On a lazy Saturday morning, I sat bundled in my bed, surrounded by pillows and flipping through Netflix to find something suitable for a predetermined, uneventful day. With “My List” full to the brim with movies and shows of every possible genre, an inner conflict ensued with each click of my Wii remote
(first-world problems, am I right?).
“Should I re-watch Scrubs again? I wouldn’t mind a good laugh with J.D. and Turk.”
“Hmm…well, I could always finish that documentary about Nazi Germany. That was pretty interested…nah, I don’t think I feel like crying today. I’ll save that one for a work night.”
“Disney movie, Disney movie, Pulp Fiction, Disney movie, Twilight Zone, Borgia…nope.”
I eventually abandoned my list and started looking through the other genres that Netflix cleverly put together for my viewing pleasure.
And somehow I decided on a documentary called Vegucated, described on Netflix as:
[A] documentary [that] follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks in an effort to get healthier.
But, to this day, I don’t fully understand why this documentary sparked such a huge change in me. All of the things that were discussed, from the corrupt meat industry to healthy eating in general, were not new concepts to me. But, for some reason, this documentary made me want to try something new.
Seeing those New Yorkers struggle through their vegan diets, then adapt a variation of said diet by the end of their six-week journey was pretty encouraging. I mean, when you have a girl go from hating vegetables to chowing down on zucchini and eggplant, you know she put some work in.
After that, it was like a click of a switch.
One day, I was shoveling down a full slab of ribs at Outback. The next, I had decided to, not go as far as being a vegan, but become a pescatarian.
Don’t know what that means? Well, take a number.
I don’t think I’ve ever been able to just say, “I’m a pescatarian,” without having to follow it up with, “So, the only meat I eat is fish.” It kind of makes me jealous of all the vegetarians out there. I’m sure none of them experienced someone asking if vegetarian was a religion. Ok, ok…that was actually just a joke by my Dad. But still, with all the blank stares that come along with using the word, it might as well be a real scenario.
Anyway, for a year now, I’ve kept my diet going strong and learned so much along the way.
(Did you know that some canned, vegetable soups are made with chicken broth? They know they’re wrong for that.)
Changing my diet, or rather, my lifestyle amounted to so much more than just being healthier and not supporting the way animals are treated in those horrible factories (which always disgusted me, but I never saw going meatless as an obtainable goal).
For me, it was about sticking to something I started and getting to the point where it became the norm. It was about satisfying my craving for “newness” when so much felt out of my control. It was about pushing myself out of my comfort zone and seeing how far I could go. And, finally, it was about being able to correctly pronounce “Quinoa.” No, I’m kidding (though it is a plus)!
Ultimately, something as simple as becoming a pescatarian has given me such a sense of accomplishment and the results are rolling into other aspects of my life. I never really liked the quote, “You can do anything you set your mind to,” because it made it sound so easy and even seemed a bit dismissive to me. Like, “You want to start exercising? Well, just set your mind to it. Cool, cool…now let’s do lunch.”
But, now I truly know that I can do what I set my mind to…with the right motivation and with time.
Still don’t love that quote though, so I’ll end with this one: