January 21, 2017

Healthy Food for Healthy Poop

We all know what goes in has to come out.  But, it’s actually a lot more complicated than that. What you put into your body can either create a healthy digestive tract and benefit your body in many positive ways, or it can encourage the complete opposite.

Many times we may not even realize something is wrong with our digestive system until the poop speaks!  Blood in the stool, hard stools, and chronic diarrhea can alert people that something is seriously wrong. However, even if you don’t have obvious signs of dysfunction, your poop may not be normal.

poop facts

So, what does a normal poop look like?

  • Medium brown color
  • Soft, yet still formed
  • Around 12 inches total passed per day
  • Easy to pass without pushing or straining

A healthy intestinal tract means your poop must have ALL of the above qualities  — not just one or two.  If your poop doesn’t have all 4 of these qualities, then you’re digestive tract is out of whack!

Certain foods can create an absolute toxic dump inside your digestive system. Your gut will plague you with these possible side-effects from a faulty digestive system filled with toxic sludge from the wrong types of food:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • IBS
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Systemic Candida
  • Depression

Your food is fuel and medicine for your body and your digestive system is a beautiful but delicate system for making sure your food benefit is maximized.

Beyond Just Poop

Interestingly enough, your intestinal tract is responsible for so much more than just processing food and turning it into poop. Your intestinal tract is central to your health, containing 70% of your immune system!  Therefore, the health of your intestinal tract can determine the health of the rest of your body!

Doctors and scientist are also now referring to the intestinal tract as “The second brain!”  Your intestines have their own very intuitive nervous system that is closely connected with your emotions.

  • For example, this is why you may have diarrhea when you are nervous.
  • You also produce more serotonin (your “feel good” neurotransmitter) in your gut than you do in your brain!  The state of your intestines directly affects your state of mind — and vice versa!

Having healthy poop truly is a reflection of whole health!

Cleaning up Your Dumps

Cleaning up the intestinal tract can be like cleaning up a toxic waste dump.  No need to worry!  You are definitely not alone.  It is unfortunately quite rare to find someone with a healthy, normally functioning digestive system.  I believe the majority of these problems are the result of:

  • Processed and fast foods
  • Antibiotics
  • Prescription drugs
  • Lack of cultured and fermented foods
  • Lack of adequate fiber in the diet
  • Dehydration

Incorporating the right foods into your diet and eliminating unhealthy, processed and fast foods can clean up your dump!  Here are what I believe are the top 3 foods in creating healthy poop, healthy digestion, and therefore a healthy whole body!!

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No-Nonsense Guide To A Naturally Healthy Pregnancy

I remember my first pregnancy like it was yesterday.  I stared down in disbelief at the plus (+) sign on my pregnancy test. A terrifying sound of happiness mixed with pure unadulterated fear began to pour out of my mouth.  My husband, having never heard me make such a noise, rushed into the bathroom. “I’m pregnant!” I exclaimed.

Once the shock wore off, the anticipation began.  I shared the news with my co-workers from the local health food store.  I was absolutely bombarded with questions.

  • Are you going to vaccinate?
  • You’re going to breastfeed, right?
  • Are you having a home birth?
  • What prenatal are you going to take?
  • Are you going to wait to cut the cord?

All these questions caused me to feel overwhelmed, to say the least.  I knew I had a lot of research to do. I was about to pioneer natural pregnancy and childbirth amongst my friends who had not yet had a baby.  I had made a choice that I would be doing this the most natural, healthy, non-invasive way possible.  In this article, I hope to cover what I feel are some of the most important natural approaches during pregnancy, birth and beyond.

The Foundational 3

The most common question I get from pregnant women is, “What supplements should I take during pregnancy?”  There are 3 things I believe are extremely beneficial for pregnant mothers to take throughout their pregnancy and even while nursing after the baby is born.  They are safe and important in the overall health of mommy and baby.

1.  A Quality Prenatal

I have taken several brands and forms of prenatal vitamins.  It has become my belief that a whole food prenatal is the best form you can take.  The price point is typically higher than your run of the mill prenatal, but in this case, I believe you definitely get what you pay for.

The biggest complaint you run into with prenatals is nausea.  Companies like New Chapter, Megafood, and Garden of Life have pretty much solved this problem.  Their prenatals are so gentle that you can take them on an empty stomach!  This is especially important during the first trimester, when it can be hard to eat much more than saltines.

2. Omega-3 DHA

Another important supplement during natural pregnancy and breastfeeding is DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, which is crucial for focus and concentration.  DHA is not only important for Mommy’s brain, but for baby’s developing one.  If the mother is not taking an adequate amount of DHA, the developing or nursing infant will get it from their mom’s reservoir.  I believe many new mothers experience foggy brain and forgetfulness because they are lacking DHA. Many experts even believe that the lack of omega-3 fatty acids contributes to postpartum depression.

DHA is most commonly present in fish oil.  It is imperative, especially during pregnancy, that your fish oil be contaminant free.  Make sure the company guarantees that it is been tested for purity and is free of PCBs and heavy metals.  Nordic Naturals and Carlson’s are two of my favorite fish oil brands and are known for their quality.

3. Red Raspberry Leaf

Red raspberry leaf is famed for its use during pregnancy.  It is one of very few safe herbs to take while pregnant.  Most pregnancy teas have red raspberry as their main ingredient.  I personally was not a fan of the taste and opted for the pill form.  However, both can dramatically improve and prevent pregnancy complications.

Here is a list of just a few of the things red raspberry leaf can do:

  • Ease morning sickness
  • Prevent miscarriage
  • Reduce pain during labor
  • Make labor faster
  • Increase milk supply

One of red raspberry’s greatest benefits is its ability to tone the uterus. This is how it is able to prevent miscarriage, reduce pain and increase labor speed.

I typically recommend 3-4 cups a day of the tea.  For the pills, I recommend:

  • 2 pills during the first trimester
  • 3 pills for the second trimester
  • 4 pills a day during the third trimester

Solaray and Nature’s Way are my go-to brands for the pills.  Most women I know who were diligent with their red raspberry leaf had their babies in less than 5 hours.  This is including myself.  My longest labor was only 2 hours.

During the last trimester I also recommend alfalfa, which builds red blood cells and helps prevent hemorrhaging.  Adequate vitamin D is also very important during pregnancy. Thirty-five (35) IU per lb of body weight is my standard recommendation.

Natural Options for Pregnancy Discomforts

There is nothing quite like the thrill of having a life formed inside of you.

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia for Gluten Free Diet

Upon first hearing about “chia,” I have to admit I automatically thought of the jingle “ch-ch-ch-chia,” that’s used to market the popular Chia Pet, but that’s not why I’m bringing chia to your attention!

Due to the fact that chia is marketed less as a food, chia seeds are not widely known for their amazing health benefits, but they are in fact extremely nutritious, edible seeds that you can buy at any good health food store. Regulated as a food by the FDA and a member of the mint family called Salvia hispanica, chia seeds are quickly becoming the latest health food craze, and for good reason.

Top 7 Health Benefits of Chia

1. Reduce cravings and hunger.

A great source of soluble fiber, when mixed with water, chia seeds form an almost solid gelatin. The same reaction takes place in the stomach when we eat them, helping us to stay fuller for longer. Awesome!

2. Help control blood sugar.

This same gelatin substance that forms in the stomach, also creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and digestive system enzymes, thus slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. A major plus for diabetics!

3. Increase Energy.

Thanks to their natural ability to slow down the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar, chia seeds are a great source of sustained energy to help increase endurance.

4. High in omega-3 fatty acids.

Providing copious amounts of nutrients such as protein,  fiber, antioxidants and most importantly essential fatty acids, these mighty little seeds really pack a punch.  They contain over 60% essential fatty acids and more omega-3s than flax seed. According to living-foods.com they also provide three to ten times the oil concentrations of most grains and one and a half to two times the protein concentrations of other grains.  These are the essential oils your body needs to help emulsify and absorb the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, & K. If you want brain food, there is not better source!

5. Keep us hydrated.

As already described, chia seeds absorb water, 12 times their weight in fact. Eating this superfood will in turn keep you hydrated. As we already know, fluids and electrolytes are extremely important to support the life of all the body’s cells. “With Chia seeds, you retain moisture, regulate, more efficiently, the bodies absorption of nutrients and body fluids,” explains living-foods.com

6. Help build muscle.

An excellent source of protein, chia seeds make a great addition to any weight management program to help build lean muscle. They are also low-carb and support weight loss. An ounce of chia seeds only provides 137 calories!

7. Gluten-free.

An ideal food for people with a gluten intolerance, these seeds are a gluten-free source of fiber. Chia contains both soluble and insoluble fiber that supports a healthy digestive system. Plus, unlike flax seed, chia seeds don’t need to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body.

Roger Asmus (Go Get Thin) entered a fitness competition and won the Mr. Teenage Colorado in 1991. He was later named Mr. Mile High in 1996 and achieved his dream when he was proudly awarded the title of Mr. Natural Colorado in 1998. Roger has been highly sought after as a model and authority in the fitness world, appearing in national news and magazines sources. Roger is currently one of the top personal trainers in the country and is president of Core Health Innovations™.

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