Ever wondered what a traditional kung fu diet is like? For the last week, I’ve been taking pictures of each meal at the school to give you an idea what a “kung food” diet here is like…

There are three meals a day at about 06:30, 12:00 and 18:00. A breakfast meal isn’t different from what you’d get at lunch or dinner like you would in the West. If you recall on my first day at the school, I was chaperoned to the supermarket to buy two metallic bowls for my meals. These two bowls are filled each meal. One with a soup and the other with the bulk of the food. They have a full-time cook who prepares the meals for us.

Here’s a slide show of various meals to flick through. [Apologies for the quality of the pictures, but the lighting in the room where we eat isn’t the best]

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All the food here is vegetarian, so there are plenty of vitamins in the food here. You’re eating more fresh or boiled vegetables than you can wave a chopstick at. After being here a month, I’ve not felt the slightest “under the weather”, which I put some of the reason down to the amount of vitamins you get in the food. The soups are sometimes rice based, other times vegetable based – I think it’s sweet potato or sweet beans.

Your source of protein comes from tofu, beans and sometimes egg (a strict form of the diet doesn’t have egg, but the students here are given some leniency). For me, this is a little shift. Although vegetarian for about 15 years now, I’ve still eaten fish daily as my source of protein, with my reason being a balanced diet. So when I heard about the diet here, I was interested in the effect on my body and whether I’d find vegetables every day too boring. Well, i can safely say that the meals here are the tastiest vegetables I’ve had. Complements to the cook.

After a couple of weeks of being at the school, I felt I was losing a bit of weight. Even though the school were more than generous with their portion sizes (often giving me more than anyone else here), I felt I wasn’t getting enough protein and some loss of muscle mass. Since then, I’ve introduced weights into my daily routine [I’ll blog about how I’ve done that soon] and stocked up on some of my own supplies on a weekly basis from the supermarket in town.

Superbeans

Through some dangerous games of nutritional trial and error, I found these tins next to cans of the Chinese version of Red Bull. Don’t worry, it’s not synthetic. It’s basically a combination of sweetcorn and beans in a can, sweetened a little with some syrup. Each one of these pups is 7g of protein. I also stocked up a box with nuts and dried fruit, which I raid straight after each training session. Combined, I’m probably getting about 70-100g of protein each day.

Nut pot

For carbs, the diet here consists of mostly bread (which I was a little surprised at), sliced boiled potatoes and sometimes rice. Before a long run, I load up with extra bread and/or some cereal bars to get me through.