I live full-time in the world of omnivores, and Ive never wanted to leave. But the Standard American Diet (yes, its 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 livedand workedto 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. hed 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 foodshe 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 youre one of the millions who have thought of trying a vegan diet but fear its too monotonous or unfamiliar, or simply dont 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.
MARK BITTMAN is one of the countrys best-known and most widely respected food writers. His How to Cook Everything books, with one million copies in print, are a mainstay of the modern kitchen. Bittman is a columnist for theNew York Times, writing on food policy and cooking in the Opinion and Dining sections and theNew York Times Magazine.
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