Attempting to (re)introduce fish into my diet and my home… & it’s gonna be tough

My numbers suck. That’s what it comes down to. I’ve spent a while working on my iron deficiency (ebbing and flowing, namely because my diet over the past year has been awful and I’ve relapsed in regards to my ED a few times), and now I’m more concerned about my cholesterol A1C and my 10+ years hovering in the “pre-diabetes” range.

Things aren’t gonna improve til I actually figure out what needs doing and make a plan, and a back-up plan. I can’t afford to wing it anymore, dietary or budget-wise. I can’t just put it on my to-do list, or look up a few recipes. Time to make life better and if I want to make it long (and give it a chance to get better), then I’d better start eating and sleeping better. I’ve been researching on this off and on all day. And I’ve got a blood test and appointment in a few weeks, and I’d like to have more stable numbers (mostly for iron, but I hope some improvement in A1C will show as well).

I’ve gotten out of the habit of taking my iron (down to every few days, so I’m actually scheduling that) and everything else I’ve bought. Supplements are kinda stupid if you never use ’em, so I spent the day doing some research to see what I’ve got plenty of (the typical multivitamin’s composition and percentages seem to have much of it covered already, so not much else to get if needed). It’s mainly to make sure I don’t go buying stuff I most certainly don’t need.

And yes, I know. I know, I know, I know. Let the eye-rolling commence:

I should be getting plenty of vitamins and minerals through my food and good food choices, not pills or gummies.

Having too many vitamins aren’t gonna do you any favors and could actually hurt you (hence the reason I was looking at percentages on the websites and labels so I don’t end up with 4000% of something for no good reason).

Supplements are largely unregulated and have a ton of problems because people do who knows what with the formulas for a buck (especially those damned MLM supplements. I’ve been watching those Anti-MLM vids… again… a LOT the past few days, thank you Illuminaughti.)

For me, especially right now, these supplements are just a bridge, a bit of a stopgap as I change my diet and try to incorporate more healthy food… and make it a habit. When I do a major overhaul of my diet, I’ve noticed general crappy feelings and weakness. At least if my diet overhaul makes me a little ill because things have changed too fast, the supplements make it so I have SOME vitamins and minerals in my system as my flighty stomach sorts itself out. Hopefully I’ll just be down to a multivitamin at most in a year or two and eat enough healthy natural stuff that I won’t even feel the need for that anymore.

Though I gotta admit, the childish part of me thinks it’s funny to look in the toilet and see pee that looks radioactive thanks to said vitamins.

But back to the numbers and trying to improve them.

One thing that seems to be a common thing in my research is fatty fish for the Omega-3s. And that’s where the worry comes in, because I want to be away from supplements and have regular food with a balanced diet, but I’m a bit paranoid about fish for many reasons.

I get what they’re saying, and fish is considered brain food for a reason. But aside from heating up pre-cooked shrimp in a box-mix jambalaya or gumbo on the stovetop or throwing some frozen, breaded triangles that are supposed to be fillets in the oven, I have no clue how to best cook seafood.

Once in a while I’ve gotten the hankering for fish and got those breaded fillets. The trouble is, I’ve also learned that fried foods are a major trigger for me. Something about the smell and texture of fried ANYTHING make me overindulge and get badly sick. I decided to avoid getting an air fryer because this is issue now. I didn’t know how bad it was until I’d been away from fast food and fried stuff for a week over the holidays and felt great.

Then I got back in the habit of going to work, and unthinkingly got some fast food after work because I was hungry (when I could’ve waited 20 more minutes to get home). But habits do that to you–you don’t think. So what happened? I went right back that night to that lethargic shitty-feeling, and it continued for over a week as each day I got more and more fried food.

I only felt well when I avoided it entirely, though it’s like detoxing my system and my mood and my rolling gut are all over the place. I’ll consider that a harsh reminder to not be so stupid again. This weekend “fried-food detox” was hell on my stomach, but good tea and small meals helped.

Yeah, I don’t wanna keep tripping into that rabbit hole. So the typical go-to of fried fish is gonna have to be out for the count. And the greasiness just turns me off after a while… at least, in the kinds I’ve heated up. So pre-packaged oven-fried fish is just not gonna happen. I can’t afford to let it. Anyhoo–

The least worrying but most tricky thing to me regarding fish in my diet, though, is I don’t really know what to look for in good fish. And the idea of getting something with a head and eyes attached, and touching it when preparing it? I mean, seeing it on TV is one thing, but getting it and touching it myself? I get wigged out when my fingers are in the fish tank and one of the little platys wriggles around one of them by accident. Scares the crap out of me. I get squeamish pulling the little dead guys out of the tank and flushing ’em. A foot-long sucker with a big ol’ eyeball right there in front of me? Uh, no. Even if there was no head to deal with, the skin and bones would be something to have to learn how to deal with. Maybe I’ll give it a shot in a year or so when I’d get some experience and had more money to experiment.

Gordon Ramsay’s masterclass makes it look kinda easy and almost fun, but I know I’d screw it up a LOT.

And then there’s the lack of transparency when it comes to getting fish, and getting the right fish for the recipe or at the store. The stats on mislabeled fish and what’s actually available freak me out. I have enough stomach issues and would hate to accidentally get Escolar because of mislabeled Tuna… feeling sick just thinking about it (It’s happened to people I knew, not just on Adam Ruins Everything). Makes me wonder if restaurants can’t get it right, and they usually get the best picks from fishmongers, what hope is there for us plebs at the neighborhood grocery store? And how fresh is it all?

Yeah, I’m making myself a bit paranoid. I’d love to learn how to cook it, but I admit I’m rather squeamish about it. I’ve always been a bit squeamish about fresh fish. I only ever saw it when it was already cooked. And the idea that you should have at least 3 servings a week for brain health? I’m gonna have to do some serious research for recipe ideas, cooking tips, selection tips, etc. for the next few weeks.

In the meantime, I’ll add some Omega-3 supplements to my morning routine. I used to get flaxseed, but ended up with Fish Oil last time. Ugh. My biggest hope for incorporating fish and making it a habit is the hope that real fish will have less of a fishy aftertaste than those damned capsules.

FYI: “burpless” formula my ass–I hate the fishy aftertaste that comes right when I’m trying to enjoy my first coffee of the morning, or my breakfast, or sometimes even my lunch if it’s early enough. I can’t imagine much worse than that so early. Grr…

Twin Gifs. O Gif Peaks, come preferite. - Serial Minds ...

Okay, strike that. THAT scenario would be flat-out traumatizing.

3 thoughts on “Attempting to (re)introduce fish into my diet and my home… & it’s gonna be tough

  1. buddy71 says:

    iron can be constipating. farmed salmon has color added. farmed fish may have additives you may not want. even if you can not get fresh wild caught fish, frozen wild caught should be your next best. a good post and good luck

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      Yeah, that’s the worry. They can slap a nice label on anything, but you can’t be sure, and heaven forbid I fork over my dwindling money reserves (fish is damned expensive) for something with tons of mercury in it or is practically undigestible. I used to eat fish ONLY in seafood places that knew how to prep it, but that would’ve been crazy expensive to do all the time. Wish there were cooking classes around here so I could observe and learn hands-on and feel more comfortable. Only so much you can learn from cookbooks and videos, after all.


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