…about living healthy in a big Chinese city, and exploring how our food choices impact society and the environment.
In the U.S., where I’m from, we have a staggering amount of nutritional information and misinformation, fast food, potential for sedentary lifestyles, and food supply contamination. Most Americans have not dealt with these issues very successfully, and much of the country is overweight and in poor health. When I moved to Beijing in 2009, I discovered almost exactly the same set of problems, only emerging on a much larger scale.
Staying healthy in China is a challenge. The air can be dirty, the food contaminated, and the traffic nerve racking. Expats who come are faced with unfamiliar food choices, and Chinese citizens are experiencing a rapid “nutrition transition” from a traditional to a more Western diet. Most of us work indoors all day and harsh outdoor conditions make exercise unappealing. How to create a clean diet and stay moving can get complicated in the modern metropolis, and by 2030, there will be about 1 billion people dealing with these issues in cities across China.
Both the U.S. and China are also facing huge environmental problems related to agriculture and the food supply. We rely heavily on chemical and fossil fuel inputs for our crops and factory for our animal products (a lot in the U.S., an increasing proportion in China). If you care about your soil, your air, and your water supply, examining and re-thinking your dinner plate is one way to help preserve them.
So whether it’s to lose weight, combat illness, or save the world, this blog is meant to help you get healthy and learn more about where your food comes from, especially if you live in China. When relevant, I cite original references for articles so you can investigate these issues for yourself.
So what is Suluku? Not a 19th century ruler from Sierra Leone (although I just discovered via google that that is also what it means). It’s just three characters I thought embodied the spirit of what I like to write about:
definition: raw silk / white / plain, unadorned / vegetarian (food) / essence / nature / element / constituent / usually /always / ever
Eat foods in their natural form, minimize the amount of processed foods you eat each day. Base your diet on plant-foods like vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. Suluku also has recipes, nutrition info, and restaurant reviews for those who want to go vegetarian or vegan once in a while.
Choose foods that have lower impact on the environment. This can mean eating vegetarian/vegan even just one day a week, buying from local, sustainable farms, or buying organic foods. Also take precautions with the safety of your food. This can mean buying organic (or “green” labeled foods in Chinese grocery stores), preparing more food at home and eating out less, learning proper food prep like peeling and washing vegetables, and eating less processed foods with unknown additives.
definition: strong (e.g. of wine) / (of sb or sth) cool (loanword)
If you’re eating well and exercising, you’ll feel and look better. Cool! Also, sometimes I post random and fun food-related articles on the site, because I think they’re 酷. (I promise will try to avoid any more not so 酷 English/Chinese puns in the future). Finally, I try to take cost considerations into account when making recommendations, because saving money is cool too.
My name is Tayler, I’m originally from California but have been living in Beijing the past 3 years. I’ve always been a fitness-lover, and sometimes teach a dancy form of kickboxing called Turbo Kick. I’m also addicted to home-exercise videos and sweet potato french fries.
I studied human biology and healthy policy in school, and will apply for some higher education in nutrition at some point in the future. I have been experimenting with alternative diets for health since I lived in a vegetarian co-op dorm my sophomore year of college, dabbled with a raw-food vegan diet for a while, and finally settled in the “flexetarian” camp. I like reading food labels at the grocery store and try to make food decisions based on nutritional value, environmental, and sustainability considerations. I mostly eat vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, some soy products, small amounts of eggs and fish, and steer clear of gluten-containing stuff.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to get in touch on the contact page!