“I would never have that much chickpea in a salad, to be honest.”
Blame the chickpeas. See, it all started with Courteney Cox’s 2010 interview with the Los Angeles Times. The actress told the paper that Jennifer Aniston ate the same salad on the set of Friends every day for 10 years, a “doctored up” Cobb. It’s gone viral over the years as folks on social media authoritatively describe Aniston’s love for mint, parsley, and garbanzo beans while tossing the ingredients for an overhead camera. “It looks like a delicious salad,” Aniston tells ELLE.com over Zoom, “but that’s not the one I had on Friends.” The problem? Aniston would never pour an entire can of chickpeas into a salad like that. “Not good for the digestive tract,” she attests.
(The plot thickens slightly: In 2015, Aniston documented her day for haircare brand Living Proof and wrote on its Instagram that her “perfect salad” includes, among other things, garbanzo beans, according to People. Maybe she and the salad are on a break.)
So, it turns out, the salad is viral, but not vital. These days, Aniston is happier snacking on blueberries and sipping almond milk. All this talk of vitality came about because she now holds the title of chief creative officer for Vital Proteins, a collagen powder purveyor. She worked with the brand on three new protein bars—so if you want to actually eat the same thing as Aniston, these might be a safer bet. We chatted with Aniston about all things vital, including that infamous salad and her Netflix guilty pleasure, The Ultimatum.
WHAT ARE YOUR THREE VITAL ESSENTIALS?
Oh my god. In terms of…anything? My dogs, my proper nutrition, and sleep.
WHAT ARE THE VITAL FOODS IN YOUR FRIDGE?
I have chopped celery and cucumbers, blueberries, and almond milk.
WHAT ABOUT INGREDIENTS FOR THE FAMOUS TIKTOK JENNIFER ANISTON SALAD?
Well, that salad, dare I debunk that? That’s not the salad that I had every day on Friends. I feel terrible because it’s literally taken off like crazy, and it looks like a delicious salad, by the way, but that’s not the one that I had on Friends.
YOU HAVE EVERYONE IN THESE STREETS MAKING THIS SALAD AND YOU’RE LIKE, “I’M SORRY. LOOKS GOOD, BUT NO.”
It really does. I would never have that much chickpea in a salad, to be honest. Not good for the digestive tract.
WHAT’S ONE VITAL ACT IN YOUR DAY?
WHO ARE THE VITAL PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE?
My best friend, Andrea.
WHAT’S A VITAL STEP IN YOUR MORNING ROUTINE?
I keep going to meditation. I have a mantra. There are apps that you could get on your phone depending on what your mood is. Sometimes I like guided, sometimes I like to just sort of have my own mantra.
HOW ABOUT A VITAL STEP IN YOUR NIGHTTIME ROUTINE?
Washing my face and brushing my teeth. Never go to bed with makeup on.
WHAT’S YOUR VITAL TRAVEL SECRET?
I don’t have one yet. If there’s a secret anybody can give me… Well, there was one about working out wherever you go. The first thing you should do is have a workout. I’ve only done that once in my lifetime, to be honest. I did it one time and it was great. That was vital for that one time. It was the Along Came Polly press junket. I thought I would play better on that one.
WHAT’S YOUR VITAL READING RIGHT NOW?
All I’ve been reading honestly is scripts. I’m in the midst of reading Morning Show season three scripts. My morning is water, meditation, season three, reading scripts, and outlines.
WHAT’S YOUR VITAL GUILTY PLEASURE?
Bachelorette, but that hasn’t been on in a while. Bachelor, Bachelorette. I’ve lost my love of it the last couple of years, I have to say. So this is a problem. My guilty pleasure has been letting me down the last few years.
YOU NEED A NEW REALITY SHOW. HAVE YOU TRIED THE REALLY WILD ONES LIKE LOVE IS BLIND?
Do you know what my girlfriend made me watch one night and I watched almost all of them? It was The Ultimatum. It’s just these couples. One is like, “I want to marry you.” and the other’s like, “No, I’m not so sure.” And then they go in with a group of couples, each one has a, “I want to marry you,” and the other’s not so sure. Then they date other people. What is up with this Ultimatum? Then they date someone else in the same room. The two people that did not want to get married are dating each other.
IT’S NUTS, BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE THE PEOPLE WHO SHOULDN’T HAVE GOTTEN MARRIED ENDED UP GETTING MARRIED.
It was just… I was irate; I was like, “I can’t make it through an Oscar-nominated film and I can watch 19 episodes of this damn show.” Please. Please.
WHAT’S YOUR VITAL KARAOKE SONG?
I don’t have one. Oh my gosh. When was the last time I even sang karaoke? I’m sure it would be a Journey song. Don’t Stop Believing, Open Arms, or one of those from the ’70s. Well, there you go. I mean these are important topics we have to hit. [Laughs.]