Alisa Vitti was introduced to me as the “Queen of Periods,” an epithet she’s proudly earned through decades of research and advocacy for women’s health. Certified as a Holistic Health Counselor by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Vitti is also a Women’s Hormonal Health Specialist, a Functional Nutritionist, and an Integrative Health Coach. She’s the founder of Flo Living — a “virtual hormonal health center” — and author of Woman Code, dubbed the young woman’s hormone bible, which outlines a plan to “Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source” (um, yes please!). She also created Cycle Syncing™, a plan that matches diet and lifestyle with 4 distinct hormonal patterns within your period. We couldn’t wait to sit at her throne and soak up her wisdom, and we’re thrilled to share it with you, too. (Don’t miss the link to her new 4 Day Hormone Detox Plan!)

The Broadcast: How exactly does one get crowned “The Queen of Periods”?

Alisa Vitti: (Laughs) This all began in the sixth grade for me. I literally remember the moment we learned about having periods in health class. I was struck with what amazing power our bodies have to be generative and regenerative. I was astonished. That day at lunch I called the inaugural meeting of The Period Club, where we talked about who would get their period first and what we’d each do when we got ours. As fate would have it, I only had about six periods in the following decade. I also developed mysterious symptoms like cystic acne, major weight gain, and trouble concentrating. At 16, my gynecologist advised me to go on the pill, but I was resistant.

TB: How did these experiences shape your relationships with your body and your cycle?

AV: I went to John Hopkins with plans to become an OBGyn so I could figure out what was going on with my own body and help women figure out their bodies as well. I read about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) doing my own research on my symptoms and I felt I had a classical presentation, even though my gynecologist hadn’t recognized it. In my reading, the future for someone with PCOS looked grim. There were all these prognoses, and the solution always seemed to be, “don’t worry, we’ll just medicate you along the way.” I knew there had to be another solution.

TB: So you were your first patient?

AV: Absolutely. I believed that if diet can manipulate gene function, it can probably manipulate the hormonal system, too. I did a ton of research and totally changed my diet, and within nine months I was at a healthy weight, had clear skin, and I felt great for the first time in years. I was emboldened and amazed by the power of my body!

TB: As you’ve built your practice and helped so many other women, what have been the most common misconceptions you’ve observed about a woman’s menstrual cycle?

AV: Most women have a big blind spot about their periods. There’s very little insight about hormonal patterns and very little visibility as to what a woman’s period is really telling her. So many women view their period as unpredictable and problematic; something we just have to tolerate for two weeks out of every month. These are huge pieces of mythology! PMS is not normal — women truly don’t have to suffer.

TB: Where do you start with your patients who are simply suffering through their periods and PMS?

AV: The first step is just to understand how our cycle affects our well-being. It’s critical to get an understanding of your body’s cycle so you can access the cognitive benefits that balanced hormonal patterns offer you – this helps you plan everything from what to eat, which exercise to choose at the gym, and even what kind of sex will give you the biggest orgasm. A period is the end result of a hormonal cascade happening every day of the month; it’s a biochemical asset. In 2015 the American Council of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) actually declared that a woman’s period is the fifth vital sign, just as vital as blood pressure and breathing rate. I’m working to help people have the same matter-of-fact curiosity about periods as we do about our other vital signs.

TB: After developing that understanding, what can women do to ease their painful periods and hormonal imbalances?

AV: The good news is that every period problem is fixable through diet and lifestyle. The first thing I have my patients do is take the Flo Living V-Sign Quiz to determine their period type. I then have women do my 4 Day Hormone Detox – it’s a 50 page e-book complete with a meal plan and grocery lists — that’s a great place to start for a lot of women. It’s amazing how much better you can feel in just four days! I also have specific plans to help women in each of the three major hormonal issues: MonthlyFLO for period symptoms, FertileFLO for women struggling with infertility or IVF, and SexyFLO for women after 35 who struggle with energy, mood, and libido. The sooner a woman intervenes, the better able she is to learn her hormonal code and feel her best all month long.

TB: What do you hope to accomplish with your reign as the Queen of Periods?

AV: I’m on a mission as the Period Queen to spread the gospel of what a healthy period can be, and to help all women get their FLO back – not only so their period is easy and symptom free, but also so they can make sure they’re living their life based on their own female neuro-hormonal operating system – so every woman can change her world.

We love a woman with the same passion for periods that we have here at LOLA, and in the land of period positivity, Alisa Vitti is certainly a Queen of the people. We bow down!

Anna is a freelance writer and copywriter living in Sacramento, CA with her husband and two young sons. She believes that stories bring people together, sweat cures almost everything, and time spent outside is never wasted. You can catch up with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and her personal website.