Celebrity nutritionist Oz Garcia has written four books, was named the best New York nutritionist by New York Magazine twice, and frequently offers nutrition counseling to clients like Heidi Klum and Hilary Swank. Not to mention his array of moniker-stamped products like Oz Water and Oz Daily Boost. While his credentials helped pave his yellow brick road to success, he credits his humble beginnings for many of his food sensibilities. “I grew up in Cuba, Florida, and on the Upper West Side,” Garcia says. “My grandmother and great grandmother would go out of their way to go to the fresh food markets. There was a terrific market in Spanish Harlem—you’d go up there and get live chickens and an enormous wide variety of fruits and vegetables that kids don’t know exist today. In Cuba, I was literally picking fruits and vegetables in my backyard.” That explains his colorful, fruit-and-veggie stocked refrigerator, which he graciously opened for us.
What’s the one thing you’re never without? I always have organic yogurt, organic blueberries, and an organic chicken in my fridge. My vegetable chest is always full—usually with cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, and apples. I like to look at a full fridge, you know? But if there’s one thing that I could really never do without, it’s dark chocolate.
I hear you. Do you mostly stick to organic chicken or do you eat red meat as well? I’ll go months without red meat, and then I’ll treat myself to a terrific steak, some wonderful jamon serrano from Spain or prosciutto or baby lambchops. I’m not red meat averse.
Do you take Oz Brain and Oz Arctic Oils, or any other non-Oz supplements? I take an enormous variety of supplements—my own, other people’s, depending on what it is that I’m looking for.
We know you’re a fan of BluePrint Cleanse. How often do you do it? I typically do a one-day cleanse every Monday. Then every couple of months I’ll do a 2 or 3-day cleanse. About twice a year I’ll do a week-long or two-week cleanse. I typically like to do BluePrint with food—juice all day and then in the evening, a quinoa salad with vegetables.
Wow, that’s a lot of cleansing. Which juice is your favorite? I don’t know the names of the juices, but the one that’s lemon-based is my favorite. It’s like lemonade.
When you’re not cleansing, it looks like you’re celebrating with a whole lot of Moet & Chandon. Is champagne one of your guilty pleasures? I’m very moderate in my drinking. I may go weeks without having a glass of wine, and then I’ll bust open a bottle of champagne. It’s a rare occasion, because I don’t like the way I feel afterward. Usually, I get home, work out, read, watch Boardwalk Empire… I love Boardwalk Empire! Isn’t it the best show ever? Oh my god! Last night, I think we watched the first three episodes all over again.
This has nothing to do with Boardwalk Empire, sorry. But what’s that mini-pumpkin-looking thing on the top shelf? It’s a mini pumpkin.
Ah ha! Okay, what’s your number one nutrition tip for us to think about while stocking our refrigerators? I shop for all of the things that are healthy, but I want to make them entertaining and tasteful for my meals.
PS: Garcia’s latest book, The Food Cure for Kids, hit shelves this month. In it, he joins with New York pediatrician, Natalie Geary, to help reconnect today’s kids to the fresh food he remembers so vividly from his childhood.