June 20, 2013

I am a Pescatarian

As many of you know, I created a 30 before 30 list early last year.  One of the items on the list was to become a vegetarian for 30 days.  I've written about it a few times before here and here.
direct link to info page
I'm not a complete vegetarian.  I was for the first month and then I added fish back in every once in a while for a few reasons - the health benefits of including fish in your diet, Walleye is one of my favorites, having something to eat at weddings and the ease of ordering at a restaurant and having a few options instead of just a salad.  We don't eat fish very often, but it happens once or twice a month.

I also want you all to know that Vegetarianism is NOT for everyone.  I'm sharing my journey because it has been extremely rewarding and exciting for me.

It has now been over 13 months and I'm extremely proud of some of the changes I've made.

I eat way more fruits & vegetables and every week, I seem to get better and better.

The first week I cut out meat, I found myself eating just cheese pizza, PB&J sandwiches and macaroni & cheese.  That was NOT the direction I wanted to head.  I worked really hard on eating vegetables every day and trying new foods.  I fell in love with the farmer's market.  I realized that I love cucumbers, avocados, hummus, zucchini, blueberries, squash, sweet potatoes and kiwis.

I spend more time understanding food and learning about the things I'm putting in my body.

I'm a sucker for the documentaries on Netflix and the books that are out there, but I believe in arming myself with information.  Forks over Knives is one of my favorites.  I can't believe I haven't purchased their cookbook yet.  Also, there are some awesome books out there that I've read or plan to read soon.

I am helping the environment just a little bit.

DISCLAIMER: I have not watched any documentaries on why meat is good and why it helps our society.  That being said, all of the information I've read and watched has made the point that factory farms are a huge cause of pollution.  I won't go into all the details, you can research yourself, plus I haven't done intense studies and I really don't want to debate because I'll lose.  I just like knowing that I might be helping the world just a little bit by skipping meat.  Fair?

People around me are making different diet choices and exposing themselves and me to new foods.

My loving husband was a meat and potatoes kind of guy his whole life.  When I decided to try the whole vegetarian thing for 30 days, he was supportive, but not totally on board.  15 days in, he watched a few of those movies, had a nightmare involving our dog and hasn't touched meat since.  Sharing recipes, learning about new foods and trying things out are all things I enjoy with my friends & family.

I am improving my health by choosing a better diet.

This is the most important for me.  My name is Steph and my family has a history of bad heart health.  I was 25 and I had to OWN that fact.  I requested a cholesterol test from my doctor.  He told me it wasn't necessary until I was at least 30, but I said I felt that I needed it and I was right.  My cholesterol tested high at age 25.  My father has been on medication since he was 30.

My grandfather died of a heart attack in 2005. 

My uncle died in July of 2008 at age 47. 

Sometimes, genetics just suck.  I needed to take control as early as possible.  I go in Monday for a physical and it has been 3 years since my last test and I'm going to ask for another one.

All of that being said, I still love pizza rolls, cupcakes and fried food... I'm not the epitome of health.  I have some weight I'd like to lose.  It's a journey.

If you're interested in learning more about it, I recommend any of the material above.  Try Meatless Mondays and experiment with some new foods.  I dare you.  Also, share any of your favorite recipes, books, movies or anything related to food.

Linking up for Thursday Thoughts and Just Because.


  1. Yes, yes, YES! I love this post so much. I just finished reading Eating Animals last month (highly recommend!) and although I gave up red meat last year and then gave up chicken/turkey/etc. earlier this year, Eating Animals really drove my conviction home. I plan to write a review post soon.

    I love that vegetarianism (or Pesce I guess, and that's what I am too - I love my sushi! Dairy is a treat, as my body just doesn't like it much.) is working so well for you and that you've found awesome new veggie foods you like! This post just makes me so happy that I could go on for days but I'll stop because I sound crazy. Just wanted to say GOOD FOR YOU for taking your health upon yourself and doing it the right way! Four for you, Steph Coco.

  2. Wow! This is great. I did the Beachbody's Ultimate Reset which eases you into a vegan diet. I know veganism isn't for me, but I have quit eating red meat - really only eating chicken, turkey and fish.

    What a great testament - it's scary to see how so many things we consume hurts us more than helping us!

    Congrats on your achievement.

  3. I love my meat. I have go veggie for two weeks on my to do list for this year. I'm curious to see where that will lead me.

    Thanks for the resources!

  4. You need to get the Vegan on the Cheap and Happy Herbivore cookbooks! They are all vegan, but seriously such good and easy food, they were my go-tos when I was vegan and still are a lot of nights! Happy Herbivore has a blog too!

  5. People who can stick to this way of eating always impress me! Way to go for doing it for 13 months!

    I watched the movie "Fat Sick and Nearly Dead" back at the beginning of the year and it really inspired me to juice. I've never been great at eating my veggies and I found this (as well as smoothies) as a great way to incorporate them. Definitely a SMALL change compared to yours but I keep telling myself small steps eventually add up. HA!

  6. Ah, I'm a pescatarian, too! It's one of the best choices I've made in terms of my health, and after 2 years of not eating meat I rarely miss it or even think about it.

  7. so impressed. I could never do this but it's so smart. I have high cholesterol too, it's genetic. My grandfather died of a heart attack at 64 :( I'm sorry for your family losses but it's important to realize how necessary it is to stay healthy! and you're doing a great job of it!!

  8. WOW I had no idea you were a vegetarian! (pescatarian) That's so cool. I shudder when i think of those crazy meat factories. I'm wondering, do you ever crave meat? Or do you not miss it?

  9. This is so awesome! I wish I could do it but it's so hard- I just love chicken! But there really are some incredible health benefits, you are awesome!

  10. I'm not sure what I would be called because I still eat animal based foods except for cow related products. I'm lactose intolerant and when I stop eating beef I started to feel so much better. I got e coli poisoning about 4 times (all recalls) and numerous stomach viruses. I haven't been sick since 2007, I haven't caught anything as little as a cold.

  11. this is the only thing we DON'T have in common. i admire you though! we'll just have to bond over lots of beer, margaritas and bloody marys instead :)

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  13. Hey there! I'm so glad you found my Types of Vegetarian quick guide chart useful! Thanks for sharing. Would you mind adding a link back to the page it came from? Would be so grateful! Here's the exact page address: http://vegetarian-nation.com/resources/common-questions/types-levels-vegetarian/ Thanks again!

  14. this is a fantastic post. really makes me want to do it soon. i know dairy is bad as well, but i think thats the one thing i couldnt give up.


Thanks for reading my ramblings. It makes my heart happy.