Junior Mabel Nguyen has refused to consume any meat, except fish, for the past nearly four years. She finds joy in opting for healthier food alternatives. In doing so, she has grown physically and mentally.
“Becoming pescetarian made me feel better about what I ate and my diet. It led me to explore new dishes as I started to prepare more of my own meals,” Nguyen said. “I also started to eat cleaner foods and have a healthier lifestyle.”
Nguyen was attending summer school before 8th grade when she and her friend junior Zina Tran decided to try out a week-long vegetarian diet. She grew fond of the diet and found herself eating meat less often. What started out as a playful challenge with her friend transformed into a newfound appreciation for all foods healthy and meat-free.
Eventually, she made a full switch to pescetarianism because it was more convenient for her. Her dad is a sushi chef, which in turn, means that her family eats seafood frequently.
“I first found out about what the pescetarian diet was from a Youtuber I watched, Weylie [Hoang], who became pescetarian herself,” Nguyen said.
Although she has faced many positive outcomes from switching her diet, Nguyen has also struggled. However, she notes that being pescetarian is easier than being vegetarian.
“Sometimes my grandpa would say I would be weak without meat, and it really annoyed me at times, but now he doesn’t do it as often,” Nguyen said. “I’ve also struggled with finding dishes to eat at certain restaurants.”
Being pescetarian is not the only alteration Nguyen has made to her diet. She chooses baked, whole wheat, reduced sugar, and or reduced sodium options when possible. Nguyen uses sugar substitutes, opting for 25% sugar whenever she gets boba. She also tends to avoid eating high-fat foods, such as chips, and does not eat past 8 p.m.
Nguyen wants to become vegetarian or vegan in the near future when she would have more control over the types of groceries she can buy and would no longer have to confine to her parents’ diets.