2

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Paleo in Russia?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 03, 2011 at 6:15 AM

Anybody have any experience with Russian cuisine? I'm going to be in St. Petersburg for 10 days in September and am wondering what the food is like? I fully intend to enjoy my time there so I'm not going to sweat it if I can't stay 100% paleo. I'm just wondering is it going to be easy to find paleoish foods among the local cuisine? Or are they famous for their breads and pastries maybe? I have no idea what they eat. Borscht is the only thing that comes to mind when I think of Russia. That sounds pretty paleo now that I think about it though.

723e9af1560a89e7d8148b386151c15d

(38)

on November 12, 2011
at 11:13 PM

Raw vegan diet is really popular here but I'm unaware of good experts in this field.

723e9af1560a89e7d8148b386151c15d

(38)

on November 12, 2011
at 11:07 PM

I live in North-West of RF and I can't find anyone good in folk medicine. I mostly agree with this post (in russian): http://healthy-back.livejournal.com/292852.html

37f4b3c51afbd92d259afaa171270874

(1219)

on July 04, 2011
at 07:04 AM

If the doctor is western trained you should for the most part be ok. If he/she was trained under the former east German regime, beware. :P

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on July 04, 2011
at 04:21 AM

I'm going to a fertility clinic which caters to foreign patients and seeing a doctor who trained in Germany. I've had nothing but good experiences with German doctors and hospitals, which makes me think she must be well-trained. Overall I am feeling very good about her, but sounds like I should avoid getting sick while I'm there.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on July 04, 2011
at 04:18 AM

Good tip about the "stealth breading!"

37f4b3c51afbd92d259afaa171270874

(1219)

on July 03, 2011
at 09:53 PM

There are some stores that now sell organic foods but the farmers markets are better anyway. Many of the stores in both Russia and the Ukraine look like western stores with all the crap food that goes with them. For dairy, eggs, honey, etc. I would find a source a village/farm milk. It will be raw. I had no problem sourcing raw milk, pastured eggs, raw honey either in Russia or the Ukraine.

37f4b3c51afbd92d259afaa171270874

(1219)

on July 03, 2011
at 09:47 PM

Avoid it all costs unless it is an American clinic (expensive) or a US trained doctor. My host in Moscow was a doctor and he had many stories to tell. If you are used to western medicine you will find it brutal in many ways. For minor things they might be better (as is much of the world) simply because they don't treat everything with a drug, but for emergency situations there is still no better place to be than in a western or western trained hospital/patient care environment. This is another area where you will ex-pat forums (foreigners who make their home in Russia) extremely helpful.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 03, 2011
at 02:20 PM

@turkeytyme healthcare is matter of luck: the best would be not to get ill in the first place; municipal hospitals / emergency care are supposed to be free of charge, but don't count on the too much; if you need a doctor, just ask your employer / local partners / friends which clinic to go to (local knowledge in such unpredictable and diverse country as russia is invaluable)

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on July 03, 2011
at 12:56 PM

I should add I'm not really concerned with whether the doctors are paleo friendly or whatever, just how good the care is compared to what we are used to in the US.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on July 03, 2011
at 12:52 PM

Excellent reply! Do you have any knowledge of the medical care?

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3 Answers

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5
37f4b3c51afbd92d259afaa171270874

on July 03, 2011
at 07:02 AM

I was in Moscow for six months. You can pretty much eat any style you want. Just don't expect the meat in general to be nearly as good as in the US/Western Europe (unless you eat at a fancy and generally very expensive restaurant). Otherwise, at least in Moscow, you can get just about anything you want.

Fish is something they have an abundance of, and many varieties I had never heard of or eaten before. Pork fat (salo) is a mainstay and very tasty. I love the stuff.

Expect to experience a lot of culture shock. For example, customer service seems to be a bad word in Russia. If you look and act like a stupid/silly foreigner, expect to pay higher prices unless you shop at a standard retail market. Best to have some grip on the language or a friend with you who can guide you as you eat/shop. Best to find a good source of ex-pat information for many things that while available aren't necessarily available in your average store. I am a member of an ex-pat forum for Moscow that was of immense help in many areas.

Kindness and courteousness go a long way and the best way to demonstrate that is by at least speaking their language for little things like hello, thank you, I'm lost, etc. They will know you are a foreigner and will appreciate your attempts to communicate in their language.

In short, you can do "paleo" however you define it, but it may take some work and effort to do it well. And no, you don't have to eat the bread/pastries and other crap that is also readily available just like any western market, unless you want to.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on July 03, 2011
at 12:52 PM

Excellent reply! Do you have any knowledge of the medical care?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 03, 2011
at 02:20 PM

@turkeytyme healthcare is matter of luck: the best would be not to get ill in the first place; municipal hospitals / emergency care are supposed to be free of charge, but don't count on the too much; if you need a doctor, just ask your employer / local partners / friends which clinic to go to (local knowledge in such unpredictable and diverse country as russia is invaluable)

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on July 04, 2011
at 04:21 AM

I'm going to a fertility clinic which caters to foreign patients and seeing a doctor who trained in Germany. I've had nothing but good experiences with German doctors and hospitals, which makes me think she must be well-trained. Overall I am feeling very good about her, but sounds like I should avoid getting sick while I'm there.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on July 03, 2011
at 12:56 PM

I should add I'm not really concerned with whether the doctors are paleo friendly or whatever, just how good the care is compared to what we are used to in the US.

37f4b3c51afbd92d259afaa171270874

(1219)

on July 04, 2011
at 07:04 AM

If the doctor is western trained you should for the most part be ok. If he/she was trained under the former east German regime, beware. :P

37f4b3c51afbd92d259afaa171270874

(1219)

on July 03, 2011
at 09:47 PM

Avoid it all costs unless it is an American clinic (expensive) or a US trained doctor. My host in Moscow was a doctor and he had many stories to tell. If you are used to western medicine you will find it brutal in many ways. For minor things they might be better (as is much of the world) simply because they don't treat everything with a drug, but for emergency situations there is still no better place to be than in a western or western trained hospital/patient care environment. This is another area where you will ex-pat forums (foreigners who make their home in Russia) extremely helpful.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 03, 2011
at 02:08 PM

[i'm pretty sure you can eat 'paleo' (in a broad sense) anywhere in the world: even 'vegan' can be 'paleo', and fasting is the ultimate paleo]

as for russia:

if your definition of paleo includes dairy, you can find a good assortment of dairy products in retail stores/supermarkets or at the 'farmers market' (that must be as organic/free range/grass fed as you can get in russia)

if there is nothing but fast food: skip pirozhki / bulochki / vatrushki / belyashi / shaurmi or any other pastry stuff, and go for "shashlik" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shashlik)

and a warning: note that most russian recipes for burgers/meat patties (= called "kotleta") call for adding bread to the ground meat, thus even if it is not 'breaded' on the outside it does not necessarily mean they have no bread inside (perhaps this 'stealth breading' practice began in the soviet period when meat was a scarce commodity)

37f4b3c51afbd92d259afaa171270874

(1219)

on July 03, 2011
at 09:53 PM

There are some stores that now sell organic foods but the farmers markets are better anyway. Many of the stores in both Russia and the Ukraine look like western stores with all the crap food that goes with them. For dairy, eggs, honey, etc. I would find a source a village/farm milk. It will be raw. I had no problem sourcing raw milk, pastured eggs, raw honey either in Russia or the Ukraine.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on July 04, 2011
at 04:18 AM

Good tip about the "stealth breading!"

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 04, 2011
at 09:21 AM

I know that russian people are very well in folk medicine. And in western russian cites RAW FOOD vegan diet get popular and has some good experts. So probably paleo will follow coming popular their soon.

I think a lot russian depend on their bread and vodca. So it would be hard to cut it out.

723e9af1560a89e7d8148b386151c15d

(38)

on November 12, 2011
at 11:07 PM

I live in North-West of RF and I can't find anyone good in folk medicine. I mostly agree with this post (in russian): http://healthy-back.livejournal.com/292852.html

723e9af1560a89e7d8148b386151c15d

(38)

on November 12, 2011
at 11:13 PM

Raw vegan diet is really popular here but I'm unaware of good experts in this field.

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