Flexitarian vs Vegetarian vs Vegan
What does it all mean anyways?
The world of nutrition and “diets” can be a pretty daunting place at first glance. With the plethora of information brought on by social media, it can be extremely confusing (and not to mention time consuming) to keep track of it all.
My goal with Mindfully Miranda is to provide real, useful and practical information about all things health related, and as someone who has tried the diets listed in the title before, I feel as though it’s appropriate I shed a little bit of light on the subject.
So whether you’re a vegetarian, a devout meat eater, or whether you just eat normally and are wondering “what the heck do all these labels mean anyways?” I’m here to help. My website is a place of openness and acceptance; and so regardless of your dieting labels or lack thereof, so long as you are healthy, you are happy with your food choices, and they make you feel good – keep doing what you’re doing! I’m proud of you.
Vegan: “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” (Ie: no consuming any products that contain or come from animals, such as no eggs, dairy, honey, leather, etc.)
Vegetarian: “Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish* or by-products of slaughter.”
Flexitarian: “a person who has a primarily vegetarian diet but occasionally eats meat or fish.”
Now labels are labels, and as much as I’d like to be able to go without them, sometimes we can’t change things, as they can be a handy tool for explanation purposes.
So I’ll start by a bit of background knowledge about myself, I was raised in a home in where we ate just about everything; meat, seafood, veggies, etc. The whole lot! I grew up eating a variety of foods, which were for the most part healthy and homemade. When I grew a bit older and learned about where my food came from, I chose to adapt a vegan diet which I carried on for a few months. For a brief period I did eat meat again, but it did not feel morally sound to me, so I chose to readapt my plant based diet. After doing such though, I did start to incorporate dairy, and eggs into my diet. My main reason for doing so was due to how I calculate my macro nutrient intake, and my need for a higher protein intake. Although this is not to say that you cannot be successful as a weightlifter following a vegan diet, you just must be more watchful of your intake which I found harder to do personally. Also, after craving seafood badly, I will occasionally have it if I want to. The main focus of how I eat now, is although I label myself a “vegetarian” for the purpose of ease, my diet is more varied than that, and I prefer now to listen to my body and it’s cravings – taking a more “flexitarian” approach. My intention with relaying all of this information to you, is to encourage you to accept change and growth as an individual, and to constantly adapt to changing needs and wants. What works for you now may not in a few months down the road, and so we must always be willing to make changes to do the best for our minds, bodies and ultimately for our health.
And before I let you all go, it is in your best interest that before starting any new diet or exercise regime that you receive clearance from a qualified medical practitioner that it is safe and healthy for you to follow.