287: Menopause: A time to level up not fade out w/ Dr. Stacy Sims


Let’s face it the years surrounding menopause can be rough.

Stress is elevating, hormones are declining and our body is starting to do things we are struggling to understand.

As tempting as it may be, it is NOT time to fade into the background, it is time to level up.

Enter, my guest today Dr. Stacy Sims.

Stacy is a forward-thinking international exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist who aims to revolutionize exercise nutrition and performance, especially for women.

Her latest book, Next Level, breaks down the underlying causes of menopause and, more importantly, arms you with advice from the latest and greatest research on what to do about it. And she graciously shares some powerful takeaways from that book in this episode.

Mentioned in this episode:

Menopause: A time to level up not fade out w/ Dr. Stacy Sims

Transcripts are auto-generated.

Courtney Townley 0:00
Welcome to the Grace and Grit Podcast made for women who want their healthiest years to be ahead of them. Not behind them. Join your host Courtney Townley right now. As she breaks down the fairy tale health story, you have been chasing all of your life, indispensable action steps and lasting change.

Courtney Townley 0:28
Hello, my friends and welcome to the Grace & Grit Podcast. This is your host, Courtney Townley. As always I am thrilled and deeply grateful that you’ve decided to spend a little time with me. And I am super pumped about today’s show. And before I tell you about the guest, I want to acknowledge that a large majority of my community is in the years surrounding menopause. So they’re either pre menopause, they’re in the throes of menopause, they are postmenopausal. And those years can be really rough. for so many reasons. Stress is elevating hormones are declining, and our bodies are starting to do things that we’re struggling to understand.

Courtney Townley 1:11
And as tempting as it may be, to fade into the backdrop of life. I want to offer you this is a time to level up. And I know that my guest today agrees with that because she has written an entire book dedicated to that message. My guest today is Dr. Stacy Sims, who is coming back to the show for a second time. I first interviewed her a couple years ago. And if you don’t know Stacy, you are in for a special treat. Stacy is a forward-thinking international exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist who aims to revolutionize exercise, nutrition and performance, especially for women. Her latest book next level, which is amazing, breaks down the underlying causes of menopause, and more importantly, arms you with the latest and greatest research and advice on what to do about it. Now, Stacy and I cover a tremendous amount of ground in this interview, including the mindset of menopause, how you think about menopause actually can influence the severity of your symptoms. We talked about what menopause even is, and the major hormonal players in this period of our life. We talk about different therapies for menopausal symptoms, including adaptogens. And of course, we lean very heavily into the conversation of lifestyle influencers, things like sleep, and proper fueling, we even talk about diet dogma, and gut health. And of course, we talk about exercise,

Courtney Townley 3:07
and so much more. So without further ado, let’s get to it.

Courtney Townley 3:17
So Stacy Sims, welcome back to the Grace & Grit Podcast. Thanks for having me. It’s been a while but I’m so excited to chat again. It’s been a while and you know, it’s so interesting, because I was reading, you know, sort of perusing in the book, your newer book today. And I realized that roar your first book came out in 2016. Yeah. Yeah, I put it into how old is my daughter? Because we were writing it like, the first year of her life. And she turned 10 on Saturday.

Dr. Stacy Sims 3:50
What I know Oh, wow. But first and Oh, on their way. We got the okay to update roar. So Oh, cool. do that next. Yeah, very science evolves. And there are lots of things in there that I’ve been wanting to change. And we finally got the okay to do it. Yeah. Well, I think I did my first interview with you. And it was like maybe 2018. And I don’t remember any numbers to the episodes that I have done except yours, which was episode 99 out of like 285 plus.

Courtney Townley 4:21
And I remember that episode number because I have referenced it and referred it and recommended it so many times. So if that tells you anything about what good that did in the world, think about anything. So I would love to start I’ve obviously already introduced you in the intro, but I would love to have you speak to just your passion for women’s health because as a nutrition scientist as an exercise physiologist, there’s so many directions you could have gone and so I’m just curious to know like what led you here?

Dr. Stacy Sims 4:58
It was also fish It always starts. We all want to do something for ourselves, right? So when I started university and like truth, you know, when I first went to university, I wanted to be a poli sci French major and work for the UN. But I fell asleep in every poli sci class. So I was, I guess a-

Courtney Townley 5:18
good indicator, probably you shouldn’t go that route.

Dr. Stacy Sims 5:20
Yeah. And then my roommate was taking a via math class and Exercise Physiology. And she was volleyball player and I was on the crew team, she’s like, You should really look at this major. And first class I went, she was like, this is where I belong. But along the way in that changeover, and really going, Hey, wait a second, this is super interesting. But I’m an athlete. And there are things that don’t quite make sense. Like, you know, you’re following protocols. And I’m working hard, and my teammates are working hard. And I just wanted to know more. And I couldn’t find those answers. So the seed had been planted when I’m asking questions, am I getting the answer? We don’t know. We don’t do studies on women. We don’t know enough about men. We need to find this out in men. And it’s the same in women. And none of that sat well, because as my mom would tell you, I was the kid that grew up asking why why, why, why, why, why, why. So it kind of start there. And then as I grew as an athlete and got higher in competition levels, it became even more important to understand what was going on how to tweak things to get the extra 2%. Not only for me, but for teammates as well. So when you’re racing on the professional bike circuit, and you’re racing as a team, you want to get the best out of your teammates, including yourself. And so it just kept driving that academic question, and having the ability to be in an academic position across the board to answer those questions, and then transfer over to what I was doing to be able to help people. And then when I retired, still keep helping people.

Courtney Townley 6:59
Absolutely. Well, I’m so glad that that didn’t sit well with you, when you were in school and sort of putting together that, hey, maybe what works for men doesn’t work for women, and just wanting to optimize your own health, because that came across, obviously. So crystal clear in your first book, which for those of you listening that may not be familiar with Stacy Sims, you will definitely be after this episode. But her first book was roar. And it really helped to normalize the role that hormones play in female physiology. I think it also helped both men and women to normalize the respect we need to pay to these hormones in order to optimize health. So it was a huge breath of fresh air because I don’t really I can’t think of anything that was out there prior to that book that spoke to hormones in the way that you did. So I personally found it really refreshing. And I know that there was one chapter in your first book on menopause like you talked about it. But now your new book is heavily dedicated. Oh, about that. Yeah, to metaphysics, which is so awesome. So the new book, just so everyone knows is called next level. And the subtitle is your guide to kicking ass feeling great and crushing goals through menopause and beyond. And it is brilliant. It is incredibly resource heavy. So there’s a lot of support in this book. And I personally think it’s a really valuable book for women across all ages and stages of life to read. Because if I was in my 30s, and read a book like this, I think it would have hugely influenced the way that I was taking care of myself in my 30s.

Dr. Stacy Sims 8:39
Yeah, totally. Me too.

Courtney Townley 8:40
Like, which is why-

Dr. Stacy Sims 8:42
you’re right, like all the separate the roar of you were like, Oh, I wish I had this information. When I was an athlete. I’m like, Yeah, me too. But now you’re out there. And the same with this book. It’s like, I wish I had known all I had an insight because of the work I was doing at Stanford with the Women’s Health Initiative. And being very ensconced in public health with human performance, but didn’t really put it all together until I started getting older and getting questions from peers and people who were around me and going. Okay, let’s see. All right, and then getting the questions and then Slean also saying, I’m getting so many questions, and I’m entering this phase, is it Yeah, we do. Okay, let’s do this. Yeah.

Courtney Townley 9:23
A big a big gap that needed to be filled in not the knowledge base for women. Yeah. So I personally love the way that you intro this book, which is talking about the mindset of menopause. And history has done us no favors in this regard, right? The way that we have looked at menopause, perimenopause, post menopause, through the years, has really made women dread it and also not given, I think, maybe inspiration to maybe the medical community and men to understand it to the degree that we need to understand it to move Do it gracefully. And one of the things that you say specifically, which I love so much is how we view aging culturally and societally influences how we view it personally. And impressions of menopause can influence the severity of menopausal symptoms. Yeah. Will you speak to that a little bit?

Dr. Stacy Sims 10:20
Yeah. So I guess the best way to put it from a Western perspective is just current pop culture, right. So when you see interviews of, of actresses that we knew in their 20s, and now we’re in their 50s, right, they still have to look like they’re in their 20s. But if you see actors that were in their 20s, and now we see they’re in their 50s, or older, it doesn’t matter so much. Some of them got kind of gracefully age, but there isn’t this pressure to look like what they look like when they’re twins. So when we see that always flashed, this is the ideal that women feel like they have to abide by that they can’t grow, oh, they can’t put on some fluff, they can’t get wrinkles, none of this because we are always bombarded by images, regardless of TV, you know, print media, Instagram, all of these things. And we start looking in our own culture, and you say the word menopause and someone says, that immediately comes forward as a woman with gray hair downs, or some abdominal BC, never looking strong and lean. So these automatic images that we have, which then perpetuates the conversation. So if we are constantly bombarded by that negativity, then we take it upon ourselves and hold this burden of negativity. And we know that the psychological can supersede the physiological. So if we always have this, I’m getting that age, I should be experiencing these symptoms. And then all of a sudden, you start having vasomotor symptoms, hot flashes, they can become worse, because you’re so worried about them. And psychologically, it just increases the intensity of everything that you’re experiencing. When we look at non westernized societies who have embraced menopause as part of the natural progression of life and going sweet, now I’m in menopause, I should embrace it, because I don’t have to worry about bleeding. I am now a quote, elder with knowledge and experience, people come to me to ask questions. They don’t experience it. And I think even in the book, were like, there is no word for hot flashes in Japanese, because it’s not just part of it. So it is totally a cultural thing. And then we have people on stage to go look what’s happening in Japan. They don’t have menopause symptoms. They do, but they don’t acknowledge it like Western society, just because it’s just normal. It’s just part of it. And everyone embraces it.

Courtney Townley 12:48
Yeah, that psychological piece is so big, because I know you throughout the book talk a lot about cortisol. And how our ability to sort of manage it in these years is a little challenged by the absence of things like estrogen and progesterone. And psychological stress has a huge impact on cortisol. So it’s like over exercising or under eating. It’s one more way we’re stressing out our system. Yeah. So let’s set the stage for a conversation around menopause in that this sounds so naive, but I know and especially from reading your book that I’ve misused the word menopause, because menopause, as you explain is really like one day of your life. It’s you’ve haven’t had a period for a year. So will you kind of elaborate on what is sort of the bigger conversation we’re having in this book? Because yes, menopause is that one day, but really, it’s what’s happening on either side of that day.

Dr. Stacy Sims 13:45
Yeah, so you’re not alone. I mean, I was on a meeting and there were physicians on the meeting and they’re like, What do you mean perimenopause? What do you mean menopause is one day, like what you you’re a physician, you don’t even understand this. So we’re talking about it in the general scope. perimenopause is not the 60s years before that one point in time menopause. And this is where we see the biggest changes because we’re starting to have changes in the ratio of estrogen progesterone, we know that those hormones affect every system in the body. And we’ll see women who are in their early 40s are like, Hey, wait a second, my training isn’t working for me anymore. Must not be eating well, I’m highly stressed, or they go to their physician and they’re like, Oh, you’re just too stressed, you’re doing too much. You need to back it down. If they complain about sleep problems or having anxiety, most of the time they get prescribed anti anxiety or antidepressants, because of that life phase where they are attributing a whole bunch of lifestyle things instead of actually looking at the hormonal aspects. Yeah, and then as we get closer to that one point in time, we start to really experience menstrual cycle changes. So we’ll start to see a shortening of the bleed cycle, a lengthening of the, of the actual cycle. So if you’re usually spot on 30 days, it might be up to 40. And instead of bleeding for seven days, you might bleed for two. And you start to see these changes as a sign that our hormones are really flatline. Yeah, then after birth and menopause, and one day on the calendar, we’re now in our new biological state, called post menopause. And what people don’t understand is all the images of menopause have the body composition changes, and the bone mineral issues. They don’t happen after that one point in time. They happen before. So this is what the book is about explaining what’s happening, and how we can mitigate it. And if you are postmenopausal already, it’s not too late to build lean mass, build your bone, it’s again, looking at how we’re doing train differently, how we’re eating differently, to support our body, how those hormones used to support us, because again, they’ve affected every system of the body. So it’s a matter of stressing those different systems. So that we get responses of how those hormones use to be able to allow us to build lean mass to build to have insulin sensitivity.

Courtney Townley 16:20
Will you speak briefly to the kind of the main hormonal players in these years in terms of estrogen but specifically the Astra dial that seems to create so much havoc in the body as it declines? And then progesterone? I know you mentioned testosterone, cortisol, we’ve kind of talked about a little bit, but just kind of maybe tell us a little bit about each one and what they’re responsible for. In terms of our physiology.

Dr. Stacy Sims 16:48
Yeah, so we have estrogens, but most of the time, we talk about estradiol or E two. And so this is the main and most powerful estrogen of female physiology, we have estrogen that becomes the primary estrogen of menopause, but it’s 10 times weaker than estradiol. And then you have a stroll, that is E three that is primarily prevalent in pregnancy. They affect estrogen receptor sites differently. But when we talk about estradiol and that’s the powerful one where we typically say that estrogen is responsible for stimulating myosin production and synthesis. So myosin and we have actin myosin proteins within the muscle for muscle contraction. It’s also responsible for the stem cell production for muscle protein synthesis is a very anabolic hormone. It is responsible for fluid balance, blood sugar control, bone mineral density and bone turnover. It’s responsible for neurotransmitter control, dopamine, serotonin, and we’re getting to progesterone, progesterone and estrogen they antagonize each other, and progesterone in like a natural circulation and high hormone phase of pre menopausal years. As it comes up, it increases our respiratory rate and increases our heart rate decreases our heart rate variability, because it stimulates what we call the autonomic nervous system. So our flight or fight responses, so we get an increase in our sympathetic drive. So the body’s very up all the time. And its primary job is to shuttle carbohydrate and to shuffle amino acids away from skeletal muscle and away from the liver and, and other uses that amino acids in lupus have to create a really lush endometrial lining. So when progesterone is elevated our body is in a more breakdown state where projections like I need all these building blocks I’m going to break everything down. Cuddling was the fact that we get in this greater sympathetic drive, but it is that flight or fight and progesterone ‘s job again is to make the body elevated so that it can build us into mutual lining, including our metabolic rates are a metabolic rate starts to come up to we think about testosterone, testosterone and low levels. It doesn’t really fluctuate through perimenopause, menopause, we always have a relatively stable rate and then it starts to decline with age. It does have anabolic properties but not as much as estrogen in the female body. And then we also have things like luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone. Now these are responsible for ovulation. But we start to see those two hormones coming up and staying elevated in late perimenopause and into menopause because it’s trying to get the egg to develop and drop but we’re having in ovulation and ovarian failure so it’s not working. So when we really come down to it, we focus on what estradiol and progesterone do and how they counter each other and how they’re responsible for muscle protein synthesis, metabolic rate metabolic control, how we fuel our body, and how we should be looking at the basic aspects of sex differences from birth, as opposed to just how these hormones affect us. Because when we animism, we can start really maximizing the sex differences from birth, with training and nutrition to really get a good body composition, clear out the brain fog, and keep empowering ourselves to build our performance. Horse, we’re not going to be as fast as when we were in our 20s. But we don’t have to succumb to aging out, which is so much the predominant idea in fitness and sport.

Courtney Townley 20:49
Yeah, yeah. And you, I think you highlight that really well, in your book you talk about like, half of your life is left to live, after you have, you know, on the other side of menopause, and so it definitely is worth the effort of figuring out how we can, you know, work with our body at this age and stage of life rather than just tossing in the towel and being at the mercy of this hormonal disruption. So, in terms of hormone hormone replacement therapy, because this is something to that really struck me in the book is you don’t talk about hormone replacement therapy. You talk about menopausal hormone therapy. Yes, yes. So can you explain the difference?

Dr. Stacy Sims 21:35
Yeah. So again, I’m going to refer back to when I was working with the Women’s Health Initiative. And largest Hispanic was my mentor. She’s a fantastic researcher, really good friend. And she was the PI for the western side of the Women’s Health Initiative. So that was the big American study that made everyone fear, HRT hormone replacement therapy. And when I was there, the study was old. But we’re working on a lot of clinical new stuff. And there’s two distinct conversations that happen. We have the pharmaceutical side of things where we have a lot of OBGYN and people were doing clinical research to talk about is hormone replacement therapy, because they’re very much in the westernized idea that we need to give women supplements because they’re starting to have ovarian failure. It’s a clinical problem, and we can give drugs to fix it. But on the other side, are people in public health. There, people will look at alternative therapies that are specific research scientists, and looking from a more holistic viewpoint. And understanding how language can affect the way people think that conversation turns around. It’s not replacing anything, because we haven’t lost it to begin with. This is a natural response. We’re having a deadline, just like testosterone declines in men, we have a decline in estrogen progesterone we just age differently from. So we look at all the significant changes that happen and all the vasomotor symptoms and everything that comes with perimenopause. And we know that if you use a little bit of hormone, you can transition a little bit easier if you are having really severe symptoms that interfere with daily life. So it’s menopause, hormone therapy. But we know that therapies go in conjunction with other things. So we think about psychology, you have cognitive behavioral therapy that is often used in conjunction with SSRIs, or some other kind of medication. So changing the conversation and what the hormone therapy is called in the menopause transition really makes people take a pause and go wait a second, if it’s menopause, hormone therapy, what other things cannot be doing is sort of just automatically going to the drug therapy.

Courtney Townley 23:59
Yeah, I love it. So important. So let’s talk about that. The other things. And the first thing I want to start with, because I think it’s very much in this camp of of these therapies in terms of alternative pathway pathways meant not medications, but supplements, and specifically adaptogens. Will you speak to that, and what you have sort of found in terms of the benefit of that for this population?

Dr. Stacy Sims 24:24
Yeah, I mean, I’ve been using Jeff gins for decades.

Courtney Townley 24:28
Because like, what adaptogens are, because some people probably don’t know what they are.

Dr. Stacy Sims 24:32
Yeah. So when we talk about, like phytochemicals in plants we hear, you know, use or eat a lot of cares for beta carotene, and we want to look at red wine for reservatrol. Like those are phytochemicals. Adaptogens are specific plants that have phytochemicals in them that actually read your body’s stress levels and your hormone levels and work with your body to modulate Two things. So what I mean by that is say you are in perimenopause, you have an elevation of baseline cortisol and you can’t sleep, you’re always in this wired but tired state and no matter what you do, you just can’t get out of it-

Courtney Townley 25:15
doesn’t know anything about that Stacy.

Dr. Stacy Sims 25:20
So what you can do is you can look to use something like ashwagandha. Now Ashwagandha is an indian ginseng for the most part. And the compounds within it come in and it goes, Hey, wait a second, these cortisol receptor sites are way over stimulated. So I’m going to is going to come over here and I’m going to downgrade their sensitivity. So your body still might be producing as much cortisol initially, but it’s not going to respond the same, it’s going to start to relax, it takes a few weeks for it to build up. But it’s not a build up like a pharmaceutical. It is again, working in modulating and reading your body. So adaptogens got their term, because it adapts to the body kind of like seaweed adapts to how much sunlight there might be. So that indicates how much protein it has. So it is all about reading your HPA axis, how much estrogen you have, how many receptors are being activated, and really helping to level the playing field. And not everyone responds the same to each plant. So that’s why you have a million ashwagandha Shaundra. You have dismal mushrooms. Each one is a player, and it can help mitigate whatever is the most severe symptom in women. Yeah.

Courtney Townley 26:43
And you’re like, what is the pathway that a woman would go down to start testing that water? Right? Like, do you recommend that she goes to a naturopath or someone who’s well versed in that conversation? Do you think that it’s safe enough for women to just start trial and airing on their own? What’s, what’s the recommendation around that?

Dr. Stacy Sims 27:04
Well, there’s a couple of ways to go around like you can work with a naturopath, most pharmacists are well versed in it if you’re lucky enough to find a pharmacist who understands complementary alternative stuff. And they should be because most of them are being educated in that because it is technically pharmaceutical range. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t trial and error. And so there’s a really sedate ones that are really well studied lots of literature, NIH and Cam about it. So we look at ashwagandha, maca, which isn’t a lot of smoothies that you get Shaundra, which is a little bit weird for most people, because they’re like, what is that. And when we see things like cordsets Reishi Mushrooms, so you can buy them and use lowest effective dose, which is often on the label, and know that you want to primarily take them in the morning because you don’t actually know if your body’s going to be overstimulated at first one not, especially with things like Shaundra, which gives you focus and is more of a stimulant. So you can try it and just do one at a time most effective dose, see how that goes for two weeks may or may not be something that’s really working for you. If it’s not, then you can layer in another one that helps with the symptoms. And if it seems like it’s in the toolbar basket, then definitely reach out to the natural. Yeah-

Courtney Townley 28:27
Yeah. And I think you do a beautiful job of this in the book like you lay it out, you explain the you know, the sort of some probably some of the more popular ones, the ones that you have definitely tried on. And you give some recommendations around that. So if people want more information on embarking on that, just another reason to get this book. So let’s go ahead.

Dr. Stacy Sims 28:48
I will, this is not a plug. Oh, you can fly. It’s okay. Okay. We’ve gotten so many questions about adaptogens that I created a mini course it’s a micro learning. So it’s a 55 minutes of 10 minute chapters that goes through. What are adaptogens what are the stimulatory ones? What are they use for the relaxing ones? What are these four and all the popular medicinal mushrooms? How do you perfect and that kind of stuff?

Courtney Townley 29:17
Is this on your website? Yep. Yeah, perfect. Yeah, we’ll put and we’ll just for everyone listening, we’ll have all the details to find all the Stacy Sims goods on the page where this Podcast is housed. So let’s lean a little bit into other lifestyle influencers in terms of things that help to lessen the symptoms of the menopause transition and really help us to rock the second act because that’s what most of us want to do. Right? Yeah. So I’d love to start with sleep because I feel like sleep is just kind of the base level. I mean, if we’re struggling with sleep, it affects everything they do and sleep. It’s tricky, and I don’t remember exactly how you described it in the book, but you talk about like two wrecking balls like hitting each other, because it’s like your demand to get more sleep. And yet progesterone is not working in our favor. And there’s a lot of other reasons that we’re struggling, I’d actually didn’t know that we started to produce less melatonin at this stage of life, which was really interesting to know. So why asleep important to our health? I think let’s just reiterate that. And why is it so challenging to get good sleep at this stage of our life.

Dr. Stacy Sims 30:27
So it’s no small feat that no one really knows why we need to sleep, we just know that we need it. And we see the repercussions of a good night’s sleep versus a bad night’s sleep, we need it for the most part, because this is a time where we solidify physical and mental challenges where we solidify memories we solidify motor skills and our body needs. That time we’re we’re not moving to be able to put all these things together and get deep recovering deep repair. If we didn’t have sleep, we’d never have that time to do that. And we see that through sleep deprivation, we see that in ultra endurance athletes where they start imagining things and saying, no illusions around things like pink hippopotamus jumping over an mailbox in the middle of the forest, right. So we know that the body is like, hey, wait a second, it’s like, and the sleep architecture is really super important. So we know that we have REM sleep, non REM sleep, slow wave or deep delta sleep. And each one has a specific rationale for happening to allow our bodies to get into a deep reparation mode for physical and mental acuity. So when we look at the mechanisms of sleep, there are two really important things that happen, our core temperature drops naturally, which is how we fall asleep. And then it slowly comes up to wake us up naturally. When we hit perimenopause, our core temperature is all over the show where it might be elevated at different times, because all of a sudden, we have progesterone surge, or we might be estrogen dominant, and that drops her for temperature. But then all of a sudden, we have an upsurge of serotonin, and that can cause another drop and cause a whole bunch of things going on in the brain, which does not allow us to get into sleep. Okay. And like you said earlier, we don’t produce as much melatonin because estrogen drives and the other aspect about it, is when we’re looking at sleep architecture, and the ability to get into a good relaxed sleep with that core temperature, we also have to be able to get into a parasympathetic drive. And this is what we lose. When we have a lot of cortisol, it’s elevated, we always hover in that, like I said, you’re wired and tired, because you can drop into a parasympathetic state, which we need to to have that rest and digest. So it’s really difficult in this time, because of the hormone shifts and how our bodies respond to it. So when we talk about sleep, and how do we get better sleep, the first and foremost is dialing in your sleep hygiene. So this is your blue light filters. It’s not using screens in bed, it’s having a cool room, maybe a weighted blanket, things that everyone should be doing for good sleep hygiene. And then specifically for perimenopause, and other women who might be in late perimenopause, early post menopause, still having sleep issues, it’s dropping the core temperature and increasing melatonin production. So this can be something as simple as taking tart cherry juice about half an hour before bed to drinking some cold surcharges. And this is going to drop your core temperature is going to increase natural melatonin production. If those don’t work, then the other thing we can look at is using adaptogens. So things like ashwagandha, those relaxation, ones that drop cortisol, allow your body to get into that parasympathetic state. And mindfulness as well. So having that 10 minutes of shutting everything down, being centered a sound like yo yo MSA that taking breaths, understanding, right? Yeah. And it’s not hokey, because it actually does increase parasympathetic drive, which we need. Since our steps to do to get into good sleep patterns. The one thing not to do is go I can’t sleep. I’m not going to get to sleep tonight, because it really races you forced you into that sympathetic drive.

Courtney Townley 34:35
Yeah. And the other thing you highlight, which I think is so important, is the alcohol. Yes, absolutely.

Dr. Stacy Sims 34:41
This is not the time to be drinking as much as you think you’re crazy and you need to drink this is not the time to be drinking.

Courtney Townley 34:47
No, because it seems at the time, like it’s a great idea to unwind. And then of course a few hours later you’re wide awake in bed. Not to mention there’s a ton of other reasons but for sleeps specifically. It can definitely raise a lot of challenges. All right, let’s talk about fueling because this I mean, I’m sure this is where you spend a lot of conversations, I would imagine in terms of interviews around this book, because I think women, at least my experience of working with a lot of women, and a lot of different age groups is all women are under fed. And I shouldn’t say all, but a large majority of women are under fed. And they’re also buying into a lot of diet dogma. And you really lean into that in this book and how being under fed, and doing extreme things like intermittent fasting and ketogenic dieting, can really create obstacles to performance and feeling awesome in the second half of life. So let’s, let’s lean into that a little bit.

Dr. Stacy Sims 35:49
Yeah, so as I mentioned earlier, there are sex differences from birth. And then there are epigenetic exposures that happen at puberty with estrogen progesterone. So I’m going to separate them a bit here, I’m talking about sex differences from birth, we’re talking about the x x versus the x, y. And we know that xx, the biological female, we have inherently different muscle responses to metabolism. So we have more of the protein within the mitochondria are the powerhouse of the muscle that allows us to use free fatty acids, we also have more type one fibers that make us more in dirt. And then when we have estrogen that comes along with puberty, it increases our body’s ability to spare carbohydrate use more free fatty acids, and progesterone also comes into play there. So when we start to lose progesterone, estrogen, we still are able to burn more fats. But the thing about it is, if we don’t fuel, we can’t tap into that. Because the other aspect is we don’t necessarily tap into liver and muscle glycogen that we hear so much about like, Oh, you’re going to be glycogen depleted. Now we use our blood sugar first. And then we started to tap into fatty acids, we don’t really tap so much into muscle glycogen. And this is inherent regardless of age. So when we start losing estrogen, progesterone, we need to be very cognizant that we need to be fed in order to have an elevation in blood sugar in order to get our metabolism to where it needs to be to do the things that we love the intensity sessions, or the lifting sessions, those kinds of things. We also know that women who have maybe 90 grams is sure sorry, not 90 grams, 90 calories of protein, so about 20 ish grams of protein before they exercise that actually feeds forward improves the exercise portion of training, and elevates resting metabolic rate post exercise, more so than having a dose of carbohydrate. And throughout research, the small amount that hasn’t been done on fasted versus fed, ketogenic diet also has come up. Women don’t do well. We see changes that happen in men, but we don’t see positive outcomes for women. The other aspect about it is in our brain in the hypothalamus, where we register calorie density and nutrition status. Men have one area in the brain, especially in hypothalamus that has what we call kisspeptin. neurons. Women have to, we have to because we have a menstrual cycle. And these two areas are very sensitive to calorie and nutrition. When we don’t have calories coming in, we don’t have the blood sugar that’s there to provide fuel for stress, we hit the signaling to down regulate those. And it’s a lot of big sciency words, but for the most part, we think about it as men can exist without having any kind of endocrine or hormone dysfunction. When they hit 15 calories per kilogram of fat free mass. Women sit at 40 between 35 and 40. When you drop below that we start seeing dysfunction because of this interference or this downregulation in the brain. So then when you start looking at faster training, of course, we’ll get better, because they haven’t quite reached that low threshold. But for women, you start doing faster training devices like What the How am I going to adapt to the stress, I’ve got other things I need to take care of like the brain, the gut, the heart, liver, skin, all of those things. So when we talk about training, we need to fuel for what we’re doing. And then the other side of things is we need to recover from what we’re doing. Otherwise, we burn through our protein we burn through our main mass because we stay in a breakdown state we call a catabolic state. And the body’s like I need some quick I need some energy, I need something and it’s going to conserve that because fat is a very valuable commodity both from insulation, but it’s a very good fuel source heavy fuel source, but doesn’t have any of that yet. So it starts burning leanness. So I’m gonna burn off this because amino acids I need and muscle is very energy hungry. So if you’re not fueling, then why are you trying to exercise because you’re just going to burn through your name. That’s when we already have that issue with perimenopause and menopause or losing our movements. Yeah.

Courtney Townley 40:30
So can we talk about like some really pointed advice around feeding because I definitely want to talk about like, carbohydrates, right? You’re not saying that carbohydrates aren’t good for people to consume in any way, shape or form? You’re saying it’s important, right? We have to focus on the quality, we have to respect carbohydrates. So can we talk about specifically carbs and protein and just kind of recommendations around that, and I realized that all of this is very ballparked. Right? This is a broad stroke, because everybody is very individualized. But these are the questions that I constantly am coming up against. And I would love to have your intake on this.

Dr. Stacy Sims 41:10
First and foremost, carbohydrates are friend we are they are Puli need them. And like you said, it comes down to the quality of them. So as we get into Peri and post menopause for more insulin resistant, the time to eat our quote, favorite carbs to quit carbs is in around train, because like I said, you need blood glucose, so it’s gonna be a quick hit, to bring that blood glucose up. But the rest of time we want to look at fruit and veg, high fiber. We know fiber is super important for health performance. And that deep gut bacteria we talk a lot about right, because we want to grow this specific phyla of bacteria that encourages us to be lean. If we don’t, then we encourage the growth of the bacteria that holds on to body fat. And the way we do that is eating lots of fibery fruit and veggies and whole grains, because they love that to carbohydrates good. With enough protein, there is an age response, as well as hormone response with the fact that we become more anabolic ly resistant as we age. And when we drop estrogen, which is our primary anabolic hormone, we become even more anabolic resistance. So anabolic is growth. It’s the muscle protein synthesis. So when we’re looking at protein, we know that women as they age need more protein. And it’s really important in perimenopause, that we have protein at regular intervals throughout the day, and hitting around 30 grams at each meal. And definitely banking either side of our training with some protein. Because we need increased amount of circulating amino acids, not only for muscle protein synthesis, but for gut health, for brain health, for a lot of other things that our body uses amino acids for. And I think the biggest pushback I get from the book is how much protein is recommended. So we’re saying around a gram per pound, so around that to the 2.3 grams per kilogram, and people don’t want that so much protein. So it’s not, it’s not really when you think about the general recommendation for women in the sedentary world where they’re like, oh point six 2.8 grams per pound, is based on sedentary old men. It doesn’t have anything to do with women. So when you start looking at the research that’s been done on women, they’re like, Hey, wait a second, women actually need more. And as they age, they need more. And when you’re looking at building lean mass now, we look and say, okay, when we lose estrogen, we actually lose one of the pathways responsible for muscle protein synthesis, because in general, there are three pathways, we have one that’s IGF one or insulin growth factor that stimulated by estradiol. We have mechanical stress, which is exercise, so we have bonuses. So when we lose that IGF one pathway, we rely on mechanical stress, followed up with a good amino acid pool, which is protein. So in order to keep getting those changes that we want with a positive body composition, increasingly mass, we need protein. Yeah.

Courtney Townley 44:23
So I mean, I’m a meat eater, I used to one of the ways I have been able to keep my protein relatively high. But I also understand you know that a lot of people are plant based solely a lot of vegetarians, a lot of vegans. And you absolutely are a supporter of plant based protein and plants in general, because there’s so much nutrient value found in that those foods. Do you do you find it challenging? I don’t know. Do you eat me? I guess I’m curious to know.

Dr. Stacy Sims 44:56
Full disclosure. No, I have been a A vegetarian since I was four.

Courtney Townley 45:02
I think I knew this about I think we talked about this in the first episode. Yeah.

Dr. Stacy Sims 45:06
Yeah, sure to pig slaughterhouse and living in San Francisco.

Courtney Townley 45:09
Yeah, that changed your mind. Okay. Yeah. So let’s talk about vegetarian based protein eating because I think that more and more people are interested in plant based protein sources. And it can be really challenging when you’re switching or trying to just eat more plant based protein sources. Even though pro plants have protein, you have to eat a lot more of them to get the same amount that you would from an animal source. So yeah, words of wisdom around that.

Dr. Stacy Sims 45:38
So I’ll dig into that. So one of the problems is when you eat a lot of plants you get full before you get your calorie needs because of the fiber, which I might learn to do. But the other aspect is, we have to look at the nutrition density. So people who are in that hole on eating clean, I’m going to try fan base, and they eat a lot of fiber and it’s low nutrient density, but and also low in calorie. So we want to look at plant base that is high nutrient density. So this is your nuts, your seeds. I mean, we can look at Miko protein. So your your, your mushroom, and for some people who do egg, the egg based proteins, right? Yeah, we can also look at some I’m not a huge fan of the new meat substitutes like Impossible Burger because they’re pretty genetically modified. So I’m going to put that in the back corner.

Courtney Townley 46:31
Yes, like if it gets like a condiment, you can use on occasion, but it’s not the mainstay.

Dr. Stacy Sims 46:36
Exactly, exactly. But when you’re looking at like soy protein, it’s not a great source, it doesn’t have enough leucine in it. You can eat Inami it’s fantastic. Lots of beans are great, but a lot of people will reach for the protein powders. And if we’re looking at protein powders, don’t go for soy because you need 50 grams of soy protein to be equivalent to 25 grams of whey. So it’s almost made it is double. It’s double. Yeah, so we look at peas, like good old green peas there getting protein, hierarchically, and pea protein isolate. So that’s a protein powder that a lot of vegans use. It’s not that difficult to build it up. When you’re looking at using sprouted grain bread, you’re looking at using nuts and seeds, you’re looking at using legumes. If you are vegetarian and not vegan, then you’re looking at egg whites, you’re looking at Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. So it’s it’s easier than what people think the issue really becomes getting too full and not meeting calories.

Courtney Townley 47:40
Right. Yeah. So it and like with anything. And I think again, you’re so good at doing this where you talk about sort of, you know, the ideal, the things that maybe you want to work towards. And there’s a process and a progress to getting there that you don’t take that leap and one step in unless you want to face plan.

Dr. Stacy Sims 48:02
Right? Yeah, totally. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And I teach my daughter that at the moment that she’s Oh, man.

Courtney Townley 48:09
I know. You have a 10 year old, right? You have 10? Yeah, she’s Yeah, I have a 12 year old. So I totally get that world right now. I know, I know. I just keep reminding myself, okay, the prefrontal cortex is not fully developed. Over and over. Okay, let’s, let’s move a little bit on to exercise because this is definitely a topic that I again, I know, a lot of people are gonna have questions about. So let’s start with strength training, because one of the stats from your book, which is I think a powerful one for a lot of people to know, is you can expect to lose up to 8% of your strength each decade after your 30th birthday. And that decline accelerates after the age of 60. Menopause doesn’t really help that, right? Because estrogen is essential for, as you say, the muscle stem cell function and maintenance. Yeah, so strength training is a really big deal.

Dr. Stacy Sims 49:03
It’s the big rock. I mean, full disclosure, right? I come from a full on endurance background. I’ve been lifting throughout my whole life for the strength component of endurance. But looking at the research that’s coming out for people who are time pressed, the one thing they should be doing is resistance training, not only for body composition, but also-

Courtney Townley 49:26
Yeah, because you talked about all the benefits, right? Got health benefits, mental health benefits, there’s so many benefits to strength training beyond just muscle. Yeah, yeah. And you’re not just talking about strength training. Let’s be clear, you’re talking about heavy lifting, like we’re talking about the five rep range my friends, which is heavy lifting, like not that not the Barbie dumbbells, right, not even the eight to 12 rep range, which again, is a very progressive place to be for a while if you’re just getting into strength training, but really working towards five sets of five reps and two to exhaust yourself at that level, you have to be thrown around some pretty heavy weight.

Dr. Stacy Sims 50:04
Yeah, we say the three to 535 rule, three, five exercises, three, five sets, three, five minutes recovery. And that’s that’s a session. And we’re not looking for any kind of cardiovascular aspect where a lot of things are like, Oh, resistance training, I’m gonna go to boot camp. I’m gonna do this bodyweight cert. Yeah, no, no, no, no, no. Because that puts you in that moderate intensity zone, which increases cortisol and it doesn’t do anything. Not only that, from again, sex differences at birth, women do better with power training, you’re not going to get bulky. I know a lot of women are afraid to throw around heavy weights, because they’re afraid they’re gonna get bulky, you’re not going to look like any Torstar, who is a CrossFit world champion. She wants really significantly hard. And to be there, that muscle, yeah, right, you have to eat a lot. You cannot be doing a lot of cardio, you have to be very cognizant of how you eat how much you eat in order to get bulky. And it’s a full time job. It is a full time job. And then when you’re hitting this stage in your life, and you’re losing estrogen or main anabolic hormone, it’s even harder to go lean mass and keep Yeah. So when we talk about heavy resistance training, it’s more for that neuromuscular connection. Because we lose power, we lose speed, we even lose the postural balance. And there’s research coming in having that’s been published looking at 78 year old women who are now doing power based training, just to be able to have that balance and postural ability to have quality of life. So it’s all switching across the age to power base stuff. Now, for women who are like, had want to lift me I don’t know how to lift heavy. I don’t want you to go to the gym tomorrow and try to deadlift

Courtney Townley 51:55
100 kilos. Please don’t .

Dr. Stacy Sims 51:58
Yeah, we want to phase it, we want really good mechanics, we want to work on how you move. So you have sore knees, and you don’t want to do jumping, you don’t want to attack me, we work on the mobility around the needs. And we phase in load as we have good mechanics from month to month to get there. And heavy is very individual. But the role like you said earlier, it’s the aim to get into that three to five rep range. And having that neuromuscular. And when you start doing it right, and you’re sitting down and resting between your your, your sets, and you’re like, I’m wasting a lot of time, you’re not like I’m regenerating my central nervous system so that I can lift this again,

Courtney Townley 52:42
I love that you’re highlighting that because it’s so often women want, like you said, they want to do the heavy lifting, and they want to do like the circuit training around it while I’m going to sprinkle my cardio in between sets, or and it’s like, well, if you’re lifting heavy, you don’t have the energy stores for that. You need to rest and recover. Yeah, so. So on the note of cardio, though, let’s talk about that a little bit, because you’re a big fan of interval training, specifically, sprint interval training. So sit instead of hit. Will you explain that?

Dr. Stacy Sims 53:15
Yes. So like I said, we’re trying to find ways to support her body the way a woman’s used to, and we look at you doing true high intensity work. So sprint interval training, we are going full gas for a very short amount of time. So you’re looking at a nine to 10 on a rating of perceived exertion scale of one to 10. You can hold it for 20, maybe 30 seconds, and you are going balsa wall and go oh my gosh, where’s my rest? I can I can’t hold us any longer. Yeah, the reason for that is we are trying to get an epigenetic change within the muscle to increase our ability to pull carbohydrate in and rely less on insulin because we are becoming more insulin resistant, sensitive, and resistant. Yes. And we also want to be able to maintain power. And we also want to be able to polarize our training so that we stay out of that moderate intensity zone and reduce cortisol. We hear a lot of chatter about how women shouldn’t do hit in this stage of life. We shouldn’t do sit because it increases cortisol, but the follow through that is not discussed. When you look at the science. The follow through is when you do that you get a boost of growth hormone, you get a boost of anti inflammatory responses and a boost of antioxidant responses, which then feed for to improve adaptation, reduce baseline cortisol and improve our metabolic control as well as giving us signals to not put on the cereal bodyfat super important to do that now hop in work and stay out of that. 45 minutes orange theory F 45 stuff that doesn’t work.

Courtney Townley 54:59
Yeah. And let’s be clear, too, that interval training of any kind, it has to be respected. It is not an everyday modality. It is definitely like your recommendation, I think is max three times a week. Yes, exactly. Yes. Yeah, exactly. And we’re talking what like timewise, like 20 minutes tops, maximum.

Dr. Stacy Sims 55:18
That’s when your warmup and cooldown, it could be 15. Like, yeah, here’s an example of it’s, it’s easy to relate to this example. So we have 12 minutes. In that 12 minutes, you actually have six minutes of work. In that six minutes, you do a buy in of 10, heavy, moderate, moderate to heavy deadlifts. And in the remaining time, you’re jumping on a bike or treadmill or a rowing erg. And you’re going as hard as you can, trying to accumulate as many meters or calories as you can in the remaining time, to the point where that minute off, you’re like, oh, my gosh, minute off. And you do that six times. Yeah. And you can use it as a test to see like how you’re progressing. But the whole goal is try to get as many calories or meters in that last bit of time after those deadlifts. And that’s your challenge to try to beat each one. So that is full gas that’s going as hard as you can, looking forward to that minute off. And the fifth, yeah.

Courtney Townley 56:18
Six raise again, in the book, you have so many resources for helping people to kind of understand different ways of starting to introduce themselves to CIT training. So again, get the book because there’s so many of these. Yeah, these examples laid out for you. Okay, I want to ask you, before we go, some real quick community questions. These are just questions. A lot of people knew I was interviewing you, because I was so excited. They were so excited. So people sent me some questions that some of this we may have covered in some way, but I’m just going to shoot them at you. And let’s see what comes out of this. So the first question is just suggestions for balancing the training at midlife. And what this means the woman who asked it, she’s definitely an athlete, she does a lot of mobility training, a lot of locomotion, a lot of strength training. So she’s talking about balancing intervals and recovery and strength and flexibility. And how do we manage it all?

Dr. Stacy Sims 57:17
I know, it’s good question. Because I get that question a lot, too, is like, how do you organize? Yeah, yeah. So I look at it as an undulating periodization model. So you have blocks, and then D load and another block and D loads. So we go, okay, we look at two weeks. Now, what are we going to accomplish in the two weeks? What is your goal in those two weeks? Yeah, if your goal is strength, then we get at least three heavy lifting sessions in a week, maybe four, if you’re doing longer than a seven day you’re actually doing the 14 day period. And then when we get to a week off, it’s not off per se, that’s where you do all of your mobility, you do your technique work, you’re doing really low intensity work to absorb the hard train from the previous two weeks. And then you can do another block. If you’re not so much into undulating periodization, you’re like I have all these things I need to do in a week, you have to really pick what are your two big things, what are your foci and if your focus is strength, then that becomes your predominant what you do. And you can pepper that by doing your heavy work first, in the gym, you’re 20 minutes, maximum 30 minutes of your heavy lifting. And then if you want to do some sit right afterwards, taking the fatigue from the lifting into the mode that you might be racing, or your favorite mode, then you can do some short sharp intervals at the end. But ideally, you separate them. And you go okay, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, those are my lifting days, because that’s my focus. Tuesday, Thursday, I might throw in some short, sharp intervals and mobility. And that’s what you do. You have a focus and say, what is it? What is my main goal here? And it might be that you block off three months, and you have a focus for three months. Yeah. And it’s kind of like anything in life, right?

Courtney Townley 59:06
Like we have to make decisions. We have to choose where we’re spending our time and energy because we can’t possibly do it all all the time. And periodization definitely is so valuable in that regard. I want to highlight something you said because I think it’s so important that when we’re talking about heavy lifting, did you hear what she said ladies? 20 To 30 minutes tops.

Unknown Speaker 59:29
No 90 minute sessions in the gym,

Courtney Townley 59:30
no 90 minute. No, if you’re if you can do 90 minutes, you are not lifting heavy, like you lift heavy for 90 minutes. I couldn’t. Yeah. Now.

Dr. Stacy Sims 59:39
Am I done? Oh, thank goodness because I’m tapped out.

Courtney Townley 59:44
Exactly. Okay. The next question is, how many meals and how much protein per meal? So and the other part of this question, just to be clear, is that how long does it take to synthesize protein between meals

Dr. Stacy Sims 1:00:01
So the synthesis rate is very individual. And we know I mean, I hear all these things. So you can’t have more than 20 grams, your body doesn’t absorb it. That is false. Totally false. Even Mr. Protein man, Stu Phillips, he is really like now this is not true, you end up using between 20 and 30 grams for muscle protein synthesis after exercise. Okay, the rest of it is used for all the other things your body needs amino acids for? Yeah, so we’re talking about keeping a relatively stable amino acid pool for all of the things besides just muscle protein synthesis. We look at again, around that 25 to 30 gram hit at every meal, looking at three to four meals regularly spaced, and then really looking in around training where we’re going to put protein, ideally, within one hit around that one pound for one gram per pound or two grams per kilogram. Can that’s your daily intake. Yeah.

Courtney Townley 1:01:07
And one of the things you really emphasize in the book multiple times, it’s just that, that eating getting that protein in like 30 minutes post workout, if you really want your body to utilize it in the most profound way where men can go up to three hours.

Dr. Stacy Sims 1:01:21
Yeah, yeah. So we look at it, your body returns to baseline women return to your baseline state of blood glucose and synthesis within that 30 Or sorry, within 90 minutes, and then you know, they can extend it out to about 18 hours. So that window is super tight for women. And remember when I said that we’d lose one of those pathways when we lose estrogen. So it’s super important to backup training with protein.

Courtney Townley 1:01:49
So good to know. Okay, the next question, I love this question, because I was I taught Pilates for years, like literally, at the level of certifying trainers, I don’t do it anymore. But the question is, in regards to this, first of all, do you recommend eating prior to easy runs and movement modalities? Like Pilates? Yeah, she’s basically asking if she can fast before those things.

Dr. Stacy Sims 1:02:11
No, you can’t fast.

Unknown Speaker 1:02:13
Okay, I like that. And

Dr. Stacy Sims 1:02:14
it doesn’t have to be something heavy, right? It can be a half a banana. It could be a piece of toast. It could be a protein, fortified coffee, but you need to have, you know, 100 150 calories coming in to bring your blood sugar up. It’s all Yes. Okay.

Courtney Townley 1:02:29
The second part of the question is what is your opinion of Pilates as a form of strength training?

Dr. Stacy Sims 1:02:36
It is good for people hate this term. But I mean, use it anyway. functional training, balance, getting core stability, but is does not fall into that neuromuscular connection that we want for getting aging, right for me message doesn’t fit into that heavy lifting. It can be a compliment, for sure.

Courtney Townley 1:02:57
Absolutely. Definitely a compliment. And then this this I’m genuinely curious about as well, I have a woman in my community who the other night on a group coaching call was just talking about how aware she is at certain times of the month, have a lot of joint pain and just physical pain in her body. And I know you speak to this in the book, but will you just maybe speak to it a little bit here, because I’m sure she’s not the only person who’s experiencing this. Now.

Dr. Stacy Sims 1:03:23
And this is also the time where women get a lot more soft tissue injuries, and have maybe a lot of tendinitis, like inflammation of the tendons limits joint pain. And it is because we have a higher baseline level of inflammation. And too, we’re losing some of the elastic properties in our tendons and ligaments. So we really have to work on range of motion and mobility stuff. But the other thing is looking at pulling into collagen, looking at eating more anti inflammatory foods using tumeric. And there’s been some really good case controlled trials looking at Tumeric versus like Celebrex and other Mei sets, where Tumeric actually does better. So using Tumeric on a regular basis really helps and know that yes, you are going to have some joint pain and soft tissue niggles here and there but you have to be really cognizant of that and do proper recovery modalities to minimize it. Yeah, definitely.

Courtney Townley 1:04:21
A lot of which we talked about here today. Okay, so this is my question is, when’s the next? What’s the next book going to be about?

Dr. Stacy Sims 1:04:29
Oh, well, we’re, like I said, updating more. But yeah, you know, I’ve done the whole soup to nuts with the roar, and we’ve done this part. And next is the youth athlete.

Courtney Townley 1:04:41
I knew it. Yes, that sounds pretty. Yeah. Perfect.

Dr. Stacy Sims 1:04:45
So many questions about girls and what can we do to empower gas? Yeah, there’s so many things so and

Courtney Townley 1:04:53
I love it. So we’re just like literally traveling from birth through life with Stacy Sims. It’s gonna be-

Dr. Stacy Sims 1:04:58
hopefully that’s how works. Yep.

Courtney Townley 1:05:01
Fantastic. Any any closing words, anything that you want the audience to know, before we go, besides the things we’ve talked about here tonight?

Dr. Stacy Sims 1:05:09
Yeah, um, I think the main goal of the book not only for the Education Forum, but is to really normalize the conversation around menopause, how we were able to really start to normalize the conversation around periods. Because I get so tired of women like hiding from the word, it isn’t something to be afraid of. It’s just we’ve been in this whole patriarchal society that tells women you shouldn’t age. So hopefully, this book really empowers women to have conversations amongst themselves and with their partners. I’ve seen a lot of women give the book to their male partners, their husbands boyfriends, or whatever it say here, you know, understand what’s going on, and they love it. So it’s-

Courtney Townley 1:05:50
their physicians-

Dr. Stacy Sims 1:05:52
to starting the conversation, and yes, that’s a big hook for it. Yeah.

Courtney Townley 1:05:59
Well, I think you totally nailed it. I mean, I think it’s somewhere in the beginning of the book, you talked about how you hope that next level does for menopause. What roar did for menstruation. Yeah. And I think you’ve you’ve totally nailed it. It’s such an important book. There’s just so much valuable stuff in this book. Yeah, I’m just so glad you wrote it. Because as someone in the women’s health field, you know, to have all of this put together in a book to give women what I hear in the book really is an invitation, right? And invitation into the second half of life. versus, like, you’re just done and we’re just gonna, you know, you’re just gonna fade out. Now you’re gonna step up-

Dr. Stacy Sims 1:06:38
Right now, man, not fading.

Courtney Townley 1:06:40
No, no, exactly. So the book, again, next level, we’ll put it on the page where this Podcast is found. We’ll put all the links to Stacy’s website and all of her social media outlets. And yeah, I’m just so grateful for you in every regard for doing the work you’re doing in the world for making time tonight for this interview, I massively appreciate it.

Dr. Stacy Sims 1:07:02
So thanks for having me. It’s been great to catch up and to talk about all this.

Courtney Townley 1:07:07
Oh, it’s good stuff.

Courtney Townley 1:07:14
Thank you for listening to the grace and grit Podcast. It is time to mend the fabric of the female health story. And it starts with you taking radical responsibility for your own self care. You are worth the effort and with a little grace and grit, anything is possible.



Dr. Stacy Sims

More about today’s guest:

STACY T. SIMS, MSC, PHD, is a forward-thinking international exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist who aims to revolutionize exercise nutrition and performance for women.

She has directed research programs at Stanford, AUT University, and the University of Waikato, focusing on female athlete health and performance and pushing the dogma to improve research on all women.

With the unique opportunities, Silicon Valley has to offer, during her tenure at Stanford, she had the opportunity to translate earlier research into consumer products and a science-based layperson’s book (ROAR) written to explain sex differences in training and nutrition across the lifespan. Both the consumer products and the book challenged the existing dogma for women in exercise, nutrition, and health. This paradigm shift is the focus of her famous “Women Are Not Small Men” TEDx talk.

Her contributions to the international research environment and the sports nutrition industry has established a new niche in sports nutrition; and established her reputation as the expert in sex differences in training, nutrition, and health.

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