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The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life Hardcover – September 10, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Thanks to the growing health movement known as “flexitarianism,” you can manage your weight, increase your energy, and lower your health risks with a flexible nutrition plan that minimizes meat without excluding it. The Flexitarian Diet is not a diet in the strict sense of the word but a smart new way of cooking, eating, and living that's as flexible as you are. You can eat what you want with the Five-by-Five Flex Plan--five basic five-part guidelines that you customize to your taste:

  • Five Flex food groups
  • Five main-ingredient recipes
  • Five types of FlexLife troubleshooters
  • Five Flex fitness factors
  • Five-week Flex meal plan

Here's how it works:
There are no rules and no restrictions. Just eat more plants during your regular meals--and try to do the best you can. It's that simple. Once you understand the basics of “FlexFoods,” you can swap your ingredients, change your dinner plans, beef up your main dishes with “meaty” alternatives, and spice up your vegetables for fully satisfying meals.

The secret is “flexibility,” according to registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, the creator of The Flexitarian Diet. As health columnist for LifetimeTelevision's website, she knows what dieters are looking for. As spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, she realizes that vegetarianism keeps us slim and healthy. But as a “closet meat-eater,” she understands how hard it is to live exclusively on tofu and sprouts. That's why she developed this wonderfully flexible plan-so you can make your own choices and go at your own pace. (If you're worried about how everything will taste, relax--Dawn is an experienced cooking instructor!)

The choice is yours. Just follow some of the suggestions some of the time, and you can still lose weight, improve your heart health, decrease your risk of diabetes and cancer, and live longer--with the veggie-smart diet that let's you have your meat and eat it too.

About the Author

Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN, is a registered and licensed dietitian and a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. She appears regularly in print and video on Lifetime Television's website, MyLifetime.com, hosts a “Healthy Eating” segment on Chicago's “Fox News in the Morning,” writes a food and nutrition blog for USA Today, and teaches cooking classes at The Chopping Block Cooking School. She is an advisory board expert for Fitness and Time Out Chicago magazines. She has appeared on CNN as well as "Dateline NBC,” “NBC Nightly News,” and other programs. Visit her website at www.dawnjacksonblatner.com.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (September 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071549579
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071549578
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a registered dietitian, chef, and fellow author, I find few diet books worthy of recommending. But The Flexitarian Diet is one that I do highly recommend. It's based on sound science. It's written in a witty, easy-to-follow style in a way in which you know that Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, is passionate about what she is suggesting.

I love that everything is based on straightforward fives--five food groupings, five-week meal plan, and more. But it's not based on a gimmick like so many diet books. And it's not really a "diet" as it's not based on avoidance. It's a positive, no-guilt approach to eating, which is the most effective approach to healthy eating for a lifetime. In fact, this fresh flexitarian approach is how I eat and what I tell those who are not already vegetarians to strive for. That means if you really want a little bit of meat, it's okay on occasion.

Plus, there are many, many recipes (with short ingredient lists!) and shopping checklists included that make eating healthfully and following a meal plan simple--without sacrificing flavor.

You will enjoy this smart book while getting healthier at the same time!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book could have been titled Healthier and Thinner in Five Easy Steps! The premise of this book is that you don't have to go to extremes to be healthy. As Dawn Jackson Blatner says on page 1, this diet isn't about rigid rules, it's about eating more plants and doing the best you can. She never judges you for what you eat, but makes suggestions about how to add healthy foods and habits to your busy life.

The Flexitarian Diet is filled with yummy recipes (most have no more than five ingredients!), shopping lists, and expert suggestions for curbing cravings and generally feeling good. The book focuses on five main areas of eating: meat alternatives (although meat is still "allowed"), fruits and veggies, grains, dairy, and sugar and spice. The author introduces one area per week, describing the nutritionist's favorite ways to incorporate new foods into your diet, or new ways to enjoy foods you already eat.

I tend to eat pretty healthily already, but I learned a lot from this book. I've tagged the pages with the recipes I've tried and loved, as well as at least a dozen I can't wait to try. But I think my favorite thing about it is that it supports the way I like to think about health and eating. I used to be a vegetarian, but I went back to eating meat a few years ago. I always felt a little guilty about it, as though I wasn't strong enough to resist the smell of a steak on the grill. Flexitarian eating is about trusting yourself and understanding that diet is flexible, and that flexibility is a strength, not a weakness. Thank you, Dawn Jackson Blatner!
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Format: Hardcover
That's the number of daily meal combinations that you can create Dawn Jackson Blatner's mix and match menus/recipes. Part 1 explains her purpose behind the five by five by five plan: five is the average number of ingredients people run into the grocery store to buy after work for that night's dinner. Five small meals a day to fuel your metabolism: 300 calorie breakfast, 400 calorie lunch, 500 calorie dinner, and 2 150- calorie snacks which equals 1500 calories a day. Need only 1200 calories? No problem eliminate snacks. Need 1800 calories? No problem. Double up breakfast. That's the whole point of being FLEXIBLE. The calorie count design allows me to be lazy and have the occasional Amy's Mattar Paneer Tofu(vegan) with a broiled banana for dinner without feeling like I've blown anything. It even has a quiz where you can see where you are one the flexitarian scale.

Part 2: Introduces you to some vegetarian foods you may not be familiar with if you are a carnivore. She also talks to you about setting up your healthy pantry, getting in more fruits and veggies (even into the picky veggie-hating eaters in your family. Nuts, cheese, and barbeque or sweet and sour sauce anyone? There is a chart that tells you how long to cook different grains such as quinoa, teff, kasha etc. I love the fact that this info is all in handy chart form making it easy to use for those of us, like me, with short attention spans.

Part 3 has those mix-and-match meal plans that I love so much. She has 5 different week with 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners, and 7 snacks complete with shopping lists should you want to follow the plan exactly. Note: the shopping lists assume you've stocked your pantry so, if you skipped that part, you might want to go back and reread it.
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Format: Hardcover
From: [...]

Book Review: The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life (McGraw-Hill, 2008) by Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN

A licensed and registered dietitian and a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, Dawn Jackson Blatner is also the hostess of a "Healthy Eating' segment on Chicago's Fox News in the Morning. Once referring to herself as a "closet meat eater, she now openly calls herself a flexitarian. Dawn is mainly a vegetarian who eats a little red meat on occasion--a flexitarian.

Dawn Blatner writes that the word "flexitarian" was chosen by the American Dialect Society as the Most Useful Word of the Year (2003). Also, a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition sampled 13,000 people and found that 2 of 3 vegetarians eat this way.

Key Points to The Flexitarian Diet:

* Eating a plant-based vegetarian diet is the smartest thing we can do for our health.
* The author has taught flexitarian eating to thousands of clients and has seen them lose 20-80lbs.
* Phytochemicals in plants protect us from all types of disease.
* Vegetarians live 3.6 years longer on average than non-vegetarians. (They have less disease.) They also weigh approximately 15% less than non-vegetarians.
* The Flexitarian Diet is a gradual shifting to a healthier way of eating. It promises a 15-30lb weight loss within 6-12 months. Benefits also include improved: energy, self-esteem, arthritis, blood pressure, cholesterol, sleep, triglyceride and glucose levels. Also associated with this type of diet is a reduced risk of: cancer, diabetes, heart disease.
* Contains 100 recipes, but no photos of them.
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