Maybe. I’ve been hearing about Skinny Bitch for years. One of my sisters read it and became a vegan (and then eventually, a vegetarian). Many other blogs I read talk about the book and the effect it had on their decision to become vegetarians. But some of the reviews are not as positive as others. I have decided that after all this hype, it is time I read the book for myself. It seems to have a strong impact on those who read it, so maybe it will be an eye-opening experience – or maybe I’ll decide it is overrated.
Let me start by saying that I have always loved meat. I have always believed that lunch and dinner are not meals unless meat is involved. Steak plays a big role in Pat’s family, and I have learned to appreciate a tender filet every now and then. Or burger (see yesterday’s post). Turkey sandwiches, chicken salad, tuna melts – all regular items in my diet. I don’t think that I could ever completely give up meat. But I might be able to cut back. There seems to be a lot of research on why eating meat is bad for your health and bad for the environment. Maybe this book will be the wake up call I need.
After reading the first chapter, here are my first impressions on their list of items I need to give up:
1) SB suggests you trade all alcoholic beverages in and only consume organic red wine with no sulfites added. I don’t drink much alcohol anyway, and when I do, I prefer wine. I suppose I could make more of effort to look for wines that meet their criteria, but I’m not sure how common those are. Or how much they cost. And are organic wines really better? I’m not ready to give up all other wines, but I might try to look for organic options.
2) Soda – this includes Diet Coke. I drink Diet Coke daily – usually just 1 can a day, but I can’t imagine going without it. Sometimes it’s just enough to fulfill my sweet tooth – or is it? Do I really skip out on other junk food on days I drink Diet Coke? And doesn’t research say that drinking diet sodas actually increases the number of calories you eat in a day? As the authors point out, that Diet Coke with lunch is replacing a potential glass of water, which might actually serve me better. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to cut back on the Diet Coke – or at least the number of days per week that I’m drinking it.
3) Coffee – I fall into the “pathetic” camp of those who don’t want to talk/can’t function until they’ve had their morning coffee. What’s so bad about coffee (according to SB)?
- The caffeine – that link takes you to the article cited in the book, which lists all of the health problems caffeine can create; however, WebMD says that it would take a large amount of caffeine to cause osteoperosis unless you’re an older adult, and states that large studies have shown there is not a link between caffeine and heart disease or cancer. In fact, they say caffeine might even protect against certain cancers. I think bottom line in these mixed messages is “everything in moderation” – I haven’t found anything that has convinced me to give up caffeine completely, but I can try to limit my intake to 200-300mg/day.
- The acidity – SB says acid causes your body to store fat cells, “so coffee equals fat cells.” There is research that caffeine increases levels of coritsol, which in turn, can cause weight gain.
- The chemical pesticides – so is organic coffee okay? My workplace does offer some organic & fair trade coffee at our coffee bar. I could handle that.
- The artificial sugar and cream that often accompanies the coffee. Although I do sometimes add cream and Splenda to my coffee, I like it black too.
Instead, SB wants me to switch to decaffeinated green tea. I have nothing against green tea – I actually drink it on occasion in the afternoons when I just want a small caffeine boost (with 2 packets of Splenda). It’s the decaffeinated & no artificial sweeteners added part that I’m struggling with. I will never give up coffee – but I could at least try cutting back and switching to organic, black coffee in the morning – and I could attempt to give caffeinated green tea a chance in the morning.
4) Junk food = bad (chemicals, hydrogenated oils, calories, saturated fat, cholesterol) – I don’t need any convincing on this point. I know this is something I need to cut back on.
5) Pills – I’m not someone who’s crazy about taking pills for every tiny headache or little sniffle. Sometimes I find that my headaches are due to the fact that I’m dehydrated, and simply drinking water is enough to kick ’em. And I don’t like how cold medicines make me feel (kind of loopy – not good while I’m at work). But if I can’t get to sleep because I can’t breathe, you can be sure I’m going to take some Nyquil. And as a migraine sufferer, there will always be ibuprofen (and prescription meds) in my medicine cabinet. I’m probably not going to change much on this point no matter how many chemicals I might be putting into my body.
Finally – they want me to exercise – I can totally get behind this one.
We’ll see where this takes me… have you read Skinny Bitch? What are your thoughts?