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Vegan 'til 6 pm

 
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Mats
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 12:44 pm    Post subject: Vegan 'til 6 pm Reply with quote

In reading a review of Mark Bittman's new book (Food Matters) , I found an interesting comment on Bittman's personal eating habits :" At 57, he'd gained 50 pounds over his college weight and had developed high cholesterol, high blood sugar (especially scary for someone with a family history of diabetes) and sleep apnea, a condition caused by his excess weight. At the same time, as a food writer he could no longer ignore his "increasing disgust with the way most meat is grown in this country." The lives of factory-farmed livestock can only be characterized as "misery," and the resulting meat and dairy products are full of nutritionally dubious additives like hormones and antibiotics (which in turn wind up in the water supply, further damaging everyone's health).

With a colleague, Kerri Conan, Bittman devised a plan they called "vegan until six." They ate almost no animal products at all until dinnertime, no simple carbohydrates and no junk food. (Simple carbs are sugars, white flours and other processed grains like white rice.) At dinner, they ate as they had before, although in time Bittman found that even his evening meals came to include more "vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains and less meat, sugar, junk food, and overrefined carbohydrates." It was easy, and in a matter of months he'd lost 35 pounds, lowered his cholesterol and blood sugar, and had no trouble sleeping through the night. Most important, he continues to eat this way and is content to do so for the rest of his life."

Sounds like a cool idea!



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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just realised that I'm also a vegan until 6pm by accident.
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 3:35 pm    Post subject: Well........... Reply with quote

It's no wonder, then, that you look so good!



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PostPosted: Sun 18 Jan, 2009 3:21 pm    Post subject: GOIN' GOOD Reply with quote

When I first read about Bittman and Conan's "vegan til 6" scheme, I pictured it involving major adjustments to my lifestyle if I were to embrace it. That hasn't been the case. For breakfast, I've just changed from a potato and an Italian sausage to porridge. For lunch I have the same stir fry (without chicken) or legumes different ways. Dinner (eaten by both of us) remains the same (i.e. mostly vegetables with some meat and starch).We rarely have dessert.
Some things like processed meats, pastries and "snack foods" I've simply stopped buying. I precook legumes and grains and freeze them so they are always available. I guess I have some advantages in living such a housebound, solitary life that restaurant or cafeteria choices never come up. So, in the two weeks that I've been at this, it has been very simple.
I'm very hopeful that the extra 50 lbs.,the high cholesterol , and the hypertension will gradually fade into the past.



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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jan, 2009 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about Vegetarian to 6:00 and Vegan from 10:45 - 6:00? My normal breakfast is, I think, very healthy--fruit and plain low-fat yogurt. After trying soy milk a few years ago, I can't bring myself to try soy yogurt AND it's prohibitively expensive. In the last week, I switched to bringing a vegan salad for lunch. It was remarkably easy to switch from non-vegan to vegan. I'll give it a try for a while. whoohoo! whoohoo! whoohoo!


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Mats
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jan, 2009 7:28 pm    Post subject: Vegan? Reply with quote

I guess I should be a little more careful when I throw terms around.
"Veganism is a diet and lifestyle that seeks to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.[1][2] Vegans endeavor not to use or consume animal products of any kind"
I abhor extremism of all kind; I will not use the term "vegan" when all I mean is a diet where things that grow predominate, and animal products have a lesser role. This has nothing to do with "I cannot eat this because an animal had to die" etc. This is well explained in this short video shot here in ole TO: Globe and Mail Videos: Mark Bittman on conscious eating (the video is preceded by a 1 min ad.)

Mrs. Brown, forget the vegan label; drink milk from cows!



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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jan, 2009 8:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Vegan? Reply with quote

Mats wrote:

I abhor extremism of all kind;


Me too. How about this - no animal products from 10:45-6:00 for health reasons.

There's a wonderful restaurant in Vancouver that's for unrepentant meat eaters called Memphis Blues Barbecue House. A colleague and I were talking about it, raving over the amazing slow cooked beef. Another colleague, who happens to be a Vegetarian (in that long hair, hippie way - know what I mean?!?), dropped into our conversation saying, "I walked in there once and walked right out, I was SO disgusted by what I saw." The first colleague and I looked at her, looked at each other and he said, "did you try the pork? It was amazing too!" I wondered why she went into a place that's called a Barbecue House - did she think they barbecued tofu?



-------------------
edit: Here are the locations.

Memphis Blues Barbecue House - Locations
Excellent barbecue there!! I wish there was a Memphis Blues Barbecue House in Toronto! - ejm


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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jan, 2009 3:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Vegan? Reply with quote

MrsBrown wrote:

How about this - no animal products from 10:45-6:00 for health reasons.


I'm aiming for pretty much no animal products before 6, but I am still having milk and often butter at breakfast.

My main goal in this is the health of the planet. My own health is an important (very important) side effect of doing this. The reason I'm keeping the health of the planet as my main goal is that I find it's easier to stick to that goal than to stick to a goal of eating better for my own health.

I had read Michael Pollen's book "In Defense of Food" (well, I had read part of it, have to get it back out of the library), and was infected by his desire for people to eat more plants because of the effect of our collective eating of too much meat. (By "our", I mean mainly North America, but the North American diet is spreading in a nasty way.)

Then Mark Bittman came along with his own very practical way of implementing what Michael Pollen is espousing Food Matters. Bittman's personal solution for himself is "vegan until 6", but he hardly mentions that in his book. The book is just about eating less meat in general.

I can't remember if this Ted lecture by Mark Bittman (What's Wrong with What We Eat) has been posted on the forum yet, but if not, it's well worth watching. ted.com: Mark Bittman on What's wrong with what we eat

whoo hoo! la la la skip whoohoo!


edit: I changed the book links from Amazon to bookfinder.com, which points to Amazon but also points to other book sellers as well. -ejm


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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:
MrsBrown wrote:

How about this - no animal products from 10:45-6:00 for health reasons.


I'm aiming for pretty much no animal products before 6, but I am still having milk and often butter at breakfast.


How about changing it to "vegetarian before 6:00"?

I'm firmly in the non-extremist camp. As a vegetarian friend said to me as she explained that she didn't eat meat simply because she doesn't want to, "there's a reason we have the teeth that we do; after all, we're omnivores".

MrsBrown wrote:
After trying soy milk a few years ago, I can't bring myself to try soy yogurt AND it's prohibitively expensive.


I have read the first part of Michael Pollan's book The Omnivores' Dilemma (had to take it back to the library and put it back on hold - I'm picking it up again today) and was very disturbed by the fact that American farmers are being encouraged to grow corn and soy almost exclusively. Apparently, corn has been so heavily modified, not to mention that it is grown with the aid of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc. It isn't even close to the corn we ate as children. There is no diversity; the mass farms are growing only one kind (much of it for fuel, but let's not go off on that tangent quite yet). I'm guessing that soy might be the same. Bandwagon veganism encourages mass growth of the soy bean - and what a shame for vegans!! There are so many other legumes!

It's my feeling that if one can eat dairy products, there is no reason to avoid them. In an effort to reduce the amount of butter I eat (I adore butter!!) I started to put goat's cheese instead of butter on my toast in the morning. It's delicious and even though I slather the toast with goat's cheese, I still noticed a marked change. Very soon after the switch, I was able to close the waistband on my trousers with the official button rather than a chain of large safety pins covered over strategically with a sash.

Barbara wrote:
I had read Michael Pollen's book "In Defense of Food" [...] and was infected by his desire for people to eat more plants because of the effect of our collective eating of too much meat.


I read "In Defense of Food" as well and was definitely swayed by his argument for people to eat more plants. This argument is echoed in the book we're reading now: The River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall*.

in THE RIVER COTTAGE COOKBOOK, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall wrote:
I firmly believe that any cook who thinks that vegetables are the least interesting part of the meal, a bore to prepare, and a mere adjunct to meat or fish is missing the point. As far as I'm concerned, vegetables are staple, central, the main thing. [...]

I think of fruits and herbs as essential luxuries: joyous ingredients I would never be without. Whereas vegetables are luxurious essentials: the primary building blocks for most well constructed meals that I could not be without. When vegetables take center stage, even meat may become a spice.


He goes on to ask the reader which is preferable to have with a baked potato: only the meat in a stew, or everything but the meat in a stew (ie: the stew's sauce made from vegetables, herbs, etc.) Of course, most people would choose the sauce. He says that if you don't choose the sauce then you're not making very good stew and suggests making the stew on page 251.

The idea of making the vegetable dish a central aspect to the meal is what Alanna Kellogg (A Veggie Venture) is all about. Kellogg started her vegetable venture in 2005, as a month-long project that turned into an entire year. She cooked a vegetable in a different way each day. And blogged about it. She is still cooking vegetables in different ways (but not every day - now she repeats some of her favourites.) I don't think I remember seeing any that she says "Ewwww, forget that". And there are several that are simply fabulous. Take a look at the recipes she has amassed: Alphabet of Vegetables

(I must confess that if I had to actually slaughter the animals, I would probably be vegetarian....)


Edit: Speaking of Memphis Blues Barbecue HOuseThere is a Memphis Blues Barbecue House Cookbook And it's not JUST about meat. There are recipes for baked beans, corn, collard greens, slaws, cornbread, potato salads....

------------------
* How do you think he pronounces his last name? My guess is that it's [Ferns'-tl] skip




Last edited by ejm on Wed 04 Feb, 2009 7:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2009 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ejm wrote:
How about changing it to "vegetarian before 6:00"?...
I have read the first part of Michael Pollen's book....:


EJM, this is such an excellent post -- why not adapt it and put it into your blog?



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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2009 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ejm wrote:
...which is preferable to have with a baked potato: only the meat in a stew, or everything but the meat in a stew (ie: the stew's sauce made from vegetables, herbs, etc.) Of course, most people would choose the sauce. He says that if you don't choose the sauce then you're not making very good stew


Well, I do confess I like the meat flavour in the sauce, which you can't get without stewing up the meat. However, one can make a great stew sauce without a lot of meat, or with broth made from bones. (Is that in the book you referred to?) However, this might be more like soup.



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PostPosted: Wed 04 Feb, 2009 9:58 am    Post subject: some results already Reply with quote

I began this regime only one month ago. At the time I was really only expecting any measurable changes after 3 or 4 months. Well, beginning at a very portly weight of 239 lbs., this morning I find that has changed to 231lbs. Hmm....this is fun!!!



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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 6:15 pm    Post subject: Weird Reply with quote

OK, this is really weird. This experiment of mine is taking on a life of its own. Given that I can produce almost any flavour, texture, mouth feel
colour, aroma etc. with mostly things that grow, I find myself having to say at 6 o'clock - "now don't forget to add the meat" !!! How weird is that? After almost 6 decades of meat and millions of techniques acquired for preparation, to not instinctley miss it is beyond belief (to me, at least).



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