Balanced Bites Podcast Episode #201: All about poop with Melissa Ramos, The Poop Whisperer

Balanced_Bites_Podcast-Slider_201BB_PC_square-201 (1)
1. Introducing our guest, Melissa Ramos [2:16]
2. What’s with all the wiping? [7:30]
3. Anal leakage problems [6:07]
4. Lazy bowel/constipation problems [18:39]
5. IBS with diarrhea [30:59]
6. Frequency/transit time [35:29]
7. Dealing with no longer having a gallbladder [38:26]
8. Skinny poop [45:01]
9. Pooping routine [48:22]
10. Thoughts on coffee enemas [50:54]
11. Holding it in; waiting to go [53:37]
12. That time of the month and diarrhea [58:52]
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Balance Bites: Episode #201: All about poop with Melissa Ramos, The Poop Whisperer
You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 201.
Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast with Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe. Diane is a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo, The 21-Day Sugar Detox, and co-author of Mediterranean Paleo Cooking. Liz is a nutritional therapy practitioner, and the best-selling author of Eat the Yolks and The Purely Primal Skincare Guide. Together, Diane and Liz answer your questions, interview leading health and wellness experts, and share their take on modern paleo living with their friendly and balanced approach. Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Diane Sanfilippo: Hey everyone! Welcome back to the Balanced Bites podcast. Diane here, and I’m super excited today. I have a really awesome guest to introduce you guys to. I posted about her really briefly over on both Facebook and Instagram, and somehow the Instagram community seemed to be a little more excited to write their comments and questions about poop, which is what we’re going to talk about today with my guest, Melissa Ramos.
Melissa Ramos: {laughing}
Diane Sanfilippo: I am going to let you guys hear a word from our sponsors really quickly, and then we’re going to introduce Melissa.
Liz Wolfe: We’d like to thank Vital Choice for supporting our podcast today, and we encourage you to visit their online store at You’ll find an amazing array of some of the world’s best seafood, including wild Alaskan salmon, halibut, tuna and cod, as well as sustainably harvested shellfish. These foods are not only delicious, but vital choices for your health. You’ll also find grass-fed organic Wagyu beef, live fermented foods to promote gut health, wild organic blueberries, and dark organic chocolates. Eat better, think better, and feel better with deeply nourishing foods from Vital Choice. They’re offering our listeners 15% off any order using code BALANCEDBITES. Remember that orders of $99 or more ship free.
1. Introducing our guest, Melissa Ramos [2:16]
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so, Melissa Ramos as a nutritionist focusing on Chinese nutrition therapy, and the owner of Sexy Food Therapy, Inc., Melissa helps people feel sexy from the inside out with a focus on digestion and hormone imbalances. She’s a regular expert on CTV’s The Social, has been a TED speaker, and has been named one of Canada’s up and coming health and wellness stars by Flare magazine. Her popular newsletter videos provide people with an opportunity to get their weekly fix by offering food, supplement, and lifestyle tips in an unconventional but engaging way.
I can definitely vouch for that. Most of your videos are, they’re just awesome and hilarious, and I remember the first time I saw them, I was like, I like her, I don’t know her, but I like her, and so here you are.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah, you’re like, this girl is crazy!
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, and we both agree that our spirit animal is Tina Fey.
Melissa Ramos: Oh, 1000%!
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, so welcome to the show!
Melissa Ramos: Thank you! Thank you for having me.
Diane Sanfilippo: So why don’t you give our listeners a little bit of background about you, because that little bio of course is a quick introduction, but I know people are curious kind of how you came to do this type of work and what your studies included and what your practice is like today.
Melissa Ramos: For sure. As you mentioned, I’m a nutritionist. I do specialize in Chinese nutrition therapy, and some people might be like, what does that mean? {laughs} What it means is that after I was done with nutrition, I ended up studying Chinese medicine for 2 years and became an acupuncturist, and while I don’t practice acupuncture anymore, because my business is 100% online, I still use a lot of the theories in practice.
My focus with practice has been digestion and hormones, and I find that we tend to get into an area or a niche based on the stuff that we’ve actually suffered with. In my case, I had digestive issues for such a long time, and then I also had hormonal issues, specifically around the area of ovarian cysts, because I had an ovarian cyst that had ruptured, and tore off a piece of my ovary, and they had to take out 3 liters of blood in an emergency surgery.
Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah, so those are sort of the 2 areas that I talk about, and I’m really not bashful or shy or anything when it comes to talking about these topics, because I find that when you’re on this path to healing, you tend to sort of, it can be very serious. My objective, especially with business, is to try to lighten things up a bit so people and kind of learn to laugh at themselves a little bit, especially when it comes to poop. Poop is such a taboo topic.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: I went on the TED stage, and had this shirt that said, “The Poop Whisperer” on it.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s so awesome.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah, and people think I’m nuts! But at the same token, I’m like, hey if I can get you to learn and laugh at the same time, then that to me is a winning combination.
Diane Sanfilippo: I absolutely love that, and I think that was, like I said, it was one of the things that drew me to what you were doing. And I have to say, the whole emoji situation; the fact that there’s a poop emoji.
Melissa Ramos: {laughing}
Diane Sanfilippo: That just makes everything so much better. People are like, yeah! Let me ask you my poop question, and like 4 poop emojis. I kind of wish there were different ones that could express more about your poop, not just the smiling poop. I think there should be one that’s on fire maybe, and one that’s a little bit flattened out, or something. {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: Totally. You’re like, oh that doesn’t look like a happy poop. Yeah, there’s tons of it, and every time I talk about it I just think the poop emojis go crazy. It’s funny because I hadn’t had a poop program in my whole repertoire of online programs, and I’m like, why in God’s name don’t I have this? I talk about poo all the time, and people just absolutely gravitated to it. So it’s a hot topic.
Diane Sanfilippo: I love it. It’s one of the most popular pages of Practical Paleo, page 75, it’s the poop pageant.
Melissa Ramos: Ha!
Diane Sanfilippo: Which I quasi-modeled; well the Bristol stool chart is what it’s originally modeled after, and then Paul Chek, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Paul Chek’s work, but he had a poop line up that was like this police lineup, and it kind of looked dark and kind of like, mmm, I don’t know, just a little edgy and dangerous, but it was a cartoon.
Melissa Ramos: {laughing}
Diane Sanfilippo: I thought it was funny, but I thought, you know, we need to reinvent that for Practical Paleo.
Melissa Ramos: That’s awesome.
Diane Sanfilippo: I credited him, but it’s pretty funny. So I get into stuff like that and try to give people information about what’s happening inside their body when they then look in the toilet and it looks a certain way. I think we have a ton of questions today that are really going to help illuminate for people a lot more, and deeper information. And a lot of specifics, because we have a lot of really; I don’t know, we just have a lot of great questions. So I think we should probably just get right into it. Some of them are pretty specific, but feel free to go off and let us know the specifics, and if you want to give a little bit of a higher level, and kind of pull back and just give us something that’s a little bit more background on a question, I think that would be great too, so folks can kind of get to know a little bit of the breadth of your experience and knowledge.
Melissa Ramos: I’m down with it.
2. What’s with all the wiping? [7:30]
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, cool. So, Samantha says, “What’s with all the wiping?” {laughs} I didn’t preread these questions, so.
Melissa Ramos: {laughing}
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I’m going to laugh along.
Melissa Ramos: This is going to be a great episode.
Diane Sanfilippo: We are laughing with you guys, by the way.
Melissa Ramos: Oh, totally.
Diane Sanfilippo: I’m absolutely not laughing at anyone. “What’s with all the wiping? When I go number 2, my poo looks normal but I have to wipe a lot, and I mean a lot. I can easily go through a quarter of a roll of toilet paper. I usually have to stop wiping to flush the toilet at least once during the process, since I am worried about clogging the toilet with paper. I’m a 37-year-old female, and I’ve been this way all my life. I usually poop once a day. I’m celiac. I was diagnosed 12 years ago, but I’m positive I’ve had it since childhood. I also have thyroid and adrenal issues, PTSD after experiencing a traumatic crime 2 years ago. Any insight or suggestions would be helpful.” She has a lot more details here; the folks who submit a question through the website, they have details that kind of give a little bit more background, so, she says, “I’ve been paleo for 3 years and AIP for 1.5”; that’s autoimmune protocol, so she’s not eating eggs, nuts, seeds, or nightshade vegetables. I’m sure you’re familiar with what the protocol is, but that’s just how we abbreviate it in our little community.
So she started it for hormonal issues; “So far I’ve reintroduced rice, seed based spices except black pepper; green beans, snow peas, and chocolate.” So she’s reintroduced all of that. “I eat about 2 eggs per week; I find that more than that upsets my digestion. All meals are 4-6 ounces of protein, one half to one cup starchy veg, and at least one cup of nonstarchy veg. “I’m a hard gainer who needs starch at every meal. I’m currently 5”6 and 120 pounds. My veggies are usually doused in oil so I get my healthy fats in. I eat or drink something fermented at one to three meals a day. Drink a cup of broth almost every day.” Our listeners are pretty on it, by the way. I’m reading this, like, she’s so on it! “I eat one to two servings of fruit a day as my dessert for meals. Digestive enzymes do not help with this. I sleep 10 hours a night, but go through patches where I can’t sleep through the night due to the stress.” The PTSD. She says, “I take 50 mg trazodone on occasion to reset my sleep; this medication upsets my stomach. I also take 100 mg of Zoloft daily.” Let’s see, vitamin D in the winter, exercises erratic due to the stress, walk 30 minutes a day. I think the rest of it is pretty much wrapped up. Oh, and she says, “I love you; is it too soon to say that?” {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: So that’s her ball of wax. So what do you think for Samantha here?
Melissa Ramos: So, wiping; big one. I always ask people, especially if I see them for a consultation, or even in my private groups for my program. I’m like, one of the biggest questions is, how much do you wipe? And I ask them is it between 1 and 3 wipes, or 3 or more. What that means is, in Chinese medicine, we call it dampness. If there’s a lot of dampness in the colon, essentially it’s sort of like mucus, and it’s interesting because if the digestive system is weak, what ends up happening is, and this is not a technical term at all, but I always say gunk begins to build up in those digestive gears. The Chinese will say that it’s dampness that’s building up. In western medicine, it can be loosely translated as Candida, which I really don’t like to think of it as Candida because the second you say Candida people think yeast infection, or just simply bloating, and it’s so much more beyond that. So, it’s dampness that’s accumulated in the colon and in that area that is producing her to be wiping quite a bit.
I would strongly suggest to look at certain things; like, how long has the excess wiping been happening for? She mentioned that she’s actually reintroduced a bit of grains in her diet, like rice she said?
Diane Sanfilippo: Sorry, yeah. I was muted so I would be interrupting. She reintroduced rice, seed based spices except black pepper, green beans, snow peas, and chocolate. And eggs now and then.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah. So I would probably say, look at how long the excess wiping has happened and see if you can find a correlation to the types of foods that you’ve actually reintroduced. One of the things I actually strongly suggest for people who have this excess wiping issue is Triphala. Triphala is a supplement that is a combination of 3 different herbs. It’s an Ayurvedic formula, and Ayurvedic comes from Ayurveda, which comes from East Indian medicine. It’s amazing because, I wouldn’t say to take Triphala while you’re pregnant or if you’re breastfeeding. But from a general population, if you say went to India, they would say that Triphala would be the first line of defense for just about anybody. It’s a great starter formula. But it’s very good to sort of remove a lot of that dampness, or what they call in Ayurveda Ama. It’s sort of synonymous to dampness. It’s like this gunk that builds up in the system. And it’s very good to help clear that out.
Now, there is a caveat about this, because if you go into the health food store, at least here in Canada, we have a supplement that’s Triphala, but when you look on the label it says Triphalax. So, it’s this idea that people think, oh god am I taking a laxative? And I’m like, no, it’s not a laxative and a lot of people think that it is. If you have constipation, or you have lose bowel movements, the idea of Triphala is that it helps to regulate either or. Will it help you go to the bathroom, like regulate things a bit more? Yeah. I’ve had people who’ve taken it and go, oh my goodness, I’m pooping like a champ now!
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} It’s almost like an adaptogen for …
Melissa Ramos: For your bowels.
Diane Sanfilippo: For your bowels, yeah.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah, and it’s great to sort of remove all that gunk. A lot of people would say, you could also add in a little bentonite clay into your fiber, but you’ve got to be careful with that because, if, say for example, she’s prone to constipation and you put in bentonite clay in a little bit of fiber, it can kind of almost be cement for the bowels where things really won’t move.
Diane Sanfilippo: Mmm.
Melissa Ramos: So if you do use bentonite clay, then you can use a really tiny amount of sort of remove all those toxins, and the gunk, and the toxicity, but my first say would be Triphala 1000%. Now, if you look at the bottle, it will probably say 1 capsule a day or what have you. But traditionally it’s taken in powder form; and you know what, if you want to take the powder, rock on. But the stuff tastes like dirt. {laughs} I can’t handle it, and I can handle quite a bit. But when I did the math with the actual capsules, half a teaspoon is roughly 3 capsules. And that’s what I tell people to start, is take 3 capsules before you go to bed and just start there. The idea with Triphala is you work up to a full teaspoon, which would end up being another 3 capsules first thing in the morning.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I was just going to ask you which form you recommended, because I did a quick search and found some just organic, I’m just wondering if there are any specific brands that you find better or more effective than others. I see one on Amazon that’s called Banyan Botanicals Auyrvedic herbs, it’s an organic capsule. Oh, no, this one says tablets. Huh.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah, I wouldn’t take tablets. I would take the capsule for sure. There’s Himalaya has a good one. I believe in the states you can get a company called AOR, which is a Canadian company, but I’ve looked up Vitacost and some other American sites and AOR has one that’s called Triphalax. That’s the one I take. And it works amazing, Himalaya I know you guys can get it as well.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I see that one on Amazon, that looks like one we can get. So it’s T-R-I-P-H-A-L-A. Cool, that’s really interesting. I definitely did not know about that.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah. It’s awesome.
Diane Sanfilippo: So, for people, I just want to throw this out there. If somebody is curious, I know you mentioned Candida and you don’t like to talk too much about it. I just want to let people know, if you think that could be an issue for you, if you’ve heard other things about Candida that you’re like, well, she mentioned this and I kind of have all this other stuff going on too, lot’s of cravings, I have a whole episode I did with Christa Orecchio where we talked about Candida, and I recommend going and listening to that because that will tell you a little bit more about that issue and whether or not that pertains to you.
Melissa Ramos: Totally.
Anal leakage problems [6:07]
Diane Sanfilippo: Cool. Ok, so, Laura says, “For the past year or so I’ve had bowel leakage. This happens whether I’m being active or not. Lifting, squatting, or even BMs don’t smell, aren’t formed, not loose.” This was a little bit; I think she probably was typing quickly. {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: “The leakage is soft, not loose” she’s saying. “I had surgery to strengthen the muscles, and did 8 weeks of PT which was supposed to fix the situation, but it didn’t. I have to wear a sanitary napkin all the time in order to work or do daily tasks. We homestead, and I work full time. Not an easy task with this problem. I’m starting to think that it may be an internal/gut thing. I eat clean with no sugar and try to be active, walking, running, lifting weights at least 5 times a week. I have no known allergies, take a multivitamin, iron, calcium, magnesium, biotin, Co-Q-10, bee pollen, probiotic, green tea extract, fish oil, DHEA,” she takes a lot of stuff here, “vitamin D, cyanocobalamin injections, a basic nutrients with iron and copper along with gabapentin for fibromyalgia. I have my yearly physical coming up; any ideas of what to have the MD look at or any ideas about other directions.” So she just said again, “The BMs are formed, no loose, and foul smelling. The leakage is soft and very bad after I’ve had a BM.”
Melissa Ramos: Got it. So she’s getting it; is she getting it after she has a bowel movement, and even periodically through the day, because she obviously has to wear a panty liner.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, that’s what it sounds like.
Melissa Ramos: It sounds like to me, honestly, it sounds like more of a structural thing. Because if you’re having these leakages that are happening sporadically throughout the day, could it be an intolerance that is relaxing the sphincter muscles? Potentially, yeah, and I would say that she could probably get testing. Generally, medical doctors don’t do IgG testing, which is for a delayed response for food intolerances where it would produce a delayed response, 3 to 4 days later. She can get that investigated, but my intuition is saying it’s probably more structural related, and I would probably end up seeing an osteopath for that, just to understand why is it just loosening up, and to be able to address that. I definitely would stay away from things like magnesium, which would help to relax the muscles. But I would say, by the sounds of it, it sounds completely structurally related.
Diane Sanfilippo: Interesting.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: Cool.
Melissa Ramos: {laughs}
4. Lazy bowel/constipation problems [18:39]
Diane Sanfilippo: You’re great at being succinct with your answers; I love it. We’re going to get through so many questions! Ok. Max says, “I have a lazy bowel. Have been doing paleo lifestyle for about 3 years 85% of the time. Always had struggles with constipation, but lately in the past few months it’s been so bad that I’ve had to go to the ER to get a really strong laxative they give before surgery. I get back to normal once I do the laxative “cleanse”, but I don’t want to rely on laxatives to get me going. I’ve tried everything; probiotics, hemp, chia, kefir, MCT oil, lots of fiber rich veggies. How can I fix this? It’s frustrating and I feel toxic. I get so blocked up that the pain is so extreme at my bra line, and I get nauseous. I’m under a lot of stress at work, but that won’t change. My naturopath has me increasing a lot of magnesium to calm me down; what else do you recommend?” So I guess Max might be Maxine or something like that. I thought for a second that this was a guy, but then she said bra line.
Melissa Ramos: Got it.
Diane Sanfilippo: She’s got daily intake: Wake up, drink lemon water with cayenne, 4 tablespoons of kefir with 30 grams mix of hemp and chia seeds eaten with a spoon, 30 grams gluten free oats, cinnamon, stevia, coffee with MCT and stevia, eating protein half a cup of either rice or quinoa, lots of broccoli, hot sauce, cashews, pecans, berries. Dinner is meat with veg, no starch, water throughout the day. Oats 2-3 times a week. Ok, go ahead. {laughs} sorry about that.
Melissa Ramos: No worries. To be honest with you, when I hear this and I hear this all the time, people are like, I have lazy bowels, and things are not moving along properly and I get constipated. I love this question, because I have several answers for it that could probably help provide some clarity. So number 1, I would say that the sympathetic nervous system really needs to be worked on. Because we need to activate; the sympathetic nervous system is all sort of responsible for your fight or flight response. So, tiger is chasing you, or a bear is chasing you, your body just shuts down all of its digestive capability. So what you want to do is activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for slowing down your heart rate, and that sort of it what gets activated when we go into meditation or various forms of relaxing exercises.
So I would say, lifestyle is always a huge part. And this is the part that everyone seems to kind of slack off in a bit, because in our day to day, it’s like everything was due yesterday. And by what Max is saying, her or his job is super stressful, and she’s probably in this constant fight or flight response. So the bowels are holding things in. so you can do all these wonderful things with food, which is awesome because it’s so important, but the lifestyle portion has to be adhered to, and that’s the part that everyone generally misses the point on.
So, a couple of things. One of the things that I actually give to people in my digestive program is yoga nidra. So essentially when people hear that, they’re like, I’m not going to be doing yoga! Or I don’t have time!
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: It’s not yoga, it’s actually a yogic meditation, and all you have to do is lie down, put your ear buds in, and listen to a recording. And try to be open minded about it. When I first listen to it; I am the biggest skeptic when it comes to certain things in the health industry; I’m like, oh my god, that’s so woo-woo. But just give it a chance, I’m telling you, this is by far the most relaxing form of meditation that here is. It is more rejuvenating than a nap. Some people will say that it’s more rejuvenating than 8 hours of sleep, and some people will say that it’s more rejuvenating than a cup of coffee.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s awesome.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah, it’s crazy. So that, I would say, is trying to calm that sympathetic nervous system would be number one, because the bowels sound like they’re under a lot of stress. So Max could be taking magnesium and all of these things, but this is the kind of individual who will take a ton of magnesium, and still not …
Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.
Melissa Ramos: And they’re like, I took magnesium, nothing is happening! You can take the Triphala as well, it wouldn’t be a bad idea either. But the Yoga nidra would be really helpful. Another way to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system is to actually activate your vagus nerve. And your vagus nerve really does help to send communications from your brain to your gut and from your gut to your brain, so in both ways. And this is a nerve that we really need to work on stimulating for bowel health.
To do that, one of the ways to actually stimulate the vagus nerve, and this is going to sound so weird, is to gargle.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s so interesting!
Melissa Ramos: It’s so bizarre! But if you gargle, you’re actually going to be stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system via the vagus nerve. And when you meditate, as well, you stimulate the vagus nerve, also. Deep breathing, same thing. And then the other thing, because she’s like, I have this stressful job; that’s not going to change. You know, this is what it is, it is what it is. So one of the things I always, in all of my programs especially in my digestive program, we work a lot on the emotional component behind digestion, because it’s often not addressed. We always talk about food, we talk about supplements, we talk about exercise. But if there is an issue with letting go of something, then the bowels will not move.
In my 20s, I was in a relationship to who I say is the best ex-fiancé a woman can have.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: Fantastic guy, but I looked at my life, and I was like, this is not the life I want to live. And at that time, I was chronically constipated. It was like 4 days before I had a bowel movement. When I left that situation, I literally, as I say in my TEDEx talk, I was making up for lost time. Because I let go! So, there always is an emotional component behind the bowels, and what I try to do, especially in my programs, is trying to get people to look at their most stressful area of where they’re at, and try to come from a place of gratitude for it. And it sounds woo-woo, but I have seen people who have been chronically constipated start to go. It’s not about the supplements, it’s not about the food at that point. It’s about the emotional component that needs to be addressed.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s really important to mention, and Liz and I talk about that a lot on this show. We talk about not only getting into rest and digest, that parasympathetic mode. Somebody commented, actually, amongst the questions on Instagram; I’m going to assume it was a female since I would say about 80-90% of our listeners are women. But she said, she actually started doing that, because we talked about it so, so much, every time somebody talks about their digestion being off we always mention to get into rest and digest, because digestion begins in the brain, it’s like the very first step to getting your nervous system calmed down and also getting all your digestive enzymes to be working properly. So we always talk about that and I love that you touched on that.
We’ve also mentioned, a few times on the show before, Headspace, which is a new app that a lot of folks are talking about that sounds pretty similar to your meditation app, and just both the same kind of thing where you’re just going to shut down, put something in your ears, and refocus your brain for a little while and get some of that mindfulness going and just calming down, it does actually sounds a lot like that’s what’s going on. You know, when someone says I’m under a lot of stress at work and that won’t change, I also kind of get a little red flag where I’m like, ok, well is there some way you can reframe the way you look at that work to then; if stress mode is a normal mode for that day to day job, instead of looking at it as stressful, can you reframe and just be like, ok, there’s going to be a tight deadline today, I’m going to work as hard as I can and then I’m going to go home. Or just some way to tell a different story to yourself every day, because like what you said, it’s that chronic stressed out state, but I honestly believe that we can tell ourselves something different, like that story that we tell becomes our truth, and our body can calm down as a result of that.
Like, people who are dealing with chronic illness or disease, when they start to talk differently to themselves, instead of feeling like this urgent, have to fix it, change it right now, it just becomes a little bit more at ease within their whole system.
Melissa Ramos: Oh, for sure. I think that it’s, I get it where you’re like, I rely on this job because I have to make money.
Diane Sanfilippo: Right.
Melissa Ramos: it’s super stressful. There are ways to reframe it; there are ways to look at your most traumatic experiences. And I have seen people in my group; I literally was just in Montreal not too long ago, and saw a group of women, one of which was chronically constipated, but she had gone through a massive abuse probably a decade ago, and since then she hasn’t been able to go to the bathroom. Literally, I just saw these people transform as we were all working with them from an emotional basis, and after hers, she had written me, “Melissa I’ve been going to the bathroom,” and like myself, “I must be making up for lost time because the other day I went 4 times, and that never would happen.”
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Melissa Ramos: So huge connection.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, and I think too, there’s always something about the person who’s willing to live and be in that high stress state where they’re willing to do everything possible to try and fix it. So taking certain things, eating certain things, eliminating certain things from their diet, doing all of that stuff, but that one thing that’s actually causing 80-90 or even 100% of the problem, which is doing less or figuring out how to back out of the stress is really the problem. I think it’s just important for everyone to hear that. If you feel like you’re doing everything; you’ve tried everything, you’re eating as perfectly as you can and it’s not working, it’s like, it’s just not the food.
Melissa Ramos: It’s not. It’s not the food, it’s not that. In the number 2 plan, my digestive program, we actually one of the methods that we use is called the overview method, and I’d love to say I developed it; I didn’t. It was developed by Dr. Nima Rahmany, and it’s incredibly effective. So, I really do suggest that if people are going through that, they have to analyze this from an emotional perspective, and be like, ok, what the heck am I holding on to? And it could be something from a long time ago. I’ve seen people hold onto stuff from when they’re around, usually ages 4 to 8 years old.
Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.
Melissa Ramos: I’ll start to see really, really old patterns that permeate in their adult life that they’re not even aware of.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, that’s really interesting. I think there’s even some stuff around, {laughs} so this is the woo-woo, the chakra balancing and as you move up the spine, which certain points of your spine and your chakras are supposed to correlate to different parts of your youth and developmental ages, and I bet that pretty early foundational set of years, I think that’s right around our low back, where our digestion is sitting. So I’m sure there’s a lot of nerve ties to that, where, if you’ve got stress issues, or trauma that happened at a very young age, it’s annoying because we’re so aware of what we’re doing, and we’re eating perfectly, and we’re doing all this stuff, but there’s work that has to be done that’s totally different and separate from diet.
Melissa Ramos: 1000%. And that’s the hardest part for a lot of people, too, because it’s facing something that is so old.
Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.
Melissa Ramos: But once you actually clear that, you end up, it’s going to sound crazy, but you end up coming to a place of gratitude for really big struggles. I’ve seen people come to a place of gratitude for really, really tough times, and their bowels move. And to me, that’s true gratitude versus having empty gratitude where we’re forcing ourselves to be thankful for things every single day that really hold no weight.
5. IBS with diarrhea [30:59]
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s so interesting. Ok, so we have another question, and this kind of ties your two passions together, hormones and poop. {laughs} So, Jessica says, “I’ve had IBSD,” so that’s diarrhea, “issues for years, and found some relief switching to a paleo/real food diet. However, there are still some periods of time when even when I’m eating squeaky clean, I deal with less than ideal pooping situations, and nothing I do seems to work. I’ve even tried autoimmune protocol, no FODMAPs for 30 days, to no avail. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve been dealing with out of whack hormones. How much does hormone imbalance have to do with digestive/poop issues? Thanks.”
Melissa Ramos: Huge. Huge, huge, huge. And it’s interesting, because we have estrogen and progesterone actually play a role in regulating our bowel movements, big time. But the other thing is, is what I see more often than not is the adrenal component. So the stress component is always a big one, again, because if you’re under a heightened amount of stress. And sometimes, I’ll ask people, hey, are you stressed? And they’re like, nope I’m fine. I’m fine. {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: And it’s funny because in Chinese medicine, we say that kind of voice is like chopping wood.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Melissa Ramos: Because it’s very staccato almost, how it would be in music.
Diane Sanfilippo: Huh.
Melissa Ramos: And, when you see someone that’s like that, they’re tightly wound. There also could be chronic stress that someone is just subconsciously so used to, that they’re so used to they don’t even imagine. But the adrenal factor behind it; if you’re under a chronic state of stress for a long period of time, your stress hormones will end up competing with your sex hormones. And that becomes a huge issue, because your sex hormones, like a lot of people thing like estrogen and progesterone, they think menstruation and your monthly cycle, but it really does stretch beyond that, because they do actually have a function with your bowel movements.
Some people go, oh, ok, maybe I need to do an estrogen detox, or maybe I need to take progesterone cream. It’s like, ok, before doing any of that, really evaluate the adrenal component, because 9 times out of 10 when I see people with bowel issues, there’s always an adrenal component that’s underlying. Because I’ll have people go, oh my thyroid is out of whack. I’m like, great, but it’s not your thyroid, it’s your adrenal. That’s usually where it starts from. So I would imagine if she’s having really loose bowel movements from a woo-woo perspective, you’re unable to digest something, right? And a lot of it could be, there’s a lot of stress happening there and that could be promoting the loose bowel movements. Especially if you’ve already looked at the foods that you’re intolerant to, if you’d gone about even looking for an IgG test, which test for a delayed response, you can get that test through a naturopathic doctor, and they can order that test for you. I’d suggest that, because that could produce loose bowel movements, for sure.
I also would be really cautious over certain types of foods that are too cooling, as we would say in Chinese medicine. Because people who end up having raw food; I know the raw foodists are going to start throwing raw foods at me after this episode. {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Broccoli coming at you.
Melissa Ramos: I know, and it will be flying at me as I’m going to the bank, or something. But, those raw foods, they have a cold thermal property. And you try to give that to somebody with an already weak digestive system, it’s going to go right through them. And I always say to people, warm up your diet. If you’ve got loose bowel movements, warm up that diet. Any Chinese medical practitioner would tell you that. So one of the things I love to do is, I’ll go to the market, I’ll get some organic ginger, I come home, and I put it in my juicer, and I’ll make a small mason jar full of that, and that becomes this uber concentrated form of ginger that you could just have 3 tablespoons of that in a cup of water and you have instant hot tea.
But that would be something that sounds so basic, but can do a world of good. If she doesn’t have a juicer, she can just put a 3 inch knob of ginger in a high powered blender, put some water, blend that stuff on high and then just boil it and drink that periodically throughout the day. I would guarantee that’s probably going to do a huge world of good.
6. Frequency/transit time [35:29]
Diane Sanfilippo: Love that. Ok, so we have a bunch of questions from Instagram, and some of these are pretty similar, so I’m trying to group some of them together here. We have a couple of questions on frequency.
Melissa Ramos: Ok.
Diane Sanfilippo: So, from Tide and Honey, and Shakehats. One is, “Used to poop 4 to 6 times a day as a vegetarian, and now that I’m paleo it’s only once a day. Does this mean I’m not getting enough fiber, or is this all this meat slowing my transit time?” The other one is, “My problem has been better since paleo, but I still only go 4 to 5 times a week and there are times it’s hard, thick, and painful to pass.”
Melissa Ramos: Mm-hmm.
Diane Sanfilippo: What are the reasons.
Melissa Ramos: Well, I think a lot of it could be how you’re actually digesting the foods. This is something I hear really frequently with people who go paleo. My diet, I would say is paleoish. It’s just what works for me, it’s more of a paleo type diet, so I do like it. But what I would suggest, when people go on it they’ll so, oh I’m getting constipated, it must be all this meat I’m eating! And I’m like, I don’t think it’s the meat that you’re eating, I think it’s the lack of the ability to digest that meat. One thing you have to be aware of, your enzyme that digests meat, which is protease, has to be turned on with stomach acid. Without stomach acid, you can’t turn on the enzyme that digests protein.
So, after the age of 30, your stomach acid begins to decline. And when we’re under a period of stress, our stomach acid pretty much shuts down. So if you’re eating protein, and you’re not really used to eating maybe this much protein because you were a vegetarian before, and you are in your mid 30s or in your 40s, and you’re having issues, I would suggest taking an enzyme that has HCl in it, also known as Betaine, and that will actually help to activate protease to help you digest that protein. So that would definitely be the first thing I would suggest. And usually, when people start to take an enzyme like that, things start to move along a lot easier.
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7. Dealing with no longer having a gallbladder [38:26]
Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. So, let’s see. I had a bunch here about gallbladder issues, folks who don’t have a gallbladder.
Melissa Ramos: Big one.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yep. So, this is from Full Time Family and also Altheamara, I just like to call out names just because. Especially about poop! No. Just giving a little shout out. One says, “I’d love suggestions on dealing with bile salt issues post gallbladder removal,” and one is “best advice for optimal evacuation if you no longer have a gallbladder.”
Melissa Ramos: Yeah. I was actually, Diane I’m telling you, I was totally stunned when talking to people right before my program had launched. I said, how many of you guys have had gallbladder issues, because I keep seeing it pop up.
Diane Sanfilippo: Right.
Melissa Ramos: It’s overwhelming! It’s massive, and I was just sort of floored by how many people the program gravitated to had had it removed. And the one thing I always hear is, I eat food and stuff just goes right through me. Because you don’t have that ability to digest fats, which is super dangerous because you need fats in your world, for your brain, and obviously you know that, and anti-inflammatory response; the whole 9 yards. One thing I definitely would suggest is taking a supplement that has bile salts in it is a must because it helps to digest your fats. That’s one area that I suggest to people.
You can take, as I suggested before, an enzyme that has HCl in it because that is also super important. Or you can take a bitters tincture. A bitters tincture is essentially this liquid in a bottle, and it’s got a combination of different herbs in it that help your body to naturally produce stomach acid. And it also helps to activate your liver response, as well, both of which are really important. And even from a food supplement perspective, adding in lecithin, I always suggest people to add in sunflower lecithin, because soy is just, well, caca for a lack of better word. But sunflower lecithin actually gives your body the ability to digest fats, and that’s where we’re really wanting to address with anybody who has had their gallbladder removed is, how do we digest those fats better? And sunflower lecithin contains 35% more choline in it than soy does, soy lecithin. So you can get it in gel caps, you can get it in powder form. Not the tastiest stuff in the world, I’ll say that, but a little bit of it can go a long way.
Actually, it’s funny because when I was developing my digestive program, what I noticed was, I’m like, ok I want to put together a supplement protocol, but I can’t give one protocol to someone who’s got their gallbladder removed, and then the same thing for someone who’s got chronic constipation. So there’s actually an assessment form so you can figure out which protocol is right for you, and then you essentially take that supplement protocol. And of course I’m there to kind of finesse it along the way, but there is actually one specifically for the gallbladder.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s awesome. So, for folks who are listening, this is especially important if you can’t eat eggs, because eggs are one of the best sources of lecithin, egg yolk specifically.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: That we normally get in our diet, so if you can’t eat eggs, and I have some friends who can’t eat eggs, getting that supplemental lecithin can really be helpful, especially if you have some gallbladder issues. I know, gallbladder issues absolutely run in my family. My grandmother on my mom’s side does not have one anymore, and my dad actually doesn’t have his anymore, so it’s on both sides of my family, and in the last couple of years I’ve actually had what I’m identifying as gallbladder attacks after, it’s not even a fatty meal, but just a super excessively high amount of fat in a sitting, and it’s extreme nausea.
Melissa Ramos: Wow.
Diane Sanfilippo: And I’m not, I don’t actually feel that I’m going to vomit, because I’m somebody who, my whole life, my system is very quick to just vomit if something doesn’t work for me.
Melissa Ramos: Oh really?
Diane Sanfilippo: Through college, if I was …
Melissa Ramos: Were you a puker, Diane?
Diane Sanfilippo: If I, I’d be hung over in college, and the next morning I would vomit and nothing would come out, it was just my body wanted to vomit, like get something out. But the gallbladder attacks, it’s not painful, it’s just extreme nausea and I have to lie down and tap out. It’s so weird, it’s happened to me 3 times in maybe the last 2 years, and the last 2 were kind of closer together, and I was like, I really need to pay attention to this, and probably need to be taking some digestive enzyme at least now and then when I think I’m eating a meal that’s a little bit fattier. I think I ended up taking too much after it happened, because I was like, ok, this feels like a lot of acid.
Melissa Ramos: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: It was making a lot of noise, digesting what was sitting there. {laughs} It was hilarious.
Melissa Ramos: Totally. And it’s interesting because even when I see people who’ve got, I always ask women, are you easily startled. If someone comes up behind you and you’re easily startled, or if someone is putting the dishes away in the sink, does the noise of that
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}
Melissa Ramos: You know, hurt, where you’re like, for the love of god can you, you know?
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Melissa Ramos: Be a little bit more gentle. That’s all signs of a fried nervous system.
Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.
Melissa Ramos: And I know when I start to feel that way and start to get super irritable that way, I’m like, ok I need to seriously, A, calm my sympathetic nervous system down, and B, add lecithin. Because lecithin really does help to coat those nerves. I always think of my nerves as a wire.
Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.
Melissa Ramos: And if they’re fried, its’ like a live wire. You have to coat it so that you’re not getting that stress response, either. So that definitely, I find that happens a lot with people with gallbladder removals, as well.
Diane Sanfilippo: So interesting. I love it. So many good questions in here. Oh, and I wanted to shout out, it was Sarah Loves Veggies was the one who said, “After listening to the Balanced Bites podcast for a while, I realized my chronic constipation was due to not allowing myself to get into rest and digest mode and not chewing my food thoroughly enough. So simple, but I tried a million things to get going, and chewing and relaxing during each meal is the only thing that has worked. It sounds silly, but it made a huge difference.” And she wanted to hear a discussion about it, which we already did, but I was just glad that I found her comment in there.
Melissa Ramos: Yay!
Diane Sanfilippo: So for anyone listening who thinks it’s not that important. It certainly is.
Melissa Ramos: Oh gosh.
8. Skinny poop [45:01]
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so we’ve got some other good ones here. This is from The Glowing Clean Girl; what if your poop is not quite diarrhea, but is often skinny, lacking in bulk. I eat well, avoid gluten, most grains, sugar, and most dairy apart from some yogurt and kefir. I can’t seem to figure out what it is.”
Melissa Ramos: Mmm. That’s a big one. When you’ve got little, pencil thin poops.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: {laughs} Pencil thin poops, and sometimes they look like toothpaste. Yeah, I get kind of grody when I talk about it, but it’s so common and when we’re having that, the first thing you have to think about, there is stress happening in the bowels because your bowels are constricting. Hands down. Because they’re tightening up, and when they’re tightening up and your poop is trying to move through, your colon is essentially squeezing your poop so that it’s forming that shape. So there is a level of stress that is happening in the bowels for that to be happening.
So, number one, I would suggest magnesium if she’s not taking it already, because that would at least help to relax it a bit more. And also make sure she’s having enough water intake, because if you don’t have enough water then your stress response obviously goes up. But the number one thing I would say is magnesium for sure. And then go into those lifestyle techniques that we had spoken about. Huge, because if you don’t and you’re taking magnesium still, and it’s still not allowing your poops to be well formed poops, and your poop is really the consistency, I always say, they need to look more like a dog’s tail. {laughs} Rather than a baby’s arm, which is kind of hard and bumpy.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}
Melissa Ramos: You know what I’m talking about, right?
Diane Sanfilippo: I’m picturing the little Gerber, Michelin baby whatever with the bumpy, I call them dinner rolls. I always think baby’s arms and legs look like dinner rolls. You know, because at least here in the States, there’s these pack of dinner rolls that are stuck together, you’re supposed to pull them apart.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah, yes!
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} I just think they look like dinner rolls.
Melissa Ramos: It’s true, and your bowels are forming to the shape of your intestine, as your colon. And you have to really think of it that way. So if you’re having these skinny little poops, your bowels are stressed. And it’s essentially constricting.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s so interesting. And that’s not, it’s not just a result of how your, at fully eliminating, it’s not just a result of maybe the sphincter doing something, right?
Melissa Ramos: Nuh-huh. No.
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s coming out, you’re eliminating it, it’s already formed based on your colon, essentially, and your large intestine.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Melissa Ramos: Its’ really how your colon is formed, and if you look at an anatomy book and you see a picture of the large intestine, we all have this assumption that all of our intestines look like that, and it’s not the case.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: It’s really not.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yep.
Melissa Ramos: You have to think of it that way; there’s no way. Some of us may have our large intestine where a part of it is thinner, some of it might be larger that balloons out in some parts. The ideal is, incorporate the lifestyle. If you’re getting the skinny poops, definitely like I said, lifestyle techniques and the magnesium would be my recommendations for sure.
9. Pooping routine [48:22]
Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. Ok, so here’s one from Cats and Crossfit. “This poop-like routine. I find if I stray from my normal routine of gym, probiotic, coffee with collagen, I don’t go that whole day.”
Melissa Ramos: Yeah. A lot of it, you know, I know that there’s a big bulletproof coffee thing, I’m not a huge fan.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} That was the number one thing Liz and I said on our previous podcast, which was our ask us anything, that was our paleo craze we’re so over.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: That was the one we were so over.
Melissa Ramos: I would actually agree with that. You know what, my family is Brazilian background, so that stuff should be shooting through my veins. {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: But, it just doesn’t like me. It’s very stressful on the system. To answer her question, I know if she strays from her routine she doesn’t go. You know, if that’s working for your system, then I would probably suggest trying to keep on it. But, if you’re sort of straying from that, your bowels are clearly becoming dependent on this sort of formulation that you’re doing that I think it probably needs; my wonder is, are you’re bowels dependent on the coffee? Is that really what’s helping it move along, so that when you forget the probiotics, and forget some of the other stuff that she’s taking. She’s saying a part of her routine is, there’s coffee in there. If she takes out the coffee, then she doesn’t go.
Diane Sanfilippo: Right.
Melissa Ramos: So I’m wondering, is it the coffee that’s creating the regularity, because we know that coffee is a laxative.
Diane Sanfilippo: Or, and sometimes the gym, just that movement.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah!
Diane Sanfilippo: Like, physical movement leading to bowel movements or potentially the stress response leading to the bowel movement, too.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah. If I were her, I would test it out. Do what she’s doing, say she does everything and then takes out the coffee. Then see if she’s actually going to the bathroom. If she doesn’t go to the bathroom, then she knows the reason why she’s going to the bathroom is because the coffee is there.
Diane Sanfilippo: Right.
Melissa Ramos: So I would actually test it out to see what the bowels are loving, and if it’s the coffee, then you’re like, oh, that’s not really a healthy …
Diane Sanfilippo: Right.
Melissa Ramos: We should be relying on. Because remember, when you drink coffee, yeah it works out well because you’re going to the bathroom. But coffee also strips out a lot of your friendly bacteria when you evacuate. It strips out a ton of magnesium and also friendly bacteria, so you’ve got to be careful with that.
Diane Sanfilippo: Interesting stuff!
Melissa Ramos: {laughs}
10. Thoughts on coffee enemas [50:54]
Diane Sanfilippo: So, speaking of coffee, we had a couple of questions asking about your thoughts on coffee enemas; one is from Care bear Gorgie. Thoughts on coffee enemas?
Melissa Ramos: Yeah, well I know that a lot of people do coffee enemas, and people say that it’s great for your liver. I’m undecided about it to be completely honest. I don’t know if there’s enough research behind it to completely validate it. Myself personally, I really do like colonics. I did colonics when I had digestive issues, and I had a series of them. Every single year, I’ll probably do between 2 and 4 every year around the spring time to kind of get things cleaned up. But, from a coffee enema perspective, I just don’t know that there’s enough research to substantiate that they actually are doing what they say they do, which for the most part is more activating the liver. I know it’s a huge part of the Gerson therapy; I just, I’m completely undecided about it to be completely honest.
Diane Sanfilippo: And that therapy specifically is typically for cancer.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: So I think that, it may be a little more extreme than most folks need to go.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah, because they’re saying to do it every single day in that protocol.
Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.
Melissa Ramos: And that’s something you would be doing daily in your bathroom; I just don’t know that it’s as effective as people say that it is. So, is it really the coffee that’s effective when you do the enema? Or is it the enema itself? Because there are validities to enemas, for sure, especially if you’ve got a very sluggish bowel; which again, I’d say look at the emotional component if that’s where you’re at, but colonics can certainly help to kick start things into action, for sure.
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11. Holding it in; waiting to go [53:37]
Diane Sanfilippo: So, Emily RocksRoad says, “First, love all the poop puns, this is awesome and I can finally use my poop emoji in context.
Melissa Ramos: {laughs} Nice.
Diane Sanfilippo: Second, my question is on waiting to go. Sometimes I’ll be distracted or super focused when I get the urge to go, and I have no problems waiting for it to pass and just going later. My husband says he can’t wait, and when it’s go time, he needs to go. Is this a classic, everyone’s a unique snowflake? Should I go when my body asks me to? Am I doing bad things by ignoring my signals?” And she says #bathroomhumor #secretly6years old. {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: {laughing} I like this girl already. You know, I honestly believe that when you’ve got to go, you should go. And I know a lot of people have poop phobia, especially us ladies. You go to the bathroom, and you’re just kind of like, for the love of god can that person washing their hands just go already! You know {laughs} because you don’t want to…
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: You don’t want to drop the kids off at the pool while somebody is still there, god forbid they know that you poop! But I do suggest you go when you’ve got to go, and the reason why is, I remember sitting down in class, and a professor of mind did this analogy. And ever since I heard this analogy, I’m like, I have no shame to go. So, what he did is he says, so, you know, you’re meeting somebody, and you stay over their place that first time, you know, that special someone.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh no! {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: And in the morning, you’ve gotta go, and you don’t go because lord you don’t want to stink up the bathroom. And then you hold it in; so what happens is, when you hold in your poop, what he did, he was talking about how you have a lot of blood vessels that really are attached to your digestive system, and when you hold in your poop, they’re essentially sucking in a bunch of the toxicity of this poop that you’re holding in. What does that do? What he did, he was like, and it’s sucking in all that toxicity. And then he had this little rag with him, and he squeezed it into his cup, and he goes, cup of poop anybody?
Because essentially your body is drinking up all that toxicity that’s getting reabsorbed in your system as you hold in that poop. Your body is saying, we’ve got to go! Then go. Go to the bathroom. Don’t hold it in. I know it’s a big phobia for a lot of people, but if you can factor in that, if you don’t let it out, your body is reabsorbing a ton of that toxicity, which is going to affect your emotionally where you might feel irritable and cranky, you might get bloated, you might miss your poop window. I know we’ve all felt that way at one point.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, it’s the worst. {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: Yeah, where you’re like, I held it in and crap, now I can’t go for the whole day! I just missed my poop window. That’s a thing; when you’ve got to go, go otherwise it’s just going to end up; I hate to say infecting your body, but you start to absorb a lot of that toxicity and it’s just not a good idea.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, you have so many good questions here, and we’re definitely coming up on a full hour, I think we might even have gone over an hour. We might need to do another episode one day, because this always happens when we have great topics and people have so, so many questions. Let me just see if I can wrap it up a little bit here. I know, by the way, that was something I used to struggle with a ton when I was eating all kinds of foods that were not working for me, and a lot of urgency, and sometimes I would have to let it pass because I’d be stuck on a bus commuting somewhere, and in so much pain, like that sharp scary pain, of like, “Oh no!”
Melissa Ramos: Yeah!
Diane Sanfilippo: If I even move, something bad is going to happen!
Melissa Ramos: Aww!
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} But I will say, too, that’s one of the big benefits of working for myself and working from home; it’s never an issue because I can just go to the bathroom whenever. But that also actually kind of trained me to easily go whenever I travel. I know a lot of people ask, how do you go to the bathroom when you’re on the road and traveling so much? And because I’m so used to just going to the bathroom when I feel I need to, on an airplane, in an airport, a new hotel, someone’s house, I don’t really care, I’m just like, if I have to go I have to go, this is what my body needs to happen right now. And just wash your hands a few extra times to get more soapy scent in the air {laughs} I don’t know whatever you’ve got to do.
Melissa Ramos: Totally. Well the thing is, when I went to California, I was amazed at how many little bottles of Poo Pourri are in restaurants. I’m like, oh my god.
Diane Sanfilippo: Really?
Melissa Ramos: Oh yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: Were you in San Diego?
Melissa Ramos: I was in San Diego.
Diane Sanfilippo: I feel like it’s a San Diego thing.
Melissa Ramos: Holy hell, there was Poo Pourri in every single…
Diane Sanfilippo: Is that the stuff that you spray on the water first?
Melissa Ramos: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: And then it’s supposed to form a seal over the water. {laughs}
Melissa Ramos: I am telling you, it works.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s amazing.
Melissa Ramos: It works so well.
Diane Sanfilippo: We’ll have to link to them.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah, if you’ve got public poop phobia, I would say get yourself a bottle of Poo Pourri. These guys should be sponsoring me, because I’m always talking about their Poo Pourri products. I’m telling you, it’s something that, you feel like you’ve got to go; this is more of a ladies issue than I think it’s a guy issue. Just go, otherwise you’re drinking liquid poop for the most part.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ugh, that’s so brutal.
Melissa Ramos: {laughs}
12. That time of the month and diarrhea [58:52]
Diane Sanfilippo: So this has been really great! I think we covered most of the questions. There were a couple more about hormones and time of the month and having diarrhea right around that time of the month. I know we talked a little bit about just the stress response and things that happen with hormones. Is there anything specific that women should know about why some women get; this actually happens to me too, pretty much once right around when my period hits, I just, I go to the bathroom, I’m like, well I guess I’m getting my period today because it’s just different than it normally is. Do you have information on what causes that, if there’s anything we should do about it, or it is what it is?
Melissa Ramos: Yeah, no, I think the reason why it happens is, if you think about your liver, which sometimes people kind of separate from digestion, but the liver is a part of your digestive system. During that time of the month, when you’re approaching that time of the month, your hormones are just raging in your system, that your liver, which has over 560 functions, is taking on so much more at that time. And because it’s taking on so much more, it’s bombarded. And when it does that, you end up having a lot of loose bowel movements.
So what I always say to people is, whatever your period is like; some people are like, ugh my period is terrible! I’m like, that’s kind of a reflection of the month or two prior, so if you’re somebody who your bowels react around the time of your period, what I would suggest is make sure you’re doing some liver support prior, about a month prior. And not even detoxification; I’m just talking about liver support, which you can do with some bitters. I also offer, there’s one set of bitters that you can get that I really love. It is a Canadian company, but I think you can get it on, is it, or Anyway, if you actually, in my program I’ve got an order form for that. But it’s called HepatoDR, and it’s from a company called St. Francis. It’s a really great liver supportive bitters tincture, and I always say to people, do that about a month before, and you’ll find that around the time of your period you’re not going to get those loose bowel movements that end up happening. It really is more because your liver is bombarded at that time.
Diane Sanfilippo: So interesting. I love that.
Melissa Ramos: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: So what else do you want to you want to tell folks? I know you have kind of been talking a lot about this stuff along the lines of poop for many, many years, but only recently finally created a program. I know many of us, we create online programs because we absolutely can’t, we can’t even reach everyone we want to help with one on one time, and there’s so much work that can done, and actually for a lot less money on their part, which I love that because it would cost somebody thousands of dollars. It’s almost more stressful to do it by yourself than if you have a community that’s like, I need help with my poop too! It’s so much more fun that way.
But, why don’t you tell people about what the Number 2 program is, because I love that, and I love the name of it. I’m so excited about this.
Melissa Ramos: Which is funny, because a lot of people are like, what is the number 2, why do you call it the number 2. Because when you go to the bathroom, you have a number 2.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah! Number 1 or Number 2! I mean, come on.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah! {laughs} So I created the Number 2 Plan, and there is a lot that is actually a part of it. I wanted to create something, as you mentioned, because some people can’t afford to see me in private practice, especially if you’re doing that one on one time. But, this program allows that with a lot of group support. So there is an excellent recipe book that is definitely more along the lines of a paleoish type recipe book for sure, because I do find that approach really helpful. And the reason I say paleoish is because there is a grain in that recipe book, but it’s a gluten free grain that we use a lot in Chinese medicine to remove dampness. And in fact, it’s used in a lot of tears, and it’s called Job’s Tears. Job’s Tears is amazing for Candida, damp type conditions, so really, really excellent gluten free grain. But you have it in moderation, obviously.
So there’s a great recipe book, as I mentioned to you there’s an assessment form where people can take it to find out which supplement protocol is the one that they should be taking. Then in addition to that, I’ve provided lifestyle techniques from a meditation recording, a yoga nidra recording, which I swear by, I do it every single day, I’m absolutely addicted to it, it’s helped me so much. Diane, I could even send it to you, because it’s great.
Diane Sanfilippo: I have to do that.
Melissa Ramos: It’s so great. I also have an emotional expert who I’ve interviewed. The best part of this program that I really dig is we have a private Facebook group for those people who purchase the program, and that’s where we really provide people with a lot of group support. My emotional expert, Dr. Nima Rahmany, who developed the overview method, really does help people within that group as well. I really like it because you can get the Number 2 Plan, get it at the price that it’s at, or you have the option to upgrade to get 3 one on one consultations with me as well over Skype at a major reduced rate than what I would normally charge on my site.
So there’s a lot of options there, but it’s a really excellent program that combines a lot from every single aspect that I could humanly think of that I’ve put together in one plan. And there’s cooking tutorial videos, because I wanted people to look at the recipes, and have fun, and change it to suit your needs, because everyone is going to be different.
Diane Sanfilippo: And you’re cooking in them?
Melissa Ramos: Oh yeah. {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s worth whatever you’re going to do, because just watching you on videos will probably make people be parasympathetic because it’s just fun. I just love watching you on video. So, Melissa has a discount code, of course, because if I’m going to invite somebody on the podcast, which I love to do and just have them answer your questions, but I’m also like, you need to give our people an awesome deal.
Melissa Ramos: Totally.
Diane Sanfilippo: So, BALANCEDPOOPS, I love that, is a code, and that will get you $100 off her program, which is like a 30% discount, so that’s huge. Where can they go to find out more about the program?
Melissa Ramos: They can go on my shop page. It’s, so easy enough. And when you go on my shop page, you’ll actually see quite a few different programs, but my Number 2 Plan will be one of them that you see, and you just enter in the coupon code, so BALANCEDPOOPS with an S at the end of it, and you’ll end up receiving $100 off. The regular price of it is $297, so you’ll end up getting it for $197, which is an amazing deal.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Melissa Ramos: Honestly, even when I priced it, I was like, holy hell I should have priced this out to be $497, because you’re getting so much in this program, and one of the things that I pride myself on with any of my programs, because I really do, I love up on my tribe so much and in this group I always say to people, if you do the assessment and you’re confused, and go, I don’t know, should I be taking this assessment, and you’re confused, I always recommend people email me and let me know if you’re confused. My response rate is 24 hours, and I’ll get back to you and really help you understand what directions you should go with. It’s not like you buy a program, and hey, see you later! Like, you’re off.
Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Melissa Ramos: On your own; not like that at all.
Diane Sanfilippo: I love it. It’s just the thing I love about online programs is that we’re able to give people support and as much knowledge as we have in one place. It’s something that people can come back to too; what if you’re having one issue now, and in a year you’re having a different issue. You’ve learned so many things that you can figure out how to get through it, and it’s less expensive than one session would be talking to somebody.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: I love things like this, because even with, for example Practical Paleo, people can buy the book from anywhere from $25 to $40, and help themselves and it’s the same kind of thing because it’s even taking it further because you get a community and access to you to help them out. I know we’ve had a bunch of programs that we’ve talked about here on the show, whether it’s an adrenal program or a Candida program, and people really do great with them. So if you’re listening and you’re rolling your eyes, another program! Don’t feel that way at all. I think that honestly, this is the best way for people like us, and practitioners who are working, to just help more people. It truly is more effective than one on one consulting that’s just going to be so cost prohibitive for so many people. It’s fun for us to be able to put our information into these different formats.
I love it, I’m excited for you, I think it’s a great program and I’m excited to hear the response that people have. If you’re one of our listeners, and you get into and do the Number 2 Plan, definitely come tell us about it. Come leave a comment on this episode, shoot me a note on Instagram, go follow Melissa on Instagram @SexyFoodTherapy, that’s her account. She always posts lots of insightful nutritional wisdom tips and all that good stuff. But yeah, I’m excited, I think it’s going to be great, and I can’t hear how people get pooping after the program!
Melissa Ramos: {laughs} Me too, me too, absolutely.
Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. So I know is another place where people can go to just kind of check things out and find out about the community, so you guys can all check that out. I think that’s pretty much it; anything else you want to tell folks before we wrap up?
Melissa Ramos: No, I think that’s it. I think we covered a ton. I’m excited. I’m happy that people really dug the topic. It obviously is a topic that people are super curious hearing about, and there’s just so many things that you guys can do. So if you feel really hopeless with your bowels, and you’re like, man I’ve tried everything. Know that there’s hope, and there are ways you can sort of get around it. Keep searching for the answers, and you will get there. You just need a little bit of help, and help is there.
Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. You guys can follow Melissa again over on Instagram, send her a little note, be like, I heard you on the podcast.
Melissa Ramos: Say hey!
Diane Sanfilippo: Say hey! I think when we post up the episode on Facebook, I’ll definitely tag her page. It’s just your name, right, over on Facebook?
Melissa Ramos: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: So you guys can follow her there and just let her know you found out about her on the podcast, and that’s going to be a great way for you guys to get more information. Alright, that’s it for this week. You can find me, Diane, at, which will be a whole new website really soon! Don’t forget you can find Liz at You can find out more about Melissa at Don’t forget to join our email lists for goodies and updates you don’t find anywhere else on our websites or on the podcast. You won’t even see all of them on Facebook or Instagram, so there’s lots of stuff we’re able to share only in email, so don’t forget about that. And, while you’re on the internet, please leave us a review in iTunes. We’ll see you next week.

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