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Fasting for Women & Nutritional Sovereignty | Steph Lowe (The Natural Nutritionist) #091

Not just women, but everyone will cope with and should approach fasting and other metabolic interventions in a way that is uniquely suitable for them.
Go beyond outdated public health advice and dietary fads and increase your sovereignty and intuition in knowing what is the most suitable and supportive nutritional routine for you.


After many years of darkness and a life lacking purpose, that almost led her to pharmaceutical intervention, Steph had a powerful awakening.
She truly understood that one’s contribution to the human experience is where true growth and healing lies.
Since praticising as a Nutritionist in 2011, Steph has never been healthier or happier.
In addition to mentoring health practitioners, Steph runs The Natural Nutritionist and is the host of the popular podcast, Health, Happiness & Human Kind. By combining her signature pillars of health, happiness and consciousness, Steph is transforming lives all over the globe.
Steph Lowe


Steph’s Journey Into Nutrition & Education

Struggling with mental health issues & being overweight during a young age.
Seeking for alternative solutions for depression & stumbling upon the gluten-free alternative.
  • This allowed her to understand how changing her nutrition had a real impact on her health – not necessarily all positive – and revealed to her what she calls her ‘mantra’: “Just Eat Real Food”.
Since then she started to dive deeper into nutrition, acquiring several degrees, and devoted her life to assisting others to find the right nutrition for their own physiologies along with busting commonly accepted dieting myths.

Eating Disorders & The Obsoleteness of Calorie Counting

Counting calories is a very un-grounding & ineffective practice that can easily become an obstruction to what healthy eating is about.
  • Healthy eating is about being relaxed and able to eat healthy foods with pleasure and ease.
    • It’s about being mindful about what you eat but not allowing the intellect to become an obstacle in our enjoyment & nourishing.
  • Counting calories will not only add a lot of stress to your capacity to enjoy food, but is also not an effective way to be mindful about your food intake – 100 calories of plant-based food is not the same as 100 calories of plants and 100 calories of candy.
    • E.g. Nutrient density and/or measuring foods with the lowest degree of human interference are much more valuable variables to ponder.

Ayurvedic Nutritional Advice

  1. Eat unprocessed whole foods
  2. Eat warm foods & avoid cold foods
  3. Make lunch the biggest meal of the day & always have a light dinner.
  4. Eat whatever is local and seasonal
  5. Avoid microwave food and/or leftovers
  6. Use ghee
Make eating almost like a ritual – be very mindful while eating.

And Introduction to Fasting in Ayurveda

Fasting is considered in Ayurveda a very powerful intervention that can have various healing benefits, but as with most other practices, fasting should not necessarily be done by everyone (emaciated people & those suffering from certain diseases should abstain).
  • It is best for you to consult with a health practitioner before engaging in any type of fasting.
Upavasa (fasting) is one among all Daivavyapashraya (spiritual) therapies and one among ten Langhana (that which produces lightness of the body) therapies.
It is also stated in Ayurveda that fasting increases digestive fire and causes digestion of ama-dosha (metabolic toxins).

Very Easy To Apply Fasting

Fasting for 16hs or more triggers in the body a process called autophagy, also known as ‘cell reincarnation’, where damaged cells die out and the body starts to regenerate new ones.
  • This can be very helpful for cancer patients and for those suffering from various other diseases.
12 hour fast is a very easy way to start fasting. Make sure you extend your overnight fast so there are 12 hours between your dinner and breakfast the following day.
  • This allows for the digestive system to reset every day and for your body to properly digest all foods without creating what is known in Ayurveda as ama (undigested toxins), which tend to be the starting point for most illnesses.
Fertile women who are still experiencing their menstrual cycle can also really thrive if they do 14 hours overnight.
Decreasing meal frequency – it is a myth that eating every 2 hours will speed up your metabolism.
The point is to allow your body to digest and assimilate all of the meals that you had during the day and, if need be, to access part of the fat resources of the body.
When you fast you should be metabolically comfortable with it.

Fasting for Fertile Women

First of all, one needs to understand what a normal menstrual cycle should look like. A menstrual cycle should almost be experienced by surprise, with no PMS, no cravings, no bloating, etc.
The priority in terms of fasting for women experiencing unhealthy menstrual cycles would be to do 12 hour overnight fasting or 14 if that suits them. Then focus on the root cause that is causing the hormonal issue.
For women who have a healthy menstrual cycle, the follicular phase is a better time of the month to do the fasting.
During your period it is very important that you rest and give your body what it needs to feel comfortable & healthy, don’t practice any fasting then.

Fasting for Post-Menopausal Women

There is much more liberty to perform fasting when there is no menstrual cycle and hormones aren’t fluctuating as much.

Top Three Biggest Myths of A Conventional Diet

  1. “One should be eating something every two hours”.
  2. “A calorie is a calorie” – it is very different depending on what is the source of those calories.
  3. “Saturated fat causes heart disease” – heart disease is mainly caused by inflammation, fructose, and vegetable oils.
    • Coconut oil is a great & very recommended source of fats.

General Dietary Advice For Pregnant Women

The common nutritional advice to pregnant women by doctors is basically a list of foods to avoid (a very fear-based model instead of stating the foods that are very recommendable). Usually these foods are:
  • Runny eggs – salmonella risks.
    • The risk of salmonella (1/12000 for regular eggs) is really only there if we’re talking of low quality caged farmed eggs. When it comes to high quality organic free-range farms, that risk becomes 7-fold lower.
  • Raw fish – antibiotic & hormonal exposure.
    • In Australia these risks are pretty much inescapable. But if you have a source of wild-caught raw fish, and especially if it has undergone a flash-freeze process, the risk is very very low.
  • Organ meats –
  • Salad bars –
The in’s and out of folic acid – it is generally overprescribed by doctors.
  • Better to take by means of superfoods than as dietary supplements.

How to Move Away From a One-Size-Fits-All Model Of Nutrition




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Special thanks to Rudolf Steiner and Jiddu Krishnamurti for providing content.

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