You’re not the first. You’re not the last. You’re not the only one. Talking poop is simply just not a subject that most people feel comfortable talking about. For some reason, people are more open to talking about their sex lives than their bathroom habits. And yet, in my very humble opinion, simply does’t makes sense since our digestive systems are not more taboo than our respiratory system and yet we have no problems talking about when we can’t breathe.
Going to the bathroom is something that we should be doing every day….several times a day. In a clean-out-the-pooper kinda way. You should be emptying your colon every single day and not experiencing constipation, gas, bloating, or other functional bowel issues. Provided you’re giving your body what it needs, having regular bowel eliminations should be a mindless thing. But for those of you, us, who have had digestive health issues….AKA…..either constipation, IBS, food sensitivities, it can be hard to get away from the physical discomfort that takes us over every time we eat a meal or even drink a glass of water.
So what gives? Below is a list of the most common culprits for constipation and what you may want to consider as an option….that is if you actually want to feel better.
- Your Diet…. DUH!!! What you eat affects your body from the top all the way to the bottom of your bowels. If you are eating a highly processed diet with floury, sugary, fat ladened food, don’t expect your body to respond kindly. Your intestines, like a computer, will function in accordance to the input it is given. Give it junk, don’t expect it to produce a miracle.
Solution: A diet make over. If you are struggling with constipation, then dietary modifications are always the first line of therapy before ANYTHING!! A whole foods diet comprised of fruits, vegetables, starchy veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fluids would always be the first place to start. You can’t possibly know the true source of your condition if you don’t address it nutritionally first. Eliminate….and I mean ELIMINATE…. all processed food for no less than 4 weeks. This is not the time to experiment with the dietary fads. Keeping it simple and dialed in on whole, nutritious, high fiber, alkalizing real foods is key in not only regulating your gut, but in zeroing in on all the foods or culprits that may be setting you back.
- Your Lifestyle….Your colon can’t be groovin’ if you ain’t movin’. The path of least resistance is what got you to where you are in the first place. Granted, there are many of us who workout and eat a meticulous diet and still struggle with digestive issues. But the body was meant to be moved. Exercise increases motility within the intestines creating peristalsis that propels food and waste through the digestive system stimulating bowel movements. It’s important to get your body moving every day via exercise to assist in healthy digestive cycles. Walking, running, lifting weights, yoga, pilates, even stretching are beneficial.Along with exercise and diet are proper hydration. It’s not enough to just chug gallons of water a day. Making sure you are getting the proper minerals to keep that hydration in your gut is important as well. Otherwise you’re just peeing all day long. I have found that a GREEN JUICE consumed daily has been enormously beneficial in helping to stimulate the bowels. Regular bowels lead to a whole host of other benefits to the body….clearer skin, better sleep, improved energy, and less inflammation.
Solution….Start your day off with 12-16 ounces of green juice. Consume no less than 3 liters of purified water a day. In the mornings, I like to drink 16 ounces of blended cucumber and celery water/juice followed by green tea. The minerals and hydration from the juice followed by a hot beverage stimulates the intestines to contract naturally. This routine practiced regularly each and every morning has had enormous benefits for myself and for my clients as well.
- STRESS!!!!! If you are a stressed out zombie, trust me you are not doing your gut any favors. Stress hormones directly impact the digestive system leading to situational IBS, constipation, diarrhea, cramping, nausea, etc. Chronic long term stress leads to chronic long term digestive issues which can impact your over all health, immune system, and quality of life. Daily self care practices, exercise, deep breathing, meditation, abdominal massage, and tending to your personal needs are critical in managing your digestive wellness. High levels of cortisol and adrenaline alter bowel function which ultimately transfers to other body systems and drains your Chi/Energy. Get a handle on your life’s situations. Schedule yourself some “Me-Time” and stop the insanity. We all have 24-hours in a day. We all go through tough times. We all have stuff that comes up. How you manage these situations will impact your health over all…..specifically your digestive health.Your digestive system is intimately tied in to your emotional guidance system. They literally are one in the same and feed off of each other. When you eat well. You feel well. And when you feed yourself healthy positive thoughts and things, your mind will return the favor by sending calming messages to your body.
Solution….Try meditation for 20 minutes a day with deep breathing practices for 30 days and you will ultimately, along with a sound diet, experience a shift in your digestive system…..probably even sooner.
Learn to say no more. Over booking your schedule leads to feelings of overwhelm. It’s ok to turn down an invitation. It’s ok if you’re not up for it to cancel plans you have had scheduled. You’re human and things come up. You don’t HAVE to go out to eat just because it’s Saturday night or it’s the only way to be social with your friends. It’s not!! There’s the beach. There are movies. There are hikes. When you’re trying to correct a health condition, you come first. Plan accordingly and remember to factor in how what you’re going to eat and what you’re going to do is going to ultimately affect you at the end of the activity.
- REST….This goes along with stress. An unrested-sleep-deprived body becomes stressed and anxious. Again contributing to the stress cycle above. Develop regular sleep cycles where you get to bed an wake up at the same time. Having this routine along with your morning hydration routine and nutrition plan will set the wheels in motion. Don’t push yourself to the limits all the time. We live in a time where grinding it out seems to be the only way that we believe we can be successful, noticed, and appreciated. I am calling B.S. on that myth. Yes, there are some warriors who can get away, for a short time anyway, with minimal sleep and with burning the candle at both end. But trust when I say that somewhere along the way, your body will send you a message loud and clear, if you haven’t been paying attention to the more subtle messages.I used to be a grind it out kinda person. I couldn’t wait to start my long runs on Saturday mornings followed by lunch with friends and then hitting the scene at night. I have always been a 5 am person at the gym and then working long days taking care of other people…..a very physically active job that I have at that. These days I have slowed down tremendously. Yes, I still train very hard…..but I get my 8 hours of sleep a night and if I feel burnt out and spent, I take an impromptu rest day. I no longer have scheduled running days…..it’s just if I feel like going for a run….then I run.
The one thing that has stayed consistent all this time, is my diet. Granted, it has definitely shifted from what it once was. Digestively I do not do well on a very high starch diet. But I also don’t do well on a very high fat diet either. Somewhere in the middle there is balance. I listen closely to what my body is telling me. And by that I mean, what my innards are feeling. There are days where my system feels rock solid and I can eat a bit more freely……then there are days where I feel like a colicky baby and need softer more nourishing easy to digest foods. Paying close attention helps me to have more of a handle on it.
- Cleansing….You had to know this was coming. With all the above said and done, it’s important to note that there are those who benefit tremendously with hydrotherapy and cleansing protocols. For those with functional bowel issues, like chronic constipation and IBS, hydrotherapy helps to ease the burden on the gut. It helps to reset and hydrate the intestines, and it helps to calm the gut. A calm gut helps to ease the tension and inflammation in the body. As Hippocrates said..“All disease begins in the gut.”
Solution....Consider a series of Colon Hydotherapy Sessions to help reset your system. Cleansing along with dietary adherence and lifestyle modifications works miracles and wonders in not only regulating your digestive system, but enhancing and optimizing your immune system and overall health and wellbeing.
Do you struggle with IBS? Constipation? Digestive health concerns in general? Are you struggling with dietary compliance or lifestyle challenges that interfere with you feeling your best? Don’t let these things stop you from living in a body you love living in……one that is free of pain, inflammation, and constant struggle. Ease your body and ease your mind by restoring your digestive health. It’s the first line of defense to freeing your body.