The Power of Blog (Fermented Foods Division)

A few weeks ago I posted a short note about Yakult, a probiotic dairy drink popular in Asia. Yesterday, I came across someone who had read that note. He wrote about it in a post categorized as Learning Koanic Soul.

To test whether I did indeed now possess Melonhead powers, I attempted to manifest the thing I wanted most, and had been striving to attain the longest: a cure for the adverse side effects of the Accutane I’d taken 8 years ago.

Here’s a brief list of the side effects I suffered:

  • chronic diarrhea
  • chronic fatigue
  • inability to eat almost every food, including pills
  • insomnia
  • additional symptoms, increasing exponentially when I eat forbidden foods or miss sleep

Over the last 8 years I’d painstakingly developed a coping regimen that worked in theory, as long as I did it perfectly. But it was so strict that holding down a job or traveling were almost impractical. And any error meant days if not weeks of down time. I rarely achieved better than than 50% functionality. And my diet was so limited that I ate only one meal continuously – lean steamed meat with rice, scallops and shrimp.

All attempts at a cure had failed, and not only failed, but proven that I couldn’t even digest the pills that might make me better. Instead, the difficulty of digesting the pills induced a failure cascade, a reinforcing feedback loop of insomnia, stress, fatigue and diarrhea. After years of fighting this illness, I had learned a great deal but was running out of things to try.

So, for my first manifestation attempt, I decided to demand an INSTANT cure.

Not a regimen for coping with symptoms… Actual, immediate, damage reversal. . . .The experiment began as I wrapped up a Skype conversation with a Melonhead. He’d just finished describing his “powers” to me. I got the idea for the experiment, and told him what I’d try to manifest. Immediately I experienced a boost in energy – I’d been feeling sick. I was shocked – it appeared to be already working.

I finished talking to the Melonhead, and flicked open my RSS reader while deciding what to do next. Up popped an article by Seth Roberts mentioning the GI healing properties of Yakult, a fermented yoghurt drink common in Asia. Accompanied with link to scientific paper and news report.

This startled me, because I’d been planning to try fermenting my own yoghurt next, although I had low expectations for success. I was planning on getting a yoghurt making machine, yada yada. I began reading with interest. Could this be the sign I’d requested?

As I finished reading, my girlfriend arrived home. I told her I wanted to buy some of this “Yakult” stuff tomorrow, figuring the grocery stores were closed tonight. She replied that she had some in the refrigerator.

This got my attention. I’d requested an instant cure… and the cure, if it was one, had been sitting IN MY REFRIGERATOR before I requested it.

The main problem was the massive sugar content of Yakult. I knew that I had sugar malabsorption issues – I can’t eat fruit. There was an excellent chance that if I tried the Yakult, I would become sick for at least 3 days, and endure excruciating pain. For the record, torture by several consecutive days of gut cramps is one of the few things I am afraid of, being a subset of torture in general. Nevertheless, I elected to drink two (disgustingly sweet) Yakult bottles that night.

Over the next couple of days I continued to ramp up my Yakult dosage. My body rebelled some at the radical change, but it also showed signs of improvement. The expected disaster failed to materialize.

Day two was the worst. I felt as if I might be becoming genuinely sick. Given the amount I’d drunk, this meant a solid three days of agony were kicking off. That night I endured some physical pain, but I was also strangely energized, so that I had the mental reserves to face it out. Normally the illness saps all capacity for resistance.

That night I received a “message” (or had a thought, whichever you prefer) that “it would take three days.” Sure enough, on day 3 I knew was better, significantly so, instead of worse. There could be no further doubt that it was working. For me, something had finally changed.

Note that I would expect a full gut healing to take place over 3-6 months. It’s not simply a matter of fixing diet or finding the right pill, but 1. rebuilding bacterial colonies and 2. regrowing and healing intestinal lining damaged or eaten away by inflammation and acidity. While these results are not instant, they are screamingly fast in GI terms.

Impressed by this initial success, over the next few days I began to let manifestation guide my behavior intuitively, rather than using logic to determine my actions. An image of a key supplement appeared in my head – I went and bought it at the precise store I remembered seeing it. When I arrived I discovered it was on sale: 2 for 1.

At the grocery store, I simply wandered, letting manifestation dictate my purchases. I grew disgusted with the excessive sweetness of Yakult: lo and behold, I found a bulk yoghurt with a lower sugar content. I tested a few key supplements I had lying around, and found I could now digest pills. So I started taking everything I’d stored up but been unable to use. This resulted in a major improvement. At the same time, I gradually began eating a more diverse collection of foods, letting intuition guide me. No disaster ensued.

Once it was clear that I was cured, I wanted to know my new limits. And I didn’t intend to wait 6 months to find out. Among other things, I’ve tested a half block of cheese (lactose and fat intolerance), modest amounts of fruit (fructose and insoluble fiber intolerance), and the finisher, a greasy-spoon restaurant meal.

None of these could induce a return of the diarrhea that has plagued me for the last 8 years. However, the first and third did make me tired and give me gas for a couple of days. So I’m not invincible. The former was probably a matter of trying too much fat too soon (I have liver damage impairing fat digestion), and the latter was simply unfit for human consumption.

All this took about two weeks to transpire, from June 15 to June 28 [2012], and brings us to the present. I am eating a varied and delicious diet, and enjoying good energy and good health. My 8 year torment is at an end.

Conclusion: His girlfriend is Asian, he isn’t. More seriously, it really does show the power of fermented foods, in this case Yakult and yogurt.

3 Responses to “The Power of Blog (Fermented Foods Division)”

  1. Koanic Says:

    Hah, didn’t know you were a reader. I do know how to embarrass myself, don’t I?

    By the by, I fit the success of yoghurt, versus the failure of other fermented foods I tried such as kombucha and apple cider vinegar, under the Neanderthal cave herder hypothesis, that they fermented milk and cheese in the cool backs of their caves.

    Seth: It’s interesting that Yakult worked where kombucha and apple cider vinegar failed. Not easy to predict that.

  2. Tom Says:

    Such a moving post.

    You have a wonderful impact on the world, Seth.

  3. dearieme Says:

    OK, so why is the stuff on the shelves of every British supermarket but hard to get hold of in Berkeley?

    Seth: Good question. Better choice of distributor in Britain?