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I Lived Like Kate Hudson For A Week & Here's What Happened


I dare you to watch any movie with Kate Hudson in it and not envy something about her. She always seems to move lightly, command attention, radiate effortless beauty and draw others to her. It also helps that she rocks a killer body and wardrobe (like in her guest role as a dance teacher on Glee).


#Repost @fabletics ・・・ A toast to the start of the #holiday #weekend

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That's why I, of course, bought her new book, Pretty Happy, when it hit stands. To the untrained eye, it seems like every other celebrity health book — wake up ay 5 a.m. like me, spend two hours daily in the gym, drink only juice for a month, somehow do all of this even though I’m sure you have a job, work, a social life, etc..

I hoped that Kate wouldn’t do that to her readers and fans…and I was right. Which is why I tried living according to her book for a week, practicing a little bit of self-love and attempting to follow her “healthy ways to love your body,” one pillar at a time.


First, you will need a drawing board. It can be flashcards, in the Notes app on your phone, or even on loose pieces of paper. I chose a journal.

According to Kate, “Your drawing board is a place (or a number of places) where you track your thoughts, feelings, questions, and fears. You write down what your body is doing and how you feel about that.” It’s there for you — and only you to create a “truthful relationship with yourself.”

Kate’s book goes through her Four Pillars of Self-Care: Cultivating an Intuitive Relationship with You Body, Eating Well, Awakening Your Body, and the Miracle of Mindfulness. My first step began with cultivating my relationship with me.

This is an odd concept to begin with. For our whole lives, we work on cultivating relationships with others: our parents, friends, significant others, teachers, coworkers, landlords, bosses…you get the picture. But how often do we look inwards? We live with ourselves, wholly, for our entire lives. You can’t ever get a break or time off from yourself. So why is it often a woman’s last priority to work on honoring herself; listening to her own needs and learning to have a loving compassionate relationship with herself.

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That’s exactly what Pretty Happy says to do. “When you cultivate this knowing relationship with yourself, when you learn to listen to your body, give it what it needs, and take away what is interfering with its optimal functioning level, then you will be equipped to handle problems and disappointments without sacrificing your health and happiness.” This gets me onboard with the idea right away. A lifestyle, health book that advocates simply listening to what your body needs and what it doesn’t, and that advocates changing yourself only out of self-love, rather than self-loathing? Count me in. It’s a nice break from the “be your skinniest you, but with the biggest boobs and butt possible, and you will be happy and pretty” motto that seems to dominate mainstream culture.

Monday begins with getting in touch with myself with a few quizzes and a “Body Scan.” There are three types of body types Kate lists: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These are Ayurvedic doshas, or mind-body types. Trying to classify people into just three categories all sounds very made up to me, especially because they’re called doshas, which is a silly word to begin with. But, with an attempt at an open mind, I take the body scan test.

Apparently, I’m a Vata, with some tendency toward a Pitta. This can mean a few things. Body-wise, Vatas are normally thin with angular features, excitable and unpredictable, often resisting routines. When they are “in balance,” they are filled with creative energy. However, when they are out-of-balance, they can be anxious, lose weight, have panic attacks, follow an irregular sleep schedule, have digestion problems, have trouble sleeping, dry skin, headaches and a few more things.

Sounds pretty terrible to be a Vata who’s out-of-balance. It also sounds excruciatingly accurate, at least for me. I have issues with sticking to routines. If I’m going through bad periods in my life, I always stay up round-the-clock, get extremely anxious, lose weight and have constant headaches — all things I note in my drawing board journal. Ayurveda doshas, you may not be a bunch of crap after all.

The causes of all of these symptoms ranges from an irregular schedule to excessive worry, fear or loneliness. Removing the cause(s) can put a Vata back into balance pretty easily, although eliminating excessive worry is easier said than done. However, I make it my personal goal for the week to figure out the causes of my imbalance and make it all better. It sounds like something my yoga teacher would say to me, but I might as well try.

Kate’s first suggestions for cultivating this relationship with myself begin with “Reframing my thoughts.” This means rethinking all of those negative thoughts trapped in my head and putting them into a different context. Mine mostly had to do with pettily dwelling on pain and all-or-nothing thinking. Basically, if something goes wrong, I think about it for way too long, or I categorize bad situations as failures.

Sure, it’s helpful identifying my own negative thoughts. But changing them into positive ones seems a lot harder. Kate suggested writing them down when they come along, going through what you wrote down and trying to see things from a more positive perspective. So, I did. By the way, writing down negative thoughts is pretty tasking on your brain, and makes Monday even more draining than it already is.

As a person who kind of hates talking about my own feelings when things suck, examining my drawing board in an honest way was exhausting and a very naked experience. All you have is yourself, your notebook and your thoughts there on paper. And they’re not always pretty. Living like Kate Hudson entails much more than just a physical experience…and I wasn’t sure I was ready to be so emotionally honest with myself. After reading Kate’s book, journaling and taking quizzes I decided to let the rest of Monday run its course and save pillar two for the next day.


After an emotionally tasking previous day, I was ready for Pillar Two: Eating Well. I had just come off a week of eating Pegan, so eating healthy, but without a strict set of rules, would be a nice transition back to my normal diet.

Eating well à la Kate Hudson follows the basic rules of good food—lots of fruits and vegetables, switching starchy carbs to whole grains, limited amounts of leans meats, and avoiding processed foods. No extreme dieting, which I was all too thankful for.

Unfortunately, the drawing board journal that ripped my emotions into little bits and pieces the day before was back out to play. Eating well required writing down the foods and how they made you feel, so that you would know “intuitively” what worked for you and what didn’t. I was getting very tired of writing down my feelings, even if it was just about food this time.

Kate was kind enough to include many, many lists of exactly how to eat this food, what to eat if you don’t feel “balanced,” and even a shopping list! Per her instructions, I ate breakfast (egg white omelet with spinach, along with some coffee) within half an hour of waking up. That’s a little too early in the day for me to actually want to eat, but it seems to work for her.

I also tried to stick to eating every four hours, with three full meals and at least two snacks. Then, two hours-ish before bed was the strict cut off for my final meal of the day

As I tried to choose my food, I had to keep in mind Kate’s rule of Alkaline v. Acid foods. According to her book, bodies are happy and healthy if we eat more alkaline-forming than acid-forming foods. Grossly enough, if we skip the alkaline foods, our body pulls the minerals from our bones, teeth and organs. Some acidic foods include bacon (*pouts*), cheese (*pouts more*), spaghetti, almond milk, beer, most seafood, cocoa and coffee. Essentially, every kind of food I love.

You can still eat these, as long as you mix in alkalizing food, such as most fruits and vegetables, almonds and green juices.

After a trip to the grocery store, I cooked chicken and rice in an effort to bulk prep for the week, then I picked out my meals for the day. I already ate breakfast, so I snacked on apples with almond butter, delved into a large goat cheese and spinach salad for lunch, and indulged in grilled chicken over rice for dinner. I saved watermelon for dessert and felt like the health goddess Kate Hudson embodies.


One thing I love about Kate’s book is that it’s kind of like those magazines you always buy when you’re fourteen. There are long tests, quizzes and questionnaires throughout the book to keep it interactive. Now that I’m onto Awakening My Body for Pillar Three, I begin a “Physical Profile” quiz.

Again, I am a Vata. For exercise, this means I prefer swimming, running, dancing and constantly changing up my routine. And again, this is very true.

Then, I did a physical body scan, which is kind of like ten minutes of meditation but I take note of everything that I find painful and uncomfortable while sitting.

After doing all of this, I began Kate’s morning stretch, which takes about 20 minutes. I squatted, stretched out my not-at-all-flexible legs, foam-rolled my spine, and somehow ended up just lying on my yoga mat for an extra 20 minutes. Clearly, I don’t move a lot before 7 am.

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The book suggests working out 1-2 times per week for an hour and a half, with each half hour dedicated to either cardio, strengthening or stretching. On the other two days, you only do a half hour of just one of those types of exercises. I opted to do a long workout, so I went to my gym, dusting off the gym pass I hadn’t used since I got it earlier in the summer, and jogged for thirty minutes. Then I (tried) to lift weights and stared at some machines that I did not know how to use in the slightest. I came into my final half hour of stretching after managing to do a few leg workouts.

I was happy to finally be done, because an hour and a half at the gym seems incredibly long when you never go, like me.

I went to my internship for the day with tired muscles, but proud of all I could accomplish before 9 am. Then I followed Kate’s next bit of advice to get outside, which makes you a happier person according to the scientists she consulted. She suggested to walk without headphones and just take in the scenery, sounds and sights. With all of the traffic in Boston, this was kind of difficult for the first half hour of my walk until I reached Jamaica Pond. From there, nature found a small area to flourish within the city. The 90-degree weather suddenly seemed a bit more bearable. Finally, I made it to my car, sweaty as all hell, but happy that I managed to get outside for at least a small part of my hectic day.


Onto Pillar Four of Pretty Happy: The Miracle of Mindfulness. I did well with eating and trying to exercise. However, the idea of revisiting my own thoughts didn’t exactly thrill me.

Mindfulness is a bit different that day one of this experiment. Instead of examining your negative thoughts and focusing on them, mindfulness is meditation with an end goal of relaxation and focus.

First…another questionnaire! This one was on stress, and I ended up on the moderate-high range of it. Which meant I needed more physical activity and to take care of myself while stressed, or else it would take over my life, which is a straightforward enough solution for me.

Kate also put a pretty scary statistic in her book: Stress is the basic cause of 60 percent of all human illnesses and disease. Which made me feel more stressed because I was already stressed, and now I’m going to die, too. Great.

But my hopeless cycle of stress was rescued by a mindfulness questionnaire, and I went back to taking my quizzes in thoughtless peace.

As it turns out, I judge myself and reacted to things far too quickly, which is the kind of issue that meditation is designed to help. So I downloaded the app Headspace and began to meditate on the fact that I’m stressed because of my amount of stress. However, by the end of the meditation I had begun to enter a sort of sleep-like relaxation. My mind starting focusing on other things, like the breeze coming through my window and the fact I wanted a nap. Maybe not the most “mindful” topics, but at least they were less stressful ones.

According to Kate, practicing meditation like this for at least ten minutes every day can help you be nicer to yourself and others, become a better listener, and be the kind of easygoing creature she seems to be. Plus, there’s a variety of meditation apps you can download to help you out, so millennials can fully get on board with this mindfulness thing.


After stumbling my way through the four pillars, I had finally reached the final day and the most dreaded thing in Kate’s book: a cleanse. So that everyone is well aware, I really hate restrictions on anything I do…especially food. In fact, stunt journalism is the only reason I have ever participated in cleanses. Friday marked my third one.

I embarked on a day-long, sugar cleanse. Kate lists some sorts of teas and soups you can use, along with intimidating juice cleanses, but I consume enough sugar to make cutting it out the healthiest option for me.

I decide to skip coffee (*audible gasp*) for the day, since my usual order would probably taste terrible to me without sugar.

In Kate’s words, I probably have an “addictive” relationship to sugar. I love sweets, and I can’t resist cookies, lots of sugar in my coffee, or dessert in general. I’ve tried to completely cut out sugar before, and I always end up getting a massive headaches after a day or so.

However, there are natural substitutes. So I opt for pomegranate green tea with some raw honey and begin my day. It could summed up by Water, Water, Water, which was basically all I could drink and I was decidedly sad about it.

Around noon I got my characteristic headache that is some combination of a caffeine and a sugar withdrawal, likely from my lack of a sugar-filled cappuccino to start my day.

RELATED: I Went Paleo For a Week & Here's What Happened

For lunch, I added chicken to my salad. The book explains that protein helps with sugar cravings, which I definitely was experiencing. And maybe it does help, but not a lot.

Feeling desperate around dinner, I decided to cook up some salmon with sautéed spinach on the side and olive oil. It’s high in fat and protein, which slightly reduced my dull headache for the rest of the night. It wasn’t a necessarily difficult cleanse, but it sure was a painful one.

The Results

This book by no means changed my whole life, but it is a very informed way to start for those who want to. It focuses on self-examination and mindfulness. Does it sound hippy-dippy? Absolutely. Does it work? I think so.

Cultivating a relationship with yourself is not an easy thing to do. It is also something that a lot of celebrity tell-alls, or tell-you-how-to-live-your-life books do. Fascination with celebrities isn’t new. Kate is indeed gorgeous, famous and successful. But she doesn’t try to pretend she knows how to help you do any of that. Instead, she talks about her own struggles with stress, panic attacks, keeping her life balanced and accepting herself. Universal issues, and she has seemed to find a method for, at the very least, recognizing that these issues exist within yourself. She also notes paths through which she practices self-care and self-love. And who couldn’t use a little love these days? It’s not a “How To Be Kate Hudson Guide.” Instead, it’s “Gentle Suggestions to Loving Yourself and Feeling Healthy.” For that, I can speak for myself and say this is a book I could easily continue following.

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