Being vegetarian is generally healthier than being a carnivore. But you have to know what you are doing. The key is making sure you get enough protein, vitamin B12, and iron. Don’t live off dairy and wheat, which are the most common allergy-provoking foods. – The Low GL Bible by Patrick Holford
Flexitarianism, or following a predominantly plant-based diet, is a way of life, it’s not a diet. Forget about counting calories and weighing portions. And forget about dietary dogma. The beauty of flexitarianism is that experimentation and being flexible is welcomed, not frowned upon. Because it works with your body’s natural design, flexitarianism is the best way of helping you gain health and energy, and lose weight, easily and enjoyably.
Here are the Ground Rules for Healthy Flexitarian Eating
- Graze don’t gorge. Eat 5 meals a day – breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, and dinner.
- Eat slow releasing (low-GL) carbohydrates with protein-rich food.
- Eat whole, unadulterated food, high in soluble fibre (beans, lentils, oats, etc.)
- Eat foods high in the essential fats omega-3 and omega-6, with an emphasis on omega-3 fats from fatty cold-water fish, olive oil, and coconut oil. Also, consider adding an omega-3 and omega-6 supplement.
- Eat foods rich in B vitamins (wheat germ, green vegetables, whole grains, mushrooms, fish, eggs, etc.)
- Eat foods rich in vitamin C (peppers, watercress, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, lemons, kiwi fruit, oranges, tomatoes, etc.)
- Eat foods rich in magnesium (wheat germ, almonds, cashew nuts, buckwheat, green vegetables), calcium (almonds, green vegetables, seeds, prunes, cheese), zinc (nuts, whole grains, almonds, oysters, fish, egg yolk, lamb, etc.), and iron (pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashew nuts, raisins, pork, etc.)
- Eat foods rich in phytonutrients (fresh and dried herbs and spices, garlic, ginger, turmeric, etc.)
- Drink 6 – 8 glasses of water a day.
- Eliminate any foods you’re allergic to. Wheat is a common culprit.
- Avoid (eliminate) sugar in its many disguises, refined foods, and foods that contain fast-releasing carbohydrates.
- Avoid foods high in hydrogenated, processed fats or damaged fats, such as fried food and junk food.
- Avoid vegetable seed oils such as sunflower oil, canola oil, and rapeseed oil.
- Limit or avoid alcohol. Ideally, drink no more than three small glasses of wine, beer, or single measures of spirit a week.
- Limit or avoid caffeinated drinks. Ideally, drink no more than one regular coffee or two weak teas a day. Avoid all caffeinated fizzy drinks.
When Doing Your Daily Meal Planning Roughly Aim For…
- 1 heaped teaspoon of ground seeds, or 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed olive oil, or 1 small handful of nuts.
- 1 serving (piece) of seasonal fresh fruit such as apples, pears, bananas, berries, melon, or citrus fruit.
- 1 or 2 servings of beans, lentils, quinoa, tofu, or ‘seed’ vegetables.
- 1 or 2 servings of unrefined whole grains such as rice, millet, rye, oats, corn, or quinoa.
- 1 or 2 servings of root vegetables such as beets, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes.
- 2 or 3 servings of quality protein.
- 4 or 5 servings of dark green, leafy vegetables such as watercress, broccoli, spinach, green beans, peas, and peppers.
Reference: Healthy Flexitarian Eating In A Nutshell – The Foxy Flexitarian