Updated: Jun 28, 2020
My system used to get all out of whack when traveling, how about you? I started realizing that for me there was a connection to my fast food consumption and constipation. I wonder if anyone else has seen a link with these two items in their lives. Once I had made this connection I started bringing ex-lax with me on trips as a solution. Of course this was before my certification as a nutritionist and now I have much better solutions.
First of all, let's talk about how the "popping a pill" solution worked. The first time I used this solution was after a plane trip to Kansas City (from Florida). The ex-lax worked quickly that's for sure, but I was up all night getting rid of the fast food items I had consumed. I had the sweats and the shakes and thankfully my husband slept through my self-induced drama while my stomach and colon emptied out. But by morning I felt fine.
The problem with this method is two-fold (at least):
First, I was knowingly (even if I didn't even realize it yet) consuming toxins. I mean I had seen pictures of fast food that had sat out for years and never began decaying or rotting and I knew that the food was most likely just stuck in my system causing the constipation! As you'll learn from this article one of the reasons fast food doesn't decay is because of the lack of water and this is EXACTLY why we get constipated. Nonetheless, before my nutrition education I turned to a "magic pill" because that's the way our western world works. We don't solve the problem, instead we take a pill to try to counteract the problem.
Secondly, there are ALWAYS side effects from medication and with ex-lax they include stomach pain, stomach cramps, rash, hives, itching, skin issues, tightness in chest or throat, trouble breathing or talking, or swelling of mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat. (source: https://www.drugs.com/cdi/ex-lax.html)
My solution did work, but I lost sleep... so let me add that to the side effect list! Bottom line, I wasn't eating healthy. If we focus on pouring nutrients (and not garbage) into our system then none of this is necessary. It is possible to do this, even on a trip... you just need to know what foods are filled with nutrients and which have toxins.
Now that I have been certified as a nutritionist I look at this from a completely different perspective and I hope that you will also! This not only applies to fast food, but many other foods that contain food-like ingredients and weren't meant to be consumed.
Here are 5 ways to Cure Constipation:
Drink LOTS of water (spring water or tap water is best): Take your weight and divide it in half; that is the amount of ounces you should be drinking of water each day. You can measure your hydration by your urine color; it should be colorless or pale yellow.
Increase Fiber Intake Dietary: Fiber is the most significant component of your diet for encouraging healthy bowel movements. Adults should eat 20–35 grams of fiber each day. Try getting your fiber from multiple sources; breads and grains, 100% bran cereal, shredded wheat, oat bran muffin, beans, fruits, and veggies.
Eat Fewer Low Fiber Foods: Adding fiber to your diet won't help as much if you simply add it to the rest of your diet. Meat, cheese, and processed foods contain little to no fiber, and can lead to dry stools. Eat these in small portions and try to replace some of them with fiber foods in your regular diet.
Avoid Dairy: Try doing without milk and other dairy products for a few days, to see if it helps. Many people have trouble digesting lactose, which can give them gas or constipation.
Limit Other Foods that Cause Constipation: The following foods are usually fine in moderation. If they make up a large portion of your diet, however, they may contribute to constipation: high fat meats, eggs, rich & sugary desserts, processed foods (typically low in fiber).
I can tell you from experience that when you mainly consume high fiber (limiting meat and dairy) these foods go right through you; adding hydration and nutrients along the way while removing toxins. These pretty much count as negative calories because of how quickly they leave your system. This is WAY BETTER than any pill you can pop!
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Stay healthy friends and ENJOY life!