It’s official. I’m a vegetarian. Okay, actually not quite. I’m a pescatarian for the moment. In case you’re not aware a pescatarian is someone who eats fish but not any other type of meat. I feel like this has been a long time coming and I am very happy I finally made the decision to live this lifestyle.
For as long as I can remember I have loved animals. Like seriously loved them. I would pretend to be a dog so much I got holes in the knees of most of my pants. I also thought I could speak to animals and would try to talk to the birds and rabbits in my backyard. I currently volunteer with an animal rescue and I have my own little rescue kitty at home. Animals are such a huge part of my life so it seems almost strange that I haven’t been a vegetarian prior to this moment.
About a year or so ago I started watching food documentaries on Netflix. Oh man will those change your view on meat real quick. The movie that made the most impact on me was Earthlings (I was bawling). But even after watching that emotional documentary I couldn’t shake my meat habit. It was mostly due to convenience. It was easier for me to stick to my tried and true recipes than to branch out and test new vegetarian meals. Basically I was a little too lazy *insert see no evil monkey emoji here*
In order to ease myself into the vegetarian lifestyle I started to slowly cut back on my carnivorous meals. I set little challenges for myself such as go 1 week without meat or try 2 new vegetarian recipes. These challenges helped me expand the meals I felt comfortable whipping together. Because like I said before my blockage was really convenience. When I get home from work I want a meal in 15 minutes or less. I can’t spend an hour on a weeknight throwing together dinner. Just doesn’t work for me. But by taking the time to learn a few quick and easy vegetarian meals I allowed myself more wiggle room to ease into the lifestyle.
Finally at the beginning of August my friend was telling me how she had been eating mostly vegetarian/vegan for a few weeks. For whatever reason I had hit my trigger. I set the biggest challenge to myself yet: go 1 whole month as a pescatarian. That was nearly 3 months ago and I am still going strong with my new lifestyle!
Eventually I would like to transition fully to vegetarian only (no fish). But for now eating fish is good for me and my diet. I am sure I am getting enough protein while still being conscious and mindful of the meat that’s on my plate. I try to follow the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) ratings on seafood. They have an app that’s helpful. Also if you shop at Whole Foods all their seafood is rated by the MSC (green being the best).
Becoming a vegetarian/pescatarian is not easy. It takes time and determination. I would not recommend going cold turkey and giving up all meat at once. It should be a gradual process, slowly giving up meat and learning new vegetarian-friendly recipes. Start by cutting out one type of meat such as beef. Or choose one day of the week to be completely meat-free (Meatless Mondays are pretty popular). Eventually you’ll reach your goal of becoming a vegetarian!
Anyone else out there a vegetarian? Or trying to become one? Let me know how your journey is going in the comments!