Fish are friends, not food, right?? Not quite. It’s more like fish are friends AND food. Now, to make things clear I decided to be a pescatarian for reasons about my health. I have no official knowledge or training in nutrition. I do everything based on how I feel and what I think is best for my body. So, before anyone goes around saying I’m wrong or incorrect I’m here to say that I’m not here to educate you about anything dealing with nutrition. I’m purely here to share my experience with it and what I’ve done to make my body feel the best.
Now I understand that fish or seafood is not everyone’s cup of tea. Sometimes it’s the texture that gets to people or just the fact that it is fish and it “smells”. FYI if it smells it’s most likely a bad cut. Seafood does not have the same shelf life as other meats such as chicken or beef, so please be cautious! However, if you do like seafood it’s a great source of protein and fat.
Why Be A Pescatarian?
I became a pescatarian mid-July of last year. I went through the summer eating the usual barbecue foods such as hotdogs, hamburgers, ribs, grilled chicken, etc. I’m not going to lie I love all those foods, but boy my stomach didn’t love them. I felt like I was walking around with 10 lb weights in my gut. It SUCKED.
T-shirt dresses and loose fit clothing were my best friends and I was afraid to eat eating that wouldn’t upset my stomach. I had heard about pescatarian lifestyles and knew that fish and seafood can serve as a lower-calorie and lighter meal. I wasn’t opposed to trying something new, I was more so ready to try anything to help me feel like a normal functioning human again.
It wasn’t hard for me to drop meat and only eat fish and seafood. It’s my favorite, and I knew living off of it wouldn’t be a problem. New meals, new food and a cleanse from the typical chicken dinner. Keep in mind that this isn’t the most affordable way of living. Fish and seafood are pricey, and good seafood is very pricey. I mostly stick with salmon, tuna, tilapia, cod and shrimp which doesn’t fully deplete my bank account.
What To Eat
While being pescatarian I have had cravings for a good burger or a slab of ribs. It’s not like I couldn’t eat it, I’ve just chosen not to. I’ve found alternatives for burgers such as Trader Joe’s veggie burgers which are AMAZING. Pair a slice of cheese with the patties and you wouldn’t believe you’re only eating vegetables. I’ve also discovered Tofurkey which isn’t the most amazing alternative, but it’ll do. You eventually get used to it and I’ve begun to crave it. Besides that, I stick with tuna or salmon for lunch and then dinner can be salmon, shrimp, tilapia, scallops, meatless meatballs, veggie burgers, and Costco’s amazing veggie cauliflower pizza. It’s to die for and I could eat the whole thing. However, I wouldn’t recommend it nor would the serving recommendation on the box.
Sushi has also been a great way to keep me on track. I’m not saying eat it every day, but treat yourself with it. To me, sushi can be just as exciting, if not more, than a good burger. Try nigiri and sashimi for healthier options if you don’t want to go all out with all of the different rolls. Nigiri is a slice of raw fish over rice and sashimi is just a slice of raw fish. Personally, nigiri and sashimi are my favorites, and if you put eel in front of me I will love you even more.
I know a lot of you might be wondering if I have also nixed dairy from my diet. The answer is NO. Dairy can cause a lot of stomach problems as well, along with breakouts on your skin which is why many people lean towards cutting it out. I love cheese way too much that I couldn’t even think about going without it. It’s also a good source of protein and fat, while also being low in carbs. I love pairing cheese with my tuna for a tuna melt or again with my veggie burgers. However, I do stay away from regular milk and have switched to almond milk with my lattes. It’s just a lighter alternative for me and I don’t mind the taste.
Another great thing I found from being a pescatarian is that carbs have become my best friend!! I used to think they were the enemy, and for years I stayed far, far away from them. I thought that carbs were the culprit when it came to weight gain and if I cut them out I could shave off a few pounds. I’d like to believe that cutting carbs did help, but then again I was also working out more and on a stricter food plan. Overall, there could have been other factors that were helping me stay in the shape I wanted to be.
After switching to fish and seafood I thought it would be ok to try and add carbs in again to see what would happen. Carbs can be filling and make you bloat at times too, so when I paired them with heavier meats my stomach once again felt like it was filled with rocks. However, since seafood is lighter I thought maybe the carbs wouldn’t push me over the top. To my surprise, it worked. I haven’t noticed a significant amount of weight gain from carbs, but rather an easier time for my body to produce muscle and gain more definition while working out. I’ve also been so much happier because I can have toast, rice, and potatoes again, which I all love. No more saying no to avocado toast!
You Do You
Overall, I wouldn’t categorize this as a diet since it’s not temporary. It’s something that your body needs to adjust to and it’ll eventually stay in your routine. If completely cutting out meat is not going to work for you, add a little bit of chicken now and then. Chicken is lighter meat that’s a great source of protein. Red meat is often harder for your body to digest, which is why it is not recommended for you to eat everyday!! However, if you can’t stay away remember moderation is key. It’s the key to all foods and will help you remain healthy yet satisfied.
Do what’s right for your body and make a change if you’re feeling stuck. What I did might not work for you, but do your research and try different ways to make your body feel great.
See ya later!
Jacqui M. Green