Gwyneth Paltrow has successfully made the transition from actress to lifestyle guru, largely thanks to her website Goop and assorted cookbooks and diet regimens. But what would happen if you actually decided to eat like her (or at least, like the way she says we should be eating) for a week? Some intrepid reporters set out to do just that, and the results were certainly interesting.
First, Jezebel. The site’s Lindy West decided to spend a few days eating nothing but the “gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, meat-free, ingredient-free, my-children's-college-fund-free foodrecipes,” (her words) from Paltrow’s 2014 diet book It’s All Good. After spending $300 on three days’ worth of groceries, she gagged on her handful of “soaked raw almonds,” (soaking breaks down an enzyme in the coating that supposedly makes them harder to digest); got beet greens soup all over her kitchen when she attempted to blend it; burnt chicken on the grill; choked down a disgusting avocado smoothie; and spent hours every day chopping up vegetables and cooking. But in the end, she did feel better, and noted that the food generally tasted good.
Next, New York Magazine. Rebecca Harrington tried the same diet, and actually found the soaked almonds “really delicious.” She didn’t have any blender difficulties making the beet greens soup and didn’t burn the chicken, so day one was quite productive. On day two, she made odd green meatballs and had to eat them in a broccoli soup “that tastes mostly like water,” but she rebounded over the next couple days by making a whole roasted fish that tasted great. The next couple of days went okay, and by the end she remarked that “I was never hungry, I loved almost all of the food I cooked, and I was actually much less swollen under my eyes than usual. I even feel slightly more alert, probably because I am not eating any tomatoes.”
Finally, Vice. Michael Buchinger choked down the soaked almonds but remarked that it “doesn't taste like anything,” made a miso soup with shiitake mushrooms that “tasted amazing” (even without the dried bonito flakes the recipe called for), made some baked beans that tasted okay but weren’t a great pre-yoga option, and decided to quit while ahead after making some vegetarian dumplings that turned out delicious. “All of the recipes I tried from her book were delicious,” he wrote. “I hardly felt hungry at all.”
So what have we learned? Should you decide to do the Paltrow diet, you’ll end up spending a lot of money on groceries, but if you can figure out how to follow her recipes (and have the hours needed to do all the cooking required on a daily basis), you’ll probably end up feeling pretty good about yourself, and pretty good in general. But to make it your entire life? Now that’s a challenge.