Do you find yourself having hormone problems? Have no fear! We interviewed hormonal health master and functional nutrition expert, Alisa Vitti, to get some answers. Alisa’s own journey healing her hormone problems led to the creation of many first-of-their-kind tools to help you biohack your period including, The FLO Living Hormone Center, the world’s first menstrual healthcare platform, the MyFLO period app—the first and only functional medicine period tracker, supplements specifically designed to support the menstrual cycle, and her two books, In The Flo and WomanCode.
Let’s back up: Why did you create FloLiving?
I created FLO Living out of my experience with a hormone problem. I was a student at JHU planning to become an OB/GYN when my symptoms reached their peak. No period, obesity, severe acne, depression, anxiety, insomnia. These symptoms interfered with not only the quality of my life, but also my ability to do the things I wanted to do and loved.
I saw so many doctors, and ultimately wasn’t diagnosed for seven years. And, in fact, I brought the diagnosis to my GYN to confirm after my own research into the matter.
She confirmed my PCOS, but then shared that there was no cure and the meds she could prescribe were not all that effective.
I saw two things that changed my life, and ultimately my career plans, during this experience. First, that conventional gynecology does not have adequate treatment for women with chronic hormonal issues, and second, that millions of women – 50% of women – are struggling with these issues and have no support.
I wanted first to see if I could help my body recover and then if I could, build a digital healthcare platform that would help make taking care of hormone problems throughout your reproductive life easier and function as a partner to your GYN annual visit.
I developed the FLO protocol that is the foundation of our approach, and then after a decade of clinical practice, launched FLOliving.com.
And what was the order of releasing each of your products? How did that evolve?
After a decade of practice at my in-person center in midtown Manhattan to help people with hormone problems, I realized that the women who were reaching out from different time zones would be better served by a telehealth option.
I built that platform and launched with our premiere digital therapeutic program called MonthlyFLO in 2012. MonthlyFLO is a 3-month online program based on my proven protocol. Women are guided through the program, and supported by, me and the FLO Coaches both in a forum and through monthly group calls.
I then wrote my first book, WomanCode, which became a bestseller. And women were asking me for an app! I didn’t just want to add to the numerous period tracking apps already available. I wanted to build an app that would help women understand from a functional medicine perspective why they have the symptoms they have during their cycle, and what they can do with food and supplements to restore hormonal imbalances naturally. We launched the MyFLO App in early 2017.
Then in late 2017 we launched the Balance Supplement Kit because there were no suitable supplements to help women biohack their endocrine function at a deep level. Of course, women could go and purchase individual supplements, but there was no full kit of everything they needed, that were high-quality, therapeutic grade, and curated just for them.
I started working on my second book in early 2018.
And in early 2020, In the FLO was published, the first book to explore the Infradian Rhythm unique to women, and to offer my Cycle Syncing Method™ to help women eat, exercise, and live in ways that optimize their biology.
More innovative things are planned for 2021 – stay tuned! My mission and goal continues to expand into wanting to create more and more affordable solutions and options to support women.
What is the main problem you are solving with each of your products?
Monthly FLO is a digital therapeutic program that walks women step by step through the highly effective FLO protocol. Rebalancing blood sugar, adrenals, gut, estrogen metabolism, and more deeply addresses the root causes of why they are having symptoms or conditions in the first place.
Our Balance by FLO Living Supplements are the first women-centric supplement line created to bring you happier periods and help with hormone problems. The five formulations provide essential micronutrient support that you need to balance your hormones. You can think of them as your personal “insurance policy” against endocrine-disruptive things that you’re doing (knowingly or unknowingly) that are throwing you off balance.
Our MyFLO app is the first functional medicine period tracking & hormone-balancing app, which helps you track your cycle and minimize PMS while balancing hormones through daily tips & reminders. This is the only period tracking app out there that supports women with the Cycle Syncing Method.
FLO 28: The Cycle Syncing Membership invites women into a community of other women who are living in alignment with their cycle — and changing the game when it comes to productivity, success, and biohacking, more specifically for the female body.
The guiding principle of the Flo28 community is practicing The Cycle Syncing Method™, which is a cross between an intuitive time management system, an adaptable diet and fitness plan, and a gateway to your inner knowing, confidence, and power. FLO28 has three core components: Food, fitness, and time management, all based on your infradian rhythm. The infradian rhythm affects six key systems in the body: Brain function, metabolism, immune system, stress response system, microbiome, and the reproductive system (menstruation, fertility, sex drive).
If people are looking for a place to start to discover all FloLiving has to offer, where should they begin and why?
I would recommend they take our Period Type Quiz. The quiz takes under five minutes to complete, and you are delivered a report on your V-Sign type and how your period is affecting your hormones and your health.
Your period is actually considered your fifth vital sign — and has SO much to tell you about your overall health and any hormone problems.
After you complete the quiz, we recommend which product would be the best fit for you to start with based on your V-Sign Type and hormonal patterns.
The next best place to start is the FLO Living Blog. We believe women have the right to science- & research-based information. No more BS about your body. This is why we’ve created an extensive blog and database of what I think are the best articles out there about helping with any hormone problems and balancing your hormones that offer real tips, advice, and protocols, all backed by science.
You are truly a pioneer in your field. Why are there so few people doing this work, and so little attention on the menstrual cycle and how it affects all areas of our lives, if this is the case?
I think it’s for a variety of reasons. I think that the gender bias that has historically excluded women from medical, fitness, and nutrition research has trickled down into our menstrual healthcare experience. Women’s health issues are often dismissed as psychosomatic and are unnecessarily underdiagnosed, delaying treatment. No research means, no practitioner understanding, few treatment options, and so much whitespace for innovation.
Second, I think that the millennium-long vilification of women’s bodies has perpetuated a cultural narrative that conditions women to feel like a helpless victim of their cycle and ‘mysterious’ hormones.
Third – we do not receive proper education about our hormones, and therefore we buy into the above-mentioned conditioning and make major healthcare decisions without the full story.
So women themselves don’t realize that they could feel better, don’t take any action to resolve their hormonal issues, and don’t expect better treatment in healthcare; they therefore don’t clamor together to demand more research and better treatments. If they did, it would happen in a heartbeat.
I believe the solution is to update women’s hormonal health care and address hormonal imbalances. I have been working toward that goal with every program, product, and service we release at FLO Living. I want to make addressing any hormone problems as easy as buying tampons at the drugstore or signing up for a fitness class online.
Do you see the landscape changing?
Yes – from free bleeding pics on IG, to mainstreaming menstrual normalization, to the rise of femtech, the landscape is absolutely changing, and for the better. But 50% of women still suffer from hormonal imbalances, infertility, and/or perimenopause issues, and we deserve so much more.
The gender bias in research remains unchanged, and that needs to change.
Can you share with us your top three lifestyle changes that people can implement to improve their menstrual health right now?
1. Start tracking your symptoms throughout your cycle. It’s not enough just to know when you are ovulating and bleeding. What are you experiencing each week? Observing this provides key biofeedback to help you understand what is going on with your hormones so that you can take immediate action. Remember, your cycle is your fifth vital sign, so when you have a symptom, you have to take it as seriously as having a fever.
2. Remove endocrine disruptors. Replace your toxic skincare, household products, and pesticide-laden food with clean options. These chemicals negatively affect your menstrual health.
3. Use The Cycle Syncing Method™! This method that I created aligns your diet, fitness, and time management with your infradian rhythm, allowing you to have optimal health. Once you realize you have been doing all the diets, workouts, and “power mornings” that only optimize male biology and hormones, not only do you realize why you don’t get the results you were promised and why you are struggling with an increase of hormone problems, but also how illogical it is to use those systems that are completely leaving your biology out of the equation.
Questions answered by: Alisa Vitti of Flo Living
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