As I kick off week 4 of trying the Mark Bittman “Vegan Before 6” way of eating, no one is more surprised than I am. You all have seen me complain through a Paleo diet, then the super Paleo Whole 30 diet, and just a general “I should probably eat healthier” stage as well. Clearly my conscious is telling me to put down the pumpkin cheesecake and try something else. I am great at ignoring my conscious.
However! When a friend told me how she and her husband were digging the Vegan Before 6 situation (which is exactly like what it sounds—no dairy, meat, processed foods or other junk before 6, limit that biz after 6) I thought I’d give it a whirl.
Because I’m the kind of girl who likes to know at some point during the day there will be cheese, it seemed like a pretty good idea. (For more specifics on “unlimited foods” vs. “sometimes foods” check out Bittman’s book.) While I have yet to reject all processed foods (but honestly, being gluten-free I’m already most of the way there) and I probably should limit the fromage a wee bit more, I’m doing pretty darn good.
I’ve limited the amount of food I feel the need to stuff in my gullet, and I’m getting more creative in the kitchen. Although, admittedly, it’s incredibly difficult to dine out on this meal plan. Maybe if I weren’t also in the GF camp it would be easier. Anyhoo!
Here’s some of this action that’s keeping me all up in Vegan Town.
Bittman’s roasted chickpea recipe makes for a satisfying snack if you get that mid-afternoon slumparoo. I would eat them quickly though, as they don’t stay crunchy for long.
Stir fry, stir fry, stir fry. Also, I’ve just discovered this amazing gluten-free black soy bean sauce that is thick and out-of-this world. Throw in whatever vegetables you like, and go to town.
I was surprised to see corn and quiona pastas on the list of OK foods, as I’m used to kicking carbs to the curb. But that makes this eating so much more simple. I like to roasted broccoli with garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes then toss my cooked corn pasta to mix well. I add nutritional yeast to fool me into thinking there’s Parmesan sprinkled on that biz.
And you all have seen my new favorite soup, the ribollita. It’s super good, you guys, and very filling.
Other than that I’ve been eating a lot of fruits, many bean and rice bowls with avocado, the occasional bowl of gluten-free oatmeal, and some other vegan soups that are easy to whip up. Also stops for lunch include Sun Cafe and Gracias Madre.
It hasn’t all been fun and games, for sure. Some days are difficult like, say, yesterday. For breakfast I had an apple and cup of black coffee. (Or 4 cups, whatevs.) For lunch I had gf corn chips with vegan chipotle bean dip. Neither of those things are actually meals.
Still, I felt proud for maintaining my vegan’ness. But that is certainly not what Mr. Bittman had in mind. Stay tuned! We’ll see if this actually changes anything as far as chub roll or sugar cravings.
What’s your fave gf/vegan dish? Just so I can mix it up a little?
I’m a fellow LA resident, long time blog lurker, stopping into say that I got glutened from the corn tortillas (or the guac, but probably not the guac) at Gracias Madre earlier this week :(. I’ve eaten them there before so ordered without grilling the server (usually Gracias Madre and Cafe Gratitude send over a manager at the mention of celiac, and on past visits I’ve been assured by a manager that the tortillas are cool) and before I’d finished my drink with a pal it was instant migraine and all the rest of it… Still, I’ll go back and get the rice bowl with the peanut sauce, avocado, and pineapple! And for that beautiful patio.
Oh no! That is very disappointing. Thanks for warning the rest of us.