Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven (A Review)

Skinny Bitch: Bun the Oven is not the book that it purports to be. In fact, I feel like the Skinny Bitches tricked me a little bit -- and I suspect that might be the whole point of their book.

I was not familiar with the Skinny Bitches and their work prior to being contacted about this book. I was expecting something along the lines of Hot Mama -- you know, kitchsy tips on how to look good while you are pregnant. And frankly, the book seems to be to be marketed to give you the impression that's what you will be getting. I mean, look at the cover - it says, "A Gutsy Guide to Becoming One Hot and Healthy Mother!"

Simply put, Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven is about why you should become a vegan -- pregnant or not. Now, I am not saying that this book doesn't have lots of helpful information in it. The Skinny Bitches offer lots of really disturbing (but factual) information about the food industry in the United States.

Do I completely agree with them that the FDA, USDA, and entire government are not to be trusted when it comes to keeping our food and personal care products safe? Yes. Are the conditions under which most animals are raised and slaughtered abhorrent? Absolutely. They raise some excellent points about why you need to be your own advocate when it comes to the types of food you are feeding yourself and your family.

Still, I found myself feeling resentful over the fact that the authors were basically telling me that if I didn't follow a strictly vegan diet, I was not living a healthy lifestyle and doing a disservice to my baby. I just don't buy that message, ladies. And once I read the chapter "What the Hell to Eat" about meal planning and foods that were "acceptable" (basically soy products, hemp sprouted bread, and something called "unsteak"), I actually felt better about my choice to include dairy and low-fat proteins in my own diet. But I do see how one could grow quite skinny on their recommended diet (because I would probably pass on the veggie salami too).

Towards the end of the book, the focus shifts from nutrition to a lot of scattered advice on everything from why you should breastfeed to the dangers of disposable diapers to possible signs of postpartum depression and the benefits of an organic mattress.

My other gripe is that apparently one of the skinny bitches has never been pregnant. I mean, come on. Some uber-healthy, refined sugar-rejecting girl who lives in Los Angeles wants to tell me how to face down a mid-afternoon pregnancy sugar craving when she hasn't ever been pregnant? I don't mean to be a jerk about it, but I feel like there is a major credibility issue here.

So if you are thinking about becoming a vegan, you should buy this book. If you are just a regular pregnant girl looking for a cute read to make you feel better about your ballooning bum, keep looking.


Kathleen said...

I LOVE your review! I read the original and totally felt that if I didn't become vegan, I was failing my health and family! You got the whole thing right on the money. One of the authors has never been pg, you are exactly right about that!

Bethany said...

Great review, Caitlin! Glad I missed this one- sounds like it would have made for one big insecure pregnancy.