Health: Going cold turkey – my pescavegan journey

I am a self-proclaimed pescavegan.

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Prepping for meals

 

Yes. That is a real word.

Ok no, I made it up and it means I don’t eat dairy or animal flesh but I do eat fish – mostly salmon and snapper.

Let me give you some background:

I had swine flu junior year of college. Everyone was hunkered down because it was finals week; the dorms were empty and the libraries were full, but I was in my bed hacking and coughing. I don’t know what started it but I literally couldn’t go ten minutes without coughing up a lotta fluid. Sorry not sorry. My friends always try to call me out and tell me that I didn’t have swine flu, but nobody can tell me that it was a regular flu. It came with a vengeance and by the time it passed, I had lost nine pounds and infected my two hallmates, who had braved it into my room, with a milder version. I still remember us all hanging out, breathily heavily through our mouths, and re-evaluating life.

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Gluten-free, dairy free pizza made from scratch

Soon after that, I had a terrible flight to Florida where my ears didn’t unclog. You know, when you feel pressure and you yawn? Yawning didn’t help. Instead the pressure built till I felt pain. Those of you who have felt this know it’s EXCRUCIATING. I had never experienced that before and thought something weird was up with the plane. But then it happened on the way back. And on the next 3 flights. I continued flying, hoping it would stop, till my fateful trip to New Orleans where I was sick all SEVEN days. Because of the ear pain, I had sinusitis leading to post-nasal drip leading to hyperactive airway disorder. I really knew it was too much when I had to leave the Beyonce concert early. I paid good money for that concert. That was my last flight. To date.

After another sinus bout this past December, I decided I was tired of my frequent sinus issues and of the many one-month health binges I did. It was time to make a lifestyle change. So I went cold turkey. No pun intended. No meat except fish. No dairy. No processed food. No grains.

IT WAS TOUGH. But I had SO much fun, I’m glad I did it and I learned a few things:

  1. Fail upwards. I cooked lots of great decadent meals but also lots of terrible ones. It was sorely disappointing to invest so much time and energy but you had to just throw it away and quickly whip up something new. A girl’s gotta eat.
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ULTIMATE FAIL: Slivered sweet potato with ricotta tofu. Aka weird lasagna. REALIZATION:  I don’t like tofu.

2. Don’t get caught up in the hype. Honestly, I couldn’t do the meat-bashing vegans. They were too much. I tried to be hard-core (I even made my own vegan butter!!) but I literally lived in the kitchen and did nothing else. So I made my lifestyle my own. If I wanted to eat honey, I did. I started eating some grains again. I try to live a lifestyle that I can keep up with. Do what works FOR YOU!

 

3. Don’t quit just because you had a cookie. Around 2 months in to my lifestyle change, I had a cookie. I wondered if I was a fraud. Am I really a pescavegan? It’s really ok. You ate the cookie but you are still living your life. Pick up the ball again, not tomorrow, but with the next meal.

4. Homecooked meals are always better. I began to appreciate homecooked food more than storebought. Storebought began to make me feel sick, especially since my palette started to get used to fresh, seasonal food. Cooking is fun, therapeutic and saves me a ton of money. Cha-ching!

5. Be prepared to make some overall lifestyle changes. Going out, staying out is sometimes a hassle. I learned very quickly that I had to bring something but honestly, it’s not always possible with fresh food. It’s kinda like deciding to stop selling drugs. I don’t know – that’s the first thing that came to mind! LOL. Seriously though, you can’t decide to make a lifestyle change and hang around people who don’t respect your decision.

6. It’s ok to quit altogether. When I say quit here, I mean it’s ok to try a lifestyle change for a certain period of time and then decide it’s not for you. I may eat meat again, but for now, I know that I want to give up any inflammatory factors from my diet.

BONUS: Parents are the real MVPS. Cooking is a full-time job. How do you cook for a family and take care of children??! I have to plan my schedule around cooking.

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Herbed cauliflower mash with mushroom marsala

Ultimately, I feel better than I did before, I’m super proud of myself for sticking with it and I am still making changes. In all food plans, I would say, HAVE FUN! Don’t take it too seriously, but be dedicated and you’ll start to see the results you want. FYI, I lost 13 pounds but that was absolutely not a goal. Cheers to flying again!

Do you have any healthy lifestyle changes you want to make? Comment below!

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3 thoughts on “Health: Going cold turkey – my pescavegan journey

  1. Arlene says:

    Awesome! So proud of you Shaloma! You’ve got to realize what’s polluting your digestive system and fix it… You have so much more energy and vigor!

    Like

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