From meat lover to fish lover.
I partook in a very short pescatarian diet from July 2020- August 2020. I’ll describe a pescatarian diet as an equal blend of consuming aquatic animals that possess gills, and plant based foods. It’s predominantly a fish and plant based diet without consuming any red meats. Picture a McDonald’s filet o fish sandwich when you hear the word “pescatarian”.
My little “pesca” phase didn’t last too long, and it wasn’t because “it didn’t work” or “it was too strict” or “I missed eating meat” or “It was too hard and I gave up”. I simply broke the diet.
On a mid August day, I ended up feasting on some Dominos pizza, wings and cheese bread. It’s important for me to get this off of my chest, Dominos wings are extremely overpriced for the amount received. However, Dominos price gouging on their chicken wings isn’t the epicenter of this blog post. So I’ll get back on track.
Why I Chose To Go Pescatarian:
Since I’m fat anything I partake in that has a slight health benefit, my family automatically assumes that I’m doing it to lose weight. And I’m pretty certain this is the norm for other fat beauties out there like me. Shit, a girl can’t try something just for the sake of experimenting?
I simply love to try different things and I wanted to have a sense of routine and that’s exactly what a pescatarian diet did for me.
Evidently being a vegan has become the latest trend over the years. During the height of the “Veganism” trend its slogan slowly but surely morphed into: “You can still eat junk but make it vegan and now it’s healthy”. I’ll admit, I was all hands on deck on the vegan diet, without ever doing any solid research and just being wowed by vegan fried chicken YouTube videos. A pescatarian diet seemed safer and more easier for me to blend into/ manage. I was happy that I’d at least be able to incorporate some kind of “meat” into my diet.
From watching a handful of vegan meal prepping YouTube videos, and scrolling through the comments I noticed a very popular assertion which was “it’s cheap to eat healthy”. With that in mind, I sought out to also bust the myth. I wanted to see how far I could actually stretch my money and eat decently/ well at the same time. So I created a weekly $15 grocery list.
My Cheap As Fuck Grocery list:
By only browsing this list I’m sure you realize that there’s not a single item that screams “lunch/ dinner”. I’d consider everything on my list to be breakfast food items. And my inability to cook fulfilling and enriching lunch and dinner, set the foundation of my pescatarian diet downfall.
A few days into my 3 week diet, I learned the true meaning of meal prepping/ scheduled eating. I cooked lunch and dinner everyday and I fucking hated it. I absolutely dreaded it, I more so grew weary of daily dishwashing.
I started out breakfast meal prepping first. I fried 10 pancakes and 10 waffles, let them cool, put them in a ziplock bag & into the freezer they went! I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of pancakes or waffles but they did come in handy on days when I was indecisive on what I wanted to eat. Not having to rummage through the cabinets in my kitchen every morning and put together a non traditional meal was a big win!
Coming up with breakfast ideas was easy but lunch and dinner were the hardest parts & often left me stumped. My inability to cook was the direct result of this. I rarely had to cook my breakfast, I’d alternate between chia pudding, overnight oatmeal, frozen pancakes, yogurt, and bran flakes.
Overall I didn’t eat decently/ well at all, and often starved. Why? That answer will soon emerge, continue reading. You got this!
What I Ate/ Meals I Prepared:
I tried a bunch of different plant based foods, it was new and exciting. I stumbled across Beyond Meat’s plant based ground beef at my local supermarket. It was quite expensive for only being 16 oz but I purchased it anyways. I seasoned it up nicely and it was actually my first time frying burgers, let alone plant based burgers. It tasted good, but I remember telling myself “I can’t see myself eating this all the time”.
I’m glad I had that little moment of self realization because the truth is a lot of these plant based imitation “meats” are infused with chemicals and contain ingredients a five time spelling bee champion wouldn’t even be able to pronounce. I won’t go deeper into this, I’ll save this for another time. But always remember just because it’s plant based doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy.
I picked up a container of tofu, diced them up baked them, tossed them in barbecue sauce and ate them with steamed spinach. That tasted wonderful, I highly recommend.
For breakfast I’d often alternate between chia pudding, blueberry overnight oats, pineapple slices, bran flakes, pancakes or waffles, 2 slices of toast with natural peanut butter, a random fruit smoothie, and apple slices.
I learned how to steam broccoli, carrots, and kale for the first time. The kale I wasn’t a fan of, no matter how much salt I sprinkled onto it my taste buds disapproved.
I developed a deep love for canned sardines, there bones are completely edible and literally melted into my mouth. Definitely made eating fish enjoyable. I even created my low effort version of sardine pasta. I’d boil a box of whole wheat pasta then mix in 3 cans of sardines & then pizzaz! Not pizza, PIZZAZ!
All in all, my meals were semi tasteless. And repetitive, I had absolutely no diversity.
And I felt as if I was under eating, I was literally starving. But that’s my fault not my pescatarian diets fault. I don’t blame you pesca, it was little old me.
What I Learned:
I’ve never been on a diet before and I rarely eat on schedule. I’m one of those people to not eat breakfast until the evening or even skip breakfast entirely and eat one big meal during the afternoon. By choosing a pescatarian diet I learned how to eat on schedule, and how to develop a solid routine and actually stick with it.
More importantly I learned how to cut down on food waste. I’d buy fresh fruits from my local supermarket, and when they looked nearly spoiled- I’d place them in a ziplock bag and freeze them to make smoothies. The non pescatarian me would’ve thrown them away.
I also discovered that it’s more nutritional to eat fruits whole as opposed to blending them.
Canned fruits in syrup is a big no no, I’d get canned Pineapples in 100% juice for only $1
I’d pour out the remaining juice into a cup which measured out to 8 ounces (1 cup). 10 pineapple slices and a “free” cup of pineapple juice for only $1? FUCK YEAH! I was living the pescatarian dream.
Where I Messed Up:
I didn’t mess up the moment I began stuffing my face with Domino’s pizza. And no I’m not referring to the game Dominos. I’ll admit, that joke was pretty corny but hey I tried!
I messed up when I never upped my grocery list budget. I practically starved myself and I failed to realize it. Only spending a measly $15/ week wasn’t nearly enough to keep me full/ eat well. I tried to stretch my money with the intent of being able to eat “healthy for cheap”. I definitely made my money stretch, but the only thing I got out of it was a reoccurring growling stomach.
What This 3 Week Diet Taught Me:
I fucking love eating wheat products, mainly because it’s filling and provides good nutrients. Wait, I forget to mention it’s cheap too! My little pesca phase made me closely examine ingredient lists for every food product I intend on consuming. During my late night grocery shopping trips, I now find myself leaning more towards natural food products. Things that were birthed from a tree ranging to a pod and have 5 or less ingredients that I can actually pronounce.
The funny thing is, I eat the exact same things I did when I was on my pescatarian diet- the only major difference is that I now consume red meats now! From pescatarian back to a carnivore.
Fuck, now I’m suddenly craving a filet o fish sandwich. McDonald’s here I come.