How to Get Your Crap Together. Literally. The Most Important Elements of Good Gut Health.
My mom is a nurse, and when I was a baby she would pick me up from the sitter and ask her, “What is the poop report?” My mom wanted to know how and what her baby’s bowels did when she was away because she knew this was a key part of how she cared for me. It told her if I was eating enough, if what I was eating was being productively used in my body, if a sickness was coming up, if I needed more fluids… among many other indications. I am the oldest of four so I heard my mom ask this question to the sitter for my brother, and then my two little sisters.
When I became a mom, she asked me the same thing about my boys.
What I didn’t know back then, that I now do know as a dietitian is that this question- “What is The Poop Report?” is a valid, enlightening, and important question to ask ourselves. It gives us insight on what is happening in our body and is a key piece of the biofeedback puzzle in the empowered eating method.
There are two types of people when it comes to this topic…
1) Those who brag about their poop
2) And those who we question if they even do it.
Whether you fall on the spectrum, the reality is… we all poop.
My filter with this topic was originally weathered by becoming a dietitian, but then any filter that remained was obliterated when I had two boys. My boys think poop and farts are the most hilarious thing and the poop report is not only a primary topic of jokes in my house, it is also the typical coloring page of choice (that stinking poop emoji) and now it is a common dinner conversation. #gross
To understand this layer of biofeedback, the first question is this: What is a healthy gut?
Signs of good gut health include regular and pain-free bowel movements that occur between 1-3 times a day, bowel transit time of 12-28 hours, and those that are snake-like in shape. I use the Bristol Stool chart to help clients identify their poop reports. Understanding this layer of biofeedback allows us to modify nutrition appropriately. Your goal is to be right in the middle of the chart where you will see a bowel movement that is snake-like in shape. I like to say, shoot for 1-3 easy, snakes a day!
The next piece of the puzzle is understanding what impacts our gut.
- Certain medications
- Certain foods including a limited variety of foods, excess food that lack fiber, and patterns that include an imbalance in fat intake.
So, how can you start improving your gut health today? Here are three steps to get you started!
- Pay attention.
- If you have gut issues, track your biofeedback with your food. Put on your science hat and start observing.
- Meet with someone who can help you customize your diet and your probiotic recommendation according to your own biology.
Being confident in your body and learning to steward your life vessel well is something that has many layers.
There is the mental health layer. This involves the underlying belief about your body and its purpose.
There is the nutrition science layer.
Then there is the biofeedback layer— learning to connect the physical feelings of our body to our actions WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. And your bowel movements fall under this category.
In today’s episode, we are literally learning about how and why we need to get our crap together. Your gut health impacts your immune system, how you digest food, your mental health, and ultimately your nutrition status. Getting this in order can change how your body takes in food and responds to exercise.
To learn more on the Empowered Eating Method check out my FREE workshop! jessbrowrd.com.
Cheers and happy 💩!