Is resistant starch the cure for chronic constipation?

Posted on March 3rd, 2015

This post has been updated.

Gut health makes the world go around. This is where the wellness movement is at right now. And crucial to good gut health is sturdy, regular poo action. For many, especially those of us with an autoimmune disease, regular poo action is but a pipe dream (which sounds like an ablution entendre; so many things do!).

sack of potatoes

Does ablution have to be so arduous? Image via Flickr

I’ve written about constipation quite a bit (you can catch up here). And I am on a committed journey to finding a safe, natural, gentle solution to my own periodic struggles with stuckness. The latest theme to emerge is resistant starch.

What is this resistant starch when it’s not sounding so recalcitrant?

It’s a type of food starch – contained in legumes, green bananas and cooked (and cooled) potatoes – that remains whole through the stomach and small intestine, and, unlike most foods, reaches the large intestine intact. Ergo, it resists digestion. For many years it was believed that starch was completely digested and absorbed in the small intestine. But a study published in the 1980s showed that certain starches reach the large intestine as malabsorbed, fermentable material.

What does this mean? Well, when it reaches the colon, good bacteria attaches to it and the digestion/fermentation process begins.

And why is this so good? Foods that are digested in the colon promote the growth of good gut bacteria, and increase the colon pH to become more acidic, which improves your overall gut health and decreases the risk of leaky gut. Read more

Why my battle to tame my wandering is a good one

Posted on February 27th, 2015

A thought. I was reading the follow-up to a wellbeing study I’d heard about ages ago that uses a phone app to track real-time moments in happiness.

Image from serialthriller.com

Image from serialthriller.com

Psychologist Matthew Killingsworth who put the project together tracked daydreaming as well. And found this:

Daydreaming is not good for well-being.

Which surprised me, and it might you. But Matt drilled down:

Minds tend to wander to dark, not whimsical, places.

This stopped me for a bit. It’s true. The majority of my meanderings aren’t rosy, unless I consciously steer them that way. This is kind of sad, but I’m sure there’s an evolutionary (or otherwise) reason for it (spending spare mental time nutting out strategies for difficult situations can keep us prepared and vigilant).

The app study covered more than 650,000 real-time reports from more than 15,000 people. Big and broad. It also found people Read more

Am I a hypocrite?

Posted on February 25th, 2015

There’s a horrible feeling that grips at me from behind the neck at times. It’s like a sucky monster that latches on when I do something seemingly counter to my (often vocal) ethical stance on something. And it whispers in my ear, ”Sarah, you’re a double-standard, Pollyanna-ish flake”.

Image via off-with-the-faeries.tumblr.com

Image via off-with-the-faeries.tumblr.com

Does he hang about your dowager’s hump too?

Anyway, I figured it’s a topic worth exploring…the contemporary angst that emanates from trying to keep up with modern life while retaining basic values – environmental, humanitarian, ethical and so on.

Here are a few of mine, some of which I’ve resolved via a bit of research. Some of which I’ve seductively rationalized to myself.

Perhaps you have a few solutions you can share for the others, or – better! – moments of your own in double standard Pollyanna flakishiness.

* I get my hair coloured to hide my frothing of grey hairs…but I claim to avoid cosmetic toxins (read my posts on why I ditched foundation and how to buy toxin-free cosmetics) I, frankly, don’t have a watertight solution for this. I’m getting very grey and my base colour is dark and I have to present on TV and I’m still in the dating game and trying to cling to some youthful looks so as to not come over all Mrs Robinson and….

For now, I keep things toxin-free where I can. A bit of an 80:20 thing going on.

* I get parking tickets pretty much whenever I drive a car (thankfully, not too often)…but claim to be frugal. This one was presented to me by someone on Instagram once. I have to say I have a rational answer for this. I’m into conserving Read more