how i get it done

Tia Mowry’s Got It Figured Out

Illustration: Lauren Tamaki

You probably know and love Tia Mowry as an actress, but the 43-year-old wife and mother of two is also a powerhouse in the wellness space. All self-respecting millennials will remember her as an award-winning child actress on Sister, Sister. She’s still entertaining families, currently starring as “Coco” in Netflix’s Family Reunion. In addition, Mowry has been open about her fitness and self-care journeys, particularly in regards to her endometriosis — after not seeing women of color represented in the wellness and health industry, she decided to do something about it. On September 28, she’s releasing her second cookbook, The Quick Fix Kitchen, featuring easy recipes and time-saving tips for a healthier and stress-free lifestyle, one that Mowry herself practices daily. The actress also hosts a weekly YouTube Channel, Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix, that is coming to cable television next month. But there’s more! Last year, she co-founded Anser, a vitamin and supplement brand that empowers women to take the first steps to being the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves. Through it all, she still finds a way to get it all done, from having a thorough self-care routine to making her time in the kitchen exciting and fun. Here’s how.

On her morning routine:
My alarm clock is my daughter, Cairo. When she wakes up, I bring her into my room to spend some morning time together. After that it’s time for me to start getting myself ready. My routine starts with skin care: Shani Darden’s three-step kit. I wash my face, and while I’m doing that my husband (he’s so kind) will bring in some warm tea. I love waking up to warm tea. It really resets and restarts my day. Then, I take my Anser supplements for hair, skin, and nails. I work on the external with the skincare, but the internal is really important, too. Before making breakfast and getting my workout in, I set the tone for the environment with sage or palo santo just to clear out the air.

On what self-care looks like for her:
Self-care for me looks like and feels like being aware of and tapping into mind, body, and spirit, and giving yourself the love and attention that you need to tackle the day. I feel like women tend to put all of our energy towards everyone else — we’re nurturers at heart, and we often see women forget about themselves. Self-care is about prioritizing yourself, becoming aware of how you’re feeling mentally. And if there’s something that you need to shift and adjust, take the time to do it. Meditate or take a nap. When I get really overwhelmed, I’ll just take some time to myself, shut my eyes for about ten to 15 minutes. Then, I make sure I’m exercising, but not overdoing it. Just getting my heart going, whether that’s 20 minutes walking on a treadmill or walking around the block, just getting the heart pumping and my blood moving and does wonders for my mood. Lastly, tapping into what I’m eating and becoming aware of what I’m putting into your body. I cannot tell you all the benefits I’ve seen as a whole for my hair, my skin, my mood, my energy, when I have a relationship with what is going into my body.

On her favorite quick-fix meal:
For people who are just starting out cooking and feeling really overwhelmed, I would say my quick-fix meal that makes me feel great is a really nice salad. It’s very simple, because you can grab greens that are already packaged and pre-washed for you. I usually like to do arugula and kale. When you combine both of those together, it’s amazing. Then I just load it up with vegetables. That could be bell peppers, cucumbers, or even radish, which is also really great and healthy for you. I usually like to make my own dressing, because a lot of dressings come with a lot of sugar and additives and preservatives, and it’s so easy to make. It’s just a bit of olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and you squeeze that over your salad with some salt, some pepper, you can even put some garlic powder in there if you want. I love to add a boiled egg and then a protein like chicken breast or salmon. You have everything that you need in that one dish, and the greens will definitely fill you up.

On advice for those intimidated by the kitchen:
Number one, don’t be overwhelmed. You don’t have to be a professional chef to make a great, delicious meal for your family or for yourself. One thing that I love about my cookbook is that it’s not just about showing everybody 65 recipes and saying, “Go, now. Cook.” It’s about the whole experience, just how my morning routine is all about the experience. That’s just how I navigate and move through life. It just makes me feel better and perform better. It’s the same with the cookbook, I give tools on how to not feel overwhelmed. First, declutter your kitchen: Let’s get your kitchen organized, let’s know what’s in there, let’s take out things that you don’t necessarily need, let’s focus on the essential tools that you do need. The other thing is your pantry: what is in your pantry? Let’s stock it up with the proper ingredients, because if you don’t have those things prepped and then you’re ready to cook, it becomes overwhelming because you’ll go through the ingredients like, oh shoot I don’t have that, I need to go to the store. Lastly, have fun — have a glass of wine when you’re cooking, or your favorite drink, whatever that drink is just to relax and get you in the mood. Put on some music and go.

On her journey with endometriosis:
When I was first diagnosed with endometriosis, I felt so alone and depressed. But I now know why I was chosen to have endometriosis, because I have been able to share my experience and turn it into good, and it has become so purposeful. I’ve learned that your situation is not the precursor or the prerequisite to where you’re going to be in your life. I was diagnosed in my twenties after suffering for years, not knowing what it was. I ended up being pointed in the right direction by a friend who recommended an incredible gynecologist, an African American woman and Harvard graduate. I sat down with her and she knew right away what was going on with my body, she knew that I had endometriosis. I didn’t even know what it was, but after several surgeries, she had diagnosed me with it. I had never been under the knife, and I was nervous and scared, but I was desperate for answers. After several surgeries, she was like, “Look, Tia, if you don’t want to have a third surgery, you’re going to have to change your lifestyle and change your diet.” This was the first time I ever heard someone say that to me. I was in my 20s like, what do you mean change my diet? Like, what do you know? She led me in the right direction and she was honest with me.

I went on this journey of research. I was so invested in my health and my wellness. I started to eat better, healthier alternatives and I stayed away from processed foods. I started to learn about gut health and take supplements. Then I took up yoga and meditating. I started to tap into myself, and I saw a huge change in my mood and my health. I was suffering from eczema and migraines. My whole body was inflamed. Then it just did this shift, and then I got pregnant with my daughter, Cairo. My doctor who diagnosed me with endometriosis said, “Tia, it [getting pregnant] was because of your change in your lifestyle.” I knew I couldn’t keep it to myself. That’s when I came out with my first cookbook, Whole New You, and my supplement line, Anser. I also didn’t see women of color being represented in the wellness community when I was on my journey and I was like, this has got to change. I made women of color a part of the conversation, saying, “guys, we have to start taking care of ourselves.” A lot of us feel like we run the world, but we need to take care of ourselves. Now, I am loving every bit of being a part of this journey.

Tia Mowry’s Got It Figured Out