My Life As A Four-Day Pescatarian

An outcast. A misfit. Persona non grata.

That’s been my life ever since, four days ago, I became a pescatarian. True: I only made this declaration yesterday and, truth be told, it’ll probably end with an Umami Burger somewhere down the road. But you should’ve seen the horrified looks on my friends’ faces last night when, at L&E Oyster Bar, I refused the chorizo toast that came with the smoked mussels. It was at that moment they knew I might be for real.

Here’s how this happened: on Saturday, when we got back from Vegas, I made that Vegas Recovery Salad for dinner. On Sunday morning, I made granola which I ate with yogurt and an apple. For lunch, I made that egg salad with yogurt.

Then, for dinner that night, I went to McCall’s fully prepared to buy some meat for myself (Craig’s still in New York). That’s when I saw those clams and made linguine with clams.

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Monday’s lunch was a tuna sandwich; Monday’s dinner was cauliflower steak. Yesterday’s lunch was the sushi you see at the top of this post; yesterday’s dinner was halibut at L&E. Today I had quinoa for lunch.

What’s happening to me???

Well, a few things. I think I conflated a desire to eat healthfully after Vegas with a desire I’ve expressed here before to eat more conscionably. It’s easy to eat healthfully when you cut out beef, pork and chicken. True, fish has its own set of compilations (see: the Seafood Watch) but that’s less about healthfulness and more about the environment.

Combining this new diet with exercise (Monday and Tuesday and hopefully today) has made me feel lighter and altogether better. But am I fully prepared for what I’m giving up? I just read Besha Rodell’s review of Rustic Canyon and already I’m craving the short ribs with the strawberry soffrito. Would I really say no to that if Chef Jeremy Fox placed it in front of me? I’m not signing away meat on the dotted line yet.

Also: Craig’s coming back on Saturday and he’s not going to like it when I’m serving quinoa, couscous, and wheatberries for dinner every night. He’s going to want, at the very least, my famous roast chicken or spatchcocked chicken. If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, I’m pretty sure the way out of a man’s heart is wheatberries. I have some serious thinking to do.

But, for the moment, I’m enjoying my pescatarianism. Maybe I’ll do a weekday pescatarianism thing and eat meat on weekends? Or maybe I’ll stick to my guns and do this for as long as I can?

Consider this a cliffhanger. Tune in next week as the pescatarian saga continues!

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18 comments

  1. I cannot imagine denying myself the joy and pleasure of all food. Sushi is healthy to be sure, though last year I had a long bout of salmonella and lost 20 lbs (I’m already lean and fit, so this was not a good thing). I’ve never been a vegan or vegetarian, but I know more than a few who have suffered from staph infections, lower intestinal infections, fatigue, and their doctors all recommended a balanced diet. I have always admired Melissa Clark, whose job is to cook and eat everything — yet she stays fit and healthy through exercise and portion control. I love your blog because you seem to be passionate about every food you encounter. I’d hate to see you impose these sorts of limitations on yourself.

  2. hate to say it, but probably wouldn’t work out well for the blog. This coming from a rather devoted vegetarian, who only eats eggs when they’re properly sourced. Also, I don’t miss meat one bit.

  3. ” If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, I’m pretty sure the way out of a man’s heart is wheatberries.”

    Oh, Adam, that made me cackle and shriek! Thanks for the laugh. And by the way, I’m a pescatarian!

  4. While I’m not a full pescatarian (I still eat meat every now and then when I want to), I find myself leaning more in that direction these days. I kind of lost my appetite for meat, and now I prefer to eat a few bites of meat and move on to something else instead of making meat a main part of my meal. Becaue it wasn’t a conscious effort to “give it up”, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything at all–and if I do, I can always re-evaluate. I, for one, say good luck! There’s plenty of good eating for us pescatarians! (Especially if you live in a place where good seafood is abundant.)

  5. My husband and I became pescetarians about a month ago. I am happy we did it together, although it happened literally overnight! But, as the cooking half of the show, I am getting a little exasperated with the choices. I would hit a stall once in a while when we had every choice available to us, and now I am feeling like switching to everything vegetarian for a week or so, to allow me to recharge my cooking batteries.

  6. Well what a coincidence since we have been on a pescatarian diet for the past 10 days! On a bit of a health kick and trying to cram in the omega 3 as much as possible. No wheatberries, but plenty of oily fish, wholegrains, dark leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, yoghurt etc. We’re doing it to max out our life spans as we’re both now over 50, yet wanting to good times to continue!

    Adam, I love your line ‘If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, I’m pretty sure the way out of a man’s heart is wheatberries’. That has to be a total classic! : )

  7. A few years ago, I settled into eating vegetarian most of the time, but not saying no to a steak that my dad would cook on the grill. (Yum.) It’s working for me – I haven’t had any meat (or fish) since last Friday, I think.

    I agree with someone below – not sure that the pescatarian thing would work out well for your blog, but sounds like a healthy way to eat. :)

  8. I changed my life nearly two years ago by starting a high protein diet and an exercise program. I had 80 ilbs to lose and I stuck with it doing 3 miles every morning on the treadmill and changing the way I ate.

    After just two months I did the same thing you are doing — I went pescetarian. And I’ve never looked back during the past year and half.

    I lost 87 pounds. I feel better than I ever did before: more energy, less body fat, much better heart rate. And I love the fish! From sushi, to oysters, to salmon, to tuna, to shrimp, to trout, to cod and sole — it’s all fabulous. My only complaint — it’s a little pricey for your food budget.

    Stick with it. You will be happy you did!

  9. I’m mostly vegetarian, occasional-fish-but-no-eggs. My partner is mostly omnivore. So for purely selfish reasons, I’d be happy to see a blog about cooking in mixed households. When I became a veg-head, it wasn’t an absolute for me either, but a gradual thing. We did meatless Mondays, then that expanded to about 3-4 days a week as my repertoire of mutually agreeable vegetarian dishes expanded. Partner doesn’t like many vegetables, or challenging grains, so doing “parallel meals” several nights a week has let me cook more of those for myself than I would have been otherwise inclined to.

    I’ve discovered ways to cook where I can add a serving of meat to my partner’s portion. (this is easiest with pastas, stews, salads.) Or I’ll make a vegetarian main dish, and my partner will have a side of a previously cooked steak or something. I make heavy use of the freezer, to store portions of carbs or proteins, so I can fill in the gaps as needed.

  10. I believe in never say never. I’ve stopped eating red meat for a variety of reasons and don’t miss it at all. However, if I’m served steak at someone else’s home, I’ll taste it and won’t make a fuss. Fish and seafood are my favorites, but why not say yes to a BLT every once in awhile? There are no hard and fast rules to eating – you can make them up as you go along. The only person you have to answer to is yourself!

  11. I think it would take a really long time for people to notice if you never added meat again to your posts – everything you make looks great and you’re so entertaining – all the votes of no confidence are just that – unconfident people voicing non-existant fears. Do what you like – plenty of people enjoy your blog because of your voice, not only because of what you eat!

  12. So i couldn’t comment on the cauliflower steaks but up that sounds freaking good. I love cauliflower now. I love making all this stuff with it, Cauliflower rice, Cauliflower mash, and all this stuff. I’ve been thinking about turning to more seafood than red meat. I felt so much better when i went two weeks without eating too much steak.

    Elle

    Eat.Style.Play

  13. This is an amazing story! I’m trying to loose weight and I’ve been cutting back but last week i started eating red meat and i gained a ton of weight in like 2 days. So i’m moving towards seafood. So you do frozen fish and seafood to save money?

    ELLE

    Eat.Style.Play

  14. Your blog can work be it pescatarian, veggie or all vegan – you cook amazing food and write great copy.

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