Are you a fan of meat, but feel like taking your Meatless Mondays or Tofu Tuesdays to the next level? Welcome to the land of Flexitarianism, where meat and plant lovers live in harmony - a special class of eater self-defined as 'semi-vegetarian'. We all know you should be eating more plants. Maybe you're not ready to give up meat, or you still feel like you're gaining health benefits from keeping it in your life. Now you can enjoy the best of both worlds!
A day's worth of food could look something like this:
Breakfast: Chia pudding with plant protein, mixed berries, and sprinkled hemp seeds on top
Lunch: Roast salmon with green beans and brown rice
Snack: Trail mix
Dinner: Tofu Pad Thai
Dessert: Coconut yogurt topped with maple syrup and cinnamon
What we're trying to do is simply consume less meat, and up the veggie ante. The best thing about it? There's no hard and fast rules - you get to decide your devotee level to this way of life. Keep it simple - more plants, less meat.
How to be Flexitarian:
More fruit and veg:
Currently, Australian dietary guidelines are set at 5 serves of veg and 2 serves of fruit a day. Aussies are only eating half or even less than that, According to the National Health Survey. Are you one of them? And if so, how many colours do you have on your plate? A variety of fruit and vegetables is key to a healthy microbiome and more energy for your day. Next time you're in the fresh food aisle, choose the colours of the rainbow.
You don't have to say goodbye to the traditional meat recipes you love - there's now an endless amount of plant-based recipe substitutes you can use! If you like a bit of organisation in your week, highlight some days that will be meat-free, or meals that will be all plant-based. An easy way to get more greens in is simply to fill half your plate with veggies instead of having it based around meat. Include more chicken and fish, and less processed and red meats.
Quality trumps quantity:
If you feel like you've held back from organic, grass-fed and free-range meats before due to cost, you may find it easier to budget now that you're eating less of them. By prioritising organic fruit and veggies (especially the 'dirty dozen'), you'll be giving your body the best chance to thrive!
Nutrition is key:
So now you're eating less meat - big win, right? Well, if you're having tons of processed 'healthy' vegan foods instead, you may not be doing yourself any favours. Junk foods exist in the vegan world too and they're often disguised as being good for your health, but still full of inflammatory ingredients. Remember - eat real food and supplement where needed. Plant-based eaters will need to pay special attention to vitamin b12, omega 3s, iodine, iron and zinc. Including a collagen supplement into your daily routine also gives you the gut-health benefits and a beautiful glow to your skin, plus maintaining strong hair and nails.
Supplement with plant-based protein:
Now that you're flirting with a plant-based way of life, make sure your protein intake is where it needs to be. If you go to the gym regularly, and you're looking to increase muscle mass and decrease fat, then prioritising protein is a no-brainer. Plant-based proteins are taking over the health and fitness world, and with good reason! As we become more aware of animal welfare, our health and the environment, more of us are opting for the 'greener' options. If you also feel like you don't digest whey proteins well, then it's time to look at a plant-based option.
Nature's Best Plant-Based Protein has created the optimal formula for you - check out these macros! 20g protein, only 2g carbohydrates, 0g sugar and 2g fats. More protein and low carbs and fats, so you can get the best results possible! With an amazing taste and comprehensive amino acids in the form of pea and rice proteins, this formula is certified organic too - better for you, better for the planet.
The final word:
Get ready to upgrade your energy, focus and fitness goals.
By going flexitarian, you'll be minimising your environmental footprint, and giving your body the love it deserves. No need to be tied to strict dietary dogma, you can choose what you feel will serve your body the best. Enjoy high-quality meat along with fruit and veg and you're on the way to a healthier version of you!
Abs.gov.au. 2020. 4364.0.55.001 - National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18. [online] Available at: <https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4364.0.55.001> [Accessed 20 July 2020].
Nutrition Australia. 2020. Australian Dietary Guidelines: Recommended Daily Intakes | Nutrition Australia. [online] Available at: <https://nutritionaustralia.org/fact-sheets/australian-dietary-guidelines-recommended-daily-intakes/> [Accessed 20 July 2020].