If you are looking to add more plant to your diet but still not sure to completely cut out animal products, try flexitarian .
For many of us chicken, beef and fish are convenient and familiar sources of protein. It is also widely available and affordable. However, we also aware about the catastrophic damage of to the environment and our health caused by animal agriculture. So what should we do ? For those who still can’t wrap our head around becoming a vegetarian, the flexitarian diet can be a great alternative.
What is the Flexitarian Diet ?
The flexitarian diet was created by dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner to help people reap the benefits of vegetarian eating while still enjoying animal products (meat or fish) in moderation. That’s why the name of this diet is a combination of the words flexible and vegetarian.
The flexitarian philosophy puts emphasis on adding more whole, minimally processed foods to your diets rather than restricting less healthy ones. While vegans completely restrict meat fish, eggs, dairy and all animal-derived food products, the essence of the flexitarian diet is that it’s flexible and not overly prescriptive. Flexitarian fosters sustainable healthy eating habits that can help you improve your health in the long run.
The principles of Flexitarian Diet
- eat mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains
- focus on protein from plants instead of animals
- Be flexible and reduce meat and animal products from time to time
- Eat the least processed foods – more natural form of foods
- Limit added sugars, sweets and preservatives
How to start Flexitarian Diet
- Add, dont subtract. Adding foods to your eating habits naturally crowds to those you want to eat less. Dont worry about going vegetarian at first, just start adding in more plant-based foods.
- 50/50 swap. try to eat half as much poultry and meat at meals and add plant proteins such as black beans, pinto beans, edamame, lentils, to fill the gap
- Start slowly & be flexible. If you are a big meat eater, consider to swap one meat-heavy meal a day for a vegetarian meal (check and follow #meatlessmonday movement). You can gradually work your way to more meatless days or up to 15 plant-based meals per week.
- Get of plant-based protein. Check out legumens, lentils, tofu, tempeh that greatly help to satisfy and rescue loss of lean muscle mass.
So, are you ready to give this flexible approach to healthy eating a try ?
Share with your flexitarian experience with us below !