Struggling through menopause? CEO of Fast Forward Wellness and intermittent fasting coach, Laurie Lewis, shares her passion for helping women thrive!
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Fasting Your Way To Wellness In Menopause

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Struggling through menopause? CEO of Fast Forward Wellness and intermittent fasting coach, Laurie Lewis, shares her passion for helping women thrive!

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IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:

  • Main causes of diet culture and how to combat them
  • Why you should learn about fasting and menopause
  • Intermittent fasting: What it is, its benefits, and how to implement it
  • What happens to your body when you fast?
  • How to make intermittent fasting work for you

RESOURCES/LINKS MENTIONED:

Get the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card as we celebrate the upcoming 100th episode of the imPERFECTLY emPOWERED podcast. Visit https://hammersnhugs.com/100-episode-giveaway to enter and splurge just in time for Christmas!

We’re thrilled to have world-renowned health coach Laurie Lewis on today’s episode to chat about intermittent fasting, its advantages, and how making it part of your daily routine. So tune in and learn easy-to-implement fasting strategies so you can shine as you age!

ABOUT: LAURIE LEWIS

Laurie is a certified health coach who has changed thousands of lives through her Intermittent Fasting coaching. She uses time-tested principles to take on individual and group clients on Zoom and to help determined, exasperated, busy people who are tired of dieting from the United States to New Zealand to Ghana to Israel to Scotland.

We’re thrilled to have world-renowned health coach Laurie Lewis on today’s episode to chat about intermittent fasting, its advantages, and how making it part of your daily routine. So tune in and learn easy-to-implement fasting strategies so you can shine as you age!

CONNECT WITH: LAURIE 

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Transcript

This isn’t a diet, it’s a quiet. People come to intermittent fasting for all of the weight loss. But what people discover very quickly as I did is that I felt more grounded and present. And in that quiet, our brain starts to work correctly. Welcome to the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast with DIY healthy lifestyle blogger on a former empowering you to transform your life.
One imperfect day at a time. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I am your host, Anna Fullmer. Today we have intermittent fasting coach and author, Lori. Louis Lori is the CEO of the company Fast Forward Wellness, where she specifically coaches women through the eating schedule of intermittent fasting.
She is passionate about empowering women in perimenopause and menopause to. Thrive here to share her expertise. Welcome Lori Lewis. So great to meet you. Yeah, it is so wonderful to have you. I really have enjoyed looking over what you do. I’m so excited to break it down. Fast forward wellness and it’s perfect timing because women struggling.
With health and wellness through menopause is questions that I get asked all the time and mm-hmm. as a woman who has not hit menopause yet, there’s times that I just think I’m limited. You know, we’re often limited when we don’t have experience ourselves more sure that you can have all the expertise in the world, but until you have personally experienced it, you’re always a little limited.
So I am thrilled to have you here. I always like to press the rewind button a little bit and just chat a little bit about your journey to becoming an intermittent fasting coach and the owner of C, or and CEO, I should say, of fast forward wellness and just tell me a little bit about. You and how you got to where you are.
Well, you know, Anna, I have had an interest, a curiosity about nutrition and feeding myself well, when I was in my late twenties, I had this thought one day I was just eating what normally like a normal O American, you know? And all of a sudden it hit me. I had this thought, which was, Oh, I think this Diet Coke isn’t good for me.
Yeah. like, hmm. And that began. So from that moment, I stopped drinking soda and pop whatever you, whatever part of the world you’re from or whatever you call it, . And um, I cut out sugar, I cut out all sweeteners and I started paying attention to what is real whole food and what’s it’s like. Oh, you mean most of what they sell in the grocery store isn’t actually food , Right.
What is it then? Right. And so for about 20 years, this was. Interest of mine, you know, on the side, kind of a hobby, if you will. And fast forward to my early to mid forties, I felt like I was at the top of my game. I was lean and fit and healthy and all of a sudden. Perry Menopause hit, but I didn’t know that’s what it was.
Cuz they don’t send us to a biology class for older women. Right, right. And also, right around that time I went to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition for a year and got a health coach certification. Not because I ever wanted to be a health coach, but because I, I wanted to deepen my understanding of the wide varieties of ways that people can eat and recognizing our bioindividuality.
And that each person’s body is different and needs different fuel, and that really interested me. And so I got this health coach certification and didn’t ever think I would use it and then jump to menopause. So I had five, very difficult, five, six, very difficult years of perimenopause. Finally piecing it together, what was happening to me, and I couldn’t wait for it all to be over.
And then when my period stopped, and technically, officially you are in menopause, you are post-menopause. When you haven’t had a period for a year, so boom, I was 49, which is early. The average is, yeah, that is between 51 52 ish and I suddenly gained 50 pounds. Boom. My hormones were just in chaos and there was nothing I could do about it until one day after really struggling for another four and a half, five years.
I heard about intermittent fast. And it just came up so unexpectedly because I was at the end of my rope. I would, the only word I can use to describe how I felt was despondent. I had brain fog and memory loss. I was, my body was aching, head to toe, like every part of me hurt. Mm-hmm. . And so the extra 50 pounds was part of it.
I didn’t feel like myself or look like myself. Right, right. But. So when people started asking me what I was doing to feel better, I started sharing with them about the eating in an eating window and having a customized pattern of time that I figured out for myself, you know, what my fasting and eating sweet spot was and my own journey, coupled with a lot, a lot of study, and then this, mm-hmm.
many, many years of enjoying studying nutrition. I started my first holiday program. I’m heading into my fifth one, so lifting and guiding people through the holidays so that you know that you don’t ever have to diet again now or ever again in January. Yeah. And uh, so that’s how I got here. Yeah. I love, one of the things that you mention on your website is how our culture has dieted our way to obesity.
And I have spoken about this before as well, this, this concept, but talk to me a little bit about that, the, the concern of dieting and how this actually is contributing to the epidemic that we have. Well, it starts with the context that something’s wrong with us, and it also starts with the premise that other people are the authority and I need to be told what to eat in how much, and we completely lose sight of our own agency, our own choice.
And then coupled with the triple whammy, I guess, is that our food. Is designed to keep us addicted, to keep us coming back for more. So it is. Hyper palatable, meaning extra delicious. . Mm-hmm. super sweet. And we don’t have to chew it very much, but when we do the crunchy things, they’re designed to have the perfect crunch.
It’s like, if you think about, okay, someone out there, if you love Cheetos, think of a Cheeto versus a carrot. It’s like, Oh, I don’t wanna chew so much to have a carrot. And other people are like, I like carrots. Okay. So see, everybody’s different , but we have been trained. For the last 60 years to lose a taste for real whole food.
So the way we’ve dieted our way into obesity, Is that I think everybody’s had a glimpse of what it took to lose weight at some point in their lives, and so they know they can do it and they know something worked except then we find ourselves back to gaining it all back and more. Mm-hmm. . So there’s this terrible cycle of.
Punishment and extreme, you know, abuse of ourselves and self-criticism and that whole world, that diet mindset, diet, brain, diet, culture. Even if people are listening and they’re like, I’ve never been a on a diet. My sister’s always dieting, but I’m not. Mm-hmm. , we’re still immersed in this conversation about being good and bad and this punitive mindset and that certain foods.
Are good or bad, and if I eat them, I’m bad and I’m trying to be good and everything. The domain that I’m swimming in is one. Tuning inward, our inner compass, not following someone else’s map. So if you could be like, Well, you’re Lori Lewis, you’re in the business of guiding people. Yeah. But I am, All I’m doing is listening and tuning into and having you turn inward to your inner compass and what your body’s telling you, not following someone else’s plan.
And nothing like the punishment model is over. The internal noise, the chaos, the self-criticism I have discovered for myself and coaching thousands of people that having. And fasting hours and an eating window helps to quiet the noise. So I always say, this isn’t a diet, it’s a quiet, And people come to intermittent fasting for all of the, what they hear about all the weight loss.
Mm. But what people discover very quickly as I did within the first three days of having an eating window is that I felt so, I’ll never forget where I was standing. I was in my mom’s kitchen and I was like, Whoa. I feel. More grounded and present and clear. I feel more like myself. Mm-hmm. . And in that quiet we can start to hear our brain.
The aat, the appetite center in our brain that regulates our hunger and satiety hormones and so forth, starts to work correctly and we can then hear our body telling us what food, what nutrients, not calories. The body has no calorie receptors in it, but what nutrient. It needs. Yeah. So, yeah, and I think part of the, you know, what you’re really speaking to is this all or nothing mentality that we are so susceptible to, susceptible to as humans and especially in this culture, is this idea that we really struggle.
It’s like we want the all or nothing because it ends up with quick results, but then it’s rarely ever sustain. And at the end of the day, is it really worth it if it can’t be sustained? And then, like you just said, what I see is that it constantly leads to this negative feedback cycle where it’s, it’s the yo-yo and the mental toll that that takes for so many women, especially and men is, is really difficult.
And then you’re sort of in this failure mentality, whether you are conscious. Of it or not. So it’s, it’s so true, the concept of dieting and then it’s one of the reasons that we also overhear are huge fans of tracking macronutrients and not counting calories because it’s a shift in mindset. And you address this too, it’s counting calories is not inherently incorrect, but it is.
Dangerously incomplete because the calorie doesn’t account for the nutrient density. So again, you, you said this beautifully, but for those of you listening, if you have not listened to my podcast on tracking macros versus counting calories, Lori has already touched on it. It’s this idea that we want to prioritize nutrient dense food, and we want to see food as fuel, not as a burden.
We don’t wanna restrict it. We want to fuel with it. So it is, it’s a freeing. Mentality. And then intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a schedule and it, it provides freedom in its own right, which will, Well, I’m sure we’ll dive into that as well. What would you say, if you could look back to those years where you really struggled with weight gain in that menopausal those years, what is one mindset that you would encourage a woman who may be there now?
What is one way that she can start? Because here’s what, Here’s what happens. It’s usually a process, right? Like a woman listening to this podcast right now who may be in that phase of life, it is rare that we make a decision just like that. It’s like we have to hear things a million times before we actually act on that as a truth or in a reality.
Mm-hmm. in our life. So what would be your tip for the woman listening who just feels like the weight is inevitable? The extra. Fat, which we want to get rid of, not cuz it has anything to do with your value, but because it promotes disease and we want to live well, so we want to shed that excess body fat percentage.
What would you say to her to help her take that next best step forward? Because you’ve been there and you know what she’s thinking? Oh my gosh, I could take the hand of every 44 year old woman , or 38 and beyond really is when it starts. I would say to start talking about perimenopause, like, what is that?
Re But you think, Oh, I’m not there. I don’t even, I’m just gonna exercise my way right through it, and I’m gonna a, I’m gonna stay exactly the same way I am and muscle my way through like I always have. It’s like mm-hmm. . Okay. This is not a hard time for everyone. I wanna say that. So I don’t want anyone to approach these years, which really are about 10 years.
With any fear or dread, I want you to approach it with information and sisterhood. Mm. And I don’t want you to be afraid of talking to the men around. We don’t need to whisper the word menopause. That is so weird. We don’t even have to say the word menopause. There’s a wonderful doctor who just wrote a book called The Upgrade, Luann Bresnan.
I don’t know if I’m saying your name correctly. It’s called the upgrade. and she stopped calling these years menopause and started calling it the upgrade and then the perimenopausal years, she’s calling it the Transition. And this book, that book is amazing. Mm-hmm. . So read books like, you know, Estrogen Matters and Perimenopause Power and Learn that they’re, We’ll, some of those in the show notes, by the way.
Oh yeah. I’ve got a long list of books. Yeah. Yeah. And. To listen to podcasts about perimenopause and menopause, and it is the time to have surprisingly. A more gentle approach and it’s like, no, no, no. I’m used to pushing my way through. Yeah, it’s, it’s worked before. It’s gonna work now. It actually won’t. And we need to disentangle this idea that the only things worth having are worth struggling for.
That it’s very important. If it’s very important, we have to push hard and demonst. That it’s important and keep pushing. Yeah. And pull out all the stops, all or nothing. It’s the all or nothing, right? Yeah. And the all or nothing approach. See, we kind of, this is a hard one for people to get that if I am not pushing hard and pulling out all the stops.
Then I must not be taking it very seriously. Yeah. That being, having a gentle approach, we think must mean that we don’t care very much or we’re not taking it seriously. And so what will work during this transition and in our later years as a woman is to tune in. And take very good care of ourselves. So you wanna look at all the ways, you know, make a pie chart, all the ways that we take care of ourselves.
Mm-hmm. , hydration and nutrition choices and movement and sleep. Yeah. I would say also to a woman at this point, that you start prioritizing sleep. Because this time, I mean, listen, every single person listening to this male woman child, , everyone knows how much I’m hardcore about sleep on here. Sleep is the number one holistic reset button.
Yes. Mm. And so I call it also, another piece of the pie could be, you know, puttering and play just like. Free time. People are, I’ve got no free time. Okay. We need make it to start. Yeah. Making it. Yeah. , I’m speaking of myself there. . Yeah. Make, yes, make it. Put it in your calendar time to just putter and poke around, whether that’s in the garden or digging through your jewelry box and finding things.
It’s like, Oh, I forgot I had this . . Who does this belong to? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And. That pride chart. I like to say, you know, where’s having a fasting schedule on that pie chart? I say that your fasting schedule and your your eating window is the crust because having the foundation. Of a daily pattern of putting your body deliberately into repair mode.
It’s in fix it mode. Deep cellular repair when you’re fasting, and then consciously having an eating window where you are looking forward to delicious, nutritious food. Whatever else you care about in your life. Having a fasting schedule makes it better. It makes your sleep better. It makes your food choices better.
It makes your focus and performance and at work better. It makes your communication as a more patient loving person better. It may, you know, it makes your fitness better. You’re stronger and have more stamina and more focus as you’re doing your movement practices. Yeah. It’s a counterintuitive thing that’s stopping from eating.
Yeah. For a portion of every day is, can be the thing that will strengthen you on all those other areas. Yeah. Yeah. I, We have mentioned this before on here, but I just want to reiterate again what Laurie said. For those of you women who are like, Ah, this is me. I’m in this face is, we’ve said it before, We are not given the education.
Unfortunately, in our growing up years, even in high school, all in our bodies. We’re just not, And hopefully this will change, but you know, we don’t understand what does a menstrual cycle actually truly look like and what are. You know, what is actually happening and do you understand your organs? So I think menopause is another great example of where we have fallen short from an education standpoint and truly preparing men and women to thrive in real life, you know, as opposed to more.
Chemistry or trigonometry or fill in the blank. It would’ve probably been helpful to understand how my ovaries, uterus really worked Well. Our doctors don’t know either, Anna, so truly so well, I’m gonna add a tip that I’ve given. Everyone here has heard that as well, because I’ve, as a medical professional myself, we’ve had people on here and we’re like, The medical system’s broken.
It is unfortunate. Our education, traditionally speaking, has not. Agreed with you. Yeah, completely. It’s been talked about on here, so this is the reality, but this drives home Lori’s point. You need to educate yourself. Try to find trusted resources. If you’ve not heard me say this before, if you want to Google trusted medical resources, I recommend John Hopkins as a great.
That I’m also a student of theirs. That’s where I got my masters’. Yeah. So I’m a little biased, but truly you will actually get researched evidence based information. There’s others, but that’s a great place to start. Oh, I agree. Yeah. Dr. Dr. Mark from John Hopkins Menopause, Menopause. To understand the medical aspect, I wanna add one more tip, which is yes, to start in these early forties to find physicians.
Are experts at, cuz you don’t wanna wait until you’re 49, 50, 51 and you should probably already be on hormone replacement and you could miss that window. Not everybody should be on it. I didn’t. Right. But, but I’m a big fan of working with a medical professional who will help with that and engage with that band together with your friends and find each other’s best doctors and you know.
Right. So right. We are going to take a quick break when we come back. We’re gonna dive into Lori’s expertise. We’re gonna chat about intermittent fasting and her expertise on helping you. Thrive right when we come back from this break this November, we are celebrating all month long in anticipation of the 100th episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast.
That will air on Tuesday, December 6th with a $100 Amazon gift card giveaway just in time for you to splurge this Christmas guilt free. You can enter all month long by visit. The show notes, click on the link@hammersandhugs.com. Or if you are watching on YouTube, click on the giveaway link in the description below.
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Goleta Mom says, I listen to the episode with Allison Lobos, which was fabulous, but I found I really like the heart and style of the host, and I’m now a fan subscriber on a Thanks for the great content Goleta. Mom, thank you so much for. A fan of this show, I literally would not be here without you, and Allison is amazing.
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Thank you for listening. I am also a fan of yours, so grateful for you hanging out here. The last one, Cam 28 25 says Very helpful on his podcast, on setting up a more effective and healthy morning routine was a great and helpful. Listen, although we do disagree on the topic of sleeping with socks on, I actually don’t remember mentioning that in that episode, but I absolutely sleep with socks on.
I can’t go to sleep if I don’t have socks on. So CAM 28 25. That’s all right. We can agree to disagree. Thank you so much for listening to the show. Those of us in this business value your kind words and positive feedback more than you could possibly. No, this $100 Amazon giveaway is just a small thank you from me to you, my dear listeners, for support.
The Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I could not be here without you. We are back here with Lori. We’re gonna play a quick round of speed round of this or that. I didn’t give Lori that a heads up that we’re doing that. It’s just basically two options. Love Hit me, hit me. hit me. She’s ready. This woman’s ready.
Okay, would you rather a burger or a hot dog? Neither. I haven’t eaten meat in over 20 years. Oh girl. Oh, my heart breaks for you, . Oh, I don’t miss it a bit. Yeah. See, this is the bioindividuality. Love it. Yeah, this is, Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I’m not dogmatic about it. I coach people who are carnivore, you know? So I’m a me.
Hashtag me. Yeah, I get it. Love it. That’s so funny. Okay, so that one does not apply to you, . All right, well now I’m trying to think of good. Like vegan. Vegan options. Ok. Here’s. Here’s one. Okay. Would you rather quinoa or rice? Well, Quinoa has me double over in pain. It’s one of the foods that I actually can’t eat, so Oh my goodness.
I’ve not heard that a lot. Oh my gosh. See, this is again, Bioindividuality. I, people are like, What do you eat? I’m like, First of all, I’m not gonna tell you what I eat and don’t eat because I don’t want you to follow. Oh, right, right, right. Following the guru is what we do. And I have a very strange list of foods that are Yeah, do not agree.
I just say, Do not agree with me. don’t agree with, and that’s ka one of ’em. So funny. Oh, interesting. I have not heard that one as on the list very often. That’s really interesting. I’m full of surprises. . Yeah, that’s, I love it. Okay, well let’s go to one that’s a little bit safer. When you first see somebody, do you notice their smile or their hair first?
Oh my gosh. Well, I do appreciate a good smile, and people could smile more than I. Yeah, I would say Amen. Smile. Yeah. Amen. , would you rather wear flats or heels? Oh my gosh. Well, I’m gonna be 60 in a few months, and I used to think that I would wear heels forever, and I’m like, Are you kidding? No way. Those days.
I mean, I’ll put ’em on, but yeah, I just love a black little flat pair of boots. . Yeah. Okay. Who’s your very, very, very favorite shoe company? Like if you recommended a brand of shoes to a woman, who would it be? Or what brand? Oh my gosh. Well, there’s this Italian brand that makes these incredible handmade boots and loafers and stuff.
Ooh. Called? I Love Boots. Sucker for Boots. I think. I don’t even know how to pronounce it. I feel like, Oh, you don’t like the, No worries. No judgment, but it’s kind of French. I don’t know. It’s like, It’s called Afic Creative or something like that. Oh my gosh. Their some, I get their emails and I always open them cuz I’m like, and maybe people would look at them.
Me shoes kill me. That is my one. I’m not like super into fashion. I’m like, I’d rather decorate my house or use like a chainsaw, honestly. Like I don’t enjoy looking for whatever. So I’m like, just tell me which wear I handmaid. Yeah. Yeah. I love, I like a good sturdy pair. Like I’ve been wearing the same pair of little winter boots for you.
I just keep getting them resold. I can’t, I can’t. I bear the day that they’re gonna fall apart and I won’t be able to wear them again. But , I love it. That’s actually a great tip, by the way, this is a little tidbit that you didn’t know you were getting today that a lot of people don’t realize. Is if you buy a high quality shoe, especially if it’s like leather or the upper is a genuine, you know, whatever material, you can always get the soul of the shoe redone for like peanuts.
I mean, around here we live in Amish country. Yeah. So like they do ’em for so cheap. Wow. I should send you my shoes and have reell. They really, Yeah, there’s there advantage. It’s, it doesn’t seem cheap to me. Whenever they say how much it’s gonna cost to resold them, I kind of gasp, but then it’s worth it.
These are my favorite shoes. They’re gonna come back. All shiny new with new souls and new, Yeah. Yes. And you’re not paying for all the material I on the top, so yeah, I guess you should qualify. I don’t know what your pain to resol here it is really not. It’s not that expensive. Oh, expensive. . Oh, where, Where you live.
It. It’s worth, Well I lived in New York City for 25 years and now I live in Portland, Oregon and it’s still expensive here. Oh, interesting. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe It also depends if you’re getting them totally resold or getting them fixed. Cause we’ve also often just gotten the, the souls fixed. Maybe not necessarily go through and throw out all your shoes that look ratty and the ones you love, take them to a cobbler.
People are like a cobbler. What the hell is that? ? Yeah, exactly. No, it’s so true. This is a great tip though, because you will ultimately end up saving money as opposed to buying the same shoe over and over again. For sure. Yes. I love that. Yeah. Fashion tip with Lori Andana that you did not know you were getting And upcycling.
Exactly, exactly. Well, we were chatting about intermittent fasting a little bit and more so just this idea of empowering women, especially in perimenopause and menopause, to feel fabulous first steps. Lori gave excellent advice. Educate yourself, Find medical professionals who are experts in these fields, and don’t wait too long, especially once you’ve educated yourself and you’re like, Ooh, that’s starting to sound like.
Find those people. Connect with your friends. Make sure that you all have good resources. So let’s talk about intermittent fasting. Tell me ultimately if somebody’s interested. Here’s what I hear a lot. So I don’t know if you know this about the program that I coach for. I’m a big fan of intermittent fasting.
16 eight is the the method that I personally promote. The bottom line is I have frequently heard, I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times. There’s no way I can skip breakfast. I feel lightheaded. I feel dizzy. Mm-hmm. , I feel, fill in the blank. What are your top tips to getting started with intermittent fasting?
And then also give the listener a sense of what intermittent fasting even involves. Okay, great. You said it earlier, it’s a timing, so it’s not a diet, it’s a timing. A diet implies that there are certain foods that you should or shouldn’t eat, right? And so the diet is what you’re eating. And then intermittent fasting, even though as I said, people come to it for the weight loss and they hear like it’s a popular diet, it’s not a diet, it’s a tiny, it is not a diet.
Write that down. And so I would say that if you love breakfast, you should have breakfast. So what I do in my coaching is I find out really intimately, like, Tell me every, all of your patterns, what do you do now? And I start with the end of the day. So I say, When do you have dinner and what do you eat after dinner?
What do you drink after dinner? And when do you, when is like the kitchen closed? When do you start drinking plain water? Or do you drink flavored drink? And eat things right up until you go to bed. Like, and when is that right? So I, it’s like, What are you doing now? Take a look at that. Okay, So then each person can decide for themselves, what time today?
Are you gonna close your eating window? Like you’re gonna wipe down the kitchen counters, turn off the lights, kitchen closed, pour a glass of water and go to another room. So when is your eating window gonna close today? And people will invariably say, Well, when should it be? It’s like, I don’t. , you tell me, , it’s your choice.
You are free to choose. Okay? So then you might wanna tell people in your family like, Okay, I’m practicing this new thing, which is, at the time I say the kitchen’s closed, my eating windows closed. And a lot of people struggle with, you know, late night eatings. Like the minute you settle in to watch whatever you love to watch.
Out comes, you know, the desire for cereal and ice cream, Those, the ones I Exactly. It’s, it’s, it’s habitual. So for some people that is a habit to break. But once that eating window is closed and you’re drinking plain, unflavored water, go to bed early, wake up tomorrow and add whatever time you closed your eating window.
Add 12 hours, Well, 12 hours. For some people that. It’s like if you closed your eating window at eight and you wake up at five 30 or six waiting until 8:00 AM if you’re used to just drinking. Flavored coffee and drinking, eating flavored tea, nutrients early in the morning, waiting that 12 hours can be hard.
Mm-hmm. , for some people it’s like, yeah, that’s nothing. I kind of do that already. Okay, great. Mm-hmm. . So we’re all in different places. We’re proving that already. So if you can get to 12 hours fasting, clean, plain on flavored water, plain unlabored, black coffee, plain unlabored, bitter or green tea. The reason for.
What I call, uh, fasting clean that Jen Stevens popularized in her book Fast Feast. Repeat is that for most people who are not at their ideal weight or have all their health markers optimized, We wanna take full advantage of those fasting hours, all the repair that’s possible. So any flavors, any nutrients can be a hindrance to that full repair state, that deep cellular repair.
And so, especially in the beginning, you wanna practice. Fast and clean. So you get to that 12 hours and then it’s like, Well, what am I supposed to eat? Eat Normally what’s, What’s that? Eat how you normally eat. We’re doing one thing at a time. We’re learning to fast, clean and eat in an eating window, and we’re gonna stretch the fasting and we’re gonna shrink the eating window.
And that could be gradual or it could be quick for me on day one. I like black coffee and I’m never hungry for breakfast, so it was pretty easy for me to get to 11 or 12 and have lunch. And I started out with a 16 eight. I think if someone starts with 1212, which has been proven to extend lifespan to, you know, increase longevity.
So if you are healthy and at an ideal weight, being mindful, Of 12 hours of clean fasting is really a quiver and you know, it’s, it’s a great tool in your toolbox for longevity. You said that you coach people in 16 eight. To me, that’s an incredible place for most people to have an eight hour eating window.
And that could be from 8:00 AM to two, or you know, 11 to seven, whatever people say you can move it. In the beginning, I feel like it’s very helpful to have it be consistent, cuz if it’s moving, we’re creating a new habit. So if we’re creating a new habit, what are your guard rails? You kind of wanna get in your mind, I don’t eat before 10 and I don’t eat past six, or I don’t eat before one and I don’t eat past nine.
Whatever that those guardrails are. And then as a special occasion, like things in the holidays. You can expand it, you can move it. But in the beginning, I would have it be, I would settle in and have it be consistent for at least. A month for at least four weeks. Mm-hmm. , and for women who are going through the transition of perimenopause and women in menopause, so that would be most women over 50.
I really recommend trying a shorter eating window if we have, We’re really trying to balance cortisol and insulin and estrogen and progesterone and, and all of those hormones that are in massive flux at that. That having the extended fast healing hours, I call the hours of repair when you’re fasting and a shorter eating window that you get to figure out when it is, can be very helpful in navigating the transition through perimenopause and menopause, For sure.
How are you encouraging them? So what I often see the challenge with the shorter windows when I’m assessing my clients and this, some women, especially if they’ve had enough practice, are able to do it. I will say in my experience, the challenge with the shorter eating windows when you’re actually tracking what you’re eating, a lot of women struggle to get all of their nutrition in.
Now, some of that’s depending on your exercise, your movement. How much you are actually expending of that nutrition and the, the caloric, literally the energy that you are consuming through food. So that’s the one thing to just be mindful of is the goal of intermittent fasting is not actually calorie reduction.
Correct. Which is often misunderstood. So if you’re shortening that window, make sure you are seeking an expert where you are very carefully tracking what you’re eating. Because I find a lot of women end up undereating, which can then inhibit the ultimate Exactly. Well, the way that I approach that is as you’re extending your fasting hours, you’ll definitely experience hunger waves, and they’re pretty predictable.
They comment about, Oh, for sure, 12 or 13 hours, they come. Yeah, Intermit fasting was hard for me. Let’s make that really clear. I’m a huge proponent of it, but I felt terrible. You people are like, I can’t do it. I feel so nauseous. I’m like, Girl, I want to hear it. I felt like I was gonna puke half the time for months, like it took me a long time.
But the research was convincing to me and I was like, I can do this. I know this is just, I need to adjust. But it for, for my husband, it was not hard for him. Yeah, it was not hard for him. I would definitely does adjust. So the thing about food quantity is that, Once you discover for yourself the eating window, that feels good.
So you wanna look at what your goals are. If you have fat to lose, remember that fat is fuel. It’s on our bodies. Our body has stored it for some day when there’s a famine. Except there’s no famine, . We keep feeding, not this country . Okay? So we’re carrying this fuel around that we need to tap into. And during the fasting hours when we’re fasting clean and keeping insulin low, we’re, and after about three, four weeks of a consistent daily fasting practice, as you’re inching up from 12, 12 to 16, eight, uh, for me, I just felt one day I was like, you know, eight hours seems long.
I can eat the same. I can eat two meals in six hours. And that just, I just realized that naturally, you know, if my eating window was from 12 to eight, suddenly it was like from one to seven. Mm-hmm. and that just felt really good. And so, regarding nutrients, as I mentioned earlier, our brain has an appetite center, an a.
And once we are consistently fasting that , we’re like a wild animal. Our body will tell us when to stop eating. It will tell us when it’s satisfied. And especially so if you’re fasting, clean fasting consistently, and. Replacing ultra processed food and refined sugars with real whole foods, that apostate starts to work like a wild animal.
So a lion knows what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat, and it knows when to stop. So I was in South Africa many years ago and uh, watch two Cheetah, take down an Impala, which was sad for like a second, but it was really beautiful and interesting, and those beautiful cats. Ate their meal and they didn’t like clean, clean the carcass.
They ate like half of it. And the buzzers were all gathering around cuz they knew what was to come. But the cats knew when they were satisfied. And so do we. We know our body starts to tell us when to stop eating. So here’s what I have experienced is happen. That during the fasting, remember the fasting hours you are fueling on your own body fat.
So the calorie charts and even the macro grams and quantities are a bit skewed. Because if you’re fasting, you’re fueling on your own fat. And if you’re fasting longer than 18 hours, you’re really ramping up a toag, which is this deep cellular repair that goes in, cleans out the old broken proteins in every cell, and we’re recycling upcycling the old damaged protein that’s already in our body.
So that’s another way that we’re getting protein. So then in your eating window, If you’re eating delicious, nutritious, real whole foods that you love, I say that you look forward to that. You love that. Love you back your body. Our body will tell us today, eat more. I’m really hungry today. And that doesn’t mean you’re overeating.
That means you’re responding to what your body’s telling you. Eat more food today. Other days you’ll have just a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and your body’s like. I’m good and it really is. So I don’t think we need to force. Extra food in our eating window, but nor should we. A lot of people are like, Well, if fasting’s good, then di, you know, calorie restricting and fasting is doubly good.
It’s like, no, no, no, no. That will slow the metabolism. We want all of the fat burning of the fasting hours coupled with the nutrition and pleasure of the eating window and those two things together, that dance. Signal the body that fuel is plentiful. The fat fuel while you’re fasting, and the nutrition while you’re eating, and that will keep the metabolism coming if you’re doing both of those things.
So I really feel like each individual will figure out for themselves, you know, with us as a guide or with a community. What, And fasting longer isn’t necessarily better. It just provides Yes. Yields different results. Somebody could do 16, eight all week and one day a week. Do a 22 2 or 36 12 1 day a week, or once a month.
So it’s, it’s up to each person. Well, I think the individuality is a, a good point to pull out here because there are even, and you kind of pointed to this as well. There are other, you know, metabolic things that will come into play cuz we haven’t even talked about exercise, you know, and the non-activity, or a non-exercise activity thermogenesis and all of the pieces that come into play in terms of actually using the nutrients that you’re consuming.
So I think the, one of the biggest takeaways that I give people with intermittent fasting, and Laurie has pointed this out as well, is that if you have tried it in the past and you feel like it did not go well, More often than not, I think one of the reasons is because a lot of people don’t know how to do it well, and it really does require some guidance from people who can help you maximize it and truly understand leveraging the fasted window, leveraging the Fed window, and really understanding how to make the most of the strategy.
So if you’re hearing this and you’re like, Oh, I’ve tried it. It didn’t really work. I highly, highly encourage you to do it under guidance and supervision because it, there’s a lot of great research. To it, but it is an individual experience that really does need to be tailored slightly to people’s schedules, to your activity.
If you are hardcore exercising, then that nutrition does need to be evaluated because you need to make sure that you are fueling appropriately in that fed window for your activity and depending on what your goals are. So, Lori, where can people find you? You are an excellent resource on intermittent fasting.
Tell us. Where we can find you, learn more about you. Well, my business is called Fast Forward, and so it’s, it’s so cute. I love that phrase. Fast forward wellness. Fast forward wellness, and if people go there, they can sign up and get a free guide with list of benefits and how to, you know, point by point of how to start.
and I just, you know, to the people who say, you know, it didn’t work for them again. Have you heard that? Oh, it’s the thing I hear either people say, Oh, I did that. I never felt better. I’m like, Shoot that. What? Why’d you stop? And usually some stress in life or vacation, they never, they’re like, I gotta start that up again.
I felt so well, Or the flips, The other thing I hear is, yeah, that didn’t work for me. And I say it works for everyone because our bodies are designed to pause from. A little bit longer than how long we’re sleeping. Okay, So if people are consciously. Whether it’s 12, 12 or 16, eight or 19 five. If people are consciously helping their body along and choosing something that feels good, then the fasting hours are always working.
You’re always in repair during those hours. It’s a matter of customizing, and so that’s what I love to do. I have group programs and I coach people one on. And I have a year long membership where we get together on Zoom and have a monthly fast chat . That’s cute. And I answer lots of questions and we talk about the latest research and feel a sense of comradery and community and celebration.
So I love every minute of what I do, having people really fall in love with their own magnificence and, and step outside into this new world of what is life like without the punishment model and the self beratement and the, you know, that, that we can really shine as we age. And it’s a really, it’s a beautiful.
To be a woman and to be a per be a human . Yeah. Amen. I’m grateful. Well, Laurie, thank you so much for being on. It’s an honor to have you. Thank you for the, the lives. I’m sure there are many, many people that could testify to how you have helped change their life and thrive for the better. So it’s been an honor having you here and I pray God’s rich blessing over your business and all that you’re doing, and it was such a blessing to have you.
Thank you so much, Anna. Such a treat. Yeah. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I would love to hear your thoughts from today, head to your preferred podcasting platform, and give the show an honest review and let me know what you think. Remember, you cannot be redefined, only redeveloped, one imperfect day at a time.
Your story matters and you are loved.

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