While there are many eating styles that have absolute restrictions of certain foods, like zero carb or vegan diets, there are also numerous approaches to eating that make broader allowances so you can customize your diet to your personal preferences and lifestyle. One example is a flexitarian diet.
What is a flexitarian diet?
Understanding this style of eating begins with a flexitarian definition. Some people think of a flexitarian meal plan as semi-vegetarianism. Vegetarians don’t eat meat or fish, but they might eat other animal products. Similarly, flexitarians consume a mostly plant-based diet, but they occasionally eat meat or animal products. This might mean, for example, that they make eggs part of their regular diet but avoid chicken and other meats.
Often, flexitarians also lean toward whole foods, meaning less processed, more natural foods. Even so, certain foods, like a creamy cheese sauce or a gooey melty pizza, are hard to give up completely, so there are plenty of options for people who want to keep enjoying those familiar flavors while making adjustments to their diets.
In fact, the entire reason for flexitarian diets is about options and allowing choices, rather than blanket restrictions. Sometimes satisfying a craving for a cheeseburger is the only way to make it go away!
What do flexitarians eat?
A flexitarian diet emphasizes fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains. Proteins come primarily from plant sources rather than animals, but flexitarians may choose certain meat or animal products at times.
If you’re looking for flexitarian recipes, you’re sure to find a wide range of options, including the ones on this site. Vevan’s recipes are well-suited for a flexitarian diet plan because, like Vevan, they’re created with all kinds of different people in mind. Many of them can be adapted with substitutions. For example, you might choose gluten-free bread instead of the French baguette in this recipe for pizza toastinis. Or you might choose vegan bacon instead of pork for these potato bites.
Will a flexitarian diet make me hungry?
The short answer is, it shouldn’t. If you’re balancing your meals with enough protein from plant sources and fiber-rich fruits, veggies and grains, you shouldn’t feel like you’re missing out. Fortunately, there are plenty of flexitarian-friendly snacks that help fill the gaps. Dairy-free cheese, nuts and fruits are all great choices for a boost between meals.
How common is a flexitarian approach to eating?
When we began developing Vevan, we did a lot of research, especially with people who eat foods commonly identified as vegan or vegetarian at least once every three months. Ultimately, we learned that about 11% of these people were true vegans, eating zero animal products. The rest were a mix of varying degrees of omnivores and other eating styles. The biggest group was flexitarian, at 29%. (In case you’re wondering, other diets our research subjects mentioned included omnivore, vegetarian, pescatarian and carnivore).
Flexitarians represent a segment that is steadily growing, and with great tasting options like Vevan available, it’s easier than ever to make dietary and lifestyle changes without sacrificing your favorite foods.