This Crazy Breakfast Trick Might Be Alicia Silverstone's Secret To Eternal Youth
When Alicia Silverstone took the stage on Celebrity Lip Sync Battle clad in the yellow plaid skirt and vest combo made iconic in Clueless, you could be forgiven if your main reaction was confusion. Twenty years have ostensibly passed since the classic movie hit theaters; Alicia had, in the meantime, written books, starred in more movies, had a son, and, well, grown up. But the woman onstage—mouthing Iggy Azalea's lyrics, dancing energetically—looked like no time had passed. And she's no full-on Monet—Silverstone's wellness practices ensure that her glow emanates from within.
Silverstone credits her longevity to her version of the vegan diet, monikered "the kind diet" and made famous in her 2011 book on the subject. "I adopted this diet for the animals, but the biggest surprise was how amazing I felt!" she told mbg. "I ditched my asthma inhaler, stopped my weekly allergy shots, lost weight, and had a new glow from my skin and hair. I felt incredible from having more energy and balanced-out moods." Since adopting the diet, she's cut out caffeine, aspirin, and antibiotics, saying that she simply doesn't need them. "My body healed itself by being plant-based. The health benefits are truly immense physically, mentally, and spiritually. It's softened my heart and spirit."
The secret to Silverstone's glow starts with breakfast.
She credits greens, in particular, as the secret to her glowing skin. "Greens, such as kale, bok choy, collards, watercress, and seaweed (which is not technically a green, but it's so important for the skin) are packed with a host of great things like vitamin B9, vitamin K, folate, calcium, and iron," she says. She also recommends filling up on whole grains like quinoa and brown rice, adzuki and black beans, tofu, and tempeh.
The other secret? Silverstone often reaches for savory, out-of-the-box breakfast foods. One day, she might fill up on an immune-boosting miso soup, while on another day you might find her eating steamed or blanched greens with ume vinaigrette. By thinking beyond traditional breakfast staples, she's able to pack in those greens from the first meal of the day, upping the overall quantity consumed as the day progresses. Many people find that starting the day on a savory note helps them resist sugar for the rest of the day. "When we eat sweet things (in the form of sugar), we activate areas of our brain which responds by putting out dopamine, the pleasure hormone. This circuit overrides our normal hunger hormones in our gut, which usually tell us when we have had enough food," says Lisa Hayim, a registered dietitian who doesn't work with Silverstone. "When the pleasure circuit is ignited, it remembers, and we are likely to want to achieve that 'good feeling' again." By having a savory, greens-filled breakfast, you avoid tripping that circuitry and starting the vicious cycle for the day.
For lunch and dinner, Silverstone often makes salads, often sourcing the ingredients straight from her own garden. Other options include bok choy drizzled in ume vinaigrette, adzuki beans with kabocha squash, and/or some kind of seasonal veggie soup. "I'm basically always aiming for greens, veggies, beans, and grains," she says.
Supplements are also part of the feeling-good equation.
Supplements are another important part of her wellness routine. Five years ago, she partnered with Garden of Life to create their mykind Organics line, and recently, they've expanded into herbal supplements with the launch of 16 new products featuring ingredients like ashwagandha, turmeric, elderberry, schisandra, rhodiola, and more. "I try to take mykind Organics B Complex, mykind Organics B-12 spray, and mykind Organics Vitamin C Cherry Tangerine spray, especially when traveling," Silverstone says. "I also take our 40+ multivitamin gummy as a sweet treat that's also good for me!"
The new line is designed to help with inflammation, stress, sleep, and more. While Silverstone credits her kind diet as largely regulating her mood, even she is susceptible to the pervasive stress of the modern world. When that anxiety creeps in, she says, "Supplements such as Ashwagandha, Adrenal Daily Balance, B-Complex, and Sleep Well R&R Spray are my go-to's."
Meditating also plays a key role in the entrepreneurial mama's life—although not in the way you might expect. "I meditate but not on a strict cross-legged sitting daily basis. Sometimes, when I walk, I try to meditate by listening and being present with the sounds of nature, smelling the air, and feeling my steps," she says. She also tries to eat slowly, focusing on chewing as she consciously consumes her food. "[My son] Bear and I also maintain a veggie garden and make a ritual out of planting and harvesting together. We supplement gardening with our weekly farmers market adventures."
Like mbg, Silverstone believes in the notion of You. We. All.—the belief that our individual health is closely tied with the health of the planet. She eats according to not only how her own body feels but because of the difference it makes in the world at large. "If you really want to make change on this planet, a plant-based diet is the easiest, fastest way to get there," she says. "Eating plant-based dials down our insane consumption of precious natural resources like fresh water, oil, coal, and the rain forests."
A life that's good for you, good for the world, and pretty damn enjoyable to boot? Seems like Silverstone's not so Clueless after all.
Want your passion for wellness to change the world? Become A Functional Nutrition Coach! Enroll today to join our upcoming live office hours.