HOW TO START LIVING AS A FLEXITARIAN
The word flexitarian is a combination of flexible and vegetarian, and it describes a person who eats a primarily plant-based diet, but who occasionally enjoys chicken, fish, or red meat. More of us should follow this eating style if we are interested in better health, lower weight, a longer life, and reduced chances of chronic and deadly diseases.
After my years of bikini fitness competitions, losing my mom to cancer, my father being diagnosed with diabetes 2… I did my research on the Diet Dilemma. What is it about these diets that don´t work!? Any diet fitness program out there will tell you how to eat right and exercise but what does that really mean? Well after researching I found this article that summarized an independent study, published in the Annual Review of Public Health in 2014. They reviewed every major diet out there and concluded, ” A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.” In another word Real Food wins. My diet is flexible focusing on natural plant-based food and foods that don´t include long ingredient lists.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE FLEXITARIAN DIET?
The flexitarian diet is a cross between the modifiable diet and a normal vegetarian diet. The flexible diet entails eating whatever you prefer, at any time, as long as it suits into a personalized macronutrient (“macro”) ratio. This, coupled with vegetarianism, aims to offer all the benefits of a largely plant-based diet while letting the dieter to eat the occasional animal protein every time they see fit.
The diet is still mostly plant-based but doesn’t require you to give up meat completely. So if burgers are an important part of your diet — and you enjoy eating them — you can still follow a diet plan that might help you lose weight without having to wave goodbye to your go-to protein sources (e.g., beef).
The flexitarian diet isn’t much different from the diet vegetarians follow. You will get the majority of your calories from plant foods such as beans, vegetables, fruits, grains, eggs, and dairy products.
Tips: Buy organic meat whenever you can or meat from a farmer that you know, has not been feeding them with antibiotics etc.
My definition of being flexitarian.
- Flexitarian Eats Socially What Others Are Eating: You still get to keep up your social life. Although today it is way easier than it was before, to find Restaurants that are 100% Vegan or Vegetarians. Some flexitarians eat a vegetarian diet when alone or with other vegetarians or vegans. In the company of omnivores, however, you can eat what is served. During the holidays when traditional family meals are served many people who generally eat a meat-free diet will break bread with their family. Holiday meals are often based on turkey, ham, or whatever meat has become the family tradition. Flexitarians join their tribe for the celebration.
- Flexitarian Wants To Eat A Nutritionally Complete Healthy Diet. At least myself. Like I mentioned before I focus on eating real food and don´t like to eat packaged processed food even if it is vegan. Because being vegan doesn´t tell me you eat healthily. Many people believe a meat-free and fish-free diet can’t possibly provide all the nutrients required for health. Or they may believe it possible, but quite difficult so they supplement their diet with beans, quinoa, for example.
- I Am Committed To Eating At Least 2 RAW Veggie Portions Per Day. Some vegetables are best eaten raw but the nutritional content of some foods such as carrots and tomatoes actually increases when cooked.
- Flexitarian Craves Tastes And Textures Of Meat, Poultry, Or Seafood. Cravings can happen anytime. I choose meat in moderation as same goes with milk products. But if I want a hamburger I enjoy a guilt-free hamburger.
P.s I don´t eat fries. Unfortunately my older daughter has been introduced to fries but to be honest I don´t like it when she eats them. But this is what is on Kids Menu in many Restaurants, so yes occasionally we have ended up ordering fries for her.
Conclusion: I am not vegetarian I do enjoy a home cooked chicken meal without angst, however, I prefer plant-based diet for my health. I Do Support Animal Causes. I am an animal lover but as I cannot see 100% that being Vegan suits my health I cannot be 100% Vegan.
Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietician or a doctor. This is my own opinion and my experience. I have been living the flexitarian eating lifestyle since late 2014 and always learning more about health plant-based nutritious diet.