As If! How Alicia Silverstone Taught Her Son to Be a Good Listener

Plus, why she loves Kevin Smith!

Alicia Silverstone at a red carpet, in a white blazer, sporting wavy hair.
Credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

Alicia Silverstone has been a part of our lives for longer than we – or she – dare imagine. Her first credit, a guest shot on The Wonder Years, dates back to 1992. The Crush, the Aerosmith music videos for “Cryin,’” “Amazing” and “Crazy,” plus Clueless and Batman & Robin all followed in short order. Well, it’s 2022 now. Silverstone is 45, mom to an 11-year-old son, Bear. And while she still acts on occasion, she wears numerous other hats these days: vegan, activist, author, entrepreneur, and host of her own podcast, The Real Heal with Alicia Silverstone. The Real Heal launched in March on iHeartMedia.

It makes one wonder if the 2022 version of Silverstone could whisper advice into the ear of teenage Silverstone, just before she exploded onto the pop-culture landscape with The Crush, what might Silverstone tell her younger self? And, perhaps more importantly, would her teen self have heeded such guidance?

“That’s a good question,” Silverstone says, speaking by telephone from the deck of her Los Angeles home, as Bear plays with friends in the backyard. “That sounds like a dad question. I would’ve encouraged my little self to be plant-based because it would’ve solved so many problems. It would’ve solved my body getting out of roly-poly style. It would’ve made me not have acne, and would’ve taken away my allergies. I had to get allergy shots and an asthma inhaler. Once I changed my diet, all those things went away, but it would’ve been nice to have that a lot earlier. It would’ve made me less cranky and moody, have less difficult periods. It would’ve taken my migraines away because that’s what it did later. I had the beginning of an ulcer right when I was shooting Clueless. I wish I’d changed my diet earlier. I would have not had any of that discomfort and pain I was going through. That would be the biggest change I’d make to my little self.

“The other thing I would’ve loved to tell myself is to trust my heart and intuition,” she says. “I definitely wouldn’t have known how to listen to that. If you’d said that, I would’ve been like, ‘F off,’ or something. If I’d changed my diet, I would’ve been able to understand that because that’s another thing that happened. As I changed my diet, I was able to go inside a lot better and then ask for help in the areas I needed to be better. I would’ve wanted to be a big sister to myself and take care of myself, be a parent to myself, and say, ‘You should trust your heart and intuition.’ I’d love for every (young) person on the planet to be able to cultivate their ability to listen to themselves and trust themselves.“My son is able to do that now so beautifully because of how I’ve raised him,” Silverstone continues. “I did that very consciously, and it’ll be so interesting to see how he grows more. Having that confidence in yourself — knowing what you need and want — is so powerful. It’s hard to know how to do that if you don’t learn it, if you’re taught not to do that, in a way.”Silverstone considers it her goal to inspire people to live the best lives they can. She’s taking what she’s learned – via her own experiences, through success and failure and trial and error, and as a result of endless research and conversations – and trying to share it with others. She wrote The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet in 2009, and The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning, in 2014. Silverstone couldn’t find good vitamins anywhere, so she co-created MyKind Organics with Garden of Life.“The vitamins are made with all the cleanest ingredients,” Silverstone says proudly. “They’re the only ones on the market that are certified organic, non-GMO verified, all food-based. No fillers or binders, so they’re pure. You’re eating food. When you’re taking the vitamins, you’re just eating food, so there’s nothing that’s going to harm you. It’s lovely to have people tell me how much these things work for them.”Silverstone has a couple of movies coming up, including the Rebel Wilson comedy Senior Year, which premieres May 13 on Netflix, and Reptile, which reunites her after 25 years with Excess Baggage co-star Benicio Del Toro, but her immediate professional focus is on The Real Heal. Dr. Laura Markham, Kevin Smith, Pinky Cole, Angie Sadeghi, Dr. Zach Bush, and Ed Begley, Jr. have already appeared as guests. Topics have ranged from “The Healing Power of Love,” “Healing Through Parenthood,” and “Fueling Our Bodies “to “The Benefits of Eating Locally,” “Connecting with the Body,” and “Healing the Earth.”After decades of fielding questions, it’s Silverstone’s turn to ask the questions. “Mostly, I get to just ask these people that I admire so much these deep questions,” she says. “I love listening to them. I want to hear everything they have to say. When they say things that I would say, I’m like, ‘That’s so exciting, because I don’t have to say it!’ I spoke with a gastroenterologist who’s so incredible about her practice and how her whole practice changed when she changed her diet, how it has affected her patients’ lives and her life, and how much more success she has with people because of it. I talked to Ali (Tabrizi), this wonderful filmmaker who made the movie Seaspiracy which inspired me so much. I’ve been an activist for a long time, so it was pretty cool to learn all this stuff that I didn’t know about the ocean, that I think is so critical. Plus, he’s just this dreamy, beautiful man who cares so much.“Kevin Smith was so much fun,” she continues. “Kevin is this wonderful director, actor, and (podcaster), and an icon to so many. He almost died. He had a heart attack! It’s not a funny story, but the way he tells it is hilarious. There are parenting conversations. We had a good conversation with a doctor named Dr. Laura Markham about not yelling at your kids and helping your children to be their best selves, how you go about that, and how to take care of yourself as a parent so that you can take care of your children.“I love it because I’m able to chime in where I feel I have the expertise, something valuable to share,” Silverstone concludes, “or just something that I think will make people laugh or be fun to hear.”