From childhood star to best-selling author, since the early ‘90s actress Tia Mowry has been a fan favorite. Stemming from her break-through performance along with her twin sister on the hit series, “Sister, Sister.” Although Tia’s career trajectory has spanned more than two decades she has always ignited a balance in the spotlight between her professional career and personal lifestyle.
But with the release of her cookbook, “Whole New You,” audiences were privy to a very different side of the 39-year-old wife and mother. More than just a culinary reference filled with amazingly delicious recipes it is a transparent narrative that chronicles a journey filled with peaks and valleys. She discusses in great detail her early love affair with food, use of diet pills in her late teens and the harsh realities of receiving a diagnosis of endometriosis.
Affecting one in ten women worldwide, endometriosis is a chronic, painful disease that can lead to infertility. After realizing the undeniable power of consuming certain types of food, Tia set her sights on a transformative way of life by changing her dietary regimen. During this time she learned to listen to her body and discovered healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring!
With the recent announcement of her second pregnancy, Tia’s tale is a true testament of turning trial into triumph. A success story that needs to be told for countless women who are struggling with the heartbreaking news of infertility coupled with the diagnosis of endometriosis. If you’re ready to “jump-start your journey to a healthier, more gorgeous you,” then grab a pen and pad to take notes because Tia provides a crash course on the realities of how foods can create a “Whole New You.”
Dontaira Terrell: Why did you feel now was the time to share your journey?
Tia Mowry: I was diagnosed in my mid-twenties with endometriosis, which is an infertility condition. I have a twin sister and she did not have this condition. When I was first diagnosed I often asked the question, “Why Me?” Fast-forward and now I know the answer to that question. It is for me to be able to inspire, encourage, uplift and help others. This book shows a vulnerable side of me and I felt it was time to open-up and share my journey because everything I do comes from an inspirational perspective. I also love to cook and I thought to myself, “What better way to come out with a book that shared my journey and included amazing recipes as well!”
DT: By the age of six you were with your mother, grandmother and aunties in the kitchen. What is a tip they have passed down to you?
TM: Clean while you go! For instance, if you’re pan-roasting chicken for about 20-25 minutes, while that is cooking, start washing dishes. At the end of the meal you’re not loaded with a messy kitchen or a huge pile of dishes in the sink. That particular tip is actually from my dad. My dad cleans as he goes and I am the same way until this day. When there is food on the table it doesn’t look as if I cooked!
Another great tip is to prep everything beforehand. Gather all of your ingredients you will need on the countertop to have everything you need in front of you. This also makes it a much more enjoyable experience and prevents you from running around the kitchen.
DT: What do you believe is a common theme most of us do not understand about the power of food?
TM: I believe many people do not understand that food can be medicine. I didn’t understand this for years and I believe others don’t as well that there is a correlation between what you eat and certain conditions we are suffering from. A lot of times, people begin to focus on healthy eating once something bad happens to them. Don’t wait until you receive that call with a specific diagnosis. Start now.
Beginning sooner than later, can possibly help reverse the condition because you do have control and you do have the power. Unfortunately, I think some people just don’t think this way. Once they are diagnosed with a particular condition whether it’s eczema, migraines or endometriosis, it’s a life sentence. Some conditions can be suppressed depending on the type of foods you consume which is why it’s important to understand you have a certain responsibility to watch what you eat.
DT: What are two of your favorite dishes you enjoy cooking? Why?
TM: I would have to say my kale and almond fried rice. This recipe is delicious and on top of that it’s good for you. I’m a huge fan of fried rice but I enjoy changing some of the ingredients for healthier alternatives. I cook this dish with soy sauce, sesame oil, brown rice, kale, slices of almonds and I top it with sesame seeds. It is very good and the recipe is located in my cookbook.
My other favorite I want to eat everyday is my pan-roasted chicken with a bacon and maple sauce. I slowly cook chicken thighs in bacon fat and I top it with bacon and add parsley.
DT: Piece of advice you would give to someone [like me] who wants to sharpen their culinary skills?
TM: I would say practice because practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to just get in the kitchen and have fun. Your environment also plays an important role when you’re in the kitchen. Play a little music. I love to put on jazz or listen to Beyoncé to help me wind down and create a comfortable, fun and relaxing environment.
If you want to get technical in terms of sharpening your skills the type of tools you cook with are just as important. Having a food processor, non-stick pans and a really good knife is important. If you have those three things then you’re on your way!
DT: As a foodie, what is your top destination you’ve visited or would like to visit?
TM: That is hard! My top destination for being a foodie would have to be Italy. Italy has the best food in the entire world. I gained so many pounds when I visited. I ate any and everything because it was all incredibly delicious. Not only that, the culture prides itself on fresh ingredients directly from farms. It is not about loads of processed foods instead it’s about making foods from scratch. Whether it’s pasta or the pizza you can really tell the difference.
One of the places I haven’t been but would love to go to try the cuisine is Japan. The macrobiotic diet in Japan is one of the healthiest diets ever consisting of fish, brown rice and miso soups.
Tia’s cookbook, “Whole New You,” is available now and don’t forget to subscribe to her YouTube channel, “Tia Mowry's Quick Fix!”