What is Your Waste Telling You?

Pic for BlogSome call it a bowel movement, doo-doo, caca, stool, waste, feces, etc. In this blog, let us all be grown ups and be able to have this discussion using the term “poop”. Some of you may think that there doesn’t ever need to be a discussion on the topic of poop, but you are wrong. Everyone poops, so why should it be a secret topic?

Everything you do and eat can make your body act in a certain way. The best way to see whether or not you are being a healthy individual is by doing this one important task…analyze your poop! It is time to see what your poop is telling you:

Frequency is usually one of the biggest concerns. The important thing to understand here is that “everyone is different”. Crazy how that phrase works with a lot of situations, especially bathroom trips. Someone’s “normal” might mean they use the facilities 1, 2, 3, 4, maybe even 5 times a day. Just because it seems like your roommate is always in the bathroom and you go once a day, doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.

Size goes hand in hand with frequency. That person that is pooping 5 times each day as mentioned above might be having smaller movements in their bowel compared to someone that is one and done in a day. You know your normal, and if for some reason a day or two seems off, make sure you are consuming plenty of water and also upping your fiber intake. Experts suggest 20-25 grams of fiber each day in order to stay regular. Typically a healthy diet will get you to that amount, so if your body seems like it needs more fiber, try taking a look at what you are eating and make a change.

Texture is the second most important thing to take a look at when analyzing your daily waste. As mentioned, everyone has their own normal, but if your normal goes in the wrong direction, here is what you can change:

  • Separate hard lumps means that you are not getting enough fiber or water. This should not be your normal everyday, so if it is, up the water and fruits/veggies.
  • Sausage shape, smooth and soft means that you are perfect! Keep doing what you are doing.
  • Soft and sticky can mean your body isn’t absorbing fats properly. This happens once in awhile when we have a fun weekend or night out, although if this is consistent, make sure that you figure out what is going on with your bodily system.

Color is the biggest and most important thing to check when taking a look under the lid. First check, is there blood? Blood is BAD! It can mean anything from food poisoning to a bowel rip and worst-case scenario, cancer. If there is ever blood, make sure you contact your doctor immediately. Here are a few color distinctions taken from the article in the Huffington Post:

  • Brown means that you are healthy and should be happy. You have nothing to worry about because poop is naturally brown due to the bile produced in your liver.
  • Green can be good as well. It usually means that you are eating lots of leafy, green vegetables. One small thing to take notice is that it could mean your food is moving too fast through your intestines. This happens from time to time; always making sure water and fiber are in your diet will help.
  • Yellow typically means that you have excess fat in your diet. It smells awful and doesn’t let you leave the bathroom feeling well. It can also be due to bad absorption disorder, maybe even celiac disease (What is Celiac Disease?)

Take the time to care about what you are flushing, because keeping an eye on it now can help detect future issues. The easy things to remember to keep your colon happy and poops healthy: drink lots of water everyday, consume 20-25 grams of fiber daily, and make sure you exercise on a regular basis. It has been found that the food you ate 3 days ago is the waste in your poop today. So when analyzing your poop, think back to 3 days ago and figure out where you went wrong!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

Fruit: What’s the point?

picFruit is in season! There is nothing that tastes better than sweet, juicy, cold fruit when it is super hot outside. The question is though, is fruit healthy for you? So I decided to research into a few of my favorite fruits to see what I am gaining in nutrients when consumed. Here are my top 4 favorite fruits:

Apples: We all know that phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The antioxidants in apples promote health and prevent disease in the human body. They are low in calories and contain zero grams of saturated fat and cholesterol. Apples also carry a small amount of minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Apples are a good fruit, so stick to that phrase and try and eat one everyday!

Bananas: They are a good source of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Bananas are an intriguing fruit in terms of their carbohydrate and sugar content. Even though bananas are a fruit that tastes quite sweet when ripe, they only contain about 14-15 grams of sugar per banana. They are also a great quick carb after working out to help your muscles from cramping. Moral of the story, bananas are a good fruit!

Watermelon: It is the perfect fruit for a hot summer day. Although it does lack a lot of nutritional value, but the amount of water it contains helps keep your body hydrated. Watermelon is the top fruit source of the carotenoid antioxidant lycopene, which is important for your cardiovascular health. The hardest part when it comes to watermelon is finding a ripe one that is ready to eat. Some tips: choose a dull color, make sure the surface is firm/hard, and make sure it has a uniform shape. Typically when I make sure those three tips are followed, I always find the best one!

Raspberries: They are a rich source of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. When included in your daily diet, they can help lower your risk of cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. Raspberries have also been known to enhance fertility. The sweet taste and the soft texture make them the most craved fruit, especially for me. They are also low in fat and calories but very high in fiber. This makes them a great treat for someone that is trying to lose weight. One of the greatest facts about raspberries is that the antioxidants in the berries help aid in treating depression. So a raspberry is a fruit that makes you happy? Eat away!

Although there are many health benefits of consuming different fruits, there is also one big thing to consider. Many fruits are high in sugar. Yes, that sugar is natural, but either way it packs additional calories into your diet. What I like to do is save my fruit for after a meal. I treat it sort of like a dessert, because not only is it sweet and delicious, but it should also be consumed in moderation!

Are my favorite fruits not the same as yours? The article 31 Favorite Fruits and the Nutrients they Contain gives you the nutritional value of every fruit you have probably consumed. Take a look and see what you are gaining from eating your favorite fruits!

 

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

Juicing vs. Blending

Juicing vs Blending PhotoBy: Mary Marren

Juicing and Blending have both become extremely popular in the past few years. People are always on the lookout for ways to eat healthy and quickly, so it is so surprise that these two methods are trending. The question on everyone’s mind is, which one is better? Some people insist on juicing their fruits and veggies, while others are passionate about blending. After looking further into the topic, you’ll be pleased to know that BOTH may be beneficial to your health!

Juicing is the fastest way to get nutrients into your body. When you juice fruits and vegetables it gives you a direct intake of nutrients that your body needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Also, by juicing you can drink a lot more fruits and veggies in one sitting verses with a smoothie. A component to look out for when juicing is to make sure you are mixing fruits with vegetables, otherwise your blood sugar levels could drastically spike.

Blending on the other hand releases the nutrients into your body at a much slower pace. The benefits of blending fruits and vegetables come from fiber. Since you are using the whole fruit the fiber does not get separated, but is broken down so that you body can easily digest it.  Blending will also keep you fuller longer because of the density of the drink verses juicing.

With both juicing and blending, you want to make sure that you drink right away. If you wait a while you will be losing a lot of nutrients because of light and air destroying them.

So whichever path you choose to take, I hope that this clears up some questions about the differences in juicing verses blending. Both sides have plenty of benefits, and by giving your body fruits and veggies it is already happy!

http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/juicing-vs-blending-which-one-is-better

Stay Healthy, Stay Strong,
Mary Marren