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Real Talk: How I Tamed My Angry, Upset Stomach

Mariah MacCarthy

Posted on October 31 2016

CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses poop.

For years and years, I had a terribly upset stomach. I got diarrhea every week, sometimes every day. (I did warn you.) It didn’t matter what I did. I tried eliminating gluten, dairy, processed sugar, processed foods, fried food, red meat, and coffee. I tried drinking more water. I tried taking a probiotic every day. I tried acupuncture. I tried meditation. I tried sleeping more. Sometimes, I’d get a brief reprieve and think I’d finally hacked the system; then it would come back for no apparent reason. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t keep my stools solid.

I crapped my pants. More than once. As an adult. As a grown-ass woman who runs her own theater company and has given birth to a human child and knows what kale is, I crapped my pants. Do you have any idea how (pardon the pun) shitty that is? It’s really, really shitty!

Sound gross? It was! It was also exhausting and demoralizing. I felt like I couldn’t be trusted to take care of my body, like I had failed at the most basic possible task. I felt like an idiot. Mostly, I felt gross. I hated getting that rumble in my stomach, whose eventual outcome I already knew. I hated every bit of it.

This year, through pure luck and having a health-conscious best friend, I finally found a combination of steps that got rid of the sludgy beast in my bowels. The three-part process goes like this:

  1. In the mornings, prepare yourself the following drink:

-Two teaspoons of chia seeds, soaked in a glass of water overnight

-One scoop of greens powder, preferably something with the word “probiotic” in the description

-Two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar

Stir. Drink. It tastes weird. The chia seeds are like little tapiocas. But you get used to it, and you’ll basically be carpet-bombing your body with superfood nutrients.

  1. Switch from coffee to tea.This was freakin terrible for me. I love coffee and feel mediocre at best about tea. The way I saw it, coffee was comforting and homey, and tea was something you drink when you’re sick. But iced tea is great in the summertime, and I can have it later in the day without having trouble sleeping that night. I also got really into putting raw honey in my tea, which also has tons of health benefits!
  1. Eat so many vegetables.Like all the time. For at least one meal a day, your plate should be, like, half vegetables. Two thirds is even better!

I still get an upset stomach from time to time, particularly during times of stress, or if I don’t eat my veggies. But I’ve made the first two steps non-negotiable in my morning routine, and it’s made a world of difference. And I haven’t crapped my pants in years! #killingit

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