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What tips does Jenny have for someone having trouble digesting?
Jenny Phang

10 Dec 2015 - 11:13 AM  UPDATED 18 Dec 2015 - 11:44 AM

Dear Jenny,

I love food, but I’m also recovering from an illness and have a sensitive stomach. What food to you recommend for someone having trouble digesting?

Jenny: This is a very good question. When you’re sick, you should eat something ching – light flavoured and plain – like jook (congee). Use short grain rice or what white people use – Arborio rice – but never use long grain. Jook is always smoother with short grain rice. Also, no oil when you’re sick. No butter or milk. When I was growing up and suffered diarrhoea, I had arrowroot. Mix it in warm water, and if it’s too plain, add some sugar. If you have bad diarrhoea, you just eat it like that – it ends up like glue. It will settle your diarrhoea. This will help you get better within two days. But if it continues... you might need to go to hospital. Herb soup. Ginger. When my son-in-law was recovering from food poisoning, my daughter was helping him recover with similar things. Or vegetable soup. Try to avoid meat – everything should be vegetarian. You can have fermented vegetables – kimchi or zha cai – or some tofu. If you need some solids.

Most importantly, you need to control yourself. Because you’re sick! You want to shit yourself again? When my children were sick, they were on a very strict diet. You can’t eat shit food – you know, rubbish food – anymore. Ginger helps get the chi out. You’ll fart out the sickness. You can recover your chi, mainly. The secret to Asian kind of chicken and vegetable soup, you chuck in a piece of ginger, otherwise it’ll taste – seng – gamey. Smells fishy. Or vermicelli – I think rice noodles are better. Even when I bought that health diary to support breast cancer, they encourage you to eat fermented vegetables like the Japanese, if you want to eat long. And don’t eat too full, otherwise you’ll feel sick. You’ll explode. No cold drinks or food either. No deep fried food. Asians will also eat no pineapple. No watermelon. Just like it’ll cause miscarriage, it’ll cause diarrhoea. Don’t ask me why. Apples, oranges, vegetables - that's all you can eat.


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