Today, in the Scheer Madness Podcast, Dr. Stephanie Estima joins Rachel to talk about the menstrual cycle and how women can optimize their body’s health. She explains how a woman’s body differs from men and its reaction to different types of food diet. She also covered what happens to the body during the menstrual cycle, how effective diet cycling is, the benefits of working with your body instead of against it, and why women need to naturally increase their metabolic rate.
Dr. Estima is a doctor of chiropractic with a special interest in metabolism, body composition, functional neurology, and female physiology. She’s been featured on Thrive Global, of the Huffington Post and has helped thousands of women lose weight, regulate hormones, and get off medications with her signature program, The Estima Diet. You can hear her every week on her podcast, Better! With Dr. Stephanie.
For more information about working with our team at Rachel Scheer Nutrition, book a free 30-minute call at www.rachelscheer.com/application
- 00:00 Intro
- 02:41 Understanding your own menstrual cycle
- 10:58 What goes on in the body during cycle
- 15:47 Symptom management
- 23:40 If we had an easy button for our health
- 30:58 Diet to help the menstrual cycle
- 40:27 Heavy lifting during a cycle
- 45:32 Building muscles
- 51:28 Naturally increase your metabolic rate
- 59:00 The story of a 65 year old woman
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Dr. Stephanie Estima: When you start eating more food to fuel the growth of the muscle, you’re also going to increase your digestion, increase your caloric output. You’re gonna have more strength gains in the gym, which is gonna lead to more hypertrophy.
Rachel Scheer: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
But if you are ready to level up your life and get results that truly matter in your health business mindset and relat. Then this is the podcast for you. Welcome to Shared Madness, where we have unscripted real conversations with the world’s top athletes, entrepreneurs, and coaches. Discover real world and tactical advice from the best in the business.
Dr. Stephanie Estima: Let’s go. Women are not. Little
Rachel Scheer: men, nor should they be treated as one.
Dr. Stephanie Estima: And for
Rachel Scheer: decades
Dr. Stephanie Estima: and decades we’ve been taught that the menstrual cycle
Rachel Scheer: is something that we have to loa, that we just have to deal
Dr. Stephanie Estima: with on a month to month
Rachel Scheer: basis. That.
Dr. Stephanie Estima: Our upcoming Sheer Madness guests,
Rachel Scheer: Dr. Stephanie Estima, is gonna talk about today how
Dr. Stephanie Estima: we can actually eat and train for our menstrual cycle to
Rachel Scheer: optimize our hormones and our mood for better health, energy, and
Dr. Stephanie Estima: improved body composition.
Rachel Scheer: Stephanie Isma is an expert in metabolism and the female body composition. She’s a coach and bestselling author of The Better Body Book. She’s a doctor of chiropractic with a special interest in functional neurology brain health, and the specific application of the ketogenic diet and. Fasting for the female physiology.
You guys, I am so excited to introduce Dr. Stephanie Estima, Dr. Stephanie Estima. I’m so honored to have you come on this show here today. And I know you and I were talking a little bit even before this got started, but I just, I love all of your content that you’re putting out there on social media. Not only are, are you a physician on the female hormone side of everything, but I love that you talk so much about female empowerment and fitness.
And I know we talked a little bit on social media too about your, your background, even competing in body building too, which we could definitely relate a a ton about. So, super excited to have you on the show here today and welcome to
Dr. Stephanie Estima: Share Myness. I am thrilled to be here. Thank you for inviting me and I think we’re gonna have a great conversation today.
Rachel Scheer: So I was diving into a little bit of, of your content and your website and there was something that really stuck out to me on it was your website. I think it was maybe in your bio, I don’t remember exactly where, but you
Dr. Stephanie Estima: said women are not little men and they should be
Rachel Scheer: taught about their unique physiology.
So I wanna just kind of explore really what that means here, getting started and what really made you kind of want to. Dive into more of women health, nutrition and how that’s really different for men.
Dr. Stephanie Estima: This is a great place to start. So I think, uh, for me personally, I spent a lot of, uh, years, you know, did my undergraduate in neuroscience and psychology, did my professional degree as a doctor of chiropractic.
So always had a love of the interplay between the neuromuscular skeletal system. So all of those things, um, combined. And we never were really taught, like the differences. You know, there was kind of like, oh, here’s the menstrual cycle and then, you know, we have more estrogen and, you know, progesterone is the, you know, the hormone for pregnancy, let’s say.
Um, but we were never really taught about some of the nuances and responses to, you know, treatment protocols. And in fact, when you actually dive into the literature, uh, it’s getting better now, But in my, we’ll say upbringing, , uh, in science, it’s really been that. Most of the research has been done on men, and then the protocols for women, it’s just like, well, they’re just kind of small men, so we’ll just tighter this down to sort of match their size.
And of course, we’re not small men, we’re not little men with just pesky, annoying hormones. We are, you know, I like to say we’re like guacamole only. We’re a little, we’re a little extra, right? It’s like, I know that when I get the, you know, when I go to my Mexican, uh, restaurant, I know that I’m gonna pay extra for extra guac, but, and that’s how women are.
We’re just a little bit extra. We have this overlay on top of circadian rhythms and infr, uh, infr rhythms. We also have a monthly cycle, of course, um, where we see ebbs and flows of our sex hormones over the course of a month, whereas our male counterparts actually cycle through their sex hormones over the course of a day.
So even when you look at. Just corporate culture, right? It’s like get up early and go to the office before anybody shows up, and then you do your meetings, and then maybe you take a client out to lunch, and then five to seven is happy hour. All of that’s kind of structured around the e the ebbs and flows of a male cyclical, or we’ll call it circadian, uh, rhythm through their hormones.
I always often say men are the sun, right? They cycle just like the sun does, and women are the moon. We cycle over the course of about 29 um, days, and when as a woman, if you’re not aware that we have this. We’ll call it lunar cycle menstrual cycle, this 29 or so day cycle. And we’re trying to fit into what is a very male dominated corporate world, let’s say, or in career mode or what’s expected of us.
We end up failing miserably all the time, right? Because we don’t always feel like getting up and going. Testosterones not always high estrogen’s, not always high. Progesterone is not always high. But when we understand some of these ebbs and flows of our cycle over the course of the month, we can start to make informed decisions about how we structure our days tho those particular weeks.
And what are some of the objectives that we might be looking to achieve in that particular week, You know, depending on which week you are, um, in the menstrual cycle. And, you know, personally I’ll say that, you know, I wrote about this in, in my book. It’s called the Betty Body for, um, I’m sure, we’ll, we’ll talk about that at some point today, but I used to feel like my own menstrual cycle was a curse.
Like I, this was like my punishment for being a woman. Like he was always awful. You know, the week before or even sometimes two weeks before I was moody, I couldn’t sleep. I was hot, my breasts were really tender. I had intense, really painful cramping. Um, the days, you know, the first two days or so, sometimes three days, um, of my bleed week, when I would start, uh, bleeding, I would always have to bring extra.
Pants because it was like, the flow was always so heavy that like no cup, no pan, no tampon was like a match for it. So I was always changing, um, you know, clothes. And when I, I, I’ve often, I’ve shared this story before, um, and I’ll share with your audience. Like, I remember in clinic for years, whenever I had a new patient and I was, let’s say, sitting down with that patient and maybe going over x-rays or an MRI or whatever it was, if we were sitting together for a long time, sort of looking at data.
And discussing a care plan. When we would get up, let’s say when the, when the appointment was over and we were, you know, you know, we, he was, he or she was, you know, leaving the room. I would have to turn, as I was getting up, I would have to turn my chair, um, away so that the patient wouldn’t see that, like at a rate of like a hundred percent I had bled through Wow.
You know, my pants. So I suffered with like very, very heavy, very, you know, now when in retrospect, very estrogen dominant like symptoms. Um, which we can talk a little bit about what that is, what that looks like, but suffered like that for years. And then over, I was running a nutrition practice in the clinic as well.
There was a program that I was running and I started noticing that there were. Different outcomes between men and women. Like I would, it was a ketogenic style diet and men had absolutely stellar, like within two weeks they were like, testosterone was up. They were sleeping like a boss. They had lost 10 pounds, 15 pounds, whatever it was.
And the women, let’s say if it was a husband and wife pair, it was always like, I started noticing with my husband and wife pairs who were coming in for care for that nutrition program. The woman who had been obviously in the same environment of the man eating the same foods as her husband, you know, has, would come in and be like, I don’t know what the hell is wrong.
Like, I’ve lost two pounds and I’ve been doing the same thing as him. Like, we’re doing the same exercise. Same. So like some of the environmental controls were the same, but the prognosis was different. So I started with some. My patients who am so grateful and thankful to them who let me sort of play, I was like, Okay, can we just like, I just want you to start tracking your cycle and I want to maybe change the way that you eat at certain times of the cycle.
Cuz I had found, uh, some things had worked very well for me. We started to see that change and that was sort of the beginning or the birth of, let’s say, um, my body of work, which is how we eat as women. How we eat in accordance with our menstrual cycle, how we train, like the way that we train through the cycle, I think also should be altered and we’ll.
We’ll I’m sure we’ll tuck into that. And then stress management and emotion emotionality will also change through the cycle as well. I find a
Rachel Scheer: lot of this super empowering for women and even after I went through like my functional medicine certification, like we dive into the menstrual cycle and kind of the mood shift.
So like right when estrogen drops, you know, where women can be a little bit more moody because you know they’re missing that like feel good hormone. That plays such a big role in that. But they
Dr. Stephanie Estima: talk about like the mood shifts, but
Rachel Scheer: it’s always about like, Kind of deal with it, kinda like what you’ve said, like you’re just gonna get this.
And then yes, there can be hormone imbalances, like you said, where there’s like estrogen dominance or you know, you’re low in something like progesterone and there’s things that are off that cause issues that, you know, taking even a functional pro should we try to restore balance to. But I haven’t really heard a whole lot of practitioners really dive into like, how can we really.
Work with our cycle instead of really working against it or just even like trying to fight through. Right, Right. So I kinda push through, I, I know I’ve heard people be like, Well, you’re gonna be just tired here. So like, yes, maybe modify a little bit of like your training and things like that. But I haven’t heard a whole lot of people talk about like,
Dr. Stephanie Estima: lifestyle, you know,
Rachel Scheer: modifications, daily routine modifications, dietary, you know, modifications.
So I really wanna unpack that a little bit more and maybe we can start a little bit more on the lifestyle side of everything and then get into training and nutrition. Um, one, I’m just super interested, uh, to learn from you about a lot of this, even two because I wasn’t taught, you know, about how to modify that and, and even a lot of my own education stuff.
So, one, before I even dive into that, would you say a lot of this had to. Self taught and even stuff you didn’t learn in
Dr. Stephanie Estima: like your normal Yeah, it was, it was a lot of trial and error. And then I started diving into, you know, the, let’s say the effects of testosterone on the motor cortex, uh, the effects of estrogen on the motor cortex.
Let’s say I was coming back to the brain, like, I’m always like, Okay, how does this impact the brain? And for example, in our follicular phase, which is the first two weeks of the cycle, and in particular week two, we see a surge of testosterone and we also see a surge of estrogen. These are anabolic hormones.
These are involved in growth and in terms of their impact on the motor cortex, which is an area of the brain that’s involved in movement. So you’re gonna find that this. This time of the month, let’s say, uh, is a great time to start a new movement pattern or a new, you know, if you’re starting a new workout, let’s say, this is a wonderful time to do that because you’re almost like firing on all cylinders.
Like the motor cortex is like primed for new activity. So I started, I started putting things together with my background in, in neuroscience, and I, I had taken a lot of special, um, interests like post-doc, um, courses in functional neurology. So I was always trying to pull it back to the brain and like brain metabolism.
And then how does that change? Because the brain is, you know, as you mentioned, like our moods, you know, a lot of times when we learn about the menstrual cycle or you’ll, you’ll hear tropes like, Oh, is it that time of the month? Or like, she’s so moody, but, and, and it’s, rather than it being a negative thing, uh, one of the things that I like to think about, This is your body’s way, let’s say in that second half of the cycle when you’re maybe a week out from bleeding.
Right? Um, you know, the couple of days right before where you mentioned, we see this like very, uh, acute drop in progesterone and estrogen kind of looks like a little bit of like mini menopause, right? We can be really emotional, but I think that that is actually a superpower because the things that you’re getting emotional about, like, okay, maybe sometimes it’s just like a commercial on tv, but sometimes it’s gonna be like, Gosh, you know what, like my job is really like chopping my, you know, it’s like really bothering me, you know?
Or my boss is really bothering me, or, you know, my husband or my kids. And that is an opportunity for you to say, Okay, what needs to be resolved in the next cycle of my life in the next 28, 29 ish days? What conversations need to happen? What do I need? What residue do I need to clear up between me and my partner, let’s say, or me and my child, me and my boss, me and my coworker, me and my mother, like, whatever.
Right? I think that it’s really, really a powerful time for introspection and for us to be able to say, Okay, all is not well in this particular vertical, and it’s, I’m really emotional about it, so I’m gonna do something about it. So that next month when I’m, you know, when. At the same spot that I will be again.
Now, this is not gonna be as emotionally salient for me.
Rachel Scheer: That’s super interesting to think about because I know I’ve been told too, because I get, I get moody just like every other women before my cycle. I can get a little bit more emotional, but it’s always like, you know, the guys who are like, Oh, it must be right before your period.
It must be right before you get to your cycle. And you know, part of me is like, Oh, you’re right, right? Like, I am a little bit more emotional, but I, I love kind of that reframe of saying, Hey, like these things are still bothering you, like for a reason. Like yes, your hormones are changes, You’re a little bit more sensitive to them.
Um, but it’s probably more than likely, I won’t say all the time, but not coming out of like thin air, right? Like the, there are things that are already maybe below the surface is kind of what I’m doing from you, but it’s more so shining a light on it
Dr. Stephanie Estima: a bit
Rachel Scheer: more with the hormone hormone shift, at least what we’re
Dr. Stephanie Estima: experiencing there.
Yeah. And I think for the, the men who are like, Oh, it must be that time of month. Like, why don’t we as women empower them and say, This is actually what I need from you, rather than rolling your eyes and being like, Okay, like whatever. I’ll just like stay out of here. Like, why not make the woman feel safe and nurtured and loved while she’s processing some of these, you know, sometimes very intense emotions.
I mean, I’m, I’m a mother of three boys, so that’s, that’s kind of my mission. Like, I want, like my sons all are very well versed on the menstrual cycle and you know, how things change, uh, you know, over the course of the month. And that’s what I would hope for any. Male to be able to say, Okay, this woman, this person that I love is struggling.
So how can I support them right now to process and hold space for, uh, her to, to metabolize some of these feelings and then maybe to empower her to do something about it rather than like, Oh, okay, um, do you me to get you some chocolate? You know, like, whatever, whatever the conversation is, right? Yeah.
Instead of just being like, Oh, she’s
Rachel Scheer: just moody. She’s just about to get her cycle. And kind of really dismissing a lot of that, but showing up Cause it’s real, it, it’s so real cuz. And I know, I know and I know you more know more than anybody too at what point though, cuz I know like extreme estrogen dominance, right?
Um, or progesterone and deficiencies. Like a lot of these are like, this doesn’t make sense. Like, like I’ve had the experience where I’m like small things that maybe really shouldn’t bother me. Like I’m like hyper hypersensitive too. So for someone maybe in that, that place, like yes, kind of looking at their environment and really leaning for support and taking an empowered approach.
Where do you kind of draw the line of like, maybe I need to kind of get some testing and get support work with somebody like you with a lot of that maybe like, you know, the motions that are really hard to process through in those moments.
Dr. Stephanie Estima: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a great question. I think, you know, if you’re unable to participate in the activities of your life, right?
If you’re unable to go to work, if you’re medicating, if you need to medicate in order to function, I think that’s a really big clue that things may be out of whack. Uh, very often, unfortunately, if a woman goes to, you know, kind of this traditional allopathic route and she describes things like tender breasts and severe emotionality, and her periods are like really, really heavy, she’s probably gonna walk out of the, uh, of the office with a script for birth control pill, um, where.
I would probably say, Okay, so why is this happening in the first place? So the, the pill, I mean, this is like a whole other rabbit hole, but is not, you know, is, is used for contraception. Even though I’ll say that the likelihood, like what happens often on the pill is that we actually kill the woman’s libido.
So like, paradoxically, she’s on the pill, but now she has no interest in sex whatsoever. But let’s just pretend that that doesn’t happen. That’s actually not getting to the root cause of what’s happening, right? We’re not getting to the bottom line in terms of why this happened in the first place. What’s, what we are doing is we’re symptom managing and there’s nothing wrong with symptom management as long as you’re also dedicated to being a bit more of a detective and saying, Okay, so why did this happen in the first place?
So with estrogen dominance specifically, to answer your question, I would say, Some of the first places that I’ll look, I’ll look at genes, right? So, you know, our genes, even though they’re not our destiny, we do certainly have a blueprint. We certainly have a preference for, uh, the way that we metabolize estrogen, let’s say.
And a lot of estrogen metabolism happens in the liver. So we have a couple of different phases of detoxification, of estrogen metabolism. It happens through, uh, something called detoxification, not the cayenne pepper and lemon and honey thing that you might see online, but like there’s, it’s like actual detoxification.
The liver actually does that. Um, there’s sort of three parts to it. There’s something called hydroxylation, then conjugation, and then elimination. And at each of those points, we can actually manipulate or augment, change the way that our liver is detoxing or metabolizing, let’s say estrogen. One of the things that I’ll say for a woman, let’s say, who has too much estrogen and we’ve, we’ve validated that by maybe a Dutch test or we’ve done a blood draw at the appropriate time of the month, um, you can take something like a dim supplement, diol, methane, uh, this is gonna work on phase one of the, of that cycle and it’s gonna actually help to, uh, reduce total estrogen, right?
So if you have too much estrogen, Actually, let me just clarify this because we often just say too much estrogen, but I do wanna get a little bit more nuanced and say that it’s too much estrogen in the second half of the cycle, right? So what, what we’re talking about is actually relative to progesterone.
So when you do experience. Premenstrual type symptoms like the angry breasts and the distorted sleep and the bloating and the constipation. Um, that is really what we’re talking about. It’s too much estrogen relative to progesterone, which only shows up in the second half of the cycle. But taking like a dim supplement, let’s say, um, might help to reduce, um, total estrogen so that we balance the progesterone estrogen ratio in the lal phase of the cycle.
Of course, I’m always a big fan of. Food. So , my green, green leafy vegetables are a really great source of, um, dal methanes, like your, uh, brussel sprouts and your kale, and your bach choy, and your, you know, rub and spinach and all the, all the green leafy vegetables. They also have a lot of naturally occurring fiber, which of course is also going to help bind up excess estrogen and eliminate it through the bowel.
I can’t remember where I was going with this, uh, with this point, but I, you know, specifically with estrogen, there’s things that we can do. To improve, uh, function in the body rather than, let’s say, just covering it up with, you know, a medication like, like the pill. So we can add in things like the green leafy vegetables that are gonna augment your detoxification.
Rachel Scheer: of your body’s serotonin
Dr. Stephanie Estima: is produced by the bacteria that resides in your gut. And this explains
Rachel Scheer: why when my gut was wreck, or when clients come to work with me at Rachel, she nutrition, they don’t just suffer from things like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, but they
Dr. Stephanie Estima: also have symptoms of anxiety, depression,
Rachel Scheer: and brain fog because our gut in our brain
Dr. Stephanie Estima: are highly interconnected.
And as Hypocrites says, All disease begins and ends in the gut, and this is the exact reason why I am so passionate about taking a functional
Rachel Scheer: root cause based approach for any chronic health condition, gut issues, mental health,
Dr. Stephanie Estima: illness, autoimmune
Rachel Scheer: conditions.
Dr. Stephanie Estima: Stubborn weight loss, you name it. Me and my team do a comprehensive analysis looking at all these different systems so we can test instead of just guess and then develop a customized
Rachel Scheer: nutrition plan in protocol to address these root causes and balances in the body and restore function.
If you wanna book a free 30 minute call with anyone from my team, click the link in the show notes or visit rachel shear.com. I think you’re speaking to like the genetic kind of piece of why, you know, estrogen could be high, having like the mood swings, the heavy menstrual cycle and all of that that comes with it, you know, maybe that week before you get your cycle and you know, birth control.
Tend to be, tends to be that quick fix of like, Hey, you have a hormonal imbalance, you have acne, you have skin issues, you have, you know, heavy periods. Here’s the pill. And I know I was put on birth control. I was on for I think, maybe even 10, 10 plus years. And then I decided to come off of it when I had a lot of health issues after competing and trying to get my gut in a better place.
And, um, I just, I just noticed, like, I felt more empowered, you know, very much throughout, uh, My, my life throughout the days of everything there too, I didn’t have anything like estrogen dominance, but I definitely had acne in all of that growing up and that was kind of the main reason why I got on it. Um, but I love that you dive into like that estrogen detoxification side and really identifying that I’m a big fan of the Dutch test myself.
And even like the genetic piece too, like part two is like that methylation piece to go along with it corrected like with lip detox. And that’s something we actually test for quite a bit. Um, I know it’s like, yes, there’s the MTF HR defect that I’m the c o mt, where sometimes people can be good in phase one, but phase two they’re really struggling to to methylate and that can also be a bit of a genetic predisposition or you know, they’re just not really getting a lot of, whether it’s b vitamin.
Things like Shohan. I know that you, you speak a lot too as well, so let’s speak a little bit on that. Some other root causes for maybe why someone could be experiencing the symptoms that they could maybe dive into that’s beyond just right. The standard birth control
Dr. Stephanie Estima: pill. Sure. Yeah. And I, I have to say like the birth, like you said, you know, it’s like a quick fix and there’s so much allure to that, right?
Like if someone has acne or you know, they’re getting hair where they shouldn’t or you know, they’ve missed periods and they don’t know why, like the allure and the simplicity and sort of confident authority with which, you know, a patient is told like, Hey, this is like this little, it’s like a, you know, the.
Low dose. Like I’d love, that’s like my favorite. I’m using air quotes for people that are listening on audio. It’s like low, It’s like a low dose pill. Um, it, the allure around not doing anything other than to remember to pop like a little pill every day is really high because it’s, it’s much more difficult, like orders of magnitude more difficult to say, Okay, let me go and get a genetic test and let me try to have like a pound of vegetables every day and let me try to like clean up my diet.
Like, it’s much harder to do that. So I do want to just say like, I get it. Like I, I totally get why that’s often like we are creatures of like, if you show us an easier way mm-hmm. , you know, like, I remember, I think it was like staples or like, look, it’s an easy button. And it was like a big red button and you just like, if we, if we had an easy button for our health, I would press it, right?
Like I wouldn’t work out five days a week. I’d be like, where’s the ease button? Right. So I tol I totally get it. Um, but to your point around other, uh, reasons why, like you mentioned conjugation, like methylation is one of the pieces of that sort of secondary step. While we’re metabolizing estrogen and other things, by the way as well, Like there are other, you know, we process toxins this way whenever we have medications, this is how our liver will sort of sort like alcohol.
This is how our body will actually get rid of things that are not, uh, that, that we shouldn’t keep in the body. And estrogen is, is one of those, like the golden rule of estrogen, if you will, is like use it and then lose it. Like, if estrogen hangs around for too long, it will. You know, depending on the type of estrogen, like the type of metabolite, um, you can continue to, let’s say, stimulate cell receptors in the breast, right?
So you’re continuing to get like cell proliferation in the breast, which is like never a good idea, right? We always want like the breast to like get a little break from estrogen. Uh, it can shut down estrogen receptors in the bone. So over time, of course, uh, women, particularly in. Late stage per menopause and menopause, that’s something that’s of great importance because we are now going to be in sort of a lower estrogen environment and we wanna be protecting against things like osteopenia and eventually osteoporosis, right?
We don’t wanna have those fragile, um, bones. We want thick, dense bones. Um, so. Methylation, um, is, is certainly important. You mentioned the Mt. Hfr, which is one of many genes. Like, it’s kind of like the famous one because it sounds like a swear word. Uh, but there’s actually a lot of different genes. There’s a lot of different steps.
You mentioned fol, you mentioned like the B vitamins. So we do have to make sure, let’s say when we’re looking at a patient, like the genetics is actually really great here. So I’ll just shout out to, uh, the DNA company, uh, which is a company that I work with, um, a lot. And they do such a great job at looking at your hormonal, um, when you, it’s a genetic testing company, but they’ll look at the way that you metabolize your hormones and they’ll also look at all the different conjugations.
So they’ll look at, uh, glu ionization, glucoronidation, they’ll look at methylation, and then they’ll look at one of the things that they do really well that I don’t think other genetic companies do is they also, they look at your SNPs, right? Like the single. Polymorph, like the single nucleotide polymorphisms, but they also look at copy number variants.
So I, this is like, if someone’s like glazing over with boredom right now, like, I’m so sorry, but this is like really important. Like, I’m so, like, you know, like you and I are like, Oh, this is all great, but for the listener, they’re like, What the hell is she talking about? Copy number variants basically is another way of telling you how many genes you have.
Sometimes you don’t get a gene from mom, like we each get, you know, a pair of genes from mom and dad and a lot of people like, you know, mom’s not gonna give you one and maybe dad gives you one. Or maybe both parents are missing. So you also will see if you even have the gene to methylate or if you even have the gene to process some of the toxins.
So, um, genes are like a really big thing. Um, magnesium, uh, in most women, because we, you know, menstruate every month and we lose blood every month, I would say. And just generally from the. Diet that most of us follow, usually magnesium deficient, and that’s actually one of the augmenters of the comp gene.
Right? So we know that comp actually, the more magnesium you have, the faster and better that that works. That’s part of the methylation, uh, piece as well. So, um, there’s a lot of different, like there’s a lot of like, there’s almost like a thousand ways that we could like slice it up. Yeah. But if you’re someone who runs estrogen dominant, what I would start doing instead of saying, Oh my God, she’s talking about like 4,000 tests or whatever is just start he having more greens.
Yeah. Like in your diet, one of the best action items that you can do is just starting, start having more whole. Foods and in particular vegetables. Like, I like the concept of eating the rainbow, but I do think that I’m more aligned with Kermit the frog here. And I do think that we should be eating more greens.
You know, it’s not easy being green and you should be eat, you should be eating more, uh, more greens, because those do really help with liver detoxification, specifically estrogen metabolism. And you’re also like, the third piece of detoxification, of course, is elimination. And in the gut we have microbes that are specifically dedicated to metabolizing estrogen.
It’s called the estrobolome. So again, consuming green leaf vegetables. I know it sounds too good to be true, but, uh, they do help with the, um, uh, with the concentration of, let’s say enzymes that shouldn’t be there. Uh, and then just the overall health and vitality of the microbiome. The microbiome, um, and some of the other kingdoms, um, let’s say that we have in the, in the, in the gut.
Yeah, and I love that you bring up the
Rachel Scheer: gut cuz that’s a big focus of my practice, like gut health is my baby. And you know, for even our, our clients that we get who are, are maybe suffering with hormonal imbalances, like you guys can do things like broccoli sprouts, you can do some that are. Not super high in a lot of that insoluble fiber, cuz sometimes for people that’s a little bit of a trigger, right?
While we’re working on healing the gut. So eventually we wanna bring those in, but for that healing period of time. But broccoli sprouts is awesome. I think I, I saw and I, You can grow
Dr. Stephanie Estima: your own like they’re so cheap. Yeah. Yeah. I saw like one ounce of
Rachel Scheer: broccoli sprouts is a equivalent to about a pound of broccoli in the amount of salt hoen that it has, which helps exponentially with estrogen detoxification.
So starting first with, you know, the nutrition. I’d say also you guys, like the biggest takeaway from what Dr. Stephanie is talking about is if you are feeling like, like you can’t live your life and it’s really inhibiting you and you’re having to get on medication like birth control or even other medications.
I know women who’ve gotten on like antidepressants and things like that is a byproduct. That’s where. Super essential to really work with someone that will help you get to the root cause, not just give you a bandaid, you know, not just give you an antidepressant or even birth control. Um, I know that’s a lot what got me into this field, uh, of health was being given a bunch of those bandaids.
So I think that’s really the big takeaway along with eating more leafy greens, Christophers vegetables, that’ll help, you know, exponentially. But while we’re on the topic of nutrition, Dr. Stephanie, um, I wanna talk a little bit about how we can eat to really help our cycle as well. Cuz I know you mentioned like, you know, we can work with our cycle and I’ve never really doven into how we should be eating differently based off of different times in our cycle.
So can you speak to that a little?
Dr. Stephanie Estima: Sure. Yeah. So one of the things that, um, I’ve done, I’ve, I’ve created a diet, you know, called it, you know, the TMA diet, like not super , not super creative, just last name diet. Um, so the TMA diet is basically, um, a program that is designed for you to eat alongside or along with, uh, your menstrual cycle.
And I’ll talk about menopausal women as well, because my, my beautiful menopausal women are always like, What about me? I don’t cycle anymore. So we’ll talk. We’ll, also I’ll, I, I will not forget you ladies. Uh, we’ll, I’ll talk to you as well, but for my women who are in their reproductive years and are still cycling or still should be cycling, um, One of the ways that I like to structure a diet for them is sort of in two phases, right?
So the first phase is more of a healing phase. It’s like a nutritional intervention where we’re trying to improve insulin sensitivity. We’re trying to increase, uh, turnover of the cells via, uh, aji. We’re trying to probably, in some cases, lose a little bit of weight because, you know, even with the estrogen conversation that we were having, the more aip, like the more adipose tissue that you have, you’re just naturally gonna be more estrogen dominant anyway, because we see that the fat cells, uh, do, uh, they’re, they work, We used to think that it was just like the sort of inert stuff, but the, it is very much an endocrine organ as well.
So the more adipose tissue you have, the more estrogen dominant, the higher the likelihood that that’s gonna. Um, the case, So the first phase is like a nutritional intervention of a female-centric ketogenic diet. So, uh, what’s a female-centric ketogenic diet? We’ve already talked about it. It’s very plant heavy, right?
So lots of vegetables, you know, to your point around, you know, women with IBS or who just have like digestive trouble, Uh, it doesn’t, it shouldn’t be raw like that. We’re not, I don’t want this to be painful for you, like steamed, sauteed, you know, where we’re getting rid of most of the things that are gonna cause a lot of upset.
Or as you mentioned, like, I think that’s a beautiful suggestion. Like the broccoli sprouts, which are very well tolerated, uh, across most, uh, Populations. So a female-centric ketogenic diet, I usually will follow that for at least one cycle. So one menstrual cycle, let’s say. So if she’s 28 days, just as a number, you know, you’ll follow that for 28 days.
If you’re 29 days, you’ll follow it for 29 days. And then from there, um, you’ll move into phase two of the diet. Um, which is sort of like the long term piece. So there’s two ways that you can do it. The first is to kind of change up your macros week over week. So just using 28 as an example, because it just divides easily into seven.
You would follow a ketogenic diet in week one, and then in week two for the reasons that we were talking about before. We see testosterone rising. We see estrogen rising. This is the week right before you ovulate. I actually like there to be, uh, I don’t like to clamp down so hard on the carbohydrates this week.
I do want you to ovulate. So I will, So we increase the protein, we increase the carbohydrate. So instead of like a, we’ll say like a 70 20 10 or 60 30 10. Uh, that you might follow, like 60% fat, 30% protein, 10% carbs, or 70% 70 20 10, 70 fat, 20 protein, uh, 10 carbs. Uh, in week two you might follow something like a 40 40 20.
So like 40% fat, 40% protein, um, 20% carbohydrates. I can also overlay that in terms of a benefit to your fitness goals as well. Um, if you are someone who is resistance training, and I hope every woman who’s listen is doing some form of resistance training. Three to four times a week. That should be like kind of the base of any exercise program.
This week, again, this pre ovulatory week, uh, we see that testosterone spike. So I like to like profit from that. I like to sort of take advantage that the testosterone is rising cuz it’s kind of the only time in the cycle where we see this little bump of teeth. Uh, so lifting really, really heavy. Um, and then the more protein of course, that you’re consuming, um, you are going to initiate something called muscle protein synthesis, which is just what it sounds like.
You’re synthesizing new muscle proteins and then the carbohydrates that are paired with that. So we’ve doubled your carbohydrates from the week prior, is also gonna help with net muscle protein breakdown. So that’s really important when we’re thinking about muscle growth, which should be every woman’s goal is to put on muscle.
When you have net high synthesis and then you’re restricting the muscle protein breakdown, the overall differential, there is gonna be hypertrophy of the muscle, like the muscle’s gonna get bigger. So I like that 40, 40, 20. In week two, after you ovulate, actually right before you ovulate, a couple days before you ovulate, we actually see like a really big drop in estrogen, right?
So it comes right back down, as you know. Uh, and it almost looks like week one, right? So when you’re bleeding estrogen’s pretty low until we have that really big sort of ale rise in week two. So it comes back down again and you kind of look like. You did in week one. So I usually will return to like a ketogenic style diet.
So you can kind of clamp down again on the, um, carbohydrates if you like. You can also play with fasting. This is a great week to fast as well. And then in week four, that week before your period, again, many of you know, like I’m, you know, you’re all gonna be like, Yep, this is what happens. Like, you’re hungrier, right?
You have more, you, ty you typically have more cravings. So I actually like to increase that macronutrient split again. 40, 40, 20. So protein, one of the things I didn’t mention is very satiating, right? It’s filling. So when you’re having more protein, the likelihood that you are going to kind of be, you know, have your f find your face in the pantry, , you know, is gonna be, is gonna be a little bit lower.
This is in line with something called the protein leverage hypothesis, which is to say that our bodies will seek out a certain amount of protein, and if and when that is satisfied, like the cravings shut down, we’re not rummaging around for more fat and more carbohydrates. And if the, that protein sat, that protein level is not satisfied, then we tend to overeat on both the fat side and the carbohydrate side.
So this is a way for women when we are particularly vulnerable to overeating, to snacking, to fe like to be, you know, to being, um, you know, slaves, let’s say, uh, to our cravings. You can sort of, you know, override that to some extent by increasing the amount of protein. Um, that you’re having. The other thing I like to actually counsel women to do this week is to actually have more calories.
And I know that most women are like, Oh my God, did she just say that? But you’re metabolically more active. Like this week you’re actually burning more calories because you have this sort of frenzied, it’s like, do or die in your over, like your, your uterus is like, are we getting pregnant lady or not?
Right? So there’s like, you know, we’ve built up this endometrial lining over the course, let’s say, of the month and it’s at, its thickest. Like you’ve thrown in, like all your macros are in there, All of your minerals are in there. Like there’s vitamins and everything that’s sort of. Created this five star hotel, if you will, for the potential of receiving a fertilized egg.
So our metabo, like our metabolism, is actually higher, so you can afford to eat, uh, a little bit more. So usually I’ll counsel people to, you know, increase their calories like maybe 10%, something like that. That’s that my question. Yeah, it’s not, it’s not a ton. Like if you’re someone who’s consuming, I don’t know, 1600, 1800 calories, like that’s 160 or 180 calories, like
Rachel Scheer: it’s, it’s like a slight increase, not an
Dr. Stephanie Estima: to go eat whatever.
Yeah. It’s not the Ben and Jerry store. It’s just like an apple and some peanut butter, you know? Okay. Okay.
Rachel Scheer: So kind of summarizing this, cuz this is awesome information here. I think like more women need to know about what I’m hearing is like at the beginning, um, right after you have your cycle, it’s doing a little bit more like that ketogenic type diet where you’re in that beginning phase.
Um, keeping carbohydrates, low fats, fat’s, higher protein, kind of moderate. And then, you know, before you, when you get into that second week before you ovulate, that’s typically where you pick up more of those carbohydrates cuz testosterone’s going up a little bit. That’s a great time to, we’ll talk a little bit more about the resistance training, but you know, to hit, hit new PRS and the gym kind of go a little bit more heavy with the rate, with the weights and then this.
The last two weeks, this is where you were saying two still are up protein right before the cycle because of a lot of those cravings? Or after the cycle,
Dr. Stephanie Estima: or during, Yeah. Right, Right before. Yeah. So it’s basically a repetition. So week one and two, we repeat in three, four. So if week one is keto, week three is keto week two, high protein, week four, high protein.
Rachel Scheer: So that’s awesome. So it’s a little bit of like carb cycling almost. Correct. But like throughout your entire cycle. Mm-hmm. super, super interesting. I actually need to, I wanna try
Dr. Stephanie Estima: that myself.
Rachel Scheer: Um, you know, and even with a lot of my clients, because I haven’t, I’ve done like carb cycling, I do a lot of carb back loading, but it’s typically like that normal 24 hour period, kind like going off of, right off of a guy too.
So I’ve never really thought about to cycle it throughout the month and really see how that affects mood and energy and building muscle. Would this work for someone who. You know, having any goal, let’s say building muscle or maintenance or even a calorie deficit, cuz I know you said in like that second week, right?
That’s a good time to go a little bit more heavy and work on building muscle, um, by upping protein, doing a little bit more heavy weight training. Would that still work for somebody who, let’s say, is in a calorie deficit and trying to kind of maintain in that maybe they have like 50
Dr. Stephanie Estima: or even like 20 pounds to lose?
So I wanna say that I think that a woman should be lifting heavy all through her cycle, but it’s the way that we lift heavy, that changes, right? So not all cycles are the same, but when we are, let’s say when we’re bleeding, let’s say week one, and maybe we’ll go through the weeks and that might make a little bit more sense.
I think that a woman should, when, you know, maybe the first day or two, you know, you’re feeling a little crampy, maybe a little lethargic. So maybe you’re not lifting, uh, weights. Maybe you save the leg day, you know, for later on in the week. Um, But I will say that lifting heavy when you’re feeling up to it is going to be optimal for you.
So what I often will counsel women to do is to have a medium range set. So let’s say, uh, you’re lifting as heavy as you can for somewhere between eight and maybe 12 or 15 repetitions. So that would be, that means that at the end of, let’s say if you set out, Okay, I’m gonna do 12 reps today, I’m gonna do 12 overhead presses, then I’m gonna do 12 polls or push it, you know, however you structured your workout at rep 12, you should not be able to do another rep without breaking form.
That’s what that means. So it should still be heavy, but it’s heavy for 12. In week two when we talked about testosterone, rising motor cortex is on fire, estrogen is rising. All the things, you are lifting as heavy as you can for five to seven reps. So you can see already that the weight is going to go up in week two because you’re doing about half of the repetitions, right?
So you should be able to bump up the weight, the, like, the absolute number, right? And then in week three, because it’s very much a hormonal environment that mimics week one, we come back to that like eight to 12, eight to 15, call it, uh, rep range. So again, if it’s tw, if you’ve chosen 12 for yourself, then it’s like at rep 12, I shouldn’t be able to do anything else without ha, without breaking form.
And then in week four, last week, We tend to just like, you know, it’s just, it’s a little bit of a harder week, so I still think that you should be lifting, but now the weights really drop in terms of weight, and then the reps go up high. So now, instead of doing eight to 12 or five to seven or whatever, now we’re doing like 15 to 30, you know, 15 to 20, 15 to 30 reps.
So you can see like if you’re doing 30 reps of something right, it’s gonna be a lighter weight. The whole kind of overarching, like this is, I write like this is all laid out in the book. So, um, you know, if you’re trying to frantically take notes, you can just pick up the book. And I, I go through all of it.
There’s bonuses and all of that in there, but the overarching theme here is you shouldn’t get to muscle failure, but you should be getting close to it. Hmm. You know what I mean? So you should be getting close to it where your muscles are like, Okay, if you do one more girl, like this is not gonna end well.
So that’s, that’s sort of how I. Uh, women to think about it, that we are approaching muscle, uh, failure. So you’ve definitely fatigued the muscle enough, like there’s been enough tearing in the muscle in the Maya site, like in that sort of unit where you need to, you know, consume the protein and the carbohydrates afterwards to help build the muscle back.
Rachel Scheer: let’s speak to a little bit about the muscle side. Well, before I even dive into that one, this is awesome information and you guys definitely need to check out her book. Um, because this is even something that’s new for me, like cycling the nutrition and cycling the training, you know, for, for the cycle.
I know we’ll talk a little bit about menopausal women here in a minute. Uh, but just weight training in general. You know, I have a lot of women who listen to my show and they’re like, just kind of getting into wheat training and there’s a little bit of that like fear side of it, right? Yeah. Um, cardio junkies out there.
I know one of the biggest things that I see with women, especially as they enter into their menopausal year, is they’re under muscled, you know, and they’re over fat. So then therefore they’re insulin resistance. They have a ton of inflammation, and this is actually at the core in a lot of ways why they have a lot of the symptoms that they’re dealing with because muscle is just placed such a huge role.
I’ve had Dr. Gabriel line who I think, you know, on my podcast before, and so we dove into all of the, the benefits of having more muscle. Um, but what is your thoughts for women, you know, especially who are like we. Fear, right? Women have the fear of the gym and lifting heavy weights. I know like the fear of getting big and bulky, and I always say, Guys, I’ve been lifting weights for like, I’m a little person and I’ve been lifting as much as I can for for 10 plus years, pretty much most days per week.
And I’m like, This is as much as my physiology. Well even let me get big. And I’m like, So do you think I’m big? And they’re like, No. And I’m like, Okay. Exactly. But I know that’s a fear. So I’d love to speak to that fear a little bit, you know, for especially the women, you know, maybe who are in the years where they can build muscle, but also to, is it possible for women to also build a good amount of muscle even after
Dr. Stephanie Estima: the menopausal years too?
Yeah, these are great questions. So I, I too see this myth persist that if women are gonna lift heavy, that they’re gonna turn into the Hulk, that they’re gonna get bulky. And I think a lot of that comes, unfortunately from the fitness industry, right? When they’re trying to sell like gidgets and gadgets, and they’ll say, Look, you’re gonna look toned.
You know? And like, just so we’re clear, because I’m a bit of a word nerd tone. When we talk about tone, this is more of a nervous system comment, right? You’re hypertonic, you’re hypotonic, you’re atonic, you know, like you either have a reflex or you don’t. It’s too much, it’s too little. So when we say tone, it has nothing to do with muscle.
You can’t tone muscle. Uh, just like you can’t build long, lean muscles. Like you can’t change the origin and atta insertion sites of the muscle. Like where your bicep starts, where your bicep starts, and it’s not gonna get longer. I will. So for the women who are scared of getting bulky, like I love you and I.
Here you, I would invite you to think about your own physiology. Like if you are the type, like certainly there are type, there are women who can get very bulky. But when we talk about the prevalence in the female population, for that kind of woman, it’s like under 1%. Like you would know, like, you would know that you put on muscle really, really easily because you might look like you would already be very lean.
You would already have a very low, uh, fat mass because you would te you would probably tend to be what, we haven’t talked about it today, but like more androgen dominant. So someone who, uh, has more, uh, conversion of, let’s say, uh, there’s a preferential pathway with testosterone and like dihydro testosterone, like these androgen dominant women.
Tend to be, um, more lean, they tend to put on muscle very, very easily. So if that’s not you, that’s not you, , right? Like you would already know. So for the 99 point, whatever, five of us where we don’t run, we don’t have this problem with androgen dominance, you’re gonna have to work to put on muscle. Mm-hmm.
And I’ll tell you, like I competed, like you mentioned, like I competed in in figure, uh, when I was living in uh, New York, I worked my butt off for, I mean, I have been lifting weights for decades, but like, I was trying, like all I wanted for Christmas was one more plate on the leg press, like I was trying to put on weight.
And it was like, it was incredibly painful, incredibly difficult. So I hope that that gives women some sola, like you’re gonna have to really lift heavy and probably take some exogenous substances to get. To the big grotesque kind of image that you have in your head. And I think sometimes, you know, when we look at body building competitions and we look at females, like they can look, you know, very different than us.
And then the message has been like, you don’t wanna look like that. You wanna look like this. So by this shake weight, or buy this, like whatever garbage that they’re mm-hmm. you no, you know, no shade to shake weight, but don’t get that. It’s a piece of, anyway, so, um, so we want, we wanna be thinking about.
Lifting weights, You know, Gabrielle is, is a good friend of mine. Uh, we share the same philosophy. Our backgrounds are very similar as well in that, you know, the more muscle you have, um, you mentioned already like you’ll be much more insulin like sensitized because one of the beautiful things that muscle does is it can independent, independent of insulin actually.
Glucose out of the bloodstream and dispose of it and use it, you know, use it for, for the muscle, right? It phosphorolates the glucose once it kind of gets in there so the glucose can’t get back into the bloodstream. Um, so you’re able to have more carbs, ladies, the more muscle you have. Um, and of course makes like all the vein things like, makes you look good in a bikini.
Like I did a post, uh, on my Instagram, something like, you know, you gotta train like a beast to look like a Butte. You know, like, you know, I’m sure when women look at you they’ll be like, I just wanna look just like you, like toned, you know, And it’s like, girl, you know how much I’m lifting? You know, like, you might be petite, but you’re, you’re also lifting a significant percentage of your body weight, you know, kind depending if you’re doing upper, uh, or lower body or what have you.
But the idea that you’re gonna bulk up isn’t just not gonna happen. Like, you’re gonna have to work really hard and probably take, you know, some type of like, you know, exogenous testosterone or something for that to actually, for that to realize.
Rachel Scheer: Yeah, I agree with you that I think a lot of the fear comes from, you know, the fitness industry too, and just like different products they’re wanting to sell with the terminology, you know, tone, build, lean muscle, turn your fat into to muscle, or even just things like that.
Dr. Stephanie Estima: that’s a fun one too.
Rachel Scheer: Yeah, no, really make a whole lot of sense there. Um, and then when I coach my clients, I’m like, This is what I’m doing. And they’re like, Whoa. Like that’s like, that’s a lot. And I’m like, Yep. And this is as big as I’ve gotten. Like I competed in bikini and now was still definitely on, on the petite side too, and I know a lot of that’s my frame.
And I think too for some women, you know, they’re coming in with probably a lot of adipose tissue and then in their mind is thinking like, okay, now build muscle. Right? And what they’re probably noticing too is they’re probably going straight to like, not a, being in a proper calorie deficit and then thinking building muscles.
So like Right. The, the size gets bigger over time and they’re like, Oh my gosh, I’m too bulky. And that’s where we really need to, we can still focus on the muscle side, you know, still do resistance training, do a lot of that wellbeing in a calorie deficit, and you’ll at least maintain a lot of that skeletal muscle mass, you know, but lose a good amount of that adipose tissue.
But I, I agree with you and it should never not be the focus, not doing resistance training that can be for anybody building or even trying to lose fat too, would you say?
Dr. Stephanie Estima: Yeah, I, I agree with that. I think that, you know, when you think about, Oh, well if I have this sort of layer of subcutaneous fat and then I start putting muscle under it, I’m gonna start to look bigger.
What we forget. In that equation, you know, while that simpl like, you know, it’s a little bit over reductionistic because of course what we know is as you’re putting on muscle, you are gonna augment your basal metabolic rate. Your resting metabolic rate, your ability to use fat is going, like you, your fat is going to relatively get smaller because your metabolism without you doing anything other than, you know, hitting the weights, let’s say a couple times a week, is going to lift.
And so my, uh, philosophy with women and a lot of women, you know, when they first start working with me, you know, it’s, it can, it can sound like a shock, but certainly for, like right now I’m in a caloric deficit because I’m, I’m, I’m just cutting right now. I have a shoot at the end of the month and, you know, so I’m in, I’m in a caloric deficit, but most of the, most of the year I’m gonna build.
So I’m either at maintenance calories or I’m in a slight surplus. And because muscle needs substrate to grow, And we’ve been taught as women to just be as like itty bitty, teeny tiny, uh, you know, small, like, so small that we’re gonna disappear, right? So I have all these women that are like, I’ve been having 1100 calories for 10 years, and you know, it doesn’t work anymore.
Like now I’m 45 and I can’t, you know, I can’t see, It doesn’t work for me the way it worked for me when I was 35 or 25. And it’s like, yeah, because your metabolism is in the pits, right? So when you start lifting weights, you’re gonna naturally increase. Your metabolic rate, when you start eating more food to fuel the growth of the muscle, you’re also going to increase your digestion, increase your caloric output.
You’re gonna have more strength gains in the gym, which is gonna lead to more hypertrophy. Like my whole philosophy with food, certainly, like I’m okay with a caloric deficit, especially like you mentioned, you know, you have a, a client who has like 20 pounds to lose, 50 pounds to lose. I’ve had, uh, women lose, you know, I’ve, I, I’ve worked with a, a morbid, the obese woman who had like a hundred pounds to lose.
So certainly a caloric deficit, we can, we can work with that, but it doesn’t have to be as painful as, like, I, I remember growing up and it was like, well, if you wanna lose a pound a week, you have to find like 500 cal, like a 500 calorie deficit every day. Mm-hmm. . And that’s really painful. Like, it’s really hard to eat 500 calories less.
But if you’re thinking about the adaptations that come from, Resistance training, like the augmented metabolic rate, you can actually afford to eat more over time. You know, the women who have muscle, they eat . Mm-hmm. , like they eat muscle. It’s, they eat food because muscle is functional, active tissue, it requires substrate, it requires the glucose and the protein and all the things.
So it can assemble these muscle proteins that we’ve been discussing. So I think that, um, you know, my goal, uh, personally with the exception of like when I’m cutting for these specific little photo shoots that happen, uh, is, is to see how much I can eat . It’s like, how much can I actually eat, uh, and, you know, continue to put on muscle and continue to, like, I wanna, you know, one of the, my stated goals, um, if you’ve ever listened to my show or, or read the book or whatever, like, I wanna be like a kick as.
95 year old, like I wanna get down, like when my babies have babies, I wanna be able to say, no. I’ll take them for the day. Like you go to work, I’ll spend the day with them at the park. I wanna get down on the floor and play with their little toys, be able to pick them up from the floor. All of those things require.
Leg strength, proprioception, flexibility and mobility in the hip, ankle, knee joint. Like I wanna be the favorite grandmother. Like I wanna be the grandmother that my little grandchildren eventually, you know, come running to because I’m the fun one. And in order to do that, I have to start thinking about what that means right now when I’m in my forties, right?
So that means putting on muscle now, um, taking advantage of me not being in menopause. But even if I was in menopause for my menopausal ladies, you can still build a lot of muscle in menopause it. You know, we used to think like, oh, it’s like there’s a low estrogen environment, so it’s like really hard.
You can still do it because you can manipulate the mechanical stimulus, right? Like that when you’re getting in the gym and you’re ripping apart the muscle fibers. Uh, and then you can also have a higher protein diet. So my menopausal ladies, like we were talking about the diet and the fitness and stuff for women who are menstruating.
Menopausal women actually in some ways, uh, are free. Like they, you know, in, in some ways they actually do behave a little bit more like men in that they no longer have this like cyclical fertility cycle that they’re trying to optimize so they can have higher protein more often. They can lift heavy more.
Well, they should always be lifting heavy, in my opinion, but they don’t necessarily need to bump up calories in week four and then go keto and then like they can kind. They can sort of stay on more of a higher protein like that 40, 40, 20 I find works really, really well. Um, for a lot of menopausal women.
I’ve tried cycling, uh, with menopausal women. Some of them love it. So I’ll say you don’t have a cycle anymore. So just like follow the moon, right? So when it’s a full moon, when it’s a new moon waning waxing moon. Um, but I’ve had like a lot of, from the years I’ve been sort of running this cyclical eating and training, I’ve had enough menopausal women say to me that it’s, you know, worth mentioning here that they just love the 40, 40 20.
They’re like, I just feel so awesome on that. So it’s kind of a toss up. You have to play with it and see, but the, the benefit of being menopausal in many ways is you have like all the wisdom and experience of your life and you don’t have to, um, you know, try to optimize this fertility cycle anymore because you know it’s not there.
Yeah, I, I love
Rachel Scheer: that we dive into like the menopausal piece because I think it is that common, you know, story that women can’t build muscle post-menopausal. And I think part of that comes from too, the fact that just women who’ve not been doing resistance training, not getting in enough protein, like you said, chronically eating 1100 calories per day to be ty bitty, they then enter into menopause and they do have a lot of these health issues.
And it, it’s not so much due to the menopause in itself, it’s due to the fact that they have spent probably the last 30, you know, 40 years even maybe like undereating, no resistance training. And they’re like, Oh my gosh, it’s my hormones. And it’s like, well, No, it’s not the lack of hormones, it’s the fact that you know, your body composition, you’re missing muscle mass.
So, you know, I like that you speak that it’s not too late at least, but it is also so important to start, you know, as soon as possible. So if you’re listening to this today and you’re like not into resistance training, you know, and the goal is like fat loss. Like we need to be focused on this. Like it truly is the key to longevity, to feeling good, getting to your nineties, just like you said Dr.
Stephanie. And just like being able to do the things you wanna do and also feel good in your body and not mess up your entire metabolism and a process. So I think that’s crucial for all women to hear. Just always going back to. Get in your protein lift heavy stuff every single day. And just like you said, you know, we’ll, we’ll train like a beast.
Dr. Stephanie Estima: Look like a beauty. So, Absolutely. I love that. Yeah, that’s, that’s like my philosophy and I hope, you know, I always say, you know, for the women, let’s say if you’re a 55 or 16, you’re like, I’ve just been that cardio bunny and doing my Pilates, and you know, those are still great. The best time to start would was 10 years ago.
And the second best time to start is today. Like, it doesn’t matter how old you are. And there’s actually countless women on, there’s a couple of, uh, women I’m thinking of in particular on Instagram. They’re like 60. I I, I, I think I was watching like a 65 year old woman and she was doing. Chin ups with like a chain.
And she had like, she was doing like, it was 45 pound, uh, weight, sort of suspended off of her hips. And she was like just punching out chin up after Chinup after Chinup. And I was like, I bow down to you. Yeah, I forget the
Rachel Scheer: name. I wonder if we’re talking about the same woman, but she’s got like short hair.
Dr. Stephanie Estima: hair. Yes. Yes. And she, and, but she
Rachel Scheer: changed her body composition completely like later, way later on in life. It wasn’t when she was younger. And she like then got into like weight lifting, nutrition and I think, like you said, she was in at least late sixties, even maybe seventies. And she just crushed in it.
But I was like, How badass, Like that’s, I wanna be that. But she also like, yes, we would’ve loved to start earlier, but I think it’s also that much more inspiring that even later on in life too, she also then got into it and now she’s crushed it in the gym with, you know, 30, 30 year old 40 year olds in there
Dr. Stephanie Estima: too.
Yeah. And I think, you know, we all have our own journey, right? Like some people are not ready to hear the resistance training message yet. Maybe you’re gonna be 55 when it really lands for you, you know, maybe even struggling with something that hasn’t been able to be, you know, resolved. And this is like, you know, maybe you think, Okay, I’ll just try it.
Like Rachel and stuff are talking about it, so I’ll just see if it works. So wherever you are, however this is landing, like it doesn’t matter when it’s just, just do something. Just start it. Like, don’t worry about should a coulda, woulda, you know, we as women, I think we should, we should, should, should. All the time, right?
We’re always shooting, so I think we should just like get rid of that and just start. Yeah. Well, I
Rachel Scheer: think everything you’ve talked about on this entire podcast has been incredibly valuable. I’m gonna get your book myself and really dive into it a bit more.
Dr. Stephanie Estima: Oh, I’ll send it to you. I’ll send it to you. Yeah.
And, and for
Rachel Scheer: those who are like hearing this, like even if it’s the smallest takeaway is like, I need to start lifting weights, Like that’s a massive win there, you know, And then it’s just like that one baby step. Like, I’m gonna start with doing some weights, so then I’m gonna like focus on protein and it doesn’t have to be this big thing.
And I know some of you guys may be listening to us talking all about the estrogen detoxification and, you know, the, the timing of your cycle. And it’s like, that may be a good place to eventually get to. But we’re not saying like, Hey, maybe do that right now immediately if you’re, if you’re new to this, like just start with, you know, lifting some weights.
Just start with focusing on your protein intake. And I think for a lot of women who even just start with that, it’s gonna give ’em a lot of confidence and it’s gonna give ’em a lot of immediate wins. It could really domino from there after, so, Yeah. Dr. Stuffy, this has been awesome, and I wanna be very, very conscious of your time here today.
I could pick your brain for forever, and I’ll definitely have to get you to come back on the show at a, at a later date. Um, but is there anything that you would want to share with the audience who’s listening that maybe we didn’t get a chance to touch
Dr. Stephanie Estima: on? I would just say, um, if you want to sort of learn a little bit more the be, you know, we’ve talked about the book, The Betty Body.
I think that would be a great place to start. I too am a podcast host, so you can, you can jump over onto my podcast. It’s called Better, uh, with Dr. Stephanie. Yeah, I think those are really good resources to start with people. I think if you, you start there and then, Oh, you can follow me on Instagram too.
I’m pretty active on Instagram. So, Dr. First name, last name, Dr. Stephanie Estem. Okay, we’ll put
Rachel Scheer: of that in the show notes everybody. Gogi, Dr. Stephanie Estima, a follow on social media. Check out her website, check out her book, Better Body. She puts awesome content out there. I already learned so much just researching all about her for today’s podcast and learned even more here today.
So Dr. Stephanie’s been an honor to have you on and this is Ben Sheer Madness.
Dr. Stephanie Estima: Thank you so much.
Rachel Scheer is a Certified Nutritionist who received her degree from Baylor University in Nutrition Science and Dietetics. Rachel has her own private nutrition and counseling practice located in McKinney, Texas. Rachel has helped clients with a wide range of nutritional needs enhance their athletic performance, improve their physical and mental health, and make positive lifelong eating and exercise behavior changes.