For 2016 I decided to set myself monthly goals, that were achievable, challenging and experimental.
For January, I decided to be a little bit controversial and give up all meat, apart from fish. Now I’ve had many people question me on this matter, some get damn right annoyed. I really don’t blame them, as I was the same… before I tried it.
Let me divulge into my monthly experiment.
giving up meat being a part-time pescatarian.
1. Mostly my diet was an absolute mess. I really wasn’t enjoying meat, having low quality meat day in day out. Sometimes 2-3 times a day. I mean it was excessive and quite frankly boring and unnecessary.
2. I woke up one day and just felt a bit weird about it all. It felt really wrong and quite dirty. How did I know where this came from? How did this die for me to eat it. Strange and a bit surreal to really start thinking about what was on my plate.
3. Food is fuel for your body to work correctly. It was time to experiment and see what works and what doesn’t.
4. Vanity. I’m going to be brutally honest, I wanted to see how much my poor diet had an effect on my skin. Of course countless people have told me, how much my diet effects my skin. But how much does it actually? I really want to see results.
Let my journey commence! I actually started my pescatarian diet a couple of days early. To go into 2016 with good intentions.
The first week was relatively easy, it was probably the most exciting time as I was going out for dinner, discovering new dishes etc and the fact I wasn’t working. Although I did kind of struggle when we went for an indian and I couldn’t get my standard chicken tikka masala. Opting for a vegetable biriani, I was incredibly proud of myself (a little bit sad, I know) but it was most likely the only time I’ve gone for an indian and not ordered the same dish. I think this really reinforces my diet change.
Week two, Oh boy. I was home and back to normality. I really started to crave chicken. I mean, the fact I couldn’t have something was really started to get to me. I was massively struggling, so I decided to give myself some reasoning and watch a documentary. Now, I was never totally oblivious to where meat comes from and how we get it. I mainly chose to ignore this fact that I was eating something that was alive, as ignorance is bliss. I also was never ready to face what I was really eating as I genuinely wasn’t ready for it or wanted to change. However now I felt it was time to face the music, give myself a bit of an education on what is on my plate.
Wow, I mean just pure and utter shock and slightly traumatised. I decided to watch the documentary Earthling (watch trailer here) It’s mainly about us, “earthlings” and how we treat our surrounding environment and animals across the world. It really is hard hitting stuff, so I really do not recommend you watching it if you’re easily squeamish. Naturally after watching this, I wanted to turn vegan. I mean I just didn’t want to eat any meat or any thing to do with animal produce. However, I knew that if i was to keep to my monthly resolution then I really need to take things slowly and see how I go. That being said, I became more curious and wanted more and more knowledge. I turned to Netflix and watched Conspiracy now this was really interesting as to the environmental impact that agricultural farming has. After watching a couple more documentaries, I felt ready and made the motivation to keep going. Then I became ill, I mean flu-like symptoms. I just felt absolutely awful and spent the whole weekend in bed.
Now week 3 I was still battling the end of a then cold. I was really struggling but still hadn’t broken. I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do it and I could push through it. By the end of the week I felt a lot better, however still craving chicken.
I had a really busy week/weekend, I was nearing the 1 month mark and literally couldn’t wait to have chicken or meat or maybe even just cheat and eat it to see what its like. The cravings was not like anything I had expected. It felt like I was pushing through a mild addiction, which of course is ridiculous right? Having meat nearly every day for majority of my life, maybe it did have an effect on my body and cravings?
I really started to question whether I would continue this food-style choice. It’s not like I wanted to eat and animal, I was just really craving it. An unconscious decision.
So I passed the month mark with a fish only diet, I decided to continue to the end of January and realised I could probably do this longer. I mean I feel as if the worst part is over. However I really feel that meal planing is something that I need to do for February. Possibly find a good nutritionist and see how my body is coping as I’m now starting to feel better within myself.
Did it meet my 4 key reasons?
1. I managed to not eat meat for a whole month. Resulting in trying a lot of new foods and dishes. It’s definitely made me more open to food choices and having healthier options. However, I wouldn’t say that my diet is on top form at all, as I’m still getting to grips with healthy alternatives and need a lot more nutrition in my diet.
2. I felt a bit more educated in what I’m eating, however it’s probably only the tip of the ice berg at the moment and i think I really need to learn some more.
3. I was really intrigued as to how my body would react or if there would be any changes. If i’m truly honest with myself, I wanted a glowing skin of health…. However I actually became run down and was in bed for a couple of days. Then I seemed to perk up and I feel unusually better and a little less sluggish. I don’t feel like its been long enough though to really see and feel enough effects.
4. In the cold winter months, your skin really does taking a beating from the cold. Weather changes are bound to bring spots and shallow looking skin, however I was hoping that a change in diet might help. I would say that it hasn’t really made a huge amount of difference but I’m not sure a month has been long enough to notice a dramatic change, however there has been a slight change. So I’m staying optimistic.