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Thread: Primal Eating for 10 weeks and severe constipation/change in bowel movement page

  1. #1
    berra's Avatar
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    Primal Eating for 10 weeks and severe constipation/change in bowel movement

    Primal Fuel
    Hi guys!!

    I really need help/some direction as to WHY my bowel movements have been SO SO strange over the past 3 weeks. To give you a brief idea of me:

    - 24 y/o female
    - Weight 59kg
    - Height 170cm
    - I've been training (properly) for about 2 years now, but my transition to a healthy lifestyle started about 4 years ago
    - Have not been eating carbs (except those obtained from fruits/veggies/nuts) for about a year now (before primal I used to have a cheat day, which was then reduced to a cheat meal/week), but I have bought and read the Primal Blueprint and have been using it as my bible for 10 weeks.
    - I now train 4 days a week (rather than the 6 sessions of 2 hours I used to do months ago)

    I have absolutely no dairy (even though Mark says some are okay), no grains and no legumes whatsoever. Believe me, I am very strict with what I put into my body (and I am doing it for the long term health benefits). And, I really enjoy it!

    Back to the main issue here; I have been having the strangest bowel movements over the past 3 weeks. My stomach starts turning and churning as soon as I eat anything and I immediately feel the need to go to the toilet. It's so intense that in my mind I feel like passing stool would be instant and easy, but it really isn't. Sometimes barely nothing comes out, and other times it is very watery/runny and not solid.

    I think this is so strange, especially because I have eliminated carbs from my diet about a year ago. The only thing I've been doing differently with Primal is not eating dairy and legumes.

    This is what I eat on a typical weekday:

    Breakfast
    - 2 soft boiled eggs

    Snack (11am)
    - 1x small size organic granny smith apple
    - Black coffee with 2 sugars

    Lunch
    - Very large portion of salad which consists of- mixed salad leaves (kale, spinach, lettuce), 1 cucumber, 1/2 an avocado, 1 tomato, 2 mushrooms, pinch of sunflower seeds, red capsicum.
    (My dressing is olive oil, 1/2 a lemon and a generous drizzle of vinegar)
    - Protein (either smoked salmon, fresh fish fillet, chicken breast or red meat)

    Snack
    - Black coffee/tea with 2 sugars

    Dinner
    - Salad + Protein: exactly the same as above (minus 1/2 avocado and I change up the protein. Eg. If I had salmon for lunch I'll have chicken for dinner)

    Snack
    - Tea with 2 sugars
    - Something sweet (Either a teaspoon of almond butter that I make myself from scratch, or, a piece of 85% cocoa dark chocolate).

    I stop eating at 6pm, and will fast until 8am the next day. (I used to intermittent fast for 16 hours/day up until 2 months ago, but had to stop because it wasn't working for me when I got a new job).

    Any insight as to why I'm experiencing discomfort would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Drumroll's Avatar
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    I would eliminate the sugar from your coffee and tea if you can. Empty calories. Learn to drink straight or use stevia if you have to. Just my personal opinion. It's unrelated to your thread topic though.

    It seems you are not getting any probiotics in your diet. May I suggest you start enjoying some fermented foods (particularly veggies since you don't do dairy) on a daily basis? That'll help a lot. My digestion totally evened out after I started learning to eat real lacto-fermented foods.

    Also, replacing some of the harder to digest raw veggies with fermented ones which are slightly predigested already will let you absorb more of the nutrition from your vegetables.
    Last edited by Drumroll; 06-24-2013 at 11:30 PM.

  3. #3
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    Did you increase your fiber intake? Eliminating fiber is actually a cure for constipation in some people.


    Stopping or reducing dietary fiber intake reduces constipation and its associated symptoms

  4. #4
    berra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumroll View Post
    I would eliminate the sugar from your coffee and tea if you can. Empty calories. Learn to drink straight or use stevia if you have to. Just my personal opinion. It's unrelated to your thread topic though.

    It seems you are not getting any probiotics in your diet. May I suggest you start enjoying some fermented foods (particularly veggies since you don't do dairy) on a daily basis? That'll help a lot. My digestion totally evened out after I started learning to eat real lacto-fermented foods.

    Also, replacing some of the harder to digest raw veggies with fermented ones which are slightly predigested already will let you absorb more of the nutrition from your vegetables.
    Thanks for the reply!

    I used to use splenda/equal up until I found out (thanks to the Primal Blueprint) how bad it actually is. I have honestly tried so hard to give up the raw sugar in my teas and coffees, but I really have a very sweet tooth. Even cutting out chocolates and desserts after dinner has been such a struggle. Chocolate is the only thing I still crave allllll the time

    When it comes to veggies- I just don't enjoy eating them right now. I think I over did it throughout the past year with them, but now that I think of it, that can be the reason why I'm experiencing stomach discomfort.

  5. #5
    Drumroll's Avatar
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    Trust me, fermented foods will make a huge difference with efficiency of digestion not to mention they themselves are easier to digest than their raw, or even cooked, counterparts because the bacteria has predigested it. You'll not only regulate your digestive system with the bacteria from the ferments but will absorb more nutrition from the foods you're eating as a result which will make you feel better.

    If you simply MUST have a sweetener, honey, maple syrup, or especially molasses are much better choices since they at least have SOME redeeming nutritional qualities in them. Or better yet, try stevia like I suggested before.

  6. #6
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    I shoot for very low or no starch. Digestion improves if I eat fermented things with meals and predominantly carnivorous eating for optimum stools. I swear kombucha liquefies meat to a degree. I'm prone to constipation and have had IBS when I eat starches. So it's meat, eggs, berries, some chocolate, a few nuts, coffee/tea (including dandelion and nettle), kombucha, sauerkraut, and (rarely, slowly reintroducing) cooked vegetables like carrots dandelion, nettle, or seaweed. I should probably eat seaweed more often, I just don't. But BM's are best when I eat no raw greens and no fake (industrially processed) milk.

    Magnesium is great, too. Molasses is a good source of magnesium. I also find honey to be harmless in the tiny amounts I consume of it.

    That's my N=1 anyway...


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    It looks like you're eating a lot of salad. I know for me, salad is really hard to digest. I just spent two weeks travelling and ended up eating it quite a lot and let's just say I had a lot of problems..!

    But this doesn't sound like regular constipation. I've spent a lot of time in India so I've had my share of Delhi belly, and it sounds more like that. Symptoms can last quite a while if you're not actively eating your way out of it. Do you think it's possible you ate some dirty / unfresh food?
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

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    sturdy leafy greens like spinach and kale can be difficult to digest.

    i'd back off the raw greens for awhile and switch to cooked.

    you may want a bit more fat to help moves thing along.

    make sure to be drinking plenty of water.

    and yeah, probiotics.
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

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    My digestion has actually improved by eating more starches (ala "Perfect Health Diet") and less greens. Your mileage may vary.
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    Currently trying to figure out WTF to eat (for IBS-C).

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    I have the same problem when eating Primal/Paleo. And unfortunately none of the more natural methods work for me. Senna tea works for some - Organic Smooth Move tea works for some, if it is available in your area. But many people experience cramping when using Senna.

    I personally have to take a magnesium supplement every day to deal with the problem. If it is available in your country - try 250 mg daily and go up from there....
    Lady Gecko, a.k.a. Theresa.

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