Photo:Smith House Photo
If you're a Queer Eye fan, you're probably quite familiar with Antoni Porowski, who helps the "heroes" on the show with their cooking skills and meal prepping. In addition to the show, he's had a full plate (pun intended) for the past couple of years, from publishing a cookbook, Antoni in the Kitchen, to opening a fast-casual restaurant in Manhattan, The Village Den.
Most recently, Porowski was at Create & Cultivate LA 2020, where he talked about everything health and wellness on behalf of OLLY, the multivitamin brand. We got a chance to ask him a few questions about what he keeps in his fridge, carry-on bag, and gym bag, plus his wellness priorities. Take a look below:
Photo:Smith House Photo
What are five things you always have in your pantry or fridge?
Medjool dates with the pits they're delicious, they're high in fiber, they're sweet, they're caramel-y. I put almond butter on them, which is my second thing that I keep in the fridge and some really nice like salt, Jacobsen Salt. I'd love to have that. Oh, that's three things already. I always have a bowl of lemons. When they start to get old, I put them in the fridge, but I put lemon zest in literally anything. Obviously I always have oat milk—I love my Oat Ly, it's a Canadian brand and I like to support. Hmm what else... good quality olive oil. That's why I don't like to skimp. If I'm making a simple little butter lettuce salad or some bitter greens, [you need] just a little bit of really nice olive oil. Again, more flake salt, and a lot, of course, black pepper. Don't buy the powdered pepper. It doesn't taste good. It was worse than I thought.
What are 5 things always in your carry-on bag?
Oh there's actually a new OLLY gummy that I never knew existed and it has a little bit of caffeine from green tea, it's called Swift Energy! It's so good, and I found it in the airport, so I travel with that one. I try not to drink coffee on planes. And so, I'll take three of those with just water.
Tata Harper essential oils—she does awesome skincare. [It's a] woman-run company. She's based in Vermont and lives on this idealic farm. She has little jars of these oils and these are the rollers that you can just kind of rub into your hands and just take a nice little sniff in, and it just kind of like calms you. There's one for relaxing, one for sleeping.
I'm big on sleep—some eight hours is very important, but when I'm on a plane, it's a lot harder. So, I always have like a simple little eye mask thing that I put on just when I want to, like, doze off for like an hour. And this other one is technically in my carry-on because it's in my phone and it's an app—but I love Headspace. I've been meditating. And what I love about them is that you can actually customize, not unlike OLLY gummies. I'm all about customization, where you can sort of figure out what your intention is. Is it happiness? Is it the right action? Is it counteraction, whatever it is? And you kind of get to cater it to whatever your days are like. And lastly, a little blanket.
What are five things in your gym bag?
Face mist: Fellow Barber does a really good one, but Caudalie is another one. I love a nice little face mist that's a little salty. You know that feeling when you walk out of the ocean? I love to spray that after the gym. I always have my Gillette deodorant, which is very important when you're anyone who sweats at the gym. A clean pair of socks—very important. I change my socks twice a day because I get smelly feet. Sorry, I'm human. And a portable/refillable water bottle. I'm trying to be more conscientious about plastic bottled water. I follow Greta Thunberg religiously and it's like I will never be her, but I can at least try to exercise a part of that. And what's nice about having that is that I'm always constantly reminding myself to refill it and drink water.
My next question is, what's your daily OLLY routine?
It's going to be a long one. Okay. So, I start the day off with Probiotic Prebiotic. I take the Stress gummy if I have a lot of stuff or if I'm going to be really busy. And then when I get home in the late afternoon is usually when I want to have little sweets—I try to avoid all sugar for the most part, even though they're relatively low. It feels like a sweet treat. And so, I do like a little cup with my whole selection, like Flawless Complexion, the vitamin D (it's really nice because it's citrusy), and the men's multivitamin. Then, I end the day with the sleep gummy.
What are some other priorities in your wellness routine?
I mentioned sleep. Eating is actually a really tough one because as important as food is in my life and as much as I think about it more than most people do, I forget to eat. I get really overwhelmed and then I get stressed out. Basically my version of hangry is that I kind of get really quiet and closed in and my energy just totally goes to shit. So, I always try to remind myself to eat at least every three to four hours at very bare minimum, some kind of a snack. Whether it's dates that I carry with me or carrot sticks just to kind of keep going. I'm also very hyper. I have to work out every single day so that I can sleep better at night. Taking my gummies, using face mist, moisturizing my skin—yes those things are good for you, but just having a little moment where I'm doing something that's for me helps me kind of feel a little more centered.
How do you prioritize that and get a workout in with your busy schedule?
I have to go very early in the morning. Usually it's at 6, 7 or 8 a.m. depending on when it is, because I know that if I don't go in the morning, in the afternoon I'm so spent that I don't have the energy for it. It actually helps me to be more focused. I'm also a hyper person. I have to consciously remind myself to take a moment to rest. Some days are non-negotiable. I try not to answer a single work email and I stay horizontal on my couch. I have this leather ball ottoman situation that I put my feet on, I drink tea, I try not to have caffeine on Sundays—that's like my one recharge day where I watch a lot of Veep, Euphoria, and the Taylor Swift documentary on Netflix.
Photo:Smith House Photo
What's the rest of your morning routine like?
Wake up. I drink a lot of water. One single shot of espresso. If I were left to my own devices, I would just drink coffee all day long. And I know that that's not healthy because at one point I just crashed, so I tried to space it out. Am I successful? No, but I'm really trying. Then I go to the gym, I come back, I eat two hard-boiled eggs, and then I just basically start my day.
So two hard-boiled eggs, is that what you have if you have a long day of shooting?
I have a handful of spinach or some kind of like a leafy green like kale. I'm very big on fiber as well. Fiber is incredibly important. So, I love a hard-boiled egg. Cooking it at six and a half minutes is perfect because the white is fully cooked, but the yolk is still jammy. I don't like it when they get too hard, when they get that cream form from being overcrowded. OLLY has a really nice peanut butter protein powder that I mix in with a frozen banana [in the blender]. I also put in a full tablespoon of cinnamon, a bit of almond butter, some kind of a nut milk like almond or oat or even water if I don't have any, Medjool dates, and some ice cubes—and that's my smoothie."
What's an easy healthy meal anyone can cook and look like they're a veteran chef?
I think learning how to treat your protein. If you eat meat, whether it's a chicken breast, or fish—knowing how to sear it at a high time, get a nice little char on the outside, and finish it off in the oven or on a pan. It's a simple clean protein. All you need is lemon zest or some lemon juice, a bit of salt—very basic seasoning. And know how to make a nice salad and treat your veggies. You don't have to cook everything. Carrots are delicious. You can peel them with a little Y-peeler and have beautiful ribbons that you don't have to eat massive clumps of it. It literally takes 15 minutes and you have like a nice salad with a protein.
And switching gears a bit to Queer Eye—you've had a lot of great guests. Who is your dream celebrity guest?
I think I only started thinking about it when we were in Japan. We had Naomi Watanabe and Kiko Mizuhara, who were such lovely ambassadors and really helped us to figure out how to come into that environment respectfully, because we didn't want to throw in sort of our Western views on whatever Eastern culture is. You want to come in and kind of like it respectful of all that. So, it just kind of got me thinking I'd love the opportunity to travel. It's not necessarily anybody I know, but if we are afforded the luxury of or the opportunity to go and visit different countries and just meeting people who are local there, who are very passionate about it. The two ambassadors that we had were so passionate about Japan and Japanese culture, and we got to learn so much from them.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.