Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Healthy Beauty: The Kind Diet

My dear friend Megan successfully took the Vegan plunge about a year ago, and gave me a copy of her inspiration "The Kind Diet" by Alicia Silverstone. Megan has the most amazing body (to be fair she was always slim) but since her diet change, her body is even trimmer and her energy level is off the charts!

As a fellow "greenie" and animal lover, I have always admired Alicia Silverstone who has long been recognized as a committed environmentalist and animal rights activist. Her book is an easy approach to eating healthfully with both the planet, and it's creatures, in mind. Alicia designed three different diet plans to choose from. One plan is called "Flirting", and it's simply getting your feet wet by eliminating unhealthy habits, "Vegan" is a plant-based diet, and "Superhero" which means totally eliminating all dairy and animal products.

I have never been much of a meat eater - it just never felt natural to me - even as a kid. When I was a freshmen in college, I took an animal science class instead of biology. My project for the semester was to raise a steer. I formed a bond with my sweet baby cow who became quite tame by semester end when he was slated to be put to slaughter. I put up such a huge fuss at the university farm he remained a bull (if you know what I mean) and was not subjected to the same fate at the slaughter house as the other calves. Even though my calf survived, the others didn't, and I haven't been able to eat beef or much of any meat since. Now, if I hold up a chicken wing I get queazy thinking about where it came from. I still eat some fish, but once you interact with a farm animal, you come to find they have personalities and feelings just like your cat or dog.

I am not suggesting becoming a vegatarian is the right path for everyone. For one, I personally cannot give up dairy. I am a cheese-a-holic and totally unwilling to part with my love of anything and everything cheese. However, the idea of giving up refined white sugar and flour, and processed food loaded with preservatives, is probably a good one. I intend to follow many of Alicia's recommendations by implementing brown rice into my diet on a regular basis, substituting white bread with organic whole grain bread (cracked wheat sourdough is a fave I share with Alicia!) and move from white sugar to maple syrup and brown rice syrup, before taking the Vegan plunge.

I also like her recommendation of packing healthy snacks while traveling because that is when I tend to slip. I frequently drive between Orange County and San Francisco. When I am hungry, tired and just logged six hours on the road with two more to go, I always end up stopping at a gas station and walking out with Doritos and a Mountain Dew to "recharge my battery". Gross, I know. Alicia's alternative is packing fruit, instant miso soup, instant oatmeal, a bag of Cure-all tea and a thermos of hot water. She also recommends ramen-type noodles but I don't know where to find the healthy version of those...

For even more inspiration, check out Alicia's delightful online community The Kind Life which is a fun and informative blog full of recipes, green lifestyle ideas and resources, green fashion, the environment and of course, a huge tribute to loving and respecting animals.

1 comment:

  1. I flipped through this book at the bookstore recently and was totally intrigued. Her writing was very approachable. .. and not at all preachy. I too liked her suggestions for cleaning up your diet ... even if you aren't veggie. Very good suggestions!


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