Glow From The Inside Out: Autophagy and Women

Inspired By  Naomi Whittel
1 hr 6mins
Glow From The Inside Out: Autophagy and Women - Simply One Question - One Q

Quick Summary

Autophagy is a word that is well worth knowing about and has radically changed my understanding of how my body works and what I can best do to activate it. This is a highly recommended interview for anyone wanting to harness the power of “Autophagy” to look and feel younger!

This interview is amazing by Dave Asprey! I've pulled out lots of awesome notes because I've had so many questions around this for so long that I found a lot of answers in here. Hopefully, you may find some answers too :-) There is also a recipie and video for Autophagy Tea at the bottom of this page. 
Estée xx

Key Statements

  • Naomi on fasting. “But it’s fat first and fat most because that’s activating the autophagy. With fat and how it’s so different than protein, which we all know protein can turn into a carb, it can become a sugar. My body does so much better when I am able to burn fat as my fuel instead of sugar as my fuel.”
  • Autophagy in Greek, auto means self, and paghy means to eat, it literally means selfeating. What it does at a cellular level is within each of ourselves we have the ability to activate this process so it eats up the unneeded organelles, it recycles parts of the cell, it's so powerful and we all have it in our body, but all of the factors like processed foods, environmental toxins, so many of these accelerating agers in our environment contribute to decreasing the autophagy that naturally wants to happen in our body. When you sleep, your body is activating tons of autophagy. When you eat fat like fat first and fat most and carbs at the end of the day, you’re activating your autophagy. There’s certain exercises that activate it too.
  • Caffeine is huge for activating autophagy in the skin. The EGCGs from green tea.
  • Another interesting ingredient is trehalose, which is a sweetener. There's different research out there right now around ingesting it, but when you put trehalose on your skin it's really very powerful for activating the youth.
  • Dave: I was in Australia where they have this amazing plant called the resurrection plant that can hold its life, it can basically through the activation of autophagy can hold itself in the most dry state. You give it just a tiny bit of water and it resurrects, and that's because of the trehalose that's in that plant and the way that it works with autophagy. There’s a lot of interesting research that’s starting to come with trehalose and autophagy activation.
  • I’m a huge fan of resveratrol. I have been for many eight, nine years when I first learned about the power of it as a polyphenol. Different polyphenols like EGCG is one, but resveratrol has been shown to do great things with the skin. I worked with this doctor, Richard Wang, and we put these ingredients together, we did a little clinical study on it, and it's so powerful for the skin, this combination of ingredients. You can make these as a do-it-yourself right in your kitchen.
  • Naomi: When you do intermittent fasting and protein cycling every other day, you're really activating the autophagy which is cleansing and detoxifying the cell, which is what I need to do and what most people need to do.
    Dave: This is one of the big problems with the paleo diet and even most versions of keto diets, is that there's a lot of protein, and it’s the protein that if you never stop eating it, it causes inflammation, your skin doesn't look good and it’s not even the kind of protein that your skin is made out of. I love that you're saying some days don’t eat protein. How low do people need to go in your research to hit autophagy levels?
    Naomi:So on a day, so I have high days and low days, so every other day, one day is a high day and you basically would eat as you normally do. There’s 140 different foods that you can eat, and timing matters. But on a low day where you intermittent fast until about noon, that’s when you’ll have about 25 grams of protein.
  • But it's fat first and fat most because that's activating the autophagy. With fat and how it's so different than protein, which we all know protein can turn into a carb, it can become a sugar. My body does so much better when I am able to burn fat as my fuel instead of sugar as my fuel.
  • This is truly my average day. It's like three avocados, tons of olive oil. We have some Pili nuts here and each of them have one and a half grams of fat. I’ll eat a big handful 20, 25 grams of fat there.
  • In my mid 40s, in my mid 40s, and that's exactly it. I’ve put more stress on myself than ever, I'm in the best health and the best shape I could be. I’m in my mid 40s. I have tons of energy. But it's really about like I almost call it like a cellular brilliance. When you can take the toxic fat, that toxic buildup that’s in our bodies and you can push it out by activating the autophagy through exercise, through food, through nutrition, whatever it may be, through sleep, through sex, sex is a great way to activate autophagy.
  • Autophagy, it won the Nobel Prize in medicine, a Japanese biologist won it in 2016, and since then you see more and more research coming out and its effects on cancer and all of the different neuro degenerative diseases. We all have this process in our body. It’s like within the cell.
  • If you think of for example like a kitchen, and this is an analogy that someone could see, if you're making a meal and after the meal you sort of clean up the counter, you throw away the leftovers, you recycle some of it, and the next day you have a clean kitchen and you do the same thing, that's autophagy working well. If for example as we get older, we have all of these pollutants, environmental toxins impacting us. We make a meal. We leave some of the stuff on the counter. Some of it gets into the garbage, some of it gets into the recycling bin, it doesn't get outside to the street corner and we start building this toxic waste up and it gets fermented and it starts to smell. That's when autophagy isn't working in our body. So it's worthwhile really knowing about it.
  • Dave: What’s your experience been like learning how to be a very successful CEO and an entrepreneur and to allow yourself to be supported, like what’s your practice for that?
    Naomi: I think first and foremost as women we suffer more, our brains are more complex in the way that we process information, so we need to just understand that our biology obviously is very different than a man's.
  • In order to have that creativity and that ability to transform people's health and their lives, like you and I wake up every single morning and that's what we're doing and that’s what we're focused on, and it takes so much energy to do that. Selfcare or self-soothing, I mean like simple things that I do, the first thing I do in the morning when I wake up before I get out of bed is I meditate. That’s when my cortisol levels are at the highest, and if I can work with them first thing in the morning, which is exactly what I did this morning and I’m in that half sort of sleep state, my whole day is different. The next thing I do is I drink … I don't drink my Bulletproof yet. I drink an ice cold glass of water to support and get my metabolism going.
  • Naomi: Well I, it depends on which day it is. Today was a low day for me, and I don't eat until 12, 12:30, and when I do eat the next thing I do, so I’ll have like around 10:00 A.M., I’ll have some green tea. Of course, I want to have it organic. I’ll have coffee. Like I love it. Then around lunchtime I’m going to be starting with my fat first. That’s when I really get into the fat first. I love bone broth. There’s so many great foods that I love to eat.
  • Dave: Coffee for me is something usually within the first, like I’ll wake up and I’ll mediate. I’ll listen to lately I’ve been doing Dr. Berry's things, Dr. Berry Morguelan has been on the show and his meditation is like 15, 20 minutes before I’m out of bed. Then I’ll wake up and I’ll take my empty stomach supplements. Then I’ll start the coffee brewing and all that stuff, and I’m not a zombie before the coffee, but I just like my coffee at that time. Some days it’s straight up intermittent fasting where I just have coffee and nothing and probably more often than not I do it with Bulletproof.
  • I think especially for women, so I'm always looking through the female lens, women … Most guys are like, “Yeah, I’m all about fasting, I’m intermittent fasting.” You’re getting the benefits. A lot of women 90% of the time their skepticism, they’re worried, “My body can’t do it.” We’re dealing with different hormones. For a woman who wants to get into fasting, which I of course love and recommend, I’ve been doing it for 25 years, there are steps that make it easier. The first step is of course getting sugar out of our diets, number one. Then becoming fat adapted so you can understand that fat first and fat most. Like you, what do you eat 70%, 80% of your diet?
  • For me it's about the good polyphenols, getting the polyphenols that are found in so many nutrients like you talked about the supplements, and it's also really important to be able to get that fiber and some of those carbs just later. But for someone who's just getting into fasting, intermittent fasting, if you can get fat adapted where your body is using it as your fuel and then you start to, you stop eating at 8:00 P.M., at night and you go till 10:00 in the morning and when you first start eating or you're having your coffee you do a Bulletproof coffee, you're able to sustain and satiate yourself in a way where you're still getting the fasting benefiting effects.
  • You can activate autophagy in lots of different ways. I just did a five day water fast a couple of weeks ago and I loved that at day three you’re activating, Valter Longo talks about how you’re activating your stem cells. I just interviewed him and I know you have and you're getting that stem cell generation and you’re activating autophagy at different levels. Intermittent fast is a great way to do it, 24 hour fast, water fasts, I mean there’s so many ways to go.
  • Dave: One of the most popular posts I’ve written was about women, women and intermittent fasting a bad competition or something like that. What I was seeing was that when women would go all in and they would intermittent fast without even any fat in the morning, that after maybe usually a few weeks to a month like their sleep quality goes down and their cortisol levels go up and their life quality goes down, but they feel so good for the first couple of weeks, like, “I got to keep doing this because I feel good,” and then after two months of it like, “Okay, my hormones aren’t working, I don’t feel very good,” which is why I just love in your book you’re like, “Okay, don’t do it every day. You don’t have to.”
  • No you’re 100%, in my opinion 100% right. I mean I think the relationship that we as women have with food and with cravings, and it’s so hard for women because, calorie counting, low-fat, no fat has been the mantra, but to be able to turn that on its head and say, “I'm obsessed with good fat,” embrace it, use it, every single fat first and fat most, it will satiate you, you’ll lose weight, you'll feel better, it’ll totally change your relationship to food. I mean for me, I’ve been a sugar addict for years, and it wasn't until I replaced the glucose, the sugar with fat, that my life totally transformed and it did it by activating autophagy.

Dave: If someone came to you tomorrow and they said, “Naomi, I want to perform better at everything I do as a human being, not just my job, but everything, what are the three most important pieces of advice you’d have for me,” what would you tell them?

Naomi: I would tell them first and foremost to understand their relationship with their macro nutrients, so fat. Number two, I would talk about meditation and about mental health and self-care because that's so undervalued, and I think we have to have that if it's the community that loves us, the people that support us, that is such a critical part of performing at our very best. The third thing I would say is move around, twitch, let your legs go up and down when you're sitting here, wherever you’re sitting. Yeah, this twitching that you’re doing, you’re burning, you’re building ground fat just by doing that. So like engage in twitching, engage in when you exercise scratching your body to get activation moving in your cells.

Naomi Whittels Book; Glow15: A Science-Based Plan to Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin, and Invigorate Your Life

Interview by Dave Asprey from Bulletproof Radio


This tea will boost your energy and enhance cognitive function while decreasing your risk for neurodegenerative illnesses.

AutophaTea is one of the easiest ways you can support the activation of autophagy in your cells. This tea is great first thing in the morning as the fat help keep you satisfied, curb cravings and support your metabolism throughout the day. The caffeine gives can give you an energy boost before exercise and helps burn fat during my workout.

Enjoy this tea, up to four times a day and switch to decaf after 2pm. Be sure to get whole citrus bergamot Earl Grey tea, many teas contain the synthetic form of citrus bergamot and don’t have the quality ingredients to activate autophagy.


  • 1 green tea bag
  • 1 whole citrus bergamot Earl Grey tea bag
  • 1 tablespoon raw coconut oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick (Ceylon cinnamon) • 1 teaspoon monk fruit powder (optional)

In a kettle or small saucepan, bring 1 to 1 ½ cups water to a boil. Pour the water into a large mug and add the tea bags and cinnamon stick. Let steep for at least 3 minutes (the longer, the better), then remove and discard the tea bags.

Add the coconut oil and stir it in using the cinnamon stick.

Mix it all together for 20 to 30 seconds. You can also blend the tea to help mix the favors and emulsify the oil.

Take the overwhelm out of reclaiming your health…incorporate small ways like drinking AutophaTea daily to yield big results.

Your Inspired Notes


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