This week’s podcast is all about information and tools with Integrative Nutritionist Alisa Vitti. Did you ever think you could positively weaponize your menstrual cycle? Well, if we understood and learned how to navigate each month we can. Alisa is the author of Woman Code and In the Flow, and she literally breaks down ways that we can support ourselves week by week from exercise, nutrition, and even considering that break up. If you are a woman, or live with a woman, this is a show for you. Informative , factual, and rooted in science so don’t be concerned that it’s just vagina talk. Enjoy!
Listen to the episode here:
- A Thorny Journey to Puberty [00:06:35]
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) [00:12:50]
- Strength to Take on the World [00:22:17]
- Approaching Body Functions (The Endocrine System) [00:26:16]
- FLO: A Biohack for Women [00:32:11]
- Omission of Women in Medical Fitness and Nutrition Research and Studies [00:34:17]
- Infradian Rhythm [00:38:31]
- A Time For More and A Time For Less [00:52:33]
- “Being Hormonal”: Phases of a Cycle [01:02:20]
- Cycle Syncing Method [01:08:26]
- Website and Community [01:13:45]
- Mothers and Daughters [01:16:43]
- Delaying Perimenopause and Menopause [01:19:22]
Alisa Vitti – Biohack Your Flow
Welcome to this episode. I am excited about this episode. Who knew that if you understand the menstrual cycle, you could weaponize it in a positive way? This is how I’m looking at it. My guest is Alisa Vitti, who’s an integrative nutritionist. She wrote WomanCode. Her book, In the FLO, breaks down the menstrual cycle in a way of even days when you should be doing cardio exercises, lifting heavy weights, macro and micronutrients to support yourself, and when you should be breaking up and firing.
Also, it’s giving you that power to understand that we’re also living our circadian rhythm and our infradian rhythm. If you are a boyfriend, a husband, a woman, or a father, you need to read this. Her personal story of getting into her own health issues is astounding. She’s clear, smart, and strong. This will help a lot of people that have to navigate their cycle every month and empower them in a real way. Enjoy.
Especially from being broken a lot of times physically, I’ve always found that some of the people that I came across who have natural gifts or healers were some of the most hurt people. They stumbled upon a modality that they went, “That worked. For me, it changed my life. Now I’m inspired to go ahead and do this for other people.” Maybe you can share your own journey as to how you even got into talking about the hormone systems and specifically drilling down even on women’s cycles.
I’m a person who, for the decade between the age of 12 and 22 years of age, did not start my period in a normal way. I did not have more than six bleeds, a few of which were chemically induced with synthetic hormones. I was developing cystic acne on my face, chest, and back. I was moving up the ladder toward obesity where I topped out at 210 pounds and I’m only 5’6” so it was quite a lot of weight. This whole decade where girls are becoming young women and developing, I was not developing. I looked, in a way, very asexual, amorphous. It wasn’t happening. I remember feeling off. I remember articulating that to my father and mother.
I like how you say it to your father.
I remember it vividly. We were at my younger brother’s Little League game. We were standing next to the chain link fence on the field. I said to my dad, “Dad, something’s not right with my body.” I was young. I was maybe 14 or 15. I said, “I don’t know what it is but something’s not right. I’m not developing.” Like any parent, you don’t want anything to be wrong with your kids. You’re like, “I’m sure that you’re okay. Everybody develops at different times.” It’s a reasonable response. My dad and I have always had an extraordinary, very feminist relationship. He’s an unusual character.
What country are your parents from?
They’re from Italy. My grandmother was probably an extraordinary person for him to be raised by because. His experience of women, based on her, is that they are totally powerful, capable, strong, leaders, decision-makers, and all these positive things. My father is an engineer. Throughout his career, he would go out of his way to hire female engineers in his team back at a time when that wasn’t happening.
He was always extremely encouraging me to be whatever I want it to be. It’s a gift as a young woman in a patriarchal society to have a father who, for whatever reason, champions you. We can hope that many parents can do that for their daughters as possible. I remember sharing that and I also shared it with my mother.
What reaction did your mom have?
She was also feeling like something was off. We went to my pediatrician. As soon as I turned 16 and I still didn’t have a period, we went to my new gynecologist. I was told that there was nothing wrong and that I should probably get on the pill whenever I was ready to do so and that would be that.
The pill, meaning, “We’re going to do a blanket cure. We’ll jolt all the hormones across into one level.”
This is not what they explained but why this is a recommended approach for period problems is, “We will replace your dysfunctional hormones. We’ll shut them off. As soon as you start taking birth control of any sort, it shuts off your own internal hormonal production. We will dose you with synthetic hormones and that will give you at least a controlled response.”
My mother and my family as a whole were all thinking, “Let’s not jump to that conclusion right away. Let’s see if there’s something else that we can learn.” I worked with so many different healers from naturopaths. I remember this one naturopath, he was a lovely man. He thought that I had a Candida imbalance. This was back when that was in vogue. I remember he had me on this insane elimination diet. This is before smartphones so there are hard copy photos of me where I had so much carrot juice as part of this elimination diet. I have changed hue, Gabby. I was more orange than I should have been.
I remember my best friend who’s still my best friend, she grabbed me one day. We were getting ready to do something. In the morning, the sunlight came in. She was like she hadn’t seen it before. We spent so much time together. She’s like, “Good lord, you’re orange. You have to stop drinking that carrot juice.” I said, “No. I’m going to drink this until I’m better.” I was trying all sorts of things to get results. Nothing was working.
At that time, I was already a student at Johns Hopkins University. I’m a science nerd from way back. I was planning to become an OB-GYN. I was always very interested in women’s health from a young age, biology, and health in general. I felt that was my calling. My symptoms were getting much worse. I was having extreme anxiety and depression. My weight had ballooned. My acne was so profound. I was so heavy that I couldn’t even stand up long enough to cover the acne because it would take about half an hour.
[bctt tweet=”The circadian rhythm is something that you experience over the course of the day. The infradian rhythm is something you experience over the course of your cycle.”]
In my dorm room, I had a little folding table and chairs that my roommate had bought to put in between our beds. I would sit down on that with a mirror and I would take prescriptive under-eye cream because it was the only thing thick enough to cover the redness. I would spackle my face but I would look pale. It didn’t look natural. I felt better than going out red and inflamed. It was not good. The period was not coming. I hadn’t seen one in a long time.
What about your other development?
There’s not really happening. I still looked like an amorphous person. I remember, as any girl does on a Saturday night in college, I was in a library researching what could be wrong with me. I had access to one of the greatest libraries for health care on the planet so I was putting it to good use. I stumbled upon an obstetrics journal that talked about Stein-Leventhal disorder.
As I was reading this article, all the bells were ringing on the checklist of symptoms. It was a classic presentation of polycystic ovarian syndrome. This was years ago. This disorder was not as commonly known amongst gynecologists as it is today, even though 1 in 8 women suffers from PCOS. That is increasing now.
If a young person is reading or a mother of a daughter, does it have different looks?
It does. Depending on the level of insulin sensitivity and the level of androgen sensitivity, your daughter could be more on the obesity side with hirsutism, which is hair growth in the places that you don’t want it, hair loss in the places that you don’t want it. Irregular periods are common throughout. You can also have lean PCOS where they physically look normal but their period is also missing.
It depends on the level of inflammation or the root causes of how the ecosystem of your daughter’s body and hormones has been interrupted by certain inputs and how that ends up creating a PCOS-like response in the body. That’s bad news. The good news is because those are exogenous inputs, they can be corrected easily.
In my experience, once I understood what was wrong with me, I took this journal out of the library and I was sad but excited. I went to this gynecologist that I had connected with at Hopkins for my care while I was there. I waited for her in the morning when she was coming into the parking lot to come to work. I did not have an appointment but I couldn’t wait another day because it had already been seven years of diagnosis and a decade of not feeling right.
I opened it up and said, “This is what I think I have. Can we do some testing now? Do you have time?” God bless her. She took pity on me. She took me in before her patients started and we did some testing. We came back together and she said, You’re right, you do have this disorder. This is what you have.” I’m from New England, I said, “Great. Now, what? What do we do? Let’s do it, whatever is needed.”
She said, “I’m so sorry. We don’t have anything for you. There is no cure. Your condition will worsen over time. It will increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. By the way, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to have children naturally.” I was 20 or 21. She said, “Don’t worry. We’ll medicate you along the way to address these things that will start to happen to you in increasingly symptomatic ways.”
We all have these moments or whatever you want to call them. For myself, it wasn’t like an outside voice. It was an inside game. I heard my body very clearly, “That’s not your future.” I opened my mouth and repeated, “That’s not my future.” She said, “What do you mean?” I said, “I don’t know yet but I will use my expensively trained mind to figure this out.” I was perhaps a little wiser than my years looking back at it.
I’m talking like this to her. No adults were with me. I said to her, “Fundamentally, Doctor, I am opposed to the premise that we would treat me with medication that is not curative for something that you do not understand the root cause of. I’m opposed to that as a game plan in general. I would be 100% willing to do whatever you recommended if you knew why this was happening to me and that what we would be doing would fix it.”
“I’m on board for that. Without those two data points, then your plan is equally inefficient as my potential not knowing what my plan is yet if we have to judge it on statistics.” Face value, game theory, or however you want to look at it, that was the way my brain was working. I’m a systems thinker, always have been.
I went back to the library and began research. I also then reached out to many practitioners. I was very lucky. Hopkins was doing all the cutting-edge research around epigenome and epigenetics. There was one discovery that changed the course of what ended up becoming the protocol that I used to resolve my issues and that is part of my first book, WomanCode.
They asked a question, “When you have identical twins and if genes determined destiny, why is it even possible that one twin could be perfectly healthy but the other twin could get a terrible disease like cancer? How does that happen? What is the mechanism?” They were looking at genetics. The genetics are identical. Looking and sequencing the human genome, what they discovered by accident was a ghost protein that wraps around your genes called the epigenome.
Based on two things and two things only does this epigenome constrict or expand around your genes either activating them or suppressing them. The two things are what you eat and how you’re living, diet and lifestyle. One twin was a smoker living in an urban environment and high-stress job but the other one was an organic gardener. Two opposite extremes. Although the genes are identical, the epigenomic function changed and one is healthy and one is not.
This was years ago before functional medicine was even a term and before there were functional medicine doctors. I said, “If you can manipulate genetic expression with food and lifestyle inputs, we can manipulate organ and glandular function in the endocrine system with diet and lifestyle.” I began doing a methodical investigation into the endocrine system itself. How does it function? What does it do without us interrupting it? There’s a particular order and sequence to its preferred functioning.
I then aligned my dietary and lifestyle inputs to support that endocrine function and then I watched. The resolution of my symptoms within about six months dropped 50 pounds. My skin cleared up. My cycle came back. I am happy to report I’ve been ovulating and menstruating for the past several years regularly. Things that were not possible were very easily possible for the body.
It was a remarkable experience. It changed the course of my health, my life, and also my career. It became clear that practicing traditional conventional gynecology in that way was not the way I wanted to support women’s health care. After over twenty years, I’m an innovative thinker when it comes to women’s health. I wanted to be able to support women as best as I could. That started out initially as a small practice in Manhattan working one on one with women and then everything started to expand and I built a virtual center that takes care of women everywhere now.
It’s already such a hard time at 12, the coming of age, to get up and face a day in a body that you don’t get to control. Puberty is happening and you go, “This is what’s happening.” We understand that. We see young teenagers and we see how hard and challenging that is. What is in you that you ride that out into college?
For example, if you have skin issues, this is how we meet the world. People don’t realize when people don’t have a solution or an answer to that, they still get up each day and meet the world. You even talked about the preparation to meet the world. Even starting there, where do you get that strength to take it on?
I don’t know if anybody’s ever asked me that question. It’s likely a combination of the fact that I wasn’t going through puberty. The things that were happening to my friends were not happening to me. I wasn’t feeling bad at the beginning. I felt like I’ve always felt. There was no real change happening. As I moved into 15, 16, and 17, my mood situation was starting to be affected and my fatigue levels. There was a lot going on.
I remember in college, I had so much insomnia because of the lack of progesterone. I could not fall asleep at night no matter how hard I tried. I would sleep well into the day. My whole circadian rhythm was off. Everything was dysfunctional. It was hard to do basic things. I remember thinking to myself often that people take for granted their good health and lament quickly little things that are not a big thing like cramps.
I have helped a lot of women get rid of cramps and some cramps can be debilitating. When you know that you’re missing period is the problem that is causing a lot of things, you’d be like, “I would love a cramp or anything that was indicative that my hormones were functioning.” It was maybe a combination of the fact that as a young person, I was a precocious, academically gifted, and confident young girl. That was constantly nurtured by my parents.
I also got zero negative speak about women’s bodies and women’s menstruation. Because of my immigrant family environment and relatives, there was no discussion about it. That worked to my benefit. I remember sitting down for a sex ed class in 6th grade and menstruation was being discussed. I had never heard about it before. Gabby, I was awestruck and excited about this thing that was going to happen to me.
I remember looking around the room at my friends in class, “Did you know this is going to happen?” Everybody else is looking green to the gills, sick to their stomach, and upset. It was over my head. I was missing a key memo. I was missing a cultural narrative that, in Western America, it’s a curse. I had none of it. I did not go into this experience with a negative relationship with my body. I did not blame my body for anything that was going on. I said, “Something is off.” It was like a puzzle that needed solving. I was good at doing that in school. It was part of who I am.
If someone comes to see you virtually or when they had the opportunity to see you in person, you can relate on some level. It’s powerful when someone isn’t just being academic about the information. I want to get into In the FLO. When you’re dealing with these puzzles that are serious for people and maybe there isn’t an immediate obvious solution, you’re like, “We’ll dig a little. We’ll figure it out.” It’s not like, “Sorry for you.” That’s it. What I’m also curious about though is what foods did you add or eliminate that, in six months at least, improved for you specifically?
You’re going to learn as we talk more that is the wrong question to ask. I say that with a lot of love. Everybody asked me that question. There isn’t food to eliminate or add. It’s a method of approaching the body’s function. For example, one of the key things about the endocrine system that you have to know forever is that its primary job is not your period, your sex drive, or your fertility. That is the result of everything else that it does going perfectly correctly.
The thing that it wants to do, the prime directive for any people who are as old as I am who used to watch Star Trek with their parents growing up, the most important mission of your endocrine system is to protect the transport of glucose to the brain, the heart, and the muscle tissue. If you do anything to interrupt that process, the rest of your hormonal cascade is screwed for the whole 24 hours. If you do that on a daily basis, you then disrupt your endocrine system and then you will see symptoms in your cycle, your fertility, your sex drive, and whichever phase of life that you’re in.
We have to understand that there’s this cause and effect between how you are either supporting or interrupting the function of the endocrine system. You don’t have to ask the question, “What’s the food to eat?” There are many foods to eat many and everything is fine. It’s about quantity and frequency. There’s nothing off limits. Truly, in my experience, you could have gluten occasionally. I wouldn’t recommend it on a regular basis. You could have sugar occasionally. I wouldn’t recommend that on a regular basis. You can do all things if the ecosystem is strong and supported.
A great analogy is your stress response system. Your body is designed to experience sporadic stress for your adrenal glands, which manage the adrenaline and cortisol production for your body when it is encountering stress for those to respond efficiently. It’s to produce enough adrenaline to give you the kick you need and enough cortisol to counteract that adrenaline to keep you safe. No problem. Your body can do that.
We’re in the COVID quarantine. If you’re somebody who’s on your smartphone and you’re getting triggered by the news every half an hour and you’re having the adrenaline and the cortisol every day, day after day, your body is going to have symptoms of adrenal insufficient production. You’re going to have symptoms. It becomes a game of how we are supporting the function. Sometimes that’s about removing lifestyle factors. It’s also recognizing that if you support yourself properly, the occasional birthday cake, a glass of wine, or whatever you’re going to do, your body is designed to absorb that dietary stress and be fine as long as you’ve got about 80% support going.
I’m around a lot of people who are on the other end of the scale. They never eat this and that and whatever. I’m like, “You’re vulnerable also when you don’t mix it around.” We live in a place with weird air and water and once in a while eating this food or that food that isn’t considered healthy. I’m of the belief that your system has to be able to manage all of this.
More if you can. More is always good.
People get rigid.
[bctt tweet=”I wanted to be able to support women as best as I could.”]
That’s a disorder called orthorexia where you’re overly concerned about eating 100% perfectly all the time. If you’re actively healing from a disease or a disorder, you have to be more vigilant as I was in the beginning. Twenty years out, I can tell you that your body is highly adaptive and intelligent. All you have to do is learn about the function of how it works, which is the thing I’m on a mission to teach women, and what is the key to unlocking and undoing almost a century of unnecessary suffering from menstrual issues and fertility issues. 60% of women are sexually unsatisfied. We can go on and on and on.
When you say unsatisfied, they’re not able to have an orgasm or their libido is down. What does that mean?
It’s bold. They’re unable to achieve a satisfactory level of pleasure and they are also not finding themselves in a libidinous state often as they would like. There’s a whole chapter on that in my book.
I don’t want to give away the FLO. It also can be used almost like a workbook. The way it’s broken up, it’s like, “What are you in the mood to break down and digest?” Maybe we could get into one of the things I was fascinated about, the infradian rhythm. I want to talk about that. I loved also how you, in a great way and a positive way, weaponized our menstrual cycle as like, “Here’s a strategy during this time where this would be a good time to be eating less or more and to be having a difficult, better or easier conversations.” Also, giving women a better understanding of what’s happening.
You’re the first person to ever say that I’ve weaponized the cycle. That’s interesting.
In a great way.
What I’m talking about in this book is biohacking for women. I’ll go right into the infradian rhythm but I want to go back up and share why I wrote a second book. WomanCode was published in 2013. That book is the definitive guide on the flow protocol that we were talking about. If you’re suffering from PCOS, fibroids, endometriosis, or your daughter is having issues, this is the book that’s going to give you that step-by-step process of how to approach the endocrine system. The FLO Living Center that I’ve built allows women from anywhere in the world to access our products and tools to help them resolve their hormonal issues naturally.
I’ve been doing this for several years. I started to notice some disturbing statistics. For example, 47% of women are suffering from hormonal issues whereas when we look at the male cohort, it’s something under 10%. I started asking myself a question. I don’t know if you’ve been watching Millennials on Instagram free bleeding and normalizing the conversation around menstruation. It’s been a menstrual Renaissance.
For someone like me, it has been an extraordinarily historic time to watch it happening live. For the entirety of recorded modern human history, we’ve had the extreme opposite, shame, and hiding. It’s been extraordinary. I said, “This is the beginning of everything changing.” We have more information dispersed online. We have more women who have access to the computer and the internet so we have more information and more access. That should equal more healthy women.
When I looked at the statistics, this is getting worse. We have more women with PCOS, more women have endometriosis, more women with fibroids, and more women with unexplained infertility. What is going on? When I asked myself that question, the answer ended up turning into this book. The two key things that I found was women in their reproductive years are being left out of medical fitness and nutrition research. This is dangerous and I’ll explain why.
It’s ridiculous. 50% of the people or maybe more and yet we’re not in medical or fitness studies. I can’t remember, there are a couple of others. That makes a lot of sense.
It’s not great. The medical community at least has admitted this. Back in 1996, they put together a special task force to encourage researchers to include more women in their human clinical trials. As of 2016, the status report update was that progress has been slim to none. They know it’s a problem. They have been trying to get to a solution but it’s not happening yet.
The other thing that I uncovered in my research was that women have an undiscussed and very little research second biological clock and it’s called infradian rhythm. This infradian rhythm governs six key systems of your body, your brain, your metabolism, your microbiome, your immune system, your stress response system, and your reproductive system.
We zoom out from this for a minute. Everything that you’re trying, your diet programs, your fitness regime, or whatever you’re doing, it’s not based on your biology. It’s actively interrupting and disrupting this infradian rhythm and it is having a negative effect on all of these six different systems of your body. No wonder almost half of the female population is struggling with their metabolism, immune system, reproductive system, or stress responsiveness. All of these things are connected.
At a time when we lived more naturally, do you think that somehow this was incorporated into living? I don’t want to say intuitively. What you’ll start to see in certain things like food and certain customs was that these customs were developed whether it was on purpose or through observation because they worked.
Aside from my deep, passionate affair with biology, I also have a love of history specifically about women’s lives. As women, we like to fantasize that there was some time in the past when we were goddesses in the garden and this was all working. Women’s lives have been historically extremely difficult, treacherous, under extreme oppression, and not an easy situation at all.
That’s what I would say to answer that question. It has never been a better time to be a female on this planet than today. I’m hoping that my small contribution with this information can help us live even better not just now but for generations to come. Correcting this huge oversight is a fundamental step in us reclaiming our health and well-being, which is the foundation of us reclaiming our full potential.
How do you stumble upon the infradian rhythm? What leads you to this? Maybe explain a little bit about coming out of our cycle and what that looks like and as we’re moving towards our cycle, what that rhythm looks like.
I’ve been interested and excited by the research that’s been coming out of all the funding that’s been going into looking at the circadian rhythm and looking at this biological pattern that everybody has but also noticing that the male hormonal biological rhythm follows that circadian clock. I started asking myself, “We obviously have this cyclical pattern. What is that called?”
I dug and dug until I found the name. I’ve been doing podcasts with medical doctors who’ve never heard this before. It’s a little bit shocking and also not surprising that I have happened to write the first book to include that phrase and to explain it. It’s shocking because it shouldn’t have been overlooked but it’s not surprising because we’re left out of all this research. It does make sense. Here we are. Now we know.
The circadian rhythm is something that you experience over the course of the day. The infradian rhythm is something you experience over the course of your cycle. It is only active from your first bleed till your last. You have about 4 to 5 decades on average. It’s not the vast majority. We’re all living longer. It’s a good, solid chunk of your experience, of your reality. This is governing your quality of health and life. It’s been a total blind spot for all of us.
What we do instead is we think, “This thing with my cycle and how I’m changing, that needs to be somehow fitting into this 24-hour clock.” Doing that, let’s say if you’re in a heterosexual relationship with a man, you’re waking up at the same time with your male partner and doing the extended intermittent fasting in the morning. You’re maybe having an upgraded coffee or maybe doing an intense workout early in the morning.
You have now done several different things to disrupt your infradian rhythm. The whole day will be suboptimal for you from your brain down to your sex drive but it will also affect you for weeks to come. This is the thing that you don’t know that you must know that I am on fire to teach you about. If you know this, you can stop making yourself sick. You can stop accidentally, inadvertently hurting your system, and then having all of these symptoms that you think are disconnected, brain fog, moodiness, low sex drive, weight gain, and inability to gain lean muscle, you name it.
You then spend all of your precious wildlife energy. You are the unique snowflake the world needs for some reason. Instead of using your talents to solve the world’s problems, you’re then on a hamster wheel going nowhere fast trying things that are not helping you. You’re spending a lot of your effort doing that and not getting results. It’s unfair to you. It’s unfair to the people that you could be affecting in different ways. I’m invested in women being in their total power. Why not? What would happen if every woman was liberated from this concept of constantly working on herself?
A quote that hit me between the ovaries when I first heard it was given by Gloria Steinem. It’s in the book. She said, “From a young age, little boys are taught to use their bodies as tools to master their environment. Little girls are taught to view their bodies as unending projects to work on.” When you are using your body, you’re in communion with yourself. When you’re viewing your body, you’re outside looking in, judging, not trusting, and not in alignment. It has massive trajectory impacts on how your life turns out.
The difference and why this is important to know is that men are taught about their circadian hormonal experience. They know whether they’re given this exact scientific explanation or not. When they sleep, they make all their testosterone. When they wake up, it’s pretty obvious to them if they’ve gotten a good night’s sleep. If anybody has had a male partner, you’ll know if he got a good night’s sleep and made enough testosterone because it will be pointing at you first thing in the morning. He’s also waking up with a maximum dose of cortisol, which we all do early in the morning.
That combination of cortisol and testosterone means that any man who’s interested in being optimally fit, optimally successful, and optimally satisfied, sexually or otherwise, is going to want to organize their life to get to sleep as early as possible and wake up at 4:00 or 4:00 in the morning. They do that power morning routine or whatever they want to call it.
Also, because it is less complex, the male brain requires less sleep every night to clean itself compared to the female brain. The problem is that we then wake up and try to do that same routine but we do not have the same hormonal pattern happening at all and it is disruptive. Men take it a step further. They then also organize when they’re doing their deep work and when they’re having social meetings. They do this intuitively.
From my point of view as somebody interested in hormones, when I think of patriarchy, patriarchy is a society that has organized itself around the male circadian hormonal pattern and that is why corporate culture looks the way it does. Why is happy hour around 4:30 or 5:00? It’s because that’s when men’s testosterone level has dropped enough so they can be social for extended periods of time.
Twenty whole minutes
Around 8:00, they’re at the nadir of both testosterone and cortisol. They have to go into their man cave and sleep and restore. This is also why biohacking is popular among men because they know they fall off this energy cliff, this cognitive focus cliff, and the stamina cliff. They have to do everything early in the morning to gain new muscles.
Olympic coaches know to train their male athletes at certain times of the day to generate particular results. It’s all documented. It’s all studied. It’s all researched. Every fitness theory that has come out has been to optimize this male biological experience. They’re trying to now extend how much of their energy and stamina they can have in a day and it’s giving them great results. It’s working for them.
I’m sure you’ve heard in the news, in any media outlet that intermittent fasting and high-intensity interval training is now the gold standard of how one should get healthy. That is true if you have testicles or if you are postmenopausal. The research that has been done is that for women in their reproductive years, if you do intermittent fasting beyond twelve hours, you create the extreme opposite of all the benefits that it confers to every other cohort.
For people who do intermittent fasting, you have improved brain function, cognition, and memory. You improve autophagy in the cells, which means your cells are performing healthily. You’re going to live longer. Your insulin response is improved. All of these huge benefits. For women in their reproductive years with an active infradian rhythm, it’s the opposite. You worsen cognitive performance, you worsen insulin response, you gain weight, you disrupt the thyroid, and you can shrink your ovaries.
Here we are, we’re all such eager and earnest women. We want to do good for ourselves. We’re reading this information. It would be as simple as some good journalism to say, “This research was done on these cohorts and it’s not clear if this is applicable to this cohort.” That’s all I would like, a little bit of transparency about the studies that are coming out. Instead of sensationalizing trends, let’s be gender-specific or cohort-specific for whom this is beneficial.
[bctt tweet=”Women in their reproductive years are being left out of medical fitness and nutrition research. This is dangerous.”]
Of course, it’s an oversight. I don’t think it’s because journalists are forgetting but because it’s part of this cultural blind spot of like, “We leave women out of the research. We leave this concept out of the conversation.” It’s like, “It’s good for this group. I hope it works for women. If not, they’ll continue to try to figure it out on their own.” That is not good enough and also, it’s not necessary because we have the science to show what you can do to get well in a proven systematic way that works with your biology. We need to stop all this unnecessary suffering.
It is interesting because I feel like we’ll power through it. We’ll quietly maybe talk to a girlfriend. For me, my husband is feminine and masculine.
We’re not talking about energies. We’re not talking about the masculine and the feminine.
He has testicles. What’s interesting is that when I was a teenager, I got serious about athletics. I decided I would use my body as a tool. I remember the decision, “This thing does stuff. My body takes me places and it moves up and down. It’s a tool.” I want to experience it as a tool versus an object. I wanted to experience it not like, “How does my butt look in these jeans? What can this tool do?” Intuitively, with my husband, there are so many things that he does naturally that I go against.
It’s not that you go against it. It doesn’t work for you.
I don’t bring that into my practice because it doesn’t feel right. The funny thing is until I read your book, I didn’t understand a lot of it. I naturally was like, “I’ve got to listen to myself.” I’m excited for him, “Look at him, he’s killing it over there.” I need to chill out for a minute for whatever reason. Sometimes it could be something happening in life. Sometimes maybe you are instinctively connected to the rhythm of what you’re feeling. This infradian rhythm maybe is if we had a moment to connect more deeply with who we are versus hitting all the boxes. We have checklists and we’ve got to get stuff done and we’ve got to deliver.
The fact that you even have that recognition of that inner connection to what your body wants comes from that decision that you made as a young person to be in your body.
You had a positive relationship with your body. If your body said no, you’re like, “Sure. No problem. Why wouldn’t I listen to my body?” Most young women have a negative relationship with their bodies. The relationship gets off on the wrong foot. For example, now you know the science behind why, in certain moments, you are going to want to do different things with your physical care than what your husband is doing. Now you can tell him why. Instead of wondering why and trusting that it’s okay but not knowing, now you can name it and claim it. That is extremely important.
Eve Ensler, years ago, wrote The Vagina Monologues. It seems silly now to even say that we were unable to talk about, name, and claim our body parts in that way. That was a watershed book for that purpose. It opened up a discussion to say that we can call ourselves by our accurate names, our genitals, and our body parts to name and claim that. That changed. I don’t think Sex and the City would have been created as a show if we didn’t go on that journey with ourselves. Similarly here, It’s understanding that your hormones are not unpredictable, chaotic, mysterious, and problematic. That is not what nature planned for you, not even remotely.
You’re saying that with the infradian rhythm and understanding that, there’s a time to eat more and there’s a time to eat less. What I love too is the idea that there are even certain times based on your cycle when to try something new or if you’re going to build a business.
Let’s dig into a few examples to make it relatable for people. For example, years ago, in my practice, I had a young woman who came to me and said, “I don’t understand what has happened to me. I have been training for a triathlon. I’ve been either running, biking, or swimming five miles each day for the past three months. I’ve competed.” At the end of this process, she had put on twenty pounds. It defies all logic because she was training the same with the guys and it didn’t make any sense.
For some of you who may remember this commercial years ago, I love this example. Remember that medication to help with weight loss? There was a little cartoon drawing of Pete and Susie going on a diet together. After 30 days, Pete looks like a Grecian God. You watch his little stick figure transform from pudgy to chiseled. Susie’s still fat and frustrated and she doesn’t understand why. She needs help. Something is different with the female metabolism. We don’t know what it is.
I found that to be not only unacceptable but we can do so much better. Here’s what you need to know. Your infradian rhythm affects your metabolism in a very specific way. In the first half of your cycle, the follicular and ovulatory phase of your cycle, which is the week after you’re done bleeding and a few days that you’re ovulating, during that time, your metabolism slows down. I’ll talk about resting cortisol in a minute. Your metabolism slows down. You can eat fewer calories.
At the same time, because you have this rising and then peak surge of estrogen, you also need to eat specific foods that are going to help flush that estrogen out so that you don’t break out on your chin or get ovarian pain called Mittelschmerz during ovulation. Also, it’s to not have any other breast tenderness or things that can happen when you have too much estrogen and you’re eating foods that don’t help you flush it out of your body. We have that.
In the second half of your cycle, the luteal phase, the 10 to 12 days leading up to your bleed menstruation, the luteal and menstrual phases, your metabolism speeds up. You need precisely, as the research has shown, 279 more calories per day. This is not like, “I should somehow try not to give myself those calories. I should try to restrict myself even more.” If you do, you will turn on fat storage and you will disrupt your endocrine system and your infradian rhythm. You do not want to try to restrict calories the way that you can in the first half of your cycle. That is beneficial for you then and it is detrimental for you with the wrong timing.
Let’s go back to that first question you asked me, what are the foods to eat? Let’s stop asking what and let’s start asking when. When is the right time according to my hormonal timing to eat certain things or to do certain workouts? That’s the correct question we have to ask as women. That is also the question men are asking themselves too. What should I do when? Without the when, it’s not going to work.
You’re eating more calories but because of this estrogen and progesterone thing that happens during the luteal phase, you need to eat specific foods that are going to keep your blood sugar stable and help you make more progesterone. Why do we have PMS? We have PMS because we have too much estrogen that goes unopposed by progesterone in my progesterone hand.
If you don’t eat enough foods that promote the production of progesterone, you can have tremendous PMS symptoms and you can have cycle length variation. This is called a luteal phase defect where you can have not enough progesterone and your cycle can be either delayed by several days or shortened. You feel like you’re having two periods a month or something. There’s this understanding that you have a metabolic modulation or a shift in your metabolism throughout the month that you must address dietarily. Ignoring it is insane. It makes no sense to do it once you understand the science. It is true for everyone.
Don’t try to cheat yourself out of your 279 calories. You know those weeks before your period when you’re still trying to do what you think is a good diet and have a smoothie and a salad. What are you doing on the couch later that day? You are carbo-loading because your body is hypoglycemic and it is now in a crisis mode where you’re going to be overeating. You’ve disrupted ghrelin and leptin. I can get into the technicalities. You already know anecdotally that if you don’t proactively eat enough calories, your body will get them whether you like it or not. Often, we don’t like it.
Let’s look at the fitness piece. You have lower resting cortisol rates in the first half of your cycle and you have higher resting cortisol rates in the second half of your cycle. This is not a nice suggestion that you should shift your workouts. The US women’s soccer team is using this to train their female athletes. You must do all your high-intensity cardio and interval training in the follicular and ovulatory phases.
Once you pass ovulation, you must not do high-intensity interval training. You can still do strength training all you want, it just has to be without a cardio component. Walking does not count. Walking is fine anytime. You’re going to do things like Pilates or hold a squat up against the wall for ten minutes. Whatever your version of strength training is, you can do that all you want. You cannot do jumping up and down, getting up a high-intensity heart rate. If you do that, you will optimize muscle gain throughout the month and you’ll optimize the utilization of your fat stores.
What that means in layman’s terms is you’re going to gain lean muscle and you’ll lose fat that you don’t need. If you stick with that same workout, you’re like, “I have to stick to my routine. I have to do the same workout every day. If I don’t, I’m going to lose control.” We are afraid of our bodies because we don’t know the science. We think that if we have a ritual that we hold on to the same every day as the men are doing, maybe we’ll get those results.
If you keep doing that in the second half, you’re going to turn on fat storage and turn on muscle wasting. This is why Susie, compared to Pete at the end of the month, is still fat and frustrated. This is why my client, after training for a triathlon for goodness sake, gained twenty pounds. She was ignoring, as the research has as well, the infradian rhythm’s effect on our metabolism.
In the book, in chapter four, there is the food chart, what to eat and when. In chapter five, there’s the fitness chart, which workouts to do and when. There’s plenty of variety in both. You are not going to feel deprived or you’re not working out. This is by no means like, “You don’t work out when you’re having your period.” You do. You modulate, you change what you’re doing, the intensity of it, based on what is happening hormonally. It is game-changing. This is how I’ve maintained a 60-pound weight loss for twenty years.
I’ve taken pretty good care of myself over the years. I feel like I’m pretty even-keeled. I do feel more emotional in both ways. I could get angry. It’s for insight. Sometimes the kids will do something and it’s like an electric storm and I’m like, “I’m going to kill them.” My husband is smart in this way. I have to have my cycle on the full moon, it’s the double pull whammy sometimes.
That’s a whole different thing.
You’re sleeping. I know this is how a lot of women are, you think, “I don’t want to succumb, give in to this, or be a cliché.” There’s another part of me that’s like, “This is where I’m at right now.” The weather sometimes has clouds and sometimes it’s sunny. That is also part of being who I am as a female being. I’m not losing my mind. I do notice that I’m like, “I feel different.” Laird is funny because he’ll see it and he’ll be like, “The moon is full. Maybe some of the girls in this house are close to their cycle. Let’s take a pause.” He tries to say, “Let’s take it easy.”
The other favorite thing he does is, every once in a while, he’ll be watching me and then he’ll go, “Do you know what time of the month it is?” I’m like, “This is how I’m really feeling.” I swear to you, in five minutes from that moment, I’ll start bleeding. I’m like, “Damn it.” It’s almost like I’m tuning it out so much that I don’t even see it.
Let me explain what is happening. I want to say two things. I want you to know what’s going on. I also want to paint a comparison to drive a point home. That’ll be the first thing that I do. Men have these same mood fluctuations within a 24-hour period. The difference is because the patriarchy is set up to support their hormonal experience of reality, they are not conditioned to judge themselves for their hormonal moments, ever. They don’t even have a thought, “I’m being hormonal.” This is how their reality is. They do not attach a pejorative statement to it ever. Never. It does not take place.
Why would it? They’ve structured the entire world to revolve around their biology so that it must all be good and valuable. If they’re feeling tired, they want to honor that. If they’re feeling upset about something, they want to articulate that. If they’re feeling energized about something, they want to go do it now. If they’re in the mood for sex, they will ask. It’s an immediate, “I feel this. I would like this. I am going to do this.” There’s no, “Am I feeling this? Should I trust myself? I’m being hormonal.” There’s no filter.
The difference between you and Laird is that he does not judge his hormones and you have been conditioned and trained for your entire experience of life to judge them. The reason why that judgment and conditioning hold any water is that it’s predicated on keeping us in the dark about the actual facts about our biology. Once you read this book, you will not ever be in the dark again and there’ll be no more judgment. That’s the first important thing.
The second important thing is, let me explain why that happens, estrogen is a socially lubricating hormone from a brain chemistry point of view. When estrogen is surging in certain regions of your brain, you are extremely verbal, extremely social, and interested in caretaking for others. This affects men too, with a smaller window in the afternoon. You know it’s true. This happens to you for about half of the month. You’re outwardly focused and interested in socializing.
Also, for anything that is slightly irritating to you, emotionally, the lubrication that estrogen provides allows you to brush it off more easily. It does not bother you as much. If you’re in your ovulatory phase and your kid comes home with a tattoo, I’m trying to create some extreme situation, you’re going to respond in the least upset way. You’ll be upset but you’re going to be able to communicate more effectively at that time because of how the estrogen is affecting the social and verbal centers of your brain during ovulation.
The first half of the luteal phase is the longest phase of the cycle. It’s 10 to 12 days. In the first half, estrogen and progesterone are rising. You’re still able to have some of the same effects of estrogen as you did during ovulation. You have the introduction of progesterone, which is calming and soothing hormone. It’s relaxing. It helps you deal with stress and anxiety. Nature has set you up to feel good for a long time.
As you go into the second half of the luteal phase where you don’t conceive, there’s no pregnancy, and then the hormones are starting to dip off, and you’re going to start menstruating. As estrogen recedes in the brain chemistry cocktail, you are less stimulating be it verbal or social. Progesterone is also leaving the building too. You’re not as relaxed. It means that the things that you were able to brush off and talk yourself out of being upset about, “I understand why that happened. I’ll let it go.” Now, the hormonal cocktail in your brain is interested in you prioritizing you.
I have renamed PMS as Prioritizing Myself. Let’s say you’re with a partner and they have consistently, despite your request, do something that is bothering you. You may not say anything. During the week before your bleed, you have to say it. Any woman who’s going through perimenopause will tell you that this is her perpetual state. That’s a valuable thing.
If you are in a marriage that can go through you telling the truth all the time about your feelings to your partner, that’s a good marriage to be in. Perimenopause does lay a powerful foundation for a healthy relationship for both parties when they are andropausal and menopausal. It’s a very powerful time. Like PMS is joked about, “I shouldn’t trust my feelings now,” also, perimenopause gets a bad rap and it should not.
Don’t you think it’s also like, “We’ve procreated. The reason for us coming together is over. Are we together going in this next chapter because we actually liked each other or should we call it?”
There’s a whole section in the book about looking at the life stages of a relationship. They mirror the stages of your cycle. That’s one of the benefits of using this method I created called The Cycle Syncing Method. I talked about the infradian rhythm but I also created this approach called The Cycle syncing Method.
If you practice that in your reproductive years, in your relationship, there’s a little chapter on your relationship, you will use each phase of the cycle to develop skills, different types of communication, and emotional intimacy skills. It will serve you as you go through your midlife transition in perimenopause and beyond. It’s a wonderful practice on so many levels, not just from the health point of view but make sure that you use all your hormonal powers for your benefit and for your family’s benefit.
A little anecdote is I always tell women that if they’re on the fence about whether or not to stay in a relationship, first of all, they want to track the issues that they’re having with their partner. Track them through 2 to 3 cycles. If you’re clear that you feel the same way in this predictable way about your partner’s behavior and how it’s impacting you negatively, prepare yourself to break up with them.
Wait until you’re in the second half of your luteal phase because it will be effortless for you, using your hormonal ratio that is present at that time, to speak your truth, to be respectful of the other person and honor them, and to end that relationship in a positive way. It’s a powerful time. Women have been taught to distrust it because it is so powerful. That’s not to your benefit, of course.
I hope that as you dive into the book and understand how this infradian rhythm affects your brain chemistry throughout the month, you are going to be amazed at all the different superpowers you get access to at different times. Of course, you can do anything at any time. If you wanted to make life easier, which men do all the time, they front load activities when it is cognitively optimal for them. They do their deep work in the morning and not at night if they can. You can do the same and you should.
There’s a whole time management system in here that incorporates the circadian and infradian clocks so that you can start to manage your time and decrease your stress and get more done with less effort. There’s a chart for what to do in your relationship and which activities to do to enjoy it more. There’s a whole chart about how to optimize your sexual response. 60% of women are sexually unsatisfied. This has to do with the fact that we have a blind spot about how our infradian rhythm affects our sexual response across the month.
Knowing that means that instead of you feeling like, “Sometimes it’s fireworks and I don’t know why. Sometimes it’s flat and I don’t know why.” Now, you can know exactly how to architect a pleasurable response every time. This is not something that’s meant to be mysterious but it has been because we haven’t been given enough air time in research. We’re overlooking this key biological rhythm, which affects absolutely everything about you.
I appreciate that you have presented this also as biohacking because that is a modern language. We’ll say, “I can biohack it.” I read this book called The Culture Code. Do you know when they said L’Oreal was going to come to America? In France or Europe, all the images were her being beautiful and sexual in her essence. In the US, they were like, “No, we can’t do that.” It’s because I’m worth it. We have to make a reason for all the reasons why we would do this for ourselves, “Biohacking, that’s very productive,” all of these things.
I’ve been in a long relationship, over 24 years, with somebody who likes women but who’s also hyper-masculine. I love the idea of not explaining. I need to figure out you creating In the FLO for women to say, “Here’s a tool for me to understand what I need to do for myself while I’m doing everything for everybody else and trying to live in this world that is set up maybe not for me. How do I navigate that the best way that I can?” It’s a tool. As we get crazier, faster, more sped up, and there are more demands on us, we need these tools to help make our way through it. Besides In the FLO, people from all around can access your products and information. Tell me how that works.
If you’re excited about what you’ve been learning about in this episode with us on our conversation and you want to dive deeper, you can go to InTheFLOBook.com There are lots of free goodies there for you to download and start cycles using The Cycle Syncing Method. If you’re tired of suffering with paleo, keto, IF, and HIT training and you want the roadmap, you should join us in The Cycle Syncing Membership. That’s CycleSyncingMembership.com.
You’re going to get grocery lists, recipes, and meal plans for each phase of your cycle workout videos. Each phase of your cycle is sent to you. It’s fun. There’s also a community to ask questions as you transition into this new way of biohacking that is unique for women in the reproductive years. If you’re someone who’s actively struggling with hormonal problems, diagnosed with a menstrual disorder, and you need to resolve that first so that you then can start doing cycle syncing, you want to go to FLOLiving.com.
We have a variety of programs and tools and one on one support that we have been doing virtually since 2011 that you can access to help you address these issues naturally. The point here is that you want to understand that whatever is happening with your period, even if it happened to your mom or your aunts, you’re not destined to suffer from a curse. You can change your hormonal destiny quickly with the FLO protocol.
The other thing with this new book is I wanted to blow the lid off of this gender bias that we have in fitness, nutrition, and biohacking. I wanted to put forward this idea that, yes, that’s not great but it is what it is. Let’s acknowledge the ways, biologically, that we are different and need different support. Let that be a source of newfound equality. You don’t have to explain. You don’t have to try to compete. You don’t have to try to do the same thing. You need to do you, stand in your own skin, and do what helps you thrive.
It’s an exciting opportunity to not only do that for yourself but if you do have children, especially daughters, to model that for them, especially if they’re coming through their pubescent journey to have them see what it looks like to take care of yourself. Once your infradian rhythm is activated, it’s a gift as a mom that you can give your daughter to show her this early on because it will affect the trajectory of her future.
I was thinking about how fortunate your daughter is to have you. I have three daughters, two who are in the rhythm already and one who’s probably about to launch.
What I love about the teens and moms is they often find that by downloading the app that I created called MyFLO, it’s MyFLOTracker.com, your daughters can without engaging with you if that’s not their thing. The problem is by the time they’re teenagers, it’s a little too late in a way to start this conversation. You want to have started this conversation in age-appropriate ways at 5, 7, 9, and 11. That’s probably going to be my next book.
What you do want to do is make sure that they have a source of truth that they can go to. What’s great about the app that I built is let’s say they’re having a symptom, they can click on the symptom, and they can learn why they’re having it from a functional medicine point of view. They can get recommendations from a food point of view that they can go and talk to you about, “Mom, I need to eat some cilantro. Do we have any?”
It can spark a conversation with each other. It also will teach them about their infradian rhythm and tell them which activities to do when and which workout to do when. It takes all the pressure off of you as the mom in their teen years to have to make her listen to you. She can download a cool app. That is 1 of the top 10 best-paid health and fitness apps on iTunes. It’s cool enough on its own that she doesn’t have to think that she’s getting it from you.
One of my daughters is very active. She plays tennis. Sometimes, it would also be about armoring her with forgiveness to yourself like, “Why do I feel more tired today?” I try to tell her, “We’re different at different times of the month.” We say, “The home saint performs no miracles.” It’s sometimes good to get it from the outside.
MyFLOTracker is a great tool for that and for women in general who will also need to learn. Teens need to learn about it if they’re just entering but most adult women have been deprived of this information. It’s a good tool for us all. Instead of having to memorize the encyclopedia information, it’s at your fingertips in bite-sized ways when you need it.
Before I let you go, I have one little question. I still have my cycles and they shortened. They used to be on the date, 30-day cycle. Now they go three days back from the last one.
That’s showing that your body is having a little less progesterone.
I have intuitively thought whether it’s from Chinese medicine or being around self-care for a while, I’d like to prolong my cycle. I’d like to keep that bad boy as long as possible. Do you ever have ideas about that? Taking care of yourself and probably, I would imagine, that if you get into a good infradian rhythm, that probably helps that.
Now that sounds like you’ve read the book. Yes, of course. We have a weekly blog that we like to think is the bleeding edge of women’s health information or news years ago. I wrote about it in the book. The New York Times posted some research because it was so newsworthy because it was done on women. It showed that for women in perimenopause, if they increase the frequency of servings of beans and high omega-3 fatty acid fish 2 or 3 times a week, they could delay perimenopause and menopause by 2 to 3 years.
That is hugely empowering information and backs up all the research that I’ve been doing saying that what you eat definitely impacts your hormones and the quality of your health. You are designed by nature to have your cycle for as long as possible. The fact that a lot of women feel like they’re experiencing perimenopause thoroughly is a sign of a lifelong disrupted infradian rhythm. Highly depleted micronutrient stores in the body, overexposure to synthetic hormones, which we didn’t get a chance to talk about. It’s all disruptive. Forcing yourself to live in that circadian way, stressing out every system of your body is going to age you prematurely.
The big answer to your question is the more you care for your infradian rhythm and you use the Cycle Syncing Method, the longer you’ll have your cycle being healthy for you. At the same time, everyone starts perimenopause at 35. Like everybody starts puberty at 9, it takes a long time to go through these things so that they’re not extremely difficult to go through. You could potentially have one hot flash and explode if it happened overnight. The body goes very slowly for you and that’s lovely.
Even where you are, knowing that you’re having this small symptom, which is such a testament to how well you’ve been taking care of yourself, you can start to use micronutrients like Vitamin B6 or some adaptogens like Maca. It’s to help you make a little bit more progesterone to have your cycle stay as regular as you can. That would be something that would be a great thing for you to do.
Start the Cycle Syncing Method because that’s going to help support your cortisol. For example, by doing the wrong workout in the second half of your cycle luteal phase with that elevated resting level of cortisol that you already have, you’re now adding additional stress. Let’s say you do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, it‘s even worse. We’re compounding the bad things. You’re going to create an adrenaline response that then requires your body to even make more cortisol.
Since you’re already making more at rest during this phase, it’s now going to have to steal from the mother hormone pregnenolone, it means that you can’t make enough progesterone that day. You’re doing that in your luteal phase. What do you need in your luteal phase to prevent PMS? More progesterone than estrogen. What do you need to have a normal cycle length? Progesterone. If you were to just focus on shifting your workouts, you could probably get your cycle to where you would like it to be pretty quick. Everything is fluid. It’s a cause and effect. If you follow the function of your body with the right form of self-care, the function of your body shines.
I’m grateful for this conversation and for the work that you’re doing. I know that it was not easy for you. I’m also grateful that you had to go through your own experience that pushed you into this field. It’s like a real metaphor for how life is. We pay sometimes for these things that end up being usually our gift. The example of your own journey, we’re all benefiting from it. The book is In the FLO. If somebody wanted to get started, what’s the best website so they can start whether they want to go to the app or they want to get the program?
You can go to FLOLiving.com. That has links to everything.
Thank you for having me, Gabby. It’s such a pleasure.
Thanks so much for reading. If you’d like, rate, subscribe, and leave us a review. All of my music was graciously done by Frank Zummo and Tom Thacker. If you want to see some of the behind-the-scenes action, follow me, @GabbyReece. Remember, don’t miss new episodes every Monday.
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- Alisa Vitti
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About Alisa Vitti
Alisa is an integrative nutritionist who teaches women how to use their hormonal and neurochemical patterns to create extraordinary lives. She is the best-selling author of WomanCode and the founder of FLOLiving.com, a venture-backed virtual health center that supports women’s hormonal and reproductive health. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she is the creator of the WomanCode System, a one-of-a-kind online learning and support program for women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s based on her revolutionary functional nutritional protocol.