Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop: Does It Do More Harm Than Good?

Goop’s former chief content officer and Gwyneth Paltrow‘s right-hand woman is speaking out about “toxic” wellness promoted by the company two years after stepping away.

Elise Loehnen, who will be familiar to fans of the Goop empire, co-hosted the company’s podcast and regularly appeared on Netflix’s The Goop Lab. She stepped away from the company in 2020 and she’s sharing her unvarnished opinion about the company’s push for cleanses and other diets.

Elise Loehnen Claims Goop Encourages ‘Toxic’ Practices That Made Her Have an Unhealthy Relationship with Her Body.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Elise Loehnen / Instagram

Loehnen left Goop in 2020 after spending seven years serving as the company’s top content officer. Despite seemingly leaving on amicable terms with Paltrow who said in a statement that she was “like a sister,” Loehnen has gained a new perspective about Goop and it’s not a rosy one.

In a newly shared video on her Instagram, the podcast host opened up about years of restrictive diet cleanses during her time at Goop that actually led to her developing an unhealthy and “distorted” view of her body.

The video opens with Loehnen explaining that she went on to “forswear any cleansing” after leaving Goop, sharing that the constant “cleansing” was actually counterproductive to her own health and wellbeing.

“To me, it had become synonymous with dieting and restriction, and I felt like I was not in a healthy relationship with my body, where I was always trying to punish it [and] bring it under control,” Elise says in the video.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop: Does It Do More Harm Than Good?
Paltrow and Loehnen / Instagram

Loehnen said that after leaving Goop she began “eating like a teenager” after years of restrictive cleansing practices.

“And I’ve been eating like a teenager for two years and enjoying it, to be honest,” she said of her new outlook on dieting.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop: Does It Do More Harm Than Good?
Loehnen / Instagram

“I vowed to never do another cleanse again and went into full rebellion, which has been kind of fun, and definitely healthy in terms of letting go of ideas of what my body should look like as a 42-year-old who has had two kids,” she says in the caption for the video.

“I needed to break a tendency to be critical and punishing,” she continued. “To chastise myself. All of it. I stopped weighing myself completely.”

She also said that after talking with a “friend,” she was reminded that “wellness culture can be toxic,” but added that eating an unnourishing diet can also be harmful.

“When I talked with my friend @ellenvoramd on PULLING THE THREAD [her podcast] recently, we explored diet and she reminded me that wellness culture can be toxic AND that eating an abundance of overly processed foods can also be toxic,” she explained, detailing that both extremes can be problematic.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop: Does It Do More Harm Than Good?
Loehnen and Dr. Ellen Vora / Instagram

Despite condemning cleanses, Loehnen shared later in the video that she started the Kroma Wellness cleanse… But, it’s different, according to her because she has taken a new approach.

“I thought I would hate the whole thing but I decided to do it differently,” she shared. “I didn’t weigh myself before, during, after, and I chose the version that lets you eat extra veggies and proteins as you want.”

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop: Does It Do More Harm Than Good?
Loehnen and Paltrow / Instagram

“I refuse to punish myself with food, or hold myself under the weight my body seems to want to be anymore,” she explained of her new outlook. “I don’t have the energy or the interest, thankfully. (And more importantly, I’ve come to realize that I really like my body and am grateful it is mine.) Hopefully, I’ve broken that cycle for good.”

Buzzfeed News reports that a source with internal knowledge of Goop’s hiring and firing said that Loehnen’s leave from the company was not a result of resignation, in fact, executives at the company received complaints about her being a “toxic manager.”

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop: Does It Do More Harm Than Good?
Loehnen / Instagram

The source also said that Goop staff are “surprised” by Loehnen’s comments on wellness culture, saying that she was a “proponent” for cleanses and “pushed forward” on the same kind of practices she condemned in her recent social media post.

While it’s unclear whether Loehnen left the company on her own accord or not, Goop is no stranger to criticism for its extreme approach to wellness.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop: Does It Do More Harm Than Good?
Goop / Instagram

In 2018, Goop was criticized for endorsing toxic diet culture after publishing tips from celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, who told readers to “get off gluten and go very low carb” and eat meal replacement bars to lose weight quickly.

Further, the company itself has been the source of questionable management. Business Insider reported that last fall over 140 employees had been laid off or resigned amid claims that Goop was a toxic work environment.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop: Does It Do More Harm Than Good?
Paltrow / Instagram

Buzzfeed News reports that following the BI story, staff members claimed that they were paid low wages and were subject to “fear-based management” and a “‌’mean girl’ vibe” at the company. Some went so far to call out Paltrow herself for choosing “favorites” among her staff.

While we’ll likely never know what went on behind the scenes at Goop, it’s clear from Loehnen’s own account that “toxic” wellness is definitely an issue today. We hope, for the sake of fans of the company, that Goop rethinks its approach.

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