experimenting with fiber and carbs for constipation

Lovely title right?

We are talking about poo over here today. Hope you guys don’t mind. If you find this to be TMI please skip over and come back tomorrow :) And if you’re looking for the winner of the handful bra giveaway we mention it at the end of this post.

Experimenting with fiber and carb amounts to fix constipation.

fiber and carb experiment for constipation

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In this road trip video we had people comment to us about that they wanted more constipation talk.  We are not shy about this topic. If you followed along with us not only in our gut healing journey, but in our earlier days of blogging we always talked about bowel movements.


Well having regular bowel movements is probably the number reason we changed our diet over 7 years ago to gluten-free. Then we experimented with vegan foods, fermented foods/drinks, raw foods, a mix of raw and vegan cooked foods, and then slowly more towards a paleo-like diet.

Our digestion is much better since taking the time last year to eat more simple and heal our gut.  We have discussed our thoughts on raw foods vs paleo for digestion and supplements we take to help with our health. We know this is just one piece of our health that we still have to keep an eye on due to years of struggling with constipation.

Enjoy our little discussion about constipation and fiber.

As we mention in the video we still go through periods where things “slow down”. And this naturally leads us to do  more research about constipation and why could we still be having problems when we eat a “clean” diet.

Here are some articles we came across that lead us to do this experiment:

6 foods for overcoming constipation

Death by fiber: why high fiber is killing you

Low-fiber diet

Myths and truths about fiber

Why do some experience no constipation on low fiber diets or on liquid diets?

We know from years of personal experiment high fiber does not always equal success in the bathroom.

We thought eating raw vegan foods would cure our constipation as we were eating natural foods in their natural state. But sadly it didn’t.  Did our bowel movements become better when we ate more paleo-like? Yes and no.  One thing we notice within the paleo community is to eat lots and lots of vegetables and many push little to no starches. (Please note we said “many” not everyone as we do know there are paleo people who agree that starches are good. Well good for some people to eat. Same goes for raw vegan foods, some people do fine eating raw fruits and vegetables.)

So what’s the deal?

Everyone handles fiber differently.  Looking back at this past year we already see a pattern that our bodies prefer soluble fiber over insoluble (well so we think). This is one reason we love juicing our veggies, eat white rice and love plantains! Also, this is why we don’t claim to be in any diet mold…no labels. But finding what foods work for us!

Check out this article by Gena for more info on the two fibers.

Like we have mentioned many times before — EXPERIMENT. Find what works for you.

If you suffer from constipation join us on this journey. Here is what we are playing around with:

– high fiber from fruits and veggies

– low fiber from fruit and veggies

– higher carbs from starchy carbs

– lower carbs from starchy carbs

– other things we are watching is our water intake and salt (two things that can affect bowel movements)

how to make baked filled plantains

baked plantains anyone? one of our favorite ways to eat them

Pretty much seeing what types of fiber our bodies like and how much. As well as finding our sweet spot with carbs to help keep us regular, as we already eat plenty of good fats to help.

Fiber is the part of fruits, vegetables and grains not digested by the body. There is soluble and insoluble fiber.  Again everyone handles these types of fiber differently. Some people may experience extreme bloating and smelly farts if they eat too much soluble fiber. Or even from insoluble fiber.

Document all types of fiber you eat and keep track of how you feel. Did you have any success in the bathroom?  Remember, feces are actually made up of bacteria (anywhere from 30%-70%), water, mineral salts and some traces of fat.

You don’t need fiber to go poo.

To us it makes sense. Why would we eat foods full of fiber that are literally just tearing up our insides as it moves through our colon? If you have an inflamed colon from whatever reason (diet, stress, drugs, etc) eating fiber can sometimes make it worse.

As we mentioned we’re looking forward in read more about fiber in the  Fibre Menace book.  If you suffer from any type of digestive issue do your research and experiment on yourself. Take the time to eat more simple meals. Let your body heal. Then over time you can add certain fiber rich foods back.

Learn from us – don’t do extremes. Small changes.

One last thing, there are other factors that can cause constipation like stress, not going when you have the urge, improper alignment (we love our squatty potty), plus other things like medications and all. You have to be a little scientist sometimes to find your root cause and how to fix it.

[Tweet “Struggle with constipation? See what fiber and carbs can do to help #digestion #health”]

Where do you stand on fiber? Do you believe you need fiber to go poo? Does you body prefer raw or cooked foods? Do you notice a difference when you eat insoluble vs soluble fibers?


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And now for the WINNER of our Handful Bra giveaway is:

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Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 9.09.14 AM

Hillary! Congrats sweetie!

And thank you to all those that entered and shared our giveaway!! Thank you!


  1. says

    I am sooo happy you girls posted about this – it’s something that I’ve been experimenting with over the past few months and like yourselves, have still got a way to go. I’ve definitely noticed improvements by lowering (not cutting out) my intake of FODMAP containing veggies, but am still playing around with starchy carbs and how that affects me. Tracking your progress is a great idea too.

    Anyway, I look forward to reading updates! Thanks again for what you do :)
    Cat recently posted..Make Your Own Motivational GraphicMy Profile

  2. says

    I have been struggling with constipation problems for about six months now. Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, soy free, nothing seems to help. After numerous tests and visits to GI doctors, I am so frustrated with a lack of progress. The only thing that I think is left to manipulate is fiber! Thank you for your links to those articles and for sharing your struggle. It really makes me feel better to know that I’m not the only one! I hope we can both find the answer :)
    Kendall recently posted..Then vs. Now: AuthenticityMy Profile

  3. says

    I just stumbled on your blog and I LOVE how this is the first post I see! Thanks for being open and sharing this, I think we have all struggled with it at one point or another. Great to “meet” another blogger! :)

  4. says

    ….because remember, a lot of “fiber foods” are prebiotics. Prebiotics, IF YOU HAVE BAD GUT BACTERIA, simply help to feed that bacteria. This is something that not a lot of people know. Happy un-fiber-ing:)

  5. dahlia says

    I’d just try for the sake of complete experimentation, a week or two with high fiber. Brown rice is okay, roughage like kale, and just try whole wheat bread full of seeds (obviously if you feel sick from anything, stop). The fact is, a lot of the stuff you’re reading I read too, tried it, and it just didn’t ever consistently work. Seedy whole wheat breads, brown rice, roughage, etc., against everything I kind of hoped to find, actually did work. And I felt a lot of relief.

    Also, relying a lot on those magnesium compounds (particularly if you take Magnesium Citrate with any sort of regularity) seems like not the best idea. They’re laxatives after all… better off the natural way.

  6. says

    Yes! You can definitely have too much fiber. Your body can only process so much at a time. You are completely right too with having to experiment. Keeping a journal really does help when you’re having issues or even when your not (so you can look back later to see what you changed). I can’t eat the peel of apples or it wrecks my stomach. Strange, but I love apples and I eat them daily, but I have to peel them. Little changes in the diet really do help.
    Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) recently posted..Sorghum Lentil Stuffed Peppers (and Burgers)My Profile

  7. says

    Wow that is crazy! I went on and read the links you provided in the article and never would have though fiber could do that to you! It’s amazing how one year something is great then the next it’s horrible. Well, not saying fiber is bad but I bet if I told my friends and family this (which I am going to link this article to them email) they would not believe a word of it. Oh and goodness those plantain toppings look good :) Keep up the good work!
    logan @ Flatstomach101 recently posted..Biggest Loser Winner Rachel Frederickson Too Thin? Your Opinions?My Profile

  8. says

    Oh yes. I’ve struggled with both. Too much bowel movement and too little. The key for me is supplements. I also try to get my bulk from potatoes or squash. And always take salt!!

  9. says

    I love how informative this post is! Constipation is something I have struggled with for years, and I’m still trying to figure out what works for me. Unfortunately, gas is something I have struggled with too, and I think that goes hand in hand with the constipation thing. I am currently cutting out dairy and seeing if that might help my problem. I love y’all’s honesty. :)

  10. Kiersten says

    So glad to see from this post and the comments above that I am not alone in my struggles. I’ve had issues with constipation for like 8 years or so now at least and have been to numerous GI doctors and have tried different diets. I’m mostly paleo-ish now (if I had to put a label on it) but I still struggle from time to time (like right now for example :/). I look forward to reading about your progress and I hope you can provide some tips that will help me as well. Thanks ladies!

  11. Bee says

    Have u looked into iodine? Sluggish thyroid can contribute to constipation

    Also, do u think the rice protein might be affecting your transit time?

    Thirdly, regarding ur akin, have u looked into histamine and oxalate foods? Oxalates especially has been linked to leaky gut, skin issues, and inflammation

    Lastly, what is your juice recipe?

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