Poop. Yes, that is what is on the docket today. Good ‘ol no. 2, as uncomfortable as this subject is. So step on in, close the door, take a seat, and brace yourself.
I am prompted to write this because as I work to improve my own health, I am reminded of how remarkable the human body is. Every system down to every cell is designed to function in a very specific way, all swirling together to make this magical thing of living, breathing, eating, digesting, growing, recovering, and functioning actually happen. I am in AWE.
Through my own experience, I am also learning how vital the digestive system and its function is to our overall health. Though everyone does it, it is often ignored because it is gross and smelly and messy and down right disgusting. But…. it serves a very real and valid purpose in our bodies. I have occasionally loaded my body down with junk. Even though I never ate McDonald’s for three meals a day, I slowly added to the junk that was building up in my body. We all do. Mine has sat there, for days on end, not moving, no matter how strongly I wanted it to. It was stubborn. But not like it used to be. I have learned to work with my body, not against it, to promote proper function of my digestive tract, as well as the other systems of my body.
Let me elaborate: I consume, on average, 1 gallon of liquids every day. I also eat roughly 5 lbs. of food each day. Over the course of a week, (do the math…), that is 7 gallons of liquids, and 35 lbs. of food. Now, my body uses most of this fuel to feed itself. What it doesn’t use it either stores or it gets rid of. The oatmeal or broccoli or sweet potatoes with skin left on work to help get rid of the stuff I don’t need. They are rich in fiber. They are foods that were designed (here we go again… a moment of awe…) to serve a purpose in our bodies as we consume them. I won’t even get into the micronutrients we get from all these foods because you didn’t sign on for a biochemistry lesson.
Take a minute to think about your own dietary choices. You may not drink as much water as I do, but what do you drink? Water is utilized efficiently by the body and through perfectly designed filtration system, it picks up other toxins as is goes through and is exited as… well… you know. Depending on how often you “flush” this water through your body, determines the toxicity of your urine. So if someone consumes a 52 oz. jug of diet coke each day, how well is the body filtering out the waste? What does that add up to? Junk. In your body. That can’t get out. It gets stuck there – around your belly, moving its way to the your body. It finds those cracks and crevasses and makes a comfy little home in those fat pockets we love to hate.
Let’s talk food as well. Think about what you eat on a regular basis: that bowl of cereal for breakfast, a turkey sandwich with chips and a pop for lunch, a steak with baked potato and salad coated with salad dressing for dinner, maybe a couple of cookies or scoops of ice cream for dessert. Sounds tasty, yes, but here’s the issue. Whatever your body doesn’t use for fuel it either stores or gets rid of it. If you aren’t eating things to help you “get rid of it”, then guess what? It is stored. Either in the same little cushions around your body or it just sits there… in your intestines… waiting… and waiting… and rotting…
Your intestines are pretty remarkable organs. They continue to pull from the food traveling through them as needed. So lets say you are like most women and only “get rid of things” once or twice a week. Let’s be real. You aren’t leaving 10 lbs. of waste in the toilet. Its more likely to be deer droppings and took the same amount of work as when you delivered a baby. You were breathing and pushing and counting… and only managed to push something out smaller than what your children leave on a daily basis. But its been 6 days since you last went and that’s all you got. So what’s happening with the rest of that food you ate over the past 6 days. Where is that? Think about it…
I write this not to make you feel bad about what you eat or don’t eat. I am just putting some honest thought into our use (or storage) of this food. Pay attention to your body. How do you feel after eating certain things? How often do you go to the bathroom throughout the day? What color is your urine? What is going to happen to the food you eat? Did you consume anything the help the process along? Here are some recommendations to help your body become more efficient and getting rid of the waste it doesn’t need.
- Drink plenty of water. 64 oz. is the minimum recommendation.
- Eat more fiber. Choose foods natural in fiber – whole grains, cruciferous vegetables etc. To get the process started, you can even supplement with an over-the-counter fiber supplement, but be sure to drink plenty of water if you do.
- Add in some greens. This can either be with additional leafy green vegetables in your diet, or choose a supplement with added greens. Not to mention these leafy greens are loaded full of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Probiotics. These are the good bacteria that help with digestion and are typically found in yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and other food sources. You can also find a good probiotic HERE.
The point: BE IN CONTROL OF YOUR BODY. Make choices that support your goals instead of hinder them.