Welcome to My Morning Routine, where we take a look at how people kick-start the day. In the first few installments, we focused on Bon Appétit staffers. Now we move into the wide world of everyone else (and by that we mean celebrities).
Aubrey Plaza plays the eternally sullen (and eternally awesome) April Ludgate
on NBC’s Parks and Recreation
. She’s also the star of Safety Not Guaranteed
, a feature-length time travel dramedy that premiered last week (and that’s getting great reviews). Here’s a look at her food-related life. —Sam Dean
I’m the worst person to ask about a morning routine. I’m all over the place. If I’m working, I get up around 6 AM sometimes. If I’m not working, I sleep as late as I can. I’d say 11 AM, on average.
(Credit: Kevin Zacher / Corbis Outline)
My brain does not work until I have at least two or three shots of espresso from my Nespresso machine, with the little pods. It’s pretty great. I usually make a double—sometimes triple—almond milk latte.
I like breakfast, but I really like brunch. I’m not the best at allowing myself enough time for it, though, so usually I have a pretty rushed almond milk latte, an apple, a handful of almonds, and maybe some Greek yogurt. But if I’m really on it, I’ll wake up and have a latte and make myself some toast with almond butter or Nutella and an apple. And if I’m really ambitious, I’ll have an egg. Hopefully someday, I’ll have a fully realized poached egg with f**in’, kale salad, who knows.
Also in the mornings, I stare at myself in the mirror for a while and say, just to myself, “don’t f**k this up.” Mostly when I’m not even working—when I have one of those days where I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m really good with structure, but when I have no structure, I’m all over the place. I’m lucky if I don’t spend the entire day watching Bravo and staring at the wall.
I do a lot of stretches, though, and a lot of yoga. Ever see that Ingmar Bergman movie, Scenes from a Marriage? You know how in the morning, they get up and do the weird Swedish stretches? I like to think that they’re Swedish, anyway. I kind of do that, and I kind of improvise. Cardio bums me out, but I love yoga. I love anything that’s really calming. I think I hold a lot of tension in my body.
When I decide to cook dinner, there’s an anxiety buildup that goes on for two days in advance. Even a simple dinner—just the idea of shopping, cleaning up while you go along. I get really mean. I should maybe pop some pills.
I’ve recently been interested in trying to cook Puerto Rican food, so I’ve been grilling my grandparents about their recipes. I want to learn how to make it when I’m still young, so I’m not like middle-aged and still don’t know how to make good rice and beans.
Working on a TV show is pretty great for food, because they get to know what you like and what your dietary needs and concerns are. The food on the set of Parks and Rec is always awesome: there’s a lot of almond butter and apple snacks. Carey, our craft guy, makes us awesome healthy food, this prairie chicken salad that’s really great, deviled eggs that are amazing—just little snacky foods. Sometimes we have oats-encrusted chicken wings.
Nick Offerman eats exactly like Ron Swanson. He’s always introducing me to new cocktails. For his birthday party, he had a bartender in his kitchen making amazing cocktails. I had a Penicillin.
But everyone on the show is really into food. Chris Pratt and Nick want to eat all the time, Aziz is the ultimate foodie, and Rashida and Amy and I are all into food. Food is not the focus on movie sets, though, especially the indie movies I’ve been working on. Getting the shots going is the focus. When I made a movie last summer—the name isn’t even decided yet—we were in such a time crunch to shoot scenes that I just forgot to eat half the time. So we had to do one of those food delivery services. It’s like a robot that comes off a truck and shoves food in your mouth, basically.
I have to say, though: I hate bananas, I hate popcorn, I hate chips, I hate hard pretzels. I don’t like hard bread, either—I have a hard time eating sandwiches when the bread is really hard. Crunchy and mushy are two textures I just can’t stand.