FROM LEFT: Alicia Silverstone; vegan chocolate peanut butter cups from The Kind Diet
“As soon as I get my license, I fully intend to brake for animals,” said a 19-year-old Alicia Silverstone as Cher in the movie Clueless. Little did we know then that the bubbly teen queen really did have a deep-rooted commitment to animals, which would later inspire her to adopt a plant-based diet, write TheNew York Times bestselling book The Kind Diet and become a vegan lifestyle brand powerhouse.
Now 34, Silverstone is celebrating the release of her book in paperback, the spring 2011 collection of her adorably handy EcoTools and her soon-to-be-revealed Eco Jewels project. Oh, and she’s also expecting her first child with vegan rocker hubby Christopher Jarecki. Here, the all-natural mom-to-be talks about the health and beauty benefits of The Kind Diet and how to be a vegan flirt.
When did you decide to become a vegan and why?
I was eight when I was first toying with the idea. I would go back and forth, but something in me was really intuitively not interested in hurting animals. That’s where I come from.
How long have you been a full-on vegan? I think 14 years. I’ve kind of lost count now.
How did your life, and your body, change when you started eating “kind”?
My whole body changed. I used to have an asthma inhaler and I would get allergy shots twice a week. I had cystic acne. My body wasn’t by any means fat, but I was definitely not svelte at times, and I had really brittle nails. And my eyes didn’t have, well, I didn’t know there was anything wrong with them at the time, they looked just like everybody else’s. But once I made this change my eyes got bright white—they glow. And my skin starting glowing. And all my acne went away. And the allergies just went away. That was instant.
Do you recommend going full vegan right away, or a more gradual transition?
If you start with the book, you will figure out what feels right to you. [In the book] there’s a passage called the Flirting Diet. And if you’re going to be a flirt, which is so awesome, you’re just gently trying it all on. There’s no commitment, it’s just really easy going. So there’s flirting, there’s first base and then there’s all the way!
How has your diet changed now that you’re expecting a baby—any cravings?
Because I’m so healthy and balanced, there aren’t really any cravings. I believe that cravings come from imbalance. So there’s nothing my body needs that it’s not getting. But being pregnant is a different experience with food and something that I will tap into and address later, because, for me, it’s just that I haven’t been that interested in food.
How does writing and spreading The Kind Diet lifestyle compare to your passion for acting?
It’s great to be an actress and to have people say nice things about your work. But I can’t even tell you how much greater it is to have people come over to you and say, “I've lost 40 pounds since I did your book and my whole life has changed.”
When you're not plucking greens from your garden for a Kind Diet dinner, where do you eat in LA? Elf in Silverlake; it’s the best restaurant in LA. You have to get the nachos at Real Food Daily. And for brunch, you have to go to Real Food Daily for their French toast and omelets. They have these delicious cashew cheese omelets.