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TOPIC: Are you a "Flexitarian"?

 
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June 15, 2012 9:11 AM
In researching a dietary lifestyle choice upon starting MyFitnessPal I came across the Top 6 Types of Vegetarians:

1. Pescatarian (also spelled pescetarian)
The word “pescatarian” is occasionally used to describe those who abstain from eating all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish. Although the word is not commonly used, more and more people are adopting this kind of diet, usually for health reasons or as a stepping stone to a fully vegetarian diet.

2. Flexitarian/Semi-vegetarian
You don’t have to be vegetarian to love vegetarian food! “Flexitarian” is a term recently coined to describe those who eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but occasionally eat meat.

3. Vegetarian (Lacto-ovo- vegetarian)
When most people think of vegetarians, they think of lacto-ovo-vegetarians. People who do not eat beef, pork, poultry, fish, shellfish or animal flesh of any kind, but do eat eggs and dairy products are lacto-ovo vegetarians (“lacto” comes from the Latin for milk, and “ovo” for egg).
• Lacto-vegetarian is used to describe a vegetarian who does not eat eggs, but does eat dairy products.
• Ovo-vegetarian refers to people who do not eat meat or dairy products but do eat eggs.

4. Vegan
Vegans do not eat meat of any kind and also do not eat eggs, dairy products, or processed foods containing these or other animal-derived ingredients such as gelatin. Many vegans also refrain from eating foods that are made using animal products that may not contain animal products in the finished process, such as sugar and some wines. There is some debate as to whether certain foods, such as honey, fit into a vegan diet.

5. Raw vegan/Raw food diet
A raw vegan diet consists of unprocessed vegan foods that have not been heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius). “Raw foodists” believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost a significant amount of their nutritional value and are harmful to the body.

6. Macrobiotic
The macrobiotic diet, revered by some for its healthy and healing qualities, includes unprocessed vegan foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and allows the occasional consumption of fish. Sugar and refined oils are avoided. Perhaps the most unique qualifier of the macrobiotic diet is its emphasis on the consumption of Asian vegetables, such as daikon, and sea vegetables, such as seaweed.

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I am experimenting with vegetarianism and currently would classify myself as a "Flexitarian" BUT have decided not to include meat of any type. However, I will eat sustainable wild fish; free range eggs; and the occasional organic dairy product!

Do you fit within any of these categories?
June 15, 2012 9:17 AM
Flexitarian fits me best.
June 15, 2012 10:49 AM
I guess I'll be semantic and say that 1, 2, and 6 are not vegetarians. Maybe it just bothers me more because I lived in Miami and so many people did not know what vegetarianism is. I had one friend who'd eat seafood all the time and chicken occasionally but would say that she's "vegetarian for moral reasons." That was a pet peeve of mine.

But I definitely think that I'd qualify as a flexitarian. I eat chicken about once a week, fish once a week, and red meat ~once a month. The rest of my meals are vegetarian. It's a bit more challenging for me to keep my protein up (I aim for 1g/ LBM lb), but it's not too hard. Actually, I think a big challenge comes when I eat out- many places have vegetarian options but are carb-heavy. I'll probably try to add one more fish meal per week for the health benefits.
June 15, 2012 11:09 AM
I was vegetarian for about 10 years and vegan for 6 of those. I currently eat very little meat (maybe every other day for one meal), but I would never consider myself any kind of "..arian."
  22001998
June 15, 2012 11:11 AM
I have been a vegetarian for 15 years. I have recently begun considering Pescatarian because I miss seafood. It's difficult though after 15 years and I haven't taken that plunge yet.
June 15, 2012 11:16 AM
I've been vegan for 13 years and was vegetarian for four years before that. I have to say, I get rather frustrated when folks claim "Well, I'm almost vegetarian," or "I'm vegetarian, but I eat fish and chicken every once in a while.' ...that means you're an omnivore who prefers vegetables to meat.

That said, my husband is a "flexitarian," but we view it has his slow transition to vegetarianism. He doesn't eat cow or pig, or rabbit, duck, lamb, horse... none of those really cute animals, but he still eats chicken and turkey occasionally. He's beginning to see chickens as cute, so they'll be on the "Do Not Eat" list soon. Like I said, though, he certainly doesn't claim any food "ism" just yet.
June 15, 2012 11:21 AM
QUOTE:

I was vegetarian for about 10 years and vegan for 6 of those. I currently eat very little meat (maybe every other day for one meal), but I would never consider myself any kind of "..arian."


Just curious, what made you switch from being a Vegan to where you are at now? Was it nutrition related or other?
June 15, 2012 11:21 AM
No - omnivore, as nature intended :D
  16043291
June 15, 2012 11:25 AM
I suppose I fit that bill. I was a vegetarian for about 10 yrs. I still eat mostly vegetarian, mostly vegan these days. Turns out my life-long GERD (since I was a preschooler) that led to Barrett's Esophagus (a precancerous condition) is due to a recently diagnosed issue with dairy products. Since I gave up dairy, I haven't had ONE bout of reflux. ...I miss cheese, though.
  14314578
June 15, 2012 11:26 AM
QUOTE:

I have been a vegetarian for 15 years. I have recently begun considering Pescatarian because I miss seafood. It's difficult though after 15 years and I haven't taken that plunge yet.


I grew up virtually on or in the water (sailor, scuba diver, swimmer, etc) and seafood is a huge part of my life - I have been educating myself so that I choose my seafood wisely of late -- pollution, genetic manipulation, bad aquaculture practices and sustainability have now forever changed the way I once viewed the ocean and it's no longer abundant source of food!
June 15, 2012 11:33 AM
QUOTE:

I've been vegan for 13 years and was vegetarian for four years before that. I have to say, I get rather frustrated when folks claim "Well, I'm almost vegetarian," or "I'm vegetarian, but I eat fish and chicken every once in a while.' ...that means you're an omnivore who prefers vegetables to meat.

That said, my husband is a "flexitarian," but we view it has his slow transition to vegetarianism. He doesn't eat cow or pig, or rabbit, duck, lamb, horse... none of those really cute animals, but he still eats chicken and turkey occasionally. He's beginning to see chickens as cute, so they'll be on the "Do Not Eat" list soon. Like I said, though, he certainly doesn't claim any food "ism" just yet.


Your husband sounds very much like where I am / was in my "transition" to a vegetable based diet. It sounds like many Vegetarians and the more hard core Vegans take issue with the loose nomenclature around vegetarianism -- however, it is so difficult for us 'in between' folk to try and explain ourselves that a defined term such as "Flexitarian" becomes very useful. I know, it may not make a whole lot of sense, but it does work - at least for me :-)
June 15, 2012 11:38 AM
I did the pescatarian thing for a good long time and am considering doing it again. I felt wonderful on it. However, I cannot say I was ever a full pescatarian, because I enjoy wild meat, and I am a hunter. I believe if you kill something you should use as much of it as possible. So I don't kill animals just for fun, we actually fill our freezer with it and enjoy the fruits of our labor...so to speak glasses
  24082962
June 15, 2012 11:44 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I was vegetarian for about 10 years and vegan for 6 of those. I currently eat very little meat (maybe every other day for one meal), but I would never consider myself any kind of "..arian."


Just curious, what made you switch from being a Vegan to where you are at now? Was it nutrition related or other?


I actually started working out and felt like I was missing something, so I added dairy. About a year later I added eggs. Then I very gradually started eating meat. Of course this was years ago, and I have since had two more babies and gained 50lbs, so I'm trying to find what works for me currently. I seem to do well with dairy, eggs, and a little meat. And I absolutely consider fish and poultry to be meat. I think it's really silly to separate animals into different categories so as to go by a different title.
  22001998
June 15, 2012 2:32 PM
Currently I'd be a Flexitarian but I'm moving towards vegetarian or vegan. I just hate wasting food I already bought/getting used to making veggie choices at restaurants. Eating out is REALLY hard for me to switch now. I wasn't expecting to be since I was vegetarian for two years and vegan for eight already.
June 15, 2012 2:40 PM
nonlabelarianlaugh
June 15, 2012 2:43 PM
So I'm sorry if I'm splitting hairs but 1,2 and 6 are not vegetarians. The only reason that i point this out is because I know a few people that eat chicken and fish like 3 times a week but consider themselves vegetarian. This sucks for people that actually are because others try to feed us chicken and fish because they know a vegetarian that eats them.

I'm a vegetarian, working toward becoming vegan.
June 15, 2012 2:44 PM
Omnivore. I eat chicken, turkey, lots of fish, very little pork, and red meat only few times a month; and eggs, and all milks products almost daily. I don't eat lamb.

I eat lots of vegetables, fruits and some grains, but I can never be a true vegetarian or vegan because I need my protein and I prefer to keep my carbs in check.

I already have enough problems eating out and trying to find healthy choices that fit my macros.
June 15, 2012 2:44 PM
I guess the important thing to consider here is your motivation. Are you deciding to do this for moral or health reasons ? There are many moral reasons to consider reducing your meat intake, not just because you think animals are 'cute'. The 'cuteness' of animals is a particularly weak and hypocritical argument for not eating them. There are many cute animals that wouldn't blink before eating me.

However, I do believe that factory farming is immoral/illegal. The way that we obtain most of our chicken,pork and beef and much of our fish these days is destructive to the environment and the health of the people who work in the factories and produces a very poor product. Farming laws are being changed to push the local farmer out of the picture. I have no problem eating meat, but I don't see why it should come at such a high environmental cost, or why the animals should be tortured. A pig in a field is one thing, but a pig in a cage is not something I want to participate in.
June 15, 2012 2:48 PM
Definitely not a flexatarian! I think meat is yucky. Even fish. I like it as far as taste goes but blech... lol I'm vegan as much as possible!
  6546326
June 15, 2012 2:51 PM
I've been a vegetarian on and off most of my life. Not for moral or religious reasons. I just wanted to do it. I guess you could call me a flexitarian. I eat mostly vegetarian, but will eat meat or fish (mostly fish) on occasion.
June 15, 2012 8:16 PM
I've been a pescetarian since December of 2009. I've had other forms of meat maybe three or four times since then. I've often thought about quitting, and might at some point, but for now it's become very comfortable for me and I'm quite used to it. I made the change because I was afraid of the heart problems associated with eating red meats and saturated fat. Fish is a good source of lean protein and healthy fats plus Omega 3. It's not really about animal rights and it's definitely not a form of vegetarianism. Fish are animals just like any other. This was completely about health and reinforcing self-control for me, not about anything else (although I completely understand and support vegetarians and wish I had the willpower to be one!)
  7309771

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