We Attended Gwyneth Paltrow's $500-a-Ticket Health Summit: These Are the Craziest Things We Witnessed
Who Tried It: Gabrielle Olya, PEOPLE writer and reporter
I was very excited to score a press pass to Paltrow’s inaugural all-day wellness event, as tickets had sold out almost immediately (though to be honest, I would not have been able to justify spending $500 to $1,500 on a one-day event even if they had not sold out). So on Saturday I happily headed to 3Labs in Culver City, California, which had been transformed into a Goop-lovers’ dream for the summit.
Upon check-in, I received a worry bracelet with a lapis-colored tassel, symbolizing that I was part of the lowest-cost ticket bracket. I walked into an outdoor patio area, which was set up with wooden communal tables in the middle of several interactive areas.
By the entrance was a blanket covered in bowls of crystals, where resident shaman Colleen McCann provided “crystal readings” for attendees (which were unsurprisingly 99 percent female, mostly between the ages 25 and 55). The outdoor area also featured an aura photo dome, IV drip bar, by CHLOE ice cream cart, oxygen bar, a Moon Juice bar, and a “Zen zone” that featured a “digital meditation” area (which entailed listening to a pre-recorded guided medication on an iPad) and dream analysis area.
After doing a quick scan of the offerings outside, I headed into the main “Goop Hall,” which housed an all-you-can-eat super healthy food court featuring food from trendy L.A. health food spots Ancolie, Belcampo, Botanica, Bulletproof Coffe, Kye’s, Lifehouse Tonics, Lifeway Foods, MatchaBar, Sweetfin Poké, and sweetgreen.
I quickly ate a tuna roll from Sweetfin Poké before heading into my first panel of the day, “The Tools,” moderated by Paltrow, during which psychotherapists Dr. Phil Stutz and Barry Michels provided on-demand therapy to audience members. The panel focused on the importance of allowing yourself to be imperfect and mess up sometimes — which is good advice!
Following the panel was a two-hour lunch break, during which we were encouraged to try out the wellness activations. Unfortunately almost all the activations were fully booked in advance (so sadly I did not get to find out what color my aura is), so I was only able to try the oxygen bar. My experience involved waiting 45 minutes on line to breathe in flavored oxygen (you could mix lavender, lemon, grapefruit and eucalyptus flavors) for 10 minutes. Breathing in highly concentrated oxygen is purported to have a number of health benefits (detoxifying blood, increasing circulation, strengthening the immune system, heightening concentration, improving relaxation and relieving headaches). I didn’t notice any immediate effects, but I did enjoy the smell.
I used the rest of our free time to sample more Goop-approved foods including a macro “Kyerito” — a healthy version of a burrito stuffed with seared wild salmon, macro pressed vegetables, wasabi dressing, black sesame seeds and brown rice wrapped in nori — and a MatchaBar matcha latte. Shockingly, it was my first time drinking matcha (despite the fact that matcha seems to be everywhere in L.A.) and I was not impressed — I thought it tasted like chalk. I also took the time to browse the Clean Beauty Apothecary featuring Paltrow’s (pricey) beauty faves and The Workout Shop featuring activewear by Tory Sport.
Soon it was time for the “The Motherload” panel, which talked about “the mother wound” and mother-child relationships. This panel was not my cup of tea, so I left the panel early to charge my phone — and eat some vegan kale cookies + cream ice cream from the by CHLOE ice cream cart. They had more traditional flavors, but when in Goop-land, how can you not go for the kale? And it was surprisingly delicious!
The next panel was called “The Three Way,” which discussed feminism and equality in the context of sex, with panelists including psychotherapist Esther Perel, Girls executive producer Jenni Konner, and author Nicole Daedone. While some of the discussion made me blush in my seat, it was a very interesting take on the subject of sex.
Following the panel was a designated snack time. As we left the auditorium where the panels were being held, servers held trays filled with bee pollen smoothies — which much like the kale ice cream was surprisingly tasty!
The quick break was followed by a brief “Ask Me Anything” segment with Paltrow’s longtime trainer Tracy Anderson, and then it was time for the keynote panel, “Balls in the Air” about juggling different aspects of life, with Paltrow moderating a panel that featured Cameron Diaz, Tory Burch, Nicole Richie and Miranda Kerr.
The panel wrapped up around 6:30, at which time the Lapis level attendees were to collect our gift bags — probably the most anticipated part of the whole day for me (who doesn’t love swag?) — and the swag did not disappoint. My “In Goop Health” canvas bag was stocked with all sorts of Goop-y goodies, including The Tools and Goop Clean Beauty books, Vital Proteins collagen, an Aquis hair towel, Cote nail polish, Tracy Anderson protein bars, a Skinny & Co. oil pulling kit, French Girl Rose Lip Polish, Herbivore Sea Mist hair spray, Babo Botanicals Smoothing Conditioner, a Gorjana bracelet, a Goldfaden MD Facial Detox mask and more. (Had I had a $1,500 “Crystal Quartz” ticket, my swag would have been presented in a TUMI luggage rather than a canvas bag.)
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The Verdict: The day was long. By the end, I was Goop-ed out, but I definitely enjoyed being able to spend a day living, eating and thinking the Goop way. Was it worth $500 to $1,500? That’s questionable, but the experience was definitely one-of-a-kind: there’s no other event where you’d be able to sip on a bee pollen smoothie while listening to Gwyneth Paltrow chat with her girlfriends about getting leech facials.