Gin Sukapaap Dee

About a Healthy Diet in Thailand

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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Local Banner

Posted by billzant on March 7, 2012

I went to my local restaurant and was pleased to see her putting up this banner:-

I have no financial interest in the restaurant, but have been pleased to prod the manager into introducing healthy food options on the menu – only a little prodding needed. Whilst most of the food she serves caters for general Thai interests here is a menu she has available for more “discerning?” palates:-

Menu

For more details on the restaurant checkout this website

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Zandtao Health Page

Posted by billzant on March 7, 2012

Ginsukapaapdee is specifically concerning how I have managed to eat healthily in Thailand. BigFood and its politics have a horrendous affect on our food choices, and this should not be ignored. BigFood however applies its pressures globally rather than being specific to Thailand, and I do not consider it appropriate to include such global questions in this blog. However if you are interested in the manipulations that affect our health from a political perspective checkout the Zandtao Health Page.

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B12

Posted by billzant on March 7, 2012

B12 is something we need, within the URL’s I have quoted there is sufficient information taht makes that clear. I read of Christine Pirello (her B12 story) who was vegan macrobiotic and made herself seriously ill after her natural supplies of B12 ran out. She had cured herself of leukemia through vegan macrobiotics, and then experienced this aneurism through B12 deficiency. “With simple supplementation, an increase in good quality fat…and a new understanding of how to balance work and rest, I have, once again, discovered the great life promised me by this lifestyle” is how she dealt with the problem.

Now personally I am against the use of supplements especially vitamin supplements. I am willing to take spirulina supplements as that is the only way I can get those algae (when I can get them), but industry marketing vitamin supplements I don’t trust.

In Thailand I found ga bpi and a good source of shell food at the market. Ga bpi is shrimp paste ground with the shells and I add this to a vegetable coconut milk dish I make. I often add mussels (hoi) to this as well – shellfish are good for old bones, and sometimes add the ga bpi for salt in my food. In general I feel that we are given foods by Nature and therefore don’t believe it is necessary to avoid natural foods such as meat,. However, and this is important, I consider the conditions that we keep our animals in and the dangers we cause ourselves with all the antibiotics sufficient for me not to eat meat. Disagree? Watch the movies “Earthlings” and Food Inc, and form your own conclusion. There are vegetarian zealots who might disagree about my minimal fish consumption but we must all reach our own conclusions.

In this article concerning B12 Dr Mercola discusses the possibility of different human types needing different types of food consumption. I don’t know about how far I go with this. I certainly do not accept that it justifies excessive meat consumption (daily basis). But when we are under fire from animal lib zealots I think it is important for us to recognise that we require different food intakes. I know a vegan mb friend in good health who says that the body provides what it needs through a form of transmutation. He has been a healthy vegan mb for a long time so it works for him, but it did not work for Christine Pirello.

For all vegans and vegetarians the need to consider B12 intake is very serious in the long term, make it part of your diet. Here is a vegan site with B12 details.

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Snacking on cake

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

One of the biggest problems I have had since starting my diet is what to have for a nibble!! I buy seaweed but that doesn’t do it for me. I also nibble on fruit but then I made up this cake – and I am fine. I had never really thought of making cakes because they require eggs until I discovered that vegans could bind foods without eggs. And the solution I liked best was bananas with wholewheat flour, both of which I can get locally, and then I went from there. I am so pleased with this cake that I have bought gadgets to cook it with, one gadget for pureeing and a cake mixer – typical of me a bit over the top.

Now there are standard ingredients to making the cake with a few variations.

Standard Ingredients:-

Bananas and coconut milk
Add muesli
2 tbsp brown flour

Variable Ingredients

Mango
Pineapple

Dried Fruit

Raisins
lanyai heeng

Spice

3 spoons of bpooi kaak

Method

Step 1 In the mixing bowl make the coconut milk puree. I get the coconut milk from the market (hua ga ti), and then add ripe yellow bananas – two or three large or a bunch of small. For variation I can add other fruits such as mango or pineapple to the puree.

Step 2 Once pureed, add muesli, and mix throughly. The mixture thickens but it is not completely bound.

Step 3 Add dried fruit. I like the lanyai heeng, it always reminds me of Xmas cake. I add some raisins as
well – luuk geet. And 1 or 2 teaspoonfuls of bpooi kaak (Chinese anis) gives a lovely tang.

Step 4 Final thickening by adding 2 tablespoonfuls of wholewheat flour. Mix thoroughly and you should get good cake mixture ready for the oven.

I can’t help you with oven settings as I have a small tabletop oven. I have a small tray and I put the mixture in the tray sprinkling it with some black sesame seeds (to avoid osteoporosis). Then I stick it in the oven for 20 minutes. These cakes go off quickly so I keep three pieces in the fridge and put the rest in the freezer. Because of the ingredients these are a substantial nibble between meals and yet no health consequences – except take care with excessive amounts of coconut milk.

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Ginger for KVAS

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

This was supposed to be some kind of ginger ale drink but it did not ferment to what I thought of as ginger ale. But I found it went well with the beetroot KVAS balancing the taste a little – it is still an acquired taste but helpful health-wise.

1 small piece of ginger about 1 cubic inch, micro-grated (I use an unused coffee-grinder)
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

Mix everything thoroughly in an air-tight container. Because of Thailand’s weather I let it sit outside for 3 days. They say it may carbonate, mine doesn’t but I let the air out every day or so.

Addendum

This has also slipped by with the KVAS.

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Beetroot KVAS

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

I mix the KVAS with a ginger drink I make – 5:1 KVAS:ginger.

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

Preparation
1. Use large jar.
2. Add filtered water to fill the jar.
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.

Aside:- Folk medicine values beets and beet kvass for their liver cleansing properties and beet kvass is widely used in cancer therapy in Europe. Anecdotal reports indicate that beet kvass is an excellent therapy for chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, allergies and digestive problems. It is an excellent blood tonic, cleanses the liver, promotes bowel regularity, aids digestion, and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.

Addendum

Sadly I have let this slip by as it is excellent. You need to keep making it because the starter comes from the previous batch.

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Kefir

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

At the same time I bought the kombucha tea scoby, I bought kefir grains – even though kefir beauty products are available in Thailand I don’t know where to get grains. Initially I thought kefir was great but I am now not convinced. To begin with I made milk kefir eating this most days with fruit thinking it was good. But then I noticed that on Sundays headaches would start – not migraines but enough. I stopped eating milk kefir, and the headaches went. One up for the macrobiotics that says don’t eat dairy. I have included the milk kefir process below but you must decide – I have no doubts that milk kefir chuais the yooi.

I then began to make coconut milk kefir. Thailand is great for this – at least where I am is, because I can go to the market and get fresh coconut milk – they have a wierd-looking machine where they make it on the spot. The machine makes hua ga ti and hung ga ti – for this you only want hua ga ti. I put the kefir grains in a jar and put the hua ga ti on top – about one pint. After about a day the kefir forms on top, and I remove it putting it in the fridge. I leave the jar another couple of days and some more coconut kefir is formed – mostly liquid. I sieve this mixture so as I can separate the grains. I put the grains back in the jar and pour some of the liquid back on the grains. This helps the grains for the next batch. I put the rest of the liquid in the fridge, and it separates giving some coconut kefir. I go through this coconut kefir process weekly. This does not make as much coconut milk kefir as the milk kefir but it balances the taste of fruit nicely.

When the coconut milk separates to make the kefir the liquid that remains is whey, I use this in making kvas and the ginger ale drink later. Keep the whey in the fridge.

Update 10/3/12

The longer I have gone on with the coconut milk kefir the less satisfied I am. It makes little although what it makes is OK. I will try to keep the grains going but that’s all.

Milk Kefir

This is easier to make than the coconut kefir. Basically I used two pints of milk, pour the kefir grains in a two pint jar, filled it with milk and waited. After a couple of days the milk separated and on the top was milk kefir. I scooped this off and strained the rest reclaiming the grains. Then grains in the jar with two pints of milk giving the milk kefir again. Perhaps this made too much and that is why I got the headaches – I don’t know. Anyway I stopped and they have gone. But that doesn’t mean the same will happen to you. Try for yourself, but dairy is not human food!

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Kombucha Tea

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

Now this is very straight-forward except for one thing – the scoby. You make kombucha tea from ordinary tea but to ferment the tea you need a scoby. Now a scoby just looks like a piece of rubber that sits in the bottom of the tea, and leaving it there ferments the tea making it kombucha tea. For Thailand getting the scoby is a problem, and I sent to the US for it. I found an address off the internet and had it shipped over, but they didn’t answer emails so I can’t recommend them (e-mail me if you want their address) .

You can use any tea you like, preferably natural tea. I use oolong tea and jiangulan tea. Fermenting the tea changes the taste so you try what works for you. Your scoby changes any tea so that is no problem. Your scoby also grows with fermentation so you can store it or pass it on!!

I make 4 pints of kombucha tea at a time, 1 teaspoon of tea for each pint, and – wait for it – 1 dessertspoonful of white sugar. Aaagghh! I know but the sugar is needed for the fermentation, and the fermentation process gets rid of the sugar, so I don’t think it’s a problem. Hasn’t been for me so far. Once you have made the tea, you must leave it for 24 hours until it is room temperature. I don’t remove the tea leaves while it is cooling, but I read that some do. Once you are ready to make the kombucha tea, strain out the leaves.

I have a plastic container with a tap for each drink. You put the scoby in the bottom of the container, pour in the tea, and leave it for a week. By this time fermentation has taken place and you have kombucha tea.

As I said above the scoby grows so I now have 2 kombucha tea containers. From the first batch an extra scoby had grown so I used that to make the second batch. Now the scoby just gets bigger, and I cut it for storage or throw it.

I drink one tea one week, and the other the next – making new tea every Thursday (how boring!).

Addendum

I have really taken off with this fermentation. I drink 2/3 glasses every day, and I make green Aden tea (2 caskets) and hibiscus.

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Kimchee

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012


Clean all pots and food processor very well, but without soap, as soap also kills the good bacteria.

I find the food processor makes the chopping so much easier, and I like the veg being finer (than chopped) – looking like a fermented coleslaw (for westerners) .

Making kimchee is a three-stage process:-

1) Soak the veg:- Take two cabbages, 2 carrots and diakon. Using largest grater process these veg, and put them in a mixing bowl. Add 3 large tbsp of sea salt, and mix through with hands for 5 minutes so that the salt is mixed in with all the veg. Fill the bowl with water – maybe 1/2-1 inch above the veg. Cover the bowl with cloth, I use elastic to keep it in place. Leave the bowl to one side for 12-24 hours, much longer than that and mould forms (not wanted).

2) Preparing the kimchee:- After leaving the veg to soak for up to a day, make sauce. Ingredients are to your taste. I use 1 red pepper, 2 long thin green peppers (not strong), a bit of ginger and garlic, 2 or 3 tomatoes, ga bpii (paste of ground small fish), 2 or 3 onions. Put them in the food processor until it is a sauce. Drain the water (keep the drained salt water) from the soaked vegetables, and put veg and sauce in a bowl add a tbsp of sea salt and mix by hand again for about 5 minutes.

3) Making the kimchee:- get the ceramic or glass pots you are going to make the kimchee in – plastic not advisable; I use ceramic pot and glass jar. Empty the kimchee (mixed soaked veg and sauce) into your kimchee containers, and using the drained salt water just cover the kimchee mixture – no more. Cover your containers with tea-cloth (I use cloth and elastic), and leave containers. How long you leave the containers depends on where you live. As this is Thailand I leave it for three days – might be longer in cold season or in the North. After three days I inspect the kimchee, and I am looking for it about to have mould on top. Clean away this top layer of mould or slightly off covering, and put in fridge. I make a lot so I actually put the kimchee in the freezer except for what I need for the next few days – I eat a bit every day.

Messy on the hands, a bit timely, but once you’ve done it a few times it’s no big thing. Good – chuai yooi, bad – Thai women like it because it is spicy.

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