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Actress, entrepreneur, mother, and health advocate, Tia Mowry sat down (virtually) with Healthline to discuss her wellness journey and the launch of her new brand.
Known for her acting career, including her work on “Sister, Sister,” Tia can now be seen in Netflix’s “Family Reunion.” She also has a YouTube channel, cookbooks, a supplement company, and a homewares collection.
Coming straight from her morning workout, Tia was brimming with vitality, which she attributes to more than just post-exercise endorphins.
As Tia explained during our interview, she struggled for a long time with her health before realizing the importance of taking care of yourself, both physically and emotionally.
In fact, during our talk, an important central message emerged: Self-care isn’t selfish.
While it’s the tagline of Tia’s new supplement line, Anser, “self-care isn’t selfish” is also a theme that has clearly been present throughout Tia’s life, including her experience with advocating for her own health.
Tia noted that her health journey began in her 20s when she was formally diagnosed with endometriosis, though her symptoms started much earlier. “For years, I didn’t know what was wrong and was living in pain,” she explains.
Symptoms are particularly noticeable during your period, as hormonal shifts during the menstrual cycle cause the tissue to become inflamed and irritated.
As Tia experienced, symptoms of endometriosis can start at an early age, yet it generally takes an average of 7 years before most women are finally diagnosed (
Getting a diagnosis can be expensive and invasive (it requires laparoscopic surgery), and women’s concerns are often written off by health professionals as being just bad period cramps.
Tia shares that in addition to abdominal pain, she experienced frequent migraine attacks, eczema on her hands, and infertility.
After being dismissed by several doctors — one even recommended that she try running to alleviate her pain — Tia eventually found a doctor who recognized her symptoms and diagnosed her with endometriosis.
While she finally had an answer, Tia mentioned that her journey was far from over.
In fact, after two surgeries to remove scar tissue, her doctor explained that she would continue to need these operations unless she could manage her condition by changing her lifestyle.
Following her diagnosis, Tia says she felt it was her job to see her health as a priority.
Per her doctor’s advice, she cut out foods that were contributing to her inflammation, such as added sugar, and reached out to nutrition experts to learn more about the relationship between gut health and inflammation.
Like many people, Tia shares that while she knew some foods are more nutritious than others, this experience opened her eyes to just how influential your diet really is. “When you understand what food can do for your body, it allows you to take control over your health,” she adds.
In addition to changing her diet to focus more on whole foods, Tia mentions that she started meditating, exercising on a regular basis, and taking nutritional supplements — and almost immediately started to notice a shift in her body.
Not only was she no longer in pain, but also her eczema went away, her migraine attacks subsided, and she was able to get pregnant twice.
“When I got pregnant, I knew that I had to share my experience. Especially as I didn’t see any women of color talking about it,” shares Tia.
Out of this desire to share her story with others, Tia wrote her first book, “A Whole New You,” which provides simple and realistic recipes to inspire others to eat better and live a healthier lifestyle.
She also recently founded a supplement company called Anser, which encourages people of all backgrounds to take control of their health
With a slogan of “self-care isn’t selfish,” Tia’s goal with Anser is to encourage others to take charge of their health.
Originally a company for women, Anser’s product line has since expanded to include vitamins and supplements for people of all ages and backgrounds.
In addition to making good quality products with no fillers, Tia shares that a major goal of Anser is to make the supplements affordable.
“I also want people to feel included in the conversation about their health,” explains Tia. “For a long time, there has been one perspective of what health is, including a price point. Healthy foods and supplements were always highly priced. These foods and items shouldn’t be only for the privileged — they should be for everyone.”
Furthermore, as she noticed a lack of diversity in her own health journey, Tia wanted to make sure that women of color felt included in the conversation about their health, too.
She goes on to explain, “When you look at my marketing, you see beautiful women of color of all shapes and all sizes because I want them to understand that they too are part of this beautiful journey.”
Anser’s products can be purchased online or at select retailers within the United States, though Tia hopes that one day they will be available worldwide.
Whether it’s her supplement line, cookbooks, or candid blog posts, the goal of making people feel excited and empowered to make their health a priority is at the heart of Tia’s work.
“I feel like I’m in my 20s. I have incredible energy, and I owe it all to putting my health at the forefront.”
Often mistaken for self-improvement, self-care is about focusing on ways to nurture your physical, emotional, and mental self, whether that’s going for a run or relaxing in the bathtub.
However, Tia acknowledges that this message of self-care isn’t always easy, especially for women, “Growing up, I’d see my mother and other women in my life always putting everyone else first… I wanted to change that narrative.”
She continues to explain that since she started prioritizing self-care, she now feels great — rather than guilty — about finding time for herself, whether it’s fitting in a workout or taking a quick nap.
Not only can taking time for yourself make you feel happier, but research shows that regularly practicing self-care is associated with reduced healthcare costs, improved overall well-being, and lower rates of disease and death from all causes (
In addition to guilt, many people assume that practicing self-care requires time that they just don’t have.
However, as Tia notes, taking care of yourself doesn’t require a large time commitment. It can be as simple as going for a 10-minute walk, meditating for 5 minutes before bed, or drinking an extra glass of water during the day.
Closing out the interview, Tia reiterated the message that’s present throughout her brand, “It’s OK for you to take care of you and not feel guilty about it because that’s how you reach your potential.”
Just one thing
Try this today: Whether it’s going for a walk during your lunch break or going to bed 30 minutes earlier, brainstorm one way that you can practice self-care on a regular basis.
Unsure of where to start? Read our guide on How to Make a Self-Care Checklist for ways to take better care your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Kelli McGrane, MS, is a registered dietitian and market editor for Healthline Nutrition and Fitness. A self-proclaimed foodie and nutrition nerd, she strongly believes in helping people realize that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive.