Who doesn't want to look like the luminous-skinned and head-to-toe toned Gwyneth Paltrow?Gwyneth Paltrow is on fire at the moment. She's looking and feeling fantastic, all of which is down to her strict and healthy diet. She's been kind enough to share her top tips and recipes with us mere mortals in her new book, It's All Good. But how easy is Gwyneth's diet for the average women, juggling a hectic lifestyle, who doesn't have a Whole Foods on their doorstep? I challenged the Marie Claire online team to try and out some of Ms Paltrow's recipes and report back on how they felt the star's diet could realistically be followed.
Eleanor Young, online deputy editor
Recipe: Special Green Juice
Difficulty rating: As easy as they come! Given her gorgeous, glowing skin, I was only too pleased to try out one Gwyneth's sworn-by recipes. As a smoothie fan already, I'm relatively used to chopping and zesting on a Sunday night to make a stock of healthy drinks for the week, but even by my standards, the recipe was extremely simple. There were only few ingredients, so it was just a case of pop them in the blender, strain and go.
Taste: I'll admit I wasn't overly keen when I discovered the juice consisted of Kale (part of the cabbage family, and not meant to be drunk, surely?!), but I was pleasantly surprised. The deep, goo-green colour took a bit of getting used to, but the apple, ginger and sprig of mint made it taste (almost) like a cocktail, and I felt energised and zingy afterwards.
Problems: The only problem I encountered was tracking down the Kale. While my little Tesco metro didn't have much more than an sorry looking orange, the friendly greengrocer down the road had everything I needed. I don't own a juicer (which Gwyneth recommends), but used a blender instead and found it absolutely fine.
Worth the effort? Totally. I'm tempted to make another batch for next week, and that's saying something!
Rebecca Twomey, online writer
Recipe: Mango and Avocado Salad with Balsamic-Lime Vinaigrette
Difficulty rating: Salads aren't too hard to assemble but this needed to be served immediately after preparing, so I had fun trying to do this at my desk. Cutting a mango, squeezing a lime and 'whisking' the dressing (ok, I didn't do this part, sorry Gwyn) proved a little challenging with a plastic knife.
Taste: If you like sweet and savoury this is perfect. The mix of flavours worked really well, although it can be a bit acidic with the dressing, and I really liked this. I wanted a bit of protein to make it more of a lunch so I added fish, too.
Problems: I had to try four local supermarkets before I could find the ingredients and that was just to get mango and avocado. I couldn't find any brown rice syrup, not that I even know what it is, so omitted that part.
Worth the effort? It's a tasty summer lunch or good addition to a barbecue so I'll certainly be trying it again, just not one to make in the office.
Lisa Potter, online assistant
Recipe: Grilled Salmon With Grilled Lemon Vinaigrette
Difficulty rating: Embarrassingly easy. I was able to rustle mine up as a packed lunch at 7am, half-asleep, and still make my train to work on time. Pretty sure this is how Gywny does it too.
Taste: Even taking into account that my masterpiece wasn't actually consumed immediately, after drizzling the vinaigrette over the salmon, with sheer pride, come lunch time, the meal was light and surprisingly tasty.
Problems: Running around MC HQ works up quite the appetite let me assure you, and although the dish was a dream to make, me and Gwyn differ on what makes an adequate meal. In her gluten-, sugar-, dairy-, and meat-free world I'm sure this is a feast, but I was starving by 4pm. Now where's that cupcake...
Suzannah Ramsdale, online news editor
Recipe: Turkey and Black bean Chilli With Sweet Potatoes
Difficulty rating: This was essentially a normal recipe for chilli with most of the ingredients swapped for their much healthier counterparts, so it was no problem for a chilli con carne regular like myself. I found Gwyn's recipe easy to follow. Her instructions were straight to the point and free of pointless waffle.
Taste: The finished item was very salty, but I'm almost positive that was entirely my fault. I was so scared that this healthy version of a chilli would be bland that I over seasoned. Fool. If not for my own error, I think this would have made a very tasty and filling dinner. I would also have added more chilli powder to taste as the recipe was a little on the mild side, for me.
Problems: The only issue I had with this recipe, and Gwyn's book in general, is that the ingredients and measurements are in American lingo. It was only down to some furious googling in the middle of the supermarket aisle that I realised pimenton is paprika and that a 28-ounce can of tomatoes is in fact a 400g tin of the red stuff.
Worth the effort? If you're on a healthy kick, this is certainly a great way to lose calories and skip all the naughtiness of red meat.
Fiona Raisbeck, online style writer
Recipe: Japanese Chicken Meatballs
Difficulty rating: This was a really easy-peasy recipe to follow, which involved mixing one pound of ground chicken meat with everyday ingredients such as sea salt, black pepper, garlic and soy sauce before rolling into golf ball-sized meatballs and cooking under the grill.
Taste: High in protein and therefore very healthy, these chicken meatballs were delicious thanks to the pings of spicy ginger and sweetness of maple syrup that was added to the meatball mixture.
Problems: None. Despite the book featuring American lingo and measurements, this recipe was mainly teaspoons and tablespoons of ingredients, so was easy to follow.
Worth the effort? Yep. If you’re bored of your usual plain grilled chicken then give this dish a whirl as the mix of spices and flavours gives it a bit of a kick. Yum!
It's All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow, is available to buy from Amazon now.