Today’s guest post is brought to you by Andrea Thatcher, an incredibly talented personal trainer in Cochrane, Alberta who practices reiki and holistic nutrition. She’s smart, funny, and teaching a holistic nutrition course called “Nutrition 911″ in Edmonton this coming Saturday, which you should definitely go to if you have half a chance.
As a Holistic Nutritionist, I talk about poop with everyone. Poop is a great measure of one’s health, as what comes out is pure, unadulterated evidence of the processes happening under the surface. Now, not everyone is as comfortable talking about poop as I am, but I’ll tell you, when you come to see me for help with your diet, or to increase energy or lose weight, the first thing I do is ask about your poop. And in order to help you achieve your goal, my first focus is to get you pooping!
My goal is to get you producing a good healthy poop 2- 3 times a day (about 12 inches worth). A good healthy poop should be easy to pass, earthy in smell and light colored. It should show no food particles, and only small amounts of toilet paper should be required. Your poop should float, but still flush on the first try.
Let’s face it. Most people don’t produce a good healthy poop 2-3 times a day. Some move their bowels every other day, some every 3rd or 4th day, and some only once every 10 days. Imagine that! You eat 3-5 times a day for 10 days. That amounts to 50 meals you have chewed, swallowed, and are now storing in your body – as toxic waste. See a problem here?
Here are three simple things you can do to keep things moving along.
In addition to constipation, failing to drink enough water can also lead to weight gain, fatigue, heartburn, dry skin, high cholesterol and UTI’s, to name a few. If you have dark colored urine or are chronically thirsty, you are likely dehydrated.
How much water should you actually be drinking? In truth, I have no idea. It totally depends. My general rule of thumb is simple. When you pee, it should be clear or the color of lemonade. For some people to reach that point, it may be 8 cups per day or less. For others it may be 12 or more. Some factors that determine the amount of water you need include your activity level, how much you sweat, how dry your climate is, the foods you eat, your altitude, how much caffeine you drink and even how much you speak in a day.
When I say drink water, I DO NOT mean tap water. Tap water is toxic. Depending on where you live, your tap water may contain fluoride, chlorine, aluminum, prescription drugs and even arsenic. Having said that, I must also warn you to be cautious about bottled water. Approximately 40% of all bottled water is actually no more than tap water in a bottle.
Best choices? I suggest Reverse Osmosis or Distilled.
Water filtration systems remove all harmful contaminants, AND all minerals too. So, you must put the minerals back in. Simply add a pinch of Himalayan or Celtic Unprocessed Sea Salt to your water.
If you are constipated, drink your water!
EAT YOUR FATS!!!! Eating fat doesn’t make you fat any more than eating money makes you rich.
Removing fats from your diet can lead to a host of problems. Fats are essential, as they are used by the brain, while also providing energy and cushioning the body’s organs. Importantly, they help you lubricate to poop. Neural pathways are insulated with fat, and a lack thereof can lead to PMS and hormonal imbalance. Not getting enough fats can also lead to serious and irreversible nerve problems. Get over being fat phobic. Your body will thank you.
Wild fish and game, free range grass fed animals, green leafy vegetables, flax, avocadoes and olives, nuts and seeds, extra virgin organic coconut oil, and butter from an organic source are all excellent sources of good fats. What you should avoid are man-made foods that include trans fats, as well as cakes, pastries, crackers, candy bars, cookies and all things deep fried.
If you are constipated, eat healthy fats!
Bulk comes from fibre. Specifically, fibre from vegetables, fruits and whole grains. By “whole grains”, I don’t mean grains that were once a whole grain but are now a powdery substance called flour. Flour, when mixed with water, becomes glue for Paper Mache. Haven’t you ever wondered? If flour and water make glue for your paper mache project, then is a mixture of flour and water inside of you the same gluey substance? If Mother Nature intended for us to eat flour, she would have given us a flour bush, or tree, or field, or stream. Man made flour for convenience and I wouldn’t call bread, pasta, bagels (whole grain or otherwise) a healthy choice.
When I say “whole grain”, I mean foods like quinoa, brown rice, or oats. And when I say “fruits and vegetables”, I don’t mean the kinds that come in a can or a drinking box. I mean fresh produce from the farmers’ market. No bags, boxes, or wrappers. Eat the whole fruit – skins and all – to get the fibre you need to help you poop.
If you are constipated, eat whole grains, and fresh fruit and vegetables.
There are so many other factors which ensure healthy poops, however, the 3 biggies are covered here. In later writings I will cover allergies, stress, exercise, medications, sleep, and lifestyle choices – all of which affect your poops.
If you are not pooping 2-3 times a day, then start with the 3 simple changes for 7 days: hydrate, lubricate, and bulk. You’ll see and feel the improvement in your body, mind and energy levels – I shit you not.
Andrea is a passionate woman, providing educational workshops, seminars and one on one coaching for individuals, to ensure all goals are reached successfully.In addition to working as a fitness consultant for more than 15 years, she is also trained as a Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.) and a Reiki Master/Teacher. Andrea is further a leading instructor and examiner for canfitpro, certifying thousands of Personal Trainers and Nutrition and Wellness Specialists across Canada. Andrea was awarded 2010 PRO TRAINER of the year.