One of my favorite things to talk about when I work one on one with patients is their poop. I just love the look on their faces when I start asking them to describe their poop in great detail — color, smell, texture, form, and level of greasiness. Because they usually don’t know what gut bacteria and cravings have to do with each other, they’re confused that I even asked that question.
Then I ask them about “farting.” Well, that’s usually when I make them blush!
Back in the day, I use to have gas and my poop used to smell so much so that I had to open a window or use perfume to hide the smell. I thought it was normal, since everyone in my family was just like me. After all, poop should smell bad, right?
Until one day, my coach asked me if I still had “gas. This was after I ate healthy for a full month. I still remember the look of amusement on his face when he said, “I bet you $100 that you don’t fart anymore.”
My face blushed, like beet red blushed!
So I get it, folks, that it’s not a comfortable topic. But yes, I was no longer passing gas by that time, not feeling bloated, and my poop didn’t smell anymore.
What the heck!?!
My Fascination with Poop
In the weeks that followed, I became fascinated with the relationship between what I ate and my poop, gas and bloating. I discovered something amazing…
That having gas and/or being bloated after eating is NOT normal and BAD smelling poop is not OK either. It’s actually an indication of poor digestive health and food intolerances.
That idea is one of the reasons why I decided to quit my job and decided to go back to school at 36 years old. One can say that a conversation about poop changed the direction of my life. I also discovered that the reason why I was craving sweets was because of the bacteria in my digestive system.
The Relationship Between Gut Bacteria and Cravings
Did you know that bacteria outnumber the cells in your body by 10 to 1? That what we eat and digest will directly influence if we have “good” bacteria or “bad” bacteria? Having a healthy ratio between good and bad bacteria is vital. Otherwise, you may develop health issues such as sugar cravings, gas and bloating, yeast infection, impaired immune system, asthma, allergies, auto-immune issues, skin conditions such as eczema, etc.
Keep Your Gut Healthy
Recently, I had an interview with Dr. Will Cole, a leading functional practitioner, on my podcast, The Beyond The Food Show. Dr. Cole explained why and how gut bacteria and cravings are closely related and shared three tips on how to maintain gut health:
- Mind your poop. Your poop, as well as your bowel movements, offer clues on your gut health and any underlying problems that you may have. You should have about two bowel movements a day and your poop should be well-formed “snakes.” To know what your poop indicates, you can refer to the Bristol stool chart which you can download for free here.
- Eat foods that are medicines for your gut.
- Fermented food and drinks — Kimchi, sauerkraut, coconut kefir, coconut yogurt, kombucha, etc. (Be careful though and watch out for flare-ups which may be caused by some imbalance or overgrowth in your microbiome.)
- Bone broth – This is good for leaky gut. The gelatin in bone broth repairs the excess holes in the gut lining.
To learn more about gut bacteria and cravings, you can listen to my interview with Dr. Will Cole here or you can simply play the audio or video file below:
Gut Bacteria and Cravings: Heed the Warning Signals!
Here’s a very important lesson I want all of you to keep in mind — your cravings AREN’T your enemies. They are simply warning signals. They tell you that something in you (physical or emotional) is out of balance and needs to be addressed. Once you do address the issue, the cravings will go away.
Stop blaming the messenger and take charge of your gut health!
Need help dealing with your cravings? I have prepared a free guide for you to start your journey towards food freedom. Download the Crave Cure Guide and take charge of your eating habits today!