Can I cook like ... Gwyneth Paltrow?
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.