Friday, July 24, 2009

Book Review: Skinny Bitch

You may be offended by the title, but the authors say this in the final page: "Don't really become a Skinny Bitch. We conceived the title to get attention and sell books. We wanted to spread our message far and wide and thought Skinny Bitch was a good way to do it. We are not bitches, and we have no desire to promote bitchiness.

Soon you will notice that you are happier and healthier by eating a cruelty-free diet. Spread the word and promise not to preach. People become defensive about their diets, even if you are non judgemental they may feel threatened by your righteousness. Your being a vegan shines a spotlight on the cruelty they are contributing to and can make them feel uncomfortable.."

Skinny Bitch was published in 2005 by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. I don't know where I've been. I had never heard of the title until recently. It's been a #1 New York Times Bestseller. Guess I've been under a rock. Or under a piece of beef. Ha. Good one Jule.

I was wandering through Target yesterday morning, looking for a different title, same subject, and saw this title. It intrigued me.

Skinny Bitch begins by letting the reader know you can become a skinny bitch through a vegan diet. The book is much better than that premise, however. It's not all about becomming skinny. Who wants to be skinny anyhow? It's a fabulous quick read. I read the 224 pages yesterday afternoon while sitting at the pool. Rory and Kim speak as foul mouthed girlfriends. You may be offended when they call you a shithead or a fucker; but, really, it does get the point across.

They tell facts about eating sugar, flesh, dairy, governmental agencies, and yes, even pooping. They tell us about becoming vegan, becoming healthy, putting away the dead, rotting, decomposing flesh diet and living in a healthy manner on fruits, veggies, whole grains and good fats.

There is a month of menus, shopping strategies and list of resources.

I enjoyed the book. It is more about lifestyle than changing to a vegan diet but entertaining to read just the same.

The more I read about people who eat a vegan diet, the more it reminds me of people who eat a paleo diet. Both groups tend to eat bushel baskets of fresh, colorful vegetables, usually organic; both eat loads of fruit, again, organic. Both are careful to get those heart healthy fats, eat beans and legumes, plenty of nuts and seeds. It seems to me that the big difference is when it comes to eating dinner..the paleo eaters add a lean meat where the vegan eaters pass on the flesh.

I wonder if Americans are finally becoming fed up with all of the hormones, steroids and harmful additives that are being added to our food. The more I read about the governmental agencies and how they have sabotaged us into believe what is healthy the angrier I become. It wasn't that long ago that we were told to eat a low fat diet; all of a sudden there were fat free Snackwells, fat free chips, all loaded with the bad fats and high in sugar. We became sicker and fatter. Low Carb, oh yeah, get on the Atkins band wagon. Remember that one? Forgo the whole grains but would you like some butter with your bacon?

It seems that I am reading more and more about the food we are choosing. I don't know if that is because I am making different choices or if it just the latest fad now.

I received a letter last week from Costco. The letter stated that the beef that I had purchased between April 1 and May 17 of 2009 had been recalled and I could return it to the store for a refund. Oh. Really. Well I believe we ate that between April 1 and May 17. Too late, you know? Most of our beef I buy from the farmer, but when on sale at Costco I'll pick it up there, too. Or I did. Past tense. Damn.

I received a call from the butcher who processed our half side of steer a few months ago. Could be a slight problem there with the beef. Well. Damn again.

This isn't only happening to me, it is happening to all of us, everywhere. It doesn't seem like a fad to me. It seems as tainted food is really threatening us.

I don't know where I'm headed with this but I continue to read, continue to learn, continue to ask questions. I find myself saying that for today I'll forgo the meat upon my salad. A nice mixture of black and red beans will do instead.

After my run this morning I came home and made Troy and my nephew their Friday morning staple: pancakes. This morning I used whole grain flour, almond milk, bananas, almonds and cinnamon. They told me how good they tasted. They spread raspberries that I had pureed on top, never asking for syrup because it wasn't on the table.

Have you read Michael Pollans' In Defense of Food? That'll be the review for next week.


Karen G said...

I went from South Beach diet- meat and vegs to vegan and lost 6 pounds without trying and have never been on a better diet or ate so well. I can't imagine ever going back to eating animals again. I will have to get the book.

SteveQ said...

I read "Skinny Bitch" when it came out and agree it is a good read. I don't ascribe to either paleo or vegan, but I get where both are coming from (and once posted on the blog nutritionally complete diets that fit both). When I stopped getting my beef from my uncle's farm - 1000 lbs. at a time! - I cut it out of my diet almost entirely. I say almost all food is okay in moderation, though it really helps to know where it came from. And that's why I'm jealous of your garden!

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie,
I have read In Defense of Food. A good read also, makes you think hard about food labels. I just read a book called "The End of Over Eating". Which I could really relate to..I have problems with craving sugar and this helped.
It all seems to point to simple, healthy know what and where you get it from types of foods.
I have also read Skinny Bitch. I guess trying to take what I can from all and find what works for me and what I can do.
I don't eat red meat, just don't have the taste for it.

Karen S

Anonymous said...

Hey Julie! Awesome race report and great job! I hadn't had a chance to look at the paper yet (been a bit busy, you know babies "me, me, me" LOL!), but my husband came upstairs and gave me the report about where you finished! He HAS actually listened to me all these years I have been talking about you! LOL!
I downloaded the Skinny Bitch podcat two years ago and went for a walk. It wasn't what I thought it was. But when I came back from my walk I was a new person! It was weird, I never had anything effect me like that. I had made angel food cake the night before with splenda. The first thing I did when I came in the house was throw it and the splenda away!
I love the fat free = chemical shit storm reference. I use it all the time on my kids and try to teach them moderation. I don't eat totally vegan, but WAY different! I must admit, I am intriqued yet scared to check out Food, Inc