Monday, March 18, 2013

The Rules

Cedar plank salmon with grilled veggies

Since I'm making up my own pescatarian rules, it helps to actually write them down and commit to them.  If I think up a plan but don't voice it out to people, I won't commit to it.  I also have a partner in crime who is partaking in this pescatarian venture with me and we keep each other accountable.  So for the forseeable future, here are the rules of my diet:

1) No animals except fish.
2) Anything a vegetarian can eat, I can eat too.
3) Eggs and dairy are allowed, but only in small quantities or infrequently.
4) If I accidentally eat something outside the rules of this diet, I should forgive myself and move on.
5) All food is permitted while traveling.
6) The punishment for breaking the diet is instant veganism!

Even though these rules are fairly straight-forward, I still get a lot of people asking me questions.  Here are some answers to some of the questions I've been asked.

Q: What about other marine animals?
A: Just fish, no shellfish or cephalopods.  They are very high in cholesterol.

Q: What do you mean by small quantities of eggs and dairy?
A: I'll feel free to use eggs and dairy in my cooking as ingredients in a dish or in baking.  However, I try to limit my egg consumption to only one egg for breakfast or will discard one egg yolk in a 2-egg omelette.  I will only eat eggs for breakfast once every few weeks or so.  I switched to soymilk unless I'm using it for cooking.  I'm also a cheese aficionado.  For now I'll keep it in as a permitted vice, but it will change if the diet isn't effective enough to bring my cholesterol under 150.

Q: How do you accidentally eat meat?
A: Sometimes, a small amount of a meat finds itself into your dish.  If I know it's there, I could try to avoid it, but if I end up ingesting a bit of meat, it's really not a crime.  It's worse to starve myself or dwell on it.  Just move on.

Q: Why do you choose to break your diet when traveling?
A: Sometimes it can be difficult to be vegetarian while traveling.  Some cultures have a huge emphasis on meat in their diet.  Even ordering a salad or a veggie dish will come with some small amounts of meat mixed in.  It can be really tough scrounging for a vegetarian friendly place with decent options.

If I'm doing a road trip and I'm hungry, I may have only a rest stop restaurant to eat at.  My vegetarian options could be a cheese pizza, baked goods, baked potato, mashed potato, candied yams, tasteless "house salad" and any dessert I please.  I would probably have to hold everything on a baked potato and just eat it plain and ask for a house salad without dressing, because a vinaigrette is typically not a rest stop option, oh and hold the bacon bits!  I could eat any of that, or I could just eat the grilled chicken sandwich.

As a true foodie at heart, I can't bear to miss out on tasting a region's signature dishes.  So since I don't travel that often *shifty eyes* I figure it would just be better for convenience's sake.

Q: What about oil?
A: Ahh...what about oil?  Yes, well, this is why I'm not losing too much weight.  So while oil is really a huge problem in a diet, it's also extremely limiting to live without it.  I'm sure I could outfit my kitchen to have plenty of oil-free options and replacements, but I can't only eat at home.  That would suck.  Eating out would almost always mean that I have oil in my food.  Veggies are typically sautéed, even in soup.  Even salad dressing has oil.  I'll try to avoid deep-fried items or other items high in fat.  So let's just see how this goes for now.  If I can get my cholesterol under 150, then there's no point in leaving extra virgin olive oil out of my diet, now is there?

Q: Why is veganism a punishment?
A: Let's be honest here, I really don't want to be vegan.  I love food and don't have a moral problem with animals being used as food.  It so happens that I'm doing this for my health to avoid a heart attack and diabetes.  This is definitely a "punishment" that I do NOT want.  I need a punishment that would not be counter-productive to my diet and something that would be hefty enough to scare me into thinking long and hard about breaking the rules.  Is that piece of meat worth becoming vegan for?  Yeah, didn't think so...

If you have any questions about my rules or why I chose them, please feel free to comment and I will answer them!


  1. Why isn't there peace between crabs and lobsters? Because they're both shellfish! Best wishes with the Pescatarian diet! Rubio's grilled fish tacos on Tuesday's!

  2. Great blog! Good luck
    Christian @cturnerwr

  3. How goes the new diet? Time for an update!