The trackers in old movies have always fascinated me. You know the guy who could tell what an animal had eaten or where to find it by tasting its droppings. Turns out that poop can tell you a lot about a person too. I am not suggesting that you start eating your neighbor’s or your prospective date’s poop to find out more about them. That would be gross. But our stool is as informative as a health history.
What does a normal bowel movement look like? Yes, I want you to look at it. I also want you to notice the experience and accompanying sensations. A normal healthy bowel movement should start with a moderate urge to defecate. The urge should allow for enough time to find a bathroom. No mad dashes to the restroom. No pain or cramping should proceed the urge. The bowel movement should exit the body easily with no straining. The poop should be soft and unformed. You should feel empty and the urge to go should be gone. If that is not your experience, then you have a problem with your microflora.
Your stool tells you the state of the microflora in your gut. Our intestine is filled with trillions of living organisms that are vital to our health. There are over 500 species of bacteria living in your gut. We have both pathogenic and friendly bacteria. These little guys are responsible for completing digestion, synthesizing vitamins, and protecting us against disease causing microbes. Dr. John A. McDougall describes the protective role of friendly bacteria stating, “They carry on a conversation with our internal bodies through the surface of the gut.” So basically the bacteria tells our immune system what we need.
We want to feed the friendly bacteria because you feed your friends, right? But those eating a Standard American Diet are feeding the pathogenic bacteria that love animal products and junk food. Meanwhile, they are starving their friends who thrive on plant foods. Our bodies are meant to operate in balance. When we allow pathogenic bacteria to overpower beneficial bacteria, it creates an imbalance. The imbalance manifests in constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome.
So if your poop is telling you that your microflora are out of balance, what can you do?
- Start a green smoothie habit. Green smoothies are a fast and easy way to get more plant foods into your diet. A quart of green smoothie is the equivalent of 10+ servings of vegetables. If you would rather eat 10+ servings of vegetables. Great! Knock yourself out. The goal is for your diet to be 95% plant based.
- Drink lots of water. Many people are dehydrated and do not even know it. Humans acclimate to their environment. It is important to start the habit of drinking water to allow our bodies to adjust to normal hydration.
- Get some daily exercise. When we get moving, our bowels get moving too.
So take care of your friends, and they will take care of you.
Most recently released on audio book was a collaboration between Locust & Honey and short story author, Beyr Reyes. This work, entitled Renewable Energy, offers readers a fictionalized view of how an outsider might see the unfolding drama between the spiritual kingdoms of Commander Abaddon and Supreme Leader, Sook. Many readers and listeners will recognize the major characters in this story, including one who is among the first to appear in the Genesis narrative. You can listen to an excerpt of the audio version here (a non-Audible site).Audiobook Nook
Finally, we hope to have a forthcoming publication ready by next weekend which is a fascinating and historical look at the transfer of power and wealth from the many to the very, very few in America. This work, entitled Occupying America, documents the recent struggle for social and economic justice by the Occupy and We are the 99% Movements as well as older struggles between elected representatives who began suspending and/or curtailing the rights of their constituents and the citizens whom they represent. Revolution against abuses of power and suspension of freedoms is a time-honored, if controversial, tradition in America and it’s time to stand up!