Stuff We Like

with  GIN STEPHENS and MELANIE AVALON

Never miss an episode! Subscribe for email updates!


STUFF WE LIKE

Hi friends! Here's a list to all the random stuff that comes up on the podcast that we talk about liking/loving/needing/etc. Have fun!

BREATH SPRAY

Want to banish keto breath, without all the additives and sweeteners? Mix a drop or two of Organic Peppermint Oil with some water, in these perfectly sized, adorable glass bottles!

Wow Drops: IF friendly breath drops (they're SUPER potent!) (episode 32)

KETO AIDS

Ketone Strips: You can use these to measure the levels of ketones in your urine. (Note that the amount in your urine may or may not be indicative of your actual ketogenic state.)

Ketonix: Use this to measure ketones in your breath!

MCT Oil: MCT oil is a refined version of coconut or palm oil, and is high in medium chain triglycerides which support ketone production. You can add it to food, or possibly to your coffee during your fast (It's QUITE a debate!). Check out episode 20 for more info! Recommended brands: Left Coast (derived only from coconuts with a nice C8/C10 ratio and quite affordable, but does come in a BPA-free plastic bottle, so consider transferring it to a glass bottle when you get it!), Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil and Clean MCT. (These last two are more expensive, as it is C8 only - which is faster assimilated and potentially more ketogenic).

EXERCISE AIDS

Caffeine Pills: Please don't take "pre-workout" supplements during your fast, which often contain autophagy-halting protein, insulin-instigating sweeteners, and inflammation-encouraging fillers. Instead, just have some coffee, or if not a coffee fan, caffeine pills. This brand contains no fillers - just caffeine and gelatin capsules.

APPS

Window - Fasting Tracker App: An iOS app developed by Gin's son to help you track your windows!

MAGNESIUM

Struggling with stress, sleep, or bowel movements? Our modern diet is often deficient in the mineral magnesium, which is involved with all enzymes in the body that use ATP for energy, and is vital for a healthy heart, gut, bones, digestion, immune system, and life in general! Supplementing with magnesium, either orally or transdermally with an oil or lotion, can aid sleep, stress, and energy production, among a host of other things. 

Natural CalmMagnesium in a highly absorbable drink form, available in various flavors. Melanie likes the all natural, unflavored form.

Ionic Magnesium: Magnesium in a highly absorbable ionic form. Doesn't taste the best, but you can down it like a shot! We recommend trying the ReMag or Good State brands.

Transdermal MagnesiumThis is a great way to build up magnesium stores throughout your body. You put this magnesium spray on your skin, which sucks it up and transports it where needed. Note that it can sting in the beginning when you start using it, as your body sucks it up so fast! This should stop as you build up and replenish your magnesium stores.

SUPPLEMENTS

In general, we recommend getting most of your nutrition and vitality from healthy whole foods. That said, here are some supplements we do recommend!

Serrapeptase: On episode 16, we discovered we're both slightly obsessed with this awesome supplement, and even take the same brand! Who knew?? Serrapeptase is an enzyme found in the digestive tract of the Japanese silkworm. When taken as a supplement, It is absorbed systemically, and breaks down protein build ups throughout the body. It's epic for tackling everything from sinuses (bye bye allergies!); breaking down fibroids, cysts and skin tags; combatting inflammation; and #alltheotherthings! So. Awesome. TAKE IN THE FASTED STATE.

NATURAL ANTIMICROBIALS: Want to tackle nasty bacteria, viruses, and invaders in a natural way, without OTC meds (which, in all honesty, just address symptoms and may even make things worse?) We suggest trying:

  • Alli-C AllicinThis is a compound found in garlic, and is great for dealing with candida and bad bacteria, to support a healthy gut microbiome. (Ep. 30, 33)
  • Oil of Oregano: Oregano is rich in the antimicrobial compounds Carvacrol and Thymol. This stuff is super powerful though, so consider taking it for brief stints, or when you feel like you're coming down with a cold. (Ep. 30)
  • Olive Leaf Extract: Gin likes this natural extract, high in antioxidants, for immune support! (Ep. 30)
  • Monolaurin: This derivative from coconut is HIGHLY supportive of the immune system, and actually naturally present in breastmilk for that very purpose! Cannot recommend enough! (Ep. 30)
  • Manuka Honey: Manuka honey from New Zealand is consistency shown to be highly antimicrobial. In one study, it knocked out EVERY pathogen tested out of dozens, including antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria! It's super pricey, but arguably super worth it. Don't be scammed though - you want to get legit, raw, certified brands with high UMF (or other credibly certified) ratings of their active power, like Wedderspoon, Comvita, Kiva, and YS Eco Bee. (Ep. 30)
  • Buckwheat Honey: Want an antimicrobial honey that won't potentially break the bank like Manuka? Buckwheat is the answer! (Ep. 30)

GUT SUPPORT: True health starts in the gut! Want to build a healthy one, support digestion, and/or heal leaky gut? We suggest trying:

Prescript Assist :Ok, there are a LOT of probiotics out there, which can radically help (or sometimes hinder) gut function. We recommend experimenting with different probiotics to find the ones that work for you. That said, Prescript Assist is a soil-based probiotic which Melanie loves, and which works for lots of people with digestive distress. It's the type of bacteria we would have naturally been consuming on fruits and vegetables via dirt (which we we now spray with pesticides, yet wash squeaky clean. #irony). NOTE: I used to order this probiotic from Amazon, however, the distributor/manufacturer changed, and the Amazon version is now a different formula (despite the SAME listing.) I'm trying to ascertain who is the "original" manufacturer, but all I know is that ordering directly from Enviornmedica per the link I've listed, provides the product I've been using for years.

DIGESTIVE ENZYMES: Some good enzymes for digestive support include Enzymedica's Digest Gold (and their other lines) and Pure Encapsulations' Digestive Enzymes Ultra (episode 32)

HCLProper digestion is key for health, yet it often becomes distressed due to modern food choices, gut dysbiosis, leaky gut, antibiotics, stress, and PPIs, among other things. Hydrochloric acid (HCL) is naturally produced in the stomach to break down protein and fat, and supplementing with it may greatly enhance digestion in some individuals. To use HCL, start with the minimum dosage, then slowly increase at each meal by one capsule, until you feel a warm sensation in your stomach. You can plateau at that number of capsules, before eventually titrating off, if desired. (Studies indicate supplemental HCL does not affect the gastrin hormone which regulates HCL production, so you shouldn’t have to worry about dependency. On the contrary, improved digestion from HCL supplementation may encourage an ultimate return to homeostasis and natural HCL production.) (episode 32)

Ox Bile: Supplementing with Ox Bile can assist you in breaking down fat, especially if you lack a gallbladder. (episode 32, 33)

Trace Mineral DropsAdd these to your water (they don't break the fast) to assure you're getting all the minerals ya need!

ColostrumColostrum is a milky substance rich in which innovates a newborn's gut to support intestinal health and a robust immune system. You can supplement with colostrum derived from cow or goat milk to instigate rapid repair of your gut! Melanie suggests breaking your fast with it. 

Prebiotin Prebiotic Fiber PowderGin loves this prebiotic fiber to support your gut microbes!

DeSouza's Liquid ChlorophyllYou can take chlorophyll as an internal deodorizer!

Vegan Omega 3 From AlgaeOmega-3s are vital for healthy cellular membranes, brain health, and a host of other things. While Melanie recommends getting Omega  3s from low toxin fish, vegetarians and vegans can be hard pressed to get enough, as the form of omega-3 fats found in plants, ALA, must be converted into the body’s preferred form of EPA and DHA. The body’s conversion rate may be a shockingly low 2–10 percent, and some people harbor genetic mutations that further limit this conversion. If you're vegan or vegetarian, we definitely recommend an algae-based Omega 3 supplement.

Fermented Cod Liver OilIf you REALLY want to support your health with fat-soluble vitamins and Omega-3s, look no further than fermented cod liver oil! Don't like the taste? You can also rub it into your skin!

Collagen Peptides: These are fantastic for supporting hair growth. Consider breaking your fast with them! Melanie currently uses the Bulletproof Brand, but also recommends Vital Proteins. Her recent research indicates that marine based peptides may be better than bovine-based. 

L GlutamineGreat for healing the gut and/or dealing with sweet cravings. (Ep. 33)

Gymnema SylvestreThis can help address sweet cravings.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D (which is actually a hormone) is SO important for SO many things! While the natural form from the sun is best, you can also supplement to boost your levels. But choose your brand wisely, to assure assimilation and purity. K2 also helps the assimilation. (ep: 30)

White Oak BarkA great astringent and supplement for strengthening gums and veins. (Episode 33)

COOKING

Instant Pot: If you invest in just one kitchen cooker, Melanie recommends the Instant Pot, which combines a Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer! So. Many. Things. But the true beauty is the PRESSURE COOKER, which drastically reduces cooking times by cooking with pressure. It's great for breaking down inflammatory plant compounds while maintaining nutrients, and can even turn tough, collagen-rich shanks—which would take all day in a slow cooker—into delicious tenderness in under an hour! And the best thing to make with it? Bone broth!!  

FOOD AND DRINKS

Bulletproof Coffee: Not to be confused with putting butter in your coffee, this is the Bulletproof brand of coffee, which Melanie loves. It's tested to be specifically toxin and mold free.  

Fermented Sauerkraut/Veggies Brands: When buying fermented foods, it's key to purchase refrigerated, non-pasteurized versions (at least if you want the probiotic benefits!). You can find these at many Whole Foods. Here are Melanie's favorites: Rejuvenative Foods (Her all time favorite! You can find them at some Whole Foods, or order online. Their Organic Raw Salt-Free Vegi-Delite Zing Salad is AMAZING, and also their Organic Raw Salt-Free Cabbage-Dill-Sauerkraut) , Wildbrine  (Love their Organic Arame Ginger Salad and Red Beet & Red Cabbage), and Farmhouse Culture (Try the the Organic Horseradish Leek and Classic Caraway! Yum!)

Redmond Salt: Conventional table salt is refined to the point of only containin two minerals (sodium and chloride), while ALSO containing anti-caking agents and sugar (dextrose). Fail. Redmond salt, on the other hand, is an ancient sea salt minded in Utah, which features a whopping 84 minerals and trace elements, and is highest in iodine and calcium of all the natural salts, with less potential for any radioactive elements. Basically, redmond salt for the win! (ep: 30)

DELIVERY SERVICES

Green Chef: Gin loves this meal subscription service, which provides a variety of meal plans consisting of pre-measured, premium organic ingredients (like grass-fed sirloin!) in eco-friendly packages, with easy to follow instructions. 

ORGANIC WINE

Government regulations make it near impossible to know just what is in any given wine. If you react negatively to wine, you might actually be reacting to its additives (sugar, sulfites, stabilizers, colorizers, fining agents, etc.), pesticides (which are particularly concentrated in conventional grapes) and/or mycotoxins. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to purchase organic or biodynamic wines, which are available at decent prices at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Sprouts. (Melanie's favorites include Albero Tempranillo, Bonterra Cabernet, A to Z Pinot Noir, Candoni Pinot Grigio, and Emiliana Chardonnay.)

That said, many wineries implement organic practices without the certification, due to financial costs, lack of need, or even the stigma of “organic” wines. We wholeheartedly recommend you check out Dry Farm Wines. They travel the world and conduct lab tests to find small, sustainable wineries which produce all natural, organic wines with no additives or pesticides, and which are low alcohol (<12.5%), sugar free (<1 g/L), and mold-free! We personally sought to partner with them for listeners of the podcast! Check out DryFarmWines.com/IFpodcast for more information, and to get a bottle for a penny with your first subscription, shipped straight to your door! #Wine #Winning

SLEEP HACKS

Dr. Kirk Parsley's Sleep Remedy: This is the ultimate sleep supplement, which Melanie cannot recommend enough! It was developed by Dr. Kirk Parlsey after years of research and experimentation to naturally restore sleep to the sleep-deprived, insomniac Navy Seals. Rather than knocking you out with drugs, this simply provides the necessary neurotransmitters and nutrients in the perfect amounts to naturally support your body's sleep process. Melanie recommends choosing the new Sleep Remedy Capsule versions, which contain NO fillers! She also recommends starting small, and titrating up as needed. Rather than taking the recommended multi-capsule dosage, she's actually personally found the best effects with a mere 1/4 - 1/3 of a capsule! Oh hey sleep efficiency AND money saving!! Use the code MELANIEAVALON for more savings. Yey yey. 

f.lux: Install this FREE program on your computer. Like Now. The f.lux program slowly shifts the color tones of your computer to block sleep-disrupting, melatonin thwarting blue light. Simply tell it when you want to get up, and it makes all the adjustments for you! You'l l never look at your computer the same way again. Literally. (And if you ever accidentally turn it off for a second at night, you'll get hit by the overwhelming 'normal" light from your computer and immediately be stimulated and just be like... how was I looking at that at night??) 

Uvex Skyper Blue Light Blocking Computer GlassesThese will honestly be the best (not even) $10 you could ever spend to enhance your sleep. Put them on a few hours before bed, especially when viewing electronics, and your sleep and life will thank you.

TrueDark™ Twilight Glasses: Ok, these are definitely more pricy than the Uvex, so we recommend starting with those, and only "upgrading" later. These glasses by Biohacked are specifically designed to block the entirety of all wavelengths which might stop melatonin production. You put them on and it's like.... I'm tired. Melanie likes starting the evening with the Uvex, and then transition to the Twilight glasses right before bed.

Magnesium: Magnesium is the ultimate relaxation, calming mineral, and is vital for sleep. Check out the Magnesium section above to really rock your sleep world.

HAIR SUPPORT

Gotu Kola: This supplement is great for supporting hair growth! (episode 32)

Collagen Peptides: These are fantastic for healing the gut lining and balancing inflammatory amino acid profiles. Consider breaking your fast with them! Melanie currently uses the Bulletproof Brand, but also recommends Vital Proteins. Her recent research indicates that marine based peptides may be better than bovine-based. Check out episode 18 for more info! (episode 32)

TheraBulb NIR-A Near Infrared Bulb (150 Watt): Infrared saunas are great for supporting hair growth. But why pay lots of $$ to go to or buy a sauna, when you can get similar benefits from much more affordable bulbs? Yep, you can use these therabulbs for red light therapy, which can support energy production, metabolism, detox, and a host of other things! Melanie suggests starting with the lower watt bulb, before upgrading later to the higher 250 watt, if desired. You'll also need a clamp to rig this baby up! (Episode 30.)

ACURE Hydrating Shampoo, Argan: This is a great natural, moisturizing shampoo free of all the bad things you DON'T want in your hair!

ACURE Hydrating Conditioner, Argan: This is a great natural, moisturizing conditioner free of all the bad things you DON'T want in your hair!

The Seaweed Bath Co. Moisturizing Unscented Argan Shampoo: This is a great natural shampoo free of all the bad things you DON'T want in your hair!

The Seaweed Bath Co. Moisturizing Unscented Argan Conditioner: This is a great natural conditioner free of all the bad things you DON'T want in your hair!

BOOKS

Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle (Gin Stephens): Gin's book on on IF and OMAD, including her personal dieting history, the science of IF, and how to rock the IF lifestyle.

Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle (Gin Stephens): Gin's NEW book on finding your personal diet protocol, including gan overview of genetic differences, the individual gut microbiome, and other factors!  Learn how to craft an individual eating style that makes you feel your very best, while still eating the foods you love!

What When Wine: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine (Melanie Avalon): Melanie's book on finding your personal Paleo and IF protocol, the health benefits of wine, a social guide to IF, 50 AMAZING gluten-free recipes, and much more!

The Yoga of Eating: Transcending Diets and Dogma to Nourish the Natural Self  (Charles Eisenstein): A fantastic book if you want to cultivate a healthy mindset around food, your body, and/or deal with thoughts of restrictive eating.

AC: The Power of Appetite Correction (Bert Herring): Gin's favorite book for learning all about the nature of appetite and cravings.

The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet (Robb Wolf): The foundational Paleo Bible - Melanie's favorite!

Wired To Eat: Turn Off Cravings, Rewire Your Appetite for Weight Loss, and Determine the Foods That Work for You  (Robb Wolf) : This book goes into great detail about the individuality of glycemic control, and provides a special protocol for determining the best foods for your blood sugar.

The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good At It  (Kelly McGonigal) : Not all stress is bad for you! Mindset is everything! Stop stressing peops!

The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life (Dave Asprey): All about the low-carb, mostly whole foods Bulletproof Diet, which seeks to minimize toxins in your diet.

Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster-in Just Two Weeks (Dave Asprey): A great book if you're obsessed with biohacking (or want to start) and want to rock your mitochondria to supercharge your life.

The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss: (Dr. Jason Fung) A favorite of Gin's, and the fasting community at large! Dr. Fung's Foundational work! This book is what convinced Gin to take up clean fasting.

The Hungry Brain: Outsmarting the Instincts That Make Us Overeat: (Stephan Guyenet) A fantastic book on how the brain's neurological circuits and hypothalamus affect appetite, cravings, satiety, body weight, and more!

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto (Michael Pollan): Gin loves this book about food's connection to health and longevity. (Michael Pollan is the one who said "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.")

The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat (Tim Spector): Gin loves this book about gut health and what we should eat and why.

The Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat (Paul Jaminet and Shou-Ching Jaminet):  Melanie loves this book which takes a scientific look at which foods perfectly suit our bodies to support health and reverse disease. It's a whole foods, Paleo-ish approach, but with a higher carb intake from sweet fruits and "safe starches."

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Charles Duhigg):  Learn all about the neurological wiring of habits, and how to change them for the better.

The Happiness Project: Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun (Gretchen Rubin):  In this super fun book, Gretchen Rubin retells her experiment to do all the things which supposedly make us "happy"... to see what happens!

The Biology of Belief 10th Anniversary Edition: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles (Bruce H. Lipton):  Written by a scientist,  this looks at how our thoughts and mind shape our body and biology.

The Bone Broth Miracle: How an Ancient Remedy Can Improve Health, Fight Aging, and Boost Beauty(Bruce H. Lipton)  (Ariane Resnick): Chef Ariane Resnick developed the 50 amazing gluten-free recipes for Melanie's new What When Wine book, and this is her own book with ALL the details on bone broth! It makes making bone broth a BREEZE, and includes so many awesome recipes (including bone broth based soups!) 

Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia (Natasha Campbell-McBride): This book details Dr. Campbell-McBridge's GAPS diet - a progressive diet based on bone broths, healthy fatty acids, fermented foods, and well cooked meat and vegetables, to heal the gut (particularly Leaky Gut!), solve digestive issues, and even address neurological problems (Dr. Campbell-McBridge originally developed the diet to address autism.)

The Salt Fix: Why Experts Got It All Wrong - and How Eating More Might Save Your Life (James J. DiNicolantonio): Is current conventional wisdom about salt... wrong? Should you actually embrace salt, not fear it? Get the full history and downlow in this fascinating book!

Brain over Binge: Why I Was Bulimic, Why Conventional Therapy Didn't Work, and How I Recovered for Good (Kathryn Hansen): Even if you don't struggle with binge eating, this is a great book for information on "Rational Reasoning" to deal with cravings and urges. Just say no! (Episode 33)

The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever (Mark Sisson) Awesome book for those interested in trying keto! (Episode 33)

The Magnesium Miracle (Second Edition) (Carolyn Dean M.D. N.D): Want to learn more about magnesium? This book has got you covered! (Episode 33)

The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too) (Gretchen Rubin): Learn about four hidden personality types that drive everything we do, so you can further #hack your life performance and understand yourself and others better! (Episode 33)

BATH AND BEAUTY

Bali Secrets Natural DeodroantA fantastic all natural, aluminum free organic (wet) deodorant with minimal ingredients.

Green Tidings All Natural Deodorant: A fantastic all natural, aluminum free organic (dry) deodorant with minimal ingredients.

Earthpaste Toothpaste: Minimal but healthy ingredients for epic teeth cleaning and remineralization, available in lemon twist, cinnamon, wintergreen, spearmint. They're minimally sweetened with xylitol, except for the unsweetened spearmint, which Melanie loves! 

Dirty Mouth ToothpowderMinimal but healthy ingredients for epic teeth cleaning and remineralization.

PET STUFF

Check out episode 22 for our epic discussion of IF and pets! Long story short, IF may be ok for dogs, but probably not cats, In any case, a ton of modern pet food today is likely downright toxic to our dear animals 🙁 Try out these brands below.

Primal Pets Freeze Dried Pet FoodSimply add water to these these dehydrated, raw nugets if you want to feed your pets super natural, clean food mimicking their natural diet... without having to blend up your own raw meat yourself.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food: A great limited ingredient, grain-free dry pet food.

OTHER

Vibration Platform Fitness Machine: Gin uses this (and Melanie wants it!)

Pavlok: Want to break a bad habit? This Pavlok wristband is SUPER effective!! It uses small (but not unbearable) shocks to rewire your brain to associate bad habits as bad things, making you literally have no urge to do them! You can use it for anything, from cravings to negative thoughts to quitting smoking, to anything! Super recommended. Plus it's got a 100% money back guarantee, which is what convinced Melanie to try it out originally 🙂 (Episode 33)

Ankle And Wrist Weights: Why go to the gym when you can engage in "functional" exercise? Simply wear these weights while doing housework, shopping, cooking, or whatever, and support muscle mass, no gym needed!

TheraBulb NIR-A Near Infrared Bulb (150 Watt): Infrared saunas are actually a great healing #thing, and not in a hocus-pocus way. But why pay lots of $$ to go to or buy a sauna, when you can get similar benefits from much more affordable bulbs? Yep, you can use these therabulbs for red light therapy, which can support energy production, metabolism, detox, and a host of other things! Melanie suggests starting with the lower watt bulb, before upgrading later to the higher 250 watt, if desired. You'll also need a clamp to rig this baby up! (Episode 30.)

M Berry: This makes sour things taste sweet! It's so weird!!

Like A Glove Measuring Leggings: Gin has these "smart" leggings which measure you!