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The Globe and Mail

Pregnancy made her do it: Natalie Portman ditches veganism

Actress Natalie Portman, who is pregnant with her first child, takes the stage in the photo room after winning best actress for her role in "Black Swan" at the 17th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California January 30, 2011.


As an unstable ballet dancer in Black Swan, Natalie Portman subsisted on grapefruit, egg whites and self-flagellation.

In real life, the actress is easier on herself, revealing this week that she gave up her veganism for a vegetarian diet that allows for eggs and dairy because she's been "listening to her body" while pregnant.

"If you're not eating eggs, then you can't have cookies or cake from regular bakeries, which can become a problem when that's all you want to eat," the 29-year-old actress told the hosts of an Atlanta radio show.

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Aside from cake, Ms. Portman cited health concerns: "I know that there are people who do stay vegan. But I think you have to just be careful, watch your iron levels and your B12 levels and supplement those if there are things you might be low in in your diet."

Portman's laissez faire comments about eating what she craved are refreshing, but also surprising coming from a celeb who created a vegan footware line and preached her veganism in an October 2009 Huff Po column in which she explained that she turned vegan after reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals, a book she'd also read aloud to friends.

"What Foer most bravely details is how eating animal pollutes not only our backyards, but also our beliefs. He reminds us that our food is symbolic of what we believe in, and that eating is how we demonstrate to ourselves and to others our beliefs," Portman wrote then.

"And as we use food to impart our beliefs to our children, the point from which Foer lifts off, what stories do we want to tell our children through their food?"

Portman is expecting her first child with fiancé Benjamin Millepied this summer.

Do you see veganism as an ethical stance, a lifestyle that can be put on hold for a craving, or a personal choice others have no business weighing in on?

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