Tips to help you follow a vegetarian or flexitarian lifestyle

Forget what’s trending on Twitter or what’s viral on tik tok – the most fascinating trends for the upcoming season are happening in supermarket aisles across New Zealand. 

Hannah Gilbert, accredited dietitian and Director of Culinary Innovation and Operations at HelloFresh, says you’re not alone with a growing focus on health, sustainable eating and incorporating a flexitarian lifestyle in 2022.

Luckily, switching your eating habits doesn’t need to be hard. Hannah has rounded up some top tips and deliciously easy recipes to help you begin your new flexitarian lifestyle.

Nutrient-dense meals

A worry for many making the transition is not being able to fill up with the nutrients our bodies rely on. The best news is that all the protein, iron and essential vitamins you need can be found in plant-based sources like lentils, beans, tofu, fruits and dark leafy greens.

These nutrient-packed staples are key to build your meals around.

Try simple recipes like Creamy Chickpea Stew and Basil Pesto & Roasted Pumpkin Risoni that pack in all the goodness your body needs.

Ordering meals from a meal-kit delivery service such as HelloFresh can work well for meal-planning purposes, as their recipe cards and apps often have all the nutritional information easily available for you to access and plan your eating around.

Take your time to get used to eating flexi

Not all the way there yet? Don’t feel the pressure to completely cut out all animal-products straight away. Instead, make changes at your own pace.

According to Google Trends, many Kiwis are looking to strike a balance when it comes to their meat intake, with searches for ‘pescatarian diet’ growing by 150 per cent at the end of 2021.

Try Meatless Monday as an easy way to include at least one vegetarian meal a week. Meals like a Roasted Vegetable & Red Pesto Penne that you can easily add a meat option to, such as bacon or chicken, are easily customisable and scrumptious either way.

Remember it doesn’t have to be boring

We all know that the key to sticking to new food habits is to love what you eat. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re excited about the delicious vegetarian meals you’re eating!

There’s a common misconception that veggie-based meals lack pizazz, but with the growth of both vegetarianism and flexitarianism, flavour and complexity is constantly improving.

Feel free to get creative with the Tunisian-style spices in this Honey-Glazed Haloumi & Spiced Roast Veggies recipe.

Think of the health benefits

Aside from being delicious, incorporating a vegetarian or flexitarian diet can be more sustainable and good for your gut microbiota.

Whatever your reason is to make the shift, it’s as an exciting opportunity to experiment with new foods, recipes and techniques. If you need a helping hand in the process, there are always meal kits, like HelloFresh with plenty of recipes and resources available to make life that little bit easier, and tastier.

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