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.
hyper-processed food, “food” that doesn’t even meet the definition of food. This last factor—the real food factor—is precisely what makes VB6 radically different. Not only will you be changing the way you eat forever, rather than plunging temporarily into a radical diet, you’ll be eating what your body needs to work properly and feel its best. FOOD AS FUEL Thinking of your body as a machine remains a handy way to explain some of the science of metabolism, the discussion of “calories in,
tests to try to determine your specific molecular and hormonal makeup—probably futile or wishful thinking. At the heart of this process is the calorie, the measure of energy and the mother of points, indexes, loads, densities—all of the ways people keep track of what they put in their mouths. And while VB6 works even if you count nothing, understanding calories will help you understand why it’s successful. THE CALORIE CONUNDRUM The calorie is the most common way to measure the fuel that
silken tofu, drained and patted dry 1 Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and garlic and sprinkle with salt; cook until the onion is translucent and the garlic is soft, 3 to 5 minutes. 2 Add the chiles and cook, stirring, until fragrant, less than a minute. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the spinach and ¼ cup water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and fairly dry, 5 to 8 minutes. 3
add the eggs to the soup in a steady stream, stirring constantly, and keep stirring until the eggs are cooked, just a couple of minutes. Serve with soy sauce and sesame oil for passing at the table. NUTRITIONAL INFO (with spinach, asparagus, and rice): Calories: 551 • Cholesterol: 0mg • Fat: 19g • Saturated Fat: 3g • Protein: 42g • Carbohydrates: 62g • Sodium: 2074mg • Fiber: 14g • Trans Fat: 0g • Sugars: 6g GREENS AND BEANS SOUP MAKES: 8 SERVINGS TIME: 1½ TO 2 HOURS, LARGELY
sprinkle with the salt and some pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their liquid, become tender, and the pan is beginning to dry out again, 10 to 15 minutes. 2 Meanwhile, puree the cooked beans in a food processor or blender with ½ cup water and let the machine run until the mixture is smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides and puree again. The mixture should thickly coat the back of a spoon. If not, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. 3 Add the garlic