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The Everyday Supermodel
Credit: Courtesy

With her piercing hazel eyes, structured cheekbones, and towering 5'10'' frame, it's easy to pin Molly Sims as a supermodel, but the Kentucky native insists she wasn’t genetically blessed. "People think I was born this way, but I wasn't," she told InStyle. “I used to look at the girls in the magazines and take notes. It doesn't happen overnight."

After suffering a painfully awkward adolescence that included a unibrow, acne, and, yes, headgear, the five-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover star rose to the top of the fashion ranks through years of careful preperation—no fashion risk untaken, no diet untried. Sims details all the helpful tricks she picked up herself—and from her industry friends along the way—in her new book, aptly titled The Everyday Supermodel ($20; amazon.com).

"People strive to be models or actresses—but a lot of what you see isn't actually real," she adds. "There is no perfect body. Everything is retouched. It's all about challenging and respecting yourself." We solicited the mom-to-be's best advice for staying fit during your first trimester, eating healthy, and exercising. Here’s an excerpt from our chat:

What's the key to staying healthy while pregnant? Balance is key. Eat a lot of protein and a lot of vegetables. I crave sugar, but I try to get sugar from fruit as opposed to getting it from candy, cakes, or bread. Sometimes I slip and I'll have a piece of chocolate, but dark chocolate is better than milk. Always drink water with a straw and adopt the three-bite rule when it comes to junk food. When I'm traveling, I'll pack gluten-free crackers, almonds, and jicama in my bag. Also, be wary of double eating at night—just because you're making two dinners doesn't mean you should be eating both!

How about exercise? I love Pilates. I also do Tracy Anderson and SoulCycle. It’s really hard, I'm going to be honest—I try not to cancel. Sometimes pregnant people are too tired to work out, but the exercising will help you physically and mentally. Just don't automatically drink a sports drink or a smoothie, because then you've just killed your workout in terms of caloric intake.

What's the key to being an "everyday" supermodel, as you cleverly dub it?Believing in yourself, wanting the best for yourself, taking care of yourself, and setting goals. It's like Beyoncé's Sasha Fierce—that's where she pulls it from. Be the best you that you can be. A lot of people have the issue where, when they're heavier, they don't feel good about themselves. So you binged all weekend and you went out and got s---faced, that doesn't mean you can't start dieting on a Monday. Pretend you're a model!

Can you explain your philosophy behind Meatless Monday?I would love to be plant-based and have no meat as my protein, but I just can't. I’ve tried it, and I crave it and like it too much. The best thing you can do for yourself is lower your meat intake, so I try to do one day a week meatless. I'll make spaghetti squash with chia seeds over it, or marinara sauce, or seitan or soy. There are so many great things you can substitute. I try to eat organic when I can, but it's expensive. I love Whole Foods, but don't even think I don't call it Whole Paycheck!

This book is chock full of great tips. What's the best advice you've ever received? I'm a big fan of Kate Hudson, and her body has never looked better. I think I'm going to have to take up the Brazilian butt DVDs that she does, because she looks phenomenal. What I've learned the most is that everyone, including Kate, really switches it up when it comes to their workout routine. You have to, so you don't get bored. Spinning, cycling, cardio, zumba, boxing, whatever, as long as you sweat and get your heart rate up.

Are there any secrets that didn't make it in the book?My secret weapon is baking soda. It’s a great natural exfoliator; you can put it in the shower and scrub down your body, and you can even use it on your teeth. Also, be firm at restaurants. I always lose my willpower when I go out to eat. Getting the dressing on the side, or ordering anything steamed, boiled, or grilled will save so many calories. If the waiter asks if you have an allergy, lie and say you do, so they actually amend your order.