Tuesday, April 11

My TMI Gut Health Story

OK so let's talk about poop.
 My mom has a story of giving me castor oil when I was three years old because I desperately needed a bowel movement. In fact the doctor was ready to clean me out if I didn't have one soon. Needless to say, I can't remember a time where I've ever been a regular crapper.  That was just my life. I can think of many specific, painful times where I endured constipation beyond what was normal. But I didn't know it wasn't normal until I was about 22. 
 I was on the verge of hippiedom, little did I know. I browsed the isles of Mama Jean's natural food store, gathering bits of information about food, supplements, herbs, but not really sure what to do with all that information. I  I had my blood tested and the Tester was crass, blunt, and very intimidating to a new hippie. She looked at my blood and sized me up in about five minutes: "Candida overgrowth. Are you constipated? You have a wheat intolerance."

 So I can't eat wheat? What is candida? You mean it's not normal to poop once every four or five days?

I immediately went to the store and bought WHITE bread. White bread, ya'll. That's where I started. That's how little I knew. If you don't catch the irony, white bread is still made from the wheat plant.  Needless to say I had a lot to learn.

Over the next two or three years, I did learn, I learned a lot. I learned about Candida overgrowth in the gut, and how it affects our bodies and minds when your gut is leaking all these toxins into your body. My food intolerance was just a mild form of autoimmune issues, but more serious autoimmune conditions are prevalent these days that all begin in the gut. I began to detox my body with a Candida diet, and strict gluten-free eating. I did figure out that I couldn't buy wheat or white bread and unfortunately gluten-free products were still a few years away from being convenient. I felt a lot better and my bowel movements were not painful, and I was pooping every 2 or 3 days. Still not idea, but progress. Let's fast-forward.

 I noticed when June was a baby, so about five years ago, gluten free craze began sweeping America. I felt duped, I felt like I had just been ahead of the hype. I hated that feeling. So I began to test the amounts of gluten I could handle.  I didn't want to be a consumer sucker duped into buying expensive gluten-free products when it was all just in my head.

Enter: probiotic foods.  While I had previosuly started a regimen of probiotic supplements , my research led me to discover the benefits of fermented foods in providing probiotics. I started with Kiefer and would drink it daily and this was great. Well I love kiefer, but I soon discovered Kombucha. And if you know me, you know I love making Kombucha. I made it at home faithfully for about the last two years. My friend Sharla also gave me some of her precious home made sauerkraut, which I loathed!! But it was very effective in combating any stomachaches associated with gluten. As I began to test my gluten limit, I knew it wasn't in my head- if I ate wheat more than once per day, I had a stomach ache and I would also not poop for several days. If I ate my fermented food/drink I could have a little more freedom with my food- about one serving of wheat a day.

 This whole time I figured out how to avoid stomachaches, how to feel better, but I have never really pooped every day. I could go on rabbit trails about experimenting with taking out dairy too, drinking Smooth Move tea A LOT, peppermint essential oil, natural laxatives, making sure I exercised, yoga moves for constipation, but let me tell you, it has been mentally exhausting to constantly analyze food and my own life choices to try to get to the point where I will poop everyday. (If you are still reading, I told you TMI!!)

Enter: Plexus Triplex. I began this regimen of three products to improve gut health ONLY because there was a money back guarantee. I thought it couldn't hurt to try- literally it hurts to NOT try because I wasn't pooping everyday! If you asked me in the first few weeks "How's it going?" I would say "Well, the jury is still out. We will see!" I was waiting to see if I could have regular bowel movements everyday AND eat gluten- that was the full test for me. And now, it took the jury two months to decide, and the verdict is in: I am pooping everyday, I can eat gluten, and all the little things that go along with healthy gut are falling into place. I cannot tell you the mental freedom I have found in my new regimen. For example, my sweet mother-in-law made spaghetti one night when Kenny was gone. Pre-Plexus thought process: "Oh man, I can't eat that. But she made it for me, it would be rude to refuse. If I eat it I'll get a terrible stomach ache. And I know I won't poop till next week!" Now: "Oh this looks wonderful! Thank you!" Sit down and eat. No stomach aches. Two bowel movements the next day.  True story.

This is my poop story. My gut story. Plexus worked for me. I don't like that it's a MLM (multi level marketing company) I don't like the hype on social media about this "weight loss" company (it's much more than just a few weight loss products),  but I don't like constipation more. I like the products I'm taking and I like pooping everyday. The end! 

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