by, Kelly Behr
Native Foods Cafe
Every month in our newsletter we feature an "In the Spotlight" guest. This month we were able to interview Kim Barnouin, one of the authors of the New York Times best selling book, Skinny Bitch. This was extra special to me because this book was one of the first vegan books I had ever read and was a big part in my initial vegan journey. This book inspired me to read other books and to be well informed on the vegan diet and lifestyle. Weeks after I read Skinny Bitch I went vegan and haven't looked back since. So, being able to talk to one of the people that started this for me was truly an honor.
1.) What inspired you to go vegan?
After too many years of unhealthy eating my body finally had enough. I was getting sick a lot,had headaches, allergies and serious brain fog. I started cutting all the bad stuff out of my life and decided to try being a vegetarian. I loved it and after seeing some pictures of slaughterhouses I was done, went vegan!
2.) What was the biggest push for you to write Skinny Bitch?
After my health improved considerably I was sold on this way of eating. So many people were asking me what I did to help myself get better and the idea hit that more people should know the benefits of vegan eating.
3.) What is the first piece of advice you give to new vegans or people curious about the vegan diet?
I tell people to go slow. For me I started cutting things out of my diet slowly and over a period of a year. That usually helps people stick with this way of eating. Jumping in head first may be a bit too harsh and restrictive for most people. You also need to educate yourself about new ways of eating and what substitutions can be used.
4.) What are the biggest misconceptions about vegan diets you hear?
People think our diet consists of salad and tofu only! I eat the same foods as I used to but with different ingredients. There are tons of great vegan cookbooks to show people how to eat this way and truly get to be a foodie. Vegan food is delicious and satisfying.
5.) Do people still ask you about your protein intake? (dear god, i hope not)
Thankfully not anymore! That was one of the most asked question for like 4 years in a row! I think because so many more people are embracing and investigating a vegan diet that people are becoming more aware of what to substitute.
6.) Do you have a New Years resolution this year?
I am starting to exercise more and I hope to tone up more this year, being in your 40's changes things and I have to kick up my workouts now! I also need to juice more. I was doing it more often then kind of got out of it.
7.) What is your favorite food?
Italian food! I love pasta with homemade marinara. I also love Thai food. I'm learning to cook Thai food at home, it's so good.
8.) Do you have a favorite dish at Native Foods?
I love Native Foods!! For many of my birthdays my husband bought a cheesecake from there because I'm obsessed with it. I'm big on the bowls, I love the Bangkok curry bowl, could eat it everyday. I also love the nachos and the chicken wings. There is a Native Foods a few minutes from my house so I get to enjoy it every week!
9.) What do you think has been the biggest influence of how vegan is becoming more of, shall we say, a household name?
Well I think all the people that are in the spotlight that are going vegan help the way people view a vegan diet. Former President Bill Clinton went vegan, and now with Beyoncé and Jay-Z doing it, everyone will be talking about it. If you look on amazon.com or in Barnes and Noble you'll see tons of vegan cookbooks so that shows how popular the vegan diet has become.
10.) How to you counter, "but I could never give up cheese!"
I tell people just to give it time, the craving will eventually subside. I thought I could never give up cheese, but once I tried it for a weekend I realized I could do it. And I survived! Many pizza places will make your pizza with vegan cheese that you bring in if you ask.
For more information on Kim, her book, Skinny Bitch or all the other Skinny Bitch books, visit their website .