Are you one of those people who has been pooping rocks for much too long? Here are a few things you can do to get things moving along more smoothly. The goal is to have a soft, snake-like poop at least once a day, ideally twice or even three times.
We talk about poop and pooping a lot because it is critical to the success of our patients. What is your poop like? Rocks, snakes, pudding, or water? Pooping rocks is the most common problem our patient’s report, and that is what I’ll address in this post. These are the steps our patients use as they work to get their microbiome and their pooping back in order.
1. Remove gluten from the diet.
If you do eat grain products, confirm that they are labeled gluten free. Even grains that are naturally gluten-free (such as brown rice) are often contaminated during harvest or processing because the equipment is also used to process wheat, rye, barley, or other gluten-containing grains.
Sensitivity to gluten may be adding to the constipation trouble. Read labels carefully and remove all wheat from the diet for a month.
2. Replace grain with non-starchy vegetables.
You will get a lot more fiber that way.
3. Limit sugar and other sweeteners to no more than one teaspoon per day.
Do not have artificial sweeteners of any kind. This will reduce the fertilization of the constipation-promoting microbes.
4. Eat a no-grain or a low-grain diet.
This will make room on your plate for vegetables. If you do eat grain, limit it to no more than one serving of gluten-free grains per day.
5. Set a goal of eating 6 to 9 cups (measured raw) of non-starchy vegetables and berries each day.
Eat mostly raw vegetables. Root vegetables are OK boiled, cooled, and eaten cold, which reduces the amount of carbohydrates you will digest from them and increases the digestion by gut microbes.
Feeding your microbes more fiber will make them healthier and happier. If you are very petite, adjust the vegetable intake. You might need only 4 cups of vegetables.
6. If you still have hard bowel movements, add chia or flaxseed puddings.
These are easy to make and delicious. Mix the chia or ground flaxseed with water, nut milk, or coconut milk and let sit for 10 to 30 minutes before serving. Eat enough pudding to have a soft bowel movement daily.
I have several recipes in my cookbook for puddings that are very high in fiber, give terrific support to your microbiome, and are quick to prepare and delicious. Even my teenage children and their friends loved these puddings!
7. Magnesium can also help with constipation.
Add 400 to 800 mg of magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, or milk of magnesium each day. Magnesium pulls water into the colon, softening the stool. Many of us are low in magnesium so a supplement can help overall health as well as digestion.
8. Eat more fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut.
Eat these on a daily basis to increase the diversity of the gut microbes. Work your way up to 1 cup or more of fermented vegetables daily.
9. Attempt to move your bowels the same time every day.
Sometimes a hot beverage can help with this. Your body will learn the pattern, which will encourage a regular, daily bowel movement.
10. Rest your feet on a stool or short box when you sit on the toilet.
Elevating your feet 4 to 6 inches from the floor shifts the alignment of the pelvic muscles from a sitting stance to a squatting one. The pelvic muscles naturally hold the stool back to keep us from having accidental bowel movements. When we squat, the muscles are out of the way, and it is much easier to empty the bowels. Getting into a squatting position can make bowel movements easier.