Updated: Nov 16, 2021
I've been a pescatarian for about a year and nine months now, and I must say I am loving life. I finally dare to share a before and after photo of me on my Instagram, not to boast but to inspire others. That dieting is not the new skinny or being healthy. It's about changing your ways of living. I'm sure you've heard this one before, but pescetarianism/pescatarianism is a LIFESTYLE change, not those quick fixes to losing weight. So, first of all, if you clicked on this post to find "yo-yo dieting" or a quick way to lose 30 lbs, you will be disappointed as this is not the post you are looking for. But if you want to lower your blood pressure naturally by cooking healthier recipes that are not boring and losing weight along the way, you are in the right spot.
For those of you who don't know me, I'm Melanie, the founder of @melshealthybowl on Instagram, formerly known as the pes.catarian.diet. I've struggled with high blood pressure (BP) in my 20s and after my second child in my early 30s. After I gave birth, I developed postpartum preeclampsia; it's where my BP was 179/119. Scary right! January 2020, 10 months postpartum, I've decided to completely change my relationship with food and the way to enjoy it. I cut all meat except seafood, and that's when my journey to pescetarianism began.
Here's how Pescetarianism changed/saved my life:
•Weight loss (down 30+)
•Healthier food choices
•Lower blood pressure
1- Losing Weight in Pescetarianism:
I didn't expect to lose 20 lbs in less than a year because that wasn't my goal in mind. I'm not in my goal weight yet, but in total, I've lost 30+ lbs so far since January 2020. My goal was to get healthy for my babies and lower my blood pressure.
The first couple of months, I started seeing changes in how my clothes fit, and I felt lighter than before. I did stay active most days, 5/7 days of light work out and walking. If you only want to walk to keep active (nothing wrong with that), set a goal of walking 5K-10K steps a day.
If I were to gain 5 lbs, you could see it right away with me being just 5'0 ft. What also worked for me was blocking all the negative thoughts and just being my cheerleader for myself that I could do this. Not comparing my victories to somebody else's because my goal differs from others. It helped me focus on what I wanted for myself to achieve for my kids.
2- Healthier food choices
When I first became a pescatarian, I followed a vegetarian diet and still consumed egg and dairy products such as milk and cheese. But I would eat seafood with my meals. Let me tell you; I did not starve myself at all. Many people think eating less will equal losing more weight. Nope, that is not the case. I just picked healthier choices for my meals, and I avoided unnecessary high fat content when cooking. I switched to low sodium sauces if needed, and I got creative with salad dressings as well. I ate regular food but made it pescatarian-friendly but with healthier ingredients. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see what I'm talking about (@melshealthybowl - check it out).
As my path to getting healthier and lowering my BP evolved, I now follow a plant-based diet, incorporating seafood 2-3x a week. And because I developed a dairy sensitivity recently, I started my dairy-free journey in September 2021. I'm a Mac and cheese girl, so I was bitter when I completely cut out all dairy products and eggs, but I knew I could get through this. Like I did when I first started pescetarianism, I now substitute dairy products on any recipes I cook. If you are wondering how it's going, I just made vegan brownies for the first time, and it was delicious.
I've noticed much difference with me going dairy-free. The reoccurring cystic acne on my face had disappeared. My random cramping, even when it's not the time of the month, is gone. I don't feel bloated anymore. It's only been two months, so I can't wait to share more changes in the future.
3- Lower blood pressure
After two weeks of becoming a pescatarian, I noticed a burst of energy. Like I mentioned above, I would do 30 minutes of work out each day or walk to stay active. As early as two weeks, I saw a change when I checked my BP, not as drastic as my diastolic would still fall a little over 80's. But as time progressed, especially now, my BP has improved. The highest I've seen it would be 123/70. But I mean, we all know elevated BP can also be because of other factors such as feeling overwhelmed or stressed. But I'm proud to say I've consistently monitored my BP for over six months; it's been ranging at around 100-116/60-70.
Are you somebody who struggles with high blood pressure? I'm here to help you prep easy heart-healthy meals. Follow me for not-so-boring heart-healthy meals on Instagram, and make sure you join my mailing list here to get new recipe alerts when they become available and so much more. Let's cook heart-healthy meals together.
Disclaimer: The Content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.