Rory Freedman, author of the bestselling Skinny Bitch diet tips book, has three rules she must follow when she visits Capitol Hill next Tuesday.
• Do not sell the book.
• Do not endorse any legislation.
• Do not promote any legislation.
Other than that, all bets are off for the author, who bluntly and with a great deal of profanity tells it how it is in the 2005 book she co-authored with Kim Barnouin. Freedman will offer tips on “eating well and looking fabulous” at a free talk on July 22 at 12:30 in room 2168 of the Rayburn House Office Building. She visits on behalf of Physicians Committee on Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Nutrition researcher Neal Barnard, the organization’s president, will be on hand to discuss the science behind Freedman’s nutritional approach.
Freedman has never been on Capitol Hill before. But she does tout Washington as a great place for vegetarians, naming favorite spots such as Java Green and Stick Fingers Bakery. “They have every naughty divine thing you can eat, oatmeal cookie cream pies, but it’s totally 100 percent vegan,” she says of the bakery. “It’s madness in that place.”
The author wasn’t always mad for vegetarian cuisine. She admits to smoking cigarettes, drinking soda and eating Burger King seven days a week up until college and generally following a poor diet.
One aspect of her upcoming talk that no one from PCRM has warned her about is the heavy use of profanity in her book and in real life. One chapter is titled, “Don’t be a p---y”; another is “Use your head.” Will she be so bold with lawmakers, calling them “fat pigs” and the like?
“We’ll have to keep everyone in anticipation,” she says. “I try to have manners, but it doesn’t always work out that way. As for my language, I’m not going to make any promises.”
If her thoughts are any indication, it’s bound to be quite a performance: “A lot of people don’t want to do the work,” she says. “They want to eat the same garbage they eat every day of their lives. You can’t put your name on a list somewhere and sign up to be skinny. At the end of the day I’d rather make a difference in someone’s life than have someone like me.”
A lawmaker she commends is Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), a well-known vegan whom she met recently. “There you go, he’s our one Skinny Bastard,” she says affectionately, referring to her upcoming book to aid men with their diets, Skinny Bastard, due out in September.
The author firmly believes that members of Congress should watch their diets. “When you take care of yourself and eat healthy it changes everything else in your life,” she says. “Really, it behooves all of us to have a Congress full of people who are at the top of their game when it comes to nutrition. When you’re happy and healthy you’re making better decisions. When you’re stressed out and tired you’re more likely to make bad decisions.”
Nowadays Freedman, who calls the standard American diet “poor,” strictly follows her own Skinny Bitch diet guidelines and avoids caffeine, soda, cigarettes, dairy and meat of any kind. And yes, do you even need to ask? She is a “skinny bitch.” In other words, she says, someone who eats well and cares about what she puts in her body.
“I have always been small,” she says.