Thursday, January 18, 2007

Pooping in the blogoshpere

I hope you all are doing well, and thanks for all the support yesterday with my Skull and Crossbones dilemma. I am so much looking forward to going to the brunch now that I've resolved (with your help) my ambivalent feelings about what's "okay" for me to do, and confronted and (I think) disarmed my guilt reflex in advance. It takes time to make peace with food and all the emotional baggage attached to it. But I've never had it as easy as I do now. I hope it's not too sappy to say--especially for a man (but then I am a very sensitive type of man, after all)--but it feels like an emotional and physical healing is taking place, and you are all part of this effective treatment, so thanks for being there!

By the way, I find it interesting to note that it seems most of the blogs, and most of the comments on my blog, are created by women. Where are the men? There is something culturally interesting going on here, that both women and men are doing CR, but the support network seems heavily weighted towards women...this seems a good topic for a future blog. Your thoughts, ladies?

The picture to the right is beautiful psyllium, which in its herbal state, is really quite lovely and delicate in appearance--I think I would welcome it in my herb garden (if I had one)--especially when you consider the rather indelicate function it often serves. Yes, I'm going to talk about poop, here in public. But before you jump to the conclusion that my blog has descended into the e-toilet, let's talk about MegaMuffins, because as you'll see, in the same way MegaMuffins inevitably lead to good poop, MegaMuffin discussions can lead to good poop discussions.

I am flush with the fervor of the recently converted. I'm ready to go tell it on the mountain, to knock on doors, to rouse people from their slumber to let them know about the miracle of the Mighty MegaMuffin.

It's really quite impossible to overstate the allure of the MegaMuffin. It is the ultimate convenience food--so easy, and so satisfying that every time I eat one, I feel like I'm "cheating" (if there is such a thing). MegaMuffins have single-handedly saved my CR program during this hectic first week back to school, just as I was counting on them too. Isn't it great when you open your toolbox and find just the tool you needed for the job, waiting for you? MegaMuffins are like a super-fancy nutrition bar, only I made it myself and I know exactly what's in it and none of the ingredients frighten me (well, okay maybe one or two are sort of creepy). I trust the mighty MegaMuffin. Mighty MegaMuffin--I [heart] you!

I made my inaugural batch last weekend, and I wasn't able to obtain a couple of the ingredients, so it's hard to know if what I produced is like the MegaMuffins others make. But I guess that doesn't really matter--I like them, and on more than a couple occasions they've been the sole barrier between a good CR day and an ad lib disaster.

I see room for improvement though. I think I want to pump up the flavor with more spices. I'm the type who, when making a pumpkin pie, automatically doubles the spices called for in the recipe because I like it spicy and most people are spiceaphobic. And where's the vanilla? Vanilla is a must! I can't believe I didn't think to add some in the first place. And though there is already an entire orange (peel and all) in the recipe, I can't help feeling the flavor could be brightened considerably with the addition of a judicious amount of grated lemon zest! Fresh ginger instead of powdered, and a bit of clove, and I think I'll have a recipe tailored just for me.

And then there are the endless variations: why not some almond extract in one batch, and coconut extract in another? How about some rose water (or maybe even some rose hips--lots of vitamin C in those!) and cardamom, for a little Indian flair? It seems the basic ingredients of the muffin are so mild that almost any flavor profile could work. I'll be turning out another batch this weekend, so I'll post details about any delightful new ideas I come up with.

And now for a little graphic exploration of something very private, so tune out NOW if you are squeamish about discussing our elimination habits. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. But I feel compelled to share this in case anyone else has experienced the same problem as me:

During the first couple weeks of my CR practice, I was finding that I needed to have a bowel movement (sometimes quite urgently) after almost every meal, up to three times a day, and the results were not pleasant: loose and watery. I was consuming vastly greater amounts of dietary fiber than in my prior ad lib diet, but I think perhaps I was missing certain types of fiber for bulking up my stools, with the inevitable watery result, since it seemed there was nothing to bind it all together.

Enter MegaMuffin. I've been eating at least one of them daily, and sometimes two, and I have to tell you, thanks to all the bran and fruit fibers and the psyllium husks, that watery problem is gone without a trace. I've begun having large, firm (but not hard) stools that I'm able to eliminate without any effort and little mess. I'm convinced I was missing important types of bulking fiber, perhaps of the soluble sort. I haven't had bowel movements this healthy and comfortable and clean and effortless in years. So, that's yet another great thing about MegaMuffins: nice poop.

We'll be talking about poop more in the future, I feel confident. I mean, how long can we go on discussing what goes in without at least some mention of what comes out? But for our first poop discussion, was that really so bad?


Calyb said...

Actually, it was a pleasure. Thanks for sharing. I have wanted to share along the same lines, but .... Well I guess that is the upside to having a "man" in the group. You deffinitely have the power and balls to get us talking about the inevitable, not so pleasant side of drastic diet changes.

Your blog is wonderful. I wait patiently every morning, dying to see the next topic. You are a beautifully skilled person! Please keep writing here. Do you ever write for any other purpose. Okay I know signing checks, posted notes, etc...but what about any other?

I would love to read what you've got!

Robin said...

RE: Men you CRON

Have you seen Matt's blog?

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering that same thing myself. In my case, it's more that I would blog about CR if I could stick with it.. every time I start, it seems that there's something else bringing me down. So, I've resolved to not blog about CR if/until I can maintain a CR or CR-like for at least 2 weeks. And maybe there's other males in my same situation. Women perhaps will post even if they fail.. Men, with more ego tied up in things, perhaps will forego blogging unless they succeed.

That's my 2c anyway.
Gregg M.

Emi at Project Swatch said...

Man, I really want to make megamuffins now! And I'm going to spend 11 days traveling at the beginning of February too - bet they'd be helpful then. Unfortunately I have no blender, and no way to get most of the ingredients at the moment. . . I guess they'll have to wait until I get home. But I'm looking foward to making them eventually.

I wonder if the reason for all the female CR bloggers is that most women have more of an emotional history with food/diets than most men. I can't quite articulate why I think that leads to women blogging about CR, but there's a connection somewhere, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...


you know, I do believe you're right, I hadn't thought of that.. it's certainly been true in my experience.
Certainly there's a lot more societal pressure to be thin for women than there ever has been for men. I wonder how many women vs. men go to "weight watchers"? That's a support group. The CR community is something of a support group too (not the same goals, but they're linked, through diet, and "getting thin" probably provides much of the motivation to "stick with it", whatever the other publically stated reasons).. Emotional reasons to counter the deep-seated desire to EAT I would think would often be stronger than intellectual reasons ("I'll live longer and not get sick").. so I can see how that links into blogging about it.

Gregg M.

Deborah said...

You've def. got me convinced that I have to make the Mega Muffins. I'll employ my children for the hard work (teehee) they love to bake and this is one of those all encompassing, take over the kitchen projects. I can just see it now. oh..maybe I I will.

As for digestion (and er..other parts)'s the one ofthe most important systems of our body. Start (putting something in your mouth) to finish (the next days toilette) our digestions takes 35% of our energy.
One reason we get soooo tired after a large meal (like a thanksgiving) is because our digestive systems are overwhelmed. I am getting somewhere. Western society in general has total clogged up our collective digestion with all the food we eat. This S>AD (Standard American Diet) is terrible. Thing MUST keep moving or we end up with bulging bellies, pain, IBS all that other awful stuff. I have a point. It's just taking me a while. What you described sounds like you are doing great!! Have you ever spent time with a baby? They have newly functioning, perfect little formed systems and they poop constantly. In fact, immediately after every meal. Put something in, something's gotta come out. That's a well working digestive system. So kudo's. You're doing a great job. As for all the women..well we love to gab and to read and you have a gift (this is a compliment) I also love reading your posts.

Take care,

Calyb said...


I bounced on and off CR around the holidays. One thing that I have learned is this is not Atkins. LOL! You don't have to stress out about being 100% all the time. This lifestyle (I hate the term diet) is very fleixble. I say blog away. It will be a great reference for you to track your ups and downs. We learn best from our own mistakes. If you read any other blog out there (even April's) you will see that we all have ad lib or blah days. It's also a great way to gain support. Start TYPING!

Anonymous said...


True, true.. I do read many/most of the CR blogs out there, even when I don't have the time/mental energy to comment, so I've seen what you mean.. you're right. Still, the hardest part for me is the tracking and getting over the starting hump (and is where I keep failing when I've tried), which is why I've set that "2 week" rule for myself.. because if I can manage to do it that long, I can do it even longer.. but maybe I should be more relaxed about it. I'll think about it, we'll see :)

Gregg M.

Anonymous said...

I am a dude who digs your blog.

Keep up the good work. :-)

Mike J

Anonymous said...

Hip Hip for all the CRON guys!! I'm so relieved to see that there ARE a few of you out there. Sadly I've found that when I'm talking about nutrition and CROn with most of the guys I know, I'm seen as the food nazi ... They want none of it. ALSO - I loved your maga muffin writing. I plan to make some today. (god I hope I don't botch it ...)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris
I make MegaLeather, which is a dehydrated, jerkey type, megamuffin, developed by Dean Pommerlau, who doesn't eat them any more. Congrats that you make the megamuffins. Seems a bit daunting to me, so I order a big batch from Andrea when I run out.