The Sunkissed Life

ARE YOU THE RESTRICTION POLICE?

Jahara Stevenson

     So many of you have been asking what do I eat and not eat as a Pescatarian. Well, I have finally decided to put it all together in one place so that you can easily access it and refer back whenever you need to. Also, don't forget to check out the health and wellness tab. We have lots of menu items and food suggestions on there for you all to try out. They are not always vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian but I usually always throw in 1-2 options for those of us who have dietary restrictions whether voluntary or not.

     For those of you who don't know, I am a Pescatarian. What that means is I do not eat meat in any form other than fish and shrimp. Now the formal definition is someone who does not eat meat with the exception of fish. I however love seafood and therefore include it in my diet. I 98% consume only fish and shrimp however She Crab Soup is my favorite so I make an exception for crab meat. Many often get confused and mix up the three. So there is no confusion, I will help everyone differentiate between the three. Based SOLELY on definition, vegans do not eat OR USE any animal products. Being vegan has a lot more involved than just your diet. Vegans don't use any products that have any remnants of animal product in it. That includes shampoos, lotions, makeup, clothing, food, etc. Dairy is an animal product for all of you that often forget. Therefore Vegans do not consume dairy either.  Vegetarians, by definition, are persons who do not eat meat and sometimes other animal products. Some Vegetarians still consume dairy some do not. That being said, with ALL THREE of these identifiers, people are not confined to these restrictions simply because they choose to identify with them. I know some Vegans who still eat eggs, or cheese, or use regular toothpaste and deodorant. I know Vegetarians who will occasionally have a piece of fish, and Pescatarians who every now and then may have a bite of chicken. One of the most annoying things I personally experience and I have heard other people who identify with one of these is that for some reason we are offered no dietary graces. I have been Pescatarian since October 1 and I have voluntarily had chicken 3 times in that period. Everyone makes a huge deal out of it as if the world is ending. There is no Pescatarian, Vegan, or Vegetarian police that is going to fine me for biting a piece of chicken. So do us all a favor and don't crucify us for wavering every now and then. 

     Now that all of that is cleared up :) here is what a Pescatarian diet looks like. The biggest thing to remember in any of these food lifestyles is that transitioning to any of these does not automatically make you a healthy person. Junk food, fried food, carbs, and sugar are all "allowed" therefore making it very easy to be just as unhealthy if not more as a non restrictive diet. The key to healthily living with one of these labels is knowing what foods provide the most nutrients, get you full, but are still good for you. 

PROTEINS: eggs, fish, beans, nuts, quinoa, nut butter, shrimp, tofu, edamame, seeds

FRUITS (also carbs): apple, avocado, berries, cantaloupe, cherries, dates, grapes, mango, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, raisins, watermelon

VEGETABLES (also carbs): broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, green beans, peppers, sweet potatoes, peas, greens, tomatoes

HEALTHY FATS: almonds, cashews, macadamia, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, almond butter, guacamole, trail mix

SNACKS: air popped popcorn, gluten free sweets, kale chips, sweet potato chips

     Remember these lists are not the only things you are "allowed" to eat. Obviously you are free to consume whatever you desire, this is just a good outline of staples to building a Pescatarian friendly grocery list. The key is to remember not to fill up on simple sugars and carbs such as bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes just because you think that is the only thing that will make you full. Crabs come in all forms and you can consume many things to get you just as full and satisfied as a non restrictive lifestyle.