When I think of the food in Kazakhstan, i think "no wonder why these athletes are so strong". (Reference www.ristosports.com )
If you eat with a Kazakh family or even at a Kazakh restaurant, you can find a diet high in protein. There is usually an appetizer of some sort of meat like chicken or horse meat cold cuts, and a final course centered around another meat like horse meat. I , personally , don't eat horse meat; so, in Kazakhstan, I wound up eating a lot of easier lamb or beef , which are much easier to find than chicken.
In my personal opinion, I really enjoyed the Kazakh food the most (that excluded horse meat) It's weightlifter food - grilled meat. Home cooked Kazakh food was also very good, including the desserts and salads.
I did also try Uuygur food. It was delicate stir fries in thick sauces . This was also extremely good. I did like the Russian food, slightly less than the Kaakh food.
Uuygur dishes- beef on noodles, beef empanada like dish, greek salad (no lettuce, ie real Greek salad) . They only had 2 chicken dishes and probably 15 beef or lamb dishes. In America, we'd probably see this as a goid thing.
The Kazakhs meat diet is a reflection of the fact that most Kazakhs are Muslims. Horse meat is considered a "clean" meat because horses graze in pastures and drink clean water. On the other hand, pork is not eaten as pigs are considered dirty animals; for example, they do not eat as clean as horses and are known to roll in their own feces. Pork, consequently, is very hard to find in Kazakhstan. You can find it in Russian restaurants , whereas most of the Russian population are Russian Orthodox Christians. I, again, stress that there is great sense of religious tolerance in Kazakhstan, just don't expect to order bacon at a Kazakh restaurant.
The ethnic Kazakhs also drink copious amounts of unpasteurized animal milks. If you go a little bit off the grid, you can find Kumis, horse milk, and camel milk in flea market like bazaars. These milks taste salty with a bit of a fermented taste. The consistency is more like whey than creamy cow milk.These milks vary greatly from bottle to bottle. It indicates that these animals have a more natural diet as the consistency between flavor is all over the place ( eg maybe some of the lactating mares ate more grass than hay, etc).
It is important to note that the Kazakhs love and respect horses so much that they eat them, which is pretty much the opposite reaction that an American horse lover would have. I get the impression that it is similar to the relationship between Native Americans and buffalo.
The food is very natural. I don't think they have genetically modified Monsanto wheat, thank God. I found I could eat wheat and dairy products with far less negative effects than in the USA. This was a good thing as mist of their carbs came from wheat or potato products. It was difficult to find rice, corn, or other gluten free complex carb sources.
What is also interesting is the lack of coffee. An average restaurant will not have coffee. The population relies on tea--- and its not fancy bubble tea or diffused loose leaf tea, most of the tea is simply bagged tea, like you'd see in the UK or America. The tea was average strength, not like something you'd drink in Taiwan or China. The best tea I had was at the Peking palace, a Chinese 5 star luxury restaurant.
You can find coffee though. There are western style cafes in the city. Most of them can be found in the large malls , which are something of an architectural achievement, specifically, the Khan Shatyr ( pictured)
Some of the Russian restaurants will have Expresso drinks.
If you consider powdered coffee to be coffee , you can find powdered coffee in supermarkets and some non-Russian restaurants will serve powdered cafe.
When I think of Kazakhstan training, the first thing that comes to mind--
I have never seen such a variety of assistance exercises used at the beginner level. More than any other system I studied, I saw youth and junior athletes doing deficit cleans, snatch grip deadlifts, bench press, back extensions, and modified pulls. Again, I stress that these were beginners and not elite Olympic level athletes. There is a focus on getting athletes strong , building their fundamental strength , in preparation to take heavy Olympic lifting training at the upper levels. Check out my youtube channel , to the right , for videos.
Much like the USA of 5 years ago, there is zero influence of Crossfit in the Kazakh weightlifting community. None of the lifters have even heard of it(sure, except for , maybe, the one athlete who has been giving seminar tours in the USA ). The sport grows in Kazakhstan because participating in sports is considered a fundamental right of the public, hence all training centers are free and staffed by paid coaches, paid by the government.
This is almost the complete opposite of the U.S. System , where athletes promote themselves for practically unpaid sponsorships. In Kazakhstan, Weightlifting makes no money for the federation, unlike sports such as boxing. In effect, the federation has to pay out a lot of money on the sport. For example, the youth nationals LG competed at was normally a 5 day event; it was squeezed to 3 days, in part, due to venue costs. Good thing the Kazakh weightlifting team is widely successful on the international stage.