“I Tried To Live Like Gwyneth Paltrow For A Week — Here’s What Happened”
Photography by Eric Ray Davidson
You Don’t Really Know How Gwyneth Paltrow Lives Until You Try This
Being asked to live like Gwyneth Paltrow is quite a thing, it turns out. I thought it would mean throwing out my Coldplay albums and yelling fruity names at my children. And also smoking one cigarette every Saturday night — because this is what Gwyneth does. And it is one of the only things that I have ever remembered about her, other than that #totesawks Oscars speech in the pink frock for Shakespeare in Love (even though Shakepeare in Love forever, Gwynnie!)
So, when my esteemed colleagues challenged me to live like Gwyneth for a week I gamely accepted and only then did I read on (Spoiler alert: I did not, in any way, make the full week). First off, the WH cover story mentions her goat’s milk cleanse. GP – oh, right, that’s what her Goop team call her – cleansed for eight days. Eight days of nothing but goat’s milk. Raw goat’s milk. From the actual goat. In the meadow. Nope. Moving on.
Goop Eating Was A Challenge
She has ditched all kinds of inflammatory-slash-processed foods; I have to choose three from the prescribed list. I immediately discount caffeine and alcohol (because: life). I discount nightshades because I never get the chance to sound like Lucretia Borgia, but bandying around the word ‘nightshade’ definitely gives me the edge. And I love how it rolls off my tongue. So, in the end I opt to forgo dairy, soy (hilariously easy) and gluten (a pitiful cheat).
I confess, dairy for me goes hand in glove with my love of caffeine, so my first attempt at a Vida with almond milk is now the stuff of office legend. I sounded like Tweety bird just after Sylvester tries eating her again… A sad, stifled little hiccup after my first sip. Almond milk. Honestly. Also, GP’s almonds are activated. Yes… Exactly. WTF. Activating your almonds means soaking them overnight to release something… Not unicorns. Nor wine. So obvs I don’t bother. But I chew mine extra specially so that they get more natural activation. It’s probably best to confess at this point that we’re hitting about 9.45am on My First Day. It’s not looking terrific. Fortunately, GP likes looking inward and being mindful, so admitting this is already very Gwynnie behaviour. She also exercises every day. I exercise every day. We are soul mates. Tick. Tick. Tick. Thanks goodness for exercise!
I Had To Use The Words “Energy” And “Consciousness”
Gwyneth also uses great new age words like “energy” and “consciousness”. They are both noted on my list. I use them a lot. But I clearly look too pleased with myself because it is quickly pointed out that using said works sarcastically does not count. Bastards. I try using consciously with my children and they just side-eye me. I am absolutely certain GP has never been side-eyed by Apple and Moses.
Gwyneth considers herself something of a health renegade. I wholly approve of this moniker. She is absolutely all this and more. A trailblazer when it comes to identifying health and wellness zeitgeist and has a speed dial list that I would kill to replicate. She even has her own shaman. Take that, Africa Burners. She was cupping long before it got to Randburg and Century City. And – drumroll please – she’s totes game for a jade egg. Nope, it’s not on your Chinese takeaway menu. I also had to Google it. The jade egg is a semi precious crystal egg that you pop into your vagina where you hold onto it for the day / night / evermore, so as to firm your muscles and make you feel scorching hot all the time. Not sure about this but I do a lot of Internet research, much to the delight of Men’s Health, our open-plan office neighbours. They’re called Yoni Eggs and they are officially A Thing. Locally, you can buy them in little sets of three so you can work your way up from small to large (so considerate… I love Capetonians).
Parting Your Hair Down The Middle Isn’t Easy
Since I am not doing brilliantly on the healing sexual energy of the crystals, I go back to The Gwyneth Challenge List. She drinks hot water and lemon every morning. I do this. I love this… I really do. It’s part of my routine… I think because Cameron Diaz also told me to do it (sozzles, GP). Dutifully tick this off. Next up, parting my hair down the middle… Seems an easy enough option to gain much-needed Gwyneth points but, holy balls of hell, I look like the love child of Frida Kahlo and Betty Boop with my hair parted down the middle so after an afternoon of swanning around, I ditch it. Idiotic.
Last on the list is a date night with my husband where I have to feed him a pomegranate salad or something date-night-approved from Goop. Let’s just say that I can see why conscious uncoupling is a thing. There is no power on Earth that would compel me to feed my husband. Actually spoon edible things into his open mouth like a Mother Bird. No. No. No. I had to meditate and feast on nightshade (well, it was melanzane, but who’s counting) just to recover. And that was Monday. I woke up on Tuesday a new woman. And never did it again.
Sorry GP… I love your health findings, but as a voyeur.