Thursday, August 1, 2013

When it comes to vices, is smoking a little ok?

I’ve established that I’m not a Gwyneth hater; I know some of you are and you’ll have more ammunition as this post continues. I like G’s recipes, I like Goop and I didn’t think I had that much more to say about Ms. Paltrow but I was wrong.Yesterday, The Today Show asked Carolyn for her professional opinion on an article Gwyneth wrote for the Telegraph. In this article Gwyneth admits to 1 cigarette a week.
I often have a glass of red wine in the evening and smoke a cigarette on a Saturday. I love those moments because they are just the right amount of naughty. That balance keeps you vibrant. You have to live your life, after all.

Whether it chocolate or French fries or margaritas or pizza treats happen for all of us.. Ideally, for my clients, these treats are planned and contained. Gwyneth isn’t advocating chain smoking or binge drinking but she did just put out a book that included a detox regime? Can you advocate making everything from scratch, juicing and ditching gluten while having an occasional cigarette? Can the same person who pushes detox also endorse “tox”? You lost me at cigarettes and vibrancy.

What bothers me most is that Gwyneth wasn’t embarrassed about her smoking but made a case for it. I used to be silly or more than silly about the sun and some clients were surprised to hear that. Others were pleased that I admitted it, have since changed my habits, and suggested ways to stay safe from sun and the cancer it can give us. Now what if I had said "I think baking in the sun once a week is fine go for it." Gwyneth pulled the old “I don’t like to deny myself anything” and “it’s the right about of naughty”. Is this someone who lost her father to cancer? One sweet a week is one thing, a drink here or there (can actually be healthy) but smoking as part of a balanced life? Nope, call me a party pooper but it’s not naughty it’s nasty.

I don’t believe in promoting the unhealthy while encouraging others to be healthy. I didn’t like it with Michelle Obama and I don’t here with Gwyneth either. And relax, it’s not about being perfect it’s about being consistent. We don't have to go out of our way to publicly do or endorse unhealthy things to appear "normal", not too rigid or sadly maybe cool.

I will have you know some admired the smoky Gwyneth, I read an article that found the smoking “endearing”.  And see I found using food to make herself and her family healthy far more endearing. It makes me wonder if Gwyneth’s regime, for her, is really about health or just about as she said having “a 20 year old stripper’s butt”.
Do you think smoking a little each week is the same things as drinking or eating treat food or, is it worse? Would you buy Gwyneth’s clean eating books if, in the intro let’s say, she mentioned her naughty cigarette? Are there some things we should deny ourselves of?
 Join me in Sun Valley Septemer 19th-22nd for the Harvest Festival
I’ll be speaking on a great panel on food trends but it’ll be a weekend full of food, tastings and talks in a beautiful location.
The official blurb:
The weekend offers attendees an opportunity to learn culinary secrets from the country’s top chefs, taste agricultural wonders from Idaho and the Northwest and learn from nationally-recognized food and health experts. Adventurous foodies will have the opportunity to enjoy hiking, biking, and all that the beautiful fall weather offers.
 I’m really looking forward to it, tweet us if you’re planning to be there, it’s known as “foodie heaven”
And trust me, smoking will not be a trend this year or any year.


  1. Wow. I agree that it's really strange to hear the same person talk about a pretty severe detox diet and cigarette smoking in the same body. It's possible (but more difficult for some than others) to consume alcohol and junk food in moderation with no detriment to your health. And as you mention, alcohol in moderation can be good for you. While the same can't really be said for junk food, I don't think anyone has shown that one bowl of ice cream a week or even the occasional fast food meal has caused anyone harm, your body can bounce back from that. But even ONE cigarette is bad for you. One won't kill you, I guess, but one a week probably will damage your heart and lungs over a long period of time.

    I don't hate Gwyneth but I don't love her either. Good actress I guess but she's starting to get an eye roll from me most of the time. Not to the point where I'd spend the energy to hate her though.

  2. Inconsistent, right? I feel just don't put "healthy' out there and then go and do your thing. I still don't find bragging about cigs a good thing. As a FB commenter said, do we believe she has just 1?

  3. I was wondering when you would write a post about this, because I saw this segment (and I also saw someone from Foodtrainers on there, so I knew right away you'd write about it!). Soooo...I have mixed opinions on this. When she first said it I was shocked, but then I realized, well, I do the same thing (not the cigarette) when I drink "more than moderation" about 2-3 times a month. Yeah, I drink more than ONE alcoholic beverage probably 2-3 times a month, and really.....that's my "splurge" and my "little bit of naughty" and I really don't feel bad about it. Do I advocate it? Not really, but that's just what I do. I think it was really gutsy of her to admit this on national television, and I'm sure you aren't the only one to comment on this...cigarettes are the ultimate NASTY. But, she's being honest, which I respect.

  4. A couple of thoughts: GP's not holding herself out as a nutritionist. I hear her sharing what she loves -- cooking and eating clean and green and exercising -- and because she's in the spotlight people ask her about it all the time. I also hear her being authentic about what she does, I agree with her point about balance, and she sounds pretty consistent... just has an approach that some disagree with, and that's cool. She's doing her thing, and not advocating that it's the way to go... just what she does. All of us do seemingly contradictory and inconsistent things all of the time.. it's part of being human.. and we each get to choose what serves us and what doesn't. She didn't say smoking was healthy and I'm actually impressed that she's real about it.

  5. I love the counterpoint Lisa. However, while she doesn't put herself out there as a nutritionist she did share fairly dramatic stories about her health overhaul "felt she was having a stroke" and doesn't just have a recipe book but one that asks people to really overhaul their diets for health purposes. So this isn't just a thin actress who smokes (who cares, right?).My issue with the smoking isn't just that she has her vice(s) but that she endorses it. I find be gluten free and dairy free and super healthy and be naughty and smoke a contradiction. Others, like you, and you're not alone feel it's real. Good points.

  6. It wasn't that she admitted it, she wrote the piece almost bragging about it. And I think admit vrs encourage are different. While she may be honest (good) I don't think smoking can be part of a healthy lifestyle and discredits her in my eyes from really getting healthy (for heath's sake not weight's sake). I will give her honesty points. And stupidity points, sorry.

  7. What is a blog without a little dogging? Let's crucify G for smoking a cigarette a week. Naughty, nasty however you state it, it's hate. Perfection is possessed by no one that any of us have met. Condemnation should be added as "not a trend" for your "foodie heaven". What comes out of your mouth defines you so much more than what you put into it.

  8. Thanks for commenting Zena. If you're referring to my comments I can assure you nothing here has "hate" behind it. While "food heaven" does sound nice to me, I counsel clients every day and they're never held to a standard of perfection (agreed impossible and frankly boring). Here's the thing, people do read and listen to G and I think have a little fun and smoke (who smokes 1?) isn't about a slight imperfection it's dangerous. Dangerous when you have a huge platform. I rather like it when readers or clients question what I said (as you are) and sometimes I rethink things I do or say. Maybe here's a case where G should too.

  9. For me Gywn can really do no wrong. I mean I don't think smoking is okay but I do appreciate her honesty, even if it sort of makers her seem like a hypocrite!

    Sun exciting. I've never been! Sounds like an amazing event.

  10. I think a lot of people took your post the wrong way - I definitely didn't get the "hate" vibe from it. I agree with you - sorry, smoking is different from alcohol and "treat" foods. Sure, people are addicted to all 3 of them, but inhaling something that, let's face it is the biggest killer in house fires, is just downright unhealthy. This is clearly hypocritical on her part - and sure everyone has little areas of imperfections but the problem is that G was quite condescending and "holier than thou" with her entire detox crusade. While I agree with her overall message she definitely came off as a snotty, upperclass woman with nothing better to do than vilify food choices. But low and behold Ms. Detox is sneaking a dangerous habit on the side - one that kills her perfect detox much more than wine or cheesecake? Sorry it's disingenuous and enraging - there is nothing more I dislike than a hypocrite - be it religious, political, food, etc.

  11. Agreed Whitney but what we see as hypocritical, others see someone who seemed too perfect now a little more normal...and I think that was G's intention. I'm not snooty, I am naughty, real and just like you. My question was, is her smoking like another person's French fries and it really isn't. Smoking is more taboo. I hope that's the interest in these stories, to see how we all interpret it. I appreciate you knowing I wasn't coming from place of hate...not toward G I like her tandoori kebobs too much, ha.

  12. was it honesty or bragging? I like G too I just think this one, in my book, was an error. Come to Sun Valley, we'll have fun.

  13. Lauren, I also wonder how you feel about this Lululemon controversy with their sizes only going up to a 12!