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episode #42

Interview with Gin Stephens: What’s a Clean Fast, Fasting with a Purpose and Importance of Mindset with Fasting

May 13, 2021 in Podcast


This week I interviewed podcast host and author Gin Stephens! She is the author of Delay Don’t Deny, Feast Without Fear and Fast, Feast, Repeat. She is the host of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, with co-host Melanie Avalon, Intermittent Fasting Stories, and Life Lessons, with co-host Sheri Bullock. We discussed all things fasting and dove deep into the following topics: – Gin’s eating and fasting routine – Importance of controlling insulin – Gut Health and Fasting – What’s a Clean Fast? – Importance of Knowing Your Fasting Goals – Extended Fasts – Mindset and Fasting and her one tip to get your body back to what it once was!

0 (1s): Coming up on the get lean, eat clean podcast.

1 (4s): We have three fasting goals. And when you know what the fasting goals are, you can understand why it's important to fast clean. The first one is you want to keep your insulin low. You know, we talked about hyperinsulinemia is a problem. You know, insulin is not bad. We have to have it. You don't want to have high levels of circulating insulin all the time. It's linked to so many negative health outcomes. I didn't even really realize how many until when I was writing fast Feaster, Pete, I came across a research paper on hyperinsulinemia and it listed all the things that were associated with with having chronic high levels of influence. This is so important for all of us. So you want to avoid anything that is going to trick your body into thinking food is coming.

0 (49s): Hello, and welcome to the get clean eat clean podcast. I'm Brian grin, and I'm here to give you actionable tips to get your body back to what it once was five, 10, even 15 years ago. Each week. I'll give you an in-depth interview with a health expert from around the world to cut through the fluff and get you long-term sustainable results. This week I interviewed podcast host and author Jen Stevens. We discussed all things, fasting and dove deep into the following topics. We discussed her eating and fasting routine, the importance of controlling insulin, gut health, and fasting. What's a clean fast and the importance of knowing your fasting goals.

0 (1m 30s): Lastly, we touched on her one tip to get your body back to what it once was. I really enjoyed my interview with Jen Stevens, and I know you will too. Thanks so much for listening and enjoy the interview. All right. Welcome to the get lean eat clean podcast. My name is Brian grin and I have gin Stevens on welcome to the show gin.

1 (1m 53s): Hey, I'm so glad to be here this morning. Well, it could be any time when people are listening, but it's morning for us.

0 (1m 59s): Yes. Morning for us. You have your coffee. I have my boxed water.

1 (2m 3s): Yep. I got, I got my black coffee.

0 (2m 6s): You know what? Only nowadays, can you get water in any type of thing that you want? It's an a yes. And I ordered it online and it came with, I don't know, 20 of them, but it was in a box. There was like four boxes until you got to the actual water that was in a box. So

1 (2m 22s): That's so funny, like those little Russian nesting dolls, you know, that you have to keep unwrapping

0 (2m 28s): This and then there's like another box I'm like, Oh, and then we got to the bottom, like, Oh, we got water in a box. So awesome. Jen is the author of delay. Don't deny. She's got a bunch of books actually fast without fear.

1 (2m 42s): Right? Feast without fear. Yeah. Oh, feast without fear.

0 (2m 45s): Right, right. I like, Oh, maybe you should come out fast without fear.

1 (2m 49s): I do want you to, I want you to faster that fear and I want you to feast without fear.

0 (2m 53s): Yeah, no. Right. And then most recently in June fast feast and repeat right. Fast feast. Repeat.

1 (3m 0s): I'm so proud of that one. That my other books are all self-published. And so the new one, I actually am with St. Martins press of Macmillan. So it's thrilling to have a book and traditional publishing channels as well.

0 (3m 13s): Yeah, no, that's great. Was the process a lot different when you

1 (3m 16s): So much, so much different when you're self publishing, things move so much quicker, you know, and when I self published my first book and yeah, I, I, it finally showed up event December 31st of 2016, but it was very quick from start to finish because it was all me. And when I first, you know, hit that publish button, you know, there were a couple typos, but you can fix them immediately. You fix the typo, you click publish again. Now it's fixed because they're all published on print on demand nowadays, when you're self publishing. Whereas with the, with the traditional book, you know, we had editors and me and other proofreaders and still the final one had some, some mistakes that I found when I was reading it out loud for the, the audible version.

1 (4m 3s): And I immediately let my editor know, she's like too late. We're already in line for the printer. I'm like what? They hadn't even printed them yet. So the first 10,000 had a couple of mistakes, but they fixed them. So now if you're buying them, they do not have those mistakes. That worries people. They're like, am I getting mistake? No, you're not getting mistakes. They were mild typos, but it's such a process, you know, takes a long time

0 (4m 24s): And Halliwell. How long did it take from start to finish?

1 (4m 27s): Well, from start to finish, I think that we initially got the contract going in maybe April of 2019. So it took all the way until June of 2020 for that book to get out and yeah.

0 (4m 43s): Okay. That's exciting. It is. And you're also a podcast host. I was actually on your podcast, intermittent fasting stories. This is a few years ago, and you're still going with that, which is great because I think it's so important to get other people's stories out there. And that's, you know, people want to hear, well, have other people done it. And I guess we will start with that. W as far as intermittent fasting stories, and my thought, my question for you is, are there certain stories that maybe you've done or interviews that you've done this year or in past years, that sort of you're like, wow, those were just unbelievable stories. There are a few that sort of stick out,

1 (5m 23s): You know, really at the end of every, every one I record, I'm like, wow, that was awesome. I love talking to people, you know, just yesterday I interviewed episode 140. We have one every week. So that's how many weeks I've been doing, doing it. And I talked to a ex pro football player who, you know, uses intermittent, fasting is a podcast or himself. And every story has something in there that is remarkable. You know, there's some stories where people have, you know, like stories that you cry when you're hearing it, you know, like loss of a child or you they've been through cancer. So many different things like that, but every story has the same theme.

1 (6m 4s): You know, we've struggled with our weight. We've struggled with our health. We've struggled with our body image and intermittent fasting has allowed people, it allowed me, but it's allowed my guests to get back in touch with their body in a new way and heal from, you know, the years of dieting, the body image problems, the, you know, the health issues. So it's, it's a story that, that is, you know, about the physical aspect of it, but there's so much mental and emotional healing that goes on with intermittent fasting. You know, I would, I would say that, you know, I didn't have an eating disorder like anorexia or bulemia or anything like that, but I think I had disordered eating for years because I was always going from diet to diet and I was restricting one thing or another thing.

1 (6m 54s): And only with intermittent fasting, have I been able to stop all those diet diet kind of thoughts and really get in tune with my body. And I choose to eat foods that make me feel great. Not because a diet plan told me to, but because now I can finally hear my body saying, yes, we would like some Brussels sprouts.

0 (7m 15s): Yeah. I think becoming in touch with like what true hunger is, is such a huge thing. And also understanding that, you know, you might have some hunger pains, but they, they, they, they come and go, these waves come and go. And I think understanding that is something so important. And when you start fasting, this is when you start to become in tune with that.

1 (7m 36s): It's true. You know, I think back to, you know, my pre intermittent fasting days, and I was one of those people that had snacks in my purse, just in case I was hungry. And, you know, I always tried to do intuitive eating because I really believe in that. But you know, now I understand that all the, you know, the fake foods and the processed foods that we eat mess with our satiety signals. So your body doesn't get the nutrients it needs when you eat that little Cracker snack pack. So you're hungry immediately, but I was eating, you know, first thing in the morning, then I would have a mid morning snack. Then I would have lunch then a mid afternoon snack and afternoon latte, dinner, something else. And I really honestly felt hungry all the time.

1 (8m 18s): And so now with intermittent fasting, I might have a, you know, a stomach growl or a wave of, Oh, I could eat, but it passes quickly. And I'm less hungry during the day than when I was eating frequently. That's the part that blows people's minds when they finally finally do it that, Oh, I'm not hangry. You know, back when I was eating frequently, I would get hangry. You know, if it was time to eat and my husband was late to the table, or we were going out, I was like, come on, I gotta eat. I'm starving. But now I'm like, all right, I can wait. It'll be fine.

0 (8m 46s): Right. Yeah. So true. I, I love it because it just gives you flexibility. Right. And I talked about this once before, but like traveling is, you know, one of these things, I know maybe a lot of people didn't travel this past year, but in general, whether it's a road trip or going on an airplane, such a great time to fast, because for one, you don't know the sources of your feud a lot of times, and it's a lot of just junk and fast food. And it's like, I think in the past, like you said, you used to grab things from your purse. I remember, I think, I, I think I might have overdosed on kind bars at one point and I was just like, Oh, you feel some hunger coming on? Oh, well, time to eat something. And yeah, I just think that flexibility also just every, on an everyday basis, as far as just like, I I'm a lot more productive cause like meals take time, especially if you're, you know, especially if you're preparing, what type of meals do you like to prepare for yourself throughout the day?

1 (9m 42s): Well, you know, I generally don't open my eating window until, I mean, it could be one o'clock two o'clock, four o'clock, six o'clock. It just depends on my daily schedule. You know, yesterday for example, I was really busy and I didn't have a chance to open my window till probably four 30. I had a little, we had some really good potato soup the night before and you see, I'm not afraid of carbs, but, you know, I made it from scratch. I, I, I like to cook at home. And so I started with cutting up potatoes, you know, it was a high quality potato soup. So I had a bowl of potato soup to open my window. And then later I had dinner. I had a great piece of Philemon Yon with, we had some broccolini and some oven roasted potatoes.

1 (10m 30s): Yes. I had potatoes twice and a homemade role. I like to make my own bread. So, you know, and then I had for dessert, I had a really high quality, like a smoothie that I split with my husband, just a little bit of something sweet. And, and that, that was all I ate for the day, but I was full. I was satisfied. Whereas another day I might, you know, like today I had, since I ate so much later last night, I might be hungry at two and I might have, you know, I might start my day with a bowl of soup, again, you know, something with some beans in it. I eat a lot of beans, beans and kale and tomato and abroad, something like that with little Parmesan on there.

0 (11m 13s): Yeah. I see. It's interesting. Cause you know, some people have trouble handling beans or kale or things like that. I mean, I know there's like a big movement. I've had a bunch of interviews with a lot of keto. Carnivore is, is sort of a big, a big thing. But you know, like with yourself, you know, you're metabolically flexible, you can handle carbs and it, and if you are metabolically flexible, I wouldn't, like you said, you shouldn't be afraid of carbs having rises in insulin. It's a normal thing. As long as it comes back to like a baseline. Right.

1 (11m 43s): Exactly. You know, we, we know that we don't want to have high levels of insulin all the time. Hyperinsulinemia is not a good state to be in. And, you know, in the day when I was eating all the time around the clock, drinking a lot of diet sodas, I, you know, y'all was drinking those but Stevia. So it felt like a good choice, but it was still, you know, sweetness coming in all the time. You know, my body was cranking out the insulin in response. I was putting, you know, sweeteners in my coffee, creamy coffee all the time I was eating in my, I did not have my insulin tested back then, but I was a beast. I weighed 210 pounds at my heaviest back in 2014. And I'm sure I had really high levels of insulin.

1 (12m 26s): I had abdominal obesity, you know, my, I was an Apple shape at the time. You know, now my, my waist is, you know, 27 inches. So I'm, I'm a healthy shape. I've lost over 80 pounds and I've maintained the loss ever since 2015, thanks to intermittent fasting. And you see, I, I do, I eat lots of carby things, but what I'm not eating is a lot of ultra processed food. I'm eating real food. You know, the potatoes that I cut up, I kept the peel on and you know, our gut microbiomes are amazing. You know, people who might have issues that you can heal, basically, Dr. Ruscio, I'm not saying, I don't think I said his name, Russia.

1 (13m 6s): Okay. I'm just talking out of the top of my head. He has, we had him on the intermittent fasting podcast a few years ago. And when he, one of his gut books came out and he talked about how, you know, that's, that's his, you know, he's a gut doctor and he talked about how the gut can heal. So his goal is not to eliminate foods forever with his patients, but to eliminate, what's giving you trouble, let your gut heal. So, you know, a healthy body can eat all the foods. So if you're not tolerating the foods, there's something going on. And so I really believe that a lot of us can reintroduce things as we become healthier, you know, real foods I'm not talking about re-introducing Twinkies, you know, they're not going to help your gut.

0 (13m 52s): Yeah. Yeah. I just interviewed another gentleman yesterday and he had issues with, well, he eliminated everything. And sometimes you want to do somewhat, somewhat of an elimination diet. Perhaps if you are having issues like dairy, for example, he was getting really dry skin and it was like the one thing he added on. So then he realized, okay, no more dairy. Is that for you? Do you incorporate dairy into your diet?

1 (14m 17s): I, you know, dairy works great for me. I actually, you know, I, I know the science of, you know, DNA and what foods work for you. It's still really in its infancy. And, you know, the latest research is showing it's really more the gut than it is your DNA. But that being said, dairy and tolerance, actually, you can trace that back to DNA and about 75% of people or something like that do have that genetic, you know, dairy probably isn't going to be as good for you, right. Unfortunately in that 25%. And so much of it really has to do with your, your genetics, where your ancestors came from and what they ate. You know, we did develop, you know, we adapted to our environments, you know, our, our bodies did.

1 (15m 3s): So I, I think that that's, if you think dairy is a problem for you, you're probably in that 75% who are not as genetically adapted.

0 (15m 12s): Yeah. And I was looking a little bit through your website and you talk a lot about a clean, fast, right? Why don't we talk a little bit about, cause people are like, Oh, can I have this, can I have that? I just did a podcast on it. You know, there's coffee break a fast, and I know you're having your coffee right here. Well, how would you, how would you describe a clean fast?

1 (15m 30s): Well, I have actually two chapters on this and fast feast repeat because that's how important it is. The first one is, you know, why we fast, clean and I talk about, we have three fastening goals and I'll get into that. And then the second clean fasting chapter chapters, you know, what you can have during the fast and why? So I'll answer that part first, what you can have during the fast plain water, black coffee, nothing added plain tea. And I'm not talking about, you know, those fancy herbal teas that are like, you know, Apple cinnamon delight, avoid those. You don't want anything that tastes like food or sweet sweetness or fruity sparkling water is fine. As long as it's not flavored. So stick to very basic things like that.

1 (16m 10s): Black coffee, plain tea, plain water, plain sparkling water. Now let's talk about why we have three fasting goals. And when you know what the fast and goals are, you can understand why it's important to fast clean. The first one is you want to keep your insulin low. You know, we talked about hyperinsulinemia is a problem. You know, insulin is not bad. We have to have it. You don't want to have high levels of circulating insulin all the time. It's linked to so many negative health outcomes. I didn't even really realize how many until when I was writing fast feast, repeat, I came across a research paper on hyperinsulinemia and it listed all the things that were associated with having chronic high levels of influence.

1 (16m 50s): And this is so important for all of us. So you want to avoid anything that is going to trick your body into thinking food is coming, right? So for example, diet sodas, there's zero calorie. So we were like, well, zero calories nothing's happening. It has a zero effect. Well, it might have zero caloric effect, but it has effects in the body because you, you taste it. Your brain says, Ooh, sweetness is coming in our brains, don't understand zero calorie sweeteners. Our brains have developed with when you're eating something sweet it's honey, or it's an Apple, or it's an orange. And so you've got, you know, sugary sweetness coming in.

1 (17m 31s): And so we have the cephalic phase insulin response, and our pancreas pumps out some insulin to deal with this hit of sugar that your body knows is coming in, except that it's not because you're having, you know, something with zero calories. So that leads to some metabolic confusion and it keeps your insulin high. And you know, if you keep that insulin high, you eventually will develop insulin resistance, all sorts of problems come along with that. So that's why we avoid anything. Food flavored, you know, even something like Apple, cider vinegar, you know, I've experimented with that. My body thinks the foods coming in when I get a hot mug of hot water and put some Apple cider vinegar in it that that's my body's like, Oop, we're having Apple cider vinegar.

1 (18m 14s): This is delicious. So you want to avoid anything that is delicious and food like during the fast, keep your insulin low. The second fasting goal is we want to tap into our stored fat for fuel. So we do that by not adding fat into our coffee cup, don't put in the butter or the MCT oil, because that's a huge source of energy, you know? Yes. If you take exogenous ketones or chug MCT oil, your body will we'll either have the ketones from the exogenous ketones or make ketones out of the MCT oil. But what it's not doing is making them from your stored fat. So our goal is not to have ketones and our goal is to make them right.

1 (18m 57s): So you only make them when you have to tap into your own fat stores for fuel. It's really amazing. I went through all that, to the, you know, putting stuff in my coffee, all the oils, the butters, whatever you read, it really does. You know, at first it might feel satisfying, but over time it makes you hungrier. So I, I challenge everybody to try without it. You know, the third fasting goal is we want to have increased autophagy. Autophagy is our body's upcycling and recycling system. I mean, it happens naturally, but it happens when you're not digesting and eating. So, you know, if you're the person who puts your feet on the floor and starts eating and drinking all day long, like we'd been trained to do in modern society, your body never has time to rest and clean and repair and autophagy.

1 (19m 46s): Isn't isn't really happening. So we want to fast and have our bodies have time to, you know, we're not digesting, we're not eating. So our bodies have time to go in and rummage around and clean things up. Well, we do that by not taking in protein during the fast. So bone broth, for example, would not be something you would want to have. You know, it sounds fun. A bone broth fall fast, right? We've heard of them, but you're not actually fasting. That's a source of nutrients. It's a source of protein in your body is not going to need to rummage around, you know, in the, for the junkie proteins when you're taking in a source yourself. So avoid things like that.

0 (20m 25s): Yeah. I like how you, you know, there's the arguments still out on a lot of this, right? Like one of these things you keep hearing things about. It's an amazing process that your body goes through. It's almost like I equate it to taking your car and to get like, you know, oil change wheels aligned, you know, your body. It's amazing when don't do anything as far as eating and let your gut rest and heal, like your body will heal on its own. Right. And I like how you keep it black and white. And I think that's a good way to go because, you know, you hear a lot of these fasts where you're adding a bunch of fat and things like that. And, you know, I guess per se, if it's going to help you, maybe in the beginning, get through some fasting, you know, perhaps, but like, like you said, like you just sorta got to deal with it.

0 (21m 14s): And I think the earlier that you just do a clean, fast, like you mentioned. Yeah. I think in the long run, it'll be easier.

1 (21m 20s): Well, in my, in my first book delayed on deny, I was a little less emphatic about that and said, you know, yeah, you can try the cream until you adjust. It'll help you adjust. But I actually realized, you know, I've got almost half a million members in my Facebook groups that, that, you know, we're supporting through intermittent fasting and we've actually realized over the years, ope, those things don't actually make it easier. You're right. It actually delays the adjusting process. It makes it harder and longer for you to adjust. So I'm more of a fan of just rip off that band-aid fast, clean from day one. It'd be better to have a shorter, fast, but train your body, you know, to fast clean from the first day. And then gradually you can extend your fasting time as your body is adapted to it.

1 (22m 4s): But you fast clean from day one. I really think that makes a lot of difference. You know, if someone's listening and they've been, you know, like, well, I heard that I could put butter in my coffee. And I heard that MCT oil actually made the fast better. It enhanced my results. I would like to challenge everybody to, to take the clean fast challenge. I have this in vast feast, repeat, give yourself a month without whatever it is you've been using just cold Turkey, you know, just say, all right, I'm this crazy, Jen, I'm gonna try it. You know, see what she says, I'm gonna stick to black coffee, plain tea, plain water, nothing added, no lemon, you know, nothing for flavor. I'm just going to stick to the plain and then I'm going to see in a month, you know, then try putting it back in.

1 (22m 44s): And I bet you'll be able to leave her.

0 (22m 47s): Yeah. When you say plain tea, green tea,

1 (22m 50s): Green tea, regular tea, black tea. There's a million kinds of actual, I mean tea. They do a lot with the tea leaf, right? They were long tea. I mean, there's white tea, but there's so many different, different things that are actually real tea. But then we have all these things that are on the tea aisle that are not really tea. You know, like I wouldn't have, you know, camomile tea during, during the fast, because it doesn't have a bitter flavor profile. The key is, you know, when I was researching for fast Feaster P I'm like, how do I really make the distinction? So people understand the key is bitter flavor profile. I read a study on flavors and what the different flavors do, you know, like a sour flavor, it causes your body to anticipate certain things and you start the salivary response, right?

1 (23m 34s): So we have the sweet flavor. I talked about this, a phallic phase, insulin response, a salty flavor on its end. And like, just like salt is okay, just, you know, a little salt and even in water, you can, I don't, I don't do it. I don't like it. But some people do, especially in the keto world, minerals don't break the fast, but a bitter flavor is not associated by our bodies with like, you know, huge influx of calories insulin needed. And that's why black coffee and plain tea make the okay list for the clean fast. Now, if someone drinks them and every time you have the, you know, the bitter coffee, the bitter tea, you find yourself hungry, you're shaky, whatever experiment with leaving them out.

1 (24m 18s): Maybe you need to be a water only faster. But for me, I read a study about autophagy and coffee that talked about how coffee actually increases the, the processes of autophagy. And I actually heard the lead researcher. He was an autophagy researcher. I heard him on a podcast and he said that he drinks black coffee during his fast. I'm like, well, if a person who is researching autophagy thinks black coffee is great during the fast that's good enough for me. So,

0 (24m 48s): Right. And I did a short podcast on black coffee. And I will say, if you are going to do black coffee, really find where your beans are, are being sourced. Cause it's the most highly like conventional crop that's with pesticides all over it. Yeah.

1 (25m 3s): Yeah. I use organic coffee and I grind my beans myself and yeah. That's I think a very important,

0 (25m 9s): Yeah. And maybe let's talk a little bit about the differences between men and women and fasting. Do you know, are there some, have you found through just through your, you know, you're interviewing other individuals and women and men, do you find there's some differences in different approaches that they should take?

1 (25m 27s): I personally, you know, has not found that women are such fragile flowers, that we can't do intermittent fasting, you know, in, in any style that you want to, with one caveat, you know, our bodies don't respond well to over restriction. Of course men's bodies don't respond well to over restriction. Either over restriction is not good for us long term metabolically or hormonally, but, you know, so that's the one thing women need to be cautious about because you know, a lot of us have been champion dieters for decades. And so you start intermittent, fasting and think, Ooh, I'm going to also really restrict my calories and I'm going to diet within my eating window. And so that can turn into too much restriction, which is not good for our bodies, but you know, no matter how you're eating too much restriction is not good for our bodies.

1 (26m 15s): So that's, you know, my book is not called fast eats and diet meals. Repeat it's fast feast, repeat, you know, you need to eat to satiety. You don't want your body to think that you're starving. As long as you do that. I think women will be just fine.

0 (26m 30s): Yeah. And one thing I noticed with fasting too, is when, when I'm am eating, you fill up quicker than you do. And it's like, you're like, wow, I don't need to eat more. Like it's like, I don't, I'm not a counting calories person. Like you said, you know, eat till you're sort of satisfied. And it's amazing. Like the more you do it, it's like, wow, I don't need to really eat as much as I was really eating

1 (26m 53s): True. And you know, our, our bodies are looking for nutrients. Food quality really does matter with that. If you're eating highly nutritious foods and your body is getting the nourishment that it needs, it's not going to feel like you're overly restricting it. But if you're eating like diet bars and diet shakes and all of that, you know, we, we, again, you know, I talked about it with the artificial sweeteners. You can't fool mother nature, right? These, these fake foods just do not do not work in our bodies. You know, we're not designed, you know, we're not getting the nutrients that we need, even then like a vitamin, you know, the, the stuff that's in real food, the phytochemicals, we don't even know what all that is doing.

1 (27m 34s): So we've isolated, a few that we think are important, but we don't even know what else is in there. So real foods, they make you feel full and they give your body what, what you need.

0 (27m 44s): Yeah. And a few interviews I've had with and a few other individuals, you know, regarding the importance of protein. Right. And, you know, I think there's this, you know, there's this fear around protein with women. Do you find this like that? They they're scared to like, have a steak.

1 (28m 3s): We're scared of everything now. I mean, it's really almost, I don't want to say that. It's funny because it's really more sad than anything, but I'm trying to get into Instagram. I've not been on Instagram. I'm on Jen Stevens on Instagram. If by wants to follow me, you'll see pictures of my cats. And

0 (28m 20s): I'm not that exciting,

1 (28m 21s): But go to Jen Stevens and find me on Instagram. But, you know, because for some reason, Instagram is figured out on like in the health and wellness space. So it shows me everything, health and wellness. And it's like, it's bizarre how the different things that come up eat only meat, eat no meat, eat only plants eat. Don't eat these plants. I mean, every other post is like telling you the opposite of the one before it. So even with protein, there's so much confusing, confusing information out there. You know, I've got one book on my shelf called protein, a holic that tells us we're killing ourselves with eating too much protein. I have another book on my shelf called protein power that says eat more proteins.

1 (29m 1s): So you're right. That it's confusing. I love the protein leverage hypothesis. That's Ted Naiman right there. Right. He uses that wording, I believe. And that our bodies search for a certain amount of protein and our bodies know more than we do. You know, instead of you trying to count it, eat protein until you're satisfied and that's how much you need. One other thing about intermittent fasting and autophagy that I talked about before our body is great at recycling proteins during the fast. So some of your protein needs are being met internally through, you know, the recycling of the protein you have. But I know that if I don't eat enough protein, I'm not satisfied, but you know, I get a lot of my protein from beans and things like that.

1 (29m 49s): I do eat meat, you know, last night I said, I had a big steak and it was delicious, but you know what? I had that big piece of fly Manion and I probably ate, I don't know, three fourths of it. And then I was like, that's enough of that. And I put it on my husband's plate and he finished it.

0 (30m 6s): Yeah. I mean, you know, nutrient density by just had another guy, Marty Kendall, which is him. Yeah. Yeah. He was great. And he's all about nutrient density. Yeah. His big thing is, is like, you know, really, you know, yes, you can, there are some plants that are nutrient dense, but you have to eat so much of it that, you know, a lot of nutrient density, your best bet is best bang for your buck. I would say is good quality fish, you know, grass fed meat and yeah,

1 (30m 38s): He's coming on my podcast soon. I'm really excited to talk to him. I've read a lot of the things that he's put out there. In fact, I've been following his blog, optimizing nutrition for, you know, ever since I just think I stumbled across it in 2017 when I was riding for feast without fear, the whole premise of feast without fear, by the way, is that we're all different when it comes to what foods work for us. Because you know, being in, in face the Facebook world and the diet space, people would come in and have giant arguments. You know, if you're going to do intermittent fasting, you must be Quito. Or if you're going to do intermittent fasting, you must be plant-based and people would have huge arguments. I'm like, why are we so confused? And it really does come down to, we are all different.

0 (31m 19s): Yeah. And I think it depends where you're coming from as well. I think if you're like, like a lot with my clients, if they're eating like highly processed foods and they're, and, and you know, they want to, you know, just like, get on, get, start cleaning up their eating. That might be a first place to start, you know, start cleaning up the things that you're eating. And then you can start incorporating some fasting after that. I guess you could put one before the other.

1 (31m 45s): I did it the opposite way I did because, you know, as I, as I mentioned, I'd been on that diet train for so long that for me, I had really tried every way of eating that came out prior to 2014, because I was desperate. If something new came out, I tried it, you know, anything that came out after 2014. Thank goodness. I haven't had to try it. But before then I did them all. And I was so weary from trying to change what I was eating that for me, I didn't, I just, I just did intermittent fasting and I continued to drive through the golden arches. I continued to eat whatever I wanted to eat. And the weight slowly started to come off amazingly though, over time, my body started asking for different foods.

1 (32m 28s): So I naturally gravitated towards eating you. Now I'm eating mostly organic grass fed me. I mean, my 2014 self wouldn't, even who I am now, I'm not avoiding the drive-thru because of what I know about health, I'm avoiding it because it doesn't appeal to me as much.

0 (32m 50s): Yeah. And also if you're only having one or two meals a day, which is pretty much what I'm assuming you have one. Yeah. So if you're only having one or two meals a day, you really want to make sure that meal is satiating and you're putting in quality fuel. And like you said, like, yeah, another way to do it would be, you know, start maybe pushing back your eating hours a little bit. And, and, and I'm condensing when you're eating and then you'll start to realize that God, well, I only have, like, for example, yesterday, I, I was gonna, I just decided to just do one meal and I just did it. And I started eating at five o'clock, but you know, it's like, you make sure you out to make sure you have good, good food in there. Cause you know, that, that you're not going to, you know, have it for a little while.

1 (33m 32s): It has to be window worthy. Yes.

0 (33m 37s): What about extended fasts? Do you do do occasionally mix in some extended fasts?

1 (33m 42s): I do not. And I am not an extended fast. I don't want to say I'm not a proponent of it extended fast name because I believe there's a place for them. You know, I, I think extended fasting would be for healing. Now, first of all, let's talk about what would we define as extended fasting? Cause there's a lot of confusion with that. Some people think if you go 24 hours, you're extended fasting. And actually, I don't think so. We have, you know, time-restricted eating, which is the daily eating window approach. That probably is what you do most of the time. It's what I only do now. Then we've got alternate day fasting protocols every other day, fat, you know, things like that, where you might go 36 to 42 hours and we call that there's our alternate daily fasting protocols.

1 (34m 24s): So I don't consider those to be extended fasts because you know, they're, they're based on the, the terminology is alternate day fasting, not extended fasting. So I think if you're eating every other day with those protocols, you know, you have, you know, the 36 hour fast and you have what we call an up day where you're eating all day, then you repeat that back and forth. Or even if you only have two of those a week, you know, like a five, two approach, probably a lot of people have heard of those. That would be two of those, you know, 36 to 42 hour fasts per week. Those are not extended fasts. But when you get beyond the alternate daily fasting protocols, that's where you're getting into extended fasting territory.

1 (35m 6s): And I think the thing to be careful is about as we can over fast for our bodies. You know, I talk about this in fast feast, repeat, you know, this is not the fasting Olympics. We tend to, you know, get caught up into wow. If fasting is good, then more fasting more and more and more must be better, better, better. And you know, that's not always the case. I talk about a study, you know, and also I will be honest with you, the studies on extended fasting as you start getting beyond the alternate day realm. They're not very many out there, you know, and especially not, you know, studies on doing that repeatedly. You know, what's our body going to do with that. We do have one study that I refer back to and it's a study of a 72 hour fasting period.

1 (35m 50s): And they followed people through the 72 hour fast, you know, keeping in mind, these are not people who had been, you know, doing a ton of fasting. So these are like, you know, Virgin people who are starting off right with the seventies,

0 (36m 2s): Quite a way to start. Yeah. Yeah. I would not recommend that. Okay.

1 (36m 6s): No, no, I wouldn't either. But the metabolism was interesting when they measured the metabolic rate to the participants, you know, let you know, they had a baseline metabolic rate. Let's just say then as they follow them over the course of the 72 hours, their metabolic rate actually went up, up, up, up, up, up, and then at a certain point, it peaked and then it began on the downward trajectory. Okay. And this was just over one 72 hour period. So at our 72, the metabolic rate was still higher than it had been at baseline, but it was on the downward trajectory. So what does that show us? Well, that shows us that eventually there's going to come a point when your body's like, Ooh, literally nothing is coming in.

1 (36m 50s): It's time to slice some things down. I have a hunch that's going to be different for everybody. You know, like we can't say, Oh, that happens at our XYZ. You know, it's going to be different. All these things are averages when they do these studies with multiple people. But you know, if you're doing too much fasting, your body is going to slow down your metabolic rate. I mean, that's just, you know, that's just the way it is. Our bodies want to protect us. And nothing coming in is like, okay, time to slow some things down.

0 (37m 20s): Yeah. And it depends on the person. I mean, I, I just interviewed a guy, Larry diamond. It was a great interview with a fasting method and he's a health coach on there. Right. He lost like 120 pounds and he did this through fasting and cleaning up his eating, but he does do occasional extended fasts and maybe three. So he does like a three, three day and then a five day. And, you know, for someone that maybe is in that, you know, in that obese range, this could be an effective method. You know, someone who's underweight or at where they want to be definitely should not.

0 (38m 2s): Yeah. She'll probably not, you know, for me, for example, like where I'm, where I want to be, but you know, I've been doing fasting for awhile. Sometimes I like to do a few days just to sort of, you know, it it's, you know, just a challenge, more of a mental thing than anything, you know,

1 (38m 17s): The day of eating since 2016, I've eaten every day. I don't, I don't do longer, fast. And you know, I haven't needed to, to, you know, stay in my maintenance range where I feel great. Now if I had a health issue that I felt that fasting would, would help me with course, I would do that under medical supervision. I really believe if you're going to be fast beyond 72 hours, you really want to be under medical supervision. You know, there was a movie that I watched a couple of years ago, fasting it's on, I think it's Amazon prime. You can watch it there. And they had these clinics that they follow people going through, you know, Russia, I think. And

0 (38m 53s): Yeah.

1 (38m 54s): Yeah. And, and one thing I love about that, that that movie is, you know, it's a documentary is that first of all, they're so, you know, strong on the health benefits of fasting, they have decades of using this with people for healing purposes. But I love that they emphasize that you must be under medical supervision that at no time during that movie, which loves fasting, did they say, try it at home? You know, if you're going to do longer fasts, especially if you have health conditions, you really need to be, you know, under some sort of supervision, don't just try to go it alone. You know, the refeeding is so very important.

1 (39m 34s): You could actually harm yourself by refeeding incorrectly, after a long, fast, when your digestive system has been, you know, at rest, you know, going and going and having like slice of pizza, you could damage your, I mean, that's not a good thing. So that'd be really careful with refeeding. So I do not guide anybody past the alternate daily fasting approach. That's, that's where I believe that, you know, the lifestyle and the healing really can come in for most of us. But if you want to do longer fasts, then I would find, you know, some sort of medical professional to support you through that. And there really is a danger of over fasting, you know, people who are really, you know, the rip off the band-aid, like I said, they were like, well, I'm just going to fast until the weight is gone.

1 (40m 18s): You know, I wouldn't recommend it.

0 (40m 20s): No, you know, fast is a stressor. I mean, you definitely want to ease your way into it. You know, if you've been doing it for years and years and years, and you want to do a few days, you know? Yeah. Again, you, you can get supervision, but you know, you definitely want yeah. Listen to your body. Yeah. Worst comes to worst. If you, if you're not feeling right, you can always can always break it

1 (40m 41s): Really unwell, listen to your body. If you feel shaky or nauseous or, you know, you're, don't just feel like, well, I can push through that, know that that might be the wrong thing to push.

0 (40m 52s): Right. You can push through hunger cues. Right. But pushing through that. Yeah. And as far as breaking the fast, what would you rec, what do you recommend for people starting out as far as breaking a fast?

1 (41m 3s): Well, really that's going to be different for everybody depending on your body. You know, obviously, you know, as I mentioned, real foods, high quality foods, that's always going to satisfy you the best. You know, I do not break my fast with, you know, a whole bunch of ultra processed cookies or something that would, I would feel terrible. You know, anything that, you know, real quick load to the, the, you know, the bloodstream jacking up that blood sugar, and then it's going to crash, then you're going to feel awful. So, you know, I wouldn't go have a sugary latte to open my window. I do well yet with

0 (41m 36s): No real foods. And not actually, like you mentioned, like soup is a good way to break even like a bone broth, just to sort of wake up the digestive system.

1 (41m 44s): If someone who does alternate daily fasting, you're something like starting with some bone broth to open your window on the update can be good because sometimes people have a little digestive upset. Let's just say, if you start to, to aggressively. So waking up that digestive system silly, I don't have that problem, but I've heard about it from lots of people who do so start with something like a bone broth would be great to open your window. Yeah. I tend to have different things that I gravitate to depending on the season, like right now it's winter and I'm gravitating towards the soups. You know, I have a company that I like to get these, they have these bowls that come and I love to cook from scratch, but I don't have time to do it all day long.

1 (42m 25s): So I found this company that has these wonderful soup bowls, you know, heavy with the beans and the kale and the tomatoes and garlic and things. I loved, I can just microwave that and have it and then make my dinner later. But in the summer I might want to have some guacamole and you know, something like that, maybe some hunters

0 (42m 43s): Have you tried it, have you tried using an instant pot?

1 (42m 46s): I actually have one. Yeah. Not the instant pot brand. I have the pampered chef version and I love it. Yeah. But I, you know, if I'm making a big batch of chili, I'll use that rice is great in it.

0 (42m 59s): Yeah. Yeah. So easy. I almost feel like it's like dumb proof. Yeah. You could like throw like half the kitchen in there and something will come out like, Oh, this is good. It's true. What about like mindset? I w interviewed drew Manning the fit fat fit guy. Who's now going back into a fit mode. And he, he touched a lot about mindset. What, what do you think w what type of things do you think people need to, you know, cause we can talk about fasting all we want for a lot of people that can be a very, a big step to do. What goes, what, what sort of advice do you give people if they're just starting out?

0 (43m 41s): As far as mindset is concerned,

1 (43m 43s): That's a great question. I think mindset is really the key to success, really, for anything that you're doing, you're having, having the right mindset. I have a chapter in fast feast repeat about mindset and it is my favorite chapter in the whole book. And you know, the research on mindset is solid. You know, I first read about it Carol Dweck. I'm sure you're familiar with her book mindset. That's the name of it. And she, I actually heard her speak at the national gifted conference. Maybe. I don't know, 2012. I can't remember when it was 2013, somewhere around in there. I was a teacher for 28 years and I have a doctorate in gifted education. So I went to the national gifted conference. Carol Dweck was the keynote speaker.

1 (44m 25s): She talked about growth mindset versus fixed mindset. And you know, the research of course is applicable to our, you know, our classroom work with students, but it really applies to everything. And it applies to intermittent fasting as well. If you go into intermittent fasting with the mindset, this is going to be hard. I'm probably going to fail. I'm probably not going to be able to do it. It's not gonna work for me then probably you're right. Yeah. You know, if you go into it, understanding the science behind it, you know, which is why that's how I start fast feast, repeat with the science so that you understand the benefits. If you go into it, understanding, wow, it's linked to great health outcomes. It's linked to longevity.

1 (45m 4s): Wow. It's, it's, you know, good for my body. And also I can lose some fat and it's going to work for me. And you know, I can tweak what I'm eating. I can change up my fasting and it's going to work then than it will work for you. It's always working in your body. But you know, we have some studies in there. I talked about belief is important. Like just, you know, to summarize one study, there was some hotel workers who cleaned hotel rooms and they told one group that the work they did to clean hotel rooms was all the physical exercise they needed in a day. And then they told the other group something else.

1 (45m 45s): They didn't tell him that. But the group that was told you, cleaning these hotel rooms is your physical activity for the day. And it's good for you. They actually lost weight, had good health outcomes because they believed that they probably cleaned a little differently because they're like I'm working out my arm, you know, but they had a different mindset. And so that changed the outcome.

0 (46m 8s): Yeah. Yeah. That's a good point. Yeah. And just like, I also think as far as mindset is concerned, like the simplicity of, of, you know, fasting, I know you're talking about clean fast, but yeah. Right. It's like, like you said, there's so much confusion out there that the one thing that fasting brings you back to that can help sort of get your mind around it is the fact that it's pretty black and white, right? Yes. You know? Yes. There are some little details here and there, but for the most part, if you keep it simple, you'll follow it for a longer time period.

1 (46m 42s): I think so fast clean, you know, stop looking for, can I have this? What about mushroom tea? What about this? What about the other stop? Trying to work things into the fast, just fast plain black coffee, plain tea, plain water, or sparkling water, stick to basics, let your body do what it needs to do. You can have any of those fancy things you want later. You know, the fast should not be a flavor, adventure, the fastest supposed to be kind of boring. It's your body working, you know, doing things behind the scenes. You can do things, stay busy, you know, get, get, get, get things accomplished that I'm my most productive in the fasted state. And then later enjoy all those things that, that tastes good to you put the cream in your coffee and your eating window and enjoy it.

0 (47m 27s): Yeah, it does make you appreciate it. I remember reading a book, it was a book seam land. He just got some, a lot of fasting books and metabolic autophagy and things out there. And he just talked about how there's a lot of people out there, kids, adults, you know, third world countries. And they go to bed hungry every night. They abstain from food and they don't know where their next meal is coming from. And I think that it shows a little bit of like, you know, mental, I'll just say mental power or a little bit of discipline that you can skip a meal and everything will be okay. And it sort of makes you really appreciate the times when you are eating

1 (48m 11s): Only will everything be okay, but you're, you know, you learn to cherish the fasting time and the value in that. And that's an important part of the mindset as well. Instead of thinking of the vast, it's something you have to get through so that you can eat. You appreciate that. You feel so great and your body's doing all this important work. And so then you protect that time and I wouldn't want to, you know, lose out on those benefits. So why would I, you know, those that that time is valuable and precious to me and I cherish it.

0 (48m 42s): Yeah. And one of the questions I like to ask my guests because we're getting up on the hour here is, and we've probably hit on it already, but what would be one tip you'd give man or woman, if they, you know, let's say they're middle-aged they wanted to get their body back to what it once was like five, 10, 15 years ago. What, what one tip would you give them to get to get started?

1 (49m 3s): Well, I really think that intermittent fasting is going to be the tool in the toolbox that helps you more than anything else. And again, notice I said it is a tool in the toolbox because some people, you know, they start with intermittent fasting and they realized they're not losing weight as quickly as they thought they would. And they may need to, you know, change up what they're eating, especially, you know how I mentioned before that our bodies are different when it comes to what foods work with us work for us. And also you may be in a really poor state of health overall. And so if you're in a really poor state of health, if your gut is a mess, you may need to clean things up to heal, right? And so healing is important. So, you know, if you've been eating the standard American diet for, you know, 50 years, then you may need to really focus on nutrition too, because that's also an important part of the puzzle.

1 (49m 55s): I have a time in vast future, Pete called the 28 day fast start and I encourage people to start off, you know, however is right for you. There are three different approaches you can, you can choose from. There's like a quiz you can take to see, which is right for you. Do you want to ease in, you know, are you more in the middle? Are you going to rip off the bandaid? But you can go back and forth at all times. You don't have to like say, well, I'm going to rip off the bandaid. And then you're stuck with that. You know, you can ease up if you need to, but I encourage people, even as I just said that you may need to change your food quality over time. I encourage people to do that during the first 28 days, because that's really a recipe for failure. Changing everything at once is not sustainable and you're going to feel bad and you're going to be like, I can't do this.

1 (50m 41s): This is stupid. And then before you know it, you're not fasting and you're not eating good foods. You're doing nothing because we've all been there. So instead, you know, when you start intermittent, fasting, keep eating the way you have been most recently eating that goes both ways. Let's say for the past two years, you've been eating really clean keto. And now you're like, I'm sick of this. I want to have more variety in my food. So I'm going to start intermittent fasting, and I'm going to, re-introduce all of the things, that's also a bad idea, right? You don't want to, all of a sudden eat a hundred percent clean or go to a hundred percent dirty. I mean, I don't like to say dirty, but you know what I mean? You get what I'm saying.

1 (51m 21s): So stick with how you were most recently eating do one thing that first 28 days, you're adjusting to the clean fast and letting your body learn how to do that. Then you can start to tweak, you know what you're eating. And also, you know, I would encourage people not to expect weight loss at all for the first 28 days. Don't expect it. I don't even want you to wait way on day zero, take measurements, take photos, then put all that away for the next 28 days. Then on day 29, consider that to be your baseline on day 29. Hopefully you've adjusted to the fasting way. Again, it might be higher than it was on day zero. That's okay. Your measurements might be up. You might look puffier, but start there.

1 (52m 3s): And then you can start weighing every day, working on start comparing progress, photos and measurements. And you should expect to see the overall trend slowly going down. But it's not quick weight loss. This is not one of those things where, you know, when, when I first was putting the book together and we were selling it to the publishers, you know, my agent was like, all right, let's see, you know, we were calling it something else other than 28 day fast start, I think the 21 days something or other, but I decided to make it be 28 because that's more realistic, but they're like, all right, now, what can we tell them how much they should expect to lose during that first? And I'm like, nothing. They were like, Oh, that doesn't sound exciting.

1 (52m 44s): I'm like, well, congratulations. You're not gonna lose anything welcomed.

0 (52m 51s): Yes. Yeah. But you know, I, I liked what you said. Cause it is, you know, the whole goal is to make it a lifestyle change. Right. And if you're just thinking, you're going to get these results over a month and then you're just going to move on, then you're not.

1 (53m 6s): Yeah. You're, that's, that's not why you do intermittent fasting. It's not a quick weight loss plan. It's not something you do. And it's also not something you start and stop. You know, I, I actually first learned about intermittent fasting in 2009 and I wasn't successful at making it my lifestyle until 2014, when I weighed 210 pounds, it never quote worked for me before. Of course, I didn't understand fast and clean. I was putting all that stuff that you can, should not have. I was having it. Right. But I also would go on and off and on and off. And so my body never adjusted. Like I might do it for four days in a row. Then I would take six days off. Then I would try to do it again. I never got fat adapted. I never got to the point where my body was metabolically flexible.

1 (53m 49s): I was trapped in the adjustment period nonstop. You know, it's there for anybody who's ever tried it. Like I used to do, if you weren't fast and clean, if you were starting and stopping and you were like, well, that didn't work. And it was awful. And I hated it. Well, that's why you never let your body adjust. And you were trapped in the hardest part perpetually, but I promise it gets better.

0 (54m 12s): Yes. Yeah. You mentioned like being become fat adapted, right. And that can take time, especially if you have 30, 40 years of habits that have not been good. Could take more, like you said,

1 (54m 24s): Oh, funny Mia. You know, you gotta bring that insulin down and you're not going to be an efficient, you know, tapping into your fat stores until you have time gone.

0 (54m 33s): Right. Well, this was great, Jen, that went by fast. Well, awesome. Well, we'll definitely look out for your, while your books out, check it out fast feast, repeat. Right. And where's the best place to find you?

1 (54m 48s): Well, if you go to Jen stevens.com, Jen is G I N Stevens with the pH. You can find links there to everything that I'm doing. I have the intermittent fasting stories podcast. And so you can listen to Brian and others tell them it has been that your episode was great. You know, we still pull that one out when people are like, can I work out in the fasted state where like, listen to Brian? Yes, you can. And you know, yours, this one, we pull out and share with people and you can listen to the people's stories. They're all different, but they will inspire you in so many ways. And then I also have the intermittent fasting podcast with co-host Melanie Avalon, and we answer questions and get a little more into the nitty gritty of the science of it.

1 (55m 33s): And yeah, I'm, I'm boring on Instagram, but if you'd like cats now, and also I have a picture of myself in the sauna, you know, I'm trying.

0 (55m 41s): Right, right. Hey, you know what? Social media is not for everybody. I'm not that's. Okay. Well, thank you.

1 (55m 48s): Going to all these things people are doing in these videos, I'm like, yeah, I can't do all that.

0 (55m 52s): Right. Like these Instagram reels. Yeah. Well, thanks again, Jen.

1 (55m 58s): Well, thank you, Brian. I really enjoyed it.

0 (55m 60s): A lot of great info. Thanks for listening to the get lean, eat, clean podcasts. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine. And I appreciate that. Check out the show notes@briangrin.com for everything that was mentioned in this episode, feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member. That's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again, and have a great day.

Gin Stephens

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