I'm so glad I stumbled on Giulia Enders' book, 'Gut', on my way back to New York from Sydney. A 30 hour-flight can be very daunting and it's safe to say that her book has helped me become less stressed just by making me more aware of my own gut. The book talks about all things gut related, you'll be surprised just by how many things in our lives are influenced by our stomachs.
She has a warm and straight-forward prose style, making the topic extremely approachable and engaging. There are so many fascinating facts that have made me become more aware of what I put into my body, resulting in a mindful eating/snacking.
When I was flying from New York to Thailand I was telling my boyfriend that I've never baked brownies 30,000 feet above ground. Nope, I've never used the plane's loo for no. 2. The idea of keeping the next person waiting is just too embarrassing. In fact, I'm not a public pooper, period.
On that flight I was reading Enders' book chapter 'Constipation'. She talks about when we travel, we have a lot on our minds, such as trying to remember whether we locked the front door or where we put our passport. We eat foreign things at foreign times and we are constantly confronted by public toilets, all of which can be very stressful for us and our digestive system.
She notes that many of us fail to listen to our internal systems, often putting off going to the bathroom due to, what Enders calls, 'not my loo syndrome', of which I am definitely a sufferer. But, after reading how essential it is that we respect our internal systems and armed with some of Enders' little tricks for constipation I was able to pop my airplane bathroom cherry. In particular, she recommends one move for getting things going.
Here's a little snippet of the book talking about 'the move':
'Those with a taste for the unusual might want to try the rocking squat technique: sitting on the toilet, bend your upper body forward as far as possible towards your thighs, then straighten up to the sitting position again. Repeat this a few times, and it should begin to work. No one watches you while you are on the toilet, and you have a moment of free time, so what could be a better opportunity for an unusual experiment?'
Illustration by Jill Enders