Meal prep can be a great way to save money. It’s also something many people do when trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Pescatarian meal prep is a great combination of those two. You save money meal prepping versus spending money for seafood at a restaurant, and there are many health benefits that come with it.
But, let’s be honest. Pescatarian is an intimidating word. You might have a number of questions just looking at the word: What does it mean? What does it have to do with my diet and how do you do pescatarian meal prep? ThinkFit is here to answer those questions!
What exactly is the pescatarian diet? In short, it involves a diet where you eat seafood but not meat.
The word pescatarian combines “pesce,” which means fish in Italian, and the word vegetarian. The diet itself originated circa 1993, when those who only ate seafood and no other meat combined the Italian word “pesce” with vegetarian.
Pescetarianism refers to the practice of following the diet of eating only seafood as your source of “meat” and otherwise adhering to a vegetarian diet (this makes sense given the formation of the name).
The pescatarian diet has been gaining lots of popularity. Why, you might ask? Not only is it better for the environment by cutting out meat, but it also has many health benefits.
Let’s get into some of those benefits:
1. Seafood is a great source of omega-3s and vitamin D, so there is no need to take additional supplements to get these nutrients while on this diet.
2. It is also low in calories, which is great for those who are looking to lose weight.
3. It is more environmentally friendly than a diet composed of meat.
4. Incorporating fish allows for more protein options than a solely vegetarian diet. Sometimes it can be hard to get enough protein with only vegetarian options, so the addition of seafood is great for those looking to add more protein to their diets without having to eat meat.
5. There can also be many potential health benefits with this diet, including lower blood pressure and lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes and inflammation.
Pescatarian meal prep is a great way to reach your wellness goals, which we want to be a part of. ThinkFit is committed to your health and wellness, and we are looking to be one of the best resources for your nutritional and fitness needs.
You might be wondering, what do pescatarians typically eat?
We have some examples of do’s and don'ts for you! Below are just some of the many options available.
- What to eat
- Grain products
- Legumes (beans, lentils, tofu)
- Fish and shellfish
- Dairy products (yogurt, cheese, milk)
- What not to eat
- All other meats (beef, chicken, pork, lamb, etc.)
After seeing all of these options, you might be asking yourself, how do I meal prep while following the pescatarian diet? Well, they actually go hand in hand. You can meal prep with practically any diet you are on!
Here are some quick general tips for meal prepping:
1. Get organized. Plan out ahead what you intend on making for the week ahead, so you are not scrambling last minute to throw something together.
2. Invest in meal prep containers! We have some great meal prep containers and bags available to you.
3. Variety is key. Sometimes meal prep means the same thing all the time, which can discourage those looking for variety. This does not have to be the case as you are the one who is prepping your meals, so be sure to switch it up frequently. We don’t want you to get bored having the same meals all the time because that takes the fun out of meal prep.
Let’s get into pescatarian meal prep for beginners.
Meal prep and the pescatarian diet go hand in hand. We have outlined some common mistakes to avoid with meal prep in general on our website! Those are great to look at when you are beginning your meal prep journey, so you are aware of what you should not do. Be sure to check those out before you begin.
The only difference with pescatarian meal prep is that you’ll need more time to cook and prepare your seafood for the week ahead. Nonetheless, it’s well worth it.
You should not let the potentially longer prep time with this diet influence your decision to try it out. We have already mentioned multiple health benefits that come with the pescatarian diet, so you should focus on all the positives this diet offers.
Another thing that might influence your opinion of this diet is that seafood can be expensive, but we don’t want that to keep you from trying out pescatarian meal prep.
First, you can try using canned seafood for lunches. Not only does this save you money, but it also makes the prep time for lunch a lot shorter than having to cook your seafood. Some great canned options for seafood include tuna, salmon and clams.
Second, look at the frozen seafood items when you are at the grocery store. You often can’t buy seafood in bulk in the frozen section, so this really is a bang for your buck! Also, just because it isn’t fresh seafood, that doesn’t mean it won’t be just as good! Follow the instructions on the pack and add some of your favorite seasoning, and your tastebuds will be blown away.
Third, watch for seafood sales! Grocery stores commonly bring in seafood for special sales throughout the year. These are great opportunities to stock up and save money.
Looking for an inexpensive and quick example to get you started?
Here is a recipe that is budget friendly and delicious: baked tilapia with parmesan crust!
Tilapia is a great seafood to use when you plan to do pescatarian meal prep on a budget. This dish can also be paired with a side of your choosing. Sides for a pescatarian diet can be a great way to incorporate variety. There are many veggies that go great with seafood.
Will seafood spoil quickly if I prep for the whole week?
Fresh seafood tends to spoil quickly because of the composition of fats and amino acids in its structure. There are some ways that prevent it from spoiling fast if you aren’t quite ready to cook your fresh seafood. After you rinse off your seafood, dry it with a paper towel. Then, place it into a container with ice and place it into the refrigerator. This will help any uncooked portions keep longer.
After cooking and portioning in meal prep containers, your seafood can last up to four or five days, which works for most meal prepping situations. Just make sure to keep everything in the refrigerator and use ice packs when transporting any pescatarian meal prep.
If you prep for longer periods of time you can freeze some of your meals and pull them out at the end of the week to make sure you're never concerned about consuming an unsafe meal. Just remember to always defrost in the refrigerator, not on the counter, and to use ice packs during transport.
Here’s a list of potential seafood items you can purchase at the grocery store:
Since the pescatarian diet is otherwise vegetarian besides seafood, be sure you are stocking up on those ingredients as well! Seafood products pair well with many vegetarian items, like fresh vegetables and grain products.
All of your meals do not have to include seafood. For example, you might not want to incorporate seafood into your breakfast, which is totally understandable (but we do love some smoked salmon in the morning).
Not sure what to prepare for breakfast?
Here are some make ahead savory oatmeal cups from She Likes Food. These check off all the boxes of a pescatarian diet. They are also easy to make and make for a perfect breakfast bite if you are in a hurry! Feeling something sweet but still healthy for breakfast?
She Likes Food also has a recipe for healthy baked oatmeal cups!
Now that we’ve covered the basics of Pescatarian Meal Prep, let’s get into some great recipes!
Pescatarian Lunch Recipes:
What’s the biggest fear about having seafood for lunch?
You guessed it: heating up seafood at work and the associated smells.
If you are at work and need to heat up your meal, it can get smelly. The best tip to avoid a smelly lunch is to avoid heating it up for more than 30 seconds. If you let it go more than that, the fish starts cooking all the way through and will smell.
But, all our great lunch recipes are meant to be eaten without heating them up keeping you and your co-workers in high spirits!
This first lunch recipe is a tomato salad with avocado, tuna, cilantro and lime from Kayln’s Kitchen.
Another great option for lunch are these meal-prep shrimp taco bowls from Gimme Delicious.
The shrimp are coated in various seasoning, which gives a spicy flare to the dish, and it only takes 25 minutes to prepare these flavor packed bowls!
A third option for lunch is this Mediterranean salmon bowl from Beauty Bites.
This bowl is packed with veggies. It also comes with options. You can meal prep this bowl by storing the dressing into separate containers, and there are different options to make this low-carb and to swap out the salad base.
Pescatarian Dinner Recipes.
This first recipe is from The Kitchen. It’s an easy bang bang shrimp pasta.This pasta dish is light as it involves roasting the shrimp instead of frying them, and it swaps out mayo for Greek yogurt. There is no need to feel guilty for eating this pasta dish.
For this second dinner recipe, we had to include fish tacos.
These fish tacos with avocado crema from Slender Kitchen are easy to make and full of flavor! The nice thing about tacos is that they are versatile. Fish is a great option to keep the tacos light, but you are also able to interchange any additional toppings as you see fit.
This next recipe for grilled halibut is from delish.
This dish gets even better with the mango salsa that tops it off. This recipe makes for a great light dinner. There are no sides included in this recipe, but don’t be discouraged! We recommend pairing it with some of your favorite vegetables or maybe even some whole grain rice.
These are only a few of many recipes out there to get you started on your pescatarian meal prep journey. Something to keep in mind: you can pretty much add seafood to any vegetarian dish. You do not have to go searching for pescatarian recipes. You can easily add the seafood of your choice to your favorite vegetarian meal!
Another question you might have: Can I lose weight with pescatarian meal prep?
The answer is yes! The pescatarian diet has many benefits, one of which is potential weight loss.
How does this diet potentially help you lose weight? If done right, pescatarian meal prep is full of high-fiber, nutrient-dense and low-calorie foods. Since the pescatarian diet should meet all of your nutrient requirements and is low calorie, you should be able to lose weight if that is your goal.
The important thing to remember is portion control. If you are looking to lose weight, you need to control your portions and create a healthy calorie deficit. If you don’t watch your portions, the calories will start adding up fast, which, in turn, won’t help you lose weight.
The key thing to remember is, if you are looking to lose weight, portion out your meals with the weight loss in mind. You want to make sure you are getting enough nutrients and calories to fill you up, but you don’t want to overpack your meals to the point where you are always feeling stuffed and bloated.
Some final words from the ThinkFit team:
We hope we have provided you with some great ideas for pescatarian meal prep. ThinkFit wants you to remember that we are right here alongside you to help you reach your nutrition and fitness goals.
Focusing on pescatarian meal prep is a great option if you are looking for a well-rounded nutritional diet! It adds a great source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids to an otherwise healthy vegetarian lifestyle.
Don’t let the potential cost of this diet discourage you! You can buy canned and frozen seafood and watch for sales to help limit the cost. There are so many benefits to this diet that cost should not influence your decision to try it out.
One final reminder: you are not alone on your fitness journey. ThinkFit wants to be a resource for you. We know it can be hard to start meal prep, which is why we are here to help. We want to be a part of your success story.
Be sure to follow #pescatarianmealprep on Instagram for even more recipe ideas, and don’t forget to tag @thinkfitproducts. We want to see what pescatarain meal prep ideas you come up with!