As of the beginning of February (the 8th, to be exact), I’ve been eating “Pescatarian style.” With an exception of one day in NYC, I have not consumed any meat or poultry in almost 6 weeks. During this time, I’ve received many questions, so I figured an FAQ post was necessary.
The most common questions I’m asked are “But what about protein?" “Are you getting Calcium? Petite girls need more you know.” and “Shouldn’t you worry that your Iron is low?” In short: Yes, I’m getting my protein. Yes, I need Calcium. No, I’m not worried that my Iron is low. There are plenty of foods with which I can get my daily vitamin requirements, but here’s how I’m doing it:
Protein: Greek yogurt, fish, quinoa, broccoli, spinach, almonds, walnuts, peas, chickpeas, black beans, peanut/almond butter, tofu, soy milk, lentils, and kale.
Calcium: soy or rice milk, collard greens, tofu, yogurt, bok choy, almonds, broccoli
Iron: soybeans, lentils, tofu, quinoa, chickpeas, black beans, veggie burgers, spinach, Brussels sprouts
Why did you decide to do this? At first it was just a sudden aversion to chicken. I rarely ate red meat before, so cutting that out wasn’t an issue. I then started to be bothered by eggs, again for no particular reason. I thought I’d just go with the flow and see what happened. I am a firm believer of listening to your body and giving it the nutrients it craves. Everything should be consumed in moderation.
What are the positives you’ve seen so far? My fruit and vegetable intake has significantly increased. Being open to more vegetables has made me enjoy ones that I used to gross me out. Eggplant? Love it. Mushrooms? No longer bother me. Green peppers? Sure, I’ll take those too.
What’s your favorite part about this change? With less options to choose from, it’s so much easier ordering at restaurants! It has been a lot of fun trying new dishes that I would have ignored before. I know it sounds ridiculous, but as I’m typically a creature of habit, I’ve learned that sticking with “the usual” is safe, but quite boring.
What products have you tried and loved? Though I typically don’t promote frozen meals, there are times when they are convenient and not too bad for you. In the beginning of all this, I relied on these products to wean me into vegetarian/pescatarian cooking. Please watch the sodium content!
I really like, no, love Morningstar’s Spicy Black Bean Burgers and Asian Vegetable Patties.
Kashi’s Spicy Black Bean Enchilada is damn good. The salsa and tomatillo sauce has so much flavor.
Evol Foods has great products. I’m a fan of their flatbreads and bowls. Check out these:
Disliked? I really wanted to like the Trader Joe’s Masala veggie burgers. I was a bit freaked out when I bit into one and a green bean was hanging out of my mouth. I get it. It’s a veggie burger. But that was strange.
Kashi’s Pesto Pasta Primavera was just eh. I could do without it.
The gardein chick’n filets were downright disgusting. Horrible. Awful. The texture is so bad. I never want to see these again.
Do you like tofu? Tempeh? I have had tofu prepared for me and enjoyed it about half the time. I have not tried cooking with it. Another thing is, tofu may be meat-free, but it’s still highly processed. I’ll check out tempeh once somebody recommends a good kind.
Would you consider becoming Vegan? At this point, I’m really not sure. I give major props to Vegans for their ability to restrict so many products for ethical, health, and/or environmental reasons. I like the earth, my body, and some animals are pretty cool, but I’m not waving any flags just yet.
How long are you doing this for? I have no idea, which is why I don’t really like giving myself a title. I could wake up tomorrow and want a cheeseburger. To be quite honest, I’ve had more (just 2) cravings for red meat than for poultry.
Oh, and the NUMBER ONE QUESTION people ask is…drum roll…WHAT ABOUT CHICK-FIL-A? Calm down everyone, Chick-fil-A is still getting my $ and I still love them with a huge chunk of my heart. What I’m enjoying: multigrain oatmeal, fruit parfaits, side salads, and fruit cups. Of course I’m still addicted to the Diet Lemonade, IceDream, and their pickles.
Just to be clear…
What I Do and Don’t Eat (Besides the obvious)
- Greek yogurt
- a lot of nuts
- tons of vegetables
- some fruit
- beans and chickpeas
- almond butter
- red meat
- animal’s milk (I simply prefer almond and soy milk for their nutritional benefits)
- eggs (but I will eat stuff that has been baked w/ eggs. I’m not sure why – it’s the actual egg that freaks me out.)
For more information, I highly suggest checking out the documentary Forks Over Knives. It’s on Netflix!
For those of you who love to read, grab your library card and check out Vegan & Vegetarian FAQ.
If YOU have any questions or comments, feel free to discuss below. I’ll answer (mostly) anything and am open to your thoughts.
Now go eat some carrots.