Action Bronson may have lost 140 pounds since last year, but he’s still got that unmistakable Action grin. It comes paired with a “smiling eyes” brand of warmth that’ll make you feel like you’ve known the guy for years. His vibe has always been to live loud. Smoke what you want, eat what you want, do what you want, and give yourself over completely to life’s pleasures. It’s part of what makes his personality so infectious and why people flock to catch his show F*ck That’s Delicious, currently airing on YouTube, which is literally just about Action eating at the places he likes to eat (now with more kettlebell squats!).
But if you were worried that the new, healthier Action Bronson might live like a monk, fear not. He’s still the same dude with the same passion for food and life. He just felt like the fast life was catching up to him and he needed an adjustment.
“I put it out there for people to be free and fat and this and that, and eat what you like,” he says. “But unfortunately, some people have genetics like me where it just fucking sticks to your ass. I wanted to make amends… I realized that I was a fuckhead and I should stop doing these things and change shit up.”
That realization came while the multi-hyphenate was working on his new self-help book, Fuck It I’ll Start Tomorrow, which Action admits began as an attempt to get a check before morphing into a genuine journey of self-examination. We linked up last week over Zoom to talk about writing the book, getting fit, eating plant-based, and how it will all affect Fuck That’s Delicious going forward.
Let’s talk a bit about your new book Fuck It I’ll Start Tomorrow. It’s positioned as a self-help book — what kind of lessons do you teach people in the book?
Deceit, lying, lying to yourself, coming to the realization that you’ve lied to yourself and you’ve lied to everybody else… you know all kinds of things. It’s experience-based, a lot of people can relate to some of the things I’m saying, but I wrote it with deceit in my mind. When I wrote the book I had no intention of putting my all into it, which is unfortunate because I only do things that I put my all into. This I did strictly because it was a check and a way to get to another cookbook, which I really wanted to do. I didn’t want to do a fucking self-help book because “I don’t fucking give a shit,” that was my attitude.
The bottom line is, this book was written with bad intentions but somehow it turned a mirror on me and I realized that I was a fuckhead and I should stop doing these things and change shit up. Never do anything that you don’t put your all into and this book taught me a lesson.
The book ended at the pandemic, it was a prequel to all the change that’s happened now, but it was a catalyst. The book was a catalyst unknowingly, I hated every second of it, you could ask Rachel Wharton the woman who wrote the book with me, James Beard award winner, two times New York best-selling author. She went through hell with me to do this shit, I feel terrible. At one point I called them up and was like “Yo, I’ll give you the money back I’m not fucking doing this.” It was a shit show, but I’m just glad everything worked out.
In the book, you could feel my pain and my joy.
This year has been a definite journey, you’ve totally changed your life and changed the way you eat. What has impacted you the most about transforming, not just the way you look physically, but your diet, which was originally built around excess?
I’ve always been able to eat right, I actually went to school and got a 100 in nutrition, I know what we’re supposed to eat. I know what we need to eat to be healthy, I know what not to eat, I know not to eat 10 desserts at one time, but I’m an addict.
You have to break through that addiction, but the mind is stronger than anything and I feel like my mind is ironclad. 140 pounds bro. That’s not easy, I was disgusted I had 140 to lose, I still got to lose another 20 to 30, it’s unreal. At least I’m at a normal weight now, before I was so abnormal, it was disgusting.
I caught some of the new episodes of Fuck That’s Delicious, and I noticed just because you’ve gotten healthy, you haven’t gotten soft, you’re rocking the kettle ball to the pizza joint, you’re still as passionate about food as you’ve always been. That’s particularly inspiring because you’ve changed your whole life around but you haven’t given up the joy, and I think that’s an important message to share with people. What was your thinking going into the new season?
My thinking going into it was pretty much trying to mix my new lifestyle with the show. Every time we do Fuck That’s Delicious, all this shit was made up because this is my life. It was chronicling my life with the homies, and that was it, we never put any stage shit on, it’s all just one take, put a camera on and we just lived. So I just put the camera on and lived again, and this is just the way I’m living now so we’re capturing this.
For so long, it’s been just “blast yourself with 45 meals a day and desserts. It’s okay, just laugh, drink your face off, and smoke your life away.” Yeah, cool. There comes a point where it catches up and it caught up heavy to me. I had to chill out but the love of food is always going to be there. It doesn’t mean you have to stop eating, it just means you have to stop being an animal.
You gotta know when to hold them and you gotta know when to fold them. I learned when to fold them. Before, I didn’t know how to fold them.
Right now you’ve got a partnership happening with Field Roast and their show Make Taste Happen, what should we expect out of that partnership?
Big things man, it’s exciting, I love doing things where it’s something I use organically and it’s not just some bullshit. I was once a little bit intimidated by food that was mimicking real food but is made with plants, but these things, they’ve made in an approachable way. I understand sausage, I understand the way it is, I understand what’s going on in the world now.
It’s innovative and delicious and healthy. It’s this canvas that allows you to make unbelievable things, not just from a taste angle alone. It allows you to imagine and take the mind places you’ve been in the past — some real nostalgia stuff.
What makes Field Roast different? Why partner with them?
Just in my own opinion, I’ve tried plant-based sausage and plant-based burgers, and the texture usually isn’t there. It’s grainy or the flavor is off. There are only a couple of brands that seem like they’re doing the right thing, and in my estimation, Field Roast has been the best product I’ve tried so far. It’s very versatile, it browns up the way it should, it tastes amazing, it’s a vehicle for all kinds of flavors.
If you just have a couple of items in your pantry it’s really all you need — you can create masterpieces.
What are some of your favorite things to prepare? You sent me a photo of you doing apple sausage, broccoli, onions — what are we cooking here?
See that’s a classic Italian dish, I believe it’s a Roman dish, when you do the sausage with the orecchiette, the little ear pasta, with the broccoli. I decided that I’m going to mimic a dish that I have and I love and make it ethnic as well and take you around the world and give you flavors that go “mmm.”
I made this unbelieved pistachio pesto [full recipe here] to top it with, you could eat it every day. Use a little bit of Sambal. People submitted some items that I should be using and they tried to trick me on some Chopped stuff but I just created a masterpiece.
What’s your secret to a plant-based meal?
Not treating it as if it’s something different. You don’t put white gloves on like “ooh its plant-based” you just hit it with hard flavor like you normally would. It’s all about flavor, good olive oil, good products, it’s still all about the products. Make sure you keep it nice and fresh and creative.