After quitting the Pill, Allie’s periods went MIA. Her busy days at the restaurant were marred by the highs and crashes of imbalanced blood sugar. Even though she was surrounded by healthy food, she wasn’t feeling well and happy.
Then a good friend introduced her to WomanCode.
Within two months of following the Flo protocol with the support of Flo Living’s expert counsellors Allie’s period returned and regulated. Plus she got her blood sugar in balance, which meant no PMS symptoms or cramps for her and all the energy she needed.
We chatted with Allie to find out more about how Flo Living transformed her life.
How was your health when you found Flo Living?
There were two health concerns I was experiencing before I found Flo Living.
I had been trying to figure out a good routine for my diet, but was not succeeding. I was experiencing blood sugar crashes and working on cutting out foods that created this. I tried to create a routine by eating the same thing for breakfast every day, etc. It was challenging to find one meal that always made me feel great. I finally thought I had found the perfect breakfast meal. But one day, my blood sugar crashed a couple hours after and I experienced shakiness and hunger which was very confusing. I realized I also needed flexibility in my diet to support my changing daily life experiences.
After telling a good friend of mine my frustrations, she told me about the ‘WomanCode.’ She let me borrow her book and my eyes were opened to a new possible way of eating where I could have both routine and flexibility. I learned about a way of eating that honored my femininity and was compatible with my body’s hormonal needs. I was so intrigued that I found the online program and enrolled.
I have been searching for ways to completely regulate my menstrual cycle since getting off birth control pills the summer of 2012. In 2012, I read the book ‘The Red Tent,’ which changed my life by empowering me to quit taking the pill and get in touch with my own Sacred Feminine and moon cycle connection. After quitting the pill, I didn’t get my period for 7 months, then 4 months, then 7 months again. My periods were very slow to start and there was brown spotting for at least 5-7 days before the red blood actually came.
After I started the Flo protocol it took only about one month or two for my periods to regulate to arriving every 28 days. I now experience less days of brown before the red blood, and less cramping and more balanced energy during my menstrual phase. I feel more emotions of love and happiness that I want to express.
How else did your health improve as a result of following the Flo Living protocol?
The biggest accomplish I have made in my health as a result of the protocol is learning how to regulate my blood sugar. Most days, I ate balanced meals, but when I became stressed and busy, I turned to sweets & chocolate for energy. This caused my blood sugar to drop, and I felt hungry, weak and shaky. So I would snack more and often times eat even more chocolate, to give me instant energy.
Through the program, I learned that I was causing my blood sugar to spike and drop from the foods I was eating when stressed. I learned my body was experiencing an up and down default pattern with my blood sugar levels, which was affecting my adrenals and making me feel exhausted. Now, when I am stressed, I go to foods with more protein, I sit and breathe while I eat, and I keep a grateful attitude in my mind while I eat, trusting that the meal choices that I made are going to sustain me and nourish me. I have found a new trust in food and I am seeing the results when I follow this practice because I maintain energy longer with little cravings for sweets. This empowers me and makes me feel connected to my body in knowing I can take care and support it. Any time I feel tired and think of chocolate and sweets as a quick fix, I remind myself of the knowledge I received through the program and I remember that the key to having energy is to nourish my body-temple with foods that are supportive of my hormonal cycle and blood sugar. I find strength in that thought and this is enough to prevent me from returning to the chocolate, sugar, caffeine path because it only leads to more exhaustion.
When I am eating balanced meals with enough protein, abstaining from chocolate and sugar as a means for energy, and getting enough sleep and water, my luteal phase is much more pleasant. I have less breast tenderness, less bloating, and more emotional happiness. Even the discomfort I feel in my lower abdomen feels more like a buzzing, singing sensation, rather than cramps. Also, the days I experience brown spotting before having red blood are fewer.
How do you now feel when you are in each phase of your menstrual cycle?
I have been keeping track of my monthly cycle since July, when I discovered the ‘WomanCode.’ I tracked how I felt emotionally, what I ate and foods I craved, how the moisture felt down in my lady parts, what was going on in my sex life, and what activities I felt inclined to participate in. I learned a lot about myself and my menstrual cycle.
I know when I have entered follicular phase because suddenly I feel energized to take on new projects and make plans with friends or exercise. I feel lighter and feel like dressing in something cuter, rather than wearing comfy sweats as I do during my menstrual phase. Lighter foods like salads and juices seem to give me long sustained energy.
I know when I am getting close to Ovulation because I am juicer down there and moisture is dropping down. The energy that I was feeling in my follicular phase is now a drive to really focus on executing my goals by putting more physical energy into whatever it is I started initiating during follicular such as working out, activities with friends and phone chats, or work goals. Ovulation is the time I feel most in touch with the physical movements of my body and how to operate it well.
I continue to feel this way in the beginning half of Luteal and then suddenly, I want to focus my energies more on organizing, taking care of the cleanliness of my house, and sustaining my goals rather than delivering them at a high energy. When my menstrual cycle comes, I feel emotionally happy and grateful with the desire to express this. I find meaning in everything and I feel connected to all beings.
What did you find difficult about the Flo Living protocol at first? How did you overcome this obstacle with the help of the counselors?
The most difficult process was the first process: Stabilizing my blood sugar. It seemed easy while watching the video and taking notes. But then actually incorporating this into my lifestyle was challenging. I have deep rooted patterns of using caffeine, sugar, or chocolate to give me a boost in energy which were very challenging to break.
I started off going to bed earlier more routinely so I could have enough rest. I also decided to take a break from eating chocolate and sweets. Any time I felt a craving for chocolate or sweets, I reminded myself of how exhausted I feel when my blood sugar spikes. I mentally affirmed myself: “I am choosing to eat nourishing foods rather than chocolate because those foods add to my energy store box and support my adrenals rather than releasing that energy and crashing my system.” I found power in this thought pattern.
My biggest test was when I had to work several long days in a row with little sleep. I didn’t think I would be able to make it through the last day without chocolate, sugar, or caffeine. That morning, I wrote on the Flo Living message Forums my dilemma and I received support and encouragement back from a Flo Living expert and another person going through the program. I felt supported in my choices and I ended up making it through the whole day without chocolate, sugar, or caffeine. I allowed myself more time to eat slowly during my breaks and breathe. I had steady energy the whole day and I was able to stay mentally and physically engaged at work. I was overjoyed with this experience because this was the first time in my life I was empowered enough to follow through with my goal. The Flo Living Expert checked up on me in an email later and it felt great to be supported. I shared my excitement with her.
What would you say to a friend suffering with hormonal imbalance symptoms who had read about Flo Living, but felt it might be too difficult for them to follow?
I would let them know that it is about one step at a time. I would share my personal experience and explain that this program actually helped make my life easier because it feels simpler to synch my life with my natural circadian rhythm. This new understanding helped me become compassionate with myself knowing how to work with my body to accomplish my goals rather than pushing myself when I needed rest.
How have you personalized the protocol to suit your lifestyle?
Cooking is my greatest passion. I have had a delightful time creating new recipes for each phase. I have been taking pictures and posting them on my Instagram with little tidbits of info about the ingredients for women who are looking for foods to help regulate their cycle. I feel empowered by helping others. I believe that food is one aspect of many that Flo Living teaches.
I have always felt a closeness with my feminine, goddess divine energy and I am always looking for ways to explore this further. Flo Living was truly a blessing to find because it encompasses both the food aspect and the Divine Feminine. It has been my longtime dream to write a cookbook for women to empower them, and I am highly motivated by everything I have learned through Flo Living to follow this dream.
How have you made shopping and cooking simple and easy? Any tips you might like to share with others?
Right as I feel like I am transitioning into the next phase (I keep track of my days in my planner as well), I create a list of foods to get from the grocery store with the Food Chart provided by Flo Living. I have been creating recipes each month so I now have a good amount as a base to use each month. I type up the recipes I create and I save them in a folder on my computer called “Eating in the Flo.” There are four folders within that folder: Follicular, Ovulatory, Luteal, and Menstrual. I look through these each month, or create new recipes. Sometimes I will see a couple items on the list that sound good to me and I will Google search these items in recipes.
Plan out recipes before you go to the store and plan times to make them. I like to cook recipes in big batches all at once and eat off of them for the next 3-4 days. Sometimes I will make a big serving of soup and freeze it for next month during that phase. Or I will make big batches of energy bars or granola to store.
My cabinets have jars with nuts/seeds for each phase and the phase is labeled on the jar. Because everything is categorized, I can look at it during the phase I am in and choose. It makes things simple.
When I eat out I choose menu items that have an item on the Flo Living chart for the phase I am in (I have a lot of the chart memorized.) Sometimes I will just choose what sounds nourishing and supportive and I will focus on eating in the Flo at my house for my other meals. My focus (as promoted in Flo) is to operate out of Pleasure! So when I am out and there is nothing to eat in my protocol, I focus more on my environment, my friends, how I am feeling- excited to be out and having fun.
Smoothie with Sunwarrior Protein Powder, greens and berries or fruit (greens & fruit change depending on the phase I am in)
Carrot Oat Muffin
Energy Bites made with almonds or walnuts, dates and hemp seed (I make these ahead of time and store in freezer)
Almond butter + celery
Flax crackers & hummus
I work at a healthy organic restaurant, so I usually make something at work that has something that will support the phase I am in.
What did you eat yesterday for breakfast/lunch/dinner?
Breakfast: Carrot Muffin with Oat flour
Lunch: Salad with greens, sauerkraut, avocado, pinto beans, cashew cheese, sprouts
Snack: Juice with carrots and oranges
Dinner: Lentil Soup with zucchini & carrots and a small salad with balsamic & olive oil
My favorite restaurant is the one I work at, Ezra’s Enlightened Café! I have two favorite items. The first item is the Buddha Bowl which is a big salad and it has marinated kale, spring mix greens, sauerkraut, shredded beets & carrots, sprouts, avocado, lemon tahini dressing, falafel balls made from almonds and flax. I really like this dish because my body feels full after I eat it and it is fun to eat because it is so colorful.
The second item I really like is the Nacho Mama’s Bean Bowl. This is made with slow cooked pinto beans, quinoa, greens, dairy free cashew cheez, avocado and sauerkraut. I like this item because it is heartier that the Buddha Bowl, and the pinto beans regulate my blood sugar.
Have you recommend Flo Living to a friend or family member?
Yes! I am always talking about it at work with my coworkers (most are female). Many ask me which foods they should choose for lunch to support the phase they are in. We have the book in our employee room. I met a friend in my community who also took the program and we chat regularly about it. My close friends and I gather during the new and full moon and set intentions and hold space for each other to share our life experiences. We often refer to and talk about ‘WomanCode.’ It is such a huge part of my life and is a popular topic in my community.
What does your partner think about Flo?
My fiancé says: “I am glad you are learning the science behind your Womanhood.” We plan to have children one day and by taking care of my body right now, I will have created a healthy and fertile system.
Have you shared WomanCode with your friends?
Do you have a WomanCode discussion group?
Let us know and we could feature you and your friends here!
Most women try to piece together random health tips and tricks to try to fix their hormonal health issues. Let us help you take a more solid and effective approach with our tried-and-true sequential method for getting to the root of the issue.