The well known phrase “you are what you eat” isn’t entirely accurate. This is because everything you eat doesn’t become “you”. And thank goodness for that!
A lot of what you eat doesn’t make the cut as far as building materials, and it has to be eliminated. If that eliminatory process is hindered in any way, trouble starts brewing fast. Your digestion, assimilation, and elimination is the very foundation of your health. Yet, the elimination factor isn’t talked about nearly enough today. Poo is taboo, and it’s becoming a big problem.
So many chronic illnesses are tied to poor elimination. Obvious things like constipation and hemorrhoids, but also not-so-obvious things like chronic fatigue and cancer. Today we’re covering some of the big issues with conventional methods of poop behavior (this might be the first time that “poop behavior” has been written, by the way), plus one of the most remarkable solutions that’s already helping countless people improve their health. Bobby Edwards is leading the charge in the mission to get folks educated about elimination, and he’s here today to share his family’s story, plus some game-changing insights that can support your health for a lifetime.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- What elimination means on a deeper level.
- Why fats are critical for the “brain” of your cells.
- Why the Squatty Potty was born out of necessity.
- How the human bowel is actually designed to prevent unwarranted pooping.
- Why squatting is the optimal position to completely eliminate waste.
- Why modern day toilets present a host of potential health issues.
- How straining on the toilet can be linked to cardiovascular problems.
- Why there are often books or magazines in modern day bathrooms.
- What hemorrhoids are (and what causes them).
- How your pelvic floor works and what happens during prolapse.
- The shocking rates of diverticulosis and how likely people are to get it.
- How constipation is intimately linked to colon cancer.
- Whether or not adding more fiber will help to improve your health.
- What tends to cause constipation when you travel.
- What safe, smart solution you can use to ensure you’re pooping properly when you’re on the road.
- How your gut bacteria actually changes when you change time zones.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- Onnit.com/Model <== Get your optimal health & performance supplements at 10% off
- Squattypotty.com/model ⇐ Get yours right here at an exclusive 15% off!
- Epigenetics & The Biology Of Belief – With Guest Dr. Bruce Lipton
- Squatty Potty on Shark Tank
- This Unicorn Changed The Way I Poop – You’ve got to see this video!
- How To Move Your DNA – With Guest Katy Bowman
- Gluten-Free Reloaded ⇐ Information about resistant starch on this episode
- Sleep Smarter
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcasts by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
So, have you ever thought about the process of how your food becomes you? How does the stuff that's sitting on your plate, or in your wrapper if you're doing the whole drive-thru diet, but you're looking at that and you're just like, 'At some point, this is going to become me. This food is going to become what I look at in the mirror.'
Very, very interesting to think about, and how food actually becomes- food cells become you cells, but even more we have to realize that not all of that that you put into your body becomes you, right?
There's a process of digestion, of assimilation, and also elimination. We're getting rid of the unused. We're getting rid of the excess. We're getting rid of the things that your body can't process.
And that process can make or break your health in a big way, and this is a process that's very taboo in our culture. Something we don't really talk about, but everybody does it. Everybody poops. Everybody eliminates their waste.
And so why is this something that's not talked about?
Well today we're going to look at how can we actually help the optimization of this process? How can we make sure that we are having healthy digestive processes, assimilation, and elimination process specifically?
And you're going to be surprised at all of the problems and the potential challenges that are an outcome, that are resulting from not having healthy elimination.
And very simple things that we can do to instantly improve our ability to eliminate our waste, and not carry around stuff that just shouldn't be there in our bodies.
And to do that, we've got somebody who's actually improved my life in a significant way, and he just got to learn about that recently. And it's just such a powerful idea and a powerful invention to counter an invention that was supposed to be for our benefit, but it ended up causing us a lot of problems, and what that is is the standard toilet.
The standard toilet. The 'throne.' So today we're talking about the new Game of Thrones,' and it has to do with poop.
But before we do that we want to give a special shout-out to our incredible show sponsor, www.Onnit.com. Head over to www.ONNIT.com/model and get Onnit.
This is where I get my emulsified MCT oil that I use literally every single day. I'll use different flavors of course, I'll switch it up, but the reason I use the MCT oils- so these are medium chain triglycerides, and these are essentially instant cell food.
When we talked about the process of that food becoming you, or becoming energy, right? That's how we tend to look at food.
If you're taking something, maybe it's a cup of kale, right? Kale salad. And the process that that takes for that to become energy is very intensive.
Your body doesn't just take coin right from that immediately. It has to go through a pretty arduous process, whereas MCT oil goes directly to your liver and is available for almost instant energy.
Also it has a thermogenic effect. So we're talking about ramping up your metabolism by something that is something so simple, and so readily available, and it's also natural, right?
This isn't from some hyped up Fat Burner 3000 pill, right? We're talking about something that is resulting naturally in real, whole foods.
And so this concentrate is coming from coconut, and palm as well, and it's just something- number one for me, I love the process of actually taking pleasure from, and enjoyment from the food that I'm eating.
So it tastes amazing, the emulsified MCT oils from Onnit. They have strawberry, which I love that with Lion's Mane tea. Shout-out.
They have coconut flavor, they have vanilla- that's my wife's favorite. They have the new cinnamon swirl which I just had today, and I absolutely love it.
It's something you can add to your coffee, and you can also- these are great for traveling because you don't need a blender to try to blend together your MCT oil or your butter, that kind of thing.
It literally is just like a coffee creamer and it tastes fantastic, and it has all these great benefits, and so it's something that all of your cells need, alright?
The membrane of your cells, and what we talked about with Dr. Bruce Lipton, the membrane of the cell is sort of like the brain of your cell.
Not the nucleus, what we were taught in a traditional school setting, because you can do a process called enucleation, take the brain out of the cell, but the cell still lives.
If we take the brain out of you, you don't live, right? So it's something we've been kind of misconstrued in how this operates. And the brain of the cell is the cell membrane where it's reading the environment and giving resulting signals from that.
And the cell membranes are based largely on fats. If we're bringing in a lot of low quality fat, your body is going to do what it has to do. That's when we want to bring in high quality fats like you'll find in MCT oil.
So check that out. They also have original MCT oil, they have Hemp Force Protein, the recovery protein which I love as well, they've got all the incredible foods and snacks to take on the road. Absolutely love them.
Head over, check them out, www.ONNIT.com/model for 10% off everything. And now, let's get to the iTunes review of the week.
ITunes Review: This is a five star review titled 'Enthralling' by FanGirl1990.
I found you, Shawn, through Robb Wolf's podcast several months ago and have since been hooked. We share a love of learning and a love for science, so I find it easy to get wrapped up in episodes. I listen on my way to and from work and the gym, and while I'm getting ready for the day.
Your passion shines through in all that you do. I appreciate your hard work and dedication to delivering such valuable information to the masses.'
Shawn Stevenson: Wow, thank you so much. That means everything. 'Enthralling,' I think that's the first time that I've ever been described as enthralling, and that means so much.
And thank you for taking me with you out on the road as well. And everybody, whether you're listening in the gym, whether you're listening out on the road in your car or in your transit, on public transportation, whatever it might be, if you're cleaning house right now, if you're just kicking back enjoying the show, thank you for making me a part of your life. It means everything.
And if you get a chance if you haven't done so already, please pop over to iTunes and leave us a review so everybody can also get some great information and know that this is the show that they want to add to their repertoire, alright?
And whether- of course there's other apps as well. You've got Stitcher, you can leave a review there too. We're on Spotify now, so you can check us out wherever you are listening to this, definitely pop over and leave us a review. I appreciate that so very much.
And now, let's get to our topic of the day and our special guest.
Our guest today is Bobby Edwards, and he's the CEO and co-creator of one of the most revolutionary products of the last decade, the Squatty Potty.
His success on the hit TV show Shark Tank led Squatty Potty to being the second most successful company in the history of the show.
And his company has won many awards for innovation and education, and Bobby has brilliantly been flushing the taboo of talking about our bathroom experience, and as a result is helping countless people across the globe.
And I'd like to welcome to The Model Health Show Mr. Bobby Edwards. How are you doing today, Bobby?
Bobby Edwards: Hey Shawn, it's an honor to be here. Wow.
Shawn Stevenson: I'm so grateful to have you on, man. This is great. And if people are looking at the video on YouTube- and by the way everybody, you can pop over to www.TheModelHealthShow.com, check us out on YouTube as well, and you can see the world-famous unicorn in the background with Bobby.
Bobby Edwards: It's a puppet, but yeah.
Shawn Stevenson: It's a puppet? There's puppet too?
Bobby Edwards: Well it's the little stuffy, with of course some ice cream.
Shawn Stevenson: Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. We'll put the video that is- I think it's like getting close to two hundred million views?
Bobby Edwards: Yeah across all the platforms, yeah about two hundred million or more.
Shawn Stevenson: That is bananas.
Bobby Edwards: So yeah it was a viral sensation, but more importantly was the topic of what it talks about, right? Was something that all of us do every day is pooping, and that's what we're here to talk about today.
Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely, absolutely. But I would love to know the superhero origin story of where this has ended up today for all of us and the unicorn.
What got you interested in this particular field of really health and wellness in the first place?
Bobby Edwards: Well you know, they say that necessity is the mother of all invention, and like any entrepreneur we're trying to solve problems and going back to my mother, well she was constipated. She was suffering, and I'm sure like maybe some of your listeners, although she's in her sixties, she suffered her whole life with constipation.
And it was something that she kept private, and growing up I always kind of knew she spent a lot of time in the bathroom, and she hated to travel because when she was out of her familiar environment, she even had a more difficult time going.
But you know, I didn't know- it's not something that you generally talk about. And when she was about 63 years old, she decided to build a new house, and in that new home she put in all these new toilets, and they're meant to be more comfortable, and built kind of for comfort.
They call them comfort height toilets, and actually what they are is they're just taller toilets, they're higher.
Shawn Stevenson: Interesting.
Bobby Edwards: Right? So instead of being a standard fourteen inches high, they're seventeen inches high, or eighteen inches high. So they're a full three to four inches higher than a standard toilet. And they're ubiquitous. You can't buy anything but that at Home Depot now.
So that took her even higher off the ground, and unbeknownst to her, she started- her constipation became worse. And so she decided to do something about it, and she started talking to a few people, and then she started talking to me about it.
She goes, "You know-" I was at her house one day, and she goes, "You know I've been really suffering, and I'd like to go see the grandkids, or go do this, but I can't barely leave the house. I'm pretty much toilet bound, because I'm just uncomfortable all the time, and I don't like the effects that the laxatives give me."
So I said- and I was living in Southern California at the time, and I had heard of the concept of toilet posture, and squatting to eliminate, and I had a group of friends that were all squatters, they would climb up on the toilet and perch, which gets the job done.
It's not exactly safe, but you know- and I had done it the few times when I was constipated, and it really worked. And I said, "Well Mom, what you need to do is you need to perch up on your toilet and squat," and she looked at me like I was crazy.
Shawn Stevenson: Right.
Bobby Edwards: She was like, "I can't, I'm 63 years old." So I thought- the conversation pretty much didn't go anywhere then, and then a few days later I was like, "Well Mom, let's like build you a little perch around your toilet that's more comfortable for you to help you go."
And so she thought- again, she wasn't sold on the concept that this would help her, and she goes, "No, I'll be fine. Honey, I'm good."
And then her problem had been pretty bad so she started going to a physical therapist to talk about- to help her with the problem, and other problems she was having, some other female issues.
And so the physical therapist actually told her about the posture, and about how squatting is the way we were designed to go, and- but there's nothing out there to help you to do it, so just put a stool in front of your toilet and that'll help.
So of course after I had been nagging her for months to squat, but after she hears it from a medical professional, she decides to try it. It became legitimate.
So she went and got a stool, and put it in front of her toilet, and it worked. It helped her a lot, but it wasn't quite right.
After using a stool for a few months, she was like, "You know I've been using this stool. Remember that thing you were talking about to me, that perch thing that you wanted to build? Let's do one of those so I can get my posture better, more to mimic a natural squat."
And so her and I kind of sketched one out, and I had a friend who had a CNC machine, like a wood machine, so he could build it out of wood, and we built her her first poop stool, and that was in 2009 and she fell in love with it.
She just fell in love with this thing, and in fact when she would travel she would take it with her. It was giant- it was a big giant stool, it was not like even- the Squatty Potty is fairly big, but this was bigger, and nonetheless she fell in love.
Shawn Stevenson: Even on airplanes too?
Bobby Edwards: Right, no she would take it in the car.
Shawn Stevenson: Okay, okay.
Bobby Edwards: So she became sold, and this is something that actually changed her life. It's something that she had been so- like I said, chronically constipated her whole life, and to find out that it was something that had to do with a mechanical thing, and not the way she was eating, not the way- although those things are very important, and we'll get into that later, right?
But for her, it was a mechanical thing. She was extremely kinked, and the squatting position really opened her up and made her elimination a lot easier and a lot better.
So she was sold on the concept, and sold on the idea, but after a few years actually- that was in 2009 and then it wasn't until 2011 that she started becoming an advocate for the squatting position because it really changed her life, and she became evangelical about it telling all her friends about it, and they all looked at her like she was crazy.
She probably got disinvited to a few dinner parties, but you know, it's something when you know something, and it's like a truth to you, and you have a secret and you want to tell it, right? And it became her thing.
And as weird and strange as it was, and ten years- seven years later now, we realized we're grateful that this happened, but at the time it just was her thing, you know? She became kind of the poop lady with the poop stool.
Where I come into it, is I helped her build that first poop stool, and then when she came back a few years later for more to give away for gifts and presents- you know, my Aunt Connie had hemorrhoids or she knew somebody else who was having a baby, was constipated or whatever.
And so she started giving these things away as gifts, as strange as it may seem. You said you give away the Squatty Potty as gifts, but back then it was even like more strange because it was this weird homemade contraption.
So she started giving them away as gifts, and then it kind of snowballed from there. You know, Aunt Connie with the hemorrhoids gave it away as a gift because it helped her, and then orders started coming in for this poop stool.
And after making a couple dozen of them, the light went on with, 'There's something here that's not out there, that's not in the market. And number two, there's nobody talking about this.'
Nobody's talking about- we all talk about how important nutrition is, and what goes into our body, but not a lot of people are talking about how it comes out and what comes out, and that's just as important.
So I'm on the Interweb a lot, I can see what's kind of happening, and poop has become something that a lot of people are talking about more and more, and I think Squatty Potty is part of that conversation for many of them.
But back then it was still kind of new and taboo, but I could see where things were going with this and I said, "Mom, let's build a couple dozen, let's build quite a few, let's put them on a website, and let's start a business."
And she was all about it because she was the best advocate for it because it was something that had changed her life, right?
And so we went into business together, and we started this company called Squatty Potty that created a poop stool, it was made out of wood, we painted them in our garage, and we shipped them out all over the country, all over the world really. And it was $99 to get a Squatty Potty, and we sold- in the first year we sold a couple hundred thousand dollars' worth of Squatty Potties.
Shawn Stevenson: Wow.
Bobby Edwards: So that's kind of how it started, but you know like I said, necessity is the mother of all invention, and my mother was constipated, and this was her solution. This was her secret.
We found out that it's not really a secret, there had been advocates for squatting for years, but not in our world. We didn't hear about it. And it's something that she set out on a mission to change the way people poop, and to have the conversation, and to make it less taboo, to make it fun above all things, because it is funny. It is fun. That's why I was attracted to it, because I thought it was hilarious.
We're supposed to be squatting to poop, and nobody's talking about it? That's funny to me. And we're helping people, right? We're helping people.
Shawn Stevenson: Exactly.
Bobby Edwards: We're opening up that door, no pun intended. There will be a lot of those this show, but that's what makes this so much fun, and that's what makes the story fun.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. This story just is remarkable, and talking about the incarnation, and how a lot of some of the greatest inventions, it's just out of necessity.
And seeing the transformation in your mom, and then encouraging that- like she became an evangelist for better pooping, you know? And you just said it, like she's the poop lady.
It's so crazy because- and I know a lot of people that are listening right now, they've become evangelists for things that have changed their life. And it might sounds weird, it might sound kind of out of left field for a lot of people, and so creating a space to where we can communicate, or have the conversation in a way that actually engages people. I think you guys have done an amazing job at that.
And you mentioned something earlier too, when you said that you'd been telling your mom for awhile, but then as soon as this person of authority said it, then- and so that speaks to the fact of the saying of you can't be a prophet in your own land, right?
So we've got that component, because of the people that know us and care about us already and are just like, 'What are you talking about eating kale?' Right?
So we've got that component, and also just breaking down the taboos so that we can actually be more empowered and educated and healthy as a result.
And so with that said, I want to talk about why this actually works.
So I think the conversation should start at the puborectalis muscle.
Bobby Edwards: Sure, yeah I guess a bit of an Elimination 101, right? You know, the colon is there, and it all ends in the colon, and not many people know but there's a kink in the colon that's there to maintain continence, and everyone has one.
And that's where your poop sits before it's eliminated, right? And without that kink we'd probably all be crapping our pants. You know we can control our- I know this is PG-13, but we can control our sphincter, but we can't control that muscle.
And it's there for a reason, it's there to hold the contents until we're ready to go, and when nature calls, we need to go. This is a problem that a lot of people are having, is they're holding and they're not going when they need to go, and that can cause problems.
But to go back to the anatomy, that puborectalis muscle is there to maintain continence, and there have been defegraphic studies and x-rays that this is not Internet quackery. This is science, this is empirical, this is real.
The puborectalis muscle maintains continence, and when you squat there's a relaxation of that muscle. When you sit it's only partially relaxed, right?
So most of us are sitting and we're going okay, but there's a more optimal way to go, and it's actually the way the majority of the world goes. They squat when they eliminate, and that's the way it was for millennia up until the advent of the modern toilet, which has all these great things, but it has one major fault, and it requires we sit.
And so most of us are just kind of pooping through only partially relaxed colons, and so when you squat it does- it fully relaxes that colon and makes elimination easier, more effective, more volumous, so you know- quicker, and those are good things.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, definitely.
Bobby Edwards: And we can get into each of those further, but you know it's that complete elimination that we all want, that kind of one and then done for the day, and it's completely natural. It's the way we were designed to go, it's the way we went for millennia, right? I mean our ancestors squatted and it wasn't until the 1800's when they invented the modern toilet that we switched.
But if you look around culturally throughout the world in other cultures, most- a majority of the populations squat. So China, India, Asia, Africa, indigenous places in South America, they're all still squatting to poop.
Look at your kid. When your kid is in diapers, and they need to go poop, they go squat in the corner.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, it's built into our-
Bobby Edwards: They're hunkering down.
Shawn Stevenson: It's what our genes expect, you know? And how we're designed. And as you mentioned, this particular muscle, if people want to get- think about maybe a cartoon image, and look in, and see your colon.
Your colon is basically like your sewage system in a way, and this is the last hoorah before the evacuation, and this muscle is- like he mentioned, it's like a sling that's keeping it cut off so you're not just walking around dropping off cargo.
And when you said that earlier, I was thinking about there was this terrible marketing for a cookie, it was a chocolate chip cookie marketing, and the cookie is walking and then there's like chocolate chips as it's- it's a trail of chocolate chips behind it. It's just like, 'That looks like poop!'
Bobby Edwards: Yeah.
Shawn Stevenson: I'm not going to buy that cookie. But we would potentially have that issue because of this muscle if it wasn't there, and functioning like the way that it's designed.
And so by getting in the squatting position- and what your Squatty Potty has enabled us to do is to use our already existing toilet, and to be able to put our feet up so that we can get in the proper position for that muscle to relax for a full and complete elimination.
Bobby Edwards: Yeah, that's basically it. You know, you're right, the colon is the big decider, right? It decides what your body wants to keep, and what your body wants to get rid of, and when it wants to get rid of it, it's waste. It's waste. You want to get rid of that as soon as possible, and so many people aren't able to do that regularly.
And a lot of it is because of their diet, a lot of it- you know, there's other factors. It's not just mechanics, but it's a tool- the squatting is just a tool to help us all live our most best life.
Shawn Stevenson: I totally agree. Totally agree. And let's talk about some of the things that for many of us this is going on behind the scenes. We're really- again, a lot of the time we don't know what we don't know, but some of the surprising issues with the conventional toilets.
And so I think a lot of people would be shocked to hear about 30,000 deaths per year, or somewhere around there, being related to our toilets, you know?
And of course there's issues with falls and things like that, but you can have some issues. Let's talk about the excess straining, right? So what potentially could happen even with our cardiovascular system, for example? Let's talk about that.
Bobby Edwards: Sure. So yeah, so Elvis died on the toilet, and it happens during the- while we're pushing and straining to go, it causes some stress on the cardiovascular system.
So you know, there's a lot of cardiovascular events that happen during defecation, and there's ways we can- it essentially comes from the straining and stress of defecation, and it's caused by excess straining.
So I don't know if anyone's tried to- has been there before, or why you're on the toilet, but have you kind of felt- got the stars or felt lightheaded maybe when you're stressing too much?
So that's from straining and pushing during defecation. But you know, a lot of this is avoidable with an easier and more natural position, which is the squatting.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. One of the things- and I was taught this strength conditioning coach certification, Valsalva maneuver, and this is something we're doing, holding our breath and pressing. And the harder you do that, the more potential you have to overload your cardiovascular system, right?
And so if you're really having to push because you're not in a proper position, this could lead to blood clots detaching, this could lead to a radical change in your blood pressure, this could lead to abnormal heart rhythms, this could lead to bleeding. You know, some other things that are kind of more common sense.
But I mean potential- again this brings a level of like not funniness to it, but potential cardiac arrest on the toilet simply because we're required to push so hard, pressing trying to eliminate the waste, and it's simply one of the big issues.
Obviously diet is an issue.
Bobby Edwards: Yeah, you mentioned Valsalva maneuver, I couldn't remember what that was called. But yeah, that's when you basically hold your breath like if you're trying to clear your head after you're on a flight or something, or when you're blowing your nose.
So yeah, that generally happens with people that have maybe a compromised cardiovascular system already. So it's not something that generally healthy people need to worry about, but if you already have some kind of heart condition, or- either that you're aware or that you're not aware, it can be- this straining can cause an event, right?
Like you said, it can cause maybe one of those clots to dislodge and then go to your brain. And this is real stuff, this really happens.
There's evidence, there's empirical evidence that shows that the cardiovascular system is affected during elimination, and the Valsalva maneuver- there incidents of that causing events.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. You know, one of the things you mentioned earlier when you were kind of breaking down the ease and the benefit that we get from using the Squatty Potty was that this whole process can take a lot less time, right?
Bobby Edwards: Yeah.
Shawn Stevenson: And so in our culture, we've got the magazine rack right next to the toilet. Of course people are going in there with the smartphones.
Bobby Edwards: Everyone has their Facebook now.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, everybody- like this is the prime Twitter time, right? So a lot of those tweets you guys see, somebody is pooping or trying to poop at that time.
And of course for some people it's just like this is just a quiet space, I get a minute to myself, especially parents out there. Moms, they may identify with that.
But to understand the underlying cause or kind of how it became culturally accepted is it was just harder to get all the waste out.
And there was actually- there was a study that was published in 2004, and it compared the length of time needed to defecate using various postures, and concluded that sitting defecation posture requires 'excessive expulsive effort compared to the squatting posture.'
Alright? So more stuff to consider. Now we talked about that, what is another potential issue or danger of using the conventional toilet?
Bobby Edwards: Well so I think a lot of it stems from that straining, right? So let's talk about the things that come from straining, and the obvious one is hemorrhoids, right?
So what are hemorrhoids? Hemorrhoids are veins that have become prolapsed or enlarged, and a lot of that comes from the stress and straining when we're eliminating.
So that's a serious problem, a lot of people have had hemorrhoids or will have hemorrhoids, and a lot of that is caused by straining to go. And obviously if you can go quicker, less straining, and easier, then you're going to have less chance of hemorrhoids or even the hemorrhoids you have could heal.
So hemorrhoids are a big problem and a side effect from the straining.
Another thing that comes from straining is some nerve damage, you know? A lot of women are talking about pelvic floor health, and how that's a huge thing for women.
And one of our first kind of medical coos that we got with Squatty Potty when we started this company, was the Stanford Pelvic Health Clinic.
We had a doctor in there who was like, "I have been recommending this for years, and I'm so glad there's a product now that I can send my patients to," and should would require them to start using a squatting device like the Squatty Potty, or something that they could make at home.
Obviously she started recommending the Squatty Potty for any of her patients that had pelvic floor issues.
Shawn Stevenson: Wow, that's awesome.
Bobby Edwards: You know, that includes like hernias, pelvic floor prolapse, and this is pretty uncomfortable and embarrassing stuff to talk about, but it's part of the conversation, and it will happen. It happens to a lot of women, and especially childbirth, and other straining that happens that can compromise the nerves and muscles down there.
And straining and pressing to go to eliminate can irritate and exasperate the problem.
Shawn Stevenson: This is so important. I'm glad that you brought this one up specifically because there's kind of a revolution in paying attention to the pelvic floor.
There's a lot more pelvic floor love happening. Why does this matter so much?
Bobby Edwards: And it's not just for women, by the way.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes.
Bobby Edwards: It can happen to both of us.
Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely.
Bobby Edwards: But it's more common in women obviously, but- and it's funny because it's something that when I first started talking about the pelvic floor, I'd get really embarrassed, right? Because it's such a private area. But it's so important, and so let's talk about it.
Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely. Absolutely. So if you want to- if everybody wants to picture again, an internal cartoon of yourself, the pelvic floor is sort of like a hammock, right? It's sort of like a mesh hammock that your internal organs are sitting on.
You know a lot of really important organs are sitting comfortably resting in this hammock, and when the pelvic floor starts to give out, to give way, your internal organs can sink down, right? They can fall out of place.
It's one of the most- not only is this potentially damaging to your health and for your life, but also it could be very embarrassing. This can create a lot of discomfort, this can create a lot of just feeling like, 'I'm just not right.'
Like, 'My body has fallen apart.' And you know, I've seen this clinically as well, and so helping people to rebuild and strengthen their pelvic floor is of the utmost importance, but let's not get in the situation where we have the issue in the first place.
Bobby Edwards: Yeah, let's prevent it.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah.
Bobby Edwards: Prevent it from happening.
Shawn Stevenson: What a concept.
Bobby Edwards: And there are so many exercises, there's so many restorative therapies out there for pelvic floor issues. And I'm not a specialist so I recommend doing some research on it.
Everyone knows their body better than I do, and there's a lot of great information, and more and more women and physicians- physiotherapists are talking about it.
In fact it's a whole specialized field now because it's a thing, and the Squatty Potty will help prevent that. You know, squatting to eliminate helps prevent that.
It's the less you stress, the less you push, the less the Valsalva maneuver that you're using, the less chance you'll have of causing damage.
And that mesh that you talked about, it's nerves and muscles, and the nerves are what really can cause problems, right?
So like for women, they'll start to pee, right? It's the laugh when you pee kind of thing, and it does happen to men too. So all that stuff is helped- you can help prevent that with proper position and proper posture in the bathroom, in life, in other things too.
But you know, it's not the fix-all but it's another- like I keep saying, it's a tool to help you prevent that.
Shawn Stevenson: Exactly. Exactly. So just to drop this on everybody- and by the way, I'll put a couple of our episodes in the show notes, but Katie Bowman is like the best person in the world as far as strengthening and rebuilding the pelvic floor, but it's like the opposite position. It's the opposite movement.
When you're cutting off the poo, when you're trying to tighten things and not go to the bathroom, that's like tensing the muscle. And then the pressing is pushing it and relaxing it like so much in a way. In a way.
That can even kind of be backwards in the way that I'm articulating, but it's the opposite thing that's going to strengthen it partially. That's just one part of it.
So just keep that in mind. You know, the tensing up of whether you're like trying to hold your pee, or hold from pooing in your pants, that kind of thing, that tensing is strengthening.
You know there's these 'Kegel' exercises as well, so there's different things that we could do, but bottom line I'll put her episodes in the show notes. But check her out if this is an issue for you, but let's not get us there in the first place and get a Squatty Potty.
So what's another potential issue? So we've talked about basic constipation, we've talked about hemorrhoids, we've talked about issues with blood pressure, we've talked about-
Bobby Edwards: The pelvic floor.
Shawn Stevenson: So what else we got? Is there something else?
Bobby Edwards: Well you know, there's a lot. There's so many disease and so much happens in that gut, you know? But particularly in that kink.
You know if you look at where- so if you think of like diverticulosis, right? So that's where- it's kind of a small hernia in the layer of the colon, and they become infected. So it's like a prolapse or something of the colon internally. They're very small, sometimes they can be irritated by- I've heard of like if we're eating like seeds or something, they can get caught in there.
But it's a little bump in the- it's a little balloon or small thing in the colon and they're called diverticuli, and when they get irritated, or upset, or infected, it's called diverticulosis and it's extremely painful, and a lot of people get this. This is pretty common- it's a common issue.
And those all- you know where the diverticuli form, is in that bend. Most of that stuff happens in that bend, and that's where we're looking at here, is in that bend.
And so if that bend is full and compacted and full of waste, I think the chances of diverticulosis will increase. It's pretty obvious to me.
And you know, so you want to keep that area clean and free of all that waste, and so those diverticuli can help prevent perforation or blockages and all that stuff in that area by reducing the strain and more frequent and regular elimination.
Shawn Stevenson: Now when you say diverticulosis is pretty common, I mean he's not kidding, everybody.
Bobby Edwards: Yeah.
Shawn Stevenson: If you look at the statistics, we're talking more than 10% of the US population over the age of forty. Alright? And then once we get over the age of sixty, we're talking about upwards of 50% of US citizens having diverticulosis, which again is very, very dangerous, and also very uncomfortable, and potentially painful as well.
And it's another silent epidemic people aren't talking about this, and the biggest causative factor here is the way that we're using the bathroom with the excessive straining, with not being in the right position.
And you see it, like you mentioned, it's going to be close to that sling, to the puborectalis muscle. So thank you for bringing that up because we need to be more adamant about this because it's like, 'Oh I'm twenty, I'm pooping fine.'
Well again, you're putting some serious miles and pressure on your colon that you just simply don't need to have.
Bobby Edwards: Yeah, and you're not always going to be twenty, and another thing is that that type of disease, it's very common like in the Western world, but it's really rare in areas such as like Asia and Africa where people squat.
Some of that could be diet, we don't know, but it's kind of like to me, maybe they're going when they need to go, they're not withholding because they can just go squat in the field, or they haven't- they don't have the taboo around pooping that we do.
Shawn Stevenson: Exactly. Exactly. It's just a part of life. You know, and so-
Bobby Edwards: Yeah.
Shawn Stevenson: Again, newsflash, everybody poops. Alright? And it's just being more- not adult about it, but just human about it, you know? Just being able to have this conversation.
And one of the big issues, and the last issue that I wanted to talk about as far as some of the potential problems, is definitely something that's more recognized as an epidemic, and this is the conversation about cancer. You know?
Bobby Edwards: Right.
Shawn Stevenson: And showing up in a specific area of the body, and there's a large leading reason to that, and that is because of the environment itself being toxic.
Bobby Edwards: Yeah.
Shawn Stevenson: So and that is-
Bobby Edwards: Colon cancer. The big C. But you know, a good friend of ours, he helped me start the business, and he's been my medical resource the whole time. His name is Dr. Siddoway, he's a gastroenterologist here in St. George, Utah where we live, and he's been on the road with me.
We've been to- I've been to several of the GI conferences with him, went to one in Honolulu last year with him, and we have a good time. But you know, he is a huge proponent of the Squatty Potty, his wife was a huge fan, and that's how he- he was a fan of the Squatty Potty before we even knew we were neighbors.
And when he finally met me he goes, "Listen my wife is a fan, and I'd like to be involved, and how can I do it?" And I said, "Well we need somebody on our board to help us with medical issues."
And he goes, "You know that kink in the colon, that puborectalis thing, that's real, and when I go in to do these colonoscopies, guess where I find the polyps? The same place you find the diverticuli and the same place you find all that stuff, because that's where- right along the-" I don't know how long it is. "A few feet of colon is where we find everything, and that's where the waste is stored."
And you would think, 'What is the cause of cancer?' It's a lot of different things, but he seems to think that there's got to be some correlation between that waste being stored and the colon cancer being in that same area, right?
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah.
Bobby Edwards: So- yeah.
Shawn Stevenson: There's actually plenty of research to show this, and so this was the American College of Gastroenterology, and they found that patients with chronic constipation are at greater risk of developing colorectal cancer and benign neoplasm. So benign tumors or pockets of mass, alright?
So it's kind of right there in black and white, it's just something that's not talked about as much, you know? But when we're talking about potential for cancer here, you know we've had on Dr. Bruce Lipton who wrote 'The Biology of Belief,' and he's one of the foremost experts in epigenetics, and he talks about how much the environment influences genetic expression.
And so we all have cancer programs, right? We weren't born with the particular cancer for 99.9% of us. Something happens, and so having excess waste and not being able to eliminate waste in our colon, that's a very strong epigenetic influence, or epigenetic trigger for a cancer program to get activated.
And so this is something to remember, you know your colon is literally like your body's sewage system in a way, and so the healthier that we can make the colon via of course the food that we eat.
And let's talk about that next a little bit, some of the ideal things that we want to put into our body in the first place, because I promise a 3 Musketeers bar is not going to help you to poop better.
Like it looks like a problem, right? It looks like it's a clog. Alright? Or shout-out to Snickers, or whatever.
But bottom line is we absolutely have to make sure this environment stays clean by having full, healthy, complete eliminations of waste.
And so I'm glad that you brought all of these to our attention, as far as some potential dangers of using conventional toilets, because I think we're all pretty convinced that we need to get in a more ideal pooping position.
But the food matters as well, you know?
Bobby Edwards: Of course.
Shawn Stevenson: So fiber, yes or no?
Bobby Edwards: You know, personally I think that we- yes, I think of course, but I don't think we need to-
Shawn Stevenson: We go too far, is that what you're trying to say?
Bobby Edwards: We go too far, yeah.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes, absolutely.
Bobby Edwards: I think people with the Metamucil and all that stuff, you know? Of course we need to get fiber from natural sources.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes.
Bobby Edwards: I believe that's where we need to be getting it. The Metamucil is something that was kind of developed as something that was supposed to be like a short-term solution, right? And then people become addicted to it.
Shawn Stevenson: Daily, yeah.
Bobby Edwards: Yeah people take it daily, and I don't think that that's too healthy. But I would say fiber, yes and no because we need to get the fiber, but get it from natural sources.
Shawn Stevenson: Thank you. See? We're on the same page. You didn't know I was going to throw that question at you, because the conversation of fiber, you need to get 50 grams of fiber a day, or 35, or 70, whatever number is thrown out there.
It really depends on you, first of all.
Bobby Edwards: Yeah.
Shawn Stevenson: Second of all, the whole concept of fiber is really misconstrued.
You can actually hurt yourself by bringing in too much fiber or the wrong kind of fiber.
We do need some of these- and I love the conversation about resistant starch to help to feed and support healthy bacteria in our gut, and in our colon as well which is like bacteria party city.
We want to make sure that the party going on there is happy and healthy, and not like- I don't know, like a Rick James party in there.
Bobby Edwards: Right, and finding the right prebiotic and probiotic I think is essential. I see it in so many of our customers and fans, they talk about their experiences with prebiotics and probiotics, and I'm convinced.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, absolutely. And so with that said, we want to make sure- and I'll put some episodes in the show notes for people to get some more information about resistant starch. And also when it comes to fiber, just eating real whole foods, plants, plenty of green leafy vegetables.
But there are different types of fiber as well. There's the soluble and insoluble, there's a certain ratio we want to go for. There's great sources- food sources as well. We can get some that are a little bit different like you would find in something like chia seeds and things like that.
But it's just if we can go food first and not create- and this is the issue, is creating a codependence on a laxative, and your body literally will create a dependence on these things.
And again, you mentioned in a spot case, I think that's awesome to have those things in your utility belt. But if we're like chugga-luggin Metamucil each day, and jamming down- I remember my grandfather's big things were prunes, you know?
And so maybe a couple prunes, but you don't want to go prune crazy, you know? It's just like with anything. You know, if you eat too many bananas, you might go bananas. You know, you eat too many nuts, you might go nuts.
Bobby Edwards: Right.
Shawn Stevenson: So just be mindful, get a nice mixture of foods, especially a nice amount of plants. I love fermented foods for this purpose. You're getting two, you know? You're getting the plant-based fiber, and you're getting some probiotic resources as well. So I think that's really awesome.
But what I want to talk to you next about is something you mentioned with your mom too, is she was literally taking this big contraption that you guys built initially on the road with her. Today? It's different, the game is changed.
What do we do when we're on the road? That's the thing.
Bobby Edwards: Right.
Shawn Stevenson: And before you answer that though, I've got to say that we all want that home court advantage, right? We want that home court advantage.
Using the bathroom in random places is probably not that fun for any of us, but when we are on the road and we know we're going to be traveling, there are solutions to help support our digestive and elimination health. So let's talk about it.
Bobby Edwards: Yeah, so I mean first of all let's talk about what causes the constipation when we're traveling, right?
Shawn Stevenson: Yes.
Bobby Edwards: And I think number one is your routine is different. Your routine. Routine is important to regularity, and that can be a few different things that are causing that. Your change in eating, your change in environment, and the change in schedule.
So you might be eating different things, your foods that you regularly eat aren't available, or you're eating something from a package from the airport, or from a drugstore, or from a convenience mart, I don't know.
I've gotten better when I travel, so I plan ahead so I know- so I'm not in a pinch and trying to find- eating a Snickers bar, or eating a dry packaged thing.
But that's a major cause of it is the change in routine, and that's of course exasperated when we're traveling.
The other thing that we're traveling, we're kind of maybe not as active as we used to be, and activity is huge- physical activity is huge when it comes to constipation and digestion because when your body is not active, your digestive system kind of sits there in stasis as well.
So if you're on a long flight and you're not moving, that can cause constipation. So what do we do? You know, you plan ahead.
Eat. When you're in the airport, choose the stuff that's going to be easier on your body, and I think we all know what that is, right?
Go when you need to go. I know some of us hate that hovering and going in toilets that we don't like, but I think it's something that we probably kind of just need to get over and go, because withholding can only exasperate the problem by not going when you need to go.
So if you get the urge to poop, go poop.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes, thank you. Simple. Simple.
Bobby Edwards: You know if you can. I get it, some people are totally put off by it, but if you can, just go. Don't fight the urge, go. And go when you need to go.
So the other thing is of course posture, and there is a portable Porta-Squatty. It's a little foldable thing, it's like the size of a laptop, or even smaller than that, like a small laptop. And you know, that really helps. I take it wherever I go.
Some people turn over the trashcan in their bathroom, some people put their feet up on the tub next to the toilet and get in the squat position that way, or you can get the- but posture is part of it.
Stay active if you can, do some- I don't know, do some burpees in the airport. It looks kind of funny, I guess I probably wouldn't do that. But just stay active if you can.
I've walked around the airport. You know, I've walked- some of these airports are huge, I walk from terminal end to terminal end just to get some blood flowing and get some movement so I can stay as regular as possible.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, you just said it. You know, movement creates movement.
Bobby Edwards: Yes.
Shawn Stevenson: You know, movement is a part of healthy bowel movement. And again, it's something that our genes expect us to do; circulation, energy, assimilation of nutrients, and also elimination.
And like he just mentioned, all the different ways people will use un-home court advantage. So the thing is, like you just said, if you've got to, you've got to go but you're not always going to have home court advantage, you know?
And so I'm sure people would be surprised- and some people listening, like you've done that thing. You've put your feet up on the trash can or the bathtub.
But when you mentioned the travel Squatty itself, guess who has one? This guy. I've got one and it is so awesome because my son- and so this is a true story. My son who was probably maybe eleven at the time, he's sixteen now, he watched a video with me for- yeah it was a video about the Squatty Potty.
And he was like, "Wow so we're supposed to squat when we poop?" And then the next day- no I'm sorry, it wasn't about the Squatty Potty. It wasn't about the Squatty Potty, we found out about that shortly after, but about squatting to go.
And so the next day, this kid- I go into the bathroom and there's a cooler sitting next to the toilet. I was like, "Why is this cooler in the bathroom, man?" And he was like, "I used it to put my feet on like they said in the video."
I was like, 'Wow, revolution moment,' you know? And so I shortly thereafter of course gave him the Squatty Potty, and putting those in every bathroom in my house.
But really quick before we move on, I want to share this with everybody, and this was actually- when you talk about traveling and the change in digestion, he mentioned some very powerful key things that we just overlook.
But one thing is there's an actual change in your bacteria cascade. And so this was in my book 'Sleep Smarter,' and this was a study that was published in the journal 'Cell,' and found that researchers discovered that our circadian timing system influences our bacteria balance, and experiences like jet lag create bacterial dysbiosis in the gut which can lead to metabolic disorders and potential digestive short-term problems.
And in the study they analyzed fecal samples from people before, during, and after bouts of jet lag from a ten hour flight spanning multiple time zones.
And they found that the jet lag participants showed an increase in a type of bacteria known to be more prevalent in people with obesity and diabetes. And then the levels of these microbes quickly and gracefully dropped back to normal once the travelers got back onto a regular sleep cycle.
So everything that we can do to help to support our digestion and our health when we're traveling, so not going ham on airplane food, making sure that we are getting on some kind of routine, going- like he said, Bobby mentioned he plans ahead where he's going to eat, get exercise in. All these things are going to help to support that transition.
Bobby Edwards: Yup.
Shawn Stevenson: And so with all of that said, and all of the incredible benefits, and some pretty terrible things that we can avoid, the Squatty Potty. And this is just a remarkable invention, and like I said I've got this in every bathroom in my home, I
give this as gifts, and I would love if you would share what is your goal moving forward? What is your mission with Squatty Potty?
I know that you've already affected the lives of many, many people, but what's next?
Bobby Edwards: Yeah, I mean you know our mission is to change the way America poops, or the world poops even, you know? And we say change the way America poops one stool at a time, but it's just part of- our mission is just to be a part of the conversation about the importance of gut health, digestion.
One of the first bloggers to ever write about the Squatty Potty was a vegan blogger, and she went into length of why she's straying from her usual topic of nutrition and veganism to talk about squatting to poop, because you know she felt it was that important.
You know, she paused her posting of recipes to talk about Squatty Potty and she was like, "I'm doing this because it's that important, and this is something that has changed my life, and I need to share it with you."
And so I thought that's really- that said something to me when we got that first article and I'm like, 'You know, we do need to be part of that conversation, and we need to take away the taboo, and how can we do that? How can we do it that makes it fun, entertaining?'
I call it 'edutainment,' you know when you entertain and educate. And you know we've got some videos out there that do that, and I think it's just to continue to do that, and to be opportunistic when these comes up, you know?
In the short seven years we've been around, I've seen the whole conversation change. We used to have a difficult time finding a place to advertise on Google because we couldn't use the word 'poop,' we couldn't use some of our animations or graphics because they were considered too graphic by their standards, and that's all changed in those short five years.
So you know, I think we've started our mission, but our mission is to actually just grow it, you know? Grow the whole better bathroom experience and find ways to make it less taboo, easier, more comfortable, and more healthy.
Shawn Stevenson: Bobby, this has just been amazing, and thank you for helping to
really get this conversation going, and to bring a level of insight into this conversation, and also for just saying 'yes' when the opportunity presented itself, to help your mom, and then to think about, 'Wow this is something much bigger than what I once suspected.'
That takes a lot of courage and heart, and I just want to thank you for that, man. It's amazing.
Bobby Edwards: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Shawn Stevenson: It's truly, truly my pleasure. And everybody, you're going to get an exclusive discount for Squatty Potty that you're not going to find anywhere else.
Go to www.SquattyPotty.com/model and you're going to get an exclusive 15% off of any Squatty Potty of your desire.
And they've got fancy, like really cool bamboo, they've got the eco-friendly models, they've got the travel Squatty as well. Definitely make sure to get yourself one of those.
And also for pretty much all of the Squatty Potties, you're going to get free shipping as well. Actually all of the Squatty Potties, you're going to get free shipping too. So 15% discount and free shipping, go to www.SquattyPotty.com/model.
And again Bobby, thank you so much for sharing this gift with the rest of the world. We truly, truly appreciate you.
Bobby Edwards: My pleasure, thank you.
Shawn Stevenson: Everybody, thank you so much for tuning into the show today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this, and again it started with the conversation when we're sitting there looking at our food, and imagining at one point this food is going to become us, this food is going to become me, but then there's going to be some excess.
And how is that excess going to leave my body? And we have this very evolved and interesting system where it's like a tube, and it's basically from your mouth to your anus, it's a tube, and food travels through there, and some things become you, some things become different organs, and organelles, and tissues, and energy in your body, and some stuff needs to get eliminated because that excess can create blockage of building new health, of building a better, and healthier, and happier you.
And so understanding this process is a big key, but just the application is so simple. We just need to get ourselves in a better position, and allowing ourselves to have a full and complete elimination, and creating a process.
The word 'regular,' this is something that's regular. This is how we evolve, and it wasn't until we created the idea of the toilet, and this was reserved for the wealthiest people, and we see it today like this is a moniker not even of wealth anymore, it's just commonplace and we've accepted it as the norm.
And many people are having resulting issues from this, and it's just a simple fix, you know get ourselves in a better position. And this allows for- whether they're a child, whether it's somebody who's in their teens, middle-age, whatever the case might be, and older folks as well, to easily add, just something that tucks nicely to your existing toilet.
There are some that are really nice with the bamboo, and there are some that just fit right in and blend in with the usual white porcelain of the bathroom, and it's just cool, you know?
This is something, again every bathroom in my house. I wouldn't talk about this if it didn't matter, and something that I just found to be something of incredible value, and something that's so simple.
And like he mentioned earlier too, I give this as gifts all the time too, so I want you to make sure you give yourself this gift. Head over, check out www.SquattyPotty.com/model, get that exclusive discount.
And also let people know about the show, make sure to share this with your friends and family out on social media about this episode so they can get a better education about their digestive wellness, and their elimination wellness as well, because it's important.
And we talked about some of the potential dangers, and also some of the great benefits that we can get as well.
And today more than ever it's really about stacking conditions in your favor so that we can be as healthy and as happy as possible, and you deserve it.
Thank you so much for tuning into the show today, I appreciate you immensely. Stay tuned, we've got some incredible, incredible guests coming up, and some mindblowing show topics.
Until then, have a great day, I appreciate you so much, I'll talk with you soon.
And for more after the show, make sure to head over to
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