Health

Why I choose Pescetarianism

Pescetarianism means being vegetarian while still including seafood in your diet.

If you told me a year ago I would stop eating chicken, pork, beef and lamb, I would have called you “retarded” without a blink. I would have reacted the same way most people do today, resenting the idea of a meat-free lifestyle. “I could never give up meat”, “We need the protein”, “It’s not bad for you” and “I want to live my life” are common, even hostile, comments.

As part of the Health Coach Training Program I graduated from with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I’ve watched talks and pored over reports from well-respected MDs and PhDs. I’ve absorbed information from many books and ‘The China Study’ by T. Colin Campbell in particular stood out as the most comprehensive research project of our lifetime linking diet with obesity, diabetes and disease. Years of thorough research links animal protein and saturated fats (those found in meats, more so in red meat) to higher risk and growth of cancers. There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants, protein included.

The decision to become Pescetarian not only improves and extends my life but also contributes to saving our planet, its natural resources and animals.  According to Wikipedia, 80% of greenhouse gas emissions arise from the livestock sector. [1] This is one mind-blowing statistic. That aside, animal treatment in farms and slaughterhouses is beyond shameful as they are bred for murder. They are confined in very small spaces and injected with pesticides and growth hormones for increased production for human consumption. Check out YouTube for ‘animal cruelty’ to see what goes on and maybe you will also change your mind.

Why fish? Why not go the whole distance? Just become a vegan brah!

I’m okay with eating seafood. Fish is packed with healthy polyunsaturated ω-3 (omega-3) fatty acids which have plenty of health benefits. In fact, a deficiency in ω-3 causes cells all around the body to become starved of other nutrients, which can lead to all sorts of problems from bad skin to mood swings. This is because the ω-3 acts as a gatekeeper to regulate the passage of both nutrients and waste products across the cells’ membrane. They are an essential part of a healthy diet. [2]Also, fish are not factory farmed (at all or as much) as animals are and aren’t loaded up with all kinds of chemicals. It’s true that one can get ω-3 from supplements, popping a handful of pills every week will do the job. This is the only option for vegetarians and vegans who are known to be deficient in this vital fatty acid. Personally, I prefer to get the nutrition from food and not out of a labelled bottle. The protein is a bonus which my body uses for repair following rigorous training.

Overall, I feel great without meat in my diet and I recommend trying it out. During the past year I’ve tried many different diets playing around with all foods available to us. Giving up meat has been the biggest change and is going to stick around!

And now, off to Bali!

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