In the FLO cover

In the FLO - Book Summary

Unlock Your Hormonal Advantage and Revolutionize Your Life

Duration: 25:29
Release Date: May 14, 2024
Book Author: Alisa Vitti
Category: Health & Nutrition
Duration: 25:29
Release Date: May 14, 2024
Book Author: Alisa Vitti
Category: Health & Nutrition

In this episode of 20 Minute Books, we explore "In the FLO" by Alisa Vitti. Published in 2020, this enlightening book offers a transformative approach for women to harmonize their eating, living, and working habits with their menstrual cycles. Vitti, a renowned expert in women's hormonal health, unpacks the benefits of tuning into your body's natural rhythms. From boosting creativity and managing stress to enhancing your sex life, she illustrates how maintaining hormonal balance can profoundly impact various aspects of life.

Alisa Vitti, the author of this groundbreaking work, is not only a best-selling writer but also a women’s hormone and functional nutrition expert. She is the founder of the modern hormone healthcare company, FLO Living, and has helped countless women address their hormonal issues naturally with her first book, "WomanCode."

"In the FLO" is a must-read for any woman looking to optimize health, especially those experiencing periods. It is equally vital for women of all ages who feel overwhelmed or drained and are eager to reclaim control over their bodies, relationships, and careers. Join us in this episode to discover how aligning with your inherent biological rhythms can lead to a more empowered and fulfilled life.

Understand your body for a better life by aligning activities with your hormonal cycle

Imagine streamlining every facet of your existence with the natural rhythm of your body. This intriguing premise isn't just a pipe dream; it's grounded in the reality of female biology. Women's bodies follow an approximately 28-day cycle, divided into four significant hormonal phases. Throughout this cycle, there are noticeable changes in energy levels, sex drive, metabolism, and even brain function. Calibrating your life’s activities — ranging from professional projects to personal downtime — with these fluctuations seems like a logical choice for enhancing overall wellness and productivity.

This session explores the profound impacts that the menstrual cycle has on nearly every aspect of a woman's life. You'll learn how hormonal variations can be used to your advantage by tailoring your schedule to align with your cycle's ebbs and flows. Beyond scheduling, we delve into the importance of hormonal health, often overseen but crucial for maintaining balance and vitality. Furthermore, this discussion reveals the potent influence of diet not just fueling the body but also in managing cravings and supporting weight management efforts. In essence, tapping into the cyclical pattern of your hormones could be a game-changer for leading a more harmonious and fulfilling life.

Reframing how we view and discuss women's health

Many women observe their menstrual cycle as merely an inconvenient truth—a monthly upheaval marked by discomforts like cramps and mood swings, all compounded by societal pressure to act as if nothing is amiss. This deep-rooted challenge stems from a societal tendency to marginalize discussions about female physiology. Whether instigated by media portrayal or cultural taboos, menstruation is often depicted as something to be concealed, a 'dirty' secret rather than a natural, healthy process.

Such perceptions are not helped by the prevailing language and imagery used in media and advertising, where the natural processes of the female body are sometimes painted with shame and secrecy. Even more telling is the narrative often presented in educational contexts. Reflecting on her own experiences, the author recalls how educational materials during her teenage years skewed descriptions of the reproductive systems. Texts glorified the male reproductive components for their productivity, while the female counterparts were cast in a more passive, almost dismissive light.

This skewed portrayal extends beyond textbooks, influencing broader perceptions of strength and capability between the sexes—and it has real consequences. Women may perceive their own natural cycles as trivial, which leads to broader neglect of hormonal health. This oversight can exacerbate various health issues from PMS to acne, often driving women toward quick fixes like crash diets or detox products, instead of addressing the root hormonal imbalances.

The problem runs deeper, entangled with long-standing taboos and myths surrounding women's menstrual health. These barriers discourage open conversation and proper care, underscoring a need for a dramatic shift in how society discusses and approaches women's biological processes. The next segment will delve more into breaking these taboos and rethinking the narrative around women's health.

Dismantling the myths that hinder women's health care

Imagine feeling consistently out of sync with your own body, primarily due to pervasive myths and misinformation about menstruation—a scenario far too common among women today. It's crucial we address this disconnect head-on, replacing fiction with fact.

A pervasive and troublesome belief is that premenstrual syndrome, or PMS—characterized by mood swings, bloating, and acne—is a minor nuisance, a part of everyday life. This, however, is a dangerous misconception. Research by the National Institute of Health's BioCycle Study indicates that not addressing severe PMS can escalate risks of developing serious health conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia after menopause.

The issue is compounded when the medical community underestimates or overlooks the impact of menstrual discomforts. Astonishingly, over half of women experience significant period pain monthly, yet the prevailing advice is often just to endure it. This mismatch between the seriousness of the issues and the responses to them starkly contrasts with the empathy shown towards general ailments: for common colds, for example, rest and medical remedies are promptly recommended.

Why the disparity? Much of it boils down to longstanding biases within healthcare—a 2010 report titled "Chronic Pain in Women: Neglect, Dismissal, and Discrimination" showcases how health professionals often label women with genuine complaints as overly sensitive or hysterical. Such attitudes not only trivialize their pain but also hinder women from seeking or receiving necessary treatment. This neglect can lead to several untreated hormone-related illnesses like fibroids, endometriosis, and dysmenorrhea.

The author shares a personal testament to these challenges. After years of unexplained symptoms and being told her issues were "all in her head," she took matters into her own hands, ultimately discovering she had polycystic ovary syndrome—a condition previously overlooked by her medical practitioners.

For menstruating women, encountering skepticism about their experiences can be disheartening and frustrating. However, one of the most empowering actions you can undertake is to thoroughly understand and connect with your body's unique rhythms and needs. This knowledge isn't just power—it's a pathway to advocating for the healthcare you rightfully deserve.

Understanding the dual biological clocks in women's health

Have you ever wondered what mechanisms control our sleep-wake cycles or how we naturally feel alert in the morning and tired at night? This is the result of our circadian rhythm—a biological clock that regulates numerous body functions over a 24-hour period, including brain activity, hormone production, and cell regeneration. Disturbances in this rhythm can lead to a cascade of issues like insomnia, weight gain, and even depression, underscoring its significance to overall health.

However, women have an additional layer of temporal biology to consider: the infradian rhythm. This 28-day cycle, beginning with menstruation and ending with menopause, governs a different set of biological functions that are just as crucial. It's vital to recognize that these two clocks—the circadian and infradian—are intrinsically linked, each influencing the other in profound ways. The hormonal fluctuations of the infradian rhythm can affect everything from body temperature to heart rate, which in turn can impact sleep patterns and general wellbeing.

Moreover, disruptions in the 24-hour circadian rhythm can lead to irregular menstrual cycles and extended periods, which further complicate a woman's hormonal health. The pervasive neglect of the infradian rhythm among women is a primary cause for the prevalence of hormone-related conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, affecting millions, and endometriosis, impacting one in ten women during reproductive years.

To harmonize with these natural cycles and bolster their health, women must pay closer attention to both biological clocks, particularly the often-overlooked infradian rhythm. Acknowledging and adapting to these rhythms not only aids in managing and preventing menstrual and hormonal disorders but also enhances overall life quality. This approach to health management, called the Cycle Syncing Method, was pioneered by the author a decade ago to help women synchronize their lifestyle with their biological rhythms for optimal health. This method will be dissected further as we explore its principles and applications.

Optimizing your life through understanding hormonal phases

To truly sync with the natural rhythms of your body, a deep understanding of the four phases of your menstrual cycle is key. Each of these stages not only affects your physical health but also your mental state, making awareness crucial for leveraging their potential to your benefit.

Let’s break down these phases beginning with the follicular phase. This stage kicks off right after your menstrual period and spans approximately 7 to 10 days. During this time, your body prepares for the potential of pregnancy, with estrogen helping to rebuild the uterine lining. This hormonal increase doesn't just ready your body physically—it also sparks a noticeable uplift in mood, creativity, and openness to new experiences. It's the perfect time to brainstorm, start new projects or set ambitious goals.

Following the follicular stage is the ovulatory phase which lasts about 3 to 4 days. It's during this phase that an egg makes its journey from the ovaries through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Hormones like estrogen reach their peak, enhancing communication skills and sociability—making this the ideal time to engage in important conversations, networking, or social gatherings.

Next, we enter the luteal phase, spanning 10 to 14 days. Here, estrogen and progesterone take center stage, preparing the body in case of fertilization and subtly enhancing your ability to manage tasks and pay attention to details. This phase is your go-to period for wrapping up projects or focusing intensely on complex tasks.

Lastly, if pregnancy does not occur, comes the menstrual phase. As hormone levels drop, it's a signal to shed the uterine lining, marking the start of your period. This phase calls for reflection, rest, and setting personal boundaries. It's important during this time to honor your body's need for rest, managing your energy wisely and avoiding overcommitment.

Understanding these phases offers you a roadmap to tailor your activities, social interactions, and work tasks to align with your hormonal state, thereby optimizing overall well-being and productivity. By living in harmony with these cycles, you can maximize your potential in every aspect of life.

Boost your energy and productivity with the tailored POWR strategy

If our bodies naturally ebb and flow with hormonal changes, why stick to a uniform daily routine? It's time to introduce the innovative approach of POWR, an acronym that stands for Prepare, Open up, Work, and Rest. This strategy aligns your tasks and activities with the specific phases of your menstrual cycle, maximizing efficiency and well-being.

The concept of POWR is more than just a scheduling tool; it's a way to harness the natural strengths of each menstrual phase for better productivity and energy management. Initially, the author herself struggled with maintaining energy levels, often pushing through exhaustion to meet deadlines—an approach that not only affected her health but also her productivity.

Embracing POWR changed that. By coordinating her efforts with her body’s natural rhythms, she could maximize her output without depleting her resources. For instance, during the follicular phase, the Prepare stage, she would lay the groundwork for upcoming projects, setting the tone for a productive cycle. The Ovulatory phase, or Open up stage, is when she is most communicative and creative—optimal for meetings and social events.

As she transitions into the Luteal phase, labeled as Work, it’s all about execution and detail orientation, focusing intently on completing tasks. Finally, during the Menstrual phase, the Rest stage, it’s time to slow down, reflect on accomplishments, and recharge, similar to how farmers let fields lie fallow to regenerate.

This natural rhythm isn’t just about work; it extends to personal care and wellbeing. During down phases, like the menstrual period when energy might be lower and emotions more delicate, it’s beneficial to engage in calming activities like reading or meditative practices. Then, as energy returns, it’s the perfect opportunity to pursue new initiatives or make bold moves in your career or personal life.

Through POWR, women can step away from the relentless pace of modern life and instead move in sync with their bodies, leading to a more balanced, productive, and fulfilling life cycle.

Nourish your body through each menstrual phase with tailored nutrition

Diving into a diet typically involves cutting calories, eliminating favorite foods, and embarking on intense exercise routines. While such measures might offer quick results, they frequently lead to menstrual disorders such as amenorrhea or exacerbated PMS symptoms in women—often culminating in the return of lost weight and a cycle of frustration.

This recurring issue underscores the flaw in one-size-fits-all diets—they often overlook the crucial impact of hormonal fluctuations on women's bodies. To address this, the author champions the Cycle Syncing Method, described as the ultimate "undiet," which tailors nutritional intake to the various phases of a woman's menstrual cycle to better support hormonal health.

To implement this method, begin by adjusting your eating habits during the follicular phase. Opt for fresh, vibrant foods that invigorate your body, setting a robust foundation for the cycle. Ideal choices include fermented vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut, fiber-rich veggies such as zucchini and carrots, lean proteins like chicken and trout, and complex carbohydrates found in oats.

As you enter the ovulatory phase, when natural energy levels peak due to high estrogen, focus on foods that aid in metabolizing this hormone surplus and mitigate its less favorable effects like acne. Incorporate plenty of antioxidants and fiber from tomatoes, spinach, and berries, and lighter grains such as quinoa and corn.

Transitioning into the luteal phase, your body's metabolic rate increases. To accommodate this change, increase your caloric intake and focus on nutrients that stabilize blood sugar and curb cravings. Incorporate B-rich foods like cooked leafy greens and natural sugars found in baked root vegetables, alongside complex carbs such as millet.

Finally, during the menstrual phase, when hormonal levels drop and energy wanes, prioritize proteins and healthy fats to uplift your spirits and combat fatigue. Focus on iron-rich foods like red meat and kidney beans, and complex carbohydrates such as buckwheat, which are vital for replenishing your body's energy reserves.

By aligning your diet with your menstrual phases, you not only promote hormonal balance but also maximize your overall well-being, making the Cycle Syncing Method an empowering approach to women’s health.

Enhancing your intimate life by syncing with your menstrual cycle

It's no secret that the constant shifts in hormones throughout your menstrual cycle influence everything from mood swings to energy levels, but did you know they also play a significant role in your sexual desires and satisfaction? Understanding these fluctuations can significantly improve your pleasure and overall intimacy.

At times, you might notice that your libido is low and it takes more effort to feel aroused or reach climax. This is completely natural and ties back directly to your menstrual cycle’s influence on your body. By aligning your understanding of these cycles with your sexual activities, you can enhance both your enjoyment and orgasm quality.

During the follicular phase, which commences after menstruation, levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are at their lowest. This can lead to less natural lubrication, potentially making sexual activity feel less comfortable. In this "dry phase", using a lubricant can effectively enhance comfort and pleasure. This phase is also ideal for exploring new sexual experiences and techniques, like experimenting with different positions or trying tantric massages, due to the rejuvenating nature of this stage.

Moving into the ovulatory phase, your body experiences a peak in estrogen and testosterone, naturally enhancing your arousal and orgasmic potential. This is a great time for more adventurous sexual encounters. Communication with your partner about your desires can lead to highly satisfying experiences during this phase.

As you transition into the luteal phase, you'll still enjoy a heightened sex drive at the beginning. However, as the phase progresses and your hormone levels begin to decrease, sexual desire might lessen, and natural lubrication may reduce. The latter part of this phase is suitable for slower, more intimate sexual activities that emphasize closeness rather than intensity.

Finally, during menstruation, while some may prefer to abstain from sexual activities, others find that gentle, relieving sexual encounters during this time can ease menstrual discomfort by relaxing the uterus and lowering cortisol levels. However, always prioritize personal comfort and preferences when it comes to sex during this phase.

By tailoring your sexual life to these varying stages of your cycle, not only can you significantly boost your sexual fulfillment, but also deepen your connection with both your body and your partner.

Leverage your natural cycles to maximize professional success

The corporate world often demands constant productivity, but this can lead to burnout, especially for women who might ignore the natural ebb and flow of their hormonal cycles. Take Allie, for instance, an entrepreneur whose relentless schedule left her drained until she discovered the power of syncing her work life with her menstrual cycle.

For Allie, like many of us, life was a series of non-stop activities: intense workouts, busy workdays, and social commitments, all fueled by caffeine and fast-paced living. This relentless lifestyle took a toll until she started aligning her activities with her cycle. During her menstrual phase, she swapped strenuous morning workouts for lighter activities and started leaving the office earlier. These adjustments made a significant difference in her wellbeing and productivity.

Ideally, women would be able to tailor their professional schedules around their menstrual cycles, leveraging the unique strengths of each phase. However, the standard nine-to-five work structure rarely accommodates such flexibility, often ignoring the natural fluctuations in women's energy levels and hormonal balance.

Despite these challenges, it's possible to stay synchronized with your hormonal cycle, even in rigid work environments. Start by reviewing your monthly obligations and mapping them against your cycle. Strategically plan your tasks, aligning demanding projects with high-energy phases, such as the follicular or ovulatory periods, and scheduling lighter duties during the luteal or menstrual phases where possible.

If inflexible commitments fall into less optimal times, prepare accordingly by adjusting your approach, perhaps by reducing ancillary tasks. Make strategic use of your strengths in each phase—use the creativity and communicative prowess of the ovulatory phase for important meetings, or the focus and detail orientation of the luteal phase for completing complex projects.

Understanding and respecting your cyclical nature allows you to adapt, even within the constraints of a conventional work schedule, turning what might seem like biological hindrances into powerful allies for achieving professional excellence. This approach not only enhances productivity but also supports overall health and job satisfaction, proving that it is possible to align biological rhythms with professional demands effectively.

Unlocking full potential through Cycle Syncing

In today's fast-paced world, women are continuously breaking barriers in corporate leadership, entrepreneurship, and balancing career with parenthood. To thrive in these roles, understanding and optimizing personal health is crucial. The Cycle Syncing Method offers a groundbreaking approach that allows women to harness their natural hormonal rhythms for better health, enhanced professional achievement, and improved relationships and sexual satisfaction.

This method isn't just about managing symptoms or overcoming hurdles; it's about integrating the cycle's phases to work to your advantage, promoting a holistic approach to wellness. By aligning daily activities with the natural hormonal fluctuations, women can maximize energy, boost creativity, and maintain motivation, thereby achieving long-term successes across various aspects of life. Whether it's choosing the right time for strategic decision-making or nurturing personal relationships, Cycle Syncing empowers women to perform optimally by being in tune with their bodies.

Embracing this method could be the key to not only sustaining high performance in demanding roles but also to fostering personal well-being and balance. This isn't merely a health technique—it's a lifestyle strategy for thriving in modern life.

In the FLO Quotes by Alisa Vitti

Similar Books

12 Rules For Life
The 4-Hour Body
Biohack Your Brain
The Extended Mind
Annie Murphy Paul
The Body Keeps the Score
Super Human
Attention Span