How Insane is Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop Lifestyle, Really?

Some of Gwyneth Paltrow's prescriptions for better living make sense. Some of them... don't. The Esquire editor who followed her diet, lived by her newsletter, and danced her little dance breaks down the sanity of the Goop life, from common sense to madness. Don't miss our full evaluation here.

Eight Hours of Sleep Every Night

Ranking high on the obvious list: Paltrow asks three of her personal physicians for their ideas on "how we can achieve our best health," and the consensus emerges that sleep, and lots of it, is good for your mind and body. Fruits and vegetables, we hear, do the trick, too.

Relying on a Few Key Clothing Items Every Season

Here at Esquire, we're big fans of relying on a few basic items to get us through the season, and Paltrow, a famous clotheshorse, does her readers the service of modeling how each basic can work in a variety of contexts. It's a simple and straightforward concept, and with men and women spending less on clothes now than in years past, it's the kind of reassuring advice that most Goop readers probably want to hear.

Following Deepak Chopra's Spiritual Advice

For her ongoing series of "Be" newsletters, Paltrow culls advice from a sewing circle of religious gurus ranging from the head of the L.A.'s Kabbalah Centre to his Holiness, the Deepak Chopra. Maybe it's because Chopra's brand of New Age-y self-empowerment long ago become part of the national vernacular, but his approach to life management sounds pretty practical compared to everyone else's. He's still a little out there, but in the land of the blind, this one-eyed man is king.

Eliminating "White" Foods (i.e. things made with sugar, white flour, or milk)

This is one of those dieting clichés that has been making the rounds for years now, and it displays zero regard for how normal people eat. We can see encouraging eating more greens, or trying to eat a little more brown bread, but to ask anyone to eliminate anything from their diets, as her lifestyle experts advise, is to alienate all but the most committed dieters.

Following Madonna's Book Recommendations

We could see asking Christy Turlington for a few book recommendations, because she's married to a smart guy and probably has a good head on her shoulders. We could also see asking Aunt Louise, even though we're not quite sure who Aunt Louise is. (Sounds like a decent enough lady.) But asking Madonna, who displays shockingly middlebrow tastes with her selection of Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, is just asking for trouble.

Dance Cardio Workouts

For the reasons that soon become self-evident, this kind of exercise requires a degree of privacy, space, and self-confidence that most of us simply don't have. (I had to move around half the furniture in my living room just to get enough space.) What's more, it doesn't do much for upper arm strength, so unless you're only doing it exclusively to lose weight, it's probably better to stick with the gym.

Eating Organic All the Time

Maybe it was the seven-dollar carton of organic blueberries, or when I found myself waffling over the dueling virtues of free-range versus cage-free chickens, but trying to eat all organic, all the time can be an expensive, mind-numbing proposition. There's no harm in trying to support local farmers or minimizing your body's exposure to chemicals and pesticides, but in the final analysis, these are ultimately rich people's causes. Most of us just want something to eat.

See Esquire's entire evaluation of the Goop Lifestyle here.


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