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Kristen Bell Talks About Acting, Health Advice, and the Children of Uganda

The Gossip Girl narrator and star of Forgetting Sarah Marshall can't forget the little ones orphaned in this war-torn African country.

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What are your charitable goals for the future?

I hope to be working with Invisible Children for a long time. And I know that once they end this 20-year war, which I think they will, then we would find another place where kids are unseen and need a voice.

What is the best health advice that anyone has ever given you?

My mom is a nurse, and she shared a lot of information with me at an early age. When I was 11, I wanted to be a vegetarian, because I never liked meat. And I think the best health advice my mom gave me was that I could do whatever I wanted, I just need to know what I was risking and what I needed. So she made me do research on what kind of vitamins and minerals I would be lacking, and how I could get them. A lot of vegetarians tend to just eat bread and pasta and not realize that they need zinc or iron. You usually just worry about protein, but that’s not the only thing you’re lacking. So I’m able to be a really healthy vegetarian because she educated me.

What do you do for relaxation?

Sit in a giant pile of dogs at my house. My cuddle time with my dogs invigorates me beyond belief. That and spending time with my friends one on one. The Los Angeles lifestyle tends to get very fast-paced. Sometimes sitting down and taking a deep breath is all the relaxation that I need.

Of the five senses, which do you value most and why?

Touch, because there’s nothing like a really good hug.

What’s your best health habit? Your worst?

My best is that I’m very active. I love being outside, and going hiking with my dogs. And not only does it make my body feel good, but it makes my mind feel good. Unfortunately that also allows me to indulge when I want to eat half of a cake, and I don’t have a lot of willpower in that department.

What is your personal health philosophy?

A lot of the stuff that I do is ingrained in me because of my mom. So just being aware of new medical studies, and not sinking into old habits. So much new medical information comes out each month. And when my mom has to renew her nursing license, she always shares new information with me. So I think keeping up to date is really important.

I also think that as much as I trust hospitals, I know how busy they can get. So I truly believe and would advise people to talk to the hospital advocate if they’re not feeling like they’re getting the treatment they deserve -- or if they want to feel more informed about having a surgery.

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