“Educating myself and going on this nutritional journey, I learned that food can, in fact, be medicine."
Success was sweet—too sweet, in fact—for actress Tia Mowry when she shot to fame with her twin Tamera in the 1990s sitcom Sister, Sister. Catered confectioneries and carb-filled studio cafeteria foods replaced healthy snacks and home-cooked meals. Endless candy, ice cream, and whipped-cream-topped pancakes eventually took a toll on Tia’s health.
In 2006, “I was diagnosed with endometriosis, which is an infertility issue and an extremely painful condition,” says the lifestyle author, 39, who hosts the Cooking Channel’s Tia Mowry at Home. After having surgery and seeing doctor after doctor, an ob-gyn (Dolores Kent, MD) told Mowry that if she wanted to have kids, she needed to see a nutritionist. “She was the first doctor to tell me this. She was the first person to say, ‘You need to cut out dairy because it causes inflammation in the body,’” says Mowry. Processed foods and refined sugar also had to go.
Mowry also sought the advice of Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology Diet and otherwise Googled her way to healthy-eating enlightenment. “Educating myself and going on this nutritional journey, I learned that food can, in fact, be medicine. Not only did my endometriosis become suppressed, other ailments that I had with inflammation-based components were remedied too. I no longer have migraines, and this way of eating has also helped clear up my eczema. That is when I truly couldn’t believe it and decided I need to tell my story to inspire others.”
The result: Mowry’s new cookbook, Whole New You: How Real Food Transforms Your Life, for a Healthier, More Gorgeous You (Ballantine Books). “All of the recipes in this book are the recipes and the food I ate during my journey and my transition to wellness,” she adds. “I’m still in the trenches with everybody else who has food allergies or some sort of ailment that food can exacerbate. So I wanted this book to be relatable and personal but also practical and educational.”