In previous posts we have highlighted Dr Esselstyn’s work with Bill Clinton.
In this fascinating article in the Sydney Morning Herald, the author Paula Goodyear interviews Mark Bittman, a New York restauranteur and publisher of the book Eat Vegan Before 6.
Mark Bittman, the New York Times food writer – and meat lover – whose new book offers a semi-vegetarian approach for anyone who’s not prepared to forgo animal foods entirely, but does want the health benefits of eating more vegetables and grains.
Like Bill Clinton, Bittman’s decision to overhaul his diet was prompted by bad news about his health. Six year ago he was 15 kilos overweight, his cholesterol was going north and his blood sugar levels were edging towards type 2 diabetes. While other doctors might have prescribed medication, Bittman’s doctor prescribed a vegan diet – all the plant food you can eat, but no meat, no fish, no eggs, no dairy.
Knowing that he couldn’t sustain this way of eating full time, Bittman came up with a compromise: he’d go vegan for breakfast and lunch but include animal foods for dinner. After a month of eating this way he’d lost six kilos; after two months his cholesterol and blood sugar levels had dropped to normal levels, and his sleep apnoea had disappeared. Within four months he’d lost 15 kilos.
“I would say the whole thing was far easier than I thought it would be,” he says. “It was a game at first, and maybe that was a good thing – ‘can I do this?’ Well, yes, I could and now that it’s been six years, it’s obviously sustainable.”
He’s turned this experience into a book, Eat Vegan Before 6, to be published here in August. Its way of eating goes something like this: for daytime meals you eat all plants – vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts and legumes and avoid refined carbs – but for dinner you can ease up and include meat, dairy, eggs, or fish and refined carbs like pasta and rice.
The solution he says is to reduce our demand for cheap meat and highly processed food by moving away from what he calls the ‘meat-as-main-mentality’ and to get the habit of building meals around plants.
Will this ever become a mainstream way of eating? Definitely, says Bittman who predicts that in 50 years time we’ll be eating very differently.
“Nothing else is sustainable,” he says
Read the full article on the Sydney Morning Herald Site