Everything you need to know about detoxing and clean eating can be summed up by the wellness goddess of the world, Gwyneth Paltrow. A while ago, I attempted to fast track my gut health, restore my skin to its former youthful glow, and potentially shed a few pounds, but what I learned along the way was a lot more practical than simply aesthetics.
What I mean by that is—does wellness just end with yourself? I mean, shouldn’t the effects of taking care of your mind, body, and spirit, all light up with taking care of other people as well? I think unintentionally I stumbled upon the further effects that encompass wellness because I realized how important it was to take care of myself. It’s kind of like the life preservation instructions that flight attendants tell you before you take off,
“In case of emergency, air masks will drop the ceiling. If you are traveling with a minor, please put on your own mask before helping the minor.”
Wellness is sort of the same thing, except regardless of whether or not you have a child, it shouldn’t just stop with self-care. In reality, it should be all-encompassing and holistic. Help yourself so you can help others.
When I helped myself with a month-long Goop Clean Beauty detox I didn’t realize that it would transform not only my life but the lives of my family and a few friends around me. Below, are the lessons that I learned from GP and all of the wellness experts that assisted her in creating a detox suitable for an Oscar-winning actress, mother, and mogul, and hopefully suitable for you too.
Lesson 1: You Are What You Eat
Isn’t that the case for everything? You get what you give. Karma.
Picture this, you’re sitting there, eating a cheeseburger, going down on some french fries, dipping every list crunchy morsel into a ketchup and then suddenly you have heartburn. An hour later and you are in the toilet and all of the food that you consumed so ravenously is now bile at the bottom of a porcelain throne. Disgusting right?
Sure, it was delicious initially, sure you enjoyed every last french fry, but after you’ve eaten french fries for a week, and your skin is oily and breaking out, and your body feels sluggish and deprived of nutrition, those french fries look a little less appealing.
The lesson is this, mind what you eat, because food literally has the power to give you life, or literally destroy you from the inside out. GP makes the case for starting out the detox inspired by Dr. Alejandro Junger at CleanProgram.com, by kickstarting your health by cutting these foods from your life for 21 days. I did it, I felt better, I also am a weirdo who eats like a bird so definitely talk to a nutritionist before you do any of this.
Lesson 2: Inflammation is No Joke
Seriously, one of the things that I suffered from prior to this detox and now only occasionally, was inflammation and bloating. Prior to this book, I didn’t realize how many foods cause inflammation in your stomach—tomatoes, the devil. Mushrooms, like a nuclear bomb in the stomach. Cheese, more like Anti-Christ. All of these things and more cause inflammation. The tips are to stay away from certain nightshades, refined starches, sugar, and dairy. These foods often can cause inflammation in your body, the trick is to eat more leafy greens, lean proteins, lentils, cocoa, and whole grains.
Lesson 3: Apparently There is a Difference Between Tamari & Soy Sauce
Gluten. That’s the difference. As well as being from Japan vs. Soy Sauce, which hails from China. However, other than that they taste practically similar. Also, Tamari contains less sodium. But I guess if you are looking for less sodium but a somewhat similar taste, try Braggs Amino. I hate it, but my mother swears by it.
Lesson 4: Ashwagandha is Literally Magic
The morning that I mixed together my GP Morning smoothie I felt like a witch. I pulled out all of my potions, lit my white candle, spun around the kitchen three times, and called upon Ariana Grande to remind me that God Is A Woman, and downed that smoothie.
It tasted like earthy chocolate milk, but after I drank it I had enough energy to last me past 2pm—no crash at all. The only thing was that it cost a fortune, but last me over a month so at the end of the day it all evened out. The one aspect of this smoothie that was particularly hard for me to find was the Sun Potion He Shou Wu.
Lesson 6: The Food Is Actually Good
I know some people might be surprised by the title of this lesson but it is true. I am a food snob. I was a food snob before I became a detox god and only eat plant-based whole foods. Now, since the book, I know how to make three recipes from memory, however, below is one that even non-Goop patrons use.
Ingredients: Lemon, water
Basically a fancy way of saying lemon water. Peel the lemon, trying to leave as much white pith as possible. Then you place the lemon in a teapot and fill it with boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes and then drink.
Why is it Magic? Because apparently the alkalizing lemon helps balance pH in the body, and the vitamin C helps neutralize harmful free radicals in the skin.
Lesson 5: Plan Ahead, Always!
Around the third week of my detox, I decided that I was a master of clean eating so I ignored my gut when I chose to skip meal prepping for one week. In walks Morgan, the tall, awkward moving devil who decided to take off for a few days and invite me to take a spur of the moment trip with him to Big Sur. As we packed our belongings and loaded up the car, we realized we didn’t bring any snacks, so we waltzed into the nearest Safeway and resting there dressed in scantily clad materialized polypropylene, the chips called Doritos, beckoned from the recesses of the snack aisle.
It took me exactly three minutes to give in to them, and just like that, the next three days of hiking Big Sur, while detoxifying technologically—as there is no cell reception—was not detoxifying physically.
When I finished the diet I felt a lot better, and in the moments of weakness, I realized just how quickly processed food makes you feel like shit. That, by far, was the most important lesson I learned throughout this time—avoid processed foods.
Out of my face.
Out of my life.
The diet also influenced a conversation with my family about the type of food that we are consuming. Which sparked another conversation about the importance of listening to what your body is telling you. But at the same time, remember to enjoy the food that you are eating, because that’s really what life is about isn’t it? If you are planning on taking on this detox, do it wisely, do consult and listen to your doctor on these matters.
Don’t listen to friends who take you on random benders where you drink beer and eat Doritos for a weekend.
I’m looking at you Morgan.