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I’m not normally into New Year’s resolutions, and I didn’t even think about making any this year. But as we’re into yet another pandemic year — and following a holiday season where I did plenty of indulging and not enough moving for my taste — I’ve felt the need for a kick in the pants when it comes to trying out some healthier habits. Too much processed food and not enough exercise have left me feeling sluggish, so when I was given the opportunity to try goop’s G.Tox 7-Day Reset Kit, I was all in.
The reset plan, which retails for a pricey $195, includes seven days’ worth of plant-based protein powder, a grain-free cereal blend, a detoxifying powder, a gut microbiome powder, a dry brush, and a guide for navigating the plan, which also involves intermittent fasting. It also suggests avoiding all of the following: alcohol, coffee, corn, dairy, eggs, gluten, nightshades, refined sugar, shellfish, soy, and white rice. That’s a lot of avoiding. Still, I’ve done dry January before, so I can certainly do a week without alcohol. Shellfish? I rarely eat it anyway. White rice? Meh. But I’m a three-cups-of-coffee-a-day kind of gal, so giving up my morning joe will be a challenge. I can already feel the caffeine withdrawal headaches coming on. (Although… the list says coffee, not caffeine…)
The day before I start, I go grocery shopping. I hit my local farmers’ market, a grocery store, and my neighborhood health food store. I come home with more produce than I’ve ever bought at one time before. Many of the suggested reset recipes call for ingredients that I personally do not normally have on hand, like avocado oil, pitted dates, hemp seeds, and coconut yogurt. Some call for ingredients that I can’t find — even in my NYC health food store — like coconut kefir, and some are pricey enough that I simply decide I can do without. ($11.99 tub of chickpea miso, I’m looking at you.) I spend nearly $80 at the health food store alone.
Stocked and ready, I embarked on goop’s G.Tox 7-Day Reset — read on to see how it went:
I decide to start my intermittent fasting eating window a bit later — 10 am rather than the suggested 8 am. I settle on a smoothie with Reset Protein Powder, and make the Chocolate Cherry Almond Smoothie recipe provided in my reset guide. It’s not bad, but it’s not nearly as sweet as the smoothies I make for myself (which, to be fair, is part of the point, I guess). And while I have a decent blender, it isn’t quite powerful enough to pulverize the one pitted date called for. I find myself sucking up little chunks of date through my straw, and believe you me, I chew every damn one of those little bits. My breakfast is over very quickly.
At 11:30, I take the Detoxifying Superpowder, mixed with two ounces of water. It looks like mud and has an extremely unpleasant smokey flavor — is that the milk thistle? According to Goop, “It’s best taken like a daily shot: Mix one packet with two ounces of water, stir well, and knock it back.” Knock it back, indeed. Note to self for the remaining six days.
The D.Tox 7-Day Reset recommends eating your biggest, whole-food meal of the day around noon; since I’m starting my eating window later, I eat at 1:00. I made the Chickpea and Kale Curry recipe (adding diced sweet potato and serving it over brown rice, but otherwise following the vegan recipe as written) and it is delicious — warming, fragrant, and filling. I follow that, a few minutes later, with a sachet of the Gut Microbiome Superpowder mixed into water.
Dinner: Okay, I know “dinner” is supposed to be a smaller meal, but the quarter-cup of Reset Cereal feels especially paltry to me. Still, it’s a creamy canvas for other toppings, and I add one of the recommended combos — berries, toasted coconut, and nuts — and it’s tasty. I throw in another date for a sweet “dessert” and that’s it — it’s 6 pm, and I’m done eating for the day.
The Goop reset is all about self-care in other ways, and I made time for an hour-long walk with a friend earlier in the day. By 8:30, I’m utterly exhausted. I fall asleep on the couch while my family watches football. Curbing late-night snacking isn’t hard when you’re snoozing. And hey, 11 hours of shut-eye certainly counts as self-care, right?
Since I won’t have breakfast until 10, I start my day with warm water and lemon — something previous Goop detox plans have recommended. It’s not unpleasant, but it’s a poor substitute for coffee. Breakfast — when I finally have it — was a Matcha Avocado Smoothie with Reset Protein Powder, which is one of the recipes provided in my reset guide. It’s cold, creamy, and delicious. This one’s a winner.
Lunch is leftover curry — but I also made a point today to add mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks: a Granny Smith apple and, later in the day, a “guacamole” (made with a ½ avocado, cilantro, and lime juice) scooped onto a handful of gluten-free seeded crackers, which are surprisingly delicious.
When it’s time for dinner, I’m barely hungry, but I eat anyway, knowing that I’ll certainly be hungry later if I don’t. Because I’m pressed for time, I use the same toppings for my Reset Cereal. Pro tip: This is actually better — and faster — when made in the microwave instead of on the stovetop. And bonus: none of the precious cereal gets wasted from being stuck in the pan.
GP (that’s Gwyneth Paltrow to non-Goop readers) says the hardest day of a reset is day 3 — which is why she likes to start on a Wednesday. I started on a Monday. Day 3 does feel hard so far because I wake up still tired and there’s that pesky no-caffeine thing. Hello, hot water with lemon.
Another smoothie for breakfast (the plan’s Triple Berry Ginger Smoothie) but then comes lunch, and despite my Sunday shopping, I’m not actually prepared. I haven’t pre-made one of the plan’s recipes, but did I mention I have a fridge full of produce? I throw together a big salad with tons of greens and veggies, plus shredded rotisserie chicken that I have on hand, and it’s delicious.
By dinner time, I’m not even hungry — but I am tired, so in the spirit of self-care, I treat myself to a 20-minute power nap. I push my last meal of the day to 6:30 pm, this time doctoring up the cereal with one of the recommended savory combos: white beans, spinach, and garlic. Not eating for the rest of the evening doesn’t feel hard at all.
Today’s morning smoothie is a riff on the chocolate cherry smoothie from day one, with strawberries swapped in for cherries and an extra date for sweetness. Sweet! The detoxifying powder shot has — sorry, Goop — become my least favorite part of this plan, but I dutifully knock it back.
For lunch, I recreated yesterday’s salad — four different kinds of greens, roasted beets, roasted butternut squash… if I’m not glowing with good health, I should be. And once again, when it’s time for my last meal of the day, I’m really not hungry, and I’m not in the mood for another bowl of reset cereal. I eat a clementine and a handful of roasted pistachios instead. Who am I, even?
Who I am, as it turns out, is someone who was hungry at 8:30 pm, not 6:30 pm. Oh well.
We haven’t talked about dry brushing yet. The reset kit comes with a dry brush and instructions for using it. It’s something I’ve never done before, but I’ve been interested in trying, and I’m finding it’s a pleasant and easy way to invigorate my skin before my morning shower. Does it feel a little random that there’s a dry brush in a kit that’s otherwise wholly focused on eating? Sure, but I’m not mad about it.
Days 6 & 7
I’m not going to lie: I’m tired of the reset cereal at this point. But I’m enjoying my morning smoothies, and prepping a nutritious, filling lunch. To that point, I’m ending my 7-day reset strong: Saturday’s lunch is a roasted salmon filet with lemon and capers and roasted butternut squash — not a normal lunch for me by any means — and on Sunday, I make another Goop plan-approved recipe: Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Fennel, Apple, and Cabbage Slaw. It’s delicious! My weekend includes a long, brisk walk, a hot bath, and a hydrating sheet mask.
As I sit here on day 8, finally sipping what may be the most-anticipated cup of coffee in my life, I can say that I’m glad I did this reset, and I’m already thinking of ways to continue my newfound healthy habits. Intermittent fasting wasn’t as hard as I feared it would be, and I’m definitely considering continuing with it — although I might edge my eating window even later, because what I missed most was eating dinner with my family. I’m proud of the amount — and variety — of fruits and veggies I’ve consumed this past week. I never considered myself a smoothie-for-breakfast kind of person, but that has changed (in fact, I’m having another Goop-recipe smoothie for breakfast today!). I’ll continue dry-brushing. I discovered that while I really, really missed coffee, I could do with drinking less of it (or at least switching to decaf after one cup). And while it wasn’t my main goal, I did drop a few pounds.
The downsides: At $195, this Reset Kit is expensive. I most definitely was not a fan of the Detoxifying Superpower, and I personally got tired of the repetitiveness of the cereal blend. The good news is that several elements in the kit, from the dry brush to the superpowders, can be purchased a la carte. And tons of recipes are available for free online — so it’s possible to follow the basics of this plan without spending a lot of money.
For me, the cumulative effect is exactly what I’d hoped for: A renewed focus on eating healthy whole foods, cooking at home, moving my body, and carving out a few more minutes for self-care. And that’s a reset I can get behind.
Before you go, get inspired by these quotes celebrating healthy attitudes about food & body image:
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