Gin Sukapaap Dee

About a Healthy Diet in Thailand

Archive for May, 2012

Making Drinks Count

Posted by billzant on May 25, 2012

When I first visited the natural healing clinic for GERD, the doctor told me diet. He focussed on the food, he knew I didn’t drink but he said I should stop tea and coffee as well. At my insistence he gave me some Thai drinks that I could try – ginger, hibiscus and matuum. I did this, but over the few years drinks have taken on greater importance.

First and foremost is water. He did not advise drinking water, but I have since learnt that for me (84 kg) 2litres a day of filtered water on its own is essential. Water is the main body mechanism for detox. We wake up and pass water. In addition I take a flask of 1 litre of warm water to bed with me, and begin the day with that water. You are what you drink, and we are made of water.

The next important drink is rejuvelac – nam khao klong in Thailand. Basically you put some rice in the bottom of a container, fill it with water, and let it ferment for a couple of days. Pour off the liquid, and this drink is excellent for bowel movements and more.

Next came the green drink. A friend had high cholesterol, and I tried to persuade her the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. She tried a chlorophyll drink and it helped, then she started to teach me making me have leafy green juice at her restaurant – thamachaat (natural). At home I compromised with bai tooi (pandanus), maruun, ginger and lemon juice, all in the blender. What is so good about this green juice is that I go into the garden, cut the bai tooi and the maruun from what I have grown. Sadly that is my limited success in the garden.

On a diet when you start detox, you begin to realise the importance of the liver for getting rid of toxins. Turmeric is excellent for this but then I found kvas as well. To begin with I just used beetroot:-

• 3 medium or 2 large organic beets (roots only), peeled and chopped up coarsely; do not grate beets.
• 1/4 cup whey. 1 tablespoon ocean sea salt
• filtered water

1. Use vacuum jar I bought.
2. Add filtered water to fill the container(s).
3. Stir well and cover securely.
4. Keep at room temperature for 2 days and then transfer to refrigerator.
5. Drink one 4 ounce glass, morning and night.

For your second batch refill the bottle with filtered water and let it ferment for two more days on the counter. After the second brewing discard the beets. However, reserve some of the beet kvass liquid and use this as your innoculant instead of the whey for the next time you make it.

I tried to make ginger ale at the same time, this didn’t work well, but I now mix the ginger drink with the beet kvas when I drink. Here is the ginger drink:-

1 small piece of ginger about 1 cubic inch, micro-grated
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from one lemon)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp fresh whey
1 qt. water

I actually use quite a large piece that I grate. Mix everything thoroughly in an air-tight container, and let it sit at room temperature for 3-7 days. You may need to bleed off some CO2 depending on temperature – there arewarnings about too much gas causing jars to explode. I have found that the drink doesn’t carbonate, maybe the Thai climate. Refrigerate. This combined beet and ginger kvas feels good, and they say it is good for liver and kidneys.
Eventually in my healing I reached the importance of probiotics – chouai yooi. I first started with tablets, but I didn’t like them (and they were expensive) so I tried kombucha tea. As with all fermenting you need the starter, and, this is not good for Thailand, I ordered a scoby from the US. I had never done this fermenting before so it seemed strange, this piece of rubber. Anyway I followed the instructions and it worked. They sent a tea with it but I now use Thailand tea – oolong tea and even better Jiangulan, but sadly for “Eating healthily in Thailand” this scoby is the first thing I could not get here. I found no problem with using it:-

Where I am it takes a week. Make the tea first – 3 litres. In a pot 3 litres of water 4 spoons of tea and 4 dessert spoons of white sugar. Boil the water and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool for a day. Sieve out the tea leaves, pour the room temperature tea over the scoby, and leave for a week. My weeks alternate between oolong and jiangulan, and I assume my yoois are well chouaied.

There are two final drinks that I recommend although in truth I started these because of my GERD condition. The first is Apple Cider Vinegar, ACV. One part to 7 of water with a small amount of honey for taste, drink twice a day. The next is whole carrot juice, more accurately called carrot sludge – half a large carrot shredded mixed with 300cl of water – done in my combined food processor/blender. One drink with much washing-up but the enzymes from the carrot greatly helps the stomach rebalance itself.

Along with the great varieties of green tea available here especially mulberry and with hibisucs (rosella – grajiap) healthy drinking is well possible – with a bit of effort. What is significant is that these drinks are not just added to the diet but they are an integral part of it. Drinks count.


Here is a water calculator – it worked for me. 3.1 litres – 2 litres of water and and just over a litre of other drinks.

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Animal Protein

Posted by billzant on May 25, 2012

It is amazing with all the time I spend reading about healthy food how I still miss some things. Watching “Delicate Balance” brought this one home to me. I started my healthy eating with a macrobiotic diet – grains, legumes veg and fruit with fish once a week. Over time this became easy for me because mostly I cooked at home and occasionally I ate at restaurants when I was tired – and the fish allowed me to do that. I also read that mussels were good for ageing bones so I introduced them into my diet. Delicate Balance started me thinking and I realised that I had a small amount of fish, squid, prawns or mussels most days of the week. Of the animal proteins I think they are the safest, and I felt comfortable with this. But I am 4-5kg over weight.

The movie made me realise that animal protein is not natural for humans, and I had deluded myself. “Humans are carnivores” is the message of the meat industry but quick inspection of our teeth quickly belies that. There is the myth that historically we are hunter-gatherers but in truth it is natural to eat plant-based foods with occasional meat if we were lucky enough to snare something. Now that “capturing our food” is not a challenge, this historical diet can be seen as a natural diet of grains, legumes veg and fruit with a small amount of animal protein sufficient to provide us with B12. Watching Fresh the chemical cocktail fed to keep the animals alive has always kept me off meat. Sea fish has always seemed much safer but I have allowed myself too much fish protein. I have a dish I make – I would call it mussels ga ti – mussels with fried veg in coconut oil and fresh coconut millk from the market plus Thai spices. The places I eat out regularly I am going to find vegetarian options, thus significantly reducing my animal protein, maybe I will hit the 80kg that I should be at.

Human beings are not meant to eat the animal protein in the same way as we are not meant to eat dairy (only mother’s milk). For all the coronaries this could well be an important understanding.

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