In summary, the book is pretty much a guide on how to live a non-toxic, organic, affordable lifestyle while being true to yourself and balancing family and work. Gosh darn it, Jessica Alba is just perfect! She even finds time to grow her own food. She has her own product line, the Honest Company, which you can check out at www.honest.com. I have been an avid customer for about 6 months now. Love, love, love these products! They are all chemical-free, all natural, organic, and reasonably priced! Perfect for a mama with a food allergy kid that also suffers from really awful seasonal and environmental allergies.
But...back to the book.
The first chapter Jessica writes covers food. She knows the way to my heart. She talks about the importance of eating organically, locally, and seasonally. Honest Eating "is enjoyable, fresh and whole, mostly plant based, flavorful, lean, and made with love". So this is how she gets her glow. According to the Honest Life's principles, the diet should be free of processed and packaged foods. GMOs are a no-no. If you can't pronounce the ingredients, you probably shouldn't eat it. Alba stresses the importance of eating tons of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and a little lean meat to get great skin and to have more energy. She has several recipes that I cannot wait to try. She also has a great seasonal fruit and veggie chart, as well as a list of what you should always have stocked in your pantry. She includes a section on entertaining, one for kids and snacks, and one weight loss.
Chapter 2 and 3 are "Honest Clean" and "Honest Beauty", respectively. In these chapters, Alba discusses how to be clean without the use of harsh chemicals and detergents. She goes into great detail on her own personal struggle with allergies and the havoc it used to wreak on her skin. She discusses the hidden chemicals found in almost all shampoos, makeup, fragrances, and beauty products that are not certified organic and non-toxic. I knew there were some chemicals in make up, but no idea the extent at which they were present in almost everything I put on my body and face. (Side note: If you are on www.honest.com, check out their shampoo and conditioning mist. I am a huge fan, it smells wonderful, and Brady even has his own). She discusses the link between cancers/diseases with the toxicity levels of beauty and personal hygiene products.
Chapter 4 might actually have to compete with Chapter 1 as my favorite. Chapter 4 is all about style. I have a passion for fashion...literally! There is this awful assumption that when you become a mom, you lose all sense of style and fashion. Well I am living proof that this is sooooooo NOT true. Sure, you may not be able to spend $300 on a bag every month like you could pre-kiddo, but you can always find the time to make yourself look put-together and presentable. Alba gives advice on how to accessorize and do so in an environmentally-friendly way, how to experiment and have fun with your style, how to stick to your budget, how to embrace your post-baby body and how to play by your own rules. Have I mentioned how much I adore this woman?
In Chapter 5, entitled "Honest Home", Alba talks eco-friendly design, cleaning, organizing, and remodeling. She informs about practices that should be done every day in order to reduce mess and toxins/irritants. She has a great cleaning guide and some awesome tips for getting kids to pitch in. She discusses the importance of fresh air, how as great as some candles smell they are really not that great for you to be exposed to, and even gives you some steps for growing your own indoor garden. (This would be amazing if I didn't have a black thumb...one thing I did not inherit from my mother was her ability to be a gardening goddess).
Babies, babies, and more babies: the subject of Chapter 6. Another reason I think Alba is so great: she sounds like a down-to-Earth, normal mother. I am not sure that this exists in Hollywood, but she sure makes it look like a possibility. She tells how laundry detergents, lotions, diapers, wipes, and bath products all impact babies and toddlers. She tells how to do a nursery remodel and what to do to make it safe. She discusses many aspects of pregnancy, your new figure post-baby and how to embrace it, children's sleeping patterns, toxins you may not know can affect children and pregnant women, and expanding your family. She details how to parent, what has worked and what hasn't, how to raise healthy and happy kids, play dates, and even children's rooms. How does she do it all?
Inspiration: Chapter 7. She gives keys to finding balance, what makes her tick, how she keeps her sanity, and what makes her laugh. There are recipes for food, beauty scrubs, and beauty masks and rinses. She lets you in on flea market finds, up-cycling, decorating, play...there is even a guide to finding non-toxic paint to make crafts with the munchkins. She gives step-by-step directions on how to make a pirate ship playhouse (which I cannot wait to make with Brady).
At the end of the book, Alba gives many shopping guides, suggested websites, and links to all of the places she obtained research from. In addition to being Wonder Woman, she is also credible.
If you get the chance to buy "The Honest Life", do so. It is a practical guide to living realistically today while trying to manage a family, live a healthy lifestyle, and to save the planet. Kudos, Jessica Alba. You inspire me and you rock!