“Um, hold that thought. I gotta go. Sorry. Be right back.”
I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had to interrupt someone mid-conversation so that I could unexpectedly rush to the restroom. Only to return embarrassed and flustered.
I remember getting up from the dinner table as a kid, two-bites in, and making a bee-line for the toilet.
I had these unexplainable, often unexpected, and always untimely urges to go to the bathroom. To go poop—to put it frankly. And I felt enslaved. Why couldn’t I just hold it until a more natural pause in conversation? What would happen if I didn’t listen to the urge? I was never brave enough to find out—that’s how alarming these feelings were.
But the discomfort didn’t end there. Making it to the bathroom was only the first trouble. My bowel movements were extremely painful. They often took a long time, and caused both physical and emotional damage that was not usually relieved before the next urge developed. I’ll be kind enough to spare you the details.
This was a regular pattern in my life for as long as I can remember. And according to the stories I’ve heard about myself as an infant, I had similar issues from further back than my memory can reach.
Early in college these issues had escalated quite a bit. I was eventually diagnosed with having Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). As a recommendation from my doctor, I began a gluten free diet, which I was pretty faithful to for about 2 years.
The GF diet helped some of my symptoms. My spontaneous urges drastically decreased. Despite supplementing my diet with laxatives and stool softeners, the painful bowel movements were actually magnified. I think this was due to my increased consumption of nuts, corn, and seeds that often comes with GF alternatives.
Skipping ahead a few years, I quit the gluten free diet. Although I do think it was a helpful reset for my body, it wasn’t worth the extra pain and hassle to me. At this point I was in my early-twenties and had accepted that these digestive issues were my normal. I had concluded that this was just the way my body operated, and I sought peace in that.
Then came July 2018.
Quinn and I adopted a Whole Food, Plant-Based Vegan diet. Our reason was initially out of frugality (because animal meat is so expensive!) and evolved to being motivated by personal health, environmental care, and other ethical reasons such as honoring the lives of both humans and animals.
After a month of eating a WFPB Vegan diet, I noticed something totally unexpected. My sudden urges for using the restroom were nearly gone…and so was my pain! Remember, at this point in my life I had accepted the discomfortable digestive issues. I was not even searching for a solution anymore.
Yet two months on a WFPB diet and the issues that had plagued me for nearly 25 years had disappeared. I walked out of my bathroom one afternoon with wide-eyes and said, “I had no idea that going poop could actually feel GOOD!” Fortunately Quinn met me with grace and a smile after I shared way too much information.
I was truly amazed. I had no idea that relieving yourself could actually be…relieving.
Knowing what I now know about the impact of animal products (meat, milk, eggs, etc.) on our overall health, I’m not surprised that I finally found the respite that I desperately needed. I am now eating a diet composed of plants—high in fiber, low in saturated fat, unprocessed, and with no added sugar.
If you have any kind of issues with your digestive system— nausea, heart-burn, cramps, constipation, I would encourage you to consider a WFPB diet.
I love my story of digestive healing because the relief came by happenstance. I had accepted my pain and was prepared to live with it for the rest of my life. I was not looking for a solution. But a solution found me; A Whole Food, Plant-Based Vegan diet.
With Love & Freedom,