Are you considering making changes to your diet? Maybe planning on going vegetarian but can’t quite cope with the thought of giving up the good ol’ bacon sandwich? Then there is good news–you have your own “tarian” tag.
Increasing in popularity, the flexitarian diet adopts a predominately plant-based diet with the occasional addition of meat. Some may be forgiven for thinking that this diet is a cop out, as it doesn’t require one to be totally committed to being vegan/vegetarian, and therefore basically gives the best of both worlds. Not true, friends: There are many reasons why somebody may choose to be a flexitarian, with the most obvious being the flexibility of the diet. Followers can choose to consume meat on a sliding scale of very occasionally (say, only on one day a week) or very frequently (only having one meat-free day a week). And this ability to personalize the diet to what is best for you is very, very 2017.
Even Whole Foods (!) agrees, going so far as to predict it as one of the key food trends for 2017:
“In 2017, consumers will embrace a new, personalized version of healthy eating that’s less rigid than typical vegan, Paleo, gluten-free and other “special diets” that have gone mainstream. For instance, eating vegan before 6 p.m., or eating paleo five days a week, or gluten-free whenever possible allows consumers more flexibility. Instead of a strict identity aligned with one diet, shoppers embrace the “flexitarian” approach to making conscious choices about what, when and how much to eat”.
Our perspective? This is a great choice for somebody who is struggling to make the transition to a full-on, no-meat diet, or who, for health reasons, may need to have some meat in their diet. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a perfect example of someone who, after contracting hepatitis, was advised by doctors to steer clear of a complete plant-based diet. It is said that his compromise is to eat vegetarian while at home in Dharamsala and eat meat when he travels.
If you travel often or are required to eat out frequently, the flexitarian diet provides the freedom to make empowered choices about what you are going to eat and when.
This approach to eating has been made popular on the back of the “Meat-Free Monday” initiative made by popular by Paul McCartney and Stella McCartney in 2009; it has since been widely adopted and encouraged by the likes of Richard Branson, Emma Thompson and Jaime Oliver.
Cutting down on meat has some great health benefits, including reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease. The flexitarian style of eating contributes to good health without the deprivation of saying no to the occasional steak. Likewise, it also allows you to venture into a wonderful world of discovery and explore all of the fantastic vegetables out there.
Now, how to get started? Pick your meat-free day, and focus on what you do eat—and not what you don’t. Welcome, folks, to the world of flexitarianism.
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