What to kick and what to keep
In actress-turned-lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great, the list of foods that she claims to have axed from her personal diet will almost certainly give you sadface. Specifically: coffee, eggs, sugar, shellfish, deepwater fish, potatoes, tomatoes, bell pepper, eggplant, corn, wheat and meat.
Wheat/gluten: There’s some value to what Gwyneth’s saying about wheat and gluten intake. Most of us eat too much refined wheat. Instead, Marissa recommends sunflower whole wheat bread, quinoa, faro, and other “good carbs.”
Potatoes: Marissa suggests that this may have more to do with feeling full/heavy after eating spuds rather than any kind of health risk or allergy. Potatoes—especially sweet potatoes—contain fiber, iron and vitamin C.
Pepper/eggplant: Where Gwyneth is probably coming from here is an emphasis that Eastern medicine has on the cons of nightshade (a diverse group of foods, plants and herbs that are high in an alkaloid called solanine, which also includes potatoes, tobacco, tomatoes, paprika, pimento and cayenne peppers).
Shellfish, deepwater fish: As for the deepwater, it’s probably concern over the mercury content. Marissa recommends salmon as a crazy-healthy alternative. (Incidentally, so does Gwyneth.)
Tomatoes: They’re one of the best antioxidant sources out there, especially when cooked!
Coffee: Yup, we’ve all heard this one before. But Marissa says that one to two cups a day of your Mr. Coffee office brew is okay. Just don’t overdo it.
Sugar: Gwynnie’s on to something. It goes without saying that a high intake of processed sugar—NOT just the occasional cupcake—is one of the worst things you can do to your body. High levels of sugar and sodium are all around us, even in unexpected places (like ketchup.)
On the other hand, fresh fruit is one place to get “good” sugar, and it will change the sort of uppers that your body craves.
Meat: To us, this one was quite surprising, as chicken (if not steak, pork, and other obvious cholesterol-spikers) is often found on acceptable diet food lists. “It’s all about how the chicken was raised and fed,” says Marissa. She recommends getting free range, organic birds whenever possible.
Eggs: What?! No! Luckily, eggs can stay in your life. It's the same as the chicken requirements above—it’s all about where your omelet was before it was on the plate. “There’s a totally different nutrient profile when you buy locally-sourced eggs,” says Marissa.
So while you may not want to axe all of these delicious dishes from your daily nutrition regimen, you can certainly rock it Gwyneth-style when it comes to caffeine, sugar, and carefully-curated local products. Look for Marissa Lippert's new restaurant in New York's West Village, Nourish Kitchen Table, slated to open this May with farm-fresh meals.