Before I get into the review, I want to preface it by saying I honestly never had any intention of reading this book. I had absolutely no interest in it when it first came out, and having heard other people's mixed opinions I wasn't really struck with any intense desire to read it. I basically read it by accident. It was sitting on the counter at Chris' mom's house and while he was on the hunt for his black dress shirt I picked it up and started reading the first Chapter to busy myself. I had finished Chapter 1 by the time Chris determined he wasn't going to find his shirt so I figured I might as well borrow the book and read the whole thing.
I started this as a pro’s and con’s list initially, but about half way through I decided it might be better if I reviewed the book topically.
Warning: If you’re easily offended by cursing, this book is not for you. I however have the mouth that could give a sailor a run for his money so I loved it. At first it was the no b.s. attitude of the authors that I pulled me into the book. They’re sarcastic and funny. A few chapters in that started to get a little old, and by the end I felt the authors were getting a little bit judgmental, condescending and, well, bitchy. To some extent, I’m sure that was the point. It worked for a while; then it made me want to slap them.
The book basically promotes a vegan diet as a way to lose-weight, be skinny, and stay healthy. It was nice to read a book that explains how healthy veganism (and by association vegetarianism) can be. The author’s make great points about how the factory-farm industry wants you to think you can’t live a healthy life without meat, dairy, and eggs. The authors were a little over zealous at times, however, which can be off-putting to readers. There were points in the book where I felt as though the authors were saying ‘if you’re not a vegan, you’re an idiot.’
The authors really encouraged thinking for yourself, using your head, and questioning authorities – even them – when it comes to what you put in your body. They provided a great deal of information, sources, and additional reading about how government agencies like the USDA and the FDA are in bed with the meat and dairy industry. This isn’t something that came as a shock to me (I’m of the opinion it’s rare to find a politician that isn’t in bed one corporation or another.), but a lot of people blindly follow the recommendations of the USDA and FDA (and other “authorities”) without question. Lots of diet pills are FDA approved; that doesn’t make them safe or good for you. In my opinion, anything that gets people to question authority and think critically is a good thing.
One of my favorite things about the book is at the end the authors provided an extensive list of product recommendations broken up by meal. Even if you don’t plan on going vegan, like me, integrating more vegetarian and vegan-friendly products into your diet can’t hurt. I definitely plan on integrating some of the vegan snack foods into my diet as I struggle with finding good healthy snacks. I also really liked that they provided an entire month worth of meal plans. Both of these are really helpful in showing the reader this is a totally feasible lifestyle change as long as you’re willing to make the sacrifices and adjustments required.
The thing I disliked most about the book was the fact that they spent 5 pages promoting fasting as something that is good for you and cleansing to the body. I’ve never bought into fasting and cleanses as healthy. In my mind, fasting is nothing more than short term anorexia. I’ve never tried it, but I’ve heard very few positive opinions from people who have. Personally, I get very hangry when I don’t eat. I would be an absolutely nightmare to be around if I were fasting. Additionally, there were also only 3 sources listed for this section none of which seemed to be medical studies showing fasting/ cleanses to be healthy or effective.
My other beef with the book was “don’t be a cheap asshole” approach to buying organic (pg. 179). There’s no question that more often than not organic products are more expensive. The authors make a point when they say, “But we spend countless dollars on clothes jewelery, manicures, magazines…” (pg. 179), but it really got on my nerves when they continued that with “…rent or mortgages, car payments and other bullshit.” (pg. 179). I’m more than willing to sacrifice a monthly manicure in order to buy organic food, but my mortgage? my car payment? If it comes to organic bananas versus my mortgage, I’m choosing the mortgage. I’m kind of a fan of having someplace to live. Organic broccoli versus car payment, car payment wins. If I lose the car I’m not going to be able to get myself to the store to buy organic broccoli anyway. They did go on to mention you should focus on buying organic for produce you eat without peeling away the skin, but I wish they would have spent more time focusing on practicality or buying organic on a budget.
Overall Opinion: I feel the book is totally worth the read. It reads really fast. (I finished it in about 3 hours total.) For the most part, the authors are entertaining, and there is a lot of good information in the book for anyone trying to live a healthy lifestyle even if they aren’t adopting the more hard-core skinny bitch diet.
I probably won’t be converting to a vegan, or even a full-blown vegetarian, anytime soon. I may be “chemically addicted to cheese” (pg. 127), but I’m not sure I care. I don’t eat that much cheese. Having read this book, I will definitely put more thought into the things I’m putting in to (and on) my body especially those products that are of animal origin. It’s a nice little coincidence that I read this book right before beginning my 7 Day Vegetarian Challenge and with the mind-set of doing a 30 day challenge in the future. One of my goals with my vegetarian challenge is to reduce my overall meat consumption and limit it to high quality, organic, lean meats. After having read this book, I think I’ll be looking to purchase more organic dairy and eggs as well. I’ll also be more aware of who is certifying products as organic (USDA vs. an independent, non-governmental agency). I may not have ever intended to read this book, but having done so, I am glad I did.
Have you read Skinny Bitch? What was your opinion of the book? Love it? Hate it?