This has to be my favorite topic!! It’s funny to me how taboo it is for people unless they’re talking about babies… or hanging out in a retirement community.
Let’s continue our journey into the Foundation of Wellness by talking about the next room on the ground floor, poop. Sure, it’s not dinner party chit chat but it’s important to learn about our bowel movements.
A complete bowel movement is our body’s way of expelling waste and toxins after the usable nutrients have been absorbed from food.
It’s part of the natural process of digestion which involves many aspects of the body including enzymes, nerves, hormones, blood flow, and many more.
When was the last time that someone asked you about your poop? Let’s forge ahead so that you can be true to your poo. Because you are what you DON’T poop. Oh!
We can learn a lot about our internal health by looking at what our body puts out. So be prepared to get to know your poo.
When evaluating poop, frequency, consistency, and color are all important. Next time you go, take a peak and note a few factors:
Frequency – How many times a day do you eat? Ideally, you should have as many bowel movements as you do meals in a day. But you should expect at least one complete bowel movement a day and you should feel like your bowels are empty; not partially eliminated.
Consistency – This is extremely important as it ensures we’ve fully digested our food, are eliminating toxins daily and can tell us what foods might be offensive to our body. After you pass the poo, what you see in the toilet is basically a map of your diet, fluids, medications, and lifestyle. You can use this Bristol Stool Chart below as a guide to understanding what your poo is telling you.
- Separate hard lumps that are hard to pass. This indicates constipation. It might mean that a person is not eating enough fiber, such as fruit and vegetables.
- Sausage-shaped but still lumpy. This can also indicate constipation and that a person should drink more water.
- Sausage-shaped but with cracks on its surface. This is a pretty happy poo.
- Sausage-shaped; smooth and soft appearance. This is a really happy poo.
- Soft blobs that pass easily with clear-cut edges. Not a happy poo. This can be an indication that fiber is lacking, or that an offensive food has entered the diet.
- Fluffy with ragged edges. This may indicate inflammation and dietary sensitivities or allergies.
- Maybe mushy or entirely water and too easy to pass. This is a sign of illness and may be caused by a food allergy, virus, bacterial imbalance or parasite.
Color – The color of our poop can indicate a few things. Ideally, we want our stools to be a light/medium brown color. If your stool is too dark or black, then this could indicate GI issues. And, if it is too yellow or regularly green (not the day after eating a heap of kale) it could be a sign that you are not absorbing vital fats or that you may have gallbladder issues and need additional enzymes.
Viva Las Vegus!
One topic that often gets overlooked is Vegal Nerve Tone. The vagus nerve is long and branches off to the throat, trachea, lungs, heart, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidneys, intestines, and colon. Its main job is to communicate between the brain and all the organs that it touches.
So, it has a big job. Have you ever had a feeling that you needed to “trust your gut”? Well, gut instincts come from your vagus nerve sending emotional signals from the brain to the gut and back. Since stress lowers the normal tone of the nerve, it can cause it to misfire. If not taken care of, the body malfunctions and produces ailments like pain, constipation, depression, digestive disorders, autoimmune disorders, allergies, autism, sensory processing disorder, and more.
We can improve our overall health by engaging in activities that stimulate the vegas nerve due to its large role in the mind-body connection.
A few easy ideas are:
- Breathing exercises
- E.F.T. tapping
What can you do to have a happy poo?
Taking a closer look at our diet and lifestyle will make the biggest impact on our health, but that is just one part of the equation. It is also wise to have nutrient testing done to make sure that we are properly absorbing the nutrients from our food.
Some other recommendations are:
- Eat slowly in a relaxed manner without multi-tasking. Be sure to chew food completely before swallowing.
- Eat nutrient dense foods rather than junk or processed foods.
- Plan and be prepared so that you always have something nutritious to eat.
- Eat healthy snacks between meals.
- You may need to try a gut healing diet (see my gut health post here).
- Remove offensive foods like dairy, gluten, soy, corn, and eggs.
- Remove or limit sugar, histamines, and sulfurs from your diet.
- Increase your Fiber Intake.
- Try a Squatty Potty for proper bathroom posture.
- Drink Plenty of water.
- Supplement with Magnesium citrate (read my post here).
- Eating probiotic foods or taking a supplement (Read my post on supplements).
- Try drinking Smooth Move tea or other natural teas to help with occasional constipation.
- Taking digestive enzymes.
- Increasing stomach acid.
- Seeing your chiropractor to increase nervous system function.
How you are true to your poo? Let us know in the comments.
xoxo Mostly Holistic Mama