Sunday, June 3, 2012
I eat only hummus. I clear the room.
I’ve got to touch on a subject that is considered by some to be socially unacceptable. So before I go any further--I apologize! This is usually a topic at which people laugh and has been the brunt of many a joke. Some people even associate it with lack of self-control (not true!). Can you guess what am I talking about? Well I’m talking about pooh and farts! Sorry!
The reason I bring up this unsavory topic is because I have noticed an increase over the last year in my own digestive processes. Quite honestly, I am tired of having to deal with all the pressure. It takes a considerable amount of effort on my part everyday to consider what I’m going to eat and then where/when I can make a pit stop. You see, it seems that since I have become a vegan (eating a high fiber plant-based diet) I have to relieve myself approximately 3-5 times a day depending on what I’ve eaten. God forbid I would caught somewhere at a most inopportune moment!
For example, a couple of weeks ago I went on an 11-mile hike with some friends. The hike took us along the Deschutes River in a canyon area called Mecca Flat and the weather was great. I managed the morning quite well, no problems and was able to take care of “business” before leaving home. That afforded me least a few hours of safety. Being outdoors was wonderful. Along the trail we saw quite a few interesting things including rattle snakes, lizards, deer and even some beautiful wildflowers. All this without the urge to go pooh, and no farts either!
Half way into our hike we we stopped to have lunch and this is where the problems began...I ate my black bean & quinoa burger and had my fruit. Everything was going good for a while and then the farting began. Oh how embarrassing! As much as I tried to hold it in there were times I could not contain the flatulence and just had to try to laugh it off and apologize. Needless to say, my meat-eating hiking buddies just looked at me in disbelief and chuckled. For me the rest of the hike was filled with fear that I might have to pooh before we got back to the port-a-potty near the car. Thank goodness for small miracles! Timing was on my side.
So what’s up with this? Are my bowels ever going to quiet down? Will I be plagued with this the rest of my life? Well obviously, when you eat only plant foods, your only sources of protein also have fiber. Unlike my meat eating friends their animal sources of protein have no fiber at all. So more fiber equals higher volume of poop and faster moving bowels which also equals a healthier colon.
With that said I have begun researching the topic and have found that this side effect is completely normal and is a good thing. Yes farting is good. However, it’s also basically a bacterial imbalance. Something is not being digested properly and is fermenting and causes the gas. It could be starches, it could be certain green vegetables, it could be fruit--it’s different things for different people. The key here is to reinstate beneficial bacteria in my stomach & intestines to improve digestive function and eliminate not only the gas, but the stinkiness.
From the research I have done so far I have made a decision to start taking some plant digestive enzymes to help my intestinal tract better absorb and assimilate the nutrients & vitamins in my food. Hopefully, I will not be doomed to a life of uncontrollable farting. Well, there you have it! I only have one more thing to say:
Stay vegan! Poop more!