**Disclaimer: I must apologize for the poor quality of these photos. They’re taken on breaks at school, day-trips to the city, and spontaneous dinners—I don’t carry my DSLR everywhere and I still feel a little silly taking it out in restaurants… so I apologize for your eyes.
**Disclaimer #2: (Heh.) The following is kind of gross. Read on at your own discretion.
It was about a week in when we encountered our first food problem.
It wasn’t that we couldn’t handle the spicy kimchi. Nor that the intestines were too tough a mental feat to eat.
Even when our school director kindly paused to inquire whether we’d faced a case of Montezuma’s revenge, a familiar trouble of my past travels. “No,” we answered, thinking “but we sure wished we had…”
You see, the problem here is not that we’re stagnant. We’re moving. We’re doing things.
It’s just that our insides are not.
With a diet high in white rice and shy on the fruits and raw veggies, our digestive systems have been in slow-mo for the past few weeks…. a far cry from a high-raw vegan diet full of fibrous goodies like flax seeds, green smoothies, and skin-on fruits. Here, my favorite tteokbokki clogs up the insides in the same manner I’d assume a high-in-cheeseburgers diet does one’s arteries. I’d be on the hunt for an enema if I didn’t think it’d be such an awkward thing to ask our Korean co-teachers.
It was a rough first two weeks.
Thankfully, there are a few built-in Korea solutions.
1. Brown rice.
Thankfully I’ve found one (and one, of the twenty-plus places we’ve dined in so far) spot near our school that serves brown rice for an extra 1,000 won (about a dollar) a piece. Since brown rice is fiber-packed, unlike it’s lighter-skinned counterpart, it’s fibrous enough to keep things moving. Brown rice win!
2. Raw Veggies.
Though they usually come in short supply and atop public toilet enemy number one: white rice, I’ll take ‘em any way I can get ‘em. Bonus points if they’re green.
3. Kimchi Jjigae.
Kimchi jjigae, or as we foreigners like to call it, “spicy tofu poop soup,” is chock-full of cabbage and hot peppers. If someone can explain to me why spicy things make things move, please do so below in the comments. All I know? The proof is in the poop.
4. If all else fails, Costco sells prune juice. Exclusively in giant bottles, of course.
Well, if I haven’t lost you as a reader by the end of this post, thanks, you’re awesome! And if you have any solutions to our “crappy little problem”, please feel free to suggest in the comments below :) Thank you and happy bowel movements to you!