As the old adage goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” While you probably know there are a myriad of benefits to plant-based eating, if you’re looking to transition to a flexitarian diet, you need to be intentional about changing your lifestyle. One of the easiest ways to do so? Meal planning! Our flexitarian meal plan tips will help you stick with your new (and flexible) lifestyle.  

What do you eat on a flexitarian diet? 

Before we jump into your flexitarian meal plan, it’s important to make sure you’re square on what exactly flexitarian eating is! Often called a “semi-vegetarian diet,” flexitarianism was coined as a blend of flexible and vegetarianism – it focuses on being a vegetarian most of the time, while still allowing for occasional meat and animal product consumption. Recent studies show 20% of Americans identify as either a flexitarian or a reducetarian, i.e. those seeking to reduce consumption of animal products for sustainability purposes. That’s 1 in every 5 people! 

Since flexitarianism is less of a diet and more of a lifestyle adjustment, the array of foods flexitarians eat is wide and varied, including:

  • Dairy – unlike vegan diets, which remove all animal products, vegetarian and flexitarian diets allow it in moderation as a source of protein, vitamin D, and calcium
  • Eggs – contrary to popular misconception, eggs are not dairy, and they too are a protein source that many turn to when on a plant-based diet (again, in moderation)
  • Vegan cheeseour lineup has everything you need to say goodbye to dairy and hello to plant-based awesomeness
  • Minimally processed, whole, and plant-based foods – in an attempt to achieve a flavor comparable to their “traditional” counterparts, some vegan versions may be highly processed with undesirable added ingredients like extra salt, sugar, and fat; with the flexibility of the flexitarian diet, its consumers can enjoy higher quality ingredients, like those found in Vevan cheese

How often do flexitarians eat meat? Most flexitarians eat meat about 1-3 times per month, but you can eat animal-based foods on a somewhat regular basis if you prefer. Transitioning to the flexitarian lifestyle is more about adding new foods than restricting an entire category of food. This makes the diet easier for many to adapt to a new way of eating and living.

How to create a flexitarian meal plan

Ready to give flexitarian eating a try? With lots of online resources available to plan a weekly calendar of meals, you can get as creative as you want! 

One of the easiest ways to start the process of transforming your diet is to take your favorite dishes and experiment with replacing meat and dairy products with dairy-free foods. Here are a couple easy and delicious recipes that can easily be transitioned from meat-based dishes to vegetarian to vegan with very simple substitutions. Pick a few to get started!

Flexitarian meal plan – breakfast

  • Vegan breakfast sandwich – this versatile sammie allows new flexitarians to customize to their heart’s (and taste buds’) content
  • Easy Cheesy Biscuits – true to their name, whip up a batch in just 5 minutes and bake for 25; also easy to batch, bake, and freeze for meal-prepping pros
  • Bagel + UnCreamCheese – a beloved on-the-go morning favorite, pair one of our three vegan cream cheese flavors with a bagel of your choice

Flexitarian meal plan – lunch or dinner

Flexitarian meal plan – classic faves 

  • Not Your Mama’s Grilled Cheese – this recipe creates an indulgent sandwich that may make you second guess whether you used dairy cheese or not; pair with a hot cup of tomato soup for a 100% awesome and flexitarian meal
  • Vegan Pizza – can’t live without pizza? With our Vevan Mozza, you don’t have to! Fulfill all your flexitarian dreams with this super simple and satisfying recipe, with endless topping possibilities
  • Slaw-Topped Sliders – get your grill on with these beloved slaw-topped sliders! Start with your favorite meat and ease into a meat alternative

The swap-ortunities are endless, making flexitarianism easy and attainable. Need more inspo? Download our FREE cookbook for even more ideas! 

Beyond a flexitarian meal plan – three tips for success

Now that you have several flexitarian meal plan recipes in place, here are three other quick tips to help you be successful on your journey to more plant-based eating: 

  1. GO SHOPPING – whether browsing the grocery store aisles in person or items online, take some time to make a list!  Your initial shopping list may not look too different since the basic idea is that you are limiting your intake of animal-based foods and stocking up on items like dairy-free cheese, alternative protein sources, and vegetables.
  2. EXPLORE NEW RECIPES – keep things fresh and exciting with new recipes! For example, if you love Mexican food, Vevan has you covered with a slew of flexitarian options. Let your new lifestyle be an adventure of culinary proportions!
  3. BE KIND TO YOURSELF – if you always eat a turkey sandwich for lunch, or can’t start the day without a scrambled egg, consider keeping these faves in your diet initially. If your goal is to eat less meat, you may always keep these old standbys in your diet, or you may find something new you prefer. Remember, it’s all about flexibility.

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