What you need to know about your poop!

What you need to know about your poop!

What you need to know about your poop!

It’s time to get up close and personal with your…poop.  Yes, you heard me right.  We are shit talking today!

Fibre is a very important part of your overall health and I go into detail about the two sources of fibre you should be consuming daily, soluble fibre and insoluble fibre on this blog.

So, now that you’ve increased your fibre intake and drinking 2 litres of water, you should be pooping daily (I hope).

Before you flush, I want you to know take a good look at what just came out.  Yes, it’s time to examine it, I know it’s gross, but get over it, it’s a part of you. I’m not asking you to put it on a slab and dissect it, but if that’s your thing, go ahead, I won’t judge! 🙂

Your stool, can tell you so much about your health and what is actually happening inside your digestive system.

First of all your stool is about 75 percent water. The rest is a combination of fibre, live and dead bacteria, miscellaneous cells and mucus.

There are 3 things you want to take note of when it’s time to go.

  1. frequency (how often you are going, or not going)
  2. form or shape
  3. colour

Frequency

You should be going at least once a day, every day!  Some people may go 2-3 times a day, this all depends on your own individual metabolism, the types of food are you eating, the quantity of food and if you have a healthy amount of good flora in your gut.

If you are not going at least once daily, you are suffering from constipation.  So, this is something you need to get sorted ASAP, pooping is one of the ways our bodies eliminate toxins, so if you are not eliminating, those toxins will be reabsorbed into the body.  This can then increase your risk of colon cancer and other colon issues such as hemorrhoids.

If you are going more than 3 times daily, then you’ve got diarrhea, which could mean there is a digestive issue happening.  I would recommend seeing your health care practitioner to check for IBS, allergies, crohn’s and colitis.

Form & Shape

There is a chart called the Bristol Stool Chart

It breaks down the different shapes and sizes of stool and what they mean.  A healthy stool will be similar in size and shape to a banana, it should be smooth and silky.  And easy to eliminate, there should be no pushing involved and should come out within 60 secs of sitting on the toilet.  If you are on the thrown for more than 60 secs, get off you’re not ready to go yet.

This is not the time to read the newspaper or magazine!

Colour

I want you to think milk chocolate…got it, this is what you want your poop to look like.

However, if your poop is black, this could mean there is blood higher up in your GI tract, if you see red, there could be blood lower in the GI tract, if it’s yellow/orange, there could be a malabsorption issues, green could mean low bile salt production or there is a high intake of iron.

However, do take note of foods that are you eating also, eating a lot of leafy greens or carrots, beets, they can change the colour too.

There you have it, next time you go, take note of frequency, shape and colour.

Start learning more about yourself and taking more control of your health.

Knowledge is power.

Keys Benefits of Vitamin D

Keys Benefits of Vitamin D

Keys Benefits of Vitamin D

It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning when you take it internally it needs fat to be absorbed through the intestinal wall.  The UV rays from the sun act on the oils of your skin to produce the vitamin which is then absorbed into the body.

This amazing vitamin can be acquired by sunlight, diet or supplements.

It’s usually measured in IU’s which stands for International Units.

To understand how many IU’s you need to be taking daily, that all depends on where you live, the season you are in, your age and your current state of health.  It’s best to see your health care provider and get your Vitamin D levels checked then you’ll have a better understanding of how much you need to take.

But let me share with you what Vitamin D can do for you

  • it can properly utilize calcium and phosphorus to keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy, important if you have osteoporosis, or want to prevent it.
  • it keeps your immune system strong, when taken with vitamin A & C it can aid in preventing a cold or flu
  • may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease, improves the cognitive function in people over 65
  • it can help cut the risk of breast, colon, prostate and ovarian cancers
  • and it can help ward off seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it boosts our serotonin production, that feel good hormone,  helping you to feel calm and happy

So, what can happen when we are deficiency in vitamin D?

  • rickets, tooth decay, osteoporosis, you can also increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and cancers.  And low vitamin D levels have also been linked to Parkinson’s disease.

How do you get you vitamin D?

  • the sun! try to get 10 minutes of sunlight on your skin without sunscreen daily (if you live in Canada like me, this is hard to do in the winter)
  • foods sources are fish liver oils, sardines, herring, salmon,think oily fish, eggs, mushrooms
  • when buying a vitamin D supplement you want Vitamin D3.

And to note the darker your skin, the more you’ll need to supplement with D because you are absorbing less sunlight.  And Vitamin D synthesis in the skin declines with age, so as we age we will want to be supplementing more often.

Get off your Arse and Start Walking!

Get off your Arse and Start Walking!

Get off your Arse and Start Walking!

Walking.  It’s so beneficial physically and mentally.  And so easy to do, you can’t say no. You don’t need any fancy equipment and you can do it in any type of weather.  So no excuses here.

Here are just some of the amazing benefits walking has to offer:

  • it gets you outside and into nature
  • it can help reduce stress or relieve stress, because it gets you moving and breathing, providing oxygen to the body, it can help you think things through and work stuff out
  • it lifts your mood, it makes you happy.  It releases the feel-good endorphins into your bloodstream, again helping to reduce stress and anxiety
  • it can help burn fat, allowing you to lose weight or control your weight
  • it strengthens your heart
    • regular walking has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke
    • it lowers cholesterol and keeps you blood pressure in check
  • making walking a regular habit can also help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • worried about osteoporosis – get walking, walking is a weight-bearing exercise, it stimulates and strengthens your bones
  • want toned legs and butt – well, walking can help tone your legs, giving you definition to your quads, hamstrings and glutes
  • it gives you energy – because it stimulates circulation and increases oxygen supply to cells in your body
  • and best of all walking is free, and can be done almost anywhere and any time of the year, sun, rain or snow.

How to get started. 

Pick a set time every day, a time that is easy, maybe it’s first thing in the morning, maybe on your lunch break or in the evening.  You want at least 20 minutes.  But don’t feel like to have to complete the 20 minutes all at once.  Maybe you can do 10 minutes before breakfast and another 10 after lunch.  Make it count, move your arm when walking, do intervals, 5 minutes at moderate pace and 1 min at a fast pace and so on.

Do this every day, you can’t help but feel more energized, feel stronger, reduce stress and strengthen and tone your body.

Guest Post: When Shame Swallows you Whole

Guest Post: When Shame Swallows you Whole

Guest Post: When Shame Swallows you Whole

by Dawn Serra

Here are snippets from Dawn’s blog article on shame. I highly recommend you read the entire article on her website.


 

Want to know something bizarre about me?

Vulnerability is a space that I’ve come to crave.

I know this makes me an outlier.

Most people cringe at the thought of being vulnerable, at opening themselves up to hurt, ridicule, failure, and pain.

It’s not that I’m emotionally masochistic (maybe I am a little bit), but that every single great thing that’s ever happened to me occurred after I allowed myself to be vulnerable and then found the courage to do the thing anyway.

Being vulnerable has allowed me to experience the most profound depths of intimacy, love, connection, gratitude, and transformation.

Studying Brené Brown’s work on vulnerability and wholehearted living, along with other amazing thought leaders like Tara Brach and Seth Godin, has not only inspired and influenced the work I do with my clients, but it also afforded me a sense of security against experiencing my own shame.

After all, if I understood shame, if I knew how it looked and how it felt, if I studied the way it impacts us and how to overcome it, then shame would be easier to avoid, to identify, and to elude, right?

The truth is shame will find you, no matter how much you know.

Shame will grab you and do everything it can to crush you.

Shame will find a way to hold you under the water and no one will ever know you’re drowning because the amazing thing about shame is it tricks you into silencing yourself when you most need to scream for help.

Each of us have different shame triggers, and many of us have one or two primary triggers that we carry for most of our lives.

One of my shame triggers is a nasty little voice that likes to whisper how unloveable I am.

Most of the time, that voice is a distant, nagging irritant that I can acknowledge without feeding it. We have found a way to live fairly harmoniously.

It’s an on-going process for me to remind myself I am worthy, I am enough, I am lovable, and it has gotten easier with practice to hold this knowledge inside of me as a truth.

I started to see cracks in my lovability as I fell more deeply in love with my partner. I began to internalize a dialog that told me I wasn’t living up to his expectations.

Shame can drive us to do horrible things. Shame can traumatize us, harm us, and lead to depression, anxiety, and even violence.

Then, I had the fortune of having a perfect storm of circumstances force my shame out into the light.

Read the entire article on Dawn’s website.

 


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Listen to Dawn on the Cut the Crap and Keep it Real Podcast


Dawn Serra

Erotic coach. Confidence enabler. Sex educator. Shame slayer. If there’s one thing Dawn Serra is passionate about, it’s helping people find their courage to explore the scary spaces within themselves. Dawn is on a mission to support individuals and couples as they cultivate radical transformations within themselves: to try new things, think new thoughts, and break the silence around their deepest desires and needs. She is healing the world by giving people a new framework in order to live vulnerably, authentically, passionately, and with ecstasy. In addition to coaching, Dawn Serra is also the co-host of a weekly sex podcast called Sex Gets Real.

 

The Art of Chewing Your Food – 4 Reasons Why You Need to Chew

The Art of Chewing Your Food – 4 Reasons Why You Need to Chew

The Art of Chewing Your Food – 4 Reasons Why You Need to Chew

Let’s talk mastication.

Not masturbation.

Although that’s fun! 😉

Mastication, chewing your food! This is one the simplest, easiest things you can do for yourself to achieve better overall health.

Chewing your food is so important because digestion begins in your mouth. Carbohydrates are digested in your mouth.  The more chew, the less work for your stomach and intestinal system.  Because guess what – you don’t have teeth in your stomach.  Chewing mean less gas and bloating and better elimination. Less stress overall on your digestive system.

Here are 4 other reasons why you should chew your food

 

Helps you lose weight

  • it usually takes about 20 min for the signal from your brain to reach your stomach to say your full.
  • the longer you chew, the more time it will take you to finish a meal, and research shows that eating slowly can help you to eat less and, ultimately, to avoid weight gain or even lose weight.
  • when you shovel your food into your mouth like a pig at a trough, that’s when you overeat, feel uncomfortable and have probably hit the heavy breathing stage.  SLOW DOWN.  Nobody is taking the plate away from you.

It’s good for your teeth

  • the bones holding your teeth get a workout, chewing keeps them strong, it also increases saliva production, which helps to digest bacteria that can lead to plaque buildup

Chewing helps with better absorption of nutrients

  • once the food gets to your intestines, it will have a much easier time pulling out all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fats, proteins that your body needs.

You get to enjoy and taste your food

  • eating should be enjoyable and pleasurable, so don’t deprive yourself of that moment

 

So sit back, relax, chew and enjoy the food in front of you.

Drink Water Upon Waking Up – 6 Reasons Why It’s Beneficial

Drink Water Upon Waking Up – 6 Reasons Why It’s Beneficial

Drink Water Upon Waking Up – 6 Reasons Why It’s Beneficial

Did you know when we wake up in the morning we are the most dehydrated.  Drinking water first thing has a number of benefits such as:

  • Cleanses the colon, this is very effective if you are someone who suffers from constipation, which most of us do (esp. if you live on a processed food, low fibre)
  • Helps purge toxins from the body which keeps your skin clear and glowing
  • Increases production of new blood cells
  • Helps aid in weight loss
  • Helps “break the fast” and aids with digestion before you eat
  • Wakes you up and provides energy

So, how do you do this?

Easy.

Set a glass of water on your bedside table before going to bed.  It’s there when you wake up.  Before even getting out of that bed, drink that water.

Now, if you are someone who’s saying “oh no I need my coffee first thing in the morning”.  Bull shit, no you don’t, that’s all in your head.  You’re body doesn’t need coffee first thing.

If you are someone who doesn’t drink a lot of water, start with 8oz first thing then work your way up to 1 litre.  I guarantee you, over time you will feel more awake, your bowels will be working better making you feel lighter, you’ll have less aches and pains, and a clearer head.

Remember, no excuses are allowed here.

Try it, even for just one week.

You are no longer saying no to yourself.

Laugh Until Your Belly Hurts

Laugh Until Your Belly Hurts

Laugh Until Your Belly Hurts

They say laughter is the best medicine.  I don’t know who ‘they’ is but I would agree with them.  And here’s why.

It boosts your immune system

Our immune system has T-cells. These T-cells once activated help fight infection from cold, flus and sickness. Laughter has the power to activate these cells. So, next time you feel a cold or flu coming on, make sure to laugh and get those T-cells activated.

Reduces depression

Laughing has the ability to help reduce tension and stress, it can also boost your feel good hormones to help decrease depression and anxiety. After a good belly laugh it’s hard to feel in a lousy mood.

It’s a great core workout

If you want toned ab muscles, you should laughter part of your daily workout routine. A good belly laugh forces you to contract your abs and exercises your diaphragm. This is a much more enjoyable workout than doing a 100 crunches that’s for sure.

It improves your heart health

Not only is it a great ab workout, laughter is a fantastic cardio workout too. Laughing on a regular basis can help to lower blood pressure. It gets your heart pumping and burns roughly the same about of calories you would if you went for a moderate walk.

 

These are just some of the benefits laughter has to offer.

Maybe I can give you a good chuckle with this joke.

A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: ”Ugh, that’s the ugliest baby I’ve ever seen!” The woman walks to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: ”The driver just insulted me!” The man says: ”You go up there and tell him off. Go on, I’ll hold your monkey for you.”

20 Uses for Coconut Oil

20 Uses for Coconut Oil

20 Uses for Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an incredible oil that you can use to benefit your health and body inside and out.  Coconut oil is naturally anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-parasitic.  While there are many uses for coconut oil, here are just a few to get you started to enjoy and reap the benefits.

Externally

1.  Makeup remover – rub some coconut oil on your face, then wipe with a cotton ball or pad

2.  Eye cream – dab under your eyes to help reduce puffiness, bags and reduce wrinkles

3.  Hair conditioner – for deep conditioning rub about a tablespoon of oil into your scalp and gently work through to the ends.  Put on a shower cap to prevent the oil from soiling your pillow case and leave on overnight.  Wash out in the morning and it leaves your hair feeling silky smooth.

4.  Coconut oil is known to have a small amount of SPF, but it can also be used for sun burn relief

5.  Natural deodorant, mix a little coconut oil with aluminium free baking soda (so it makes a paste) and rub on.  Also, try adding an essential oil such as lavender to add a beautiful scent.

6.  When you apply the oil directly to a bug bite, it can help relieve the itching and burning sensation.

7.  Coconut oil is great to relieving skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis

8.  Mixing coconut oil with baking soda can also be a beneficial toothpaste, add some peppermint essential oil if you want minty fresh breath.

9.  If you get a cut or scrape, dab some oil on your wound, it is great as a disinfectant.

10.  Daily moisturizer.

11.  Lubricant – YES! Coconut oil is all natural and perfectly safe to use…and it tastes good too!

Internally

12.  Energy boost – coconut oil is not an oil that stores itself in the body it actually gets used as energy.  Need little pick me up, or are preparing for and endurance workout, try a teaspoon of coconut oil.

13.  It has been shown to help lower cholesterol and improve heart health

14.  Keeps blood sugar and insulin stable and helps decease cravings.

15.  Can help reduce inflammation in the body

16. Lose weight, because it can boost your energy it helps you burn more fat

17.  It has been shown that coconut oil is improving brain function in patients with milder forms of Alzheimer’s.

18.  During cold and flu season, be sure to increase your intake of coconut oil as it’s been shown to strengthen the immune system.

19.  Suffering from Candida, because coconut oil’s anti-fungal properties it can be use internally and externally to help kill and prevent yeast overgrowth in the body.

20.  Because of it’s fat balance (it’s high in healthy saturated fat), this can be nourishing to the thyroid and improve it function.

When purchasing coconut oil be sure to buy virgin organic coconut oil, preferably in a glass jar.  You should store it in your cupboard, if you keep it in your fridge it will get too hard for use.

What are some of your favourite ways to use coconut oil? Share in the comments below.

3 Benefits of the Herb Sorrel

3 Benefits of the Herb Sorrel

3 Benefits of the Herb Sorrel

It was held in high esteem by Henry VIII, Roman soldiers sucked on the leaves to quench their thirst and Thomas Jefferson attempted to grow it in his garden.  Sorrel, native to North America, Europe and Asia means “sour” in French and goes by other names such as Bread and Cheese, Sour Leaves, Tom Thumbs and Sour Sauce. This powerful little herb can do wonders for your overall health but also has a dark side.

Digestion and Liver

Through out Europe, Sorrel has been used as a spring tonic to help stimulate the liver after a winter of eating rich foods.  Consuming it as a soup is gentle on the liver and helps aid digestion. Sorrel, just like many other leafy greens is a good source of fibre, meaning when you add the leaves to salads it adds bulk to food therefore improving digestion and reducing constipation and diarrhea.  Fibre, according to the American Heart Association helps reduce cholesterol and aids in weight reduction.

Immune System

Sorrel is rich in vitamin C which most know is great to keeping the immune system strong and healthy.  Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and helps combat free radicals in the body.  A cup of sorrel keeps the doctor away!

Skin Conditions

A leaf may be used as a poultice to help treat skin conditions such as acne, rashes and dry itchy skin.  Because of its high vitamin C content it is also a great way to boost collagen production to keep skin looking and feeling good.  The antioxidants prevent premature aging in the skin, helping you keep that youthful glow.

The Dark Side

Be mindful not to consume Sorrel in too great a quantity or too frequently.  It contains oxalic acid and consuming too much may cause damage to your health.  Very large doses can be poisonous.  If you suffer from kidney stones, gallstones, or rheumatic type conditions you will want to limit your usage of Sorrel.  However, in small quantities it can be a very powerful herb to your health.

5 Natural “Pick Me Ups” for an Energy Boost

5 Natural “Pick Me Ups” for an Energy Boost

5 Natural “Pick Me Ups” for an Energy Boost

We all feel low energy from time to time. Some of us more than others unfortunately. Instead of heading for the coffee try these natural, healthier ways to give you an energy boost and avoid that 3pm slump.

1. Smell the Lemons

Sniffing lemons or better yet lemon essential oil. Lemons are considered and uplifting and energizing scent. If you’re energy is low smell the lemons!

2. Move your Arse!

Get outside and go for a walk, breathe in some fresh air. Moving the body, getting the blood flowing and breathing more oxygen into the body are all an easy, inexpensive way to boost your energy anytime of the year. Yes, even when it’s cold outside!

3. Laugh

Laughing is not only a great stress reducer, it’s perfect for boosting your energy. If you’ve got a 10 minute break during your work day, hop on to YouTube and watch some funny videos, like this one or this one.

4. Hydrate

If you are feeling tired or low energy, drink some life…water! Water is life and when we are dehydrated our bodies can’t function as they should. Add some lemon to your water for an even greater energy boost.

5. Drink Matcha Green Tea

Samurai warriors would drink matcha green tea before going to battle for endurance and keeping their energy up. You also won’t feel the side-effects you do with other stimulants like coffee.

What naturally ways do you use to keep your energy up? Share in the comments below.