Alicia Silverstone shot to fame as a spoiled valley girl with a heart of gold in the 1995 comedy classic Clueless. Off screen, the then-18-year-old was battling severe asthma, insomnia, full-blown acne and constipation.
Nearly three years after that film, Alicia switched from a "steak and doughnut diet" to a vegan lifestyle. Now, at 33, she says she sleeps like a baby, doesn't worry about her weight and has tons of energy. "I used to have all those white marks on my nails and they were very brittle, and now they're so strong I cannot bend them," she says. "My eyes got really white, and I feel like I look less puffy."
Still, becoming vegan wasn't an overnight transition. An avid animal lover, she says she had flirted with vegetarianism since childhood. "When I was 8 years old, my brother was making the noises of the animals I was eating, so I decided to go vegetarian," she says. "Then I would give up because I was 8."
At 21, Alicia says she saw a documentary about how animals were raised and slaughtered. "I just took a look at my dog and said, 'If I'm not willing to eat you, how can I continue to eat these other creatures that have the same desire to live, are just as funny, just as cute as my dogs?'"
Since becoming vegan, Alicia says she's never felt deprived—but will occasionally slip up on cheese. "Usually it's after a glass of wine," she jokes. "Then what happens is I start to get gassy. My skin starts to break out. I start to look a little more chunky the next day. I don't feel well."
Alicia's experiences inspired her to create a vegan cookbook called The Kind Diet. "The kindness is about being truly kind to yourself first," she says. "Letting yourself have the best health and look your best and feel your most vital."