Hormones & Periods

Flo Living is all about helping you understand what is going on with your menstrual cycle and getting back on track.

The Power of Seed Cycling with Yasmin Nouri

This conversation features Yasmin Nouri, Co-founder and CEO of Beeya Wellness. Yasmin shares her journey with hormonal birth control and how her symptoms came back with a vengeance after coming off of it. Yasmin discusses her love for Cycle Syncing® and how it has helped her on her hormonal journey. She also sheds light on the normalization of misinformation around our periods, and how completely revamping her lifestyle and setting a solid foundation of the basics - from food as medicine, to seed cycling, to adequate exercise, sleep and sun exposure - have completely transformed her life, health, and cycle.

Watch here:

Meet Yasmin Nouri:

Yasmin Nouri is the Co-founder and CEO of Beeya Wellness. She is also the host of the Behind Her Empire podcast.

What you'll learn:

  • Yasmin's journey with hormonal birth control
  • How seed cycling can help balance our hormones
  • Her love for Cycle Syncing® and how it helped her on her hormonal journey

Courtney Swan on Restoring Her Cycle Holistically

Courtney shares about her journey with hormonal birth control in her 20s and how it caused anger, mood swings, cravings and a complete disconnection from self. She also struggled with non-stop cystic acne for years and explains the holistic journey she went on utilizing food, supplementation and a whole-systems approach that helped her finally achieve balance within her body, restoring her cycle and overall health.

Watch here:

Meet Courtney Swan:

Courtney is an Integrative Nutritionist and a real food activist on a mission to change America's broken food system. She is also the host of the Real Foodology Podcast.

What you'll learn:

  • Courtney's hormonal journey with birth control, cystic acne, and PMS symptoms
  • The holistic approach she took to start to heal her hormones
  • The work she is currently doing to be a force in the fight against our broken food system.

Whole Body Wellness with Danica Patrick

In this conversation, Danica shares about her own hormonal journey, and becoming educated on the importance of cultivating greater balance in her life, particularly throughout her athletic career, coming off birth control, and navigating a profound process of healing after getting her breast implants removed. From tackling thyroid issues, gut dysbiosis and more, Danica dives deep into the practices - including Cycle Syncing® - that have worked for her.

Watch here:

Meet Danica Patrick:

Danica is a former U.S. Pro Race Car Driver, Entrepreneur, and Host of the Pretty Intense Podcast.

What you'll learn:

  • The effect that Cycle Syncing® has had on her hormones
  • Danica's process of getting her breast implants removed and how she felt after
  • Her journey with coming off of birth control

Hormonal Happiness with Pia Baroncini

Alisa and Pia discuss her hormonal journey from her adolescence onward, including her mental health struggles, as well as her experience with birth control and prescription medication. She also speaks candidly about having PCOS and ovarian cysts that ruptured, and how practicing the Cycle Syncing® Method and using the MyFLO app has transformed her health and her cycle, and finally having happy, healthy periods. 

Watch here:

Meet Pia Baroncini:

Pia is an entrepreneur, creative director, and host of the Everything is the Best podcast.

What you'll learn:

  • Pia's journey with hormones from a young age
  • Discussions about PCOS and her journey with lifestyle and dietary changes
  • How Pia incorporated the Cycle Syncing® Method into her life

Latham Thomas on Working in Harmony With Our Hormones

This conversation features Latham Thomas, a Professor, Doula and Founder of the incredible platform, Mama Glow. Latham shares more about some of the cultural challenges that Black women have faced for generations - from forced sterilization to experimental birth control testing, to a lack of reproductive care and real support for hormonal symptoms. In fact, Black women are at least twice as likely as white women to receive a hysterectomy. She also talks through some of the deeper meanings of fibroids, the inspiration behind Mama Glow and so much more.

Watch here:

Meet Latham Thomas:

Latham is a professor, a doula, and the founder of Mama Glow, a doula and maternity lifestyle brand.

What you'll learn:

  • The cultural challenges in health care that Black women have faced
  • Discussions about birth control
  • Fibroids and the deeper meaning behind them

Becca Tobin Talks Hormones and Fertility

Becca candidly shares about the difficulties she’s experienced with her own hormonal imbalance through birth control and beyond, as well as her fertility journey. Becca reveals more about her past miscarriages, and the difficult depression she navigated, before finally reaching out for support which allowed her to understand her body and hormones in a whole new way, and feel less alone as she reclaimed a sense of herself.

Watch here:

Meet Becca Tobin:

Becca is an actress, singer, and Co-Host of The LadyGang podcast.

What you'll learn:

  • Becca's journey with hormonal imbalance and birth control
  • Her fertility journey and past miscarriages
  • Depression she experienced navigated throughout her pregnancy journeys the support which allowed her to understand her hormones

Amanda Chantal Bacon Talks Hormones and Intuition

In this episode, Amanda shares how her experience with her own hormonal awareness was initially triggered by health issues with her thyroid, including Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism. Amanda discusses the significance of establishing a deeper connection with her hormonal health and how being in sync with her cycle is something that goes beyond the physical body, exploring the link between hormones and intuition.

Watch here:

Meet Amanda Chantal Bacon:

Amanda is a mother, author, entrepreneur, and founder of Moon Juice. Moon juice was created by Amanda after her experience of putting her autoimmune conditions into remission, after being told it wasn’t possible.

What you'll learn:

  • Amanda's hormonal experience with thyroid issues
  • An deeper connection made with hormonal health and being in sync with her cycle
  • How Amanda explores the link between our hormones and intuition.

Indigenous Reproductive Wisdom With Pānquetzani

In this episode, Pānquetzani shares Indigenous wisdom, offering a Mesoamerican perspective to our feminine biology and reproductive health. She also shares her own personal hormonal journey, her experience with natural fertility practices, and how attuning to the inner wisdom of her body creates a deeper reverence for how she navigates the world, throughout each phase of her cycle.

Watch here:

Meet Pānquetzani:

Based in Long Beach, California, Pānquetzani is a postpartum healer, wellness coach, and doula who offers ancestral healing rooted in Mesoamerican traditional medicine through her practice Indigemama. Centering reproductive health, she draws on folk practices passed down to her by the matriarchs in her family to support people throughout their pregnancies.

What you'll learn:

  • Pānquetzani's hormonal journey, as well as the hormonal experiences of her matriarchal lineage
  • A Mesoamerican perspective to reproductive health and the feminine biology
  • Folk practices for feminine care

A Symptom-Free Perimenopause with Gabby Reece

Gabby shares about her journey as an athlete and how that continues to impact her now, through perimenopause. She also shares how she has maintained a regular and symptom-free cycle at 53 and her strategies on biohacking perimenopause without the stereotypical misery. This conversation talks through the chemical experiences we navigate through our reproductive years, and how to have more grace - as well as more accountability - in how we better care for ourselves throughout this time. Both Gabby and Alisa are passionate about helping to educate other women on how to make these transitions more easeful and supportive as we age.

Watch here:

Meet Gabby Reece:

Gabby is a former American professional volleyball player, New York Times best selling author, sports announcer, model and podcast host.

What you'll learn:

  • Gabby is 53 and is still getting her period every month
  • A symptom-free perimenopause experience is possible
  • When we take care of our bodies, it is possible to have freedom from hormonal symptoms

The Gut-Hormone Connection with Whitney Tingle

Alisa and Whitney discuss Whitney's decade long struggle with cystic acne. She went to countless doctors who were dismissing her and over-prescribing her. Whitney eventually learned that her diet and her gut were a major underlying cause of her acne and how to address these issues from within.

Watch here:

Meet Whitney Tingle:

Whitney is the Founder and Co-CEO of Sakara Life, which is a plant-based meal delivery service. The Sakara Life meals are nutritionally designed, plant-rich organic meals delivered to your door, ready-to-eat. Whitney is also the co-host of "The Sakara Life Podcast".

What you will learn:

  • Whitney's decade long struggle with cystic acne
  • The role that the gut microbiome plays in balancing our hormones
  • When you nourish the body and take care of the inside, it reflects on the outside
  • The importance of getting to the root cause of symptoms and healing them

Mindfulness and Hormone Health with Emily Fletcher

Alisa and Emily dive deep into the world of mindfulness and meditation. Emily elaborates on the topic of stress and how it can have a profound effect on our physical, emotional and hormonal health.

Watch now:

Meet Emily Fletcher:

Emily is the founder of Ziva Meditation. Emily had a career on Broadway where she struggled with insomnia, anxiety, and premature aging. She began to incorporate meditation into her life, which had such an incredible effect on her that she left Broadway and went to India to become a meditation teacher. She now dedicates her life to helping people learn how to incorporate mindfulness and meditation into their lives, and has taught meditation professionally for the last 13 years.

What you'll learn in the video:

  • Emily's journey with hormones and how they have impacted her life
  • How Emily has incorporated Cycle Syncing® into her daily routine
  • How mediation has transformed Emily's health and hormonal journey
  • The profound impact that stress can have on our hormones and how it creates hormone imbalances
  • Building a healthy relationship with the body as a whole

Learning to Live in the FLO with Torrey DeVitto

Alisa and Torrey discuss her journey to living in flow with her cycle through Cycle Syncing®, eating the right foods, and honoring where she’s at in her cycle, and using it as a means to balance other elements of her life (work, social, and personal). 

Watch now:

Meet Torrey DeVitto:

Torrey is a actress, producer and advocate. You may know her from her roles in Chicago Med, One Tree Hill, Pretty Little Liars. She is also an advocate for women's safety, health, and rights, as well as reproductive rights.

What you'll learn in the video:

  • Torrey talks about her experience with heavy PMS symptoms during her cycle and the need to normalize conversations about women’s hormonal health. 
  • Torrey and Alisa discuss how our current societal narrative makes light of PMS and the symptoms some women experience during their cycle instead of understanding that these symptoms are indications that something within our bodies is unbalanced. 
  • They discuss how cycle syncing isn’t about perfection, but rather about encouraging the understanding of one’s cycle in order to help women navigate different elements of their lives in ways that support their health and hormones.

Infradian Rhythm: Your Guide to a Perfect Cycle

What is the infradian rhythm? The infradian rhythm is one of your body’s two internal time keepers. (The other timekeeper is the circadian rhythm.) In this post, I’m going to give you a sneak peek at your infradian rhythm, explain why no one else is talking about it, outline why the medical establishment largely ignores it, and introduce you to The  Cycle Syncing® Method, which is the revolutionary phase-based self-care practice I developed based on years of research and working with women all over the world to help them erase period problems, reverse hormone conditions like fibroids and PCOS, and live happier, healthier lives. The infradian rhythm influences six different systems of the body: brain, metabolism, immune system, microbiome, the stress response system, and reproductive system. Examples of the influences from your infradian rhythm are times during the month when you need more rest or when workouts are more difficult. In addition to in depth examples, this article covers the frequency and advice about your second clock so that you can then nurture your unique female biochemistry with phase-specific self care.

Why Learn About Your Infradian Rhythm?

Because people with female physiology can only look and feel their best when you eat, exercise, and live in ways that support your infradian rhythm. Just look at the past 10 years: There’s been an explosion in online wellness content — new diet protocols, new fitness programs, new ‘extreme’ biohacks like cryotherapy and infrared saunas — but women’s hormone and autoimmune conditions have jumped nearly 50-percent in that same time period. That’s because most medical research ignores the unique needs of people with female physiology.

Medicine has ignored the infradian rhythm, how it operates, and what it means for women and all people with female physiology. My new book is all about the infradian rhythm and how learning to live in line with our bodies’ ‘second timekeeper’ can help erase period problems, balance hormones, and help us live without symptoms like acne, bloating, cramps, missing or irregular periods, and heavy periods. Here’s what you need to know about your infradian rhythm and how to eat, exercise, work, and live in ways that support it.

What is the Infradian Rhythm?

The infradian rhythm is one of two internal timekeepers experienced by people with female biochemistry. It is a 28-day cycle that regulates the menstrual cycle. The infradian rhythm powerfully affects six different systems of the body:

  • Brain
  • Metabolism
  • Immune System
  • Microbiome
  • Stress Response System
  • Reproductive System

The infradian rhythm is also referred to as the body’s ‘second clock.’ The body’s other innate timekeeper is the 24-hour circadian rhythm, which is experienced by both men and women. The infradian rhythm is only experienced by people with female physiology.

How Does the Infradian Rhythm Influence Your Body and Brain?

Here are some facts about the infradian rhythm that will help you understand the cyclic nature of your mind and body. Did you know that:

  • The infradian rhythm creates a 25% change in your brain chemistry over the course of the month?  
  • Your metabolism speeds up and slows down predictably across the month and that you need to change what you eat and the intensity of your workouts each week in order to optimize your metabolism?
  • Your cortisol levels are higher in one part of your infradian cycle, so pushing yourself through an intense workout bumps up cortisol levels even further, adding to your stress and inflammation, disrupting your hormones, and making you feel anxious and unfocused?
  • People with female biochemistry need more sleep than men because we have a more complex brain and it needs 20 minutes longer to clean itself and reset for the cognitive day?
  • People with female physiology tend to need less in the way of extreme self-care practices because we have more efficient biology.

As this list shows, your body and brain change significantly throughout the course of a month. Specifically, we move through four distinct phases within the course of 28-days. They are:

Phase 1: Follicular (the 7 to 10 days after your period)

Phase 2: Ovulatory (the to 4 days in the middle of your cycle)

Phase 3: Luteal (the 10 to 14 days between ovulation and your period)

Phase 4: Menstrual (the 3 to 7 days of your period)

During each of these four phases, you experience normal hormonal fluctuations that influence your body temperature, skin elasticity, sleep cycle, energy, emotions, and cognitive function. What’s more, your 28-day cycle (infradian rhythm) works in close concert with your 24-hour cycle: a dysregulated infradian rhythm will mess with your circadian cycle—and a wonky circadian cycle will negatively influence your infradian cycle. In this way, using phase-based self-care not only supports your month-long hormone cycle but also your 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. This makes practicing The Cycle Syncing Method™ even more powerful in promoting hormone health and overall health.

Why Most Wellness Protocols Don’t Work For the Infradian Rhythm

People with female physiology benefit when they eat, exercise, and work in ways that support their infradian rhythm, as opposed to following diet, fitness, and work trends that disrupt it. It’s precisely because so many women try to follow the ‘same-thing-everyday’ plans that work for male physiology that 50% of women are suffering with hormonal imbalances, while men don’t suffer them at the same rate.  

You’ve probably heard of the circadian clock, or the 24-hour biological rhythm that is inherent to all of us, men and women, old and young. This internal timekeeper directs many of the body’s internal processes, from when we get our get our deepest sleep (around 2:00am) and when we’re at our most alert (around 10:00am) to when we’re the most coordinated (2:30pm) and when we have the fastest reaction time (3:30pm). The circadian clock also helps regulate our body temperature and metabolism. Men's testosterone production  is organized around the circadian rhythm (and so is the vast majority of fitness and nutrition research and advice; more on that below). But people who menstruate also follow the infradian rhythm, which is linked to the menstrual cycle. And when you understand your infradian rhythm and how it informs your unique female biochemistry, you can become calmer, happier, and healthier, as well as more productive at work and more satisfied in your relationships. Your hormones will stay balanced and you can live symptom-free.

The Book on Infradian Rhythm

In the Flo is all about unlocking the secrets of our “second clock” and leveraging the power of phase-based self-care not only to erase period problems, but to live healthier, happier, more productive, and more fulfilling lives. The book details everything you need to know about living in sync with your cycle.

You can, for example, schedule important meetings at work during the phase of your cycle when you’re primed for communication. Or you can plan your workouts around your shifting biochemistry throughout each infradian cycle, doing high-intensity workouts when your body will make the most of them—and avoiding them during phases when a heart-pounding workout will do your body more harm than good. For optimal health and performance, you need to learn as much as you can about your second clock and then nurture your unique female biochemistry with phase-specific self care.

Why Doing the Same Exercise Routine Everyday Hurts the Infradian Rhythm

Our bodies and brains are different during each phase of our cycle, so our food, exercise, and self-care should be different each week, too. If you’ve been living in a ‘same-thing-everyday’ way, you’re not alone. There is a widespread cultural belief that we are supposed to repeat the same rituals every 24 hours — have the same morning routine, for example, or exercise the same way each week. But this insistence on doing the same thing day-in and day-out caters to the male hormonal biological rhythm. Men follow the same predictable pattern everyday: the 24-hour circadian clock and the 24-hour circadian clock.

People with female biochemistry having shifting hormones and shifting needs all month long. This manifests in a lot of different ways, but you can get a good sense of what I mean if we look at one specific example. Take exercise. During your follicular and ovulatory phase, your metabolism is SLOWER and resting cortisol levels are LOWER. As such, you need fewer calories during these two phases, and when you couple that lower caloric intake with cardio and HIIT workouts—30 minutes is sufficient, but you can go longer if you are healthy—it creates a metabolic situation in which you use your glucose stores for energy, fat burning, and building more lean muscle without disrupting blood sugar or increasing cortisol, which would trigger inflammation and fat gain—the exact opposite of what you want to happen.

You don't have to avoid any specific workouts during this phase, but the ones that will net you the results are cardio and HIIT. During the luteal and menstrual phase, your metabolism is FASTER and resting cortisol levels are HIGHER. So you’ll need MORE overall calories each day (around 250 extra calories) and when you eat carbs they must be complex carbs to keep blood sugar levels stable. If you don’t increase your calories during this time, it will interfere with hormone balance and trigger fat storage. What’s more, because your cortisol levels are higher, you need to limit workouts to 30 minutes only and stick to simple strength training, pilates, or yoga without a high intensity cardio component.

Why Don’t People Know About the Infradian Rhythm?

Historically, medical research has has not prioritized women’s health issues and/or not included women in medical research. Precisely because of our unique 28-day hormone cycle. When putting together clinical trials, many researchers have decided it is simply too complicated to include women as subjects because our monthly hormone cycle is too complicated. It has been perceived as too complex to control for all the hormonal shifts women go through every 28-days, so instead of trying to account for those fluctuations, researchers have just left women out and focus on men, whose predictable 24-hour circadian cycles do not vary from day to day.

Another reason? When women go to the doctor, women’s concerns about their health are often dismissed as psychological. Women are told that their symptoms are in their head, or that they are imagining their pain, or that they’re overly concerned about their physical well-being. Studies back-up this theory: one report found that almost half of those who went on to be diagnosed with an autoimmune condition (the majority of people who experience autoimmune conditions are women) were originally told that they were too worried about their health. This is all to say that when medical professionals have the chance to explore women’s symptoms in more detail and understand the root cause of their symptoms, they often don’t.

Medicine doesn’t know a lot about women’s health, explains author Maya Dusenbery in the book "Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick", and it doesn’t pay serious attention to their symptoms. There is a gender bias in medicine and if you have experienced period problems like acne, bloating, cramps, heavy or irregular periods, missing periods, PMS or other hormone-related symptoms and not been helped by traditional interventions, you know this firsthand. But you can break the cycle of symptoms, and look and feel your best, when you ditch the idea that you are supposed to live the same way everyday and start living in sync with your cycle.

The Cycle Syncing® Method 101

Once I uncovered all of this about the infradian rhythm and our specific needs, it was clear that we needed a diet, fitness and lifestyle program that would help us support our biological rhythm.  This is why I created The Cycle Syncing® Method. Practicing The Cycle Syncing® Method is easy. It starts with deepening your familiarity with your 28-day hormone cycle—something you can do with the MyFlo app—and then tailoring your food, movement, supplements, and lifestyle choices to your unique strengths, weaknesses, and needs during each phase of your cycle.

That might sound daunting. It’s not. Before long, you will develop an intuitive sense of how your body feels during each phase of your cycle and what it needs to maintain hormone balance. You will begin to naturally shift your food, movement, and schedule as your hormones fluctuate. With time, making phase-based self-care choices will be second nature. What type of phase-based choices am I talking about? Here’s a closer look at the different ways The Cycle Synching® Method is used in practice:

  • Do you have certain cravings during different weeks of the month?
  • Do you feel hungrier at different stages of your cycle? If so, you already have an embodied sense of your shifting needs each month.
  • What about libido and having a more satisfying relationship and sex life without the drama and frustration?
  • Are you fatigued or do you wish you could spring out of bed in the morning and maintain your energy throughout the day?

Practicing The Cycle Synching® Method with food starts by choosing specific foods that will support optimal hormone balance in each phase. Sometimes, even if you’re eating perfectly, supplements are necessary to deepen your phase-based self-care plan, erase your period problems, and feel your best. If you are deficient in any of the five essential micronutrients required for hormone health, you will never fully resolve symptoms like acne, bloating, PMS, cramps, menstrual migraines, missing or irregular periods, or cyclical fatigue and moodiness. Planning your workouts in sync with your cycle will allow you to achieve your fitness goals with less effort. It also makes your workouts easier because you are not trying to do a workout that is ill-matched for your hormones during a specific time. Using The Cycle Synching® Method for exercise is a win-win.

Let me be clear, and the research confirms - you as a woman, can do ANYTHING ANYTIME. The research also shows that as hormones stimulate the brain in different ways throughout the month, that you are more interested and more naturally at ease with certain tasks at different times of the month. The same is true of men of course, their brains are stimulated just over the course of one day and they do arrange their work to be optimally productive based on their hormonal patterns.  So when we plan our schedules accordingly—for example, when we schedule important meetings or interviews when we are primed for communication—we may find even more success - and more importantly experience less overall stress on your body.

Sixty percent of women are sexually unsatisfied because we don't understand how our infradian rhythm affects our sexual desire and changes our requirements for physical stimulation in each phase. Once you get the right key, the ignition will work every time and you don't ever have to think something's wrong with you again. Nurturing a healthy, balanced relationship takes work, and using your infradian rhythm to organize the activities you might want to do with your partner can be a helpful way to bring in a wider variety of experiences. From trying new things to going out with friends, to romantic date nights, to Netflix and chill nights at home — timing these according to your biological rhythm increases pleasure, positive connection, and decreases stress!

My book In the Flo will help you achieve all this — and more. If you’re ready to harness the power of your unique female biochemistry to look and feel your best, grab a copy of In the Flo and get ready to look, feel, and perform your best.

It’s time to meet your infradian rhythm. If you’re a person with female physiology, you have an infradian rhythm — and it plays a vitally im

Celebrating 10 Years of FLO Living

Our 10 Year Anniversary is here! We’re celebrating 10 incredible years of FLO Living. That means 10 years of women’s healthcare, hormone-supportive offerings, menstrual education, and so much more. This has been our journey, just as much as it has been yours.

FLO Living provides hormonal health care to women globally from your first period to your last. We offer condition specific supplements, digital therapeutic courses, a Cycle Syncing® app, and 1-on-1 tele health coaching. 

Founder Alisa Vitti first envisioned FLO Living after struggling for years on her own with severe hormonal imbalance. Diagnosed with PCOS in her teens and 20s, Alisa was shocked at how little support was available to her as a patient and after researching a new path forward for her own hormonal health made it her mission to build a platform so that no other woman would have to go it alone on their hormonal journey.

Because of her experience, she envisioned a new kind of hormone care experience that she wished was there for her when she was struggling. And she committed to creating it. Our company’s DNA is forged from this shared experience of hormonal symptoms, frustration at the lack of solutions, and a passion to build a different future.

In addition to innovating on natural hormone treatments, and building this company, Alisa has also used her platform to help improve our understanding of bodies and shift the cultural narrative about our hormones. She has written 2 bestselling books - WomanCode and In the Flo, became the first person to discuss menstrual blood on national television, and was the first female biohacker to take the mainstage at SXSW.

As a thought leader and innovator, after uncovering the infradian rhythm, Alisa also coined the term Cycle Syncing®, and is the original creator of the Cycle Syncing® Method, which has now become a viral, international movement. 

The driving force behind all of these efforts is our mission to help women deal with their symptoms.  We’re most proud that our company has not only impacted the hormonal health of a million women, but also has helped to shift the cultural narrative to one of positivity, hormonal awareness and each woman’s daily role in their care.

Here’s a tour of what we’ve accomplished over the past decade.

The History of FLO Living and Cycle Syncing®:

2012 - FLO Living launched

2013 - Publication of WomanCode, went on Dr Oz show first person to do menstrual blood on natural television, Cycle Syncing® first mentioned in Alisa’s book, WomanCode

2017 - MyFLO 1.0 Cycle Syncing® app launched

2018 - Balance Supplements launched

2018 - Cycle Syncing® Membership - FLO28 launched, Alisa presented The Cycle Syncing® Method at SXSW

2019 - Cycle Syncing® supplements launched, NYT feature article

2020 - Publication of In the FLO - first and only book dedicated to The Cycle Syncing® Method, Alisa guested on over 100 podcasts

2021 - Cycle Syncing® the most important wellness trend for women by Vogue

2022 - Condition Specific Supplements launched, 250 million+ views #cyclesyncing

2023 - New Brand launch; MyFLO 3.0 release, the official Cycle Syncing® period tracking and improvement app

What’s next for FLO Living

80% of women will have a hormone issue at some point in her life. 3B women are currently suffering. Not enough funding or research is being done to understand and innovate around women’s hormones. We want to put an end to unnecessary suffering by bringing women everywhere the best natural hormonal healthcare platform - period. 

Start Your Hormonal Journey

We want to invite you to start your own Hormone Journey on our new hormonal healthcare platform.  Here’s what that journey looks like for you:

1 - Start with an assessment of symptoms here to understand the root cause of your issue

2 - Follow your customized care plan made up of our supplements and hormonal balancing food programs to resolve your symptoms.

3 - Begin your daily practice of Cycle Syncing® with the MyFLO® app.

4 - Enjoy your new reality of feeling great every day of the month!

Why the future of hormone care is functional

Whether you have bothersome PMS, a diagnosed menstrual issue like PCOS or fibroids, if you’re wanting to prep yourself for a successful conception or are undergoing IVF treatments, and when you eventually start perimenopause - we know for certain based on 20 years of research and experience that the BEST way to navigate all of these issues and goals is to use the FLO Living combination therapy of food and supplements to improve endocrine and hormone function. Medications like birth control are not curing any woman of her hormonal issues. The better way to resolve these complex issues is by supporting the systems of your body that are designed to regulate hormones, as opposed to managing symptoms. The FLO protocol of diet and supplement intervention addresses the massively interconnected complexity of the endocrine system in the most simple and effective way. 

We want to share some of the incredible transformations from members of our FLO Living Community, who have changed their lives through the FLO protocol and Cycle Syncing®. This kind of hormonal health is possible for you too!

Witnessing your journeys of hormonal recovery is what inspires us to continue doing this important work. We’ve come a long way over the last 10 years and we have even bigger things to take us into the next 10.

Thank you for joining us on this journey and we can’t wait to support you for years to come! 

Celebrating 10 Years of FLO Living

Learning to Love Your Body with Krista Williams

Alisa and Krista talk about a new level of healthcare for women, learning how to treat our bodies with love and kindness, and discovering how the body responds to compassion and grace on our healing journey.

Watch now:

Meet Krista Williams:

The co-founder and co-host of Almost 30, a top 50 podcast, global brand, and loving community created to raise the collective consciousness.

What you will learn in the video:

  • Learn to tap into your inner guidance and begin listening to what’s going on in your body. 
  • Learn how to connect with your body in a compassionate way.
  • Work smarter, not harder; the female body is designed to be efficient.
  • Choose joy in your body. Love it, tend to it and embrace the feminine.

Introducing the NEW MyFLO® Period Tracking App

Introducing the NEW MyFLO® Period Tracking App

The health-supportive must-have app for your hormones

If you’ve been following FLO Living for some time, you know that we created the FIRST ever period-improvement and Cycle Syncing® app, and that was not without some major growing pains.

We are proud to have paved the way for women everywhere to not only track their cycles, but receive custom-tailored support for each phase - from diet to fitness and beyond, brought to you by the woman who created the Cycle Syncing® Method.

But there was a lot of room to improve! We’ve heard your feedback and took the necessary time to ensure ALL of it was taken into account. From more inclusive language, bug fixes to better align with operating system updates, expanded features to set a new bar for what’s possible in period tracking technology, and the assurance that our app is the BEST option for you, we’ve been hard at work for months on end to ensure we got it right.

Meet MyFLO® 3.0

We’re thrilled to announce a NEW, and UPDATED version of our MyFLO® Period Tracking App, which is also the only official Cycle Syncing® App!

Some of the updated features include:

  • Hormone evaluation to understand root causes of symptoms
  • Access to your hormone report and personalized care plan
  • Expanded logging capabilities: Daily Data, Symptoms, Flow, Discharge, Functional Health, Mood, and Cycle Syncing® Track 
  • Redesigned dashboard that includes your Calendar, dynamic Cycle Syncing® recommendations, assessment results, care plan and more
  • Customized Cycle Syncing® guidance through all four phases of your cycle
  • Personalized tips and facts daily to support your hormonal health goals
  • The option to pause tracking while pregnant
  • Comprehensive bug fixes 

"Going beyond just your period color, we are able to look at your specific symptoms, period parameters, and hormone goals to customize a hormone care plan specific to your needs. No more waiting for results, you can now receive instant guidance on how to get started and take charge of your hormonal health." - FLO Living Founder, Alisa Vitti

Download the MyFLO® app here.

Our New Hormone Assessment

One of our new offerings, available directly through our MyFLO® App, is our 2-minute Hormonal Assessment. This assessment takes into account your hormonal health - including your symptoms, conditions and goals. From there, we’ve created a significantly expanded recommendation engine that analyzes your assessment results to recommend a personalized care plan for your hormonal needs.

We can help you address your underlying issues and understand your hormones like never before! Click here to take the Hormone Assessment.


Your data is always protected

Another reason to track with MyFLO®? We are a self-funded woman-owned company and we will NEVER sell your data - not now or ever. Please be aware however that there are apps on the market who have taken on similar names to us that have been sued for selling data. It’s horrifying to us that this happens and we guarantee that it will never happen with FLO Living. Make sure you find the 4 part circle icon when looking for the MyFLO® app!!

We believe that information, access, resources, and a safe supportive environment are what women need to take care of their health. We will continue to provide access to natural hormone care for women everywhere, and our app MyFLO® will continue to protect your privacy. Our privacy policy clearly states that your data will remain private and is used to provide service via the app to you, only. We respect your privacy and will protect it. Period.

We want women to feel educated and empowered to take care of their health and reclaim their bodily autonomy, even through simple, daily choices. This is what our platform was founded upon and why we do what we do, each and every day. It will continue to be our guiding force and we are always here to support you. 

We promise to always protect your data. Period.

Learn more about MyFLO® here.

Beatrice Dixon on How Hormones Have Affected Every Aspect of Her Health

Alisa and Beatrice discuss societal conditioning about menstruation, PMS, mental health and more. They discuss whole menstrual care and supporting the body from first bleed to your last.

Watch here:

Meet Beatrice Dixon:

Beatrice is the CEO of The Honey Pot Company. Since launching in 2014 in her kitchen with plant-derived ingredients after experiencing chronic bacterial vaginosis for 8 years, the company has grown prominence within the wellness space, becoming a brand women trust.

What you'll learn:

  • Getting the right support for your hormonal journey
  • Grace and discipline for a hormonal lifestyle journey
  • Improving endocrine system to reduce symptoms
  • New way to relate to your body, not a quick fix

Regaining Power After the Pill with Actress Freida Pinto

Alisa and Freida discuss her journey with endometriosis and the effects of synthetic birth control on the body and the brain. Freida has used Cycle Syncing® to address her endometriosis instead of the pill and to support her path to motherhood. They also discuss why some women end up going against their instincts and inner voice. The reality of getting hormone care is not always straightforward, and understanding it all is not easy.

Watch now:

Meet Freida Pinto:

Freida Pinto is an actress, producer, and advocate for maternal health and female reproductive rights. Best known for her critically acclaimed performance in "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Malcom’s List".

What you'll learn:

  • How synthetic birth control can affect the brain.
  • The mission of making understanding your hormones as easy as possible so you do not have to become endocrine system experts.
  • Cycle Syncing® is not a diet or a regime, it is a lifestyle. It’s aligning with how your body is working.
  • The form of your self care should follow the function of your biology.
  • It’s possible to change your relationship with exercise when you have a better understanding of how your hormones work.
  • Symptoms are a loving way of asking you to help.

Introducing the New FLO Living

Your hormones are always changing and so are we. I’m so excited to debut the NEW FLO Living!

We are proud to be celebrating just over a decade as a company, and being one of the earliest femtech brands in the world. When I first launched FLO Living in 2012, there was very little information about women’s hormones (or their cycles) within the mainstream, and it was still considered extremely taboo to mention across all media platforms.  

Through the company, the app, my best-selling books and speaking, I’ve worked to help change the global narrative around hormones by introducing a variety of concepts - from what the color of your period blood means, to the infradian rhythm, to the Cycle Syncing® Method.

We’re proud to have helped women fix their hormonal symptoms naturally over the past decade, when all else has failed them. Our vision has always been to merge evidence-based functional food and micronutrient protocols with tools, tech and products that make fixing your hormones and syncing with your cycle easy.   

We’re here for you from your first bleed to your last.

We are so excited to continue building the world’s best hormonal healthcare platform and we’re just getting started!

Love, Alisa

Who is FLO Living & Why Did We Rebrand?

Our vision for women’s healthcare is to make hormones make sense. We believe hormonal healthcare should be easy to understand, convenient to access, natural, and effective.

We wanted our brand to reflect this evolution visually, and bring a clearer and more refined platform for our community.

And after a decade of being on the bleeding edge of natural hormonal healthcare, we wanted to celebrate with an updated look and functionality!

The New FLO Living Logo

Our logo consists of a new gradient orb, which represents 3 things:

  • The power of our cycle
  • The dynamic and ever-changing nature of hormones
  • The beauty of our hormones

(Did you know that when estrogen is heated and cooled it is pink?!)

New Colors for FLO Living

We’ve color coded everything to make it easier for you to get where you need to be. The colors within our brand represent four key hormonal pillars in your reproductive journey: 

  • Menstruation (orange)
  • Fertility (pink)
  • Perimenopause (green)
  • Cycle Syncing® (blue)

What’s New 

At FLO Living, you can always expect a high standard of care, and in all of our offerings.

We’ve been hard at work to bring you:

  • A web based assessment to help you customize a care plan that’s right for your hormonal needs
  • More products to support you from your first bleed to your last - through menstruation, fertility, and perimenopause 
  • A new app to support you in symptom tracking, functional health management, and Cycle Syncing®
  • A new hormonal healthcare web destination to understand how your hormones work and how you should care for them when they are out of balance. This is through our easy to navigate site and wealth of blog content

We are changing hormonal healthcare together - thanks to you!

Our mission is simple - to build a new kind of hormonal healthcare company for women and to help as many women feel their best from their first period to their last one as possible. Because it is both a health issue and a feminist issue.

FLO Living is a company that helps end women's unnecessary hormonal suffering. And we are so grateful to our Cycle Syncing® community (130 million strong!) - for having the wisdom and courage to follow their own biology and their own timing, and the hundreds of thousands of women who have resolved their hormonal issues naturally.We take it seriously that you have trusted us for a decade to support your hormonal journey,  that you share us as a resource with your friends, and give us your constant feedback on what you want from our brand. We are grateful for your support and collaboration and are excited to be starting this new chapter with you. 

Take our new assessment & receive your personalized care plan 

Your body wasn’t designed to have hormone problems. With FLO Living’s  personalized, scientifically backed food and supplement programs, you can do away with PMS and perimenopause symptoms, optimize your fertility, and finally feel your best – naturally. 

True hormonal healing is possible and it comes from nourishing your endocrine system with food and supplements. Now, we’ve created an easy way for you to experience lasting change and optimize your health.

Take our 5 minute hormonal health assessment, sharing details about your symptoms, cycle, diet and lifestyle, so we can help you understand the root causes of your hormone issues. You’ll receive a customized food program and supplement subscription designed to support exactly what you need. Then, optimize with our MyFlo app, which will give you insights based on your symptoms and help you stay on track.

Take our assessment here.

New app features

We’re thrilled to introduce MyFLO 3.0 - a revolutionary app to track and improve your cycle. This is the health-supportive must-have app for your hormones! And now it is fully updated and better than ever! 

Some features of MyFLO:

  • The official Cycle Syncing® App
  • Access your hormone report and personalized care plan
  • Track daily data, symptoms, functional health, and so much more
  • Get personalized tips and facts daily to support your hormonal health goals

Download the MyFLOapp here.

Thank you for being a part of our FLO Living community, we are so excited for this next phase of our journey. Here’s to your hormonal health! 

A fresh new look to the same Flo Living you love

How to Decode Vaginal Discharge and Unpleasant Odor

There are things you can talk about with everyone: the weather, books and movies, pets and kids.

There are things you talk about with close friends: sex, money, that funny thing that happened at work. 

And then there are the things you talk about with no one at all, like vaginal discharge and vaginal odor.

But vaginal discharge and vaginal odor are not just normal and expected aspects of having a vagina, but they are important indicators of health. We need more discussion about them, not less. 

Today’s blog is all about what you need to know about your vaginal odor and discharge. I’m here to tell you that the vulva and vagina have a natural scent, that some types of discharge throughout your cycle are normal, and that—when vaginal odor and discharge are ‘off’—you can use them as a guide to what’s going wrong and how to fix it. 

All Vaginas Have a Characteristic Scent

If you take away one thing from this blog post, I want it to be that your vulva and vagina have a natural, normal,  scent.  This is NOT an unpleasant odor. When your vaginal ecosystem is healthy, you should notice a musky scent. This scent will have similar characteristics to how you smell when you work up a sweat. And it’s unique to you, like a fingerprint.

Women have been conditioned to believe that vaginal odor is gross - thanks patriarchy—from about 1900 to around 1950, it was common practice to douche with lysol!—but the vagina has a natural, earthy, smell. We do far more damage to our health when we try to eradicate that natural odor.  

The vagina’s natural smell is related to the vaginal microbiome. To understand why getting familiar with your unique scent is so important, it’s essential to understand how the vaginal microbiome protects the vagina against infection and what can throw the vaginal microbiome—and, hence, vaginal odor—out of balance. 

What is the Vaginal Microbiome?

Just like the gut, the vagina is colonized by a diverse community of bacteria. When the good and bad bacteria in the vagina are healthy and in balance, you should notice your baseline musky smell. When the balance of bacteria gets off kilter, that’s when you’ll notice pungent odor and unusual discharge. Keeping the vaginal microbiome healthy is critically important because a balanced vaginal ecosystem helps prevent vaginal infections and other problems. A healthy vaginal microbiome is a first line immune defense against conditions like bacterial vaginosis and other unpleasant infections. 

What Damages the Vaginal Microbiome

Lots of things have a negative influence on vaginal flora. One factor is low estrogen, which can happen when estrogen drops during the luteal phase (the week before your period) and during the week of your period; when estrogen drops after giving birth; when estrogen starts behaving erratically and, ultimately, trending lower during perimenopause (the average onset age of perimenopause is 35); and during menopause, when estrogen production largely stops altogether. 

How does low estrogen negatively affect the vaginal ecosystem? Estrogen helps feed the healthy bacteria in the vagina. When estrogen dips, so does that colony of good bacteria. Less estrogen also correlates with vaginal dryness—and a drier vagina is more susceptible to invasion by unwelcome bacteria.

But low estrogen isn’t the only thing that messes with the vaginal microbiome. Synthetic fragrances and chemicals—like those found in douches, scented menstrual products, and scented laundry detergent—are bad for vaginal bacterial balance. So is hormonal birth control. A high-glycemic diet is another big problem. Yeast thrives on sugar, which makes eating sugary treats one of the best ways to add fuel to the fire of a yeast infection. And new sexual partners, as delightful as that can be, can bring its own vaginal woes. New bacteria can find its way into the vagina during intercourse, causing microbial discord. 

Finally, if your overall microbiome is off, this can affect your vaginal microbiome. There is some evidence that taking oral probiotics may help restore a healthy balance of microbes in the vagina, suggesting a link between the health of the gut microbiome and the health of the vaginal microbiome. That gives women one more reason to prioritize gut health as part of their overall strategy for staying healthy. 

Understand Your Own Signature Scent

Every woman has a slightly different baseline smell, and it is normal to notice slight differences in your own smell from time to time. These shifts are triggered by diet and other environmental factors that ebb and flow during the course of life. 

It’s important to become intimately familiar with your own signature scent. That way, you will be able to tell immediately when something changes in your vaginal ecosystem and you can take steps to fix it. When your natural scent becomes more pungent or turns unpleasant, it’s a sign of infection or other imbalance that requires your attention. 

By becoming an expert on your own body, you can prevent problems before they start and take effective steps to correct imbalances if/when they get triggered. 

Be On the Lookout These Two Types of Vaginal Odor Changes

If your vaginal odor becomes unpleasant and fishy smelling, it can be a sign of bacterial vaginosis (BV), which requires treatment. It can also be a sign of trichomoniasis, which is a sexually transmitted disease that is often mistaken for BV because it is also accompanied by an unpleasant odor and discharge. If you suspect either condition, consult a licensed healthcare practitioner for treatment. 

In rare cases, a foul-smelling shift in vaginal odor can be a sign of abnormal cells on the cervix. Other symptoms of cervical abnormalities include bloody discharge, bleeding in between periods, and pelvic pain. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and it’s been a while since you’ve had a pap smear, make haste to the OBGYN’s office and get a check-up. In the vast majority of cases, it’s something benign, like a bacterial infection, but it is best to err on the side of safety.

Decoding Discharge

Most types of vaginal discharge are normal. Here’s what you can and should expect to see in your underwear — and when you want to seek treatment. 

Normal discharge:

  1. White (or clear) discharge throughout your cycle. This thin, relatively odorless discharge is called leukorrhea and it helps keep the vagina clean. You will notice it in your underwear, but otherwise it shouldn’t itch, be clumpy, or cause problems. 
  2. A stretchy, slippery discharge with the consistency of egg whites during ovulation. This is cervical fluid and it is completely normal. It helps sperm travel into your vagina and fertilize an egg. Some women see a lot of cervical fluid during ovulation and this, too, is normal. It just means you’re healthy and fertile! 

Abnormal discharge:

  1. Thin, gray discharge. A grayish tint to your discharge, accompanied by a pungent fishy smell, is a sign of BV. If you notice these two symptoms in combination, schedule an appointment with an OBGYN
  2. Greenish or grayish discharge. Along with a negative shift in vaginal odor, a greenish or grayish color can be a sign of trichomoniasis. As with BV, make sure to see a trusted health care practitioner if you suspect trich. 
  3. Yellowish-green discharge. This can be a sign of a bacterial STD, like chlamydia or gonorrhea. (You may also notice burning with urination.) If you suspect a bacterial STD is the cause of your abnormal discharge, see a healthcare practitioner...and get your sexual partner(s) tested, as well. These infections can be treated with antibiotics, but if both of you don’t seek treatment, you will just pass the infection back and forth, no matter how many antibiotics you take. 
  4. White, clumpy discharge. If your symptoms also include itching, this is probably a yeast infection

Prevent Odor and Discharge Problems Before They Star
Here’s my top advice on protecting your vaginal ecosystem and preventing odor problems before they start:

1. Pay Attention to What You Eat — And What You Don’t Eat. Gut health has a profound impact on hormone health and vaginal health, and optimal hormone health is the best starting place for building a healthy vaginal ecosystem. When your vaginal ecosystem is healthy, your signature scent is mild and pleasant. 

Eat high-fiber, high-phytonutrient, low-sugar foods to support your microbiome (think avocadoes, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and seeds) to support your microbiome, and make sure extra sugar isn’t sneaking into your daily routine in the form of beverages like soda or fancy coffee drinks. Yeast feeds off sugar, so the more you have in your diet, the greater the chance of getting a yeast infection (or making one worse).

2. Never, ever use douche. These products are marketed as a way to improve vaginal odor, but—ultimately—they do the exact opposite. The harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances in douche disrupt the vaginal microbiome, which predisposes you to bacterial infections and, yes, a fishy, foul smell. When it comes to smelling great, douching is your enemy.

3. Choose natural menstrual products. You want everything that comes into close contact with your vulva and vagina to be natural — no harsh chemicals, no heavy perfumes, synthetic fibers. Avoid scented menstrual products and tampons or pads with dyes. Look for condoms and lubes with safe, non-toxic ingredients. I like Sustain Natural’s Organic Lubricant, which eschews silicone, petroleum, parabens, and other gnarly additives. Plus, 95-percent of its ingredients are organic. For solo pleasure time, try Aloe Cadabra or Coconu, which are both a vaginal moisturizer and a lubricant. 

4. Reconsider your birth control. Hormonal birth control (the pill) can interfere with the balance of good and bad bugs in the microbiome, which can predispose you to a bacterial infection. Then, treating the bacterial infection with antibiotics can further disrupt the microbiome, setting the stage for even more infections. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle that results in an unpleasant smell. Consider switching to a non-hormonal form of birth control (though always consult a doctor before making any changes) and talk with a trusted healthcare practitioner about natural remedies like boric acid suppositories or D-mannose supplements, which has been shown to be just as effective as antibiotics at preventing recurrent UTIs and unwelcome odors. 

5. Choose the right underwear. Cotton, cotton, cotton! This is your mantra when choosing underwear. Your vagina needs to be able to breath (which cotton allows) to smell its best. Organic cotton is ideal, if you can find it. Make sure to launder your underwear with unscented laundry detergent that is free of toxic and endocrine-disrupting chemicals. I recommend sleeping sans underwear when you can. Wearing nothing at all is great for vaginal health. Kala makes great organic cotton underwear!

6. Use condoms and dental dams. These help keep unwanted, microbiome-disrupting bacteria out of the vagina. Condoms and dental dams can also help stop pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, which happens when unwelcome bacteria travel from the vagina to the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. 

7. Use The Cycle Syncing Method™ to even out dips in estrogen. Because low levels of estrogen can trigger imbalances in the vaginal ecosystem, you’ll want to engage in phase-based self care to regulate and harmonize the natural ebbs and flows of your 28-day hormone cycle (this is particularly important if you are in perimenopause). Your levels of estrogen will naturally go up and down during the month, but when you engage in phase-based self-care, they should go up and down within a range that doesn’t trigger unwanted symptoms. 

Natural Remedies for Vaginal Imbalances

Sometimes a bacterial infection or other imbalance strikes no matter how careful you are to prevent it. Here’s what I recommend if that happens.

If you get a yeast infection: I recommend taking Vitanica Yeast Arrest and Jarrow’s specially formulated vaginal probiotic

If you get bacterial vaginosis (bv): As a first step, I recommend tending to your gut health. Imbalanced gut flora can be a trigger for imbalanced vaginal flora. Take a high-quality probiotic supplement every day and emphasize probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. 

To treat BV naturally and directly, consider trying a natural vaginal suppository. Vitanica makes a high-quality suppository for BV. Or look for one that contains berberine, which may help combat treatment-resistant biofilms that can make BV a chronic condition.

Always remember that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that work for you. You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!

The Benefits of Berberine For PCOS

Every once in a while a star comes along...In the world of hormonal health, berberine is one of those breakthrough agents. The supplement has been used by women for thousands of years to treat everything from obesity to inflammation to infertility. Berberine is even said to be so effective that it's considered just as efficacious as a drug for treating certain health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Want some more good news? Emerging research suggests that berberine is beneficial for balancing hormones, especially when it comes to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Berberine provides numerous benefits for women living with PCOS, including improved fertility, weight loss, and reduced inflammation.

What is berberine?

Depending on where you are in your journey with PCOS, you may have spent the last decade seeking support from various experts or you may just now be researching ways to alleviate symptoms for the first time. Either way, we're here to empower you to heal your hormones with super supplements like berberine. Berberine is an organic compound found in plants like goldenseal, barberry, Oregon grape, and tree turmeric. Once you take the supplement, it’s transported into the bloodstream where it affects the body at the molecular level and creates change within our cells. According to a 2014 review, one of the biggest advantages of berberine is that it offers a “harmonious distribution” into several targets in the body.

This means that berberine offers a holistic approach to supporting your body while preventing various chronic conditions and without causing many side effects.The berberine supplement naturally provides various health benefits but is particularly touted for its ability to lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol. It’s also said to help with acne, obesity, cholesterol, depression, and diabetes.

Berberine benefits for PCOS

Ok, so let’s talk about how this super supplement can help those of us living with PCOS. As a reminder, PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that is characterized by having too many androgens (male hormones) in the body. This imbalance interferes with regular menstrual cycles which means that most women with PCOS experience missed or irregular periods.Research shows that berberine can provide various benefits to women with PCOS, including relief from some of the unpleasant (to say the least!) symptoms and side effects.

Here are some of the amazing ways berberine supports women:

Supports weight loss

It doesn’t seem fair, but PCOS will cause some women to gain weight, especially around the waistline. Because of this, one of the most common questions we're asked is, “What is the best diet for my PCOS?” Paleo, low carb, keto, raw ... I understand the need to find a solution that’s in your control. Unfortunately, many popular diets don’t consider women's biology, menstrual cycles, or our evolving hormone patterns — and that is why they so often fail us. Following an approved eating plan can certainly help (more healthy fats, high-quality proteins, complex carbs, and fewer processed sugars), but research shows that berberine can be just as supportive.

A small study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine followed individuals with metabolic syndrome who took 300 milligrams of berberine three times per day for three months. At the end of the study, their body mass indexes (BMIs) dropped from an obese range to an overweight range, and they also lost an average of two inches around their waistlines.

Improves insulin sensitivity

For those of us who prefer a more holistic approach to treating their PCOS, berberine continues to be our favorite. A recent review of five studies totaling more than 1,000 women found some pretty amazing insights regarding berberine for PCOS management. One of the biggest takeaways was that berberine seemed to improve insulin sensitivity. This is important because we know that dysregulated insulin is often involved in the development of PCOS.According to a different analysis of nine randomized controlled trials of women with PCOS with insulin resistance, there was no difference between berberine and metformin when it came to alleviating insulin resistance, improving glycolipid metabolism, or reproductive endocrine condition.

Improves ovulation

When I first started the FLO Living protocol, my goal was to help other women alleviate symptoms of PCOS, support regular ovulation, and regain regular periods. My promise was to work with women to re-establish their monthly ovulation and menstruation through restoring key micronutrients. I always say that this can be achieved through your diet and lifestyle, and it’s really supplements like berberine that help make it happen.

Findings from the analysis of more than 1,000 women that I mentioned earlier also showed that berberine demonstrated a positive effect on fertility and live birth rates; suggesting that the supplement improved insulin resistance in theca cells (the endocrine cells associated with ovarian follicles) with an improvement of the ovulation rate per cycle.

Reduces the risk of metabolic concerns

Research also shows that compared with metformin, berberine has positive effects on the metabolic characteristics of women with PCOS. Metabolic syndrome is defined as a cluster of conditions that together can together increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.A clinical study found that treatment with berberine (versus metformin) showed a decrease in waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. What’s more, it also pointed to an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and sex hormone-binding globulin. Knowing that all of this can be attributed to a supplement instead of mainstream medication is so powerful.

Where can I find berberine?

Flo Living has a new supplement kit called RESTORE that’s designed specifically for women living with PCOS.

The kit includes high-quality ingredients:


Diindolylmethane (DIM)

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)



‍And most importantly, it’s designed to help improve your hormonal healing process and provide support as you bring your body back into balance.If you’re ready to feel better and take ownership of your hormonal health, check out RESTORE today.









The Supplements Every Woman Should Take

For as long as I’ve been teaching women about hormonal health, I’ve been asked questions about supplements. What brands are best? Which supplements help solve period problems? Does a food-based healing protocol need to include supplements at all? I’ve got answers to these questions, and more. In this post, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about supplements for hormone balance, healthy endocrine function, and symptom-free periods. A little knowledge goes a long way when it comes to supplements.

You’ll save money (because you won’t spend it on low-quality or mismatched supplements). You’ll save time (because you won’t have to research which supplements target which symptoms of which brands are better and worse). And you’ll fast track your healing. Supplements support and amplify every other lifestyle change you make to improve your hormone health. You’ll get to your goal of symptom-free periods faster when high-quality, targeted supplements are part of your protocol.

Do You Need Supplements If You’re Eating the Right Foods?

When it comes to healing your hormones, food is always first. There’s no budging on that. To recalibrate your endocrine system and erase period problems, you have to feed your body a micronutrient-rich diet of hormonally-supportive foods in a phase-based pattern. No single supplement will solve symptoms like bloating, acne, PMS, cramps, heavy or irregular periods, missing periods, mood swings, and fatigue.

That said, adding specific high-quality supplements to an already-nourishing diet will speed up your healing process and provide support as you bring your body back into balance. I’m a big believer in using supplements selectively and intelligently to help the body heal.After years of exhaustive research, I have identified which micronutrients are non-negotiable for optimal hormone health. I’ll go into each micronutrient in detail below, but first it’s important to answer a few questions.

Why Aren’t Women Getting Enough Micronutrients?

Phytonutrient-dense whole foods, like leafy green vegetables, avocados, pastured eggs, and omega 3-rich fish like salmon, contain micronutrients that support the endocrine system — micronutrients like magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and vitamin D. But we often don’t get enough of these micronutrients in our food, even when we’re eating perfectly.


There are several reasons. One critical factor is that most women are not eating or exercising in ways that support our infradian rhythm, the 28-day hormone cycle that functions as the body’s second clock. Another factor is that many fruits and vegetables are grown in nutrient-depleted soil, so they don’t contain enough of the good stuff to support optimal health. It’s also because a lot of environmental factors —  many beyond our control — collude to rob our bodies of precious micronutrients faster than we can take them in. It’s also because of the very real limits of our busy lives.

Many of us simply don’t have the time to cook, let alone eat, 9 to 11 servings of vegetables a day.Food comes first when healing your hormones. But sometimes a micronutrient-rich diet of hormonally-supportive foods isn’t enough to achieve optimal hormone health. Sometimes your body needs an extra boost.

What Causes Micronutrient Deficiency?

As I mentioned in the previous section, sometimes micronutrient deficiency just happens, even when you’re doing everything right. But there are some habits and practices that might seem healthy (or at least not harmful) but that, in fact, deplete essential micronutrients and make hormone imbalances worse.Here are 8 common ways you might be unintentionally speeding up micronutrient loss in your body:

  1. You drink caffeine. Caffeine leaches precious micronutrients from the body.
  2. You drink alcohol regularly. Regular alcohol consumption bleeds the body of micronutrients, too.
  3. You take the pill (or you have in the past). Same problem as caffeine. The pill causes your body to jettison micronutrients faster than you can replace them.
  4. You engage in extreme diets. Maybe you only eat one or two types of food, or you are following a food protocol that has you cut out some macronutrients all together (like carbs). Restrictive diets can’t give you the wide breadth of micronutrients you need for optimal hormone health, no matter how healthy the foods you’re eating are. Same goes if you don’t eat enough calories each day. Eating too few calories can present separate challenges for hormonal health, but not getting ample micronutrients is one of them.
  5. You exercise too much. Over-exercise depletes the body of essential micronutrients faster than you can replace them.
  6. You use conventional health and body care products. These products are full of toxins that tax the endocrine system and prevent optimal micronutrient levels.
  7. You use conventional house-cleaning products. Same deal as using conventional health and body care products.
  8. You experience chronic, unremitting stress. Emotional stress taxes the body and works against optimal micronutrient levels.

Luckily, some high-quality targeted supplements can help replenish your micronutrient stores.

The 5 Essential Supplements for Hormones

Here are the five essential supplements that I recommend for optimal hormone health:


I can’t say enough good things about B-vitamins. They’re necessary for good health and many women just don’t get enough. A deficiency in B vitamins can cause low energy and fatigue since they’re crucial for so many metabolic functions. B6 is a particularly important vitamin for boosting progesterone production to counteract excess estrogen (a top cause of hormonal dysfunction). B6 supports the development of the corpus luteum, which is where all your progesterone originates, and it supports liver function as the liver works to remove excess estrogen from the body. It’s great for the immune system, too.


Magnesium helps support the pituitary gland. Without it, we produce less FSH (follicular stimulating), LH (luteinizing), and TSH (thyroid stimulating). Low levels of those foundational hormones can cause irregular ovulation and thyroid problems, which can lead to bigger hormonal issues. Magnesium is involved in over 300 catalytic reactions in the body and most women are magnesium deficient. Bloating, headaches, and muscle tension (among other symptoms) can be a sign of magnesium deficiency.

Liver detoxifier/estrogen metabolizer

Your liver is your main organ for detoxification and it plays a critical role in maintaining hormonal balance and keeping symptoms at bay. To do its work properly, the liver needs a full supply of micronutrients and antioxidants, which we can get in part from food — but, as I mentioned earlier in the post, we often don’t get enough from our food. The liver especially needs micronutrients and antioxidants like vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid, turmeric and selenium.  When your liver is well nourished, it can efficiently break down excess estrogen and help keep estrogen and progesterone in balance, which is a critical factor in keeping period problems at bay. If your body can’t efficiently process toxins like excess hormones, you’ll be more likely to develop menstrual, fertility, and libido problems.


A healthy microbiome is essential for maintaining hormone balance and staving off symptoms. There’s a community of bacteria in the gut called the estrobolome. The estrobolome produces an enzyme that supports the metabolization of estrogen. This makes the gut an important part of the elimination system that ushers hormones out of the body. Give the hard-working bugs in your gut a boost with a probiotic, which is food for the gut bugs that live in the GI tract. This can do wonders for your endocrine health.

D3-Omega-3 blend

Studies have shown that 93% of women dealing with infertility issues are vitamin D3 deficient, and women with higher vitamin D3 levels are four times more likely to conceive via IVF than women with low levels. The reason? Vitamin D3 acts like a master hormone in the body and a low concentration of vitamin D3 can throw off the tightly choreographed dance that all our bodies hormones do with each other. Specifically, low vitamin D can add fuel to the fire of estrogen dominance, which can lead to a host of hormonal issues. Omega-3 fats are good mood stabilization and reducing cramps. My formulation also includes vitamins K1 and K2 for bone and heart health and collagen for skin and hair. I consider these the five essential supplements that every woman needs to heal her hormones and erase period problems.

What Supplement Brand is Best?

In the past I’ve recommended products available at health food stores, but I always dreamed of formulating my own supplements that met my extremely high standards. I finally decided to do it when, a few years ago, some of the supplements sold at big-box retailers were outed for not containing the ingredients listed on the label. I really get peeved when women waste money on health-promoting products that don’t work, because that happened to me at the beginning of my hormonal health journey. It’s almost impossible to know which brands to trust, and once you find a reliable source, then it’s time to decide which of their million products to actually purchase.I’d finally had enough of the confusion. So I created Balance by FLO Living, the first and only cycle-syncing supplement set. The five formulations in Balance by FLO Living provide the essential micronutrient support that you need to balance your hormones. Think of them as your personal “insurance policy” against endocrine disruptors like stress, coffee, environmental toxins, lack of sleep, and plain-old modern life.You no longer have to waste money on low-quality supplements or supplements that don’t target your unique hormonal profile. I’ve formulated all the essential supplements you need to heal your hormones with the highest quality ingredients. The Balance FLO supplement kit is thoroughly researched, rigorously tested, and perfectly suited to meet your needs.

The Supporting Players: More Supplements that Help Heal Hormones

The supplements I listed above are the ones I sell in my Balance by FLO Living supplement kit, and they’re essential for any menstruating woman who experiences symptoms like PMS, acne, bloating, cramps, hormonal migraines, PCOS, mood swings, fatigue, heavy or irregular periods, missing periods, or other period problems. But you can add other high-quality supplements to your protocol if you want to take your hormonal healing to the next level. Here are a few more supplements that can be “supporting players” on your quest for optimal menstrual health.


Certain spices, like turmeric, improve circulation to all organs, including the uterus and ovaries. The better the blood is flowing to your organs, the more oxygen is present, and the better their overall health, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. That’s not all: more blood flow to the reproductive organs supports regular periods and boosts fertility. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and it is a powerful anti-inflammatory, which can help with period pain, cramps, and headaches. (It’s also great for overall general health.) Curcumin helps keep blood sugar stable, which is important for all women who are hormonally-sensitive, and it has been shown to slow the growth of uterine fibroids. Studies also suggest that this warming spice may protect against the development of breast and ovarian cancers and may help women who suffer with endometriosis.You can cook with turmeric, add it to hot beverages like tea, or take it as a supplement. Look for a brand like Thorne that uses curcumin phytosome, which is the form best absorbed by the body.


Blood sugar balance is critically important for hormone balance, and studies show that cinnamon supports stable blood sugar. You can take cinnamon as a supplement — I like New Chapter’s Cinnamon Force — and add it liberally to meals and drinks. Healing your hormones has never been so delicious.

Adaptogenic herbs

Adaptogens help your body respond to stress, which is exquisitely important when you are working to heal your hormones.Taking adaptogenic herbs is a generally safe practice that can ease symptoms and improve quality of life. But herbs should only be part of your stress-reduction and hormone-balancing strategy after you’ve addressed some of the bigger lifestyle factors that drive hormone issues, like sleep deprivation, exposure to chronic stressors, exposure to toxins, and being out of touch with your natural hormone cycle. If your tank is running on empty, and has been for a while, start with the big stuff. When you’ve made progress in those areas, it might be time to consider an adaptogen.Adaptogens that I like include:

Ashwagandha — This well-researched herb has been shown to reduce oxidative stress (also known as the internal process that contributes to cell damage and accelerated aging) and support a healthy stress response. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, ashwagandha was shown to improve stress resistance and participants’ self-assessed quality of life. When it comes to hormones, ashwagandha has been shown to improve sexual function and low libido for some women (perhaps because it supports healthy testosterone production). Other studies suggest that this herb can dramatically slow down cell division in estrogen-receptor positive breast cancers. I recommend ashwagandha if you struggle with anxiety and/or if you’re wrestling with low libido.

Holy Basil —  Research suggests that holy basil may help support liver function. The liver detoxes excess hormones from the body and helps prevent estrogen dominance. For healthy hormones, you need a healthy liver. Holy basil may also help stabilize blood sugar. I recommend holy basil if stress and anxiety are an issue and you also wrestle with imbalanced blood sugar. If you have a history of taking over-the-counter or prescription medications, you may consider taking holy basil for liver and detox support.

Reishi mushroom — Reishi is a powerful adaptogen that is also chock full of antioxidants. These mushrooms have been lauded for their anti-tumor, anti-androgenic, anti-aging, and immune-boosting effects. I don’t believe in superfoods as such — no one food or single intervention can be a miracle cure on its own — but if any plant comes close to deserving the title of a super food, I’d nominate reishi mushrooms. The antioxidant and chemopreventive benefits of reishi are well-studied, and when it comes to hormones, studies show that reishi (and other cordyceps mushrooms) may help ease symptoms of PCOS, hirsutism, and acne by exerting an anti-androgenic effect in the body. I recommend reishi mushrooms if you’re struggling with acne, unwanted hair growth, or symptoms related to PCOS.

Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes help you break down the food you eat and absorb nutrients better. If you experience indigestion, gas, or bloating, or if you suspect you have a nutrient deficiency, try them out! Rainbow Light is one of my favorite brands. But don’t take this brand while pregnant as it contains bromelain, which is not safe for pregnancy.Don’t forget that supplements are exactly what the word suggests: supplemental boosts to an already balanced diet. If your diet is not working for you, supplements will have little effect. Always remember that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you. You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!

Balance Supplements

I designed my Balance Supplements specifically to help women address these key deficiencies, balance their hormones, and reclaim their energy.You don’t need to feel listless and exhausted for 1-2 weeks every month. You can reclaim your energy in as little as one 28-day hormone cycle. BALANCE by FLO Living is the FIRST supplement kit for happier periods that supports balancing your hormones. Balance Supplements include five formulations that provide essential micronutrients to balance your hormones. Think of them as your personal “insurance policy” against environmental factors that are (knowingly or unknowingly) zapping your energy every month. Balance Supplements can help you have more energy within a few weeks!

How DIM Supplements Support Hormonal Health

Broccoli, Brussels, cabbage, cauliflower: what do they all have in common? Other than being what some might call an acquired taste, they’re an excellent source of folate, fiber, and vitamins C, E, and K. Just as importantly (but less commonly discussed), they all also contain a plant compound called diindolylmethane (DIM). DIM is a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a phytonutrient found in cruciferous vegetables, which is said to stimulate detoxifying enzymes that are found in the liver and gut. This action is essential to happier hormones because we know that the microbiome is a key player in regulating hormones, especially estrogen levels. When I3C comes into contact with your stomach acid (via a forkful of broccoli or a supplement), it sparks a chemical reaction that converts it to DIM. That’s when our bodies start to benefit!

Research shows that DIM can reduce the risk of estrogen-driven cancers—such as breast cancer and cervical cancer—by supporting healthy estrogen metabolism and promoting estrogen and testosterone balance. Another small study found that DIM may also have protective benefits against thyroid disorders, which are four to five times more likely to affect women than men.

DIM has also been shown to protect against acne, support healthy weight balance, and help with menopause—all side effects of those imbalanced hormones that we’re working each day to fix. Sounds pretty good, right?If you're anything like I was when I first began this hormonal health journey, you're likely all ears when it comes to a natural and holistic solution for alleviating discomfort.

That’s why I’m here today to share everything you need to know to help yourself. Stay with me for a deep dive on DIM’s ability to restore healthy hormone balance and how that’s major for anyone living with PCOS, fibroids, endometriosis, or acne.

Here are some common hormonal issues DIM can help with:


Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of infertility among women of reproductive age. This hormonal imbalance can cause weight gain, acne, and irregular periods, as well as more severe consequences like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.Today, conventional medicine often points to oral contraceptive pills as the first line of defense against the condition, but the FLO Living team believes in taking a different path. Our focus (backed by science) is a more integrative approach to regulating hormones. After all, if you can utilize food, supplements, and lifestyle changes to address the root cause of your PCOS, why wouldn’t you?For example, a recent case study highlighted a 21-year-old woman with PCOS who was suffering from irregular periods, acne, and hirsutism (excess hair that usually grows around the mouth and chin). Since the woman preferred a natural approach to care, she worked with her practitioner to create a treatment plan which included acupuncture, as well as DIM and vitex agnus-castus. After 10 months, the woman regained a regular menstrual cycle and a more balanced level of testosterone in her body. Such a powerful example of advocating for your own health!While more clinical research is needed to further support cases like this, preclinical data shows that DIM provides beneficial effects on estrogen metabolism and its antiandrogen effects. To clarify, this means that DIM plays a role in reducing or blocking the effects of androgens (male hormones), like testosterone on the body. This is important because research shows that an excess of androgens may play a role in the development of PCOS, and may certainly contribute to some of those unpleasant side effects and flare-ups.

Fibroids and heavy bleeding

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that develop in the wall of the uterus and can range in size from very tiny (the size of a pea) to very large (the size of a melon). Some women have no symptoms, but for others, these fibroids can cause heavy periods, painful intercourse, frequent urination, bloating, and reproductive problems. This translates to major discomfort, especially during events which should be fun—like beach vacations and sex! Although uterine fibroids can be unpleasant, they’re actually pretty common. A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that 80-90% of African American women and 70% of white women will develop fibroids by age 50. So what can we do about it?

fibroid pain

Again, a primary treatment for fibroids is a prescription for the birth control pill, but a smarter way to treat uterine fibroids is by actually understanding and addressing the root cause. If you’re suffering from uterine fibroids or heavy bleeding and you aren’t interested in birth control or surgery like a myomectomy, then why not consider DIM supplements? DIM is known to reduce harmful estrogen metabolites and just might provide that relief you’re looking for.


Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when endometrial tissue (normally found in the uterus) grows outside the uterus. If you or a loved one suffers from endometriosis, you don’t need me to tell you how painful and debilitating the condition can be.And if you are suffering, know you’re not alone. According to the latest count, more than 11% of American women between the ages of 15 and 44 are living with this often painful condition. Unfortunately, the number might even be higher because many women with endometriosis aren’t diagnosed right away. In fact, the average delay in diagnosis is nearly seven whole years.One of the things that researchers are still working on is the best way to treat endometriosis. That’s why it’s my mission to help women realize that while there’s no one specific cure, there are countless resources to get help and get it sooner. Supplements like DIM can balance hormones and reduce inflammation which can drastically ameliorate endometriosis symptoms and improve quality of life. A study from a few years ago looked at supplementing dienogest, a standard endometriosis treatment, with DIM in order to help with irregular bleeding. The results found that women who added DIM to their treatment plan experienced decreased pelvic pain and improved menstrual bleeding. DIM also showed a decrease in endometrial cell life which could mean that the cells would have less time to grow on the pelvic walls and cause heavy, painful periods.


Clear acne by balancing your hormones

Acne ... you didn't want it when you were a teenager and you definitely don't want it as an adult. But what can you do? Well, as I’ve said before, knowledge is power when it comes to hormonal acne.Our hormones naturally shift throughout the monthly menstrual cycle, and when they're imbalanced, it can lead to pesky problems like acne. Hormonal breakouts tend to present during the luteal (premenstrual) phase, and are most often along the chin and jawline. Pimples on your forehead can signify a gut imbalance, and a breakout on the temple usually means liver congestion due to an excess of estrogen.Hormone-driven and inflammation-driven acne are both caused by imbalances inside the body and the right supplements can make the difference between improving your acne versus addressing the root cause and clearing it for good. When you supplement with DIM, it works to promote beneficial estrogen metabolism.

How do I get my DIM fix?

food for follicular phase

I'm a big believer in eating to heal your hormones and cruciferous vegetables are certainly part of the equation. If you've ever tried the FLO Living 4 week food challenge then you'll recall that I suggest broccoli for the follicular phase (before you ovulate, after your period), brussels sprouts when you're ovulating, cauliflower and collard greens right before you have your period (luteal phase), and kale when you're menstruating.However, I don’t know anyone who loves Brussel sprouts enough to get their entire dose of DIM from their dinner plate. As well-intended as we all are, relying solely on cruciferous vegetables for DIM can be challenging, which is why supplements can help!

Ready to try a DIM supplement?

FLO Living has got you covered. It’s overwhelming to try to solve your hormone issues all by yourself (been there, done that), which is why I created the FLO Living supplement kits to provide the essential micronutrient support you need to heal and feel whole.

DIM is a primary ingredient in two of my new FLO Living Supplement Kits: RESTORE for PCOS and RELEASE for fibroids and heavy bleeding. Each supplement kit includes high-quality ingredients that are designed to work together in harmony to help you feel your best.

Learn how to try the Flo Living Supplement Kit that’s right for you here.

The Stress-Hormone Connection

Women are hit particularly hard by stress. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America, affecting 40 million adults in the United States or 18.1% of the population every year. But women are more likely than men to report having a great deal of stress, and almost half of all women say their stress has increased over the past five years (compared to 39-percent of men).

Worst of all, stress is uniquely hard on women and our reproductive hormones. Here’s what you need to know about how stress affects your menstrual cycle and how you can protect yourself from the damaging effects of stress.

Stress & Your Menstrual Cycle

When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands pump out adrenaline and cortisol, which gets your body ready to either fight or run away from a real or perceived danger in your environment (the fight-or-flight response). This hormonal cascade is a natural process — and, in instances of grave danger, an extremely useful one. But when this happens over and over again, triggered by everyday stressors like deadlines instead of life-or-death threats, it depletes your cortisol reserve, leaving your adrenals unable to respond properly to stress.

A woman’s stress response is also different based on where she is in her 28-day hormone cycle, called the infradian rhythm. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is naturally at different levels in the first and second half of the infradian rhythm and it is important to tailor our self-care and exercise routines accordingly so as not to further disrupt cortisol and cause even more hormone imbalances. This stress response, paired with lack of appropriate phase-based self-care,  has a lot of negative effects on your hormones. Here are the ways stress damages your hormones and negatively affects your well-being:

  1. Stress messes with blood sugar. Stress raises cortisol levels and disrupts your blood sugar which, in turn, disrupts your ovulation and period. Imbalanced blood sugar harms your hormones. One of the foundations of the FLO Protocol is using food and supplements to balance blood sugar. Improving your blood sugar is one of the single best things you can do to balance your hormones and heal period problems like acne, PMS, bloating, cramps, heavy or irregular periods, and missing periods.
  2. Stress lowers progesterone. The stress hormone cortisol blocks progesterone production and lowers progesterone levels. That’s because your body uses progesterone to make cortisol and respond to the stress — and the more stress you experience, the more progesterone your body will ‘steal’ to make cortisol. This messes with your cycle by lengthening your luteal phase and makes your periods start of slow, with a lot of brown spotting and brown blood before your regular flow.
  3. Stress delays ovulation. If you experience stress around the time you typically ovulate, the increased levels of cortisol can delay or even prevent ovulation. Stress’s negative influence on ovulation makes sense evolutionarily – a pregnancy on top of a stressful period in a person’s life is not ideal. By stopping ovulation, your body is trying to preserve energy to deal with the stress before conception takes place.
  4. Stress changes the timing of your period. A period of stress after you ovulate can throw your hormones off balance. If you experience a high level of stress after you ovulate, you may experience spotting, an early period, or a period that looks or feels different than your norm in terms of  consistency, color, length, or symptoms like cramping.
  5. Stress can cause your period to go missing. Intense stress can cause anovulatory cycles, or months when you don’t ovulate at all. This means no period, or a small bit of ‘breakthrough’ bleeding (which isn’t a real period, but rather your uterus still needing to shed its lining).
  6. Stress causes vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Excess cortisol from stress depletes the body of essential vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. B vitamins, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids are especially susceptible to stress — and are especially important for soothing your overworked adrenal system. Stress causes you to lose the micronutrients you need the most to help calm your fight-or-flight response!
  7. Stress disrupts up your gut. Stress can interfere with the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut — and a healthy gut is critically important for any woman who wants to balance hormones and erase period problems. That’s because the gut flora, and specifically a colony of bacteria called the estrobolome, help process and eliminate excess hormones from the body — and when your elimination system is sluggish, your hormones will get out of balance.

Why Most Exercise Plans Don’t Work for Women

Women are the biggest consumers of wellness-industry products and protocols. Yet most of the research behind these strategies is conducted on men, and women’s bodies work differently than men’s bodies. Women have unique biochemical needs that go unaddressed by exercise plans built around male-centered research. That leaves women to try different exercise plans, be disappointed, and then try some more. It’s a cycle that causes untold stress, energy, money, heartache, and sanity.

The fitness industry has good intentions. (Many people don’t talk about the gender bias in wellness research. I’m here to change that!) But when different exercise strategies are sold to the public as great for everyone, it can leave women feeling like it’s their fault if they don’t get the results they want. We  can start to feel like we must not have done it right or tried hard enough or that we lack willpower.

Lack of willpower is not the problem.The problem is that women, all too often, are following exercise protocols that benefit men more than women — or, in some cases, protocols that actively work against a woman’s hormones and sabotage her health and fitness goals. Times up on the gender bias in the diet and fitness industry. As women, we’re biochemically different than men. When we adopt approaches that are designed to work with our unique biological distinctions—when we stop biohacking with the boys—we will start to see results.

The key to biohacking your unique female biochemistry is to understand your 28-day cycle and to match your food and exercise to your natural hormonal shifts. When you sync your self care with your cycle, you’ll experience easier periods, less PMS, reduced bloating, clearer skin, and improvements in weight and body composition. By acknowledging your hormonal reality, you’ll finally be able to look and feel your best.

Is Burnout a Real Thing? What Does it Mean for your Hormones?

That exhausted, depleted, frazzled feeling you have every Friday night (or every night) after work)?It's burnout. And it’s a real, diagnosable condition.That’s according to the World Health Organization (WHO), who last month declared burnout a legitimate occupational phenomenon. Burnout is a result of “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,” said the organization, and it negatively influences one’s health.The condition is characterized by three things:

  1. Feeling depleted or exhausted
  2. Feeling cynical or negative about one’s job, or feeling increased mental distance from one’s job
  3. Being less effective and productive on the job

This news will come as no surprise to anyone with a demanding job or other workplace stressors, like a difficult boss, unsupportive co-workers, an unhealthy work environment, a long commute, and/or the expectation of “being on” 24-hours a day. As the speed of work picks up, and as more of us work around-the-clock, burnout has become a way of life. But women have a key advantage when it comes to battling back against burnout. We can tap into the natural rhythms of our 28-day hormone cycle and use our natural strengths during each phase to work more efficiently, be more productive (without feeling overburdened), and find more satisfaction—and less stress—in our jobs.

The Hormone-Burnout Connection

The idea that your hormones could help you have an easier and less stressful experience at work might seem far-fetched, but I’m not making this up!Research shows that our hormone cycles have a direct influence on our mood, energy, creativity, and worldview. So when we plan our activities in accordance with the natural flow of our hormones, we can be top-performing, high-achieving women with energy left over at the end of the day—no to-do list app necessary. (Though we benefit greatly from knowing where we are in our cycle, which is what I designed the MyFLO app to help you do.)If, however, we ignore our hormonal patterns and force ourselves to work in a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week time construct (one that works for men because of their more quotidian hormonal patterns), we’re more likely to experience burnout—and, as women, that chronic stress shows up in our our cycles, fertility, sex drive, and mood. In other words, working the same way, with the same rhythm, day in and day out makes period problems worse… and that prevents us from taking advantage of the solution, which depends on a healthy cycle!It’s a bit circuitous, I know, but that is exactly what it is: a vicious cycle. When we don’t practice The Cycle Syncing Method™, our hormones fall deeper into imbalance—and that makes it harder to use our cycle as a powerful tool for escaping burnout.As women, our strengths, desires, talents, and behavior shifts with our changing hormone patterns each month. Having female hormones does not mean you lose a week a month to PMS and your period. It just means that by noticing these shifts and then working with your hormones, you can make your hormones work for you.

Heal Workplace Stress By Learning To Work With Your Hormones

To harness the power of your hormones, first you need to know what your hormones are doing and when. That’s where the MyFLO app comes in. It allows you track your cycle and tune into which phase you’re in at any given time.Once you’re familiar with your cycle, you’re ready to practice The Cycle Syncing Method™, which is the method I developed for engaging in phase-based self-care. The Cycle Syncing Method™ involves working with food, movement, and time management to feel and perform your best (you can learn more about every aspect of the practice here), but for today I’m going to focus on how you can engage The Cycle Syncing Method™ specifically to battle workplace burnout.Here are the four phases of your 28-day hormone cycle and how you can harness your natural strengths during each one to perform better at work, while stressing less!

Follicular Phase

  • When: The week after your period ends
  • What’s happening hormonally: Estrogen is on the rise
  • What to do: Set your intentions for the coming weeks, clarify your vision and purpose at work, organize what you want to accomplish next. Get moving on new projects. This is a time to really lay the groundwork for what comes next.

Ovulation Phase

  • When: Mid-cycle for 3–5 days
  • What’s happening hormonally: Estrogen is at its highest point
  • What to do: Share your intentions with colleagues, collaborate with like-minded folks, schedule meetings, connect with others, brainstorm to find solutions. This is a time to bring others on board with your vision and to work as a team.

Luteal/Premenstrual Phase

  • When: About 10–12 days before your period begins
  • What’s happening hormonally: Progesterone is at its highest point
  • What to do: This is your ‘get it done’ time! You are at your most organized during this phase and you love getting granular about the details. Make this phase all about accomplishing the activities and goals you outlined during your follicular phase.

Menstrual phase

  • When: The days when you are bleeding
  • What’s happening hormonally: All of your hormones are at a low point
  • What to do: Slow down, reflect on what’s happened over the last month, and practice gratitude for all the good things you’ve accomplished. Think back on any areas of your work life that feel less than optimal or that need more attention and use them as a starting point for setting intentions during your next follicular phase.

I guarantee that if you start to prioritize projects at work in line with your cycle, you will experience less stress and greater productivity. Burnout will no longer be a way of life.And if you really want to transform your work life, you’ll engage the other aspects of The Cycle Syncing Method™ in combination with the changes you make at work. This involves food, movement, supplements, and self-care. If you put all these changes into place, you will be unstoppable at work — and you will experience far less stress in your day-to-day life.

How to Outsmart Stress And Heal Your Hormones

Don’t let stress hijack your period. If you are experiencing period problems and stress is playing a role in your symptoms, it’s time to take stress management seriously. A stressed-out cycle is a message. It’s a call-to-action from your body.Here are my top strategies for healing stress and solving your period problems:

FLO Stress Strategy #1: Focus on food

Your first step is to eat hormonally-supportive foods in a phase-based pattern, which helps soothe and support your adrenal glands, turn the dial down on cortisol production, and break the stress cycle. Not to mention that eating nutrient-dense foods at the right times of your cycle will boost your metabolism, support digestion, blood sugar balance, regulate your cycles, detoxify your system, and increase your energy. You can leverage food in multiple ways to combat stress and balance hormones, but I recommend starting by emphasizing healthy fats, like avocados and olive oil, to calm your nervous system, and making sure you’re eating a lot of fiber and fermented foods to help support the microbiome. You can read more about using the The Cycle Syncing Method™ with food here.

FLO Stress Strategy #2: Eat a good breakfast

A nutritious and filling breakfast will set you up for a day of stable blood sugar and balanced hormones. It should also bring in all those essential de-stressing vitamins and minerals like magnesium and B vitamins. I have a whole lot of great (and easy) ideas for breakfast for you right here. If you can make a natural probiotic like sauerkraut or kimchi part of your first meal of the day, even better, as that will help heal your gut. Use coconut oil along the way to boost your body’s intake of good fats.

FLO Stress Strategy #3: Exercise

Exercise is one of your best weapons when it comes to battling stress, but only if you do the right type of exercise at the right times of the month. If you’re doing high-intensity workouts during the wrong time of the month, or if you force yourself to workout the same way every day, you will make hormone balance and period problems worse. To get all the details about exercise and your cycle, go here. But the brief takeaway is this: The first half of your cycle is the ideal time for high-intensity workouts. The second half of your cycle is better suited for slower, more restorative workouts. In your luteal phase, shift from high intensity bouts of exercise to activities like yoga, walking, and easy bike rides.

FLO Stress Strategy #4: Sleep

Get some! No matter which phase of your cycle you’re in, getting enough high-quality sleep is hugely important in easing stress. Studies suggest that women need more sleep than men. Think of sleep as one of the essential micronutrients you need for a healthy period — and don’t skimp on it!

FLO Stress Strategy #5: Make time for pleasure

Whether this means self-pleasure or spa treatments to you, do what makes you feel good at least once a week. I have some tips for better orgasms and hormone-safe spa treatments including the best recipe for a long, indulgent bath for a relaxing night in. Start scheduling times for self-care into your working week as though it were a meeting or gym session and don’t flake on feeling good. You’ll reduce excess cortisol hormone this way and see the benefits fast.

FLO Stress Strategy #6: Supplements

Anti-anxiety mediations and SSRIs are often prescribed for stress. These drugs are designed to block or manage symptoms, not address root causes, and they do not work for everyone and have a long list of side effects. It’s always preferable to address stress-related symptoms like fatigue, depression, and anxiety with food and natural supplements before turning to pharmaceuticals.Here are the botanicals I recommend for stress and anxiety:

But remember: these supplements will only work effectively to reduce anxiety as part of a broader strategy to support your adrenals, address blood sugar, and balance your hormones. And here are the micronutrients that I consider absolutely essential for combating stress, balancing hormones, supporting healthy menstrual cycles, and boosting fertility:

  1. Magnesium: This powerful mineral calms your nervous system and helps balance cortisol. When your stress system is in balance your levels of progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, FSH and LH will follow suit. Magnesium also helps to control insulin production, which reduces sugar cravings and blood sugar spikes, and it helps you get a great night’s sleep.
  2. B5: Also known as pantothenic acid, this vitamin is crucial for theadrenal glands, the organs responsible for pumping out cortisol. Studies have shown that supplementing with B5 helps stimulate adrenal cells, which in turn, helps regulate your body’s stress response.
  3. Omega-3s: Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation (which is an internal stressor on the body) and help improve mood.

If you’re ready to stop living with daily, debilitating stress, then it’s time to seek out natural solutions that will support your adrenals, balance your mood, and empower you to take on everything life throws your way. You can’t always control the external stressors around you, but you absolutely can better manage your internal responses. Why not arm yourself with the most effective, safe, and natural tools available?

Stop spot-treating your symptoms and white-knuckling through your anxiety: Order the Balance Supplement Kit and get the daily dose of essential vitamins and minerals you need to kick stress to the curb, once and for all.

What Women Need to Know about Caffeine

Attention, Coffee and Tea Drinkers: Did you know that caffeine disrupts your hormones — including insulin, cortisol, and reproductive hormones — for many hours after you drink it, interfering with blood sugar, sleep AND a wide range of physiological processes? For example:Caffeine hijacks your delicate hormonal wiring and wreaks havoc on your health in significant ways — from increasing the stress hormone cortisol (especially in women) to fueling the growth of benign breast cysts and increasing the risk of infertility and miscarriage.

Studies show that insulin rates are significantly higher after caffeine intake than after participants drank placebos without caffeine. And that’s not all. Caffeine stays in women’s bodies longer than men’s and it robs women of essential hormone-balancing nutrients and minerals. Caffeine consumption is also linked with increases in blood pressure in females (but not males).

This makes coffee and caffeinated beverages dangerous stuff if you suffer from existing hormone balances — or if you are concerned about protecting your hormones and your fertility in the future. What’s more, only 10 percent of the population is able to efficiently metabolize caffeine. If you’re one of the 9 in 10 people who have trouble processing caffeine, you might be extra susceptible to caffeine’s hormone disrupting effects.

Are You Able to Metabolize Caffeine?

Caffeine is broken down by the liver using the CYP1A2 enzyme. The CYP1A2 enzyme is regulated by the CYP1A2 gene. If you have a mutation in this gene, it affects how your liver breaks down and eliminates caffeine from your system. Based on your gene variation, you’ll either make a lot of this enzyme (and be a successful caffeine guzzler) or a little (and be unable to safely process caffeine). If you have a CYP1A2 mutation, a 2006 study found that you are at an elevated risk of suffering a heart attack from consuming 2 or more cups of coffee a day. Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women, so I think it makes sense for all women to  think twice before consuming caffeine.

The Mayo Clinic notes that too much caffeine can cause a variety of problems, from fertility struggles to insomnia and irritability. The CYP1A2 gene is also involved in the metabolism of estrogen. So if you struggle with PMS or a diagnosed estrogen-dominant condition like PCOS, fibroids, or endometriosis, then you have reason to suspect that you have a CYP1A2 mutation and are making less of the enzyme that breaks down both caffeine and estrogen. In 2008, research was done to build on the earlier studies linking caffeine to breast tissue changes and showed some association with increased risk of negative changes in breast tissue. Perhaps the variation in risk factors has something to do with this gene variation?

I think if there’s a history of breast cancer in your family, then this is important information to consider.Women often ask me about black and green tea, especially match, which is an antioxidant-rich green tea. Certainly teas provide certain health benefits, and matcha is rich in health-promoting compounds that protect cellular health and support physiological functions. But the fact remains that these beverages contain caffeine — and caffeine poses unique challenges for any woman with hormone imbalances. If you plan to indulge in caffeine once in a while, I think matcha is a great splurge, but I still maintain that women in their reproductive years should avoid most caffeine most of the time.

This is why getting off caffeine is such an important part of the FLO protocol. If you’re struggling with any hormone related issue (and if you’re reading this, you likely are), it’s important to remove any potential endocrine disruptors from your daily diet and lifestyle routine, including caffeine. You want to give your hormone system the break it needs to heal and come back into balance.

How Can I Tell if I Have a Hormone Imbalance (...aka How Do I Know if I Should Ditch Caffeine?)

I encourage all people with female physiology who are in their reproductive years to say no to caffeine. But women who suffer from hormone imbalances or a diagnosed hormone condition, like PCOS, fibroids, ovarian cysts, or endometriosis, should make going caffeine-free a top priority. How do you know if your hormones are out of balance (and that giving up caffeine is a good idea for you)? Here are some signs and symptoms of a hormone imbalance:

  • PMS
  • Severe period cramps
  • Bloating
  • Acne
  • Moodiness/depression
  • Anxiety
  • You have been steadily gaining weight for a few months or years
  • You can’t seem to lose weight even with a healthy diet and increased exercise
  • Chronic exhaustion/fatigue
  • Cyclical migraines
  • Sugar cravings
  • Breast or ovarian cysts
  • Low sex drive
  • Low energy
  • Endometriosis
  • PCOS

Women who are experiencing one or more of these symptoms should consider ditching caffeine for good. You should also give up caffeine if you suspect you have a caffeine intolerance.

How Can I Tell If I’m Caffeine Intolerant?

As I mentioned above, caffeine intolerance is surprisingly common, but most of us think of ourselves as immune to caffeine’s harshest effects. And almost everyone who drinks coffee or other caffeinated beverages will recognize that familiar pick-me-up feeling that caffeine brings. But if you experience any of the symptoms on the following list—symptoms that are often attributed to other conditions or physiological responses—you might be caffeine intolerant. Symptoms like:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue (yes, fatigue!)
  • High blood pressure
  • Poorly balanced blood sugar
  • Digestive distress
  • Feeling wired but tired
  • Racing heartbeat

You suffer from a hormone condition related to estrogen dominance (like PCOS or endometriosis)In many cases, these symptoms are chalked up to other diagnoses, like adrenal fatigue or anxiety disorders, but the real culprit might be coffee OR the causes of your symptoms are multifactorial and coffee consumption is one of the factors.

Caffeine Damages Fertility — in Both Men and Women

Caffeine has a significant negative impact on fertility for both men and women, yet it’s rarely ever mentioned as a dietary change that supports conception. Here’s just some of what the research tells us about the link between caffeine and infertility:

What About Upgraded Coffee?

In my new book, In the FLO, I expose the gender bias inherent in medical, fitness, and nutrition research and in health trends. Upgraded coffee is a great example of this in action. It can be great for men, and it's questionable for women.

Here's why:

Coffee can be a potent biohacking tool for men who experience an energy dip in the afternoon as they run out of  their testosterone and cortisol supply for the day or for those who are intermittent fasting. People with female physiology, however, do not have the same issue, nor is it safe to practice intermittent fasting during your reproductive years, as I uncover in In the FLO, and, hence, do not need to compensate for the same daily energy dip. For men, caffeine as an energy booster makes sense for their bodies and their unique hormone patterns (so long as they have no CYP1A2 gene variation).In the female-centric health paradigm, you want to boost your energy by balancing your blood sugar and supporting as your estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and insulin fluctuations throughout the month by working with your infradian rhythm.  

Eliminating coffee and using The Cycle Syncing Method™ to eat, move, and supplement in a phase-based pattern is the best way to biohack for increased energy. Women’s bodies are brilliantly designed to conserve energy (so we are better able to conceive and carry a pregnancy). Our bodies retain fluids longer and we metabolize the compounds contained in foods and beverages much more slowly. Men drink and excrete both alcohol and caffeine faster and more efficiently than women, meaning these substances don’t have as significant an impact on their physiology or lead to caffeine toxicity.

If you have female hormones and you choose to consume caffeine, it IS essential to consume it with or after a meal that contains some healthy fats — to keep blood sugar stable and never on an empty stomach. You don’t need to add butter to your coffee. But of course my top recommendation is to give up caffeine all together!

How to Wean Yourself Off Coffee

Ready to give your hormones some TLC by ditching coffee? Here’s how to come off coffee with fewer withdrawal symptoms and no loss of energy:

Eat a big, nutrient-dense breakfast.

Eat a phytonutrient-rich breakfast with lots of healthy, high-quality fats and protein every day. This could be a (free-range organic) egg omelette with spinach plus gluten-free avocado toast drizzled in extra virgin olive oil. Or a smoothie with nut butter and hemp protein.  Make breakfast the biggest meal of your day. Your body needs most of its fuel in the morning (rather than the evening) to support healthy energy levels throughout the day.

Shore up your adrenal system with supplements and adaptogenic herbs.

Herbs like ginkgo biloba and rhodiola support sharp thinking and mental focus, making them a good addition to your routine when you are trying to give up coffee and caffeinated tea. Vitamin B12 and vitamin B5 are necessary nutrients for maintaining healthy sustained energy everyday, and most people are deficient. Maca root powder is another plant compound that helps boost energy and support the adrenal system without taking a toll in adrenal and whole body health, like coffee does.

Seek out healthy substitutes.

Swap coffee for kukicha or “twig” tea, which is made from the roasted stem from which green tea leaves are plucked. It has a nutty taste and is perfect any time of the day. It’s also alkalizing for the blood versus the acid-forming cup of coffee. I am a tea collector, and I know that most herbal tea over time just tastes like hot potpourri. But kukicha tea is in a non-floral, non-herbaceous class by itself. You can also drink maca root powder as a tea. It has a coffee-like taste, helps with energy and detox, and is especially delicious with a bit of non-dairy creamer and a small dollop of honey. Roasted dandelion root tea and burdock root tea both have a satisfying earthy flavor.

Replenish your micronutrients.

Coffee drains the body of essential micronutrients. If you have a history of caffeine use, your body will need supplemental nutrients in order to bring your reproductive hormones back into balance.

Practice The Cycle Syncing Method™.

When you eat, exercise, and work in a way that supports your fluctuating hormones, you will build energy daily instead of working against your hormones and leaving yourself depleted and drained. If you are new to The Cycle Syncing Method™, star by downloading the MyFlo app and tracking your 28-day hormone cycle, also known as your infradian rhythm.

If you occasionally Indulge in caffeine, remember that size matters.

Take the European approach to coffee drinking. Drink a small cup of fresh espresso, rather than a giant cup (or two or three) of coffee and only have it with food. And make a habit of savoring your occasional cup of coffee instead of guzzling it on the run. And on any day you have caffeine, make sure to rehydrate with coconut water or another healthy source of electrolytes.

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