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    Archive for the ‘Gwyneth Paltrow’ Category

    The Internet Needs a Gwyneth Paltrow Detox!

    gwyneth-paltrowGwyneth Paltrow is back, folks.

    No, not back from England.  And, no, not back on screens.  She’s back with more detox nonsense.

    In her latest newsletter, the Goopster (as I like to call her) mentions that she is “finishing [an] amazing three-week-long “Clean” detox program.”

    She goes on to say she “feel[s] pure and happy and much lighter” as a result of following said cleanse.

    Alas, the cleanse conveniently happens to be the basis of New York City “detox specialist” — and Goopster friend — Dr. Alejandro Junger’s latest book, which she then goes on to plug.  How… convenient.

    In the newsletter, Dr. Junger, like any good businessman, explains that while the cleanse “can easily [be done] at home with freshly made foods and drinks, a meal replacement shake-supplement version of it is also available in a kit from www.cleanprogram.com.)”

    Second mortgage, anyone?

    Apparently the inspiration for this cleanse program — besides a larger bank account — was Dr. Junger’s personal experience following a 15-day juice fast several years ago, on which he “lost 15 pounds and was told repeateadly [that] he looked ten years younger.”

    Citing his medical experience, he claims to have perfected that cleanse in order to make it healthier and more manageable for those leading busy lives.  How someone with a busy schedule can find the time to get daily colonics beats me, though.

    Anyhow, you can view the cleanse manual here.  Page seven, which details the dietary principles, is quite interesting.

    Let’s see (my comments in bold):

    1. Oranges, strawberries, grapes, and bananas are not allowed.  Any diet program that tries to blame certain fruits for health problems loses major credibility.
    2. Rice milk and oat milk are allowed.  I thought processed foods were a no-no?  In what universe is rice milk not a processed food?
    3. Chicken and turkey are allowed, but not shellfish.  Right, because shrimp is so unhealthy…
    4. Tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant are banned. Oh, you didn’t know?  Tomatoes are TERRIBLE for you.  Yeah, uhhh… the tomato lobby has just been lying to you all this time.  Those bastards!
    5. Brown rice syrup, stevia, and agave nectar get a thumbs up, but all other sweeteners — including honey — get a thumbs down.  Someone please send this doctor to Nutrition 101 so he can learn that all sugars are created equal.

    It’s rather ironic that a wellness website so intent on living harmoniously and in balance encourages avoidant eating patterns.

    Anyhow, if you believe what the Goopster says on the back cover of the book, this cleanse helps “end chronic depression.”  Did your BS detector just go off?  Good!

    Hollywood execs: if you’re out there, I beg you, please cast this woman in a film so she can get off the computer and stop spreading this cleanse nonsense.

    Thanks in advance!

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    You Ask, I Answer: Breakfast

    In Gwyneth Paltrow’s new site she gives nutrition advice.

    She recently said that a person should try to go 12 hours between finishing dinner and beginning breakfast.

    She states that breakfast should be a “break from the fast” (12+ hours) to allow the system to rest and detoxify.

    What do you think of this concept?

    — Sarah (last name unknown)
    Via the blog

    Gwyneth didn’t have much nutritional credibility with me earlier this year when she blogged about the health miracles of detoxing. Let’s find out if she has redeemed herself with her latest batch of advice.

    No need for a drumroll — the answer is NO, she has not redeemed herself.

    The number of hours that pass between your last bite of food prior to hitting the sack and waking up the next morning are irrelevant.

    There is nothing magical about twelve hours. Eating breakfast nine hours after finishing dinner has no negative effects on health or digestion.

    Let’s assume you had a late snack at 11:30 PM and went to bed an hour later, at 12:30 AM. Eight hours later (at 8:30 AM) you wake up. I find it absolutely ridiculous to expect you to wait three hours to eat breakfast!

    If anything, by the time you have your first morsel of food, you’ll be so famished you’ll overeat.

    I would much rather you focus on what you’re eating for breakfast. Waiting twelve hours to load up on a breakfast low in fiber and nutrients but high in added sugars and calories makes no sense.

    My other concern with this “health halo” surrounding fasting and spending hours without eating is that it is a half step away from glorifying anorexia nervosa.

    Where did celebrities get the idea that an Oscar and a health credential are the same thing?

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    In The News: Starstruck

    In an article titled “Is Gwyneth Paltrow’s Food Advice Perfect for the Recession?” published in this week’s New York Magazine, writer Mark Adams preposterously hails “the Goopster” (my nickname for her, don’t you like it?) as some sort of nutrition visionary.

    “We’ve entered a moment in which it’s perfectly acceptable to talk, if not boast, about the purity of one’s digestive functions, as Diddy did when he recently Twittered minute-by-minute details of his “spiritual” 48-hour juice fast,” Adams states in his opening paragraph.

    I almost threw my copy of the magazine across the room after that sentence.

    If we are going to use “Diddy” — a record label executive with more flops than I care to count and bigger delusions of grandeur than your average reality show contestant — as a thermometer of nutrition trends and sensibility, we’re in trouble.

    Alas, let’s continue.

    Adams explains that that during the Great Depression, a man named Bernarr Macfadden launched a magazine titled Physical Culture, which published recipes along with health and fitness tips.

    Adams equates this to Gwyneth Paltrow’s health and wellness- oriented website, Goop.com, which is big on detoxing and cleansing (click here to read my impression of one of her recent postings).

    “Macfadden’s main idea—one echoed by Gwyneth, Diddy, and anyone who has completed a Blueprint or Master cleanse—was that an empty stomach is the path to detoxification and wellness.”

    This notion that empty stomachs are somehow virtuous sets up a horrendously disturbing slippery slope that leads right into eating disorders.

    “An empty stomach is the path to wellness” might as well be the mantra of someone living with anorexia nervosa.

    Again, why are we looking to Gwyneth Paltrow and Diddy for health advice? Are people that blinded by fame that they consider celebrities to somehow know the answers to everything?

    For that matter, Mr. Macfadden (who, in his defense, had some good ideas in terms of the virtues of whole grains) himself was a self-appointed nutrition expert (thus explaining his belief that 7-day fasts were healthy).

    “Many more people are going to lose their health insurance before anything approaching universal coverage gets passed. Meanwhile, we might all be better off if we literally tightened our belts and followed the stars for a while instead,” Adams feebly concludes.

    No, Mr. Adams. We shouldn’t follow the stars. We should simply use common sense. Cut back on processed junk, eat more fruits and vegetables, add whole grains to our diet, keep tabs on calories, and stop turning to celebrities for nutrition advice.

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    Celebrity Diet Secrets: A Steaming Pile Of… Goop

    Last September, Gwyneth Paltrow launched a lifestyle and wellness website named Goop, which she describes as a “collection of experiences [of] what makes life good.”

    Well, wouldn’t you know it, in her latest newsletter, “Gwyn” talks about… detox diets!

    “I like to do fasts and detoxes a couple of times during the year, the most hardcore one being the Master Cleanse I did last spring,” she writes.

    Turns out the the A-lister’s detox specialist — who I refuse to name in this post since I do not want to promote him with yet another Google hit — told her the Master Cleanse wasn’t healthy because it doesn’t adequately meet the liver’s nutritional demands.

    Forget the liver, how about the fact that it simply doesn’t provide much of anything in the way of nutrition and that there is absolutely no reason to believe that lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper play any role in detoxing?

    I digress.

    Gwyneth then proceeds to share her own “detox-doctor approved” seven-day elimination diet to “help decrease the amount of work your digestive system has to do.”

    If it’s any consolation, she will “be suffering along with you to kickstart [her] year a bit lighter.”

    Before going into detail, she shares tips from her detox-doctor, including:

    “If your bowel movements get sluggish, you can accelerate things by drinking half a cup of castor oil or using a mild herbal laxative. Bowel elimination is paramount for correct detoxification.”

    Well, yes, bowel elimination is paramount to overall good health, as it is one of the body’s ways of removing waste material.

    That said, the castor oil and herbal laxative suggestions are ridiculous and, in my opinion, are tacked on in an attempt to make this detox plan seem special.

    Whatever happened to simply speeding up digestive transit by consuming a higher quantity of fiber-rich foods?

    Anyhow, you can see Gwyneth’s week-long detox plan here. Disturbingly, the average day barely adds up to 1,000 calories!

    For the record, “there can be no dairy, grains with gluten, meat, shellfish, anything processed (including all soy products), fatty nuts, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant), condiments, sugar and obviously no alcohol, caffeine or soda.”

    Which makes me wonder:

    * What are examples of non fatty nuts?
    * What about those four nightshade vegetables makes them detox “enemies”? I would just love to hear her “detox doctor” explain this one.
    * If sugar is banned for this plan, then why is the Master Cleanse — which calls for cups and cups of maple syrup (sugar!) — considered such a pinnacle of health?
    * If dairy is banned, why do some of Gwynth’s recipes call for whey protein powder?
    * If sugar is banned, why do some of Gwyneth’s recipes call for agave nectar?
    * If “anything processed” is banned, why is almond milk used in some recipes?

    Above all, why do celebrities with no health credentials think they are authorities on nutrition?

    Thank you to Kristin MacBride for passing along the newsletter link.

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    Celebrities — They’re Just Like Us! They Follow Senseless Fad Diets!

    During a long wait at the doctor’s office today I picked up a recent issue of Us Weekly.

    Lo and behold, I came across this weight-loss piece.

    Turns out that former dancer Tracy Anderson — who now trains Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow; the three are pictured alongside this post — has created a “perfectly healthy” (her words, not mine) diet plan that promises a net loss of 20 pounds in just 6 weeks.

    Anderson claims that “signature strategy” helps women achieve the “teeny-tiny dancer type” body so many of them desire.

    Allow me to pull out my huge red flag.

    Anything that promises readers to achieve a dancer’s physique should make your BS detectors light up.

    Talk about unrealistic expectations! Dancers achieve their bodies through years of intense training.

    Let’s not forget, too, that the dance world has very high rates of eating disorders. That figure is not just about eating grilled salmon and steamed veggies for dinner every night.

    Someone carrying 50 extra pounds on their frame who does not exercise regularly should not be promised such an unrealistic result.

    Oh, but wait, that’s right — Anderson claims to have independently tested 100 women (what a conveniently round number!) over the past 5 years.

    Therefore she must know what she’s talking about, right? Wrong.

    Her “signature strategy” is nothing more than an alarmingly drastic caloric reduction (which we’ll get to in a bit).

    The plan strictly forbids processed foods, dairy, and spices. Red flag number TWO.

    Anderson, who as far as I know is not a registered dietitian and has not studied nutrition, claims that dairy and spices result in bloating and upset the digestive system, thereby resulting in fat storage.

    If she DID study nutrition, where did she get her degree? Bizarro University?

    Spices are wonderfully healthy — they offer a variety of nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.

    Furthermore, there is absolutely no evidence linking spices to bloating or fat storage.

    As for dairy, unless someone is lactose intolerant, I don’t see any reason for avoiding it, particularly fat-free dairy, which is a wonderful source of protein and calcium.

    The second week of the plan mostly eliminates snacks, leaving dieters with three paltry meals.

    One Wednesday, for instance, suggests:

    BREAKFAST

    1 cup nonfat rice milk
    1 poached egg

    LUNCH

    1 slice whole wheat toast
    2 strips veggie bacon
    1/2 cup tomatoes
    1/2 cup spinach

    DINNER

    3 – 5 oz. grilled seabass
    1/2 cup steamed spinach

    That adds up to approximately 850 calories! Well, yeah, you’re bound to lose weight when you basically starve yourself.

    Whatever happened to that “perfectly healthy” quote? This is anything but.

    As far as I’m concerned, anyone telling you to eat sushi rolls without soy sauce needs to have their head checked (not to mention, why is sushi part of a plan that only allows whole grains?).

    I know people do not turn to Us Weekly for the latest in health and nutrition research, but there needs to be some accountability here.

    A meal plan such as this one — very low in calories and nutrients — should not be glamorized. This is basically a semi-starvation diet with two big celebrity names attached.

    The three meals listed above contribute approximately 10 grams of fiber — less than half a day’s worth!

    That day’s worth of food only offers one serving of whole grains, very little vitamin E, not enough potassium, very little calcium, no Omega-3’s…. I could go on and on.

    As much as it often irritates me, I can accept the fact that celebrity mags will never shed the weight-loss pieces (they entice a lot of readers at the newsstand), but is too much to ask that they turn to respectable sources, like Registered Dietitians?

    Or, at the very least, do 2 minutes of fact checking on whatever meal plan is being offered?

    Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand were right — ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

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