Kathy Freston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kathy Freston
Born Greenville, NC
Occupation Author

Kathy Freston is an American self-help New York Times bestselling author of vegan books and contributor to The Huffington Post.



Kathy Freston is the New York Times bestselling author of The Lean: A Revolutionary (and Simple!) 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss, Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World, The Quantum Wellness Cleanse: The 21 Day Essential Guide to Healing Your Body, Mind, and Spirit, and Quantum Wellness: A Practical and Spiritual Guide to Health and Happiness. Freston has appeared frequently on national television, including Ellen, The Dr.Oz Show, Charlie Rose, Good Morning America, The Talk, The Martha Stewart Show, Extra and Oprah.[citation needed]

Freston's book, The Lean: A Revolutionary (and Simple!) 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss, was named one of VegNews' "Top 12 Vegan Books of 2012." The Editor of VegNews, said: "It’s difficult to believe that The Lean, the latest by media favorite Kathy Freston, has been around for only nine months. Freston’s kind, common sense guide is a 30-day program of changing both diet and lifestyle habits. Like its author, the plan is gentle, forgiving, and asks for progress, not perfection." [1]

Freston took part in The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's Vegetarian Caucus luncheon on Capitol Hill to raise awareness among congressional staff about the health and nutrition benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. Freston was part of the Caucus that helped to "provide oral testimony at the 2015 USDA Dietary Guidelines meetings on January 14. At this meeting, they each stood up and gave testimony on why animal products should be removed from USDA Dietary Guidelines, which was updated in 2015. At the Veggie Caucus, each of the speakers divulged their experiences with public health and discussed the role of the Dietary Guidelines in shaping federal nutrition recommendations and policies."[2]

Freston was added to Vanity Fair's 2009 "International Best-Dressed List." In the article, "Freston notes Stella McCartney, another chic vegan, as her favorite shoe designer, and describes her personal style as "cruelty-free." Freston proves that there is nothing more stunning than the combination of smarts and style." [3]

Freston is the author of a free daily newsletter, "The V."

She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and across Winfrey's network. Freston was responsible for a 21-day vegan detox plan which Winfrey tried in 2008. Winfrey blogged about her experience during the vegan cleanse and commented at the end of Day 1: "Wow, wow, wow! I never imagined meatless meals could be so satisfying. I had been focused on what I had to give up--sugar, gluten, alcohol, meat, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese. "What's left?" I thought. Apparently a lot. I can honestly say every meal was a surprise and a delight..." [4]

When asked by the Harpo producers of the "Vegan Challenge" Show, Freston said: "Everyone [at Harpo] was so excited and interested in it. I think knowing that it can be such a game-changer—that it can really affect you in your body and your spirit—I think so many people were just excited to give it a whirl." [5]

Freston was known for her loud support of California's Prop 2, a ballot measure that – among other things – required that by January 1, 2015, egg-laying hens raised in California be able to stand up, lie down, turn around, and fully extend their wings. At a Humane Society fundraiser in 2008, "Freston donated...to finance a TV ad spot for Prop 2 -- one of numerous TV spot buys being auctioned off at the gala. "A lot of my book is about being a conscious eater," she said of Quantum Wellness, adding that the "filthy conditions" of farm animals was something she believes most people will want to rectify." [6]

Freston is known for her "8 Pillars of Wellness" including Meditation, Visualization, Fun Activities, Conscious Eating, Exercise, Self-Work, Spiritual Practice, and Service. Freston went into detail on these Pillars on one of her appearances on "Super Soul Sunday" on the OWN Channel.[7]

"When Ellen [Degeneres] started transitioning to a healthy, vegan diet, she found a lot of guidance from author Kathy Freston." [8] Ellen called Kathy her "vegan health guru" [9] and in 2012, "Ellen sent vegan expert Kathy Freston to a viewer's home to teach her how easy it is to live better and cook healthier." [10]

Her work has been featured in the magazines Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, Self, W, and Fitness. She is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

Evangelical Christians[who?] have been critical of Freston's teachings.[11]

In January 2014, Freston launched a Change.org petition campaign urging McDonald's to debut a vegetarian "protein-centric" menu item.[12] Ellen DeGeneres supported Kathy in her petition by posting on her Official Facebook page: "My friend Kathy Freston has a petition asking McDonald’s to add more veggie options to their menu. I love options." [13]


Freston was awarded "Person of the Year" by VegNews Magazine in 2011. According to the Editor Picks, "This author and activist had quite a year. Her book’s a best-seller, her Twitter account and Huffington Post blog posts are active and educational, Vanity Fair writer John Helipern committed to going veg after just one lunch with her, and she appeared not only on The Oprah Winfrey Show, but helped a family adopt a vegan diet on Ellen, chatted veganism on The Martha Stewart Show with fellow activists Biz Stone and Gene Baur, and talked shop on Charlie Rose." [14]

Freston was awarded with the "Healthy Living Advocate Award" by Farm Sanctuary at the 25th Anniversary Farm Sanctuary gala in 2011.[15]

Early life[edit]

Freston grew up in the Atlanta area. She began modeling at age 16. She did not continue her education past the secondary level. Freston's career path began when she left an abusive relationship and began to meditate as part of her recovery process. She began by making her own meditation cassette tapes. She stated in an interview, "Then I started creating tapes for friends and realized, "Hey, this is very useful to people." She stated that people "came to her for counseling," and so she began her career.[16]

Personal life[edit]

She is divorced from television executive Tom Freston.[17][18] Tom was an executive at Viacom in charge of MTV Networks until 2006. In 2007, Oprah Winfrey approached Tom to head up her start up cable network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Kathy had previously been on The Oprah Winfrey Show to promote one of her books, and Winfrey suspected that Kathy could be her ally in finding a connection with Tom.[19]

Published works[edit]

  • The Lean: A Revolutionary (and Simple!) 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss (Weinstein, 2012)
  • Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World. New York City: Weinstein Books. 2011-02-01. ISBN 978-1-60286-133-6. 
  • The Quantum Wellness Cleanse: A 21 Day Essential Guide to Healing Your Body, Mind, and Spirit (Weinstein, 2009)
  • Quantum Wellness: A Practical and Spiritual Guide to Health and Happiness (Weinstein, 2008)
  • The One (Hyperion, 2006)
  • Expect a Miracle (St. Martin's Press, 2003)


  1. ^ Connelly, Joseph. "Top 12 Vegan Books of 2012". VegNews.com. VegNews. Retrieved 30 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Committee, The Physicians. "Celebs, Congress Attend Vegetarian Caucus Luncheon". PCRM.org. The Physicians Committee. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Harless, Kailey. "Kathy Freston, Fashionista". VegNews.com. VegNews. Retrieved 30 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Winfrey, Oprah. "Oprah Begins 21-Day Diet Detox". The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  5. ^ Freston, Kathy. "The Vegan Challenge". Oprah.com. Harpo Productions. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  6. ^ Hall, Carla. "ALL THINGS ANIMAL IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND BEYOND". latimesblogs.latimes.com. LA Times. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  7. ^ Freston, Kathy. "Kathy Freston's 8 Pillars of Wellness". Oprah.com. Harpo Productions. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  8. ^ Degeneres, Ellen. "Find Out More About Kathy Freston and Gardein". EllenTV.com. Telepictures Productions. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Degeneres, Ellen. "Get 'The Lean' by Kathy Freston". EllenTV.com. Telepictures Productions. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  10. ^ Degeneres, Ellen. "Kathy Freston Helps a Family Get Healthier". EllenTV.com. Telepictures Productions. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  11. ^ Adams, Guy (June 8, 2008). "The Oprah overdose". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  12. ^ Jargon, Julie (2014-01-29). "Attention McDonald's: The People Demand McVeggie". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-01-31. Health and wellness author and activist Kathy Freston says she has collected more than 80,000 signatures for a petition urging McDonald's to debut a vegetarian burger. 
  13. ^ Degeneres, Ellen. "Ellen". Facebook.com. Facebook. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  14. ^ Editors, VegNews. "The 2011 Veggie Awards". VegNews.com. VegNews. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  15. ^ Berman, Ali. "Exclusive: Kathy Freston Talks About Martha Stewart Using Honey on Vegan Episode". Ecorazzi.com. Ecorazzi, LLC. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Kahn, Sarah. "Soul Mate." Hamptons Magazine, Winter 2006 Accessed online at http://home.comcast.net/~sarah.khan/Hamptons_KathyFreston.pdf"
  17. ^ Jorden, Heather Stewart (1999-07-06). "Charity Scorecard". Los Angeles Times. p. E4. The event was co-chaired by volunteer Kathy Freston and her husband, Tom Freston, president of MTV Networks. 
  18. ^ NY Post: "High-flying Frestons split up" June 5, 2012
  19. ^ Sellers, Patricia (February 6, 2009). "The most wanted man on the planet". CNN. Retrieved September 13, 2010. 

External links[edit]