by Michael dEstries
Categories: Eats.

Much criticism has been lobbed on Gwyneth Paltrow for her GOOP side-project — a weekly wellness newsletter that covers everything from eating better to shopping. While our reactions sway between scorn and praise depending on the topic of the week, we nonetheless find GOOP to be an interesting, if not always practical, piece of the celebrity landscape.

One Esquire journalist wanted to take things a step further than just reading and dissecting Paltrow’s advice. For two weeks, Richard Dorment decided to use GOOP to dictate his daily routine — from eating to exercise to acupuncture. “I would read all her newsletters and regard her every word as gospel,” he wrote. “and maybe I might feel good after a few weeks of the Goop life. It’s not as if I could feel any worse.”

What happened? Well, the article is a hilarious intersection of normal everyday guy with the not-so-normal world of a celebrity — but Dorment sticks with it, even though the first couple days were rough. “Feel hungover,” he writes during day three. “The hunger isn’t in my stomach but in my throat. I am craving KFC. I never crave KFC. I don’t even like KFC. And yet I want it. My tongue feels swollen. I have a headache. This, I am told, is part of the natural detoxification process. It blows.”

After the detox, by sticking to the recommended diet of no red meat, organic vegetables and lots of water, Dorment starts to feel recharged. Going through the motions of a few other GOOP activities (including acupuncture, reading, and exercise), he completes the two-week period with this conclusion:

At the end of this two-week experiment, I can report, without qualification or caveat, that I felt very, very good. I was sleeping better. I had more energy. I’d lost nine pounds. (People liked to remind me that this was all water weight and that I’d probably gain it all back, but that’s just noise to me.) Revolutionary or not, Gwyneth’s way worked, and if it worked for this sinner, it could work for anybody. Case closed.

Granted, Dorment ends the piece saying that the whole experience wasn’t that much fun — and a bit expensive for things like acupuncture. Perhaps the greatest complaint, and one that all us non-celebrities can relate to, is that he just doesn’t have lots of time to commit to feeling good. “I came to realize that I couldn’t live the life I wanted to live while doing all the things Gwyneth Paltrow thought I should do. So for those reasons and a few more, I began slipping back to where I’d started. Now I try to eat more vegetables and spend a little more time in the gym.”

Still, it’s pretty incredible to see how an average guy’s body can benefit from just a few of GOOP’s recommendations. Rocket Science, it isn’t — but in a society of fast food and poor nutrition education, taking a bit of GOOP’s advice for what it is, and less for who’s behind it, might just be worth chewing on.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Emily

    I enjoyed this article. It’s important that people realize that acupuncture isn’t always expensive. You can find affordable acupuncture (that doesn’t involve laying alone in a dark room) through the Community Acupuncture Network:

  • James Whittle