311. Hormone Harmony: The End Of PMS, Cramps, Infertility, & Cycle Chaos W/ Alissa Vitti (For Men Too!)

Alissa Vitti

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Alisa Vitti is unparalleled when it comes to women's hormonal and reproductive health. She is a pioneer in female biohacking, the founder of FLO Living and the MyFLO App, the author of "Woman Code" and "In The FLO," and the creator of a Cycle Syncing Method that has transformed the health and life of thousands of women.

Alisa Vitti is a women's hormone and functional nutrition expert and pioneer in female biohacking. She is the best-selling author of WomanCode, In the FLO, and creator of the Cycle Syncing Method® a female centric diet and lifestyle program that leverages hormonal patterns for optimal health, fitness and productivity. As the founder of FLOLiving.com, she has built the world's first menstrual healthcare platform that helps women around the world put their period issues like PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis, and PMS into remission naturally

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

I am extremely excited to share this episode with Alisa Vitti, folks, because I think this one is going to end a lot of suffering — not only for our female listeners but for anyone who is in a relationship with females and wants to understand how to best support them.

If you’re not familiar, Alisa’s wisdom is unparalleled when it comes to women's hormonal and reproductive health. She is a pioneer in female biohacking, the founder of FLO Living and the MyFLO App, the author of "Woman Code" and "In The FLO," and the creator of a Cycle Syncing Method that has transformed the health and life of thousands of women.

Alisa first started down this path because she wanted to understand more about her own body and health. Over and over, she felt misunderstood and mistreated by the medical system and wellness industry. From pharmaceuticals to diets to fitness programs, everything is based on research done to men, so women never get the results they’re hoping for. 

Through years of researching and writing, she uncovered that each individual woman needs something tailored for their unique female hormonal pattern to truly feel their best — and FLO28 is the culmination of all that research.

This is a lifestyle program based on her Cycle Syncing Method. What makes this different from anything else out there is that it’s a food, exercise, and time management program based on your actual female biology and hormones. And it’s the only program based on your INFRADIAN RHYTHM. It turns out that having an infradian rhythm causes changes in a woman’s metabolism, brain, stress and other systems. So, basically, you need to take care of your body differently throughout the 4 phases of your cycle. 

Every month, you’ll get recipes, shopping lists, meal plans, and workout videos for each phase of your cycle. You’ll also get a revolutionary time management system to organize and optimize your life. On top of that, you’ll get direct support from Alisa through her monthly Master Classes, where you can get your questions answered.  I’m so excited to be able to offer this special opportunity to my community! 

If you want to make peace with your body, if you want to get rid of your PMS, if you want to do more with less stress — you’re going to want to try this. Sign up for 50% off your first month at www.cyclesyncingmembership.com with the code LUKESTOREY.

14:25 — How spirituality informs Alisa’s work

  • The personal struggle that led Alisa down this path
  • A pragmatic desire to create solutions
  • Improving the cultural narrative around hormonal health and how woman think about themselves

17:55 — Facts that will help men understand women

  • How men can apply Alisa’s work
  • It’s not just men who are clueless about women’s hormones—our society is clueless
  • Institutionalized gender bias in medical research
  • The many, many problems with how fitness is sold to women
  • The conversations that are normalized for men but not women
  • Understanding each other’s patterns in a relationship

28:50 — How competitive feminism has a negative impact on women by encouraging them to work in the same way men work in corporate environments

  • Every stop along the journey of feminism has been necessary and hard-earned
  • Following models based on the male circadian pattern
  • The problem with forcing yourself to do the same thing every day when you don’t feel the same every day

40:45 — The most common causes (and effects) of hormonal disruption

  • Infradian rhythm 101
  • Why women shouldn’t be eating the same number of calories every day
  • How HIIT can make you gain weight at certain times in your cycle
  • Weight loss isn’t the focus of aligning with your biological rhythm, but it is a side effect and it’s easier than you’ve been told
  • How being deprived of the knowledge of how your body works takes an emotional and mental toll
  • The different phases of a woman’s cycle and why her partner needs to know them
  • How men can tune into their partner’s cycle and be most supportive
  • MyFLO App
  • "In The FLO"

01:14:25 — The cause of painful periods

  • How nutrition directly affects your cycle
  • What menstrual blood color can tell us about a woman’s health
  • You aren’t stuck with painful periods just because you’ve always had them
  • Women shouldn’t stand for being gaslit by a medical system or society any more
  • Becoming your own advocate

01:24:20 — Biohacking for women

  • How blue light and EMF exposure affects women's circadian rhythm and reproductive health
  • How millennials shifted the cultural conversation around hormonal health
  • The fitness myths that are harmful to women
  • Making the biohacking community more inclusive for women

01:32:05 — Why many vegan and vegetarian women become infertile and stop menstruating

  • It’s not just veganism: it’s any disruption to your infradian metabolic pattern
  • How leaky gut can contribute to menstrual issues
  • It is possible to be vegan and maintain your hormonal health, but it takes work and you have to be intentional about it

01:39:55 — Thyroids & Endometriosis

  • Both are on the rise
  • The root cause of thyroids
  • Why we need more research on thyroids
  • The side effects of medical birth control
  • The autoimmune component of endometriosis
  • How you can heal endometriosis naturally

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube.

Luke Storey: [00:00:02] I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlessly committed to my deepest passion, designing the ultimate lifestyle based on the most powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you. Alright. Here we are, we finally got you on the show, Lisa. Welcome.

Alisa Vitti: [00:00:31] Thanks for having me, Luke. So happy to be here.

Luke Storey: [00:00:34] Yeah, me too. So, we just had a great pre-interview chat, which normally doesn't happen much on Zoom. It happens more in person. And I always have this experience where during the pre-chat, I'm thinking, man, we should have the mics on. This should be recorded and it never is. And then, today, on Zoom, we had the same thing. So, I'm hoping we can kind of recreate some of that initial 15 minutes because you were dropping knowledge bombs that were really potent and valuable. So, I'm excited to get in here and dive in with you.

Alisa Vitti: [00:01:02] I'm certain we will deliver to the listeners some good information today.

Luke Storey: [00:01:07] So, the latest news with you is you've got your new book, In The FLO. We both happen to have a copy here for those watching the video on YouTube or elsewhere. And it is like the Bible of female hormone health. And I read it in my speed-reading way, which is the way I read prepping the interviews, it's like Cliff Notes, and it's a lot of information. And so, as I started to pull together the questions that I have for you today, I thought, oh, no, man, this is going to be like a five-part interview because there's no way we'll be able to get through it. But we'll do the best we can.

Alisa Vitti: [00:01:44] We will. We will.

Luke Storey: [00:01:45] What else besides your book that came out in January of this year are you excited about? What's on the frontier for you at the moment?

Alisa Vitti: [00:01:52] Oh, I mean, on the work side of things, there are some interesting things we're getting ready to launch around some innovative formulations to help women with their cycle. And then, we're getting ready to update the app and release a brand new version, which we haven't done since we launched that. We've updated it along the way, but this is going to be like a big redo. So, that's pretty exciting.

Alisa Vitti: [00:02:21] And on the personal front, I guess I'm learning how to embrace homeschooling, that it felt like this short-term challenge that had to be surmounted in the spring, and now, it's the new normal. And so, I've just really made peace with it. And actually, it just opened me up to a whole other way of thinking about learning and education. And it's actually been a really interesting process for me personally because I'm someone who loves academia. And so, now, this whole experience of not having my daughter in school is like just different, different and good.

Luke Storey: [00:03:04] How old's your daughter?

Alisa Vitti: [00:03:05] She's five, almost six, as she'll remind me. 

Luke Storey: [00:03:11] It's funny. I live in an area in LA called Laurel Canyon and it appears to be wooded and remote, but in fact, if you look on a map, the houses are like on top of each other here, literally, right? Because you have neighbors on the one side of the canyon, on the other side of the canyon, and then next to you. So, I'm just surrounded, and there's a lot of leaf blowers, and also, as of late, tons of kids. 

Luke Storey: [00:03:36] I'm like, where did all these kids come from? I didn't know there was one kid in the whole canyon. And now, every day, I hear these little banshees just running around, seemingly, in some cases, driving their parents crazy because I hear their parents' reactions. There's a lot of like, Jimmy, stop, get over here. I think a lot of parents right now are kind of reinventing themselves as parents/teachers. It's a really interesting time. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:04:00] It is. And I'm trying to take it as, even though it definitely has been stressful and a challenge, I'm trying to just take the spiritual lessons of like, how can I increase in patience and acceptance, but also finding that a lot of this together time is really deeply beneficial to the family unit. It's been really interesting to spend so much time with my husband and my daughter constantly, as opposed to running here to school, and work, and events. And I think it's been a great thing, actually.

Luke Storey: [00:04:37] Yeah, me too. I mean, out of all of this insanity, I wouldn't say that much good has come of it, generally speaking, but I know that flourished as a result. And also, being a relatively new relationship has been put to the test, everything's fine when you're just dating, and hanging out, and everyone's working, and making money, and doing their thing. And you have your individual lives, you go out, there are businesses, your hair done, you go to a club, you go to Air One, which is our club. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:04:37] I finally, finally got out. I was in LA right at the first week of February 4, the book launched in LA, and I finally got to Air One. I'm like, oh, my gosh, it was fantastic.

Luke Storey: [00:05:18] When you're in this tyrannical lockdown situation and have to spend a lot of time with someone, it's really a testament to how you operate under different circumstances. I'm proud to report and grateful to report that it's just done nothing but just strengthen our relationship. It's just been great. We realize, God, half the stuff we do a lot of the time is not even necessary or that fun. We're just so pleased to be homebodies and just, thankfully, we have careers that as of yet haven't been terribly affected by this.

Luke Storey: [00:05:51] But we work from home, and have online businesses, and we're kind of like, cool, hang out with the dog and cat, and just sit in the backyard, and get our work done. And there's not really a need for so many of the things, the extracurricular activities that you find yourself getting busy with. So, it's a way to find the blessing, I guess. I want to ask you, how does your spirituality inform your work? You're working with women and supporting them on their journey physically, but I get a sense from you through your writing and podcast I've listened to featuring you that you have a spiritual appropriation to life. And what is the basis of that? And how does that play out in your career?

Alisa Vitti: [00:06:34] And so, no one literally has ever asked me that question. I guess, for me, when I think about what drives me, why am I such an advocate for this type of upgrade in women's healthcare from a hormonal point of view, I think when you go through something yourself that is difficult with your physical health, it makes you inherently more compassionate to the suffering of other people. And I don't necessarily put labels on what kind of spiritual perspective that is, but I think that that's a universal possible truth for people to have this expanded sense of compassion for others. And that was sort of the first thing or the first experience that opened me up to, gee, I want to be helped. I want to help myself.

Alisa Vitti: [00:07:35] But then, I also want to help others. And that's also, interestingly enough, part of the female stress response process of, instead of fighting or fleeing, tending and befriending. So, I've wanted to reach my arms out around other women with these hormonal issues and offer support. But then, also seeing behind the scenes of the limitations of what conventional gynecology has to offer for women with chronic hormonal issues just made me very interested in trying to solve that problem. So, I think there's also this, how can we help? How can we work collaboratively? How can we inform? How can we educate? And how can we empower women to reclaim the right orientation to their own feminine spirit? 

Alisa Vitti: [00:08:32] One that is self-loving, self-appreciating, such that then they have an opportunity to really reclaim their sovereignty as women, right? And so, I think I have never really tried to think about my spiritual orientation, but I think it's a combination of this deep compassion for the suffering that women have to go through around these issues that just seems to be completely unnecessary, a pragmatic desire to just create solutions. And then, also, a feminist heart beat, so to speak, that's pulsing these energies together to really be an advocate for improving the cultural narrative around women's hormonal health and improving the way women think about themselves.

Luke Storey: [00:09:26] Yeah. Thank you for that. That's very well-said. And from my perspective, it seems you're doing exactly that. I mean, you have rabid fans and I think there's a reason for that. So, what you're doing seems to be working. So, as we dive into this conversation, sometimes, when I put out a show that seems to be female-centric, I'm imagining a guy like scrolling through the podcast app, and seeing what's on the Life Stylist, and going to be like, women's hormones, skip, but I really want to encourage men to expand their awareness around this, because in my experience, true fulfillment comes from your relationship with your beloved, whether that be man, woman, whatever.

Luke Storey: [00:10:11] And so, I think men are, for the most part, very clueless about what goes on inside of a woman's body. And there's so much guesswork. And because a man, especially if he's in as masculine, is a fixer. It's like we want to know what the problem is and we want to fix it, if your heart's in the right place, not because we want to control or we're intolerant, but because that's how we help, right? We want to understand the 10 steps to fixing this thing so that we can fix it.

Luke Storey: [00:10:42] And by the way, men listening, if you're smart, and you have a female partner, and she has problems, don't try to fix them, just listen until she invites you to help fix them. I've learned that over the years, but I think that your work has an application for men, too. And it's so supportive that we understand that. So, from your perspective in this conversation, what can be a value to the men that we're about to tune out, but think, ah, maybe there's something here that can really enrich my life and the life of the females that I interact with.

Alisa Vitti: [00:11:14] Yeah, I would say, definitely don't tune out. Tune in, for sure, lean in to this conversation because I guess first I want to address the statement that you made about how men are clueless about women's hormones. And I actually just want to expand that to say that we all, as a society, have been rendered clueless about female's hormones. And we come by that honestly as part of the institutionalized gender bias that has infiltrated medical fitness and nutrition research. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:11:50] And from the long-standing, dare say, biblical narratives that say that these are just mysterious, unknowable forces of a woman's body that just are going to be what they're going to be, and you just have to suffer along with it, whether you're the woman suffering or the man suffering on the sidelines of her suffering, right? And this is just so disempowering for everyone. So, I just want to expand that, that we're kind of all in the same boat, which is bad news, but also, good news because we can move forward together, which I always think is the best way.

Alisa Vitti: [00:12:28] But the other big reason why you want to really learn about this information if you are in a relationship with a woman, whether you're in a romantic relationship with her, or your sister, brother to a woman, or whatever your relationship, a co-worker, is because you have been educated as a male to understand your biological rhythms in a way that has just been so normalized, you probably don't even realize it until I put a little picture frame around it and explain it to you, which I'm happy to do around your hormonal pattern and how that follows the circadian rhythm.

Alisa Vitti: [00:13:05] For example, you know that your testosterone is greater in the morning. Sometimes, a certain body part will alert you to the fact that your testosterone is surging at that morning interval. You also know that it's lower at night and that it's less ideal for you to do things like strength-train or have a long sexual session with your partner when your testosterone is lower because you've been given this information as part of a normalized conversation of when you should do things for optimal results, right? 

Alisa Vitti: [00:13:38] Even the whole culture around success, waking up early in the morning, doing a workout early in the morning, doing a lot of your deep work in the morning, and then socializing towards the latter half of the day, there are extensive details for men who are trying to get fit around what time to do which workouts, strength versus cardio, to get maximum result with least effort and least strain on the body, this has all been studied, disseminated, and normalized.

Alisa Vitti: [00:14:06] You take for granted that you have this understanding about the pattern of your biology. And you know how useful and practical it is. But for women, we don't have that conversation normalized or even disseminated and not even studied. And so, we're walking around using the things that optimize your biology to try to optimize our lives. It's not working. It's actually making us feel worse. And then, when we try to come together, let's say, relating with each other, you knowing what works for you, but not knowing what works for us creates friction and frustration, right? 

Alisa Vitti: [00:14:46] And I know having taught so many men over the years, once you understand this pattern, it feels very empowering to you, especially if you're in a relationship, romantic relationship with a female, to know exactly what to do when. For example, wouldn't you love to know when to suggest like, hey, honey, let's go hang out with our friends, as your date night kind of activity?

Alisa Vitti: [00:15:12] Wouldn't you like to know when to suggest that for like, we just delight her and she would think you're the most amazing psychic person, and she's so grateful that she's with you that you've loved versus when to say, honey, let me roast you a chicken and rub your feet, or let's rent a movie and let's cook. And she's like, gosh, how do you always know what I want? Right? Wouldn't you love that? Of course, you would love that. And that's just on the what to do. There's also on the how to optimize her orgasm part of things.

Alisa Vitti: [00:15:45] And if all of this is very predictable and it's one of the reasons why I built in the partner sync feature within the MyFlo app so that if you are so lucky to be dating a woman or with a woman who's got that app, she can give you access to this little hormonal dossier you get weekly to let you know exactly what to do when so that it becomes part of the matrix and the fabric of your relating to each other, so that you're both getting the most out of your pleasure response with each other, whether that be the way you interact, the way you communicate, the things that you do, and yes, the way that you have physical contact as well.

Luke Storey: [00:16:26] Well, that's cool. It brings to mind the fact that one thing that raises men's testosterone is a feeling of success and accomplishment. So, it's like, we can hack our own testosterone just by being a successful partner, and being able to anticipate and fulfill the needs of our female partner, should we be with-

Alisa Vitti: [00:16:45] And vice versa. This is not a one way street. So, for example, I'm married to a wonderful guy. I've been with him for, gosh, I feel like it's a long time, at least a decade or a few years more. I never keep exact track, but I know his hormonal patterns, so I'm not going to necessarily go and approach him at 11:30 at night if I want to have a really expanded sexual encounter where I'm having multiple orgasms and the whole shebang, right? Because I know his testosterone is like gone for the day. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:17:18] And if he doesn't get the sleep around 10:00, he's not going to make enough for the next day and I'm stealing from him and myself from the next day, right? And so, I'm aware of that. So, I purposefully time our encounters to optimize where he is in his hormonal reality and where I am in mine. And again, that mutual understanding of each other's patterns is so beneficial, so loving. It's such a sign of deep respect and concern for your partner. I just think it's another love language that, maybe, we haven't yet considered, that I know has been the bedrock of our relationship.

Luke Storey: [00:17:58] That's very cool. Yeah. I was dating someone at one point and she was getting the emails, I guess, associated with the app, and then I signed up or was signed up for the emails. And so, whatever it was, I think, once a week or so. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:18:13] About, as she changes her cycle phases, you'll get informed, yeah. 

Luke Storey: [00:18:17] Study up on the emails, and then I would quiz her like, okay, so I got the email. This says where you are, and it was pretty spot on, I have to say. I mean, she was like, yeah, for sure. I want to go out a lot this week and be social or not, or the things that you just described. And it was actually very interesting. And being the biohacker-type guy that I am, I actually really liked learning that information and applying it so that I could feel successful, and help her to feel supported and happy. And it was very cool. So, I think there is a lot here for men as well. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:18:49] For men. But also, can you imagine what would happen if instead of waiting for these large institutions to change their conversation that from the inside out and from the female point of view, always say, taking ownership of your infradian rhythm, which is this biological rhythm that we're going to dive into a little bit more, which is, this is the first book that talks about it and this is the rhythm that women have that men don't have, when you take ownership of that, and you start to really nourish that, and support that in your life, you reclaim a lot of your own wellbeing and your freedom.

Alisa Vitti: [00:19:25] And then, when you do that as a couple, whether you're in a same-sex relationship or not, you're starting to change the way you guys interact in your sphere of community. And then, all of a sudden, we're having some change happening from the bottom up, right? What would it look like if the world was actually more inclusive of both biological rhythms, the circadian and the infradian? And this is not to say, well, should we have a patriarchy or a matriarchy?

Alisa Vitti: [00:19:52] This is just like, well, what if we actually became a culture that was just more appreciative of and inclusive of these rhythms and we really did away with this institutionalized gender bias that has kept the knowledge about this information out of everyone's reach. And everyone is suffering. I mean, it's so exciting to think about what would happen in a generation or two when you just start out of the gate knowing that these rhythms exist, that you have to interact with them, take care of them, use them to your benefit, and help each other, take care of them in community. I don't know. It's hard to fathom, but I know that it's an exciting and positive future potential.

Luke Storey: [00:20:36] Yeah, absolutely. And I'm thinking about one of the kind of downsides of one of the waves of feminism, and I'm not sure which one, but is this model of competition and wanting to be the same as men in an effort to achieve equality, right? Because equality is inherent unless you're an idiot or just a really unevolved person where you think one human being's life has more value or deserves rights over another. But it's that sameness, I think, that's not done anyone a real service. 

Luke Storey: [00:21:09] And in the celebration of the minutia of our differences, fundamentally, from a physiological point of view, it's an automatic appreciation for the other and, I think, helps to build empathy so that you can understand. As you said, you understand your husband, late at night is not the time to try to have the most mind-blowing sexual experience, or maybe bring him a huge problem in the relationship, or something that's going to require high testosterone and high energy. You're doing him such a service by acknowledging that difference biologically. And so, I think it's really progressive in the truest sense, because there's a lot of, in my opinion, fake progressivism or destructive progressivism in our culture right now.

Luke Storey: [00:21:55] But this is true progression, in that we're acknowledging science, and we're acting from that in order to better support each other, and to have healthier, more fulfilling relationships, which the trickle effect ends up, where then society and culture does change to reflect that. What starts in the home is going to bleed out into the workplace, into corporate America, corporate world at large. But this is where it starts, I think, is in our interpersonal relationships.

Alisa Vitti: [00:22:25] I want to just respond to the sort of feminist piece to just say that I think every step along the journey of feminism has been necessary and hard-earned. And think about it again from—everything that I talk about is always coming from this lens of biology and hormones. And so, let's just dial back the clock to a world that was even less inclusive for women, right? So, it wasn't necessary, even though it wasn't necessarily—like I wish we didn't have to go through it, but it was a necessary step to say, hey, in your world that doesn't include us, the corporate world, let's say primarily, again, which through the lens of biological rhythms, and just so we all have the same vantage point, the science that studies biological rhythms is called chronobiology, just so you're aware.

Alisa Vitti: [00:23:23] And so, there are many rhythms. There's the circadian rhythm. There's this infradian rhythm. There are ultradian rhythms. You can dive deep. It's, I think, a key part of anyone who is someone who's seriously pursuing biohacking, this has got to be on your radar. But again, this corporate culture was oriented around male hormonal patterns which follow that circadian rhythm, but we weren't having that conversation. That wasn't part of the language, but it was that women weren't allowed to work in the corporate environment.

Alisa Vitti: [00:23:53] So, it was really kind of this important piece of the journey for them to come in, and say, look, we can do it. We can fit ourselves into your model, and we can succeed, and we can do all the things, despite the mythology, the rhetoric, the cultural narrative that says that we can't. That was valuable because I think, also, for our own self-knowledge, we can do that. The problem is exactly what you said, that sameness. The circadian pattern is like Groundhog Day for anybody who remembers that movie, which I just think is a hoot. It's literally like rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, and every day is the same.

Alisa Vitti: [00:24:31] And in fact, when you have a biological system that operates that way, your goal every day, if you have testicles and functioning male hormones, this should be your goal, sameness, right? Wake up at between 5:00 and 6:00 AM when your testosterone and cortisol is surging. Do a workout, have the sex, do your deep work, frontload all those things in your day before 2:00. After that point, the testosterone and cortisol is going to start to decrease and you're going to start to be more present to your estrogen, which men have, of course, and you're going to want to socialize, happy hour, all the things that you've taken for granted as part of the normal routine of corporate actually is just completely modeled after your hormonal pattern. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:25:19] And then, go into the man cave around 8:00 or 9:00, power down the brain computer and go to bed at 10:00. That way, you can maximize testosterone production for the next day. It's the same. The same. That's why all the success coaches, everyone from Tony Robbins, who is amazing, to Franklin Covey, to, I don't know, people talking about power mornings, all of that is predicated on a—and I don't think that it's intentional, but again, it's just this institutionalized gender bias that we just don't even see because it's just been the way it's always been.

Alisa Vitti: [00:25:57] That's all predicated on that research that's been done on what works for men. And women have been left out of that research, left out of the corporate world. And so, like we did in the '60s and '70s when we tried to fit ourselves into the corporate model, and say, look, we can be the same every day, we've also now done that with fitness, nutrition, success, time management. Like look, okay, well, the gurus and the whatever, the tropes that are saying, this is what's ideal, your ideal day, which I love getting that question on interviews like, oh, share with us your daily routine. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:26:33] I'm like, which phase of the month am I in? That's all predicated on the sameness of that male hormonal circadian pattern. And we're trying to squeeze ourselves into that sameness. And I would like us to learn from why that didn't work so well for us in the corporate experience from that wave of feminism, was at such a high price emotionally and physically for women who had to go through that. And we're already paying that price now. Almost 50% of women, Luke, are suffering from hormonal imbalances.

Alisa Vitti: [00:27:07] And when we compare that to the male cohort, it's something like under 10%. So, obviously, it works really well when you synchronize your self-care, your fitness, your time management with your hormonal biochemistry. Look at all the good that that does for the male half of the species, it's really optimizing your just basic biohacking, reducing stress on the body and giving you health results that you take for granted. We're trying to squeeze ourselves into that same pattern every day, and it's having negative effects on women's cycles, right?

Alisa Vitti: [00:27:41] We have more hormonal imbalances, more period problems, more PMS on our moods, on our energy. Anxiety is something that women feel inordinately burdened with. And that's really the direct result of trying to force yourself to be the same every day, to do things at the same time, to work out at the same intensity, to eat the same amount of calories every day, even though your body and your inner guidance system, whatever you want to call it, is screaming for you to do something different. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:28:07] Because of this experience we've all had of trying to prove our worth in society as women by being the same, you ignore that and you force yourself to try to stay in that same pattern every day. And it's really disrupting this delicate infradian rhythm and destabilizing six key systems of your body. And you don't even know it because no one's told you about it before and you didn't realize you were doing it. And we didn't understand that there were health consequences, but now, we do.

Luke Storey: [00:28:39] Wow, that's deep. As you explain that, I'm seeing that perhaps that progression in the movement. I was raised by an ardent feminist from Berkeley in the '70s. And so, I'm very familiar with the perspective that we're all equal, right? I was just brought up that way. But I have observed what you're speaking about as really a detriment to women, is this trying to fit into that box of the corporate model or whatever it is and paying the price because they're not the same.

Luke Storey: [00:29:18] But I had no idea why. I just felt, energetically, like this is going to hurt them. But it seems as though it was like one of the passages along the way to create a new paradigm, where there are different things for different people at different times and there are multitudes of ways in which one can be successful financially, professionally, et cetera, and that is outside of the paradigm that was built by men for men.

Luke Storey: [00:29:46] And as you explained that, I'm thinking about myself, I mean, if I had to go get a job where my routine was fucked with, it would be extreme. I mean, my like morning routine, I mean, my lovely Allison knows like I'm gone for three hours when I wake up before I even start work. I mean, I got the ice baths, and all the meditation, all the things. And on some days, every once in a while, just because it's necessary, that gets interrupted, I'm out of sorts all day.

Luke Storey: [00:30:16] Are you cranky? Dare I say, do you have man PMS at some point during the day? Has your blood sugar been destabilized, your cortisol levels disrupted? Has that had an effect on your blood sugar, your mood, your energy, your ability to concentrate and focus? Surprising.

Luke Storey: [00:30:36] In fact, yesterday, I had a coaching call that began at the ungodly hour of 9:00 AM, which is way before I interface with anyone publicly, typically, but I really didn't want to miss it. So, I hadn't done my morning routine and I jumped right into this Zoom thing because it was important, and then I still had to go do my routine after to just do the rest of my work yesterday. I was like, I guess I could just keep going. I go, no, something's wrong. I do not feel right. I got to go get right, and then I'm able to perform. So, it's interesting to kind of put myself in the other shoes, like, wow, imagine if I had to just do what's completely unnatural to me in order to compete, to perform, in order to just operate in the system in which we live.

Alisa Vitti: [00:31:18] And worse. I mean, at least you know what to do, right? You know exactly what to do because it's been well-researched, right? Now, imagine your pattern is messed with constantly and you have no idea what you should do to get yourself back into balance, and you're scrubbing, and scrambling, and trying this, and trying that, and this pattern, and this diet, and this morning routine, and that, hopefully, something will work for you because you just feel constantly so bad, symptomatic behind the eight ball, and really deeply concerned that you're not going to be able to manifest the life that you want because of all of this struggle.

Luke Storey: [00:32:03] Wow, that's interesting. What a great conversation. Thank you for this. I'm really enjoying this perspective. I'm really someone who likes to understand the way things work, I'd like to see like how we got here and how we get to the next level of evolution. So, it's really, really interesting. So, I guess, let me see where do I want to go with this. I mean, we just covered kind of the first chunk of it without even trying. 

Luke Storey: [00:32:32] I guess, let's talk about, other than just behavioral habits, just the way in which we go about our day, what are some of the other things that really disrupt women's hormones? And then, lead into the cascade of other issues, which we can talk about, irregular cycles, and all of infertility, and all of the things. But like, what's the low-hanging fruit of like, this is what's jacking up your hormones in terms of what you're eating, how you're living, products you use, et cetera?

Alisa Vitti: [00:33:04] Well, I'm going to want to take a step back to just give some background on the infradian rhythm because most women have never heard of the term before. And it'll help when I explain some of the disruption that's taking place so that we can geolocate ourselves in this conversation. So, we just were talking a lot to the men. Let me talk specifically to the women. So, hello, ladies, that are listening. So, some of you who have heard about this book, you know that the new concept that I'm introducing in the book is this concept of being infradian rhythm.

Alisa Vitti: [00:33:37] And what this is, is similar to the circadian rhythm, which we used to think just govern like the sleep-wake process, right? Extensive research has revealed that the circadian rhythm actually supports the timing of various functions of the body. For example, when you have more elevated blood pressure, when you have less elevated blood pressure, when you have more active bowel movements, when you have less active bowel movements, et cetera, et cetera. Similarly, the infradian rhythm, we don't experience that within a 24-hour clock.

Alisa Vitti: [00:34:11] We experience that over the course of our menstrual cycle. But it goes well beyond just like the circadian rhythm goes well beyond the sleep-wake pattern. It goes well beyond just when you have your period. But you do experience it over the course of the four phases of your cycle. It supports or makes less optimal the sex key systems of your body, your brain, your metabolism. I mean, not these little minor things. Brain, metabolism, immune response system, stress response system, microbiome, and your reproductive system, which, of course, is comprised of the trifecta of your cycle, your fertility, and your sex drive.

Alisa Vitti: [00:34:53] So, you can imagine that anything that you are doing to disrupt this infradian rhythm is going to have negative effects trickle down into any one of the six systems of your body. The first place that you're going to be obviously noticing it is in your cycle because those symptoms are the loudest and most troublesome. And so, we tend to pay attention to the more. But before you even get there, you've likely already experienced some destabilization with mood, with concentration, and with metabolism, with immune response, with microbiome.

Alisa Vitti: [00:35:26] And then, all of a sudden, you're noticing, gee, my cycle is off, it's heavier than I want it to be, or I have really severe PMS symptoms, et cetera. But long before that, you've been doing things like, as we were just talking about, living in a way that is patterned after male hormonal patterns, right? The circadian pattern, like trying to squeeze the same routine every day regardless of where you are in your cycle, exposing yourself to different chemical, known endocrine disruptor is like a big thing that I think women have to be really vigilant. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:36:01] Not just women, men, too. Precocious puberty is up not just with teen girls, but also, young boys, as is infertility is on the rise now, idiopathically across both genders. So, I think it's just really important to be mindful of that in general. But then, the other thing, and this is why I want to sort of bring in the infradian rhythm, is some of the things that you're doing, like eating the same calorie number every day, actually, is disruptive to this, to your metabolism.

Alisa Vitti: [00:36:31] Why? Because in the first half of your cycle, your metabolism is slightly slower. So, if you were to eat fewer calories like you're told to do because the narrative says women are just smaller versions of men, and therefore should restrict calories more, no, but seriously, and work out to compensate, so you're well groomed to like restrict your calories even if you don't mean to. You're like, oh, yay, salads and smoothies. And that's great. And that works really well when your metabolism is slightly lower.

Alisa Vitti: [00:36:59] But in the second half, once you cross ovulation into the luteal phase, your metabolism speeds up and there is a measured, documented need for almost 300 more calories per day in order for you to optimize your metabolic function. So, if you continue to restrict calories in the second half like you think you're supposed to because you're supposed to be the same every day, then what you're going to do is disrupt blood sugar. So, these are hormones, right?

Alisa Vitti: [00:37:25] When we talk about hormones, I don't just mean estrogen and progesterone, I also mean insulin, and cortisol, and thyroid hormones. So, this can happen when we don't eat the right amount of calories at the right time. Another thing that we do as women without realizing it is doing the same intensity of workouts every day. So, there are two things I like to joke about or to bring up as a way to lighten the situation here. The first is, there was a commercial years ago, easily a decade ago, and I'm sure you remember it.

Alisa Vitti: [00:37:57] It was like these two little cartoon sketch figures. It was like Jack and Jill, they're a couple and they're overweight. And Jack and Jill are going to go on the same diet and fitness plan. And at the end of the month, Jack, his little drawing's turns out from like this pudgy little stick figure to like washboard abs, he looks like a Greek God. But Jill, she looks the same at the end of the month. And Jill is still fat and frustrated. Poor Jill, we don't know why this phenomenon happens.

Alisa Vitti: [00:38:26] She needs help. She needs this medication. The commercial was for a medication, right? Again, this is just crazy because it's just the fact that Jill did the same diet and workout plan that Jack did, this is why she's actually not lost weight, because the studies show, if you do high-intensity interval training after you cross over ovulation in the luteal phase, you turn on fat storage and you turn on muscle wasting.

Alisa Vitti: [00:38:51] So, if you're trying to be a good, committed, just-do-it, just-commit fitness person and show up with your willpower every day to crush your workouts at the same intensity that you were doing in the first half, the follicular and the ovulatory phases, and you carry that into the luteal and the menstrual, at best, at the end of the month, you will have made no delta with gaining muscle and using stored fat, whether or not weight loss is your goal. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:39:17] And at worst, you will gain fat, which takes me to that second story, which is years ago in my practice, there was this trend of women wanting to get in shape, and they would train for triathlons, and they'd come to me after months of running, biking, and swimming five miles a day, eating what their coaches told them to eat, and they'd have gained 20 pounds after the competition, right? And why is that? Because of the profound disruption and disregard for the modulation effect that the infradian rhythm has on our metabolism is just one layer, right?

Alisa Vitti: [00:39:52] So, that's another way that you're likely disrupting this. And this will have negative effects on your cycle. You'll notice an increase in severity of PMS, an increase in symptoms of whatever it is you may be diagnosed with, with your period. A lot of women are struggling with PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, et cetera. So, it's just so important that we learn that disruption doesn't always come in the form of chemical exposure. It's also how we're interacting with this rhythm.

Alisa Vitti: [00:40:19] And again, we just compare it to what men are doing, right? Men know, I'm not going to go do a heavy set of strength training at 10:00 at night because you're not going to gain lean muscle at that time and you're going to injure yourself, right? So, all that effort for no real big return. And if you did that every day, you'd start to have negative effects long term with your metabolism, with testosterone production, with blood sugar stability. You may end up putting a little fat around the middle, so to speak.

Alisa Vitti: [00:40:48] So, we just need to be sensitive and attuned to what our patterns are and just start to work with them, because then everything, as I am describing, starts to get in the flow. And so, it just feels easier, easier. And it's not just something that only men get to experience this like one month of a transformation from pudgy Jack to Greek God Jack, right? And again, I'm not focused on weight loss, though I have maintained a 60-pound weight loss for 20 years, it's not the focus, it's the side effect of aligning with your biological rhythms. And it's just so much easier than we've been told. Not just with weight loss, but any of it.

Luke Storey: [00:41:29] That's so interesting in the piece of that that has to do with what you eat and when you eat, observing the vast difference in cravings, appetite, the amount of food between myself and my female partner. I could literally eat the same exact thing every day at the same time. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:41:50] And you should. 

Luke Storey: [00:41:51] I'm also not really a foodie, so I'm not that food-motivated. It's just utilitarian, like get it in, keep it moving. But I watch the way that Alyson eats and I'm just so baffled by it. It's just so weird. Like the stuff that she craves, when she eats it, how much she eats it, it's so interesting to me to observe her. And obviously, I'm smart enough just to let her do her own thing and not try to intervene with my opinions that haven't been asked for, but yeah, go, oh my God, I would be so moody if I ate like that.

Alisa Vitti: [00:42:23] But like, for example, the mood stabilization piece, right? A lot of women express that they feel like they have anxiety, or depression, or a heightened sense of not handling stress as well in the second half of their cycle, the luteal and the menstrual phases. Again, now, we're talking about brain chemistry here, this effect of slightly elevated cortisol levels at rest, which takes place in the second half of the cycle, if you work out too long, if you do that high-intensity interval training, if you don't eat enough slow-burning carbohydrates to sustain your blood sugar, if you don't eat enough easily digestible fats, proteins, and vegetables that are cooked, you're going to feel anxious and stressed, because by disrupting blood sugar, you're going to elevate cortisol levels and you're going to negatively impact your stress response.

Alisa Vitti: [00:43:19] All of that can be modulated by changing the amount of calories you eat, the types of foods that you're eating, and the intensity of the workouts. And that's just on the food and fitness piece. So, in the book, I'm introducing this concept of the infradian rhythm, but I'm also offering a new method for women to support this, and it's called the cycle syncing method. And it has these three pillars, the food piece, the fitness piece, but also, the time management piece, because it turns out, in 1996, Dr. Catherine Woolley at Northwestern University discovered that the female brain changes by 25% over the course of the month.

Luke Storey: [00:43:55] Wow. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:43:55] Powerful, right? The male brain changes also in a profound way throughout the 24-hour day, right? And you already know that intuitively when you're able to do deep or focused efforts in concentrated work and when you're not. So, it's just that we don't have the same short-term repercussions of our energy dips the way that you do every day. We experience the change more gently over the course of the month when things are balanced. When our hormones are not supported, when our infradian rhythm is not supported, women will feel like, and it is not in their head, that they're a different person the second half of the month. They don't recognize themselves.

Alisa Vitti: [00:44:39] They don't like what's happening. They don't feel as focused or motivated. So, the time management piece is really there to help you take advantage of what's going on with your brain chemistry to play to your strengths, to reduce stress, to get more done with less effort. So, again, you're architecting, biohacking, whatever word you want to use, a peak state of flow of female-oriented flow, one that is inclusive of your infradian rhythm as opposed to you trying to white-knuckle it to get, achieve another kind of peak flow state, which really is more male-oriented.

Luke Storey: [00:45:17] Oh, that's really cool. As you're speaking this whole time, I'm not trying to be a broken record, but I can't help just reflect on my living partner and observing the differences between us, which I find to be really intriguing and entertaining, actually, because it's like observing a different species of human.

Alisa Vitti: [00:45:37] We're different. That should be celebrated, but it should also be quantified, and known, and normalized, right? Like my husband will come to me and say things like, oh, he'll know exactly what phase I'm in. I'll be like, oh, yeah. So, I think this would be the best type of thing for us to do right now, what do you think? I'll be like, yeah, that's great. It's just really helpful for us to share the same language of body fluency or biological rhythm fluency with each other, makes it richer.

Luke Storey: [00:46:12] Yeah. The other day, Alyson said, pulled me aside and said, sweetie, you don't think I'm like lazy, because some days, I just don't do much, and I just rest, and kind of hang out, I'm just on my phone. And then, other times, I'm super productive and crushing it. And of course, well, the first thing I said is it's none of my business, what you do, A. B, do you. I don't have any expectations about how you live your life. That's on you.

Alisa Vitti: [00:46:39] But I love what she said because she's sharing vulnerably the burden of circadian productivity as a trope in our culture, that like, the only way to be valued is to be constantly productive every 24-hour cycle. And now, in the technology age, it's really the always on. It's moved from sort of like a daily productivity pattern to constant, almost inhuman, if you will, productivity pattern, which I don't think is necessarily the right direction for us to be moving in.

Alisa Vitti: [00:47:13] Why build the technology if it can't help unburden us more? Right? As opposed to forcing us to live in ways that are not sustainable. But for women, it's sort of this added burden of feeling guilty, or feeling worried about being judged, or even worse, feeling like you're not going to be valued and loved for just the way that you operate at a core level, which is really terrifying for women, in fact. And that the first time a woman really touches that pain body is at puberty, because prior to puberty, everyone's just operating on a circadian rhythm.

Alisa Vitti: [00:47:55] You don't notice that the world is set up for that because you're the fish swimming in that fish tank, it's all the same. Then, at pubescence, when the infradian clock becomes activated and you start to feel the tectonic shifting of each of these phases, and you are different, and you want different things, and you need different things, but the world is still operating in the same way, and on the people who succeed, the people who are written about, the history books, the power players are all living that way, subconsciously, as a pubescent teenage girl, you think, uh-oh, I need to address that somehow. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:48:34] And I think there's a little bit of some sort of feminine soul wounding that takes place. And I'm no psychology expert and I defer to those experts, but I would put forward a potential idea that when you are deprived of the knowledge of this scientific fact about your infradian rhythm and the world is not inclusive of it, and then you encounter that for the first time, there's a big turning away from who you are fundamentally. And so, you have to decide how are you going to survive the circadian culture, right? You either follow it, and try to be the same every day, and deny your needs or you try to like somehow disappear from view in some way, right? 

Alisa Vitti: [00:49:23] And that can be overintellectualizing, or that could be eating disorders, or that could be all sorts of things. And again, this is just a loose theory I'm sort of stringing together, because how is it that so many women really struggle with just this concept of feeling safe to love who they are, just the way that they are? And again, I just think it comes down to being deprived of this basic information about how our biochemistry works and there's nothing wrong with it. And the only thing that's been wrong is that we haven't talked about it, and then we just constantly compare ourselves to one pattern. It's hurtful.

Luke Storey: [00:50:03] Wow. So enlightening. This is great. What great information you're putting out. I really never even thought about it from this point of view. It was just like, oh, yeah, we're different. Cool. Let me be sympathetic to the needs of the females in my life and understand that I don't understand, you know what I mean, and just be as compassionate as one can be. But in the construct of the way our lives are set up in Western culture, it is really interesting. And reflecting back on that question that Alyson asked me the other day, basically saying like, hey, I feel like I'm-

Alisa Vitti: [00:50:39] Will you still love me if I'm me? 

Luke Storey: [00:50:43] I mean, because I'm just chillin, and as I said, it's none of my business, but not in an uncaring way. It's just like, I don't have an opinion on how you live your life. If you're happy, I'm happy. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:50:53] And now, with this information, you could answer that question a little bit even more in a nurturing way. You could say, babe, your approach to productivity has to honor your biological rhythm, as does mine, and they're going to look different, and you shouldn't judge yourself based on the male pattern. You should embrace your pattern, right? I mean, God, if somebody said that, if a male partner said that, that has never been said in the history of the world, by the way. So, any male listening, if you want to just rewind, write that down, deliver that to your lady, you would heal her in such a profound way, and then there would be some sort of magical shift for her and for you both. Powerful.

Luke Storey: [00:51:41] Yeah. You know what's funny, is I think when she asked me that, too, I had made the observation, not a judgment of right or wrong, but just an observation like, wow, this week, she's just doing a lot of chilling. I'm not worried about it. She doesn't support me financially, so it's just fine, do whatever, but I was reflecting that. I think I was able to be as understanding as I could because I, too, go through phases of productivity and inactivity, but I think the-

Alisa Vitti: [00:52:12] Within the day. 

Luke Storey: [00:52:13] Well, a bit. But even on a yearly basis, it's not like, oh, this week, I feel this way. It's like, it's December, I can't work all month. Like I have to just unplug, stop, going to visionary mode. Like I can't do the tactical shit. Like I just need a break. And I've beat myself up as a guy because there's been times where maybe two months go by and I get nothing done except just kind of regenerate and get back into creative vision mode.

Alisa Vitti: [00:52:42] Well, let's talk about that. Let's talk about that because we can really map out the brain chemistry piece for women and why the time management needs to match up for that. And also, I love that you're feeling that level of attunement, that really speaks to your self-care practice. And I want to explain that because that's an add layer of how men can benefit from an extended experience of infradian timing.

Alisa Vitti: [00:53:08] So, in Greek terminology, there are two references for time. There's a chronological time, right? Constantly going. And it's just a line of demarcation, like now, it's 3:52, and now, it's 3:54, and it's just chronological time. And then, there's this other flavor of time. It's called kairological time. And it's this idea of timing or right timing. So, not what time is it, but when is the optimal time for it, right? 

Luke Storey: [00:53:42] Oh, yeah.

Alisa Vitti: [00:53:43] And then, we sort of map on to, let's say, growth cycles, right? So, you have, in nature, everything follows a similar structure of initiation or seed stage, sprouting stage, growth and harvest stage, and then fallow stage, right? And so, what you just described-. 

Luke Storey: [00:54:05] I follow that. That describes me.

Alisa Vitti: [00:54:07] Yes. Well, that describes all creatures in the natural world, right? Because you cannot be constantly in perpetual growth mode, or perpetual harvest, or perpetual fallow, or perpetual seed sprouting, like it's not sustainable. So, you work yourself to a place where once you've expressed your creative gifts for a period of time and you reap the benefits of, then you go fallow for a couple of months. That could be a couple of weeks. It could be a month. It could be whatever it is.

Alisa Vitti: [00:54:37] And that's a natural, normal thing to do. Sometimes, people can find that, that mimics the seasonal patterns if you live in a place where the seasons have major demarcation of temperature as an expression of the nature of that season. So, that's one way that men can kind of tap into this sort of cyclicality, this idea of right timing, this kairological experience because you're much more oriented to a chronological kind of everyday turn of the wheel.

Alisa Vitti: [00:55:08] Women in this infradian rhythm follow that four-phase pattern pretty identically within the space of a month. So, in the follicular phase, literally on the inside, the overview, you have multiple little eggs germinating, growing, being stimulated by these hormones, then during ovulation, one of them sprouts, so to speak, one of them breaks forth from the ovary, and makes it down to the fallopian tube, and into the uterus. And then, during a luteal phase, the garden, so to speak, the endometrial lining is grown by those hormones so that the egg is nourished in case there's insemination. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:55:47] And then, there's the harvest, whether that be the fertilized egg or the beginning of the shedding of the uterine lining. And then, there's the fallow period of the actual bleed, where we sort of rest and reset. This also has effects on our creativity, our productivity in terms of what's happening in our brain chemistry. The levels of hormonal ratios that are happening in the follicular phase, for example, make you much more wired during that phase for ideating, initiating, planning, project mapping, this what you will "get off" on, so to speak, when you're doing your work in that phase.

Alisa Vitti: [00:56:26] Now, that doesn't mean you can't do anything else. Of course, study after study has shown women can do it. And ironically, none of these studies have ever been taking place on a male subject, but on females, I guess we needed to prove that women could think straight constantly, so to speak, right? So, women can do anything that they want at any time. And I say that tongue in cheek, because if that doesn't speak to gender bias in research, I don't know what does.

Alisa Vitti: [00:56:54] So then, in the ovulatory stage, because of this super surge of estrogen, it hyper-stimulates verbal and social centers of your brain. So, this is a great time in your schedule to frontload social activities, networking events, presentations, anything, and everything that's going to allow you to take advantage of this hyper-stimulated verbal and social centers of your brain. Why wouldn't you do that? Right? You wouldn't do it because you just didn't know. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:57:23] Once you know, you'll just naturally start to gravitate towards the things that feel natural and aligned for you. Then, in luteal phase, which is the longest phase, 10 to 14 days, my favorite phase, I have to say, from somebody who runs a company, and is very productive, and has a child, and is very involved at home, and I love to cook, and I'm a busy person, the luteal phase is my favorite because this, with the introduction of progesterone into your brain chemistry, progesterone at adequate levels, which means you have to be taking care of your hormones for this to happen, has a calming and focusing effect on your brain chemistry. 

Alisa Vitti: [00:58:02] So, for 10 to 14 days, the longest phase of the cycle, you will bring things to fruition, get things done, enjoy really running through your to-do list and like muscling through it and just making it happen. I mean, that phase right now, I love this phase. I always plan all of my deep work, big project completion, chunks of time. In fact, you are the only podcast I'm doing in this 10 to 12-day period because just because—but other than that, I'm content-creating.

Alisa Vitti: [00:58:32] I'm really in the zone of making things happen. And then, in the menstrual phase, which we think of as this what fallow means, we think of as this period of nothingness, actually, in the brain chemistry point of view for women, the right and left hemispheres of the brain communicate maximally during this phase across the corpus callosum, which is that bundle of nerve fibers that connect the two hemispheres, which means, what does that mean?

Alisa Vitti: [00:58:59] It means, you can synthesize the data that each of these hemispheres is providing. One will provide data on facts about a situation, like so and so said this to me, and then feelings, and when they said that, I felt this. And when you're synthesizing this information, you then are in a place where you can evaluate, well, what do I want to do with this integrated view of facts and feelings about situations? And when you start to use this week as an opportunity to really reflect, how is this vertical of my life going? How am I doing with self-care? How is my relationship? How is my career? How is my whatever? 

Alisa Vitti: [00:59:43] You're able to really evaluate, and then start to really decide if you want to make changes from a place of abundance, self-love, compassion. And then, when you get back to your follicular phase momentarily, you can start to put those ideas of where you want to course-correct right into your project map. And the cycle begins again, constantly turning this wheel of both kairological time and sort of, if we say, the creation matrix of how anything comes into being every single month. And for this reason, I feel like women do not need the annual New Year's resolution ritual, because if you menstruate and use your menstruation accordingly, you will do it every month.

Luke Storey: [01:00:27] Wow. And this could be mapped out and timed using your app, right?

Alisa Vitti: [01:00:35] The app, and also, in Chapter 6 of the book, there's the first time management daily planner that incorporates the circadian and infradian rhythm. Like I had to build one for myself. What does it look like if we include the infradian to a time management system? And so, that's in there for you, too. But yeah, it's in the app. It's going to be in the app even more.

Luke Storey: [01:00:56] Are there any women that this would not apply to? I mean, is it ever a miss, and women are just like, nope, none of this fits me.

Alisa Vitti: [01:01:05] Well, if you are taking synthetic birth control, you will shut off the pulsing of these hormones. And so, your infradian rhythm will be sort of dormant. You will not have these changes. And just so you know, and I have a lot of content, and resources on my site, and on our Facebook page about what you need to know about the pill and what it's doing to you, but it does not fix your hormonal issues. It just shuts off your own hormonal production and gives you a low synthetic dose of hormones that do not generate a cycle.

Alisa Vitti: [01:01:39] And any bleeding you have associated with your medication is just a breakthrough bleed, but not an actual cycle, nor are you ovulating. And there's so much that you're missing out on, not just all these wonderful brain benefits, and metabolic shifts, and the dynamic nature of who you are for these four decades while you're menstruating, but you're also robbing yourself of every ovulation which puts health in your future bank account for protecting your heart, your bones, and your brain.

Alisa Vitti: [01:02:05] So, lots for women to understand while they make these important decisions about whether or not they're going to use that medication. And then, while you're pregnant, obviously, you're in a completely different zone and you're not going to be having this cycle. And then, when you are postmenopausal, you go from having the two clocks, the infradian and the circadian back to the single-clock life. Like you were as a child, you're just back to the circadian. So, it's this special time that you have access to this as a woman from your first bleed to your last.

Alisa Vitti: [01:02:39] And I would like to see a future in which we all take advantage of it fully while we have access to it. I wax a little quantum physics poetic in Chapter 10 of the book, because if you think about the fact that women are the vessels of gestating or 3D-printing small human beings, it would only make sense in a vessel that contained two different sets of timing, right? On that sort of quantum level, both sets of timing would facilitate that taking place. It's just interesting to think about, but I would really love to see you have an experience of four decades of really harnessing the gifts of this rhythm before the clock stops ticking in that way.

Luke Storey: [01:03:26] I feel like in our society at large, apart from people, I guess, that are really tapped into this kind of information, that that experience is being largely missed. I mean, I can't think of one woman I've ever met or been in any sort of intimate relationship with where I would be privy to this information that has regular cycles, that doesn't have cramps, PMS, fertility problems, I mean, it's rampant. It's insane.

Alisa Vitti: [01:03:59] Almost half the population, and that's just what's reported. And again, all of that's unnecessary. Cramps, for example, if nature designed you to be in pain, then you would make more prostaglandins that controlled uterine contraction, then you made those that control uterine relaxation. We have three. PGE1, 2, and 3. PGE2 is the only prostaglandin that controls uterine contraction. And then, it's sandwiched by two prostaglandins, 1 and 3, that control uterine relaxation.

Alisa Vitti: [01:04:32] In fact, again, because nature is extremely efficient and elegant, why would it have to do more work to make more of these prostaglandins, to cause the uterus to contract? It would never design a system like that. It would be like, oh, the least amount of effort to yield the outcome, right? So, a little bit of PGE2, the uterus moves, the endometrium shed, and then there's a lot of relaxation outside of that. Same thing with labor, women in the orgasmic birthing community will talk about the fact that it doesn't necessarily have to be painful.

Alisa Vitti: [01:05:07] I mean, one could argue that, and a lot of birth researchers actually talk about the fact that, in fact, the same things that cause painful periods, which is an increase in consumption of, let's say, toxic fats, as opposed to Omega-3 rich fatty acids, which we were exclusively eating up until the modern food era, create an increased production of PGE2, and suppress the production of PGE1 and 3. So, if you're eating these bad fats, you're going to have pain, not just with your period, but also, potentially, with labor, right?

Luke Storey: [01:05:43] Oh, that's interesting. I didn't know that. That, to me, I have a list of the top 10 foods to avoid, because I think once you kind of have that down, then it's more about EMF, and blue light, and some of the more environmental toxins. But one of them, to me, that's just a scourge of our food system are toxic seed oils, the canola oil, and the like, and all these ambiguous vegetable oils, which are just some rancid seed oil. And they're just so ubiquitous. They're just entrenched in our food supply. That's why I always call. I mean, I'm grateful that Whole Foods exists, but I often refer to it as canola foods because go into the bar at Whole Foods-

Alisa Vitti: [01:06:27] You heard the story about canola, right? Canola comes from the rapeseed. And when they were trying to figure out how to market this to the consumer in the '70s, they're like, well, we want to make this a health food, so what could we call it that sounds like granola? Let's call it canola. But I mean, because who would buy rapeseed oil. It doesn't sound so nice. But I do think that understanding that the inputs, the dietary inputs that you put in have a direct impact on the quality of your monthly cycle, whether that be with cramps or even the color, and texture, and volume of the bleed itself.

Alisa Vitti: [01:07:12] I made a little TV history years ago going on Dr. Oz and simulating the different colors of menstrual blood using fruit juices just to share with women that every month, your bleed is giving you live hormonal biofeedback, right? Like again, we've normalized the conversation, like, oh, look at your bowel movements in the toilet to see how you're doing with hydration, and fiber intake, and your health overall, and your gut microbiome. If you're not looking at your menstrual blood when it's present, you are missing huge amounts of biofeedback to help you know how is your estrogen in relationship to progesterone?

Alisa Vitti: [01:07:48] That is something you can start making changes to immediately with your diet and start to see results in your cycle immediately. And that's the other big, exciting thing to be sharing with women around their hormonal healthcare, which is that pervasive, probably the oldest myth out there, that suffering is your destiny, the curse of being a woman, right? The pain is part of the story, and that once you have this curse, it can never be changed, you're going to be stuck with it for life is not predicated on any scientific facts, whatsoever. And if you want to change how your period is, you just have to change sort of how you're eating and how you're living, and it will change, period.

Luke Storey: [01:08:34] Yes. As someone who's been enthusiastic about alternative health and whatnot over the years, it has been frustrating for me to observe women in my life suffer. And it's always that it's like the co-dependent controlling side of me wants to be like, alright, I'm going to fix this, like eat this, don't eat that. And over the course of my many years into this, I've learned to just mind my own business and just, if no one asks me for help, I'm not going to say shit because it's invasive and controlling, and it really is. As I said, it's none of my business unless they make it my business.

Luke Storey: [01:09:10] But it is frustrating to me because I care about people, especially my intimate relationships, friends, family, et cetera. And I know that it's fixable, it's just so annoying to me. And it's like it's even more annoying when I haven't been given permission or my opinion hasn't been asked for, and I just have to sit there, and like be compassionate, and listen to whoever it is that's sharing their problem with me, and knowing like, oh, my God, I know the answer to this, it's so easy, well, not easy to fix, but is fixable if you have the right help, like the book that you're-

Alisa Vitti: [01:09:43] Well, can I support you? Because I really feel the love and concern you have for women. And actually, instead of trying to repress this desire you have to support, and to sort of stay passive, and listen, I would actually redirect that energy if it were me. And I would say, why don't you help express to that woman that she should expect better from her healthcare, that she should seek out knowledge about her body, and that she should advocate for herself until she feels the way she wants to feel, and not be gaslit by anyone until that occurs, right?

Alisa Vitti: [01:10:33] So, you are basically going from passive listener, compassionate listener into warrior advocate to help emblazon her to become her own advocate because that's the thing that's been drilled out of women. Maya Dusenberry wrote about this in her book, Do No Harm, which basically talks about experiments that have been conducted where male and female patients walk into the same physician's office, complain about pain. And in the case where a man is complaining, tests are ordered, labs are run, and it's taken seriously. Women complain about the same pain and the experience that they receive is gaslighting. They are told it's in their head.

Alisa Vitti: [01:11:17] I mean, let's not forget the invention of hysteria as a diagnosis, and just said, well, it's probably just in your head, you should just go home, right? And women are turned away and told that they're crazy, that what they're feeling isn't real. And for a male partner in their life to be like, that's complete nonsense, because that's not what happens to us dudes at the doctor's office, you should fire that doctor, go to a different one until somebody listens to you and takes your pain seriously, that would be the kind of like warrior, masculine energy you could bring as an assist to your partner, whose own inner warrior goddess energy has been wounded by this situation.

Luke Storey: [01:12:11] Yeah. I mean, my message really is even more so than find a doctor who supports you and listens to you is become your own doctor.

Alisa Vitti: [01:12:22] Well, certainly become completely literate about your body. I mean, self-knowledge is the name of the game, whether that be physical self-knowledge, or spiritual, or emotional self-awareness, really understanding, that is the journey of one's life in so many ways. So, yeah, women, for sure, when it comes to their bodies are so far behind the eight ball because of this nonsense of sex education that we're presented with and just really cut off at the knees from understanding who we are. We do have to play a bit of catch up.

Alisa Vitti: [01:12:54] But luckily, I put it all in this book so you can really just read it and get quickly acquainted so that you can just really, for certain, know who you are, stand on your own biological brain, trust yourself a lot more, love yourself more, instead of feeling like you're always fighting this battle with your body. You're like, oh, no, I'm just doing exactly what's right. Instead of finding yourself wrong all the time, you're going to start to find yourself right all the time, right at home. It's just a great feeling to start to build on. 

Luke Storey: [01:13:28] One thing I find really encouraging is that females these days, as I've observed, being into what's now called biohacking, I guess, thanks to Dave Asprey, but used to just be alternative medicine or you were just a health freak. And this is going back over two decades ago when I got into all the infrared saunas, and detoxing, and juice-fast, and making kombucha, and doing colonics, and all the things that were kind of the first stuff we got into. And there weren't a lot of women engaged in that health sovereignty at that time. It was kind of a man's game, except older women whose health had really failed them, and then they were like, alright, screw the doctor and the medical model, I'm going to figure this out myself, and went more in the functional medicine or self-healing direction.

Luke Storey: [01:14:15] But now, it's really encouraging. And I noticed in your book, you use the term, like biohacking your health. But as someone who does, I don't know, probably half my content is about alternative healing and biohacking, et cetera, not only are there a lot of women really embracing it, but really young women. I mean, I get messages from girls on Instagram. I mean, I don't look at their age and their profile or whatever, but they look like they're in their early 20s. And they're like, I'm learning about EMF, and blocking blue light, and I'm eating grass-fed meat, and wild fish, and ghee,aAnd they're on all the things. 

Alisa Vitti: [01:14:48] I mean, I constantly offer my gratitude, unending gratitude to millennials, because if it were not for their like complete bulking at the ultimate taboo around showing visible signs of menstruation, you have to remember, five years ago, until people were posting pictures of themselves free bleeding on Instagram, that had never been done in all of human history, right? And it was, millennials were like, this is my life. I just bled on my sheets. Here it is.

Alisa Vitti: [01:15:26] Why should this be something I can't show? And that shifted the culture. Then, we had two years in the wellness community where menstruation was a wellness theme of the year. And I've been doing this for 20 years, that had never happened before. And we're living in, from a female healthcare point of view, historic times. And what that requires of us is to ask for more. You bring up the biohacking community, we need to have more inclusivity there, too, right? 

Alisa Vitti: [01:16:00] If we're going to be talking about, oh, this is generally good for you, yes, certain things are, like blue-light-blocking things, and other environmental things you can do, and saunas. Yes. But when we're talking about saunas, where is the research to talk about when a woman should do that based on metabolic and cortisol shifts throughout the infradian rhythm? There is none, but there is plenty of research just on the men as opposed to universally good every single day. That doesn't mean a woman should do it every single day, not including that and just making the assumption that it translates from the male study to the female is gender bias that needs to be addressed, right? 

Alisa Vitti: [01:16:00] And again, I don't think that it's malicious in its origin. I just think it's a habit. And when we report on things in the wellness conversation, like, oh, this study shows intermittent fasting is now the gold standard of how you're going to protect yourself from aging, cellular aging, it would just take one sentence of journalistic normal things, like deciding, oh, and by the way, this study was done in men and postmenopausal women, and the little bit of research that we have on women in their reproductive years is that it has the opposite effect.

Alisa Vitti: [01:17:12] So, women in your reproductive years, don't do 17 hours of an intermittent fast because it will cause the opposite result, right? Including women in the conversation, even if the research doesn't exist, but just to simply point out that, hey, we don't have research on this method of self-care, proceed with caution, follow your inner voice, and let's ask and demand for more research inclusivity so that when we are having a wellness conversation or a biohacking conversation, it's actually inclusive as opposed to patronizing, like, oh, this works for the dudes, so it should work for you. And that's old school. We deserve more. 

Luke Storey: [01:17:57] I like it. That's a really good point, because as I've seen the biohacking scene become more popular with women, I mean, it seems inclusive in the sense that, like, hey, like come to this conference, like there's a lot of women there, and on social media, and stuff like that. 

Alisa Vitti: [01:18:12] Have you ever seen a conversation, a workshop at a biohacking conference about menstruation, hormones, and the infradian rhythm?

Luke Storey: [01:18:18] I mean, I have seen some speakers and things like that, but not in terms of—I think where I'm going is the technology. Like I would just assume like, oh, saunas do this for you. Ice baths do this, red light therapy, et cetera, all the things, right? Hyperbaric oxygen chambers, PEMF, all the shit that I do every day, because I've not considered what you just said, well, I would tell every woman to do it all the time, like I do it. And I study the research just because I want it to be valid so I don't hurt myself and recommend things to people that follow my work. But I definitely have never even thought to pay attention to a-

Alisa Vitti: [01:19:00] Right. It's just a huge blind spot. And that's just become so normal that we just assume that what works in the mail will translate to the female, but we know that that's not true. NIH knows this, too. They put out a sort of an APB, if you will, in 1996, begging researchers to include more women in human clinical trials, because drug therapy, dosing for procedures, it's all based on this assumption that women are smaller versions of men, and therefore, we'll just titrate down based on BMI.

Alisa Vitti: [01:19:36] It is obviously more complex than that. And if we can do studies that factor in the complexity of the changes within the circadian cycle, I guarantee you, we can create studies that factor in the same complexity of the infradian cycle. It's just that we don't because of old habits, and who is running studies, and whatnot. And we just need to demand a change and an end to this sort of unacknowledged gender bias in the way that we talk about biohacking, and wellness, and research.

Luke Storey: [01:20:12] Well, I think with the popularity of this increasingly amongst women, and as I said, younger women, the demand is going to create that, right? So, as people in tech develop new types of saunas, and this, and that, I think that in order for the marketing to really be effective, I mean, this is just speaking bottom-line-wise, the research has to support the marketing, right? And so, as women become more savvy about the nuances of their health, they're going to demand like, cool, this thing's good for everyone, really, where is the study for that, which is really how-

Luke Storey: [01:20:45] I guess as the analytical male mind, a lot of the stuff that I support and promote, I'll get the analytical, skeptical dudes, and they're like, I want to see the double-blind studies, where's the research? That comes mostly from guys, but I think as women start to learn more about their bodies and they're empowered by the work you're getting out, and hopefully, this podcast, they're going to be like, hey, wait, wait, what study? Who did this actually cover?

Luke Storey: [01:21:10] So, I think that's really compelling. In terms of the, we started going into a little bit of the diet stuff, and like I said, aside from the top 10 horrible toxins I think people should avoid, I don't pay that much attention to food anymore because I think there's other threats in our environment that are much worse. But one thing I have noticed as a trend as a former vegetarian myself is that it's quite common for women who are vegetarian or vegan for some period of time to stop having periods and to eventually become infertile.

Luke Storey: [01:21:47] And this is not like a one-off thing. I mean, I can name-well, I won't name them, but five women I've known in my life that this has happened to, and I get a lot of messages from women like, hey, I've been a vegan, plant-based for five years and my health is going to shit and I don't have periods anymore, what should I do? And my advice to them is send them to someone like you or sneak in a little bone broth and some ghee, like start getting some of those micronutrients, and fats, and things in there, but I tread lightly because it's not my area of expertise. So, why is this happening? And have you experienced the same thing in your work?

Alisa Vitti: [01:22:25] I actually think we just simply need to expand. It's not just veganism. It's any disruption to your infradian metabolic pattern, will create a disruption in ovulation, which then translates to lowered fertility. So, you don't have to be vegan, but you could get the calorie intake wrong consistently over the month and you may not ovulate every month, which is going to decrease your fertile factor, so to speak, then you could take that a step further and add in an extreme form of dieting, like intermittent fasting, or keto, or veganism.

Alisa Vitti: [01:23:04] Like I go through these different diets in the book to really explain why they don't work as well for women. And a lot of it has to do with, yes, a combination of excessive calorie restriction and micronutrient depletion that, over time, destabilizes blood sugar and increases cortisol production, which fundamentally will disrupt your period as a whole. And again, I always try to explain to women that your fertility is like the frosting on a cupcake, that your period is the cupcake, the fertility is the frosting, and your sex drive is the cherry or the sprinkles on top of the frosting on top of the cupcake.

Alisa Vitti: [01:23:47] So, if we back into that analogy, if your cycle is, if you don't make the right batter, you're not going to bake that cupcake, and you're not going to get to frost it, and you're not going to get to put the sprinkles on it, right? So, by the time you've had an effect on your cycle, where you're noticing cycle disruption, longer cycles, skip cycles, you've already lost your sex drive factor, right? You've already decreased your fertile factor. And now, the cupcake is not getting baked and your cycle is either delayed every month or missing altogether.

Alisa Vitti: [01:24:26] And so, in order for you to regain your fertility and your sex drive, we have to think of it as an integrated whole, your reproductive health, and really focus on supporting this cycle as a whole, eating in alignment with your metabolic patterns, your cortisol patterns, and really supporting and nurturing yourself with deep appreciation for micronutrients that your body needs to make hormones. Two key players are amino acids and essential fatty acids, right? 

Alisa Vitti: [01:24:56] So, to go back to your question about veganism specifically, I think the challenge is that it's so easy to be a junk food vegetarian and that does not have a micronutrient-rich exposure for you, but also, a lot of people these days are working with diminished gut microbiome capacity due to overexposure to medications. The birth control pill being one of them, depletes the gut microbiome pretty powerfully, overexposure to antibiotics, traveling, and having all sorts of funky things happen to your gut with parasites.

Alisa Vitti: [01:25:33] Everybody's affected in different ways, which means that you may not be or you have experience with eating too much gluten, and dairy, and you have a leaky gut, you may not be absorbing enough amino acids from the vegan sources of plant protein that then make it even more difficult for your body to manufacture adequate levels of hormones. And if you're not eating good quality fats, then it's a slippery slope. So, if you want to be vegan, I absolutely believe it can be done in a safe way, but you have to be really dedicated to it, and take your supplements seriously, and really work on it. And it doesn't work for everybody.

Alisa Vitti: [01:26:15] And I've had women who have used bringing in therapeutic sources of animal protein for periods of time to restabilize their cycle, and then find that they can go back to a healthier version of a vegan diet. It just all depends on your system, your gut, how dedicated you are to food prep and how good you are at staying consistent with supplementation and really helping yourself, because I do appreciate that for some people, veganism is not about a health trend. It's an act of love for the planet, it's in service to a greater cause, and I support that, but I want you to be healthy while you undertake your mission.

Luke Storey: [01:27:01] Yeah, makes sense to me. I think, due to my subjective experience of really having my health suffer as a result of eliminating animal foods and being so confused by that for so long, and then I've finally started putting the pieces together, and now, eat probably more animal foods than anything else, and I feel better, younger, more energy on my biomarkers, are better than ever before.

Luke Storey: [01:27:28] I guess it annoys me a little bit when the health industry pushes for that in an extreme diet way, just like extreme keto or extreme anything. Over the years, I'm sure, you've been in this game 20 years, you watch these trends come and go as the next big thing. And to me, it's always like, what food makes you feel good and doesn't cause you to be infertile, you know what I'm saying? 

Alisa Vitti: [01:27:54] Well, let's also just look back into the blue zone research of these two wonderful scientists that I'm not going to remember their names off the top of my head. But basically, when you look across these longest lived, it's really not about the length of their lives, it's how healthy they remain throughout those years. The common factors is that it's a plant-forward diet with adequate levels of a mix of plant proteins in the forms of legumes, and animal proteins, and fats that you wouldn't even consider health food. 

Alisa Vitti: [01:28:29] Like lard, which is hard to wrap your head around sometimes because of where we come from in this culture here with no saturated fat equals health. But all of these longest-lived populations with the least amount of disease over those years have a pretty standard diet of this sort of middle path, which is a Buddhist thing, take the middle path, right? Like let's not be extreme in either direction seems to also work really well for the body, too.

Luke Storey: [01:29:01] Yeah, for sure. A couple of things I wanted to cover because I'm clueless about them, but it seems that they're quite common. One is fibroids and the other one is endometriosis.

Alisa Vitti: [01:29:16] There you go. Yes, well done. 

Luke Storey: [01:29:22] I'm seeing both of these become more common with younger women. And I don't know, maybe it's because I wasn't paying attention. But as I was growing up, I didn't hear my mom and her friends talking about everyone having fibroids and this kind of issues. 

Alisa Vitti: [01:29:36] Well, it is definitely on the rise. One in eight women have fibroids. One in 10 has endometriosis. In the African-American community, it's one in two women, will have fibroids. So, one has to ask the question, what is going on? Why are women having abnormal growth, so to speak, within the uterus, or attached to the uterus, or having growth outside of the uterus? And there are two different types of conditions. Fibroids really are benign tumors, so to speak, that are fed by excess estrogen.

Alisa Vitti: [01:30:26] They can happen within the uterus. They can happen inside the wall of the uterus. They can happen outside of the uterus. And depending on where they are, they can affect fertility in terms of successful implantation. The challenge with them is that unless you can find fibroid surgeon, who, that's like what they do all day long, only that, most of the time, you'll get the advice to just do nothing because they're worried about creating any scar tissue, and rightly so, in the uterus.

Alisa Vitti: [01:31:00] But then, the doing nothing and maybe taking synthetic birth control doesn't really help you. And then, you go off of it and you want to try to conceive. There are not great options. I think there should be more research done on fibroids, what the mechanisms are that are involved in the creation of that. What are the dietary inputs or environmental inputs that trigger the development of those? And then, what are some other advanced techniques we could use surgically to help women really get rid of them when they have overgrown, and then use other types of, let's say, nutritional therapy or micronutrient therapy to prevent the massive recurrence of them happening? I think there's just more research that needs to be done. 

Luke Storey: [01:31:51] On the fibroid trip, have you heard of women reversing that condition naturally by just making dramatic changes that support their hormonal balance, et cetera, or is it the kind of thing like once they're there, you just have to leave them alone or have them surgically removed?

Alisa Vitti: [01:32:10] I think once you have identified that you have, then they're likely sizeable enough that they're causing you discomfort because it's not often that you're doing scoping inside the uterus to see what's going on there. You'll get cervical exams annually, but not that, typically. So, by the time you're seeing them, they may be candidate for some sort of surgical support if you're able to connect with a surgeon who can help you. But I think what women should know is that if they're going to go the route of surgery that they want to definitely consider absolutely everything and anything that they can do to help their bodies metabolize estrogen more efficiently.

Alisa Vitti: [01:32:57] If estrogen is fueling the development of these fibroids, and you're going to go through the arduous process of having the surgery to address them, then doing everything in your power to prevent a recurrence would be, really, a smart thing to do. And we know that estrogen levels can be modulated just by simply adding things in like ground flaxseed, for example. We've had that studied on long-term effects on breast cancer that's been studied in terms even of just increasing fiber can delay the onset of menopause by several years. 

Alisa Vitti: [01:33:30] So, we need to just have more research. More research is needed to help women so that we don't feel like we're guessing at what is the appropriate steps to take. With endometriosis, the good news is that we understand it a little bit more now. So, that's a situation in which the lining of the uterus can grow outside of the uterus and can wreak havoc on bowel movements, or bladder function, or just create pain, right? Because it's tissue that moves. And so, when that's on other smooth muscle organs or tissues, can really be problematic as you go through the cycle.

Alisa Vitti: [01:34:14] So, at first, it was just categorized as a hormonal issue. But now, we have a better understanding that there is also an autoimmune component taking place with endometriosis as well. So, again, let's get some more funding for some more research. Let's really understand, what are the epigenetic triggers? What is happening inside the body? What are the pathways hormonally? And let's be able to offer some real support to these women. And in the mean time, yes, do all of the things that are going to really support decreasing inflammation in the body, bolstering your immune system. 

Alisa Vitti: [01:34:53] Again, one of those things is going to be, since estrogen is an immunomodulator, meaning you have a different immune response at different phases of your cycle, living in sync with that infradian rhythm is going to help balance your immune response over time and taking care of, also, your hormonal balance, as well, as in estrogen modulation, estrogen metabolism, all of those things. But I think it's a hybrid approach for endometriosis.

Luke Storey: [01:35:23] So, with all of these conditions, whether it be PMS, excessive bleeding, cramps-

Alisa Vitti: [01:35:27] Endometriosis. PCOS is another one. September is PCOS Awareness Month and it's the condition that I used to suffer from. One in seven women have PCOS.

Luke Storey: [01:35:43] What is that? 

Alisa Vitti: [01:35:45] Why is that? Oh, what is PCOS? Polycystic ovarian syndrome. So, it's a condition in which the hypothalamus, the ovaries, they're not communicating in the right rhythmic fashion. There are elevated levels of different hormones that prevent regular ovulation. There can be hyperandrogenization of the female where she's growing facial hair where she doesn't want it, and losing hair where she wants to keep it. There's cycle irregularity. There's insulin sensitivity to varying degrees.

Alisa Vitti: [01:36:18] There are mood implications. I mean, at the height of my condition, I was over 200 pounds, covered face, chest, and back in cystic acne, totally depressed, completely anxious, and completely unable to sleep. It was a nightmare. And this lasted for several years. And I was told that they didn't know what was wrong with me for many years. And then, when I did help my doctor make a diagnosis, she said, there was really nothing that they had for women like me except for synthetic birth control, which she readily stated was not a cure, and that the condition would get progressively worse, and that more medications would be needed to address the new issues that would arise from this root hormonal imbalance. 

Alisa Vitti: [01:37:07] And so, seeing firsthand for myself the impact on your hormonal outcome from changing your inputs, it's such a compelling piece of the process that I think there should be a tremendous amount of funding going into research to really help women understand that this is, from a day-to-day management of your hormonal health, we have to start thinking of that, just like we think of the day-to-day management of blood sugar, right? That used to not be a normalized conversation. It was like, well, you had diabetes or you didn't. And now, everyone is concerned about, am I spacing out my meals appropriately? 

Alisa Vitti: [01:37:53] Am I consistently energized throughout the day? Is my blood sugar stable? That's a more normal conversation. And I think that time is ripe for us to sort of normalize this idea that it's not this either or situation, either you have a mental disorder or you don't. It's that every woman, and men too, need to figure out a lifestyle in which they can support the everyday nurturing and maintenance of their hormones. And my focus is women, so that's what the cycle syncing method will help you do, but I think it's really a conversation that should be normalized for everyone.

Luke Storey: [01:38:31] Yeah. So, it's not so much about the individual pathology that results from lifestyle and dietary choices that are going to disrupt your hormones. It's almost like, let's just fix the underlying hormone issue through lifestyle, diet, et cetera, and then watch hopefully those symptoms disappear, and you get back to living your best life, and having life in a female body that doesn't hurt unnecessarily, that allows you to have a healthy offspring if you choose to do so, right?

Alisa Vitti: [01:39:02] It's like you've read my book, Luke. 

Luke Storey: [01:39:05] And I think on the show, I do like to cover bullets of like, okay, what about this issue, this one? But oftentimes, whether it's a show that's about spirituality, or physical health, or whatever it is, it's like, yeah, there's that, that, that, and that, but still, it always brings us back to the underlying solution, which is-

Alisa Vitti: [01:39:22] But I mean, I think, also, that nature's design inherently is, again, just highly efficient. For example, there are some really important research that came out, it was when I was writing the book that I remember coming across this study, they sort of have now figured out that there are these sort of specific pathways of aging, and deteriorating, and one is metabolic, and that might manifest as different things from high blood pressure to high blood sugar. But over time, that is going to cause the deterioration of your body. And then, there are other ones that are cognitive.

Alisa Vitti: [01:40:01] And so, it was just, again, another moment where science research is sort of catching up to the fact that there are these universal threads or these main channels by which the body either functions and is supported or is disrupted. And it is not so piecemeal as the way that we've categorized things just for our brains to be able to understand, okay, well, this is thyroid and this is estrogen. But it's really all part of a concert. And instead of trying to just focus on one, really conducting the whole thing is much more efficient. And that is, in fact, how the body works optimally as well.

Luke Storey: [01:40:44] You mentioned that monitoring your blood sugar, and this company, Nutrisense, sent me this continuous glucose monitor. And they reached out to me, and I thought, that's cool, but when am I going to have time to do it? And then, eventually, sitting on the counter and they followed up, and I did, I had a call with someone from the organization and he walked me through it on Zoom, just put this little needle in my arm. And I've had one before. It's been a while. 

Luke Storey: [01:41:11] But now that I have it in there, I'm obsessed with scanning it and eating different things. I have this supplement called Keto Before 6 that helps you produce ketones, and then you can sneak carbs in easier. And I've tested it with ice cream, and I'm like, holy shit. My blood sugar remained stable after crushing a pint of ice cream after the supplement. So, it's fun to see what works and what doesn't, but I'm also surprised to find, sometimes, I'll have a huge spike in blood sugar in the middle of the night or something like that.

Luke Storey: [01:41:42] It's like, huh, that's weird, what's at the root of that? So, it's not about the blood sugar. It's about the behaviors, and the diet, the choices that are making that are causing me to be dysregulated. But when you were speaking about the hormones, I'm sure someone's had this idea and maybe we have it already, but what about one of these things that gives you real-time data on your hormones? Does that exist? Is there something like a wearable you can plug into your arm like this?

Alisa Vitti: [01:42:08] Pieces of it exist from a fertility point of view. So, measuring basal body temperature primarily. But, yeah, I think that's an area that's ripe for innovation. There's a company that I just got emailed about. They are allowing you to do home urine analysis to test for different biomarkers of inflammation. And I thought, I cannot wait for the future. I hope it is very soon, where your bathroom, your kitchen, your wearables are really allowing you to really engage with your biofeedback, with biohacking every day because that's the name of the game. It's that everyday self-care that is what promotes health and wellbeing as opposed to sort of episodic, extreme stuff.

Luke Storey: [01:43:06] Yeah. Well, I find when I quantify, that it really helps me with compliance. 

Alisa Vitti: [01:43:11] And motivation.

Luke Storey: [01:43:14] Totally. Like yesterday, I did an experiment where I don't do well with gluten, but my friend brought me this beautiful loaf of sourdough bread from a place called Tartine. And I don't really eat bread normally, but it just looks so goddamn good. So, I emailed them, and they're like, their branding is all about how we get the best flour in this and that, but I looked in the ingredient deck, and it didn't say organic flour. So, I'm thinking it's sprayed with glyphosate, with Roundup, right? 

Luke Storey: [01:43:42] So, I'm the asshole that actually emails the company, I was like, hey, so noticed you're not organic, is your flour sprayed with glyphosate? And they email me right back, and they're like, Are you kidding? No way. We would never do that. Our flour is awesome. So, even though I'm gluten-sensitive, I ate like half a loaf of this bread because it was delicious with melted butter and sea salt, which is the greatest food of all time, but then I wanted to see what it did to my blood sugar. And interestingly enough, it didn't raise my blood sugar within a couple hours of eating it, but it did raise it in the middle of the night, up to like 170 or something, like pre-diabetic coma level.

Luke Storey: [01:44:20] So, I would never know that and I would be way more tempted to make that bread bonanza an ongoing habit if I didn't see what it did to my blood sugar. So, I think the quantification is really meaningful because it does, it helps us have discipline. And if we want to have that discipline, it's really cool to see the real-time data as we live our life. And it's going to be a really fun world where each person, again, as I said earlier, can become their own doctor, educate yourself, empower yourself, read books like yours. 

Alisa Vitti: [01:44:51] And hopefully, we have more being developed that is including women's hormones.

Luke Storey: [01:45:00] Yeah, absolutely.

Alisa Vitti: [01:45:01] Because that's the thing, oftentimes, not only are women walking around with this big blind spot about just their hormonal literacy, and the terms, and then of course, they're being conditioned with the beliefs that there's nothing that they can do, that they can biohack everything else, but not their hormones, which just doesn't make sense because everything is connected. But then, there's less in terms of research, devices, even testing that you can have to really dive deep. And so, we need more. 

Luke Storey: [01:45:38] Yeah. Well, any tech entrepreneurs out there, I'm calling for a unisex 24-hour monitoring device that is EMF-free, that can give you real-time reports of your neurotransmitters and hormones. How about that? Someone out there is doing it. 

Alisa Vitti: [01:45:38] Then, call me when you figured it out. 

Luke Storey: [01:45:59] Right here. Well, this has been quite an epic journey here. Thank you for your generosity of time. It's been fascinating. You're brilliant and super fun. So, thank you. My last question is, who have been three teachers or teachings that have influenced your life and your work that our listeners might be able to go check out?

Alisa Vitti: [01:46:23] Okay. So many, but let's see. Yeah. The book, it's by Natalie Angier, Woman: An Intimate Geography. That was a powerful book. That was a transformative book. Oh, let's see. Another book that I loved, or teachings, or teachers. I had a really interesting experience exploring some of the work of Osho. I thought that was really enlightening. His appreciation for feminine energy and its distinction from masculine energy was revelatory to me, introduced me to the concept that I could actually do meditation that included my body as opposed to ignoring it.

Alisa Vitti: [01:47:29] And so, to this day, when I meditate, I'm either dancing ecstatically, or just twirling around, or just moving my body. Yeah, really, really, it was so liberating because the whole premise of like staying still did not work for my dynamics. So, that was really cool. And let's see, another one. Oh, yeah, Tom Kenyon, The Magdalen Manuscripts. I'm pretty sure it's a work of fiction, but it was just a really interesting—I would also throw in Sue Monk Kidd's Dissident Daughter, just sort of a really interesting dive into our culture. And it's wrangling with the subject of the feminine spirit. 

Luke Storey: [01:48:32] Awesome. Well, thank you for the recommendations. We'll put them in our show notes with everything else we talked about. Lastly, where can people find your book, app, websites, social media? Anything you want to promote and send them to, now would be the time.

Alisa Vitti: [01:48:46] Well, if there's anything going on with your cycle, I'm not just an advocate and a researcher. I'm a fintech entrepreneur and I built a company called Flo Living to help women like me who find themselves with a diagnosis or with period problems, and they want to figure out what to do next. So, floliving.com is that place. I believe that we needed a company that would kind of be like weight watchers for your period. What do you do after you figure out something is off and you need to get some help?

Alisa Vitti: [01:49:22] Well, not everybody can spend the time to do all the research and reinvent the wheel, should just be easy for you to learn what's going on and figure out what to do. And there are programs, and products, and one-on-one coaching that's all done virtually that you can access there, so stop suffering and get out of hormonal chaos as quickly as possible. If you are on fire with the infradian rhythm now, and you see the light, and you want to figure out how to really take this to the next level in your life, as we like to say, be an infradian girl living in a circadian world, come do that with us at cyclesyncingmembership.com. 

Alisa Vitti: [01:50:04] And that's where you'll find Flo 28, which is workout, videos, recipes, grocery list, meal plans, everything tailored to each of the phases of your cycle, plus monthly deep dives with me on how we actually set some boundaries so that the circadian doesn't overtake our infradian way of living. And if you want to download the app, you can do that at myflotracker.com, and it's the circle icon, not the feather. And if you want to get some really cool biohacking bonuses about like when to go to the sauna, which skin care things to do at which time at the spa, et cetera, go to intheflobook.com and you can, with purchase, download all these great biohacking guides based on the phases of your cycle. And then, you can follow me on social @FloLiving and @Alisa.Vitti.

Luke Storey: [01:50:57] So cool. God, I really am just in such admiration, not only of your work but just your business. It's really, really impressive as an entrepreneur. I don't mean that like, yeah, you're just in it for the money. I mean, obviously, your origin story dictates your mission. And I think anyone that's really successful has a value system based on that by really wanting to help, but it's incredible what you've put together with all of this, just the sheer amount of content and support you offer for people. So, it's really inspiring. I'd like to find a way to build something like that myself that encompasses my particular niche passion. So, congratulations on that. It's really impressive.

Alisa Vitti: [01:51:38] It's been like a labor of love and 20 years deep, so time and love will usually get you there.

Luke Storey: [01:51:47] Yeah, it's cool. Well, I'm so glad you came on the show today and have so many ways to support people beyond this information. Oftentimes, someone comes on and shares their expertise, and it's like, okay, bye. It's like, good luck with that. Not that that's a bad thing, but they don't have an infrastructure built to support their work and for people that want to learn more and actually apply what's been discussed. So, it's really cool. I feel really grateful to be able to have people have a takeaway here that's actionable that they can really do something with. So, it's very cool.

Alisa Vitti: [01:52:20] Thank you. Thanks so much for having me. I mean, really, I've been interviewed by so many interesting people and this conversation has been so juicy, and so multifaceted, and so nuanced. And I've so enjoyed sharing all of these things. And thank you for being just like amazing at pulling all of those things out.

Luke Storey: [01:52:41] Well, thank you. I'll take the compliment. I appreciate it. And I look forward to sharing this episode with as many people as possible. And I'm going to encourage them to share with their friends as well. And we'll just keep getting this message out and empower everyone to take responsibility for their health and live their best.

Alisa Vitti: [01:52:59] Get in the Flo.

Luke Storey: [01:53:01] It's like suffering is optional if we educate ourselves, and work like yours, I believe the human body has the blueprint to heal, be healed, and our spirit has the blueprint to heal others. So, thank you for taking the time today.

Alisa Vitti: [01:53:15] Thank you for having me.



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