Poop. It’s important.

I have a 3-year old.  As instinctual as it may be to bestow wisdom upon a preschooler, I find that it’s almost as critical to stop, listen and learn from them too.  

If there’s one thing you can learn from a preschooler, it’s this:  Pooping is important. Second to that is perhaps that there’s nothing wrong with being proud of a good dump. And while we’re at it, be unapologetic when it comes to poop. If you’re eating breakfast right now then I suppose I can mumble a slight sorry.

Few things are more important than poop.  And if you haven’t had a brag-worthy BM lately, keep reading.  

When I started conducting Health Histories for my coursework at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition I was shocked by the number of people who listed “normal” under the question of Constipation/Diarrhea/Gas.  

Really?  Do tell!

It was happening time and time again, so I started wondering, as a population how do we define normal?  What kind of limitations and damage control have to be put in place to create this normality? Or are people just too embarrassed to share the truth?  Does the idea of getting into a long-winded discussion about bowel movements make them squeamish to the point they would fudge the answer?  And if you are normal, what is your secret??  Don’t tell me good genes!

I realize you may be a little shy to volunteer, so allow me to offer up some talking points.  

Talking Point #1:
I’ve had many delightful conversations with the brilliant Dr. Venus Seleme, but in one particular instance she told me that President Obama needed a colon cleanse.  “Those lines,” she said as her fingers traced her laugh lines (aka nasal labial folds… yes, that’s what they’re called).  Makes you wonder what else acupuncturists are thinking while they watch tv and stand in line at the grocery store.  Constipation showcasing itself on your face??  It takes a lot to turn my stomach, but Eww.  We’ve got sun damage and blemishes to obsess over… we don’t need to worry about whether last night’s dinner is creating dramatization!

Talking Point #2:
The poop graphic.  If you’ve never entertained a paleo life style you may have missed Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo.  It weighs nearly as much as a dictionary but I’ll argue that it’s worth its weight in gold.  It’s so much more than a cookbook (FODMAPS post coming soon)!  What sold me? The poop graphic.  In chatting with a friend who recommended the book I said with a dramatic eye bulge, “Oh… my… gosh… ” And she said, “The poop?  I know!”  That’s how noteworthy it is!  Be sure to click on the link – it’s hysterical (and insightful)!

Talking Point #3:
A lot of us have used the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) diet to recover from a bout of diarrhea.  But how many people keep the BRAT acronym in mind daily? If binding foods make up a regular part of your diet I won’t scold you.  But I will ask, what are you doing to maintain flow?   I really hope your answer is some derivative of “lots of high fiber fruits and vegetables.”  Otherwise you might be overlooking the principle nugget of preschooler wisdom – Pooping is important!  I’m not kidding when I say I genuinely want to know what everyone does to maintain balance.  Please leave me a comment below!

So which produce packs the most punch?  We’ve been joking about prunes for ages.  No doubt they work.  On the other hand I’m not personally a big fan of prunes (plus they make me feel geriatric, but that’s my own issue).  I don’t generally recommend dried fruit on account of the sugar concentration and prevalence of mold.  That being said, desperate times call for desperate measures.  For instance, if you accidentally scarfed down two bags of corn chips, in that case I would recommend apricots or dates (perhaps dates wrapped in bacon…).  For general maintenance I’m a big fan of sweet potatoes. It’s so easy to throw a half dozen in the oven on Sunday and eat them throughout the week!

That’s just skimming the top off my bag of tricks.  If you’re like me and spent the better part of your adult life trying to regulate your digestion after a decade of eating Hostess treats, Entenmann’s, Slimfast shakes, fake cheese and enough sugar and gluten to brick-and-mortar 4-bedroom house, then you need some serious TLC.  We will get there girlfriends – in small, digestible little bites.  After all, poop is important!

Here’s to hoping the next generation will be smarter and more equipped than their parents. Time for prayers and bedtime stories!

From “Look Inside Your Body” by Usborne

XOXO Rachel

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