Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas: “Take Care of the Temple God Gave You”

chilli2Who could forget TLC, one of the most popular groups in the 90s? The all female group, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, made hits that empowered women and transformed music.  Songs like “Creep,” “Waterfalls,” and “No Scrubs” helped solidify their sound on the airways. And their beautiful, youthful look helped embed them in the minds of young men everywhere.

Now, after the death of Lisa “Left Eye”, the duo has kept busy, performing in overseas tours and dabbling in everything from reality television (What Chilli Wants and Totally T-Boz) to retail (Chilli has a handbag line, while T-Boz had a boutique).

One-third of group sensation, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, shares her passion for cooking and how she learned to bring a little “TLC” into the kitchen.

Chilli was a celebrity contestant for the second season of “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off” on the Food Network. She had a chance to display her cooking skills on the competition show that features celebrities cooking their way through challenges for a chance to win the title of Cook-Off Champion and $50,000 for their chosen charity.

Although Chilli didn’t win the cash donation for her Chilli’s Crew Charity, she enjoyed the experience. “It opened me up to more recipes and different seasonings and different ways to cook stuff. It was fun and frustrating because you are in competition with the other team and you are in competition with each other. So that was very different! Being able to meet Guy and the fact that we are friends now, I can call him up and ask him about any recipe. I have him on speed dial,” she shares laughing.

(Photo credit: TheRealChilli Instagram)

“He was just amazing and always had the best attitude, he was really sweet. Even though he cooks better than us, he was open to the things we had to say. Which I thought was very good,” says Chilli.

Chilli’s incredible 48-year-old (yes, 48!) is amazing! Her abs are a sight to see and her youthful skin is one that makes her look half her age. In Chilli’s case, Black truly does NOT crack.

So what’s her secret?

“You have to take care of the temple like God wants us to,” Chilli told ESSENCE exclusively. “Your older self will tell what the younger self did. The earlier you start, the better.”

And for Chilli, taking care of that temple involves an ancient health practice.

“I do acupuncture,” she revealed. “I do a lot of different things to make sure inflammation is not in my body. Most people have inflammation, they don’t even know it because they don’t feel it at the time.”

Getting rid of inflammation also has a lot to do with your diet. Something else that Chilli takes seriously. Here’s her basic diet she shared with People:

Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with honey, flaxseed, blueberries, with baked tempeh on the side.

Lunch: A Strawberry Shakeology smoothie with frozen strawberries, coconut oil, peanut butter, goji berries, and unsweetened almond milk.

Dinner: Collard greens, baked sweet potato, and baked tempeh with mustard.

And, of course, she drinks plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.

Some may think just because of Chilli’s superstar look that she’s not the kind of woman who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, but this Southern belle, who was born and raised in Atlanta, is no stranger to cooking.