Natalie Portman has drifted back to a vegetarian diet after telling a radio show that she’s listening to what her body needs while pregnant.

“I actually went back to being vegetarian when I became pregnant, just because I felt like I wanted that stuff,” she said during a Monday phone interview with the Q100 Bert Show in Atlanta. “I was listening to my body to have eggs and dairy and that sort of stuff.”

The 29-year-old, who recently won a Best Actress Oscar for “Black Swan”, added: “I know 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.”

Interestingly, one of Portman’s main complaints was that her body was craving cookies and cakes – but that she couldn’t enjoy them from “regular bakeries” due to eggs in the ingredients. Hence the switch. Something tells me any number of vegan bakeries would have loved to have lent a hand!

But hey – for those that are disappointed, at least she’s still vegetarian. It will be interesting to see if two other stars, Emily Deschanel and Alicia Silverstone, stay vegan through their pregnancies. Sound off below!

US Weekly via Cele|bitchy

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Danielle

    I’m sure some would disagree, but I think that when it comes down to it, you have to do what feels best for you. So, if it’s work to try to avert your mind when you’re craving an egg then perhaps you’re not ready to be vegan at this time. And when it comes to being a vegan while pregnant, it takes more attention to nutritional detail. I’m glad she is doing what works for her.

    • Jeff

      I agree with you 100%!

  • Lisa Kalner Williams

    I thought Natalie had a comment in the Babycakes cookbook about how awesome its baked goods are. (Babycakes = vegan bakery) Maybe babybrain made her forget about that joint?

  • lisa

    soooo disappointing. once someone know what happens to BABY cows and BABY chicks to obtain dairy and eggs, and they are pregnant with BABY, you would think they would never want to go back to being responsible for the slaughter and torture of babies. sooooo sad bc she is a model and others look up to her and will likely see this decision as a reason that one can not thrive on a vegan diet while pregnant, which is not true.

    • Zume

      Not all eggs obtained by cruelty to baby chickens. The nice thing about having loads of money, you can afford the higher prices for cruelty-free products.

      • Celeste

        True cruelty-free does not exist unless you raise the animals yourself and know exactly how they are treated. Cage-free chickens are kept in a barn,thousands and thousands with very little room. Organic milk still comes from cows who are forced to keep giving milk long past the time they normally would and their babies are taken from them immediately. Would you like to be forced to give milk your who life? Even though these animals are given a LITTLE bit more,does not make them 100% cruelty-free. They call it that to make the consumers feel better about what they’re buying.

  • Lori Bain

    My 7 years of being vegan ended when I was pregnant. I truly felt more connected to the needs of my body, and being on a spiritual path I knew to pay attention. I was able to know exactly what my body was asking for, one particular type of cheese, and I ate it with Love! The needs of my body outweighed the need of my mind to hold on to any label. I freely chose to be vegan-vegetarian, and have the right to choose every moment, but to be confined by a label and to not listen to my body is a restriction that only causes more harm than good.

    Thanks to author Maureen Whitehouse, I am a soul-full conscious eater. I had an amazing pregnancy and birth, and now have a beautiful healthy 3.5 year old son!

  • VeggieTart

    Hopefully she can go back to vegan once she gives birth.

  • Dawn

    I am a long time vegan and 7 months pregnant. And I will say…it has not been an easy road. In the beginning, for a few months I craved fried shrimp. I contemplated, my husband a 21 year vegan kept me straight. He made several concoctions to try and fulfill my fried shrimp craving. It finally subsided. There have been other things that I craved and we always try to find a good vegan substitute. I have made conscious decisions so that I get all of my vitamins and nutrients that I need for a healthy baby. I can understand how it would be easy to abstain from being vegan while pregnant. You should listen to your body and if the body is craving something there is a reason why.

    • Rachelle

      Agree with you Dawn–I posted before I read your comment. :)

  • Rachelle

    Is the body asking for a particular FOOD or a particular vitamin or mineral?? That is the question. Anyone can give into cravings–but there are a ton of viable vegan substitutes. If I crave a cupcake–a vegan one is just as good as a non-vegan one. The body does not distinguish between animal protein or veggie protein–as long as it is getting PROTEIN…If the body is asking for more IRON–do you eat cow’s liver or do you get a proper vegan supplement? What if her body craved or asked for chicken? Would she eat it or would she find a vegan substitute that gave her the same effect?

    People can do as they please–it’s their life…I just don’t want people thinking you can’t be pregnant and vegan or that something is lacking if you are. It’s not cow’s milk or dairy milk that “does a body good”–it’s the calcium and other vitamins that do that–vitamins that you can get vegan. And so what if you have to put in a bit more effort? Your baby and you–and the lives of other animals are worth the added effort. Right?

  • GG

    I really respect Natalie Portman and think she has a lot of integrity. I think it is better that she followed her instincts rather than feeling pressured to stay vegan when she didn’t feel she was meeting all her body’s needs, for whatever reason. I believe it is possible to have a healthy pregnancy and child as a vegan, but that there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to nutrition generally, and that we should use our instincts to guide us towards making the best decisions possible in line with our ethics. It would have been much worse for Natalie to have ignored her instincts, and to have potentially damaged the health of herself and/or her baby, not just for them personally, but for veganism generally because of how high profile she is. I personally don’t think I would have the strength of character to stay vegan throughout pregnancy because of the lack of support I imagine I would encounter, and because if anything bad happened, as can happen with any pregancy, I would feel people (possibly myself included), would always be wondering whether veganism had played a part in the problem. That’s one of the reasons I don’t intend to have any children, and also why I have a huge amount of respect for the women who do stay vegan throughout pregnancy.

  • tammy marie

    i don’t understand the craving for dairy as there are so many substitutes with almond milk, rice milk ect.
    there are so many dairy free cakes and sweets that even taste better than the real thing.
    a really good scramble tofu with veggies tastes even better than the real thing.
    i’m really not trying to judge but i just don’t understand the need to give into to animal cravings when we have so many options to choose from being vegans.

  • Natalie M.

    I think Alicia Silverstone remained committed to vegan eating throughout her pregnancy. As for Natalie, I say if she’s doing what she feels is right and she’s well informed regarding her food sources who am I to judge?

  • Jules

    Kudos to Natalie! Hopefully the militant vegan backlash isn’t too harsh; I’m sure being preggers is tough enough as it is!

  • lauren

    there’s no iron in dairy!!

  • emily

    I just have to add – since so many seem so disappointed – that none of us know what lies behind this decision, and for all we know, there could be a lot more to it. Yes, there are many wonderful substitutes for dairy out there, but not all of us have picture-perfect pregnancies in which almond milk works the magic of a little ice cream. I’m a pregnant (I guess now former) vegan and I CANNOT keep down anything derived from nuts, CANNOT keep down soy products, CANNOT keep down…well, hardly anything, to be honest, except for matzah and thinly sliced cheddar cheese (and I’m quite a ways in, and this has been going on the entire time). Last week I lived on apple sauce and (real, milk-based) chocolate ice cream, because that’s literally all that worked for me. The week before it was rice and eggs. What am I supposed to do? You have to do what’s best for your body, and your baby, even if that means relaxing your carefully researched and well-thought-out moral standards. Sometimes things just get more complicated than we would like them to.

  • tammy marie

    i’m not disappointed. i just don’t understand those cravings. if i ever get pregnant i hope i don’t crave pickles and ice-cream (together).. :)

  • rebecca

    How could one forget the cruelty they have spoken out so eloquently on? And someone so wealthy, of means… who could surely send out an assistant to get any vegan baked goods or vegan frozen dessert from the many vegan places that fill each city now. As far as babies go, even the famous baby doctor, Dr. Spock, printed rewrites of his books and wrote regrets for ever advising people and their children to drink cow’s milk. He said what other great plant-based doctors and scientists (even ones raised on dairy farms like T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn) said clearly, “milk is the most important food – for a calf.”

    If being pregnant makes you lose your mind to the extent that you eat things you otherwise found abhorrent or unhealthy, then that is just plain sad. is there such a thing as willpower in Portman’s world? Or using intellect – despite the raging hormones – to find healthy and cruelty free alternatives?

    As for the gal who dissed “militant vegans…” I was vegetarian for 25 years before the vegan info got to me… about the real cruelty behind the egg and dairy industries – as they are partners with the meat industry (i.e. “spent layers” (and millions of rooster chicks per year) get sent to become chicken mcnuggets and fertilizer as thanks for all the eggs they gave people… and cows – especially the sons of dairy cows who were made pregnant so they will lactate, so people can have the milk – – become veal.)

    We may come off as “militant” for a very special reason: we are educated, and we care, and we can’t turn a blind eye to the suffering… and we also want to help spread word of the information that was withheld from us for so long, that was so hard to come by because society conveniently doesn’t teach it. I am really thankful I got the vegan 411 in this lifetime. It has been a blessing and working with rescued farm animals has been a blessing too. If kids were taught that the cows that made milk for them are killed when they stop producing enough milk, if humans were raised with the truth, more people would shun drinking the stuff (not to mention knowing about the legally allowed amounts of pus and bacteria in milk from the infected udders) Natalie has disappointed many of us. She spoke eloquently on the suffering of these animals, so as Jonathan Safran Foer writes in the very book she praised: now you cannot claim ignorance – you can only claim indifference.

    • herwin

      great reply. and for all these people that call vegans who stick to their ethics “militant”, etc ? Oh, we vegans are used to all kinds of insults and labeling by people who feel guilty to be confronted by people who don’t toss out their principles out the window unlike themselves.

      should people really listen to their bodely cravings ? Unless these cravings come from nutrients/mineral/vitamin deficency, these cravings are the same type of cravings that people can have for cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs. any reasobale people would try NOT to give in.

      Giving in for useless bodely cravings and throwing out your convictions out of the window is, urm, something i understand, don’t condem personally but certainly won’t defend or admire.

      With your last remark, Rebecaa, you hit the nail on the head.

      and L.B.N.L, enough women including my wife, who stayed vegan during and after pregnancy. :-)

    • ariel

      I agree with every single word…

    • tammy marie

      excellent post!

  • ariel

    I don’t consider anymore dairy and eggs as “food”, that’s the point. And I wonder how a “serious” vegan could change this world view. When you are pregnant you should understand better what violence means
    Anyway I don’t care at all what stars do, they are so superficial…

    (Rome, Italy)

  • Alex G

    Yeah right! Listening to waht her body needs?! I think she has just been listening to her doctor and/or friends and family… otherwise she wouldn’t mention b12 and Iron etc. What a disappointement!

  • Cristal

    I would think that as an informed and educated Jew she would feel a certain connection to animals held in the concentration-camp-like environments of the factory farms.

    From cradle to grave, dairy animals are imprisoned and tortured at the hands of humans whose behavior towards animals is very akin to the Nazi treatment of Jews. It’s absolutely unbelievable that she would support these inhuman businesses. Especially given that she is extremely educated on the subject and keenly aware of the atrocities that are committed against animals in order for those oh-so-important baked goods to reach her lips. Her behavior supports evil – and she knows it. period.

    And yes, I am militant about creating a better existence for animals as we ALL should be. Animals are sentient living beings with minds, hearts, feelings. They have a capacity to feel pain & fear as well as joy & pleasure. To argue otherwise is ignorant and not founded in logic, reason, nor reality.

    And then there’s the environmental impact of dairy. It’s anti-animal and anti-earth.

    P.S. I’m also militant about protecting the planet that sustains me and my family. Duh.

  • Teisa

    Natalie, come on!! Babycakes is in NYC!!!
    I’m sure there are other just as yummmy vegan bakeries as well <3

  • Zume

    I think that being pregnant is hard enough without trying to do it on a really strict diet. People who have criticisms of Natalie should mind their own damn business.

    • tammy marie

      vegan is not a strict diet. i find the variety of food far exceeds that of someone who relies on a meat based diet….and she is a celebrity figure who made a public quote and we live in a society where we can voice our opinions on her quote so we don’t have to “mind our own business”.

  • krissy

    Doesn’t she live in like Los Angeles and NYC where Vegan bakeries are on every corner? I’m sure she also has a personal chef who can make it happen. Maybe she can be like Phoebe on Friends and ask a friend to be vegan on her behalf throughout her pregnancy and then it will balance out.

  • Celeste

    I’m pregnant and vegan. I guess I’m lucky that I haven’t had any cravings. I did have aversions, for a while, which was frustrating and smells make me sick,but I have yet to have any serious kind of craving. Sometimes,I think it would be nice to have a craving,just so it would give me something to work with. I’m just glad I can get back in the kitchen now,with out being sick every time. I did have a SLIGHT chicken craving,but then I realized that what I was really craving was the ultimate home-cooked,family meal,and that I really just wanted that cozy,taken-care-of feel. So I made a dinner of mashed potatoes,gravy and seitan cutlets and felt so much better! If i,even for a second,think that eggs sound kind of good,I make a tofu dish and put black salt on the tofu (black salt smells and tastes like sulfur,which mimics the flavor of egg). That more than satisfies me. I still have 6 1/2 months left of this pregnancy so we’ll see how it goes with cravings,but,at 10 weeks,I haven’t had any cravings I can’t rationalize away and use a vegan food to replace what I’m craving. I find it quite simple(so far).

  • son of b

    I hate her!
    how can she do that to animals, hypocrate!