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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Scoop on Poop

Did you shy away when you read the title? Does the idea make you cringe? Well, get used to it because this is the scoop....on poop!

Poop....shit...fecal matter....feces....crap....whatever your word of choice, it is far more important than we think. I never used to give my turds a second thought - although I must admit I was a 'gawker' - sure, I'd look at it as I flushed....who doesn't? That was about the extent of it though. I never had a 'relationship' with my crap.

As we started this little life altering venture - we began to realize how important shit really is! The first thing we were told: "You can tell how healthy you are by your shit." I laughed. I was in DEEP shit if that was the case! We were also told that your bowel movements should be very regular. Mine weren't - I actually had trouble remembering the last time I went to the bathroom. Not good!

We started with a 'transit test.' Here is some info on the Bowel Transit Test (courtesy of: http://www.puristat.com/).

Bowel transit time is simply the amount of time (hours) it takes for a meal to travel from the mouth, through the digestive tract and for its waste by-products to be eliminated through a bowel movement.

It can vary a great deal from person to person due to dietary habits, age, climate, exercise habits, immobility, medications and so on. Due to these multiple variables, a general bowel transit time for the general public can not be determined.

It is clear however, that a healthy person should have a bowel transit time ranging from 8 to 14 hours. The end results should be two to three loose bowel movements a day. People who have high fiber diets, are in good physical shape and are on no medication with constipating side effects are most likely to have a healthy bowel transit time.

There are several ways to measure your transit time. Each requires that you swallow something that can be tracked or traced as it travels through your digestive system or can be seen upon elimination.

Bowel Transit Time Home Test

The simplest test is one you can do at home and involves less digestible foods such as kernel corn or beets. You first avoid eating the chosen food for a week or so prior to the test.

Note the time you eat the chosen food and then begin to monitor your stools for the appearance of the food. The time between when you ingested the food to the time it first appears in your stool and stops appearing in your stool is your bowel transit time range (i.e. range 8-14 hours).

The Purpose Of Measuring Bowel Transit Time

Bowel transit time tests are done by health care practitioners to better understand and evaluate abnormalities in patients. It is not a test that is often done due to the many variables that can affect test results.

If you are doing a home test you may want to consider doing it once a month for several months. Your personal bowel transit time may vary due to food intake, changes in exercise, menstrual cycles, seasonal changes etc.

Methods to Improve Bowel Transit Time

Bowel transit time can and should be improved upon if you are facing any kind of digestive discomfort or illness. Many health practitioners believe the bowel must be cared for first, before true healing can begin.

The theory is that the slower the transit time, the more toxins from your large intestine (waste by-products) can be absorbed into your bloodstream. The ill effects of these toxins (auto intoxication) can range from headaches, to fatigue, bloating, gas, irritability, memory loss, rashes, weakened immune system, weight gain and so on.

When attempting to improve your bowel transit time there are several approaches that can be taken.

Below they are listed in order of importance, but all are vital to becoming a truly healthy person.

Cleanse the colon regularly with an herbal cleansing program.
Increase your daily fiber intake to 25-30 grams daily.
Begin an exercise program.
Consider modifying your diet to include proper food combining.
Drink ½ your body weight in ounces of purified water daily.
Listen to your body's signals regarding bowel movements, don't delay the urge.
Eliminate use of chemical laxatives, they reduce colon muscle tone and are addictive.
Eat meals on a regular schedule.
Stop eating before you are full; your brain signals the feeling of fullness ten minutes after you are actually full.
Reduce portion sizes to the size of your fist.

Once your bowels move and work for you - you'll feel great! It took about a month to see things moving properly for me....but they did!!

Poop should float....not sink to the bottom. This is an indication of too much grease/fat and undigested garbage. Clean eating ensures this! We digest better, we assimilate our foods easier and more effectively, we produce the essential enzymes we require for healthy digestion - and we poop regularly!!

I have one to two bowel movements per day now. When I do eat something not good for me, not only do I feel like total crap - I can't crap! So yeah....we're really just full of shit at that point!!

In addition to 8-10 half cup servings of fresh veggies and fruit, you might want to try one of these 'helpers'. They'll get your bowels movin!! Remember: lots of water!! It is your greatest elimination helper!!

NOTE: When starting any detox program, be sure to understand that you will probably feel worse before you feel better. I felt horrible for about a month.....but you can't put the good food in and expect it to do anything....until you get the bad out! Get the bad out! :)


1.> Ground flax (1-2 tbsp as need in am and pm)
2.> Psyllium (Google it. )
3.> Aloe Vera (you can drink the juice too!)
4.> Acidophilus (helps replace the good bacteria in your guts - I've used this)
5.> Enemas - we haven't gone there yet....but we might!
6.> Colonics (again, a scary place....but considering it!)

We were actually amazed - once we had started a mostly (80%) raw food diet, we noticed something major!! When we sweat, it didn't smell like it used to. It really didn't smell at all! Neither did our poop! Our breath (probably due to all the lemon we now ate/drank) didn't smell like morning breath - EVER! We knew it was diet related - we ate meat meal on a weekend shortly after and the next day - PHHHEEWW!!!! Do those types of epiphanies ever make you wake up!!

So.....I can actually say it....my shit don't stink. :P

So, now that we've covered the topic of poop.....stay healthy and happy!


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