Life as a pescatarian (meat with no feet diet)

About five years ago I adopted a meat with no feet diet.  For those of you who don’t know what that is…I’m a pescatarian.  I haven’t eaten meat in five years.

Yes.  Black girl pescatarian here, and I’m proud.

First, I have to address the shock I get from my own people (black people) when they learn about my relationship with food.  I guess because I’m black, I’m suppose to love meat…and watermelon.  I don’t.  And for as long as I can remember, never have.

Second, growing up I tolerated meat just like I tolerate many things (people even) that I don’t prefer.  It was a struggle to eat meat growing up, as the sight and thought of consuming it would literally make me sick to my stomach.  Being raised less fortunate (but with grand love) in a household with 10 siblings, I had to eat what my mom cooked or else I’d starve.

Right around age 25 I cut the cord…after a freak incident with cleaning a Cornish hen.  As a special thank you, I decided to cook a big dinner for my nonprofit organizations board of directors.  They were a supportive, hard working bunch.  I wanted to do something special for them.

Obsessed with meats cleanliness, I flipped its body upside down by the legs to rinse the inside.  Turn it back around and behold, the hens neck that I had not noticed before.  Me being the melodramatic person I am, dropped (ok more like threw) the hen explaining (to Mel- a board member turned friend who I was on the phone with at the time) the f*ckery and how disgusted I was that the farmers hadn’t removed the neck.  Mel being the sarcastic a-hole she is explains how the farmer kills the chicken by snapping its neck in its sleep.  Sudden and aggressive.  Then sends it out for plucking and packaging.

At this point I’m gagging.  Feeling sick to my stomach.

I vowed then I would never eat meat again.  At the board dinner I did not touch any of it, only sides.  Having to relive the story leading up to it over dinner, everyone poked and joked claiming it was just a phase.

That was in early 2012.  I’ve been loyal to my commitment since.

So here’s the truth about my pescatarianism experience:

It’s fun because for me it’s a choice.  Much like my desire to embrace my ethnic hair in its natural state.  I love seafood and there’s a huge variety of it out there.  I’m still trying and learning new things.

My immune system.  It is strong.  Over the past five years I’ve been sick (with a common cold) twice.  Two times in five years!?  I’ll take it.

I feel good.  Like all of the time.

It’s intrigued me to try some vegan alternatives to supplement the need for protein.  Saytan is a protein that tastes like chicken.  And it’s a little shocking but so so good.  Protein Italian sausages are like amazing too.  Again, shock factor whenever I eat it but delicious.

Supportive family.  As mentioned, my family is massive.  Family gatherings involves a lot of food. Much of which is genuinely made with pescatarian love.  The lead cooks in our family (hey Ma and Roz) always make pescatarian versions for myself and my baby (y’all Miss. Sania is pushing 14 and is still my baby).  Collard greens cooked in cherry pepper!?  Oh My God… to die for.

Deeper relationship with food.  Much of this credit is courtesy of my little lady developing an intolerance to high fructose corn syrup.  Her nutritionist told me to read labels while grocery shopping and omit foods with it.  What the half-*ss hadn’t advised me of was the fact that high fructose corn syrup is literally in everything processed.  Which meant I’d have to cook most of my foods from scratch.  Once I got over the shock, I took to the food network channel and research.

Sharing this love with others.  Eventually I fell in love with cooking and began to host dinner parties for loved ones as a result.  Eventually I’d carry this into my Brown Skin Women youth programs offering quarterly youth summits and annual weekend retreat exploring all things natural living. Food being one of the highlights.

I know others who have tried pescatarianism for health reasons or curiosity even.  With the right resources, you can set yourself up for success.  From time to time I’ll share recipes and good meat alternatives to try here on the blog and on my personal Instagram (@carmenveal) and brownskinwomens (@brownskinwomen).

Have you tried pescatarianism or any other diet?  What was/is your experience? Any recipes i should try?


Carmen 😉

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  • Reply
    January 16, 2017 at 1:31 am

    I’m a proud Black Pesciterian boarding on vegetarianism. And telling people especially people of color and Black Chicagoans is liking saying I now worship the devil. “How can I stop eating “meat”!” “How am I getting all the nourishment my body needs!” Then I have to explain how there are other means o obtaining vitamins and proteins from plant based foods, such as seitan, Chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc. Some are skeptical of eating my dishes because I don’t cook with “meat”. But once they taste them they learn that they can enjoy alternative dishes with no meat. But my husband’s church has alot of members that are vegetarian and vegan and I’ve learned a lot of recipes and supplements from them. And now my daughter has joined me in my healthier eating choice, the men remain canivours but eating mainly poultry. But my husband does enjoy my vegetarian dishes.

    • Reply
      Brown Skin Women
      January 24, 2017 at 11:30 pm

      Andi, I so get it and can relate 100%. I think we should have a pescatarian pot luck in the showroom. This would be super fun to taste and learn new recipes! I love learning and trying new things.

  • Reply
    January 24, 2017 at 3:10 am

    I am a newbie after having had a cancer scare. I am that girl who loves to grill hot dogs and hamburgers all summer and by the campfire. Having a needle inserted in you to extract and determine if you have cancer is a big wake up call.

    So now I am cutting back on meat. I have continued to eat fish/sea items like, crab legs, lobster, tilapia, catfish, shrimp, stuffed clams, clams, muscles and oysters.

    My regiment also includes a lot of protein based snacks from and quinoa dishes/mixes, bean salads and bean burritos.

    I’ve been doing fish oil for more than a year and flax seed oil for a few years in addition to other vitamins.

    No one can deter me from my wellness goals, despite a few snide remarks.

    • Reply
      Brown Skin Women
      January 24, 2017 at 11:33 pm

      It sounds like you have had not only a wake up call but have adapted to the natural living lifestyle. Which I LOVE. I too am a lover of seafood of most kinds but have to do better with protein snacks. I am going to check out Thank you 🙂

  • Reply
    Sesame Ginger Tofu & Kale Salad Recipe and Video – Brown Skin Women
    August 19, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    […] about 5 years since we’ve been Pescatarians (in case you missed the how and why, read my life as a pescatarian (meat with no feet diet), and we’re still reaping the rewards of that […]

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