I’m not going to lie: when I first read WomanCode, the book didn’t resonate with me the way it does now.
I first picked up the book hoping to learn a little something more about my hormones and the female body — which I did. But it didn’t teach me anything I couldn’t have learned in a sex ed class, if my school had actually taught me sex ed.
Now that I know about my endometriosis, however, I set out to reread this book, figuring that my hormones had become a much more important part of my everyday life. And I was right!
Rereading WomanCode taught me so much about bringing my hormonal issues in check that I even preordered Alisa’s second book, In the FLO, and started working on the preorder challenge. (Follow along on Instagram @lovelyandlazy, where I’ll be holding myself accountable throughout the challenge!)
Here is my honest review of WomanCode, which is in no way sponsored by anyone affiliated with the book, and why I think women everywhere should practice the cycle syncing method.
Facts About Female Hormones
Do you think about your hormones on a daily basis? Probably not — but your hormones are affecting every move you make, whether you realize it or not! I recently attended an online webinar by Alisa Vitti, author of WomanCode, where she shared some fascinating facts about female hormones. For example….
- Over 47% of women say they struggle with hormonal problems.
- 60% of women report being sexually dissatisfied.
- Most diet, fitness and medical research is performed on male subjects and is not actually applicable to the female body.
- Your brain is up to 25% structurally different across your cycle, known as the infradian rhythm.
- Many people are practicing Alisa’s cycle syncing method, including the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team!
Alisa’s Story & Advice
When Alisa Vitti was in college, she was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Her doctor told her that her only option for treatment was basically to take birth control pills and hope for the best. So, Alisa asked, “What else can I do?” The doctor was stumped!
Fast forward years later, and Alisa’s research on women’s hormone health has led her to start FLO Living, a holistic wellness center for women based in NYC, as well as to develop the WomanCode protocol, a method for what Alisa calls “cycle syncing,” or adapting your diet, exercise and activities to the four phases of your menstrual cycle: menstrual, ovulatory, follicular and luteal.
In her book WomanCode, Alisa not only outlines her protocol, but also explains what the heck these four phases are and how women can tell what phase of their cycle they’re in by observing their bodies and their symptoms. She also explains the various hormones produced by the pituitary glands and other systems in the body, and how they affect our day-to-day lives.
As a woman, and especially as a woman with endo, the idea that my cycle could work with me, rather than against me, was completely foreign to me…. until I picked up this book. WomanCode showed me how I could nurture my body and be more gentle with myself by adjusting my activities to match my cycle, rather than “pushing through” my menstrual fatigue or mid-cycle pelvic pain.
One of my favorite parts of Alisa’s WomanCode protocol is that it isn’t all “eat this, work out like that.” She also stresses the importance of tapping into your feminine energy and seeking balance in your life. While some people on Goodreads thought this part of the book was sexist, I think they’re missing the point. You shouldn’t have to act like a man to be respected like a man. You can still be loving and nurturing, and embody traditionally female characteristics, while totally kicking ass. Just look at Elle Woods!
Another highlight of the WomanCode protocol is Alisa’s chapter on sexuality. It’s my opinion that female sexuality has been ignored and woman’s concerns about low libido brushed off for far too long. As someone who’s often struggled with low libido due to depression and pelvic pain, I found it incredibly enlightening to learn about how my sexuality changes throughout my cycle and what I can do to naturally improve my sex drive.
My main issue with this book is its emphasis on diet and exercise, particularly Alisa’s “every meal, every day” mantra. The WomanCode protocol isn’t a diet, exactly, but it may trigger you if you have a history of an eating disorder — because unlike in other parts of the book, Alisa only very briefly mentions the idea of balance when it comes to following her nutritional recommendations.
Alisa does mention that you don’t need to be perfect when following the dietary protocol, but she also advocates for ditching dairy and gluten altogether, demonizes caffeinated beverages like coffee and neglects to mention that some “less healthy” foods, like dark chocolate, are actually fantastic for your health! She also has a detox plan listed in the book, which is utter B.S. considering that our liver, colon and other organs are literally designed to detox our bodies without any additional support.
Thus, my advice is to read the dietary section with caution (or skip it altogether) if you come into WomanCode with a history of an eating disorder, like many of you guys do. However, I did find value in what WomanCode had to say about female hormones and do believe that every woman would benefit from tapping into her female sexual and spiritual energy, whether at work or at home!