As you all know by now my 30th b-day is coming up. As a result I’ve been trying to make a move toward a healthier lifestyle. Part of it is that I just want to be sexy (ok sexier), but a big part of it is that I want to live a quality life in my old age. High blood pressure, diabetes and colon cancer run amok on both sides of my family so I’d be a real dumbass to pursue living in my 30s the same way I lived in my 20s. In actuality I don’t care much about superficial things like my clothes (I have pants I’ve been wearing to various jobs for 10 years) and I don’t care about hair (I shave weekly and get a haircut quarterly). I think being clean and smelling good are far more important than whether or not you shop on Madison Avenue or at the local $10 store. I also think that my colon and my heart should be cared for more assiduity than my cuticles.
So in an effort to live a long, quality life I’ve been toying with being a Vegetarian. I’ve had many, many meatless days over the last couple of months but I’ll admit that I have eaten some meat. I don’t miss meat when I don’t have it, though when it’s there I can’t seem to find a good reason not to eat it. That’s when I started thinking about being a Flexitarian. Flexitarians consume a mostly vegetarian diet, but on occasion eat lean (usually organic) meat. Flexitarians tend toward chicken and turkey, and of course seafood. They are not to be confused with Pescetarians, which are people who consume a vegetarian diet and also eat fish and seafood, but no meat. Of course true Vegetarians think that Flexitarians and Pescetarians are full of shit, and don’t recognize either lifestyle.
I’m still trying to figure out if not going hard into a Vegetarian lifestyle is a cop-out, or if it’s perfectly legitimate to choose a more moderate course. The reality is that I am a barbecuer and the thought of not being able to cook meat with fire once the weather gets better makes me a little sad. Veggie burgers and tofu on the grill are not exactly Hawaiian chicken burgers and ribs. The thought alone is almost blasphemous. Perhaps I can be meatless for 9 months a year and in the summer I can throw t-bones on the grill. That would mean giving up the perfect spring grilling weather or grilling tofu in a Cajun rub. Yikes.
The wife is a hardcore carnivore though she has been conducting very successful experiments with portabella burgers, veggie stews, and other meatless meals. If the experiments continue to go well then it may be an easier decision. Since food is such a large part of our lives, I’d love to hear what people think on this topic. Is this simply trendy nonsense, or is there merit in giving up the meat of our youths? Last night I mentioned this to my grandmother and she was having none of it. She basically said I lying to her and it was a ploy to get her to eat better. Who knew that Vegetarianism has its own conspiracy theories?
Flexitarian is the way to go! I came across the book The Flexitarian Diet by Registered Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner and it changed my life and the way I eat. I have lost weight and seen my energy levels go sky high after reading the book and changing my lifestyle. The book is great to get you on the path to eating a mostly plant based diet but not give up meat completely. It provides more than 100 recipes and the nutrition advice is really sound. She posts articles she has written for national magazines and there is a ton of video to watch. I hope you get a chance to check the book out.
Hmmm…I think moderation is the key when it comes to eating meat, especially red meat, right? I guess you could call me a flexitarian. I rarely eat meat or fish (maybe twice a month, usually at someone else’s house), and I don’t consume any dairy. I became one for health reasons b/c I have a somewhat sensitive stomach and I noticed that eliminating certain things from my diet allowed me to eat without feeling ill afterward. I don’t really miss meat since I was never a big carnivore, lol. I guess it *is* somewhat trendy to go veg though…did you see that peta ad that was too racy for the Superbowl?!
Flexitarian – I love it! Never heard that one before today. I was raised a pescetarian, ate meat (except for pork) in college, went back to fish/seafood, and then incorporated poultry when the hubby and I were married in ’99.
I think the key really is moderation and flexitarian seems like a good way to achieve that. There are weeks when I eat very little meat and then there are those where I start every day off with a slice – or two – of turkey bacon.
I don’t think flexitarian is a cop out at all and it really sounds like a great way to get the best of both worlds – mostly fruits, veggies and plant proteins with a little meat thrown in when the cravings hit. I think you’ll definitely feel good physically without denying yourself totally.
I’m a flexitarian, and didn’t know it until today – thanks!
I think you’ll find that vegetarians (in all their variety) are generally non-judgmental and open minded people. It’s not a cop out at all to choose a lifestyle that suits you – it’s not about the label, and much more about the benefit you get out of the choices you make.
Having said that, I label myself an “opportunistic vegetarian” :).
I mostly eat vegetarian. But I’ve had some bacon bits in my salads before and I even had a tuna sandwich! Since I decided to give up meat for health reasons and not for religious/ethical reasons, I don’t have much of a problem eating meat once in a while, like when vegetarian food isn’t around or when I’m craving some tuna.
Do what feels right to you. Where is the law that says you cant change your mind about what you want to eat when you feel like it? I met a man who ate raw for several years, meaning he did not cook any food in his fruit and vegetable diet (ask the “real” vegetarians if they know about that). I asked him why he stopped, he said “Because I wanted to”. I consumed a range of vegetarian diets (my only flesh was occasional fish) for 14 years mostly because at that time killing animals for food didn’t seem right and someone told me my body was a cemetary for dead animals (eww). Then I felt like eating chicken one day and so I did. I figure if I respect that the animal died for my nourishment God wouldn’t mind.
Now I eat mostly chicken and fish however I am not averse to eating other meats. Maybe one day I’ll go raw for little while, after all I was vegan for a year during my vegetarian stint and I stopped doing that too simply because I felt like it.
Hi! I stumbled upon your post and thought it was really interesting. I have been a vegetarian for over 24 years and have raised my kids (now grown) as vegetarians. We are an AA family, very athletic, and my husband has been veg since 1982. I have a ton of good recipes and wrote a vegetarian cookbook. Check out my site if you need some free recipes and some vegetarian options for your veg days!
http://www.21stCenturyVegetarians.com. Good luck!
What a great site! I’ll be back to check out your posts. Keep up the great work.
(p.s. I support your vegetarian choice. It worked well for me and my daughter, who is healthy & remains a vegetarian to this day!)