I did It!
I survived one whole year as a pescatarian and I can not believe it.
When I started my meatless challenge, it was supposed to be for just one week. But after noticing how good my body felt inside, the more it became about making it to the next day. To the next week. And to the next month.
As I look back on this year, I am amazed how much I have learned about food, cooking, and most importantly myself.
This challenge not only changed the way I view food, but it’s also engendered a love of cooking that I’ve never known before. Prior to this year, cooking was just something I had to do.
Now, I truly enjoy the process and trying my best to make my favorite dishes healthier so much so that I’ve consider a career in it as a food writer.
People always ask me if I miss eating meat and honestly, the first six months I didn’t. But lately, I have been feining for a bacon cheeseburger. I even planned to eat one the day after my anniversary. I still haven’t decided exactly what I am going to do yet, but I know this challenge has been eye-opening.
Here are five food lessons that helped me survive this year as a pescatarian:
1. Color makes a world of difference
We already know that the more colorful a dish is, the more nutrients it has, but it also makes the dish visually pleasing like this Black Bean and Corn Salad. It’s a little known fact, if it doesn’t look good, there is no way anybody is going to go near it especially the meat-eaters in your life. So whatever you are cooking, think color.
2. Vegetables are more versatile than you think
There is a huge misconception that vegetarians and vegans especially only eat salads. Don’t worry, I used to think the same thing. As a pescatarian, I can tell you that is so false. Yes, I ate a lot of salads, but I also transformed the look of vegetables making delicious dishes like the Smoky Mixed-Bean Veggie Burgers and Meatless Meatballs, which my love and I can’t get enough of.
You don’t realize just how little vegetables you eat compared to everything else until you change your diet. I personally have always liked vegetables, but my upbringing taught me that you have a large side of carbs, a nice piece of meat, and a couple of spoonfuls of vegetables. It’s probably the same for most people. An easy way to get in the required vegetable serving is to blend it with some fruit in a smoothie making it apart of your daily routine. Not only is it yummy, but it’s also really good for your body.
4. Family favorites can be just as good without ground meat
I can’t stress this enough. Some of my favorite meals such as my Veggie Lasagna taste perfectly fine without meat. And dare I say, even better. I might be biased, but anytime you can get people who don’t eat certain vegetables to request the dish, you know you are onto something. Another good one has been my Roasted Vegetable Tacos and you should know I LOVE TACOS and this recipe is a good and nutricious spin on my childhood favorite.
5. Snacking healthier doesn’t have to be boring
Let’s face it, you are going to snack. This year, I snacked A LOT, but in my defense, I made most of the snacks so I could control what I put into my body. Because I have a major sweet tooth, I knew that I had to start making healthier choices such as these simple Homemade Apple Chips. A recent favorite is my Black Bean Browines, which are bomb. I highly recommend trying them and don’t worry you won’t be chomping on beans. They are blended. You won’t even know they are there.
Have you recently changed you diet? What lessons have you learned along the way?