Gruelling it like Gwyneth
Gwyneth’s latest curation, a book on how to live and eat clean.
BY the end of February this year, I emerged from the other side of the holiday season feeling like a potato. I had been lost in a limbo of missed exercises; all sorts of seasonal festive food and the holiday mood had pretty much left me on my couch doing nothing. One night, I found myself watching the Victoria’s Secret Runway Show in my old pyjamas while eating a pint of icecream. I suppose defeat reveals itself in many forms. The models looked fab while I looked, well, flab.
To contradict this downward spiral, I decided to go on a cleanse. Yes, a cleanse.
If you’re a person living in the 21st century of fads, diets and basically convincing oneself that physical manifestation is the key to happiness, you must have come across this concept once or twice in your life.
There are so many types of new-revolution diets.Atkins, Bun-less Burger, Paleo Lifestyle, juice cleanse, or even the cayenne pepper-with-lemon water diet. I measured my expectations against my realism and eventually decided to embark on a Gwyneth Paltrow detox.
So what is a Gwyneth detox? Paltrow, an actress known as much for her extremely homeopathic lifestyle as her Hollywood career, seems to have a universal group of faithful followers who swear by the effectiveness of her detox programmes. For a 40-something she looks like she may have discovered the elixir of youth, and I wanted in on some of that. I too, desired an iridescent glow and washboard abs.
So off I went, planning my meals according to her programme which could be found online. It required full days of clean, medicinal eating. The main rules are no caffeine, booze, white carbs, refined sugar, red meat, dairy, processed food in any form and night-
Some of the food on the detox menu that I made.
shades. Watch out Gwyneth, here I come.
THE EXPERIMENT BEGINS
Day 1 started with a spring in my step. I was on my way to look like I belong on magazine covers! I began the day with a smoothie with almond milk. Almond milk tastes nothing like the usual more awesome milk. For lunch I was allowed to have some raw vegetable sticks with some hummus, and my optimism convinced me that soon I would glow with the iridescence that Gwyneth promised.
Dinner was grilled salmon and some blanched greens, which was a great comfort from all the raw stuff I had been eating all day.
Day 2 was unpleasant. Maybe it was the sugar withdrawal, but I found myself feeling highly strung by everything. I saw my neighbour’s cute pet cat prancing around and I felt like punching it.
Everyone at my office angered me, including the guy who offered to help me carry some files. Oh, so you think you’re all high and mighty that you get to eat rice? God, people were so annoying.
That night I had a raw soup made of blended cucumber and avocado. The cold soup and my sorrows had one thing in common — I wanted to drown in both of them.
The next few days were a roller coaster of emotions. Sometimes I felt great from all the natural goodness I was consuming, but sometimes I would dream of desserts and carbs. I was yet to feel radiant, and for a moment I began to wonder if this was all a scam. Getting to eat brown rice felt like winning the lottery. Rice! Glorious rice! I began to see some light at the end of the dark, carb-less tunnel I was in.
On the last day, I managed to psyche myself up for a final day of clean, bland eating. And maybe it was all psychology, maybe I was hallucinating from low sugar, but I swore it seemed that my skin was much clearer than it had been for months. My body felt lighter too, and my energy level seemed consistently upbeat all day long.
As I finished off my final plate of detox salad that night, I went to bed so happy with the thought of eating a large cookie for breakfast tomorrow morning. With a glass of milk that came from a cow instead of a nut.
SO WAS DETOXING WORTH IT?
It seemed that I had undermined how much it takes to look good in show business. I read somewhere that Gwyneth would do this for every acting job that required her to look a certain way, and I must say that it takes a lot of willpower to live like this.
Sure, I looked and felt much better by the end of it amid my near-miss relapses, but it made me wonder if it was worth depriving ourselves from not even moderately enjoying any treats to look a certain, idealised way.
Perhaps for an infrequent rare occasion, but as a lifestyle? It seemed a little too much to pay for the price of looking perfect.