Want to get healthy? Counting calories isn’t the way to do it, says Alicia Silverstone.
“We’ve all been there, and I just don’t think it’s any fun,” the 34-year-old vegan actress says. “It’s not what life’s about.”
In her New York Times-best-selling book, “The Kind Diet,” now in paperback, Silverstone introduces readers to the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, which she says will change you from the inside out. The book is a collection of personal anecdotes, nutritional advice and nearly 100 recipes.
Silverstone swears by the power of a vegan lifestyle, which is said to help ward off heart disease, cancer and other health problems.
“I feel like I’m getting younger,” she says. “I think when we think of aging we think of slowly falling apart, and I think it’s so amazing that you can grow stronger, more vibrant and more youthful as you get older, just from what you choose to eat.”
“The Kind Diet” offers three approaches to plant-based living. Those looking to experiment can follow the “Flirting” approach, but anyone ready for the next challenge can jump into the “Vegan” method. And those wishing to go full-throttle can aim for “Superhero” status, which Silverstone claims “will make you practically levitate.”
The author seeks to reassure anyone who may be hesitant about changing his or her lifestyle.
“Anything you do in life that’s worth it takes some effort,” Silverstone says. “This is an exciting, decadent, beautiful journey. The rewards are so much greater than the effort involved.”
Mom on a mission
To say Silverstone is busy these days is an understatement: In addition to “The Kind Diet” book and website (www.thekindlife.com), she’s also developed a new line of makeup brushes for EcoTools. On top of that, she’s got three movies coming out this year — and, she’s expecting her first child. You won’t find this mom-to-be noshing on pickles and ice cream, though: “Whether you’re pregnant or not, I think when your body’s healthy it isn’t so interested in cravings,” she says.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Back in the day, I was obsessed with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Now I make this healthier version and they are way better. In fact, I think they are the most ridiculously delicious things in the entire world. Look for graham crackers that are naturally sweetened or low in sugar (Health Valley makes a good one), and store the leftover crackers or crumbs in an airtight container for future use.
10 graham cracker squares (5 whole crackers)
1/2 cup Earth Balance butter
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (preferably unsweetened and unsalted)
1/4 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener
1 cup grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate or carob chips
1/4 cup soy, rice, or nut milk
1/4 cup chopped pecans, almonds, or peanuts
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. (If You Care makes unbleached liners made from recycled paper.) Set aside.
Break the graham crackers into large chunks and place in a food processor or blender. Pulse on and off until they are ground to fine crumbs. Measure out 3/4 cup of crumbs (reserve the rest for another use) and set aside. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and maple sugar and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat. Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 tablespoons per cup, among the muffin cups.
Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan. Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted. Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture. Top with chopped nuts. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours before serving.