Gwyneth Paltrow is InStyle's October Cover Girl

gwyneth paltrow instyle magazine october 2012
Photo courtesy of InStyle
Birthday girl: Gwyneth Paltrow's October cover shoot.

It's been a big month for Gwyneth Paltrow, who has already racked up a gig as the new face of Max Factor, the title of the World's Best Dressed Woman, and a serious sales spike for J.Crew just by modeling their clothes for her Goop newsletter.

And there's plenty more where that came from.

The Oscar-winning actress will turn the big 4-0 on September 27, just six days after InStyle's October issue—which features Paltrow on the cover in a lovely purple halter dress-hits newsstands. Whew!

Naturally, the subject of her big birthday comes up in conversation as the blonde beauty poses for photographer Giampaolo Sgura.

"I'm taking stock and really looking at everything," she says.

"I'm trying to accept myself. There's a Rumi poem, 'The Guest House,' about welcoming in all aspects of yourself: The dark, the light, the jealous, the happy. Let them all in. But know that you're not defined by any single one of them. I've become much more serious after experiencing all the ups and downs of life-heartbreak, the death of people I love," she adds.

"These days I feel pretty grounded."

The star also opens up about suffering post-partum depression following the birth of her second child, Moses, her struggle to accept her flaws, and how she's grown into a full-on foodie.

"I was very strict for a while," she tells the magazine.

"I was macrobiotic for a couple of years, then I got pregnant and just ate ice cream. What I've learned is I want to enjoy my life, and food is a big part of it. I love to cook and feed people. I cook every day. I [indulge] but I don't like sweets. My indulging is a fresh baguette with cheese and a glass of red wine or French fries and fried zucchini. Or a turkey burger."

Guess we'll 86 the birthday cake then.

For more Gwyneth Paltrow, visit and pick up the October issue, on sale September 21.