Debbie Potts Coaching

Mapping your Cycling: Exercise, Nutrition and Fasting

Attention Female (cycling) athletes

Are you tracking your cycle and matching your training exercise, nutrition and fasting together as on Training Peaks?

I am doing this for my coaching clients. So interesting to map out your month.

Dr. Mindy Pelz - Holistic health and fasting expert

Dr. Mindy Pelz – Holistic health and fasting expert

Let’s map out your days of your cycle with your nutrition menu plan, exercise schedule and fasting style.

 Here is GREAT example from my the amazing Dr. Mindy Pelz on her blog
Who is Dr. Mindy anyways?
Dr. Mindy Pelz is empowering people all over the world to believe in their body’s own healing abilities through fasting, diet variation, removing chemicals from the body, and so much more. Dr. Mindy is a recognized leader in the alternative health world and is the founder of Family Life Wellness, her local clinic that is made to speed up healing and maximize performance. She is also the founder of the Reset Academy, a private group where she and her team help people implement the principals of fasting, keto, and diet variation into their daily lives. She is the host of one of the leading science podcasts, The Resetter Podcast, and the author of three best-selling books, The Menopause ResetThe Reset Factor, and The Reset Kitchen.

Link for the book:


Let’s get back to our hormones during our cycle so we can adjust our nutrition, training and fasting variation different days of the month.

What happens during our ovulation days?

Dr. Mindy Pelz:

  1. If ovulation is day 10 to day 15 ish, and this is when estrogen is at its highest and testosterone is at its highest.
  2. So this is actually a really good five day window to power up on your weight heavier weights because you have testosterone surging through you.
  3. So use it and power up all of that great, you use it to help you build muscle. But the thing about estrogen and testosterone is that they respond in that ovulation when they’re high.
  4. They are going to respond best to a lot of leafy green vegetables, things that will help you break those hormones down and move them into through your body.
  5. Lots of salads, lots of variation of vegetables, this is where I throw in we call it the plant diversity score.  How many different vegetables can you get in a day? Can you get 20 to 30 different types of  vegetables in during that ovulation window?
  6. Now you’re using estrogen and testosterone to and really maximizing them. And then you’re working out in more strength training, maximizing what you already have been given.
  7. You can you see how you can start to just like alter your patterns of eating, fasting and working out when you time it all to your cycle and it’s pretty damn cool.
During the progesterone building timeframe, again Day 17 through Day 21, you will want to avoid the following:
  • Avoid fasting for more than 15 hours
  • Avoid ketosis
  • Avoid longer fasts
  • Avoid carb restricted diets
  • Avoid strenuous exercise, running a marathon or pushing yourself with a hard workout
  • Avoid stress

How to fuel, train and fast the week before you cycle begins…

If you really love fasting then just start by the week before your cycle keep the fast shorter.

  1. So, 13 hours would be the top I would go and then when you break your fast, break it with
    progesterone building foods as squashes, potatoes, beans, citrus fruit, tropical fruits, even some grass fed meats can be can be can be thrown in there.
  2. Avoid being in nutritional ketosis- this week before your cycle is not the time to be keto.
  3. In fact the week before our cycle we are not meant to go keto.
  4. What your body actually naturally raises its glucose during that time and so that it needs more blood sugar so that it can make progesterone.
  5. This is where it will kill every single athlete female athlete that is fasting too much and exercising at that time you’ll they’ll start spotting, they’ll lose their period.
  6. You know you start, again you see hair changes all of that.
  7. The last week of your cycle is the week you got to be super focused on giving progesterone
    what she needs.

Are you pushing through your fasting window and not paying attention to your red flags?

During this time you will also want to lean into foods that support progesterone, that might not be otherwise ketogenic foods:
  • Pumpkin
  • Beans
  • Squash
  • Tropical and citrus fruits
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Andreas Seed Oils, we love the Pumpkin Seed Oil for progesterone (use code PELZ for discount)
  • Flax Seed Oil will help with estrogen
  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts
  • Grass fed meat, we like ours from Grassland Beef or Crowd Cow

Remember… for us driven, ambitious, high charging athletes LESS IS MORE and MORE is NOT better!

Do you understand your hormones – when to fast, how long to fast and when to break a fast?

An athletic female can be fasting too long and creating METABOLIC CHAOS if not doing fasting-fueling-training right.
Intuitive Training and Fueling.

Fasting is not calorie restriction but time restricted feeding.  When you are fasting- all you are doing is compressing your fasting window.  Are you eating enough in your eating window – and eating nutrient dense food?

What is your purpose of your fast?
  • Fat loss
  • Performance gains
  • Longevity
How should your break your fast as a female athlete?

Mindy suggests breaking your fast with 30 grams of protein to build muscles up – anabolic.

The Low Carb Athlete Podcast Show Notes:

Strength Training is best done in a fasted state.

Here is why.

  1. Historically, before you knew all these principles:  you’re eating a lot of carbs, especially the
    female athlete was probably carb loading as her pre workout routine.
  2. Your body had over all those years had to store that extra sugar somewhere. So it stores it typically it’ll start by storing it in your liver, then we’ll store it as fat and then it stores it in your muscles. Now every time you work out, you’re releasing that storage from your muscle and the harder the workout, the more release of this of this glucose was which is great.
  3. The way I look at that for that process is when you are doing a hard workout and you’re wiping this is like wiping the slate clean. You know, you’re like, Okay, I’m emptying glycogen stores out. So now, I worked out in a fasted state. Now I need to put some glycogen get more glycogen stores back in, because you’re going to need it for the next day.
  4. So I think there are we can say, Yes, strength training, you’re going to go after muscles in a very deep way, which is why you can do it in a fasted state, but then let’s really power up on protein because you just broke your muscle down.
  5. Whereas if you’re doing endurance like a long run, I would say you’re going to want to break your, you can do it in a fasted state but you’re going to want to break it with more carb rich, you’re going to want to because you’re going to need those carbs for the next long run that you do. So that’s how you can start to get real strategic about it.

Dr. Mindy Pelz… it progesterone needs you to keep cortisol down.

So remember that exercise spikes cortisol, and fasting spikes cortisol.

So if in the front half of your cycle, when your body is building estrogen, that’s not going to be as much of a problem.

But in the back half of your cycle, especially the week before your cycle.

If you have those two spikes of cortisol going up at the same time that is going to throw your whole hormonal cycle off!

How to vary your workouts, nutrition and fasting as per your hormones! Mapping to your hormones…
  1. Days 1-10 ESTROGEN: more cardio, more keto, more fasting
  2. Days 11-15 OVULATION window: more strength training as we have more testosterone; keep fasting to 15 hours; more vegetables to support gut and hormones, polyphenols, prebiotic fiber to create good gut health; anything stressful on liver will be too much as the liver breaksdown estrogen so avoid meds and alcohol as possible.
  3. Days 16-19: KETO as in first part of cycle; more cardio is okay
  4. Days 19-28: PROGESTERONE so eat more carbs to feed hormones, recovery week, more yoga, Pilates and gentle training.  Avoid HIIT training or intense exercise.  Bring it down in the cardio and bring up the carbs!  Good time to have DE-LOAD week!
Best time to fasting?  When to do a liver reset base on our cycle?
1. The First part of our cycle Days 1-10 you could do fasting detox protocol
2. Ovulation -Make sure bowel movements so making detox drainage pathways correctly or else we store those toxins.
3.  Days 16-19 you could do fasting detox protocol 
4. No fasting or detox programs the week before cycle. Note: detox leads to constipation if your drainage pathways are not working at optimal level (note constipation)
Are women supposed to sauna all the time?  Cold plunge??
I have been saying …LESS IS MORE.  MORE IS NOT BETTER.  Too much of anything can lead to dysfunction and imbalances.  So, for all those people fasting everyday (OMAD), doing cold plunge tanks everyday, doing sauna everyday… we shouldn’t do the same thing EVERYDAY as too much of anything will lead to imbalances or another source of CHRONIC STRESS.
Too much cortisol with too much cold plunge the week before your cycle – any maybe avoid during ovulation?
Hormone balance.
What is the solution?
VARIATIONS in everything you do.
  • Fasting variations
  • Nutrition plans- macro variations
  • Execise training plans variations
  • Cycle every hack
  • Match your cycle and hormones
Some of my favorite products to improve my strength gains and fasting as an aging female athlete include:

My Favorite Kion Products:  Save up to 20% at Kion with my coupon “DEBBIE+KION”

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  • Kion Whey protein + Kion Colostrum + Creatine + Aminos + Ice + Water + HVMN IQ
  • Kion Aminos = 5-10g pre workout; 15-20 grams post workout; prebed
  • Kion Creatine (for muscle building protocol & brain health) = 5g; Per day
  • Kion Organic Coffee (decaf)  = Optional but drink French roast in morning before 12pm.
  • Kion Lean:  before cold shower and when eating higher carb meal as at night or on “flex day” (once a week) or if blood sugar dysregulation; higher glucose at night- try CGM to learn more
  • Kion Flex:  take at night if injuries, inflammation or sore muscles
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