Family Magazine

Flexitarian....a What?

By Ladyexpat
My quest for eating less meat continues.  I have actually done a pretty good job this past week.  We finished what little meat we did have and are not buying anymore.  While I would love to be a vegetarian, I find that personally a vegetarian lifestyle might be too challenging for me right now.  So I have decided to be a flexitarian, also known as a semi-vegetarian.
Basically a flexitarian is someone who mostly eats a vegetarian diet but occasionally will eat some meat.  Flexitarians eat less meat than most people.  For me personally this is a great diet plan.  As I can continue to strive to eat mostly vegetarian at home, on occasion if I'm eating out or at someones house, eat meat. if I want.  Also if I want more than a salad at a restaurant and they don't have a very good selection of vegetarian meals, it would be okay for me to order something with meat.
What is the point of having a name for this kind of diet and lifestyle?  Well, I think there are lots of reasons for becoming a flexitarian.  One, you are consuming less meat.  If most people truly knew what chemicals our livestock were eating and what went on on the "farms" that raise the animals we eat I think you'd consider eating less meat too.  I don't think there is anything wrong with eating meat.  However, I personally think eating less meat is healthier.  And if I am going to buy meat to cook I only want to buy organic which is more expensive and also more difficult to find where I live in Germany.  Since most of the produce I buy are organic, my grocery bill is already higher than most.  By eliminiating meat from the list, especially since finding organic meat is difficult, I save money.
How does a vegetarian or flexitarian get enough protein?  There are so many foods with protein, dairy (which vegetarians can eat), yogurt, nuts, seeds, meat substitutes and more.  Also I don't think we need as much protein as some people believe.  
I am also reading several books about Raw Food Diets.  A raw food diet is eating food raw, not cooked.  While it sounds interesting and healthy, I know I would not stick to that.  However, I have been encouraged to include more raw foods into my everyday meals.  For instance, I cooked my first vegetarian stir-fry today and included tofu.  It was delicious.  As an appetizer I cut up some peppers and tomatoes and ate it with humus.  Many people on the raw food diet suggest eating a salad before their meal.  Yet there are so many more food combinations than salads that you can eat raw, such as humus. 
Do you have any vegetarian meals you like to cook?  Are you a vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, or eating a raw food diet?  If so, how has your health changed since changing your lifestyle?

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