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Enough with the labels and rules already.   All I did was cut down on meat.

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semi-vegetarian, flexitarian blogSo now they say I’m not flexitarian.

I have one or two meatless meals most days, because I’m cutting down my consumption of red and white meat.  And I generally have a couple of meatless days a week.

So when people ask me what my way of eating is called, I say I’m a flexitarian.

Why?

Because my diet meets the guidelines for flexitarianism in the original flexitarian diet book The Flexitarian Diet (more below).

Not that I need to label it, but giving  my diet a name helps to spread the word about reducing meat consumption and it’s a good reference point for people to find out more.


Too many rules

Having said that, I did some research a while ago and found out that according to the definitions that come up via a websearch, flexitarians eat a predominantly plant-based diet, with the occasional inclusion of meat products.

That’s obviously not me. I eat meat or seafood up to 7 days a week.

So I moved on to calling myself a semi-vegetarian.  But the experts on the web tell me that semi-vegetarians eat poultry and/or fish, dairy and eggs but no red meat.  So according to them, I’m not a semi-vegetarian either.

Well I don’t know where those rules and definitions came from, but I disagree.

Modern flexitarianism is not that rigid.

Dietitian and author of the original reference on flexitarian eating,  The Flexitarian Diet, Dawn Jackson Blattner, says:

The MOST IMPORTANT part of flexitarianism is not how many meatless days you have, but how many more vegetarian meals you prepare, and eating more vegetarian foods such as beans, nuts, whole grains, and produce.

Beginner: 2 meatless days per week (26 ounces of meat or poultry per week)
Advanced: 3-4 meatless days per week (18 ounces of meat or poultry per week)
Expert: 5 meatless days per week (9 ounces of meat or poultry per week)

That pretty well reflects my current diet.  So according to Dawn, I’m a  flexitarian.

Dawn also says:

Steaks, and other meats and poultry, are all part of the flexitarian diet! However, you may not eat quite as big a steak or eat steak quite as often, because you will be too busy enjoying flavorful and satisfying meatless meals. The flexitarian diet is an inclusive plan, meaning it does not take foods away but instead adds new foods to those you already eat.

That reflects my diet too.

So despite the definition-frowners on the web, I’m going to continue referring to my diet as flexitarian.

And although I don’t fit the definition above of semi-vegetarian, because I eat  red meat, I’m also going to continue to refer to my diet as semi-vegetarian when I need to explain what flexitarian means.

Maybe Not Quite Vegetarian is a better name for this blog than I realised.

At least no-one’s classified it or restricted it yet.

Whether you eat red meat, white meat or green eggs and ham makes no difference; you either eat animal protein or you don’t. Meat is meat, people.

As I said above, enough with the rigid rules and labels already.

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