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Gwyneth Paltrow shares her philosophies on business, health and motherhood

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Gwyneth Paltrow shares her philosophies on business, health and motherhood

Like her or not, Gwyneth Paltrow is never boring. She talks to MiNDFOOD about motherhood, marriage, returning to acting in television satire, The Politician, and of course, running her Goop lifestyle brand.

Gwyneth Paltrow shares her philosophies on business, health and motherhood

How much of a politician are you? Are you good at doing the handshakes and the smiles?

So bad! The older I get, the grumpier I get and the less patience I have to smile and shake hands (laughs).

How often does this enter into your life?

I think there’s a fair amount of it. Honestly, in all seriousness, I do think there’s always an upside in life to having people who know you outside of your personal life and especially as I’ve gone more into my business life and seeing how I’m impacting people from a recipe or from a good restaurant recommendation it’s actually really nice to shake hands and interact with people. I like it a lot.

What advice do you give your kids about the big issues?

Wow, that’s a big question. Well, I think as a mother, for me it’s very important that I raise children that are not scared to feel their feelings. I think a lot of us were raised in a generation where we were told, ‘Don’t feel that’, and, ‘Don’t show that. It’s not appropriate to show anger, or sadness at the dinner table.’ I think our generation was really taught to suppress emotion and I actually think it’s not good for our souls. We’re human beings and we experience a cross-section of emotions every day. So, if I’m in the car and I lose my temper because there’s an idiot driving in front of me, then I say to my kids, ‘I’m sorry, but I’m feeling a little road rage today.’ I think when we say to children, ‘Don’t feel that way’, then that creates shame. It’s so natural to feel anger or hatred or grief or any of those things that are harder for us to feel. And I think the more that we can say, ‘Hey, just feel it,’ then it goes through faster and I think it’s much healthier.

Did it take a lot of convincing to come back to your acting life in The Politician?

Well, I did it because I’m having sex with the writer (laughs).

True. You married Brad Falchuk, the writer and producer. Is it difficult working with him? Do you have rules where you don’t talk about work at home?

It was great to work with him, he’s a brilliant writer. And he’s the only person who I think could have really gotten me back to filming. And it’s fun, I love it when he directs, he’s my favourite director and yes, we do talk about work at home.

Did you miss acting?

No, not at all.

As a businesswoman, what have you learned about yourself? What kind of boss are you?

Well, I’ve been building this company for almost 11 years now and we are at 250 people, who are 80 per cent women at the company. And I think so many of the people have been on this mission with me. We have certain tenets around the company, the way of communicating and I really believe that a work environment needs to feel collaborative and creative and kind, that the work/life balance needs to be good, especially because we have so many working mothers at the company. I think that I am a perfectionist when it comes to myself, I think that I can be a demanding boss and I don’t like it when we make the same mistakes more than once. But I do think that we have a good work environment and it feels very collaborative and I think the team feels very aligned and very close to the mission. I’ve learned so much about myself.

You’ve maintained your incredible figure through the years. Do you have a cheat day? How do you keep up?

So I don’t have a cheat day, but dinner is like a cheat meal. So what I try to do is be pretty clean during the day and have good nutritious clean food like salmon and some salad, but at dinner I will always cheat a little bit. I will always have a glass of wine or some cheese or a baguette or something delicious; a brownie. I don’t believe in being too strict, I think that you have to enjoy life and food is such an important part of it, for me anyway, I get so much pleasure from something delicious and from a great martini or something. For the most part, I feel like I’ve relaxed a lot as I’ve gotten older. There’s a difference between having French fries that are cooked in good oil and are fresh and something really processed out of a package. Or having really good quality bio-dynamic wine or something that was done without a lot of chemicals.

You’ve achieved so much in your life. What’s the next step?

I feel like I have so much to learn still as a human being and as the mother of teenagers and as a wife, I feel like such a work in progress in so many ways. I think career-wise, I really hope to continue to grow my company and really impact people’s lives positively with it. I am at that point now where you start to sense, ‘Gosh, life is finite’, and you realise that in a way that when you are 27 you don’t feel but when you are 47 you’re like, ‘Okay wow, this thing is probably half over at least.’ I just want to really squeeze all the juice out of life and make it worthwhile.

What would you tell your younger self?

I think I would tell my 20-year-old self to speak my truth more, especially as a woman. At that time I think we were really encouraged to keep the peace and make everything nice and not ruffle any feathers. And I wish I had learned earlier how important it is, especially for women to speak their truth. It took me a long time to get there.

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