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Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven: A Gutsy Guide to Becoming One Hot (and Healthy) Mother! Paperback – 2 Sep 2008
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"Straight talking co-authors (Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin)... don't mince their words in their efforts to get you on the path to your ideal weight." Zest "(i)f you don't want to be a fat pig any more then these Skinny Bitches say they are the women to help." Sunday Mirror " --Sunday Mirror
The first Skinny Bitch book hit the headlines when Victoria Beckham was seen clutching a copy. With 75 easy, low-cal recipes this follow-up proves healthy eaters can have fun in the kitchen, too." Glamour Magazine --Glamour Magazine
;(This) sequel to the fabulously successful diet book with attitude, this will inspire anyone to don their apron to see what they can whip up. Whether it's an easy after-work meal or a dinner party, the book contains 75 easy-to-make recipes from around the globe." Look Magazine" --Look Magazine
"...the authors are excellent advocates for a healthy vegan pregnancy, and you might just find yourself giggling once or twice too!"
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Instead, I got one chapter after another of needless scaremongering. The pages are filled with preachy ranting about the evils of the livestock farming industry, the companies that make toiletries and cosmetics, the government and so on. Some of the advice verges on dangerous (for example, that you should consult a naturopath or herbalist BEFORE seeing a medical doctor).
This book was a total waste of my money and time. Any vegans looking for advice on how to eat during pregnancy would be best off looking elsewhere. Thanks, Skinny Bitches, for giving us all a bad name.
When It arrived, I had a quick glance through it and decided that I wasn't going to learn very much, because I have already been vegan for 5 years and had one vegan pregnancy and this book goes into great depths explaining why you should go vegan.
Anyway, I decided to read it, and what I found was... that although I had watched earthlings and read about factory farming, this book really, really affected me and made me never want to touch meat or dairy again. I mean, I had no idea how many chemicals, hormones, anti-biotics where given to animals in factory farms, or that such a thing a Johnes (yoneez) disease even existed. (In case you are wondering, it's a disease where the cows have uncontrollable diarrhoea and sometimes the poop goes onto the udders of the cow and into the milk that people are drinking. (I mean gross right!)
Anyway, what I also got from this book, was a confidence in my decision to stay vegan during pregnancy and a knowing that it was the right thing for my baby. They discuss the different scare stories that are on the internet about potential health risks and share their take on it. For example the study that was done in the UK that showed Vegetarian mothers where 5 times more likely to give birth to a baby with Spadias. (I'd never heard of it before either, it's a deformity of the male genitals.) But basically, there have been several other studies done since this one, that have not been able to replicate the findings. Maybe because Vegetarians are more clued up on diet and nutrition these days? Or maybe because something else skewed the original study's findings. (Sometimes you need to also take into account who is funding the study, so you know if they have a bias towards a particular agenda.)
The book has loads of greats advice, whether it's cutting down on chemicals in food and beauty products, to what vitamins and minerals are recommended to supplement during pregnancy. I enjoyed the ladies quirky writing style and would definitely read other books by them in the future.
Honest, no-nonsense information put forward in a blunt but quite funny manner... I like these girls! I'll buy everything they've got going!
Lesson 1: Look for authors lacking proper medical qualifications in diet and nutrition (such as "studying nutrition for 15 years" and a "Master of Science degree in Holistic Nutrition").
Lesson 2: Look for references to Patrick Holford's The Optimum Nutrition Bible: The Book You Have to Read If You Care About Your Health. To find out why, read Bad Science by Ben Goldacre.
I bought Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven - A Gutsy Guide to Becoming One Hot (and Healthy) Mother! knowing full well how badly Skinny Bitch got panned for being a poorly veiled work of vegan evangelism. But curiosity got the better of me, what was causing all the fuss? And would they be so hard-line with pregnant women, in spite of widely accepted medical advice to avoid making drastic changes to diet (such as going vegetarian, let alone vegan) during pregnancy? The answer is, unfortunately, yes: with bells on.
In fact I think the authors/publishers must have consciously or unconsciously thought: "Pregnant women are soppy and vulnerable due to the cocktail of hormones riding round their vastly changing bodies: they're therefore perfect candidates for conversion to veganism! Let's employ emotionally manipulative tactics such as graphic descriptions of animal abuse in abattoirs and indirect suggestions that by eating meat they somehow transmit the misery of the animals to their unborn child to convince them convert to veganism. Oh, and let's throw in a catchy title that will appeal to their vulnerabilites about their bodies at this critical time in their life."
Well I say: this pregnant lady has posession of all of her critical faculties and, to put it mildly, does not approve for the following reasons:
1. Even in healthy, unpregnant people it can take months to adjust to new diets that exclude certain foods such as vegetarian and vegan diets. The advice is to take it slowly, do it gradually. Pregnant women's bodies are already undergoing massive change and may not be able to cope with this additional strain or glean enough nutrients for themselves or their growing baby from the new diet. If you want to go vegetarian or vegan, it's probably best to wait until after pregnancy just to be on the safe side. Nowhere in the book did I find even a suggestion that converting to veganism should be done gradually. It was all-or-nothing all the way. Frankly dangerous and irresponsible if you ask me.
2. It gives vegans a really bad name. I don't think all vegans are irrational, ram-it-down-your-throat, health-and-probably-weight-obsessed nuts like the authors of this book. I've met many kind and compassionate vegans in my lifetime. In fact I have been both a vegetarian and a vegan and am very sympathetic to the cause and I do not rule out adopting either of these lifestyles for myself again in the future, after my baby is born. But employing such hard-line, bullying and irresponsible tactics that could put other people, CHILDREN'S, health in jeopardy to try to convert people: it doesn't do anyone any good in the long run. It's just plain stupid and irrational. The only thing it might do is make a quick buck at everyone else's expense.
DON'T BUY THIS BOOK!
PS. If you're looking for a good guide to pregnancy, get this one: Your Pregnancy Bible: The Experts' Guide to the Nine Months of Pregnancy and the First Weeks of Parenthood. New updated edition
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