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VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 To Lose Weight And Restore Your Health . . . For Good

“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.

Hardcover: 288 pages

Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (April 30, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0385344740

ISBN-13: 978-0385344746

Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (379 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #38,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #62 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diets & Weight Loss > Low Fat #63 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diets & Weight Loss > Vegetarian #142 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Vegetarian & Vegan > Vegan

I've been following this type of lifestyle since last year and I've lost nearly 100 pounds so far. I didn't have to wait on this book because Bittman has openly shared his VB6 lifestyle for a few years, and I've read every article and blog post with interest. I couldn't wait to get hold of his new book and I ordered the Kindle version at midnight when it was released.VB6 is informative and inspiring. It provides the basis for a very liveable lifestyle that has the potential to turn your life around, just as it did mine. The book includes a 28 day menu plan to get you started, complete with a variety of delicious recipes. Weekly wildcards let you bend away from plants if you are in a pinch or social situation that requires it.The recipes range from simple to complex, but none require special skills or hard to find ingredients. The recipes include more nutrition info than most other healthy cookbook provides. They include calories, cholesterol, fat, sat fats, protein, carbs, sodium, fiber, trans fats, and sugar.I've lived a plant strong lifestyle, but not 100% plants, for the last decade. I still ate cheese and other dairy products. I ate seafood a few times a year. I also ate a lot of junk. Processed foods, too many grains, and way too much sugar. Definitely not enough vegetables. I battled my weight and felt terrible.I strongly dislike labels such as vegan and vegetarian. Labels give some people reason to judge others and their dietary choices, which is really just silly. They also evoke guilt and confusion when someone struggles to conform. This is NOT a book about being vegan. VB6 is not about perfection or 100% adherence to a specific plan. It's about making better choices that we can live with.

A disclaimer: I came to this book with a lot of skepticism. As a (vegan) fan of Mark Bittman, who has relied heavily on his columns in Runners World, his columns/recipes in the New York Times, and on his How to Cook Everything Vegetarian book, the concept of eating vegan only until 6PM, and then eating a heavy meal, did not make sense.But from Dean Ornish's foreword, endorsing the approach, I realized that if the few hours per day one is not vegan are in the morning, noon, or evening matters little. What matters is that most of one's diet is vegan, and that those evening meals aren't heavy, either.Bittman explains that his approach developed when his own doctor advised weight loss via a vegan diet as a requirement to avoid the diabetes and cardiovascular issues towards which he was heading. Even readers like myself, who don't have "numbers" pointing towards those problems, can recognize that weight loss is a benefit in relieving any orthopedic problems which are developing.There are a lot of "convenience foods" which people rely on, whether dieting or not, and Bittman goes into a lot of depth as to why the Lean Cuisines and packaged "diet" bars are really no better, for nutrition or weight loss, than their non-diet cousins. The key is making your own meals, and "cooking" doesn't have to be such a big production.Bittman explains the diet and then provides some great breakfast, lunch, and (non-vegan, but not very fattening) dinner recipes. The lunches include lots of salads and soups, and since I've never been disappointed with a Bittman recipe, I'm looking forward to trying these.

I was very hesitant to give Mark Bittman's VB6 only three stars. I have closely followed Bittman's writing in the New York Times for several years. I own two of his cookbooks, How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, and use both constantly.But perhaps that is the problem. For anyone that follows Bittman or other similar food writers, there is really nothing new in this book other than collecting all of his recent ideas in one place. I actually read about Bittman's "VB6" diet over a year ago in one of his Times articles and adopted it for myself despite not having it explained in a book. I wasn't very overweight, but like Bittman I lost about 15 pounds quickly and, as he notes, noticed that as I ate healthier during the day, it changed my eating habits overall and I continued to eat healthy food at night as my cravings for highly processed junk foods subsided.An obvious benefit for the VB6 diet is its simplicity, but unfortunately this also leads to not having much to add in the actual book. The "diet" is just what the title says: eat vegan before 6 pm, and then you can eat anything you want for dinner so long as you try to avoid processed food and treats. Really, that's it. The majority of this book is devoted to explaining why such a diet works, and why you should avoid processed foods. Although this information is great for beginners or people with no real knowledge of nutritional science, most of this information is pretty basic to most people. If you want to know the details, I think you can gain a lot more from watching Robert Lustig's "Sugar: the Bitter Truth" video on YouTube or even reading Bittman's own columns about Lustig, without buying a book.The other major portion of this book is the recipes.

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