Following a vegan or vegetarian diet can be difficult on its own, but how about when you’re eating for two?
Dietician Ashley Koff (below, left), who appeared on The CW’s Shedding for the Wedding, helps her clients, including expectant actress Emily Deschanel, learn what kind of food and beverages best help the body get its necessary nutrients.
“What we want to do is give the body just enough energy so that it performs well,” she told PEOPLE.
For example, many vegetarians love the combination of pita and hummus.
But while pita is easily recognized as a carbohydrate, hummus is actually both a protein and a carbohydrate, “so you’re getting too many carbohydrates at one time,” she said. “So we switch it up and replace the pita with vegetables instead.”
With Deschanel, a longtime vegan, Koff worked to create an eating timetable for the actress to follow while shooting her FOX show, Bones.
“Energy is a really significant issue for her,” she said. “What has probably been a challenge for her is making sure that she has nutrient-dense food that she’s able to have every three hours.”
So, Koff introduced healthy snacking items, such as hemp, into Deschanel’s diet for the star to munch on in a pinch.
“She loves nut butters,” she said. “And sometimes we’ll do fun smoothies, especially if she’s at work. We’ll take coconut water, nut butter, and berries and make a smoothie so she’s got something to sustain her energy in a liquid form.”
But regardless of the diet, Koff’s most important rule is to eat as naturally as possible.
“Whether you’re eating a plant- or animal-based diet, you want to eat food in the form closest to nature,” she said.
“You want to avoid the highly-processed foods, and that’s especially true whether you’re pregnant or a not.”
— Kiran Hefa