Month: August 2017

What Your Bowel Movements Reveal about Your Health

Get the Scoop on Your Poop

The Scoop on Your Poop

Unless you’re the parent of a toddler who has just mastered “going potty,” poop is probably not a hot topic in your household. But the composition of what you deposit into the toilet has important implications for health.

Although it’s not a comfortable subject, I have to ask my clients what’s going on with their poop. Many are embarrassed since it’s not usually a topic that is talked about in friendly conversation!

 I got over my embarrassment a long time ago since I knew I was going to be talking about it with my future clients. It’s so important to look (some people don’t!) and actually see what’s going on with what’s coming out.

Did you know the features of fecal matter—such as the size, color, shape, odor, and consistency indicate how well the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is functioning?

Those same features also provide clues about how your body is (or isn’t) faring against threats of infection and more serious diseases like celiac disease, hepatitis, urinary tract infections, malabsorption disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and cancer.

 

To give you an idea of what healthy, normal stool looks like, check out the Bristol Stool Chart.  The healthy range for fecal matter is of a consistency that is not too hard, not too soft, and mostly solid—as opposed to lumpy, pellet-like, or liquid. Normal stool color is in the light-to-medium brown range and is not offensively odorous. Also, bowel movements (BMs) should pass easily from your body to the toilet.

5 BMs that Require Medical Attention

Unless you are aware of dietary changes or a medication that could produce the following types of stool, it’s advisable to seek medical attention if you observe the following changes in BMs.

1. Stool that is hard to pass, requires straining or is accompanied by abdominal pain.
2. Black, tarry stool might indicate infection or GI bleeding, while bright red stool could indicate infection and/or bleeding in the GI tract or anus. Seek immediate medical attention.
3. White, pale, or gray stool could indicate problems with the liver, bile ducts, or pancreas.
4. Yellow stool could indicate serious infection or gallbladder problems.
5. Mucus in the stool can indicate inflammation, infection, or even cancer.

How Often Should You Go?

How frequently you have a BM is important, too. And, what’s typical for you may be different for other people in your family. Three daily BMs are considered the norm. No matter how often you poop, you should not have to strain or experience pain while excreting. Additionally, be aware that the appearance and frequency of BMs will vary based on what’s in your diet, sleep and exercise patterns, hormonal changes, travel, stress, hydration level, medications or supplements you are taking, and exposure to toxins (from nicotine to industrial toxins).

How Low Should You Go?

There’s also evidence that the position you take to evacuate the bowels has health implications for the physical structures of the GI tract. So much so that some scientists indicate sitting to poop is a contributing factor in the development of colon and pelvic diseases. Before potty training, young children squat to poop in their diapers—they don’t sit. Yes, there’s a difference between squatting and sitting. The modern toilet places the thighs at a 90-degree angle to the abdomen, whereas squatting has a much deeper angle that gives more motility to the intestinal muscles and organs. Evacuating the bowels is much easier on the body in the squatting versus seated position. Toilet position should be a consideration for everyone over the age of five, but is especially important for the elderly, the disabled, and individuals with compromised mobility.

You can learn more about proper toilet position in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P8L0r4JVpo

Even though this may be an uncomfortable topic, I hope that this information will help you to pay better attention to what’s coming out (as well as what’s going in!) so you’ll be better informed about the health of your digestive system and body!

If you’re needing help with sorting out what may be going on with your digestive health.  I offer a free 30-minute health discovery call where we can chat and see how I can help you get to the root of the problem so you can finally feel strong, sexy and confident again!  Schedule your free session here

Resources
Mercola, J. “What You See in the Toilet Can Give You Valuable Insights into Your Health.” Accessed February 2015. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/02/14/normal-stool.aspx

Monastyrsky, K. “Gut Sense: What Exactly Are Normal Stools?” Accessed February 2015.
http://www.gutsense.org/constipation/normal_stools.html

Sikirov, D. “Comparison of Straining During Defecation in Three Positions: Results and Implications for Human Health.” Abstract. Digestive Diseases and Sciences 48, no. 7 (July 2003): 1201-5.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12870773

Step and Go. “Step and Go Ergonomically Correct Toilet Position.” Accessed February 2015.
stepandgo.com

Three Must Eat Sugar-Free Breakfast Foods

Do you love your breakfast?  Do you have a shortlist of “go-to” recipes?  Do you need a bit of inspiration to start eating breakfast again?

Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism, and weight loss. 

This is because protein helps you feel fuller longer and uses up a bunch of calories to absorb and metabolize it. 

So I’m going to show you how to get the protein, as well as some veggies and healthy fats for your soon-to-be favorite new “go-to” sugar-free and Candida-diet friendly breakfasts.

Breakfast Food #1: Eggs

Are eggs a healthy choice for breakfast? Check out these three must eat sugar-free breakfast foods with recipes.

Yes, eggs are the “quintessential” breakfast food.  And for good reason!

No, I’m not talking about processed egg whites in a carton.  I mean actual whole “eggs”. 

Egg whites are mostly protein while the yolks are the real nutritional powerhouses.  Those yolks contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.

Eggs have been shown to help you feel full, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help to stabilize blood sugar and insulin.

Not to mention how easy it is to boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in the fridge for a “grab and go” breakfast when you’re running short on time.

And…nope the cholesterol in eggs is not associated with an increased risk of arterial or heart diseases. 

One thing to consider is to try to prevent cooking the yolks at too high a temperature because that can cause some of the cholesterol to become oxidized.  It’s the oxidized cholesterol that’s heart unhealthy.

Tip: Are you buying store brand organic eggs? You’ll be shocked to learn that these are not a healthy choice.

Check out Cornucopia.org and specifically this page for an organic egg scorecard to find the healthiest eggs in your area.

My favorite eggs are from Vital Farms…the yolks are a beautiful orange color which means healthy eggs and they’re oh so delicious!

Breakfast Food #2: Nuts and/or Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  Nuts and/or seeds would make a great contribution to breakfast.

Don’t be fooled by “candied” nuts, sweetened nut/seed butter, or chia “cereals” with added sugars – you know I’m talking about the real, whole, unsweetened food here.

Nuts and seeds are also the ultimate fast food if you’re running late in the mornings.  Grab a small handful of organic almonds, walnuts, or sprouted pumpkin seeds as you’re running out the door; you can nosh on them while you’re commuting.

Not to mention how easy it is to add a spoonful of nut or seed butter into your morning breakfast smoothie.

Hint: If you like a creamy latte in the mornings try making one with nut or seed butter.  Just add your regular hot tea and a tablespoon or two of a creamy nut or seed butter in your blender & blend until frothy. 

Tip: Soak your nuts overnight and then use a dehydrator to make them easier to digest. 

Breakfast Food #3: Veggies

Breakfast Food: Say Yes to Veggies for Breakfast!

Yes, you already know you really should get protein at every meal including breakfast; but this also applies to veggies.  You know I would be remiss to not recommend veggies at every meal, right? 

Veggies are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and water.  You can’t go wrong adding them to every single meal of the day so if you don’t already you should definitely try them for breakfast! 

And no, you don’t need to have a salad or roasted veggies for breakfast if you don’t want to but you totally can!  You wouldn’t be breaking any “official” breakfast rules or anything like that.

Adding some protein to leftover veggies is a great combination for any meal.  Including breakfast.

I’ve included a delicious recipe below for you to try (and customize) for your next breakfast.

Veggie Omelet
Serves 1
A quick and easy sugar-free, Candida-diet friendly breakfast that's healthy and delicious too!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  2. 1 or 2 eggs (how hungry are you?)
  3. ¼ cup veggies (grated zucchini and/or sliced spinach and/or diced peppers)
  4. dash salt, pepper and/or turmeric
Instructions
  1. Add coconut oil to a frying pan and melt on low-medium heat (cast-iron pans are preferred).
  2. In the meantime grab a bowl and beat the egg(s) with your vegetables of choice and the spices.
  3. Tilt pan to ensure the bottom is covered with the melted oil. Pour egg mixture into pan and lightly fry the eggs without stirring.
  4. When the bottom is lightly done flip over in one side and cook until white is no longer runny.
  5. Serve & Enjoy!
  6. Tip: Substitute grated, sliced, or diced portion of your favorite vegetable. Try grated carrots, chopped broccoli, asparagus or diced tomato.
Natural Health Answers https://www.naturalhealthanswers.com/

Check out my other sugar-free, Candida-diet friendly breakfast recipes: Turkey Sausage Patties and  Paige’s Protein Smoothie 

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

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