Since my first week in Argentina, I´ve been having a little problem.
Actually, a terrible problem. Digestive issues. These problems have cost me days of discomfort, a phobia of being without access to a bathroom, and even a trip to the hospital for some expensive tests!
Well after all these ordeals I´ve suffered, I am no longer shy to talk about digestive health, although I still consider it a gross subject that I don’t reccommend bringing up at the dinner table.
Being ‘regular’ in the digestive sense, was a luxury that I took for granted in my pre-Argentine life. But in Buenos Aires, my diet changed drastically, and unfortunately, my body didn´t like the changes.
Now going from Pesco-flexitarian to full fledged carnavore with a vengeance was bound to have some consequences, I know. But it wasn´t just the meat that my guts weren´t liking. Here were some of the other culprits:
- All carbs all the time
- Different meal times
- Stress and Pollution
- Lack of Fiber
So if you are coming to Buenos Aires, be prepared for this change. If you already consume pasta and meat on a daily basis, you probably won’t have any problems. But if your diet is largely based on vegetables, you need to be prepared. Now, I’m no doctor, but I play one on this blog, so here are my 5 best survival tips:
1. Activia and Banana Smoothies
I often wondered why yogurt was so popular in Argentina, and then I learned – it is impossible to live without it! I go for the Activia, personally. If you’re in desperate need of relief, take one banana, one small activia and one ice cube and blend together. It is a super delicious smoothie, and well, we don’t need to get into details, but … you won’t be disappointed.
2. Walk It Out
Did you know that there are pressure points in your feet that stimulate your colon? You could get a reflexology foot massage, or just take your shoes off and walk around your house when you need to get moving.
3. Emotional Health
Your intestines are sensitive to your emotions, believe it or not. So getting in touch with your feelings will really help your relationship with your digestive system. Personally, I have a hard time letting things go, if you catch my drift. I’ve found that being aware of my emotional state is beneficial for my digestive track.
It seems obvious, but extremely important. Drink a lot of water, it always helps, no matter what your symptoms. Argentines aren’t so big on the water like most Yankees, for example when you would like to have water in a restaurant, you order and pay for it like any other beverage. The tap water is drinkable here, but finding a filter to put on the sink tastes much better. And let’s be honest, if it tastes better, you’re going to drink more.
If your digestive problems become so unpleasant that you contemplate visiting a doctor, let me recommend mine for you. His name is Dr Branca, and you can find him in any supermarket. Fernet Branca is a popular digestif in Buenos Aires. This drink is known to aid digestion, and from personal experience, it really does work.
Well it took me a good 10 months of suffering to figure all these Argentine survival secrets. Any other weathered travelers have any tips?