A Flexitarian Diet Lifestyle

I have been thinking about my eating habits since I went visit my brother in Colorado, who has recently adopted a strict Vegan diet. Not only does he not eat any animal products, he abstains from eating any type of processed food. This adjusted nutritional lifestyle seems like a very difficult task. I’m not sure if I have the willpower to currently take such a drastic step in my own life. His new nutritional lifestyle made me reflect on my daily food choices. How does the food I eat affect me, and furthermore, how does it affect the environment? I never took time to think about how my food choices affect the environment. An Introduction to Ecology course at Lorain County Community College recently opened my eyes to my narrow scope of my food choices.  It also offered me a fresh perspective and challenged me to begin looking at my food and the environment through a broader lens. During my Ecology course is when I first heard the term flexitarian. It means someone who is a vegetarian and allows meat in his or her diet on occasion. I started thinking about the different food choices that I can make that can positively affect the environment without going to the extreme.

This idea of becoming a flexitarian is appealing to me, because even though I care about the environment and my own health, I am not ready to take such drastic steps in my life to become a full-fledged vegetarian. Instead, I want to push myself to make better food choices rather than feel guilty about eating meat or processed foods on occasion. I believe that eating a completely vegetarian diet is hard and can be costly. With the adoption of a flexitarian lifestyle, I can make changes while also bending the rules to suit my personal tastes. Also, I have a young son that loves his macaroni and cheese and I would not feel right restricting his food choices. However, he will still be affected by this lifestyle change because grocery shopping as a flexitarian will directly affect what I put on the dinner table. He will unknowingly reap the benefits of our newfound nutritional lifestyle.

While completing research on the flexitarian movement, I learned that many vegetarians do not like being compared to flexitarians because they do not eat meat and it is not the same lifestyle choice. I believe we live in a society that is full of meat eaters and we eat entirely too much of it. Meat seems to be the centerpiece of every meal. Becoming a flexitarian is a way to reduce your consumption and shift the focus on healthier more sustainable choices. I can make a contribution to the environment by being conscious of my food choices. Not only do I think about how I effect the environment, but also how my food choices affect my body. I want to make decisions that have a positive impact on the environment and my body that I feel good about. Where I am in my life, right now, becoming a flexitarian feels like a good place to be. By being open to change and new possibilities, I can contribute to the world around me. Furthermore, feeling confident and satisfied with the choices I make is one of the best benefits of my newfound nutritional lifestyle. 

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Michaela Joyce is a single mother that works full time at a local restaurant and attend classes full time at LCCC. I am working on an Associate of Arts currently and plan to pursue a writing career. I love spending time with my son, he is the center of my universe and everything I do I do with him in mind; my future is his future essentially.

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Kellea August 4, 2013

I ran across your article and I love it. I too, am on the same path of becoming a flexitarian and I try to cut out meat as much as I can. Thank you for being a voice for those of us who are exploring this lifestyle option. Keep up the good work and I hope to keep up with your process.

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adadad May 12, 2014

adad

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Michaela Joyce
Michaela Joyce is a single mother that works full time at a local restaurant and
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