For a while now, I’ve thought about trying a vegetarian diet full-time. It turns out, I don’t really have that kind of dedication. I won’t keep you in suspense. But despite my waffling and weakness, I have made another kind of decision. I’m challenging myself to this experiment. I will avoid eating our land-based (and air-based) friends, and stick to our non-sentient vegetable friends. Did I mention fish, too? Well, fish too. Aquatic eats are on-limits. I have some relatively arbitrary goals. I want to try this for “some time” (I’ve pretty much decided on at least a year). And, I want to keep track of what I eat, and how I feel over all, over time. I worry that I don’t eat enough veggies regularly, so this should help with that. And in the last week, since I’ve made this decision, I’ve had more tuna than I thought really necessary. So I have health reasons and curiosity reasons. I try to eat organic food as much as possible, and any kind of reading about mega farms (a la Fast Food Nation) keeps me far away from fast food and flat out disgusts me. But at this particular point in my life, I don’t have many objections to eating meat. I do think we all eat way too much of it, though.
The most rudimentary research has shown me that this diet, flush as it is with eggs, dairy, fish, shellfish, and some veggies if I can squeeze them in, is not a vegetarian diet. It turns out that this diet is called pescetarianism. This is something I’ve heard of, but hadn’t really looked into it – or really considered it – before. I don’t know why I decided to go for it now. But I have, so there we go.
The decision also forced me to finally get my act together and buy a half-share at the local CSA, Canticle Farm. I actually worked at Canticle Farm briefly in grad school, so I’ve known about it for a long time. My husband picked up the first share yesterday and so far it’s been delicious! We got peas, squash, beets (no clue what to do with those), lettuce (looks like bibb maybe), chives, and swiss chard. Dinner last night was salad (the lettuce, some chopped chives, we split a small tomato, and shredded parmesan) and wheat spaghetti with blanched eggplant (from the store) and peas in the pod. I like getting a good, meaty veggie into a meal like this, like the eggplant, because it feels very satisfying. I’m also very fond of zucchini and other squash for the same reason.
It might be worth noting that my husband is not going to stick to this diet with me. He likes to eat these kinds of meals, but he also wants a steak every now and then.
The first day of the experiment, I made this dish out of my Williams-Sonoma cookbook that is chock full of veggies. There’s something so robust about a baked pasta dish. Full of vegetables and olive oil (instead of meat and marinara) it feels much lighter, too. A good summer dish. We ate it for a few days, since it’s supposed to serve 8.
My breakfasts usually consist of a piece of fruit (nectarines this past week), and a snack bar. This week we got these Kashi chewy granola bars. I keep toasted almonds at my desk to snack on all week. I usually have a sandwich and cottage cheese at lunch (the sandwich is where all the tuna is coming from, btw). Dinners vary, based on what we have, or what we’ve planned on eating. Towards the end of the week, we made homemade pizza, using wheat dough for the crust, and then topped with sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and avocado. It comes out looking pretty fancy.
My expectation is that this blog will serve as a glorified food diary, so I can chart my progress, and will give me a reason to keep researching and posting useful information. Since I’m new to this whole idea, I want to learn a lot and I want to be able to pass that info on, as well. I was hesitant to begin this at first, because I was concerned over getting a balanced diet, and wondering how hard that would be to figure out and manage. Then I realized that I never actually learned how to responsibly manage my meaty diet, either, so I might as well just dive in. I am taking a women’s one-a-day vitamin, so I think that I’ve got some bases covered…I hope.