As once being a person in the path of the runaway train that is Colitis and Crohn's, trust me, I know what it's like to have a struggle with healthy bowel movements....or going at all!
Before I was diagnosed there were YEARS where I struggled with constipation, not realizing it was in the disease process. Add some antibiotics and continued inflammation and WHAM! I had a powerstorm of out of control intestinal behavior.
But I've learned a few things over the years, and MUCH of what we are dealing with with intestinal upsets comes down to the fact that we are SO out of balance with the FUNCTIONS of the food we eat. Getting this balanced is HUGE in restoring health BEFORE there's a big problem.
There are definitely some key things to pay attention to if you're experiencing poor functional health in the form of constipated bowels.
Poor Function Can Look Like:
* Constipation - anything less than AT LEAST 1-2 bowel movements a day is constipation. NOT just if it's hard when it comes out!
* Skin rashes
* Joint pain
* Varying diarrhea/constipation
* Weird looking stool
3 Changes You Can Make For Maximum Long-lasting Impact
1. Balance Your Functional Diet. We have learned about the food pyramid since day one of our school education, but we've never been taught about what the FUNCTIONS of each food do for our body. We have fad after fad diet in the efforts to restore our bodies from the damage caused by our typical style of eating, not having a clue that we are imbalanced in our functional diet. Foods have 4 functions they mainly serve in the body, and you can learn more about those functions here. The main point I'd like to make in this article, however, is that the CONGESTOR function is the function to watch when our body is acting out in a "congested" (constipated) fashion. We can easily identify which functions we have been eating too much or too little of, based on how the body is behaving. Congestors include things like sugar, grain, dairy, breads, noodles or all kinds. "Clean Your Plate" teaches more about the science behind functional dieting. In changing your diet for better digestion, you are getting more of the Eliminative functions that your body needs consistently, you are getting enzymes which are absolutely necessary to life, and you're restoring the ecology of the gut.
2. Be consistent in your routine, and don't start your day with the 3 big NO's: dairy, sugar, grain. The body's endocrine (clock and function) glands like routine. As the body's clock it likes rhyme and rhythm. Bowel movements like regularity also, and like to know what to expect. They typically can happen right away in the morning, as they should after a night of collection of waste while you sleep. The worst thing we can do is get up and eat a breakfast or mucous causing Congestors. The three biggest no-no's are the inflammatory dairy, grain, and sugar. Not only does this start our day off with Congestor function foods, but they are super addictive and lead to cravings which continue the uphill battle. This combo of three wreaks havoc on our adrenal glands for rhyme, rhythm, and the hormones produced when our bodies feel stress, but it also sets us on a roller coaster ride when blood sugar quickly rises and falls. Yet, especially for our children, this is our go to breakfast. Then we send them off to school with congestive body and brain functioning, on a sugar high that peaks and then drops just at the peak morning hours for learning. And we wonder why we see trouble. While it can be a stretch with "picky" eaters, if you want it to change, you have to start somewhere, and it's worth it in the long run!
3. Stretch and move. Not only are there SPECIFIC exercises and movements meant to assist gut motility, just movement in general keeps the body's natural processes happening. Moving keeps the core tone so that the gut can be held in tightly, which is excellent prevention. But while you are already in a place of weak belly, there are movements that help. There is a kriya in kunadlini yoga for example, that supports digestion and motility. Chi gong has also been known to be useful. Lymphatic exercises like bouncing on a rebounder or getting lymphatic massage can be helpful. All movement tones the gut and THAT is preventative to getting weakly toned intestines.
What to do
* Read, study and learn the Food Functions
* Find movement exercises that you could enjoy
* Start with our Ultimate Breakfast Smoothie
* Get creative with your breakfasts and break the habit of cereal and toast with milk.
I do all of these things. They are just a part of my lifestyle. And while my diagnoses are considered "incurable" , I do not stand alone as someone who's changed the outcome through food.
Bottom line, it's not about whether or not you have symptoms, it's about desiring a healthy body, and achieving that through fueling it for proper function. The end game is the same....we all want to be healthy and happy. And having a good healthy poop is a game changer towards that outcome!
Amanda Plevell, PhD, CNHP is a Natural Medicine Practitioner, Cellular Biochemistry Researcher, and the effects that experiences, emotions, and beliefs play into the programming of the cells, along with the resulting health expression. As an Entrepeneur, and popularly followed Intuitive Life Coach, Self and Business Trainer and Program Developer, she is the founder of the Natural Source Companies, Community WellClinics, and The Success Conditioning Academy. Author of over 28 natural health and self development books, Amanda is well sought after in the arenas of education, wellness and health, and business development. Her bestselling books include such titles as " The Success Conditioning Work it Out Book", "The Genesis Code", "I Am Success", "The Energy of Divorce", "The Real Heal: The Genesis Code", and "Clean Your Plate".