RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Years ago, actress Alicia Silverstone's vegetarian diet included plenty of french fries, and even the occasional forkful of chicken swiped from a buddy's plate. She loved animals and knew she really didn't want to eat them, but vegan power foods like beans and seaweed were not on the menu just yet. But the immediate results she felt once ditching meat and dairy—more energy, dropped pounds, silkier hair, stronger nails—were undeniable. She wanted to learn more. And that years-long journey of cutting animal products from her diet and finding balance and nutrition in plant-based foods resulted in the The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet (Rodale, 2009), an easy guide that helps people get their feet wet—or jump wholeheartedly—into vegan living. "When first going on an animal-free diet, I didn't really consider health; it was an ethical choice," Silverstone told Rodale.com at Natural Products Expo East in Boston last week. "I had so much energy, a lightness. When walking, I felt like I could hold my body up with my heart open. I felt lighter in my shoes."
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Then she started paying attention to more balanced vegan eating, including eating almonds and collard greens for potent calcium, and adding whole grains like brown rice to the regimen. As she ate this way, she says, her waist melted away. "People always think of aging as this slow deterioration, and in some ways it can be. Our bodies are slowly changing," she says. "But I feel stronger and healthier and younger now than I did at 19 years old. Of course, I can see lines that I couldn't see when I was 19, but I am grateful for them."
Maybe it's Silverstone's amazing results, the cruelty-free aspect, or the fact that this way of eating is easier on the planet. Whatever the motive, Silverstone's comrades in Hollywood are biting into this way of life, too.
Leah Michele of Glee wrote Silverstone, thanking her for her inspirational book.
Earlier in the year, Silverstone joined Laura Linney on Broadway in "Time Stands Still." During the first rehearsal, Linney told Silverstone that The Kind Diet blew her mind. Silverstone fed Linney throughout the production run, watching her hair and skin soften. Linney gave the book to the chef cooking on set for The Big C, Linney's Showtime hit, asking him to cook from it. The whole crew enjoys it. Linney only knew about the book, though, because Big Love's Jeanne Tripplehorn turned her on to it. You get the picture. This book gets around.