What your Poop and Pee can tell you about Your Health

With all this talk about detox and fasting, it’s inevitable that I would eventually cross onto the topic of eh-em, bodily excrements. Actually, your poop and pee can tell A LOT about your health and should always be the first thing to check when you’re not feeling your best. If you notice any sudden changes in your bowel movements, it’s also a good idea to ask yourself – has my diet changed recently or have I added a new supplement or something different? Often times the answer is yes.

Your poop: What is a healthy Poop?

On a daily basis, your bowel movements or poops should be easy to pass, formed and should sink in the toilet (not float). The color should be a normal healthy brown color.

Many people say that you should go to the toilet as many times as you eat in a day. That means someone eating 3 meals a day should have 3 movements per day. Anything less than that would be considered constipation.

Types 1 and 2 on the Bristol Stool Chart (see below) are indicative of constipation and types 5, 6 or 7 can indicate loose stool or diarrhea.  Types 3 and 4 are considered the ideal, healthy stools (especially type 4), as they are easy to pass while not containing excess liquid.

What does a different color poo mean?

Red stool can be an indicator of blood, inflammation, diverticulitis or blockage in the colon. Just remember to note what you’ve eaten before, because in some cases red stool is just a normal passage of coloring in the food, like after you eat red or purple beets.

Sometimes if taking an iron supplement, your stool can turn a very dark red, almost black color. Eating a lot of meat in the diet can always make your poop look black. Taking charcoal capsules will most definitely turn your stool black. Don’t worry if you see black poo after taking charcoal; it’s the normal passage of the charcoal through your intestinal tract.

Green or yellow stool can be a sign of liver or gallbladder problems. If you’ve just done the liver/gallstone flush though, that doesn’t count! A liver flush is a temporary detox reaction and should not be used to compare your stool color on a daily basis.

What do different sizes or shapes of poop mean?

If you are pushing hard to pass your stool, or if it’s small pellets and very dry, then you’re most likely dehydrated and not drinking enough water on a daily basis. You may also need more fiber in your diet. A first good step would be to drink more water and see if anything changes for the better.

Long and thin poo can be a sign of bowel constriction, inflammation or other conditions in the colon. With that, you can try to eat more fiber, adding 2 Tbsp. ground organic flaxseed to a Green Smoothie daily. You can also try taking 1 tsp. black seed oil daily and see if the condition improves.

Runny or liquid poo can be an indicator of parasites, infection, food allergy or food intolerance. There can also be a lack of fiber in the diet. In some cases, doing a colon cleanse can really help.

If your poo floats, it may be a sign that your body is not digesting fats properly. Always look at the diet and see what the person is eating (or not eating). Sometimes doing a small intestine cleanse can help, especially if this is a recurring problem.

Your urine: What does normal urine look like?

Remember, the goal for healthy urine is: Clear and Copious!

Normal, healthy urine should be clear, not cloudy or turbid. There may be more of a yellow color if taking certain supplements like B Vitamins; however the liquid itself should not be cloudy. Turbid urine can be a sign of bacteria in the urinary tract or kidneys, or crystallization of the urine or even kidney stones.

By copious, I mean that the amount of urine flow should be steady and have decent volume. Want you don’t want is a small, leaky trickle. If you don’t have a good flow of urine, it’s a sign that you may be dehydrated.

If your urine is clear and copious on a daily basis, then most likely you’re doing ok!

Keep in mind that thirst is not a good indicator of whether or not you’re dehydrated. Many times, you will pass the thirst marker and remain dehydrated for hours without any additional feeling of thirst. Always look at your urine as a more accurate indicator.

How much water should you drink?

This is something I get asked all the time, and really there is no simple one-size-fits-all answer.

If someone speaks a lot in their job, they will lose more water through respiration. Living in a warm climate or doing more exercise will create more loss of water from perspiration. People who eat more high-water content fresh fruits and veggies usually need less water than people who eat more dried foods like bread, cereal or dried snacks.

At the end of the day, your best bet is to just check your urine. Is it clear and copious? If yes, then you’re ok. If not, then drink more water!

What kind of water is best to drink?

Having fresh, clean spring-fed mountain water would be great, although not many people have that luxury. At home, you want to at least avoid chlorine, fluoride and heavy metals in your drinking water. Probably your best bet in catching the worst of those is to get a reverse osmosis filter on your drinking water tap in the kitchen. You can buy a reverse osmosis filter online and have a plumber install it for you.

During a detox, depending on the case, distilled water is usually best.

When doing a detox: How your poop and pee can change

Bodily functions can change when you’re doing a cleanse. It’s actually a good sign when your body is eliminating more toxins and taking advantage of the opportunity to catch up on internal housework. You gut health and overall microbiome can finally rebuild, recharge, rebalance and renew.

Many people will poo much more often during a detox, and they can also feel like they need to pee all the time. Often times, a person will get up several times through the night to pee during their cleanse. This is all considered normal, as long as the urine is clear and copious and there is no pain with urination. In fact, most fasters will comment on how clear their urine is after just a few days on a cleanse. That’s always a good indicator that the body is more clean than before.

In some cases, I’ve had fasters comment that they smelled ammonia in their urine when doing a detox. Perhaps this is from old, built-up toxins that were released from the tissue, liver or fat during the cleanse and then eliminated through the urine. Usually it will happen 1-2 times and then stop. Just an extraordinary example of how amazing and active the body can be in its own healing!

During a cleanse, ALL of your elimination organs – the colon, kidneys, lungs, skin and liver – get an opportunity to catch up on their backlog of work. After a cleanse, the most common thing I hear is, “Wow, my bowel movements are so much better now….and my eyes are brighter, skin is clearer and overall I FEEL younger!”

If all that didn’t clear things up for you (literally!), then check out this infographic below from The Daily Infographic which explains the various things your poo and pee are telling you.

Current global poop situation: Not Good

Approximately 70 MILLION Americans have digestive disorders, prompting nearly 60 MILLION visits to the doctor’s offices and hospitals each YEAR. With the rise in digestive problems and even colon cancer all over the world, I have to wonder….why aren’t more people talking about their poop? If it wasn’t such a taboo topic, then someone having poo problems might feel more comfortable to seek out help and get the answers they need.

If you know anyone having digestive problems, please share this article!


For more on how to do a detox at home or how to navigate through your detox symptoms and start feeling great, book a personalized health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Consultation:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a smart phone or digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

Benefits of Flax Seed, How to Grind/Store and How Much to Take Daily

Flaxseed (or linseed) is a very small shiny seed with a lot of great health benefits, from reducing cholesterol to improving blood sugar levels for diabetics. The reason why it’s a Superfood is because flax is very high in dietary fiber, it’s a plant-based source of omega 3 fatty acids, and a high source of lignans (phyto-nutrients possessing powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties).

Adequate fiber in the daily diet is key for good digestive health.

Benefits of Flax Seed, How to Grind/Store and How Much to Take Daily

You can buy flax in a few different ways – in whole seed form, already ground into powder form (ground whole seeds) or as flax seed oil. While flax oil does have many health benefits, it is lacking the valuable fiber of the seeds themselves (because the seeds are pressed, separating the fiber from the oil).

Whole flax seeds contain both the fiber and oil, giving you all of the nutritional value in one. However, flax seeds need to be ground before eating so the body can absorb their nutrients. If not, they will simply pass through the digestive track in whole form and that means their nutrients will pass through too!

Mini-food processor to grind flax seed at home

The freshest way to consume your flax seed is to buy the seeds whole and grind them yourself at home. It’s the most inexpensive way to add them to your diet too. Look for organic whole flax seeds in the bulk food section of your local health food store or in your supermarket near the cereal or baking section. You can use either a mini-food processor or coffee bean grinder to grind your flax seed into powder form. Simply add the seeds to the grinder, and grind. You should add the seeds dry and end up with a dry powder. Do not add water to the grinder. Also, be sure that your grinder is clean before you start (clean out any coffee bean residue if using a coffee grinder). For an inexpensive mini-food processor, check on ebay or at local yard sales (many people sell them as ‘baby food makers’). I usually keep about a 2-4 weeks’ supply of ground flax seed in the refrigerator at any given time; that equates to 2 cups or almost 500ml.

Adding whole, unrefined high fiber foods to the diet can help strengthen the digestive system, decrease toxicity in the body, stabilize blood sugar levels, clear the skin and even improve kidney and liver function. It’s a small amount of time and money invested that offers a high return: your health!

Organic ground flax seed

Whole flax seeds can be stored at room temperature in a container or jar. When the flax seed is open (into a powder or pressed an oil), it becomes temperature-sensitive and will turn rancid if left at room temperature. Once ground, it is important to store your flax seed powder in the refrigerator (and preferably in a glass container).

If you are reading this article and have your freshly ground flax seed stored in the cupboard, please do not just move it to the fridge and think that it’s ok. It’s best to throw it away, grind a new batch and store the newly ground flax seed in the fridge. Store-bought ground flax seed should be stored in the fridge after opening.

Flax Seed FAQ:

How much ground flax seed should I eat every day?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommended daily fiber intake is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. I was admittedly impressed to read the following statement in the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010): “Most Americans greatly underconsume dietary fiber, and usual intake averages only 15 g per day. Breads, rolls, buns, and pizza crust made with refined flour are not among the best sources of dietary fiber, but currently contribute substantially to dietary fiber consumption because they are ubiquitous in typical American diets. To meet the recommendation for fiber, Americans should increase their consumption of beans and peas, other vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other foods with naturally occurring fiber.”

Ground flax should be stored in a glass container in the fridge

2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed has almost 4 grams of total dietary fiber. I recommend that you start with adding 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed to your daily diet, and slowly increase to 3-4 Tbsp. per day. Some people consume 6 Tbsp. daily and are very comfortable with their digestion, often finding relief from constipation and other digestive problems just from the simple increase of fiber in their diet.

Imagine someone consuming 15 grams of fiber per day who adds 4 Tbsp. of ground flax or 8 grams of fiber to their daily diet: without changing anything else; they are now consuming 23 grams of dietary fiber daily! It’s so easy!

What if I buy a package of already ground flax seed? Do I store that in the fridge?

You can buy flax seed already ground. Be sure to store it in the fridge immediately upon opening the package.

Is it better to buy the light brown or the dark brown flax seeds?

The best type of flax seed to buy is 100% certified organic, of course! I’ve tried both the light (or golden) and dark brown flax seeds, and I do make a conscious effort to add variety into my diet so sometimes I buy the golden brown and sometimes I buy the dark brown. When I’m feeling a bit wild and crazy, I even blend them both together and store the mixture in the fridge!

Is it possible to eat too much flax seed?

I do think that any one food eaten in too much excess is probably not a good thing. The key to good health is variety and balance in the diet. In this case, if you were eating 10x-20x the normal recommended amount of daily dietary fiber, you may be in store for some serious buffalo-sized poo! As I said before, start with 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed daily and slowly build up to 3-4 Tbsp. with a maximum of 6 Tbsp. per day. Think nice human-size poo and you should be fine!

What about the fat content in flax seed?

This question always amazes me. It’s most often asked by my female clients who have been struck with the ‘no-fat’ or ‘low-fat’ mindset. These same women will turn down such a high nutrient-dense food like flax for fear of excess fat, but continue to indulge in a daily latte or afternoon chocolate bar. I am often left very perplexed by this logic!!

According to the USDA, 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed weighs 14 grams, has 75 calories, 5.9 grams of total fat and 3.8 grams of total dietary fiber. While true that ground flax seed does contain fat (5.9 x 9 calories per gram = 53.1 calories of fat per 2 Tbsp./75 calorie serving), it’s important to keep things in perspective. If you’re eating 53 calories of fat in a 1500 calories per day diet, that equates to 3.5% of total calories in fat. Move up to 4 Tbsp. per day and you’re at 7%. Now do the math on your latte and chocolate bar and factor in their nutritional value then re-evaluate who is your friend and who is your foe. The answer: 2-4 Tbsp. of ground flax seed is not a high-fat contribution to your overall dietary intake of food.

What about the photo-estrogen in flax seed – is it dangerous?

This is another important factor to consider and a question I get asked occasionally. Remember, we are talking about adding 2-4 Tbsp. with a maximum of 6 Tbsp. daily of ground flax seed. Keep in mind too that I am recommending the whole ground flax seed, and not the oil (which would be more concentrated in phyto-estrogens). It is true that flax seed does contain photo-estrogens but there are mixed reports on whether the estrogen from flax seed alone is affecting people’s glandular and hormonal systems. I do believe if you were eating a bucket of flax seed at every meal, this would be an important issue, but we are talking about a few spoonfuls, and the other health benefits of this natural, whole and pure food are major reasons to keep it in the diet.

Keeping variety in your diet is the best way to give your body all the important micro-nutrients it needs without over-whelming it with any excess amount of anything. Of course, if you have an estrogen-related health condition or specific medical concerns, it’s best to consult with your medical doctor.

  • Add 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed to your Green Smoothie daily.
  • Sprinkle 1-2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed onto a fresh fruit salad.
  • Mix 1-2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed into a homemade salad dressing or raw food veggie salad.

More on Superfoods:

Aloe Vera: Nature’s Alternative to Botox!

There are countless new products and procedures out there promoting healthy, age-defying, clear and beautiful skin. You can spend anywhere from $10 to $1,000 or even more for that ‘youthful’ glow. Even women in their 20’s are spending money on Botox, fillers and dermal abrasion procedures to avoid getting wrinkles later in life. It all seems a bit crazy to me, especially when Mother Nature provides an inexpensive, nutrient-filled natural alternative – right in front of our very eyes – Aloe Vera!

Look for Fresh Aloe Leaf in your local supermarket or organic veggie store

It’s true. Aloe Vera really is Mother Nature’s alternative to Botox. Did you know that ingesting the natural, clear interior gel of the Aloe Vera Leaf can increase the body’s natural collagen production? Rubbing pure Aloe Vera gel on the skin at night provides a natural tightening agent for the skin to keep it fresh and give a ‘natural face lift’ look. Use what nature has provided, and over time you will see and feel the difference for yourself!

Aloe Vera – Cleans from the Inside Out

Aloe contains many minerals, amino acids and vitamins and is a natural anti-inflammatory food. It’s known to help with absorption, digestion and elimination for anyone suffering from bowel conditions, especially inflammation of the colon. It can help with constipation and provide a mini daily detox effect when taken on a regular basis. You can easily add the fresh inner gel to a morning smoothie or stir into a juice for a real superfood boost.

Aloe is best eaten and applied when fresh. Try to buy a large Aloe Vera Leaf from your local health food store or gourmet supermarket and store it in the fridge. Every day, cut out a piece of fresh gel about 1 inch x 1 inch. Do not ingest the green skin – you can throw that part away or add it to your compost bin. Take the fresh gel and add it to a fruit smoothie for a delicious and healthy breakfast blend.

Try apple, banana, fresh Aloe Vera, 1 cup water, 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed blended into a fantastic healing drink. Sweet fruits combine well with the Aloe Vera to hide it’s naturally bitter taste.

If you can’t find the fresh Aloe Leaf, look for 100% organic Aloe Vera Juice sold at your local health food store and add 1-2 capfuls to your smoothie. Do not use any normal store-bought aloe vera gel in a tube as there may be added chemicals or other ingredients that are not edible. Fresh is always best. A fresh Aloe Vera Leaf should remain fresh when stored in the fridge for about 2-3 weeks.

Fresh aloe in a smoothie is great for digestion too!

You can also apply the fresh cut inner gel of Aloe Vera directly to your skin for a 100% natural skin cleanser, toner and beautifying treatment. Place on the skin at night before bed or apply for 10 minutes in the morning prior to showering. Combine the Aloe Vera skin treatment with an Aloe Vera smoothie or juice every day and you’ll be investing in good health and great skin from the inside out, naturally!

Where to Buy

If you can’t get fresh aloe vera, then go for the 100% certified organic aloe vera juice, available for sale online here (both domestic and international orders). If you’re an amazon fan, you can find a link to buy aloe vera juice on my amazon astore.

More on Liver Cleansing:

Okra Pepsin Small Intestine Cleanse

Okra Pepsin Formula

The Okra Pepsin is a type of a cleanse which is specially formulated to remove any residual plaque and/or toxins from the small intestine. It is an old formula using concentrated okra vegetable enzymes. Okra is a very ‘sticky’ vegetable, and because of that, it stays longer in the small intestine than other foods. The enzymes of the okra are especially good at ‘eating away’ old fifth that may be blocking the micro-villi within the small intestines.

It is usually recommended to do this cleanse for 10-14 days. You can still eat during that time, but ideally you would not be drinking any coffee or alcohol, and avoiding wheat, sugar, processed foods and meat as much as possible. The Okra Pepsin cleanse is a great pre-cleanse to a normal 7-day ‘fasting’ program, because it gives the body a chance to loosen a lot of ‘gunk.’ Going from that into 2 enemas a day and 7 days of only juice is a perfect combination, especially for those who have done a 7-day program many times already.

Some people recommend this cleanse to celiacs and anyone suffering from bowel dis-ease, such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and colitis. I have personally know a few clients who did this cleanse and mid-way through, they expelled a huge pile a ‘black slimy sludge.’ Can you imagine how something like that could seriously affect the function of the small intestines?

I personally tried this formula, and I used it for 12 days. The main reactions I experienced were: nausea, fatigue, cramping in the abdomen, foul-smelling stool, sweating, excessive heat, itchy skin and low appetite. All of these symptoms came and went over the course of the cleanse. Sadly, I did not release any ‘black slime’. A few days after finishing, I started a 7-day colon detox with juices, psyllium and 2 enemas daily. After the entire cleansing combination, I felt great.

Okra Pepsin Ingredients

Not many people know about the Okra Pepsin, and it’s not an easy herbal formula to find. The best company that still makes it is called Standard Process. In the US, one normally has to order this herb through a naturopath. It is sometimes available for sale on amazon.com. Outside of the US, I was able to find it in one health food shop in Hong Kong.

One final thing to note with the Okra Pepsin is that there is also a cow hormone/extract in the ingredients. For strict vegans, this cleanse would therefore not be recommended. I struggled with the decision to do the cleanse myself, but for the sake of my clients and being able to share my personal experience, I decided to try it once. If you are still wanting to experience the effects of the okra enzymes, you could consider doing a 7-10 day fast taking only green vegetables juices and eating fresh okra and green salads every day.

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