Does the thought of eating less meat scare you?
Making the transition to pescetarian can be tough.
Learning to cook new foods, breaking old habits, it can all come at you pretty quickly!
But the truth is, the journey to becoming a pescetarian is different for everyone.
The fact that you’re here means you are taking a step not many people are willing to do – which is taking action on being more aware of what you put in your body.
And for that my friend, we salute you…
Start your healthy living journey by eating less meat (without becoming a full on vegetarian)!Click To Tweet
In this post I’m going to tell you how to become pescetarian in 10 easy to follow steps!
But First, A Quick Story…
Back in the summer of 2013 we were absolutely living it up.
We had no care in the world when it came to our diets.
(Or our wallets for that matter)
We lived a mere 10 minutes walk from a Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s, and a bakery that
sold sells the best croissants.
Needless to say, we were not doing our bodies any good.
We were never terribly unhealthy, we still cooked at home when time allowed, but the conveniences of having those fast food places close by significantly contributed to our bad choices.
A couple months later, in October of that year, I enrolled into a Holistic Nutrition program.
It was something I always wanted to pursue and was excited to get started.
It wasn’t long after getting into my studies that I knew that our diets HAD to change.
We immediately cut out all meat, including red meat, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy. We decided to go all out!
Needless to say, we failed…BIG TIME.
We spent the better part of 2014 yo-yo-dieting. Vegans one month…then giving in to cravings and indulging in a poutine and burger the next month.
It would be another few months before we did it the right way, which is how we hope you approach going meat free.
The Best Approach To A Meat Free Diet: Take It Slow
The first few days of any new drastic diet change are pretty awful.
This is why we do not recommend going cold turkey.
The best way is to do it slowly.
When we cut meat out the safe way, we followed the following rules and stuck to them. Because we did so, we were able to successfully begin eating less and less meat and now we’ve been meat-free pescetarians since December ’14.
10 Safe, Actionable Tips For Cutting Meat From Your Diet
1. Take small steps and cut meat out slowly
If you’re used to consuming meat daily, or even 2-4 times per week – take it slow.
You’ve probably heard of “Meat Free Mondays” by now. It’s where you commit to eating meat free meals every Monday.
In order for it to work, you need to take action right now.
Find the calendar app on your phone, or if you’re old school (like me) grab your calendar off the wall.
Now write down “MEAT FREE” on every Monday for the next month.
If you’re saying “But…I’m already doing Meat Free Monday’s”
Then try going meat free all week then like Treehugger founder, Graham Hill :
P.S – every Monday we post a new meat-free recipe! Hope on our weekly newsletter and you’ll never miss out.
2. Make a public commitment to keep yourself accountable
No, I’m not talking about simply mentioning it to a friend.
I mean, saying it loud and proud.
Like sharing the pledge on right on Facebook or Pinterest.
Or tweeting this to us:I pledge to go #meatfree at least once per week with the help of @fishyvegetarian!Click To Tweet
Not only does making a public statement like this hold you accountable, it’ll also give you social support from your friends and family.
AND it might even encourage them to go meat free!
3. Plan your meals
Number three on this list, but for me it might as well be number one.
I can honestly say the only times we’ve never cheated were the months we had our meals planned.
A simple way to do it (which we still do, see below), is to buy a small notebook and write down your meals for the upcoming week.
You’ll wake up each day knowing what you’re eating that day and trust me, you’ll thank yourself for doing this.
Because you happen to be on our site, I’ll recommend our recipes page as well 🙂
4. Consider doing a detox
Processed meats such as cold cuts, bacon, and sausages often contain large amounts of salt which if you eat often, can cause damage to your liver.
A good way to help you liver detoxify this excess salt is by adding foods like cranberry juice (with no sugar added), turmeric, bananas, and beet greens to your diet.
One of my favourite daily liver detox drinks is super simple to make and I sip on it throughout the day: 1 part cranberry juice to 4 parts filtered water.
You have to be safe when doing any type of detox, so consult with a nutritionist or your doctor if you’re unsure.
Here are a few more resources on safely detoxing:
5. Drink plenty of water
Drinking enough water throughout the day is essential for reaching your health and fitness goals, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
Water will help speed your metabolic rate, which in turn will leave you feeling fuller and less likely to overeat.
If you find it hard to sip on water throughout the day, infuse it with some fruit like berries, lemon, or oranges. Or, you could even try some mint and cucumber. Yum!
While 2 liters of water is typically recommended for an average adult, the amount of water you should be drinking each day will depend on your weight, and activity levels. Use this daily water intake calculator to help you figure out how much water your should be drinking.
6. Have fun in the kitchen and try new recipes
Most people who eat a lot of meat think that they will be limited when it comes to just eating vegetables and fish.
It’s not all salads all the time.
We all know that’s not a sustainable way to live!
Cutting meat out of your diet will allow you to discover meals you never even knew possible.
The important thing is to be to pen this discovery.
Something we love doing is taking one of (what used to be) our favourite meat dishes and swapping the ingredients to make it pescetarian friendly.
There’s nothing I used to love more than a juicy BBQ burger with savoury and sweet flavours.
So instead of the meat, we used salmon in this BBQ Salmon Burger recipe.
Grab the recipe for these gluten free salmon burgers
7. Embrace fresh and dried herbs and spices
A little bit goes a long way when you add some fresh herbs and spices to a veggie or fish dish.
Certain flavours can instantly transform you to an exotic place on earth, even though you may never have been there!
Italy, India, Ethiopia, Thailand, France!
Go wherever your taste buds take you.
A few fresh herbs we tend to favour are:
And some of our favourite dried herbs and spices are:
- Red pepper flakes
- Turmeric (we put this on everything!)
- Chili powder
- Curry spice
- Nutritional yeast
8. Get lots of sleep
Getting enough sleep makes sure that your metabolism stays healthy.
If you constantly find yourself with little to no sleep, this can leave your body with a lower ability to properly manage blood sugar.
As a result, you will begin to find that you are hungrier and crave high carb foods more often.
This may also lead to weight gain.
So get your zzz’s!
When you make any change to your diet like eating less meat, dairy, or sugar, you’ll want to make sure that you’re staying active.
It doesn’t matter which level you’re at, try to get moving for 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week at least.
Choose the type of exercise that works for you whether than be swimming a few laps (great for your joints), walking in your neighbourhood, or going for a long hike.
If you can only manage 10 minutes – that’s a fair start.
Like my favourite Yoga teacher says when exercising you should:Find what feels good - #YogaWithAdrienneClick To Tweet
10. Make it a lifestyle, not a diet
By the end of 2014, we had been mostly red-meat free, were still eating chicken occasionally.
Christmas eve was when we last had the taste of red meat. Ironically it wasn’t even the best we could have had since we got it from McDonald’s!
So we went into 2015 completely meat free (including no fish).
Once our bodies started to adjust to this new way of life, we definitely did start to feel a change, however we both still felt a lack of energy and were downright depressed.
Since we were pretty much eating mostly plant foods at this time, we also experienced other symptoms related to detoxing: nausea, fatigue, irritability and cravings.
If you cut out all meat in your diet, it’s important to eat loads of nuts and legumes to make up for the lack of it.
To be honest we weren’t eating enough beans at the time, which possibly contributed to lower iron levels, thus causing the tiredness.
We decided to add fish and eggs back into our diet and see how we felt.
We realized we were now Pescetarians, rather than vegetarians and that suited us just fine, we never looked back!
Why Should I Change My Diet?
Listen, we’re not saying going meat-free is for everyone.
Changing your diet is a personal decision that has to be made by you.
“You are what you eat” is a very true statement.
Note how you feel after constantly eating fried, fatty foods like burgers and hot dogs.
You probably won’t feel very good at all.
If you do continue to eat meat, there are better options than what is typically found at the grocery store.
Try eating healthier and you will feel healthier.
If you are feeling sluggish, unmotivated, or depressed, your diet might just be to blame.
Changing your diet to one that includes whole, natural foods, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fish will change your life in a very positive way.
Go ahead, take that first step. You won’t believe how something as simple as changing your diet will change your whole life too.