The truth is I learned a LONG time ago that your POOP (a.k.a. bowel movements) are VERY important for health. The regularity, shape, color, and even odor of your poop can tell a lot about the health of your GI tract, and therefore, your overall health.
What are "regular" bowel movements?
Normal bowel habits vary. When we talk about regularity, what we're really talking about is what's regular for you. Three bowel movements per day to three per week is considered the normal range.
What's more important than frequency is the ease with which you move your bowels. If you need to push or strain, something is not right– moving your bowels should take no more effort than urinating or passing gas.
What is CONSTIPATION?
Many think it is just not having bowel movements regularly but it also means the SHAPE or FORM of your stools. Say you have bowel movements daily but they are separate, large lumps that are hard to pass- you are CONSTIPATED and should address the problem.
So, what should your POOP look like?
Ideally, your stool should approximate Types 3, 4 and 5 in the Bristol Stool Chart- "like a sausage or a snake, smooth and soft" to "soft blobs that pass easily." Type 4 is the Holy Grail.
Start looking at the toilet after a bowel movement and if you think you suffer from constipation (and you may ALREADY know this) it's time to address the problem!
TIPS to combat constipation and have HEALTHY Bowel Movements:
1. NUTRITION- Make the BULK of your diet be vegetables. PERIOD. I won't sugar coat it. You need your vegetables. Think about it at every meal. Do you have enough vegetables?
2. ELIMINATION DIET- for 4 to 8 days try to ELIMINATE Diary and Gluten. These may not be allowing you to absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins properly. Just try it out and see what happens!
3. GOOD HYDRATION- fiber will not move waste unless it has plenty of water!
4. MANAGING STRESS- Go for a walk outside (preferably in nature) 4 or 5 days a week for at least 15 minutes and bring awareness to the breeze, trees, flowers, clouds... when your mind starts to think and wander- BRING IT BACK! This is called Walking Meditation and it is excellent for stress management. Make sure to BREATHE!
5. SUPPLEMENT- Try Magnesium Glycinate (which most people are deficient anyway) 30 minutes before bedtime.
Cheers to good poop!!! : )
P.S. If you need more help addressing this issue, feel free to contact me and we can work on it together.