03/06/2013 at 09:00 AM EST
After having three children, Jennie Garth
worked hard to get her body into cover-girl shape, losing 30 pounds
to sizzle in a bikini.
But, she says, she's fine with a little Easter chocolate indulgence – or even the occasional cupcake.
"Maintenance is definitely challenging
. It's something you have to do daily," Garth said during a Lindt-sponsored charity auction in New York, benefitting Autism Speaks.
"You have to remind yourself what your priorities are," she told PEOPLE, "and remind yourself about staying healthy and living a healthy life."
But Garth, 40 – who starred last year in her own CMT reality series Jennie Garth: Little Bit Country,
, and who split from Peter Facinelli
in March 2012 after 11 years of marriage – says that doesn't mean she's totally depriving herself of a bite or two of her favorite white chocolate ("My weakness," she said) or baking with her three daughters.
In addition to her discipline with her diet, she maintains a gluten-free lifestyle and enjoys daily exercise.
"Every day, I try to schedule something in, whether it's hiking with my dog or jogging or going to the gym," said Garth, who's currently dating Big Gigantic drummer Jeremy Salken
. "Those are the things I'm focused on right now."