Your Bathroom Questions Answered

I changed things up a bit this week for Ask Joe Anything. It was my birthday on Saturday so I treated myself to asking my own question to one of my very good friends, Dr. Robynne Chutkan. She is the author of Gutbliss and The Microbiome Solution.  She is an expert on optimizing your gut health, so I figured I’d ask her all of the common questions we have about our Number 2’s! Watch this week’s AJA to hear Dr. Chatkan answer them in her own words — I promise you, you’re going to learn a lot in less than three minutes!


What is the number one reason men and women suffer from bloating?
It’s mostly just simple clogging. The pipes are clogged — the product of digestion which is a nice way of saying “stool” gets stuck in the digestive tract which is 30 feet long, so there’s a lot of real estate that the products of digestion have to move through and the simple, most common reason people are bloated is that the pipes are clogged.

So how do we unplug the pipe?
Of course there are all kinds of pharmaceutical options, but I recommend a more natural way and one way to do that is green juice! You could do just a liquid diet, but that’s a little nutrient poor so drinking green juice is a great way to unclog the digestive tract.

What does the green juice do?
First of all, it’s liquid, which is a lot easier. If you had a clogged drain at home you wouldn’t pour oatmeal through it, you would put water through to try and clear it. So the fact that green juice is liquid is really helpful, because this is a time when a whole ton of fiber and a clogged pipe is not necessarily a great idea because that sometimes can lead to a bigger clog. So when you’re really clogged, a green juice is a great way to unclog, de-bloat and get things moving since it’s a nice thin liquid that moves through easily and is loaded with nutrients.

How many times a day should we go number 2?
Minimum one, but it depends on what you eat. If you are living in Sub-Saharan Africa and you eat 80g of fiber a day you could be having poops as big as my head 2-3 times a day, and that would be normal and healthy. If you live in the west and you don’t eat as much fiber, and you eat a little more processed food but you eat every day, you should eliminate every day. This idea that it’s normal to go every three days is not a good idea.

What color should it be?
Chocolaty brown! If you eat a lot of veggies it can have a greenish hint to it and that can be healthy, and if you’ve been eating beets it can be red and that’s healthy too, but when you think about it, a bowel movement is the optimal detox and you want to be having one at least once a day.

Learn more about the importance of gut health:

You can submit your question for the next Ask Joe Anything by sharing it in the comment section below or ask me on social media using #AskJoeAnything. If you’ve missed the previous Ask Joe Anything series, you can check out the questions I’ve already covered in the past 18 weeks.