fitness

A Month Without Meat

img_7537Okay, so first of, I love steak, so I never imagined myself trying to a live a life without it. But steak doesn’t feel the same way about me. Steak and beef have a lot of fat and can raise my cholesterol to an unhealthy level. Honestly, I really don’t like chicken, only if it’s fried and comes from Chick-fil-A, which is also very unhealthy. I really love seafood and I’ll always choose it over any type of meat. So with all those factors in place, becoming a pescetarian seemed like it wouldn’t be too difficult for me. For a while, I’ve been feeling like I’ve kind of plateaued with my fitness, so I thought I would try something new to see if I could improve physically. On December 23, I decided I would go pescetarian, which was probably not the best idea to start two days before Christmas, but I started anyway.

This is me before I started a pescetarian diet:

Week 1

I ended up not going grocery shopping this week because I would be out of town and celebrating the holidays all week. While at my holiday celebrations I successfully stayed away from meat. It surprisingly wasn’t that difficult because I just ate things like mash potatoes, green bean casserole, so on, and stayed away from the turkey and ham. My dad’s side of the family is Italian so the Feast of the Seven Fishes is kind of a thing for our family, so while I was at his house for Christmas we just ate a bunch of seafood. Even though I stuck with my pescetarian diet, for the most part I did not eat healthy. I did find that it took a little more planning in order to get a meatless healthy meal.

I really love sushi, which made becoming a pescetarian a little easier. There is this sketchy, cheap, sushi place in my home town that everyone use to go to, so I figured I had to go for old time sake. I ordered what I usually order, but mid-sushi bite I started feeling extremely weird. I guess there is no other way for me to describe it besides, feeling high. The sushi high lasted for the rest of the day and ended with a searing headache the next morning. Honestly, the only explanation I could think of was that I got roofied. I know that sound crazy, because why would a sushi place roofie me in front of my whole family?! But I didn’t know what else to think. I seriously almost bought a $15 drug test from Walmart to figure out what’s up. A week later I bought sushi at Publix and low and behold, I got high again. At this point I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to seaweed, even though I’ve never really heard of an allergic reaction resulting in feeling high, but that’s where I’m at right now. I am pretty discouraged because it’s like once I go pescetarian, I find out I’m allergic to to one of my favorite meat free food groups! After this discovery I thought about giving up because I was worried that I was making myself sick or allergic to things, but I figured I would stick with it for at least a month.

After a week of being pescetarian, while eating all the junk food my heart desired, this is what my body looked like:

I was very surprised that I actually looked leaner from the week before. I still continued my workout routine throughout the week that I was out of town, but other than that there was not a lot of healthy lifestyle being lived. Once I took these pictures and compared them to the week’s before I felt super encouraged and decided to continue with this lifestyle while eating healthy.

Week 2

I started out this week by going grocery shopping. I usually shop at Aldi (which I’ll probably talk about in another post) which is a very inexpensive grocery store. I was nervous that I would spend more money only eating fish as my source of protein, but was happily surprised when I discovered my grocery bill was less than normal. I usually spend about $75 a week for my husband and I, and this week I only spent $68! There is the fact that my husband, who always comes with me for moral support, was on a business call the whole time, and not trying to negotiate as much junk food as he could get, but I’m still pretty hopeful. This shopping trip really did last me the whole week and I was even able to snag a few extra days without going for the next week.

Overall, this week I have been feeling pretty good. I don’t feel sluggish or hungry and I’ve been in a good mood for the most part. There are a few people who have told me that they were a pescetarian/vegetarian before but they had to quit because they just weren’t getting enough protein. I’m not sure if that will catch up with me, but I feel pretty normal so far.

After two weeks of being a pescetarian, being back on track with my workout schedule five days a week, and eating pretty healthy, this is what my body looks like (peep my bra):

I feel like my body looks slightly slimmer then the week before but there is not a very noticeable change. I have noticed that I do not fell bloated often which makes me feel more confident.

Week 3

I again started this week going grocery shopping. This time my husband was totally aware the whole shopping trip and was able to persuade me to buy a few items that are out of my healthy norm. However, I was still able to spend under my budget of $75 for the week. I still had some frozen fish left over from the week before so that might have contributed to the low cost.

To be honest, my life has kind of sucked since becoming pescetarian. I found out I’m allergic to sushi, I got ringworm from the gym, and learned I had to move out of my condo. I know none of these things are related to not eating meat, but it’s just a thought.

But in reality, I have been feeling pretty good about myself keeping up with this for almost a whole month. It’s nice to feel like I have control over what is going into my body and not feel miserable about it, like I would if it were a diet. I have started to get concerned about my protein intake. For my weight and activity level I should be consuming 110 grams of protein per day, which I do not think I am accomplishing. I started looking into organic protein supplements but am having a hard time finding something completely organic. So for right now I’m just really trying to eat lots of foods that have a lot of protein.

After 3 weeks of being a pescetarian, while eating healthy and working out, this is what my body looks like: 

I feel like my body looks overall smaller. I feel like I might have lost fat and muscle because of my lack of protein. For the the next week I am going to try to keep track of my protein and consume the amount that I need.

Week 4

For this week of grocery shopping, we went over our budget. However, I do not believe that it is because of my pescetarian diet. As you can see, I spent a lot of money on random things, like a whole crap load of batteries, razors, and protein powder. So with all those things I think we did pretty well for grocery shopping this week.

This week has felt pretty similar to the previous weeks. I haven’t felt fatigued and it hasn’t been too difficult to pass up eating meat. The past couple days I have been craving some steak. I guess it’s pretty hard when you work at a restaurant and you constantly see beautiful pieces of filets right in front of your face. Even though I don’t have to do this and I plan on eating meat again in my life, I haven’t really wanted to say yes to eating a steak, even when I was craving it.

After 4 weeks of being a pescetarian, while eating healthy and working out, this is what my body looks like. 

This week I tried to focus on eating more protein because last week I was worried I was loosing muscle. I do think that I am able to see more muscle definition then I did in the week before. I tried to drink at least one protein shake a day which was actually really convenient. I found a $15 protein powder at Aldi that tastes pretty good. Although this powder isn’t vegan or organic like I would rather have, it did not have any weird ingredients that I was unfamiliar with. I definitely feel like I look leaner than I did a month ago.

Overview

When I talk to people about how I went pescetarian for a month, a few have asked if I was going to continue after the month was over. I’m not sure how long it will last but I definitely want to continue. I am appreciating the feeling of being in control of my body and losing fat without much sacrifice. I don’t plan to be a Nazi about it, especially when I don’t have any other food options, but I do plan to try my best to continue this lifestyle.

img_7529

I would encourage anyone to try this out for a little bit to see if it works for you. If you don’t really enjoy seafood, I would say maybe this isn’t the best thing for you considering it is hard to get your protein solely from plants or animal by-products. If you do decide to try this, make sure to remember that eating should be enjoyable and to not stress if you break the rules every so often.

I plan to have future articles about what I eat throughout the day and some easy, healthy, pescetarian recipes, so stay tuned!

One thought on “A Month Without Meat

  1. I’ve been on the pescatarian diet for about 2 weeks now and I feel great.
    But to see your post actually gives me hope for my health and my physiques.
    Thank you so much for posting your before and after!
    I’ll be looking into your recipes too 🙂

    Like

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