Monday, November 2, 2009

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times - Chapter 17

#17 – "Always make sure you have plenty of roughage in your diet."
Upon reading my Chapter 16 of One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times, a friend commented, “This one left me wanting a little more SueAnn.” I suspect that after reading this one, she’ll wish I’d left more unsaid.

Really now, who wants to read about pooping? Well, that’s what it is, Re: mom’s reference to getting plenty of “roughage.” Of course I never heard my mother say pooping, or any other distasteful synonym of pooping, other than #2 or a “bowel movement,” because anything else would be profanity which is something my mother never ever did! Roughage was about as rough as my mom’s language ever got.

Although I was a little constipated at starting this one of one hundred things, now I feel movement and am sensing the pending arrival of my muse. Sorry – couldn’t resist.

There’s just so much to say about roughage in the diet! Let’s begin with the obvious. If you’re reading this and you’re a woman, you know that “doing the daily” is a critical, sometimes nerve-wracking, unreliable event. Men just seem to do it on demand, like clockwork, for hours. Women pray for it, anticipate it, celebrate when it happens and grieve when it doesn’t. I’d go so far to say that the lack of “the daily” for a woman, which is a common occurrence since women tend to get easily constipated, is an unspoken yet equally powerful cause of a woman’s bad disposition – right up there with PMS and menopause. Click on Read More Below...

Most of the women I know are obsessed with their stomachs – and when it is sticking out (even the tiniest bit) – nothing, I repeat, nothing is right with the world. And nothing makes the stomach stick out more (in a woman’s mind at least), then a stubborn, lazy, good-for-nothing load, stuck in the gut. Women should have a sign that they can put on their car and their foreheads that says, Warning: I didn’t have my poop this morning, so stay the heck away from me.

Of course that’s what mom’s lesson is all about – making sure you have “roughage” in your diet so you don’t get constipated. Just the word “roughage” agitates. Ouch! Although I must admit that the idea of roughage plowing out my intestines, possibly removing ounces and even pounds and inches that could flatten my profile and make me lighter on my feet is a rather splendid visual, and most certainly clinically beneficial.

In my sincerest effort to be serious (laugh here), I did look up “roughage” on Wikipedia, but the description ended up making me rather nauseous, so of course I must share it with you:  Dietary fiber, sometimes called roughage, is the indigestible portion of plant foods that pushes food through the digestive system, absorbing water and easing defecation. Soluble fiber, like all fiber, cannot be digested. But it does change as it passes through the digestive tract, being transformed (fermented) by bacteria there. Soluble fiber also absorbs water to become a gelatinous substance that passes through the body.

The irony here is that mom would never say to me, “You need to take a poop every day,” or  “If you don’t keep your colon cleaned out you’ll die,” Does any mother? Does anyone tell us that when we’re growing up? Of course they never taught us about taxes either, but who led some obscure Civil War battle, that was on the test for sure.

But mom did say it. In her own subtle way, she said it – a million times – and she is right – you’ve got to make sure you’ve got plenty of roughage in your diet.



  1. Aunt Dorothy, age 94, still refers to the bird droppings (poop) on her front walk as
    bird roost.
    Never, would she say bird poop.
    Good lesson that roughage!
    Hi to Dee Dee

  2. Loved your article. There are so many comments I'd like to make, but don't want to gross out your readers)^

  3. I don't remeber hearing your mother talk about roughage, but my mother still talks about it. Guess that's just as good, huh? Jane

  4. I was one of those "get away from me" women for years! I tried everything from the natural (flax seed oil, prune juice) to chemical (Drano???)cures and NOTHING worked consistently. Then I found magnesium. That's right -- just plain magnesium. I buy the more expensive kind - I find it works better than the stuff you get at Walmart (you'd have to take 10 of those to get anywhere -- so to speak). Hold on and let me look at the brand - I think is is "Pure." I get it from my chiropractor's office and I absolutely swear by it. I started out taking 6 a day, at night before bed. I have been doing this for 5 years now and I currently am down to three capsules each night. It is such a relief to have found something so simple but effective. Now those men have NOTHING on me -- I'm right up there with them -- no cramping or urgency -- just in and gone. It's GREAT!