Kristen Bell covers SELF February 2012. The lovely 31-year-old ‘House of Lies’ actress dishes on her idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day, ‘The Hunger Games’, staying positive, but she also reveals to the magazine’s readers her diet tricks and her favorite exercise move. “Here’s the one that packs the most punch. I call it The Bowler: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and bend slightly at the waist, holding a 5-pound weight in your right hand. Squat, then swing your right hand up and left, across your body, and sweep your right foot to the left behind you, as if you’re bowling. Do about eight on each side. It’s amazing for the butt cheeks,” the actress explains.

On how she splurges, Kristen confesses that, “Salted chocolate drives me wild. I’m not a big spender, but I do like buying kitchen tools. I’ve ordered all the ways you can cut a strawberry and that ring to cook an egg in a heart shape.”

On her favorite way to relax, the beautiful actress admits that cooking is her solution. “I love to cook. I have a tiny Italian grandmother inside me. If someone walks in, I’m like, ‘Let me make you a sandwich!’ We all have a giving-love language and a receiving-love language. I show love by cooking. When people have patience with me, I feel so loved. Dax is extremely patient with me,” Kristen told the magazine.

Kristen Bell Covers Self February 2012 Kristen Bell Covers Self February 2012

In the interview with SELF Kristen also reveals her idea of an ideal Valentine’s Day. “My perfect Valentine’s Day would definitely be sleeping in and not having a plan. I think there’s something really romantic about not planning and waking up and just being spontaneous,” the actress says.

On what she eats as a vegetarian, Kristen reveals that, “I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 11, because I couldn’t understand why if we didn’t eat the dog I should eat a burger. I love animals, and I stand by my values. So in the morning, I have an apple and, if we have leftover pizza, I scrape the toppings into egg whites. Pizza eggs are better than you can imagine! For lunch, I’ll have a big salad and a veggie burger.” She then continues saying that, “I’m a fan of multicourse dinners. Last night, I made brussels sprouts baked with balsamic vinegar, grapes and walnuts; butternut squash ravioli; and a ‘garbage disposal’ salad, which is everything in the veggie and fruit drawers: lentils, spinach, romaine, blueberries, cucumbers, raspberries, almonds, carrots and avocado. Literally anything. You don’t even need a dressing because there are so many tastes.”

As for what she does to work out, the gorgeous actress says that, “I mostly go for hour-long hikes with friends, but sometimes, I’ll do pilates or 20 minutes of calisthenics, like push-ups and sit-ups. I go through spurts. Working out for me has nothing to do with body image — I refuse to look in the mirror and hate myself. My goal isn’t to change my body; it’s to make my body happy.”

Kristen Bell Covers Self February 2012 Kristen Bell Covers Self February 2012

Kristen admits in the interview with the magazine that she stays positive through therapy and talking to her friends. “I love my therapist. When I have an issue that I need to work through, going to therapy gives me a bigger toolbox to do so. Talking with friends helps, too. I can say crazy things to my friends, things I’m embarrassed to admit, like ‘I feel so ugly or worthless today.’ They say, ‘What? You’re nuts!’ Having good, real friends builds your self-esteem exponentially,” she says.

On her habits of which she is most and least proud of, Kristen confesses that, “I’m proud of my patience. I’ve worked really hard to curb my natural impatience by realizing that everyone is doing the best they can. I’m least proud of my ability to be lazy and procrastinate by spending time on my computer or in front of the TV, watching America’s Funniest Home Videos, the greatest show on television. To anybody who pooh-poohs it, I say, ‘Just give it 30 minutes.'”

On whether she or Dax is the better biker, Kristen says that, “There’s no comparison! I can barely walk in a straight line, let alone move in one when I’m on a vehicle that has wheels. Dax grew up as a dirt biker. He’s always doing tricks that terrify me. Even so, we ride to brunch or dinner or ice cream all the time.” Asked whether she is witty like her characters, Kristen admits that, “No way. I’m not funny at all. I’m intensely serious. I mean, I’d like to think I’m funny, but I really can’t guarantee that anyone agrees.”

Read Kristen’s full interview in the February 2012 issue of SELF magazine.

Kristen Bell Talks Diet and Being a Vegetarian with SELF February 2012

Photos courtesy of SELF