In my August Update post, I mentioned that I was approaching the end of “Pescetarian/Vegetarian Month”.
At least twice a month, I make a point to try something new. Every year around my birthday, I make a point to write a list of things I want to do for the next year (and I’ve started a list of accomplishments for the past year). As I approached my 27th birthday, I worked on my list for “Year 27” and realized I didn’t have anything new for fitness goals. All of my goals were rolling over. I’m already working towards losing weight, clean eating, and living a healthier lifestyle. But I’m a habitual list maker, there has to be something on this list regarding fitness! I have nothing new to add! WHY LAWD! I DEMAND A NEW GOAL! I NEED ONE! Seriously, I’m extremely goal-oriented. I need a well-rounded list of things to accomplish at all times.
In the midst of flying off the handles about not having a new fitness goal (yes, I am aware I’m crazy), it hit me! I remembered reading a blog post on BGG2LW that listed dietary lifestyles and the pros and cons of each one. At which point I relaxed and decided to try eating vegetarian for a month. Which led to me side eyeing myself because I love meat. In order to subdue my self-side eye, I landed on my goal: Eat a pescetarian diet for one month.
In short, pescetarianism is a plant-based diet that includes seafood. Or a vegetarian who also eats seafood. I spent a week or so doing A LOT of research to make sure I understood my new goal. Also, I was worried about the whole mercury poisoning thing. I knew I wouldn’t go crazy on the seafood because although I love it, I “get over it” very fast. That’s a good thing considering seafood is EXPENSIVE in Michigan.
Because I love my lists, below is a list of things I learned while eating pescetarian for the month of August!
- Eating vegetarian is fun. There are so many options once you figure out how to plan your meals and what food are high in protein (you’ll need to know this).
- It’s easy to “miss” your protein. There was about a week where I wasn’t getting enough protein. I think I ate vegetarian that whole week (or most of it) and forgot to watch my protein intake.
- I typically eat between 70 and 80 grams of protein a day. According to a few sources, that’s great because according to them, you should be eating half your body weight in grams of protein per day.
- I needed to up my calorie intake. I hovered around 1200 calories most days and ate a little more on strength days. Even though I figured out my protein, I wasn’t eating enough for the changes I made in my workouts. Longer cardio days, heavier weights on strength days. I went up to 1300 calories for most days with a maximum of 1400 on strength days. It was a smart move. 🙂
- Eating out while eating pescetarian and healthy is hard. HARD. I take that back. It is a NIGHTMARE AND A HALF! WHY LAWDDDDDDDD! I don’t know how many times I called my mama forcing her to listen to me figure out what to eat. Lol! She rushed me off the phone a few times *side eyes her* Yes, I just side eyed my mom and that’s fine! I was in distress! I had my “healthy staples” at most restaurants but most of those were thrown out the window for the entire month of August. Jesus! HELP!
- Although eating out was difficult, I figured it out and found some tasty new choices! Margherita pizza from Nordstrom Cafe Bistro, Side Item Sampler (if you order right) at Boston Market, Vegetarian Chicken (more on this later), nonglazed Wood Grill options at Red Lobster, and more!
- Margherita Pizza though! Listen! I do not like the pasta variation of this dish but the pizza? YES LAWD! It was so good in fact, that I found a recipe and made it twice. Yes, I had margherita pizza for a total of 11 different meals. More if you count the times I ate half a serving and paired it with something else O_O
- I may not be lactose intolerant after all. Say huh?????? In 2008 (or 2009), I thought I had become lactose intolerant because whenever I ate cheese or drank milk (I was a 1%er I think), I felt bloated. I switched to soy milk and now I drink almond milk. Also I’m more careful of the amount and type of cheese I eat. Despite ALL the pizza I had in August, I never felt bloated. I even ate that pizza for lunch and dinner one day! I’m not sure if it’s because of the (mostly) clean eating but whoa! Between all the pizza and yogurt, I fully expected to feel like a balloon.
- Vegetarian chicken is a real thing. It’s either tofu (made from soy) or seitan (made from wheat gluten). I’m not sure which one I ate that day but another day I had seitan in tacos. It was delicious! Also, nutritional yeast is another thing! Lol. It’s an inactive yeast may vegetarians and vegans add to their diet for….nutritional purposes (B12, protein, etc). I didn’t try it but it’s also used to make fake cheese! *cues the “The More You Know” logo*
- More fresh vegetables and fruit really do keep you fuller for longer. JUST. LOOK. AT. GOD. I’ve always loved fruits and vegetables but I used to eat a lot of canned or frozen. I started buying fresh more and ate more of it this month. The lack of meat made it way easier to eat more vegetables and fruit!
- My skin is almost flawless again honey! Yassssssssssssssssss! My skin is serving up brown skin beauty all day again! It has not looked this good in years! YEARS! I actually have a photo of myself on my 22nd birthday that I use as my “skinspiration”. Listen! Three weeks into August, I looked in the mirror and stared at myself for a good minute!
- I feel lighter. At first I thought it was in my head until I realized I went from losing .5 pounds a week to losing 1.5 to 2 pounds a week in August. *jumps for Jesus*
Out of all the things I learned, the most important was that I could do it. I am capable of going an entire month without meat and without craving it. If anything I missed the texture than the taste. We had free BBQ at work twice in August (side eye) and I resisted with very little effort. I actually ended up having more vegetarian meals than seafood meals. Like I said, I “get over” seafood fast. I enjoyed trying something new!
“Oh, so I guess you’re a vegetarian now.” Naw! I’m the same person who calls the pig a glorious animal! Let’s all get into how the pig* gives us pork chops, pork loin, ham, ribs, pork roast, AND bacon! Somebody go grab Meek Mill so we can all sang, “Chuchhhhhhhhhhhh!” And he can yell, “PREACH!” And I can yell, “AMEN!” Because YES LAWD!
*Despite my calling the pig a glorious animal, my favorite meat is actually duck 🙂
This brings me to September 1st. The day of my first meat meal. During the last few days of August, I actually got a little scare. What if eating meat again makes me sick? I’ll lose it. LOSE IT! After two weeks of resisting free BBQ, I decided to go to Lockhart’s BBQ in downtown Royal Oak as my “celebratory” meat meal. I ordered the ¼ rack of ribs and the ½ chicken with sweet potato fries and viniagrette cole slaw. I’m happy to report that I did not get sick and the ribs, sweet potatoe fries, and cole slaw were greatness! However, that chicken can go to hell without the sauce. I’ve had it before and I don’t remember it being so underseasoned. I was so hurt!
Also, for the first time I felt bloated despite splitting my meal into 2 servings (with 3 servings of chicken). I WAS HURT AGAIN! WHY LAWD! I went from feeling like Peter Griffin when he had ecstasy pills and slid off the couch and up out his clothes to feeling like him the time he found out he was fat! *throws everything, throws self on the floor, sobs and rolls around*
With all that said, I’ve decided I to be what I call an 80%-90% Vegetarian (because I’m me and Flexitarian makes me think of Shabba Ranks….or Flex Alexander as Michael Jackson….no one needs that memory).
I did the math. My mom would laugh at this moment and say, “Oh lord. Okay. Go ahead.” and pull out her calculator. 7 days equal 21 meals (not counting snacks). Most of my recipes equal 4 servings. 4×7=28. If 2 to 4 of those meals are meat and the rest are vegetarian, that’s 80-90% a week. LOOK AT GOD! MAMA I DID IT! Ye’en ready for these improved math skills*!
*I’m joking. Although I am bad at math, I’m fine if it’s basic (as was this). I’m a mathmatical genius compared to some people. O_O
Overall, I am very proud of myself. Not only for completing something I never thought I’d even try, let alone enjoy. But also because I learned a lot from it. I learned about new foods and ingredients, improved my health, improved my skin, and came out of it with a new eating plan!