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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, can be seen on the Cooking Channel. His most recent book, VB6, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in its first week on sale.
When Bittman (columnist, New York Times; How To Cook Everything) was told by his doctor that he was prediabetic, had pre-heart disease symptoms, and should become a vegan, Bittman did what any other omnivorous food writer might do: ask for a compromise. He created his own diet, essentially becoming a part-time vegan. Bittman's plan is simple: he avoids animal products and processed foods of all kinds before dinnertime, eats whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, cooks at home, exercises, and focuses on improved health rather than the scale. When six o'clock rolls around, all bets are off and Bittman eats whatever he wants-in moderation. In the first half of the book, he explains the philosophy and fundamentals of VB6, examining calorie density, carbohydrates, and satiety. The second half of the book delves into the plan, including recipes and lists of unlimited foods (foods low in calorie density), flexible foods (foods higher in calorie density), and treats (fish and meats, dairy, alcohol, desserts). VERDICT In this well-written and well-researched title, Bittman has successfully created a sensible eating plan that reluctant dieters might actually be able to stick to, since foods are not off-limits, only limited.-Pauline Baughman, Multnomah Cty. Lib., Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.