HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope you had an amazing time ringing in 2014 and I wish all the health and happiness for you the entire year through. January is my favorite newsletter to write because I get to announce my theme for the whole year! Since my wish is always about health and happiness, you will be so excited to hear what this year’s theme will be! As I have been touting for years, all health and happiness starts with digestion, and the stronger and more efficient your digestion is, the happier and healthier you are in ALL areas of your life!

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So without further ado, I am dubbing 2014 “The Year of the Butt…#2”. I will revisit articles I wrote back in 2011, so you will have a chance to hear the information again, and I will update and add in any information that I have learned since then. So once again, you have a whole year of bathroom talk to look forward to! YAY! Bowel care and digestive health have been prominent aspects of my life for almost 9 years, and it keeps inching its way higher and higher into my list of priorities cuz it is pretty stinking important. So no matter what you call it: buttocks, tush, fanny, junk-in-the-trunk, gluteus maximus, derierre, hind-quarters, buns, cheeks, or @$$, put on your granny panties, get cozy and prepare for a year of backside humor and edu-ma-cation! We are going to kick the year off by discussing what is “normal” when it comes to your pooper. In America, our idea of normal bathroom habits needs some discussion. You might not understand the severity of the situation when it comes to evacuating the bowels, but think of it this way…once the digested material that once was food gets to your colon, most of the nutrients have been extracted by the small intestine. The job of your colon (large intestine) is to extract the remaining good stuff (mostly water, so HUGELY important for staying hydrated!) out of the fecal matter passing through and get the rest (all of the stuff that is NOT good for us…aka toxic) out as quickly and efficiently as possible. If it is not able to clear out completely, the toxic material can build up in the walls of the colon, to the point of becoming rubber-like. That build up can cause loads of very serious problems, from preventing any peristaltic action (the wave-like contraction of the muscles to move the food through your entire digestive system) from taking place in your colon, to leaky bowel syndrome – a condition that has nothing to do with leaving skid marks in your underwear. Leaky bowel syndrome is what happens when the toxic waste being carried through the bowels is reabsorbed back into the body through the blood and lymph…definitely not a laughing matter, and much more common than you might think. Many bowel problems are believed by Dr. Bernard Jensen, an American pioneer nutritionist, to be the result of an inherent weakness within the bowel. Inherent weaknesses in the bowel are created during embryonic development and usually follow the genetic strengths and weaknesses of the parents. Even more interesting, is that according to the stages of our development, our digestive tract is the very first thing that is formed, before any other organ. In fact, all other organs grow out of the wall of the digestive tract as tiny buds that will develop into our other organs. So if an organ budded from an area of your bowel that had an inherent weakness, that organ may also have an inherent weakness. Interesting stuff, huh?! Your bowel, along with your skin, kidneys and liver, eliminate toxic waste from the body. Neither is more important than the other, however, the bowel does take out some big loads each and every day. For that reason, I think the bowels deserve a little more respect and attention. It has become such an unspoken topic in our nation, to the point that MOST people are suffering but do not even know it because no one knows what is supposed to be happening “down there”. So, just call me @$$woman (Seinfeld anyone?) and instead of pillow-talk, let’s do some poop-talk.

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According to Dr. Jensen’s Guide To Better Bowel Care, written by Dr. Bernard Jensen, “People from primitive cultures who live totally apart from modern civilization and consume a diet of pure, whole, natural foods – foods unprocessed and seldom cooked – usually have a bowel movement about one-half hour following each meal.” Ask around and you will find that most Americans experience a bowel movement once a day if they are lucky! Some people even think that a bowel movement once every week (or more!) is normal. Obviously, our culture is very different from a primitive one, so what happened? In my opinion, we have a few answers:
  1. Our schedules have become so busy and overcrowded, that going to the bathroom became secondary to everything else we just HAD to get done.
  2. Our digestion has become so sluggish, from a combination of poor diet, lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyles, that we simply do not need to go to the bathroom regularly.
  3. Somewhere along the lines, it become socially unacceptable to poop, so we held it until in the safety of our own private bathrooms so no one knows that we do in fact do #2!
Now, I know there is someone out there thinking, “Nope. Not me. I am as regular as Old Faithful. Once in the morning AND once at night.” Well believe it or not, some Americans regularly visit the bathroom 3-4 times per day, yet their bowels are STILL not completely evacuated! How can that be? The answer is so simple but is bound to cause an uproar. The answer: the modern toilet. Yep. If you do your business on a toilet, then it ain’t all out. Don’t worry, we are going to spend a whole month on that topic alone! (And if you have been a diligent reader, you already know the solution ::nudgenudgewinkwink::) So…which came first? The chicken or the egg? The schedules or the constipation? We will leave that one open for discussion. The point here is to take note of how frequently you visit the bathroom to go #2, the satisfaction level of your #2’s and how we can make the most of our time spent on the porcelain throne…not just catching up on our reading. Some very simple ways to improve digestion and increase the frequency and efficiency of bowel movements right away are:
  1. Drink plenty of water – you could pretty much bet that you have to drink more
  2. Eat a diet high in fiber from natural, pure, and whole vegetables, fruit and grains
  3. Exercise regularly – typical cardiovascular exercise is especially great at stimulating digestion, especially brisk walking

Well, I think that is enough poop-talk for the day. This is just an introduction and I do not want to overwhelm you on the first try. The name of the game for this month is just to NOTICE – not judge, not “Ring The Alarm” (cue Beyonce) – just notice and note. Start tracking your bathroom habits so you have a running log of your “norm”. This is the best way to notice patterns. If we find a red flag somewhere, we can take further action, but by that time, you are going to be a butt expert from reading my newsletters, so you will be armed and dangerous with information! If you do have any immediate questions or concerns, send ’em my way and I will gladly address them. Being aware of and understanding your digestive habits is imperative and by now you know this is my favorite topic since it has grown to be such an important part of my life…I guess you could say my rump is close to my heart! No worries though, my intention is not to convert you into a digestion addict, just trying to get you to love your butt a bit more!

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