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VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  2,496 ratings  ·  308 reviews
“I live full-time in the world of omnivores, and I’ve never wanted to leave. But the Standard American Diet (yes, it’s SAD) got to me as it gets to almost everyone in this country.”

Six years ago, an overweight, pre-diabetic Mark Bittman faced a medical directive: adopt a vegan diet or go on medication. He was no fan of a lifelong regimen of pills, but as a food writer he l
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by Clarkson Potter
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Jenny Sawyer
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
I wonder if it pains Mark Bittman that his thoughtful approach to eating more sustainably, and also healthfully, is being marketed as, horror of horrors, a "diet book." (Or perhaps he's just laughing all the way to the bank.) Regardless, I mainly appreciated VB6 for its insights about the value of a balanced, grain/legume/fruit&veggie-centric diet, and its accessible recipes that are low in ingredients but high in flavor.

So often, vegan cooking relies on vegan pantry staples (seitan, Ener-G
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
For the month of June this year, I did a vegan challenge. No meat, milk, cheese, eggs, ice cream, or animal products for the whole month. When I was done, I felt awesome and had lost 6 pounds, but as a person who loves food, I had to admit that I missed the flavor you can only get from real blue cheese or the creaminess you can only get from real ice cream or just the meatiness of a real meat hot dog(even if I did enjoy the vegan alternatives to these things, I just missed the real stuff). With ...more
Nancy Brandwein
I really do get tired of Mark Bittman opining about food, how we eat food, taking on the government and food industry etc. I really just want him to write recipes. That is the only reason I downloaded this book. I, an avowed carnivore (who named one of my children after a beef cattle breed), never thought the word Vegan would issue forth from my mouth, nor that I would be spending my days shovelling beets, avocados and walnuts into that same mouth instead of big slabs of brie cheese or that my m ...more
Apr 04, 2013 added it
VB6 - It's in there!

My husband and I started the VB6 lifestyle in September of 2011 after our doctor half-heartedly agreed to let Mark see if he could bring down his high cholesterol levels through diet and exercise. I have enjoyed home cooking and baking for the past twenty years but I still found the new foods and ingredients to be a challenge. I spent hours consulting both Food Matters books, the How to Cook Everything Vegetarian app, and my trusty Joy of Cooking and America's Test Kitchen's
Elyse Walters
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Dr. Mark Hyman was the first person who I saw to highly endorse reading this book. The forward is endorsed by Dean Ornish.

The book is part theory & Part Mark Bittman sharing about his health transformation. For the past 6 years he has eating lifestyle has pretty much been "Eat a Vegan Diet before 6pm every day....then at dinner, He allowed himself to eat 'almost' anything he wanted".....(meats, cheese, pizza, fish, yummy dessert)>>>>enjoy eating out with friends. He lost weight,
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don't believe in "diets." A highly lucrative industry profits from, and has every incentive to prolong, people's unsound eating habits and their repeated, but doomed, efforts to change them. The fact that we now use the word almost exclusively to mean "a short-term, often faddish and generally unsustainable, change to one's eating habits" is indicative of the problem. "Diet" simply means "how we eat" or our food lifestyle (its Greek root means "manner of living"). So many people would be bette ...more
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: vegan
I just borrowed from the library VB6 Eat Vegan Before 6 00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good by Mark Bittman VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good by Mark Bittman. (It was just recently published, I'm the third one to read it here.)

Mark Bittman is a well known food writer. When he turned 57, he went for a checkup and the doctor, Sid Baker, said, “You should probably become a vegan.”

He was 40 lbs. overweight, had knee issues, sleep apnea and was looking at taking a drug like Lipitor. So his answer to this was -- "become a par
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you are new to healthy eating, Bittman's book is an excellent place to start. He breaks down the numbers and the chemistry but never overwhelms, and his voice is dependably resonant with common sense. He knows his stuff but also knows what is reasonable and that humans enjoy eating, so the VB6 philosophy doesn't tell you to become a slave to stats or never ever eat dessert again. What he is encouraging is an attainable shift towards a healthier lifestyle, meant to be a longterm change for the ...more
Sep 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-nonfiction
I'm not really the audience for this - it's geared more towards heavy meat eaters who are trying to cut down - but I always enjoy Mark Bittman's writing and recipes. I don't really read diet books, but I suspect this is pretty loose and forgiving compared to most. There is nothing that he absolutely says to never eat because he realizes we are all human and have our weaknesses, though he makes it pretty clear which foods he thinks we should avoid as much as possible. It contains a decent amount ...more
May 04, 2013 marked it as to-finish-later
Shelves: food-nonfiction
As a “mostly vegetarian” who has no intention of basing my food consumption on the time on the clock, I don’t particularly like the title of this book. But before starting to read, I skimmed through, and it looks like a book with good tips that align with my opinion of what healthy eating should look like. I also don’t like the “lose weight” part of the title….adopt healthy habits and the rest will come. But our country is obsessed with losing weight and looking good and if that makes people loo ...more
Reesa Del Duca
Jun 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
Meh. While it has shining moments of the politically-motivated writing on food and eating that I prefer, VB6 really does seem more and more like a diet book with every page. Likely very useful and inspiring if the subject matter is new to you, but I didn't glean any new insight personally. Abandon ship.
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
I know Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan aren't the same person, but their work is so complementary that I often consider them together. Bittman's latest book reads like a full, expository treatment of Pollan's mantra to "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants" first outlined in his 2007 NYT essay, "Unhappy Meals" ( Never mind that Pollan wrote a book that expanded on his essay in 2008 (In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) - I actually found that book ...more
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book quite a bit and came away from it feeling positive and that the task ahead could be accomplished.

I do enjoy Bittman's books and writing. I find that I can relate to his own experience in many ways but also feel that he doesn't have an agenda to force a specific lifestyle on me. He presents the information and, for the most part, leaves me to make my own decisions.

In reading some of the less supportive comments, I have to say that it is my opinion that these people have miss
Lucy Montgomery
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am a long-time Mark Bittman fan. I read his recipes and columns in the NY Times, and have bought many of his cookbooks. I have especially enjoyed the shift he's taken in recent years from simply writing about food to writing about larger food issues, such as sustainability, health and hunger (and the connection between the three). The evolution in Mr. Bittman's diet and the development of the VB6 (Vegan Before 6) eating plan is the natural progression from his interest big pictures issues. I s ...more
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
As a vegan 24/7 this book did not convince me to change my diet by much, but it has a lot of good tips and practical advice, some of which will be incorporated into our daily habits. This is a book that I would want to give to all of my non-vegan friends, if I knew they would actually read it. It makes a good case for eating a more plant-based diet and that doing so can be painless and even tasty! I think this book would appeal to those looking to improve their diet - they know they have to do S ...more
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Of course, I'm the choir that Bittman usually preaches to--concerned about industrial agriculture, a vegetarian who is practical and not fussy, tries to eat locally/seasonally/organically when I can, and who likes to cook. I liked this book, though I skimmed most of the science about metabolism and sugar etc. I was more interested in the basics of VB6, looking for a way to make my vegetarianism less reliant on processed food and more whole. This book definitely has me inspired, as did Food Matte ...more
Martha Foster
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perfect plan for someone like me, whose family won’t do without their meat. I’ve always wanted to go vegan, and thought I really couldn’t, but with this plan I can be vegan (which is the healthiest way of eating) during the day, when only cooking for myself, but everything goes for suppers, when cooking for the family. And Mark Bittman means it when he says anything goes, because this book is meant for making a lifestyle change, and trying to ban something permanently from one’s life almost neve ...more
Karen Evankavitch
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great concept

I love the concept of this book. It encourages clean eating without the feeling of deprivation. After 6, or 5 or 7... depending on your schedule, you eat what you want. I have not tried the recipes yet but they do look good. I will revisit this book in a few weeks and give it a try. I will update with my assessment of the eating plan.
Oct 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Such a weird book, that begins as basically a we now know eating vegan can be the best for your body because we're marketed to keep consuming hyper-processed foods, the environmental impacts of eating meat are tremendous and the moral issues when you choose to support factory farms (the go vegan trifecta I see everywhere) that's later filled with non-vegan recipes for those transitioning and lots of excursions into non-straightforward approaches about what and how to eat eg we're not counting ca ...more
Joanna Cabot
I really enjoy the work of Mark Bittman and found this book up to his usual standard. Bittman clearly explains some of the research on vegan eating, and I liked the way he focused more on the health benefits of many vegan staples, as opposed to harping on the health risks of non-vegan foods. He says at one point that you should not let perfection be the 'enemy' of good, and I appreciated that message.

I also liked the way he offered many suggestions for quick and easy foods. Too many other books
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
I started reading the newest release from Mark Bittman (the legendary New York Times food writer I’ve admired for years) not because I was necessarily wanting to lose weight but because I felt pulled in by Bittman’s personal story about how this method of eating was so beneficial to his lifelong health. I have high cholesterol (darn genetics!) and I’ve been interested in how food can help me control my blood work, so I’ve been really fascinated by this book and find myself truly enjoying the rec ...more
Michelle Cristiani
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, cooking
Really comprehensive Bible for the vegan-before-dinner lifestyle. I especially love the info dump at the beginning with discussion of glycemic index, calorie density, and other terms you hear but never quite understand. There are tons of charts, sidebars, and visual break-up so you don't get bored reading about this lifestyle. It's, in a word, smart.

This is my second year of vb6 and I stand behind Bittman's claims about its benefits. I find I crave junk food less, and my body feels healthier ov
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I have one of Mark Bittman's cookbooks that I use sometimes - its very big and a bit daunting at times. I was eager to check this book out. I'm a *long* time vegetarian and vegan for a few years now. To me, I don't understand the concept of 'eat vegan before six' as a diet plan and way to loose weight. Yes, you are limiting two meals a day to healthier eating but you still have dinner. I think its a food lifestyle change that you must make to help with weight loss but overall better health benef ...more
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love Mark Bittman's column in the NY Times and enjoy his online videos enormously. His introduction of this book thru his regular newspaper column made me enormously curious and eager to read it. I was not disappointed. As another reader whose family needs to turn around their blood work and lifestyle, I have embraced his suggestions wholeheartedly. As usual, his recipes and food combinations are fantastic. Everything he describes is easy to understand and implement/cook. This is just a great ...more
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
quite good - I liked it because it didn't over explain. the concept is simple - eat vegan (including avoiding processed food) before 6pm- after you eat what yo want. It works for Mark Bittman , because he is a food writer- and he isn't going to give up on eating well. I am not going to do it, mostly because it would be difficult in the am. However, it has me thinking about how I wish to change my eating habit. Still looking through the recipes- but I am finding some of them interesting

May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: foodie
I love Mark Bittman and bought this book to see if a vegan-ish "diet" would be more approachable to my husband (dedicated carnivore) if it came from Bittman. Well written, good recipes, fast and easily digestible. I prefer to be vegan-ish rather than full on vegan- we have our own chickens, my son's allergic to dairy so any dairy is a serious treat, and I feel better if I eat fish a few times a week. Good to have more vegan/veganish ideas for my family's mixed table.
Kris Patrick
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
A combination of scientific background/research, stuff I've already read in a previous health or wellness book, and recipes/menus. This books makes a lot of sense to me though that doesnt mean I'll follow it. I'm not a huge meat eater and never have had much of an appetite for dairy. The tough part is all the foods where milk or eggs are in trace amounts. !!! I think the bigger idea is that any change you can make,no matter how small, will have a positive impact for you and the earth. :)
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
this was a quick read, and the recipes look good too, although I have yet to try them. I have been trying out eating vegan breakfasts, and most snacks (which I was kind of already doing if I think about it) to see how it goes. It's a fairly simple plan to follow, and there are lots of options for different "styles" of eaters, from non-cooks to chefs.
Jul 28, 2013 rated it liked it
I've already tried the Scrambled Tofu with Spinach and Eggplant Un-Parmesan...pretty good! The latter half of the book has lots of recipes to get you on the path to eating more veggies, fruit, and whole grains. According to Bittman, it only gets easier!
ayesha Akhtar
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it
decent recipes - i have followed him since reading runners world. i like the idea of eating vegan for 2 meals - goes with my flexitarian, plant-based lifestyle.
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MARK BITTMAN is one of the country's best-known and most widely respected food writers. His How to Cook Everything books, with one million copies in print, are a mainstay of the modern kitchen. Bittman writes for the Opinion section of New York Times on food policy and cooking, and is a columnist for the New York Times Magazine. His "The Minimalist" cooking show, based on his popular NYT column, ...more
“Like pornography, junk [food] might be tough to define but you know it when you see it.” 7 likes
“We spend a trillion dollars a year on food, but it’s only 9.4 percent of our expendable income, the lowest percentage of any country on record.” 1 likes
More quotes…