It has been a year since I became a pescetarian, and high time that I gave an update on how my journey has been up until this point. I re-read over my blog the last days so as I could find links for previous posts on the issue (here and here), and I was really surprised with what I wrote!
My first post was published when I had been meat-free just a couple of weeks. I had made the decision that since I was such a big meat-eater, I would allow some poultry into my diet. Pretty good reasoning I suppose at the time but it actually turned out that I didn’t eat any poultry at all! To use a contrasting turn of words, I went cold turkey. It honestly wasn’t as hard as I thought. It is not often that I feel like caving in and reverting back to my old eating habits. Admittedly, I did eat meat at Christmas. It wasn’t a case of cracking, more so a decision just to eat what was on offer. I honestly thought it would result in the end of my time as a pescetarian – but I was wrong. While I did enjoy eating my turkey and spiced beef, it was easy to switch back the next day. I read somewhere recently that your body just stops craving meat after a period of time and I guess that is just what happened to me.
Another major fear of mine was that I would become a very unhealthy person. Not that I was majorly healthy before, but because I was a picky eater I feared that I might become a vegetarian who ate just chips, pizza etc. I say vegetarian because at this point I didn’t eat any fish at all. In my opinion, this lifestyle choice has led me to a much better diet. My reckoning was that if I gave up meat, I most certainly had to find a way to replace the nutrients. So I did. I began eating fish, lentils, chickpeas – many foods which I had always claimed I didn’t like. A tip for anybody in the same situation is to start eating the foods you think you don’t like covered in a sauce like curry, which was what I used. Eventually, wean yourself to eat them in their natural form and be surprised to find yourself enjoying food you never thought you would. Just don’t be afraid to try. As horrible as this may sound, if you really do not like the taste of something, just spit it out! Remember that a balanced diet is very important!
A few minor points for me to finish up on. Berlin was not as hard a place to become a pescetarian as I originally thought. Probably because it is such an international city with many food options available. It was actually much harder home in Cork where meat-less cuisines and certain dishes are few and far between. Also, you will find a lot of people who will tell you your diet is wrong and that you are making yourself sick. This is not the case. I am not a nutritionist so I do not want to preach what you should and should not eat here. Google it for yourself or ask somebody qualified in the area. All I will reiterate is that regardless if meat is in your diet or not, a balanced diet is very important. I am in no means perfect when it comes to eating healthily every day, but I can reassure you that I have not become ill because I do not eat meat. In actual fact, I feel in better shape than I ever have been. I am less tired, have more energy, ache less when I eat and, let’s say, some internal functions work a lot better now.
So, there you have it, my kinda quick update on becoming a pescetarian rian. I would like to hear your own personal stories. Feel free to share any recipes as well!