We can’t all replicate Mandy Moore’s mid-century-modern dining room or her impeccably organized pantry, but we can easily copy the This Is Us star’s daily wellness practices. The actress spoke at a 50th-anniversary celebration for herbal health company Nature’s Way in early March about her balanced approach to food and wellness — and you’ll be delighted to find that you don’t need a celebrity budget to try it.

During a conversation with mindbodygreen co-founder and co-CEO Colleen Wachob, Moore said that she isn’t the most routine-oriented person, but she always takes a multivitamin and probiotics every morning without fail. She also starts and ends each day with a big glass of water. We were eager to learn more about Moore’s cooking habits, so we talked with her one-on-one about her daily diet.

Brit + Co: As you’ve become more passionate about health and wellness, what foods make you feel your best?

Mandy Moore: The obvious answer is everything within moderation. I’m a big fan of bone broth; that’s one of my favorite staples, incorporating that instead of a mid-afternoon cup of coffee. We’re big snackers in my household too — lots of nut butters, lots of nuts. One of my favorite things — have you heard of Sweetpotato Awesome? They’re these freeze-dried, long pieces of sweet potato. Everything sort of revolves around paleo, gluten-free, grass-fed meats.

B+C: Do you have any favorite gluten-free brands or snacks?

MM: I love Simple Mills. There’s a company called Nora’s that also makes these incredible almond crackers, which is a staple in our household too. Those sweet potato chips for sure, and anything veggie-related as well.

B+C: What are your go-to dinners when you’re in chef mode?

MM: When I’m in chef mode, which isn’t as often as I would like — I don’t have a ton of confidence in the kitchen — we’re big salmon and chicken fans. I feel most comfortable cooking those things. Something I love at the beginning of the week is grilling a couple of pieces of salmon and a couple of pieces of chicken in coconut oil and putting them in the fridge, so when night comes around, I always have something ready to go. I can put it on top of a salad or grill some veggies quickly on the side. I like simple, easy solutions so that I’m not tempted to constantly Postmates.

B+C: It sounds like you have a healthy approach to food; you just listen to your body and eat what it’s telling you.

MM: I do. We went out to dinner last night, and I had some pork, and I had some fish. And it’s like, I don’t want to deny myself, but again, moderation kicks in. You just gotta sort of listen. Some days I wake up, and I want eggs and turkey bacon. I want the whole situation! Then other times, I just want a smoothie or some gluten-free oatmeal. It just varies on a daily basis.

B+C: As someone in the spotlight, how do you maintain that healthy approach to eating amid pressure to look a certain way?

MM: When I’m deciding to quote-on-quote “indulge,” like, I’m gonna have a glass of wine, I try to be present and appreciate and not feel guilty and not feel shamed, because what’s the point? You’re not enjoying it then. You might as well be in the moment and appreciate what’s happening and the choice you’re making, otherwise it defeats the whole purpose. I try to go easy on myself when I do make those choice. I’m owning that I’m having a burger and I’m going to enjoy every bite of it because I don’t do this often. I don’t need to feel bad about it.

B+C: Time for a lightning round. What are your top three favorite foods?

MM: I’m gonna go with french fries, Brussels sprouts, and salmon.

B+C: Which restaurant makes the best fries?

MM: Oh, that’s tough. I’m not actually a super picky fry person. I don’t like crinkle-cut or a thick steak fry. Just regular, run-of-the-mill, crunchy, and a little soft in the middle. That’s my pre-requisite.

B+C: What’s your dipping sauce?

MM: I don’t even need dipping sauce if it’s a good fry. I mean, I’m not gonna say no to a little truffle oil on a fry. But if it has truffle oil, definitely no sauce.

B+C: What would you eat for your last meal? Go all out.

MM: Probably some sort of guacamole-chip situation. A little bit of sushi. Maybe some sort of carb, like pizza, or maybe even just really good bread and butter. Some salmon but maybe the salmon in the sushi. And then I’m gonna say a chocolate chip cookie. A chocolate chip cookie does me every time. It’s your last meal, so it doesn’t matter about getting an upset stomach.

B+C: Breakfast in Paris or dinner in Rome?

MM: Breakfast in Paris. I bet most people say dinner in Rome, huh? I usually can’t digest gluten really well, but for some reason, as soon as I leave the country, it’s totally fine. So I can be in Paris and really dig in to some croissants. An almond milk cappuccino and a croissant first thing in the morning in Paris… there’s something really romantic about that.

B+C: What cooking show is your go-to?

MM: We were a big Great British Bake Off family. My husband the other day was like, “When is that show coming back?” I really got him hooked. We tried to be amateur bakers in our house for a couple weeks. The results were not entirely successful, but it was fun. I’m not the best baker, but I can whip up a couple batches of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. I like the precision; I can follow a recipe pretty well. I’m constantly in such admiration of people who can just get in the kitchen, and they’re like, “What do I have in the fridge? What can I make from whatever I have here?” That would stress me out to no end. I don’t have the skill set to just wing it. I need a recipe; I need to have all the ingredients.

B+C: What are your top three favorite cuisines?

MM: Mexican, Japanese, and maybe Taiwanese. I’m a pretty big fan of Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, anything that falls under that umbrella.

B+C: And your favorite kitchen tool?

MM: I like my Vitamix. It’s perfect for making a latte, making a smoothie. I’ve made ice cream in it. It’s an easy fail-safe for people who aren’t confident in the kitchen.

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This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

(Photo via Getty Images)