Taiwan Eats – Vegetarian Food in Taipei

image3-1Hello from Taipei!

As is the case on a visit to Taiwan, I’ve been eating all the food.

After the first week here I thought I was going to balloon into Augustus Gloop such was the frequency and gluttony of our indulgence, but it turns out that after a month here I’ve learnt the secret to staying trim on a Taiwanese diet… window shopping! As is the case in most of Asia, consumerism is rife and we seem to hop from one department store to the next on a daily basis. My iPhone tells me I’ve been easily clocking up 10,000 steps a day without even trying. Surely that calls for calories…

Here’s what’s been on the menu and in my mouth.

Western Vegetarian Food at Mia Cucina

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Though Taiwan does vegetarian food well, its traditional style is fried, salty and same-y. I was craving fresh and raw and Mia Cucina did not disappoint. We ordered two salads, corn soup, portobello mushrooms, a cheese toastie and a flatbread to share between four of us. The perfect meal on a rainy Taipei day. I suggest you order more and take home the leftovers.

Location: No.48 Dexing West Road, Shilin District, Taipei 111. 111士林區德行西路48號

Coconut Chia Pudding at Cafe by Juicy Diary

 

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Regrettably I had already eaten breakfast when we hit up Cafe by Juicy Diary but that didn’t stop me from ordering this chia pudding with seasonal fruit for elevenses. The owners hail from San Francisco and they bring fresh cold pressed juices and Instagram-worthy healthy eats to the Da’an district. My fellow diners had avocado and egg on toast and a brunch bagel. There are plenty of vegetarian options on the menu here.

Location: No. 2, Lane 14, Siwei Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106. 台北市大安區四維路14巷2號一樓

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The UK has the Lowest Rate of Breastfeeding in the World. (This one thing could help.)

There was much to-do last year when world breastfeeding rates were published in the media and the UK ranked as the lowest in the world.

Here are some of the figures released:

  • As of 2010, 81% of babies in the UK were breastfed at birth
  • At three months, the number of mothers in the UK breastfeeding exclusively was 17% and at four months, it was 12%
  • Exclusive breastfeeding at six months remains at around 1%
  • After one year, 0.5% of UK women is still doing any degree of breastfeeding. This compares with 23% in Germany, 56% in Brazil and 99% in Senegal

As you can see, it seems that the issue is not that women don’t want or try to breastfeed – there is a huge percentage starting off with breast. But the continuation rate for breastfeeding is shockingly low.

I’m currently on an extended trip to Taiwan – I’m here for about three months here in total where my baby will be 4-7 months – and I was amazed to learn how good the breastfeeding rates are here.

Rates in Taiwan:

  • In 2016, the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months was 45.5%
  • This is above the global average of 38% and just short of the WHO’s 2025 goal of 50%.

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What has driven this high breastfeeding rate?

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And We’re Off to Taiwan!

… For what my Mum is calling “the extended holiday”.

Tearing her apart from her first grandson for 3 months is the equivalent of pulling a coffee addict away from a Delonghi espresso maker (#lifegoal to own one of these). But she’s coming around to the idea that G will have plenty of time with his paternal grandparents, exposure to Mandarin at a really young age and it’s an exciting opportunity for Brandon to be living and working in Taiwan for a short stint, the country he left when he was 18.

taiwan-654398_640Excited, apprehensive, a wee bit overwhelmed… are the emotions I switch between on a weekly (ok, hourly) basis. Mostly though, I’m accepting that this is just another interesting chapter in our rather random story. It will be the 4th country and 5th move since B and I met 8 years ago. Why not add another pin to the map?

And quite honestly, I adore Taiwan. I’ve been there twice on holibobs, and it’s a fine place for a vacation. It’s a hidden gem that is largely undiscovered by many British holiday goers, so if you don’t know much about the place except that there’s a bunch of electronics made there, then you certainly aren’t alone. Here are a few things you might like to know.

  • It Has Fantastic Food. Let’s start with its biggest selling point. Taiwan is a foodie’s heaven. The island has an interesting history that has resulted in a diverse and high quality array of culinary offerings. As well as being colonised by both the Dutch and the Japanese in the past, in 1949, after losing control of mainland China, the Republic Of China government withdrew to Taiwan – and took all of the best chefs with them. So you might say that some of the best Chinese food is in Taiwan!

    The Taiwanese LIVE to eat. My in laws talk about lunch at breakfast and dinner at lunch. The traditional greeting in Taiwan is not “how are you?” but “have you eaten?”. Forget Italy; Elizabeth Gilbert should have toured Taiwan for the ‘EAT’ section of Eat, Pray, Love. I think I gain 10 pounds just thinking about the food on offer here.

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