KWIK BRAIN

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January 7, 2020

How Female Brain Works with Alisa Vitti

"Because many of us don’t know how our infradian rhythm works, we unknowingly create neuroendocrine disruption."

ALISA VITTI

Alisa Vitti, HHC, AADP, is an integrative nutritionist, hormone expert, and best-selling author of WomanCode (Harper Collins) who teaches women how to use their hormonal and neurochemical patterns to create extraordinary lives. She is the founder of FLOliving.com, a trusted virtual destination for women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s to learn how to naturally balance their hormone and reproductive issues with her proprietary, “pro-hormonal,” five-step dietary process that treats the root cause of endocrine dysfunction. She teaches women via her online program “The WomanCode System” and writes a blog on how to use food to get out of hormonal chaos and get back into hormonal “flo” which is read by thousands of women in 216 countries.

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Show Notes

WHY FEMALE BRAINS ARE AMAZING

  • Structurally, the female brain has superior qualities.
  • Bigger prefrontal cortex, meaning superior decision-making abilities.
  • Larger insula. This is connected to our gut intuition, meaning women have a stronger sense of the right thing to do at the right time.
  • Bigger hippocampus, meaning better recall and memory for emotion.
  • Bigger corpus callosum, the nerve fibers connecting the brain’s hemispheres, resulting in superior problem-solving abilities. This can mean women are better able to step away from triggers and find the right path forward.

RHYTHMS

  • Many of us know about the negative effects of ignoring our circadian rhythms, but women have another rhythm they need to know about: the infradian rhythm.
  • Circadian rhythms are day-long cycles, but an infradian rhythm is a cycle that takes longer than a day.
  • Infradian rhythms affect brain chemistry during women’s menstruating years and last about a month for each rhythm.
  • Infradian rhythms affect our memory, mood, interests, brain performance, and natural proclivities.
  • Because many of us don’t know how our infradian rhythm works, we unknowingly create neuroendocrine disruption, by not behaving in ways that support our infradian rhythm.
  • Little was known about infradian rhythms in women for a long time.
  • Early research documenting the effect of estrogen patterns on the brain chemistry was completed by Catherine S Woolley of Northwestern University in 1996

THE FOUR HORMONAL PATTERNS

  • Our hormonal levels change through each phase, affecting our metabolism, brain performance, stress levels, and health.
  1. Follicular: 7-10 days
  2. Ovulatory: 3-4 days 
  3. Luteal: 10-14 days
  4. Menstrual: 2-7 days
  • In the ovulatory phase, there is a surge of estrogen that stimulates the verbal and social centers in the brain, making you optimally communicative. You can organize your time to take advantage of this e.g. schedule meetings or talks during this phase.
  • Once you understand your own cycles, you can remove the self-judgment and negative self-talk related to them.
  • There tends to be a negative association and negative cultural narrative associated with female hormonal cycles. A common myth is that they make women unpredictable and unreliable.
  • Males are governed by hormonal levels too e.g. the 3 pm energy, mood, and concentration drop leading to people seeking out caffeine.
  • Both genders experience hormonal impacts on their brain chemistry—it just affects each gender with different timing.

HOW TO RECLAIM YOUR POWER

  • Start tracking and noticing which phase you are in. 
  • Be aware you are shifting from one phase to another, and know that you will think and feel differently in each stage.
  • You can be a genius and do whatever you like in each phase of the cycle, just know you will have shifts in hormonal stimulation through each phase and might find yourself more interested in activities at certain times.
  • Alisa’s new book will help you to better understand your infradian rhythm and best look after it: check out intheflobook.com

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  • Take a screenshot of this episode, tag us (@jimkwik and @FLOliving) and tell us your favorite aha! moment. We’ll repost some of our favorites!

What's Next?

How Female Brain Works with Alisa Vitti

How Female Brain Works with Alisa Vitti

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