Hello, in the past few weeks I have moved to China. While this has been a long time dream I am really disappointed by food options here. Aside from the poor quality of food, there is also a lack of options. So I was hoping I could get some thoughts on my diet here.
I'm cooking at home mainly as I have an inflammation/autoimmune/dysbiosis issue which I was on top of until coming here and have had a big flare up since.
Meat wise I am limited to pork, beef and chicken. I can get prawns too. And there are lots of fresh fish- however fish is a little daunting right now as I've no idea what the fish are, and also the state of rivers here puts me off a little, althogh the ish I've eaten out or at others' homes has been delicious.
Veg wise there is limited quality and choice too which I am most shocked by but I am mainly concerned about meat.
If I am choosing from pork, beef, chicken for 3 meals a day every day over a long period of time, given I'm planning on being here another year at least, are there potential problems I should be wary of?
My main healthy fat option, aside from the meat fat, is olive oil.
Would a better option be having veg for one meal and meat at the 2 other meals?
At home before I left I was the healthiest I've been in a long time, building strength and also only needing to eat twice a day on some days. So its disappointing to have a flare up again.
In 4 months I am moving to Beijing where I can start buying imported food and generally have more options, but for the next 4 months this is my diet.
asked byWhitelycan (119)
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on March 25, 2013
at 12:20 AM
Ahh living in China for a year - you're so lucky! That is something I would love to experience one day. We try to go once a year for at least a month and we love it there. What part of China are you in?
To your concerns: What about lots of variations of soups?
You can make bone broth from the pork/beef bones to help heal your gut when you need a break. Are you able to get eggs? Omelets with veggies would be a good breakfast option. If you're looking to eat more carbs you should also be able to get taro or some form of tuber from a local market.
Have you explored your area much or asked the locals where they get their food? When I was in China there was food everywhere and we frequently traveled in 'smaller' towns outside of Shanghai and Beijing. Always opt for the live fish if you can find them over dead ones -- same with prawns. You have to do the best you can given your circumstances.
The Chinese are known for head to toe cooking so you should also be able to get lots of nutrient dense offals and organ meats. They may not be organic but they offer more than a chicken breast or porkchop would nutritionally. Maybe if you ask around some of the locals can share a recipe or two! Also look for nuts and stock up on those if you find them.
Look for Coconut milk too and things like dried squid/oysters and mackerel which you can find in the snack section of the grocery stores. Chinese love their dried foods.
In terms of potential health issues -- I would only be concerned about missing vitamins and minerals from a wide variety of fresh veggies (you mention it seems limited) and getting high quality fat from whole (and clean) food sources. I would definitely inquire with the locals about where to get the best produce and meats. The Chinese have been living long healthy lives for thousands of years so I think you can make out alright if you plan enough. Keep lots of bone broth handy, try to get as much variety as you can and try not to stress -- stress magnifies any digestive issues. "When in Rome" as they say ;). Good luck!