A Quick Bite With Jessica Alba plus a chance to win an amazing gift from The Honest Company!

A Quick Bite With Jessica Alba plus a chance to win an amazing gift from The Honest Company!

It seems a career requisite now for actresses to pick up a hyphen when they have kids. You know what I mean? Actress-lifestyle guru, actress-designer, actress-cookbook author. And to me it makes sense. Don’t most women you know realize their full multi-tasking potential upon having a baby? It’s when many of the women I know in digital media started blogging. Yes, you want the flexibility of your own business, but there’s also something new that you care about a lot. When Jessica Alba and her partner in The Honest Company, Christopher Gavigan, came through Toronto to launch their brand in Canada, the passion they both feel for their line and their families was so clear.

In fact, there was a bittersweet moment during the presentation they made to a group of parenting editors and bloggers. In introducing The Honest Company to Canada (shipping to us now!) they showed a beautifully produced video explaining how eco-friendly line of baby, body and home cleaning products was created. Both Alba and Gavigan appear in it along with their adorable children. At the end, Gavigan announced, “And now I really need to go home!” (psst: keep reading to find out about the prize!)


Alba met Gavigan at the launch for his excellent book, Healthy Child Healthy World; Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home. 7-months pregnant with her first child, Alba was beginning to worry about what kind of environment she’d be bringing her child into – and not just the air we breathe when we’re out in the world but the immediate environment created by our homes and the products we use on our bodies. The two decided to join forces to create a line of safe products that parents could feel good about using. When I asked Gavigan what he thought consumers didn’t know about products they’re buying he said that there’s a misconception that if a product is available for sale by the public that it must be okay. Or at least safe. Sadly, not so.

I’ve tried a few of the products from the line and so far I’ve liked them all. My kids love the children’s toothpaste and the Healing Balm has done wonders for the rash that was covering my son’s tush last week. I look forward to trying more but in the meantime maybe one of you can tell me how you like the line? Because one lovely (and lucky) Canadian reader is going to win a Bath Time Collection! Made up of a shampoo and body wash, a body lotion, a bubble bath and a body oil, it’s a great way to get to know the line. Sign up for our newsletter for a chance to win!!


We loved everything Alba had to say about getting her kids involved in the kitchen, helping to guide them toward more adventurous choices. But we really fell in love with her when she answered another reporter’s question about how she juggles family and work: she shook her head and said, “It’s haaaaaard.” Amen.


Sweet Potato Chronicles: The Honest Company focuses on bringing healthy options home to parents. What do you think many parents don’t realize about many body/cleaning products they’re using at home?

Jessica Alba: When I was pregnant with my first daughter Honor, I had a terrible allergic reaction to the THE “baby-safe” detergent that my friends and family had used — my mom even recommended it. But I knew it couldn’t be good for my baby if it made me break out in a rash. So, I set out to educate myself. I read the book Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home by Christopher Gavigan and scoured the Internet, only to discover that there are toxic chemicals in everyday products like baby shampoo, diapers, home furnishings, and household cleaners. Then I bought the supposedly natural alternatives only to get home and find out those ecodiapers still had the ingredients in them I was trying to avoid. Needless to say, I was shocked! And I think many parents find themselves in this same situation — they don’t know that the basics we use often contain untested or unregulated chemicals or now have vastly different formulations than the products they remember from childhood. Why would we when these items are marketed as being the “best” for our homes? So, I created The Honest Company because my mission was to make healthy, non-toxic products accessible to children and families everywhere — all from one trusted source.

SPC: Which Honest Company product is your daughters’ favourite?

JA: Both Honor and Haven love playing dress up, so there is nothing better than Honest’s lip balm. They feel like they’re using lipstick, and I rest easy knowing they are using something that is completely safe for kids.  We created this natural, non-toxic, and certified organic formula because anything that goes on your mouth is often ingested.

SPC: What’s your earliest food memory?

JA: Since childhood, the kitchen has always been a hub for my family. I can still smell the delicious carnitas my grandmother would simmer all day in a slow cooker for yummy tacos we’d enjoy together that night. And my mom’s famous lasagna was always in high demand. The sense of comfort their food brought is what I remember best.

SPC: How did you learn to cook? 

JA: When I was young, I’d help out my mom and grandmother in the kitchen. But I really learned to cook as a young teenager when I decided to go vegan. Because my family continued to eat meat and dairy, I had to prepare my meals and started experimenting with fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, and spices that I’d never tried before. While I didn’t remain a vegan (I do eat organic meats and dairy now), the experience inspired an overall healthier lifestyle and my creative approach to cooking.
SPC: Do you still cook any family recipes?
JA: I consider myself an amateur chef, so cooking is a pastime that I truly enjoy and find relaxing. It’s really restorative to prepare a meal for your family and friends that you know they’ll love. And some of my favorite recipes to share have been passed down from my grandmother and mom. You can find many of them in my book The Honest Lifeand on our Honest blog.
SPC: Do your girls cook with you? 
JA: Honor is an excellent sous chef. She often helps me prep things for dinner, whether it’s picking herbs from our wall garden, shucking green beans, or making a simple avocado salad. Like most kids, she loves to help bake treats too. For a fun surprise, Honor decorated Haven’s second birthday cake with orange frosting, a fondant owl, and gummy worms! By sharing this time together, I’ve found that it teaches Honor where food comes from, how much effort goes into growing and preparing it, and the importance of trying fresh ingredients.

SPC: How do you deal with pickiness in your daughters?

JA: Although it’s impossible to avoid picky eating when you have young children, I tried to influence the girls’ palettes from an early age so they developed a taste for more savory foods. I’d often incorporate spices or flavors that adults typically eat in their baby foods, so they didn’t gravitate toward sweeter things. My trick was blending things like squash, cauliflower, and banana or green lentils and broccoli. Now that they’re older, I prepare them the same meals that my husband Cash and I eat for dinner. Giving them appropriate versions of our meals has encouraged them to try new foods.

 SPC: You work in an industry that places a premium on appearances. How do you deal with those issues in your own home? (Laura and I are ex-fashion magazine editors and have had to look at some of our own body/beauty assumptions now that we’re Moms.) 

JA: We focus on making healthy choices as a family. By emphasizing that healthy eating is fun and taking classes like karate and yoga, I think the girls learn about strength and well-being instead of internalizing messages about appearances.

 SPC: What’s your go-to busy weeknight dinner?
JA: Even if it’s a busy day, I’ve been known to roast Cornish game hens and butternut squash for dinner. All I need is a great playlist and a glass of wine and the time in the kitchen flies by. Plus, the meal is one of my go-to dishes so I have making it down to a science. Otherwise, I’m really keen on roasting whatever veggie we have in the fridge. Simply drizzle it with olive oil, season it with salt and paper to taste, pop it in the oven and — voila! — you have a flavorful side that enhances any dish.

SPC: What do your kids turn their noses up at that you wish they’d eat?

 JA: I wish Honor would eat her zucchini and eggplant (she doesn’t like the squishy texture), and Haven now refuses to eat the peas she once loved.



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  1. Denise
    October 26, 08:16 Reply
    Someone just told me of your blog and also "Cooking With Mr. C." on Facebook. (also a blog) I just "Liked" his Facebook page and came to your blog. It's wonderful. I love when people share blogs with each other. Denise
    • Laura Keogh
      October 27, 22:11 Reply
      Thanks so much for your note, Denise. Welcome! We like sharing too. Hope you enjoy SPC. Stay in touch.

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