Let’s face it; there are some things that even guys don’t talk about that much. One of those topics is the gory details about our elimination of solid waste. So, whatever we experience ourselves, we naturally assume that is “normal.”
Now occasionally your doctor may ask you a few discrete questions about your stools and may recommend some medication for your occasional or chronic constipation. But, I bet he/she has never told you that a truly “high fiber” diet delivers over 60 grams of fiber a day. And that if your source of that “colon cleansing” fiber was a plethora of whole plants every day, that you would never have even a hint of constipation — EVER AGAIN.
My perception of “normal” began when I first started going to the bathroom by myself. Even as a very young boy, I remember straining mightily to get the job done and frequently seeing blood in my stool. Of course, I never discussed any of that with anyone and since my dad would spend a half hour “doing his business,” I just assumed that I was doing just fine with my mere ten minutes.
Now that I have been eating a near optimal diet of mostly whole plants that delivers 60 to 100 grams of fiber per day — here is my current description of normal.
- At least one movement per day; sometimes two or three for a total of 10 to 15 per week.
- A total of 10 to 20 seconds for the total elimination portion of doing your business…effortlessly.
- Large stools, consistent color and not that much odor.
In one of Dr. John McDougall’s recent books on this topic, I remember the phrase “Small stools = Big Hospitals ** Large stools = Small Hospitals. I also learned that my experience above is consistent with the “healthy normal” and that there are many people out there who only go once or twice per week.
During the first year of my healthy eating campaign, I did experience some very large and strange, dark and yucky stools from time to time. In my study at the time, I had been reading about the impacted fecal matter that resides in one’s colon for decades — simply because we’ve all been eating the wrong food for our species. After a year of eating the right food, your body will simply take care of business and clean up your system.
Want some facts about stool sizes around the world? This post was updated on 10-10-11 with the addition of this informative video entitled, “Who’s #1 at #2? by Dr. Michael Greger, the creator of http://www.nutritionfacts.org, where he is launching a new video every single day this year.
For more on this topic, here is a recent “McDougall Moment” from Dr. John McDougall on the topic of constipation.
As for that reading material, maybe it’s a good idea to keep some of it around for your guests. But, on the other hand, if your guest is a healthy eater, he/she may mistakenly assume that you are still experiencing the “normal” of your earlier years…when you ate meat and dairy three meals a day — every day of your life.
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.