So I've been thinking. What was it about China that made my tummy so good? Why did I not have one burp, let alone a belch, the entire time? Why did all my food settle perfectly, leaving me with a nice flat tummy instead of the usual nightly bloat? WHY?!

I can only describe my belly yesterday night as "horrific". I wouldn't wish the pain I was in last night on anyone, and I was about 10 seconds away from having The Boyfriend take me to the hospital, but I knew that there was nothing they could do for me short of injecting my belly with morphine. While the thought of a morphine injection was comforting, I took my bad tummy cocktail and put myself to sleep without it. If you thought this picture of my tummy was bad, you should have seen me last night.

In China I ate food with gluten, sugar, (some) dairy, white rice, fried food; and very little fruits and veggies. I ate muffins and white bread toast with butter and jam (Oops...did I forget to photograph that? Sorry.) I ate dessert after every meal. I had candy and never said no when someone offered me a treat. I drank coffee and tea daily in excessive quantities. I drank about one small bottle of water per day.

Same thing happens when I go to Grandma's house. Perfect tummy. What is it about traveling and eating food other people cook that settles better than food I make myself?

I'm beginning to have a theory.

Aside from one small cup of Starbucks fruit and one banana, all of my food in China was cooked. I know this might seem weird, but I love raw food, eat tons of salads, oodles of fresh fruit and make lots of raw vegan recipes. That said, maybe I can't digest it as well as I thought?

Hey, it could just be a theory. But it would totally explain why those charming Cocoa Krispies never upset my poor little tum tum.

Thoughts? Feel free to lend your opinions on another unrelated theory. I'm open to suggestions!

And if all else fails, my next trip to China is one week from today.


  1. when i was in africa, and also in southeast asia, i wasn't sick at all and once we got back to the states we (and by we i mean everyone i traveled with - all 13-15 of us) were sick for a while. my theory is that our stomachs just are detoxing - i tend to eat heavier, richer foods whenever i travel - and bigger ones too. it's very similar to when i used to do cleanses - just a little bit of fruit/veggies for a few days would make me so ill!

  2. It's certainly a possibility! I say just eat what makes you feel good...and take a multivitamin to cover your bases. I'm sure the rat will eat any raw food you have on hand already.

    Mama Pea

  3. That's an interesting thought. I have heard that cooking food helps to beak down enzymes which in turn makes the food easier for us to digest. Not sure how much truth that holds but it would certainly be an interesting experiment!

  4. I COMPLETELY agree that is because all the food is cooked. I have the same exact problem. My herbalist practices Chinese medicine and told me to only eat cooked food. My stomach can't digest raw as well. Even though I LOVE salads and raw fruits and veggies, my tummy definitely feels better when I make stir fry veggies and brown rice for dinner versus salad.

  5. Yep, totally agree with you! I love eating lots of raw foods but they don't totally agree with me so I have to slightly steam everything. When I travel to other countries my stomach is always great. I think its because their foods are so fresh and perservative free! Love this post and keep us updated on your experimenting. Cheers!

  6. If it helped, give it a try! My problem is specific foods, mostly: nuts, mayonnaise, sesame seeds, fried and/or greasy foods. Salads and fruit don't bother me, for some reason.

  7. hey erin,
    i have a similar stomach issue as you, and i recently saw yet another GI doctor. he told me is very important to eat all my vegetables cooked...especially ones like spinach and broccoli. it has definitely helped me...so i think your theory might be right.

  8. ayurveda is all about cooked fruit and veggies for certain types of people. its different for everyone, but if you think you may have found what works for you, give raw foods a rest for a while.

  9. It's definitely a possibility, I've heard of people not being able to digest raw food or fresh juices. That would be sad though:(

  10. I know that in Japan, (which I know isn't the same, but it's all I know, so go with it! :)), the food is just less processed than in the states. Their desserts are less sweet and their food is just better quality. Maybe that has something to do with it?

    Whatever it is, I hope you figure it out because I HATE that you're in pain!

    Love you!

  11. i say go for it! i dont digest raw veggies and fruit well at all, i eat alot of dried fruit- its a good sub for it : )
    so while i wouldnt say eat fries and egg rolls every night, switch one cooked meal in place of a raw one and see what happens! good luck!!

  12. You may just be right in your theory...whenever I eat salads and other raw stuff, I get really bloated. My tummy doesn't hurt, but I do feel uncomfortable. So much for clean eating.

    Another thing...could be that there aren't as many hormones in the food in China? I know that whenever I go back home, everything is much smaller and not as pretty looking because produce isn't injected with hormones.

  13. Have you looked into Celiac disease or a possible systemic Candida infection (causes worst bloating ever!)? Just a thought. Love your blog!


Thanks for your comments! Hope you stop by again soon! XO!