Questions & Answers

    This week we begin to answer a fraction of the many excellent questions posed by you, our lovely readers. We have decided to start with some of the most frequently asked ones and we will continue in the fall and beyond (some questions require their own newsletter!) Thank you for sharing your curiosities!


    P.S. Goop is going on vacation! See you in September.

    Q: “How might a 40 something jump start a sluggish metabolism?”

    Dr. Oz Garcia (who I've been working with, gave us his answer):

    A: Staying slim and fit is always a challenge but maintaining your girly figure after age forty can be an all out battle. Even maintaining an exact diet and fitness regimen will not beat the penalty of aging.

    On average, women gain 25 pounds between the ages of 30 and 60 and it’s not from eating those extra Twinkies. During the course of the natural aging process, women shed lean muscle mass. These lean muscles are the force from which calories are burned even while sitting around and just blinking.

    Technically speaking, a pound of lean tissue burns 35 to 50 K’s each day. A loss of just a half-pound of lean muscle could cause you to gain three pounds in just one year, 25 pounds in 10 years, 50 pounds in 20 years and a hefty 75 pounds in 30 years.

    So in order for women to stay lean well into their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s they need to maintain those lean muscles. This means working out every day. Yes, every day. Exercise with increased resistance and lower reps will provide increased muscle density and bone strength.

    Interval training, when you get your heart pumping at maximum capacity and then slow down for a period of recovery, is great for losing weight in your 20’s and 30’s. Once you’re a bit older, however, you want to regulate your cardio training into a steady bell-shaped progression. Start off slow, work to a crescendo and then work you way back down.

    Oh yes, there’s also an eating component. (Don’t act surprised, you knew it was coming.)

    • A good cleanse or detox, like Blue Print Cleanse and Organic Avenue, is an incredible way to jump-start your metabolism.
    • You need to eat lots of lean animal proteins, like salmon or white meat chicken to help you stay fueled and burn calories.
    • Green tea is a metabolic enhancer and natural diuretic that will keep your body flush and lean.
    • Lose the wheat and gluten. Wheat can work as a hormone disrupter and alter your appetite to increase cravings. There are enough good and healthy carbs and starches that won’t gob on the fat and cause your metabolism and energy levels to become sluggish.
    • Try to eat five to six small meals a day. Micro-mealing doesn’t allow you to get too hungry between meals. By eating every few hours, you keep your metabolism firing, your blood sugar stable, and leave your body in a much better state to burn energy.
    • Plan your meals in advance - classic Mediterranean or Japanese are good choice. Also make sure to have ”go-to” snacks such as pistachio’s, fruit, and even eggs on hand at home or at work.

    Ready for the good news? Studies show that starting at age 65 the body naturally begins to slowly lose weight. Social Security, here we come!

    – Dr. Oz Garcia
    Dr. Oz Garcia is a New York city based nutritionist. He is an expert in anti-aging nutrition and the author of several books on the matter including, “Redesigning 50: The No-Plastic-Surgery Guide to 21st-Century Age Defiance

    Q: “goop often has contributions from professionals in their field, other celebrities, as well as highlights of certain restaurants and stores in a city. How do you pick which specific people or places to include - are they truly favorites hand-picked by Gwyneth or are some of them paid advertisements or something else?”

    A: Everything on this website is authentically recommended by me, whether it be something I absolutely love, something that was recommended to me by a trusted friend or something I’m planning to try. All the content is tried and tested by me or a goop certified source, and of course, nothing here is an advertisement.

    Q: “I want to book a really amazing restaurant for my fiancé and I as we consider ourselves 'foodies' and love visiting restaurants on our travels. Do you have recommendations for restaurants that have a degustation or tasting menu in the West Hollywood & Beverly Hills, area?”

    A: Here are a few I would recommend:

    Osteria Mozza
    6602 Melrose Avenue
    +323 297 0100

    For the true Italophile, pull out all the stops and order the 7 course Pasta Tasting Menu from Mario Batali, Nancy Silverton and Joseph Bastianich’s Hollywood locale. If you choose, you can accompany each course with their suggested wine.

    6703 Melrose Avenue
    +323 935 2977

    For dinner there are three pre-fixe menus to choose from – vegetarian, seasonal or the chef’s “Spontanée Tasting Menu” which is completely up to Quinn and Karen Hatfield’s whim of the day. His dishes and her desserts are always inventive and unexpected – flavor combinations you’ve never tried and want to savor for as long as the bite will last you.

    5955 Melrose Avenue
    +323 460 4170

    This is one of the best places in LA for fish. The dishes are experimental yet subtle and the outcome is delicious. The tasting menu will leave you incredulous at how many different kinds of seafood you’ve had and how wonderful the entire experience is.

    1104 Wilshire Blvd
    +310 395 0881

    I come here often for luxe ingredients like lobster and caviar, made with a nod to traditional French technique, earns Melisse a 2 star Michelin Rating. A tasting menu is basically mandatory at a place like this, and if you’re adventurous go for Chef Josiah Citrin’s Carte Blanche menu.

    A.O.C Winebar
    8022 West 3rd Street
    +323 653 6359

    This is a favorite of mine and definitely a stop whenever I’m in LA. A.O.C doesn’t have a tasting menu, but it’s the kind of place where you can order a lot of tapas and small plates and enjoy the full spectrum.

    Q: “Where would you recommend to stay in the Tuscany Region?”

    A: Years ago my father and I went on a road trip across Tuscany together. We started at Cetona on the border of Tuscany and Umbria. From there we took a daytrip to Orvieto, where the “Duomo,” the cathedral there, is not to be missed. Pienza was next, followed by Cortona, where we stayed at the Hotel Villa Marsili in a Villa in a 14th Century building inside the city walls. Vineyards in Montepulciano and Montalcino are only half an hour away. We then headed to Siena, where the main square and streets leading up to it are filled with food shops selling hand-rolled pici, glass jars of San Marzano tomatoes, cheese and other Italian specialties. Next was Firenze. In nearby Fiesole, there is a wonderful hotel named Villa San Michele. It's one of the most luxurious and lovely hotels in Italy, so consider treating yourself. An ex-monastery, Villa San Michele’s façade was designed by Michaelangelo. It’s an incredibly luxurious place to stay and the Tuscan food is delicious. Finally in the walled city of Lucca, we stayed at a lovely 10 room hotel named Locanda l’Elisa. The leaning tower of Pisa is only an hour away, but the town of Lucca itself is full of monuments, monasteries, churches and cathedrals to see. We were on our way to the Hotel Splendido in Portofino, but our trip was cut short. I still daydream about staying there - it looks like it lives up to its name.

    Q: Next year is a big birthday for me so I'm gathering up friends and  family and heading to Provence.

    It's such a vast region and I need our home base to be in an area that  offers:

    • a charming town with at least a few restaurants, shops
    • close to vineyards for the wine lovers
    • less than an hour's drive to the sea for the beach combers
    • NOT crazy touristy (we are tourists but hope for a slightly more organic experience)”

    A: La Colombe d’Or in Saint-Paul de Vence, where rock stars and cognoscenti stay, sounds fantastic.  Artists like Picasso, Miro, Braque, Chagall and Calder stayed here and you can see their contributions throughout the hotel.  Guests of the hotel have their own table guaranteed at the popular restaurant for every night of their stay. I hear the service is outstanding.  

    Saint-Paul de Vence is a medieval town that is basically intact and full of interior design boutiques, art galleries and gourmet shops. It does tend to be touristy, so one suggestion is to go during the off-season. The famous Fondation Maeght – the home of an incredible Modern and Contemporary Art collection - is in St. Paul and most definitely worth a visit. The Fondation also owns the nearby Le Mas Bernard vineyard. Le Mas wines are a rare treat, as you won’t find them sold in the United States

    I had the most terrific meal at La Chevre d'Or in Cote d'Azur (so not in Provence, but nearby and still highly recommended). Not only was the food there out of this world, but the view from the dining room was breathtaking. I can only imagine staying there would be the same. The town of Eze, where it's located, is a true medieval village that overlooks the sea.

    Finally, the Grand Hotel Nord Pinus in Arles is the place to stay in the culturally booming city. The historic hotel has welcomed people like Picasso and Napoleon and the hotel’s decor has a funky lived-in feel. Arles cannot be beat for Provencal culture, and this hotel is one of its fixtures. A short journey from the hotel is the Camargue, an enormous and beautiful wildlife reserve.

    Q: “Do you have any recommendations for either Yoga or Pilates DVD's?”

    A: Elena Brower, my yoga teacher, recommends her favorite yoga videos below and as for Mat Pilates, I recommend Tracy Anderson’s Perfect Design Series videos, which take a mat workout to the next level.

    Q: “Have you posted anything about yoga? I practice yoga almost every single day and thoroughly enjoy my time on the mat. Do you have any advice, tidbits to share about your love of yoga?”

    A: We approached Elena Brower, the founder of Virayoga in NYC, for some advice, a few basic poses, and some tips on videos, etc:

    As a teacher and student of Anusara® yoga, I'm always increasing my physical fluency in order to reveal some sort of internal expansion, whether physical or otherwise. You can see it and feel it when you watch someone versed in Anusara; there is always a sense reaching farther and opening more, within the architecture of the pose. When I precisely articulate my body through the Universal Principles of Alignment™, I experience more space in my joints, along with more strength in my muscles. Even more importantly, that spaciousness reverberates as patience in my mind, steadiness in my interactions (especially with my child!), and sweetness in my heart. I'm learning to give preference to love over fear, and to find gratitude for the craziest, wildest circumstances in my life. That is where the real abundance comes in, and the yoga on the mat becomes the yoga of living... and that's what lights me up about this practice. 

    I also have some major help from the coaches at The Handel Group who are teaching me another level of TRUTH and integrity - that work has been a pivotal complement to my Anusara studies. The coaches give game-changing workshops and seminars online also, which have literally shifted the way I see what is possible in my life and my yoga.


    For videos — i'd categorically recommend . It's a genius, inexpensive way to get all sorts of quality yoga with excellent teachers in a gorgeous, sunlit space, right in your home. I'm a "yogaglo" teacher. See

    Pose 1

    Standing tall, inhale to raise your arms up high. Root your feet, relax your toes, send your thighs back in space. Keep your legs straight and lengthen your tailbone down, then breathe into the center of your chest and expand the space around and within your heart for a few breaths. Just to explore for yourself how the alignment of your legs works, relax your legs completely and try the breathing again. It's less deep and more shallow when your legs aren't engaged. You'll see that it's much more open interiorly when the legs are aligned and strong. 

    Pose 2

    Downdog is one of the most widely known poses. Start standing, then fold down over your legs and step to the back of your mat or space. Place your hands shoulder-width apart, and your feet hip-width apart. Make sure the weight on your inner and outer feet is evenly balanced, and your kneecaps are facing forward, then press your hands down to breathe all the way up into your heart and expand there, opening that space to usher in more gratitude with each breath. As you exhale, root back down from your heart to your hands, and lengthen up from your heart to your sitting bones. Lengthen your spine and enjoy your breathing for a few moments. If your arms get tired, root the tips of your fingers more clearly, and keeping your hands where they are, hug your forearms toward the middle of your mat. 

    Pose 3

    Downdog Split is a fun one, because you'll see progress quickly with practice.  From downdog, bring your feet to touch at the center of your mat, hug your arms  toward the midline of your mat and raise one leg high. Keeping your arms and hands grounded, lengthen the leg as high as you can, and press your standing leg thigh back in space to stabilize. Breathe deeply; invite your breathing once again to surround, expand and infuse your heart with gratitude, and then send that quality of thankfulness back out through your limbs, your eyes, your breathing. 

    Pose 4

    To rinse and cleanse your interior space and organs, this pose is a great beginning to a delicious twist practice. From downdog split, place the high foot between your hands and turn your feet parallel. Walk your hands to the center between your feet, and come onto your fingertips. With your feet wide, make sure your toes are soft and your outer feet are grounded, and raise one arm to the sky into a twist. Keep your thighs moving back so your pelvis is stable, and lengthen your tailbone toward the floor between your feet. Twist from your navel, and breathe throughout your upper body, grounding your feet and legs, opening and clearing the internal space, in and around your organs and heart. 

    Pose 5

    Take a seat and rest your hands palms facing down on your thighs.  Breathe for a few minutes and observe your thoughts, your visions, your heartbeat. Feel gratitude in your heart for all the good and then  be grateful for all the challenges; they are propelling you forward.  Greet yourself with sweetness here. 

    Q: “I’d like to know about new cutting edge facials and techniques for natural glowing beauty at home. I would love to know about great products that we could learn about. Also anti aging techniques would be great, as many say "oh, I drink a lot of water or stay out of the sun." But in reality they have perfectly line free, plumped, spot free skin. What can we do for lasers, peels, light therapy, tricks of the trade etc.. To stay looking healthy and vibrant?”

    A: Dr. Fredric Brandt is a cosmetic dermatologist notable for launching at-home skincare treatments that actually work and don’t require a prescription or a visit to the doctor. Here is one product from his line that I use and recommend especially. It really works.

    dr. brandt® laser a-peel ($75)

    dr. brandt® laser a-peel is just like an in-office peel. The great thing about it is that it comes as a combination of two bottles, one that that does a deep, exfoliating peel and one that soothes the skin.

    Q: “What products have the best reputation for the various skin types (cleansers, exfoliators, moisturizers, etc.)? What REALLY works? What is GP's regime? The same questions go for makeup as well. What is the best of the best?”

    A: When it comes to my skin-care regime, I use a grab-bag of makeup, creams, and oils that I like to mix and match on a daily basis. Here are a few of the products that I love and that really stand out:

    I use Stella McCartney’s Purifying Foaming Cleanser for a gentle wash each day.

    Rodin’s Olio Lusso ($140): This all-natural moisturizing oil leaves skin looking radiant. It has a subtle lovely fresh scent, too.

    I love Intelligent Nutrients products which are all organic. The Anti-Aging Serum ($60.00) and the Anti-Aging Mist ($35.00) work in conjunction to eliminate signs of aging and make skin look luminous.

    In the winter, when my skin gets especially dry, I use a combination of products from Skinceuticals. A few drops of Hydrating B5 Gel ($67) goes a long way in helping to keep my skin fully moisturized. I use this along with their A.G.E Interrupter ($150) which fights wrickles and C E Ferulic ($142), their anti-oxidant, after washing my face, neck and chest.

    My LA facialist, Sonya Dakar, has an eco-friendly group of anti-aging products called Neutrasphere that I find really works.

    I like to use bright lipstick when all the rest of my makeup is minimal. A few months ago, I found the most gorgeous and sleek box set of Tom Ford lipstick. From his line of makeup, these lipsticks come in 12 essential colors. The set can be purchased in Neiman Marcus and Saks in the US and at Selfridges in the UK (after August 1st).

    I use Chanel’s Ecriture Automatic Liquid Eyeliner ($34) and Soleil Tan ($48) as a Bronzer.

    Laura Mercier’s Undercover Pot ($34), I find, is the ultimate blemish and under-eye circle cover-up. It comes in a pot with a 3 product combo that you can mix up to hide blemishes.

    Estee Lauder’s TurboLash Mascara ($32) has a brush that actually vibrates to curl and give lashes volume and length.

    For Blush, I stick with Stila’s Convertible Color ($25) which gives a nice glow.

    I’ve been using Kiehl’s #1 lip balm forever. It's permanantly in my handbag.

    Bobbi Brown’s Tinted Moisturizing Balm ($50) is the perfect foundation with SPF 25 as a major plus. The Everything Mascara ($22) is also one of my everyday essentials.

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