How to Assess your Bowel Movements (Poop Tells All!)
While you may feel it’s taboo to talk about the big B.M. (bowel movement), it’s actually a very important point of discussion in the Power Foods Lifestyle, and a topic I bring up frequently with my clients.
Your bowel movements often tell the story of what’s going on in your digestive tract. The Bristol Stool Chart is the point of reference we use in the PFL that I will explain in the body of this text.
I hope you have a great take-away from this information and say to yourself:
“I need to listen to what’s going on in my body. Abnormal bowel movements and/or flatulence are my body saying, ‘Look, we have some problems. I can’t handle this.’ I need to change up what I’m eating to honor what it’s telling me.”
Regular Bowel Movements
- BM happens in the first 2-3 hours of the day naturally
- Regular means 2-4x/day
- Well formed stools that are not difficult to pass
- There is not much wiping that needs to happen
- Dive right into the toilet bowl without much splash
- S-shaped as the lower part of the rectum is moving nutrients along well
- Should not be super stinky at all
Diarrhea-like Bowel Movements
If you’re noticing that your bowel movements are diarrhea-like and not holding firm in stools, we should look at a few things:
- Cut out Dairy:
Loose bowels can be a telltale sign you have a lactose sensitivity. Try eliminating dairy for 10 days in the 10-day Power Foods Detox and see what a difference this makes. Choose other proteins from the Power Foods list instead of cottage cheese and plain Greek yogurt. This also means choosing other fats from the Power Foods list instead of cheese, cream cheese, or sour cream.
- Are you getting the right amounts of vegetables?
You need fiber to bulk up your stools and hold them together. Insufficient fiber intake may result in either constipation or diarrhea. Look at the veggies you’re eating in volume and frequency on a daily basis and see where you can add a Veggie to each meal you eat as the PFL recommends. Note the variety within the four categories of veggies at the PFL: water-based, leafy greens, cruciferous, and miscellaneous.
- You might have a sensitivity to your current protein powder.
If you’re using a whey protein powder (whey is a form of dairy) loose bowels can be a telltale sign that your body just is not handling it well and has a sensitivity. Look at either using an egg, plant-based, or bone-broth protein. View my recommended protein powders here.
- You might have a sensitivity to eggs.
Try an elimination protocol for three to ten days, and see if you can replace eggs with a different protein source. After this elimination you might tell enough of a difference to continue onward.
This takes discipline, awareness, and tracking. But isn’t it worth it to find out what the aggravator is so you can have healthy bowel movements and feel better?
[MY CURRENT RECOMMENDATION]
After watching enough of my clients go through the 10-day Power Foods detox, I have changed my mind on eliminating one allergen or irritant at a time. The Detox has given SO many people confidence in their elimination that they went on to repeat the Detox for 2-3 more times (20-30 days).
Recently, I designed the 30-day Gut Protocol that removes the top 5 allergens from the diet for 30 days. This gives antibodies the necessary 21-30 days to be eliminated from the body. After this time, it’s best to then ADD in one food item at a time (if desired–you don’t have to if you’re feeling too good!) to test if that was the irritant.
(At this point in time, the 30-day Gut Protocol is only available to private clients as we are still Beta Testing. If you wish to be a Beta Tester, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is an opportunity to get results for FREE so long as we have the necessary contact to help me assess results and the process.)
Perhaps bowel movements are only happening once, or maaaaaaaybe twice a day. If that. When you’re on the ‘stuck side’ a little bit, this necessary physical process is painful and very uncomfortable. It also means you are not eliminating toxins and bacteria which could eventually lead to disease or other chronic health conditions.
If you are constantly turning to over-the-counter medication for helping move you along, this can eventually be a problem for your body. Rather, turn to natural solutions like follows:
- Eat more fiber:
the more you reduce the amount of carbs in your diet, the more you should be eating PVF meals. Constipation can happen during the transition period of your body getting used to a new fiber intake level. Healthy fiber intake is somewhere between 25 and 30 grams per day, depending on if you are male or female. This will happen naturally if you are eating appropriate amounts of vegetables recommended in the PFL (1-2 cups of veggies every 2.5-3 hours or 6-12 cups in one day). Constipation can also be a natural side-effect of suddenly starting to eat as many vegetables as you need to so just give it a few days.
- Eat fewer nuts:
when people follow the PFL, they can occasionally eat too many servings of nuts or nut butter. These foods can be difficult for your body to break that down and process. Try elimination or reduction of both raw nuts and nut butters. Add all the total servings up for the day and if it’s more than 1/4 cup of nuts or 2 Tbsp. nut butter, you just may be having too much. Look to other fats like avocado, salmon, healthy oils, and olives for your servings of Fat (F).
Stress resulting in constipation can often occur during travel due to the change in schedule, location, unknown, etc. This can also happen when experiencing stress in the workplace, family relationships, or personal hobbies. Try relaxing and work through positive self talk. Use music to relax you. Communicate with those whose relationships are causing you to experience stress.
- Supplement with Magnesium:
Magnesium is a magical mineral that feeds into over 300 enzyme processes. It aids digestion as well as sleep. I recommend 400-500 mg Magnesium Glycinate as a general rule of thumb for adults on a daily basis, even without constipation.
8x out of 10 if someone is experiencing constipation it is because they have stopped supplementing with Magnesium.
- Try these other tips: Try sautéing some spinach or kale in grass-fed butter. It definitely can loosen things up for you. If you have been eating low carb, try half a cup of oats. Try eating one apple. Try a Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in the morning in your Detox Drink.
If after making adjustments as aggressive as my 30-day Gut protocol or repeating the 10-day Power Foods Detox 3x in a row with zero deviation and your BMs are STILL irregular, there could potentially be an issue with another organ in your body that needs looked at my an Integrative Health practitioner.
I hope you will commit to becoming a detective of how your body is functioning by looking at your stools, then adjusting the choices you’re making to honor what your powerful machine and vehicle is telling you. This is one of the ways you can #PowerYourBody to live a healthier, happier life.
Photo below available on this website.