Going Primal in Saudi Arabia!?!?! Advice, tips, thoughts?
So..... I'm heading to Saudi Arabia to work for the next nine months and know very little food wise what they eat and what exactly is going to be available over there. I'll be teaching ESL over there at a university in the Eastern Province where dates are in abundance and apparently they eat a lot of lamb/goat. Any thought/advice would be greatly appreciated!
It has been a long time since I worked in SA but I have spent the past 3 years in Egypt (2 years primal) and have had little problems. Your chances of finding pork are slim to none unless you can hookup with someone from one of the embassies. The lamb here is really good and from what I can find out, is free range, grass fed. Same for eggs. They import most of their beef here and I'm pretty sure that will be the same in SA. They do love their carbs in the Middle-East to be prepared to face and resist all types of breads, sweets, rice, etc. You should be able to get nuts easy enough but finding them raw may be a problem.
If you work with a lot of Saudis, you should be able to make contacts with some who have families with farms that might give you a source of decent meat and produce. They use a lot of vegetable oils over here, lots. But olive oil is also abundant. Make friends with Americans with commissary access at the embassies and you might get some of the things you need but can't carry over.
If you are using a sweetener like Stevia, better bring a lot with you because you won't find it here.
Customs in SA can be very, very strict so be prepared to explain and show documentation for any pills, including vitamins and supplements, that you bring over. Almost 100% chance that your bags will be gone through. Not just opened and glanced at but things pulled out, questions asked, etc.
Last time I was in SA was about 16 years ago but now I understand that they can, and will, randomly check your electronic media for porn, etc.
Hope this helps and have fun!
Thanks! I'm excited about the lamb and it's good to know that they have EVOO. Any luck that i can find coconut oil? I'm not too much into nuts, so that won't be a problem. And thanks for the tips regarding immigration.
No problems. As to coconut oil, not sure about that one. I have found it in Cairo over here but it was not easy. They do grow coconuts in SA but unknown what they do with it. Also if you are close to the King Fahd causeway to Bahrain, you might be able to hop over there and find more sources (also liquor stores and bars if your so inclined). There should be a market area where you are and you will have the chance to try out all kinds of spices. A wander around the spice souk is a lot of fun and the mixture of smells is unbelievable.
Heh, hope you like lamb then. :-)
I LOVE LAMB! :-) And it just so happens that I will be in Al-Hofuf very near to Bahrain! Thanks for the bits of advice!
I've had camel and horse, horse is better.
Originally Posted by Dave RN
An update from the world of Saudi Arabia. Going Primal over here is pretty hard due to the nature of the diet and kindness of the people. I'm always being offered kapsa (rice and chicken smothered in oil and who knows what). The bread is absolutely delicious and they eat loads of it. In many ways, these are typical challenges face with the SAD back home, this is just the Middle Eastern edition.
I find good quality lamb and veal to be readily available. I'm not sure as to whether or not it's free range. There is a chain store here in the Eastern province that sells Brazilian beef and I buy that for my main protein consumption. I figure it's probably mostly grass fed (here's hoping). Lamb liver is readily available but I cannot get used to the taste.... I'm quite disappointed in that.
Lamb bones can be bought pretty easily and I sometimes make good stock for drinking. It's pretty good.
Eggs are everywhere over here, but they're not organic. I can buy ones that claim to be 'vegetarian fed', but I don't think it's strictly grass. I contacted the company and they said that due to the environment here, this type of diet doesn't accommodate such strict feeding; but they didn't say that they given them corn.....
EVOO is all over the place over here, as is good quality ghee. I've found this to be quite useful. A couple of months ago I even found a low-quality coconut oil sold in a blue rubber bottle. It taste's rather funny when I cook with it, compared to the organic, cold-pressed stuff I used back in America.
There are also loads of great vegetables here, as well as fruits. I overdid it on the dates when I first arrived, they're great! Many varieties of rice also exist here as well as limited sweet potatoes. Sadly, there is nothing really organic that is sold and there are no supplements for vitamins, other than a GNC which is quite disappointing.
I thought I'd give an update as to what I've found over here. Is anyone else in this part of the world? I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommendations to improving the PB experience with limited resources.
GROK didn't only live with what we can buy in North America...I'd be eating everything local and just avoid grains.