Food & Diseases,  GAPS Diet & Nutrition,  Real Food,  The GAPS Diet

A Poop Story

No photos in this post, sorry. 🙂 I was reading a blog about how to write successful blogs the other day, and the lady suggested that we be REAL in our blogs. Ok, well, this is as real as it gets. Truth be told, I guess I’ve been known for my funny "poop stories" ever since I was a kid. My husband appreciates them. 😉 Why the obsession with poop? Maybe because I knew something was wrong with mine. Maybe it was on my mind because it was happening so often in my day.

Let me ask you a question, do you think it’s possible to be constipated and have diarrhea at the same time?

Let me answer my own question, now! I think the answer is YES. And I think that’s what I’ve suffered probably most of my life.

We went out of town right after Christmas, for 3 days. We ate out quite a bit. I tried to stick to the diet as much as possible, but I did eat rice pasta and some beans that probably had not been soaked. My body just can’t handle these foods. What happened to me?

I gained EIGHT POUNDS in three days time. Do you know what those eight pounds were? Poop. Seriously. I’m convinced. My belly was bigger. I felt bloated and icky. I felt like I had a lot to get out that wasn’t coming out, but I was also having to go often. Does that make sense?

Did you know that having to go often, whether it’s watery or loose or not is diarrhea? If you’re going more than 3 times per day (my usual pre-GAPS, and my usual after 3 days of eating out), you’ve got chronic diarrhea.

I’ve figured out what’s happening in my body. When I eat foods that my body can’t handle, MORE of my food turns into poop. That means LESS of my food is being used by my body. So what happens for me, when my food isn’t being absorbed and it’s just going into the toilet multiple times per day?

~~I get weak and shaky.

~~I get arthritis and aches all over.

~~My immune system gets weak. Immediately after this, I got a cold that lasted a good week and a half, and I felt weak, weak, weak….

~~I feel like I still need food and my blood sugar is low. I used to reach for chocolate (preferably my large stash of Mini Cadbury Eggs) when I felt like that. 

My body suffers when it’s eliminating most of the nutrients that I take in!


When I’m on GAPS, I poop 1x or maybe 2x per day (I know, you wanted those details). My poops don’t hurt on GAPS. I don’t feel bloated. My tummy doesn’t look puffy. I don’t feel like I’ve always got more to eliminate but can’t. I have SO much more energy (I am absorbing WAY more from my food!!). I feel SO much better.

I’m convinced it’s the starches and the grains, for my body. Now I’m looking around at the big bellies I see in our country (you don’t have to go far to see them) and wondering how much of the problem is really fecal compaction?? It’s gross, I know–but I wonder.

So there you go–me being real–me unplugged (pun intended ;)), sharing my poop story with the world wide web. Hope this blesses you, and that you can start feeling better too!!


  • Meg

    I grew up in a family that talks freely about poop and colons; the result of my mom suffering from ulcerative coliltis and several of the kids have megacolons issues. Scope humor ranked up there in the popularity contest. (My brother also has UC and both mom and he have had many, many colonoscopies, sigmoidoscopies, etc.) Scope humor was only followed by ostomy humor. We really should get together and talk poo sometime. ; – )

    Poo happens and elimination habits are important to consider when evaluating a person’s health. So I say “Go, Brenda!” for being real and helpful.

    • brenda

      Thank you for commenting, Meg! We really should get together to talk about these things. 😉 Yes, it’s important to pay attention to our poo! It’s a symptom of what’s going on in our body! Thanks for your funny words, you made me giggle! 🙂

  • Jenny

    I am so glad you are being real! I always felt like I was an oxymoron wondering around because I would have constipation and diarrhea at the same time. The gluten free diet helped some. But it hasn’t truly helped me stay well. So I’ve be “thinking” about following GAPS for awhile now but it overwhelms me. I feel better so much better off the grains and starches. I recently found your blog and I am so glad I did because I am finally made the decision to follow GAPS. Thanks for keeping it real and my kids crack up when mom talks potty talk. It’s even more fun to see the reactions of my teens.

    • brenda

      Jenny, I was right where you are not that long ago: gluten free helped me *some* but it wasn’t enough. GAPS can seem overwhelming, but once you get into it, it isn’t that bad. 🙂 I’ll pray for you that you can feel better soon!

  • Joy

    Ok, so I loved your pun (I laughed out loud) and I love your new blog. It’s awesome, and you look awesome! More than being thing you look healthy, glowing, even! SO, here’s my question for you. This poop story describes me to a T, AND I suffer daily with extreme fatigue and lots of joint pain (what docs in the States call Lupus). Pretty much everything you describe (your before) is me. People think that because I am thin then I must eat healthy, but that is not true. Sadly, I survive on sugar and coke zero (please don’t stop being my friend!). I feed my family good nourishing food but myself live from sugar coffee packets to cookies. Yuck. I’m tired of feeling terrible, but I am unsure how I could do something like GAPS over here. I can get good produce, eggs, and meat, raw honey, but as far as things like coconut flour, raw milk, etc, I don’t think I can. Is there hope for me? I am SOOOO ready to make a change! Please help! 🙂

    • brenda

      Joy, thank you for the comment! I’m so sorry you’re suffering! That is NOT fun!!! They said I might have Lupus, too. I had some blood work come back that pointed to Lupus, and some came back normal, so they weren’t really sure. I am now a big believer in diet being a culprit in autoimmune diseases! I won’t stop being your friend! It took some time for me to get those mini-cadbury eggs out of my pantry! 😉
      You CAN do GAPS over there, or anywhere, I think! We only use raw milk for making yogurt, and you make yogurt already, right? Do you have nuts that you can grind for flour? We’ve got allergies here (both Farm Princess and me!) so we can’t do nuts, but most of the grain-free, GAPS, SCD and Paleo websites use lots of nut flours. You could just eat the eggs, veggies, meats, yogurt, fruit and avoid any baking if you’re up for that challenge, too. You can do it! Blessings to you friend–praying that your body can be healed!

  • Chris at Lost Arts Kitchen

    Unplugged! LOL! You’re hilarious.

    Seriously, thank you for doing this post. I’ve just started a blog about my own GAPS journey and am trying to figure out how much sharing about poop is TMI. But I want to shout it from the roof-tops that after just two full days on GAPS, this morning I had my first normal, formed BM since I quit gluten last July. I think that when I was eating gluten and more carbs, that the impact that had on my thyroid *slowed* me down so I had relatively normal-seeming digestion (except for the reflux and indigestion I always had, of course) but then once I quit the gluten, but didn’t deal with the candida and whatever other issues I have, that my body just wasn’t absorbing anything.

  • Alivebygracealone

    When I eat things that I ‘disagree’ with, it does similar things to me, in particular the sudden weight gain, constipation, weakness, and crazy cravings/hunger!!! It it very interesting to hear your take on this, and I appreciate you sharing this!
    It encourages me to keep eating clean, even if it costs me the short-lived enjoyment of a delicious meal out. It just never seems to be worth it!!
    Thanks again for sharing!

  • Andrea

    My son is having this problem. It sounds like I need to look into this diet. I have arthritis that swells and is painful when I eat sugar, and my son seems to go all the time. He spends 20 minutes or more sitting on the pot. Is it suppose to take that long?

  • natalie

    I used to have this problem too. Unfortunately I found my answer in getting regalar colonics. I even did a week long juice faste in Thailand where I had twice daily colonics too. I think this all made me even worse in the end because of all the good bacteria I was flushing out.
    As a vegetarian I would always have chronic diarrhea and would only get constipated if I ate one of my offending foods: eggs, dairy, bananas, gluten. Upon my return to meat after over a decade absence my bowel movement normalised for a few months and then left me with chronic constipation. This fnally abatted during my second week on GAPS intro when I introduced cooked apple. Now I am like you, once or twice a day. Words cannot describe how happy I am. Its probably a hard concept for those not suffering from bowel issues to grasp but it really is such a relief

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