The Scoop 3

Your Guide to Healthy Poop

May 13, 2013|140Comments|


Hi Sweet Friends,

I love talking turd, and I’m not ashamed to say it! Turd, turd, turd. It’s time we all stop hiding behind our toilet paper squares and start understanding one of the most important parts of our everyday well-being — healthy poop! Sure, it’s not the sexiest of subjects, but vibrant health is pretty darn hot in my opinion. And whether you like it or not, your poo is part of that picture.

Without further a-doodoo …

The scoop on poop

Poop is made up of dead gut cells, leftover indigestible fiber and bacteria. As you know, your chow is processed in your intestines, which are lined with some very smart cells. These cells allow essential nutrients, such as sugars, amino acids, fats, vitamins and minerals to be absorbed into your bloodstream. The leftovers (aka the waste) are shuttled through the rest of your digestive system, out of your body and into the toilet. Welcome to the pool, kids!

How often should you poop-a-go-go?

The number of times you should poop per day varies. On average, it’s normal to go as much as 2-3 times per day (basically after each meal) or as little as every other day. Although I’d like to add that “every other day” seems pretty uncomfortable to me! However, if you’re going more than 4 times a day or only 3-4 times per week, you should probably consult your doctor.

The glamour shot: What does a healthy bowel movement look like?

Shape: Ready for an anatomy lesson? Since poop curves around and around inside your winding intestines, a healthy poop should look like an “S” or a “C” as it lands in your toilet.

Color: Healthy poop should be a shade of medium-brown color, courtesy of the leftover bile from your gallbladder (this bile helps to break down your food). If your poop is white or grey, you could be having a problem with your pancreas or gallbladder. Yellow stool may be the sign of an infection in your intestines or inflammation, especially if you observe mucus in your poop.

Blood in your poop may or may not be cause for alarm, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The blood could be the result of hemorrhoids, which can be tender and start bleeding if you’re straining too much while pooping (Ouchies! Ease up, hotshot). In this case, you may see a couple of drops of bright red blood in the toilet water, on your toilet paper or on the outside of your poop. If you have any doubts about whether or not you have hemorrhoids, touch base with your doc to let him or her know about the issue. But if your poop contains dark red blood or is even blackish-red, this indicates blood that has come from higher up in your gut. In that case, please see your physician post-haste.

Texture: A healthy poop will be formed but soft — think toothpaste consistency (sans the mint). Hard, dry, pellet poop indicates constipation. Loose, unformed, or watery poop is diarrhea. If it’s foamy or floating on top of the toilet water, this could mean that you are not absorbing the fat in your diet very well — especially if it’s incredibly foul-smelling. This is another reason to trot to your doc.

How to be a gold-star pooper:

The “Four F’s” are a general rule of thumb for happy bowel movements: Fiber, Fluids, Flora and Fitness!

Fiber: 

Dietary fiber rules. As you learned in my guide to fabulous fiber, it comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Lack of either creates pooper pandemonium.

Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel in your intestines, which bulks up your poop and makes it smooth enough to keep the trains moving. Soluble fiber also helps regulate blood sugar and can lower cholesterol levels. Add these foods to increase soluble fiber: oatmeal, apples, oranges, pears, berries, flax, beans, peas, lentils and psyllium husk.

Insoluble fiber does not absorb water, so it acts like the bristles in a broom to sweep poop along. It also has a mild laxative effect, which helps with healthy elimination. Add these foods to increase insoluble fiber: whole grains, nuts, seeds, dark leafy greens, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, dried fruit and root vegetable skins.

Fluids:

When you increase fiber, you also need to increase your fluid intake. Remember, soluble fiber absorbs water, which means you’ll need more H2O to stay hydrated and prevent constipation. There are two easy ways to estimate how much water you need each day:

  • Divide your body weight by 2. This gives you the approximate amount of water in ounces that you need to drink per day. For example, a 140-pound woman should drink about 70 ounces.
  • Look at your pee — it should be a light straw color.  The darker your pee gets, the more concentrated it has become, which indicates that you need to drink more fluids.

Flora:

Your intestines are home to over 100 trillion bacteria and a great deal of this bacteria (good guys and bad guys) end up in your poop. Good bacteria (also known as probiotics) are very important to help keep us regular. We need probiotics to work alongside our digestive enzymes and help break down food to release the nutrients our bodies need. In return, probiotics survive and multiply in our gut when they dine on the leftover fiber from our digested food.

To increase good bacteria in your gut:

  • Eat fermented foods like tempeh, miso, kombucha and sauerkraut.
  • Eat high-fiber foods (prebiotics).
  • Take a high-quality probiotic supplement.

For more on building strong belly bacteria, check out my blog on gut health.

Fitness:

If you want your poop to move, YOU need to move too! Exercise helps stimulate the natural contractions of your intestines. It also tones the muscles in your core that help create healthy elimination. Gentle activities such as taking a walk or yoga can help ease constipation, but moderate aerobic activity on a regular basis is a more effective way to keep constipation at bay in the long run. Score!

A couple more tips:

  • Making sure you go … on the go! While traveling, I take Magnesium Citrate to prevent constipation. It might do the trick for you too. (As always, check with your doc before adding a new supplement to your life.)
  • Primo poo-sition. While sitting on the porcelain throne, rest your feet on a short stool (or the edge of the bathtub). This simple adjustment puts your body in a good position for easy-breezy elimination. Try it!

It’s your turn. Don’t be shy!

Now that I’ve opened the bathroom door and started the poop-ersation, light a match and share your tips for healthy elimination.

Peace & terrific turds,

Kris Carr



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment

140 responses to Your Guide to Healthy Poop
  1. Oh my gawd!! I was just talking to a friend the other day and we giggled as we find the conversation often moving towards the wonders and miracles of good poop. We feel the need to educate the world about how important and telling it is to our health. I so love to have these conversations… and now it’s like I’m having the same conversation with you!! I love it!! I will be sharing your wonderful insights with all ;-) Thanks once again for such wonderful insights and education.

    hugs
    Catherine xox
    at AlmostRawVegan.com

  2. Tip # 1: Oat Bran for breakfast. It contains loads of soluble fibre and helps control your blood sugar. As Kris says, you need to drink lots of water, all day long, to form a gel and move that fibre through your system. Here’s a good recipe: http://eatandbeatcancer.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/anti-cancer-breakfast-recipes-what-grain-is-best-for-your-blood-sugar/

    Tip # 2: An ergonomic stool, for those who have trouble eliminating. It puts you in the proper position–sort of like a birthing stool for the back end. Have a look: http://glowingolder.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/holistic-health-tip-ergonomic-elimination/

    • These are great suggestions Harriet. One can also just have a small box or low stool to place feet on when sitting on the toilet. This too also facilitates easier elimination.

    • Good insight here, it’s unfortunate (but more comfortable!) that Western society has adapted to sitting upright on toilets while pooping. It’s really better for our colons to squat while pooping, like so many cultures around the world do. While we haven’t quite adopted this practice yet, my husband ensures me that we will have a squatting toilet whenever we build/own our own home one day! We might just have to have a regular toilet for guests, lol.

      • Jade said on May 28, 2013

        Or you could get a Squatty Potty. ;-)

        I’m getting one soon and can’t wait!

        http://www.squattypotty.com/

      • I use my yoga blocks while on the toilet to create the squatting effect!

      • This is a great article but I am so surprised she didn’t mention posture. I have been squatting for years. My new favorite thing is the Squatty Potty (www.squattypotty.com) It’s way better than yoga blocks or a regular stool. It is angled perfectly so your heels are raised and you feel like you are actually squatting.

  3. So timely Kris – I just found out the name of a colon hydration place where I live – need some serious flora balancing I think. Thanks will be sharing… Love your work.

  4. I gotta say Kriss, first time i’ve opened an e-mail that talks about poop. Ever. LMPO (laugh my poop off)

    Love you girl!
    XOXOXOXOXO

  5. Gosh, we were just talking about poop on Sunday, much to the dismay of some of my friends!
    thanks for those great tips Kris. As part of a nutrition overhaul, I had mine sent to germany to be analysed- uhuh. turns out i have some work to do on my friendly bacteria – getting on it as I’m beginning to realise how my crap (no pun intended) digestion has been getting me down for years!
    perfect poops here I come.
    Keep up the good work.
    Rx

  6. Awww, what vegan hasn’t marveled at the easy of digestion once switching to a plant-based diet? Dr. Greger has some great info over at nutritionfact.org on the differences in bowel movements between dietary approaches and counties: http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/29/bowel-movements-the-scoop-on-poop/. What’s so scary is that most Americans think that constipation is normal; I know I did until I went vegan almost 3 years ago!

  7. fab article, thx Kris! Having done a detox last month and twice daily colonics, I’m much more wary of my digestion and elimination system, and keeping things regular :) So much so, I’ve enrolled on a programme to train as a heath coach! Loving your book too -its so beautiful!!

  8. Awesome bathroom reading material. Can I just say you have impecable timing. Im so happy someone finally talked about what it is instead of using medical terms we never use in real language. Thank you sweetness!

  9. 2 tabs Magnesium Calcium + by Rainbow Light before bed. That’s double the magnesium as calcium. Magnesium 1000 mg and Calcium 500 mg. Not the reverse. It relaxes muscles, helps with sleep and creates the environment for one perfect poop every morning!

    • Too true! Also great for leg cramps — found that out during my second pregnancy — it’s soooo easy to be calcium deficient and the mag helps you absorb it! Glad to hear it has other great uses as well!

  10. I was starting to read the post while having lunch… Not exaclty the right moment for that. I’ll read it later :-)

  11. Gina said on May 13, 2013

    Kris!
    You have no idea how perfectly timed this was! Like the other ladies this has been a topic of discussion for me all week! I just started seeing a hydration therapist regularly and am beginning my first series of three! I already feel so different. It’s great! Thanks again for speaking on a difficult subject in such a fabulous way!

    Happy pooping!
    Gina
    R3styleYourSoulYourWay.blogspot.com

    • Gina,

      How does one find a hydration therapist? Sounds like something I should look into. I’ve got serious dehydration issues that need to be tackled! Did you go through a regular physician with a referral or go looking on your own. Any recommendations for online sources to locate someone local to where I am?

      Thanks!

  12. Your poop timing is impeccable! I just ran out of digestive enzymes + probiotics and have been a lazy bones about going to WF for more.

    Thanks for the excellent tips and turd-spiration!

    xx

  13. Hi,
    I really appreciate all your good info about moving poo along and relieving constipation, but I have the opposite problem and have gotten no relief for decades.I have tried chiropractors and acupuncture, pro and pre-biotics,fiber, fermented veggies, going gluten and dairy free, yoga and reikii…but continue to have gassy explosive diarrhea.I know how important gut health is so it makes me really srtessed that I can’t heal my gut, and I know stress isn’t helping! Any suggestions? thanks!

    • Try some bitters…also, you can make a tea that is aromatic, cooling and soothing for the digestive tract.

      Boil 2 cups of water. Add 1/4 tsp of each of the following….whole cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds. Cover and continue a slow boil for 5-10 minutes. Remonve from heat, let cool, you may want to add some sweetner when cool, and drink 1/2 cup several times a day….

    • Are you dairy free?

    • Alex said on May 13, 2013

      Hi Kate,
      I had this problem and found no relief until reducing the FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) in my diet.
      Basically I had to go gluten, dairy and FODMAP free (for a year or so) and my gut eventually healed and the symptoms stopped. The main culprits for me were apples, onions, garlic- now I can eat these again in small quantities.
      Might be worth a shot?

      • I had the very gassy issue too until I went low-FODMAP. The idea is to reduce the foods that don’t digest well in the small intestines. They move thru to the large intestines where fermentation takes over and produces gas. A new book is coming out in the fall that might be a good reference to check out – can’t remember the name but I think I saw it on Amazon. Apples and the whole onion family are at the top of the list of fermentables. :-( Fortunately, lots of yummies foods are safe. Hope you get it figured out.

    • Sounds like a typical dairy allergy! Get off ALL diary and see what happens. Or try an elimination diet. Once you find the offender, I bet it will get better!

    • Offending foods may be the cause. You may want to consider testing for food, herb and chemical sensitivities. I am a nutritional consultant for a company that does this testing and have had many patients have these same digestive issues resolve after removing their offending foods. You could be intolerant to “healthy” items, such as aloe, lettuce, turmeric, ginger, etc. It can be surprising to learn that the very items you are using in an attempt to heal yourself are in fact the culprits of your symptoms! I suggest you check out the ALCAT test at http://www.ALCAT.com amongst your search for an answer.

      • Lara said on May 25, 2013

        I’ve been doing the ALCAT for years and it’s SO helpful! No more guessing and food elimination trials. I have many many food sensitivities so this has completely changed my health.

        • Lara,
          I looked up the ALCAT and noticed it is a test for “sensitivities and intolerances” not allergies. Was the difference explained to you and did you have to get additional screening to rule out allergies too?

    • Do you consume dairy? I had similar problems until I had my second daughter. She wasn’t keeping down my breast milk…After eliminating dairy for about 3 weeks my gut was normal and my kiddo was a happy healthy nurser! Hope it your shituation…..( I couldn’t resist) :0)

    • It sounds like you may want to do more extensive investigation into things like food & chemical allergies & sensitivities. Look into Elisa and Vega testing which should look at over 500 substances. Also detailed blood analysis. Naturopathic Doctors are usually the ones who can facilitate these types of tests, your regular Dr. will think those tests are stupid and send you home with a prescription! You should also look at Candida, Parasites, Celiac, stress levels, emotional health, etc……If you’ve been experiencing this for years & I would seriously encourage you to continue your search for answers, but seek professional help, don’t try to self diagnose or experiment with everything. Even when you do find the right help, have patience & compassion for your self & your body, depending on how far off balance your body is, it can take months or even years to heal completely. Best of luck! :)

    • hey, have you tried bentonite clay? I’ve used it for all sorts of things but mainly for gut cleansing, taken with lots of water it’s also very calming and relaxes muscles, whilst binding with nasties, it absorbs allot of water so is good for loose stools, a it adds ‘body’ (Ewwww Soz) and removes toxic matter, :-)

    • Lara said on May 25, 2013

      You may very well not be making enough stomach acid to break down your food properly. I take Betaine HCL with every meal and it makes a world of difference. Turns out a high percentage of people have this problem but it’s always mistaken as too much stomach acid by traditional doctors. (can have the same symptoms) Find a good Naturopathic doctor to talk to about this!

  14. Thanks Kris, for giving us the poop on this subject….sorry, couldn’t help it. I learned that we should be excreting 24 inches of poop each day! I know when I eat enough fiber, that isn’t a problem, and I feel significantly better. Thanks for all you do! L.O.V.E the cookbook!!!

  15. Yes! Be not ashamed. We all do it and we all should talk about it. A good BIG flush to you my friend!! Thanks for opening the door to the bathroom.

  16. We all do it, so why do we whisper about it?‏

    Well that email title was just misleading … I have a dirty mind.

    • We must both have the same mind then Kristy, ’cause that is exactly what I thought too! ;)

      Kris talks about how a healthy sex life is important for body mind and spirit, so I just figured that was the topic…

      Smiles!

      Tiffany

    • Brilliant way of talking about a muy importante, subject. I laughed out loud but loved the easy to digest tips.

  17. Absolutely loved this post…thank you so much for sharing…the ‘load-down’! :)

  18. Kris, I LOVE that you talk about this! Haha. I know it’s gross, but people are so squeamish about this, yet it’s something that we should be able to discuss. Thanks for these helpful tips. I’m glad I’m not the only one looking in the toilet bowl every time I poop to “assess” what’s gone down there.

  19. What specific high quality probiotic supplement do you recommend?

  20. HI Kris,

    Thank you for that peppy report on poop!

    I did want to add that emotions can really wreak havoc on your gut and ability to poop!
    Emotional upheaval can create an inner vibe of unsafety – and when we don’t feel safe, we don’t poop very well.

    Hugs and love!

    Robin

    • That is such an excellent point to bring up, and one I’ve never seen discussed. Thank you!

    • Oh my gosh, I just had an EFT session today with an EFT therapist for this very reason. After much talking we discovered that due to an unpleasant experience that happened to me several months ago, my body stored the anxiety from that situation in my large intestine…and voila constipation! I actually felt the physical sensation of the trapped anxiety leaving my body as we worked through the tapping sequence to release it and then the only thing I wanted to do was sleep. The therapist told me that being sleepy was a very a good sign that the anxiety had been released and so I went home to sleep it off. Much to my delight a few hours later, I had a lovely trip to the bathroom. Amazing!!!

  21. Aloe Vera is amazing at helping you poo too :-) not too much of it though as it might also cause diarrhea. happy pooping everyone :-) LOL

    • Hey! Do you think Aloe Vera Juice would help? I’m thinking of giving some to my 5 year old having tummy troubles. Thanks for the idea :-D

  22. I’m a GI patient – so my life revolves around poop: color, size, consistency and frequency. As I’m not yet in remission, fiber is tough for me as it triggers flares. I’m trying a new tablet supplement and I hoping for the best. So on behalf of all people suffering from IBD – thanks for the topic!

  23. Love love LOVE talkin’ poo! Thanks for this informative breakdown! People just don’t realize how critical a good poo is to radiant health, particularly when it comes to all of the “symptoms” that we’re walking around with (belly bloats, brain fog, dull skin, inability to lose weight, bad moods, etc.) that many have just chalked up to “the norm”. Great post, as always!

    Kristen Boucher
    http://www.mixwellness.com
    http://www.fortheloveoffiber.com

  24. Okay, not only do I keep a close eye on my own b.m.’s but it’s also an aspect of the “guts and glory” of motherhood. I have to keep an eye on the kiddos poop, too. Not sure how long they will invite me to have a look but I’ll take it while I got it. I can tell a lot about how they are doing by paying attention to the form and function.

  25. What do you think about taking Magnesium every night? I’ve read several places this is great for weight loss, but is it healthy???

  26. Thank you for your article. Timely.

  27. Thank you for this information! It’s timely for me because my poor 5 year old has been complaining of her tummy hurting or just not feeling well for a couple of weeks. I’m somewhat stingy about going to the doc, but I thought something was up (and she appears to poop normal) so we went it. Hard stool in her colon! We haven’t been eating as much fruit lately and the girl loves bread so we need to make some serious adjustments. Any suggestions for getting that stuff that’s stuck OUT? I would assume the insoluble fiber and she’s on probiotics, but we’re upping those babies. Thank you again!!!!!!

    • Anna said on May 13, 2013

      My daughter was really having trouble with constipation and we had tried everything, but then my sister-in-law told me about a food called Mila that has both soluable and insoluable and super easy to get into kids. It’s like a powder, so we just add it to smoothies, in pancakes, in water and juice. Whatever is easiest. Let me know if you want more info on it.

    • Hi, my oldest son sometimes has that problem, and eating a kiwi with the skin on solves it. It always works, usually the next morning, and it worked for me during both my prgnancies as well as for my 83 yr old dad…..And the only side effect is you get 100% of vitamin C. Just make sure it is a ripe kiwi…orherwise they are odd to eat. And no….the little fuzz does ot scratch your throat.

  28. A great read .. I hv to go an poop now .. Lol

  29. Emma said on May 13, 2013

    Is it normal to do do massive ones? I do looong poops, hubby says it looks like I’ve pooed out a weasel!

    • I second that motion. I am petite in frame yet the size of my poop is sometimes shocking!

      • What do you guys eat?? Please share your typical day of eating and exercise if you don’t mind!

  30. Simply eating a whole foods, vegan diet works wonders on our digestion and elimination! There is already so much fiber in plant foods that we don’t need to supplement. And since fruits and vegetables are also have a very high water content, we don’t need to worry about adding extra water to balance out the high fiber content. In other word, Nature got it right! Just eat these high fiber, high water content, high nutrient content plant foods, and voila! Healthy body, healthy mind, and healthy poop!

    And by the way, when you begin eating LOTS of green vegetables, your poop will turn a bit green. Don’t worry! That’s normal.

  31. S said on May 13, 2013

    Great article Kris – who doesn’t like talking about poop! :)

    I had the standard colonoscopy (routine-1st one) 2 years ago. I had been having looser stools, not quite diarrhea. They said I had ‘collagenous colitis’, a mild inflammatory condition. I opted not to take the steroids they recommended.

    I still have loose stools. I drink Kombucha (daily now for about 2 months) have done probiotics daily (most days) until I started kombucha and do my best to eat a healthy diet.

    Nothing I eat has changed the loose stools (cow pie like).

    Any comments from anyone?

    S

  32. Great post about a much feared conversation. My family and I talk about our poop quite often and get funny looks from friends and distant family members. I am a modern dancer and was recently extremely constipated before a performance. A fellow dancer told me to step on to the toilet seat and squat. VIOLA! Did the trick in record time. Sharing this with friends and a good number of them can hardly believe their ears. Don’t knock it til you try it! We have got to get more comfortable talking about this poop stuff!

  33. I’m glad you broke the “taboo” on talking poop! It is one way we can monitor the ongoing health of our bodies. It is important. Thank you!

    But as a stage IV colon cancer patient (misdiagnosed for two years before finally being diagnosed at age 47) I feel you have missed the boat on giving warning signs of colon cancer when you talk about poop and colon health.

    FYI – I had bright red blood in my stool on and off. It was NOT hemorrhoids – it was due to a huge tumor which eventually had me 99% blocked. Bright red blood in your stool IS cause for alarm if it does not clear up quickly or is intermittent. It may be just hemorrhoids, but it may be caused by other problems such as a tumor. If you have blood in your stool, see your doctor! I also had mucous in my stool often. That is also (as pointed out in the blog) not normal. I never knew that prior to my diagnosis.

    If you notice a change in stool size (becoming thinner) this is cause for alarm, and that should be listed here as well. Mine got smaller and smaller as they tried to squeeze by the growing tumor. If you have a change from being “normal” to extreme diarrhea or constipation, that is also cause for concern.

    I’d like to mention to your readers that living healthy with a good diet and exercise does NOT guarantee you will not get colon cancer. I am a non-smoker, never overweight, got lots of exercise and am a pesco-vegetarian (since age 16), and had a 5,000 square foot organic garden (did lots of canning and freezing for off season too). Still, I got colon cancer by the age of 45. It is always good to live as healthy as we can and that decreases our risks for disease, but it is not safe to assume complete protection. Cancer knows no boundaries – race, sex, age – it makes no difference.

    If you have a change in your stool, blood or mucous in your stool, extreme unexplained fatigue, unexplained abdominal bloating or pain (especially when your bowels move) – these can all be signs of colon or rectal cancer. If you are younger than the screening age of 50 you need to be your own advocate and keep pushing until you have answers. Since my diagnosis I have met thousands of people under age 50 with colorectal cancer. Many of them in the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. Many living very healthy lives including vegan triathletes. The stereotype of old fat beer-swilling, gravy covered meat-guzzling men being the ones who get colorectal cancer is very wrong. It affects men & women equally and those with healthy lifestyles too. Those with a family history of colorectal cancer or multiple polyps should be screened earlier – 10 years prior to the family members diagnosis or multiple polyp removal. My children will be screened starting at age 35.

    And in reply to reading through so many comments mentioning colonics, so many people are misinformed about them. Colonics do not prevent colon cancer, and can be dangerous for some people. I’m shocked at the number of misinformed people when it comes to that subject. I just had a friend ask me what more she could do to prevent colon cancer – listing the things she was doing, including daily colonics. Our colons are NOT meant to be messed with like that. It is not natural and shouldn’t be done on a daily basis unless there is a medical problem that can only be addressed that way. It can cause its own whole new set of problems, including perforation and bacteria imbalance in the colon. And in no way does it prevent colon or rectal cancer.

  34. You are amazing Chris. I am a digestive health coach who helps people with their poo problems on a daily basis. They suffer from pooing too much or not enough and soluble fiber and probiotics are a huge part of the conversation over at my website http://www.diyhealthblog.com.

    I also commend you for not being afraid to talk about poo. There is too much shame around this topic even though we all do it. And it is important that people feel comfortable to talk about their health issues even if it involved the indelicate topic of poop.

    Thank you for starting this very important conversation and doing it with so much lightness and fun. Perhaps it will help others lose their poop talk shame.

  35. A fun little tidbit from NPR with an interesting historical perspective on our prudishness about going to the bathroom. It showed up on my facebook newsfeed about the same time as I got your e-mail, so the stars must have alligned. http://www.npr.org/2013/05/13/180811135/why-you-should-give-a-about-words-that-offend?utm_source=NPR&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=20130513

  36. Kris, and everyone, I recommend a fabulous book called “What’s Your Poo Telling You?” by Anish Sheth, MD and Josh Richman. It’s an informative and entertaining scoop on poop!
    I used to keep a copy in the loo for sit-down readers (it’s a friendly little hardcover book) and it was worth hearing giggling from behind the closed door in addition to, uhm, enlightening our guests. Your blog reminds me to get another copy – loaned mine out and it’s still out there in the world somewhere!

    • Tina said on May 13, 2013

      Glad to see that you’re helping get the word out on what constitutes a good “poop”! For those who haven’t heard of Brenda Watson, C.N.C., she’s a former colon hydrotherapist, NY Times best-selling author, PBS presenter and is dubbed the “diva of digestion”. She talks about poop and other topics of digestion and natural health at her website at http://www.brendawatson.com. She has a great forum on her site where she specifically addresses natural ways to heal IBS and other GI issues.

    • They also have an app for iPhones. You can track your poop and play poo trivia.

  37. Heehee. She said poop. :)

    • Seriously though, Kris…

      Thank you so much for these nuggets ‘o wisdom!! Simple, informative, straight forward, and funny! This is how we should learn about everything! Passing this great article on because as usual, YOU ROCK. xoxoKathy

  38. Funnily enough, I came across this last night! http://imgur.com/ap1tSyP

    Thank you for laughs and crucial info Kris – you rock!

    Peace and love,
    Theresa (@sizedrop)

  39. Hello! Vitamineral Greens by: Healthforce Nutritionals will give you the healthiest bowel movement EVER! It is a raw-vegan, gluten free, & sugar-free product. It also has many healthful ingredients. Yes, as someone else said magnesium is excellent, but I find that the stool doesn’t stay that “toothpaste texture” (LOL!). Also, my colon hydro-therapist (a woman who cured herself of ovarian cancer with diet and Chinese herbs in 3 years.) says to have a salad with at least 12 different plant based ingredients every day…..including thinly sliced raw okra!! Take care everyone!!

    • I am interested in your post regarding your colon hydro-therapist (a woman who cured herself of ovarian cancer with diet and Chinese herbs in 3 years.) I too have ovarian cancer and would be very interested to know just what she did to cure herself. Thanks for any info you can provide. Kind regards, Deanna

  40. Hi!

    This is a really helpful article! I recently became started my vegan plant based diet and I noticed my stool being almost too soft and fragmented. Everyone talks about loosing weight but I don’t want to loose any weight (I unfortunately did after starting the new diet), just trying to outsmart diseases and feel amazing. Could it be that I’m eating too many fruits and not enough vegetables?

    Thanks!

    P.S. I really like your book! You are a great inspiration for everyone!

    Kristina

  41. ANY blood in your stool, even bright red, needs to be discussed with your doc. I found out the hard way, dismissing my bright red blood as hemorrhoids, when in fact it was a tumor. Since my tumor was in the rectum, which is at the very end of the bowel evacuation system, the blood was bright red. Please, always talk to your doctor about any blood in your stool or change in bowel habits.

    Thanks, Kris, for bringing awareness to a very important and natural part of our amazing bodies!!

    • AMEN. My tumor was in my sigmoid colon – bright red blood. Misdiagnosed for two years. I’ve now been living with stage IV colon cancer for 4 years.

  42. OH MY WORD!!! this is one the BEST e mails I’ve ever gotten:) Thanks Kris!!! way to make a tough topic fun:) I teach 8th grade nutrition…maybe I’ll have to print this off for them to read:) I think they’d love it!!! lol

  43. I recently saw a t-shirt that said “I’m Vegan, So I Poop 4 Times A Day”! Yep…..

  44. Yes, our colons take the most abuse from the modern diet. Our colons are part of our immune system so when things got clogged up there, it will affect our general health, appearance and the freshness of our breaths. Our colons must act as a continuing running sewer not a putrid, stagnant cesspool. Celebrities are into expensive “cleanse” right now. What they need to do is eat whole food, natural, high fiber food and you won’t have a putrifying cesspool inside you.

    Great blog. I’ve shared it in my FB page and trust me, my friends will appreciate this subject matter. It was never discussed before, certainly not publicly. Thanks, Kris.

  45. I was recently told that if your body is truly alkaline, poop should be green and that brown poop indicates acidity. Have you heard that theory before?

  46. Ann said on May 13, 2013

    Even if I didn’t have a thousand other reasons to be a runner, I would run just because of the poop. Growing up as a child with horrible nutrition and very little exercise I know what it is like to not be able to go to the bathroom. When I discovered running and the added benefit of regular bowel movements I was totally sold. Thanks for talking crap today.

  47. wow! This is great information! I was just thinking about how the digestive system would work and how we would know how poop should look and how often we should go! This is great! Thank You!!!

  48. Great info Kris. The Scope on Poop is great timing.

    We were just chatting about poop last night and again today. Not only is the shape and colour important, but checking to see if you are digesting your food is key too. If you see corn, it is likely a sign that you are not chewing your food (you swallowed it whole). And it you see white or brown wormish looking things, I would go to the doctor as well as it might just be parasites. Taking a look at your poop gives you insights into your intestinal health.

    I never knew what golden brown poop looked like until I changed my diet to an anti inflammatory diet, followed the 4 F program as outlined above and took a digestive enzyme with HCl and Bile. Now I get what the colour mean. A sign I am getting healthier.

    Thanks again for the outhouse lesson,

    Jo

  49. I love your sense of humor—even in the bathroom!

  50. 14 years ago I told a nutritionist that I went poop on average 3 times a week. He told me I was literally full of shit! I first became constipated at University when we had shared communal bathrooms. If anyone came in, I froze up. That carried into my work life. Too embarrassed to go at work. This nutritionist straightened me right out. He told me to NEVER ignore the signals of a poop and to stop whatever I was doing and just GO. Now I am a 2 times a day kind a gal and SO HAPPY – I am not full of shit anymore!!! Thanks for bringing this subject out into the open :)

  51. How timely. I was just getting ready to start a cleanse diet and was curious about how everything should look when it comes out. I am a distributor for Chia seeds so I use them for my omega’s and the soluble and unsoluble fiber. Thanks for the tips. I always fee like I am getting older when we have these conversations. HAHA

  52. Kris – I just love you! Only you could tackle this topic with such abandon and good humor. Thanks for opening this up – there’s nothing like a good healthy poop! Thank you for being you and sharing with the rest of us.

    Here’s to healthy poo!

    Cheryl.

  53. Not sure if u will end up sharing this lol. Out of all the systems ur asshole is the boss. If u don’t shit u die!!!!

  54. Great blog post about a subject not everyone wants to discuss. By the way, anyone want to know a way to “get things going” if you’re a bit constipated (I figure this is the place to post this). While sitting on the toilet relax and take a big breath in and slowly out either using a “shhh” sound or “ssss” sound. Relax and repeat. Works every time. I learned this from a physical therapist that specializes in urinary incontinence. She found it particularly helpful when she was pregnant. I tell all my friends and it always gets a chuckle but everyone tries it.

  55. I love my Potty Squatty. I wish more people would ask about that contraption in our bathroom. It does a great job on helping eliminate. I just love to Potty Squat. All is well because i Juice and I drink a smoothie every day. Growing my own wheatgrass and all will be even better in a few days. It’s great now but man, can’t wait to get more healthy live giving greens in me.

  56. Is it normal for your poo to be green if you are drinking green juices/smoothies for breakfast, raw veggies for lunch and salads for dinner?

    Great topic

  57. This is so true, you can totally be your own doctor! The only thing you need to do is to check your poo and pee:)) Might not sound like the sexiest way but better to have the health on top!!
    In my own family we are a few that do like to talk about it..haha…well what can I say, when you are interested in creating the best health, this is a topic that you then also need to talk about!:))

    Thank you Kris! Have a lovely day!:)

  58. Thank you thank you thank you!!

    Being regular completely changes my mood and the course of my day. Love all this information. I have muscular pelvic floor tension, so having easy stools is extremely important for me. I started juicing 6 months ago, and have noticed a difference. :)

    One thing though that drives me crazy though- if I don’t sit down and eat breakfast at home, I usually don’t go all day… seems funny, but at least it gets me up early!

    xo

  59. suz said on May 14, 2013

    Please don’t forget the bidet. I am surprised – shocked really – the bidet is not mentioned as integral to health. Blows my mind! And the idea of all the problems people have – not to mention cleanliness – that are solved by the bidet! (Though that would be a bunch of drugs and ointments and doctors out of business!). Namaste.

    • suz said on May 14, 2013

      PS – I just re-read my comment and it came off as “shocked” maybe by you or people here. No bad energy here – was meaning in the general sense of society and what people talk/don’t talk about. And to anyone here that does not use a bidet – run, don’t walk! (There’s great attachments to regular toilets these days)

  60. This is SO great! Now I just wish I could get my Mom and Grandma on the same page! I grew up thinking it was “normal” to have diarrhea several times a day because my Mom and Grandma are the same. When I did the elimination diet and increased the plants in my diet I realized that what was going on with my digestion was NOT healthy! Now I love that I have 2 good poohs a day! Wait….did I just share too much?? Thanks for this article Kris!

  61. Oh poop — one of my favorite subjects — never shy to talk about a good or bad experience :) Thanks for the information – I will be sharing it for sure !

  62. Hi Kris,

    I’m new to your site but just read your books, and am hooked. Really great info, philosophy and recipes.

    My husband is very concerned that I drink Kombucha that I buy at the grocery store (about 16 oz/day). I know you wouldn’t recommend it (or drink it!) if it wasn’t healthy, but how can I reassure him? I am not pregnant, ill, etc – just a raw newbie.

    Thanks,

    Nancy

  63. Kris, you are a gift to the planet. I read your blogs regularly……cook with your amazing recipes and cookbook……and adore your honesty, frank opinions, insights, and the credibility of your information. And then there’s that sense of humour! You are appreciated beyond words…..thank you for sharing your journey, courage and wisdom.

  64. A fun visual tool that has helped me interpret my poop is the “Bristol Stool Scale” from the UK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_stool_scale

    I love the days when I can shout out from the bathroom, “Number four!!”

    Adrian

  65. AJ said on May 15, 2013

    This is a brave post – and a needed one too! I have to remember the fluids – I don’t drink nearly enough water. I’m going to look into a good probiotic as well. I didn’t think it was needed given my diet but it might not hurt. Great information.
    AJ.

  66. I love you so much for using the phrase “pooper pandamonium”.

  67. So glad to see this post!! Such an important function. Does anyone have any natural effective hemorrhoid remedies? I have them bad from 2 years of constipation and poor bowel habits! Thanks!

    • suz said on May 16, 2013

      Use a bidet! It is great for hemorroids and all other kinds of issues (even constipation). You can get attachments to your toilet. It is a shame to me people suffer with this and the media pushes creams and things like that when bidet is all you need! (Plus of course cutting out processed food and getting fiber, etc etc.)

  68. Hi Kriss – having first ‘found’ you through the amazing Food Summit, I can’t tell you how much I’m loving your blog & all you share on your health, really inspirational. You should change the settings to ensure that any links in these comments do not take us away from your page, but pop up in a new window – there’s too much good stuff here to be pulled away! Thanks again!

  69. Thanks for this post. Wonderful site you have here. Am certainly glad to have found it recently. You have a wealth of knowledge here. I have certainly tried getting in more fiber through out the day, will have to look into getting a probiotic as well. Also, found it interesting how you mentioned fitness and working out. Often an overlooked part of healthy digestion, etc.

    Will certainly take the time to look around and am excited to learn more from your posts and site. Thanks for the post :).

  70. i love the topic and created the Poop Group in your online community years ago! This is an important topic and is truly a window into your health. pay attention to the poop. hail the poop!

    also- i didn’t know KC had a show on Hay house! I love hay house but haven’t listened as much while not working! Im so excited about this! Mos Def going to tune in.

  71. Kris,

    What’s your take on Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy and future ovaries removal?

  72. Judy said on May 18, 2013

    wait a tick, isn’t my poop supposed to float??

  73. Hi Kris,
    I have a question about sugar. Maybe you can advise me so I can relay it onto a friend…She is undergoing chemo treatment for breast cancer. Do you think it would be safe if my friend had natural sugars in her morning green smoothies? as in, dates, coconut milk, apple juice? what are your thoughts on this ? She finds them really bland without anything slightly sweet.. would really appreciate having your insights or if you could direct us to some reading.. thanks so much. Anne

  74. As a child and through my senior year in high school, I was gassy and would have bowel movements like no problem! The only weird thing about it was that I couldn’t burp at all. The bubble would make its way up my esophagus then stop in my throat, making a croaking noise, then go back down to the other end. After I graduated, I started to have issues with constipation. I tried the whole no dairy for a couple of weeks then after that no wheat for another couple of weeks, trying to figure out what was going on! All my life I’ve eaten veggies and fruits, all the wonderful stuff while my other family members didn’t really but had normal bowel movements! So not fair! Then when I left my previous job, I started to have somewhat normal bowel movements. I was beyond excited when it turned out that my constipation was caused by stress. It was a stressful job so I promised myself to not get involved with another stressful atmosphere for the next job. Well here I am again with the stress! It’s not just my job but also family issues. I really try to let it roll off my back but now I’m eating the fat foods and drinking pop for comfort when I shouldn’t be. I feel bloated and tired from feeling backed up. I’m now purchasing the Crazy Sexy Diet book and can’t wait to try it out! Maybe if I focus on that, I won’t look towards the fat foods and pop!

  75. I loved your documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer. I have brain cancer. My favorite part was at the end when you say the whole line and I think you end it with Life is Crazy Just Like Cancer. If you read this and have time could you please email me what you said. It is my favorite quote and I would love to have it written all over my house. Thanks

  76. Great article!! However, i am very concerned for my twin boys.. they go #2 around twice a week and have done so for years! My naturopath says to get them off wheat & dairy but i find that almost impossible.. although i am finding some alternatives and am trying (ie-spelt muffins as opposed to wheat)… any tips or high fibre food suggestions/suggestions that u can recommend?

  77. I like how you make the topic seem cool and un-intimidating !

  78. That is so funny! As soon as I started reading this article, I had to go!!! LOL

  79. Great article. Thanks. I love the humor.
    I have posted the article on my blog, with your ID info of course.
    Dr. Jeanne

  80. Amy said on May 30, 2013

    Don’t forget exercise!!! :)

    Check this out!!!! Brilliant Idea!!!

    Go to:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/drbotts/gracie-gear-and-powerpouchtm-designed-by-and-for-w

    to support this genius idea!!!

  81. A great blog post. And, from all the comments, I’d say a timely one as well.

    It is common for people to become constipated when they travel. While the occasional use of magnesium citrate is probably okay, I suggest that my patients use triphala instead. It is not technically a laxative, but a moderate dose will gently encourage a bowel movement. Added benefits: It’s balancing to all constitutional types and is a gentle yet effective detoxifier.

  82. I use a preboitic supplementnt makes things go smoothly

  83. I have no solution. I eat a complete plant based diet, I drink bucket loads of water, I walk 3-4 miles almost everyday, and I am still frequently constipated.I have tried a month long cleanse, consisted of tablets, very little results. I had my gallbladder removed a few years back (probably wasn’t needed) and since then I have had massive problems. I have not attempted the probiotics. Any other ideas. Thanks.

    • maby you have parasites talk to your doctor

    • Michelle. probably youre stress. i sufer similar condition. if sombody told me about the afirmations many years ago i will endidng this problem moore fast, is easy to me to let go , to let go the past, i make space for new beginins. i clear my body of toxins, i clean my life of toxics… take your time alone. youj will find this part of you who is stockt in the past. let go. let og to let in the new.

  84. thanks ill be sure to drink more water eat more fiber and excersize thank lately ive have “problems”

  85. Is a person eating correctly when they don’t have to use toilet paper when they finish pooping?
    NOTE: the poop is a solid piece (toothpaste consistency), medium brown in color.

  86. i would like to have my coment here, becouse i had very bad problems in the past with poping.. i spent a hole month without going to the toilet! it was in a stressfull time of my life, i think the positives afirmations, i relise the pas, and im open to new things in my life, they are great! also, drinking a fruit juice every morning for breeackfast, and the mate, is an infusion. lot of liquid in the morning and pacience. thanks Kriss

  87. OMG this is such a rant not at you!!!!! I believe I follow you I muck up constantly yes I am currently enjoying a glass of organic sulphur dioxide free chardonnay…. but am really angry right now for my Mother in law who has had ovarian cancer for two years, she has undergone two rounds of Chemo and had the last 4 months off to enjoy her life. She has been back today for a check up and yes the tumour has grown again and is pressing on her bladder and bowel so she has been asked to go on a low residue diet. Here my anger grows incredible hulk sized. Not to mention she now has gall stones that need to be surgically operated on. So now has to see 3 specialists cancer man, bowel man and bladder man, (they do not deserve there clinical titles). All this information go home and google low residue diet!!! Basically avoid everything your body needs to heal, live, thrive, in fact go home and eat the most nutritionally void food in the western world. My Mother in law is 67 of English decent living in NZ and very old school diet and beliefs and strong catholic and what doc says is what you do. Two years ago her mother died from the same disease a week later she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and the suggestion to her daughter’s to get their ovaries removed not cool when the youngest is only 25.

    So I google this diet, and this is what I find here is a sample diet
    Breakfast
    DECAF COFFEE with CREAM AND SUGAR big letters are angry letters
    cup of juice NO PLUP NO SEEDS NO FIBRE
    Cream of Wheat (don’t even know what that is )
    SCRAMBLED EGG
    WAFFLES, FRENCH TOAST WHITE BREAD WHITE FLOUR OR PANCAKES
    WHITE BREAD TOAST with MARGERINE AND GRAPE JELLY NO SEEDS
    Lunch
    BAKED CHICKEN, WHITE RICE,CANNED CARROTS, green beans (well cooked)
    BAKED CHICKEN SALAD, AMERICAN CHEESE (what is that) SMOOTH SALAD DRESSING (guessing this not soy milk garlic mustard oil aioli) YES AND A WHITE DINNER ROLL
    BAKED POTATO NO SKIN, SOUR CREAM BUTTER OR MAYONAISSE
    HAMBURGER PATTY, WHITE SEEDLESS BUN, KETCHUP, MAYO lettuce and only if this does not worsen symptom’s.
    Dinner
    ROAST BEEF, WHITE RICE,WELL COOKED CARROTS OR SPINACH, WHITE DINNER ROLL WITH MARGERINE
    BAKED CHICKEN, WHITE RICE OR BAKED POTATO NO SKIN, WELL COOKED GREEN BEANS
    BROILED WHITE FISH, WHITE RICE CANNED GREEN BEANS

    I am not a dietician nor am I pure but I am so super cross and I don’t get it she is constantly constipated from the medications, chemo etc, did I also mention she has type 2 diabeties, not obese by any stretch of the imagination but has taken aspatamine products like sacarrian for ever (sorry about the spelling).

    Okay why the rant I am into food good food, I am normal not pure (would love to be) have just been accepted to study naturopathy which is super uber awesome as I kind of stalk it each day. I work with people with intellectual and physical disabilities and they get feed crap and medication every day and people wonder why their weight, behaviour, sleep, poop etc is all up the wasssssoooooo. I am worried about my mother in law my husband wants me to talk to her. Question do I start with Crazy Sexy Diet or Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips, not gonna love it either way but lets give her the option.

    Wow Thanks for your time xxxx

  88. I joked about a secret society of Olympic poop diving. Part of the premise involves crafting your diet to achieve the perfect poop. No splash with a *kerplunk* sound wins a perfect 10.

    Oddly enough, I ended up thinking about how poop indicates health. Google searched healthy pooping and here I am.

    I’m about to leave on a 6 month backpack journey on the Appalachian Trail. Will soon write a blog article about my nutrition plan. Food on a long distance backpacking trip can be a logistical problem, but if anyone has some comments, advice, or tips about achieving an Olympic worthy poop while backpacking in the wilderness, please do contact me at craig.tsao@gmail.com

    Right now my general plan regarding eating on the Appalachian Trail involves a lot of oatmeal, peanut butter, coconut oil, nuts, cliff bars (or whatever bars I can get my hands on) and whatever varieties I can find along the way from gas stations, the occasional grocery store, and outfitters. I’m also bringing a few supplements such as Fish Oil (with omega 3 and D3), resveratrol, L-Glutamine, and Magnesium Citrate.

    For those of you that want to jump on me about greens, well just know that I’m going to try. It’s not easy keeping up on leafy greens when you’re backpacking. Plus I’m poor. I don’t have an income or sponsors for this adventure. I’ll be paying about $4,000 + in student loans and insurance alone while this goes on. If you’re concerned about my general sexiness degrading due to insufficient funds, please do send me food or help me get sponsors.

    http://www.trailjournals.com/affirm

  89. Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for
    this website? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m
    looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could
    point me in the direction of a good platform.

  90. I have been taking Advocare amino acids for about a month. I recently noticed the color of my stool is a tan color and bulky textured. I drink lots of water during the day, between 80-90 ozs. and work out about 40 minutes per day on an elliptical. Is it possible the amino acids have changed the color of my stool?

    Kathy

  91. I love talking about poop too! Another helpful tip for folks is to get yourself on a schedule if you can. Give yourself a few minutes to sit quietly at roughly the same time every day – eventually you will train your body and that will become your natural time to go. Takes some of the stress out of it for people who aren’t regular.

    • Does that really work, Andrea? I have never heard of or considered “training” our bodies to poop. I find that my body is mostly on a schedule anyway, but I know plenty of women who struggle with “scheduling”, especially when beginning to modify their diets. I’m really intrigued by this!

  92. IR said on April 27, 2014

    Thank you for the information! I have a hard time eliminating, and this was veeery helpful! God bless!

  93. tracking devices for cell phones

  94. My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was entirely right.

    This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had
    spent for this information! Thanks!

  95. I saw you on Oprah. I think your story is amazing. I’m a fellow yogi, who loves inspiration. It makes me want to live my fullest happy ness. My mom has had HIV since I was 5. I’m now 33. She’s still alive so I can relate to you story in many ways. (The ups and downs.)
    I was wondering if you have ever Hurd of the Gerson miracle? If you have not please look it up and email me what you think.
    Thank you for your time, namaste
    Julia Hernandez

  96. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this website.
    I’m hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me
    to get my own blog now ;)