Kepler's was proud to host acclaimed actress, Alicia Silverstone, on October 19th, 2009 as she discussed her new book, The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet. Host Bobbi Emel reports:
Actress Alicia Silverstone arrived a bit late to the event, still trying to finish her vegan dinner in a little to-go cup from a local restaurant. The good-sized crowd was patient and enjoyed a lively presentation from Ms. Silverstone, a 2009 Heart of Green Award recipient from thedailygreen.com and 2004's "Sexiest Vegetarian Alive." Alicia told her own story about becoming vegan and was careful to say, several times, that she was not trying to convert anyone to veganism, just trying to raise awareness about a healthy alternative lifestyle. And indeed, she did not preach to the crowd, rather she talked in a factual and encouraging way about the life of a person who eats only a plant-based diet. She answered questions from the audience at length, obviously very enthused and committed to her diet and lifestyle. Alicia was funny, informative, and kind, the latter quality being something she encourages all people to espouse whether it's with their diets, their relationships, the planet, or themselves.
The book itself is chock full of recipes and information about veganism and, true to her kind approach, she encourages the reader to start by just replacing a few things in his/her diet. She uses a three stage approach to veganism: Flirt, Vegan, and Superhero. Knowing that many of us are hesitant about changing ANYTHING related to food, Ms. Silverstone de-emphasizes pressure and endorses a humorous approach instead:
Flirting Action Step #1: "Start dating the vegetarian restaurants in your area."
Flirting Action Step #2: "Find your nearest health food store and go. Just walk in the door and say hello. Remember: You're just flirting. Look around. Get familiar with the products. Run your fingers along things and laugh in a coquettish way."
She also addresses a number of serious questions in her discussion of Kind Foods and, in the next chapter, Nutritional FAQs. However, she can't resist addressing a fairly serious issue in a light-hearted way (who could?): Gas. In an inset box entitled Beans and Fartiness, she writes, "Beans get a bum rap, and it's really not fair, so let's get our fart facts straight: First, we all do it . . . If you think you cut the cheese less than the rest of us, you're actually making up for lost stink when you sleep . . ."
While this writer is, unfortunately, not even close to the Flirting stage, I'm pretty sure I am going to try that Black Soybean and Kabocha Squash Stew soon . . .