Blame it on weird calendar timing, but we felt a little lost navigating our first week of 2016 without Gwyneth Paltrow's annual detox to guide our post-holiday reboot. But better late than never, as they say: That long-awaited Goop newsletter finally appeared in our inbox yesterday afternoon, and we're more than ready to do this the Paltrow way—especially because this year, the cleanse is refreshingly doable.
We've kind of sworn off strict New Year's dieting in favor of manageable, long-term solutions. In other words, 2016 will be the year that we feel great and adopt healthy habits without making ourselves crazy about it. And while Goop detoxes past have fallen on the notoriously strict end of the spectrum, apparently the actress got our memo: While we'll still have to ditch coffee, booze, gluten, and nightshade veggies, à la Gisele Bündchen, the meals look filling and delicious—and come on, it's only for a week. (And sorry, Gisele—olive oil is permitted on this diet plan.)
We actually knew we were onto something good as soon as we saw that Paltrow had tapped Ayurvedic spa Surya as this year's detox collaborator. We've trialed more than our fair share of trendy cleanses and diets, and the ancient Ayurvedic method we tried last year is the only one that somehow didn't leave us feeling deprived—not that it was any less effective. From a smaller waistline to a revved-up immune system—not to mention a much better mood—the far-reaching benefits restored our faith in cleansing.
And that's the idea behind Surya's plan. You'll eat "clean" meals and give up stimulating ingredients (caffeine, alcohol, white sugar), but you won't go hungry—because you're supposed to eat. The difference is that you're consuming foods that are both nourishing and easy to digest, so that after a straight month of cookies, Champagne, and appetizers, you can put your system on reset. If you want to go the full nine, look into the additional beauty treatments (like oil massages and pulse reading) that Surya's in-house Panchakarma treatment entails. You can also continue the DIY approach with Sundara Holistic's Ayurvedic face serums ($45 each).
You can check out the full meal plan here, but you'll essentially be filling up on fresh, often (but not always) vegetarian meals. The day begins with detox tea, followed by a smoothie or chia pudding for breakfast. Lunches and dinners include salads, curries, burgers, and Goop's Detox Hot & Sour Soup. You're even allowed a daily snack, which might be rice cakes with almond butter or raw veggies with homemade dressing.
In terms of exercise, typical detox rules apply: Take it easy. "Yoga and walking are great options for something less intense," Paltrow advises. But she does recommend breaking a sweat by way of an infrared sauna, if you're so inclined. "Meanwhile, drink as much water as you can—and if you still find yourself backed up, consider kicking off the cleanse with a colonic." (We won't hold you to that.)
So, what can't you eat? Again, there's definitely a solid list: Caffeine is off-limits, as is alcohol, soy, added sugar, red meat, shellfish, gluten, dairy, corn, white rice, and nightshade veggies (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers). Whew. But it's just seven days—and the recipes all right there. Coffee withdrawal is no picnic, but after that hump, life gets better. (Promise.)
So, are you up for it? Tell us if you'll be trying out the cleanse in the comments below.