve it or not. You can actually get that through companies like Walk-In Lab. I'm not endorsing Walk-In Lab, I don't know anything about them, like I said other than a friend of mine, just use them and mention their name to me. So that would give you an idea of what your fasted insulin level is. Obviously, you can't do that all day. I wish we had an at-home insulin test, or a way to know exactly what it was doing.

If you're interested in going down that rabbit hole of ketones and what's going on, there's somebody named Marty Kendall of Optimising Nutrition, optimizing with an S because he's from Australia. He's got some really great stuff. I've learned a lot from reading his blog over the years. In fact, some of his stuff on ketone levels actually is what taught me that our ketone levels went down over time. So, chasing a high-- I actually learned that from Marty Kendall. Go to OptimisingNutrition.com with an S for optimizing and dig in through there. He's a big proponent of measuring your blood glucose before you eat, to give you an idea of what's going on. That's just something there to check out.

I wish we could see how certain foods affected your insulin because proteins there. It's not just carbs that affect insulin. Thanks to the insulin index we know that proteins also affect your insulin levels, and even fats do, to a degree. The whole idea that fat has a zero effect on insulin is not true.

Melanie Avalon: Dr. Bikman actually talks about all of that in Why We Get Sick. Yeah, because actually protein I believe, it releases comparable or even more insulin than carbs, but it also releases glucagon, which has the opposite effect. It doesn't have the same effect on your overall blood sugar levels and state as far as the connection to insulin as straight-up carbs do. It's pretty complicated.

Gin Stephens: It's also complicated.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really fascinated by protein, and I found this one study that was looking at protein and diabetics, and it was theorizing or going through all of the research on protein and diabetics because protein can be turned into blood sugar, or sugar, carbs via gluconeogenesis. And it does, that does happen, but for some reason, it doesn't really seem to affect blood sugar levels. They don't really know why. There's all these theories like that the blood sugar that gets produced from protein gets used faster than it would into the bloodstream. There was like three different theories, but I find it so interesting that we know so much about the body, but then we still don't know really seemingly basic things, like we can't figure that out.

Gin Stephens: Which is why to me, that helps me to be like, “Why worry so much about it then?” If you're healthy, look, you're A1c is 4.9, so I don't know why it matters. If you're healthy, you've got a healthy A1c, you're wondering if you have insulin resistance? Well, do you have signs that you do? I just wouldn't worry about it is what I'm saying. If you're healthy and your health markers are good, you don't have to know what your levels are. I know it's interesting, and sometimes some of the things we don't even-- like Melanie just said, we don't even really understand all of it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, when I found that study, it was so long. It was a review, and I was like, “This is the best thing I've ever read,” like eating protein and diabetic patients. Actually, I'm glad you said that, because I was just thinking, a good enough proxy-- she's measuring blood ketones, is she measuring blood sugar, though?

Gin Stephens: It doesn't look like it.

Melanie Avalon: Michelle, I think that's what you could measure at home.

Gin Stephens: There's a ratio that you can figure out with your ketone reading and your blood glucose reading. A lot of people are using, I think Marty Kendall’s--

Melanie Avalon: For autophagy.

Gin Stephens: I'm not sold on that. I won't get into that. To measure your fat burning, basically, they're using it-- I think he calls it Data-Driven Fasting, and there are a lot of people following his protocol where they are measuring their blood glucose and measuring their ketones and then doing some sort of ratio of that to determine your fat-burning state. People are finding great success with that. I don't want to measure all that. I know some people do, I actually interviewed someone recently on Intermittent Fasting Stories, the episode won't come out till February, I believe. But she talked about how she's using his ratio, and it's really been helpful for her.

Melanie Avalon: The last thing was I did just release the episode with Kara Collier, the founder of Nutrisense CGMs. I don't know anything about this. Michelle, if this is what you're looking to ascertain your level of insulin resistance, wearing a CGM, doing a round of CGMs could-- I mean, that, for me has been the most eye-opening thing as far as how are foods affecting me, you see how foods affect you. You see like, is your blood sugar level-- how is it rising? How long does it take to get back to normal? Rather than focusing on insulin, and we talk in that episode all about, like the implications of how it relates to insulin, but I think that would be the thing you'd want to do. I'm writing a guest blog post for Sunlighten, which is really fun. They wanted me to write a blog post on health and wellness trends for 2021. I had to decide what did I think would be the biggest health and wellness trends for 2021. One of them is CGMs.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, I hope so because they're such a useful tool. They're not a toy. They're a powerful tool for figuring out how your body responds. But, really, Michelle, I would get a fasted insulin level. If you're a morning fasted insulin level, you'll have an idea. I mean, if it's five or something really low like that, or below five, then chances are you're not insulin resistant. If it's like 10, okay, that's a good signal that you're going to need to do some work. You don't need to know how it responds all day long. It's that fasted insulin level that'll really give you a good picture.

Melanie Avalon: The good thing about that is, I feel it's not as finicky is because wearing a CGM, the one thing I realized is, “Oh, your blood sugar could be changing a lot more than you realize.” But I think for a fasted insulin is pretty telling. I'll give you the ranges that Dr. Benjamin Bikman gives. According to Dr. Bikman, ideally your blood insulin levels should be less than six micro units per milliliter. Eight to nine is average for men and women, but he says it's not good to be average, you would prefer for it to be lower, a person with eight actually has doubled the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as a person with five. I guess anything over nine is above average.

Gin Stephens: In a way that you don't want to be above average.

Melanie Avalon: Right. He says you don't even want to be average, which is eight to nine. He would prefer that you are below six fasted insulin. Then on top of that, there's a secondary value that you can calculate if you want, it's the HOMA score. That one actually considers both fasting glucose and fasting insulin. It is even more telling for your levels of insulin resistance. At the time that you got your fasted insulin measured, you would also have to have had your fasted blood sugar measured as well. If you have those two, there's a mathematical formula that you can do that will give you your HOMA score, which is a number. It's complicated. It's basically glucose times insulin divided by 405. So, random for the United States, or glucose times insulin divided by 22.5 for other countries. That is so random. I don't know. I feel like we have provided all the potential data we can on this.

Gin Stephens: I think so too. That's a lot of data. Yeah. Also don't have coffee before you go because coffee can cause your liver to dump glycogen, your blood glucose can go up, and then therefore, you can have a little insulin urge, too. Go completely with nothing but water.

Melanie Avalon: Good call. One more last resource for you, Michelle. I will put in the show notes the link to the episode that I did with Kara Collier of Nutrisense. Then if you'd like to get your own CGM, or if any listeners would, you can get 15% off. The link for that is melanieavalon.com/nutrisensecgm. I will also put that in the show notes. Listeners, there will be a transcript of this episode in the show notes, so that will be at ifpodcast.com/episode195, which also I do need to plug. I don't know if any of the episodes have aired yet where we asked for questions for Episode 200 because we haven't received any questions, so I'm guessing not, but listeners for Episode 200, random plug, it's going to be an Ask Me Anything episode so you can submit any questions you want for that. They don't have to be health or fasting related. They can just be like, questions for me and Gin.

Gin Stephens: Awesome. I look forward to the questions.

Melanie Avalon: Like what is my favorite Taylor Swift song?

Gin Stephens: [laughs] Don't ask me what my favorite Taylor Swift song is. I'd be like, “That's the one I heard that time.” [laughs]

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

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: The next question comes from Sara. The subject is “Hangry Still Sometimes.” Sara says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie, I'm a solid three weeks in of doing IF daily 18:6 to 22:2. Eating to satiety and I am still having days where I'm hangry in the morning.” For listeners, 18:6 is where you fast 18 hours and eat for 6, and 22:2 is where you fast 22 hours and eat for two hours. She says, “I've done one meal a day and IF for years without knowing it was a thing, just because I don't seem to digest well, and I feel better eating one meal a day. I've gone months and years not listening to my body and creating issues for myself. This is now my everyday life and I won't go back. Can be hangry be from eating late in the evening? It's weird and maybe a coincidence that it's worse on days that we ate late the night before. Thanks for all of the product recommendations. Can't wait to see if I can be headache-free of Dry Farm Wines and all that you do.

I just found out my aunt and uncle are following you, have read your books and are in love with IF and losing weight and having tons of non-scale victories. Someone told my aunt she is aging in reverse, ha, ha. And then was worried about her when my aunt told her about IF. Thanks for helping people live their best life. Sara. Gin, what are your thoughts for Sara?

Gin Stephens: Well, first of all, I love that your aunt and uncle are following intermittent fasting and aging in reverse. As people around her watch her continue to look fabulous, that won't look so crazy anymore. That's how it seems to work. Once you're successful and you show it, people are like suddenly believers. All right, so your question is, “Can hangry be from eating late in the evening?” Well, let's think about this. First of all, you're three weeks in so even though you've dabbled in intermittent fasting here and there, it doesn't It sounds like you've consistently done it. So, you're still probably in the adjustment period. Hangry is more likely during the adjustment period than it is, once you're adjusted. The question, can you be more hangry in the morning, if you eat late in the evening? Let's think about this. Why do we feel great and have lots of energy during the fast? Well, it's because we're tapping into our fat stores, as we go through the fasts, I actually feel better. I might have a little wave of hunger right around hour, I don't know, 14, 16, something like that. Then on the other side of that, I feel fabulous. If you eat late in the evening, to start counting from then, you're not going to be as far into the fast by the morning, depending on what time you stopped eating. If you stayed up really late and ate till like midnight, and now it's morning, you're only maybe seven, eight hours into the fast. So, you're really not in the fasted state yet. Yeah, you would be more likely to be hangry. Just count back and see how far you are into the fast that could really play a role in it. What do you think about that, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Two main thoughts. One was that exactly, that you know you're quite into the fasted state yet. That said, I really associate the hangry feeling with blood sugar regulation issues, because I find people who-- if they are eating, and they don't have blood sugar regulation issues, they don't tend to ever get the hangry feeling. It's really the people who have difficulty transitioning into the fat-burning state, like the body's a little bit like hesitant to do it for whatever reason. I think that's when the hangry feeling comes in.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think so too, which is why the fact that she's only three weeks in is also very important.

Melanie Avalon: It could be that the context of when she's eating late, it could correlate to meals, not-- well, she already said she has digestion issues. So maybe meals not digesting as well, maybe macronutrients not really working for her. It could be a combination of things, but it could possibly be something about the actual meal itself, like the contents of the meal itself, rather than the timing.

Gin Stephens: Or, those together. The factors together. If I'm eating really late at night, it's probably because I'm out and I'm off my schedule, and I'm eating different things than I would normally be eating. So, all that plays in, plus the fact that it's not as many hours since I stopped eating. It's just a lot of factors.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. That's what I was trying to say. I'm glad you said that. It often correlates to a slight disruption in your normal eating pattern that might be something more suitable to your blood sugar regulation and your digestion and everything. Let us know if the Dry Farm Wines makes you headache-free. I'm going to give my mom a box of whites, and my dad a box of reds for the holidays. I'm so excited.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, by the time this comes out, the holidays will be over, but that's what I'm giving Chad. I'm making sure he's not like listening, the box of reds.

Melanie Avalon: That's right. For listeners, if you'd like to get a bottle for a penny, our link for that is dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast.

Gin Stephens: Awesome. I highly recommend it.

Melanie Avalon: Speaking of, the next question. I did not plan this.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's funny. Okay. Oh, I could definitely answer this one for with some data of my own. All right. This is from Kelly. The subject is “Alcohol Effects on Resting Heart Rate.” “Hello ladies, I've been listening to and following IF/One Meal a Day since January. I'm down 10 pounds. I'm loving this lifestyle. Thankful that my co-workers introduced me to this way of life before quarantine hit in March. I have a question regarding alcohol and resting heart rate. I noticed when I go for more than a week without alcohol, my Fitbit says that my resting heart rate can be as low as 56. When I go away to the beach on the weekends and have a good amount of wine and white claws, but all within good limits, of course, my resting heart rate can skyrocket up to 64. I also noticed on the beach weekends when we are less physically active with alcohol, that also makes the RHR go up. Just wanted to know your thoughts on this. Thank you for always having great insight and topics to discuss on the podcast. I truly learned so much from you both. It makes keeping this lifestyle maintainable and achievable that much easier.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Kelly. Thank you for your question. Oh, my goodness. This is one of my recent obsessions, the resting heart rate. I talked about this before, but I actually did just interview the CEO of Oura ring, which I've been wearing for-- I don't know like a month now or so. It's so, so cool during the nighttime, it measures your resting heart rate, measures your heart rate variability, it measures your body temperature, it measures your activity levels during the day, it measures your respiratory rate. It gives you a really good idea of-- if you're recovering from your activities, how your body is doing, because basically, for some terminology here, so our resting heart rate is, it's the consistent rate of our heartbeat. Lower is typically considered to be better. It does go up when you're exercising, though. So that's why they call it resting heart rate is what you're looking at. Heart rate variability is the amount of time measured in milliseconds between heartbeats.

What's really interesting is you would think that you want your heart rate to be very consistent. I mean, that's intuitively what I would think, but what you actually want is it to be more erratic, because it shows that your body is adapting and reacting to stressors. A constant thumping on a pattern, that's actually signifies the stress state because if you think about when you're really stressed, what happens? It's like you're on alert and it's like--

Gin Stephens: [imitating heartbeat sound effect] Sound effects by Gin.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. [laughs] Thank you, Gin. It's like not changing. Compared to being more fluid and reacting to everything that comes at you, there's a time lag and a time difference in between heartbeats and that's heart rate variability. So, you actually want more heart rate variability, that was just some information for listeners. Things that affect resting heart rate, the cool thing about Oura, I'm just pulling out my Oura app is it gives you so much information and a lot of education as well surrounding everything. What’s really cool is when you wake up, it tells you based on how you slept because it measures your sleep cycles and your restfulness and your sleep efficiency and all these things. Based on how you slept, based on your resting heart rate during the night, which is what Kelly is referring to, based on your activity to the previous day, and some other factors, it gives you a readiness score, and it tells you like, “How ready are you to tackle the day?” It really makes it personal to you. So, it'll say like, “You're great. You're rested. Go hard today,” or it might say like your resting heart rate was raised last night, you didn't sleep, maybe you didn't sleep as well, maybe you should take it easy today. It makes it very, very specific.

I thought it was going to be a generic, maybe one of five options that it gives you. I mean, it literally gives you very, very specifics. Mine today said, I had a readiness score of 84. It said, your resting heart rate lowered late last night because it should lower or raise at certain times during the night. So, I guess the fact that it lowered late in the night wasn't as good because it says, “Your resting heart rate lowered late last night, but your overall readiness is still good. If you feel tired, how about taking a rest day, some light relaxing activity can help you get back on track.” Things that affect resting heart rate, what does she say that hers was, she said--

Gin Stephens: As low as 56 but it skyrockets to 64, which doesn't seem that high. That's pretty low.

Melanie Avalon: That's pretty low, I think. Mine is normally low 50s to mid-60s, like 65 is normally the highest that mine goes but I don't consider that skyrocketing at all. In their app, they say that the normal average is anywhere from 40 to 100. Slightly below your average is a good sign of readiness and exceptionally high or low resting heart rate indicates that an easier day maybe an order. It says, “An intense training day, a late-night workout, elevated body temperature, or a heavy meal just before bed can keep your resting heart rate elevated during the night.” Alcohol can also affect that, which Kelly is asking about. My thoughts on it, Kelly, are that, yes, alcohol affects resting heart rate, but I don't perceive yours as skyrocketing.

Gin Stephens: Right. 64 is still a really good number. Can I give an example from mine? I have not been drinking. I feel so much better, but I looked way back when I was doing my PREDICT study and wearing the CGM. I had a night where I drank a good deal of-- it was Dry Farm wine, and it was champagne. I wanted to see how it affected me through the PREDICT 3 study. I went back to that night on my bed, I have a Sleep Number bed and it measures things like heart rate variability, breath rate while you're sleeping. My heart rate skyrocketed to 81 while I was sleeping from alcohol. My heart rate variability went down. I do think mine skyrocketed, but alcohol 100% made my heart rate skyrocket and then I didn't get a restful sleep. That right there was such important data when I realized, when I got the Sleep Number bed and started tracking, that was when I realized, “Gosh, my body really has a different sleep when I drink alcohol.” Now I know that my body does not metabolize alcohol well. I'm a slow alcohol metabolizer. So, that makes more sense why that happens for me.

Yes, if you think that it's alcohol, yep. I mean, and you're seeing it from the data, you're drinking, it's up when you drink, but I wouldn't say 64 is skyrocketed either.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'm just looking back through my data because I usually have half a glass up to a glass, probably a glass every night now. If I do that, I don't see appreciable effect on anything. But if I have a night where I did drink a lot, which I've had a few of those in the past month, I do see it majorly. I think the only time I woke up to a readiness score of like, 60, something was after that, I was like, “It knows.” It knows. It was really exciting to interview the CEO of Oura. The thing that I really liked about it the most was I was so hesitant to actually use Oura ring, because you know how I am. I'm going to overanalyze, there's going to be so much data, and I'm going to wake up and get my score, and it's going to ruin my day because I'm going to be like-- I'm going to judge everything by the score. We talked about this in the interview, they really don't want you to have that response. It never makes you feel you're failing, and it's very gentle in how it talks to you. It always makes me feel like, “Oh, this is the steps I can take to make--”

Gin Stephens: It's actionable.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. My favorite thing about it is, it determines your ideal bedtime, and it does it based on how you're sleeping and how you react based on different things. Guess what? If you're going to bed at 1:00 AM, it's not going to say, “Your ideal bedtime is 7:00 PM. It's not going to say that. Mine right now says my ideal bedtime is between-- it was saying between 1:00 and 2:00 AM. Now it's saying between 12:45 and 1:45. I think it's trying to nudge me earlier. It's never going to give you something you can't do. If it does think you need to be early, it's going to slowly get you there. It's not going to try to force early bird on late night owls. For Gin, it would like--

Gin Stephens: It's 9:00 PM, time to go to bed. Why are you still awake? [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Well, what I asked him was because my sleep score, to determine your sleep, how well you're doing it sleep, it looks at your total sleep, your efficiency, your restfulness, your REM, your deep sleep, your latency, and your timing. Your timing is the one where that does involve circadian rhythms. You can only have a good timing score if the middle midpoint of your sleep is between midnight and 3:00 AM. I'll have nights where I actually get really, really good scores on everything, except timing. Which is just a zero because I go to bed at 2:00. I asked him, I was like, “Does that mean it's impossible for me to get a really, really incredible sleep score because the timing is off?” He said I can still though get like a crown and an optimal score, but I won't ever get like a 99 if I'm going to bed that late. I would love for you to get it Gin and see what it says about your sleep.

Gin Stephens: Well, Sheri, my co-host on the Life Lessons Podcast has one. She's had one for a while and she loves it.

Melanie Avalon: It's so great.

Gin Stephens: But I love my bed that that does that. I don't know if I would like-- The ring itself on my finger, I would like to try one, I guess.

Melanie Avalon: I love it. Yeah. Love to get you one.

Gin Stephens: If I had one, I would wear it. But just getting one, I just don't know. We'll see.

Melanie Avalon: So, that was a lot of information. Any other thoughts?

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

Melanie Avalon: I did take my heart rate while I was in the sauna because it doesn't measure your heart rate during the day, only while you're sleeping, unless you do-- it has this moment option where you can like take a restful moment and not move and check it. I did it while I was in the sauna and it got up to like 99 or something.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's interesting.

Melanie Avalon: I was like, “I'm just laying here.”

Gin Stephens: One day, my sauna will be put together.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I was going to say-- did it arrive?

Gin Stephens: Oh, it's here. It's in the boxes.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, right, because you're redoing the garage first.

Gin Stephens: Hmm. Don't get me started.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, never mind. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: This is out of my control. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: I will put out good vibes.

Gin Stephens: I'm a patient girl.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really excited for you to--

Gin Stephens: Yeah, me too.

Melanie Avalon: I hope it happens while it's cold.

Gin Stephens: Me too.

Melanie Avalon: Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own question for the podcast, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com. Or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. Remember, you can submit questions for Episode 200 Ask Me Anything episode. You can follow us on Instagram and Gin, how is Instagram going?

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm doing it, here and there.

Melanie Avalon: Are you enjoying it?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, when I think about it. I just don't remember it. I have to remind myself.

Melanie Avalon: Now I'm looking at yours, I'm looking at your freezer from Daily Harvest.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, love the Daily Harvest.

Melanie Avalon: It's a lot of Daily Harvest.

Gin Stephens: Well, it is.

Melanie Avalon: Is that a mini freezer?

Gin Stephens: No, that's a regular freezer. It's actually a big freezer. It's a old KitchenAid side by side built-in freezer and fridge.

Melanie Avalon: We just ordered my mom a chest freezer and then she said she doesn’t want it, so we're returning it.

Gin Stephens: She doesn't want it?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, she said she wants one that she can open so she can reach in. I think she doesn't want to like reach down--

Gin Stephens: Oh, that makes sense.

Melanie Avalon: --into it.

Gin Stephens: But, yeah, this is just one side of my freezer. Not one side of the freezer, but one side of my built-in. It's really old. They redid the kitchen. I don't know when they did it, but the appliances they're nice, but they've been around since, I don't know, at some point in the early 2000 era. Just from looking at the backsplash, that's when they redid the kitchen. But I love my kitchen.

Melanie Avalon: Everybody is now going to go to your Instagram and look at.

Gin Stephens: And look at my freezer. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Good times. So, you can follow us, I'm @MelanieAvalon, Gin @GinStephens, I think that is all of the things.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: No, I don't think so.

Melanie Avalon: Nothing?

Gin Stephens: Not a thing. Like I always have so much to say. [laughs]

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

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Jan 03

Episode 194: ADF, Poor Fasted Sleep, Sugar Cravings, Reversing Prediabetes, HbA1c, Other People’s Expectations, Body Image Problems, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 194 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

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

INSIDE TRACKER: 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 MelanieAvalon.Com/GetInsideTracker And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To ButcherBox.com/IFPODCAST And Get The Ultimate Keto Bundle!

3:05 - 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!

14:55 - Listener Q&A: Danielle - Sleep And IF

Check Out Shapa Scale And Use The Promo Code IFStories To Save $20

30:50 - INSIDE TRACKER:  Go To MelanieAvalon.Com/GetInsideTracker And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

33:10 - Listener Q&A: Allison - Sugar cravings once I open my window

Click here to try Daily Harvest, and save $25 on your first delivery.

44:15 - Listener Q&A: Nelson Other people's Expectations

49:00 - BLUBLOX: Go To BluBlox.com And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

44:15 - Listener Q&A: Rebecca Blood Work/Glucose

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

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

Thorne Research - Berberine-500

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!

TRANSCRIPT


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 194 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 Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Hi friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get 10 pounds of free sustainable meat. That's right, 10 pounds. We are huge fans of a company called ButcherBox. They make it easy to get high-quality, humanely raised meat that you can trust. What they do is they deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, and wild-caught seafood, shipped directly to your door. By cutting out the middleman, which is the grocery store, and working directly with farmers. They are supporting huge changes in the future and sustainability of our health and the environment. The value is incredible.

The average cost is less than $6 per meal, and that is delicious. 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, where the cattle are free to roam on pasture. Their hogs are also raised on pasture or in hoop barns. Their bacon, by the way, is sugar and nitrate free. How hard is that to find? Their chickens are humanely raised with outdoor access, with no cages, crates, overcrowding. They uphold the strictest of standards, when it comes to fishing practices. They have an array of options, four curated box options as well as their popular custom box, so you can get exactly what you and your family love. If you want to learn all of the details, check out the very extensive blog post I did when researching, that's at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox, and here is that amazing offer we have for you guys.

You can start off the year right with up to 10 pounds of free meat for a limited time, ButcherBox is offering new members their ultimate keto bundle. When you sign up today at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast, you'll get one pork butt, two pounds of grass-fed, grass-finished beef, and three pounds of bone and chicken thighs all for free in your first box. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast. I'll put all this information in the show notes.

One more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that what you put on your skin gets direct access to your bloodstream and in your body can do a lot of detrimental things? So, while you may be fasting clean, you may at the same time be infusing your body with endocrine disrupters, which can mess with your hormones, obesogens, meaning they literally cause your body to store and gain weight and even carcinogens. 

In Europe, they've banned thousands of these compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup, and the US has banned less than 10. In fact, most conventional lipstick for example is high in lead, and the half-life of lead in the body can be up to 30 years. That means every time you put on some lipstick, you might be putting some lead into your bones, which might not leave for three decades. This is a big deal. Thankfully, there's an easy all-encompassing answer.

There's a company called Beautycounter, and they were founded on a mission to make skincare and makeup products that are safe for your skin. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to not burden your body and support your skin health. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter and if you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order.

If you'd like to learn more about safe beauty and also get a ton of amazing discounts and free things from me, definitely get on my clean beauty email list, that's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. Not sure which Beautycounter products to try? I also just made a whole series of online quizzes to match you to your perfect product. Those are at melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz. So, here's to fasting clean inside and out. All right. Now enjoy the show.

Hi everybody, and welcome. This is Episode number 194 of the Intermittent Fasting podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I am doing great. How are you doing?

Melanie Avalon: Good. Last night, I had my much belated birthday dinner with my family.

Gin Stephens: How was that?

Melanie Avalon: It was good. It was very much like a Melanie Dinner.

Gin Stephens: What does that mean, a Melanie Dinner?

Melanie Avalon: I had for the appetizer kangaroo.

Gin Stephens: Oh my gosh, I don't even know where you get that. I do eat meat, so I don't know why a kangaroo? It made me sad.

Melanie Avalon: I know, I know.

Gin Stephens: I was like, “Aww.”

Melanie Avalon: It's a normal thing to eat in Australia.

Gin Stephens: I guess it is. It's silly to feel that way about like one meat over another meat if you're eating meat. I also think kangaroos might be mean.

Melanie Avalon: I think they are, and I think there's also like a kangaroo population issue in Australia.

Gin Stephens: Oh. I just know when we used to watch like America's Funniest Home Videos as a family. Did you ever watch that?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Whenever there was a kangaroo, I'm like, “Oop, he's going to kick somebody.”

Melanie Avalon: I know.

Gin Stephens: If they were standing by the river, I'm like, “Oop, they're going to kick them in the river.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Oh my gosh, that's so funny. For people who are interested, it's a lean red meat.

Gin Stephens: Does it remind you of beef when you eat it?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's just a little bit gamier, so that was the appetizer. For the entree, I had rabbit.

[laughter]

Melanie Avalon: Then, for the dessert, I didn't even ask them for this, but they brought me out a Happy Birthday plate and a fruit bowl with just berries. I was like, “This is the only thing I would eat for dessert.” The waiter was like, “I think after two hours, I realized that.”

Gin Stephens: [laughs] You didn't have any sides, you just had the kangaroo meat itself and the rabbit meat itself.

Melanie Avalon: And steamed spinach.

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: Then, for the wine, I brought Dry Farm Wines, but I don't like bringing my own wine because I know servers get really annoyed, having been a fine dining server myself for five years. If listeners are curious, for restaurants, how I deal with wine at restaurants, I bring Dry Farm Wines, but then I pick a restaurant that has a really good wine list, and I vet the menu when I get there. If there is an organic wine from Europe, I will drink that. I had an organic wine from Europe by the glass and then my dad always does this, halfway through, he just orders a bottle. Out of all the bottles, he picked an organic wine without even realizing it. It was wonderful. We had that.

Gin Stephens: See, I actually have taken special wine to restaurants before that have a corkage fee.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: I don't mind if I want to have a certain one.

Melanie Avalon: If I do do it, I will basically add in my head another $100 to the bill and tip on that.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, you tip based on if they had ordered one. That makes sense. Yeah. I worked as a server, too. That's actually where Chad and I met. Did I ever tell you that? We were waiting tables--

Melanie Avalon: You waited tables together?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, at the same restaurant. That's where we met, back in 1990. It was the summer of 1990. He was 19, I was 20, and we were both waiting tables at a restaurant down by the river. We were babies. But yes, whenever you have a special deal, any kind of special deal, you want to tip on the amount that would have been if you didn't have a special deal.

Melanie Avalon: We can make this an entire server podcast.

Gin Stephens: I'm a generous tipper. Although I will say one of my pet peeves, it was whenever tips are automatically included. That bothers me. I have always would have tipped better, but it makes me annoyed.

Melanie Avalon: If they do that, then I just add to it.

Gin Stephens: I don't. If someone puts a gratuity on there automatically, I'm like, “Well, sad for you because that's all you're getting. I would have tipped you more.” That's just one of my pet peeves because I never add, even though you could, sometimes a certain party types, I never added. Sometimes I was regretful that I hadn't, but oftentimes it was worth it. Like usually it was.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, one of my favorite things now about, and I'm so grateful for this, but being financially stable from all of the-- like the podcasts and the books and all of that, is that I can afford to tip and it's my favorite thing to do.

Gin Stephens: Oh, me too.

Melanie Avalon: It brings me so much joy.

Gin Stephens: I'm the same way. I love to tip well. Again, like I said, someone automatically adding a gratuity is one of my pet peeves. I don't know why. I'm like, “I would have been more generous, but, oh, well, you chose that. Okay.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I guess because it's forced upon you.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I like to be generous because I want to be.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that makes sense.

Gin Stephens: That is a very Melanie meal.

Melanie Avalon: I know. That's the type of restaurants I look for.

Gin Stephens: I don't even know where you go to eat that food.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's called Canoe in Atlanta. I highly recommend it.

Gin Stephens: I've heard of that. I've heard of it.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you have? All right, because we're both from-- [crosstalk]

Gin Stephens: Well, I lived in the Atlanta area. What part of Atlanta is it in?

Melanie Avalon: I should know this.

Gin Stephens: Is it like Buckhead?

Melanie Avalon: No, it's this little area. It's like an area that's not Buckhead. I don't know. There's another restaurant right by it that I've been to called Old Vinings Inn.

Gin Stephens: That sounds like Vinings.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's probably it. Yeah. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: I would predict you're in Vinings.

Melanie Avalon: I think so. I believe that is correct.

Gin Stephens: That's great.

Melanie Avalon: Good times.

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm glad you had a good dinner.

Melanie Avalon: I did. Of course, when the dinner first started, the waiter came over, and he was like, “I hear we're celebrating your birthday.” Then, my mom was like, “Yes, her--” and then she proclaimed my age to the entire restaurant. I was like, “Thanks, Mom. Thank you.”

Gin Stephens: Embrace it. Embrace the age.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, well, perhaps.

Gin Stephens: I'm telling you, it's going to keep getting higher. And then, you--

Melanie Avalon: Unless we invent time travel or-- I don't know. I'm interviewing Mr-- Like some crazy longevity a person. I think maybe he has some secrets.

Gin Stephens: All right. He's crazy, or his ideas are crazy? Or, he likes crazy longevity? I'm trying to determine which part is crazy.

Melanie Avalon: Crazy in like-- he's not crazy, but he invests in longevity technology. I think our conversation is going to be about like Avatars and that type of stuff.

Gin Stephens: So really out there, but like futuristic kind of stuff.

Melanie Avalon: Like the technological future of longevity, like what that actually looks like. So, I'm pretty excited.

Gin Stephens: Well, we do have robot vacuums now, so we're pretty much in the future.

Melanie Avalon: I dreamed about my robot vacuum last night. So, that's really funny that you said that.

Gin Stephens: I don't have one. Well, see, my house is weird. I have a sunken living room right in the middle. It's a two-story sunken living room, and you come in the foyer and you step down to it and you step up to the dining room or step up to the kitchen, and it might sound weird, but it's beautiful. My house was built in ‘79. I don't know where I would put a robotic vacuum because it can't go up these little stairs.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, we talked about that.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Well, you could get the one that makes a map of your house and then you can map it so that it doesn't fall. And then, you could get two, one on the lower, one of the upper.

Gin Stephens: Well, I would need one for the master bedroom and the foyer. It's crazy the way the rooms go around. Yeah. I would need, let me see, one, two, three-- I would need five. Five robotic vacuums.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, maybe not.

Gin Stephens: You know what's funny? Chad loves to vacuum. I got one of those Dyson, it's the cordless that plugs in where there's little ones. I had all these credits for Best Buy because we bought a washer and dryer. If you put it on their credit card, you got all these credits. I'm like, “All right, I'll do that.” I was able to get this Dyson really expensive vacuum for very cheap. Chad will go grab it-- He had never once in the lifetime of knowing him gotten out our big vacuum and vacuumed the house. Every day or something, he'll go grab that little cordless vacuum and go around the house and vacuum stuff.

Melanie Avalon: Still?

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: [laughs]

Gin Stephens: He did it this morning. I was actually trying to watch TV, and he's vacuuming. Look, I'm not even going to complain.

Melanie Avalon: That's so funny.

Gin Stephens: I'm just going to sit here and pause the TV and not worry about it. The man's vacuuming. I've got a robot vacuum, it's called Chad.

Melanie Avalon: That's great. You know what else Dyson makes? They make vacuums and then they expanded their products and made something very specific.

Gin Stephens: I know they have a hairdryer. What is it? Is that it?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, like a hairdryer. Apparently, they put a lot of research into the science of hairdryers to make this crazy hairdryer. I got it. It's incredible.

Gin Stephens: Okay, now see, I'm a little mad now because I had the option to choose that for something that I might want, and I did not choose that.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's really wonderful.

Gin Stephens: I’ve got a good hairdryer, I don't need--

Melanie Avalon: I got the straightener, too. The straightener is okay. But the hairdryer, I'm like, “Everybody needs this hairdryer.”

Gin Stephens: How's it special?

Melanie Avalon: I don't know. It looks really strange.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. It's weird. It's like a doughnut kind of.

Melanie Avalon: I don't even know how it works. It has this circle. It looks very futuristic and the air comes through. I literally have no idea where the air is coming from, but it blows out of this hollow circle thing. It's light, easy to hold, and it just dries my hair really fast. Apparently, the science that they did is they make sure it never changes-- The temperature is very tightly controlled of the air, so it doesn't ever overheat your hair. I don't know. It's really amazing.

Gin Stephens: Now, I'm super sad that I didn't choose it.

Melanie Avalon: Next time. So, shall we jump into everything?

Gin Stephens: Yes, let's get started.

Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we have a question from Danielle and the subject is “Sleep and IF,” because this is the Intermittent Fasting podcast if people didn't figure that out yet. Danielle says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. I have a question about ADF,” which is alternate-day fasting and sleep. I don't struggle with the hunger on ADF, but it has a massive impact on my sleep. Even after doing it for a few months, I never adjust and have very poor sleep on these nights. Usually, my sleep is really good.

My background. I'm currently 121 pounds with muscle as I lift weights two times a week and would prefer to be around 112 to 114 pounds. I am 5’4”, so this is around the lower end of a healthy BMI range. I usually have a three- to four-hour eating window each day and often longer on the weekends, eight hours. I eat everything, but mostly fish plus salad or vegetables, or chicken plus salad, or other meat plus salad, or pasta during the week. On weekends, I may go out for brunch and dinner. So, I have a varied diet, but mostly whole foods with minimal junk foods, although I never ever deny myself anything. I always eat to satiety.

I've never been overweight, and I've always weighed around 116 to 120 pounds since age 14. I'm currently 34 years old. I actually have technically time-restricted eating unconsciously since being a teenager because I never ate breakfast anyway. With this way of eating, I easily stay at 121 pounds without any effort. Actually, I am usually slightly lighter, but I gained two pounds since lifting weights at the start of this year, but my inches are smaller. I can't seem to lose and stay at a lower than my current weight. This is where my body likes to be. I tried ADF again recently for two months and lost inches but not much weight, maybe four pounds, but couldn't maintain the eating style because of the impact on sleep. I gained back the little loss that I had after stopping again.

Anything you suggest would be very helpful. I'm even happier being only five pounds less but can't even seem to do that easily. Thank you, and I love your show. I've listened every week since your first episode. You both carefully evaluate research and are critical of fats, which I really like. It's so lovely having an all-women show that is thoughtful and scientific, and you're both careful not to overstep your expertise in the area of health, which is refreshing. I also really enjoy that you each have different opinions with some things and don't need to agree with everything the other says, I think this demonstrates your modesty about your wealth of knowledge on the topic and willingness to adapt beliefs based on science. Danielle.”

Gin Stephens:  All right. Well, there's two things here, two directions that I'm going to go. First of all, I'm going to address the actual first part of the question, but then I'm going to talk about Danielle's struggle overall. First of all, let's talk about sleep with ADF. Danielle, I was the same way. I did not sleep on down days when I was doing ADF. Particularly, I was doing the full fast version of ADF. So, I would have a 36 to 42 hour fast, and then the next day would be an up day. So, I'd have at least two meals on the up days, that's how I recommend that you do it based on the research on ADF. I'm talking about the up day. There's two ways you can structure your down day.

One is the complete fast like I said, 36 to 42 hours. The alternate way you can structure your down day is with a 500-calorie down-day meal. For somebody struggling with sleep, I would recommend that you try that version, the 500-calorie down-day meal and choose something-- a lot of people have trouble stopping at 500 calories. But if you choose something strategically, something that is very satisfying, it will fill you up and you have it later in the day, closer to bedtime, you may find that you're able to sleep with the down day meal. That's just an option. It helps some people. Really, that is why I feel I won't do ADF. I was not a good sleeper on ADF, no matter, it wasn't a good sleep combination for me. I get it. If I needed to do ADF for any certain reasons if I felt I needed it metabolically or something like that, if I was stuck on a plateau and trying to lose more weight, I might would do it for a little while, but the sleep was the issue for me. A lot of people don't have that problem. They sleep great with ADF, whether they're doing the longer fasts or the down day version, but sleep is important and we're all different. So, I completely get the struggle and that was one I faced as well.

Now, let's talk about your weight. You're 5’4”. Now, I know we're all different and there's no formula that's perfect, and I know that. Your frame size can be important, you might have a really tiny dainty frame. I'm bearing that in mind. I once heard a formula that I kind of like as a rule of thumb and it was 100 pounds for your first five feet and then five pounds per inch after that. If we calculate your-- that is to find your “ideal weight,” because as I said, there are a lot of factors at play. But for 5’4”, using that formula, your “ideal weight” would be 120 pounds, and you're right there at 121. The difference between 120 and 121 is a good poop. That's within your maintenance range. I would consider 121 to be statistically the same as 120.

You also said something that was very important, several things. First of all, you said, “I can't seem to lose and stay at a lower weight than my current weight.” One thing I have found over my years of maintenance, my years of maintaining within the range where I am now, this is where my body likes to be, and that really is why I threw my scale away because when I started thinking about my ideal weight, using that formula that I just told you, that would put my ideal weight, I'm 5’5”, I should be 125 pounds at my ideal weight. I got it in my head that I needed to see that number. I didn't wait for a year and then I got on the scale, and I felt like I was at my ideal weight because I was wearing a size zero jeans from the Loft. I knew I didn't need to lose more weight or really want to lose more weight, so I had it in my brain that I would see 125 on the scale.

I got on the scale that day in 2017 and saw 130.2 or some nonsense like that and I was so mad because I wanted to see a different number. But then, I was mad that I was mad and that was the day I threw my scale away because I realized I was where my body wanted to be. I was maintaining within that range wearing the clothes that I felt great in. You have talked about that you have lost inches. When you started lifting weights, you gained two pounds, but your inches are down. This is just a great example of the fact that your body composition is better than it was. Your weight’s up, but your inches are down, that means fat loss and muscle gain. I think it's time for you to break up with the idea of needing to see a smaller number on the scale. Now, if you clearly look at yourself and see that you have excess fat that you can tell is a problem, yeah, that's another issue. I've said this before, maybe not on this podcast, I'm not sure, but I know I've said it on Intermittent Fasting Stories. Women are meant to be curvy and squishy. I'm at what I consider to be my ideal maintenance range weight. I've got squishy parts on me. I think that's how we're supposed to be, and we can get so caught up in feeling we have to be another way. You want to be in a weight range that you can comfortably maintain without having to do things that don't feel right to you. So, I just want you to think about that. Maybe you're exactly where you need to be.

Melanie Avalon: I love that. I feel like you threw away your scale when we had this show, right?

Gin Stephens: We did. Yeah, it was June of 2017 and we started the podcast in April of 2017. I haven't weighed myself since then, except till I got my Shapa scale that I love so much. I went gray on the Shapa of scale right before Thanksgiving because I'd been to the beach a couple times, I'd eaten a lot more, and I could feel it. Gray meant, slowly gaining a little weight. Then, I didn't do anything drastic or freak out, I just stayed on my normal routine. Then, I saw blue, which is losing weight. So, I gained a little weight, then I lost that weight, then Thanksgiving hit. I went to the green, and I've been on the green ever since. That's maintaining. I don't need to worry about the number. Sometimes, I'm curious what the number is, but I don't want to play those games with myself of like, “Man, if only I could just see 125,” because that number is meaningless.

Melanie Avalon: Do you know what does the vacation mode do on the Shapa scale?

Gin Stephens: Okay, the vacation mode, yeah, I do know what that is because you put it on vacation mode when you're not going to be home, or if you don't want to weigh and it doesn't count it against you with your weighing streak. Really, it's nothing, no, it's no big deal. It's just that Shapa will fuss at you for not weighing because you get off of your weighing streak. It wants you to weigh daily because that's really the whole premise of it is that it keeps track of your overall trend, so it needs the data. When I went to the beach and didn't have my scale because I'm not going to take my scale on vacation. I'm just not going to do that. I put it on vacation mode. Then, when I came back and got right back on it, I was off of vacation mode.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so it's not making any changes to how it interprets your--

Gin Stephens: No.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Because I was like, I don't understand how that would work, but that makes sense. I love what you said. I feel people who, which is a lot of us, get fixated on numbers, you can tell because the weight that you fixate on will be a very specific number, like 121.

Gin Stephens: She said she's always weighed between 116 and 120 since the age of 14, but she's still right there. She's still right there. She's like, “Oh, no, I'm 121.” That's fabulous, especially if you started weightlifting.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. My question is because she really wants to lose five more pounds. Does that five pounds look any different on your body? Why?

Gin Stephens: That was why was that I mentioned the part about, do you see five extra pounds of fat on your body? Or, is it just you want to see that number on the scale? Because I can't imagine-- if she's been 116 to 120 since the age of 14, I can't imagine that she sees 5 extra pounds of fat at 121.

Melanie Avalon: I love everything that you said about the ADF. When people write into us about ADF, it is hard to know which version they're doing, because when I hear people doing ADF, I actually automatically assume they're doing the 500-calorie version. Do you assume they're doing--?

Gin Stephens: The full fast? Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I can't sleep fasted. I just can't. I actually have a question for you, Gin, from me about ADF because I've thought about this before about how-- if I could do ADF, and actually do it, what would that look like? The only way I think I could do it and sleep would be if I did a 500-calorie meal, like you talked about and took a Benadryl.

Gin Stephens: Well, see, for me Benadryl keeps me awake because I'm the opposite. I have that ADHD brain, and Benadryl makes me wired.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Which is, of course, because we are the complete opposite in everything.

Gin Stephens: I'd be awake for the rest of my life. All those Tylenol PMs and Benadryl, that's the same ingredient. But, no, I cannot sleep on Benadryl. I wouldn't do it. If something is making you not be able to sleep and you're having to take something like that, I wouldn't do it.

Melanie Avalon: This is just something that I thought about because I am not really a fan of-- I guess Benadryl is technically a pharmaceutical. I'm a fan of not doing things like that if you can at all help it, but I have thought before I'm like, the cost benefits of doing ADF with Benadryl. This is just something I pondered.

Gin Stephens: I don't think you would like ADF because you wouldn't want the up day. I feel you wouldn't like the up day. You have to eat at least two meals, possibly three. I don't think you'd want to do that.

Melanie Avalon: No.

Gin Stephens: ADF is not for you, Melanie. It's not for me right now either. Like I said, I'm not ever going to say never. I won't say I will never do something again. But I feel I won't do ADF, and I'm not anti-ADF. I don't think it's bad, some people love it. They love it. It's what works best for their body. Some people are scared of it. I almost hate to say that I don't want to do it because then people are like, “Well, Gin doesn't like it, I'm not going to like it. I don't want to do it,” and then they dread it. But then, they start doing it and they love it. I don't want people to use my feelings about it. I'm not anti it, and I know people who love it. A lot of my moderators do it and love it.

Melanie Avalon: I wish I was one of those people, but I'm not.

Gin Stephens: Why? Why do you want to do it? Just to have a longer fast?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, mostly. If it works well for you, it seems like a really great lifestyle practice for those that works well for, so that's why .It's like for those people who do really thrive on a vegan diet, it's like I wish I was that person, but I'm just not.

Interestingly, really quick tangent, my sister was there with us last night and she is vegan. She said she had this huge realization that bread made her feel really awful. She was thinking it was the folic acid added, but I was like, but I don't know. I think it's probably the gluten. She said she had a huge epiphany pretty recently about just how much food makes her feel. I was like, “What do you eat?” She was telling me the foods that she eats in her vegan paradigm and they were actually-- so if I were to do paleo vegan, they were all that. It was like non-gluten-containing grains like rice, quinoa. It wasn't legumes. It was lentils, vegetables, fruits. I was like, “This is very paleo.” It was just really exciting and interesting-- It’s interesting because she's not really looked into paleo or doesn't really know any of the-- well, I don't know if she knows, but she doesn't hardcore focus on why certain foods may be inflammatory for certain people but to see her naturally gravitate to the foods in a vegan paradigm that I would consider to be the least inflammatory or a least problematic was, it was pretty cool.

Gin Stephens: She's listening to her body. It makes sense that the foods that worked for your body as far as like-- you gravitated to paleo foods, and she has too.

Melanie Avalon: What I was telling her was I wrote my book What When Wine-- well, it released in stores in 2018, but I wrote the first version in 2014. Despite everything that's happening, there's been so much research, so many findings since then, actually really all of it, I still pretty much feel the same with everything that I've seen since then about the potential inflammatory nature of the categories of foods and then same with the fasting. It's nice to see that, rather than being like, “Oh, I thought this was absolutely amazing.” And maybe it's not or-- yeah.

Gin Stephens: Well, good. I'm glad that she's figuring it out.

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Gin Stephens: Our next question is from Allison, and the subject is “Sugar cravings once I open my window.” Hi, Gin and Melanie, I love your podcast and have been IF for about three weeks. I did IF about a year ago, but slowly went back to my old habits. During my first try of IF, I did a 16:8 window, I now have a five to six-hour eating window. I've noticed that I don't have cravings during the fasted state, but once I start eating, all I want is sugar. I usually open my window with something healthy like avocado and tomato. Once I'm satiated from a hunger standpoint, a major sugar craving kicks in. Have you heard of this and do you have any suggestions?”

Melanie Avalon: All right. Allison, thank you for your question. I feel there are probably three potential things that could be going on here. One is, especially since you talked about you did IF but then you went back to old habits, it could literally be a habitual thing that you associate eating with sugar, with those types of foods. So, it could just be the habit brain kicking in. Also, similar to that, it could be we know when we eat sugar that it releases feel-good neurotransmitters, so it could be just wanting a drug basically. That can seem a little bit intense, but when they do studies in rats, for example, rats prefer sugar to cocaine, which is crazy. So, it could be that, it could be a comforting thing like eating sugar makes us feel-- it sends our bodies a safety signal because of the calorie nature of it.

The third thing that it could be which is actually very different is, if she was opening her window with protein and then craving sugar, a case for that is often because we can get a reactive hypoglycemia from protein, and the sugar helps balance that out. But she's opening it with avocado and tomato, and feels satiated, and then has the sugar craving. So, I don't think it's that case. It really sounds habitual.

One of the things that I have heard is that the way you can identify if it's a craving is if it is for a very specific food, and you just want that one food. Because when you're hungry, and it's not a craving, you can think of lot of probably like whole foods that would tastes really delicious. But if it's like, “Oh, I really want Skittles,” or, “I really want cereal,” or, I really want this one specific thing, then it's quite often a craving. As for the advice-- Well, first of all, Gin, what are your thoughts about the source of this?

Gin Stephens: Well, first of all, one thing I think that is important is that she's only been doing IF for three weeks. We do see people who are still in the adjustment phase have a tendency to have that, that drive to eat more during their eating window when they're first starting as their bodies are adjusting. It has to do-- you're not well fueled yet in the fasted state because your body is still becoming fat adapted. So, you open your window and then bam, now you're craving that that energy that your body is not quite getting yet. When people find that, that calms down after they become fat adapted and adjusted to fasting, so I don't know if that's part of what's happening for you, but it could be because the timing is right.

Also, I mean I still get sugar cravings every day, sometimes. Well, I mean, not every day, but I do like to have something sweet. I don't think of it as a negative. I think of it as, why does every human crave something sweet? Why have we decided that that's bad and wrong if we all do it? What I do, and I've discovered if you've been listening to the podcast for a while, that too much sugar gives me restless legs. So, I'm mindful of what I choose and what I eat. But I do not beat myself up for wanting something sweet. Maybe I have a couple of Medjool dates. That satisfies that craving for something sweet, closes my window beautifully. I've been having smoothies to close my window. Now, these are smoothies made with whole foods, really high-quality foods. I talked about before. I'm loving Daily Harvest smoothies. If you go to the favorite things tab of ginstephens.com, I have a link there, but they're really high-quality ingredients, it satisfies my need to have something sweet. They don't have any added sugar. They're sweetened with things like a banana or dates. They also have things in there to balance it out like chickpeas, which might sound weird, but it's delicious. It balances it out with some protein and it's after my meal.

Yesterday, I actually had some vanilla ice cream because we had some still in the freezer from the holidays. I just had a little bit, and it wasn't a problem. I want you to think about this. If you're like bingeing on low-quality sugar things like packs of cookies, then obviously that would not be a good long-term strategy. But if you were like, “I love cookies, and I have cookies, and I'm craving a cookie and I'm going to have one,” or choose something, if you don't think cookies serve your body well, then think of something that would and have that. Melanie loves pineapple, that would meet her sweet craving. Don't feel guilt from it just because maybe you think that that we're not supposed to have anything that tastes sweet. I don't agree with that idea.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's so interesting with fruit. Some people, that works really well. For me, it works really well but some people that makes them more hungry. Knowing what type of sweet, so between the more simple sugars found in fruit compared to the more complex sugars found in something-- well, if you made like-- I'm paleo finding it, but if you made like a cookie out of starches, although that have sugar in it, so I guess that would be all of them.

One thing you could try is opening, because she said, okay, she opens with avocado and tomato. I know I said that some people will eat protein and then they crave the sweet because they need it to help process the protein without having a reactive hypoglycemia response. One thing you could do is open with avocado and tomato and protein. Opening with protein because protein is extremely satiating, and you might find that opening with that and fat which would be avocado, you might have less with the craving. Yes, I like what you said about that.

Gin Stephens: We have so much guilt around the whole idea of wanting to eat something sweet. I do think that, like you mentioned before, we know about the rats and the-- I'm talking about just refined sugar they'll just go to it more than just cocaine. Some people do have the areas of their brain that light up and they consider themselves to be sugar addicts, and they need to not have sugar and I'm talking about sugar itself. But then, some people have taken it to the point where they're like, well, anything like fruit, anything sweet is bad, and no one should ever have any of that. I'm not going to say that there aren't people that need to avoid that, and I understand. If someone says to me, “I can't eat fruit. Fruit is bad for my body,” I believe you. But I don't think we need to be caught up in the paradigm that craving something sweet means I'm bad and weak.

Melanie Avalon: The only context I would add, and it's 100%, it's not a moral thing. It's not bad and weak. The only caution I would add is if you are following a super high-fat, super low-carb diet, and you have a craving for something sweet, this is just something I thought for a really long time, but I think it's best if you've just had a really high-fat meal, and you're craving something sweet, I don't think it's the best to combine super high-fat with sugar in that situation. I like to-- personally, I would like ride it out with something like stevia or something like that, and then bring in carbs in the more of the context of not a ketogenic diet. That's just something I felt for a long time.

Gin Stephens: That's someone who is purposefully being ketogenic.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because I think what happens a lot is, and I've said this before on the show, but I feel like a lot of times people will do ketogenic diets and it's not satiating, and it's not really working for them that well, but they're eating like a super, super high-fat version. Then, they get sugar cravings, and then they're like, “Oh, whatever, I'll just eat all the sugar.” In that context, I think that can create a very unhealthy or potentially damaging metabolic state, in that acute moment. I've always thought that it's like coming off the keto diet if you want to bring back carbs. I think doing some fast, so addressing the craving with something sweet that's not actually sugar, and then doing your you're fast, and then the next day approaching it with more carbs in a lower fat context.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I think it's distinguishing between sugar craving and the craving for something sweet, because for me, it's the craving to have a little something sweet. Back in the day when I was trying keto, I made keto cheesecake and that satisfied the craving for something sweet.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Which I'm assuming you probably made it with--

Gin Stephens: Whatever all that stuff was. All the artificial stuff that you were using back in the day with that. Anyway, but I always had that little taste for something sweet that I needed. I don't think of it as a negative or a weakness.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That's why I personally-- like I was doing low carb for a long time. I did for a while see it as a weakness or something like you just said, but then I realized I was much happier doing intermittent fasting and then having all the sweet that I wanted in the form of fruit and satiating that at night in my eating window, and that worked really well for me. I switched to a lower fat context for it.

Gin Stephens: The smoothies, we're really enjoying them. Chad and I'll split one. It's just so funny because for a while, he was like, “Let's just have fourth of one and save it.” And I'm like, “We're not doing it,” because he's one of those naturally thin people that has appetite correction. He's like, “I only want a little bit.” I'm like, “Well, then just throw it away. I'm making a new one tomorrow. We're not going to have a quarter of a smoothie every day.” [laughs] It is so funny. He's the person that will leave like two green beans on his plate.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I can't do that.

Gin Stephens: Just eat the green beans, eat the green beans.

Melanie Avalon: Especially when I go to restaurants, it's completely cleared. I always look around and people-- a lot of people do, not finished everything, and I'm like--

Gin Stephens: I do stop eating, sometimes I'll be like, “I've had enough of this chicken, you want the rest of this piece of chicken?” I'll hand that to him, he might eat it, or I just won't finish it. But two green beans or a quarter of a smoothie, no.

Melanie Avalon: I've always finished everything my entire life.

Gin Stephens: Really? I don't always but I tend to if it's something I'm really enjoying.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Anyway, that's funny.

Melanie Avalon: Shall we go to the next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: All right. This comes from Nelson. We don't have the subject, but Nelson says, “Hey, ladies, I love your show. To make a long story short, I discovered IF--" this is a really old question, but I came across it and I just was like, “Oh, I have to read this. This is crazy.” He says, “I discovered IF by a group of extras at a shoot for Manhunt for Netflix where Melanie's name was mentioned early spring 2019.” This just cracks me up because I used to do that all the time. Doing extra on shows for TV and Netflix and stuff like that. So, it's funny to me that people were talking about me in that situation.

Gin Stephens: That is funny. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: That's so funny. I could have been on that set. Well, 2019, I could have been. He says, “I lost over 100 pounds now. It's not only the lifestyle I love, what I love is that I made it fit me. Do you know what I mean? Nothing drastic, just delay, don't deny. So simple. Now for my question, I'll reach maintenance at 180. I'm 224 today, I was 330. My wife thinks I'm too skinny. My mom too. Everybody around me is over 275 pounds and now they're all wondering what I am doing. I gave them your books, but my wife wants me heavier. What do I do? By the way, I'm a 56-year-old father of eight boys, married for 26 years. Happy fasting. Thank you for all that you do.”

Gin Stephens: This is a great question, Nelson, thank you for sharing it. I'm going to share a personal story from my life when I first was approaching my goal in 2015. Keep in mind that I had been 210 pounds most recently, and I had been up in that 180 to 200 range up and down around and there for a few years prior to hitting 210 and realizing that I was obese. My husband had been used to seeing me heavy. So, then when I was getting close to my goal weight, my initial goal was 135 pounds, because that was 75 pounds down, that seemed like a number that if I ever could just hit that 75 pounds down, 135 seemed perfection.

Then, I got there and I'm like, “Alright, I met my goal.” But then, I realized I did still have some fat to lose, which is true, I did. I did go on to lose at least five more pounds around in there to hit around 80 going. But the point I'm making is, when I hit that 135, my husband said, “You're too skinny.” He had seen me way less than that early in our marriage when I was younger, and he never said I was too skinny then. But after seeing me at 210 and then around the 180s for a while, suddenly, it was a big change to see me at 135. He was like, “Yeah, you don't lose any more weight. Do not lose any more weight.” I ignored him, did whatever I wanted to do. And he doesn't think I'm too skinny, even though I am two sizes down from where I was at that day, that I hit my goal and when he said don't lose any more weight, I'm two sizes down from that day and he does not think I'm too skinny now.

People have to adjust to the new you. Choose a way where you can healthily maintain and feel good in your skin. Don't fixate on the number. Maybe it's 180, you're 224 today, maybe it's 190, maybe it's 175. You don't know. Just let your body decide what feels right to you and what's easy for you to maintain. When you get there, your family will adjust to your new size. Our bodies do not want to be too skinny. So, it's really unusual that anyone would lose below a weight that is healthy for your body. I wouldn't stress out about that. Let them adjust and they'll see. What do you think about that, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that's great. I think maybe when it comes up something that you can focus on rather than debating the weight is shift the focus to talking about how you feel health-wise, like how you're feeling better and have that discussion, rather than trying to be defensive about the weight or the size.

Gin Stephens: Right. We hear this a lot, that people will say, “Well, now everyone around me tells me I've lost too much weight, I'm getting too skinny.” Whenever anybody asks that, I say, “Alright, what's your height? What's your weight?” They're always in a healthy BMI range when they're saying this. I've never once had anybody say a weight that puts them below a healthy BMI range. It's just that I really think it takes time for people to adjust to the new you.

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Gin Stephens: This is from Rebecca, and the subject is “Bloodwork/Glucose.” “I have been clean fasting since March 1 of 2020. And I'm amazed how fit I feel and how loose my clothes are. I thought I was doing well prior until I realized by putting stevia in my coffee, eating sugar-free breath mints, I was compromising my fast. I know now. Here's my question. I was watching my A1c levels climb since the majority of my dad's side of the family all have diabetes. All of them. I was watching my level climb, and a year ago, my A1c reached 5.7, which is pre-diabetic. Since I got on track, it is now 5.5 for five months, which I thought would even drop more when I started to clean fast in March. Shouldn't that have dropped more? Also, my glucose level went from 89 in January 2020 to 100, and I fasted 15 hours. Any suggestions as to why that went up? Thank you so much. Sincerely, Rebecca.” She said, “By the way, I have your book, Gin, and also pre-ordered your new book coming out this month. I also bought The Obesity Code.” So, that lets me know she sent this in in June. At the time that she wrote this, she was only three months into intermittent fasting. That's important.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Thank you so much, Rebecca. For listeners, who are not familiar, HbA1c is, so we have our blood sugar that we can monitor which is in your blood. Then we have our HbA1c which shows longer-term effects of elevated blood sugar levels on our red blood cells. The turnover rate is three months. So, we tend to see changes in HbA1c on a three-month timeline. I'm so excited because I finally released my first episode. Had I released it last time we recorded, Gin, with Nutrisense?

Gin Stephens: I'm not sure if it had been released yet.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really excited because I actually just released two days ago, finally, finally, finally, the episode because Gin and I have been talking about CGMs so much on this show recently, which are continuous glucose monitors, which give you a real-time picture of your blood sugar levels throughout the day. I interviewed Nutrisense. There's two different companies that I was trialing. There's Nutrisense and Levels. I'm interviewing both of them and bringing them both and releasing episodes with both of them, but I did release just now the episode with Nutrisense, which is making CGMs accessible to the general public. The reason I'm talking about this is, we dive so deep, Rebecca, if you listen to that episode, I think it will help you so much. We went really deep into HbA1c, blood sugar levels, higher fasting blood sugar levels while fasting, like she says that she's fasting 15 hours and now her blood sugar was up from 89 to 100.

I will say one of the biggest things I've learned from wearing a CGM, because I've been wearing one for about a month and a half now, is just how for a lot of people and for me how much your blood sugar can change throughout the day. So, like you could measure one moment, and it might be 89 and then you might wait five minutes and measure it and it might be 100. It can really change that much.

Gin Stephens: It really does.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, based on a lot of factors. Interesting thing about HbA1c, that's why it is a better marker because you are seeing the longer-term effect. That said, in the interview, the founder Nutrisense, her name is Kara Collier. She was actually talking about some of the potential issues with HbA1c, and there is some debate about factors affecting it and how reliable it is. But all of that said, it is possible-- and this is something that I asked Kara, because a lot of people doing fasting and/or low carb diets, actually find that they’d start having higher fasted blood sugar levels, usually around like 100, kind of what Rebecca is experiencing. The question I asked Kara this, I also asked at Levels, her name was Casey, I asked her as well. I am very curious about people who are doing fasting-- and we don't know if this is the case with Rebecca, but a lot of people who are doing fasting, doing low carb, and experiencing a slightly elevated fasted blood sugar, the flip side is they don't tend to be getting the huge spikes. When they're eating, they're not getting these crazy high blood sugar levels, but the fasted blood sugar, maybe at a higher baseline. I am personally really curious, and I don't know that we have the answer to this yet about the cost-benefit of all this and how it is affecting things like HbA1c and things like that.

The point of all this is, Rebecca, if this does continue to be a thing, especially since you really want to take charge of this, I would really, really recommend getting a CGM if that is a possibility for you. You can go to melanieavalon.com/nutrisensecgm, and the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON, will get you 15% off and they do have a two-week one. I don't think the code works for that. They have a two-week one and they have like three months and six months in different plans. Anybody who is trying to figure out their blood sugar levels, their HbA1c, they're fasting, the foods they're eating, how it's affecting them, the CGM might really, really help. Her question is any suggestions as to why it went up? It could be the fasting, it could be just when you tested it, when you took that blood sugar draw. It could be that maybe if you tested it at a slightly different time that it would have been in the 80s as well.

Gin Stephens: That was mind blowing to me from wearing the CGM. Then I was like, well, this is now a meaningless question because it just really could have been five minutes earlier, you could have had-- or 30 minutes earlier, it could have been completely different.

Melanie Avalon: It's really shocking, actually.

Gin Stephens: It really surprised me a lot how much it varied from minute to minute, even in the fasted state. You assume that when you're fasted, it is just steady there. But no, your body is constantly keeping it within this range. Your liver dumps some more glycogen, it just keeps going up and down within this range.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and that's something that's really good about doing like Nutrisense because you have an app with it and you can see, has like tables and charts. Even if it's changing, you can see where the general line is, and then it gives you scores. It does all the analyzing for you. It makes sense of the data to let you know if things are potentially a problem or not. The other thing really cool about Nutrisense is-- and you can opt-out if you don't want this, but they actually talk to you via email or via chat, I think, in the app, and give you advice and guidance and can interpret your results for you, which I was like, “Wow, this is pretty cool.” It's very, very tailored to helping you figure things out. If you really want to figure it out, that could definitely be something that could help you. I found for me that I wasn't like super happy with my fasted blood sugar levels, and I started supplementing with berberine that had a profound effect on my fasting blood sugar. I'll put a link in the show notes to the berberine that I'm taking. It's the Thorn brand. But yeah.

Gin Stephens: I also want to put out there. We don't know, this is really important, the A1c is a measure of your past two to three months of blood sugar. It gives you that average. It had been 5.7, it got to 5.5, and she said she thought it would drop even more when she started to clean fast in March. So, I don't know when her A1c was tested. She's only been doing clean fasting for three months, so I imagine that her A1c was tested at some point within that three months of the clean fast. That's really not much time. It takes people a lot longer to see positive changes in their A1c than just at first because our bodies, we have the adjustment period for intermittent fasting. Our bodies are doing a lot of changing, a lot of healing. So, it's not like it happens overnight. Like now, I'm fasting everything's fixed. Now, it might take a year for you to see, you see the trend over time, maybe get it tested every three months. And hopefully every three months, you'll see that trend getting better, but not at first, and she's still really right there in the beginning.

Melanie Avalon: She hasn't mentioned at all what she's eating. If what you're eating, you're massively spiking your blood sugar, and depending on how long it's taking for that blood sugar to come down, that could be a huge factor. I don't think people can always fast themselves out of foods that aren't working for us. So, hopefully, that was helpful.

A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions for the podcast, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com, or you can go to ifpodcast.com, and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/Episode194.

Oh, listeners, for Episode 200 we are going to do an Ask Me Anything Episode. So, if you have any questions, you can ask Gin and I anything about our personal lives or anything, our opinions on whatever. So, just send us those questions and put AMA in the title so we know that that's what it's for. You can get all of this stuff we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. I wanted to mention because I was talking about Dry Farm Wines in the beginning, you can get a bottle for a penny from Dry Farm Wines at dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast.

Gin Stephens: Ooh, can I tell you what I got Chad for Christmas?

Melanie Avalon: Dry Farm Wines?

Gin Stephens: I did.

Melanie Avalon: You did? Oh.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I've ordered him-- I'm not drinking wine right now, but he's drinking wine. He has literally gone through my Dry Farm Wines because that's all he wants to drink now. I was like, “I'm going to get him some Dry Farm Wines.”

Melanie Avalon: I'm doing that for my dad too.

Gin Stephens: I love it.

Melanie Avalon: Does he drink red?

Gin Stephens: Chad likes red. Yeah, he prefers red. I got him a box. Yeah, and you can get a gift box. I don't know if people know you can do that. You can send someone a gift box.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, you can do like a one-off.

Gin Stephens: Yep. You don't have to send a subscription.

Melanie Avalon: I've been gifting myself because I'm going faster than my subscription.

Gin Stephens: When I was doing that, I was going faster than my subscription, I would just go in and change the next ship date.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I've done that, and I've done gift box.

Gin Stephens: But anyway, so I've got to try to figure out how to intercept the box before he sees it because he's home for the semester there. He's grading final exams. I'm just going to be standing at the curb waiting for it to deliver.

Melanie Avalon: “Don't look. [laughs] Don't look while I sign for this heavy box.”

Gin Stephens: When I see that it's out for delivery. I'll be like, “Please go do a lot of shopping for me at the grocery store.” Anyway, I just had to throw that in about Dry Farm Wines because we love it.

Melanie Avalon: Love them. If you'd like to get a bottle for a penny, you can go to dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast, and you can follow us on Instagram, the place to be, with Gin and I. [laughs] I'm starting to have the time on my life there. I'm Melanie Avalon, Gin is Gin Stephens. No, friends, for reals, follow me. I'm doing a lot of giveaways. For the CGM episode, I'm giving away a CGM.

Gin Stephens: Woo, can I enter-- [laughs]

Melanie Avalon:  Sure. If you win, I'll be like, “Nope.”

Gin Stephens: Okay, never mind.

Melanie Avalon: No, you can enter. Enter, and then when I do the drawing--

Gin Stephens: I cannot win. That's fine. Okay.

Melanie Avalon: I will die if it lands on you. That'd be so funny.

Gin Stephens: That would be funny.

Melanie Avalon: No, every episode that I release now if they have something that is giveawayable, I'm asking them if they'll give it away.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's a good idea.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so it's been CGM. So, that giveaway will probably be over, but there might be another one going on when this comes out in January. Happy 2021, Gin.

Gin Stephens: Awesome. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Happy January 4th to you.

Gin Stephens: We're recording this way in the past, but I think we're all ready for some 2021.

Melanie Avalon: I think so. Gin is GinStephens on Instagram. I think that is everything.

Gin Stephens: I think so too.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, anything else from you before we go?

Gin Stephens: Still no. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

STUFF WE LIKE

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

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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

 

 

Dec 27

Episode 193: Pregnancy, PCOS, Infertility, Postpartum Fasting, Breastfeeding, Inflammation, HIIT, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 193 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

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

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-fed beef, organic chicken, heritage pork, wild-caught seafood: nutrient-rich, raised sustainably the way nature intended, and shipped straight to your door! For A Limited Time Go To ButcherBox.Com/IFPODCAST And Get Free Bacon For Life!

BiOptimizers: A Company Whose Mission Is To Fix Your Digestion! Get Their Full Spectrum Magnesium Supplement To Fix Your Magnesium Status, Containing All 7 Versions Of Magnesium! Go To www.magbreakthrough.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save Up To 40% Off Select Packages!

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


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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To ButcherBox.Com/IFPODCAST And Get Free Bacon For Life!

3:15 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order!

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

Counter+ Brightening Facial Mist

Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream

Life Lessons With Gin And Sheri (Podcast)

Life Lessons With Gin And Sheri (Facebook)

14:15 - Listener Q&A: Ashley - Diet With IF 

26:40 - BIOPTIMIZERS:  Go To www.magbreakthrough.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save Up To 40% Off Select Packages!

29:25 - Listener Q&A: Sarah - Fasting while trying to get pregnant

Intermittent Fasting Stories - Episode 34: Cecily Ganheart

Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny® Intermittent Fasting--Including the 28-Day FAST Start (Gin Stephens)

Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease―and How to Fight It (Benjamin Bikman)

34:15 - Listener Q&A: Taylor - Back to IF after baby

GREEN CHEF: Get easy, affordable meals made with organic ingredients for a variety of lifestyles - including Vegetarian, Paleo, Keto, Vegan, and Vegetarian - shipped straight to your home! Go to GreenChef.com/ifpodcast90 and use code ifpodcast90 to get $90 off including free shipping!

Get My Shapa Scale And Use The Promo Code IFStories To Save $20

50:40 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

53:45 - Listener Q&A: Anna - High Intensity workouts

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 193 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 Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Hi friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get free heritage-breed, sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon for life. Yes, free, for life. We are huge fans around here of ButcherBox. They make it easy to get high quality humanely raised meat that you can trust, shipped straight to your door. I hardcore research their practices, you guys know I do my research, and what they're doing is incredible. Their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished, their chicken is free-range and organic, their pork is heritage breed. And super importantly, they are all about caring for the lives of both their animals and the livelihoods of their farmers, treating our planet with respect and enjoying better meals together. By cutting out the middleman at the grocery store and working directly with farmers to ship directly to the consumer, they're making it actually affordable to get this amazing high-quality meat which is help supporting the future of our planet.

They have boxes that can fit every single need. So, if you want more steak or more seafood or more chicken, it's all there. And those meals come frozen for freshness packed in an ecofriendly 100% recyclable box. Their cattle are all 100% grass-fed, roaming on pasture with room to graze. Their chickens are raised humanely, no cages crates or crowding and using controlled atmosphere stunning practices to minimize stress in the animals. They uphold the strictest of standards in the seafood industry, which as I found out, really crazy things go down in the seafood industry. It's really shocking. If you want to learn more about that check out my blog post about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox.

And for all you bacon lovers out there, ButcherBox provides the type of bacon you want. Their bacon is heritage breed, free of sugar, and free of nitrates. How hard is that to find. And they have an incredible offer for our audience. You can get that bacon free for life. When you sign up as a new member at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast, you will get a package of free bacon in every box for the life of your subscription. Yes, that's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast, and I'll put all this information in the show notes.

One more thing before we jump in. Are you looking for the perfect gifts this holiday season for yourself and others? Well, the average male uses six skincare products per day, the average female uses 12. And as it turns out, conventional skincare and makeup is full of toxins. We're talking things like endocrine disrupters, obesogens, meaning they literally cause your body to store and gain weight, and even carcinogens linked to cancer. So, while you may be fasting clean, you may be putting compounds directly into your body during the fast that can be affecting both your health and weight loss. Thankfully, there's an easy solution.

There's a company called Beautycounter and they make an array of skincare and makeup products that are extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can feel good about all of the ingredients that you put on. Their products are even tested multiple times for heavy metals. And for the holiday season, Beautycounter has so many amazing gift sets. These are bundled products at a discount, and they make incredible gifts. Think about it. You can get the products for yourself or for your friends and family and help clean up their skincare, all in disguise of gift-giving. Works pretty well. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. And if you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order. If you're trying to figure out exactly which products to get, check out my beauty counter quiz, that's at melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz. And for the latest discounts and giveaways from me, definitely get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. All right, now back to the show.

Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is episode number 193 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon, and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I'm doing great.

Melanie Avalon: Are you enjoying the cold weather?

Gin Stephens: I am not. Got my mug of EM-Tea right here in my hands. I went and grabbed it. I'm enjoying the Christmassy stuff now that it's officially December. It's no longer early. I can be Christmassy as much as I want. I just-- The cold.

Melanie Avalon: It's wonderful. I walk outside, and I feel alive.

Gin Stephens: I just went and got a new pair of uggs because my feet were so cold.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness.

Gin Stephens: That's like all I wear around the house.

Melanie Avalon: Can I tell you about my new obsession?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: I can educate while talking about it, so it's multitasking? Had I finished Dr. Jason Fung’s The Cancer Code last time?

Gin Stephens: I don't think you had finished.

Melanie Avalon: I'm interviewing him in two weeks, which is really exciting. But I think for the first time after reading his book, I understand why or how carcinogens are causing cancer. Did I talk about this?

Gin Stephens: I don't think so. It's so fascinating. It makes so much sense. It's something listeners might be a little bit familiar with because we talk about autophagy, which is breaking down all the proteins and things like that. Sometimes that gets confused, or there's another A word that is similar, and that's apoptosis, which is programmed cell death. As he talks about in The Cancer Code, which everybody should get, is probably the reason that carcinogens cause cancer is because it's the chronic exposure of damaging things to ourselves that leads to this weird gray zone where the cell isn't getting damaged enough because if a cell gets damaged too much, the body does apoptosis and basically kills the cell. So, it's not damaged enough that it is killed by the body, but it's not damaged not enough that it can be repaired to its normal state. The cell survives in this weird state where it's being constantly damaged, it's not getting killed by the body, and it's not getting repaired by the body. So, in order to survive, and this is what I did talk about last time, it basically reverts back to unicellular life, which is very selfish and out for itself and does whatever it can to survive. That's the theory of what cancer is. It basically goes rogue in our body, and it's this chronic exposure to these carcinogens, which create that condition in the cells. I was like, “That makes so much sense,” because you hear the word like carcinogens, but you don't think how is it actually--

Gin Stephens: What's it doing in there.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. The reason I got so excited, I was like, this makes so much sense why I'm so obsessed with cleaning up, well, our diet and then cleaning up our skincare and makeup because that's our chronic exposure to these carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, basically. I mean, that's probably our main source, which is why I'm so obsessed with Beautycounter. I was like, who would have thought that reading The Cancer Code would make me even more obsessed with Beautycounter, which was founded on a mission to make safe skincare and makeup free of carcinogens, free of endocrine disruptors. That was the educational piece. The piece I just want to share is, I started using their Brightening Mist. You know when I get really obsessed with something, I want to tell everybody?

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Friends, this Mist is changing my life.

Gin Stephens: What does it do?

Melanie Avalon: It's ironic because I love Beautycounter, I love skincare and makeup, but I don't like putting a lot of stuff on my face. I like to go minimal, especially-- even with skincare. I don't do a lot of lotions and things like that, but this is just like a mist and you spray it on your face. So, it doesn't leave a residue or anything like that, but it is making my skin glow and it just makes your pores feel all tightened, and I just feel alive. It's literally the best thing.

Gin Stephens: Well, that sounds fun. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I just wanted to share that.

Gin Stephens: All right. I'm really enjoying, I can't remember the name of it. It's their fancy cream that you rub on your neck in the [unintelligible [00:09:12]. It's the one that's in the big wide jar. I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: The Supreme Cream?

Gin Stephens: Maybe, I don't know, but I can't remember the name of it, but you rub it on your neck, because I've got 51-year-old woman neck.

Melanie Avalon: So, that's helping?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think so.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. I just wanted to share, so if people need-- I guess by the time this comes out, holiday gifts will probably be-- I don't know when this comes out, but the link for that for us is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. If you use that link, something special may or may not happen after you place your first order. Fun things, Cancer Code and Brightening Mist are my updates.

Gin Stephens: Love it. Well, our new podcast came out today officially on the day that we're recording, but by the time this comes out, we'll have several episodes out.

Melanie Avalon: Congratulations.

Gin Stephens: Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: The sleep episode, right?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's the sleep episode of the Life Lessons podcast. If you go to any podcast app and search for--

Melanie Avalon: I forgot to subscribe. This is upsetting.

Gin Stephens: Search for Life Lessons. Now, there are other podcasts called Life Lessons. But if you search, Life Lessons Gin Stephens, you can find ours, and hopefully, ours will come up to the top of the search soon. If enough people are listening to it, it will be the main one that comes up. Today, we were number 22 in the education category.

Melanie Avalon: Nice. I am following you on our ex-network Himalaya. I still love the Himalaya app.

Gin Stephens: Yep. We talked about the sleep chronotypes. There's talk about the quiz you can do to take-- what were you again? I'm a lion.

Melanie Avalon: I was a wolf.

Gin Stephens: You're the late wolf. Yeah, I think you're a wolf.

Melanie Avalon: The one that's like--

Gin Stephens: Late at night. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Doing the watching.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, but people really liked it, and that made me so happy. We've gotten a lot of really good feedback. People like the format of it. It's cheerful. We start with a good news segment, then we have our life lesson of the week, and this one was sleep. Then we have a listener-led lesson where a listener shares some kind of a tip or strategy or something with us. Then, we end with a quote, a positive quote, that a listener shares with us. So, yeah, so it's really almost crowdsourced.

Melanie Avalon: That's fun.

Gin Stephens: Because the different parts are shared by our group. Life Lessons with Gin and Sheri. Please join our Facebook group, Life Lessons with Gin and Sheri. We will not teach you how to do intermittent fasting or answer your intermittent fasting questions.

Melanie Avalon: Doesn’t it say that when you join?

Gin Stephens: Yes, it says that, as the question one. Note, this is not an intermittent fasting group, just because we've got that somewhere else. So, if you need troubleshooting, this is not the place for it, but we're happy to talk about literally everything else in the entire world.

Melanie Avalon: Congratulations.

Gin Stephens: Thank you. Yeah, we're excited. I'm glad that people like it. That's the most important thing.

Melanie Avalon: I knew they would.

Gin Stephens: Well, we hope so. Anyway, it's exciting. It's fun. We're really having fun with it and enjoying it.

Melanie Avalon: So many fun, amazing, creative things on the horizon.

Gin Stephens: It's true. It's just amazing to get to create things. We're content creators, and that’s just so much fun.

Melanie Avalon: I love it.

Gin Stephens: What do you do for a living? I'm a content creator. I just get to pretty much talk. [laughs] I talk to people about stuff. Anyway. Oh, life is good.

Melanie Avalon: Super grateful.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, me too. I'm so grateful.

Melanie Avalon: And super grateful for our audience.

Gin Stephens: I'm glad to everyone who's listening today.

Melanie Avalon: We could be creating content, but we could be doing anything.

Gin Stephens: Well, I've created content my whole life. My elementary teachers didn't like it. I created content with whoever was sitting around me at school. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I love it.

Gin Stephens: I was always in trouble for talking, but you were not, right? You were not.

Melanie Avalon: I was always creating content.

Gin Stephens: But you were not in trouble. I was in trouble.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, no. Melanie was not in trouble.

Gin Stephens: Gin was in trouble.

Melanie Avalon: Did I tell you about the only time I got detention?

Gin Stephens: What was that? I think you did.

Melanie Avalon: Because I’d never been late to school, so I didn't know if you were late that you had to check in at the office before. I didn't know you're supposed to go through this whole protocol, and I didn't, and they gave me detention.

Gin Stephens: Oh.

Melanie Avalon: Because I went to my first period without going to the office first.

Gin Stephens: You didn't even know.

Melanie Avalon: I know.

Gin Stephens: How old were you?

Melanie Avalon: High school.

Gin Stephens: Oh, okay. I was an elementary teacher, so I was just going to be like, “That's not fair.” Okay, high school, all right. If you're late, I can understand getting detention for being late in high school. We didn't have detention at my high school. I don't think, I never got it if we did.

Melanie Avalon: It was actually fun. I had it with basically the funnest teacher was doing it that day. He was really funny, and he was the science teacher. We cleaned lab equipment. I don't know. Good times.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. All right. Shall we get started today?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: All right. We have a question from Ashley. The subject is “Diet with IF.” She says, “What is the best eating plan to pair with intermittent fasting? I've been attempting keto with a six-hour eating window from 3 PM to 9 PM. Love your podcasts.”

Melanie Avalon: All Ashley, thank you so much for this question. This may seem like a really simple question, but I wanted to include it because I think it taps into a pretty profound concept that bears discussing more. That is, is there a best eating plan to pair with intermittent fasting? My answer to this is that the best eating plan is everybody really has to find the dietary approach that works for them personally and it's very likely that there's not one diet. I mean, for your entire life even, like there might be, but a lot of things change, environment changes, our gut microbiome changes, our stress levels. What is even the best diet at any one time? It might be changing for the given individual.

When she says best eating plan, she doesn't have any goals surrounding it, because I think that's something else to consider. When you're picking your foods, and you mean best, what are your goals, for weight loss? Because that's a completely different question. Or, it can be a completely different question than just for health and thriving and feeling good. I personally am always going to advocate real foods, whole foods, not the store, but whole foods, real foods. I do think that the processed foods that we have today are probably not doing us any favors. I think a lot of people think if they're doing intermittent fasting, they should automatically pair it with something like keto, like Ashley is doing. I think that works really well for some people, but for some people, they actually do way better with carbs, and perhaps even like a high-carb, low-fat approach. Then, if the question is about best for weight loss, and that's a whole another topic that we've talked about a lot on this show. Gin?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think you answered it very well. Keto was definitely not the best eating plan for me whether I was doing intermittent fasting or not. Now that I've had my PREDICT 3 study results, with everything analyzed, and it showed that my body doesn't clear fat well, well, that makes sense. Fat hangs around in my blood longer than it should. Well, that helps me understand why a high-fat diet was very inflammatory for me. That's actually really the way I felt when I was trying to do keto. I felt inflamed the whole time. Whereas somebody else who does it and thrives on it and feels fabulous, I bet their body clears fat well. If they did the same study that I did, their body probably clears it right out.

Melanie Avalon: When did you do keto?

Gin Stephens: The entire summer of 2014.

Melanie Avalon: What type of keto?

Gin Stephens: Well, the kind that there was in 2014.

Melanie Avalon: Was it like dairy and lots of fat?

Gin Stephens: Well, yes, but it was lots of fat, but people were talking-- I was on Facebook at the time, and I was in a lot of different Facebook groups, I joined a million different low-carb communities. I did every tweak they said to do. Tweak your macros, try this, try that. The whole mindset in the groups, at least in 2014, I haven't been in a low-carb group since then. Once I introduced carbs back, I've never looked back because that's when I finally started losing weight, and I felt better. But the prevailing mindset at the time was, if you're not having results, you're just not ketoing hard enough. You're not doing it right, but I was like I'm doing everything that everyone says to do. I'm doing this tweak and that tweak. I never felt full no matter what I ate. I never felt satisfied. I felt inflamed. I felt terrible the whole time.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that's really telling.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it was wrong for my body. Now, the more science I've learned, just this recent analysis about the fat clearance being poor for me, I'm like, “Well, that really explains a lot.” The PREDICT study people said to me, if you eat too much fat, it will be inflammatory for your body based on the study results, the blood work they did for me. I'm like, “Well, that makes sense because it felt like that.” I'm kind of bummed about it, though, because I try to like they said, just for a while.

Melanie Avalon: I'm just having a whole philosophical thought in my head, which is something we've talked about before and I don't know if it's a rabbit hole worth going down at all.

Gin Stephens: What is it?

Melanie Avalon: Something that still haunts me to this day is-- because you're talking about clearing fat from the bloodstream, and the debate about carbs or fat causing whatever issues they may be causing in our body. Plaque buildup, insulin resistance. I just think all the time, I don't even know if it matters because people will say what is the root cause of that. Often, the low-carb people will say that it's the sugar and the carbs causing it. Low-fat people will say it's the fat causing it. In theory, I think it often requires both. It requires the insulin resistance created by the carbs that are making our body perhaps insulin resistant, but in that context, it's the actual fat that ends up causing the damage. Do you get what I'm saying? Oftentimes, the fat will have this inflammatory effect on our bodies in the context of insulin resistance or in the context of carbs, in the context of that.

Gin Stephens: But I was not having carbs at that time.

Melanie Avalon: True.

Gin Stephens: I was doing keto, very low carb. I did not deviate a single time. The whole time I was doing it, I did it. I did it perfectly, the way I tried to tweak the macros, but I never went over 20 grams of carbs. I'm like one of those people, I'm counting them, I didn't fudge it.

Melanie Avalon: That's a good example. In that context, perhaps fat for your body, even in the absence of something that would normally be instigating the environment for it to be a problem, which would be the high carbs, that wasn't there but there might be some genetic predisposition that instigates the environment for the fat to cause a problem. The esoteric thing I'm trying to say is, is it the fat causing the problem or is it the carbs in the context of where fat is causing the problem.

Gin Stephens: I wonder if it's different for different people. The data that they gather for the PREDICT study, let you know if your body cleared sugar quickly, or if it cleared fat quickly. My body didn't clear either of them super quickly, which was a little frustrating and surprising. I feel it's just we're assuming that everybody's clearing everything the same way, perhaps. We're clearly seeing that they're not. The examples that they gave-- when I got my report back, they gave examples of people that work for the company. For example, this lead researcher has trouble clearing the sugar, so these are the things that they should not eat. Whereas this other person is the exact opposite, has trouble clearing the fat, so these are the things that they should not eat. It's just very different. You're more likely to develop problems if you're mismatched with the thing that's right for you. The people who say that X, Y, Z is wrong are correct for some people.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, the thing I'm pondering is, which molecule or compound is literally causing the damage.

Gin Stephens: I think it's different for different people. I really feel for some people, it's the fat, for some people, it's the carbs.

Melanie Avalon: Because carbs, the potential damage that can be caused from a carbohydrate is glycation and I guess maybe oxidative damage when it's used as a fuel. Like lactic acid, I'm not sure. Then fats, I guess, would be inflammatory, reactive oxygen species and inflammation from the actual fats. I'm getting really granular.

Gin Stephens: I also want to say one more thing. For everyone who's listening now and they're all like panicked that they have to figure out what foods are bad for them, keep in mind I have been eating all the foods, lots of fat, lots of carbs, all these things for years and maintaining my 80-pound weight loss, not having seasonal allergies, and feeling fabulous. But I also have in my tool belt, intermittent fasting, so I am 100% carb free, fat free, food free for a huge part of my day. The fasting is protecting me from whatever inflammatory, maybe my body doesn't do well with high fat, maybe fat’s inflammatory, but I only eat it in my eating window. I think that the fasting is very protective.

Now, if I started eating all day again, I'm not going to, but if I did, then the what would be a lot more important, because if I was eating all day long and choosing foods that were inflammatory, it would build up more than if I'm just having it in my eating window. This is why I'm going to see what happens if I follow their recommendations for me and eat according to their algorithm and what they're predicting, what foods they predict will work for you. That's why it's called PREDICT, the name of their study. I just want to see if I feel better-- I mean, I feel great, but maybe there's better than I feel now. You know what I mean?

Melanie Avalon: Oh, 100%.

Gin Stephens: Anyway, it's fascinating.

Melanie Avalon: There's actually a study that Dr. Fung mentioned. I don't know the details of it, but from what I remember. It was that because lower body weights are typically correlated to-- like obesity is a risk factor for cancer, I believe, but there was a study of the females, and females at lower body weights had a higher cancer risk than females at higher body weights who fasted longer.

Gin Stephens: Say that one more time.

Melanie Avalon: He said one recent study found that women who fast for fewer than 13 hours per night despite having a lower BMI than other women in the study who fasted for that duration, had a 36% higher risk of recurrent breast cancer.

Gin Stephens: Wow. Fasting really is our not-so-secret weapon.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, definitely. Quick question just while we're talking about it. If you could ask Dr. Fung one question, what would it be?

Gin Stephens: I don't know. I have to think about it. I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: Because I'm going to be focusing mostly on cancer or the cancer book, but I do want to, obviously, while I have him--

Gin Stephens: Ask him what he does. Ask him about his fasting regimen. That's what I would want to know. “Tell me what you do, and why?”

Melanie Avalon: That's a good question.

Gin Stephens: What does his wife do? Does she--

Melanie Avalon: Oh, he's married?

Gin Stephens: I'm pretty sure. Here's a funny Fung story that someone shared in one of the groups one time. He's married and he has kids. Somebody in the group lives in his town, and his kids know their kids. Anyway, their kids are friends or something. One kid was over there and talking to-- I think he has a son, Fung’s son, and said, “Is your dad Dr. Jason Fung?” He's like, “Yeah, I guess he wrote some books or something.” His own kid was not impressed. Anyway, I didn't tell that story very well, but basically, the son didn't really quite know what his dad did, but he wasn't impressed by it. [laughs] Our kids are never impressed. Let me just tell you.

Melanie Avalon: I'm super impressed actually by my dad.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's awesome.

Melanie Avalon: I've always thought that. The reason I said that just because I've thought that most since I was born, I think.

Gin Stephens: That's good. Well, I think Cal is impressed with what I do because Cal gets it because he's in the app space. Will’s like, “Yeah, whatever.” [laughs] Thanks, Will.

Melanie Avalon: Probably depends a lot on what type of person-- your personality, and--

Gin Stephens: That's true. Yeah.

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Melanie Avalon: Next, we actually have two questions that are on the flip side of a single topic, so I thought we could address both of them. That is before and after pregnancy.

Gin Stephens: Okey-doke.

Melanie Avalon: Our first question comes from Sarah. The subject is “Fasting while trying to get pregnant.” Sarah says, “Hi ladies. I've been listening to you guys for a while now and find you both inspiring and motivating. I am not on Facebook, so I'm missing out on a lot more motivation and information. But I do have a question that I apologize if it has been answered before.

I know that it is not wise to fast while pregnant. I have PCOS and I've been fasting a little over a month and have not experienced any physical changes. I'm assuming that my PCOS is going to make me a slow loser or my body is working on some other type of healing. My primary goal for IF is to lose weight so that I can more likely get pregnant with PCOS. However, I don't know if it is safe for me to fast while trying to get pregnant because of autophagy. I don't want to ruin something that will be hard enough for me to do, but I know that weight loss will make it more likely for me to get pregnant. I feel like I'm stuck in the middle of these things. I fast 18 to 20 hours a day, and I've had a few shorter fast days thrown in there, but the majority has been longer. Any information you guys can provide me would help make me and my future baby very happy. Thank you, guys, keep doing what you do. Sarah.”

Gin Stephens: That's a great question. I'm going to direct Sarah to Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast, Episode 34, way back in June of 2019. I can't believe it's been that long. I talked to an OB-GYN, Dr. Cecily Ganheart. Dr. Ganheart is an expert on, obviously, pregnancy since she's an OB-GYN but women with PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. I think I always say that a little bit wrong. Polycystic ovary syndrome or ovarian syndrome. It's one of those two. She's an expert in that, and guess what she uses with her patients with PCOS who are trying to conceive? Melanie knows.

Melanie Avalon: Intermittent fasting.

Gin Stephens: Yes, because PCOS is very much related to high levels of insulin, so you need to get your insulin down. The best way to do that really is intermittent fasting. You may want to use an approach such as alternate daily fasting, like do a 36-hour fast and have a 12-hour eating window, you have your down days and your up days. If you're not sure how to do that, obviously, Fast. Feast. Repeat. has a whole chapter on that. It'll walk you through some different options that you can choose, but your goal is to get insulin down. Ever since I talked to Dr. Ganheart, I felt confident in saying that “Yes, this is safe, especially if you have PCOS,” because PCOS is linked to infertility. We have had so many women in our Facebook groups that were struggling to get pregnant, and then, bam, intermittent fasting, pregnant. But, of course, you stop fasting as soon as you are pregnant.

Melanie Avalon: When I interviewed Dr. Benjamin Bikman recently for his book, Why We Get Sick, which is all about insulin resistance, I asked about PCOS because from everything I've been seeing, it seems pretty accepted that insulin resistance-- I don't know, going back to the idea of root causes, might be the root cause of PCOS.

Gin Stephens: High levels of insulin. It's just another way that high levels of insulin can show up. It's just so interesting because I never heard of PCOS all through my adult years until recently, and then bam, it's everywhere. But so is insulin resistance. We're just more and more metabolically unhealthy than ever before.

Melanie Avalon: A huge portion of his book talks about insulin resistance, and its relation to a myriad of reproductive function systems, PCOS, fertility, hormones, testosterone. I mean, it's a huge player. That's a great resource that you have that episode with that doctor, what was her name?

Gin Stephens: Dr. Cecily Ganheart and she actually has a website. I think it's fastingdoctor or something. She's on Instagram. She's just great.

Melanie Avalon: For listeners, we'll put a link in the show notes to both of those episodes.

Gin Stephens: Episode 34.

Melanie Avalon: If you go to ifpodcast.com/episode193, we'll put links there. Oh, they're writing me. I forgot to ask at the beginning. Listeners, send us Ask Me Anything questions for Episode 200.

Gin Stephens: Coming soon.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I'm waiting for the questions roll in, because I don't think any of the episodes where we've talked about it have aired yet.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. We do need them. We need them soon. So, go ahead and ask.

Melanie Avalon: Ask us anything. If you make it related to intermittent fasting, we probably won't answer it unless it has a really exciting twist to it. Yes, but okay.

Gin Stephens: All right. Now part two, the second one.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. The flip side, we have a question from Taylor. The subject is “Back to IF after baby.” Oh, before we answer this question, should we just give our stance about actually fasting while pregnant and pregnancy?

Gin Stephens: Yes. I got this from Cecily Ganheart, and she's knowledgeable. She actually gave me a quote for Fast. Feast. Repeat. So, I actually have her quoted as I'd sent her an email and I said, “Hey, would you give me a brief quote?” She actually is using Dr. Cecily Clark-Ganheart, but hyphenating her last name, Clark-Ganheart. In my book, she said, this is a quote she actually sent me and gave me permission to use in the book. She said, “We do not know enough regarding the end directions of fasting on fetal health, particularly as it applies to weight. Therefore, pregnancy is not the time to experiment. Prioritize a real foods approach coupled with responsible weight gain and focus on nutrition as the building blocks of life. Pregnancy only requires an additional 300 calories a day, the equivalent of one avocado per day.”

Melanie Avalon: That is really fascinating, the avocado.

Gin Stephens: No fasting. Oh, yeah. Eat an avocado and don't fast.

Melanie Avalon: Addressing the in between, back to the flipside, Taylor. Subject, “Back to IF after baby.” Taylor says, “Hi, ladies, I love you both so much and missed you/IF terribly when I took a break while pregnant and breastfeeding. My son, Sawyer, was my little IF miracle born right at the start of the pandemic.” Aww, so wonderful. She says, “I've been back to fasting since early July, and it feels great. It has been one of the only things that has helped me stay sane, between figuring out motherhood, figuring out life during a pandemic, switching careers due to the pandemic taking my previous job, being in a near-deadly car accident and so on. 2020 has been quite the year.

I have noticed that I lost some of my baby weight quickly at the beginning, and now I feel everything has stalled. I'm trying to be better about what I eat in my window, because apparently my postpartum body just can't lose weight with fasting alone like it could before getting pregnant. I consistently fast clean 20 to 22 hours a day and try to keep my window to 3 to 5 hours. Exercise is inconsistent because by the time I get the little guy down for bed, I am exhausted. He isn't sleeping through the night yet, so early morning workouts are just not possible after being awake at 2 AM and then up with him for the day at 6. Other than cleaning up my diet, is there anything else I'm missing here? Am I doomed because I am not getting quality sleep? I know my body has a lot of internal healing to do for my C-section, car accident injuries, and so on. Should I just be patient with the weight loss side of things?”

Gin Stephens: Yes. [laughs] Sorry.

Melanie Avalon: “By the way, I just want to note that I am not breastfeeding. We were not successful with it, unfortunately. I know that comes up a lot in the Facebook groups. Thank you, ladies, so much for your time. On a separate note, I ordered a Joovv and cannot wait for it to arrive. Much love from Kentucky, Taylor.”

Gin Stephens: Well, Taylor, first of all, I want to give you a hug about the breastfeeding, I get it. I was not successful with breastfeeding either. When Cal was a baby, he was five weeks early, and so he had trouble latching on. I felt so guilty. I knew I would breastfeed for a long time. I read all the books, I was committed, I was going to do it. He couldn't latch on though, because he was so early. After the first week and I was crying, and he was crying, and it was terrible, and I was talking to the pediatrician’s nurse, and she's like, “Just give him a bottle.” I felt like such a failure. I'm like, “What?” She's like, “Just give him a bottle.” So, don't feel bad, mamas, that's what I'm just telling you. We're so programmed to think that we have to do it, and if it's not successful, that we're failing, and so don't hold on to that guilt, because I felt like that myself and then I was like, “Alright, I'm not going to feel that guilt.” And then, I moved on.

Melanie Avalon: I'm glad you said-- yeah, that's wonderful.

Gin Stephens: Had to put that out there because she sounded sad when she said that she was not successful with it, unfortunately. We almost feel like we should apologize for not doing it. But you know what? We shouldn't. If we can't, we can't, and it just is what it is. My son had a 4-0 at Georgia Tech, it did not ruin him to not be breastfed. Will, on the other hand, I breastfed him longer. [laughs] He dropped out of college. Anyway, so that's that. I just wanted to put that in there. Gosh, we mamas bring ourselves a lot of guilt, no matter what, and we're doing the best we can. Anyway. So, yes, Taylor, I really think you nailed it when you said that your body had a lot of internal healing to do from your C-section and your almost fatal car accident injuries, and also just the pandemic. Any one of those things could cause you to have trouble with weight loss, instead of thinking, “Gosh, why isn't it working this time?” Your body is really different right now. You just had a baby, the stress of the pandemic, you're not sleeping well, you had an accident, all those things. Just relax into it. It sounds like what you're doing is fine. I wouldn't try to tweak anything right now. Just eat food that nourishes your body and let your body heal because our bodies really do prioritize healing. Gosh, the stress of not sleeping, I mean any one of these things. I've identified four or five things right there that any one of them could cause your body to hold on to the excess weight right now. Just be patient, give it some time. This is my prediction. I predict that within the next year when you start to get better sleep and your healing is going on, you'll just suddenly start just dropping the weight. That's what I predict.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I love everything you said about the stress and everything. She says, other than cleaning up my diet, is there anything else I'm missing here? I agree with Gin as far as with the intermittent fasting side of things, giving that time, but I actually would encourage you to clean up. Oh, I don't know what you're eating. So, it's hard to say, if people are open to cleaning up their diet, I'm always a fan. I think even more so especially if you are trying to heal and recuperating from all of these things, I think one of the most healing things that we can do for ourselves is feeding ourselves, like Gin said, foods that nourish us.

Like I said, I don't know what you're eating, so maybe it is already foods that are nourishing you, but if it's not, if it is foods that are potentially inflammatory or not doing you any favors, I think they're massive strides and benefits even if weight loss wasn't your goal. If it was just recovering and bringing back your vitality from all these things you've gone to, I can't encourage enough-- I don't like the word cleaning up the diet, because it's so like-- I feel it has a lot of stigmas. It sounds pretentious. Like, what does that even mean? Choosing nourishing, I said it already, at the beginning, but choosing nourishing foods in their real whole form can have, I think, massive benefits for lots of people. I would encourage you to go that route.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I want to say for anybody who thinks, if you think that what you're eating might be a problem, it probably is because we already know. Whenever I’m like, “I wonder if I'm drinking too much wine, and that's the problem.” If you are wondering if something is the problem, it probably is part of the problem.

Melanie Avalon: I feel like we get this-- Not this specific question, but we get this format of a question a lot, which is, “I've been through these things, I'm wanting to lose weight, I'm not. I'm doing fasting.” And then, it's often this idea of, “Other than cleaning up my diet, what else could it be?” It's a very, very common thing. I think it makes sense because food has such a powerful effect on us, and a lot of people are eating the foods they want to be eating because of the way that it makes them feel in that moment. It can seem a lot easier to address other things like, “Oh, maybe if I tweak the fasting, or maybe if I tweak this or tweak that, rather than tweaking the actual food, but I think as far as the potential for change that can happen with addressing the food, I think it has huge effects. I mean that with all kindness. I'm not trying to say, “You're having an awful diet and you need to change the diet.” Not at all, just that-- I think people are often hesitant to address the diet because it can seem such an obstacle and such a hurdle. But I think it can have profound effects, and you can do it. You don't have to go all crazy, change it overnight. It can be slow steps and making small changes. What is that quote about like-- something about the thing that you do consistently is the thing that has the biggest effect?

Gin Stephens: I don't know. I know what you mean.

Melanie Avalon: It's the idea that it's not necessarily like doing something really amazing one day or something really awful one day, it's going to have this lingering effect. It's the thing we're doing day in and day out that is having the most profound changes on us in the long run. That's what our diet is, it's what we're eating day in and day out. Addressing it I think can be really huge.

Gin Stephens: I think so too. The what does matter. I didn't address that for a long time with myself. I didn't change what I was eating, but I feel better when I have.

Melanie Avalon: Maybe it's because the first thing that actually worked for you was intermittent fasting. Whereas for me, the first thing that worked wasn't fasting, it was going low carb, so it was addressing the what. I have this-- even though it wasn't paleo-- because my timeline was low carb, then intermittent fasting, then “cleaning it up” on paleo, but I guess the foundation of my understanding was, oh, changing the types of foods you're eating has a huge, huge effect and that's lingered with me.

Gin Stephens: There was never a single time in my existence prior to intermittent fasting where I changed what I ate.

Melanie Avalon: And it had?

Gin Stephens: And I was able to lose the weight and keep it off. Well, but then, I also always went back. I never once lost weight with low carb ever. I would lose the initial flow, the whoosh of the water weight that-- you have less glycogen, so our bodies hold on to a lot of water. For me, it was like four pounds. The amount of water weight that I would lose immediately when I started low carb was four pounds, then I would lose nothing, nothing, nothing. Then as soon as I reintroduce carbs, bam, there those four pounds are again. It just the water weight. I never lost more than four pounds on a low-carb plan ever. I did lose really, really well on low fat in the early 90s. But it wasn't sustainable forever. I gained it all back. There was never a time that I lost weight by changing what I was eating, that I was successful because you have to do that forever. It also all came back, every time. The only thing that has kept me permanently at my goal is intermittent fasting eating all of the things. I’ve changed a lot of what I eat over time but there's not a single thing I don't eat, even now.

If someone walked in with a little bag of Doritos, I eat some Doritos. I just love them. I don't buy them or have them frequently. I mainly eat really high-quality foods, and I could tell over Thanksgiving and the few days after that, I was eating a lot heavier, richer food, less vegetables, more things like dressing and gravy, a lot of fatty things, dessert. We had a great apple crumble that I just ate the heck out of, and I could tell I was puffy, and I didn't feel my best. I'm like, “Man, I'm craving some veggies.”

Melanie Avalon: Because I'm thinking about that I'm like, “Huh, that must be nice to be able to--” at least if you so wanted to eat these foods and not feel like you're dying.

Gin Stephens: I don't feel like I'm dying. It took days. It was like ate these foods till they were gone in the house. I didn't cook new foods. I just ate Thanksgiving leftovers. By about the third day, fourth day of eating these foods-- I normally eat a lot of veggies, a lot of beans, a lot of things like that, I was feeling a little sluggish and not my best. I was like, “Ugh, I'm ready for something else.”

Melanie Avalon: Interestingly, that's the way I felt-- Before I ever changed my diet, standard American diet, like on holidays and stuff, I would feel sluggish and not so well after, but I didn't feel--

Gin Stephens: Like ill, you weren't sick.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Or, literally just this is a state that I just don't want to be in.

Gin Stephens: That's like it isn't me. I don't feel like I'm sick or ill or in pain. I'm just like, “Ooh, I feel a little puffy.”

Melanie Avalon: I say this actually to be encouraging because for people who do react pretty intensely to foods, like myself, you can be grateful for it because I think it encourages me even more to eat hopefully nourishing whole foods. It's like the canary in the coal mine thing.

Gin Stephens: My body always does direct me back to it. Here's a funny story. After I went to the beach with my friends-- and I had been to the beach by myself and then a couple weeks later, I went with my friends. We ate a lot of cheese. We went out to restaurants for dinner every night. I guess, I order from these food companies, like Greenchef who sponsors our podcast. I guess I was feeling a little sluggish. I ordered like all these tightly vegetarian meals for like seven meals in a row. My husband's like, “Why are we only having chickpea bowls with vegetables?”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you order them from the meal service?

Gin Stephens: Yes. I ordered all the same kinds of meals because I guess I was like, “I don't want any meat. I'm tired of meat. I'm tired of all these heavy foods.” Seven nights in a row, we didn't have meat and it was all very high veggie, chickpeas kind of meals. He's like, “Why are they all the same?” I'm like, “I don't know, I just must have been in that mood when I ordered them.” And then, I thought back and I was like, yep, it was my body craving this other food. So, I unfortunately ordered seven in a row of the same thing. And he was like, “I got to have some meat or something,” I'm like, “Okay, we can,” but unfortunately, there was that lag in between feeling that way, and then food arriving. [laughs] It was funny, but I realized why I had done it.

Then, interestingly, that lag showed me I had the gray on the Shapa. My color was gray. The weight went up a little bit after being at the beach and eating all that food. Then, after that week of having all the bowls and the vegetables, I got blue on the Shapa scale. My body really loves eating that way, and it craves it when I don't. But I feel okay to mix it in.

Melanie Avalon: I was going to bring up the Shapa because I did more research on-- because it was haunting me about the Shapa age. I was thinking it was somehow taking into account your muscle mass and all that. But you're right, it's really vague, on the internet, there's not much information, but I think it is-- had you googled it?

Gin Stephens: Well, I've read what they said. I read their explanation of it on their website. Yeah, I've read it a couple times. They have it in their app, too. They explain it. They're like a blog post.

Melanie Avalon: It seems to be that it's not like anything about your health, which is why that I was like,” What does this mean?” Because I'm used to the inner age.

Gin Stephens: Well, yeah, because they don't have like your blood data. They only know your actual age and what you got standing on the scale.

Melanie Avalon: It seems to be like a surrogate, so that you don't have to see a number, you can see, “Oh, I'm the age I want to be inside with my weight,” which is like, I think that's the vibe I am getting. So, like you said, “When I weighed this, I felt the best.”

Gin Stephens: Yes, they do say in the blog post that they have on their website about Shapa age that they do base it somewhat on some of the answers that you gave.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Now, I'm trying to remember, I'm like, “Well, what did I tell it I felt my best at?” Now, I want to revisit. I wonder if there's a way to figure that out because I think that's what I'm like-- I guess that's what it's supposed to be moving towards then, whatever age I gave it, but I don't remember what age I gave it.

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Shall we do one more question?

Gin Stephens: All right. We have a question from Anna and the subject is, “High-intensity workouts.” Anna says, “I work out several days a week with no if issues, but one day a week, I have a high-intensity long workout. Two hours of cycling, one hour of swimming, and another two to two and a half hours cycling or a five-hour cycling or a long swim and a two-hour run.” That made me tired just reading it.

Melanie Avalon: That sounds really exhausting.

Gin Stephens: “Two hours of cycling, one hour of swimming, and another two to two and a half hours of cycling or five hours of cycling or a long swim and a two-hour run.” Yeah, that's a lot. That is a lot. “During the workouts. I need to eat dates or gel or something, otherwise I cannot do the workouts.” This is so interesting though, I interviewed someone on my podcast, Intermittent Fasting Stories not that long ago who-- she does high-intensity stuff without eating gel and stuff. She does it all in the fasted state because she said she actually performs better. I'm not going to argue whether Anna needs to eat or not. But I just want to put that perspective out there that maybe you really don't need to eat if your body is fat adapted to the fasting.

Melanie Avalon: There's a lot of debate in the low carb world where people say that, and studies have shown that maybe high-intensity intervals and workout exercises can be maintained on a low-carb diet, it seems to require a long adaption for a lot of people to get there. So, that's why a lot people on low-carb world will say that they do carb-ups to support the high intensity. In that case, a lot of people in the low-carb world do carb-ups, but that doesn't mean you have to be eating the dates or the gel right before the exercise--

Gin Stephens: Or during.

Melanie Avalon: Or during. Yeah. Depending on you, some people are able to have the night before a carb-up and they have adequate glycogen stores. And then, they're able to do it in the fasted state still. That said, on top of that, I do know the keto games people, they actually do prescribe low carb, but with high intensity workouts, I think they take-- it's like they do things a tiny bit, it's like 10 grams of dextrose before or something or Smarties. If you want to get really intense and granular, some people do low carb and they do it more in this approach where they have literally basically pure sugar right before the workout. I agree with what Gin said, though, to possibly consider that there might be another way to do this.

Gin Stephens: She continues to say, “How detrimental is doing IF six days a week and not doing it on the seventh day due to workouts? I typically eat from 12 PM to 8 PM, but on long workout days, I eat much earlier, 6 AM. I'm a post-menopause 52-year-old woman. Look forward to hearing the podcast that will address this. Thank you, Anna.”

Melanie Avalon: All right. For the second part, I do not think it's detrimental to do IF six days a week, and not on the seventh day due to the workouts. It sounds like what she's doing, if she's happy with it, I'm fine with it because she's working-- I mean, she's doing a huge workout. She's obviously fueling it. She's fasting-- She hasn't said that she has any problems with fasting the rest of the time, she hasn't mentioned anything about being unhappy with her weight or her performance. It sounds like it's working.

Gin Stephens: There's absolutely nothing detrimental about it unless your goal is weight loss and you're not losing weight. In which case, then you can tweak things. If you feel good and your ideal body, there's nothing wrong with it.

Melanie Avalon: I feel Anna might be the type that would actually benefit really well from the Oura ring that I've now been wearing for quite-- like a month now or so, no, few weeks. Do you know what it shows you, Gin, every morning when you wake up?

Gin Stephens: It gives you a daily readiness score? Sheri, my cohost, on the Life Lessons podcast has one.

Melanie Avalon: I'm interviewing the CEO next week, I think. It measures your resting heart rate and your heart rate variability during the night, as well as your sleep, your sleep cycles.

Gin Stephens: Your body temperature.

Melanie Avalon: Your body temperature, your respiratory rate. It measures all that while you're sleeping. During the day, it measures all of your activity. When you wake up in the morning, it computes based on how well you slept, what your heart rate was, and your activity levels the day before, to tell you on this day, what type of day should it be. Should it be a day that you're working out? Building an active or should it be a rest and recovery day? Or a blend of both? Should you be active but not overexert yourself. All based on how your heart is basically responding to everything and your sleep. It's very cool. Sounds like Anna has her regimen down, but if she's curious about what days might be the best day for her to have her workout, an Oura ring might be something to play around with.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think that's a great idea.

Melanie Avalon: I'm still trying to convince them to help me out with a listener discount, so I'm putting that out to the universe. Apparently, they don't like to give listener discounts.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's a bummer.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I was like, “But there's so many people in my audience that would like--” I think that might be a deciding factor for a lot of people. I'm putting it out to the universe. Maybe it'll happen.

Yeah, so this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions to the podcast, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com, or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode193. You can follow us on Instagram. I'm so excited now about Instagram.

Gin Stephens: I'm so glad. I'm doing better, too.

Melanie Avalon: I know.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: So, follow us. I'm MelanieAvalon. Gin is GinStephens. We're trying. Every post I put up somebody makes a comment about this. So, trying. I actually just posted a video of my Rife machine. I know I get a lot of questions about what does that look like? Like the plasma tube that you attach things in your body with, so I put up a video of that. What was the last thing that you put up?

Gin Stephens: Oh, I put up two things today.

Melanie Avalon: Oh. What did you put up today?

Gin Stephens: I put up a photo of-- I’ve organized my freezer. My Daily Harvest looks so pretty. I took a picture of it. They don't sponsor my podcast, but I tagged him and I was like, “If you want to sponsor my podcast, hint, hint.” [laughs] I just really like Daily Harvest and I want them to sponsor my podcast.

Melanie Avalon: That’s so funny. Actually, yeah, I put up a picture of me and my Sweaty Betty, because I really love this Sweaty Betty.

Gin Stephens: I saw that. I saw it. I also put up because our Life Lessons was number 22 in the education category earlier today, so I put a picture of that because, yeah, the thing is, people need to find it early. And then, they will listen if they like it.

Melanie Avalon: Friends, we are trying.

Gin Stephens: We are trying.

Melanie Avalon: We are trying. Follow us. Yes, well, this has been absolutely wonderful. I will talk to you next week. Well, wait-- no, I didn't say anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: [laughs] No.

Melanie Avalon: I think if I didn’t say that, that would have been the first time in 193 episodes.

Gin Stephens: Oh, what if there was something?

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wait, what if there was something you need to say before we--?

Gin Stephens: I always say no. Maybe you should stop.

Melanie Avalon: Stop asking you that?

Gin Stephens: I always say, “Nope, that's it.” Right? Don't I always say that?

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

Gin Stephens: No. Not a thing.

[laughter]

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

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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

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