Flexitarian: noun | flex·i·tar·i·an – flek-si-tair-ee-uh n

Definition: A person whose diet is mostly vegetarian, but sometimes includes meat, fish or poultry

We’ve all heard of vegetarians, but what about ‘flexitarians’? Flexitarians don’t cut out meat entirely; their diet is just that – flexible. They typically eat veggies, fruits and healthy grains, but enjoy a meat protein like salmon or chicken every now and then. After Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney started the Meat Free Monday campaign in 2009, the lifestyle has been on the uptick. In fact, this emerging trend is set to be one of the biggest of the year, according to MSN.

So, what’s with the switch? Some think it’s due to people having unlimited knowledge right at their fingertips. Due to the crazy growth of technology, we’re more “in the know” about diet and nutrition. This is especially true among Millennials, the most digitally connected generation in history. According to Portside.com, these guys and gals value premium ingredients and high-quality foods. They also have embraced the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles more than others.

Cutting down on meat has many benefits. By doing so, studies show a reduced risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. And, the less meat we consume, the better it is for the planet. Some organizations have reported the livestock industry is responsible for nearly half of global greenhouse gas emissions. Others have the impact at below 20 percent. Either way, eating less meat is very good for sustainability.  

Flexitarianism is a great way to focus on a healthier lifestyle through a more plant-based diet, without completely giving up your favorite salmon or chicken dishes. Start by cutting out meat one day a week. If you enjoy it, add on more days as you go!