“What exactly is a Flexitarian?” is a question I get asked a lot…
A straightforward answer is someone who embraces a veggie-dense diet while consciously eating less meat but not completely omitting it from their diet. In short, a semi-vegetarian.
We can all do with more veggies in our diet, but I’m not just talking about a bigger serving of peas and carrots. By bulking out our plates with an abundance of greens and reducing our meat consumption we can make space in the budget to make better albeit more expensive choices about the quality of meat we buy. Organic, free-range, grass-fed options become affordable when buying it on a much smaller scale. This in turn also takes the pressure off the meat industry to keep up with the insatiable demand for mass-produced “cheap” meat, where the farmers are forced to take short cuts to keep the industry profitable. Supporting local farmers who are doing things ethically not only reduces the overall food miles but also supports a more holistic sustainable approach to small-scale agriculture rather than fuelling the mass-produced factory farming system.
How did I get here?
I used to think I was doing my bit, I reused shopping bags (that often got left in the boot) and I bought a reusable coffee cup (that didn’t make it out the kitchen cupboard all that often). But becoming a mom was a serious eye-opener to the kind of legacy we are leaving behind for the next generation. We can no longer ignore the fact that we all need to make changes to our lifestyles that need to extend past owning trendy reusable products. But where do we start? How do we start? What if going vegan and buying a Prius just isn’t an attainable option for everyone? Can we still do enough to make a difference?
We all want to eat healthy food, we all want to do the best for the environment, we all have the greatest intentions. But somewhere between lack of awareness and life getting in the way, we find ourselves falling short, resorting to quick-fixes that aren’t doing us or the planet any favours.
With just a few simple changes, budget-friendly ideas and adjustments to the food we are already accustomed to eating, living a more eco-conscious lifestyle doesn’t have to be a complicated, expensive, big-life change. With just a few tweaks, even the most carnivorous amongst us can be convinced that eating more veggies and less meat is attainable, enjoyable and accessible to everyone wanting to improve their health and the health of our planet.
To create awareness by sharing simple, yet impactful ways that we can all be making a difference. I’m always on the lookout for easy, attainable ways to live more responsibly, from the food we consume (and the process it goes through getting onto our plates) to being more mindful of a less-waste lifestyle. Here are some of the ways I’m incorporating this philosophy into daily life:
- I’m dabbling in growing our own food
- Experimenting with a “more-veg less-meat” flexitarian diet
- I’ve started home composting our food waste
- Reducing my dependency on plastic and single-use items
The Flexitarian Foodie is the physical embodiment of my mantra to eat real food and live more consciously. An all-encompassing guide to living a sustainable— yet attainable— lifestyle. Showing how achievable it is to eat delicious real food while living mindfully, no matter the situation.
So, what can you do?
Start where you are
Don’t wait for Monday or next month or the new year, start right now. Even if it’s only by making one tiny change, if you can keep it up consistently and feel empowered to take another slightly bigger step in a sustainable direction. Then that is way more powerful than trying to do everything perfectly and it only lasts one week.
Use what you have
You don’t need to rush out and buy a whole new sustainable designer wardrobe or kit your pantry out in matching bamboo canisters. Upcycling, repurposing and mending to make do are far more impactful than all the trendy sustainable products that have flooded the market.
Do what you can
- You might not have access to free-range grass-fed meat, but you do have a huge garden; go plant some veggies
- You can only find quinoa that’s imported and in a plastic bag but you regularly support the local farmers market on weekends and always take your reusable bags
- You don’t have access to a recycling depot but you’ve started home composting your food waste
There is no perfect formula. Going vegan isn’t for everyone just as eating meat isn’t for everyone either. It’s ok to take it at your pace according to your values on your own terms. Everyone’s journey looks different. It’s not about being perfect it’s about being present. Mindfully taking stock of what you can realistically do for the long haul.