VB6: Eating Vegan Before 6:00pm by Mark Bittman Book Review

  [caption id="attachment_8987" align="alignright" width="263"]vb6 - mark bittman - book review Mark Bittman and his book VB6
Source: Eat Your Books[/caption] VB6 is a book written by Mark Bittman that the Endurance Foodies chose to read and review but unfortunately we have not been able to get together for a Google Hangout review so I am going to give you my take on the book.  I chose to read VB6 or Vegan Before Six because I have always found Mark Bittman to be very interesting in both his writing and on his television show.  His take on eating a healthy diet has consistently struck a chord with me and so I figured this book would be more of the same. The VB6 lifestyle was one that I found interesting as I was reading.  The premise that Mark Bittman developed after being told by his Doctor to lose weight was that he would go vegan prior to 6pm and then after that the gloves would come off.  This meant that at 6:01pm he COULD pile a hamburger high with bacon, cheese and then wash it all down with ice cream if he so chose.  The thought was that since he attends many meetings in the evening due to his business that he would eat the vegan diet and then when he was out to eat with clients, friends and colleagues he could enjoy the food that he had been consuming already.  To me this struck me as a bit weird because the idea that you would open up to gastrointestinal tract to bacon, beef and chicken when that was clearly what caused you to come up with this theory in the first place just didn't make sense. As I continued to read through the book I started to think about how this diet could be used by those who wanted to introduce more plants into their diet.  There were other applications I could think of but as I went along I wondered if people would only just adjust the time.  The 6pm time period was arbitrary and so each individual could make their own time period line in the sand.  This book could easily have been VA8.  Vegan After 8am because he wanted to have bacon with his eggs and butter on his toast.  Hopefully you are starting to see my questioning of this theory.  If somebody decide to employ this lifestyle what would hold them to a particular time?  What if they decided that for this period they wanted to eat meat all day.  Would that help them develop the habit of adding more plants into their diet? [caption id="attachment_8988" align="alignright" width="259"]vb6 - mark bittman - book review The 6 Principles of VB6
Source: Video On MSNBC[/caption] That is when it struck me that these were guidelines and not rules.  Not strict adherence would cause you to be on a path to unhealthy habits or continued unhealthy habits.  If one day you chose to not abide by the guidelines but then went back to a plant-based or even vegan diet the next day would that one day have harmed you forever?  Probably not.  The more I read the book the more I realized he was discussing, and I hate the idea of this word, moderation.  Restrict the amount of meat you ate until after 6 and sooner rather than later your taste buds would change and your desire to have Beef Wellington would be altered.  This premise I do agree with because I have gone on two sugar detox since Ironman Texas ended in May and with the first one I noticed I was craving more savory foods and through the second one I found myself looking for spice in all my dishes. If you decided to apply this theory to your lifestyle you could make it not just vegan before 6pm but maybe no grains, no sugar, no alcohol, etc to help you ease your way into a healthier lifestyle.  By doing this you are not subjecting yourself to the cold turkey method which has proven to be unsuccessful more times than it has been successful.  I would encourage people to decide what ever it is that is holding them back and using this method to help them. In addition to this theory of eating vegan before six, Mr Bittman does explain the health benefits as well as the environmental benefits of eating a plant-based diet.  The science is not like that of Wheat Belly but it is eye-opening especially if you have never heard or read it before.  If you have, then the data is a great refresher.  Lastly, the VB6 book ends with lots of recipes.  To date I have not given them a chance in my kitchen but based on the ingredients listed and the method for cooking them as well as storing and using for the next day's lunch I think the recipes are a great idea. I would recommend this book to those looking to start a healthy lifestyle and/or to those that are looking for recipes to make vegan dishes for themselves.  The plan that is included in the book is very easy to follow and does not require anything special to make it work for them.

Have You Read VB6? What Were Your Thoughts?

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Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.