Earlier this week we met up with some of our unschooling, nature loving friends for a salmon run adventure.
We were the first to arrive,
so we figured out how to keep ourselves entertained as we waited for our friends to join us.
One by one a colorful gang of kids showed up,
and then the creek walking and fish stalking began.
Right around this time every year, the salmon make their way back up the creeks and streams in this area to spawn,
and we were there on Monday to catch the live show.
Both kids and adults alike delighted in watching the salmon attempt to swim upstream. Do you see the brown fish in the brown water there? Let’s play “Hidden Pictures”.
So speaking of salmon, and speaking of experimenting, this post is about to swim upstream and spawn too. Or something. I’m about to post something that has never been seen on Mama’s Weeds before; and that would be, fish.
Oh wait, I guess I have posted about fish before. Except we didn’t eat the fish from that post, we just flushed her.
So yes, this feels like an appropriate juncture to announce what has been a very personal and monumental decision: After months of careful thought and consideration, as well as nearly 4 years of being a strict vegetarian, I have decided to very occasionally and very conscientiously add fish back into my diet.
I stopped eating meat in January of 2007. In the two years or so before that time, we’d already been eating less meat. Zak went totally veg somewhere in the year before I did. I had stopped preparing meat at home and only ate meat when we were out, either in restaurants or at dinner parties. In the months leading up my own decision to stop eating meat completely, we watched Meet Your Meat and Wegmans Cruelty, two very disturbing yet extremely thought provoking documentaries.
Then on an afternoon in early 2007, as I sat at my dining room table reading The Breastfeeding Book and holding a sleeping infant in my arms, I was giving a lot of thought to the food I was putting into my body that was once again making milk for a baby girl.
It was the line from page 79 of that text was the clincher:
Our nutritional research has led us to the conclusion that for most people, especially breastfeeding mothers, the pesco-vegetarian diet is the healthiest.
And that was that. At that very moment I made my decision to go completely vegetarian and never looked back.
Nutrition was at the forefront of my decision to stop eating meat. I wanted to be healthy and I felt like becoming a vegetarian was going to get me there. While I certainly cared about the cruelty being done to animals, my own health and nutrition was the primary reason behind my decision. There was a part of me that hoped vegetarianism would be a fast track to losing the weight I put on during pregnancy. I was also glad to join in and support my husband in his vegetarian journey as well.
Now though, my understanding about health and nutrition is much more vast and comprehensive. I know there is more to being healthy than simply not eating meat. I have never doubted that humans evolved to eat meat, but I also know that the way meat is consumed in the Standard American Diet is not what feels right to me. I believe meat can be a part of a healthy diet, and for me – fish is what I am interested in adding to my diet at this time. While I am not sure if or when I’ll ever eat any flesh other than fish, I do know that I want to add a wider variety of healthy fats into my diet – and the addition of fatty fish feels like the right way to do that. I plan to only consume wild, sustainably caught fish from time to time and am curious see if I notice a difference in how I feel.
So for now, I consider myself a pesco-vegetarian.
A pesco-vegetarian that really has no idea how to prepare or cook fish.
Good thing the frozen, wild caught salmon I bought last week came with some cooking suggestions on the back of the package.
Tonight with a husband out for the evening (a husband who is choosing to remain strictly veg), I prepared a dry rub of cumin, S&P, thyme and paprika and seared in a pan with olive oil for a few minutes on each side.
Once seared I put the fish into a baking pan into a 350 degree oven and baked for about 10 minutes. While the fish was baking, I sauteed some shaved Brussels sprouts, crushed garlic and grated carrots in coconut oil.
By the way, this is the best way to eat Brussels sprouts. I should also mention this is the only way I’ll eat Brussels sprouts now.
Dinner was eaten while I watched one child eat frozen blueberries for dessert and the other one make her Barbie dance around and make fart noises.
So glad I went vegetarian for the child who makes Barbie fart. It made a huge difference. Clearly.