Why I call myself Flexitarian

What being flexitarian means to me; hint its not just about cutting down on animal food...

Vegans swear a 100% plant-based, high carbohydrate diet is the answer.

Paleo advocates swear a grain-free, dairy-free, protein-rich diet is the answer.

LCHF (Low-carb, high fat) advocates swear high protein, high fat diet including bacon, cheese and bulletproof coffee is the answer.

And Doctors pretend that diet has nothing to do with anything.

Of course all of these statements are big generalisations - I have met some incredible vegan doctors, vegetarian paleo advocates and all combinations in between. If you are a hardcore believer and follower of one of these approaches, thats great! But please respect that not everyone will thrive on your eating plan and they are entitled to make their own choices without your judgement.

I have seen friendships end because of difference in opinion over what constitutes the 'perfect' diet, which is crazy!

Quick snapshot of the 3 most popular food theories of 2018:

PALEO

LCHF

VEGAN

Dairy

PALEO SAYS: NO

Dairy is baby-cow growth fluid, full of pus, antibiotics, hormones and endocrine disruptors. No milk, cheese, yoghurt, or any form of dairy is permitted on Paleo. Dairy consumption causes acidosis in the body and to buffer the acid in the bloodstream the body pulls its biggest acid neutraliser calcium carbonate from bones.

LCHF SAYS: YES

Dairy is high in calcium, fat and protein and a convenient low-carbohydrate option on LCHF.

VEGAN SAYS: NO

A true vegan consumes no dairy whatsoever for all the same reasons as Paleo. Vegans are often strong animal welfare advocates, and the dairy industry is built on the theft of baby a baby cows food source.

Animal Flesh, eggs, gelatine etc

PALEO SAYS: YES

Infamous for a high protein content, although how much differs between advocates. Paleo generally excludes processed meats and encourages eating nose to tail and aiming for organic, grass-fed options. P Bone broth & gelatin are paleo 'superfoods'

LCHF SAYS: YES

Protein is a vital part of LCHF, because it is the macronutrient that stays longest in the stomach it helps with appetite management. Since no starchy vegetables are allowed on LCHF, a larger portion of the plate is dedicated to animal products.

VEGAN SAYS: NO

No animal-derived foods are permitted as a vegan. All protein requirements are easily met through a 100% plant-based diet. Animal farming practices are often inhumane and are destroying our environment faster than any other industry. Animal products are the only source of dietary cholesterol and due to our unnatural farming practices, our meat is often full with harmful bacteria, antibiotics and hormones. Grass fed/organic meats are not immune from pharmaceutical interventions, so are little better than conventional.

Wholegrains (rice, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, wholegrain wheat, oats etc)

PALEO SAYS: NO

Grains like wheat, soy, corn etc are almost always GMO. Refined grains, turn to sugar (glucose) in the body quickly, and therefore have an impact on blood-sugar levels.

LCHF SAYS: NO

Grains are carbohydrates, and therefore are completely excluded from a LCHF diet, for the same reasons as Paleo. Following LCHF strictly can create a excessive fear of carbohydrate foods. Since grains are a primary source of fibre, those on LCHF need to take special care to get enough.

VEGAN SAYS: YES

Whole grains are a valuable source of protein on a vegan diet. However this is varies greatly between individuals. Some are gluten-free, some avoid soy and corn depending on their tolerances.

Vegetables

PALEO SAYS: YES

On Paleo, vegetables are encouraged aiming for a variety of colours & cooking methods.

LCHF SAYS: YES (but with conditions)

Low-starch vegetables are allowed, but starchy ones like potatoes, pumpkin, carrots etc that have a higher carbohydrate content are not.

VEGAN SAYS: YES!

The foundation of a vegan diet is vegetables, of all colours shapes and sizes. Vegans focus on a 'living' diet, and some take this to a whole new level with raw vegan foods only. Fresh or frozen, cooked or raw - its all good.

 Legumes

PALEO SAYS: NO

Legumes (and grains for that matter) are high in phytates and lectin which are substances that plants produce to ward off pests. They can cause damage to the human digestive tract - especially when not prepared correctly.

LCHF SAYS: NO

Although legumes are a high protein food, they are also carbohydrates so are out for a true LCHF diet.

VEGAN SAYS: YES!

Legumes frequently feature in vegan recipes as the primary protein foods. When combined with other protein options, all amino acid requirements are met easily. As for phytates and lectin, when prepared correctly by soaking and cooking properly, legumes are generally tolerated very well.

ALL of the statements in the table above are true... ARE YOU CONFUSED YET!?

When I was first introduced to Paleo and read up on it. I loved the science and started adopting more of that in my life. 

Some time later when I was first introduced to LCHF to lose weight, I read up on it. I loved the science and started adopting that into my life. 

When I was first introduced to Vegan, I read up on it and watched some scary documentaries. I loved the science, the environmental impact and animal welfare aspects so I started adopting more vegan days into my life. 

No wonder we have no idea what to eat!

This is why these days I call myself FLEXITARIAN. As a Flexitarian, I have ditched the dogma & rules and eat in a way that works for MY BODY. And you know what? I've never felt more empowered or physically well.

If I had to describe what my version of flexitarian is; I'd say I'm 90% Gluten-free, wholefood vegan, 5% Paleo, and 5% whatever-the-hell-i-feel-like-at-the-time.

Its easy, guilt free and intuitive eating.

It respects that we are all hardwired slightly differently, have different nutritional needs and time for preparing food.

To start with it can be hard to decide what does make you feel good and what doesn't. So to help you get out of the dieting trap and into your best ever body; I have created the Flexitarian Foodies group on facebook. In there you will find a bunch of free resources to help you get rid of limiting beliefs and just eat good food. Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/537907619874507/. 

See you in there.

By | 2018-03-15T11:32:39+00:00 March 13th, 2018|Nutrition|0 Comments

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