I have had experience with persistent stomach issues and have investigated ways to pump up my diet with healthy fiber to help with the issues I experience.
Constipation is defined as 'no more than 2 successful bowel movements a week'. Personally, my acceptable number is different than others, t so I think that once again, you need to define what’s normal and acceptable for you.
Fiber is critical for a good and productive digestive system. The average American does not take in half of the recommended amount of fiber in their daily diet. I was prescribed Polyethylene Glycol (Miralax) by a physician to help with this process. The Food and Drug Administration has made several prescribed oral solution laxatives 'over the counter' now. Miralax works for a lot of people. Some products like fiber pills or chewable fiber can actually give you gas. Experiment and evaluate.
Try to get fiber from healthy calorie foods; like plant foods, whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits and nuts. You can try probiotic boosted yogurt such as Activia or Yo-Plus, but they are not a panacea. Try different ones available and see if they bring you relief.
Some other 'movers' are wheat bran, phsyllium, prunes, coffee and beans (really high in fiber. If you use canned beans, choose low-salt varieties and wash them before eating to lower gaseous side effects).
I've listed below the top two fiber-rich foods from several categories in the Nutrition Action Health:
1. Blackberries- 8 grams per 1 cup
2. Pear- 5 grams per pear
1. Peas- 5 grams per 1/2 cup
2. Sweet Potato- baked with skin- 4 grams per potato
Grains and Pasta-
1. Bulgur- 6 grams per 3/4 cup
2. Whole wheat pasta- 6 grams per 1 cup
1. Almonds- 4 grams for 24 nuts
2. Peanuts- 2 grams per 28 nuts
1. Black beans- 8 grams for 1/2 cup
2. Kidney- 7 grams per 1/2 cup
1. Oat bran- 6 grams for 1 cup cooked
2. Cream of Wheat- 5 grams for 1 cup cooked
1. Kellogg's All Bran- 10 grams for 1/2 cup
2. Post shredded wheat bran- 8 grams for 1 1/4 cups
Be sure to add these to your diet in stages, which will help your stomach to acclimate to the change with fewer side effects.
Recumbent Bike- 30 minutes
Strength training- back/biceps DVD- 45 minutes
Thursday 10/27/11-Food Diary:
1 cup egg whites, 1/2 cup onions, handful organic spinach (135 cal)
Whole wheat, low- calorie, english muffin (100 cal)
1/2 banana(45 cal)
protein shake (125 cal)
2 3/8 oz. Mahi mahi(60 cal)
Salad- spinach, 1/2 tomato, 1/2 red pepper, green beans (60 cal)
whole wheat, low-carb tortilla, 2 tbls hummus (200 cal)
4 oz lean beef filet (290 cal)
1/3 cup brown rice, craisons, basil, sliced almonds (200 cal)
12 small asparagus spears(40 cal)
1/2 cup no-fat cottage cheese, 1/4 cup non-fat yogurt, berries (140 cal)
TOTAL CALORIES- 1681