The Flexitarian Diet

The Flexitarian Diet

I have a weird diet that I labeled, “Vegan-ish.” For the most part I eat plant based, but I enjoy meat occasionally. Little did I know this diet has already been given a name. It’s called the Flexitarian Diet. Essentially, it’s a flexible alternative to being a vegetarian. So, you’re still focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts, but you occasionally still enjoy meat.

Thinking of making the switch to flexitarian?

To start, it’s recommended to forgo meat two days a week. In the beginning stage you should keep your overall meat consumption to no more than 28 ounces a week for the five days you do consume it.

The overall goal of the flexitarian diet is to eat more plant-based foods and less meat. When you do incorporate meat into your diet, choose organic, free-range, pasture-raised or grass-fed beef, chicken or turkey. And always choose leaner cuts to minimize extra animal fat.

Load up on fruits, vegetables, plant proteins (beans such as black, kidney or navy, edamame, chickpeas, lentils, tofu), whole grains (brown rice, oats, barley, quinoa), plant-based milk (although dairy milk is OK in moderation), eggs, dairy (cheese, yogurt or dairy alternatives), nuts, nut butters, seeds and healthy fats, oils, herbs and spices.

Limit meat and poultry (lean cuts of beef, chicken breast, turkey breast), fish (salmon, tilapia, cod, shrimp), and anything with added sugar or refined carbohydrates.

With the holidays approaching, I’m not sure if it’s the best time to start a new diet. This might be a good option to keep as a New Year’s resolution.

  Ready for a lifestyle change? Learn more about the flexitarian diet.