The first GOOP of 2012 has arrived, and it is highlighting “the GOOP Cleanse.” Oh brother. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I will admit that I am against ALL cleanses, not just the GOOP cleanse. If you enjoy cleanses, God bless you. And I do support, genuinely and sincerely, anyone’s attempt, whatever that attempt may be and however misguided, to improve themselves and/or make themselves healthier, happier, what have you. But ever since I learned about cleanses, the same way everyone learns about them: in college from some girls with hippie tendencies–they have always seemed to me like they were more about having something to simultaneously brag and complain about than anything to seriously do with one’s health or well-being. Like, you’re going to show off that you’re taking care of yourself (already a specious argument when it comes to cleanses, but that’s the party line) while also complaining about how hungry you are? Cool. You’re fun to hang out with, let’s go to a nice restaurant together for sure. I’m also just skeptical of anyone who genuinely believes that drinking cayenne pepper smoothies or whatever is really clearing out the system. If you want to clear out your system, go to Duane Reade and buy an enema kit. Or, how about you just work on gradually making your entire lifestyle healthier and more considered rather than taking 10 days out of the year to dramatically disrupt your body’s natural processes? You think the cayenne pepper is helping with the cigarettes you are always bumming off of people at parties? Oh man, OK, I am sorry, I just hate cleanses in a way that is almost certainly way more dramatic than necessary. Good luck to everyone and I can’t wait to see how the world changes when we all live forever. First generation of immortals is always the trickiest.

But, so, considering my pre-existing hate of cleanses it is PERFECT that Gwyneth Paltrow has her own NAMEBRAND cleanse! Let’s talk about it:

First, Gwyneth welcomes us to 2012:

Next week, when it’s back to the grind with work and the daily school run, I’m starting off with Clean, my go-to cleanse from Dr. Alejandro Junger, with whom goop has partnered for the month of January. I’ve used Clean in the past with great results, losing a few pounds and kickstarting a healthier and more energetic New Year. This month, I’ll be doing it along with members of the goop team and we hope you will too. And, it goes without saying, but be sure to check with your doctor before getting started!


Wait, “next week, when it’s back to the grind”? Try this week, Gwyneth Paltrow. It’s literally this week for EVERYONE that we are all back to the grind. And when most people say “back to the grind” they don’t mean “playing Plants Vs. Zombies mini-games on my iPad 2 in my trailer while the crew is busy getting Iron Man’s Malibu bachelor pad soundstage ready for my line about how he has a phone call in the walk-in humidor.” But whatever. Back to the grind next week, yes. And now we are getting to the cleanse. After you talk to your doctor. Yikes! Which brings us to a note from the creator of the GOOP Cleanse, Doctor Alejandro Junger, which, Fun Fact, I am pretty sure is also the name of the doctor on The Simpsons!

“The basic premise of this cleanse is that by creating the right conditions, our bodies will begin to reset themselves naturally. How? By adding in nutritionally-beneficial foods and supplements, and removing the major toxins in our diet (inflammatory and processed foods).”

“Unlike most cleanses, the goop cleanse by Clean is designed to deliver results right now, while also inspiring long-term health changes. The cleanse will help give your digestive system a break and also improve energy levels by bringing in high-quality vitamins and nutrients. Best of all, because you’ll be eating during this program, you won’t be left feeling hungry or tired which is typical of most cleanses.”

“To date more than 50,000 people have successfully completed this cleanse. In fact, in 2009 when this cleanse was featured on goop, we sold out, and thousands ended up on our waiting list. I see that as a testament to how eager people are to feel better, and how effectively this cleanse works. I hope that after this experience we can add your name to that list.”

“I hope you are as enthusiastic about embarking on this journey as I am for you.”

Uh, a bunch of problems with this.

1. I don’t like proposed health treatments that are BASED ON A PREMISE.
2. The rest of that first paragraph is literally gibberish. I mean, it makes sense, but it’s just words he put together. It sounds nice! And made up!
3. Dr. Alejandro Junger taking other cleanses TO THE MATS. I’m pretty sure his attempt to differentiate his cleanse from other cleanses mostly just describes all cleanses including his cleanse. They are ALL supposed to deliver immediate results with longterm improved whatever, and none of them do. This one also doesn’t. And, oh, you’re not going to be hungry and tired doing this cleanse? You are going to be SO hungry and SO tired doing this cleanse. Get real, tough guy!
4. Please show me the instructional manual that explains how much of a “break” your digestive system needs.
5. “To date more than 50,000 people have completed this cleanse.” I do not like advertising techniques that simply rattle of how many people HAVEN’T DIED from using the product before you. And you know who else used to use this customer population technique, quite successfully? McDonald’s.
6. This is the grossest part of the whole thing: the last time the GOOP Cleanse was featured in GOOP, they sold out and had to put people on the waiting list. So you better ORDER NOW. What a bunch of assholes, the people who put this together are. He sees that as a testament to people wanting to feel better, rather than as a testament to the marketing power of international film celebrities. Sure. Rose-colored Prada glasses.

Ugh! And look at what you would actually “get” with the GOOP Cleanse:

  • Nourish: Protein powder
  • Move: Fiber powder
  • Clear 1: Probiotic anti-microbial
  • Balance: Insulin regulator
  • Ease: Digestive enzyme
  • Encourage: Strong probiotic
  • Clear 2: Herbal anti-microbial
  • Relief: Liver support

This kind of reminds me of the very first installment of GOOP when Gwyneth talked about how she loved “being in spaces that are clean and feel nice” as if this was some kind of unique trait and anyone who lived in spaces that were dirty or felt awful were doing so by choice. What a hero. But, like, yeah, everyone would like to feel “relief” and “ease” and “balance” and “encourage” (sic). But that doesn’t even remotely explain what the hell is actually IN THESE JARS. It could literally be peanut shells and pencil shavings. Gwyneth!


Comments (84)
  1. “Cleanses are bullshit and have no health benefits.” – every doctor who isn’t trying to sell you something

  2. Hi evrybody!

    Hi Dr. Alejandro Junger

  3. A few years back, my brother-in-law was dating a girl who was a big health nut. You know, the kind who believes every single holistic-sounding thing she’s ever read. She liked cleanses, and was a vegetarian. One time we were out at a restaurant, and she launched into an extended speech about meat and how all of the meat you ever eat doesn’t get digested, but rather sits in your colon forever and ever and just rots. I ordered the chicken fried steak.

    • Whatever I would have just said something like “You don’t buy beer, you rent it, right” only instead of beer, “meat” and flip where “rent” and “buy” go in that sentence, and I’d say it in a really creepy way and stare at her until I was certain she got the reference I was making and understood what I meant.

      • I like your approach. The funny thing is, I didn’t even want a chicken fried steak. I just wanted to stick it to her for believing something so fucking stupid.

        • When someone thinks something so absurd like that, my actual approach is to ask them question about it as if they were a scientific expert on the subject. And then to continue asking them questions about it until they admit defeat.

          I’m no angel – sometimes I claim silly facts like “oh, I feel like I just read something about how yada yada does such and such to your blah blah” but as soon as someone pushes me, I give up right away and say “well I know nothing of this thing of which I speak. I just read it somewhere. I’ll shut up now” But not everyone does this, and I like to see how far I can take it when they don’t.

          I highly endorse it. For one, you may be responsible for making someone smarter in the process. And for another, it provides ample entertainment for smug old you.

        • Not that your approach isn’t also good – but you’re really only hurting yourself. That stuff stays in your in colon forever.

          • Not the entire steak. Not at all, especially if your diet is mostly plant-based. And what would linger won’t stay long if you eat a lot of salad and fruit.

            But I know a ton of people who actually eat like Ron Swanson and they are not aging well — be it in my generation or my parents’. Oh man, a 60-something person eating like Ron Swanson? Not good. Not good at all.

            She sounds like a moron.

          • That previous comment was to the sit in your body forever comment. My yurt has weird wifi.

          • The person who told me that meat from one meal takes months for it to leave my body (even a tiny bit of it) is a vegetarian who (when it comes to everything non-meaty) does not make smart food choices. I say: physician, heal thyself.

        • But that is not untrue. Most parts of meat are not digestible and do sit in your body and rot, especially if you aren’t eating enough vegetables. When taken to the extreme, it will block parts of your colon and eventually start messing with cells enough to cause cancer. Small amounts are okay with veggies but meat — especially red meat — can mess you up in the long run. It sucks you heard it from a dumb hippie, but she wasn’t totally wrong. And if you factor in the pesticides and other toxins from non-organic meat, the long-term issues of eating red meat on the reg nullify the short term benefits. And most of the non-organic cattle is so shot up with anti-biotics that you would actually die or get super sick if you ate it w/out them because the living conditions are so deplorable they are often crazy sick from standing in filth all day.

          And you can make the Chris Rock joke of “green meat will kill you” but we live in a very sedentary society totally detached from our original habitats. We are primarily supposed to be plant eaters who have evolved to digest meat and dairy (pending on origin as the dairy enzyme usually knocks off for humans not of specific European descent around 9 or so — maybe later) only to survive through winters and bad growing seasons (pre ag-revolution).

          The disconnect between what we are intended to do biologically and what we’ve evolved to do (sit on our asses with no constant physical activity) is fucking fascinating. What’s super sad is that it’s become a rich person’s thing to eat a lot of naturally-grown vegetables bc of all the subsidies big agriculture companies get to make shitty meat a more affordable option.

          Going back to my yurt now. Sorry for ruining dinner that night.

          • Which parts of meat are not digestible?

          • Don’t get me wrong – I’m not against healhy eating. Most days I have cereal and fruit for breakfast, salad for lunch, and snack on almonds. But if I go out and eat a steak tonight, that entire steak is is not going to sit inside of me, which is the inane thing she believed.

          • Certain ligaments? Maybe your body can only process so much in one sitting? I don’t know the dirty details bc I don’t eat the stuff, but I’ve had internist / gastro intestinal docs explain it and got so grossed that I spaced out.

            The point is that veggies should be our main food source to, uh, keep stuff moving. Basically a doc said if you have to push hard to poop on a regular basis, your diet is probably wrong — then explained red meat eaters have it worse bc parts don’t get digested and sit there. It also relates to acid reflux and other similar woes.

          • I’m unconvinced…I’d also posit that many vegetables – beans in particular, don’t digest because they contain Raffinose, which is only digestible by α-GAL (which humans don’t posess.) I think clearly though, if one were to only eat meat, one would have some serious digestion problems.

          • But they aren’t as sticky in relationship to the walls of your intestines so the indigestible parts move things through instead of lingering to cause trouble. I’m not a doctor, I just had to talk to a ton of them when I went veggie while living in Wisconsin bc my parents thought it was super unhealthy and the docs were like “nope, she’s right. Ya burnt mom and dad.” Now they eat like me and are a ton healthier. Their brothers and sisters? Not so much.

          • Oh, totally. I’m not saying beans are unhealthy. But when someone says “Meat stays undigested in your body” …well…lots of stuff does. “It’s just something the body does!” There’s a tendency to use words with negative connotations when describing food things in order to rationalize one’s dietary choices. Like “rot” which is a nastier sounding word than “decomposition”. A certain dirty hippie might say “It’s left in your stomach to rot” whereas a Ron Swanson type might say “Stomach acid eventually decomposes meat, like everything else.” Even chewing gum doesn’t stay in your digestive tract forever. Probably longer than red meat though.

          • Meat does not sit in your intestines and rot (unless you call being digested rotting, I suppose). Anyone thinking this should consult a GI doctor. The walls of the intestine are lined with “smooth” muscles that have evolved to move food along. I hesitated to even post this because I’m not a doctor and therefore no one should take my word for it, but the fact of the matter is that most people who spout this nonsense aren’t either. It’s not a mystery. All it takes to find out is to go to a specialist and get it straight from them. GI doctors don’t get bombarded by patients with rotting meat in their digestive tracts. If this were really true, it would be an epidemic. Most of the people who support this idea are supporters of either herbal cleanses (which do nothing) or colon cleanses (which at most simply expel the waste that you’d have expelled the following day anyway). Either that or they’ll just perforate your bowel. Fun.

    • “For every animal you don’t eat, I’m going to eat three”

  4. no need for details, gwennie, just tell everyone this is how you got Courtney Love sober for a couple of weeks. that speaks volumes.

  5. She’s effing with us with the name “goop cleanse” right?

    “Hey Claire, what’s new?”

    “Nothing much, Sally, just doing a goop cleanse. Yeah, it’s just as disgusting as it sounds!”

  6. Is it weird that I am a vegetarian who thinks cleanses and detoxes are a hot load of bullshit? Should I be pounding bottles of olive oil over here? WHY DO WE HAVE A LIVER AND KIDNEYS, GWYNETH?

    • No, it is not weird. Being a vegetarian is perfectly sensible. Having a piss-poor grasp of logic and rudimentary human biology is just sad.

      • Hitler was a vegetarian. So you’re saying it’s sensible to be Hitler.

        Ha! Take that! My grasp on logic is piss-rich, R2.

        In supporting news, whenever I visit my parents and eat the food I grew up on (meats, rolls, cookies, milk, beer, the end) I need to pack a serious goopload of Zantac or I feel like my stomach contains a rabid skunk wrestling with, I dunno, a brick. But it didn’t bother me, age 1-18, so, weird.

        • (Oops: to clarify, I did not drink beer at home when I was 18, but my parents currently have an entire extra fridge dedicated to beer. So it is mandatory on visits. I guess this is cool? Or a problem? Who knows, I have no bearings.)

    • Meant to upvote this. 100 percent with you. Also, anyone taking this cleanse without knowing EXACTLY what is in it on the advice of Gwyneth Paltrow deserves to have some horrIble allergic reaction to some random protein powder they may not be able to digest. This is just fucking dangerous. I hope people know better than to consume celebrity cleanse powders. I mean, they DO NOT, but ugh. This is so goddamn irresponsible. I actually hate this woman now. Overpriced hotel room and spa recc’s are one thing and even insane diet tips are weird and entertaining but this is reckless.

      • Sometimes I imagine one of her kids getting their head stuck in the bannister while she’s writing yet another gem of a Goop post. Do castles have wooden or stone bannisters?

  7. Man: Hey, I’m the guy putting together that cleanse thing for you. Name is Alex Jung.

    Gwyneth: That won’t work. I will now call you “Dr. Alejandro Junger.”

    Man: I’m not a doctor. And it’s just “Alex.”

    Gwyneth: Have you met my gardener, Jose?

    Gardener: It’s John, ma’am.

  8. Is a goop cleanse what you need after you get after a Santorum?

  9. my doctor actually recommended a really good cleanse. it’s totally natural. it’s called your liver and your kidneys.

  10. Sorry but I’m saving my money for the Goop colonic.

  11. possible side-effects may include:

    • THAT picture is on the cardboard display at walmart. because YES. If Marion Cotillard looking pretty and Matt Damon looking grumpy can’t get me to buy this movie a picture of Gwyn looking fucked to the up will.

      ….i mean, i’ve seen it. i already know i’m not going to buy it. QUIT HARASSING ME PICTURE OF GWYNETH PALTROW!

  12. Even more evidence of GP’s barely concealed scatological obsession. First she names her website Goop, then she constantly talks about cleanses and the state of her bowels, now she comes up with her OWN cleanse (with some component named “Move,” gross). The woman is obsessed with poop!

  13. Wouldn’t his name be pronounced like ‘Dr. Hunger’? BODES WELL.

  14. most beauty products are marketed with completely meaningless pseudoscience. “look younger! micro-jujubes will eat your wrinkles! anti-aging particles will spackle in your acne scars! youre a girl, so i know science scares you and you wont think to hard about it! buy the splenda facial!”

  15. Speaking of awesome celebrity vanity projects, who here is sending their resume into Kanye West’s new insane corporation?

  16. The website still has filler text! It’s the perfect metaphor for Goop: very pretty, but ultimately shallow and lacking meaningful content. And trying to get you to buy expensive shit.

  17. Did he learn nothing from Entertainment 720 about flying too close to the sun?

  18. In my day … Goop was called Gak … and we liked it!

  19. Actually, some of us are still in a non-grinding state until next week. It’s nice being either a teacher or a Gwyneth Paltrow.

  20. But, no one oils their snakes any more…

  21. Look I realize not everyone studies immunology in school, but this hurts my brain. Look goop writers if your continuously eating “inflammatory foods” your most likely very stupid or poor or something lame. Plus “probiotic anti-microbials”. Think about it!

  22. I’m a big fan of the “probiotic antimicrobial”.

    We promote healthy bacteria! THEN DESTROY THEM.

  23. There’s nothing that we “are intended to do biologically”. There is “what we’ve evolved to do”, and that’s it. Plants were not put on Earth just for human consumption, they’re here for the same reason we are, just for the sake of surviving, hence why many are indigestible and/or poisonous to animals. And if meat were indigestible, it would cause diarrhea i.e. the opposite of sitting in your gut forever. Fibre is indigestible, which is exactly why it works the way it does. In terms of nutrition, no foods are inherently good or bad. All foods have good and bad stuff in them. Even plants contain toxins. And no, cleanses will not help your body get rid of these toxins, nor do you need them to. Luckily, you have a liver, and if it didn’t work, you’d be dead.

    • I agree although I think that saying fiber is indigestible is a bit misleading. Parts of it are not digestible in the sense that we don’t absorb certain nutrients from it, but those parts serve a purpose which is to promote colon health, clean the bowels and prevent constipation.

    • Isn’t that the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber?

  24. That was @badideajeans btw

    • You are not wrong. But some groups of people who grew up in different environs digest food differently — the blood type book from 10 years ago is very interesting in this. I happen to subscribe to the “Diet For A Small Planet” philosophy… but I’m a hippie. Also: I do eat fish, but only those caught in the wild that aren’t killing an ecosystem or are over-harvested — which is sadly a big issue with ahi tuna. (I’d give links but my yurt sucks.)

      I lived in *very* rural Iowa for four years and the pesticide runoff that went into the water supply I was supposed to drink was terrifying (on and off warnings for pregnant women and kids not to consume, etc.). And that was just from the grain chemicals. Apparently, when consumed by animals, the pesticides and/or antibiotics do not move out… especially and specifically in factory farming. And this was a big part of the area I lived in… So I went veggie (again).

      My point is that is if I couldn’t drink the fucking water, why would I want to eat a land animal that has it much worse than me?? (Then the rest of it — health, economy, environmental stuff, and the like.)

      But when you literally CANNOT DRINK THE WATER BECAUSE OF FACTORY FARM RUNOFF NIGHTMARES, you will rethink your eating ideas.

  25. how about a brain cleanse? or just a night of heavy drinking. that does wonders for your bowels.

  26. Or they could just try this great product. I mean, who could not trust Phil Hartman?>

  27. Guys, I’m doing a cleanse right now! Not the Goop Cleanse, but the “The Master Cleanse.” I just want to speak up for the other side, since the comments are streaming towards anti-cleanses.

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