VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good
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“I live full-time in the world of omnivores, and I’ve never wanted to leave. But the Standard American Diet (yes, it’s SAD) got to me as it gets to almost everyone in this country.”
Six years ago, an overweight, pre-diabetic Mark Bittman faced a medical directive: adopt a vegan diet or go on medication. He was no fan of a lifelong regimen of pills, but as a food writer he lived—and worked—to eat. So neither choice was appealing.
His solution was a deal with himself. He would become a “flexitarian.” He adopted a diet heavy in vegetables, fruits, and grains by following a healthy vegan diet (no meat, dairy, or processed foods) all day. After 6:00 p.m. he’d eat however he wanted, though mostly in moderation. Beyond that, his plan involved no gimmicks, scales, calorie counting, or point systems. And there were no so-called forbidden foods—he ate mostly home-cooked meals that were as varied and satisfying as they were delicious, but he dealt with the realities of the office and travel and life on the run as best he could.
He called this plan Vegan Before 6:00 (VB6 for short), and the results were swift and impressive. Best of all, they proved to be lasting and sustainable over the long haul. Bittman lost 35 pounds and saw all of his blood numbers move in the right direction.
Using extensive scientific evidence to support his plan, the acclaimed cookbook author and food policy columnist shows why his VB6 approach succeeds when so many other regimens not only fail, but can actually lead to unwanted weight gain.
He then provides all the necessary tools for making the switch to a flexitarian diet: lists for stocking the pantry, strategies for eating away from home in a variety of situations, pointers for making cooking on a daily basis both convenient and enjoyable, and a complete 28-day eating plan showing VB6 in action. Finally, Bittman provides more than 60 recipes for vegan breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, as well as non-vegan dinners that embrace the spirit of a vegetable- and grain-forward diet.
If you’re one of the millions who have thought of trying a vegan diet but fear it’s too monotonous or unfamiliar, or simply don’t want to give up the foods you love to eat, VB6 will introduce a new, flexible, and quite simply better way of eating you can really live with . . . for life.
METABOLISM GONE WRONG Of course, even being less hungry doesn’t ensure that we’ll eat nutritious food, and it’s what we eat as well as how much we eat that represents the core problem. Which makes the solution far simpler than explaining the problem. You don’t even need to fully understand this complex system to recognize that you ignore it at your own risk. Obesity, or even being more than a little overweight, is a warning that the system isn’t functioning properly, that you’re not
beans, whole grains, nuts, and healthy fats; and minimal portions of animal products, processed carbohydrates, alcohol—and anything that qualifies as junk. Consider these principles as guidelines, not rules: You can—and should—tweak them to fit your life and personality. But remember: They’re the backbone of successful and sustainable weight loss and long-term good health. The more closely you follow them, the greater success you will have. 1. EAT FRUIT AND VEGETABLES IN ABUNDANCE The
If you don’t already know, you’ll soon learn that anything you can do with fish, poultry, and meat, you can do with vegetables—roasting, broiling, grilling, pan-cooking, and stir-frying, as well as poaching and steaming. And of course you can eat fruit and veggies raw; few animal-based dishes are as easy or as complex as a great salad. Fruit is a godsend when you’re craving something sweet. It even comes in convenient, individually portioned units: Think of apples, pears, bananas, and oranges as
ahead of time. This is touched upon in Principle One, and there are more specific ideas beginning with Chapter 6. In short, when you have a moment, do a kitchen task. It’ll make cooking easier at dinnertime. 5. Don’t sweat it. “Perfect” is the enemy of “good,” especially in the kitchen; don’t get hung up on doing everything just so. You’ll make mistakes, but you’ll also learn to improvise to compensate for ingredients or skills, or even time that you don’t have. The recipes here are simple
beans, garlic, chili powder, cumin, half of the salt, and some pepper in a bowl. Mash the mixture with a fork or potato masher; it should still be chunky. 2 Spread the mixture out on the prepared pan, drizzle with another tablespoon of oil, and roast, stirring a few times, until the beans are crumbly and crisp in places, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the tortillas to the oven with the beans for their last 5 minutes of cooking. 3 Meanwhile, put the cabbage, pepper, chile, scallions, lime juice,