It’s pouring rain this morning in Seoul. The sky is gray, everything is dulled by the chattering drops of water, and there’s a lovely humidity in the air. And what better time to reflect on going two when I haven’t in two days. Sometimes things aren’t so smooth while traveling. Sometimes, the simplest of human tasks is not so simple.
No creature wants to be chocked full of waste. Most of an animal’s incremental existence is preoccupied by eating and excreting. As a pet owner, there was never a more satisfying day than when my dog ate his bowl full of food, and then pooped a full poop. Humans have so much else to worry about that these basic activities get forgotten or stalled from unnatural levels of stress. In daily living, and while traveling, regularity is key to wellness.
Not only is it satisfactory to go, it is also indicative of general health. How often, how much, and what kind are good questions to ask about your deuces. When, as in what time of day, is also good to observe. Ideally, poop comes at about the same time or times every day, is not watery, and correlates to the amount of food you ate since the last release. This speaks of good organ function, adequate hydration, and a diet that suits your needs.
When you pay attention to your stool, you pay attention to your diet. If something is off for me, I look back to my last couple of meals. Have I had a lot of green leafy veggies? Have I avoided sugar, wheat, dairy, and excessive spice, the wrenches in the workings of my digestive system? Did I eat enough? Too much? Did I drink any water (a night time task I too often forget during travel)?
These questions came to me after figuring out the most effective ways to keep myself regular. Green leafy veggies just can’t be replaced. They have vitamins, minerals, fiber, and magic that do wonders for me. In Thailand, Indonesia, and Korea, fresh green veggies are cheap and easy to find. But they’re also easy to forget if I’m not paying attention. One of my Chinese-style favorites is on choy, also called kankung, or morning glory, depending on the country. Spinach is another go to, particularly in Korea and Japan. I love the type they grow there and how it’s prepared. With most green leafy veggies, it’s important to minimize heat time. They should look vibrant and supple, not drab and sloppy.
Magnesium also helps to keep traffic flowing. It’s a natural laxative and relaxant, which makes it perfect for bedtime. Regardless of when you usually go, or if you do, magnesium supplementation can help if taken near that time. I take it at night and make my move in the morning. Check out Natural Calm.
Body position matters. Using a footstool to elevate the knees into a mock squat on the toilet allows for ideal bowel movement. I’ve had quite a few episodes of pooper’s block on the road that were vanquished by simply putting my feet up on a small trash bin. The most effective position, thought, is the actual squat. I’ve experienced no quicker solution than an old school hole in the ground loo.
And try drinking water, if you haven’t for a while.
When all else fails, breathe. Slow, deep breaths. Sometimes we’re just so tense in the head that it closes up other channels. Take your mind off of it.
Pooping is all about getting back into your skin, kicking into the parasympathetic gear, and letting nature proceed. It’s all too common that we remove ourselves from ourselves. Centering through nutrition, physical position, and mind cultivation keeps us well oiled. In a manner of speaking. And that first dump at a new place makes it home, doesn’t it?
Next area of investigation for me: gut microbiome.