Behind that megawatt smile, Kristen Bell is a fierce mama bear determined to build a safer, kinder world for herself, her daughters and the rest of the planet.
Kristen Bell arrives for breakfast at Stamp Proper Foods, a Los Angeles-area cafe, shortly after 9:45 on a Friday morning. Removing the helmet she wore while riding her bicycle from her nearby home, the 34-year-old actress places an order at the counter for tamales rancheros, her favorite item on the menu. Then she grabs a seat at a rustic wood table and offers up some saucy dish about Dax Shepard, her husband and father of her two daughters, Lincoln, 2, and newborn Delta, who arrived in December. "He often says he never thought he'd be surrounded by this many females," she says of the actor, who's now outnumbered 3-to-1 in the Bell-Shepard household, "while having so little sex."
The joke, while borrowed from her hubby, is classic Kristen: unfiltered and delivered with the precise comic timing she's famous for on-screen, whether playing wisecracking private eye Veronica Mars, ruthless management consultant Jeannie in Showtime's House of Lies or spunky, modern heroine Anna in Disney's Frozen. But while the Michigan native may have a winning sense of humor, she's serious about making healthy choices for herself and her family. Here, the whip-smart Bell—a vegetarian since age 10 and the face of Neutrogena Naturals skin care—fills us in on her clean diet, her mindful approach to her post-baby body and why her favorite role is undoubtedly Mom.
NATURAL HEALTH: So how is everything with the new baby at home?
KRISTEN BELL: Blissful. Totally blissful. Right now I'm just focusing on creating a wonderful bond with her.
NH: How did your second pregnancy compare to your first?
KB: I gained a little less weight with this one. I think it's in part because I gave up sugar this time. Before I was pregnant, Dax and I gave up refined sugar for 30 days—cookies, brownies—and at the end, we went to the store and got the desserts we were craving. Then we pigged out and after about five minutes, we both felt like barfing. Like, "Oh, white sugar is toxic!" Since then we've just given it up in our household. And now an apple tastes mind-blowingly delicious.
NH: What's your diet like now?
KB: For breakfast, I'll either do Manna bread or Dave's Killer Bread and a humanely harvested egg or two with sea salt. For lunch or dinner, I make a lot of what I call garbage disposal salads: I'll start with a grain, like bulgur, or a bean, like lentils or chickpeas, then add lettuce and any fruit, vegetable and nut I can find—strawberries, cucumbers, walnuts. Put an over-easy egg on top and break the yolk as the sauce—game over! I get a box from FarmBox LA every week with vegetables, eggs and some chicken breasts for when I cook for meat-eaters.