I’m a sucker for a new year’s resolution. There’s something quite nice about setting goals, particularly when it comes with a fresh start, and I just love it. This year, I’m setting myself a bigger challenge than what I usually go for and I’m switching up my whole diet to go pescatarian. We’re about half way through the month now so I thought I’d share how I’m getting on and maybe offer some advice for anyone thinking about making the tradition to a more vegetarian-focused diet.
I’ll start by saying I’ve always been what many would call ‘a fussy eater’. I lived off chicken nuggets and chips and spaghetti bolognese as a child, and it was only as I reached my late teens and early twenties that I started experimenting more and expanding my palette. Vegetariansim always put me off purely because I wasn’t sure what I’d be able to eat. It’s only in recent years that I’ve started eating cheese, I don’t really like a lot of vegetables, and don’t get me started on veggie ‘staples’ like mushrooms and tomatoes.
That said, I’d toyed with the idea of doing Veganuary for a while but for me it was a step too far away from my previous lifestyle to jump head first into. I was then thinking about doing vegetarian January instead, but when it got to the ‘crimbo limbo’ and I still hadn’t really planned any meals or bought any food for January, my boyfriend suggested I try going pescatarian instead. It seemed like the most logical option given my circumstances (if a little bit of a cop-out) but it’s still a huge challenge for me and a step in the right direction for cutting down on meat consumption. Obviously I’m not completely naive to the downsides of eating more fish (a higher contribution to over-fishing etc.) but in all honesty it was a step too far this early on and cutting down on all the red meat and chicken I was eating previously has got to count for something.
So how am I getting on a couple of weeks in?
I have to say I’m loving it. I spent an hour doing our food shop at the start of the month, just browsing the shelves and scrolling through Pinterest, and I really loved finding new meals and really focusing on what I was putting in the trolley. Most of our dishes have been a real success so far too; I found a fab creamy salmon pasta recipe to rival our usual carbonara, and I’ve got a new-found love for vegetarian Higgidy pies. I’m also eating way more veg than usual which is a huge plus!
I’m desperate to try more recipes from Jo Pratt’s ‘The Flexible Vegetarian’ at some point too. I picked up the book in the aforementioned hour long food shop on a bit of a whim (it had one of those bright red sale stickers on it that I can’t resist) and I just think it’s a great concept. There’s a ton of tasty looking recipes to flip through and I can’t wait to have a proper sit down with it and get some new grub on the table!
This experience has definitely opened me up to the idea of going fully vegetarian in the future, but for now I’m happy just cutting out meat. With the success of my cruelty-free 2018, I’m confident that these small changes can help make a difference and that I can live a little more ethically. I’m also trying to cut down on my dairy intake – I don’t really like dairy so it’s not a huge task – but just replacing the milk in my tea with oat milk makes a real difference.
I’ll definitely let you know how I got on at the end of the month, and maybe share a few of my favourite recipes with you too!
What’s your main resolution for the New Year? Are you doing Veganuary? If you’re already vegan/veggie let me know your favourite easy meal in the comments! And if you’ve done Veganuary before I’d love to hear your tips on how to do it successfully.