Bittman’s VB6 or How I’m Trying to Eat Healthier Foods

Since I spend a lot of time thinking about food, planning out food, cooking food and eating food, it’s only natural that I also spend some time thinking about the healthiness of food. And if my current weight and lack of fitness are any indicator, I have not really been a very healthy eater. I am the classic omnivore who eats vegetables and plant foods that are delicious and healthy – but ooh, is that a cupcake? With a beer?

So I read Mark Bittman’s VB6 book. I am decidedly against “diet” books and plans. I am a major skeptic, but also just super lazy and defiant (YOU can’t tell me what to do/eat!). And for the past few years I have struggled living with one foot on each side of the Standard American Diet. I watched Food Inc. and swore off conventionally raised meats; and while it was not permanent, I did greatly decrease the amount of meat we eat. Read The Omnivore’s Dilemma and was fascinated to see how our food system has changed and how it works. I read In Defense of Food/Food Rules and adopted those the best I could (eat food, mostly plants, not too much).


But also, I have picky kids who like the Standard American Kid Diet. I am, again, too lazy and they are too defiant to really cut out all the things they willingly eat. I have a family of 5 who are all busy during the day and in the 4 evening hours we have together I can only stretch myself so thin trying to feed us.

And. I really like junk food. I LOVE cakes and baked goods. I LOVE chips and french fries. The idea of a life without these foods is a sad sad thing.

I like the idea of being a vegetarian. I like the idea of being vegan. For me, though, I prefer to remain an omnivore, but strive for a flexitarian diet. (MOAR labels!? You don’t spell it, son – you eat it!)

Here is where VB6 appeals to me. The idea is that you eat vegan during the day until 6 o’clock, (or dinnertime) and then eat what you like (basically).

The biggest challenge for me, is that I don’t like rules. But the truth is, I am not eating in a way that is healthy overall. Standing in front of my fridge and pantry isn’t leading to good choices. Most of my breakfasts, lunches, and snacks consist of cheese on a carb. And while I like vegetables – and I do really like vegetables – they never win out over something super easy and comforting.

So, I think I’m going to give this way of eating a try. I like eating vegetarian, it wouldn’t take a whole lot of effort to slide into more vegan recipes. I need to work on converting my craving for easy (something out of a bag) to a craving for something healthy.

For us/me, I think it will look like this:

  • Vegan or vegetarian (with eggs as the only animal product) during the day
  • No white carbohydrates, sugar or junk during the day
  • Vegetarian dinners, a meal that includes fish or seafood ~ once a week
  • Weekends we cook and eat what we like

This is a looser interpretation of VB6 than is spelled out in the book, but this is a practical adaptation that I think could work for me, at least to start. So, we’ll see how that goes.

Have any of you read VB6? Do you have thoughts?

OH! And also, do you have any good veg or vegan breakfast/snack/lunch ideas?September20130915_68

3 thoughts on “Bittman’s VB6 or How I’m Trying to Eat Healthier Foods

    • Yes! Thank you for your ideas! I’m not one for “rules” (haha I’m just lazy), but clearly I need some direction. I’ll be interested hear what you say about it as well.

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