Actress Kristen Bell is one of Hollywood's most relatable celebrities. Whether she's talking about her struggles with depression and anxiety, or sharing details about her marriage with Dax Shepard, like undergoing couples therapy, the "Bad Moms" star likes to keep it real.
Which is why it comes as no surprise that Bell's attitude and approach to fitness and nutrition is just as "normal" as the star herself, as revealed in a recent Shape interview. Hey, if Bell can indulge in pasta and croutons, and still look amazing while jugging two small kids and a career, then maybe we all can!
She Likes a Quick HIIT
"I need fast workouts. I don't have an hour and a half—I have 25 minutes, max," Bell tells Shape. "So I incorporate sprints into my routine. I sprint up my driveway, walk back, repeat. I do it 10 or 15 times. The whole thing takes me maybe 15 minutes. It's fantastic for your heart, brain, and body. And sprinting makes me feel really strong."
A HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout is not only time efficient for busy working moms like Bell, but it also boosts your metabolism while burning tons of calories in the process. In fact, studies have shown that 15 minutes of HITT burns more calories than jogging on a treadmill for an hour. And if you incorporate sprinting into your routine like Bell, you'll be building power and strength in your quads, glutes, and hamstrings, while shedding fat.
She Takes the Time to Slow Down, Too
Bell also likes to mix up her fitness routine by attending yoga classes. "I joined a yoga studio this year and bought a monthly pass, and I've been going every chance I can," she said. "I enjoy the physical and mental reset I get in yoga more than any other workout. Being in a meditative state while I'm challenging my body is ideal. I like the fact that you set an intention because there's always something that I'm working through in a day, and it helps me do that."
In addition to being an amazing workout that helps to increase your flexibility and strength, yoga has many mental health benefits, too. It calms the nervous system, which helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Plus, studies have shown that the mind-body connection of yoga creates a sense of self-awareness and state of relaxation like no other workout or activity.
She Eats Carbs, Including Croutons
"I'm obsessed with food!" The star admits to the magazine, which includes eating a healthy "big garbage disposal salad" for lunches (which includes "lettuce and add a scoop of rice, a scoop of beans, a handful of nuts, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, cucumber, strawberries, blueberries, a splash of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and some sea salt") but also satisfying her carb cravings.
"My favorite food, though, is croutons," said the actress. "Any and all croutons. I don't discriminate." Croutons aren't her only fave carb, though -- Bell also loves eating pasta.
"For dinner, I love pasta. Love it. But I'm a vegetarian, so I have to monitor my protein intake. There is a brand of pasta that I've been getting at Thrive Market called Banza that's made from chickpeas and pea protein. It's got a lot of protein in it—about 25 grams a serving—and it tastes like regular pasta. It's so good. What I'll do is cut up some cherry tomatoes, fry them in a pan with a little olive oil, throw the cooked noodles in, then add a little more olive oil, and maybe some ghee, and crack an egg in it for creaminess. The dish is like a carbonara, but with tomatoes and without meat, and it's truly divine. I'm telling you, this pasta has changed my life."
Because carbs contain glucose, which is your body's primary source of energy, carbs are essential fuel for your body. Protein is also key for growing muscles, hair, and bones, so by ensuring that she's eating both is key for keeping Bell's body healthy and functioning optimally.
She Reads Nutrition Labels
Studies have shown that most people don't look at nutrition labels as much as they say they do, but Bell isn't one of those people.
"My best healthy habit is knowing how to read a nutrition label," the star shared. "Some people look at what the carbs are and that's all they think about. Others check to see what the sugar is. And some people just zero in on the protein. I try to balance everything. Does an avocado have a ton of fat in it? Yes, but it's healthy fat, so have an avocado with sea salt...I appreciate understanding what I'm putting into my body."
Like Bell, reading nutrition labels and facts about your food is important to do in order to make healthy, informed choices. Knowing exactly what you are eating helps you stay on track for your health goals -- not just looking for allergens but also to help avoid excess salt and sugar, artificial ingredients and GMOs.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway comes from the actress herself who proves once again how normal she really is.
"To me, being healthy means feeling good about the choices I'm making," she said. "And most important, it's about keeping fit mentally and physically. I'm constantly reminding myself that it's not about my thighs: It's about my commitment and my happiness level."
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