Interview with Alicia Silverstone, author of The Kind Diet
September 25, 2009
By Michael Parrish DuDell
When you hear the name Alicia Silverstone what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Perhaps a “Clueless” blond-headed teen sardonically spouting “as if” and “whatever?” Or maybe it’s a costume-clad superhero saving Gotham City from deadly villains. Well next month you’ll discover yet another side of the well-known actress as she adds a new credit to her jam-packed resume: that of an author.
Silverstone’s first book “The Kind Diet” will be released on October 12th and is already garnering hefty helpings of enthusiastic praise. In the book, Alicia shares the insights that encouraged her to swear off meat and dairy forever, and outlines the spectacular benefits of adopting a plant-based diet — one she has been committed to for 11 years.
In my first post for Crazy Sexy Life, I shared that it was Alicia’s speech at Farm Sanctuary’s 2006 Gala that helped push my passion to the next level and really inspired me to get involved in a more dynamic way.
A few years later, I find myself wading knee-deep in delicious activism and friendly with the person who, without knowing it, made me reexamine the whole picture. It’s my honor and pleasure to introduce Crazy Sexy Life readers to actress, activist and now author, Alicia Silverstone.
Michael Parrish DuDell: You’ve been vegan for so many years, what finally inspired you to write a book about this lifestyle?
Alicia Silverstone: I’ve been thinking about writing this book for 8 years. I kept a big file where I would put all the information I gathered (recipes, tips, etc) and it just kept growing. Over the years, I’ve been able to help friends deal with everything from ovarian cysts, to digestive & stomach issues, to irregular periods. I would send them all a packet of info and they would say to me, “This is a book!” But it wasn’t until a friend gave me the solid nudge I needed that I actually took steps toward getting it published. I finally carved out space in my life to devote to this project and I am so glad I did. I’m really looking forward to being able to share all the knowledge and tools I’ve accumulated over the years — simple and delicious ideas that will allow people to look and feel their best!
MPD: What have you found to be the most challenging part of writing a book?
AS: The hardest part has been coordinating and devoting time to doing press. The second hardest part would be the intensity of the deadlines and the “letting-go.” I care so much about what I am doing and want every single thing to be perfect, and that takes time. Plus, there is always more work to be done, more information to add — so it’s hard to finally say, “OK, I’m done!” I could have worked on this book forever!
MPD: What sort of reactions have you received from those who’ve read early editions?
AS: The reactions have been amazing. I’ve already spoken with a number of people who’ve made drastic changes to their diet. One woman had dangerously high cholesterol levels that, after following tips from “The Kind Diet,” became normal. One man lost 15 to 20 pounds and feels amazing — says he never wants to go back to the way he was before. And others are just enjoying feeling happier and healthier.
MPD: If you have to pick your favorite chapter which one would it be and why?
AS: Well, my favorite isn’t really a chapter, it’s a section called “The Journey Starts Here.” It explains why I am so inspired and passionate about this subject and it begins to lay out the many wonderful benefits of this lifestyle. My second favorite is the chapter on “Nasty Foods,” which really breaks down the medical and scientific info in a way that is fun and easy to read.
MPD: Have you found being so outspoken about veganism a challenge in Hollywood?
AS: Yes, it is sometimes challenging, but then, so are a lot of things.
MD: Who in the vegetarian community are you most inspired by?
AS: I would say I’m most inspired by anyone on the front lines — particularly those who are investigating and uncovering the truths about the state of our food systems today. But mostly I’m inspired by every person who chooses to go down this path in their own way — even if it’s through actions as seemingly simple as turning the water off in the bathroom when they wash their hands, or using canvas bags, or giving vegetarianism/veganism a try.
MD: What would you say is your one big hope for this book?
AS: My big hope for this book is to have as many human beings on the planet read it as possible, because the information contained within its pages is powerful and life-changing! I especially want people who think they could never be vegan/vegetarian to read this and realize that they needn’t make huge changes. I just want them to take in the information and realize what is possible — including improved health, a renewed sense of happiness, and a contribution toward improving the health of our planet.
And there you have it – kind words from a “Kind” author! A big thanks to Alicia Silverstone for taking time out of her busy schedule to sit down for a chat. Make sure you pick up a copy of “The Kind Diet” on October 12th.