Wednesday, February 18, 2009

vegan 'til six

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!

70 comments:

Crisa said...

I've been thinking about this for awhile and I think it's perfect for Lent. I'd love to read this book too!
Crisa

Our Green Nest said...

That's so wonderful! We're already vegan (except the once a week organic free range egg and the couple times a year wild fish that we catch) and it's so great...you'll definitely notice a difference in your body and mind! I listened to Bittman's interview and the book does sound interesting...

jenni said...

oh wow. I have been wanting to learn more about this. Thanks for suggestions! (crossing fingers too)

Veitch said...

We have 2 vegetarian daughters, so we have cut way back on meat to make meals easier. We have always insisted on the protein of the eggs and cheese so vegan until dinner would be a change for us. Interesting idea. I plan to listen to the podcast. Reading the book would be great, too. I love reading your blog about your crafty home and adorable family.

ames said...

Sounds like a great plan for Lent! I've been thinking how I really need to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my meals - I find bento boxes very appealing for this. If you follow the rules for filling the space properly, you get a well-balanced meal (vegan or not) and you can use all kinds of fruits and vegetables as space fillers.

Laura said...

Hi, Marybeth! I love your blog so much! And I love your vegan 'til six plan. I think I could jump on board. I would love a copy of the book.

Beth said...

Wow -- throughout this post I was thinking, "I need to check this book out at the library," but now maybe I can win it! THanks for the opportunity!

Tammie said...

i read your blog all the time but have never commented. i would love a copy of that book. i may try and do the eating plan.

Alexis said...

I've been thinking about doing this for a while now. It seems like a good thing--for my health and for the earth's health! I will start next week with you!

Kate said...

Thank you for sharing your life with us. You live a beautiful life.

Lina said...

This looks really interesting and I've been wanting to read the book. I always like to think of Lent as adding something important instead of taking something away and this would fit that in my opinion.

Angie said...

I would love to read that book.
I have just started a juice diet. I bought a juicer and a bunch of organic fruits and veggies. When you juice instead of just eating them, you are able to get a lot more nutrients that don't get absorbed during digestion normally. You replace 1 meal a day with a combination of carrot, romaine lettuce and an apple. It's like drinking a tossed salad, but I think it tastes really good.
I have been trying to cut back on red meat prducts also, I would forgo them altogether, except Hubby is a big hunter.

Good luck with your plan, I think it's a good one.

Andrea said...

Sounds like a good--and healthy--plan. I've given up sugar for Lent a few times and it's really amazing how you lose your taste for something once you stop eating it (although I always end up pigging out on it at Easter...so it gets me nowhere). The book sounds interesting...I love Mark Bittman (and have been lusting over his how to cook everything vegetarian book for a while).

MJT said...

this sounds like a great "meditation" for lent. i eat this way a lot of days anyway, but perhaps being more purposeful and thoughtful would change my actions even more. Nice post!

Miche said...

Well, this sounds like a great idea. I would love to read the book, I have never won a blog giveaway though so I think I will see if the library has it just in case. I really enjoy reading your blog.

Kristin said...

After hearing about your book on Valentines Day I got curious -- what does Vegan Until Six mean for my life? Could I do it?

I have an uncle who has decided to keep his SUV and in exchange he's become vegan. I'm not sure I think it's a fair exchange, but maybe all things in moderation?

Rain said...

This sounds like a good plan. I've been thinking of limiting meat to just a couple times of week. It will be better for our bodies and wallet too.
I really enjoy your blog.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I were intrigued by Bittman's NPR interview. He is a very interesting person... and creative cook (have you made his no-knead bread? delicious). My husband is now trying to eat healthier and wait til 6 for meat/dairy. THanks for the chance to win!
Annie

bysarah said...

This is a cool idea.
Thanks for linking to the podcast.

Erin said...

I'd love to read this book, and to participate! I'm vegetarian and this would be a good motivation to lay off the dairy and eggs for a period of time. Please count me in!

megan said...

i'll give it a whirl for Lent.
loved the finger paint valentines.
megan in taiwan

Karen said...

OK. I'm going to try this too. Let us know how it goes for you. I'd love to read the book.

Anna said...

Mark Bittman did a great Minimalist column on whole-grain breakfasts in the NY Times today. Not strictly vegan, but many vegan ideas... Michael Pollans "Omnivore's Dilemma" and Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral" would be interesting complements to your reading of Bittman's new book.

Fiona said...

Would love to read this book. Interestingly, (to me anyway) random.org is based in Trinity College Dublin, where I am a student. So every time a blogger uses the random number generator, their numbers are plugged into the computer housed in the prefabs I walk by everyday!

henna73 said...

Sounds interesting. I would like to just try going veggie for a month before going vegan. Coming from a "meat-eater" family, it might be a challenge, but I'm up for it.

Tracy said...

Oh what a good idea! I have been following your blog and find you very inspirational! Have a great day! Thanks!

Tracy =}

tracylouie@yahoo.com

Shayne said...

I'm another long-time reader lured out of lurker-hood by the chance of winning such a cool book. We are vegetarians but I sometimes worry about how much dairy we use in our diet, the eating plan that you mention could well be the answer to that concern but I'm not sure how amenable the rest of the family would be to losing their morning milk.

Janae said...

I would LOVE to join you. I need to change my eating habits for me and my family's sake. I'm going to learn more about this. My sweet tooth is my problem!

Christy said...

I have added this book to my Amazon cart twice now...I would love to own it!

Anonymous said...

Sounds very interesting.
I'm vegetarian but hubby is not. And he insists that our 2 kids are not. This might be a good way to ease him into it.
-violet

cree said...

i am jsut about to start animal vegetable mineral...i love reading books like this!

Leslie said...

that books sounds really interesting. i would love to read the book!

Paper Dolls for Boys said...

I don't know what I did to offend the random generator but I'm giving it a shot anyhow!

The vegan til 6 concept is an interesting one. Love to read the book.
Cheers,
Tracey

ana lilia said...

that sounds like a great idea! i used to be vegetarian and for the last six years i went back to eating meat. i know that age has a lot to do with my overall health, but i think that my change in diet has greatly affected me in a negative way. i want to try this out and see if it helps me feel better.

woolanthropy said...

I popped over here via Alexis at Knot Sew Crafty. What an interesting idea. I think I will join you two during this coming Lenten-tide.

Sharon said...

I love this idea. We've been slowly switching over to a vegetarian diet here at home. This method would be a great way to make us more aware of what we put in our bodies and force us to try different veggies in different ways.

I'm game.

Nicole said...

Here's hoping!

kim said...

i could a good book on this. i get so overwhelmed when it comes to what i should eat (while not passing out from low blood sugar).

Browniesmoke said...

Ooh! I want a copy! I didn't even notice the giveaway the first time I read your post!

I put the book on reserve at the library and there's maybe 7 people in front of me...

Thanks!

JessTrev said...

fingers crossed!

howie mama said...

I would love to read the book and play along.

melissa s. said...

i've had my eye on that book for awhile, would love to read it! what a great idea for lent!

Amber said...

I would love to read it. My mama did raw before dinner for a year when I was a teenager & I'm guessing it was vegan also (she's not the raw eggs sort!). I'm intrigued :)

Tava said...

I'll play along. Won't be hard for me though because I'm already veg. Hee hee.
Good for you and thanks for explaining that meat production has a horrible effect on the environment. Us veggies are helping animals AND the planet folks!!!

PumpkinFreckles said...

I am currently reading "In Defense of Food - An Eater's Manifesto" by Michael Pollan and really enjoying it. I started some kind of eco-eating/consuming mission over Christmas while reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver which is so informative and entertaining. I have heard about "Food Matters" and am very interested in reading it. I will join you in "vegan 'til six". I wonder what I'll miss??? Probably cheese of the cream kind. It's so great to hear that you and a lot of the commenters(?) are interested in this issue. My friends lovingly tolerate me, but I think secretly think I'm some kind of food zealot! :P

Nicole said...

ooh! I am not catholic, but a friend of mine is and we give up things for lent every year together. This might be perfect!! and wouldn't upset my hubbie since you eat a regular dinner. Very cool!

Nifaerie Noven said...

We've been experimenting with vegan snack food. So far: dried apples, dehydrated produce, roasted soy nuts.

Tam said...

Oh my! I would be grateful if you could enter me in your draw. I have been wanting to read this book for a while now.
As for joinging you on your 'vegan til 6', I will be, but in the reverse order. Breakfast is my largest meal & I need the fuel to sustain myself through the work day. That said starting next week no animal prdts shall cross my lips from lunch onwards.
Thank you for the holding the draw & for your blog in general. It is a ray of sunshine in my day.

Adventure Mama Michelle said...

I'm not ready to join in the plan- but I'm intrigued and looking forward to reading about it in future posts!

tricia said...

i think this is a wonderful idea. I do believe that we all have to start changing some habits in order for this world to be safe for our chidlren when they grow up. I am going to check this book out at the library

Aunt Kirstie said...

I also give something up for lent & I think that at this time in my life this might be the perfect choice. I will be listening to the podcast later! I may join you.

Hannah said...

Wow - look how many comments you have today!
Good luck with your plan for lent.
I have given you the tree of happiness award on my blog because I find so very much happiness here, reading your posts. I hope you dont mind :o)

aralyn said...

I would love to read Vegan 'Til Six! What a great way to improve one's health and help the environment!

Anonymous said...

I listened to the podcast too, and it was really good. I would love a copy of the book if my number is selected. I am really working on getting in more veggies and even green smoothies! Thanks!@!

Tara

Jen05 said...

I've been wanting to get that book, and the vegan til 6 plan makes so much sense. Please throw my name in the hat! Thanks :)

Shawn said...

Count me in! I've been thinking a lot more about fruits and veggies lately. My son is just starting solids and now I feel like my husband and I need to be better role models for good eating. We are not horrible eaters but we could certainly use some help.

Julia said...

This sounds like such a great idea. I'd love to do this! Thanks so much for sharing.

Andrea said...

I was planning on ordering this book soon, so it would be great to get your extra copy! For the past month I've been trying to do something similar, but cooking more vegetarian entrees in the evening, having meat on occasion fur lunch. It has been a challenge for me to come up with different things to cook, but I've been enjoying it. I've also been eating a whole grain breakfast of hot cereal 4-5 times a week, which I do feel good about. Reducing the number of boxes of cereal I buy and the amount of butter I eat, by not having toast. I hope to make more changes gradually.

Georgia said...

Sounds like a wonderful book, full of great ideas...

wabisabinaturals said...

I am intrigued by this book. I have been a vegetarian for 3+ years and my husband has been wanting to eat less meat. It sound like a great compromise for our family's meals! I have been reading your blog for over a year, but have never commented before. I find your family and way of life very inspiring!

Paige said...

Visiting here from Alexis' blog and Natalie at Woolanthropy. I think the idea is not only intriguing, but it may be something I can actually follow-through with! Please toss my name in the hat, and thanks!

Elfin Goddess said...

Hi Mary Beth! First thanks for your reply to my comment on your blog :) Second, I love this idea for Lent. Usually we try and cut meats out completely...but it gets tough and temptation calls! But this is doable and definitely great- I've been wanting to get more fruits & veggies into my daily diet. Thanks for sharing a great idea! Avril (I finally got around to using my name :))

crunchy peas said...

I am thinking about joining you...and have been looking for a more structured way to phase out most of the animal products from my diet. I'd love to read that book. In the mean time I'll head over and listen to the podcast. Thanks!

The Lowry Family said...

Wow...I am so excited someone else is doing this too. I am vegetarian now but I wanted to try vegan until Easter. I think it is going to be hard but to know that someone else is doing it is great. I am really confused on what is considered vegan and what is not so that is something I have been researching. Pasta? bread? Can we eat those? I'll be checking in periodically...maybe you'll post some good recipes you make over the next 40 days! Good luck! Count me in for the book draw too! Thanks!

Irina said...

Oh my, I read the preview for this book on Amazon.com and it's just disturbing... double the meat intake by 2050? The fact of the matter is that a typical American diet consists of 1. a pig for breakfast (Bacon, egg n' cheese) 2. a bird for lunch (chicken sandwich/turkey sandwich) and 3. a cow for dinner (meat lasagna/tacos/hamburgers). Oh how sad... and I am sometimes guilty of that combo... :(

Lisa said...

I'm intrigued by the vegan 'til six concept. Don't know if I'll go all the way with it, but I always appreciate one more reminder to pile on the veggies.

Annika said...

What a neat idea! I've managed to convert my omnivore husband to a diet with several vegetarian meals every week, but I am very curious to read Bittman's book.

tawnya said...

I can't believe I almost missed this! I just finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and have become a little obsessed. This would be a great addition!

Tonya said...

what a great Lent idea. I would love to get my husband on board also... He eats enough animal products for the both of us. Maybe the book would help me! Thanks for the opportunity to win it. So nice of you to share your extra!

Alieva said...

That book looks interesting. We are a vegetarian family, and I am always looking for more information and inspiration. Thank you for the opportunity!