Trisha Yearwood is not one for saying no to a new project. The New York Times best-selling author, celebrity chef, Emmy-winner and—you may have heard this one—chart-breaking country music star, typically has one gear: Go. “I don’t want to say that it’s been good to be in a pandemic, but one of the positives that have come from it for me is that, for the first time in almost 30 years of being on tour, I have a routine,” the 56-year-old says from her Nashville farm that she shares with her husband of 15 years, Garth Brooks. “I’ve never been able to have a routine in my adult life! I’ve really enjoyed the ritual of waking up in my own house, having coffee and taking a walk with my dogs. It’s been a forced reset—and that’s been a really good thing for me.”
What has this “forced reset” involved for you?
Garth and I are lucky that we could be at home and it’s not putting a terrible strain on us in any way—it’s not lost on us that we’re very lucky. We also live in the country, which has been our saving grace, our therapy and our fitness routine all in one. I have a couple of rescue dogs that like to run every day, so I hike with them. We have a lot of hills, so it’s a no-joke hike that helps me clear my mind. In the very beginning of this, around April of last year, I had the anxiety that everybody had. I thought, ‘I can’t do this for long’—I had to force myself to figure out ways to calm down. I’m a spiritual person, so I made myself start the day by not scrolling my phone, reading a devotional, and just being quiet and meditative. I do all that on the hikes, too. It’s a great time to contemplate and it keeps me centered.
Has the time at home allowed you to try new things?
Having consistency for the first time ever is new for me! I have always said that cooking is like therapy, and part of me having this newfound routine involves me cooking at home more, which is great. I also have a trainer, who I work out with virtually on the computer. We’ve been doing that three times a week for the past year. I don’t think I’ve missed one…and, if I have, I’ve rescheduled it for the next day. That’s given me an accountability and a consistency that I never really had before. Working out has helped my mind, it’s kept me from gaining weight during COVID, and, more importantly, I feel stronger and more confident in general.
You’ve conquered the worlds of music, TV, cooking, and even writing. What’s left?
Out of all the ventures I’ve ever done, I am most excited for my upcoming dinnerware line with Williams-Sonoma. It’s really personal for me. It’s based on sketches that my mom, who’s been gone for nine years now, did. When we were little, she would make these beautiful wedding and birthday cakes to earn extra cash for our family. They were amazing. After she passed, my sister and I were going through her things and we found a couple of old catalogs from the ‘60s. Tucked inside the pages were some loose-leaf sketches she had done of cakes—I guess it makes sense that if you’re going to make a five-tier wedding cake, you should have a plan! The sketches became the basis for this tabletop line and Williams-Sonoma took the drawings and created this pattern. They’re calling it Gwendolyn, which is my mom’s first name. It’s such a tribute to her and I think she would be over-the-moon knowing that her ‘doodles’ have been turned into this. Everything I do with the cooking has always been a way to keep both of my parents with us, and now the line will immortalize her.
Is there any beauty advice your mom passed down to you?
My mom always said, ‘Take care of yourself,’ which sounds so simple, but it can be so hard. For me, that’s typically involved doing things that help keep my voice healthy, like drinking plenty of water. Water and sleep are the two things I have to get on the road. Besides that, I married into a family with three young girls, and it’s always been important to me to try to lead by example. My biggest weakness—the thing I struggle with the most—is food. I’m just not consistent, and the girls have seen that. Sometimes, I’m right on; sometimes I’m not. My body can always seem to tell though. If I don’t do sugar, and then if I eat something with sugar, I can feel it…I can feel it in my body. But it’s cool once you start to really pay attention to what you’re putting in your body—it doesn’t take all that long to feel a difference.
You travel with a glam squad when you’re on the road. Do you prefer keeping it more casual at home?
Honestly, if I showed up at my local grocery store with makeup right now, my neighbors wouldn’t recognize me! I went six months without doing a thing to my hair and it was great—my hair has never looked better. I didn’t even wear makeup before I started doing this for a living, which tells you something. One of the things that’s always been difficult for me is that, on stage, you’re wearing a lot more of everything than you might think. I learned early on that you have to wash your face. In the beginning, I would go to do a show, it would be late, and I would go to sleep on the bus—and wake up with my eyes glued together from the mascara. I knew it couldn’t be good for me in the long-term. So, at 26, I learned to wash my face. Since then, I’ve tried every crazy skin-care regimen out there, and what I swear by is some good soap and water, some makeup remover, and I finish with a witch-hazel pad. Now, I also apply something with anti-aging power.
Does it phase you to get older in the public eye?
Oh yes, I think about it a lot— especially when I look back and see pictures of myself when I was 28 and remember I wasn’t happy with how I looked. As women, we’re so hard on ourselves! We’re never thin enough, we’re never pretty enough, we’re never, whatever, fill in the blank. I look back at the pictures and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, there’s not a line on your face! Why were you so hard on yourself?’ I learned a long time ago that, no matter how I feel about myself, somebody is going to love it, and someone is going to hate it, so I have to base how I feel on how I actually feel about myself—not how someone else feels about me.
Knock on wood, it seems that as I get older, people are a little less critical of me. Maybe they’re moving on to the younger people. I also think that I’ve never totally disappeared from the public eye, so that might make it a little easier. Sometimes, when you don’t see someone for years, and then you see them 20 years later, that’s when it’s clear that time has passed and they have gotten older. When you watch someone age publicly, it’s not a shock…I guess I’m in that category. My mother was a beautiful, natural, young 74 when she passed, and I loved how she looked. I love the look of women who age gracefully. It doesn’t mean you don’t ever get Botox, it just means that you try to age as naturally as possible, and that’s my goal. I’m at an age where I look at myself and go, ‘Man, I’d like for this to be different and for that to be different,’ but I’m not obsessed with it. I really do want to find a peaceful, common ground and look as good as I can, while also aging gracefully.