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Flexitarian and Proud of It

by Meghann on February 18, 2009

Good Morning!

After a late night out with co-workers (which may have involved a couple of drinks) I was pleasantly surprised how eager my body was able to get up this morning. I may not have exactly bounded out the door for my run (I really need to stop checking my e-mail before I run, its turning into a bad habit!) but I still was able to keep up with my previous wonderful stats for this run.

I ran 5 miles in 45:06, averaging just around 9 minute miles and I felt fabulous! My First mile was even paced at 8:43!

I had a lot of questions in my comments regarding my Garmin. I have the Garmin Forerunner 305 and before that had no form of HRM at all. It’s GPS enabled, so its able to track my distance and pace. If you have a Garmin and are looking to join to auto lap club its pretty simple Just go to Training > Training Options > Auto Lap : Distance 1.0.

Breakfast was a yummy bowl of Cereal Granola, Berries and Yogurt.

CIMG5379

I had 1/2 cup of Kashi blueberry Oat Clusters, 1/2 cup of Nature Path’s Pumpkin Granola, Strawberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, and Non-Fat Vanilla Yogurt. Yum!

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Last night at dinner my co-workers were discussing my Vegetarian Status. Though I do eat meat as you have seen featured several times on my blog, its not always my go-to meal at restaurants. A pre-menu was set in place for the group where Chicken and Steak was ordered for everyone, but I had to step up and make a special request for Shrimp as I was not feeling the Chicken and Steak at the moment.

I get questions all the time whether I am a vegetarian or not as it seems anytime you make a request for Tofu or Vegetables or Shrimp instead of the chicken, that’s what people automatically assume. I hate the label of vegetarian and would not want to be labeled as something that would restrict what I eat as I am such a foodie who has to try everything. 

I respect those willing to go vegetarian, but I know it is not something that would be right for me. That being said there was an interesting article in Self last month about Vegetarians. It breaks down why going vegetarian is good for you, the myths and why it might not be a fit for you.

In the article there is also a break down of the different types of vegetarians out there. I found this part particularly interesting when I came across the term Flexitarian with a desription of a mostly lacto-ovo vegetarian diet with meat, poultry or fish now and then.

So if you’re going to label me, label me a Flexitarian. I enjoy my veggies, but on occasion still enjoy some meat and chicken.

What are you? An all out carnivore? A Vegetarian? A Vegan? or a Flexitarian like me?

1 caitlin February 18, 2009 at 8:51 am

give me steak ASAP!!! i love me some RED MEAT. i think i ate steak every other day of the honeymoon.

speaking of which, should we go to spice steakhouse downtown tomorrow??

2 VeggieGirl February 18, 2009 at 8:54 am

Girl, don’t worry!! I would never judge you or ANYONE. I hate people who try to push their lifestyles/opinions onto others.

3 Ashley February 18, 2009 at 8:55 am

I don’t eat red meat because it hurts my stomach very badly in normal amounts and don’t eat pork because I’m just not a fan. Give me chicken, fish, or tofu and I’m good to go!

4 misstal February 18, 2009 at 9:00 am

I’m also a flexitarian, like you! I eat some kind of red meat maybe once every few months and when I cook at home, it’s never with meat. A lot of my friends have labeled me a veggie because they never *see* me eat me– but sometimes I just have a craving for meat. I feel like it’s important to listen to your body’s cravings sometimes– I probably crave it when my body *needs* it. Do you eat chicken more often than read meat??

5 Emily February 18, 2009 at 9:01 am

Yeah, flexitarians!
Way to step up and make a special request…you have to do what’s right for your body!

I think it’s awesome that you run before work, too!

6 ttfn300 February 18, 2009 at 9:04 am

just like you, flexitarians unite 🙂

7 dailygoods February 18, 2009 at 9:13 am

flexitarian too girl 🙂 i love my vegetarian meals, but don’t mind eating chicken or turkey once in a while and of course some fish. not really into eating beef or pork at all really anymore though. Once in a blue moon i will, but lately i’ve just kind of weaned myself of it.

8 Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) February 18, 2009 at 9:15 am

I would definitely say flexitarian!!! I’m the SAME way…don’t want to say I’m a veggie because I still like to try meat dishes. I love food TOO much to cut a whole group out!

9 Nicole February 18, 2009 at 9:17 am

Mmmm, the bowl of cereal looks great 🙂

I’m a vegan and have been for about two years now. I would never, ever judge anyone on their lifestyle or food choices!

10 Rose February 18, 2009 at 9:17 am

Good topic to bring up – I get questions like that too! One time, a coworker actually said, “I better not sit by you because I’m eating meat…” strange!

I consider myself a flexitarian too, but I also like to use the phrase, “opportunistic vegetarian,” meaning – that if the opportunity to eat vegetarian foods is available, I will more than likely do so. If the options aren’t there, then I’ll eat meat. Lucky for me – I do a lot of cooking at home, so I can eat as many veggies as I want! 🙂

11 Matt February 18, 2009 at 9:17 am

I eat mostly fish and poultry, but sometimes I’ll have some red meat.

12 snackface February 18, 2009 at 9:22 am

Some days I’m mostly vegan, some days I’m mostly vegetarian. It depends. BUT if there are ribs, shrimp or another seabeast around- I’m game. So a flexitarian, maybe

13 Shannon February 18, 2009 at 9:24 am

I am so a flexitarian and everyone thinks its so weird. i don’t care I eat what I eat. 🙂 I am so glad I have a term for it now. Thanks. 🙂

14 fitforfree February 18, 2009 at 9:26 am

I don’t like labels either. I eat a vegan diet, but have gone back and forth between vegetarian and vegan over the years and don’t think that’s a bad thing!

15 sweetandnatural February 18, 2009 at 9:36 am

I get asked if I’m a vegetarian all the time too. I just started telling people “I don’t really eat meat.” I never make it for myself, but I’ll order it at a restaurant on the rare occasion that something looks amazing or I’ll eat it if it’s being served to me and there is no way for me to make a balanced meal otherwise.

16 Amanda February 18, 2009 at 9:38 am

I’m a lactose-intolerant vegetarian, which means I stick with a mostly vegan diet and enjoy every bite of it. I’m non-judgemental about other foodies…to each her own! 🙂

17 brandi February 18, 2009 at 9:44 am

I need a HRM!!!

I wouldn’t call myself anything – I eat just about everything, unless it’s something I’ve tried before and don’t like.

18 Betsy February 18, 2009 at 9:44 am

I feel very similar to you – I don’t go out of my way to avoid meat, but I also don’t go out of my way to eat it regularly. It’s definitely more of a “treat” nowadays. Plus, it’s expensive!!

19 inmytummy February 18, 2009 at 9:46 am

I guess I’m a flexitarian. I was pescatarian for about 5 years and just recently reintroduced chicken back into my diet. I still don’t eat beef or pork though. Just not a fan.

It’s funny; I have this friend who, when I told her that I started eating chicken again, was like, “Oh, now you don’t have to get the veggie burger when we go out.” Some people don’t understand that I might actually like the veggie burger (or tofu or tempeh etc)!

20 Anna February 18, 2009 at 9:51 am

I’m a pescatarian (vegetarian who eats seafood) and some-time vegan. I strive for a 90% vegan diet.
I agree with you about disliking the labels- people get so hung-up on them!

21 Amelia February 18, 2009 at 9:51 am

I saw that article in Self as well! It had some really good tips about being vegetarian and the other options.

I went through a few stages in my eating, omnivore, true vegetarian, pescetarian, and i’m now a flexitarian. I would like to go back to being more of a pescetarian (fish as my only meat), but it’s hard sometimes especially at restaurants.

22 elise February 18, 2009 at 9:53 am

94.6% vegan…i occas have lactaid in my am coffee (although im mostly a silk girl now), and i believe there is a bit of dairy in greek yogurt too (which i also cant live without) – plus ive been known to have some fish when stranded in mexico for over a week (you can only have beans, rice, and guac for so long….)

🙂

23 Mica February 18, 2009 at 9:54 am

I love that cereal bowl! Yummy!

I guess I’m mostly a flexitarian, though I probably eat more meat than most. I try to only eat it once every couple of days though.

24 Kristin February 18, 2009 at 9:58 am

Wow, I am glad to learn there is a term for this! I would definitely label myself as a Flexitarian, as I rarely choose meat if I have other options.

I just love veggies and fruits way too much to sacrifice those for the more often than not chewy meat!

25 Heather Eats Almond Butter February 18, 2009 at 9:59 am

I’d have to go with Flexitarian as well. I haven’t been eating a lot of meat these days, but sometimes, there is nothing like a good burger!

26 Maggie February 18, 2009 at 10:07 am

I’m currently a vegetarian, but my recent macrobiotic experiment has made me vegan for the past 2 weeks! I don’t know if I could go vegan for good, but I’m very happy being a vegetarian. I used to eat fish, but I decided to stop back in Dec.

27 Joy February 18, 2009 at 10:10 am

i feel the same way.. i usually choose vegetarian options but i do eat chicken and turkey sometimes. i raaarely eat red meat, but a few times of year i will crave a burger and i am glad i don’t have to resist it! and i don’t eat fish simply because i don’t like it.

28 Amy February 18, 2009 at 10:13 am

That’s so crazy you brought that up because I just wrote an article at work, refering to a friend who was vegetarian who ate shrimp. I received some ANGRY e-mails from people claiming she wasn’t a “true” vegetarian, which is crazy! There are so many different types, diets, preferences…why do we need to label them ALL? I am a carnivore that doesn’t eat seafood…does that make me an antipescarnviore? I’m glad everyone here isn’t hung up on the labels! 🙂

29 Kristie February 18, 2009 at 10:17 am

That’s pretty much exactly how I am. I’ve never been a huge meat fan and I don’t eat it all that often but I don’t want to completely restrict myself and give myself labels. Once in a while I just really want to eat some chicken!

30 rhodeygirltests February 18, 2009 at 10:18 am

same like you, although I would eat more red meat and chicken if the hormone free/antibiotic free kinds weren’t so expensive.

meals with tons of veggies just seem to make me feel better and more energized.

31 Allison February 18, 2009 at 10:26 am

I read that same article! And I’m with you – woohoo for being a flexitarian!

32 HangryPants February 18, 2009 at 10:28 am

I am with you on labels! I do no call myself a vegetarian because I regularly eat eggs. Since doing the meatless month in July, I’ve eaten poultry 3 times.

33 Sharon February 18, 2009 at 10:30 am

Oh thanks for sharing the article. Really, I agree with labels and having to restrict yourself…

34 Mara @ What's For Dinner? February 18, 2009 at 10:31 am

I’m a total carnivore. I do like my meat and chicken, but I much prefer fish!

35 carolinebee February 18, 2009 at 10:35 am

That’s really interesting, I’m a total carn for sure :D! I think the big thing about the labeling, is the JUDGING that comes with it! My mom is a vegetarian, and when we eat with other ppl, it’s SO interesting to see how many people have to comment on her vegetarianism, or how often it becomes our first convo topic. Why are some ppl so interested in labeling, and then judging whether they think YOUR choice is a good one or not?? It’s not always necessarily bad comments- it’s just that some ppl think they are experts on telling others what or how to eat! I like your style of flexibility if you MUST be labeled 🙂

36 Ryan February 18, 2009 at 10:40 am

I was JUST thinking about this the other day and thinking that I’m not really a vegetarian because I do eat small amounts of meat occasionally, However, it’s not something I feel like I HAVE to have at every meal. I rarely ever buy meat to cook at home and I’m more about eating the “fake” meat products like tofu. I’d definitely say I’m a FLEXITARIAN! I’m happy to fit in somewhere 😀

37 ThirstyApe February 18, 2009 at 10:45 am

For all the flexitarians out there I have to recommend the book The Flexitarian Diet by Registered Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner. What a great resource!!!

http://www.amazon.com/Flexitarian-Diet-Vegetarian-Healthier-Prevent/dp/0071549579/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234971832&sr=8-1

The author’s website is really cool too. I have downloaded a ton of great recipes and watches so many helpful videos.

http://www.dawnjacksonblatner.com/

38 Amanda February 18, 2009 at 10:46 am

I never really thought about it, but since I moved out on my own and have been making my own food choices I would definitely lean towards flexitarian. I eat a lot of tofu, veggies, fruits, and whole grains. When I’m out at a restaurant I almost always order fish – probably because I find it hardest to cook myself! I do enjoy the occasional red meat, but it is probably once or twice a month. Interesting!

39 Danielle February 18, 2009 at 10:47 am

i guess I’m not just a regular old carnivore I eat meat a few times a week, but I avoid pork products, mostly chicken and the occasional red meat, very rarely, not because I don’t love it ( I do!) but more for health reasons.

40 Meg February 18, 2009 at 10:59 am

Lately I have been vegan, but more because of allergies.

41 Melissa S. February 18, 2009 at 11:04 am

ovo vegetarian all the way (ok lies, i am lacto, but only w/ yogurt…no milk or cheese!!) but it’s cool if you eat meat…no harm no foul to me!

42 mel February 18, 2009 at 11:05 am

I hate labels too! I ALWAYS get asked “Are you a vegetarian?” b/c I havent eaten red meat or any cow/pig meat in over ten years (I’m 22) but I LOVE fish and I will eat chicken or turkey if I’m at someones home for dinner or if I’m visiting my fam and my momma makes it, but I just dont buy it!! Fish, tofu, eggs, and almond butter are my main sources of protein. If I had to label myself Id be a flexarian, but I just simply say NO when people ask me if I’m a veg. I think you should eat what you want when you want!

43 livelaughlyss February 18, 2009 at 11:13 am

i don’t eat meat – 99% of the time – because i like vegetarian alternatives better! but i would never classify myself a vegetarian because i don’t have a strong stance behind the “animal rights” part of it. (not that i don’t believe in animals rights, but i do eat meat on occasion, and i would not be true to myself if i called myself a vegetarian). however, i guess that means i am a flexitarian like you! i eat chicken and turkey in moderation, but i dislike red meat and never eat it. seafood is delish though!

44 Hallie February 18, 2009 at 11:13 am

I was a terrible vegetarian for three years (hello, french fries and pizza), but if I didn’t live with my bf who feels it’s not a real meal unless there’s some form of meat involved, I’d probably be flexitarian at least. I know so much more now about protien sources and balanced eating. I like cooking and eating with the bf, so it’s ok with me that I eat more meat than I might choose to myself.

My newest compromise is to try to make my lunches as meat-free as possible.

45 lauren (athlEAT) February 18, 2009 at 11:16 am

I dont eat a ton of red meat – mostly poultry and seafood – but I do eat it occasionally, so I guess I am a carnivore – just not ALL out. Is there an in-between for carnivore and flexitarian? that’s me.

46 bobbi February 18, 2009 at 11:17 am

love the catergory flexatarian, thats sooo me!

47 Beadie February 18, 2009 at 11:20 am

I am a pescatarian which means that the only meat I eat is fish. I hope to one day be a full vegetarian but doubt that I will ever go vegan. I love greek yogurt and cheese too much 🙂

48 Sarah February 18, 2009 at 11:21 am

thanks for the tips on the garmin! i think i got mine figured out.
carnivore all the way baby. but no beef. just dont like it.

49 Justy2003 February 18, 2009 at 11:22 am

Flexitarian here as well! I eat meat occasionally, but I find that I will often pick the vegetarian options. I eat more meat at home than out probably…since I live with a boy and he loves his meat! Although I do regulate and call for a non-meat meal every once in a while 🙂

50 Olga February 18, 2009 at 11:22 am

Thanks for the article, I’m definitely going to check it out. I was thinking about going “vegetarian” for a while, since I’m starting to develop ethical issues with meat and how it’s processed. While I’m at school, I almost meet the goal (meat’s expensive, I don’t but it that often) but my Russian family LOVES its meat, so when I’m home, I’m usually FORCED to it eat. But it’s delicious so I don’t mind. I guess flexatarian it is!

51 Erin February 18, 2009 at 11:23 am

Glad you brought this up and I’m happy to have a word that might describe myself! I was a veggie for a while, but eventually decided it wasn’t right for me. I hate labels and restricting a whole food group. Sometimes I get meat cravings, but it’s rare. I generally eat veg options and don’t really ever cook meat, but I don’t want to call myself anything! I think I’m happier as “flexitarian.” Once I got of the veg bandwagon, I had massive meat cravings, so this is much more balanced.
It is annoying that people always think you’re a vegetarian if you want tofu. Tofu is good!

52 Julie February 18, 2009 at 11:41 am

Hahaha thats hilarious…a Flexitarian…I’m definitely one too..I LOVE veggies and chicken/fishish but def not the red meat type of person. Nice job with the runs 🙂 Haven’t dabbled with Tofu yet but i’m sure I’ll get there. Any good recommendations for what to do with it?

53 peanutbutterandjuli February 18, 2009 at 11:47 am

Once upon a time I was a vegetarian for years. Now I LOVE being a flexitarian- it makes eating, well, more flexible! Haha.

When I trained for the Chicago marathon I used a Garmin and it was definitely my best friend during that time. Glad to see it gets around 🙂

54 Kimberly February 18, 2009 at 11:59 am

I’ve been a big fan of the term ‘flexitarian’ since it was coined a couple of years ago; it leaves some very necessary wiggle room (for example, if I’m at a business lunch without veggie options, or want to sample a bite of my date’s steak or burger.) I don’t eat red meat or poultry, but my favorite food is scallops and could never give them up in the name of an “-ism.” And I do try to eat seafood at least once a week, since it’s SO good for you.

55 biz319 February 18, 2009 at 12:00 pm

I am definitely a Flexitarian – just wish I could eat more fish! Glad you didn’t have trouble getting up this morning!!

56 Victoria February 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm

I just listen to what my body wants. I eat seafood about once a week, and any other type of meat like once or twice a year. I just don’t care for how it makes me feel afterwards.
http://theidleloaf.wordpress.com

57 Mas February 18, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Are you allergic to bananas?

58 Lindsey February 18, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I’m a vegetarian, but it’s just a personal preference. I would never judge someone who does not share my diet. I’ve never been a fan of the texture or taste of any kind of meat, so I’m very happy as a veggie!!

59 Marianne February 18, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I like food, so I’ll be a fooditatian. I don’t normally buy beef to cook at home, only because I’m not good at cooking it the way l like it prepared (and I’m cheap), but I enjoy it as much as seafood, chicken and veggies. I eat a variety of things I like, and don’t eat what I don’t like. That’s about it.

60 Kirsten February 18, 2009 at 1:52 pm

I am a very proud vegetarian 🙂 There is a really cute book on being a flexitarian, I think someone else mentioned it in a previous comment. I definitely recommend it to all flexitarians, or omni’s thinking of cutting down on their meat consumption.

61 Shelby February 18, 2009 at 1:56 pm

I’m a vegan and I totally respect your choice. It’s not meant for everyone and if you enjoy what you eat…it’s all good! While I don’t particularly like the term flexitarian, it’s the right choice for you.

I hate labels, that’s why I don’t like that term. It kind of defeats the purpose because you just have a standard american diet, you just don’t eat meat all the time. That’s like me saying I’m a flexitarian with tofu because I don’t eat it everyday.

62 Diana (Soap & Chocolate) February 18, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Flexitarian, yeah! I never labeled myself before because I didn’t know how to – I rarely eat meat but couldn’t ever call myself vegetarian, so when I came across that Self article, I was like, eureka! That’s when I added the term to my blog’s bio. It’s like, most people have never even heard the term, but are desperate to put you in a box at the same time! Way to go.

63 Bec February 18, 2009 at 2:42 pm

flexitarian all the way!

64 Sweet and Fit February 18, 2009 at 3:39 pm

such a good post! I have been having a bit of trouble being a strict vegetarian – so I may have to become a flexitarian! love the article from Self too! thanks =)

65 Sarah February 18, 2009 at 4:27 pm

i’d say i’m a flexie, too. my coworkers and others who read the blog are always asking me if i’m a vegetarian because i eat things like tofu and veggie burgers on occasion … but i’m def with you on needing to keep the option open for trying everything!!

66 kilax February 18, 2009 at 5:59 pm

I am a vegetarian. I hate that people assume things about me just because I am though. I hate what the label implies.

67 Andrea February 18, 2009 at 7:07 pm

I was just thinking, before I read this post, that my label would be flexible ovo-vegetarian or flexible vegan that eats eggs. Labels, schmabels. It’s probably because I live in the granola-land that is Portland, but it’s not a habit to stereotype vegetarians here – there’s so many and all for different reasons. If anything, I feel like I’m not vegetarian enough compared to a lot of “hard core vegs” here.

68 Caroline February 19, 2009 at 1:04 am

That curried lentil soup sounds delish!

I personally am a lacto-vegetarian. I tried veganism for a stint last summer but found I wasn’t getting the nutrition I needed. Plus, I missed my cottage cheese:)

69 Sarah W. February 19, 2009 at 10:25 am

I am mostly vegan with some flexitarianism in there 🙂 I am NOT 100% strict strict vegan am only so beceause of health reasons. I avoid dairy. PERIOD. but I will have a bite of chicken here or there. and i stick to fish a few times a week (usually if I’m out at a restaurant and all the other vegetarian options contain dairy)

70 kristin point February 19, 2009 at 7:58 pm

I was a vegetarian for a year and one of the reasons I switched back to carnivore-ism was because I graduated college, moved back home and got SO MUCH CRAP from everyone in my family and some friends about being “vegetarian”. I hated having it be the first topic of convo when I sat down to the table at friend’s houses or resturants. I did it for ethical reasons based on how animals are processed and treated nowdays. I would never judge anyone for their prefences, I used to be the first to say “damn that steak looks good!” haha. But people either assumed I was judging meat eaters or doing it for health reasons (“oh stop it you’re so skinny allready!”). It was so annoying!

I’m currently a flexitarian but i’d love to stop eating meat again because my face was SO clear and beautiful when I wasnt eating meat! I attribute my breakouts nowdays to the hormones in meat etc.

Sorry for the rant but you’re talk of anti labels really is something I’m SOOO sick of as well!

71 tryingforatri February 19, 2009 at 9:02 pm

I’ve been a bit of everything, but I’d say I’m now a proud flexitarian too! I was a full-out lacto-ovo vegetarian for 8 years until I started eating fish again a couple years ago. I started eating poultry again just a few months ago, and I feel really good now that I’m eating meat again! I think my body likes it 🙂

Oh yes, and there was a dark month where I was vegan…

72 Andrea (Off Her Cork) February 21, 2009 at 9:08 am

Total flexitarian! I prefer veggies now most of the time but have fish at least once a week. And just last night I had wings! Meat isn’t my first choice usually but I have it occasionally.

But you are so right, the minute you just want veggies at a restaurant people start assuming. Just happened to me last time we went out with friends!

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