Everyone does it, are you?
Number 2. Dropping the kids at the pool. Dropping a deuce. A BM. Dookie.
If you have a dog or a child in diapers, your picking it up or wiping it up. And if you are potty training, your talking about it. A lot. Yup, today is the day we talk about poop. Why? Because everything living excretes waste in one form or another. For some reason, we are reluctant to talk about it. Well, that ends today. Today is the day we embrace our bowel movement. Because, as with everything else, without movement, you die.
Ideally we should go to the bathroom and eliminate waste 1-3 times a day. However, in America, it is also considered normal to only go once every three days. How that is normal is beyond me. 3 days of waste sitting in your intestines? Seriously, that’s way grosser then talking about going. But for many, constipation is a normal way of life. But does it need to be?
There are lots of things we can do to get everything “moving” so to speak. First let’s look at why you aren’t going. Are you hydrated? Are you stressed? Did you take a lot of antibiotics as a kid? Do you hold it in all the time because you are afraid to go in a public place (I’m certainly guilty of that one), what are you eating? Here’s a fun way to see how your system is moving. It takes about 20 hours to move from entry to exit. Eat something like corn, or beets (which show up red) and then wait to see how long it takes to move from stem to stern. If in around a day, you see it come out, your system is probably in good shape. If its taking longer, you might need to take some steps to fix that. So let’s talk about what we can do to get going.
First off, hydration! Think of your insides as a giant toilet. You need water to move the waste along. So if you are dehydrated, everything is just sitting there in your gut. And that’s just yucky.
Second. You need to be eating fibrous foods. If you are eating processed food or lots and lots of “white” foods, you are not getting enough fiber. The National Cancer Society says we need 20-30 grams of fiber daily. If you don’t get enough fiber in your diet, everything just gets gummy and tacky and doesn’t move. There are two types of fiber. Soluble (absorbs water) like an apple and insoluble fiber (which does not absorb water) like the skin of the apple. The soluble fiber swells the waste up with water to pass more easily through your system while the insoluble fiber helps clean the lining of the intestine to loosen up what is clinging to it. Some examples of high fiber foods are beans (if you are worried about gas, try a little ginger with them). peas, corn, raspberries, potatoes (eat the skin!), broccoli, oats and the aforementioned apple. And veggies! Veggies move things in your system. Also handy are chia seeds. They swell up in the intestines and clean out the waste that is lining it. Eat them. Your body will thank you.
You can also train your body to poop. In Ayurveda, it is recommended that you empty you bowels first thing in the morning. Try this out. Each morning, just go and sit on the toilet, even if you don’t feel like going. Just hang out. I have a friend who reads all the newspapers. In multiple languages. Whatever works. But just hang out and sit there. Eventually, your body will recognize the need to eliminate and will do so. Make this part of your daily routine. I started doing this a few weeks ago and it is AMAZING. Seriously. A great way to begin your day. You just feel lighter and better.
We are not sloths destined to climb down from our trees once a week to poop. We are human beings. If you have ever taken care of a baby you notice that most of the time, they go multiple times a day. There isn’t a reason that should end as we get older. If you take the steps necessary to ensure that what goes in, must come out you should start to go more regularly. Everyone poops! It’s not something to be ashamed of. So talk about it, focus on it and most importantly, start doing it.
Want to continue the conversation? I offer a free health consultation. You can visit me at www.roslynwellness.com, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org; find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/roslynwellness and on Twitter @courtneyabrams
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About the Author: Courtney Abrams is a Health Coach and Founder of Roslyn Wellness. Trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she helps clients work within the realities of their day to day lives to find ways to make small and manageable changes to their health that can maintained over time. Her clients include people trying to lose weight, beat sugar, increase their energy, cook simple healthful food and reduce stress to name a few. She also shares a passion for food policy and educating people about the foods they are eating and the governmental role behind much of it. You can learn more about Courtney and Roslyn Wellness at http://RoslynWellness.com.