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Becoming Pescatarian

Posted Sep 27 2010 6:51pm

There’s something fishy about the way I’ve been eating, and it has nothing to do with dubious food.

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It would appear that I’ve become a pescatarian over the past year or so. (Previously, I would have called myself a flexitarian, if anything.)

It’s a curious thing, this dietary evolution of mine. My reasons for becoming pescatarian are certainly not ethically motivated—if that were the case, I would be a vegan. To be honest, I feel as though this “-ism” landed on me, rather than the other way around. Or perhaps I should say, “beached itself,” if we’re going with the ocean theme here.

No? Ok have a picture instead.


Along with the arrival of this label has come a conscious effort to expand my fish recipe repertoire. I may be a (recent) fan of seafood, but up until now I’ve left its preparation to the professionals. I have some magazine recipes to thank for breaking that streak. These photos are from the August issue of Fitness Magazine . It’s their Shrimp-and-Avocado Rice Bowl. Easy enough, especially when Trader Joe’s freezer aisle does the cleaning and shelling of the shrimp for you. :)


This recipe includes brown rice, edamame and a small omelette as well, all infused with Asian flavors like sesame oil and ground ginger. I spooned it over arugula for a little extra volume and veg-factor.

So, what happened to turn me pescatarian? I’m not sure, as there was no decisive moment in which I pronounced myself as such. Instead, I can see in hindsight that meat and poultry have been gradually dropping out of rotation for some time now, replaced by a preference for vegetarian fare. Naturally, I can’t help but be affected by things like Food Inc . and The Omnivore’s Dilemma —both are compelling examples of the dangers of factory farmed food, and if I were to choose to eat a steak these days, I sure would want to know where it came from first.

But this kind of knowledge (factory farming, government influence, hormones and chemicals in food, etc.) is a relatively recent development, exposed to me not only by the mass media, but by this here glorious blog community! I’m up to my eyeballs in bountiful e-produce, and it’s hard not to want to get in on that, especially when, for me, it all boils down to a long-standing love of vegetables. That pre-dates my involvement in the healthy living blog world, so with support from the wealth of health I read about every day on the internet, maybe I should have seen this coming.


Ok, maybe not that in particular. There was a time when you could not have paid me to eat a sardine, let alone cook them with my own hands. Turns out they’re mighty tasty, though! Not to mention a formidable source of heart-healthy Omega-3s.

This dish is from Shape Magazine : whole wheat Pasta with Peppers, Mushrooms and Roasted Sardines.


Simple, healthy and Mediterranean, it’s not something I would have thought to make a year ago. I’ve been too busy combining odd partners in casserole dishes and sauce pans, using every spice in my arsenal. There is a time and a place for that. I’m not sure when or where, but once upon a time I thought I knew!

Once upon another time, I was horrified by all things seafood. The day I agreed to taste Dad’s tuna noodle casserole was a milestone indeed. Now I can’t imagine life without it! Perhaps more significant was a dinner on vacation in Hawaii some 10 years ago, when in a bold move I ordered the coconut-macadamia encrusted mahi-mahi—my first time ordering a fish entree all for myself (as opposed to tasting from someone else’s plate). Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly torture getting that dish down my throat.


Since that fateful evening, I have experienced precious few meat/poultry dishes as exquisite as that mahi-mahi. I am not ignorant of the poor fish-farming practices out there, but as with meat, we can make sustainable, ethical choices when well informed. Having been so informed, I find that a vegetarian diet with the occasional bit of seafood suits me best, both mentally and physically. So it was that “pescatarian” branded itself across my hiney. Maybe it will change one day. In the meantime, I am not going to go around introducing myself as “Hi, my name is Diana and I’m pescatarian.” I happen to fit under that label’s umbrella right now, and since I often think about how that might have happened, I figured I might as well have a good public think on it at the appropriate venue: my food blog.

So now the thinks have been thunk, for better or for worse, whether or not they make sense. How did you arrive at your dietary preferences, standard-American or otherwise?

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