Continuing my Moscow Bosco adventures........
Already blown away by the awesome GUM shopping mall, the snow falling in Red Square and Bosco-style hospitality (vodka, champagne and endless delights of handmade chocolate truffles, caviar, prawns, fruits and more) I was on sensory overload and a trip around the Kremlin completed the dream (and almost made me want to get the history books out!)
At the Bosco launch of the new Sochi 2014 Olympics kit I had the opportunity to chat to a couple of Russian female Olympic athletes who confirmed that Rusian girls are as pre-occupied as us with weight, diet and appearance. It seems that attitude to sport is different though, with less gyms and studios, but more outdoor games such as skating and skiing.
I spoke to ex-Olympic speed skater Svetlana Zhukova about exercise attitudes in Moscow and she said that traditionally if you went out for a run or a jog in Moscow, people would think you were crazy, however this is now starting to change as people become more interested in health.
Sports such as football are growing more popular, as well as the traditional sports such as vault class and skilled aerobics. I asked whether the current craze for yoga has reached Russia, but she explained that the spiritual side of yoga would prevent that from happening; most Russians are Orthadox Christians and might see yoga as an alternative religion. When Zhukova was a young girl, the Moscow games inspired her to become a champion and she hopes that the Sochi 2014 games in Russia will inspire many young women to take up a new sport.
With regards to diet, a lot of the Russian food we sampled (and there was a lot!) was actually very healthy; plenty of fish, both grilled, smoked and pickled, lovely dark rye breads and of course Russian Borscht, a deep red beetroot soup which is very nourishing and very tasty! I am not sure about the health benefits of vodka, but in vodka's defense I am sure that it is a lot better than some of the revolting sugary, chemical alco-pops that are popular here at home!
Moscow was a rare treat, with the highlight being a guided tour of the Kremlin. I only wish I could've stayed on and taken the train to Saint Petersburg to complete the experience. If you want a little taste of Russia then head to Westfield Stratford as in just a couple of weeks (April 1st) Bosco will be launching their new UK store ahead of the Olympics. Or why not conjure up the East in your own kitchen with this great recipe for borscht soup
http://http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/534929 it looks great, is super healthy: and apparently helps to lower blood pressure! http://http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10433877 (Maybe that's how they stay healthy with all that vodka!).....