Four months ago I went through a stressful time in my life. I had just graduated from the dietetic internship in June 2010 and was now unemployed. On top of that I had the daunting task of taking the Registered Dietitian (RD) exam in September 2010.

Fortunately, shortly after graduating I was very blessed with a job at a large Portland hospital. But I still had this looming cloud over me to pass the RD exam.

While this was all happening, two very uncomfortable mental and physical stresses were occurring

at this time: anxiety and acne. (The caffeine from the daily coffee was not helping either.)

As I was reading and talking with some friends and skin specialists I had decided to forgo on the caffeine and the meat, poultry and fish. Yes, I was going to jump in head first into the world of vegetarianism. 

I remember telling myself and other a few years ago that I could never become a vegetarian. “I love meat too much!” I’d say.

But out of desperation I decided I would choose to do anything that would help calm both my mind and my skin down.

Now its four months later and I haven’t had a single bite of meat, poultry or fish. (well… I decided to add fish back in just within the last 3 weeks.) I have to admit that I’ve had a couple of slips on the caffeine but nothing significant.

The results of this is that I feel an incredible improvement. My energy is up. No more sluggish food comas after I eat. This really surprised me. I always thought that being tired after eating was the norm but I’m convinced the culprit was the meat. My body was using so much energy digesting it that I would frequently take my naps after a meal.

Throughout this process I also found that I didn’t crave meat. It was almost effortless. But my one kicker was fish. I…love…sushi. I would eat out for sushi at least once (or maybe even twice) a week. (My first sushi experience after this hiatus was not a positive one…but that’s another story.)

For the first 2-3 months I didn’t really find a difference in my skin. I was still breaking out and wasn’t able to really see any changes. But now looking back at how my skin was in September and how it is now there is a massive difference. Sure, it was no cure by any means but there have been noticeable changes.

The combination of that and eliminating caffeine has definitely calmed me and my hormones down.

One respect to vegetarianism that I didn’t expect to receive was the criticism of my own friends and family. I wouldn’t really call myself a foodie; I just really love food. I’ve even noticed that I attract people who love food as well. Get-togethers with friends always revolve around some sort of entrée or appetizer that is going to be served. We all make mhmmm sounds when eating and I love that. Friend and food are fabulous.

(Taken from Vegan Matters.)

But now because I have eliminated meat from my plate, all of a sudden there’s this stigma that I won’t be able to join my friends at the table. I would like to respond by saying. Nay! Fear not friends. My stomach has not changed and my love for food is forever here. I might have taken out a main ingredient or two but nothing that will mess up the recipe. Jen’s plate is still full.

So there… I think my dabbling in Vegetarianism lead me to being… Pescetarian? And that in itself is pretty exciting.

-Jen

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