We have been learning about and trying different diets. We have tried vegetarian, vegan and raw food diets and are finding that the best diet for us so far is the flexitarian diet.
I believe that the healthiest diet is 80% raw vegan diet if it is done right. That is also the most difficult diet for us to keep up with and to find a good balance with.
I enjoy the occasional small piece of meat, chicken or fish but I like to know where they come from. Grass fed beef, organic-fed free range chickens and wild fish are the animal products that we look for when we eat meat. I have never big a large milk consumer but I like the cheese. We look for cheese made from healthy animal products organic and grass fed.
What is a Flexitarian Diet?
Flexitarian is a relatively new term that describes a diet that is mostly vegetarian with occasional meat. Most people who eat this way find local, organic and high quality foods that include their animal products. One of the first books about this type of diet is called The Flexitarian Diet written by Dawn Jackson Blatner and has some great information on what this diet is about. She has some recipes and guidelines that help define what being a flexitarian is.
Our Version of the Flexitarian Diet
One of the things that I like about this diet is that is it very flexible and can be tailored to your individual tastes. We like to add meat to our diets whenever we want and not be highly structured as some people are. This means for us we have meat maybe once a week on average. The guideline is how we feel after we eat a meal.
Our version is mostly fruits and vegetables, legumes, lean high quality meats and non-wheat grains. There are many recipes that we like that conform to this ideal. I found that cutting down on wheat products makes a significant difference in the way I feel and look. The most noticeable benefit is the reduction in abdominal fat.
Your Flexitarian Diet
If this type of diet appeals to you then you can come up with your own terms. Here are some things to think about when designing your flexitarian diet.
- How much meat do you eat now?
- Do you like the vegetarian diet?
- Are you getting enough exercise?
- How do you feel when you eat meat or not eat meat?
Start with keeping a diet journal for a month and then see how much meat you actually eat. If you enjoy the vegetarian diet pay attention to your cravings, do you want a little meat or are you fully satisfied. If you have meat for every meal every day try cutting back to once a day and then once every two days and pay attention to how you really feel.
Sometimes we are not really aware of how we feel. That may sound strange but I know that in my life when I was not eating well I didn’t really pay attention to how I felt. I knew that when I ate a big meal I didn’t feel healthy but I wasn’t concerned about that I just knew that I was eating what I had and the feeling went away until the next meal. Once I became more aware of how food effects both my emotional and physical health I was able to make different choices.
The most important part of any diet is how it makes you feel. Some people feel weak when they stop eating meat, some people feel great on a strict raw vegan diet, some like me want to have the variety that makes them feel healthy. Eat what makes you feel healthy.