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Actress Tia Mowry’s Path to Healthy Living

Written on December 4, 2013 at 10:00 am , by

Tia Mowry puts her hands together for a flu-less holiday season and a healthy 2014. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for FluMist Quadrivalent)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Actress Tia Mowry (we know you’ve seen throwback show Sister, Sister) has quite a few projects on her plate. From the premier of her new television show, Instant Mom, on Nick at Nite to the postpartum products brand she is developing with twin sister Tamera, it was amazing she found the time to sit down for a chat with us! And one thing is for sure—despite her hectic schedule, her top two priorities remain in tact: her family and her health.

Despite marrying a man with a passion for health and wellness, Mowry wanted to discover it in her own way. Unfortunately, her journey began with a sudden diagnosis of endometriosis, an extremely painful infertility disorder. She quickly gained control of her health, though, and hasn’t slowed down since. “I wanted to have kids, so my doctor told me, ‘Tia, you’re going to have to change your diet,’” she says. After following the Body Ecology Diet for a full year, which focuses on alkalizing the body, Mowry became pregnant with her son Cree. “I’m now a believer that food can be medicine.”

Mowry also decided to try veganism earlier this year to help with other physical ailments – eczema, migraines and genetically high cholesterol – and she could not be happier with the decision. “What I like most about it is the emotional benefit that I get, realizing and understanding that I am doing the best that I can possibly do for my health,” she says. “I feel better, I have more energy, my eczema has disappeared, I no longer get migraines and my cholesterol levels are now fine.”

When it comes to working out, Mowry is all about doing what she loves, thanks to the advice she got after meeting yoga pro Tara Stiles. The routine that’s captured her heart? Dance cardio. “I was the type of person who would be out on the dance floor until the club closed, so I’m doing all types of dance cardio now,” says Mowry. “I’ve done Zumba, I’ve done Piloxing—which is boxing and Pilates at the same time—and I go to classes.” Oh, and she doesn’t look to the mirror for her workout motivation. “It’s not about what I look like; it’s about how I feel. When I focus on that, I actually find that I work out more,” she says. And cute workout clothes don’t hurt! She picks her outfit the night before for a little motivational push the following morning to get up and go have fun with her fitness.

This season Mowry teamed up with Flumist Quadrivalent, a nasal spray influenza vaccine option, to address another health issue she is passionate about now that she has little Cree to consider. “In the past, I did overlook flu vaccinations,” she says. “But after understanding how the flu can take a huge toll on an entire family, I started making it part of my annual routine. I want to protect my family.”

Mowry has experienced quite the journey to health and fitness, so maybe we should take a note or two from her book. “Changing your lifestyle takes time, so don’t get frustrated,” she suggests. “We have a lifetime to get this right, so don’t be too hard on yourself—it’s not beneficial. Start out slow and then build up your momentum and endurance. And just do what you love to do! I have seen a big change in my body since Tara gave me that advice.”

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2 Recipes For a Heart-Healthy Mother’s Day Brunch

Written on May 10, 2013 at 9:24 am , by

There are few better ways to show mom how much you care than breakfast in bed. That tray of goodies—perhaps pancakes with sausage or Eggs Benedict—sure tastes great, but may not be too nice for her health, though.

New research found that a meat-free diet can cut risk for heart disease by 32 percent, so the two vegan recipes below from The China Study Cookbook, will keep mom’s heart happy, too. By the way, all of the dishes in the book are not only vegetarian, but vegan!

Scrumptious Apple-Filled Turnovers
Serves 8

Turnovers

Baking apples like Macintosh, Jonathan or Cortlands work well in these turnovers.

  • 3½–4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon Sucanat
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2½ teaspoons instant (fast rise) yeast
  • 1½ cups warm water

Filling

  • 3 cups apples, diced finely
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  1. Mix all the turnover ingredients together in a bowl. Knead with your hands for 8–10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Separate into 8 balls; cover, and let rise for 40 minutes.
  2. Once turnovers are covered, prepare filling by mixing all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
  3. After 40 minutes, roll out each ball to a diameter of about 3 inches. Place one heaping tablespoon of filling into the center. For each turnover, fold the edges together to form a half moon. Pinch the edges together with a fork so there are no openings.
  4. Preheat oven to 425˚F.
  5. Let your turnovers rise on the counter for 15 minutes, then place turnovers on nonstick baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 425˚F for 20–25 minutes.

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Meet The Trainer: The Balance Method’s Becky Tinney

Written on April 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm , by

Tinney helps her clients—and you—achieve amazing results! (Photo courtesy of The Balance Method)

When I met LA/NYC celebrity trainer, Becky Tinney, a few months ago I instantly liked her spirit, and her personal story. I’m always intrigued by trainers or people who have lived the walk and can train and preach from the heart. As a young girl Becky struggled with body image issues, anorexia and obsessive working out. And upon moving to New York City after college she was faced with the delicious and decadent bevy of restaurants this place has to offer (we face this battle every day!) and she packed on too many pounds. Finally getting in shape the right way Becky realized the secrets to a fit body and a healthy, manageable diet.

Creating her own routine from scratch, she found that women at the gym started mimicking her moves, asking her questions about fitness and showing up when she worked out. Becky saw that she was on to something and The Balance Method was organically created. When Becky moved to Los Angeles she started working in the entertainment industry training actors and industry executives on movie and television sets (what a cool job!). That’s why I love the moves that we give you in the April 2012 issue—they’re tried and true and will get you results. Plus, with summer time literally around the corner, tank top arms are a must-have! Get moving with Becky’s “Strong Armed” workout on page 50, but first check out a little behind-the-scenes action with this inspiring trainer!

If your story was the plot for a movie, tell me how it goes.  

It would probably be The Hunger Games because I’m always training and I’m always hungry. Just kidding! Well I’m a girl from a small town who moved to NYC, fell in love, moved across country to LA and started a dream career. I feel like we’ve seen movies like that before but I hope the biggest part of my movie is still to come!

Why do you like working with actors on set? Is it exciting being a “silent” part of a movie?

It’s a fun time to work with actors because it’s essentially “game time.” We usually have a short period of time to achieve a specific goal so the determination and commitment is in full effect. It’s fun to be a part of creating a whole new image for someone and to give them that added confidence to perform their best work. Having a body that matches the role is a huge boost in confidence!

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Endurance Athlete Brendan Brazier on How to Fuel an Active Lifestyle the Vegan Way

Written on March 8, 2012 at 11:52 am , by

Brazier still runs and bikes for fun nearly everyday. (Photo courtesy of Brendan Brazier)

Ironman triathlete and ultramarathoner Brendan Brazier realized early on is his career that diet would play a big role in his overall performance. “Longer events really level the athletic playing field. It becomes more about training and the speed of recovery than about natural ability,” Brazier says. “Nutrition allows you to train harder and recover faster.”

The refined white starches he had added to his diet to make up for the carbohydrates he was burning weren’t increasing his energy levels as much as he had hoped. After extensive research, Brazier found that about 80 percent of recovery is linked to good nutrition. “Eating more doesn’t always mean more energy. You can be overfed while being undernourished,” he says.

Brazier eased into a whole food-based, vegan diet heavy on healthy whole grains (amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat), plant proteins (hemp, pea, rice) and dark leafy greans. Besides increasing his rate of recovery, he discovered that this eating plan with frequent, small meals helped him be more productive and sleep better.

“Look at Google. They were trying to decrease the amount of sick days their staff members were taking, so they put in cafes with healthy food. Since everything was free, employees would graze throughout the day. There was no mid-afternoon crash and many people were more productive and took fewer sick days,” Brazier explains.

Today, Brazier enjoys fitness recreationally and advises professional athletes about nutrition (Montell Owens, a Jacksonville Jaguar Pro Bowler and Simon Whitfield, an Olympic triathlete, among others). He guest lectures at Cornell University, has written three books, most recently Thrive Foods, and just launched Thrive Foods Direct meal delivery service.

We couldn’t wait for the meals to hit our doorstep, so we asked Brendan to share one of his favorite recipes. Keep reading to learn how to make his superpowered pizza.

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Celebrate National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day (The Vegan Way!)

Written on October 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm , by

Mmm...A taste of fall! (Photo by Patrick M. Gookin, II)

Sisters Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg are on a mission to prove that vegan eating doesn’t have to be about deprivation. They were both environmental science majors in college and decided to cut out all animal products form their diets about 12 years ago. At that time, “there weren’t many vegan products available, so we started to cook everything for ourselves. It’s how we could find the best options,” Engel says.

They both dropped 20 pounds and found that they slept better and naturally lowered their cholesterol while being vegan. To spread the word about lessons they learned experimenting in the kitchen, Engel and Goldberg began teaching live and online cooking classes, eventually amassing a “treasure trove of recipes,” according to Engel.

The pair’s new cookbook, Spork-Fed (available now and including a foreward by fellow sisters, actresses Emily and Zooey Deschanel!), aims to educate and empower readers to create meals free of meat, eggs and dairy that will satisfy all appetites. “Our favorite dishes tend to be comfort foods, like pot pie, biscuits and gravy and collard greens, because they appeal to both vegans and non-vegans,” Goldberg says.

With that in mind, we asked the Spork-Fed sisters to share a recipe for one of their go-to fall desserts. It’s perfect timing, as today marks National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day!

Click below for a how-to for this sweet treat.

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Fit Links: Delicious Meat-Free Eats and the Wellness Benefits of Being Nice

Written on September 9, 2011 at 4:09 pm , by

A grilled veggie and hummus sandwich: a vegan meal that satisfies! (Photo by Kate Sears)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Fit Blogger We Love: Oh She Glows

Written on May 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm , by

Angela of Oh She Glows enjoys a healthy homemade slice.

Angela of Oh She Glows enjoys a healthy homemade slice.

Healthy living blogger Angela of Oh She Glows recently moved out of a big city with her husband, and also dropped her full-time research job at the same time. Her new gig? Opening her own healthy bakery! Read on for Angela’s yummy indulgence and her motivating fitness mantra.

5 things I can’t live without: My food processor, Canon DSLR camera, Vita-Mix, Garmin Forerunner, chia seeds.

I’m happiest when I’m: Outdoors during the summertime, enjoying delicious food and drinks with friends and family.

My biggest indulgence: My vegan Chilled Double Chocolate Torte. It is divine!

My fitness mantra: “You are stronger than you think.” I’ve taped this message on my back during races and other runners always thank me for the motivation, especially during the last mile of a half-marathon!

My “I Did It” moment: After struggling with an eating disorder for over 10 years, I was finally able to recover and lead a happy life free from obsession, binge-eating, and calorie counting. My “I did it” moment was when I realized how full and happy my life is now compared to the past. I now have so many hobbies (like blogging, writing, photography, running, baking, etc.) that I enjoy in my life and obsessive thoughts about food and weight do not consume me anymore.

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email blog@fitnessmagazine.com.

Fit Links: Spring Clean Your Way Slim

Written on March 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm , by

Image via Veer

Image via Veer

This week’s fit links from around the web: