Finding ways to make life easier and get quality results faster is not a new concept. It is the driving force behind every industry dating back to the creation of the wheel! Humans, as a general rule, quite enjoy maximizing their returns on investment, whether that investment is of time, money, or effort. It is no wonder, then, that health heroes have risen above the crowd in the last handful of years, promising us optimal health, wellness, and MORE TIME ever afforded to us before. And it’s all through the ever-evolving science of biohacking.
Biohacking for Women: A Relatively New Science
When I say “Biohacking”, I mean using accessible-to-normal-people tips, tricks, and supplements to optimize your health, well being, and capabilities across the physical, mental, and emotional realms. Amazing and prolific experimenters/writers/bloggers like Tim Ferriss and Dave Asprey have provided us with a wealth of information on a broad range of biohacking topics, from speed reading to brain super-fueling to freakish fat loss and intermittent fasting to reverse aging. They talk about supplement stacks and dietary modifications tailored to multiple physical goals. I have devoured the information and tried my hand at a multitude of the suggestions, but have found something a little disheartening to be true:
The hacks are not necessarily optimally designed for female bodies, which have completely different hormonal influences than the male body.
Example: Leptin & Ghrelin
This is not a matter of better-than/worse-than; this is purely biological and objective. As an example, let’s look at the “hunger hormones” of leptin and ghrelin. How hunger hormones leptin (which is produced by fatty tissue and is meant to decrease hunger signals to the brain) and ghrelin (which is produced by the stomach and is meant to increase hunger signals) interact with the human bodies is hugely affected by the presence of estrogen, which we know women have much greater concentrations of, especially during childbearing years. Women also tend to create more than double the leptin of males per body-fat unit, AND be more sensitive to leptin-resistance, which tells us to KEEP EATING.
Leptin and ghrelin are only two hormones that vary in concentrations between the genders. We also have the traditionally female sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, LH, FSH, etc), male sex hormones (testosterone and other androgens, sometimes referred to as steroids), thyroid hormones, stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, oxytocin (aka the cuddling hormone), and the list goes on. Hormone levels are already unique from person to person, but they are drastically different between the sexes.
This is why we need to take a deeper look into the best way to “hack” the female body. It is a wonderful, beautiful set of systems that are very different from the wonderful, beautiful set of systems that make up the male body. All of these differences should be celebrated and studied, but until now, it has been a primarily male-information-dominated field. The medical field in general has historically focused on male-participant studies, but the tides are changing. I am excited to join that change!
Coming from a background of cheffing with special attention to restrictive diets and nutritional healing, I firmly believe that a) all changes start from within and b) 95% or more of what ails us physically, and even mentally and emotionally, can be improved if not remedied by eating the right foods. Much like Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
What Do We Want to Achieve?
The purpose of this journey is to work with my own body and the bodies of female volunteers to unlock the secrets of **EASILY**:
• Maintaining a happy, healthy gut
• Supercharging brain power, focus, and concentration
• Reversing Type II diabetes with blood sugar management
• Gaining strength and endurance for physical training
• Falling asleep and staying asleep
• Reducing both the intensity and frequency of migraines
• Attaining a healthy BMI
• Increasing daily energy and metabolism
• Achieving even healthier blood panel and enzyme test results
• Managing emotions and moods
• Finding ways to decrease and manage chronic pain
• Healing skin conditions like acne, ecszema, and keratosis pilaris
• Growing stronger hair, skin, and nails FASTER
• Boosting fertility, crushing PCOS, or simply bringing our cycles to “regularity” with homespun hormone balancing
• AND MORE!!!
Why is this important to me?
To be honest, I do not suffer from all of these conditions and as mentioned will be calling upon members of my community to help. I also think that the BMI scale is ridiculous, pointless, and outdated. But now more than ever, with a growing list of “pre-existing conditions” from obesity to minor mental health issues that may no longer be covered by insurance companies as the landscape changes (at least in the United States), it is imperative that we take charge of our own health and happiness as women. As happier, healthier, stronger, and more resilient versions of ourselves, we’ll be much more able to change the ENTIRE world, or just our own worlds, for the better.
Start Your XX Engines…
Over the next 6 weeks, starting Monday June 12th, the experiments in health-optimization will begin with myself and a few other lady participants. Personal baseline blood & hormone panels already conducted. Daily food-exercise-meditation-supplementation to be recorded. Weekly health updates via Instagram & Twitter. Increased science-based informative posts coming your way RIGHT HERE, so I’d take a minute to subscribe and get all the upcoming posts and recipes delivered right to your inbox.
Either join me or follow me in becoming your happiest, healthiest, most badass babe yet! And let me know in the comments what health goals YOU would like to see tackled over time. Together, we can accomplish ANYTHING!
A Few Resources on Hormones and Gender
Women hormone cycle: http://womeninbalance.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/36/files/2012/10/HormoneCycle.jpg
Women have more adipose tissue: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908522/
Gender & leptin: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8902186
Women, leptin, and leptin resistance: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/leptin-ghrelin-weight-loss
Ghrelin in conjunction with the menstrual cycle: https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article-lookup/doi/10.1210/jc.2002-021169
Women and testosterone – Men produce 10x as much as women, yet it is still “our the most abundantly biologically active hormone” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/30/testosterone-women-hormone-therapy_n_3634847.html