Credit: Jack Guy

Jack GuyFrom Health magazine
Her Clueless character, Cher, would be way proud. Fourteen years after Alicia Silverstone, 32, made the world fall in love with a soup-can-collecting Beverly Hills teen, the actress is now taking on a weightier task: Educating women about healthy eating.

Over a vegan lunch in Los Angeles, Alicia gave us a sneak peek at her first book, The Kind Diet, which is part healthy-eating treatise, part diet plan, and chock-full of recipes. She also shared the many ways that down-to-earth living makes her glow.

Q: Your book, The Kind Diet, comes out next month. What excites you most about it?
A: Im excited about presenting something that can make you feel amazing and look your best. Once youre informed, then you can be really gentle and kind to yourself, by giving yourself all the gifts life has to offer—like mental clarity and vitality—all while making the planet better.

Q: Do you think youd write another book?
A: Yeah, but I want to wait until I have kids and then write a book for children. I have a lot to say about kids, but I dont think anyone wants to hear that when you dont have them! [Laughs.] So I want to have kids and go through, ideally, a whole natural-birth experience.

Q: Have you seen Ricki Lakes documentary, The Business of Being Born?
A: Yes! Isnt it beautiful? I think Ive had baby fever since I was 2. I know I want to be a mom, and I know my husband [musician Christopher Jarecki] will be a great dad. But then theres the reality part, where I also have all these other things I feel so passionately about, so were not at all trying. [Laughs.] I think I might be ready maybe next year.

But I didnt come at it, honestly, from a health point of view. I was 21 when I went vegan. And when anybody told me to be healthy, I thought people were just telling me [to lose weight] because Im in this business. So I was like, “Go F yourself!” [Laughs.]

Yet when I look at those pictures from back then, I can see the puffiness in my eyes. Its weird to be 32 now and feel and look younger. What saved me was my love of animals. Right after I first made the switch to a plant-based diet, people were literally telling me, “What have you done? Youre sparkling.”

Q: Youve said that choosing the right foods can help you feel more sensuous. How so?
A: You can hear your needs and desires more clearly. Youre just more juicy—theres just this lightness that happens.

Q: You told a British publication that you like to garden naked, swim naked ...
A: Its true. It probably started when I was doing my garden the first time. Id be out there, and it would be scorching hot, so I would take off all of my
clothes and garden. And then I would jump in the pool and swim—and I always get in the pool naked, because why would you want to put on a bathing suit? But Im not a nudist at all. Im shy. Ive never done nudity in a film, ever. I dont want anybody to take a picture of me naked. But in my own home, in my garden, [nudity]s OK.

Q: Have you always been a naked fan?
A: I think it evolved through my new happiness with my body—and also through cool friends.
I used to spend a lot of time with Woody Harrelson, and hes not afraid to get naked! So around him and his wife and their kids, I just think I got more grounded and was like, This is my body, its not some scary thing.

  • Next Page: How her vegan diet helped her slim down [ pagebreak ]
  • Q: You slimmed down through your plant-based diet. Do you credit any exercise as well?
  • A: Diet first, exercise second. Exercise is fantastic, and when I need to be a certain way quickly, I amp up my exercise by walking the dogs and doing yoga.

Q: Weve heard that youre coming out with eco-friendly beauty products.
A: I am! Theyre these beautiful makeup bags and brushes by EcoTools, completely cruelty-free and made from recycled materials, bamboo, and hemp.

Q: The White House now has an organic-vegetable garden. Have any words of advice for Michelle Obama?
A: Compost, for sure. We have a badass compost. I bought a baby bag of worms eight years ago and put it in the compost, and now there are bazillions of them. And its like the dirt is so delicious, you could eat it!