A pescetarian or a pesco-vegetarian, is a type of ‘vegetarian’ who also consumes fish and seafood. You could call it ‘semi-vegetarian’ if you like. Adding seafood to an otherwise vegetarian diet helps the body meets its nutritional requirements while still maintaining a plant-based diet for the most part.
Why a pescetarian? I’ve gotten used to hearing the question whenever I say that I’m a pescetarian or pesco-vegetarian for more than 4 years now. Most ‘glam-mamas’ I’ve attended to (for lactation and coaching session) would always offer me something to eat. Often they would prepare snacks, some would even cook lunch for me which I find really sweet and thoughtful. Not aware of the fact that I’m a pescetarian, they would prepare meals with either chicken or beef in them like kaldereta, empanada, lasagna or BBQ! There’s not much I could do but smile, regretfully (and respectfully) decline on their generosity and hospitality!
When what they have are either sandwiches or Siopao, I would just take them home for my 3 girls. If it’s cake or cookies or ensaymada – they are good for ‘take home’ too!
When it comes to chocolates, I eat only dark ones. If they offer milk chocolates, I’d take them home as well to share with friends, guests or kids. For drinks, I take cold water, coffee or tea. No softdrinks for me or powdered juice drinks.
Another question that I get a lot is “is it a preference or for health reasons?” Again, I would just smile and answer, “it’s a preference for good health and good energy!”
I’ve grown fond of posting the meals we have at home on facebook – breakfast, brunch, thanksgiving lunch or lunch and dinner. I do this to show there are plenty of enjoyable recipes one can prepare using only simple ingredients. These simple ingredients can turn into sumptuous healthy meals! At home, I’m the sue chef while Mamoo is the chef. I am so blessed and thankful that my mom is so caring and a great wonderful cook!
Thank you so much to all the ‘glam-mamas’, friends, friends of friends, who take time to Like my posts. “Tara, Let’s Eat!” It has become my passion to inspire others to have a healthy outlook on eating. “Eating” is not only taking anything into your mouth. It’s more about nurturing one’s self, being healthy and beautiful, so you could enjoy life more – without the sickness and illnesses that could set in due to neglectful eating habits. Taking care of your eating habits is key to having good energy.
Increasing Breast Milk Supply
The length of time I coach and work with breastfeeding moms varies from mom to mom. Some moms I only get to coach for 3 months – once or twice a week within the time span. Some extends up to 12 or 14 months. Regardless of how long I work with them, one concern that always comes up is increasing milk supply. To increase milk supply, one has to eat the right food. There are all sorts you could take ranging from teas, malunggay capsules, fish soups, gourmet dishes, fruits, veggies and even wagyu beef. The latest I’ve seen is malunggay oil.
Healthy Diet = Good Energy = Plenty of Milk Supply
Why A Pesco-Vegetarian Diet Could Be A Healthy Option For Moms
To increase milk supply, you need to include protein, omega-3 fats, zinc, iron, vitamin B-12, calcium, vitamin D and iodine. Adding fish and seafood to your diet helps you meet the recommendations for all of these nutrients, making them less of an issue in your diet. Small fish with bones, including sardines, are a very good source of non-dairy calcium.
This may prove especially helpful to moms with allergic reactions to dairies. Just recently, I’ve talked to this mom who shared with me that her baby boy is allergic to any dairy food and she was told by the pediatrician to take out all dairies from her diet. This prompted her to donate her 20 liters of ebm (expressed breast milk) as she can’t give it to her baby.
The omega-3 fats found in fish may lower your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, cognitive decline and cancer. While pesco-vegetarians have higher body mass indexes (BMIs) than vegans, they still have lower BMIs than meat eaters, so this type of diet may lower your risk for obesity, according to an article published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in March 2010. Also, vegetarians, including pesco-vegetarians, have a lower risk for diabetes than non-vegetarians, according to a study published in May 2009 in “Diabetes Care.” This may be due at least in part to the lower BMIs of vegetarians.
A pesco-vegetarian diet can help produce and increase milk supply the natural way. But the milk supply will not increase overnight. It also requires work on the part of the mom. Bear in mind the following:
1. The principle of Demand and Supply
Remember that it’s ‘demand and supply’. If there’s no demand, your body will not be alerted to produce the necessary supply. This is a way of conditioning your body to produce milk.
2. Establishing milk supply can take as long as 3 months
Not all women can produce generous amounts of milk in the first 4 weeks. Establishing milk supply takes place within the first 3 months after giving birth and it’s recommended to nurse at least 6-8 times per day during the first 2-5days.
If pumping exclusively, it should be 8-10 times per day for at least 10 days or up to 4weeks. Again, depends on how much milk is expressed. On top of this, there are other factors that affect how much milk is produced.
- Are your funnels the right fit?
- Are you doing it with the correct frequency?
- Are you using a a heavy duty pump?
- Are you eating healthy?
- Are you hydrating yourself?
- Do you have any clogged ducts or lumps?
Don’t settle with the thinking that you don’t have enough milk for your baby. Don’t be too quick to count yourself inadequate, even though it seems that you’ve already tried everything. I’ve heard hundreds of stories via phone calls and emails.
“Coach Z, I don’t know how many times I should pump a day.”
“Coach Z, no one told me that funnels should be not tight and no friction when pumping.”
“Coach Z, I’m only expressing 2-3x a day because I can only get less than 30ml or an oz?!”
“Coach Z, I’m nursing direct but baby is still crying so I’m giving formula after and can consumed 3oz.”
Like all the articles you can find in the Internet, I’m always saying that not all cries signal hunger. After nursing and when baby is still crying, don’t presume right away that your baby is still hungry and you don’t have any more milk to give. There could be plenty of other reasons: your baby might be tired and wants to sleep. Or your baby may just want to be attached and comforted.
The Yaya is not the final arbiter of what is good and not good for the baby. She could also be wrong in presuming that the baby is still hungry.
I’ve seen hundreds of moms with a premie babies (single or twins) and have been in countless talks and discussions about how to best breastfeed direct or give pure breastmilk to their babies. In all of them, I’d say that the success rate is high among the moms who remained positive, firm, determined, dedicated and confident that they can do it!
Finally, a pesco-vegetarian diet works best if you eat variety of foods in the proper proportions. We all know that anything that’s balance is healthy. One way you could achieve this is by dividing your plate into four sections (fish, veggies, fruits and grains). That isn’t so hard, is it?
As a Breastfeeding coach, I don’t over promise. I listen and emphatize. I figure out what works best for the mom and baby to have an enjoyable and nurturing breastfeeding experience. To all the expectant moms who are extremely excited to see, hold and nurse their precious child, I can only say to you that it would be very challenging at first, with a mix of pain, frustrations, tiredness and a lot of crying (on the part of the baby) but this is something you can overcome together. Do not give up too easily, giving in to easy milk. Here are some more tips:
- Surrounds yourself with informed choices, know your rights! Easy milk is not an option, Nursing frequent or pumping regularly is.
- Don’t focus on weight loss during the first 2weeks of birth. You still have 2-4weeks to see the improvement and you should give yourself/your body time to adjust.
- Nursing frequently even in short spurts can make a difference and your baby will be getting more than enough milk from you.
- Don’t cut the feeding. Make sure that your baby is actively feeding and not pretending. What’s worse than not being able to produce enough milk is having just a little amount of milk and this going to waste because your baby has not latched properly.
Hope you can grab a copy of my breastfeeding book… Breastfeeding Journeys… Straight from the Coach. It will inspire you. It will encourage you. It will empower you and help you on your breastfeeding journey.