Before I begin, your first question might be “What on earth is a pescatarian?” – so to save your fingers from Googling, a pescatarian is someone that eats fish and seafood but doesn’t eat meat. So it’s actually the correct name for a vegetarian that also eats fish.
Got it? Great, let’s carry on…
I’ve never been a huge meat eater, I’ve always been pretty fussy. Only really eating chicken and the occasional steak or minced beef in a lasagne or chilli. I’ve never liked the taste of lamb, pork is too fatty and I only like duck in pancakes from the Chinese, so I don’t think that really counts!
When going out to restaurants I have always tended to go for the vegetarian or fish options, occasionally chicken if we are in a Mexican and I want fajitas or if that is the only option I like on the menu. But more recently I have just found the idea of eating meat really weird. It literally came over me all of a sudden, I was eating chicken one evening and it just tasted really ‘fleshy’ and chewy and I was struggling to swallow it.
Then it happened again the next time I had it and I just thought to myself – why am I eating this?! I really like animals. I’m eating them but not even enjoying it. What a waste.
Now before I carry on, I’m not going to start preaching about people eating meat, why it’s so bad, have you seen the conditions that chickens are kept in? Blah blah as I truly believe that everyone has the right to make their own decisions about what they do. We are all adults, we all have the same access to information and if you enjoy it and it’s right for you, then that’s absolutely fine. The key thing for me, though, is I wasn’t enjoying it, and that’s what made me start to feel really guilty about doing it.
I’ve toyed with the idea of going fully veggie before, I tried it for a month or so and really felt that I was missing something from my diet. Now, this could have been because back then I was less educated on protein sources and the importance of getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet. But I noticed a variety of side effects such as my hair falling out and regular severe fatigue and so decided it wasn’t for me.
Fast forward several years and I was tempted to try it again but after doing a bit of research I came across several articles about pescetarianism and realised that this could be the compromise I needed. I hadn’t considered it before, but I love fish, it’s bloody good for you and it would give me the right amount of animal protein that my body clearly needed so I decided to give it a go.
I’ve never been a fan of the idea of labelling myself before but the minute I decided to make it clear that I didn’t eat meat and call myself a pescatarian, I instantly felt better. I could now say no to meat because I had a valid reason for it. It’s a bit like when you give up chocolate for lent or participate in dry January (by the way, who invented the idea of giving up alcohol on what is already the most depressing month of the year?!) Because you know you ‘can’t’ have your bar of dairy milk or glass of vino, then you don’t. And for me, I ‘can’t’ eat chicken now so I don’t.
So after a month and a bit (the last bit of meat I had was on 31st December) how do I feel? Fantastic. Genuinely. My skin is looking good, I’m really enjoying eating more fish and experimenting with different vegetarian dishes and most of all I finally feel like I’m eating a diet that reflects me and what I like, and I’m no longer eating something for the sake of eating it, just cause it’s ‘what you do’.
So if like me, you’re not much of a meat fan but love a bit of fish, then give this diet a go. I recommend giving this article a read. It explains a bit more about it and why it’s a good life choice.
I’ll report back in a few months with how I’m getting on, some tips on what to eat and most importantly if I’m still enjoying it!