Pescatarian Diet: The good bad and ugly

I have been following the pescatarin diet since July 22, 2018, not a huge accomplishment compared to where I want to be, but it is a start. I plan on transitioning to veganism in the near future, but for now I’m just getting my feet wet.

Although it was easy to give up red meat, poultry was a challenge for me. Chicken has been part of my diet since I was a child. I grew up thinking chicken, especially turkey, had many health benefits, but my vegan and vegetarian friends told me differently.

This summer, I challenged myself to be a pescatarian and use my diet as a stepping stone towards going completely meatless. I wanted to see if there were benefits for giving up poultry. My friends were ecstatic when I told them I had given up the poultry for good.

Table of Contents

What do we eat?

Pescatarians eat a wide-range of foods. The word “pesce” basically means fish. So we eat a diet of seafood and marine animals. We typically follow a plant-based diet. *Some of us choose to still consume dairy products others do not choose to consume. When I first started this journey I ate dairy, but now I eat a very limited amount of dairy products.

What to eat on the pescatarian diet:

seafood, canned: fresh: wild caught: farm raised: smoked: frozen

vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, legumes

What not to eat

Poultry, gelatin, pork ,wild game, red meat, beef

Optional food choices

dairy, eggs, honey, processed foods

*This section totally depends on you

Have I seen benefits from giving up poultry?

Yes. I feel much much lighter. My menstrual cycle is shorter (less cramps, less mood swings) and I have more energy. I feel so good that I am contemplating going vegetarian in 20219. Many vegans and people who are on plant-based diets will tell you giving up meat is easy, but for me it hasn’t been easy.

Although I’m eating seafood, I still miss the meaty texture of poultry especially duck and dark meat. Meatless substitutes do not taste good for me and leave me feeling funny and bloated.

Like I said before, I thought I was eating healthy, but since watching vegetarian documentaries, I have been questioning my definition of healthy.

The most difficult thing I’m faced with being a pescatarian

The hardest thing about giving up poultry is ignoring my cravings. I have strong cravings for fried chicken, deli meat, and turkey bacon. I also crave processed foods as well. Oftentimes, it feels like something is missing in my diet. I go on these blind food binges just because I feel like there’s a hole in my stomach.

I am always eating and to be honest, I haven’t been eating as healthy as I was when I went on the no-sugar diet. I find myself eating empty carbs and candy. I haven’t done my best, especially this month- the month of Christmas.

Ultimately, I have decided I needed to regroup and get back on track. There are a tons of plant-based people out there that do eat healthy without eating meat. Right now, I am not one of them.

2021 Update

In 2019, I did indeed become a vegetarian, I lasted for 18 months! In summer of 2020 (in the midst of the Covid pandemic “lock down”) I transitioned back to the pescatarian diet only this time I decided to also go dairy-free!

If you are concerned about your health and the environment, I would encourage everyone to choose going dairy-free but still eat seafood, especially wild caught-seafood.

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