In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, Dr. Stephanie Estima encourages women to start the process of owning their health by collecting data on their cycle. That way, women can start to understand their body’s individuality and work with it, not against it.
She’s a doctor of Chiropractic with expertise in female metabolism and body composition who joined me on the show to discuss her new book “The Betty Body: A Geeky Goddess’ Guide To Intuitive Eating, Balanced Hormones, And Transformative Sex.”
The term “Betty” originally came from the fans of her podcast “Better! With Dr. Stephanie,” but it ended up fitting just right for what she stands for as a woman and a doctor. As she says in her book: “Betty is a fully embodied force of nature. Her intuition knows what her body needs and how to attend to herself to nourish, not punish. A Betty is sexiness embodied.”
When you’re in the worst part of your cycle and feel irritable and/or exhausted, Dr. Stephanie says it can be a time to look inwards and re-evaluate how and why you feel the way that you do. You’ll learn about what phases of your cycle are best for what activities; like, what is the best time to do a HIIT workout? Conduct an interview? Launch a new project? Start fasting?
She also explains the ways keto and fasting can negatively impact women, most commonly through bad sleep and hair loss. She says women can manipulate three variables in fasting for more success: the type of fast, the length of fast and the frequency of fast. You learn why you have to pay attention to leptin resistance and what helps to fix keto for women.
“We often think that health is this really difficult full-time job that we all need to hire the personal trainer, and the body worker, and the nutritionist, and the chef,” she says. “Once we step into the intuitive nature that our bodies already have and begin to decode the signals, then you really become more attuned with your body rhythms and you’ll be able to respond appropriately.”
Add in knowing your metabolic markers, focusing on muscle strength, and eating for nutritional needs, not calorie counting.
Dr. Stephanie shares a lot of knowledge we’ve never had on the show before, and she does it in a way that I find super empowering. Coronal plane exercises and brain health, anyone? Yep, you’ll learn that here, too. She does an incredible job encouraging women to own their period, and through that, their body and their powerful presence in the world.
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Follow Along with the Transcript
Book: The Betty Body: A Geeky Goddess’ Guide To Intuitive Eating, Balanced Hormones, And Transformative Sex
- The Betty Body, what’s that all about? I mean, it’s a great title, it sounds good for a book, but what is a Betty? – 1:38
- We start off in some of the earlier chapters talking about what a normal menstrual cycle might look like versus what a common signs and symptoms that you might experience in the cycle. – 4:18
- One of the foundational principles of any sort of functional medicine practice, is to test and not guess. – 9:57
- So you’d have them do an advanced hormone panel and you would have them do a lipids panel? – 12:52
- Leptin is a satiety hormone it’s created from our adipose tissue, and normally when it’s working, it should go to some of the appetite regulation centers in the brain and tell you to put the fork down, that’s what leptin does. – 17:15
- The cravings that women get, these carb cravings is a distress signal from the microbiome. It is a microbiome saying, “You’ve restricted carbs now for two weeks, I’m hungry. I need my substrate.” So the resistance starch it ameliorates that. – 20:24
- I feel like 28 is a female number. So 28 days, and then from there I move into sort of the second part of that, which is where we are moving in and out of keto. – 22:40
- I like the idea of fasting. I talk about a couple of different ways that you can fast in the book, so I sort of look at three different variables that you can manipulate. – 30:51
- I want women to not look at their period as a curse, as I did every… I used to think that I was getting punished every month for being a woman for decades. And you know, once you actually tune in to the ebbs and flows of your hormonal milieu, this is really your super power. – 37:04
- We all focus on the period, but ovulation is like the geeky girl off to the side. Like that is the main reason why we have a menstrual cycle. – 41:23
- There’s good and bad times for hit for a woman who’s menstruating. And right before ovulation is a terrible. – 43:54
- I actually like women to take in more calories that week, like anywhere from 10% to 15% more calories, because it’s really going to help with the building of the endometrial lining and you need it. – 47:39
- Start where you are appreciative for all of the things that your body has ever done for you, has ever survived, and then begin to slowly unpeel some of those layers and get back to, as I say in the book, closer to who you already are. – 51:17
- I feel like there’s a smoking gun in the room that we haven’t talked about. Birth control pills. – 51:25
- When you think of the two primary movements that happen in the sagittal plane, it’s flexion and extension. – 58:49
- Getting up from the floor unassisted, so not using your hands or even lying down on your back and being able to stand up unassisted is one of the markers of longevity. – 1:02:02
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