10/30/2008 at 04:00 PM EDT
's health-conscious lifestyle and eating habits can be traced back to a phone call a decade ago that, she says, "changed my life."
In a new GOOP
newsletter, the actress writes that, while filming The Talented Mr. Ripley
in Italy in 1998, she learned her father had been diagnosed with throat cancer.
"I watched his health deteriorate slowly until his death in 2002," Paltrow, 36, says of her director dad, Bruce. "During this time I began to read about Eastern medicine and the body's capacity to heal itself."
Paltrow, who was known for following her own strict diet, encouraged her dad to follow in her healthy footsteps. While he embraced acupuncture, he "hated macrobiotic food," she says, "which he likened to 'biting into The New York Times
These days Paltrow credits her top-notch physical condition to three doctors in London, New York and L.A., whose advice has helped her get through health problems including pneumonia, anemia and stress.
Some of the building blocks of a healthier life, according to the actress's doctors, are plentiful sleep, regular exercise and eating organic and additive-free foods (including lots of veggies).