Mar 3, 2022
Cynthia Thurlow tells the story of how a serious health scare,
complete with ruptured appendix and complications, put her on the
path to functional nutrition and helping people heal through food
and healthy lifestyle changes. Learn about how intermittent fasting
plays into perimenopause and your menstrual cycle, when it’s
appropriate, and how to avoid the most common mistakes people make
- [2:00] Cynthia worked as an ER nurse for 16 years before
working in critical care and cardiology. Having a child with life
threatening food allergies put her down the path of thinking of
food as medicine with a functional nutrition program. Lifestyle
medicine has become Cynthia’s main focus now after waking up in
2016 and feeling like she couldn’t write another prescription that
doesn’t treat the root cause of the issue.
- [4:20] Cynthia started attracting other women who felt like
their needs weren’t being heard. She did a lot of work around
nutrition and group programs. In an effort to stretch herself,
Cynthia challenged herself to do a Ted Talk about her perimenopause
experience, and later on, a second one about intermittent
- [6:20] A ruptured appendix turned into a huge number of
complications. Manifestation played a big part in Cynthia’s
- [8:15] There is a huge amount of confusion around menopause and
perimenopause. In 2015, Cynthia’s life was far more stressful than
she realized and it created the perfect storm for perimenopause.
She was doing all the wrong things and woke up one day exhausted,
gaining weight, and facing down new food sensitivities.
- [10:50] When Cynthia went to her OBGYN, she was offered
synthetic hormones, an IUD, and even a hysterectomy. She had to
reroute everything in her life to focus on healing including
prioritizing sleep, reducing her training, changing her diet, and
reducing her work load.
- [12:05] Most of us don’t have to worry about stress management
in our 20’s and 30’s, and perimenopause is a barometer to let us
know if we’re balancing the parasympathetic and sympathetic
autonomic nervous system.
- [13:05] We don’t give prevention enough credit in maintaining
- [15:05] For both Cynthia and Dr. Anna, their experiences are
what brought them to where they are now in life and they wouldn’t
be doing the meaningful work they do without them.
- [16:25] It’s important to honor the rhythm of your menstrual
cycle. The ideal time to fast is the time period right after
menstruation and before ovulation. Additional stress during the
five to seven days preceding the cycle can be particularly
- [18:40] Progesterone is often prescribed during perimenopause,
but it’s important to take days off during the week. Prolonged
progesterone supplementation increases insulin resistance.
- [22:45] Cynthia has had fantastic success treating type 2
diabetes and women who are insulin resistant with intermittent
fasting but it has to be treated with caution. If you’ve suffered
from anorexia, intermittent fasting may not be a safe option. Have
a conversation with your doctor or psychologist to ensure you’re at
an appropriate stage in your recovery to begin fasting.
- [25:10] If you’re not sleeping through the night, don’t add
intermittent fasting. Adding another stressor isn’t going to help.
Figure out why you aren’t sleeping first and once that’s been
addressed intermittent fasting can be the missing piece of the
puzzle for your health.
- [26:30] As we get older, we don’t manage stress levels the same
way we did when we were in our 20’s. It’s critically important that
we take care of ourselves so that we can utilize a strategy like
intermittent fasting to improve our health. You’ll get the best
results if you can moderate the lifestyle pieces first and then
integrate it into your lifestyle.
- [28:05] Cynthia’s book came out of her successful Ted Talk and
it’s essentially a blueprint for successful fasting, specifically
- [29:25] There is a difference between clean and dirty fasting.
Clean fasting is all about black coffee and bitter tea, and
breaking your fast in the right way at the right time. Some of the
common mistakes that people make is having BCAA or protein powder
during a fast in the belief that the calories are low so it doesn’t
- [31:30] When you’re starting out, it’s important to support
your body’s detoxing process. Replacing the electrolytes your body
is losing during a fast is crucial to sticking with it.
- [34:15] Extended fasting can be beneficial, but it takes some
effort to work up to. There are plenty of ways to look at fasting
to make it sustainable and attainable.
- [35:20] A teaspoon of MCT oil is okay while fasting, but more
than that can push you out of your fasting window. If you’re just
starting out and need a fatty coffee to get you through the early
days of fasting, that’s okay.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Intermittent Fasting Transformation by Cynthia
Always seek the advice of your own physician or qualified
health professional before starting any treatment or plans.
Information found here and results are provided for informational
purposes only and are not intended to replace a one-on-one
relationship with a qualified healthcare professional and are not
intended as medical advice.
Be sure to check out Dr Anna’s new book, MenuPause.
Get your sneak peek: dranna.com/gfd-sneak
Order your book today: dranna.com/gfd-book
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Try her Keto-Green Recipes for Menopause at dranna.com/gfd-recipe
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