At the Healthy Living Summit we were introduced to Dawn Blatner, an RD who wrote the book The Flexitarian Diet. In my previous post I discussed her action mantras that I am trying to instill in my lifestyle. And later for the keynote speech Dawn discussed her book and explained what a flexitarian lifestyle entails.

According to Dawn, a flexitarian is an individual who decreases their consumption of meat without excluding it entirely from their diet. She claimed that vegetarians weigh 15% less and by following a flexitarian diet you can drop up to 30 pounds in a year. (I like those statistics. Who wouldn’t mind losing that much weight?)

Dawn separated flexitarians into three categories: beginners, advanced, and expert. Somehow I’ve been eating a beginner flexitarian diet for quite some time since more than 1/3 of my weekly meals are meatless. I’m proud to say that I plan to become an advanced flexitarian in the next year (9-12 meatless meals a week). After I make the move cross country and settle into my new home in California, I plan to stock my kitchen with more vegetables, fruits, and beans. I’ll definitely need my action mantras to make sure I cook and avoid eating out as frequently as I did in the past…

It seems that meat and poultry are typically the most expensive items a grocery bill. By decreasing the amount of meat we purchase we can cut our bills and reduce greenhouse gases. To substitute meat in a recipe use 1/4 cup beans for each ounce of meat. If it is too tough to get rid of meat all together, cut the meat in half and add beans.

And if  you need to add to the taste, “brighten” the food with acid such as vinegar, citrus, or yogurt. Another great tip Dawn offered was to pair a food you like with an unliked food. By combining the flavors, you will begin to enjoy the unliked food and become comfortable adding it to your recipes.

If you want to steal some fantastic vegetarian recipes, I suggest checking out Laura, Sarah, or Cassie’s blogs. I’ll be scouring the internet for the next few months to find recipes that most satisfy my new cooking style (AKA simple and quick meals) and I hope to reduce my meat consumption.

Have some great vegetarian recipes? I’d love your suggestions! And what blogs do you read to get new recipe ideas?

About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on August 29, 2011, in Cooking, Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I’ve said it to 1600753257 people, but, epicurious’s recipe for Lebanese lentil and blackened onion pilaf will knock your socks off.

  2. Wow! Thanks for listing my blog on here. I would never say I’m the queen of vegetarian recipes, but I do try to give vegetarian substitutions when I write the directions to most of my recipes.

    I think Sarah has an excellent collection of vegetarian recipes. I actually use her blog probably the most when it comes to recipes now-a-days!

    Kristina has some good vegetarian recipes too, so you can always email her and she’ll send them your way!

  3. I also forgot to say, I loved that Dawn broke the flexitarians up into categories of how many meals they eat without meat a week. I’m already in the beginner to moderate category, because I eat meat typically one meal a day and that’s it. However, she definitely gave me something to strive for with the advanced category!

  4. Many years ago I was a vegan, but I’m can’t eat a lot of beans without getting sick (bowel disease), so not I eat a lot of meat. It’s hard to be any kind of -terian if you can’t eat soy or beans.

  5. I have always been a carnivore. But lately, for the past few weeks, I’ve been giving flexitarianism a go. I’m liking it SO much that I’m slooooowly trying to take a little stab at mainly being a veggie person with the rare seafood thrown in. Amazing! But you’re right–my grocery bill was always off the roof due to the meat/poultry. :( Have a safe move!!!!

    • You’ll have to teach me some of your tricks of the trade. I typically shy away from red meat, but I love turkey and chicken. I think it’ll be tough for me to initially take them out of my diet, but it is worth a shot, right?

  6. Where in Cali are you moving (I’m in San Diego). Anyhow, I’ve been vegetarian for 9 1/2 years, and went into it cold turkey—-all in one fell swoop I cut out all beef, chicken, fish, anything that had been alive. It was hard the first few months, but got a lot easier. Now, I don’t even think twice about being vegetarian! By the way, when I first went veggie, I GAINED weight—about 10 pounds. I ate too much cheese and crap!

  7. It waxes and wanes..don’t beat yourself up.

    It’s NEVER to late to get going again. the time that has passed is gone. all that matters is what you decide to do next!

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