July 08, 2011 04:00 PM

Courtesy Ladies Home Journal

Cravings aside, when it comes to pregnancy essentials, Emily Deschanel has a solid go-to.

“I have a friend from junior high who’s expecting a baby right before I am,” the Bones actress, who will welcome her first child with husband David Hornsby this fall, tells Ladies’ Home Journal‘s August issue.

“Now we’re sharing stories about our cravings and how our bodies are changing. We compare notes.”

She adds: “Having someone like this is so reassuring. It connects me to an essential part of myself.”

But when it comes to cravings, Deschanel’s go-to fixes all have one thing in common: She’s vegan, so she doesn’t consume any animal products, including dairy and eggs.

“I still have to defend myself because people don’t understand it,” the mom-to-be, who announced her pregnancy in March, says of her diet. “As a pregnant woman especially, people will say to me, ‘You must eat meat and dairy.’ You really have to tap into your self-esteem whenever people try to convince you you’re making the wrong choice.”

Ready to raise a child, Deschanel, 34, reflected on her own upbringing. Born in Los Angeles, she wasn’t always in-tune with the more shallow demands of the industry.

“In Hollywood there’s so much pressure to appear a certain way — to be skinny and to look young,” she says. “When I was growing up, I never cared about whether I was pretty or not. But when I was 12, a friend’s mom told me I was flat-chested and had fat thighs.”

She continues: “That really hurt my feelings and it kind of scarred me. I started becoming aware of how other people judged me.”

— Alison Schwartz

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