So to start off, I am aware of the fact that a flexitarian diet is basically the labradoodle of the diet world, but apparently it’s a thing and right now I identify with it – it’s a semi-vegetarian in that you eat an almost vegetarian diet but with some minor flexible changes. Please note, for me this is a HUGE change mentally – I was a meat with every meal kinda gal – but since trialling the Whole-30 principles for my dairy trial I found that my body in general had an better response when I ate more whole fruit and vegetables.
I’m never going to be full vegan or even vegetarian, because frankly, I have enough dietary issues with my coeliac disease without adding another complete food group to remove from my diet. But I am actively reducing the amount of meat and animal products in my diet. Lockdown has allowed a significant number of changes on my life, and many of them come from having a more hyper awareness of a lot of issues that before I never felt I had the time to really engage with or adapt to, (because pre-covid life was stressful enough), but in hindsight I’ve taken the time to reflect and change up a few things.
So why not just become vegetarian? Well I’m a huge commitment phobe as it is and some days you just fancy a steak, or bacon – mostly bacon – and Christmas/Sunday dinner won’t be the same without the trimmings. For me I’m doing it to keep my gut healthy, and any environmental impact is simply a bonus. But staving off meat and animal products forever for me, isn’t the goal. I come from a farming background, if I know how the produce is farmed I actually think it’s more ethical and environmentally sustainable than flying soybeans from around the world, but that’s a whole other topic of conversation. I’m part of a kill it, cook it, eat it heritage and that will never change!
The goal for me is to eat a more dynamic diet and in that eat more whole foods and more fruit and veg, this is my way of sustaining the gut health I need to reduce the issues I have when I don’t. So becoming more focused on a flexitarian diet is helping me sustain this.
There are huge bonuses to this, for me being a lazy chef, mostly that cooking now is generally much quicker, it took me legit 5 minutes to make a chilli today, and except for boiling the pasta around 5 minutes to make mac and cheese – you have to try cashew nut queso it’s a game changer
I’ve been keeping a record of my food based experiments on pinterest and you can check them out here.
I’m putting zero pressure on myself to stay strict, because like I say that isn’t the main aim, but I am finding that as I discover coeliac friendly alternatives to meat and meat products I’m actually very impressed! And the things you can do with nuts, aquafaba and so much more ridiculous ‘waste’ we’d usually dispose of is insane – my waste reduction and increased recycling is actually a very real thing!