Thursday, March 14, 2013

WTH is an Ovo-Pescetarian?!

Me. I am an ovo-pescetarian.  Well, for at least the next three months I am, anyway.

It's like a vegetarian who eats eggs and fish.


So - I went for my annual physical, and my doctor was quite pleased with me.

And then my labs came back. 

My cholesterol, which has been borderline for years, is now on the wrong side of the border . . .

I have a pretty awesome doctor, and he said I had two choices, either I could try harder with the diet and exercise, or I would have to go on statin drugs.  Yeah, no.  Not so much.

I asked him to please let me try to do better rather than add another drug to my daily life, and he was pleased with my choice.  He asked me if I would consider meeting with his dietitian to be put on a Strict Program for Three Months.  I said yes.  Kinda funny - he told her the same exact words.  She told me he never put anyone on a Strict Program for Three Months before  :-D

Alrighty then.

The long story short is:  No meat.  No butter.   No more that six egg yolks a week.  Very limited dairy - I can have one ounce of cheese a day (and I can eat yogurt.  Ick.).  I have to add 2 tsp of ground flax seed to something every day. 

I heard or read somewhere (exactly where is escaping me at the moment), that a lot of people who say they are vegetarians are actually carbetarians.  I don't think I'm going to run that risk - I'm already avoiding sugar and highly processed foods, so that part won't be any different for me, and because I'm already avoiding those two things, it should make it a lot easier for me to avoid subsisting on Mac & Cheese (which isn't really cheese anyway when it comes out of a blue box).  Oh, and the bread I made?  It made my joints hurt.  Shit.  Shit. Shit.  I had really high hopes for it.

Anyway, luckily, I am a pretty plain eater.  I got that from my mom.  Sauces and gravies are not my thing, so that will be pretty easy.  I can eat fish, and shellfish (hooray!), and beans, and nuts, olive oil, sprouted bread (if I want to try it), whole grains, whole wheat pasta, fruits and vegetables, and I can eat tofu.

I hate tofu.

It has the consistency of scrambled eggs, which make me gag.  It's a consistency/texture thing.

I'm going to try tofu again, however.  I got the wrong kind yesterday, but I heard that if you use the stuff that's not silken, you can put it in a press and get some of the water out of it before you attempt to cook and eat it.  I'm going to get some of the extra firm and hope it's not like scrambled eggs.  I will attempt stir fry it.  I have no idea what the difference between silken and not silken is.  But whatever it is, it means you can't put it in a tofu press.

Even though it all sounds a bit draconian, I'm not looking at this change in a negative way.  Certainly there will be some challenges, but it's only for three months (initially), and if it means that I don't have to take a drug.  I'm all in.  Plus, I've set the intention that I'm going to LOVE being an ovo-pescetarian, and that I'm going to wonder why I didn't do it sooner.

And really - this has GOT to help with the size of my ass.   ;-)


Michelle said...

My doc wanted to put me on a statin, too, and I said NO. I have the advantage of a mother who is a dietitian and can answer all my questions! (Not that I have many, since she taught me from birth.)

I am probably guilty of being a bit of a carbetarian because of my sweet tooth, but I cook from scratch and don't use white flour. I try to add 2 TABLEspoons of flax seed (measured, then ground) to my almost daily morning oatmeal with blueberries, and I also take red yeast rice (from Costco). I still need to exercise more consistently....

Tofu needs to be marinated or simmered, then braised in order to get the best (non-scrambled eggs) texture. I also puree it with other things to add protein and creaminess to things like "creamy" soups and stews.

You go, girl!

candy said...

I was put on statins once and never again! Talk about major PAIN. Then I was put on Zocor and I thought I was doing fine but after a few months my muscles felt like they were made of SAND and my fingernails looked like ocean waves. My insurance wouldn't pay for anything else so YAY, I can't take anything. I feel fine, NO PAIN and my cholesterol is under control just through diet. And----new studies out, inflammation might have a bigger role than cholesterol levels.

candy said...

You go girl! Do it with diet. All these darn medicines, some are fine but others....the side effects are horrible. It's interesting in Europe people lean more toward herbs and natural things.

Linda said...

If you don't care for the tofu so much, don't worry. With all the stuff I've been reading about the negative impact of soy on thyroid function and the phytoestrogens that can mess with my already messed up hormones, I try to avoid tofu. There are compelling studies that suggest fermented soy does not have the same bad effects, so I allow myself *some* miso and tempeh, but in general I avoid soy, including soybean oil (very commonly found in processed food), tofu, and the soy fake food found so commonly in the grocery store these days (soy burgers, soy "chicken," etc.)

You should get lots of protein eating beans (which we know you love!), nuts, eggs and fish. Do you like strong flavored fish? If so, you should try the fish I'm crazy about lately: mackeral. It has all those good fatty acids (like salmon and tuna) but not all the bad stuff like mercury. And because it reproduces pretty quickly, it is considered a very sustainable fish. I love fresh mackeral, and I'm going to try making some canned mackeral dishes, too. (Oh, and canned mackeral is budget friendly, too!)

We know you can do this! If you're looking for recipe ideas, give me a shout. To use your phrase, I have eleventy-billion vegetarian cookbooks. ;-)

Michelle said...

To piggy-back on Linda's comment and add to my own, I don't use much tofu, either. Furthermore, I avoid ANY soy product not labeled organic or non-GMO, since soy, corn and canola are the three most tampered-with crops (over 90% of all three are said to be GM). And although wheat is not usually GM, it often IS sprayed with RoundUp to make it ripen uniformly, and that chemical has been shown to linger in the crop and not be the benign substance Monsanto has claimed – so 'organic' on that one as much as possible, too. I really do think the devil is trying to kill us through our food supply; we have to do the best we can and then trust in Divine protection!

A :-) said...

Such great comments, you guys. Thank you. I likely won't be eating much tofu although the discussion I had with the dietitian was more along the lines about soy and breast cancer (there is no history of that in my family).

I did buy one veggie burger thing at the fresh market. After reading the label it seemed OK.

Candy - I've heard all bad things about statin drugs. I really don't want to take them.

Michelle - never even thought about the GMO issue. Thanks for bringing that up. I do have some frozen corn (I'm a fan of the Green Giant things you steam) - guess I'll have to look it over. Do they have to label genetically modified stuff? I have a local fresh market that's great, and I also have a local health food store, so I do have some options.

Linda - I don't think I would like mackeral. Certainly I'll try it sometime when I'm up your way, but I don't hold out much hope of it becoming my new favorite food ;-D

I do have a great vegetarian cookbook that I pulled out last night and started looking through for recipes without sugar or flour. I found quite a few I will be trying in the months to come :-)

Michelle said...

No, they DON'T have to label genetically modified organisms in the U.S. like they do in the UK and Europe, a dirty, rotten shame that lies squarely at the feet of giant agribusiness, their powerful lobbyists and the politicians in bed with them. GRRRR.... Some are working to change that, but until that happens, it's "buyer beware." HOWEVER, sweet corn has not been one of the problems (so far); it's "field corn" that is used in cereals, cornmeal, processed food, high-fructose corn syrup, etc. In other words, if it's not "sweet corn," look out!

Nancy said...

Watch Knives over Forks. You can get it at the library or it's on Netflix.

Michelle said...

YES! (Actually, it's called "Forks Over Knives," the knives being scalpels; it's EXCELLENT. Fair warning, though; it indicts milk protein.)

Tammy McGee said...

Hi A: I read Naked Calories and am now reading Rich Food, Poor Food by Jayson and Mira Calton. They have a website which if you sign up has a resource center. Any how, they talk about all the issues with micro-nutrients (like vitamins, absorbency, competition and partners of vitamins) in Naked Calories and they go aisle by aisle in the grocery store in Rich Food, Poor Food covering the prevailing standards for organic, grass fed, no GMO, no growth hormone, etc and give you name brands to steer towards and steer clear. Both books are easy reads and great references they tied it all together. Anyway, I am trying their vitamins and I they also produce liquid Stevia drops to cover those times when you need a natural sweetner and the drops are concentrated so hopefully not so expensive with all the packaging for individual Stevia. I got the books from the library; but, bought Naked Calories from their website as you get a nifty grocery bag that tells you what fresh food you can easily buy conventional and the 20 you should always buy organic. I also watched a Dr. Mark Hyman webcast and he's very good. You are right stop the sugar and get off the processed food and eat real food without all the preservative gunk. Good luck on the nutrition quest!