Eating Smart for Body & Mind: Beets w/ Mint Pesto & Gwyneth

Buckle your seat belts, this is going to be a long one.

Let me start this post by talking about Gwyneth Paltrow.

I find it odd that people have such strong feelings towards her (read the reviews of her cookbooks). You either love her or hate her.

She is very easy to make fun of.

Why is that?

Is it because she is from a privileged Hollywood family? or because she is married to the lead singer from Cold Play and lives in London, L.A. and NYC.

Is it because she is 6 feet tall and wears a size 4 jeans? or that she speaks Spanish like she was born in Madrid.

Or is it because she is righteous about what she believes in.
A good, healthy lifestyle.

Her website GOOP is super popular (I have no interest in her favorite restaurant in Brooklyn, I have my own).

It could be jealousy, but I doubt that.
After reading her new cookbook "It's All Good", you find out, it's really NOT all that good.

She suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, migraine headaches, she has thyroid problems, had terrible postpartum depression, is anemic...........the list goes on.

She is a big hot mess, like the rest of us.

She saw some alternative doctors, who put her on cleanses and eliminated foods from her diet, instead of medication, which I am a big believer in (unless you have a bacterial infection).

She eliminated wheat (gluten), white sugar, nightshades (eggplants, potatoes) and anything from the cow (meat, cheese, milk, etc).

Blah, blah, blah. Seems everyone is getting on that train.

She claims that healthy eating has changed her life totally. Not a bad thing.

She says she feels like a new woman.

Could all this healthy eating have some truth to it?

I think it might be a combination of positive thinking and eating good things on her part. Why make fun of that?

When I looked thru this newest cookbook, I laughed. Who needs to know how to bake a sweet potato or boil and egg? Not me.
Most of these recipes I already make in my head (so where's my damn cookbook?).

If you've noticed, I try and eat local, that includes eating fish in season, also which is sustainable; meats in moderation (and only from a reputable butcher who I PERSONALLY KNOW); organic chicken and eggs only; and produce from my garden or from someone who grows it within 50 miles from my house.

I make my own chicken stock (but not all the time), don't buy processed foods, and do my part to support local food co-ops and farms. I'm not perfect (like Gwynnie), but I really try.

I try not to preach (but it sometimes spits out), this is a lifestyle choice. I do it because I feel good and I want my husband and my family to be healthy. Nothing more than that. Plus I like good food (in case you haven't noticed).

We all can take in the knowledge, it's what we do with the information afterward that matters.

There's no proof that organic is better, but I personally like knowing that my hands picked my beets, and that they were treated with nothing but love and care and maybe a slug or two.

So good for me, and good for you, Gwyneth.
You still annoy me, but I am enjoying your book anyway.

Here is a simple recipe from the book, which I could have easily written, but I didn't.

Beets w/ Mint Pesto (adapted from It's All Good):

4 local beets, any color, leaves trimmed
olive oil and kosher salt

Mint Scallion Pesto:

big handful of mint leaves
1/4 cup whole almonds
1 garlic clove
pinch of sea salt
bunch of scallions
1/4 cup of olive oil

Drizzle olive oil and kosher salt over the trimmed beets. Cover in a foil packet.
Roast in a 400F for about an hour. Wait until beets are cool enough to handle, then slip off skins and cut into dice or wedges.

Whiz the mint leaves with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor. Add the olive oil a bit at a time.

Spoon the pesto over the beets and serve.

I know I can be long winded sometimes, so thank you for listening!

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gourmet goddess said…
I agree with your comments , but there are a lot of poeole out there who are both cooking and food challenged who need this rather simplistic guidance from someone who in their eyes looks good and has everything going for them.

I watched her PBS series about the cooking road trip through Spain and cringed anytime she got involved because she just did not fit .When you are standing next to cooking heavyweights like Batali and Bittman - how can Gweyneth possibly be taken seriously !!!!!!

But if she can educate even one person to eat better and locally then she has done her job .

Just my rant for a thursday morning

Anonymous said…
No apologies - if you weren't long-winded we wouldn't have your delightful blog to enjoy, Ms. Snacks! GOOP kills me, but then, each time I watch THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, I am again impressed by her undeniable talent. She's a flake, the LAST person I'd go to for health/medical advice, but a very talented flake. Her particular type of flakiness is so common among actors. I'm such a sucker for artists that I cut them a lot of slack!
Stacey Snacks said…
I too, like her as an actress (I love The Royal Tennenbaums, I could watch it weekly), but not as a health guru.

But it's her choice, and if she feels better, healthwise, than good for her.

I also had to turn off the Batali PBS series SPAIN, I could not stand one more minute of her.

Carole said…
So where IS your damn cookbook, Stacey? RE the PBS series, I watched it and enjoyed Batali's kvetching.
Unknown said…
I. Love. Me. Some. Stacey.
Lanie said…
I'm right there with you.
I get a visceral feeling when I see GP talk about health and her lifestyle, however, for some reason I am fascinated by her claims at the same time.
I am a healthy eater, like you.
No soda, hot dogs, the normal "bad" things, but do we really need a book on how to boil an egg and how to make a salad?
Common good sense people. You'd hope most people know by now what to eat and what not to eat.
Guess not.
Thanks for this post. I enjoyed it.
Anonymous said…
OMG, the tent scene! With Mick singing SHE SMILED SWEETLY! I love the movie, and I've infected all my sons with Tenenbaum fever. We've listened to the impeccably well chosen soundtrack in the minivan a LOT, the result being that the boys are enthusiastic fans of the Ramones, The Clash, The Velvet Underground, Nick Drake. Another dent in the health guru rep - her Margot is way too handy with the ciggies for me to believe that GOOP never fires up in real life. Smoking subbing for dessert - a perfect formula for fitting in your size 4 jeans!
Catherine said…
She has admitted to smoking, apparently to only a couple a week, but if you admit to that, then no doubt you smoke more. She also has osteopenia, the forerunner to osteoporosis, probably due to her crazy diet in her twenties. She also professes to have come up with all her published recipes despite having a professional cook as a ghostwriter.
Another example of putting your feet in another's shoes. Post postpartum depression? From experience, that is not party time. So as you said, good for her for taking care of herself. PS Love the pictures from your garden!! have a great weekend.
Anonymous said…
Yes! You have great recipes and could definitely have a successful cookbook! Can't wait.
John said…
Probably the worst title ever for a cookbook.
Dana said…
That's my Stacey! I was nodding all through this post. I understand the Gwyneth haters, although I personally don't hate her. Beautiful, skinny, successful, rich, bilingual may be too much for most people to take. Also, most people don't cook or eat like you do - they eat a ton of processed foods and crap. So a book like this would be revelatory. But you are already doing just about everything right so no need. :)