“Gratitude Doesn’t Have To Be Grandiose”
This episode is all about weight gain, the nuance of autophagy, and fasting as a tool to heal your body and brain.
Cynthia Thurlow is a nurse practitioner, CEO, and founder of the Everyday Wellness Project, and international speaker, with over 10 million views for her second TEDx talk (Intermittent Fasting: Transformational Technique). With over 20 years of experience in health and wellness, Cynthia is a globally recognized expert in intermittent fasting and nutritional health and has been featured on ABC, FOX5, KTLA, CW, Medium, Entrepreneur, and The Megyn Kelly Show.
She was listed in Yahoo Finance as one of the “21 Founders Changing the Way We do Business.” Cynthia hosts the Everyday Wellness podcast, considered one of “21 Podcasts To Expand Your Mind in 2021” by Business Insider. Her mission is to educate women on the benefits of intermittent fasting and overall holistic health and wellness so they feel empowered to live their most optimal lives.
In this podcast, What Women Need To Know About Metabolic Flexibility, we cover:
- Why you need to stop weighing yourself every single day
- How building a fasting lifestyle will change your mental health
- The reasons women are gaining weight around their abdomen
- Lifestyle medicine: how your habits can save your life
- Strength training for women: why you need to lift more weights
- How metabolic flexibility is the key to more muscle and less fat
Women Need More Education on Health and Aging
Research is focused on men because they are less complicated. When researchers include women, their cycle is another variable that doesn’t make things easier. Well, Cynthia wants to make everything transparent for the younger generation of women. She wants to set an example for future generations; women deserve to have information, and we deserve to have research done on us. Society does a great job when it comes to preparing children and young adults for puberty. However, we don’t do great for middle-aged men and women. Well, Cynthia wants to embrace the unique needs of our physiology.
Changing The Way You Approach Food and Fasting
Lifestyle changes are medicine; this should be mainstream. Doctors should have the ability to talk to their patients about lifestyle medicine. For instance, if your sleep goes south and your periods start to get heavy, there is a reason for it. You can change a lot of those symptoms by having better lifestyle habits. In other cultures, older women are respected for their wisdom. In America, older women focus on what they look like in bathing suits and wearing makeup because they feel uncomfortable. We need to educate women about their lifestyle changes to ensure they live an extraordinary life through perimenopause and menopause. Plus, we need to value the wisdom that older women in America have.
Your Focus Should Be On Strength Training
We have peak bone and muscle mass in our 20s. As we lose muscle mass, we lose the opportunity to become more metabolically flexible. Sadly, we have conditioned women to believe they have to do chronic cardio. In reality, you need to maintain and build muscle mass to be more insulin sensitive. Muscle mass is the organ of longevity. There’s this misconception that they don’t want to have a lot of muscles. Women can’t get as big as men unless they are taking exogenous testosterone, growth hormones, or steroids. The more muscle mass you have, the better you can help insulin.
The Reason You Should Put Your Scale Away
Our society is very fixated on the number on the scale. The scale is a liar because muscle mass weighs more than fat. Over time, the muscle will take up less space than the fat. However, you will want to focus on the benefits you are giving your body when you stay the course. Also, so many things are changing the number on the scale. You should instead focus on how your clothes are fitting. The scale will create more psychological stress than the benefits that it has. You are a grown woman; it’s time you put the scale away.
What’s A Good Measurement of Metabolic Health?
The scale isn’t a good measurement of metabolic health; so what is a good measurement? Well, we all have that one pair of pants at home that lets us know if we are headed in the right direction or not. When it comes to markers of metabolic health, there are so many labs that you can get done. Also, a CGM can be a great way to keep track of your blood sugar. If you’re insulin resistant, your weight is not going to change. Part of adulting is being aware of what your blood sugar is doing.
Why Are Women Gaining Weight Around The Abdomen?
If you go from having a six-pack to not, it’s from inflammatory foods like gluten, grains, dairy, alcohol, processed sugar, and soy. Also, a lack of muscle mass in the body will result in a more giant belly. Plus, stress is a huge factor as well. We’ve got 40 times more cortisol receptors in our abdomen than we have elsewhere in our body. If you’re stressed out, you will get a stress belly. Lastly, sleep quality is a significant factor. Many women say they will sleep when they are dead. Cynthia wears an Oura Ring so she can track all her data. Something you need to start doing is sleeping when your babies are sleeping. Overall, be conscientious about why you began gaining fat. Most likely, it’s because you’re eating too frequently.
Cynthia Thurlow 0:00
This scale is a liar. Because yes, muscle mass weighs more than fat. That is correct. But over time, it will take up less space.
Dr. Mindy 0:10
resetera is Dr. Mindy here and I am on a mission to teach you just how powerful your body was built to be. This podcast is about giving you the power back and helping you believe in yourself again, let’s jump in. On this episode of The resetter podcast, I bring you Cynthia Thurlow. This is a super fun interview. Because if you’re not familiar with Cynthia Thurlow, she and I are what I call in the trenches with women, teaching women how to fast and how to use fasting as a tool to overcome the plethora of symptoms that show up from hormonal imbalances. And what’s really interesting, and she and I have had many conversations over the years and she I brought her on the reset her podcast several times I’ve been on her podcast. So some of you are familiar with her teachings. But what’s really fascinating for both of us is that because we’re interacting with so many women, and teaching fasting to such to hundreds of 1000s of women, we have some really unique perspectives that we geek out on on this episode. So I really wanted to talk to her about weight gain. Why does all of a sudden a woman go from you know, having a body she loves to packing on extra weight specifically around the midsection we talked about? Why does the body do that? And can fasting help that? We talked about everything to do with the brain? How do we look at fasting as a tool to help mood disorders, mental clarity to avoid Alzheimer’s dementia? We geeked out on that. We then went into different length fasts? And do we need to worry about stimulating autophagy at certain times of the month, and at other times do we need to avoid stimulating autophagy. So if you’re not familiar with a tapa G, you’re going to learn about it in this episode. So we really got into the nuance of what it looks like for women to use fasting as a tool to transform a woman’s health and it was such a fun conversation. So if you are a woman and or you are wanting to support a woman in your life, and you want to use fasting as a tool to heal your body, this is the episode for you. Her book is coming out mid March and is going to be a phenomenal resource for women. So I’m really excited to endorse that book and tell you all to go grab it. It’s right down a woman’s fasting alley and is going to change so many lives. So Cynthia Thurlow really fun discussion, excited to share it with you. Let’s talk about hormones. So what I’ve noticed in working with so many women is that we really don’t understand what our hormones do for us. And we also don’t understand how our body makes hormones. So I want to give you a little bit of an education here, there is making the hormone which happens from the connection from your brain to your ovaries, there is metabolizing the hormone which happens in the liver and the gut. And then there’s using the hormones, which happens at a cellular level. So in order for you to be hormonally balanced, you need to have all three of those pieces working well. It’s not enough just to throw a hormone at your body. You’ve got to help it through those three things. So this is why I flippin love Organa fies harmony product because they know this when they put this together, they have prebiotic fibers in it, which is amazing for your estrogen alone. That’s the set of bacteria that breaks down estrogen. They put in support like Chasteberry and mocca to help you make progesterone which you guys hopefully know how much I love progesterone how much I miss her since I’ve gone through menopause. Progesterone is that hormone that calms us. So Organa fies figured that out and they’ve put in nutrients that will help you make more progesterone so you can feel calm. They’ve also put in nutrients that support the liver help with a little cleansing of the liver so you can break estrogen down and they have a lot of green fibers in there which will help you make testosterone so they literally when I saw this product, I looked at it and and was shocked at whoever was behind it knew their hormones. So you need to make hormones you need to break them down and then you need to use them and harmony is going to help you do that. So really excited about this product and what it can do for all of us out there, but most importantly, it’s fine to help you thrive as a woman on so many different levels.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Okay, so this is what I think would be really, like enlightening for people to hear and start with is this idea that not enough people are talking about women and fasting, and really like women and food we’re getting a little more people are starting to see Oh, women might need to eat a little differently. We’re starting to see some conversations around women need to exercise differently. I even had a conversation yesterday with our one of our favorite oil companies. And we’re looking at how we can use essential oils to map that to a woman’s menstrual cycle. Yeah, so I’m starting to see this like bubbling up of conversation of how, how did we get stuck in this one size fits all with men on all these lifestyle tools? So I’m going to just go deep here and say, Why do you think it’s taken this long? For books like yours for conversations like this, for women to wake up that we need to do our lifestyle different?
Cynthia Thurlow 6:11
Well, I think it’s a byproduct of the patriarch. And I say that with great reverence and love, like I have an all male household, I’m the only female. But I think a lot of it’s a reflection of research being focused on men, because they’re less complicated. They don’t have to focus in on where someone is in their menstrual cycle. It’s another it’s another variable that they have to control for. And you can’t control everything. And so I think it really stems from us as a society just wanting to make things easier, like women just go with the flow, because it makes things easier, literally. Yeah. And so I think on a lot of levels that certainly our generation of women that have gone through this, you know, midlife transitional point, we’re saying, hey, like, shouldn’t we make this easier for the women that are younger than us? Oh, amen. Yeah, our children and our daughters and our nieces and everyone else, like, why not make this more transparent? So they know what’s coming? Yeah, I really feel like I stay as I know, you do as well, on this platform, saying no one told me, No one told me what was going to happen. And so even as a health care provider, and that says something like I’ve had actual training, clearly not enough, right. And so I think as we begin this journey, it really starts and begs the conversation, to ensure that we are setting an example for future generations and saying, we deserve to have information we deserve to have research on on us. We need, we desperately need more education, so that women have some sense of what’s going to happen with their bodies. We do such a good job, I think, with preparing children and young adults for what’s coming in terms of you know, puberty and early adulthood and contraception and pregnancy and the postpartum period. But we don’t do such a great job with middle age men and women and particularly women, because we’re a little more complicated. And that’s not a negative thing. Like I want us to embrace the unique needs of our physiology, and not to feel like we have to apologize for it. Like I almost think that I have, you know, I have several nieces. And so conversation started about when someone starts getting their menstrual cycle and when they don’t. And I said, But I’m so much I’m so glad that now it’s not just shrouded in silence and secrecy. And, you know, let’s put the tampons away because God forbid anyone knows we’re having our period, right. And now we’re speaking more openly. Like I always talk about the fact that I was so ashamed of perimenopause and even more ashamed when I started talking about it. And then I realized there are so many other women that are suffering the same sense of shame, that unless we change the narrative, we as women that have the ability to reach a large audience of people, then this just perpetuates. And then this nonsense continues. And I think why would I believe both of us really stand on a power we want to educate, inspire and empower women to leave their best lives. And the best way to do that is to share information, like share our stories, talk about the things that make us feel uncomfortable, like I had a business coach used to say, when you feel uncomfortable, that’s the time to share it. Like I was like, great. Great, that’s what I especially love is media, things that make me feel uncomfortable. But the point is that we as human beings need to connect. And this is such a beautiful way to be able to do that. Yeah.
Dr. Mindy 9:41
God, I have so many thoughts on what you just said and resonate with it so deeply because I’ll tell you and we talked about this when I came on your podcast, that when I finally like started to understand my hormones at 43 years old, which was that alone was criminal that I took me to $43 And my hormones. But I had that same sort of sense of oh my god, what do we we need to go teach the 13 year olds? Why didn’t anybody teach me that there’s a lifestyle I need to map to my menstrual cycle. And I all I want to do is reach down and start to educate the younger generation. And and it will be interesting to see if what you and I are talking about starts to trickle down to them because I feel like it really is the 35 to 50 year old woman who’s going through perimenopause that starts to realize, Oh, my God, my lifestyle determines my moods might how much I hold on to weight, how my brain functions. Like all of a sudden, that lifestyle you had at 25 doesn’t work at 35. And it definitely doesn’t work at 45. Is that what you see for women? And and I absolutely do thoughts on helping women change their pattern of how they approach food and fasting and everything?
Cynthia Thurlow 11:02
Well, I can echo almost everything you said, because it was until I hit perimenopause, and I didn’t even know it existed, like, let’s be clear, I’m a traditional Western medicine trained nurse practitioner, and no one taught me about what was going to happen, not my mom, not my GYN, not my training. And so it really speaks to the fact that if we didn’t know, then most other women don’t know as well. And my hope. And my intent is that, as we have these conversations, and as we share information, valuable information that we can not only inspire women to take better care of themselves, because let’s be honest, most of us think about ourselves last, but also kind of start talking about lifestyle medicine really not being like such a unusual process, like really that should be mainstream, like everyone should have the ability to talk to their patients in an in a non urgent emergent environment, about lifestyle medicine. And that encompasses all these things like I don’t want women at 20, like a 25, I was probably arrogant probably thought, I’m never going to deal with these problems. And at 35, I was definitely more aware because I was dead by then I was a parent. But I think it’s important for women to consider these things and conversations to be had starting at young adulthood, so that women have a sense of what’s coming. Because think about all the stress, we would save women, right? If that’s them, hey, you know, if your sleep goes south, and your periods start getting really heavy in your late 30s, early 40s, there’s a reason for it. And it’s not just this reflexive kick all like we have to suddenly lead and veer towards putting everyone on synthetic hormones and doing surgical procedures. And we say, hey, we could actually change a lot of this by encouraging better lifestyle habits. And I think the one thing that I guess I get most concerned about as a clinician, and as a parent, is that you know, as the country starts to kind of, or a lot of westernized countries start to kind of veer off in this like metabolic and flexibility space, I’m just like we got to all be working together is not just you know, our voices, all of us need to be working together so that we can encourage men and women to take better care of themselves. But I agree with you if we start early. Yeah, God, if you start in college, like even if there’s like a, you know, that kids, kids, young, younger people, younger people have two days, I know, kids, I was like I actually just said that. Younger people are required to take just to make them aware, not something that’s aligned with the USDA food guide pyramid or my plate. But actual evidence based research backed methodologies and strategies that are gonna save people a lot of medical expenses, and save them a lot of lifestyle choices that they have to mitigate. It’s a whole lot easier at 20 or 25. To make those changes 5055 60 a whole lot harder. I just had a call this morning with an absolutely lovely woman, who at 64, like 10 years ago, started making those changes. And she talks about, gosh, if I’d only known if I had known I hear that so much. Yeah. And so I always say let’s not look backwards, let’s look forwards. But, you know, let’s be the light and the time of like what I consider to be darkness as it pertains to the health and wellness industry, sustainable, long term, long term ways of living that embrace our physiology, and don’t allow us to kind of be in this. Like, I call it like a void. Like, I feel like a lot of women north of 35 feel like they’re out in the wilderness. Like they can’t figure out where they need to go. There’s always the bright, shiny objects, like people are like, Oh, I’ll get you to lose that 15 pounds and then oh, by the way, you’re gonna gain it back all in two days. But really providing the education so that women can make continue making better choices for themselves and, you know, not have to look at you know, unfortunately there’s this mindset of methodology and this is something that I I’m starting to kind of speak more about the wisdom of womanhood, women hood, that in other cultures, older women, and the elders in general are really respected for their wisdom. Instead of looking at like, oh my god, now I have to think about like, what do I look like in the mirror? And in what do I look like in a bathing suit. And I don’t want to have to put such and such on because I feel uncomfortable. And it’s like, we’re focusing in on the wrong things. We’re missing so many opportunities to really connect with women in a really powerful way. So that’s my hope. Yeah, start earlier. I think that’s a great, that’s a great first step. It’s like, let’s start having these conversations way before you go through perimenopause and menopause like this is what’s gonna happen to your body. And these are the things you can do nutritionally exercise wise, sleep wise, lifestyle, medicine wise, that are going to ensure you live a great life, not just before perimenopause, or before menopause. Like it’s not like you drop off a cliff, which is what I think a lot of the kids think that they drop off a cliff when they turn 50.
And my kids told me that the other day, my teenage,
Dr. Mindy 16:07
like, Oh, I’m gonna have to go back and I have a 22 year old and a 19 year old, I go back and ask them that. So
Cynthia Thurlow 16:13
you’re like, why don’t you drop off a cliff and just get old? Yeah, right.
Dr. Mindy 16:17
Yeah, exactly. What so why do you think I think this is a question to really think about? And how to answer for women, what happens as we move into our 30s metabolically that makes us put on weight makes our brain not function? Well, I say it’s really over 40. But we’re really starting to see it now into the 30s, and even into the 20s. And what I love about some of the things you’re doing on social media, your new book coming out is you’re really tying hormones to weight gain, and a lot of dysfunction that women are having. So I think the most are health dysfunction, I should say, what what happens to us as we age that makes us so metabolically different than our younger versions of ourselves? Well, I
Cynthia Thurlow 17:04
think, you know, I always kind of start from the physiology piece, because that’s where my brain naturally goes, I think one of the most destructive or important changes, that starts to happen, you know, we have peak bone and muscle mass in our 20s. And probably peak by the time we’re 30. And so as we lose muscle mass, we lose the opportunity to be more metabolically flexible. And so I think about the fact that the more muscle mass we have, the more insulin sensitive we are. And as we start replacing fat with muscle, so as you’re getting closer to 4040, is when it really starts to accelerate. And it’s not a question of if but when you really have to work diligently. we’ve conditioned women to believe that they need to do chronic cardio that that somehow is going to keep them spelt. And what we should be saying to them is you need to continue to maintain and build muscle mass so that you are more insulin sensitive. You know, Gabrielle line says, you know, muscle is the organ of longevity. And so when I heard that, for the first time, it completely flipped my mind around I was like, wait a minute, I don’t I’ve never thought about muscle like that. And yet, it makes so much sense. So really making sure young women understand that, that to maintain that muscle mass. It’s not just for you know, the Fit pros like I think there’s this misconception that they don’t want to have a lot of muscles fizzy physiologically. Unless we’re taking exogenous testosterone or growth hormone or steroids, we’re not going to get as big as men like we are not designed to be that big. So that’s one misnomer. But I think muscle being the organ of longevity, understanding that as we lose muscle mass, it slows down our metabolism, unfortunately, and you really want to think of your muscles as a glucose reservoir, you want to think about the more muscle mass you have, like every time you’re lifting this is like do I am helping to maintain insulin sensitivity in the body. So if most people are not exercising properly, and they’re just doing chronic cardio, we see them you see them in the gym, or the same person runs 10 miles every day. God bless them. I’ve never enjoyed running even though I ran in high school, I just remind them like it’s okay to do cardio. The really the focus should be on strength training so that you maintain those muscles. So we lose muscle mass as we get older. Well, let
Dr. Mindy 19:18
me say let me say one thing on that so because I think this is such an important point. So if I am going to set out on a weight loss journey, one strategy to help lose weight is to build muscle. Okay, and then what do I do if I look at the scale and I’m trying to lose weight and I’m doing that by building muscle, the scales going in the wrong direction. My clothes are fitting a little tighter. And I how do I overcome that because that’s a challenge I hear women say is like oh, now my, my booty is a little bigger and I put my skinny jeans on and they don’t feel Good and the scale has gone in the opposite direction. And now what do I do?
Cynthia Thurlow 20:04
The scale is a liar. The scale is a liar, because yes, muscle mass weighs more than fat, that is correct. But over time, it will take up less space. So you want to think about it, you’re efficiently utilizing the space in which you had for muscle. And you may see a transient change in your weight. But I want you to focus in on the benefits you’re doing for your body and stay the course. You know, we’re unfortunately a very, we’re a society that’s very fixated on the number and not on metabolic health. And I think we have to kind of reframe those thoughts to understand that, yes, maybe my weight is up a little higher than I want it to be. It could be so many things that impact your weight gain from day to day, first of all, stop weighing yourself every day. I think that’s like the best, you know, go by the way your clothes fit or set aside a week, one, you know, one day out of the week, or one or two days out of the month, when you weigh yourself, the rest of them put the scale away. The scale is a liar. Yeah. And I think it creates more psychological stress. And, you know, I just I think we focus on the wrong thing. So
Dr. Mindy 21:16
I have to stop you there too. Because I’m thinking about the last time you and I talked and you said you’re a grown ass woman, and stop snacking. And, you know, we put that the recenter podcast has a YouTube channel, we put that little clip people loved it. So I know you were like, What did I say? But I have to say, I’m gonna say it now you’re a grown ass woman. Put the flippin scale away. It is not teaching you what you need to know about your metabolic health.
Cynthia Thurlow 21:47
It’s not and it’s not reinforcing good habits. And I know everyone thinks I’m really nice. And I am very nice. A lot of snark deep down. And that’s where that must have come from. I must have been feeling a little bit feisty.
Dr. Mindy 21:57
Awesome. I love it. That’s why I want to highlight it is yes, just do. You were it was a great conversation. And you were like, really passionate. And the statement was great. So yeah,
Cynthia Thurlow 22:08
no, I think I think there are far too many women that fixate on that number on the scale and they lose out on their life. It’s like toss the scale, like, let that like you just need to let that die, let the scale die and the scale is a liar. And if you start to understand that, that comes from a place of love, I literally don’t weigh myself. I mean, I can’t I have to because I go to a doctor’s office and I’m required to step on their scale. But it’s it’s just it’s not healthy. It’s not even healthy for me to do it all the time. I have a couple friends who weigh themselves every day and their whole day is mitigated on whether they’re up or down.
Dr. Mindy 22:46
It’s it’s a control issue, though, I have to say as somebody who spent 20 years of my life hopping on the scale every morning, it’s it, I had to really let go of that like, okay, my weight is Okay, today. I’m okay today, or oh, it’s I’m not okay, today better change my lifestyle. So if we don’t have that as a measurement, what do you think is a good measurement of metabolic health?
Cynthia Thurlow 23:13
Well, I mean, if we’re just saying, within the confines of your home, I think that we all have that pair of pants or that pair of jeans that lets us know that we’re either like headed in the right direction, or we’re not heading in the right direction. You know, when it comes to markers of metabolic health, I mean, I could talk about those labs till the cows come home, because I think there are so many options now, for women, but I think having a continuous glucose monitor and being really honest with yourself, or if that’s not within your budget having a glucometer. In fact, more often, I would say 99.9% of the time when I work with women, that’s one of the first things I recommend because I’m like, I don’t know what’s going on with your blood sugar. And I know I want to know what’s gone at nighttime. I want to know what’s going into the daytime. And this doesn’t just apply to middle aged women. This is everyone know you’re in a public health right public health crisis threat in terms of metabolic flexibility, and it’s time for us to step up and adult and part of adulting is getting curious about what’s going on with your blood sugar because most of us are unseemingly, we’re unaware that we’re insulin resistant. And if we’re insulin resistant, guess what isn’t going to change? Yeah, you know, it won’t change so I think part of full on adulting if you will, being aware of what your blood sugar is doing and their response to stress, sleep nutrition exercise, you know the irony Mindy is in the midst of like all this book brouhaha. All the podcasting and media stuff I’ve been doing I trend my blood sugar and I think it’s out of excitement it goes up you know, there’s a little bit of cortisol goes up my insulin and blood sugar grew up. But it’s really fascinating to watch. Like, I don’t normally have as many blips on my my CGM, but now I do because I’m like, Oh, I can see why that happens. But the point is, the more you know, the better choices you can make. I think for a lot of women, they assume irrespective of their age, they can eat whatever they want. Well, those days are gone. Ladies, you know, you can’t just eat whatever you want, you have to be conscientious. And it’s not to suggest that Mindy and I don’t eat fun foods, I just don’t eat them very often. And my kind of catchphrase lately has been if you can’t moderate, you eliminate. And I think that really rings true for a lot of people are like, Oh, I don’t keep gluten free cake cookies, I can’t I don’t keep any of that stuff in my house. You know why? Because I can’t moderate. So I just eliminate, it makes it much easier, much, much easier. It’s
Dr. Mindy 25:34
a great, it’s a great, that’s a, as somebody who has an all in personality, I should probably use that as my own. So So here’s what I hear is we need to build muscle, and we need to know our blood sugar. And then the next question on the blood sugar would be, and I’ve worn on and off those monitors, as well. What do you see trends in yourself? Do you see trends in your community with the menstrual cycle? Does glucose go up the week before our our periods? Or does it go down? Once our period starts? Like what’s the trend you’re seeing?
Cynthia Thurlow 26:12
Most of the trends that I’m seeing is we know that in the luteal phase when progesterone is predominating and again, an oversimplification, we know that we become more increasingly insulin resistant, so you are going to see higher blood sugar values. You may even see higher blood sugar values at nighttime as well freaks everyone out there. Like what does, yes, what am I doing wrong, I don’t understand I this huge spike, and I was like, it’s our physiology. And then typically within the first, second or third day when the menstrual cycle starts when you start bleeding, and estrogen is starting to kind of rise, we’re starting to see an improvement in that. But to recognize that, you know, CGM data can be hugely impactful. But know that if you have the ability to plan your presentation, your trip, anything that’s stressful, do it in the beginning part of your menstrual cycle, if you know you have a fitness competition, you’re gonna do CrossFit or whatever it is that you’re doing during the beginning part of your menstrual cycle, because your physiology actually works with you, not against you. And so, backtracking a little bit like when estrogen predominates weren’t more insulin sensitive, we can push the envelope with our exercise, you know, we don’t have to maybe be as super conscientious as we are about sleep, I’m not suggesting sleep isn’t important, just saying, you know, you may get by with six and a half or seven hours as opposed to eight or nine. But then understanding and kind of leaning into the second half of the menstrual cycle, understanding that you’re going to see variations in your blood sugar, you’re going to see variations in your response to food, you’re going to see variations in your response to sleep. And just to acknowledge and say, Okay, this is why you and I both talk about doing like yoga and walking and Tai Chi, second half of the menstrual cycle and not like CrossFit, right? For our conditioning classes. It also means you know, this is why we get conscientious about our nutrition the entire month, but acknowledging that your body might need a little bit more carbohydrate. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but there’s a lot of hormonal fluctuation going on behind the scenes. And this might be the time to have, if you’re a middle aged woman, maybe you’re having a third or half a cup of some sweet potato root vegetables. Maybe if you’re a younger female, you have more flexibility, you’re more insulin sensitive, even based on where you are in your cycle. And so doing some experimentation, like I encourage everyone to experiment, like we don’t do this enough. When we talk to our patients, we aren’t saying like, experiment, they want us to give them the order, like this is what you do. Yeah, you do it. And we have to kind of break that conditioning because it can be harmful. I think genuinely, because people stop trusting intuition. They stopped trusting what their body’s trying to tell them. And I think that’s so important so that women understand if we took 10 women at the same age, and put them all together, and they’re all in the same part of their menstrual cycle, they all might need a little bit different. Maybe one person needs a little bit more carbs. Maybe someone else needs a little more sleep, maybe someone else needs a little more physical activity. I mean, one of the things that I love about just walking, which is not super sexy, what helps with insulin sensitivity, walk me requires no equipment other than maybe wearing shoes, depending on where you live. Super, super important. So I do see those trends, and certainly for women that are menopause that get full marks because then they’re like, well, everything looks a little bit the same all month long. I was like that’s one of the benefits.
Dr. Mindy 29:25
Yes, yes. One of the benefits. Yeah, that you know, I think that when that’s such a huge point for women to understand, and I think this is actually why we’re why they haven’t done a lot of women only studies because we need to personalize our food. Everything has to be personalized, but not just for our sex for us individually. So it’s really I really resonate with what you’re saying because we get this a lot in our community which is just give me the one size fits all approach. For a woman, and I’m like, no, no, there’s no one size fits all for a woman. If you hear the guidelines, which is what, you know, I think books like yours are gonna do so well, here are the guidelines. And now you have to go one more step and customize it to you. Would that? Is that how you feel? Would that be like an accurate statement?
Cynthia Thurlow 30:21
Yeah, you did such a beautiful job. I think the word bio individuality, which makes my husband cringe every time he hears it, but I just say we are unique. Our physiology is unique to each individual, our DNA is unique. And so I think it’s important to encourage women to say, here are some strategies, try them out, see how you feel. Um, like I said, it’s this conditioning, that we’ve encouraged people that the one size fits all works, it doesn’t. And that was great. And that’s why writing about a book is so complicated. Yeah, you acknowledge them. I was like, but But I mean, all the time, I feel like I’m constantly saying, well try this out and see how you do. I mean, yeah, I’m sure for you. You’ve got programs that are running right now. Same thing with with me. And, you know, as I’m watching women kind of get their way through being, you know, newbies of intermittent fasting. And I can kind of predict some of the things that will come up at certain stages. But even then, there’s always there are always outliers. There’s always people that maybe something’s more effortless for them. Something’s harder for someone else. Yeah, I think that we really need to lean into the possibility that what may work right now may not work a year from now, or might not work six months from now. And so I think it’s important and validating for people to know that we constantly have to shift gears and I’ll give you an example. Through all of my travel, I picked up a couple parasites. Ooh, Fido. i Yeah. So I got treated for that and accepted that. And then there was this Candida thing that I’m on now, which I was
Dr. Mindy 31:45
shocked by another fun one.
Cynthia Thurlow 31:49
So yesterday, I’m not exaggerating. Yeah, I’ve literally like I had my lunch. And then I was going to teach a group at one o’clock. And all of a sudden, my skin just felt funny. I’m like, What is going on? I had had to hope head to toe hives. And so I had to get on this call. Yeah, head to toe hives, no breathing problems. And the whole all the women on this call, we’re like, are you okay? And I’m like, I look like a lobster. I feel right. But But
CYNTHIA THURLOW (fasting) 32:13
here’s, here’s a great example. I’m a clinician, I’m being treated for something. I understand everything behind the scenes. And so it drove me down a rabbit hole to find out two weeks into a Candida protocol. Is this common? You know, what is this representative? Is it a histamine response to something I ate? I mean, there’s all these things. So the point of why I’m sharing this is really just to say that, at this point in time, I’ve never had a hive in my life. And so I’m like, Okay, let’s roll with it. Let’s try to figure out like, what if could could could, what could contribute to that? Was it something I ate? Is it the, is it the products that I’m taking for the Candida is it? Who knows? Is it because they’re the atmospheric pressures up today, here in the part of the country I live in? I have no idea. But I’m now going to kind of experiment to see what could possibly have contributed to that.
Dr. Mindy 33:00
So so instead of throat just saying, Oh, this medication I’m on or supplement I’m on must be the problem. What I hear you saying is you’re you’re curious, and asking yourself questions, which I think that is the the message for women is that as you learn to time your food, and you’re fast and your exercise to your cycle, or your lack of it, then when a symptom shows up, I really believe that we are taught to villainize symptoms. But if your body had a language that it could speak to you, it would speak to you in these symptoms. And it’s telling you something. So what I hear is be curious about it, go digging for it. But this is it’s much easier, don’t you think, Cynthia? To just go into a doctor’s office and be like, here are my problems, dump it on the doctors lab, have the doctor give you a fancy name for your problems? And then give you one pill and you’re out the door? And all you got to do is take that pill. Yeah. Do you think do you think that works anymore? And and do we really need to help women look at our at ourselves as needing a more thorough approach to health than one pill one solution? 101 pill?
Cynthia Thurlow 34:15
Obviously, you know my answer. I think no, no. Well, I think it’s always in the context. Like if we’re talking about urgent or emergent medicine, totally different, but for Granick and prevent chronic disease management and prevention. We have to take ownership we as patients, so that we go in there our own best advocate, like instead of just giving me telling me my blood sugar’s high, or my thyroid is underactive, it’s like, okay, well, where did that stem from? Like, where did that come from? So that curiosity that I, I hope and for some people, they really don’t want to know they want to come in and they want to take their pill and that’s as much as they want to think about it. They’re not ready for that message. Other people that are ready to do the work ready for the message, it really keeps going back to the same thing that we’re kind of alluding to the lifestyle piece, how does your lifestyle contribute to the symptoms you’re experiencing or the disorders you’re being treated for. And so I recognize that my parasite came from my international travel, I accept that. However, I think it’s really important when women are dealing with whether it’s really heavy menstrual cycles, or lots of cramps, or cycles that are kind of they come and go, they’re really evasive, or it’s weight gain, or fatigue, that we acknowledge that our lifestyles play a role in the symptoms. It’s not a blame game at all, at all. Yeah, I’ve been there. But I always look at it like, what, why now? Like, why is it showing up ness and understanding the hormonal fluctuations that go on behind the scene? And how our brains are so attuned to the environments that we’re living in? That we don’t maybe we don’t think we’re particularly stressed, but our brain does. Yeah. And how does that look like? How does that show up? And so I think it really begs the conversation to really reflect on why and how these things come about. And and I think most people genuinely want to understand they it’s not that they want to go to their doctor’s office or their health care providers office, they get a pill and they go home, and they’re like, Okay, well, now, what do I do? Yeah, because I don’t think I don’t think what’s the root cause of what’s going on is really being addressed. We’re just giving it a bandaid. And that’s unfortunately, that’s the way the traditional kind of allopathic model is. Yeah, I mean, that’s certainly what I trained in. It wasn’t until years later, when I had a child with life there any food allergies, that I started to look at things a little differently. But I think each one of us want to be curious about our own bodies, and we want to understand more like I can tell you. In fact, I was laughing right? Before we got on our call, there were a couple of Nurse Practitioner friends who are younger than me, who are like, what’s this progesterone thing I need to be worrying about? I all of a sudden, I’m like,
Dr. Mindy 36:55
Oh, you’re on her? Best hormone.
CYNTHIA THURLOW (fasting) 36:59
Exactly. And so I’m laughing because I’m like, well, as you’re losing progesterone, maybe, maybe providing more of it will give your body a little bit of a buffer. You know, they’re like, What, I’m confused. I don’t know what to take it. Why do I have to take it? Why is it important? And I’m like, there’s there’s nothing wrong with taking progesterone, if that’s what, that’s what you need to do for your body. But if it’s going to help your periods, you know, not be so heavy, the crime scene periods, or it’s gonna help your sleep. I mean, there’s no shame in that. You know, that’s the one thing that I think, unfortunately, sometimes I think we can also send the message that, you know, we shouldn’t be taking any supplement or if hormone if if you have a thyroid issue, and that’s what’s right for you. That’s great. There’s no judgement. But I think it’s also coming from the perspective of acknowledging that sometimes you do need a little more support than just from the lifestyle piece. You may get to a point. I mean, I certainly have an underactive thyroid, and I wish I didn’t have Hashimotos and it’s in remission. But still, it’s just one of those things I picked up along the way, in perimenopause, but it’s okay, I’m accepting this. So I want to be clear that if you do have to take medication, that’s okay. Or if you do need to take a supplement that is okay.
Dr. Mindy 38:12
You all know I love talking about minerals. So today, I want to quickly educate you on one that we don’t talk about much in the fasting world. And we really should, and that is Selenium. Selenium is believer, not super important for anti aging, the reduction of free radicals, part health. And of course, the most common use for selenium is thyroid health. Now, I want to dive into the free radical concept here for a moment because if you haven’t listened to the podcast interview I did with Dr. Aaron Conneely around what is destroying our health today, she talks so much about Wi Fi, and food and stress and all the things in our environment that are creating free radicals. And selenium is that key mineral that can reduce the damage these free radicals do. Now here’s what’s really interesting about minerals is just because you take a mineral supplement doesn’t mean it actually gets into your cells, which is why I am so excited about upgraded formulas, because they have found a formula that will allow these minerals to get into the cells and what’s the most exciting is that you’ll feel the difference. So the active ingredient of upgraded formulas selenium is nano l celestial Muthiah named that is a serious mouthful, and it helps the cells absorb the minerals at the deepest level possible. I have noticed in my own work with patients in what I’m seeing in our online community and in my own self, that when I take upgraded formulas, minerals, I feel a difference and that’s what you’re looking for. So in If you are having symptoms with your skin vision glutathione levels, your immune system is compromised. Or, of course, you have any thyroid issues, this should be your go to selenium. So give it a try. And of course, thank you upgraded formulas they are giving you all 15% off when you use the code pills. And hopefully you all know that I really love it, when you let me know how these products work for you, I continue to bring you the best products that I know, and the ones that I am seeing work in my world. And I really hope they have the same impact for you. So upgraded formulas 15% off use the code pills and check out their selenium. What is so let’s good dive into some symptoms that I hear women complain a lot about of all ages. And what are some of the lifestyle solutions cuz I the thing I feel like about lifestyle medicine is everybody can do it, you know, with when we start to branch into medications and supplementations. Now you’re branching into can you afford it? Do you have the medical insurance that will cover it. And I feel like that’s the beginning of the complication for women. Whereas if we can say, you know, if a woman says, Hey, I was 30, and I had a sick, you know, a six pack abs, which would be really unusual for a woman in general, I want to say six pack adds four pack, maybe six pack is very unusual for a woman. But hats off if you had one. And then all of a sudden at 35, you’ve got what I call the wine bar, that that emerges and you get a little more belly fat. What is the lifestyle solution for that?
Cynthia Thurlow 41:45
Well, I kind of start from a place of practicality. And I love that you mentioned let’s not start with supplements and medications because that’s the traditional allopathic mindset. So the lifestyle piece has to be the foundational piece. When a woman is telling you that her body fat is up because if you go from having a six pack to not, I think about inflammatory food consumption, so gluten grains, dairy alcohols, a good one, processed sugar, soy, I think about the lack of muscle mass in the body, I think about what’s your stress management, like it goes without saying, we know we’ve got 40 times more cortisol receptors in our abdomen than we have elsewhere in our body. So what do you think happens when we get stressed out, we get stressed belly. And so that’s a cortisol belly, depending on who you hear that from. So think about like sleep quality. And I know I talk about sleep all the time I do too, it’s implied, I totally nerd out and try to biohack the heck out of my sleep, or a ring proudly because I can track all my data. And I’m a nerd like that. So I’ll admit that. But I think about the fact that a lot of women think that they’ll sleep when they’re dead. Or, you know, they put their kids to bed and then they want to work until you know, they want to catch up on email or laundry or whatever. And my mother taught me something that has always resonated sleep when baby sleeps, or sleep when you know your kids are asleep. Now I have teenagers and that’s, that’s completely thrown out the window. But the point of what I’m sharing is, all these pieces can contribute to weight loss resistance. And so being really, you know, being really conscientious about figuring out like, Why did you suddenly start gaining fat, it’s like, those are the directions I generally go. And I oftentimes find it’s as simple as you’re eating too frequently. You know, do you eat three meals a day and snacks and then have a couple glasses of wine after dinner? And so maybe you’re going seven hours a day without eating? I mean, that’s like unbelievable, but it can be something as simple as that. Yep, that can have a huge net impact and I think that’s why a lot of people have initial such great success with fasting because eating too darn frequently.
Dr. Mindy 43:52
Yeah, yeah. And what do you think about the idea that when you are fasting what you’re doing is you’re allowing your body to repair and heal. I think of fasting a lot like sleeping when this is why I agree with you. Like we have to like protect sleep and with the sleeping thing I have to tell you that the other night I got like laughing at myself, I literally have like 12 things I do before I sleep and it’s like, like get put the blue blockers on. Get my chilli pad going get the temperature of the room right where’s the weighted blanket? Like, let me take my melatonin sub. Unlike the other night. I was like, girl you were over the top with your sleep regime, but it works. So and that’s important. It’s super important. So I think with fasting here’s my question to you is when you look at somebody who randomly gains weight, and then you see all the things that need to happen to help her lose that weight which is a beautiful list you just gave I think fasting is the fastest pay path to accomplish everything you just said. And when we look at the research studies, some of the classic research out of like cell metabolism, they basically the way I read it is, you’re metabolically immune from a poor diet. If you just compress your poor diet in a, you know, eight hour eating window, you can give your body that extra time it needs to repair and recover from the damage of that diet. I’m not saying we need to all go out and eat a bad diet. But do you feel like intermittent fasting is literally the fastest path to unwind, and all the damages you just spoke of?
Cynthia Thurlow 45:44
I do with the exception of somebody who’s not sleeping, so you’re not sleeping, don’t add fasting, like get the sleep dialed in first. And I feel like there’s a lot more women that don’t prioritize sleep. If that becomes a larger issue for them, then people that are they’re not having issues with sleep. But that being said, I absolutely, positively think when we reduce meal frequency, that that has huge benefits. I mean, almost instantaneously. In fact, I’m sure this happens for you as well, like someone watches a video or is in one of your programs, and they reach out. They’re like, Oh my God. I mean, within a week. Yeah, I’m like, bloated. Yeah,
Dr. Mindy 46:21
it’s crazy. Yeah. Some days I read my comments and the stories and I’m like, It still blows my mind. Like, it’s this free tool that transforms your health, like I’ve never seen.
Cynthia Thurlow 46:35
Mm hmm. And it’s a beautiful thing, because I think on so many levels, like we’re helping build awareness to the unique needs of like women’s physiology. And it’s a conversation that needs to be had. Because, you know, we can’t apply those principles to men and women the same way. It’s not just it’s not effective in both genders. It obviously is. But I think it’s also very reassuring for women to know like, oh, okay, there’s some unique needs here that I need to kind of leave. And I would say, lean into your physiology don’t feel like you have to explain it pologize for it, and I always felt like in my 20s I don’t know if you’re this way, like if I got my period, when I was away with friends, or over the weekend, I was like, I do a pot like I’m sorry, I’m so tired. Or I’m sorry that I’m so grumpy, or I’m sorry that I want to eat like a whole pizza and one night, whatever, whatever crazy thing I did in my 20s. Whereas I think now and much to your point your sleep becomes hugely impactful for women at any stage of life. But especially if you want to lose weight. I always say if you want to lose weight, you got to sleep. You got it. I got to get you sleeping through the night first. But fasting, absolutely, as a caveat, can be one of the most powerful ways for people to get rid of excess weight. They don’t want
Dr. Mindy 47:46
yeah. Do you see people who once they get into ketosis, they have trouble sleeping and and when that people start fasting more and even in the longer fasts? Do you are you seeing that people struggle to sleep and
Cynthia Thurlow 47:58
I do. Laughing there was some it wasn’t one of my groups I moderate it wasn’t one of yours. But it was interesting. There was a woman saying like she loves how she feels when she goes along fast. But her sleeps terrible the whole time. And I was like, well, maybe need to break your fast. And she was like what maybe need to break your fast because from my perspective, sleep is so critically important for balancing hormones, and, you know, you know, the glymphatic system, all these these very sophisticated things that happen. And we build muscle when we sleep if we’re doing it properly. So I just said, Well, you have to think about the cost benefit, like is an extra day of fasting better good for you. If you have three days where you sleep terribly, and you’re getting like four hours a night of sleep, and you’re walking around like a zombie, right, we talk about hormetic stress and hormesis. And I always go back to the right stress in the right amount at the right time. And when that’s done, it’s great for your body makes you stronger, more resilient. But by the same token, if you’re doing it at the right time, if you’re doing it at the wrong time for too long, long amount of time, you can actually end up damaging or hurting yourself. Yeah. So we don’t want that we definitely want people to become much more attuned to what their body needs for sure.
Dr. Mindy 49:11
What and so one of the things that I’ve thought about is that actually, when you are fasting, you’re repairing and when you’re sleeping, you’re repairing, and I can’t find any science on this. But I feel like you are if you’re repairing during the day, what if you potentially don’t need as much sleep at night? Because now with fasting, you’ve put yourself in to this self healing state, which is also sleep. So maybe there’s a scenario where as you build a fasting lifestyle, you need less sleep? I don’t that’s a question that I’ve been curious about. I’m sort of curious your thoughts on it?
Cynthia Thurlow 49:50
Yeah, I mean, it’s a great question. I guess it comes down to like how do you feel when you wake up like you might, you might while you’re doing a prolonged fast, maybe you’re sleeping five or six hours you wake up energized? That’s great. That’s different in the context of that one woman’s example. I haven’t seen any research on that either. And I think, I guess it’s my understanding. And obviously, I’m not asleep expert, but I guess it was my understanding that there’s so much that goes on physiologically when your body is in this repair mode, that even with upregulation of autophagy, this waste and recycling process, I thought the glymphatic system activation actually required so much power that I don’t I guess I don’t fully understand I again, I’m not a brain scientist, but I know anyone that is worth kind of pondering that if you’re doing really well, with a prolonged fast, and you’re in this upregulation of autophagy, do you need as much sleep? I don’t know.
Dr. Mindy 50:43
You know what? Yeah, to be continued, I’d be curious, because you and I are probably the closest to watching women and fasting over, you know, hundreds of 1000s of women. So it’s fun for me to hear what you’re seeing in your community. And that is definitely something I’ve seen. The other thing that I’ve seen total side note, I’m not sure I ever told you this, that when we’ve done longer fasts with our community, like especially when we guide people through a three day water fast, the most common symptom that women get is either low back pain, or pelvic pain, and like, and so we as the community that I’m a part of, we were trying to figure this out. And the theory was that what if there’s scar tissue that happens from carrying a baby and delivering a baby? So when you start to make stem cells, you actually are repairing those scar tissue area, that scar tissue area. Cool, right? And
Cynthia Thurlow 51:42
it’s so cool. That is so cool. You know, and it’s interesting, because, you know, I always encourage people to you know, once they’re fat adapted, once they get into ketosis, to really start to play with longer, shorter fasts. And, and I think on a lot of levels, you know, there there, there are clear cut benefits to doing longer fasting, but I still feel like there’s a little hesitancy people feel a little hesitant to lean into doing a two day or three day fast. Although I met someone in Las Vegas when I was speaking in October, and this Yep, she was young, like 27. Because I actually asked her how old she was because she looked young. And she’s like, Yeah, I want to do a fast for a month. And I was like, Oh, why? That was my first question. I was like, I asked this lovingly. But why? Yeah. I said, because, you know, there’s that whole kind of communal connection piece. Like, I know, when I’m doing longer fasts, I feel a little less connected to my family when they’re sitting down and eating. So, you know, she’s saying, Well, I just felt so good. When I did a week, I figured a month would be better as like how much you’d like just stick to like a you’re a young woman. And then I explained the physiology of why, you know, food scarcity and famine, might give her brain the wrong information and might say, like foods, you know, not coming anytime soon. So we need to shut down this fertility. We’re not gonna ovulate, we’re not going to get our menstrual cycle. I know. She hadn’t thought about that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Dr. Mindy 53:02
Good was good thing she came to you. She was that you were the right person to go ask that, too. So that’s, that’s awesome. What do you think about just fast it like when we look at brain health? What do you think about fasting as a tool to improve brain health? And I’m talking about all different aspects of brain health, mood disorders, mental clarity, even, you know, memory loss? Where does fasting fit in for that?
Cynthia Thurlow 53:35
I think it’s critically important. We know that women in particular, and this is just fresh on my brain from a podcast a few days ago. But we know that women are, are become more insulin resistant as we get closer to menopause. And so when you think about the the net impact on brain health and and the degree of Alzheimer’s, dementia and other vascular dementia is that you see in middle age, I really think that fasting is a critically important tool for helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. And so, you know, I think a lot of us in the fasting space, you know, talk about beta hydroxy, butyrate, how it diffuses across the blood brain barrier that helps with mental clarity. And so that’s a great starting point, because that can be such a big win. Yeah, people that are dealing with brain fog, maybe even depression, that all of a sudden, gosh, I feel so much better. It’s amazing. Yeah. And so I think that’s a really good starting point. I talk a lot about the gut brain access and why, you know, a lot of depression, anxiety, etc, can really be exacerbated by poor gut health. And so, you know, recognizing that there’s this interrelationship between being in a fasted state and upregulation of, you know, key reparative processes that go on in the gut, including if you fast, long enough to some stem cell activation. That’s another piece of it. But I think the more I understand about the brain, and the hippo Campus and learning centers and other things, you know, our brains are just really not designed to live our kind of hedonistic insulin resistant environment that we’re in. So this is why I think fasting is probably one of the most critically important components of not just healthy aging, but just healthy living. And you know, when I was connecting with Dr. Perlmutter, I was saying the other day, it was such an incredible opportunity, he was talking about new and emerging research talking about how our, our brain and our body can actually make fructose in response to inactivation or upregulation of a key enzyme. And so it really just continues to play upon this narrative of, you know, brain health and insulin sensitivity are so closely aligned. And one of the really easy are ways to ensure that we keep our brains as healthy as possible, is to really be integrating fasting into our lifestyles. For some people that might be two weeks out of the month, for some people that might be three weeks out of the month. If you’re menopausal, you can probably do it more often, but really speaks to the fact that fasting is without a doubt, critically important for cognitive neuro behavioral function. And, you know, I’d be interested to hear, you know, what your experiences have been like, I know that, as one example, a woman I was talking to before our call today, was saying that, you know, she had her depression medication lowered and she was finally at a point where, you know, she had had significant major depression, you know, significant meaning that she was crying every day and just really needed the medication, but that she had finally gotten to a point where she felt healthy enough to start talk about reducing her medication in conjunction with her psychiatrist, I would never advocate there’s one stop there there, antidepressants or anti anxiety medications without close connection with your healthcare professional. But to me, that was that gives me hope, it tells me that there’s a whole lot more, a lot more that’s going on behind the scenes than maybe perhaps or even realized. I’m not a neuroscientist, but I definitely based on what I’ve read, I definitely feel like very affirmed that this is such a healthy opportunity for us to honor our bodies.
Dr. Mindy 57:12
Yeah, I there’s so many different ways I see fasting playing out on brain health, the ones you just talked about, about bringing, you know, sugar levels down, which is so key. Ketones are so healing. And when ketones go up, GABA goes up. And so GABA is your neuro, your calming neurotransmitter, so I see it really work for anxiety. The only challenge with anxiety is that you to your point, you’ve got to become fat adapted, if you’re going to use fasting as a tool for for anxiety because you got to get into that comfortable place where that when the ketones are coming, is what I call it, I always tell my brain ketones are coming that you can like actually, you know, feel ease into that moment as opposed to when am I going to eat food? Cognition? You know, it’s crazy what fasting can do for cognition. I’ve seen some research on resetting dopamine receptor sites if you go 48 hours of fasting, you can reset your whole dopamine pathways. So I think it is an amazing tool to your point and parameters point and it’s not a it’s not like one month of intermittent fasting is going to do that for you that it’s the continual habit of building a fasting lifestyle that is going to overtime change your mental health. That’s that’s the way I look at it. Yeah, no, no, I
Cynthia Thurlow 58:37
think it’s a long game. Like I think it’s a long short, short game benefits like you’ll get that mental clarity and I love that you brought up GABA. I always say GABA is such an amazing neurotransmitter in the body one that’s grossly under appreciated. Yeah.
Dr. Mindy 58:51
Oh my gosh, it’s like progesterone, GABA and progesterone. You didn’t need to go to a party where they they hang
Cynthia Thurlow 58:57
out yes, very mellow and and it’s interesting I was just reading the other day about the dopamine fast where people are in an effort to kind of upregulate their dopamine they are having like a fast from social media to fashion electronics and how that is allowing for according to this research I read it’s allowing for this upregulation and dopamine receptors to get kind of blunted because we’re constantly think about it, like social media is like the perfect dopaminergic overwhelm where we’re just constantly getting these hits of likes and this and that. And so I think that it brings up another really good point that we want to find balance with our social media use in conjunction with you know, whether we decide to do a fast just for those purposes, or if we do it in conjunction with a combined technology fast along with that actual threat fast and seeing how that works. But I would imagine for a lot of people it probably be harder to go without the electronics. That’s my guess.
Dr. Mindy 59:57
And but what if you stack them together? That’s great. Great idea. I love it. So Okay, one last question. And then I want to respect your time. But I have to ask you this question because this is another one that I’m like, Oh my gosh, somebody who’s doing fasting with women like, let’s I would geek out on these moments. One thing that I’ve been thinking about is if you look at times when you’re meant when your hormones come, like, like screaming in, and we can look at a woman who has a regular menstrual cycle, it would be ovulation, you get this peak of all three sex hormones, and then you get progestogens peak the week before your cycle. What I know about detox is that as hormones go up, toxins come out of store tissues, we see this in menopause, perimenopause, all women. So is it a wicked combination, to have toxins coming out, because hormones went up and stimulating autophagy at the same time, where the cell might make a decision that it needs to go into apoptosis, right kills that cell? And now you have toxins being redistributed? Is that a horrible combination? Do you not want to stimulate a toffee G when hormones are at peak coming surging in?
Cynthia Thurlow 1:01:15
Well, I guess you could look at it two ways, you could see that it could be an efficient process, you know, upregulation. So that’s how I would think about it, you know, just based on what I know about the physiology that goes on at that kind of peak ovulate story points in a menstrual cycle, I recognize that we live in increasingly toxic environments, you know, the things we’re exposed to in our food or personal care products and our environment. But I think if people have within their, you know, their, their grab bag of tools, if they are taking binders, if they are, you know, thinking thoughtfully about, you know, fasting as a lifestyle, that I think that we’d be able to weather those kind of perfect storms, if you will, a little bit easier than, let’s say the average person who’s a couch potato eats a standard American diet and goes into, you know, goes into start, you know, start a fasting regimen, and they are really buffering a lot of symptoms. You know, I think about like hydration and dry brushing and like all the things that can kind of be supportive for the body under those circumstances. That’s a good question. Yeah, no questions.
Dr. Mindy 1:02:22
You and I can talk offline on this, because it’s a new realization that I’ve had in just observing hundreds of 1000s of women fasting, and some of my clients that I’m coaching right now I’m seeing that the higher the heavy metal load specifically, if they’re stimulating autophagy, at at ovulation, they’re getting a strong detox reaction. So it has me thinking a little different about where our hormones actually detox us naturally. And to your point, it may be good, and that might be good. But if you start getting really bad symptoms of detox at ovulation, because you’re stimulating autophagy at the same time, that might not be fun.
Cynthia Thurlow 1:03:03
Yeah. And that’s why I think it’s important to work with, you know, providers that are knowledgeable because that, that might not strike someone as being unusual if they’re not as familiarized with fasting, that that that correlation could even be made. And it makes complete sense. I mean, I think about how many women I see that are mercury toxic, and you know, they’re surprised they’re like, Oh, I didn’t realize that eating, you know, five days of tuna fish every day. Oh, my God, it’s eating sushi three days a week, it’s gonna be a problem.
Dr. Mindy 1:03:31
Yeah, I totally see that too. So Well, this was great. Thank you for entertaining my women and fasting brain. I feel like we need to have you and I need to have more conversations like this. Because it we’re in the trenches. And it’s really fun to share a notes. So talk a little bit about your book, what can when’s it coming out? What can people expect? I’m really excited for it. And I hope everybody that’s listening to my audience, specifically this, you have to get this book. There is this is right in alignment with what I’m teaching. And I’m really excited that it’s coming up.
Cynthia Thurlow 1:04:07
Yeah, so it’s it goes to publication on March 15. It’s intermittent fasting and transformation. And the program is called if 45. And so this was the program that was developed over the last several years, lots of fine tuning and really focused in on educating women about their hormones about how to fast successfully, whether you’re in your peak fertility or as you’re in perimenopause, in the trenches, or you’re in menopause, really honoring our own unique physiology. And what I love is it has a 45 day journey where you learn all about fasting, and it’s a book that can be for women who’ve been fasting or new to fasting. And then there are some amazing recipes. I have my dear friend and Chef Beth liftin. I’m all about making food accessible and fun and flavorful. And so we have gluten and dairy free recipes in the back most of which are very Meat Animal based protein. Focus, there are some vegetarian recipes and their instructions on how to make them vegetarian, if that’s part of your lifestyle, but I’m really excited. It’s hard to believe because it seems like I’ve been living in limbo for a while. It’s hard to believe it’s actually here. Love it. I so appreciate your support. And I think the one thing that I think, or at least I know, my my viewers, and listeners really appreciate that. They’ve always said like, anytime we see you and Dr. Mindy talking, there’s a genuine camaraderie and friendship. And they’re absolutely as I think they’re not enough of us talking about fasting as clinicians, and certainly having the ability to impact so many women’s lives in really positive ways.
Dr. Mindy 1:05:38
Yeah, thank you. I agree. And I feel like you and I are in screaming at the top of our lungs trying to like, get women to see it differently. And they’re hearing us. So I love that. I agree. Collaboration is my jam. So I love it. Last question I have for you. I’ve been asking everybody this year. This the podcast, we have a theme this year is gratitude. So this is sort of a two part question. Do you have a daily gratitude practice? And if so what is it? And what is something you’re immensely grateful for today?
Cynthia Thurlow 1:06:08
Hmm, well, yes, I have a gratitude practice. And my team thinks that’s kind of funny, but part of my gratitudes I usually will I write things down in my phone. But I also will kind of put that out there on Instagram and the stories to kind of talk about my day, but it’s generally things I’m really excited about. I didn’t do it this morning, because it was just been a busy morning. But expressing gratitude in really small ways. You know, my husband and I have a way that we’ll text each other and it can be something really small, like thank you for taking out the trash or thank you for taking the dogs out. I mean, just really just it can be something small. And that’s what gratitude doesn’t have to be grandiose. What am I really grateful for? I am today particularly grateful for the friendships. And then that’s the great thing about the podcasting community. The incredible networking and friendships I’ve created and cultivated, especially with the upcoming launch because I feel really loved and supported. And so I was reflecting on that last night how grateful Grateful I am, but I have to share with your listeners. I got this wonderful, wonderful document he sent me that I get to put on
Dr. Mindy 1:07:16
I love it. I love it. Okay, well, we’re dead. We’ll take a picture y’all could go to Instagram and see it. Yeah, you know, I agree. I feel like there is a movement of collaboration amongst health professionals that I’ve never seen before. And it’s such a beautiful place everybody wins when perfect health professionals of all backgrounds come together and share their expertise and and learn from each other and do it in a really loving collaborative way. It’s just the patient wins people win. It’s a really fun journey. I absolutely agree.
Cynthia Thurlow 1:07:52
So yeah, I mean, I think mindset abundance mindset of abundance is really the way to go because there’s just no way for us to know everything about everything and I learned from from you and vice versa and so many other you know, health care professionals that are out there that I feel, you know, immensely grateful.
Dr. Mindy 1:08:10
Thank you so much for joining me in today’s episode. I love bringing thoughtful discussions about all things health to you. If you enjoyed it, we’d love to know about it. So please leave us a review, share it with your friends and let me know what your biggest takeaway is.
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Everytime I listen, I learn and with knowledge comes more questions. I listened to this podcast and these questions came to mind:
1. Allot of conversions happen during sleep; Dr. Mindy you are thinking that people who are in a fasted state may get the same repairative effects without as much sleep however how do we know that it isn’t that we need less sleep but rather cortisol surging keeping us awake as it works to supply glucose from other sources in the absence of food. This wouldn’t be repairative but rather inflammatory in the long run.
2. If you are fasting and have very low blood sugar, like 50’s and lower, but super high ketones does that mean your circulating blood ketones are high because you are producing them but not far adapted so your body doesn’t know how to use them. In my mind once fat adapted your body should have stable blood glucose with mid range circulating ketones as your body should be using what you make, keeping the supply high and blood glucose low but stable?.
3. Lastly if ketosis and autophagy in particular are dependent on glucose depletion then where does the body get glucose to keep blood sugar stable. The brain requires some glucose still so we can’t ever be fully depleting glucose if we still require stable blood sugar.
Long and short, are fasting efforts in the beginning simply just to fast for health later on but these early fasts do not provide intrinsic health because unless you are fat adapted, your body processes arent really healing yet but priming the body to heal?