Avoiding meat and only eating fish and dairy products as protein sources for 30 days started as a selfish way for me to eat more of my favorite foods while reducing time in the kitchen during the chaos of summer.
I didn’t know what to expect in terms of changes, or if I should even expect anything. I was really surprised though to see what happened:
- My average daily grams of fat when down, but not as much as I anticipated it would
- My sodium intake plummeted. I had no idea I was way over the recommended daily allowance prior to this ‘test’ since I eat a very “healthy” diet normally
- My late night craving for peanut or almond butter completely diminished.
Why did these things happen? This is what i learned:
- There are a lot of seafood recipes that involve fried food (or include mayonnaise-based sauces). I don’t have a particular craving for fried foods and I really don’t like mayo, but as I was trying to diversify our options, I expanded beyond our standard set of recipes and meal planning. Side note: Bang Bang Shrimp by Damn Delicious is a positively fabulous way to indulge. (Scroll down for lots more recipes below)Take away: when I do this again, I’ll experiment more with plain Greek yogurt replacements for mayo and seek out more grilled seafood options to balance out the fat.
- As I mentioned previously, I had no idea my sodium intake was off the charts (as was my cholesterol). I had literally zero awareness that I ate as much processed meat as I did until I removed the turkey sausages at breakfast or occasional chicken sausage stir-fry away from my diet. The pescartaian diet forced me to eat ‘clean’ because there are frankly not as many options for processed seafood. My breakfast replacement was a very satisfying and quick-to-pull-together meal: egg whites, leftover veggies, fresh spinach, a sprinkle of Parmesan and side of fruit. Yummy, without all the cholesterol and salt without even trying! Take away: save money, cholesterol and sodium by skipping the processed meat. There are other options just as quick, delicious and likely with fewer calories.
- This whole nut butter deal was perplexing. For many years, I have craved (and occasionally indulged in) a small scoop of nut butter post-dinner. Over the years, I had done research on it and learned I could have a shortage of magnesium in my diet. Despite vitamins and supplements though, I still needed that scoop of peanut butter from time to time. I didn’t even realize I stopped craving it until about 3 weeks into pescatarian month. Only now do I realize I ate so many avocados on this diet, I was probably finally meeting my body’s Magnesium requirements. Take away: be sure to indulge in healthy fats and don’t be afraid to mix up your diet. You never know what you’ll figure out!
Interested in some of the recipes we tried out? These were some of our favorites!
Halibut with lemon caper sauce (My in-laws went nuts over this. Skip the almond flour and fancy oil. Use good ole fashioned butter)
Feeling adventurous? Octopus is my favorite food, but I’d never tried to make it myself until now. ‘Easy’ Octopus (still harder than you think, but fun to try)
Summer doesn’t get any easier than no-cook, easy prep Ceviche
I couldn’t close out this post without my favorite meal of all-time: Fish tacos This recipe is an easy keeper that feeds a crowd!
What other awesome seafood/fish dishes do you and your family enjoy?