Actress Gwyneth Paltrow follows a super-strict detox diet two or three times a year for several weeks to cleanse and reset her system but otherwise enjoys a varied menu because she loves to eat.
"Life is about balance," Paltrow told the April 2013 issue of Self. "It's good to work in healthy food, whether it's five days a week or five meals a week. And if you're going to do it, it should be awesome food you're psyched to make. But never cut out the brownies or the wine."
Gwyneth embarked on her super-clean, detox diet a few years ago after feeling exhausted and unhealthy. "A couple of years ago, I got really run down," Paltrow, 40, recounts.
"I was constantly getting on airplanes, trying to knock myself out with sleeping pills and wine, waking up, trying to sweat it out with exercise and a steam, and then working really hard all day. Eventually I had a panic attack. My doctor, Alejandro Junger, recommended that I cut out basically everything: dairy, sugar, gluten, anything processed."
After following the sugar-, dairy- and gluten-free diet, Paltrow was amazed by how much better felt better physically and emotionally.
"You feel lighter and your emotions get smoother," says the mom of two. "I also was run-down because I had a lot of unexpressed anger. I made everyone else's feelings more important than my own. I'd suck it up and then be alone in my car yelling at traffic or fighting with hangers in my closet when they got stuck together."
Gwyneth, who recently came under fire after revealing she put her kids on a low-carb, gluten-free diet, says she's feeling more comfortable and settled as she gets older.
"I feel a sisterhood emerging around me," says Paltrow who has been married to Coldplay front-man Chris Martin, 36, since 2003. "I'm less threatening now that I'm 40 and not '26-with-an-Oscar.' There's a sense of love and support. I feel really lucky."
Gwyneth says learning to confront issues directly has improved all her relationships, including her marriage. "You're not learning anything unless you're having the difficult conversations," she says. "Dealing with things directly changed my relationships.
"Sometimes when you get clear about who you are, others get less comfortable because they liked who you were. It's changed my marriage too, but he's up for the challenge."