Eating Meat Again…Pros & Cons

Eating Meat Again…<b>Pros & Cons</b>

April of 2017, I would have reached my six years as a pescatarian (yikes)…and based on the title of this blog, we all know that didn’t happen. Boo! I blame it on the carnivore bf. 👎🏼

Just kidding…

Real talk now. I’m still not sure if my decision was the right or wrong one or if giving up meat was ever really necessary. What I can say however, is how the past few years and now months have been, how changing a diet so drastically affected me in a good and not so good way. What not eating meat and now eating meat again has done for my body, mind & lifestyle. ‘Cause, let’s be honest…it wasn’t easy! Not when you grew up eating meaty meals and delicious Mexican food (tacooooos 🙌🏼)! It’s still not easy.

So, if you’re thinking about it…if you’re curious to know, I share some of the pros and cons of switching up the diet & trying something new below. Let’s go!

PROS

Restrict Yoself, Girl

Portion control, it’s so so very important. Giving up meat meant I had to explore new ways of eating…new places to eat & that meant no fast food. #winning

Luckily, I was living in Los Angeles at the time…looking for vegetarian places to shop and/or eat also meant shopping at healthier spots, this was all for the good. While it may be a little bit pricier, you do learn to pick and choose what you eat and therefore skip out on unhealthy snacks and unnecessary foods.

Learn About Your Bodyyyy

What fills you up, what makes you and your body happy…these are all important. Every year I completed as a pescatarian, I felt more educated on the topic of food and diet, even fitness. I needed to know what gave me the right energy to perform and tone up. For example, the first year I ate a lot of soy and tofu, I learned how to substitute it for meat and complete meals as if I was eating the same…this wasn’t the healthiest idea and I quickly learned it wasn’t what I wanted to continue doing; I then learned what I wanted to substitute as protein and that sometimes food wasn’t enough, I needed supplements.

Get Down in The Kitchen

My first month as a pescatarian, I dropped ten pounds. I wasn’t planning on losing weight and I hadn’t given up meat to lose any either. What happened was that I was cooking, two or three meals a day instead of eating out and not knowing what was going into my body. I am no chef (ask around), but I can get by and thanks to a change of diet…I know how to prep some stuff without a recipe or without having to go completely out of my way.

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CONS

Blah…Low in Energy!

The second or third month of my new diet, I had moved to a new city and I was riding my bike a lot. I clearly remember having to take one or two naps a day…whaaaaa?! I had never been the type of person to nap, I actually kinda hate it. I did some research, spoke to a few people & I learned that by simply taking some B12, I was giving my body the fuel it needed…but, I went three or four months without knowing that. It was tough!

Give Me Carbs

Biggest problema any vegetarian or pescatarian will face in the first month or so of giving up meat…substituting protein with carbs! Nooooo, SMH! Luckily, I’m not big on eating bread at all times of the day, but even after the first or second month of my diet change, I would find myself craving pastas to fill my tummy…so not the thing to do. Still something I’m working on.

No Meat? Mo Problems

It’s as if giving up meat means you will forever be the topic of conversation at any dinner party… “What? Why? How? Are you sick? No…” aaahhhh…it’s a bit of a challenge doing the no meat thing and then going over to any dinner party or any party for that matter. Then, there’s traveling.  When you’re used to finding vegetarian spots to eat at, you’ll find yourself a little lost when you’re somewhere where there aren’t any. No meat can be mo problems. 

So, there you have it…the pros & cons. While I didn’t make it to my six years as a pescatarian, can’t say for sure I never will. I am grateful for having tried something different, regardless of the challenges and for making it soooo damn far. As for now, I have learned that cooking is always a better option, and everything is best when balanced. My goals to be healthy are the same…I try to only eat good meat (grass fed) & I’ve been staying away from carbs and any processed foods. As for advice, I always say “give it a try” and you’ll eventually learn what works for you and what doesn’t.

Until next time.

XO, Jo

Side Hustling & That Full-Time Job 🙅🏻

Side Hustling & That Full-Time Job 🙅🏻

Working a full-time job and trying to get your hustle on is no joke.

Plain and simple…

On top of that, you’re trying to live a balanced life, look good, and stay sane. I mean, “Geeeeezus!” (exclamation, exclamation). I started my blog in 2010, I didn’t think much of it…I was graduating college and I wanted a job doing what I loved. I had no experience and I needed it…so, I started my blog. I wrote, kept writing, and the more I dedicated to it, the more visits my blog got. Slowly but surely, the emails started coming in, the questions and the opportunities. What I first thought of as a hobby, quickly became a side hustle.

Flash forward to an older me, older reality and a full-time job…I took a few months off recently. Not too long ago, I shared an Instagram post with a caption that read “you really do need to be passionate enough to dedicate so much time to a side hustle (the blog)”, that’s no lie. So, how does one do it, especially when you have a full-time job? As Gary Vaynerchuk recently explained in his latest You Tube vid, “you have to start documenting instead of creating…start”. His motto, just do it! So, below I share a few tips that may or may not help. If you have any questions after this, please feel free to reach out. If I can’t help, I promise to direct you to a person that can.

Do It, Mess up, Fix It, Do It Again…

When I first started blogging, blogging wasn’t what it is today. There wasn’t much help out there. So, in my case…I did a lot of trial and error. Now, you have tons of free resources out there. Still, I’d say take it as an example but find your own way of doing. What may be the “recipe to success” for someone may not work for you. First step, start doing, start trying…mess up and try again.

Commit

Those who are doing it and doing something good with it, aren’t putting in an hour a week. It takes a whole lot of commitment. Lately, I’ve been working on skipping a day at the gym to focus strictly on brainstorming and writing. Another day or two a week, I’m dedicating to photographing. What’s your work flow like and how much are you willing to commit?

Find Your Flow

Everyone has a different schedule, different goals in mind…what are yours and what will work for you? Try a few different things and I’m sure you’ll eventually come to a flow that works for you. Along with that, find the niche you’re most passionate about and find your voice and vision. Imitating is easy and the easy route is usually short-lived.

Ask for Help

You may or may not have made it this far down my blog post…if you have, you’re clearly looking for help and finding ways to get started or improve (yay!). Personally, I also study others’ work and see ways I can do it myself. Facebook communities for blogging are a great way to connect and ask questions to those with more experience…seminars and conferences are my fave though. Never stop learning, never stop asking for help. I am also constantly asking my friends, sisters, boyfriend for help in brainstorming and editing my work. It’s never really only one person doing it.

Take It Day by Day

My personal blog and brand are what I have put the most work into…along the way, I launched two, three, four different projects and blogs. Some did better than others, my personal brand is just the one I cared about the most, the one where I was able to be my genuine self and the one that’s given me the most satisfaction. I constantly tell myself this one thing, and so I’ll repeat it to you… “take it day by day”.

Questions, comments? Show me some love in the comments or shoot me a tweet, @Joanna_Renteria. XOXO

New City, New Me?

New City, New <b>Me</b>?

New city, new me…how cliché of me (hence the question mark). But yes, new city, that one’s true. For those of you who know me or those friends who share my IG Stories and Snap adventures with me, you’ve probably witnessed some of my transition, if not all. For everyone else, last year I made a choice of moving back to the good ol’ bay, the city I once lived in back in my “heeeey” day (like how I did that?). So, shortly after celebrating my four years in Los Angeles, I was on my way to San Francisco.

Now, back to the new me part…there’s no newness to me really but it feels that way sometimes. Returning to a city I had done a lot of growing in, coming back around this time, things felt new and better. This could also have to do with the fact that I am returning as a grown woman (sorta)…29, almost and this time around I’m no college sorority girl living wild & free…(for the most part). You know when you get to a point in your life and you start reflecting… like, “what was I thinking back then?” and then you begin loving and accepting yourself for who you truly are and are actually thankful for the bumps you’ve encountered? Yah, that’s sorta where I am now. I feel new…

Now, a resident of San Francisco and a sorta grown woman…I sit at a café, the one down the street from my apartment. Laptop open, coffee by my side and I sit and think…what am I really getting to? What has really made me change? Where am I at now (mentally and emotionally)? After a few minutes of pacing back and forth and a lot of latte sipping, I listed some of the answers below. What have I learned so far, in my 20s and what will I take with me to my 30s? Here we go…

1. No one will love you enough…

“Geeze, way to set the tone!” Right?…but no, really. No one will ever love you enough, only you can do that for you. Additional love is always welcome and will only bring more love and joy to you, but it all starts from within. I learned this one a few years back, I was single. It took a lot of soul searching and heart break to get this one, to fully understand. Now, happy in love…I can only say it’s 100% true.

2. Nope, you’re not where you want to be…that is OK.

After a career change a few years back, I felt that I needed to start up again and it felt quite frustrating. “If I had stuck it out, I’d probably be a whole lot more successful than I am today”…I would tell myself. While that could be true, I know 100% that I would not be happier. Things change, passions change, you always have to follow your heart and listen to your gut… things will eventually play out the way you never thought they would, just trust. 😉

3. Traveling really is everything!

I think it has to do with the fact that I am the daughter of two very hardworking immigrants, but for a very long time, I thought work was all I needed to do and invest my time in. Travel was always something I wanted to do but never saw it as a priority…after taking a few trips here and there and big ones across seas; I’ve begun to see life very differently. I’ve felt the happiest (no pair of gucci’s can give you that). It’s motivated me and given life a different meaning…more living, more to share.

4. It all comes from within…

This one is a lot like number 1…but there’s gotta be a lot of emphasis on this one, it’s important. I’ve been investing a lot of my time and efforts to eating clean, balancing things out, and working out consistently. The moment I stop or I make a bad choice, it all comes tumbling down…it’s simple. Start taking care of yourself, for real… you’ll see everything start working out.

5. You never ever stop learning and growing!

I come across this one every so often… I do a lot of self-growth and entrepreneurial reading. After reading it so many times, I  began to actually pay attention to what it meant and how it affected me. I took notes, I opened up my mind a little, at work and with relationships…a little reminder never hurt anyone. Take a moment to stop and listen.

As I take the last sip of my latte and a last glance at my blog…I feel some sort of relief. I missed blogging, I missed sharing, reflecting, and writing it all down. As I settle in my new city and make it home again, I want to share even more. Stay tuned, I promise…there will be so much more.

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Questions, comments? Show me some love in the comments or shoot me a tweet, @Joanna_Renteria. XOXO

Photography by: Sindoora Satyavada