Hello everyone, I'm Avery, the Clinical Herbalist of Mindful Medicine and Miiko Skin Co, and here along with you during the Skin Reboot Challenge!
If you're wondering about the title of this series, I don't blame you, in fact, I hope it spiked some curiosity. My posts each week will be focusing on an elimination tip for the Reboot. Although the general public doesn't go about their day talking about eliminating their bowels in such an open manner, as a herbalist, you betcha that I do! In fact, a huge part of my time with clients is spent talking about the elimination systems, and you guessed it, your poop. How the digestive system is functioning, is an extremely important piece of the puzzle when putting together the story of one's health. So, I'm here to introduce the PoopTalk, and hopefully give you a deeper understanding of the importance of the elimination systems (digestive, and others) while taking the embarrassing aspects away from it, because, after all, everybody poops!
So without further ado, here is the first of The Chronicles of PoopTalk: What to Expect When Changing Your Diet
Changing the way you eat, and your intake of nutrients can be a subtle shift for some or a major lifestyle change for others. If you’re eliminating certain foods or adding a group of nutrients in, your body may take some time getting used to it, so here is a little information from my perspective.
I remember about 8 years ago when out of the blue decided I wanted to eliminate meat and dairy from my diet. I wasn’t very educated on food sensitivities or being vegetarian at all, I just wanted to give it a try and see if I would notice any difference in my digestive health.
With the elimination of two food groups, came the natural increase of more fruits and vegetables, and subsequently, an increase of embarrassing moments of tummy gurgles and a brand new type of bowel movement. #pooptalk The point is when your body is used to one way of ingesting foods, and you switch it up - you can count on a little bit of adjusting time. Since I’ve struggled my whole life with a weak digestive system, you better believe the new found glory of those regular bowel movements was a welcomed change! Since then, I’ve also been tested for food sensitivities and removed the exacerbating foods from my diet. I started incorporating high-quality meats back in, due to anemia and the downfalls that come with that. All in all, I think the most important thing about choosing the way you eat, is listening to what your body needs at each stage in life while being mindful of your personal values.
If you’re someone who experiences a lot of gas and bloating, you may notice that eliminating certain foods for a few weeks won’t really make a substantial difference. Don’t write it off just yet - it can potentially take a few months to notice a real difference in long-term digestive health, bowel habit, skin conditions, fatigue and so on. I suggest to my clients that they eliminate suspected sensitivity for a minimum of 6 weeks before resuming their previous diet. That being said, some people have quick reactions! Within a few weeks, they notice their skin clearing up, their bowel movements become regular and their gas and bloating subside. Everyone is different, and being patient with yourself is the important takeaway from this.
The Skin Reboot is not a strict cleanse like you may find online or at the health food store. But if you have done one of those cleanses you may have noticed a major increase in frequenting the bathroom! That’s for a few reasons, often cleanse kits come with herbal remedies that are laxative, and they increase the amount of dietary fiber you are eating on a daily basis. Although we are not promoting laxative plants - you may notice an increase in bowel movements throughout the day due to changes in your food planning, don’t be alarmed, this is normal! On the contrary, you may be someone who depends on caffeinated drinks for your morning poop, and if you choose to eliminate that, you may be faced with a slower digestive system. Not to worry, these changes are normal, and learning to embrace the fluctuating poops is a sign of strength ;)!
If you’re looking for some help with your bowel habits, not to fear - herbs are here! There are so many amazing, gentle herbs to help support your elimination pathways, get those poops moving to your delight (without a crazy laxative effect), and help stabilize your energy levels while your body is getting used to new changes. Part of the Skin Reboot benefits is a 10-minute consult, so book in and let’s chat about your specific needs to help you thrive this April.
- You may notice increase bowel movements
- Gas is common while your body gets used to new foods
- All of your problems will not disappear in 28 days, but it’s a great start!
- If you have a decrease in regular bowel movements, you may need some herbal help or nutritional advice!
- Remember to drink water! Hydrate hydrate hydrate! Your skin and bowels will thank you!
- Healthy elimination = healthy skin!
If you are feeling constipated
- Try adding a teaspoon of chia seeds to your water in the morning - let them get to a jelly-like consistency and drink up!
- If your poops are feeling small, or unfinished, bulk them up with some soluble fiber, ie. sweet potato!
- Mucilaginous herbs are my favourite for softening the stool and promoting regular movements, ask me about Marshmallow, Aloe Vera (inner fillet only) and Slippery Elm!
- Help support the liver by drinking lemon juice and sea salt in the morning, before your breakfast.
- Bitter greens and herbs are a great way to stimulate digestive secretions and therefore better absorption and bowel movements!
- Start a food journal! It's great to investigate what foods are triggering your bowel habits!
Sending happy vibes for healthy poops! Happy Rebooting!