Yup, Start Counting, Today Marks Day 1 of 28 Days of VB6
She Talks Me into Vegan
Close readers of the Local Beet, specifically, the Local Family, know that there’s been a lot of veganism going around. At the Bungalow, at least, it started with a segment for the Tyler Milsap Show. Sophie Gardner, one of the producers for Tyler, agreed to eat vegan for a week and then share her experiences. Except a week’s worth of vegan seemed no challenge. She decided to see what it would be like to do it for a month. Mom agreed to go along for support. Several months later, someone has not looked back.
No one likes eating this way better than the Condiment Queen. Given the nudge, she slipped right back into those halcyon days of yore when a sprinkling of nutritional yeast was all that was needed to make movie night popcorn a treat. She’s so comfortable eating this way that she ate a whole Culver’s veggie burger without complaining. She has allowed herself to eat the occasional weekend egg or piece of fish, but has otherwise not eaten any animals. Taking time to read Eating Animals helped cement her feelings. Those in her realm, however, have not fully embraced.
If Jonathan Safran Foer gave her the justifications to avoid flesh, Mark Bittman gave her a system to make it work. For years, Mark Bittman had a body built like a lot of others in the food business. Not quite Emeril or Mario, but still a walking advertisement that his own food tasted good. Until he decided he did not want that. And now he has a body built like one that sells diet books. Bittman has the kind of skinny now that corresponds with the seemingly un-reachable numbers in life insurance tables. How he got from there to here was VB6.
The crux of the plan, by title at least, is that a great way to achieve better health and lose weight is to eat vegan for the first two meals of the day and then eat what you want for the third. Bittman argues that if you can make it through two hippie meals, you’re free to splurge otherwise. at dinner When you already have those two more healthy meals in the bank each day, that’s what you really need. In truth, over a couple of hundred pages, it’s a little more complicated. What Bittman wants you to do is eat a lot of vegan things: whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes and as few animal things including meat and dairy. Where you stand on that scale is up to you. His way of getting that done is the 2 for 1 plan. A plan my wife finds quite easy to match–to the extent her after 6 only extends to a few desserts, the occasional slab of cheese and some water creatures.
She coaxed a commitment from me to try yesterday. Since the scourge of veganism has spread through our house, I’ve eaten a lot of vegan meals. There’s vegetable stews with all our Tomato Mountain produce, and tons of Phoenix tofu, the result of fortunate market placement at Independence Park (my wife works for Tomato Mountain, who’s table is next to Phoenix’s table every other Sunday). Except I’ve not been vegan. I make a lot of salads for meals, but I top them nearly always with cheese or anchovies. I don’t get the vegetable burger at Culvers. Yet riding along enough, at the heels of the Queen, I’ve lost a good chunk of my belly. I feel I’ve improved much faster in my return to gym attendance. I can do things in yoga I have not been able to do in nearly 30 years. It could only get better right? Keep it up. Get better. Go VB6 she said. That will do it.
OK, I said. I’ll mark 28 days on the Local Calendar and see how far in I could get. Why 28 days? Bittman has a 28 day plan in the book. It’s not quite fully explained in the book why 28 days [ed. 4 seven day weeks?], but it’s implied that if you can stick it out for 28 days, you might just be able to stick it out long enough to go from the old Paul Prudhomme to the new Paul Prudhomme. I’m not following his actual 28 day plan he sets, just borrowing the benchmark. Starting today, I’m all about VB6.
Or VA6. Coffee. I like milk (or cream or half n’half) in my morning coffee. So does the Condiment Queen. She made the switch, however, to a mix of soy and almond milk to lighten the load. I’m not so sure. In fact, I think I might switch to black coffee for the period instead, but as I started my plan, I also ran into something more powerful than my desire to purge, my unwillingness to spend or in this case, waste, milk already bought. So I started my day with cafe au lait and a bowl of cereal. Lunch and dinner would be the V’s. We’ll see how I do it tomorrow, and we’ll see how I do it for the next 27 days. She talked me into it.