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What's a healthy bowel movement?

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2017-11-10

Am I really writing another article about poop?

Indeed I am!

I know it’s not a pleasant topic.

Yet it’s an issue that comes up a lot in our practice at the Alliance.

For us poop is an indicator of your overall health. It’s an important focus while we restore your body’s balance. And your poop, believe it or not, may be one of our best diagnostic tools! (Better than any fancy hormone panel or that 23&me.)

Yet, the kids giggle. The adults try to hide their unease. Or they worry that what they share is TMI.

But we all get over it. And eventually we talk down and dirty details without discomfort.

The digestive system starts with the thought of food before it’s even consumed. It ends with the elimination of waste. Top to bottom. Or ponder to poop!

As I prepare to lead the FxNA Autumn Cleanse (we start tomorrow and the materials are available immediately upon registration) I’m acutely focused on the role of the large intestine and the signs of my own health that I leave behind in the toilet each day.

In fact, I’ve developed a renewed diagnostic appreciation for my poop.

The large intestine, or colon, is not only one of your major channels of removal and detoxification, but it’s one of the key organs associated with this season—autumn.

It makes sense…

The trees are releasing their leaves. The days are moving to darkness. And we can sink into the bowels, so to speak.

The colon has a significant role in digestion and in your overall ability to thrive.

Its essential function is often grossly overlooked.

From the perspective of digestion, the colon is the last place for your body to absorb water and vital minerals and vitamins. A healthy large intestine is well-populated with friendly bacteria that act as gatekeepers. Those microbes allow the important nutrients to pass into your bloodstream while ushering the toxins and other unneeded rubbish toward excretion.

An unhealthy colon is not so well equipped to do this careful weeding out.

While we often focus more keenly on what we put into our body rather than what comes out of it, the elimination of undigested particles and other elements that we take in through our food, water, and environment are just as important as the digestion and assimilation of our meals.

Failure to excavate toxic wastes causes some obvious health challenges, as well as some that you might not otherwise connect to the health of your colon.

What are the obvious signs of a colon in need of repair?

  • constipation

  • diarrhea

  • diverticular diseases

  • irritable bowel syndrome

  • Crohn’s disease

  • ulcerative colitis

  • hemorrhoids

  • colon polyps

  • colon cancer

Less than obvious symptoms of colon imbalances are indicated by anything from eczema to sinus headaches to kidney and adrenal challenges.

Your Action Steps are Easy:

Many people ask me what’s a healthy bowel movement.

Here’s the list of what I’ve been looking for in the toilet this week, and your action step is to take a peek at your poop, too!

  • Stools should be relatively soft and easy to pass.

  • Bowel movements should occur from one to three times a day.

  • Gas, bloating and skin eruptions are indicators that the colon needs some support (get on it!).

  • Poop should be brown or golden brown (and sometimes green or red if you’ve eaten certain foods).

  • Eliminations should be sausage-shaped, with a smooth nut butter-like consistency – there should not be visible food particles mixed in especially if you’ve chewed your food well.

Can you heal your colon and see the results in your elimination?


In the Autumn Cleanse, starting November 13th (that’s tomorrow!), I’ll show you how.

And take a deep breath. I promise we we’ll be talking about a lot more than poop!



P.S. It’s not too late to register for the Autumn Cleanse. The materials are posted and the Message Board is open. Grab your seat and get to the grocery store, we start tomorrow!
FxNA Autumn Cleanse: Truly Food Ways to Nurture Your Colon Health

Group Cleanse Dates: November 13th – 19th

Get ready to focus on healing your digestion and your elimination (and most particularly your colon) and nourishing your body for the season ahead.

This is one week of easy and nourishing foods for your mind, body & spirit! Enjoy simple soups, steamed veggies, smoothies and tea elixirs.

You’ll have access to all the teachings, instructions, protocols, community and 24/7 online support, all from your very own home.

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


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