Pescetarian Rachel

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 by Rachel

I eliminated beef from my diet about two years ago, as an easy diet modification to eliminate a possible contributor to my cholesterol levels and weight gain. I switched to turkey or sausage for these kinds of recipes which normally rely on beef. In the past two years, I also began to increase my fish consumption, which I’d never eaten in college or Flagstaff (where there just wasn’t any fish around except for at Red Lobster).


A couple weeks ago, I made some chicken fingers just because we happened to have some in the freezer. It’s an old favorite recipe for the “Ultimate Chicken Fingers”, which uses a batter of Bisquik and Parmasan to add flavor to the chicken. This used to be a staple in our cooking. But once the chicken fingers made their way onto my plate, I just couldn’t stomach it, and I realized that I don’t even like chicken anymore. Chicken has gradually made its way out of my diet over the last few years, and I hadn’t even noticed.


So I got to thinking, what meat am I really eating? I don’t eat beef. I don’t eat chicken. We’ve only bought ground turkey once in the past month for a spaghetti meat sauce, but I ate many of my spaghetti bowls without the meat sauce, simply with butter and parmesan. I enjoy pork, bratwursts and ribs, but I haven’t opted for these meals as regularly now as I used to either. My taste buds and stomach have changed. What does this leave me with? Fish and veggies.



I love fish, and I really was able to realize this over the past year as Derrick and I got used to eating sushi regularly. My main goal at the sushi restaurant was learning how to use chopsticks before our Las Vegas honeymoon, but I was surprised that I grew to really enjoy a lot of the new fish we tried. Eel is seriously, without a doubt, my favorite meat… EVER. Over our honeymoon, we tried a ton of seafood, and I grew to appreciate these flavors (both fresh and saltwater) even more.


We’ve been doing 2-3 vegetarian nights a week for about two months now. We’ve added three new vegetables to our diet in the past two months – lima beans (the favorite), cauliflower, and brussel sprouts. We’ve been relying pretty heavily on MorningStar Farms products, doing veggie burgers a few times a week, eating the riblets instead of real ribs. Today we tried the veggie bacon for the first time. The fake bacon with a fried egg and cheddar cheese in gluten-free sandwich was great. You couldn’t even tell the difference.


One of the main reasons why I began working vegetarian nights into our menus in the first place was budget. This budget might change once we have a little one, but for now we’re cooking for two. A box of veggie burgers contains four burgers for $3.47 (or less if I have a coupon). The buns (whole wheat, a pack of eight) costs about $2. The bun costs approximately 22 cents. The burger costs about 87 cents. This means, that without the side, Derrick and I together can eat a dinner for about $2. It’s pretty crazy that we can eat this healthy this cheaply.


Let’s say, hypothetically, that I decide to add on a side of cauliflower. One whole cauliflower costs $2.78. Our recipe for roasted curried cauliflower makes about four servings, making this side 69 cents a serving. Now that Derrick and I added a healthy side to our burgers, our budget for a dinner for two went up to a whopping $3.38.


Since eating an exclusively pescetarian diet, I have felt better, all around. I’ve had more energy, and my brain has felt clearer. For now, as insensitive as this might sound, I’m not interested in saving the world or helping out the little animals (though I do love them). I am interested in keeping myself happy and healthy, and the money benefits make me feel even better about my decision. I’m sure we’ll still have things like bacon or a pork roast around the house for Derrick. I don’t mind cooking them, because I love to cook. But I won’t eat them, and I know that is the right decision right now FOR ME.


  1. We made homemade veggie burgers a while back. They are so much better than the processed ones. I will have to find the recipe and send it to you.

  2. Hi Rachel!
    I was pescatarian for two years before I became severely anemic. This was partially due to having thyroid surgery less than a year prior. But, it was an awesome choice because even though I’ve re-incorporated other low-fat meats into my diet, it set the stage for me to enjoy mostly veggies and fish for the long term. I also still prefer morning star sausages for breakfast!!! I agree, eat what is best for you health wise, but also don’t limit yoursel just because of a certain cause or pressure from others. Make choices you are comfortable with, including where you buy your food and how you choose to eat it, we should all enjoy what we’re putting into our bodies on our own terms.

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