I have always been fascinated by Gwyneth Paltrow -- she comes from a line of celebrity parents, has impeccable taste and has always seemed… untouchable. And while Gwyneth is known for her Oscar-winning performances, recently, she's become more synonymous with her over-the-top lifestyle site Goop.com. If you're not familiar, Goop is an online destination where you can find just about anything, if you have money to spend. Think the perfect Paris travel guide, the best restaurants in NYC, detoxes, workouts and that now infamous annual holiday gift guide.
Given the fact that Gwyneth doesn't look a year over 35 -- she's 43 years old now -- thanks to her strict diet and religious Tracy Anderson workouts, I decided to give a day on the Goop detox a shot.
Initially, what I liked about the Goop detox was that I was able to pick out the meals I wanted and felt capable of making. Note: Some of the recipes seemed very complicated, so I selected ones that I felt I would be able to make in a reasonable amount of time, knowing that I'm not a Michelin-starred chef, or even a line cook for that matter. I decided on daily Surya spa detox tea, GP’s morning "smoothie," avocado papaya salad, rice cakes with almond butter and detox hot and sour soup. Sounds simple, right?
Gathering all of my ingredients proved to be more challenging than a regular trip to the grocery store because I had to visit four different stores to get all of the organic produce, spices, and powders that I needed for the day. I ended up spending $223.13 total -- which is a lot, considering the detox is primarily comprised of liquids. With a whole new pantry, an open mind and a slight pang of hunger, I embarked on a day in the life of GP. Here's what happened.
I love waking up with a good cup of coffee, so starting my morning off with a spa tea worried me because I rely on that jolt of caffeine to kickstart my day. While the tea itself seems harmless -- a blend of whole cumin, coriander and fennel seeds -- I have a strong aversion to fennel and anything licorice flavored, making the Surya Spa detox tea rather unenjoyable.
According to Goop, this tea is supposed to "help detox the kidneys, aid digestion, and clean the blood. It's also a natural diuretic to help release excess water that creates bloating." Fair enough. However, the whole seeds really do get in the way, and I almost choked on some coriander. If you do decide to make this tea, I highly suggest using a strainer after the seeds have steeped.
On a typical day, I would be at the office by 9:00 a.m., but since I had meals to make for this detox, I worked from home for the first portion of the day. I was very sluggish by 9:00 a.m. and was having a hard time focusing. I'm not sure whether it was the lack of caffeine or the mental effect of a lack of routine, but regardless, I was definitely feeling tired and distracted.
GP's Morning "Smoothie"
I was pretty excited to make this smoothie because the ingredients were bonkers. I consider smoothies to be my strong suit and I make them frequently at home, usually from things like bananas, spinach, blueberries and plant protein. GP's morning "smoothie," however, is made up of coconut oil, almond butter, almond milk and five powders that I seriously had never even heard of. Goop suggests getting them from a wellness and juice boutique in Los Angeles called Moon Juice, but don't worry, you can order them online if you don't live nearby.
Let's break down the powders. Vanilla Mushroom Protein ($35) is basically a fancy biofermented protein powder; Maca ($25) is an energizing aphrodisiac and stress manager that helps with mental stamina, hormone balance and mood; Ashwagandha ($17) is a thyroid balancer and anxiety soother; Ho Shou Wu ($18) helps with reproductive function and sex drive and nourishes hair and skin; and Cordyceps ($35) supports the thyroid, lungs and brain function.
She also suggests adding one additional Moon Dust of choice, including Action Dust, Beauty Dust, Brain Dust, Sex Dust, etc., but they each were $60 and I had to stick to a budget, so no Sex Dust for me.
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Together, the ingredients for the smoothie cost $150 without the extra dust. Very expensive, but do keep in mind that the powders come in rather large quantities, and if you were committed to having this smoothie every morning, it probably would end up being more cost-effective to buy the powders and make it at home than purchasing a smoothie every morning.
Individually, the powders had very strong scents, but blended together with the almond butter, coconut oil and almond milk, the "smoothie" wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. I did have a hard time getting through it, mainly because it was room temperature and it really could have benefited from a few ice cubes.
It took me an hour, but I ended up drinking 3/4 of the smoothie. And I may or may not have snuck it into the fridge for a few minutes. Definitely feeling the hunger pangs at this point.
Avocado Papaya Salad
I selected this salad because I love avocados and papayas and it sounded simple enough to make. By 12:00 p.m. I was ready to eat, but the process of chopping and squeezing and zesting to put this salad together took me almost a half-hour! This salad, which is actually a salsa, takes a long time to make and really isn't practical if you work in an office, unless you wanted to make it the night before.
I chopped up an avocado, a papaya, a small red onion, a red chili, a handful of cilantro and a handful of basil. I then zested (is that even a word?) a lime before starting the dressing. The dressing has lemon, lime, salt, pepper and raw honey.
The result? Heaven. This dish is incredible. I ate the entire thing and couldn't have been happier. Since doing this detox, I've actually made this "salad" twice. The first time, I auditioned it as a salad at a dinner party and quickly learned that it belongs in the salsa category. I then made it the other day as a salsa, with a few extra ingredients -- tomatoes, mangos, and chips for dipping -- and it was a hit!
I love this dish and I'm so glad I was introduced to it through this detox. And on the detox day, it kept me relatively full for a few hours. A win all around!
I was more than ready for my snack at 4:30 p.m. Almond butter is one of my personal favorites, so I went with the cracker and almond butter option, and I was looking forward to it all day. It didn't disappoint, and I think my body was happy to get a little extra protein. I took it to work since there was no prep time and the ingredients were portable. However, I forgot about all the delicious food in the office kitchen and didn't really mentally prepare myself to be surrounded by snacks. My co-workers didn't make it any easier either, ha.
Detox Hot and Sour Soup
The detox definitely gets more challenging as the day goes on. After a day's worth of working and cooking, I was exhausted, and the thought of making yet another meal from scratch didn't sound fun. I chose the detox hot and sour soup primarily because Gwyneth said it's the "clean version of Chinese takeout." I love Chinese takeout. However, I learned I do not love detox hot and sour soup.
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When picking out my meals, I didn't realize just how many mushrooms I had to eat throughout the day. Not only did I have to ingest those weird powders in the morning, for dinner, my soup had a pound of mushrooms! I would like to note that I got to peel ginger for the first time, and that was exciting for me.
This soup has a lot of moving parts -- things are heating up in the Dutch oven and there's frequent stirring involved, while simultaneously mixing together dry ingredients. I'm not good at multitasking in the kitchen, and this soup stressed me OUT.
I'm not going to lie, there is a lot of work involved in making this soup that ultimately tastes like mushroom bathwater. It wasn't bad by any means, but it wasn't good either.
I was definitely craving a glass of wine and a burger and some sleep by the evening, but I'm proud that I was able to do a full day on the detox.
I have tried other detoxes and cleanses before and feel this ranks pretty high on the list. I like that instead of drinking juices all day, you actually get food that you can chew. I also learned a lot and got to try things I had never done before, like grate fresh ginger.
If I had an event or a big red carpet like the Oscars that I wanted to slim down for, I would definitely consider doing this detox again. However, I would do much more preplanning and prepping to eliminate all of the cooking throughout the day. I'd also choose meals with more variety so I wouldn’t be stuck eating a bajillion mushrooms. The hunger was manageable and I woke up the next day feeling light as a feather.
Would you do the GOOP detox? Let us know what you think in the comments below!