Whilst we don’t believe in crazy pre-wedding diets, we do believe that healthy eating can make a big difference to your wedding wellbeing. So, we spoke to personal wellness coach Jeannie Di Bon to find out what you can do (and eat!) to be at your best on the big day.
The importance of healthy eating
“Everyone wants to feel fit and healthy on their wedding day and food is the key to ensuring that,” says Jeannie. “It’s important to see food as more than just fuel; what you eat dictates everything from your hormonal balance to how your skin looks, and even how much anxiety you might be feeling on the big day.”
Image courtesy of The Lovely Photographers
“You can overhaul your whole diet in just 6 weeks if you follow a plan that suits your body. Consistency is key, as it not seeing it as a punishment but an opportunity. Be realistic, be gentle, and see it as an investment in your long-term health. Don’t be afraid to have treats – but everything in moderation.”
“Some changes are pretty immediate. Cutting out highly processed foods that induce food cravings will see any instant change in your appetite and desire to comfort eat. Ask yourself; will one square of dark chocolate satisfy that hankering for something sweet? Sometimes that’s all you need to overcome the post-dinner sugar craving!”
Your pre-wedding eating plan
Jeannie says that if you’re new to healthy eating, start gently and be kind to yourself as you make changes to the way you eat. Simple changes can have a big impact and planning ahead can work wonders. Jeannie suggesting that you clear your cupboards, make sure there’s no processed foods and sugary treats lurking and then batch cook some healthy meals and store portions in the freezer. Defrost one in the morning and you won’t be tempted to grab ready meals or takeaways on your way home.
“The easiest thing to do is to drink more water and cut out sugary drinks, that includes fruit juices and smoothies. This will ensure you’re properly hydrated (which keeps your immune system boosted and skin looking fresh) and well as dramatically cutting down your daily sugar intake (which can make you feel sluggish and bloated).”
“Begin to reduce and then eventually eliminate anything from a packet – highly processed foods are the worst kind and the most addictive because of the sugar content that is often hidden within them.”
“Learn to read labels – don’t be fooled by ‘low fat’ or ‘reduced fat’ products. They make us feel like we’re being healthy, but mostly they’re full of nasty alternative ingredients our bodies don’t like. A good rule of thumb is to avoid any ingredient that you cannot pronounce! It means it’s an additive or artificial and not good for your body.”
What to eat before your wedding day
So, what exactly should you eat to feel great and what should you really avoid? Here’s Jeannie’s ready-made shopping list:
For clear skin:
- Eat – broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and foods that are high in Vitamin A including sweet potatoes, tomatoes and apricots.
- Avoid – processed foods, fried foods, sugary drinks and caffeine.
To cut down on bloating:
- Eat – ginger, peppermint tea, watermelon and celery.
- Avoid – vegetable oils, sugary foods and drinks.
To improve energy levels:
- Eat – brown rice, pumpkin seeds, fish, eggs and avocados.
- Avoid – sugar laden foods such as processed white bread and cakes, which cause an energy high and then a rapid drop.
To support your immune system:
- Eat – foods that are high in Vitamin A including carrots, watercress, melon and broccoli. Also go for chicory, kale, cauliflower, red cabbage, asparagus and strawberries.
- Avoid – processed, empty calories. These don’t offer the body anything but a false and short-term feeling of fullness.
- Eat – bananas, chamomile or peppermint tea, dark chocolate in small quantities, sardines and oysters (yes, really!)
You can also include Jeannie’s five pre-wedding superfoods in your healthy eating plan too:
- Watercress or Rocket – great for skin health. In fact, any fresh green vegetables are a winner!
- Turnip – a strange one but it promotes collagen production for healthy skin and regulates appetite to minimise cravings
- Pumpkin – Promotes healthy immune function, aids digestion and acts as an antioxidant
- Raspberries – boosts immune function, collagen production and can boost energy levels
- Kiwi – An excellent antioxidant, super for skin health and is known to lower blood pressure (helping you feel less stressed)
Who knows, you could feel so fantastic that your new pre-wedding diet might remain on the menu once you’re married!