Hypertension is the main reason why people have stroke. If you have been eating the typical Harbin cuisine all your life, you are bound to have an unhealthy blood pressure. Add to that the Harbin fondness for meat and alcohol (think of those cold winters that you have to get through), and it certainly explains why the hospitals have got very good at treating stroke patients with a combination of Western and Chinese medicine. Because there are so many of these patients!
What you need to do is have lots of fruit and vegetables and prepare them very simply. I like wandering around the local street markets to see what is in season. Unfortunately I live in student accommodation without a kitchen, so am reliant on the university dining halls and local restaurants for food. Eating healthily has been my biggest challenge so far during these past six weeks since starting my hospital placement.
One of our favourite treats now is to go hotpot (or steamboat) restaurants. You sit down on a table with a small stove in the middle. A big pot goes on that, filled with broth. You order plates of vegetables, mushrooms, tofu (and meat if you like), which are placed in the pot until they are cooked. You fish these out and eat them with a sauce that you create from a selection of sauces, herbs and other ingredients. It's a beautiful meal, with no sign of oil anywhere!