Flexitarians are amenable about eating meat and fish. They try to consume fewer animal products or consciously pay attention to not eating high quality of it. Flexitarians, however, don’t have rules as strict as vegetarians who never resort to steak, sausage, and co. Semi-vegetarians are called flexitarians, too. Or, by critics: “Vegetarians without stamina.”
The term Flexitarian is officially recognized since 2012, and can, therefore, be found in all common English dictionaries. There is, nevertheless, no fixed definition of how often meat-eating is allowed on a Flexitarian “diet”.
Fact is, though, that even the occasional renunciation of meat can relieve the burden on the environment and do much good for your health – especially if meats are replaced by many high-quality vegetable foods. Now, let’s take a closer look at what is the Flexitarian diet really based on.
A Historical Term
Presumably, there are many Flexitarians who were already long before the hip term was on everyone’s lips. Movements like “Meatless Monday” in many canteens have long been an incentive to not whisk meat off the menu but eat it a little less often. Meat substitutes that look and taste a bit like “real meat” should facilitate this trend for avid meat eaters.
A Flexitarian lifestyle is for many a good compromise for the conscience: you eat meat, but not at every meal or every day. By curbing his meat consumption, the semi-vegetarian stands up for his opinion regarding the massive animal slaughter and their inappropriate living conditions before their deaths.
On this occasion, I would like to share a few thought-provoking lines. Longer ago, I used to work as an organizer. I went to client’s homes to help them reorganize their living environment.
More often than not, I was appalled the massive waste of food, mainly meats, that people accumulated within their households. They had their refrigerators filled to the top with cold cuts, steaks, roasted chicken, sausages, etc, most of it expired for at least one to two weeks already.
After pointing this out to them, they simply said they’d dispose of it. None of these people seemed to feel guilty in any kind of way.
This dismays me up to this very day. Not only are so many people starving, but think about all these animals that partially died in vain; just to end up in the dumpster!
Needless to mention the cost of water and other resources that are used to feed and maintain the livestock. I just wanted to bring this shortly to your attention, in case you haven’t seen or experienced such a situation yourself before. I will write a more in-depth article about this topic, as it deserves further recognition.
How often can I Eat Meat as a Flexitarian?
There isn’t a specific rule to follow, hence the word Flexitarian. The good thing about this diet is that it gives you the opportunity to decide how much meat you want to consume, and what’s agreeable with your consciousness, as well. It’s all about setting yourself a realistic goal for occasional meat abstinence.
Flexitarianism could Look like This:
5 meatless days per week OR
2 meals with meat a week OR
Meat only at invitations or in restaurants OR
Less meat than before, the tendency of eating meat decreasing OR
deliberately consuming less, and if then only high-quality meat (organic, species-appropriate attitude).
Why is it Healthy to be Flexitarian?
Flexitarianism combines many benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle with those of a carnivore. Studies have shown that vegetarians live longer, weigh less, and enjoy some protection against heart disease and cancer.
Especially red meat causes the heart attack risk to spike. Those who eat less meat enjoy all these benefits – albeit not to the same extent as “real” vegetarians.
Although there are already many vegetarians in Western culture, this way of life and food is not universally accepted everywhere. Anyone who is afraid to socially exclude themselves through the renunciation of meat can simply become a Flexitarian.
If you’re invited to eat with meat-loving friends or you do not have good vegetarian options on the menu in restaurants, you just choose meat. At home, you can then again enjoy mostly vegetarian food. In this manner, one eats healthier, but without dogma, which some fear and experience as a restriction.
Instead of Eating the Cow, Become the Cow (oh yes!)
Have you ever wondered why cows have such a strong body- built with mostly lean muscles, although they only eat grass? Well, that’s simply because of the abundant amount of chlorophyll found in wheatgrass. It provides more vitamins and minerals than any of the most potent fruits and vegetables out there.
It’s extremely beneficial for mental and physical well-being and they don’t call it for nothing “the fountain of youth,” or “the green gold.” You can read more about wheatgrass and its benefits in my article here.
Here’s the Way to Make Your Transition to Flexitarianism Easy
A slow change to a Flexitarian lifestyle facilitates the adaptation within the diet. People who are used to eating a lot of meat should start with one or two meat-free days a week and slowly expand that habit.
The Following Foods may be included more Frequent in the Diet of Flexitarians
Beans and Lentils
Legumes taste great and can be enjoyed in salads, stews, soups, and burritos instead of meat.
Tofu, obtained from soybeans, has hardly any taste and is therefore very versatile and a wonderful substitute for meat. Try delicious varieties, such as smoked tofu with olives and various herbs.
Vegetables and Fruits
There are so many delicious vegetables and fruits that offer much more variety than even the most exotic meats. Taste yourself across the vegetable patch, and you will not notice that there is no meat on your daily plate.
Nuts and Seeds
These foods have many high-quality fatty acids that can protect against heart disease and diabetes. If you sprinkle them over your salads or enjoy them as a snack in between, they will taste appetizing. Best always try new varieties and alternate.
By the way, as a Flexitarian, you do not have to worry about a protein deficiency. There are numerous vegetarian foods that have a lot of protein and cover the needed supply seamlessly.
Less Quantity, but more Quality
Overall, a Flexitarian diet is probably a bit cheaper. Beans and lentils, for example, are much cheaper sources of protein than meat. This “saved” money can then be invested in high-quality meat, whenever it is on your menu. Proper organic meat, preferably from the region, is healthier and tastes better. If you eat meat less often, then it’s allowed to be more expensive. The rule always applies – quality over quantity!
Difficult or Easy?
A Flexitarian lifestyle is very easy to integrate into your everyday life. It’s a great opportunity to try exciting new foods while doing something good for the environment and your health.
If you do not wish it, your immediate environment (family and friends) do not even need to know that you are now Flexitarian!
Although you may as well proudly announce it for everyone you know – that’s entirely up to you. Unlike “vegetarians who occasionally eat meat” (and perhaps are ashamed for falling off the wagon),
Flexitarians are open to their decision to eat meat – sometimes more, sometimes less, but not very often. Indeed environment and health conscious and, of course, flexible.
The Best Diet for your Joints
When it comes to the health of your joints, a modified vegetarian, the Flexitarian diet, turns out to be particularly successful – This has mainly to do that you don’t eat large amounts of animal fats. Overall very little meat: no sausage, but some fish, lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, fiber and low-fat Dairy products, instead.
Flexitarian Foods that Prevent and Relieve Osteoarthritis and Arthritis
A diet that has a beneficial effect on joint function should, therefore, include the following foods:
Vegetables: green vegetables, soybeans, carrots, artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms, all types of cabbages’ and sauerkraut.
Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, and pine nuts
Oils: olive oil, rapeseed oil, walnut oil
Bread and Side Dishes: wholegrain bread, oatmeal, wholemeal pasta and rice
Fish and Seafood: crustaceans, halibut, herring, cod, salmon, mackerel, plaice, sole, and tuna
Milk and Milk Products: low-fat milk (1.5 percent fat), curd ( low- fat) and buttermilk; Cheese is best under 45 percent fat, so Parmesan, feta, low-fat cream cheeses, etc.
Meat Should Not Be on the Menu more than Once A Week.
Meat, Sausage, and Cheese High in Fat Damage your Joints Twice as much
What many don’t know yet is that their joints suffer double as much when they’re living off a diet high in animal fats. Consumption of meat, sausage, and saturated fat will in most cases lead to obesity over time.
And, as we should know that every excessive pound that we carry, burdens our hips, joints, and knees. The cartilage gets worn out, and thus osteoarthritis (joint wear) and subsequently arthritis (joint inflammation) arise.
Indirectly because essential nutrients are missing for cartilage and bone, but the body is flooded with inflammatory substances that are proven to fuel arthritis.
In short – A Flexitarian diet isn’t as much as a diet as it should be a part of a healthy lifestyle for everyone. Perchance you already are a Flexitarian, and were not even aware of it? If you’re having days where you skip the meat altogether without you missing it, then chances are that you already are adjusting to a Flexitarian lifestyle.
I can only congratulate you on this, and, of course, encourage you to stay on that path. Your body and environment will thank you tenfold.
I truly hope that this article was informative and helpful for you and that you enjoyed reading it. If you have any questions, suggestions or would like to let me know about any topic you’d wish to read up on, then please leave a comment below. You’re also welcome to share your own experiences. We’re always looking forward to hearing from you.
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Meanwhile, I’m sending you much love, harmony and an abundance of all good things. Always remember: You are beautiful, precious and unique. Don’t let anyone ever convince you otherwise, and keep on shining.