Yes, I’m serious! (And don’t you sometimes wonder anyway?)
You already know that your poo can reflect your physical, and sometimes even emotional, health.
You may get constipation or have diarrhea when you eat something that “doesn’t agree with you,” or when you’re really nervous about something.
And what about fibre and water? If you’re not getting enough, it’ll probably show in your poo.
What about the all-important gut microbes? If they’re not happy, it’ll probably show in your poo.
Here’s a trivia question for you:
Did you know there is an “official” standard for poo?
I mean a university-created chart!
One that is used to help diagnose conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
Meet the Bristol Stool Scale
The Bristol Stool Scale was created at the prestigious University of Bristol in the UK back in 1997.
You can see the chart here.
The scale breaks down type of poo into seven different categories ranging from type 1 which is very constipated, to type 7 which is diarrhea:
1 – Separate hard lumps (very constipated).
2 – Lumpy and sausage-like (slightly constipated).
3 – Sausage shaped with cracks in the surface (normal)
4 – Smooth, soft sausage (normal).
5 – Soft blobs with clear-cut edges (lacking fibre).
6 – Mushy consistency with ragged edges (inflammation).
7 – Liquid consistency with no solid pieces (inflammation).
Other “poo” factors to consider
You probably guessed that the shapes described in the Bristol Stool Scale are not the only thing to consider for poo health.
Think about how often you go.
At the very least you should be going once per day.
Ideally though, up to 3 times per day is pretty good. Less than one, or more than three or four can mean there is something going on, especially if there are changes that aren’t related to a change in your normal diet.
What about how hard you have to try to go? You want it to be as effortless as possible.
And the colour? It should be brown from the bile that you need to break down the fats you ingest.
If it’s green after a day of massive veggies, or red after that large glass of beet juice, you’re just fine.
But if you see an abnormal colour, like red or even black, that you can’t explain based on what you ate or drank in the last day or two, you probably want to get that checked out.
What do you do when you have “imperfect” poo?
Well, the first thing to consider is how imperfect it is, and how often it is like that? Once in a while, things aren’t going to be perfect, and that’s A-OK.
If you know you need to get more fibre or water, then try increasing that.
If you haven’t had enough probiotic foods, then try getting more of them.
If you’re super-stressed, then try deep breathing, meditating, or having a warm bath.
Oh, and don’t forget the two most basic pieces of nutrition advice:
- First, eat a variety of nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods, including a lot of fruits & veggies (and their “fibrous” skins, wherever possible). The fibre in these is not only helpful for pushing food through your gut, but they also feed those millions of amazing helpful critters that live there (your friendly gut microbes.)
- The second piece of advice is to eat slowly, and mindfully, chewing thoroughly.
These are good habits for anyone and everyone, even when you have perfect poo!
Of course, long-term issues might require a more thorough review with a qualified health care practitioner. Don’t suffer from poo issues for too long before seeking help.
Super-Simple Coconut Milk Yogurt
2 cans full-fat coconut milk
2 probiotic capsules or 2 teaspoons probiotic powder
+ Open the probiotic capsules and empty contents into the blender. Blend with coconut milk.
+ Transfer to a sanitized glass jar (I put mine in the dishwasher, just make sure it’s not still hot – you don’t want those probiotics to die).
+ Store it in a warm place for 24-48 hours. If it’s not thick enough for you, you can let it ferment for another 24 hours.
+ Add your favourite yogurt toppings – try nuts, seeds, berries or toasted coconut flakes and store the rest for up to a week in the fridge.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Fermenting food is not an exact science. If this doesn’t work out as you’d like it to, try different brands of coconut milk and/or probiotics.
Need a hand choosing a good quality probiotic, or concerned about the state of your poo?
Book in a free 15 min chat HERE and I can help you out.