For so many reasons, this is a stressful time to exist. Thus, pain and pleasure are deeply intertwined in many seemingly enjoyable activities, including BDSM, attending family events, watching Lars Von Trier movies, taking exercise classes, and being a Morrissey fan. The same could be said of “detoxing,” an increasingly popular wellness undertaking where one will radically change their diet for a period of time in hopes of cleaning out their body. In theory, doing a detox can be a beautiful thing—it combines discipline, healthy eating, and envisioning the kind of ideal daily routine you’d like to have. Detoxing is hard on your mind and body, because you’re literally living in a way that forces your body to purge toxins (drinking until you throw up arguably achieves the same end, but I digress); alas, it can also be profoundly satisfying, because you hopefully come out the other side feeling like a clean, renewed person. It’s like when Gandalf dies, but then returns in The Two Towers as the white wizard. Nutritionists will agree that it is exactly the same thing. That said, changing your diet can certainly go too far, which is why it should always be approached thoughtfully—unless you’re me, and just want to torture yourself for basically no reason.
There are many different kinds of detoxes—including raw eating, juicing, liquid diets, and colon cleanses—but most of them revolve around some combination of the following: 1) removing irritant foods like gluten, sugar, alcohol, soy, caffeine, or dairy from your diet (and focusing on whole, unprocessed foods like produce, grains, and legumes), 2) adding nutritional agents such as protein powders, probiotics, and other supplements, and 3) intermittent fasting. Sounds bad, you might be thinking. I already hate my life, so why would I even consider doing this? Eating like shit and drinking a lot are the only things left to do in this hell world. But it’s likely you are considering doing this, because you’re still reading, meaning that you want to know if Goop’s G.Tox 7-Day Reset Kit—the super hype, bougie detox program from Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness company, Goop—is worth it.
Well, my friends, I have painstakingly G.Tox’d myself so that you may regard my journey and decide whether it’s right for you (or whether the frozen pizza in your fridge will meet its fate on this day). For the record, I would support either of these decisions.
What the G.Tox entails
I’m not going to sugarcoat it (especially since sugar is prohibited in this detox): the G.Tox routine filled me with deep rage and despair for the first few days. Granted, I don’t like to think about anything besides work, movies, and Elden Ring, but it was challenging to integrate this into my life. Spoiler alert: The G.Tox did, however, get easier, and even enjoyable. Here is a survey of the detox booklet’s section titled “What’s in the Box,” which is presumably a God-level joke referring to one of Paltrow’s greatest (offscreen) film moments.
The box includes: 7 servings of “Reset Cereal Blend” (a porridge full of superfoods that can be served with either sweet or savory toppings); 7 servings of “Reset Protein Powder,” which you eat in a smoothie once a day; 7 servings of “Detoxifying Superpowder,” which you mix with 2 ounces of water and do a shot of every morning; 7 servings of “Gut Microbiome Powder,” which is a (mostly) tasteless cocktail of probiotics and digestive enzymes that you drink around around lunchtime; and a dry brush, which you don’t consume at all, but, rather, use to brush your skin. The key is that you have to eat and drink these things at certain intervals within an 8-hour window—intermittent fasting!—so if you take your smoothie at 8 a.m., according to the G.Tox’s guidelines, you’ll be having your cereal at 5 p.m. I chose a 9 to 6 window instead, because I play by my own rules.
Is this a lot of shit to keep straight? You’re goddamn right it is, especially if you have a full-time job, an apartment to clean, and a social life to pursue. You basically have to commit to making this the primary thing in your consciousness, at least for the first few days. Once you get used to it, though, it’s actually pretty easy to maintain.
Oh, and here’s the list of what you should avoid eating during the reset: alcohol, coffee, corn, dairy, eggs, gluten, nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers), refined sugar, shellfish, soy, and white rice. For me, gluten and coffee were the hardest, but we’ll get into that.
What it’s actually like
While the program is obviously designed to last for a week, I’ll break down in detail how the first day of the G.Tox played out—including what I ate—as a microcosm of what it’s like. On Day 1, I woke up energized and ready to ~*detox*~. Instead of coffee, I made soba tea and had my smoothie, which included strawberry, banana, blueberry, a date, a bit of peanut butter (whose only ingredient was peanuts, because I made it in my Vitamix), the aforementioned Reset Protein Powder, and almond milk. Honestly, it was really good—as an ex-workout enjoyer, I don’t really mind the taste of protein powder in my smoothies, but I can see why some people would find it a bit earthy or grainy. For lunch, I made brown rice with sautéed mushrooms, kale, garlic, and broccoli, with a lemon-tahini dressing. I also included some red bell pepper, because I forgot that I couldn’t have nightshades, meaning I fucked up the detox almost immediately. Still, it’s about intention, right?
For dinner, I made the weird cereal using Goop’s guidelines for savory cereal, which are: “something hearty + something green + alliums.” This translated to a bowl of sautéed garlic, white beans, kale, and lemon, with the cereal mix. I’m not going to lie—I think the cereal mix looks and tastes bad. I agree that it is healthy, but it’s basically a goop-y (lol), glue-y porridge, similar to what the crew ate in The Matrix. It doesn’t have a bad flavor (not at all, actually), it’s just not a texture that I enjoy with these ingredients (sort of like how some people hate the vibe of avocado, bubble tea, or caviar).
After dinner, I used the dry brush, which is explained in the booklet. “Used in Ayurveda to rid the body of ama (toxic buildup), dry brushing exfoliates the skin and promotes local circulation, which are both essential in a healthy skin-care routine,” it reads. For some cosmic reason, abrasively brushing away dead skin cells from my body made me want to listen to The Cure’s Disintegration, and, frankly, after doing those two activities for a little bit, I ironically did feel very relaxed and physically rejuvenated. Dry brushing seemed very stupid to me at first, and I’m not sure whether scientifically it is really effective, but it’s a supremely pleasant thing to do every night, and I’m going to continue doing it even now that I’m free of the dominion of the G.Tox.
Until the weekend, which I’ll mention in a bit, my meals pretty much continued like this. Smoothies were more or less the same every morning, and my lunch was some variation on rice and sautéed veggies; two of the days I had a sweet potato with veggies and tahini dressing instead. For end of the day meals, I suffered through the cereal, which was just aggressively fine, until one night, when I decided to try the “sweet” iteration. I made a cereal and added banana, peanut butter, cacao nibs, and cinnamon—basically exactly what the book said to do. I found it pretty horrible, to be honest. I could barely eat it. But all in all, part of why this reset works as a week-long program is because it’s so easy to repeat daily—no alarms and no surprises.
You mentioned intermittent fasting?
As for the eating window… that was difficult. I’m a late eater. If it were up to me, I’d eat dinner between 9 and 10 p.m. every night—my girlfriend hates it, and I know it’s very bad for my digestion, but that’s just how I am. So, eating at 6 p.m. the first few days was extremely hard for me, mostly mentally. Between feeling unsatisfied with the cereal dinner and craving my nightly dessert (most nights, if I’m not drinking, I have yogurt, fruit, and homemade granola at around 11 p.m.), I was just pissed off all night. To fill the void, I scrolled Instagram, which, since I’m a food journalist, is almost exclusively pictures of delicious food, which made me even angrier, so I vowed to diminish my ‘gram usage after dinner. I went to bed enraged and dreamt of pizza and bread.
Did it get easier?
For sure. I’d say the first half of the week was pretty hard, both with regard to changing my dining routine and spending all this time keeping track of consuming all the powders, making smoothies, doing scratch lunches, and cooking the cereal dinners. But after a few days, my general hunger levels lessened to what’s probably considered “normal” (I love to eat—sue me); and the caffeine cravings went away. I sort of thought I’d become like Pavlov’s dog, running to the kitchen to make a smoothie the second I woke up, but during this reset, I was less hungry upon waking than I’ve ever been. That was cool.
The G.Tox just became my normal routine, and I kind of stopped caring about being deprived of things, especially as my energy levels dropped a bit. I wasn’t sure if that was because of my detoxing body or my deteriorating will to live, but I pushed forward. Honestly, I sort of came to enjoy the rigidity. Yes, you can make whatever kinds of smoothies, lunches, and cereals you want (within the strict parameters), but you aren’t scouring recipe books for alluring dishes; you’re making very simple food. Overnight, gone were the searches for last-min reservations, quick-order groceries for dinner parties, “Does this wine go with the brisket?” inquiries, or grabbing an after-work beer with my friend. Those are all things I love, but TBH, taking a week off from all social food engagements and elevated home dining was fucking awesome.
Did I triumph in the end?
The detox was not without obstacles. Late in the week, on Saturday, an old knee injury was acting up pretty bad and I had to go to urgent care. I missed my morning protein smoothie and the detoxifying powder, I confess. On the flipside—and I don’t presume to know the behavior of every person who has ever done the Goop G.Tox—but I might be the first person in the world to drink a glass of Goop’s gut microbiome superpowder and then take codeine and watch Goodfellas. That night, I didn’t have much of an appetite (because I was on drugs), so I skipped the cereal and had my belated smoothie instead.
Other than that off-day, I finished the Goop reset with a pretty high success rate, I think. Soba tea definitely helped me with nighttime cravings, as I was initially worried that I’d be unable to withstand eating so early. That final Sunday night, after finishing my cereal dinner, I thought, Hey, the detox is technically over. Should I order a burrito? I thought about it for a while, but ultimately felt like it would spiritually ruin the day. I had tea instead. But the coffee the next morning was sublime.
TL;DR: The Goop G.Tox 7-Day Reset is definitely worthwhile. At $195 and a week of your life, it’s not an insignificant investment or time commitment, but if you feel like it’s something that could help clean out some toxins or aid you in transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, I very much recommend it. For me, it was a great opportunity to learn more about my diet and how to fine-tune it.
I came out of the G.Tox with three main takeaways: 1) I eat too much bread and gluten in general; 2) removing soy made me realize that I consume more tempeh, amino acids, and tamari than I thought I did; and 3) it’s possible for me to adjust to eating dinner at a reasonable hour. Will I have late night pizza again? Absolutely. Will I drink too much Scotch and order vegan ice cream sometime before winter ends? It’s likely. But will I also strive to make some real changes after this intense week that many would consider a brutal punishment? All signs point to yes.
The Goop G.Tox is available here.
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