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Episode 182
The Doctor's Farmacy

Why Success Is Not What We Think It Is

Open the Podcasts app and search for The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you’re viewing this site on your phone, you can just tap on the

Tap the subscribe button and new shows will be added to your library.

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One thing COVID taught me, albeit the hardest way possible, was to slow down. I used to be hopping on a plane once or twice a week with a booked schedule daily. It was fun and sometimes exhilarating, but also exhausting.

After this last year, I’ve learned to appreciate how to go through life more slowly and mindfully, appreciating small moments like pouring a good cup of coffee or the way the light floods through my window. On today’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, I enjoyed sitting down with my good friend Gwyneth Paltrow, who can relate to hitting pause on the chaos of life to redefine joy and health. 

Gwyneth and I kick off our time together talking about the power of getting out of your head and into your body. This also means getting away from the logistics of life that weigh us down and taking time to search for wonder and awe. Gwyneth and I each share how quarantine impacted our extremely busy lives and the silver linings we’ve been able to recognize. You might be surprised to learn that even Gwyneth Paltrow gets off track sometimes! She talks about her dietary changes during COVID and how she’s working on restoring balance.

Though she’s become a wellness icon, Gwyneth didn’t always subscribe to a healthy lifestyle. She shares how her father’s experience fighting cancer led her to her own realization of caring for her body and mind more deeply. 

One of Gwyenth’s stand out achievements was winning an Oscar. Despite being at a career high, she fell into depression and began to question what success really meant to her, which eventually led her to create goop. We talk about why she chose to do less acting in pursuit of this vision and the fulfillment she’s experienced along the way. 

Since she’s become known for her curiosity in the space of health and healing, I was excited to hear what Gwyneth personally does to optimize her well-being. She shares some of her daily go-to’s as well as some of the wellness practices she’s doubted along the way. 

I always enjoy chatting with Gwyneth. I hope you’ll tune in.

This episode is brought to you by Paleovalley, BiOptimizers, and Uqora.

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If you’re looking for a new, effective way to tackle UTIs, I highly recommend checking out Uqora. Right now they’re offering Doctor’s Farmacy listeners 20% off when you go to uqora.com/doctor.

I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

Here are more of the details from our interview:

  1. How Gwyneth’s father’s cancer treatment led her to an aha moment towards her own wellness path
    (5:54)
  2. Gwyneth’s depression and realization about what was driving her success following her Oscar win
    (11:39)
  3. True measures of success
    (18:15)
  4. Why Gwyneth started goop
    (20:35)
  5. Gwyneth’s semi-departure from acting and entry into the wellness field
    (30:01)
  6. Bringing the search for magic, creativity, wonder, and awe into daily life
    (33:39)
  7. Showing up for your own growth and learning how to have a slow life
    (36:31)
  8. Waking up to self-exploration and presence in our daily life
    (46:09)
  9. Wellness practices that Gwyneth loves and returns to often
    (47:06)
  10. Gwyneth’s wellness routine
    (53:33)

Guest

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 
Gwyneth Paltrow

Oscar®-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow is also a bestselling cookbook author, singer, and entrepreneur. In 2008, Paltrow founded goop from her kitchen table. goop has grown into a lifestyle brand devoted to helping women make their own choices count in the various facets of their lives—from style, travel, work, food, and beauty to physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. goop now has a tightly edited digital shop, a book imprint, permanent and pop-up retail experiences, a live event series, and its own product lines, including skincare, fragrances, apparel, bath and body, and supplements.

Show Notes

  1. Learn more about goop

Transcript

Speaker 1:
Coming up on this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
What I’ve come to understand is the quality of my inner life, the quality of my relationships, how I feel in my body, the success of my relationships or not when they don’t succeed, those are markers of, for me, how I’m succeeding as a person.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Welcome to The Doctor’s Farmacy. I’m Dr. Mark Hyman, and that’s Farmacy with an F, a place for conversations that matter. And if you care about your health and you care about wellness and you want to figure out what to do to feel good and live well, you should listen up because we have an extraordinary guest today. One of my friends and favorite people, Gwyneth Paltrow. She’s an award-winning actress. Oscar. Not only an award, but the Oscar. She’s a bestselling cookbook author, singer, and entrepreneur, but I never heard her sing. So maybe we’ll get her to sing on the podcast.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
I don’t know if I’ve put that in my bio.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
She founded, after a very successful actress career in the middle of it, an incredible company called Goop right at her kitchen table. It’s grown into this incredible lifestyle brand that helps women make their own choices count in all these areas of their lives like lifestyle, travel, work, food, beauty, all kinds of beauty, physical beauty, mental beauty, spiritual wellness. And now they’re just big, and they have an incredible digital shop, a book and print pop-up retail experiences, permanent retail experiences, live events series. I was invited doing a bunch of them, but then I think COVID happens. They have their own product lines, skincare, fragrances, apparel, bath/body supplements, all kinds of good stuff. So, welcome, Gwyneth.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Thank you so much. I’m very honored to be here.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, well, thank you. Well, I had to say I think most people understand now what you’re doing, but you really started out in a very different career, which was an actress and then you as a celebrity. They don’t really know maybe the origin story of why you got into this field of wellness. Because you’re not a doctor, you’re not a nutritionist, but you really care about helping people to live healthier, better lives. So what happened? Was it that your father’s cancer? I think that was a big moment for you. Can you share a little bit about what that was like for you and what happened in that experience?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Sure. So, grew up with no interest in wellness whatsoever. My mom actually was very… She was an environmentalist so I grew up more of environmentally conscious as opposed to wellness conscious although she did want us to have the healthier versions of soda and stuff like that, but I couldn’t really be bothered with it. I was a Camel Lights and diet Coke kind of girl for a long, long time.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Who knew?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah, in my teens and 20s that was what I was subsiding on or subsisting on. I’m sorry. And when I was about 26 years old, my father got diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the throat, stage 4.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Wow.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
My dad was kind of the love of my life until he died. It completely turned my world upside down. I was so terrified and kind of just in shock in being with him through his treatments and stuff. And I was filming the Talented Mr. Ripley at the time in Italy, so I was trying to fly back and forth and be with him as much as possible.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, yeah. [inaudible 00:03:48].

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Thank you. The radiation was really intense. He had a feeding tube in his stomach and that’s how he was getting his nutrition. It’s actually then that I had an aha moment. I was helping him put this can of protein powder into the feeding tube. And I thought like, “What is in this stuff? Is this the best possible solution to what he’s going through?” And it was kind of like the first moment that I made this connection with this inner feeling around food and what was going into his stomach and his condition. And then I just started researching environmental toxins and pesticides and all of the stuff that you talk about and how it negatively impacts our immune systems. And I just thought, “Oh my gosh, there has to be something more that he can do here.” And so I was learning about macrobiotics and gluten-free diets and all this stuff. This is way, way, many years before it hit the mainstream.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
He really wasn’t interested at all in approaching his cancer treatment from a wellness point of view. He didn’t want to adjust his diet. I said, “You know, there’s research that cancer really loves sugar. And I think you should at least try not to have processed sugar.” And he was just like, “If I’m going to die, I want two spoons of sugar in my coffee in the morning,” you know? He had this New York accent.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
But then I started experimenting with wellness because I was like, “I wonder if there’s truth to this. I wonder if there’s agency in this, and that you could start to make choices about what you’re eating or what you’re doing that could actually make you feel better.” And so, I started doing yoga six days a week. I experimented with the Master Cleanse. It was the first detox I ever-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, my God. [inaudible 00:05:46].

Gwyneth Paltrow:
… did in the early ’90s and started having macrobiotic food and just really anecdotally observing what was making me feel better and not so good. I quit smoking by that point, et cetera. So it was really my dad that set me on the path in really understanding that we do have an influence over how we feel. There is an autonomy there with our wellness. And what we do eat, breathe, drink, absorb does fundamentally impact our health.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
What were the personal experience that you had around your own health that changed when you started to focus on wellness? Things like diet, yoga, and other things.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Well, I just sort of couldn’t believe how good I started to feel, you know?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
I remember doing the Master Cleanse in the first few days, or whatever, feeling terrible. And then this incredible lightness came over me and clarity of thought. I just thought, “My God, this is unbelievable. I don’t know what is in this cayenne pepper lemon water, but there’s some-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The maple syrup.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
There’s some other dimensional going on here. I just felt so good. I felt so good exercising and sweating and getting my spine more supple. I think it’s a little bit of an addiction, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
It’s like when you start to realize how good you can feel, you just keep going and you keep trying other things. And of course, I have ebbed and flowed over my life. There was a period of time I was living in England and not being very conscious about certain aspects of my health. But it’s a baseline that I keep returning to. And now for sure, I’m back in it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, we all are. Hopefully, this is a moment for us, all of this, to refocus on our health and wellness.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I think people often think of celebrities have these great lives. Everything’s wonderful, blah, blah, blah. You win these awards. You got the Oscar. Everything is great. And often it’s not like that, right? I know a lot of people. No matter how much money you have or how famous you are, it doesn’t mean you’re happy.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Correct.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You’ve shared the story about how, when you won the Oscar which is the pinnacle of success for an actor, that you got really depressed and that you had this insight that what was driving you wasn’t really good, that there was something unhealthy, unhealed that needed to be looked at. How did that experience change you? How did it open up a path of self-discovery and healing for you? Because you think, “Oh, I won the Oscar. Everything’s good. I’m set.” But then, I get it. I’ve had 14 New York Times Bestsellers. I was like, “All right, then now what?” you know?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah. Well, I think the Oscar is so emblematic of this thing that’s its supposed to mean success and the pinnacle of success in that field. So few people win them, right? Of how many people want to act or make it their ambition to do it, or even do it and do it successfully, it’s really hard to win one. And so therefore, it gets this extra amount of importance. And I want it. And as you said, I got super depressed. I think it was a few things. I think, first of all, it made me feel totally aimless. Because here I was, 26 years old and theoretically having hit every bullseye that you can hit in that industry or many of them. But I do feel that all of the momentum that was driving me forward, it kind of dawned on me that without something, without that carrot dangling in front of me, that I felt that I didn’t know where to go.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
I didn’t know who I was and I didn’t know why I was working so hard. I felt for a long period of time, very sad. And of course, I hadn’t begun to do any work on myself. I hadn’t started to identify my traumas, which we all have. We all have childhood traumas. We’re all parroting ways of existing in relationships that aren’t necessarily healthy, things that we’ve picked up from various relationships that we’ve seen. There were parts of me that I was extremely hard on myself. My negative self-talk was just off the charts.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s nasty. How do you extract that? You need to do like a brain ectomy or something.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
I know. It’s so funny. You’re just reminding me of this story. I was feeling terrible, terrible, terrible. I went to go see my doctor in New York, my internist, who’s this great woman. I explained to her, I said, “I feel exhausted. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t feel like getting out of bed.” I was telling her all these things. And she said, “Well, if you were Elizabeth Taylor, I would tell you that what you have is exhaustion. And you’re kind of Elizabeth Taylor. You have exhaustion and you have depression. You have to go sort your (beep) out.” She gave me a card for a therapist. And so, I went to see my therapist.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, wow.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
And then that was one kind of path of this journey that I’ve been on for over 20 years.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
What was it like when you look back? You mentioned there’s unhealthy motivations that drive you to success, right?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I had. I’m going to share a little bit of mine. My father, he died a couple of years ago. But he really struggled in life. He went bankrupt. He struggled in business. I had to support him for many years. And my stepfather is the same thing. They were these two men who were really failures in the business world, in the financial world. And then also, it was really stressful growing up in that environment. And so I committed myself to working really hard and being successful because I didn’t want to end up like that. A lot of that drove me to behaviors that weren’t good for me. That was overwork and overdoing and over caring and over showing up and burn out. I ended up with chronic fatigue syndrome. It’s a long story. But I think what was it for you that you discovered that wasn’t coming from a place of goodness or health, that was more from your dark story?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
I definitely think that I had received messages around being what it means to be a good person versus not. I think the culture is very punishing to especially women. I fundamentally didn’t believe that I was good enough, and I think it came from a whole bunch of different circumstances. I really felt that I was lacking in character, in goodness in every way. And so I was constantly trying to prove to the world and myself that that wasn’t true. That I could succeed, I was a good person. And like you, bending over backwards, totally betraying my own limits to show up for somebody when it wasn’t good for me, or to be who I thought they wanted me to be whether it was in a romantic relationship or work relationship. I just went too far. And I think that post winning the Oscar, that was A rock-bottom, but there were a few years after that where I really was kind of in an extended period of the culmination of all of that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. You said the best part of winning an Oscar was that it didn’t mean anything to you, right? It doesn’t really mean anything.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
What do you mean by that?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Well, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful and I don’t want to give it back because I think it’s a great story. So I should just preface it by saying that, but just meaning that we assign meaning to such an extreme degree in our culture to these material things. At the end of the day, they don’t mean anything. It’s like everybody’s decided that some physical thing means something and it means that you were good, or if you didn’t get it you weren’t good. The truth of the matter is, nothing external whether it’s money, whether it’s an award is a measure of success. In my mind, for me anyway, what I’ve come to understand is the quality of my inner life, the quality of my relationships, how I feel in my body, the success of my relationships or not when they don’t succeed, those are markers of, for me, how I’m succeeding as a person, not a gold statue that isn’t even gold. It’s not even real.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Come on. They should have at least. A gold statue. Well, gold plated maybe?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Maybe it’s gold plated. Yep.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh my God. You said something that are very important there that I don’t want to gloss over, that what matters in your life, and I think for most of us that we don’t really pay much attention to this, is the quality of how we feel in our body, the quality of our inner experience, and the quality of our relationships. Those are the things we learned nothing about when we’re growing up.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
No.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I know how to do good on a test. I know how to get into medical school, but I surely didn’t learn any of that.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
No.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And yet that is what is the central feature of a happy life, of someone who’s fulfilled and happy and feels like they’re living their purpose.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Right. And nobody gives us tools to tune in to how we actually feel when we’re 16 years old and what we actually want and what’s actually right for us. We’re constantly trying to please other people. We’re constantly trying to fit in societally, and it establishes a really dangerous pattern, you know?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
I think we don’t take the time to really listen to ourselves and act from that place.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it’s really true. And so, within Goop, you offer a lot of resources and tools for helping people have a better inner life and have a better relationship with their body and have a better relationship with their partner or their family or their friends. Can you talk about what you’ve learned in that journey from your experiences and also from the audience that’s gone through it all?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah, well I sort of started Goop because I just love connecting people to good things. And that could be… I was always that person like, “Hey, do you know a good acupuncturist in Chicago?” Or like, “Where’s the best taco in Santa Barbara.” I was always that person for my friend. I love sharing good information and I love saving people the time, you know? And so, Goop really started from that place. I had the incredible great fortune to travel in all these places and to find all this cool stuff and sit next to people at dinner like you and get to say, “Hey, tell me about gut health.” These are just things that nobody was talking about at the time.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
I was so passionate about wellness and this kind of emerging thing. I remember when my son was two years old, he had some eczema. I was living in England at the time. My pediatrician there suggested to take him off of dairy and gluten and sugar for a while and see how it was.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Wow.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
My pediatrician in the States, in New York-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s amazing.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
… thought it was insane. He was like, “It has nothing to do with gluten.” But my pediatrician in London where I think that healthcare system tries to, for the most part, keep people well because the government pays for your healthcare.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
So I kind of set him on that path, and it cleared up. And I thought, “Oh my God, there’s really something to it,” you know?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, it is true. Well, there’s two parts of it, right? One is your convictions and what you know is true, and nothing can really shake that because you know that you had a son who had eczema and you stopped gluten, dairy, and sugar, and he got better.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Way better.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Nobody’s going to convince you that that’s not true or it’s nonsense or it’s some spontaneous remission, even if you’re ridiculed or made fun of by a doctor or by the media or whoever.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s sort of more easy to handle. For me, the hard part sometimes to handle is if there’s a personal attacks, or if people are challenging your integrity or accusing you of doing things that are out of integrity. They’re not good. It’s a hard thing to sort through as a person who’s trying to help people. It’s pushed back. I just wonder if you’ve encountered that and how do you personally deal with it. Because yes, you don’t necessarily have to feel bad about believing something that you know is true, that it’s going to be helpful, but there’s a personal level on it that I think is a little bit harder sometimes to handle.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah. I basically have a masterclass in this… Life has given me at this point in my life.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gwyneth Paltrow:
So for me, how I’ve dealt with it is twofold. I think, first, I had to get the ego piece out of the way. The ego piece is, “Oh my God, someone says something bad about me. Are people going to believe this? I don’t want anyone to think anything bad about me.” That sort of takes a bit of work, right? It’s sort of stripping the ego out to the point where you’re like, “Well…” And I just did it with a lot of examination, like, “Well, why is it triggering? Why do I care if someone doesn’t like who I am or what I say? What’s underneath that?”

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Once I was able to strip the ego piece out, I realized that if something still hurt my feelings, that I was probably already holding a judgment like that against myself or pretty close to it. So if I was out of integrity when I said something and someone called me out on it, it’s like, “Oh, (beep). I wasn’t totally myself in that moment. And that’s why it’s bothering me.” And so, trying to learn the distinction of those things and try to understand like, “Okay, sometimes something stings because there’s something for me to learn here about how I showed up there or what I said.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gwyneth Paltrow:
And sometimes it’s just projection and someone being an (beep). Therefore, you just have to realize it has nothing to do with you. It’s not about you. You take your ego out of it and you realize, “You could substitute anything in for me. This person is just angry and miserable. And so, I’m just going to…”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, that’s so great. I mean, I had a business coach once who said, “Stop looking for ways to be offended,” you know? I thought that was a brilliant concept, because a lot of us are constantly taking things personally in a way that may not be related to us. Or if there is, it maybe some nugget of truth in there. That’s what you’re saying, right? I remember when I was like 18, I used to get picked on a lot when I was kid because I was nerdy and I had [inaudible 00:22:05]. I just was kind of different. I’m still odd, but now I get paid for being odd so it’s okay. The insight I had was that, these people are picking on men, but I think it’s just their story of something that they’re dealing with or that they’re projecting onto me that’s not true. Or if there is something they’re saying that maybe it isn’t said in a nice way, maybe there’s a nugget of truth and wisdom in there for me to look at myself.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so, I always took it an opportunity to be compassionate toward them or to really look at myself. And it really changed my life and allowed me to really be free from this constant stress of like, “What do people think of me? How do I impress people?” It really helped me. It’s a hard thing to do. But you’re right. Taking the ego down is really powerful.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Goop really came about me sharing my experiences about what was working for me. Speaking with the experts, doctors, MDs, therapists, whatever. Sharing information, aggregating, good information, helping people even create plans for how to start, how to start feeling better, how to start… There’s such good information on the site. I don’t purport to be an expert. As you say, I’m not a doctor, I’m not a nutritionist. I don’t know a (beep) thing. I’m just a student of life. I’m a [crosstalk 00:23:20].

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, that’s good, because then you know all the questions to asked, right?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Right. Exactly. And so, I just love to learn and anecdotally test what works for me, and then share the information. And then also at Goop, we have on the staff a bunch of PhDs and scientists and stuff like that, who as we’ve grown, they can now really answer questions and write great opinions on stuff and help us formulate amazing products, et cetera.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. It’s great. I mean, it’s really a nice… It feels like you’re going into your friend’s house and they have a lot of cool stuff that they’ve found, and like, “Oh, where’d you get that? Oh, I love that dress. And oh, that’s kind of… I don’t want to use that crappy sunscreen. What’s a good sunscreen?”

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s like you know what science is but you wish you had a friend like that. And it’s almost like your friend who you trust sharing with you what they like and what works for them. It’s just a very light touch. I really like it.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Thank you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s very different than sort of the heavy-handed role. You figured out this transition. You’re still acting right? But you’re not doing as much acting, right?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Right. Essentially, when I had my daughter, I actually starred in my last movie where I was in every scene of the movie when I was pregnant with her. And then I had her and I was like, “I just can’t go away from this kid.” I was really lucky because I was able to take off a few years and then get pregnant again and be home. And I started to notice that I wasn’t longing for acting at all. I wasn’t pining for it. I wasn’t watching a movie and thinking, “Oh, shocks, I wish I had done movie like that.” I just had no desire to return to it. And that in and of itself was a little bit of an identity crisis for me, because I was like, “Well, if I’m not Gwyneth Paltrow, what does that mean? I’ll be irrelevant if I’m not in the culture.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
And then I thought, “Well, who cares? I don’t-”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s amazing.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
I was like, “I have to start to listen to myself and how I want the rest of my life to unfold.” And then kind of at the same time, I had for years since the inception of the internet really wanted to do something in lifestyle, but I was too shy. I was like, “Everyone’s going to make fun of me. No one’s going to take me seriously.” All of which happened at the beginning when I launched Goop.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Now who’s laughing?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
I didn’t go to business school and I don’t know anything about e-commerce. So I slowly very started to ideate what it would be and send out the first newsletter in 2008. I just loved it. I found it so interesting and fulfilling and challenging, and I love being held to a deadline. I felt like I had so much to say. I look back at those early newsletters. They were very earnest and sweet. It was a nice way to start because it was just very authentic and it was really coming from my heart.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s amazing. When you think back on your career as an actress, what were the roles that impacted you not necessarily on what you’re doing, but that it had kind of had a long lasting effects on your worldview or how you thought about things or how you lived or what mattered to you?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah. Well, as the decades go by, I did a film called the Royal Tenenbaums. My character-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, my God. I love that movie.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
It’s a really good one.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, Ben Stiller, right? [inaudible 00:27:16].

Gwyneth Paltrow:
So funny. So good.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, my God.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
My character, Margot, she was so mysterious. She wasn’t really in integrity. She was living a secret life, but I just loved how kind of punk rock she was and how free she was behind all of the constraints of who she was supposed to be. So she sort of stayed with me. My character in Shakespeare in Love stayed with me, that kind of unquenchable desire for the muses of creativity and poetry, and life, and magic. That stayed with me a lot. It’s something that I still feel is resonant, that spirit.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Wow. How do you bring that now into your life? How do you bring the search for magic and creativity and wonder and awe into your daily life?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Well, I just try to get out of my head as much as possible, because there’s so much depth of wonder and freedom in the heart, in the soul, in the spirit. It’s like, I think when we’re in our heads, for me anyway, I really can be easily disconnected from those forces. And so, I try to just be in my body as much as possible. And like I touched on in the beginning, that inner life that you cultivate, that channel of creativity that can happen is really important for me. It’s like a lifeline. And I’ve come to understand that I don’t need to be on screen, I don’t need to be on set in order to have that feeling for me. It’s like a fantastic meal or when your kid says something way more hilarious and smart than you would have expected. Those beautiful moments in life where everything kind of sings, that’s how I find them these days.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s really beautiful. And I think we miss those moments, the way our lives are so fast and so full and so cramped. And COVID has sort of given us this hiatus. It was like God said, “Timeout, humans. You are not doing this right. You need to go to your room until you figure out how you need to live in a way that is more in alignment with who you really are. What’s the deal? I certainly had that happened to me. I imagine just having a lot of people listening that they just had to, all of a sudden, face themselves, face their lives, face the way they were living. Did it work? Do you know what I mean? Some people were [inaudible 00:29:46]. But I think it’s this incredible moment to stop and go, “What really matters? How do you get to what really matters?”

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s so beautiful what you just said. The quality of your experience, the quality of your inner life, it’s the small moments, right? It’s the quality of your relationships. It’s the quality of your relationship with your body. And all those things are accessible to us. We don’t need anything for that. We don’t need a lot of money. We need time. We do need time, but we don’t need a lot of money. We don’t need a lot of stuff. We just need to focus on that experience of how life actually is. And it’s so miraculous. And if you can sort of, one of people’s joke is, they stop and smell the roses. But literally, if you can stop and just show up, that’s 95% of it.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Totally. And there’s this misconception, a deep, false misconception that wellness is for the privilege. Wellness is for the people who have money. I just believe that to be absolutely false.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gwyneth Paltrow:
The things that connect you the most to your body; so the quality of your thought, your breath, movement, the things that connect the body to the soul are all free. It’s really about what you’re talking about, right? It’s about, can you show up for yourself? Can you give yourself the time. Or can you challenge yourself to rethink something in a different way? And that for me was a beautiful outcome of COVID time, where everything was kind of stripped away and all of the things that you usually do to feel busy or feel better were stripped away and dealing with the initial discomfort of that. And then kind of trying to go deep and figure out like, “Okay, well, what is the opportunity here? What is the silver lining?” There’s so much suffering going on. Economies are crashing. People are dying. We’re all in our homes. If God has a plan for us, what are we supposed to be learning through this?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And what did you learn?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
I think the main thing that I learned which was really startling to me was how much I had been masking pain through doing and traveling and working and responsibility. I had a whole layer of unprocessed stuff that I wasn’t dealing with. I’m still in the process of dealing with it and-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Emotional pain, you mean?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Emotional pain, yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s amazing.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
And physical stuff too. I mean, I think there’s a convergence of all these things, right? I mean, you talk about it a lot. That if you have unprocessed emotion and trauma, that it really can impact your health negatively. And so, just kind of starting to unpack some stuff that I didn’t know that there was. It’s not like some catastrophic thing, but there was for sure another layer there that I thought I had dealt with that I had not dealt with yet.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. I mean, that only takes that moment to slow down and to pay attention.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I’m just sort of reflecting on how my life was before COVID, which was really so full and fast. I was on a plane most weeks, maybe even a couple of times a week.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Nice.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It was fun. It was exciting. It was interesting, but it really took something from me that I didn’t realize. It was such a fast thing. And the Japanese have a word for this. It’s called hurry sickness.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Wow.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s like in Okinawa, they’re like, “You, westerners, you have hurry sickness.” Because I had a Japanese friend, and recently I just was watching this person how they move, how they live, how they poured coffee, how they did anything, how they wash dishes. It was just totally different. I was always trying to get to the end of things instead of being in the things. And there’s that famous saying, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” It’s like, you don’t do different stuff. It’s the quality of your experience that’s different.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so, I’ve been thinking a lot about this and thinking about what it means for me. And it really inspires me to think about how do I create a slow life. Instead of a fast life, a slow life where you get to savor and simmer and enjoy and don’t miss those moments when your kids says something hilarious or when there’s something beautiful that… I mean, even just right now, I’m sitting up in my office and there’s a sunlight that’s pouring in. It’s just beautiful. There’s a quality of that. David White, I’m sure you’re familiar with his poetry.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Oh, yeah. Of course.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
He talks about this idea of developing a friendship with all things. A friendship with the light coming through the window, a friendship with the wind on your skin or the rain or the dew on your grass and the grass between your toes, or the bite of food your eating. Whatever it is, we can be in relationship to our world in a way that’s intimate and connected and alive. Most of us are just like so busy, we’re like… And I’m not saying I don’t do it. I definitely do that. But I’m really craving not doing that anymore. I’m trying to design a life where I don’t have to do that.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
So how are you? What are some of the steps or tools that you’re taking or incorporating?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, I’m saying no a lot more.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You know, my mother always said no is a sentence. And I felt part of my… And this is the identity thing we were talking about before. Your identity as a young woman was, “I’m an actress, I’m an Oscar winning actress. I’m Gwyneth Paltrow. This is who I am. This is what I’m supposed to be in the world.” And people relate to you as that idea or that ideation that they create in their head of who you are. But it’s not necessarily who you are authentically truly are. And I’m like, “Well, gee, do I have to be Mark Hyman anymore? I’m not going to be Dr. Hyman.” That’s a question for me. What is it that is going to feed my soul and make me most alive and bring me back to what really matters? And so, I really-

Gwyneth Paltrow:
And it might be that you do want to be Dr. Mark Hyman, but it might be at a different cadence. Or it might be not how much your book publishers want you to publish, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
It might be your way.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right. Maybe it’s before enlightenment, be Dr. Hyman. After enlightenment, be Dr. Hyman, but it’s just different, right? It’s like a different. I’m nowhere near enlightenment, but I’m working on it. But it’s one of those interesting moments where I feel like I’m just re-examining everything, re-looking at everything. And it sounds like you are too.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it’s just sort of invitation for all of us to stop and look at our lives and go, “What does the quality of our life experience? Is this what we want to meet every day?” And if not, how do we change it? I’ve said no to a lot of things. I’ve stopped traveling as much. I do more Zoom stuff, which is fun. I hate Zoom, but I mean, I do stuff like… I wish I could fly to California. But normally, I would have flown to California. I would have been in your studio. And it would take three days and I’ll be exhausted and eat crappy food and sleep in hotels. And it’s like, “This is fine. I’m going to go for a bike ride after our podcast,” you know?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
This is way better.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Way better.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Way better.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. And I’ve also taken unplugged time. The digital detox is something that we all need to think about. I wonder where your relationship is with technology in that way, because we’re all tied in. But do you take a digital Shabbat? There’s a new book that came out, 24/6, which is about a digital Shabbat by Tiffany Shlain. It’s really a great, great, great book.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
That’s a great idea. I can tell you, on the Jewish side of my family, I have really some observant family members. It’s something that they’ve done for a few years now, and I can see the recalibration that happens. I think it’s a brilliant idea. I really do. It’s kind of like I’m a little bit of two minds just in that every generation has its thing, right? The older generation thinks is ruining the humankind and ruining society and degrading the quality of everything, right? Whether it’s rock and roll or refrigeration or the [inaudible 00:38:32] evolution or whatever it is. And so for us, it happens to be this incredible digital area.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
We have connection all the time and we have access to information all the time, access to connectability. And so, it’s an axiom, right? This is the thing of our generation and it’s here to stay. There are certainly aspects of it I think that are, I don’t know if I want to go so far as to say harmful, but I think that take a big degree of adjustment. And I think while we’re adjusting, while a lot of us especially our generation mark, like we did not grow up digitally native. We were probably in our 20s when the first cell phone came out. So I think we maybe need a bit of a break and need to remember what it was like to walk to blockbuster and to take time to select your movie and walk back home, you know?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
It’s like, we grew up with that cadence of life. Things weren’t so fast.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I know.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
We grew up wired that way. And now we’re expected to be wired this other way. And I think it’s just a lot of adjustments.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s true. That’s true. I remember making playlists. We get these scratchy records. We put it on a turntable. We’d poked up our cassette player to the record player and then we’re standing there by it. The song that’d be playing, it’s like, stop just at the right time and then start the next song. It was like a project. It’s such a project. And I was like, “This is so easy.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But I feel like this is an exciting moment for the world in a way, even though it’s sort of depressing and a lot of horrible things happening and there’s climate change and there’s racial and social injustice and there’s COVID and there’s the economic hardships. There’s all the things that we’re struggling with, chronic disease. But within all, I think there’s a rising awareness that we humans have to sort of wake up, and that people are being drawn to things like self exploration.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, this whole movement around psilocybin and LSD and MDMA and all these substances are now entering the more mainstream science around therapeutic avenues. They’re all about that exact experience of how do we get more present, right? How do we get more present to our life?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah. How do we remove those veils that trauma has given us and whatever bad ideas we’ve gotten? How do you begin to remove those in an effort to get really close to yourself?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, it’s really the key. I’m excited for this time. I’m excited for this time for my life. And it sounds like you’re creating a really different way of living as well within all this, which is beautiful. I just wonder what are the practices that you love and you engage with that help you come back to all this?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yes. What I would say is it’s a multi-pronged approach for sure. It’s something that evolves, and definitely ebbs and flows. At the moment, my husband learned TM meditation about a year ago. And so, we’ve been doing that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Or maybe more now actually. So through the whole pandemic, we wake up and we do that together, which is a really, really nice way to start the day. So, definitely meditation. And then there’s a new app that I found. I think it’s called aura. And it’s little A-U-R-A. And so, in the afternoon if I’m feeling stress, I really will remember. I like something guided too so I’ll put on a three-minute breathing thing, which I find really, really helpful. I’m also paleo at the moment.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah. Since January 3rd when I got a whole bunch of pretty iffy blood results back in November, dealing with some major inflammation from long haul COVID stuff and some mycotoxin stuff, I had been really not on a wellness kick in COVID, which was not great looking back. But I was drinking the… I would look forward to my cocktail every day at 5:00. I would make dinner with lots of pasta and bread and all that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
I had kind of gone off the rails. So January 3rd I made a promise to myself to really clean up. I’ve been basically alcohol free. I’ve been paleo. I’ve been doing saunas and trying to take some binders to deal with this mold toxicity. I’ve been on a pretty healthy streak for a while and feeling good now, feeling really good. I didn’t realize how bad I was feeling until… Like, if I check back now versus six months ago, it’s a big difference.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. You mentioned that earlier that a lot of people who are starting to get into wellness don’t realize how bad they feel until they start feeling better.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I have so many patients say, “Dr. Hyman, I didn’t know how bad I felt until I started feeling good.” I’m like, “Yeah, we just sort of accept that this low grade brain fog, low grade achiness, low grade whatever digestive issues, low grade mood issues, whatever it is.” And we take it for granted that they’re part of our human condition that can’t be changed. With functional medicine and the approach of food is medicine, it’s so incredibly powerful and it helps people so much.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I know. I was with patients all day today, and it was just so gratifying. I had this little kid who was just suffering. He’s an athlete, [inaudible 00:44:31] boy. He had terrible pneumonia, recurrent pneumonias, and was having headaches and muscle aches and brain fog and couldn’t do sports, he has trouble breathing and lung issues and gut issues. Just a mess. He’d seen all the top doctors, specialists. He was from a very prominent family. You know who they were. It was so easy to just clean up his diet, fix his gut, give him a few supports for his immune system. I mean, it’s been a year now and he’s completely symptom free. I’m like, “Is there anything going on?” He’s like, “No, I just finished surfing. Can I get to my soccer game? Because I got to run.” So I’m like, “Okay, go. Okay, go to your soccer game. You’re putting me out of business.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I think that’s what’s possible for people. And that’s why your work is so important, that Goop has really created a platform for people to kind of aggregate understanding about how to take care of themselves, how to build up their health bank, right? It’s the little things. It’s the little things. It’s the things that are often not so obvious, whether it’s the household cleaning product we use, the makeup products we use, the supplements we take, or the kinds of things we put in our bodies or on our bodies. And then the tools you have on there are just so fabulous.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You’re kind of like the Indiana Jones of wellness. You basically are an archeologist who goes out and discovers all this cool stuff and all these great treasures. You bring them home and you share with everybody who you love and you share them with us and you share it with your family. Is there anything you’ve found that’s like, I’m like, “Oh God, that was a bad idea.” Or in retrospect, “That was not what I thought it was. I really kind of (beep) up on that”?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
You know what’s weird? I feel like in every weird thing that I’ve tried, every unorthodox thing, someone has recommended it to me, right? It hasn’t been me deciding to hang myself upside down by my toenails or for circulation to my brain.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, sure.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
It’s always been suggested by a naturopath or a wellness practitioner, or functional MD, whatever. I honestly, Mark, have found value in everything. Not that it’s for me 100% or not that I’ve adopted it for life, but I’ve always understood the intention behind it and I sort of feel like there’s value in all that stuff.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. Well, there is. There’s some really wacky stuff people recommend, I think-

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Like what?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, I don’t know. A lot of people were in a coffee enemas. I just never got into that. [inaudible 00:47:19] really weird-

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Some people swear by-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I know they do.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
They swear by them. And so, yeah, I mean, the only thing that I tried once that I didn’t feel anything was I did the color light therapy session with different colors. At that time, I was like, “Well, I don’t really feel anything.” But then my infrared sauna has a color therapy light system.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
And now I feel like, “Oh, this is great.” So maybe I just wasn’t ready for it at that point.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That was great. Take us through Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness routine. What is in a week the components that you build, the structures that you build in your life so that you can feel good and thrive? And by the way, the purpose of wellness from my perspective is not just to feel good. It’s about freedom. It’s about freedom to do whatever you want to do. That’s how I define health. Freedom to wake up in the morning and play the way you want to play, love the way you want to love, work the way you want to work. That’s what health is to me. Those practices help you do that, help me do that. What are your practices? And take us through what a life with Gwyneth Paltrow in the wellness world is for a week?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Well, as I said, meditation plays a big part. Exercise. I exercise seven days a week even if it’s just a long walk. Hydration. Supplementation. I’m lucky enough to have my blood labs done every once in a while and see where I’m low and what needs a boost. So for me, understanding like, “Okay, I have leaky gut so I need these few things to take every day.” And then really feeling an impact from that. And then just eating good, fresh, seasonal food that isn’t sprayed with chemicals. That’s the biggest thing. Eating meat, fish, birds, lots of as you say in canned of meat, so very small, very small portions. And we really focused on vegetables, fresh vegetables, local deliciousness. It’s sort of based on food supplementation and getting connected to my body. I do think that walking connects the body and soul so I do that a lot. And then trying for positive outlook and catching myself when I’m being mean to myself. My husband help me with that too because I’m very critical.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. It’s that inner dialogue. You’re your worst enemy inside your head.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I’ve been listening to a lot of Ram Dass’ podcasts. It’s just so funny because I was in some years ago and then sort of got lately just sort of listening. He really talks about this is sort of the way our minds take over and construct a reality that’s just not real and true and creates beliefs and ideas that creates suffering. And then all of our suffering comes from our thinking. And so, we talk about exercise, but how many of us actually do innercise, you know?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And master and strengthen our mental capacity to witness where our minds take a left turn and not follow that and go, “Wait a minute. That’s a stupid thought.” It’s like my friend says, “You shouldn’t believe every stupid thought you have.” I think that’s a really liberating thing once you can get free from that. I think the meditation that you’re doing really helps that.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
And I think just to make a distinction and this is something that I’ve just started exploring, but the idea that there’s a place for all those voices, right? We have all these different selves inside of us. Sometimes those voices are alerting us to something and sometimes they need acceptance on some level as opposed to being shut out, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gwyneth Paltrow:
It’s like, “Okay, why is this voice in me? What is it saying? How can I show up for whatever self is presenting itself in this negative way? How can I help heal that? How can I integrate all of this as opposed to shutting it out?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, then yeah, that’s the issue. It’s like, “Where does it come from and how do you get to the root of that?”

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so, like when you talked about when you realized you won the Oscar and you were depressed because what was driving you wasn’t really coming from an authentically healthy place.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s a great invitation for people. I think that’s just great what you do. You know what I mean? I love you, Gwyneth. This is such a big conversation. Goop is actually a great resource for people. I encourage everybody to check it out.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Thank you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
There’s a Goop podcast. There’s a Goop website. It’s just goop.com, right?

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yep, that’s right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s such a great resource. And you’ve got this new thing coming out soon, this Metabolism-Boosting Superpowder.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Oh, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Tell us about that.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
It’s exactly what the title is, the Metabolism-Boosting Superpowder. I’m over the age now where we start to lose some metabolic speed.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
And it’s hard, because being in perimenopause, being someone who’s active and eating well and yet unable to turn food into fuel as quickly as I used to. So it’s a great powder that we’ve added, which really does help with that process and just helps speed things up for us who are experiencing metabolic slowness.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
[inaudible 00:52:49]. Well, I’m sure you’re aware of this, but 88% of Americans are metabolically not healthy. So I think you hit the nail on the head with this one.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Yes, exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, Gwyneth, thank you so much for being on the Doctor’s Farmacy Podcast. It’s really a great conversation. I hope it inspired people to think about how to re-examine their lives and focus on what’s important, which is the quality of your inner life, the quality of your relationships, the quality of your health, and that’s such a great invitation. So thank you for that.

Gwyneth Paltrow:
Thank you. Thank you for having me. As I said, I’m a big fan of The Doctor’s Farmacy. It’s a great career moment for me to be the guest.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, thank you. All right. Well, you take care. And everybody listening, if you love this podcast, share it with your friends and family, everywhere. If you think they probably need it, they probably do. Leave a comment. We’d love to hear how you take care of your health and what are your wellness routines. And subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. And we’ll see you next week on The Doctor’s Farmacy.
Speaker 1:
Hi everyone. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. Just a reminder that this podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. If you’re looking for help in your journey, seek out a qualified medical practitioner. If you’re looking for a functional medicine practitioner, you can visit ifm.org and search there Find a practitioner database. It’s important that you have someone in your corner who’s trained, who’s a licensed healthcare practitioner and can help you make changes especially when it comes to your health.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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