Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Early this morning, a pack of journalists, myself included, clamber into a loft on the third floor of Haven’s Kitchen in New York City’s Flatiron neighborhood. We are attending a breakfast with none other than Gwyneth Paltrow, in celebration of the launch of the new organic skincare line Goop, which launched earlier this week.
Ever since I spent an afternoon in a barn in Paltrow’s backyard last summer, interviewing the team for a feature I wrote about Goop, I’ve become increasingly interested in GP and her health-and-wellness brand. And after reading reviews of the new products, I was more than intrigued when an event invite landed in my inbox.
And so I arrive good and hungry, ready for the expected chia pudding and avocado toast I am usually graciously fed at fashion PR events. Instead, several glorious smoothie stations are set up: we are going to make GP’s Morning Smoothie.
Paltrow wears a gauzy white top, white jean bell bottoms, blue suede platforms, and her signature beauty look: blond hair, straight and flowing, and makeup subtle but fresh. (While I love a casual Friday outfit, I instantly regret my men’s sweater and Ugg boots). Paltrow has a table set up at the head of two long, wooden farm tables, where each of the eight smoothie stations holds a KitchenAid and 11 small glass bowls with mysterious powders.
"I do really believe that beauty comes from within, mostly how you feel about yourself and treat yourself, but also in the form of nutrition and taking care of yourself from the inside," Paltrow tells the group. "And I really am a smoothie person. I love making a morning smoothie and then will drink some coffee and will not eat at all before lunch."
GP’s ingredients of choice come from none other than Moon Juice, the LA juice and beauty brand started by Amanda Chantal Bacon, whom Paltrow describes as a "gorgeous white witch." The recipe is as follows:
1 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons vanilla mushroom protein powder
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon maca
1 teaspoon ashwagandha
1 teaspoon cordyceps
1 teaspoon of Moon Juice Sex Dust
1 teaspoon of Moon Juice Beauty Dust
pinch of Himalayan sea salt
pinch of vanilla powder
I follow along through every step diligently, paying no mind to the fact that I can’t pronounce half the names of the ingredients, that some of these items had the internet roaring with laughter a few weeks ago, and that I honestly would rather order from the Lulitonix site than pay the $200 it would cost me to stock them in my kitchen.
Paltrow says she keeps the brain, beauty, and sex dust in rotation — "all depending on what’s going on in my life!" she winks. And while you can put almost anything in a smoothie, the one we are making, she says, "is a basic base" for her.
There is a bowl of sliced strawberries and bananas for us to use, and while I see Paltrow adding a stingy amount to her blender, I pour the entire bowl in. Moments later, after the mixture turns into a creamy concoction, I gulp a cup down. It’s chalky and salty, but also strangely delicious.
I wait my turn in to line to take a photo with Paltrow, who stands politely and patiently in front of a photo area decorated with Goop products, white hydrangeas, and wooden crates. I grab another smoothie, one that the Haven’s Kitchen staff made for the us while we wait. (Mine was much better, I must admit, but that was probably because I added triple the amount of fruit.) When my turn comes, I pull her a little too close and deeply inhale. The photo snaps, and she slips away.