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Eating Paleo in CHINA?

Commented on January 28, 2015
Created July 17, 2012 at 5:35 AM

Hey Guys,

Im planning to move to China for a few months with my girlfriend to teach English.

I hear nothing good about the quality of food in china (no grassfed meat, no organically grown, clean food, etc.)

Has anybody lived in China before and how did you go about eating the most healthy way possible over there?

Any tips and advice would be appreciated.

7eecdd43c11e2af1a9e4ca0f63d44749

(119)

on February 13, 2013
at 02:27 PM

What is your work? How depressing to hear people are in China and they only order pizza and McDonalds....

3c63ce6be28f19c5c54bcc1f6f72183b

(20)

on July 19, 2012
at 06:13 AM

HI Ozzie, Where I life in Guangzhou, am very fortunate to have 2 wetmarkets and 3 supermarkets to buy my food. So at both. I do buy my food fresh every day. For paleo in China, it is easy. Lucky for me I really do not like the cake like bread over here and it is easy to avoid rice. Other non paleo food encounters I did not have. It is amazing how many more types of leave greens there are here. Also the fresh fish supply is overwhelming. The only real issue us that I did not find any grass fed beef. Still at Metro supermarket the sell some very fine meat. Enjoy

0252d0422d8d82680caca7a8b33ca8b4

on July 17, 2012
at 02:12 PM

Hi Petra, So where do you tend to buy your food? Local markets, supermarkets, etc etc. Do you have any general advice on how to approach paleo in china? thanks

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14 Answers

2
45e51fee7d295e523ff4134f76c3ba05

(923)

on July 31, 2012
at 09:48 PM

My brother teaches English in China. He says in the northern part of China they eat more meat, and in the southern part, they eat more vegetables and rice - so the availability of food may be different depending on the region you are in.

He did tell me a funny story about how he had a party where he served a hickory farms sausage he had received from our parents. Apparently, no one would eat it until he told them it came from the U.S. and then he said they descended on it like a pack of wolves and devoured it. So, I probably would stay away from Chinese sausage if they are afraid of it. :)

2
3c63ce6be28f19c5c54bcc1f6f72183b

on July 17, 2012
at 09:01 AM

It is okay. Things are more fresh over here. Been living already for 8 years, of which 5 years in Paleo habit.

I think it is the fear that will take over your diet. No advise can help you with that.

Come over here and have a great time. Enjoy the life good food and maybe you and your wife make some new friends along the way.

And uh...become a real hunter gatherer in China!

Be well, Petra

0252d0422d8d82680caca7a8b33ca8b4

on July 17, 2012
at 02:12 PM

Hi Petra, So where do you tend to buy your food? Local markets, supermarkets, etc etc. Do you have any general advice on how to approach paleo in china? thanks

3c63ce6be28f19c5c54bcc1f6f72183b

(20)

on July 19, 2012
at 06:13 AM

HI Ozzie, Where I life in Guangzhou, am very fortunate to have 2 wetmarkets and 3 supermarkets to buy my food. So at both. I do buy my food fresh every day. For paleo in China, it is easy. Lucky for me I really do not like the cake like bread over here and it is easy to avoid rice. Other non paleo food encounters I did not have. It is amazing how many more types of leave greens there are here. Also the fresh fish supply is overwhelming. The only real issue us that I did not find any grass fed beef. Still at Metro supermarket the sell some very fine meat. Enjoy

1
1a641bbff1a7b0a70f08410376bbdf6b

(1587)

on August 01, 2012
at 09:22 AM

The problem with China is not that you can't get paleo type foods, it's the food (and air) quality that makes it a horrible place to live. I'm at a point were I'm not sure if I will ever go there again. Every single food group has one or more serious scandals attached to it. If you can read Chinese, check out this list http://www.zccw.info/query#fn

I don't even want to know what kind of crap I ate there every single day.

Also, this guy wrote a pretty good blog about it: http://chinageeks.org/2012/07/why-im-leaving-china/

1
5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on July 31, 2012
at 01:30 PM

However paleo you go or however you go about doing it, I would still recommend getting well acquainted with the local cuisine. I've been to China a few times and it's some of my favorite food anywhere in the world. Also for what it's worth I was the thinnest I've ever been when I lived in Hong Kong, and basically ate nothing but rice, grilled meat, and steamed veggies, with absolutely no effort, as those things are available everywhere there. It's good that you're thinking about your health, but don't forget to enjoy yourself. This should be a defining experience. Best of luck!

1
91f5be33a7ec9f59a5c528af3c75175d

on July 17, 2012
at 10:53 AM

OO good luck my friend is of to Beijing to teach at the international school I think he is Paleo or close, but best of luck. I'm sure you can find something whether or not there is variety it might just be Chinese leaf and chicken wraps all day everyday with the occasional duck? :)

0
B4bb6d4948e141ca167fa399e0d1d473

on January 27, 2015
at 06:15 AM

 @Mitch_C - appreciate this thread is super old but on the off chance that you're still in Beijing or anyone else with kefir grains or scoby's I'd be really interested in acquiring some. I've been eating paleo in Beijing for almost a year and just now starting to feel ready to add some fermentation into my life :-)

FYI there are now lots of great options for paleo diners in Beijing, Moka Bros in Sanlitun, a cool urban cafe that has paleo dishes on their menu and most other places can be navigated without too much hassle. 

B4bb6d4948e141ca167fa399e0d1d473

(0)

on January 28, 2015
at 03:14 AM

appreciate your reply - thought it would be a slim chance you'd still be here. Thanks for the advice though - I'll try that ;-)

9cb4cf45c3c675671fd6ab551590bb88

(35)

on January 27, 2015
at 01:54 PM

@I wish I could help. I left BJ in 2013 and took my kefir grains and scobys with me. :( Everyone who I gave some too has also left.

The best (bad) option I can think of is to order from cultures for health and then rehydrate them.

Good luck.

0
7c696cca56ed89ff43d21a79d750fe8d

on December 11, 2014
at 04:04 AM

Depends on where in China... It's relatively easy to eat Paleo in Shanghai and Beijing where there are more expats and thus demand is greater for quality imported foods. 

0
234f838334aadf27f5be5346c09fe90f

on May 21, 2013
at 03:01 PM

I've been living in China for four years. Guangzhou for the first two, Beijing for one and Qingdao presently. I've had absolutely no problem keeping a cooked paleo protocol and have achieve an exceptional physique due, in part, to a general aversion to Chinese cuisine.

My diet currently consists of raw eggs, spirulina, green tea and water. I supplement with leucine and creatine, as I am a strength trainer and martial artist. Very bland and somewhat boring, otherwise an invigorating combination of power foods.

On a side note, I have experienced the most violent and painful bodily reactions of my life, on multiple occasions, by eating local cuisine. I fault the produce every time. I will spare you the details.

0
834a5220c35893d5891ff1ebc9c98604

on May 21, 2013
at 02:18 AM

Hey Guys,

I'll be moving to China in September and am just now embarking on a Paleo diet. I recently found out I am positive for the HLA-B27 gene, and I'm hoping that Paleo/low starch diet will help me to prevent a host of health problems associated with it.

I was very heartened to hear your stories--especially yours Mitch, as I'll likely be moving to Beijing. It would be great to hear more about the specific spots to buy healthy/paleo food in Beijing. Would you elaborate a little more on specific markets and where they are?

Also, I must say, on my short trip to Beijing previously I felt very healthy. The food felt very fresh, even from the street vendors. The vegetables seemed to have more flavor, and it all felt more local and nutritious.

Thanks for all your posts!

Michael

0
Dd7ffd6f39c6485554859f56f0b5d24f

on February 13, 2013
at 11:25 AM

Hi guys, saw this tread and thought i might add a few questions as well. I work in China now and try to stay Paleo as far as it goes, but at times i find it quite hard.

I live in a hotel, so i dont have the possibilty to cook my own food. Therefore i must be more creative since i work long hours and usually have to bring my own food (at work they only buy pizza, mcdonalds etc.)

Does anyone who has lived in China know about the ingredients they use in Chinese food over here? I know at home they stuff the sauces with sugar and wheat, but i dont know if its the same here. Sometimes i go to a chinese restaurant because its convenient and i get tired from eating at the same western resturant every day. It looks very much like Paleo since i only order meat and veggies, but i dont really know whats in the dish. Asking them for a special order is impossible since they don't speak english at all. But i must say, when i eat the dishes with no rice i dont feel like im eating sugar or alot of bad carbs and i can usually feel it right away when i eat a slice of bread or something

7eecdd43c11e2af1a9e4ca0f63d44749

(119)

on February 13, 2013
at 02:27 PM

What is your work? How depressing to hear people are in China and they only order pizza and McDonalds....

0
7eecdd43c11e2af1a9e4ca0f63d44749

on January 29, 2013
at 10:42 PM

Thank Mitch, I'm starting off in Hunan on a 6 month contract, but was actually thinking about trying out Beijing. I'm not a big fan of gigantic cities having lived in London for 7 years, but I noticed that Disney seem to pay a lot more for English teachers and maybe I could afford to live by myself there. Anyway that's a bit of an aside. Apparently Hunan is known for its fish, so hopefully that'll work out well. Kombucha sounds good! Do you enjoy Beijing?

0
9cb4cf45c3c675671fd6ab551590bb88

on January 29, 2013
at 12:58 PM

Whitelycan, you can absolutely eat a paleo diet in China (I live in Beijing). The main problem, as one of the previous posters commented on, is the environmental toxins. For example, currently we're suffering through some extreme air pollution. In general, your ability to find quality food will vary by region. Where are you moving to?

In Beijing, you can buy direct from local organic farms and buy meats, fruits and veggies at a local market. If you do dairy, there are several sources for reliable fresh milk, and if you don't trust any of it, you can buy imported UHT milk (not my thing but many people do it). Another perk is it's very easy to find chicken feet and carcasses to make excellent bone broth!

By the way, it took me a long time to find someone with kombucha and kefir grains in Beijing. I've since found them and regularly have extra so if anyone needs some just let me know.

0
7eecdd43c11e2af1a9e4ca0f63d44749

on January 29, 2013
at 11:14 AM

Hi guys! I'm heading to China in about a month. I know this is an old thread but having recently switched to paleo and feeling very positiveI want to keep it going, so I was wondering Kriss how you've gotten on there and if anyone else is still there and still staying paleo? Thanks

0
0f88641fb8088d0cdd1b5ef810b2d0a4

on August 01, 2012
at 09:13 AM

Just a little note: the meat there is great - if you're not queasy about it. Pigeon, duck, venison, even rabbit or crocodile meat. These are likely caught wild.

Also, seafood is plentifully available! It might even be dirt cheap depending on your region and its proximity to the seas.

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