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Thread: "Skinny B*tch"

  1. #1
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    "Skinny B*tch"

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    Has anyone else here read this book? "Skinny B*tch" by Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin... http://skinny*****.net/buy.html

    Crazy catchy title I know lol. The book is about following a vegan diet.

    I just finished it. I stumbled across it accidently in a book store not really knowing what the book was about.

    I'm not sure if I am going down that route or not. Considering it. Once you have information, it's kinda hard to disregard.

    I have three concerns in becoming vegan:
    1) area I live is not vegan friendly in shopping etc. a lot effort to even find appropriate foods;
    2) cycling training- how you get enough proper nutrition to distance ride; and
    3) vegans do need to supplement some things not found in plant products, how you do that, or any other cons.

    Any opinions, and/or vegan/vegitarian cycle peeps here on TE?

  2. #2
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    Their over-the-top tone is kind of cute. That's about the only good thing I can say.

    That book made me very angry because the information is bogus. Most of the citations are websites, and not very reputable websites. I agree with some of the sentiments of the book, but it made me mad that the "facts" were poorly referenced. Their rant about carbs is plain wrong. The studies are showing that people fare pretty well on low carb diets. The authors are former models, and appear not to have much training in writing.

    Another thing that annoyed me is that they seem to be pushing vegan substitutes for meat. I am not vegan but if I were I wouldn't want substitutes that are trying to taste like what I gave up. I'd want things that are tasty in their own way.

    The main arguments in favor of going vegan were that factory farms are horrible places, the animals are treated awfully and you don't know what kind of chemicals you might be getting. To me that seems like an argument in favor of eating local organic meat. They brush off that notion by saying you can't trust anyone but if you visit the farm you can. I was disappointed that they didn't offer a legitimate reason to go vegan.

    They redeemed themselves in the last chapter slightly--they said they hoped you'd get the message to trust no one, not even them. But after spending the entire book calling you names if you don't agree with them, that message is a little weak.

    After reading it, I did try to eat more nuts, because at this time of year it's a little hard to get local organic meat, and I do agree with them on the point about factory farms (although that wasn't referenced any better than the rest of it). A vegan diet needs more fat & protein, and nuts are a really good source of that, nuts & fish have the "good" fats. That backfired on me as I started having some intestinal issues. But if you don't have a reaction to nuts, nuts are super nutritious.

    Good luck!
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  3. #3
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    I can't imagine paying for a book with a title like that. I'll avoid my opinions on vegan diet, but it disturbs me that a book who is purportedly focused on a way to eat is really about (tell me if I'm wrong) how the way you LOOK is so important.
    While it's true that obesity is a serious problem in the USA, being skinny isn't healthy either. Young women today have enough issues, why are people writing books like this that exacerbate the problem?
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melalvai View Post
    Their over-the-top tone is kind of cute. That's about the only good thing I can say.

    That book made me very angry because the information is bogus. Most of the citations are websites, and not very reputable websites. I agree with some of the sentiments of the book, but it made me mad that the "facts" were poorly referenced. Their rant about carbs is plain wrong. The studies are showing that people fare pretty well on low carb diets. The authors are former models, and appear not to have much training in writing.

    Another thing that annoyed me is that they seem to be pushing vegan substitutes for meat. I am not vegan but if I were I wouldn't want substitutes that are trying to taste like what I gave up. I'd want things that are tasty in their own way.

    The main arguments in favor of going vegan were that factory farms are horrible places, the animals are treated awfully and you don't know what kind of chemicals you might be getting. To me that seems like an argument in favor of eating local organic meat. They brush off that notion by saying you can't trust anyone but if you visit the farm you can. I was disappointed that they didn't offer a legitimate reason to go vegan.

    They redeemed themselves in the last chapter slightly--they said they hoped you'd get the message to trust no one, not even them. But after spending the entire book calling you names if you don't agree with them, that message is a little weak.

    After reading it, I did try to eat more nuts, because at this time of year it's a little hard to get local organic meat, and I do agree with them on the point about factory farms (although that wasn't referenced any better than the rest of it). A vegan diet needs more fat & protein, and nuts are a really good source of that, nuts & fish have the "good" fats. That backfired on me as I started having some intestinal issues. But if you don't have a reaction to nuts, nuts are super nutritious.

    Good luck!
    Yep... that's how I feel about it to.

    Factor farms have not nice things happen there. But, there are also a lot of other not nice things that happen in the world too. I do love animals. And my mom's side of the family were farmers in the south. We would spend some time on the farm visiting in the summer. It was not a factory farm. Parts of the farm/lifestyle were almost Amish like. Being there first hand for the killing of the animals is a pretty graphic memory. But, the animals did have good humane living conditions prior to that.

    Some of the information about the chemicals I knew, some not. In general, the chemicals is what made me consider changing some of my eating ways.

    Yea... ok, not to knock yoga, because I know there is a diff between "power yoga" and some other forms... BUT, I'm sorry, yoga is NOT cardio imo. I'm certified to teach Pilates (similiar to yoga) and Spinning. The heart rate difference is night and day. Plus from an athlete point of view they don't have that credibility.

    I did try and google vegan athletes. Some peeps try it, and fail. There are some endurance vegan athletes, however, that are very successful. I think you have to monitor your diet very carefully to perform.

    Last, I agree with what you are saying about pushing the vegan substitues. OK, fake bacon is just not natural. If you are going to eat a plant, then EAT IT the way it is.
    Last edited by Miranda; 04-04-2011 at 05:42 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biciclista View Post
    I can't imagine paying for a book with a title like that. I'll avoid my opinions on vegan diet, but it disturbs me that a book who is purportedly focused on a way to eat is really about (tell me if I'm wrong) how the way you LOOK is so important.
    While it's true that obesity is a serious problem in the USA, being skinny isn't healthy either. Young women today have enough issues, why are people writing books like this that exacerbate the problem?
    I didn't hafta pay.

    I bought the journal on close out at one of my local bookstores that is going outta biz. It does have some positive affirmations in the midst of the smarty pants comment. The b*tich part doesn't bother me. They admit to using this title to get media attention. That's marketing in America in general. Got the book from the library, and gym friend loaned me her copy.

    Funny thing is couple of the instructors at one of my gyms that read this book became vegitarian afterwards. One was vegan for quite while.

    In the very last page they state they don't care about "looks being skinny". They care about animal rights obviously, and are more concerned about the health aspect. The "looks skinny" part again being marketing. But I don't know any morbid obesse vegans either.

    Yes, I agree with you. In teaching at my gyms, I am probably considered "a big girl" against my peers. They are like STICKS! One other instructors I know is same as me. She is also a cyclists. We both say that we are better examples at "being fit healthy" than our peeps... because we are, and we LOOK like real people, vs Barbie dolls lol.

  6. #6
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    It is possible to be an endurance athlete and be a vegan. I am not, but I just want to point that fact out.

    Take a look at Scott Jurek. He's a fantastic trail ultramarathon runner and he's vegan.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCAP View Post
    It is possible to be an endurance athlete and be a vegan. I am not, but I just want to point that fact out.

    Take a look at Scott Jurek. He's a fantastic trail ultramarathon runner and he's vegan.
    Yep, that's what I was thinking. There are some very successful ones. In one article I read about those that gave it up after trying, they hit the wall. The successful ones had alot variety and close monitoring of their diets.

    I think where people get turned off is when someone tries to impose their own values on another. The vegan co-worker I have is like that. That's great if what you choose. But let others choose as they will. The choice would be my own personal one if I decide to do it. Not some cause to educate and save the world.
    Last edited by Miranda; 04-04-2011 at 01:21 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miranda View Post
    I have three concerns in becoming vegan:
    1) area I live is not vegan friendly in shopping etc. a lot effort to even find appropriate foods;
    2) cycling training- how you get enough proper nutrition to distance ride; and
    3) vegans do need to supplement some things not found in plant products, how you do that, or any other cons.

    Any opinions, and/or vegan/vegitarian cycle peeps here on TE?
    I'm vegan and have been for four years, my boyfriend/partner has been for nearly a decade. This book irritated me a lot. The tone, the idea that being vegan will make you skinny, the recipes full of faux foods and substitutes, the list goes on. There are many better books out there. I won't get into my reasons for veganism because they are lengthy and involve all aspects - animal rights, health, agricultural efficiency, environmentalism, human rights, and the ability to eat the cookie dough without worrying about salmonella

    As far as your questions.
    1) I live in Iowa. I can't think of anywhere you'd live that might be unsuitable to a vegan diet. There might not be a lot of convenience foods and easy microwaveable meals, but the foundations of a vegan diet are accessible almost everywhere. It just means cooking at home a lot which is something I love. Whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, all these things can be found at a regular grocery store. Just an idea of a typical week of dinners at our house - vegetable curry, lentil dal, and brown rice; stir fry with tofu; big ol' pot of chili and cornbread; falafel pitas and salad; homemade pizza (with tofu ricotta some nights).

    2) I'm relatively new to cycling but my partner in an endurance cyclist, mostly gravel and winter riding. He's done the Arrowhead 135 multiple times, Dirty Kanza 200, Tuscobia 150, and lots of other races. Being vegan just means bringing food with when it's out of state. We don't really eat anything special, he just eats a lot of it. We usually have a nice bunch of clif and luna bars for rides, a few homemade protein bars, he likes cookies and salty snacks when on rides so it's not exactly healthy, but certainly vegan. I like dried fruit and nuts, peanut butter sandwiches, and luna bars.

    3) The most important vegan supplement is B12. It's the only one that is only available in meat, simply because the animals end up eating a lot of dirt before they're slaughtered and that's where the B12 is. I'm sure I could work some dirt into my diet but I'd rather take a multi-vitamin with it. All the other vitamins that vegans need, everyone needs, and are accessible in many foods. We do take a vegan multi-vitamin every day and an additional B12 and iron supplement a couple of times a week.

    If you have any questions I'd love to try and answer.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atlas View Post
    If you have any questions I'd love to try and answer.
    Atlas, I'm not a vegan or even a vegetarian, but I do try to eat healthy and "meat-lite" (mostly just fish and chicken, lots of veggies, beans, whole grains, quinoa, and the like), but I just wanted to say that I like your style. Thanks for a great post. Your dinner menus sound yummy. I cooked a vegan chickpea curry tonight my very own self.
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  10. #10
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    I've been vegan for over 8 years and am not a fan of the Skinny ***** franchise. I think the tone it takes is mean-spirited and unhealthy (a major criticism of the book is that the writing style sounds eerily like the "voice" many women who suffer from eating disorders hear in their heads). The book also recommends a lot of processed, expensive, not-that-great-for-you foods, and (probably most annoyingly) sells veganism as a diet that will make you skinny and pretty, which it won't magically do.

    That said, I do (obviously) support and recommend veganism! There are some fantastic books on the subject. A great starting point is Isa Chandra Moskowitz's "Veganomicon," which has great big sections on nutrition and how to prepare different kinds of grains, veggies, beans, and things that omnivores might not be used to cooking. The recipes kick *** as well. If you're going for more of a weight loss/healthy eating thing, check out Isa's latest book, "Appetite for Reduction," which is filled with great whole foods recipes that you can adjust for your caloric or other diet needs. I struggle to gain weight, but I cook out of it all the time!

    You can also check out Colleen Patrick Goudreau's books, all of which are highly recommended, but lately I've been loving "Color Me Vegan." There's also Brendan Brazier's "Thrive," which is a vegan nutrition book written from the perspective of a serious athlete. The recipes aren't really my thing, but the nutrition info is great, and it's provided a lot of food for thought.

    There are a lot of great blogs out there too!

    My bottom line is there are a lot of great reasons to be vegan, but Skinny ***** doesn't touch on any of them!

  11. #11
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    Oh, and I'm sorry, I didn't address any of your questions!

    1. When I first went vegan, I lived in Edmonton, Alberta. It wasn't the most vegan-friendly place, and it was frustrating to try to cook out of books that required a lot of specialty ingredients. However, you can eat GREAT using beans, grains, veggies, fruits, and pantry staples. You may have to spend a bit more time in the kitchen than you used to (especially if you're used to eating prepared foods), but once you get used to spending time cooking, I bet you will enjoy it. Look for vegan books with a focus on "whole" ingredients like beans and veggies rather than prepared ingredients like Tofutti cream cheese or mock meats. Also, your freezer is your friend! Make big batches of things like soups and chilis, and freeze them in individual serving sizes. That way, when you're busy or tired, you can just heat and eat, and you'll still be getting healthy, delicious food.

    2. Just like with any other kind of diet, you have to make sure you're getting enough calories in when you're training on a vegan diet. For me, when I'm training (which I will admit to being new at), I make a point to always have lots of food available and to bring lots of food to work with me so that I can more or less eat at regular intervals throughout the day. I also add a lot of protein to my diet, which generally means I'll make up a batch or two of baked tofu, tempeh, or some kind of seitan to add to foods to up the protein content. I also will eat a LOT of chickpeas. The thing with veganism is that the foods tend to be less calorie dense than many animal-sourced foods, but really all that means is that you have to eat a bit more, volume wise. The quality of the calories and the energy you get from it is the same. It might take you a bit of an adjustment period to get into a routine that works for you, but it's totally do-able.

    3. As far as supplements, the biggest thing vegans have trouble with is B12, so if you only supplement one thing, supplement that. Me, I take a multi, a DHA supplement, and a Vitamin D supplement. That may sound like a lot, but it's more of an "insurance policy" than a strict necessity. It's possible to get everything you need from a vegan diet, but that doesn't mean it's a terrible idea to take a supplement or two. I didn't supplement at all for about 5 or 6 years, and I never had any ill effects. The reason I do it now is mostly because I've gotten more nutrition conscious, and it just seems like a good idea. I don't really see it as a "con," either, and definitely not specific to veganism. Many omnivores don't get enough vitamins and minerals in their diets as well.

    I hope that is helpful!

  12. #12
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    Very interesting reading. I'm certainly an omnivorous person, but I love to learn about other people's reasons for what they do.

    My question is - I thought veganism was more about the ethical implications of using animal products (not just meat) than it was about the health implications of being a meat eater (which would be more aligned with vegetarianism). My little cousin was a vegan for a while and she eschewed everything that came from animals - meat products, leather, etc. I am wondering though, does the vegan lifestyle also extend to products we use on a daily basis that use animals for research or testing? I'm only curious because as a veterinarian I get asked all the time how I can possibly "eat my patients" (not the dogs and cats, of course!) and I am exposed to all facets of animal husbandry and welfare, even the lives of animals used in research. Most of the pharmaceutical things we use to treat our various ailments were at least initially tested on animals (and many come back to the veterinary field to treat animals) and I am wondering if veganism also recommends avoiding these types of products in your life? What do you do then if you need to go to the doctor and they prescribe medication? Does veganism extend beyond diet & health or is it really a lifestyle that avoids products of animals and products obtained through the use of animals?

    Anyway, may seem random, but I am curious to know.

  13. #13
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    In defense of the "Skinny B****" franchise, it can work for it's target audience. My 27 year old niece lives in Chicago, works a high powered job, eats like crap, drinks a bit too often (nights out with friends), and generally allows her youth to help maintain her health. She found the "Skinny" book and started making positive changes in her diet and even started exercising. That book spoke a language she understood, and while it is a very flawed work, it gave her the impetus to make some positive changes.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by westtexas View Post
    I am wondering though, does the vegan lifestyle also extend to products we use on a daily basis that use animals for research or testing? I'm only curious because as a veterinarian I get asked all the time how I can possibly "eat my patients" (not the dogs and cats, of course!) and I am exposed to all facets of animal husbandry and welfare, even the lives of animals used in research. Most of the pharmaceutical things we use to treat our various ailments were at least initially tested on animals (and many come back to the veterinary field to treat animals) and I am wondering if veganism also recommends avoiding these types of products in your life? What do you do then if you need to go to the doctor and they prescribe medication? Does veganism extend beyond diet & health or is it really a lifestyle that avoids products of animals and products obtained through the use of animals?

    Anyway, may seem random, but I am curious to know.
    Yes.

    I've been vegan for 20 years, and I don't claim to speak for anyone but myself. While I went vegan for ethical reasons, it didn't take long to learn about all the other reasons.

    We all do the best we can do, whether that's being hardcore, or making concessions to make life a little easier. For example, I always choose cleaning products and toiletries that have no animal products and aren't tested on animals. I'll choose a tablet form of medicine rather than a gelcap.

    But I know the prescription medicines I take were likely tested on animals, and I don't worry about it. One of my medicines is made with gelatin, but I take it because it keeps me alive.

    I would never buy a leather purse or coat, I wear some leather shoes because I can't fine vegan shoes that fit.

    So it's a continuum. We all just do the best that we can do.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miranda View Post
    But I don't know any morbid obesse vegans either.
    I do. Several, in fact. You can eat to excess regardless of what your diet is made up of.
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