I've decided that for Lent this year I'm going to do a "vegan 'til six" plan like Mark Bittman describes in this podcast. Every year I "give something up" for Lent--I've been doing it for years and I love the structure of it. This vegan til 6 plan seems perfect for right now. I'm excited about it. It starts next Wednesday. Anyone care to join me?
Since hearing the podcast I've been reading the book, Food Matters. In it, I've learned a bit more about the approach that Mark Bittman takes to eating. He says that he has been motivated to change his eating habits due to personal health issues and the state of the environment. The main thing is to cut back, way back, on the animal products that we eat. The meat industry alone adds hugely to global warming. Instead, he promotes eating more plants of every type, especially vegetables and whole fruits. Sounds easy, huh? He says you can do this any way you want, but the approach he takes, and what sounds so appealing to me, is to eat mostly plants throughout the day, then eat a normal dinner and a treat at night. He does mention in the book that he still takes some milk in his morning coffee. Otherwise, he is eating maybe a whole grain for breakfast, and maybe beans and vegetables or a salad at lunch. Snacks might be fruit and nuts. I think I can do this. It's not unusual for me to eat oatmeal for breakfast (it's only in recent years that I've been doing the daily egg) and black bean soup or beans and rice for lunch. What will be different is (3 things actually) I'll be piling on way more vegetables, forgoing dairy and eggs, and giving up my little sweet taste at lunch. Vegan junk food or candy is not part of the plan, for obvious reasons--that's not what is healthful or will help the planet.
Bittman points out in the book that it is only quite recently in human history that so much meat, dairy and eggs--and calorie dense food in general--has been available. Mostly humans throughout the ages have eaten plants--I love thinking of how eating this way connects us with our hunter/gatherer ancestors. I've always loved hunter/gatherers, so I'll be thinking of them as I follow the plan. Also, I've been interested in eating more vegetables, but have always claimed I didn't have time to explore that. Now I'll have to.
I have an extra copy of the book (I received mine from Ken on Valentine's day, but had stupidly already ordered a copy from Amazon, so I have that one as well). So if you'd like my extra copy leave a comment here between now and Friday night. In the meantime I'll figure out how to use a random number generator--if you win, I'll mail you the book on Saturday. Also, let me know if you'd like to play along with the eating plan. It's going to be fun.
********* Okay, comments are turned off. I'll be back in a minute to announce the winner. Good luck!