Reviewed by Antonella Townsend
Detox diets, in my mind, are associated with friends that bounce around in flashing, upholstered roller-skate type footwear with weird names like Under Armour. They pop in to say hello, after a ten-kilometre run, to advocate the latest fad ‘detox’ that, apparently, will change my life. Seriously? Last year’s holiday was a cycling tour of Sichuan province, now they’re planning a Himalayan trek! These people cannot be trusted – they are lifestyle anarchists! But, readers, you are in safe hands when a marathon reading, coffee and chocolate imbibing, roly-poly, couch dweller tells you that she has discovered a great set of detox recipes. How could such a loveable person lie?
The source of this revelation is Goop Clean Beauty, an elegant coffee-table book that doubles as a beauty bible giving advice on everything from nontoxic products for hair and makeup to aging, acne, sleep, and, inner health. Inner health this is where the dreaded detox comes in, only it isn’t ‘dreaded’ anymore – it’s great.
Gwyneth Paltrow writes the foreword sharing her underlying philosophy that is do-able. It’s all about ‘beauty from the inside out’, which is the title of the first chapter, diet and gut-health being the foundation of beauty. Everything else is icing on the gluten-free cake.
Chapter 1, ‘A Detox Life’ lists the pros and cons, dos and don’ts of detox. The up side is that you really do have more energy; it is a three-week programme, I have only been on it for one week but feeling good already. However, I am not going to lie to you; there are a few difficult ‘do nots’, namely ‘No alcohol’ and ‘No caffeine’. I didn’t really miss the alcohol too much but the caffeine was a problem for the first few days, and I had to resort to Panadol to keep headaches at bay. The recipes given for this detox are so tasty and some are even naturally sweet so I didn’t miss sugar at all, neither did I miss chocolate because I’m still eating it! (Detox truffles on page 47) All the products can be sourced at a health food shop or Woolworths’ health section or in the Macro brand isle. Gwyneth imparts wisdom regarding the occasional chips and wine lapse, don’t panic, and don’t give up, if you have a bad day, just make up for it the next day. And, don’t let one slip turn into a glutton fest.
Sleep and exercise are an important part of the Goop Clean Beauty programme. Personally I’m an expert in sleep and am working up to exercise in daily increments. I think the section regarding sleep is important for younger readers who might think it’s ‘cool’ to stay up all night. Another aspect of the detox process is yoga and meditation. Research over the past thirty years has shown that yoga slows down the aging process; page 72 explains that telomeres are a sort of cap at the end of DNA and have a role in protecting chromosomes. We have the ability to influence DNA through health lifestyle of exercise, meditation, kind practices, engaging in community and self-expression. This is a lovely positive message for all of us, but especially young people starting out in life.
The chapters on cosmetics and face moisturizers give readers the knowledge to identify safe products – it’s horrifying how many harmful chemicals are in everyday products. With this knowledge readers can research for themselves what is available in Australia, for example, the Sukin range is chemical free and inexpensive. The ‘how to’ for hair and make up was very well done, particularly for younger readers.
However, I’m not sure about the advice on colonics; I feel this is extreme and not many doctors would recommend it. It did occur to me that if the body is so good at detoxing, via the liver and kidneys when aided by a health diet and a litre or two of water a day, why would it be necessary to have colonic irrigation? But that was the only issue that worried me.
So that’s my Christmas presents sorted – all my nieces are getting a copy each of Goop Clean Beauty – a book that just keeps on giving; a stylish accessory for the coffee table, a compendium of lifestyle advice, exercise routines, and lovely healthy recipes.
Goop Clean Beauty
By the Editors of Goop (Foreword by Gwyneth Paltrow)
Little Brown Book Group
ISBN 978 0 7515 6827 1