The philosophy of Mark Bittman

I just read this really great article on Runner’s World – Simply Good by Mark Bittman

Bittman is the author of two books you’ve most likely heard of: “How to Cook Everything” and “Food Matters”. In this article, he details his struggle with excessive eating which came as a result of excessive running and the never-ending hunger that comes along with that. This caught my attention immediately as this is something I have struggled with in the past.

He also talks about how after gaining weight, being diagnosed with sleep apnea and other potentially serious health issues, he decided it was time to change his diet. He was eating too many animal products (especially meat) and processed foods and not enough of the good stuff (fruits and vegetables).

“…like many runners, I felt that I ran enough to compensate for overeating, and that running would make me immune to the middle-aged paunch and all the lifestyle syndromes, diseases, and problems that come with it. Wrong…”

Eventually, Bitman chose to reduce his consumption of animal products and processed foods, epecially after reading some alarming statistics about the health of Americans, global warming, overfishing, and other social issues that meat and processed foods-eating contributes to.

“When I turned my attention to vegetables, I realized they made a better core to my diet than animal products: They’re simple, flavorful, affordable, easily varied and cooked, and unquestionably healthy…”

This really resonated with me because that is EXACTLY why I am working on developing this vegan diet for myself. Vegetables (and some fruits) make so much sense to me. Meat doesn’t and I don’t really like it. I also don’t like the way dairy makes me feel or the potential hormones that come along with it, unless you buy organic. Processed foods are not only unhealthy, they are expensive.

I’m also interested in seeing how this new way of eating affects my running. I haven’t ran more than 3 miles since April but eventually I would like to get to where 5 was comfortable and perhaps even build up to another half marathon someday. I used to think that was impossible but I just have to remind myself that I did it once, I can do it again. I also eat a whole lot better now than I did then (when I relied on too many processed carbs, sugar, etc.), so who knows?

I’m certainly inspired by Mr. Bittman and his determination to eat healthy and keep running:

“Yes, I’m more determined than I’ve been in a long time, but that determination comes from having taken control of my diet and, as a result, the basic shape of my body. Unquestionably, eating sanely has rejuvenated my running, made me more youthful, and helped me feel, well, simply good.”

“To me, running and cooking are both uncomplicated and essential pleasures that can be enjoyed with minimum equipment and time.”


About Sarah Frankel

I am 29 years old and a resident of Louisville, Kentucky. I've been married to my husband Josh for 6 years and we have a 5 year old beagle named Suzie. Four years ago, I changed my eating and exercise habits, dropping 70 pounds and gaining an entirely new life. I took up running in September 2007 and became vegan in October 2009. I am constantly striving to improve my life so that I can live it to the fullest! I hope you will join me on my life journey.

Posted on September 17, 2009, in articles and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. GREAT post! I have read about Mark Bittman’s new diet, and while I am not vegan myself, I can appreciate this form of diet- incorporating more vegetables and fruits and decreasing the amount of animal products in my diet.

  2. I agree that veggies are so flavorful and I always notice how great I feel when I am eating veggies and fruit, I feel more alive and alert.

    Great Post =)

  3. OMGosh, Sarah! What a great article! And I’m like you, this is me many many times. Wow.

    I have cut way back on my meat consumption in the last month or so. I have been a little leery to try it until my treatments were over because I didn’t want to “upset the apple cart” so to speak. I didn’t want to risk throwing off my blood counts or anything. But I have cut way back to only eating meat for dinner, and that’s not every day. And when I went to the dr last Friday, my counts were excellent! I did not have one lab out of range. So, this tells me that I can go ahead and continue my cut backs when I want to. I don’t really like meat either. Now, I will say that I really like fish so I won’t be cutting that out but other meats, meh, it doesn’t matter one way or the other.

    So while I don’t call myself completely meat-free, I will say that I have cut out most of it. And I feel great, too. And weird thing…took a week off running before I went to the dr and ended up losing 4 lbs…weird. Hmmmm….. No meat?! Possibly.

  4. Wow awesome post! I’m definitely with Erica on the status of meat eating. I try and cut back as much as I can. I never eat red meat and mainly eat chicken or fish IF I’m goiing to do meat, which is rare. I commend your for dabbling with vegan though! I could never live without fish, eggs or dairy haha but I dooo love my veggies! Anyways what a great article!

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