Question: I don’t know if I could give up bacon and eggs. How do you brunch on VB6?
Answer: Making the change is not as difficult as you might think. At first I craved a bagel with cream cheese or bacon. But my habits changed after a few weeks, and now I enjoy my VB6 breakfasts as much as I did the old ones. Oatmeal with fruit, a smoothie, or fruit salads are all great brunch options.
Q: What was your inspiration for writing VB6?
A: After five years of success on VB6, I came to really believe in the lifestyle. Then I started to hear from friends and coworkers—even strangers—and realized it wasn’t just a quirky little thing.
Q: Do you have a favorite spicy seitan recipe that is VB6?
A: I like pan-searing, roasting, or grilling setian and then tossing it in sauces or stir-fries.
Q: What’s a favorite go-to vegan lunch for you?
A: I don’t have go-tos; I pretty much cook what I’ve got. But I would say my most frequent lunch is either chopped salad, if I have a bunch of veggies laying around; and if I don’t, I almost always have cooked beans and grains, so I’ll throw something together with them. Having said all of that, it’s rare that I’m home for lunch, so I hit a salad bar or go out for falafel.
Q: What’s your favorite vegan food when you’re on the road?
A: The road is really the challenge. I wind up with salads, sometimes in a wrap; bean burritos; or if there’s a supermarket nearby, raw vegetables and hummus.
Q: What’s the most common misconception about vegan cooking
A: People sometimes think vegan food is rabbit food. But this is real food. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes—you have plenty of options.
Q: Did you develop a newfound appreciation for vegetables after switching to VB6?
A: I’ve always loved vegetables. But something I came to appreciate was the unlimited quantity of fruits and vegetables I could eat. Since vegetables and fruits are filled with fiber and water, portion size really doesn’t matter.
Q: Did you notice that your cravings for certain foods changed after going VB6?
A: Honestly, after a few months of VB6, my cravings did change. I found myself eating fewer animal products even at dinner, and I was less interested in sweets.
Q: What’s your favorite source of protein on a vegan diet?
A: I’m a big fan of legumes—especially white beans, lentils, and chickpeas. I eat most of them daily. Nuts and nut butters are also ideal for snacking. There’s nothing better than an apple with almond butter.
Q: Is there a scientific reason you chose 6:00 p.m. as the time to begin eating animal products?
A: The point of VB6 is to eat more plant food and fewer animal products. You can adjust the time to fit your lifestyle.
Q: What are your favorite small go-to snacks?
A: Fruit is nature’s original 100-calorie snack packs. Raw or roasted nuts are also a good snack in moderation.
Q: Is VB6 a way to transition into all-day everyday veganism?
A: Some people may start with VB6 and find they prefer the vegan lifestyle. But I—and many omnivores like me—have no interest in becoming full-time vegan. And that’s fine.
Q: Tips for juggling VB6 with small kids in the house?
A: If you’re already cooking for your family, you’re off to a good start because you have the power to help everyone around the table eat better. For sure, keeping everyone happy during mealtimes might take a little extra work in the beginning, but lots of people like you have done it! I’ve provided tips for cooking for families and children in the “Personalizing Your Approach to VB6” section of the book.
Q: What do you think will be the biggest barrier to people moving into veganism?
A: The processed-food industry makes dietary change a huge challenge by spending billions marketing highly processed sugar-and-fat-laden foods that are most harmful to our health. They want us to overconsume junk, and we comply.
Q: I enjoy using family dinner leftovers for lunch—works for frugality, but not always VB6. How can I be healthy without being wasteful?
A: There are lots of options here. Adjust your favorite dinner recipes to be VB6 friendly so you can eat them for lunch. Make the food you love in smaller quantities so you don’t have meat-based dishes tempting you during the day. Cook animal foods separately from plant foods and store them separately so you can focus on the vegetables for next day’s breakfast or lunch. The possibilities are endless.
Q: How many recipes are in VB6?
A: There are 60 recipes for vegan breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, as well as non-vegan dinners.
Q: Any tips on using vegetable stock? I keep trying different ones and still haven’t found one I like as much as chicken stock.
A: Nowhere is the gap between homemade and store-bought greater than with vegetable stock. If you’re going to use store-bought, you might as well just use water. I have a quick and easy recipe for vegetable stock in the book, and it’s infinitely better than what you’d find in the store.
Q: Suggestions for lunches more filling than green salads?
A: Yes, tons of suggestions. Eating nothing but green salads is unsustainable. VB6 contains several simple, delicious vegan lunch recipes, and there are a countless number of options beyond those in the book. It just requires a bit more planning.
Q: Chocolate—how dark and how much to eat?
A: The best chocolate for recipes as well as indulging is dark chocolate with 60 percent or higher cocoa content. But don’t overdo it.