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

Water-huh, What is it good for?

WaterSummertime sippin’ is one of the most exciting things to do! The real question is, are you sippin’ enough of the right stuff? One of the hardest things to remember in the summer is that your body needs WATER! Fruit juices, coffee, soda, and/or alcoholic beverages will not keep your body hydrated like water does. Here are some facts on why water is important and also some helpful tips to staying hydrated but yet still have fun throughout your summer activities!

What’s the point? Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. If you don’t have enough water in your body, how can it function properly?

How does it affect your weight? Drinking water won’t make you lose weight, but it will certainly help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Penn State PhD, Barbara Rolls gives the advice in the article Benefits of Water “what works with weight loss is if you choose water or a non-caloric beverage over a caloric beverage and/or eat a diet higher in water-rich foods that are healthier, more filling, and help you trim calorie intake.” Moral of the story, DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES!

Did you know…? Drinking lots of water keeps your muscles strong, your skin looking better, and makes you feel like you have more energy. One of the greatest benefits of water is it helps your “system stay clean”. What does that imply? Simple as this, lots of water makes you poop! The next time that you feel bloated or have a stomach ache, try drinking more water.

How much should you drink each day? The Food and Nutrition Board for Doctor Oz recommends, “ A person should have 1 ml (about 1/5 of a teaspoon) of water for each calorie he or she consumes. The average diet at the time was approximately 1900 calories, meaning you needed about 64 ounces of water per day.”

What is really in those powder packets? Many of you, like myself, add crystal light, Great Value energy, Mio or whichever flavored packets or flavored liquids you prefer to add to your water. Although, have you ever really looked into the ingredients and seen what they are made of? Well don’t worry, I have. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest “Two of Crystal Light’s ingredients — aspartame and acesulfame potassium — have been linked with a risk of cancer.” The Center for Science also stated “Aspartame might also lead to neurological concerns.” Those two ingredients are not just found in Crystal Light but in many of the powdered packets or liquid flavorings you consume.

For example, here are the ingredients for Grape Mio: Water, Citric Acid, Salt, Propylene Glycol, Potassium Phosphate, Malic Acid, Contains Less than 2% of Niacinamide, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Natural Flavor, Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium (Sweeteners), Potassium Citrate, Polysorbate 60, Red 40, Blue 1, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative).

All of those ingredients for a “healthy, zero-calorie” beverage? I just am not so sure about that! Next time, before you tear the packet and add it to your water, check the ingredients. Sure, maybe there are barely any calories in the additive, but the health risks with get you later on in life.

Looking to really spice it up? Choose a healthier and more natural way to flavor your water. One of my favorite things to do is add some slices of lemon and lime in my bottle of H2O. Adding fruits and veggies to your water not only adds flavor, but also some additional nutrients to your diet. Check out some of these great recipes:

Strawberry, Lemon, and Basil

Citrus and Cucumber

Rosemary and Grapefruit

Honeydew and Raspberry

Staying hydrated is VERY important everyday, but especially when you’re spending most of your day’s outdoors! Get into the habit of drinking enough water now and it will just come naturally in the future. See you at the water fountain.

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

~Kenzi Weidman

Sources: Benefits of Water, How Much Water Do You Really Need? Cons of Crystal Light, ‘Water Enhancers’ Don’t Live Up to the Name

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