September 29, 2014 03:30 PM

Lisa Lake/Getty

As the spokeswoman for Dole’s new nutritious Garden Soup, Ali Larter is literally the poster child for healthy eating — but when it comes to pregnancy cravings, she’s willing to break a few rules.

“I try to be healthy. I’ll eat green, but a salad is not a meal for me when I’m pregnant,” the Legends star, 38, tells PEOPLE.

Now that she’s expecting her second child this winter, Larter has been rounding out her meals by catering to a few of her cravings.

“I have allowed myself to have some pasta and all I really want is bread slathered in cheese,” the mom-to-be admits, adding pregnancy is “the one time” she eases up on her eating plan.

But besides the change in diet, the actress — who has yet to find out the sex of her baby on the way — says it’s been a completely different experience than it was when she was expecting her son, 3½-year-old Theodore Hayes.

“The first pregnancy was such a magical time, everything’s so new and enchanting,” she shares. “[Now] I’m working and running around … things don’t really slow down, so it’s a little bit less charming.”

Adds Larter, “That being said, I feel like so blessed and lucky to be having our baby.”

Despite being caught up in the “universal mom gripe” — exhaustion! — Larter has been busy preparing her preschooler for life as a big brother.

“We moved Teddy into a new room so that’s been really fun, transitioning him and getting him really excited for the new addition to our family,” she says.

Between her new show and the family’s upcoming arrival, Larter has had little time to sit back and relax. But with her girlfriends asking about a baby shower, the actress admits her time to settle down may be fast approaching.

“I haven’t really gotten into it yet,” she explains. “I’ve just been in work mode. Hopefully in a month or so I’ll start slowing down.”

— Michael Miller


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