Sunday, May 21, 2017

How I keep my lower GI system running smoothly, your milage and output may vary- Spring 2017 Poop Post

Hello All,

I got a question from a bloggy about friend elimination and the lower GI track.
**Please, if you have GI problems, get the correct diagnosis from a doc or other reasonable practitioner***

Sometimes, we are all left tinkering on our own. Specifically- lets talk about poop! In the lab world we use the words fecal or stool. Sometimes the topic gives folks unpleasant feelings So skip this post if talking about taking a dump is a deal breaker. I totally get it.

 I'll try to keep the topic moving a long and brief (LOL, not sorry, punny!!!) Your milage can and will differ based on age, disease status, medications, food template and gut microbiome (which is all highly theoretical but does matter, who knows why or how much...)

  These topics were mentioned for discussion.

1. Going daily
2. Going fully
3. Clean wiping
4. Minimal odor

Great topics. Let's get started


1. Going daily:

What does work: For me  going daily has a lot to do with the types of food that I eat. Mainly, am I eating foods ( Paleo/LCHF/ Keto-ish mild) that agree with my gut.

This means  for me meat from animal sources, leafy greens, brightly colored veggies, and enough fat- think natural fat in eggs, beef or lamb, sardines, avocados, or added olive oils.  Also seeds like pumpkin but not small seeds like chia or sesame. Some fermented veg- like sauerkraut can be good (but I do limit my intake, too much is too fast transit time for me). Coffee, several cups-truth!

I've noticed good results from eating meat off the bone: Chicken drumsticks, thighs, wings ( I take off most the skin, most days) or beef ribs, or eating the whole thing- like sardines or smoked oysters.

 I'm currently on a coconut oil abstaining period for some self- experiments.

Edited to add: Magnesium- I take 2 tsp of Natural Calm Magnesium (lemon/raspberry flavor). It has a teeny bit of Stevia in it, but I dilute it so food cravings are not triggered from "sweet".  Too much magnesium = too fast for me. Too little and I can get night leg cramps ( lots of LCHF's get this).

What didn't work in the past:  grains, dairy, low-fat WW and other diet foods, added fiber and high fiber cereals- cause me to have a "colon blow" effect. Painful digestion, upper and lower- Lots of GERD, lots of GI pain. Horrible gas- smells like sewage. Folks running out of the bathroom gagging.

Yeah, I really, really don't miss poor GI function. And, to think that I thought FiberOne with low-fat milk was going to save me from Colon Cancer and/or diabetes. Or oats for that matter.... gads!  All it did was make me sick and in doubled over pain, most days. I was too far in it to see it.

Oh, those high fiber muffins at Trader Joe's were like food addiction CRACK- ate them for breakfast, thinking that the low points would surely keep me lean and all I got was sick. Never wanted to connect those dots. All I got was morbidly obese on those muffins- and a bloated belly. BIG bloat. Like a pant size difference.

Even my pets wanted to stay away from me when I ate dairy products and high grain fibers. OMG!






















2. Going fully:

Has a lot to do with my foods, but eating at similar times, similar foods, staying hydrated (don't over drink water- that has very big problems electrolyte wise) just adequate hydration- not over, not under, drink to thirst- if you are at elevation, then you may have to change it up in the mountains or high mesas.

Squatty Potty is helpful, but not mandatory. I have one upstairs, but not at work or downstairs. Get your food settled and that goes a long time in going fully.

Disease Management: Some diseases create pooping problems, along with medications. Ugh! This is a tough one. Work with your doc on this.

3. and 4. Wiping and Odor:

What's working now: Well if you get your food in order, wiping becomes standard, not too much of a problem. Odor- yes, poop smells bad, but getting your GI system humming a long will go a long way.
There are products to purchase to put on top of the bowl before you poop to make the smell minimal, but you can also throw money out the window of your car as you drive along your commute, too.  I wouldn't spend my money on toilet bowl fresheners other than cleaners.


What didn't work in the past: 

Everybody poops, but sometimes it's an easier thing than others. Even prepping for my colonoscopy in Nov 2016 was more pleasant than eating low-fat, high grains, and FiberOne. That's a sign. That I needed to change up my diet.  I believe this was  body's way of hating what I was doing to it. Sad, but some good experimentation can help.

Karen's personal NOTE A:  If there's a lot of problems, I might go to a regular doc for an Ova and Parasite test. If there is nothing concrete, then I'd head to a functional person who does not over test (Michael Ruscio) functional  doc.

I can surmise from Dr. Ruscio's podcasts that he does not over test, he does drill down quickly, without much diagnostic costs to his patients, and he is very experienced in the area. There's a whole bunch of woo and high out of pocket costs both in the functional and traditional space, but picking an ethical practitioner would be key- IMO. SIBO can affect folks, so I'd want someone to help me who's honest and ethical.

Of course in the traditional medicine, you can still pay  a lot and get nothing but a recommendation for Fiber One and Gut Busting high fiber crack muffins at Trader Joe's.  Those may work great for some, but who wants to have colon blow and fat pants from the weight gaining grain foods?

Karen's personal NOTE B: Some folks are so upset about dropping a duce in the same hotel bathroom as their spouse, kids, husband or wife that they will run down stairs to the common bathrooms while traveling.  For these matters, I recommend talking to a good cognitive behavior therapist who can help  manage thoughts and behavior around daily bodily NORMAL functions.

You may have to sit down with the fam bam and tell them to stop with any shaming or blaming.  Every body poops. Yep, it smells bad for a reason. Don't eat where you dump from an evolutionary prospective. Everybody has to wash after they go- because the bacteria thrive in the nether regions even if it's urine- wash your hands, male or female.

Hand washing is key for post bathroom activities, but all my readers will know that and I'll bet you all practice good hand washing practices already. I'll tell you, having a compliant kid made things good from disease prevention at my house.

Karen's personal note C: Travel to other countries and/or hike in the back country. It gives you a totally different perspective on taking a dump- for sure!

Karen's Personal note D: Some folks do great on high grain fibers. Yaaaaay you. Do what works!

Hope this helps the person who asked the question. See you in the comments.

Prickly Pear flowers to take your mind off the topic as you go about your day...


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Weight Maintenance Update 5 Years, 3 months staying steady, inside "my best for me "ranges

May 2011 to May 2017

May 2011 to May 2017























Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Goal Range 113-125  lbs
Current Weight 116.0 lbs
Keeping off    71.4   lbs

Time in maintenance 5 years, 3 months

Age 51
Menopause 3+years
Height 5'1"
BMI 21.9
BMI ave this month 21.8
BMI ave last month 21.7
Glucose (fasting & 2hr post this month range 71- 93 mg/dL)



Food Template:  Paleo, LCHF, Keto (some days), 
Abstain from all grains, most sugars*, dairy. Nut free, artificial sweetener free **
* 85% chocolate 1X per day
** Tiny bit of stevia in my Natural Calm

Food Timing or Time Restricted Eating Window or Intermittent Fasting 17:7 or 18:6

17 hours fasting (water only)
7 hours eating, 3 meals
Eat 6am Stop eating at 1 pm

Or 18:6, I change it up a bit

Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997, 100 ug Synthroid daily
Food Addict in Recovery: 6+ years
High Risk, but never diagnosed Type 2 diabetes

Walking 12,000-13,000 steps per day

Weight lifting : 2X per week

Sprints on the rowing machine 1 days per week OR stair sprints 

Stair Ave/day for the month 18 stairs (Apple Health Kit)

What's working for me May 2017

1. More LCHF than Keto lately. Digging more vegetables on my midday meal. Works. Total carbs not much more than 50 grams/day, all from veggies and some 85% chocolate. 

2. N=1 experiment on some health parameters. May lead to more testing. Vague, I know.. not serious.

3. Celebrated 6 years of food sobriety. That's very special to me. I'm proud. I choose recovery over the disease. I'm very grateful for my choices. There's not much margin for error in the process. I've navigated well. I give myself a lot of credit. 

4. Really digging roasted chicken legs on salads. Yep! Check my Instagram feed for photos (Link)

5. I'm on the data watch for an upward trend the last 2 weeks, probably related to my n=1 self experiments, but I continue to use My Fitness Pal as a tool to help me navigate the weight maintenance space.  

I'm still in my "best for me" weight ranges, but I do take upward trends seriously and look at my overall total food intake, movement, sleep, and stress management. 

This month:
This month weight trend May 2017

Compared to April 2017 trend
Still feeling great. Not pulling an ostrich. Not freaking out either. 

What did not work in the past

1. Counting calories and points rather than carbs
2. Not experimenting with my health parameters to optimize and understand.
3. I ate to sooth myself, to celebrate, to get food high. Junk food was my life. 
4. I ate terrible tasting, dry chicken breasts, just nasty, with low fat chemical blitzed dressing. (YO, low points)
5. I did not hop on the scale so I missed the opportunity to make changes and improvements. 


May Gray 2017, good for flower photos


 Weight Graphs, because they are a great tool for me. And, I deserve the best tools possible.












Wednesday, May 3, 2017

6 year celebration of food sobriety- pleased, but powering onward- May 2017

6 years of Food Sobriety 2011 to 2017
I'm 6 years food sober today.

May 3, 2017.

Six years.

I know it's earned, not a given.

What's working now

 1. I eat 3 meals a day ( a few days a 4th)

2. I fast 17:7 or 18:6 most days (not all)

3. I abstain from my trigger foods
(grains, most sugars, guar and xantham gums, nuts)

4. I eat a Paleo, Low Carb, sometimes Keto food template

5. I exercise and sleep on a schedule (most of the time)

6. I get abstaining based support when needed.

7. I'm honest with myself (sometimes I lapse)

8. I'm honest and have trained myself to catch slippery slope thinking, reversing that ASAP.

What didn't work in the past:
1. Ate all day, all the time and at night many times
2. I only went 1-2 hours wihtout eating
3. I moderated all my trigger foods because I was told I had to or I would binge eat (Ughhh!)
4. I ate the Standard American Diet, low fat diet products, and sugary foods.
5. I thought I moved a lot, but was sedentary
6. I didn't seek the right support system- moderation made my food addiction worse.
7. I wasn't honest about how much I was eating and that I was getting sick a lot.
8. I sunk further and further into slipperly slope thinking so I could get food high.

To anyone out there who has helped me, thank you.  Thank you very much.

I feel that food sober living is easier than food addiction, so I will stay living in food sobriety for another meal.

Next up, May 2017 check-in and that poop post for our blogger friend. LOL. Onward.