Are you getting really tired of all the fad diets out there? You know the ones—they tell you about the many foods you cannot eat and share a small number of foods you can. They banish specific food groups because they are “bad” and allow only foods from the remaining few. The problem with that practice is that nutrient deficiencies can arise any time you remove an entire food group, setting you up for health problems. Isn’t the goal to improve health, not tank it?
This is where the flexitarian diet comes in. It derives its name from two other words--flexible and vegetarian, because it encourages you to eat foods from the following groups regularly. Here are some examples:
- New Meat- plant proteins, such as beans, legumes, and tofu
- Dairy- animal and plant-based yogurt, milk and cheese
- Whole Grains- wild and brown rice, quinoa, lupin, oats, barley
- Fruits and Vegetables- variety is important and both non-starchy and starchy vegetables are encouraged
- Nuts, seeds and other healthy fats- nuts, nut butters, flaxseeds, chia seeds, avocados, and olives
- Sugar and spices- anything that’s a flavor enhancer, like herbs, vinegars, spices, etc.
The flexitarian diet also encourages including a small amount of animal products into your everyday intake. The one caveat is to choose, when possible, organic meat, dairy, poultry; free-range eggs; and wild caught seafood. So, what does a day of flexitarian eating look like?
Breakfast: Cup of plain Greek yogurt, with fresh berries, 2 tbsp Carrington Farms Flax Chia Blend and a sprinkling of walnuts, along with a drizzle of honey
Lunch: Multigrain toast with avocado, hummus, roasted tomatoes and a fruit salad
Snack: Sliced apple with peanut or almond butter or baked kale chips
After dinner treat: Frozen grapes or rice cake with nut butter
Eating well and nourishing your body is made simple by following a flexitarian diet. It can help you lose weight and, even more importantly, stay healthy. So, get ready and ‘flex’ up!