Can I cook like ... Gwyneth Pal­trow?

The Guardian - Feast - - Stephen Bush - Stephen Bush

One of the neg­a­tive con­se­quences of try­ing to cook in the style of some big­wig ev­ery week is that, along the way, you end up eat­ing an aw­ful lot of crap along­side the good stuff. I have dis­cov­ered that I can, in­deed, cook like Henry VIII, Andy Warhol, Michelle Obama and even Don­ald Trump. But I’ve also learned that I can break out like a teenager.

Thank­fully, Gwyneth Pal­trow has my back. Her health-food diet plan “goop” in­cludes a detox and I am con­fi­dent that, if I fol­low it, my skin will go back to nor­mal and I will be able to fit into my trousers again.

Mon­day morn­ing starts with a “room-tem­per­a­ture” glass of lemon wa­ter at seven o’clock or “upon ris­ing”. There are few recipe in­struc­tions that stress me out more than the words “room tem­per­a­ture”: which room do they mean? Our per­pet­u­ally cold north­fac­ing kitchen? Our pleas­ingly warm liv­ing room above the kitchen of the flat be­neath?

And what in the world is “lemon wa­ter” any­way? I opt to squeeze a whole lemon into a glass of wa­ter and leave it overnight. The re­sult­ing con­coc­tion is, bluntly, hor­ri­ble. It tastes un­nerv­ingly like drink­ing de­ter­gent, doesn’t fill me up, but cer­tainly kills my ap­petite long enough for me to start my work­ing day. I barely no­tice I’ve eaten noth­ing un­til 10 o’clock, the next point in Gwyneth’s di­ary at which I’m al­lowed to eat some­thing – in this case a “blue­berry and al­mond [and nasty pro­tein con­coc­tion] smoothie”. It is easy enough to make: all you need is a blender and a deep-seated ha­tred of who­ever you are mak­ing it for. Again, I’m not sure if this is fill­ing me up or sim­ply putting me off eat­ing al­to­gether, but one way or the other, it does the job. In fact, it per­forms so well that the prospect of drink­ing “co­conut wa­ter” at 11:30am, or in­deed con­tin­u­ing the diet, is just too off­putting for words.

Is this mak­ing me health­ier? Per­haps. As John Mil­ton once wrote, it’s bet­ter to reign in hell than to be a ser­vant of heaven, and if bad skin and a body type that could po­litely be dubbed “fun size” is the price I pay for never eat­ing in the style of Pal­trow again, I’m happy to take it.

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