I don’t know anyone who likes Gwyneth Paltrow. She once broke a young Brad Pitt’s heart, continues to insist that she’s of British descent, once proclaimed that she’d “rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin”, and, let’s not forget, named her firstborn after a piece of fruit. Regardless, her online lifestyle publication, GOOP, is thriving thanks to an ever-growing obsession with celebrity culture. Consisting of various wellness tips, GOOP is positioned as a self-help resource centre meant to inspire its readers into adopting a healthier lifestyle, in particular, advocating a strictly gluten-free and vegan diet regime.
Feeling fairly sluggish from the final stretch of exams and assignments, I decided both my physical and mental health could benefit from a food cleanse. Thus began my seven day GOOP-inspired diet, following the gluten-free and vegan recipes featured on her website and cookbook, It’s All Good. I was well on my way towards becoming an official GOOPie.
After some research, I became surprisingly excited about this new challenge, finding dishes I couldn’t wait to try out. I was visiting Toronto at the time, and I immediately made a trip to Whole Foods Market to find the necessary, though outlandish, products (Montreal grocers Eden and even Provigo’s health section also supply these items). I stocked up on gluten-free quinoa, nori sheets, organic kale and the like, costing me well over $100 – a hefty price to pay for not even a week’s worth of groceries.
I supplemented my typical breakfast of greek yogurt with some almonds and unsweetened dried mango, and satisfied my daily caffeine fix by substituting soy milk in my latte. Aside from the terrible soy milk after taste, the GOOP diet seemed pretty easy to me! Then, lunch came around. Famished, I blundered through campus in an attempt to find anything that met Gwyneth’s ridiculous requirements. I settled on a seaweed salad over a bed of lettuce (no dressing) from Sinfully Asian. Needless to say I was hungry five minutes later.
Day 2 & 3:
Carrying an emergency container of carrots and hummus with me, I felt much more prepared. I became increasingly aware of everything that entered my mouth with the diet forcing me to examine food labels, restricting me from partaking in my usual mindless snacking.
Day 4, 5 & 6:
I discovered that it is exceptionally difficult to find a restaurant in Montreal that accommodates a vegan-friendly lifestyle (aside from Aux Vivres). Struggling to distinguish which alcohol brands were gluten-free, I refrained from going out to avoid any temptations. I have concluded that Gwyneth Paltrow must be a complete loner, though I now understand the reason behind her flawless complexion.
I was now broke, hungry, and exhausted from having to plan all of my meals down to the last leaf of kale. On the other hand, my stomach was flatter and I was practically glowing! I craved neither chocolate nor cheese, but instead hankered for healthy (but non-vegan) alternatives like smoked salmon. I have decided that I have a love-hate relationship with GOOP.
In general, if you are not willing to spend $11 on organic sundried tomatoes then the GOOP diet probably isn’t for you. If you ever want to try out a gluten-free and vegan cleanse, I also suggest adopting a hermit lifestyle. Nobody wants to have dinner with someone who orders a house salad. I also advise organizing your meals ahead of time, or risk the hunger-induced insanity that is likely to occur mid-lecture.
To give Gwyneth credit, I am now exceedingly conscious of what I put into my mouth. I even feel a twinge of self-righteousness when opting for a granola bar over a Toblerone. With my new moral superiority, Gwyneth and I could practically be best friends! Though I advocate trying the GOOP diet, I caution you to do so at your own risk, as your wallet and social life will certainly feel its repercussions.
List of Dinners found on GOOP:
Day 1: Raw Kale & Seaweed Salad
Day 2: Avocado Temaki HandRoll (Substitute quinoa for rice)
Day 3: Quinoa Pasta Salad
Day 4: Miso Broccoli Sweet Potato Bowl
Day 5: Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Kale Skillet
Day 6: Cold Soba Noodle Salad
Day 7: Veggie BLAT