Pescatarian in the South

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The economics of the future is somewhat different. You see, money doesn’t exist in the 24th century.
Lily Sloane: No money? You mean, you don’t get paid?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: We work to better ourselves.
“Star Trek: The Next Generation”, (1987)

Pescatarians are NOT vegetarians. Even though they do not eat animal products, they still consume seafood. As a matter of fact, the word “pescatarian” derives from the Spanish word for fish, “pesco”. Why did I choose to become a pescatarian? Quite simple: I didn’t! I simply woke up one morning and realized that I hadn’t had meat in months and that my primary protein sources were some seafood, eggs, and peanut butter, the crunchy kind of course. Wondering whether there was a special word for people whose diets primarily consist of similar ingredients, I came across the concept of pescatarian in my web search and later decided to learn how to properly become one. After all, I come from the River of Prawns! The goal of this blog is to introduce you to the world of a pescatarian living in the South, a place where ordering food without meat in eat gets you “The Look”.
Garlic & Brandy Prawns

Garlic & Brandy Prawns

As an important note, if you ever feel inspired to change your diet, you should ALWAYS first ask your doctor! Furthermore, there are several good websites that list the benefits and concerns of being a pescatarian, notably:

The two key points from these articles are:
  • Nutrients are harder to come by for pescatarians, compared to traditional diets
  • Watch out for excess mercury consumption
How do I survive in a town where most restaurants stuff meat with meat? By cooking almost all of my meals myself and exercising more often! Don’t get me wrong, I still eat out once in a while, but not nearly as much as I used to. I have to admit that creating my personal menu at the beginning of each week is quite enjoyable.
1. Pay a visit to your doctor
There is nothing else to add here, except advising you to make this transition gradually.
2. Inform our loved ones
Not everyone might be as understanding as you would like, but it better to inform them in advance than inconvenience them when you have to eat at home or select a dinning alternative. Besides, it might even motivate someone else to do something about their health!
3. Plan different exercise routines
Whether by yourself or with a group, at home or at the gym, staying fit will definitely pay off when combined with a diet. After trying Salsa and Swing dancing, I felt a more comfortable with simply balancing jogging, bicycling, and ParKour.
Not only are they fun activities, but they do neither require much preparation, nor equipment. I also love playing racquetball and football (real football, not American) occasionally, and am planning to check out a Zumba class one of these days.
4. Scientia potentia est
Read, search, read. I took the diet switch as a personal challenge and consequently decided to discover the world of pescatarians and vegetarians in the best possible way:
4.1 Read up
I signed up for vegetarian newsletters and forums, as they are not many for pescatarian. I do not eat that much seafood anyway
4.2 Search
I looked up what it means to be a pescatarian, particularly the nutritional values of different fruits and vegetables. As a matter of fact, my goal was to try to take vitamins and iron supplements as naturally as possible.
4.3 Recipes
Watching cooking shows in my spare time, as well as looking up different recipes help me out a lot! If you haven’t tried already, check out RecipeMatcher, an amazing interactive website that recommends recipes based on the ingredients you have in your pantry, or at least can easily acquire.
A simple web search also revealed to me more vegan, vegetarian & seafood recipes than I could have ever imagined!
I must point out that two of my personal favorites are Chef Alton Brown’s lentil soup and V Monte’s zucchini bread recipes.
4.4 Ingredients
Last, but not least, getting good ingredients at an affordable price (I am only a student) was one of my main goals. I discovered CSA during my first visit to Philly and decided to give it a try once I got home.
Let me change topics for a moment: If you ever find yourself in Philly – Yes, I know that it is not in the South-, do not hesitate to check out National Mechanics and the Basic 4 Vegetarian Cafe at the Reading Terminal Market (I recommend the “Vegan Philly Cheesesteak”).
Now, let’s get back on track. It turns out that I did not need to join CSA, because my neighbors are actually agriculture majors and work part time for a local farmer. What better way to buy fresh ingredients than to visit the farmers (and their herb garden) down the street? They even inspired me to start my own (after reading through “Gardening for Dummies)! Furthermore, the Fisheries department’s seasonal sales help reduced my trips to the grocery store. Another advantage of attending a Land-grant university.
5. Have fun
This goes without saying! 🙂
Overall, it is not impossible to stay healthy at low cost. I sure wished that there was at least one seafood, vegetarian, or vegan restaurant in my city to minimize my ordeal of picking a place when going out with friends. On the bright side, a couple of health food stores recently opened in the next town and are doing well enough despite the current state of the economy. Finally, in case you are why I mentioned vegan and vegetarian recipes in a pescatarian, my answer is: “Why not?”

About MIrrorIMage

I am a Software Engineer passionate about technology, the arts, and making this world a better place.
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One Response to Pescatarian in the South

  1. MIrrorIMage says:

    Update:
    I finally decided to become a full-blown vegetarian in December 2012.
    So far so good. ^_^

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