Unlike some parents, I haven't been particularly eager to start potty training. Until I decided to try vegan eating.
Since, like most moms, I'm the Chief Grocery Shopper, Meal Planner, and Chef, my family's consumption of fruits and veggies has gone way up right along with mine. Trust me when I tell you that eating more natural, whole plant foods has the same effect on a 2.5-year old as it does on adults.
So in preparation for a long weekend of potty-training boot camp, we've been talking about poop a lot around here. It's amazing to me that this is an endlessly fascinating topic for a toddler, and it got me thinking that maybe it's a subject we should discuss more, too. I mean, we all DO do it, right?
One of the benefits Paul and I have noticed over the past few weeks has been a change in our bathroom habits. Two words: Faster. Easier. What's not to love?
Did you know that stool's form depends on the time it spends in the colon? And I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure we all want things to keep moving through there, right?
If you've ever seen the BBC show, You Are What You Eat, you know that its host, Gillian McKeith, loves to talk about "poo." And she's pretty passionate about drawing correlations between your poo and your general health. Using the Bristol Stool Chart to analyze various types, below is what McKeith has to say about your poo. Maybe you recognize something here.
TYPE 1 Separate hard lumps, like nuts. Harder to pass
This indicates that you have a lack of fibre, insufficient fluid intake and a slow transit time. Increase your intake of water, herbal teas, raw fruit and vegetables, cooked grains such as brown rice, quinoa and millet, sprouted pulses, flax seeds and olive oil. Avoid meat, dairy, wheat, eggs, refined carbohydrates and sugar.
TYPE 2 Sausage shape but lumpy
This indicates the stool has spent too long in the colon. More water and fibre are needed. Increase your intake of water, herbal teas, fruit and vegetables, cooked grains such as brown rice, quinoa and millet, sprouted pulses, flax seeds and olive oil. Avoid meat, dairy, wheat, eggs, refined carbohydrates and sugar.
TYPE 3 Like a sausage but with cracks on the surface
The cracks on the surface indicate that the stool maybe a bit dry. Increase water intake.
TYPE 4 Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft
This is a healthy bowel movement that is easy to pass - well done!
Type 5 Soft blobs with clear cut edges which pass easily
This may indicate that your bowels are moving a bit too fast. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies and dehydration. Increase your fibre especially from cooked whole grains such as brown rice, millet and quinoa. Supplementing with probiotics may well improve digestion and absorption. Psyllium husks can also improve bowel movements.
TYPE 6 Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool
Again, the mushiness indicates that insufficient water has been re-absorbed from the stool, indicating a rapid transit time and poor absorption of nutrients. This may be caused by poor diet, food intolerances and/or an imbalance in gut bacteria. Eat whole grains as indicated above. Avoid having too much fruit, raw vegetables and juices for a while. Supplement with probiotic capsules or powder to repopulate the gut with good bacteria.
TYPE 7 Watery, no solid pieces. Entirely liquid
This is not good and probably indicates an infection of some kind. Get checked out by your doctor. Eat well cooked brown rice and home made vegetable soups to replace lost electrolytes. Make sure you replace lost fluids with water or herbal teas. Probiotics can help to repopulate the gut with good bacteria.
I'll give you three guesses as to what type the SAB house has been producing lately. Yep, true love means being able to freely discuss your placement on the stool chart. And being strangely proud of each other's fourth-place finishes.
Oh, and feel free to pass along any potty-training tips you've got in the coming days. We'll be working patiently on convincing Eloise to pass along a couple of other things.