Changing of the Guard

The boxes have all gone and the furniture sold, so after 20 years of eating well and living well in Shanghai it is time for me to go too. I could regale you with stories about how in 1996 I had to go to a hotel to get a cup of coffee and when we ordered take away pizza they gave it to us on dinner plates and told us just to bring them back when we were done, but I would much rather look to the future. The Shanghai food culture has developed, like everything else in China, at lightening speed and I feel so privileged to have witnessed the process, which never stops. Just the other day I saw raw food restaurant.

Eat Well Shanghai has been  a wonderful vehicle for me to get my thoughts on nutrition out into the world and hopefully those thoughts and suggestions have been helpful to one or two of you.  I  want to thank Julie Meyer, the creator of Eat Well Shanghai for trusting me with her creation and I encourage all of you to check out her global site, Eat Well Global,, to see what’s going on in the world of nutrition beyond Shanghai.

I must also thank the great colleagues and friends in the Shanghai Nutrition Practice group. I am amazed at the integrity, passion, and joy that you all have for the field of nutrition. If you are looking for nutrition support, this group should be your first stop. Contact Eat Well Shanghai and / or

The future for Eat Well Shanghai is also changing. Jessica Woodruff, a bright new convert to Shanghai will be taking over the  Eat Well Shanghai mantle. Jessica is newly arrived in Shanghai and that makes her perfect for Eat Well Shanghai. She will bring a fresh look at all the crazy , quirky and sometimes scary  food and nutrition happenings in Shanghai and China. Look for her posts in July.

Now that you can get a take away coffee on just about every corner in Shanghai and not just pizza but every other type of food delivered to your door, I am confident that expats will be Eating Well and Living Well here in Shanghai for years to come.

It has been a blast Shanghai!

Margaret Keefe, RDN…signing off.


Produce Not Product

This week I had in mind to talk about cooking for your kids. This topic is showing up in nutrition blogs all over the place and well it should. We take our kids to the doctor, we monitor their screen time, we make sure they get plenty of rest, we put them in the best schools all for a bright future but at the same time we feed them “instantly” from a box or a bag.  When in fact good food is what makes all the other parts of our child’s life not just possible but better. Shouldn’t meal time for our children get the most of our attention and care? In short we should be emphasizing “produce over products”, we need to be cooking for kids and teaching kids to cook.

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, author of an article that recently came across my desk, points out that besides the reasons  given most often by parents when the subject of  having home cooked meals comes up, that between working and kid’s heavy schedules there is no time left, there is the perspective that this has become the norm rather than the exception through no fault of our own. He points out that the big food industry has worked hard to convince us that by putting a nutrition label on the back or even on the front of the box that this somehow makes the processed food inside healthy. Besides the big bad food corporations there is the fact that most ( American anyway) schools no longer include home economics or household management in their curriculums.  For many of us that is where we learned to make a basic white sauce and sew a straight seam.

Interestingly he also calls out the “no time” excuse with the telling statistics that most Americans average about 34 hours a week in front of the TV and another 8 on the internet, in my house it is probably the opposite. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, it is just how we wish to spend them.

Again , not all our fault but there are things we can do to reverse the trend and give our kids the foundation of good health that they will carry out of the house along with that great resume.

I always tell people kids model what they see.  You never learned to cook? Start now and make it a family project. Cooking classes for adults and kids abound in Shanghai. I even saw one advertised today about how to deliciously use up leftovers.

Check out: SproutLifestyle at

WeChat:Power Me Healthy

Els Kitchen at

The owners of these enterprises are enthusiastic about cooking and good health and would love to share their passion with you and your family.

Eat Well, Live Well, Cook More!





Gluten Free Gusto

Just a few years ago being gluten-free in Shanghai was more than a hassle. There were a few expensive gluten-free products on the grocery shelves and forget about any restaurant knowing what you were asking for when you asked about menu items.

Then Gluten-Free China came to Shanghai and a community was born. Through their tireless efforts being gluten-free, for whatever reason, in Shanghai (and Beijing) is now much, much easier. And you aren’t alone! Gluten-Free Shanghai started a peer support WeChat group in January whose members are constantly ringing in with helpful hints from doctors to products . To join this very chatty group, search WeChat ID Gluten-Free Shanghai

More and more products are becoming available in Shanghai at the shops and online. Kate& Kimi ( carries a large amount of GF baked products; Sandi’s Gluten-free shop caters specifically to people following a gluten free diet. Sandi delivers prepared baked foods as well as specialty flours, GF packaged products and many allergy friendly products. Sandi, of course,also has a WeChat, the ID is Special Treats. Just want to browse her online shop? Check or  call 13524057692.

More restaurants are aware of the gluten free dietary restriction and some even have menu items catering to gluten-free patrons.  Sproutlifestyle Café is a very popular gluten free café located at Shaanxi Nan lu and Fuxing lu. Check the Sproutlifestyle website( for the wide offering of healthy cooking classes for gluten free eating at home.

Gluten-free Shanghai is more than just an online community resource, they also hold monthly socials around town and welcome all ( including kids!). The next one is Sunday April 10th. Check   for all the event details.

Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun!

Step Up to 2016

Over the past holiday I , like many of you, visited my childhood home. Going through some old memories I came across an exercise video. Now I haven’t done an exercise video ever, so I am not sure who left this at my mother’s , but in any case I was intrigued by the offer of fitness in 29 minutes a day. The past year or so I have fallen off the regular fitness wagon so this dusty video seemed like a sign, and who doesn’t have 29 minutes? So in to the suitcase with the “Beach Body” video.

Determined to  regain a measure of regular exercise I have turned on the above video.  As we all know, the most important thing about changing a habit is consistency. This morning I almost fell victim to the voice that said, “you have done this annoying exercise video for 4 days, you deserve a break today”…but then the other voice in my head said “you have only done this annoying exercise video for 4 days”. I did the video. After all, who doesn’t have 29 minutes? Consistency is the only way to see change.

If you have been considering a change either in exercise habits or eating habits there are plenty of avenues of support to get you started. From apps to classes to friends and videos, there is no need to go it alone.

One app I have recently heard about is called WiThings. Withings (  does it all according the website, from home security to charting your blood pressure. What interests me is the tie in with your health. Like other apps ( Withings tracks your intake and activity level in very cool looking charts. Along with that you can add a blood pressure monitor and a scale, giving you even more visuals to check. These charts are great motivators to keep you listening to the healthy voices.

Need help choosing which foods to enter into the tracking app? Sproutlifestyle (www.sproutlifestyle) has a wide variety of delicious, nutritious cooking classes on tap every week. Check out their website for all the yummy offerings.

Whatever you decide to change or not change in 2016, we at Eat Well Shanghai wish you a year of good meals and good health!

Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun!