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?