Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pescetarian Pregnancy

So, I have not been blogging about any fun new experiments in fitness, detox, etc. because I have taken on a few new endeavors including school and, most importantly, becoming pregnant! However, I am sort of back in the loop now because I had a wonderful idea about combining my three loves: fitness, nutrition, and medical awareness!

In the past, I have taken classes post-graduate in order to further my own personal knowledge in dietician and nutritional fields. I am taking classes now to further my medical understanding of the human body in anatomy and physiology as well as in the nursing field. In my anatomy and physiology class, I was assigned a semester-long assignment where we must collect data throughout the fall and present a final project encompassing and explaining our results. I have chosen to study myself and my pregnancy and the effect of my pescetarian diet.

I was a vegetarian at age 10 and a vegan at age 17. I stayed vegan until age 20 and eventually shifted back to vegetarianism in my early 20s, with a shift to eating poultry and fish until recently. I just have never really liked meat or the reprocussions of a diet rich in meat on the body. Saturated fats, cholesterol, constipation, and many other problems that are associated with meat are not an ideal part of my life or what I want to achieve with MY body. I warned my husband that a shift back to my old lifestyle was always a moment away at any given time and I was right.

So, here I was, 12 weeks pregnant, and couldn't eat meat or dairy. I am now 19 weeks pregnant and have managed to wrap my mind around my once again changing tastes and ideals. Over the course of my life and making the decisions I have made have come with lots of research and comparisons. I turned to research again with even more knowledge now than ever before of the body, nutrition, fitness and physiology, etc. and can honestly say that I can find nothing wrong with including seafood in an otherwise vegetarian diet. The studies of mercury poisoning prove that it is just not there and I do not know if it is a political or financial reason that this has even become and issue.

I guess I never thought it about it in much detail before, but have you ever heard of someone with mercury poisoning? (Don't even say Jeremy Piven because that was proven to be a hoax - he just wanted out of doing the broadway performances! Remember, I am a singer, too!) I certainly can't think of one! Also, we are the only country in the world who makes this an issue. All other cultures, both industrial and non-industrial, live off of diets rich in fish and vegetables. They have longer life-spans and healthy babies, but for some reason we put women in fear of ingesting too much fish while pregnant because of this "mercury." Instead, we tell her to take a DHA tablet (which she could have just ingested from the fish herself instead of taking a processed pill) and continue eating pork, beef, and chicken instead as "safe" protein. This is not just something focused on pregnant women, I just happen to be using them as examples right now.

In the meantime, the farming industries keep crucial parts of the consumer population ingesting their products, all the while injecting the livestock with hormones, antibiotics, and God knows what else and tell you it's safe. All the changes in our society, including girls starting their periods at an average of age eight, has shown me enough not to trust these things. I have one body, and I will make informed and careful decisions about what to do with it. I am not a conspiracy-theorist or anti-industry in ANY way; QUITE the opposite. When it comes to my health and my family's health, however, I am a warrior for what is right and true. I will not tell others what to do or that the way they live is wrong and the way I live is right. I honestly don't care what you do with your body. It is yours! :) Do what you like! Just don't expect me to join you. ;)

Now that I have settled into pescetarianism, I have decided to study the effects of this diet and potential benefits or drawbacks of following such a regimen. Remember, I have not made this switch overnight, I have not eaten cow or pig products since age 10 and rarely have eaten poultry during the past four years. So there are no worries about shocking my system or going through some sort of meat detox while pregnant. I love research and learning and what better way to study the effects of this diet than in a responsible and documented case study including myself and the guidance and supervision of other medical researchers and professionals!?

I am so excited to document this journey! And feel free to come along with me! You will, no doubt, feel the healthy response your body will have (especially those of you who want to lose weight). And please, don't think that processed foods without meat in them is an acceptable way to switch from eating meat products. Vegan/Vegetarian/Pescetarian diets do not often include processed foods. Yes, Cheetos are vegetarian, but don't be an asshole and eat them as a snack everyday - they are BAD for you. Use your common sense! See you soon!

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