Constipated? Avoid These Foods
By Danielle Svetcov
I'm already preparing for the day my daughter is old enough to ask me why (in God's name) I wrote a cookbook entitled The Un-Constipated Gourmet: Secrets to a Moveable Feast - 125 Recipes for the Regularity Challenged. I've got a three-part reply all set to go.
Answer #1. "Because when Mommy had her first emergency colonoscopy (at age 21) her perspective on food shifted dramatically; she never trusted a bowl of pasta or a bagel again."
Answer #2. "Because when I looked into my crystal ball/bowl of garlic lentil walnut soup, I saw the future, and it was gourmet, real-food substitutes for fiber pills and laxatives."
Answer #3. "Because I wanted to remind folks that being human is hard...but it's also very funny. Constipation is nothing if not daily domestic tragicomedy."
There's one more reason I wrote this book -- one that probably won't interest my kid -- that might interest readers of The Checkup:
Answer #4. "If we set aside all the irritatingly regular folk, many of whom are gloating relatives of mine, who pretend to be totally mystified by the utility of my book, we are left with a vast majority who are secretly thrilled (or not so secretly, in the case of those who've emailed me with exclamation marks in abundance) by the idea of finding and sharing gourmet cures for stuck guts."
Iowa farmers swear by rhubarb. French moms swear by chard. Turks swear by baba ganoush. And Hungarians swear by cigarettes (which I can't, of course, endorse -- and neither should you). Certainly my findings aren't scientific, so swallow them with whatever pill you like -- just not Ex-Lax.
In short, I've written a book about a daily preoccupation. I can't say it any better than I did in the book: "We're a population divided into have and have-nots. Have used the facilities today and have not. The haves know who they are. They can eat nothing but potatoes and biscuits for a week and still whistle en route to the potty. The have-nots are a more downbeat crowd. They tap their feet at meetings. They spend time lurking near bathrooms, mouthing silent prayers, but never actually entering. We are the butt of jokes, literally."
Now, some will say that all these reasons of mine don't amount to a hill of beans (very good for a corked gut, btw) because gourmet food and its culminating form should not, under any circumstances, share the printed page. Obviously, I disagree. I disagree on behalf of the approximately 2.5 million of us who visit a doctor each year for issues surrounding regularity. I also disagree on behalf of all those not accounted for who simply choose to tough it out.
Guest-blogging today gives me a chance to make my case AND hear what you are thinking. So, what are you thinking about all this? Any secret recipe to share?
Before you jump in, let me share a page from the book that might further stir the pot. These are foods to avoid eating in massive quantities (a.k.a. "The Ten Plagues of the Gut"). If you happen to be a person who finds herself/himself pacing in front of the loo, but rarely entering, take heed.
White flour biscuits
Danielle Svetcov, a writer and literary agent living in San Francisco, is the author of The Un-Constipated Gourmet: Secrets to a Moveable Feast - 125 Recipes for the Regularity Challenged, which is featured in this week's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column.
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