Eating, Drinking, Peeing, Pooping

Yeah, I know, who would create a blog post with THAT title? This girl! And I’ll tell you why…

I’ve found that most of what gets me and keeps me healthy (or unhealthy) boils down to these four things; what I eat, what I drink, how my pee looks, and how my poop looks.

Let’s break it down.

Eating. First off, what you eat is so important. It’s been said that good health is 80% diet and 20% exercise, and I couldn’t agree more.

“You cannot out-exercise a bad diet!”

One of the mistakes I see my clients make is that they work out really hard for a few hours and then totally undue their hard work by binge eating. Or, worse yet, they exercise for just a short period of time, at a low-intensity pace, and then scarf down an entire pizza!

While no one diet is right for everyone, and I always practice bio-individuality with my health coaching clients, there are a few rules that are usually good for everyone:

1. Eat real food. Stop eating processed crap! If you don’t know what an ingredient is, your body won’t either.

2. Load up on veggies. No one eats enough!

3. Keep treats as treats. An occasional treat is fine, but when you are eating Oreos for dinner, that’s no longer a treat!

Drinking. Please step away from the soda, the sugar-laden “fruit” juices, and the alcohol. None of that stuff is good for you. Again, I enjoy a glass of wine occasionally but I’m certainly not knocking off an entire bottle in one sitting! When it comes to drinks, keep it simple:

1. Water is always your friend. Drink up! If you feel thirsty, it’s too late, you’re already dehydrated. Make sure you drink enough water that you aren’t feeling parched. If your lips are stuck together, that’s a bad sign!

2. If you need a little flavor, add some sliced lemon, lime, grapefruit, or orange to your water. Or add some fresh mint.

3. If you still need flavor, and water isn’t doing it for you, brew some tea and add your citrus or fresh mint, or have a cup of coffee (but watch the added sugar and cream).

Peeing. Another way to tell if your body has been properly hydrated is to look at your pee. Yes, I said look. Your pee should be mostly clear. If your pee is a dark yellow, you may be dehydrated. If that’s the case, make sure you up that water intake. Keep in mind that certain vitamins or medications can turn your pee into a darker color, but for the most part, it should be on the clear side.

1. If you up your water intake, you may find you have to pee more often. I promise you, this feeling of having to permanently move into the bathroom will go away once your body gets used to the new intake of fluid. Keep drinking!

2. If you have pain or burning when you pee, you may have a urinary tract infection, or something else might be causing you distress. If it goes on for more than a day or two, call the doctor.

Pooping. Just like paying attention to your pee is a clue to your health, paying attention to your poop can help you figure out what’s happening with your body. I consider myself a poop detective. And yes, I do look at my poop (hope you aren’t having breakfast!) What’s “normal” for me may not be “normal” for you but if you do look at your poop on a regular basis you may start to notice how it usually looks.

1. Contrary to public opinion, your poop shouldn’t actually stink up the joint. If you have particularly stinky poo, something might be going on there.

2. How many times a day should you poop? I don’t know! What did you eat? I go at least three times a day and have been told that is normal for me. If you’re concerned that you are going too much, or not enough, keep a poo log for a week and write down each time you go. If you feel “stopped up” that may be a sign that you aren’t going often enough.

3. Poo that is really watery or “stringy,” stinks to the high Heavens, or is a funky color (like a dark black coal color) is not healthy poo and you should probably pay a visit to the doc! Poo that has blood in it is definitely not good and warrants an immediate call to your physician.

There you have it, my guide to eating, drinking, peeing, and pooping!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out!

Want to find out how you can get your FREE, personalized health consultation! Just visit my website, http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com, or email me at karen@thecaringcoachingcenter.com to request your free consultation.


For Germophobes

I have lots of friends who are teachers. I know that they are dreading going back to school. It’s not that they don’t love what they do; teaching children and shaping young minds, but the return to school also means the return to unprotected sneezes, runny noses, and scores of germs on surfaces from desks to chairs to books.

The most effective line of defense, as we all know, is hand washing. Be sure to wash your hands often and thoroughly, by making sure you lather up the entire surface of your hands (including between fingers). Use hot water and soap.

In addition to hand washing:

– Stifle those sneezes by sneezing into the crook of your arm. Just bend your elbow and let ’em rip!

– Get plenty of rest to avoid getting run down. Aim for at least 6 – 8 hours of sleep each night to give your body a rest. This will help you fight off colds and flu caused by germs.

– Eat healthy foods with lots of vitamins and minerals. This will help you maintain a happy immune system.

– Avoid touching your face, rubbing your eyes, or putting your hands near your mouth. Think about all the things you touch in the course of a day, and then think about touching your face. EW! Gross!

– Carry an antibacterial lotion or spray with you for those times when it’s not convenient to get to a sink to wash your hands. Although I recommend not overdoing it with the antibacterial stuff, it’s good to have in case of an emergency. 

Germs are everywhere and unless you plan on living like “the boy in the bubble,” there’s no way to avoid them completely, but just following a few simple steps could help you stave off illness as we move into the cooler months. 

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out!


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Why Robin Williams’ Death Hit me so Hard

I didn’t know Robin Williams. I don’t know his family. I don’t know what he liked to eat, where he lived, or what kind of car he drove. I know that I enjoyed watching his movies; but I don’t know what he enjoyed. I know that he made me laugh, and cry; but I couldn’t tell you what made him laugh or cry. And I know that he struggled with depression, although I don’t know what kind of depression or how he actually felt.

I can only tell you how I feel; and how I felt – when I attempted suicide. 

I was 19 and just coming home from my tour of duty during Operation Desert Storm. I was happy to be home with my family and enjoyed the time I got to spend with them after being away. After a few weeks, everyone went back to work, and I suddenly felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere. I couldn’t adjust to life back home. I was panicked every second of the day, afraid to leave the house. I would go weeks at a time without showering. I was depressed, but I didn’t really know it; I didn’t understand it.

I started to see a therapist. Because I had no insurance, I went to the local clinic where I could see someone for free. She didn’t know how to help me. Truth be told, she was probably a fine therapist, but I don’t think she was equipped to deal with my specific issues; I don’t think she was trained to deal with PTSD.

She prescribed medication, which I took faithfully. It didn’t really “fix” my issues, it just dulled the pain. In fact, the medication dulled everything. I didn’t feel sad, anxious, nervous, or lonely; I just stopped feeling altogether. I was like a zombie, sleeping all day, crying when I was awake, but trying to put on a brave face for my family. I felt tortured.

One night, I was getting ready for bed, and, honestly, I don’t really remember doing it, but I took the whole bottle of pills. I remember thinking that there was nothing left for me. I wasn’t really living at this point, I was just a shell, and I just wanted the pain to go away.

My mom came in to check on me and say goodnight. I don’t recall if I told her I took the pills or if she saw the empty bottle, and I don’t remember how I got to the ER. I just remember sitting on a gurney drinking a horrendous mixture of liquid charcoal to force me to throw up.

I don’t remember the doctors, I don’t remember the questions they asked, I don’t remember how I got home. The only thing I can tell you about that night was how I felt. It was a feeling of total and complete despair. The feeling of not being able to handle even one more day.

As you can plainly see, my attempt to take my own life was not successful. I’m here to tell you about it; and I’m so glad that I am! From time to time I think about all the things I would have missed if I had actually succeeded with my plans all those years ago. 

Many, many years after my suicide attempt, I battled depression again. This time, with a proper diagnosis (ADHD, OCD, depression, and bi-polar disorder) I managed to work my way through without trying to end my life. There are still times when I struggle with depression, but I’ve learned new ways to cope.

I haven’t thought about my suicide attempt in a very long time, but the news of Robin Williams’ death hit me hard. I imagined what might have been going on in his head and in his heart at the moment he decided to leave this Earth. I felt pain for him. I felt pain for his family, and for the people that were close to him and loved him.

The news sparked lots of talk on the internet today. People reflecting back on Mr. Williams’ work and the joy that he brought to others. Many people remarked that they couldn’t understand how someone who seemed so full of joy could be in a position to end his own life.

The only thing I can say is that you can’t explain what it feels like to someone who hasn’t experienced the pain. We may never understand what happened to Robin Williams. Trying to make sense of it makes no sense at all.

If you are experiencing any type of depression, please get help. There are many resources out there to help you. And please, PLEASE, if you have any thoughts of harming yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

I wish Mr. Williams’ family peace in the difficult days ahead. And to all those suffering with depression, I hope that you find peace as well.