I have been intrigued by Mark Bittman’s idea of Vegan Before 6, his dietary regimen of trying to eat (mostly) vegan before 6 PM. He talks about it here in this excerpt from his book:
And in this interview:
The idea intrigues me for several reasons. First, you are allowed to cheat. To tailor your changes to your life. Bittman admits he uses dairy in his coffee, something that would not be allowed on a strict vegan regimen. You can go out for a pizza lunch with friends once in a while. Second, it does not require completely giving up meat and other animal products, something I could never do. I like meat. Third, it does have rules- before 6 PM, eat as near to a vegan diet as you can.
Why before 6? Because, as Bittman explains, we are, as a society, geared toward enjoying the evening- dinner with friends or family, social gatherings, parties. Most take place in the evening, so that is the time to let yourself eat what you want. I think it makes sense. I can see a lot less sense of depriving yourself of “the good stuff” if you know you can eat it at some point in your day.
We all know we should “eat better.” Most of us also know that eating better means more fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and less meat and processed foods. I’ve already got the processed covered. We eat very few prepared foods. The problem is, just knowing doesn’t seem to be enough. There’s no plan, no definition of what that means on a day to day basis. This simple rule- vegan before 6- gives some structure to the idea.
Now, for me, strict vegan is not my thing. I am going to lean a bit more toward vegetarian. That is, I will eat dairy and eggs, on occasion. What I will do is cut out the meat and heavy carbs during the day, and substitute more fruits, veggies, nuts, and the like. I will still have my yogurt or egg for breakfast, and maybe a hardboiled egg for lunch sometimes.
I’m going to try it for a month, maybe six weeks, and see what happens. At the very least, it will be an interesting experiment, especially for this carb-addicted girl. Who knows? Maybe this will be the change I need. At the very least, I can enjoy more of the summer produce that is starting to show up, and that is always a good goal to have.