Gwyneth Paltrow wasn't always the Goop-inspired, healthy living actress we all know, telling The Guardian that back in the day she subsisted on coffee, cigarettes and French fries. Her shift apparently came while hanging out with one celeb in particular many years ago.

"I hung out with Leonardo DiCaprio when I moved to New York," she writes. "He was vegetarian and he'd talk about how dirty meat is and how bad factory farming is. I haven't eaten red meat in 20 years and although Leo's not totally responsible, he definitely planted a seed. When I turned seriously macrobiotic, it coincided with my father having been diagnosed with cancer [in 1999]. I felt I could heal him by proxy."

Paltrow, who gave up her strict macrobiotic diet during her first pregnancy and has since released two cookbooks, added that her goal today is simply to eat and cook real food.

"It's funny how people react, as if it's revolutionary that I don't want my children to eat Oreos, or the English equivalent, every day," she says. "I believe in real food, things being delicious, and butter, in minimally processed delicious foods and raw milk cheese and properly raised chicken and line-caught fish. But I'm a realist and I have kids and I love Oreos too, so honestly I'm not rigid at all."

As for Leo being a vegetarian, the 38-year-old may have been one at some point, but it appears that he's more focused these days on conservation and environmental initiatives than diet. According to People, the star reportedly enjoyed some steak while dining out last year with vegan pal Tobey Maguire. Whether his vegetable-only days are behind him, at least he was able to inspire Paltrow to think more critically about her food.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

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