Let's clarify something right away - you should be pooping multiple times per day.
Yes, the read that correctly.
I speak to people on a regular basis who don't poop for 2-3 DAYS... or they only poop once per week.
When I tell them that they should be going multiple time per day, every day... they usually laugh in disbelief.
If you're a parent, think back to when your child was baby. Assuming they had a healthy digestive system, babies eat and then poop. They do this over and over and over again.
This frequency does slow down as we age, as our digestive track matures and we introduce more foods to our diet.... but you should be clearing your intestines through out the day.
Where constipation and bloating is really common, it's not normal or healthy.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong with your health when your digestive system is out of whack:
- Acne, particularly cystic acne
- Eczema and skin rashes
- Hair loss
- Autoimmune problems like Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Addison's, Celiac, M.S.
- Anxiety and depression
- Diarrhea and IBS
- Constipation and bloating
- Ulcerative Colitis
As you can see, your gut health is a BIG deal with major consequences. Your gut health is tied very closely to your overall wellness.
There are two extremes to gut dysfunction - constipation and diarrhea. Today we are focused on constipation and bloating.
So let's talk about how to fix this!
I'll break this down into things you should eliminate from your diet, things you should add to your diet and the modifications you should make to your behavior.
Things you should consider eliminating or reducing in your diet:
- Wheat (gluten containing foods)
- Soy (phytoestrogens)
- Brown rice
- Polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils, corn oils, seed oils, nut oils, fish oils, most nuts and seeds)
- Processed foods that come from boxes and packages like chips, crackers, sweets and treats.
- High fructose corn syrup, additives, preservatives, carrageenan
- Hormones, antibiotics, drugs, alcohol
- Environmental toxins that disrupt proper cellular function like fluoride, pesticides and herbicides.
All the foods listed above contain digestive inhibitors which means they tend to irritate your intestinal wall. This is because they have built in anti-nutrients to prevent from being eaten by animals prior to germination.
These protective mechanisms include:
Chemicals that lower protein digestion
Phytates that bind important minerals like calcium and zinc
Polyunsaturated fats that make you sick
Phytoestrogens that lower oxygen and thyroid levels
Something else you should consider eliminating or dramatically reducing is consuming RAW vegetables (with the exception of carrots).
And lastly you should eliminate any foods that you may be sensitive or allergic to. This is important because the stress response from foods that you don't agree with lowers your stomach acid... making it harder to digest food.
Lower stomach acid means less digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Remember, you are what you digest and absorb (not just eat).
You can determine what foods you may be sensitive to by an elimination diet or a food sensitivity test
Things you should consider adding to or increasing in your diet:
- Saturated fats.
Coconut oil, organic butter or ghee, cocoa butter, raw organic dairy, and grass fed meats.
Saturated fats are stable.. Unlike PUFAs, saturated fats bind to proteins in the correct way. They are used properly and do not break down causing damage to mitochondria genes (DNA).
Start slow... as too much can cause diarrhea (it essentially lubricates your digestive track).
- The right type of carbs and sugars (no sugar is not evil!).
I'm talking about ripe fruits, root vegetables, organic raw dairy, pulp free OJ and some low starch above ground vegetables. Sugar is the bodies preferred source of energy so we should embrace it! When we use the right sugars to fuel our cells they produce the most energy by using the least amount of our own bodies resources.
- A daily raw carrot salad with coconut oil and vinegar (make sure to shred the carrot long ways so the fibers stay intact).
Why raw carrots? A quick internet search will list all the benefits of a daily raw carrot salad.
Let's finally talk lifestyle changes and behaviors:
- Don't sit, squat.
The best pooping position is in a squat... a quick internet search will educate on this.
- Get more sunlight.
- Get more sleep. Aim for 7+ hours.
- Stop dieting. Dieting (placing ourselves in a calorie deficit) is very stressful to our bodies. You need to end the diet cycles and develop a sustainable eating style once and for all.
- Stop doing so much steady-state cardio - it's too stressful. Focus on resistance training to build yourself up and increase your metabolism.
I know I just dumped (see what I did there) a lot of info your way... but just take it one element at time.
Your diet should give you energy.. your diet should nourish you.. your diet should make your body function optimally.
And regular bowel movements (multiple times per day) is a good sign of a properly functioning body.
If you need help implementing these concepts into your lifestyle, we can help. Coaching is what we do best.
Fill out your info here and we will be in touch.
- Nicole Race, owner Elevate St. Pete