Dennis Franz

The veteran actor and family man reveals the secrets of his (mostly) healthy diet.
Dennis Franz


I'm truly a creature of habit, at least when I get into a routine or am working on a project. Lately, I've been waking up early, around 6:30. The first thing I do is have a cup of coffee with sugar-free hazelnut creamer. Then I eat an orange and go for an hour-long walk before breakfast, which always consists of a half-cup of whole grain cereal, like Fiber One, half a banana and some almonds, oats and berries. I mix it all together with nonfat yogurt or light vanilla soy milk. if I get hungry later, I'll have whole grain toast with peanut butter, one of my weaknesses -- I like the natural kind, like Adams and Laura Scudder's. Last year, our doctor put my wife, Joanie, and me on a really great nutrition program -- I'm eating similarly to when I was working on NYPD Blue for 12 years. I've dropped about 20 pounds and I'm feeling great.


Right now, I'm enjoying my free time tremendously, traveling and doing wonderful things with my family. When I'm free for the day, I'll head to the golf course and stop for lunch around the ninth hole. Usually, I'll have a big salad of mixed greens, chicken and berries with goat cheese, walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette. I make sure to get in some water and an apple or something to finish the round. After golf, I like to get out with my family -- my wife and I visit our daughter and granddaughter and usually do some shopping. I snack my way through the early evening: I'll eat three or four clementine oranges or some raw almonds.


Just about every night, I eat either grilled salmon or halibut, and green vegetables -- preferably sautéed spinach or green beans. Or sometimes, my wife will make some whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce. We snack on black olives, and occasionally we have a glass of red wine. Dessert is a sugar-free ice pop. I rarely cheat, but my passion is ice cream. God has not made an ice cream I don't love.