Tracee Ellis Ross on Finding Her Strength: ‘I Actively Love Myself By Cooking’

03/17/2016 at 11:07 AM ET

Kate T. Parker on behalf of Special K

Tracee Ellis Ross loves to cook, but not only because she loves to eat (“anything salty and lemony”).

Despite her hectic schedule filming Black-ish, Ross makes sure to find the time to practice self-care, which, for her, is preparing food. “I love cooking for my family — my siblings, my mom,” she tells PEOPLE. “I love cooking for myself, too. One of the ways that I actively love myself is by cooking.”

RELATED: Tracee Ellis Ross’s Food Diary: What I Eat in a Day

Ross, who works out about three or four times a week, loves to bake chicken and broil just about anything.

“I love grilling salmon, steak, all those things. I’m a big salad maker. I love crushing Brazilian nuts and putting them over everything — quinoa dishes. Putting it over a salad instead of putting meat on it,” says Ross, who favors “whole foods” over else.

Kate T. Parker on behalf of Special K

“I have this philosophy on eating that it not only has to taste good in my mouth, but also feel good in my body,” she says. “So a lot of things that taste good in my mouth don’t feel good in my body.”

RELATED: Singer Leona Lewis’ Food Diary: What I Eat in a Day

The actress recently gave up sugar and dairy, which she says has changed her life. (Fortunately, it wasn’t a huge loss — she says she’s “not really a sweets girl.”)

Kate T. Parker on behalf of Special K

Ross partnered with Special K for their Nourish What’s Next campaign, for which photographer Kate Parker shot Ross doing yoga, laughing, dancing and being her goofy self.

RELATED: Mel B’s Food Diary: What I Eat in a Day

Kate T. Parker on behalf of Special K

“I feel strongest when I’m practicing self-acceptance. Allowing myself to be myself makes me feel really powerful,” she says. “I think it requires a sense of community. You have to unplug from what our culture and our world tells us is strong, is pretty, is better. It opens up the door for some fun, because otherwise it all becomes so serious. Strong can be serious, but there’s also some play in just allowing.”

RELATED: Why Khloé Kardashian Didn’t Want to Believe Cutting Out Dairy Would Help Her Lose Weight

Another important part of simply allowing? Allowing herself to eat french fries, potato chips and olives. “I’m all about savory,” she says.

—Maria Yagoda, @mariayagoda

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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