Skinny Bitch author Kim Barnouin was in Miami promoting her latest book “Skinny Bitch: Home, Beauty & Style: A No-Nonsense Guide to Cutting the Crap Out of Your Life for a Better Body and a Kinder World.” We chatted up the former South Beach resident on the inspiration behind her new book, her advice on how to improve one’s health and beauty regime plus what’s next for the lifestyle writer.
What inspired your new book? It first started when I was pregnant and I was researching my book Bun in the Oven. Fast forward a few years later and my son is born and he’s about two and he’s sick all the time. He had asthma and allergies. We were at the doctors all the time. The allergist kept saying “you need to look around your home and see what cleaning products you’re using.” Since I did that he hasn’t been sick since.
How did you research your book? I did a lot of internet research. I used periodicals, tons of books, interviews. I did it in a year.
What advice can you give people who want to improve their lifestyle? Keep it simple and natural. Companies put a lot of preservatives and additives in things that we are putting on our body, inhaling and absorbing. So we need to pay attention.
In the book, you address some major brands that use toxic ingredients? I do. Some of them are Revlon and L’Oreal They were putting lead in their lipstick. They use it as a filler. In the book, I talk about different chemicals to look for. I also say here’s some good companies and products that you are gonna want to look for.
Clothing is another topic you tackle. Why? If you want to continue with a vegan lifestyle, I give alternative fabrics like organic cotton, bamboo, hemp. Cotton is heavily sprayed with pesticides, but not if it’s organic.
You just came out with a book last year and now you have this one. How do you balance home and writing? I’m always working on a book and there might be a lapse where I’m editing one book and starting another. I have a great husband and I work a lot at night when my son is sleeping. I have a baby sitter twice a week too. I work from home or at cafes. Cafes are great because sometimes I’ll avoid writing and do errands around the house.
Did you ever imagine you were going to be a famous author? No, I envisioned the angle. I knew I wanted to work from home. I knew I wanted to have a kid and be able to do a job that was creative make a living off it and help other people. Then one day, it hit me that a book was a good way to do what I’m trying to do because it reaches a lot of people.
What do you love about Miami?
I love it here. I met my husband and my best friend. I grew up in Maryland. I moved here by myself in 1997 and stayed till 2004 before moving to LA. Being on vacation here, I knew this was going to be my home. The weather, the beach, the palm trees everything about Miami, I love.
During your time living in Miami what did you do?
I worked as a waitress at Cafe Papillon on Lincoln Road and I was a beach bum. I lived in South Beach. My husband walked into the cafe and he’s French and so cute and I was like “oh you gotta hire him”. My friends all worked at the cafe. We worked at night and during the day we went to the beach.
I’m trying to be a lifestyle brand. I have another book coming out in March. It’s a shopping guide for food called Vegan Swaps. It’s kinda of like that book Eat This Not That, but with vegan alternatives. Like if you like Oreos, but want a healthy version, I can give you that.