It's All About the Kind Life

For many of us, we associate actress Alicia Silverstone with the bratty teenage character she played in the 1990s movie Clueless. You know, the one where what she would wear to school that day and how many calories she was consuming—"I had, like, five peanut butter M&Ms."—were her biggest life concerns.

But here's one thing for sure: These days, Silverstone is anything but clueless, especially, when it comes to chatting about her new book, The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet.

I had the opportunity to hear Silverstone speak—and get my book signed!—and, I have to say, I was totally wowed by her passion for animals, good food and a healthy planet. OK, and I was kind of thinking, "Oh, my gaw-sh, that's Alicia Silverstone I, like, totally love her!"

Ha.

But all joking aside, the true care that was emphasized throughout Silverstone's talk about the importance of a kind, vegan lifestyle provided me with a completely different perspective on choosing this life.

Sure, I have read many compelling vegan studies, facts about the torture animals must ensue in order to make it onto American's plates and solid research proving the amazing health benefits that come hand-in-hand with veganism.

And Silverstone was quick to make all of those points available, too (the book is loaded with research).

But I think the factor I appreciated the most, both in the book and when Silverstone was speaking, was her true care for animals, her real understanding that my four kitties (yes, four) are just as much a part of my family as that guy who I like to call my fiancé.

Kidding, honey.

I can't tell you how much I appreciated this approach. Yes, the harsh videos that show people how animals are treated in slaughterhouses or farms are 100 percent necessary. How else could we really feel the terrible impact this practice has on the Earth's creatures?

But this other emphasis—the one on which Silverstone chooses to place her focus—on the reason behind why we choose what we choose (because we love animals and our planet) is necessary. This kindness is purely and simply the smartest way in which we can teach anyone about veganism, and living our lives in an eco-friendly manner.

I recently read a Redbook magazine article in which Silverstone is discussing the profound awareness this way of life has brought upon her. Within the article she speaks about health and wellness, and says, "I'm carving out the life I want to live." I love this thought. How cool is that?

Yes, we can "choose" or "live" the life we want. But to think of it as "carved" seems so much more final, so much more etched in stone.

And isn't that what living a healthful, kind life is all about? About being so sure of the value you are placing on your well-being that you actually redirect your life's path?

I, like, totally think so.

I want to know: What gave you the nudge you needed to put your life on a healthy path?

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Caroline Shannon has been a professional journalist for six years, working for several publications, including Redbook magazine, Ideal Bite, Entrepreneur.com, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and First30Days. She is a certified Pilates instructor and takes a long, hard run just as seriously as she does several scoops of Purely Decadent's Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl vegan ice cream. She can be reached at www.carolineshannon.com.

 

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