At first I thought of being vegan. I was for a time. But then I discovered I can be a vegetarian-pescatarian, eating all vegetables and fruits with some fish. Well, pescatarian can mean eating seafood and veggies, but what I really want is eat small amounts of sea-water fish with scales and fins. That’s for my protein and calcium.
I started eliminating beef and pork altogether from my diet in July 2017 when I had edema, for some reason. I didn’t eat salty food, was faithful with my water therapy and drank only water (no sodas or artificial fruit juices). I watched carefully what I ate. I didn’t have any vices. But somehow, I still had edema. And that meant some kidney problem.
So, to eliminate it altogether, I decided to get rid of beef and pork and everything artificial and those with preservatives and artificial colors. Nothing processed either. I eat only natural food. I’ve been doing it for 6 months now. And the health results are only beginning to appear. So it takes 6 months to a year to be cleansed.
What do I eat for snacks? Bananas and fruits. It was difficult at first, but later, I started really hating unhealthy food. I’m in the habit of reading the ingredients first before I take a bite of anything. I used to enjoy fatty, delicious street food and juicy burgers and steaks and grilled pork chops and barbecued chicken and the like. They used to make my mouth watery and make me suffer because I couldn’t eat meat anymore.
Well, not anymore. I hate them now. I look at juicy hotdogs rolling on cooking oil and watch folks eat them and I thank God I don’t eat them anymore. I can just imagine the deadly chemicals and fat and carcinogens that go with them. You enjoy some flavors for a while but you suffer all your life after. Who needs them?
I prefer eating steamed or boiled fish to fried fish, but when I have no choice, small amount of fried salt-water fish is okay. But I eat more vegetables. I prefer limiting my fish intake. Anyway, I can supplement with soya, tofu, beans and yogurt for my protein and calcium, and oh, natural yogurt is okay to me. Though sourced from cows or goats, it’s not beef. I prefer yogurt from goat’s milk.
Here are the joys of being pescatarian—you may eat a lot and not worry about elevated BP, cholesterol or blood sugar count (I avoid sweets). During buffets, I eat a lot of green leafy veggies and fruits and other vegetables plus some fish and never feel worried or guilty. Unlike my friends who eat lots of fatty beef and pork and worry about their health later or quickly pop their anti-high-BP pill to “counter” all that fat. And especially during Christmas or New Year’s Eve.
I shed off some weight (and muscle) now that I’m vegetarian, but I hope to catch up as soon as I resume my workouts. I stopped for a while and plan to re-start gradually. From 180 pounds I’m now down to 150 pounds, which really is my ideal weight standing at 5 feet and 6 inches. With enough tofu, yogurt and some fish I hope to get back to my former shape.
I’m not that thin, really, and I still look athletic. But I need to beef up my shoulders, chest and back to look much better. My goal is a Bruce-Lee type of fitness, Godwilling.
They say vegetarianism may result to depression if you forfeit yourself of foods you love. Yeah, for a while. But now, I love vegetables and hate meat. In fact, I feel depressed when I discover my fresh vegetable lumpia has been mixed with small ground pork. When I ask waiters, they even gladly answer that, indeed, the vegetable roll has tiny meat bits. They think I’d like that. But then they’d see me get upset and cancel my order or give it to another and look for pure veggies on the menu.
I love preparing my own meals. I often just boil okra, saluyot, eggplant or talbos ng kamote. Sometimes, I may add in a small measure of salt or preserved fish. Or, I’d just settle for a quick sauteed ampalaya. Usually, I’m happy with a banana and rice. When I’m out of time, I buy from the street-corner karenderia, but their veggie menus often frustrate me. I mean, kangkong in chop suey?
But when I feel like eating something really special, I cook sinigang Maya-Maya belly with lots of green mustard leaves and gabi root. Better if my wife cooks it!