Eva Longoria is Health’s new cover girl for the magazine’s January/February 2012. In the accompanying interview, the stunning 36-year-old actress dishes on healthy life, her positive attitude, eating well and exercising, and she also reveals a few beauty tips and her biggest health regret. “After I shower, I put baby oil all over my body. And then you dry that off so you have the smoothest, softest skin,” Eva said about one of the beauty secrets she learned growing up.

The actress has an extremely busy schedule lately. She is promoting ‘Desperate Housewives’, co-owns Beso restaurants in Hollywood and Las Vegas and is getting her master’s degree in political science and Chicano studies. Moreover, she wrote the best-selling cookbook ‘Eva’s Kitchen’ and was the executive producer of ‘The Harvest’.

Speaking about what healthy life means to her, Eva told the magazine that, “People think health only has to do with your physical being, but for me, it’s so much more. I remember after my divorce, I was so thin and everyone kept saying how great I looked and it was probably the most unhealthy place I’ve ever been. So it was funny what people would see as “healthy.” In my worst time, people were saying I’ve never looked better. [But now] I have a great diet and exercise routine. And I try to have a healthy outlook. I’m your everlasting, hopeless optimist!”

Eva Longoria Covers Health Magazine January/February 2012

In the interview, beautiful Eva also reveals the source of her positive attitude. “I was just born with that. It’s so funny, because I don’t get depressed. Even after my divorce, everybody was like, ‘Wow, you bounced back so quick.’ I was like, ‘I am not letting this take over. Something great is around the corner — I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen,'” she says.

What about her biggest health regret? “Well, I think the time that I became a vegan. [Laughs] I love the philosophy behind veganism, but I went from one day eating chicken and meat to eating just salad. I didn’t know how to be a vegan. I didn’t know about soy or almond butter. I didn’t know that there are great breads. So I literally stuck to salads. And I think I passed out the first week,” Longoria confesses.

But how does she manage to stay in shape? Speaking about exercising, Eva told the magazine that she hates jogging and cardio. “My bachelor’s degree is in kinesiology, so it’s ingrained in me to work out. I was an aerobics instructor, and a personal trainer in college, so I was addicted to exercise. I used to do an hour and a half to two hours a day. I’d teach a class and then train clients. And I realized I didn’t need that much. Now I like weight training and abs. I love abs. I hate the elliptical. I hate jogging. [Laughs] I despise cardio. I just… can’t do it. So I try to do my cardio within the workout,” the actress confesses.

Eva Longoria Covers Health Magazine January/February 2012

Eva Longoria Covers Health Magazine January/February 2012

The gorgeous star told ‘Health’ that when on set she used to pack some snacks. “I love to cook. But when I’m on set, I have food delivery sent there. Before I could afford a food delivery system, I would make my breakfast and lunch, I’d pack some snacks, and put almonds in my purse. I was always prepared because I was always hungry. It’s funny, I would be like, ‘Nuts anyone?’ And they’d say, ‘What is in your purse?'”, she says. On what she likes to cook, the actress reveals that, “I love chicken leg quarters and asparagus. My most requested thing to cook for friends is Mexican tortilla soup and guacamole and chili-rubbed skirt steak.”

Eva Longoria is definitely one of the most beautiful women in the business. Still, does she feel the pressure to face the whole ‘beautiful’ thing in Hollywood? “No. I think that’s probably why I make those lists, because it takes a village to build me for the red carpet. It’s an illusion created by stylists, hair, makeup. I don’t put as much effort into it as my team does. But I think people see something beyond that with me, and I love that I’m defined by my charity work. I think that’s what people see when they give me this label of ‘She’s a beautiful person'”, she explained.

On her plans for 2012 Longoria told the magazine that, “Travel. Everywhere. Wherever the wind takes me. I could live anywhere; I can learn any language. I just love it. I love being immersed in the world.”

Read Eva’s full interview in the January/February 2012 issue of Health Magazine.

Photos courtesy of Health Magazine