The word “pescetarian” comes from “pesce,” the Italian word meaning “fish,” and refers to a vegetarian diet with the addition of seafood. .
Two of the healthiest cultures eat diets based on the pescetarian plan: the Mediterranean and the Japanese. These two diets are focused on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and seafood, foods drastically different from the diet most Americans consume. Mediterranean and Japanese cultures consume large amounts of seafood rich with the omega-3 fatty acids that can prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, while the average American consumes more red meat, which promotes the same diseases fish can prevent, as author Janis Jibrin, RD, and lead nutritionist for The Best Life Diet, claims.
The Pescetarian Plan is based on the traditional Mediterranean diet, and it:
- Eliminates red meat and poultry,
- Uses the cleanest and most environmentally sustainable seafood,
- Features true super foods (whether or not they’re inherent in Mediterranean diets), and
- Includes a weight loss component with clean portion guidance.
There are four key benefits to eating pescetarian as it is described in the book:
- It helps you lose weight and maintain a weight loss.
- It fights aging.
- It offers psychological and intellectual benefits.
- It provides ultra-nutrition.
Part One of The Pescetarian Plan proves each of the diet’s four key benefits using the author’s own diet experiences, education as a nutritionist, and science.
- In Chapter One, you will learn how this plan will help you lose weight and maintain any weight loss.
- In Chapter Two, you will find out how the Pescetarian Plan will prevent aging in all forms, including diseases more common in older adults.
- In Chapter Three, the author describes how a this diet is good for your brain and your mood.
- Finally, in Chapter Four, the author outlines each of the macro and micronutrients your body needs to be truly healthy and how a pescetarian way of eating will gain you that health.
In Part Two of The Pescetarian Plan, Jibrin outlines the seven pescetarian principles and tells you how to put them into action through the pescetarian meal plan. The author also includes a small section on exercising, sleeping, and happiness.
Finally, in Part Three, Jibrin explains to you which seafood to eat for your body and for the environment, how to prepare seafood, and several pescetarian recipes with full-color photography. The appendices include a portion tracker, weight loss log, and additional pescetarian meals.
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- Author is a respected expert and authority on the subject
- Promotes eating more fruits and vegetables
- Cuts red meat and poultry, which are linked with some health problems
- Includes instructions for how to prepare seafood, such as grilling and steaming
- Uses diets based on calorie plans so people can eat recommended foods when they choose
- Sample meal plans are provided for each of the calorie plans (ranging from 1500 to 2500 calories daily)
- Shares nearly 100 pescetarian recipes
- Provides guidance as to which nutrients can be found in which foods and how often they should be consumed
- Provides guidance for supplement usage
- Provides guidance for which seafood is safe and eco-friendly to consume
- Provides some information on exercising, sleeping and self-esteem
- Does not provide substitutes for people with seafood allergies
- Encourages, but does not provide, a strict exercise plan for people who want to lose weight
- Calorie plans may be confusing for people who are not used to counting calories
The diet and nutrition in The Pescetarian Plan is built on The Seven Pescetarian Principles created by author Janis Jibrin, RD.
These principles range from the first being elimination of meat and poultry while still eating recommended amounts of protein, and keeping treats and alcohol to a minimum, to enjoying healthy fats and finishing with drinking more water.
You’re encouraged to eat fish and seafood, and seek protein from other plant- and dairy-based sources like eggs, cheese, legumes, and nuts. As the heart of The Pescetarian Plan is vegetarian, loads of fruits and vegetables are encouraged, and especially those beyond Americans’ potatoes and apples. Kiwi, mangoes, figs, and even sweet potatoes, not ordinarily a Mediterranean diet inclusion, easily fit in to this eating plan.
A few other things to expect for your diet while following The Pescetarian Plan:
- Moderate amounts of your favorite treats, like salty chips or sweet cookies.
- Limit alcohol, and when you do drink, make it wine.
- Reduce dependency on starches by making half of your grains whole.
- Dairy is permitted, as is switching to low-fat milk. This is one of the only food groups that can be cut entirely if your dietary needs require it.
- Fish is rich in healthy fats, so it’s a no-brainer that this category of nutrient is permitted and encouraged. Thirty-five percent of your calories will come from healthy fats like fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocados.
- Drinking six cups of water each day is encouraged. A waste of calories is what Jibrin calls fruit juice, soda, sweet tea, and other caloric beverages.
The Pescetarian Plan provides calories plans instead of meal plans, which allow you to be more creative with what you eat, but do not give you strict guidelines on what you should eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The calorie plans outline how many servings of each pescetarian food group you should eat at different calories levels, such as 1,500 calories a day or 2,500 calories a day. However, the diet does show you how to plan your own meals through templates in chapter 8.
A few of the recipes you can expect to enjoy, include:
Breakfast: Peach Cinnamon Smoothie or a Black Rice Pudding
Lunch: Kale Soup with Mozzarella, Tomato and Avocado Sandwich or Cod Burger with Walnut Salad
Dinner: Shrimp Taco Salad with Fresh Salsa or a salad of Salmon with Tahini and Toasted Nuts with Quinoa and Pomegranate
Jibrin understands that The Pescetarian Plan can work alone to increase your nutrition, but it cannot work alone to increase your overall health, especially if you want to lose weight. You also need to get enough exercise, sleep, and emotional nourishment.
While The Pescetarian Plan does not provide exact exercise guidance, it does outline recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine and from the Centers for Disease Control. On the book’s website, ThePescetarianPlan.com, Jibrin has published a “Get Moving Plan.”
Your mind and body also need enough sleep on top of a healthy diet and regular exercise. In The Pescetarian Plan, Jibrin describes how to practice good sleep hygiene, such as going to bed and getting out of bed at the same times every day.
Love, or emotional nutrition, is also an important part of The Pescetarian Plan. As a registered dietitian, Jibrin understands the difference between food addiction and emotional eating and explains how you can take control of both of those disordered eating behaviors. Additional materials are provided to help you with finding emotional nutrition.
Many people the world over have adopted a Mediterranean-based diet to help them lose weight and combat aging, and The Pescetarian Plan by Janis Jibrin, RD provides another approach to this traditional, mostly meatless, lifestyle.
The basic principles of The Pescetarian Plan are not new — Eating more fruits and vegetables, seafood and whole grains and cutting red meat and poultry are principles in many approaches to weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle. What The Pescetarian Plan does provide is a detailed approach to eating on a calorie plan and creating your own meals and meal plans based on the calorie guidelines outlined by this expert dietitian.
The Pescetarian Plan allows you to build your own diet, but isn’t so strict strict that people who truly want to lose weight find it inflexible. The guidance on exercise, recommended but not outlined, might be too vague. Overall, this diet approach encourages eating foods that are good for you and living a happy life, which can help you create a healthy lifestyle for weight loss in the long run.
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