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Mark Bittman: Vegan till Dinner

Food journalist and New York Times columnist Mark Bittman is a "less-meatatarian": Before 6 p.m., he eats only fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes; after 6, he has whatever he pleases. 

He spoke with Body+Soul about his decision to go vegan till dinner, his typical daily diet, and the benefits he's seen since the switch -- both financial and health-related. 

B+S: What prompted you to change your diet? 
MB: I noticed that the quality of the food most people were eating was getting worse, animals were being treated worse, the environment was suffering, and people -- myself included -- were getting fatter and less healthy. My goal was to encourage people to eat more consciously overall. 

B+S: When did you notice results? 
MB: After a few months, my cholesterol went down, and I lost about 35 pounds. 

B+S: What do you eat? 
MB: Today I had cooked multigrain cereal with maple syrup for breakfast, and I'm going to a vegetarian restaurant for lunch. If I were home, I'd probably eat rice and beans or a stir-fry over some grain. 

B+S: Has eating less meat changed the way you cook?
MB: I like tofu more. But I still don't like tempeh (and I'm not sure anyone else does either). 

B+S: The diet must be cheaper. 
MB: It's absolutely cheaper. Forty dollars' worth of grains and vegetables is a ton of food. Forty dollars for fish and meat and cheese won't go nearly as far.

Get recipes and tips on being a healthy vegetarian. 

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