Sad Little Balls

Cheerio! It’s vata season and over the past week, I’ve received several requests for me to talk about constipation and other vata digestion issues. I’ve always been pretty candid (pitta) and there’s no turning back now, so I’ll just keep going. Here’s what. My dear friend had a question for me this week about her poo. She said she was only pooping sad little balls. That made me sad, so I put together some ideas so that her poo gets back on track. Please see below and excuse (or enjoy?) the candor of the emails below. Here’s to happy pooping!

I’m not sure you want to hear about this, but my poop has been coming out in little balls lately.  From what I research, it’s a lack of hydration in the colon, but I drink freakin water all day long!!  It could also be sugar, processed food and alcohol (just wine in my case).  I love my wine, but I’ve cut back a lot.  I’ve never been a big processed food eater, but it could be the sugar.  The halloween candy has been a-flown into my mouth as of late.  I think I need to do a little detox. Also, from your article I gleaned that it’s a vata thing and I need to eat more oils/fats.  I’m not really sure how much tho?  I’m already dealing with a hefty 5lb increase because of those damn candies, so I don’t want to increase this too much.

Ah yes, you need oils/fats, Sweetie. Little balls is dehydration but water isn’t heavy or warm or unctuous (oily) enough to pull out the poops. Water is helpful for hydration but you need oleation. I know you may have gained 5lbs on candies, but you you still need oils. Oils for vata does NOT make you fat!! Does not, repeat DOES NOT. What it actually does is helps you feel satisfied so that you are not inclined to eat all the candies – instead, maybe just one or two and you’re done.
Could definitely be the sugar and the wine. AND it’s vata season! The root cure is actually to stop the candies and incorporate oils instead.
The munch munch munchie is typical vata eating, but it’s largely because they are rarely full and never satisfied. The lack of satisfaction is because of lack of proper fats. Good fats settle the nervous system, feed the brain, help the poops, and nourish all tissues so we aren’t walking around like dried out sticks. Dried out sticks break. And dried out sticks have NO immunity so they get sick easy because their ojas (life essence, vitality, immunity) gets depleted. Instead we want to be a flimsy palm tree that can bend and sway with the wind :)
Here is what I recommend for you. Take a little oil in a container (almond or whatever you have in the house – even olive would work) and keep it in the shower. At the end of your shower, put the oil on like lotion with firm strokes toward the heart. Let the water sort of rinse it off but don’t rub it off. This will help your skin and tell your body *ding ding* that it has nice oils.
• Get in the habit of drizzling your veggies with olive oil. Italians live a hell of a long time and it’s because their bodies are kept youthful by all that olive oil! When we dry out we look and feel older.
• Drizzle a little olive oil on your hummus (that’s the way they eat it!) in a circle (looks pretty) and have with some olives or olive tapenade and pine nuts. Serve with warm naan (not toasted).
• Dust your bread with some olive oil and then toast it – sprinkle w/ salt and pepper
• Foods that are friendly and happy, satisfying fats: avocado, salmon, walnuts, almonds, oils!!
• Grounding foods: rices, mashed potatoes, sweet potato (excellent for vata! superb food), beets (warm), hearty soups, thai, indian, goopy foods with lots of moisture.
• Put some raisins (best to soak over night in water and use the water to make the oatmeal) in your oatmeal. Dates are also great. These increase rasa (plasma) tissue which will increase ojas and elasticity in the tissues. When the tissues are elastic, your poop will be too (wtf. the things I say sometimes).
•  Shoot, even FRIED foods right now would help! French fries – you have my permission.
•  Do you like prunes? Sorry, dried plums? ;) If you do, eat 3-5 of them in the morning on an empty stomach and drink some warm herbal tea or warm water with them. You should go in about 4 hours.
• Normally I’d be pushing the ghee because it’s freakin magical for this kind of thing AND it rev’s metabolism so unless you are super kapha with ama (toxins), it’s highly unlikely to gain weight from ghee. But I respect your non-dairy approach so I’m trying to give other options :)
Ummmmmmmm…this is long. Does this help!?!
Lemme know if this makes sense or if you have more questions. I hope this resonates.
(I might even turn this into a blog post, sans your name of course).


17 Responses to Sad Little Balls

  1. […] Monica! I’ve been having the same little sad ball issue for awhile (I went from pitta poo (as you know) – to this). Anyway, I KNOW that ghee is one […]

  2. Krista says:

    Thank you SO much for posting this! I do have a question I can’t seem to find this problem with anyone else. I am a definite pitta EXTERNALLY- medium muscle-y build, fair skin, freckles, ginger hair, get super sweaty, etc. but INTERNALLY I am total vata- digestion, emotion, etc. What do I do!? I’m trying to balance both pitta and vata in my diet, which is proving to be kind of difficult.

    • Monica says:

      Hi Krista!! Ahhh yes. So you are two doshas. Then focus on the grounding nature of foods, without anything overly spicy (pitta aggravating) or dry/raw (vata aggravating). This little post might help – let me know if you find your answers there and if not I’ll try to explain more in depth! :)

  3. […] as it should. Some vata imbalances include anxiety, panic attacks, low self esteem, insomnia, constipation, chronic headaches, tremors/twitches, overall weakness, memory loss, osteoporosis, even heart […]

  4. […] of all, congratulations Ciri! Ah yes, constipation during pregnancy is not uncommon and I’ll tell you why. One of the sub doshas of vata dosha […]

  5. Delphine says:

    Hey Monica,

    I’ve had this problem chronically so after reading this I changed my diet pretty drastically. I’m a hardcore Vata (think I answered Vata on all but one question on the dosha quiz) so I’m eating toast with ghee and chyawanprash for breakfast and lots of rice with some meat or veg or beans for lunch and dinner and lots of ghee at all the three meals. The situation has improved but now I’m getting acid reflux and I think I’m gaining weight. I also feel a lot of ama – I’m achey and irritable and my tongue is coated in the morning. I’m doing CCF tea but it’s not really helping. What am I doing wrong?? I’m so confused.

  6. Jill says:

    Hey Monica! I’ve been having the same little sad ball issue for awhile (i went from pitta poo (as you know) – to this). Anyway, I KNOW that Ghee is one of your first recommendations to cure the sad balls (esp. for vatas) but I am AFRAID to eat ghee. I know it is clarified butter and that just says cholesterol and weight-gain for me. You said above that you won’t gain weight from Ghee, etc. Why is that since it is butter? What about cholesterol? This post might be a bit late, like a vata in distress, I also just sent out my Christmas cards last week! ;o)

    • Monica says:

      Omg, Jill! Hilarious!!! Okay okay. I’m going to address this question about ghee and fat on my site for everyone to read, because I think it’s a fear of a lot of people, especially vatas! I hope that’s cool with you. XOXO

  7. Anon says:

    Thank you for covering this topic, Monica!!! You are great. I hope my sad little balls will change soon ;)

  8. Karen says:

    Very timely. The Amalaki jam you recommended to me during the mini bud a few weeks ago has worked wonders for the diarrhea, but now I have the sad little balls about half the time. Seems to be about every other day. The days in between are perfect! I can definitely vouch for the raisins, too!

    • Monica says:

      Hi Karen, thanks for the update. Are you having enough ghee and oils/fats in your diet? And enough water? Glad we have fixed the diarrhea, but we need to make sure the sad little balls don’t happen. Lemme know (you can email me too if it’s TMI for comments :). xoxo

  9. Sarah says:

    What a timely post! I’ve been having a “sad little balls” time myself. Too darn funny.

    So if we’re not avoiding dairy, ghee is another good option? I put a bit on everything & I love it, but I wonder if I’m overdoing it. I also wonder if I could have more. I’m not a “super kapha”, but I do think I have ama and I am a bit overweight (10 pounds-ish).

    • Monica says:

      Hi Sarah! What about flax seed oil if you don’t like ghee. You can’t cook with it, but you can drizzle it on veggies and foods. Umm…I don’t find it super tasty so if it’s disrupting your food tastes, you can chug 2 tblsp in the morning with water. It works! Lemme know if that helps!

  10. Liz says:

    Love this post! I am a dry stick…

  11. Tiko says:

    I’m a vata, and I have this problem from time to time. I’ve noticed that when I have 2 tbsp of ground golden flax seed a day, my poop is regular, no pebbles! I’m wondering if this is because of the oiliness of the ground flax seed? I usually mix it in with my smoothies (I know, no smoothies for vata, but I love them!) in the morning along with my other suppements and it makes my tummy happy! :)

    • Monica says:

      Yes! Flax is awesome for helping the poo! I used to (before Ayurveda and ghee!) drink 2 tblsp of flax seed oil in the morning and chase it with water. Totally butters the insides!

      Liz, you crack me up! Sorry about being a dry stick…oil it up, baby! ;)

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