I was first introduced to Gwenyth Paltrow as a cookbook author some many New Years’ Days ago (according to my records, it’s been only four years) at a friend’s house. One of the hosts’ sister was an editor at the publisher I think? Anyway, I poured over the simple layout, recipe ingredients, categorization, funny description of the “conscious uncoupling” between her and her kids’ daddy (something to do with Coldplay, I think?).

Since that NYD four years ago, I’ve obtained and filed away for reference three of her four* cookbooks and look to them at least once a week.

The Amazon-required links were terribly interruptive in my text, so here they are: one, two, three, four.

I began to learn about her brand, GOOP, and the contingent of folks who are staunchly against it. Jade eggs, luxurious and expensive week-long spa-like conferences where the color of your bracelet indicates the level of your monetary investment in the event, the $6,500 t-shirts, the brain dust and cordyceps required for the quintessential GOOP morning smoothie.

I’m not really sure how I feel about those things (except the smoothie—I had one this morning and it was pretty alright), but what I am sure of is that no one cares how I feel about those things.

All that is to say that I keep my interests on the food side of Gwyneth Paltrow, including the annual detox her team has published for the past few years.

I just completed my third and I think this one was the most effective, enjoyable, interesting, and easy of the three.

Effective: Because I mentally prepared, I wasn’t so stressed out about removing certain things from my routine, and I kept telling myself it was only five days and I wasn’t going to die without my single cup of coffee in the morning. That hot lemon water was no substitute, though.

Enjoyable: I was able to not only share the dinners with my partner, I found that the menu was tasty and got us to try a couple of new things.

Interesting: The red curry almond butter dressing/dip/sauce was very versatile and I actually liked the kelp noodles.

Easy: While each day required one or more of my myriad of kitchen implements, and used several bowls, plates, and containers, I have a partner who keeps up with dishes and, while his stamina was tested, this really helped make it easy.

If you follow the menu and shopping list (note that the list is missing both pitted dates and nori sheets), and think about how to substitute, and aren’t too hard on yourself for using agave nectar plus Bragg’s amino acids because you don’t want to spend $12 on 8 oz. of coconut aminos, then you can get through this.

If nothing else was learned, I liked her roasted chicken instructions and will use it frequently.

Get a 3-pound chicken, rub it all over with 1 tablespoon of salt (no oil necessary—the natural fat in the skin will render and keep the meat moist). Roast it in a 425°F oven for 1 to 1½ hours, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F and the juices run clear.

-goop
Red Curry Almond Butter Chicken Lettuce Cups turned Salad

I had to make the lunches easy on transportation and assembly, so the lettuce cups became a salad.

Roasted Sweet Pot, Two Ways

The sweet potato for breakfast happened twice in the five days and the first time (day two), I found it to be the most delicious thing I’d ever eaten. I must have been mildly delirious, because, by the second time (day four), it was not so amazing. But it was good.

Crunchy Salad

This salad took me over an hour to finish. I was determined to do so because I didn’t want to throw any of it out, and since I eat at my desk, it’s easy to dilly-dally the lunch meal.

Salmon and Spinach

We did The Big Shop before breakfast the Saturday before I started this adventure, so I was kind of hungry. This means that a recipe for 2 to 3, which calls for a 1.75 lb. salmon filet ended up being 2.25 lbs of salmon. I could not finish mine, but it. was. delicious.

Creamy Butternut Soup

The butternut squash soup came on the fourth night and was to be lunch on the fifth. It was really good and filling, with boiled cashews as the “cream”. If you’ve ever read Isa Chandra Moskowitz, then you know that vegans should Always Be Soaking [raw cashews] in the event of a creamy soup emergency. These did the trick, but I think I would have blended it for about 2 minutes longer. I was hungry, though.

So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! It was a good challenge, and I learned a couple of new tricks. I could probably piece together a summer version of a detox from the recipes in her cookbooks. She kindly labels them as Elimination Diet, Vegan, Protein-Packed, etc.

If you have the gumption, time, and support system, I recommend this as a personal challenge*.

*I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or expert in anything related to food or eating or diets. If you feel like you want to discuss this with a trained professional, then you probably should.