January 06, 2009
There are a lot of good blogs out there about health and wellness, food and exercise. But you know what I've yet to come across? A blog post about something incredibly important to everyone, from babies to senior citizens, meat eaters and raw vegans. I've never seen a blog post about having a Proper Bowel Movement (PBM).
Yikes! I said it. That's right. Poo. Shit. Crap. Dookie. Whatever you call it, or maybe shy away from calling it, it happens. Right? And it's also an extremely important part of good overall health that seems to get ignored. Yet we have an aisle full of Pepto and Immodium at the drugstore so I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has suffered from digestive difficulties.
So what constitutes a PBM? I'm no doctor and everyone is different. But here are some general guidelines I've picked up along the way.
Three times per day is great. Two times per day is good. Once is ok. Any less than that, consider yourself constipated. Why is that bad? Your body is full of toxins. ("Toxins" are a nice way of saying putrefied foodstuffs and chemicals).
Size, shape and texture
A PBM should be soft, but formed, and easy to move. A nice medium brown is what we're going for (unless you've been eating beets or other colorful foods). Finally, a PBM should be pretty large. A newborn baby has a small yet perfectly clean colon – what comes out is still sizable. If your BMs are skinny or small amounts, your insides are clogged up. This can make you feel tired and even lead to disease. Putrefied food wants out. End of story.
So, obviously our bodies don't always move things along like we wish they would. When was the last time you had 3 PBMs in one day?? Ok, you don't have to answer that in the comments unless you really want to...
There are lots of colon cleanses out there, things like hydrotherapy, laxatives and enemas. I personally have not tried any of these so I can't speak to how they work. In my mind, it's always better to at least start with natural, common sense techniques. Here are some things you can do to create PBMs for yourself. Start now and you could see a difference in just a few days.
1. Eat lots more fresh fruits, vegetables and beans, especially things like fiber-rich kale. Eat plenty of RAW items.
2. Eat less meat and dairy. Eliminate greasy, processed and sugary foods. Pretend your insides are metal pans and your intestines are doing the dishes. Eat things that clean up easily. (Hint: it's not animal fat) And as an older gentleman I used to know would say "cheese is a plug." He was right.
3. Try adding ground flax seed to your food. It's got good fat to keep things inside well-oiled, in addition to extra fiber. Start with 1/4 tsp. every day and see how it goes. Also try drinking hot water first thing in the mornings, maybe with a little lemon.
4. Kick caffeine. Our adrenal glands are necessary for PBMs, so you may be becoming dependent on your latte habit for your morning movement. Let your adrenal glands work as they are supposed to and you'll have many more PBMs to, er, look forward to.
5. Drink plenty of water. Drinking after meals instead of before helps because you are not diluting the acid and flora of digestion.
6. Exercise. Movement on the outside makes movement on the inside. Literally. In yoga, twists and inversions are especially helpful.
6. Finally, just notice each day the quality of your output. Gross as it seems, it's an excellent indicator of your overall health. Plus, it's hard to be Little Miss Sunshine when your insides are tied in knots.
I'm sure by now your New Year's Resolution is for awesome PBMs! I mean, how could you not be psyched about this??? If you have any additional tips for natural laxative alternatives, please leave in the comments.