Every January without fail I drag myself back into work after spending a glorious couple of weeks off with my friends and family. During the entirety of the month, I feel dull, dismal, and downright lethargic. Perhaps it’s the weather that drags me down, perhaps it’s the realization that vacation is over, or perhaps it’s the fact that awards season—our busiest time of year here at InStyle—kicks into full swing immediately, but I just feel like life is kicking my ass.
So this year, as December crept up on me and I thought about the dreaded month we call January, I decided I had to do SOMETHING to get me through the month.
And that’s where my 30-day challenge came into the picture. When the team at GOOP asks you if you want to embark on a month-long wellness challenge recommended by Gwyneth Paltrow, you don’t ask questions, you just say yes.
For the duration of the month, I agreed to start taking vitamins, commit to a workout routine, and follow any other steps that Gwyneth suggested in hopes that I would come out the other side feeling amazeballs.
Here’s what went down on my journey.
Step 1: Vitamins, Vitamins, Vitamins
Like I said earlier, I barely have enough energy to get out of bed in the morning in January, so first and foremost I needed a kick to help fuel me. The answer? GP suggested an energy-bursting concoction of supplements called Balls in the Air (beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E), designed to unburden inflammation in the body, ensuring that all systems operate at full capacity. I read the label, and it says this vitamin blend is designed for “those who function at an intense pace, and want to keep it that way.” Me in a nutshell.
Step 2: Diet
Gwyneth recommends I do an elimination diet that rids my body of all alcohol, caffeine, gluten, and dairy. I fail miserably at my evening glass(es) of wine and takeout, but I do manage to nix dairy and downgrade my daily dose of caffeine. (Baby steps people, baby steps).
Step 3: Beauty Product Detox
At the beginning of my journey, a giant white box is delivered to my desk containing all the essentials I’ll need for my wellness challenge. Gwyneth is all about detoxing both inside and out, so it comes as no surprise she wants me to detox my beauty routine as well. Inside, I find Morihata Kishu Binchotan Charcoal (to drink), goop by Juice Beauty Exfoliating Instant Facial, and The Beauty Chef Sleep Powder (which by the way I’m obsessed with, it gives you the most wonderful night’s sleep). I’m all over all of these, no problemo.
Step 4: Emotional and Physical Detox
Next up it’s the emotional and physical detox (yikes), which I will accomplish by incorporating yoga and meditation into my routine, using a foam roller to release tension in my body, and dry brush daily. Yoga I already do every week (bonus!), meditation I loathe but try out once just to say I did (yep, still can’t stand it), and I add foam rolling and dry brushing to the schedule daily. The latter two I accomplish and actually end up liking both of them immensely (GP raves about dry brushing).
Step 5: Workouts
For 4 weeks straight I added 3x weekly classes at Tracy Anderson to my routine, which was my favorite part of all of it. I had previously been a TA addict but had fallen off the wagon because of –well life, and money (it’s not cheap) -- but I couldn’t have been happier to step back into the studio. A couple weeks into it and I was feeling amazing.
30 days later, I have to say I did notice some changes. Although I didn’t really do anything too major to my routine (I could have invested more in the diet portion, definitely), I noticed more energy overall, I was sleeping better, and forcing myself out of bed in the mornings wasn’t quite as painful as usual. I have kept taking the vitamins and kept up with foam rolling, dry brushing and TA workouts, and I don’t plan on giving those up anytime soon! And perhaps if I get REALLY motivated, I’ll crack open her "It’s All Good cookbook" and give some recipes a whirl (baby steps, remember?).