Easy Flexitarian Meal Plans

WHAT IS A FLEXITARIAN DIET?

Flexitarianism or ‘casual vegetarianism’ is essentially what it sounds like: a flexible vegetarian diet. This popular diet is based on the increased intake of plant-based meals without completely eliminating meat. A person who identifies as Flexitarian might eat meat occasionally, but does not include it as a regular part of their normal diet.

In this article, you’ll read more about the Flexitarian diet basic principles, potential benefits, and eventual risks of following this diet. You’ll also find Easy Flexitarian Meal Plans and various Flex. Meal Ideas, in order to get a picture of one of the best Diet Plans for Healthy Eating.

Healthy Vegetable Soup & Brown Rice

THE FLEXITARIAN DIET POSSIBLE HEALTH BENEFITS

The Flexitarian Diet was created by American dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner with the aim to help people reap the benefits of vegetarian eating while still enjoying animal products in moderation.

The Flexitarian diet possible health benefits: may help you improve your heart health and blood sugar levels, lose weight, lower risk of different cancers, prevent and manage type 2 Diabetes, etc. You may also benefit of getting important nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals and plant protein from fruit, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, as well as protein, vitamin B12, zinc, and iron – that are highly concentrated in meat.

EVENTUAL HEALTH RISKS

As mentioned above, meat is an excellent source of dietary protein, zinc, iron, and B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B12). Limiting red meat may increase the risk of iron deficiency and anemia. If you plan to start following this diet plan, you need to be sure you’re getting these nutrients from other sources – plant foods like soybeans, chickpeas, quinoa and lentils (great sources of iron). You’ll also want to seek out high-protein plant foods, such as lentils, beans, seeds, nuts, etc.

Red Lentil Soup with Parsley & Vegetables

FLEXITARIAN DIET PRINCIPLES

  • Eat mainly fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains

  • Eat meat – in moderation

  • Focus on protein from plants instead of animals

  • Avoid processed food

  • Limit sugar and sweets

Here are my Easy Flexitarian Meal Plans:

MEAL PLAN 1  (SAMPLE)

Whole-grain Bread Toast with Cream Cheese

Breakfast: Almond butter toast and sliced apple

  • 1 slice whole-grain bread

  • 1 1/2 tbsp almond butter

  • 1 sliced apple

Mid-morning: 2-3 oatcakes

Lunch: Easy grillable Veggie Burger

  • Whole-grain hamburger bun

  • Easy grillable veggie burger ingredients: cooked brown rice, walnuts, avocado oil, onion, chili or cumin powder, salt, black pepper, cooked black beans, panko bread crumbs, vegan BBQ sauce

Mid-afternoon: Mixed nuts/seeds + 1 fruit

Dinner: Cilantro-peanut stir fry

  • 2 ounces cooked chicken breast

  • 2 cups frozen stir-fry-style mixed vegetables

  • 2 tsp peanut oil

  • 1/2-inch chunk ginger, grated

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

  • 1/4 cup 100-percent pineapple juice

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice

Evening: dessert (Chocolate Mocha Mousse /Apple Cake /or other)

MEAL PLAN 2

Easy Veggie Pizza with Basil & Parmesan

Breakfast: Morning combination

  • 2 slices granary bread toasted with peanut butter

  • Low-fat natural yogurt/ Fruit juice/mug Tea or Coffee (as preferred)

Mid-morning: 2-3 oatcakes + 1 fruit

Lunch: Mixed salad & yogurt /or Veggie Pizza

  • Large mixed salad with red kidney beans + sunflower seeds + cheese

  • 4-5 oatcakes

  • Low-fat yogurt

Mid-afternoon: A handful of mixed nuts/seeds or 2-4 dried fruit

Dinner: Baked Pesto Salmon (4 servings)

  • 4 salmon filets

  • 6–8 tbsp of store-bought or homemade pesto

  • 1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets

  • 1/2 lb fingerling potatoes, cut in half

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Evening: 2-3 oatcakes

Pesto Pasta Plate decorated with Cherry Tomato

My Easy Flexitarian Meal Plans are only examples – to give you an idea of what healthy Flexitarian foods to include in your diet. Normally, your diet plan should be adapted to suit your daily routine, nutritional requirements, and lifestyle. And… Don’t forget to vary your food choices and to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

LOOKING FOR MORE DELICIOUS FLEXITARIAN MEAL IDEAS?

Flexitarian Breakfast Ideas

Bowl of Oatmeal with Dried Fruit

–Oatmeal with dried fruit

– Green smoothies with frozen fruit, spinach, and cashews

–Homemade granola with yogurt and berries

–Muesli  made with nut milk

– Avocado toast sprinkled with hemp seeds

– Etc.

Flexitarian Lunch Ideas

Creamy Mushroom Spaghetti with Garlic Sauce

– Creamy broccoli soup with white beans

– Vegan Greek Salad with Mushroom Souvlaki – Greek-inspired recipe with a flavorful mushroom walnut “meatless” patty, instead of the traditional lamb souvlaki

– Pasta with Rapini, Broad Beans, Rosemary & Walnuts

– Vegan “Meatballs” with Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce

– Mixed salad with lettuce, tomato, avocado, white beans with dressing on the side

– Quinoa salad with salsa, black beans, feta cheese, cilantro and cucumbers

-Chickpea, Squash and Kale Stew with spiced yogurt garnish

– Vegetarian Bean Soup – with a variety of fresh veggies, colors, vibrant herbs and spices

-Phytosalad – with different veggies, whole grains, tofu, nuts, sprouts, and a flaxseed-based dressing. It’s a beautiful meal in a bowl containing everything you need to power up your day.

-Etc.

Flexitarian Dinner Ideas

Vegetarian Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

– Stuffed Peppers – a meal with brown rice, potatoes, carrots, and peppers

– Flexitarian Lasagna with tofu ricotta, ground chicken Bolognese, zucchini and  parmesan

– Chicken stock-stewed White Beans on polenta with thyme and garlic

– Vegan Caesar Salad with whole grain croutons, and grilled chicken

-Veggie pizza

– Warm Steak Sandwich made with thinly sliced flank steak, olive tapenade, arugula, and vegan mayo
– Sheet Pan Bake with a mix of half veggie, half pork sausages, apples, onions, sweet potatoes, and spices

-Roasted Salmon with pesto roasted potatoes, and broccoli
–Mixed Salad with lentils, black beans, quinoa, corn and peppers topped with lime-spiked Greek yogurt and cilantro

-Etc.

THE FINAL WORD

If you are overweight, or with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 Diabetes, you may benefit from adopting a Flexitarian Lifestyle. Always contact your doctor or dietitian first, especially if you have:

  • Dietary allergies

  • Iron deficiency or other types of anemia

  • A history of eating disorders

Also…  If you’re looking to add more plant-based foods to your diet gradually without the commitment of becoming a full-fledged vegetarian – this Diet Plan is ideal for you!

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