Keep on going even when you go away.

Ahem, I’m talking poop here.

You know how it is: you eat really well because if you don’t, your constipation kicks in like a naughty snail, and everything slows down.

And you know what to do when things start to feel sluggish:  you eat foods with loads of fibre, you take time to sit on the loo every morning, and you keep a tin of prunes in the cupboard.

 

BUT, sometimes, DAMMIT, you go away for the weekend, or you eat out at a fancy restaurant and BOOM.

Things slow down, swell up and become all pesky before you’ve even had a chance to say ‘bran flakes’.

 

It makes you feel like there’s no point in going out to eat whatsoever.

It turns the idea of a romantic weekend away away into the last thing you want to do before you pop off this planet. If just one weekend (or even just one meal) of pleasure turns into a week of constipation, it’s no wonder that you want to just curl up and hide.

 

There are a few things you can do though to help prevent things from slowing down, and to get them moving again – and it doesn’t just require you to knock back loads of fibogel.

When you are away, you tend to not only EAT the foods which slow things down, but you also change a few other key habits which can really make a difference. Such as:

  1. Not drinking anywhere near enough water. I know that it’s hard when you are out and about, but constipation is a huge sign above your head saying that you are dehydrated. You might find it really easy to drink plenty of water at work, but it’s a whole different ball game at the weekend. When you are busy speeding from here to there, it’s easy to forget to drink. Carry a bottle  around with you so you can sip at your leisure, and before each meal remember to have a big glass of water too. As a bare minimum, that should be enough to keep those water levels topped up. If you are boozing it up, even by just having a glass of wine with your meal, increase your water even more as alcohol is a super-mega-water-sucker.
  2. Chewing less: Whether you are chilling out with your friends, taking tea with Great Auntie Beryl, or snacking on a wedding buffet, chances are you will be talking more than you do at a normal meal. Which means you are also likely to be chewing each mouthful approximately once and then swallowing whole lumps of foods. Give that poor old digestive system a break, and at the very least notice if have actually put teeth marks into the food before it hits your gut.
  3. Physical exercise: Unless you are very determined and brought your trainers with you, a weekend away, or a day in bed with a hangover, doesn’t result in your normal amount of exercise. Yes, you might have been dancing the light fantastic the night before, but cutting your bootcamp, yoga or circuits for even a short time can really hit your gut. It might be a bore, but squeezing in the odd spinal twist when you are away might help a lot!
  4. Stopping for a coffee at every opportunity is something which really makes a relaxing weekend feel even more decadent. Alas, it also puts your bowels on caffeine-deprivation alert when you get home. The sudden drop in the bowel-motivating properties of coffee can really hit hard a day or two later. I’m not saying avoid the coffee, but unless you REALLY REALLY need the caffeine, try a decaf version instead.

Not all of those points will be relevant to you, or relevant for each weekend. But when you think about each time your constipation has kicked in after a weekend away, I’m pretty willing to bet my whole smurf collection* on at least one of those points being a factor.

What do you think? Are there any other really obvious points that I’ve missed?

*alas, I transferred full rights to my Smurf Collection to my kids just yesterday. Sorry.

 

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