For a long time, there have been two popular choices when it comes to choosing your diet. It’s either you eat every kind of food, or you completely avoid meat and fish.
Being a vegetarian is what you call the latter. These are people who choose to consume vegetables only. They do this out of respect for animals, religious beliefs, and to be healthier. However, most people want to eat a healthy diet and try vegetarianism but want to take it slowly or not as strict. That’s where a flexitarian diet comes in handy.
What is flexitarian or semi-vegetarianism
Flexitarian or semi-vegetarianism is a diet in which you don’t completely eliminate any kind of animal product. While the diet still mostly revolves around fresh vegetables and fruits, the inclusion of fish, poultry, eggs, honey, etc. is a breath of fresh air.
While vegans and vegetarians don’t completely respect flexitarians, it is a great way for curious people to break the ice of veganism or vegetarianism. It is an excellent transition diet for people who want to ease their way into a vegetarian/vegan diet or for those who don’t want to give up all animal products but want to eat a healthy diet. In other words, a flexitarian is someone who actively integrates meatless meals into his or her diet.
Opportunity for a healthier life
Flexitarian or semi-vegetarianism is actually a smart concept of diet. The idea of not completely eliminating meat opens up more opportunity for a healthier life. It is also easier to get into because there is a more loose set of rules. Unlike vegans and vegetarians, flexitarians have the liberty to enjoy chicken or salmon meals every once in a while. One problem of committing to veganism and vegetarianism is that it is, for many of us, hard to maintain. The discipline you need to maintain it will, most of the time, lead to frustrations.
How going the flexitarian way changed our lives for the better
We have been flexitarians for years. My hubby was a huge carnivore in the past and for him, going the flexitarian way was the best solution to reduce meat drastically, improve health, and don’t feel deprived of the foods he loves to eat.
Going the flexitarian way has done so much for our family in terms of health and happiness. Through living a more plant-based lifestyle, I was able to get rid of the extra padding I was caring around, and it significantly improved my inherited cholesterol levels and heart rhythm disorder.
But that is not the most amazing transformation our family went through. Going the flexitarian way significantly improved my hubby’s quality of life.
He hasn’t had a single multiple sclerosis (MS) flare-up for years and is successfully off his weekly, sick-making interferon injections since 2014.
No issues what so ever. We haven’t felt happier and healthier as we feel today. All thanks to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
UPDATE 2017: Since September 2017 we have been eating a nearly 100% plant-based or vegan diet and we both feel great. But again, this choice is up to you. Only when you feel ready for it.
What can you eat as a flexitarian?
Flexitarians, just like what the name suggests, consume eggs, honey, fish, lean meats (preferably chicken or turkey) and other animal products occasionally. Some prefer to have one small serving a day, others consume animals products on a weekly or even monthly basis. It’s all flexible and may change over time. We eat meat or fish in about 2-3 meals a week. All the other meals are vegetarian and a lot of them are vegan too.
The main takeaway from this is it prevents monotony and boredom. Flexitarians have the flexibility in their diet that vegans or vegetarians lack. Unlike veganism, it is easier to promote flexitarian or semi-vegetarianism to family and friends. The presence of an escape in the form of fish and lean meats.
The number of dishes you can make with fish and poultry along with vegetables is countless and not to mention delicious. The variety flexitarians have is like an open arm for newcomers that reel them in.
Leaving out meats means leaving chunks of nutrition out, too. Protein and vitamin B12 are 2 main nutrients that you get in huge amounts in fish and poultry. This means that whatever nutrition you are missing out from vegetables can be easily complemented by fish and poultry meat. This will lead you to a better and healthy life.
ALSO READ: Vitamin B12 Deficiency, A Silent Epidemic
Since you still have a vegetable-based diet, for the most part, you are also reaping the benefits of a more cost-effective diet. In terms of economic benefits, flexitarians still enjoy the low risk, high reward set up of vegans and vegetarians. They only have the added factor of occasional fish and lean meats.
Flexitarian or semi-vegetarianism, by the end of the day, is another great innovation in the field of diet technology. It is a more approachable vegetable or plant-based diet that curious people can try.
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Thanks for reading. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.