Spoiler: Even the queen of clean eating can’t say no to fried food
Gwyneth Paltrow may have first won us over on the big screen, but these days it’s her goop blog and boundary-breaking beauty, health and wellbeing advice that has us obsessed with her. One topic she’s not shy of discussing is her daily diet.
But what is the Gwyneth Paltrow diet? Here’s everything we know about what she eats, the foods she avoids, and what her top food vices are.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s food philosophy
Gwyneth is a long-time supported of clean eating. She believes in eating real (unprocessed) foods that are nutrient-dense, and favours a plant-based vegan diet that’s organic and non-toxic (although, even she isn’t immune to John Legend’s crispy fried chicken wings with spicy honey butter!). Most of her recipes on goop are dairy-free and gluten-free.
Why she’s into clean eating
For Gwyneth, her father’s throat cancer diagnosis was a big turning point in her life, and for her diet. “When my father was diagnosed with cancer in 1998, I really started to think about the link between environmental toxins and cancer,” she told Women’s Health US. “That exploration definitely started me down the path. I want to be healthy, to feel as good as I can.”
What Gwyneth Paltrow eats in a day
In the morning, she said, "On a normal day, I'll have a smoothie for breakfast". She’s shared many of her go-to smoothie recipes in the past, like this one for a Moon Dust Smoothie, and this Pineapple Arugula Cilantro Green Smoothie one.
As for dinner, she’s flexible. "And for dinner, I have whatever I want, but I do always try to avoid highly processed foods and high-fructose corn syrup." This isn’t the first time Gwyneth has said she lets loose at dinner time: In an interview with Shape in 2017, when explaining her regular diet she said, “I just try to eat pretty clean during the day—good proteins and lots of vegetables and not too much grain or sugar, and nothing baked—and then I tend to eat whatever I want for dinner”.
But even she breaks her own diet rules sometimes
Really, she’s just like us. And her diet isn’t as extreme as everyone makes it out to be. She eats out at restaurants (and snaps the obligatory #instafood pic before digging in), she drinks margaritas - only she calls them ‘farmgaritas’ and mixes them with carrot juice - and she can’t resist a French dessert (yep, we’re talking about one that isn’t gluten-free, sugar-free or dairy-free!).
Because she’s human and you’ve got to have balance in your life.
“I have a pretty healthy diet, so when I'm eating processed foods and not watching my alcohol intake, I feel it,” she said to Women’s Health US. “But at the same time, you want deliciousness, you want a fun life—pleasure! You're going to have a baguette-and-cheese-and-red-wine frenzy sometimes—but you want it to be a choice you're awake to: ‘I know this might not make me feel great, but today I'm choosing it anyway’."
Gwyneth Paltrow’s guilty pleasures
Like everyone, Gwyneth has her food weaknesses. “I’ll never give up fried foods,” she once said in an interview with People.
"I'm trying not to cave into sugar cravings and lots of white carbs all the time, because that's my kind of go-to; if I get tired in the afternoon I want pretzels, or I want Swiss cheese on a cracker or a baguette. I really love white carbs, which is not great for optimising your health and your energy."
She also admitted to Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine that she drinks a fair amount of alcohol. “I try to eat organic food when I can, eat local food when I can, and eat as little processed food as I can. But sometimes you need a bag of Doritos and a beer at an airport. We have to be modern and easy on ourselves as well.”
Her thoughts on detoxing and cleanses
Despite what we all think, Gwyneth isn’t that into diets. Back in 2008, during a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth said, “I just cannot diet. I think maybe it’s the idea that you can’t have something… I just can’t do it.” And while she does advocate cleanses when your body is in need of a detox, she doesn’t do them regularly. She shared in a goop podcast at the start of this year, "I usually detox at least once a year unless I'm testing something out for goop.com, which has been known to happen quite a few times. It's a ritual that I'm not going to say I look forward to it, but when it's done, I always feel like it was very worthwhile."
"I think one of my favourite things about detox is I always feel super awake to my body and what's happening."
Over at goop, when it’s time for a detox (generally in January), they favour Gwyneth Paltrow’s elimination diet philosophy, which her doctor recommended to her when he discovered she was anaemic, vitamin D deficient and extremely stressed a few years ago. This includes no caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten, corn, nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants, capsicum, potatoes), soy, refined sugar, shellfish, white rice or eggs. Instead, a diet high in leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, hearty grains, seed, and lean proteins are on the menu.
How to eat like Gwyneth Paltrow
Copying Gwyneth’s diet isn’t difficult - she’s literally written a book on it: well, four cookbooks to be exact (plus you can find hundreds of her healthy recipes on goop). While each of her cookbooks have different focuses, they all hero clean ingredients that nourish your body.
#1 / My Father’s Daughter (2011)
This was her very first cookbook, which she launched in 2011. It’s all about the joy of cooking for loved ones and includes her favourite family recipes (there’s a balance of healthy foods and homemade treats), as well as personal stories of growing up with her father, Bruce Paltrow.
#2 / It’s All Good (2013)
If you’re after a diet plan that’s geared towards weight loss, this one’s for you. It’s All Good features Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipes that she turns to when she wants to lose weight and feel more energetic.
#3 / It’s All Easy (2016)
For those short on time, this cookbook contains healthy, delicious meals that can be made in under 30 minutes. They have little or no sugar, are low in fat, and many contain no gluten.
#4 / The Clean Plate (2019)
Her just-launched cookbook, The Clean Plate features meal plans, detoxes and cleanses targeted to meet specific dietary or health needs. It’s a bit like a diet book. “We worked hard on creating incredibly delicious, super clean recipes that are pretty simple to make and will leave you feeling vibrant,” Gwyneth said of her new cookbook in an Instagram post. Check out one of her healthy diet book recipes - Za’atar Chicken Bowl.
Gwyneth’s tips for anyone wanting to try clean eating
"I would say, cut out sugar, dairy, and gluten to start with and processed foods and just try to eat lots of vegetables, good quality proteins, and just start slow," she suggested in a goop podcast. "I think a lot of times we think, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to follow all these rules….' It can be as light as just being conscious about what you're eating and putting in your body. I think also starting to read ingredient panels is a really good way to start."
So does Gwyneth Paltrow’s diet work? Well, one look at her will tell you it does. Not just her slim body (it’s worth noting that she’s a fitness fanatic and close friends with celebrity fitness guru Tracy Anderson, so that’s thanks in part, too), but her youthful, glowing skin is all the evidence we need to try clean eating. Plus, she looks like that and still eats wine, cheese and fried food? We are sold!
What do you think of Gwyneth Paltrow's diet? Do you follow a clean eating diet plan? Share your thoughts with us below.
Main image credit: Getty
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.