Flex Your Diet


Flexitarian eating is a great way to become more plant-based. What does it mean? A flexitarian is someone who doesn’t want to completely commit to becoming a vegetarian but who desires reducing the amount of meat they eat. No minimum or limit exists on frequency of enjoying meat.

You can follow a vegetarian lifestyle most of the time but if you want to enjoy a hot dog at the baseball game or a nice steak for your anniversary, go ahead. You are flexible. Go with the flow.

Labeling one’s self as a vegetarian is a commitment that many people aren’t quite ready to make. If you know you can choose to eat as a vegetarian some or most of the time but also have an out for those tempting meat-eating occasions, this may be your compromise.

Why become a flexitarian? The reasons are vast and varied. With the “green” movement to be more environmentally friendly, it is becoming more evident that meat requires more energy to produce than grains and beans.

Simple dollars and cents is another motivator. Meat can get expensive, and with reduced budgets in the past few years, reducing or eliminating it can result in significant savings of dough.

And of course there is the health aspect. Studies throughout the years have connected eating large amounts of red meat and other processed meats to various diseases from heart disease to cancers.

To flex your diet, start with simply going meatless one day a week. The “Meatless Monday” movement is a great way to dip your toe into meatless at least once a week.

Check out The Flexitarian Diet book by my good friend Dawn Jackson Blatner to get started!

Tara Collingwood
Tara is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition, fitness, and health promotion and is quoted in a variety of media including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and websites.

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