A guy was seated next to a 10-year-old girl on an airplane. Being bored, he turned to the girl and said, "Let's talk. I've heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."
The little girl, who in true Lisbeth Salander fashion was reading a book about quantum physics, closed it slowly and said to the guy, "What would you like to talk about?"
Oh, I don't know," said the guy. "How about nuclear power?"
"OK," she said. "That could be an interesting topic. But let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow and a deer all eat the same stuff... grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?"
The guy thought about it and said, "Hmmm, I have no idea."
To which the girl replied, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don't know shit?"
As funny as that joke is, it describes exactly the position most of us are in when it comes to our personal health. That includes doctors, nurses and almost everyone else connected to health care with the aberrational exception of those individuals who take a personal interest in the subject. It also includes everyone in the nuclear industry.
Most of you actually know more about nuclear power than you do about the most important internal functions your body carries out – respiration, digestion and excretion. Of the three, digestion is somewhat better known. But to truly understand digestion and even respiration, you need to know about excretion – taking a dump, pitching a loaf, first.
Everyone knows that different makes and models of cars have varying amounts of available power. Sports cars are well known to be more powerful than the mundane sedans owned by the average commuter. What people generally don’t know is where that extra power comes from when you consider we’re all using the same fuel.
Yes you can have a bigger engine but modern technology has shown that even small engines can produce prodigious amounts of power.
One of the important ways of producing that power is by fast, efficient removal of spent gases from inside the engine. Once a spark plug has fired, the smoke that’s left has to be removed or the next spark will falter or die because the combustion chamber (stomach) is contaminated. If that happens often enough then the engine will sputter and quit. The way the engine cylinder is cleaned after the spark plug burns the gas is with the use of the exhaust system. Exhaust systems on performance cars are designed to extract spent (burned) gases and get rid of the wastes very quickly. The next fuel charge then burns more cleanly and generates smooth predictable power.
The human body and indeed all animate living creatures operate on exactly the same principle – food in, garbage out. If there is any impediment or delay, there are negative consequences.
When I was five years old, I remember walking along Eglinton Avenue on my way to kindergarten. The road was bumpy and the brick bed of the streetcar tracks was bumpier. Cars and trucks driving by made all sorts of noises. I wondered what cars or trucks would sound like if there were nothing wrong with them. When I was older and starting to learn to rebuild engines (in my driveway) it was obvious that I wouldn’t get far unless I knew exactly which parts were in fact the engine and which weren’t. In other words in order to fix something, you have to know exactly what it’s supposed to look like when there isn’t anything wrong with it.
No doubt you’ve all taken a look at the contents of your toilet bowl after taking a dump. More than likely it was brown and an evil smell. What you see there is not what your shit is supposed to look like if you’re eating a typical North American diet.
The first thing to clear up is what a healthy shit smells like. For one thing, a healthy turd doesn’t smell much at all. In fact if your shit stinks, you my friend are not only eating the wrong food, you’re also setting yourself up for some nasty future ill health consequences.
You don’t believe me do you? Well think of this – when you walk through the woods on a hot summer day, what do you smell? Unless there’s a garbage dump nearby you smell the fresh clean earth, the trees, flowers, pine needles and so on. What you don’t smell is the fact that every animal, insect and bird has been shitting in those woods since time began. There are no toilets and most of those creatures don’t bother to bury their scats.
So why doesn’t all that shit stink? Well when it first comes out there is a bit of an odor. But it doesn’t last because wild animals aren’t walking, flying or crawling around with their shit rotting inside them like people do. Wildlife eats what it’s supposed to eat. What they eat is in natural balance. People, other than aboriginals, eat food that isn’t real food that is way out of balance and generally in quantities that don’t match our energy outputs. To make matters worse, the chemicals we consume make our shit stink even fouler and hang around a lot longer because it’s so full of preservatives. Not only is our shit not good for us, it’s the worst sort of shit for the environment of any species on the planet. For that reason it’s a terrible fertilizer.
Other than the foul odour in your toilet, most often you have a turd or a collection of same that are log shaped, curved if long enough, solid looking and sort of smooth with cracks and sections that roughly mirror the walls of your colon. Sometimes you get round ones and odd shaped ones. The colour can be any shade of brown imaginable and maybe several at once. Yellow, pink, orange and black are fairly common depending on how much of what you ate. Sometimes the food you ate passed right through you without change. Corn kernels commonly do that when they aren’t chewed properly.
The consistency of those ghastly little (all the way to humungous) shits feel anything from rocklike to water if you have diarrhea. Some are small and take so long to drop into the bowl that washrooms are often the family library. Others are so wide you end up with hemorrhoids.
None of that is normal or healthy. A normal turd takes no more than seven seconds to pass and usually less than a second.
A healthy turd is soft fibrous and does not float. It disintegrates easily in the toilet bowl. It will still be brown. Or orange, or pink. If you eat a lot of watermelon or oranges and nothing else, chances are that’s what colour your shit will be. That happens because your shit is so fibrous and voluminous that your body expels it before it’s fully digested so it retains some of the original colour.
If the food has time to digest properly, the turd ends up brown because that’s what colour bile turns it. Dead shit is black or dark brown, slimy, looks like and looks like it has the consistency of a truck tire. We’ll talk about the digestion process in another chapter.
Anyway, for a turd to be fibrous it has to have travelled the length of your digestive tract quickly enough for the turd not to have been sucked dry of moisture by your colon walls. Fecal matter while in the colon gives up nutrients to the colon walls by releasing moisture. If there’s no fiber in your meals, most of the moisture in the feces is lost to digestion causing the turd becomes smooth and hard.
Natural fiber attracts and holds its moisture thus keeping the stool soft and mobile.
Being smooth is a big deal for a turd. Fibers are what alert the sparse nerve endings in the colon walls to the fact that there is waste material present that needs to be moved out. If the fibers aren’t sticking out of the turd like fuzz, then as far as your colon’s concerned, there’s nothing in the colon even it’s packed solid.
When the shit sits in your colon for longer than the few hours it should be there, problems start. The refuse from the next meal bangs into the back of the stalled turd causing a pile-up just like a train wreck. If that doesn’t stimulate some action, the pile-up grows with each meal consumed. Luckily colons can stretch. Colons can stretch to hold up to twenty five pounds of dead, poison shit.
Of course twenty five pounds of shit is quite a pile and that pile is part of what constitutes a pot belly. So the next time you look in the mirror and see a pot belly, get used to the idea that a part of that pot is you full of shit. Or better yet, don’t get used to it, start eating enough vegetables and fruit to get rid of it.
The consequences don’t end with you carrying a pile of shit around with you for no good reason by any means. Your intestinal tract didn’t evolve to carry what amounts to a pile of hard, lethal mud around and in fact when there’s too much weight in the colon eventually your guts start to obey the law of gravity and it all starts sliding towards the floor. That in turn causes everything else to be pulled out of place.
If you’re a man, guess what’s in the way of all that sinking shit? Your prostate gland. It has the consistency of a marshmallow. And is roughly doughnut shaped. With a few pounds of shit sitting on top of it, it soon looks like a pancake and as you might expect, it stops functioning properly if at all. At that point you’re a candidate for prostate cancer. Can I offer you a doughnut?
Did you ever hear that song about the knee bone being attached to the thigh bone and the thigh bone’s attached to the hip bone and so on? Well every part of your body is attached to every other part. When your guts start travelling to the center of the earth because you eat too much or eat the wrong things, there’s no cell in your body that isn’t negatively affected. Blood flow is also affected along with every other flow and neuro-communication that your body needs to perform so that you continue to act like a fully functional person.
So just what does it take to have a good shit?
Causes John Newell Supports
GREENPEACE, SEA SHEPPARD, PETA, WORLD WILD LIFE FUND