Since the Flexitarian Diet actively tries to reduce the consumption of meat, the meal plan will be predominantly plant-based.

Your plant-based food choices on the Flexitarian Diet plan will include:

Whole grains. Rice, oats, barley, and buckwheat would all be examples of whole grains. Most plant-based diets include a sizable amount of whole grains as their base.

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Vegetables. Of course, even semi-vegetarian diets are going to include lots of vegetables! And they should because vegetables are great for you! They’re packed full of nutrients, fiber, and generally low in calories. Most people could stand to eat more veggies. If you find yourself not being able to stomach greens, I got you. Check out this post for tips on how to turn around any vegetable hater.

Legumes. Beans, lentils, and soy make up the legume family. When cutting out meat, legumes would be a great way to get protein (more on this to follow).

Fruit. Bananas, apples, and oranges all come from plants, so all are vegetarian-friendly. While high in fructose (sugar), they are also nutrient-dense. Our general stance on fruit around these parts is to eat “stick to whole fruit, avoid fruit juices.”

Nuts and seeds. Again, they come from plants, so almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds are good to go on any vegetarian plan you pick. So is quinoa, which although is often thought of as a grain, is actually a seed. Mind=blown.

Nuts and seeds, although high in fat and calories, are another great way to get protein on a semi-vegetarian diet.

Have as much of the above as you like (assuming it meets your calorie goals).

I know you’re curious about meat consumption and the Flexitarian Diet

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We’ll devote our entire next section to it.

Before we get there, let’s talk about foods that you might NOT want to build your flexitarian meal plan around.

Since the Flexitarian Diet is an attempt to eat nutritiously, it not only encourages the consumption of whole plants but also discourages the consumption of certain foods too.

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When following a Flexitarian Diet, try to minimize:

  • Processed meat: bacon, sausage, and bologna. Proponents of flexitarianism advocate for unprocessed meat like grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, fresh fish, etc. More on this next section.
  • Refined carbs: white bread, bagels, pasta, etc. These foods have much of their fiber destroyed during the refinement process, making them more like sugar during digestion.
  • Added sugar: soda, donuts, cookies, etc. Also known as “junk food.” Delicious, of course. But these foods are high in calories and low on nutrients, so they belong in the “rare treat” category.

The above list likely isn’t too shocking. Most health sites (and us in our healthy eating guide) recommend these foods be eaten sparingly.

Now, it’s time to talk meat!