Book Review

I was in the library a couple of weeks ago doing study work for a new sermon series.  I picked out eight books, but decided to peruse the “newest” books in the library.  I was, of course, drawn to the cook books, I found one that I allowed myself to check out.  I really enjoy Mark Bittman.  I own his How to Cook Everything and often reach for it among others when working with a new ingredient or recipe.  His newest book VB6, Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to lose weight and restore your health for good  was published late last year.



Let me begin by saying I am not looking to lose weight and not looking to begin a vegan lifestyle.  Mark Bittman has been touting this book and lifestyle long before he wrote this book.  To make a long story short, he was overweight, his “numbers” were bad, was pre-diabetic and he needed to do something.  Honestly anyone who has done the research knows that changing one’s eating habits is essential.  Less meat, less dairy, more plants and whole grains are necessary.  

Mark Bittman is a food critic and a restaurant critic.  He is a columnist for the New York Times.  Food, obviously is his life.  Food, for all the joy and delight it brings, is nourishing, but can be deadly, particularly in the United States.  Mark Bittman calls it the “SAD” diet; the Standard American diet.  Too much fat, too much salt, too much sugar, too much processing so that the food most people eat is stripped of nutrients.

None of this is new, nor a surprise to anyone who attempts to be healthy.  VB6, is Mark Bittman’s way of addressing the horrible way most people eat and a way to change his life.  It is not a magic “diet” there are no points or calories or special foods.  It is simply a way of changing the way one eats that is more healthy, promotes the planet through the eating of less animal products and can help one lose weight.

It is an interesting read.  I shared earlier that I am not interested in becoming vegan, however, what this book did, was affirm in many ways how I am already living.  Twenty years ago, when my husband and I began dating, we ate much differently.  When we would go out to dinner, he would eat a 16 ounce steak and finish mine 8 or 10 ounce steak.  We would have a baked potato, loaded of course with sour cream and butter and maybe a salad.  Now, when we go out to eat, we will split a 6 to 8 ounce steak, the sides and both have a salad.  At home, our meat portions are quite small with lots of vegetables and often a salad.  Instead of splitting 12-16 ounces of salmon, we will each have 3-4 ounces each.

My point is, that this book is pretty common sense.  Eat only plant based foods before 6:00 or 5:00 or whatever your supper time might be, then eat what you want.  It takes away that fear  of “I’ll never be able to eat my favorite_________(you fill in the blank) again.”  It encourages a healthier balance and moves people away from a diet that often leads to obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and a myriad of other health concerns.  Mark also encourages cooking.  Processed food, even vegan processed food is not as good as eating fresh food one has prepared for one’s self.  He has a 28 day plan, a way of personalizing one’s eating pattern, pantry staples and restaurant recommendations.

The plans are not difficult and have plenty of options.  There are not a huge amount of recipes, in that sense, his other books are better.  What this book will do, is offer a blueprint, a plan for those who want to eat better, more healthy, and one that is better for the planet.  

It was an enjoyable read for me, I do love cook books.  There were no surprises, but I appreciate his personable writing style and invitational approach.  You can visit his website for more information.