Kate Hudson on her new book, 'mom buddies' Paltrow and Alba

TORONTO -- As Kate Hudson establishes her own lifestyles empire with a line of athletic wear and a new book, she feels a camaraderie, not competition, with other actors who've made a similar move.

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The Oscar-nominated star's new book, "Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body," comes after Cameron Diaz's "The Body Book" and Gwyneth Paltrow's weekly lifestyle publication Goop. Then there's Jessica Alba's Honest Company and Blake Lively's now-defunct website Preserve, to name but a few.

"The truth is, most of the girls you just talked about are literally my girlfriends," Hudson, who also has her Fabletics line of sportswear, said in a recent phone interview.

"It's almost like we're like mom buddies and we get excited about talking about these things. None of them is better than the next one. We're all in it together."

Hudson said she feels "any woman's success is your success, for women."

"So when I see my friends succeed or put a positive message out there, like Jessica and like Gwyneth, it's amazing," said the 36-year-old, who has two sons.

"I'm so proud to be friends with them. To see women succeed and have that kind of success in their life should be absolutely celebrated -- absolutely celebrated -- in this day and age."

"Pretty Happy" is structured around what Hudson calls her "four pillars of health," explaining everything from mindfulness to the benefits of an alkaline diet and Ayurvedic medicine.

"I think it's more of a dialogue with women, more of an open conversation hopefully about everybody's differences," said Hudson, who won a Golden Globe and got an Oscar nomination for playing socialite Penny Lane in the 2000 drama "Almost Famous."

Hudson said she wrote the book, in part, because she was frustrated after constantly being asked in interviews what her secrets are to looking so great and not being able to fully explain in a sound bite.

"Everybody always asks me that question: 'What do you do to balance, how do you do this and how do you do that?' and I always feel so weird talking about myself, because I'm aware and I know that that's just not going to work for everybody," said the Los Angeles native.

"Instead of it being all these magazines that I get interviewed in and I answer a question and then it gets taken out of context, I really want to put what my philosophy is out there for those who care to read it.

"And then I feel like I don't have to keep saying: 'No, that's not what I meant. No, I don't work out 2 1/2 hours a day. That's impossible. No, I don't eat only vegan."'

Hudson said she learned the benefits of being active and eating well as a kid. Her mom, Goldie Hawn, and stepdad, Kurt Russell, were role models in that way.

These days, she feels more carefree, self-assured and stronger than when she was in her early 20s. Rumours have been flying that she's even dating someone in his 20s -- pop star Nick Jonas. (A question about those rumours was shot down by a publicist.)

While Hudson still fluctuates in emotion and mood from time to time, she has "more acceptance of the things that life brings and moving with them," she said.

"When I felt like I could finally just accept what is, instead of putting expectations on myself or putting expectations onto other people or putting expectations onto what my career should look like or putting expectations onto whatever it is, once you actually start dealing with what is and what's happening now, I just felt an inner freedom."


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