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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

How to Clear Hormonal Acne

As an adult, you assumed breakouts were a thing of the past once. But, no. Your skin is smooth until the week before your period and then, boom, it’s like you’re 16 all over again, with acne appearing most prominently on your chin, jawline, neck, shoulders, and back.

Cyclical breakouts are caused by hormones. A woman’s hormone levels rise and fall over the course of 28 days, in a cycle known as the infradian rhythm, and these hormone shifts are normal and natural. They are an innate part of female physiology when we are in our reproductive years.

When our hormones are balanced, we don’t experience unpleasant symptoms like acne throughout our monthly cycle. When our hormones are imbalanced, we experience a host of unpleasant symptoms, including acne. Here’s another way to look at it: Hormone shifts throughout the month are normal (and can be leveraged to our advantage).

Acne isn’t. The good news? You can use food, lifestyle, and supplement strategies to balance your hormones and erase cyclical acne. When it comes to adult acne, knowledge is power. Here’s everything you need to know to say goodbye to cyclical acne forever.

Meet your 28-Day Cycle, aka Your Infradian Rhythm

The first step toward clear skin all month long is to understand what’s happening in your body over the course of your infradian rhythm. During your 28-day hormone cycle, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels naturally rise and fall. When your system is healthy and you’re cycling normally, these fluctuations occur in familiar patterns. Specifically:

  • During the follicular phase (which is the first days of your cycle up until ovulation): estrogen levels begin to rise
  • During the ovulation phase (mid-cycle): estrogen and testosterone rise until they peak
  • During the luteal phase (which occurs right after ovulation and up until you start bleeding): estrogen, testosterone and progesterone rises in the first half and then falls
  • During the menstrual phase (bleeding): all hormone levels fall to their lowest levels

The hormone changes that happen during each phase mean different things for all aspects of your life, affecting your energy levels, concentration, communication skills, and strengths and weaknesses. It also affects your skin.

How Fluctuating Hormones Affect Skin

Estrogen and progesterone levels affect the thickness of the skin differently each phase of your cycle.  During the follicular phase and especially during ovulation, high levels of estrogen boost collagen, make the skin thicker, and improve elasticity. You can thank the estrogen during this phase for that famed ‘ovulation glow’.  Testosterone levels also rise during the luteal phase and that helps keep skin thick. But testosterone is a double-edged sword when it comes to skin. Studies show a link between spikes in testosterone and acne.So this is the crucial point in your cycle when you either become vulnerable to breakouts or go through the second half of your cycle with clear skin. What causes some women to break out and others to barely notice a blemish? The difference is in the body’s ability to efficiently process and eliminate the excess estrogen and testosterone in the system as levels rise.If your body isn’t processing hormones properly during your luteal phase and eliminating them efficiently, excess estrogen and excess testosterone accumulate and fuel acne.This happens in two ways: the excess estrogen causes estrogen dominance and skin inflammation, and the extra testosterone triggers the sebaceous glands to produce more oil.For women with optimally functioning endocrine systems, these hormonal peaks don’t cause a lot of problems. But for women who can’t process hormones correctly, acne is often the unwanted result.Premenstrually and during your period, estrogen drops and your skin gets thinner, retains less moisture, and produces less collagen.  Progesterone rising and falling in the luteal phase can worsen skin conditions if present.

This is why The Cycle Syncing Method® is so effective in addressing these fluctuations, as you’ll be eating in ways that improve estrogen and progesterone imbalances.

Signs that Acne is Caused by Imbalanced Hormones

Do you need to clear your adult acne?

So timing — that is, when you breakout — is a major sign that acne is hormonal. Breakouts during the luteal (premenstrual) phase are a sure sign that your hormones are out of balance and could use some TLC. Another sign of hormonal acne is where you breakout. Breakouts along the chin and jaw line are a sign of hormonal acne. Pimples on the temple are another common sign of a hormonal imbalance that stems from liver congestion due to excess estrogen. If you’ve got pimples on your forehead, it’s usually a sign of a gut imbalance.Here are more telltale signs of specific hormone imbalances and root causes of acne:

  • If you break out during ovulation, the cause is high estrogen and you will need to support your body’s ability to break it down more quickly during this phase with cruciferous vegetables.
  • If you break out before your period, the cause is low progesterone and you can use food and lifestyle to support boosting progesterone. The supplement Vitex can also help support progesterone.
  • If you break out all the time, the cause is inflammation, so incorporate inflammation-fighting foods into your diet like cruciferous vegetables and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and egg yolks.
  • If you break out during stressful situations, the cause is high cortisol and dysregulated insulin. Focus on balancing blood sugar and limiting high-sugar foods.
  • If you break out after 35, the cause is the erratic hormonal shifts related to perimenopause. Make it a priority to engage in The Cycle Syncing Method® to bring balance back to your monthly hormone shifts.
  • If you break out during postpartum/miscarriage, the cause is plunging levels of estrogen and progesterone and the return of menstruation. If your period has returned, your priority here should be engaging in phase-based self care by practicing The Cycle Syncing Method®. If your cycle has not returned, seek out support from acupuncture.

None of the root causes of acne can be spot treated. Hormone-driven and inflammation-driven acne are caused by imbalances inside your body that need to be addressed at the core. I offer phase-specific skin care advice below, but any long-term fix for easing acne must go beyond skin care strategies. A holistic, sustained and sustainable fix for adult acne must include food, supplement, and lifestyle strategies.

Your Skin Care Schedule During Your 28-Day Cycle

Here’s how to time your skin care routine to match your hormonal needs throughout the month:

  • Day 7-12 (follicular phase). If you get a facial with extractions, schedule it during your follicular phase. This is also the time to do any hair removal.
  • Day 13-24 (ovulation/first half of luteal). Facials are still okay during this time, but it’s best to go for masks, not extractions. Dry brushing is a great way to help the lymph offload the estrogen. You don’t need much in the way of products during this phase.
  • Day 25-Day 28 (the second half of luteal). This is a perfect time for home care with your favorite products and using oil-based serum to reduce sebum production. Clay masks are also great during this time, and you can use products with lactic acid to shrink pores.
  • Day 1 – Day 6 (Bleeding). During menstruation, focus on restorative, soothing skin care. Think hydrating and calming masks, and collagen masks.  

NOTE: Don’t have any extractions or hair removal during the second half of the month when skin is thinner and increased blood flow to your capillaries means more post-extraction swelling. Save facial appointments until right after your bleed is over.

Every day of your cycle. I take Balance Supplements every day of my cycle to make sure my hormones and skin can be at their best throughout the month. Whatever you do to optimize your micronutrients, don’t skip this step! Clear skin starts on the inside and with what we eat and how we supplement.…. And if you don’t have any idea where you are in your cycle, start tracking it now with the MyFLO app. You can only practice cyclical self-care when you know which phase you’re in!

4 Factors That Contribute to Hormone Imbalances and Cyclical Acne

Hormone imbalances are the root cause of adult acne, and there are several key ways our hormones get out of balance. Here are five main factors that affect hormonal harmony:

  1. Micronutrient deficiencies: In order for the body to make enough hormones — and to eliminate excess hormones efficiently and effectively via the liver  — we need optimal levels of key micronutrients. When our bodies are deficient in specific micronutrients, we will be more prone to breakouts.
  2. Your detoxification system is sluggish. If you experience acne as part of your 28-day hormone cycle—for example, if you notice breakouts around ovulation (mid-cycle) and/or right before your period—it’s a sign that your body isn’t processing and eliminating excess hormones. Here’s what happens: during the second half of your cycle, estrogen and testosterone peak. If your detox system (lymphatic system, liver, and large intestine)  iscongested and can’t get rid of these excess hormones quickly enough, estrogen builds up in your body (estrogen dominance) and causes problems (like skin inflammation). The extra testosterone sends signals to your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Acne is the result.
  3. Inflammation: Chronic inflammation, which is fueled by a variety of common factors — from eating pro-inflammatory foods to being too sedentary to exposure to toxic chemicals — is a root cause of acne.
  4. You’re not getting enough exercise (or sex!) Both exercise and sex help flush the stress hormone cortisol from the body — and keeping cortisol moving out of the body is essential for glowing, gorgeous skin. If you’re not moving enough or clocking enough amazing orgasms, the evidence could show on your face.

Why the Conventional Acne Treatments You’re Using Aren’t Working

When I had acne, I tried everything my doctor would give me. I was desperate to improve the way my skin looked and the way I felt about myself. I imagine you’ve also gone through a list of potions and pills, hoping each would work for you. I personally tried a long course of antibiotics to stop the acne, which permanently stained my teeth slightly yellow and destroyed my gut microbiome so badly that I spent my entire freshman year of college with viruses, yeast infections, and flu-like symptoms. I tried Retinol-A cream and Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide thinking I could heal my skin from the outside and just fix the surface of the issue. Needless to say, none of those things worked.There’s a reason these commonly prescribed medications don’t work — and most even come with dangerous side effects:

  • The birth control pill: The pill disrupts your microbiome, endocrine system, and micronutrient levels – all systems essential for keeping your skin clear. You may have clear skin while you’re taking it, but not without added side effects that can worsen issues like PCOS, plus increase your risk of some reproductive cancers. Once you decide to stop using hormonal birth control, a common symptom of the withdrawal period is acne, often worse than you’ve had before because of the internal disruption that has occurred as a result of the medication.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics do incredible damage to the microbiome because they don’t distinguish between good bacteria and bad bacteria—they just kill all of them—and robust gut health is important for clear skin. As with hormonal birth control, when you come off the antibiotics, the acne may not only return, it can be much worse than it was before because of the microbiome damage.
  • Spironolactone/Aldactone: Just as I don’t recommend synthetic hormonal birth control or meat and dairy that contain synthetic hormones, I don’t recommend the steroid medication spironolactone. This steroid is nothing like the hormones your body produces on its own. It disrupts your body’s production of testosterone by confusing your body with a synthetically similar steroid. Plus, spironolactone use can trigger one of the most common hormone imbalance issues (and a cause of acne)—estrogen dominance—as well as depression, blood clots, and increased risk of some cancers. Spironolactone is not safe to take long term and is not going to prevent acne beyond the point that you are using it.
  • Isotretinoin (originally Accutane): If you’re prescribed Isotretinoin, then you are also prescribed hormonal birth control, because Isotretinoin causes birth defects. There are other side effects—including an initial worsening of acne—and severe depression. The original patented drug, Accutane, was discontinued after many users developed inflammatory bowel disease and use of the drug was associated with increased risk of suicide. Usually this medication is offered as a last resort, but rarely have diet and lifestyle changes been part of prior acne-treatment protocols.

Once I figured out how to eat and live to support my hormones, my skin cleared up (and a lot of other great stuff happened too). My skin’s been clear ever since and I’ve helped many other women achieve the same lasting success.

Worst Foods for Your Skin

One of the most powerful ways to balance your hormones and support clear skin is by what you eat — and what you don’t eat. Your liver needs enough key micronutrients from food to help your body detoxify excess hormones and other skin damaging waste products, so it's important to prioritize foods that contain those micronutrients and liver support compounds — foods like cruciferous vegetables, dark leafy greens, and small, oily fish like sardines (rich in skin-friendly omega 3 fats). Because inflammation drives acne, it’s important to avoid eating inflammatory foods, like sugar and dairy.Here are some of the specific foods I recommend saying goodbye to entirely if you experience cyclical breakouts:

  • Dairy – In addition to the fact that a lot of US dairy products contain synthetic hormones that contribute to hormone imbalances, dairy is inflammatory — and inflammation is a root cause of acne.
  • Peanuts – The same allergens in peanuts that cause certain people to have serious adverse reactions can cause many other folks to experience skin inflammation.
  • Soy Isolate– This form of highly processed soy can create estrogen overload in those who are already hormonally sensitive.
  • Canola, sunflower, safflower, vegetable oil – These cooking oils have more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. A high ratio of omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats is inflammatory — and hard on the skin.
  • Caffeine Coffee and black and green teas strip your body of essential B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc, all of which are important for healthy, glowing, and clear skin.
  • Gluten – Like dairy, gluten is inflammatory and can increase the likelihood of breakouts

What foods are best for clear skin? I give you my top recommendations below, in my step-by-step guide to clear skin.

How to Solve Cyclical Acne for Good — Your Step-By-Step Guide

The skin is the largest organ of detoxification and one of your top goals for easing cyclical acne is detoxing the excess hormones and other toxins in your body. Here are my top strategies for saying goodbye to cyclical acne for good, and I save the most important — supplementing for detoxification and glowing skin — for last. Pay special attention to the supplements section. Targeted micronutrients in the form of high-quality supplements are what really move the needle on your skin health.

Step One: Understand that hormonal acne is an “inside job”

The root causes of acne start deep within your body. They don’t start at the level of the skin. That means that any changes you make to your skin care routine will only help so much… and, if you do nothing else, the root causes of your acne will smolder on. So your first step in easing hormonal acne is shifting your mindset. You can only truly address hormonal acne by understanding it for what it is — a condition with internal root causes — and then using food, supplement, and lifestyle strategies to address those root causes.

Step Two: Practice The Cycle Syncing Method™

The Cycle Syncing Method™ is the practice of living in a way that gets your hormones working for you rather than against you. It involves tailoring your self-care and hormone-support routines to your unique needs during each phase of your 28-day hormone cycle. It is also what differentiates the Flo Protocol from other hormone support programs, and it is what will ultimately make the biggest difference when it comes to clear skin. The first step in practicing The Cycle Syncing Method™ is to track your cycle. Once you know what’s happening in your body each week of the month, it’s time to match what you eat, how you move, and even how you plan your schedule and how you interact with others with your hormones.

Step Three: Eat your way to clear skin

Food is one of the most powerful levers you can pull when it comes to easing hormonal acne. That’s because the right foods address not just one but several root causes of acne. Specifically, you can use food to (1) reduce system-wide inflammation, which fuels acne; (2) address hormone imbalances, like estrogen dominance, which exacerbate skin issues; (3) support your body’s natural ability to detoxify, (4) balance your blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, which calms your oil glands and decreases the bioavailability of androgens (high levels of androgens can trigger breakouts); and (5) patch up micronutrient deficiencies that can contribute to breakouts. Wanna do a deep dive on eating for acne, including which foods to prioritize? Here’s where to turn:

  • To learn which foods to eat to support detoxification, go here.
  • To build an anti-inflammatory, micronutrient-rich eating plan, go here.
  • To find out the worst foods for acne, go here.

What’s on your plate is one of your best defenses against breakouts. Make food a top priority in healing the root causes of acne.

Step Four: Find good skin care

There are a plethora of organic skin care lines to address acne-prone skin, from Marie Veronique to Renee Rouleau Anti Bump Solution. Check out Credo Beauty and Cap Beauty for more excellent options. This is an important step because if you’re giving up the medicated topicals, you will need something to help with skin turnover, pore decongestion, excess oil, and cysts.

Step Five: Use targeted supplementation to clear your skin

As I said, I saved one of the most critical steps for last. The right supplementation can make all the difference between slightly improving your acne and clearing it for good. You will read a lot on the Internet about micronutrients that are best for skin, but after nearly 20 years of research — and of using these same supplements to clear my own hormonal acne — this is what I recommend:

  • Magnesium. A lack of magnesium causes skin inflammation. Taking magnesium with calcium combined in supplement form can lower the amount of C-reactive proteins in your body which cause this inflammation. Calcium is part of our tissue matrix – bones, cells, and skin – and very important for skin cell renewal.
  • Omega-3s. Getting your omega-3 fatty acids in fish or flax oil will give you almost instant results. Clearer, softer, smoother skin as well as stronger hair and nails – you can see it happen in days. They have a big picture, whole body affect, as well as results in the short term. I also advise supplementation. It is hard to overstate the importance of omega-3 fatty acids when it comes to skin health.
  • Zinc. Zinc deficiency is a very common issue for many women. When we are deficient in zinc our pores become easily irritated by bacteria and show redness. A large-scale scientific study concluded that zinc supplementation is very effective even when compared to commonly prescribed antibiotics. I also recommend having a little bit of grass-fed liver every week as part of a meal or as a snack. It’s full of copper and vitamin A. The copper will balance out the zinc in your body and the vitamin A is what your liver needs to detoxify from excess hormones. A well-functioning liver boosts your absorption of all vitamins and minerals and prevent deficiencies developing in the first place.
  • Probiotics. We need probiotics for a healthy gut. A common symptom of a damaged and depleted microbiome is acne and other skin issues like rosacea. It’s particularly important with hormonal acne as your microbiome assists your body in processing and eliminating excess estrogen. If you’ve been on the Pill or antibiotics for any length of time, probiotics could be key to getting your skin back on track.
  • B Vitamins. Your skin needs B-vitamins to regenerate and renew as they provide the energy all of your cells need for fuel. Taking a good B-complex every day that includes a high level of B6 will target hormonal and premenstrual acne. B6 prevents skin inflammation and overproduction of sebum (the oil your skin produces at can create acne issues).

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.

Here is A Great Video Resource For You - 5 Ways to Stop Hormonal Acne

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.

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.

The Best Detox for Women

Quick fixes don’t work, though we all wish they would. If you’ve been following FLO Living for a while (or even for a short time), you know I advocate for making good choices every day, creating sustainable lifestyle habits that last for the long term, and living in line with your infradian rhythm, or the innate 28-day hormone cycle that controls six key areas of the body, all year long. It’s an evidence based, results-driven perspective and it really works.

That said, I do recommend doing the right kind of detox — emphasis on the words “right kind” — periodically. A detox that focuses on replenishing the nutrients and minerals your body needs while reducing the amount of nutritional clutter that comes into your body (think sugar, caffeine, and the pesticides and herbicides found on conventional produce) can kickstart hormonal healing and accelerate the disappearance of period problems like heavy or irregular periods, fatigue, acne, moodiness, brain fog, bloating, weight gain, and weight loss resistance. What makes a detox healthy and supportive (versus depleting and destabilizing)? When should you detox? How can you detox safely?

In this post, I give you everything you need to know about doing a safe, hormone-supportive detox. And I share the detailed 4-Day Detox plan that I designed specifically to help you balance your hormones and erase period problems.If you’ve tried detox protocols in the past and they haven’t worked, this post is for you.

How Do You Know If You Need to Detox?

A healthy, hormone-supportive detox isn’t a daily lifestyle. It’s a short, thoughtful, nourishing protocol that you can follow a couple times a year to help rebalance your hormones ease pesky period problems. How can you tell when you’d benefit from doing a hormone supportive detox? Here are some clues your body might be giving you:

  • You feel sluggish and tired most days, even after getting a good night’s sleep
  • You have trouble concentrating
  • You feel irritable and moody most days
  • Your body feels heavy, weighed down
  • You feel bloated most days
  • Your PMS is worse than usual
  • You’re breaking out regularly
  • You’re having increased food cravings
  • You’ve been relying on caffeine to jumpstart each day
  • You’ve been relying on alcohol to come down at night
  • You’ve gained some weight and it just won’t seem to come back off

If you can identify with the symptoms on this list, your hormones need some TLC and one of the best ways to start that process is with a detox. But not just any detox! A healthy, healing detox is NOT a crash diet, juice cleanse, or fast. If you want to feel energized, refreshed, boosted in body and spirit, as well as lose a few pounds and get glowing skin, you need a detox that nourishes and supports you, not deprives you.

Why Is Doing a Detox Important?

Modern life is hard on hormones. Here are just some of the things we are exposed to everyday that interfere with optimal hormone balance and contribute to unpleasant symptoms like fatigue, acne, depression, anxiety, brain fog, mood swings, weight gain, weight loss resistance, and period problems, like severe PMS, heavy or irregular periods, bloating, and menstrual migraines:

  • Environmental toxins (household cleaning products, body care products, lawn chemicals)
  • The pesticides and herbicides on conventional food
  • Sugar/high-glycemic foods
  • Gluten
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Not eating enough phytonutrient-rich foods
  • Chronic stress
  • Sleep deprivation

What is the Best Detox Protocol for Women?

The best detox for people with female physiology in their reproductive years is a detox that helps balance hormones, replenish missing nutrients and minerals, support the liver, and facilitate the elimination of toxins — all while allowing you to feel nourished and satisfied. Fasts, juice cleanses, and starvation diets do more damage to hormones than good!I’ve designed a simple, powerfully effective detox that accomplishes all of this. My 4-Day Hormone Detox has you eating fresh, nourishing food for 3 meals a day, plus snacks. You won’t feel hungry, hangry, or deprived. You will prep food and then you will be eating frequently throughout the day, instead of watching the clock for your next juice.

Many women have told me that the 4-Dday Hormone Detox is not something they live through but something they actually look forward to!Women who have done this cleanse have lost 10 lbs, cleared up stubborn acne, improved their energy, sharpened their thinking, solved period problems, and boosted their moods.I created this cleanse using the principles of functional nutrition and my deep understanding of hormonal biochemistry. Every meal combines foods that help support the liver and that help restore and sustain the delicate endocrine (hormone) system.

What’s more, the detox is designed to stabilize blood sugar, regulate your adrenal system, improve estrogen elimination, and engage your healing feminine energy. The protocol will also increase the micronutrients you need to manufacture the right amounts of these hormones and to signal to them to do their jobs at the right times for you.

What to Expect During and After the Detox?

The 4-Day Hormone Detox is designed to boost your energy, ease period problems, clear your skin, and improve your mood. It also resets your relationship with food, getting you back into healthy balance.More specifically, here is some of what you can expect:

Skin Benefits

The main environmental triggers of adult acne are dairy, caffeine, sugar (and high-glycemic foods, and gluten, and these are all eliminated during the 4-Day Detox. You’ll also increase the amount of skin-clearing, hormone-supportive nutrients in your diet, especially omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins. These micronutrients also support your liver, which is responsible for clearing excess estrogen from your system. When the liver is sluggish, excess estrogen builds up and contributes to breakouts.

Menstrual Health Benefits

Because the Detox is designed to balance your hormones, you will notice an improvement in period problems, like PMS, cramps, bloating, and heavy or irregular periods.

Mood Benefits

If you’ve been experiencing anxiety, low mood, depression, or just a sluggishness and demotivation, then the 4-Day Detox can help. One root cause of mood swings and hormone instability is imbalanced blood sugar. The Detox is designed to balance blood sugar. Many women experience their worst moods (or mood swings) the week before their period, and this is fueled by high estrogen/low progesterone, which the Detox also helps correct by supporting the liver (to eliminate excess estrogen) and boosting B vitamin stores (which helps with progesterone production).

Body Composition Benefits

Bloating can get better during the detox. You’re might also  lose a few pounds, too. That’s because balanced blood sugar correlates with lower levels of insulin — and lower insulin is correlated with less fat stored around the waistline. (Insulin is an important and necessary hormone in the body, but too much of it in the body — which happens when blood sugar is high or chronically unstable — is associated with the storage of unwanted body fat.)

Emotional Benefits

During the detox, you’ll be journaling on specific topics that will expand your perspective, increase your sense of confidence and calm, and support you in connecting with your feminine energy and creativity. You’ll be having a conversation with yourself and your body that you can use to make positive changes in your life. The Detox is also designed to shift your relationship with food, encouraging you to actually engage with and enjoy what you eat.If your body and mind need a boost, I highly recommend the 4-day Hormone Detox. It is nourishing, restorative, and easy — no deprivation or punishing rules — so it can be rolled out when you need it to help you get back on track. WHEN is the optimal time to do a detox? You should do a detox during your follicular and ovulation phases only. Due to infradian changes, your metabolism is slower in the first half of your cycle and requires less calories, so you can tolerate the cleanse most easily then. Learn more about the infradian effect on metabolism here.

What Happens After You Finish the 4-Day Hormone Detox

After the 4-Dday Hormone Detox, it’s important to take small but effective steps everyday to keep toxins out of your system. You’ll want to maintain the good work you did during the targeted detox to keep your hormones healthy all year round.I recommend eating a nutrient-dense diet, full of good fats, greens, high-fiber foods, and high-quality proteins. Your liver needs the nutrients from those foods to process the excess hormones and toxins and eliminate them from your body. Specifically, the liver breaks down and eliminates toxins in four phases:

Phase 1: The liver breaks down toxins into smaller components by using nutrients from food such as glutathione, B vitamins, and C vitamins. These smaller components are called free radicals and they are more toxic once they’re broken down, so it’s critical to flush them from the body ASAP.

Phase 2: These free radicals are combined with the selenium and amino acids in the liver – again, sourced from your food – and they become harmless and water-soluble through the process.

Phase 3: Then these water-soluble molecules bind to fiber — yes, the very same fiber you get in food! — and are escorted out of the body.

Phase 4: Toxins are eliminated via your skin, your lymphatic system, and bowel movements.This is one of the reasons why food is such a core component of the FLO Protocol, and why living in line with your infradian rhythm depends so heavily on the foods you eat (and don’t eat). Optimal liver function also helps promote healthy weight maintenance and weight loss.  In short, your liver needs MORE nutrients, not less, to do its job effectively. To supply your liver with a steady stream of hormone-supportive nutrients and promote detox everyday, give the following foods a starring role in your daily diet all year round:

  • Gutathione-heavy vegetables like avocados, carrots, broccoli, spinach, apples, asparagus and melon. Add two additional servings a day
  • Selenium-rich foods like as oats, eggs, and Brazil nuts.
  • Fiber-rich foods like nuts, seeds, lentils and peas. Add flaxseeds to your breakfast eggs and lunch salad.

You can also speed up the elimination process and get those toxins out your body fast with a couple of simple lifestyle hacks.

  • Sweat – encourage your lymphatic system to get in on the game of releasing toxins by giving it a gentle movement massage. Workout in a way that makes you sweat, whether that’s a home dance workout or a hatha yoga class.
  • Soak – draw yourself a bath full of epsom salts, the ancient and highly effective way to detox via your body’s largest organ – your skin.

In addition, I recommend all people with female physiology in their reproductive years take targeted, hormone-supportive supplements that insure your liver gets all the nutrients it needs to do its elimination work. Even when we eat the cleanest diet, there are factors beyond our control (like the nutrient-depleted soil our food is grown in) that make it difficult to get all the nutrients we need from food. 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 by FLO Living supplement kit is thoroughly researched, rigorously tested, and perfectly suited to meet your needs. 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!

Cycle Syncing with Herbs & Supplements

PMS stinks. You shouldn’t have to spend one week each month with pain, bloating, acne, brain fog, and fatigue. You shouldn’t lose so much time to feeling crummy. You don’t deserve all those weeks of lost productivity and being less present and engaged in your life. If PMS and period problems are part of your life, you’re being robbed! You can reclaim your health and your life. How? By using food, supplements and lifestyle to address the root causes of period pain and PMS.At Flo Living, we believe all women should have access to easy, affordable reproductive care.

For over 15 years we’ve helped thousands of women around the world balance their hormones and reclaim their health with nutrition, supplements and lifestyle. Our proven protocol is backed by science and research to help you achieve real results.Sure, you can try spot treating your period problems with ibuprofen. But spot treating doesn’t work, which — let’s face it— you already knew. If spot treating worked, you’d take an ibuprofen or Midol and feel all-the-way better. Your fatigue would disappear. Your acne would clear right up. You would feel healthy and well all month long. Have you ever taken ibuprofen and felt truly alive and symptom-free?

Simply put, spot treating PMS doesn’t work. In fact, it can make the underlying issues that cause PMS and period problems worse. Why? Two reasons:

  1. Spot treatments pave over symptoms instead of treating the root causes. You may get temporary relief from popping an ibuprofen, but the hormone imbalances that cause your symptoms go untreated and ignored — and, often, they get worse.
  2. Spot treating means taking supplements ONLY when you have symptoms, and by the time you have symptoms your system is already out of balance. The hormone imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, and system-wide asymmetry that is causing you to feel miserable is already well established, and spot treating can’t fix that.

But you CAN erase period problems and PMS. You don’t have to suffer every month.I used to have terrible PMS, but now I have healthy, regular periods. I only know my period is coming when my period tracking app tells me it’s coming. This is a complete turnaround from when I was younger. My PMS left me on the sofa, curled up with a hot water bottle, and desperately trying to hide my acne and bloating.

What’s the secret to easing PMS and having happier periods every month? It’s supporting your hormones during each phase of your 28-day hormone cycle, not just taking a pill when symptoms crop up. Having a better period means doing the OPPOSITE of spot treating: The secret is using specific herbs and supplements in every phase of your monthly cycle to address root causes BEFORE they become pesky, unwanted symptoms.  

The Benefits of Cycle Syncing with Herbs & Supplements

When you choose the right foods, adaptogens, and herbs at the right time during your cycle, you will ease PMS symptoms AND you will do so much more. You’ll experience:

  • Consistent, clear mental focus every day of the month
  • Consistent energy levels every day of the month
  • Clear skin all month long
  • No bloating or cramping the week before your period
  • Steadier mood without dramatic mood swings

The first step to successfully synchronizing your food, supplement, and lifestyle choices with your 28-day hormone cycle — and freeing yourself from PMS and problem periods — is understanding your hormone cycle, which is governed by the infradian rhythm, and supporting your body in key ways during each phase of the cycle.

Support Your Body’s Second Cycle: The Infradian Rhythm

Menstruating women experience two biological cycles:

  1. THE CIRCADIAN RHYTHM is the 24-hour biological cycle that people of all genders experience. It governs the sleep-wake cycle and energy fluctuations each day.
  2. THE INFRADIAN RHYTHM is the 28-day hormonal cycle. It’s experienced by people with female physiology during their reproductive years. The infradian rhythm has four phases, and each one requires specific herb and micronutrient support to balance hormones and keep symptoms at bay.

The infradian rhythm, also known as the body’s ‘second clock’, affects six different body systems:

  1. Brain
  2. Metabolism
  3. Immune system
  4. Microbiome
  5. Stress response system
  6. Reproductive system

How much of a difference does the infradian rhythm make on these six systems?

  • The infradian rhythm creates a 25% change in your brain chemistry over the course of each month, which means you will have different levels of focus, and different areas of strength, during the course of each month. When you plan your schedule in accordance with your infradian rhythm, you can be more productive with less stress.
  • Metabolism speeds up and slows down across the infradian rhythm, requiring changes in when and what you eat, and how you work out.
  • Cortisol levels go up during certain phases of your infradian cycle, so without proper support and care during those phases you may experience more stress and inflammation, and your workouts (depending on what type of workouts you do) may be counterproductive.
  • Your skin changes throughout the course of your infradian rhythm, meaning you will benefit from different skin care routines at different times of the month
  • As your hormones fluctuate during the infradian rhythm, your body requires different herb and supplement support to help you system stay balanced. Targeted herbs also help your body detox, and keeps your whole body nourished.

The infradian rhythm has four distinct phases. Your body and brain change significantly in each phase, as your reproductive hormones fluctuate:

  • 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)

The Best Herbs & Supplements for Each Phase of Your Infradian Rhythm

Since your hormones are changing each week, and you have different symptoms from those hormonal ratios each phase, it makes sense for you to use supplements in a targeted way for each phase to ease symptoms and smooth out your cycle.  I designed the FLO Living Cycle Syncing Supplements to give you the targeted support you need for a symptom-free cycle. These supplements give you the herbal and micronutrient infrastructure you need  to address the root causes of period problems and erase symptoms like PMS, bloating, acne, mood swings, low energy, and fatigue.   And you simply take the one for the phase you’re in - period.

#1: CoQ10 for the FOLLICULAR PHASE

Right after your period ends, you can feel fatigued and less focused. You need to create deep energy from within your cells.  CoQ10 is an antioxidant that supports healthy energy levels, protects our cells against oxidative stress, and may even help reverse some of the damage caused by free radicals. (That is a fancy way of saying that it helps slow down aging). CoQ10 helps support balanced blood sugar, which is essential for maintaining healthy hormones, and it helps promote good ovarian response and egg health. CoQ10 is important for protecting your fertility now and in the future.


It’s very common for excess estrogen during this phase can trigger ovarian pain and acne. Your body needs help to break down estrogen faster. DIM is a powerful natural compound found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussel sprouts, and it helps your body clear out used-up estrogen. Studies show that DIM helps support healthy estrogen levels. Balanced estrogen levels are key for clear skin all month long and healthy weight maintenance. Helping the body detox estrogen efficiently and effectively also helps reduce PMS symptoms like cramps and bloating.

#3: Chromium and cinnamon for the LUTEAL PHASE

Metabolism is naturally higher during the luteal phase of the cycle. But most of us don’t eat enough calories because we’ve been taught to believe that we should eat the same calories daily (turns out that’s only good for the guys). Our ability to burn calories goes up — but so do our food cravings. During this phase, it’s critical to maintain balanced blood sugar, so taking a supplement that supports blood sugar stability can be really helpful during this phase. Research shows that consuming cinnamon is associated with significant decreases in fasting blood glucose, and chromium has been shown to help with insulin sensitivity and better carbohydrate metabolism.

#4: Quercetin and Nettles for the MENSTRUAL PHASE

During the menstrual phase of your cycle, your uterus needs support to reduce inflammation and soothe cramps. That’s why I chose quercetin and nettles for this supplement. Both help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Nettles are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as iron and calcium, which helps replenish nutrients during your bleed. Quercetin supports healthy immune system function which is slightly suppressed during this phase and a healthy inflammatory response. I’ve been researching the best herb and supplement strategies for menstruating women for the past 20 years, and I designed these powerful, supportive supplements using my deep well of knowledge. If you suffer from PMS and other period problems, I invite you to try the FLO Living Cycle Syncing Supplements. They are specifically designed to support your unique female physiology and address the root causes of period problems and PMS. Unlike spot treatments like ibuprofen, the FLO Living Cycle Syncing Supplements help you optimize your hormones during each phase of your cycle so you can find lasting relief. You deserve better than the temporary, partially effective, and sometimes dangerous spot treatments on the market. Each formula in the FLO Living Cycle Syncing Supplement kit has been scientifically developed using therapeutic-grade herbs, and we guarantee NO fillers and NO impurities. It’s a myth that PMS is part of life, and that cramps, bloating, and other symptoms are just part of having a period. Period problems AREN’T inevitable. You can use your knowledge of the infradian rhythm to address the root causes of PMS and period pain and transform your monthly cycle into one that is symptom free. You deserve to feel better!At Flo Living, we are building a future where it’s easy and simple to get targeted support for your hormonal symptoms from your first period to your last. With the right support, women in their reproductive years can ease their symptoms, live with less pain, and look and feel their best — which is what every woman deserves.

NOTE: We use the words “woman” and “women” and she/her pronouns throughout these posts for ease of writing, but the principles and advice apply to any person, regardless of gender identity, who was born with female physiology. At the same time, if you are a person born with male physiology and you identify as non-binary or you are transitioning to identify as female, using a cyclical support system can help you feel more in sync with your female energy.

The Cycle Syncing® Supplement Kit

Targeted Nutraceuticals to help you optimize each phase of your cycle

Since your hormones change each phase of your cycle and you have different symptoms from those hormonal ratios each phase, you need targeted supplements for each phase to ease those specific symptoms during that phase.This kit will help relieve your period symptoms so you can stay energized and focused all month long.

Which Book Should You Read?

I love how social media is connecting us as women in a historic way. I love sharing everything I’ve learned over the past 15 years about female biochemistry, functional nutrition, endocrinology, and neuropsychology AND I love hearing from you. Specifically, I love your questions!Recently, I’ve been getting asked one question in particular: “Hey Alisa, I want to read your new book. Should I start with your first book WomanCode? Or should I start with your new book In the FLo?My answer is: Yes, and yes. 😊In all seriousness, I’m honored and thrilled when women read my books. I am on a mission to help move the conversation and the care forward for women for their hormones. I believe we deserve to feel better and I want that for you.These are some of the things that are possible:

  • Your period problems may improve, or you may notice your periods become problem-free
  • You may experience less PMS, or you may notice that your PMS improves so much that you don’t notice symptoms
  • If your period has been missing or irregular, your period may come back or you may experience more regular periods
  • Your skin may clear up.
  • Your mood may improve.
  • Your energy might improve.
  • You might experience more presence and joy in your life
  • Yoy might notice you are more productive at work (while putting in less effort — a win-win!)
  • You might notice that your sleep is more restorative and/or that your fall asleep easier
  • Your sex drive may improve.
  • Your anxiety may go down.

I built FLO Living as a virtual online health center to help women solve their hormonal symptoms, and that is what my team and I do 24/7 everyday of the year. We offer a variety of programs and resources, from free guides and detox protocols to individual coaching sessions and targeted hormone-balancing supplements.   Why?  Because women deserve more from their hormonal healthcare.  It’s time to finally feel better in our bodies.I invite people with period problems to start wherever they feel most comfortable. For some, it might be a membership in one of our Cycle Syncing™ programs. For others, it might be doing some deep reading — and for that I recommend my books. You can start with either one — or both! Here is a guide to each book to help you choose the best starting place for you.


Start with my book WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source if…

  • You suffer from missing or irregular periods or other period problems like PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis, bloating, acne, PMS, severe cramps, heavy bleeding, or menstrual migraines.
  • You’ve been led to believe that Western medicine is the only option you have for healing your hormones
  • You’ve tried a bunch of Rxs, like prescription acne medication and hormonal birth control and they haven’t worked — or they’ve made your hormone problems worse.
  • You feel off — like you’re weighed down, lacking energy, lacking vitality, stuck — and you want to feel better.
  • You want to learn about functional nutrition, exercise timing, and healthy detox

Why I wrote WomanCode

I wrote WomanCode to tell my story. When I was younger, I struggled with PCOS. I weighed 200 lbs. My face, chest, and back were covered in cystic acne. I got my period twice a year. I was exhausted, depressed, and couldn’t concentrate or think clearly. And that wasn’t the worst of it, according to my doctors. I was told that as I aged, I would suffer from obesity, infertility, diabetes, and possibly cancer and heart disease. They could give me drugs, my doctor said, but it would only help with symptoms — maybe — and it would never cure me. I refused to accept this.

I knew there had to be a different way. I dove into the research and discovered that food was the most powerful drug I could use to balance my hormones and ease my symptoms. I also discovered the importance of eating and living in a cyclical pattern, or shifting what I eat and how I exercise and organize my calendar in line with my hormonal shifts throughout the month.

When I figured out the cyclical piece of the puzzle, everything fell into place. I got my period. I lost 50 pounds. My cystic acne went away. My brain fog disappeared. I had energy and less anxiety. I wrote WomanCode to tell this story and, most importantly, to share everything I learned about hormonal healing with you. Whether you have PCOS, another clinical hormonal imbalance, or chronic period problems like PMS, cramps, heavy bleeding, bloating or acne, you can use the same strategy I used to heal and remain symptom-free for the last 15 years.


Start with my book In the Flo: Unlock Your Hormonal Advantage and Revolutionize Your Life if…

  • You want to deepen your understanding of your female biochemistry and your infradian rhythm, or the innate 28-day hormone cycle that regulates six key systems of the body
  • You eat a healthy diet, but you don’t seem to be getting results or what used to work for you has stopped working
  • You maintain a rigorous exercise routine but you don’t see results
  • You feel rushed, anxious, or exhausted much of the time
  • You feel like you aren’t as productive at work as you could be (despite putting in a LOT of effort)
  • Your libido has disappeared
  • You want to have more energy
  • You want to improve your interpersonal relationship
  • You want to have a healthier period
  • You want to biohack like a woman

Why I wrote In the Flo

I wrote In the Flo to introduce people with female biochemistry to the infradian rhythm. The infradian rhythm is an internal timekeeper, much like the 24-hour circadian rhythm, that is linked to the menstrual cycle. Here is just some of what the infradian rhythm does in the body:

  • 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.

One of my most significant discoveries over the past 15 years has been that women in their reproductive years have cyclical needs — and those needs shift as your hormones shift throughout your 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 only the 24-hour circadian clock. People with female physiology have two clocks, the circadian rhythm and the infradian rhythm.In the Flo is all about the infradian rhythm — understanding it, living in line with it, and optimizing your self care, including your food, exercise, and time management, to leverage your unique strengths during each phase of your infradian rhythm.If you want to heal your hormones, erase period problems, and get more out of your health — and your life — read In the Flo.

Both books complement each other and you will gain that much more by reading both. But if one appeals to you more than another at this moment, start there. You can also have me read to you with the audio books.  And if books aren't your cup of tea, that’s a-okay. Check out one of our other programs, memberships, or resources. If you are suffering from period problems or hormone imbalances, we can help.

My new 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 to look, feel, and perform your best.

Where to go from here?

In The FLO Reviews


"If you are a human with a womb cycle you need to read this! This book has changed my life completely, for the better. Did you know that you can only get pregnant 5-7 days out of the entire month!? This book taught me more about my female body than any health class ever has... I am so so so grateful!"

Kristen Dwyer ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

"This book is blowing my mind. Amazing, science backed information and already helping my body so much. This book should be a mandatory reading in high school!"

Jessie ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

"Total game changer in life, work, relationships and health. I love how the book is broken up into sections so that you can focus on different aspects from health to motherhood to sex, relationships, and more."

A Functional Medicine Approach to Endometriosis

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 that conventional medical interventions for endometriosis are limited—and far from ideal. The condition involves inflammation, estrogen excess, and an abnormal immune response—but one of the things science doesn’t know about endometriosis is the best way to treat it.

To date, Western medicine’s best tools for dealing with endometriosis are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, or surgery. Both strategies are for pain control; neither one addresses the root causes of the condition. But no woman with endometriosis needs to live without hope. Lifestyle strategies for reducing inflammation, strengthening the immune system, supporting the liver, and balancing hormones can make a huge difference in reducing symptoms and improving quality of life.

What is Endometriosis?

It is a painful, sometimes debilitating condition that affects as many as one in 15 percent of women ages 15 to 44 in the United States. Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue, which is normally found in the uterus, grows in places outside the uterus—places where it shouldn’t be. Most of the time this misplaced endometrial tissue lands on the ovaries or fallopian tubes or, painfully, on the abdomen. Because endometrial tissue responds to the same hormonal shifts that trigger the menstrual cycle, the pain associated with endometriosis will follow the same 28-day cycle as your period.

Astonishingly, and tragically, many women with endometriosis aren’t diagnosed right away. The average delay in diagnosis is almost seven years. Seven years! This means many women suffer with terrible, sometimes crippling, endometriosis-related pain for the better part of a decade, thinking that it is just severe period problems.Endometriosis can happen to any menstruating women. But why the condition strikes some women and not others is not entirely clear. Some women may be genetically predisposed. Three other factors fuel endometriosis:

1. A faulty immune system response

In women with endometriosis, the immune system fails to destroy the endometrial tissue that lands outside the uterus.

2. Excess estrogen in the body

Unfortunately, and simply by virtue of the world we live in today, excess estrogen in women (and many men) is more the norm than the exception. This overload of estrogen can fuel endometriosis in some women

3. Inflammation

Inflammation, like estrogen excess, is driven by lifestyle. What we eat and the toxins we are exposed to (and how well our bodies can detox them) drive inflammation and fuel endometriosis.While you can’t control your genetics, you can reduce inflammation in your body, help your liver flush out excess estrogen, and support your immune system with the nutrition, targeted supplementation, and lifestyle.In the next several sections, I outline my favorite strategies for easing the symptoms of endometriosis. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

The Best Foods for Endometriosis

Think of food as your best weapon in the fight against the painful symptoms of endometriosis. When it comes to hormone conditions like PCOS, fibroids, and endo, food is medicine. I’ve broken down the list of foods I recommend into four important categories (1) immune-boosting foods, (2) detox-support foods, (3) liver-support foods, and (4) healthy protein sources (for healing).[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/2"][vc_column_text]

Foods to help boost immune function

These foods will help boost immune function:

  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Beans, peas & lentils
  • Green tea
  • Rooibos tea
  • Yogurt with live cultures and other fermented foods like kim chi and sauerkraut
  • Rhubarb
  • Berries
  • Seeds (like flax, chia, and pumpkin)

Food for Healthy Protein

I recommend these healthy protein sources:

  • Salmon
  • Beans
  • Chicken or turkey

Note:You can maximize your benefit by emphasizing these foods.

Fiber-Rich Food for Hormone Detox

I recommend these fiber-rich foods for helping your body detox excess hormones:

  • Beans, peas and legumes
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Low-glycemic fruits, like berries; citrus fruits; apples
  • Vegetables, especially dark leafy greens like kale; cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, and cauliflower; carrots and beets
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole grains (but NOT wheat or rye; it is important to avoid gluten)

Foods for Liver Support

I recommend these foods for liver support. The liver is the body’s main organ of detoxification and it plays a central role in helping the body detox from excess estrogen:

  • Artichokes
  • Beets
  • Burdock
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Lemon & Lime
  • Dandelion & mustard greens
  • Watercress

The Worst Foods for Endometriosis

As with any health-supportive diet, it’s as much about what you take out of your body as what you put in. If you have endometriosis, you’ll want to cut out or dramatically reduce the following foods:


Alcohol Is immunosuppressive and hard on the liver.


Some research has linked the intake of caffeine with endometriosis. Play it safe and avoid caffeinated beverages.

Refined and highly processed carbs

This includes pasta, white bread, candy, cookies, and other baked goods. These foods are inflammatory and high-glycemic, hence bad for any inflammatory condition, including endometriosis.


Dairy is inflammatory and skim options are high-glycemic. Avoid all dairy if you have endometriosis, opting instead for coconut yogurt and kefir, and delicious non-dairy creamers made from nuts and seeds.

Fried foods and fast foods

Most fried foods and almost all fast food is prepared in unhealthy, inflammation-promoting cooking oils.

Red meat

Studies have linked red meat consumption to increased risk of endometriosis.


Foods with a high-glycemic-index drive up inflammation, suppress the immune system and offer no phytonutrient support. If dark leafy greens are the win-win-win food of hormonal healing (because they address inflammation, immune function, and have fiber), sugar is the lose-lose-lose because it helps with none of those things — and actively interferes with your efforts to heal.

Processed foods with additives and preservatives

These foods introduce chemicals into the body that it neither needs or wants — and that it has to work very hard to detox from. Don’t force your body to use up precious resources getting rid of avoidable preservatives (when it could spend that time processing and eliminating estrogen). [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

The Best Supplements for Endometriosis

Food comes first when fighting endometriosis (or any hormonal imbalance). But using targeted, high-quality supplements is a close second. Here are the supplements I recommend for women with endometriosis:

Milk thistle

This herb contains the antioxidant silymarin, which helps repair the cells in the liver and protects liver cells from damage. It is also anti-inflammatory.

Evening primrose oil

Studies suggest that Evening primrose oil offers powerful support for a variety of hormonal imbalances related to female reproductive hormones. Evening primrose oil may help with pain management in endometriosis.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 helps balance excess estrogen by boosting progesterone production in the body. B6 is also liver supportive.


A healthy microbiome is essential for the management of endometriosis. That’s because there is a colony of bacteria in the gut that helps process and eliminate excess estrogen from the body, according to research. It’s called the estrobolome and you can support by taking a high-quality probiotic.


Diindolylmethane supports the body in eliminating excess estrogen. DIM is derived from cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli and it metabolizes estrogen into smaller components that are more easily assimilated and removed by the body.

The Emotional Aspects of Endometriosis

Research into the mind-body connection is gaining ground in mainstream science, no longer relegated to “alternative” medicine. We are coming to understand – in a deeper and more detailed way – how thoughts and feelings can directly impact our physical health and well-being. We are seeing the empirical evidence mounting when it comes to how physical symptoms can manifest in connection to emotions. This is a concept I think we all understand instinctively and often relate to in our own lives. It’s good to see the science supporting a shared experience.

When a woman comes to me at FLO Living with endometriosis I explain that endometriosis is a complex condition that needs a comprehensive strategy for management, tackling the ecosystem of the microbiome, liver health, inflammation in the body, and excess estrogen. For women with endometriosis it’s vital that we work together to prevent symptoms as soon as possible, and shifts in diet, adding supplements, and removing certain triggers can be very effective, very quickly.I also work with women to explore the emotional components of endometriosis.

Addressing the emotional aspect of health issues like ovarian cysts, endometriosis, fibroids, and PCOS can be an important part of the healing process. While these problems and their symptoms create their own emotions in women — depression, anxiety, stress, worry, to name a few — they can also be connected to existing emotions and experiences. A closer look at the emotional aspects of endometriosis (or other hormone condition) won’t solve the symptoms, but understanding the emotional components can lead to more compassion for ourselves, for other women, and an individual and collective recovery.

This is something I see often with the women I work with through FLO Living, we will be in the process of working on her health issue from a functional medicine standpoint and eventually we’ll organically reach a point of discussing her life, her past experiences, her feelings about herself, and about the things that have happened to her. It’s not all that surprising, it’s intimate work, and when women work with women outside of the doctor’s office, there’s a tendency for the mind-body connection to come up in a way that you might not see happening elsewhere.

The Feminist Mind-Body Connection

Think about your female reproductive organs — uterus, ovaries, a vagina — acting as a “low heart” and as such holding many of your unconscious, deeper emotions that the “high heart” is not yet ready to process. The emotions are held here, only to be released once a person has processed the source of these held feelings.

There’s actually a deeply feminist history to the mind-body connection and how it relates to the female experience. A student of psychologist Carl Jung, Marion Woodman, developed a concept of “feminine psychology.” Her work details how unconsciously held emotions, feelings, and thoughts can affect the female body. It’s important to note that as science progresses we are seeing more and more empirical evidence to support and back up this perspective. Woodman investigated how women feel about their bodies. Many of us are brought up to be fearful and distrustful of our bodies, and she believed this has a significant impact on our health. She believed that the unprocessed trauma experienced by many women – as the result of individually experienced acts of abuse and violence, and as the result of cultural oppression – could manifest itself in physical symptoms, especially those relating specifically to female biology.

Endometriosis: Time to Prioritize Your Needs?

One theory about the emotional component of endometriosis is that it may reflect — if even symbolically — a physical manifestation of putting others needs before your own. The uterus, by design, exists to put another person’s needs first. The material of the womb, the endometrium, is the first maternal embrace an embryo receives. So it has been interpreted by some that when endometrial tissue grows outside the womb, it is the body’s attempt to mother a woman who isn’t mothering herself, who isn’t putting her own needs first.

By creating a symptom you have no choice but to pay attention to, you must, necessarily, put your own needs first — and set aside that outward (overly) mothering behavior that leaves you feeling depleted. It’s wonderful to care for others and support them in their lives, but when we do it in such a way that puts our own needs last on the list we can become depleted. We might feel frustrated, angry, resentful, or just plain stressed and exhausted by the practical requirements of living that life. The expectations put on all women to be the care-providers, to put others first always, to do the “emotional labor” of supporting those around them can be oppressive.

Does this resonate with you? Do you ever feel like you’re keeping everyone else happy, stable, and cared-for, but that you’re not attending to your own needs and desires? Do you long for someone to take care of you? There’s a burning desire there for self-nurturance as well as connection with other women and community-centered support.These pressures can come out in the body and manifest as symptoms.

The emotional theory of endometriosis is by no means the sole root cause of the disease, but it’s an element that I have seen over and over again in my work with women at FLO Living. As I’ve said before, this has nothing to do with your personal choices in your life, and everything to do with the position of women in society, and how we are conditioned to organize our lives and act towards ourselves.  Your uterus is offering you a gift, an opportunity to reflect on your patterns and revise them for not only better health, but a happier life.  

Your 13-Step Guide to Addressing Endometriosis with Lifestyle & Diet

You can work to reduce inflammation, balance hormones, and support your immune system with food and lifestyle in a systematic way. Here’s my step-by-step guide for helping ease endometriosis symptoms. You’ll see some of the key pieces of advice that I outlined above, fleshed out with even more essential lifestyle strategies for curbing the symptoms of endometriosis:

Step 1

Start by limiting—and eventually eliminating—exposure to toxic forms of estrogen found in household cleaners, cosmetics, and bathroom products. Go through your house with a fine tooth comb and:

  • Replace cosmetic and body care products with natural alternatives, this includes, soap, shampoo, hair styling products, deodorant, lotions, cosmetics, and perfumes
  • Replace standard laundry soap with green alternatives. You can now find many clean alternatives on the shelves of big box stores, sitting side by side with the old (toxic) standbys. Clean alternatives are comparable in price and work just as well. You can opt for unscented products or products that have been scented with natural fragrance.
  • Replace household cleaning products with clean alternatives. You can buy effective products at almost all big box stores or you can make your own, which is cheaper and healthier. The main ingredients in most DIY cleaning products are vinegar and baking soda.
  • Take off your shoes at the door (and ask your guests to do the same). A lot of pesticides and other hormone-disrupting chemicals are tracked in on the bottom of shoes. Stopping those chemicals in their tracks is a great way to protect yourself.

Step 2

Just say no to pesticides and other chemicals in your food. Shop organic exclusively if you can. If you are on a budget, avoid the dirty dozen (or buy them organic) and feel okay about buying the clean 15 even when not organic.

Step 3

Emphasize dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, low-glycemic fruits like berries and other high-fiber foods to support gut health and help your liver carry out important detox functions. The liver is responsible for breaking down and eliminating excess estrogen, and cruciferous vegetables directly support that detox process.

Step 4

Eat more healthy fats like those found in olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados. Healthy fats help support healthy hormone ratios in the body.

Step 5

Emphasize lean animal protein over other kinds of meat. They are less inflammatory.

Step 6

Limit red meat. Studies have linked red meat consumption with increased risk for endometriosis.

Step 7

Help kick your immune system into high gear with immune-supportive foods like carrots, kale, cabbage, broccoli, beets, artichokes, lemons, onions, garlic, and leeks.

Step 8

Limit sugar. Sugar fuels inflammation.

Step 9

Use targeted herbal support to further support liver detox and speed up estrogen metabolism. Think milk thistle, flax seeds, DIM, and dandelion root.

Step 10

Take evening primrose oil to decrease inflammation.

Step 11

Reduce or eliminate dairy, wheat, alcohol, and caffeine to improve your immune response.

Step 12

Take a probiotic to rebalance gut flora and support estrogen metabolism.

Step 13

Use Vitex and a B6 supplement daily to balance out excess estrogen.If you’re reading this article because your friend, sister, or family member is struggling with this condition, share this article with her. Too many women believe the myth that endometriosis has to ruin your life every month.

5 Uses for Coconut Oil that will Benefit Your Hormonal Balance


As spring fast approaches us, I wanted to share a fun and functional list with you that will come in handy as you start to detox this season, and beyond!Coconut oil is one of my favorite gifts from Mama Nature – anti-bacterial, anti-viral, blood-sugar-balancing, and detoxifying – and if you haven’t yet, I think you’ll fall in love with it too after reading this.Coconut oil isn’t just great for your skin and hair, it can also help you to heal your thyroid, lose weight, have more energy, and fix your periods. It only takes two to three tablespoons per day for coconut oil to have these wondrous effects on your health.Coconut oil is the ultimate “good fat” as it contains medium chain triglycerides or fatty acids that are hormonal health warriors. Over the years, we’ve all been educated to fear oils and see them as fattening and unhealthy. Well, some are – like vegetable oils, canola, safflower – but coconut oil is actually completely unique and has many health benefits.

The health benefits of coconut oil

  • Hormone balancing – the fatty acids in coconut oil actually help the hormones get to where they want and need to go in the body, and so support the creation, processing and elimination of estrogen and progesterone, leading to hormonal balance.
  • Weight loss-promotingstudies show that coconut oil increases the metabolism and prevents hunger, allowing for successful weight loss.
  • Thyroid-supportive – coconut oil has the ability to transform cholesterol into pregnenolone, which is one of the essential building blocks for thyroid hormone-creation. When you add more coconut oil to your diet, you’re increasing the saturated fats made up primarily of medium-chain fatty acids that aren’t found in many other oils. These medium-chain fatty acids increase metabolism and promote weight loss, which is a big part of your healthy thyroid function. In addition, coconut oil can increase basal body temperatures, which is super important for women with low thyroid function.
  • Gut-healing – coconut oil repairs gut tissue and encourages the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Like breast milk, coconut oil is powerfully antimicrobial and antibacterial. The high levels of lauric acid in coconut oil protects against infection from viruses, bacteria, yeast, parasites and fungi. Lauric acid inactivates harmful microbes in your gut that can lead to hormonal imbalance.

So, now you know how great coconut oil is for your health, how do you get more of it? I have some ideas for easy, simple ways to add coconut oil to your every day life.

5 ways to eat more coconut oil

  1. Stir a tablespoon into your favorite hot drink.
  2. Add it into kale-based or date-based smoothies (or mix all three!).
  3. Use it to cook your eggs and greens in the morning – it takes away that bitter taste of collards or spinach.
  4. Substitute butter for coconut oil when baking breads and desserts, or spread on gluten free toast.
  5. Just take a tablespoon straight from the jar when you’re short on time, like you might with a nut butter.

I keep three jars in my house - one in the kitchen, one in the bathroom, and one in my daughter’s room! Coconut oil is so versatile.

4 other uses for coconut oil

  1. As a moisturizer. Ditch the store-bought moisturizers that are usually loaded with hormone-disrupting chemicals, and swap them for coconut oil. Not only does it provide lasting moisture to your skin, but it’s antibacterial properties can help fight acne and other skin conditions.
  2. As a mouthwash. More specifically called an “oil pull,” 1 teaspoon full of coconut oil can be swished through your mouth for 5 to 20 minutes and it will literally pull away the plaque and bacteria in your mouth. This is obviously great news for your oral health, but did you know that our oral health also has a huge effect on our heart health and hormonal health? It’s true. In fact, gum disease can add on an extra 2 months for the time it takes to get pregnant, according to Australian research in 2011.
  3. As an eye make-up remover. Instead of spending top dollar for pricing eye-makeup removers that most likely contain harmful chemicals, let coconut oil take care of it for you! Using a tissue or pad of cotton, wipe coconut oil across your raccoon eyes or other old makeup at the end of the day and watch it clear away everything fast!
  4. As a natural deodorant. Yet another way to avoid harmful chemicals from skin care products! Skip the anti-perspirants and roll on something that is effective and not harmful to your hormones. Coconut oil is an ingredient in quite a few natural deodorants, and you can also make up your own potion – either use it plain or mix it together in one of these DIY recipes.

The best coconut oil to use

If you’re like me, you also care deeply about the quality of the food you eat. That means organic, non-GMO food, which unfortunately usually mean high price tags and giant weekly grocery bills. Coconut oil can be expensive, especially if you want it to be organic, ethically-sourced and of the virgin variety, which is important for the quality and taste, but it also means it will definitely have all the health benefits promised in this post.That’s why I can’t stop sharing Thrive Market - a online site that makes healthy living a whole lot easier and more affordable than ever (becoming a member costs less than $5 a month!). Think Whole Foods products at Costco prices, with the convenience of Amazon. Thrive is not only cheaper than upscale markets like Whole Foods, but it often matches or even beats prices at discount online retailers like Amazon and Vitacost.I’ve partnered with Thrive Market to bring you a great deal. You’ll get a free jar of the best brand of Coconut Oil that I use at home, as well as a month’s free trial and 15% off your next order. 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!To your FLO,Alisa

Do You Know the Easiest Way to Fix Your Period Symptoms?

You don’t need to keep suffering with annoying symptoms that drain your energy for 1-2 weeks every single month. In fact, you can start having a better period as soon as your next period.MyFLO is the first-ever functional medicine period tracker that ALSO helps you fix your symptoms. MyFLO will help you understand why you have symptoms and what to do to improve them with food. It will also teach you how to Cycle Sync™ the 5 main areas of your life: food, exercise, work, relationships, and sex.Have a Better Period with MyFLOWhen you follow MyFLO’s weekly recommendations, you’ll get rid of frustrating symptoms and learn how to optimize your energy to be more productive and have better relationships.Click here to get MyFLO for iPhoneClick here to get MyFLO for Android

The Best Food and Supplements for PMS

We grow into womanhood believing that PMS is an inevitable part of being female. Then so many of us experience it, we believe that must be true. We just accept that once a month for a few days, a week — or even longer — we feel crabby, angry, low, anxious, lacking in confidence, frustrated, as well as bloated, ravenously hungry, craving sugar, and covered in acne.

But PMS is not normal. Menstruating women are not destined to suffer before their period. You know what else? The solution isn’t drugs. The Pill may seem to help, but it only masks symptoms — all while the root causes of PMS continue to simmer under the surface. It’s the same story with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and painkillers, like ibuprofen. These drugs mask the pain.

They don’t treat the deeper root causes.It’s a myth that women have to suffer every month, and it’s a myth that drugs address the deeper hormone imbalances that contribute to premenstrual syndrome and period pain.So what causes PMS? What helps erase the symptoms? Here is everything you need to know about PMS and natural strategies for easing premenstrual symptoms.

What is PMS?

PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome, but it can strike anytime after ovulation, which occurs in the middle of your 28-day cycle, also known as the infradian rhythm, and the start of your period. The time between ovulation and the start of your period is known as the luteal phase.PMS refers to a group of physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms that menstruating women experience during the luteal phase. Symptoms include:

  • Acne
  • Bloating/retaining fluid
  • Breast tenderness
  • Food cravings and/or increased appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling irritable, cranky, and/or depressed
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches and/or migraines
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low back pain
  • Cramps

What causes PMS?

Experts believe PMS is triggered (in part) by cyclical changes in sex hormones each month. And while it is true that our sex hormones naturally shift in a cyclical pattern each month, problems crop up only when our hormones are out of balance — when, for example, we have too much estrogen in our bodies relative to progesterone (a condition known as estrogen dominance), or when we have too little progesterone overall. In other words, monthly hormone shifts are normal and expected. They happen! But they are not the root cause of the problem.

The root cause of the problem is when we have more or less estrogen and progesterone than we need. As our bodies move through the 28-day hormone cycle in this hormonally imbalanced environment, that is when we experience symptoms.If you address the underlying hormone imbalance with food and lifestyle, you can erase the symptoms of PMS.

You will still be cycling through the four phases of your menstrual cycle — as you should be! — but without all the symptoms you experienced before. Experts also believe that nutrient deficiencies play a role in PMS symptoms. Research has shown a connection between low levels of vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium and PMS symptoms. Studies also suggest that supplementing with magnesium and vitamin B6 can make a significant difference in the severity of PMS.

Why the Pill Make PMS worse

Women with severe PMS are sometimes prescribed hormonal birth control to help ease symptoms. The pill stops ovulation and that can lead to reduced symptoms throughout one’s cycle. But not ovulating causes its own problems. Research has shown that consistent ovulation protects women’s long term health, especially when it comes to avoiding issues like osteoporosis, heart disease, heart attacks, and breast cancer (all top killers of women). Hormonal birth control (except, sometimes, the hormonal IUD) suppresses ovulation.

Suppressing ovulation for years, decades even, has long term consequences, even if ovulation returns shortly after you come off the medication. Exposure to synthetic hormones plus a lack of exposure to the body’s own hormone cycles, is the root cause. In short: ovulation is important — and not just for when you want to conceive.

The pill poses other problems, too. It’s been shown to disturb the microbiome, increase inflammation, and drain the body of essential micronutrients, among other things.Finally, the pill paves over the root causes of hormone imbalance without directly addressing root causes. That means that whenever you come off the pill, your symptoms are likely to come roaring back, often worse than before.

Lifestyle factors that make PMS worse

Modern life brings together a perfect storm of factors that undermine hormone balance and make PMS worse. Here are some of the habits and lifestyle factors that conspire to throw your hormones out of alignment:

1. Stress

We live in a society that places a high value on always being busy. If you ask someone how they’re doing or what’s new and they reply, “I’ve been SO busy,” it often sounds as much like a point of pride as it does a complaint. But we need to reverse our stance on stress. Research shows that the higher the level of our perceived stress, the worse our PMS—and that stress reduction techniques might be effective non-pharmaceutical interventions for easing PMS. So grab your yoga mat, download that meditation app, or make more time for the leisure activity that relaxes you.

2. Inflammation

Inflammation is a system-wide response to injury or stress, and it can be brought on by a large number of environmental factors, from eating unhealthy foods and being too sedentary to using toxic health and body care products. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that control the body’s inflammatory response and experts believe they can trigger many of the symptoms of PMS. (Prostaglandin overproduction is why some women get relief by taking NSAIDs like ibuprofen. NSAIDs block the synthesis of prostaglandins.)

3. Eating too much sugar

Sugar is one of the most inflammatory foods you can eat — and more inflammation means more PMS (see #2, above). Cutting down on sugar is a must when you’re trying to tame PMS.

4. Smoking

Smoking is bad for overall health, of course, including hormone balance. Women who smoke are twice as likely to develop PMS. Just say no to cigarettes.

5. Drinking coffee

Coffee fuels prostaglandin production, and increases the risk of cysts, fibroids, and period pain. Coffee also depletes the body of key hormone-balancing nutrients like magnesium.

6. Carrying HIDDEN weight

When I say this, I’m not talking about overweight and obesity per se. While being overweight is associated with a greater risk of PMS, the real problem is how ‘fat’ you are on the inside, which is not reflected in how much you weigh. You can be skinny on the outside and overweight on the inside — this is known in medical literature as being a “medically obese, normal-weight individual,” though a lot of practitioners refer this condition as being “skinny fat” — so you can’t just look in the mirror or step on the scale to know what’s happening on the inside. Your PMS might be telling you to address internal obesity.

7. You’re not living in sync with your cycle.

You’ve probably read about the importance of the 24-hour circadian cycle—how important it is to get high-quality, consecutive hours of sleep during the night, for example, and to get some safe sun exposure during the day, etc. But you probably haven’t heard about the importance of living in sync with your 28-day cycle—and, for women, that cycle is just as important to tend to as the circadian cycle. Research shows that our 28-day menstrual cycle affects our brain function, emotions, mood, sensory processing, appetite, and even our perception of pain. If you’re not supporting your body’s unique hormonal needs during each of the four phases of the 28-day cycle, you won’t have healthy, pain-free periods.

How to Erase PMS symptoms: Lifestyle Strategies for PMS

You can take a multi-pronged approach to ease the symptoms of PMS. Here are some of my top food, supplement, and lifestyle strategies. Let’s start with lifestyle. Here’s how to arrange your environment to help defeat PMS:

1. Stomp out inflammation.

Eat low inflammatory foods, like cruciferous vegetables, pastured eggs and pastured animal proteins, and nuts and seeds. Reduce the amount of sugar you eat or eliminate it altogether. A high-sugar diet drives up the production of advanced-glycation end products, which contribute to inflammation. Two foods that have been shown to help specifically with prostaglandin reduction are pomegranate and small, oily fish that contain high levels of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids.

2. Make “organic” and “clean” the main part of your life.

When you’re standing in the grocery aisle or at the makeup counter and the clean products and organic foods are more expensive than the conventional option, it can be easy to make the wallet-friendly choice. But what you need to keep in mind in these moments is the true cost of the choice you’re making. The toxins in these foods and products come into direct contact with the body and alter endocrine function, making period problems like PMS worse. You may save at check-out, but you are ultimately paying with your health. Eat organic and clean whenever possible.

3. Give up coffee.

This piece of advice is self-explanatory and, after the first week of withdrawal, not nearly as hard as you think. Within a month you won’t even miss it. Skip caffeinated tea, too. In case you’re tempted to skip tip #3, allow me to repeat myself: no more caffeine!

4. Improve your health from the inside out.  

You might look lean in the mirror, but if you don’t exercise (hence, you don’t have much lean muscle mass), and if you eat a high-sugar diet and/or you don’t have enough phytonutrient-rich vegetables on your plate, you might have the bloodwork profile of someone with overweight or obesity—and being overweight or obese is strongly correlated with PMS. When you start correcting what’s going on internally, you can see a reduction in symptoms.

5. Find what relaxes you… and make it a regular part of your life.

In the medical literature, high levels of stress are associated with more severe PMS. The time for stress reduction is now, not when you finish this big project or after that big presentation. Because guess what? When you finish those things there will just be more to do. The time is now. Your health depends on it.

6. Start Cycle Syncing

All of the biohacks I just mentioned will only get you so far if you don’t start to live in accordance with your cycle. Eating and exercising for each week-long phase of your 28-day cycle is the foundation of feeling better and having a symptom-free period. For too long, we’ve been living the same way day in and day out. This works for men, but not for women. Syncing your cycle will not only fix your period problems, it will help you find more happiness, energy, and success in life. Simply put, tending to your 28-day cycle is as important as tending to your 24-hour circadian cycle. If the idea of syncing with your cycle is new to you, I have an app and a treasure trove of articles on the blog to help you get started.

How to Tame PMS-Related Food Cravings

Before I get to my recommended list of foods for PMS, I want to tackle a very important topic: food cravings.Many of the women I’ve worked with over the years have struggled to maintain their otherwise healthy eating habits when they’re in their premenstrual or luteal phase. It’s then that their resolve is weakest. I get it – the intense cravings that PMS brings can derail the best of us.I help women address the root causes of cravings. I also know it’s important to have healthy alternatives on hand when cravings strike! Here are the most common food cravings during the luteal phase, along with healthy alternatives that won’t make your hormone imbalances worse.

PMS food craving #1: Coffee

A coffee habit can be a sign of  imbalanced cortisol (the body’s stress hormone) and not having enough internal oomph to get through the day. You’re searching for a quick hit of energy that you can’t generate on your own. What’s the alternative? Try kukicha tea, which has a nutty, non-herbal flavor profile as it’s made from roasting the twigs that grow right below tea leaves. Kukicha still contains some caffeine, but not enough to negatively impact your health. Mixing kukicha with Oatstraw and Holy Basil tea will help support your adrenals and bring them back in balance.

PMS food craving #2: Chocolate

Chocolate cravings can signal a magnesium deficiency. It may also indicate an overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast in your gut, which makes you crave sugar. Taking a high-quality magnesium supplement can help curb sugar cravings. So can taking a high-quality probiotic.What’s the alternative? The great news here is that chocolate is a superfood and I eat a little chocolate most days myself, BUT it’s all about what kind of chocolate you have. Chocolate with dairy and sugar is a no-go, but good quality, organic, dark chocolate with minimal or, even better, no sugar or dairy is a healthy, hormone-supportive choice. Try adding raw cacao powder to smoothies or sprinkling on fruit salad, or try a high-quality dark chocolate bar. One of my favorite brands is Endangered Species.

PMS food craving #3: Pasta

When only white carbs will do – be that a big pile of spaghetti or a loaf of white bread – it’s usually blood sugar instability and/or a vitamin B deficiency that’s causing your cravings. Skipping meals, or eating too little or too sporadically throughout the day, can lead to blood sugar imbalances. So can eating meals high in simple carbs — simple carbs beget more carbs!What’s the alternative? You can break the cycle of blood sugar imbalance with meals that are high in healthy protein, healthy fat, and complex carbs from whole food sources. You will get a steady release of energy from a well-balanced meal and you won’t find yourself craving a candy bar 45 minutes after dinner. The takeaway? Don’t eat carbs in isolation (and don’t eat too many, if any, simple carbs, like those found in white bread or pasta). Instead, focus on integrating some  carbs into each meal. And try to eat regularly, before you get so hungry that you will eat anything in front of you. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Taking a high-quality vitamin B supplement can also help.

PMS food craving #4: Soda

If you find yourself craving soda, your blood sugar might be off and you need to re-set with whole-food-based meals that have enough healthy fat and healthy protein to stabilize your blood sugar. You might also be dehydrated. Soda contains salt (along with a bunch of sugar), and that salty-sweet combo gives soda the allure of a hydrating beverage while actually dehydrating you (the salt makes you thirsty all over again).What’s the alternative? Increasing electrolytes is a great way to combat dehydration. Try coconut water, which has a sweet and salty flavor, or plain carbonated water with a touch of 100-percent fruit juice mixed in. The classic choice — a big glass of water (!) — is a great option, too.

PMS food craving #5: Steak

If you find yourself craving red meat, you may have an iron deficiency. And if the only thing that will satisfy you during your luteal phase is a big, juicy steak, go ahead! If it is grass-fed, organic meat, there is nothing wrong with that. If you’re open to what meat you eat, the healthier choice is organic, grass-fed bison or lamb. If you don’t eat red meat, you might need to supplement with iron.What’s the alternative? Take liquid chlorophyll. It’s only one molecule different from hemoglobin and it is high in magnesium, which helps erase the symptoms of PMS.

The Best Foods for PMS

What specific foods can help ease the symptoms of PMS? Here are my favorites:


Chickpeas are a great source of magnesium. They also contain vitamin B6. Both of these compounds, especially when taken together, help reduce symptoms of PMS.

Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and other dark leafy greens

All brassica vegetables contain indole-3 carbinol, which helps the liver metabolize excess estrogen and prevent estrogen dominance (which is a common hormone imbalance that gives rise to a bunch of period problems, including PMS).

Coconut yogurt

Coconut yogurt contains probiotics in the form of live cultures (which helps the gut metabolize estrogen and keep hormones balanced) and it is rich in healthy fats, which help keep blood sugar stable.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet and can help satisfy your sweet cravings. The vitamin A in sweet potatoes supports the liver as it metabolizes excess estrogen.

Bone broth

Bone broth can be a good source of magnesium and calcium, both of which can help alleviate the symptoms of PMS.

The Best Natural Supplements to Prevent PMS

You can’t spot treat PMS. You have to address the root causes to get rid of it. In order for your body to produce adequate amounts of the right hormones at the right times, you need several key micronutrients:


Research suggests that magnesium helps alleviate symptoms of PMS, including weight gain, breast tenderness, and bloating. Magnesium is also great for promoting relaxation, reducing anxiety and stress, and encouraging good sleep. A high-quality magnesium supplement makes a great addition to your PMS-fighting arsenal.

Vitamin B6

Supplementing with up to 100mg/day of vitamin B6 is likely to help treat premenstrual symptoms, and premenstrual depression, according to research.

Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D3

Both of these nutrients help promote hormone balance. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with reproductive hormone imbalances in both men and women. Omega-3s help protect against anxiety and depression and may help reduce cramps.

Vitamin E

Vitamin helps reduce breast premenstrual breast tenderness, according to research. (So does vitamin B6!).

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

ALA offers powerful antioxidant support for the liver as it works to metabolize excess estrogen — remember: too much estrogen relative to progesterone can trigger PMS symptoms — and also supports stable blood sugar.


Calcium supplements have been shown to help with mood swings during the luteal phase.Taking targeted, high-quality supplements can fast track your hormonal healing. I created the Balance by FLO Living supplement kit to give you the essential micronutrient support you need to have a symptom-free cycle. With Balance by FLO Living, you can start feeling better in just one month.

Additional Natural Supplement Support to Prevent PMS

I recommend that women who are experiencing PMS start with the micronutrients I outlined above. These are essential micronutrients you need to support your endocrine system and erase symptoms. But if you incorporate these micronutrients and still experience PMS and other problems, I recommend specific herbs. In most cases, you will only need the micronutrients (and not the herbs), but if you do opt for herbs, remember that these are powerful compounds. Use them only in specific situations and always consult a trusted healthcare practitioner on dosage and timing.


Vitex supports the production of progesterone and luteinizing hormone — both of which are necessary for your body to ovulate, for regular menstrual cycles, and for you to avoid symptoms of hormonal imbalance like PMS. Vitex is well-researched and It is an effective and often successful natural treatment for cycle-related problems. But I believe that should be used as a short-term, not a long term, solution. Vitex alone will not address the root causes of PMS and other period problems.

Dong Quai

This herb has muscle-relaxing effects and helps relieve pre-period cramps and aches. Important note! This powerful supplement should not be used during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or if you have a family history of female cancers.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil can help with cramps, aches and pains, and headaches in the luteal phase.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 to Protect Your Hormones on Vacation

Warmer weather is finally here and that means a couple things: longer days, more socializing, more sunshine (...and natural vitamin D (!), which is a great thing for hormones though you should still take a supplement), and more travel. It’s all exciting and energizing stuff. But the more you get out—and especially the more you travel—the harder it can be on your hormones. Why? When you travel, your sleep schedule tends to go sideways. Healthy eating can feel difficult, if not impossible, in airports and train stations. You might skip the key supplements you usually take and crossing time zones can mess up your internal clock. Exercise becomes an afterthought and hydration often goes out the window… at which point constipation can become the norm. And when your GI tract is backed up, excess estrogen gets stuck in our system and wreaks a bunch of havoc. All these shifts are hard on hormones. Actually, that’s an understatement. Sleep, food, supplements, hydration, exercise… these are THE things that keep your hormones working for you and not against you. When you have these lifestyle strategies locked down, you put an end to period problems like acne, bloating, PMS, severe cramps, heavy or irregular periods, hormonal migraines, and irritability and moodiness. But when you travel and your hormone-supportive strategies get thrown off track, you can feel rotten quickly...and who wants to be bloated, moody, and covered in zits on summer vacation?!For this week’s post, I’ve gathered my best strategies for staying in the FLO when you’re traveling. A few small tweaks can keep you feeling great when you’re on the move.Your Summer Travel Hormone Survival GuideFollow these steps and your hormone health doesn’t have to go out the window when you go on vacation. Step 1: Drink water. Travel is dehydrating, especially plane travel. No matter how you get around this summer, make sure you are drinking enough water or herbal tea. (Skip caffeinated tea, though. Say no to coffee, too. Caffeine is devastating for hormone health.)One of the best ways to stay hydrated is to bring a stainless steel water bottle with you on the road. Empty bottles will get through security at the airport and once you’re at your gate you can fill your bottle from a water fountain or with bottled water. A good guide for how much water to drink in any given day is half your bodyweight in ounces. So if you are 120 pounds, you’d want to drink 60 oz of water that day. You’ll want to aim for a bit more when you’re traveling.Step 2. Proactively protect your digestive system. One of the biggest things I hear women complain about when they travel is how their normally regular GI system comes to a screeching halt. Take action before you hit the road! I suggest starting a fiber supplement a few days before you leave and continuing it while you travel. You can find many healthy fiber supplements in single-serving packs that are easy to take on the go.The other must-have supplement when you travel is a probiotic. This will help with constipation and it will also keep your gut healthy as you encounter new foods. Even if your packing space is at a premium and you opt to leave some of your normal supplements at home, don’t skip these two. They are a travelers best friend when it comes to preventing symptoms and it is worth making room for them in your bags.Step 3: If you plan to engage in “vacation eating,” bring along digestive enzymes. Sometimes when you go to a new place, you want to engage in the local customs and eat foods you normally wouldn’t. Let’s say you avoid dairy religiously back home because of its negative effects on hormone health, but you are headed to Italy and want to try some of the country’s famed pizza. These one-time splurges are a treat emotionally and socially… but not so much physically. Your body is likely to have a negative reaction to foods you typically avoid. Digestive enzymes can help temper those negative effects. Step 4: Pack smart snacks. Airport and train station food is notoriously unhealthy. (So is most of the food available to you on road trips.) Avoid getting hungry on the move by packing snacks that keep blood sugar balanced. I like to pack hard-boiled eggs, dark chocolate (70-percent or higher), almonds (or other healthy nuts) and pumpkin seeds. Step 5: Safeguard your sleep. Travel messes with your internal clock. Even going short distances can leave you feeling wide awake at 11:00pm and dead tired at 11:00am. Bring magnesium with you to relax before night; an eye mask and ear plugs to block out distractions on planes and trains; and if you’re really worried about a disrupted internal clock (international travel), bring valerian root or melatonin to help with sleep in your new time zone. Step 6: Pack a “Just in Case” Case. It stinks to get sick on vacation. So it is worth making room in your luggage for some rescue remedies if you start feeling crummy. First, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say, which is why I always bring along all-natural hand sanitizing wipes. They are good for hands and for wiping down oft-touched surfaces (like the touch screen TVs on planes). If you do start to feel a little off, make sure you have vitamin C and zinc. I recommend being liberal with the Vitamin C: 2,000 mg per day is ideal. Take 50 mgs of zinc each day to keep your immune system strong. Now, here’s to a healthy, happy summer filled with amazing adventures!Always remember: 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.

Monthly FLO: The Cycle Syncing System™

Put your period symptoms into remission. Discover how to live in your FLO and get it all done with embodied time management.MonthlyFLO is the first-ever woman-centric health system that syncs with your unique rhythm. It gives you the foundation for solving any hormonal issues you may have over your lifetime.Using the principles of functional nutrition, MonthlyFLO is a specially-sequenced food therapy program that recalibrates your endocrine function. Over three months, you will be guided step-by-step to make simple, cumulative food and lifestyle changes that balance your hormones naturally.Click here to learn more about the life-changing Monthly FLO Program

The Hormone-Anxiety Connection (and How to Solve It)

Anxiety is real, and it is serious. It can show up in a variety of different ways—from excessive worry about life events like work, health, and family to obsessive thinking, severe social anxiety, or full-on panic attacks. And, for women, anxiety can show up at different times of the month.

Anxiety for women can actually be hormonal, and it often follows a distinct pattern within your 28-day menstrual cycle. If you notice that your anxiety gets worse the week before your period (luteal phase) or the week after period finishes (follicular phase), that means one thing: your hormones are a factor in your anxiety.

Now, anxiety has many root causes, including poor gut health, micronutrient deficiencies, and lifestyle factors like being sedentary or getting poor quality sleep—and that’s why anti-anxiety medication (which has been the only tool in the conventional psychiatric tool box for many years) has failed so many women. Medication paves over symptoms. It doesn’t treat root causes.

Happily, some psychiatrists and other experts are starting to treat the root causes of anxiety—including hormone imbalances— by using food, supplements, and lifestyle changes. And you can, too. If hormones are a root cause of your anxiety, you can make lifestyle changes that address your specific hormonal anxiety-type.

Are you ready to worry less and enjoy life more? Below are some top recommendations for women who experience ANY type of anxiety, with specific steps for easing hormonal anxiety.

How to Stop Anxiety

If you’re a woman who experiences anxiety, you’re not alone. Women are twice as likely as men to wrestle with anxiety and almost 25 percent of women—that’s one in four of us—were diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in the past year. Because anxiety has many root causes, it responds best to a multi-pronged approach. If your anxiety is severe and persists for a long time, you should consult a trusted healthcare practitioner. In the meantime, try the following anxiety reduction strategies:

Reduce inflammation to reduce anxiety. Research has shown a link between inflammation and anxiety. So when you take steps to lower your inflammation—which is good for your health in so many ways—you help fortify your body against anxiety. I recommend a couple key ways to lower inflammation:

  1. Take omega-3 fatty acids. These are the health-promoting fats found in high ratios in fish and some plant foods, like flax seeds, and they help lower inflammation. Eating nutrient-rich, omega-3-dense foods is important, but I recommend that all women take an omega-3 supplement because it can be difficult—if not impossible—to get healing amounts of this nutrient with diet alone. Also, many fish contain high levels of mercury and other toxins, so you don’t want to rely solely on fish for your omega-3s.
  2. Avoid toxins and other hormone-harming chemicals. Hormonal anxiety is driven by hormone imbalances—and one of the root causes of hormone imbalances is exposure to everyday toxins, like the gnarly chemicals found in conventional health and body care products, household cleaning products, air fresheners, fabric treatments, lawn chemicals and pesticides, and many other places. Avoid these chemicals as much as you can to protect yourself from hormone-driven anxiety.
  3. Support your body’s innate detox system. With so many chemicals in the environment, our bodies are working overtime to process and eliminate them—even when we assiduously avoid them in our homes and medicine cabinets. It’s a sad fact of modern life that our body’s detox system needs a little extra help to do its job well. I recommend plant-based antioxidants, like green tea extract and turmeric, to help your body detox.

Focus on gut health. Gut health is a factor in many mental health issues, including anxiety, so it’s important to support the microbiota that manufacture hormones like serotonin and dopamine. You can do this in a couple key ways:

  1. Fiber, fiber, fiber. The importance of fiber to the microbiome can’t be underestimated. The bugs in our gut thrive on healthy, whole-food sources of fiber. Emphasis leafy green vegetables, brassica vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, flax seeds, and high-fiber fruits like pears.
  2. Eat fermented foods. Naturally fermented foods (foods fermented without vinegar), like sauerkraut, kimchi, coconut yogurt, and fermented drinks like kvass, bring good bugs to your GI tract and promote an increased sense of calm.
  3. Take a probiotic. Fermented foods are great, but most of us need even more gut support. I recommend all women take a probiotic for hormone balance and emotional support. The idea of feeding your microbiome to heal anxiety might seemed far fetched, but the gut-brain axis is real. A core component of good mental health is good gut health!

Understand and address hormonal anxiety. If you experience hormone-related anxiety, you don’t need the research to tell you that your anxiety gets more severe during certain times of the month. But the data is there, if you want official confirmation. Studies show that fluctuations in female reproductive hormones influence the presence and severity of anxiety. Experts think this is one of the reasons that panic disorders are more prevalent in women than in men. So the first step in addressing hormonal anxiety is understanding your 28-day hormone cycle and adjusting your food, movement, and lifestyle to match your unique needs during each week of your cycle. I call this The Cycle Syncing Method™ and if this is brand new to you, you can learn more about it here. You can also start tracking your period with the MyFLO app. Once you’ve adopted The Cycle Syncing Method™, you’ll know where you are in your 28-day cycle week to week and you can track your moods and hormonal shifts even more closely. For now, you can think of your 28-day cycle as being divided into two parts: the first half and the second half. The first half is from right after your period ends to when you ovulate. The second half is from just after ovulation through your next period. Most women don’t experience anxiety (or increased anxiety) during ovulation. (If you’re not ovulating, it’s a different story and you should work to get your ovulation back on track.)

  • If you experience anxiety during the FIRST half of your cycle the cause is likely too much estrogen, which stimulates the brain to become antsy, edgy, and tense.

Natural remedy for anxiety in the first half of your cycle: Emphasize liver-loving foods and supplements during this time to help your body’s main detox organ process and eliminate excess estrogens from the body. Eat foods high in fiber and antioxidants, including cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, flax seeds or chia seeds, and low-glycemic, high-fiber fruits like pears. Get additional support with supplements like turmeric and green tea extract.

  • If you experience anxiety during the SECOND half of your cycle it could be a few factors: you might be sensitive to the drop in estrogen, but that should stabilize as progesterone increases during this phase. If you are deficient in progesterone, you might not experience that calming effect. You might also be experiencing blood sugar dips if you’re not eating enough slow-burning, whole-food carbohydrates during this phase. Finally, if you experience anxiety the day or two before your bleed begins, you may be responding to the drop in both progesterone and estrogen that happens at this time. When both hormones plummet, you may feel anxious.

Natural remedy for anxiety in the second half of your cycle: I recommend vitamin B6 to help increase your progesterone levels. B6 is vital for your body to create the corpus luteum that makes and releases all of your progesterone. I encourage all women to take a B-vitamin complex everyday, but you should also incorporate healthy, whole food sources of vitamin B6, including bananas, grass-fed beef, chicken, spinach, sweet potato, garlic, and salmon. If blood sugar is a root cause of your anxiety during this phase, try incorporating more slow-burning carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, brown rice, or quinoa.

  •  If you’re experiencing postpartum anxiety, you are not alone. Research suggests that postpartum anxiety is common and that it likely has multiple root causes, including the significant drop in estrogen and progesterone that follows childbirth. Another factor is the disrupted sleep schedule you experience when caring for a newborn.

Natural remedy for anxiety after giving birth: I recommend that new moms continue their prenatal supplement routine into (and well past) the 4th trimester. This will help give you the nourishment you need for breastfeeding. I also recommend that new moms take hormone-supportive supplements to patch up micronutrient deficiencies (micronutrient deficiencies can fuel anxiety) because pregnancy often depletes the body of key micronutrients.

  • If you’re experiencing anxiety related to PCOS or PMDD, you may need even more support to reduce anxiety. Both conditions can be uniquely challenging when it comes to anxiety.

Natural remedy for anxiety if you suffer from PCOS or PMDD: I encourage women with these conditions to take a concentrated, multipronged approach. Estrogen dominance is very likely a factor in your anxiety, so eating fiber-rich, nutrient-dense whole foods is key. I also recommend supplementing with liver-supportive nutrients, like selenium, green tea extract, and turmeric. The microbiome plays a key role in helping in eliminate excess estrogen, so supporting gut health with a high-quality probiotic is essential. Consider supplementing with calcium, which has been shown to help with mood disorders, including anxiety, during PMS. You will also want to eat foods that keep blood sugar balanced and use The Cycle Syncing Method™ to eat and exercise in sync with your cycle. Anxiety-proof your daily life. You can take other steps in your daily life to downsize anxiety:

  1. Keep blood sugar balanced. Balanced blood sugar is one of the biggest factors in balanced hormones and stable mood. You can use The Cycle Syncing Method™ to balance blood sugar. Learn more here.
  2. Ditch coffee. Caffeine makes your heart race and your head spin. It is literal fuel for anxiety. Just say no to coffee and caffeinated tea! (Plus, coffee is a nightmare for hormone balance.)
  3. Consider ditching the pill. While research on the link between hormonal birth control and mood and anxiety has been inconclusive over the past half century, enough research (and anecdotal evidence) has linked the pill with depression and other mood disorders. The pill has also been shown to deplete mood-supporting vitamins and minerals like vitamin B6, zinc, and magnesium.
  4. Take a magnesium supplement. Magnesium has a calming effect on the body, and having healthy magnesium levels in the body supports a healthy stress response.
  5. Strengthen your vagus nerve. Experts believe that the vagus nerve is how the brain communicates with the body, and how the body communicates with the brain. Studies suggest that strengthening your vagus nerve may help reduce anxiety. You can help tone this important nerve with singing and music and laughter!

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!

If you’re a woman who experiences anxiety, you’re not alone. Is it hormonal?

Hormone Help for Your Teenage Daughter

The teenage years can be a tricky time. Teens have to navigate newfound independence, more responsibility at school and at home, and, of course, surging hormones. The hormonal piece of teenage life almost always comes with a few bumps. As hormones like estrogen rush through the body for the first time, a breakout here or bout of big emotions will be normal.

But the teenage years don’t have to be a hormone roller coaster ride for young girls. Intense cramping, horrible PMS, severe breakouts, intense emotionality, and heavy or irregular periods do not have to be part of your teenager’s life—now or in the future. You can help your daughter feel better now AND help set her up for a lifetime of symptom-free periods.

Why a Lifetime of Healthy Periods Matters SO Much

The menstrual cycle is now declared as the “fifth vital sign” of health for teenage girls by the American Committee of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

That's right: a young woman’s 28-day hormone cycle is considered as important as heart rate and blood pressure—and clinicians are encouraged to use the menstrual symptoms as early warning signs of reproductive health issues like PCOS, thyroid disease, and endometriosis, which can be indicated by abnormally long cycles, excessive bleeding, or lack of periods entirely.

In the ACOG report, teenage girls are encouraged to track their periods and build awareness of their 28-day cycle.

So, here is our first tip for adults who want to help a teenager girl in their lives escape period problems: talk to your daughter about the importance of tracking her cycle so she knows if/when things go sideways with her hormones. This can be when a period comes late or is overly heavy, for example, or when symptoms like acne are worse than normal. With knowledge comes power. When young girls know their cycle, they can tell when their hormones are sneaking out of balance—and they can take steps to balance them.

A great way for girls to track their period is with our MyFlo app. The app will go with her wherever her phone goes….which, for most teenage girls, is everywhere! It’s easy to use and it will help teenagers with more than just tracking symptoms. The app can help girls and women (moms, this app is for YOU, too!). It helps you figure out why symptoms are occurring and what foods will help manage them. In addition, the MyFlo app will teach your daughter all about how to use her cycle to her advantage - a conversation she certainly will not be getting in school!  She’ll learn that it’s okay to be different each week, that it’s okay to change her activities based on her changing energy levels.  She’ll learn that she doesn’t have to force herself to be the same every day, which is at the root of a serious toxic condition of perfectionism, which has many iterations, like anxiety, disordered eating, and more.  Your daughter will learn their best weeks to be social, the best time to curl up at home and do something relaxing, the best ways to manage a busy schedule, and the best ways to move their body during each phase of their cycle.  It's both intuitive and empowering!

So the first place to start is a conversation about the importance of understanding and tracking your cycle.

How to Help Your Teen Have Healthy Hormones & Symptom-Free Periods

Helping teens have a healthy period—right now and for the rest of their lives—goes far beyond teaching them how to use a tampon or pad. If you’re a mom, aunt, sister, godmother, grandmother or loved one of a teenage girl, here are some of our suggestions:

Lead by example. It’s like that familiar airplane-safety schpeel: “Help yourself before you help others.” Your daughter will learn the most by watching what you do. Actions speak louder than words. So your best first step is to adopt The Cycle Syncing® Method when it comes to what you eat and how you exercise.  And if you haven’t yet addressed your own hormonal issues, let her know what your issues are, and that you are embarking on this exciting journey of hormonal recovery for yourself.  

As Michelle Obama said, “I think it's the worst thing that we do to each other as women, not share the truth about our bodies and how they work.”  

I couldn’t agree more! Talk about your period honestly and how not knowing about how to take care of it affected your life. The next generation doesn’t have to suffer if we help them.

Make education a priority. Menstrual education goes far beyond how to put in a tampon. Adult women need to support teens beyond the practicalities. My books, WomanCode and In the Flo dive deep on The Cycle Synching® Method. Another great resource for teens is the book Cycle Savvy by Toni Weschler (who wrote the comprehensive cycle-knowledge bible Taking Charge of Your Fertility).

Help teens avoid hormonal birth control as the first treatment for period problems. When young women experience period problems like heavy or irregular periods, severe acne, horrible cramps, and other PMS symptoms, many clinicians’ first instinct is to put them on the pill. But this ‘treatment,’ which is really a form of covering up the root causes of period problems instead of fixing underlying hormone imbalances, does a big disservice. If the teen in your life is dealing with reproductive health issues like those mentioned in the ACOG report, then consulting a doctor is an important part of getting her back on track. However, we must always question the prescription of hormonal birth control as it never treats the underlying health issue, but only masks the symptoms. Once your teen decides to come off, and this might be years down the line, she will discover that the health issue will return and possibly be worse than before.

If the teen in your life is dealing with very common problems like acne or PMS, then the pill is not the answer. While it can be tempting to reach for these drugs to put a stop to the problem, it’s important to know that doing so can set a young women up for a lifetime of side effects—including depression, low libido, anxiety, hair loss, cancer risk, and even life-threatening blood clots—and suppressed functioning of her endocrine, metabolic, and immune systems. Read up on the negative side effects of the pill and share those with your daughter. So many women who have suffered with synthetic birth control syndrome wished they had been told that negative side effects were even a possibility, that their future fertility might be affected, and that they had known there was a natural solution to their condition.

Talk to your teen about food. A main source of hormone imbalance in teenage girls is diet, with busy high schoolers eating sugary snacks on the run, indulging in late-night eating, skipping breakfast, and generally ignoring the food-hormone connection. Food is one of the most powerful levers we can pull to balance hormones and have better periods. If your teenage daughter is plagued by symptoms like acne and crippling PMS, shifting how she eats is key. Talk with your daughter about the food-hormone connection. Emphasize the importance of eating plentiful amounts of dark, leafy, greens (to support liver detox and the movement of excess hormones out of the body), eating foods rich in key hormone-supportive micronutrients, and eating enough (healthy) calories to support metabolic functions and optimal micronutrient levels. Talk about the dangers of too much processed sugar and how caffeine can sabotage hormone health.

Keep toxic chemicals away from developing bodies. The endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in many everyday products, from makeup and perfumes to household cleaners, are hormone disruptive for every women—but they can be especially hard on young bodies that are still developing. Make sure your daughter has access to clean makeup, safe deodorant, and non-toxic soap, lotions, and shampoos. Eliminate toxic household cleaners and other chemicals (like pesticides) for the health of the whole family.

Introduce your teen to the FLO Protocol. The FLO Protocol is all about engaging in phase-based self care and it is as applicable for teens as it is for adults. There is absolutely no reason that you and your daughter can’t adopt the FLO Protocol together.

Intermittent Fasting and Women's Health: What You Need to Know

If you pay attention to the health headlines, you’ve probably heard about intermittent fasting - it has been linked with several important health benefits.

But fasting isn’t the same for men and women. If women try fasting but don’t do it properly, it can cause more harm than good. Why? Because women’s bodies are biologically built for fertility and reproduction. Extended periods without food tell the body that now isn’t a good time for reproduction.

You might be thinking, so what? I don’t want to get pregnant now or maybe ever. But fertility isn’t the only concern. Women need to consider that estrogen and progesterone do more in the body than simply get us pregnant. Estrogen helps us with metabolism, weight loss, mood, anxiety and stress, energy, bone density, and cognitive function, to name just a few. If you’re a woman, intermittent fasting can disrupt estrogen balance and throw a wrench in all these essential physiological processes.

But when you know how to use intermittent fasting in a way that is safe for your unique female biochemistry—that is, when you know how to bio-hack intermittent fasting to improve hormone health instead of harm it—you can reap some amazing benefits.

Keep reading. We'll walk you through the benefits, dangers, and how-to of intermittent fasting for women below.

Women’s Hormones & Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has been associated with numerous health benefits (more on that below), but it is also linked to hormone disruption in women. Here’s a close-up look at the cascade of hormone imbalances that can start with intermittent fasting.

First, intermittent fasting can disrupt estrogen balance. Estrogen imbalance may show up as:

A disruption in one hormone system in the body can trigger other hormone imbalances. The other major hormone considerations for women when it comes to intermittent fasting are cortisol, the stress hormone, and thyroid hormone. When cortisol is imbalanced, symptoms include:

When thyroid hormones are imbalanced, symptoms include:

  • Weight gain
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dry skin
  • Dry hair
  • Irregular periods
  • Trouble regulating body temperature

So while intermittent fasting may have some benefits, this cascade of negative health effects for women may outweigh any benefit.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Simply put, intermittent fasting is going for short or intermediate periods of time without food. This “not eating” window can be as short as 12 hours and include sleep time—for example, you could stop eating at 8:00pm one night and not eat again until 8:00am the next morning and call it a fast—or as long as 16, 20, or 24 hours.

People fast in different ways. Some people try to go 12 or more hours without eating everyday. Others try to go 12 or 16 hours without food a couple days a week. Some people don’t eat for a full 24 hours one day each week.

Why Intermittent Fasting is So Popular

Studies have shown that intermittent fasting may help improve certain health conditions, including:

What Makes Intermittent Fasting Trickier For Women?

A woman’s reproductive function is intricately connected to her metabolic function, and vice versa. So anytime a woman’s body gets a “starvation signal” from her environment (like not eating for a stretch of time), it goes into preserve and protect mode, where it holds onto weight (to survive the famine), increases production of the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin (so that you feel famished and rush to get food ASAP), and slows down non-essential functions like reproduction (so you can keep yourself alive and not waste energy on growing a baby).

Animal studies bear this out: in one study, female rats who engaged in intermittent fasting for 12 weeks had smaller ovaries and experienced more insomnia than male mice. But the researchers found that these changes started in as soon as two weeks after the female mice started intermittent fasting.

How Women Can Use Intermittent Fasting Safely

This doesn’t mean women have to miss out on the benefits of intermittent fasting. Instead, we recommend that women follow some simple rules when it comes to intermittent fasting. This will help you tap into the many benefits associated with intermittent fasting while sidestepping the risks.

  • Don’t fast on consecutive days
  • Instead, pick no more than two or three non-consecutive days in a week to practice intermittent fasting
  • Don’t fast for more than 12 or 13 hours at a time. Going any longer can trigger a negative hormonal cascade
  • Don’t do intense workouts on fasting days
  • Don’t fast when you’re bleeding
  • During your eating window, choose the best diet for your hormonal health
  • If you give this slow and steady approach to intermittent fasting a try for a couple months and feel great, you can consider going for a longer window of time each day without eating (up to 16 hours), but pay close attention to how you feel and drop back to a smaller window—or stop intermittent fasting all together—if you start experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance.

If you start to experience symptoms of hormone imbalance while intermittent fasting, or if the hormone imbalance symptoms you already experience get worse, stop fasting right away.

These symptoms include:

  • Your period becomes irregular or stops
  • You start having problems sleeping or falling asleep
  • You notice changes in metabolism and digestion
  • You feel moody or experience brain fog
  • You notice negative changes in how your hair and skin looks
  • You’re always cold

Do NOT Try Intermittent Fasting If...

  • You have a history of eating disorders
  • You’re pregnant or are trying to conceive
  • You have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or trouble waking up in the morning
  • You have adrenal fatigue
  • You are currently dealing with PMS, PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis or other diagnosed hormonal issues

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!

How to Have Perfect Hormonal Health When You Hit 35 (and older)

You may have come to believe that hot flashes, weight gain, and a nonexistent libido are inevitable parts of getting older. Same with with regular ovulation, easy periods, and balanced hormones. But these extreme symptoms are not the norm—and they are NOT what you should expect at this age.

Forget what you’ve seen, heard, and believed up until this point about entering your mid-30s and beyond. Your body does not have a set-in-stone expiration date for producing sex hormones, in fact recent New York Times reported research shows we can delay menopause with food!

You don’t need to fear perimenopause. But you do need to understand what your body is biologically programmed to do during perimenopause and how you can take care of yourself NOW to make this hormonal transition as seamless as possible. (You’ll also want to pay attention to the hormonal transitions happening during this phase if you want to get pregnant in your mid or late 30s or beyond.)

How to Have Easy Perimenopause

The first thing to know? Perimenopause begins much earlier than many women realize: around age 35 and lasts for the next decade or more. And how you experience perimenopause—whether it’s easy for you or riddled with devastating symptoms—is largely determined by the hormonal health you’re in when you hit your mid-30s.That is, if you’re experiencing period problems now—symptoms like severe PMS, painful periods, irregular periods, bloating, acne, fibroids, and heavy bleeding—your hormonal health is compromised and it doesn’t bode well for your next 10 or 15 years. I don’t mean to scare you, but you might be facing some of the horror stories you’ve heard about perimenopause.

On the other hand, if you’re taking care of your hormonal health right now—if you’re engaging cyclical self-care and the key biohacks for balancing and healing your unique female physiology —your transition into perimenopause can be smooth sailing.

So what can you do right now to reclaim your hormonal health and transform perimenopause from a transition to be feared to a milestone that should be celebrated—and barely noticed, at least symptom-wise?Let’s start by taking a close look at what happens during perimenopause.

Perimenopause 101

Let’s clearly define “perimenopause.” It’s a term that refers to the time between your reproductive years and your very last period.  It takes a long time, and even though it sets off old-age alarms for many women—when, as I mentioned above, this phase starts much earlier than most women think it does AND there is nothing shocking, abnormal, or bad about going through this hormonal transition (or about aging in general, but that is for another blog post a different day).

What’s more, so many women are getting pregnant naturally and having children in their late 30s and early 40s. The word “perimenopause” conjures up images of old maids, when in fact many women are waiting until perimenopause to start a family.

Natural hormonal changes DO happen during this time, so it’s important to know what’s going on.

In a nutshell, perimenopause is when a woman’s ovaries begin to move from ovulating like clockwork to not ovulating anymore. This is accomplished by the slow and steady rise of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and fluctuating estrogen levels. Over time, these fluctuating hormone levels become waning hormone levels and they stop signaling the process of ovulation all together (menopause). Think of this as a kind of reverse-puberty.

This era of shifting hormone signaling in the body is why good hormonal health is so important when you’re about to enter this phase of life. If your hormones are out of balance and causing difficult symptoms before you’re in perimenopause (when they should be be having), the addition of the natural hormone fluctuations that occur during perimenopause will not make symptoms any better. Far from it. Your symptoms are likely to get way worse.

Perimenopause can be divided into two phases:

Phase 1 (35 to 45 years old)

This phase is when reproductive hormone production starts to shift and become less consistent. That said, you shouldn’t feel symptoms during this phase if you’re in good hormonal health. You should be ovulating and menstruating regularly and have good muscle tone, skin quality, energy, and sex drive. In other words, you should  still be making enough hormones to feel vital and youthful. If you are experiencing symptoms like difficulty with fertility, vaginal dryness, accelerated skin aging, or dry hair (or all of the above), these are huge messages that your hormones need some TLC. To add insult to injury, these are symptoms that women don’t expect to experience until much later. Dealing with them as young as your mid-30s can put a major dent in your quality of life and indicates you are aging biologically faster than your chronological years.

Phase Two (45 to 55 years old)

During this phase, FSH levels rise to the point where you no longer ovulate. And while that sounds dramatic, this phase will be relatively smooth sailing if you’re taking care of your hormonal health. However, many women let the symptoms they experience in Phase 1 go unaddressed and that compounds their symptoms in Phase 2.

You can use targeted strategies in each phase—before perimenopause, during perimenopause Phase 1, and during perimenopause Phase 2—to heal your hormones and erase pesky perimenopausal symptoms.

If you’re NOT in perimenopause yet… Begin cyclical self-care, stat! The first step is to track your period.The next step is to eat, exercise, and make lifestyle choices in line with your cycle. This is especially important if you’re experiencing any period problems like severe PMS, irregular periods, heavy periods, bloating, acne, fibroids or hormonal migraines. You’ll also want to make sure your liver and detoxification system are in tip-top shape. One of the best ways you can support detox everyday is by eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, and Brussel sprouts. If you’re on hormonal birth control, you may want to consider other options. A history of being on the Pill can make perimenopause worse.

If you’re in Perimenopause Phase 1… You’ll want to stick to your cyclical self-care routine, and liver health becomes even more important during this phase. Continue to emphasize phytonutrient-rich vegetables and drink warm water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice in the mornings. Tending your adrenal health is critical in this stage of life, so you will want to prioritize rest and relaxing activities, but you might also consider taking adaptogens, including:

Maca powder. I recommend maca powder as part of a wider hormonally-supportive diet when you’re age 35 or over and experiencing symptoms of perimenopause. Maca can help with:

Ashwagandha. This well-researched herb has been shown to reduce oxidative stress (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 safely improve sexual function and low libido for some women (perhaps because it supports healthy testosterone production). I recommend ashwagandha if you struggle with anxiety and/or if you’re wrestling with low libido.

Holy Basil. This herb supports a healthy adrenal response as well as helping stabilize blood sugar, which is essential for healthy hormone balance. Research also suggests that holy basil can help protect the liver and support liver function. I recommend holy basil if stress and anxiety are an issue and/or if you 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 full of antioxidants. The antioxidant benefits of reishi are well-studied, and when it comes to hormones studies show that reishi (and other cordyceps mushrooms) may help ease hormone-related symptoms by exerting an anti-androgenic effect in the body.

If you’re in Perimenopause Phase 2…Phase 2 is when FSH levels rise to the point where you no longer ovulate. Because many women experience accelerated hormone aging in Phase 1, they have a rough time in Phase 2. But when hormones are balanced entering this phase, your body should adapt relatively seamlessly by manufacturing slightly less, but a balanced amount, of estrogen and progesterone and testosterone. If you’re having hot flashes, night sweats, no libido, etc., then you likely have unbalanced levels of these hormones.

Take D3 and Evening Primrose Oil. These two supplements are especially helpful in the second phase of perimenopause. Evening primrose oil is a source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that influences prostaglandin synthesis and calms perimenopausal symptoms. Vitamin D is foundational for hormone balance and overall health at every stage of life. You can read more about D3 here.

Increase your Zinc intake. Zinc is critical for the production of testosterone production. Having enough testosterone eases the perimenopausal transition. Zinc is bountiful in beans and seeds. You can also supplement with 50mg a day.

Eat enough healthy fat. Cholesterol (yes, the very substance that has been demonized for many years) is what our body uses to make our hormones. You need enough healthy fat in your diet to have enough cholesterol to support adequate hormone production. Your body is slowing down hormone production at this stage, so it’s critical to make sure you have enough of this key building block.

Getting Pregnant in PerimenopauseIf you’re planning to get pregnant after age 35, you have nothing to fear. Even though you’ve entered this new hormonal phase, with the right hormone support can increase your chances of getting pregnant easily and naturally. For my definitive guide on getting pregnant after 35, click here. And if you are in your mid-30s and thinking of starting a family or already trying, consider adding the following supplements:

Vitex. This herb, also called Chasteberry, supports regular ovulation, healthy progesterone levels and robust levels of FSH.

CoQ10. This has been shown to improve egg quality.

What to Do When Your Period Disappears

If you’re a young woman and your period has decided to take a summer vacation (or if it’s been gone for longer than that), you might be panicking. Where did it go? What does it mean that it’s gone? How can I get it back? You might be especially concerned if you hope to have kids one day, though that isn’t the only reason to take missing or problematic periods seriously. Ovulation, which is necessary for menstruation (bleeding), is an essential part of a healthy hormone cycle and a key indicator of a woman’s overall health. The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists has called on clinicians to think of the menstrual cycle as a vital sign, like blood pressure and temperature.Plus, the symptoms that come along with light, irregular, or missing periods are uncomfortable at best and quality-of-life diminishing at worst. That’s because missing or otherwise wonky periods are almost always accompanied by hormone imbalances, which can give rise to acne, weight loss resistance, bloating, headaches, and mood swings.If this is happening to you, you’re not alone. Missing or irregular periods are common. They happen to a lot of young women, many of whom I’ve counseled in my practice—some of whom have missed periods for months and even years. (I worked with one woman whose period had been missing for 13 years, though by following the FLO protocol she got her period back within three months!)In today’s post, I’m going to outline the root causes of missing periods in young women and, most importantly, I’m going to give you three essential first steps on the journey to getting your period back.

Textbook Causes of Missing Periods

There are “textbook” reasons that periods go missing, including pregnancy, breastfeeding, and, of course, menopause. There’s also engaging in intense exercise everyday, which many women may not know is interfering with their regular menstrual cycle. It’s the same with being underweight. A condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), in which cysts grow on your ovaries can also be a root cause for young women. One of the top triggers for missing periods is coming off hormonal birth control. Stopping the Pill doesn’t guarantee that your period will come zipping back. In fact, without making a concentrated effort through food and lifestyle modifications, many women who quit the Pill do not start bleeding again for months or years.

Hidden Causes of Missing Periods

That brings us to the less talked about (but no less real) causes of missing or irregular periods, including stress. Chronic stress raises cortisol and messes up blood sugar, which disrupts ovulation. Studies also show that women with stressful jobs are at double the risk for anovulation (not ovulating) and menstrual cycle variability. Other research shows that women with high levels of stress around the time of ovulation have a harder time getting pregnant. The other common but often overlooked cause of period problems? Blood sugar dysregulation. Imbalanced blood sugar is associated with infertility, and diabetes drugs like metformin are often prescribed to women with PCOS to trigger ovulation. If you are considering taking metformin for PCOS or infertility, I strongly recommend regulating your blood sugar levels with the FLO protocol and prepping your body for a healthy pregnancy ahead of time. You may discover you don’t need the drugs. (It’s also worth noting that, for many of the women I’ve worked with, Metformin hasn’t worked at all.)

So What’s A Woman With a Missing Period To Do?

Following the full FLO Protocol is important for any woman with a missing or irregular period. The FLO Protocol supports you through the hormone-balancing food and lifestyle strategies that bring proper hormone signaling back online. But there are some powerful first steps you can take today to start bleeding again. Here are my top three strategies for bringing your period back:1. Engage in extreme self-care. That’s right, your new goal is to think of yourself as an Olympic athlete in the sport of relaxing, because the more stress you face externally, the more you need to be intentional about quieting your internal stress response. If you’ve been meaning to get back to your Yoga or Pilates class, do it today. Make sure you schedule dedicated non-work time—write it into your planner if you have to!—and engage in leisure activities you love. If some of the stressors in your life are modifiable, consider making changes that would make life less stressful.2. Balance your blood sugar. The single best (and side effect-free!) way to address blood sugar problems is with food. Emphasize healthy complex (and non-gluten) carbs, eat enough healthy, high-quality fats and proteins, and make sure you front-load non-starchy vegetables in all colors of the rainbow. One great tip for keeping blood sugar steady all day is to eat a low-glycemic breakfast within 90 minutes of waking up. And remember: sugar hides out in a lot of processed foods—even ones you wouldn’t expect. So read labels carefully, and stick to whole foods when you can.3. Fight the urge to be a night owl.Hormones are hugely affected by sleep—or, more specifically, by lack thereof. The 24-hour circadian cycle has a direct influence on, and is directly influenced by, our bodies master hormones. When we’re short on sleep, it’s almost impossible to get our hormones balanced. So make sleep a priority tonight (and every night!).Bringing your period back online is something you can do with nutrition and lifestyle modifications. I’ve seen women who haven’t had periods in years engage the FLO Protocol and start bleeding in three to four months. With the right lifestyle and nutrition changes, this could become your story, too!Love and Ovaries,AlisaGood things come in threes:

I want to hear from you!

First, have you tried Cycle Syncing?Second, has your period gone missing or become very light or irregular?Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on socialmedia?

Monthly FLO: The Cycle Syncing System™

Put your period symptoms into remission. Discover how to live in your FLO and get it all done with embodied time management.

MonthlyFLO is the first-ever woman-centric health system that syncs with your unique rhythm. It gives you the foundation for solving any hormonal issues you may have over your lifetime.Using the principles of functional nutrition, MonthlyFLO is a specially-sequenced food therapy program that recalibrates your endocrine function. Over three months, you will be guided step-by-step to make simple, cumulative food and lifestyle changes that balance your hormones naturally.Click here to learn more about the life-changing Monthly FLO Program

Need more Hormone Help?

If you’re needing some health upgrading, it’s time you started you looking into what’s going on with your hormones.I’ve designed a 4-day hormone detox and evaluation to help you understand exactly what’s out of whack and how you can start getting back to balance so that your hormones no longer have to suffer.I’ve designed a 4-day hormone detox and evaluation to help you understand exactly what’s out of whack and how you can start getting back to balance so that your hormones no longer have to suffer.Click here to get your FREE detox and evaluation.

Hair Loss In Women - The Connection Between Hormones and Hair Loss (and How to Stop Thinning Hair)

If you’re a young woman with thick, luxurious hair, you might think of hair loss as an older woman’s issue, something that strikes during perimenopause or menopause.

But hair loss happens to women at every age—and it’s increasingly happening to younger women. It’s estimated that 21 million women in the United States alone experience hair loss.

I have seen many women in their 20s and 30s with thinning hair seek out support at FLO Living. Hair loss is also a common symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is a hormone condition that affects one in 10 women of childbearing age.

Hair loss in women hasn’t always been so common. Think of historic images of women and their heavenly hair, so thick it had to be swept up in intricate braids. Imagine of Lady Godiva and Guinevere. Picture the historical female characters on TV and in movies, portrayed with rivers of hair running down their backs.

Here’s why hair loss is increasingly common in women of all ages today: the factors that drive hair loss—hormone imbalances, toxic exposures, thyroid issues, stress, and nutrient deficiencies —are more common in the modern era.

If you’re experiencing hair loss, topical treatments like minoxidil (Rogaine) and others tend to only be partially effective, if they are effective at all; they don’t address the root causes of hair loss; they target androgenic alopecia (which only accounts for some cases of hair loss); and they come with a host of unpleasant side effects—side effects that can worsen the aesthetic problem you were hoping to fix. Rogaine can cause hair to grow in different colors and textures than the surrounding hair and can cause unwanted hair to grow on your cheeks and forehead.

But there are simple, straightforward strategies you can use to stop thinning hair. Here’s what you need to know about the root causes of hair loss in women of every age and, most importantly, how you can take steps to reverse it.

The Hormone Imbalances & Nutrient Deficiencies Behind Hair Loss

Several different types of hormonal imbalances can lead to thinning hair. Understanding them is the first step in knowing how to treat them with lifestyle, nutrition and supplements.

Testosterone troubles

The male hormones, called androgens, have long been associated with scalp hair. (Over 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates noticed that eunuchs never went bald.) Historically, experts blamed hormonal hair loss across both genders on too much testosterone, but that is only part of the story. The real culprit appears to be dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a more potent form of testosterone. DHT is made from testosterone by a specific enzyme in the body, and while both testosterone and DHT are known to have a weakening effect on hair follicles, there appears to be something unique about the conversion process of testosterone to DHT that relates to thinning hair. This is why some drugs that are marketed for hair loss block the conversion of testosterone to DHT. (It’s important to note, however, that these drugs tend to be less effective in women than men, and that one of them—finasteride—is only approved for hormonal hair loss in men, not women. What’s more, the drug has been associated with increased risk of sexual side effects, depression, nausea, hot flashes, and increased estrogen levels—and too much estrogen is its own risk factor for thinning hair; more on that below.)This is all to say that high levels of testosterone, high levels of DHT (which can occur even when testosterone levels are normal), and the conversion of testosterone to DHT, all appear to play a role in the thinning hair for some women with hair loss.

Insulin Imbalances

Insulin is one of the body’s master hormones. It’s released every time we eat food and it allows our cells to utilize the energy we get from food. It’s released in smaller amounts when we eat low-glycemic foods and in higher amounts when we eat high-glycemic foods (like those made with sugar and refined flour). Eating too many high-glycemic foods for too long (often in combination with other lifestyle factors, like being sedentary and experiencing chronic, unremitting stress) can cause an overload of insulin in the body—and too much insulin disrupts ovulation and signals the ovaries to make testosterone. More testosterone predisposes the body to more DHT conversion, and, hence, more hair loss.

Estrogen Excess

Just like excess testosterone and excess DHT can cause hair troubles, so can too much estrogen. For some women, excess estrogen may trigger hair loss because of a gene variant that affects the functioning of an enzyme (aromatase) that processes estrogen. For other women, the problem with estrogen dominance is that they’re also experiencing lower levels of progesterone relative to estrogen—and progesterone helps protect hair follicles from the hair-thinning effects of testosterone, DHT, and estrogen. Evidence suggests that progesterone may act as an aromatase inhibitor and other research suggests that the genes involved in aromatase activity are implicated in female hair loss.


Postpartum hair loss is related to the drop in estrogen experienced after giving birth. During pregnancy, the body has higher levels of estrogen (and progesterone) and estrogen increases hair’s “resting phase,” or the time hair stays on your head before naturally falling out (which is what accounts for the 100 or so hairs that healthy heads shed every day). When estrogen drops after pregnancy, all the hair that had been “resting” starts to shed. Post-pregnancy hair loss is usually temporary, lasting for several months.

Thyroid hormone imbalances

The thyroid gland’s main role in the body is to regulate energy use. It releases a steady stream of thyroid hormones into the body to support and regulate vital bodily functions, from our breathing and heart rate to body temperature, body weight, and, yes, hair growth. When the thyroid is under stress or poorly nourished—the thyroid is highly dependent on optimal levels of vitamins and nutrients to function optimally—it starts to focus its efforts on supporting the bodily processes (like breathing and regulating heart rate) that support and sustain life—and it stops paying as much attention to less vital functions, like hair growth.

Natural Strategies to Heal Hair Loss

Ready to discover the natural strategies that support hair growth? Here are my top suggestions:

Scalp Massage with Essential Oils

 A study found that, when mixed with a carrier oil (like jojoba oil), the essential oils of rosemary, thyme, lavender, and cedarwood can help promote hair growth. The participants in the study massaged the carrier oil with essential oils onto their scalp daily for 7 months.

Try onion juice and aloe vera gel

A small study published in 2002 found that applying topical onion juice to the scalp increased hair growth. Two groups of participants were asked to use topical treatments on their scalps twice each day for two months: one group was given onion juice to apply to their scalp. The other was given tap water. After six weeks, hair growth was observed in close to 90 percent of the participants who used onion juice (though the researchers noted that more men in the group than women experienced hair growth). In the tap water group, only 13 percent of the participants experienced hair growth (with no difference between the sexes.) The benefit from onion juice is thought to come from its high sulfur content. Sulfur is found in amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, which are needed for robust hair growth. Onion juice may also stimulate collagen production, which in turn stimulates hair growth. You can buy onion juice at most health food stores or online, or you can make your own. Grate and strain an onion to extract the juice, apply to scalp, and then wash off after 30 minutes. It’s also been suggested that aloe vera has benefits for hair growth, though research specifically on hair growth is sparse, but studies do suggest that aloe vera is effective as a treatment for seborrheic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin condition that often affects the face and scalp. You can also try mixing onion juice and aloe vera and applying to the scalp for 30 minutes, followed by shampooing.

Detox Estrogen

 Estrogen dominance is an extremely common imbalance and it can fuel thinning hair as well as an arms-length list of annoying symptoms, from bloating and PMS to irregular periods and infertility. Your first, best step in clearing excess estrogen from the body is doing a liver supportive detox. My 4-Day Hormone Detox has you eating fresh, nourishing foods for three meals a day, plus snacks. You won’t feel hungry or deprived and, most importantly, you will help kickstart hormonal healing. A hormone detox is one of the best first steps you can take to reverse thinning hair.

Balance testosterone

 Because too much insulin (which is released by the pancreas in large amounts when we consume foods high in sugar or refined flour) signals the ovaries to produce more testosterone, and because an overload of testosterone increases the likelihood that our bodies may make more of the hair-thinning hormone DHT, work to keep blood sugar steady by eating fiber-rich whole foods. In addition, the Saw Palmetto herb has shown promise for its ability to block the conversion of testosterone into DHT, so it may help androgen-related hair loss. To date, research on saw palmetto for hair loss is limited, but the research that has been done is promising.

Correct nutrient deficiencies

Hair health is highly dependent on vitamins and minerals for optimal functioning. Several specific vitamins and minerals are key.

  • B vitamins. improve circulation, resulting in greater blood flow to the scalp
  • Vitamins A and C. support cell growth and collagen production for stronger hair
  • Magnesium supports healthier hair follicles and also helps calm your nervous system
  • Omega 3s. give you shinier hair and healthier follicle growth
  • Probiotics. help you absorb and assimilate more nutrients and reduce stress
  • Zinc. has unmatched benefits for hair health, according to research. It has been shown to help speed up the recovery of damaged hair follicles
  • Vitamin D3. research suggests that optimal vitamin D levels are critical for thyroid function, immune system function, hormone balance and hair-follicle health

These important micronutrients, which are all essential for hair health, are part of my Balance Supplements. And even if you eat a healthy, phytonutrient rich diet, you might not have optimal levels of the vitamins and minerals you need to promote hair health. Environmental factors beyond our control, from the mineral-depleted soil in which most of our food is now grown to shifts in growing practices that have reduced the amount of vitamins and minerals in various foods, can leave us eating a picture-perfect diet and still deficient in certain micronutrients.Also, if your digestion isn’t optimal, you can eat all the right foods but not be able to absorb the minerals from the food. This is one of the reasons I include a probiotic in my Balance Supplements. It’s precisely because vitamins and minerals are SO critical to hormonal healing—and to healing the devastating side effects that come with it, like thinning hair—that I created the FLOLiving Balance Supplements. The supplement industry has very little oversight and I saw so many women waste money on supplements that at best didn’t work and at worse contained dangerous ingredients. There was also the question of what to take. Which key vitamins and minerals were the best for hormones? After nearly two decades of researching the non-negotiable micronutrients, I formulated my own line of supplements to biohack your hormones and help heal symptoms like hormone-related hair loss. The supplement kit contains five formulas, rigorously tested, thoroughly researched, and perfectly suited to meet your needs. After years of research, I’ve determined that these are the five essential micronutrients that women need in order to balance hormones, reverse symptoms, and look and feel their best. If you’re ready to feel energized, detoxed, replenished, harmonized, and gutsy, order the Balance by FLO Living Supplement Kit now!

To your FLO,


How to Treat Uterine Fibroids Naturally

Believe it or not, the majority of women will develop uterine fibroids at some point in their lifetime. Crazy, right? But it’s true—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. That means you or someone you love will almost certainly be affected by this condition. But chances are, you’re not sure what to do about it. The good news is that by understanding the issue, you can apply a few simple, natural protocols to effectively treat fibroids.

What Are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that develop in the wall of the uterus. They’re the most common non-cancerous tumors in women of childbearing age. Fibroids can range in size from tiny (the size of a pea) to very large (the size of a melon). Symptoms can vary from none at all, to heavy or painful periods, bleeding between periods, pain during intercourse, lower back pain, frequent urination, and reproductive problems.

What Causes Uterine Fibroids?

According to Western medicine, no one knows for sure what causes fibroids to form. What we do know is that they seem to be affected by our hormones. Specifically, excess estrogen in the body seems to make them grow, and they will often decrease in size after menopause (when overall body estrogen is lower). So one of the ways to treat uterine fibroids naturally is to address estrogen excess—or estrogen dominance—in the body’s ecosystem.

Estrogen dominance occurs in the body when there is too much estrogen in relation to progesterone. This can happen as a result of the foods we eat, the beauty and body care products we use, stress, poor sleep, other environmental factors—or a combination of all of the above. It can be very hard to completely avoid estrogen excess because we’re surrounded by chemicals that disrupt hormonal harmony every day. Endocrine disruptors are in everything from our furniture to our nail polish and even household cleaning supplies.

Is Birth Control the Answer for Treating Fibroids?

At the doctor’s office, a diagnosis of uterine fibroids often means one thing: a prescription for the birth control pill. That’s because most doctors consider the pill to be a way to control the growth of fibroids as well as the symptoms you’re experiencing. But the problem is, this “treatment” doesn’t actually treat the root cause of uterine fibroids or address uterine health long-term. In fact, hormonal birth control comes with a slew of side effects that ultimately make hormonal imbalances worse.

The other option that doctors give women with fibroids is surgery—and most of us, quite rightly, want to avoid invasive procedures as much as possible, especially as the scar tissue that can develop from this surgery can complicate pregnancy.

But don’t despair: Despite what your doctor may have told you, medications and surgery are not your only options. You can use natural strategies to reduce the size of the fibroids you have now, prevent the growth of new fibroids, and reverse the problem.

The Best Natural Ways to Treat Uterine Fibroids

To treat fibroids and alleviate symptoms, the first step is to make food and lifestyle choices that support your body in processing and eliminating excess estrogen as efficiently as possible. Your goal is to bring estrogen levels back into balance with progesterone levels in your body.

You may have heard that women with fibroids should specifically avoid meat and dairy products from animals treated with synthetic hormones. This is because synthetic hormones are powerful estrogens that can create estrogen dominance and provoke fibroid growth. But, just as some foods are bad for fibroids, other foods are great for fixing and even shrinking fibroids. Fibroid-fighting foods help the body process and flush excess estrogen and boost progesterone—both of which can help slow (or stop!) the growth of fibroids.  

Another piece of the fibroid puzzle is genetics. If you have fibroids, it’s likely your mom or sisters have this health issue, too. It’s also more likely that a daughter of yours will be at higher risk of developing fibroids in her teens and 20s. But you can stop this domino effect in its tracks by addressing the estrogen excess that is the source of the problem.

The 6 Simple Steps To Naturally Treat Fibroids

To heal fibroids, you need to address one of the underlying causes of the issue: estrogen dominance. That’s the best way to stay fibroid-free for the future. This natural healing isn’t complicated, but it requires several steps, including eating in a way that flushes estrogen, elevating your progesterone levels, eliminating sources of synthetic estrogen like pesticides, chemical-based beauty products and cosmetics, and conventional household cleaners from your life, and supporting your body’s natural detoxification and elimination systems. There are steps you can take to reduce and ultimately get rid of fibroids.

1. Take a supplement specifically designed to treat fibroids at the source.

The FLO Living RELEASE Kit offers targeted nutrients that help support healthy estrogen and metabolism for easier, healthier periods. Our custom supplement blend provides you with the best-known optimizers to clear out excess estrogen and support the liver through each detox phase. We made sure to include an ideal blend of natural and herbal support which includes DIM, Sulforaphane, NAC, and Calcium-D-Glucarate in one spot.

2. Eat to nourish your hormones.

Reduce your estrogen overload by changing your diet and daily routine—this is called Cycle Syncing®. It involves eating, working out, and living your best life in a cyclical manner that optimizes your healing and long-term success. When you eat in a hormonally supportive way, you incorporate specific foods each week of your cycle and change that selection of foods as you move through each different phase of your cycle. This cyclical approach supports optimal hormone balance and metabolism all month long.

3. Cut out chemicals.

Research suggests that endocrine-disrupting chemicals—like those found in everyday cleaning supplies, cosmetic and body care products, lawn treatment chemicals, upholstered furniture, vinyl products (like shower curtains), plastic food containers and plastic food wrap—are strongly linked to the development of uterine fibroids.

The list of things to avoid (the shower curtain?!) might feel long and overwhelming, but avoiding these chemicals is easy—and, in great news, many of the chemical-free options are less expensive than conventional options. For example, baking soda and vinegar for cleaning the house can be bought in bulk—and for pennies on the dollar compared to chemical cleaning agents. Similarly, opting to not treat your lawn with chemicals is free! If you use plastic food storage containers, you can replace them over time with glass and stainless steel options (which last a lifetime); same with a shower curtain made of healthier material.

4. Support your microbiome.

You’ve likely heard of the microbiome, or, the collection of bacteria that live in the gut. What’s less well known is that the microbiome contains a colony of bacteria that actually helps metabolize estrogen. This colony of bacteria is called the estrobolome, and when the microbiome is healthy, so is the estrobolome. But when the good and bad bugs in the microbiome are out of balance (gut dysbiosis), the estrobolome can’t do its job efficiently and estrogen builds up in the body.

In other words, gut dysbiosis can contribute to conditions related to estrogen dominance, including the development of fibroids. Ditching sugar, dairy, and gluten is the first step in healing the microbiome. (If you’re ready to give up those estrobolome-destroying foods, try our free 4-Day Detox.) The other key to building and maintaining a healthy microbiome is supplementing with a great probiotic.

What is the estrobolome? The estrobolome is a term used to describe the collection of microbes living in the human gut that are involved in estrogen metabolism. These microbes play a crucial role in regulating the levels and balance of estrogen in the body. The estrobolome helps to break down estrogen and convert it into less potent forms, which can be excreted from the body.

When the estrobolome is not functioning properly, it can lead to an imbalance in estrogen levels, which has been associated with several health conditions, including breast cancer, endometriosis, and obesity. Research into the estrobolome is ongoing, and it is believed that maintaining a healthy balance of gut microbes through a balanced diet and probiotic supplements may help to optimize estrogen metabolism and reduce the risk of these conditions.

5. Improve your liver function.

The estrobolome metabolizes used-up estrogen. Then the liver gets it ready for elimination. So if your liver is sluggish (just like if your microbiome is imbalanced), estrogen can build up in the body—and, once again, you’re facing estrogen dominance.

Food is powerful when it comes to liver health. The liver thrives when we eat specific liver-nourishing foods—and it suffers greatly when we eat high fructose-containing processed foods and when we drink caffeine. The liver uses an enzyme called CYP1A2 to break down caffeine—and how much or how little CYP1A2 you produce is genetic. If your genes enable you to make a lot of this enzyme, you’re better at processing caffeine. But you are probably in the minority! It’s estimated that only 10% of the population makes robust levels of CYP1A2.

And here’s where things get really interesting: CYP1A2 is also involved in the metabolism of estrogen. So if you struggle with fibroids, there’s reason to suspect you might not be making enough of this enzyme—which underscores why giving up caffeine is so important. You need all the CYP1A2 available to you to process estrogen. You don’t want to waste your precious stores of this enzyme on caffeine.

More good news about our RELEASE supplement kit? It provides you with the best-known optimizers to clear out excess estrogen and support the liver through each detox phase.

6. Eat more of these 5 hormone balancing foods:

  • Flax seeds are part of a food group called “selective estrogen receptor modulators” that inhibit estrogen sensitivity in the uterus, which is beneficial when you have fibroids. They are also a fantastic source of fiber, which you need to move excess estrogen out of your bowels as quickly as possible to eliminate it from your body. Finally, flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids (which reduce the insulin resistance and inflammation that can suppress liver function) and lignans (which bind to estrogen receptors and prevent absorption of excess estrogen).
  • Whole grains are the best substitute for white processed stuff like bread, pasta, and noodles, and will help with insulin stabilization. High insulin levels from white starchy food (which acts like sugar in the body) are a factor in making fibroids grow. Whole grains are also a great source of fiber and will help to speed up the process and elimination of excess estrogen.
  • Soy isn’t my favorite food for women with hormonal issues, but in the case of fibroids, certain forms of soy can be beneficial. Specifically seek out non-processed, organic soy in the form of tempeh and miso to add to your diet.  This kind of soy has an anti-estrogenic effect on the uterus. Avoid all processed soy like soy cheese, soy meat, and other meat and dairy replacements. Moderation is key here and I wouldn’t recommend having soy every day, but unprocessed and organic soy is a useful dietary tool for managing fibroids.
  • Beans are an excellent source of fiber and protein, plus they have a low glycemic impact for most women, which reduces the kind of inflammation that can increase fibroid growth. You should focus on kidney beans, lentils, and mung beans. Beans and legumes can be a healthy protein replacement if you’re working to reduce meat (which can also help heal fibroids).
  • Pears and apples are liver-supporting foods that contain lots of fiber, along with a flavonoid named phloretin, which impairs tumor growth.

Is it really possible to put your period problems into remission naturally?

When I launched FLO Living over a decade ago, I knew it had the potential to change lives. After all, I’d lived through my very own hormonal transformation as a direct result of the protocol I was now ready to offer women all over the world. I went from weighing 200 lbs, covered in cystic acne, and suffering from all the emotional and physical turmoil of a PCOS diagnosis to living a healthier, more vibrant, and fulfilling life than I ever thought possible. I shed the weight, fixed my skin, and most importantly, recalibrated my endocrine system through a sustainable method I knew millions of other women could benefit from.I’ve been humbled and inspired by the countless accounts from women throughout the world about how FLO Living has healed their hormones and completely changed their lives. These personal success stories are what fuel the mission of FLO Living and motivate our team to continue establishing a new ‘normal’ of womanhood: a reality where easy periods, a juicy sex drive, a halted aging process, and tons of energy are par for the course.

What You Don’t Know is Holding You Back From Healing Your Symptoms

If you’re considering starting your own hormonal healing journey, you’re in the middle of your process, or you know someone who needs a nudge, the personal accounts of FLO Living graduates are the best sources of inspiration you’ll find. Maybe you’re curious about the program but you don’t really believe anything like this is possible. You may be on the Pill (or IUD or ring) and you’re scared of the long-term consequences of hormonal contraception...but you’re even more scared to suffer the rumored side effects of quitting. Perhaps you’re worried about your fertility now or in the future, or you’ve been struggling for years with a condition like PCOS, endometriosis, or fibroids and you’re sick and tired of sinking your hopes into “treatments” that continue to fail you. I want you to know that above all, your body is designed to perform optimally. It’s not luck—it’s science. You weren’t pre-programmed for endocrine dysfunction simply because you’re a woman. And when it comes to your period, you absolutely can get your body to perform better naturally. That’s why it’s so important for you to see and hear the stories below—because you’ve been conditioned to believe your body is broken, your period is a painful sentence, and there are simply no solutions for the burdens of being a woman. These are total lies that not only unnecessarily prevent you from achieving total health, but they also keep you from realizing your full potential. Now that we all recognize the menstrual cycle as a fifth vital sign (as important an indicator of your health as your blood pressure is), it’s time to take charge and correct the hormonal dysfunction you’ve been taught to silently accept. Beyond signifying your baseline health, your healthy cycle powers your overall wellbeing, your creativity, your productivity, and more. You want to smash the patriarchy? Fix your period.

How Do You Actually Get Rid of your Period Symptoms Naturally?

How do we do this at FLO Living? The FLO Protocol as described in the book, WomanCode, and detailed in the premier digital program, MonthlyFLO, works to address the root causes of your symptoms, whatever they may be. And because in my research, I uncovered the correct sequence of approaching the endocrine system to turn it’s self correcting mechanisms on and the micronutrients it absolutely needs to function optimally, the protocol works regardless of your symptoms or your diagnosed condition. What FLO treats is the endocrine system, not the symptom — this is why it’s so effective for so many women with totally different symptoms and diagnosed menstrual conditions. In order for your symptoms to resolve, you have to address your blood sugar, your stress, your estrogen overload, your micronutrient deficiencies, and your lifestyle. Once you start supporting your hormones with the right foods and self care, within two to three cycles you can expect to see shifts in your symptoms.One of my most significant discoveries I made in my years of research was the fact that you and your body have cyclical needs. They shift as your hormones shift in your regular cycle. And they shift as you move from your teens to your twenties to your thirties and forties and beyond. In order for you to live at your most vibrant level at any stage, you have to feed yourself the things that nurture and protect what makes you uniquely female — your hormones. Everything that’s inside allows you to manifest outside. There’s absolutely no reason you should suffer needlessly with hormonal imbalances.

Here's What Happens When You Put Your Conditions and Symptoms Into Remission Naturally:

For years, women have written to me detailing the most incredible, permanent, lasting improvements to conditions they were told were “incurable:” PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, and more. Women who’ve struggled for years with irregular periods, debilitating cramps, intolerable mood swings have told me they’re symptom-free. And I truly, wholeheartedly believe this kind of full hormonal recovery is possible for every woman. If you’re still skeptical, read to the stories below....You can quit the pill without any crazy side effects. “Flo Living was my birth control rehab. I looked you up and bought your book. I read it, but I needed more of a step-by-step, hold-my-hand, and give me feedback experience and that’s why I signed up for Monthly FLO. It worked completely. I dropped the NuvaRing. I quit and my skin stayed completely clear....I think if I could go back and tell myself anything it would be to do this program 7 years ago instead of hiding and medicating the problem using birth control. I would have done it earlier.” - Shawna...You can overcome infertility and become a first-time mom. “In reading Alisa’s book the WomanCode, immersing myself in the program (January-March 2016) and using much of the info that was given to me I was able to get almost a normal 28 day cycle...The combination of it all finally led to me writing you to let you know I got pregnant at 38 years old!! I’m so excited that after a little over 3.5 years of hoping, my dream for me and my husband has come true!! I only hope this story can inspire others to know that your body is amazing and that it has so much power to heal. Many blessings on all of your journeys!!” - Cortney...You can beat “incurable” diagnoses like PCOS. “I was diagnosed with PCOS three and a half years ago. I had horrible cystic acne that kept getting worse no matter what I did. I couldn’t seem to lose the 5-10 lbs of weight after my last pregnancy. My periods were always irregular and I had strong pelvic pain in my left abdomen. I felt trapped because every book I read said that there was no cure for PCOS and that other than taking strong medications certain symptoms would not be relieved. In Monthly FLO, I surprised myself by not only meeting all the goals that I wanted to achieve, but also accomplishing things I never expected. My skin cleared up, my ovarian pain diminished, I lost the rest of my baby weight, and most importantly I found an amazing sense of peace in my life overall – peace with body image, having another child, my work. My sexual relationship with husband has blossomed. I feel more productive in my life – even in everyday chores. Life is more fun! I am completely letting go and couldn’t feel more free and light about doing so!” - Alexandra...You can put your endometriosis into remission. “The past 5 years have been utter misery for me because of endometriosis. There were times that the pain was so intense that I could not walk. I came to fear and despise my period, my entire cycle. I was on birth control pills the whole time (trying all kinds until I found the least damaging one) and they didn’t help at all. I couldn’t predict what kind of period I would have, couldn’t understand what was going on in my body, didn’t even want to start trying to understand… And this made me sad, even depressed. I’ve been on the FLO protocol for the past 6 months, after coming off birth control… I FEEL PERFECT. And by perfect I mean, not only have my endometriosis pains vanished almost completely (once in a while when I’m ovulating I feel a 1 or a 2 out of a scale of 10 for pain), but I am truly aware of what is going on in my body all the time. I am 95% of the time acne-free, bloating-free, PMS-FREE, refreshed and energized and when I do have these symptoms, even a little bit of them, I immediately know what caused them.” - Natalia...You can learn how to sync with your body. “Before FLO Living, I never paid attention to my body. I bought tampons, and that was the extent of it. I never had very extreme periods before so I didn’t think about it. Now I am really paying a lot more attention. I’m in the luteal phase right now and I feel a little less sociable. I know I can take a few minutes of silence for myself. I am careful not to eat sugar. It’s really cool to recognize what’s going on inside.” - Ashley...You can ease your perimenopausal symptoms. “Not only did I learn not to fear my body during this process, I also learned that I could have a transition that leaves me better than before! I’ve lost weight, my periods are over, my sex drive is the highest it has ever been in my life, and I’m excited about my life again.” - Lori

What’s Your Story

The stories I read every day from FLO Living graduates confirm the gut feeling I had all those years ago when I founded the company: building a place where women can get information, support, answers, and effective care for their period problems. These stories are what make all the work we do at FLO Living worthwhile. Sharing your story with us keeps us going and lights us up. If you have a story of FLO transformation, I’d love to hear it. Share it in the comments below. If you know someone who is struggling with her period and hasn’t heard the good news that you can recover from menstrual issues naturally, share this article with her! You taking the time to share could help motivate someone who’s struggling or unsure of her next step. If you are someone struggling with your period, now you know that change is possible! We’d love to hear what you’re struggling with and we’d love to help. Email us at to connect with us for a consultation. You’ll get symptom analysis and feedback and direct, actionable tips to take your hormonal healing into your own hands. Love,Alisa

We believe that no woman should suffer simply because she has a period.

And we also know that it’s not always possible to get access to functional and holistic healthcare solutions — sometimes they’re too far away and most of the time they are way too expensive.That’s why we offer phone and Skype consultation sessions with our FLO coaches.All of our expert FLO coaches have been trained by Alisa on top of being certified health coaches and licensed acupuncturists. And they are all qualified to help you find the right next step for you in getting out of hormonal chaos and into your FLO. Work with a FLO Coach and find your customized plan to solve your period symptoms.

Click here to book your counselor consultation

The 5 Supplements You MUST Have To Increase Sex Drive

It can happen to just about any woman at any time...

  • A 20-something career woman busting her butt on the job and seeing her period problems escalate the higher her stress levels rise.
  • A new mom who’s just freakin’ tired and feels like she never quite got back to her old self after baby.
  • A chronic worrier coping with the early effects of perimenopause in her late 30s despite a pretty regular period—everything seems fine with her flow, but she can feel herself aging way too fast and way too soon.
  • A long-time birth control user who’s now noticing some major side effects after quitting the pill.

What do all these ladies have in common? A zero-mile-per-hour sex drive that’s left them feeling flat, frustrated, and completely out of touch with their femininity.Maybe you recognize yourself in one of these women, or you have a friend, family member, or romantic partner struggling to feel sexy. No matter which one of these scenarios you connect to, the bottom line is that they’re all rooted in reality and a missing libido isn’t just a figment of the imagination—it’s a concrete phenomenon that’s unfortunately an all-too-common consequence of endocrine dysfunction.

Why are so many women dealing with low sex drive?

There are so many overlooked factors that can contribute to hormonal chaos and low sex drive, but few medical experts will ever dare broach the topic. And it’s important to spell out what we mean when we’re talking about “low sex drive”: you could either be dealing with a lack of desire for sex or a lack of sexual responsiveness (i.e. mind-blowing orgasms—or any orgasms at all). Both scenarios are a problem, and both qualify as low libido.

Here are a few reasons your sex drive might be stalled:

  • You’re beyond stressed. Don’t discount the profound physical effects psychological factors can have, especially on your libido. Everything from stress, anxiety, and depression to poor body image, low self-esteem, and history of abuse can significantly impact your sex drive.
  • You’ve been on birth control for any length of time. A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine revealed that women who have taken the birth control pill may find that, as well as having had low sex drive when on the pill, that this side effect persists even when they stop taking it. The researchers discovered that the impact the birth control pill has on women’s testosterone levels can cause them to have a permanently suppressed sex drive when compared to women who have never used the birth control pill.
  • You’re over 35. Perimenopause has a profound effect on your entire endocrine system, and can spin your sex drive out of whack. Before 35, your desire is driven primarily by the biological impetus to reproduce and your libido peaks around ovulation each month. After 35, as your hormone levels start to shift, your body just isn’t not as strongly driven by that natural instinct and it will require external direction in the form of nutritional and physical cues.
  • You have an endocrine issue like PCOS. Women with PCOS typically either experience low libido as a result of low testosterone levels and high sex hormone binding globulin levels (SHBG) or a high libido (along with acne and hair loss/unwanted hair growth). Either imbalance of masculine and femininity can create a disconnect between your emotions and your libido, making sex a struggle, even if the desire is there.

The 5 Supplements You Need to Support Your Sex Drive

When it comes to healing hormonal dysfunction, food is always your best ally. But let’s be real: if your libido is lagging, you’re already tired, stressed, and dealing with one too many things on your plate. Fixing your eating habits will be crucial, but at this moment, you’re in crisis mode. You need tools that will fast track your healing so you feel motivated and empowered to keep making the right self-care choices. The easiest way to do that? Supplements. Here are the five you’ve gotta have on hand in order to kickstart the sexual healing:

1. B Vitamins support your adrenal glands by preventing the breakdown of too much dopamine and serotonin during stressful times, leaving enough for us to remain buoyant and energized.

2. Zinc helps to boost your testosterone production and prevents testosterone being turned into estrogen by blocking the enzyme responsible.

3. Omega-3 fatty acids help balance out your progesterone and estrogen levels, which in turn will increase dopamine, which will, in turn, help you produce more nitric oxide. This is absolutely essential for the dilation of blood vessels and tumescence that leads to bigger and better orgasms.

4. Magnesium makes it harder for your testosterone to bind onto proteins and allows for more of it to remain “free” in your bloodstream – which is exactly how you want it to be for a higher sex drive. Higher levels of free testosterone makes for more desire. Magnesium also combats anxiety and prevents depressive feelings, helping you enjoy yourself more.

5. Probiotics may not directly affect your sex hormones, but they do impact your mental health, which—as you already know—directly affects your sex drive. Studies have linked psychiatric disorders like depression to imbalanced gut bacteria and probiotics have the power to restore microbiome balance.

Love and ovaries,


Hormone Safe Holiday Gifts of Self Care

Gifts can be so random (who hasn’t received a candle or twelve every December?). That’s why this year, I wanted to curate a sweet little gift guide of things, that I have at home and love using, and that will help you make your own self-care routine a little more delicious and hormone friendly. These are also all excellent options for any last minute gifts and stocking stuffers for yourself and your girlfriends. Let’s focus on taking good care of ourselves, helping our friends do the same, and starting the year off on a healthy path.Here are the items I have on hand to get me through the holidays and beyond:

SW Basics Joy Scrub and Soak, $29

I love to exfoliate after my period is over, and this brand new SW Basics Joy Scrub has perfected what I need - sea salt, shea butter, and immune and mood boosting lemon and orange oils. I love this brand’s commitment to organic ingredients and simple formulations.

Shiva Rose Nectar Body Oil, $80

This amazing, delicious, fragrant formulation includes serious skin hydrators, contains hormone balancing borage and evening primrose oils, and sensual essential oils of sandalwood, cardamom and ylang ylang - major must have.


There’s no other app like this one to plan out the month and optimize all areas of your life!

It was even named a top trend to watch in 2018 by both MindBodyGreen and Well+Good - so yeah, you should definitely download it.

Moon Phase Calendar, $19

There may be a few different kinds of moon phase calendars out there, but this one printed using a hand-pulled silk-screen technique on 100% PCW recycled paper is my favorite!

Sustain condoms and lube, $13.99 for a box of 10 condoms, $12.99 for lube.

I simply love these products and the lube is amazing. Best barrier method for birth control and always use lube to keep your clitoris and vagina happy throughout your cycle.

Vapour holiday duo

If you haven’t yet switched to organic makeup yet, hen Vapour is the one to start with. It’s a makeup artist-grade product and these two pots are just gorgeous, fun, and easy. One of my faves.

ZenBunni Hot Cacao, $20

Cocao is the highest source of dietary magnesium,which you need an abundant supply of all of the time! This is organic, low sugar, and delicious - just scoop some into some warm coconut milk and add in some cinnamon and cayenne.


This is the first and only hormone biohacking supplement subscription box for women. Each 2 month supply comes with 5 formulations that contain all the micronutrients your body needs to keep hormones balanced. Essential if you are on any synthetic birth control or if you are trying to resolve your period symptoms.

Marie Veronique Treatment Serum, $90

This is what I use to manage any moments when my skin looks dull and congested. Put it on before bed and wake up with new skin.

Lola subscription, $8-$10/box

Stop putting chemicals in your vagina and start using these organic tampons STAT.

The Moon Deck Set, $60

Pull a card or three before you start journaling and connect to your intuition.

Gaia Golden Milk, $14.95

This makes delicious, easy, and fast golden milk lattes!

Saje Diffuser, $89.95

This ultrasonic diffuser doesn’t heat the oils, so when you use organic products, you preserve their incredible essence! It lasts for hours and can scent a huge room - such a good product.


This best selling book is the must have women’s hormonal health resource. You’ll refer back to it constantly so get one for your nightstand and one for your best friend.

Major Study Links Birth Control to Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

If you’ve been following FLO Living for a while, then you already know my feelings on synthetic hormones. Far too often, thepill and all other forms of hormonal birth control (patches, implants, IUDs, etc.) are marketed as the only way to treat period problems along with being fearfully positioned as the only reliable form of pregnancy prevention available to women. Not only is that information untrue; it perpetuates a culture that doesn’t take our unique health needs as women seriously. It’s starting to feel like a bad case of deja vu: yet another study has emerged calling the safety of hormonal birth control into question. Each time this happens, it’s a strong reinforcement of the work we do here at FLO Living to help women become their own best healers of hormonal dysfunction. But this new research is so major and the results are so glaringly clear, perhaps it will be the scientific impetus for women on synthetic forms of birth control to rethink their choices.The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine this month, followed 1.8 million Danish women for over a decade. During that time, 11,517 cases of breast cancer were identified, leading researchers to the conclusion that hormone users overall experienced a 20% increase in their relative risk of breast cancer compared to nonusers. If those numbers seem hard to wrap your brain around, think of it this way: each year, hormonal birth control causes an additional 13 cases of breast cancer in a group made up of 100,000 women. So for every 100,000 women on the pill, there will be 68 annual breast cancer diagnoses compared to 55 for non-birth-control users.If you find this revelation alarming — and I certainly do — then you’ll want to know the details and understand your options so you can make the most informed choice around your fertility, your health, and your life. This issue is far too important to ignore.

The Problem With Conventional Wisdom on Birth Control

This is what’s so frustrating about conventional women’s health. As Dr. Marisa Weiss, an oncologist who founded the website told the New York Times, “Gynecologists just assumed that a lower dose of hormone meant a lower risk of cancer.”   This of course is referring to the first wave of the pill that had a higher dose of hormones that at first was deemed safe for women, and then shown to cause cancer risk.  So the doses were lowered, but as the new study shows, the risk is still there.  Remember also that HRT (synthetic hormone replacement) was the gold standard treatment for menopausal women 20 years ago, until the cancer risk there was surfaced as well.I’m frustrated by the culture of prescribing “treatments” to women based on assumptions where there isn’t enough research being done to support them. And when groundbreaking research like this is done, study findings will often be dismissed in some way because it doesn’t align with the status quo. It’s just become a cultural norm to feed women information that isn’t rooted in fact and as a consequence, women all over the world are making major decisions about their health care without adequate information. In this glorious age of information, this should not be.The good news is that the current generation of women is questioning the status quo of their menstrual health care. Health and wellness has become a trendy lifestyle choice for these young women, and many are now starting to realize that the concept of medicating their cycles (even when that’s the prescription their doctor ordered) feels out of alignment with their values. And if you’re one of these women starting to have doubts about the widely-accepted medical protocols around the female cycle, that’s great. You should follow that intuition and know that beyond this study, there is a long list of mounting evidence that should call your trust in hormonal birth control as a method for “dealing with period problems” into question.

The Rise in Synthetic Birth Control Syndrome

Over the past 16 years of treating tens of thousands of women around the world, most of whom have been on some form of birth control to address their period problems, I’ve seen first hand what researchers have been uncovering for many years - a phenomenon referred to as ‘synthetic birth control syndrome’.  You may recall trying one form of birth control, and feeling not yourself or worse in the first few days.  You are then advised to hop from one form to another until you can find one your body can tolerate.  Regardless of how you feel you’re tolerating the synthetic hormones, they will absolutely do the following 3 things - stop you from ovulating and having an actual period, flush micronutrients from your system, and compromise your immune function by disturbing your microbiome.  Oh, and there’s the potential to permanently lowering your sex drive.  Those initial feelings of discomfort you may have had and were told to tolerate, were too much for men in a trial to test a form of male hormonal birth control and the men would not complete the trial!  Here are just a few of the detrimental things we already know birth control can do that we’ve shared about with you in other articles:

Not to mention, all forms of hormonal birth control used to “treat” problematic issues like PCOS and PMS are simply masking the root cause of those issues. Birth control is simply a Band-Aid, which can be a dangerous non-solution; once you come off the method, the problems will return and potentially have worse symptoms than before, as well as becoming harder to treat and resolve. By continuing to take the pill or use other forms of hormonal birth control, you’re compromising your future fertility and long-term health. It’s important that you know there are side effects as you weigh your options.  

Debunking The Pregnancy Fear

So many of my clients tell me that they simply can’t quit the pill because they’re so scared to become pregnant. This fear is understandable considering how sex, fertility, and reproduction are taught to us in schools. Girls are basically told in grade school that once they get their periods, they’ll always be in danger of getting pregnant. This fear-mongering goes hand-in-hand with the vilification of menstruation that makes it a natural step for women to choose to medicate their cycles; first girls are told that their periods are gross and taboo, and then they’re taught to live with constant anxiety over possible pregnancy. And of course, all of this is done in the absence of proper education around the super specific conditions that have to be in place for conception to occur — like the fact that fertilization is really only possible during a 3-5 day window each month. This perfect storm sets women up to feel that their periods are a mysterious problem best left to medication to try to handle.

Where You Can Go From Here

The fact of the matter is, you now have access to all the information you need to make the most informed, educated decisions for your body and your life. If you’re using birth control because you think it’s the only way to prevent pregnancy, then you’ve simply been misled and it’s time to learn the nuances of female fertility so you can have the freedom to make other choices. And if you’re on birth control to try and remedy your hormonal imbalance, then take this study and all the other mounting evidence to heart and understand that the pill is not the answer. There’s simply no reason to live in confusion and with symptoms around your period!  It’s your birthright to enjoy the biochemical gifts of your whole and healthy cycle.  Relying on synthetic hormones to balance your cycle isn’t necessary once you get in the FLO.  If you’re ready to get off the hormonal birth control roller coaster and remedy your endocrine issues the right way, download my special report: Birth Control Rehab: How to Quit the Pill Without Going Through Hormone Hell and you will discover:

  • 4 ways synthetic birth control makes your underlying hormone issues worse
  • Why synthetic birth control can negatively affect your future fertility
  • How the Pill alters your chemistry to make you choose the wrong partner
  • The exact steps you need to take before considering quitting your synthetic birth control

Take control of your hormones and your reproductive health by getting the facts now.Love,Alisa

Introducing the BALANCE by FLO Living Hormone Supplement Kit

You’ve been asking me for hormone-friendly supplement recommendations, and I finally have created a solution that I am so thrilled to be able to offer to you on your hormonal balancing journey:

Balance by FLO Living Supplements are a complete package that work together to keep your hormone levels healthy. They include a 2 month (2 cycle) supply of the following formulations so you’re never caught short in any phase of your cycle.When you take these 5 supplements daily, you’ll be giving your body excellent micronutrients to support healthier hormone levels. Which means that you’ll start to see your worst period symptoms get better… and even disappear after a while.

Click here to learn more about the brand-new BALANCE Supplement Kit.

Cycle-Syncing Your Workout: What's The Best Time of Day For Women to Exercise?

Break a sweat before dawn or bust a move after work? Lunch time lunges or late-night laps? It’s the age-old question that so many women struggle with, but few can confidently answer: what’s the best time of day to work out?I’m about to demystify this dilemma for you, but let’s begin by stating the obvious: women are not men. Obvious? Yes. Always acknowledged? Don’t bet on it. When we look at research measuring exercise performance at various times of day, it’s so important to understand that the majority of these studies focus on male subjects. This was pretty neatly summed up in 2010 New York Times article called “What Exercise Science Doesn’t Know About Women”: “Scientists know, of course, that women are not men. But they often rely on male subjects exclusively, particularly in the exercise-science realm, where, numerically, fewer female athletes exist to be studied. But when sports scientists recreate classic men-only experiments with distaff subjects, the women often react quite differently...In the meantime, female athletes should view with skepticism the results from exercise studies that use only male subjects. As Dr. Rowlands says — echoing a chorus of men before him — when it comes to women, there’s a great deal that sports scientists ‘just don’t understand.’”

How Women Can Time Their Workouts

So if these studies can’t help you crack the code on when to hit the gym, how can you create a sustainable exercise schedule that delivers results and fits into your busy life? By relying on the intuitive wisdom of your hormones, of course! If you’re already a fan of FLO Living, then you’ve heard me talk quite a bit about synchronizing your diet to your natural hormonal fluctuations. It’s a system I call cycle-syncing, and it’s the key to completely transforming your overall health. But cycle-syncing isn’t just for food; it’s a perfect strategy to apply in all areas of your life — including workouts. Your body isn’t the same every single day, and if you’re truly living in your FLO, you’ll be eating, exercising, socializing, and getting romantic in ways that perfectly complement and enhance the assets of each phase of your cycle. Running every single morning at 6 a.m. or sticking to just one kind of conditioning class each and every evening won’t get you real results. By modifying the type of activities you do each day and adjusting the timing of your workouts depending on the time of the month, you’ll play to your strengths all cycle long.Just like food, exercise is an essential tool for achieving and maintaining optimal endocrine health. But understanding how to implement this powerful tool is key — despite what popular culture and social media stars would have you believe, more is not better when it comes to getting fit, and strategically syncing up your cycle with your workouts is the only way to ensure real results and happy, healthy hormones.

How Long Should Your Workout Really Be?

It takes about 30 minutes of exercise to burn through all the glucose in your bloodstream. Once that’s gone, you start forcing your adrenal glands to pump out cortisol to get your fat cells to convert into sugar for the blood stream. While this may seem like a surefire way to melt unwanted pounds, that’s not the case for women with too much estrogen (the most common root cause of period problems, fertility issues, and other forms of hormonal chaos). When your body is overloaded with estrogen, the circulating sugar gets converted to fat, perpetuating a vicious cycle (and this is assuming your adrenals are working perfectly — not the case for many super stressed women). Exercising for more than 30 minutes at a time puts undue stress on your adrenal glands by causing cortisol to skyrocket and any excess estrogen to encourage further fat production. Rather than wasting hours on the elliptical, focus your efforts with a 30-minute session that fits the categories below.

My Go-To Exercise Schedule For Women

So without further ado, here’s your phase-by-phase, no-brainer guide to cycle-syncing your workouts and finding the best time of day to reap the biggest rewards:


Workout: Walk - keep your workouts mild, even if you’re not feeling major discomfort. When: An evening stroll is the perfect way to get some simple movement.

Follicular Phase: The week or so after your period

Workout: RunWhen: Mid-day - your estrogen will be low and your cortisol levels will be just right for a challenging cardio burst.

Ovulation (mid-cycle)

Workout: Intense cardio, dance, or bodyweight circuitWhen: Early morning - you’ll have tons of energy during this time of the month, so take advantage of that natural high! Your testosterone is higher during this phase, so whatever you do, feel free to go all out!

Premenstrual/Luteal Phase

Workout: Pilates, yogaWhen: Keep it early during the first half, and then transition into the early evening. You might still feel full of energy during the first days of your luteal phase, so feel free to keep kicking butt in more intense workouts early in the day. But if you start to experience PMS symptoms in the days before your period, it’s time to tone it down and switch to Pilates or strength training in the early evening. Restorative (yin) yoga before bed can also be hugely helpful in combatting issues like moodiness and bloat. But the only real way to nip those symptoms in the bud for good is to fix the hormonal issue once and for all. If you’re ready to kiss symptoms goodbye forever, then MonthlyFLO is for you!Happy, hormone-friendly workouts, ladies! Alisa

Introducing the BALANCE by FLO Living Hormone Supplement Kit

You’ve been asking me for hormone-friendly supplement recommendations, and I finally have created a solution that I am so thrilled to be able to offer to you on your hormonal balancing journey:

Balance by FLO Living Supplements are a complete package that work together to keep your hormone levels healthy. They include a 2 month (2 cycle) supply of the following formulations so you’re never caught short in any phase of your cycle.When you take these 5 supplements daily, you’ll be giving your body excellent micronutrients to support healthier hormone levels. Which means that you’ll start to see your worst period symptoms get better… and even disappear after a while.

Click here to learn more about the brand-new BALANCE Supplement Kit.

5 Reasons You Have Adult Acne

You survived your turbulent teens and yet here you are: an adult woman still battling the supposedly adolescent issue of acne. What gives?I’ve been there: In my twenties, I suffered from super painful cystic acne that spread all over my face, chest, and back. I tried everything — and I mean literally everything — to combat the chaos erupting across my skin: antibiotics, Retinol-A cream, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid. Not only did these typical treatments fail to deliver results, but they actually made the problem worse. It was frustrating and mind-boggling. Why was I still dealing with zits in my twenties and why were doctor-approved solutions failing me?  

The Real Deal Behind Hormonal Acne

If you’re a grown-up combatting skin issues, you have to know what you’re actually up against: an endocrine imbalance. If you’re like most women who get hormonal acne, then you probably notice pimples crop up around ovulation (mid-cycle) and/or right before your period. This isn’t a coincidence; these are the two points in your hormonal cycle when estrogen and testosterone are peaking, and if your body isn’t processing these hormones correctly, eliminating the excess, and detoxifying your system. That extra estrogen and testosterone accumulates and results in acne. This happens in two ways: the excess estrogen causes estrogen dominance and skin inflammation, and the extra testosterone play on your sebaceous glands to produce more oil.

Elimination is Key

We often forget that our skin is our biggest organ of elimination; it works within a system that includes your liver, lymphatic system, and large intestine, and because these organs all act as one unit, they can’t be separated when it comes to treating the root cause of acne. Everything you put into your body from the food you eat to the products you use on your hair and skin to the substances you use to clean your house must be eliminated properly. If they’re not, then these chemicals that mimic estrogen will stay in your body and circulate. And if all of your elimination organs aren’t working optimally, then the leftover, circulating toxins will show up on your face as acne (and result in other unpleasant symptoms like PMS) — it’s as simple as that.

5 Reasons You Have Adult Acne (And 5 Ways to Fight It)

Now that you understand the basics, let’s get down to business — here are the five reasons your skin is suffering and the solutions to implement right now:

1)You have a micronutrient deficiency.

The problem with all the standard acne treatments is that they do nothing to target the root cause of your problem. Two major health problems underpin the issue:  1) A damaged and depleted gut microbiome, and 2) A deficiency in key micronutrients for skin health.

The solution: Coffee, excessive exercise, chemicals in your environment, sleep deprivation, the Pill, and stress all strip your body of key micronutrients that keep your hormones healthy and your skin clear. The five formulations provided in the Balance By FLO Living supplement line include essential micronutrients to act as your “insurance policy” against endocrine disruptive things that you’re doing (knowingly or unknowingly) that are throwing you off balance.

2) Your liver is congested.

Your liver needs enough micronutrients in order properly detoxify your body. A well-functioning liver boosts your absorption of all vitamins and minerals and prevent deficiencies developing in the first place. You might be surprised to learn zinc deficiency is a very common issue for many women; when we’re deficient in zinc, our pores become easily irritated by bacteria and show redness. A large-scale scientific study actually concluded that zinc supplementation is very effective even when compared to commonly prescribed antibiotics.

The Solution: In addition to the supplements mentioned above, I recommend incorporating a little bit of grass-fed liver into your FLO Living diet every week as part of a meal or as a snack. It’s full of copper and vitamin A to balance out zinc and aid in detoxification of excess hormones.

3) You’re eating pro-inflammatory foods.

Inflammatory foods cause leaky gut syndrome — that means microscopic holes develop in the wall of your intestines, allowing molecules to pass through and create an inflammatory response in your body. When your liver and large intestine are working at a subpar level, your skin steps up and tries to eliminate the toxins, resulting in skin inflammation and acne.

The Solution: To speed up your healing, reduce or eliminate the following foods from your diet as best you can:

  • Dairy
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Canola, sunflower, safflower, and vegetable oil
  • Caffeine
  • Gluten

4) Your cycle is out of whack.

If your period is all over the place, it’s a sure sign something is off with your hormones and your skin may be suffering as a result.

The Solution: Download the MyFLO® app and start tracking your symptoms STAT! Getting into the groove of cycle synching will help you troubleshoot your issues by modifying your diet and lifestyle to work for you, not against you.

5) You’re not getting enough exercise (or sex!).

Circulation and the flushing of cortisol are essential to glowing, gorgeous skin. If you’re not moving enough or clocking enough amazing orgasms, the evidence could show on your face.

The Solution: A good clean stress hormone detox in the way of a burst of sweaty exercise (I like jumping on a mini trampoline in my living room!) or even a really good orgasm will give you a dewy glow and help to banish stress related and hormonal acne.Love,Alisa

Should You Do a Holiday Hormone Detox?

The holiday season is filled with family, parties, friends, traditions, and…sugar, alcohol, shopping, stress, and other out-of-the-ordinary activities. In other words, it’s a wonderful and a hormonally disruptive time of year. You know that holiday hangover feeling where you’re moody, bloated, prone to breakouts, and your pants no longer zip? That’s holiday hormone madness. But here’s the good news: you’re not doomed to a winter filled with crummy symptoms. There are simple strategies you can use to have (a little) cake and eat it, too! The first, best step is to do a simple, easy reset after indulging in holiday hedonism. By taking a few days to focus on healthy food (and when to eat it), getting the right micronutrients, and engaging in strategic self-care, you can reverse the hormonal chaos and lay the groundwork for a lighter, brighter holiday season and New Year. And if you think a reset requires strict deprivation, think again. Recalibrating your endocrine system is easier than you think.

Why The Holidays Wreak Havoc On Your Hormones

The post-holiday hangover is a result of putting too much pressure on one of the body’s most important detox organs: the liver. Your liver is responsible for breaking down toxins and getting them ready for elimination from the body. This happens naturally when you eat a diet of FLO-friendly foods, but when the holidays interfere with their pies, cookies, and mulled wine, your liver gets overwhelmed and can’t detox efficiently. The symptoms you’re feeling on the outside—like fatigue, brain fog, acne, weight gain, bloating, heavy or irregular periods, severe PMS, mood swings, and hormonal headaches—are the downstream effects of having a sluggish liver. When this happens, toxins recirculate through your bloodstream and estrogen, which is also detoxed through the liver, backs up in your body. When you have too much estrogen circulating in your bloodstream relative to progesterone, it’s called estrogen dominance and it will make any symptoms you’re already experiencing even worse. The real goal in doing a detox or cleanse isn’t to starve yourself down to a smaller size; it’s to support the liver. Rather than depriving yourself, you should focus on feeding yourself the right micronutrients to help your liver move toxins more efficiently. Doing that will rev up your energy and strip away the sluggishness so many of us feel during the season.

How to (Easily) Detox From Holiday Hormone Havoc

Trigger #1: Too much sugar. I believe in the occasional sugary indulgence, but the holidays often come with more sweet treats than other seasons. Extra sugar is one of the biggest reasons our hormones go off the rails.Here’s why: When you eat a lot of sugar or carbs and flood your system with glucose, your body sends out insulin to deliver it to your cells. This overexposure of glucose and insulin sends your blood sugar levels soaring and then crashing, which can disrupt ovulation and set off a cascade of hormone imbalances. The sugar will also prompt your body’s fat cells to secrete more estrogen, compounding estrogen dominance and fueling symptoms like PMS, cramps, irregular cycles, acne, PCOS, and even infertility issues.Detox tips: Allow yourself some sweet treats this season, but stay mindful of the kind of sweetener and the amount you’re consuming. To avoid overindulging at holiday parties, eat a healthy, low-sugar and cycle-synced meal before hitting the town. Always eat a good breakfast within 90 minutes of waking up in order to safeguard your blood sugar and, if you can, make lunch your biggest meal of the day and include complex carbs (like black beans) and good fats (like avocado). Trigger #2: Too many simple carbs. White bread, mashed potatoes, pastry-heavy desserts— sometimes it seems like carbs make the world go ‘round from November through January. You already know the kind of chaos sugar creates in your body. Add foods that mask as healthier options (like mashed potatoes) to the mix and it can spell real trouble for your hormones. Detox tip: Having just one “carb-free day” each week can help with carb control. The rules are simple: For breakfast, have eggs with coconut oil. For lunch, have turkey with avocados and greens along with a cup of bone broth. Steer away from the grains and gluten-free carbs today to give blood sugar spikes a break and take a fiber supplement to sweep out the white flour residue. When you switch back to eating complex carbs the rest of the week, try to add in a brisk walk after eating to help your body use the glucose for fuel.Trigger #3: Too much alcohol. A glass of red wine now and then won’t hurt you, but more than the occasional glass can start to mess with your hormones. Sugary cocktails can make matters even worse. Alcohol raises your estrogen levels and slows liver function, once again fueling estrogen dominance.Detox tip: Concentrate on detoxing your liver so it can go back to processing your hormones and moving them through your body efficiently. Try my special liver detox juice: combine a handful of spinach, 4 stalks of cucumber, half a bunch of cilantro, one-third a bunch of parsley, half a lemon with rind, half a green apple, and a small carrot in a blender or juicer. These tips will go a long way in helping you feel your best through the holidays, but the best way to do major damage control is by committing to my super simple, delicious (and FREE!) 4-Day Hormone Detox Plan. Get all the recipes and step-by-step assistance you need to get real results and head into the new year feeling recharged and rejuvenated. If this holiday season hits your hormones particularly hard, consider supplementing with the key micronutrients your liver and endocrine system need to function optimally. The liver needs support to do its job properly, especially when we’ve put it under a lot of strain. 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!Love,Alisa

Tame Your Cravings

Whether it’s just during your PMS week or every single day, we all feel like we’re constantly at the mercy of feeding the cravings beast. Join me to learn the 5 food craving types you have and what that is telling you about your hormones. You’ll discover

  • Where you are most vulnerable during the day
  • How to survive the 5 cravings-crisis times of day
  • And my personal strategies for more stable energy

Click HERE to download your masterclass

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  • “MyFLO has been a true game changer for me and my cycle. I now have an increased awareness of my body's needs throughout the month.”

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  • Detox estrogen

  • Reduce inflammatory foods

  • Improve elimination

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  • Stabilize blood sugar

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  • Boost progesterone production

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  • Replenish micronutrients

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  • Detox estrogen

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  • Manage blood sugar

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  • Detox chemical stress

  • Micronutrients to boost egg quality

  • Reduce inflammation

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  • Stabilize blood sugar

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  • Targeted micronutrients to support ovulation

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  • Micronutrients to boost egg quality

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  • Support immune function of uterus

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  • Implement Cycle Syncing ®

  • Detox chemical stress

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Alisha A   /  46 years old

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  • Manage blood sugar

  • Detox estrogen

  • Boost progesterone production

Alisha A   /  46 years old

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  • Stabilize blood sugar

  • Reduce stress

  • Boost energy

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  • Cycle Syncing® Food & Workouts

  • Stabilize blood sugar

  • Restore Micronutrients

Alisha A   /  46 years old

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  • Cycle Syncing® Food & Workouts

  • Boost progesterone production

  • Support estrogen elimination

Alisha A   /  46 years old

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Flo Care Plan

  • Cycle Syncing® Food & Workouts

  • Micronutrients to boost egg quality

  • Reduce inflammation

Alisha A   /  46 years old

Heavy bleeding

Flo Care Plan

  • Cycle Syncing® Food & Workouts

  • Boost progesterone production

  • Increase micronutrient levels