Saturday 21 October 2017

Can you make Gwyneth's sex dust smoothie at home?

After the A-lister revealed what she eats first thing in the morning, our reporter goes on the hunt for the elusive ingredients. Ashwagandha and maca, anyone?

Rare breed: Gwyneth Paltrow has revealed more of her eating habits on her lifestyle blog.
Rare breed: Gwyneth Paltrow has revealed more of her eating habits on her lifestyle blog.
Vicki Notaro

Vicki Notaro

What did you have for breakfast this morning? I had scrambled eggs with tomato, spinach and chilli flakes and too much coffee. Rich in protein and nutrients, the egg dish is my go-to healthy brekkie when avoiding the lure of sliced pan, and I'm always pretty pleased with myself when I eat it because it's both delicious and nutritious.

But apparently I'm doing breakfast wrong. According to self-professed celebrity health guru and sometime actress Gwyneth Paltrow, a "smoothie" containing Moon Dust, cordyceps and ho shou wu is the only way to start your morning.

As stated on her lifestyle website goop.com, the mum of two "drinks one of these every morning whether she is detoxing or not."

As well as the aforementioned ingredients, this liquid breakfast also contains almond milk and butter, coconut oil, vanilla mushroom protein powder, maca, ashwagandha and a pinch of Himalayan sea salt.

Paltrow's diet has long been the stuff of celebrity legend. In the 90s, she was known for eating a strict macrobiotic diet consisting mostly of "well-chewed grains", some vegetables and fish. Then in 2011, she released a cookbook called My Father's Daughter full of, well, regular foods, leading many to believe she'd relaxed a bit when it came to eating.

However as goop.com grew out of a weekly newsletter, Paltrow's eating habits started making headlines again due to her fondness for advising others on how to improve their lives through consuming unpronounceable ingredients.

This latest recipe is the most baffling yet - especially when you read the footnotes and see that Paltrow recommends you "choose your moon dust depending on what the day ahead holds… brain before a long day at the office, sex dust before a date, etc".

She also recommends "Action Dust to soothe overworked muscles, Beauty Dust for a glowy complexion and healthy hair, Brain Dust to combat mental fogginess, Goodnight Dust when sleep has been evasive, Sex Dust, for, you know, and Spirit Dust to get that extrasensory perception going."

What, I hear you cry, is Moon Dust? Well, it's a series of products created by Californian health food shop owner Amanda Chantal Bacon.

Despite her surname, Bacon leads a plant-based life and went viral herself last year when a food diary she wrote for Elle magazine appeared online.

Perhaps it's not surprising that a woman who drinks silver needle and calendula tea from a copper cup in the mornings is the brains behind Moon Juice, a line of "live, medicinal" foods including the aforementioned dusts.

The entire "dust" collection retails for $340 on her website (with 15.5 servings of each dust per pot), yet sadly doesn't ship outside the United States. Handily, you can also buy some of the dusts on goop.com for between $50 and $60 each, yet they won't reach these here shores either.

Dust is a fancy, cosmic term that fits in nicely with Bacon's branding. In reality, it's a mix of ground-up organic ingredients that you add to a liquid to consume. Casting your eye over the list of ingredients in Brain Dust you may get a fright - but don't worry, Lion's Mane is in fact a kind of rare mushroom.

If you want to get your mitts on some Dust, you're going to have to take a trip to the States, or ask a visiting relative to bring some back for you the way you once requested Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or cheap Levi's.

But I wondered, can you source the rest of these ingredients here in Ireland?

The nut butters, milks and oils are no problem; since the clean-eating boom in recent years, variations of these are even available in Tesco and LIDL.

A few calls to health stores told me that ashwagamdha is actually quite common; Irish shop Nourish sells the powder online and in store for €8.95, and also stock cordyceps, albeit in capsule form.

When I enquired whether you can open the capsule and add it to a blended drink, I was told you probably could, but the sales assistant didn't know how it would taste.

Maca, a cruciferous plant, is available in powder form from several health food stores, retailing from €9.95-€34.96 depending on quantity and brand.

But I wasn't able to track down any ho shou wu, or tuber fleeceflower, in Irish or UK health food stores. And surprise, surprise, vanilla mushroom protein is another Moon Juice product unavailable outside America. I could find pea protein, whey, even soy, but not mushroom.

So it seems we Irish will have to go without Gwyneth's wonder smoothie; even if you are desperate to emulate Paltrow's diet, the raw materials just haven't made it to this country - yet.

A few years ago, coconut oil was hard to get, so never underestimate the powers of a health food craze on consumers.

Why anyone would want to follow Paltrow's diet remains to be seen.

Often criticised for being horribly out of touch, this is the same woman that uttered the immortal phrases "I'd rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin" and "I'd rather die than let my kids eat Cup-A-Soup."

It's also interesting that this particularly bizarre recipe would garner attention mere weeks before the release of Paltrow's latest cookery book, It's All Easy.

The tome comprises 125 recipes with "little or no sugar, fat or gluten" and promises something for everyone.

Perhaps the book will appeal to a wider audience than the goop elite.

Paltrow meanwhile, is unapologetic about her lifestyle. As she told Elle UK in 2009, "I am who I am. I can't pretend to be somebody who makes $25,000 a year." Fair enough, love.

Irish Independent

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