Wednesday, September 1, 2010


After doing some research online last week I decided to do a little experiment with my body....

I have found that I have some digestion problems when I'm in Korea. As far as I remember it wasn't a problem when I was in America and it got to a point last week that I had to take drastic measures to fix whatever was wrong.

I'm not a person who likes taking drugs when it's not necessary, so I wanted to try somthing else. I read about doing a colon detox on various sites on the web. While every site had slighly different recomendations the overall message was for somewhere between 3 days and a week cut out everything from your diet except fruits, vegetables (preferably raw) and the occasional bean, barley or brown rice.

Here's my usual diet: copious amounts of white rice (like minimum 4 servings per day), meat, noodles and Korean stews. Vegetables and fruit? Not unless it's mixed with one of those four options. My one healthy meal is a breakfast of yogurt (sweetened) and Japanese natto (fermented beans... delicious by the way) which I only eat when there's an absence of Korean stew and rice in my refrigerator in the morning. Oh, and let's not forget pizza and fried chicken (usually served with beer). I like those too...

I guess it's no wonder I have digestion problems. How I'm not 200 pounds is really a mystery to me.

So. Here was the challenge for the week. Eat no meat. No dairy. No oil. No salt. No fat. No white rice (in fact, no starches at all for the first two days). No spicy food. Basically eat as many raw fruits and veggies as possible. And lots of water (warm water is better, supposedly).

I started on Monday rather spur of the moment. I didn't prepare any lunch so I wound up buying a pack of 5 bananas and an apple and eating that for lunch. I didn't feel too well after that but the desired effect was not reached.

That night I went to the market and stocked up on lots of fruits, veggies and tofu.

Kiwi and plum juice before

Kiwi and plum juice after

I was very proud of myself the next day. I woke up early enough to make fresh juice made from kiwis and plums (which I bought for 3,000 and 5,000 respectably for a copious quantities of each). As I drank my juice I made a lunch to bring to work, a salad made with green pepper, carrot, tomato and onion.

Lunch on day 2

Now, of course, as my stomach is accustomed to receiving it's daily fill of rice, it was a little confused. Breakfast was fine as I never stuff myself at that time in the morning. But I'm used to a big lunch, snack around 4:30 and then a decent sized dinner around 9 or 10 pm when I get home. Eating the salad for lunch kept me happy until 2:00 or 3:00 at which time I had a fruit for a snack, but that left me waiting until 9:00 or 10:00 to eat dinner. Which was again rather unfufilling.

I suddenly had a lot more sympathy for vegans. Or maybe just complete confusion as to how someone could choose to live like that. But... I bet their digestive tracks are in proper working order...

Amazingly I kept up this diet until Friday when we had market day when it all went to hell. Actually, when I say it went to hell, I mean that I had one bowl of rice, some chicken and some ddeokbokki. The rest of the day was still healthy.... oh yea, I had some bread too.

Since Friday I've resumed my regular diet, on lite mode, with freshly blended fruit juice in the morning and smaller portions of rice (and more brown rice at home!).

My birthday breakfast on Saturday a la boyfriend: 미역국 (seaweed soup always eaten on birthdays) and a version of 비빔밥 (bibimbap) with brown rice, sesame leaves, onions and sprouts mixed with chili paste.

Did the detox work? Well, not really as well as I'd hoped. But I still feel good about myself for being a vegan for nearly 5 days. I eventually broke down after stomach pains on my birthday and bought some semi-natural semi-chemical medicine to solve the problem. Now I just need to keep my body in order so I don't have problems again....


  1. Great start at being vegan! However, I think some nuts and olive oil and vinegar on your salad would have made it a lot more satisfying.

  2. yea, I think so too... but I think that would have gone against the basic rules of my diet. Anyway... I'm back to meat and oil now :-) just trying not to overdo it...

  3. Probably a good way to figure out what upsets your tummy is write a food journal and your tummy feelings associated with what you eat.

    Vegetables have fiber, especially brocolli which can actually irritate your bowels. Fruit is fibrous too. And nuts are great and seeds but they too aren't really digestable..especially peanuts.

    I know all this cause I have a digestion disease. But I don't really have much eating restrictions. I stay away from coffee, too much sugar and seafood.

    If you are dieting to get more natural nutrients in your body like fresh fruits and vegetables can offer than that is always good. As for it "cleansing" you well I wouldn't expect that to happen. Rather just get your body use to eating fresh things and maybe less rice would be good.