Note: If you haven’t seen Part 1 yet, best to read it for context first.
First: First things first. It’s really, REALLY important that while you’re doing this cleanse, you don’t put anything in that is causing the problems in the first place. That means AVOIDING* the following:
Alcohol – alcohol creates sugar as a metabolic by-product, and also contributes to inflammation by creating “Heat”. Beer is particularly problematic because of its yeast content.
Refined sugar – (fruit sugar is fine but no added honey, NO added sugar.) – “Mmmmm. Deliciously sweet sugary goodness.’, thinks you… Erm.. that’s exactly what bacteria think as well. In fact, research has questioned the relationship between adverse gut bacteria and human cravings.
Greasy or deep-fried foods – Cholesterol-free or cold-pressed oil is fine, but not in excess. Basically, if it looks like gross, slimy sludge when it goes in, chances are it’s going to stay that way.
Yeast – not even sourdough or natural yeasts. That includes pizza. In fact, it basically means pizza. And white bread.
Dairy including cheese, milk, and yoghurt – You can have soy or almond milk – avoid rice milk because it is too sweet. You can also have goat yogurt, but only 1-2 tablespoons a day.
Depending on the season (Summer) and your climate (Sub-tropical, tropical) it may be acceptable to have cold foods, but preferably not directly from the fridge.
Second: Neutralise the PH
The main cause of inflammation or gut discomfort is the overgrowth of the wrong kinds of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Neutralising the pH creates conditions that deprive pathological bacteria of their ideal replicating environment – changing the conditions and stopping them from growing. Ideally, if the pH is neutralised effectively, the bacteria will just stop production immediately, and leave town.
Every day, morning and night, for ONE WEEK, take 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. The kind with the cloudy stuff in it. You don’t need any specific brand, as long as it contains a sediment that sits at the bottom of the bottle and mixes through to make it cloudy when the bottle is shaken. You can take your apple cider vinegar straight, in a tablespoon, down the hatch, mix it in with a glass of water to dilute it so it is not so sour, or you can do my favourite thing – make salad dressing out of it.
This sediment is called “mother” and is evidence that the vinegar has gone through the proper fermentation process to create its active ingredient, malic acid. Malic acid is naturally formed during fermentation and is particularly useful when dealing with any type of bacterial overgrowth, primarily because it neutralises pH in the tissue it comes into contact with. Around one week should sort you out – If you’re accustomed to clearing out GIT buildup you will notice the different texture in your mouth when your tongue has no coat. A tongue coating is a sign from your body that there is a buildup in the GIT. As I mentioned in the first article, it indicates dampness, according to Chinese medicine theory.
Awesome Summer Slaw with gut-cleansing dressing!
Don’t forget your friendly TCM advice – to always have salads warm or at room temperature –
Cold can impede digestion and cause more dampness. To warm it up add some meat or roast veggies.
- 1 granny smith apple, skin on, Julienne (cut into little straws like this)
- 1 stick of celery, also cut in Julienne style*
- 6cm length of continental cucumber, sliced thinly
- Your choice of kale or red cabbage if you want some red and don’t like kale, cut it finely.
- 2 sprigs of fresh mint, chopped, not to within an inch of their lives, mind you – you don’t want them mashed, just-chopped.
- 1/2 baby fennel root – sliced thinly
- 2 spring onions, sliced diagonally (so the pieces are thin and pointy)
And the sciency-magic touch – the dressing
- 3Tb apple cider vinegar
- 1-2Tb extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small clove of garlic, minced (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon grated palm sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon goat yogurt
- Place vegetable ingredients other than garlic, spring onions and mint in a salad bowl and combine them.
- For the dressing, I usually use a cup and a fork but if you have a tiny bowl and one of those cute little tiny whisks, you can use that instead. Pretty much just throw everything in together, including the garlic but not the mint and spring onions, and make sure it’s all combined nicely. The goat yogurt should emulsify the oil and the vinegar to get an even distribution through the mixture and temper the garlic a little bit. Try tasting it and if you like you can add some seeded mustard to the mix, for extra Yangy-liciousness.
- Put the dressing on the salad and stir it through, making sure it’s all combined.
- Sprinkle the spring onions and mint over the salad, and clean up the bowl with a bit of paper towel if you have got dressing above the level of the salad.
This salad works really well if it’s marinated for a couple of hours, to get the vinegar to soak into the veggies. Eat at your leisure.