Wednesday, October 20, 2010


One of the hardest things for me in China so far is finding a healthy balance of food groups. Before I came out here.. almost four months ago... I was doing an incredible job thanks to a certain someone as far as eating very healthy- lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, big spinach salads and wraps, smoked turkey and grilled chicken. Makes me drool just thinking about it! In Shanghai it has been incredibly difficult for me to find this same Farmer's Market fresh variety of foods. The past few months I go in spurts of eating a lot and then not being hungry ever and having to remember to eat thanks to co-workers.
This for me has been one of the biggest difficulties I have had to face here so far, and know many others with the same frustration. The food is quite delicious for the most part- don't get me wrong- but eating boiled, soggy vegetables, oil, grease, salt and MSG laden food with a side of starch (aka rice or noodles), that can't be good.

Eating out is much easier and oftentimes cheaper than making food. I always have a loaf of whole wheat bread in my cupboard however, along with peanut butter, oats and munchies: crackers,
cookies and dried hawthorne berries/ sweet potatoes. The refrigerator is quite empty as well:
strawberry jam, a few apples every once in a while, block of cheese and if i recently was grocery shopping some green peppers and lettuce mix to make salads. Typically my salads are bought at the convenient store just outside the apartment.

Typical lunch/dinner:
This is a bowl of lamian noodles ordered from downstairs. Hand-pulled noodles with a light sauce and a few veggies and a bit of beef thrown in. Delicious but again, cooked vegetables and an oily MSG laden sauce.

If motivated a typical lunch can be:

So it is possible to eat healthier, there's just a lot more effort than what I'm used to. But as far as fresh fruits and vegetables, the ones in the store make me wary, it is however my only option for now...

I recently found a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Shanghai. I am very excited about this find, but have yet to make my first order from it. It's super easy, order online from a list of 10 fruits/ vegetables and pick which 7 or so you want. Then they will deliver it to your door weekly- all for 99RMB... $14! You have to sign up for a 3 month minimum, but these veggies are grown organically at a farm just a few miles outside the city. Definitely will keep you updated and see how it turns out and document more of my journey along the way to finding fresh food and crunchy vegetables. And yes, this motivation was spawned by a silly yet fascinating food documentary "Food Matters." Got ten minutes in and was already feeling guilty about what I was eating and realized I need to make a change. Oh well, it's always nice to have good intentions towards better eating habits.
If interested info regarding Shanghai CSA can be found at:

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