The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

My Pescatarian Boyfriend

Posted on May 13, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Lily Donofrio

I met my boyfriend through a mutual friend around 8 months ago. He’s one of those “perfect at everything” kind of fellows, with a wicked GPA and insane athletic abilities. He does a lot of right, and so I take his frequently dished-out opinions seriously. I’m what some people would call a firecracker, so I shoot my opinions right back. What’s great about us is that we challenge each other, which makes life fun and interesting.

Austin has been a sugar-free pescatarian for about 4 years. He is part of the Seventh-day Adventist religion, so he does not take part in the consumption of bottom feeders like pork or shellfish to begin with. Most of his peers are vegetarian, but he decided to keep fish in his life. Our mutual friend influenced him to become sugar free, and eventually he shared the convincing doctrine with me.

Growing up in my redneck town, I was the only vegetarian that anyone knew. It was lonely, but it was worth it. When I met Austin, he wasn’t surprised to learn that I was a vegetarian, because it was such a common occurrence in his religion. Once he learned about my living situation, he understood what a “weird” decision I made about my diet. I loved that he was so accepting of my beliefs and habits. Right around the time we started dating, I decided to step it up and become the type of person I wanted to be, a free thinking vegan.

Austin wasn’t thrilled. He has the mind of an athlete, constantly worried about protein intake and proper nutrition. He knew that I took all of that into consideration when beginning my changes. I did all of my research and I sat him down and explained to him my options and my reasons, describing that I had tons of variety in my diet. He reluctantly gave me his support, declaring an open mind.

A few months into our relationship, Austin signed up for an online health class provided through a college closely associated with his high school. One of the major projects in the course required changing one of your habits in a drastic way for a two week long period, in hopes of improving your health. Participants had to keep a detailed journal for the full 2 weeks. Austin decided to go vegan for the full two weeks. I’m not going to lie; I was so excited. I gave him lists of my favorite vegan foods and essentials to stock up on. With his favorite food being cheese pizza, he was quite nervous. The two weeks began amazingly! His transition to almond milk was hard for him at first, but he developed a taste for it as the diet progressed. He learned that meal planning is helpful. He missed his pizza, but the diet interested him, so he pursued. It was quite successful, he had tons of energy and access to all kinds of foods provided by the health store right down the street from his house.

Unfortunately, after the two week term ended, Austin did not decide to stay fully vegan, as I had hoped. He did stick to almond milk though, and he cut down on his cheese intake, which I find to be a great feat! The project gave him a better understanding of the vegan diet, which made life easier on me (alleviating a good bit of his monitoring). He is now fully supportive of my vegan diet. He says that one of the things he likes best about me is that I stand strong for things I am passionate about, like veganism.

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