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Any Paleos trying Mark Bittman's "Vegan Before 6"?

Commented on March 16, 2015
Created May 20, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Is anyone here trying to incorporate Mark Bittman's "Vegan Before 6, VB6" lifestyle into paleo?

Here is the explanation of the book: http://markbittman.com/book/vb6/.

The basic idea is that you eat unprocessed, vegan food until dinnertime (6pm or whenever your dinner is, or two vegan meals, one omnivore meal). So, part-time veganism. The base of the paleo food pyramid is vegetables, so it does make sense that the majority of a paleo diet, in volume (though not necessarily calories), would be vegetables. Bittman claims to have had fantastic health improvements on his part-time vegan diet.

As a longtime adherent to paleo and former vegan/vegetarian, with little money and access to grass-fed, natural meat, I found Bittman's plan appealing, because it meant that I could eat the little clean meat I have for dinner and focus on organic produce for the rest.

In my vegan days, the diet was easy- I ate a lot of soy and beans/legumes, and some gross fake meat products, and TONS of oil.

Trying Vegan Before 6 without the addition of soy, beans, and tempeh, though, has been hard, as I've been very hungry without protein. I have lost inches. The kicker is that vegan paleo protein is pretty darn hard to find.

Well, have you read the book or his blog? What do you think? Can it be compatible with paleo?

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on May 23, 2013
at 11:56 PM

When I'm describing Paleo, I often say it is like being a vegetarian,minus the grains, and throw in enough meat for satiety and flavor.

Fc6a9e07f6056d465573c8969d3a2ddd

(370)

on May 23, 2013
at 07:46 PM

Huh, I didn't even know about that one. Thanks!

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 23, 2013
at 03:25 PM

His book "Fish" is a superb reference in the same way.

Fc6a9e07f6056d465573c8969d3a2ddd

(370)

on May 23, 2013
at 02:25 PM

Always a voice of reason, Matt :-)

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5 Answers

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9
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 21, 2013
at 01:51 AM

Overall, I like the idea behind VB6. A lot of folks with shite for diets would do much better to replace 2/3s of it with quality vegan food. Not sure it offers much to the average paleo though, we're already extremely conscious of our diet and have to tuned to a high level. Ditching 2/3s of our quality meals and replacing it with quality vegan food might not be a step up.

I do think though that paleos should embrace plants more and leave the carnivory to carnivores. You don't need pounds of meat each day, it's a very serious thing to kill an animal for food. Gorging on it pays it no respect.

Fc6a9e07f6056d465573c8969d3a2ddd

(370)

on May 23, 2013
at 02:25 PM

Always a voice of reason, Matt :-)

2
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on May 23, 2013
at 07:34 PM

i saw this guy on the dr. oz show. he basically says be vegan during the day and eat whatever you want at night. i don't agree with this type of eating at all as i don't think veganism is a healthy diet. he made a huge pasta dish on the show and says that's an example of the typical nightly meal he eats. i will never consider pasta to be remotely good for the body.

2
D1d9b0d839144b72b5f5dae893a686d3

(602)

on May 23, 2013
at 03:44 PM

This almost seems like a variation of an intermittant fasting one meal per day idea, assuming that you aren't getting much in the way of energy from the vegetables. Gorging on fruit all day would obviously be different.

1
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on May 23, 2013
at 04:36 PM

I do pretty much the opposite, for completely different reasons. I don't sleep well after heavy meals, so I'm vegan after 4pm. My evening meal is eaten around 5pm, and it's usually a light snack of carrot sticks and guacamole. By the time I climb in bed at 9pm, my stomach is empty, and other than the little bit of cream I have in my coffee, I don't eat anything until mid-morning.

As for what other people eat, it's really none of my business. My own diet is largely plant based, with only one egg/fish/poultry/meat meal per day, red meat only every third day. I avoid starch because it makes my blood sugar wonky. That's what works for me; it's no bother to me if others eat starch or more meat than I do.

5c2b631e7485c9bef53ca7a68bc725bb

(0)

on March 16, 2015
at 11:31 PM

Your comment is so refreshingly "live and let live." Thanks!

1
Fc6a9e07f6056d465573c8969d3a2ddd

(370)

on May 23, 2013
at 02:42 PM

I didn't know about VB6, but in general I'm a big Mark Bittman fan. His "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" is one of my go-to cookbooks.* Now that I think about it, I do VB6 most days: green smoothie for breakfast, vegetable soup for lunch, dark chocolate for a snack. I feel best eating one serving of meat a day, and if I save it for dinner I don't have a mini-food coma in the middle of my work day while I'm digesting it.

In general, I'm confounded by the meat-heavy diets of a lot of the paleo adherents I see on PH. They seem to be ignoring the "gatherer" part of the hunter-gatherer template. Primitive man probably didn't bring down an antelope every day. Foraged vegetables and tubers were a central part of the average HG diet. I know from trial-and-error that I feel my absolute best when I'm eating moderate meat and lots of vegetables. Inverting that paradigm might work for some people, but I would guess that Michael Pollan's admonition ("Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.") is the best prescription for most.

*The chapters on grains and legumes aren't relevant to me now, of course, but there's an incredible wealth of information on vegetables. It's the first place I check when I bring home a new veggie from the farmers market, or when I'm bored with steamed broccoli and looking for a new spin on supermarket staples. It's a great resource for anyone eating a plant-based diet, which paleo could (should?) be.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 23, 2013
at 03:25 PM

His book "Fish" is a superb reference in the same way.

Fc6a9e07f6056d465573c8969d3a2ddd

(370)

on May 23, 2013
at 07:46 PM

Huh, I didn't even know about that one. Thanks!

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on May 23, 2013
at 11:56 PM

When I'm describing Paleo, I often say it is like being a vegetarian,minus the grains, and throw in enough meat for satiety and flavor.

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