Meet Stephanie Harris-Uyidi, The Posh Pescatarian

by Michelle Seekamp

White sand beaches, warm tropical breezes, cool blue oceans and fresh seafood. While for most of us that describes an exotic (and far too infrequent) resort getaway, for Stephanie Harris-Uyidi, it's her kitchen.

Stephanie is the well-traveled host of The Posh Pescatarian, a vibrant, colorful and delicious look at what it means to live a healthy lifestyle in a world overflowing with flavorful, culinary, and cultural experiences to be had. Stephanie is not only an adventurous cook and eater, she is an adventurer who uses her experiences to inspire the recipes you'll find on the show and in her latest cookbook. From the places she explores, to the people she meets through her travels, we think Stephanie is certainly living a "posh" life. 

We recently had the chance to catch up with Stephanie in some rare down-time for the cooking show star to chat about the upcoming premiere of her show on Z Living Monday, March 28 at 9pm. Stephanie shared some of her secrets for finding inspiration to lead a healthy lifestyle. Her energy is infectious and her food delicious, so while we wait to live vicariously through her latest adventures in the upcoming season, we'll have to satisfy our taste for adventure with a spin around the seafood aisle at our local market. 

Q: What is The Posh Pescatarian?  
Stephanie: The Posh Pescatarian is a lifestyle. The TV show is an instructional guide of sorts. My mission is to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle mentally and physically. This means trying new recipes, taking on new challenges and living life to its fullest.  

I love when my friends and family come back from vacation and tell me that they “did the Posh thing,” which basically means they had an extraordinary travel experience that encompassed a fabulous location, good food, adventure and shopping.     

Q: What’s your favorite things about shooting the show? 
Stephanie: Oddly enough, one of my favorite parts of the show is planning the episodes. My assistant and I have fun researching locations, adventures, farmers markets, menu planning and reading up on my instructors. 

Q: What is a Pescatarian? What are some of the health benefits? 
Stephanie: My favorite way to describe a pescatarian is a vegetarian that supplements their diet with seafood. My lifestyle incorporates healthy eating and lots of physical activity.

Seafood is remarkable and has great health benefits. It is high in protein and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, or the "good" fats. Omega-3s provide a number of health benefits such as helping to maintain a healthy heart, reducing depression, and halting mental decline as we age. The nutritional value of fish is vital for growth and development before birth, in early infancy for breastfed infants, and in childhood.

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times a week. It is important to choose fish that are lower in mercury. Wild salmon, black cod, trout and sardines are good choices. Avoid the four types of fish with the highest mercury levels: tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel.

Q: How did you become Pescatarian?
Stephanie: I became a pescatarian about fifteen years ago. For a period of a few weeks, I had been feeling sluggish and unwell. I had a pretty stressful job in the music industry at the time so I thought it was feeling the results of burnout. I met with a nutritionist who put me on a fast. As I began to slowly re-introduce things back into my diet, we discovered that my digestive system no longer appreciated meat. So, I embraced the pescatarian lifestyle with gusto.

*for more on Stephanie's journey to becoming a vegetarian, check out her video on YouTube on the subject.

Q: What is the biggest piece of advice you have for someone looking to improve health through their diet? 
Stephanie: I get asked this question a lot. I am not a health care provider, so I can only share what I found to be true for myself. I have found that improving my health through food is a lifestyle, not a trend, so if you are serious about improving your health long-term, you have to be ready to make a commitment.

Q: What are you loving/eating right now?Posh Pescatarian Greek Salmon
Stephanie: I have been obsessed with branzino for the last few months. I buy it whole and have experimented with it in a number of different ways. I currently love it barbecued, stuffed with lemon wedges and slathered with sea salt and grape seed oil.

Q: Is Seafood seasonal? 
Stephanie: Yes, just like produce, seafood is seasonal and local. But with modern flash freezing techniques and global shipping, you can eat well all year round. Keep in mind that some things are better fresh than frozen, like Santa Barbara Spot Prawns and oysters. There are various guides available if you are curious. The Monterey Bay Aquarium produces one of my favorites.

Q: Where do you love to eat/shop in LA? 
: One of my favorite places shop in LA is the Garment District. It is so much fun wandering around the area, checking out the latest fashions, fabrics, and shoes. I get lost down there.

I enjoy eating, but I am a cook at heart! I am an ingredients fanatic and the San Fernando Valley is where I love to shop for spices, herbs and fresh ingredients. There are tons of ethnic markets in the valley including places like Raffi’s, Vallarta, Mitsuwa, Valley Produce, and India Sweets and Spices to name a few.

Q: What/who inspires you to stay healthy? 
Stephanie: My family totally inspires me! I want to be hiking in my 70s like my mom. My goal is to live a long productive and active life for as long as I can.

Join Stephanie for the premiere of The Posh Pescatarian season 2 premiering Monday, March 28 at 9pm on Z Living.
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